Calendar of 2002

Calendar of 2002
▪ 2003

"I will not wait on events while dangers gather. I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons."
U.S. Pres. George W. Bushin his state of the union message before Congress,January 29

January 1
      As the clock ticks over to 2002, the euro replaces the Deutsche Mark, the French franc, the Italian lira, the Spanish peseta, the Greek drachma, the Austrian schilling, the Belgian franc, the Finnish markka, the Irish pound, the Luxembourg franc, the Dutch guilder, and the Portuguese escudo as the official currency of these countries.

      A law granting autonomy to the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya (West Papua) goes into effect, and the name of the province officially becomes Papua.

      Military conscription officially ends in Spain.

      Eduardo Duhalde, who lost the presidential election to Fernando de la Rúa in 1999, is chosen interim president of Argentina; he is sworn in the following day as Argentina's fifth president in the past two weeks, and he is expected to serve until elections are held at the end of 2003.

January 2
      U.S. Senate Democrats announce that they plan to conduct hearings into the collapse of Enron Corp.

      In spite of violent demonstrations to protest presidential elections that many felt were rigged, Levy Mwanawasa is inaugurated as president of Zambia.

January 3
      The Netherlands renationalizes its rail network after years of private ownership during which service had deteriorated.

      In the annual postseason Rose Bowl, the University of Miami (Fla.) defeats the University of Nebraska 37–14 to win the national college football Division I-A championship.

January 4
      Nathan Ross Chapman becomes the first U.S. serviceman to die in combat in Afghanistan when a team of Americans and Afghans returning from a meeting are attacked.

      Israel seizes a ship loaded with 50 tons of munitions that Israel says, and the captain of the ship later agrees, are destined for the Palestinian National Authority.

January 5
      A 15-year-old student pilot steals a Cessna 172 and crashes it into a 40-story bank building in Tampa, Fla.

      Historian Stephen Ambrose admits that some of the lines in his best-selling work The Wild Blue were inadvertently lifted from one of his sources, Thomas Childers's The Wings of Morning (1995). (See January 22.)

January 6
      Argentina decouples the peso from the U.S. dollar, ending a policy that had been followed since 1991.

      A UN official says that a disarmament program in Sierra Leone has successfully concluded, with most combatants in the civil war having turned their weapons over to UN peacekeepers.

      Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles closes for renovation; the 67-year-old observatory, which has never been upgraded, is expected to reopen in 2005.

January 7
      The worst snowstorm in over three decades drops about 30 cm (12 in) of snow on Jordan and Lebanon.

      At a conference of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C., scientists present their findings that many gamma-ray bursts originated in nearby galaxy clusters and that evidence suggests that such bursts may result from supernova explosions.

      Lucent Technologies names Patricia F. Russo, a former top executive at the company, its new CEO.

      Apple Computer introduces its new iMac, featuring a flat-panel monitor on an adjustable “neck” attached to a hemispheric base.

      The foreign ministers of Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand begin talks to try to reach an accord on the repatriation to Myanmar of migrant workers, more than 400,000 of whom are registered in Thailand.

January 8
      The U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling that narrows the scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act, holding that a qualifying disability must not only impinge on one's ability to do one's job but also limit one's ability to function in everyday life.

      Rules quietly issued by the Vatican are made public; these rules require that priests accused of pedophilia be tried by ecclesiastical courts overseen by the Holy See.

      Shortstop Ozzie Smith is elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

January 9
      Pres. Andrés Pastrana Arango of Colombia says that negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have failed and gives the rebel group 48 hours to vacate the area that Colombia had ceded to it during the peace talks.

      Archaeologists working on a site in Narsingdi, Bangladesh, find artifacts that date to 2,450 years ago, older than any found previously in the country; it is believed that they may presage discovery of part of the Brahmaputra civilization.

January 10
      The U.S. begins taking al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners to its naval base at Guantánamo Bay on the island of Cuba; the first 20 prisoners land the following day. (See January 23.)

      Officials of the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, which was the auditor of the collapsed energy company Enron, disclose that Andersen employees destroyed documents relating to Enron, even after such documents had been subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

January 11
      The Ford Motor Co. announces its biggest cutbacks in 20 years, including the closing of five plants and the discontinuation of four models—the Lincoln Continental, the Ford Escort, the Mercury Cougar, and the Mercury Villager.

      Astronomers say that if it were possible to view the universe from the outside, it would appear to be a pale green. (See March 7.)

January 12
      After several days of violence in Belfast, N.Ire., a Roman Catholic mailman is killed; a Protestant group called the Red Hand Defenders claims responsibility and threatens to kill Catholic schoolteachers throughout the country.

      Pakistani Pres. Pervez Musharraf announces broad new restrictions on Muslim extremism, including the banning of five organizations.

January 13
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush briefly loses consciousness while choking on a pretzel and falls, bruising his face; the only witnesses are the family dogs.

      After almost 42 years and exactly 17,162 performances, the curtain falls on The Fantasticks in the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village, New York City, for the last time.

      The 24th annual Dakar Rally finishes; the winners are Japanese driver Hiroshi Masuoka, in a Mitsubishi Pajero, Italian driver Fabrizio Meoni, on a KTM LC8 950 motorcycle, and Russian driver Vladimir Chagin, in a Kamaz 49255 truck.

January 14
      The British government announces that the country is officially free of foot-and-mouth disease.

      Prime Minister Hamada Madi Bolero of Comoros announces his resignation as the first step toward the creation of a transitional government; on January 17 Pres. Azali Assoumani resigns for the same reason, and on January 20 the transitional government is formed, with Hamada Madi Bolero as both prime minister and president.

January 15
      U.S. and Philippine military officials begin preparing joint operations against Abu Sayyaf, a militant Muslim organization that is believed to have ties to al-Qaeda.

      The world's largest drug company, Pfizer, announces plans to make its drugs available to low-income elderly Americans for $15 a month per prescription.

      Pat Cox of Ireland is elected president of the European Parliament in the third round of voting; Cox is viewed as more liberal than the outgoing president, Nicole Fontaine of France.

January 16
      Riots break out in Lagos, Nigeria, as the Nigeria Labour Congress begins a general strike to protest an 18% increase in the price of gasoline and diesel fuel and a 40% increase in the price of kerosene.

      Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Pres. Fradique de Menezes of São Tomé and Príncipe launch the Joint High Authority to manage oil exploration in the disputed Gulf of Guinea.

January 17
      Argentina reopens its stock exchange and replaces the president of the central bank in an effort to gain some control over the continuing economic crisis.

      In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mt. Nyiragongo, just outside the city of Goma, begins erupting; the next day almost the entire population of Goma flees as lava destroys much of the city.

      The 100th anniversary of the first publication of The Times Literary Supplement is celebrated at Porchester Hall in London; literary luminaries in attendance include Martin Amis, Germaine Greer, Doris Lessing, V.S. Naipaul, and Salman Rushdie.

January 18
      Pres. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah ceremonially declares that the civil war in Sierra Leone, which began in 1991, has ended.

      AngloGold of South Africa allows its offer to buy Normandy Mining of Australia to expire, so Newmont Mining, based in Denver, Colo., becomes the buyer; when the deal is completed, it will make Newmont the largest gold-mining concern in the world.

      Israeli tanks surround the headquarters of Palestinian National Authority head Yasir Arafat in the West Bank town of Ramallah, effectively putting him under house arrest.

      The second largest retailer in Japan, Daiei, asks banks to forgive its $3.2 billion in debt so that it will not go bankrupt.

January 19
      At the World Cup swimming meet in Paris, Luo Xuejuan of China breaks the world record in the 50-m breaststroke with a time of 30.47 sec, and Yana Klochkova of Ukraine breaks the record, set in 1993, for the women's 400-m individual medley with a time of 4 min 27.83 sec.

      Winning films at the Sundance Film Festival awards ceremony in Park City, Utah, include Daughter from Danang, Personal Velocity, Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony, and Real Women Have Curves.

      A series of 2,000-year-old erotic frescoes, discovered in 1985 on the walls of a bathhouse in Pompeii, Italy, go on view to the public for the first time since AD 79.

January 20
      A new constitution providing for a president to be elected for a seven-year term and a bicameral legislature is approved in a referendum in the Republic of the Congo.

      At the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., best picture honours go to A Beautiful Mind and Moulin Rouge; best director goes to Robert Altman for Gosford Park; and the screenplay award goes to Akiva Goldsman for A Beautiful Mind.

January 21
      U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell announces that the U.S. will contribute nearly $300 million to the reconstruction of Afghanistan, close to one-fifth of what the UN estimates will be needed in the first year; the following day other countries agree to provide a total of $4.5 billion.

      In the field of children's literature, the Newbury Medal is awarded to Linda Sue Park for A Single Shard, and David Wiesner wins the Caldecott Medal for his reworking of The Three Pigs.

January 22
      The Kmart Corp. files for bankruptcy protection in the largest such action ever made by a retail company; it plans to remain in business and continue operating its stores, however.

      The Hart Senate Office Building is finally declared free of anthrax contamination and reopens; it had been closed since mid-October 2001.

      Philip Pullman wins the 2001 Whitbread Book of the Year Award, for books published in the U.K., for his young-adult novel The Amber Spyglass; it is the first time that a children's writer has won the prize.

      Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin admits that she inadvertently copied some sentences from three other works in her 1987 book The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys. (See January 5.)

January 23
      Daniel Pearl, a reporter working in Karachi, Pak., for The Wall Street Journal, is reported missing after he fails to return from a meeting with sources the previous day; on January 27 news organizations receive e-mail saying that Pearl has been kidnapped. (See February 12.)

      The U.S. government, which has come under criticism for its treatment of al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners being held at the military base at Guantánamo Bay, says it is suspending transport of prisoners there, as it has run out of space to put them. (See January 10.)

      A panel of experts that works for the National Cancer Institute says that studies that have been relied upon as proof that mammograms prevent breast cancer deaths are so seriously flawed that they do not show whether such screening is beneficial.

      The legislature of the Yugoslav republic of Serbia agrees to restore autonomy to the province of Vojvodina, which has a large Hungarian population.

January 24
      Congressional hearings into the Enron collapse begin; corporate chairman and CEO Kenneth L. Lay had resigned the previous day.

      U.S. special-operations forces conduct a successful commando raid on what they believe to be a Taliban stronghold in the Afghan town of Uruzgan, killing 21 and taking 27 prisoners; it later turns out that the raid had mistakenly been against anti-Taliban fighters.

      The first of a planned seven German warships arrives off Djibouti, where they are to patrol the Horn of Africa, keeping an eye on developments in Somalia and Yemen and protecting shipping.

      Leaders of 12 world religions gather in Assisi, Italy, to pray for peace; the event is organized by Pope John Paul II.

January 25
      India test-fires an intermediate-range nuclear-capable missile; as India and Pakistan seem to be on the brink of war, the test is viewed with some alarm by the world community.

January 26
      For the second consecutive year, Jennifer Capriati defeats Martina Hingis to win the Australian Open tennis tournament; on January 27 Thomas Johansson defeats Marat Safin to win his first Grand Slam title.

January 27
      In Bodh Gaya, India, the Kalchakra festival, one of the largest Buddhist gatherings in the world, is canceled when the Dalai Lama falls ill.

      PanCanadian Energy agrees to buy Alberta Energy; the new company, to be called EnCana, will be the biggest oil and gas company in Canada.

      An accident at a munitions depot in Lagos, Nigeria, sets off dozens of large explosions, causing great damage and inciting panic; hundreds of people, many children, drown while fleeing across canals obscured by water hyacinths, and hundreds more are trampled to death.

      The first Palestinian woman to act as a suicide bomber strikes in a shopping district in Jerusalem, killing one other person and injuring scores, including a man who had survived the World Trade Center attack on Sept. 11, 2001.

January 28
      The Doha Round of World Trade Organization talks begins in Geneva, but the meeting gets off to a contentious start.

      Verizon Wireless announces the first commercial third-generation (3G) wireless service in the U.S., available on the East Coast, in northern California, and in Salt Lake City, Utah; it will provide high-speed Internet access on cellular telephones.

      Global Crossing, Ltd., a fibre-optics company with many high-profile investors, files for bankruptcy protection.

      Siim Kallas takes office as prime minister of Estonia, replacing Mart Laar, who resigned on January 8 over the pace of reform.

January 29
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush delivers his first state of the union address to Congress; highlights of his speech include the creation of a new volunteer agency, the Freedom Corps, and the identification of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as members of an “axis of evil.”

      Prime Minister Ilir Meta of Albania unexpectedly resigns his post in an acrimonious dispute with the head of his Socialist Party.

      Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi fires his popular and outspoken foreign minister, Makiko Tanaka.

January 30
      Chile announces its plans to buy 10 F-16 fighter jets from the U.S.; it is the first time in over 20 years that the U.S. has approved the sale of sophisticated military equipment to a Latin American country.

      The Taiheiyo coal mine—the last in Japan—closes, idling 1,000 miners; the 82-year-old mine is located near Kushiro on Hokkaido island.

January 31
      The World Economic Forum opens in New York City (rather than its usual venue, Davos, Switz.); among the opening-session speakers is the Irish rock star Bono.

      Crossair, the designated successor airline to the bankrupt Swissair, announces plans that will make it Europe's fourth largest international airline, under the new name swiss.

      An interview is published in which Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says that he regrets that Israel failed to take the opportunity to kill Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat in Lebanon 20 years ago.

      Ecuador designates a 557-sq-km (215-sq-mi) area in the Amazon rainforest the Cofán Ecological Reserve after Field Museum scientists from Chicago assist Cofán Indians and Ecuadoran scientists by cataloging the species in the area and declaring it to be the most biologically diverse mountain range in the world.

"A great responsibility is on you to deliver your own country from self-annihilation."
—Ketumile Masere, facilitator, at the opening ceremony for inter-Congolese dialogue, in Sun City, S.Af., on February 25

February 1
      John Hume, the architect of the agreement that led to the power-sharing government in Northern Ireland, is presented with the Gandhi Peace Prize in New Delhi; the prize has been awarded annually since 1995.

      Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi names a second woman, Yoriko Kawaguchi, to be foreign minister in an effort to stem the political damage from his sacking of Makiko Tanaka; his approval ratings had fallen 36% since he removed the popular Tanaka from office.

      The NCAA punishes the University of Alabama's football program for recruiting violations by banning it from bowl games for two years, putting it on probation for five years, and cutting the number of football scholarships it may offer.

February 2
      In Amsterdam, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands marries Máxima Zorreguieta, an investment banker from Argentina and the daughter of a government official for the military junta that ruled Argentina in 1976–83.

      Former National Football League players Dave Casper, Dan Hampton, Jim Kelly, and John Stallworth and coach George Allen are elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

February 3
      In a dramatic upset, the New England Patriots defeat the St. Louis Rams 20–17 in the final seconds of the National Football League Super Bowl XXXVI.

      In response to a recent Supreme Court ruling, the Argentine government offers a new economic plan that will allow the peso to float freely against the U.S. dollar; trading begins on February 11.

      A magnitude-6 earthquake with its epicentre near the town of Bolvadin strikes central Turkey, killing 43 people, most in the village of Sultandagi.

February 4
      The eight-year investigation into corruption at the French oil company Elf Aquitaine comes to a close; trials of the more than 40 people implicated in the investigation are not expected to begin for many months.

      Three days of violence between Hausa and Yoruba gangs in Lagos, Nigeria, have left more than 100 people dead.

      Some 14,000 teachers go on strike in the Canadian province of Alberta; by February 21, when the government orders them back to work, their numbers have swollen to 21,000.

February 5
      The World Social Forum, an antiglobalization gathering of some 35,000 attendees, closes in Porto Alegre, Braz.; the summit is more successful in denouncing free trade and U.S. military action than in proposing solutions.

      The government of Belgium apologizes for its role in the assassination in 1961 of Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

      Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig abandons his plan to eliminate two baseball teams, the Minnesota Twins and the Montreal Expos, for the 2002 season; a court injunction had required the Twins to fulfill their lease by playing in the Metrodome throughout the season.

      Japan's benchmark Nikkei Stock Average closes at 9,475.60, its lowest level since 1983.

February 6
      On the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne of Great Britain, Queen Elizabeth II opens a cancer hospital; her accession came when her father, King George VI, died of cancer. (See June 3.)

      The Journal of the American Medical Association publishes a study indicating that close to 90% of medical experts who write treatment guidelines have undisclosed ties to pharmaceutical companies.

      Letters written by the Danish physicist Niels Bohr are released that show that German atomic scientist Werner Heisenberg wholeheartedly worked to develop a nuclear weapon for Nazi Germany, contrary to the story Heisenberg put out afterward.

      Democrat Nancy Pelosi of California becomes the first woman to join the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives when she is sworn in as minority whip.

February 7
      Engulfed in a scandal that broke with the trial for child sexual abuse of a former priest, John J. Geoghan, the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Boston announces that six priests have been suspended because of similar accusations; this is in addition to two priests who were suspended on February 2. (See February 21.)

      The U.S. government says that Taliban prisoners being held at the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba will be treated in accordance with the guidelines of the Geneva Convention but maintains that al-Qaeda prisoners are still exempt.

      Pandeli Majko is appointed prime minister of Albania, replacing Ilir Meta, who resigned in January.

February 8
      The XIX Olympic Winter Games open in Salt Lake City, Utah.

      Mullah Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, the Taliban's foreign minister, surrenders to authorities of the new Afghan government in Kandahar.

      The Alqueva dam in the Alentejo region of Portugal begins filling what will be the largest artificial lake in Europe, in spite of the objections of environmentalists, who protest that the lake will submerge the habitats of rare plants and animals as well as archaeological sites.

February 9
      Algerian forces say they have killed Antar Zouabri, the leader of the Armed Islamic Group; under Zouabri, who became the rebel group's leader in 1996, the civil war in Algeria grew greatly in intensity.

      Princess Margaret, the younger sister of the U.K.'s Queen Elizabeth II, dies.

      In Antarctica, Britain's Princess Anne launches an international appeal fund to raise money to preserve the huts and other artifacts of early British explorers of Antarctica.

February 10
      Seven people are ax-murdered in a village near Moscow; the following day Pres. Vladimir Putin takes law-enforcement officials to task over increasing rates of violent crime.

      At the Olympic Games, German skater Claudia Pechstein breaks her own world record in the 3,000-m speed-skating race with a time of 3:57.70; in the 5,000-m speed-skating race the previous day, American Derek Parra broke the world record, but about 20 minutes later Dutchman Jochem Uytdehaage rebroke the record with a time of 6:14.66.

February 11
      In pairs figure skating at the Olympics, the gold medal goes to Russian skaters Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze for a performance that most observers believe was inferior to that of Canadians Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, who are awarded the silver medal; a storm of protest ensues. (See February 15.)

      The Roman Catholic Church creates four new dioceses within Russia; the Russian Orthodox Church views this as an attempt to convert Orthodox believers. (See March 2.)

      NBC agrees to pay $7 million per episode to air a new season of the situation comedy Friends, with each of the six cast members to receive $1 million; this is a record price for a half hour of television.

      Michael Kinsley, the founding editor of Slate, steps down from the position; Kinsley started the on-line magazine in 1996.

      The World Wildlife Fund Mexico releases information that 74% of the monarch butterflies in one colony and 80% of those in another were killed by a storm in mid-January in the largest die-off of migrating butterflies ever seen.

February 12
      The first day of the Year of the Horse, 4700, is celebrated by Chinese people throughout the world.

      In testimony before the Senate Budget Committee, Secretary of State Colin Powell says that the U.S. government is looking at options for engineering the overthrow of Saddam Hussein as ruler of Iraq.

      An airliner flying for Iran Air Tours crashes in the Sefid Mountain Range outside Khorramabad, killing all 118 aboard; fog and snow are believed to have been factors in the accident.

      Pakistani authorities arrest Muslim militant Ahmed Omar Sheikh, a leader in Jaish-e-Muhammad, whom they identified on February 6 as their chief suspect in the kidnapping of American journalist Daniel Pearl. (See January 23 and February 20.)

      The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Best in Show prize is won by Surrey Spice Girl, a miniature poodle; the victory is something of a surprise, as Torums Scarf Michael, a Kerry Blue terrier, had been favoured to win.

February 13
      The Lenten season begins in Spain with the traditional “burial of the sardine.”

      The Scottish Parliament passes the Protection of Wild Mammals Bill, which makes it illegal to hunt wild mammals with dogs and thereby effectively outlaws fox hunting in Scotland.

      The day after Pres. Hugo Chávez announced his decision to let the bolívar float, the Venezuelan national currency falls in value by 19% against the dollar.

February 14
      Emir Hamad ibn Isa al-Khalifah, ruler of Bahrain, proclaims himself king at the head of a constitutional monarchy; elections to the lower house of the new bicameral legislature are to be held in October.

      As his alternative to the Kyoto Protocol, which mandates reductions in greenhouse gases, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush announces a plan to reduce the increase in greenhouse gases by voluntary means; the plan is praised by industry and excoriated by environmentalists.

      The International Court of Justice (the World Court) invalidates a Belgian law that gave Belgium the right to try citizens of any nation for having committed war crimes against citizens of any nation.

      NATO proposes to Russia the creation of a NATO-Russia Council to serve as a parallel organization to NATO's North Atlantic Council.

      Armenian Pres. Robert Kocharyan undergoes an emergency appendectomy, and Azerbaijan's Pres. Heydar Aliyev has prostate surgery.

      New York City's Metropolitan Opera debuts its version of Prokofiev's War and Peace, with its biggest cast ever: 52 soloists, 227 extras, 120 choristers, 41 dancers, and a horse.

February 15
      After the International Olympic Committee asks the International Skating Union to look into the dispute over the pairs figure-skating awards, the ISU determines that the French judge was improperly influenced and announces that Jamie Salé and David Pelletier are to be awarded gold medals of their own. (See February 11.)

      Cassam Uteem resigns as president of Mauritius rather than sign into law an antiterrorism bill that he believes contains undemocratic clauses; the National Assembly elects Karl Offmann president on February 25.

      Afghanistan's interim head of government, Hamid Karzai, announces that the killing the previous day of Abdul Rahman, the aviation and tourism minister, was a political assassination carried out by other government members.

      After the chance discovery of a skull, authorities are horrified to discover that the Tri-State Crematory in Noble, Ga., has been piling bodies in the yard rather than cremating them; by early June, 339 bodies have been found on the crematory grounds.

February 16
      Zimbabwe expels Pierre Schori, the head of a European mission to observe the presidential election; the European Union responds on February 18 by imposing sanctions on the government of Pres. Robert Mugabe and withdrawing its team of observers. (See March 13.)

      Ole Einar Björndalen of Norway becomes the first biathlete to win three Olympic gold medals in the same Games when he wins the 12.5-km competition, having previously won the 20-km and the 10-km events.

February 17
      In their deadliest attack to date, Maoist rebels in Nepal kill 129, mostly police officers and soldiers, in Mangalsen, in the northwest.

      Responsibility for airport security in the U.S. is transferred to the federal government.

      British marines training in Gibraltar accidentally storm a beach in Spain; Great Britain apologizes for the inadvertent invasion, which occurred as the two countries negotiated over the future of Gibraltar. (See March 18.)

      In the Daytona 500 NASCAR race, there are nine crashes, one involving 18 cars, and the leader, Sterling Marlin, is sent to the end of the pack for making an unauthorized pit stop; the eventual winner is Ward Burton.

February 18
      George Speight, who led a coup in Fiji in May 2000, pleads guilty to treason and is sentenced to death, but Pres. Ratu Josefa Iloilo almost immediately commutes the sentence to life in prison.

      Point Given, winner of the Preakness and Belmont stakes, is named Horse of the Year for 2001; the horse was retired in the summer of 2001.

      Pentagon officials say plans are being made to disseminate information and disinformation to foreign media organizations through the Pentagon's new Office of Strategic Influence, established shortly after Sept. 11, 2001.

February 19
      Rain and hail lead to floods and mud slides that kill 69 people in La Paz, Bol.; the storms are the worst La Paz has ever experienced.

      Brazilian Pres. Fernando Henrique Cardoso says that the water level in the reservoirs has recovered enough for him to end electricity rationing, imposed in May 2001, on March 1.

      Health Minister C.P. Thakur confirms that there has been an outbreak of pneumonic plague in a remote region of India's Himachal Pradesh state.

February 20
      The worst rail disaster in Egypt's history occurs when a cooking stove on a train overcrowded with people traveling to celebrate the Aid al-Adha holiday catches fire and the train continues traveling for several kilometres, spreading the fire; more than 370 passengers die.

      A videotape that is delivered to Pakistani officials shows that kidnapped reporter Daniel Pearl has been killed. (See February 12.)

      Jim Shea, Jr., wins the gold medal in men's skeleton and becomes the first third-generation Winter Olympian; his grandfather Jack Shea won two gold medals in speed skating in 1932, and his father, Jim Shea, Sr., competed in Nordic skiing in 1964.

      A rare calendrical triple palindrome occurs at 8:02 PM, when the time and date are, in the European system, 20:02, 20/02/2002; such an occasion last occurred at 11:11 11/11/1111, and will next occur at 21:12 12/21/2112.

February 21
      John Geoghan, a defrocked priest, is sentenced to 9–10 years in prison for the sexual molestation of a 10-year-old boy; revelations of Geoghan's long history of child molesting while serving as a priest have led to calls for Boston's Bernard Cardinal Law to step down and to the names of nearly 90 current or former priests being turned over to prosecutors. (See February 7 and March 8.)

      Sarah Hughes, a 16-year-old skater from Great Neck, N.Y., exceeds everyone's expectations, including her own, and skates a nearly flawless long program that includes two triple-triple combinations to win the Olympic women's figure-skating gold medal.

      The U.S. citizenship of John Demjanjuk, believed to have been a guard at a Nazi death camp, is revoked for the second time; Demjanjuk was extradited to Israel and sentenced to death in 1988, but contradictory evidence led to his being freed in 1993, and his U.S. citizenship was then restored.

February 22
      Jonas Savimbi, head of the rebel group UNITA, is killed by government soldiers in Moxico province, Angola; Savimbi had been waging war against the government of Angola since 1975. (See March 30.)

      With the results of the December 2001 election still unclear, contender Marc Ravalomanana declares himself president of Madagascar; incumbent Pres. Didier Ratsiraka responds by declaring a state of emergency. (See March 4.)

      Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka and Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, sign a cease-fire agreement; the truce, brokered by Norway, will be monitored by Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.

      In its first suit ever against the executive branch, the General Accounting Office sues U.S. Vice Pres. Dick Cheney over his refusal to release to Congress records of his energy task force meetings in 2001.

      Japan notifies the International Whaling Commission that it plans to kill 50 more minke whales in 2002 than in the previous year and that, in addition, it intends to kill 50 sei whales; sei whales are listed as endangered.

      In Washington, D.C., the Washington Monument is reopened after having been closed for 15 months for renovation.

February 23
      FARC guerrillas in Colombia kidnap Ingrid Betancourt, a high-profile presidential candidate; two days earlier government forces had renewed operations against the FARC after Pres. Andrés Pastrana Arango accused the rebel group of having hijacked a domestic airliner and kidnapped a senator. (See March 16.)

February 24
      Nature releases a paper describing the successful cloning of a cat on Dec. 22, 2001; because coat colour in cats is only partly genetically determined, the kitten, named cc, does not physically resemble her genetic “parent.”

      The annual hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, held under unusually tight security, concludes without incident.

      On the final day of Olympic competition, Canada wins the gold medal in men's ice hockey for the first time in 50 years; three days previously the women's team from Canada, the birthplace of ice hockey, had also won gold.

      Officials in Rio de Janeiro say that 40,000 people in the city have come down with dengue fever, but it is estimated that the number of cases throughout the state may already be as high as 100,000; 17 people have died of the disease.

      The four surviving Mercury astronauts—John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, and Gordon Cooper—gather in Cape Canaveral, Fla., for a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the first U.S. manned flight to orbit the Earth.

February 25
      A plan for peace in the Middle East proposed by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdullah ʿAbd al-ʿAziz al-Saʿud is seized upon eagerly throughout the Western world and by Israelis and Palestinians.

      Representatives from the government, three armed rebel groups, and civic organizations open talks in Sun City, S.Af., that are meant to lead to peace and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the inter-Congolese dialogue is facilitated by a former president of Botswana, Kutemile Masire. (See March 14.)

      The Philippines celebrates a new national holiday in commemoration of the revolution that toppled Ferdinand Marcos in 1986; the holiday was announced by Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on February 12.

February 26
      U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld disbands the Office of Strategic Influence after Pres. George W. Bush expresses his opposition to some of its proposed functions.

      France begins a planned one-year celebration of the seminal Romantic writer Victor Hugo, who was born 200 years ago this day.

February 27
      A train carrying Hindu activists from Ayodhya, where militant Hindus have said they will illegally build a temple on the site of a 16th-century mosque that was pulled down by a mob in 1992, is set on fire by a Muslim mob in Godhra, Gujarat state, India, killing 58; the following day Hindu mobs rampage through nearby Ahmadabad in retaliation, and more than 60 Muslims are killed. (See March 1.)

      At the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, top winners are Alicia Keys, who wins five Grammys, including Song of the Year (“Fallin'”) and best new artist, and the sound track for the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which also takes home five awards, including Album of the Year; Record of the Year is U2's “Walk On.”

      Germany's Federal Statistics Office shows that Germany is officially in a recession.

      On the centenary of the birth of the writer John Steinbeck, his hometown of Salinas, Calif., holds a tribute, one of more than 175 planned to take place throughout the U.S. this year.

February 28
      The last day that national currencies may be used in the countries of the euro zone passes uneventfully; most people had fully switched to euros weeks before.

      The Convention on the Future of Europe, meant to meet for one full year, is opened in Brussels by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, who challenges the convention to produce a draft constitution for the European Union.

      Envisat, a European satellite designed to monitor the environmental health of the planet, is launched by an Ariane rocket from French Guiana; it is the largest satellite the European Space Agency has put into orbit.

      The journal Nature reports that scientists have found that the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex would have been incapable of running quickly or possibly at all, as an insufficient percentage of its body mass was in its leg muscles.

"The chairman of the Palestinian Authority is an enemy of Israel. He is the enemy of the entire free world."
—Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in his address to the nation, March 31

March 1
      The government of India sends armed forces to the city of Ahmadabad in an attempt to contain the violence of Hindu mobs seeking revenge for the Muslim attack on a train; in the past three days, more than 200 people have been killed in Gujarat state. (See February 27.)

      NASA scientists make public the first images and data from the Mars Odyssey spacecraft orbiting the planet; hydrogen measurements strongly suggest the presence of water ice.

      U.S. government officials confirm reports that a “shadow government,” consisting of career executive-branch officials, is being rotated through secret bunkers to ensure continuity of government in case of disaster; the system, put in place during the Cold War, was activated on Sept. 11, 2001.

      In Gary, Ind., Shauntay Hinton, representing the District of Columbia, is crowned Miss USA; she will compete in the Miss Universe contest in May.

March 2
      By means of a satellite television linkup, Pope John Paul II leads prayers in several European cities: Athens, Budapest, Strasbourg, Valencia, Vienna, and Moscow; Russian Orthodox Patriarch Aleksey II characterizes the event as an unwelcome invasion. (See February 11.)

      NASA scientists receive a response from a radio signal sent to Pioneer 10, which was launched in 1972 and is on course for Aldebaran, in the constellation Taurus, a trip that will take two million years.

March 3
      A referendum in Switzerland results in a narrow go-ahead for the government to apply for membership in the United Nations.

      A magnitude-7.2 earthquake strikes northern Afghanistan, leaving at least 100 people dead.

      Legislative elections in São Tomé and Príncipe are narrowly won by the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe; the party leader, Gabriel Costa, is named prime minister on March 26.

      Austrian skier Stephan Eberharter clinches the men's overall World Cup title, and three days later Michaela Dorfmeister, also of Austria, clinches the women's overall title.

March 4
      Ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova is elected president of the province of Kosovo; the election, by the legislature, is expected to move Kosovo closer to secession from Yugoslavia.

      Murder charges are brought against Foday Sankoh, leader of the Revolutionary United Front rebel group in Sierra Leone, both by a war crimes tribunal formed by the UN and by the government of Sierra Leone.

      Two days after the declaration of a state of emergency in Madagascar by Pres. Didier Ratsiraka, the members of the alternative government appointed by Marc Ravalomanana take over government buildings as the armed forces stand aside. (See February 22.)

March 5
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush imposes tariffs of as much as 30% on steel imported from Europe, Asia, and South America, to begin on March 20 and last for three years; the European Union promises to lodge a complaint with the World Trade Organization.

      In primary elections in California, U.S. Rep. Gary Condit, at the centre of a scandal involving missing federal intern Chandra Levy, loses his bid to be the Democratic Party candidate for his seat in Congress to Dennis Cardoza. (See May 22.)

      The final flight of Ansett Airlines, founded in 1936 and at one time Australia's largest domestic carrier, transports passengers from Perth to Sydney.

March 6
      The head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Michael Parker, is made to resign after he voiced reservations about the $450 million cut in the organization's funds envisioned by the budget proposed by Pres. George W. Bush.

      The Journal of the American Medical Association publishes the results of an extensive study showing a strong link between high levels of air pollution and elevated rates of death from lung cancer and heart disease.

March 7
      Alan Greenspan, head of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, indicates that he believes that the economic recession has ended.

      In the face of unceasing violence between the Israeli armed forces and Palestinians, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush sends his special envoy, Anthony C. Zinni, back into the fray.

      The scientists who announced in January that the universe is a pale green (see January 11) disclose that their conclusion resulted from faulty computation; the colour of the universe is in fact a very pale beige.

      A report published in Nature tells of the finding in northern China of dromaeosaur fossils that clearly show that the dinosaur was feathered and thereby indicate that feathers evolved before both birds and flight.

March 8
      Kmart, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, announces that it will close 284 stores in 40 states across the U.S.

      Bishop Anthony J. O'Connell, who had been assigned to head the Roman Catholic diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., in 1999 after the previous bishop, Joseph Keith Symons, resigned after admitting having sexually molested boys, admits that he committed sexual abuse in the 1970s and resigns. (See February 21.)

March 9
      Newspapers in the U.S. report that a Pentagon document discusses the use of nuclear weapons as a key element in military planning and indicates that possible targets would include Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, and Syria.

      The Mont Blanc tunnel between France and Italy, which had been closed since a truck fire took place in it in 1999, reopens; commercial traffic will be carefully regulated to prevent a recurrence of the disastrous fire.

      Mexican authorities arrest Benjamín Arellano Félix, head of Mexico's most powerful drug cartel.

      Following a highly contentious election, Melissa Gilbert defeats Valerie Harper for the position of president of the Screen Actors Guild.

March 10
      Denis Sassou-Nguesso is overwhelmingly elected to continue in the presidency of the Republic of the Congo for a term of seven years.

      In Barcelona, Spain, more than 100,000 people protest a plan to build dozens of dams on the Ebro River in order to provide water to parched regions of Spain farther south; protesters believe the plan would be an ecological disaster.

March 11
      As a culmination of observances of the six-month anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a temporary memorial made of beams of light to illuminate the sky where the World Trade Center stood is lit.

      The U.S. Postal Service unveils a new fund-raising stamp; bearing the image of New York City firefighters raising an American flag in the rubble of the World Trade Center, the stamp will cost 45 cents, and the 11-cent difference between that price and the price of a first-class postage stamp will be given to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

      A fire breaks out in a girls' school in Mecca, Saudi Arabia; in their panicked attempt to escape the school, the doors of which were kept locked, 14 girls are killed and some 50 injured, and accusations are later made that firefighters were prevented from rescuing the girls because the girls were not wearing abaya covering.

      After weeks of high-profile speculation and hand-wringing about the fate of the acclaimed ABC late-night news show Nightline, David Letterman announces that he is declining ABC's offer to move his talk show to its network to replace Nightline and that he will remain with CBS.

March 12
      Statistics Canada releases Canada's most recent census data: Canada in 2001 had a population of 30,007,094 and had a growth rate that matched the lowest rate in the country's history.

      The nine members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States enact legislation permitting free movement of people between the member states without requiring the use of a visa or even a passport.

      The Swiss-born Martin Buser wins the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 8 days 22 hours 46 minutes, breaking the record set by Doug Swingley in 2000 and becoming the first to come in in under 9 days.

      Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge unveils a colour-coded system for terrorism alerts with specific meaning for local law-enforcement agencies; the code has five levels, ranging from a low of green to a high of red, and the present level is declared to be yellow, meaning an elevated risk of a terrorist attack.

March 13
      Robert Mugabe is declared the winner of the presidential election in Zimbabwe; his opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, says the election was flawed, and the U.S. agrees, but African nations hasten to send in congratulations and praise the election. (See February 16.)

      Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, a Muslim cleric who, as a prominent black activist in the 1960s, was known as H. Rap Brown, is sentenced to life in prison without parole for having murdered a sheriff's deputy in Fulton county, Ga.

March 14
      Leaders of the two remaining republics in Yugoslavia agree to remake the country into a loose federation called Serbia and Montenegro; the agreement, in which Montenegro gives up its planned referendum on independence, must be ratified by the legislatures of the republics.

      The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo pulls out of the peace talks in Sun City, S.Af., citing attacks by a Rwanda-backed rebel group in Katanga province. (See February 25.)

      John C. Polkinghorne, an Anglican priest and former particle physicist, is named the winner of the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities.

      The Whitley Conservation Awards are presented in London to Laury Cullen, for his work in preserving rainforests in Brazil; Carlos Soza, for his work in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala; John Mauremootoo, for his work to restore forests in Mauritius; Lourdes Mugica Valdes, for her work involving bird life in Cuba; and Silas Kpanan 'Ayoung Siakor, for his efforts to preserve rainforests in Liberia.

March 15
      Israel pulls its armed forces out of every West Bank town except Bethlehem.

      A number of its high-profile clients, including Sara Lee and Abbott Laboratories, sever ties with beleaguered accounting firm Arthur Andersen, as do several of the company's foreign subsidiaries.

      A two-metre (seven-foot) bronze statue of John Lennon is unveiled at the airport in Liverpool, Eng., which is renamed the Liverpool John Lennon Airport; Liverpool was the hometown of the Beatles.

      Gavin Menzies, a British navigation expert, presents to the Royal Geographical Society his evidence for believing that the Chinese admiral Zheng He circumnavigated the globe with a large fleet of ships between March 1421 and October 1423.

March 16
      The outspoken Roman Catholic archbishop Isaias Duarte Cancino of Colombia is gunned down outside his church in Cali. (See February 23.)

      An important Aymara religious icon, a monolith known as Bennett (after its American discoverer), is returned to its home in Tiwanaku, Bol., from which it had been taken to La Paz in 1932; the monolith, first erected in AD 373, is greeted with music and jubilation.

March 17
      The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace), sponsored by NASA and the German Aerospace Centre, is launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia; consisting of a pair of satellites, it will produce a gravity map of the Earth that is 100 times more detailed and accurate than any previous one.

      The 17th biannual Arctic Winter Games, held simultaneously in Nuuk, Greenland, and Iqaluit, Nunavut, open; the games, continuing until March 23, include Dene and Inuit games and dog mushing as well as basketball, skating, and skiing.

March 18
      Almost the entire population of Gibraltar turns out to protest the beginning of talks between Great Britain and Spain over the future status of the territory; it is believed that the talks are likely to lead to joint sovereignty, and the people of Gibraltar are adamantly opposed to Spain's playing any future role in its governance. (See February 17.)

      Mande Sidibe resigns as prime minister of Mali in order to run for president; he is replaced by Modibo Keita, who had been the first president of Mali.

      The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, inducts Brenda Lee, Isaac Hayes, Gene Pitney, Chet Atkins, and Jim Stewart as well as the bands the Ramones, the Talking Heads, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

      Maud Farris-Luse, recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest living person, dies in Michigan at the age of 115; the crown is now assumed by Japan's Kamato Hongo, age 114.

      In the Chinese province of Yunnan, in the mountains near the border with Tibet, the county of Zhongdian officially changes its name to Shangri-La in hopes of drawing increased tourism.

March 19
      The Commonwealth suspends Zimbabwe from membership for a period of one year after concluding that a high level of violence had made the presidential elections unfair.

      The CEO of the computer company Hewlett-Packard, Carly S. Fiorina, says she has won a shareholder vote to allow a friendly merger with Compaq Computer.

      The transport ministers of France and Italy break ground for a rail tunnel that will link Lyon, France, to Turin, Italy, and run 52.3 km (32.5 mi), 1.6 km (1 mi) longer than the Channel Tunnel.

      Scientists say that the Larsen B ice shelf on the east coast of Antarctica, about 3,240 sq km (1,250 sq mi) in extent, has disintegrated with astonishing and unprecedented speed.

March 20
      On the day of the vernal equinox, Farsi speakers throughout the world celebrate Noruz (Navruz), the traditional solar New Year's Day.

      The government of Italy declares a state of emergency in regard to a flood of illegal immigrants; more than 20,000 illegal immigrants moved to Italy in 2001, and close to 5,000 have arrived since the beginning of 2002.

      A car bomb explodes outside the U.S. embassy in Lima, Peru, killing 9 people and injuring 40.

      The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001 is passed by the U.S. Congress; it is the first major change in campaign finance rules since 1974.

March 21
      Heads of state or government of 50 countries begin two days of addresses before the UN International Conference on Financing for Development, which opened in Monterrey, Mex., on March 18; the meeting is addressing the funneling of foreign aid to reduce worldwide poverty.

      The oldest-known photographic image, made in 1825 by Nicéphore Niepce and showing a man leading a horse, is bought at auction by the National Library of France.

March 22
      The World Meteorological Organization celebrates World Water Day by noting that, with agricultural output expected to rise 80% and water availability only 12%, agriculture must learn to grow “more crop per drop”; Godwin Obasi, the organization's secretary-general, notes that water availability will be a major problem of the 21st century.

      The U.S. imposes tariffs that average 29% on softwood lumber imported from Canada, maintaining that Canada illegally subsidizes its lumber industry; American homebuilders are as incensed as Canadian officials, who promise to appeal to a NAFTA panel.

      The Bundesrat, the upper house of Germany's legislature, passes a hotly disputed comprehensive immigration law that is intended to regulate the flow of foreign workers into the country.

      In Switzerland the Bergier Commission, which began work in 1996, releases its report, stating that the Swiss government worked secretly with Nazi Germany and that Switzerland refused refuge to thousands of Jews during World War II though it was aware of the concentration camps.

March 23
      Street Cry, owned by Sheikh Muhammad al-Maktoum and ridden by Jerry Bailey, wins the Dubai World Cup, the world's richest horse race.

      More than one million people in Rome demonstrate against government plans to rewrite labour regulations; government officials respond by accusing labour unions of complicity in the murder of Marco Biagi, and trade unions react by canceling talks planned with the government to try to resolve the dispute over the proposed new law.

      For the second time in a week, Mohammad Zahir Shah, the former king of Afghanistan, decides to postpone his return to Afghanistan, which was to have taken place on March 26; he gives no reason but says that he will make the trip sometime in April.

March 24
      In the longest Academy Awards ceremony in history, staged for the first time in the new Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., and hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, Oscars are won by, among others, A Beautiful Mind, director Ron Howard, and actors Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, and Jennifer Connelly.

      Shiʿite Muslims in Lebanon, Bahrain, and Iran observe the holiday of Ashura, when they commemorate the death of the Imam Husayn, son of ʿAli and grandson of Muhammad, in 670.

March 25
      A magnitude-6.1 earthquake destroys the densely populated village of Nahrin in the Hindu Kush mountain range in northern Afghanistan; about 1,000 people are believed dead.

      Armed officials begin patrolling the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda to look for crocodiles; 43 people have been killed by crocodiles in the past six months.

      China launches its third unmanned spacecraft, Shenzhou III, from the Jiuquan Launch Centre in Gansu province.

March 26
      Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat chooses not to attend an Arab summit meeting in Beirut, Lebanon, because Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has indicated that he might not permit Arafat to return to the West Bank once he has left.

      The Finnish telecommunications company Sonera and the Swedish telecommunications company Telia announce that they will merge; the union of the two formerly state-run monopolies will create the largest such company in the Nordic region.

      A lawsuit is filed in a U.S. federal court on behalf of all living descendants of slaves and is seeking unspecified damages from FleetBoston Financial Corp., Aetna Inc., and CSX Corp., claiming that the predecessors of these companies profited from slave labour.

March 27
      A Palestinian suicide bomber detonates his explosives in a hotel dining room in Netanya, Israel, as 200 people are sitting down to celebrate Passover, and at least 19 people are killed; Hamas claims responsibility and says it was done to derail the peace efforts.

      A mentally ill man opens fire at a city council meeting in Nanterre, France, killing 8 council members and wounding 19 people; France, which has an extremely low crime rate, is horrified.

      General Motors announces a plan to revive the Pontiac GTO model; the GTO, made from 1964 until 1974, was the original “muscle car.”

March 28
      Leaders at the Arab League summit meeting in Beirut, Lebanon, agree to a Saudi Arabian proposal to form normal relations with Israel if it will agree to conditions meant to lead to the creation of a Palestinian state, and they also unite in opposing any U.S. military action against Iraq.

      For the first time in his 23 years at the helm of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II is too frail to be able to take part in the Holy Week ritual of washing of feet.

      Juliusz Paetz, archbishop of Poznan, Pol., resigns; he had been accused of sexually molesting teenage seminarians.

March 29
      The Israeli army moves into the West Bank town of Ramallah and storms the compound of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, imprisoning him in his office.

      In the fourth suicide bombing in two weeks, Ayat al-Akhras, a Palestinan high-school student, detonates her explosives in the entrance to a grocery store in Jerusalem, killing 2 Israelis in addition to herself and wounding at least 30.

      Direct commercial flights between Delhi and Beijing resume after a hiatus of 40 years; the return trip of the inaugural flight carries Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, who will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart.

March 30
      Great Britain's beloved Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, dies in her sleep at Windsor Palace at the age of 101.

      After over two weeks of secret negotiations, military leaders of the government of Angola and of the UNITA rebel group sign a preliminary cease-fire agreement in the small town of Luena. (See February 22.)

      American and Pakistani officials say they believe that one of the men captured in a raid in Lahore, Pak., on March 28 is top al-Queda commander Abu Zubaydah.

      Oxford defeats Cambridge by just two-thirds of a length in the 148th University Boat Race; Cambridge leads the series 77–70.

March 31
      After a suicide bomber blows himself up in a restaurant in Haifa, killing 14 people, many of them Israeli Arabs, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declares that Israel is at war.

      Parliamentary elections held in Ukraine are won by the party of former prime minister Viktor Yushchenko.

"They have put themselves outside the law to instigate violence, knowing there is an insurrectional plan, a crazy plan, a diabolic plan, an irrational plan."
Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chávez, April 11,shortly before being briefly forced from office

April 1
      After a weekend in which three French synagogues were set on fire and two other acts of violent anti-Semitism took place, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin calls out 1,100 extra police officers to guard synagogues and Jewish schools, declaring that any acts of anti-Semitism will be firmly pursued by the justice system.

      Bishop Brendan Comiskey of the southeastern Irish diocese of Ferns announces his resignation, admitting that he had dealt inadequately with Sean Fortune, a priest who sexually assaulted dozens of boys for a period of about 10 years, before his suicide in 1999.

      The National Collegiate Athletic Association championship in men's basketball is won by the University of Maryland, which defeats Indiana University 64–52; the previous day the University of Connecticut had defeated the University of Oklahoma 82–70 in the women's championship.

      A team of Indian and British divers discover what they believe to be the lost city of Seven Pagodas off the coast of Mahabalipuram, India; the underwater site appears to be extensive.

      Bel Canto, a novel by Ann Patchett, wins the 2002 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction.

April 2
      Israeli forces pursue Palestinian gunmen into Manger Square in Bethlehem, where the Palestinians seek refuge inside the Church of the Nativity, built over the spot that Christians believe to be the birthplace of Christ; the following day the Israeli army occupies Nablus, the second largest city in the West Bank, and thereby has gained control of every major centre in the West Bank except Hebron. (See April 4.)

April 3
      A synagogue in Antwerp, Belg., is firebombed; earlier in the week a synagogue in Brussels had also been firebombed. (See April 4.)

      Bayer A.G. and Exelixis Inc. announce that they have sequenced most of the genome of the tobacco budworm, an agricultural pest; it is hoped that the new information will allow them to create more effective pesticides.

April 4
      The Israeli army completes its takeover of the West Bank when its tanks roll into Hebron; U.S. Pres. George W. Bush demands that Israel withdraw from the West Bank. (See April 2.)

      Military leaders of the forces of the government and of UNITA sign a cease-fire agreement in Angola, the terms of which aim at the absorption of UNITA rebels into Angolan national life.

      Arthur Andersen announces that it has reached an agreement to sell most of its tax business to another Big Five accounting firm, Deloitte & Touche.

      A synagogue in the Paris suburb of Le Kremlin-Bicêtre is firebombed despite the presence of a police guard at the site. (See April 3.)

April 5
      Representatives of the countries of the European Union and 10 Asian countries meet in the Canary Islands to make a plan to try to stem the flow of illegal immigrants to Europe; the Canary Islands are a frequent intermediate stop for such migrants en route to mainland Europe.

      A team of Chinese researchers and a Swiss genomics company publish the genomes of two different strains of rice; it is believed that the information will be useful in developing more nutritious and efficient forms of rice and other cereals.

      Oprah Winfrey announces that she is discontinuing her Oprah's Book Club, which has tremendously boosted the sales of each of its featured books.

April 6
      José Manuel Durão Barroso is sworn in as prime minister of Portugal.

April 7
      Two bombs go off in rapid succession in a nightclub in Villavicencio, Colom., killing 12 people and injuring dozens more; it is believed that the FARC rebel group is behind the carnage.

      U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell sets off on a peacemaking trip to the Middle East.

April 8
      An international commission announces that the Irish Republican Army has for the second time decommissioned a large quantity of arms; this is regarded as extremely propitious for the peace process in Northern Ireland.

      Algeria's legislature approves a constitutional amendment that makes the Berber language, Tamazight, a national language.

      In New York City the winners of the 2002 Pulitzer Prizes are announced: a record seven awards go to the New York Times, and other journalism awards go to the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal, and winners in arts and letters include Richard Russo for fiction and David McCullough for biography.

April 9
      Mexico's Senate votes not to allow Pres. Vicente Fox to make a planned trip to the U.S. and Canada; it is the first time the Mexican Senate, which has had the power to do so since the 1850s, has exercised its right to curtail the foreign travel of the country's president.

      Spain's top investigative magistrate opens an investigation into the country's second largest bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, which is suspected of money laundering and falsifying accounts.

      David Duncan, a former partner at Arthur Andersen who was in charge of conducting the audits for the Enron Corp., pleads guilty to obstruction of justice, admitting that he made an effort to destroy documents related to Enron's collapse.

      The 72nd James E. Sullivan Award, to honour the most outstanding amateur athlete in the U.S., is awarded to Michelle Kwan; she is only the second figure skater ever to win the award.

April 10
      At a NASA news conference, scientists describe research on two unusual stars based on data gathered by the Chandra X-ray Observatory that led them to think that the stars might be made of quarks in a form called strange quark matter; if true, the findings would change views on the nature of matter.

      General Motors and the creditors of Daewoo Motor reach a detailed agreement on the takeover of Daewoo by General Motors.

April 11
      A treaty that creates a permanent International Criminal Court, to be based in The Hague, is signed at the United Nations headquarters in New York City; the U.S. government boycotts the ceremony.

      A truck bomb explodes at a historic synagogue, which is said to have been built shortly after the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem in 586 BC, in Djerba, Tun.; 18 people, most of them German tourists, are killed, and the building is damaged.

      The Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, owned by the family that owns the Wal-Mart store chain, donates $300 million to the University of Arkansas; it is the biggest gift ever given to a public university in the U.S.

April 12
      After pro-Chávez forces fire on anti-Chávez demonstrators in Caracas, Ven., some military generals break ranks, and Pres. Hugo Chávez is forced from office; two days later Chávez resumes his post after popular demonstrations and the condemnation of governments throughout the Western Hemisphere. (See October 5.)

      A magnitude-5.8 earthquake shakes an area in the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan not far from the village that was leveled by an earthquake last month.

      Princeton University announces that it has hired the prominent African American scholar Cornel West away from Harvard University; West, star of Harvard's Afro-American studies department, had been publicly feuding with the university's president, Lawrence H. Summers, for several months.

April 13
      The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague delimits a 1,000-km (620-mi) stretch of border between Ethiopia and Eritrea, ending a dispute that led to war in 1998–2000.

      Scotland defeats Sweden for the women's world curling championship; the next day Canada trounces Norway 10–5 for the men's title.

April 14
      In soon-to-be-independent East Timor's first presidential election, José Alexandre ("Xanana") Gusmão wins by a landslide; the turnout is better than 86%.

      In winning the London Marathon, American Khalid Khannouchi breaks his own world record with a time of 2 hr 5 min 38 sec; Paula Radcliffe of the U.K. wins the women's race, with a time of 2 hr 18 min 56 sec, in the first marathon she has ever entered.

      For the third time, Tiger Woods wins the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., becoming only the third person ever to win it in two consecutive years.

      The retail chain J.C. Penney celebrates its centenary 100 years to the day after James Cash Penney opened his first store, the Golden Rule Store, in Kemmerer, Wyo.

April 15
      Pope John Paul II unexpectedly summons all 13 U.S. cardinals to Vatican City to discuss the burgeoning pedophile scandal; previous statements from Rome had seemed to downplay the significance of the issue. (See March 8 and April 24.)

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the use of Botox for cosmetic purposes; Botox injections temporarily paralyze muscles and thereby smooth wrinkles.

      Australian architect Glenn Murcutt is announced as the winner of the 2002 Pritzker Architecture Prize; the prize will be awarded in a ceremony on May 29.

      The Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize is awarded to German-born American poet Lisel Mueller.

      The 106th Boston Marathon is won by Rodgers Rop of Kenya with a time of 2 hr 9 min 2 sec; Margaret Okayo of Kenya breaks the course record for women with a time of 2 hr 20 min 43 sec, beating favourite Catherine Ndereba by 150 yd.

April 16
      A one-day general strike idles 13 million workers in Italy and virtually shuts down the country; the strike was called to protest a proposed change in labour law that would allow very small companies to lay off new employees without having to show cause in court.

      Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok and his cabinet resign in order to take responsibility for mistakes made by the Dutch government when Dutch peacekeepers were unable to protect the town of Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, from being destroyed by Bosnian Serbs in 1995.

April 17
      A court in Madagascar orders a recount of the votes in the disputed presidential election; the following day Pres. Didier Ratsiraka and the self-declared president, Marc Ravalomanana, agree to form an interim government if the recount shows that neither candidate got more than 50% of the vote. (See April 29.)

      South African Pres. Thabo Mbeki announces that, in a change of policy, the government will make universally available the anti-AIDS drug nevirapine, which greatly reduces the chances that an infected mother will transmit the disease to her newborn baby.

      In a settlement, the family of the Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, who died in 1998, agrees to return to Nigeria $1 billion believed to have been plundered from the country by Abacha during his five years in power.

      Hewlett-Packard says that independent inspectors have confirmed that the disputed shareholder vote on March 19 was won by those voting with CEO Carly Fiorina in favour of a merger with Compaq Computer.

April 18
      A U.S. fighter pilot in Afghanistan drops a 227-kg (500-lb) bomb on Canadian forces conducting training exercises, killing four Canadian soldiers; the pilot had mistakenly believed he was being fired upon.

      After 29 years in exile, the former king of Afghanistan, Zahir Shah, returns to Kabul.

      The U.S. Senate votes not to allow drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; the plan had been the centrepiece of Pres. George W. Bush's energy policy.

      The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development publishes its most recent blacklist of tax havens, containing 7 countries, down from 35 in its first list, in 2000: Andorra, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Monaco, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Vanuatu.

      Abercrombie & Fitch removes a line of T-shirts depicting what it thought were humorous caricatures of Asian Americans from its shelves; the line, introduced on April 12, aroused the ire of Asian Americans and others, who found the stereotypes offensive.

April 19
      New constitutions are announced for each of the two entities making up Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska); the documents give Serbs, Croats, and Bosniak Muslims equal rights throughout the country.

      The inter-Congolese dialogue in Sun City, S.Afr., ends without an agreement on an interim government to end the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

      An American scientist reports that a Japanese computer built to analyze climate change and track weather and earthquake patterns is far faster than the previous fastest computer, built by IBM.

      Science magazine publishes an article describing the discovery of a new order of insects, Mantophasmatodea; the wingless mantislike insect order, found in the mountains of Namibia, is the first insect order discovered since 1914, at which time it was believed that all insect orders had been identified.

      The U.S.-backed candidate Rajendra K. Pachauri, head of one of India's largest industrial groups, wins election as the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

      Pasteur Bizimungu, a former president of Rwanda, is arrested on charges of illegal political activity and threats to state security.

April 20
      A meeting of finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of Seven advanced industrial nations in Washington, D.C., yields an agreement that will allow indebted countries to more easily renegotiate their payment schedules in order to lighten their burden.

April 21
      In a shocking upset, the first round of presidential voting in France winnows the field of 16 candidates to the incumbent, Jacques Chirac, and extreme right-wing candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen.

      Socialist Party candidate Peter Medgyessy is elected to succeed centre-right politician Viktor Orban as prime minister of Hungary.

      Israel begins a partial withdrawal of its troops from the West Bank cities of Nablus and Ramallah, bringing to a halt its ground invasion.

April 22
      Martti Ahtisaari, a former president of Finland, is appointed to head a UN fact-finding team that is to look into Palestinian allegations of a massacre in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin.

      The U.S. succeeds in orchestrating the ouster of José M. Bustani as director general of the 145-member Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons; no successor is selected.

      A. Alfred Taubman, the former head of Sotheby's auction house, is sentenced to a year and a day in prison and fined $7.5 million for leading a price-fixing scheme.

      A federal ban on the use of motorized water scooters in U.S. national parks goes into effect.

April 23
      Karen Hughes, counselor to the president of the U.S. and perhaps his most influential adviser, announces her resignation, effective probably in the summer; she feels that her family needs to return to its hometown in Texas.

April 24
      U.S. cardinals summoned by Pope John Paul II to Rome issue proposals for handling the issue of priests accused of sexual abuse, suggesting dismissal for serial offenders but discretion in cases that are not, in their words, notorious. (See April 15.)

      As a wildfire near Denver, Colo., doubles in size, the town of Bailey is evacuated; the area is suffering from a prolonged drought that presages a bad fire season.

      An explosion caused by gas kills 23 miners working in a coal mine in Panzhihua, Sichuan province, China; on April 22 a mine in nearby Chongqing had experienced an explosion that killed about a dozen miners.

April 25
      At a NASA news conference, scientists say they have measured the temperature of the coldest white dwarf stars observed by the Hubble Space Telescope in the constellation Scorpius in the Milky Way and have concluded that the universe is about 13 billion years old, which agrees well with other recent estimates based on other ways of measuring.

      A Russian rocket blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying among its crew South African Internet millionaire Mark Shuttleworth, the second space tourist and the first person from Africa ever to go into space; the crew will visit the International Space Station.

      During a holiday to observe the death of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, a bomb explodes in the women's section of a Shiʾite mosque in Bukker in the eastern Pakistani province of Punjab; 12 women and children are killed.

April 26
      Argentine Pres. Eduardo Duhalde, after several attempts, finds a minister of the economy—Roberto Lavagna—who meets with the approval of everyone concerned; he also partially reopens the banks.

      A recently expelled student, Robert Steinhäuser, goes on a shooting spree at a secondary school in Erfurt, Ger., killing 17 people, 13 of them teachers, before turning a gun on himself; the country, which has a low violent crime rate and extremely tight gun laws, is shocked.

April 27
      Pakistan's Supreme Court rules that the constitution allows Pres. Pervez Musharraf to hold his planned referendum on whether his presidency, which was set to end in October, should be extended for five years; the referendum, held on April 30, passes resoundingly.

      In an auction of Texas longhorn cattle held by Red McCombs outside Johnson City, Texas, a record price of $59,000 is paid by Vicki Mosser for Day's Feisty Fannie, a heifer that sports horns close to 192 cm (76 in) from tip to tip, which makes her, in the words of her new owner, "the longest-horned longhorn that's ever been sold."

April 28
      Israel agrees to end the blockade of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah, but a few hours later, on the following day, Israeli forces seize control of Hebron.

      A pipe bomb explodes in an outdoor market in Vladikavkaz, the capital of Russia's North Ossetian Republic, killing seven.

      A storm system roars through the valleys of the Tennessee and Ohio rivers, spawning an exceptionally strong tornado in Maryland and killing four people throughout the area.

April 29
      The U.S. regains its seat on the United Nations Human Rights Commission; it had unexpectedly lost its seat on the organization, which it helped found, on May 3, 2001.

      The High Constitutional Court of Madagascar says that the recount of the vote shows that Marc Ravalomanana won an outright majority and was elected president; the incumbent, Didier Ratsiraka, who had agreed to the recount, does not accept the result. (See April 17.)

      Australia's largest medical insurance company, United Medical Protection, files for bankruptcy.

April 30
      In talks sponsored by the Red Cross, North Korea agrees to allow a search for Japanese citizens who Japan believes were kidnapped decades ago, and Japan agrees to search for Koreans taken to Japan before 1945.

      Images of distant galaxies made by the new main camera, the Advanced Camera for Surveys, of the Hubble Space Telescope are unveiled.

      Bernard J. Ebbers is abruptly replaced as president and CEO of WorldCom, the telecommunications and Internet giant created by Ebbers, by John W. Sidgmore.

"We do not want war. But if war is thrust upon us, we would respond with full might, and give a befitting reply."
Pakistani Pres. Pervez Musharraf, in his May 27 address to the nation

May 1
      Throughout France more than a million people turn out in May Day demonstrations against right-wing presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen. (See May 5.)

      A car bomb created by the Basque separatist organization ETA explodes outside a stadium in Madrid where soccer fans are lined up in anticipation of a game.

      At the National Magazine Awards ceremony, the big winners are The Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, while awards for general excellence go to Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, Vibe, National Geographic Adventure, and Print.

May 2
      Israeli forces withdraw from Yasir Arafat's compound in Ramallah, and a firefight erupts at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, resulting in some fire damage to the structure.

      Erik R. Lindbergh lands his Lancair Columbia 300 airplane at Le Bourget airport after a 17-hour transatlantic flight that was a re-creation of the historic New York–Paris flight made by his grandfather, Charles Lindbergh, in 1927.

May 3
      Eight rural mailboxes in a circular cluster of small towns in northwestern Illinois and northeastern Iowa are found to be booby-trapped with pipe bombs; each bomb is accompanied by a long, obscure antigovernment note. (See May 7.)

      Russia signs an agreement returning Cam Ranh Bay, after 1979 the largest Soviet naval base outside the Soviet Union, to Vietnam.

      A funeral is held in Cape Town for Saartje Baartman, a Khoisan woman who left South Africa in 1810 and was exhibited in France as the “Hottentot Venus” for the rest of her life and after her death; Baartman's remains were returned to South Africa by Paris's Musée de l'Homme.

      Perry Christie becomes prime minister of The Bahamas after the opposition Progressive Liberal Party unexpectedly and overwhelmingly wins the general election.

      The Mystery Writers of America, Inc., presents its Grand Master award to Robert B. Parker, author of the Spenser novels, and names Silent Joe, by T. Jefferson Parker, best novel.

May 4
      In the 128th running of the Kentucky Derby, a long-shot horse, War Emblem, wins; War Emblem had recently been purchased by Saudi Arabian Prince Ahmed ibn Salman and trained by Bob Baffert (See May 18).

      An airplane flown by EAS Airlines, a private carrier in Nigeria, crashes into a crowded neighbourhood in Kano shortly after takeoff, killing all 76 aboard, including the sports minister, Ishaya Mark Aku, as well as dozens on the ground.

May 5
      Pres. Jacques Chirac wins reelection as president of France with 82% of the vote in the second round of balloting, as against 18% for Jean-Marie Le Pen; it is the largest margin of victory in France's history. (See May 1.)

      The government of Nepal says that several recent battles with Maoist rebels have left 400 rebels dead, which, if true, would be a remarkable turnaround in battle fortunes; in recent months Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has cast the government's war with the Maoist rebels as part of the war on terror.

May 6
      A leading candidate to become prime minister of The Netherlands, Pim Fortuyn, is assassinated; Fortuyn, an anti-immigration advocate with flamboyant views and lifestyle, had quickly risen to prominence in the previous weeks. (See May 8.)

      Pres. Jacques Chirac names Jean-Pierre Raffarin interim prime minister of France, replacing Lionel Jospin.

      Myanmar (Burma) announces that it is releasing rights activist Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and allowing her to engage in political activity.

      In its opening weekend in the U.S., the movie Spider-Man smashes box-office records with a take of $115 million; it is the first movie to make more than $100 million in its first weekend.

May 7
      A suicide bomber explodes his weapon in a gambling and billiards club outside Tel Aviv, Israel, killing 15 and wounding 58; Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon cuts short his visit to U.S. Pres. George W. Bush and returns home the following day.

      Lucas Helder, a student at the University of Wisconsin—Stout, is arrested in Nevada; he is believed to be responsible for the pipe bombs found in various rural mailboxes in the Midwest. (See May 3.)

      Seattle Slew, the horse that won the U.S. Triple Crown in 1977, dies.

May 8
      Abel Pacheco is inaugurated as the new president of Costa Rica.

      A car bomb explodes outside the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi, Pak., killing 14 people, mostly French citizens working in Pakistan.

      Volkert van der Graaf, a radical animal rights activist, is arraigned in Amsterdam in the assassination of politician Pim Fortuyn. (See May 6.)

      Feyenoord Rotterdam beats Borussia Dortmund of Germany 3–2 in the association football (soccer) UEFA Cup final in Rotterdam, Neth.

May 9
      A bomb explodes at a military parade in Kaspiysk, in the Russian republic of Dagestan, held to commemorate the end of World War II; 42 people, including 12 children and a number of members of a brass band, are killed.

      Two men push into a bank in Mor, Hung., and open fire with automatic weapons, killing at least six people and deeply shocking a nation unaccustomed to violent crime.

      Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening orders a moratorium on executions pending the completion of a study on whether racial bias is a factor in death penalty cases; Maryland is the second U.S. state to order such a moratorium, after Illinois in 2000.

May 10
      Robert Hanssen, former FBI employee and double agent for the Soviet Union, is sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

      After several false starts, the Israeli siege of the Church of the Nativity in Jerusalem is lifted with an agreement that many of the Palestinians within are to be exiled; the siege began on April 2.

May 11
      Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti cancels what would have been his final appearance at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, pleading illness; he has announced that he will retire this year.

      David Beckham, the star captain of the English national soccer team, signs a new contract with Manchester United.

      Slovakia defeats Russia 4–3 to win its first world ice hockey championship.

May 12
      Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter begins a five-day visit with Pres. Fidel Castro of Cuba. (See May 16.)

      A runoff presidential election is held in Mali between Amadou Toumani Touré and Souomaïla Cissé; on May 24 it is declared that Touré is the winner.

May 13
      A U.S. official arrives in India on a mission to defuse tension between India and Pakistan, which are believed to be on the brink of war, though Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes says in an interview that India will not attack Pakistan.

      Sears, Roebuck & Co. announces that it has made a deal to buy mail-order retailer Land's End.

May 14
      Ahmed Tejan Kabbah is commandingly reelected president of Sierra Leone; he is credited with having brought peace to the country.

      Three Pakistani gunmen open fire on a bus and then on the family quarters of a military encampment in Kaluchak, in the Indian-administered area of Kashmir, killing 32 people, mostly women and children.

      For the first time in Jordan's history, a court grants a woman a divorce from her husband; until a new law took effect in January, men could divorce their wives, but not vice versa.

May 15
      Presidential press secretary Ari Fleischer says that U.S. Pres. George W. Bush was given information in August 2001 that Osama bin Laden was interested in hijacking aircraft in order to attack American interests.

      Parliamentary elections held in The Netherlands result in 43 seats for the Christian Democrats in the 150-seat legislature and 26 for the List Pim Fortuyn, a better-than-expected showing; Prime Minister Wim Kok's Labour Party wins only 23 seats.

      The Gold Medal for Architecture, awarded every six years by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, is presented to Frank O. Gehry in a ceremony in New York City.

      Real Madrid defeats Bayer Leverkusen of Germany 2–1 in Glasgow, Scot., to win the association football (soccer) Champions League final.

May 16
      Granma, the newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, unexpectedly publishes the full text of a speech by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter in which he is critical of the Cuban government and supports a proposed referendum on civil rights that the newspaper has heretofore ignored. (See May 12.)

      Scientists at the University of Hawaii announce that they have discovered 11 new moons orbiting Jupiter, giving it a total of 39.

May 17
      Bertie Ahern is handily reelected prime minister of Ireland.

      A U.S. proposal to exempt peacekeeping troops from prosecution before the new International Criminal Court is not accepted by the UN Security Council.

      The German media giant Bertelsmann agrees to acquire the assets of Napster, a company that developed a World Wide Web file-exchange system, two days after takeover discussions had collapsed.

      Legislators in Germany rewrite a clause of the Basic Law to require the government to respect the dignity of animals as well as people.

May 18
      As Indian and Pakistani troops fire at each other across the line of control in Kashmir, India expels the Pakistani ambassador over the attack of May 14.

      The World Health Organization agrees to delay the destruction of the last remaining stocks of smallpox virus, due to be destroyed at the end of the year to prevent the disease from ever occurring again, in order to allow time to develop vaccines and treatments in case some of the virus falls into the wrong hands.

      Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem wins the Preakness Stakes. (See May 4.)

May 19
      After two weeks of relative calm in Israel, a Palestinian suicide bomber disguised as an Israeli soldier blows himself up in a market in Netanya, killing two people and wounding dozens.

      As questions as to whether the U.S. intelligence community should have been able to prevent the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are raised in Congress, Vice Pres. Dick Cheney says that there will almost certainly be more al-Qaeda attacks against the U.S.; the following day FBI Director Robert Mueller says that it is inevitable that there will be suicide attacks in the U.S. similar to those occurring in Israel.

      Pope John Paul II canonizes Amabile Lucia Visintainer, known as Mother Paulina; she becomes the first Brazilian saint.

      Norman Rockwell's Rosie the Riveter is auctioned off at Sotheby's for $4.9 million, the highest price ever brought at public auction for a Rockwell painting.

May 20
      Thousands of people attend the celebration in Dili of the birth of a new nation, East Timor.

      Officials in Tajikistan say that the country has agreed to cede 1,035 sq km (400 sq mi) of largely unoccupied territory to China, shortly after Kyrgyzstan agreed to cede 1,320 sq km (510 sq mi) of its territory to China; since Soviet times China has maintained that 30,000 sq km (11,500 sq mi) of territory in Central Asia belongs to it.

      In Iran, Azerbaijani Pres. Heydar Aliyev and Iranian Pres. Mohammed Khatami sign an agreement on mutual cooperation; an important issue is access to the resources of the Caspian Sea.

May 21
      A moderate Kashmiri separatist leader, Abdul Ghani Lone, is gunned down in Srinagar in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir; it is unclear who the assassin is.

      The brokerage firm Merrill Lynch & Co. agrees to pay a $100 million fine to settle a case in which it is accused of having publicly promoted stocks of companies whose business it wanted while privately denigrating those same stocks.

      It is reported that scientists at Hebrew University in Israel have developed a featherless broiler chicken, claiming that broiler chickens tend to produce excessive body heat, so this benefits the chickens and of course eliminates the need for plucking.

May 22
      The skeletal remains of congressional intern Chandra Levy, missing since April 30, 2001, are discovered not far from her home in Washington, D.C.'s Rock Creek Park by a man walking his dog; it is later confirmed that she was murdered. (See March 5.)

      In Birmingham, Ala., Bobby Frank Cherry is convicted of four counts of murder in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, in which four girls were killed; the former Klansman had hoped to shut down the civil rights movement with the violent act.

      Pope John Paul II arrives in Baku, Azerbaijan, an almost wholly Muslim country, for a five-day trip that will also take him to Bulgaria.

      Samuel D. Waksal resigns as CEO of ImClone, which is under investigation for having misled investors as to the regulatory status of its anticancer drug Erbitux; meanwhile, at the Gap, where stock prices have fallen precipitously of late, Millard S. Drexler unexpectedly resigns as CEO.

May 23
      FBI Director Robert Mueller says that he is ordering an inquiry into complaints by senior Minneapolis agent Coleen Rowley that higher-ups had stymied her office's attempts to investigate suspected terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui before Sept. 11, 2001.

      Officials in India report that an ongoing nationwide heat wave has killed 1,030 people, mostly in Andhra Pradesh state.

May 24
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush and Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin sign a treaty pledging the U.S. and Russia to deactivate nuclear warheads until, by 2012, there are no more than 2,200 active warheads each, at which point the treaty is to expire.

      At an International Whaling Commission meeting in Shimonoseki, Japan, Japanese delegates, frustrated at their inability to get a proposal to end the moratorium on commercial whaling brought up for a vote, successfully lead the commission to deny whaling rights to native Arctic communities that depend on the whale for food. (See February 22.)

      Sandra Baldwin resigns as president of the U.S. Olympic Committee after admitting that her résumé contained false information.

      A baby that weighed only 283 g (9.97 oz) at birth in early February is sent home from the hospital in Florence weighing 1.9 kg (4.4 lb); she is believed to be the tiniest baby to have survived.

May 25
      Lesotho holds parliamentary elections under a proportional representation system new to Africa, in which each voter votes separately for the party of his choice and the district representative; the system is meant to discourage unrest by making it easier for smaller parties to gain seats.

      New Zealand's Canterbury Crusaders defeat Australian rival the ACT Brumbies 31–13 in the Rugby Union Super 12 final in Christchurch, N.Z.

      The first major Andy Warhol retrospective since 1989 opens to great fanfare in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

May 26
      In the race for the presidency of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe Vélez, who campaigned on a strong anticrime platform, is convincingly elected.

      Near Webbers Falls, Okla., a river barge bumps into a support of a bridge over the Arkansas River, causing a section of the four-lane Interstate 40 to collapse into the river and a number of vehicles to plunge over the edge.

      In the Indianapolis 500 auto race, Paul Tracy is penalized for having passed after a yellow caution flag was flown in the final laps of the race, and Brazilian Hélio Castroneves thereby becomes the first person since 1971 to win two consecutive Indy 500s.

      At the 55th Cannes International Film Festival, Roman Polanski's film The Pianist wins the Palme d'Or; the Grand Prix goes to Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki for The Man Without a Past, and acting honours go to one of its stars, Kati Outinen, and to Olivier Gourmet for his role in Le Fils.

      Azali Assoumani is sworn in as president of the new Union of the Comoros after having been declared winner of a disputed second round of voting that took place in April; each of the three islands composing the union also will have its own president.

May 27
      In a televised speech to the nation, Pakistani Pres. Pervez Musharraf urges dialogue with India over the Kashmir issue but asserts solidarity with Kashmiris resisting Indian rule, denies that Pakistan supports terrorist attacks across the line of control, and maintains that Pakistan is ready to fight if need be.

      Moskovsky komsomolets, a Russian newspaper, reports that the Ministry of Defense is advising members of the army to forage for food, as there is no money to pay food compensation; most Russian officers have not received such compensation for over a year.

May 28
      Both sides officially agree to the establishment of a NATO-Russia Council, permitting Russia to participate in many NATO discussions.

      It is reported that Libya has offered to pay $2.7 billion to the survivors of the passengers on Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scot., in 1988, in return for the lifting of UN and U.S. sanctions against the country.

      Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat signs a Basic Law, delineating rights of the people and responsibilities of the government, that was passed by the Palestinian Legislative Council in 1997.

      Tom Brokaw, who has anchored the NBC nightly news since 1982, announces that he will retire in 2004; the network names Brian Williams as his replacement.

May 29
      The World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization issue a joint statement saying that some 10 million people in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Swaziland face starvation because of the worst food shortages in 10 years.

      In a cabinet reshuffle in Great Britain, Alistair Darling is named to replace Stephen Byers as transport secretary after Byers had resigned over, among other things, rail failures, and Paul Boateng becomes the first black member of the British Cabinet when he is named deputy treasury secretary.

      Mohammad al-Fayed, owner of the genteelly satiric British magazine Punch, announces that he has had to close the magazine owing to lack of revenue and declining subscriptions; Punch was published from July 1841 to April 1992, then relaunched by Fayed in September 1996.

      Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and his family agree to a contract for a second season of MTV's surprise hit television show The Osbournes, chronicling everyday life in the rock star's household.

May 30
      A ceremony is held to mark the conclusion of the cleanup operation at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.

      The Philip Morris Companies agree to sell the Miller Brewing Co. to South African Breweries.

      The New England Journal of Medicine publishes the results of a small study of an experimental drug that appears to stop the progress of Type I diabetes.

May 31
      Zimbabwe declares an AIDS-related national emergency in order to take advantage of trade rules that permit it to bypass patents and import cheaper generic versions of needed drugs; it is the first country to do so.

      In first-round World Cup association football (soccer) play in Seoul, S.Kor., the sports world is stunned when Senegal defeats France, the reigning champion.

      The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden—featuring sculptures of the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, and the Lorax, among others—opens in Springfield, Mass., with ceremonies that include a parade down Mulberry Street, the setting for the first Dr. Seuss book.

"We are satisfied with this commitment.... There is nothing that is human that can be regarded as perfect."
Nigerian Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo, in Calgary, Alta., on the G-8 agreement to provide aid for Africa in return for reforms

June 1
      In a graduation speech at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush declares that the Cold War policies of containment and deterrence are outdated and must be replaced by a policy of preemptive strikes.

      Cuba begins use of the euro, which officials believe will encourage tourism.

June 2
      In rural southwestern Mexico, 16 people are jailed in connection with a massacre of 26 sawmill workers from the village of Santiago Xochiltepec two days previously; the event is believed to have stemmed from a feud, mostly over land, between neighbouring villages.

      The 56th annual Tony Awards are presented at Radio City Music Hall in New York City; winners include the plays The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Private Lives, and Into the Woods and the actors Alan Bates, Lindsay Duncan, John Lithgow, and Sutton Foster.

      Voters in Switzerland approve a measure permitting abortion within the first trimester even if the woman's health is not in any way endangered; this brings the law more in line with actual practice.

June 3
      A rock concert and fireworks show at Buckingham Palace are a high point of the four-day official celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's golden jubilee, commemorating her 50 years on the throne.

      Under threat of indictment for tax evasion, Dennis Kozlowski resigns as chairman and CEO of the industrial services manufacturing giant Tyco International Ltd.

      Astronomers with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey report to the American Astronomical Society that they have for the first time seen a star cluster being pulled apart by the gravitational forces of the galactic disk of the Milky Way Galaxy.

      Winners of the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards include Narciso Rodriguez for women's wear and Marc Jacobs for men's wear; Rick Owens wins the Perry Ellis Award for newcomers.

June 4
      Japan ratifies the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, improving the document's chances of becoming international law; Japan is the world's fourth-largest emitter of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, behind the U.S., the European Union (all of whose members have ratified the agreement), and Russia.

      In a television interview, Pres. Jorge Batlle of Uruguay tearfully apologizes for having called Argentines “a bunch of thieves from start to finish”; his remarks had been made the previous day in a portion of an interview that he believed would not be broadcast.

June 5
      Kim Hong Gul, the youngest son of South Korean Pres. Kim Dae Jung, is indicted on charges of influence peddling, accepting bribes, and tax evasion; another son is also under investigation.

      R&B star R. Kelly is indicted in Chicago on charges of child pornography.

      The space shuttle Endeavour takes off with a new crew for the International Space Station after a week of delays occasioned by bad weather and faulty equipment.

      After seven months of protests, doctors in France reach an agreement with the state health insurer that allows them to raise their prices 8% for office visits and 43% for house calls, in return for which the doctors promise to help the government reduce health care costs.

June 6
      In a nationally televised address, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush proposes the creation of a new cabinet post, the Department of Homeland Security, under which would fall the Customs Service, the Secret Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Coast Guard but not the FBI or the CIA.

      A judge in California fines the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. $20 million for failing to honour the 1998 tobacco settlement; the company has continued to place advertisements in magazines that are read by a large proportion of teenagers.

      It is reported that home arts maven Martha Stewart, a close friend of former ImClone CEO Samuel Waksal, sold all her ImClone stock shortly before an unfavourable ruling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was made public; on June 12 Waksal is arrested on charges of insider trading.

      The 460-year-old Wye Oak, Maryland's state tree, is felled in a thunderstorm; the tree was 970 cm (382 in) in circumference and 29 m (96 ft) tall.

June 7
      The leaders of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan sign a charter that creates a new international organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

      The unions that represent 99% of Belgium's dockworkers stage a 24-hour strike to protest European Union plans to allow shipping companies to use nonunion dockworkers; shipping traffic in Zeebrugge, Ostend, Ghent, and Antwerp is brought to a standstill.

June 8
      A government official in India says that Pakistani incursions into the Indian-administered portion of Kashmir have been halted and that this is a promising development; two days later India begins pulling back naval vessels from Pakistan's coast.

      Two thousand people in Glenwood Springs, Colo., are evacuated from the path of the fast-moving Coal Seam Fire; another fire ignited on this day in the Pike National Forest near Denver, the Hayman Fire, grows within two days to become the largest wildfire in Colorado's history.

      Serena Williams defeats her older sister, Venus, to win the women's French Open tennis title; the following day Albert Costa of Spain defeats his countryman Juan Carlos Ferrero to win the men's title.

      Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem stumbles coming out of the gate at the Belmont Stakes; the winner of the last of the Triple Crown horse races, Sarava, at 70–1, is the longest-shot horse ever to win the Belmont.

      In Memphis, Tenn., Lennox Lewis defeats Mike Tyson by a knockout in the eighth round to retain his World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation heavyweight titles.

      Documenta 11, an exposition featuring the work of more than 100 international artists, opens in Kassel, Ger.; Documenta is a thorough survey of contemporary art that is mounted every five years.

June 9
      The Sudan People's Liberation Army, fighting for autonomy for the non-Muslim south of Sudan, says that it has seized control of the garrison town of Kapoeta, its biggest victory in two years.

      Nature magazine publishes the discovery, by the Wellcom Trust Cancer Genome Project at the Sanger Institute near Cambridge, Eng., of a gene involved in malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer; it is an early benefit of the completion of the human genome sequence.

      Pak Se Ri of South Korea wins the Ladies Professional Golf Association championship by three strokes over veteran Beth Daniel; it is Pak's fourth major title and second LPGA championship in five years.

June 10
      U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announces that with the arrest of former Chicago gang member Jose Padilla, who is using the name Abdullah al-Muhajir, the Department of Justice has broken up an al-Qaeda plot to detonate a so-called dirty bomb, a radioactive device, in the U.S.

      For the second time in a week, Israeli forces surround the compound of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat in Ramallah.

      The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not require employers to give jobs to people whose health or safety would be compromised by doing the job.

      The UN Food and Agriculture Organization begins a four-day World Food Summit in Rome; most of the member countries are represented by agriculture ministers rather than heads of state.

June 11
      Afghanistan's loya jirga is officially opened; the council will choose a government to rule Afghanistan for the next two years, until elections are held.

      The U.S. House of Representatives passes a resolution recognizing the Italian-born Antonio Meucci as the inventor of the telephone.

      In a castle near Glaslough, Ire., the former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney marries the former model Heather Mills.

June 12
      The Los Angeles Lakers defeat the New Jersey Nets 113–107 to win the National Basketball Association championship for the third year in a row; also for the third time, Shaquille O'Neal is named Most Valuable Player of the finals.

      The World Council of Religious Leaders begins a peace conference in Bangkok to seek ways to reduce sectarian conflict; the conference, attended by more than 100 leaders of different religions, is an outgrowth of the Millennium World Peace Summit in 2000.

      Two crew members on the International Space Station, Daniel W. Bursch and Carl E. Walz, break the American space endurance record of 188 days 4 hours set by Shannon Lucid in 1996; by the time they return to Earth on June 19, their time aloft is 196 days; the world record is 438 days, held by Russian cosmonaut Valery V. Polyakov.

June 13
      The U.S. formally withdraws from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, signed in 1972 by U.S. Pres. Richard M. Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev; the following day Russia announces that it is abandoning the 1993 Start II accord.

      Afghanistan's loya jirga elects Hamid Karzai to lead the transitional government for the next two years; the vote, monitored by the UN, gives Karzai 1,295 votes out of a total of 1,575.

      The Detroit Red Wings defeat the Carolina Hurricanes to win the Stanley Cup, the National Hockey League championship, for the third time in six years; the score of the final game is 3–1.

      Astronomers announce that 55 Cancri, a star in the constellation Cancer, has been found to have a planet that has an orbit with similarities to that of Jupiter; it is the first extrasolar planetary finding of a system with a close resemblance to our solar system. (See June 18.)

June 14
      A car bomb explodes outside the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pak., killing 12 people and wounding more than 50.

      The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, meeting in Dallas, Texas, sets a new policy declaring that any priest who has ever sexually abused a minor may no longer engage in any ministerial duties, although it stops short of requiring that such a priest be defrocked.

      The European Commission begins action to ban the production of feta cheese outside Greece, maintaining that it has evidence that feta cheese produced outside Greece is not true feta.

June 15
      The 89-year-old Big Five accounting firm Arthur Andersen is found guilty of obstruction of justice by a federal jury in Houston, Texas, and tells the government it will cease auditing public companies by the end of the summer and thus, in effect, go out of business.

      Rolling Stones vocalist Mick Jagger is awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II “for services to popular music.”

June 16
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush directs his top security personnel to develop a doctrine of preemptive action against nations and groups believed to be developing weapons of mass destruction or sponsoring terrorism.

      In the face of massive protests against plans to privatize utilities in Peru, Pres. Alejandro Toledo declares a monthlong state of emergency.

      The popular Italian stigmatic Padre Pio da Pietrelcina, who died in 1968, is canonized by Pope John Paul II in a ceremony in St. Peter's Square.

      The CEO of Qwest Communications International, Joseph P. Nacchio, is forced to resign; Qwest's accounting practices are being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

      For the first time, the U.S. Open golf tournament is played at a public facility, the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in New York; Tiger Woods becomes the first player since Jack Nicklaus in 1972 to win the Masters and the U.S. Open in the same year.

June 17
      Thousands of construction workers walk off the job in Germany in a strike for higher wages; it is the first major strike in the construction sector in more than 50 years.

      The government of Egypt announces the ousting of Muhammad Fahim Rayan, who has been chairman of EgyptAir, the national airline, since 1981, as part of a major revamping of the carrier.

June 18
      A suicide bomber detonates an explosion on a morning rush-hour bus in Jerusalem, killing at least 19 people; the next day Israel announces that in retaliation it will begin seizing land held by the Palestinian Authority.

      A team of European astronomers working at the Geneva Observatory say they have found evidence that the star HD 190360a may have a planetary system even more like our solar system than that of star 55 Cancri. (See June 13.)

June 19
      With the French in the lead, air-traffic controllers throughout Western Europe go on a brief strike to protest European Union plans to bring air-traffic control under a single framework by 2005; nearly 8,000 flights have to be canceled.

June 20
      The day before an EU summit meeting in Seville, the whole of Spain is brought to a near standstill by a 24-hour general strike called by Spain's two largest unions in protest against changes imposed by the conservative government.

      The U.S. Supreme Court rules that an evolving national consensus now considers that executing the mentally retarded violates the constitutional prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment; it does not, however, define mental retardation.

June 21
      A.Q.M. Badruddoza Chowdhury resigns from the presidency of Bangladesh after the Bangladesh National Party accuses him of disrespecting the party's founder by failing to visit his grave.

      In Arizona the Rodeo Fire, which started three days earlier, threatens the resort town of Show Low, while 14 km (9 mi) away the Chediski Fire is rapidly expanding.

      The World Health Organization certifies that Europe is free of poliomyelitis; previously the Western Hemisphere and the Western Pacific had been certified.

June 22
      A magnitude-6.3 earthquake hits northwestern Iran in the Qazvin region, destroying six villages and killing at least 235 people.

      A pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals professional baseball team, Darryl Kile, is found dead in his hotel room in Chicago the day before he was scheduled to pitch in a game against the Chicago Cubs; it is later determined that he suffered from clogged arteries and an enlarged heart.

      Alvaro, conde de Marichalar, becomes the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a Jet Ski when he arrives at a marina in Miami, Fla., four months after setting out down the Tiber River from Rome.

June 23
      In Arizona the Rodeo and Chediski fires merge, creating the largest wildfire in Arizona's history and passing in size Colorado's giant Hayman Fire; about 121,000 ha (330,000 ac) have been burned in Arizona.

June 24
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush makes a speech laying out a new Middle East policy in which he says that if the Palestinian people end terrorism, reform their economy, establish democracy, and change their leadership, the U.S. will support the creation of a provisional Palestinian state; meanwhile, Israeli forces occupy Ramallah and surround Yasir Arafat's compound.

      A law requiring some 3,000 white farmers in Zimbabwe to stop farming goes into effect in spite of the fact that Zimbabwe is facing a food crisis; these farmers are to vacate their land by August 10.

      Albania's legislature elects Alfred Moisiu to succeed Rexhep Meidani as president.

      Galileo Galilei, a new one-act opera by composer Philip Glass and director-librettist Mary Zimmerman, has its world premiere at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

      Susan Jaffe gives her farewell performance with American Ballet Theatre in the title role in Giselle; she has danced with the troupe for 22 years.

June 25
      WorldCom, the second largest U.S. long-distance-communication carrier, says that it has overstated its cash flow by more than $3.8 billion during the past five quarters; the following day the Securities and Exchange Commission files fraud charges against the company.

      NASA grounds its fleet of four space shuttles because cracks were found in the fuel lines of two of them.

      A representative of the FARC rebel group in Colombia orders all the country's mayors and municipal judges to resign or face being killed or kidnapped; the group had previously issued this order to 120 mayors, and 8 have been killed so far this year.

June 26
      A three-member panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, covering California, Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, rules that the Pledge of Allegiance must not be recited in public schools because the phrase “under God,” added to the pledge in 1954, violates the constitutional prohibition against government support of a particular religion.

      The U.S. becomes the first country to officially recognize Marc Ravalomanana as the president of Madagascar.

      China announces that it is undertaking a large-scale restoration of sacred buildings in Tibet, including the Potala Palace, the Norbuglinkha, and the Sagya Lamassery.

June 27
      At the Group of Eight meeting in Calgary, Alta., a program is announced that will give billions of dollars in aid to African countries that adopt a wide range of reforms in their governments and economies.

      The U.S. Supreme Court rules that a program in place in Cleveland, Ohio, whereby public-school money is given to students in the form of vouchers to be used at the private school of their choice does not violate the separation of church and state, even though some 95% of the vouchers are used to pay tuition at religious schools.

June 28
      The Xerox Corp. announces that between 1997 and 2001 it overstated its equipment revenue by $6.4 billion and its pretax income by $1.4 billion, a much larger restatement than had been anticipated.

      Bobby Waugh, a British pig farmer whose stock is believed to have been the source of last year's foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, is banned from livestock farming for 15 years.

June 29
      A North Korean patrol boat exchanges fire with a South Korean vessel, sinking it; each country blames the other for the incident.

June 30
      The price of a first-class postage stamp in the U.S. rises 3 cents to 37 cents.

      A part-time firefighter is charged with having started Arizona's Rodeo Fire in order to secure employment; earlier a U.S. Forest Service employee had been charged with setting Colorado's Hayman Fire.

      In Yokohama, Japan, Brazil defeats Germany 2–0 to win the World Cup association football (soccer) championship; Ronaldo, who scored both goals, is named Most Valuable Player of the World Cup.

      The soap opera Guiding Light, the longest-broadcast drama in history, celebrates its 50th anniversary on television.

"Spain has been attacked by force in a sensitive part of its geography."
—Spanish Defense Minister Federico Trillo, justifying Spain's retaking of Perejil islet, July 17

July 1
      U.S. fighter airplanes strike a wedding party in Oruzgan province in Afghanistan, killing some 48 civilians; the following day, for the first time in the war, the government of Afghanistan demands an explanation.

      A chartered Russian passenger airliner, Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937, and a cargo plane operated by DHL International EC collide over Lake Constance, on the border between Germany and Switzerland; all 71 persons aboard the two airliners are killed.

      A new legal code, enshrining rights guaranteed in Western countries, goes into effect in Russia; it replaces a code written in 1960.

      New rules designed to make immigration considerably more difficult go into effect in Denmark.

July 2
      Adventurer Steve Fossett succeeds in becoming the first person to fly a balloon solo around the world when he crosses longitude 117° E off the south coast of Western Australia, where he had started 13 days previously; it is his sixth attempt at the goal, and he traveled some 31,220 km (19,400 mi; [the circumference of the Earth at the Equator is about 40,070 km, or 24,900 mi]).

      The United Nations releases a report ahead of the 14th International AIDS Conference that says that earlier analyses underestimated the spread of the disease and that it is now projected that the number of deaths from AIDS between 2000 and 2020 will reach 68 million.

      Former Mexican president Luis Echeverría is called before a special prosecutor to face questions about the government violence in the 1960s and '70s; it is the first time that a former head of state has been called to account in Mexico.

July 3
      NASA launches a probe that constitutes the Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) mission; it is intended to intercept and probe, with cameras and chemical-measuring instruments, two nearby comets over the next four years. (See August 15.)

      Texas Gov. Rick Perry declares 29 counties in central Texas a disaster area; 41 cm (16 in) of rain had fallen during the previous weekend in San Antonio, which normally sees 5 cm (2 in) of rain in the entire month of July.

July 4
      A man armed with two handguns opens fire at the El Al Airlines ticket counter at the Los Angeles International Airport and kills two people before being killed himself by a security guard.

      Greek police announce that they have in custody a member of the terrorist organization November 17 for the first time in the 27 years the group has been active. (See July 26.)

      In Bangui, Central African Republic, a Boeing 707 carrying a cargo of vegetables and a few passengers crashes in a sparsely populated neighbourhood; 2 of the 25 aboard survive.

July 5
      Dozens of people are killed when bombs explode in several areas where Algerians are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the country's independence; it is believed that Islamist rebels are behind the carnage.

      The Constitutional Court in South Africa orders the government to provide nevirapine to HIV-infected pregnant women in state hospitals; though the drug had been shown to greatly reduce transmission of HIV to newborns, the South African government held that preventing HIV transmission would not prevent AIDS.

      A new branch of the Imperial War Museum, the Imperial War Museum North, opens in Manchester, Eng., in a building designed by Daniel Libeskind and meant to echo the museum's theme—war and conflict in the 20th and 21st centuries.

      The ceremonial reopening of the White Mosque takes place in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina; it replaces an Ottoman mosque that was destroyed during the 1992–95 war.

July 6
      Haji Abdul Qadir, a vice president of Afghanistan and one of the few Pashtun members of the interim government, is assassinated.

      American tennis star Serena Williams defeats her sister, Venus, to win her first Wimbledon title; the following day Australian Lleyton Hewitt defeats David Nalbandian of Argentina to win the men's title in the most lopsided final at Wimbledon since 1984.

      The Museum of Glass opens in Tacoma, Wash., featuring contemporary glass art and a glassblowing studio; it is linked to downtown Tacoma by the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, showcasing the work of Tacoma native Dale Chihuly.

July 7
      A coal mine fire in Ukraine kills 35 miners, though 79 are saved; Ukraine has an unusually high rate of coal mine disasters.

      American Juli Inkster wins her seventh major golf tournament when she defeats Annika Sörenstam of Sweden by two strokes to win the U.S. Women's Open; on the same day, Jerry Kelly defeats fellow American Davis Love III by two strokes to win the Western Open golf tournament.

July 8
      The large German engineering company Babcock Borsig's attempt to avoid insolvency is unsuccessful, and the company becomes the fourth major enterprise in Germany to fail this year.

      The on-line auction house eBay Inc. announces plans to buy PayPal, Inc., the most successful on-line payment service.

July 9
      Bands, dancers, and military displays attend the inauguration of the African Union, the new international organization that replaces the Organization of African Unity, in Durban, S.Af.

      Celebrations of Argentina's Independence Day turn into one of the largest protests to date against the continuing economic crisis.

      The first long-term, large-scale study of the effects of hormone-replacement therapy for women in the U.S. is halted because the hormones have been shown to cause a small but significant increase in the risk of developing invasive breast cancer.

      U.S. baseball commissioner Bud Selig disappoints fans when he stops the All-Star Game after 11 innings, though the score is tied at 7–7; the teams' managers were concerned that they did not have enough substitute players, especially pitchers, to continue.

      Standard & Poor's surprises the financial community by replacing seven non-American companies on its benchmark 500 index: Royal Dutch Petroleum, Unilever NV, Nortel Networks, Alcan Inc., Barrick Gold Corp., Placer Dome Inc., and Inco Ltd. are replaced by U.S.-based companies Goldman Sachs, United Parcel Service, Principal Financial Group, Prudential Financial, eBay Inc., Electronic Arts, and SunGard Data Systems.

July 10
      The Nasdaq composite stock index closes at 1,346.01, its lowest close since May 19, 1997.

      U.S. Navy officials confirm that marine archaeologist Robert D. Ballard has likely found PT 109, the patrol torpedo boat commanded by John F. Kennedy, in the Solomon Islands; the vessel was sunk by a Japanese destroyer in 1943.

July 11
      Nature magazine publishes a paper that describes the finding in Chad of a hominid skull with a mix of hominid and apelike characteristics that is believed to be an astonishing six million to seven million years old; the find is described as revolutionary.

      Moroccan soldiers seize the uninhabited islet of Perejil, claimed by Spain since 1668.

      The Italian Parliament lifts the constitutional ban that since 1948 had prevented male members of the house of Savoy from entering Italy; the former ruling family of Italy lives in exile in Switzerland.

      Criminal pornography charges are filed against Russian avant-garde writer Vladimir Sorokin; sales of his books soar over the next few weeks.

July 12
      After weeks of confrontation and negotiations, the UN Security Council effectively permits UN peacekeeping troops from the U.S. to be immune from prosecution by the International Criminal Court for a period of one year, and the mandates for the peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Prevlaka peninsula in Croatia are then renewed.

      Vladimir Spidla is appointed by Pres. Vaclav Havel as prime minister of the Czech Republic.

      The Superior Court of Ontario rules that the province must register the marriages of two gay couples who married in a joint church ceremony in Toronto in January 2001.

July 13
      In the city of Jammu in the Indian-administered part of Kashmir, a number of men invade a Hindu shantytown and, with automatic weapons and grenades, kill at least 27 people.

      A wildfire begins in the Coast Ranges of southwestern Oregon and over the next few weeks grows to become one of the largest wildfires in the state's history, the Biscuit Fire.

July 14
      Just before the annual Bastille Day military parade in Paris, a gunman attempts to assassinate French Pres. Jacques Chirac; no one is hurt.

July 15
      The giant drug company Pfizer Inc. announces that it will buy Pharmacia Corp.; the combined company will be the largest pharmaceutical company in the world.

      In Hyderabad, Pak., under extremely tight security, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh is sentenced to death for the kidnapping and murder of American reporter Daniel Pearl.

      In a plea agreement that surprises observers, John Walker Lindh, the American who was captured with Taliban forces in late 2001, pleads guilty to two charges and agrees to a 20-year prison term.

      In the face of nationwide protests over the economy, in which two people were killed, Paraguayan Pres. Luis González Macchi declares a state of emergency.

      The third annual Cain Prize for African Writing, given to a short story by an African writer working in English and intended to increase the audience for African literature, is won by “Discovering Home,” by Kenyan food journalist Binyavanga Wainaina.

July 16
      The Irish Republican Army publishes a full apology to the families of those killed by IRA activities, in particular noncombatants; the apology comes just before the 30th anniversary of Bloody Friday, when a series of 22 IRA bombs killed 9 people and injured 130.

      The Irish Hunger Memorial, a 0.2-ha (0.5-ac) artistic reproduction of an Irish hillside with a potato field and a fieldstone cottage, opens in New York City.

      After nearly a month of relative quiet, a bus approaching a Jewish settlement in the West Bank is ambushed, and nine people are killed; the Palestinian Authority immediately condemns the violence, while Israel says it plans no retaliation.

July 17
      Spanish special forces, with backing from air and sea, retake the islet of Perejil from the occupying force of six Moroccan soldiers.

      Two suicide bombers strike in a low-income immigrant neighbourhood in Tel Aviv, killing five people in addition to themselves.

      Temperatures reach 30 °C (86 °F) in Buffalo, N.Y., where 100 years earlier Willis Haviland Carrier invented the first air conditioner; Carrier developed his device to stabilize lithographs at a printing company.

July 18
      National and state legislators in India elect a new president, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, a nuclear scientist and a Muslim.

      Robert W. Pittman, one of the architects of America Online and a leading voice in favour of the merger of AOL with Time Warner, resigns as chief operating officer of AOL Time Warner in a major reorganization that sees almost all the top positions filled by Time Warner old-media veterans.

July 19
      The findings of a yearlong inquiry into the activities of convicted mass murderer Harold Shipman are published by the leader of the investigation, Dame Janet Smith; she believes that Shipman, a doctor in Hyde, Eng., murdered at least 215 of his patients.

      A panel of scientists studying the problem of how to prevent the northern snakehead, a voracious Chinese fish that has become established in a pond near Annapolis, Md., from spreading into rivers and streams recommends poisoning all the fish in the pond and then reestablishing the native populations.

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture announces a recall of 8.6 million kg (19 million lb) of ground beef produced in a ConAgra Beef Co. plant in Greeley, Colo.; 19 people in six states had become ill from eating the meat, which was contaminated with Escherichia coli bacteria.

      The International Spy Museum, featuring interactive exhibits and high-tech gadgets, opens in Washington, D.C.

July 20
      A preliminary peace agreement between the government of The Sudan and the Sudanese People's Liberation Army is signed after five weeks of negotiations; a week later Pres. Omar Hassan al-Bashir meets with rebel leader John Garang in Kampala, Uganda.

      Under a deal brokered by the U.S., Spanish soldiers withdraw from the islet of Perejil and the status quo ante is restored.

July 21
      The communications company WorldCom files for bankruptcy; at $107 billion, it by far surpasses Enron's ($63 billion) as the biggest bankruptcy filing in American history.

      German race-car driver Michael Schumacher wins the French Grand Prix and secures the title for the season; he is the second person ever to win five Formula One world drivers titles.

      Ernie Els of South Africa emerges the winner in the first four-man play-off in the history of the British Open golf tournament, defeating Australians Steve Elkington and Stuart Appleby and Thomas Levet of France.

      The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art holds its grand opening in Santa Fe, N.M.; the inaugural exhibit, “Conexiones: Connections in Spanish Colonial Art,” features some 500 objects from the new museum's permanent collection.

July 22
      Officials in Africa announce that a tentative agreement between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been reached whereby Congo will demobilize guerrillas who threaten Rwanda, and Rwanda will withdraw its troops from the eastern portion of Congo; Pres. Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Pres. Joseph Kabila of Congo sign the agreement on July 30.

      The U.S. government chooses to withhold previously approved funding for the UN Population Fund on the basis that it believes that the international organization condones the practice of mandatory abortions in China, in spite of the fact that its own investigative team found no evidence to support the contention.

July 23
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush signs a resolution approving the creation of a repository for radioactive by-products of the country's nuclear energy reactors under Yucca Mountain in Nevada, ending 20 years of discussion and debate over the best place to store such materials; they are currently housed in 131 temporary sites in 39 states.

      An Israeli warplane fires a missile into the home of Hamas leader Sheikh Salah Shehada in Gaza City, killing at least 14 people, several of them children, in addition to Shehada; U.S. Pres. George W. Bush criticizes the strike as being “heavy-handed.”

      Britain announces that Rowan Williams, a Welsh churchman of a notably liberal bent, will succeed George Carey as archbishop of Canterbury when Carey retires in October.

      Pope John Paul II arrives in Toronto for the weeklong World Youth Day festival, which he addresses on July 25.

July 24
      After falling for several weeks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average posts its second largest one-day point gain (488.95 points) since the recovery from the market crash of 1987.

      John Rigas, the founder and former CEO of Adelphia Communications Corp., and his sons Timothy and Michael are arrested on charges of embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars from the company, which filed for bankruptcy in June.

      The UN Development Programme releases its annual Human Development Report, in which it ranks Norway as the most developed and Sierra Leone as the least developed countries in the world.

July 25
      A group of American investors, led by the Texas Pacific Group, agrees to buy Burger King from the British liquor concern Diageo PLC.

      In San Juan, P.R., thousands gather to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the island's becoming a U.S. commonwealth, while a similarly large group of independence advocates protest the same event.

July 26
      In Indonesia Tommy Suharto (Hutomo Mandala Putra), the son of former president Suharto, is convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years in prison for having hired assassins to kill a judge who had sentenced him to prison for corruption.

      Police in Greece arrest Nikos Papanastasiou, who is believed to be one of the founders of the November 17 terrorist group. (See July 4.)

July 27
      At an air show near Lviv, Ukraine, a Ukrainian air force Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet performing an acrobatic stunt crashes and skids into the crowd, killing 85 spectators in the world's most deadly air show accident to date.

July 28
      After days of frantic efforts all nine miners trapped in a coal mine in Quecreek, Pa., after a wall leading into a flooded abandoned mine was breached on July 25 are rescued.

      Thomas Middelhoff, the chairman and CEO of the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG, is forced out; Gunter Thielen is named as his replacement.

      Qwest Communications International Inc., the dominant local phone service provider in 14 western U.S. states, announces that it incorrectly accounted for $1.16 billion in transactions between 1999 and 2001.

      American Lance Armstrong coasts to his fourth consecutive victory in the Tour de France bicycle race.

July 29
      A pod of 56 pilot whales strands itself on a Cape Cod Bay, Mass., beach; rescuers drive 46 of them back to sea, but the following day they wash up 40 km (25 mi) north, and volunteers are unable to save them.

      Workers at the Edenhurst Gallery in Los Angeles discover that during the previous night two valuable Maxfield Parrish murals were stolen.

July 30
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush signs into law a broad new act intended to crack down on corporate fraud; it is believed to be the most far-reaching change in business regulation since the 1930s.

      Vanguard Airlines Inc., which operates 70 flights a day in 18 cities and is based in Kansas City, Mo., announces that it is filing for bankruptcy and ceasing operations.

      Uruguay closes its banks to prevent a run, and the following day it is announced that the banks will remain closed for the rest of the week; Uruguay's economy has been badly affected by the crisis in Argentina and turmoil in Brazil. (See August 4.)

      In Guatemala City, Guat., Pope John Paul II canonizes Pedro de San José Betancur, a 17th-century Spanish missionary and the first person from Central America to be canonized; the following day in Mexico City, the pontiff canonizes Juan Diego, an Aztec who is said to have received a vision of the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531 but who is not universally believed to have actually lived.

July 31
      A bomb explodes in the cafeteria at the Frank Sinatra International Student Center of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, killing nine people, five of them Americans, and wounding dozens, among them a number of Israeli Arabs.

      A clerk in the Ministry of Education in Beirut, Lebanon, guns down eight co-workers before running out of ammunition; it is thought that financial difficulties drove him over the edge.

      Albania's legislature approves Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano as prime minister.

      An Uzbek man believed to be a member of Russian organized crime is arrested in Italy on suspicion of having conspired to rig the outcomes of the pairs figure-skating and ice-dancing competitions at the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. (See February 15.)

"The devastation caused by the flood offers much opportunity to build better, more sensibly, in a more intelligent manner. To build more beautiful buildings than some of those that have been destroyed."
Czech Republic Pres. Vaclav Havel, speaking to reporters on the aftermath of catastrophic flooding, August 27

August 1
      WorldCom's former chief financial officer, Scott D. Sullivan, and its former controller, David F. Myers, are publicly escorted in handcuffs to a federal courthouse in New York City to face fraud charges. (See July 21.)

      As it increasingly appears that the U.S. is making plans to invade Iraq, the Iraqi government for the first time since 1998 requests that the head of the UN team that is charged with inspecting Iraq for weapons violations go to Baghdad for negotiations.

      The Education Ministry in Iran decrees that, for the first time since 1979, teachers and students in girls' schools in Tehran are permitted to remove their veils in the classroom.

August 2
      Representatives of the Angolan government and of the UNITA rebels declare that the war between them, which began in 1975, is officially over. (See April 4.)

      In response to the attack at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on July 31, Israeli forces conduct a house-to-house search for explosives laboratories and suspected terrorists in the old city of Nabulus in the West Bank.

      Health officials in the U.S. state of Louisiana report that a recent outbreak of West Nile virus has left 4 people dead and 58 people sick; with additional cases reported in Texas and Mississippi, it is the largest outbreak of the disease since it was first detected in the U.S. in 1999.

August 3
      The Turkish Grand National Assembly passes a package of reforms that among other things abolishes the death penalty in peacetime and permits radio and television broadcasting in the Kurdish language; the hotly debated reforms are made with an eye toward Turkey's joining the European Union.

      Chip Chip Hooray wins the Hambletonian final at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey; the same day Victory Tilly wins the Nat Ray final on the same track in 1 min 50.4 sec, a world trotting record.

August 4
      The National Congress in Bolivia elects the political centrist Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada president by a vote of 84–43 over the radical Indian coca champion Evo Morales; a close popular vote in June had thrown the election to the National Congress.

      A bomb that kills 9 people on an Israeli commuter bus in Galilee inaugurates a series of Palestinian attacks over the next several hours that include a shootout and three ambushes, with a total death toll of 14.

      The U.S. government announces that it will make a short-term loan of as much as $1.5 billion to Uruguay to enable Uruguay to reopen its banks, in spite of the assertion of the administration of Pres. George W. Bush that lending money to countries with weak economies is counterproductive.

August 5
      The newly elected legislature in Papua New Guinea unanimously chooses Sir Michael Somare to be the new prime minister; he is a founding father of independent Papua New Guinea.

      Armed Pakistani militants attack a boarding school for children of Christian missionaries in the Himalayan foothills northeast of Islamabad; six Pakistani adults are killed on school grounds, but the attackers are unable to penetrate the school itself, and no children are hurt.

August 6
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush signs into law a measure that gives to the president sole authority to negotiate international trade agreements; presidents from 1975 to 1994 enjoyed this power, once known as “fast track.”

      Doctors at Mattel Children's Hospital at the University of California, Los Angeles, successfully complete the surgical separation of conjoined twins María Teresa and María de Jesús Quiej Álvarez, who were born joined at the top of the head on July 25, 2001, in Guatemala.

      The large mining company Anglo American PLC announces that it will offer free drug treatment to its employees in South Africa who are infected with HIV; such employees constitute nearly a quarter of the company's workforce.

August 7
      As Álvaro Uribe Vélez is sworn in as president of Colombia, scattered mortar shells fall in various places in Bogotá, killing 21 people and wounding at least 60; it is assumed that FARC guerrillas are behind the carnage.

      Construction begins on the foundation of a light-water nuclear reactor in North Korea; the reactor is being built by an international consortium led by the U.S. under the terms of a 1994 agreement that also calls for North Korea to dismantle its graphite reactors and place its plutonium under international supervision.

      The IMF agrees to loan $30 billion to Brazil in hopes of rescuing its flailing economy; the loan is nearly twice what analysts in Brazil had expected.

      Jordan shuts down the local office of the Qatar-based satellite television network al-Jazeera the day after the network broadcast a program that criticized the late kings Hussein and Abdullah I as being too sympathetic to Israel.

August 8
      In Zimbabwe 2,900 white farmers are ordered to vacate their farms by midnight, but nearly two-thirds defy the deadline. (See June 24.)

      After the successful July blockading of ChevronTexaco plants by unarmed women in southern Nigeria in order to force community development concessions from the oil company, hundreds more unarmed women blockade ChevronTexaco and Shell offices in southern Nigeria; order is restored by the following day.

      Turkmen Pres. Saparmurad Niyazov announces plans to rename the months of the year for Turkmen heroes and symbols, beginning the year with a month named for himself.

August 9
      A powerful explosion takes place outside a road-construction warehouse a few hundred metres from a major hydroelectric dam in Jalalabad, Afg.; at least 11 people are killed.

      Pres. Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo announces that the transitional government has succeeded and democratic rule has been restored; the country's new constitution is to take effect at midnight.

      Science magazine publishes a report by researchers at the University of Oxford who were astonished when a New Caledonian crow they were studying bent a piece of wire in order to retrieve food; an animal's purposeful modification of an object to make a tool in the absence of considerable past experience is virtually unknown.

August 10
      On the second day of meetings in Washington, D.C., between Iraqi opposition leaders and U.S. government officials, Vice Pres. Dick Cheney is reported to have said via videoconference that the U.S. government intends to replace Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein with a democratic government.

August 11
      In Indonesia the People's Consultative Assembly approves constitutional amendments that provide for direct election of the president and eliminate reserved places in government for the military; in addition, the assembly rejects the proposed imposition of Islamic law (Shari‘ah).

      US Airways, the sixth largest carrier in the U.S., files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection but says it intends to continue operations.

      Australian golfer Karrie Webb wins the Women's British Open tournament in Ayrshire, Scot.

August 12
      As heavy rains continue to fall in the Czech Republic, 50,000 residents of Prague are ordered evacuated to avoid flooding—the worst in over a century—which has killed more than 70 people as rivers in southeastern Russia and Eastern and Central Europe overflow.

      Meteorologists in India say the August monsoon is unlikely to be able to compensate for the driest July in India's history.

August 13
      Members of the militant Palestinian organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad refuse to sign on to an agreement supported by Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat to stop attacks on civilians.

      U.S. officials react with annoyance to reports that the European Union is urging aspiring members not to sign bilateral agreements with the U.S. to refrain from bringing any Americans before the new International Criminal Court. (See July 12.)

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration orders CryoLife, Inc., which processes donated human tissue, to recall and destroy all tissues processed since Oct. 3, 2001, on the basis that they may be contaminated with harmful bacteria and fungi.

August 14
      Pres. Alyaksandr Lukashenka of Belarus rejects the plan put forward by Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin for a union of Belarus and Russia in which Belarus would essentially be absorbed by Russia.

      Javier Suárez Medina, a Mexican national who had been found guilty of having murdered an undercover narcotics officer in 1988, is executed in Texas over Mexico's strenuous objections.

      The last major regional chain of discount department stores in the U.S., Ames Department Stores, Inc., based in the northeastern U.S., announces that it is going out of business and closing its 327 stores.

      Nature magazine publishes a study on-line showing that a gene connected to language acquisition underwent mutation and quickly became fixed in hominid populations about 200,000 years ago.

August 15
      NASA announces that it has lost contact with its new Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) spacecraft; it is later found that the spacecraft may have broken apart.

      The stage musical version of the 1988 John Waters movie Hairspray, starring Marissa Jaret Winokur and Harvey Fierstein, opens to rave reviews in the Neil Simon Theater in New York City.

August 16
      Pope John Paul II begins a three-day visit to his home country of Poland and celebrates an enormous open-air mass in Krakow on August 18.

      After finding cracks in locomotives, Amtrak cancels all its high-speed Acela Express trains as well as a number of other trains, amounting to close to 20% of its service in the northeastern U.S.

      The government of Zambia announces that it will not accept donations of genetically modified corn (maize) from the U.S. in spite of the danger of famine.

August 17
      The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, which features exhibits devoted to the cartoonist and his Peanuts comic strip, opens in Santa Rosa, Calif.

      David McVicar's production of Bizet's Carmen at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival in England features a live BBC satellite relay of the show to the Somerset House Courtyard in London; it is the first time that a production at the festival has been broadcast to audiences elsewhere.

      The bodies of two 10-year-old girls, missing from near their homes in the town of Soham, Cambridgeshire, Eng., since August 4, are found buried in a wooded area a few kilometres outside town; the search for the girls had riveted Britain.

August 18
      The relatively unknown American golfer Rich Beem defeats Tiger Woods by one stroke, winning the Professional Golfers' Association of America championship.

      Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agree on a plan for Israeli forces to begin a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Bethlehem, provided Palestinian forces can maintain order.

      CNN begins broadcasting portions of videotapes from a library of tapes made and maintained by al-Qaeda and acquired by a CNN reporter in Afghanistan; the broadcast tapes show, among other things, the apparent testing of chemical weapons.

      The 43rd Edward MacDowell Medal, for outstanding contribution to the arts, is awarded to the photographer Robert Frank at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H.

      The New York Times announces that beginning in September it will include coverage of commitment ceremonies of gay and lesbian couples in the renamed “Weddings/Celebrations” portion of its Sunday Styles section.

August 19
      A Palestinian newspaper reports that Abu Nidal, who was believed to have been behind many of the more notorious terrorist attacks from the early 1970s to the early 1990s, has been found dead in his home in Baghdad, Iraq.

      A large Russian military helicopter, carrying 147 people, crashes in a minefield near the main military base in Chechnya; the death toll is well over 100.

      The global mining conglomerate Anglo American PLC says that it has pulled out of the Zambian copper industry, finding it unlikely that it would profit from Zambia's copper mines.

      Pakistan's Federal Shari‘ah Court (the top religious court) publishes its ruling that victims of rape or coerced adultery should not face trial for adultery and that pregnancy alone is not evidence of adultery.

August 20
      Members of the Abu Sayyaf guerrilla group in the Philippines kidnap six Jehovah's Witnesses and two Muslims from the town of Patikul on the island of Jolo; two days later it is found that they have beheaded two of their captives. (See January 15.)

      George Pell, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Sydney, Australia, takes a temporary leave of office while investigators look into allegations of child sex abuse made against him; he is cleared of the charges in October.

August 21
      Pakistani Pres. Pervez Musharraf unilaterally imposes 29 amendments to the country's constitution; they have the effect of increasing the power of the presidency and the military at the expense of the legislature. (See April 27.)

      Former Enron financial executive Michael J. Kopper enters a guilty plea in federal court and agrees to cooperate with investigators; he subsequently tells a federal judge that he paid large kickbacks to Andrew Fastow when Fastow was chief financial officer. (See April 9 and October 2.)

      Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announces his plans to step down from office in 2004.

August 22
      The U.S. government's September 11th Victim Compensation Fund announces its first awards to 25 families of people killed in the terrorist attacks in 2001.

      The U.S. government exempts nearly 200 imported steel products from the steel tariffs it imposed in the spring.

      Brazilian Pres. Fernando Henrique Cardoso decrees the creation of the Tumuc-Humac Mountains National Park, 3.9 million ha (9.6 million ac) of mostly virgin rainforest on Brazil's northern border with French Guiana and Suriname; the new national park, containing at least 8 primate species and 350 bird species, is the biggest tropical national park in the world.

      A statue honouring Irish independence hero Michael Collins is unveiled in his home village of Clonakilty in West Cork; more than 5,000 people attend the ceremony, which takes place on the 80th anniversary of his assassination.

      Controversial German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl celebrates her 100th birthday; one week earlier her first movie in half a century, the documentary Underwater Impressions, had been broadcast on German television.

August 23
      Georgian security forces move against Chechen guerrillas in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge as Georgian Pres. Eduard Shevardnadze accuses Russia of making raids in Georgian territory.

      U.S. District Court Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum rules that the rights to the majority of Martha Graham's dances belong to the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance and not to her heir, Ronald Protas.

      Science magazine publishes a report describing evidence that an asteroid hit the Earth some 3.5 billion years ago with 10 to 100 times the impact of the one believed to have ended the age of dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

August 24
      The Carolina Courage wins the Women's United Soccer Association championship when it defeats the Washington Freedom 3–2 and takes home the Founders Cup; Birgit Prinz is named Most Valuable Player.

      Saud A.S. al-Rasheed, age 21, surrenders to authorities in Saudi Arabia after the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation had put out a worldwide alert for him, believing him to have connections with the hijackers of Sept. 11, 2001; Rasheed says he is wholly innocent and is later released.

August 25
      The two leading candidates for chancellor of Germany, incumbent Gerhard Schröder and Edmund Stoiber, engage in a televised debate that is watched by eight million viewers; it is the first televised debate between political candidates ever held in Germany.

      The Valley Sports American Little League team from Louisville, Ky., representing the U.S. Great Lakes, becomes the 56th Little League world champion when it defeats the team from Sendai, Japan, representing Asia, 1–0.

August 26
      The 10-day UN World Summit on Sustainable Development opens in Johannesburg, S.Af.

      A judge in Spain bans the Basque political party Batasuna, accusing it of involvement in the terrorist activities of the separatist organization ETA.

      The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit rules that the secret deportation hearings that took place in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were unconstitutional, stating, “Democracies die behind closed doors.”

August 27
      A district court in Tokyo acknowledges for the first time that Japan engaged in germ warfare against China before and during World War II.

      Two boys who were found guilty of having set the Internet café fire in Beijing that killed 25 people on June 16 are sentenced to life in prison.

      Archaeologists working in the ancient town of Butrint in Albania announce their discovery of a large marble statue, possibly depicting the Roman goddess Minerva, believed to date to the time of the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus; it is the first major find at the site, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a national park.

August 28
      A federal grand jury indicts a group of five men arrested near Detroit who the U.S. government believes are a terrorist “sleeper cell” associated with Salafiyya, an Islamic extremist movement.

      Transparency International, based in Berlin, releases its Corruption Perceptions Index 2002, on which Bangladesh rates as the world's most corrupt country and Finland as the least.

      A research team working in the vicinity of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii finds the Japanese midget submarine that was sunk by the American destroyer Ward about an hour before the air attacks of Dec. 7, 1941; heretofore there had been no proof that the sinking had occurred.

August 29
      Authorities in Germany say that investigators have found that the al-Qaeda cell based in Hamburg began planning the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as long ago as 1999.

August 30
      The World Trade Organization rules that a tax break in the U.S. that is intended to promote exports is in violation of international trade treaties and that the European Union is entitled to penalize the U.S. as much as $4 billion.

      German Defense Minister Peter Struck says that if the U.S. unilaterally attacks Iraq, Germany will withdraw from Kuwait its specialized unit dedicated to detecting biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons; the unit had been sent out in support of the campaign against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

      Major League Baseball players and owners reach an agreement just a few hours short of a strike deadline; it is the first time in more than 30 years that a new labour contract has been signed in baseball without a strike.

August 31
      Chechen fighters shoot down a Russian helicopter gunship, killing both pilots; it had recently been revealed that the large transport helicopter that crashed on August 19 was brought down by a shoulder-launched missile.

      The Los Angeles Sparks defeat the New York Liberty 69–66 to win the Women's National Basketball Association championship for the second consecutive year.

      The U.S.-based search engine Google becomes unavailable to Internet users in China; it is believed that the Chinese government is blocking access to the search engine.

"But the purposes of the United States should not be doubted. The Security Council resolutions will be enforced. The just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable."
U.S. Pres. George W. Bush, in his address to the UN General Assembly, September 12

September 1
      At the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, S.Af., Israel and Jordan announce a plan to build a joint pipeline to pump water from the Red Sea into the rapidly shrinking Dead Sea in an effort to prevent the Dead Sea from drying up.

      A fire starts in the Angeles National Forest in California and rapidly consumes about 4,450 ha (11,000 ac), forcing the immediate evacuation of at least 7,000 recreationists; it is one of three large fires in the Los Angeles area.

      For the second day Typhoon Rusa batters South Korea, causing the most damage in Kangnung; the worst storm in South Korea since 1959, Rusa kills at least 120 people.

September 2
      In the face of a governmental investigation into possible falsification of repair reports at nuclear plants in the late 1980s and '90s, the president and other top executives of the Tokyo Electric Power Co., Japan's biggest electric utility, admit that the company has falsified such reports and immediately announce their resignations.

      Consolidated Freightways Corp., one of the biggest trucking companies in the U.S., announces that it will immediately shut down almost all of its operations and will file for bankruptcy protection.

      In Los Angeles the new $195 million Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, conceived by Spanish architect José Rafael Moneo, is dedicated with a three-hour mass and a procession of 565 cardinals, bishops, archbishops, and priests.

September 3
      Japan's main stock index falls to its lowest point in nearly 19 years, which raises fears of a banking crisis; banks in Japan typically hold a great deal of stock in their clients.

      The first of four High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) telescopes, the most sensitive gamma-ray telescopes to be built so far, is inaugurated in Namibia; the telescope array is a joint European-African project.

September 4
      Delegates at the World Summit on Sustainable Development agree on a plan that sets broadly drawn goals intended to reduce global poverty and preserve natural resources; the previous day Russia had announced that it will ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

      The Organization of American States passes a resolution supporting the holding of legislative and local elections in 2003 in Haiti and the unblocking of foreign aid, despite the fact that no settlement has been reached with the opposition coalition in the country.

      On the Fox television show American Idol, a summerlong singing competition that was the most-watched television show of the summer, the winner is Kelly Clarkson; the voters, viewers of the show, voted via telephone.

September 5
      In Kandahar, Afg., an assassination attempt on Pres. Hamid Karzai narrowly fails, and a car bomb explodes in Kabul, killing at least 26 people.

      An enormous bomb is intercepted as it is being transported from the West Bank into Israel, and another bomb destroys an Israeli tank in Gaza; the Jewish High Holy Days begin at sundown the following day.

      In Oakland, Calif., the Oakland Athletics beat the Kansas City Royals 12–11 to win their 20th consecutive baseball game, the longest winning streak in the history of the American League.

September 6
      In Luanda, Angola, Pres. Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Pres. Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo sign a peace agreement that calls for Uganda to remove its troops from Congo and for Congo to take action against rebels who are hostile to the government in Uganda.

      A grenade attack wounds a senior government official outside his home in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; opposition to the rule of Pres. Askar Akayev has been growing since March, and civil war seems to be a threat.

      The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of long-term unemployed people in the U.S. rose by more than 50% over the past year.

September 7
      Winning her third straight major championship, Serena Williams defeats her older sister, Venus, to win the U.S. Open tennis tournament; the following day Pete Sampras defeats Andre Agassi to win the men's championship.

      Sir Simon Rattle conducts his first concert as chief conductor and artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic.

September 8
      Metropolitan Herman is installed as the third primate of the Orthodox Church in America in a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

      In Indianapolis, Ind., Yugoslavia defeats Argentina to win the men's world basketball championship; on September 25 the U.S. beats Russia in the women's final in Nanjing, China.

September 9
      Martin Strel of Slovenia beats his own record for the longest swim when he becomes the first person to have swum the entire length of the Mississippi River; he began the 3,780-km (2,350-mi) swim on July 4.

September 10
      Switzerland joins the United Nations as its 190th member.

      After days of severe storms that sparked flash floods that killed at least 21 people, rains in southeastern France ease; a day earlier a dam had given way, inundating the village of Aramon and leaving thousands without electricity or telephone service.

      TRW Inc. announces that it has won the contract to build the James Webb Space Telescope for NASA; the new telescope will have a light-gathering area six times larger than that of the Hubble Space Telescope, which it is scheduled to replace in 2010.

      U.S. government officials move the terrorism alert level up one step, from yellow (elevated) to orange (high); U.S. embassies around the world are closed, and Vice Pres. Dick Cheney is whisked to an undisclosed location.

      It is revealed that the actor Christopher Reeve, who became quadriplegic in 1995, has, after extensive therapy involving electrical stimulation of his muscles, regained the ability to move some of his fingers and joints as well as sensation on most of his body; this degree of improvement is unprecedented.

      The government of Argentina orders banks to allow customers, starting in October, to make withdrawals from savings accounts, which have been frozen since the end of 2001.

September 11
      Meeting in Ram Allah in the West Bank, the Palestinian Legislative Council, in an unprecedented show of strength, forces Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat to accept the resignation of his entire cabinet and schedule elections for Jan. 20, 2003.

      A great variety of solemn observances of the one-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. are held throughout the world.

September 12
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush addresses the General Assembly of the United Nations, enjoining the member nations to act quickly to force Iraq to disarm under threat of force and implying that the U.S. will act on its own if the UN does not do so.

      L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former CEO of Tyco International Ltd., and Tyco's former chief financial officer, Mark H. Swartz, are indicted for fraud and racketeering, accused of having acquired $600 million in ill-gotten gains.

      Archaeologists report their discovery in Vilnius, Lithuania, of some 100 skeletons believed to be remnants of Napoleon's Grand Army, almost the entirety of which likely died of cold and starvation in December 1812; nearly 2,000 skeletons had been discovered in the area in 2001.

      In North Korea the Supreme People's Assembly issues a decree establishing an autonomous capitalist investment zone in the city of Sinuiju, on the Chinese border; the Sinuiju Special Administrative Region is to be run by Chinese agricultural and industrial magnate Yang Bin.

September 13
      American officials report that Ramzi ibn al-Shibh, believed to be a high-ranking al-Qaeda official and to have been closely involved with the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers, has been captured and is in custody in Karachi, Pak.

      Federal agents arrest five men in Lackawanna, N.Y., believing that they have ties to a terrorist group operating in the U.S.

September 14
      In Las Vegas, Nev., Oscar de la Hoya defeats Fernando Vargas by technical knockout to add the World Boxing Association super welterweight (junior middleweight) title to the World Boxing Council title that he already holds.

      At the 18th International Association of Athletics Federations Grand Prix final in Paris, American sprinter Tim Montgomery runs the 100-m race in 9.78 sec, beating Maurice Green's three-year-old world record by one one-hundredth of a second.

      In Uganda members of the Lord's Resistance Army, a rebel group that wants to replace the government with a theocracy based on the Ten Commandments, raids a Roman Catholic mission, kidnapping 2 priests and 45 civilians, and attacks a World Food Programme truck, killing the driver.

September 15
      Elections in Sweden keep the centre-left Social Democrats, led by Prime Minister Göran Persson, in power.

      In parliamentary elections in Macedonia, the ruling party is decisively defeated by a coalition led by the opposition Social Democratic Union, headed by Branko Crvenkovski.

      Brazil closes down São Paulo's Casa de Detenção, the largest prison in Latin America, which was the centre of 2001's enormous prison uprising and, in 1992, the site of Brazil's biggest prison massacre.

September 16
      Iraq notifies the United Nations that it is willing to allow UN weapons inspectors to return to the country “without conditions.”

      In major cities throughout Ukraine, demonstrators rally to demand the resignation of Pres. Leonid Kuchma.

      Peace talks between the government of Sri Lanka and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam open at a naval base in Sattahip, Thai.; the cease-fire signed in February still holds.

      The Pinakothek der Moderne, the largest museum of modern art in Germany, opens in Munich.

      The first of four phases of Indian elections in Jammu and Kashmir takes place; many voters must contend with Indian soldiers ordering them to vote and Muslim militants ordering them not to vote.

September 17
      A Burundi government official says that gunmen massacred at least 183 people, 112 of them civilians, in Itaba commune in Gitega province on September 9; the number of dead is later reduced to some 173, and all are reported to have been unarmed civilians.

      In Pyongyang, N.Kor., Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il agree to begin normalizing relations, and North Korea admits that its agents kidnapped 11 people from Japan during the late 1970s and early '80s.

      NASA astronomers announce that the Hubble Space Telescope has detected clear evidence of medium-mass black holes, the existence of which was hinted at by data from the Chandra X-Ray and Roentgen Satellite (ROSAT) observatories; it is believed that this new type of black hole, found in the cores of globular star clusters, may provide information on how galaxies and globular clusters formed.

September 18
      Nature magazine publishes a paper on-line in which physicists working at CERN in Switzerland announce that they have created atoms of antimatter—specifically, antihydrogen; the researchers hope to test theories that antimatter should look and behave exactly like ordinary matter.

      Ground-breaking ceremonies kick off the construction of a pipeline designed to carry oil from the Sangachal terminal in Azerbaijan to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey, traveling through Georgia and avoiding Russia and Iran; the pipeline is expected to start carrying oil in 2005.

      Abu Salem, suspected of having been behind a series of high-profile murders and other terror attacks in India, including the worst bombings in the country's history, in 1993, is arrested in Portugal.

September 19
      A coup is attempted in Côte d'Ivoire while Pres. Laurent Gbagbo is out of the country; Robert Gueï, who had become the military ruler of the country in a coup in 1999 but been forced out in 2000, is killed in the fighting.

      In the second bombing in 24 hours, a suicide bomber detonates his weapons on a bus in Tel Aviv, Israel, outside the main synagogue, killing six passengers; the bombings mark the end of a period of 45 days with no attacks within Israel.

      On the Transmigration of Souls, an orchestral and choral work commissioned from John Adams to commemorate the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, premieres in New York City, conducted by Lorin Maazel.

September 20
      The Israeli army demolishes all but a single building in the compound of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and imprisons him within the remaining building.

      After months of resisting, the administration of U.S. Pres. George W. Bush accedes to Congress's demands for an independent investigation into possible intelligence failures in the period leading up to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

      A glacier in the Caucasus Mountains calves an enormous chunk of ice, which triggers mud slides that bury a village and tourist centres in Russia's republic of North Ossetia; among the missing is Sergey Bodrov, Jr., the star of a popular series of action movies.

      Nearly four weeks after his arrest, which caused an international outcry, AIDS activist Wan Yanhai is released from custody by Chinese authorities, apparently without restrictions.

September 21
      The party of Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union, comes in only second best in parliamentary elections in Slovakia; Dzurinda is nonetheless reappointed prime minister on October 15.

      The winners of the 2002 Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards are announced; they are James E. Rothman and Randy W. Schekman for basic medical research, Willem J. Kolff and Belding H. Scribner for clinical research, and James E. Darnell for special achievement.

      Among the 16 people being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame is Nils Bohlin, inventor of the three-point seat belt; he dies the same day in his native Sweden.

      Miss Illinois, Erika Harold, is crowned Miss America in Atlantic City, N.J.

September 22
      Elections in Germany keep Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in power.

      The Emmy Awards are presented in Los Angeles, hosted by Conan O'Brien; winners include the television series Friends and The West Wing and the actors Ray Romano, Michael Chiklis, Jennifer Aniston, Allison Janney, Brad Garrett, John Spencer, Doris Roberts, and Stockard Channing.

      Hundreds of thousands of rural protesters converge on London to demonstrate in favour of fox hunting (under partial ban in Scotland and under review in England) and to protest the lack of services in the countryside.

      Germany defeats Chivas Regal (an international team) 8–6 to win Thailand's second annual King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament; the game, first played in Mughal India but reinvented in Nepal in 1982, involves three players, each on an elephant with a mahout (handler), on each team and lasts 20 minutes.

September 23
      U.S. officials issue a detailed plan to states on quick mass inoculation in the event of a biological attack involving smallpox; the states are instructed to prepare to vaccinate the entire population.

      Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani Pres. Heydar Aliyev sign an agreement establishing the two countries' borders in the Caspian Sea and thus divide energy resources in the sea.

September 24
      Argentina's economy minister, Roberto Lavagna, announces that Argentina will not use its foreign reserves to repay loans from the IMF and other multilateral lenders; Argentina has been complaining that the demands of the IMF are too burdensome.

      Men with grenades and automatic weapons open fire in a Hindu temple complex in Gandhinagar, in Gujarat state in India, killing at least 30 people and wounding 74 before being killed themselves.

      Oksana Fyodorova of Russia, who was crowned Miss Universe in May, is forced by the pageant to step down because it is believed that she is married and pregnant; Miss Panama, Justine Pasek, takes her place as Miss Universe.

September 25
      As a rebellion in the interior of Côte d'Ivoire continues unabated, French troops rescue trapped students from the International Christian Academy in Bouaké, a school for the children of foreign missionaries in West Africa.

      Armed men enter the offices of the Institute for Peace and Justice, a Christian charity, in Karachi, Pak., and tie up and murder seven employees; an eighth employee survives a gunshot to the head.

      Jan Hendrik Schön, a star research physicist, is fired by Bell Labs, Murray Hill, N.J., for scientific misconduct; Schön, whose revolutionary work had been the object of keen excitement in scientific circles, is accused of having falsified data in 16 of the 24 suspect scientific papers he published in top journals from 1998 to 2001 and has shaken faith in the peer-review system for publishing.

September 26
      Chechen fighters and Russian military forces engage in the biggest battle of 2002 in the Caucasus in the Russian republic of Ingushetia, leaving dozens dead.

      U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan is given an honorary knighthood by the U.K.'s Queen Elizabeth II.

      Federal prosecutors admit in a court document that they mistakenly turned 48 classified FBI reports over to accused terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, who is conducting his own defense.

      The son-in-law and three grandsons of former strongman U Ne Win are sentenced to death in Myanmar (Burma) for having plotted a coup against the government; the sentences are regarded as shockingly harsh.

      SBC Communications Inc., the second biggest local telephone company in the U.S., says it has to lay off 11,000 employees, claiming that regulations that require it to sell access to its lines to competitors at low prices are contributing to its financial difficulties.

September 27
      East Timor becomes the 191st member of the United Nations just four months after becoming independent.

      The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inducts players Earvin (“Magic”) Johnson and Drazen Petrovic, coaches Larry Brown, Lute Olsen, and Kay Yow, and the Harlem Globetrotters; the following day the Hall of Fame's state-of-the-art basketball-shaped new home opens to the delighted public in Springfield, Mass.

      The acquisition of the Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. by the Shell Oil Co. is approved by the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S.

      A federal judge in Australia ceremonially delivers a 136,000-sq-km (52,500-sq-mi) tract of land in Western Australia to the Martu Aboriginal tribe, which had traditionally occupied the land before they were removed during the 1950s by the British government, which used the land as a missile test range.

September 28
      Two bombs explode in a crowded movie theatre in Satkhira, Bangladesh, and shortly thereafter two more bombs explode at a circus in the same town; three people are killed and many more seriously wounded, and it is not clear who set the bombs.

      The inaugural Maazel/Vilar Conductors' Competition—with a prize that includes $45,000, a conducting fellowship directed by Lorin Maazel, and a series of symphonic engagements—concludes after 20 months and 362 contestants, with two winners: Xian Zhang, from China, and Bundit Ungrangsee, from Thailand.

September 29
      The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., opens to the public its new sculpture galleries, showcasing 900 works from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.

      West African leaders hold an emergency meeting in Ghana to discuss how to end the civil war in Côte d'Ivoire as American and French forces continue to evacuate foreigners from harm's way.

      Israeli forces pull out of the largely destroyed compound of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, who emerges to the cheers of supporters.

      The 34th Ryder Cup golf tournament, delayed for one year by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, concludes in Sutton Coldfield, Eng., with the European team defeating the heavily favoured Americans.

      Port operators shut down 29 U.S. ports from Seattle, Wash., to San Diego, Calif., maintaining that longshoremen have been staging a work slowdown.

September 30
      The European Union agrees to exempt U.S. soldiers from prosecution before the International Criminal Court, provided that accused Americans are tried in a U.S. court.

      In an attempt to turn Japan's troubled economy around, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi replaces the country's conservative financial services minister with the reform-minded economic and fiscal policy minister, Heizo Takenaka.

"We will start killing them, the people who are here. One by one we will kill them—all of them. We didn't come here to go home again; we came here to die."
Abusaid, Chechen hostage taker, in a phone call to the BBC, October 23

October 1
      Croatian Pres. Stipe Mesic appears before the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague to testify against former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic; it is the first time that a sitting head of state has testified before the war crimes tribunal, and it is regarded as an important precedent in international law.

      The U.S. Northern Command, charged with the military protection of the entire U.S. and its territories as well as Canada and Mexico, opens near Colorado Springs, Colo.; it is the first time since the Revolutionary War that a single command centre has controlled the whole country's defense.

      Reports say census takers in Russia's Taymyr autonomous okrug (district) have found a new ethnic group in northern Siberia, the Chalymtsy, who number about 130 and engage in hunting and subsistence agriculture.

October 2
      The former chief financial officer of the defunct energy giant Enron, Andrew S. Fastow, is arrested and charged in federal court with fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy. (See August 21.)

      American and British scientists jointly announce that in separate projects, published in Nature and Science, they have sequenced the genome of the parasite that causes malaria as well as that of the Anopheles gambiae mosquito, which carries and transmits the disease.

October 3
      Five people are randomly killed by a sniper in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., after another person had been killed the previous evening; the next day a seventh person is wounded.

      Hurricane Lili weakens as it moves ashore in Louisiana; the previous day Russia's Mission Control Centre (MCC), near Moscow, had taken temporary control of the International Space Station while Lili threatened the MCC in Houston, Texas.

      At a meeting in Bouaké, Côte d'Ivoire, with mediators from five West African countries, rebels who had begun a civil war 14 days earlier agree to a cease-fire; fighting later resumes, however.

October 4
      King Gyanendra of Nepal dismisses Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and assumes direct power after Deuba recommends delaying parliamentary elections for a year; Deuba argues that the constitution does not give the king the power to fire an elected prime minister. (See October 11.)

      As rhetoric between Pakistan and India again heats up, Pakistan test-fires a nuclear-capable medium-range missile.

October 5
      Countrywide elections are held in Bosnia and Herzegovina; they are the first elections since the 1992–95 war that are run by the country rather than by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the nationalist parties are the biggest winners.

      South Korea's National Assembly overwhelmingly approves Kim Suk Soo as prime minister after having rejected Pres. Kim Dae Jung's first two choices earlier in the year.

      Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chávez announces that his government has foiled another attempted coup. (See April 12.)

      A much-anticipated new museum, the Museum of Sex, opens in New York City in what organizers suspect is a former brothel.

October 6
      An explosion causes a fire and massive oil leak on the French oil tanker Limburg off the southeastern coast of Yemen; it is later determined that a terrorist attack caused the disaster.

      Presidential elections held in Brazil result in no candidate's getting more than 50% of the vote, and a runoff becomes necessary, though leftist candidate Lula (Luiz Inácio da Silva) has a commanding lead. (See October 27.)

      Pope John Paul II canonizes Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer y Albás, the founder of the conservative Roman Catholic lay organization Opus Dei.

October 7
      The Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine is awarded to Sydney Brenner, H. Robert Horvitz, and John E. Sulston for their discoveries regarding genetic regulation of organ development and the process of apoptosis, or programmed cell death.

      Wolfgang Clement, the premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, is named head of Germany's new “superministry” for the economy and employment.

      The American Astronomical Society announces that on June 4 researchers Michael Brown and Chadwick Trujillo discovered a Sun-orbiting object, which they named Quaoar, that is the largest body found in the Earth's solar system since Pluto was discovered in 1930; it is seen as strengthening the case that Pluto should be classified, like Quaoar, as a Kuiper Belt object rather than as a planet.

October 8
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush invokes the Taft-Hartley Act, last employed in 1971, to persuade a federal judge to issue an injunction temporarily halting the lockout of longshoremen that has shut down 29 West Coast ports for 10 days.

      The Nobel Prize for Physics is awarded to Raymond Davis, Jr., and Masatoshi Koshiba for their detection of cosmic neutrinos and to Riccardo Giacconi for his discovery of sources of cosmic X-rays.

      Two men open fire on U.S. marines engaging in training exercises in Kuwait, killing one soldier and wounding another before being killed themselves.

October 9
      The U.S. Department of Justice indicts Enaam M. Arnaout on conspiracy, fraud, money-laundering, and racketeering charges, maintaining that the Chicago-based Benevolence International Foundation, a charity organization headed by Arnaout, contributed funds to support al-Qaeda.

      The Nobel Prize for Economics is awarded to Daniel Kahneman and Vernon L. Smith, while the Nobel Prize for Chemistry goes to John B. Fenn, Koichi Tanaka, and Kurt Wüthrich for their work in developing techniques for identifying and mapping large biological molecules.

October 10
      The Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded to the Hungarian writer Imre Kertész.

      The International Court of Justice rules that the Bakassi Peninsula in the Gulf of Guinea between Nigeria and Cameroon belongs to Cameroon; the peninsula is believed to contain rich oil deposits.

      KazMunayGaz, the national oil and gas company of Kazakhstan, announces that it has discovered economically significant new oil reserves in the Caspian Sea.

October 11
      The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.

      The U.S. Congress passes a bill by a wide margin granting U.S. Pres. George W. Bush broad authority to use force against Iraq.

      King Gyanendra of Nepal names Lokendra Bahadur Chand prime minister and appoints a nine-member cabinet as thousands of people demonstrate against the firing of the elected prime minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba. (See October 4.)

      In Sholapur, India, five people are killed in riots that break out after a local newspaper reports that religious commentator Jerry Falwell on the television show 60 Minutes characterized the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist and a violent man.

      The executive committee of New York City's Metropolitan Opera announces its appointment of opera star Beverly Sills as the Met's next chairman.

October 12
      A car bomb explodes outside two nightclubs popular with foreigners on Bali, Indon.; at least 183 people, most of them Australian tourists, are killed. (See November 21.)

      A large and distinctive new national performing arts centre, the Esplanade–Theatres on the Bay, puts on a gala opening in Singapore.

October 13
      Wampler Foods recalls a record 12.4 million kg (27.4 million lb) of poultry, all the cooked deli products produced in a plant in Franconia, Pa., since May; the poultry may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

      Michael Schumacher wins the Japan Grand Prix auto race, his 11th victory for the year. (See July 21.)

      During the Frankfurt (Ger.) Book Fair, Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe is awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade; the prize, currently valued at €15,000 (about $15,000) has been awarded annually since 1950.

October 14
      John Reid, the British secretary for Northern Ireland, announces that the British government is suspending home rule and taking over the government of Northern Ireland for the fourth time in less than three years.

      Kenya's ruling party, Kenya African National Union, chooses Uhuru Kenyatta, son of the country's founding president, Jomo Kenyatta, as its candidate in elections to replace retiring Pres. Daniel arap Moi. (See December 27.)

      Workers in Denison, Iowa, are horrified when they open a Union Pacific railcar to find that it contains the remains of 11 would-be emigrants from Mexico.

      A new university, the Bulgarian-Romanian Interuniversity Europe Centre, supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the association of German universities, opens its twin campuses in the Danube port cities of Ruse, Bulg., and Giurgiu, Rom.

      The European Commission rules that only cheese made in Greece may be called feta; cheeses made in imitation of that cheese in other countries must within five years be marketed under a different name.

October 15
      A presidential election is held in Iraq in which the only candidate is Pres. Saddam Hussein; the following day it is announced that 100% of the electorate voted to retain him for another seven-year term.

      In peace negotiations taking place in Machakos, Kenya, the government of The Sudan agrees to a temporary cease-fire with the Sudanese People's Liberation Army.

October 16
      Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende resigns just three months after taking office as squabbling among the politically inexperienced members of coalition partner List Pim Fortuyn causes the collapse of the government.

      The U.S. State Department announces that North Korea has admitted that it has been secretly developing a nuclear weapons program for several years, in violation of a 1994 agreement with the U.S. (See October 20.)

      India announces that it will pull back its troops from the Pakistani border, where they have been deployed since shortly after the attack on the Indian Parliament building on Dec. 13, 2001; the following day Pakistan announces that it will follow suit.

      The ruling People's National Party wins general elections in Jamaica, giving Prime Minister Percival J. Patterson an unprecedented third consecutive term of office.

      The Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the successor to the fabled library of Alexandria, is officially dedicated by Egyptian Pres. Hosni Mubarak.

October 17
      Officials representing the rebels in Côte d'Ivoire sign a truce agreement with West African mediators in Bouaké.

      More than 20 years after he fled the country following his arrest for the murder of his former girlfriend Holly Maddux, onetime counterculture star Ira Einhorn is convicted of the 1977 murder in Philadelphia.

      Le Monde publishes an interview with Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission, in which he characterizes the 1997 Stability and Growth Pact, which is the framework for the European single currency and which the European Commission is empowered to enforce, as “stupid”; shock waves reverberate throughout Europe.

October 18
      The Vatican rejects the policy drawn up by American bishops to address the problem of sexual abuse of minors by priests, indicating that the policy fails to safeguard the rights of accused priests.

      The last major shirt-making factory in the U.S., a C.F. Hathaway Co. unit in Waterville, Maine, closes for good after 165 years of production.

      The poet Quincy Troupe, who had become California's first official poet laureate on June 11, resigns after admitting that he had claimed on his résumé to have graduated from college, whereas he only attended.

      American Ballet Theatre premieres a new production, A Tribute to George Harrison, in New York City.

October 19
      The Treaty of Nice, which permits the European Union to add 10 new members, passes in a referendum in Ireland; the terms of the treaty required unanimous agreement by the member states, and Ireland had been the last holdout.

      The first segment of the new Copenhagen Metro, featuring both subway and elevated train service, opens; Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is among the first passengers.

October 20
      The U.S. announces that it considers a 1994 agreement under which it provided help to North Korea in building an energy infrastructure in return for North Korea's refraining from attempting to develop nuclear weapons to be effectively “nullified.” (See October 16 and December 22.)

      Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein announces an unprecedented amnesty of nearly all prisoners in the country, and as crowds mob the prisons, tens of thousands are released; some are killed in the crush.

      Blue Stream, the deepest underwater pipeline in the world and a joint venture between Russia and Turkey, opens.

October 21
      The UN Food and Agriculture Organization appeals for immediate food and agricultural aid, saying that more than 14 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are in danger of starvation and that famine also threatens in Afghanistan.

      A three-tiered system of labels for organic foods denoting standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture goes into effect in American grocery stores.

      The Biblical Archaeological Review announces the discovery of a stone ossuary with an ancient Aramaic inscription reading “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”; some believe this is the first mention of Jesus Christ outside the Bible.

October 22
      The New York Times Co. announces that it is buying out the Washington Post Co.'s share of the International Herald Tribune; the rival companies had co-owned the respected international newspaper for 35 years.

      The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, Great Britain's top literary award, goes to Canadian writer Yann Martel for his novel Life of Pi.

      The Royal Canadian Mounted Police file fraud charges against Garth Drabinsky and Myron Gottlieb, the founders of Livent Inc., one of North America's largest theatre companies from the late 1980s until its demise in 1998; the two are charged with having defrauded creditors and investors of nearly $320 million.

      Lithuania's legislature votes to adopt new rules that permit the use of the euro as legal tender in the country.

October 23
      During a production of the popular musical Nord-Ost in a theatre in Moscow, more than 50 Chechen guerrillas storm the stage and take the actors and audience hostage. (See October 26.)

      In a ceremony in Tokyo, the winners of the 2002 Praemium Imperiale Awards are presented with their medals for global achievement in the arts: Jean-Luc Godard in theatre/film, Norman Foster in architecture, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in music, Sigmar Polke in painting, and Giuliano Vangi in sculpture.

October 24
      A man and a teenage boy, John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo, are arrested near Myersville, Md., for the sniper killings that have left 10 people dead and 3 wounded and have terrified the area around Washington, D.C., since October 2. (See October 3.)

      In a ceremony in Ames, Iowa, soil scientist Pedro Sanchez is presented with the World Food Prize for having developed a low-tech, sustainable way for impoverished Africans to as much as quadruple their crop yields without exhausting the soil.

      Police in Ireland set up a special unit to investigate charges of sexual abuse made against priests; the public is increasingly angry over the appearance that the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has protected priests who have abused minors.

      Elections are held in Bahrain to choose its first parliament since 1973, and for the first time anywhere in the Persian Gulf, women are allowed to vote and run for office in a national election.

      Science magazine publishes a paper on-line that describes an experiment in which scientists manipulated molecules to make a working logic circuit that is some 260,000 times smaller than the most advanced silicon circuitry.

October 25
      Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone is killed when his campaign airplane crashes in northern Minnesota; the tragedy takes place less than two weeks before the election in which the prominent and outspoken liberal was expected to be returned to office.

      Koki Ishii, a member of the Diet (parliament) who is head of an anticorruption task force in the Democratic Party of Japan, is stabbed to death as he is leaving his house to go to work; the following day a right-wing extremist admits to the assassination and turns himself in to police.

      A year after the announcement of a planned merger between P&O Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises, Carnival Corp. announces that it has reached an agreement to buy P&O Princess; Carnival is the world's largest cruise ship company.

October 26
      Russian troops pump a gas intended to render people unconscious into the Moscow theatre in which Chechen guerrillas are holding the audience and performers hostage and then storm the theatre, freeing most of the 750 people, but at least 127 are killed by the disabling gas. (See October 23.)

      Tens of thousands of people march in Washington, D.C., and in other cities across the U.S. to express their opposition to a possible war with Iraq.

      The Breeders' Cup Classic Thoroughbred race is run at Arlington Park racetrack in Illinois, the winner is 43.5–1 long shot Volponi.

October 27
      In Brazil's runoff presidential election, Workers' Party politician Lula (Luiz Inácio da Silva) wins by the largest margin of victory in the country's history.

      In their first appearance in the World Series in their 42-year history, the Anaheim Angels defeat the San Francisco Giants in the seventh game to win the major league baseball championship in Anaheim, Calif.

October 28
      The committee headed by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing unveils a draft constitution for the European Union; the document proposes a larger role in international affairs for the union.

      Laurence Foley, a senior U.S. diplomat, is assassinated outside his home in Amman, Jordan; the attack is regarded as part of the worldwide terror campaign against Western targets.

      Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi meets with Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi in Bab al-Aziziyah; Berlusconi is one of only a few top European officials to have visited Libya in two decades.

      The Prix Goncourt, France's top literary prize, is awarded to Pascal Quignard for Les Ombres errantes.

October 29
      The Palestinian Legislative Council approves a new cabinet appointed by Yasir Arafat with two fewer ministers than the old.

      The fifth annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is presented to Bob Newhart in a ceremony in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

      A fire destroys the International Trade Center building in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, killing dozens of people.

October 30
      Labour Party ministers in the coalition government of Israel resign, leaving Prime Minister Ariel Sharon without a majority; the ministers object to a budget that they see as favouring Israeli settlers in Palestinian regions over the poor of Israel.

      Nine bombs go off in various places in Soweto, South Africa's largest black township; the bombings are blamed on white extremists.

      The government of the Central African Republic announces that it has retaken the capital, Bangui, from rebels who had seized the city nearly a week earlier.

      Jam Master Jay, a deejay for the seminal rap group Run-D.M.C., is shot to death in his recording studio in Queens, N.Y.; friends and authorities are baffled.

October 31
      George Carey retires as the archbishop of Canterbury, a position that he held for more than 11 years.

      An earthquake in Italy causes the collapse of a nursery and elementary school in the small town of San Giuliano di Puglia, killing a teacher and 26 students who were gathered for a Halloween party; in the surrounding area scores of people are injured, two killed, and thousands left homeless.

"They try and clean it up but the sea brings in more. This means complete ruin for us."
José Camano, retired fisherman in the Spanish province of Galicia, about the black tide from the sunken oil tanker Prestige, November 20

November 1
      U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly approves the antitrust settlement reached between the Department of Justice and Microsoft Corp., dismissing almost all the additional sanctions sought by the nine states that had not signed on to the proposed settlement.

      In London, charges of robbery against Paul Burrell, who had been the butler of Diana, princess of Wales, are dropped after Queen Elizabeth II unexpectedly lets it be known that Burrell had told her that he was taking the princess's belongings for safekeeping after her death.

      Uniformed officers in Tokyo begin to fine violators of a ban on smoking in designated public areas; the ordinance, which went into effect on October 1, was introduced in response to complaints that people had been holding lit cigarettes at the same level as children's faces in crowded areas.

November 2
      In Norwegian-brokered peace negotiations held in Thailand, the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam agree to set up a panel to discuss ways to share power.

      A new moderate coalition government takes office in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, in spite of several attacks by Islamic militants.

      In elections that began the previous day, the ruling coalition in the Czech Republic loses its majority in the Senate.

      Police in London arrest five people they believe were planning to kidnap Victoria Beckham, wife of association football star David Beckham and former member of the Spice Girls; four additional suspects are arrested overnight but are later cleared of connection with the conspiracy.

November 3
      Legislative elections in Turkey result in a resounding victory for the opposition Justice and Development Party; the party's leader, former Islamist Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been barred from holding office, however.

      A major earthquake, measuring an astonishing 7.9 in magnitude, occurs in Alaska; because its epicentre is in the state's sparsely populated interior, however, there are no casualties.

      The Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts, leaving the city of Quito covered with a thick layer of ash; residents are warned to remain indoors.

      In the New York City Marathon, Rodgers Rop of Kenya wins with a time of 2 hr 8 min 7 sec; the fastest woman is Joyce Chepchumba, also from Kenya, who comes in at 2 hr 25 min 56 sec.

      A missile fired by an unmanned U.S. Predator aircraft in Yemen kills six people, including a man known as Abu Ali, a top al-Qaeda figure.

November 4
      Construction workers in Switzerland go on strike to protest the employers group's refusal to sign a negotiated contract; the last strike in Switzerland, also by construction workers, took place in 1947.

      In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Premier Zhu Rongji of China signs a framework agreement with the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to set up a common free-trade area within the next decade.

November 5
      In midterm congressional elections in the U.S., the Republican Party increases its majority in the House of Representatives and gains a majority in the Senate.

      Harvey L. Pitt resigns as chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

      The European Court of Justice finds that bilateral aviation treaties between the U.S. and eight European countries violate European Union law.

      Brazil's National Institute for Space Research releases the results of a satellite-data study of lightning incidence; it found that Brazil has more lightning strikes than any other country in the world.

November 6
      In France's worst rail accident in five years, a train just outside a station in Nancy is engulfed in flames that are later determined to have been sparked by a kitchenette hot plate; 12 people die.

      At the 36th annual Country Music Association Awards, musician Alan Jackson becomes only the third person to win five awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Single of the Year for his song “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).”

November 7
      The legislature of Latvia approves a new centre-right coalition government headed by Einars Repse.

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves a highly accurate test that can reveal in as little as 20 minutes whether a subject is infected with HIV; standard HIV testing usually requires a minimum two-day wait for results.

      The University of Michigan announces that, having found that more than $600,000 in loans had been made to four university basketball players in violation of NCAA rules, it is imposing severe penalties on itself, including forfeiting all games in which those players were improperly involved and excluding itself from championship play for the coming season.

November 8
      The UN Security Council unanimously approves a resolution sponsored by the U.S. and the U.K. requiring Iraq to submit to stringent weapons inspections, with deadlines for various related activities, or face “serious consequences.”

      Officials in Ecuador say that more than 1,000 people in the city of Ibarra have been made sick by contaminated municipal water after broken water pipes allowed purification systems to be overwhelmed by farm runoff after a storm.

November 9
      In Dresden, Ger., the Zwinger Palace Museum's Old Masters Picture Gallery and the Semper Opera reopen for the first time since the summer floods.

November 10
      The Arab League, meeting in Cairo, passes a resolution expressing support for weapons inspections in Iraq.

      Police in Jordan begin a five-day siege of the city of Maan, looking for Islamic militants who have been terrorizing the country; firefights during the siege kill at least four people.

      A severe storm front that had formed the previous day spawns some 88 tornadoes that over a 36-hour period cut a swath through Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, leaving at least 36 dead.

      The constitutional ban on the return to Italy of members of the house of Savoy, Italy's former royal family, expires.

November 11
      The UN presents a plan to both Greek and Turkish Cyprus, as well as Greece, Turkey, and the U.K., for reunification of Cyprus with a structure similar to that of Switzerland; acceptance of the plan is seen as vital to the island country's being invited to join the European Union.

      Microsoft chairman Bill Gates pledges to donate $100 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in India.

November 12
      The Qatar-based satellite television station al-Jazeera broadcasts a new audio tape that it says was made by Osama bin Laden and in which he praises recent terrorist attacks and threatens additional assaults; on November 18, U.S. intelligence officials say that they are convinced that the voice on the tape is indeed that of Bin Laden.

      In a meaningless show of defiance, Iraq's National Assembly rejects the UN resolution on weapons inspections but authorizes Pres. Saddam Hussein to make the final decision; the following day a letter is sent from Iraq accepting the resolution.

      The United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora agrees to allow Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa to each hold a one-time sale of legal ivory mostly collected from elephants that died of natural causes; the sales are to take place after May 2004 if enough information on elephant populations and poaching levels has been gathered and if it has been determined that ivory-buying countries can control the domestic ivory trade.

      The Kenyon Review literary magazine bestows its first Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement to American novelist E.L. Doctorow.

      The British governmental organization English Nature designates Sherwood Forest, the legendary home of Robin Hood, a national nature reserve.

November 13
      An aging single-hulled Bahamian-flagged tanker, the Prestige, which is carrying 77,000 metric tons of oil, begins to sink off the coast of Galicia, Spain; rescue workers frantically attempt to tow the leaking ship as far from the coast as possible. (See November 19.)

      Great Britain's 50,000 full-time firefighters begin a 48-hour strike for higher pay; it is the first nationwide firefighter strike in 25 years.

November 14
      Nancy Pelosi of California is elected to succeed Richard Gephardt, who chose to step down, as leader of the Democratic Party in the U.S. House of Representatives; she is the first woman to be named leader of either party in either house of Congress.

      Pres. Eduardo Duhalde of Argentina says that the country will be unable to meet the $805 million loan installment due today to the World Bank until the IMF restores a line of credit that it cut off almost a year ago.

      Kai-Uwe Ricke, a top communications executive, is named to head Deutsche Telekom, Germany's telecommunications company.

November 15
      At the end of the 16th Communist Party Congress in China, Hu Jintao is named the new leader of the Communist Party of China, replacing Pres. Jiang Zemin, who nevertheless will retain power behind the scenes.

      Palestinian snipers kill nine Israeli soldiers and three civilians from an emergency response team in an ambush in the West Bank city of Hebron.

      Joseph Parisi, editor of Poetry, announces that philanthropist Ruth Lilly has given the distinguished small journal a bequest that is likely to be worth at least $100 million and that makes it suddenly one of the world's richest publications.

November 16
      Abdullah Gul, of the Justice and Development Party, is named prime minister of Turkey.

      Unable to secure enough support in the parliament to carry out his policies, Pres. Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine dismisses the government of Prime Minister Anatoly Kinakh and names Viktor Yanukovich prime minister in his place.

      Police in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, detain more than 100 people and crush a protest calling for the resignation of Pres. Askar Akayev; regardless of concessions made by Akayev, protesters have been implacable since the killing of five protesters in March.

November 17
      Voters in Peru, electing 25 new regional governments, choose the opposition party or independent parties over the party of Pres. Alejandro Toledo in almost every case.

      An appeals court in Italy overturns the acquittal of former prime minister Giulio Andreotti on charges of complicity with the Mafia in the 1979 murder of a journalist and sentences him to 24 years in prison; politicians of all political bents condemn the development.

November 18
      The European Union sets a tentative date of May 1, 2004, for 10 countries to become new members.

      An advance team of UN weapons inspectors arrives in Baghdad, Iraq.

November 19
      The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approves the creation of a new cabinet department, the Department of Homeland Security, which will have a workforce of about 170,000; the House of Representatives had approved it the previous week.

      The leaking oil tanker Prestige, being towed out to sea by order of the Spanish government, splits in two and sinks; the oil spill is believed to be among the worst in history. (See November 13.)

      Holland America Line announces that it is taking the cruise ship Amsterdam out of service for 10 days for disinfection as soon as it docks at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; on the past four cruises, more than 500 people on the ship have come down with the Norwalk virus.

      Astronomers at NASA say they have detected in the galaxy NGC 6240 two supermassive black holes that in several hundred million years will merge in a collision, the effects of which will be felt throughout the universe.

November 20
      The National Book Awards are presented to Julia Glass for her first novel, Three Junes, Robert A. Caro for his nonfiction book The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate, Ruth Stone for her poetry collection In the Next Galaxy, and Nancy Farmer for her young-adult book The House of the Scorpion; novelist Philip Roth is given the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

      The broadcasting authority in Turkey authorizes state radio and television stations to present a limited number of programs in Kurdish.

      Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig announces that the Montreal Expos will play some of next season's “home” games in San Juan, P.R.

November 21
      At a summit meeting in Prague, NATO extends an official invitation to Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia to become new alliance members; they are expected to join in May 2004.

      Zafarullah Khan Jamali is chosen by a narrow margin in Pakistan's Parliament to be prime minister; Jamali's name had been put forward by Pres. Pervez Musharraf, and he was chosen over Islamist candidate Fazlur Rahman.

      Authorities in Indonesia arrest Imam Samudra, who they believed played a leading role in the Bali nightclub bombing (See October 12).

      American missionary Bonnie Witherall is shot to death in Sidon, Lebanon; it is the first time in over 10 years that an American has been murdered in Lebanon.

November 22
      Following a summit meeting between U.S. Pres. George W. Bush and Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, both leaders promise to cooperate in matters of international terrorism and energy.

      After the U.S. responds to news of North Korea's secret nuclear-weapons-development project by cutting off delivery of fuel supplies to North Korea, the Pyongyang regime says that it will not permit foreign inspectors to enter the country to verify that fuel supplies are being used for peaceful purposes.

      Organizers of the Miss World beauty contest scheduled to be held on December 7 announce that the pageant will be moved from Abuja, Nigeria, to London; the decision came after more than 200 people were killed in violence touched off by a newspaper article expressing the opinion that the Prophet Muhammad would have approved of the contest.

      Science magazine publishes three studies on dogs; one of them uses variations in mitochondrial DNA sequences to suggest that all dogs are descended from a population of wolves that lived in East Asia between 15,000 and 40,000 years ago.

November 23
      Negotiators for dockworkers and terminal operators at the 29 ports on the U.S. West Coast that had closed in a contract dispute in October reach an agreement on a six-year contract.

      After two weeks of delays caused by technical difficulties and bad weather, the space shuttle Endeavour finally blasts off, carrying a replacement crew for the International Space Station and the first Native American astronaut, John B. Herrington, a registered member of the Chickasaw Nation.

November 24
      Lucio Gutiérrez Borbúa, a leftist military man with virtually no previous political experience, is elected president of Ecuador in a runoff election.

      Elections in Austria keep Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel in office; only 10% of the popular vote goes to the far-right Freedom Party.

      The Montreal Alouettes defeat the Edmonton Eskimos 25–16 in the Canadian Football League Grey Cup; it is Montreal's first CFL championship since 1977.

November 25
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush names Tom Ridge to be secretary of the new Department of Homeland Security.

      Turkmenistan's Pres. Saparmurad Niyazov announces an amnesty for almost half the prisoners in the country; later he survives an assassination attempt when a man opens fire on his motorcade.

      New York City authorities say they have broken up a credit-theft ring that has stolen the identities of more than 30,000 people.

November 26
      The UN announces that for the first time half of all people with HIV infections are women and that some 42 million people worldwide have been infected.

      Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien accepts the resignation of Françoise Ducros, his communications director, as a result of controversy that erupted over her off-the-record characterization of U.S. Pres. George W. Bush as “a moron.”

      The U.S.-based group Nature Conservancy announces that it believes that it has found evidence of a previously unknown population of orangutans in Kalimantan Timur on the island of Borneo in Indonesia; if confirmed, the discovery will increase the known number of orangutans in the world by approximately 10%.

November 27
      UN weapons inspectors begin their work in Iraq under the new UN mandate; weapons inspectors under the previous mandate had left Iraq in 1998 because of the lack of cooperation of the Iraqi regime.

      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush surprises observers by naming Henry Kissinger head of the independent investigation into the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (See December 16.)

November 28
      Suicide bombers attack an Israeli resort hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, killing 16 people, including themselves and members of a Kenyan dance troupe; at nearly the same time, shoulder-launched missiles are fired at an Israeli passenger jet leaving Mombasa, but this attack fails.

      Javier Solana, secretary-general of the Council of the European Union, announces that the leaders of Serbia and Montenegro have agreed on the constitutional charter of the future union of Serbia and Montenegro.

November 29
      The government of Italy releases the first of the money for the creation of the Moses Project, a plan to build barriers in the Adriatic seabed to protect Venice from tidal waters.

November 30
      Turkey lifts a state of emergency that has been in place for 15 years in the largely Kurdish southeastern part of the country.

      French romantic novelist Alexandre Dumas, who died in 1870, is reburied in the crypt of the Panthéon, France's official tomb of honour.

"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."
—U.S. Senate Republican leader Trent Lott,at the centennial birthday celebration forSen. Strom Thurmond, December 5

December 1
      Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek of Slovenia wins a runoff election for president; he will take office on December 23, and Anton Rop replaces him as prime minister on December 11.

      In the final set of the final match of the Davis Cup team tennis tournament, Mikhail Yuzhny of Russia defeats Paul-Henri Mathieu of France to bring Russia its first-ever Davis Cup victory.

December 2
      An open-ended general strike, intended to force Pres. Hugo Chávez into calling early elections, begins in Venezuela.

      The health ministers of the members of the European Union approve a new rule that will ban tobacco advertising in magazines and newspapers as well as on the radio and the Internet and also prohibit tobacco-company sponsorship of major public events.

      Afghani Pres. Hamid Karzai announces plans to establish a professional national army of up to 70,000 troops under civilian control.

December 3
      Rowan Williams is formally installed as the 104th archbishop of Canterbury in an ancient ceremony at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

      United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq engage in the previously unthinkable act of entering and searching one of Saddam Hussein's presidential palaces.

      The finance ministers of the members of the European Union approve a law making insider trading illegal, but they are unable to achieve an agreement on detecting tax evasion because Switzerland will not agree to loosen its laws on bank secrecy.

      De Organizer, a one-act blues opera by James P. Johnston and Langston Hughes, is performed in Orchestra Hall in Detroit for the first time since its single performance at a convention of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union in 1940.

December 4
      The U.S. Air Transportation Stabilization Board rejects a plea by United Airlines for $1.8 billion in loan guarantees, saying the business plan submitted by the company is unsound.

      Balkan Air Tour, the new national airline of Bulgaria, begins operations; it replaces the state-owned Balkan Airlines, which went bankrupt earlier in the year.

December 5
      Negotiators for the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam announce an agreement to explore the creation of a united Sri Lanka with a federal structure.

      U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond celebrates his 100th birthday; he is the oldest person ever to have served in Congress and has been a member of the Senate longer than anyone else in history.

December 6
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush demands the resignations of Paul O'Neill as secretary of the treasury and Lawrence Lindsey as director of the National Economic Council.

      The governments of Yugoslavia's constituent republics of Serbia and Montenegro accept a constitutional charter for a new state to be called Serbia and Montenegro; if accepted by the legislature of each republic, the new entity will become a reality.

      The U.S. government releases figures showing that the unemployment rate rose to 6% in November, a level of joblessness last seen in 1994.

      Science magazine publishes an article saying that archaeologists at Florida State University believe they have found evidence of writing in pre-Columbian Mexico in Olmec artifacts dating to 650 BC; it had been believed that the earliest writing in Mexico was by the Zapotec culture in about 300 BC.

      Researchers at the Information Technology Center of the University of Tokyo announce that in September they calculated the value of pi to 1.24 trillion places, using a Hitachi supercomputer for over 400 hours to achieve the record-breaking feat.

December 7
      One day ahead of the Security Council deadline, Iraq delivers to the UN a 12,000-page declaration of its weapons-development programs.

      Bombs go off almost simultaneously in four movie theatres in and around Mymensingh, Bangladesh, killing at least 15 people and wounding about 200; the movie houses were crowded with people celebrating the three-day Eid al-Fitr.

      Two early paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen and View of the Sea at Scheveningen, are stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

      The Miss World contest, beset by controversy after religious violence led it to relocate to London from its planned venue in Nigeria, is won by Miss Turkey, Azra Akin. (See November 22.)

December 8
      Serbia's third attempt to elect a new president again fails, with a turnout of 45%; the speaker of the parliament becomes acting president on December 30, while changes to the constitution are considered.

      The annual Kennedy Center Honors are presented at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in celebration of the artistic achievements of actor James Earl Jones, conductor James Levine, musical theatre star Chita Rivera, singer-songwriter Paul Simon, and movie star Elizabeth Taylor.

      Conceptual artist Keith Tyson is awarded the Turner Prize, administered by Tate Britain in London; the work for which he won is entitled The Thinker and consists of a large block filled with computer parts.

      The Times of London publishes a letter signed by directors of 18 major museums around the world asserting the right of museums to continue to hold antiquities that they have held for many years, even when they came from other countries.

December 9
      United Airlines, the world's second largest airline, files for bankruptcy protection but continues operating.

      U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott issues an apology for remarks he made at Sen. Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party in which he indicated continuing support for Thurmond's presidential candidacy in 1948, when Thurmond ran on a segregationist platform.

      Representatives of the Indonesian government and of the Free Aceh Movement sign a peace treaty in Geneva providing autonomy and regional legislative elections for the district of Aceh on Sumatra and for negotiations on demilitarization.

      The Right Livelihood Awards are presented in Stockholm to the Centre Jeunes Kamenge, a young people's centre in Burundi; Kvinna till Kvinna (Woman to Woman), a Swedish organization that works against ethnic hatred; Martin Almada, a Paraguayan human rights champion; and Martin Green, an Australian professor who specializes in the harnessing of solar energy.

      Pres. Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Pres. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, and Pres. Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique officially launch the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, the largest game reserve in the world.

December 10
      U.S. government officials report that Spanish warships the previous day had stopped a North Korean vessel flying no flag some 1,000 km (600 mi) off the coast of Yemen and found it to be carrying Scud missiles hidden under sacks of cement; the following day the shipment is released to Yemen, which maintains that it had legally bought the weapons.

      Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter accepts his Nobel Peace Prize in a ceremony in Oslo.

      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush selects a former head of the New York Stock Exchange, William Donaldson, to replace Harvey Pitt as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission and, in a policy change, promises to increase funding for the agency.

December 11
      A joint congressional panel in the U.S. releases its final report on the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; it recommends the creation of a new cabinet-level “director of national intelligence” to remedy the lack of coordination between the various intelligence agencies.

      The U.S. reaches a free-trade agreement with Chile that, if approved, will immediately remove tariffs on the vast majority of items traded between the two countries.

December 12
      A week after Congress decided to begin impeachment hearings against him, Paraguayan Pres. Luis González Macchi offers to leave office immediately after elections scheduled for April 2003 rather than wait for a further three months, as is customary.

      The on-line search engine Google launches a new shopping site, different from other shopping sites in that it does not charge merchants to be listed; the new site is called Froogle.

December 13
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush announces a precautionary plan to give 500,000 military personnel smallpox vaccinations, to be followed by inoculations for as many as 10 million health care and emergency service workers; the general public is urged not to have vaccinations.

      Pope John Paul II accepts the resignation of Bernard Cardinal Law, archbishop of the Boston archdiocese and the senior Roman Catholic prelate in the U.S. (See February 21.)

      Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger surprises U.S. Pres. George W. Bush by resigning as head of the commission created to look into possible intelligence failures surrounding the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; Kissinger says he cannot serve if he has to reveal the clients of his consulting firm.

December 14
      The Norwegian-registered Tricolor, carrying nearly 3,000 luxury cars, collides with a container ship and sinks in the North Sea, at the entrance to the Dover Strait between Great Britain and France.

      Association football (soccer) star Ronaldo is named the male FIFA World Player of the Year for the third time in his career; two days later he is named European Player of the Year by France Football magazine.

December 15
      Former U.S. vice president Al Gore says that he will not be a candidate for president in the elections of 2004.

      In elections in the religiously polarized state of Gujarat in India, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party wins in a landslide over the secularist Congress Party.

December 16
      Election officials in Equatorial Guinea announce that the winner of the previous day's presidential election was Pres. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, with more than 97% of the votes; the four opposition candidates, who had withdrawn on election day, citing voting irregularities and fraud, release a statement characterizing the election as invalid.

      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush names Thomas Kean, a former governor of New Jersey, to head the commission to inquire into possible intelligence failures in the U.S. prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

December 17
      In Pretoria, S.Af., an agreement is reached between Pres. Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and representatives of the two main rebel groups and the unarmed opposition whereby Kabila will be head of an 18-month transitional government, with each group contributing one vice president, at the end of which democratic elections will be held.

      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush orders the Pentagon to have an antimissile shield system in place by the end of 2004.

      Six members of the board of directors of WorldCom resign, leaving only three members, all recently appointed.

      Australian surfer Layne Beachley wins her fifth consecutive world surfing championship in Maui, Hawaii, becoming the most successful female surfer in history.

December 18
      The insurance holding company Conseco files for bankruptcy protection; it is the third largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history, behind WorldCom and Enron.

      Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, is awarded a new basketball franchise to be established in Charlotte, N.C., and thereby becomes the first African American majority owner in the National Basketball Association.

December 19
      In presidential elections in South Korea the winner is Roh Moo Hyun, of the governing Millennium Democratic Party.

      The Supreme Court of Venezuela orders the state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, to cease striking and return to work; the order has no effect on the continuation of the general strike, now in its 18th day.

December 20
      U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, unable to quell the furor over his remarks at the 100th birthday celebration of Sen. Strom Thurmond, announces that he will step down as leader of the Republican Party in the Senate, though he will retain his seat; on December 23 Sen. Bill Frist is chosen to replace him as majority leader.

      The U.S., the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia call for a Palestinian state to be created in three years; alone among the partners, however, the U.S. does not want a timetable for statehood to be set out at this time.

      Pope John Paul II grants official recognition to a posthumous miracle attributed to Mother Teresa, the curing of cancer for a woman in India, and thus makes her eligible for beatification.

      A court in France, after a 14-year investigation, finds American financier George Soros guilty of insider trading and fines him €2.2 million (about $2.3 million).

December 21
      A helicopter carrying German peacekeepers crashes in Kabul, Afg., killing all seven aboard as well as two Afghani children on the ground.

      After fighting extradition from Brazil for three years, Mexican pop star Gloria Trevi returns to Mexico to face charges of sex crimes against a girl; she and her manager, Sergio Andrade, have been publicly accused of having held young women for purposes of sexual exploitation.

December 22
      North Korea announces that it has removed monitoring equipment installed by international inspectors to ensure that its supply of plutonium was not used in weapons production; the previous day it had begun removing monitoring equipment from a nuclear reactor.

      In presidential elections in Lithuania, none of the candidates receives an absolute majority; a runoff between the top two finishers, Pres. Valdas Adamkus and Rolandas Paksas, will be held on Jan. 5, 2003.

      In presidential elections in the Yugoslav republic of Montenegro, as in Serbia, the voter turnout is below 50%, which invalidates the election; the election will be held again in January 2003.

December 23
      A Ukrainian airplane carrying Ukrainian and Russian aeronautic specialists to Isfahan, Iran, for a test flight of an aircraft that is being jointly built by Ukraine and Iran crashes in central Iran; all 46 aboard are killed.

      North Korea breaks seals on and disables surveillance equipment at a plutonium-reprocessing facility and a fuel-rod-fabrication plant in what the International Atomic Energy Agency says is the most dangerous step it has yet taken.

December 24
      One week after the U.S. made pleas on his behalf, China releases from prison Xu Wenli, its best-known pro-democracy prisoner; he immediately moves to the U.S.

      A new Metro railway system is ceremonially opened in Delhi, India; the following day, its first day of operation, the system is swamped by more than a million people who want to be first to ride the new trains.

      Many of the 12,000 U.S. troops stationed in Kuwait awaiting a possible war against Iraq celebrate Christmas Eve with carols, donated gifts, and a visit from Santa Claus.

December 25
      Russia and Iran agree to speed up completion of a nuclear power plant; the U.S. opposes this cooperation, fearing that Iran will use the plant to develop nuclear weapons.

December 26
      In response to a request from Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chávez, Brazil sends an emergency shipment of 520,000 bbl of gasoline to Venezuela, which is suffering shortages because of the nationwide general strike.

      Millionaire Andrew J. Whittaker, Jr., is announced as the winner of the $314.9 million Christmas Day Powerball prize in West Virginia, the biggest undivided lottery jackpot ever; he plans to tithe the windfall to three churches.

December 27
      In elections that are far from flawless but are far closer to free and fair than those in 1992 and 1997, Kenyans elect as their new president Mwai Kibaki of the National Rainbow Coalition, a collection of opposition parties.

      North Korea announces that it will expel all international nuclear inspectors; unless North Korea “cooperates, and cooperates fully,” with International Atomic Energy Agency demands, the IAEA plans to declare before the UN Security Council that the country is in violation of international agreements.

      Suicide bombers drive two explosives-laden vehicles into the headquarters of the pro-Russian government in Grozny, the capital of the Russian republic of Chechnya, destroying the building and killing 72 people.

      Russia announces that it is withdrawing from the Peace Corps agreement, saying that Peace Corps volunteers have been spying for the U.S. and that the Peace Corps no longer serves Russia's needs.

      Brigitte Boisselier, the CEO of Clonaid, a company founded by the Raelians, a religious group that believes that all humans were cloned from space travelers 25,000 years ago, announces that a cloned human baby has been born; the skepticism and condemnation that greet the announcement are later compounded by the group's failure to provide proof of the cloning by year's end.

December 28
      Hundreds of French troops arrive in Côte d'Ivoire to reinforce the government forces in their civil war against three rebel groups.

      As expected, the 27-m (90-ft) Australian yacht Alfa Romeo wins the annual Sydney–Hobart Race down the east coast of Australia.

      Cyclone Zoe, slams into the relatively inaccessible islands of Tikopia, Fataka, and Anuta in the Solomon Islands; Zoe is one of the most powerful cyclones ever recorded in the Pacific, and it will take days for relief ships to reach the remote islands.

December 29
      The FBI issues an alert to the public and to law-enforcement agencies around the U.S. and throughout the world to help find five men from the Middle East who are believed to have entered the U.S. illegally in the past few days; it is later learned that the alert was based on false information.

December 30
      Gary Winnick announces that the following day he will resign as chairman of Global Crossing Ltd.; the bankrupt company's assets have been sold to Hutchison Telecommunications Ltd. of Hong Kong and Singapore Technologies Telemedia.

      Tyco International Ltd. announces that an internal investigation has found no systemic fraud but has revealed that for years, contrary to previous claims, the company engaged in accounting trickery to inflate its stated earnings.

December 31
      A trial run of a new maglev (magnetic levitation) train, linking downtown Shanghai with Pudong International Airport, is enjoyed by Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder; afterward Schröder announces that China has awarded Germany a contract to expand the maglev rail system in the Shanghai area.

      The stock market ends a year in which stock prices in the U.S. fell precipitously, the third consecutive year of decline on Wall Street.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

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