Looking Forward Looking Back

August 14, 2005

MONDAY

The 60th anniversary of V-J Day, proclaimed by the Allies after Japan agreed to surrender unconditionally, ending World War II, is marked. Thousands of soldiers and sailors celebrated in New York's Times Square. The Japanese formally surrendered on the battleship Missouri on Sept. 2.

Pope Benedict XVI, the first German pope in centuries, makes his first foreign trip - a visit to Catholicism's annual World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany.

TUESDAY

Jury trial begins in Spotsylvania, Va., for Deanna Large, a dog owner charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of an 82-year-old woman fatally mauled by pit bulls.

WEDNESDAY

Pop star Michael Jackson could be held in civil contempt or have a default judgment entered against him at a New Orleans court hearing for not showing up for a hearing in July in a federal civil case that accuses him of sexual assault.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission votes in Alexandria, Va., on whether to limit fishing of menhaden, an algae-eating fish seen as important to the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

Serial killer Dennis Raider, who terrorized Wichita, Kan., for 31 years, is scheduled to be sentenced in that city. When Rader pleaded guilty in June, he outlined how he tortured, strangled, stabbed and shot his 10 victims from 1974 to 1991.

A housewife faces felony charges in a Fort Carson, Colo., federal court for allegedly enticing her husband to desert his unit before he was scheduled to ship out to Iraq.

THURSDAY

An extradition hearing is scheduled in Sussex, Va., for convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad, who is to be tried next in Maryland.

The World

Iran resumed full operation of its uranium conversion plant, as Europe and the United States struggled to find a way to stop the Islamic republic from pushing ahead with its nuclear program. With United Nations inspectors watching, Iranian officials removed U.N. seals that had been placed voluntarily on equipment at the facility eight months ago when Tehran agreed to freeze most of its nuclear program.

A wave of violence continued in Iraq in advance of a deadline tomorrow for parliament to approve a draft constitution, which will be put to Oct. 15. Washington hopes the charter will convince Sunni Arabs that they have a stake in a new, democratic Iraq and lure them away from the insurgency.

Britain's crackdown on Islamic extremism widened as officials barred radical Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed from returning to the country that has been his home for the past two decades. Bakri's close associate, Anjem Choudary, told the Associated Press that the ban would not silence the cleric, who left Britain for Lebanon after saying he would not tell police whether he knew that fellow Muslims were planning attacks.

Police in northeastern Brazil examined fingerprints and scoured evidence left behind by thieves who stole $67.8 million from a Central Bank vault in one of the biggest thefts in history. Authorities said they were able to identify some of the thieves and were searching for them in surrounding states.

A former U.N. official pleaded guilty to soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from companies seeking U.N. contracts under the oil-for-food program, the U.S. attorney's office in New York said. Secretary-General Kofi Annan waived diplomatic immunity for Alexander Yakovlev, a senior procurement officer, so that he could be prosecuted in U.S. courts.

The Nation

A spacecraft designed to gather more Mars data than all previous missions combined blasted off on its way to the planet. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter lifted off on an Atlas V rocket for the seven-month journey, which began three days after space shuttle Discovery completed its mission.

The United States imported a record amount of foreign oil in June, and shipments of Chinese clothing and textiles soared, pushing the nation's monthly trade deficit to the third-highest level in history. The Commerce Department reported that the June deficit jumped 6.1 percent to $55.8 billion, compared with a May deficit of $55.4 billion. Analysts said the new report highlighted two of the biggest threats to the economy - soaring energy prices and the dangers that the widening trade gap with China could spawn a protectionist backlash in the United States.

President Bush signed the $286.5 billion transportation bill, saying it would ease traffic congestion throughout the United States, create hundreds of thousands of jobs and impose stricter vehicular safety standards. But critics said the legislation was stuffed with unnecessary and expensive projects that benefited members of Congress seeking hometown support. Maryland will receive $2.9 billion in highway funding and more than $900 million in designated mass transit funding.

A national meeting of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to rebuff what many saw as an attempt to push the denomination toward approval of ceremonies uniting same-sex couples.

Quote

"We heard a rumble. I heard the rumble and looked in ... back of me. ... All I seen was a monstrous - I can't even describe it. A cloud."

Emergency medical technician John Felidi, in an excerpt of firefighters' oral histories of the Sept. 11 attacks

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