Illustrations by Istvan Banyai
Former pro wrestler and Minnesota Governor Jesse “The Body” Ventura flirts with a presidential run in an odd book due out today. Part memoir, part anti-government paranoia (9/11, JFK conspiracies), the book features Ventura imagining his own upstart 2008 campaign and assassination.
O. J. Simpson is back behind the defendant’s table in Las Vegas today. Last September, Simpson and some armed associates allegedly raided a sports-memorabilia dealer’s hotel room in a “sting” operation to reclaim items that Simpson says were rightfully his.
Lunar one-upmanship is back—in Asia, anyway. Today, India launches Chandrayaan, an umanned moon orbiter, in an effort to keep pace with space flights and lunar probes from Japan and China. The U.S. plans to join the fray with a moon base in 2020.
In a move to “level the playing field,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed taxing European imports from countries (such as the United States) that have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol. EU environment ministers will debate this proposal and others at a meeting this weekend.
Benedict XVI makes his first papal visit to the U.S. this week. He’ll start at the White House before moving on to New York for a speech to the UN and a stop at Ground Zero.
Today marks the first anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre. After the tragedy, suggestions to destroy Norris Hall, where most of the 32 victims died, were rejected. The building will instead house a new Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention.
Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan’s memoir, due out today, may—or may not—contain more than the usual West Wing name-dropping. His publisher hinted last year that McClellan might point fingers at White House higher-ups and even the president in the Valerie Plame leak scandal.
Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani, the commanding officer of the marines involved in the 2005 Haditha massacre in Iraq and the highest-ranking officer charged in the case, today faces court-martial at Camp Pendleton in California. He could receive more than two years for dereliction of duty and failing to properly report and investigate the incident.
The endlessly tinkered-with, always frustrating computer-and-poll ranking system that determines which teams play in college football’s championship game will be tinkered with again this year—and may even come to include a playoff. That’s one of several proposals under consideration this week, when the conference comissioners for the Bowl Championship meet in Miami.
A referendum scheduled for this month may allow part of Iraq’s heavily Shiite south to split from the national government and form a “semi-autonomous region”—essentially a mini-state like Kurdistan. The main Shiite parties are divided on the issue
The last of 3,200 additional marines deploying to Afghanistan arrive to battle growing violence and the Taliban’s anticipated spring surge. At 30,000 troops, the U.S. presence will be the greatest since the invasion and will compensate for forces that NATO has not provided.