The Week That Was

December 12, 2004

The World

Governments are failing the children of the world, with more than 1 billion living in a state of severe threat from hunger, disease, exploitation or lack of security, the United Nations children's agency said.

A U.S. consular office in eastern Saudi Arabia was stormed by five militants firing guns, grabbing human shields and killing five people. Four of the attackers were killed and one was wounded in an ensuing battle with Saudi forces.

The Nation

President Bush flatly rejected a payroll tax increase to shore up Social Security, narrowing the range of options available to lawmakers to address the retirement system's long-term financial needs.

NASA should launch a shuttle mission to save the Hubble Space Telescope because its plan to use a robot to repair the instrument is unlikely to work, a panel of experts convened by the National Research Council recommended.

The Region

Arsonists burned 26 high-priced houses in a new development in Charles County. Investigators said that they know of no a motive and have no suspects. Many homes were reduced to rubble with damage estimated at $10 million. Officials called the fires the worst residential arson in state history.

Four Maryland water-watchdog groups are suing the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming that the federal government is not doing enough to protect the state's rivers and streams from pollution.

Quote

"He is not perfect, but none of us are. And the city is not perfect. But if we all work together, I promise you we can be a better place."

District Judge Katie Curran O'Malley, at the swearing in of Mayor Martin O'Malley for a second term

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