The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Tuesday, May 13, the 134th day of 2008 with 232 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Venus, Neptune, Uranus and Jupiter. The evening stars are Mars, Mercury and Saturn.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include composer Arthur Sullivan, of Gilbert and Sullivan, in 1842; French cubist painter Georges Braque in 1882; English novelist Daphne Du Maurier in 1907; heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis in 1914; singer Mary Wells in 1943; actors Beatrice Arthur in 1923 (age 85) and Harvey Keitel in 1939 (age 69); singer Stevie Wonder, born Steveland Hardaway, in 1950 (age 58); former pro basketball star Dennis Rodman in 1961 (age 47); and actress Julianne Phillips in 1960 (age 48).


On this date in history:

In 1607, Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in North America, was founded near the James River in Virginia.

In 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico.

In 1981, Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca wounded Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square. The pope later, from his hospital bed, forgave his assailant.

In 1985, 11 people died when a Philadelphia police helicopter bombed the fortified house of a radical organization, MOVE, to end a 24-hour siege. The ensuing fire destroyed 53 homes.

In 1989, U.S. President George H.W. Bush called for the overthrow of Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega.

In 1991, Winnie Mandela was convicted of being an accessory in the assault of four youths who had been kidnapped and taken to her Soweto, South Africa, home in 1988.

In 1992, astronauts from the shuttle Endeavor made an unprecedented three-man spacewalk to salvage an errant communications satellite.

In 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton nominated Judge Stephen Breyer to succeed Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court.


In 1998, as India conducted more nuclear test blasts, U.S. President Bill Clinton announced he would impose economic sanctions against New Delhi as required by the 1994 Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act.

In 2002, the sex abuse scandal involving Roman Catholic clergy grew violent when a Baltimore priest accused of molesting a youth years earlier was shot by the alleged victim. The following day, a Connecticut priest hanged himself at a Maryland treatment center for priests accused of molestation.

Also in 2002, U.S. President George Bush signed a bill that would increase federal payments to farmers by at least $83 billion over 10 years. Congressional critics called it a budget buster.

And, Bush announced that he and Russian President Putin would sign a treaty committing the United States and Russia to a two-thirds reduction in their nuclear arsenal over 10 years.

In 2003, suicide bombers, in four coordinated attacks, killed 34 people in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In 2005, Colombian authorities said they made the biggest drug bust in the nation's history when they grabbed 12 tons of cocaine valued at $300 million.

Also in 2005, government troops in Uzbekistan put down an uprising they blame on Islamic militants. Opponents say the troops fired into crowds and killed hundreds of people.


In 2006, health officials said the virulent bird flu that raised fears of a human pandemic mostly had been snuffed out in Southeast Asia where it claimed its first victims.

In 2007, Hamas and Fatah gunmen traded gunfire in Gaza, killing at least two people after a weekend of renewed factional Palestinian fighting. Within a few days, 40 Palestinians were reported dead from violent exchanges.

Also in 2007, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said if the Iraqi Parliament votes to ask the United States to leave Iraq, "We'll be glad to comply."

A thought for the day: E.B. White wrote, "The trouble with the profit system has always been that it was highly unprofitable to most people."

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