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Years of events - for those who can see it through the years from Year 2000 onwards


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Events in 2000




January 1 – New Zealand broadcasting on Chatham Island is watched worldwide to start millennium celebrations and the Year 2000 problem begins.


January 3–January 10 – Israel and Syria hold inconclusive peace talks.


January 5–January 8 – The 2000 al-Qaeda Summit of several high-level al-Qaeda members (including 2 9/11 American Airlines hijackers) is held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


January 6 – The last natural Pyrenean Ibex is found dead, apparently killed by a falling tree.


January 10 – America Online announces an agreement to purchase Time Warner for $162 billion (the largest-ever corporate merger).


January 11


The armed wing of the Islamic Salvation Front concludes its negotiations with the government for an amnesty and disbands in Algeria (see Algerian Civil War#GIA destroyed, GSPC discontinues)


The trawler Solway Harvester sinks off the Isle of Man.[3]


January 14


A United Nations tribunal sentences 5 Bosnian Croats to up to 25 years in prison for the 1993 killing of over 100 Bosnian Muslims in a Bosnian village.[4]


The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes at 11,722.98 (at the peak of the Dot-com bubble).


January 18 – The Tagish Lake meteorite impacts the Earth.


January 24 – God's Army, a Karen militia group led by twins Johnny and Luther Htoo, takes 700 hostages at a Thai hospital near the Burmese border.


January 30 – Kenya Airways Flight 431 crashes off the coast of Côte d'Ivoire into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 169.


January 31


Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashes off the California coast into the Pacific Ocean, killing 88.


Dr. Harold Shipman is found guilty of murdering 15 patients between 1995 and 1998 at Hyde, Greater Manchester, and sentenced to life imprisonment.




February 4 – German extortionist Klaus-Peter Sabotta is jailed for life for attempted murder and extortion, in connection with the sabotage of German railway lines.


February 6 – Tarja Halonen is elected the first female president of Finland.


February 7 – Stipe Mesic is elected president of Croatia.


February 8 – Bob Collins' plane collides with that of a student pilot over Zion, Illinois.


February 9 – Torrential rains in Africa lead to the worst flooding in Mozambique in 50 years, which lasts until March and kills 800 people.


February 13 – The final original Peanuts comic strip is published, following the death of its creator, Charles M. Schulz.


February 21 – UNESCO holds the inaugural celebration of International Mother Language Day.




March 1 – The Constitution of Finland rewritten.


March 4 – The PlayStation 2 is released in Japan, and in North America several months later. It becomes the best-selling game console of all time.


March 8 – Tokyo train disaster: A sideswipe collision of 2 Tokyo Metro trains kills 5 people.


March 10 – The NASDAQ Composite Index reaches an all-time high of 5,048.[5]


March 12 – Pope John Paul II apologizes for the wrongdoings by members of the Roman Catholic Church throughout the ages.


March 21


Pope John Paul II begins the first official visit by a Roman Catholic pontiff to Israel.


The U.S. Supreme Court rules the FDA lacks authority to regulate tobacco as an addictive drug, throwing out the Clinton Administration's main anti-smoking initiative


March 26 – Vladimir Putin is elected President of Russia.


March 26 – The Seattle Kingdome is demolished by implosion.


March 27 – The Phillips explosion of 2000 kills 1 and injures 71 in Pasadena, Texas.




April 3 – United States v. Microsoft: Microsoft is ruled to have violated United States antitrust laws by keeping "an oppressive thumb" on its competitors.


April 17 – Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin becomes Raja of Perlis.


April 22 – In a predawn raid, federal agents seize 6-year old Elián González from his relatives' home in Miami, Florida and fly him to his Cuban father in Washington, DC, ending one of the most publicized custody battles in U.S. history.




May 1 – A new class of composite material is fabricated, which has a combination of physical properties never before seen in a natural or man-made material.[6][7]


May 3


In San Antonio, Texas, computer pioneer Datapoint files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.


May 4


After originating in the Philippines, the ILOVEYOU computer virus spreads quickly throughout the world.


An earthquake hits Banggai, Indonesia, leaving 54 dead.


May 5


A rare conjunction of 7 celestial bodies (Sun, Moon, planets Mercury–Saturn) occurs during the New Moon.[8]


May 11


The billionth living person in India is born.[9][10]


Effective date of Canada's first modern-day treaty – The Nisga'a Final Agreement


May 12 – The Tate Modern Gallery opens in London.


May 13


A fireworks factory disaster in Enschede, the Netherlands, kills 23.


Millennium Force opens at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio as the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster.


May 16 – The Grand National Assembly of Turkey elects Ahmet Necdet Sezer as the tenth President of Turkey.


May 17 – A bomb in Glorietta Mall in Makati City, Philippines injures 13.


May 20 – Taiwanese (ROC) president Chen Shui-bian makes the Four Noes and One Without pledge to Taiwan.


May 25 – Israel withdraws IDF forces from southern Lebanon after 22 years.




June 4 – An earthquake hits Bengkulu, Indonesia, leaving 94 dead.


June 5 – 405 The Movie, the first short film widely distributed on the Internet, is released.


June 13 – South Korean President Kim Dae Jung visits North Korea to participate in the first North-South presidential summit.


June 17 – A centennial earthquake (6.5 on Richter scale) hits Iceland on its national day.


June 21 – Section 28, a law preventing the promotion of homosexuality, is repealed by the Scottish Parliament.


June 26 – A preliminary draft of genomes, as part of the Human Genome Project, is finished.


June 28 – Elian Gonzalez returns to Cuba with his father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, ending a protracted custody battle.


June 30 – At the Roskilde Festival near Copenhagen, Denmark, 9 die and 26 are injured on a set while the rock group Pearl Jam performs.



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Year 2000 continues...




July 2


France defeats Italy 2-1 after extra time in the final of the European Championships, becoming the first team to consecutively win the World Cup and European Championships.


Vicente Fox is elected President of Mexico, as candidate of the rightist PAN (National Action Party), ending 71 years of PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) rule.


July 10


In southern Nigeria, a leaking petroleum pipeline explodes, killing about 250 villagers who were scavenging gasoline.


Bashar al-Assad is confirmed as Syria's leader in a national referendum.


July 13–July 25 – Israel's prime minister Ehud Barak and PLO head Yasser Arafat meet at Camp David, but fail to reach an agreement.


July 14 – A powerful solar flare, later named the Bastille Day event, causes a geomagnetic storm on Earth.


July 18 – Alex Salmond resigns as the leader of the Scottish National Party.


July 21–July 23 – G-8 Nations hold their 26th Annual Summit; issues include AIDS, the 'digital divide', and halving world poverty by 2015.


July 22 – News of the World urges its readers to sign a petition for Sarah's Law, new legislation in response to the murder of Sarah Payne, which would give parents the right to know whether a convicted paedophile was living in their area.


July 25 – Air France Flight 4590, a Concorde aircraft, crashes into a hotel in Gonesse just after takeoff from Paris, killing all 109 aboard and 4 in the hotel.


July 30 – Venezuela's president Hugo Chávez is reelected with 59% of the vote.


July 31-August 3 – The Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania nominates George W. Bush for U.S. President and Dick Cheney for Vice President.




August 3 – Rioting erupts on the Paulsgrove estate in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, after more than 100 people besiege the home of a block of flats allegedly housing a convicted paedophile. This is the latest vigilante violence against suspected sex offenders since the beginning of the "naming and shaming" anti-paedophile campaign by the tabloid newspaper News of the World.


August 8 – The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley is raised to the surface after 136 years on the ocean floor.


August 12 – The Russian submarine Kursk sinks in the Barents Sea, resulting in the deaths of all 118 men on board.


August 14 – Tsar Nicholas II and his family are canonized by the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.


August 14 – Dora the Explorer, one of Nickelodeon's hottest shows, debuts.


August 14–August 17 – The Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles nominates U.S. Vice President Al Gore for President and Senator Joe Lieberman for Vice President.


August 23 – John Anthony Kaiser a Roman Catholic priest was murdered in Morendat, Kenya.


August 27 – The Ostankino Tower fire in Moscow kills 3.




September 5 – Tuvalu joins the United Nations.


September 6 – The last wholly Swedish-owned arms manufacturer, Bofors, is sold to American arms manufacturer United Defense.


September 6–September 8 – World leaders attend the Millennium Summit at UN Headquarters.


September 7–September 14 – The UK fuel protests take place, with refineries blockaded, and supply to the country's network of petrol stations halted.


September 8


Albania officially joins the World Trade Organization.


United Nations Millennium Declaration is made in New York


September 15–October 1 – The 2000 Summer Olympics are held in Sydney, Australia.


September 16


Ukrainian journalist Georgiy Gongadze is last seen alive; this day is taken as the commemoration date of his death.


Peru's president Alberto Fujimori calls for new elections in which he will not run.


September 26


The Greek ferry Express Samina sinks off the coast of the island of Paros; 80 out of a total of over 500 passengers perish in one of Greece's worst sea disasters.


Anti-globalization protests in Prague (some 15,000 protesters) turn violent during the IMF and World Bank summits.


September 28 – Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visits the Temple Mount, protected by a several-hundred-strong Israeli police force. Palestinian riots erupt, leading to a full-fledged armed uprising (called the Al-Aqsa Intifada by sympathizers and the Oslo War by opponents).


September 29 – The Long Kesh prison in Northern Ireland is closed.




October 1 – The 2000 Summer Olympics close in Sydney, Australia.


October 5 – President Slobodan Milošević leaves office after widespread demonstrations throughout Serbia.


October 6 – The last Mini is produced in Longbridge.


October 11 – 250 million US gallons (950,000 m3) of coal sludge spill in Martin County, Kentucky (considered a greater environmental disaster than the Exxon Valdez oil spill).


October 12 – In Aden, Yemen, USS Cole is badly damaged by two Al-Qaeda suicide bombers, who place a small boat laden with explosives alongside the United States Navy destroyer, killing 17 crew members and wounding at least 39.


October 21 – Fifteen Arab leaders convene in Cairo, Egypt, for their first summit in 4 years; the Libyan delegation walks out, angry over signs the summit will stop short of calling for breaking ties with Israel.


October 22 – The Mainichi Shinbun newspaper exposes Japanese archeologist Shinichi Fujimura as a fraud; Japanese archaeologists had based their treatises on his findings.


October 23 – Madeleine Albright holds talks with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il.


October 26 – Pakistani authorities announce that their police have found an apparently ancient mummy of a Persian princess in the province of Balochistan. Iran, Pakistan and the Taliban all claim the mummy until Pakistan announces it is a modern-day fake on April 17, 2001.


October 27 – Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).


October 30 – This is the final date during which there is no human presence in space; on October 31, Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the International Space Station. The ISS has been continuously crewed since.


October 31 – Singapore Airlines Flight 006 collides with construction equipment in the Chiang Kai Shek International Airport, resulting in 83 deaths.




November – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq rejects new U.N. Security Council weapons inspections proposals.


November 2 – The first resident crew enters the International Space Station.


November 3 – Widespread flooding occurs throughout England and Wales after days of heavy rain.


November 7:


In London, a criminal gang raids the Millennium Dome to steal the Millennium Star diamond, but police surveillance catches them in the act.


Hillary Rodham Clinton is elected to the United States Senate, becoming the first First Lady of the United States to win public office.


November 11 – Kaprun disaster, Austria: A funicular fire in an Alpine tunnel kills 155 skiers and snowboarders.


November 15 – A new Indian state called Jharkhand is formed, carving out the South Chhota Nagpur area from Bihar in India.


November 16 – Bill Clinton becomes the first sitting U.S. President to visit Vietnam.


November 17


A catastrophic landslide in Log pod Mangartom, Slovenia, kills 7, and causes millions of SIT of damage. It is one of the worst catastrophes in Slovenia in the past 100 years.


Alberto Fujimori is removed from office as president of Peru.


November 27 – Jean Chrétien is re-elected as Prime Minister of Canada, as the Liberal Party of Canada increases its majority in the House of Commons of Canada.


November 28 – Ukrainian politician Oleksander Moroz touches off the Cassette Scandal by publicly accusing President Leonid Kuchma of involvement in the murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze.




December 1 – Vicente Fox takes office as President of Mexico.


December 13 – Bush v. Gore: The U.S. Supreme Court stops the Florida presidential recount, effectively giving the state, and the Presidency, to George W. Bush.


December 15


Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel opens at the Disneyland Resort.


The third and final reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is shut down and the station is shut down completely.


December 24 – Christmas Eve 2000 Indonesia bombings: 18 people are killed in multiple Islamist bomb attacks on churches across Indonesia.


December 25 – A shopping center fire at Luoyang, Henan, China, kills 309.


December 30 – Rizal Day bombings: A series of bombs explode in various places in Metro Manila, Philippines, within a span of a few hours, killing 22 and injuring about 100.


December 31 – The Millennium Dome closes its doors one year to the day of its opening.



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Year 2001


January 2 - Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa opens at the Disneyland Resort.


January 4 - Jagex Games Studios launches RuneScape


January 8 – Noah, a gaur, is born, the first animal of an endangered species to be cloned.


January 11 – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approves the merger of America Online and Time Warner to form AOL Time Warner.


January 12 - Downtown Disney opens to the public as part of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.


January 13 – A 7.6 magnitude earthquake hits all of El Salvador, killing at least 800 people and leaving thousands homeless.


January 15 – Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, launches on the Internet.


January 17 – Impeachment proceedings against Philippine President Joseph Estrada, accused of playing Jueteng, end preeminently and trigger the second EDSA People Power Revolution or People Power II.


January 20 – George W. Bush succeeds Bill Clinton as the 43rd President of the United States.


January 23–January 25 – United Nations war crimes prosecutor Del Ponte demands that Serbia hand over Slobodan Milošević.Confirmation needed


January 23 – The Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident occurs.


January 25 – A 50-year-old Douglas DC-3 crashes near Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, killing 24.[1]


January 26 – An earthquake hits Gujarat, India, killing more than 12,000.




February 6 – Likud Party leader Ariel Sharon wins election as Prime Minister of Israel.


February 8 - Disney California Adventure Park opens to the public as part of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.


February 9 – The submarine USS Greeneville accidentally strikes and sinks the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime-Maru near Hawaii.


February 12 – The NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touches down in the "saddle" region of 433 Eros, becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.


February 13 – A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hits El Salvador, killing at least 400.


February 16 – Iraq disarmament crisis: British and U.S. forces carry out bombing raids, attempting to disable Iraq's air defense network.


February 18 – FBI agent Robert Hanssen is arrested and charged with spying for Russia for 15 years.


February 18 – Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt dies as a consequence of an accident in the last turn of the 2001 Daytona 500.


February 20 – The 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis begins.




March 2 - The Taliban begins destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas.


March 23 – The deorbit of Russian space station Mir was carried out near Nadi, Fiji, with Mir falling into the Pacific Ocean.




April 1


Hainan Island incident: A Chinese fighter jet bumps into a U.S. EP-3E surveillance aircraft, which is forced to make an emergency landing in Hainan, China. The U.S. crew is detained for 10 days and the F-8 Chinese pilot, Wang Wei, goes missing and is presumed dead.


Former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia President Slobodan Milošević surrenders to police special forces, to be tried on charges of war crimes.


In the Netherlands, the Act on the Opening up of Marriage goes into effect. The Act allows same-sex couples to marry legally for the first time in the world since the reign of Nero.


April 26 – Junichiro Koizumi becomes Prime Minister of Japan.


April 28 – Soyuz TM-32 lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, carrying the first space tourist, American Dennis Tito




May 6 – Space tourist Dennis Tito returns to Earth aboard Soyuz TM-31. (Soyuz TM-32 is left docked at the International Space Station as a new lifeboat.)


May 7 – In Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, an attempt is made to reconstruct the Ferhadija mosque. However, the ceremony results in mass riots by Serb nationalists, who beat and stone 300 elderly Bosnian Muslims.


May 13 – Silvio Berlusconi and the Italian House of the Liberties coalition win the general elections.


May 15 - The female American rock band The Go-Go's release their first album in 17 years since the album Talk Show (1984).


May 22 – A large trans-Neptunian object (28978 Ixion) is found during the Deep Ecliptic Survey.


May 22–May 23 – The Bahá'í Terraces officially open on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel (site of the Shrine of the Báb and the Bahá'í World Centre).


May 24


Sherpa Temba Tsheri, 16, becomes the youngest person to summit Mount Everest.


The Versailles wedding hall disaster kills 23 in Jerusalem, Israel.


Jim Jeffords, the United States Senator for Vermont, leaves the Republican Party and becomes an Independent. He joins the Democratic caucus, giving them a 51-49 majority for the remainder of 107th United States Congress.




June 1


Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal kills his father, the king, his mother and other members of the royal family with an assault rifle and then shoots himself in the Nepalese royal massacre. Dipendra dies June 4, as King of Nepal. His uncle Gyanendra accedes to the throne.


A Hamas suicide bomber kills 21, mostly teenagers, in the Dolphinarium disco in Tel Aviv, Israel.


June 5–June 9 – Tropical Storm Allison produces 36 inches (900 mm) of rain in Houston, Texas, killing 22, damaging the Texas Medical Center, and causing more than 5 billion American dollars of damage overall.


June 11 – In Terre Haute, Indiana, Timothy McVeigh is executed for the Oklahoma City bombing.


June 19 – A missile hits a soccer field in northern Iraq (Tel Afr County), killing 23 and wounding 11. According to U.S. officials, it was an Iraqi missile that malfunctioned.[2]


June 20 – Pervez Musharraf becomes President of Pakistan after the resignation of Muhammad Rafiq Tarar.


June 21 – The world's longest train is set up by BHP Iron Ore and is recorded going between Newman and Port Hedland in Western Australia (a distance of 275 km, or 170 miles) and the train consists of 682 loaded iron ore wagons and 8 GE AC6000CW locomotives, giving a gross weight of almost 100,000 tonnes and moves 82,262 tonnes of ore; the train is 7.353 km (4.569 mi) long.


June 23 – An earthquake (7.9 on the Richter scale) hits the south of Peru.





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2001 continued...


July 2 – The world's first self-contained artificial heart is implanted in Robert Tools.


July 3 – A Vladivostokavia Tupolev Tu-154 jetliner crashes on approach to landing at Irkutsk, Russia, killing 145.


July 13 – Beijing wins the bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics.


July 16


The People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation sign the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation.


The FBI arrests Dmitry Sklyarov at a convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, for violating a provision of the DMCA.


July 17 – The Altamira caves's replica (created by Manuel Franquelo and Sven Nebel) is inaugurated.


July 18 – In Baltimore, Maryland, a 60-car train derailment occurs in a tunnel, sparking a fire that lasts days and virtually shuts down downtown Baltimore.


July 19 – UK politician and novelist Jeffrey Archer is sentenced to 4 years in prison for perjury and perverting the course of justice.


July 20–July 22 – The 27th G8 summit takes place in Genoa, Italy. Massive demonstrations are held against the meeting by anti-globalisation groups. One demonstrator, Carlo Giuliani, is shot dead by a carabiniere. Several others are badly injured during a police attack on a school used by the protesters as their headquarters.


July 24 – Tamil Tigers attack Bandaranaika International Airport in Sri Lanka, causing an estimated $500 million of damages.


July 28 – Alejandro Toledo is sworn in as the new president of Peru, 8 months after a vote of no-confidence in former President Alberto Fujimori.




August 9


U.S. President George W. Bush announces his limited support for federal funding of research on embryonic stem cells.


In the Comoros, the "Military Committee" of Major Mohamad Bacar seizes power in the island of Anjouan, which had declared independence. They plan to rejoin the Comoros.


Sbarro Restaurant in Jerusalem is attacked by a Palestinian Terrorist, killing 15 civilians and wounding 130


August 31-September 1 - The 2001 Vancouver TV realignment occurs in British Columbia, Canada.


August 31-September 08 - World Conference against Racism 2001




September 3 - the United States, Canada and Israel withdraw from the UN Conference on Racism because they feel that the issue of Zionism is overemphasized.


September 4 - Tokyo DisneySea opens to the public as part of the Tokyo Disney Resort in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan.


September 5 – Peru's attorney general files homicide charges against ex-President Alberto Fujimori.


September 6 – United States v. Microsoft: The United States Justice Department announces that it no longer seeks to break up software maker Microsoft, and will instead seek a lesser antitrust penalty.


September 9 – A suicide bomber kills Ahmed Shah Massoud, military commander of the Afghan Northern Alliance.


September 10 – Norwegian parliamentary election, 2001: Kjell Magne Bondevik returns to power as head of a conservative coalition.


September 11, 2001 attacks


September 11 – Nearly 3,000 are killed in the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City; the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia; and in rural Shanksville, Pennsylvania after American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 crash into the World Trade Center's Twin Towers, American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 crashes into grassland in Shanksville.


September 12 – Israel sends tanks into Jericho, West Bank, starting a new military operation.


September 18 – The 2001 anthrax attacks commence as letters containing anthrax spores are mailed from Princeton, New Jersey to ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, the New York Post, and the National Enquirer. 22 in total are exposed; 5 of them die.


September 21 – In Toulouse, France, the AZote Fertilisant chemical factory explodes, killing 29 and seriously wounding over 2,500.




October 4 – Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 crashes over the Black Sea en route from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Novosibirsk, Russia; 78 are killed.


October 7 – War in Afghanistan (2001–present): The United States invades Afghanistan, with participation from other nations.


October 8 – Flight SK686 of SAS collides first with a private plane and then a building in Milano Airport; 100 are killed.


October 15 – NASA's Galileo spacecraft passes within 112 miles (180 km) of Jupiter's moon Io.


October 19 – SIEV-X sinks en route to Christmas Island.


October 23 - The iPod was first introduced by Apple.


October 25 - Microsoft Windows XP is released.


October 26 – U.S. President George W. Bush signs the USA PATRIOT Act into law.




Soldiers board a Chinook helicopter


November – The Doha Declaration relaxes the grip of international intellectual property law.


November 2 – The Glocal Forum, leading international organization in the field of city-to-city cooperation, is established by Ambassador Uri Savir.


November 4


Hurricane Michelle hits Cuba, destroying crops and thousands of homes.


The Police Service of Northern Ireland is established, replacing the controversial Royal Ulster Constabulary.


November 10


The People's Republic of China is admitted to the World Trade Organization after 15 years of negotiations.


Heavy rains and mudslides in Algeria kill more than 900.


Australian Prime Minister John Howard is elected to a third term.


November 12 – In New York City, American Airlines Flight 587, headed to the Dominican Republic, crashes in Queens minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 on board.


November 13


Doha Round: The World Trade Organization ends a 4-day ministerial conference in Doha, Qatar.


Symbionese Liberation Army member Kathleen Soliah (Sara Jane Olsen) withdraws her previous guilty plea.


In the first such act since World War II, U.S. President George W. Bush signs an executive order allowing military tribunals against any foreigners suspected of having connections to terrorist acts or planned acts against the United States.


November 29 - George Harrison, former lead guitarist of The Beatles, dies of lung cancer at the age of 58.




December 2 – Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection five days after Dynegy cancels a US$8.4 billion buyout bid (to that point, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history).


December 3 – Officials announce that one of the Taliban prisoners captured after the prison uprising at Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan is John Walker Lindh, an American citizen.


December 11


The United States government indicts Zacarias Moussaoui for involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks.


Law enforcement raid members of DrinkOrDie in Operation Buccaneer.


December 13


The Parliament of India is attacked; 12 are killed. This brings India and Pakistan to the brink of war.


U.S. President George W. Bush announces the United States' withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.


December 22


Hamid Karzai is sworn in as head of the interim government in Afghanistan.


A Paris–Miami, Florida flight is diverted to Boston, Massachusetts after passenger Richard Reid attempts to set his shoe, filled with explosives, on fire.


December 27


The People's Republic of China is granted permanent normal trade status with the United States.


Typhoon Vamei forms within 1.5 degrees of the equator. No other tropical cyclone in recorded history has come as close to the equator.



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Year 2002




January 1


The Open Skies mutual surveillance treaty, initially signed in 1992, officially enters into force.


Euro notes and coins are introduced in France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Finland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and the Netherlands.


January 8 – The No Child Left Behind Act is signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush.


January 9 The United States Department of Justice announces it will pursue a criminal investigation of Enron.


January 10 – Enrique Bolaños begins his 5-year term as President of the Republic of Nicaragua.


January 14 – The asylum case of Adelaide Abankwah is heard in New York.


January 16 – The UN Security Council unanimously establishes an arms embargo and freezes the assets of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban.


January 17 – The eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo displaces an estimated 400,000 people.


January 23 – Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is kidnapped in Pakistan, accused of being a CIA agent by his captors.


January 27 – Several explosions at a military dump in Lagos, Nigeria kill more than 1,000.Confirmation needed


January 31 – A large section of the Antarctic Larsen Ice Shelf begins disintegrating, consuming about 3,250 km (2,020 mi) over 35 days.




February 1 – Kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is murdered in Karachi, Pakistan.


February 3 – Costa Rica holds presidential and congressional elections.


February 6 – Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II upon 50th Anniversary of King George VI's death in 1952


February 8–February 24 – The 2002 Winter Olympics are held in Salt Lake City, Utah.


February 9 - Elizabeth II's sister Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon dies in her sleep aged 71 after suffering a major stroke.


February 12


The trial of Slobodan Milošević, the former President of FR Yugoslavia, begins at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague.


The U.S. Secretary of Energy makes the decision that Yucca Mountain is suitable to be the United States' nuclear repository.


February 13 – Elizabeth II gives former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani an honorary knighthood.


February 14 Prisoner Shaker Aamer moved to Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Aamer has been held since without charge and despite being cleared for release in 2007 and 2009.


February 15 - The funeral of Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon takes place on the 50th anniversary of her father's funeral.


Artists concept of the 2001 Mars Odyssey Spacecraft


February 19 – NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.


February 20 – In Reqa Al-Gharbiya, Egypt, a fire on a train injures over 65 and kills at least 370.


February 22


Robert William Pickton; the most prolific serial killer in Canadian history is arrested and charged with the first two (of twenty-seven) counts of first-degree murder.


Angolan political and rebel leader Jonas Savimbi is killed in a military ambush.


A Spanish-facilitated ceasefire begins in Sri Lanka.


February 23 – FARC kidnaps Íngrid Betancourt in Colombia while she campaigns for the presidency.


February 27 – A series of riots leaves hundreds dead, after 59 Hindu pilgrims die aboard a train burned by a Muslim in Godhra, India.


February 28


The ex-currencies of all euro-using nations cease to be legal tender in the European Union.


Gujarat communal riots begin, wherein the Gulbarg Society massacre takes place in Ahmedabad, in which 69 people were burnt alive or killed.




Hubble Space Telescope after servicing by the crew of STS-109


March 1


U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: In eastern Afghanistan, Operation Anaconda begins.


Continuing violence in Ahmedabad, India kills 28; police shoot and kill 5 rioters.


The Envisat environmental satellite successfully reaches an orbit 800 km above the Earth using an Ariane 5 on its 11th launch, carrying the heaviest payload to date at 8,500 kg.


STS-109: Space Shuttle Columbia flies the Hubble Space Telescope service mission, penultimate flight before its ill-fated STS-107 mission.


March 3 – São Tomé and Príncipe hold legislative elections.


March 4 – Ansett Australia, one of the oldest airlines in the world and the second largest in Australia, ceases operation after collapsing financially. This event also marks the largest job loss in Australian history.


March 6 – France agrees to return the remains of Saartjie Baartman to South Africa.


March 12 – In Houston, Texas, Andrea Yates is found guilty of drowning her 5 children on June 20, 2001. She is later sentenced to life in prison.


March 14


125 vehicles are involved in a massive pile up on Interstate 75 in Ringgold, Georgia.


Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament established.


March 17


Portugal holds parliamentary elections.


In Islamabad, Pakistan, the International Protestant Church attack occurs.


March 19 – US war in Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda ends (started on March 1) after killing 500 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, with 11 allied troop fatalities.


March 21 – In Pakistan, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and 3 others are charged with the kidnapping and killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.


March 24 – The 74th Academy Awards, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, are held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California with the film A Beautiful Mind winning Best Picture.


March 27 – A Palestinian suicide bomber kills 30 Israeli civilians and injures 140 others at the Park Hotel in Netanya, triggering Operation Defensive Shield, a large-scale counter-terrorist Israeli military incursion into the West Bank, two days later.




April 2 – Israeli forces besiege the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, when militants take shelter there.


April 9 – The funeral of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother takes place in Westminster Abbey, London.


April 11 – April 14 – A military coup d'état against the leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez fails.


April 15 – An Air China Boeing 767-200 crashes into a hillside during heavy rain and fog near Busan, South Korea, killing 128.


April 17 – Four Canadian infantrymen are killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire from 2 US F-16s.


April 18 – The discovery of a new insect order, Mantophasmatodea, is announced.


April 21 – French presidential election, 2002: The first round results in a runoff between Jacques Chirac and the leader of the main French far-right party, Jean-Marie Le Pen.


April 22 – At a special session of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Director-General Jose Bustani is fired.


April 25 – Soyuz TM-34: South African Mark Shuttleworth blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; he had paid £15 million for the trip.


April 27 – The Laughlin, Nevada River Run Riot kills 3.




May 20: Flag of East Timor


May 5 – In the second round of the French presidential election Jacques Chirac is reelected.


May 6 – In the Netherlands, politician Pim Fortuyn is assassinated.


May 9 – A 38-day stand-off in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem ends, when the Palestinians inside agree to have 13 suspected militants among them deported to several different countries.


In Kaspiysk, Russia, a remote-control bomb explodes during a holiday parade, killing 43 and injuring at least 130.


May 8 – Feyenoord Rotterdam wins the UEFA Final Cup with 3-2 from Borussia Dortmund.


May 10 – FBI agent Robert Hanssen is sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for selling American secrets to Moscow for $1.4 million in cash and diamonds.


May 12


Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a 5-day visit with Fidel Castro, becoming the first U.S. President, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro's 1959 revolution.


The Russian Shuttle Buran is destroyed in the Buran hangar collapse, killing 8 workers.


May 17 – In Ireland, The Fianna Fáil-Progressive Democrats coalition is re-elected. It is the first government to be re-elected since 1969.


May 20 – East Timor regains its independence.


May 21 – The US State Department releases a report naming 7 state sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.


May 22 – 16th Street Baptist Church bombing: A jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of 4 girls.


May 25


Estonia hosts the first Eurovision Song Contest in a former Soviet republic.


China Airlines Flight 611 disintegrates near the Penghu Islands at Taiwan Strait, killing all 225 people on board.


May 26


The Mars Odyssey finds signs of large water ice deposits on the planet Mars.


A barge collides with the Interstate 40 bridge across the Arkansas River in eastern Oklahoma, killing 14.


May 31 – June 30 – the 2002 FIFA World Cup is held in South Korea and Japan.



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2002 continues...




June 3 – The "Party in the Palace" takes place at Buckingham Palace, London, for Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee celebrations.


June 4 – The planetoid Quaoar is discovered orbiting the Sun in the Kuiper belt.


June 5 – Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart is kidnapped from her bedroom at knifepoint.


June 6 – Eastern Mediterranean Event: An object with an estimated diameter of 10 meters collides with Earth, over the Mediterranean Sea, and detonates in mid-air.


June 8 – Serena Williams defeats her sister Venus Williams in straight sets to win the 2002 French Open.


June 10


An annular solar eclipse occurs.


The first direct electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of 2 humans, is carried out by Kevin Warwick in the United Kingdom.


June 11 – Antonio Meucci is recognized as the first inventor of the telephone by the United States Congress.


June 14 – In Karachi, Pakistan, a car bomb in front of the U.S. Consulate kills 12 Pakistanis and injures 50.


June 15 – Near Earth Asteroid 2002 MN misses the planet by 75,000 miles (121,000 km), about 1/3 the distance to the moon.


June 24 – The Igandu train disaster in Dodoma Region, Tanzania, kills 281 people in the worst rail accident in African history.


June 30 – Brazil wins its fifth FIFA World Cup, defeating Germany in the final.




July 1


The International Criminal Court is established to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. Crimes committed on or after this date may be prosecuted by the court.


A Russian passenger jet and a cargo plane collide over the town of Überlingen, Germany; 72 are killed (see Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937).


July 9 – The Organization of African Unity is disbanded and replaced by the African Union.


July 10


At a Sotheby's auction, Peter Paul Rubens' painting "The Massacre of the Innocents" (first version) is sold for £49.5million (US$76.2 million) to Kenneth Thomson, 2nd Baron Thomson of Fleet.


A helicopter crash in Cyprus kills the head of the Cyprus National Guard, Lt. General Evangelos Florakis.


July 14 – During Bastille Day celebrations, Jacques Chirac escapes an assassination attempt.


July 15 – In Washington, D.C., "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh pleads guilty to aiding the enemy and possession of explosives during the commission of a felony; Lindh agrees to serve 10 years in prison for each charge.


July 19 – Hail kills 25 and injures hundreds in the Chinese province of Henan.


July 21 – Telecommunications giant WorldCom files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (the largest such filing in United States history).


July 27


A Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashes at an air show in Ukraine, killing 77 and injuring more than 100, making it the worst air show disaster in history (see Sknyliv airshow disaster).


Helen Clark, leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, is re-elected in a landslide victory.




August – The 2002 European floods ravage Central Europe.


August 14 – DPC Enterprises Chlorine Release, Festus, Missouri (USA) [1]




Gerhard Schröder


September 2 – The United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, successor of the 1972 Conference on the Human Environment, 1983 World Commission on Environment and Development, and the 1992 Conference on Environment and Development, opens.


September 5 – A car bomb kills at least 30 people in Afghanistan, and an apparent assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai fails the same day.


September 9 – Judit Polgar beats Garry Kasparov at a game of speed chess.


September 10 – Switzerland joins the United Nations.


September 11 – The World Summit on Sustainable Development comes to a close.


September 15 – The Swedish parliamentary election, 2002 leaves Prime Minister Göran Persson and the Social Democrats in power.


September 19 – Civil war starts in Côte d'Ivoire.


September 20 – The Kolka-Karmadon rock ice slide occurs.


September 22 – The German federal election leaves Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, his Social Democrats and the Greens in power.


September 25 – The Vitim event, a possible bolide impact, occurs in Siberia, Russia.


September 26 – The Senegalese passenger ferry Joola capsizes in a storm off the coast of Gambia; 1,863 are killed.




October 2


The Congress of the United States passes a joint resolution, which authorizes the President to use the United States Armed Forces as he deems necessary and appropriate, against Iraq.


The Beltway sniper attacks begin with 5 shootings in Montgomery County, Maryland.


October 7 – The discovery of Quaoar is announced.


October 9 – The Dot-com bubble bear market reaches bottom, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average slips below 7,200.


October 11 – Myyrmanni bombing: A lone bomber explodes a home-made bomb in the Myyrmanni shopping mall north of Helsinki, Finland; the casualties include himself.


October 12 – Terrorists detonate bombs in 2 nightclubs in Kuta, Bali, killing 202 and injuring over 300.


October 16 – Iraq War Resolution is authorized by a majority of the U.S. Congress.


October 21 – 9 of 13 DNS root servers are disabled in a DDoS attack.


October 22 – 25 – Chechen rebels take control of the theatre Nord-Ost in Moscow and hold the audience hostage.


October 24 – The Beltway snipers, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, are arrested.


October 25 – U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, his family, and his staff are killed in a plane accident at Eveleth, Minnesota.


October 27 – Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is elected President of Brazil.




The Department of Homeland Security is formed in response to terrorist concerns in the United States.


November 5 – The U.S. Republican Party maintains control of the House of Representatives and gains control of the United States Senate.


November 6 – The U.S. Federal Reserve System drops its primary discount rate by 50 basis points to 0.75%, putting the real interest rate solidly below the inflation rate.


November 7 – Iran bans the advertising of United States products.


November 8 – Iraq disarmament crisis: The United Nations Security Council unanimously approves UN Security Council Resolution 1441, forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face "serious consequences".


November 13


Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq agrees to the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 1441.


The oil tanker Prestige sinks off the Galician coast, causing a huge oil spill.


November 14 – Argentina defaults on a US $805 million World Bank loan payment.


November 15 – Hu Jintao becomes General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.


November 16 – A Campaign against Climate Change march takes place in London from Lincoln's Inn Fields, past Esso offices to the United States Embassy.


November 18 – Iraq disarmament crisis: United Nations weapons inspectors led by Hans Blix arrive in Iraq.


November 21 – At the NATO Summit in Prague, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia are invited to join the organization.


November 22 – In Nigeria, more than 100 are killed at an attack aimed at the Miss World contestants.


November 25 – U.S. President George W. Bush signs the Homeland Security Act into law, establishing the Department of Homeland Security, in the largest U.S. government reorganization since the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947.


November 26 – Legislation by the European Court of Human Rights and Law Lords, ruling in favour of convicted murderer Anthony Anderson, ends the right of the Home Secretary to set minimum terms for convicted murderers.




December 7 – As required by the recently passed U.N. resolution, Iraq files a 12,000 page weapons declaration with the U.N. Security Council.


December 9 – United Airlines, the second largest airline in the world, files for bankruptcy.


December 10 – The High Court of Australia hands down its judgement in the Internet defamation dispute in the case of Gutnick v Dow Jones.


December 12 – Hans Enoksen is elected Prime Minister of Greenland.


December 27 – A suicide truck-bomb attack destroys the headquarters of Chechnya's Moscow-backed government, killing 72.


December 29 – The Communist New People's Army blows up a bust of Ferdinand Marcos in Benguet, Philippines.


December 30 – An eruption on the volcanic island Stromboli off the coast of Sicily causes a flank failure and tsunami. The island is later evacuated.


Date unknown


Population Division of the United Nations calculate that 40 million people around the world are infected with HIV.



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Year 2003


January 5 – Police arrest seven suspects in connection with Wood Green ricin plot.


January 8 – US Airways Express Flight 5481 crashes at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, killing all 21 people aboard.


January 16 – STS-107: Space Shuttle Columbia is launched on its last flight.


January 18 – The Canberra Bushfires in Canberra, Australia, kill 4 people.


January 23 – The last signal is received from NASA's Pioneer 10 spacecraft, some 7.5 billion miles from Earth.


January 25 – An international group of volunteers leaves London for Baghdad to act as voluntary human shields, hoping to avert a U.S. invasion.


January 29 – 2003 Phnom Penh riots: In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the Thai embassy is burned and commercial properties of Thai businesses are vandalized.




February 1


At the conclusion of the STS-107 mission, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during reentry over Texas, killing all 7 astronauts on board.


In Northern Ireland, Protestant Ulster Defence Association Belfast leader John Gregg is killed by a loyalist faction.


Morgan Spurlock begins his 30-day McDonald's diet.


February 5 – Iraq disarmament crisis: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell addresses the UN Security Council on Iraq.


February 9


The Cricket World Cup begins in South Africa.


BBC Choice closes for the final time at 12:30 a.m., being replaced with BBC Three at 7 p.m.


War in Darfur begins.


February 15 – Global protests against Iraq war: More than 10 million people protest in over 600 cities worldwide, the largest to take place before a war occurs.


February 18 – An arsonist destroys a train in Daegu, South Korea, killing more than 190.


February 20 – The Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island, claims the lives of 100 people.


February 26 – An American businessman is admitted to the Vietnam France Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam, with the first identified case of SARS. WHO doctor Carlo Urbani reports the unusual, highly contagious disease to WHO. Both the businessman and doctor later die of the disease.


February 27 – Former Bosnian Serb leader Biljana Plavšić is sentenced by the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, to 11 years in prison.




March 12


Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Ðindic was assassinated in Belgrade.


The WHO issues a global alert on SARS.


March 13 – Human evolution: The journal Nature reports that 350,000-year-old upright-walking human footprints had been found in Italy.


March 15 – Hu Jintao becomes President of the People's Republic of China, replacing Jiang Zemin.


March 18 - FBI agents raid the corporate headquarters of HealthSouth Corporation in Birmingham, Alabama, on suspicion of massive corporate fraud led by the company's top executives.


March 19 – Iraq War begins with the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and allied forces.


March 23 – The 2003 Cricket World Cup ends as Australia beat India by 125 runs in Johannesburg, South Africa.




April 3


A passenger bus hits a remote-controlled land mine in the Chechen capital, killing at least 8.


U.S. forces seize control of Saddam International Airport, changing the airport's name to Baghdad International Airport.


April 9 – U.S. forces seize control of Baghdad, ending the regime of Saddam Hussein.


April 14 – The Human Genome Project is completed, with 99% of the human genome sequenced to 99.99% accuracy.


April 17 – The Stevens Report concludes that members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and British Army cooperated with the Ulster Defence Association in the killings of Catholics in Northern Ireland.


April 29 – The United States announces the withdrawal of troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, and the redeployment of some at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.




May 1 – U. S. president George W. Bush lands on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, where he gives a speech announcing the end of major combat in the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. A banner behind him declares "Mission Accomplished".


May 2 – The Monkeyman superhero hoax begins in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK.


May 3 – The Old Man of the Mountain, a rock formation in New Hampshire, crumbles after heavy rain.


May 4–May 10 – A major severe weather outbreak spawns more tornadoes than any week in U.S. history; 393 tornadoes are reported in 19 states.


May 4 – Top Thrill Dragster opens at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, as the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster.


May 11 – Benvenuto Cellini's Saliera is stolen from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.


May 12


A suicide truck-bomb attack kills at least 60 at a government compound in northern Chechnya.


In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 26 people are killed in the Riyadh Compound Bombings.


May 14 – A female suicide bomber blows up explosives strapped to her waist in a crowd of thousands of Muslim pilgrims, killing at least 18 people in Chechnya.


May 15 – The date predicted by Pana-Wave Laboratory, a Japanese cult, on which a close encounter with an unknown planet would result in the extinction of most of humankind.


May 16 – In Casablanca, Morocco, 33 civilians are killed and more than 100 injured in the Casablanca terrorist attacks.


May 17 – Arsenal beat Southampton 1–0 to win the FA Cup.


May 19


Pen Hadow becomes the first person to walk alone, without any outside help, from Canada to the North Pole.


The Indonesian military begins an operation in Aceh province.


May 21


F.C. Porto defeat Celtic 3–2 (AET) in the UEFA Cup Final in Seville, Spain.


An earthquake in the Boumerdès region of northern Algeria kills 2,200.


May 22 – The Sheffield Winter Gardens are officially opened by Elizabeth II.


May 23 – Dewey, the first deer cloned by scientists at Texas A&M University, is born.


May 24 – Sertab Erener wins the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 for Turkey with the song Every Way That I Can, in Riga, Latvia.


May 25 – After docking in Miami at 05:00, the SS Norway (old SS France) is severely damaged by a boiler explosion at 06:30, that kills 7, and injures 17 crew members. A few weeks later it is announced by NCL that she will never sail again as a commercial ocean liner.


May 26 – A draft of the proposed European Constitution is unveiled.


May 28 – Prometea, the first horse cloned by Italian scientists, is born.


May 28 – AC Milan defeats fellow Italian rival Juventus 3–2 on penalties after a scoreless tie to win the UEFA Champions League, their sixth European title.


May 31 – Eric Rudolph, suspected in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in 1996, is captured in Murphy, North Carolina.




June 1


The 29th G8 summit opens in Évian-les-Bains, France, to tight security and tens of thousands of protesters.


The People's Republic of China begins filling the lake behind the massive Three Gorges Dam, raising the water level near the dam over 100 metres.


June 4 – Martha Stewart and her broker are indicted for using privileged investment information and then obstructing a federal investigation. Stewart also resigns as chairperson and chief executive officer of Martha Stewart Living.


June 5 – A female suicide bomber detonates a bomb near a bus carrying soldiers and civilians to a military airfield in Mozdok, a major staging point for Russian troops in Chechnya, killing at least 16.


June 22 – The largest hailstone ever recorded falls in Aurora, Nebraska.


June 23 – Grutter v. Bollinger: The Supreme Court of the United States upholds affirmative action in university admissions.


June 26 – Lawrence v. Texas: The U.S. Supreme Court declares sodomy laws unconstitutional.


June 29 – A balcony collapse in Chicago kills 13.


June 30 – In Irvine, California, Joseph Hunter Parker kills 2 Albertsons employees with a sword, before being shot to death by the police.



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Year 2003 contiues...




July 1 – 500,000 Hong Kong people march to protest Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23, which controversially redefines treason.


July 2 – At the International Olympic Committee session in Prague, Vancouver, British Columbia is declared the host city for the XXI Olympic Winter Games in 2010.


July 5


SARS is declared to be contained by WHO.


A double suicide bombing at a Moscow rock concert kills the attackers and 15 other people.


July 6 – The 70-meter Eupatoria Planetary Radar sends a METI message Cosmic Call 2 to 5 stars: Hip 4872, HD 245409, 55 Cancri, HD 10307 and 47 Ursae Majoris, that will arrive at these stars in 2036, 2040, 2044, 2044 and 2049 respectively.


July 7


Corsica voters reject a referendum for increased autonomy from France by a very narrow margin.


Canon Jeffrey John, the first would-be gay bishop in the Church of England, withdraws his acceptance of the post of Bishop of Reading after discussions with church leaders.


July 8 – Sudan Airways Flight 39, with 117 people on board, crashes in Sudan; the only survivor is a 2-year-old child.


July 10 – A Russian security agent dies in Moscow, while trying to defuse a bomb a woman had tried to carry into a cafe on central Moscow's main street.


July 14 – CIA leak scandal: Washington Post columnist Robert Novak publishes the name of Valerie Plame, blowing her cover as a CIA operative.


July 18


The Convention on the Future of Europe finishes its work and proposes the first European Constitution.


The body of David Kelly, a scientist at the Ministry of Defence, is found a few miles from his home, leading to the Hutton inquiry.


July 21 – Eleven support towers on Kinzua Bridge collapse after being hit by an F-1 tornado.


July 22 – Uday and Qusay Hussein, sons of Saddam Hussein, are killed by the U.S. military in Iraq, after being tipped off by an informant.


July 23 – Operation Warrior Sweep is the first major military deployment of the Afghan National Army.


July 24 – The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, Operation Helpem Fren, led by Australia, begins.


July 26 – The electorate of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma approves a new constitution redesignating the tribe "Cherokee Nation" without "of Oklahoma" and specifically disenfranchising the Cherokee Freedmen.


July 30 – The last Volkswagen Type 1 rolls off its production line in Puebla, Puebla, Mexico.




August 1 – A suicide bomber rams a truck filled with explosives into a military hospital near Chechnya, killing 50 people, including Russian troops wounded in Chechnya.


August 2 – The United Nations authorizes an international peacekeeping force for Liberia.


August 10 – The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK: 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) at Brogdale near Faversham in Kent.[1]


August 11


NATO takes over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history.


Jemaah Islamiah leader Riduan Isamuddin, is arrested in Bangkok, Thailand.


A heat wave in Paris causes temperatures up to 44 °C (112 °F).


August 14


A widespread power outage affects the northeastern United States and South-Central Canada.


A 6.4 Richter scale earthquake occurs near the Greek Ionian island of Lefkada; 24 are injured.


August 15 – Oil price increases since 2003: Global oil production begins a 4-year plateau (and subsequent decline) in the face of rising demand, causing new price increases.


August 16 – The 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park Fire spreads quickly on the outskirts of Kelowna, British Columbia, threatening to engulf the largest town in British Columbia's interior.


August 22 – A rocket explosion kills 21 at the Brazilian rocket complex in Alcântara, Brazil, due to the premature ignition of a solid rocket booster.


August 25


Two bomb blasts in Mumbai, India, kill 52.


The Spitzer Space Telescope was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, during Delta II.


August 27 – Perihelic opposition: Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in over 50,000 years.


August 28


Bank robber Brian Douglas Wells is killed when a time bomb around his neck explodes, allegedly in an act of betrayal by his co-conspirators.


An electricity blackout cuts off power to around 500,000 people living in southeast England and brings 60% of London's underground rail network to a halt.




September 3 – The Hubble Space Telescope starts Hubble Ultra Deep Field.


September 4 – Europe's busiest shopping centre, the Bullring in Birmingham, is officially opened by Sir Albert Bore.


September 10


Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh is stabbed in a Stockholm department store and dies the next day.


Estonia approves joining the European Union in a referendum.


September 11


Hurricane Isabel reaches peak winds.


September 14 – Sweden rejects adopting the euro in a referendum.


September 15 – The ELN kidnaps 8 foreign tourists in the Ciudad Perdida in Colombia; they demand a human rights investigation and release the last hostages 3 months later.


September 16 – Two suicide bombers drive an explosive-filled truck into a government security services building near Chechnya, killing 3 and injuring 25.


September 18 – Hurricane Isabel makes landfall as a Category 2 Hurricane on North Carolina's Outer Banks. It directly kills 16 people in the Mid-Atlantic area.


September 27 – Smart 1, a European Space Agency satellite, is launched from French Guiana.


September 28 – A power failure affects all of Italy except Sardinia, cutting service to more than 56 million people.


September 29 – Hurricane Juan lands at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, as a category 2 storm, killing 2 directly and 5 indirectly.




October 5 – Israeli warplanes strike inside Syrian territory.


October 7 – 2003 California recall: Voters recall Governor Gray Davis from office and elect actor Arnold Schwarzenegger to succeed him.


October 10 – Facing an investigation surrounding allegations of illegal drug use, American right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh publicly admits that he is addicted to prescription pain killers, and will seek treatment.


October 12 – Michael Schumacher wins the 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship in Suzuka, Japan, beating Kimi Räikkönen to the title.


October 15


China launches Shenzhou 5, their first manned space mission.


The 2003 Staten Island Ferry crash kills 11 after one of its ferries slams into a pier.


October 17 – Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada is ousted from office, ending the bolivian gas conflict, and flees to the United States.


October 24 – The Concorde makes its last commercial flight, bringing the era of airliner supersonic travel to a close, at least for the time being.


October 25


The Cedar Fire begins in San Diego County, burning 280,000 acres (1,100 km2), 2,232 homes and killing 14.


The Florida Marlins defeat the New York Yankees to win their second World Series title.


October 31 – Mahathir Mohamad resigns as Prime Minister of Malaysia after 22 years in power.




November 5 – Gary Ridgway, the "Green River Killer", confesses to murdering 48 women.


November 9 – A lunar eclipse is seen in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Central Asia.


November 12 – Occupation of Iraq: In Nasiriya, Iraq, at least 23 people, among them the first Italian casualties of the 2003 Iraq war, are killed in a suicide bomb attack on an Italian police base.


November 15 – Two car bombs explode simultaneously in Istanbul, Turkey, targeting 2 synagogues, killing at least 25 people and wounding more than 300; Al-Qaida claims responsibility.


November 18


U.S. President George W. Bush makes a state visit to London in the midst of massive protests.


The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, rules anti-same-sex marriage laws unconstitutional in Massachusetts.


November 19 – At the end of a long public inquiry, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, John Prescott, gives planning approval to London Bridge Tower, set to become the tallest building in Europe.


November 20 – Several bombs explode in Istanbul, Turkey, destroying the Turkish head office of HSBC and the British consulate.


November 22 – 2003 Rugby World Cup: England defeat Australia 20–17 after extra time.


November 23


The Georgian Rose Revolution ends in overwhelming victory; president Eduard Shevardnadze resigns following weeks of mass protests over fraudulent elections.


A total solar eclipse is seen over Antarctica.


November 24 – The High Court in Glasgow imposes a minimum sentence of 27 years for Al Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.



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Year 2003 continues...




December 1


The use of hand-held cell phones while driving is made illegal in the United Kingdom.


Boeing chairman and CEO Phil Condit resigns unexpectedly. He is replaced by Lewis Platt as non-executive chairman and Harry Stonecipher as president and CEO.


December 5


A suicide bombing on a commuter train in southern Russia kills 44 people. President Vladimir Putin condemns the attack as a bid to destabilize the country 2 days before parliamentary elections.


The eighteenth Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting opens in Abuja, Nigeria.


December 7


Parliamentary elections are held in Russia.


Australian schoolboy Daniel Morcombe disappears from a bus stop on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. It is one of the country's highest profile mysteries.


December 8 – The Aso Rock Declaration is issued at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, outlining the Commonwealth's priority objectives.


December 9 – A female suicide bomber detonates outside Moscow's National Hotel, across from the Kremlin and Red Square, killing 5 bystanders.


December 12


Paul Martin becomes the 21st Prime Minister of Canada.


Olympic Airlines, Greece's new flag carrier, is launched.


December 13 – Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq, is captured in Tikrit by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division.


December 16 – The United Kingdom announces plans to build a new runway at Stansted Airport in Essex and a short-haul runway at Heathrow Airport, sparking anger from environmental groups.


December 18 – The Soham Murder Trial ends at the Old Bailey in London, with Ian Huntley found guilty of two counts of murder. His girlfriend Maxine Carr is found guilty of perverting the course of justice.


December 20 – Libya admits to building a nuclear bomb.


December 22


An earthquake in California kills 2.


Parmalat is first accused of falsifying accounts to the tune of USD $5 billion, later admitted by founder Calisto Tanzi; observers call it "Europe's Enron".


December 23


A PetroChina Chuandongbei natural gas field explosion in Guoqiao, Kai County, Chongqing, China, kills 234.


WTO becomes a specialized agency of the United Nations.


December 24


A BSE (mad cow disease) outbreak in Washington State is announced. Several countries including Brazil, Australia and Taiwan ban the import of beef from the United States.


At the request of the U.S. Embassy in Paris, the French Government orders Air France to cancel several flights between France and the U.S. in response to terrorist concerns.


The Spanish police thwart an attempt by ETA to detonate 50 kg of explosives at 3:55 p.m. on Christmas Eve inside Madrid's busy Chamartín Station.


December 25


Beagle 2 is scheduled to land on Mars, but nothing is heard from the lander.


President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan escapes the second assassination attempt in 2 weeks.


The final episode of Britain's biggest entertainment show, Only Fools and Horses, is aired.


December 26 – A massive earthquake devastates southeastern Iran; over 40,000 people are reported killed in the city of Bam.


December 31


David Bieber is arrested on suspicion of the Boxing Day police shootings in Leeds.


British Airways Flight 223, a Boeing 747-400 flying from London Heathrow to Washington Dulles, is escorted into Dulles Airport by F-16 fighter jets after intelligence reports of terrorists trying to board the jet and use it in a terrorist attack.


Parts of the UK are left without power on New Year's Eve due to wintry weather including blizzards and thunderstorms.



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Year 2004


January 4


Mikhail Saakashvili wins the presidential elections in Georgia.


NASA's MER-A (Spirit) lands on Mars at 04:35 UTC.


January 8 – Elizabeth II christens the RMS Queen Mary 2 cruise liner, the largest passenger ship afloat. The ship sets sail on her maiden voyage four days later.


January 13 – Serial killer Harold Shipman is found hanged in his cell at Wakefield Prison, four years after being convicted of murdering 15 patients in Cheshire, England.


January 24 – NASA's MER-B (Opportunity) lands on Mars at 05:05 UTC.


January 26 – A whale explodes in Tainan City, Taiwan, while being transported through the town to a university for a necropsy.[1]


January 28 – The findings of the Hutton Inquiry are published in London. The British Government is found not to have falsified information in the "sexed up dossier." The report criticizes the BBC's role in the death of David Kelly, a weapons expert on Iraq.




February 1 – A hajj stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia, kills 251 pilgrims.


February 2 – An 11-story apartment building collapses in Konya, Turkey, killing more than 90 residents.


February 3


The CIA admits that there was no imminent threat from weapons of mass destruction before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.


Jóannes Eidesgaard becomes prime minister of the Faroe Islands.


February 6 – A suicide bomber kills 41 people on a metro car in Moscow.


February 7 – Several leaders of Abnaa el-Balad are arrested in Israel.


February 10


At least 50 people are killed in a car bomb attack on a police recruitment centre south of Baghdad.


The French National Assembly votes to pass a law banning religious items and clothing from schools.


February 12 – San Francisco, California, begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in an act of civil disobedience.


February 13


Athens gets hit by a major blizzard which blankets the entire city for days, causing widespread havoc.


Scientists in South Korea announce the cloning of 30 human embryos.


February 14


Riots break out between New South Wales Police and Aboriginal residents of Redfern, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney, Australia.


The roof of the Transvaal water park in Moscow collapses, killing 25 and injuring more than 100.


February 17–February 20 – A nor'easter blizzard devastates Atlantic Canada, dumping more than 37.4 in. (95 cm.) on some areas.


February 18 – A train carrying a convoy of petrol, fertiliser, and sulphur derails and explodes in Iran, killing 320 people.


February 20 – Conservatives win a majority in the Iranian parliament election.


February 24 – A 6.5 Richter scale earthquake in Northern Morocco hits in the Rif mountains near the city of Al Hoceima, killing 400. Ait Kamara is destroyed; 517 are killed.


February 26


The United States lifts a 23-year travel ban against Libya.


Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski is killed in a plane crash near Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.


February 27 – 2004 SuperFerry 14 bombing: The Abu Sayyaf guerrilla group is blamed for the deadliest terrorist attack at sea in world history, which kills 116 in the Philippines.


February 28 – Over 1 million Taiwanese participating in the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally form a 500-kilometre (310 mi) long human chain to commemorate the 228 Incident in 1947.


February 29 – 2004 Haiti rebellion: Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigns as president of Haiti. The chief justice of the Haitian Supreme Court, Boniface Alexandre, is sworn in as interim president.




Cyclone Gafilo


March 2 – NASA announces that the Mars rover MER-B (Opportunity) has confirmed that its landing area was once drenched in water.


March 10 – Five British men are released from detention at Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay. After they land at RAF Brize Norton, 4 of them are immediately arrested for questioning.


March 11 – Terrorists execute simultaneous attacks, with bombs in 4 rush-hour trains in Madrid, killing 191 people.


March 12 – Following the terrorist attacks in Madrid the previous day, millions of protesters against terrorism take to the streets of Spanish cities.


March 14


Two suicide bombers kill 11 Israeli civilians in Ashdod, Israel.


Spanish legislative election, 2004: The incumbent government led by José María Aznar is defeated by the Socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.


Russian presidential election, 2004: Vladimir Putin easily wins a second term.


March 15 – The new Spanish Government announces that it will withdraw Spain's 1,300 troops in Iraq.


March 16 - Fifteen-year-old Scottish boy Kriss Donald abducted, tortured and murdered by Pakistani gang in racially motivated attack in Glasgow.


March 17 – A pogrom-like organized violence breaks out over 2 days in Kosovo; 19 people are killed, 8000 Serbian homes burned, schools and businesses vandalized, and over 300 Orthodox monasteries and churches burned and destroyed.


March 19 – The United Nations launches a political corruption investigation due to the scandal over its Iraqi Oil for Food program.


March 20 – President Chen Shui-bian wins the Taiwanese presidential election by 0.2% of the vote. The day before, he and Vice President Annette Lu were shot. Lien Chan refuses to concede and demands a recount. A controversial peace referendum opposed by the People's Republic of China is invalidated.


March 21 – Salvadoran presidential election, 2004: Antonio Saca is elected President of El Salvador.


March 22 – Palestinians protest in the streets after an Israeli helicopter gunship fires a missile at the entourage of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in Gaza City, killing him and 7 others.


March 25 – British prime minister Tony Blair visits Libyan leader Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi, in return for the dismantling of Libya's weapons of mass destruction programme in December 2003 (the first time a major western leader had visited the nation in several decades).


March 28


In France, the government of prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin suffers a stunning and unprecedented defeat in regional elections.


The first ever reported South Atlantic hurricane makes landfall in South Brazil in the state of Santa Catarina – the hurricane is dubbed Hurricane Catarina.


March 29


The Republic of Ireland bans smoking in all enclosed work places, including restaurants, pubs and bars.


The largest expansion of NATO to date takes place, allowing Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia into the organization.


March 31 – Four American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA are killed, and their bodies mutilated, after being ambushed in Fallujah, Iraq.




April 5 – Elizabeth II begins a state visit to France to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale.


April 8 – Darfur conflict: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement is signed by the Sudanese government and 2 rebel groups.


April 17 – Israeli helicopters fire missiles at a convoy of vehicles in the Gaza Strip, killing the Gaza leader of Hamas, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi.


April 20 – In Iraq, 12 mortars are fired on Abu Ghraib Prison by insurgents; 22 detainees are killed and 92 wounded. [1]


April 21 – Mordechai Vanunu, who revealed an Israeli nuclear weapons program in the 1980s, is released from prison in Israel after serving 18 years for treason.


April 22


Ryongchon disaster: Two trains carrying explosives and fuel collide in Ryongchon, North Korea, killing 161 people, injuring 1,300 and destroying thousands of homes.


The last coal mine in France closes, ending nearly 300 years of coal mining.


April 24 – Referendums on the Annan Plan for Cyprus, which proposes to re-unite the island, take place in both the Greek-controlled and the Turkish-controlled parts. Although the Turkish Cypriots vote in favour, the Greek Cypriots reject the proposal.


April 28 – Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse in Iraq is revealed on the television show 60 Minutes II.


April 29 – The last Oldsmobile in the GM marque's 107-year history rolls off of the assembly line.



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European Union flag


May 1 – The largest expansion to date of the European Union takes place, extending the Union by 10 member-states: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Malta and Cyprus.


May 4 – the Toronto Maple Leafs played their last NHL playoff game.


May 6 – The series finale of Friends airs on NBC.


May 8 – Would-be "Saudi Princess" "Antoinette Millard" surfaces in New York City, claiming that muggers had stolen jewels worth of $262,000 from her (she later proves to be an impostor).


May 9 – Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov is killed by a landmine placed under a VIP stage during a World War II memorial parade in Grozny.


May 10 – Philippine general election, 2004: Incumbent president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is elected for a 6-year term.


May 12 – An American civilian contractor in Iraq, Nick Berg, is shown being decapitated by a group allegedly linked to al-Qaida on a web-distributed video.


May 14 – Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, marries Australian Mary Donaldson in Copenhagen.


May 15 – South Africa is awarded the 2010 FIFA World Cup.


May 16 – A coup d'état in Chad against President Idriss Déby fails.


May 17


Ezzedine Salim, holder of the rotating leadership of the Iraq Interim Governing Council, is killed in a bomb blast in Baghdad.


Massachusetts legalizes same-sex marriage, in compliance with a ruling from the state's Supreme Judicial Court (Goodridge v. Department of Public Health).


May 19 – Jeremy Sivits pleads guilty in a court-martial in connection with alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.


May 22 – Dr. Manmohan Singh assumes office as the 17th and first Sikh Prime Minister of the Republic Of India.


May 23


A section of the ceiling in Terminal 2E at Paris's Charles de Gaulle International Airport collapses, claiming at least 6 lives.


Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi visits North Korea, to secure the release of the families of the 9 abducted Japanese citizens returned earlier.


May 24 – North Korea bans mobile phones (see Communications in North Korea).


May 26


Terry Nichols is convicted by an Oklahoma state court on murder charges stemming from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.


F.C. Porto wins the European Champion Clubs Cup, defeating A.S. Monaco 3–0.


May 29 – The National World War II Memorial is dedicated in Washington, DC.


May 30 – Thousands of people in Hong Kong take to the streets to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.




June 1


Sasebo slashing: Satomi Mitarai, a 12-year-old Japanese schoolgirl attending Okubo Elementary School in Sasebo, Japan, is murdered. Her killer is an 11-year-old classmate identified by Japanese authorities as "Girl A".


Salvadoran presidential election, 2004: Antonio Saca is inaugurated as the President of El Salvador


June 3


All outgoing flights from the UK are temporarily grounded following an air traffic control computer failure. BBC NEWS


Central Intelligence Agency director George Tenet tenders his resignation, citing "personal reasons". John E. McLaughlin, CIA Deputy Director, becomes the acting Director until a permanent Director is chosen and confirmed by Congress.


June 4 – Marvin Heemeyer destroys many local buildings with a home-made tank in Granby, Colorado.


June 8


The first transit of Venus since 1882 occurs; the next one will occur in 2012.


The 30th G8 summit takes place over the next 2 days on Sea Island, in Georgia, USA.


The pickled heart of Louis XVII of France is buried in the royal crypt at Saint-Denis.


June 11 – Terry Nichols is spared the death penalty by an Oklahoma state court on murder charges stemming from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The decision comes on the third anniversary of the execution of his co-defendant, Timothy McVeigh, in Terre Haute, Indiana.


June 12 – A 1.3 kg chondrite type meteorite strikes a house in Ellerslie, New Zealand, causing serious damage but no injuries.


June 16 – The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (or "9/11 Commission") issues an initial report of its findings.


June 21 – In Mojave, California, SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.


June 28–29 – The 2004 Istanbul Summit is held.


June 28


Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains collide in a rural area outside of San Antonio, Texas; 40 cars are derailed, including one chlorine car. Three people die, another 50 people are hospitalized because of exposure to the gas.


The U.S.-led coalition occupying Iraq transfers sovereignty to an Iraqi Interim Government.


Canadian federal election, 2004: The Liberal Party, led by Paul Martin, is reduced to a minority government, after holding a majority since November 1993.


June 30 – Preliminary hearings begin in Iraq in the trial of former president Saddam Hussein, for war crimes and crimes against humanity.




July 1


The Cassini–Huygens spacecraft arrives at Saturn.


The Vatican gains full membership rights in the United Nations except voting.


July 3 – At just 17 years and 75 days of age, Maria Sharapova becomes the second youngest tennis player to win Wimbledon, defeating Serena Williams in the final.


July 4 – Groundbreaking for the Freedom Tower begins at Ground Zero in New York City.


July 4 – Greece wins UEFA Euro 2004 at Estádio da Luz in Portugal.


July 22 – The Old Bridge of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina is reconstructed and reopened after being destroyed by Bosnian Croat forces on November 9, 1993.


July 25


Over 100,000 opponents of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan of 2004 participate in a human chain from Gush Katif, to the Western Wall, Jerusalem (90 kilometers).


Lance Armstrong of Austin, Texas wins an unprecedented 6th consecutive Tour de France cycling title.




August 1


A supermarket fire in Asunción, Paraguay, kills about 400 and leaves over 100 missing.


A bomb attack occurs in front of Prague's Casino Royal.


August 2 – Monday demonstrations against social cutbacks began in Germany.


August 3


The Statue of Liberty reopens after security improvements.


NASA's MESSENGER is launched (it was captured into Mercury's orbit on March 18, 2011).


August 6 – A United Nations report blaming the government of Sudan for crimes against humanity in Darfur is released.


August 9 – At the Mihama Nuclear Power Plant, a pipe leaking hot water and steam kills 5 and injures 6 others, in the 2nd worst nuclear disaster in Japan.


August 12


Singapore's prime minister Goh Chok Tong hands over his position to Lee Hsien Loong.


New Jersey Governor James McGreevey announces that he is "a gay American" and will resign effective November 15, 2004.


August 13–August 29 – The 2004 Summer Olympics are held in Athens.


The Olympic Flame during the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics, held in Athens.


August 13 – Hurricane Charley kills 27 people in Florida, after killing 4 in Cuba and 1 in Jamaica. Charley makes landfall near Cayo Costa, Florida, as a Category 4 hurricane. Charley is the most intense hurricane to strike the United States since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.


August 16 – Severe flooding occurs in the village of Boscastle in Cornwall.


August 18 – In Dublin, Ireland, the Dublin Port Tunnel excavation works are completed and the final tunnel boring machine breakthrough ceremony takes place.


August 20 – Elbegdorj Tsakhia, the peaceful democratic revolutionary leader of Mongolia, becomes Prime Minister of Mongolia for the second time.


August 21 – A series of blasts rocks an opposition party rally in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing at least 13 people.


August 22 – Armed robbers steal Edvard Munch's The Scream, Madonna, and other paintings from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway.


August 24 – Two airliners in Russia, carrying a total of 89 passengers, crash within minutes of each other after flying out of Domodedovo International Airport, leaving no survivors. Authorities suspect suicide attacks by rebels from Chechnya to be the cause of the crashes.


August 29 – Around 200,000 protesters demonstrate in New York City against U.S. President George W. Bush and his government, ahead of the 2004 Republican National Convention.


August 30–September 2 – U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are renominated at the Republican National Convention in New York City.


August 31


Two suicide attacks on buses in Beer Sheva, Israel, kill at least 16 people and injure at least 60. Hamas claims responsibility for the attacks.


A woman commits a suicide attack near a subway station in northern Moscow, Russia, killing at least 10 people and injuring at least 50. Authorities hold Chechen rebels responsible.



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September – The Great Laxey Mine Railway of the Isle of Man is re-opened.


September 1 – Chechen terrorists take between 1,000 and 1,500 people hostage, mostly children, in a school in the Beslan school hostage crisis. The hostage-takers demand the release of Chechen rebels imprisoned in neighbouring Ingushetia and the independence of Chechnya from Russia.


September 2


The United Nations Security Council adopts Resolution 1559, calling for the removal of all foreign troops from Lebanon. This measure is largely aimed at Syrian troops.


Hurricane Ivan forms.


September 3


Russian forces end the siege at a school in Beslan, Northern Ossetia. At least 335 people (among which are 32 of the approximately 40 hostage-takers) are killed and at least 700 people injured.


Hurricane Frances makes landfall in Florida. After killing 2 people in the Bahamas, Hurricane Frances kills 10 people in Florida, 2 in Georgia, USA and 1 in South Carolina.


September 7 – Hurricane Ivan passes directly over Grenada, killing 37 people. It passes over other Caribbean islands over the next 2 days, killing 5 people in Venezuela, 4 in the Dominican Republic, 1 in Tobago and 20 in Jamaica.


September 8 – In the "Rathergate" affair, the first Internet posts appear, pointing out that documents claimed by CBS News to be typewritten memos from the early 1970s appear instead to have been produced using modern word processing systems.


September 9


A bomb blast outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, kills 11 and injures up to 100 people.


Typhoon Songda hits western Japan, killing 45 and injuring another 1,352.


September 13 – The U.S. Assault Weapons Ban expires.


September 15


Davíð Oddsson, Prime Minister of Iceland, steps down after serving as prime minister since April 30, 1991. Oddson trades posts with his foreign minister Halldór Ásgrímsson, who then becomes Prime Minister.


Security at the Palace of Westminster is compromised, when the House of Commons is stormed by a small group of protestors during a debate about fox hunting.


"Girl A", who committed the Sasebo slashing, is sentenced to be institutionalized.


September 16 – Hurricane Ivan strikes Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 3 storm, killing 25 in Alabama and Florida, becoming the 3rd costliest hurricane in American history (currently the 4th following the destruction of 2005's Hurricane Katrina).


September 17


Hurricane Jeanne causes mudslides in Haiti, killing 3006.


The 2004 Summer Paralympics commences in Athens, Greece.


Mexico and Japan finish 2-year-long negotiations and sign a Free Trade Agreement in Mexico City.


September 21 – Construction of the Burj Khalifa begins.


September 22 – The TV series Lost airs its pilot.


September 23


Mount St. Helens becomes active again.


Tropical Storm Ivan, having come around and reformed in the Gulf of Mexico, makes its final landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, to little effect. In total, the storm kills 92 people.


September 24 – Major League Baseball announces that the Montreal Expos will move to Washington D.C. in 2005.


September 25 – Hurricane Jeanne makes landfall near Port Saint Lucie, Florida, near the location Hurricane Frances hit 2 weeks earlier. Jeanne kills over 3,030, mostly in Haiti.


September 29 – In Mojave, California, the first Ansari X-Prize flight takes place of SpaceShipOne, which is competing with a number of spacecraft (including Canada's Da Vinci Project, claimed to be its closest rival) and goes on to win the prize on October 4.




October 4 – Two car bombs kill at least 16 people and injure dozens more in Baghdad.


October 5


A fire breaks out on the Canadian submarine HMCS Chicoutimi, leaving it stranded without power in the North Atlantic ocean, off the north coast of Ireland; 1 crewmember is killed.


West Sulawesi officially becomes a province in Indonesia after the expansion of South Sulawesi.


October 8 – Suicide bombers detonate 2 bombs at the Red Sea resort of Taba, Egypt, killing 34 people, mainly Israeli tourists and Egyptian workers.


October 9 – Direct elections for president are held for the first time in Afghanistan. Interim president Hamid Karzai is eventually declared the winner.


October 10 – Abdullahi Yusuf is chosen as the new transitional president of Somalia.


October 14 – Prince Norodom Sihamoni is chosen as the new king of Cambodia.


October 16


The New York Yankees defeat the Boston Red Sox 19–8 in Game 3 of Major League Baseball's American League Championship Series. The game, which pushes the Yankees to a 3 games to 0 series lead, sets a record for longest 9 inning baseball game.


Arsenal lose for the first time in 49 league games, a national record, going down 2–0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford.


October 17 – A referendum in Belarus approves the lifting of constitutional term limits for the presidency.


October 19


General Khin Nyunt is replaced by Lieutenant-General Soe Win as Prime Minister of Myanmar.


A team of explorers reaches the bottom of the world's deepest cave, located in Krubera. The depth reached is 2,080 meters (6,824 feet), setting a world record ( National Geographic).


October 20


The Ubuntu operating system is first released.


Corporate Airlines Flight 5966 crashes in Missouri, killing 13 people and injuring 2.


Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono becomes the first directly elected President of Indonesia.


October 21


The Ministry of Defence approves the deployment of the Black Watch regiment of the British Army to Baghdad, Iraq, after a request for assistance by the U.S. government.


Typhoon Tokage kill 98, injured 552 in western Japan.


October 23 – A Magnitude 6.7 earthquake and aftershocks of similar scale occur in the Tokamachi area. A huge landslide occurs on the outskirts of Nagaoka. According to Japanese officials, 68 people are killed, 4,085 are injured, and 103,000 are rendered homeless.


October 24


Brazil successfully launches its first rocket into space.


Michael Schumacher wins his 7th Formula One World Drivers Championship (5th consecutive), making him the most successful driver in the history of Formula One.


October 25 – Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King receive the Congressional Gold Medal.


Titan shown in ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths. Photo captured by the Cassini spacecraft


October 26 – The Cassini probe passes within 1,200 km of Titan.


October 27


The Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the first time since 1918.


Details of the discovery of a new, recent species of fossil hominid, Homo floresiensis, from the island of Flores, Indonesia, are published.


October 29 – European heads of state sign in Rome the Treaty and Final Act, establishing the first European Constitution.


October 30 – A 163-metre-high radio mast in Peterborough, UK collapses at a fire.


October 31 – Leftist candidate Tabaré Vázquez is elected President of Uruguay.




November 2


Eleven American states ban gay marriage.


Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh is assassinated in Amsterdam, Netherlands by Mohammed Bouyeri.


Incumbent President George W. Bush is reelected as President of the United States of America.


November 6


The Ufton Nervet rail crash in Berkshire, England kills 7 people.


In Côte d'Ivoire, National Army bombings kill 9 people, including French UN soldiers. French UN forces retaliate by destroying the National Army's air force.


November 7 – U.S. forces launch a major assault on the Iraqi town of Fallujah, in an effort to rid the area of insurgents before the Iraqi elections in January.


November 8 – The Irish High Court rules that Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan can sue the Revenue Commissioner to have their Vancouver, British Columbia Same-sex marriage recognized for tax purposes.


November 13 – After six days of intense battles, the Iraqi town of Fallujah is fully occupied by U.S. forces.


November 14 – United States Secretary of State Colin Powell submits his resignation. He is replaced by Condoleezza Rice after her confirmation by the United States Congress.


November 16


The European Space Agency probe Smart 1 passes from Earth orbit into the orbit of the Moon.


A train crash near Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia, injures 150 people.


The People's Republic of China agrees to invest $20 billion dollars in Argentina, a deal signed days before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to be held in Santiago, Chile.


NASA's hypersonic Scramjet breaks a record by reaching a velocity of about 7,000 mph in an unmanned experimental flight. It obtains a speed of Mach 9.6, almost 10 times the speed of sound.


November 17–November 21 – The APEC Summit is held in Santiago, Chile.


November 19 – The NBA's Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons engage in a brawl that involves fans and players. The incident gets (then) Pacer Ron Artest suspended for the remainder of the season.


November 21 – Ukrainian presidential election, 2004: Viktor Yanukovych is declared the winner in the final round. International election observers express severe criticism, and large crowds gather in a protest rally in Kiev; 12 days later, the Supreme Court annuls the result, and a new poll is scheduled.


November 25 – The Indian political party Congress Jananayaka Peravai merges into the Indian National Congress.


November 26 – A group of Iraqi political leaders, primarily from Sunni and Kurdish parties, advocate a 6-month delay in popular elections scheduled for January 2005.


November 28


A coal mine explosion in China kills over 150.


Ricardo Lagos, President of Chile, promises economic compensation to 28,000 torture victims of Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship.


A male Po'o-uli dies of avian malaria at the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Olinda before it can breed, making the species in all probability extinct.



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December 3 – The Colombian government extradites Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, one of the most powerful drug dealers in the world, arrested in 1995 and 2003, to the United States.


December 6 – Terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, killing several people.


December 8 – The biggest Chinese PC producer Lenovo announces its plan to purchase IBM's global PC business, making it the third largest world PC maker after Dell and Hewlett-Packard.


December 10 – New Zealand bans smoking in all public places, including bars.


December 11 – Tests show that Ukrainian opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned with a large dose of dioxin.


December 13 – Software giants Oracle Corporation and PeopleSoft agree to merge in a $10.3 billion deal, creating the second largest maker of business applications software.


December 14 – The world's tallest bridge, the Millau bridge over the River Tarn in the Massif Central mountains, France, is opened by President Jacques Chirac.


December 15 – Albanian terrorists take a bus and its passengers hostage in Athens, Greece and demand 1 million euros in ransom money.


December 16


The House of Lords rules that the British Government breaches human rights legislation, by detaining without trial foreign nationals suspected of being terrorists.


IT security company Symantec Corp signs a definitive agreement to merge with Veritas Software Corp, valued at $13.5 billion, in an all-stock transaction.


The South Korean high-speed rail system, Korea Train Express, opens between Seoul and Busan.


December 21 – Iraqi insurgents attack a U.S. military base in the city of Mosul, killing 22 people.


December 22 – Armed robbers in Northern Ireland steal over £22 million from the headquarters of the Northern Bank. Unionist politicians and the Police Service of Northern Ireland blame the Provisional Irish Republican Army, and stall the peace process.


The tsunami caused by the December 26, 2004 earthquake strikes Ao Nang, Thailand.


December 26


One of the worst natural disasters in recorded history hits Southeast Asia, when the strongest earthquake in 40 years hits the entire Indian Ocean region. The massive 9.3 magnitude earthquake, epicentered just off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, generates enormous tsunami waves that crash into the coastal areas of a number of nations including Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. The official death toll in the affected countries stands at 186,983 while more than 40,000 people are still missing.


The re-run of the second round of the Ukrainian presidential election takes place. Opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko is declared the winner.


December 27 – Astrophysicists from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching near Munich measure the strongest burst from a magnetar. At 21:30:26 UT the earth is hit by a huge wave front of gamma and X-rays. It is the strongest flux of high-energetic gamma radiation measured so far.


December 28 – The Ukrainian transport minister, Heorhiy Kirpa, is found shot dead, in a suspected suicide.


December 30 – A fire in a Buenos Aires night club (República Cromagnon) kills 194 people during a rock concert.


December 31


Taipei 101, at the time tallest skyscraper in the world, standing at a height of 1,670 feet (509 metres ), officially opens.


Simón Trinidad, high-profile FARC leader, is extradited to the United States, following the second extradition of a high drug dealer in a month and in 2004.


Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych resigns.



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Year 2005


January 5 – Eris, the largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System, is identified by a team led by Michael E. Brown using images originally taken on October 21, 2003, at the Palomar Observatory.


January 9:


The same storm which pounded the U.S. earlier in the month hits England, Scandinavia and the Baltic States, leaving 13 dead with widespread flooding and power cuts.[3]


Mahmoud Abbas is elected to succeed Yasser Arafat as Palestinian Authority President.


January 12 – Deep Impact is launched from Cape Canaveral by a Delta 2 rocket.[4]


January 14 – The Huygens probe lands on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn.[5]


January 20 – George W. Bush is inaugurated in Washington, D.C. for his second term as the 43rd President of the United States.[6]


January 25 – A stampede at the Mandher Devi temple in Mandhradevi during a religious pilgrimage in India kills at least 250.[7]


January 30 – The first free Parliamentary elections in Iraq since 1958 take place.[8]




February 9 – An ETA car bomb injures at least 40 people at a conference centre in Madrid.[9]


February 10


North Korea announces that it possesses nuclear weapons as a protection against the hostility it feels from the United States.[10]


Saudi Arabia holds its first ever municipal elections, in which only male citizens are allowed to vote.[11]


February 14


Former Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafik Hariri is killed in Beirut after an assassination attempt by suicide bombing; it also kills at least 16 other people and injures 120 others.[12]


YouTube, the most popular video sharing website, is founded.


59 people are killed and 200 injured after a fire breaks out in a mosque in Tehran, Iran.[13]


February 16 – The Kyoto Protocol goes into effect, without the support of the United States and Australia.[14]


February 19 – Suicide bombers kill more than 30 people in Iraq as Shia Muslims mark Ashura, their holiest day.[15]


February 22 – More than 500 people are killed and over 1,000 injured, after entire villages are flattened in an earthquake (6.4 on the Richter scale) in the Zarand region of Kerman province in southern Iran.[16]


February 26 – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak asks Parliament to amend the constitution to allow multi-candidate presidential elections before September 2005.[17]




March 3


The freighter M/V Karen Danielsen crashes into the Great Belt Bridge of Denmark. All traffic across the bridge is closed, effectively separating Denmark in two.[18]


Millionaire Steve Fossett breaks a world record by completing the fastest non-stop, non-refueled, solo flight around the world in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer.[19]


Four Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers are gunned down in Mayerthorpe, Alberta, Canada. It is deadliest day in Canadian law enforcement in over 120 years.[20]


March 4 – The car of released Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena is fired on by U.S. soldiers in Iraq, causing the death of 1 passenger and injuring 2 more.[21]


March 8 – The Pakistan Army opens fire on insurgents in Baluchistan, in the first armed uprising since General Rahimuddin Khan's stabilization of the province in 1978.


March 14


The People's Republic of China ratifies an anti-secession law, aimed at preventing Taiwan from declaring independence.[22]


800,000 people gather for an opposition rally in Beirut, a month after the death of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. It is the largest rally in Lebanon's history.[23]


March 19 – A time bomb explodes in a Muslim shrine in Quetta, southwestern Pakistan, killing at least 29 people and wounding 40.[24]


March 23 – An explosion takes place at one of BP's largest oil refineries in Texas City, killing 15 and injuring more than 170.


March 24 – The Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan reaches its climax with the overthrow of president Askar Akayev.[25]


March 26 – The Taiwanese government calls on 1 million Taiwanese to demonstrate in Taipei, in opposition to the Anti-Secession Law of the People's Republic of China. Between 200,000 and 300,000 attend the walk.[26]




April 2 – Pope John Paul II dies; over 4 million people travel to the Vatican to mourn him.[27][28][29]


April 6 – The first 13th root calculation of a 200-digit number is computed by Frenchman Alexis Lemaire.[30]


April 8 – A referendum is held in Curaçao on independence vs. integration with the Netherlands.[31]


April 9


Tens of thousands of demonstrators, many of them supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr, march through Baghdad denouncing the U.S. occupation of Iraq, 2 years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and rally in the square where his statue was toppled in 2003.[32]


Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles; The Prince of Wales marries Camilla Parker Bowles in a civil ceremony at Windsor's Guildhall. Camilla acquires her title The Duchess of Cornwall.


April 17 – Twelve holidaymakers are killed in southern Switzerland when a bus carrying 27 people plunges 656 feet (200 m) into a ravine.[33]


April 18 – Five people die in ethnic clashes in Iran's south-west Khuzestan province.[34]


April 19 – Pope Benedict XVI succeeds Pope John Paul II, becoming the 265th pope.[35][36]


April 20 – An earthquake (5.8 on the Richter scale) hits Fukuoka and Kasuga, Fukuoka, Prefecture, Japan, injuring 56.[37]


April 25 – Amagasaki rail crash: A passenger train derails in Amagasaki Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, killing 104 people and injuring at least another 450.[38]


April 26 – Facing international pressure, Syria withdraws the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country.[39]


April 27 – The Superjumbo jet aircraft Airbus A380 makes its first flight from Toulouse.[40]




May 3 – At least 32 people are killed and 9 others injured when 3 two-story buildings in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore collapse after gas cylinders stored in one of them explode.[41]


May 4 – In one of the largest insurgent attacks in Iraq, at least 60 people are killed and dozens wounded in a suicide bombing at a Kurdish police recruitment center in Irbil, northern Iraq.[42]


May 5 – Labour government of Tony Blair in the United Kingdom wins a third successive general election.[43]


May 13 – Uzbek troops kill up to 700 during protests in eastern Uzbekistan over the trials of 23 accused Islamic extremists. President Islam Karimov defends the act.[44]


May 15 – A passenger ferry capsizes and sinks in strong winds in the Bura Gauranga River in Bangladesh, leaving 200 people missing.[45]


May 16 – George Galloway appears before a United States Senate committee, to answer allegations of making money from the Iraqi Oil-for-Food Programme.[46]


May 17 – Kuwaiti women are granted the right to vote.[47]


May 21 – Kingda Ka opens at Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park in Jackson, New Jersey as the world's tallest and (at the time) fastest roller coaster.




June 21 – A Volna booster rocket carrying the first light sail spacecraft (a joint Russian-United States project) fails 83 seconds after its launch, destroying the spacecraft.[48]


June 28


Elizabeth II conducts the International Fleet Review of 167 international warships in the Solent, as part of the Trafalgar 200 celebrations.[49]


Three U.S. Navy SEALs, 16 American Special Operations Forces soldiers, and an unknown number of Taliban insurgents are killed during Operation Red Wing, a failed counter-insurgent mission in Kunar province, Afghanistan.



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2005 continues...




July 2 – Live 8, a set of 10 simultaneous concerts, takes place throughout the world, raising interest in the Make Poverty History campaign.[50]


July 4


NASA's "Copper bullet" from the Deep Impact spacecraft hits Comet Tempel 1, creating a crater for scientific studies.[51]


Violent anti-G8 demonstrations occur in Gleneagles, Scotland.


The Italy-USA Foundation is established in Rome, Italy.


July 6


The European Parliament rejects the Directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions in its second reading in the codecision procedure.[52]


The International Olympic Committee awards the 2012 Summer Olympics to London.[53]


July 7 – Four terror attacks (3 on the London Underground and 1 on a bus) rock the transport network in London, killing 52 (not including the 4 bombers) and injuring over 700.[54]


July 12 – Terrorists kill 5 people and wound 90 in a crowded mall in Netanya, Israel. Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for attack.[55]


July 23 – A series of blasts hits a resort town in Egypt.[56]


July 26 – Mumbai, India receives 99.5 cm of rain (39.17 inches) within 24 hours, bringing the city to a halt for over 2 days.


July 28 – The Provisional IRA issues a statement formally ordering an end to the armed campaign it has pursued since 1969, and ordering all its units to dump their arms.[57]




August 1 –King Fahd of Saudi Arabia died at the hospital because of pneumonia and a high fever.


August 2 – Air France Flight 358 overran Runway 24L at Toronto Pearson International Airport.


August 6 – Tuninter flight 1153 ditched due to engine failure. 16 die


August 13 – The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is launched.


August 14 – Helios Airways Flight 522 crashes near the town of Grammatiko in Greece, killing 121 people. Observations from fighter jet aircraft indicate a decompression problem.


August 16 – West Caribbean Airways Flight 708 crashes into a mountain in Venezuela, killing 152 passengers.


August 18 – Peace Mission 2005, the first joint China–Russia military exercise, begins its 8-day training on the Shandong peninsula.


August 22 – A 4.1 kilograms (9.0 lb) meteorite crashes into the Dotito area of Zambezi Escarpment in Zimbabwe, leaving a 150 millimeters (5.9 in) crater.


August 23 – Israel's unilateral disengagement from 25 Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and West Bank ends.


August 29 – Hurricane Katrina makes land fall along the U.S. Gulf Coast causing severe damage. At least 1,836 die in the aftermath.


August 31 – A crowd crush on the Al-Aaimmah bridge in Baghdad kills several hundred civilians (see Baghdad bridge stampede).




September 2 – Protesters and Israeli forces clash in Bil'in.


September 11 – Japan general election, 2005: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and the Liberal Democratic Party are returned to power.


September 12 – Hong Kong Disneyland Resort in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong opens.


September 14–September 16 – The largest UN World Summit in history is held in New York City.


September 18 – Afghan parliamentary election: Former Northern Alliance warlords and their followers claim victory.


September 19 – North Korea agrees to stop building nuclear weapons in exchange for aid and cooperation.


September 23 – Convicted bank thief and Boricua Popular Army leader, Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, is killed in his home in Hormigueros, Puerto Rico, when members of the FBI attempt to serve an arrest warrant.


September 26 – U.S. Army Reservist Lynndie England is convicted by a military jury on 6 of 7 counts, in connection with the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal.


September 30 – Controversial drawings of Muhammad are printed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.




October 1


The 2005 Bali bombings kill 26 people and injure more than 100.


The world's largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, is formed by the merger of 2 Japanese banking conglomerates.


An Australian photojournalist in Afghanistan, Stephen Dupont, films U.S. soldiers burning 2 dead Taliban militias' bodies.


October 8 – The 2005 Kashmir earthquake kills about 80,000 people.


October 12 – The second manned Chinese spacecraft, Shenzhou 6, is launched, carrying Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng for 5 days in orbit.


October 15


The referendum on the new proposed Iraqi constitution is held.


The Qinghai-Tibet Railway is completed.


October 19 – The Trials of Saddam Hussein begin.


October 21 – The 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar is observed, with celebrations held around the United Kingdom.


October 29 – At least 61 people are killed and many others wounded in 3 powerful blasts in the Indian capital, Delhi (see 29 October 2005 Delhi bombings).




November 2 – The Spanish Congress of Deputies approves the admission to formality of the new Catalan Statute of Autonomy with the support of all the groups except the People's Party (PP), which the same day files an objection of unconstitutionality.


November 4 – The U.S. and Uruguay governments sign a Bilateral Investment Treaty.


November 9 – At least 50 people are killed and more than 120 injured in a series of coordinated suicide bombings in Amman, Jordan (See 2005 Amman bombings).


November 13 – Andrew Stimpson, a 25-year-old British man, is reported as the first person proven to have been 'cured' of HIV.


November 25 – The 20th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting opens in Valletta, Malta.


November 28 – December 9 – The United Nations Climate Change Conference is held in Montreal, Quebec.


November 30 – Surgeons in France carry out the first human face transplant.




December 6 – An Iranian C-130 Hercules airplane crashes into a ten-story building in a civilian area of Tehran, the capital of Iran, killing all 94 people aboard and 34 residents of the building (128 total).


December 7 – The European Union TLD .eu is launched, and replaces .eu.int. Initially this will be only for business purposes. From 7 April 2006 onwards, EU citizens can also register .eu domains.


December 11 – The 2005 Cronulla riots occur in Sydney, Australia, involving up to 5,000 youths.


December 12 – Scientists announce that they have created mice with small amounts of human brain cells in an effort to make realistic models of neurological disorders.


December 14 – Shakidor Dam fails in Pakistan due to heavy rain.


December 16 – The 43rd Mersenne prime is found.


December 20 – Aleksandër Moisiu University was founded in Durrës, Albania.


December 23 – Chad declares a state of war with Sudan, following a December 18 attack on Adre, which left about 100 people dead.


December 31 – Another second is added, 23:59:60, called a leap second, to end the year 2005. The last time this occurred was on June 30, 1998.


[edit]World population


World population


2005 2000 2010


World 6,453,628,000 6,070,581,000 383,047,000


Africa 887,964,000 795,671,000 92,293,000


Asia 3,917,508,000 3,679,737,000 237,771,000


Europe 724,722,000 727,986,000 3,264,000


Latin America 558,281,000 520,229,000 38,052,000


Northern America 332,156,000 315,915,000 16,241,000


Oceania 32,998,000 31,043,000 1,955,000



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Year 2006




January 1 – Russia cuts natural gas to Ukraine over a price dispute.[2]


January 4 - Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel, suffers a severe stroke and cerebral hemorrhage.


January 5 – A hotel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, collapses, killing 76 pilgrims visiting to perform Hajj.[3]


January 12 – A stampede during the stoning of the devil ritual on the last day at the Hajj in Mina, Saudi Arabia, kills 362 pilgrims.[4][5]


January 15 – NASA's Stardust mission successfully ends, the first to return dust from a comet.[6]


January 16 – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf assumes office as President of Liberia, the first female elected head of state in Africa.


January 25 – Pope Benedict XVI issues his first encycylical, Deus Caritas Est.[7]


January 27 – Celebrations are held in Salzburg and around the world, for the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.[8]




February 3 – An Egyptian passenger ferry carrying more than 1,400 people, sinks in the Red Sea off the Saudi coast.[9]


February 4 – The Wowowee stampede at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City, Philippines, kills 74 people and leaves 600 injured.[10]


February 10–February 26 – The 2006 Winter Olympics are held in Turin, Italy.


February 17 – A massive mudslide occurs in Southern Leyte, Philippines; the official death toll is set at 1,126.[11]


February 19 – Pasta de Conchos mine disaster: Sixty-five miners die after becoming trapped underground, following an explosion in Nueva Rosita, Mexico.[12]




March 4 – The final contact attempt with Pioneer 10 receives no response.[13]


March 9 – NASA's Cassini-Huygens spacecraft discovers geysers of a liquid substance shooting from Saturn's moon Enceladus, signaling a possible presence of water.[14]


March 10 – NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter enters Mars orbit.[15][16]


March 28 – A scramjet jet engine, Hyshot III, designed to fly at 7 times the speed of sound, is successfully tested at Woomera, South Australia.[17][18]




April 5 – A swan with Avian Flu is discovered in Cellardyke in Fife, Scotland (the first case in the United Kingdom).[19]


April 10 – A fire at the Brand India Fair, Victoria Park, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India, kills at least 100.[20]


April 11


The European Space Agency's Venus Express spaceprobe enters Venus' orbit.[21]


President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad confirms that Iran has successfully produced a few grams of low-grade enriched uranium.[22][23]


April 20 – Iran announces a deal with Russia, involving a joint uranium enrichment firm on Russian soil;[24] 9 days later Iran announces that it will not move all activity to Russia, thus leading to a de-facto termination of the deal.




May – Human Genome Project publishes the last chromosome sequence, in Nature.


May 24 – East Timor's Foreign Minister José Ramos-Horta officially requests military assistance from the governments of Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Portugal.[25]


May 27 – A 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes central Java in Indonesia, killing more than 6,000, injuring at least 36,000 and leaving some 1.5 million people homeless.[26]


May 29 - Sidoarjo mud flow - World's biggest mud volcano was created by the blowout of a natural gas well being drilled in the subdistrict of Porong, Sidoarjo in East Java, Indonesia. This has resulted in displacement of more than 11,000 persons from eight villages as well as damage to road and power infrastructures. Several (Twenty-five) factories were also abandoned.[27]




June 3 – Montenegro declares independence after a May 21 referendum. The state union of Serbia and Montenegro is dissolved on June 5, leaving Serbia as the successor state.[28][29]


June 9 – July 9 – The 2006 FIFA World Cup begins in Germany.


June 18


The first Kazakh space satellite KazSat is launched.[30]


Former Beatle Paul McCartney turns 64 after writing "When I'm Sixty-Four" at age 16.


June 28 – Operation Summer Rains: Israel launches an offensive against militants in Gaza.[31]



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July 1 – The Qingzang railway launches a trial operation, making Tibet the last province-level entity of China to have a conventional railway.[32]


July 6 – The Nathula Pass between India and China, sealed during the Sino-Indian War, re-opens for trade after 44 years.[33]


July 9


Italy wins their fourth FIFA World Cup title.


S7 Airlines Flight 778 crashes into a concrete barrier shortly after landing, killing at least 122 people and leaving many injured.[34]


July 10 – Pakistan International Airlines Flight 688 crashes in Multan, Pakistan, shortly after takeoff.[35]


July 11 – A series of coordinated bomb attacks strikes several commuter trains in Mumbai, India, during the evening rush hour.[36]


July 12 – 2006 Lebanon War: Israeli troops invade Lebanon in response to Hezbollah kidnapping two Israeli soldiers and killing 3. Hezbollah declares open war against Israel 2 days later.[37]


July 15 - Twitter is launched.


July 18 – The SS Nomadic, the last floating link to Titanic, returns home to a large reception in Belfast.[38]




August 11 – A resolution to end the 2006 Lebanon War is unanimously accepted by the United Nations Security Council.[39]


August 22


Pulkovo Airlines Flight 612 crashes near the Russian border in Ukraine, killing 171 people, including 45 children.[40]


The ICM awards Grigori Perelman the Fields Medal for proving the Poincare conjecture, one of 7 Millennium Prize Problems; Perelman refuses the medal.[41]


August 24 – The International Astronomical Union defines 'planet' at its 26th General Assembly, demoting Pluto to the status of 'dwarf planet' more than 70 years after its discovery.[42]




September 19 – Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand declares a state of emergency in Bangkok as members of the Royal Thai Army stage a coup d'état. The army announces the removal of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from power.[43]


September 29 – Gol Flight 1907 (Boeing 737-800) collides with a business jet over the Amazon Rainforest, killing all 155 on board.[44]




October 2 – Aleksandër Moisiu University was open in Durrës, Albania.


October 9 – North Korea claims to have conducted its first-ever nuclear test.[45]


October 13 – South Korean Ban Ki-moon is elected as the new Secretary-General of the United Nations.[46]


October 29 – Aviation Development Company Flight 53 crashes shortly after takeoff in Nigeria killing 96 people.[47]




November 2 – No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock becomes the most expensive painting after it was sold privately at $140 million.[48]


November 5 – Former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein is sentenced to death by hanging by the Iraqi Special Tribunal.[49]


November 8 - Windows Vista Release to Manufacturing is released


November 8 - Mercury transits the sun. It is visible from the Americas, Eastern China, Japan, Australia, and Polynesia.


November 12 – The former Soviet republic of South Ossetia holds a referendum on independence from Georgia.[50]


November 15 – Al Jazeera launches its English language news channel, Al Jazeera English.[51]


November 23 – A series of car bombs and mortar attacks in Sadr City, Baghdad, kill at least 215 people and injure 257 other people.[52]


November 30 – Typhoon Durian triggers a massive mudslide and kills at least 720 people in Albay province on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.[53]




December 5 – The military seizes power in Fiji, in a coup d'état led by Commodore Josaia Voreqe "Frank" Bainimarama.[54]


December 11 - Felipe Calderón sends the Mexican military to combat the drug cartels and put down the violence in the state of Michoacán, initiating the Mexican Drug War.[55]


December 13 – The Chinese River Dolphin or Baiji becomes extinct.[56]


December 24 – Ethiopia admits its troops have intervened in Somalia.[57]


December 26 – An oil pipeline explodes in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, killing at least 200 people.[58]


December 30 – Basque nationalist group ETA detonates a van bomb at Madrid-Barajas Airport in Madrid, Spain, ending a nine-month ceasefire.



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Year 2007




January 1


Bulgaria and Romania join the European Union.


South Korea's Ban Ki-moon becomes the new United Nations Secretary-General, replacing Kofi Annan.


January 3 – The People's Republic of China conducts a counter-terrorism raid in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.


January 8 – Russian oil supplies to Poland, Germany, and Ukraine are cut as the Russia-Belarus energy dispute escalates; they are restored 3 days later.


January 9 – Apple Inc's CEO and founder, Steve Jobs announces the first generation iPhone, the iPhone 2G


January 12 – Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught), the brightest comet in more than 40 years, makes perihelion.


January 13 – The Greek ship Server breaks in half off the Norwegian coast, releasing over 200 tons of crude oil.


January 14 – The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement adopts the Red Crystal as a non-religious emblem for use in its overseas operations.


January 17 – Protests occur in India and the United Kingdom against the British series of Celebrity Big Brother, after Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd and Jo O'Meara were allegedly racially abusive towards Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.


January 19 – The State of Israel releases $100 million in frozen assets to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian National Authority, in order to bolster the president's position.[7]




February 2


Chinese President Hu Jintao signs a series of economic deals with Sudan.


Martti Ahtisaari unveils a United Nations plan for the final status of Kosovo; Serbian leaders denounce the proposal.


The IPCC publishes its fourth assessment report, having concluded that global climate change is "very likely" to have a predominantly human cause.


February 13 – North Korea agrees to shut down its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon by April 14 as a first step towards complete denuclearization, receiving in return energy aid equivalent to 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil.[8]


February 26 – The International Court of Justice finds Serbia guilty of failing to prevent genocide in the Srebrenica massacre, but clears it of direct responsibility and complicity in the case.


February 27 – The Chinese Correction: World stock markets plummet after China and Europe release less-than-expected growth reports.


February 28 – The New Horizons space probe makes a gravitational slingshot against Jupiter, which changes its trajectory towards Pluto.




March 1 – The International Polar Year, a $1.5 billion research program to study both the North Pole and South Pole, is launched in Paris.


March 8 – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert admits that Israel had planned an attack on Lebanon in the event of kidnapped soldiers on the border, months before Hezbollah carried out its kidnapping.


March 23 – Naval forces of Iran's Revolutionary Guard seize Royal Navy personnel in disputed Iran-Iraq waters.


March 27 – Prime Minister of Latvia Aigars Kalvitis and Prime minister of Russia Mikhail Fradkov finally sign a border treaty between Latvia and Russia.




April 3 – Second Orange Revolution: The President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, dissolves the Ukrainian Parliament, following defections that increased the majority of his opponents.


April 4 – 2007 Iranian seizure of Royal Navy personnel: The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran announces that they will release the group of imprisoned British sailors and Marines that were captured by them on March 23.


April 14 – Retired Russian chess champion Garry Kasparov, is detained in Moscow after participating in a banned protest march against the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.


April 16 – Virginia Tech massacre: Seung-Hui Cho, a South Korean expatriate student, shoots and kills 32 people at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, before committing suicide, resulting in the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in United States history.


April 24 – Gliese 581 c, a potentially Earth-like extrasolar planet habitable for life, is discovered in the constellation Libra.


April 26 – Bronze Night: Russians riot in the city of Tallinn, Estonia, about moving the Bronze Soldier war memorial, a Soviet World War II memorial. One person is killed after two of the worst nights of rioting in Estonian history.




May 3 - British child Madeleine McCann disappears from an apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.


May 16 – The United Nations General Assembly, recognizing that genuine multilingualism promotes unity in diversity and international understanding, proclaims 2008 the International Year of Languages.[9]


May 17 – The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and the Moscow Patriarchate re-unite after 80 years of schism.


May 20 – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai makes the largest single charitable donation in modern history, committing €7.41 billion to an educational foundation in the Middle East.




June 1 – A 2,100-year-old melon is discovered by archaeologists in western Japan.[10]


June 5 – NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft makes its second fly-by of Venus en route to Mercury.


June 28 – In the aftermath of Greece's worst heatwave in a century, at least 11 people are reported dead from heatstroke, approximately 200 wildfires break out nationwide, and the country's electricity grid nearly collapses due to record breaking demand.



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July 7 – Live Earth Concerts are held throughout 9 major cities around the world.


July 17 – TAM Linhas Aéreas Flight 3054 overruns the runway of Congonhas-São Paulo International Airport and crashes, killing all 186 and others on the ground.


July 21 – The final book of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is released and sells over 11 million copies in the first 24 hours, becoming the fastest selling book in history.[11]




August 4 – The Phoenix spacecraft launches toward the Martian north pole.


August 6 – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert arrives in the historic Palestinian town of Jericho, becoming the first Prime Minister of Israel to visit the West Bank or Gaza Strip in more than seven years. Olmert meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.


August 14 – Multiple suicide bombings kill 572 people in Qahtaniya, northern Iraq.


August 15 – An 8.0 earthquake strikes Peru, killing 512 people, injuring more than 1,500, and causing tsunami warnings in the Pacific Ocean.


August 17 – Vladimir Putin issues a statement revealing that Russia is to resume the flight exercises of its strategic bombers in remote areas. The flights were suspended in 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.




September 2–September 9 – The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit hosts its 19th annual city meeting in Sydney.


September 6 – Operation Orchard: Israeli airplanes strike a suspected nuclear site in Syria.


September 14 – The SELENE spacecraft launches. JAXA has called the mission, "the largest lunar mission since the Apollo program."


September 16 – One-Two-GO Airlines Flight 269 crashes in Phuket, Thailand, killing 89 passengers and crew.


September 20 – The 2007 Universal Forum of Cultures opens in Monterrey, Mexico.


September 24 – India win the inaugural 2007 ICC World Twenty20 Cup, beating Pakistan in the final.




October 4 – Spanish authorities arrest 22 people associated with the banned Batasuna party, which campaigns for Basque independence, but also has ties to the terrorist group ETA.


October 8 – Track and field star Marion Jones surrenders the five Olympic medals she won in the 2000 Sydney Games, after admitting to doping.


October 14 – Al-habileen/lahij: Four citizens are killed on the 44th anniversary of the revolution against British colonial rule in South Yemen.


October 24 – In the space of a few hours, Comet Holmes develops a coma and flares up to half a million times its former brightness, becoming visible to the naked eye. Its coma later becomes larger in volume than the Sun, the second such comet in 2007 after Comet McNaught.


October 28 – The Vatican beatifies 498 Spanish victims of religious persecution from before and during the Spanish Civil War.[12]


October 31 – The World Economic Forum releases The Global Competitiveness Report 2007-2008.




November 3 – President Pervez Musharraf declares a state of emergency in Pakistan.


November 5 – The Writers Guild of America goes on a strike that lasts until February 12, 2008.


November 6 – A suicide bomber kills at least 50 people in Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan, including 6 members of the National Assembly.


November 13 – An explosion hits the south wing of the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Quezon City, north of Manila, killing 4 people, including Basilan Congressman Wahab Akbar, and wounding 6 others.


November 14


High Speed 1 from London to the Channel Tunnel is opened to passengers.


An earthquake of magnitude 8.2 in Tocopilla, Chile, affects the whole of the north of the country.


November 16 – Approximately 10,000 people are believed to have died after Cyclone Sidr hits Bangladesh.


November 18 – The Zasyadko mine disaster in eastern Ukraine claims the lives of 101 miners.


November 30 – Rambhadracharya, a Hindu religious leader, released the first Braille version of Bhagavad Gita, with the original Sanskrit text and a Hindi commentary at New Delhi.




December 3 – 14 – The United Nations Climate Change Conference is held at Nusa Dua in Bali, Indonesia.


December 7 – Uranus's orbit is positioned such that the sun shines directly above its equator (i.e. an equinox).


December 8 – The 2007 Africa-EU Summit takes place as European Union and African Union leaders gather in Lisbon, Portugal, for their first joint summit in 7 years. The British and Czech prime ministers boycott the event due to the presence of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.


December 10 – The United Nations deadline for a negotiated settlement on the future of Kosovo passes without an international agreement.


December 19 – Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, is announced as Time magazine's 2007 Person of the Year.


December 20 – The Pablo Picasso painting Portrait of Suzanne Bloch, together with Candido Portinari's O Lavrador de Café, is stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art.


December 21 – The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia join the Schengen border-free zone.


December 24 – The Nepalese government announces that the country's 240-year-old monarchy will be abolished in 2008 and a new republic will be declared.


December 27


Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated, and at least 20 others are killed, by a bomb blast at an election rally in Rawalpindi.


Riots erupt in Mombasa, Kenya, after Mwai Kibaki is declared the winner of the presidential election, triggering a political, economic, and humanitarian crisis.



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Year 2008




First-ever photograph of the "unseen side" of Mercury, taken by the MESSENGER spacecraft on January 14


January 1


Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro.[2][3]


A suicide bombing occurs in Zayouna, Baghdad, killing over 25 people during a funeral over the deaths from the preceding attack.[4]


January 2 – The price of petroleum hits $100 per barrel for the first time.


January 3 – A car bomb detonates, killing at least 4 and injuring 68, in Diyarbakır, Turkey. Police blame Kurdish rebels.[5]


January 8 – An attempted assassination of Maldivian president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is thwarted after a Boy Scout grabs the attacker's knife. The Boy Scout is injured, but after a scuffle police arrest the attacker.[6]


January 12 – A Macedonian Army Mil Mi-17 helicopter crashes in thick fog southeast of Skopje, killing all 11 military personnel on board.[7]


January 14 – At 19:04:39 UTC, the MESSENGER space probe is at its closest approach during its first flyby of the planet Mercury.[8]


January 15 – The Federal Court of Australia orders a Japanese whaling company to stop research whaling within their Exclusive Economic Zone.[9]


January 21 – Stock markets around the world plunge amid growing fears of a U.S. recession, fueled by the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis.[10]


January 22 – Russia stages the largest naval exercise since the fall of the Soviet Union in the Bay of Biscay. The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, along with 11 support vessels and 47 long-range bomber aircraft, practises strike tactics off the coast of France and Spain, and test-launches nuclear-capable missiles in foreign waters.[11]


January 23


Polish Air Force EADS CASA C-295 crashes on approach to the 12th Air Base near Mirosławiec. All 20 personnel on board die.[12]


Thousands of Palestinians cross into Egypt, as the border wall with Gaza in Rafah is blown up by militants.[13]


January 24 – A peace deal ends the Kivu war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[14]


January 25 – China's worst snowstorm since 1954 kills 133, delays traffic, and causes massive power outages in central and southern parts of the country.[15]


January 29 – Iran's judiciary sentences to prison 54 Bahá'í Faith followers for "anti-regime propaganda".[16][17]




Raúl Castro


February 2 – Rebels attack the capital of Chad, N'Djamena.[18]


February 4


Iran opens its first space center and launches a rocket into space.[19]


A Palestinian suicide bomber kills 1 and wounds 13 in a Dimona, Israel shopping center.[20]


February 5 – U.S. stock market indices plunge more than 3% after a report shows signs of economic recession in the service sector. The S&P 500 fall 3.2%, The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops 370 points.[21]


February 5–February 6 – A tornado outbreak, the deadliest in 23 years, kills 58 in the Southern United States.[22]


February 7 – STS-122: Space Shuttle Atlantis launches to deliver the European-built Columbus science laboratory to the International Space Station.[23]


February 10 – The 2008 Namdaemun fire severely damages Namdaemun, the first National Treasure of South Korea.[24]


February 11 – President of East Timor José Ramos-Horta is seriously wounded in an attack on his home by rebel soldiers. Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado is killed by Ramos-Horta's security guards during the attack.[25]


February 12


PDVSA, a state oil company in Venezuela, suspends sales of crude oil to ExxonMobil, in response to a legal challenge by them.[26]


Bridgestone, under investigation for an alleged price-fixing cartel, uncovers improper payments of at least 150 million Japanese yen to foreign governments and withdraws from the marine hose business.[27]


February 13 – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia delivers a formal apology to the Stolen Generations.[28]


February 17 – Kosovo formally declares independence from Serbia, with support from some countries but opposition from others.[29]


February 18


The British government introduces emergency legislation temporarily to nationalize Northern Rock, the 5th largest mortgage bank in the UK, due to the bank's financial crisis.[30]


A general election is held in Pakistan, delayed from January 8 due to riots in the wake of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Opposition parties, including Bhutto's, take more than half of the seats, while President Pervez Musharraf's party suffers a huge defeat.[31]


February 19


Fidel Castro announces his resignation as President of Cuba, effective February 24.[32]


February 20


The United States Navy destroys a spy satellite containing toxic fuel, by shooting it down with a missile launched from the USS Lake Erie in the Pacific Ocean.[33]


A total lunar eclipse crosses North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia.[34]


February 22


Former building society Northern Rock is the first bank in Europe to be taken into state control, due to the U.S. subprime mortgage financial crisis.[35]


No survivors are found after a rescue helicopter discovers the wreckage of Santa Bárbara Airlines Flight 518 just northeast of Mérida, Venezuela. The commercial plane had 46 people on board, including crew.[36]


February 24 – Raúl Castro is unanimously elected as President of Cuba by the National Assembly.[37]




European Jules Verne ATV docked to the International Space Station


March–April – Rising food and fuel prices trigger riots and unrest in the Third World.


March 1 – In Gaza Strip, at least 52 Palestinians and 2 Israeli soldiers are killed in the most intense Israeli air strikes since 2005.[38]


March 2 – 2008 Andean diplomatic crisis: Venezuela and Ecuador move troops to the Colombian border, following a Colombian raid against FARC guerrillas inside Ecuador's national territory, in which senior commander Raúl Reyes is killed.[39][40]


March 6 – Eight Israeli civilians are killed and 9 wounded when a Palestinian attacker opens fire at a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem.[41]


March 9 – The first European Space Agency Automated Transfer Vehicle, a cargo spacecraft for the International Space Station, launches from Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana.[42]


March 14 – Demonstrations by Tibetan separatists turn violent as rioters target government and Han Chinese-owned buildings.


March 15 – A gun factory explosion in Gërdec, Albania, kills more than 30. Over the following week, Albania, Kosovo, and some surrounding countries supply and support Gërdec's population with food, blood, etc.


March 19 – An exploding star halfway across the visible universe becomes the farthest known object ever visible to the naked eye.[43]


March 24 – Bhutan holds its first-ever general elections.[44]


March 25


A 414 square kilometer (160 sq. mi.2) chunk of Antarctica's Wilkins Ice Shelf disintegrates, leaving the entire shelf at risk.


African Union and Comoros forces invade the rebel-held island of Anjouan.




April 8 – The Privy Council of Sark dismantles its feudal system to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.[45] and the first elections under the new law will be held in December 2008 and the new chamber will first convene in January 2009.[46][47][48]


April 15 – A Hewa Bora Airways DC-9 crashes into a residential area of Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo.


April 22 – Surgeons at London's Moorfields Eye Hospital perform the first operations using bionic eyes, implanting them into 2 blind patients.


April 27 – The Taliban attempts to assassinate Afghan President Hamid Karzai in a military parade in Kabul.[49]


April 28


India sets a world record by sending 10 satellites into orbit in a single launch.[50]


71 die in a train crash in Shandong, China.[51]




An earthquake in Sichuan, China, killed nearly 80,000 people


May 3 – Over 133,000 in Burma/Myanmar are killed by Cyclone Nargis, the deadliest natural disaster since the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004.


May 7 – Dmitry Medvedev takes office as President of Russia, replacing Vladimir Putin.


May 8 – Start of armed clashes and fighting in Lebanon.


May 11 – Burma/Myanmar holds a constitutional referendum.


May 12 – Over 69,000 are killed in central south-west China by the Wenchuan quake, an earthquake measuring 7.9 Moment magnitude scale. The epicenter is 90 kilometers (56 mi) west-northwest of the provincial capital Chengdu, Sichuan province.


May 13 – A series of bomb blasts kills at least 63 and injures 216 in Jaipur, India.


May 14 – NASA announces the discovery of Supernova remnant G1.9+0.3.


May 15 – An oil pipeline explosion in Ijegun, Nigeria kills 100.


May 23


The Union of South American Nations, a supranational union[citation needed], is created by a union between the Andean Community and Mercosur.


The International Court of Justice awards Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute between the 2 countries.


May 25 – NASA's Phoenix spacecraft becomes the first to land on the northern polar region of Mars.[52]


May 28 – The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is established after the Assembly votes overwhelmingly in favor of abolishing the country's 240-year-old monarchy. Girija Prasad Koirala becomes temporary head of state.


May 30 – The Convention on Cluster Munitions is adopted in Dublin.[53]



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July 2 – Íngrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages are rescued from FARC by Colombian security forces.


July 7 – A suicide-bomber drives an explosives-laden automobile into the front gates of the Indian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 58 and injuring over 150.


July 7–July 9 – The 34th G8 summit is held in Tōyako, Hokkaidō, Japan.


July 10 – Former Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boškoski is acquitted of all charges, by a UN Tribunal accusing him of war crimes.


July 15–July 20 – World Youth Day takes place in Sydney, Australia. Pope Benedict XVI appears at the event.[56]


July 21 – Radovan Karadžić, the first president of the Republika Srpska, is arrested in Belgrade, Serbia, on allegations of war crimes, following a 12-year-long manhunt.[57]


July 22 – The United Progressive Alliance-led government in India survives a crucial no-confidence vote, based on disagreements between the Indian National Congress and Left Front, over the Indo-US nuclear deal.


July 23 – Ram Baran Yadav is sworn in as the first President of Nepal.[58]


July 25 – A series of seven bomb blasts rock Bangalore, India, killing two and injuring 20; the next day, a series of bomb blasts in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, kills 45 and injures over 160 people.


July 27 – At least 17 are killed and over 154 wounded in 2 blasts in Istanbul.


July 28 – At least 48 are dead and over 287 injured after bombs explode in Baghdad and Kirkuk, Iraq.[59][60]




August 1


A total eclipse of the Sun is visible from Canada and extends across northern Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia, Mongolia, and China.[61]


George Tupou V is crowned as the new King of Tonga, an event that had been delayed for over two years following the 2006 Nuku'alofa riots.[62]


August 3 – A stampede at a Hindu temple at Naina Devi in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, India, kills 162 and injures 400.


August 4 – Two members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which had threatened to attack the Beijing Olympics, kill 16 and injure another 16 officers at a police station in Kashgar, Xinjiang, China.[63][64]


August 6 – President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi of Mauritania is deposed in a military coup d'état.


August 7 – The 2008 South Ossetia war begins, as Georgia and Russia launch a major offensive inside the separatist region of South Ossetia after days of border skirmishes between the two sides.


August 8–August 24 – The 2008 Summer Olympics take place in Beijing, China.[65]


August 10 – A propane facility explodes in Toronto overnight and causes a large-scale evacuation, resulting in 2 deaths.


August 15 – Pushpa Kamal Dahal (known as Prachanda) is sworn in as the first Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, after the Nepalese monarchy was abolished in May.[66]


August 17 – Michael Phelps surpasses Mark Spitz in Gold Medals won at a single Olympics, winning eight.[67]


August 18 – Pervez Musharraf resigns as President of Pakistan, under impeachment pressure from the coalition government.[68]


August 19


Taliban insurgents kill 10 and injure 21 French soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan.[69]


A suicide bomber rams a car into an Algerian military academy, killing 43 and injuring 45.[70]


August 20 – Spanair Flight 5022, from Madrid to Gran Canaria, skids off the runway and crashes at Barajas Airport with 172 on board. Of them, 154 die and 18 survive.[71]


August 21 – At least 60 die following twin suicide bombings outside the Pakistan Ordnance Factories in Wah, Pakistan.


August 22 – Pirates hijack German, Iranian, and Japanese cargo ships off the coast of Somalia, in seven such attacks since June 20.[72]


August 24


An aircraft crashes in Guatemala, killing 10, including four Americans on a humanitarian mission.[73]


Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 6895 crashes upon takeoff near Manas International Airport in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, killing 68.[74]


August 26 – Russia unilaterally recognizes the independence of Georgian breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia.[75]


August 26–September 1 – Hurricane Gustav makes landfall on Louisiana as Category 2 and kills seven in the United States, after making landfall on western Cuba as Category 4, and killing 66 in Haiti, eight in the Dominican Republic, and 11 in Jamaica.[76][77]


August 28–September 7 – Hurricane Hanna kills seven in the United States, and 529 in Haiti, mostly due to deluges and mudslides.[78]




The CMS experiment of the Large Hadron Collider


September 1–September 14 – Hurricane Ike makes landfall on Texas as Category 2 and kills 27 in the United States, after killing four in Cuba, one in the Dominican Republic, and 75 in Haiti.[79][80]


September 2 – Political crisis in Thailand: Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej of Thailand declares a state of emergency in Bangkok.[81]


September 3


Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani of Pakistan survives an assassination attempt near Islamabad, while on his way to meet British Leader of the Opposition David Cameron.


President's Dimitris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat hold peace talks in Nicosia, aimed at reunifying Cyprus.[82][83]


September 6 – At least eight boulders dislodge from a cliff near Cairo, Egypt, killing at least 90 and burying an estimated 500 people.[84]


September 9 – Political crisis in Thailand: The Constitutional Court of Thailand orders Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to resign, after he is paid for appearing on a television cooking show.[85]


September 10


The proton beam is circulated for the first time in the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, located at CERN, near Geneva, under the Franco-Swiss border.[86][87]


The 2008 Bandar Abbas earthquake strikes southern Iran, killing 7 and injuring 45 people.[88]


September 12 – A Metrolink train collides head-on into a freight train in Los Angeles, California, killing 25 and injuring 130.[89]


September 14


Aeroflot Flight 821 crashes near the city of Perm, Russia, killing all 88 on board.[90]


Churches are attacked in Mangalore and southern Karnataka, India, leading to Christian protests and strong police suppression.[91]


September 15


Following negotiations, President Robert Mugabe and opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara sign a power-sharing deal, making Tsvangirai the new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.


Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, laying the catalyst for the Global financial crisis.


September 17 – The International Astronomical Union classifies Haumea as the 5th dwarf planet in the Solar System.[92]


September 19–September 25 – Typhoon Hagupit kills 17 in China, eight in the Philippines, one in Taiwan, and 41 in Vietnam.[93]


September 20 – A suicide truck bomb explosion destroys the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least 60 and injuring 266.[94][95][96]


September 25 – Shenzhou 7, the third manned Chinese spaceflight and the first with three crew members, is successfully launched. China becomes the third country ever to conduct a spacewalk.[97]


September 28 – SpaceX Falcon 1 becomes the world's first privately developed space launch vehicle to successfully make orbit.[98][99]


September 29 – The DOW loses 777 points, the biggest one-day point decline ever. The drop came after the House of Representatives voted down a $700 billion bank bailout plan.


September 30 – A Jodhpur temple stampede in western India kills over 224 people, and injures 400.[100][101]




October 3 – Global financial crisis: U.S. President George W. Bush signs the revised Emergency Economic Stabilization Act into law, creating a 700 billion dollar Treasury fund to purchase failing bank assets.[102]


October 6


NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft makes its second of three flybys of Mercury, decreasing the velocity for orbital insertion on March 18, 2011.[103][104]


An earthquake measuring 6.6 magnitude kills at least 65 in Kyrgyzstan.[105]


Symantec acquired PC Tools for $262,000,000.[106]


October 7


Global financial crisis: Russia agrees to provide Iceland with a four-billion-euro loan.[107][108]


The meteoroid 2008 TC3 impacts Earth, becoming the first such object to be discovered prior to impact.[109]


October 9 – Global financial crisis: Following a major banking and financial crisis in Iceland, the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority takes control of the three largest banks in the country: Kaupthing Bank,[110][111] Landsbanki,[112][113] and Glitnir.[114][115]


October 12 – Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup win the 2008 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 for Ford and Triple 8.


October 14 – Canadian federal election, 2008: Prime Minister Stephen Harper is re-elected with a stronger minority government.


October 17 – The United Nations General Assembly elects Turkey, Austria, Japan, Uganda, and Mexico to two-year terms on the Security Council.[116]


October 21 – The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is officially inaugurated. It is a collaboration of over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories.[117][118][119][120]


October 22 – The Indian Space Research Organisation successfully launches the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft on a lunar exploration mission.[121][122]


October 29


Global financial crisis: Hungary's currency and stock markets rise on the news that it will receive an international economic bailout package worth $25 billion from the IMF, European Union, and World Bank.[123]


Delta Air Lines merges with Northwest Airlines, forming the world's largest commercial carrier.[124]



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Year 2008 continues...




November 4 – United States presidential election, 2008: Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States, and becomes the first black President-elect.[125][126][127]


November 6 – King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan is crowned, having ascended to the throne in 2006.[128]


November 7 – The 2008 Pétionville school collapse kills at least 92 in Pétionville, Haiti.


November 8 – An accident aboard Russian submarine K-152 Nerpa kills 20.


November 11 – The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 departs on her last voyage from Southampton, UK to Dubai, UAE. She will become a floating hotel at Palm Jumeirah.[129][130]


November 14 – STS-126: The Space Shuttle Endeavour uses the MPLM Leonardo to deliver experiment and storage racks to the International Space Station. There will be only three more launches of Space Shuttle Endeavour after this mission.[131]


November 19 – Claudia Castillo of Spain becomes the first person to have a successful trachea transplant using a tissue-engineered organ.[132]


November 20 – The 2008 Prairie meteoroid falls over Canada.


November 22–November 23 – The APEC Peru 2008 Summit is held in Lima.


November 24 – The 2008 Santa Catarina floods in Santa Catarina, Brazil, kill 126 and force the evacuation of over 78,000 people.


November 25


Greenland holds a referendum for increased autonomy from Denmark. The vote is over 75% in favour.[133]


Political crisis in Thailand: Protesters from the People's Alliance for Democracy party storm into Suvarnabhumi Airport and block flights from taking off. More protesters seize control of Don Mueang Airport the following day.


A car bomb in St. Petersburg, Russia, kills three people and injures one.


November 26 – November 29 – A series of terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India by Pakistan-based Islamic militants who lay siege over a hotel for 2 days, results in 195 casualties, and over 250 injured.


November 27 – The longest serving Ocean Liner in history, QE2 is retired from service.


November 29 – Riots in Jos, Nigeria, kill 381, and injure at least 300.




December 1 – A triangular conjunction formed by a new Moon, Venus and Jupiter is a prominent sight in the evening sky.[134]


December 2 – Political crisis in Thailand: After weeks of opposition-led protests, the Constitutional Court of Thailand dissolves the governing People's Power Party and two coalition member parties, and bans leaders of the parties, including Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, from politics for five years. As such, Wongsawat promptly resigns and is replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Chaovarat Chanweerakul as caretaker Prime Minister.[135]


December 3 – The Convention on Cluster Munitions opens for signature in Oslo.[53]


December 4 – Political crisis in Canada: Governor General Michaëlle Jean grants the request of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to prorogue Parliament until January 26, 2009, averting a motion of no-confidence by the new opposition coalition led by the Leader of the Opposition Stéphane Dion, and the New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton, with Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe as a coalition partner.[136]


December 5 – Human remains found in 1991 are identified as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, using DNA analysis.[137]


December 6 – Riots spread across Greece after a 15-year-old boy is shot dead by a special guard of the Greek Police.[138]


December 7 – Jamie Whincup wins the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship series for Ford and Triple 8 Racing.


December 10 – The Channel Island of Sark, a British Crown Dependency, holds its first fully democratic elections under a new constitutional arrangement, becoming the last European territory to abolish feudalism.[139]


December 11 - Bernard Madoff is arrested by U.S. federal authorities on charges of running a massive decades-long Ponzi scheme swindling thousands of investors - the largest financial fraud in history.


December 12


Switzerland becomes the 25th European country to join the Schengen Agreement, whereby cross-border passport checks will be abolished.[140]


The Moon moves into its nearest point to Earth, called perigee, at the same time as its fullest phase of the Lunar Cycle. The Moon appears to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than the year's other full moons. The next time these two events coincide will be in 2016.[141]


December 16 – Ruins of an ancient Wari city are discovered in northern Peru.


December 18 – The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda convicts Théoneste Bagosora and two other senior Rwandan army officers of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentences them to life imprisonment.[142]


December 21 – Gwadar Port, Pakistan, becomes fully operational.[143]


December 23 – A military coup d'état is announced in Guinea shortly after the death of long-time President Lansana Conté.[144]


Israeli F-16i of the 107th Squadron preparing for take-off, December 2008


December 27 – Israel initiates "Operation Cast Lead" in the Gaza Strip after launching an extensive wave of airstrikes[145] against military targets, police stations and government buildings within the Gaza Strip with the stated aim of stopping rocket fire[146] from and arms import into the territory.[147][148] As a result, Hamas intensified its rocket and mortar attacks against Southern Israel, reaching the major cities of Beersheba and Ashdod for the first time.[149][150][151]


December 29 – Bangladesh holds its general elections after two years of political unrest over the interim government.[152]


December 31 – An extra leap second (23:59:60) is added to end the year. The last time this occurred was in 2005.



Edited by Classicalfan626
Obama is probably an illegitimate president, and probably not a U.S. citizen.
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Year 2009




2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict


January 1


Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, and Uganda assume their seats on the United Nations Security Council.


Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, becomes the American Capital of Culture and Vilnius and Linz become the European Capitals of Culture.


Slovakia adopts the euro as its national currency, replacing the Slovak koruna.[4]


January 3 – Israel launches a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip as the Gaza War enters its second week.[5]


January 7 – Russia shuts off all gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin publicly endorses the move and urges greater international involvement in the energy dispute.[6]


January 13 – Ethiopian military forces begin pulling out of Somalia, where they have tried to maintain order for nearly two years.[7]


January 17 – Israel announces a unilateral ceasefire in the Gaza War. It comes into effect the following day,[8] on which Hamas declares a ceasefire of its own.[9][10][11]


January 21 – Israel completes its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.[12] Intermittent air strikes by both sides of the preceding war continue in the weeks to follow.[13][14][15]


January 22 – Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda is captured by Rwandan forces after crossing over the border into Rwanda.[16]


January 26


The first trial at the International Criminal Court is held. Former Union of Congolese Patriots leader Thomas Lubanga is accused of training child soldiers to kill, pillage, and rape.[17]


The Icelandic government and banking system collapse; Prime Minister Geir Haarde immediately resigns.[18]




February 1


Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow is enthroned as the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.[19]


Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is appointed as the new Prime Minister of Iceland, becoming the world's first openly lesbian head of government.[20]


February 7 – The deadliest bushfires in Australian history begin; they kill 173, injure 500 more, and leave 7,500 homeless. The fires come after Melbourne records the highest-ever temperature (46.4°C, 115°F) of any capital city in Australia. The majority of the fires are ignited by either fallen or clashing power lines or deliberately lit.


February 8 – The Taliban releases a video of Polish geologist Piotr Stańczak, whom they had abducted a few months earlier, being beheaded. It is the first killing of a Western hostage in Pakistan since American journalist Daniel Pearl was executed in 2002.[21]


February 10 – A Russian and an American satellite collide over Siberia, creating a large amount of space debris.[22]


February 11 – Morgan Tsvangirai is sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe following the power-sharing deal with President Robert Mugabe signed in September 2008.[23]


February 17 – The JEM rebel group in Darfur, Sudan sign a pact with the Sudanese government, planning a ceasefire within the next three months.[24]


February 26 – Former Serbian president Milan Milutinović is acquitted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia regarding war crimes during the Kosovo War.[25]




March 2 – The President of Guinea-Bissau, João Bernardo Vieira, is assassinated during an armed attack on his residence in Bissau.[26]


March 3 – Gunmen attack a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, Pakistan, killing eight people and injuring several others.[27]


March 4 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Al-Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC since its establishment in 2002.[28]


March 7 – NASA's Kepler Mission, a space photometer which will search for extrasolar planets in the Milky Way galaxy, is launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA.


March 17 – The President of Madagascar, Marc Ravalomanana, is overthrown in a coup d'état, following a month of rallies in Antananarivo. The military appoints opposition leader Andry Rajoelina as the new president.[29]




Train commuters in Mexico City wearing surgical masks due to the outbreak of swine flu


April 1 – Albania and Croatia are admitted to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).


April 2 – The second G-20 summit, involving state leaders rather than the usual finance ministers, meets in London. Its main focus is an ongoing global financial crisis.


April 3–April 4 – The 21st NATO Summit is held, 60 years after the founding of the organization. Former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is appointed as the new Secretary General of NATO.


April 5 – North Korea launches the Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 rocket, prompting an emergency meeting of—but no official reaction from—the United Nations Security Council.[30]


April 6 – A 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes near L'Aquila, Italy, killing nearly 300 and injuring more than 1,500.[31]


April 7 – Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori is sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering killings and kidnappings by security forces.


April 10 – A political crisis begins in Fiji when President Josefa Iloilo suspends the nation's Constitution, dismisses all judges and constitutional appointees and assumes all governance in the country after the Court of Appeal rules that the government of Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama is illegal.[32]


April 11–April 12 – The Fourth East Asia Summit is postponed after Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declares a state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas.[33][34]


April 12 – U.S. Navy rescues Captain Richard Phillips killing three pirates, and capturing a fourth.


April 17 – Thirty-four heads of state and government meet in Port of Spain, Trinidad for the 5th Summit of the Americas.


April 18 – Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist, is sentenced to eight years in prison for espionage by an Iranian court.[35] She is released the following month, after an appeals court reduces and suspends her sentence.


April 21 – UNESCO launches The World Digital Library.[36]


April 24 – The World Health Organization expresses concern at the spread of influenza from Mexico and the United States to other countries.[37][38][39] International cases and resulting deaths are confirmed.


April 29 – Amidst Russia's effort to improve relations with NATO and with the West in general, NATO expels two Russian diplomats from NATO headquarters in Brussels over a spy scandal in Estonia. Russia's Foreign Ministry criticises the expulsions.[40]




May 18


The third C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group meets in Seoul.


Following more than a quarter-century of fighting, the Sri Lankan Civil War ends with the total military defeat of the LTTE.[41][42]


May 19 – Sri Lanka announces victory in its 27 year war against the terrorist organisation Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.


May 23 – Former President of South Korea Roh Moo-hyun, under investigation for alleged bribery during his presidential term, commits suicide.[43]


May 25 – North Korea announces that it has conducted a second successful nuclear test in the province of North Hamgyong. The United Nations Security Council condemns the reported test.[44]




A clash between pro-Zelaya protesters and the Honduran military


June 1 – Air France Flight 447, en route from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris, crashes into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 228 on board.


June 11 – The outbreak of the H1N1 influenza strain, commonly referred to as "swine flu", is deemed a global pandemic,[45] becoming the first condition since the Hong Kong flu of 1967–1968 to receive this designation.


June 13 – Following the apparent reelection of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, supporters of defeated candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi accuse the government of fraud, and launch a series of sustained protests.[46]


June 18 – NASA launches the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/LCROSS probes to the Moon, the first American lunar mission since Lunar Prospector in 1998.


June 20 – The death of Neda Agha-Soltan, an Iranian student shot during a protest, is captured on what soon becomes a viral video that helps to turn Neda into an international symbol of the civil unrest following the presidential election.


June 21 – As a step toward total independence from the Kingdom of Denmark, Greenland assumes control over its law enforcement, judicial affairs, and natural resources. Greenlandic becomes the official language.[47]


June 25 – The death of American entertainer Michael Jackson triggers an outpouring of worldwide grief. Online, reactions to the event cripple several major websites and services, as the abundance of people accessing the web addresses pushes internet traffic to potentially unprecedented and historic levels.[48][49][50][51]


June 28 – The Supreme Court of Honduras orders the arrest and exile of President Manuel Zelaya, claiming he was violating the nation's constitution by holding a referendum to stay in power.[52] The ouster is condemned by the United Nations, the Organization of American States,[53] and multiple nations around the world.


June 30 – Yemenia Flight 626 crashes off the coast of Moroni, Comoros, killing all but one of the 153 passengers and crew.[54]



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July 4 – The Organization of American States suspends Honduras due to the country's recent political crisis after its refusal to reinstate President Zelaya.[55][56]


July 5 – Over 150 are killed when a few thousand ethnic Uyghurs target local Han Chinese during major rioting in Ürümqi, Xinjiang.


July 7 – A public memorial service is held for musician Michael Jackson. It is regarded as one of the most prominent funerals of all time.[57][58][59]


July 15 – Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 crashes near Qazvin, Iran, killing all 168 on board.


July 16 – Iceland's national parliament, the Althingi, votes to pursue joining the EU.[60]


July 22 – The longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting up to 6 minutes and 38.8 seconds, occurs over parts of Asia and the Pacific Ocean.




August 3 – Bolivia becomes the first South American country to declare the right of indigenous people to govern themselves.[61]


August 4 – North Korean leader Kim Jong-il pardons two American journalists, who had been arrested and imprisoned for illegal entry earlier in the year, after former U.S. President Bill Clinton meets with Kim in North Korea.[62]


August 7 – Typhoon Morakot hits Taiwan, killing 500 and stranding more than 1,000 via the worst flooding on the island in half a century.[63]


August 20 – Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, imprisoned for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, is released by the Scottish government on compassionate grounds as he has terminal prostate cancer. He returns to his native Libya.[64]




Leaders of the G-20 countries present at the Pittsburgh Summit


September 25 – At the G-20 Pittsburgh summit, world leaders announce that the G-20 will assume greater leverage over the world economy, replacing the role of the G-8, in an effort to prevent another financial crisis like that in 2008.[65]


September 26 – Typhoon Ketsana begins to cause record amounts of rainfall in Manila, Philippines, leading to the declaration of a "state of calamity" in 25 provinces.[66]


September 28 – At least 157 demonstrators are killed in a clash with the Guinean military.


September 29 – An 8.3-magnitude earthquake triggers a tsunami near the Samoan Islands. Many communities and harbors in Samoa and American Samoa are destroyed, and at least 189 are killed.


September 30 – A 7.6-magnitude earthquake strikes just off the coast of Sumatra, killing around 1,000 in Indonesia.[67]




Moment of the announcement of Rio de Janeiro as the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics


October 1 – Paleontologists announce the discovery of an Ardipithecus ramidus fossil skeleton, deeming it the oldest remains of a human ancestor yet found.[68]


October 2


The International Olympic Committee awards the 2016 Summer Olympics to Rio de Janeiro.


Ireland holds a second referendum on the EU's Lisbon Treaty. The amendment is approved by the Irish electorate,[69][70][71][72][73] having been rejected in the Lisbon I referendum held in June 2008.


October 20 – European astronomers discover 32 exoplanets.[74]




November 3


The Czech Republic becomes the final member-state of the European Union to sign the Treaty of Lisbon, thereby permitting that document's initiation into European law.[75]


The Prime Minister of Belgium, Herman Van Rompuy, is designated the first permanent President of the European Council,[76] a position he takes up on 1 December 2009.[77][78][79]


November 13 – Having analyzed the data from the LCROSS lunar impact, NASA announces that it has found a "significant" quantity of water in the Moon's Cabeus crater.[80][81]


November 20 – CERN restarts the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland; they had shut it down on September 19, 2008.[82][83]


November 23 – In the Philippines, at least 58 are abducted and killed in an election-related massacre in the province of Maguindanao. This appears to be the deadliest attack on journalists in recent history.[84]


November 27 – Dubai requests a debt deferment following its massive renovation and development projects, as well as the late 2000s economic crisis. The announcement causes global stock markets to drop.[85]




December 1 – The Treaty of Lisbon comes into force.[86]


December 7 – December 18 – The UNFCCC's United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 conference is held in Copenhagen, Denmark.[87]


December 16 – Astronomers discover GJ1214b, the first-known exoplanet on which water could exist.[88]



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Year 2010


January 8 – The Togo national football team is involved in an attack in Angola, and as a result withdraws from the Africa Cup of Nations.[5]


January 12 – A 7.0-magnitude earthquake occurs in Haiti, devastating the nation's capital, Port-au-Prince. With a confirmed death toll over 230,000[6][7][8] it is one of the deadliest on record.


January 15 – The longest annular solar eclipse of the 3rd millennium occurs.


January 25 – Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 crashes into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, killing all 90 people on board.


The clock counting down to the opening of Olympics Games in Downtown Vancouver.




February 3 – The sculpture L'Homme qui marche I by Alberto Giacometti sells in London for £65 million (US$103.7 million), setting a new world record for a work of art sold at auction.[9][10][11]


February 12 – February 28 – The 2010 Winter Olympics are held in Vancouver and Whistler, Canada.


February 18 – The President of Niger, Tandja Mamadou, is overthrown after a group of soldiers storms the presidential palace[12] and form a ruling junta, the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy headed by chef d'escadron Salou Djibo.[13]


February 27 – An 8.8-magnitude earthquake occurs in Chile, triggering a tsunami over the Pacific and killing at least 525.[14] The earthquake is one of the largest in recorded history.




March 16 – The Kasubi Tombs, Uganda's only cultural World Heritage Site, are destroyed by fire.[15]


March 26 – The ROKS Cheonan, a South Korean Navy ship carrying 104 personnel, sinks off the country's west coast, killing 46. In May, an independent investigation blames North Korea, which denies the allegations.[16][17]


Volcano plume from on Eyjafjallajokull 17 April 2010.




April 7 – Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev flees Bishkek amid fierce rioting, sparking a sociopolitical crisis. Former foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva is placed at the head of an interim government as the opposition seizes control.[18]


April 10 – The President of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, is among 96 killed when their airplane crashes in western Russia.[19][20]


April 13 – A 6.9-magnitude earthquake occurs in Qinghai, China, killing at least 2,000 and injuring more than 10,000.[21]


April 14 – Volcanic ash from one of several eruptions beneath Eyjafjallajökull, an ice cap in Iceland, begins to disrupt air traffic across northern and western Europe.[22][23][24]


April 20 – The Deepwater Horizon oil platform explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven workers. The resulting Horizon oil spill, one of the largest in history, spreads for several months, damaging the waters and the United States coastline, and prompting international debate and doubt about the practice and procedures of offshore drilling.[25][26]


April 27 – Standard & Poor's downgrades Greece's sovereign credit rating to junk four days after the activation of a €45-billion EU–IMF bailout, triggering the decline of stock markets worldwide and of the euro's value,[27][27][28] and furthering a European sovereign debt crisis.




May 2 – The eurozone and the International Monetary Fund agree to a €110 billion bailout package for Greece. The package involves sharp Greek austerity measures.[29]


May 4 – Nude, Green Leaves and Bust by Pablo Picasso sells in New York for US$106.5 million, setting another new world record for a work of art sold at auction.[30][31][32]


May 7 – Scientists conducting the Neanderthal genome project announce that they have sequenced enough of the Neanderthal genome to suggest that Neanderthals and humans may have interbred.[33][34]


May 12 – Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 crashes at runway at Tripoli International Airport in Libya, killing 103 of the 104 people on board.[35]


May 19 – Protests in Bangkok, Thailand, end with a bloody military crackdown, killing 91 and injuring more than 2,100.[36][37]


May 20


Scientists announce that they have created a functional synthetic genome.[38]


Five paintings worth €100 million are stolen from the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.[39][40]


May 22 – Air India Express Flight 812 overshoots the runway at Mangalore International Airport in India, killing 158 and leaving 8 survivors.[41]


May 31 – Nine activists are killed in a clash with soldiers when Israeli Navy forces raid and capture a flotilla of ships attempting to break the Gaza blockade.[42][43]




June 9 – Ethnic riots in Kyrgyzstan between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks results in the deaths of hundreds.[44]


June 11 – July 11 – The 2010 FIFA World Cup is held in South Africa, and is won by Spain, with the runner-up being Holland.


Satellite images of the upper Indus River valley comparing water-levels on 1 August 2009 (top) and 31 July 2010 (bottom) during the flooding in Pakistan



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