Dispatches > The Buzz

The Buzz

Issue: "Daniel of the Year 2004," Dec. 11, 2004


Veteran NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw stepped down after 21 years on the job. His long-planned departure, along with the surprise resignation of CBS veteran Dan Rather, marks a turning point for an industry transformed by cable and internet media.


A Netherlands hospital last week proposed guidelines for euthanizing terminally ill infants-then revealed that it has been killing newborns for four years. In 2001, the Dutch parliament made it legal for doctors to administer a lethal drug cocktail to terminally ill patients who requested it. In August a major doctor's association urged the Dutch health ministry to set up an official review board to decide whether patients "with no free will," including children, the severely mentally retarded, and people in irreversible comas, should be medically terminated. Now the Groningen hospital has revealed that physicians there killed four infants in 2003, and reported all cases to government prosecutors without legal consequence. Fourteen babies died at the hands of Netherlands doctors between 2000 and 2002.


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Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko continued to throng the streets of Kiev to protest fraudulent election results. The "Orange Revolution" successfully pressured parliament to dissolve the government on Dec. 1, handing alleged election victor Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych a no-confidence vote. Both sides negotiated how to stage a new poll. Mr. Yushchenko is against a completely new election, which could take three months to organize, and awaits a Supreme Court ruling to annul election results. For the street demonstrators, one told WORLD, what's at stake is the desire of Ukraine "to establish itself as a true country."


A peacekeeping force from the European Union, the first ever, took over NATO operations in Bosnia on Dec. 2. "For Bosnia, it marks a milestone on the route from war towards peace stabilization and eventually joining the European Union," said EU's Lord Ashdown.


President Bush said he personally approved an expansion of U.S. troop levels in Iraq after U.S. commanders asked for more boots on the ground-12,000 ahead of Jan. 30 elections. Already more than 150,000 U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan will be away from their families this holiday season, and private aid-and-comfort organizations are assembling care packages and lending a hand to ease the separation.


Iran reached an agreement with European leaders to freeze uranium enrichment efforts in what Heritage Foundation analyst Baker Spring calls "the triumph of hope over experience." The widely touted arrangement was a tacit admission by the Islamic regime that its nuclear power program masked clandestine weapons development.

Homeland security

The nation's first Homeland Security Secretary, Tom Ridge, resigned on Dec. 2. Former NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik, who helped rally New York City's police force and its citizens following the Sept. 11 terror attacks, is President Bush's pick to replace Ridge.


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