IN the United States Congressional and public protests against the take-over of several American ports by a company based in Abu Dhabi led to a compromise by which an American entity would run the facilities. Republican politicians had taken the lead in objecting on security grounds to the original arrangement and the outcome was seen as a humiliation for President Bush who had backed it strongly. In Britain it became known that the press magnate Robert Maxwell, who disappeared off his yacht in 1991 and was later found drowned, had been under investigation for the shooting of an unarmed German mayor in the final days of the Second World War. John Profumo's death at the age of 91 attracted a surprising amount of attention, possibly because his resignation from ministerial office in 1963 after lying to the House of Commons about a brief affair with a call-girl was contrasted with the later reluctance by ministers to take responsibility for their misdemeanours. Mr Profumo had spent the rest of his life working in the East End of London among the poor and needy. In Iraq the US authorities announced that Abu Ghraib jail, notorious for abuse of inmates during both Saddam Hussein's regime and the American occupation, would be closed down. The US Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said that the invasion of Iraq had opened a Pandora's box and that without an American presence a civil war could have repercussions throughout the region. In a TV interview Mr Tony Blair said that he was content for his decision to go to war in Iraq to be judged by God. PP The International Atomic Energy Agency decided to refer Iran's nuclear development programme to the UN Security Council after the Agency's Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, said he could not confirm that Iran was not intending to manufacture nuclear weapons. The Iranian government threatened the United States with harm and pain. Vodaphone's share price recovered from a two-year low when it confirmed that it was in talks to sell its troubled Japanese operation. In the Enron trial in the United States, the company's former chief financial officer, Andrew Fastow, said that he was under instructions to give as much juice as possible to earnings and to hide losses.
THE WEEK THAT WAS