The Week That Was

December 14, 2003

The World

U.S. military officials apologized for the death of nine children in a raid on the village of Hutala in Afghanistan. A Taliban suspect who apparently got away was the target. Another attack on a farm in eastern Afghanistan suspected of being used by militants was revealed to have left six Afghan children dead.

Human Rights Watch faulted the United States and Britain for using cluster munitions in the Iraq war, saying the bomblets killed hundreds of civilians.

The Iraqi Governing Council announced the firing of a governor chosen by U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer III.

A Pentagon investigation found that a Halliburton Co. subsidiary overcharged the U.S. government by as much as $61 million for fuel deliveries to Iraq because of a bad deal it signed with a Kuwaiti subcontractor.

A French commission recommended banning all religious dress - including Muslim headscarves and Jewish yarmulkes - in schools.

In Mosul in northern Iraq, a U.S. soldier was killed while watching over a line of cars waiting to buy gasoline, while two other attacks killed two more soldiers and wounded four. Sixty-two Americans were injured in three other attacks.

The Pentagon, in an order signed by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, decided to prohibit French, German and Russian companies from competing for $18.6 billion in contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq, saying it was acting to protect "the essential security interests of the United States."

Iraq's transitional Governing Council created a tribunal to try Saddam Hussein's aides and functionaries on war-crimes charges.

Jean Chretien stepped down after 10 years as Canada's prime minister and was replaced by former Finance Minister Paul Martin.

In a ruling that Greece hopes will allay fears of violence at next summer's Olympic Games, a court found 15 members of the radical group November 17 guilty of a string of assassinations, car bombings and rocket attacks that stretched over nearly three decades.

Bodies of former government militiamen lay in the streets of Liberia's capital as United Nations peacekeepers confronted ex-soldiers of ousted President Charles Taylor who were demanding cash to give up their guns.

Dragan Obrenovic, a former Bosnian Serb army commander, was sentenced to 17 years in prison by the United Nations war crimes tribunal after confessing his role in the massacre of more than 7,000 Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995.

Germany freed a Moroccan suspected of aiding the Sept. 11 hijackers after the United States refused to allow a jailed al-Qaida suspect to testify.

Mick Jagger was knighted by Prince Charles.

The Nation

California's battered credit rating suffered another downgrade when Moody's Investors Service criticized Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision to cut car taxes without any plan to pay for the move.

In a landmark ruling, a narrowly divided Supreme Court upheld the heart of a sweeping campaign finance law that bans large, unregulated donations to political parties.

An Illinois woman and her boyfriend were charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of her three children, who drowned when their car plunged into a lake in September in what initially appeared to be an accident.

South Dakota Republican Rep. Bill Janklow promptly resigned from Congress after a jury convicted him of manslaughter in a traffic accident that killed a motorcyclist.

Six Cubans were found guilty in a Florida federal court of hijacking a plane that took them from their native country to Florida last March.

Pregnant women are advised to avoid eating tuna because of its high level of mercury, according to a draft advisory from the Food and Drug Administration.

The owners of the Warwick, R.I., nightclub where 100 people were killed in a fire in February were indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges along with the tour manager for the heavy-metal band whose pyrotechnics sparked the blaze.

Three retired military officers, two Army generals and a Coast Guard admiral, disclosed that they are gay and said that the military's "don't-ask-don't-tell" policy does not work.

Former Illinois Sen. Paul Simon, a Democrat who ran for president in 1988 as a budget-balancing liberal, died at age 75.

The Region

Two psychiatrists testified that Lee Boyd Malvo met the standard for being legally insane when he participated in last year's deadly sniper rampage.

Rejecting calls from prominent Maryland politicians to name the late Del. Howard P. Rawlings' son as his successor, the 40th District Democratic State Central Committee instead chose retired city Deputy Sheriff Marshall T. Goodwin.

Rapes in Howard County rose sharply during the first nine months of the year, compared with the corresponding period last year - from 24 to 39, a 62.5 percent increase, county police statistics revealed.

A crowd of 2,400 that paid from $75 to $1,000 a ticket heard from Bill Cosby and other celebrities at a packed Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in a benefit for the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture scheduled to open in Baltimore next year.

The Supreme Court dealt Maryland a defeat in its 400-year fight with neighboring Virginia over control of the Potomac River, ruling that while Maryland owns the Potomac, it does not own the water in it and can't impose restrictions on a Fairfax, Va., utility's use of that water.

The investigation of the killing of Baltimore federal prosecutor Jonathan P. Luna focused on his personal life. Authorities found the blood of another person in Luna's car that was near his body in rural Pennsylvania.

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