4 minute read
Elizabeth Woyke

CHARGES DROPPED. Against KATRINA LEUNG, 50, informant accused of stealing national security documents from her FBI agent lover James Smith; in Los Angeles. Prosecutors alleged that Leung, who was recruited to spy on China in 1982 but was suspected of becoming a double-agent, took classified papers from Smith’s briefcase; her lawyers denied the accusations. A federal judge dismissed the charges, saying prosecutors deprived her of due process by limiting access to Smith, a key witness.

STEPPING DOWN. JAMES WOLFENSOHN, 71, after 10 years as president of the World Bank; in Washington, D.C. Over two terms, the charismatic former investment banker transformed the financial institution, which lends $20 billion a year to developing nations, by increasing its public profile, funding smaller scale projects, and reducing debts owed by some of the world’s poorer countries. Wolfensohn plans to leave when his current term expires at the end of May.

RESIGNED. LEE BU YOUNG, 62, chief of South Korea’s ruling Uri Party; along with the rest of the party’s central committee, for their failure to push through an ambitious reform agenda; in Seoul. The liberal party’s platform was held up by its most controversial bill, a proposed abolition of the 56-year-old National Security Law, which prohibits unautho-rized contact with North Korea. Representative Lim Chae Jung, a moderate, will lead the party until its convention in April.

ASSASSINATED. ALI AL-HAIDARI, Governor of Baghdad, along with six bodyguards, in a drive-by shooting while en route to his office; in Baghdad. A group tied to alleged al-Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for Haidari’s death on an Islamic website, calling him “a tyrant and American agent.” The assassination, combined with a recent escalation in violence, sparked renewed calls from Iraqi officials to delay parliamentary elections scheduled for January 30.

DIED. JYOTINDRA NATH DIXIT, 68, National Security Advisor to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and chief negotiator with China and Pakistan, particularly over the disputed Kashmir region; in New Delhi. A career diplomat who served in nearly every country in South Asia, Dixit was envoy to Colombo during the disastrous deployment of Indian army peace-keepers to Sri Lanka in 1987. Singh described his death as “an irreparable loss” while Pakistan Foreign Secretary Riaz Khokhar said he would be missed for his “profound grasp” of South Asian affairs.

DIED. FRANK KELLY FREAS, 82, artist whose eclectic career included designing posters for NASA, illustrating the science fiction books of Isaac Asimov, and creating the definitive portraits of Mad magazine’s grinning mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, originally drawn by Norman Mingo; in West Hills, California.

DIED. KOO CHEN-FU, 87, prominent businessman and Taiwan’s top negotiator with mainland China; in Taipei. Though he never officially held public office, Koo was deeply involved in Taiwan’s domestic and international political affairs and spent 14 years as chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation, the designated organization for Taiwan’s contact with China. His landmark 1993 meeting with his mainland counterpart Wang Daohan marked the first official contact between the rival governments. In 1998, Koo met again with Wang and separately with Chinese President Jiang Zemin, but plans for further communication deteriorated amid growing cross-strait tensions.

1.3 billion Population of China, reached following the birth of a baby boy on January 6

119:100 Ratio of Chinese boys to girls, leading the government to announce a ban on sex-selective abortions last week

1 Hong Kong’s rank in the Heritage Foundation’s 2005 Index of Economic Freedom, a measure of openness in a country’s business environment

16 months Estimated decrease in Hong Kongers’ life expectancy due to air pollution, according to Paris’ Center for Energy Studies; the same as smoking eight cigarettes a day

$1 billion Amount of aid pledged following the 2003 earthquake in Bam, Iran, which killed 31,000 people

$17 million Amount of aid that actually materialized, according to Iranian President Mohammad Khatamiraising fears that tsunami relief will be similarly reduced

Performance of the Week
For the first time since its 1922 discovery, the 3,300-year-old mummy of Egypt’s King Tutankhamun was briefly removed from its tomb last weekfor a C.T. scan. Researchers hope to solve the puzzle of the teenage King’s death; earlier X rays suggest he may have been bludgeoned. Results won’t be in for a month, but the process offered a tantalizing glimpse of Tut’s profileand a look at some remarkably well-preserved toes.

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