The Week That Was

April 04, 2004

The World

Israeli officials overestimated the military threat posed by Iraq because of faulty intelligence that was derived from conjecture rather than based on fact, according to an investigation by Israel's parliament which concluded there had been no deliberate attempt to falsify information about Iraq before the U.S. invasion last year.

Congolese government forces put down an apparent coup attempt in the capital Kinshasa, battling attackers thought to be loyal to the late former dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko.

A roadside bomb killed five American soldiers in a U.S. military convoy near Fallujah, Iraq.

Coalition authorities closed down the weekly Baghdad newspaper Al Hawza for 60 days on accusations that it was printing lies that incited violence. The move caused large protests in the Iraqi capital.

A Spanish judge issued a warrant for the arrest of Sarhane Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, a Tunisian who is labeled as the "leader and coordinator" of the bombings that killed 191 people in Madrid last month.

Israel's Supreme Court ordered Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's son, Gilad, to hand over potentially incriminating tapes and documents in two corruption investigations, including one that targets the prime minister.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced a further reduction of 4 percent in the amount of oil they will produce.

Hundreds of British police officers swept through London and parts of southeast England, arresting eight men suspected of preparing a terrorist attack, seizing 1,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, a key ingredient of explosives.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the exiled president of Haiti, filed a lawsuit in Paris against unnamed French officials, accusing them of "death threats, kidnapping and sequestration," The New York Times reported, quoting Aristide's attorneys, who said American lawyers would file a similar lawsuit in the United States.

Spanish police found a package containing more than 20 pounds of explosives 35 miles southwest of Madrid on the track of a high-speed train that links Madrid and Seville. The bomb was linked to a detonator with a 450 foot cable.

A roadside bomb killed a U.S. soldier in the upscale Baghdad neighborhood of Mansour. A U.S. marine was shot and killed in the far west Anbar province. Three insurgents died in the northern town of Riyadh when the bomb they were planting at the city hall exploded.

The Nation

Yielding to bipartisan pressure, President Bush reversed himself and agreed to allow his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, to be questioned in public and under oath by the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks.

The World Court ordered the United States to review the death penalty cases of 51 Mexicans, including one scheduled to die May 18 in Oklahoma, saying their right to consular assistance was violated.

The Supreme Court, deciding a case involving Vincent Foster, a White House lawyer and aide to former President Bill Clinton who shot himself in 1993, ruled that the family of a prominent person who has died has a privacy right to object to the government's release of photographs taken at the scene of the death.

The Massachusetts legislature approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages while legalizing civil unions. If passed during the next two-year Legislative session, the measure would go before voters in November 2006.

Charles A. Duelfer, the CIA's chief arms inspector in Iraq, told a Senate panel that although no weapons of mass destruction have been found, evidence and statements from Iraqi scientists suggest Iraq was pursuing chemical and biological weapons up to the time U.S.-led forces invaded last year.

Authorities from the United States and Canada arrested more than 140 people in 18 cities on charges they were part of a drug ring that supplied 15 percent of the Ecstasy pills in the United States.

The economy added 308,000 jobs last month, robust growth that was well ahead of predictions.

After 12 days of deliberations, a mistrial was declared in the trial of top executives of Tyco International for stealing company funds and artificially inflating its stock price.

The Region

The Army might stop using Baltimore-Washington International Airport as an entry point for a program that has brought thousands of vacationing soldiers to Maryland, shifting the flights to Atlanta and Dallas.

Union employees of Safeway and Giant supermarkets in the Baltimore-Washington area overwhelmingly approved a new contract, averting a replay of the bruising grocery strike that recently ended in California.

The Enoch Pratt Free Library, which has closed a quarter of its neighborhood branches in recent years, received a $1 million anonymous gift earmarked for improving its branch system.

Members of the General Assembly objected to an e-mail from Anne Arundel County Republican Del. Donald H. Dwyer Jr. that contained an essay he said was written by his 13-year-old nephew that contended Islam is not a peaceful religion.

A federal jury found three West Baltimore men - Michael L. Taylor, 20, Keon D. Moses, 21 and Aaron D. Foster, 24 - guilty of running a violent drug gang in the now-destroyed Lexington Terrace project, setting up a possible death sentence for Taylor and Moses.

A mother and her teen-age daughter - were arrested after a fight broke out during an assembly on anger management at Woodlawn High School.

J.R. Triplett of Winchester, Va., came forward a month after the multistate Mega Millions drawing to claim the $239 million prize.

Quote

"Were doing away with any ambiguity about whether this is supplemental income for the council."

Mayor Martin O'Malley,announcing new accounting procedures for City Council expense accounts

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