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Five years ago: President George W. Bush announced he would keep U.S. force strength in Iraq largely intact until the next administration, drawing rebukes from Democrats who wanted the war ended and a bigger boost of troops in troubled Afghanistan. Asif Ali Zardari (AH'-seef ah-LEE' zahr-DAH'-ree), the widower of assassinated former Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto, took office as Pakistan's president.
One year ago: Iraq sentenced fugitive Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi to death on charges he'd masterminded death squads against rivals in a trial that fueled sectarian tensions in the country. The same day, insurgents carried out a series of bombings and shootings across Iraq that killed at least 92 people. Two points from defeat, Serena Williams regained her composure and her game to come back to beat Victoria Azarenka, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, for her fourth U.S. Open championship. Shannon Eastin became the first woman to officiate an NFL regular-season game, serving as a line judge in the St. Louis Rams-Detroit Lions game. (Detroit beat St. Louis 27-23.)
Today's birthdays: Actress Sylvia Miles is 79. Actor Topol is 78. Rhythm-and-blues singer Luther Simmons is 71. Singer Inez Foxx is 71. Singer Dee Dee Sharp is 68. Rock singer-musician Doug Ingle is 67. Country singer Freddy Weller is 66. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Joe Theismann is 64. Rock musician John McFee (The Doobie Brothers) is 63. Actor Tom Wopat is 62. Actress Angela Cartwright is 61. Musician-producer Dave Stewart is 61. Actor Hugh Grant is 53. Actor-comedian Charles Esten (formerly Chip) is 48. Actress Constance Marie is 48. Actor David Bennent is 47. Actor Adam Sandler is 47. Rock singer Paul Durham (Black Lab) is 45. Model Rachel Hunter is 44. Actor Eric Stonestreet is 42. Actor Henry Thomas is 42. Actor Goran Visnjic (VEEZ'-nihch) is 41. Pop-jazz singer Michael Buble' (boo-BLAY') is 38. Country singer Joey Martin (Joey + Rory) is 38. Latin singer Maria Rita is 36. Actress Michelle Williams is 33. Actress Julie Gonzalo is 32. Country singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes is 22.
Thought for today: "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal." -- Hannah More, English author and social reformer (1745-1833)
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