Page One Today / July-August 2008
McCain chooses Alaska Gov. Palin for VP
By BILL WHITE
John McCain has chosen Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.
The surprise announcement that Palin is McCain's vice presidential choice came at a Republican rally in Dayton, Ohio.
"I am honored," Palin said moments later in her first major turn in the national spotlight.
She recounted her personal and political history, stressing her conservative and maverick credentials, then made an apparently play for the female vote. She mentioned Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic vice presidental candidate in 1984, and Sen. Hillary Clinton, who garnered 18 million primary votes in her unsuccessful run against Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination this year.
"It turns out the women of America aren't finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all," Palin said.
Also attending the rally were her husband, Todd, and four of her five children. Her older son, Track, is in the Army, a fact Palin mentioned several times.
Palin, 44, became governor in December 2006 after a campaign in which she ran against the Republican old guard of Alaska. She previously served as mayor of Wasilla. She's perceived as an ethics crusader and reformer within a state Republican Party that's been rocked by a bribery and corruption scandal. Those credentials could reinforce McCain's similar image.
Obama melds policy with punch
(See also: Poynter's Links to the News page,
"Republican & Democratic Convention History (1856-2008).")
It's unanimous: Democrats nominate Obama by acclamation
(The Washington Post)
By ELIZABETH MOORE
'The torch will be passed again,' Kennedy vows to jubilant convention
It's Biden's time
By KRISTIN HART
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Joe Biden bounded onto the stage in shirtsleeves, riding a wave of excitement all the way from Delaware to the Land of Lincoln, where he was introduced for the first time Saturday as "the next vice president of the United States."
Thousands gathered on the grounds of the Old State Capitol to witness the moment, some standing on benches or garbage cans to try to get a glimpse of Biden and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Most couldn't see a thing. But it didn't matter.
This was history.
Two weeks to make their case
By SUSAN PAGE
WASHINGTON -- Their contest tightening, John McCain and Barack Obama are heading into a two-week roller-coaster ride that will help define their candidacies and launch their campaigns into the general election.
On the calendar: the keenly awaited announcements of their running mates and the first back-to-back national political conventions in more than half a century.
Obama told USA TODAY on Thursday that he had decided on a running mate but declined to say who it was. "I won't comment on anything else until I introduce our running mate to the world," he said in Chester, Va.
His campaign has scheduled a rally Saturday on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., where he announced his presidential campaign nearly 19 months ago.
The Democratic convention opens Monday in Denver, followed a week later by the Republican convention in St. Paul. McCain has scheduled his own rally at the Nutter Center in Dayton next Friday, when his choice of running mate may be unveiled.
Spain mourns as air disaster probe continues
Spain declared three days of mourning Thursday as investigators continued probing what caused a passenger jet to crash on takeoff in Madrid, killing 153 people.
Passengers said they saw flames and then heard an explosion moments before Spanair Flight JK5022, carrying 172 people, crashed at Madrid's Barajas Airport Wednesday afternoon.
There were 19 survivors, including two infants, Development Minister Magdalena Alvarez said. All were being treated at a hospital, Alvaraez said.
Speculation Thursday centered on a plane part that had to be fixed after the flight first tried to take off.
US and Poland seal missile deal
The US and Poland have signed a deal to locate part of the US's controversial missile defence system on Polish soil.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice travelled to Warsaw for the ceremony, after 18 months of negotiations.
The deal has angered Russia, which has warned the base could become a target for a nuclear strike.
Washington says the system will protect the US and much of Europe against missile attacks from "rogue elements" in the Middle East such as Iran.
The agreement, which has yet to be ratified by the Polish parliament, was signed by Ms Rice and Poland's Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski.
August 19, 2008: The Beijing News reports on injured Chinese Olympic star Liu Xiang. Here is an excerpt from a story on the BBC News Web site:
Injured Liu sorry over shock exit
China's defending 110m hurdles champion Liu Xiang has apologised to the Chinese people after injury forced him to pull out of the Olympics on Monday.
Liu's Athens Games win made him a Chinese icon but he managed just a few strides in the heats in Beijing before pulling up with an Achilles injury.
"I just feel so sorry," he was reported as saying by the China Sports Daily.
"Because there were so many people supporting me, I told myself I had to run, but I just couldn't do it."
The 25-year-old, the former world record holder in the 110m hurdles, was considered China's best hope for an athletics gold medal.
His early exit from the Games stunned the 91,000-capacity crowd in the Bird's Nest stadium and the shock was echoed around the country.
Phelps completes historic quest
Rodgers Forge native wins 8th gold of Beijing Games in medley relay, breaking Spitz's 36-year-old record; 'Every day it seems like I'm in sort of a dream world'
By KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG
BEIJING - Someday, years from now, when they tell the tale of the swimmer from Rodgers Forge and his eight gold medals, it will be difficult -- if not impossible -- to know exactly where to begin.
The epic story of Michael Phelps' transcendent Olympics has produced many iconic moments, a diverse selection of did-I-really-just-see-that? mental snapshots.
These Olympics have always been about making history for Phelps, a 23-year-old with a long torso, longer arms and the competitive instincts of a hungry shark.
In eight races -- including this morning's 400 medley relay, which earned him his eighth gold medal, breaking the record for a single Olympics Games held for 36 years by Mark Spitz -- he has provided us with the kind of memories that do not fade.
Gold, then a whirlwind for Armstong
By BRIAN MURPHY
It turns out winning the gold medal was the easy part.
On her bike, at least, Boise cyclist Kristin Armstrong is in complete control and knows what rests ahead.
In her first 24 hours as an Olympic champion, Armstrong - who captured the women's time trial late Tuesday night at the Beijing Games - was whisked away from obligation to obligation while her cell phone rang and e-mail piled up.
"I'm still trying to realize that I have the gold medal and I'm an Olympic champion," Armstrong said in a phone interview from China with the Idaho Statesman late Wednesday night.
After winning the time trial - Armstrong bested Britain's Emma Pooley by more than 24 seconds - Armstrong got to celebrate briefly with family before the medal presentation, during which she fought back tears.
"You can imagine being on the podium. It's a dream come true for any athlete," she said. "It was a wonderful moment. It's definitely what you dream of."
Ceasefire bid amid Georgia crisis
Russia and Georgia have accused each other of launching new attacks, as diplomats press for a ceasefire in the conflict over South Ossetia.
Georgia said dozens of Russian bombers attacked targets inside its territory, including around Tbilisi and Gori.
Russia said Georgian attacks on the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali killed three of its troops.
Georgia's president backed a draft EU ceasefire proposal for a ceasefire, but Moscow reportedly rejected the plan.
Spectacular opening for Olympics
China has presented a dramatic display of fireworks, music and dancing to mark the opening of its Beijing Olympics.
Some 10,000 performers took part in the ceremony, watched on TV by an estimated one billion people, before athletes paraded around the national stadium.
Security was tight in the capital, and three US activists were arrested after holding a pro-Tibet protest. Larger rallies took place in Nepal and India.
Analysts say it is the most politicised Games since the Cold War era.
The build-up to the event was dogged by worries over pollution and criticism of China's rights record.
(See also: Poynter's Links to the News page, "Olympics Past and Present.")
Government Asserts Ivins Acted Alone
By CARRIE JOHNSON, DEL QUENTIN WILBER and DAN EGGEN
Government officials asserted yesterday that a troubled bioweapons scientist acted alone to perpetrate a terrorism scheme that killed five people, a case that centered on a near-perfect match of anthrax spores in his custody and a record of his late-night laboratory work just before the toxic letters were mailed.
Federal investigators uncovered e-mail messages written by bacteriologist Bruce E. Ivins describing an al-Qaeda threat that echoed language in the handwritten letters mailed to Senate offices and media organizations in September and October 2001. Ivins, who worked in high-security labs at Fort Detrick, Md., had a motive because of his work validating a controversial anthrax vaccine that had been suspended from production, authorities said.
Even as Justice Department officials declared the worst act of bioterrorism in U.S. history all but solved, scientists and legal experts noted that the evidence is far from foolproof. Investigators were unable to place Ivins in Princeton, N.J., on the days when the letters were dropped into a Nassau Street mailbox. They did not try to match his crabbed handwriting with the distinctive block print on the 2001 letters. And they did not silence congressional critics who wondered yesterday whether one man could have carried out the elaborate attacks.
Chaos on the 'Mountain That Invites Death'
By GRAHAM BOWLEY and ANDREA KANNAPELL
For two months, dozens of mountaineers had huddled at camps below the peak, acclimating to the thin air, practicing their ascent and waiting, waiting, for the moment.
The final push began in the dark hours after midnight on Aug. 1. Members of at least five expeditions -- and perhaps as many as nine -- began the last leg of their climb to conquer Mount Everest's slightly shorter but far more dangerous sister, K2, its peak towering, glistening and pyramidlike above them, laden with snow from recent storms.
Gerard McDonnell, 37, an Irish engineer climbing with a Dutch team, wrote on his blog when the start date was set: "Let luck and good fortune prevail!!! Fingers crossed."
But luck did not hold. On the way up the last 2,000 feet, a Serbian climber fell to his death, and a Pakistani porter died trying to recover his body. And on the way back, a chunk of glacier splintered and came crashing down, sweeping at least four climbers on ropes to their deaths and leaving a handful of others trapped in the death zone above 26,000 feet -- desperately cold, starved for oxygen and without ropes.
Solzhenitsyn, Literary Giant Who Defied Soviets, Dies at 89
By MICHAEL T. KAUFMAN
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose stubborn, lonely and combative literary struggles gained the force of prophecy as he revealed the heavy afflictions of Soviet Communism in some of the most powerful works of the 20th century, died late on Sunday at the age of 89 in Moscow.
His son Yermolai said the cause was a heart ailment.
Mr. Solzhenitsyn outlived by nearly 17 years the Soviet state and system he had battled through years of imprisonment, ostracism and exile.
Mr. Solzhenitsyn had been an obscure, middle-aged, unpublished high school science teacher in a provincial Russian town when he burst onto the literary stage in 1962 with "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich." The book, a mold-breaking novel about a prison camp inmate, was a sensation. Suddenly he was being compared to giants of Russian literature like Tolstoy, Dostoyevski and Chekhov.
Over the next five decades, Mr. Solzhenitsyn's fame spread throughout the world as he drew upon his experiences of totalitarian duress to write evocative novels like "The First Circle" and "The Cancer Ward" and historical works like "The Gulag Archipelago."
Nasa's lander samples Mars water
Nasa's Phoenix lander spacecraft has for the first time identified water in a sample of soil collected from the planet's surface.
Scientists will now be able to begin studying the sample to see whether the planet was ever, or is, habitable.
The craft previously had problems transferring samples from its robotic arm to the onboard lab for analysis.
The success and the good condition of the craft mean the mission will be extended until the end of September.
Israeli PM to quit within months
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has announced he will stand down within months, saying a corruption case involving him is hurting his family.
Vowing to prove his innocence, he said that he would quit as leader of his Kadima party as soon as it elects a new leader on 17 September.
He will remain caretaker prime minister until a new government is formed.
Mr Olmert had been under pressure to resign over a police inquiry into money he received from a businessman.
The corruption inquiry centres around allegations that a US citizen, Morris Talansky, made election donations in cash to Mr Olmert in 2006, which may have subsequently been used to buy luxury items. ______________________________________
Alaska Sen. Stevens indicted; 'I am innocent'
By LISA DEMER, RICHARD MAUER and ERIKA BOLSTAD
A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted long-term U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens Tuesday on seven counts of filing false financial disclosures, each a felony charge that carries a penalty of five years in prison and an unspecified fine.
With the indictment, Stevens, an icon in Alaska politics, becomes by far the most powerful politician charged in the broad, four-year federal investigation into public corruption in the state. To date, three state legislators, a high-level official in Gov. Frank Murkowski's administration, two businessmen and a lobbyist have been convicted, while two legislators are awaiting trial.
Stevens said he will fight to save himself and his long career.
"I am innocent of these charges and intend to prove that," he said in a prepared statement. "I have proudly served this nation and Alaska for over 50 years."
Tour de France 2008
Carlos Sastre sealed his first Tour de France crown and became the third Spaniard in three years to win.
The CSC rider, 33, retained the lead he carried over from Saturday's decisive time trial and cantered to the finish among the peloton to win by 58 seconds.
Australia's Cadel Evans, runner-up in 2007, took second place again while Austria's Bernhard Kohl was third.
Belgium's Gert Steegmans won the final 143km stage from Etampes to Paris, which finished in the Champs'Elysees.
The green jersey - awarded to the best sprinter overall - went to Rabobank's Spanish rider Oscar Freire, who finished in the top 10 of eight stages.
Obama seeks stronger Europe ties
US presidential hopeful Barack Obama has told crowds in Berlin that the US and Europe have drifted apart and it is time for them to come together again.
"If we're honest... we know that sometimes, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart and forgotten our shared destiny," he said.
Mr Obama is due to fly to France and the UK as he continues his world tour.
His Republican rival John McCain says that while Mr Obama is in Europe, he is focusing on issues challenging the US.
"I'd love to give a speech in Germany but I'd much prefer to do it as president of the United States rather than as a candidate for president," Mr McCain told reporters.
At least 200,000 people heard Mr Obama make the only public speech of the Democratic Party candidate's world tour.
Karadzic 'aims to defend himself'
War crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic plans to conduct his own defence in his trial at The Hague, his lawyer says.
"Karadzic will have a legal team in Serbia that will help him with his defence but he will defend himself," said lawyer Sveta Vujacic.
Mr Karadzic would be following former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who defended himself during his long-running trial at The Hague.
Mr Karadzic was captured on Monday after more than a decade in hiding.
He is being held in Belgrade pending his extradition to the Netherlands.
His lawyer says he will appeal against the extradition, but not until just before the deadline to do so, on Friday.
"He has asked for a haircut and a shave," Mr Vujacic told Reuters news agency. "Today I expect to see him with his hair short and no beard."
Mr Karadzic, 63, declared independence for Bosnian Serbs in 1991, sparking the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. He has been indicted for crimes against humanity and genocide over the massacre of up to 8,000 mainly-Muslim Bosniaks at Srebrenica in 1995.
By LAURA FRANK
The Americans who built the nation's nuclear weapons are still fighting a cold war.
Tens of thousands of sick nuclear arms workers -- or their survivors -- from every state in the nation have applied for compensation that Congress established for them in 2000. But most have never seen a dime.
Congress promised these Cold War patriots an efficient, compassionate path to atonement. But a Rocky Mountain News investigation found that the government has derailed aid to workers by keeping reports secret from them, constantly changing rules and delaying cases until sick workers died.
Israel buries returned soldiers
Thousands in Israel have been attending the funerals of two soldiers returned from Lebanon by the militant Hezbollah movement as part of a prisoner swap.
Hezbollah has said the reservists - Sgt Eldad Regev and Sgt Ehud Goldwasser - were captured alive in an ambush in 2006, but had been fatally wounded.
The incident sparked a month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah.
In exchange for the soldiers' remains, Israel released five Lebanese prisoners and the remains of 200 fighters.
AL wins marathon game in 15th inning
Michael Young's sacrifice fly extends American League's unbeaten streak to 12 seasons
By MARK HERRMANN
History was the whole point of having this All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. There was the hope of celebrating it and reliving it and having something that would last forever. Who knew that it would make more history, a game that seemed like it would last forever?
"It just had to be like this," said Scott Kazmir, the winning pitcher for the American League in a 4-3 triumph that went 15 innings and lasted until 1:37 a.m. All of baseball knew that this game, in the final year of Yankee Stadium, would be historic. It didn't occur to everyone that it would be so epic, too.
George Steinbrenner gets All-Star treatment from fans at Yankee Stadium
By MIKE LUPICA
He came riding across the outfield at 8:33 Tuesday night, five hours before this All-Star Game would end at Yankee Stadium, sitting there in a golf cart with his daughter, Jennifer, and his son Hal and a son-in-law, Felix Lopez.
They had introduced all of baseball's All-Stars and 49 Hall of Famers, and now here came someone who has been a star of this version of the Stadium as long as it has been standing. Here came George Steinbrenner. For these few moments Tuesday night, he was what he always wanted to be, from the very first day. The old man, as frail as he looked, was the biggest guy in town.
They said he was there to present the baseballs for ceremonial first pitches that would be thrown by Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford and Reggie Jackson and Goose Gossage.
But really this was a chance for Steinbrenner to have the kind of moment he has never had, in all the years he has owned the Yankees, all the years he has been Boss Steinbrenner. This was a chance for him to be cheered on this field like a Yankee.
Judicial noose tightens around Bashir
By MARTIN PLAUT
The unprecedented decision by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to seek charges against President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity has thrown a sharp light on his part in the conflict in Darfur.
Some 250,000 people have died and two million fled their homes since 2003.
But Mr Bashir has always accused the international community of exaggerating the scale of the crisis.
A-B's board sells kingdom to InBev for $52 billion
By JEREMIAH McWILLIAMS, JEFFREY TOMICH and ANGELA TABLAC
The board of directors of Anheuser-Busch Cos. on Sunday accepted a $52 billion takeover offer from Belgium's InBev, putting a quick end to a monthlong standoff between the companies. The agreement paves the way for a brewing colossus controlling about a quarter of the world's beer market.
For St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, the sale will end a run of independence that stretches back to before the Civil War. The buyout at $70 a share also represents the biggest, boldest acquisition in the beer industry and one of the largest purchases of a U.S. company by a foreign suitor.
"This changes everything," Morningstar analyst Ann Gilpin said. "An InBev/Anheuser-Busch combination will be a very formidable competitor."
The companies announced the agreement in a joint statement late Sunday evening. They said the combined company will be called Anheuser-Busch InBev, and A-B CEO August A. Busch IV and one other current or former member of the Anheuser-Busch board will serve on the new board. Both companies are discussing potential candidates for the second slot.
Snow, former Bush spokesman, dies at 53
Long career in politics, news included stint at The Times
By JON WARD
Tony Snow, the former Bush White House press secretary known for his wit and agility at the podium, who inspired others by facing cancer with hope and optimism, died early Saturday at Georgetown University Hospital. He was 53.
Mr. Snow, a former editorial page editor for The Washington Times, is survived by his wife, Jill Ellen Walker, and their three children.
He was mourned and remembered Saturday by President Bush and his former colleagues at the White House, by those at Fox News, where he worked as a TV and radio show host for 10 years, and by many others from across the political spectrum.
Mr. Snow had a long career in news and politics, starting out as an editorial writer and eventually running or helping run several newspaper editorial pages, before becoming a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and Fox News star.
Press Secretary Relished Job
By PETER BAKER
Tony Snow, the former television and radio talk show host who became President Bush's chief spokesman and redefined the role of White House press secretary with his lively banter with reporters, died yesterday at Georgetown University Hospital after losing a high-profile battle with cancer. He was 53.
Snow had colon cancer diagnosed and treated in 2005, a year before joining the White House staff. He found out it had returned after an operation in March 2007 to remove what doctors thought was a benign growth in his lower abdomen. The cancer had spread to his liver, forcing him off the podium for treatment. Snow vowed to fight the disease and return to the briefing room but announced six months later that he was leaving his $168,000-a-year job because he needed to recoup the income he lost when he left his job as a radio and television host. He later joined CNN as a commentator.
In a statement issued by the White House, Bush said: "Tony was one of our Nation's finest writers and commentators. . . . It was a joy to watch Tony at the podium each day. He brought wit, grace, and a great love of country to his work."
Dr. Michael DeBakey: 1908-2008
Houstonian called the 'greatest surgeon of the 20th century' dies at 99
By TODD ACKERMAN and ERIC BERGER
Dr. Sherwin Nuland, medicine's best-known historian, was visiting with Dr. Michael DeBakey three years ago when the then-96-year-old surgeon left the room to attend to some business.
Taking advantage of the moment to tour the room's extensive collection of memorabilia -- the honors, photographs and mementos from an illustrative career that spanned eight decades -- Nuland stopped to reflect on two antiquarian charts of the history of medicine.
"As I studied the charts, it occurred to me that no face on them was any more important in the history of medicine than DeBakey himself,'' said Nuland, a retired surgeon at the Yale University School of Medicine and author of Doctors: The Biography of Medicine. "I can't think of anyone who's made more of a contribution to the field of medicine.''
Michael Ellis DeBakey -- internationally acclaimed as the father of modern cardiovascular surgery and considered by many to be the greatest surgeon ever -- died Friday night at The Methodist Hospital in Houston. He was 99.
Surgery pioneer, LC High grad DeBakey dies
Lake Charles' own Dr. Michael DeBakey, a son of immigrants who became father of modern cardiovascular surgery, has died -- just weeks short of his 100th birthday.
DeBakey died late Friday at The Methodist Hospital in Houston. His death -- listed only as "of natural causes" -- was announced Saturday.
The Lake Charles native was a pioneer in the field cardiovascular surgery, a medical statesman and a dedicated teacher.
"Over the years, I've done 60,000 operations," he told Esquire magazine in 2001. "Heart surgeries constitute perhaps a third of those operations. That's about 20,000 hearts I've touched."
Grew up here
DeBakey was born Sept. 7, 1908, in Lake Charles to Shaker Morris and Raheeja Zorba DeBakey, who were immigrants from Lebanon. In interviews about his life as a child, DeBakey spoke often of how his parents strived to instill a love of knowledge in their children. They required DeBakey and his siblings to read one book per week from the public library.
One week DeBakey tried to borrow the Encyclopaedia Britannica from the library. To his dismay, the librarian told him it could not be checked out, so DeBakey's father bought a copy for him as a gift.
DeBakey is said to have read the entire encyclopedia before entering Lake Charles High School.
July 11, 2008: The Hamburg, Germany newspaper, Financial Times Deutschland, describes the digitally altered missile photo many used earlier this week. Here is a story excerpt posted yesterday on The New York Times blog, The Lede:
In an Iranian Image, a Missile Too Many
By MIKE NIZZA and PATRICK WITTY
As news spread across the world of Iran's provocative missile tests, so did an image of four missiles heading skyward in unison. Unfortunately, it appeared to contain one too many missiles, a point that had not emerged before the photo was used on the front pages of The Los Angeles Times, The Financial Times, The Chicago Tribune and several other newspapers as well as on BBC News, MSNBC, Yahoo! News, NYTimes.com and many other major news Web sites.
Agence France-Presse said that it obtained the image from the Web site of Sepah News, the media arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, on Wednesday. But there was no sign of it there later in the day. Today, The Associated Press distributed what appeared to be a nearly identical photo from the same source, but without the fourth missile.
Iran missile test 'provocative'
The US and Israel have condemned Iran after it test-fired a long range missile capable of reaching Tel Aviv.
Iran state media said nine missiles had been fired in total, including a new Shahab-3, with a range of 2,000km (1,240 miles).
Tehran has tested the missile before, but the latest launch comes amid rising tensions with the US and Israel over the country's nuclear programme.
A senior US state department official said the launch was "provocative".
Wednesday's early morning test at a remote desert site sent oil prices climbing.
Brig Gen Hoseyn Salami, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' air force, said: "Our missiles are ready for shooting at any place and any time, quickly and with accuracy."
Thousands flee fires in Butte County as shifting winds fan flames
By PHILLIP REESE and BOBBY CAINA CALVAN
Thousands of beleaguered Butte County residents bolted from their homes Tuesday as gusty, shifting winds fanned flames from a stubborn conflagration that has left the rural county besieged for weeks.
Officials said 50 structures had been destroyed in the small communities of Concow and Camelot by Tuesday night, although they could not say how many were homes.
But many evacuated residents feared the worst. Some presumed their homes had been swallowed by one of 41 fires that have marched across 47,000 acres of parched wildlands since June 21.
Nadal wins epic Wimbledon final
By PIERS NEWBERY
Rafael Nadal held off an incredible fightback from Roger Federer to win his first Wimbledon title and end the Swiss star's reign at the All England Club.
The Spaniard missed two championship points in the fourth set but recovered to win a dramatic rain-interrupted match 6-4 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (8-10) 9-7.
The final shot was struck in near darkness on Centre Court at 2115 BST.
Nadal, 22, is the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win the French Open and Wimbledon titles back-to-back.
Asked about the moment of victory, Nadal told BBC Sport: "It's impossible to explain what I felt in that moment but I'm very, very happy.
"It is a dream to play on this court, my favourite tournament, but to win I never imagined."
Federer, who made just one of 13 break points, said: "I tried everything, got a little late, but look, Rafa is a deserving champion, he just played fantastic.
Audacious rescue deals Farc a blow
By JEREMY McDERMOTT
In an operation of unprecedented audacity, the Colombian security forces have rescued 15 hostages from the hands of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).
The initiative has dealt a mortal blow to the left-wing guerrillas' plans to secure the release of hundreds of rebels in prison.
"Thank you to the army, from my country of Colombia, thank you for your impeccable operation," said Ingrid Betancourt, the most famous of the hostages in guerrilla hands, as she landed in the capital Bogota to be greeted by her mother and husband.
"The operation was perfect."
Not a shot was fired by the Colombian security forces as they managed to free the most closely-protected hostages, guarded by the cream of Farc rebels.
July 2, 2008: An excerpt from a story in the Orlando Sentinel:
Deepening Cycle of Job Loss Seen Lasting Into '09
By PETER S. GOODMAN
(The New York Times)
As automakers dropped their latest batch of awful sales numbers on the market on Tuesday, reinforcing the gloom spreading across the economy, the troubles confronting American workers seemed to intensify.
Plummeting home prices have in recent months eliminated jobs for hundreds of thousands of people, from bankers and real estate agents to construction workers and furniture manufacturers. Tighter lending standards imposed by banks in the wake of huge mortgage losses have made it hard for many Americans to secure credit -- the lifeblood of expansion in recent years -- crimping the appetite of consumers, whose spending amounts to 70 percent of the economy.
Joblessness has accelerated, and employers have slashed working hours even for those on their payrolls, shrinking the size of paychecks just as workers need them the most.