The almanac

By United Press International  |  May 13, 2009 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Wednesday, May 13, the 133rd day of 2009 with 232 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning stars are Venus, Mars, Neptune, Uranus and Jupiter. The evening stars are 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; actress/singer Bea Arthur in 1922; actor Harvey Keitel in 1939 (age 70); singer Stevie Wonder, born Steveland Hardaway Judkins, in 1950 (age 59); former pro basketball star Dennis Rodman in 1961 (age 48); and actress Julianne Phillips in 1960 (age 49).

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 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 tests, 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 Vladimir 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.

In 2008, rescue officials working in the aftermath of China's devastating earthquake said it appeared that none of the hundreds of students trapped in a collapsed school had survived.

Also in 2008, officials in the Indian city of Jaipur said seven explosions killed at least 50 people.

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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