The Week That Was

November 02, 2003

The World

At least 34 people were killed and 200 were wounded in a single day of suicide bomb attacks against three police stations and the Red Cross headquarters in Baghdad, prompting aid agencies to withdraw their staffs from Iraq.

A car bomb exploded near a police station on a major street in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, killing four people.

Citing "repentant behavior," China deported Fong Fuming, 68, a Chinese-born American who had been convicted of obtaining state secrets, then put him on a plane to the United States, two years before his prison sentence was to expire.

With Russia's stocks, bonds and currency plunging because of the arrest of Russia's richest man, President Vladimir V. Putin maintained that the detention of Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, the head of Yukos Oil, was a blow against corruption, even as critics warned that it threatened to reverse the country's halting progress toward democracy.

A geomagnetic storm, unleashed by the fourth-most-powerful solar flare ever seen, hit the Earth, knocking out some airline communications but apparently causing no large power outages or other major problems.

Afghanistan's supreme court condemned Vida Samadzai, a 23-year-old who left Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, for appearing in a bikini with other women competing in the annual Miss Earth competition in Manila, Philippines, on Nov. 9.

Two Americans working for the CIA were in an ambush while tracking militants in Afghanistan, in the same region where U.S.-led coalition aircraft and Afghan militia killed 18 rebel fighters.

Emergency workers in Novoshakhtinsk, Russia, rescued 11 of the 13 miners who had been trapped deep underground for six days.

United Nations police and NATO-led peacekeepers arrested five former ethnic Albanian rebels for alleged war crimes in Kosovo, officials said.

Britain's prestigious Oxford University suspended Professor Andrew Wilkie, a geneticist, because he refused to accept an Israeli as a laboratory assistant. The professor said he opposed the policies of the Israeli government.

The Nation

The nation's economy made a huge leap in the third quarter of this year, surging to a record 7.2 percent annual rate of increase in the gross domestic product.

A federal judge in Texas threw out the 1983 conviction there of Edwin P. Wilson, a former CIA officer, for selling tons of explosives to Libya, ruling that prosecutors knowingly used false testimony to undermine his defense.

An Army Special Forces interrogator, Staff Sgt. Georg-Andreas Pogany, 32, was charged with cowardice for allegedly refusing to do his work in Iraq.

In a broad bipartisan vote, after Democrats stalled for several weeks, the Senate confirmed Utah Gov. Michael O. Leavitt as the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

About 60 percent of the nation's adoption agencies now accept applications from gays and lesbians, though resistance remains strong among many church-affiliated agencies, a survey by Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute found.

A federal court sentenced Iyman Faris, an Ohio trucker born in Pakistan, to 20 years in prison for plotting to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge.

A House office building in Washington was locked down while authorities searched for a armed intruders after a guard reported seeing a gun in an X-ray image at a security checkpoint. The gun turned out to be a plastic toy revolver stashed in a bag with a Halloween costume, and the suspects turned out to be apologetic congressional aides who authorities said were neither criminals nor pranksters.

Walter Edward Washington, the great-grandson of a slave who became the first elected mayor of the nation's capital since the Civil War and the first black man to lead a major U.S. city, died at the age of 88.

The Region

The names of five western Baltimore County schools were found scrawled on a slip of paper in John Allen Muhammad's Chevrolet Caprice - a haunting finding that prosecutors revealed during the trial of Muhammad as one of the two snipers who terrorized the Maryland-Washington-Virginia area last October.

Brian VanDeMark, a Naval Academy history professor accused of plagiarizing portions of his book on the atomic bomb, was punished with a demotion, loss of tenure and a hefty pay cut. The military college said that its five-month inquiry concluded that the many phrases similar or identical to those of other authors were a result of "gross carelessness," not deliberate theft.

Lovell "Artie" Wheeler, a 61-year-old alleged white supremacist who spent four months in jail for the arsenal of weapons and mounds of gunpowder he kept in his home, was released with a five-year suspended sentence, and three years of probation in exchange for pleading guilty in Baltimore Circuit Court to reckless endangerment, possession of more than 5 pounds of gunpowder and improper storage of gunpowder.

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