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Five years ago: President George W. Bush declined to criticize Blackwater USA, a security company in Iraq accused in a shooting that resulted in civilian deaths, saying investigators needed to determine if the guards violated rules governing their operations. Thousands of chanting demonstrators filled the streets of Jena, La., in support of six black teenagers initially charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white classmate. Floyd Landis lost his expensive and explosive case when two of three arbitrators upheld the results of a test that showed the 2006 Tour de France champion had used synthetic testosterone to fuel his spectacular comeback victory. (Landis forfeited his Tour title and was subject to a two-year ban, retroactive to Jan. 30, 2007.)
One year ago: Repeal of the U.S. military's 18-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" compromise took effect, allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly. A suicide bomber posing as a Taliban peace envoy assassinated former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani (boor-HAHN'-uh-deen ruh-BAH'-nee), who had headed a government council seeking a political settlement with the insurgents.
Today's birthdays: Singer Gogi Grant is 88. Actress-comedian Anne Meara is 83. Actress Sophia Loren is 78. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Taylor is 77. Rock musician Chuck Panozzo is 65. Acttor Tony Denison is 63. Hockey Hall of Famer Guy LaFleur is 61. Actress Debbi Morgan is 61. Jazz musician Peter White is 58. Actress Betsy Brantley is 57. Actor Gary Cole is 56. TV news correspondent Deborah Roberts is 52. Country-rock musician Joseph Shreve (Flynnville Train) is 51. Rock musician Randy Bradbury (Pennywise) is 48. Actress Kristen Johnston is 45. Rock singers Gunnar Nelson and Matthew Nelson are 45. Rock musician Ben Shepherd is 44. Actress-model Moon Bloodgood is 37. Actor Jon Bernthal is 36. Rock musician Rick Woolstenhulme (WOOL'-sten-hyoolm) (Lifehouse) is 33. Actress Crystle Stewart is 31. Rapper Yung Joc is 30. Actor Aldis Hodge is 26.
Thought for today: "Politics is very much like taxes -- everybody is against them, or everybody is for them as long as they don't apply to him." -- Fiorello La Guardia, New York City mayor (1882-1947).
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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