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Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead | News to watch in the weeks to come

Issue: "Crackdown," July 18, 2009

The concert that wasn't

July 13: This is the day late King of Pop Michael Jackson was to kick off his run of 50 performances in London to sellout crowds. Jackson died on June 25 in Los Angeles the day after an evening rehearsal for the performance. Fans, who paid between $82 and $124 for the landmark tickets to the "This is It" series of shows in London (postponed from July 8), may choose between accepting full refunds upon returning the tickets or simply holding onto the keepsakes as souvenirs. Some may simply put the ill-fated tickets on eBay.

Sotomayor hearings begin

July 13: Utah Republican Orrin Hatch says it's "highly likely" President Barack Obama's first nomination to the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, will be confirmed by the Democrat-controlled Senate. But that doesn't mean there won't be some fireworks when the judge's confirmation hearings begin on July 13. Expect conservatives to target her ruling in Ricci v. DeStefano as an appeals court judge. In the case, Sotomayor sided with the city of New Haven, Conn., a stance recently dismissed by the present Supreme Court, which sided with white firefighters who felt they had been discriminated against.

The forty years' war

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July 14: Had President Obama's director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy not announced the new administration was dropping the term from the executive lexicon in May, the War on Drugs might have seen its 40th birthday. On this day in 1969, President Richard Nixon coined the phrase "War on Drugs" in a special message to Congress and proceeded to push for foreign and domestic policy initiatives to limit drug supply and improve treatment for addicts.

New Potter film released

July 15: Harry Potter is back. The newest film adaptation of the J.K. Rowling book series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, opens at theaters-and judging from the last Potter offering, box offices across the globe can expect ticket sales at record levels. The previous Potter movie enjoyed a five-day opening grossing $333 million.

Cost of Government Day

July 16: It's a day that can't come soon enough each year. That's because Cost of Government Day represents when the average worker in the United States symbolically begins earning for himself rather than for the government. This year, to pay for the cost of federal, state, and local government spending, programs, and regulations, the average worker needed to work 197 days-four days longer than last year and 17 days longer than in 2000.

40th anniversary of original moonwalk

July 20: Fourteen years before Michael Jackson's infamous moonwalk dance at Motown Records 25th anniversary show, Neil Armstrong made the first official moonwalk when he stepped foot on the moon on this day 40 years ago in 1969. During the run of the Apollo program, NASA made six moon landings-
and has not returned to the moon's surface since.

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