The Week That Was

April 11, 2004

The World

As the first anniversary of the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime passed, U.S. troops were fighting a growing insurgency involving both Shiite and Sunni Muslims. More than 40 Americans have been killed in combat since April 1.

Some U.S. troops expecting to leave Iraq in the coming weeks might see their deployments extended because of the surge in violence, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said.

An Iraqi judge issued an arrest warrant for rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the killing of a Shiite rival shortly after the U.S.-led invasion of the country.

Japan vowed not to pull its 530 troops out of Iraq despite the demands of radical Muslims who threatened to burn to death three Japanese hostages who were kidnapped as they entered Iraq from Jordan.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said his pledge to the United States not to harm Yasser Arafat no longer holds, declaring that the Palestinian leader and the head of Lebanon's Hezbollah are potential targets for assassination.

Slovenes voted overwhelmingly against restoring the rights of thousands of ethnic Bosnians, Croats and Serbs who were stripped of their citizenship when Slovenia broke away from Yugoslavia.

Jordan's military court sentenced to death eight Islamic militants linked to al-Qaida - six of them in absentia - for the assassination of a U.S. diplomat in Amman in 2002.

French police detained 13 suspected Islamic militants believed to have links to bombings in Casablanca, Morocco, that killed 45 people in May. Authorities said the arrests are not related to last month's Madrid bombings.

The Canadian government ordered the slaughter of 19 million chickens, turkeys and ducks in British Columbia in an attempt to stop the rapid spread of avian influenza.

Afghanistan's elections, already postponed until September, will still be jeopardized unless security improves and military forces are disarmed, said United Nations Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guehenno.

Jocelerme Privert, interior minister under Haiti's ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was arrested on suspicion of orchestrating the killings of several people presumed to be Aristide opponents.

A 40-year-old woman in a remote area of Mexico - without electricity or running water - gave birth to a healthy baby boy after performing a Caesarean section on herself with a kitchen knife, doctors reported in The International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

The Nation

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice defended the Bush administration's anti-terrorist actions in sworn testimony to the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks. Former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore talked to the commission behind closed doors.

The nation's worst blackout, which left 50 million people in the dark in the United States and Canada in August, could reoccur if a series of recommendations - including setting mandatory rules for utilities - are not adopted, the U.S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force warned in its final report.

A computer hardware problem caused more than 800,000 credit- and debit-card transactions to be double- or triple-billed last month at Wal-Mart stores nationwide, officials said.

Very young children who watch television face an increased risk of attention-deficit problems by the time they reach school age, according to a study published in Pediatrics. The study suggested that TV may overstimulate and permanently "rewire" the developing brain.

Lea Fastow, 42, the wife of Andrew S. Fastow, a key player in the financial collapse of Enron Corp., pulled out of her plea agreement after a federal judge in Houston refused to guarantee her a brief prison term.

The Amtrak train derailed in rural Mississippi, killing one person and seriously injuring two others.

Bank of America Corp., newly merged with FleetBoston Financial Corp., said it would cut 12,500 jobs - or nearly 7 percent of its work force - over the next two years.

Clear Channel Communications severed its ties with suspended shock-jock Howard Stern after the Federal Communications Commission fined the company $495,000 for a Stern show broadcast last year.

The Region

Steven P. Girard, a Baltimore County priest, who resigned in 2002 after filing a false carjacking report to cover up a night with a male prostitute, has been accused of sexually abusing a boy while he was pastor of St. Clement I Roman Catholic Church in Lansdowne, the Archdiocese of Baltimore announced.

A section of Baltimore-Washington International Airport was evacuated when screeners spotted a knife in a carry-on bag and the owner apparently walked away with the bag before he could be questioned.

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