The Week That Was

February 01, 2004

The World

The United Nations, acquiescing to a U.S. request, agreed to send a team of experts to Iraq to try to end the deadlock over how to transfer power to the Iraqi people.

A long-awaited prisoner swap between Israel and the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah freed more than 420 Palestinians and other Arabs, two Lebanese militia leaders and an Israeli businessman.

A judicial inquiry cleared British Prime Minister Tony Blair of allegations that he deliberately misled Parliament about his reasons for going to war against Iraq and criticized the BBC for reporting otherwise. Two top BBC officials resigned.

Seven U.S. soldiers were killed and three injured in an explosion near the Afghan city of Ghazni, 60 miles southwest of the capital, Kabul, while working around a weapons cache.

Six U.S. soldiers and two Iraqi civilians died in two separate roadside bomb incidents, one in a large explosion in Khaldiyah, 50 miles west of Baghdad.

Eight Palestinians were killed during some of the fiercest fighting in Gaza in months, complicating efforts by visiting American envoys to revive peace talks.

Twenty Dominican migrants trying to get to Puerto Rico were thought to have drowned after their boat capsized.

The United States transferred 55,000 pounds of equipment and documents from Libya's nuclear and missile programs - including centrifuge parts used to enrich uranium to Tennessee - where the material was to be analyzed.

Rosemarie Albrecht, now 88, was indicted in Germany on charges she murdered a mentally ill patient in 1941 under the "euthanasia" program through which the Nazis intended to fashion an unblemished master Aryan race.

The Nation

Howard Dean, struggling to save his presidential bid after crushing losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, hired Roy Neel, a longtime top Al Gore adviser, to take charge of the campaign, replacing Joe Trippi.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, responding to unusual criticism from a three-star general that the Army is too small to meet its global commitments, has authorized an emergency increase of 30,000 troops.

The Supreme Court agreed to consider abolishing the death penalty for killers who are juveniles.

The Federal Communications Commission proposed a $755,000 fine - the highest levy ever imposed at one time for indecency violations - against Clear Channel Communications for a sexually explicit radio show on Florida stations.

The independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks asked for more time - at least until July - to complete its investigation.

The Federal Reserve held a main short-term interest rate at the 45-year low of 1 percent but opened the door to a future increase.

Jack Paar, host of The Tonight Show from 1957 to 1962, died at 85.

Lionel Tate, the 16-year-old Florida boy once sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder in the fatal beating four years ago of a 6-year-old playmate, reached a plea agreement that released him from prison after a Florida appeals court threw out his guilty verdict.

The Bush administration put a $534 billion price tag on the first decade of Medicare drug benefits, well above the $400 billion estimated by Congress.

A federal judge declared unconstitutional a section of the USA Patriot Act that bars giving expert advice or assistance to groups designated foreign terrorist organizations. It was the first time a federal judge had declared any part of the act unconstitutional.

A California state judge ruled that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger violated state campaign finance law by using a $4.5 million bank loan to cover campaign costs in the closing days of the recall election last fall.

In Illinois, a federal judge dismissed a suit by descendants of slaves from across the country seeking reparations from corporations that they contend profited from slavery.

Alfred A. Delucchi, a retired 73-year-old judge who has handled 22 death penalty trials, was selected to preside at the murder trial of Scott Peterson, who is accused of killing his wife, Laci, and their unborn son.

The Region

Legislative analysts told the General Assembly that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s proposed $23.8 billion state operating budget rests on a quarter-billion dollars in shaky assumptions, including underestimated health costs and corporate taxes that may not materialize.

Altering his vision of legalized gambling to accommodate shifting politics, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. proposed the construction of two slot-machine palaces along the Interstate 95 corridor - in Baltimore, Cecil, Harford, Howard or Prince George's counties and Baltimore City - in addition to thousands of terminals at four Maryland racetracks.

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. told Republican lawmakers he will propose a transportation bill that avoids a gasoline tax increase but increases the cost of buying or registering a vehicle.

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