Looking Forward

Looking Back

June 26, 2005



President Bush is to meet with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who is expected to lobby for his country to receive a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. Schroeder is still optimistic about Germany's chances for acceptance on the council, German government sources in Berlin said Friday. The United States had said that it would support adding Japan and one other nation as permanent members of the Security Council, but strongly indicatedthat a pan-European seat might be preferable to one being given to Germany alone.

The Supreme Court will wrap up its current term with its final session for issuing orders. Two widely anticipated decisions are still to be rendered: One case questions the rights of governments to post the Ten Commandments on public property; another case brings into question rights regarding file-sharing networks that allow Internet swapping of music and movies. Then there is perhaps the most closely watched issue of the term: Many wonder whether the session will end with a retirement announcement from Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who is undergoing treatment for cancer.


President Bush will discuss the continuing Iraq conflict in a widely anticipated speech at Fort Bragg, N.C. Bush struck back Friday against growing calls to schedule a U.S. pullout from Iraq, vowing that there would be no creation of a timetable to withdraw troops. To do so would be "conceding too much to the enemy," Bush said at a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari at the White House. The president said that insurgents were trying to scare Iraqis and Americans into giving up their efforts.

NASA's administrator, Michael Griffin, is scheduled to testify about the agency's future at a hearing of the House Science Committee. At NASA's request, scientists recently gave the space agency "road maps," a detailed wish list of missions they hope to see conducted over the next 30 years. The proposals range from a satellite to measure the planet's rainfall to the Big Bang Observer, a spacecraft that would be sent to study the explosion that astronomers believe gave birth to the universe roughly 13.7 billion years ago.

A House Armed Services subcommittee hearing is scheduled on the religious climate at the Air Force Academy. Early this month, the academy's superintendent acknowledged that religious intolerance permeated his "whole organization" and would take years to fix.


The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be holding a hearing in Washington on challenges to the Mideast peace process. With less than two months remaining before Israel's planned withdrawal from all 21 Jewish settlements on the Gaza Strip and four others in the West Bank, there are fears that the pullout could lead to an escalation of violence if Palestinian militants fire at settlers leaving their homes or at security forces carrying out the mass evacuation.

A Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation subcommittee hearing is scheduled in Washington on how information technology can reduce medical errors, lower health care costs and improve the quality of patient care.

The 68th annual Soap Box Derby is slated to begin in Akron, Ohio. Nearly 500 local champions and their families representing 43 states and three foreign countries will compete in the weeklong world championship competition.

Marlon Brando's personal property is scheduled to go up for bids at Christie's in New York City. Included in the actor's personal items to be auctioned is a collection of material relating to the filming of Apocalypse Now, including two scripts, and a signed, typescript letter from Francis Ford Coppola written to Brando.


The National Organization for Women holds its annual conference and officer elections in Nashville, Tenn. Among the invited speakers will be Sara Paretsky, novelist and creator of the fictional private detective V.I. Warshawski.


The World

Marina Bai of Moscow sued NASA for $311 million, hoping to stop the Deep Impact mission that is about to launch a barrel-size projectile into a comet to examine the result. The suit filed by the 45-year-old mother of two says that the mission, overseen by University of Maryland scientists, will "infringe upon my system of spiritual and life values, in particular on the values of every element of creation, upon the unacceptability of barbarically interfering with the natural life of the universe, and the violation of the natural balance of the universe."

A U-2 spy plane that had been on a reconnaissance mission in support of U.S. troops in Afghanistan crashed while returning to its base in the United Arab Emirates, killing the pilot. The Pentagon released few details on the loss of the plane, which can fly at extremely high altitudes.

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