Dispatches > The Buzz

The Buzz

The latest on the week's biggest stories

Issue: "Double trouble," Oct. 21, 2006

Plane crash

New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and a flight instructor died in a bizarre plane crash Oct. 11 that briefly set off a homeland security scare. Lidle was 34. Either Lidle, an amateur pilot, or his flight instructor was piloting the four-seat private plane across Manhattan Island and down the East River when the small aircraft apparently ran into trouble and slammed into a 50-story condominium building on New York's Upper East Side. The television footage of a smoldering Manhattan high rise harkened back to 9/11. The nine-season major league baseball veteran won 82 games in stints with seven clubs.

North Korea

Defying the international community and risking complete isolation, the North Korean regime conducted an underground nuclear test on Oct. 9. President Bush rejected North Korea's call for direct talks with the United States but added that the United States would seek a diplomatic solution with the involvement of other countries in the region such as China, South Korea, and Japan. "I believe the commander in chief must try all diplomatic measures before we commit our military," he said.

Business

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YouTube didn't exist two years ago and it hasn't reported any profits yet, but last week Google bought the popular online video service for $1.65 billion. Industry analysts say the acquisition gives Google another leg up on competitor Yahoo, which is currently seeking to buy the online social networking site Facebook. Google already has an advertising deal with MySpace, the leading social networking site. YouTube users, meanwhile, worried that the deal would lead to unwelcome changes in the grassroots online community. "The Wild West feel of YouTube is already slipping away," YouTube poster Richard Stern told the Associated Press, "and within a few weeks it likely will be gone altogether."

Iraq

A report last week in The Lancet, a British medical journal, estimated that 600,000 Iraqis have died since the 2003 U.S. invasion. The estimate is at least 10 times higher than previous tallies, and Iraqi government spokesman Ali Dabbagh called it "far from the truth." The researchers defended their results, saying they went to Iraqi doctors instead of relying on information from official sources, but others suggested the study was meant to affect U.S. elections. "This is not analysis," Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told the Associated Press. "This is politics."

Politics

Political tremors continued from the scandal involving disgraced former GOP Rep. Mark Foley's lewd internet chats with a male teenage page. According to the Cook Political Report, seven House races have gone from pro-GOP to tossups in recent weeks. Prior to the revelations about Foley, most political experts didn't consider veteran Republican Tom Reynolds' race to be competitive. But since Democrats began charging that Reynolds, the chairman of the GOP's reelection campaign, didn't do enough to stop Foley, the race has become a dead heat.

In an attempt to stir up more dissension among Republicans, a California gay-rights group e-mailed what became known as "The List," a supposed outing of gay GOP staffers on Capitol Hill, to conservative Christian groups. The groups didn't take the bait. "We all know that there are sinners in both parties," American Family Association president Don Wildmon told WORLD.

Crime

Pennsylvania Amish leaders decided to destroy the one-room schoolhouse where Charles Carl Roberts IV shot 10 schoolgirls, killing five-and they didn't do it the old-fashioned way. A demolition crew from the Bart Fire Company brought down the structure Oct. 12. President Bush called an Oct. 10 summit on school violence, featuring experts and panel discussions led by education secretary Margaret Spellings and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. One shooting victim, Rosanna King, 6, clung to life after doctors removed her from life support and sent her home to die. Two days later, Rosanna showed signs of improvement and her parents returned her to Penn State's Hershey Medical Center for further treatment.

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