The Week That Was

November 23, 2003

The World

Turkish authorities concluded that two deadly synagogue bombings, which killed six Jews and 17 Muslims, were carried out by Turkish militants inspired by - and perhaps working for - al-Qaida.

Two bombs exploded simultaneously in Istanbul, Turkey, one at the British Consulate, the other at the headquarters of the British bank HSBC, killing 27 and injuring more than 400.

The U.S. military intensified its get-tough campaign, dropping some of its most powerful bombs on vacant buildings in Baghdad and offering a $10 million reward for the capture of former general Izzat Ibrahim, the top remaining Iraqi fugitive after Saddam Hussein.

A bomb apparently hidden in a pickup truck exploded at the offices of a U.S.-allied Kurdish political party in the Northern Iraqi oil center of Kirkuk, killing 12 people and injuring 40.

A Jordanian truck driver fired on a crowd of tourists crossing into Israel from Egypt, killing one and wounding four. The gunman was killed by Israeli security personnel.

Rocket attacks in Baghdad hit the Palestine and Sheraton hotels and the oil ministry.

Three Reserve soldiers of the 320th Military Police Battalion of Ashley, Pa., have been charged by the Army for beating and kicking Iraqi prisoners in southern Iraq six months ago.

The United Nations suspended operations in southern and eastern Afghanistan after a French worker was killed and a series of terrorist attacks were carried out.

Officials from 34 countries meeting in Miami announced a framework for a free-trade zone encompassing North America and South America.

Burundi's government signed a comprehensive power-sharing plan with the country's largest rebel group, a major step toward ending a 10-year war that has killed at least 200,000 people.

The Russian Orthodox Church suspended relations with the Episcopal Church USA as a result of the consecration of an openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

President Bush named a Texas oil lobbyist, James C. Oberwetter, to be the American ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

U.S. missile frigate Vandegrift, docked at Ho Chi Minh City, the first Navy ship to visit since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

The Nation

In a decision that might affect the status of gays and lesbians across the nation, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state must extend to homosexuals the same rights to marriage that it grants to heterosexuals.

Investigators blamed an Ohio utility for August's widespread blackout, finding, among others things, that it failed to trim tree limbs around electrical wires.

Michael Jackson, booked on multiple counts of child molestation in California, posted a $3 million bail and returned to Las Vegas to continue a video shoot.

Pilot error caused the plane crash that killed Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone, his wife, daughter, three campaign workers and two crew members just before last year's election, federal safety officials said.

Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean confirmed that a joint U.S.-Laotian task force had likely discovered the remains of his younger brother Charles, who was kidnapped and slain while traveling through Laos 29 years ago.

A study by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace found that after nearly 10 years, the North American Free Trade Agreement failed to generate substantial job growth in Mexico, hurt subsistence farmers there and had little impact on jobs in the United States.

A California judge ordered Scott Peterson to stand trial on two counts of murder in the death of his wife, Laci, and their unborn son, charges that could bring the death penalty.

Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. agreed to pay a $50 million fine and change some practices to settle an investigation of its mutual fund business by federal and industry regulators.

The White House was evacuated when an erroneous radar reading showed a plane approaching the president's home.

About 21,600 employees have accepted a buyout offer from Verizon Communications Inc., far exceeding Verizon's estimate that 12,000 of the 152,000 workers offered the buyout would accept the deal.

The Region

John Allen Muhammad was found guilty of capital murder by a jury in Virginia Beach, Va., for using a teen-age boy and a Chevrolet to spread terror and take 10 lives in the Washington-area sniper rampage last fall.

A consultant hired to the Baltimore County school system concluded that a new high school is needed to ease crowding in Perry Hall, Towson and other growing communities.

Pledges of $500,000 and a promise of state support led officials of the cash-strapped Baltimore Zoo to say that elephants Dolly and Anna can stay in town, for now.

The St. Paul Cos. Inc., which employed 2,800 people in Baltimore as recently as 1998, announced a $16.2 billion merger with Travelers Property Casualty Corp. that is expected to lead to more cuts in a Maryland work force that has shrunk to 700 in recent years.

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