The Week That Was

January 12, 2003

The World

A new star was ejected from the constellation Taurus after it nearly collided with two other stars, astronomers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico reported.

Britain ordered a task force of ships and 3,000 Royal Marines to the Persian Gulf and mobilized 1,500 soldiers for possible war against Iraq.

After the United States agreed to talks - not negotiations - with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, that country withdrew from the global nuclear arms control treaty.

Palestinian suicide bombers blew themselves up and killed 23 other people in a crowded immigrant neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Israel responded by launching missile attacks against Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip and by announcing that Palestinians from the occupied territories could not attend a peace conference in London.

A military court in Congo sentenced 26 people to death for their involvement in the assassination two years ago of President Laurent Kabila.

In Nigeria, an Islamic court ordered the amputation of a man's leg because he had amputated his wife's leg after accusing her of adultery.

A Turkish jetliner crashed while trying to land in heavy fog in southeastern Turkey, killing more than 70 of the 80 people on board.

Hoping to stem a rise in the number of gun-related crimes in Britain, the government said it would press for a 5-year minimum prison term for illegal gun possession.

An American team of environmental scientists reached the South Pole by land - after an 800-mile trip in heated shelters drawn by two 13-ton tractors.

Minolta and Konica, two of Japan's largest manufacturers of cameras and office equipment, said they would merge by the end of the year.

Seven suspects were held in an anti-terrorism sweep after a small amount of the deadly toxin ricin was found in a London apartment.

Pakistani police and FBI agents fired weapons as they captured three suspected al-Qaida operatives in a raid on a house outside Karachi.

A Peruvian jetliner with 46 aboard disappeared in a mountainous region of the Amazon jungle.

United Nations weapons inspectors said they have found "no smoking gun" proving Iraq is developing illegal weapons.

The Nation

Alcohol is good for the heart - even a drink a day - according to a study by Harvard researchers.

President Bush proposed a $670 billion package of tax cuts designed to spur growth in the economy, which critics said would likely swell the budget deficit.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said he would not run for president.

The former police chief of Chicago's Cicero suburb was sentenced to almost six years in prison for his role in helping to swindle $12 million from the town in a mob-related insurance scheme.

The influenza virus has killed more people in America during the past decade than the previous decade, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - 36,155 people each year in the 1990s, compared with 20,000 a year in the previous two decades.

The FBI called off a search for five men of Middle Eastern origin whose photographs were distributed in a worldwide alert, after finding that a tipster's allegations were not accurate.

California police arrested 71-year-old Kenneth Parnell, one of the state's most notorious kidnappers, after receiving a tip that he had offered a child-care worker $500 to obtain a child for him.

The Republican Party picked New York City for its 2004 national convention, The New York Times reported. It would be the first time the GOP has held its convention in the predominantly Democratic city.

President Bush announced he would renominate to the federal appeals court Judge Charles W. Pickering Sr., a Mississippi protege of former Senate leader Trent Lott. Pickering's previous nomination was stalled in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Andrew Luster, the great-grandson of cosmetics mogul Max Factor, disappeared from home detention during his California trial on rape charges. He was allowed to stay at home under $1 million bail.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a U.S. citizen captured overseas as an enemy combatant may be held indefinitely, in the case of Yaser Esam Hamdi, a Louisiana man taken prisoner with Taliban forces in Afghanistan.

The Region

Baltimore's top District Court judge suggested the city administration might be more interested in revenue than in safety with its red-light camera operation.

The estate of Jack Kent Cooke, who owned the Washington Redskins, stands to gain $6 million if slots are introduced at Maryland's racetracks, according to terms of a loan from Cooke to Maryland racetrack executive Joseph A. DeFrancis.

The Baltimore state's attorney's office dropped attempted-murder charges against a man who shot four police detectives during a November raid on his home, because the police did not properly identify themselves and the accused appeared to be acting in self-defense.

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