—By Austin Ramzy
UNVEILED. A STAMP honoring Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the U.S.; in Washington, D.C. Though the U.S. Postal Service usually waits at least 10 years after a prominent American dies before placing his or her image on postage, the 37˘ Reagan stamp will be available on Feb. 10, 2005, less than a year after the former President's death.
LEAVING. JOHN ASHCROFT, 62, embattled U.S. Attorney General; after a tenure characterized by controversy; in Washington, D.C. Mistrusted by Democrats, in part for his staunch religious conservatism, Ashcroft was criticized by civil libertarians after Sept. 11 for the Patriot Act, legislation they felt gave too much power to law enforcement. Hospitalized this year for pancreatitis caused by gallstones, Ashcroft wrote in his resignation letter that it was time for "new leadership and fresh inspiration" at the Justice Department.
REPORTED. SOUTH KOREA's violation of nuclear nonproliferation agreements; in a confidential memo given to the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors; in Vienna, Austria. The report found that Seoul failed to fully disclose details of its nuclear experiments to the IAEA from 1982 to 2000 and had conducted more extensive tests than suspected. The agency must now decide whether to bring South Korea before the U.N. Security Council for the lapses.
SENTENCED. CAI XIAOHONG, former secretary-general of Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong; to 15 years in prison for passing state secrets to British intelligence; in Guangzhou, China. Cai, who was arrested last year, is the highest-ranking Chinese official to be convicted of spying for a Western government. The South China Morning Post reported that he was paid more than $700,000 by the British Secret Service for sharing classified information, including the itinerary for former President Jiang Zemin's 2001 visit to Hong Kong.
ARRESTED. JAYENDRA SARASWATHI, 70, one of Hindu India's highest religious leaders; on charges of abetting, conspiracy and suppressing evidence in the contract killing of temple official Sankararaman in September; in Mahbubnager, India. Saraswathi is the leader of a Hindu monastery in the pilgrim town of Kanchipuram and a mediator in the Hindu-Muslim dispute over northern India's holy site of Ayodhya. His lawyer calls the charges baseless.
DIED. HOWARD KEEL, 85, barrel-chested star of stage, screen and television; in Palm Desert, California. A powerful stage actor of the 1940s and '50s, Keel's ringing baritone and cavalier stage presence won him critical acclaim in Hollywood musicals including Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. As the popularity of musicals waned, he moved on to small parts in western, war and sci-fi movies. In 1981, Keel landed the role of oil-rich widower Clayton Farlow on one of TV's most popular nighttime soaps, Dallas. Although his nonsinging years on the small screen brought enduring fame, Keel maintained that "there is nothing more fulfilling than standing on a stage when you're in a good voice and belting out songs."
DIED. EMLYN HUGHES, 57, ebullient and well-loved former captain of Liverpool Football Club and England; from a brain tumor diagnosed 15 months ago; near Sheffield, England. As a tenacious young footballer in the late 1960s, Hughes' wild charges and galloping gait earned him the moniker Crazy Horse. Over a 20-year career, he tamed his exuberance into steady play, becoming captain and leading Liverpool to four league titles and two European Cups from 1976 to 1980. After retirement, Hughes became a TV celebrity and fixture of a long-running BBC sports quiz show.