The Week That Was

March 09, 2003

The World

A bombing at an airport in the Philippines blamed on Islamic separatists killed 21, including an American missionary.

Five members of an opposition Iraqi Islamist party were killed at a Kurdish checkpoint in what Kurdish authorities later said was a mistake.

An Ebola outbreak in the Republic of Congo killed 88 of the 97 people who contracted the disease.

Alexandros Giotopoulos, suspected leader of the Greek terrorist group November 17, dismissed the charges read against him at a special court as "a cheap Anglo-American concoction."

A study of long-secret Soviet records by authors of a new book on Stalin lends credence to the theory that the Soviet leader was poisoned.

France Telecom reported a loss of nearly $23 billion for 2002, mainly due to write-offs of investments made during the 1990s telecommunications boom.

An Indian court ordered an archaeological study of a disputed holy site to determine if a Hindu temple existed there before a mosque was constructed in the 16th century. The mosque was burned down by Hindu mobs in 1992.

A World Bank study found that almost 2 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are living below the poverty level of $2 a day.

Slovakia launched an investigation into reports that Gypsy women have been sterilized against their will.

A worldwide protest against war in Iraq featured actors reading from Lysistrata, a classic Greek play about women who refuse to sleep with their partners until they agree to stop fighting.

An Italian policeman making a routine identity check was killed by two suspected Red Brigades members.

An Iranian court upheld a seven-year sentence imposed on a liberal cleric who said women should not have to wear veils.

Winnie Madizikela-Mandela opened her defense on fraud charges by testifying she had been duped into signing letters used to obtain fraudulent loans.

The Nation

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan predicted that the country's hot housing market will cool off.

The Bush administration announced a Medicare reform plan that would reward seniors who join private plans with prescription drug coverage.

The Supreme Court ruled that a sex shop in Elizabethtown, Ky., once named Victor's Secret does not impinge on the Victoria's Secret trademark. The shop is now called Cathy's Little Secret.

Martha Stewart's company reported its first quarterly loss, $2 million.

A New York man, Nicholas A. Lucarella, was charged with hiring hit men to kill his divorce lawyer after losing a custody fight for his three sons.

Harsh jail sentences for minor crimes imposed on repeat offenders by states under so-called "three-strikes" laws were ruled not to be cruel and unusual punishment in a 5-4 Supreme Court decision. The court also upheld laws requiring the registration of sex offenders.

A Yemeni cleric was charged by federal authorities with using a mosque in Brooklyn, N.Y., to raise millions of dollars for Osama bin Laden.

Coleen Rowley, the FBI agent who said the bureau mishandled warning signs before the Sept. 11 attacks, wrote a letter to the bureau's director saying the FBI is not prepared to deal with any attacks that might come after an invasion of Iraq.

A welfare-to-work study found that preschoolers had not been harmed when their mothers were forced off welfare rolls and returned to the work force. But the study also found no improvements for the children in welfare-to-work families.

Stephen F. Downs, 61, was charged with trespassing in a mall near Albany, N.Y., after he refused to remove a T-shirt that featured the slogan "Peace on Earth" he had made at a store in the mall.

The Region

The Ehrlich administration decided to request federal money to plan, not construct, an expanded transit system in Baltimore, meaning construction money cannot be requested until 2009.

An Essex man who was arrested for the 1976 murder of a 21-year-old woman apparently killed himself in his Baltimore County jail cell. Paul Brown Clark, 56, who suffered from Parkinson's disease, used a cord from the battery of his wheelchair.

Baltimore undercover police issued indecent-exposure citations to about 10 women who exposed their breasts during a Mardi Gras party at Bohager's in Fells Point.

The latest version of the Ehrlich administration's slot machine proposal called for 11,500 machines at four horse race tracks, with a larger share of profits going to the tracks and a reduction of money for education.

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield's proposal to sell itself for $1.37 billion and convert to for-profit operation was denied by state Insurance Commissioner Steven B. Larsen.

Social Security's Woodlawn headquarters will get a $96.9 million overhaul, federal officials announced.

Joseph C. Schultz, the Pasadena man mistakenly shot in the face last year by FBI agents who stopped him while searching for a bank robber, filed a $10 million lawsuit against three agents.

Defying Maryland orders, Baltimore County school officials told teachers that they should not read questions on the Maryland School Assessment tests to students with special needs who should have received that help under federal law.

Kevin P. Clark was unanimously confirmed as Baltimore's new police commissioner by the City Council.

Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele attended March for Life, an annual anti-abortion rally in Annapolis.

Baltimore health officials will let addicts administer Narcan, a drug that can revive someone suffering from a heroin overdose.

Quote

"Shut up, you little man, you traitor, you monkey!"

Iraqi envoy Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, speaking to Kuwait's foreign minister at last week's Islamic conference in Doha, Qatar.

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