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May 2004

2004 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December

< May 2004 >
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31

Deaths in May

28 Gerald Anthony
27 Umberto Agnelli
22 Richard Biggs
20 Len Murray
17 Tony Randall
17 Ezzedine Salim
9 Alan King
9 Akhmad Kadyrov
8(?) Nick Berg
7 Waldemar Milewicz
Other recent deaths

Ongoing events

Reconstruction of Iraq
Occupation & Resistance
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Liberal Party of Canada scandal
War on Terrorism
USA 9-11 Commission
Censored page
Darfur genocide in the Sudan
Ongoing wars
Afghanistan timeline May 2004

Election results in May

02 Panama (general)
07 Iran (Majlis, 2nd round)
10 Philippines (general)
13 India (general)
16 Dominican Rep. (president)
20 Malawi (general)
23 Germany (president)

Related pages

About this page
Year in...
Wikipedia Announcements

May 31, 2004

  • Memorial Day: President Bush honors the United States' war dead of past conflicts, and says that "two terror regimes are gone forever" in Iraq and Afghanistan as US deaths there climb to 1,000. (Reuters);jsessionid=PWFWWE32DXIDQCRBAEKSFFA?type
  • Singapore's governing People's Action Party endorses Lee Hsien Loong, current deputy prime minister and son of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, as the next prime minister. (BBC)
  • A bomb explodes at a Shi'a mosque in Karachi, Pakistan during evening prayers. Around 15 people are killed, dozens more are injured, the building is seriously damaged, and rioting Shi'ites take to the streets. (BBC)
  • US and Egypt fear an Islamist takeover of the Gaza Strip as a result of a possible Israeli pullout. They debate the role of Arafat, as Prime Minister Sharon confronts his own cabinet's opposition led by Netanyahu. (HaAretz)

May 30, 2004

  • Thousands of people in Hong Kong take to the streets to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, and to protest Beijing's recent moves to limit their autonomy. (VOA)
  • Pakistan test-fires a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, but claims it will not increase tensions with India. (PakistanLink)
  • Saudi commandos storm the Khobar housing compound where Islamic militants were holding several dozen hostages, ending with 22 dead. (BBC )
  • Thousands of Pakistani Sunni Muslims riot in Karachi, ransacking property, setting fire to four banks, and stoning vehicles after Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai , an influential pro-Taliban cleric, is killed in a drive-by shooting. (NYT) (BBC)
  • Buddy Rice wins the 2004 Indianapolis 500 driving for Rahal Letterman Racing. (VOA) (Sports Illustrated)

May 29, 2004

  • The World War II Memorial is dedicated in Washington, DC, with around 200,000 people attending the ceremony. (Reuters) (CNN)
  • Islamist militants attack two oil industry installations and a foreign workers' housing complex in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, killing at least 11 people and taking some 50 hostages. Saudi police attempt to storm the housing complex but withdraw after taking casualties. A previously unknown militant group styling itself "The Jerusalem Squadron" claims responsibility and says they are attacking "zionists and crusaders" who are there to "steal our oil and resources". (CNN) (BBC)
  • U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner (in Massachusetts) rules that stating that someone is Censored page does not constitute libel or slander. (AP)
  • India flies its first multi-purpose civilian aircraft Saras in Bangalore. (Times of India )
  • An earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale occurs in the border area between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. (BBC )

May 28, 2004

May 27, 2004

  • NASA announces the first Spitzer Space Telescope find: a planet that appears to be less than a million years old. (NYT)

May 26, 2004

  • A signed peace accord marks an end to the 21-year civil war in Sudan. The Darfur conflict continues. (AP)
  • Archaeologists discover what they term the 'world's oldest university' in Alexandria, Egypt. It dates from the 5th century AD. (Toronto Star)
  • FBI Director Robert Mueller and United States Attorney General John Ashcroft state that Al Qaeda may be planning a terrorist strike over the coming months. Multiple FBI officials contend that there is no recent intelligence to suggest a significant change in the USA's security situation, and critics question the validity and timing of the public warning.(NYT) Seven people wanted for questioning are also named.
  • Journalist Peter Hounam, who had revealed Israel's secret nuclear program, is arrested in Jerusalem and denied access to a lawyer. He is released and expelled from the country the following day. (BBC) (BBC)
  • A man armed with a knife enters the mansion of Puerto Rican governor Sila María Calderón and takes a secretary hostage. Calderón negotiates with him for the hostage's release, and he is arrested soon after. (CNN)
  • Football: FC Porto defeat AS Monaco FC 3-0 in the final of the UEFA Champions League (BBC)

May 25, 2004

  • As many as 1,000 people are killed in floods in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. (CNN) (BBC)
  • France bans the use of Bayer CropScience Gaucho (insecticide) on maize seeds. Gaucho is claimed to be harmful to bees. (Rtrs)
  • Viacom's MTV Networks unit announces plans for the LOGO channel, the first LGBT-themed major cable television service in the United States, set for a February 17, 2005 debut. (Bloomberg)
    (Reuters) (CNN)
  • The Abel Prize is awarded in a ceremony in Oslo for the Atiyah-Singer index theorem. (AP)
  • Tennis: At the French Open, a new world record for the longest match in the sport's recorded history is set when Frenchman Fabrice Santoro beats Arnaud Clement 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 3-6, 16-14 after playing for 6 hours and 33 minutes, split over two days. (ESPN)

May 24, 2004

  • A fire consumes the Momart building in London, destroying works owned by several museums and collectors. (BBC)
  • Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Naimi declares that USD $30-$34 per barrel is a 'fair and reasonable price', denies any differences within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and vouchsafes to supply an additional 2 million barrels of crude a day if the market demands it. Previous reports of a deal between US President George W. Bush and Saudi Arabia are not discussed. (NYT) (Syd. Herald)
  • Copyright infringement: The Recording Industry Association of America sues 493 more individuals under US copyright law and intends to discover their identities. Nearly 3000 people have now been sued by the RIAA since September 2003. (Reuters)
  • Pakistan: Police arrest six more members of militant Islamic group Harkat-ul Mujahideen al-Alami after a gun-battle in southern Karachi. (Reuters)
  • South Korean politics: South Korean Prime Minister Goh Kun resigns as announced last month. His successor has not yet been named by President Roh Moo-hyun. (Reuters)
  • Philippine general election, 2004: Incumbent Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo wins another term according to a senior election official who leaks the narrow winning margin of about 3% or 900,000 votes. An independent watchdog group confirms the figures. (Reuters)
  • The popular singer Madonna cancels three concerts in Israel after receiving letters in which her two young children's lives were threatened. The letters contained intimate details regarding the children's routines and security staff. (The Sun),,2-2004240450,00.html
  • Football management changes:
    • Liverpool F.C. part company with their manager of six years, Gérard Houllier. (BBC)
    • Real Madrid fires its one-year coach Carlos Queiroz and replaces him with José Antonio Camacho . (Guardian),1563,1223589,00.html
  • Tennis: In one of the biggest upsets in Grand Slam history, sixth-seeded American Andre Agassi is eliminated from the first round of the French Open by world 271st-ranked French qualifier Jerome Haehnel . (VOA News)

May 23, 2004

  • Villagers in Abga Rajil , western Sudan, claim 56 people are killed in a raid by janjaweed militia. The UN says conflict in the Darfur area has displaced around a million people. (Reuters)
  • Iraq Occupation and resistance:
    • Twenty insurgents loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr are killed by Coalition forces during a raid on the Selah mosque compound in Kufa, Iraq. Twelve insurgents are killed in other fighting in Kufa. (ABC AU)
    • Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army appears to have retreated from Karbala, Iraq. Karbala, Najaf, and Kufa were the only cities in Iraq with active Mahdi Army members. (NYT)
  • Explosions occur at three banks in Jiutepec, Morelos state, Mexico. In a communiqué left at the blast stite, a previously unheard-of rebel group called the Comando Jaramillista Morelense 23 de Mayo claims responsibility. (Reuters)
  • Prime Minister of Canada Paul Martin asks Governor General Adrienne Clarkson to dissolve Parliament; an election will be held on June 28. (CBC)
  • China announces that tests of a SARS vaccine have started on humans. (ABC AU)
  • At least 28 people are killed in Indian-controlled Kashmir when a bus carrying Indian soldiers and family hits a landmine. Hizbul Mujahideen claim responsibility. (ABC AU)
  • A bomb explodes in a discotheque in Bogotá, Colombia, on Saturday night (local time): five people are killed. The authorities blame the FARC paramilitary rebel group. (Reuters)
  • 2 Palestinians die and another suffers seriously injuries due to an explosion in Nablus on the West Bank. It is believed the explosion resulted from improper handling of explosives. (Reuters)
  • A ship carrying 4,000 Hyundai cars sinks south of Singapore after colliding with an oil tanker. All crew are safe, there is no oil spill, and the cars were insured. (ABC AU)
  • Horst Köhler is elected as the President of Germany by a special federal assembly in the Reichstag. (Reuters)
  • Part of a new terminal roof collapses at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle International Airport near Paris just before 07:00 hrs local time, killing at least 6, and injuring several others. (CNN) (Reuters)
  • Two Bangladeshi river ferries capsize at 03:30 hrs local time during a sudden storm; 240 passengers are reported missing. (Reuters)
  • Libyan leader Moammar Al Qadhafi walks out of the Arab League Summit in Tunis, Tunisia stating: "There is one agenda laid out by the Arab people and another by the Arab governments." (NYT)
  • Israeli Justice Minister Tommy Lapid causes consternation when he says that an image of an old Arab woman rummaging through rubble in Rafah reminded him of his grandmother, a Holocaust victim. (BBC)
  • Jarno Trulli wins Monaco F1 Grand Prix driving a Renault. (BBC Sport)

May 22, 2004

May 21, 2004

May 20, 2004

May 19, 2004

  • Citing "insufficient evidence", US Federal Judge Adalberto Jordan acquits environmental group Greenpeace on charges under the "sailormongering" statute. A record total of more than 100,000 people worldwide sent protest messages to George W. Bush and US Attorney General John Ashcroft demanding that the case be dropped. (Greenpeace) ( (BBC)
  • US Army kills 40 and wounds 117 others during an attack in Iraq near the border with Syria. Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of operations for the US military in Iraq, tells Reuters the attack was within the military's rules of engagement, denying reports that the victims were members of a wedding party. He says a large amount of money, Syrian passports and satellite communications equipment was found at the site after the attack. (Guardian) (Reuters) (NYT)
  • At least ten Palestinians are killed in Rafah, Gaza Strip, by an explosion following warning shots fired by the IDF. The road used by the Palestinians was strewn with explosives. (BBC) (CNN) (FOX),2933,120331,00.html
  • Iraqi abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison:
    • The Denver Post has uncovered Pentagon documents that show more than twice as many allegations of detainee abuse (75) are being investigated by the military than previously known. Twenty-seven of the abuse cases involve deaths; at least eight are believed to be homicides. (Denver Post),1413,36%7E11676%7E2157003,00.html
    • The first U.S. soldier is sentenced after pleading guilty: Spc. Jeremy Sivits receives one year in prison, demotion and a dishonorable discharge. (CNN)
    • At least one British soldier is arrested for creating the faked British abuse photos. (CNN)
  • The British House of Commons is temporarily suspended after purple flour thrown by a Fathers 4 Justice protester hits Tony Blair during Prime Minister's Questions. (BBC)
  • The Nationalist Party of China (KMT) and the People First Party announce plans to merge after a unanimous vote by the KMT Central Standing Committee. (BBC)
  • A third outspoken Hong Kong radio talk show host, Allen Lee, quits his program, questioning the status of media freedom in the special administrative region; he also resigns from his seat in the Chinese National People's Congress. (VOA)
  • Rudy Giuliani testifies before the 9/11 panel. He defends the work of his commissioners before the September 11th Commission. (AP)
  • Manmohan Singh is asked by India's Congress party to become Prime Minister and form new government. (Reuters)
  • In football, Valencia wins the UEFA Cup, defeating Olympique Marseille 2-0. (

May 18, 2004

May 17, 2004

  • Civilian Space Xploration Team (CSXT) 21-foot GoFast amateur rocket is launched, carrying a ham radio, and reaches the edge of space at 100 km altitude. (AARL)
  • Hamas leader Khaled Meshal rejects talk of cease-fire with Israel. Hamas has sent scores of suicide bombers into Israeli towns since the Palestinian uprising began in September 2000, killing hundreds of Israelis. "Our choice is between death and death," he said. "Our people will defend themselves until the last breath. The world left us no other choice." (Haaretz)
  • Ceremonies in Topeka, Kansas commemorate the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. Both President George W. Bush and presidential candidate John Kerry attend separate ceremonies. (AP)
  • Iraqi WMD: Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt says that an artillery shell with sarin agent was found after it exploded. Two members of an explosives team are exposed to it, and have been treated. Hans Blix doubts that this was part of a current Iraq WMD, and doubts have been cast as to the accuracy of the field tests.(Reuters) (Melbourne HS),5478,9593577%255E1702,
  • Police in London foil an armed robbery at the Heathrow Cargo Centre, which attempted to steal £40 million (some USD 70 million) in gold and £30-£40 million in cash. Six men are arrested and another is being sought by police. (BBC)
  • Censored page in the United States. This follows a November 18, 2003 ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Court requiring the state to issue same-sex marriage licences. The first licence is issued at Cambridge to Marcia Hams and Susan Shepherd at the stroke of midnight. See Censored page.(365Gay)
  • Ezzedine Salim, head of the Iraqi Governing Council, is killed by a car bomb in Baghdad. (BBC)
  • Stock markets in India fall sharply following frenetic panic selling minutes after opening business. Owing to uncertainties over the proposed economic policies of the impending Sonia Gandhi government, Bombay Stock Exchange loses 800 points in the first 23 minutes, or almost 15%, in the biggest ever intra-day slippage in its history. Regulators freeze the trading twice, in an attempt to shelve the damage. Markets recover some ground after public assurances by the Indian National Congress party that the fears are unfounded. (BBC)
  • Over 100 inmates – mostly Mara Salvatrucha gang members – perish in a pre-dawn prison fire in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. (BBC)

May 16, 2004

  • Voters in the Dominican Republic go to the polls to elect a new president; with 79% of the vote counted, former president Leonel Fernández is declared the winner. (BBC)
  • The Israeli army announces its intention to demolish hundreds of additional houses in the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip along the border with Egypt after the Supreme Court rejects a petition against the demolitions. In the past, the IDF has found dozens of tunnels hidden underneath homes allegedly used to smuggle guns, ammunition, explosives, fugitives, drugs and other illegal materials into Gaza. The court had previously issued a temporary injunction after 88 homes had been destroyed leaving more than 1000 people homeless (UNRWA figures disputed by the Israeli army). (BBC) (Haaretz) (Maariv)
  • French European Union parliamentarian Paul Marie Couteax declares: "I have no hesitation in saying that we must consider giving the Arab side a large enough force, including a large enough nuclear force, to persuade Israel that it cannot simply do whatever it wants. That is the policy my country (France) pursued in the 1970s when it gave Iraq a nuclear force."(JPost)

May 15, 2004

  • A 145-mm artillery shell is used as an improvised bomb on a road against US troops in Iraq. The shell explodes and two soldiers receive mild exposure to a nerve agent. (Fox News),2933,120137,00.html (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
  • Ukraine wins the 49th annual Eurovision Song Contest. (BBC)
  • FIFA announces that the 2010 Football World Cup will be held in South Africa. (BBC)
  • Smarty Jones wins the Preakness Stakes by 12 lengths. (AP);_ylc=X3oDMTBpbmdmam0wBF9TAzI1NjY0ODI1BHNlYwN0bQ

May 14, 2004

  • Vatican foreign minister Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo says torture of prisoners is a "more serious" blow for U.S. than September 11 (Al Jazeerah),
    . American reaction is negative. (Catholic News)
  • The British tabloid newspaper The Daily Mirror, which published photos allegedly depicting British Army soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, concedes that it was hoaxed, apologises, and sacks its editor Piers Morgan. (BBC) (Al Bawaba) (Reuters)
  • Danish Crown Prince Frederik marries Australian Mary Donaldson in Copenhagen. The service is attended by royalty and dignitaries from around the world, amidst very high security in the face of terrorism fears. (BBC)
  • Roh Moo-hyun is reinstated as President of South Korea after that country's Constitutional Court overturns the National Assembly's March 12 impeachment vote against him. (KBS News)
  • Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka looses a parliamentary vote of confidence, less than two weeks after he was appointed to the post. He will continue in a caretaker capacity until a new candidate is appointed. (BBC) (PolitInfo)
  • The impact crater of the "Great Dying" — the end-Permian event, the largest extinction event in the history of life on Earth — appears to be a 125 mile (200 km)-wide crater called "Bedout" off the northwestern coast of Australia. (UCSB Press release)
  • Iraqi Occupation and resistance:
    • Mohammad's Army, in an interview with IWPR, states "We want to inform America that its attempt to stir up sectarian discord is a failure." (IWPR)
  • FMDC Coinarama World Championships held. Robert "Hog" Little defeats Alex "Fat" Malcom

May 13, 2004

May 12, 2004

May 11, 2004

  • Nine factory workers in Glasgow, Scotland, are killed in a midday explosion at the Stockline Plastics factory. (BBC)
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Six Israeli soldiers are killed in the Gaza Strip during an incursion when their armored personnel carrier triggered an explosive device. Hamas and Islamic Jihad claim to hold a portion of the remains of the soldiers: "We possess the remains of your bodies that were thrown into the streets of Gaza. We have our demands to hand them over to the Zionist occupier" (HaAretz)
  • Iraq Occupation and resistance:
    • Hundreds of civilians march to the Muslim shrines in Najaf, calling upon Moqtada al-Sadr to remove his Mahdi Army from the city. (NYT)
    • Video is released of the decapitation of Nick Berg, a U.S. civilian, murdered by an Islamist group allegedly in retaliation for the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib Prison. (Reuters) (Arabnews) (NYPost) (Radio Free Europe)
  • Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra buys a 30% stake in Liverpool Football Club for approximately £60 million (~ USD100M). It is unclear whether most of the money originates from the Thai government or is the prime minister's own money. It is hoped that the purchase will assist with the development of football in Thailand. (BBC) (Guardian),9753,1213988,00.html

May 10, 2004

  • Turkey begins construction of a tunnel under the Bosporus. (Moscow Times)
  • A judicial recount in the 2004 Taiwanese presidential election begins. (VOA) (CNA)
  • The Arab League agrees to hold a summit in Tunis. The summit originally scheduled for March of this year was scrapped over differences between the participants. (NYT)
  • At the Commonwealth military cemetery in Gaza City where 3000 WWI casualties are buried, Palestinian vandals desecrate 32 graves, breaking headstones and affixing photographs of Iraqi POW abuse to others. (NYT)
  • The Palestinian Cabinet announces plans to hold municipal elections, starting with Jericho and followed by some Gaza Strip municipalities. The elections, starting in August, will replace mayors appointed by the Palestine Authority. The previous elections, for president and legislature, were held in 1996. (NYT) , (VOA)
  • President George W. Bush is expected to impose economic sanctions on Syria, alleging support of terrorism and failure to stop guerrillas from entering Iraq. (NYT) , (Reuters)
  • The United States Armed Forces destroy the Baghdad headquarters of Moqtada al-Sadr. The building had been evacuated by al-Sadr's forces. There were no casualties. (NYT)
  • Philippine elections: About 40 million Filipinos go to the polls to elect candidates for national and local positions from the President down to municipal councilors. (BBC)
  • Canadian bureaucrat Chuck Guite and GroupeAction president Jean Brault have been arrested and charged with six counts each of fraud in connection with the Liberal sponsorship scandal. (CTV)
  • The Department of Justice reopens an investigation into the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, an important event during the American civil rights movement. (NYT)
  • Voting concludes in the marathon elections in India. (IHT)
  • The first Dutch soldier dies in the occupation of Iraq. (Radio Netherlands)

May 9, 2004

  • Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov is killed in a landmine bomb blast under a VIP stage during a World War II memorial victory parade in Grozny, Chechnya. (Reuters)
  • The scandal about U.S. torture in Iraq widens as The New Yorker reports about guards setting dogs against naked prisoners. (New Yorker)
  • Twenty-two passengers, two stoweaways and crew are injured when an American Eagle ATR 42, flight 1450, crash-lands in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (AP)

May 8, 2004

  • Israel makes the first permanent appointment of an Arab to its Supreme Court as Salim Jubran is selected unanimously; Esther Hayut and Elyakim Rubinstein are also selected unanimously. Edna Arbel , the former state prosecutor who recommended indicting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on bribery charges, is selected amongst considerably more controversy and opposition. (Haaretz)
  • Computer security: German authorities arrest an 18-year-old high school student on suspicion that he is responsible for creating the Sasser worm, which has infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide by exploiting a flaw in the Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems. According to CNET, a US$5 million reward from Microsoft was instrumental in leading investigators to the suspect. (AP),
  • Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wraps up a landmark visit to Greece. Both sides pledge cooperation—Erdoğan visits the Turkish minority in Thrace and urges reconciliation, and his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis says Greece will support Turkey's EU bid, marking a high point in Greco-Turkish relations. (BBC) (BBC) (BBC)

May 7, 2004

  • Japan's longest-serving chief cabinet secretary, Yasuo Fukuda , resigns to take responsibility for not making pension payments. (VOA)
  • A report from the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights describes a "reign of terror" imposed by government-backed militias in Sudan's western province of Darfur. (UN)
  • A bomb blast during Friday prayers at a Shia mosque in Karachi, Pakistan kills 10 people and injures 100. A suicide bombing is suspected. The head cleric of the mosque is among the dead. (NYT) (National Post)
  • Vladimir Putin is sworn in for his second (and final) four-year term as Russian president. (BBC)
  • Iraq Occupation and resistance:
    • Shieik Abdul-Satar al-Bahadli, a senior aide to Muqtada al-Sadr, is offering a reward of 250,000 dinars (~ USD 170) to any Iraqi who captures a British woman soldier; he says the captive will be kept as a concubine. (Reuters)
    • United States Armed Forces encounter heavy fighting in Karbala, Iraq where at least 24 gunmen of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army are killed and in Najaf where another 12 gunmen are killed. (NYT)
    • Three Polish journalists are killed and a third wounded by Iraqi gunmen on the road between Baghdad and Karbala. (BBC)
    • U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld testifies before the U.S. Congress, taking "full responsibility" and apologizing for the abuse of Iraqi detainees at the Abu Ghraib Prison. The hearing highlights a split between how the abuses are perceived either as "isolated incidents" or as part of the "chain of command". (BBC)
    • The International Committee of the Red Cross states that on some of its inspection visits to Coalition detention centres in Iraq, it observed "incidents tantamount to torture". (Reuters)
  • Chilean President Ricardo Lagos signs legislation legalizing divorce. (BBC)
  • U.S. attorney Brandon Mayfield is detained in the investigation of the 11 March Madrid attacks. (CNN) (BBC)
  • The Prime Minister of Nepal Surya Bahadur Thapa resigns amid protests by oppostion parties. Prime Minister Thapa was appointed by King Gyanendra eleven months ago. The opposing parties are demanding formation of an all party government with a Prime Minister of their choice. (BBC)
  • The FDA blocks the Over-the-counter sale of a morning-after pill despite the (23-4) recommendation of a federal advisory panel. (NYT)

May 6, 2004

  • Iraq Occupation and resistance:
    • The United States Senate votes (95-3) to approve John Negroponte as the head of the new U.S. embassy in Iraq despite concerns over his role in allegedly supporting widespread campaigns of terror and human rights abuses as ambassador of Honduras in the 1980s. (Los Angeles Times),1,5504289.s
      (IPS) (Democracy Now!)
    • In Baghdad, a suicide bomber using a car packed with explosives and artillery shells kills 5 Iraqis and one American soldier and injures 25 people, including two American soldiers. (NYT)
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
    • Over U.S. and Israeli objections, the UN General Assembly votes 140-6, with 11 abstentions, to adopt a resolution that affirms the Palestinians' right of sovereignty over the territories seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. (Reuters) (AP)
    • An Israeli government report finds that Israel's Housing Ministry secretly gave about $6.5 million to help expand settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank territory between 2000 and 2003 which are illegal according to Israel. These included outposts which the government had promised to remove. (Philadelphia Inquirer) (Haaretz)
  • Hamas co-founder Mohammad Taha , aged 68, is released from an Israeli prison. (INN)
  • Iraqi abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison
  • President George W. Bush states that a resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians would be the result of negotiations and that the United States would oppose "any developments in the region that might endanger your (Jordan's) interests." (NYT)
  • The television sitcom Friends airs its final episode in the United States and Canada. (CNN) (NBC)
  • It is announced that John Scarlett is to succeed Sir Richard Dearlove as the head of the Secret Intelligence Service with Dearlove becoming master of Pembroke College at Cambridge University. Scarlett is the first head of the SIS ever to have a current photograph published.
  • President George W. Bush calls for Israel to withdraw to her borders prior to the Six Day War of 1967, and to give the occupied territories to the Palestinians for a homeland. (Guardian Unlimited,1280,-4061451,00.html )

May 5, 2004

  • Parliament grounds and adjoining footpaths in New Zealand host 15,000 people (many of whom have participated in several days of route march - "hīkoi") protesting about the proposed law that is expected to change the ownership of foreshore and seabed.
  • The Dalai Lama ends his visit to Canada with a ceremony initiating thousands in Tibetan Buddhism. (Toronto Star)
  • Israeli company Givot Olam announces that from a previously known oil reserve near Kfar Sava believed to contain 980 million barrels of oil, 20% of it is extractible. (INN) (Haaretz)
  • During a raid in Gaza Israeli troops kill a police captain and wound 15 people, in an area that is used to fire Qassam rockets into Israeli towns. (Reuters)
  • Maya artifacts are discovered in Cival, a ruined city in the Peten region of Guatemala, suggesting an earlier development of dynastic customs than previously known. (Washington Post)
  • Three bombs explode in Athens outside a single police station, 100 days before the start of the Olympic Games. One policeman was injured. (BBC) (Boston Herald)
  • George W. Bush speaks on the Al Arabiya and Alhurra Arabic-language television networks, stating he was 'appalled' at the conduct of U.S. soldiers in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. (Toronto Star)
  • Houston Astros baseball pitcher Roger Clemens records his 4,137th career strikeout to place him second on the all-time list behind Nolan Ryan. (AP)
  • A judge of the Ontario Superior Court, overseeing the bankruptcy and reorganization of Air Canada, approved an amended "standby purchase agreement" from Deutsche Bank, which stands to become a major owner of equity in the revived airline. (Globe and Mail)
  • President of the breakaway Georgian republic of Ajaria, Aslan Abashidze is forced to resign by Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili. (BBC) (Independent) (Guardian),14065,1210367,00.html (Washington Post)

May 4, 2004

  • The Legislative Yuan in Taiwan passes a bill mandating that official documents in Chinese be written from left to right instead of right to left, ending centuries of tradition. (Straits Times),4386,249302,00.html? (BBC)
  • The United Nations Commission on Human Rights elects thirteen countries to serve on it for 3-year terms. Sudan is elected unopposed to represent the African bloc, prompting a walk-out by the U.S. delegation. (NYT)
  • Hundreds of Muslim cattle herders are killed by Christian farmers in central Nigerian town of Yelwa . (Reuters)
  • U.S. Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress condemn the alleged mistreatment of Iraqi detainees in the strongest terms and call for a congressional investigation. (Reuters)
  • Iraq Occupation and resistance:
    • The Pentagon announces that it plans to keep as many as 138,000 U.S. troops in Iraq through the end of 2005. (Bloomberg) (NYT)
    • The U.S. Department of Defense announces that 37,000 National Guardsmen and 10,000 active duty Army and Marine Corps troops are to be called up to serve a one-year tour of duty in Iraq by early 2005. (AP),1282,-4053336,00.html
  • A Chicago laboratory announces they helped choose embryos by genetic testing to yield five babies who could donate stem cells to sick siblings. (CNN)
  • William Krar , a Texan with ties to white supremacists, is sentenced to 11 years in prison after he pled guilty to building and possessing chemical weapons in what has been described as one of the most serious cases of domestic terrorism since the Oklahoma City bombing. (Reuters) (KRT) (AP)

May 3, 2004

  • The USA is starting to lose its dominance in the sciences; "the rest of the world is catching up", according to John E. Jankowski of the National Science Foundation. Scientists from Europe and now other countries are now publishing more papers in major professional journals than scientists from the US. New York Times p.A1.
  • An Egyptian court rejects the petition of an Egyptian movie producer seeking to establish an Egyptian-Israeli friendship organization stating: "Egyptian society does not need a friendship association with Israel. The Egyptian public and Arabs do not need such false friendships, as demonstrated by the attacks on the Palestinian people."" (INN) (HaAretz)
  • French police seek 500 kg (1,100 lb) of ammonium nitrate fertilizer stolen from the port of Honfleur at the mouth of the Seine River. The fertilizer can be converted easily into a powerful explosive. Such an explosive was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing. AZF recently suspended operations inside France while the group seeks to upgrade its arsenal. (NYT)
  • Mexico and Peru recall their ambassadors from Cuba, citing recent "offensive" comments by Cuban head of state Fidel Castro. The Cuban ambassador to Mexico is also expelled, for "activities incompatible with his diplomatic status". (VOA) (BBC)
  • At US$38.21 per barrel of crude, oil prices hit their highest level since 1990. (AP)
  • In an open letter to George W. Bush more than 50 former high-ranking United States diplomats (including former ambassadors to Saudi Arabia and Qatar) complain about the Bush administration's policy towards the Middle East claiming that the President's approach, and specifically his endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan, is losing the U.S. "credibility, prestige and friends". The letter follows a similar one written by 52 former British diplomats sent to Tony Blair a few days ago. (BBC)

May 2, 2004

  • Investment banker Frank Quattrone of Credit Suisse First Boston is convicted of obstructing justice and witness tampering. Quattrone played a significant role in the Initial Public Offerings of Amazon, Netscape, Intuit and other Internet companies. (NYT)
  • Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller resigns one day after Poland becomes a member of the European Union. His government was the most unpopular of the nine that have ruled Poland since the fall of the communist regime in 1989. Miller's Left Democratic Alliance party, plagued by a series of corruption scandals (including the Rywin affair), hit a record low in popularity rankings in the last months which led some of its members to break away and form a new party, the Social Democracy of Poland. President Aleksander Kwaśniewski announces he will designate Marek Belka, a liberal economist, as new prime minister. (Reuters)
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
    • Israel's Likud Party votes in a referendum not to pull out of the Gaza Strip unilaterally. The referendum's defeat is seen as a major blow to the Sharon government. Sharon subsequently says that he will not resign and may modify the plan. (BBC)
    • Palestinian gunmen kill an Israeli mother, Tali Hatuel, and four of her young children near the Kissufim Crossing in the Gaza Strip. The killers are shot dead by security forces. The incident is believed to have influenced voting intentions in the referendum held the same day. (INN) (BBC)
  • Martín Torrijos wins Panama's presidential election. (BBC)
  • U.S. civilian contractor Thomas Hamill, who was taken hostage by Iraqi insurgents on April 9, is found by U.S. forces south of Tikrit after escaping his captors. (MSNBC)
  • The Sasser worm is spreading. It has the chance of becoming as big as the Blaster worm epidemic because it can infect computers running Microsoft Windows directly without user interaction. (AP)
  • A government report has found that secret searches in the U.S. are up 85% since 2001. (Baltimore Sun),0,3416237.sto
  • A shell containing mustard gas, was found in the middle of street west of Baghdad. Officials from the Defense Department commented that this was part of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). It was not certain that use was to be made as a bomb. (Fox News),2933,120137,00.html (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

May 1, 2004

  • EU enlargement: Ten new member states (Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) join the European Union, increasing the EU's population by 75 million people to a total of roughly 455 million. (BBC) (Guardian),7368,396838,00.html
  • In Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, gunmen kill five Westerners and a Saudi security guard in a shooting spree and car chase. (BBC)
  • A fire at the Parco dei Principe hotel in Rome kills three, and forces the evacuation of a number of professional tennis stars, including Andy Roddick, Marat Safin, Mariano Zabaleta , and Max Mirnyi. (AP)
  • Smarty Jones wins the Kentucky Derby. (AP);_ylc=X3oDMTBpZTVxN2k3BF9TAzk2MDY4Mzc1BHNlYwN0bQ
  • The separatist region of Ajaria attempts to sever its links from Georgia by blowing up the three bridges connecting it to the rest of the country over the Choloki River. (AP)

Past events by month

2004: January February March April
2003: January February March April May June July August September October November December
2002: January February March April May June July August September October November December

Logarithmic timeline of current events

Last updated: 02-08-2005 16:11:27
Last updated: 02-19-2005 10:41:17