Looking Forward

Looking Back

July 24, 2005



One year after the release of the Sept. 11 commission report recommending an overhaul of the U.S. security and intelligence apparatus, the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing titled "The Secretary's Second-Stage Review: Re-thinking the Department of Homeland Security's Organization and Policy Direction." The House Small Business Committee will hear testimony on the government's compelling pharmacists to dispense drugs to which they are morally opposed.

A jury in Yorktown, Va., will begin hearing the case of convicted killer Daryl Atkins, trying to decide whether he is mentally retarded. If the jurors find that he is not, Virginia plans to execute him for the 1996 robbery and murder of 21-year-old Eric Nesbitt. If the jury finds he is retarded, the state cannot carry out that sentence. Atkins' case led to the Supreme Court ruling that banned execution of the mentally retarded.


The Commerce Department will report on new-home sales for June, another indication of the state of a possible bubble in that market. The department will also release its report on durable goods orders for June - usually considered a reliable indicator of where the economy is headed, because people don't buy such big ticket-items unless they have confidence in the future.


In Washington, Miramax Films will hold a world premiere of The Great Raid, a movie depicting a rescue mission of more than 500 U.S. prisoners of war in Cabanatuan in the Philippines during World War II. Former Vietnam prisoner of war Sen. John McCain is expected to attend.

More economic news arrives in the Labor Department report of weekly jobless claims.


President Bush is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz of Pakistan, whose government is considered a key ally in the war on terrorism even as some of its citizens are implicated in the bombing attacks on the London subway.


The World

Pre-dawn explosions, including at least three car bombs, thundered through the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, and nearby Namaa Bay, killing dozens of people and wounding more than 100.

Hurricane Emily, a Category 4 storm, missed the Cayman Islands and sideswiped Jamaica before bearing down on the popular tourist areas of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, where thousands of visitors were evacuated from their hotels and spent part of their beach vacations in crowded shelters.

Israeli police and soldiers thwarted a march by tens of thousands of opponents of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to evacuate Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip. The security forces stopped the demonstrators, who had hoped to reach Jewish settlements in Gaza, flooding the communities with thousands of new residents and forcing the government to cancel or delay the withdrawal.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who has had the ears of the powerful in Washington for two decades as Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, resigned his post for "personal reasons," the Saudi government announced. The former fighter pilot will be succeeded by Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and the current ambassador to the United Kingdom. Prince Bandar had been ambassador for 22 years.

The Nation

Gen. William Westmoreland, the World War II hero who became commander of U.S. troops in Vietnam - and to many the face of that controversial and ultimately failed war - died in a retirement home in Charleston, S.C. He was 91. Westmoreland fought Rommel in North Africa and directed artillery against Nazi troops in Europe. But he will be most remembered for his disputed leadership in Vietnam from 1964 to 1968, during which 46,000 American soldiers died in that Southeast Asian country.

Eric Rudolph got his plea deal sentence of life in prison in a Birmingham courtroom but remained defiant in remarks to a federal judge, saying that abortion must be fought with force. "Children are disposed of at will," Rudolph, 38, said in a statement. "The state is no longer the protector of the innocent." Arrested after eluding authorities for months in the deep woods of North Carolina, Rudolph was sentenced for setting off a remote-controlled bomb at a women's clinic that killed an off-duty police officer and maimed a nurse in Birmingham. He pleaded guilty to three other bombings, including the blast at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta that killed one.

In a prime-time appearance, President Bush named U.S. Circuit Judge John G. Roberts Jr., 50, to succeed retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. "He has a good heart. He has the qualities Americans expect in a judge: experience, wisdom, fairness and civility," Bush said during the nationally televised announcement.


"If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."

President Bush, apparently raising the bar on who would be fired should they be found to have participated in releasing the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent who was publicly identified apparently in an attempt to discredit the report of her husband that debunked claims Iraq had sought uranium in Africa.

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