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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review


President George W. Bush made a televised address to the nation and declared that Iraq was now the “central front” in the war on terrorism.He called for national resolve and national sacrifice and said that he will ask Congress for $87 billion in emergency funds for the occupation.It was noted that this new request, which comes on top of $79 billion already approved, will probably push the current budget deficit up to $600 billion. Howard Dean said the speech, which made no mention of Osama bin Laden, was “outrageous” and said it reminded him of Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War.Senator Bob Graham observed that Bush now wants to spend more on Iraq this year than the federal government will spend on education.New York TimesGunmen fired on a Sunni mosque in Baghdad just after morning prayers and injured three people, a car bomb exploded near the headquarters of the Baghdad police department, a British bomb squad expert was killed, an American Humvee was blown up, and Lt.Gen.Ricardo Sanchez said that attacks on American forces were down to about 14 or 15 a day.Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who was touring Iraq and Afghanistan, complained that the news media was ignoring “the story of success and accomplishment” in Iraq.Austin American-StatesmanRumsfeld acknowledged that he still doesn’t know who is carrying out the guerrilla attacks but said that the intelligence community is working on it.”They’re not comfortable at the moment with what we don’t know.”New York TimesA man died and several others were injured while riding Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.Austin American-StatesmanThe World Council of Churches denounced the invasion of Iraq as “immoral” and “ill advised” and called for the withdrawal of American forces.New York TimesA congressional study found that the occupation of Iraq is unsustainable given the current size of the U.S. military, and the United States released a draft resolution calling on the United Nations to create a multinational peacekeeping force for Iraq that would remain under American military and political control.New York TimesHeavy fighting continued in Afghanistan,New York Timesand surface-to-air missiles were fired at a transport plane in Baghdad.Donald Rumsfeld, who was nearby, said that such attacks are just a cost of doing business.Rumsfeld claimed that there has been “breathtaking” progress in Afghanistan since the war ended.”I’m not being Pollyannaish,” he said.”I’m telling the truth.” New York Times

President Bush, apparently worried about the fact that the American economy has lost almost 3 million jobs since he took office, promised to appoint a “manufacturing czar” who will watch out for blue-collar jobs.New York TimesThe Labor Department announced that 93,000 jobs were lost in August,Austin American-Statesmanand a new study found that the federal workforce is at its highest level (12.1 million) since the Cold War.Houston ChronicleThe Census Department reported that the number of poor people increased last year by 1.3 million.New York TimesThe Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced a settlement with energy companies that benefited from market manipulation in the Californiaenergy crisis two years ago.The companies agreed to pay about $1 million in fines, or about 3 cents for every Californian, though the energy scam cost the state $8.9 billion, or $250 per citizen.New York TimesThe Environmental Protection Agency relaxed restrictions on selling land contaminated with PCBs,New York Timesand an astronomer argued that Venus once had a climate similar to Earth’s, prior to its transformation by the greenhouse effect.New ScientistA federal appeals court blocked the FCC’s new rules expanding the freedom of media monopolies,New York Timesand Jessica Lynch, the former Army private who was captured by Iraqis and became the subject of an elaborate heroic fiction, signed a book deal and reportedly received a $1 million advance.Lynch will share the advance with her co-author Rick Bragg, a former New York Times reporter.New York TimesSeattle was considering a tax on espresso.New York Times

North Koreans danced in the streets holding bunches of flowers to celebrate the reelection of Kim Jong Il as chairman of the National Defense Commission, his primary office; Kim Il Sung, who has been dead for almost ten years, is still officially the head of state.New York TimesThe Bush Administration retreated from its position that North Korea must simply submit to American demands; one State Department source said that the policy shift was accomplished while many of the Pentagon officials who have driven the administration’s hard-line stance were on vacation.New York TimesThere were rumors of a coup plot in the Philippines.New York TimesThe Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt condemned gay marriage.New York TimesAn Israeli commission of inquiry concluded that police used excessive force in putting down a riot by Israeli Arabs three years ago in which 13 people were killed.The commission suggested that the police stop using snipers armed with rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse Arab crowds.New York TimesThree Israeli F-15 fighter jets piloted by the descendants of Holocaust survivors flew over the Auschwitzdeath camp in Poland during a memorial service.The Auschwitz Museum had opposed the flyover, saying that a military display was inappropriate on such an occasion.Associated PressMahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian prime minister, resigned, and Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas, was injured in an Israeliairstrike.New York TimesA car bomb blew up in a market outside Srinagar, Kashmir, killing at least six people and wounding dozens.New York TimesA train was blown up in Chechnya.New York TimesTwin sisters in Morocco were arrested for plotting a suicide attack.Houston ChronicleCharles Bronson died.New York TimesPrime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy said that judges are lunatics and are anthropologically different from other people.New York TimesPaul J.Hill, a Christian who murdered an abortion doctor in Pensacola, Florida, was executed by lethal injection.Hill said that he was looking forward to getting his reward in heaven.New York Times, New York PostChristians holding signs wept outside the prison; one sign read “Dead Doctors Can’t Kill.”New York TimesInterrogators at Camp Delta, the American penal colony in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, were said to be using Twinkies and McDonald’s Happy Meals to make the prisoners talk.Baltimore SunBritney Spears, a pop star, declared her faith in President Bush: “Honestly,” she said, “I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that.”CNNA large silo filled with human excrement exploded in the Bronx.NY Post

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November 2008

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