The Week That Was

March 31, 2002

The Crisis

The Justice Department will seek the death penalty for Zacarias Moussaoui, charged with conspiring to commit the Sept. 11 attacks.

Health officials are debating whether Americans should be vaccinated against smallpox in case that disease, now eradicated, is used in a bioterrorism attack.

A federal report on the collapse of the World Trade Center towers blames an intense fire that burned as high as 2,000 degrees, combined with failures in fireproofing, the sprinkler system and the water supply for hoses.

A Navy Seal was killed and another injured by a land mine during training exercises near Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Ottilie Lundgren, the 94-year-old Connecticut woman who died of inhalation anthrax last fall, might have been infected by ripping her junk mail in half, releasing deadly spores into the air, said Connecticut's state epidemiologist, Dr. James Hadler.

An earthquake in Afghanistan and its aftershocks killed an estimated 1,000 people and left thousands more homeless.

American citizens could be targeted by extremist groups in four Italian cities -- Venice, Florence, Milan and Verona -- on Easter Sunday, the U.S. State Department warned.

The World

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat rejected Israeli conditions for permission to attend the Arab Summit in Beirut, which endorsed Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's proposal for peace with Israel if the Jewish state would withdraw to the borders it occupied before the 1967 war.

A suicide bomber blew himself up and killed 20 Israelis in a hotel dining room in the Israeli coastal resort of Netanya as guests gathered for a Passover Seder, the ritual evening meal ushering in the Jewish holiday. A female suicide bomber killed herself and two others at a Jerusalem supermarket.

Israeli officials declared Arafat an "enemy" and launched an assault on his compound in Ramallah.

Archbishop Juliusz Paetz of Poznan, Poland, became the highest-ranking prelate to be brought down in a spate of sexual harassment allegations shaking the Roman Catholic Church when he resigned after accusations that he made sexual advances on young clerics. "My kindness and spontaneity were misinterpreted," he explained.

Two Oxford University academics who told a reporter posing as a wealthy banker that a big donation might help his son gain admission have resigned. The resignations followed a newspaper report that one of the officials told an undercover reporter that in exchange for a $425,000 gift, he would try to create an extra spot in the incoming class for the man's son.

Two Ugandan soldiers were executed by a firing squad after their conviction for murder in the ambush and killing of an Irish Roman Catholic priest, the Rev. Declan O'Toole.

A gunman opened fire in the city hall at Nanterre, France, killing eight city officials and injuring 19 others. He later killed himself by jumping from the fourth-floor window of a police interrogation room.

A Japanese court convicted a U.S. airman stationed in Okinawa of raping a 20-year-old Japanese woman and sentenced him to 32 months in prison.

Ian Smith, the last white ruler of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, was stripped of his Zimbabwean passport and citizenship. Zimbabwe police arrested a journalist working for London's Daily Telegraph.

A British judge ruled against 36 people who claimed they were scalded by drinks bought at McDonald's, declaring they should have known that coffee and tea are served hot and can burn if spilled.

The Nation

African-American actors Denzel Washington and Halle Berry garnered the top acting Oscars at the Academy Awards, and A Beautiful Mind was named Best Film and won three other Oscars.

President Bush nominated Elias Zerhouni, executive vice dean of the Hopkins medical school, to head the National Institutes of Health, and Richard Carmona to become surgeon general.

Joseph F. Berardino, Arthur Andersen chief executive, stepped down upon the recommendation of an oversight committee headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker.

A California man shot to death his 5-year-old daughter and his former wife's three other children, ages 17, 15 and 14, before killing himself.

A District of Columbia grand jury investigating the disappearance of Chandra Ann Levy subpoenaed Rep. Gary A. Condit, who admits having had a close relationship with the 24-year-old Californian but denies involvement in her disappearance.

British-born comic actor Dudley Moore, star of 10 and Arthur, died at 66. Billy Wilder, who came to Hollywood as a refugee from Nazi Germany and went on to direct classics such as Double Indemnity and Some Like it Hot, died at 95.

The Supreme Court upheld the "zero tolerance" policy that allows public housing agencies to evict tenants if a family member is using illegal drugs, even if other family members are unaware of the drug use. ... The court also ruled that immigrants who work illegally in the United States do not have the same rights to restitution as U.S. citizens who are mistreated in the workplace.

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