The Week That Was

November 25, 2001

The Crisis

Northern Alliance leaders agreed to meet with other opposition groups in Germany this week to talk about an interim government in Afghanistan.

Refugees from the besieged city of Kunduz reported that foreign fighters formerly with the Taliban were killing Afghan Taliban members who wanted to surrender.

The Capitol has run out of American flags to send as souvenirs to constituents. In normal times, about 100,000 flags are flown briefly over the Capitol and sent to people. The operation is running about 30,000 flags behind.

The airline security bill signed into law by President Bush will make 28,000 baggage handlers at all but five of the nation's airports federal employees by next year. At the five exceptions, the airports will participate in a pilot program using nongovernment employees.

Syria turned over to Egypt a former aide to Osama bin Laden, Rifai Ahmed Taha, whose group has been blamed for the massacre of foreign tourists in Egypt in 1997.

A 94-year-old woman who lived in rural Connecticut died from inhalation anthrax, the fifth victim of that disease in recent weeks.

The estimated death toll at the World Trade Center, which once stood at more than 6,000, was reduced to less than 3,900 and is expected to drop further.

President Bush held a Ramadan dinner at the White House for dozens of representatives of Islamic nations.

The White House will remain closed to the public during the holidays -- and the lighting of the national Christmas tree will be a tickets-only affair -- frustrating local Washington officials suffering a dearth of tourists.

A Spanish judge formally charged eight men arrested in that country with being members of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida group and possibly tied to the Sept. 11 terror attacks against America.

Police in Portland, Ore., are refusing an FBI request to interview Middle Eastern immigrants, citing a state law against arbitrary questioning.

The World

A moderate party led by ethnic Albanian Ibrahim Rugova led the voting in Kosovo's first general election, but failed to get a majority and will need coalition partners to form a government.

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell called for a secure Israel and a viable Palestinian state in a speech that promised renewed American attention to the Mideast peace process.

Five Palestinian children walking to school were killed by an explosive that some claimed was an unexploded round from an Israeli tank.

Envoys from Russia and Chechnya met for peace talks for the first time since war re-erupted in that province over two years ago.

NATO leaders proposed giving Russia some powers in the organization that was formed to oppose the Soviet Union.

Former Argentine President Carlos Menem was cleared of arms trafficking charges by that country's Supreme Court.

The Nation

The Justice Department building in Washington was named in honor of Robert F. Kennedy.

The first Harry Potter movie took in over $93 million in its first three days, setting a box-office record, easily topping the $72.1 million The Lost World: Jurassic Park took in during a four-day Memorial Day weekend opening in 1997.

In a merger of oil giants, Phillips Petroleum and Conoco agreed to combine, joining Exxon and Mobil, BP and Arco, and Chevron and Texaco in walking down the energy business aisle.

Toy retailer FAO Schwarz -- started by Frederick August Otto Schwarz in Baltimore in 1862 -- was bought by Right Start Inc., which will keep open the famous toy retailer's Fifth Avenue flagship, but close 18 of its 41 stores.

A Lutheran church in Key West, Fla., became the first of that denomination to install a noncelibate, gay pastor.

The former chief executive of auction house Sotheby's -- who has already pleaded guilty to price-fixing -- told a New York jury that she was ordered in 1993 to collaborate on commissions with rival Christie's by Sotheby's chairman Alfred Taubman, who is standing trial on antitrust charges.

Al Gore took a job with Metropolitan West Financial Inc. He will serve as vice chairman of the Los Angeles-based financial services holding company while teaching courses at two Tennessee colleges and working on a new book.

Harrison Williams, who was a senator from New Jersey from 1959 to 1982 before going to jail in the Abscam scandal, died at 81.

The Region

Canada goose hunting resumed in Maryland after a six-year ban.

Montgomery County's median household income of $70,794 is the highest in the state, ahead of $61,668 in Anne Arundel County.

Bea Gaddy's Thanksgiving dinner went on without her, feeding 17,500 at Dunbar Middle School. Gaddy died Oct. 3.

Gay rights legislation passed by the General Assembly became law after those petitioning to put the measure on the ballot admitted not enough of their signatures were properly witnessed.

Quote

"The vast majority of our animals appear to be perfectly normal."

Robert Lanza, a scientist with Advanced Cell Technology whose study cloned cows found that they grew into adulthood with no significant problems

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