The Week That Was

March 02, 2003

The World

The United States, joined by Britain and Spain, proposed a new U.N. resolution to support a war against Iraq because Saddam Hussein has failed to comply with earlier resolutions demanding that he disarm.

Saddam Hussein, in an interview with CBS anchor Dan Rather, challenged President Bush to a debate, an idea the White House rejected.

Iraq agreed "in principle" to destroy its Al Samoud 2 missiles that the U.N. inspection team said can fly farther than the 93-mile limit imposed by the disarmament agreement.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon formed a new coalition, bringing in one party that advocates expelling Arabs from the West Bank and Gaza and another that wants to undo the power of the religious parties.

An earthquake in western China killed more than 250.

Turkey rejected a deal to accept more than 60,000 U.S. troops in its country to join a possible invasion of Iraq.

Two Black Hawk helicopter crashes left 27 dead -- 23 Colombian soldiers in Colombia and four U.S. soldiers in Kuwait.

North Korea won a pledge of food aid from the United States even as intelligence showed it had restarted a nuclear reactor that could produce weapons.

Credit Suisse reported a $2.4 billion loss from the previous year and said it would get rid of 1,250 jobs.

Bernard Loiseau, one of France's most famous chefs, committed suicide, reportedly after hearing that his restaurant might drop a notch in the prestigious Gault-Millau guide.

Biljana Plavsic, 72, former president of Bosnia and the only woman indicted for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, was sentenced to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to persecution, a crime against humanity.

The Nation

The price of oil hit its highest level since Iraq invaded Kuwait 12 years ago.

Consumer confidence plunged to its lowest level since 1993, dragged down by concerns about a weak job market and soaring energy prices.

The Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation -- Indiana's requirement that women receive in-person counseling before they can have an abortion.

The high court also ruled that federal extortion and racketeering laws could not be used against protesters blocking entrances to abortion clinics.

A federal jury in Washington rejected a Justice Department plea for the death penalty for Brian Patrick Regan, convicted of attempting to sell secrets to Iraq and China.

A fire in a Connecticut nursing home, which investigators said was arson, killed 10 residents.

A day before the disintegration of the Columbia space shuttle, senior National Aeronautics and Space Administration engineers expressed fears that the left wing might burn off and cause the deaths of the crew.

MSNBC canceled its nightly Phil Donahue show because its ratings lagged behind those of political talk shows produced by CNN and Fox News Channel.

Florida Sen. Bob Graham joined the field of contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The terrorism threat index was lowered to yellow after 20 days at orange.

A ban on all human cloning, including the production of cloned human embryos for medical research, was approved by the House of Representatives, 241 to 145.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Bush administration's request to reconsider its decision that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance including the words "under God" in public school is unconstitutional.

The Kentucky Mountain Bible College got a new phone number, dropping the prefix 666 -- the biblical mark of the beast -- for 693, the only other exchange available in Vancleave, Ky.

The Region

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. threatened the General Assembly with draconian budget cuts, especially in public education, if it does not enact a bill allowing slot machines in Maryland.

The blockage of a 3-foot-wide pipe caused an overflow that sent 30 million gallons of raw sewage spilling into Herring Run in Northeast Baltimore.

The Johns Hopkins University acknowledged that it wants to buy the 68-acre St. Paul Cos. campus in Mount Washington to accommodate expansion plans.

The State Board of Education allowed Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick to shorten the public-school year by two days to help systems make up time lost from snow closings.

H. Furlong Baldwin retired as chairman of the board and director of Mercantile Bankshares Corp., an enterprise that he built into 24 straight years of steady profits.

Clarence M. Mitchell IV, the embattled former Baltimore state senator, resigned suddenly from a high-paying job the Ehrlich administration had given him as a reward for helping to attract black voters to the governor in the 2002 election.

Leading state environmental groups said they would work to block Senate confirmation of Lynn Y. Buhl, the governor's nominee to head the Department of the Environment.

A group that includes former professional basketball star Julius Irving and football players Franco Harris and Joe Washington reportedly met with key lawmakers and racetrack officials seeking a part of any new slot machine operations in the state.

A federal grand jury is investigating an off-the-books fund used by former Baltimore Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris to finance $159,000 in expenses, including trips, meals and gifts.

Quote

"Half of all 12-year-olds aren't going to school with hangovers."

Peter H. Cressy,president of the Distilled Spirits Council, reacting in The New York Times to a Columbia University study that found that half the alcohol sold in the United States goes to minors or people who drink too much

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