Bush with binoculars.jpg Former US diplomats protest at the nomination of John Bolton: They described Mr Bolton, a known critic of the UN, as “the wrong man” for the job. They urged the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to block his appointment. Chief among the objections was Mr Bolton’s stated view that the UN “is valuable only when it directly serves the United States”.

War Planes for Pakistan: President Bush has taken the gamble of using weapons sales as rewards for Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s cooperation on matters that appear to be more important to the administration than stability on the Asian subcontinent. Bush may also be acting to keep the plane’s producer, Lockheed-Martin, from closing down its production line.

Schiavo nearing death in Florida after legal battle: Lobbied by evangelical Christians who have felt emboldened since Bush’s re-election last November, the Republican-controlled Congress raced through a special law to push the case into federal courts, and the president interrupted a vacation to sign it into law.

Congress’ effort was assailed by critics as meddling in a family affair that had already been decided by state courts. Opinion polls showed most Americans disapproved of the congressional move and felt Schiavo should be allowed to die.