Looking Forward

Looking Back

August 21, 2005



President Bush is expected to discuss the continuing conflict in Iraq in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Salt Lake City. With polls indicating a slide in public support for the Iraqi struggle, Bush is expected to make his case again for staying the course.

The Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation holds an event in Washington to unveil the "Kids for King Share Your Dream Build the Dream" program to commemorate the historic 1963 March on Washington. Young people between first and 12th grades will be asked to help build a memorial to King by writing a short essay about their dream for America.


The National Association of Realtors is expected to issue a report on Existing Home Sales for July. The new numbers are expected to be studied closely by housing industry executives and economists for signs that the long housing boom may be coming to an end.

Female scholars and lawyers have scheduled a conference to discuss "how the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts could affect women's rights." Participants include Linda Basch, president of the National Council for Research on Women; Deborah Rhode, a professor at Stanford Law School; and Jocelyn Frye, the director of legal and public policy at the National Partnership for Women and Families.

The Population Reference Bureau holds a conference to discuss recent global demographic trends. The bureau has estimated that the world's population will grow by 45 percent between 2004 and 2050.


The Base Closure and Realignment Commission begins four days of final deliberations in Washington before the commission marks up the recommendations and presents them to President Bush. On May 13, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld proposed that 33 military installations be closed and 29 realigned among 318 bases. A number of the proposals encountered storms of local protest. The commission is obligated to send its recommendations to the president by Sept. 8. Bush has until Sept. 23 to accept all recommendations or reject all of them. Congress will have 45 days to accept the president's recommendations or reject them in whole. The Defense Department will be obligated to act on all congressionally approved recommendations.


The International Spy Museum holds a discussion with journalist and military historian Stephen Budiansky about his new book, Her Majesty's Spymaster: Sir Francis Walsingham and the Birth of Modern Espionage. The book looks at Walsingham's use of double agents, code breaking and disinformation in defense of the queen during Elizabethan England.


The World

All 121 people aboard a Cypriot jetliner died when it crashed into a mountainside north of Athens in the worst air disaster in Greece's history. Initial speculation on the cause focused on a loss of cabin pressure.

Baghdad was thrown in chaos when a coordinated trio of morning rush hour bombs hit a bus station and then a hospital where many of the injured had been taken, killing 43 people. The bombings came after Iraqi negotiators trying to write a new constitution asked for a week's extension of their Aug. 15 deadline for completing the document.

At least three rockets were fired from the Jordan Red Sea port of Aqaba, one coming close to a docked U.S. Navy ship but instead killing a Jordanian soldier. Another rocket fell close to a nearby airport in neighboring Israel.

In a series of attacks aimed at disrupting the political process in Iraq, gunmen lined up three members of Iraq's largest Sunni Arab party in front of a northern Iraq mosque and shot them to death, other gunmen opened fire on Sunni leaders debating Iraq's constitutional process in Ramadi, injuring four, and a judge was assassinated in Baghdad. Four American soldiers died when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Samarra, about 75 miles north of Baghdad. Two other U.S. soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb hit a military convoy protecting road workers.

The Nation

Increasing tax revenues, especially corporate, reduced projections for the U.S. budget defict to $331 billion for fiscal 2005, according to the Congressional Budget Office. In February, the Bush administration was predicting a deficit of $412 billion.

Coretta Scott King, the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., suffered a major stroke and was hospitalized in Atlanta.

Supporting the vigil of Cindy Sheehan, the California mother of a soldier killed in Iraq who has camped out for two weeks near President Bush's Texas ranch demanding a face-to-face meeting with him, thousands of antiwar demonstrators held candlelight vigils across the country.

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