Amadinejad sworn in
July 26: Despite masses of Iranians shouting from rooftops at night and street protests that have waned in response to heavy-handed government tactics, Iranian incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to be sworn into office July 26 for another term after the June 12 election, which much of the outside world saw as rigged.
July 26: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has set today as her last day in office, 17 months before the end of her first term, declaring in a July 3 resignation speech she is "taking my fight for what's right . . . in a new direction." (story, p. 36).
July 31: A report issued today by the Commerce Department could indicate whether the beleaguered U.S. economy is finally pulling out of recession. Some forecasters believe the nation's gross domestic product may have actually increased slightly during the second quarter of 2009.
July 31: All but a handful of Britain's 4,100 remaining troops in Iraq will be withdrawn by this date, ending a six-year combat commitment during which British forces suffered 179 casualties and were the staunchest U.S. war allies in Iraq.
August 3: The International Astronomical Union opens its 27th general assembly in Rio de Janeiro today. The last time the group met in 2006 it caused an international outrage, shrinking the Solar System to eight planets by downgrading Pluto from a planet to something less. This year, the anti-Pluto segment of the organi-zation may have to fend off a popular movement to reinstate the dwarf into the planetary brotherhood.
White House birthday
August 4: President Barack Obama turns 48 today.
August 8: Thirty-five years ago today, President Richard Nixon announced his plans to resign from office at the height of the Watergate scandal. In the age of YouTube, it's fitting that people who watched his televised message in 1974 can now see the few minutes of footage just prior to the speech as Nixon rehearses from the Oval Office, joking with an off-camera reporter that "I'm afraid he'll catch me picking my nose. You wouldn't print that would you?" Someone would.