Looking Forward

Looking Back

July 31, 2005

LOOKING FORWARD

MONDAY

Iraqi legislators face a deadline in the process of writing a new constitution: either they agree that they will have a document finished by Aug.15, or they ask for a six-month extension to come to a final agreement, delaying the process.

TUESDAY

President Bush is preparing for his traditional August stay at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, rarely the choice of those looking for a cool spot to spend the dog days at the end of summer. He will clear some brush while girding for the fall confirmation fight over his nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge John G. Roberts Jr.

In his role as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Homeland Security Taskforce, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley will addresses a National Press Club luncheon on preventive measures that are being taken - and need to be taken - to keep cities safe from attack.

WEDNESDAY

Former New Hampshire Sen. Warren B. Rudman, who co-chaired a bipartisan committee on national security issues that warned of a Sept. 11-type attack in findings issued in January, 2001, and former Rep. Lee Hamilton of Indiana, vice chairman of the commission that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks, will hold a news conference to discuss their new national security group, Partnership for a Secure America.

THURSDAY

President Bush is scheduled to meet with Colombian president Alvaro Uribe at his Crawford, Texas, ranch.

LOOKING BACK

The World

A suicide bomber, apparently trying to blow up an Iraqi police station, killed at least 22 people when his truck detonated as he crossed a highway median in eastern Baghdad. In the western part of the city, 16 government workers were killed by gunmen. In southwestern Baghdad, a roadside bombing killed four American soldiers. Elsewhere in the country, separate attacks killed a U.S. soldier and a Marine.

As the Aug. 15 deadline for finishing a new Iraqi constitution approached, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld paid a surprise visit to the country and told the various factions quarreling over the document that there should be no delays. A draft copy of the proposed constitution published in a government newspaper said Islam would be designated as the main source of legislation, a major difference with the approach taken by U.S. authorities when they wrote a model document during the occupation. Sunni Arab leaders, who had suspended their participation in the constitutional talks when one of their number was assassinated, agreed to return when the government agreed to pay for their security guards.

American Lance Armstrong won his eighth straight Tour de France and then confirmed that he will be retiring from competitive bicycle racing.

Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, said that there would be "fairly substantial reductions" in the number of troops there by the middle of next year if the political process remains on track.

Four men suspected of trying to detonate explosives on the London transit system on July 21 were arrested in raids in London and Rome. The arrests were part of extensive sweeps of suspected houses by British police throughout the country.

The Nation

In a historic split in the American labor movement, two of the nation's largest unions broke away from the AFL-CIO. At issue in the walkout at the Chicago AFL-CIO convention, led by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union, was a call for more focus on signing up new members and a re-organization of the nation's union structure.

Four adult Boy Scout leaders, who had come from Alaska to attend the Boy Scout Jamboree at Camp A.P. Hill in Virginia, were killed when the pole of a large tent they were helping to erect struck an overhead electrical wire hidden behind the tent roof.

In a flurry of activity before adjourning for August, Congress passed several bills, including an energy bill that would extend daylight-saving time. Also, the Central America Free Trade Agreement, a pact backed by the White House that will end nearly all trade barriers with Central American countries, squeaked through the House on a 217-215 vote. And, the passage of a $286.4 billion bill that will fund a variety of road, bridge and transit projects across the country ended a two-year impasse over how to spend the nation's highway funds.

Clinical trials reported in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that Echinacea, an herbal remedy widely sold as an effective fighter against the common cold, does not ward off or help speed recovery from cold symptoms.

Quote

"Unfortunately, there is a time for war. There is also a time to engage, to reach out and put war behind us. This is that time."

Gerry Adams, head of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, as the IRA announced it was ending its armed struggle against British rule in Northern Ireland.

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