The Week That Was

February 09, 2003

The World

North Korea announced that it had resumed "normal operations" at a mothballed nuclear reactor which could be used to produce weapons-grade uranium.

Two dozen long-range bombers were put on alert by the United States to deter "opportunism" by North Korea.

An explosion ripped through a bank and nearby apartments in Lagos, Nigeria, killing more than 40 people.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democratic Party was defeated by the Christian Democrats in state elections in the districts of Hesse and Lower Saxony, Schroeder's home state.

An avalanche killed seven teen-agers in the Canadian Rockies near Revelstoke, the second fatal avalanche in the area in two weeks.

Vaclav Havel left office as president of the Czech Republic, ending 13 years in that position after the collapse of the Communist regime there.

Venezuelan workers in all sectors but the oil industry abandoned a two-month work stoppage designed to oust President Hugo Chavez.

Senegal acknowledged that about 1,800 people had perished in the sinking in September of a state-run ferry boat designed to carry no more than 600.

Yugoslavia ceased formally to exist when the federal parliament declared two states would live in union: Serbia and Montenegro, all that was left of a federation that once included those two, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Four prisoners at the U.S. camp for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba attempted suicide in the past three weeks. Ten tried to kill themselves last year, according to officials.

Abdullah Gul, Turkey's prime minister, endorsed the U.S. plan for an attack against Iraq, and said he would ask parliament to open bases in Turkey to many more U.S. troops.

Seven died in a day of violence in the Middle East, including two Israeli soldiers killed by two Palestinian who were also shot dead when they attacked an army post in Nablus.

Rebel forces battled troops loyal to Liberian president Charles Taylor within miles of the capital Monrovia.

The Nation

President Bush sent to Congress a $2.23 trillion budget, with more money for defense and tax cuts and with a high expected deficit.

The Transportation Security Administration overspent its budget by $3.3 billion, wasting money in many cases, the Transportation Department's inspector general reported.

Phil Spector, a pop-music producer, was arrested after a women was found fatally shot in his hilltop mansion outside of Los Angeles. He was released on $1 million bail.

Jane Fonda, actress and former wife of CNN founder Ted Turner, is getting back more than $6 million she gave to Harvard University to set up a research center on sex and education. The stock market slump has left Fonda with less money than she had expected two years ago when she announced the $12.5 million grant, and she and the university decided not to go ahead with the project.

U.S. Olympic Committee President Marty Mankamyer resigned after weeks of bickering between her and other USOC executives.

Five members of a California jury that convicted a man on three cultivation and conspiracy counts related to the growing of marijuana asked that he be retried because they did not know a state law permitted what he was doing - growing marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Leona Helmsley, the flamboyant owner of New York's posh Park Lane Hotel and gauche riche diva of the 1980s, was ordered to pay $11.2 million to a former hotel manager who said she fired him because he was gay.

Two Texans - a 43-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man-were charged by federal prosecutors with stealing debris which had fallen from the ill-fated space shuttle Columbia.

An independent agency took control of the investigation into the loss of Columbia from National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists.

Attorney General John Ashcroft ordered federal prosecutors in New York and Connecticut to seek the death penalty for 12 defendants in cases in which the prosecutors did not request or recommended against capital punishment, The New York Times reported.

The United States agreed to accept about 12,000 Somali Bantu refugees who have been living in camps in Kenya for about 10 years.

The nation's terror alert status was raised from yellow to orange, signifying a "high risk" of a terrorist incident.

The Region

The University of Maryland was investigating whether Rod Sharpless, a football linebacker coach, improperly gave money to Victor Abiamiri, a top recruit from Gilman, an elite private boys school in Baltimore. The money, $300, was said to have been returned. Sharpless has resigned.

Horse racing, casino and other gambling interests contributed more than $500,000 to Maryland political candidates in the last four-year election cycle, according to a study by Common Cause Maryland, with $121,260 of the money going to the campaign of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

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