The Week That Was

February 06, 2005

The World

Former President Bill Clinton was named United Nations special envoy for tsunami relief by Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Pope John Paul II was rushed to a hospital in Rome with breathing difficulties apparently caused by a bout of the flu. The Vatican said the 84-year-old pontiff was recovering.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas agreed to meet in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh along with the leaders of Egypt and Jordan, in an apparent breakthrough in relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

Iraqis went to the polls in unexpectedly high numbers as extensive security precautions kept violence around the country's first post-Saddam Hussein election to a minimum.

The Nation

Trying to combat conflict-of- interest problems, the National Institutes of Health barred all agency employees from working as consultants to private biomedical companies and restricted stock ownership in drug and biotechnology companies.

Sgt. Javal S. Davis, 27, one of seven soldiers from a Maryland Army Reserve unit accused in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, admitted to a military judge that he abused Iraqi inmates and lied to investigators about it.

Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt said he would try to reduce the growth in Medicaid expenses from 10 percent to 7 percent annually by ending accounting gimmicks used by states to increase their federal reimbursement.

Russell Christoff, 58, a male model who spent two hours in 1986 posing with a cup for a Taster's Choice coffee ad and then forgot about it, was awarded $15.6 million by a California jury because the coffee company had been using the picture for years without his knowledge.

SBC Communications Inc. agreed to acquire its former parent, AT&T Corp. in a $16 billion transaction, raising the possibility of the end of the AT&T name that has been synonymous with phone service since it first appeared in the United States.

Ossie Davis, an actor known for championing civil rights on and offstage and screen, often working with his wife, Ruby Dee, died at age 87.

The Region

Maryland horse-racing industry leaders unveiled a plan to revive their sport if they can get additional revenue from slots.

Phillip Eugene Parker Jr., a 20-year-old prison inmate serving a three-year robbery sentence, was killed, apparently by one or more fellow prisoners, while on a middle-of-the-night bus trip from Hagerstown to the state's Supermax facility in Baltimore with 34 other inmates.

Edward T. Norris, the former city police commissioner who was released from federal prison last month after serving six months on public corruption and tax charges, was ordered by a federal judge to perform his 500 hours of community service in Baltimore, not in his new home of Tampa, Fla., as he had requested.

A federal grand jury handed up a 20-count indictment charging 13 people - including George Butler, 30, of Owings Mills, who appears brandishing a gun in the underground DVD Stop Snitching - with participating in a violent Northwest Baltimore drug ring that, the indictment said, distributed 1,500 kilograms of heroin and cocaine between 1995 and 2004.

The University of Maryland, College Park received two $30 million gifts from two of its most generous alumni - developer Robert H. Smith and general contractor A. James Clark, both members of the Class of 1950.

Quote

"It needs to end, we know that."

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. at a Board of Public Works meeting, commenting on Maryland's program designed to increase minority participation in state contracts.

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