I’m Steve Ember with IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.
The editors and news directors of the Associated Press have chosen the following as the top ten news stories of two thousand five. The AP chose Hurricane Katrina as this year’s top news story.
The fierce ocean storm hit the United States’ southern coast in August. It killed more than one thousand three hundred people in five states. The storm destroyed much of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It caused flooding that left eighty percent of New Orleans, Louisiana, under water.
Other top news stories of the year included the death of Roman Catholic Church leader Pope John Paul the Second in April. He died after serving twenty-six years as Pope, the third longest in history. Millions of people around the world attended services on the day of his funeral. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany became the new Pope.
In Iraq, rebel violence continued. The Bush administration said more than two thousand American service members and thirty thousand Iraqis have been killed since the war in Iraq began. Iraqi citizens elected a parliament and voted on a new constitution.
In Washington, two new judges were nominated to the Supreme Court. John Roberts was confirmed to take the place of Chief Justice William Rehnquist who died. And Samuel Alito was nominated to take the place of Sandra Day O’Connor who announced her retirement.
Crude oil prices reached a record high of almost seventy-one dollars a barrel. The rise in gasoline prices affected drivers in the United States.
In July, a series of attacks on three trains and a bus in London killed fifty-six people, including four bombers who had ties to Islamic militants.
In October, a huge earthquake near the border of Pakistan and India killed more than eighty-seven thousand people. More than three million people were left without homes.
In the United States, the husband of a severely brain-damaged woman fought for the right to remove the feeding tube that had kept her alive for fifteen years. The United States Congress and President Bush became involved with efforts to keep Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube connected. A judge later ordered its removal. Missus Schiavo’s case raised questions about the role of government in private, family decisions about life and death.
Members of the Bush administration were under investigation and accused of telling the name of an American intelligence agent to news reporters. The agent’s husband had earlier accused the administration of misusing prewar intelligence on Iraq.
And President Bush’s national approval rating dropped below forty percent this year, the lowest of his presidency. Many Americans began to question the president’s decisions about the war in Iraq. Others were unhappy with how the president reacted to Hurricane Katrina.
IN THE NEWS, in VOA Special English, was written by Brianna Blake. Our reports can be found on our web site, voaspecialenglish.com. I’m Steve Ember.