The World Iraqis accompanied by U.S. agents raided the...

May 23, 2004

The World

Iraqis accompanied by U.S. agents raided the home of America's one-time ally Ahmad Chalabi, seizing documents and computers.

American officials disputed Iraqi claims that American aircraft bombed a wedding party near Syria's border, killing more than 40 people.

Iraqi police announced the arrest of four people in connection with the beheading of Nick Berg; they were all members of Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen militia.

A suicide bomber killed the president of the Iraqi Governing Council and at least six other people at a checkpoint near the main headquarters for the American occupation forces in Iraq.

The U.S. military reported finding an Iraqi artillery shell containing sarin, one of the deadly nerve agents that Saddam Hussein said he had destroyed before the war began last year.

Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits received the maximum penalty - one year in prison, a reduction in rank and a bad-conduct discharge - in the first court-martial stemming from mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison. Sivits, who pleaded guilty to four abuse charges, broke down in tears as he apologized for taking pictures of naked Iraqi prisoners.

In the clearest sign to date of the Iraq war's strain on the U.S. military, the Pentagon plans to move 3,600 troops from South Korea to Iraq. The fresh troops are part of the 37,000-strong U.S. force in South Korea that has guarded against an invasion from North Korea for decades.

Israeli forces fired on a large crowd of Palestinians demonstrating against an Israeli invasion of a Gaza Strip refugee camp, killing at least eight people, including two children, and wounding 35 others.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo declared a state of emergency in the central state of Plateau, suspending its elected officials and putting a retired general in charge of a region racked for months by sectarian violence.

Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti was convicted of five counts of murder and other charges in an Israeli court for ordering shootings that killed four Israelis and a Greek monk. He was cleared of 21 other deaths as the court ruled that there was no evidence directly connecting him to them.

The Nation

Richard S. Strong, a leading figure in the growth of mutual funds, agreed to pay $60 million and be banned from the financial industry for life to end an investigation into improper trading.

The Bush administration violated federal law by producing and disseminating television news segments on new Medicare law without labeling their source, the General Accounting Office, said in a report calling the videos "covert propaganda."

Shifting its earlier policy on AIDS, the Bush administration said it favored expediting the approval process for generic and combination anti-retroviral drugs so they can be less expensive and be delivered more safely and efficiently to millions of infected people in Africa and the Caribbean.

The Supreme Court ruled that states failing to make their courthouses accessible to people with disabilities can be sued under federal disability laws.

President Bush renominated Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

John Kerry met with Ralph Nader, the potential spoiler in the presidential race should he pursue his third-party candidacy.

The number of people signing up for jobless benefits rose, but the level of filings still pointed to a recovery in the labor market, the Labor Department reported.

Kelsey Patterson, a 50-year-old schizophrenic, was executed by lethal injection at a state prison in Huntsville after Texas Gov. Rick Perry rejected a recommendation for clemency by the state pardons board and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene.

Federal prosecutors charged a government witness - ink expert Larry F. Stewart who works at the Secret Service - with perjury in the Martha Stewart trial.

Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia, 28, who did not return to his unit in Iraq after a two-week furlough in October, was convicted of desertion. Mejia has filed for conscientious objector status.

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson, 40, became the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game, retiring all 27 Atlanta Braves he faced in a 2-0 win.

Brandon Mayfield, 37, a convert to Islam who was jailed for two weeks as a suspect in the March 11 Madrid train bombings, was released when it was determined that the fingerprint that tied him to the case belonged to an Algerian man.

The Region

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin P. Clark agreed to take a temporary leave from his duties until Howard County officials complete an independent investigation into a domestic dispute he had with his fiancee.

Baltimore Health Commissioner Peter L. Beilenson, speaking after charges were lodged against a 17-year-old woman and her boyfriend in the deaths of infant twins, said that recommendations he offered more than four months ago to better protect children from parents with documented histories of abuse have been ignored by the Social Services Department and the state agency that runs it.

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