2005 News and Interesting History Tidbits

Israeli Settlers To Leave Gaza Strip
Following an agreement between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to end four years of Middle East violence which included the hand over of five West Bank towns to Palestinian control. Israeli troops arrive at the Neve Dekalim Settlement in the Gaza Strip to serve eviction notices where they are facing angry Israeli settlers who are refusing to leave.

Transit Strike New York
New York City transit workers began a strike that shut down subways and buses for three days affecting millions of commuters . This was the third strike against New York City's Transit Authority in 70 years the first two were in 1966 ( 12 days ) , 1980 ( 11 days ).

Judith Miller Jailed For Refusing To Reveal Sources
Following the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame by Judith Miller earlier Judith Miller has been jailed For Refusing To Reveal Sources of the story. The case is based around allegations that senior administration officials leaked details of Ms Plame's role as a CIA employee to undermine her husband former ambassador Joseph Wilson who had criticized the Bush administration, saying it had "twisted" evidence to exaggerate the Iraqi threat in the run-up to war.

The disclosure of the source did come out in the end I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby ( former Assistant to the President of the United States, George W. Bush, Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney, and Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs ).

Libby was indicted and found guilty on June 5, 2007 of four counts. One count of obstruction of justice; Two counts of perjury; One count of making false statements to federal investigators and was sentenced to 30 months in prison ( which was commuted by President George W. Bush to a $250,000 fine
Two years of supervised release, including 400 hours of community service.

Terrorist Surveillance Program
President George W. Bush acknowledged he'd personally authorized a secret eavesdropping program in the U.S. following Sept. 11, calling it "crucial to our national security.", referred to by the Bush administration as the "terrorist surveillance program", and is authorized by executive order to monitor, without warrants, phone calls and other communication involving any party believed by the NSA ( National Security Agency ) to be a threat to the security of the United States.

News Laws For Sperm Donor Children
New laws in the UK now give the right to those born using donor eggs or sperm will have the option to ask for the identity of their donor will be when they turn 18. The new law is not retrospective, so people who have already donated will not be affected, but those donating from now and the children born through those donations will have the right to trace their biological parent in through the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority the same way as children who are adopted can ask adoption agencies. The new laws are causing some concern by infertility clinics about the future because the number of donors is expected to drop significantly.

Aftermath Of Earthquake and Tsunami
One week after the Tsunami hits southern Asia, the confirmed death count is over 120,000.
Indonesia approx 80,000

Sri Lanka approx 28,500

India approx 8,000

Others approx 4,000

Indonesia has now stopped counting and is struggling to deal with the aftermath and prevent a massive outbreak of a typhoid epidemic.

It is estimated between 5 - 7 million have been made homeless.
The eventual figure was believed to be closer to 200,000 with over 7.5 million homeless, and two years later many are still in temporary accommodation.

Terri Schiavo
Doctors in Florida, acting on orders of a state judge, removed Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. (She died 13 days later). Terri Schiavo had originally suffered severe brain injury on February 25, 1990 after a long period without oxygen following a collapse in her apartment.
The case for her be removed from life support with all the interested parties started in 1998 with it continuing till the time of her death , the parents of Terri wanted their daughter to continue with life support but the husband believed his wife would not have wanted to live in this way.

The legal history around the Schiavo case included Florida courts,Federal District Court, Supreme Court of Florida and the Supreme Court of the United States.

And the interested parties who became involved included Pope John Paul II, politicians and advocacy groups including pro-life and disability rights, the case was featured on many news and discussion programs which helped to highlight the difficulties with any case like this because of ideological and each persons own religious beliefs.

Earthquake South East Asia
An earthquake killed 87,000 people and left millions without homes. This was followed by an outbreak of bird flu and a spill of benzene and other chemicals in China’s Songhue River which poisoned the water supply of millions

Vioxx Maker Merck & Co Sued
A Texas jury found Merck & Co. liable for the death of of Robert Ernst, a 59-year old man who'd taken the once-popular painkiller Vioxx, awarding his widow $253.4 million in damages.

This followed Merck & Co voluntary withdrawing Vioxx from the market worldwide on September 30, 2004 following concerns over increased risk of heart attack among rofecoxib ( Vioxx, Ceoxx and Ceeoxx ) users.

There have been 1,000's of cases and class actions filed against Merck over the last three years with litigation still continuing.

Russian Mini Sub Rescued
A Russian mini-submarine carrying seven Russians became caught on a part of the Russian secret coastal defense installation in the Pacific Ocean. The men were rescued three days later with help from a British remote-controlled vehicle that cut away the undersea cables that had snarled the mini-sub.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Elected Iran
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wins a landslide victory in Iran's presidential poll. Mr Ahmadinejad is a conservative hard liner and believes that Israel does not have rights in the Middle East. Because of this the world will be watching for further signs of tension in the area.

Suicide Bomber Iraq
A suicide bomber wired with bombs blows himself up at a funeral in Mosul, Iraq, killing at least 47 people

Terrorist Attacks Egypt
A number of bombs have been exploded in the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh by Terrorist attacks. The latest figures indicate nearly 100 are dead including tourists staying at a Hotel that was targeted, and many more injured.

Terrorist Bombing London Underground
Terrorists bombs are detonated in three crowded London subways on Londons Underground System and one bus during peak rush hour travel in a synchronized attack by suicide bombers thought to be members of al-Qaida, killing 56 people including the bombers and injuring another 700.

"New Bankruptcy Law"
President George W. Bush signed the "New Bankruptcy Law" making it harder for debt-ridden people to wipe clean their financial slates by declaring bankruptcy.

The Act of Congress attempts to make it more difficult for people to discharge debt ( under which most debts are forgiven or discharged) under Chapter 7 ( Chapter 7 which was the most common form of bankruptcy in the United States ).
The second most popular form of Bankruptcy Chapter 13 was "reorganization", or debt adjustment.

**** Personal Opinion *** It appears from reading that due to some means test associated with the new laws approximately 85% of debtors are not subject to its "means test" and a large percentage of the rest are able to "pass" the means test. And although Chapter 7 is slightly more complicated it appears it is still in wide spread use.

The Kyoto Accord
The Kyoto accord, which aims to curb the air pollution blamed for global warming, has come into force seven years after it was agreed. The 141 countries who have signed the accord have pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% by 2012.
the United States and Australia have not signed up to the treaty as the new emissions targets would be too costly to introduce.

Pretoria Changed Name To Tshwane
Pretoria, South Africa Changed Name To Tshwane 2005

Revenge of the Sith
The final chapter of Star Wars "Revenge of the Sith," opens in movie theaters with movie goers queuing all night.

Prisoner Treatment Defended By US Vice-President Dick Cheney
Following on from criticism from around the world and senators from his own Republican party, The US Vice-President Dick Cheney has defended all means used at Guantanamo Bay prison as justified to prevent further attacks on the US.
A recent report published in Time magazine and authenticated by the Pentagon describes the treatment of one prisoner "Mohammed al-Qahtani" which includes

Forced to bark like a dog
Stand for prolonged periods
Had his facial hair shaved off
Pictures of scantily clad women hung round his neck.
Forcibly injected with fluids after refusing food and water.
"invasion of space by a female", in which he was straddled by a woman soldier.

Medicinal Use Of Marijuana
The United States Supreme Court ruled 6-to-3 that under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, which allows the United States Congress "To regulate Commerce... among the several States," Congress may ban the use of cannabis even where states approve its use for medicinal purposes. ( Gonzales v. Raich (previously Ashcroft v. Raich), 545 U.S. 1 ). Therefore users can be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws.

The case raises a number of constitutional questions as California is one of nine states that allowed medicinal use of marijuana.

Madison's draft of the Virginia Plan in 1787 and his revolutionary three-branch federal system became the basis for the American Constitution of today and below are his words to the people of New York during a speech he made.

The ?"powers delegated?" to the Federal Government are ?"few and defined",?

The Powers of the States are "?numerous and indefinite.?"

Pension Plan Cancellation By United Airlines
A federal bankruptcy judge approved United Airlines' plan for cancellation of its pension plan, the largest such default in U.S. corporate history

Lebanon Protests
Following ex Prime Minister of Lebanon's Rafik Hariri murder in February one million people take to the streets protesting in Beirut, Lebanon, demanding Syrian withdrawal and the arrest of his killers.

Following pressure from the United Nations Syria has announced that all of its military forces have left Lebanon in line with United Nations demands. This ends nearly 30 years of Syrian Troops deployed in Lebanon.

Prince Rainier III
Prince Rainier III of Monaco dies, leaving the throne to Prince Albert II the eldest son of Rainier III of Monaco and Grace, Princess of Monaco, ( American actress Grace Kelly ) .

Electric cars on US roads exceeded 50,000
For the first time in modern history the number of Electric cars on US roads exceeded 50,000 in 2005.

But did you know that back in 1900
25% of all cars that were sold were electric,

There were more electric cars on show at the 1900 New York Motor show than steam powered or gas.

In New York, Chicago and other cities many of the cabs were electric powered.

It is possible we may see a massive growth of electric cars on our roads over the next few years due to the increased price of gas, the advancements in battery technology and the search for cleaner air.

Pope John Paul II Dies
Pope John Paul II the 264th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church dies after nearly 27 years serving as the Pope.

World leaders joined pilgrims and prelates during the Rite of Visitation which took place from 4 April to 7 April at St. Peter's Basilica. for the Funeral of Pope John Paul II.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is elected as the successor to Pope John Paul II The new Pope has taken the name Pope Benedict XVI and is now the head of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics.

Martha Stewart is released
Martha Stewart is released from a federal prison near Alderson, West Virginia, after serving five months for lying about her sale of ImClone stock in 2001

Dennis Rader Arrested
Dennis Rader, accused of leading a double life as the BTK ( Bind, Torture and Kill, ) serial killer, was charged in Wichita, Kan., with 10 counts of first-degree murder between 1974 and 1991.. (Rader later pleaded guilty and received multiple life sentences.)

Gay Couples Marriage Licenses Revoked Oregon
The Oregon Supreme Court nullified nearly 3,000 marriage licenses issued to Same Sex couples a year earlier by Portland's Multnomah County.

Ivan the Terrible Deported
A U.S. immigration judge ordered retired auto worker John Demjanjuk, accused of being the Nazi concentration camp guard "Ivan the Terrible," a notorious SS guard at the Treblinka extermination camp who committed acts of extraordinarily savage violence and murder against camp prisoners to be deported to his native Ukraine where he was tried convicted and sentenced to death for war crimes.

Defrocked Priest Sentenced
A judge sentences Paul Shanley to 12 to 15 years in prison for child rape, condemning the defrocked priest for using his status to prey on a vulnerable little boy. The case involved Shanley repeatedly raping and fondling the boy at his suburban parish in the 1980s, beginning when he was 6 years old.

Michael Jackson Case
The child at the center of the case against Michael Jackson took the witness stand, saying he once considered the pop star being tried for allegedly molesting him "the coolest guy in the world." (Jackson was later acquitted.)

Import Of Prescription Drugs From Canada
In the hopes of driving drug prices down in the U.S. senators and house officials were pushing for a change in federal law that would allow the importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries.

Jesus Christ Refused A Driving Licence In West Virginia
May 2005- Great Care Taken by DMV while Serving “Jesus Christ”

A man who has used the name Jesus Christ for years attempted to apply for a driver’s license in West Virginia. He had been denied the legal use of this name on the grounds that his Florida birth certificate has his original name on it.

However, this man whose birth name was Peter Robert Phillips Jr. would not let up, and took this battle to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

He did have a U.S. passport, Social Security card and Washington driver’s license bearing the name Jesus Christ.

Steve Fossett World Record
Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly a plane solo, non-stop around the globe without refuelling. He landed his Virgin GlobalFlyer at 1950 GMT in Salina, Kansas, after a 67-hour journey.

He is currently still missing since 4 September 2007 when contact with the light aircraft he was flying in the Sierra Nevada mountains was lost.

Fox Hunting Ended In England
Fox hunting with dogs becomes illegal in England and Wales which is bitterly opposed by the Countryside Alliance which supports fox hunting.

Iraq Death Toll Reaches 1500
The death toll for US Military men and women fighting in Iraq reaches 1,500, the current toll on November 28th 2007 is 3878

Sabrina Harman Is Given 6 Months
Army Specialist Sabrina Harman was convicted at Fort Hood, Texas, for her role in the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. ( She was the woman featured in many of the worst photographs of abuses of prisoners on TV and Newspapers).
She was sentenced to 6 months in prison.

Buncefield Oil Depot Explosions
A series of explosions led to an enormous fire at one of Britain's largest oil depots ( Buncefield oil depot near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire ) sending thick black smoke drifting up to 40 miles away.

Prince Charles Marries Camilla Parker Bowles
Prince Charles announces he will marry his long-term partner Camilla Parker Bowles on 8 April.

IRA gives up weapons
The IRA has formally ordered an end to its armed campaign and has announced the republican organisation will follow a democratic path ending more than 30 years of violence. The announcement is received on all sides as an important way forward following the Good Friday Agreement signed in 1997. Soon afterwards the IRA gives up its weapons to independent weapons inspectors.

UK Pubs 24 Hour Opening
The continued deregulation of British licencing laws has it's final say with 24 hour opening times now allowed after new licensing laws came in force at midnight. Pubs, clubs and supermarkets must still apply for 24 hour licences to sell alcohol.

Earthquake Pakistan
A massive 7.6-magnitude earthquake strikes Kashmir leaving an estimated 70,000 dead and 70,000 more injured. More than 3 million were left homeless and without food and basic supplies.

Texas Oklahoma Fires 2005 -- 2006
November 2005 – April 2006 – Wildfires rip through large parts of Texas and Oklahoma burning thousands of acres in both states. The fires started as a result of a very dry season, high winds and record temperatures along with unusually plentiful vegetation in the region. More than 10 people were killed as a result and many towns were evacuated as more than 400 homes burned. Other surrounding states were also affected, but not to the extent of Texas and Oklahoma.

French Civil Unrest
Civil unrest continued in Paris suburbs after Nicolas Sarkozy, interior minister declares a "zero tolerance" policy towards urban violence, and announced that riot police (C.R.S.) and mobile police squadrons would be stationed in contentious Paris neighborhoods. The unrest is driven by youths who feel that racial and social discrimination against them because of their dark skin, Arabic or African sounding names is increasing as they set fire to buildings, cars, and buses and shoot at police and firefighters. On November 8th President Jacques Chirac announced a national state of emergency which lasted 12 days, and offers an invitation to open dialogue and discuss their grievances.

Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night celebrating the failed gunpowder plot of 1605 400 years ago when there was an attempt to blow up the British houses of parliament. Since that time, Guy Fawkes day is celebrated by bonfires, fireworks and the burning of effigies called "guys" on the bonfire. ( Guy Fawkes was captured, confessed and was executed )

Guantánamo Bay Detention Center
The U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld refuses the United Nations commission access to inmates at the Guantánamo Bay detention center

Watergate Mole Goes Public
The former member of the FBI "W. Mark Felt" stepped forward as "Deep Throat," the secret Washington Post source who worked with reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein that helped bring down President Richard M. Nixon during the Watergate scandal.

Olympic Park Bomber
Eric Rudolph ( also known as the Olympic Park Bomber ), pleads guilty to carrying out the deadly bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in Atlanta Georgia.

Rudolph pleaded guilty to numerous federal and state homicide charges and accepted five consecutive life sentences in exchange for avoiding a trial and the death penalty.

Bird Flu Outbreak
A United Nations health expert who is co-ordinating the response to the recent south-east Asian bird flu outbreak also known as avian influenza, has warned that the disease could kill 'up to 150 million' people. Bird flu has killed large numbers of birds and more than 60 humans in Asia since 2003 .

Saddam Hussein pleads "not guilty"
Saddam Hussein pleads "not guilty" and argued that the judge was not appointed by him, and he did not acknowledge the court. A tribunal of five Iraqi judges headed by Rizgar Mohammed Amin will decide his sentence including if he is liable for the Death Penalty.

Chinese Protestors Killed
Twenty Chinese died after protesters demonstrated against the building of a power plant. However, Beijing worked hard to suppress the news in newspapers and even on the Internet, so the Chinese public did not know about it. The official government version that came out four days later was that 300 armed villagers attacked the police in Dongzhou.

Live 8 Concerts England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, U.S.A., Russia and South Africa
Live 8 concerts happen in members of the G8 cities around the world and South Africa to highlight hte aims of the UK's Make Poverty History campaign and the Global Call for Action Against Poverty. The Live 8 concerts are organised by by Bob Geldof and a number of other well known pop icons. Unlike other earlier concerts to raise money for those starving these concerts were designed to highlight, educate and put preasure on the Leaders of the G8 countries to do more for the world's poor.
Even before the concerts some measure of success is gained when the G8 finance ministers agree to cancel the debt owed by 18 of the poorest countries.
The concerts occur in the following cities

London --- Hyde Park --- Just Some Of Those Who Performed That Day
Pink Floyd -- Paul McCartney --- U2 --- George Michael --- Pete Doherty ---- Elton John --- Bob Geldof ---- Madonna ---- Coldplay ---- Robbie Williams ---- The Who --- Sting --- REM --- Mariah Carey ---- Annie Lennox

There were 150,000 people in the main arena and another 50,000 watching on large screens in other parts of Hyde Park.

Philadelphia --- in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art --- Just Some Of Those Who Performed That Day
Will Smith ---- Destiny's Child --- Jay Z --- Bon Jovi ---- Kaiser Chiefs ---- Black Eyed Peas ---- Jimmy Smits ---- Toby Keith ---- Dave Matthews Band ---- Alicia Keys ---- Linkin Park ---- Def Leppard --- Sarah McLachlan ---- Slipknot --- Keith Urban ---- Stevie Wonder

It is estimated 1 million people were at the concert as it was a no ticket concert.

Paris ---- Palais de Versailles ---- --- Just Some Of Those Who Performed That Day
Passi ---- Faudel ---- Alpha Blondy ---- Craig David ---- Andrea Bocelli ---- Shakira ---- Zucchero ---- The Cure ---- Youssou N'Dour1 ---- Dido1

Berlin ---- at the Siegessäule --- Just Some Of Those Who Performed That Day
A-Ha --- Die Toten Hosen --- Wir sind Helden --- Katherine Jenkins --- Audioslave --- Green Day --- Claudia Schiffer --- Chris de Burgh --- Brian Wilson --- Renee Olstead --- Sasha --- Daniel Powter --- Joana Zimmer --- Roxy Music --- Faithless --- Otto

Rome ---- at the Circus Maximus --- Just Some Of Those Who Performed That Day
Zucchero --- Duran Duran --- Elisa --- Tim McGraw --- Faith Hill --- Planet Funk --- Le Vibrazioni --- Cesare Cremonini --- Nek --- Piero Pelù --- Jane Alexander (Interstitial) --- Biagio Antonacci --- Fiorella Mannoia

Barrie ---- at Park Place --- Just Some Of Those Who Performed That Day
Dan Aykroyd and Tom Green --- Tom Cochrane --- Sam Roberts --- Bryan Adams --- --- Simple Plan --- Bruce Cockburn --- Les Trois Accords --- Randy Bachman --- Deep Purple --- Great Big Sea --- Celine Dion1 --- Blue Rodeo --- Gordon Lightfoot --- Our Lady Peace --- Jet --- Jann Arden --- Mötley Crüe --- The Tragically Hip --- Neil Young

Chiba ---- at Makuhari Messe ---- Just Some Of Those Who Performed That Day
Rize ---- McFly ---- Good Charlotte ---- Dreams Come True ---- Do As Infinity ---- Björk

Johannesburg ---- at Mary Fitzgerald Square ---- Just Some Of Those Who Performed That Day
Lucky Dube ---- Vusi Mahlasela ---- Malaika ---- Nelson Mandela ---- Oumou Sangare ---- Orchestra Baobab ---- Mahotella Queens ---- Zola

Moscow ---- in Red Square ---- Just Some Of Those Who Performed That Day
Agata Kristi ---- Fairy Taiga ---- Bi-2 ---- Linda ---- Moral Code X ---- Pet Shop Boys

2004 Previous Year ---- ( Current Year Is 2005) ---- Following Year 2006

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