- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 9, 2006

Gunman, 3 victims dead in shooting

CHICAGO — A gunman killed three persons and injured another yesterday when he walked into an office at a downtown skyscraper, chained the doors behind him and opened fire before police killed him as he held a hostage, Superintendent Phil Cline said.

The shootings at the 43-story Citigroup Center, which also houses a train station, sent office workers fleeing and stranded rush-hour commuters.

Mr. Cline said the gunman, who was armed with a revolver, a knife and hammer, didn’t work in the office but demanded to see one of the victims who was killed.

None of the dead victims, all men, or the gunman was identified. A fourth victim, a woman, had been shot and was taken to the hospital in serious condition. The hostage was unharmed, police said.

McKinney seeks Bush impeachment

In what was likely her final legislative act in Congress, outgoing Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney, Georgia Democrat, introduced a bill yesterday to impeach President Bush.

The legislation has no chance of passing and serves as a symbolic parting shot not only at Mr. Bush but also at Democratic leaders. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, has made clear that she will not entertain proposals to sanction Mr. Bush and has warned the liberal wing of her party against making political hay of impeachment.

Miss McKinney, a Democrat who drew national headlines in March when she struck a Capitol police officer, has long insisted that Mr. Bush was never legitimately elected. In introducing her legislation in the final hours of the current Congress, she said the president had violated his oath of office to defend the Constitution and the nation’s laws.

Georgia clears map of small towns

CHATTOOGAVILLE, Ga. — Poetry Tulip has vanished. So have Between and Climax. Cloudland and Roosterville are gone, too.

A total of 519 communities have been erased from the newest version of Georgia’s official map, victims of too few people and too many letters of type.

Georgia’s Department of Transportation, which drew the new map, said that the goal was to make it clearer and less cluttered.

The state began handing out the new map at rest stops and welcome centers over the summer.

Three planets to align this weekend

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Stargazers will get a rare triple planetary treat this weekend with Jupiter, Mercury and Mars appearing to nestle together in the predawn skies.

About 45 minutes before dawn tomorrow, those three planets will be so close that the average person’s thumb can obscure all three from view.

Three planets haven’t been that close since 1925, said Miami Space Transit Planetarium director Jack Horkheimer.

And it won’t happen again until 2053, he said.

Judge hears torture case against Rumsfeld

A federal judge appeared reluctant to give Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld immunity from torture accusations but also said yesterday that it would be unprecedented for him to allow Mr. Rumsfeld to face a civil trial.

“What you’re asking for has never been done before,” U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan told lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The ACLU is suing on behalf of nine former prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. The lawsuit contends the men were beaten, suspended upside down from the ceiling by chains, urinated on, shocked, sexually humiliated, burned, locked inside boxes and subjected to mock executions.

The Justice Department argues that government officials are immune from lawsuits related to their jobs unless they violate a constitutional right.

‘Truthiness’ named word of the year

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — After 12 months of naked partisanship on Capitol Hill, on cable TV and in the blogosphere, the word of the year for 2006 is … “truthiness.”

The word — if one can call it that — best summed up 2006, according to an online survey by dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster.

“Truthiness” was credited to Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert, who defined it as “truth that comes from the gut, not books.”

“We’re at a point where what constitutes truth is a question on a lot of people’s minds, and truth has become up for grabs,” Merriam-Webster President John Morse said. ” ‘Truthiness’ is a playful way for us to think about a very important issue.”

Other Top 10 finishers included “war,” “insurgent,” “sectarian” and “corruption.” But “truthiness” won 5-to-1, Mr. Morse said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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