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  THE WEEKLY RUNDOWN FOR AUGUST 22.  
   
   
   
 

 

This'll get other soldiers to show up. The United Nations offices in Baghdad were bombed Tuesday, killing at least 23 people. One victim was Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN's top envoy in Iraq. The blast went off when a flatbed truck with about 1,500 pounds of explosives drove into the headquarters, the FBI said Wednesday. The bombing didn't help Colin Powell's cause much. The Secretary of State is petitioning the UN Security Council to pass a resolution encouraging other nations to help stem Iraq's fatal chaos. There are 139,000 American troops in Iraq and 21,700 troops from other nations, but military experts say more force is necessary. How about an exit strategy? We hear that's necessary, too.

In other Iraq news, "Chemical" Ali Hassan al-Majid is in custody. Though occupying forces declared Chemical Ali dead three times during the war, he was captured alive on Thursday. Chemical Ali is Saddam Hussein's cousin and known for, among other dastardly deeds, ordering chemical attacks in 1988 that killed 5,000 civilian Kurds.

 

 
   
 

 

Get those commandments out of there. Eight associate justices on the Alabama Supreme Court overruled Chief Justice Roy Moore on Thursday and ordered his monument to the Ten Commandments be removed from the Alabama Judicial Building. By refusing to take out the monument, Moore was in violation of a federal court order that found the statue to be in violation of the Constitution's ban on a government-established religion. The removal disappointed Moore's supporters, who gathered to pray and sing outside the building. Twenty-one supporters were arrested for trespassing Wednesday night. Moore says he plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court (again, since the court already denied to get involved this week), which will likely be really impressed by the fact that the judge installed the monument two years ago in the middle of the night. The Black Table does only bad, secret things in the middle of the night, so it's a safe guess Moore knew he was wrong.

 

 
   
 

 

You call that a truce? Militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad called off a shaky truce Thursday after an Israeli missile killed a Hamas leader in Gaza City. The missile flew in retaliation for a suicide bus bombing that killed 20 people on Tuesday, including six children. Five of the victims were Americans. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing, causing The Black Table to pause and wonder exactly what kind of "credit" they're going for. The ceasefire was required as part of the US-backed "roadmap" to peace. Palestine's Prime Minister Mamoud Abbas denounced the bombing and severed contact with militant groups. Somehow, we don't think that'll do the trick.

 

 
   
 

 

You've got sick, sick mail. E-mail accounts around the world were clogged by the Sobig.F worm. If downloaded, the pesky program uses your e-mail to send out spam. Philadelphia City Government intercepted 10,000 infected messages and e-mail filtering companies caught more than a million messages containing the worm. Really, who opens an e-mail with the subject "Wicked Screensaver?" Does anyone you know say "wicked" anymore? And if they do, do you really want to be getting e-mail from them?

 

 
   
 

 

Billy Connolly. The former "Head of the Class" star got his wang stuck in his zipper this week. The Black Table has no comment whatsoever.

 

*BT*

Aileen Gallagher, author of three children's books, (and another one, about muckraking, on the way!) writes Weekly Rundown every Friday.