Stopping short of apologizing for the 18th and 19th century enslavement of Africans, President Bush noted that throughout history Americans "clearly saw this was a sin and called it by name." On the first leg of his five-nation African tour, Bush visited the slave station at Goree Island, Senegal, with the president of that nation, Abdoulaye Wade. "The stolen sons and daughters of Africa helped to awaken the conscience of America," Bush said. "America learned that freedom is not the possession of one race." He went to Goree Island after meeting in Dakar, Senegal's capital, with Wade and the heads of seven other West African democracies. Bush said he had not yet decided on US involvement in war-torn Liberia.
Amid doubts about prewar intelligence data, the White House admitted Bush was incorrect when he said in his State of the Union address that Iraq recently sought significant quantities of uranium in Africa. Bush said in the January speech that the British government had learned that the Iraqi leadership tried to buy uranium, a core component in nuclear weapons. The White House statement comes as a British parliamentary commission questions the reliability of that country's intelligence on Iraq's weapons program.
An employee opened fire at a Lockheed Martin plant near Meridian, Miss., killing at least five people before being fatally wounded. Unconfirmed reports at press time indicated eight others were injured and taken to nearby hospitals. Lockheed Martin is the largest defense contractor in the US. The Meridian plant builds parts for the C-130J Hercules and F-22 Raptor jets.
The father of one of three New Jersey teens arrested for allegedly plotting a shooting rampage apologized to the people of Oaklyn, N.J., "for what my son has done." The 18-year-old was arrested Sunday with two other boys, aged 14 and 15, on charges of conspiring to kill three teens and then randomly target people with a cache of guns and ammunition. Several weapons belonging to the oldest boy's father were found in their possession, including rifles, a shotgun, several handguns, 2,000 rounds of ammunition, and swords.
Bush asked Congress for an additional $1.9 billion to cover more of this fiscal year's costs of rebuilding from natural disasters, combating wildfires, and investigating the space shuttle Columbia disaster. GOP leaders said they want to move the measure quickly through Congress without any added expenditures, in hopes of heeding an agreement they reached with the president to limit spending.
A chunk of foam insulation fired at space shuttle wing parts blew open a 16-inch hole, yielding what one member of the Columbia investigation team called the "smoking gun" that proves what caused the spaceship to disintegrate upon reentry. The foam struck roughly the same spot where insulation that broke off Columbia's external fuel tank smashed into the shuttle's left wing during launch. Meanwhile, NASA successfully launched its latest Mars mission, "Opportunity," Monday night.