The Week That Was

April 25, 2004

The World

Five suicide attackers detonated car bombs against police buildings during rush hour Wednesday in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, killing dozens of people, including 20 children.

Iraqi security forces will not be ready to protect the country against insurgents by the June 30 handover of power, said L. Paul Bremer III, the top U.S. administrator.

Coalition authorities eased rules prohibiting members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party from holding posts in the Iraq's military and government.

Two car bombs blasted the Saudi national police headquarters Wednesday, killing at least nine people and wounding dozens of others

The Hague tribunal reduced Bosnian Serb general Radislav Krstic's conviction for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre from genocide to aiding and abetting genocide and cut his jail sentence to 35 years from 46, after it found he had not been a direct participant in genocide during the massacre in which some 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed.

Acting immediately after he was sworn in, Spain's new Socialist prime minister, Jose Luis RodrM-mguez Zapatero, kept a campaign promise and ordered Spanish troops to leave Iraq "as soon as possible."

The Bush administration eased economic sanctions on Libya that were first imposed in 1986, allowing American companies to resume importing oil from the country now that it has publicly abandoned its weapons of mass destruction program.

Pat Tillman, 27, who left the Arizona Cardinals professional football team in 2002 to join the Army, was killed in fighting in southeastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border.

A huge explosion at a train station in North Korea near the Chinese border, apparently from a train loaded with explosives, killed at least 50 and up to several hundred people.

The Nation

Michael Jackson was indicted on charges of child molestation by a California grand jury.

Responding to Republican critics, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry released records of his Vietnam war service that showed a highly praised naval officer who volunteered for a dangerous assignment and was "unofficially credited with 20 enemy killed in action."

Merrill Lynch & Co. engaged in a pattern of bias against female brokers in wages and promotions, an arbitration panel found, awarding one former broker $2.2 million in a decision that could affect dozens of other discrimination cases brought against the nation's biggest brokerage firm.

At USA Today, the top editor retired, the managing editor for news quit and the executive editor announced a planned departure after a report on deceptions by reporter Jack Kelly blamed, in part, a "virus of fear" in the newsroom that stifled open discussion of suspicions about Kelly's work.

The Region

Members of the Baltimore City Council said they would kill a hotly contested proposal to make it illegal for homeless people or anyone else to sleep or lie on sidewalks downtown.

For the first time since it integrated 50 years ago, the Baltimore City Fire Department has chosen an all-white class of recruits for its training academy, drawing fierce criticism from Mayor Martin O'Malley and many other sources.

Laboratory workers at Maryland General Hospital warned top hospital administrators and state officials in writing nearly two years ago of serious and long-standing testing problems that put patients and employees at risk. The letter of July 25, 2002, notes "documented cases of apparent neglect and compromised patient care" and inaction by hospital managers.

To prevent more than 500 municipal job cuts, Mayor O'Malley said he intends to ask the City Council to impose new taxes on utility bills paid by residents, churches, manufacturers and nonprofit organizations, among others. In addition to a 4 percent energy tax, O'Malley is seeking approval for a $3.50 monthly tax on cellular phones that have city billing addresses and an increase in fees on real estate purchases.

State officials have revoked the purchasing power of Maryland Public Television after determining that managers with the taxpayer-subsidized broadcaster deliberately circumvented state rules to award more than $500,000 in fast-track construction projects to one company.

Quote

"I am a symbol of the will of freedom. You cannot break the human spirit."

Mordechai Vanunu, who was released from an Israeli prison after serving 18 years for spilling Israel's nuclear secrets.

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