The Week That Was

October 12, 2003

The World

Seven Palestinians were killed and 55 were wounded, and an Israeli soldier was injured in the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip during a raid intended to demolish smuggling tunnels.

Shirin Ebadi, a human rights activist in Iran, won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.

Ten Iraqis died when a suicide car bomber crashed into a police station in the Sadr City area of Baghdad. Earlier, a Spanish military attache was killed by gunmen.

Three American soldiers were killed in a day of violence six months after Baghdad fell - two in an ambush in Baghdad and another in an attack on a convoy north of that city.

At least six people died when a car bomb exploded in a shopping district in Bogota, Colombia.

Fighting that erupted between rival warlords in northern Afghanistan - both of whom claim loyalty to the central government in Kabul - killed as many as 60.

Shiite gunmen assassinated a hard-line Sunni Muslim politician and four other people in Islamabad, Pakistan, spraying their car with automatic weapon fire before fleeing.

Akhmad Kadyrov, supported by Moscow, was declared the winner of Chechnya's presidential election in a vote that human rights groups said they suspected was rigged.

Baroness Amos of Brondesbury, who in May became the first black woman to serve in a British cabinet, was elevated to leader of the House of Lords, Parliament's upper house and once an exclusive bastion of Britain's upper class.

Scottish & Newcastle, Britain's biggest brewer, agreed to sell its chain of 1,400 pubs and lodges to the privately held Spirit Amber group for $4.2 billion. The brewer was one of the last to drop long-held retail outlets.

Half of the world's developing countries suffer from "a high level of corruption" and some wealthy nations fare little better, according to surveys of business and academic leaders, and risk analysts, by Transparency International. Bangladesh was rated the most corrupt, followed by Nigeria and Haiti. Finland was least-corrupt. The United States ranked 18th-least-corrupt.

The Nation

According to statements read at a preliminary hearing on rape charges against Kobe Bryant in Colorado, a 19-year-old woman told Eagle County police that the Los Angeles Lakers basketball star assaulted her after a flirtatious encounter and consensual kissing.

A bugging device was found in a routine sweep of the office of Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street, apparently put there by the FBI. Street is in the final stretch of a bitter campaign battle with Republican Sam Katz.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld complained in an interview with European journalists that he was not consulted in a Bush administration shake-up of its Iraq policy that put National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice in control.

Final touches were put on the deal that merges NBC with production giant Vivendi Universal.

The wife of Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire escaped from two robbers who invaded her suburban Virginia home by convincing them she needed to go to a bank to get them money. She gave them that cash and fled. Two suspects were arrested in New Jersey.

Whales and other marine mammals may develop a form of the bends when exposed to high-powered sonar from Navy ships, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

Judith Scruggs, 52, could receive a maximum of 10 years in prison after her conviction in a Connecticut court for putting her 12-year-old son at risk. The boy committed suicide after years of being bullied at school and living in a filthy home.

The Region

Thousands waited for hours to pay the city of Baltimore the original cost of their parking tickets in an amnesty program aimed at the nearly 200,000 people who owed the city $113 million. If all paid under the amnesty, with late fees forgiven, the city would collect $14.6 million.

Maryland will end its half-century ban on black bear hunting next year, allowing hunters to kill about 30 black bears in Western Maryland in October.

First lady Kendel Ehrlich said she and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. are expecting their second child in mid-March.

The finance committee of the University System of Maryland's Board of Regents recommended a 10 percent rise in tuition next year and warned that it could be twice that.

With the help of a $5 million incentive package from the state, Volvo said it would keep open its Mack Truck engine plant in Hagerstown, employing at least 1,000 through 2008.

Theodore Pavlos, co-owner of the Jeppi Nut Co., pleaded guilty to a federal obstruction of justice charge for misleading Food and Drug Administration investigators who were looking into rat infestation at the company's former Baltimore plant.

In another sign of upheaval at Baltimore City Community College, President Sylvester E. McKay fired six top administrators - most of the college's leadership corps - in a move described as part of his overhaul of the 6,200-student college.

Baltimore-based Legg Mason Inc. was ordered by a federal jury to pay almost $20 million to a financial newsletter publisher that claimed the brokerage had made unauthorized copies of its newsletter and distributed the information to its 1,300 brokers through its internal computer network and other means.

A joint task force investigating three sniper-style shootings in West Virginia in August announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the killer.


"Really, if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears, I think I would."

Kendel Ehrlich,wife of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., criticizing entertainers' portrayals of women during a conference on domestic violence sponsored by the Frederick County state's attorney's office

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