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Encyclopedia > February 2003

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

A timeline of events in the news for February, 2003.

See also:


February 28, 2003

February 27, 2003

February 26, 2003

  • Daniel Libeskind's design is announced as the winner and future occupant of the former World Trade Center site. The design includes an office building and a Wedge of Light which will honor the victims of the terrorist attacks by shutting down its lights between 8:46AM and 10:28AM EST every September 11. It will also use the WTC's foundations.[5] (http://apnews.excite.com/article/20030227/D7PEPU9O0.html)
  • North Korea nuclear weapons program: Officials from the United States state that North Korea reactivated a reactor at its main nuclear complex. [6] (http://apnews.excite.com/article/20030226/D7PEKFA01.html)
  • David Ricci, 22, is prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice for "conspiring to import, market and sell circumvention devices known as modification (or 'mod') chips in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act." In a plea bargain, the DoJ takes control of the Internet news and discussion site the iSO News' domain isonews.com, which is used as a database of warez releases (without links to the actual content).
  • US plan to invade Iraq: Hans Blix stated that Iraq still had not made a "fundamental decision" to disarm, despite recent signs of increased cooperation. Specifically, Iraq refused to destroy its al-Samoud 2 long range missiles - a weapon system that was in violation of the UN Security Council's resolutions and the US treaty with Iraq. These missiles are deployed and mobile. Also, an R-400 aerial bomb was found that could possibly contain biological agents. Given this find, the UN Inspectors have requested access to the Al-Aziziyah weapons range to verify that all 155 R-400 bombs can be accounted for and proven destroyed.
  • Gerorge Bush commits publicly to a post-invasion democracy in Iraq, says it will be "an example" to other nations in Arabia
  • The House of Commons saw the largest rebellion by MPs from any governing party in Britain for at least 100 years. 122 MPs from the ruling Labour party were among 199 from all parties who voted to add the phrase " [This House] finds the case for military action against Iraq as yet unproven" to a government motion. The motion itself endorsed UN Security Council Resolution 1441 and supported " ...the Government's continuing efforts in the UN to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction".
  • Saddam Hussein, in an interview with Dan Rather, rules out exile as an option. He calls for dialogue with United States president George W. Bush, and suggests that the two should engage in a televised debate.
  • Dr. Sami Al-Arian was terminated from his teaching position at the University of South Florida. USF President Judy Genshaft indicated that Dr. Al-Arian's non-academic activities created a conflict of interest with the University, and also cited items from Al-Arian's 50 count indictment. A representative from the American Association of University Professors indicated that the AAUP does not feel that due process was followed in Al-Arian's case, and that the organization will likely formally censure USF at its June meeting. [7] (http://www.usforacle.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2003/02/27/3e5e122c96204), [8] (http://www.usforacle.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2003/02/27/3e5e19844bbcb)

February 25, 2003

  • US plan to invade Iraq: The United States, Britain and Spain present to the UN Security Council a much-anticipated second resolution stating that Iraq "has failed to take the final opportunity" to disarm, but does not include deadlines or an explicit threat of military force. Meanwhile, France, Germany, and Russia offer a counter-proposal calling for peaceful disarmament through further inspections.
  • Both major parties of Kurdistan, an autonomous region in Northern Iraq, vow to fight Turkish troops if they enter Kurdistan to capture Mosul or interfere in Kurdish self-rule. Between them the two parties can mobilize up to 80,000 guerillas - most likely no match for the modern Turkish army, but a severe blow to the unity of U.S. allies on the Northern front expected in the U.S. plan to invade Iraq.
  • Roh Moo-hyun becomes the new president of South Korea.
  • North Korea fires test missiles into the Sea of Japan.
  • Toshihiko Fukui, former Bank of Japan Deputy Governor, is named as a new chief of Bank of Japan.
  • Four former executives of Qwest Communications International are criminally charged with fradulently booking $33,000,000 in revenue during 2001. The Securities and Exchange Commission also files a civil suit against 7 former (including the 4 criminally charged) and 1 current Qwest executives, alleging fradulent accounting practices in violation of SEC rules. [9] (http://www.infoworld.com/article/03/02/25/HNqwestindict_1.html)
  • NASA reports that the space probe Pioneer 10 finally ceased its transmissions from deep space, after more than thirty years of a mission which was originally intended to last less than two.

February 24, 2003

  • A magnitude 6.8 earthquake strikes China's remote western region of Xinjiang at 10:03 AM local time (0203 UTC) near the mountainous border with Kyrgyzstan. At least 266 are killed, more than 4,000 are injured, and over 1,000 buildings, including housing and schools, collapse.
  • U.S. plan to invade Iraq: General Colin Powell states at a meeting in Beijing that "It is time to take action. The evidence is clear ... We are reaching that point where serious consequences must flow." His speech appears to imply that military action is likely to follow within three weeks, based on previous Pentagon briefings.
  • Reports of the results of a study of VaxGen's experimental AIDS vaccine show little effect on the spread of AIDS in the overall experimental group. However, there are possible signs of partial resistance to HIV infection in the subgroup of subjects of African and Asian ethnic origin.
  • The major Netherlands-based food concern Ahold announces that financial malversations in a US daughter firm lead to an unanticipated loss of 500 million dollars.
  • In Athens, Greece, senior U.S. diplomat Brady Kiesling resigned in protest at the Bush administration's policy on Iraq.

February 22, 2003

February 21, 2003

February 20, 2003

February 19, 2003

  • A military plane carrying 302 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards crashed in the mountains of southeastern Iran killing all on board. The government did not go into the possible cause of the crash. The plane was en route from Zahedan, on the Pakistan border, to Kerman, about 500 miles southeast of Tehran.

February 18, 2003

  • An arson attack on an underground train in the Daegu, South Korea claims at least 180 lives with more than 140 injured and dozens missing. Witnesses reportedly saw a man throwing a milk carton filled with a flammable substance into a train.
  • The World Health Organization confirms that a new outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Republic of the Congo killed 64. [11] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2776719.stm)
  • Canadian finance minister John Manley brings down a budget, the last and one of those with the most expenditures in the career of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. It uses money from the federal surplus to replace a portion of the amount the Liberals cut from a variety of programs during their mandate, partially funds the implementation of the Romanow report on health care, and increases military spending.
  • Hours before the first ships transporting heavy United States military equipment to Turkey were supposed to reach port, the Turkish government announces that it will withhold approval to dock unless the United States increases a reciprocal $6 billion foreign aid grant to $10 billion. The Bush administration indicated that no substantial changes will be made to the proposed aid package. [12] (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A27320-2003Feb18.html)

February 17, 2003

February 15, 2003

  • Global protests against war on Iraq: People around the world demonstrated against the planning of war against Iraq. In Rome three million people were on the streets, in London one million. In Berlin there were half a million in the largest demonstration for some decades. There were also protest marches all over France as well as in many other smaller European cities. Protests were also held in South Africa, Syria, India, Russia, Canada and in the USA, in around 600 cities in total.

February 14, 2003

February 13, 2003

  • Austria bars USA military units involved in the attack on Iraq from entering into or flying over its territories without a UN mandate to attack Iraq.
  • United States military officials anonymously confirm to the Washington Post that two Special Forces units have been operating on the ground inside Iraq for over a month, making preliminary preparations for a large-scale invasion. [15] (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A331-2003Feb12.html)
  • U.S. Senate Democrats continue to threaten to filibuster the candidacy of Miguel Estrada for the D.C. Circuit Court. The Democrats argue that Estrada is too conservative and not answering all of their questions. Estrada was first nominated for the position in May 2001.
  • A UN panel reports that Iraq's al-Samoud 2 missiles, disclosed by Iraq to weapons inspectors in December, have a range of 180 km (above the 150 km limit allowed by the UN), splitting opinion over whether they breach UNSCR 1441.
  • Motorola announces that they will release a cell phone running the Linux operating system.
  • At London Gatwick Airport, British police arrest a man carrying a hand grenade under the Terrorism Act 2000. Two men have also been arrested at Heathrow airport under the same legislation.

February 12, 2003

February 11, 2003

  • The 2002 nominees for the Academy Award (Oscar) were announced to the public.

February 10, 2003

  • France and Belgium broke the NATO procedure of silent approval concerning the timing of protective measures for Turkey in case of a possible war with Iraq. Germany said it supports this veto. The procedure was put into operation on February 6 by secretary general George Robertson. In response Turkey called upon Article 4 of the NATO Treaty, which stipulates that member states must deliberate when asked to do so by another member state if it feels threatened.
  • Muslims celebrate the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha. See also Hajj.

February 8, 2003

  • Sections of a 'dossier' issued by the UK government, which purported to present the latest British intelligence about Iraq, and which had been cited by Tony Blair and Colin Powell as evidence for the need for war, were criticized as plagiarisms. They had been copied without permission from a number of sources including Jane's Intelligence Review and a 12-year-old doctoral thesis of a Californian student that had been published in the US journal Middle East Review of International Affairs. Some sentences were copied word-for-word, and spelling mistakes had been reproduced from the original articles. Downing Street responded by saying that the government had never claimed exclusive authorship and that the information was accurate.

February 7, 2003

  • The Center for Public Interest, a United States nonprofit watchdog group, obtained a leaked draft version of John Ashcroft's proposed Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, also known as "the Patriot Act II". If enacted, the legislation would grant the United States government unprecedented secret internal surveillance powers and sharply curtail judicial review of such surveillance,
  • The chief United Nations arms inspector Hans Blix said Iraq appeared to be making fresh efforts to cooperate with U.N. teams hunting weapons of mass destruction, as Washington said the "momentum is building" for war with Iraq.
  • The United States said it was ready for any contingency after North Korea issued threats of pre-emptive attack and suggested it was poised to restart an atomic reactor central to its suspected drive for nuclear arms.
  • A car bomb at an upscale club in Bogotá, Colombia kills 36 and wounds 150 in the worst attack in many years.
  • Israeli police said they had found a suicide bomber's explosives belt hidden in a mosque in Israel, and said it was the first such discovery since the al-Aqsa Intifada began more than two years ago.
  • President George W. Bush ordered the government to draw up guidelines for cyber-attacks against enemy computer networks, according to a Washington Post report. The order is known as National Security Presidential Directive 16.
  • An oil tanker carrying 35,000 tons of fuel oil ran aground off Denmark but no immediate spill was reported in the area noted for its wildlife, a Danish Royal Navy spokesman said.
  • Pakistan's most feared Islamic militant group, branded by Washington last week a foreign terrorist group, was severely weakened by a crackdown on extremism, intelligence officials claimed.
  • Senior citizens groups began a call for a boycott of British-owned pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline, the largest in the world, after the company announced that it would no longer sell drugs to Canadian companies that sell drugs at steep discounts to Americans over the Internet. The boycott would include such brands as Tums antacid, Aquafresh toothpaste, Contac cold remedy, Paxil and Flonase.
  • The last game is completed in the FIDE Man vs Machine World Chess Championship, in which Garry Kasparov, the highest rated human chess master, competed against the world champion computer program, Deep Junior. The six game match was played to a 3-3 draw.

February 6, 2003

February 5, 2003

February 4, 2003

February 3, 2003

  • Record producer Phil Spector was arrested in relation to an investigation into the fatal shooting of a 40-year-old woman in Los Angeles. Press reports identify the woman as the actress Lana Clarkson.
  • Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri claims Space Shuttle Columbia disaster is a sign from God. He says "It is a punishment from God. Muslims see it that way. It is a trinity of evil because it carried Americans, an Israeli and a Hindu, a trinity of evil against Islam." al-Masri's remarks are widely denounced by many other Muslim clerics. Reported in a BBC News Article: Muslim cleric's shuttle outburst attacked (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2720775.stm).

February 2, 2003

February 1, 2003

  • Space Shuttle Columbia disaster: The Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart and disintegrated over Texas as it embarked on its final approach to a landing after its 28th space mission. All seven crew members are lost.
  • A crowded passenger train and a freight train collided head on and burst into flames in northwestern Zimbabwe, killing 40 people and injuring about 60. Flames were still b

  Results from FactBites:
February 2003 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4019 words)
France and Belgium broke the NATO procedure of silent approval concerning the timing of protective measures for Turkey in case of a possible war with Iraq.
The procedure was put into operation on February 6 by secretary general George Robertson.
Iraq crisis of 2003: Iraq begins the process of destroying Al Samoud two missiles on March 1.
February 2003 (10958 words)
February 4th and 5th saw mandatory training for all sergeants in Supervising Generation X and Problem Solving in Community Policing.
The night of February 17 was when I first learned of the plane crash, 8 miles East of Tamiami Airport, which took the lives of Dr. Eric Gustinger, his wife Aydel, their four-year-old son Jonah and Eric’s father “Doc.” Like so many members of our community, Eric and Aydel were both doctor and friends.
On February 11th the Brownie Troop from the Upper Keys came to the Islamorada Station for “National Thanking Day” to thank law enforcement and fire fighters for their service, support and protection of the community.
  More results at FactBites »



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