The Week That Was

January 06, 2002

The Crisis

A U.S. Green Beret was killed by small-arms fire in eastern Afghanistan, the first American soldier to die in combat in the 3-month-old campaign

U.S. bombers struck a military compound in eastern Afghanistan where members of Osama bin Laden's terror network were believed to be regrouping.

Afghan leaders agreed on a plan for the deployment of about 3,000 international peacekeepers in Afghan cities.

The long time it is taking to capture Taliban leaders has led to fears that they may have escaped.

In arrests intended to show Pakistan is serious about defusing tension with India, security agents detained more than 130 Islamic militants, including leaders of two groups India blames for a suicide attack on its Parliament.

Airport security screeners will not be required to have high school diplomas, the U. S. Department of Transportation decided.

Zacarias Moussaoui's terrorism trial was set for Oct. 14, after the 33-year-old French-Moroccan pleaded innocent to involvement in the terrorist attacks Sept. 11 against America.

Air service to an additional 14 cities from Washington's Reagan National Airport was approved by the Department of Transportation.

The Nation

Unemployment climbed to 5.8 percent, the highest in more than six years, and analysts said it could hit 6.5 percent before leveling off.

The South's largest snowstorm in a decade caused havoc, leaving at least 10 dead, stranding thousands of travelers and leaving scores of thousands without electrical power.

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire news magnate, was sworn in as mayor of New York, where he spent an estimated $50 million on his election.

A three-year federal investigation of the personal and political finances of New Jersey Sen. Robert G. Torricelli has ended without producing criminal charges.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist complained in his annual report that low salaries and an often painful confirmation process were diminishing the pool of people interested in becoming federal judges. The pay ranges from $150,000 for District Court judges to $184,000 for Supreme Court justices.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that children conceived artificially after a parent dies have the same inheritance rights as children conceived naturally. The Massachusetts high court was ruling in the case of a woman seeking federal survivor benefits for twin girls to whom she gave birth using her late husband's frozen sperm.

In Boston, the trial began of a man accused of beating to death the father of his son's hockey teammate after a game. The case has gained widespread notoriety as a symbol of a trend of parent rage at youth sporting competitions.

Notre Dame University picked Tyrone Willingham, coach at Stanford, to take over as coach of the Notre Dame football team. Willingham is the first black person to head any athletic program at the university.

The World

The euro formally became the currency of 12 countries in Europe, replacing deutsche marks, lire, francs and pesos.

A fire, apparently set off by fireworks, killed nearly 300 people in Lima, Peru.

Israeli commandos stormed a vessel they said was loaded with 50 tons of Iranian-made weapons purchased by the Palestinian Authority.

Anthony Zinni, the latest U. S. envoy to the Middle East, returned to the region for another attempt at a cease fire and negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Syria, which is on the U.S. list of states supporting terrorism, was among five nations joining the U.N. Security Council for two-year terms.

The family of Nigeria's late dictator, Sani Abacha, has been forced to pay back the government $148 million in loot stolen by Abacha, a record recovery, but tiny compared with the $3 billion Abacha and his cronies are suspected of having stolen while he was in power.

Hotomo Suharto, son of the former president of Indonesia, sued two men to whom he said he paid a bribe of $2 million in a failed bid to get a pardon after he was sentenced on corruption charges.

A Turkish prisoner died of starvation, the 44th in more than a year of hunger strikes over prison conditions in Turkey.

The Region

Maryland's population has increased by about 79,000, to 5,375,000 according to the latest census figures, making it the 19th fastest-growing states in the nation.

Michael Austin, who spent 27 years in prison after a faulty murder conviction, will not be subjected to a new trial, Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy announced.

Marylanders wishing to purchase handguns will be required to take a two-hour safety training course under a new law that took effect Jan. 1.

Homicides in Baltimore totaled 259 last year, two fewer than in 2000.

City landmarks, including the Shot Tower and the Carroll Mansion, will come under the management of a group led by Baltimore County innkeeper Anne Pomykala.

An 84-year-old woman, mistaking the accelerator for the brake, drove her Cadillac into a lobby window at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

Tony Siragusa, Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle, announced he will retire at the end of the season.

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