To be wed

THE WEEK THAT WAS

Pope leaves hospital

February 13, 2005

The World

Israel and the Palestinians announced that they would cease violence in a landmark summit that appeared to offer the most hope for peace in the Middle East since 1993, when then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat sealed the Oslo peace accord with a famous handshake on the White House lawn. The accord sputtered for years until the Palestinian uprising broke out in 2000.

North Korea declared that it had "manufactured nuclear weapons" and called for bilateral negotiations with the United States. But the Bush administration said that it wasn't interested in one-on-one talks outside the continuing six-party negotiations involving the communist nation's neighbors.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reached out to America's allies in Europe, urging them to set aside the differences that have strained trans-Atlantic ties since the invasion of Iraq and join with the United States to broaden the boundaries of freedom in the world.

The Nation

President Bush proposed the tightest fiscal squeeze of his presidency, sending Congress a $2.57 trillion budget that would slash environmental and housing programs and sharply cut farm subsidies and health benefits for veterans and the poor. The budget proposal calls for slightly increased spending for the military and homeland security but would freeze or reduce all other areas and demand the elimination or drastic shrinking of about 150 government programs.

Federal Aviation Administration officials received 52 warnings before Sept. 11, 2001, from their security experts about potential al-Qaida attacks, including some that mentioned airline hijackings or suicide attacks, according to a previously undisclosed report by the 9/11 commission that investigated the suicide airliner attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Arthur Miller, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright whose most famous fictional creation, Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, came to symbolize the American dream gone awry, has died. He was 89.

A cautionary tale for lovers this Valentine's Day: A new Johns Hopkins study reveals that a broken heart can do more than make you weep - it could land you in the emergency room. Hopkins cardiologist Ilan Wittstein and his colleagues found that overwhelming emotional stress, frequently sparked by the loss of a loved one, can lead to a passing, but potentially fatal, heart malfunction that mimics a heart attack.

The Region

Correctional officers riding a nighttime transport in the back of a pitch-black prison bus this month noticed a commotion among the inmates, but broken interior lights kept them from seeing a 20-year-old prisoner being strangled a few feet away, according to union officials. The two officers were 7 to 10 feet from where Philip E. Parker Jr. was killed by another prisoner.

General Motors' Broening Highway assembly plant, one of the city's last remaining symbols of an industrial lifestyle that dominated the Baltimore economy for generations, will make its final van May 13, company and union officials said. The plant employs about 1,100 workers.

A former altar boy testified that he was "in disbelief" and "disgusted" when his former priest, a man he regarded as a father figure, began sexually abusing him. The altar boy, Dontee Stokes, 29, confronted the priest, Maurice Blackwell, on a city street and shot him in 2002. The testimony came in a trial in which Stokes has accused Blackwell of abusing him more than a decade before the shooting. Stokes was acquitted of attempted-murder charges in an earlier trial.

Quote

"Back on Sept. 11, terrorists attacked our metropolitan cores, two of America's great cities. Years later, we are given a budget proposal by our commander in chief, the president of the United States. And, with a budget ax, he is attacking America's cities. He is attacking our metropolitan core."

Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, at the National Press Club in Washington

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