The Week That Was

March 10, 2002

The Crisis:

Eight American soldiers died in a weeklong offensive against al-Qaida and Taliban troops in a mountainous region south of Kabul near the Pakistan border.

Cleaning Capitol Hill of anthrax has cost $23 million so far.

Attorney General John Ashcroft is adding $2 million to the Neighborhood Watch program, saying the crime fighting groups should also be on the lookout for terrorists.

Families of those killed in the attacks on Sept. 11 will get more money from the federal government under revised guidelines for dispersing the estimated $6 billion fund.

An end-of-the-year deadline for screening all baggage for explosives will not be met, according to the federal Transportation Department

Kabul motorists celebrated as city work crews dug up speed bumps installed by the Taliban.

The World

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, visiting Washington, urged the United States to get more involved in the Mideast peace process. Later in the week, President Bush announced envoy Anthony Zinni would return to the region.

70-year-old twins were killed in separate bicycle accidents two hours apart, both hit by trucks on the same snowy highway in Finland.

Ireland put into effect a 13 cent tax on plastic shopping bags in an effort to keep discarded bags from littering the countryside.

Switzerland voted to join the United Nations.

China raised its defense budget by 18 percent.

Argentina announced a tax on all exports in an attempt to quell its budgetary crisis.

Kosovo selected Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova as its president.

Irish voters narrowly defeated an effort to tighten abortion laws.

Dozens were feared dead after a wooden boat packed with as many as 60 illegal immigrants from various countries - including Nigeria, Sudan and Turkey - capsized in rough seas off Sicily.

The Nation

The Archdiocese of Boston agreed to pay $20 million to $30 million in reparation for a former Roman Catholic priest accused of molesting more than 200 children over 30 years.

President Bush appointed the dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health.

Air pollution was found to raise the risk of dying from lung cancer.

The steel industry applauded President Bush for imposing three-year tariffs of up to 30 percent on imported steel.

Cokie Roberts said she is leaving ABC's This Week Sunday news program.

Skateboards and scooters were deemed unsafe for children without supervision by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The Pentagon and contractors exaggerated the success of the first missile defense test in 1997, ignoring a flawed sensor that had trouble distinguishing a warhead from a decoy.

A lake was drained in search of more bodies at the Tri-State Crematory in Georgia where authorities have found 339 corpses so far.

Rand Corp. researchers found no evidence of high school grade inflation in comparing statistics from 1982 and 1992.

Bill Simon upset former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan in the California Republican primary choosing an opponent for Gov. Gray Davis.

Bankrupt Kmart Corp. will close 284 stores - including seven in Maryland - and cut 22,000 jobs. as part of its Chapter 11 restructuring.

Two Johns Hopkins University astronomers said a computer error gave them the wrong color for the universe that they said in January was a rich turquoise. It turns out to be beige.

The Region:

Chris Weller resigned after 27 years as Maryland's women's basketball coach.

Maj. Donald E. Healy stepped down as commander of Northeast District and retired from the Baltimore police department after it was revealed that he asked officers to stop "every black male" in the search for a rape suspect.

The FBI apologized after one of its agents shot an innocent man who was in a car stopped during the search for a bank robber in Anne Arundel County. Joseph Schulz, 20, was in serious condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center with a bullet in his jaw.

Baltimore water and sewer rates are expected to rise to help pay for mandated updates to the aging systems.

School districts in the state have the option of not giving the eighth-grade MSPAP test this spring.

Elvis Grbac, who rejected a pay cut to stay with the Ravens, decided to retire from the NFL rather than move his family.

A defective medical device that had been recalled remained in use at Johns Hopkins, potentially exposing 400 patients to infections during lung examinations.

Cole Field House's college basketball era ended with Maryland defeating Virginia, 112-92.

Sheppard Pratt officials announced plans to spend $80 million expanding and renovating the Towson mental health facility.

A shareholder lawsuit was filed against Allfirst, alleging that some of the bank's officials must have known about the rogue currency trading of John Rusnak that caused almost $700 million in losses.

Towson University spent almost $600,000 upgrading the $850,000 house it bought for its new president.

A polar bear confiscated from a circus in Puerto Rico has a new home at the Baltimore Zoo.

Revenue estimates for the state government over the next 15 months were lowered by another $250 million.

CareFirst executives will get $33.1 million - including $9.1 million for chief executive William L. Jews - if the proposed sale to WellPoint goes through.

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