Timeline of 2003 January - March
Return to home
2003 Jan 1,
Oklahoma romped past Washington State 34-14 in the Rose Bowl;
Georgia defeated Florida State 26-13 in the Sugar Bowl; Notre Dame
saw its sixth straight bowl loss, losing to North Carolina State
28-6 in the Gator Bowl.
2003 Jan 1, More than two dozen
surgeons stopped working in West Virginia to protest the high cost
of malpractice insurance.
2003 Jan 1, U.S. and British
warplanes attacked an Iraqi mobile radar system after it entered the
southern no-fly zone.
2003 Jan 1, Joe Foss (87),
former South Dakota Gov. and World War II hero who also served as
president of the National Rifle Association and commissioner of the
American Football League, died at an Arizona hospital.
2003 Jan 1, In Bosnia the EU
hoisted its dark blue banner to officially mark the transfer of
peacekeeping duties from the United Nations, while NATO-led troops
handed over control of Sarajevo's airport to Bosnian authorities.
2003 Jan 1, Brazil's first
elected leftist president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, took office.
Gilberto Gill (60), musician, became minister of culture.
(SFC, 1/2/03, p.A3)(AP, 1/1/04)
2003 Jan 1, In Canada a new gun
law came into effect that required the registration of all rifles
2003 Jan 1, In Gaza 3
Palestinian boys were shot and killed by soldiers after scaling a
fence around Jewish settlements. Thousands of Palestinians marched
in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to mark the 38th anniversary of the
founding of Arafat's Fatah movement.
(AP, 1/2/03)(SFC, 1/2/03, p.A5)
2003 Jan 1, Dumitru Tinu (62),
a leading Romanian journalist who covered the Soviet invasion of
Czechoslovakia and steered his newspaper along independent lines
after communism ended, died in a car accident.
2003 Jan 2, President Bush,
seeking to counter Democratic criticisms that his economic policies
favored the rich, said the economic-stimulus plan he was going to
unveil the following week would focus on jobs and the unemployed.
2003 Jan 2, Sen. John Edwards
of North Carolina announced that he would seek the Democratic
nomination for president.
(WSJ, 11/3/04, p.A6)
2003 Jan 2, Sydney Omarr (76),
the astrologer to the stars whose horoscopes appeared in more than
200 newspapers, died in Santa Monica, Calif.
2003 Jan 2, It was reported
that scientists had mapped chromosome 14, the 4th of 24 and longest
sequenced to date.
2003 Jan 2, A Palestinian
gunman was killed several hours after he tried to shoot an Israeli
couple and then holed up inside their house in the Israeli village
2003 Jan 2, A motorized rubber
boat carrying 41 illegal immigrants sank off the southern coast of
Spain, and six passengers drowned.
2003 Jan 3, Ohio State beat
Miami in the Fiesta Bowl 31-24 in double overtime to become the
national college football champion.
(SFC, 1/4/03, p.C1)
2003 Jan 3, President George W.
Bush visited Fort Hood in Texas, where he rallied Army troops as the
nation faced the prospect of war with Iraq.
2003 Jan 3, David Westerfield,
the man who'd kidnapped and murdered 7-year-old neighbor Danielle
van Dam, was sentenced to death by a judge in San Diego.
2003 Jan 3, In Brazil Pres.
Silva delayed a plan to spend $700 million on jet fighters. The
military's $7.4 billion budget is scheduled to be cut by $282
2003 Jan 3, Ivory Coast Pres.
Laurent Gbagbo pledged to cease hostilities and send home foreign
mercenaries fighting with loyalist troops.
2003 Jan 3, A Peruvian court
struck down anti-terror laws that had been used to quash rebel
movements in the 1990s.
2003 Jan 3, Jose Maria
Gironella (85), Spanish author, died. His work included "The
Cypresses Believe in God," a trilogy based on the 1936-1939 Civil
War, for which he won the 1953 National Literary prize.
(SFC, 2/10/03, p.B5)
2003 Jan 3, In Caracas,
Venezuela, clashes between opponents and supporters of Pres. Chavez
left at least eighty people wounded.
2003 Jan 4, Pres. Bush said he
will ask Congress to boost federal education aid for poor children
by $1 billion. As Bush put the finishing touches on an economic
growth package costing $674 billion over 10 years, Democrats who
wanted his job, pledged to scuttle what they characterized as a plan
that would help the wealthy without reviving the economy.
(AP, 1/4/03)(AP, 1/4/04)
2003 Jan 4, Clonaid, the
company that claims to have produced the first human clone, said a
second child was born to a Dutch lesbian Jan 3.
(AP, 1/5/03)(SSFC, 1/5/03,
2003 Jan 4, Conrad L. Hall
(76), Oscar-winning cinematographer, died in Santa Monica, Calif.
2003 Jan 4, In Algeria Islamic
militants (GSPC) ambushed a military convoy in the northeast village
of Theniet el-Abed. 43 soldiers were killed and 19 wounded.
2003 Jan 4, In southern Iran a
bus carrying university students overturned on a rain-slick road,
killing 15 people and injuring 18 others.
2003 Jan 4, Ivory Coast's main
rebel movement agreed to respect an oft-violated cease-fire and to
resume peace talks with the government later this month in Paris.
2003 Jan 4, A boat from Somalia
to Yemen developed engine trouble and capsized and at least 80
people were feared dead.
2003 Jan 5, In Edinburg, Texas,
6 men were shot to death in a home invasion that involved weapons
(SFC, 1/6/03, p.A8)
2003 Jan 5, Jean Kerr (79),
author and playwright, died. Her books included "Please Don't Eat
(SFC, 1/7/03, p.A22)
2003 Jan 5, In Algeria rebels
killed 13 people form 2 families near the capital in Zabana.
The Armed Islamic Group was suspected.
2003 Jan 5, In Bhutan Indian
separatists said 50 Indian soldiers attacked their camps. 15
soldiers and 7 rebels were reported killed.
(SFC, 1/8/03, p.A16)
2003 Jan 5, British
anti-terrorism police arrested 6 men of North African origin after
finding small quantities of ricin, a lethal poison, in a London
(SFC, 1/8/03, p.A10)
2003 Jan 5, Roy Jenkins (82),
British politician, liberal reformer and biographer, died after
collapsing at his home in East Hendred.
(WSJ, 1/14/03, p.D6)
2003 Jan 5, Chinese media
reported that an unmanned Chinese space capsule had returned safely
2003 Jan 5, In Israel 2
Palestinian suicide bombers blew themselves up minutes apart in a
central Tel Aviv area crowded with foreign workers, killing 23
bystanders in the bloodiest attack in six months.
2003 Jan 5, In Kosovo gunmen
killed 3 people including Tahir Zemaj, a former Albanian rebel
(WSJ, 1/6/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 5, In Lithuania
rightist Rolandas Paksas (46), a former stunt pilot and PM in 1999
and 2000, was elected president in a surprise victory over Pres.
Adamkus, 54.9% vs. 45%. Paksas promised to keep Lithuania closely
aligned with the West. The election of Paksas was bankrolled by Yuri
Borisov, a Russian-born dealer in helicopter parts.
(AP, 1/6/03)(Econ, 1/10/04, p.46)
2003 Jan 5, The Laos
government declared this day a national holiday in honor of King
Fangum, "the father of Lao unity" and the 650th anniversary of the
founding of Lan Xang in1353.
2003 Jan 6, US Surgeon General
Dr. Richard Carmona called obesity the fastest growing cause of
illness and death in the US.
(SFC, 1/7/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 6, U.S. warplanes
bombed two Iraqi anti-aircraft radars that threatened pilots
patrolling the southern no-fly zone.
2003 Jan 6, Thousands of
Marines, sailors and soldiers headed for the Persian Gulf region,
shipping out from California, Georgia and Maryland as the buildup
for a possible war with Iraq accelerated sharply.
2003 Jan 6, California Gov.
Davis promised to create 500,000 new jobs over the next 4 years.
2003 Jan 6, The WSJ reported
that Int'l. Steel offered about $1 billion to buy most of the assets
of Bethlehem Steel, creating the largest US steel company.
(WSJ, 1/2/04, p.R8)
2003 Jan 6, Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein accused U.N. inspectors of engaging in "intelligence
work" instead of searching for suspected nuclear, chemical and
biological weapons in his country.
2003 Jan 6, Rebels in western
Ivory Coast attacked French troops and French officials said 30
rebels were killed and nine soldiers wounded.
2003 Jan 6, In Kenya 12 people
were killed when members of the outlawed Mungiki sect attacked
minibus operators over control of bus stops in Nakuru, 84 miles
northwest of Nairobi. 38 people were soon arrested.
2003 Jan 6, In Mexico a bus
with failing brakes swerved off a mountain highway and into a deep
ravine in Zacatecas state, killing 18 people and injuring 23.
2003 Jan 7, Pres. Bush put
forward a $674 billion "growth and jobs" economic stimulus plan that
would provide tax relief to an estimated 92 million Americans by
accelerating income tax rate cuts, wiping out all federal taxes on
stock dividends paid to investors and boosting the child tax credit
by $400 per child.
(AP, 1/7/03)(SFC, 1/8/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 7, US Marines, both
active and reserves, were ordered to remain in service for the
coming 12 months.
(SFC, 1/10/03, p.A12)
2003 Jan 7, Police in London
announced they had found traces of the deadly poison ricin in a
north London apartment and arrested six men in connection with the
virulent toxin that has been linked to al-Qaida terrorists and Iraq.
2003 Jan 7, In Colombia rebels
ambushed a police convoy near the capital, killing at least 8
officers and wounding 5 in a bold, daylight attack.
2003 Jan 7, In Congo a military
court convicted and sentenced 26 people to death in the Jan 16, 2001
assassination of Congo's president, Laurent Kabila.
(AP, 1/7/03)(SFC, 1/8/03, p.A16)
2003 Jan 7, In Egypt Orthodox
Christmas was marked for the first time as a national holiday in
this predominantly Muslim nation.
2003 Jan 7, Israeli troops
exchanged fire with Palestinian militiamen for 4 hours, killing 3
gunmen before withdrawing from the outskirts of a refugee camp. The
Israeli government put new restrictions on travel by Palestinians.
(AP, 1/7/03)(SFC, 1/8/03, p.A11)
2003 Jan 7, In South Africa a
passenger train collided with a freight train, killing 10 people and
2003 Jan 7, In northeastern
Uganda rival tribesmen armed with spears and guns clashed over
cattle, leaving at least 52 people dead in two days of fighting. At
least 35 Pokot and 17 Karamojong were killed.
2003 Jan 8, Pres. Bush signed
an emergency extension of federal unemployment benefits following
approval by the 108th Congress. It extended 26 weeks of state aid
with 13 weeks of federal aid.
(SFC, 1/9/03, p.A1)(WSJ, 1/8/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 8, A federal appeals
court ruled that Pres. Bush could order U.S. citizens captured
overseas indefinitely detained as enemy combatants without the
rights normally afforded citizens charged in criminal cases.
2003 Jan 8, In Charlotte, NC, a
US Airways Express Beech 1900 turboprop crashed on takeoff and all
21 aboard were killed.
(SFC, 1/9/03, p.A3)
2003 Jan 8, In Mali the 3rd
annual Festival of the Desert ended in Essakane.
(SFC, 1/11/03, p.D1)
2003 Jan 8, Manuel Ciervides
Lacayo, the Panamanian consul to Guayaquil, Ecuador, was shot and
killed while vacationing in Panama.
2003 Jan 8, In Turkey the pilot
of the British Aerospace RJ-100 missed the runway because of heavy
fog in the southeastern city of Diayarbakir. 75 people were killed
with 5 survivors.
(AP, 1/9/03)(WSJ, 1/9/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 8, A UN team was
reported to be investigating reports that Congolese rebel troops had
killed and eaten Pygmies in northeastern Congo. UN authorities
confirmed the reports Jan 15 and identified the rebel campaign as
"Operation Clean Slate."
(AP, 1/8/03)(SFC, 1/16/03, p.A9)
2003 Jan 9, The Bush
administration said federal airport security screeners will not be
allowed to unionize so as not to complicate the war on terrorism.
(WSJ, 1/10/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 9, Peter Tinniswood
(66), British author of plays for TV, radio and stage, died from
2003 Jan 9, Six Russian
soldiers and police officers were killed in Chechnya in the last 24
hours. Another 9 Russian soldiers died when their convoy came under
rebel fire in Grozny. Two rebels were killed in the fighting.
(AP, 1/10/03)(AP, 1/11/03)
2003 Jan 9, In northeast
Colombia rebels detonated a car bomb that killed 4 people in a 2nd
attack in 2 days.
(WSJ, 1/10/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 9, India's PM Vajpayee
announced the introduction of legislation for dual citizenship for
people of Indian origin in "certain countries."
(SSFC, 1/12/03, p.A4)
2003 Jan 9, UN weapons
inspectors said there's no "smoking gun" to prove Iraq has nuclear,
chemical or biological weapons, but they demanded that Baghdad
provide private access to scientists and fresh evidence to back its
claim that it had destroyed its weapons of mass destruction.
2003 Jan 9, A Peruvian airliner
carrying 46 people, including eight children, disappeared amid
cloud-covered mountains in the Amazon jungle. On Jan 11 rescue
workers found the wreckage of TANS Airlines Flight 222, a Fokker 28
near the jungle town of Chachapoyas. There were no survivors.
(AP, 1/9/03)(AP, 1/11/03)
2003 Jan 9, In southeastern
Turkey 2 Turkish F-4 warplanes collided in heavy fog during a
training flight killing the four crew members.
2003 Jan 9, Thousands of
Venezuelan bank workers stayed home to support a nationwide strike
seeking new presidential elections.
2003 Jan 10, The US Labor Dept.
reported that 101,000 jobs were lost in December with 8.6 million
(6%) officially unemployed.
(SFC, 1/11/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 10, With just three
days left in office, Illinois Gov. George Ryan pardoned four death
row inmates he said had been tortured by Chicago police into falsely
confessing to murders in the 1980's.
2003 Jan 10, An Australian
euthanasia campaigner complained that customs officials seized a
machine he designed to help people kill themselves as he prepared to
board a flight to the United States.
2003 Jan 10, Benin's National
Voodoo Day drew about 12,000 people.
2003 Jan 10, Djiboutians chose
a new 65-seat parliament in elections. Parties allied with Pres.
Ismael Omar Guelleh swept Djibouti's first multi-party legislative
elections. The bloc of four parties known as the Union for the
Presidential Majority, or UMP, won 62.7 percent of the vote to 37.3
percent for the four-party opposition alliance known as the Union
for a Democratic Alternative.
(AP, 1/10/03)(AP, 1/11/03)
2003 Jan 10, The European Union
proposed a diplomatic initiative to avoid war against Iraq and
increased pressure on Washington to pursue a peaceful solution to
the crisis over Iraq's arms programs.
2003 Jan 10, Iraq blocked all
e-mail services following a batch of messages from disguised US
agencies urging dissent and military defections. Some service was
restored the next day.
(SSFC, 1/12/03, p.A14)
2003 Jan 10, North Korea
announced that it was pulling out of the Nuclear Non-proliferation
(SFC, 1/10/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 10, It was reported
that an estimated 3,000 Pakistani boys are sold each year to the
gulf states to work as camel jockeys.
(SFC, 1/10/03, p.A17)
2003 Jan 10, In Venezuela
opponents of President Hugo Chavez took to the streets as a bank
strike prompted authorities to suspend dollar auctions for a second
day in a row after Venezuela's currency fell.
2003 Jan 11, In Illinois
out-going Gov. Ryan commuted the sentences of 167 Death Row inmates
one day after he freed 4 death row inmates. He called the death
penalty process "arbitrary and capricious, and therefore immoral."
The 4 death row inmates had all been convicted on evidence gathered
by police Lt. Jon Burge. In 2008 Burge was arrested and charged with
lying when he denied in 2003 that he and detectives under his
command tortured murder suspects.
(SFC, 1/11/03, p.A3)(SSFC, 1/12/03, p.A1)(AP,
1/11/08)(SFC, 10/22/08, p.A3)
2003 Jan 11, Afghan warlord
Abdul Rashid Dostum released 50 members of the Taliban militia
captured during fighting more than a year ago.
2003 Jan 11, The death toll
from Bangladesh's coldest winter in six years reached 489. A
three-week cold spell in South Asia with near freezing temperatures
aggravated by chilly winds raised the total death toll to 779.
2003 Jan 11, In Brazil
mudslides caused by torrential rains near Rio de Janeiro left 17
2003 Jan 11, In Chechnya 4
Russian servicemen were killed in clashes, while 4 soldiers died
when their vehicles struck land mines.
2003 Jan 11, In northern China
an explosion ripped through a coal mine, leaving 34 people missing a
day after a blast in a neighboring province killed 8 miners.
2003 Jan 11, It was reported
that former combatants from Liberia and Sierra Leone were pouring
into Ivory Coast to fight with the rebels.
(SFC, 1/11/03, p.A8)
2003 Jan 11, Japan's Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi, wrapping up a three-day visit to the
Russian capital, called for the abolition of all nuclear weapons in
an address at a leading atomic energy research center.
2003 Jan 11, North Korea said
it might end a self-imposed moratorium on missile testing and warned
that it was ready to "mercilessly wipe out" other nations that
infringe upon its sovereignty. North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear
(AP, 1/11/03)(SFC, 6/28/08, p.A3)
2003 Jan 11, Philippine army
troops have occupied a southern mountain village in Sultan Kudarat
province after driving away a large group of Moro Islamic
separatists and a kidnap gang in fierce clashes that killed at least
20 rebels and allies.
2003 Jan 11, Another Turkish
prisoner died on a hunger strike, raising the death toll in the
protest against Turkey's maximum security prisons to 64 people.
2003 Jan 12, It was reported
that the $250 billion-a-year US Medicare program was riddled with
conflicts of interest and fraud estimated at $50-75 billion.
(SSFC, 1/12/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 12, Steve Case
announced he was stepping down as chairman of the conglomerate he'd
helped to create. Shareholders blamed him for AOL Time Warner's
sharp fall in fortunes. The Board soon named Richard Parsons as
(AP, 1/12/04)(WSJ, 1/2/04, p.R8)
2003 Jan 12, Maurice Gibb (53),
member of the Bee Gees musical group, died in Miami following
surgery for a blocked intestine. The group's work included the 1977
"Saturday Night Fever" album.
(SSFC, 1/12/03, p.A2)
2003 Jan 12, In Argentina
former military dictator Leopoldo F. Galtieri (76), who in 1982 led
Argentina into the Falkland Islands war against Britain, died.
2003 Jan 12, The death toll
from a month-long cold spell rose to 986 people in northern India,
Nepal and Bangladesh.
2003 Jan 12, Three missiles
fired from an Israeli helicopter missed their apparent target,
Islamic militants riding in a car, and killed two 15 year-old
Palestinian boys, seriously wounding another teen. In Israel 7
Palestinians, two other Arab attackers and two Israelis were killed
in raids and infiltrations.
(AP, 1/13/03)(SFC, 1/13/03, p.A3)
2003 Jan 12, Kinji Fukasaku
(72), Japanese film director, died. His films included "Battle
without Honor and Humanity" (1973), "Cops vs. Thugs" (1975), "Yakuza
Graveyard" (1976) and "Graveyard of Honor" (1976) and "The Geisha
(SFC, 1/28/03, p.A15)
2003 Jan 13, Connecticut Sen.
Joseph Lieberman jumped into the 2004 race for president.
2003 Jan 13, The owners of FAO
Schwarz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
2003 Jan 13, Rock musician Pete
Townshend was arrested in London on suspicion of possessing indecent
images of children. Townshend acknowledged using an Internet Web
site advertising child pornography, but said he was not a pedophile
and was only doing research for an autobiography dealing with his
own suspected childhood sexual abuse; he was eventually cleared of
possessing pornographic images of children.
2003 Jan 13, US warplanes
struck an anti-ship missile launcher in southern Iraq. US planes
also dropped leaflets over An Najaf, about 85 miles southeast of
Baghdad. It was the 14th drop in 3 months.
2003 Jan 13, It was reported
that Iraq has experienced a dramatic increase in child cancers in
recent years. Blame was cast on the US use of depleted uranium
during the 1991 Gulf War.
(SFC, 1/13/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 13, Dutch Foreign
Minister Jaap de Hoop Scheffer took over as head of the 55-nation
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe for 2003. He
said the Vienna-based OSCE would sharpen its efforts to improve
border security and police cooperation and cut off the flow of cash
to terrorist groups.
2003 Jan 13, UN inspectors took
their hunt for banned arms to science and technology colleges in
Baghdad, and the top nuclear inspector said his teams' mission would
take several more months.
2003 Jan 13, An Indonesia court
sentenced Ang Kiem Soei, a Dutch citizen of Chinese descent, to
death for operating what police say was one of the biggest ecstasy
factories in Southeast Asia.
2003 Jan 13, Two Palestinians
threw grenades at an Israeli bus in the Gaza Strip and were shot
dead by Israeli troops, and an Islamic Jihad activist was killed in
an explosion in the West Bank.
2003 Jan 13, Protesters waved
Puerto Rican flags and shouted "Navy get out!" as fighter jets
dropped inert bombs over Vieques in what the Navy says will be its
last round of training on the island.
2003 Jan 13, Togo's Pres.
Gnassingbe Eyadema, celebrated 36 years in power Monday with a
military parade, a display derided by opposition groups as "a sheer
waste of time."
2003 Jan 14, Kmart Corporation
announced its biggest round of cutbacks yet, saying it would close
326 more stores and eliminate 37,000 more jobs in hopes of getting
out of bankruptcy by the end of April 2003. Kmart emerged from
Chapter 11 protection in May 2003.
2003 Jan 14, Thousands of
General Electric Company employees across the country began a
two-day strike to protest higher health insurance costs.
2003 Jan 14, Hundreds of
American soldiers arrived in Israel for joint maneuvers with
anti-missile defenses, aimed at protecting against any Iraqi strikes
if the United States attacks Iraq.
2003 Jan 14, In England
Constable Stephen Oake was stabbed to death during a raid on a
Manchester apartment associated with terror suspects and the poison
(SFC, 1/17/03, p.A12)
2003 Jan 14, North Korea said
that it was running out of patience and warned it was prepared to
exercise "options" in its dispute with the United States over its
2003 Jan 15, White House budget
director Mitchell Daniels predicted federal deficits will exceed
$200 billion and probably go over $300 billion in 2004.
(SFC, 1/16/03, p.A7)(AP, 1/15/04)
2003 Jan 15, A Texas Tech
professor was arrested on a complaint of giving false information to
the FBI. Authorities said Thomas C. Butler had reported that vials
containing deadly bacteria were missing when, in fact, he had
destroyed them. Butler was later acquitted at trial of the most
serious charges against him, including lying to the FBI.
2003 Jan 15, Mickey Mouse and
The Walt Disney Company scored a big victory as the Supreme Court
upheld longer copyright protections for cartoon characters, songs,
books and other creations worth billions of dollars.
2003 Jan 15, The EU Parliament
voted to ban the use of animals to test cosmetics by 2009. Imports
of cosmetics using animal testing would also be banned.
(WSJ, 1/16/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 15, Lufthansa
introduced Internet access to passengers on a flight from Germany to
(SFC, 1/15/03, p.B1)
2003 Jan 15, Former New York
City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani ended a two-day visit to Mexico's
capital, declaring that fighting government corruption will be
crucial in lowering crime.
2003 Jan 16, The Bush
administration urged the Supreme Court to strike down admissions
policies at the University of Michigan and its law school, arguing
that university admissions programs that gave an edge to minority
students were unconstitutional.
2003 Jan 16, The US government
announced that men from Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia and
Kuwait will be subject to fingerprints, photographs and interviews
in addition to men from 18 other Arab and Muslim countries.
(SFC, 1/16/03, p.A6)
2003 Jan 16, AOL Time Warner
chief executive Dick Parsons was tapped to be the media
conglomerate's new chairman, succeeding Steve Case.
2003 Jan 16, Microsoft
announced its 1st dividend along with a stock split.
(SFC, 1/17/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 16, The shuttle
Columbia carried a crew of 7 for a 16-day mission. Col. Ilan Ramon
was aboard as Israel's 1st astronaut. The mission ended in tragedy
on Feb. 1, when the shuttle broke up during its return descent,
killing all seven crew members.
(SFC, 1/17/03, p.A2)(AP, 1/16/04)
2003 Jan 16, Argentina reached
a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund to
2003 Jan 16, In Brazil
mudslides killed at least 36 people in Minas Gerais and Espirito
(SFC, 1/17/03, p.A10)(AP, 1/18/03)
2003 Jan 16, In Colombia a car
bomb exploded outside the attorney general's office in Medellin,
killing three people and wounding at least 19. Gunmen entered the
tiny village of Dos Quebradas and killed a dozen people, leaving
surviving villagers terrified and waiting for government forces to
arrive. At least 16 people were killed by FARC rebels in villages
around San Carlos.
(AP, 1/16/03)(AP, 1/18/03)(AP, 1/19/03)
2003 Jan 16, The European
Union's Court of Justice ordered Spain and Italy to drop national
rules on what constitutes chocolate, saying they can no longer bar
British and Irish confections made with vegetable fats instead of
2003 Jan 16, In Greenland
Premier Hans Enoksen, head of the social democratic Siumut party,
struck a deal with the island's liberal Atassut party. 2 days
earlier Enoksen evicted the left-wing Inuit Ataqatigitt party,
leaving the Arctic island of 56,000 without a government. A spat had
developed over the use of a healer to chase away evil spirits from
2003 Jan 17, Tom Ridge sailed
through Senate confirmation hearings on his way to becoming the
nation's first Homeland Security Department chief.
2003 Jan 17, Constellation
Brands of Fairport, NY, announced a $1.4 billion acquisition of
Australia's BRL Hardy. The combination would form the world's
largest wine company.
(SFC, 1/18/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 17, Richard Crenna
(75), radio, film and TV actor, died.
(SFC, 1/20/03, p.B4)
2003 Jan 17, Margo Patterson
Doss (b.1920), former SF Chronicle columnist, died. In 1961 she
began writing her Sunday column “San Francisco at Your Feet" and
continued for 30 years. During the last decade of her life she
gardened in Bolinas and wrote for the Point Reyes Light.
(SFC, 1/22/09, p.B1)
2003 Jan 17, Gertrude Janeway
(93), the last known widow of a Union veteran from the Civil War,
died in Blaine, Tenn. She had married John Janeway in 1927 when he
was 81 and she was barely 18.
2003 Jan 17, A bomb ripped
through a village in northern Bangladesh during an annual carnival,
killing six people and wounding six others.
2003 Jan 17, Parliament of the
Bosnian Serb ministate approved a Cabinet and Dragan Mikerevic (48)
as the new prime minister.
2003 Jan 17, France and Spain
opened the new 5.3-mile Somport tunnel through the western Pyrenees
2003 Jan 17, On the 12th
anniversary of the Gulf War, a defiant Saddam Hussein called on his
people to rise up and defend the nation against a new U.S.-led
2003 Jan 17, Iraq and Russia
signed three oil agreements for exploration and development of oil
fields in southern and western Iraq.
2003 Jan 17, In Kenya informer
William Mwaura Munuhe (27) was found dead at his home in the
affluent Nairobi suburb of Karen, two days after the U.S. Embassy
and Kenyan police tried to trap genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga.
2003 Jan 17, Massive flooding
caused by Cyclone Delfina ravaged parts of Malawi and Mozambique,
washing away homes and crops, submerging roads and bridges, and
cutting off electricity in the impoverished nations.
2003 Jan 17, Two Palestinian
gunmen infiltrated the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, killing an
Israeli man as he opened the door of his home and wounding three
other people. One gunman was shot and killed in the attack.
2003 Jan 17, Poland Prime
Minister Leszek Miller fired his health minister and 2 deputy
finance ministers resigned in the 2nd Cabinet reshuffle this month.
2003 Jan 17, Russian
prosecutors presented a criminal dossier on feared Soviet secret
police chief Lavrenty Beria, including a list of hundreds of women
he had allegedly stalked and raped.
2003 Jan 17, The Strategic
Partnership with Africa (SPA), made of 15 developed nations,
international lending institutions and UN agencies, concluded its
annual meeting in Addis Ababa. More than 20 developed nations,
lending institutions and UN agencies agreed to increase aid to
2003 Jan 17, Turkish troops
killed 12 Kurdish rebels in the southeast over the past two days.
2003 Jan 18, Michelle Kwan won
her sixth straight U.S. Figure Skating Championships title and
seventh overall; Michael Weiss won his third U.S. men's title.
2003 Jan 18, In the US tens of
thousands rallied in Washington DC in an emphatic dissent against
preparations for war in Iraq. As many as 500,000 rallied outside the
Capitol. In SF the rally drew at least 100,000 by my count.
(AP, 1/19/03)(AR)(SSFC, 1/19/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 18, Heavy bush fires
hit Canberra, Australia, killing 4 people. At least 388 homes were
2003 Jan 18, In Bolivia a bus
slammed into a mountainside outside Cochabamba, killing 28 people
and injuring at least 30.
2003 Jan 18, In southern
Colombia FARC guerrillas blew up every home in the hamlet of La
2003 Jan 18, The Czech
Republic's ruling party nominated former PM Milos Zeman as its new
candidate to replace President Vaclav Havel.
2003 Jan 18, UN officials
warned Iraq it was running out of time to cooperate and avoid war.
2003 Jan 18, Israeli soldiers
tracked and killed a 2nd Palestinian assailant who fled after an
attack on a Jewish outpost in the West Bank. The two slain
Palestinians had earlier killed one Israeli and injured three others
the previous night.
2003 Jan 18, Activists in Tokyo
carried toy guns filled with flowers, one banner at a Moscow rally
read "Iraq isn't your ranch, Mr. Bush," and some 6,000 anti-war
protesters in Paris shouted, "Stop Bush! Stop war!"
2003 Jan 18, Moroccan rescue
workers found the bodies of 16 people who drowned while trying to
illegally enter Spain by crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in an
2003 Jan 18, Serhiy Naboka
(47), one of Ukraine's best-known journalists, and a reporter for a
U.S.-funded radio station, was found dead in his hotel room.
2003 Jan 18, In Venezuela at
least 100,000 anti-government protesters staged a candlelight march
2003 Jan 19, In the 60th Golden
Globes "The Hours" won as best drama and "Chicago" won as best
musical or comedy. Jack Nicholson won for his role in "About
Schmidt" and Nicole Kidman won for her role in The Hours. Martin
Scorsese won as best director for "Gangs of New York."
(SFC, 1/20/03, p.A2)
2003 Jan 19, The Oakland
Raiders won the AFC title game, beating the Tennessee Titans 41-24.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took the NFC Championship game, defeating
the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10.
2003 Jan 19, Colombian AUC
gunmen kidnapped three Americans (Robert Y. Pelton, Mark Wedeven and
Megan A. Smaker) just north of the Colombian border in Panama. The
writer and 2 hikers were released Jan 23.
(AP, 1/22/03)(SFC, 1/24/03, p.A14)
2003 Jan 19, Hans Blix
and Mohamed El Baradei, the chief UN arms inspectors, sat down for
urgent talks with Iraqi officials.
2003 Jan 19, In Cuba more than
97 percent of voters showed overwhelming support for the nation's
socialist system by electing 609 candidates who ran uncontested for
2003 Jan 19, Francoise Giroud
(86), France's 1st minister of women's affairs died. She co-founded
one of France's top news magazines and became a powerful force in
French post-war journalism at a time when few women were in the
business. She published an autobiography in 1997.
(AP, 1/19/03)(SFC, 1/21/03, p.A18)
2003 Jan 19, In western
Mozambique it was reported that 9 people had died of hunger in a
village and some 175,000 people in the area are at risk of
2003 Jan 19, Alfredo Zalce
(b.1908), Mexican revolutionary artist, died.
2003 Jan 19, Sierra Leone
declared ex-junta leader Johnny Paul Koroma a wanted man linking him
to an alleged plot to destabilize the country.
2003 Jan 19, Syria and Iran
support Turkey's proposal for a regional summit to seek a peaceful
way out of the Iraq standoff. Turkey has offered to hold the summit
where Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria would discuss the
standoff over Iraq.
2003 Jan 20, Secretary of State
Colin Powell, faced with stiff resistance and calls to go slow,
bluntly told the U.N. Security Council that the United Nations "must
not shrink" from its responsibility to disarm Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
2003 Jan 20, Energizer agreed
to buy the Shick-Wilkinson Sword razor business for $930 million
from Pfizer as it aimed to expand beyond batteries.
(WSJ, 1/2/04, p.R8)
2003 Jan 20, Al Hirschfield
(b.1903), caricaturist of Hollywood stars, died in NYC at age 99.
(SFC, 1/21/03, p.A2)(Econ, 7/16/05, p.82)
2003 Jan 20, Pollster Burns W.
"Bud" Roper died in Cape Cod, Mass., at age 77.
2003 Jan 20, In Canada 7
members of a ski party were killed in an avalanche near Durrand
Glacier outside of Banff National Park.
(WSJ, 1/22/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 20, In northeast China
a gas explosion tore through a coal mine, killing 16 workers at a
facility in the same city where another blast killed scores of
miners last year.
2003 Jan 20, In northern
Colombia FARC rebels ambushed a pickup truck carrying policemen,
killing 6 officers and their civilian driver in a hail of gunfire
2003 Jan 20-27, In Honduras a
drastic drop in oxygen in rivers and ponds may have killed 5.5
million fish near the El Cahon hydroelectric plant.
2003 Jan 20, The chief UN arms
inspectors and Iraqi officials agreed on practical steps to greater
Iraqi cooperation in the UN disarmament program, including Baghdad's
encouragement of weapons scientists to submit to private UN
2003 Jan 20, The UN human
rights watchdog elected a Libyan diplomat as its president for this
year, despite concern from the United States about the country's
poor record on civil liberties and its alleged role in sponsoring
2003 Jan 20, An Organization of
American States report accused Nicaragua of negligence for
authorizing a deal that allowed 3,000 Kalashnikov rifles meant for
Panama to go to a Colombian paramilitary militia.
2003 Jan 20, The leaders of
Russia and Belarus reaffirmed their commitment to closer integration
under a union treaty that has developed slowly since it was created
nearly seven years ago.
2003 Jan 20, Milan Milutinovic,
Serbia's former president, surrendered to the Yugoslav war crimes
tribunal to face charges that he was complicit in a crackdown on
2003 Jan 20, A powerful
earthquake hit the Solomon Islands, causing residents to flee homes
2003 Jan 20, In South Africa an
execution-style attack at a Cape Town house used as a gay massage
parlor killed eight men and badly wounded two.
2003 Jan 21, The US Census
Bureau reported that Hispanics had passed Blacks as the biggest US
(WSJ, 1/22/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 21, Thousands of
British firefighters walked off the job for the third time in less
than three months after failing to resolve a wage dispute with the
2003 Jan 21, Colombian rebels
in Arauca state kidnapped an American photographer and a British
reporter, the first time foreign journalists were abducted in
Colombia's four-decade-long civil war. Scott Dalton and Ruth Morris
were freed Feb 1.
(AP, 2/1/03)(AP, 1/21/04)
2003 Jan 21, Congo's health
minister reported that a flu epidemic had killed more than 2,000
people in a far northern province.
2003 Jan 21, Israel razed 62
shops and market stalls in a Palestinian village Tuesday as troops
clashed with protesters.
2003 Jan 21, In Kuwait American
contract worker Michael Rene Pouliat (46) was killed by gunman in an
ambush near Camp Doha. Another worker was wounded. Saudi border
guards arrested a Kuwaiti suspect the next day.
(SFC, 1/23/03, p.A11)
2003 Jan 21, Mexico appealed to
the World Court to stop the execution of 51 of its citizens in the
2003 Jan 21, A 7.6-7.8
earthquake ripped through western and central Mexico, killing at
least 29 people and leaving 10,000 homeless.
(SFC, 1/23/03, p.A1)(AP, 1/21/04)
2003 Jan 21, NATO blocked a US
request to begin preparations for a military backup in the event of
war with Iraq.
(WSJ, 1/23/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 21, In Uzbekistan a
series of stories posted on the Internet in early Jan before access
was cut off have alleged high-level corruption and the president's
imminent resignation, stirring rare public debate.
2003 Jan 22, Opponents and
supporters of abortion rights rallied on the 30th anniversary of the
Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling.
2003 Jan 22, Maryland's new
governor, Robert Ehrlich, declared an end to a moratorium on
executions instituted by Gov. Glendening.
(WSJ, 1/23/03, p.A1)(SFC, 1/31/03, p.A9)
2003 Jan 22, Bill Maudlin
(b.1921), WW-II era cartoonist, died in Newport Beach, Ca. In 1945
he won a Pulitzer Prize for his war cartoons and authored "Up
Front," a collection of cartoons and an essay on war. A 2nd Pulitzer
followed in 1958. He was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame on
May 19, 1991. In 2008 Todd DePastino authored “Bill Maudlin: A Life
Up Front." On March 31, 2010, the US Post Office released a
first-class denomination ($.44) postage stamp in Mauldin's honor
depicting him with WWII characters Willie & Joe.
(SFC, 1/23/03, p.A2)(WS, 2/22/08,
2003 Jan 22, In Colombia ELN
rebels kidnapped Scott Dalton, photographer and native of Conroe,
Texas; and Ruth Morris, a British reporter in Arauca state. They
were released Feb 1.
(AP, 1/23/03)(AP, 2/1/03)
2003 Jan 22, France and Germany
joined forces to prevent any U.S.-led war on Iraq. Countering blunt
talk of war by the Bush administration, France and Germany defiantly
stated they were committed to a peaceful solution to the Iraq
(Reuters, 1/22/03)(AP, 1/22/04)
2003 Jan 22, In the Netherlands
voters rejected an anti-immigration party and gave 44 seats to the
Christian Democrats and 42 to the Labor party.
(SFC, 1/23/03, p.A10)
2003 Jan 23, The US Senate
approved a $390 billion spending bill.
2003 Jan 23, Broadcom reported
a $2.2 billion loss for the year ending Dec 31, 2002, and CEO Henry
Nicholas III (42) announced his resignation.
2003 Jan 23, In Texas 2
military helicopters collided and 4 marine reservists were killed.
(WSJ, 1/24/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 23, Actress Nell
Carter (54) died in Beverly Hills, Calif.
2003 Jan 23, In Porto Alegre,
Brazil, the 3rd World Social Forum began as anti-globalization
activists demonstrated at the start of the third annual summit on
ways to limit the excesses of global capitalism.
2003 Jan 23, South and North
Korea agreed to peacefully resolve the international standoff over
North Korea's nuclear programs after Cabinet-level talks.
2003 Jan 23, Hamas gunmen
opened fire on a vehicle south of the West Bank city of Hebron and
three Israelis were killed. Retaliatory raids wounded 6 in Gaza.
(AP, 1/23/03)(SFC, 1/24/03, p.A11)
2003 Jan 23, The government of
Kuwait said a Kuwaiti had confessed to the Jan. 21 shootings of two
U.S. defense workers in Kuwait.
2003 Jan 23, In northern Peru
an explosion leveled an ammunition depot at a military base, killing
seven people and injured 95.
2003 Jan 24, The US Department
of Homeland Security under Tom Ridge became the government's 15th
2003 Jan 24, The Bush
administration's smallpox vaccine program was launched in
Connecticut with 4 doctors getting shots.
(SFC, 1/25/03, p.A4)(WSJ, 1/27/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 24, American warplanes
bombed an Iraqi air defense site, the 12th strike in the southern
flight interdiction zone this month.
2003 Jan 24, State Street, a US
financial services group, registered an exchange traded fund that
tracked the S&P 500 share index with the ticket code SPDR.
(Econ, 1/26/12, p.66)
2003 Jan 24, The IMF approved a
$6.78 billion land package to Argentina.
(SFC, 1/25/03, p.A5)
2003 Jan 24, Czech lawmakers
failed for a 2nd time to pick a successor to pres. Havel.
(WSJ, 1/27/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 24, In Prague, former
Communist Interior Minister Jaromir Obzina (73) died of cancer. In
2001 Obzina was charged with abuse of power for his role in an
operation aimed to crush political dissent between 1978 and 1984.
The "Asanace" (Sanitation) program focused on some 50 dissidents,
signatories of the Charter 77 human rights manifesto, resorting to
threats and harsh interrogations to intimidate them and force them
to leave the country.
2003 Jan 24, In Haiti thousands
of business leaders, taxi drivers and doctors held a general strike,
clamoring for a better life in the poor nation.
2003 Jan 24, Israeli soldiers
killed at least 12 Palestinians as helicopter gunships hit Gaza City
with 11 missiles.
(SFC, 1/25/03, p.A5)(SSFC, 1/26/03, p.A16)
2003 Jan 24, Giovanni Agnelli
(81), the patriarch of the Fiat auto company, died in Turin after a
2003 Jan 24, Ivory Coast
negotiators, trying to end a four-month-old civil war, reached a
draft peace settlement.
2003 Jan 24, A plane carrying
members of Kenya's new government crashed, killing one minister, two
pilots and injuring at least three other members of the government.
2003 Jan 24, In Spain police
arrested 16 suspected al-Qaida terrorists.
2003 Jan 25, The Sundance Film
Festival in Utah gave the grand jury prize to "American Splendor"
and the documentary grand prize to "Capturing the Friedmans." The
audience award went to "The Station Agent."
(SSFC, 1/26/03, p.A2)
2003 Jan 25, A computer worm
slowed Internet traffic. The "slammer" virus sought vulnerable
Microsoft "SQL Server 2000" software.
(SSFC, 1/26/03, p.A3)(WSJ, 1/28/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 25, NASA launched a
spacecraft into orbit to measure all the radiation streaming toward
Earth from the sun. The small satellite is called Sorce — for Solar
Radiation and Climate Experiment.
2003 Jan 25, Ivory Coast Pres.
Laurent Gbagbo accepted a peace plan to end the 4-month civil war.
Former PM Seydou Diarra would lead until new elections.
(SSFC, 1/26/03, p.A14)(WSJ, 1/27/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 25, In Nepal suspected
Maoist rebels gunned down police chief Krishna Mohan Shrestha along
with his wife and bodyguard.
(SSFC, 1/26/03, p.A14)
2003 Jan 25, Pakistan marked
its entry into the space age when its first communication satellite,
PAKSAT-I, formally began operations.
2003 Jan 25, In Venezuela
opponents of Pres. Hugo Chavez launched a 24-hour street
demonstration to protest a court ruling that postponed a referendum
on Chavez's rule.
2003 Jan 26, Tampa Bay won
their first NFL championship over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl
37. Rioting erupted on Oakland streets following the Raiders' Super
Bowl loss to the Tampa Bucs (48-21).
(SFC, 1/27/03, p.A1)(AP, 1/26/04)
2003 Jan 26, Secretary of State
Colin Powell, citing Iraq's lack of cooperation with U.N.
inspectors, said he'd lost faith in the inspectors' ability to
conduct a definitive search for banned weapons programs.
2003 Jan 26, In Cameroon an
overcrowded bus swerved into oncoming traffic on the nation's main
highway, sparking a five-car pileup that killed at least 70.
2003 Jan 26, In England
historian Hugh Trevor-Roper (b.1914) died. His books included "The
Last Days of Hitler" (1947), "The Rise of Christian Europe" (1965),
and "The European Witch Craze of the 16th and 17th Centuries." His
final work “The Invention of Scotland" was published posthumously in
2008. In 2010 Adam Sisman authored “Hugh Trevor-Roper: The
(SFC, 1/27/03, p.B4)(WSJ, 7/26/08, p.W8)(Econ,
2003 Jan 26, Annamarie Schimmel
(80), a professor emeritus of Islamic studies at Harvard University
who also lectured in Germany and Turkey, publishing more than 100
books died in Bonn.
2003 Jan 26, In Guatemala a
security guard opened fire with a shotgun at thousands of people
gathered for a political convention of the National Union of Hope
party. Isaias Caal Ichich wounded 5 people.
2003 Jan 26, In Ivory Coast
loyalists, enraged by a peace deal with rebels, attacked the French
Embassy and army base.
(SFC, 1/27/03, p.A5)
2003 Jan 26, At the World
Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Bill Gates announced that his
charitable foundation will spend $200 million for medical research
in poor and undeveloped countries. In partnership with the
National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation (BMFG) granted $200 million to the Foundation for the
National Institutes of Health (FNIH).
2003 Jan 27, The Bush
administration moved toward a military showdown with Iraq and
suggested a decision could come as early as next week after UN
inspectors credited Iraq with only limited cooperation in the search
for weapons. Meanwhile, chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix charged that
Iraq had never genuinely accepted U.N. resolutions demanding its
disarmament and warned that "cooperation on substance" was necessary
for a peaceful solution.
(AP, 1/27/03)(SFC, 1/28/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 27, In Florida over
800 doctors staged a brief walkout to protest rising malpractice
(WSJ, 1/28/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 27, A head-on train
collision between French and Italian passenger trains killed two
people. It appeared to be the result of human error.
2003 Jan 27, India and Pakistan
resumed shelling along the Kashmir border, and New Delhi warned
Pakistan it would be "erased from the world map" if Islamabad used
nuclear weapons against India.
2003 Jan 28, Pres. Bush in his
State of the Union vowed to use the "full force and might of the
U.S. military" if needed to disarm Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Bush
pledged of $15 billion for AIDS assistance in Africa, a domestic
agenda of tax cuts, medical malpractice caps and a ban on certain
late abortions. Bush also announced a $1.2 billion hydrogen fuel
1/29/03)(WSJ, 1/29/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 28, Oregon voters
defeated a proposed 3-year income tax hike designed to forestall
$310 million in cuts to schools and social services.
(SFC, 1/29/03, p.A3)
2003 Jan 28, John Philip
Thompson (77) died. He expanded his family's business into the
nationwide 7-Eleven chain.
2003 Jan 28, US and Afghan
forces battled rebels aligned with renegade leader Gulbuddin
Hekmatyar in the largest-scale fighting in 10 months. 18 enemy
fighters were killed in 2 days of fighting. Norwegian F-16s
participated in bombing enemy targets.
(AP, 1/28/03)(WSJ, 1/29/03, p.A1)(SFC, 1/29/03,
2003 Jan 28, A Chinese company
began distributing generic drugs for an anti-AIDS cocktail.
(SFC, 1/29/03, p.A5)
2003 Jan 28, In eastern India a
passenger bus caught fire after colliding with a truck carrying
paint in dense fog, killing at least 42 people and injuring 13
2003 Jan 28, An explosion
leveled a Gaza City house, killing three Palestinians, including a
teenage brother and sister, and wounding 11. In Jenin four
Palestinians were killed in battles with Israeli troops.
2003 Jan 28, In Israel PM Ariel
Sharon's Likud won with 38 seats, but still needed coalition
partners to reach a 61-spot majority in the 120-seat parliament.
(AP, 1/29/03)(AP, 2/4/03)
2003 Jan 28, Ivory Coast's army
said it opposed a new peace deal with rebel forces. Ethnic fighting
flared amid violent protests over the proposed peace accord. A 4th
day of ethnic clashes reportedly killed 10 people.
(AP, 1/28/03)(AP, 1/29/03)
2003 Jan 28, Mauritania, an
Arab-dominated West African nation, banned anti-U.S. protests and
deployed hundreds of security forces in the capital to enforce the
2003 Jan 28, In Mexico, gunmen
in San Juan Chamula ambushed police trying to arrest murder
suspects, sparking a gunbattle that left 5 people dead.
2003 Jan 28, Rwanda began
releasing 19,000 genocide suspects and former rebels in an effort to
ease intense overcrowding in the country's prisons and foster
2003 Jan 28, In Sweden Keith
Jarrett was named winner of the $117,000 Polar Music Prize, founded
in 1989 by Stig Anderson, manager of ABBA.
(SFC, 1/29/03, p.D8)
2003 Jan 29, The Congressional
Budget Office predicted the current year's federal deficit would
soar to $199 billion even without President Bush's new tax cut plan
or war against Iraq.
2003 Jan 29, AOL Time Warner
posted a record $98.7 billion loss, the biggest in corporate
history. It included a $45.5 billion write down on the value of AOL.
(SFC, 1/30/03, p.A1)(WSJ, 1/2/04, p.R8)
2003 Jan 29, In Kinston, NC, 6
people were killed and dozens injured in an explosion at West
(SFC, 1/30/03, p.A3)(WSJ, 1/31/03, p.A1)(AP,
2003 Jan 29, Leslie Fiedler
(85), author and literary critic, died in Buffalo, NY. His 1960
"Love and Death in the American Novel" analyzed the work of mark
Twain, Ernest Hemingway and others.
(SFC, 1/31/03, p.A26)
2003 Jan 29, Frank Moss
(b.1911), liberal Utah Democratic Senator (1958-1976), died. His
efforts included the addition of Capitol Reef and Canyonlands to the
national park system.
(SFC, 2/3/03, p.B4)
2003 Jan 29, US troops took
Haji Shahzada (50) from his rural Afghan home in the early hours of
the morning and sent him on a bizarre journey to prison in Cuba.
Shahzada spent 4 years in jail before being returned home with a
letter of innocence.
2003 Jan 29, Britain, the Czech
Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain,
signed an open letter calling on the peace camp, implicitly Germany,
France and Russia, to rally to the U.S. standard against Iraq.
(WSJ, 1/30/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 29, The body of
Abdelmalek Benbara (41), a member of the Algerian prime minister's
party reported missing Jan 17, was found in a car in Paris.
2003 Jan 29, Belgium said oil
leaking from the sunken cargo ship Tricolor (Dec 14) is washing up
on the Belgian coastline, damaging wildlife and beaches.
2003 Jan 29, In Cambodia
protesters looted and set fire to the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh.
The protest was against a Thai TV star who was quoted in the media
as saying Cambodia had stolen the famous Angkor Wat temple from
2003 Jan 29, Iraq responded to
chief inspector Hans Blix's tough assessment of its disarmament,
accusing him of misrepresenting its record of compliance, offering
some new information and pledging continued cooperation.
2003 Jan 29, Montenegro
lawmakers voted to abolish Yugoslavia and replace it with a loose
union of semi-independent states called Serbia and Montenegro.
(SFC, 1/30/03, p.A8)
2003 Jan 29, Russia's Border
Guard Service said the US led anti-terror operation in Afghanistan
has done nothing to reduce the flow of illegal drugs from that
2003 Jan 30, President Bush put
allies on notice that diplomacy would give way to a decision on war
with Iraq in "weeks, not months." Wary world leaders and
congressional critics urged patience and demanded proof of Iraq's
2003 Jan 30, Spencer Abraham,
US Energy Secretary, said the US would rejoin the $5 billion int'l.
project to build an experimental fusion reactor. The US had left the
project in 1998.
(SFC, 1/31/03, p.A6)
2003 Jan 30, John Snow won
confirmation as US Treasury secretary.
(WSJ, 1/2/04, p.R8)
2003 Jan 30, Richard Reid, the
British citizen and al-Qaida follower who'd tried to blow up a
trans-Atlantic jetliner with explosives hidden in his shoes, was
sentenced to life in prison by a federal judge in Boston.
2003 Jan 30, In Afghanistan 4
American soldiers were killed when special operations UH-60 Black
Hawk helicopter went down seven miles east of the Bagram Air Base
while on a training mission.
(AP, 1/31/03)(SFC, 1/31/03, p.A11)
2003 Jan 30, Belgium officially
recognized gay marriages.
(SFC, 1/31/03, p.A9)
2003 Jan 30, Brazil's President
Lula da Silva launched his anti-hunger program with a move to
provide $14 a month to 1.5 million families, most from the country's
2003 Jan 30, An Israeli
undercover unit shot dead two Palestinian militants in Tulkarem,
including a militia leader. Army bulldozers demolished a Palestinian
vegetable market and closed Palestinian police and TV stations in
2003 Jan 30, Italian police
arrested 28 Pakistanis during a routine sweep for illegal
immigrants. The arrested possessed explosives, hundreds of forged
documents and maps of the Naples area with "sensitive" targets
2003 Jan 30, Sweden said it
will contribute $5.9 million to help Afghanistan repay debts to the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
2003 Jan 30, Thailand sealed
its border with Cambodia, recalled its ambassador and sent military
planes to evacuate hundreds of terrified Thais after rioters looted
and torched its embassy in the Cambodian capital.
2003 Jan 31, President Bush and
British PM Tony Blair met at the White House; Bush said he would
welcome a second UN resolution on Iraq but only if it led to the
prompt disarming of Saddam Hussein. Pushing for a new resolution,
Blair called confronting Iraq "a test of the international
community." In 2006 British author Phillippe Sands said in a new
edition of his 2005 "Lawless World" that Pres. Bush commented during
the 2003 meeting with Blair that the US intended to go to war even
if inspectors failed to find evidence of a banned weapons program.
(AP, 1/31/04)(AP, 2/3/06)
2003 Jan 31, A federal jury in
SF found Ed Rosenthal (58), a marijuana advocate, guilty of felony
conspiracy and cultivation charges. Judge Charles Breyer did not
allow testimony citing 1996 California state voter approval of
medical marijuana. On Feb 4 jurors claimed they were duped and
called for a new trial.
(SFC, 2/1/03, p.A1)(SFC, 2/5/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 31, In Afghanistan, a
bomb destroyed the Rambasi Bridge near Kandahar, and killed at least
15 people traveling by bus. Police blamed Taliban and al-Qaida
(AP, 1/31/03)(SFC, 1/31/03, p.A11)
2003 Jan 31, In Australia a
commuter train derailed south of Sydney and 9 people were killed.
2003 Jan 31, Top UN arms
inspectors said they would not agree to new talks in Baghdad unless
Iraq demonstrated more cooperation and met unspecified conditions.
2003 Jan 31, Israeli undercover
troops killed a fugitive Islamic militant and a Palestinian night
watchman in a two-hour gun battle at a Jenin firehouse.
(AP, 1/31/03)(SFC, 2/1/03, p.A11)
2003 Jan 31, In Mexico City
tens of thousands of farmers clogged main streets, demanding greater
protection against U.S. imports and seeking more government aid.
2003 Jan 31, A Russian cargo
plane crashed while landing in fog near an airport on East Timor's
north coast, killing all six people aboard.
2003 Jan, Pres. Bush received
classified reports from the National Intelligence Council that an
American-led invasion of Iraq would increase support for political
Islam and result in a deeply divided Iraqi society prone to violent
(SFC, 9/28/04, p.A3)
2003 Jan, An environmental
assessment on Iraq was finalized for the US government. It indicated
that Iraqis had ordered 8 million pounds of sodium dichromate, a
deadly toxin, to keep water pipes from corroding. Months later US
soldiers were sickened after they arrived at the Qarmat Ali water
treatment plant. Oregon Nat’l. Guard soldiers sued military
contractor KBR in 2009. KBR said it only knew of the presence of the
toxin July 2003.
(SFC, 4/5/12, p.A8)
2003 Jan, In Chechnya 3
construction workers were killed at a checkpoint. In Dec 2007 two
Russian officers were convicted by a military court of killing the 3
2003 Jan, China ended a
"100-day campaign" to hunt down North Korean refugees. 3,200 were
deported and another 1,300 awaited deportation. A Christian
sponsored underground railroad reportedly helped some 300,000 North
Koreans escape their homeland.
(SFC, 2/15/03, p.A14)
2003 Jan, Eifuku, a $300
million Tokyo-based hedge fund, collapsed. George Soros was believed
to have $180 million in the fund.
(WSJ, 1/30/03, p.C1)
2003 Jan, In Baghdad, Iraq,
Hayder Mounthir staged his play "Where Is the Government." The
entire cast was briefly jailed after one performance. He re-staged
the play at the National Theater with a new ending in Nov.
(WSJ, 11/10/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 1, Space shuttle
Columbia broke apart in flames over Texas, killing all 7 astronauts
just 16 minutes before they were supposed to glide to ground in
Florida. The astronauts included Michael P. Anderson (b.1959), David
M. Brown (b.1956), Laurel Clark (b.1962), Kalpana Chawla (b.1962),
Rick Husband (b.1957), William C. McCool (b.1961) and Ilan Ramon
(b.1954). An explosion in the wheel well under the left wing was
later suspected as the cause.
(AP, 2/1/03)(SSFC, 2/2/03, p.A8)(WSJ, 2/14/03,
2003 Feb 1, Former Agriculture
Secretary Richard Lyng died in Modesto, Calif., at age 84.
2003 Feb 1, In western
Canada 7 people were killed in the 2nd fatal avalanche to strike in
less than two weeks.
2003 Feb 1, The Lunar Chinese
New Year 4701, the Year of the Ram, began.
(SFC, 1/31/03, p.A23)
2003 Feb 1, In Colombia leftist
guerrillas freed an American photographer and a British reporter.
2003 Feb 1, Mongo Santamaria
(81/85), Cuban-born Latin jazzman, died in Miami.
(WSJ, 2/3/03, p.A1)(SFC, 2/5/03, p.A22)(SSFC,
2003 Feb 1, Across France at
least 150,000 people, some braving snow, poured into the streets to
protest government plans to reform the country's generous, but
overburdened, pension system.
2003 Feb 1, In northern Ireland
a protestant paramilitary commander and his friend were gunned down
because of an apparent feud within his outlawed group.
2003 Feb 1, In Ivory Coast
nearly 100,000 loyalists marched through Abidjan, burning French
flags and calling for the death of the French president in the
biggest protest yet against a French-brokered peace deal.
2003 Feb 1, In Liberia fighting
between government and rebel forces raged within 60 miles of
2003 Feb 1, In northwestern
Zimbabwe a crowded passenger train and a freight train with
flammable liquid collided, killed at least 50 people and injured
(AP, 2/3/03)(AP, 2/1/08)
2003 Feb 2, The search
continued for pieces of the space shuttle Columbia, a day after the
spacecraft disintegrated during re-entry over Texas, killing all
2003 Feb 2, Lou Harrison (85),
US composer, died. His work melded Asian and Western styles.
(SFC, 2/4/03, p.A19)
2003 Feb 2, Australia's first
cloned sheep, Matilda (b. Apr, 2000) died unexpectedly of unknown
2003 Feb 2, BP and AAR, a
Russian consortium, agreed to combine their Russian oil and gas
interests, with each holding a 50% stake in TNK-BP.
(Econ, 6/9/12, p.68)
2003 Feb 2, Chechen rebel
attacks and mines killed 5 Russian servicemen and wounded 8.
2003 Feb 2, In northeastern
China, fire tore through the Tiantan Hotel Harbin, killing 33 people
at the start of Chinese New Year.
2003 Feb 2, A tornado tore
through remote villages in Bandundu province in central Congo,
killing 164 people, destroying homes and ruining crops.
2003 Feb 2, Vaclav Havel
stepped down after 13 years as president of the Czech Republic.
2003 Feb 2, Indonesian police
arrested Mas Selamat bin Kastari, a major terrorist suspect, on the
island of Bintang.
(SFC, 2/4/03, p.A9)
2003 Feb 2, In Kazakhstan
Progress M-47 lifted off atop a Soyuz-U rocket to deliver supplies
to the int'l. space station.
(SFC, 2/3/03, p.A5)
2003 Feb 2, In Nigeria a
powerful explosion destroyed a bank and dozens of apartments above
it on Lagos Island, and relief workers reported at least 46 killed
and many more trapped.
(AP, 2/2/03)(AP, 2/3/04)
2003 Feb 2, In the Philippines
a two-hour gunbattle involving about 70 New People's Army rebels
killed two soldiers and five rebels near the town of Baganga in the
southern Davao Oriental province.
2003 Feb 3, Pres. Bush set
forth a $2.2 trillion budget and acknowledged that it would
contribute to years of deficits.
(SFC, 2/4/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 3, It was reported
that the US and Britain had mapped out a strategy to limit arms
inspections in Iraq to no more than 6 more weeks.
(SFC, 2/3/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 3, Phil Spector (62),
rock-n-roll producer, was arrested in LA for murder after Lana
Clarkson (40) was found dead in his mansion. In 2007 his murder case
ended in a mistrial with a 10-2 deadlock.
(SFC, 2/4/03, p.A1)(SFC, 9/27/07, p.A2)
2003 Feb 3, New Jersey doctors
joined the protest against high malpractice insurance premiums.
(WSJ, 2/4/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 3, A new British
report said Iraqi security agents have bugged every room and
telephone of the UN weapons inspectors based in Baghdad and have
hidden documents in Iraqi hospitals, mosques and homes.
2003 Feb 3, In England Margaret
Muller, an American artist, was stabbed to death as she ran in
London’s Victoria Park. In 2009 The Metropolitan Police said that a
36-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of the murder and was
in custody north of London.
2003 Feb 3, Germany began its
first working day as president of the UN Security Council.
2003 Feb 3, Israeli tank fire
killed two Palestinian farmers in the Gaza Strip on Monday, and
soldiers arrested a leader of Yasser Arafat's Fatah group on the
2003 Feb 3, The Peace Corps
resumed work in Peru, nearly three decades after a leftist military
government ended the American volunteer program there.
2003 Feb 3, Venezuela's workers
returned to work in all sectors but the vital oil industry after
abandoning a two-month-long general strike that failed to oust
President Hugo Chavez.
2003 Feb 4, Pres. Bush visited
the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where he led a tribute to the
lost crew of the shuttle Columbia and rededicated the nation to
2003 Feb 4, Jerome Hines (81),
opera singer died in New York.
2003 Feb 4, Beauty pageant
organizers stripped Miss Brazil of her title after they discovered
she was married. Joseane Oliveira (21) was replaced by first
runner-up Taiza Thomsen (21).
2003 Feb 4, A rare television
interview with Saddam Hussein aired in which the Iraqi leader
charged that US claims of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons
in his country were a pretext to seize Iraq's oil fields.
2003 Feb 4, In central Pakistan
fireworks being loaded into shipping containers caught fire, setting
off a series of powerful explosions that killed at least 17 people,
including two children, and injured dozens.
2003 Feb 4, The United Nations
indicted 32 people, including 15 Indonesian soldiers, on allegations
they tortured and killed East Timorese during the country's bloody
split from Indonesia in 1999.
2003 Feb 4, Venezuela's
government suggested a referendum on his rule later this year as a
way out of the country's political crisis.
2003 Feb 4, Yugoslavia's
parliament transformed the federation into a loose union between
Montenegro and Serbia and retired the name "Yugoslavia."
(WSJ, 2/5/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 5, Secretary of State
Colin Powell, made his case that Iraq had defied all demands that it
disarm, presented tape recordings, satellite photos and statements
from informants that he said was "irrefutable and undeniable"
evidence that Saddam Hussein is concealing weapons of mass
(AP, 2/5/03)(SFC, 2/6/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 5, Circuit city
dismissed some 3,900 highly paid commissioned salespeople to reduce
(WSJ, 6/11/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 5, It was reported
that genealogical research in Utah identified a gene that causes
(WSJ, 2/5/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 5, The World Court
ruled that the United States must temporarily stay the execution of
three Mexican citizens on U.S. death rows.
2003 Feb 5, Larry LeSueur (93),
longtime CBS News radio reporter died in Washington.
2003 Feb 5, The Israeli
military demolished the home of a Palestinian militant in the Gaza
Strip, killing an elderly woman inside. Israeli troops killed a
total of 5 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
(AP, 2/5/03)(WSJ, 2/7/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 5, North Korea said
that it had reactivated its nuclear facilities and is going ahead
with their operation "on a normal footing."
2003 Feb 5, Heavy rains in
northern Mozambique caused flooding that left about 100,000 families
homeless, swept away thousands of acres of crops and severely
damaged roads and bridges.
2003 Feb 6, Edging closer to
war, President Bush declared "the game is over" for Saddam Hussein
and urged skeptical allies to join in disarming Iraq.
2003 Feb 6, ABC's "20/20" aired
a British documentary on Michael Jackson in which the King of Pop
revealed he sometimes let children sleep in his bed.
2003 Feb 6, An inter-African
committee on female genital cutting called for an annual observance
of Feb. 6 as an international day of zero tolerance of the practice.
2003 Feb 6, Belgium asked the
European Union to call an emergency meeting to discuss a peaceful
way out of the Iraq crisis.
2003 Feb 6, Lord Aberconway
(89), a shipbuilding magnate born as Charles Melville McLaren, died
in London. He secretly met with Adolf Hitler's aide Hermann Goering
weeks before the German invasion of Poland. He inherited his title
and the chairmanship of the shipbuilding giant John Brown and the
mining company English China Clays when his father died in 1953.
2003 Feb 6, Medical experts
headed to northern Republic of Congo to investigate a feared
outbreak of Ebola after 16 suspicious deaths.
2003 Feb 6, Pre-emptive attacks
on North Korea's nuclear facilities would trigger a "total war," the
communist state warned after Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
labeled the North's government a "terrorist regime."
2003 Feb 6, Turkey's parliament
voted to allow U.S. troops to renovate Turkish bases for use in a
possible war with Iraq.
2003 Feb 7, President Bush
courted the leaders of France and China in an uphill struggle to win
U.N. backing for war with Iraq.
2003 Feb 7, The US moved its
terror alert status to orange, the 2nd highest level. Attorney
General John Ashcroft said the government had received intelligence
information, corroborated by multiple sources, that Osama bin
Laden's terror organization sought to attack Americans at home or
abroad during the annual hajj pilgrimage to the holy Saudi city of
2003 Feb 7, Garry Kasparov
(39), chess master, played to a 3-3 tie against the Deep Junior
(SFC, 2/8/03, p.A2)
2003 Feb 7, Tom Christerson
(71), the longest-living recipient of a fully self-contained
artificial heart, died at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky., after
512 days on the AbioCor.
2003 Feb 7, Chechen rebel
attacks and land mines killed 10 soldiers and police over the last
2003 Feb 7, In Bogota,
Colombia, a car bomb tore through the El Nogal social club, killing
36 people, wounding 162. FARC rebels were blamed.
(AP, 2/8/03)(SFC, 2/8/03, p.A12)(AP, 2/7/04)
2003 Feb 7, Three Tamil Tiger
rebels blew up their boat, killing themselves, after they were found
trying to smuggle an anti-aircraft gun and hundreds of rounds of
ammunition into Sri Lanka.
2003 Feb 8, In a jab at major
US allies, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told a security
conference in Munich that countries such as France and Germany that
favored giving Iraq another chance to disarm were undermining what
slim chance existed to avoid war.
2003 Feb 8, The US Navy
conducted its last scheduled round of weapons tests on Vieques
Island, Puerto Rico. A 2013 report said that the US Navy had fired
more than 300,000 munitions in Vieques from the mid-1940s to 2003,
taking control of 77 percent of the land.
(SFC, 2/10/03, p.A9)(AP, 5/1/13)
2003 Feb 8, In Australia 750
nude women formed a heart around the words 'No War' near the town of
Byron Bay to protest possible war with Iraq.
2003 Feb 8, Augusto Monterosso
(81), Honduras-born Guatemalan writer, died in Mexico City. His work
included "Perpetual Movement" (1972); "The Letter E: Fragments of a
Diary" (1987); and "The Magic Word" (1983).
(SFC, 2/10/03, p.B5)
2003 Feb 8, The chief UN arms
inspectors arrived in Baghdad for a new round of crucial talks with
2003 Feb 8, In Iraq gunmen
posing as defectors from an Islamic extremist group killed
Gen. Shawkat Haji Mushir, a political leader of the Patriotic Union
of Kurdistan and two other Kurdish officials.
2003 Feb 8, Philippine troops
killed at least eight Abu Sayyaf rebels during a clash with the
guerrillas in the southern town of Patikul.
2003 Feb 8, Nearly 2 million
Muslims converged on Mecca for the annual pilgrimage. Some of the
faithful offered prayers to avert a U.S.-led war on Iraq.
2003 Feb 8, Tens of thousands
of Venezuelans marched in support of 9,000 oil workers fired for
leading a two-month strike against President Hugo Chavez that
battered the economy of this oil-dependent nation.
2003 Feb 9, The West beat the
East 155-145 in the first double overtime game in NBA All-Star
2003 Feb 9, President Bush told
congressional Republicans at a policy conference that Iraq had
fooled the world for more than a decade about its banned weapons and
the United Nations was now facing "a moment of truth" in disarming
2003 Feb 9, The U.S. Navy ended
its last planned bombing exercises on Puerto Rico's Vieques Island.
2003 Feb 9, In China Xinhua’s
first SARS report was issued for leaders’ eyes only. By this time
there were already some 300 cases and 5 deaths dating back to
(Econ, 6/19/10, p.43)
2003 Feb 9, In China state
media reported that scientists had discovered a massive underground
lake, some 35 billion cubic feet, in the arid northwest beneath the
2003 Feb 9, The leaders of
Germany and Russia renewed their calls for a peaceful resolution in
Iraq, restating their opposition to any U.S.-led war to disarm and
oust Saddam Hussein.
2003 Feb 9, Iran reported the
discovery of uranium reserves and planned production facilities for
peaceful use of nuclear energy.
(SFC, 2/10/03, p.A8)
2003 Feb 9, Montenegro's 2nd
attempt in 2 months to elect a president failed.
2003 Feb 9, Three Palestinians
were killed when their explosives-laden car blew up outside an
Israeli army post after crashing into a cement block barrier. In
secret talks last week Israel offered the Palestinians a gradual
(AP, 2/9/03)(SSFC, 2/9/03, p.A22)
2003 Feb 9, Swiss voters
approved measures to further extend their direct democracy.
2003 Feb 10, Clark MacGregor
(80), former Minnesota Congressman who'd led the Nixon re-election
campaign in 1972, died in Pompano Beach, Fla.
2003 Feb 10, Ron Ziegler
(b.1939), former press secretary for Richard Nixon, died in
(SFC, 2/11/03, p.A19)
2003 Feb 10, Afghanistan became
the 89th nation to join the International Criminal Court.
2003 Feb 10, In Kabul,
Afghanistan, Germany and the Netherlands took control of the
22-nation peacekeeping force charged with keeping order, replacing
2003 Feb 10, A Chinese court
convicted U.S.-based dissident Wang Bingzhang on spying and
terrorism charges and sentenced him to life in prison.
2003 Feb 10, France, Germany
and Belgium blocked NATO efforts to begin planning for possible
Iraqi attacks against Turkey.
2003 Feb 10, Iraq agreed to
allow U-2 surveillance flights over its territory, meeting a key
demand by U.N. inspectors searching for banned weapons; President
Bush, however, brushed aside Iraqi concessions as too little, too
2003 Feb 10, Israeli troops
killed 2 suspected Palestinian militants, including an unarmed
fugitive, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
2003 Feb 10, Mexican army
troops seized 2.2 tons of cocaine from a plane that landed in
northern Mexico after it reported mechanical problems. The three men
onboard were arrested.
2003 Feb 10, Moscow appointed a
new prime minister of Chechnya. Anatoly Popov replaced Mikhail
Babich, who resigned under pressure 2 days earlier after a dispute
with his superior, the chief of the Moscow-backed administration,
2003 Feb 11, Federal Reserve
Chairman Alan Greenspan said that Pres. Bush's tax cut would
increase the federal budget deficits and voiced opposition.
(SFC, 2/12/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 11, Addressing a
historic rift within NATO, Secretary of State Colin Powell told a
congressional hearing the future of the military alliance was at
risk if it failed to confront the crisis with Iraq.
2003 Feb 11, The purported
voice of Osama bin Laden, broadcast over the Al Jazeera network,
told his followers to help Saddam Hussein fight Americans.
2003 Feb 11, A group of around
50 Western anti-war activists received visas to enter Iraq where
they plan to form "human shields." Iraq said it would allow U-2
(Reuters, 2/11/03)(SFC, 2/11/03, p.A10)
2003 Feb 11, Afghan officials
said 17 civilians were killed in American-led bombing over the last
(SFC, 2/12/03, p.A8)
2003 Feb 11, From China it was
reported that an unidentified illness, 1st noted in Nov., has killed
at least five people in Guangdong province, left hundreds
hospitalized and sent health officials scrambling to find its
2003 Feb 11, In China Ma Sanli
(b.1914), a master performer of the traditional Chinese art of
crosstalk, a rhythmic, often humorous mix of dialogue and
2003 Feb 11, The private plane
carrying Colombian Minister of Social Welfare, Juan Luis Londono,
was found crashed in the mountains north of the town of Cajamarca,
85 miles west of Bogota. It had disappeared 5 days earlier.
2003 Feb 11, Israeli troops
killed an armed Palestinian in the Gaza Strip, and Israel imposed a
blanket closure on the Palestinian areas during the Muslim Hajj
because of warnings of possible attacks. Israeli soldiers killed an
8-year-old boy in the West Bank and an Israeli was killed by a
Palestinian gunman in Bethlehem.
(AP, 2/11/03)(SFC, 2/12/03, p.A13)
2003 Feb 11, In Paraguay Pres.
Luis Gonzalez Macchi survived an impeachment trial as the Senate
failed to muster enough votes to strip him from power over
2003 Feb 11, In Mina, Saudi
Arabia, 14 Muslim pilgrims were trampled to death when some
worshippers tripped amid a jostling crowd during the devil-stoning
ritual of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
(AP, 2/11/03)(SFC, 2/12/03, p.A9)
2003 Feb 12, Kemmons Wilson
(90), founder of the Holiday Inn chain, died in Memphis, Tenn.
(WSJ, 2/13/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 12, In Bolivia angry
civilians joined striking police officers in a protest that
degenerated into riots, leaving at least 17 people dead and Bolivian
government buildings in flames.
(AP, 2/13/03)(SFC, 2/12/03, p.A9)
2003 Feb 12, In Sao Paulo,
Brazil, Bishop Paulo Pereira (38) of the Vetero Catholic Church, in
the low-income district of Guainazes, was gunned down inside his
church's headquarters. Elsewhere in San Paulo 3 gunmen killed
Wallace Ornelas Passos, a 17-year-old student with a police record
for theft and other criminal activities.
2003 Feb 12, A bloody prison
riot near Guatemala City left at least 6 inmates dead, and a man
convicted in the high-profile murder case of Roman Catholic Bishop
Juan Gerardi was among the dead.
2003 Feb 12, The Republic of
Congo reported that an Ebola outbreak was suspected in the recent
deaths of 48 people.
(SFC, 2/13/03, p.A7)
2003 Feb 12, India conducted
its fourth missile test of 2003, firing a supersonic cruise missile
capable of hitting major cities in Pakistan.
2003 Feb 12, The UN nuclear
agency declared North Korea in violation of international treaties,
sending the dispute to the Security Council.
2003 Feb 13, American Special
Forces were reported to be in various parts of Iraq for what seemed
to be the initial phases of a ground war.
(SFC, 2/13/03, p.A14)
2003 Feb 13, Clara Harris,
who'd run down her cheating husband with her Mercedes after catching
him with his mistress, was convicted by a Houston jury of murder
despite her claim that she'd hit him accidentally while in a
heartsick daze. She was later sentenced to 20 years in prison.
2003 Feb 13, Smith & Wesson
unveiled a new Model 500, .50 caliber Magnum revolver.
(SFC, 2/14/03, p.A2)
2003 Feb 13, An investigative
panel found that superheated air almost certainly seeped through a
breach in space shuttle Columbia's left wing and possibly its wheel
compartment during the craft's fiery descent, resulting in the
deaths of all seven astronauts.
2003 Feb 13, Prof. Walt W.
Rostow (b.1916), adviser to the Kennedy and Johnson administrations,
died in Austin, Texas. His over 30 books included "Theorists of
Economic Growth from David Hume to the Present, with a Perspective
on the Next Century" (1990), and "The Stages of Economic Growth"
(3rd ed. 1990). His memoir “Concept and Controversy" (2003) was
published posthumously. In 2008 David Milne authored “America’s
Rasputin: Walt Rostow and the Vietnam War."
(SFC, 2/15/03, p.A24)(WSJ, 3/6/08, p.D7)
2003 Feb 13, In southern
Colombia a U.S. government plane carrying 5 people crashed short of
an airport in rebel territory, and those on board may have been
spirited away by leftist rebels. 2 days later an American and a
Colombian were executed at close range.
(AP, 2/13/03)(AP, 2/15/03)
2003 Feb 14, Dolly (b.1996),
the world's 1st clone sheep and mother of 6 lambs, was put to sleep
by veterinarians in Scotland after they failed to cure her of a
severe lung infection.
(AP, 2/15/03)(SFC, 2/15/03, p.A2)
2003 Feb 14, In Brazil police
found the bullet-riddled bodies of six men in the back seat and
trunk of a car parked near a Rio de Janeiro slum.
2003 Feb 14, In Colombia a
massive explosion rocked the southern city of Neiva as police
searched a house for explosives. 15 people died and about 30 were
2003 Feb 14, Saddam Hussein
banned all weapons of mass destruction from Iraq, meeting a long
time UN demand.
2003 Feb 14, Major powers
rebuffed the United States in the U.N. Security Council and insisted
on more time for weapons inspections in Iraq. Earlier, chief U.N.
weapons inspector Hans Blix told the Council his teams had not found
any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
(SFC, 2/15/03, p.A1)(AP, 2/14/04)
2003 Feb 14, President
Kim Dae-jung said South Korea's government helped arrange a $200
million payment to North Korea before a summit in 2000.
2003 Feb 14, Popocatepetl
volcano southeast of Mexico City erupted but caused no significant
2003 Feb 14, Russian lawmakers
were expected to pass bills paving the way for the break-up of its
electricity monopoly, the Unified Energy System (RAO).
(WSJ, 2/13/03, p.A10)
2003 Feb 14, A Thai court ruled
to extradite Florida millionaire James Vincent Sullivan (61), wanted
in the US for the 1987 murder of his socialite wife. He was accused
of paying another man $25,000 to kill Lita McClinton Sullivan to
avoid losing property in a divorce. In 2006 he was convicted of
murder and sentenced to life in prison.
(AP, 2/15/03)(AP, 3/14/06)
2003 Feb 14, Trinidad and
Tobago legislators elected Maxwell Richards, a former university
dean who claims he is "not in anyone's back pocket" to be the new
2003 Feb 14, In Zimbabwe 2
Valentine's Day peace parades by women clutching roses and singing
hymns were broken up by baton-wielding police who arrested at least
88 people as well as eight journalists.
2003 Feb 15, Millions of
protesters, many of them marching in the capitals of America's
allies, demonstrated against possible US plans to attack Iraq.
2003 Feb 15, Tens of thousands
of people gathered in downtown Sydney and around Australia to
protest possible war with Iraq and their country's involvement.
2003 Feb 15, Tens of thousands
of New Zealanders demonstrated against a war in Iraq.
2003 Feb 15, Rattled by an
outpouring of anti-war sentiment, the US and Britain began reworking
a draft resolution to authorize force against Saddam Hussein.
2003 Feb 15, American warplanes
bombed two anti-aircraft missile sites in southern Iraq.
2003 Feb 15, Anti-war protests
drew hundreds of thousands of people in cities around the world.
2003 Feb 15, It was reported
that 11 million Ethiopians face famine due to drought affecting 15%
of the nation's harvest.
(SFC, 2/15/03, p.A12)
2003 Feb 15, A roadside bomb
exploded next to an Israeli tank in the Gaza Strip, killing all four
soldiers inside. Hamas claimed responsibility.
(AP, 2/15/03)(SSFC, 2/16/03, p.A10)
2003 Feb 15, In India 7 men
from Hindu upper castes were killed at a roadside restaurant the
crime-prone Bihar state. The upper-caste men were apparently killed
to avenge the killings 2 days earlier of 7 lower-caste Dalits.
2003 Feb 15, Nigerian oil
workers launched an indefinite strike that could shut down crude
exports in the world's 6th largest oil exporter.
2003 Feb 16, Michael Waltrip
raced past leader Jimmie Johnson to win the rain-shortened Daytona
500 for the second time in three years.
2003 Feb 16, The SF anti-war
demonstration cost organizers some $85,000. An estimated 200,000
people participated. Some 1000 protesters clashed with police at the
end of the rally and 46 people were arrested. A later aerial study
numbered the crowd at 65,000.
(SFC, 2/17/03, p.A1)(SFC, 2/21/03, A1)
2003 Feb 16, Eleanor "Sis"
Daley (95), the matriarch of Chicago's Daley political clan, died.
2003 Feb 16, In Australia PM
John Howard said he respects the views of hundreds of thousands of
citizens who took part in peace protests over the weekend but would
not be swayed by their opposition to war with Iraq.
2003 Feb 16, In Belgium thieves
over the weekend emptied more than 100 vaults at a diamond trading
center in what officials said might be the largest theft ever in
2003 Feb 16, In Cyprus Tassos
Papadopoulos was elected the country's 5th president over Glafcos
Clerides. He opposed current reunification plans.
(AP, 2/17/03)(WSJ, 2/18/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 16, Yasser Arafat
affirmed in a letter to Britain's Tony Blair that he will honor a
pledge to appoint a prime minister. 8 Palestinians were killed, 6 in
a mysterious explosion in Gaza City and 2 by Israeli army fire in
the West Bank.
(AP, 2/16/03)(SFC, 2/17/03, A3)
2003 Feb 16, French President
Jacques Chirac said in a published interview that the massive US
military deployment in the Persian Gulf has made it possible to
peacefully disarm Iraq.
2003 Feb 16, The Israeli
Cabinet voted to allow about 17,000 Ethiopians with Jewish roots to
come to Israel, lifting immigration restrictions on the group known
as Falash Mura.
2003 Feb 16, In Mexico's
central Mexico state voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum in
support of executing kidnappers, armed robbers and murderers.
2003 Feb 16, The 19-member NATO
alliance turned to its Defense Planning Committee, which Paris
withdrew from in 1966, to negotiate an end to the month-long NATO
deadlock over Iraq. NATO agreed to supply Turkey with defense
equipment in the event of war with Iraq.
(AP, 2/16/03)(SFC, 2/17/03, A1)
2003 Feb 16, A Syrian military
truck carrying diesel fuel overturned and caught fire at a
Lebanese-Syrian border crossing, killing at least 17 people.
2003 Feb 17, An estimated 40
million viewers tuned in to the finale of Fox's reality show "Joe
Millionaire," in which Evan Marriott chose Zora Andrich.
2003 Feb 17, A blizzard shut
down much of the mid-Atlantic region on Presidents Day with
windblown snow up to 4 feet deep, halting air and some rail travel
and caused at lest 40 deaths.
(AP, 2/17/03)(SFC, 2/18/03, A1)(SFC, 2/19/03, A3)
2003 Feb 17, In Chicago 21
people were killed at the E2 nightclub in an early morning stampede
after security guards used mace and pepper spray to halt a fistfight
between 2 women. On Sep 23 the owner and 3 others associated with
the club were charged with involuntary manslaughter.
(SFC, 2/18/03, A1)(SFC, 9/24/03, p.A3)
2003 Feb 17, Baltimore Orioles
pitcher Steve Bechler died of heatstroke at a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,
hospital, less than 24 hours after complaining of dizziness during a
spring training workout.
2003 Feb 17, London began
charging motorists $8 a day to drive in its center.
(SFC, 2/17/03, A2)
2003 Feb 17, European Union
leaders declared their solidarity with the United States, warning
Saddam Hussein that Iraq faced one "last chance" to disarm
peacefully but calling war a last resort.
2003 Feb 17, Israeli soldiers
killed a top Hamas fugitive in a roadside ambush. In another
operation they raided a stronghold of the militant Islamic group,
shooting dead 2 Palestinians and blowing up the house of a suspected
2003 Feb 17, American CIA
operatives snatched Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr (Abu
Omar) from his house in Milan and took him to Egypt, where he was
jailed, tortured and released. In 2005 an Italian judge ordered the
arrest of 13 American suspects on charges of kidnapping. In 2009
Nasr asked for euro10 million (nearly $15 million) in damages from
the American and Italian defendants charged in his abduction.
(Econ, 7/2/05, p.48)(AP, 10/7/09)(SFC, 10/8/09,
2003 Feb 17, In Mexico the
bodies of 3 women were found in the desert outside of Ciudad Juarez,
the latest victims in a string of killings in the border city.
2003 Feb 17, Uzbek journalist
Ergash Bobozhonov (61), who wrote articles published abroad
criticizing corruption among officials, was arrested and faced
charges including libel.
2003 Feb 18, Declaring that
America's security should not be dictated by protesters, President
Bush said he would not be swayed from compelling Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein to disarm.
2003 Feb 18, Johnny Paycheck
(64), American country singer, died in Nashville, Tenn. In 1977 he
had a big hit with the David Allan Coe song "Take This Job and Shove
(SFC, 2/20/03, A18)(AP, 2/18/04)
2003 Feb 18, The Bolivian
Cabinet resigned after violent street protests left 29 dead and the
government of Pres. de Lozada near collapse.
2003 Feb 18, In Colombia heavy
fighting left at least 29 leftist rebels and right-wing paramilitary
(WSJ, 2/19/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 18, In India a bus
carrying a wedding party fell into a gorge, killing 23 people and
injuring 31 others in the mountainous northern state of Uttaranchal.
2003 Feb 18, At least 40
Israeli tanks headed for Gaza City, accompanied by bulldozers and
2003 Feb 18, In Daegu, South Korea, a fire
raged through two packed subway trains after a man lit a container
of flammable liquid and tossed it, killing 196 people and injuring
145. In August the perpetrator was sentenced to life in prison.
(SFC, 2/19/03, A1)(WSJ, 2/19/03, p.A1)(AP,
2/27/03)(WSJ, 8/7/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 18, Saudi Arabia said it has
referred 90 Saudis to trial for alleged al Qaeda links. Another 250
were reported under investigation.
(SFC, 2/19/03, A10)
2003 Feb 18, Syria said it
would pull 4,000 of 20,000 troops out of Lebanon.
(WSJ, 2/19/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 18, Turkey asked the US to nearly
double its multibillion dollar aid package as a condition for
allowing U.S. troops on its soil in a war against neighboring Iraq.
2003 Feb 18, In Venezuela
police reported that the bodies of 3 soldiers, who had called for
"civic disobedience" against President Hugo Chavez's government, had
been found with their hands tied and faces wrapped with tape.
2003 Feb 19, Missouri Rep. Dick
Gephardt announced his second candidacy for president with a pledge
to repeal most of President Bush's tax cuts.
2003 Feb 19, In San Francisco
Armando Arce (26) was gunned down as he walked at Willow and Polk
streets. In 2009 Joeven Bowen was charged with Arce’s murder. Bowen
was alleged to have accompanied members of Oakland’s Nut Case gang,
which was involved with 2 murders earlier in the day. On Feb 14,
2011, Bowen was convicted of first-degree murder.
(SFC, 9/9/09, p.D1)(SFC, 2/15/11, p.C2)
2003 Feb 19, Armenia held
national elections. Pres. Kocharian was being challenged by 8
contenders who criticized his failure to secure a final deal with
Azerbaijan over the Armenian-populated enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.
He also faced accusations over about 30 unresolved political
killings in recent years and the widening gap between rich and poor
in this nation of 3.3 million people. Kocharian failed to win the
necessary 50 % of votes for re-election, forcing a runoff in
balloting that the opposition complained was rigged.
(AP, 2/19/03)(AP, 2/20/03)
2003 Feb 19, In Bolivia Pres. de Lozada
announced a new Cabinet, replacing eight ministers and eliminating
2003 Feb 19, China outlined plans for an
enormous, 30-50 year project to carry water from the country’s
water-saturated south to its arid north. The project was 1st
conceived by Mao Zedong in the 1950s.
(AP, 2/19/03)(SSFC, 9/5/04, p.A16)
2003 Feb 19, In Germany Mounir el
Motassadeq (28) was sentenced to the maximum 15 years in prison for
helping the Hamburg-based al-Qaida terror cell in the 9/11 attacks
on the US.
2003 Feb 19, In Iran a Russian-made
military plane crash killed 302 members of the elite Revolutionary
(AP, 2/20/03)(WSJ, 2/20/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 19, Israeli tanks and soldiers
battled Palestinian militants in the streets of Gaza City before
dawn in violence that left 11 Palestinians dead, including a suicide
bomber who tried to blow up a tank. Hamas fired 4 Qassam rockets
into Sderot in retaliation.
(AP, 2/19/03)(SFC, 2/20/03, A6)
2003 Feb 19, NATO approved the deployment
of defense equipment to Turkey in the event of a war in Iraq. Turkey
and the US failed again to agree on the size of an economic aid
2003 Feb 19, In Pakistan heavy rains fell
for a 5th day and left over 26 people dead. The country had
experienced 5 years of drought.
(SFC, 2/20/03, A9)
2003 Feb 19, In the southern
Philippines suspected separatist rebels attacked Poblacion. They
rounded up some villagers and gunned down 14 people.
2003 Feb 19, In Venezuela the secret police
(DISIP) arrested Carlos Fernandez, head of the largest business
federation, for his role in the general strike.
(SFC, 2/21/03, A10)
2003 Feb 20, Pentagon officials said they
will send over 1,700 US troops to the Philippines over the next few
weeks to fight Muslim extremists.
(SFC, 2/21/03, A1)
2003 Feb 20, Sami Al-Arian, a
University of South Florida engineering professor, and seven other
men were charged with financing a Palestinian terrorist group. Four
of the men face trial; the other four have yet to be arrested. On
Dec 6, 2005, a Florida jury cleared Al-Arian and 3 co-defendants of
(AP, 2/20/04)(SFC, 12/7/05, p.A5)(Econ, 12/10/05,
2003 Feb 20, Former Air Force
Master Sgt. Brian Patrick Regan was convicted in Alexandria, Va., of
offering to sell U.S. intelligence to Iraq and China but acquitted
of attempted spying for Libya. Regan was later sentenced to life
2003 Feb 20, A 17-year-old
Mexican girl mistakenly given a heart and lungs with the wrong blood
type received a second set of organs at Duke University Medical
Center in North Carolina; however, Jesica Santillan suffered brain
damage and died Feb 22.
2003 Feb 20, The Station, a Warwick, Rhode
Island, nightclub erupted in a raging fire during a pyrotechnics
display at a rock concert, 98 people were killed and 200 others
injured. Flammable soundproofing was later blamed. In Feb, 2006, Dan
Biechele, manager of the band, pleaded guilty to 100 counts of
manslaughter in exchange for up to 10 years in prison. He was
sentenced to 4 years in prison. In 2008 Anheuser-Busch and a Rhode
Island beer distributor agreed to pay $21 million to settle lawsuits
brought by survivors of the fire.
(SFC, 2/22/03, A1)(WSJ, 3/3/03, p.A1)(SFC,
2/1/06, p.A3)(SFC, 5/11/06, p.A7)(SFC, 5/24/08, p.A3)
2003 Feb 20, Orville L. Freeman (1919-2003)
former governor of Minnesota (1955-1960) and US agriculture
secretary under Pres. Kennedy and Johnson, died at age 84.
(SFC, 2/22/03, A16)
2003 Feb 20, Maurice Blanchot (95), French
postmodern novelist, died. His novels included "Thomas the Obscure"
(SFC, 3/3/03, p.B6)
2003 Feb 20, Israeli soldiers killed a
Palestinian and carried out house-to-house searches in the West Bank
and divided the Gaza Strip into three parts, restricting the
movement of more than 1 million Palestinians.
2003 Feb 20, In Indian-controlled Kashmir
explosives hidden in snow near a town market of Baramula killed six
2003 Feb 20, In Pakistan a military plane
crashed into a mountainside in a remote northwestern region, killing
all 17 people on board, including the chief of the air force, Mushaf
Ali Mir (57).
2003 Feb 20, Peru replaced
harsh anti-terrorism laws put in place by former Pres. Alberto
Fujimori, and will review the sentences of at least 1,800 people.
2003 Feb 20, In Saudi Arabia a
British defense worker was killed by Saud bin Ali bin Nasser, a
(SFC, 2/21/03, A1)
2003 Feb 20, In Spain police
shut down the daily Egunkaria, a Basque-language newspaper, and
arrested its editor-in-chief and 10 other executives on suspicion of
aiding the armed separatist group ETA.
2003 Feb 21, Michael Jordan
became the first 40-year-old in NBA history to score 40 or more
points, getting 43 in the Washington Wizards' 89-86 win over the New
2003 Feb 21, An explosion
rocked a Mobil oil refinery on the edge of Staten Island and 2
workers were killed.
2003 Feb 21, The owners of The
Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., where 100 people perished
in a fast-moving fire the night before, denied giving the rock band
Great White permission to use fireworks blamed for setting off the
blaze, although the band's singer insisted the use of pyrotechnics
had been approved.
2003 Feb 21, Chief UN inspector
Hans Blix ordered Baghdad to begin destroying dozens of illegal
missiles and their components by March 1.
(AP, 2/22/03)(SFC, 2/22/03, A1)
2003 Feb 21, It was reported
that Iraq had recently begun shipping large quantities of oil
through its Khor al Amaya port.
(WSJ, 2/21/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 21, Israeli troops
killed 2 Islamic militants during separate attempts to attack an
army post and a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip.
2003 Feb 21, In Peru police
arrested a prominent coca farming leader as protests in rural Peru
against the eradication of coca, the base ingredient in cocaine,
moved into their 4th day.
2003 Feb 21, Spain's PM Jose
Maria Aznar arrived in Texas for a meeting with Pres. Bush.
(WSJ, 2/21/03, p.A8)
2003 Feb 22, Pres. Bush told
Spain’s PM Aznar that nations like Mexico, Angola, Chile and
Cameroon must know that the security of the United States is at
stake. Bush threatened nations with retaliation if they did not vote
for a UN resolution backing the Iraq war. A transcript of a meeting
on this day, one month before the US-led invasion of Iraq, was
published in the El Pais daily in 2007.
2003 Feb 22, Jesica Santillan,
the teenager who'd survived a botched heart-lung transplant long
enough to get a second set of donated organs, died two days after
the second transplant at Duke University Medical Center in North
2003 Feb 22, In northern
Afghanistan at least six civilians were killed when factional
fighting broke out between 2 rival warlords in Faryab province.
2003 Feb 22, Afghanistan,
Pakistan and Turkmenistan invited India to join their $3.2-billion
natural gas pipeline project, indicating the plan would not be
economically viable without New Delhi's participation.
2003 Feb 22, Israeli troops
opened fire on a crowd in Nablus after clashes erupted while
soldiers were searching door to door for militants. 2 Palestinians
were killed in the gunfire.
2003 Feb 22, In Rome, Italy,
some 2,000 cat lovers marched in the city's 1st Cat Pride march and
demanded protection for the many, local stray cats.
(SSFC, 2/23/03, A2)
2003 Feb 22, In southern
Pakistan gunmen opened fire inside a Shiite mosque, killing at least
9 worshippers and injuring at least 10 others.
(AP, 2/22/03)(SSFC, 2/23/03, A17)
2003 Feb 23, In the 45th US
Grammy's in NYC Norah Jones won 3 awards as did Bruce Springsteen
for his 9/11-inspired album "The Rising."
(SFC, 2/24/03, p.D1)
2003 Feb 23, Robert K. Merton
(b.1910), writer and sociologist, died. In 1965 he authored “On the
Shoulders of Giants" (OTSOG), wherein he traced the eponymous title,
usually attributed to Isaac Newton, to Bernard of Chartres in about
1130. [see 1159]
2003 Feb 23, In northern Greece
a bus plunged off a highway bridge, killing at least 14 people.
2003 Feb 23, In Iraq Saddam
Hussein met separately with Russian Yevgeny Primakov and former US
attorney gen'l. Ramsay Clark. Clark said Hussein feared that Pres.
Bush had made up his mind to attack and that there was nothing he
could do to prevent it.
(SFC, 2/25/03, A10)
2003 Feb 23, The UN Children's
Fund and Iraqi health teams began a five-day campaign to vaccinate 4
million Iraqi children against polio.
2003 Feb 23, Israeli troops
raided Beit Hanoun in Gaza, blew up five homes of suspected
militants, battled masked gunmen and shot from tank-mounted machine
guns toward dozens of stone throwers. Six Palestinians were killed
and 28 wounded. 2 more Palestinians were killed elsewhere in Gaza.
2003 Feb 23, In Malawi a lion,
who escaped from Kasungu National Park and attacked and killed about
7 people, was shot and killed by game hunters.
2003 Feb 23, The Philippine
government said it will not permit U.S. forces to join Filipino
troops in combat against Muslim extremists.
2003 Feb 24, Seeking U.N.
approval for war against Iraq, the United States, Britain and Spain
submitted a resolution to the Security Council declaring that Saddam
Hussein had missed "the final opportunity" to disarm peacefully and
indicating that he had to face the consequences.
(SFC, 2/25/03, A1)(AP, 2/24/04)
2003 Feb 24, Dan Rather
interviewed Saddam Hussein via satellite and Hussein proposed a live
debate with Pres. Bush. Hussein said he would rather die than leave
his country and that he would not destroy its wealth by setting fire
to its oil wells in the event of a U.S.-led invasion.
(SFC, 2/25/03, A10)(AP, 2/26/03)
2003 Feb 24, Afghanistan's
minister of mines and industry died along with seven other people
when their plane crashed in the Arabian Sea shortly after takeoff
from the southern Pakistan port city of Karachi.
2003 Feb 24, Historian
Christopher Hill (91), a Marxist whose reinterpretation of the 17th
century changed the way Britons regard the English revolution, died.
His books included "The World Turned Upside Down" (1972).
(AP, 2/26/03)(SFC, 2/27/03, A20)
2003 Feb 24, In China accidents
in 3 coal mines killed at least 49 miners and left 10 others
2003 Feb 24, A devastating
earthquake shook western China, killing at least 268 people,
injuring some 2,000 and flattening homes, schools and other
buildings near the Silk Road oasis of Kashgar. The death toll soon
rose to at least 266 people, with another 2,000 injured.
(SFC, 2/26/03, A8)(AP, 2/25/04)
2003 Feb 24, In northeastern
Congo hundreds of civilians were killed and hundreds more were
missing after Congolese rebels allied with the government seized a
key town and launched a two-day campaign of murder, rape, looting
and destruction. In 2009 Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo faced
trial for planning and directing the massacre of more than 200
villagers in Bogoro.
(AP, 3/1/03)(AP, 11/25/09)
2003 Feb 24, Bernard Loiseau
(52), a celebrated French chef whose Cote D'Or restaurant in a small
Burgundy town became a mecca for the world's gourmets, died of
apparent suicide. In 2005 Rudolph Chelminski authored “The
Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine."
(AP, 2/25/03)(SSFC, 6/12/05, p.B5)
2003 Feb 24, In Indonesia a
fire sparked by an explosion caused a small ferry to sink off
northern Sumatra, killing 8 people and leaving 19 others missing.
2003 Feb 24, The UN indicted
former Indonesia military chief Wiranto, 6 generals and an
ex-governor for the bloodbath preceding East Timor independence.
(WSJ, 2/25/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 24, Turkey's Cabinet
agreed to the deployment of tens of thousands of U.S. combat troops
ahead of a possible war in Iraq. The measure is expected to face a
vote in Turkey's parliament Feb 25.
2003 Feb 24, In Zambia former
President Frederick Chiluba (59) was arrested and charged with
stealing from the government while in office. In August Chiluba was
charged with stealing over $40 million during his rule.
(AP, 2/24/03)(WSJ, 8/6/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 25, Chief U.N. weapons
inspector Hans Blix said Iraq was showing new signs of real
cooperation, but President Bush was dismissive, predicting Saddam
Hussein would try to "fool the world one more time."
2003 Feb 25, A US Army Black
Hawk helicopter on night training crashed in the Kuwaiti desert,
killing all four crew members.
2003 Feb 25, In Alabama 4 job
seekers were killed at an employment agency following an argument
over a CD player.
(WSJ, 2/25/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 25, In southwestern
Afghanistan assailants gunned down Habibullah Jan, a district
administrator in Nimroz province, as he left a mosque in Dilaram.
2003 Feb 25, Striking
government workers brought much of Algeria, but not its lucrative
oil fields, to a halt, with no public transport and few flights.
Suspected Islamic extremists fired machine guns at cars at a
roadblock, killing 12 people.
(AP, 2/25/03)(AP, 2/26/03)
2003 Feb 25, In Chile a judge
indicted 2 former commanders of the once feared secret police in the
1974 assassination in Argentina of a former army commander opposed
to then-Pres. Augusto Pinochet. Gen. Manuel Contreras and Brig.
Pedro Espinoza were charged with homicide. 3 others, Gen'ls. Raul
Iturriaga, Jose Zara, and Iturriaga's brother, Jorge, were also
2003 Feb 25, China issued its
first group of long-term residency permits to 46 foreigners, letting
them live in the country for up to five years.
2003 Feb 25, Iraq provided new
information about its weapons and reported the discovery of 2 bombs,
including one possibly filled with a biological agent.
2003 Feb 25, Israeli soldiers
shot and killed a Palestinian teenager in the Gaza Strip, and a
Hamas activist was critically wounded in an explosion in his home.
2003 Feb 25, In Kenya Pres.
Mwai Kibaki ordered the release of 28 death row inmates and commuted
the death sentences of another 195 inmates to life in prison,
following his campaign pledge to reform Kenya's prison system.
2003 Feb 25, In Malaysia a
summit of 116 developing countries suspicious of US military
dominance united behind calls to give Baghdad more time to disarm.
2003 Feb 25, In Mexico a court
upheld the conviction of an Egyptian man, Abdel Latif Sharif,
for one of the first in a series of murders of women in the border
city of Ciudad Juarez, but lowered the man's prison sentence to 20
2003 Feb 25, In Nigeria cars
and buses ground to a halt in Africa's leading oil-producing nation,
gripped by its worst fuel shortage since military rule ended four
years ago. Nigeria, with a population of 120 million people,
consumes 300,000 barrels of crude oil daily. Panic buying followed a
2003 Feb 25, In South Korea Roh
Moo-hyun took power as president.
2003 Feb 26, The National Book
Critics Circle for general nonfiction went to Samantha Power for "A
Problem from Hell: American and the Age of Genocide."
(SFC, 2/27/03, A2)
2003 Feb 26, President Bush,
offering new justification for war in Iraq, told a think tank that
"ending this direct and growing threat" from Saddam Hussein would
pave the way for peace in the Middle East and encourage democracy
throughout the Arab world.
2003 Feb 26, In a victory for
abortion foes, the Supreme Court ruled that federal racketeering and
extortion laws had been wrongly used to try to stop blockades,
harassment and violent protests outside clinics.
2003 Feb 26, NYC chose an airy
spire, designed by Daniel Libeskind, for the site of the former
World Trade Center destroyed on 9/11/2001. The spire would be taller
than any other building in the world at a height of 1,776 feet.
2003 Feb 26, In Washington DC
war protesters tied up phones, fax machines and computers as part of
a "virtual march."
(SFC, 2/27/03, A14)
2003 Feb 26, In Hartford,
Conn., a nursing home fire at the Greenwood Health Center killed 16
residents. A patient charged with setting the blaze was later ruled
incompetent to stand trial.
(SFC, 2/27/03, A5)(AP, 2/26/08)
2003 Feb 26, In Algeria it was
reported that more than 7,000 people were believed missing at the
hands of security forces during the 1990s.
2003 Feb 26, A Colombian army
Black Hawk helicopter carrying 23 crewmembers and elite troops
crashed in the northern mountains. All aboard were feared dead.
2003 Feb 26, Striking Dominica
public workers agreed to end a 6-day strike that slowed air
transportation and mail service, after the government agreed to
review its proposal to cut the work force.
2003 Feb 26, French Prime
Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin warned that waging war against Iraq
now, would split the international community and "be perceived as
precipitous and illegitimate."
2003 Feb 26, In Guatemala
striking teachers seized a pumping station on the nation's only oil
pipeline to press their demands for a hefty wage increase and better
schools. About 60,000 of the country's 80,000 teachers are striking
to demand a near-doubling of salaries that now range from about $190
to $390 per month. They also seek improved school buildings, more
books and better school lunches.
2003 Feb 26, In India a gun
battle, kidnappings, ballot theft and destruction of voting machines
marked polling in two of the four Indian states where new
legislatures were elected.
2003 Feb 26, Israel's PM Ariel
Sharon established a coalition government dominated by fierce
opponents of Palestinian statehood.
2003 Feb 26, South Korea's
parliament approved Goh Kun, a former mayor of Seoul, to become PM
in the newly installed government of Pres. Roh Moo-hyun.
2003 Feb 27, The Bush
administration lowered the terror alert threat to code yellow.
(SFC, 2/28/03, A3)
2003 Feb 27, Fred Rogers (74),
who gently invited millions of children to be his neighbor as host
of the public television show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for more
than 30 years, died of cancer.
(AP, 2/27/03)(SFC, 2/28/03, A1)
2003 Feb 27, Biljana Plavsic,
the former Bosnian Serb leader who expressed remorse for the horrors
committed against non-Serbs during the Bosnian war, was sentenced to
11 years in prison. Later this year she was transferred to Sweden to
serve her sentence.
(AP, 2/27/03)(AP, 9/15/09)
2003 Feb 27, In Cuba America's
top diplomat said that the Castro government had seized some 5,101
books shipped in by the US government.
(SFC, 2/28/03, A13)
2003 Feb 27, In Egypt tens of
thousands gathered for an anti-war demonstration in Cairo.
(SFC, 2/28/03, A20)
2003 Feb 27, Iraq agreed in
principle to destroy its Al Samoud Two missiles, two days before a
2003 Feb 27, In Lithuania
Rolandas Paksas became the country's 3rd president since it gained
independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
2003 Feb 27, Semi-nomadic
fighters attacked a village near Nigeria's remote eastern border
with Cameroon, reportedly leaving dozens of people, including seven
policemen and a soldier, dead. Separately a large dugout canoe
capsized on the Niger River, drowning at least 30 passengers.
2003 Feb 28, The Ninth U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals stood by its ruling that reciting the
Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was unconstitutional because
of the words "under God."
2003 Feb 28, The FDA announced
that every bottle of ephedra would soon bear stern warnings that the
popular herb could cause heart attacks or strokes, even kill.
2003 Feb 28, NASA released
video taken aboard Columbia that had miraculously survived the fiery
destruction of the space shuttle with the loss of all seven
astronauts; in the footage, four of the crew members can be seen
doing routine chores and admiring the view outside the cockpit.
2003 Feb 28, The International
Atomic Energy Agency said it has sent an emergency mission to
Nigeria to help find an undisclosed amount of missing or stolen
2003 Feb 28, In Austria a
conservative-led coalition assumed governing power in Austria backed
by Joerg Haider's anti-immigrant party.
2003 Feb 28, Carnival began in
Brazil as a large crime wave swept Rio. Imprisoned Red Command
leader, Luiz Fernando da Costa, was believed responsible and was
moved to a maximum security prison in San Paolo state.
(SFC, 2/28/03, A16)
2003 Feb 28, Tassos
Papadopoulos took office as the fifth Greek Cypriot president,
pledging to strive for reunification.
2003 Feb 28, Czech lawmakers
elected opposition candidate Vaclav Klaus as president, succeeding
former president and long time rival Vaclav Havel.
2003 Feb 28, Fidel Sanchez
Hernandez (85), former El Salvador President (1967-1972), died. He
directed the so-called 100-hour war, when the Salvadoran army
invaded Honduras in 1969 over a territorial dispute.
2003 Feb 28, Iraq agreed to
begin destroying its Al Samoud 2 missiles within 24 hours.
2003 Feb 28, Ivory Coast-based
mercenary fighters attacked and captured Toe Town on Liberia's
eastern border. Liberia's government considered the assault "highly
provocative" and "tantamount to a declaration of war" by Ivory
2003 Feb, John Brady Kiesling,
US career diplomat in Athens, resigned over the Bush policy towards
(SFC, 3/16/03, p.D4)
2003 Feb, Saddam Hussein
accepted an 11th-hour offer to flee into exile weeks ahead of the
U.S.-led invasion, but Arab League officials scuttled the proposal.
The exile initiative was spearheaded by the late president of the
United Arab Emirates, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, at an
emergency Arab summit held in Egypt. This was not made public until
2005 when Sheik Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the son of Sheik
Zayed, reported it in an interview aired by Al-Arabiya TV.
2003 Feb, War flared up in
Sudan’s northwestern region of Darfur.
(Econ, 1/10/04, p.42)
2003 Feb, Thailand’s PM Thaksin
Shinawatra began a war on drugs aimed primarily at the
methamphetamine market. Some 5% of the population were reported to
be addicts. A 3-month shooting spree left some 2,500 people dead.
(SFC, 5/29/03, p.A7)(Econ, 1/26/08, p.42)
2003 Mar 1, The US Immigration
and Naturalization Service (INS) ceased to exist as it was
incorporated into the Dept. of Homeland Security.
(SFC, 3/1/03, A6)
2003 Mar 1, The US designated 3
rebel groups in Chechnya as terrorist organizations linked to
al-Qaeda and imposed a freeze on their US assets.
(SSFC, 3/2/03, A21)
2003 Mar 1, In Geneva more than
170 nations agreed, despite US objections, on a text for a tobacco
treaty that would impose worldwide restrictions on advertising and
labeling, while clamping down on smuggling and second-hand smoke.
2003 Mar 1, In Brazil a truce
between landless farm workers and President Luiz Inacio Lula da
Silva peace ended, when some 1,000 landless farmers occupied a ranch
80 miles west of Sao Paulo.
2003 Mar 1, Rebels attacked the
motorcade of Chechnya's pro-Moscow leader, Akhmad Kadyrov, killing
four bodyguards and three policemen.
2003 Mar 1, Arab leaders held a
summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The UAR became the 1st Arab
country to call for Saddam Hussein to step down.
(SSFC, 3/2/03, A8)
2003 Mar 1, Iraq destroyed 4 of
over 100 Al Samoud 2 missiles and agreed with the UN on a timetable
to dismantle the rest of the missile program.
(AP, 3/1/03)(SSFC, 3/2/03, A1)
2003 Mar 1, In the Ivory Coast
government helicopter gunships attacked a rebel-held Bin-Houye,
killing 20 civilians and injuring many others.
2003 Mar 1, In Pakistan a joint
raid outside Islamabad by CIA and Pakistani agents led to the arrest
of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (Khaled Sheikh Mohammed), the suspected
mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, along with 2
others. Documents and computer files later revealed that the al
Qaeda biochemical weapons program was well advanced.
(AP, 3/1/03)(SSFC, 3/23/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 1, In Poland the
year-old left-leaning government under PM Leszek Miller collapsed
after an emergency meeting between coalition partners broke down in
a bitter dispute sparked by a new tax plan.
(AP, 3/1/03)(SSFC, 3/2/03, A7)
2003 Mar 1, A small plane
crashed in central Russia, killing 11 people.
2003 Mar 1, In South Korea some
100,000 older people held a pro-US rally in Seoul. Hours later
thousands of young people held an anti-US rally.
(SSFC, 3/2/03, A16)
2003 Mar 1, In central Taiwan a
train filled with tourists on a weekend outing overturned while
descending a mountain, killing 17 people and injuring 102.
2003 Mar 1, Turkey's parliament
failed to approve a bill allowing in American combat troops to open
a northern front against Iraq. Lawmakers voted 264-250 in favor of
stationing US troops but that was 3 votes shy of a constitutionally
mandated simple majority.
(AP, 3/2/03)(AP, 3/1/08)
2003 Mar 1, The United Arab
Emirates called for Saddam Hussein to step down, the first Arab
country to do so publicly.
2003 Mar 2, Fidel Castro
offered to mediate with North Korea over its nuclear program, though
he acknowledged Cuba's ability to stem the growing crisis was
2003 Mar 2, In Estonia a
center-left party depicting itself as a champion of the poor barely
won the popular vote in parliamentary elections, which could make it
difficult to form a coalition government.
2003 Mar 2, Iraq crushed
another six Al Samoud II missiles, as ordered by UN weapons
inspectors. Iraqi scientist Mahmud Faraj Bilal al-Samarrai,
implicated in Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction (WMD),
surrendered to the CIA. He was freed in 2012.
(AP, 3/2/08)(AFP, 4/15/12)
2003 Mar 2, Israeli troops
backed by tanks and helicopters raided a Gaza Strip town, killing
two Palestinians in fierce fighting and demolishing an apartment
building and the exterior wall of a hospital.
2003 Mar 2, Netherlands, the
world's 4th largest poultry exporter, discovered a bird flu in some
its poultry for the 1st time in 30 years.
(WSJ, 3/6/03, p.A11)
2003 Mar 2, In Karachi,
Pakistan, religious coalitions joined tens of thousands of others in
a march to protest a possible U.S.-led war against Iraq.
2003 Mar 2, North Korea
deployed 4 MiGs to intercept a US RC-135S spy plane some 150 miles
off its coast.
(WSJ, 3/4/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 2, Landlocked
Switzerland became the first European country to win the America's
Cup as "Alinghi" swept Team New Zealand in five races.
2003 Mar 2, Syria reportedly
finished pulling 4,000 troops out of Lebanon in an effort to reduce
tensions and keep radical Sunni groups from attacking Israel.
(SSFC, 3/2/03, A6)
2003 Mar 2, In northern Uganda
rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army fighting a 16-year war called a
cease-fire and asked to meet Pres. Yoweri Museveni.
2003 Mar 2, The United Arab
Emirates won support from Kuwait and Bahrain in its call for Saddam
Hussein to quit power to avert a war.
2003 Mar 3, President Bush
offered a rough blueprint for adding drug benefits to Medicare.
2003 Mar 3, Malcolm Kilduff
(75), the White House spokesman who announced to a shocked world the
death of President Kennedy, died in Beattyville, Ky.
2003 Mar 3, Israeli troops
raided a Gaza refugee camp and arrested Hamas co-founder Mohammed
Taha. He founded Hamas in 1987, along with the group's spiritual
leader, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, and three other senior clerics. 8
Palestinians, among them a pregnant woman, were killed in clashes in
2003 Mar 3, In Kenya US
diplomats opened a new embassy in Nairobi, replacing the one
destroyed 4 ½ years ago when terrorists launched attacks.
2003 Mar 3, A Special Court for
Sierra Leone indicted Liberian Pres. Charles Taylor on charges
including murder, rape, sexual slavery, conscripting child soldiers
and terrorizing civilians for his support of rebels during Sierra
Leone civil war. The Indictment was unsealed on June 4, 2003, during
Taylor's first overseas trip since his indictment.
2003 Mar 3, Lawmakers from
Serbia and Montenegro inaugurated their new parliament, formally
replacing Yugoslavia with the new state.
2003 Mar 3, In Tanzania a new
U.S. Embassy opened in Dar Es Salaam, replacing the one destroyed 4
½ years ago when terrorists launched attacks.
2003 Mar 3, In northern
Uganda a military firing squad executed 3 soldiers who had been
convicted of murdering civilians.
2003 Mar 4, It was later
reported that CNN top people found out that the US war on Iraq would
begin Mar 19. The Army's oldest armored division, "Old Ironsides,"
got orders to head for the Persian Gulf as the total of U.S. land,
sea and air forces arrayed against Iraq or preparing to go neared
(SFC, 4/3/03, p.W2)(AP, 3/4/04)
2003 Mar 4, The Bank of Canada
raised its key overnight interest rate to 3 percent from 2.75
percent, as it fretted about a steeper inflation rate.
2003 Mar 4, In the
Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir a bus fell into a deep gorge,
killing at least nine people and injuring 52.
2003 Mar 4, Iran called for
UN-supervised elections in neighboring Iraq and urged the divided
Iraqi opposition to reconcile with Pres. Saddam Hussein as part of a
plan aimed at averting a US-led war on Iraq.
2003 Mar 4, In northern Iraq
Kurdish soldiers killed 5 Muslim men in a possible case of mistaken
(AP, 3/4/03)(SFC, 3/5/03, p.A10)
2003 Mar 4, Israeli troops
killed one Palestinian and wounded another in an shootout at an
Internet cafe in the West Bank.
2003 Mar 4, In the Philippines
a bomb hidden in a backpack exploded at the Davao airport on
Mindanao, killing 21 people and wounding some 150.
(AP, 3/4/03)(SFC, 3/5/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 5, Thousands of US
students nationwide walked out of classes to protest a possible war.
2003 Mar 5, Comedian George
Miller (b.1950) died in Los Angeles.
2003 Mar 5, In Argentina the
Supreme declared unconstitutional a government decree that converted
dollar bank accounts to devalued pesos.
2003 Mar 5, In Armenia Pres.
Robert Kocharian won Armenia's presidential runoff. The opposition
claimed he was trying to fix the outcome. Kocharian had 67.5 percent
and challenger Stepan Demirchian had 32.5 percent,
2003 Mar 5, Sir Hardy Amies
(93), Savile Row designer and self-described snob, died.
(SFC, 3/6/03, p.A19)
2003 Mar 5, Cambodia sealed its
border with Thailand, due to sluggish progress "to normalize
relations in border areas" since January's anti-Thai riots.
2003 Mar 5, In northeastern
Colombia a bomb set off by suspected rebels ripped through a
shopping center in Cucuta, killing 7 people, injuring at least 20
and setting the complex on fire.
2003 Mar 5, The foreign
ministers of France, Germany and Russia said they will block any
attempt to get UN approval for war against Iraq.
2003 Mar 5, In Israel a
Palestinian suicide bombing, the 1st in two months, tore apart a
packed Israeli bus in the port city of Haifa, killing at least 16
people and wounding about 55.
2003 Mar 5, A Kuwaiti policeman
was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the 2002 attack that wounded
two U.S. soldiers on a Kuwaiti desert highway.
2003 Mar 5, In Nigeria
Marshall Harry, a senior member of the main opposition party, was
shot and killed by gunmen who broke into his home in the capital.
2003 Mar 6, President Bush held
a new conference and warned that he was prepared to go to war soon
in Iraq with or without UN backing.
(AP, 3/7/03)(SFC, 3/7/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 6, The United States
ratified a treaty on cutting active U.S. and Russian long-range
nuclear warheads by two-thirds.
2003 Mar 6, Democrats blocked
President Bush's nomination of Miguel Estrada to a federal appeals
2003 Mar 6, An Air Algerie
Boeing 737 jet crashed killing 102 passengers and crew in the
southern Algerian province of Tamanrasset. At least 1 person
(AP, 3/6/03)(SFC, 3/7/03, p.A14)
2003 Mar 6, Britain offered to
compromise on a US-backed resolution by giving Saddam Hussein a
short deadline to prove he has eliminated all banned weapons or face
2003 Mar 6, The Chinese
government committed itself to helping its poorest citizens,
unveiling a new budget aimed at helping the countryside and
maintaining growth. Defense was budgeted a 9.3% rise, the lowest in
14 years, and plans were made to abolish the agency in charge of
(AP, 3/6/03)(SFC, 3/6/03, p.A14)(WSJ, 3/6/03,
2003 Mar 6, The Congolese
government and rebels have agreed in Pretoria to meld their armed
forces into a new national army in a bid to end a 4 ½-year civil war
and reunify the vast central African nation.
2003 Mar 6, Pres. Fidel Castro
was elected a sixth term and he wasted no time in criticizing the
US, warning that Cuba doesn't need its foreign office.
2003 Mar 6, Zdenek Adamec (19)
set himself on fire in downtown Prague on to protest the Czech
political situation and what he called the domination of the wealthy
in the world.
2003 Mar 6, Israeli troops
hunting Islamic militants after a deadly suicide bombing stormed the
Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza in a raid that left 11 Palestinians
dead and 110 wounded.
2003 Mar 6, Italian police
raided a house in Palermo and captured Salvatore Rinella (49),
a top Mafia boss.
2003 Mar 7, Kazem al-Sahir
(41), Iraqi pop singer with over 30 million records sold, scheduled
a benefit concert at the Berkeley Community Theater. His US tour was
set to raise medical and school supplies for Iraqi children.
(SSFC, 3/2/03, A28)(SFC, 3/6/03, p.F1)
2003 Mar 7, The US and its
allies moved to set March 17 as the final deadline for Saddam
Hussein to prove he has given up his weapons of mass destruction.
(AP, 3/8/03)(SFC, 3/8/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 7, Pres. Bush invoked
economic sanctions against Pres. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and
dozens of officials of his government on grounds they undermined the
country's democratic institutions.
2003 Mar 7, The US Labor Dept.
reported that US jobs fell 308,000 in Feb.
(SFC, 3/8/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 7, Virtually every
musical on Broadway shut down as musicians went on strike, and
actors and stagehands said they wouldn't cross their picket lines;
the walkout lasted four days.
(SFC, 3/8/03, p.A3) (AP, 3/7/04)
2003 Mar 7, Jose Marcio Ayres
(49), Brazilian biologist and senior Wildlife Conservation Society
(WCS) biologist, died in NYC. In 1996 he set up the Mamiraua
Sustainable Development Reserve to protect a 4,300 square-mile area
of the Amazon rain forest.
(Econ, 6/19/04, p.77)
2003 Mar 7, International
officials froze assets linked to top Bosnian-Serb war crimes
fugitive Radovan Karadzic. A panel of Bosnian and int'l. judges
ordered Bosnia's Serb Republic to pay $2.25 million in compensation
for the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica.
(AP, 3/7/03)(SFC, 3/8/03, p.A7)
2003 Mar 7, In Bulgaria Ilya
Pavlov, owner of the energy and tourism-related company Multigroup
and Bulgaria's richest man, was killed by a sniper in Sofia. Pavlov,
a former wrestler, was instrumental in the demise of the Kremikovtzi
2003 Mar 7, Heavy snow set off
avalanches along the cease-fire line dividing Kashmir between India
and Pakistan, killing at least 17 people, mostly soldiers, and
2003 Mar 7, Nai Shwe Kyin (90),
a veteran guerrilla leader from Myanmar's Mon ethnic minority, died.
He founded the Mon Freedom League in 1947. He also helped found the
Mon People's Front in 1952 and the New Mon State Party in 1958. The
party signed a cease-fire agreement with Myanmar's military
government in 1995.
2003 Mar 7, In Nigeria the
"Oba," or king, of Lagos Island, Adeyinka Oyekan II (92), died.
Ritual human sacrifice was feared and a week of mourning left
2003 Mar 7, Pakistan's
Baluchistan provincial home minister said that two sons of
Osama bin Laden, Saad and Hamza bin Laden, were arrested in
southwestern Afghanistan. The report was later proved false.
2003 Mar 7, Mohamed ElBaradei,
UN chief nuclear weapons inspector, expressed frustration at the
quality of US information on Iraqi weapons and charged that some
documents may have been faked.
(SFC, 3/8/03, p.A11)
2003 Mar 8, Michael Moore won
best original screenplay for "Bowling for Columbine" in the 55th
annual Writer's Guild Awards.
(SFC, 3/10/03, p.D2)
2003 Mar 8, Former US president
and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter condemned preparations for
a unilateral US attack on Iraq.
2003 Mar 8, Thousands of US
women staged "Code Pink" marches against a possible war with Iraq.
Some 4,000 marched near the White House.
(SSFC, 3/9/03, p.A3)
2003 Mar 8, Elliot Jaques (86),
psychoanalyst, died. He coined the term mid-life crises and adopted
hierarchies that reflected employees' ability to handle long-range
(SFC, 1/21/02, p.A21)
2003 Mar 8, The first Afghan
radio station programmed solely for women began broadcasting in
Kabul. Daily broadcasts will increase to 2 hours next week and up to
4 hours in several months.
2003 Mar 8, An Argentine
judge asked Interpol to arrest four Iranian diplomats, accusing them
of responsibility in a deadly terrorist attack that destroyed a
Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994.
2003 Mar 8, In Romania 5 Iraqi
diplomats were expelled for "activities incompatible with their
status." Last week the US expelled two U.N.-based Iraqi
diplomats and identified 300 Iraqis in 60 countries, some operating
as diplomats out of Iraqi embassies, whom it wanted expelled.
2003 Mar 8, In the Czech
Republic a bus accident near Ceske Budejovice left 17 dead. 2 more
people soon died from injuries sustained in the crash.
2003 Mar 8, In India separatist
rebels in northeastern Assam state shot and killed three laborers,
ignited a huge fire by launching mortars at an oil refinery and used
explosives to damage a pipeline.
2003 Mar 8, Interpol reissued
an international arrest warrant charging former Peru President
Alberto Fujimori with murder after receiving additional information
from the government.
2003 Mar 8, Iraq resumed the
destruction of banned Al Samoud 2 missiles after taking a day off
and called on the UN to lift sanctions after arms inspectors gave a
positive assessment of Baghdad's cooperation. Iraq also demanded
that the UN strip Israel of weapons of mass destruction, require
withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territory and that the UN brand
the US and Britain as liars.
(AP, 3/8/03)(SSFC, 3/9/03, p.A8)
2003 Mar 8, An Israeli
helicopter missile strike killed Ibrahim Makadmeh (51), the top
commander of Hamas' military wing and three other militants in a car
in the Gaza Strip. Hamas vowed revenge; the Israeli army promised to
strike the militants again.
(AP, 3/8/03)(AP, 3/8/08)
2003 Mar 8, Malta became the
first of 10 countries to vote on whether to join the European Union,
which is luring new members with a $40 billion aid package. The
referendum was approved 53.65 to 46.35%.
(AP, 3/8/03)(SFC, 3/10/03, p.A3)
2003 Mar 8, The presidents of
Peru and Ecuador inaugurated a bridge connecting the two nations.
The $1.8-million bridge spans the Canchis River near the Peruvian
town of Namballe, 500 miles northeast of Lima.
2003 Mar 9, Bill Clinton and
Bob Dole made their debut as 2-minute TV commentators on 60 Minutes.
Their 1st topic was "tax cuts in times of war."
(WSJ, 3/7/03, p.A1)(NW, 3/17/03, p.45)
2003 Mar 9, Renee Zellwegger,
lead actress in "Chicago," won the top Screen Actors Guild Award
along with Daniel Day-Lewis, for his role in "Gangs of New York."
(SFC, 3/10/03, p.A2)
2003 Mar 9, In Chechnya 2
Russian armored personnel carriers opened fire in Staraya Sunzha,
killing 2 policemen.
2003 Mar 9, In southern India a
van driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a bus,
killing 17 people and injuring 13 others.
2003 Mar 9, Nauru's Pres.
Bernard Dowiyogo (57), known as a pragmatic leader of the
environmentally devastated South Pacific island, died in Washington
DC. He signed an executive order as he lay dying, at the behest of
US officials, ending the Nauru offshore banking system and its
(AP, 3/10/03)(WSJ, 5/16/03, p.A4)
2003 Mar 9, In Rawalpindi,
Pakistan, hundreds of thousands of people protested a possible US
war with Iraq.
(SFC, 3/10/03, p.A11)
2003 Mar 9, Recep Tayyip
Erdogan, the leader of Turkey's ruling party, won a by-election. He
was soon confirmed as PM replacing Abdullah Gul.
(AP, 3/9/03)(WSJ, 3/12/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 9, In Venezuela Pres.
Hugo Chavez claimed an international campaign involving the US was
trying to discredit his government and he warned other countries not
to be fooled by the so-called smear tactics.
2003 Mar 10, Facing almost
certain defeat, the United States and Britain delayed a vote in the
U.N. Security Council to give Saddam Hussein an ultimatum to disarm.
2003 Mar 10, Natalie Maines,
lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, told a London audience: "Just so
you know ... we're ashamed the president of the United States is
2003 Mar 10, In NYC 2
undercover police officers were killed during an undercover gun buy
on Staten Island. 3 people were arrested the next day. Ronell Wilson
climbed into the back seat of an unmarked police car on the pretense
of selling an illegal gun. He shot officers Rodney Andrews and James
Nemorin in the head. In 2007 Wilson (24) was convicted and sentenced
to death. Wilson was one of seven people arrested in his case; the
other six pleaded guilty to various charges.
(SFC, 3/12/03, p.A6)(AP, 1/31/07)
2003 Mar 10, In Brownsville,
Texas, a woman and her common-law husband killed and beheaded their
3 children, ages 3 years to 2 months.
(SFC, 3/13/03, p.A6)
2003 Mar 10, Carolyn Doty
(b.1941), novelist and prof. of English at U. of Kansas, died. Her 4
novels included "A Day Later" (1980). "She managed to peer into
corners of human behavior that others overlooked."
(SFC, 3/29/03, p.A12)
2003 Mar 10, The European Union
opened a new office in Cuba.
2003 Mar 10, Two helicopters
from Mexico's Attorney General's office were shot down near Tlapa,
Guerrero, in the nation's western mountains during an anti-narcotics
operation, killing all 5 officials on board.
2003 Mar 10, The Palestinian
parliament approved the new position of PM as part of reforms sought
by the US, Europe and Israel to curb Yasser Arafat’s near absolute
powers. Mahmoud Abbas became PM without control of the security
forces or peace talks. Abbas had a doctorate in history and his
books included "The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between
Nazism and the Zionist Movement."
(AP, 3/10/03)(WSJ, 3/11/03, p.A1)(SSFC, 7/13/03,
2003 Mar 10, In the southern
Philippines suspected Muslim separatist rebels seized a bus, and two
people were killed before the gunmen escaped.
2003 Mar 10, Russian Foreign
Minister Igor Ivanov warned the Kremlin would vote against the US
and British resolution that gives Saddam Hussein a March 17 deadline
2003 Mar 10, In Sierra Leone
Foday Sankoh, a former rebel leader whose followers were known for
mutilating civilians, was indicted along with 6 others by Sierra
Leone’s war crimes tribunal. Sam Bockerie was among the indicted.
(AP, 3/11/03)(SFC, 5/7/03, p.A11)
2003 Mar 10, The Sri Lankan
navy exchanged fire with a Tamil Tiger boat off the northern coast,
sinking the rebel vessel and likely killing all 10 on board.
2003 Mar 11, Striking Broadway
musicians settled a contract dispute with theater producers to end a
walkout that shut had down 18 musicals since Mar 7, agreeing to a
smaller number of musicians in the largest theaters.
2003 Mar 11, The DJIA fell 44
to 7524, the lowest level of the year, on war concerns and bad
(WSJ, 1/2/04, p.R8)
2003 Mar 11, California
scientists reported that polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a
family of flame retardants, were found in elevated amounts in the
breasts of Bay Area women.
(SFC, 3/12/03, p.A4)
2003 Mar 11, Benetton, an
Italian retailer, said it planned to attach salt-grain sized
microchip transmitters to clothing at its 5,000 stores.
(SFC, 3/12/03, p.B1)
2003 Mar 11, A US Army Black
Hawk helicopter crashed in Fort Drum, NY, and 11 of 13 soldiers were
(SFC, 3/12/03, p.A5)
2003 Mar 11, Kofi Annan said
military action against Iraq without support of the UN security
council would be out of conformity with the UN charter. The US and
Britain considered a short extension past March 17, but rejected a
45-day deadline backed by 6 council members.
(SFC, 3/11/03, p.A1)(SFC, 3/12/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 11, The 18-judge world
court was inaugurated at the Hague. It had been approved Jul 17,
1998, by the Rome Treaty.
(SFC, 3/12/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 11, A top Australian
intelligence adviser resigned to protest the government's hard-line
policy on Iraq. Andrew Wilkie, one of its senior intelligence
analysts argued that, based on U.S. and other intelligence
information he has seen, there is currently no justification for a
war on Iraq.
2003 Mar 11, Talks to unify the
divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus collapsed after rival Greek
and Turkish leaders failed to agree on a UN power-sharing agreement.
2003 Mar 11, Iraq destroyed
more Al Samoud 2 missiles raising the total destroyed to 52 of some
2003 Mar 11, Israeli troops
fired a tank shell at a 3-story apartment building, then razed it,
killing a Palestinian gunman who several hours earlier had attacked
an Israeli army patrol.
2003 Mar 11, Russian Pres.
Vladimir Putin bolstered the clout of the Federal Security Service
(FSB) by giving it control over the country's border guards and
2003 Mar 11, In Turkey Recep
Erdogan was confirmed as the prime minister.
(WSJ, 3/12/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 12, Elizabeth Smart,
the 15-year-old girl who'd vanished from her bedroom nine months
earlier, was found alive in a Salt Lake City suburb with two
2003 Mar 12, In Iowa David
England, president of Des Moines Area Community College, was
arrested along with his wife, son and daughter for conspiracy to
manufacture and deliver marijuana.
(SSFC, 3/23/03, p.C4)
2003 Mar 12, Howard Fast
(b.1914), historical fiction author, died in Old. Greenwich, Conn.
His books included "Citizen Tom Paine" (1943), "Freedom Road"
(1944), "Spartacus" (1953) and "The Naked God" (1957).
(SFC, 3/13/03, p.A21)
2003 Mar 12, Lynne Thigpen
(54), actress, died in Los Angeles.
2003 Mar 12, In Afghanistan an
ambush on a US convoy prompted aircraft fire that killed 5 enemy
(SFC, 3/14/03, p.A9)
2003 Mar 12, Britain proposed
compromise language giving Saddam Hussein until Mar 17 to take 6
concrete disarmament steps.
(WSJ, 3/13/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 12, It was reported
that the Congo Ebola outbreak was decimating the gorilla population
with up to 800 lost at the Lossi sanctuary. The ape population of
west equatorial Africa had fallen 50% since 1983 due to hunting and
(WSJ, 3/12/03, p.A1)(WSJ, 4/7/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 12, In Nigeria tribal
fighting began between the Ijaw and Itsekiri.
(SFC, 3/21/03, p.A9)
2003 Mar 12, Serbia’s PM Zoran
Djindjic was assassinated in Belgrade. A group called "The Hague
Brotherhood" was later implicated along with the paramilitary
group Unit for Special Operations. In 2007 Vladimir Milisavljevic
was convicted and sentenced in absentia in Serbia to 35 years for
his involvement in the assassination. On Feb 9, 2012, Spanish police
arrested three men, including Milisavljevic, who had been a fugitive
for five years after being convicted for the assassination of PM
(SFC, 4/9/03, p.A7)(AP, 2/10/12)
2003 Mar 13, Forced into a
diplomatic retreat, U.S. officials said President Bush might delay a
vote on his troubled United Nations resolution or even drop it, and
fight Iraq without the international body's backing.
2003 Mar 13, The Senate voted
64-33 to ban a procedure that critics called partial birth abortion.
2003 Mar 13, In Alaska Robert
Sorlie of Norway won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race in nine days,
15 hours, 47 minutes.
2003 Mar 13, Israeli soldiers
mistakenly killed 2 Israeli security guards.
(SFC, 3/14/03, p.A13)
2003 Mar 13, Nepal and Maoist
rebels agreed to release all prisoners of war and set guidelines for
(WSJ, 3/14/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 13, The UN Human
Rights chief excoriated the US Guantanamo policy. He said the world
shouldn't have territory "where no law applies."
(WSJ, 3/14/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 14, Pres. Bush
promised to reveal a US "road map" to Middle East peace. It was
contingent on the confirmation of a Palestinian prime minister with
(SFC, 3/15/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 14, Police arrested 80
anti-war protesters in the SF financial district. They included
Warren Langley, former head of the Pacific Exchange.
(SFC, 3/15/03, p.A13)
2003 Mar 14, Actor Robert Blake
was released from jail on $1.5 million bail, 11 months after he was
arrested on charges of murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. Blake
was later acquitted at trial.
2003 Mar 14, Christopher Boyce,
whose Cold War spying was immortalized on film in "The Falcon and
the Snowman," was released from a halfway house in San Francisco
after about a quarter-century in prison.
2003 Mar 14, Amanda Davis (32),
writing professor at Mills College in Oakland, Ca., was killed in a
small plane crash near Ashville, NC, along with her parents. She was
on a book signing tour for her novel "Wonder When You'll Miss Me."
(SFC, 3/19/03, p.D4)
2003 Mar 14, Jean-Luc Lagardere
(b.1928), French engineer and founder of the Lagardere Group, died.
In 1999 the group, among the largest of French enterprises, acquired
31.5% of Aerospatiale.
2003 Mar 14, Hannah Foster (17)
was raped and murdered near Southampton, England. Maninder Pal Singh
Kohli fled Britain days after being named as a suspect. In 2007 a
New Delhi court ruled that Kohli (39) should face trial in Britain
for the 2003 rape and murder, in a long-awaited verdict on the
drawn-out extradition wrangle.
2003 Mar 14, Chancellor Gerhard
Schroeder gave a speech before the German Bundestag outlining the
proposed plans for reform. He pointed out three main areas which the
agenda would focus on: the economy, the system of social security,
and Germany's position on the world market. The agenda came to be
called Agenda 2010, a reference to the Lisbon Strategy's 2010
2003 Mar 14, In Matamoros,
Mexico, police arrested drug lord Osiel Cardenas Guillen (35), aka
(SFC, 3/15/03, p.A7)
2003 Mar 15, Many thousands of
anti-war demonstrators marched in SF, Washington DC and around the
world against plans for a war with Iraq.
(SFC, 3/16/03, p.A1)(AP, 3/15/08)
2003 Mar 15, In Chechnya 6
Russian soldiers were killed by rebel fire and mines. Attackers
destroyed 2 polling stations ahead of the Mar 23 constitutional
(SFC, 3/17/03, p.A4)
2003 Mar 15, Hu Jintao was
chosen to replace Jiang Zemin as the president of China.
2003 Mar 15, In Pakistan
authorities near Lahore arrested Yassir al-Jaziri, a suspected key
(SFC, 3/16/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 16, Pres. Bush met
with PM Tony Blair and Spain's PM Jose Maria Aznar in the Azores and
made it clear they were ready to go to war with or without UN
endorsement. Bush said "Tomorrow is a moment of truth for the
(SFC, 3/17/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 16, In China Wen
Jiaboa (60) replaced Zhu Rongji as premier.
(SFC, 3/16/03, p.A16)
2003 Mar 16, Iraqi leader
Saddam Hussein warned that if Iraq were attacked, it would take the
war anywhere in the world "wherever there is sky, land or water."
2003 Mar 16, In the Gaza Strip
Rachel Corrie (23) of Washington State was crushed to death by and
Israeli Army bulldozer as she tried to block the demolition of
Palestinian homes. On Aug 28, 2012, an Israeli court cleared the
military of any responsibility for her death.
(SFC, 3/17/03, p.A1)(AFP, 8/28/12)
2003 Mar 17, Pres. Bush gave
Saddam Hussein 48 hours to go into exile or face military onslaught.
(SFC, 3/19/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 17, Berlin Plus
agreement, a short title for a comprehensive package of agreements
between NATO and EU, was based on conclusions of the NATO
2003 Mar 17, In Washington,
D.C., tobacco farmer Dwight Ware Watson, claiming to be carrying
bombs, drove a tractor and trailer into a pond on the National Mall;
the threat disrupted traffic for two days until Watson surrendered;
there were no bombs.
2003 Mar 17, Herbert Aptheker
(87), historian, died. His work included a multi-volume "Documentary
History of the Negro People," and the editing of 3 volumes of
letters from W.E.B. DuBois.
(SFC, 3/21/03, p.A21)
2003 Mar 17, Pen Hadow, 41,
began a 478-mile trek from Ward Hunt Island in northern Canada to
the geographic North Pole. He reached the Pole unsupported on May
19, but a plane has been unable to retrieve him because of broken
ice and thick clouds.
2003 Mar 17, Chinese police
found 28 baby girls hidden in suitcases aboard a long-distance bus
in southern Guangxi, apparently being smuggled for sale. Police
later arrested 10 people involved in the scheme.
(AP, 3/22/03)(WSJ, 3/24/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 17, In Soro, Denmark,
Nizar Al-Khazraji (65), former Iraqi general, disappeared.
(WSJ, 4/9/03, p.A1)(SFC, 4/16/03, p.A11)
2003 Mar 17, Iraq rejected
Bush's ultimatum, saying that a U.S. attack to force Saddam from
power would be "a grave mistake."
2003 Mar 17, Israeli forces
invaded 2 communities in the Gaza Strip and gun battles left 10
Palestinians dead including a 4-yer-old girl.
(SFC, 3/18/03, p.AA6)
2003 Mar 17, In the Netherlands
a law went into effect that allowed pharmacies to fill prescriptions
(SFC, 3/18/03, p.A8)
2003 Mar 17, In Nigeria ethnic
clashes left 8 people dead, including an employee of ChevronTexaco.
2003 Mar 17-May 25, Iraq was
scheduled to take over as chairman of the UN disarmament
organization, but declined the position.
(SSFC, 2/9/03, p.A16)
2003 Mar 18, The US mounted
"Operation Liberty Shield" to detain asylum seekers from suspect
(WSJ, 3/19/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 18, A jury in Corpus
Christi, Texas, cleared Bayer Corp. of liability in a $560 million
lawsuit that accused the pharmaceutical giant of ignoring research
linking the cholesterol-lowering drug Baycol to dozens of deaths.
2003 Mar 18, In Salt Lake City,
Brian Mitchell and Wanda Barzee were charged with aggravated
kidnapping, sexual assault and burglary in the abduction of
Elizabeth Ann Smart, who was found with them six days earlier.
2003 Mar 18, Olympic gold medal
figure skater Sarah Hughes won the Sullivan Award as the nation's
top amateur athlete.
2003 Mar 18, A major snowstorm
hit Colorado and Wyoming with over 3-6 feet of snow. The Denver
Airport closed under the worst storm in 90 years.
(SFC, 3/19/03, p.A3)(WSJ, 3/20/03, p.A1)(SSFC,
2003 Mar 18, In Australia
PM John Howard said his government would commit 2,000 military
personnel to any U.S.-led strike aimed at disarming Iraq.
2003 Mar 18, In Colombia gunmen
killed Luis Eduardo Alfonso Parada (27), print and radio journalist,
outside his office in the eastern state of Arauca. Alfonso had
reported on alleged corruption in Arauca and said he was receiving
death threats. On Dec 30, 2009, prosecutors ordered the preventative
detention of Jose Ruben Pena Tobon, a paramilitary commander of the
right-wing paramilitary bloc that killed Alfonso.
(AP, 3/19/03)(AP, 12/30/09)
2003 Mar 18, Congo leaders
signed a cease-fire with tribal militias and local chiefs in
2003 Mar 18, Some $900 million
in US bills and as much as 100 million in euros was taken from
Iraq's Central Bank by Saddam Hussein and his family. The New York
Times reported on May 5 that Saddam ordered the money taken from the
Central Bank and sent his son Qusai in the middle of the night. This
became the largest cash theft in recent history.
(AP, 5/6/03)(AP, 2/28/06)
2003 Mar 18, Israeli forces
killed 2 Hamas militants in West Bank clashes. One Israeli solder
(SFC, 3/19/03, p.A6)(WSJ, 3/19/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 18, The Palestinian
parliament established the post of prime minister. It gave Mahmoud
Abbas (Abu Mazen), the new PM, control of domestic affairs and
internal security issues.
(SFC, 3/19/03, p.A3)
2003 Mar 18, In Serbia the
parliament elected Zoran Zivkovic to replace assassinated PM Zoran
Djindjic. Zivkovic promised to continue reforms, fight crime and
bring war crimes suspects to justice.
(SFC, 3/19/03, p.A7)
2003 Mar 18, In Yemen a man
shot 4 Hunt Oil company workers. He killed 3 and shot himself dead.
(SFC, 3/19/03, p.A5)
2003 Mar 18-19, In Zimbabwe a
2-day national strike, called to protest the increasingly
authoritarian government, shut down businesses and disrupted
transportation services across the country.
2003 Mar 19, President Bush
ordered the start of war against Iraq. Because of the time
difference, it was early March 20 in Iraq. Operation Iraqi Freedom
began with a few US targeted strikes in Baghdad against Saddam
Hussein, targeting him personally with a barrage of cruise missiles
and bombs as a prelude to invasion. Iraq responded hours later,
firing missiles toward American troops positioned just across its
border with Kuwait. The codename for the invasion of Iraq was Cobra
II. In 2006 Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor authored “Cobra II:
The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq.
(SSFC, 3/30/03, p.W12)(AP, 3/19/04)(Econ, 4/8/06,
2003 Mar 19, Tobacco farmer
Dwight Ware Watson, who'd claimed to be carrying bombs in a tractor
and trailer that he'd driven into a pond on Washington's National
Mall, surrendered after disrupting traffic for two days; there were
2003 Mar 19, Holmes Rolston III
(70), philosopher, clergyman and scientist, was awarded the
Templeton Prize for his work on faith-based environmental ethics.
(SFC, 3/20/03, p.A11)
2003 Mar 19, The SEC filed a
civil suit claiming that HealthSouth Corp. and its chairman Richard
M. Scrushy had committed massive accounting fraud to overstate
earnings by some $1.4 billion since 1999. Weston Smith, the former
finance chief, later pleaded guilty to 4 charges. HealthSouth
fired Scrushy as chairman and CEO. He was indicted in November.
(WSJ, 5/20/03, p.A1)(WSJ, 1/2/04, p.R8)(WSJ,
2003 Mar 19, A Cuban airliner
was hijacked to Key West. 6 hijackers took control of the plane
without telling the 25 passengers and six crew members about their
asylum plans. The six were later convicted of federal hijacking
(SFC, 3/20/03, p.A15)(AP, 3/19/04)
2003 Mar 19, Mudslides in a
city in Colombia's mountainous coffee-growing region left at least
11 people dead and destroyed dozens of houses.
2003 Mar 19, In northeastern
Congo 22 people were hacked to death.
2003 Mar 19, Doctors in Hong
Kong reportedly identified the deadly pneumonia virus as belonging
to the paramyxoviridae family. The severe acute respiratory illness
(SARS) had killed at least 11 people and left hundreds ill. The
outbreak is believed to have began in southern China in November.
Later reports held that it could be a coronavirus, part of a group
that cause the common cold.
(SFC, 3/15/03, p.A8)(SFC, 1/19/02, p.A4)(WSJ,
2003 Mar 19, It was reported
that Iraq had some 10 million land mines.
(WSJ, 3/19/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 19, Boatloads of
Nigerian troops headed into the oil-rich Niger Delta on to put down
days of ethnic violence that has left dozens dead and disrupted
multinational oil operations.
(AP, 3/20/03)(SFC, 3/21/03, p.A9)
2003 Mar 19, EU officials found
electronic bugs in a building in Brussels where a summit was set to
open the next day. Belgian police suspected the US.
(WSJ, 3/20/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 19, In Palestine
Mahmoud Abbas accepted the new post of prime minister.
(SFC, 3/20/03, p.A13)
2003 Mar 19, Serbian lawmakers
forced 35 judges into retirement for failing to prosecute underworld
(SFC, 3/20/03, p.A15)
2003 Mar 19, PM Tayyip Erdogan
said Turkey was preparing to open its airspace to US warplanes but
would not allow them access to airbases.
2003 Mar 20, The SF Asian
Museum opened in the renovated former SF main Library. The makeover
was designed by Italian architect Gae Aulenti (1928-2012). She was
also known for the 1986 makeover of a Parisian train station into
the Musee D’Orsay.
(SFC, 3/21/03, p.A3)(SSFC, 11/4/12, p.C12)
2003 Mar 20, Tornadoes hit
rural Georgia and 6 people were killed.
(SFC, 3/21/03, p.A7)
2003 Mar 20, Texas executed its
300th inmate since restoring the death penalty in 1982.
(WSJ, 3/21/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 20, Some 600 US and
Romanian ground troops in Afghanistan began Operation Valiant
Strike, an intensified search for Taliban, al Qaeda and loyalists to
(SSFC, 3/23/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 20, In the Central
African Republic Gen. Francois Bozizea asked his fighters to hand
over their weapons to troops from neighboring Chad, prompting the
insurgents to accuse their leader of betraying them.
2003 Mar 20, China demanded
that military action against Iraq stop immediately and said the
initial attack was "violating the norms of international behavior."
2003 Mar 20, Fidel Castro's
agents arrested some of the government's leading critics in a
crackdown on dissidents accused of working with US diplomats to
undermine Cuba's socialist system. Jail sentences of over 20 years
were later imposed on 75 of the dissidents.
(AP, 3/21/03)(Econ, 1/4/14, p.11)
2003 Mar 20, The Czech Interior
Ministry published a list of some 75,000 people identified as agents
of the former communist secret police, the STB.
2003 Mar 20, Operation Iraqi
Freedom began with a few targeted strikes in Baghdad against Saddam
Hussein, targeting him personally with a barrage of cruise missiles
and bombs as a prelude to invasion. Iraq responded hours later,
firing missiles toward American troops positioned just across its
border with Kuwait. US Sec. of State Rumsfeld warned that the attack
in Iraq would be "of a force and scope and scale that is beyond what
has been seen before." A "shock and awe" strategy was planned based
on a 1996 "rapid dominance" strategy. The US seized $1.74 billion in
frozen Iraqi assets and declared it would be used for humanitarian
purposes. Saddam Hussein appeared on state-run television accusing
the United States of a "shameful crime" and urging his people to
"draw your sword" against the invaders. Iraq set fire to at least 10
(SFC, 3/20/03, p.W1)(SFC, 3/21/03,
p.W11)(WSJ, 3/21/03, p.A1)(AP, 3/20/04)
2003 Mar 20, Hundreds of
thousands of people marched on American embassies in world capitals
to protest the war against Iraq.
2003 Mar 20, Norwegian police
arrested Mullah Krekar, the leader of a Kurdish guerrilla group
suspected of links to al-Qaida, on kidnapping charges. After
settling in Norway in 1991, Krekar founded the Kurdish Ansar
al-Islam during visits to Iraq.
(AP, 3/20/03)(AP, 2/14/12)
2003 Mar 20, The Palestinian
Authority broke up a Hamas training session and a firefight followed
that killed one militant.
(SFC, 3/21/03, p.A15)
2003 Mar 20, In Serbia nearly
1,000 people were arrested in a crackdown on criminal groups
following the assassination of Serbian PM Zoran Djindjic.
2003 Mar 20, A suspected Tamil
Tiger rebel boat attacked and sank a vessel carrying Chinese
fishermen off eastern Sri Lanka, killing 17 people on board.
2003 Mar 20, Turkey's
parliament approved a motion allowing over-flights for US warplanes.
Turkey announced plans to send thousands of troops into
Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.
2003 Mar 20, UN Sec. Gen'l.
Kofi Annan asked to be put in charge of a humanitarian program to
(SFC, 3/21/03, p.W14)
2003 Mar 20-Apr 9, At least
1,700 Iraqi civilians were killed and over 8,000 injured in the
battle for Baghdad.
(SSFC, 5/18/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 21, The House approved
a $2.2 trillion budget embracing President Bush's tax-cutting plan.
2003 Mar 21, A young man from
LA visiting Las Vegas hit pay dirt, a world record $39 million on a
2003 Mar 21, A CH-46 Sea Knight
helicopter crashed in Kuwait and killed 12 British and 4 US
soldiers. US Marines captured the strategic port in the southern
Iraqi city of Umm Qasr.
2003 Mar 21, In the 3rd day of
Operation Iraqi Freedom the "shock and awe" air campaign began. 2
days of US air attacks killed 4 civilians in Baghdad and left some
(SSFC, 3/23/03, p.W10)(SSFC, 3/30/03, p.W12)
2003 Mar 21, North Korea
condemned the US-led war on Iraq and said American war games in
South Korea were pushing the divided peninsula "to the brink of a
2003 Mar 21, A South African
commission that investigated the crimes of the era recommended
that the government pay compensation totaling $348 million to more
than 21,000 victims of apartheid-era abuses.
2003 Mar 21, In Yemen police
clashed with anti-war demonstrators trying to storm the US Embassy,
leaving a policeman and protester dead.
2003 Mar 22, Many thousands of
people marched in cities around the world or demonstrated outside
U.S. military bases, but the demonstrations were far smaller than
2003 Mar 22, U.S. forces
reported seizing a large weapons cache in Afghanistan.
2003 Mar 22, Scientists believe
they have found the virus responsible for the mystery SARS virus and
announced a test to diagnose it.
2003 Mar 22, In the 4th day of
Operation Iraqi Freedom intermittent explosions were heard
throughout the day in Baghdad and by late afternoon at least 12 huge
columns of smoke could be seen rising from all along the southern
horizon of the city. US and British forces reached half way to
Baghdad and British forces were left surrounding Basra.
(AP, 3/22/03)(SSFC, 3/23/03, p.W1)
2003 Mar 22, A 4-man ITN TV
crew drove into a war zone near Az Zubayr, Iraq, and reporter Terry
Lloyd (50) was killed. 2 men went missing and one escaped.
(WSJ, 5/2/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 22, Two British Royal
Navy helicopters collided over the Persian Gulf, killing all 7 on
board including a US Navy officer.
2003 Mar 22, Burundi's
hard-line Hutu rebel group expressed satisfaction with its first
round of peace talks in Switzerland.
2003 Mar 22, Dozens of Chechen
rebels surrendered their weapons in a ceremony apparently designed
to promote harmony on the eve of a constitutional referendum.
2003 Mar 22, A gas explosion
killed 28 people and trapped 45 others in a coal mine in northern
2003 Mar 22, In eastern Congo
an overloaded ferry traveling between rebel-held ports sank in Lake
Tanganyika, killing 111 people. It was sailing in Burundian waters
to avoid rival tribal fighters.
2003 Mar 22, Thousands of angry
protesters from Japan to Greece marched Saturday against the US-led
war in Iraq.
2003 Mar 22, Sgt. Hasan Akbar,
a US soldier, threw grenades into 3 tents at Camp Pennsylvania, a
101st Airborne command center in Kuwait, killing one fellow
serviceman and wounding 13. In 2005 Akbar was convicted of
premeditated and attempted murder. On April 28, 2005, Akbar was
sentenced to death.
(AP, 3/23/03)(SFC, 4/22/05, p.A13)(SFC, 4/29/05,
2003 Mar 22, In Nigeria ethnic
militants threatened to blow up 11 multinational oil installations
they claimed to have captured in retaliation for military raids.
2003 Mar 23, In the 75th annual
Academy Awards "Chicago" won for Best Picture, Roman Polanski for
best director (The Pianist), Adrien Brody for best actor (The
Pianist), Nicole Kidman for best actress (The Hours), Chris Cooper
for best-supporting actor (Adaptation), and Catherine Zeta-Jones for
best supporting actress (Chicago).
(SFC, 3/24/03, p.C5)
2003 Mar 23, Michael Moore
criticized Pres. Bush and the US-led war in Iraq during his
acceptance speech at the Academy Awards, drawing a partial standing
ovation and some jeers from Hollywood's elite.
2003 Mar 23, A Maryland nurse
died 5 days after being vaccinated for smallpox. A 2nd nurse died
(SFC, 3/26/03, p.A6)(SFC, 3/28/03, p.A7)
2003 Mar 23, Adrian O'Neill
Robinson (25) allegedly shot and killed his father (56) in Hamilton,
Georgia. He then kidnapped 2 nuns, one of whom was found 3 days
later, mutilated in a Norfolk, Va., parking lot. The other nun was
(SFC, 3/27/03, p.A7)
2003 Mar 23, US and allied
Afghan forces clashed with militiamen loyal to a renegade warlord in
a battle that left up to 10 rebels dead. A US Air Force helicopter
on a mercy mission to help 2 injured Afghan children crashed in
southeastern Afghanistan, killing all 6 people on board.
2003 Mar 23, In northern
Afghanistan flooding and heavy rains killed at least 11 people and
damaged hundreds of houses.
2003 Mar 23, In the 5th day of
Operation Iraqi Freedom US-led warplanes and helicopters attacked
Republican Guard units defending Baghdad while ground troops
advanced to within 50 miles of the Iraqi capital. Pres. Bush put a
$75 billion price tag on a down payment for the war. The 507th
Maintenance Company was ambushed after it made a wrong turn into
Nasiriya; 11 soldiers were killed, seven were captured, including
Pfc. Jessica Lynch. Lori Piestewa (23) was killed, with the gruesome
distinction of being the first native American in the US army to be
killed in combat. Lynch was rescued on April 1, 2003.
(AP, 3/24/03)(SFC, 4/14/03,
2003 Mar 23, A US bomb struck a
bus at a service area in al-Rutba, Iraq, enroute from Baghdad to
Syria. 5 people were killed.
(SFC, 3/25/03, p.W7)
2003 Mar 23, A British Royal
Air Force Tornado jet was shot down by a U.S. Patriot missile in the
first reported incident of "friendly" fire in Iraq.
2003 Mar 23, Arab nations
called for an emergency Security Council meeting to demand an end to
the US-led war against Iraq and the withdrawal of all invading
2003 Mar 23, In the CAR Gen.
Francois Bozize said Abel Goumba (76), a veteran opposition leader,
will oversee daily operations in the government.
2003 Mar 23, A Chechen
referendum strongly approved a new constitution that confirmed
Chechnya as part of Russia and endorsed rules for electing a Chechen
president and parliament.
(AP, 3/23/03)(AP, 3/24/03)(SFC, 3/24/03, p.A11)
2003 Mar 23, Iraqi state
television showed two men said to have been the US crew of an Apache
helicopter forced down during heavy fighting in central Iraq. Iraqi
forces captured at least 5 soldiers of an Army maintenance company.
US Central Command reported 12 missing. About 20 Americans were
captured or killed at Nasiriyah.
(AP, 3/24/03)(SFC, 3/24/03, p.W1)(WSJ, 3/24/03,
2003 Mar 23, In Kashmir gunmen
shot to death Abdul Majid Dar, the former leader of Kashmir's
largest Islamic rebel group, in what may have been retribution for
talks with the Indian government.
2003 Mar 23, In Nicaragua the
party of President Enrique Bolanos abandoned him after months of
quarreling over the government's prosecution of his predecessor, a
fellow party member.
2003 Mar 23, Slovenes endorsed
membership in NATO and the European Union.
(AP, 3/23/03)(AP, 3/24/03)
2003 Mar 24, In the 6th day of
Operation Iraqi Freedom US forces began strikes against the Medina
Division of the Republican Guard guarding Baghdad. Hussein appeared
on Iraqi TV as coalition forces held over 3,000 prisoners. 10
Marines were killed in combat around Nasiriya.
(WSJ, 3/25/03, p.A1)(SSFC, 3/30/03, p.W12)(SSFC,
2003 Mar 24, The National
Transportation Safety Board concluded that Boeing 737 rudder
problems caused two fatal airline crashes and nearly triggered a
2003 Mar 24, In Texas a fire in
a sugar-cane field killed 5 illegal Mexican immigrants hiding there.
(WSJ, 3/25/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 24, Philip Yordan
(88), Oscar-winning writer, died in San Diego.
(SSFC, 4/6/03, p.A23)
2003 Mar 24, Al-Jazeera went
live with its English-based web site, for an alternative perspective
from Western media: (http://english.aljazeera.net)
(WSJ, 3/25/03, p.A12)
2003 Mar 24, Arab League
foreign ministers adopted a resolution that called for the US and
Britain to withdraw their troops from Iraq immediately and without
2003 Mar 24, In Brazil gunmen
killed Alexandre Martins de Castro Filho , a judge who focused on
organized crime, 10 days after another prominent judge was gunned
down in a similar slaying.
2003 Mar 24, British police
arrested Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky at the request of Russian
authorities. A charge alleged that between Jan. 1, 1994, and Dec.
31, 1995, he defrauded the Administration of Samara Region of 60
billion rubles whilst being director of Logovaz.
2003 Mar 24, In Georgia Pres.
Shevardnadze confirmed that the US was flying U-2 spy planes over
the Pankisi Gorge area to help fight Chechen rebel infiltration.
(WSJ, 3/25/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 24, Saddam Hussein
appeared on Iraqi TV telling his nation that "victory is soon."
(SFC, 3/24/03, p.W1)
2003 Mar 24, Iraqi state
television showed two men said to have been the U.S. crew of an
Apache helicopter forced down during heavy fighting in central Iraq.
Chief Warrant Officer David Williams and Chief Warrant Officer
Ronald D. Young Junior spent three weeks in captivity before they
were released along with five other POWs.
2003 Mar 24, Israeli forces
near Hebron shot dead Ahmed Abahreh (14), who was throwing stones at
an Israeli armored vehicle.
(SFC, 3/25/03, p.A6)
2003 Mar 24, Suspected Islamic
militants in Indian army uniforms dragged 24 Hindus from their
homes, lined them up outside a temple and shot them to death in a
remote village in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
2003 Mar 24, Mexico City police
chief Marcelo Ebrard said that Leoluca Orlando, former mayor of
Palermo, Italy, will be hired to combat crime. His work will
complement Rudolph Giuliani's who hired on for $4.3 million.
2003 Mar 24, Russian officials
declared that the approval of a new constitution by Chechnya's
voters completely discredited the separatist cause, further dimming
hopes that the Kremlin would negotiate an end to the 3 1/2-year war.
2003 Mar 24, In Serbia Zvezdan
Jovanovic, a deputy commander of the Unit for Special Operations
used by the former Yugoslav president during the 1990s wars in
Bosnia and Croatia, was arrested for the murder of PM Zoran
2003 Mar 24, In Zimbabwe the
Zwakwana human rights said forces loyal to President Robert Mugabe
hunted down government opponents after a national strike, beating
them with iron bars and whips. At least 1 person was killed.
2003 Mar 25, Celine Dion opened
a three-year gig in the new $95 million Colosseum theater at Caesars
2003 Mar 25, Pres. Bush issued
an order to delay the release of millions of historical documents
for more than 3 years and to ease reclassification of data deemed of
possible harm to national security.
(WSJ, 3/26/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 25, The Senate voted
to slash President Bush's proposed $726 billion tax-cutting package
in half, handing the president a defeat on the foundation of his
plan to awaken the nation's slumbering economy.
2003 Mar 25, Former Waterbury,
Conn., Mayor Philip Giordano was convicted by a federal jury of
violating the civil rights of two preteen girls by sexually abusing
them. Giordano was later sentenced to 37 years in federal prison.
2003 Mar 25, The US Navy
brought in 2 specially trained bottle-nosed Atlantic dolphins to
help ferret out mines in the approaches of the port of Umm Qasr.
2003 Mar 25, In the 7th day of
Operation Iraqi Freedom US aircraft dropped more than 2,000
precision-guided bombs on Iraq since the war's start. The "smart"
bombs were produced for a relatively cheap $20,000 each. Sandstorms
slowed coalition movement and air missions. US officials reported
150-200 Iraqi soldiers were killed near Najaf.
(AP, 3/25/03)(SSFC, 3/30/03, p.W12)(SSFC, 5/4/03,
2003 Mar 25, Six satellite
jamming devices, which Iraq was using to try to thwart American
precision guided weapons, were destroyed in the last 2 nights.
2003 Mar 25, Some 150-500 Iraqi
fighters were killed in fighting east of Najaf.
(AP, 3/25/03)(SFC, 3/26/03, p.W1)
2003 Mar 25, A light plane
carrying 3 Americans crashed in southern Colombia while searching
for 3 other Americans captured by rebels last month.
2003 Mar 25, Muhamed
Sacirbegovic (46), former Bosnia ambassador to the US (1992-2000)
was arrested in NYC. The Bosnian government has accused him of
stealing more than $2.4 million, about $1.8 million from the
nation's Investment Fund Ministry and more than $600,000 from the
account of Bosnia's representation at the UN.
2003 Mar 25, Israeli troops
killed 2 wanted Hamas militants. Sprayed bullets also killed a girl
(10). A West Bank boy (14) throwing stones was shot dead.
(SFC, 3/26/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 25, Philippine troops
killed a senior commander of the Muslim extremist Abu Sayyaf group
in a raid on his hideout.
2003 Mar 25, Saudi Arabia
contacted the United States and Iraq with a peace proposal and was
still awaiting a response.
2003 Mar 25, In Thailand police
said they shot and killed 42 people during a 7-week-old crackdown on
drugs that has drawn protest from human rights groups. Nearly 400
drug makers and more than 12,000 dealers were arrested.
2003 Mar 25, In Uganda a gang
of ivory poachers killed six adult elephants and one calf in a
"gruesome massacre" in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The poachers
used acid to remove the tusks.
2003 Mar 26, The Senate
approved a $2.2 trillion budget that provided less than half the
$726 billion in tax cuts President Bush wanted.
2003 Mar 26, In the 8th day of
Operation Iraqi Freedom Baghdad officials said two cruise missiles
hit a residential area, killing 14 people. Iraq said 36 civilians
were killed and 215 wounded in US airstrikes on Baghdad. Some 1,000
US paratroopers jumped into northern Iraq as sandstorms eased.
(AP, 3/26/03)(AP, 3/27/03)(SSFC, 3/30/03, p.W12)
2003 Mar 26, Federal energy
regulators (FERC) validated California claims to 2000-2001
overcharges for energy and said the state is owed $3.3 billion in
refunds from Enron and 5 other energy firms. California called for
(SFC, 3/27/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 26, Daniel Patrick
Moynihan (76), former NY Senator (1976-2000) and scholar, died. He
wrote or edited some 18 books. In 2010 Steven Weisman edited his
letters: “Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Portrait in Letters of an
(SFC, 3/27/03, p.A1)(Econ, 9/18/10, p.104)
2003 Mar 26, In Afghanistan
suspected Taliban rebels attacked a government checkpoint and 13
people were killed.
(WSJ, 3/27/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 26, The Burundian army
attacked a rebel stronghold in a Kibira forest with mortars and
artillery, killing 68 insurgents. Rebels said only 2 fighters were
2003 Mar 26, India test-fired a
short-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, and
Pakistan immediately announced it had tested a similar missile.
2003 Mar 26, In India gunmen
fatally shot a senior Hindu nationalist in western Gujarat state.
2003 Mar 26, Pirates with
automatic weapons stormed an Indonesian tanker ship in the Malacca
Strait and escaped with equipment and cash.
2003 Mar 26, NATO officially
signed up 7 eastern European nations to become members: Bulgaria,
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
2003 Mar 26, In Nigeria Ijaw
militants battling soldiers and tribal enemies in the oil-rich delta
region called for a cease-fire after state officials agreed to
support their political demands.
2003 Mar 26, In South Korea a
late night fire in a grade school dormitory killed eight children.
2003 Mar 26, Interpol issued an
international call for the arrest of former Peruvian President
Alberto Fujimori on charges of murder and kidnapping in Peru.
2003 Mar 27, Pres. Bush and
British Prime Minister Tony Blair met to assess the progress of the
war in Iraq.
2003 Mar 27, The Bush
administration seized $1.62 billion in Iraqi assets already frozen
in the US. The money would be used to help rebuild Iraq once Saddam
Hussein is ousted.
2003 Mar 27, Richard Perle quit
as head of the Pentagon advisory board amid allegations of conflicts
of interests with his business deals.
(WSJ, 3/28/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 27, It was reported
that the SARS disease had killed 50 people and infected some 1,300
in 13 countries.
(WSJ, 3/27/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 27, Paul Zindel (66),
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, died in New York.
2003 Mar 27, In Afghanistan
Ricardo Munguia (39), a Red Cross water engineer from El Salvador,
was killed by Taliban gunmen.
(SFC, 4/8/03, p.A5)(Reuters 3/28/03)
2003 Mar 27, In Colombia FARC
land mines killed 11 soldiers near Aracataca, the birthplace of
Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
2003 Mar 27, EU governments
agreed to ban single-hulled oil tankers carrying heavy fuel in an
attempt to reduce the risk of slicks.
2003 Mar 27, France introduced
a new terrorism alert system, with 4 color-coded levels to make the
national warning plan more flexible and understandable.
2003 Mar 27, In the 9th day of
Operation Iraqi Freedom a British armored unit destroyed 14 Iraqi
tanks trying to break out of the besieged city of Basra. A sea-borne
relief operation was postponed after discovering Iraqi mines in the
shipping channel leading to the recently captured Iraqi port of Umm
Qasr. Heavy bombing on Baghdad destroyed a main telephone exchange.
(AP, 3/27/03)(SFC, 3/28/03, p.W1)
2003 Mar 27, In Israel Israeli
forces killed 3 Palestinian police officers in Beit Hanoun, Gaza.
(SFC, 3/27/03, p.A10)
2003 Mar 27, in Kyrgyzstan a
fire engulfed a crowded passenger bus, killing 21 victims,
believed to have been Chinese vendors of Uighur ethnicity. Robbery
(AP, 3/27/03)(AP, 3/28/03)
2003 Mar 27, Mexican federal
agents killed 2 suspected drug runners in a shootout near the Texas
2003 Mar 27, In Yangon,
Myanmar, a bomb went off in front of a state telecommunications
office, killing at least one person and wounding three as the
country marked Armed Forces Day.
2003 Mar 27, Russia's Evgeni
Plushenko won his 2nd World Figure Skating Championships title,
edging American Tim Goebel.
2003 Mar 27, In Serbia Milan
Lukovic and Dusan Spasojevic, Zemun Clan leaders and suspects in the
Zoran Djindjic assassination, were killed as they resisted arrest.
(SFC, 3/28/03, p.A12)
2003 Mar 27, In Zimbabwe
opposition leaders urged the nation's soldiers and police to disobey
orders to crush any show of dissent against the government.
2003 Mar 28, In the 10th day of
Operation Iraqi Freedom the biggest bombs dropped on Baghdad so far,
two 4,700-pound "bunker busters," struck a communications tower. In
the south, Iraqi fighters defending the besieged city of Basra fired
on hundreds of civilians trying to flee. The British supply ship Sir
Galahad docked at the port of Umm Qasr. The Bush administration said
fighting might not be over for months. At least 58 people were
killed in a crowded market in northwest Baghdad by what local
officials called a coalition bombing. A US pilot was heard saying
"I'm going to be sick," then "we're in jail, dude," after firing on
the British convoy in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Lance
Corporal of Horse Matty Hull was killed by American pilots.
(AP, 3/28/03)(SFC, 3/29/03, p.W1)(AP,
2/6/07)(Econ, 2/10/07, p.58)
2003 Mar 28, Chechen rebels
killed six Russian soldiers and two riot police.
2003 Mar 28, In Hong Kong at
least 58 more people became sick with symptoms of SARS. 11 Hong Kong
deaths were on the disease.
(SFC, 3/29/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 28, In Jammu-Kashmir
suspected Islamic militants attacked and mutilated 5 Kashmiri Muslim
villagers, accusing them of being police informants.
2003 Mar 28, Japan's first spy
satellites were blasted into orbit, causing an angry North Korea to
warn the move could spark an arms race in the region.
2003 Mar 28, The UN Security
Council voted unanimously to extend the UN assistance mission in
Afghanistan for a year.
2003 Mar 29, Michelle Kwan
became only the third American to win five World Figure Skating
Championships, after Dick Button and Carol Heiss.
2003 Mar 29, Pres. Bush sought
to marshal the nation's resolve to withstand more casualties, saying
further sacrifice must be expected.
2003 Mar 29, A rented Ford
Econoline 3-350 crashed on I-15 in southern California and 5 women
enroute to a retreat were killed. Families in 2004 sued Ford
(SFC, 8/4/04, p.B5)
2003 Mar 29, In the 11th day of
Operation Iraqi Freedom a suicide bomber driving a taxi killed four
American soldiers at a checkpoint near Najaf, Iraq. US jets
destroyed a building in Basra where paramilitary fighters were
meeting and 200 were reported killed.
(AP, 3/29/03)(SSFC, 5/4/03, p.C3)
2003 Mar 29, Two US special
forces soldiers were killed and another wounded in an ambush in
southern Afghanistan. Fighting there killed four Taliban with 6
2003 Mar 29, A gamma ray burst
was detected as a giant star exploded and collapsed into a black
hole some 2 billion light years away in the direction of the
(SFC, 4/28/03, A8)
2003 Mar 29, The government of
Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, Bolivia's president, was on the verge of
collapse. His ratings were the lowest of any South American leader,
and he admitted coups were brewing beneath him.
2003 Mar 29, In El Salvador a
cargo truck carrying dozens of passengers went out of control and
flipped over, killing at least 12 people and injuring 42.
2003 Mar 29, A low-flying Iraqi
missile avoided the detection of US defense systems and landed just
off the coast of Kuwait City, shattering windows at the seaside Souq
Sharq shopping mall.
(AP, 3/29/03)(SFC, 3/29/03, p.W5)
2003 Mar 29, Israeli troops
shot a killed a 17-year-old Palestinian throwing stone at troops
(SSFC, 3/30/03, p.A9)
2003 Mar 29, In Mexico a small
government plane crashed in the mountains of southern Mexico,
killing all five people aboard. Passengers included Porfirio Encino
Hernandez, state sec. for Indian affairs; his son and brother;
Berenice Lopez, the daughter of former Gov. Javier Lopez; and pilot
2003 Mar 29, Nigeria police
shot and killed seven members of the Movement for the Actualization
of the Sovereign State of Biafra and arrested more than 20 to
forestall a rally where they planned to make a symbolic declaration
of independence. The leader of the failed Biafra state, Emeka
Odumegwu Ojukwu, a leading opposition politician, lost in the April,
2003, presidential elections that were widely alleged to have been
(AP, 3/30/03)(AP, 3/23/05)
2003 Mar 29, In the Philippines
troops clashed with communist guerrillas in a hilly area near the
capital, and at least 24 were people killed.
2003 Mar 29, Italian Dr. Carlo
Urbani (46), a WHO expert on communicable diseases, died of SARS in
Thailand, where he was being treated after becoming infected while
working in Vietnam. Urbani was the 1st doctor to identify SARS.
(AP, 3/29/03)(SSFC, 3/30/03, p.A6)
2003 Mar 29, A Turkish man who
had hijacked a Turkish Airlines flight the day before was persuaded
by Turkey's prime minister to release his 204 hostages after the
plane landed in Athens, Greece.
2003 Mar 30, In the 12th day of
Operation Iraqi Freedom an Iraqi general, captured by British forces
in southern Iraq, was pressed to provide information. A British TV
correspondent covering the war in Iraq died after apparently falling
from a hotel roof.
2003 Mar 30, Students in China
staged a rare state-sanctioned protest as hundreds of thousands
around the world staged another day of rallies denouncing the US led
war in Iraq.
2003 Mar 30, In Jakarta,
Indonesia, tens of thousands of protesters marched upon the U.S.
Embassy chanting "America Imperialist, No. 1 terrorist!"
2003 Mar 30, In Netanya,
Israel, Rami Ghanem (20), a Palestinian suicide bomber, exploded
near the London Café and at least 30 people were injured. The
Islamic Jihad called the attack "Palestine's gift to the heroic
people of Iraq."
(SFC, 3/31/03, p.A1)(AP, 3/30/04)
2003 Mar 31, In the 13th day of
Operation Iraqi Freedom US-led troops fought pitched battles with
Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard within 50 miles of the capital.
B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers struck communication and command centers
in Baghdad, and cruise missiles set Iraq's Information Ministry
ablaze. Casualties from the war to date US total: 40 dead, 7
captured, 18 missing; British total: 25 dead. Of 8,000 precision
bombs dropped since the war began, 3,000 fell in the last 3 days.
Port operations at Umm Qasr looked to be delayed for weeks.
(AP, 3/31/03)(WSJ, 4/1/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 31, US troops between
Karbala and Najaf shot and killed 10 Iraqi civilians including women
and children, when the driver of a van failed to stop at a
checkpoint. The Pentagon reported 7 killed.
(AP, 4/1/03)(SFC, 4/1/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 31, NBC said it
severed its relations with reporter Peter Arnett after he told Iraqi
television that the US war plan against Saddam Hussein had failed.
Arnett was quickly hired by London's Daily Mirror.
(AP, 3/31/03)(WSJ, 4/1/03, p.B1)
2003 Mar 31, Harold Scott
MacDonald Coxeter (b.1907), British-born mathematician, died. He
pioneered the study of higher-dimensional shapes called polytopes.
In 2006 Siobhan Roberts authored “King of Infinite Space."
2003 Mar 31, Britain and the US
signed a new Extradition Treaty.
2003 Mar 31, The DJIA fell 153
(SFC, 4/1/03, p.C1)
2003 Mar 31, In Bolivia rescue
officials struggled to reach victims buried by a landslide that
roared through Chima, a gold-mining town in Bolivia's tropical
lowlands, killing an estimated 300-400 people.
(AP, 4/1/03)(SFC, 4/1/03, p.A8)(AP, 4/2/03)
2003 Mar 31, Hong Kong
authorities quarantined more than 200 other residents in an
apartment block in an effort to contain the SARS virus.
2003 Mar 31, In eastern
Indonesia mudslides triggered by flash floods on Flores Island
killed 48 people with 28 reported missing.
(AP, 4/2/03)(AP, 4/5/03)
2003 Mar 31, In Tehran, Iran, a
pickup truck with extra fuel crashed into the British Embassy in an
apparent suicide attack. Police called it an accident.
(SFC, 4/1/03, p.A3)
2003 Mar 31, In Macedonia the
EU began its first military operation by taking over peacekeeping
duties from NATO.
2003 Mar 31, In southern
Pakistan gunmen in paramilitary uniforms shot dead 12 people and
wounded 26 others in an attack linked to a tribal feud.
2003 Mar, Hooters Air started
flying between Atlanta and Myrtle Beach.
(Econ, 6/28/03, p.65)
2003 Mar, The new $151 million
Asian Art Museum, the Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Arts and
culture, opened in San Francisco’s Old Main Library. Johnson Bogart
(1928-2008), a member of the Asian Art Commission since 1992, led
the successful move.
(SFC, 11/28/96, p.C1)(SFC, 8/14/08, p.B5)
2003 Mar, In the CAR Gen.
Francois Bozize took power in a 2nd coup following 5 months of
conflict during which Pres. Patasse had enlisted support of rebel
troops from the Congo, led by Jean-Pierre Bemba, along with
mercenaries from Chad and Libya. Sexual violence during this period
was particularly brutal.
(Econ, 5/26/07, p.52)
2003 Mar, In 2007 British media
reported that Iran had offered to cut off aid and support for the
Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah and the Palestinian group Hamas,
and promised full transparency on its nuclear program in a secret
letter to the US soon after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Iran also
offered to use its influence to support stabilization in Iraq, and
in return asked for a halt in hostile American behavior, an
abolition of all sanctions, and the pursuit and repatriation of
members of the Mujahedeen Khalq (People's Mujahedeen MKO). Lawrence
Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, said: “As soon as
it got to the Vice-President's (Dick Cheney) office, the old mantra
of 'we don't talk to evil' ... reasserted itself."
2003 Mar, Majid Khan, a 1999
graduate of a Baltimore-area high school, was seized in Pakistan and
held until 2006 in secret CIA custody. In September 2006, US
authorities transferred him and other high-value detainees to
Guantanamo, where they may be charged and face prosecution under a
new military tribunal system.
2003 Mar, Spain’s Supreme
Court outlawed the radical Batasuna party linked to ETA.
2003 Mar, In Turkey villagers
from the southeastern town of Sanliurfa hurled eggs and stones at a
group of about a dozen US soldiers going to retrieve pieces of
Navy-fired Tomahawk missile, which was intended for Iraq but crashed
into an empty field. In 2006 charges 13 villagers were acquitted of
attacking the US troops.
2003 Mar-Apr, US warplanes
dropped firebombs similar to napalm on Iraqi troops to clear the way
for troops headed to Baghdad.
(SFC, 8/6/03, p.A3)
2003 Mar-2004 Jul, In Germany
29 patients died at a Bavarian hospital. The deaths at Sonthofen of
17 female and 12 male patients (aged 40-94) were caused by a male
nurse. He used a mixture of the sedative midazolam, the anesthetic
etomidate and the muscle relaxant lysthenon to kill the patients. In
2005 the nurse was charged with murder.
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