RESIGNED. JOHN ASHCROFT, 62, controversial U.S. Attorney General (see page 56). Also resigning from the Administration: Commerce Secretary Don Evans, George Bush's close friend and 2000 election campaign chairman. Evans said he longed to go back to Texas.
CONVICTED. SCOTT PETERSON, 32, fertilizer salesman and adulterous husband of Laci Peterson; of first- and second-degree murder in the deaths of his wife and her unborn son, respectively; after a five-month, media-frenzied trial; in Redwood City, Calif. Outside the courthouse, hundreds cheered after the verdict was announced. The Peterson case helped inspire the passage earlier this year of a federal law making it a separate crime to harm a fetus during an attack on a pregnant woman. Peterson, whose high-flying legal team will probably appeal the decision, faces either life in prison or death by lethal injection.
BORN. To ALETA ST. JAMES, 57, sister of radio host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa; a daughter FRANCESCA and a son GIAN; in New York City. The arrival is believed to have made St. James, who conceived through in vitro fertilization, the oldest American to give birth to twins--at least for now.
UNDERGOING TREATMENT. ELIZABETH EDWARDS, 55, wife of former Democratic vice-presidential nominee John Edwards; for breast cancer, diagnosed definitively a day after the election; in Washington. After four months of chemotherapy, Edwards is scheduled to undergo a lumpectomy to remove the tumor.
DIED. ODB, 35, rapper; after complaining of chest pains; in New York City. Born Russell Jones, ODB, a.k.a. Ol' Dirty Bastard, was a founding mem-ber of Wu-Tang Clan, one of hip-hop's most innovative groups.
DIED. IRIS CHANG, 36, historian whose landmark 1997 best seller The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II chronicled the grisly rape, torture and murder of hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians by Japanese soldiers in the former Chinese capital in the late 1930s; a suicide; near Los Gatos, Calif. Chang, whose book was the first full-length nonfiction account of the brutality, said, "I didn't care if I made a cent from it. I wrote it out of a sense of rage." She was hospitalized for depression earlier this year as she was researching her fourth book on U.S. soldiers imprisoned by the Japanese.
DIED. GIBSON KENTE, 72, revolutionary South African playwright considered the founding father of black-township theater; in Soweto. The first to bring the realities of township crime, poverty and politics to the stage--often using African gospel and jazz--Kente produced more than 20 plays, including Manana, the Jazz Prophet, and the antiapartheid piece How Long. Last year he defied his country's taboos about AIDS by acknowledging publicly that he was HIV positive.
DIED. YASSER ARAFAT, 75, Palestinian leader; of an unknown illness; in Paris (see page 50).