Washington

Bush: 4,000 lives weren’t lost in vain

Marking a grim milestone, a determined President Bush declared yesterday the lives of 4,000 U.S. military men and women who have died in Iraq “were not lost in vain.” The White House signaled anew that additional troops won’t be pulled out soon.

A roadside bomb in Baghdad killed four U.S. soldiers Sunday night, pushing the death toll to 4,000.

That number pales compared with those of other lengthy U.S. wars, but it is much higher than many Americans, including Bush, ever expected after the swift U.S. invasion of Iraq five years ago.

Bush proclaimed the end of major combat operations in Iraq in May 2003. Almost all of the U.S. deaths there have happened since then.

“One day people will look back at this moment in history and say, ‘Thank God there were courageous people willing to serve, because they laid the foundations for peace for generations to come,'” Bush said after a State Department briefing about long-term diplomacy efforts.

“I have vowed in the past, and I will vow so long as I’m president, to make sure that those lives were not lost in vain – that, in fact, there is an outcome that will merit the sacrifice,” Bush said.

New York

Stocks jump after JP Morgan ups bid for Bear Stearns

Wall Street extended its big advance yesterday as investors applauded a new agreement that will give Bear Stearns Cos. shareholders five times the payout that was set in a JPMorgan Chase & Co. buyout deal a week ago. Investors were also pleased by a stronger-than-expected housing report, and sent the Dow Jones industrial average up nearly 190 points while also selling bonds sharply lower.

JPMorgan boosted investors’ optimism by lifting its offer for Bear Stearns to $10 per share from $2. The revised plan is aimed at soothing Bear Stearns shareholders upset over JPMorgan’s earlier offer, which was made at the behest of the Federal Reserve when Bear Stearns was near collapse.

Bear Stearns shares jumped $5.29, or 89 percent, to $11.25, while JPMorgan rose 58 cents to $46.55.

Ancient Olympia, Greece

Protests overshadow torch-lighting show

Even before the Olympic flame was lit yesterday, a protester of China’s human rights policies disrupted the solemn ceremony, foreshadowing the prospect of demonstrations throughout the 85,000-mile torch-relay route right up to the Beijing Games themselves.

Forecasts of clouds and rain had been considered the main threat to the pomp-filled torch-lighting. But in the end, while the sun sparked the flame to life, it was the protesters who turned the joyful bow to the Olympics’ roots into a political statement about China’s crackdown in Tibet and other rights issues.

Three men advocating press freedom evaded massive security and ran onto the field at the ceremony in Ancient Olympia before they were seized by police.

WASHINGTON

Clinton adviser calls Obama backer ‘Judas’

Hillary Rodham Clinton adviser James Carville is refusing to apologize for comparing New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to Judas.

Carville made the comparison to The New York Times after Richardson, once a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet, endorsed Hillary Clinton rival Barack Obama last week for the Democratic presidential nomination. Carville called it an “act of betrayal,” and pointed out that it came during Holy Week.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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