The Week That Was

May 09, 2004

The World

Eleven U.S. soldiers were killed in one day in separate attacks across Iraq.

U.S. soldiers seized the governor's office in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf, engaging Shiite militiamen loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in heavy fighting.

The Army said it was pursuing criminal investigations into the deaths of 10 prisoners and the abuse of 10 others in Iraq and Afghanistan, after reports of torture and sexual abuse by American captors.

President Bush, in an appearance with the president of Jordan, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, testifying before a Senate committee, apologized for abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

British authorities said they were investigating the origins and authenticity of published photographs that appear to show British soldiers abusing an Iraqi captive.

American military commanders said Iraq probably will continue to be unstable and violent for more than a year and announced plans to keep the current level of 135,000 American troops there through the end of next year.

Iraq's U.S.-appointed human rights minister said he had resigned to protest abuses of Iraqi detainees by American guards, and the interior minister demanded that Iraqi officials be allowed to participate in the running of prisons.

Taliban gunmen killed about 10 Afghan policemen and soldiers in two ambushes in southern Afghanistan.

Three Chinese engineers working in Pakistan were killed when the van in which they were traveling was hit by a powerful explosion.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Likud party rejected his proposal to withdraw troops and settlements from the Gaza Strip.

A pregnant Israeli woman and her four young daughters were killed by two Palestinian gunmen, who were later fatally shot by Israeli soldiers. Israel struck back with a pair of air assaults.

In Athens, Greece, where the Summer Olympics are scheduled to begin in three months, three bombs exploded outside a heavily guarded police station.

Mexico and Peru withdrew their ambassadors from Cuba after a week of angry diplomatic exchanges.

Martin Torrijos, the son of a former dictator, was the winner of Panama's first presidential election since U.S. troops handed back the Panama Canal and withdrew in December 1999.

Brandon Mayfield, an Oregon lawyer, was taken into custody by the FBI on a material-witness warrant in the railway bombings in Madrid on March 11 that killed 191.

Oil prices hit $40 a barrel for the first time since 1990.

Muslim residents fled their town in central Nigeria after attacks by a Christian tribe left at least 500 dead.

Former American hostage Thomas Hamill was reunited with his wife at a U.S. military hospital in Germany, where she brought his favorite cowboy boots and promised him a steak dinner as he recovers from three weeks in Iraqi captivity.

The bombing of a Shiite mosque in Karachi, Pakistan, killed at least nine people.

The Nation

Researchers in Chicago reported the birth of five children from embryos created in a lab so they could serve as cell donors to seriously ill siblings.

A Florida judge threw out a law pushed by Gov. Jeb Bush to keep Terri Schiavo, a severely brain-damaged woman, alive after a decade on life support.

A federal judge turned down Martha Stewart's motion for a second trial based on allegations that a juror lied about his arrest record on a pretrial questionnaire.

Former White House budget director Mitch Daniels easily defeated his conservative activist opponent to win the GOP nomination for governor of Indiana, in the nation's first gubernatorial primary of the year.

The U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in April as the unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent.

An estimated 52 million people watched the last episode of the TV program Friends.

Police in Birmingham, Ala., said three men were arrested as part of a group of transvestites stealing cars from dealerships to drive to cross-dresser pageants in the Southeast, then abandoning the vehicles. Police said about a dozen vehicles were recovered, some with women's clothing or pageant trophies in them.

The Federal Reserve held key short-term interest rates at 1 percent but, faced with a humming economy, said rates can eventually rise at a measured pace.

Lea Fastow, the wife of former Enron finance chief Andrew Fastow, pleaded guilty to helping her husband hide some of his gains and was sentenced to one year in prison.

The Region

The Ehrlich administration endorsed the use of toll lanes as a new way to get traffic moving on some of the state's most congested highways while also raising money for road-widening projects.

The widow of football legend George B. Young has pledged a record $2 million to help build an academic building and provide scholarships at his alma mater, Calvert Hall College High School.

The superintendent of Carroll County schools kicked six boys off the Liberty and South Carroll lacrosse teams after an on-field melee involving athletes and adult spectators at Liberty High School in Eldersburg.

Baltimore County expects to end the 2004 fiscal year with a surplus of about $25 million in an operating budget of about $1.2 billion.

A brief, powerful storm, which in some areas packed tornado-force winds, knocked out power to more than 33,000 BGE customers and felled trees across the region.

Mayor Martin O'Malley unveiled a plan to improve visitor access to the Inner Harbor that includes a redesign of the intersection of Pratt and Light streets and a parking garage beneath Rash Field.

Development in the Centreville area was frozen by state environmental officials after weeks of monitoring a 45-year-old sewage treatment plant that apparently dumped millions of gallons of untreated sewage into a tributary of the Chester River.

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