The Week That Was

August 18, 2002

The World

Israel formally charged Marwan Barghouti, a top lieutenant of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, in a seven-count murder indictment that said Israel would prove ties between the PLO and suicide bombers. Barghouti said the case would prove Israel's guilt in the killing of Palestinians.

Mexico's President Vicente Fox canceled a scheduled visit to see President Bush in Texas after a Mexican-born man convicted of murdering a Texas lawman was executed, despite pleas for clemency from Mexico.

North and South Korea agreed to discuss economic cooperation and to have another round of reunions of families divided by the Korean War.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe declared a state of emergency and announced a wartime surtax to finance the fight against rebels who have subjected the country to a "regime of terror."

The Nigerian lower house of parliament demanded the resignation of President Olesegun Obasanjo, whom it accused of mismanagement, disrespect for the rule of law and failure to act on approved budgets.

An American soldier died of wounds suffered two weeks ago while on a mission to search out al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

The Peace Corps canceled plans to send a new group of volunteers to Russia after the Russian government, without explanation, refused to grant them visas.

Iraq's information minister, speaking in an interview on Al-Jazeera television, said that United Nations weapons inspectors would not be allowed to enter his country.

Indonesia's legislature rejected a proposal to introduce Islamic religious law in the world's largest Islamic country.

Archaeologists found a 2,000-year-old section of the Great Wall of China: the ruins of 30 beacon towers, two fortified castles and two other buildings, dating to the Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 B.C. to 220 A.D.

Pakistan's two largest political parties announced that, rather than compete with each other in parliamentary elections, they would join to focus on defeating a coalition of small parties backing the president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

Iran said it would force thousands of Afghan refugees to return home by the end of the month.

Zimbabwe President Robert G. Mugabe went ahead with plans to seize white-owned farms, redistributing them to landless blacks, despite a court ruling saying mortgage holders must be notified first.

An Indonesian human rights court acquitted six military and police officials charged with crimes against humanity for attempts to suppress the independence movement in East Timor three years ago.

The Nation

NASA's Contour spacecraft went missing only six weeks into a planned four-year, $159 million mission to fly past two comets.

Amtrak suspended its high-speed Acela Express service and pulled slower locomotives made by the same manufacturer after defects were discovered in several trains.

The Major League Baseball Players Association set a strike date of Aug. 30.

The American Bar Association picked Dennis Archer, former two-term mayor of Detroit, as its first black president.

The Washington Redskins pulled out of an annual volunteer work project with the United Way of the National Capital Area, citing questions about the charity's spending and accounting practices, The Washington Post reported.

A Planned Parenthood study found that most girls younger than 18 would stop or limit their use of sexual health services at family planning clinics if their parents had to be told they were seeking prescribed contraceptives.

Four terror suspects being held at the U.S. Navy's base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, tried to kill themselves in their cells, according to a U.S. military official.

More than 300 relatives of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks sued the government of Saudi Arabia and various Islamic charities, claiming they financed the terrorist network of Osama bin Laden.

Steven J. Hatfill, a scientist whose home was searched twice by the FBI, held a news conference to deny mailing the anthrax-laced letters that killed five last fall.

Jack Grubman, the Wall Street analyst who made an estimated $20 million a year while recommending buying stock in telecommunications companies, some of which are now in bankruptcy, resigned from Salomon Smith Barney, getting a $30 million severance package.

Charles "Andy" Williams, 16, received a 50-year sentence for shooting up his Southern California high school last year, killing two and wounding 13.

The Region

The Baltimore City Council approved two conflicting referendum proposals to reduce its membership, which critics said would cancel each other and avoid any change.

Ames Department Stores Inc. said it plans to close all of its remaining 327 stores, including 20 in Maryland, where 1,255 of the store's 21,500 full-time employeeswork.

Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley reversed course and ordered an audit of Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris's use of more than $178,000 from a hitherto unpublicized slush fund long available to the city's police commissioners.

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