April 2003


April 2003

April 2003 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December

Events

April 1, 2003

* Hong Kong movie and Cantopop star Leslie Cheung commits suicide at the age of 46.
* In Japan, The Postal Services Agency becomes Japan Post, a public corporation. [http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20030402a1.htm]
* In Japan, Hyosuke Kujiraoka, a former vice speaker of the House of Representatives, dies in Adachi, Tokyo. He was 87.
*Air Canada, the main airline company of Canada asks for bankruptcy protection.
* The US Supreme Court hears oral arguments for "Grutter v. Bollinger", (regarding the University of Michigan Law Schools' affirmative action admissions policy), and "Gratz and Hamacher v. Bollinger", (examining the university's undergraduate admissions policy.)
* Cubana de Aviacion AN-24 airplane on a flight from the Isle of Youth in Cuba to Havana with 46 passengers on board is hijacked and directed towards the United States. After refueling in Havana the plane flew to Key West, under escort by two US jet fighters. The plane landed safely in Key West. [http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/americas/04/01/cuba.hijacking/index.html]
* Prisoner of war United States Army Private Jessica Lynch is rescued by U.S. forces from Nasiriya, Iraq [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2908477.stm (BBC News)] .
* Squaresoft and Enix, two Japanese video game companies, announce their merger into Square Enix. Because of the timing, many people thought this was a mutually planned hoax.
* The award-winning machinima series "Red vs. Blue" made its online premiere.
*The Campus Security Department at Queen's University in Kingston, ON Canada reported [http://www.queensu.ca/security/archive/themes/april1/2003/april1.html Computer bugs had infected systems throughout the Campus] . Reading the report eventually reveals a different twist to the story...
*Alex McLeish, manager of Scottish football club Rangers announced the signing of seventeen year old Turkish player Yardis Alpolfo in a £5 million deal. The name is in fact an anagram of "April Fool's Day" but many news sources, including Reuters, reported the story. [http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/hi/news/5014266.html]
* [http://www.locusmag.com/2003/News/News0401a.html#baen Locus Online] carries a fake news story about Baen Books signing deals with Microsoft and Coca Cola for product placement deals in Baen novels.

April 2, 2003

* Iraqi military forces light oil wells on fire while retreating in the face of overwhelming US military might. This was considered an act of environmental terrorism.
* U.S. Brigadier General Vincent K. Brooks claims the Baghdad division of the Iraqi Republican Guard was "destroyed". Iraq information minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf responded that this was another American "lie". [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s822981.htm]
*The Iraqi Information Ministry bans Qatar-based Al Jazeera satellite television from Baghdad. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=564&e=4&u=/nm/20030402/ts_nm/iraq_jazeera_dc_3]

April 3, 2003

* Dr. Julie Gerberding, a director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, states her concern that SARS threatens to become a global pandemic. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2912463.stm]
* Jean-Pierre Serre is announced as the winner of the first Abel Prize.
* ArabNews reports that United States forces have captured the Saddam International Airport in Baghdad. [http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=24704]

April 4, 2003

* Video footage of Saddam Hussein is shown on Iraqi television, and mentions the shooting down of an Apache helicopter, reducing speculation on the possible death of Saddam Hussein.

April 5, 2003

*The Senate of Belgium approves a change in the nation's war crimes law so that it will no longer apply to citizens of nations with sufficient human rights laws. The House of Representatives had already approved the change. The law had been used in the past to charge such people as George H. W. Bush, Colin Powell and Ariel Sharon with war crimes, and had interfered with Belgium's international relations. [http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?Page=%5CForeignBureaus%5Carchive%5C200304%5CFOR20030407d.html]
*Monty's Pass wins the Grand National

April 6, 2003

* British forces step up their presence in the southern Iraq city of Basra. According to embedded journalists, the citizens of Basra braved gunfire to dance in the streets and cheer for the British troops. UPI's Chief International Correspondent Martin Walker claimed that he had witnessed at least one Basra citizen kiss a British tank. [http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030407-025947-4642r]
* In a friendly fire incident, U.S. warplanes struck a convoy of allied Kurdish fighters and U.S. Special Forces during a battle in northern Afghanistan. At least 18 people are killed and more than 45 wounded, including senior Kurdish commanders.

April 7, 2003

*As part of a plea bargain, alleged Mafia boss Vincent "Chin" Gigante admits in court that he has been feigning insanity for more than 30 years. [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/04/08/MN89146.DTL]
*In Oakland, California, police fired rubber bullets and beanbags at anti-war protesters and dockworkers outside the Port, injuring at least a dozen demonstrators and six longshoremen standing nearby. Most of the 500 demonstrators were dispersed peacefully, but a crowd of demonstrators was blocking traffic on private property near the port and fail to disperse after police warnings. Oakland Police Chief said demonstrators also threw objects and bolts at them, and said the use of weapons was necessary to disperse the crowd. He indicated non-lethal projectiles were used to respond to direct illegal action. The longshoremen were caught in the crossfire. A dockworker spokesman reported Police gave two minutes to disperse, then did not move to arrest people, instead they opened fire. Demonstrators also claim though the rubber bullets were supposed to be shot at the ground, the Police took direct aim at them. Oakland police said 31 people were arrested at the port.
* U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says that war in Iraq is "drawing to a close". [http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030408-82540860.htm]
* Embedded NPR journalists relay reports from a top official with the 1st Marine Division that U.S. forces near Baghdad have discovered 20 medium range BM-21 missiles armed with warheads containing deadly sarin and mustard gas that are "ready to fire." [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47645-2003Apr7.html] , [http://abcnews.go.com/sections/world/Primetime/iraq_main030407.html]
* More than a dozen Coalition soldiers, a Knight Ridder reporter, a CNN cameraman and two Iraqi prisoners of war are sent for chemical weapons decontamination after exhibiting symptoms of possible exposure to tabun and sarin nerve agents and lewisite blistering agents while searching an Iraqi agricultural warehouse and a nearby military compound on the Euphrates river between the cities of Kerbala and Hilla. U.S. soldiers found eleven 25-gallon barrels and three 55-gallon chemical drums, hundreds of gas masks and chemical suits, along with large numbers of mortar and artillery rounds. Initial tests of the chemicals were positive, then a second test was done which came back negative. A third test, conducted by a mobile testing unit provided by Germany confirmed the existence of sarin. Some reports indicate that the chemicals found at the agricultural werehouse may turn out to be pesticides. Further tests are planned in the United States. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said later in a Pentagon briefing that "almost all first reports we get, turn out to be wrong. We don't do first reports and we don't speculate." [http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=L5KG4VLUQZXNSCRBAEKSFEY?type=topNews&storyID=2522510] , [http://www.msnbc.com/news/895392.asp]
*Syracuse University defeats the University of Kansas to win the NCAA's college basketball championship

April 8, 2003

*U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei reiterates a statement he made on March 31, to which the United States has yet to respond, that only the UN IAEA has a mandate to search out and destroy any nuclear weapons or parts of a nuclear weapons program found in Iraq. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030416/wl_nm/iraq_nuclear_inspections_dc_2]
* Hong Kong health officials say that spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome may mean it's going to be around for a while. World Health Organization officials are cautiously optimistic that it can be contained. [http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/09/science/sciencespecial/09INFE.html] , [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2927695.stm]
* The Iraqi ambassador to the Arab League, Mohsen Khalil, announces that "Iraq has now already achieved victory - apart from some technicalities." [http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=281613&contrassID=1&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y]
* Deaths of 3 journalists in Baghdad: Two American air to surface missiles hit the Qatar satellite station Al Jazeera's office in Baghdad and kill a reporter and wound a cameraman. U.S. Officials said that the offices were not targeted, but were right next to the Iraqi Ministry of Information building which was a target. The nearby office of Arab satellite channel Abu Dhabi is also hit by air strikes. Al Jazeera accuses the U.S. of attacking Arab media to hide facts. On the same day a U.S. tank fires into the 15th floor of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, where almost all remaining foreign journalists are based, and kills two cameramen and wounds three. In the Abu Dhabi case the station airs the picture of Iraqi fire from beneath of the camera. In the hotel case, however, other journalists on the scene deny any fire from or around the hotel. [http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/08/international/worldspecial/08CND-CAMERAMAN.html] , [http://www.asahi.com/international/update/0408/024.html] , [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=1503&ncid=1503&e=1&u=/afp/20030408/ts_afp/iraq_war_baghdad_media_030408165654]
*Baseball Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey cancels a planned celebration for the 15th anniversary of "Bull Durham"." Petroskey cites recent comments made by film co-stars Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon as potential dangers to U.S. troops in Iraq. The celebration was to take place April 26 and 27. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030410/ap_on_en_mo/bbo_hall_bull_durham_cancellation_1]

April 9, 2003

*At the International Science Festival at Edinburgh's Royal Museum, the stuffed remains of Dolly the sheep are for the first time displayed. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=573&ncid=757&e=6&;u=/nm/20030409/od_nm/odd_britain_dolly_dc]
*Baghdad falls to coalition forces. American infantrymen seize deserted Ba'ath Party ministries and pull down a huge iron statue of Saddam Hussein at the Fardus square in front of the Palestine Hotel, as a symbolic ending his autocratic rule of Iraq. Baghdad citizens then dragged the severed head of the statue through the streets of the city. Dozens of people there cheer U.S. soldiers, according to BBC. Much looting of cars and buildings is seen in Baghdad and other cities as the government and police lost control. [http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030410-71572160.htm] , [http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/04/09/MN249161.DTL] , [http://www.asahi.com/international/update/0411/005.html] , [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2933707.stm] , [http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2838.htm]
* The fate of Saddam Hussein remains unknown after a U.S. B-1B bomber dropped four 2,000-pound bunker-busting bombs on a building where Hussein was thought to be meeting with his sons and senior aides on April 7. The bombs blew a 60-foot-deep crater in a residential neighborhood that is not under coalition control, refueling speculation about the possible death of Saddam Hussein. British intelligence officials said that they believed Hussein left the targeted building just minutes before it was destroyed, and that he probably survived the attack. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,5944-639777,00.html] [http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/09/international/worldspecial/09INTE.html] [http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,932750,00.html] [http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/iraq/inside/la-war-id9apr09,1,3264432.story]
* Iraq's ambassador to the U.N. Muhammad Ali al-Douri tells reporters that "the game is over." [http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/04/09/iraq_ambass030409]
* U.S. Undersecretary of State, John R. Bolton, warns Iran, Syria, and North Korea that they should "draw the appropriate lesson from Iraq". [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030409/ts_nm/iraq_usa_warning_dc]

April 10, 2003

*United States Green Berets and Kurdish fighters enter the city of Kirkuk in Iraq with little resistance. Turkey and U.S., in separate statements, say they will not allow the Kurds to occupy the city. [http://www.washtimes.com/national/default-200341121717.htm] , [http://www.canada.com/news/story.asp?id=45D53827-FA52-4452-9E87-7DF9276D26B9]
*British Airways and Air France simultaneously announce that they will retire the supersonic Concorde aircraft later this year. Passenger numbers had never recovered following a crash that killed 113 in 2000. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2934257.stm] In response, Sir Richard Branson offers to buy British Airways' Concordes for £1 for the use of his Virgin Atlantic Airlines. BA dismisses the offer as a stunt and indicates that the planes will go to air museums. [http://www.news24.com/News24/Finance/Companies/0,,2-8-24_1346143,00.html]
*A fire destroys a boarding school for the deaf in Makhachkala, Russia, killing 28 children, aged 8 to 14. About 100 other children suffer burns and smoke inhalation, 39 of which are in serious condition. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030410/ap_on_re_eu/russia_school_fire&cid=518&ncid=716]

April 11, 2003

*The northern Iraqi city of Mosul falls to coalition forces as the Iraqi army's 5th Corps offers a letter of surrender. The only remaining major city left to fall is Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, where some expect the remaining regime loyalists to make their final stand. [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/04/11/international0620EDT0536.DTL]
*Europe's largest civil engineering project, and the world's largest single metro expansion project, is officially opened in Madrid. "MetroSur", a 40-kilometre loop of the Madrid Metro in the southern suburbs of the city, took under 3 years to complete.
* Cuba executes three men charged with terrorism for ing a passenger ferry on April 2. Another four men receive life sentences. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=589&ncid=589&e=1&u=/ap/20030411/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cuba_hijackers_executed_6]
*In response to Baseball Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey's April 8 decision to cancel a 15th anniversary celebration of "Bull Durham", sportswriter Roger Kahn cancels a planned appearance at the baseball museum. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030411/people_nm/people_robbins_writer_dc_4]
* Tom Hurndall, a British photojournalist is shot in the head by an Israeli sniper in Rafah, Gaza strip.

April 12, 2003

*Looting and lawlessness plague Baghdad. Hospitals looted, humanitarian aid hindered by unsafe conditions. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10374-2003Apr11.html] , [http://www.iht.com/articles/92987.html] , [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10795-2003Apr11.html]
*Prince Laurent of Belgium marries British-born 'commoner' Claire Coombs at the St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral in Brussels. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030412/en_afp/belgium_royals_people_030412150644]
*Poet Linda Gregerson receives the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for her collection "Waterborne". The award is presented annually by the Claremont Graduate University for a "mid-career poet". Joanie Mackowski receives the $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award.
*Canadian scientists announce that they have sequenced the genome of the virus which is thought to cause Severe acute respiratory syndrome. The sequence is published on their website: http://www.bcgsc.ca/bioinfo/SARS/ . (News item: [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s831165.htm] )
*14th annual Thunder Over Louisville held in Louisville, Kentucky.

April 13, 2003

*Ari Fleischer, press secretary to U.S. President George W. Bush, gives credit to The Pentagon for the apparent victory in the 2003 Iraq war. [http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030415-2212014.htm]
*According to the Washington Times, the objectives of Operation Iraqi Freedom have shifted from victory in Iraq to "destroying remnants of Fedayeen Saddam and other paramilitaries, and rebuilding Iraq to nurture a new democracy." The Times also suggests that the Operation is hunting for evidence of weapons of mass destruction and for members of the former regime. [http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030415-2212014.htm]
*Seven U.S. Prisoners of War are released to Coalition troops approaching Tikrit in Northern Iraq. The POWs included two Apache helicopter pilots, Chief Warrant Officer Ronald D. Young Jr. and Chief Warrant Officer David S. Williams, and five members of the Army's 507th Maintenance Company; Spc. Shoshana Johnson, Sgt. James Riley, Spc. Joseph Hudson, Pfc. Patrick Miller and Spc. Edgar Hernandez. All seven POWs had previously been shown held captive by Iraqi state television and Al Jazeera. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16971-2003Apr13.html]

April 14, 2003

*Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former United Nations Secretary General, reports that the United Nations is increasingly "being marginalised" and that preparation is needed for a new organisation to succeed the UN.
*U.S. President George W. Bush says that U.S.-led coalition victory in the 2003 Iraq war is "certain, but not complete." [http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/W/WAR_US_MILITARY?SITE=DCTMS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT]
*In Quebec, Canada, the governing sovereigntist "Parti Québécois" is defeated in the 2003 general election. The Liberals are returned to power after nine years, and Jean Charest becomes the new premier.
*The Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Vatican, in the presence of Pope John Paul II, promulgates a decree declaring that Emperor-King Karl of Austria-Hungary (r: 1916-1918) possessed "heroic virtues". This decree marks a significant step towards canonisation in the Roman Catholic Church for the last Austrian emperor and king of Hungary.
*The bodies of a headless woman and a newborn fetus with the umbilical cord still attached washed up separately on the shore of San Francisco Bay near Richmond, California. DNA testing determined the body is that of Laci Peterson, the Modesto, California woman missing from her home since December 24, 2002.
*Raymond left Evan's house and in the car, Raymond was sharing Butter & Bread with his brother, Bryan. By the time they got home, Ray peed in his pants. That is why April 14, 2003 is pee.

April 15, 2003

*Abu Abbas captured by United States forces in Iraq. [http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/04/15/sprj.irq.abbas.arrested/index.html]
*Parliament of Finland elects Anneli Jäätteenmäki as the nation's first woman Prime Minister. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2949423.stm]
*In New York, Omar Portee, founder and leader of the United Blood Nation, receives a sentence of 50 years in jail. He had been convicted in August of racketeering, murder conspiracy, credit card fraud and drug selling. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030415/ap_on_re_us/bloods_gang_2]
*10 Iraqis are reported killed and 16 injured in the city of Mosul. Marines insist they were fired at, survivors say demonstrators only threw stones. [http://www2.ocregister.com/ocrweb/ocr/article.do?id=34947&section=NEWS&subsection=AMERICA_AT_WAR&year=2003&month=4&day=16]

April 16, 2003

*A Bush administration official announces that the United States, People's Republic of China, and North Korea will meet in Beijing from April 23 to April 24 to discuss North Korea's suspected nuclear weapons program. The United States had refused bilateral discussions with North Korea since October 2002, insisting on multinational talks. The United States will be represented by Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly. [http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/east/04/16/nkorea.talks/index.html] .
* The Helsingin Sanomat reports that in late March, a RITEG-beacon was disassembled by thieves in Kurgolovo, Russia who dumped the highly radioactive nuclear material into the Gulf of Finland, 100 km south of Finland. [http://ww2.yle.fi/pls/show/page?id=221421]

April 17, 2003

* 2003 invasion of Iraq
**Australian Prime Minister John Howard announces that Australian forces in Operation Falconer will completely pull out by June.
**The Bechtel Corporation is awarded a $680 million contract for the rebuilding of parts of Iraqs electricity system, water supplies and other key infrastructures.
**Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, top advisor and half-brother of Saddam Hussein is captured by U.S. forces (the second of Hussein's half brothers captured this week). [http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,938783,00.html]
**Save the Children announces that U.S. forces continue to prevent their airplane from landing in Arbil, Iraq to deliver medical supplies and emergency feeding kits. U.S. officials contend that the area is not yet safe, while the United Nations has already declared Arbil a "safe and secure" area. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=574&e=11&u=/nm/20030417/wl_nm/iraq_britain_aid_dc_1]
**Martin Sullivan and Gary Vikan, of the U.S. Presidential Advisory Committee on Cultural Property, announced their resignations in protest of the US failure to prevent looting of the Iraqi National Museum. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030417/pl_nm/iraq_antiquities_dc_2]
* Sir John Stevens releases the Stevens Report, which states that the police and other security services in Northern Ireland colluded in the murders of many innocent people, including Pat Finucane and Francisco Notarantonio, in the 1970s and 1980s.

April 18, 2003

* Iraqi Police arrest Saddam Hussein's former finance minister, Hikmat Mizban Ibrahim al-Azzawi in Baghdad, and turn him over to U.S. Marines.
* United States forces announce that a "disease control" plant in Baghdad has been raided by unknown persons, and strains of cholera, black fever, HIV, polio and hepatitis may have been lost. [http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/Primetime/Iraq030417LostViruses.html]
* DNA testing proved that the bodies found on the shores of San Francisco Bay were those of the missing Laci Peterson and her unborn son. Peterson's husband, Scott, was arrested in La Jolla, California and returned to their home town of Modesto, California for trial.
* United States Army troops found over $656 million dollars in United States and Iraqi currency in sealed metal boxes in several bricked up cottages on the grounds of the homes of members of the Iraqi elite in Baghdad. Preliminary indications were that the money was real uncirculated bills, and not counterfeit.

April 19, 2003

* Nigeria holds a presidential election.

April 20, 2003

* A bench clearing brawl happens in a baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the St. Louis Cardinals. Tino Martinez was hit by a 1-0 pitch from Miguel Batista, and took first base. He was then forced out at second base during the next batter's at-bat. When heading back to the dugout, Martinez charged Batista from behind. Batista turned and threw the ball at him, and players from both teams joined the altercation. The Diamondbacks ultimately won the game, 1-0, and the MLB suspends Martinez for four games, and Batista for ten.

April 21, 2003

* Boston Marathon: Robert Cheruiyot wins in 2:10:11, Svetlana Zakharova in 2:25:20 (legally blind American Marla Runyan finishes 5th), Ernst Van Dyk and Christina Ripp win the wheelchair races in 1:28:32 and 1:54:57 respectively.
* Vote counting in Nigeria heavily favors Olusegun Obasanjo; opposition makes accusations of electoral fraud. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2965095.stm]
* The International Criminal Court elects its first prosecutor, Moreno Ocampo. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2965147.stm]

April 22, 2003

* Boston Marathon: Robert Cheruiyot wins in 2:10:11, Svetlana Zakharova in 2:25:20. Ernst Van Dyk and Christina Ripp win the wheelchair races in 1:28:32 and 1:54:57 respectively.
* The International Criminal Court elects its first prosecutor, Moreno Ocampo. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2965147.stm]

April 23, 2003

*A U.S. commanding officer in Baghdad announces that five U.S. soldiers are under investigation for the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from caches of money found in Iraq. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030423/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_us_military_thefts_2]
* The British and Irish governments publicly ask three questions of the IRA. Depending on clarification offered, the Northern Ireland Executive may be reinstated or the Assembly elections postponed.

April 24, 2003

* 2003 Iraq war: Iraqi former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz surrenders himself to U.S. forces [http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=8D794774-7DFD-4032-8DF8B77DE291B940]
*The Dixie Chicks pose nude on the cover of "Entertainment Weekly", with political slogans on their bodies, in response to their critics' reaction to lead singer Natalie Maines' derogatory remark against U.S. President George W. Bush. [http://www.msnbc.com/news/904637.asp]
*In the Red Lion Area Junior High School cafeteria (Red Lion, Pennsylvania), eighth-grader James Sheets, carrying multiple weapons, fatally shoots the principal, Eugene Segro, and then fatally shoots himself. Two years earlier, the same school district was the site of a machete attack that injured another principal, two teachers and 11 pupils.
*Winnie Mandela is found guilty of theft and fraud involving funds of the African National Congress and faces up to fifteen years in prison. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,942604,00.html?=rss]
*The Canadian federal fisheries minister, Robert Thibault, announces the complete closure of the Atlantic cod fishery, in order to prevent the commercial extinction of cod. [http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20030425.wcodd0425/BNStory/National]
* An article in "Nature" states that the chemical pyrroloquinoline quinone should be classed as one of the B vitamins.

April 25, 2003

*United States Army secretary Thomas E. White resigns amidst tensions with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld over the direction future Army weapons development programs should take, and controversy surrounding White's previous employer, Enron. The Pentagon declines to provide specifics on the circumstances of his resignation. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A38848-2003Apr25.html]

April 26, 2003

*Unknown assailants fire incendiary devices on an ammunition dump in suburban Baghdad, triggering hours of explosions. American sources put the casualties at six dead and four wounded; Iraqi sources state 25 wounded. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A40653-2003Apr26.html]
*Winnie Mandela is sentenced to four years in prison (five years, less one year suspended) for theft and fraud. [http://allafrica.com/stories/200304260034.html]

April 27, 2003

*Argentinians go to the polls to elect a president for the first time since the December 2001 economic collapse provoked street riots that unseated four presidents in two weeks. Carlos Menem beats fellow Peronist Néstor Kirchner in the first round of voting, but the closeness of the vote necessitates a runoff vote scheduled for May 18. Other candidates included former economy minister Ricardo López Murphy, former caretaker president Adolfo Rodríguez Saa, and lawmaker Elisa Carrio.
* A "Soyuz" spacecraft blasts off from Baikonur Cosmodrome towards the International Space Station, the first launch since the Columbia disaster.
* Pitcher Kevin Millwood of baseball team the Philadelphia Phillies, throws a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants. The Phillies' Ricky Ledee hits a home-run for the game's only run. It is only the ninth time in Phillies history a pitcher throws a no-hitter, and the first time for them since Tommy Greene did it in 1991.

April 28, 2003

* At Falluja, 50km from Baghdad, American soldiers from the 82nd Airborne opened fire on a group of protesters, killing between 6 and 17 and leaving others injured. The incident occurred during a demonstration outside a local school were American forces were stationed. The day before 2 soldiers were wounded in Ramadi when a hand was thrown from a crowd. Different variasions of the incident exist. 2 days later on April 30 2003, another shooting incident occurred in which 3 people died. After the incidents relations with the populus of Falluja soured, and tentions would continue to build until the Nov. 2004 Battle of Falluja.
*The World Health Organization announces that SARS has peaked in all affected countries except the People's Republic of China. These countries include Canada, Singapore, and Vietnam, as well as Hong Kong. [http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/04/28/sars_peak030428] [http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20030428.wsars0428/BNStory/International]
*SARS is made only the fourth disease, after plague, yellow fever, and cholera, that countries are required to report to the World Health Organization. [http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20030428.wsars0428/BNStory/International]
*Apple Computer revealed a new online music store, entitled the iTunes Music Store, for its iTunes and iPod products. Each song can be downloaded for 99 cents and there is no subscription fee.
*A Mexicana de Aviacion jet is forced to land at San Francisco International Airport in California after the pilot accidentally sets off the anti-terror alarm.

April 29, 2003

*The World Health Organization lifts the SARS travel warning for Toronto.
*Leaders of member countries of ASEAN and the Premier of the People's Republic of China held an emergency summit in Bangkok, Thailand in order to address the SARS problem. Among the decisions made were the setting-up of a ministerial-level task force and uniform pre-departure health screening in airports.
*Israeli forces assassinate three Palestinian militants in Gaza, including Nidal Salamah, a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The action prompts accusations that Israel is trying to sabotage the Palestinian government's attempts to transform itself.
*Mahmoud Abbas is confirmed as the first Palestinian Authority prime minister after winning a vote of confidence from the Palestinian legislature.
*The United States announces that it will be reducing its military presence in Saudi Arabia to a handful of advisors.
*Lynn Htun, suspected of being the head of the Fluffi Bunni computer cracker ring, is arrested in London. [http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20030429.wfluf429/BNStory/Technology]
*Quebec premier-elect Jean Charest is sworn in and names his cabinet. [http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20030429.wchar429/BNStory/National]

April 30, 2003

*The World Health Organization holds a meeting in Toronto regarding SARS.
*A suicide bomber kills 3 in Tel Aviv.
*A road map for peace sponsored by the US, UN, EU, and Russia is delivered to the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.


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