Dates of 2005

Dates of 2005
▪ 2006

"This is a unique case of a people under
occupation being asked to hold free and fair elections when they
themselves are not free.… It's an important internal
test, and I think it's a turning point."
— Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi,
discussing the Palestinian presidential election, January 9

January 1
      With the beginning of the new year, Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg assumes the presidency of the European Union.

      A new currency goes into effect in Turkey, replacing the 1,000,000-lira notes with 1-new-lira notes and including a return of the kurus coin.

      A law goes into effect in France permitting parents to give babies the surname of the mother, the father, or both in either order; heretofore a baby had to take the surname of its father.

January 2
      A car bomb goes off near Balad, Iraq, killing 18 members of the Iraqi National Guard and a civilian.

      Presidential elections in Croatia result in the need for a runoff; the frontrunner, incumbent Stipe Mesic, wins only 49% of the vote. (See January 16.)

      Four Peruvian police officers die in a battle to retake the town of Andahuaylas, which was seized the previous day by an armed group led by Antauro Humala that demands the resignation of Pres. Alejandro Toledo.

January 3
      Attacks in various places in Iraq leave at least 20 people dead, including 3 British citizens and an American civilian; insurgent attacks on military and civilian targets in Iraq have become daily and continuing occurrences.

      Contract negotiations involving the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra reach an impasse, leading to a work stoppage, the first in a difficult contract season for major American orchestras.

      In the Circus Tavern in Purfleet, Eng., Phil Taylor wins an astonishing 12th world darts title when he defeats Mark Dudbridge in the final of the Ladbrokes world championship.

January 4
      The governor of Baghdad province in Iraq is assassinated; in four other attacks 15 people, including 5 U.S. soldiers, are killed.

      James M. Zimmerman, the retired chairman and CEO of Federated Department Stores, is indicted on charges of having lied under oath during an investigation of anticompetitive practices; that investigation led to a settlement in August 2004.

      The University of Southern California defeats the University of Oklahoma 55–19 in college football's annual Orange Bowl to win the Bowl Championship Series trophy and the national Division I-A championship.

      Infielder and hitter Wade Boggs and second baseman Ryne Sandberg are elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

January 5
      Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency announce that Iran has agreed to allow the agency to inspect the Parchin military complex, which the U.S. believes has been used for nuclear weapons development.

      The African Union agrees to send troops to Somalia to facilitate the move of Somalia's government from Kenya to the Somalian capital of Mogadishu.

January 6
      The pro forma counting of electoral college votes in the U.S. Congress takes place, and U.S. Pres. George W. Bush is officially certified as the winner of the presidential election.

      Edgar Ray Killen, a longtime Ku Klux Klan leader, is arrested in Philadelphia, Miss., and charged with murder in the 1964 killings of three voter-registration workers.

      Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, announces that his son, Makgatho Mandela, has died of AIDS; it is considered very courageous of him to admit publicly that AIDS was the cause of death.

January 7
      A fire breaks out in a garment factory in Siddhirganj, Bangladesh, killing 22 people who were trapped inside because of locked exits.

      Conservative commentator Armstrong Williams acknowledges that he received payment from the U.S. Department of Education to comment favourably on his syndicated television program on the administration's No Child Left Behind education initiative.

January 8
      Riots break out in Gilgit, in the Pakistan-administered Northern Areas, after a prominent Shiʿite cleric is ambushed and shot; 15 people die in the violence.

      In assorted attacks in Iraq, at least five Iraqis are killed, and four Iraqi government officials are kidnapped.

January 9
      In the first Palestinian election since 1996, former prime minister Mahmoud Abbas is elected president of the Palestinian Authority; the elections are regarded as free and fair.

      In a ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, a final peace agreement calling for a six-year transitional period is signed between the government of The Sudan and a rebel group from the south of the country led by John Garang.

      Storms bring very high winds and flooding to northern Europe, leaving close to two million people without electricity and killing at least 11 people, 7 in Sweden and 4 in Denmark.

January 10
      A law banning cigarette smoking in all indoor public places, including restaurants and bars, except in walled-off and ventilated areas, goes into effect in Italy.

      In Mauritius an international meeting organized by the United Nations to review the implementation of a program of action for the sustainable development of some 51 small-island less-developed states opens.

      An independent panel investigating a CBS News story that was broadcast on 60 Minutes in September 2004 about U.S. Pres. George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War concludes that the segment had been rushed onto the air without adequate vetting; CBS responds by firing four top journalists.

January 11
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush nominates Michael Chertoff, who headed the criminal division of the Department of Justice at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to replace Tom Ridge as secretary of homeland security.

      Officials announce that an agreement has been reached for the release of the last four Britons and one Australian citizen being detained at the U.S. military base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba; the men have been held there for about three years.

      A cow infected with mad cow disease is reported found in Alberta; this is somewhat alarming because the cow was born after a ban on certain animal protein in cattle feed went into effect.

      Ten large pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. announce a new program in which low-income people under the age of 65 who do not have insurance covering the cost of prescription drugs may enroll to get certain drugs at a deep discount.

      Apple Computer introduces the Mac Mini, a low-priced Macintosh personal computer intended for the home rather than work market.

January 12
      A new constitution for the European Union is signed by a large majority of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France; it must now be ratified by each of the EU's 25 members, a process expected to take about two years.

      NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida; it is expected to reach Comet Tempel 1 in July and release an impactor that will penetrate to the comet's nucleus.

      The U.S. Supreme Court rules that sentencing guidelines that Congress imposed on judges in federal courts in 1994 must be regarded as advisory only and not as mandatory.

      It is announced that the U.S. has abandoned the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, having concluded long ago that the former Iraqi government did not possess such weapons at the time of the U.S.-led invasion.

January 13
      Sir Mark Thatcher, son of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, pleads guilty in Cape Town to having helped finance mercenaries involved in a coup plot against the president of Equatorial Guinea; he receives a fine and a suspended sentence and immediately leaves the country.

      A coordinated Palestinian attack on an Israeli checkpoint in the Gaza Strip leaves six Israeli civilians and three Palestinian militants dead.

      Representatives of Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announce that in an attempt to root out the use of performance-enhancing substances in baseball, they have agreed on a new and stronger steroid-testing program than that introduced in 2002.

January 14
      The European Space Agency spacecraft Huygens, released from the NASA orbiter Cassini, successfully lands on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan and begins transmitting photographs and data.

      Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon orders Israel's government officials to cut all contacts with the Palestinian Authority and orders the Gaza Strip sealed off.

      Specialist Charles Graner, believed to be the leader of the U.S. soldiers responsible for the abuse of prisoners at the prison in Abu Ghraib, Iraq, is found guilty of all six charges in a court-martial in Fort Hood, Texas.

      Some 750 Mexican troops and federal police officers attack and seize control of La Palma prison in Almoloya, México state; the maximum-security prison had come under the control of accused leaders of drug cartels who were in the prison awaiting trial.

January 15
      As has been happening increasingly for several days, large demonstrations take place in several cities in Russia in protest against a law that, upon going into effect on January 1, replaced several state benefits and subsidies for pensioners with small cash stipends.

      China and Taiwan reach an agreement to allow charter flights between the mainland and Taiwan to fly nonstop over the Chinese New Year holidays, from January 29 to February 20; they will be the first nonstop flights between the two entities since 1949.

      Michelle Kwan wins her ninth women's title at the U.S. figure-skating championships in Portland, Ore. This will be the last event to use the old scoring system, in which points are deducted for mistakes; in the new system, points are added for difficulty of maneuvers and perfection of execution.

January 16
      In a runoff presidential election, Stipe Mesic wins reelection as president of Croatia with two-thirds of the votes cast. (See January 2.)

      As part of a reconciliation program in which the government of Afghanistan will grant amnesty to former Taliban supporters who are willing to give up violence and resume living peacefully, 81 Afghan prisoners are released by the U.S. military from a detention facility in Bagram.

      The 27th annual Dakar Rally finishes; the winners are French driver Stéphane Peterhansel (for the second consecutive year) in a Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution, French driver Cyril Despres on a KTM motorcycle, and Russian driver Firdaus Kabirov in a Kamaz truck; two motorcycle riders, including two-time winner Fabrizio Meoni, died in the race.

      At the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., best picture honours go to The Aviator and Sideways and best director goes to Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby.

January 17
      Expatriate Iraqis living in places throughout the U.S. begin arriving in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Nashville, Tenn., to register to vote in the upcoming Iraqi national elections.

      Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa of the Eastern Rite Syrian Catholic Church is kidnapped outside his church in Mosul, Iraq; he is released the next day, but eight Chinese construction workers are then kidnapped.

      In the field of children's literature, the Newbery Medal is awarded to Cynthia Kadohata for Kira-Kira, and Kevin Henkes wins the Caldecott Medal for illustration for his book Kitten's First Full Moon.

January 18
      Ann Veneman, the outgoing U.S. secretary of agriculture, is named to replace Carol Bellamy as head of UNICEF.

      A gala unveiling at the Jean-Luc Lagardère hangar in France introduces the first production model of the “superjumbo” Airbus A380 airplane, a double-decker capable of carrying as many as 850 passengers.

      Scott A. Livengood retires as chairman, president, and CEO of the financially troubled Krispy Kreme Doughnuts; he is replaced as CEO by turnaround expert Stephen F. Cooper, who is also CEO of Enron, a position he has held since 2002.

January 19
      In a ceremony at the German Historical Museum in Berlin, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder initiates a yearlong celebration of the centennial of Albert Einstein's publication of the theory of relativity.

      A Moscow city official announces a plan to build a monument to leaders in the war against Nazi Germany; the monument will include a representation of Joseph Stalin, the first statue of the former dictator to be publicly displayed in Moscow in some 40 years.

      Three British soldiers go on trial at a court-martial in Osnabrück, Ger., on charges of having abused Iraqi prisoners in May 2003; the abuse came to light when a soldier tried to have photographs processed in England.

January 20
      George W. Bush is sworn in for his second term as president of the United States.

      The heaviest flooding in more than a century leads the government of Guyana to declare Georgetown and the surrounding area a disaster zone and plead for international help in dealing with the situation; thousands of people have had to evacuate their homes.

      The bodies of six prison employees are found outside the maximum-security prison in Matamoros, Mex.; shortly afterward army troops seize control of the prison.

January 21
      For the second consecutive day, protesters in Beslan, North Ossetia, Russia, block a nearby highway, demanding the resignation of Aleksandr S. Dzasokhov as president of the southern republic because they believe the investigation into the school siege that killed more than 300 people in September 2004 is being mishandled.

January 22
      Parliamentary elections, postponed from Dec. 31, 2004, because of the Indian Ocean tsunami, take place in Maldives.

January 23
      Viktor Yushchenko is inaugurated as president of Ukraine in a ceremony in Kiev.

      Sébastien Loeb of France, the 2004 world champion of automobile rally racing, wins the Monte-Carlo Rally for the third consecutive year.

January 24
      The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the use of a trained drug-sniffing dog during a traffic stop in the absence of any suspicion of the presence of drugs does not constitute an unreasonable search and is thus permissible under the Constitution.

      In Thoroughbred horse racing's 2004 Eclipse Awards, Ghostzapper is named Horse of the Year.

      In Paris the Prada Group announces that Helmut Lang has resigned as head of his design house, which has been owned by Prada since 1999.

      Conservative pundit William Safire publishes his final column on the opinion page of the New York Times, where his columns have appeared since 1973.

January 25
      As hundreds of thousands of pilgrims approach the hilltop Mandher Devi temple near the town of Wai, Maharashtra state, India, a stampede erupts, and relatives of victims begin setting fires in anger; 258 pilgrims are killed.

      France observes the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp with the official opening in Paris of the renovated Holocaust Memorial and the unveiling of the Wall of Names, listing the 76,000 Jewish victims of the Holocaust deported from occupied France during World War II.

      Andrea Levy wins the 2004 Whitbread Book of the Year Award for her novel Small Island; she previously had won the Orange Prize for the same work.

      Former opera star Beverly Sills announces her retirement as chair of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, a capacity in which she had served, following a previous retirement, since 2002.

January 26
      Condoleezza Rice is sworn in as U.S. secretary of state.

      A U.S. Marine helicopter crashes in a sandstorm near Rutba, Iraq, killing all 31 aboard, while four U.S. soldiers are killed in battle in Anbar, another is killed in an attack in Duluiyah, and another is killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad; this is the highest one-day death toll for the U.S. military in the war to date.

      The inaugural Story Prize, given to honour a previously unpublished work of short fiction in the U.S., is awarded to Haitian-born Edwidge Danticat for The Dew Breaker.

January 27
      A bomb goes off at a rally of the opposition Awami League in Laskarpur, Bangladesh, killing four people, among them a former finance minister.

      A new 120-km (75-mi)-long road between Herat, Afg., and a post in the Dogharoun region of Iran is ceremonially opened by Pres. Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Pres. Mohammad Khatami of Iran.

January 28
      Israel orders its army to cease offensive operations in the Gaza Strip and open the checkpoints into the region and also to cut back operations in the West Bank.

      Leaders of Santa Cruz state, Bolivia, appoint an assembly to prepare for autonomy after Bolivian Pres. Carlos Mesa agrees to allow the state to elect its prefect rather than have him appointed and to allow a referendum on autonomy to take place in June.

      Consumer products companies Procter & Gamble and the Gillette Co. announce a friendly merger.

      The annual Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, which honours outstanding achievement in contemporary music, is awarded to French composer Henri Dutilleux.

January 29
      American Serena Williams defeats her countrywoman Lindsay Davenport to win the Australian Open tennis tournament; the following day Marat Safin of Russia defeats Lleyton Hewitt of Australia to win the men's title.

      On the first day of the Alpine skiing world championships in Bormio, Italy, American Bode Miller wins the supergiant slalom race with a time of 1:27.55.

      Winning films at the Sundance Film Festival awards ceremony in Park City, Utah, include Why We Fight, Forty Shades of Blue, Murderball, and Hustle & Flow.

January 30
      Elections take place in Iraq for provincial legislatures and a national assembly empowered to write a new constitution; in spite of attacks that kill 35 people, turnout is estimated at 60%.

      A transport plane for the British Royal Air Force crashes in central Iraq; 10 British soldiers are killed, the highest single-day death toll for British forces since the beginning of the war.

      After a two-day convention marked by a melee that had to be broken up by riot police, the opposition Republican People's Party in Turkey reelects Deniz Baykal as its leader.

January 31
      A commission appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to investigate the situation in the Darfur region of The Sudan reports that it found war crimes and crimes against humanity but not genocide; it recommends that the crimes be tried in the International Criminal Court.

      The fifth annual World Social Forum, which grew out of the antiglobalization movement and is intended to counterbalance the World Economic Forum, wraps up after six days and thousands of workshops in Pôrto Alegre, Braz.; a record 100,000 people attended.

      The American insurance company Metlife announces a deal in which it will purchase Citigroup's life insurance business.

      SBC Communications, one of the companies formed by the court-ordered breakup of AT&T Co. in 1984, announces plans to buy AT&T.

"As we fix Social Security, we also have the responsibility
to make the system a better deal for younger workers.
And the best way to reach that goal
is through voluntary personal retirement accounts."
— U.S. Pres. George W. Bush,
in his state of the union address, February 2

February 1
      In a virtual coup, King Gyanendra of Nepal dismisses the government, suspends much of the constitution, and cuts off communication to and within the country. (See February 14.)

      At a meeting in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the heads of Central American countries agree to create a plan to address narcoterrorism and other cross-border criminality on a regional basis.

      China makes a deal to lend Russia $6 billion to help finance, in return for crude oil, the nationalization of the main subsidiary of the Yukos oil company, which was seized and auctioned off by Russia in December 2004.

      While visiting Argentina, Pres. Hugo Chávez of Venezuela says that he plans to sell his country's interests in American oil refineries as part of a plan to distance his government from that of the U.S.

February 2
      Armando Guebuza is sworn in as president of Mozambique.

      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush delivers his fourth state of the union address; he emphasizes a plan to reinvent Social Security, citing the creation of a system of privately held accounts.

      Vietnam appeals to the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization for help in dealing with the A(H5N1) avian flu, which is ravaging poultry in the country and has killed 13 of the 14 people infected in the past five weeks.

      The Irish Republican Army formally withdraws from peace negotiations in Northern Ireland with the governments of the U.K. and Ireland.

      At a meeting in Sofia, Bulg., the prime ministers of Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovakia sign a 10-year plan for the social integration of the Roma (Gypsy) minorities in their countries.

      The largest-ever international gathering of nomads and pastoralists winds up a five-day meeting in Turmi, Eth., under the auspices of the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; the 120 pastoral leaders from around the world release a statement delineating the threats to their way of life.

February 3
      The UN-appointed committee investigating the pre-occupation oil-for-food program in Iraq releases an interim report in which it cites Benon V. Sevan, head of the program in 1997–2003, for favouritism and conflict of interest.

February 4
      Ukraine's Supreme Council approves the appointment of Yuliya Tymoshenko as prime minister.

      Officials announce that Guatemala's Constitutional Court has ruled that the soldiers on trial for having killed more than 200 unarmed civilians in Dos Erres in 1982 are immune from prosecution, which thus ends the war crimes trial.

February 5
      Gnassingbé Eyadéma, president of Togo, dies in office, and the country's military immediately installs his son Faure E. Gnassingbé in his place, in contravention of the country's constitution; the following day the National Assembly revises the constitution to allow Gnassingbé to remain in office until 2008.

      Leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized countries meeting in London agree to pursue a plan to allow the entire debt owed by the poorest countries to multilateral institutions such as the World Bank to be written off.

      Quarterbacks Benny Friedman, Dan Marino, and Steve Young and halfback Fritz Pollard are elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

February 6
      In parliamentary elections in Thailand, the political party of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra wins lopsidedly.

      In Jacksonville, Fla., the New England Patriots defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 24–21 to win Super Bowl XXXIX.

      The Mazatlán Venados (Deer) of Mexico defeat the Águilas (Eagles) from the Dominican Republic to win baseball's Caribbean Series, with a tournament record of 5–1.

February 7
      British yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur breaks the solo around-the-world sailing record, completing the journey in 71 days 14 hours.

      In the world all-around speed-skating championships in Moscow, the top overall female competitor is Anni Friesinger of Germany, and the top male competitor is Shani Davis of the U.S.

February 8
      At a summit meeting in Egypt, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas agree to a formal cease-fire.

      Greece's Parliament elects Karolos Papoulias, a founder of the socialist party PASOK, to the largely ceremonial post of president.

February 9
      A court in Kazakhstan bans the country's second biggest opposition party, saying that its protests against a parliamentary election in 2004 (which was called unfair by international observers) were an incitement to public disorder.

      Katsuaki Watanabe is appointed to replace Fujio Cho as president of Toyota Motor, the most profitable automobile manufacturer in the world.

      The board of directors of the computer company Hewlett-Packard forces Carly Fiorina to resign as CEO.

      David Talbot, the founder of the online magazine Salon, announces his resignation as editor in chief and CEO.

February 10
      In the process of announcing its withdrawal from the six-party talks on the country's nuclear-development plans, North Korea for the first time states publicly that it has developed nuclear weaponry.

      Voters in Saudi Arabia take part in the country's first-ever general election; only men are allowed to vote or run for office.

      Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin testifies before the committee investigating the money-laundering scandal that took place when Martin was minister of finance; it is the first time in more than 100 years that a sitting prime minister has testified in a case involving government corruption.

      A mortar attack against Jewish settlements in the southern Gaza Strip takes place; Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas responds by firing three security chiefs.

      Researchers from France, Chad, and the U.S. report that a new analysis has convinced them that whales and hippopotamuses have a common ancestor, a water-loving mammal that lived 50 million–60 million years ago.

February 11
      As protests take place in Togo, the leaders of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) order the newly installed president, Faure E. Gnassingbé, to meet with them the following day in Niger; he had previously refused to meet with ECOWAS in Lomé, Togo's capital.

      A judge in Pinellas county, Fla., rules that Terri Schiavo, a severely brain-damaged woman who is being sustained by a feeding tube against what her husband says are her wishes, has not been denied fair legal representation; the case has stirred public controversy for several years.

      The 61st Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects is presented to Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

February 12
      A car bomber kills 17 people in front of a hospital south of Baghdad, bringing the death toll for the week to 104.

      Dorothy Stang, an American nun, environmentalist, and land rights activist, is murdered in Pará state, Braz., igniting a storm of outrage; on February 17 Brazilian Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signs decrees that create a reserve of 3.3 million ha (8.15 million ac) and a national park of 445,000 ha (1.1 million ac) in the Amazonian rainforest in Stang's memory.

 A public art project by Christo and Jeanne-Claude called The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979–2005 goes on display in New York City's Central Park; it consists of 7,503 gates hung with saffron-coloured fabric along 37 km (23 mi) of walkway and remains on display until February 27.

      For the first time, the European Space Agency's Arianespace successfully launches its most powerful rocket, the Ariane 5-ECA, from the spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana, and places two satellites in orbit.

February 13
      Results of the January 30 election in Iraq are reported; the United Iraqi Alliance, a Shiʿite grouping approved by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, won 48% of the popular vote and 140 of the 275 seats in the assembly, a slim majority.

      At the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, the top winner is the late Ray Charles, who wins eight awards, including record of the year for “Here We Go Again,” a duet with Norah Jones, and album of the year for Genius Loves Company; the song of the year is John Mayer's “Daughters,” and the best new artist is Maroon5.

      In the new event of team skiing at the world skiing championships in Italy, Germany surpasses favourite Austria to win the gold medal.

February 14
      Rafik Hariri, who resigned as Lebanon's prime minister in October 2004, is killed, along with 16 others, by a car bomb that destroys his motorcade in Beirut.

      A flight test of the U.S. missile defense system fails when the interceptor missile does not launch; the previous two tests also failed.

      Following the suspension of democracy in Nepal (see February 1), the U.S., the U.K., and France recall their ambassadors.

      The regional telephone company Verizon announces that it will purchase the long-distance company MCI, which had rejected overtures from Qwest Communications.

February 15
      The U.S. recalls its ambassador to Syria because of its belief that Syria was involved in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

      In Uruguay, José Mujica is sworn in as chair of the Senate and Nora Castro as head of the Chamber of Deputies; both are former Tupamaro guerrillas who were imprisoned when the country was under military rule (1973–85).

      Donna Orender is named president of the Women's National Basketball Association.

      Kan-Point's VJK Autumn Roses, a German shorthaired pointer, wins Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

February 16
      A ceremony is held in Kyoto, Japan, to mark the coming into force of the Kyoto Protocol, initialed in 1997; the agreement requires that the industrialized world cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2012.

      Israel's Knesset (legislature) approves a plan to give $870 million in compensation to settlers required to leave the Gaza Strip to relocate without losing their accustomed living standards.

      The Association for Computing Machinery announces that the recipients of the 2004 A.M. Turing Award are Vincent G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn, who created the structure for TCP/IP, or transmission control protocol and Internet protocol, which allows computer networks to communicate with one another.

      The Bollingen Prize in American poetry is awarded to Jay Wright.

      National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman announces that negotiations between the owners and the players' union have been fruitless and that the entire 2004–05 season has been canceled.

February 17
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush nominates John D. Negroponte, the ambassador to Iraq, as the country's first national intelligence director.

February 18
      Under international pressure, the newly installed president of Togo, Faure E. Gnassingbé, agrees to hold presidential elections within 60 days, as the constitution at the time of his installation required, but not to give up power to the speaker of the legislature, as also required by the constitution.

      Scientists at a NASA news conference report that on Dec. 27, 2004, they detected a burst of light energy from interstellar space only a fraction of a second long but so powerful that it exceeded the total energy emitted from the Sun in 150,000 years; the source was identified as a distant magnetar, a rapidly spinning neutron star with an extremely intense magnetic field.

February 19
      Suicide bombers target celebrations of the Shiʿite holy day Ashura throughout Iraq, killing some 30 people; on the previous day suicide bombers at various religious gatherings and one police checkpoint killed at least 35 people in Baghdad alone.

February 20
      In legislative elections in Portugal, the Socialist Party defeats the ruling coalition, winning its first-ever absolute majority; José Sócrates becomes prime minister on March 12.

      Spain, the first country to vote on the EU constitution in a national referendum, approves the constitution handily; the document had previously been ratified by the parliaments in Lithuania, Hungary, and Slovenia.

      Beset by allegations of sexual harassment, which he denies, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers submits his resignation.

      In London The Producers wins three Laurence Olivier Awards—best new musical, best actor in a musical (Nathan Lane), and best supporting actor in a musical (Conleth Hill)—and The History Boys also wins three awards—best new play, best director (Nicholas Hytner), and best actor (Richard Griffiths); Alan Bennett, the playwright of The History Boys, wins a special award for contributions to British theatre.

      In Daytona Beach, Fla., Jeff Gordon wins the Daytona 500, NASCAR's premier race, for the third time.

      In Park City, Utah, Italy's Armin Zöggeler wins a record fifth luge world championship singles title; the previous day Sylke Otto of Germany won her fourth world championship in the women's singles event, tying the record set by East Germany's Margit Schumann in the 1970s.

February 21
 Tens of thousands of people—Muslim, Christian, and Druze—march in Beirut, Lebanon, in anti-Syrian protests, while Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad tells the secretary-general of the Arab League that Syria intends, as it has since 1989, to withdraw its troops.

      Prosecutors in Bolivia bring charges of genocide against former president Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, who is living in exile in the U.S., for involvement in the deaths of more than 60 people in the protests that preceded his resignation.

      The British Royal Navy announces that it is planning to recruit gay enlistees to join the service.

February 22
      An early-morning earthquake of magnitude 6.4 centred on the city of Zarand kills at least 490 people in central Iran; many villages are destroyed.

      Emerging victorious in the elections, the United Iraqi Alliance chooses Ibrahim al-Jaafari as its candidate for prime minister of Iraq.

February 23
      Shigeru Omi of the World Health Organization warns that a deadly form of avian flu spreading throughout Asia, which has killed 14 people in Vietnam so far in 2005, threatens the world with a pandemic should it mutate into a form that can be transmitted easily from human to human.

      Government officials in China say that Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have agreed that six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear ambitions should resume as soon as possible, and a Chinese envoy to North Korea reports that North Korea is willing to rejoin the talks.

      U.S. diplomats reveal that Canada has decided against participating with the U.S. in a North American missile defense system.

      In a British military court in Germany, two British soldiers, Mark Cooley and Daniel Kenyon, are convicted on charges of having abused Iraqi prisoners near Basra, Iraq, in May 2003.

February 24
      The Palestinian legislature approves a new cabinet that is largely purged of allies of the late Yasir Arafat, though Ahmed Qurei retains his post as prime minister.

      Somalian Pres. Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and Prime Minister Ali Muhammad Ghedi visit Somalia for the first time since attaining their posts; they are assessing conditions for moving the Somalian government-in-exile from Kenya.

      Pope John Paul II is hospitalized for the second time this month and undergoes a tracheostomy because of difficulty breathing.

February 25
      Bowing to internal and international pressure, Faure E. Gnassingbé resigns as president of Togo; Abass Bonfoh becomes interim president until a presidential election, in which Gnassingbé will be a candidate, is held.

      The judge who has presided over the dispute over Terri Schiavo for the past seven years in Pinellas county, Fla., rules that he will grant no further stays and that Schiavo's husband may have the feeding tube removed on March 18.

      For the first time since it was booed off the stage in 1931, the ballet The Bolt, with a score by Dmitry Shostakovich and originally choreographed by Fyodor Lopukhov, is performed by the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow.

February 26
      Egyptian Pres. Hosni Mubarak asks the parliament to amend the constitution to permit for the first time in the country's history direct, multiparty presidential elections to be held.

      Japan's space agency successfully returns its H-2A heavy-lift rocket to service with a launch from its Tanegashima space centre and deploys a geostationary air traffic/weather satellite; the last previous launch, in November 2003, failed to orbit two spy satellites.

      Wichita, Kan., police announce that they have arrested a man, Dennis L. Rader, in suburban Park City whom they believe to be the serial killer known as B.T.K., who is responsible for at least eight murders over a 30-year period.

February 27
      Parliamentary elections are held in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan; international observers in both countries say the polling fell short of international standards of fairness, and runoff elections for each district in Kyrgyzstan are scheduled for March 13, while the ruling party retains power in Tajikistan.

      Officials from both Iraq and Syria report that Syria has captured and turned over to Iraq Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan al-Tikriti, a half brother of Saddam Hussein who headed two security agencies under Saddam and who is believed to be financing the insurgency.

      The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, signed by 168 countries but ratified by only 57, comes into effect; it asks those countries to take steps to reduce tobacco smoking, which kills an estimated five million people annually.

      At the 77th Academy Awards presentations, hosted by comedian Chris Rock, Oscars are won by, among others, Million Dollar Baby and its director, Clint Eastwood, and actors Jamie Foxx, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman, and Cate Blanchett.

      André Lange of Germany wins a third consecutive world championship in four-man bobsleigh at the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing world championships in Calgary, Alta., breaking a record.

February 28
      In by far the deadliest bombing since the start of the war in Iraq, a car bomber detonates his weapon in a crowd of police and army recruits outside a medical clinic across the street from a market in Hilla; at least 122 people are killed.

      As tens of thousands of people demonstrate in Beirut against Syrian involvement in Lebanon, the pro-Syrian Omar Karami resigns as Lebanese prime minister.

      In a referendum, more than 90% of voters in Burundi approve a new constitution that lays the groundwork for a government in which the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority would share power.

      A deranged former litigant murders the father and mother of U.S. Federal District Court Judge Joan Lefkow in Chicago, apparently in revenge for her earlier ruling against him.

      Federated Department Stores, the owner of Macy's and Bloomingdale's, announces plans to buy May Department Stores, which owns Lord & Taylor and Marshall Field's.

"A Syrian pullout from Lebanon does not
mean that Syria will vanish from Lebanon."
— Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad
in a speech announcing a pullback of Syrian troops, March 5

March 1
      Tabaré Vázquez Rosas is inaugurated as president of Uruguay.

      In a gun battle in Ituri province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UN peacekeepers kill 50 members of an ethnic Lendu militia that has been terrorizing the area; also, the government says that three militia leaders have been arrested in the ambush killing and mutilation of nine UN peacekeepers in Ituri province.

      The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the execution of people for crimes that they committed when they were younger than 18 years old is unconstitutional; the ruling immediately affects 72 condemned prisoners.

March 2
      Elmar Huseynov, the founder and editor of the Azerbaijani opposition magazine Monitor, is shot and killed in Baku.

      Hundreds of former banana plantation workers demonstrate in Managua, Nic., demanding monetary compensation for their exposure to a banned pesticide used by American companies.

March 3
 American adventurer Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo nonstop around the world when he lands in Salina, Kan., 67 hr 2 min after taking off; his plane, called the GlobalFlyer, was designed and built by Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites company, which also built SpaceShipOne.

      A trial involving 39 men and 27 women accused of pedophile crimes begins in Angers, France.

March 4
      A car carrying Giuliana Sgrena, an Italian journalist who was kidnapped on February 4 in Baghdad, and Nicola Calipari, an Italian intelligence agent who negotiated her release, is fired on by U.S. soldiers as it approaches a checkpoint on the way to the Baghdad airport; Calipari is killed and Sgrena is wounded.

      Yury F. Kravchenko, who was interior minister of Ukraine under former president Leonid Kuchma in 1995–2001, dies in an apparent suicide hours before he is to talk to government prosecutors about the 2000 murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze, in which there was widely believed to have been government involvement.

      American lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart completes a five-month prison sentence and is released to begin five months of home confinement.

March 5
      Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad makes a speech in which he declares that Syrian troops in Lebanon will gradually withdraw to border areas near Syria, but he gives no timetable.

March 6
      In parliamentary elections in Moldova, the ruling Communist Party retains its majority.

      After defeating Phil Mickelson at the Doral Open golf tournament in Miami, Tiger Woods regains the number one ranking in golf that he had lost to Vijay Singh in September 2004.

      In the first Formula One race of the season, Giancarlo Fisichella of Italy wins the Australian Grand Prix for Renault.

March 7
      The Sony Corp. of Japan names Sir Howard Stringer, head of the Sony Corp. of America, its new chairman and CEO, succeeding Nobuyuki Idei.

      Harry Stonecipher, who was made CEO of the aerospace company Boeing in order to restore its good name after an era of ethical missteps, is forced to resign when it is revealed that he engaged in an adulterous liaison with an executive at the company.

March 8
      Bolivia's National Congress refuses to accept the offer of resignation given the day before by Pres. Carlos Mesa; the president reaches an agreement with most opposition parties for a plan that includes increased autonomy for the states and the drafting of a new constitution.

      The prime minister of the province of Kosovo in Serbia and Montenegro, Ramush Haradinaj, surprises observers by resigning in order to surrender to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

      In Beirut, Lebanon, a huge demonstration by Shiʿite supporters of the militant group Hezbollah in favour of a continued Syrian presence in Lebanon greatly outnumbers the anti-Syria demonstrations that preceded it. (See March 14.)

March 9
      Omar Karami, the pro-Syrian who resigned as prime minister of Lebanon on February 28, is reelected prime minister by the legislature.

      The U.S. Department of State announces that the country has withdrawn from the protocol that gives the International Court of Justice jurisdiction to hear cases involving foreigners arrested and denied the right to contact the embassies of their home countries.

      The LexisNexis Group, which compiles personal, legal, and consumer information, reveals that unauthorized access to the information of some 30,000 people has occurred; in recent weeks the data broker ChoicePoint inadvertently sold the information of some 145,000 people to scam artists, and Bank of America lost backup files containing the information of more than a million people.

      Charles H. Townes, a winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize for Physics, is named the winner of the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities.

      CBS news anchor Dan Rather signs off after his final broadcast, concluding a career of 42 years.

March 10
      Tung Chee-hwa resigns as chief executive of Hong Kong two years before the end of his term; deputy Donald Tsang will serve in his place until the next election.

      Members of the Chechen separatist movement announce that they have chosen Abdul-Khalim Saydullayev, a little-known religious judge, to replace Aslan Maskhadov, who was killed two days earlier, as president.

      The Paris Club of creditor countries agrees to a moratorium for the remainder of the year on debt payments for the countries that were hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004.

      After winning a tournament in Linares, Spain, Russian grandmaster Garry Kasparov announces his retirement from professional chess.

March 11
      The U.S. government announces an agreement with the U.K., France, and Germany in which the U.S. will support Iran's entry into the World Trade Organization and sell the country airplane parts if Iran agrees to a permanent end to the enrichment of uranium; the European countries pledge to bring the issue before the UN Security Council if Iran does not agree.

      The British Parliament passes a controversial antiterrorism bill that, among other things, allows the government to put suspected terrorists under strict house arrest without trial.

      The U.S. government agrees to a $25.5 million payment in compensation for the plundering by U.S. armed forces in 1945 of a train carrying property that Nazis had taken from Jewish families in Hungary.

      Canada's third largest airline, the low-fare carrier Jetsgo, unexpectedly ceases operations and files for bankruptcy protection.

March 12
      UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen secures an agreement from Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad to withdraw Syrian troops from Lebanon completely and to set a timetable for the withdrawal.

      Muhammad Ghazal announces that the militant Palestinian organization Hamas will participate in the Palestinian legislative elections that are to take place on July 17; the organization had boycotted the previous legislative elections.

      At the Alpine World Cup skiing competition in Lenzerheide, Switz., Bode Miller becomes the first American in 22 years to win an overall men's World Cup championship; the following day Anja Pärson of Sweden wins the women's title for the second consecutive year.

March 13
      Runoff legislative elections in Kyrgyzstan are widely viewed as fraudulent as domestic election observers are prevented from doing their jobs.

      The Walt Disney Co. announces that Robert A. Iger, the company's president, will take over from Michael D. Eisner as CEO.

      Canada sets a new world record time of 6 min 39.990 sec in the 5,000-m relay at the world short-track speed-skating championships in Beijing.

March 14
      The National People's Congress of China passes a law that authorizes the use of force against Taiwan should Taiwan declare itself independent of China.

      Some 800,000 Lebanese—mostly Sunni Muslims, Druze, and Christians—rally in Beirut against Syrian influence in Lebanon; it is the biggest demonstration ever seen in Lebanon. (See March 8.)

      Israel agrees to allow the Palestinian Authority to take over security control in the West Bank cities of Jericho and Tulkarm.

      Some 300 people are arrested throughout Nepal in rallies opposing the emergency rule imposed by King Gyanendra.

      In its 20th induction ceremony, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland inducts the solo performers Buddy Guy and Percy Sledge, the bands the O'Jays, the Pretenders, and U2, booking agency founder Frank Barsalona, and Sire Records founder Seymour Stein.

      A state judge in California rules that a state law that limits marriage to opposite-sex couples violates the state's constitution.

March 15
      People protesting elections they believe were rigged march in the streets and occupy government offices in several cities in Kyrgyzstan.

      Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says that he intends to begin withdrawing Italian troops from Iraq, where Italy has some 3,000 troops, by September.

      Bernard J. Ebbers, the former CEO of the disgraced telecommunications company WorldCom (now MCI), is found guilty of securities fraud, conspiracy, and seven counts of filing false reports.

March 16
      Iraq's newly elected National Assembly conducts its first meeting, in the heavily guarded central Green Zone in Baghdad.

      On the eighth day of protests in Guatemala against a free-trade treaty with the U.S., riot police and protesters clash in Santa Cruz del Quiché.

      Nicaragua declares a national health emergency in the face of a viral diarrhea that has killed at least 41 people and made tens of thousands ill.

March 17
      During a brief visit to Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reveals that upcoming parliamentary elections in the country are being postponed for a third time, from May until September; meanwhile, in Kandahar, in the worst attack in seven months, a bomb kills at least 5 people and injures 32.

      The European Union decides to ban broadcasts by al-Manar, the satellite television channel run by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

March 18
      Wal-Mart Stores agrees to a record $11 million settlement with the federal government, which had accused the retail giant of hiring illegal immigrants as cleaning staff.

      The military in Israel announces that henceforth no Israeli citizen may move to any settlement in the Gaza Strip.

      John G. Rowland, the former governor of Connecticut, is sentenced to more than a year in prison for having secretly accepted gifts from people doing business with the state while he was governor; he had pleaded guilty in December 2004.

      In accordance with what her husband says would have been her wishes, in Pinellas Park, Fla., the feeding tube keeping the severely brain-damaged Terri Schiavo alive is removed; Schiavo has been on life support for 15 years, and her husband and her parents are at odds with each other over the ethical questions of keeping her alive and the legal issue of who has the right to make decisions for her. (See March 20.)

      The U.S. government suspends military aid to Nicaragua, complaining that the country has failed to destroy its cache of Soviet-made SA-7 shoulder-launched antiaircraft missiles, which the U.S. fears could fall into the hands of terrorists.

March 19
      A bomb goes off at a Shiʿite Muslim religious gathering in Gandhawa, Pak., killing at least 44 people.

      In Doha, Qatar, a car bomb goes off outside a theatre where an amateur company is performing Shakespeare's Twelfth Night; a British teacher is killed.

      Irina Slutskaya of Russia wins the women's world figure-skating championship in Moscow; two days earlier Stéphane Lambiel had become the first Swiss since 1947 to claim the men's title.

      Alessandro Petacchi of Italy wins the 294-km (183-mi) Milan–San Remo classic bicycle race with a time of 7 hr 11 min 39 sec.

      In the Six Nations Rugby Union championship, Wales defeats Ireland 32–20 to win the title and its first grand slam in 27 years.

March 20
      Insurgents attack a U.S. military patrol in Salman Pak, Iraq; at least 24 insurgents are killed, while assorted attacks elsewhere in Iraq leave at least 7 people dead.

      The U.S. Senate passes a bill that would give federal courts jurisdiction over whether it was legal to remove the feeding tube from a severely brain-damaged woman, Terri Schiavo, while the House of Representatives calls a special session to consider the measure; Pres. George W. Bush quickly returns to Washington, D.C., from vacation in Texas in order to sign the bill into law. (See March 18.)

 A magnitude-7 earthquake strikes in southern Japan, devastating the island of Genkai-jima but killing only one person.

      Thousands of protesters upset by unfair elections rampage in Dzhalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan, occupying government offices and burning down a police station.

      Fernando Alonso of Spain wins the Malaysian Grand Prix automobile race.

March 21
      Hifikepunye Pohamba is sworn in as president of Namibia; he is the country's first president elected since independence and succeeds Sam Nujoma.

      Antigovernment demonstrators take over Osh, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan.

      American architect Thom Mayne is named winner of the 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

      Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer is granted Icelandic citizenship; under indictment by the U.S. government, Fischer has been living in detention in Japan for eight months.

March 22
      Germany's national airline, Deutsche Lufthansa, announces a deal to take over Switzerland's troubled Swiss International Airlines.

      Astronomers report that, using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, an orbiting infrared observatory, they have for the first time observed and directly measured light from planets outside the solar system; heretofore such extrasolar planets had been detected only by indirect methods.

March 23
      The Arab League concludes a two-day summit in Algiers; leaders of only 13 of the 22 member countries attended the conference, at which it was decided to create an Arab parliament.

      Health officials warn travelers to stay out of Uíge province in Angola, where an outbreak of the Marburg virus, which is related to the Ebola virus and is fatal with no known cure, has killed at least 95 people since October 2004.

      Composer Leonid Desyatnikov's controversial new opera Children of Rosental, with a book by Vladimir Sorokin, opens at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow after weeks of protest; it is the theatre's first new opera in 30 years.

March 24
      Thousands of demonstrators storm the presidential palace in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, forcing Pres. Askar Akayev to flee the country.

      The UN Security Council passes a resolution to send 10,000 peacekeeping troops to The Sudan, some to maintain the peace agreement in the south and some to reinforce African Union troops in the Darfur region.

      U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announces that the country will resume giving military aid to Guatemala; aid had been suspended in 1990 in the face of atrocities committed by the Guatemalan military, including the killing of an American citizen.

March 25
      Outside Manama, Bahrain, tens of thousands of people march in a demonstration demanding democratic reforms, including more powers for the elected legislative assembly.

      In various places throughout Iraq, three suicide car bombings and a number of attacks with guns leave at least 23 people dead, including 5 Iraqi cleaning women.

March 26
      A half million people march in Taipei, Taiwan, angered and frightened by the antisecession law passed in China on March 14.

      After two days of looting by antigovernment protesters in Kyrgyzstan, a new government, led by Kurmanbek Bakiyev as acting president, gains control.

      Roses in May wins the Dubai World Cup, the world's richest horse race, by three lengths.

      Yokozuna Asashoryu defeats ozeki Kaio at the spring grand sumo tournament in Osaka, Japan, to win his 11th Emperor's Cup.

March 27
      Pope John Paul II appears at his window in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican to deliver his traditional Easter blessing; because of his illnesses, however, he is unable to speak.

      Police in Cairo arrest 100 people in preventing a demonstration by thousands of people organized by the Muslim Brotherhood to demand an end to emergency laws that have been in place in Egypt since 1981.

      At the Nabisco championship in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Annika Sörenstam of Sweden wins her fifth consecutive Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour tournament, tying a record set by American Nancy Lopez in 1978.

      Oxford defeats Cambridge by two lengths in the 151st University Boat Race; Cambridge leads the series 78–72.

      In Paisley, Scot., Sweden defeats the U.S. 10–4 to win the women's world curling championship.

March 28
      An earthquake measured at magnitude 8.7 occurs with an epicentre about 200 km (125 mi) from the Indonesian island of Sumatra, killing 905 people, most on the island of Nias.

      It is reported that King Jigme Singye Wangchuk of Bhutan has unveiled a draft of a new constitution that would establish parliamentary rule and multiparty democracy to replace what is presently a monarchy.

      Rebels in Saʿdah province, Yemen, attack security forces, killing seven policemen; eight of the rebels are killed in turn.

      A law is passed in Ireland that outlaws the use of English on street signs and official maps in the Gaeltacht region of the country's west coast; in more than 2,000 places, signs will appear exclusively in Gaelic.

      Maud Fontenoy of France becomes the first woman to row across the Pacific Ocean when she arrives in Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia, 73 days after leaving the port of Callao in Peru.

March 29
      The commission investigating misconduct in the oil-for-food program in Iraq reports having found no evidence that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had any involvement in the awarding of a contract to a company that employed his son.

      Lord Ashdown, the international administrator of Bosnia and Herzegovina, removes the Croat member of the tripartite presidency, Dragan Covic, from office; Covic had refused to resign after being indicted for corruption.

      Spain's Environment Ministry reports that three Iberian lynx cubs have been born at Coto Doñana National Park; the Iberian lynx is the most endangered feline species, with about 100 still alive, and these are the first cubs ever born in captivity.

March 30
      After Palestinian Pres. Mahmoud Abbas expels members of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades from the presidential compound for refusing to disarm and join the Palestinian Authority security forces, the gunmen run riot in Ram Allah.

      Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad releases 312 Kurdish prisoners who had been arrested in March 2004 after antigovernment demonstrations.

      Hundreds of demonstrators from the Kifaya movement, which opposes a new term of office for Egyptian Pres. Hosni Mubarak, rally in Cairo, Alexandria, and Mansoura.

March 31
      In legislative elections in Zimbabwe that independent observers say are fraudulent, the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front is said to have won handily.

      The UN Security Council passes a resolution to refer war crimes suspects from the Darfur region of The Sudan to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

      Paul Wolfowitz is confirmed as president of the World Bank; he will begin his five-year term in June.

      Pope John Paul II suffers a heart attack.

      Ted Koppel, host of the ABC late-night television news program Nightline since 1980, announces that he will leave the network at the end of the year.

"After the great Pope John Paul II,
the cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble
worker in the Lord's vineyard."
— Pope Benedict XVI,
in his first public address after his election, April 19

April 1
      Overnight, members of the state military police shoot up the streets and sidewalks of two crime-ridden suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, killing 30 people.

April 2
      Pope John Paul II dies in his apartment in Vatican City.

      The day after firing the police commander in Ram Allah, Palestinian Pres. Mahmoud Abbas asks for and receives the resignation of the security chief for the West Bank, in response to violence in Ram Allah by members of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

      After months of discord that led to many canceled performances, Riccardo Muti resigns as music director of La Scala opera house in Milan.

April 3
      In its first step toward forming a government and following months of debate, the Iraqi National Assembly appoints a Sunni as speaker and a Shiʿite and a Kurd as deputy speakers.

      UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen announces that Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad has agreed to remove all Syrian military and intelligence forces from Lebanon by the end of April. (See April 26.)

      The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley opens in Winchester, Va.; the historical and cultural museum was designed by the architect Michael Graves.

      Spanish driver Fernando Alonso handily wins the Bahrain Grand Prix. (See April 24.)

April 4
      Askar Akayev resigns as president of Kyrgyzstan after receiving assurances that he will not be prosecuted for anything that occurred during his administration.

      Moldova's Parliament reelects Vladimir Voronin as president.

      Hundreds of supporters of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai march in Harare, Zimb., to protest the results of the March 31 election.

      The U.S. Supreme Court rules that creditors may not access funds in the IRAs (individual retirement accounts) of people who have filed for bankruptcy.

      In New York City the winners of the 2005 Pulitzer Prizes are announced; journalistic awards go to, among others, the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, which each win two awards; winners in arts and letters include Marilynne Robinson in fiction and Ted Kooser in poetry.

      The National Collegiate Athletic Association championship in men's basketball is won by the University of North Carolina, which defeats the University of Illinois 75–70; the following day Baylor University defeats Michigan State 84–62 for its first women's NCAA title.

April 5
      Armando Falcon announces his resignation as head of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the agency that oversees the mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a position in which he has served since 1999.

      The government of Canada reaches an agreement with the major automakers of the world under which the manufacturers will reduce the greenhouse emissions of their vehicles by 5.3 million metric tons by 2010.

April 6
      Europe's longest-reigning monarch, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, dies after 55 years as ruler; he is succeeded by his son, Prince Albert II.

      The Iraqi National Assembly names Kurdish militia leader Jalal Talabani president of Iraq.

      In Pretoria, S.Af., the leaders of Côte d'Ivoire's government, the opposition, and rebel forces sign an agreement to cease hostilities, begin disarmament, and make plans to hold elections.

April 7
      Newly named Iraqi Pres. Jalal Talabani appoints Shiʿite leader Ibrahim al-Jaafari as Iraq's new prime minister.

      Thousands of people assemble in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, to welcome back from exile former president João Bernardo Vieira; a presidential election is scheduled for June.

      Hundreds of thousands of people gather in Mexico City to protest the desafuero, the stripping of immunity from prosecution, of Mexico City Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador by Mexico's legislature. (See April 23.)

      George Foster Peabody Awards for excellence in electronic media are won by, among 30 others, the CBS newsmagazine show 60 Minutes II and Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

April 8
      Pope John Paul II is buried after what is by far the largest papal funeral ever held; in the previous week more than two million people had viewed the pope's body as it lay in state.

      In a presidential election that is boycotted by the opposition, Pres. Ismail Omar Guelleh, running unopposed, is reelected president of Djibouti.

      In Dili, East Timor, Pres. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia and Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri of East Timor witness the signing of an agreement on the demarcation of the border between the two countries.

      Some 500 people are arrested throughout Nepal for participating in protests against King Gyanendra's seizure of power, while the Nepalese armed forces report having killed at least 50 people in an overnight battle with Maoist insurgents.

April 9
      Officially sanctioned anti-Japanese demonstrations in Beijing degenerate into riots in which Japanese-owned businesses are attacked before riot police gain control of the situation.

 In Windsor, Eng., Charles, prince of Wales, marries Camilla Parker Bowles, who hereafter will be called Camilla, duchess of Cornwall.

      The winner of the Grand National steeplechase horse race in Aintree, Eng., by 14 lengths, is Hedgehunter, ridden by Ruby Walsh and trained by Willie Mullins.

April 10
      At the place in Jerusalem that is revered as the Temple Mount by Jews and as Al-Haram al-Sharif by Muslims, a huge deployment of Israeli police prevents a planned rally by a right-wing Israeli organization from taking place.

      Anti-Japanese rallies take place in the Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen; Japan lodges an official protest with China.

      After police break up a roadblock set up weeks earlier by a group of elderly women in Huaxi village, Zhejiang province, China, to protest pollution from nearby factories, thousands of villagers riot in defense of the protesters, destroying police cars and driving police away.

      Tiger Woods defeats Chris DiMarco on the first playoff hole to win the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., for the fourth time.

      Canada defeats Scotland 11–4 to win its 29th world men's curling championship since 1959.

      Steve Jaros wins the 2005 PBA Dexter Tournament of Champions, his first major bowling title.

April 11
      After several days of delay, Kyrgyzstan's legislature accepts the resignation of Askar Akayev as president and sets a new presidential election for July 10.

      In New Delhi, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sign documents on a number of subjects; of special note is an agreement to resolve the 3,540-km (2,200-mi) border between the countries, which has been a source of friction since 1962.

      Three days after filing for bankruptcy protection, MG Rover, the last major car manufacturer in the U.K., sends 6,000 factory workers home and ceases production; on April 15 the company announces that it has gone out of business.

      Nepal agrees to allow UN human rights observers to enter the country.

April 12
      The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention observe the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the polio vaccine.

      The World Health Organization recommends that some 5,000 laboratories around the world destroy samples of a virus that they may have received as part of virus-testing kits; the samples contained a strain of flu that killed at least a million people in 1957 and to which no one born after 1968 has any immunity.

      The European Commission recommends that the EU begin talks with Serbia and Montenegro on the first steps toward membership for that country.

April 13
      The EU agrees to allow Bulgaria and Romania to become members of the association; it is expected that they will enter the union in 2007.

      The UN General Assembly passes a nuclear-terrorism treaty that requires its signatories to prosecute or extradite individuals in possession of nuclear devices or materials.

      Omar Karami for the second time resigns as prime minister of Lebanon, saying he has been unable to form a government.

      At the National Magazine Awards in New York City, the big winner is The New Yorker, which wins five awards, including one for general excellence; other winners include Glamour, Wired, Martha Stewart Weddings, Dwell, and Print.

      In the Indian state of Manipur, members of a group demanding the use of the Mayek system of writing, which has not been widely used in three centuries, set fire to the central library in the capital city of Imphal; about 145,000 books, including many ancient texts, are destroyed.

April 14
      Two suicide bombers in Baghdad kill 14 people, 13 of them civilians, outside the Interior Ministry, while attacks elsewhere in Iraq kill 5 others; also, Iraqi officials describe the discovery of mass graves in Al-Nasiriyah, Al-Samawah, and Basra, the latter thought to contain as many as 5,000 bodies.

      In the heaviest fighting since a five-year-old cease-fire was rescinded, 21 Kurdish rebels and 3 Turkish soldiers are killed in Turkey's southeastern Anatolia region.

      Oregon's Supreme Court rules that the same-sex marriage licenses issued by Multnomah county in 2004 are invalid; the ruling affects some 3,000 couples.

      In the first Major League Baseball game played in Washington, D.C., in 33 years, the new home team, the Washington Nationals, defeats the Arizona Diamondbacks 5–3 at R.F.K. Stadium.

April 15
      Pres. Émile Lahoud of Lebanon appoints as prime minister Najib Mikati, a pro-Syrian businessman who has won the trust of the opposition.

      Pres. Lucio Gutiérrez of Ecuador fires the Supreme Court; it is the second time in four months that the country's top court has been sacked.

      In Paris a fire destroys the Paris-Opéra hotel, leaving 24 people dead, most of them African immigrants housed in the hotel by social service agencies.

April 16
      A bomb goes off in a restaurant in Baʿqubah, Iraq, killing at least 13 people; in attacks elsewhere in Iraq, an additional 5 people are killed.

      Thousands of demonstrators in Quito, Ecuador, demand the resignation of Pres. Lucio Gutiérrez.

      In Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, judges of the new Caribbean Court of Justice are sworn in.

April 17
      Mehmet Ali Talat is elected Turkish Cypriot president, replacing Rauf Denktash.

      Ecuador's National Congress dismisses the Supreme Court, making legal the dismissal ordered earlier by the president.

      A group of ethnic Shan exiles from Myanmar (Burma) proclaims the independence of the “Federated Shan States,” with Saw Surkhanpha as president.

      In the U.K., BAFTA TV Awards are won by Little Britain, Sex Traffic, I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, Coronation Street, Omagh, Black Books, and Green Wing.

      Martin Lel of Kenya posts the fastest time in the 25th London Marathon, at 2 hr 7 min 26 sec; British runner Paula Radcliffe is the fastest woman in the race for the third time, with a finish of 2 hr 17 min 42 sec.

April 18
      In Vatican City the conclave of 115 cardinals gathers to choose a new pope.

      Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore announces that the government has approved the building of two casinos in the city-state in order to increase tourism.

      In San Francisco the Goldman Environmental Prize is presented to Mexican forest activist Isidro Baldenegro López, Congolese botanist Corneille Ewango, Kazakh nuclear environmentalist Kaisha Atakhanova, Honduran community and forest activist José Andrés Tamayo Cortez, French-Swiss activist Stephanie Danielle Roth, and Haitian agronomist Chavannes Jean-Baptiste.

      Having earlier refused the help of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Indonesia announces the formation of a new agency that will take over the reconstruction of the rebellious province of Aceh, which was particularly hard hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004.

      The 109th Boston Marathon is won by Hailu Negussie of Ethiopia with a time of 2 hr 11 min 45 sec; Catherine Ndereba of Kenya is the women's winner for the fourth time, finishing in 2 hr 25 min 13 sec.

April 19
      On its third ballot the Roman Catholic Church conclave chooses Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, a German theologian who served for many years in the Roman Curia as defender of the faith, to be the next pope; he announces his papal name as Benedict XVI.

      Greece's parliament ratifies the European Union constitution, making Greece the sixth country to approve the document.

      Seventeen men return to Afghanistan after being freed from the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba; a tribunal had determined that they were not enemy combatants.

      Several American dignitaries, including Pres. George W. Bush, attend the dedication of the new interactive Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.

April 20
      Ecuador's National Congress dismisses Pres. Lucio Gutiérrez from office, and he flees to the Brazilian embassy; Vice Pres. Alfredo Palacio replaces him.

      Connecticut becomes the second U.S. state to permit same-sex couples to enter into civil unions, a status that entails the same statutory rights and responsibilities as marriage.

      The first-ever Islamic Solidarity Games, featuring 18 individual and team sports, conclude in Mecca, Saudi Arabia; 54 countries sent some 6,500 male athletes to compete.

      The New York Stock Exchange and the Archipelago Exchange announce an agreement to merge in the largest-ever securities exchange merger.

      Pulitzer Prize winner C.K. Williams is named recipient of the 2005 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize; he will receive $100,000.

April 21
      John Negroponte is sworn in as the first U.S. director of national intelligence.

      The new president of Ecuador, Alfredo Palacio, names a cabinet.

      The lower house of the Cortes Generales (legislature) in Spain approves a bill that gives same-sex couples the same marriage rights that opposite-sex couples now have and approves another bill making divorce easier to obtain.

April 22
      At a regional summit meeting in Jakarta, Indon., Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi apologizes for the suffering and damage caused by Japan during World War II.

      Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person charged in the U.S. with complicity in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, pleads guilty—but not exactly to what he is charged with.

April 23
      Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi forms a new coalition government three days after resigning because of the collapse of the previous government.

      A judge in Mexico City rejects the request by federal prosecutors to charge Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador with having violated a court order. (See April 7.)

April 24
      Pope Benedict XVI is formally invested with the symbols of office and installed as the 265th pope.

      Faure E. Gnassingbé wins the presidential election in Togo; the result of the ballot is accepted by international observers but not by the opposition.

      Pres. Hugo Chávez of Venezuela announces that he is cutting all military ties with the U.S. and ordering U.S. military instructors to leave the country.

      Spaniard Fernando Alonso wins the San Marino Grand Prix for his third consecutive Formula 1 victory. (See April 3.)

April 25
      Stanislav Gross resigns as prime minister of the Czech Republic following weeks of questions about the financing of his luxury apartment; Jiri Paroubek is appointed in his place.

      A Soyuz space capsule lands safely in Kazakhstan, bringing home cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov and astronauts Leroy Chiao and Roberto Vittori; the new crew members replacing them aboard the International Space Station are Russian Sergey Krikalev and American John Phillips.

      Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia visits U.S. Pres. George W. Bush at the latter's ranch in Crawford, Texas; the leaders discuss oil prices.

      The final piece of the 1,700-year-old Aksum obelisk, which was removed from Ethiopia by Italian troops in 1937, is returned to its home in Aksum; it will be reerected in September.

April 26
      Syria formally withdraws the last of its troops from Lebanon; Syria had maintained a military presence in the country for 29 years. (See April 3.)

      UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appoints Kemal Dervis, a Turkish economist, to replace Mark Malloch Brown as head of the United Nations Development Programme.

 A group of explorers led by Briton Tom Avery arrives at the North Pole by re-creating the 1909 journey of American explorer Robert Peary with replicated equipment, covering the 777 km (483 mi) in less than 37 days, a shorter time than Peary required.

April 27
      China rules that the chief executive to be chosen by the election committee in July to replace Tung Chee-hwa can serve only for the remainder of the term that Tung was elected to, not a full five-year term. (See March 12.)

      Member states elected to the UN Human Rights Commission are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Germany, Japan, Morocco, the U.S., Venezuela, and Zimbabwe; Secretary-General Kofi Annan has proposed a smaller council that would be chosen by the General Assembly rather than, as now, by regional groups.

      From Blagnac, France, the Airbus A380, the biggest-ever passenger airplane, makes a successful test flight of about four hours' duration as some 30,000 people look on.

April 28
      Scientists report that an ivory-billed woodpecker, a bird thought to have been extinct since 1944, has been sighted in the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas.

      Red Cross officials report that Togolese soldiers rampaged through the town of Aného over the previous two days, killing at least nine people, after residents protesting the election results burned a police station.

      Judy Woodruff, anchor of CNN's Inside Politics, announces that she will leave the network at the end of her contract in June.

April 29
      In Beijing a meeting between the leader of the Communist Party of China, Hu Jintao, and the leader of the Chinese Nationalist Party, Lien Chan, marks the first time leaders of the two parties have met in 60 years; they pledge to work together against the independence movement in Taiwan.

      King Gyanendra of Nepal announces the lifting of emergency rule.

      A coordinated series of 12 car bombs in the Baghdad area and other attacks in Iraq leave at least 40 people, most of them Iraqi police or military, dead.

April 30
      A suicide bomber kills himself and injures seven people outside the popular Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and his sister and girlfriend fire guns at a tourist bus.

      The death toll from bomb attacks in Baghdad and northern Iraq is more than 15, mostly civilians.

      A parade is held in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the liberation of that city.

"We Germans look back with shock and shame
at World War II, which was unleashed by Germany, and at
the Holocaust, which was a breakdown of
civilization for which Germans are responsible."
— German Pres. Horst Köhler in a speech to
Parliament commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, May 8

May 1
      At least 35 Iraqis are killed in attacks that include a car bomb at a Kurdish funeral near Mosul and another at a scene in Baghdad where U.S. soldiers are handing out candy to children.

      Shaun Murphy becomes the first qualifier since 1979 to win the world snooker championship when he defeats Matthew Stevens 18–16.

May 2
      A cache of explosives stored at the home of a commander of a recently disarmed and demobilized regiment in the Afghan village of Kohna Deh explodes, leveling a portion of the village and killing at least 34 people, mostly women and children.

      Six car bombs in Baghdad and one in Mosul kill at least 13 Iraqis, and American soldiers engage in a firefight near the Syrian border, killing 12.

      A socialist, José Miguel Insulza of Chile, a candidate initially opposed by the U.S., is elected secretary-general of the Organization of American States.

      In the telecommunications industry, Qwest abandons its attempt to purchase MCI, leaving Verizon Communications the victor in the takeover battle.

May 3
      Iraq's newly appointed cabinet is sworn in, though seven posts remain vacant, including that of minister of defense.

      A bomb explodes and kills at least 15 people in a stadium in Mogadishu, Somalia, where the interim prime minister, Ali Muhammad Ghedi, is speaking; top Somali officials have been living outside the country, and this is Ghedi's first visit to the capital since he was elected to office.

May 4
      A suicide bomber kills at least 60 Kurdish Iraqis at a police recruiting station in Irbil, Iraq, in the worst single attack since early March.

      The FBI announces that it plans to exhume from its grave in Alsip, Ill., the body of Emmett Till, whose lynching in Mississippi as a teenager 50 years ago was a catalyst for the American civil rights movement, in hopes that new forensic evidence will clarify the circumstances of his death.

      Paleontologists in Salt Lake City, Utah, announce their discovery of a new birdlike feathered dinosaur species, Falcarius utahensis, that lived about 125 million years ago and appears to represent an evolutionary link between carnivorous dinosaurs and later herbivorous groups.

      Astronomers report that they have observed 12 tiny previously undiscovered moons orbiting Saturn, all but one traveling in a direction opposite to that of its larger moons, which brings the number of Saturn's known moons to 46; a 47th moon, discovered by the Cassini spacecraft, is announced on May 6.

May 5
      Elections in the U.K. return Prime Minister Tony Blair to office for a third term of office—unprecedented for a Labour Party leader—but with his smallest majority so far.

      A suicide bomber at an Iraqi army base in Baghdad kills at least 13 people, and a further 9 are killed in other attacks elsewhere in Iraq.

      On Holocaust Remembrance Day 60 years after the liberation of the Nazi death camps, some 18,000 people, including the Israeli, Polish, and Hungarian prime ministers, participate in the annual March of the Living from Auschwitz to Birkenau, former concentration camps in southern Poland; on May 10 the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, designed by Peter Eisenman, opens with a solemn ceremony in Berlin.

May 6
      Having failed to oust Labour in the British elections, Michael Howard surprises observers by announcing that he will step down as leader of the Conservative Party before the next election.

      A car bomber in Tikrit, Iraq, drives his car into a bus, killing at least 10 people, and a car bomber in Suwayrah kills a further 16 people.

      Patriarch Irineos I, head of the Greek Orthodox Church in the Holy Land, flees the patriarchate after a number of bishops and archimandrites declare him persona non grata, accusing him of having allowed the leasing of two church-owned hotels in Jerusalem to Jewish renters. (See May 24.)

      In the world table tennis championships in Shanghai, Wang Liqin of China wins the men's singles title to give the host country a clean sweep of the championships.

May 7
      A bombing in Baghdad kills at least 22 people; in a period of 10 minutes in Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar (Burma), bombs go off at a trade fair in a convention centre and in two supermarkets, killing at least 11 people; and another bomb kills at least three people at an Internet cafe in Kabul, Afg.

      The virtually unknown horse Giacomo, a 50-to-1 shot, wins the Kentucky Derby, the first race of Thoroughbred horse racing's Triple Crown; favourite Afleet Alex finishes third.

 A new museum of contemporary art, the MARTa Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, opens in Herford, near Hanover, Ger.

      Margaret Garner, an opera inspired by the true story of a fugitive slave that was the basis of Toni Morrison's novel Beloved, with music composed by Richard Danielpour and book by Morrison, has its premiere at the Detroit Opera House; the lead role is sung by Denyce Graves.

May 8
      Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon freezes plans for an expected release of 400 Palestinian prisoners; earlier in the week, Israeli officials had halted plans to transfer security control of three more towns in the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority.

      A grand council of more than 1,000 representatives from throughout Afghanistan called by Pres. Hamid Karzai agrees that the country requires the continued presence of international troops but calls on the U.S. to operate in cooperation with Afghanistan's government and army.

      Germany commemorates the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe; the following day world leaders gather in Moscow to celebrate the event.

May 9
      A large offensive by 1,000 troops led by U.S. Marines has reportedly swept through an area of western Iraq near Syria where it is believed the insurgency is receiving logistic support; the offensive is said to have left 4 Americans and 100 insurgents dead.

      Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announces that the official date for the beginning of the evacuation of Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip will be pushed back about four weeks from July 25 to avoid a mourning period ending with the Jewish fast day of Tisha be-Av.

      Several of Tokyo's rail companies introduce women-only cars on commuter trains as a means of alleviating the problem of men groping women on overcrowded cars.

May 10
      Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin signs an agreement with the European Union to cooperate in economic and political matters, including trade and fighting terrorism and crime.

      A U.S. federal bankruptcy court grants United Airlines the right to default on its four employee pension plans, the largest-ever such default.

      The World Health Organization announces that more than 40 new cases of polio have been confirmed in Yemen.

      Iraq's National Assembly names a committee of 55 members to write a new permanent constitution for the country.

      Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, releases photographs of computer reconstructions of the face of the pharaoh Tutankhamen based on computed tomography scans of his mummy.

May 11
      In Tikrit, Iraq, a car bomber kills at least 38 people, most of them casual labourers, while in Hawijah a suicide bomber kills at least 32 people; smaller attacks in Baghdad bring the day's death toll to 79.

      A demonstration in Jalalabad, Afg., by students upset at a report in Newsweek magazine that U.S. interrogators in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had flushed a copy of the Qur'an down a toilet turns into violent rioting; 4 people are killed and 63 wounded.

      In Andijon, Uzbekistan, hundreds of people take part in a protest, seeking the release of 23 Muslim prisoners charged with religious extremism.

      A judge in Mali sentences 11 Muslim men to prison for refusing to allow their daughters to be vaccinated against polio for fear it would make them sterile.

      Slovakia's legislature ratifies the European constitution.

      In Brasília, Braz., heads of state and officials representing 34 countries conclude the first Summit of South American–Arab Countries; the two-day meeting is intended to form an alternative grouping that is not dominated by developed countries.

May 12
      Several bombings in Baghdad kill at least 21 people; the worst of the assaults appear not to have had a military target, unlike the vast majority of attacks.

      A U.S. federal judge rules that an amendment to Nebraska's constitution banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and was written so broadly as to threaten the rights of foster and adoptive parents and people in other living arrangements.

      In honour of the 60th birthday of Pippi Longstocking, Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren's child heroine, the ballet Pippi Longstocking has its debut at the Royal Swedish Opera of Stockholm.

May 13
      Anti-American protests gain in intensity in Afghanistan and Pakistan and spread to Indonesia and Palestine; at least eight protesters in Afghanistan are killed.

      Government troops fire on an uprising that had turned violent in Andijon, Uzbekistan, killing possibly as many as 500 people.

      Australia and East Timor reach an agreement to divide equally the revenue from the Greater Sunrise gas field, in the Timor Sea between the two countries, and to defer a decision on the maritime boundary between the two for 50 years.

      Reporting in the periodical Science, geneticists present DNA evidence from the Orang Asli people of Malaysia in support of the proposal that humans migrated out of Africa some 65,000 years ago, taking a southern coastal route into India, Southeast Asia, and Australia, while an offshoot moved north and west eventually to populate the Middle East and Europe.

      Archbishop William J. Levada of San Francisco is named by Pope Benedict XVI to head the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the post the new pope occupied for many years before succeeding Pope John Paul II.

May 14
      Protests erupt in Karasu, Uzbekistan, as hundreds of Uzbeks attempt to flee to Kyrgyzstan.

      The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is presented to Ha Jin for his novel War Trash; he also won the award in 2000 for Waiting.

May 15
      Newsweek magazine apologizes for printing an item describing the desecration of the Qur'an that seems to have triggered massive rioting throughout the Muslim world (see May 11), and on the following day the magazine retracts the item.

      In Vienna the Czech Republic defeats Canada 3–0 to win the gold medal in the ice hockey men's world championship tournament.

      China defeats Indonesia 3–0 to win the Sudirman Cup in badminton, which thus gives China all three of the major team championship trophies in the sport.

May 16
      Kuwait's National Assembly passes a law that for the first time gives women the right to vote and to run for office.

      The head of the last rebel group to remain outside the peace process in Burundi signs an agreement in Dar es Salaam, Tanz., to end hostilities.

      A celebration is held in Kinshasa to mark the ratification by the legislature of the Democratic Republic of the Congo of a new constitution; the document must still be approved in a public referendum.

May 17
      The Paris Club of creditor countries announces that it has agreed to seek from its member governments agreement to relieve Rwanda of debts of about $90 million.

      Antonio Villaraigosa is elected mayor of Los Angeles and becomes the city's first Latino mayor since 1872.

May 18
      When a Hamas group begins firing on a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip, Israel carries out an air strike on the group, its first since the beginning of the truce three months earlier.

      Russia and Estonia sign a treaty ending a border dispute between the two countries; on July 27, however, days after the Estonian parliament had ratified the accord, Russia revokes its signature.

      A jury in Florida orders the investment firm Morgan Stanley to pay $850 million in punitive damages to financier Ronald O. Perelman, in addition to the $604 million in compensatory damages previously awarded; Perelman had sued the company for defrauding him.

      The Russian association football (soccer) club CSKA Moscow defeats Sporting Lisbon to win the UEFA Cup in Lisbon; it is Russia's first European trophy.

      The American Academy of Arts and Letters inducts as members architects Maya Lin and James Stewart Polshek, landscape architect Laurie Olin, artists Cindy Sherman and Kiki Smith, writers Tony Kushner and Rosanna Warren, and composer T.J. Anderson and awards the Gold Medal for Belles Lettres (given every six years) to author Joan Didion, the Howells Medal (given every five years) to writer Shirley Hazzard, and the Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts to conductor James Levine.

May 19
      After a four-day meeting, representatives of North and South Korea announce that they have agreed to hold a cabinet-level meeting on June 15 in Pyongyang, N.Kor.

      Germany begins repatriating the first of some 35,000 Roma (Gypsies) to the Kosovo region of Serbia and Montenegro, where they face an uncertain future.

      US Airways and America West Airlines announce plans to merge under the US Airways name to become the fifth largest carrier in the U.S.

May 20
      Charges are filed in Uruguay against former president Juan María Bordaberry (1972–76) and his foreign minister in the 1976 murder of two prominent opposition politicians in Argentina, where they were living in exile.

      Zagir Arukhov, minister of information, ethnic policy, and external relations for the Russian republic of Dagestan, is killed by a bomb outside his home in Makhachkala; his predecessor was killed in 2003.

      A U.S. federal judge orders the oil and gas company Exxon Mobil Corp. to pay some 10,000 gas-station owners damages for having overcharged them for gasoline for a period of more than 10 years.

      Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts emerges from bankruptcy, which it had entered in November 2004, and changes its name to Trump Entertainment Resorts.

      South Korean researchers report in the periodical Science that they have developed an efficient method of cloning human embryos by using the DNA of individual patients in order to procure tailor-made stem cells for therapeutic purposes and that they have already developed 11 stem cell lines by using this method.

May 21
      Members of Hamas reach an agreement with the Palestinian Authority to cease rocket and mortar attacks on Jewish settlements and towns in and near the Gaza Strip, salvaging the three-month-old truce.

      Afleet Alex recovers from a stumble to win the Preakness Stakes, the second event in Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, by 43/4 lengths; Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo is third.

      At the Cannes Film Festival, Belgian directors Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne celebrate as their film L'Enfant wins the Palme d'Or; the Grand Prix goes to American director Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers.

 In Kiev, Ukraine, singer Helena Paparizou of Greece emerges number one in the Eurovision Song Contest with “My Number One.”

May 22
      German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder surprises observers by calling for national elections to be held in the fall of 2005, a year earlier than scheduled.

      Nambaryn Enkhbayar is elected president of Mongolia.

      Yokozuna Asashoryu defeats ozeki Tochiazuma on the final day to win sumo's Natsu Basho with an undefeated record; it is his 12th Emperor's Cup.

      Finnish driver Kimi Räikkönen wins the Monaco Grand Prix.

May 23
      Two suicide car bombers kill 15 people in Tal Afar, Iraq; two attacks in Baghdad kill at least 18 people; and 5 more are killed in Tuz Khurmatu.

      The government of Zimbabwe reports that authorities have detained 9,600 people in Harare for black-market peddling and lawlessness.

May 24
      UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appoints António Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal, to replace Ruud Lubbers as high commissioner for refugees.

      NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer announces that NATO will offer logistic support to the increasing numbers of African Union forces attempting to bring peace to the Darfur region of The Sudan.

      At a synod of the leaders of the Orthodox Church in Istanbul, it is decided that the organization will withdraw recognition from Patriarch Irineos as head of the Greek Orthodox Church in the Holy Land in view of his loss of the support of his subordinates. (See May 6.)

      Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway buys the electric utility PacifiCorp.

      Star Wars: Episode III–Revenge of the Sith, which opened worldwide on May 21, breaks box-office records in the U.K. and the U.S. for the first four days of its run.

      Televisora del Sur (Telesur) begins broadcasting; the 24-hour satellite news channel is owned by Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba, and Uruguay.

May 25
      In talks with the U.K., France, and Germany, Iran agrees to extend its freeze on uranium enrichment.

      A referendum in Egypt approves an amendment to the constitution to allow multiparty presidential elections.

      The 1,762-km (1,094-mi)-long Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, transporting oil from Azerbaijan in the Caspian basin to the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey, is ceremonially opened; the first drops of what is expected to reach a million barrels a day of oil begin to flow.

      Donald Tsang, acting chief executive of Hong Kong, resigns—as is required by law—in order to become a candidate in the July 10 election.

      In association football (soccer), Liverpool defeats AC Milan on penalty kicks to win the UEFA Champions League championship in Istanbul.

May 26
      Germany's legislature ratifies the proposed European Union constitution.

      Pascal Lamy of France, the former European Union trade minister, is selected as new director-general of the World Trade Organization.

May 27
      Near Islamabad, Pak., a suicide bomber at a Muslim shrine kills 20 people and injures 67; on May 30, in an attack on a Shiʿite mosque in Karachi, two people are killed and at least 24 are injured.

May 28
      Prime Minister Hama Amadou of Niger makes an emergency food-aid request; farming in the poverty-stricken country has been decimated by drought and the 2004 locust plague.

      In Christchurch, N.Z., the Canterbury (N.Z.) Crusaders defeat the New South Wales (Australia) Waratahs 35–25 to win the annual tri-nation Super 12 Rugby Union championship for the fifth time in 10 years.

May 29
      In a national referendum on the ratification of the European constitution, France votes no; the document cannot take effect until all 25 members of the European Union have ratified it.

      The 89th Indianapolis 500 auto race is won by Dan Wheldon, the first British driver to do so since 1966; popular favourite Danica Patrick places fourth, the highest place a woman driver has ever achieved in the race.

      Spaniard Fernando Alonso, driving for Renault, wins the European Grand Prix in Germany after Kimi Räikkönen of Finland, driving for McLaren-Mercedes, crashes in the last lap.

May 30
      In negotiations with Georgia, Russia agrees to withdraw by 2008 its troops and equipment from two military bases in Georgia, one near Turkey and one on the Black Sea.

May 31
      In response to France's rejection of the European constitution, Pres. Jacques Chirac replaces Jean-Pierre Raffarin with Dominique de Villepin as prime minister.

      Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the founder of the oil company Yukos and once one of the richest men in Russia, is found guilty on tax charges and sentenced to nine years in prison.

      Vanity Fair magazine reports that W. Mark Felt, who was second in command at the FBI in the early 1970s, has said publicly that he was the anonymous source known as “Deep Throat” who assisted Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward in unraveling the Watergate story that led to the resignation of then president Richard Nixon.

      The U.S. Supreme Court overturns the 2002 conviction of the once huge but now all but defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen for obstruction of justice, ruling that the jury instructions were flawed.

"We are not legislating, ladies and gentlemen,
for remote unknown people. We are expanding opportunities
for the happiness of our neighbours,
our work colleagues, our friends, our relatives."
— Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero,
addressing the Congress of Deputies ahead of the vote legalizing same-sex marriage, June 30

June 1
      In a national referendum in The Netherlands, voters reject ratification of the proposed European constitution.

      Paul Wolfowitz takes office as the president of the World Bank, declaring that reducing poverty in Africa will be his top priority.

June 2
      Israel releases 398 Palestinian prisoners as part of an agreement that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

      In Vladivostok, Russia, the foreign ministers of Russia and China sign an agreement demarcating the last stretch of the border between the two countries.

      Three car bombs, a suicide motorcycle bomb, and a suicide attack leave at least 44 people, including 10 Sufi Muslims, dead in Iraq.

      In the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Anurag Kashyap of San Diego, Calif., spells appoggiatura correctly to win the contest.

June 3
      It is reported that torrential rains in three provinces in southern China have caused flooding that may have left hundreds of people dead.

      Murder charges are brought against a man accused of killing Robert McCartney outside a bar in Belfast, N.Ire.; the attack, which horrified citizens, is believed to have been an act of the Provisional Irish Republican Army against Sinn Féin, the political wing of the IRA.

June 4
      Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announces that the legislative elections scheduled for July 17 will be postponed; the new date will be announced later.

      Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium defeats Mary Pierce of France to win the women's French Open tennis title; the following day rising star Rafael Nadal of Spain defeats Mariano Puerta of Argentina in the finals to win the men's title.

      The Derby, in its 226th year at Epsom Downs in Surrey, Eng., is won by Motivator, ridden by Johnny Murtagh.

June 5
      A spokesman for the Afghan armed forces reports that the army has captured two Taliban commanders who are believed to be responsible for much of the violence in western Afghanistan.

      The second round of legislative elections in Lebanon produces victories for Hezbollah and Amal, parties associated with Syria.

      It is reported that Taiwan has for the first time successfully test-fired a cruise missile capable of reaching targets in China.

      The 59th annual Tony Awards are presented in New York City; winners include the productions Doubt, Monty Python's Spamalot, Glengarry Glen Ross, and La Cage aux folles and the actors Bill Irwin, Cherry Jones, Norbert Leo Butz, and Victoria Clark.

June 6
      In the face of growing and unremitting protests, Carlos Mesa Gisbert resigns as president of Bolivia.

      Student protesters in Addis Ababa, Eth., challenging the results of the May 15 legislative elections are met with violence by police, who arrest hundreds of them.

      The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the constitutional right of Congress to regulate commerce among states gives the federal government the right to enforce laws prohibiting the possession and use of marijuana even in those states that permit the use of the drug for medical purposes.

      A land mine destroys a bus in Nepal; at least 37 of the passengers are killed.

June 7
      Google becomes the largest media company in the world by stock market value when its shares reach a level on stock exchanges in New York City that make the Internet search engine company worth $80 billion.

      Gary McKinnon, who is believed to have hacked into many of the most secure computers of the Pentagon and NASA in 2001 and 2002, causing $1 billion in damage, in an attempt to prove that the U.S. government was covering up knowledge of UFO visits, is arrested at his home in London.

      In Hawijah, Iraq, three simultaneous suicide bombs at checkpoints kill at least 20 Iraqis; elsewhere in the country at least 7 people are killed or found dead.

      The Orange Prize for Fiction, an award for women authors, is presented to American writer Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk About Kevin.

June 8
      Security forces in Addis Ababa, Eth., open fire on the continuing election protests, killing at least 22 people.

June 9
      The National Congress of Bolivia accepts the resignation of Carlos Mesa Gisbert as president, naming Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé, head of the Supreme Court, to replace him.

      An appeals court in Mexico overturns the 1999 conviction of Raúl Salinas, brother of former Mexican president Carlos Salinas, for having ordered the 1994 murder of a politician.

      Clementina Cantoni, an Italian worker for CARE International who was kidnapped in Kabul, Afg., on May 16, is released unharmed.

June 10
      In Iraq a roadside bomb kills 5 U.S. Marines, a car bomb kills at least 10 Iraqis, 4 Iraqi security officers are gunned down in ambushes, and some 20 bound and blindfolded bodies are found.

      The banking company Citigroup settles a lawsuit by investors in Enron Corp. who accused the bank of having helped Enron defraud them; Citigroup agrees to a $2 billion payment.

      Pius Langa takes office as South Africa's first black chief justice.

June 11
      François Bozizé is sworn in as elected president of the Central African Republic.

      Finance ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized countries agree to cancel at least $40 billion of the debt owed by the poorest 18 countries in the world to international lending agencies such as the IMF and the African Development Bank.

      In a boxing match with Kevin McBride in Washington, D.C., former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson fails to return to the ring after the sixth round and declares that he has retired from fighting.

      Louise Stahle of Sweden becomes the first person in 30 years to win the ladies' British amateur championship in golf for two successive years when she defeats Claire Coughlan of Ireland to win the 2005 championship at Littlestone, Eng.

      Daniel Sánchez of Spain wins the 58th UMB world championship in three-cushion billiards in Lugo, Spain.

      Preakness winner Afleet Alex comes from behind to win the Belmont Stakes, the last event in Thoroughbred horse racing's Triple Crown, by seven lengths.

      At the International Indian Film Academy Awards, popularly known as the Bollywood Awards, in Amsterdam, the film Veer-Zaara wins six awards, including best picture, best director, best actor, and best supporting actress.

June 12
      The third round of legislative elections in Lebanon brings victory to candidates aligned with Maronite Christian leader and former prime minister Gen. Michel Aoun.

      Massouma al-Mubarak is named Kuwait's minister of planning and minister of state for administrative development affairs; she is the first woman ever to hold a position in that country's cabinet.

      Hundreds of women demonstrate in favour of women's rights in Tehran in the first such demonstration since Iran's Islamic revolution of 1979.

      Annika Sörenstam of Sweden wins the Ladies Professional Golf Association championship for the third consecutive year, defeating teenage amateur Michelle Wie of the U.S. by three strokes.

June 13
      A car bomb explodes near a security base and a high school in the town of Pulwama in Indian-administered Kashmir, killing at least 14 people and injuring 50.

      The U.S. Senate formally apologizes for failing ever to enact a law making lynching a federal crime, though three bills passed by the House of Representatives were sent to it, and seven presidents asked for the legislation; some 5,000 lynchings have been recorded in U.S. history.

      After a 14-week trial in Santa Maria, Calif., that became something of a media circus, pop star Michael Jackson is acquitted of child molestation charges.

      Philip J. Purcell announces his retirement as head of the troubled financial concern Morgan Stanley.

      The European Union makes the Irish language Gaelic its 21st official language.

      Jan Eliasson of Sweden is elected president of the UN General Assembly; he will replace Jean Ping of Gabon.

June 14
      A suicide bomber detonates his weapon among a crowd of retired people lined up to get their pensions from a bank in Kirkuk, Iraq; at least 22 people are killed.

      South African Pres. Thabo Mbeki dismisses Deputy Pres. Jacob Zuma, who has been implicated in a bribery scandal.

      Argentina's Supreme Court rules that the laws passed in 1986 and 1987 forbidding prosecutions of anyone in connection with the 1976–83 “Dirty War” against those who opposed the military junta then ruling the country are unconstitutional.

June 15
      The first autonomous government of the Papua New Guinean province of Bougainville, headed by newly elected Pres. Joseph Kabui, is sworn in.

      The annual International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award goes to The Known World, by American author Edward P. Jones.

June 16
      Donald Tsang is officially declared the new leader of Hong Kong; China appoints him chief executive on June 21.

      At a meeting of the leaders of the members of the European Union in Brussels, it is decided that a “period of reflection” and the abandonment of the goal of ratification of the constitution by November 2006 are called for by the rejection of the constitution by France and The Netherlands.

      The first case of avian flu in a human in Indonesia is confirmed by health officials.

 The blockbuster exhibit from Egypt “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” opens at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

      Leigh Ann Hester of the Kentucky National Guard becomes the first woman since World War II to be awarded the Silver Star; she and seven other members of her unit are decorated for their roles in stopping an insurgent attack on a convoy in March near Salman Pak, Iraq.

June 17
      MasterCard International reveals that a computer security breach at a payment-processing company may have exposed the information of more than 40 million credit card accounts to theft.

      L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former CEO of Tyco International, and Mark H. Swartz, the company's former chief financial officer, are found guilty of fraud, conspiracy, and grand larceny.

      Australian Prime Minister John Howard announces a loosening of restrictions on illegal immigrants, including no more than six weeks in detention for women and children and no more than six months before claims for asylum are adjudicated.

June 18
      A firefight takes place between U.S. armed forces and insurgents in Karabila, Iraq; U.S. Marine commanders report that at least 30 insurgents have been killed.

      Hundreds of thousands of people march in downtown Madrid to protest a bill passed by the legislature that would legalize same-sex marriage.

June 19
      A suicide bomber attacks a restaurant in Baghdad that is popular with police officers; at least 23 persons are killed, 16 of them policemen.

      A U.S. military spokesman reports that after an American patrol was attacked in Helmand province of Afghanistan, an air strike was called in and as many as 20 possibly Taliban insurgents were killed.

      Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai arrives in the U.S. for a weeklong visit; it is the first visit to the U.S. by a leader of unified Vietnam.

      Denmark's Tom Kristensen, driving with J.J. Lehto and Marco Werner for Audi, wins the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race for a record seventh time.

      After tire manufacturer Michelin says it cannot guarantee the safety of its tires under race conditions, which leads all 14 drivers using Michelin tires at the U.S. Grand Prix in Indianapolis, Ind., to withdraw, Michael Schumacher wins the event over the remaining 5 drivers.

      In a surprising turn of events, Michael Campbell of New Zealand wins the U.S. Open golf tournament, besting American Tiger Woods by two strokes.

June 20
      A car bomb explodes in a field behind a police station in Irbil, Iraq, killing some 15 police recruits, most of them Kurdish; other attacks in the country kill approximately 15 more people.

      The Zentrum Paul Klee, designed by Italian Renzo Piano to house the works of the Swiss artist, opens in Bern, Switz.; it includes a music hall and will host workshops and a summer academy.

      The speed record of Mach 9.6 achieved by NASA's X-43A scramjet in November 2004 is recognized by Guinness World Records.

June 21
      In Beirut a car bomb kills George Hawi, the former head of the Lebanese Communist Party who had campaigned for the anti-Syria slate that won the majority of the seats in the parliament.

      At a contentious meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Ulsan, S.Kor., a proposal by Japan to loosen the moratorium on whale fishing is firmly voted down.

      In Philadelphia, Miss., 80-year-old Edgar Ray Killen, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, is found guilty of manslaughter in the 1964 deaths of civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, James Earl Chaney, and Andrew Goodman; two days later he is sentenced to 60 years in prison, the maximum allowed.

June 22
      After a two-day offensive by U.S. and Afghan military forces in response to an attack on district police in Kandahar province, at least 40 of the insurgents have been killed.

      Colombia's legislature passes a law that grants leaders of right-wing paramilitaries freedom from severe punishment for atrocities or drug trafficking in return for disarmament of up to 20,000 fighters.

      South African Pres. Thabo Mbeki chooses Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, minister of minerals and energy, to replace Jacob Zuma as deputy president.

June 23
      Four car bombs explode in the space of a few minutes in a commercial district of Baghdad, leaving at least 17 people dead and bringing to 700 Baghdad's death toll in the violence of the past month.

      The World Customs Organization endorses a new set of standards intended to increase the inspection and tracking of freight cargo throughout the world to decrease the possibility of terrorists' making use of the cargo-shipping system.

      The U.S. Supreme Court rules that governments may exercise the power of eminent domain over private property and cede the property to private developers to promote economic growth, so long as a carefully formulated plan to provide significant benefits to the community provides a rational basis for the seizure of the property.

      U.S. prices for light sweet crude oil reach a record level of $60 a barrel.

      The San Antonio Spurs defeat the Detroit Pistons 81–74 to win the National Basketball Association championship; Tim Duncan of the Spurs is named Most Valuable Player of the finals.

June 24
      The presidential runoff election in Iran is won by the hard-line mayor of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

      The insurance company Aetna announces plans to acquire the regional health care provider HMS Healthcare.

      The Times Literary Supplement of London publishes a 12-line poem written by the 6th-century-BC poet Sappho that was discovered a year earlier by German researchers on a papyrus once wrapped around a mummy.

June 25
      In parliamentary elections in Bulgaria, the coalition led by the Bulgarian Socialist Party wins the majority of seats.

      The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People appoints Bruce S. Gordon, a former business executive, to replace Kweisi Mfume as president of the organization; Gordon indicates his emphasis will be on economic equality.

      At the 43rd world outdoor target archery championships in Madrid, Chung Jae Hun of South Korea wins the men's gold medal in recurve, while Lee Sung Jin of South Korea wins the women's recurve competition.

June 26
      Four suicide bomb attacks in 16 hours leave 38 people dead in Iraq.

      Birdie Kim of South Korea wins the 60th U.S. Women's Open golf tournament.

      Three-year-old Hurricane Run, at 4–5 the favourite, comes from behind to win the Irish Derby horse race.

June 27
      The Lebanese government decides that Palestinians born in Lebanon may henceforth be permitted to hold certain jobs in the country; this is the first time in over 50 years that Palestinian immigrants or their families have been allowed to work.

      In two split decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that long-standing outdoor displays of the Ten Commandments on government property are permissible under the Constitution, but newer indoor displays of the Ten Commandments in courthouses violate the prohibition against government establishment of religion.

      Ismail Kadare, an Albanian novelist, is awarded the first Man Booker International Prize in Edinburgh.

June 28
      Canada's House of Commons approves a bill permitting same-sex marriage throughout Canada, and easy approval by the Senate is expected; eight provinces and one territory already recognize same-sex marriage.

      Emperor Akihito of Japan visits Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, the scene of one of the most horrific battles of World War II, to honour the war dead of Japan, Korea, the islands, and the U.S.; it is the first time a Japanese ruler has visited an overseas battle site.

      The European Union, the U.S., Russia, Japan, South Korea, and China reach an agreement to build the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, the world's largest fusion reactor, in Cadarache, France.

      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush makes a televised speech to the country intended to shore up support for the war in Iraq; it draws fewer viewers than any of his previous televised speeches.

 With maritime parades, a naval battle reenactment, and fireworks, the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, in which the British navy vanquished that of Napoleon, is celebrated in the Solent in the English Channel.

      Uganda's legislature approves a change to the constitution removing a limit on the number of terms a president may serve.

June 29
      Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chávez announces the formation of an energy alliance of 15 Caribbean countries to be called Petrocaribe, in which Venezuela will offer the other members oil at low prices.

      Philippines Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announces that her husband, José Miguel Arroyo, who is accused of having taken bribes, will go into exile.

      California's Supreme Court permits a new law granting domestic partners most of the benefits conferred by marriage to stand.

      Brazil defeats Argentina 4–1 to win the FIFA Confederations Cup in association football (soccer).

      The 2005 Prince of Asturias Award for the arts is given to ballerinas Maya Plisetskaya and Tamara Rojo; it is the first time the Spanish prize has been awarded to dancers.

June 30
      Spain becomes the third European country, after The Netherlands and Belgium, to grant full marriage rights to same-sex couples; Spain's new law is the most liberal, recognizing no distinctions between same-sex and opposite-sex unions.

      Police in Zimbabwe finish destroying a squatter settlement that had been home to some 10,000 people, in the process killing several people; since mid-May the government has been carrying out wholesale demolitions of such settlements and flea markets, and within six weeks some half million poor people have become homeless.

      The World Food Programme reports that pirates have seized a ship carrying 850 metric tons of rice in food aid that was intended for tsunami victims in Somalia.

"There is no hope in terrorism
nor any future in it worth living. And it is hope that
is the alternative to this hatred."
— British Prime Minister Tony Blair,
at the close of the G-8 meeting in Scotland, on July 8,
the day after the terrorist bombings in London

July 1
      The presidency of the European Union rotates from Luxembourg's prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, to the prime minister of the U.K., Tony Blair.

      Pres. Vladimir Putin of Russia and Pres. Hu Jintao of China sign a Declaration on the World Order in the 21st Century, seeking multilateral approaches to international disputes.

      A bomb kills at least 10 Russian soldiers at a public bathhouse in the Republic of Dagestan in the worst attack against Russia's military in 2005 to date; an Islamic group connected to separatists in Chechnya claims responsibility.

      U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman appointed to the court (1981), unexpectedly announces her retirement.

July 2
      Suicide bombers at a security forces recruiting centre in Baghdad and at a restaurant next to a police headquarters in Al-Hillah kill at least 20 people in Iraq.

      Ihab al-Sharif, the head of Egypt's diplomatic mission to Iraq and its ambassador designate, is kidnapped in Baghdad; on July 7 al-Qaeda reveals that it has killed him.

      In the province of Bingol in eastern Turkey, bombs explode under two trains, derailing both of them and killing at least six soldiers; another bomb explodes in the street in the city of Kulp.

 A series of concerts by 100 top rock and hip-hop artists in 10 cities throughout the world are attended by some one million people; billed as Live 8, the event is intended to pressure the world leaders at the Group of Eight meeting in Scotland to pursue a policy intended to end world poverty and is believed to be the largest global broadcast in history.

      American Venus Williams defeats her countrywoman Lindsey Davenport to take the All-England (Wimbledon) women's tennis championship for the third time; the following day Roger Federer of Switzerland wins the men's title for the third consecutive year when he defeats American Andy Roddick.

July 3
      Parliamentary elections take place in Albania, coming closer to meeting international electoral standards than any previously.

      The Twelve Apostles, a landmark rock formation on the coast of Victoria in Australia, is reduced when one of the limestone pillars unexpectedly collapses into the sea, startling sightseers.

      Fernando Alonso of Spain wins the French Grand Prix in Formula 1 automobile racing.

July 4
      An instrumented “impactor” released from the NASA probe Deep Impact collides with the icy nucleus of Comet Tempel I; the resulting crater and excavated debris will provide detailed information on the interior and composition of the comet.

      The Nigerian writer S.A. Afolabi is awarded the 2005 Caine Prize for African Writing for his story “Monday Morning.”

July 5
      Fifteen Sunni Iraqis are accepted to the committee that is writing the new Iraqi constitution; also, Pakistan withdraws its ambassador to the country after he escapes injury in an ambush; the same day, Bahrain's top diplomat in Iraq is wounded in an ambush.

      Hours after a bomb in front of a theatre is defused, another bomb explodes at a police station, killing at least two officers, in Makhachkala, the capital of the Russian republic of Dagestan.

      A group of gunmen attack the Hindu temple compound in Ayodhya, India, setting off a two-hour gun battle with guards in which six attackers are killed.

July 6
      At its meeting in Singapore, the International Olympic Committee chooses London as the site of the Olympic Games to be held in summer 2012.

      The second largest health insurer in the U.S., UnitedHealth Group, agrees to purchase PacifiCare Systems, greatly enlarging its presence in the increasingly lucrative Medicare market.

      Francis Joyon smashes the world record for solo yachting of the North Atlantic when he arrives in Cornwall, Eng., 6 days 4 hr 1 min 37 sec after he left New York City; the previous record, 7 days 2 hr 34 min 42 sec, was set by Laurent Bourgnon in 1994.

July 7
      Late in the morning rush hour in London, bombs go off almost simultaneously on three subway trains and close to an hour later on a double-decker bus in a coordinated terror attack, leaving 56 dead, including the men carrying the bombs; an al-Qaeda-affiliated group claims responsibility.

      Taliban insurgents capture and behead 10 Afghan border police officers in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

      For the second time in two days, a painting by Canaletto is sold at auction for a record amount of money for a work by the 18th-century Italian artist; this painting, View of the Grand Canal from Palazzo Balbi, is sold by Sotheby's for £18.6 million (about $32.7 million).

July 8
      The Group of Eight meeting in Auchterarder, Scot., concludes after having reached a number of agreements on measures to reduce poverty in Africa as well as having addressed global warming and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      Ten members of the cabinet in the Philippines resign their posts, calling on Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to step down in the face of accusations that the 2004 election was rigged.

      The International Olympic Committee chooses to reduce the number of sports for the first time since 1936, eliminating baseball, which became an Olympic sport in 1992, and softball, which became an Olympic sport in 1996; the changes will be in effect for the first time in the 2012 Games.

      The comedy Alles auf Zucker! wins six prizes at the German Film Awards, including best picture, best director, and best actor.

July 9
      In Khartoum, The Sudan's new interim constitution is signed and its transitional national government, with Omar Hassan al-Bashir as president, John Garang of the Sudan People's Liberation Army as first vice president, and Ali Osman Taha as second vice president, is sworn in.

      For the first time in a year, North Korea promises to return to disarmament talks, which are scheduled to take place in China during the week of July 25.

July 10
      A suicide bomber kills 23 people at an army recruiting centre in Baghdad, while at least 20 other people are killed in attacks elsewhere in the city and in the rest of Iraq.

      Presidential elections held in Kyrgyzstan result in the election of Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who served as interim president after the uprising in March.

      In Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the 2005 world pool championship is won by Chia-ching Wu, at 16 by far the youngest ever to win the title.

      At the World Cup rowing championships in Lucerne, Switz., Great Britain wins seven medals, including the overall World Cup.

      Juan Pablo Montoya of Colombia wins the British Grand Prix in Formula 1 automobile racing.

July 11
      Somalian peace activist Abdulkadir Yahya Ali is killed by gunmen in Mogadishu, the capital.

      After the second day of a gun battle in Tal Afar, Iraq, U.S. forces have killed 14 insurgents, while in Khalis an attack on an Iraqi checkpoint leaves 10 Iraqi soldiers dead.

      At its general synod in York, Eng., the Church of England's House of Bishops votes to begin the process of removing legal obstacles to allowing women to become bishops in the church; women have been ordained as Anglican priests since 1994.

July 12
      With much fanfare, Prince Albert II is formally installed as the ruler of Monaco.

      Uganda's Parliament amends the country's constitution to abolish term limits for the president, making it possible for Pres. Yoweri Museveni to run for a third consecutive term.

      In the village of Dida Galgalu in northern Kenya, cattle rustlers kill 45 people, and in response members of the Gabra clan attack members of the Borana clan, which they believe is responsible for the raid, killing 10 people; police kill 10 people they identify as bandits.

      Some 150 Huaorani Indians demonstrate in Quito, Ecuador, to demand the withdrawal of the Brazilian oil company Petrobrás from Yasuní National Park, home to about 1,000 Huaorani.

July 13
      A suicide car bomber detonates his weapon in Baghdad in the midst of a crowd of children around members of a U.S. troop patrol who possibly were giving them candy; some 27 people, almost all of them children, are killed.

      Bernard Ebbers, the founder and former head of the telecommunications giant WorldCom (now MCI), is sentenced to 25 years in prison for having perpetrated an $11 billion fraud.

      Tens of thousands of people demonstrate in Manila to demand the resignation of Philippine Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo; an even larger demonstration by her supporters takes place on July 16.

      The legislature in Chile agrees on changes to the constitution that will reduce the term of office for the president from six years to four years and limit the power of the military.

July 14
      Nature magazine reports the finding of a planet about the size of Jupiter that orbits around a star that two smaller stars also orbit; it is the first time a planet has been detected in such a gravitationally complex system, a situation previously thought to be impossible.

      A U.S. court of appeals lifts an injunction that barred the U.S. from resuming the import of cattle from Canada; the importation had been banned because of fears of mad cow disease.

      In a crackdown on foreign oil companies, Venezuela's tax authority orders the Royal Dutch/Shell Group to pay some $131 million in back taxes and seizes financial information from the Chevron Corp.

July 15
      A U.S. appeals court rules that the war crimes trials planned for detainees at the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, do not violate the Constitution and may resume; the trials had been stopped by a ruling by a lower court in 2004.

      At least eight suicide car bombs kill 22 or more people in a 12-hour period in Baghdad.

      Pakistani military spokesmen say that U.S. troops killed 24 men believed to be Taliban fighters who were escaping into Pakistan from Afghanistan; it is unclear if U.S. forces had entered Pakistan, which the U.S. has pledged not to do.

      Meeting in South Africa, UNESCO names eight new natural sites to its World Heritage list, including the Vredefort Dome in South Africa and the Wadi al-Hitan, or Whale Valley, in Egypt.

July 16
      At one minute past midnight, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth book in the phenomenally successful young-adult book series by J.K. Rowling, goes on sale in bookstores throughout the U.S. and Great Britain; it breaks the record for first-day sales set in 2003 by the previous volume in the series.

      In Al-Musayyib, Iraq, a suicide bomber under a fuel truck kills at least 71 people outside a Shiʿite mosque.

      At the popular Turkish resort town of Kusadasi, a bomb explodes on a minibus, killing at least five people.

      The longest cable-stayed suspension bridge in North America, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in South Carolina over the Cooper River between Charleston and Mt. Pleasant, opens after a week of festivities.

      Jermain Taylor wins in a split decision over Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas to become the undisputed world middleweight boxing champion.

      After 232 hands played over a period of nearly 14 straight hours in Las Vegas, Joseph Hachem of Australia emerges as the winner in the World Series of Poker.

July 17
      In Helsinki representatives of the government of Indonesia and of the rebel Free Aceh Movement reach an agreement to end the 30-year conflict in Aceh province; the agreement calls for an amnesty for the rebels, the presence of international observers, and the formation of local political parties.

      After several days of demonstrations seeking the permanent closure of a pharmaceuticals factory in Xinchang, China, by residents angry about the environmental harm it causes, some 15,000 demonstrators engage in a battle with police.

      A wildfire accidentally started by picnickers in the pine forest at Spain's Cueva de los Casares, a site known for its paleolithic paintings, kills 11 volunteer firefighters during the worst drought the Iberian peninsula has experienced since the 1940s.

      Tiger Woods wins the British Open golf tournament at St. Andrews in Fife, Scot., with a five-stroke victory over Colin Montgomerie of Scotland.

July 18
      The newly elected parliament in Lebanon grants amnesty to Christian militia leader Samir Geagea, who had been serving four life sentences for having killed political rivals.

      After leaving five people dead in Jamaica, Hurricane Emily comes ashore on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, causing a great deal of damage but few deaths; meanwhile, Typhoon Haitang makes landfall on Taiwan, and China evacuates more than 600,000 people on the south coast.

      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush reaches an agreement with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh whereby India will be permitted to import technology for its civilian nuclear program in return for allowing international inspections and refraining from nuclear weapons testing.

July 19
      The relatively unknown John G. Roberts is nominated by Pres. George W. Bush to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court.

      Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora introduces a new government, the first in the country since the departure of Syrian forces.

      In the town of Znamenskoye in the Russian republic of Chechnya, a bomb kills some 13 people, most of them police officers.

July 20
      Riots take place in Sanaa, Yemen, in response to government plans to cut fuel subsidies, provoking a sharp increase in fuel prices; police kill 13 people in an attempt to control the situation, a figure that rises to 36 in the next two days.

      For the second consecutive day, demonstrators in Nairobi seeking changes to the Kenyan constitution to dilute the power of the presidency fight with riot police.

      Some 5,000 people, many of them from the Muslim Brotherhood, demonstrate in downtown Cairo to demand greater democracy in Egypt.

      Canada becomes the fourth country in the world to allow same-sex couples the same marriage rights enjoyed by opposite-sex couples.

July 21
      During the lunch hour in London, bombs in three subway trains and one double-decker bus fail to go off as only their detonators explode, creating panic but no casualties.

      After months of pressure, China revalues its currency, the yuan, allowing it to float against a basket of currencies rather than be pegged to the dollar, the strategy it had used since 1996.

      German Pres. Horst Köhler dissolves the parliament and sets elections for September 18, a year earlier than they would have been held otherwise.

July 22
      Jumpy police officers in London trail, capture, and shoot to death an innocent Brazilian electrician in full public view on a subway train.

      The United Nations issues a report condemning Zimbabwe's program, begun without warning on May 19, of bulldozing urban shantytowns, a policy that has left some 700,000 people without homes or livelihood; the report demands an immediate halt to the program and compensation for its victims, as well as prosecution of those responsible.

      The Microsoft Corp. announces that it plans to release a new operating system, to be called Windows Vista, in late 2006; it will represent the first major upgrade to Windows since the release of Windows XP in 2001.

      In London, Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia sets her 17th world pole vaulting record when she becomes the first woman ever to clear 5 m (16 ft 43/4 in).

      The National Hockey League officially reopens after the ratification of the agreement between the owners and the Players' Association; a number of new rules for the play of the game will be in place for the start of the new season.

July 23
      Three bomb explosions in Egypt's premier resort town, Sharm al-Shaykh, on the Red Sea in the Sinai Peninsula, destroy one hotel and kill 88 people.

July 24
      A truck bomber drives into barricades at a police station in Baghdad, leaving at least 25 people dead and 33 injured.

      Lance Armstrong wins his seventh consecutive Tour de France bicycle race.

      In the centennial sailing of the Transpacific Yacht Race, Hasso Plattner of Germany sets a new record sailing from Los Angeles to Honolulu in 6 days 16 hr 4 min 11 sec; the previous record, set by Roy Disney in 1999, was 7 days 11 hr 41 min 11 sec.

July 25
      As the AFL-CIO convention celebrating the 50th anniversary of the combined organization gets under way in Chicago, the Service Employees International Union and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters announce their withdrawal from the federation.

      Pres. Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi bans the export of corn (maize), the country's staple crop, and fertilizer in an effort to stave off famine and asks citizens to contribute 10% of their income to a fund to feed the hungry.

July 26
      The Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) is inundated by a record 94.2 cm (37.1 in) of rain in a single day; the rain continues into the following day, leaving at least 749 people, 376 of them in Mumbai, dead.

      The space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a mission to take supplies to the International Space Station; it is the first space shuttle launch since the loss of Columbia on Feb. 1, 2003.

      Christopher T. Carley announces plans to build in Chicago a skyscraper designed by Santiago Calatrava that, at some 610 m (2,000 ft) high, will be the tallest in the U.S.

      Prince Walid ibn Talal of Saudi Arabia pledges to donate $20 million to the Louvre in Paris to finance a new wing to showcase Islamic art; it is the biggest donation in the museum's history.

July 27
      In Angers, France, 62 people, including many women, are convicted in a mass pedophilia case; sentences are of as much as 28 years.

      After finding that a piece of insulation foam broke off the external fuel tank of the space shuttle Discovery shortly after takeoff—the same problem that doomed Columbia—NASA once again grounds the shuttle fleet until further notice.

      Luis Alberto Moreno of Colombia is elected president of the Inter-American Development Bank; Moreno was the candidate favoured by the U.S.

      In a U.S. federal court in Seattle, Ahmed Ressam is sentenced to 22 years in prison for having plotted to set off a bomb in the Los Angeles International Airport during the celebrations for the start of the new millennium.

July 28
      The Irish Republican Army formally renounces the use of violence in Northern Ireland, telling its members to disarm and inviting inspection to verify its disarmament; this is viewed as a turning point.

      The Smithsonian Institution names John Berry, the executive director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the new director of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

July 29
      The first plane loaded with relief supplies from the UN World Food Programme lands in Niamey, Niger; the country is threatened with mass starvation.

      Pakistani Pres. Pervez Musharraf orders that all foreign students and all Pakistani students holding dual nationalities studying at madrasahs, or religious schools, in the country leave the schools; previously it had been ordered that foreign students no longer attending a madrasah had to leave the country.

      Uzbekistan demands that the U.S. close its air base in the country within 180 days.

      A suicide bomber kills as many as 26 people at an army recruitment centre in the northern Iraqi village of Rabiʿah.

July 30
      In Baghdad a car bomb near the National Theatre kills at least six people; in addition, two security contractors at the British consulate in the Iraqi city of Basra are killed by a roadside bomb.

July 31
      The founder and leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement and recently named first vice president of The Sudan, John Garang, is killed when the helicopter carrying him crashes into a mountain in bad weather.

      Iran announces plans to restart its uranium conversion facility in Isfahan.

      As popular enthusiasm for the low-carbohydrate Atkins diet fades, Atkins Nutritionals Inc., which makes and markets low-carbohydrate food products, files for bankruptcy protection.

 The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., inducts third baseman Wade Boggs and second baseman Ryne Sandberg; announcer Jerry Coleman and sportswriter Peter Gammons are honoured for their contributions to baseball.

      The FINA world championships in swimming conclude in Montreal, with the U.S. the top medal winner, followed by Australia; nine new world records were set during the course of the competition.

"We are leaving against our will, but we are not going out with heads bowed. The saplings that are being uprooted here we will plant throughout the country until we make our return to Netzarim."
— Rabbi Tzion Tzion-Tawil of the Israeli Netzarim settlement, on the final evacuation of the Gaza Strip settlements, August 22

August 1
      King Fahd of Saudi Arabia dies after 23 years on the throne; he is succeeded by his half brother Crown Prince Abdullah.

      While Congress is in recess, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush appoints John Bolton ambassador to the United Nations; there had been opposition in Congress to Bolton's nomination.

      The U.K.'s Northern Ireland secretary announces that the British army has begun withdrawing its forces from Northern Ireland and intends to recall about half its forces over the next two years.

      Christof Wandratsch of Germany sets a new record for swimming across the English Channel when he covers 32 km (21 mi) in 7 hr 3 min, 14 minutes faster than the previous record, set in 1994.

      Hungarian chess grandmaster Susan Polgar sets a record for most simultaneous games played—326, with 309 wins (another record).

August 2
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush signs the Central America–Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR); of the seven countries involved in the agreement, the U.S. is the fourth to ratify it.

      The Chinese oil company CNOOC withdraws its controversial takeover bid for the American oil company Unocal, leaving the way clear for Chevron to complete its acquisition of Unocal.

      At Pearson International Airport in Toronto, an Air France jet arriving from Paris overshoots a runway in severe weather, skidding off and bursting into flames; all 309 persons aboard manage to escape safely.

August 3
      Abdullah is formally invested as king of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh.

      A military junta overthrows Pres. Maaouya Ould SidʾAhmed Taya of Mauritania while he is out of the country for the funeral of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

 Scientists announce in South Korea that they have cloned a dog, an Afghan hound dubbed Snuppy; later in the year, however, the cloning research is called into question.—>

      The German apparel company Adidas-Salomon AG reaches an agreement to buy rival Reebok International Ltd.

August 4
      Israel's first desalination plant opens in Ashqelon; it is the largest seawater reverse osmosis plant in the world.

      Prime Minister Paul Martin appoints the Haitian-born television journalist Michaëlle Jean governor-general of Canada; the governor-general is the formal representative of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

      Oil giant ExxonMobil announces that Lee Raymond will retire at the end of the year after 12 years as CEO, to be replaced by the company's president, Rex Tillerson.

      As part of the terms of the settlement of a lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Defense agrees to make available its photographs of the coffins of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq; a policy had been in place that forbade media coverage of photographs or videos of soldiers' coffins.

August 5
      The World Food Programme increases its emergency funding appeal fivefold, saying the risk of mass hunger is high in Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, and Niger.

      The criminal trial of the American gold-mining company Newmont Mining Corp., which is accused of putting toxic waste into the sea at Buyat Bay on the northeastern Indonesian island of Celebes (Sulawesi), begins in Manado, Indon.

August 6
      Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is inaugurated as president of Iran.

      Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq and an antiwar activist, is turned away from U.S. Pres. George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, where she had gone to speak with him, and vows to remain outside the ranch until Bush meets with her; over the next weeks she becomes the nucleus of a growing peace movement.

      Vivid Photo, driven by Roger Hammer, wins the Hambletonian, the first contest in harness racing's trotting Triple Crown.

August 7
      Four days after a Russian submarine on a training expedition became trapped in an abandoned fishing net off Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, a British submersible frees the submarine; with very few hours of breathable air left in the submarine, all seven aboard are saved.

      Former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu unexpectedly resigns his post as minister of finance because of his opposition to the evacuation of Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, scheduled to start on August 15.

      Thirteen days of nuclear program talks between China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, the U.S., and North Korea end with no agreement; talks are scheduled to resume on August 29.

      The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, inducts quarterbacks Benny Friedman, Dan Marino, and Steve Young and pioneering African American halfback Fritz Pollard.

      In Toronto in the Breeders' Stakes, the final race of the Triple Crown in Canadian Thoroughbred horse racing, Jambalaya wins by eight lengths.

August 8
      After losing a vote on removing banking and insurance from the country's postal system and privatizing those services, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi dissolves the lower house of the Diet (legislature) and sets elections for September 11.

      India and Pakistan announce a number of agreements relating to Kashmir, including plans to hold monthly meetings to defuse tensions and a commitment to refrain from building new military posts along the Line of Control.

      The city council chief in Baghdad leads a municipal coup, removing Mayor Alaa al-Tamimi and installing in his place Hussein al-Tahaan, the head of Baghdad governorate and a member of a Shiʿite militia.

August 9
      The results of the parliamentary election held in May in Ethiopia are released; the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front is said to have won 296 of the 547 seats.

      The space shuttle Discovery safely returns to Earth, landing in the Mojave Desert in California.

      The Sierra Club presents the Chico Mendes Award for global environmental heroism to embattled Mexican environmentalists Felipe Arreaga, Celsa Valdovinos, and Albertano Peñaloza for their work defending forests in the Sierra de Petatlán.

August 10
      Iran removes seals placed by the International Atomic Energy Agency on its nuclear plant in Esfahan, returning it to full operation.

      Nature magazine reports that the complete genome code of rice has been sequenced.

      The electoral commission of Guinea-Bissau confirms that João Bernardo Vieira won the presidential election in July; his closest challenger had demanded a recount.

      America Online Inc. is awarded $13 million in its successful lawsuit against purveyors of unwanted commercial e-mail, or spam.

August 11
      Egypt's electoral commission clears 9 candidates to run against Pres. Hosni Mubarak in the country's first multicandidate presidential election, scheduled for September 7; 19 others are disqualified.

      Pakistan successfully test-fires its first cruise missile.

      As smoke from forest fires on the Indonesian island of Sumatra engulfs Malaysia's Kelang valley, the Malaysian government declares a state of emergency in the area.

August 12
      Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar is assassinated in his home; Kadirgamar was an ethnic Tamil who opposed the violence of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

      Brazilian Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva speaks on nationwide television to plead his innocence and horror at the spreading scandal over illegal campaign financing in the election in which he gained office.

      Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico declares a state of emergency in the four counties that border Mexico, citing violence related to illegal immigration and the trade in illegal drugs; three days later Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona follows suit.

August 13
      German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, facing an election in September, declares his opposition to the use of military force to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons; U.S. Pres. George W. Bush had explicitly refused to rule out that option.

      Ten men are charged in a court in Kabul with the kidnapping of three United Nations election workers just before the election in Afghanistan in October 2004.

      The French yacht Iromiguy, owned by Jean-Yves Chateau and crewed by amateurs, wins the 975-km (605-mi) Rolex Fastnet Race, sailing from the Isle of Wight in southern England around Fastnet Rock off the southwest coast of Ireland.

August 14
      Kurmanbek Bakiyev is inaugurated as president of Kyrgyzstan.

      The 46th Edward MacDowell Medal for outstanding contribution to the arts is awarded to composer Steve Reich at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H.

      The U.S. team prevents the British and Irish team from winning a fourth consecutive Walker Cup in men's golf when it wins the contest at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill.

      Cristeta Comerford is chosen to succeed Walter Scheib III as the White House executive chef; she is the first woman to be named to that position.

August 15
      In Helsinki a peace treaty between the government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement is ceremonially signed, formalizing an agreement reached in July.

      On the day that Iraq's new constitution is to be completed, according to the terms of an interim constitution, the committee writing the constitution extends the deadline by seven days.

      Liberia's electoral commission approves 22 candidates to compete in the presidential election scheduled for October 11.

      After seven weeks of negotiations, Bulgaria's three largest political parties agree to form a government under Sergey Stanishev of the Socialist Party.

      Avian influenza H5N1 is reported in the Russian province of Chelyabinsk; it is the sixth province in Russia to report the presence of the disease.

      Phil Mickelson defeats Thomas Bjorn and Steve Elkington by one stroke to win the PGA championship at the Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey.

August 16
      On the day following the date for the evacuation of all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, Israeli soldiers begin going door to door to persuade remaining settlers to leave voluntarily before forced evacuation begins on August 17; officials say that about half the residents left before the deadline.

August 17
      More than 400 bombs explode within a period of half an hour in towns throughout Bangladesh, killing only two people but bringing most activities to an abrupt halt.

      Three suicide bomb attacks in Baghdad kill at least 54 people; two attacks occur near a major bus station and one at a hospital.

      At a site near the village of Dabene, Bulg., archaeologists report having found a trove of some 15,000 finely wrought gold artifacts believed to be about 4,150 years old.

August 18
      China and Russia initiate an eight-day joint military exercise, taking place largely in the area of China's Shandong Peninsula; it is the largest joint exercise the two countries have conducted since the fall of the Soviet Union.

      Pope Benedict XVI opens the 20th World Youth Day in Cologne, Ger., which is attended by hundreds of thousands of young people from around the world.

      The Polisario Front in Western Sahara releases the last of its Moroccan prisoners of war; some of the 404 soldiers had been held as long as 20 years.

August 19
      Burundi's new legislature elects former Hutu rebel leader Pierre Nkurunziza president of the country.

      In a lawsuit in Texas, the pharmaceutical company Merck is held liable for the death of a man who was using the company's pain-killing drug Vioxx; the jury awards the man's widow some $250 million.

      The government of The Netherlands orders that all commercial and domestic poultry be kept indoors to prevent them from being exposed to migratory wild birds that might have contracted H5N1 avian flu in Russia.

August 20
      Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announces that legislative elections will be held on Jan. 25, 2006; in his speech he also describes plans for the use of the area of the evacuated Israeli settlements, including new housing and a seaport.

      A general strike in Bangladesh, called by the opposition Awami League to protest what it sees as the government's coddling of Islamist militants such as those who carried out the August 17 bomb attacks, leads to violent confrontations in several cities.

August 21
      In Egypt the banned but very influential Muslim Brotherhood urges Egyptians to vote in the upcoming presidential election but does not endorse a candidate.

      Kimi Raikkonen of Finland wins the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix automobile race.

      In Anaheim, Calif., Xie Xingfang of China defeats her countrywoman Zhang Ning to win the International Badminton Federation women's singles world championship, and Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia defeats Lin Dan of China to win the men's singles title.

August 22
      The last of the occupants of the Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip are removed at the conclusion of a six-day operation.

      The committee charged with writing a constitution for Iraq submits the document to the National Assembly but declares it to be incomplete and in need of three more days of work.

      Violent fighting between Roman Catholic and Protestant young people continues for a third straight night in Belfast, N.Ire.

      The home-appliance manufacturer Maytag agrees to be acquired by its rival, Whirlpool, in a deal that, if approved, would make Whirlpool the world's biggest appliance maker.

August 23
      Representatives of the Red Cross from North Korea and South Korea meet in Kumgangsan, N.Kor., to discuss the destiny of hundreds of South Koreans still being detained in the north; these include prisoners of the Korean War, which ended in 1953, as well as civilians abducted later by North Korea.

      France, Germany, and the U.K. cancel the resumption of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program; the talks were to have started in late August.

August 24
      A judge in Hong Kong strikes down a law that makes sex between two men punishable by life in prison if one or both are under 21 years of age; sex between a man and a woman or between two women over the age of 16 is legal.

      Google introduces an instant-messaging and voice-communication service for PCs under the name of Google Talk.

August 25
      The U.S. Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission chooses to close Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., founded in 1909, and merge it with the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

      As a Category 1 storm, Hurricane Katrina makes first landfall in southern Florida, causing relatively light damage but leaving seven people dead.

August 26
      Sri Lanka's Supreme Court rules that a presidential election must be held in 2005, six years after the previous one, although the 1999 election was held one year earlier than necessary.

      The World Health Organization declares that tuberculosis has reached emergency proportions in Africa.

      The accounting firm KPMG reaches an agreement with federal prosecutors to pay a fine of $456 million and accept an outside monitor in order to avoid prosecution on charges of selling illegal tax shelters.

      A U.S. bankruptcy judge rules that all property of the Roman Catholic diocese of Spokane, Wash., including churches and schools, can be liquidated to pay claims by victims of sexual abuse by priests; the diocese declared bankruptcy in December 2004.

August 27
      The leader of the armed wing of Hamas, Muhammad Deif, issues a video warning to the Palestinian Authority not to attempt to disarm Hamas, which holds a parade to take credit for the Israeli evacuation of its settlements in the Gaza Strip.

August 28
      The new Iraqi constitution is presented in what seems to be its final form to the country's General Assembly; it is to be voted on in an election on October 15.

      Turkmenistan revokes its full membership in the Commonwealth of Independent States, reducing its status to that of associate member; it is the first country in the alliance to downgrade its commitment.

      The Goethe Prize is awarded to Israeli writer Amos Oz in a ceremony in Frankfurt, Ger.; the jury cites his literary output and moral responsibility.

      Edoardo Molinari of Italy wins the U.S. amateur golf title.

 The West Oahu team from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, defeats the Pabao team from Willemstad, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles, 7–6 to win baseball's Little League World Series.—>

August 29
      Having strengthened from Category 1 to Category 4, Hurricane Katrina slams into the U.S. Gulf Coast, causing tremendous destruction; particularly hard hit are Gulfport and Biloxi in Mississippi and Slidell and New Orleans in Louisiana.

      A law banning pit bulls goes into effect in the Canadian province of Ontario; pit bulls already in the province must be sterilized to prevent breeding.

August 30
      The storm surge caused by Hurricane Katrina breaks through the levees that protect New Orleans from the waters of the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, leaving some 80% of the city under several metres of water; the remaining residents are told to evacuate, and some 10,000 people are taking shelter at the Superdome, which lacks electricity, food, and water.

      In accordance with the terms of the recently signed peace agreement, Pres. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia signs a decree granting amnesty to 2,000 imprisoned members of the Free Aceh Movement and to group leaders living in exile.

      Zimbabwe's House of Assembly approves a series of amendments to the country's constitution that restrict the rights of individuals and increase the power of the government.

August 31
      In Baghdad Shiʿite pilgrims crossing a bridge to approach a shrine panic at shouted rumours of a suicide bomber on the bridge and stampede; at least 950 are killed, most trampled and suffocated but some drowned in the Tigris River.

      Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the founder of the Yukos energy conglomerate who is in prison for tax evasion, announces that he is a candidate in the Russian legislative election scheduled for December.

"Don't tell me 40,000 people are coming here. They're not here. It's too doggone late. Now get off your asses and do something, and let's fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country."
— New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, four days after the destruction of his city by Hurricane Katrina, on the slowness of the federal response to the emergency, September 1

September 1
      Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano concedes defeat in the July 3 election; Sali Berisha is asked to form a government two days later and takes office on September 11.

      Buses slowly begin evacuating people from the Superdome in New Orleans to the Astrodome in Houston; some 25,000 people have been taking refuge in the Superdome, which has insufficient electricity, food, and sanitation; 20,000 more are stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

September 2
      The military junta ruling Mauritania declares a general amnesty for political prisoners incarcerated by the previous government, to widespread jubilation.

      Police in Paris make an unexpected raid on two run-down structures to evict 140 African immigrants squatting in the buildings.

September 3
      Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist dies.

      The Maoist rebels in Nepal declare a three-month unilateral cease-fire; meanwhile, some 5,000 people demonstrate in Kathmandu to demand the return of democracy.

      In the Iraqi town of Buhruz, an attack on a checkpoint leaves nine Iraqi soldiers and two policemen dead, while an attack on a checkpoint in Baʾqubah kills six Iraqi police officers and an ambush on an Iraqi army convoy north of town kills four soldiers.

September 4
      Simultaneous celebrations in 15 communities, all culminating in fireworks displays, mark the centennial of Saskatchewan's entry into the Canadian confederation.

      Juan Pablo Montoya of Colombia wins the Italian Grand Prix Formula 1 automobile race.

September 5
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush nominates John G. Roberts, originally his choice to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, to replace instead Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

      An Australian federal judge in Sydney rules that the peer-to-peer file-sharing network Kazaa violates music copyrights and orders the service's owner, Sharman Networks, to change its software so that it does not encourage the violation of copyrights.

September 6
      Mayor C. Ray Nagin of New Orleans orders mandatory evacuation of the city, fearing that the hazards posed by flooding and the lack of services are too great; it is believed that between 5,000 and 10,000 people remain in their homes.

      Typhoon Nabi makes landfall in southern Japan, forcing the evacuation of some 300,000 people; the following day, downgraded to a tropical storm, it moves north through the Sea of Japan, leaving at least 16 people dead.

September 7
      Hosni Mubarak is reelected president in Egypt's first multicandidate presidential election; the voting, while not free and fair, is less violent and more fair than previous elections, though the turnout is a low 23%.

      In San Francisco, Steven Jobs of Apple Computer, Inc., introduces the next generation of the company's popular iPod music player, the solid-state iPod nano.

September 8
      Pres. Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine fires Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko and dismisses the cabinet.

      Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder approve an agreement to build a pipeline to carry natural gas under the Baltic Sea between Vyborg, Russia, and Greifswald, Ger.

      The Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame inducts new members Count Basie, Roy Eldridge, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Earl Hines, Johnny Hodges, Jo Jones, Charles Mingus, King Oliver, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, and Fats Waller.

September 9
      Michael D. Brown, the head of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, is relieved of responsibility for the relief effort necessitated by Hurricane Katrina; he is replaced in that role by U.S. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen.

      The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., inducts as members Brazilian player Hortencia Marcari, coaches Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, and the late Sue Gunter, and broadcaster Hubie Brown.

      The Montreal Symphony Orchestra cancels the first four concerts of the season in light of the continuing strike by musicians, which started in May.

September 10
      U.S. and Iraqi troops begin a major offensive in the northern city of Tall ʿAfar.

      Waiting for the Barbarians, an opera by Philip Glass based on a novel by J.M. Coetzee, with libretto by Christopher Hampton, has its world premiere in Erfurt, Ger.; it is received with a 15-minute standing ovation.

      Kim Clijsters of Belgium defeats Mary Pierce of France to win the U.S. Open tennis championship; the following day Roger Federer of Switzerland defeats American Andre Agassi to win the men's tennis tournament.

September 11
      In an election to the lower house of the parliament in Japan, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party wins a commanding majority of the seats.

      Israeli troops begin their final evacuation of the Gaza Strip; they expect to complete the withdrawal by the following day.

      Kimi Räikkönen of Finland wins the Belgian Grand Prix in Formula 1 automobile racing.

September 12
      Parliamentary elections in Norway result in a win by the opposition Labour Party leading a centre-left bloc.

      For the third night in a row, Protestant extremists riot in Belfast, N.Ire., attacking police and blockading roads; the violence began in response to a ruling that the Orange Order could not parade along streets bordering the Roman Catholic area of the city.

      Pres. Hu Jintao of China makes a state visit to Mexico, where he and Mexican Pres. Vicente Fox agree on measures to begin correcting a trade imbalance between the countries.

      Michael D. Brown resigns as head of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.

 In cricket, England defeats Australia in the fifth Test at the Oval in London to win the Ashes for the first time in 18 years.

September 13
      The UN General Assembly unanimously approves a document that will serve as a blueprint for future reforms; the plan, however, is a much-watered-down statement of goals originally proposed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

      Six-party talks over North Korea's nuclear program resume in Beijing.

      Joint air patrols by Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand to combat piracy in the Strait of Malacca get under way.

      The government of The Netherlands announces a plan to maintain a complete electronic database that includes information from birth to death on every person born in the country, beginning on Jan. 1, 2007.

      The U.S. National Endowment for the Arts names as its 2006 Jazz Masters singer Tony Bennett, percussionist Ray Barretto, keyboardist Chick Corea, clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, trumpeter Freddy Hubbard, composer Bob Brookmeyer, and manager John Levy.

September 14
      Fourteen coordinated suicide bombings in Baghdad leave at least 167 people dead; in the worst of them, Shiʿite day labourers were lured to a van with the promise of work before the van exploded, killing at least 112, the highest death toll from one terrorist incident since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

      Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines, Inc., both file for bankruptcy protection.

      Unite Here, a union composed of the former Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers, International Ladies' Garment Workers Union, and Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union, becomes the fourth major union to withdraw from the AFL-CIO during the summer.

September 15
      Two suicide bombings within a minute of each other kill at least 31 people in Baghdad.

      An audiotape by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is released on a Web site; he declares that the al-Qaeda organization in Iraq is now at war with all Shiʿite Muslims in Iraq.

      A UN World Food Programme ship carrying 940 metric tons of rice to aid tsunami victims is released by pirates off Somalia almost three months after it was captured.

 Alison Lapper Pregnant, a sculpture by artist Marc Quinn that depicts a nude pregnant woman with vestigial arms and stunted legs, goes on display on a plinth in London's Trafalgar Square, igniting controversy.

September 16
      Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declares that Israel will not cooperate with planned Palestinian legislative elections if any of the candidates belong to the militant organization Hamas.

      A car bomb in a Christian-majority neighbourhood in Beirut kills one person and injures many more.

      Paolo Di Lauro, the head of a powerful family in the Camorra organized-crime society, is arrested in Secondigliano, Italy.

September 17
      A car bomb kills at least 30 people in a Shiʿite neighbourhood on the outskirts of Baghdad, while outside the city a Kurdish member of the Transitional National Assembly is assassinated.

      Pres. Ricardo Lagos of Chile ceremonially signs the country's new constitution, a more democratic instrument than the previous constitution promulgated by the former dictator Augusto Pinochet.

      Legislative elections in New Zealand result in a slim plurality for Prime Minister Helen Clark's Labour Party.

      Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz announces a large new investment in the development of Balochistan province, centred on the port city of Gwadar, which will be supported with an extensive road network and a larger airport.

September 18
      Legislative elections in Germany result in a near tie between the ruling coalition, led by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, and the opposition coalition, headed by Angela Merkel.

      Voters choose among 5,800 candidates as Afghanistan holds its first legislative elections in more than 35 years.

      The winners of the 2005 Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards are announced; they are Ernest A. McCulloch and James E. Till, for work in uncovering the existence of stem cells; Edwin M. Southern and Alec John Jeffreys, for work that made it possible to search for a particular gene within a genome and for the development of genetic fingerprinting; and Nancy G. Brinker, for her creation of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

      The Emmy Awards are presented in Los Angeles; winners include the television shows Everybody Loves Raymond and Lost and the actors Tony Shalhoub, James Spader, Felicity Huffman, Patricia Arquette, Brad Garrett, William Shatner, Doris Roberts, and Blythe Danner.

September 19
      L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former CEO of industrial services manufacturing company Tyco International, and Mark Swartz, the company's former chief financial officer, are both sentenced to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison for fraud and stealing from the company.

      Some 800 foreign labourers who have not been paid for more than six months march on a main highway in the city of Dubai, provoking an unprecedented response: the minister of labour orders all back pay to be delivered within 24 hours and levies fines and restrictions on the employers of the workers.

      An agreement is signed between North Korea and the U.S. and its allies that commits North Korea to abandoning all nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon programs and the other nations to providing North Korea with a civilian nuclear plant but says nothing about the timing of either provision.

September 20
      Separatist rebels in Manipur state in India ambush and kill at least 11 Indian soldiers.

      Amid allegations of corruption among members of the government, Yury I. Yekhanurov, Ukrainian Pres. Viktor Yushchenko's choice to replace Yuliya Tymoshenko as prime minister, is rejected by the legislature; on September 22, however, he is approved.

      Pres. Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan suggests that U.S. military air strikes are no longer useful and that preventing militants from entering the country would be more effective; he also says that aid donations should be directed toward investment in infrastructure and industry.

      The Sacramento Monarchs defeat the Connecticut Sun 62–59 to win their first Women's National Basketball Association championship.

September 21
      The speaker of Brazil's Chamber of Deputies, Severino Cavalcanti, resigns in disgrace, accused of having extorted payments from a restaurant owner; he has been an important associate of Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

      Lisa Dennison is named director of New York City's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

September 22
      Some 2.5 million people attempt to evacuate Houston ahead of Hurricane Rita, a much larger evacuation than was foreseen, leading to horrific traffic jams.

      Fish and Fisheries journal publishes a comprehensive report showing that throughout the world all populations of sturgeon, the source of black caviar, are threatened with extinction or are severely depleted.

September 23
      Recently repaired levees in New Orleans begin to crumble under the assault from Hurricane Rita, and low-lying neighbourhoods are again flooded.

      Lester M. Crawford resigns after having served only two months as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

      Alan Rosenberg is elected president of the Screen Actors Guild, succeeding Melissa Gilbert.

September 24
      Hurricane Rita makes landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border as a Category 3 storm.

      The board of the International Atomic Energy Agency votes to refer Iran to the UN Security Council as being in violation of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, to which it is a signatory.

      A controversial conference to examine the fate of ethnic Armenians who lived in the Ottoman Empire early in the 20th century convenes at Bilgi University, Istanbul, in spite of a recent court rulings forbidding the forum; a wide variety of views are presented, and organizers say this is the first-ever public discussion in Turkey of the question of the mass killings of Armenians.

      The Sydney Swans defeat the West Coast Eagles to win the Australian Football League championship; it is the first title for Sydney; the Swans had won it 72 years earlier, but the team then represented South Melbourne.

September 25
      The World Bank approves the plan put forward by the Group of Eight industrialized countries to forgive the debt owed by the poorest countries; the International Monetary Fund had approved the plan the previous day.

      Hours after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon asserted the right to retaliate against Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, the militant organization Hamas announces that it has ceased making attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip.

      A suicide car bomber attacks a police convoy in Baghdad, killing three officers and six civilians, and elsewhere in Baghdad gun battles between U.S. and Iraqi armed forces and Shiʿite militia forces leave seven insurgents dead; in the Iraqi town of Musayyib, a motorcycle suicide bomber kills six; a bomb kills one in Al-Hillah; and two guards are killed in a robbery of a Ministry of Finance vehicle.

      With a third-place finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix and two races to go in the season, Fernando Alonso becomes the youngest man and the first Spaniard to win the Formula 1 world automobile racing drivers' title.

      Dan Wheldon, the winner of the Indianapolis 500 automobile race, wins the overall IndyCar championship.

      With his defeat of ozeki Tochiazima and sekiwake Kotooshu at the Aki Basho (the autumn grand sumo tournament), yokozuna Asashoryu wins a sixth consecutive Emperor's Cup, equaling a record set 38 years earlier by Taiho.

September 26
      A new stock exchange, the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX)—covering the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the Indian subcontinent, and South Africa—begins operation in Dubai.

      In a court-martial in Ft. Hood, Texas, U.S. Army Pvt. Lynndie England is found guilty of having mistreated prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison, Iraq; the following day she is sentenced to three years in prison and a dishonourable discharge.

      An independent monitoring group headed by John De Chastelain confirms that the Irish Republican Army has completely destroyed its arsenal of weapons in Northern Ireland to the monitors' satisfaction.

      Thousands of demonstrators conclude a three-day protest outside the White House in Washington, D.C., with the planned arrest of several, including Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier and an iconic leader of the campaign against the war in Iraq.

September 27
      Seven American trade unions, including the four that left the AFL-CIO earlier in the year, create a new labour organization, the Change to Win Federation, which represents some 5.4 million workers.

      US Airways and America West Airlines complete their merger; the combined company, which will operate under the name US Airways, is the sixth biggest American airline in passenger miles.

September 28
      Tom DeLay resigns his post as majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives after a grand jury in Texas indicts him on a charge of having conspired to violate the state's election laws.

      The first major trial related to the collapse of the Italian food conglomerate Parmalat gets under way in Milan.

      U.S. Secretary of the Treasury John Snow unveils the newly designed $10 bill; it includes several features meant to discourage counterfeiting, including two small images of the torch of the Statue of Liberty and colour-changing ink.

September 29
      John G. Roberts, Jr., is sworn in as the 17th chief justice of the United States.

      New York Times reporter Judith Miller is released from prison, where she has been for three months, after she agrees to testify about the government official who discussed a covert CIA operative with her; she says the source has released her from her promise of confidentiality.

      In Balad, Iraq, three truck bombs go off 10 minutes apart, killing at least 62 people, nearly all Shiʿite civilians.

      Janjawid militia members attack a refugee camp in the Darfur region of The Sudan, killing 29 people.

      Hundreds of would-be migrants from sub-Saharan Africa attempt to enter the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the northern Moroccan coast; in the subsequent riots five people are killed in Ceuta.

      The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize is awarded to theatre and opera director Peter Sellars in New York City.

September 30
      Auditors from the congressional Government Accountability Office rule that the administration of U.S. Pres. George W. Bush engaged in illegal dissemination of covert propaganda when it sought favourable news coverage of its education policy—for example, by paying a commentator to promote the policy in his newspaper columns and during TV appearances.

      The legislature of the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain approves a measure to make the region an even more autonomous “nation” within Spain, assuming many powers that now belong to the central government.

      The Osaka (Japan) High Court rules that visits by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the Yasukuni Shrine, a Shinto site honouring Japan's war dead, violate the constitutional separation of religion and state.

"God has blessed me to be alive to see this day. When they put me on trial, it lasted five minutes, in a dark room, and I was sentenced to 20 years."
— Soriya al-Sultani, a member of Iraq's interim assembly and former political prisoner, on the start of Saddam Hussein's trial, October 19

October 1
      Three suicide bombers kill 23 people in the tourist towns of Kuta and Jimbaran on the Indonesian island of Bali.

      João Bernardo Vieira is sworn in as elected president of Guinea-Bissau; he had ruled the country from 1980, when he took over in a coup, until 2000, when he was ousted by another coup.

      A rocket carrying American astronaut William McArthur, Russian cosmonaut Valery Tokarev, and American space tourist Gregory Olsen takes off from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan, headed for the International Space Station.

      Doctor Atomic, a new opera by John Adams with libretto by Peter Sellars, has its world premiere at the San Francisco Opera.

October 2
      When Palestinian Authority police attempt to confiscate illegal weapons from several Hamas members in Gaza City, shooting breaks out and running gun battles ensue; at least two people are killed and some 40 wounded.

      With a second-place finish at the Rally of Japan, Sébastien Loeb of France wins the world rally championship title for the second consecutive year.

October 3
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush names Harriet E. Miers, the White House counsel and once his personal lawyer, to replace retiring Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court.

      The Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine is awarded to Australians Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren for their discovery that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori causes stomach inflammation and most duodenal and peptic ulcers.

      The Open Content Alliance, led by Yahoo! and including the Internet Archive, the British National Archives, and the Universities of California and Toronto, among others, announces a plan to digitize and make available over the Internet hundreds of thousands of books and papers.

October 4
      Muslims in many parts of the world begin observations of the holy month of Ramadan.

      The European Union and Turkey formally open negotiations toward Turkey's eventual membership in the EU.

      In Stockholm the Nobel Prize for Physics is awarded to American physicist Roy J. Glauber, for having calculated the mathematical foundation for quantum optics, and to John L. Hall of the U.S. and Theodor W. Hänsch of Germany, for having developed the optical frequency comb, a method of using laser pulses to measure light frequencies precisely.

October 5
      A suicide bomber attacks a Shiʿite mosque in Al-Hillah, Iraq, killing 25 people.

      The Nobel Prize for Chemistry is awarded to a Frenchman, Yves Chauvin, and two Americans, Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock, for their work on controlled metathesis, a low-cost, low-energy method of synthesizing drugs, plastics, and other important organic substances.

      American scientists announce that they have reconstructed the virus that caused the so-called Spanish influenza outbreak that killed 25 million people in 1918, and found evidence that it was a type of avian flu virus that jumped directly to humans.

 The Church of England confirms John Sentamu as archbishop of York, the church's second highest position; Sentamu is the first black cleric to become an Anglican archbishop.

      In 15 cities throughout North America, the National Hockey League season gets under way with its first games since the 2004–05 season was canceled.

October 6
      NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer says that NATO will increase its force in Afghanistan to 15,000 troops and will expand its mission into southern Afghanistan.

      In an attempt to stem a tide of hundreds of Africans attempting to migrate to Spain through its exclaves of Melilla and Ceuta on the North African coast, Spain reverses policy and sends 70 Malian migrants back to Morocco; also, some 400 people rush guard posts at Melilla, and six Africans are killed.

      Some 50 years after it was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the futuristic Ibirapuera Park Auditorium opens in São Paulo.

October 7
      The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its director general, Mohamed ElBaradei.

      Belgium experiences its first general strike in 12 years as hundreds of thousands of workers walk out to protest a government plan to raise the retirement age from 58 to 60.

October 8
      A shallow earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 and an epicentre on the border of Pakistan's North-West Frontier province devastates the disputed Kashmir region, killing more than 85,000 people.

      Delphi, the biggest automobile parts supplier in the U.S., files for bankruptcy protection.

      The Reina Sofia Palace of the Arts, an opera house designed by Santiago Calatrava, opens in Valencia, Spain.

October 9
      Tropical Storm Vince briefly strengthens into a hurricane and thereby makes 2005 the second busiest hurricane season since records began; two days later it becomes the first tropical cyclone to make landfall in Spain.

      Kimi Raikkonen wins the Japanese Grand Prix Formula 1 auto race.

October 10
      Three weeks after a near-tie parliamentary election in Germany, an agreement is reached to form a grand coalition government with Angela Merkel at the head.

      The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences goes to Israeli Robert J. Aumann and American Thomas C. Schelling for their respective work in game theory.

      The UN General Assembly elects Ghana, the Republic of the Congo, Qatar, Slovakia, and Peru to fill the two-year regional positions on the Security Council.

      The Man Booker Prize for Fiction goes to Irish writer John Banville for his novel The Sea.

October 11
      Presidential and legislative elections are held in Liberia but result in the need for a presidential runoff.

      Ethiopia's legislative assembly votes to strip immunity from prosecution protection from those legislators belonging to the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy.

      U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reaches an agreement with Kyrgyzstan that will allow the U.S. to maintain its military base in the country as long as the situation in Afghanistan makes it necessary.

October 12
      Ghazi Kanaan, who was Syria's power broker in Lebanon for some 20 years and Syria's minister of the interior from 2004, is found dead in his office in Damascus, an apparent suicide.

      Iran requests a resumption of negotiations with the U.K., Germany, and France regarding its nuclear program.

      Phillip R. Bennett, the former chairman and CEO of the enormous commodities brokerage firm Refco, is charged with securities fraud.

      Steven Jobs of Apple Computer introduces an iPod with a 6.4-cm (2.5-in) screen that is capable of displaying video, including music videos, short films, and television shows.

October 13
      In Nalchik, the capital of the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkariya, insurgents attack several police and security buildings; by the following day at least 138 people have been killed.

      The Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded to British playwright and poet Harold Pinter.

      It is confirmed that thousands of birds that died in the past few days around a turkey farm in Turkey were victims of the H5N1 virus, the first appearance of the disease in that country.

      Nature magazine reports that scientists in China have unearthed a bowl of what they believe to be noodles dating to 4,000 years ago near the Huang Ho (Yellow River) in northwestern China.

October 14
      Pres. Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine fires the country's chief prosecutor days after he opened investigations against a close presidential aide.

      The International Criminal Court reveals that it has for the first time issued arrest warrants; they are for Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, and four of the Ugandan rebel group's commanders.

      Japan's legislature approves the privatization of the country's postal service.

      Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria wins the FIDE world chess championship in San Luis, Arg.

October 15
      A national referendum on the country's new constitution is held in Iraq.

      It is confirmed that ducks in Romania have died of the H5N1 avian flu; this is the first appearance of the disease in mainland Europe.

      A son is born to Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark; he will be christened (and named) in January 2006.

      A new de Young Museum designed by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron opens to critical acclaim in San Francisco.

October 16
      U.S. air strikes against the insurgency in Ramadi, Iraq, kill some 70 people.

      Annika Sörenstam wins the Ladies Professional Golf Association Samsung world championship in Palm Desert, Calif.

      Fernando Alonso's win at the China Grand Prix automobile race secures the Formula 1 constructors' championship for his team, Renault, for the first time.

October 17
      Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi makes his annual visit to the Yasukuni shrine to Japan's war dead, igniting criticism and anger elsewhere in Asia.

      Opposition leader Rasul Guliyev is prevented from returning to Azerbaijan to run for office; he has been living in exile since 1996.

      Gen. Henri Poncet, the former commander of French peacekeeping troops in Côte d'Ivoire, and two other soldiers are suspended for having covered up the death in May of an Ivoirian man in French custody.

      General Motors reaches a tentative agreement with the United Automobile Workers union to cut medical benefits for workers and retirees.

October 18
      Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi agrees to hold national elections on April 9, 2006.

      The advocacy group Refugees International reports that new guidelines developed by the UN to stop sexual abuse of local women and girls by UN peacekeeping troops have not been put into practice and that abuse continues to be a problem.

October 19
      In Baghdad former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein goes on trial with seven other men for the massacre of 148 men and boys in Dujail in 1982; Saddam refuses to recognize the court but pleads not guilty.

      Five major American publishing companies file suit against Google, Inc., contending that the Internet company's plan to make searchable digitized versions of library holdings violates publishing copyrights; Google says that it plans to make only small parts of copyrighted text available online.

      Hurricane Wilma strengthens to Category 5 and achieves a record low pressure at its eye of 0.90 kg/cm2 (12.8 psi), which makes it by that criterion the strongest hurricane ever measured.

      A block of four stamps of a Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” airplane printed upside down in 1918 is sold at auction for $2.7 million, the highest price ever paid for U.S. stamps.

October 20
      A UN investigating committee releases a preliminary report implicating high-ranking government and military leaders in Syria in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri.

      One of the defense lawyers for a co-defendant in the trial of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein is murdered in Baghdad.

      The American oil-trading company Midway Trading pleads guilty in New York to having made illegal kickback payments to Iraqi officials when buying Iraqi oil under the UN oil-for-food program.

      The U.S. Congress passes a law that will shield manufacturers and dealers of firearms from civil liability lawsuits.

October 21
      Malawi's National Assembly summons Pres. Bingu wa Mutharika to face impeachment charges, a move supporters of the president say is illegal.

      Rioting Muslims attempt to storm a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria, Egypt, angered by rumours about a play that had been performed on one occasion in the church two years ago and was recently distributed on DVD; some consider the play anti-Islamic.

      Wreaths are laid on the HMS Victory, bells rung on all Royal Navy warships, and 1,000 beacons lit throughout the U.K in remembrance of the 200th anniversary of the death of Horatio Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar.

October 22
      A soldier who dies after having been injured in combat in Samarraʾ on October 17 is the 2,000th U.S. military death in Iraq.

      A UN official reports that two weeks after the Kashmir earthquake, no aid has reached 10–20% of those affected; in addition, Indian officials have yet to agree on a plan to open the Line of Control to allow aid to flow through it.

      Rafal Blechacz of Poland wins the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw; he is the first Pole since 1975 to win the contest, which is held every five years.

October 23
      In a runoff election, Lech Kaczynski, the conservative mayor of Warsaw, is elected president of Poland.

      Pope Benedict XVI canonizes his first saints, two from Italy, two from Ukraine, and one from Chile; all five had been approved for sainthood by Pope John Paul II.

      In Montgomery, Ala., the Civil Rights Memorial Center is ceremonially opened.

      After one year and 10 months, Jesper Olsen of Denmark succeeds in running a lap around the world, completing a trek of more than 26,000 km (16,200 mi) by running an average of 41 km (25 mi) per day.

      The eighth annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is presented to Steve Martin in a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

      Timo Boll of Germany defeats Wang Hao of China to win the Men's Table Tennis World Cup in Liège, Belg.

October 24
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush nominates Ben Bernanke, currently head of the Council of Economic Advisers, to replace Alan Greenspan as chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

      Ukraine sells Kryvorizhstal, its biggest steel mill, to Mittal Steel, for $4.8 million in an auction.

      Henry R. Silverman, the chairman of the huge business conglomerate Cendant, announces that the company will break into four different publicly traded companies, one each for real estate, travel, hospitality, and vehicle-rental businesses.

      American Civil Rights movement icon Rosa Parks dies in Detroit.

October 25
      Election officials in Iraq announce that the country's new constitution was narrowly approved in the referendum on October 15.

      The BBC World Service announces that it is closing 10 foreign-language broadcasts—in Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Kazakh, Polish, Slovak, Slovene, and Thai—and inaugurating the BBC Arabic Television Service, to begin broadcasting in 2007.

      The European Union's top court rules that only cheese produced in Greece may be called feta cheese.

October 26
      The UN calls for $550 million in assistance to help reach tens of thousands of survivors of the Kashmir earthquake who remain stranded in remote mountain villages.

      In a speech, Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad states, among other things, that Israel should “be wiped off the map.”

      The Chicago White Sox defeat the Houston Astros 1–0 in Houston in the fourth game of the World Series to sweep the Major League Baseball championship; it is the first World Series championship win for the White Sox since 1917.

October 27
      The committee investigating the former UN-run oil-for-food program in Iraq releases its final report, showing that more than half of the companies participating in the program paid illegal kickbacks to Iraq and that many of those made illegal profits themselves.

      Harriet E. Miers withdraws her nomination to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court.

      Switzerland releases a report indicating that the country was among those that assisted South Africa in building nuclear weapons during the apartheid era.

October 28
      In the ongoing investigation into the leaking of a CIA operative's name to the press, U.S. Vice Pres. Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis (“Scooter”) Libby, is indicted on charges of having lied to investigators and to a grand jury.

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service extends the ban on the importation of beluga caviar imposed in September to include caviar from the Black Sea basin, effectively banning all beluga caviar.

October 29
      Three coordinated bomb explosions, two in busy marketplaces and one on a public bus, kill at least 48 people in New Delhi.

      A suicide car bomb in the largely Shiʿite town of Huwaider, Iraq, kills at least 20 people; in Baghdad three U.S. soldiers are killed by improvised roadside bombs.

      In response to a small rally in support of a proposed new constitution in Kenya, hundreds of young people riot in Kisumu; at least three people are killed and dozens injured.

      The U.S. and Japan announce an agreement on alterations to their military alliance; the changes call on Japan to take increased responsibility for its defense and relocate some 7,000 U.S. servicepeople from Okinawa to Guam.

October 30
      India and Pakistan agree to open the Line of Control on November 7 to make it easier to take disaster relief to victims of the Kashmir earthquake.

      Officials in France report that they have arrested 22 people after three nights of rioting in Clichy-sous-Bois by people angered by the accidental death of two immigrant teenagers who were rumoured to have been fleeing from police.

 The Frauenkirche in Dresden, Ger., is dedicated after having been reconstructed; the landmark was destroyed by Allied firebombing in World War II.

October 31
      Conservative Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz is sworn in as prime minister of Poland.

      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush nominates Samuel A. Alito, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court.

      The Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church removes openly gay minister Irene Elizabeth Stroud from the ministry and orders the reinstatement of a minister who had been suspended for refusing to allow a gay man to join his congregation.

      The Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica agrees to buy the British mobile phone company O2.

      Princess Letizia, the wife of Prince Felipe of Spain, gives birth to a daughter, Leonor, in Madrid.

"The republic is completely determined … to be stronger than those who want to sow violence or fear."
— French Pres. Jacques Chirac, responding to the escalating violence in working-class suburbs of Paris, November 6

November 1
      Bolivian Pres. Eduardo Rodríguez breaks an impasse by decreeing that presidential and congressional elections will be held on December 18.

      Representatives of both North and South Korea announce that the two countries will field a joint athletic team at the Asian Games in Qatar in 2006 and at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, competing as a single country for the first time.

      Makybe Diva wins an unprecedented third consecutive Melbourne Cup Thoroughbred horse race in Australia.

      Charles, prince of Wales, and his wife, Camilla, duchess of Cornwall, make their first official overseas visit as a couple, to the United States.

November 2
      David Blunkett resigns as U.K. secretary for work and pensions after admitting errors in his private business dealings; he had been brought back into the government by Prime Minister Tony Blair after he was forced to resign as home secretary in a scandal over improper favours granted by his office to his former lover.

      Ethiopian security forces kill more than 20 protesters in Addis Ababa and injure more than 150 as unrest resulting from the May elections escalates.

      Mukhtar Mai, a Pakistani woman famed for speaking out after being gang-raped on the order of a tribal council, is honoured in Washington, D.C., as Glamour magazine's Woman of the Year.

November 3
      Peru's legislature passes a law mandating a redrawing of the sea boundary with Chile in order to gain better access to fishing waters in the Pacific.

      At the Latin Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, which are broadcast exclusively in Spanish for the first time, Colombian rock star Juanes wins three awards, and Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz wins two, for record of the year and song of the year, both for “Tu no tienes alma.”

November 4
      As Shiʿites in Iraq begin celebrating ʿId al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, insurgent attacks in the central part of the country kill at least 16 people.

      Hundreds of people in Mar del Plata, Arg., riot in protest against U.S. Pres. George W. Bush's presence at the 34-country Summit of the Americas, while Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chávez leads a huge anti-U.S. rally.

      Colgate-Palmolive and Introgen Therapeutics announce an alliance to attempt to create an oral product, such as a mouthwash or gel, that contains genes to suppress tumours in an attempt to treat and prevent oral cancers.

November 5
      U.S. and Iraqi forces begin a major offensive in Husayba, Iraq, a town along the Syrian border, to try to eliminate a corridor through which foreign fighters enter the country.

      The luxury cruise ship Seabourn Spirit escapes an attempt by pirates to board and hijack it off the coast of Somalia; the ship docks safely in Seychelles on November 7.

      The Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Arg., ends without an agreement on the Free Trade Area of the Americas, an idea championed by the U.S.

November 6
      Iran reveals that it allowed International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors access to its Parchin military complex and reports that it has sent a note to the three European countries with which it had been negotiating, requesting a resumption of talks.

      As the nightly rioting in France continues, 10 police officers are shot and wounded in the suburb of Grigny.

      Government officials begin a previously unannounced move of the seat of the government of Myanmar (Burma) from Yangon (Rangoon) to the remote mountain village of Pyinmana; it is expected that the move will be completed by the end of the year.

 The Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, a sandstone building dedicated to religious tolerance, is ceremonially opened in New Delhi by Indian Pres. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, a Muslim; Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a Sikh; and L.K. Advani, Hindu leader of the main opposition party.

November 7
      Hours after his secret arrival in Santiago after five years of exile in Japan, former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori is arrested; he is wanted in Peru on a number of charges, including responsibility for massacres and subversion of democracy.

      Natwar Singh is removed from his post as India's foreign minister in response to allegations that he illegally profited from the UN oil-for-food program in Iraq.

      Régis Jauffret wins the Prix Fémina for French novels for Asiles de fous, and American Joyce Carol Oates wins the foreign-novel prize for The Falls; the Prix Médicis for foreign literature goes to Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk for Snow.

November 8
      Liberians vote in a runoff presidential election between former UN and World Bank official Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and former association football (soccer) star George Weah.

      After 12 successive nights of violence during which one person died and some 6,000 vehicles were burned, a state of emergency is declared in France, which gives the government the right to impose curfews in selected areas.

      The UN General Assembly, for the 14th year in a row, passes a resolution calling for an end to the U.S. commercial embargo of Cuba; the vote is 182–4.

November 9
      Suicide bombers in Amman, Jordan, attack the Grand Hyatt, Radisson SAS, and Days Inn hotels all within a few minutes, killing at least 59 people.

      Six-country negotiations about North Korea's nuclear program resume.

      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Alan Greenspan, Muhammad Ali, Carol Burnett, Aretha Franklin, Andy Griffith, Robert Conquest, Vinton Cerf, Robert Kahn, Paul Harvey, Sonny Montgomery, Gen. Richard B. Myers, Jack Nicklaus, Frank Robinson, and Paul Rusesabagina.

November 10
      A suicide bomber detonates his weapons in a popular Baghdad restaurant, killing at least 29 people.

      The World Health Organization declares that polio has once again been eliminated from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, and Togo but remains endemic in Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Niger, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

      Nissan Motor Co. announces plans to move its North American headquarters from Gardena, Calif., outside Los Angeles, to Franklin, Tenn., citing lower costs; the new headquarters is expected to open in 2008.

      South African Pres. Thabo Mbeki officially inaugurates the Southern Africa Large Telescope (SALT) in the Karoo region of the country.

      The U.S. National Medal of Arts is awarded to Louis Auchincloss, James DePreist, Paquito D'Rivera, Robert Duvall, Leonard Garment, Ollie Johnston, Wynton Marsalis, Dolly Parton, Tina Rivera, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

November 11
      Colombia's Constitutional Court rules that the law passed last year to allow Pres. Álvaro Uribe to run for a second four-year presidential term is permissible under the country's constitution.

      Officials in Kuwait report that a migrating flamingo found on a Kuwaiti beach was ill with the H5N1 avian flu; it is the first instance of the disease in the Persian Gulf.

      The journal Science publishes a report on the discovery of a new species of marine crocodile that lived some 135 million years ago, in the time of dinosaurs; the creature, Dakosaurus andiniensis, is unique among crocodiles in that its head resembled that of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

November 12
      Elections are held for the House of Elders, the upper house of Afghanistan's legislature, while results from the September 18 election for the National Assembly are released, showing a majority for religious conservatives.

      A meeting between the U.S. and several Muslim countries in Manama, Bahrain, concludes without the declaration in favour of democracy that the U.S. had sought.

      Three new buildings designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano to expand the High Museum of Art in Atlanta open to critical acclaim.

November 13
      In Mogadishu, Somalia, two days of fighting between the Islamic courts' militia, which is attempting to close down movie houses and video stores, and local fighters leave at least 12 people dead.

      American stem-cell researcher Gerald P. Schatten surprises observers by announcing that he is suspending his connections with the Seoul National University group of researchers headed by Hwang Woo Suk, citing ethical violations regarding the source of the oocytes used in producing stem cells from cloned human embryos.

      In an upset the Los Angeles Galaxy wins its second Major League Soccer title in four years with a 1–0 overtime victory over the New England Revolution at the MLS Cup game in Frisco, Texas.

November 14
      In the midst of an escalating war of words between Mexican Pres. Vicente Fox and Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chávez, Venezuela recalls its ambassador from Mexico; Fox declares that Mexico will recall its ambassador from Venezuela as well.

      Opposition leader Kizza Besigye is arrested on charges of treason in Uganda, triggering large-scale rioting in Kampala.

November 15
      The Ministry of Agriculture in China announces its intention to vaccinate all of its 5.2 billion ducks, geese, and chickens against avian flu, a logistically overwhelming project.

      Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari announces an urgent official investigation into the circumstances behind the imprisonment and torture of 173 Iraqis in the basement of an Interior Ministry building; the detainees had been discovered by U.S. troops a few days earlier.

      Israel and the Palestinian Authority reach an agreement, brokered by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, to ease travel restrictions on residents of the Gaza Strip and to open the border between Gaza and Egypt.

      Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich signs into law a measure—the broadest such plan in the country—to give all children in the state medical-insurance coverage.

November 16
      International officials announce that Iran has resumed the enrichment of uranium in defiance of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

      China announces that it has confirmed three human cases of H5N1 avian flu; it is the fifth country to find the flu in people.

      Guatemala's chief drug-enforcement investigator and two of his aides are arrested in the U.S. and charged with conspiracy to smuggle vast amounts of cocaine into the U.S.

      An American businessman, Philip H. Bloom, is charged with having paid bribes to members of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in order to secure lucrative contracts for his three companies in the reconstruction of Iraq; it is the first such indictment, though other cases are expected to follow.

      The National Book Awards are presented to William T. Vollmann for his novel Europe Central, Joan Didion for her nonfiction book The Year of Magical Thinking, W.S. Merwin for his poetry collection Migration: New and Selected Poems, and Jeanne Birdsall for her young-adult book The Penderwicks; Lawrence Ferlinghetti wins the inaugural Literarian Award, and novelist Norman Mailer is given the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

      At the UK Music Hall of Fame's second annual induction ceremony in London, honours go to the bands Black Sabbath (and its frontman, Ozzy Osbourne), Eurythmics, Joy Division/New Order, the Kinks, Pink Floyd, and the Who and to singers Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin, DJ John Peel, and guitarist Jimi Hendrix.

November 17
      Democratic U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania surprises congressional and administration members by publicly calling for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq within six months.

      Indictments are announced in Chicago against Conrad M. Black and three others on charges that they stole $51.8 million from the newspaper conglomerate Hollinger International, of which Black was a founder.

      A presidential election is held in Sri Lanka; the candidate with the harder-line position against Tamil secessionists, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, narrowly wins.

November 18
      Tropical Storm Gamma, the 24th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, forms near Central America and causes flooding in Honduras that leaves at least two people dead.

November 19
      Delegates from 75 countries and organizations, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, meeting in Islamabad, pledge donations of $5.8 billion to help Pakistan reconstruct its earthquake-ravaged north.

      In Baghdad a bomb-laden minibus explodes, killing at least 13 people, and in the Iraqi town of Baʿqubah a suicide car bomber targets a funeral and kills at least 18 people; also, in Haditha a roadside bomb kills 16 people.

      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush arrives in Beijing for talks with Chinese Pres. Hu Jintao.

November 20
      The second round of legislative elections in Egypt is marked by violence at the polling places, particularly in places regarded as strongholds for the Muslim Brotherhood, which made a strong showing in the first round of elections.

      The Muhammad Ali Center, a cultural gathering place to honour the great boxer, is ceremonially opened in Ali's hometown of Louisville, Ky.

November 21
      At a conference of leading Iraqi Sunnis, Shiʿites, and Kurds hosted by the Arab League in Cairo, the conferees release a statement calling for the establishment of a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign military forces in the country.

 Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announces that he is leaving his political party, Likud, which he helped create, in order to found a new centrist party.

      Voters in Kenya reject a draft constitution backed by Pres. Mwai Kibaki.

      The U.S. formally returns the Karshi-Khanabad air base to Uzbekistan.

      General Motors announces a plan to improve its financial health; among other things, it plans to eliminate 5,000 jobs in addition to the 25,000 job cuts announced in June.

      The centennial of the publication of Albert Einstein's equation E = mc2 is observed by physicists throughout the world.

November 22
      Angela Merkel takes office as German chancellor.

      The Chinese city of Harbin, which has a population of nearly three million, shuts off the water supply for five days after a petrochemical plant explosion in Jilin on November 13 caused an enormous benzene spill in the Songhua River, contaminating Harbin's source of water.

      Maoist rebels and seven political parties in Nepal announce an agreement calling for a return to democracy and a new constitution; the rebels agree to end violence if elections are held under a new government.

      In an apparent change, the U.S. Commerce Department agrees to comply with a ruling by a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) panel that it reduce its countervailing duties on imported Canadian softwood from 16% to under 1%.

      Meeting in Washington, D.C., the Serb, Croat, and Muslim presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina sign an agreement to pursue a major constitutional overhaul and move to a more united government structure for the country.

      Microsoft's much-anticipated new video game console, the Xbox 360, goes on sale throughout the U.S. at midnight.

November 23
      Electoral authorities in Liberia declare Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf the winner of the runoff presidential election.

      Former dictator Augusto Pinochet is placed under house arrest in Chile after being charged with tax evasion and financial corruption.

      A law goes into effect in England and Wales that permits bars, restaurants, and supermarkets to sell alcoholic beverages later than 11:00 PM, with even 24-hour licenses available.

November 24
      A suicide car bomb at the entrance to a hospital in Mahmudiyah, Iraq, kills at least 30 people; it appears to have targeted a U.S. convoy, but all the victims are Iraqi.

November 25
      The Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt reopens, with Palestinians responsible for security for the first time.

      The journal Science reports the findings of the European Program for Ice Coring in Antarctica, which show that in spite of climate fluctuations over time, the current level of important greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the highest it has been in 650,000 years.

November 26
      An agreement is reached between Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and the leaders of the Netherlands Antilles whereby the Netherlands Antilles will be dissolved as a political entity as of July 1, 2007; Curaçao and Sint Maarten will become autonomous entities within The Netherlands; the status of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba remains to be defined.

      In elections for Zimbabwe's newly re-created upper legislative house, the ruling party wins 43 of the 50 elected seats; turnout is less than 20%.

      Textile tycoon Vijaypat Singhania sets a new world record for highest flight in a hot-air balloon in Mumbai (Bombay) when he reaches an altitude of 21,290 m (69,849 ft).

November 27
      An explosion in a coal mine in the Chinese city of Qitaihe kills at least 161 miners; more than 70 are rescued.

      Presidential and legislative elections are held in Honduras; the Liberal Party candidate, Manuel Zelaya, is elected president.

      Omar Bongo is reelected to the presidency of Gabon; he has been in office since 1967.

      Election results in Egypt show that the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood's electoral gains continued in the second round of legislative elections, adding 29 seats to the 47 won in the first round.

      Legislative elections in the Russian republic of Chechnya result in a sweeping victory for Russian-backed candidates.

      The Edmonton Eskimos capture the 93rd Canadian Football League Grey Cup, defeating the Montreal Alouettes 38–35 in the Cup's first overtime game in 44 years.

      The Olympic flame begins its circuitous 13,360-km (8,300-mi) journey from Olympia, Greece, for the opening of the Winter Games in Turin, Italy, on Feb. 10, 2006.

November 28
      Canada's government loses a no-confidence vote in the House of Commons; elections will be held in January 2006.

      Venezuela signs an agreement with Spain to buy patrol boats and military transport and patrol aircraft.

      Pres. Néstor Kirchner of Argentina removes Roberto Lavagna from his post as minister of the economy.

November 29
      The European Union sends a note to the U.S. asking for clarifications about its practice, disclosed by the Washington Post on November 2, of secretly transporting terrorism suspects to unknown detention camps in Europe; the report ignited a furor in Europe.

      A Vatican document that has been hotly discussed for many months is officially released; it bans candidates for the priesthood “who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.'”

November 30
      Surgeons in France reveal that three days earlier they performed the world's first partial face transplant, on a badly disfigured woman in Amiens.

      Former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres announces that he is leaving the Labor Party in order to support Kadima, the new party established by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

      Ugandan-born John Sentamu is enthroned as the first black archbishop in the Church of England in a ceremony consecrating him as the 97th archbishop of York.

      The Los Angeles Times reveals that the U.S. military has been, through a private contractor called the Lincoln Group, paying news outlets in Iraq to publish positive pieces submitted by the military in the guise of objective news or local opinion.

"I put it to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be, but it is also very clever."
— Harold Pinter, in his Nobel Prize for Literature acceptance speech, screened in Stockholm, December 7

December 1
      South Africa's Constitutional Court rules that same-sex marriage has the same legal status as opposite-sex marriage but stays its ruling for one year in order for Parliament to make laws that conform to the ruling.

      A French court of appeals overturns the convictions of six people found guilty of participating in a pedophilia ring and orders a full investigation into all aspects of the miscarriage of justice.

      The European Central Bank for the first time in five years raises its benchmark interest rate, by a quarter point to 2.25%.

      In the Volga federal district of Russia, two subdivisions—the Perm oblast (province) and the Komi-Permyak autonomous okrug (district)—cease to exist, replaced by the Perm kray (region).

December 2
      Russia announces that it has made a major arms deal with Iran in which it will, among other things, sell antiaircraft missiles to the country.

      Legislation is passed in Belarus making it a crime punishable by prison to organize a protest or speak against the national interest; Pres. Alyaksandr Lukashenka signs the law on December 13.

      In North Carolina the 1,000th prisoner to be executed in the U.S. since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976 is put to death.

December 3
      At a meeting of the Group of 7 industrialized countries in London, Brazil and India offer to open their markets further, provided the U.S. and the European Union decrease their farm subsidies.

      Insurgents open fire on a convoy outside Adhaim, Iraq, killing 19 Iraqi soldiers.

December 4
      Pres. Nursultan Nazarbayev overwhelmingly wins reelection in an election in Kazakhstan that fails to meet international standards.

      Croatia defeats Slovakia to win its first-ever Davis Cup in men's team tennis in Bratislava, Slovakia. (In photo below, from left, Ivo Karlovic, Goran Ivanisevic, Nikola Pilic, Mario Ancic, and Ivan Ljubicic.)

      Amr Shabana of Egypt wins the World Open men's title in squash for the second time, and Nicol David of Malaysia becomes the first Asian woman to win the World Open women's championship.

      The annual Kennedy Center Honors are presented in Washington, D.C., to Tony Bennett, Suzanne Farrell, Julie Harris, Robert Redford, and Tina Turner.

December 5
      Britain's Turner Prize is presented to installation artist Simon Starling; among the works Starling is known for is Shedboatshed, in which he turned a shed into a working boat, paddled it 11 km (7 mi) downstream, then rebuilt it into a shed.

      Under the British dependency of Jersey's new system of cabinet government, replacing the former consensus system, Sen. Frank Walker is elected the island's first chief minister (head of government); Guernsey elected its first chief minister, Laurie Morgan, in 2004.

      Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff are named as anchors of ABC's television news show World News Tonight to succeed Peter Jennings, who died in August.

December 6
      Two suicide bombers infiltrate the main police academy in Baghdad and detonate their weapons, killing at least 36 police officers and injuring more than 70.

      The Conservative Party in the U.K. chooses David Cameron as the party's leader.

      U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signs an agreement with Romanian Foreign Minister Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu that gives the U.S. permission to use military bases in Romania; it is the first such arrangement with a formerly communist country.

      Eritrea decrees that all Westerners serving as UN peacekeepers in the country must depart within 10 days; the UN demands that Eritrea rescind the order.

December 7
      British playwright Harold Pinter excoriates the U.S. during his videotaped acceptance address for the Nobel Prize for Literature in Stockholm.

      At Miami International Airport, federal air marshals shoot and kill Rigoberto Alpizar, an agitated man who was running off a plane and behaving in a way that the marshals thought threatening.

      The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the government may attach a person's Social Security benefits in order to collect unpaid student loans.

      During the last day of parliamentary voting in Egypt, for runoffs resulting from the third round, Egyptian police trying to keep people from the polls leave at least six people dead; in the end, 88 seats go to members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

      The signatories to the 1949 Geneva Conventions accept the addition of a new symbol, a diamond-shaped red crystal, representing the Israeli relief agency Magen David Adom, which thus joins the Red Cross and Red Crescent global relief network.

December 8
      U.S. and Iraqi military forces find more than 600 prisoners being held in appallingly overcrowded conditions in an Iraqi government detention centre; 13 inmates are hospitalized.

      A suicide bomber forces himself onto a crowded bus at Baghdad's main bus terminal and then detonates his weapon; at least 30 people are killed.

      On a busy street outside a cultural centre in Netrokona, Bangladesh, a suicide bomber kills 7 people and injures some 50.

      A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 overshoots a runway on a snowy night at Chicago's Midway Airport, sliding off the runway and onto a busy street; a small boy in a car on that street is killed.

December 9
      At the end of two weeks of UN talks on global warming in Montreal, the U.S. and China decline to accept mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

      The Right Livelihood Awards are presented in Stockholm to Mexican artist Francisco Toledo, to Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke of Canada for their work on trade justice and the right to water, to Irene Fernandez of Malaysia for her work to end abuse of women and poor and migrant workers, and to the organization First People of the Kalahari and its founder, Roy Sesana of Botswana.

December 10
      Ethiopia agrees to pull its troops back from its border with Eritrea in compliance with a UN Security Council resolution and thereby defuses a crisis.

      Shanghai opens the first five berths of its new Yangshan deepwater port; it is nearly twice as deep as its former ports.

      The 2005 Heisman Trophy for college football is awarded to University of Southern California running back Reggie Bush.

December 11
      Presidential election returns in Chile result in the need for a runoff between Michelle Bachelet, a Socialist, and conservative billionaire Sebastián Piñera.

      A mob of largely drunken young white men goes on a rampage on a beach outside Sydney, attacking people they believe to be of Arab descent; the following day mobs of young men of Arab descent riot in several Sydney suburbs.

      The movie studio DreamWorks SKG agrees to be acquired by Paramount Pictures, spurning what had seemed to be a done deal with NBC-Universal.

December 12
      Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowers its rating of the debt of General Motors two points into junk status; it is the lowest rating in 52 years for the car manufacturer.

      Gebran Tueni, editor of a prominent anti-Syria magazine in Lebanon and a member of the country's legislature, is killed by a car bomb, together with his driver and a bystander.

December 13
      Stanley (“Tookie”) Williams, a founder of the Crips street gang in Los Angeles, is executed in San Francisco.

      Dissident members of the ruling Fatah party invade and disrupt election offices in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, upset with the slate of candidates that they believe the party will put forward.

      The U.S. National Institutes of Health announces the Cancer Genome Atlas, a new project to discover genetic abnormalities associated with all types of cancer.

      Lithuania's Supreme Court exonerates former president Rolandas Paksas of charges that he disclosed state secrets to an adviser believed to have ties to organized crime in Russia.

      The Committee to Protect Journalists releases its 2005 report, saying that the U.S. is tied with Myanmar (Burma) for sixth place in the list of countries holding the most journalists in prison; China, for the seventh year in a row, tops the list.

December 14
      The first East Asia summit is held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as part of the 11th ASEAN summit; leaders from 16 countries attend.

      At World Trade Organization talks in Hong Kong, an agreement to limit government subsidies to the fishing industry is reached; three-quarters of the fishing stock in the world has been severely depleted by overfishing.

      Ukraine announces that the cause of the unusually large number of bird deaths this month has been confirmed as the H5N1 avian flu.

December 15
      The long-awaited parliamentary elections, the first to be held under the country's new constitution, take place in Iraq.

      After long resisting the idea, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush endorses legislation that would ban inhumane and degrading treatment of prisoners held by the U.S.

December 16
      The New York Times reports that the U.S. National Security Agency has, on the sole authority of Pres. George W. Bush and without the judicial oversight ordinarily required for domestic spying, over the past three years eavesdropped on international telephone calls and e-mails placed from or to locations within the U.S.

      The trial of novelist Orhan Pamuk, scheduled to begin in Turkey, for having discussed the 1915 Armenian genocide in a magazine interview, is postponed to Feb. 7, 2006; he is charged with having broken a law forbidding criticism of “Turkishness” and state institutions.

      Peace talks between the government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group begin in Cuba.

      Time Warner reaches an agreement to sell a 5% stake in AOL to Google.

      The inaugural Ordway Prizes, which the Penny McCall Foundation is to give every two years to a contemporary artist and a contemporary arts writer or curator, are awarded to the Colombian artist Doris Salcedo and the curator Ralph Rugoff.

December 17
      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush in a radio address acknowledges that he instructed the National Security Agency to conduct electronic eavesdropping within the U.S. without warrants and says that he intends to continue the program.

      The UN begins repatriating refugees who fled warfare in southern Sudan to Kenya; the first 147 of 71,000 Sudanese in one camp are taken back to The Sudan, equipped with household goods and food from the UN.

December 18
      Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian and former coca farmer, is elected president of Bolivia.

      A referendum on a draft constitution is held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

      Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffers a transient ischemic attack, a mild stroke.

December 19
      Afghanistan's first democratically elected legislature in 30 years convenes in Kabul.

      The International Court of Justice holds Uganda responsible for attacks on civilians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the late 1990s and orders reparations; it also rules that the DRC must compensate Uganda for the destruction of its embassy in Kinshasa.

      In Belfast, N.Ire., same-sex couples exchange vows in the first civil partnership ceremonies to be legal in the U.K.; the law goes into effect on the following day in Scotland and on December 21 in England and Wales.

      After months of pressure Antonio Fazio steps down as head of the Bank of Italy; he is accused of having improperly aided Italian companies in a battle for acquisition of the Banca Antoveneta.

      Nature magazine publishes online a report by scientists in Germany who say they have reconstructed a sequence of the genome of the woolly mammoth, which has been extinct for more than 11,000 years; the genome shows that the closest living relative of the mammoth is the Asian elephant.

      The International Tennis Federation names Kim Clijsters of Belgium and Roger Federer of Switzerland its 2005 world champions.

December 20
      The Transport Workers Union in New York City goes on strike, stopping subways and buses and leaving thousands of people to find alternative ways to get to work and school; 60 hours later, on December 22, service resumes as a tentative agreement on a new contract is reached.

      About 20 masked gunmen from the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades invade and take over the municipal buildings of Bethlehem in the West Bank, demanding jobs and financial aid; the crisis ends peacefully when Palestinian authorities agree to consider the demands.

      The UN creates a new permanent 31-member Peacebuilding Commission; it will be charged with overseeing and coordinating efforts to help stabilize and rebuild communities that are emerging from warfare.

      Joseph P. Nacchio, the former CEO of Qwest Communications International, is indicted by the U.S. government on 42 counts of insider trading.

December 21
      Representatives of the U.K., France, Germany, and Iran meet in Berlin and agree to resume talks about Iran's nuclear program in January 2006; the talks had been suspended for four months.

      Yunus Qanooni is chosen as the chairman of the lower house of Afghanistan's new legislature; he is Pres. Hamid Karzai's main political rival.

      Canada's Supreme Court rules that group sex in private clubs is legally permissible.

December 22
      In response to U.S. Pres. George W. Bush's request for the USA PATRIOT Act, which greatly expands the powers of the government to conduct surveillance and collect information, to be made permanent, Congress extends it for five weeks.

      As a Chinese benzene spill in the Songhua River reaches the Russian city of Khabarovsk, a new chemical spill, of cadmium from a smelter in Shaoguan on the Bei River, threatens the water supplies of Guangzhou.

      Barrick Gold reaches an agreement to acquire Placer Dome; the merger of the two Canadian companies will create the largest gold-producing entity in the world.

December 23
      An investigative panel at Seoul National University finds that the research reported in the May 2005 paper in which Hwang Woo Suk said he had created patient-specific stem cell lines from 11 people was largely fabricated; Hwang resigns from the university in disgrace.

      After the broadcast of a televised sting showing them accepting bribes, 11 members are expelled from India's Parliament.

      The Japanese government releases figures showing that in 2005 for the first time the number of deaths exceeded the number of births (by 10,000), for an unexpected net decline in the population for the year.

December 24
      Opposition leader Ayman Nour is sentenced to five years at hard labour in what is widely viewed as political persecution in Egypt.

      UN peacekeeping forces and Congolese military forces engage in a battle with Ugandan militia members in the Ituri area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

December 25
      In St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Pope Benedict XVI delivers his first Christmas greetings as Roman Catholic pontiff; speaking in 32 languages he exhorts people not to neglect their faith.

      Libya's Supreme Court overturns the convictions of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor who had been found guilty of having infected hundreds of children with HIV and had been sentenced to death; the court orders that a new trial be held.

December 26
      Paper lanterns are released into the sky above the Andaman Sea in Khao Lok, Thai., to memorialize the 5,395 people that the South Asian tsunami killed in Thailand one year ago. (Photo above.)

      In Kabul, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah sign an agreement on consular relations and on aid for Afghan refugees and migrant workers in Iran.

December 27
      In Banda Aceh, Indon., leaders of the Free Aceh Movement declare that the movement's armed wing has disbanded.

      A senior adviser to Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin, Andrey N. Illarionov, who has become increasingly critical of the government, resigns, saying the country has become politically unfree and has adopted an economic model he cannot support.

      Wolfgang Melchior of Austria and four companions complete an unsupported ski trip across an uncharted region of Antarctica to the South Pole in a record 33 days.

December 28
      Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny of Côte d'Ivoire announces the formation of a unity government that includes members from the governing party, the opposition party, and the rebels.

      After weeks of exchanges of rocket fire, Israel declares a buffer zone in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, where Palestinians are not permitted to go, to prevent attacks on Israel from the area; it enforces the ban with artillery fire.

      Swedish harness-racing driver Stig H. Johansson retires after having won 6,222 races and 29 championships, stepping down after a final event at Solvalla Racecourse in Stockholm.

      Kabuki actor Kotaro Hayashi ceremonially assumes the stage name Tojuro Sakata; he is the first actor since 1774 to be deemed worthy of carrying on the name of the 17th-century master.

December 29
      The last of the 24,000 Indonesian troops in Aceh province pull out; hundreds of people go to the port of Banda Aceh to watch the departure.

      The Financial Times reports that the World Bank and other Western donors have decided to withhold aid from the government of Ethiopia because of its crackdown on the opposition.

      Donald Kennedy, editor of Science, says that the magazine will retract the May 2005 paper in which South Korean researcher Hwang Woo Suk reported his now thoroughly discredited claim to have cloned patient-specific human stem cell lines.

      Wild Oats XI, the winner of the 2005 Rolex Sydney–Hobart Yacht Race in Australia, sets a new record of 1 day 18 hr 40 min 10 sec.

December 30
      The CEO of Russia's energy company Gazprom says that if Ukraine does not accept a fourfold raise in the price of gas to make it consistent with the price paid by Western European countries, the supply to Ukraine will be cut off on Jan. 1, 2006.

      A bomb goes off at a market in the Indonesian town of Palu in Sulawesi Tengah province, killing six people and injuring 45.

December 31
      Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin states that if Ukraine will agree to start paying higher prices for natural gas in April 2006, the gas company Gazprom will continue to sell gas to Ukraine at a lower price through March, otherwise, the flow will be cut off on Jan. 1, 2006; no accommodation in the crisis is reached before year's end.

      The U.S. government and the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count release figures saying that in 2005 846 U.S. military service members died in Iraq, close to the 2004 total of 848; the total since the beginning of the war is 2,180.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

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