January 2003

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

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

See also:


January 31, 2003

January 30, 2003

January 29, 2003

  • A false rumor that Thai actress Suvanant Kongying had told a reporter that the temple ruins at Angkor really belong to Thailand led to a riot in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, causing the destruction of the Thai Embassy and dozens of Thai-owned businesses, hotels and factories.

January 28, 2003

  • An election in the state of Oregon to pass an temporary three-year income tax failed with 54% of the votes voting against and 44% voting for. This forced the first layoffs in the Oregon State Police since its creation in 1934, and other actions including cutbacks in many of the local school districts.

January 26, 2003

January 25, 2003

January 24, 2003

January 22, 2003

  • The RIAA, a music industry lobbying group, announces that Hilary Rosen will step down as head of the organization at the end of 2003. Rosen achieved notoriety on the Internet for her prolific efforts to halt the spread of copyrighted mp3 recordings on peer to peer file sharing networks such as Napster and Kazaa. Reports indicate that the members of the RIAA are unhappy with Rosen's nearly total failure to achieve this goal. [2]
  • Elections for the Tweede Kamer, the main chamber of parliament of The Netherlands. The PvdA wins, but CDA remains the largest party in parliament. LPF loses. CDA and VVD do not get a majority.
  • A large arctic air mass over much of central North America brings severe cold and wind chill over much of southern Canada and northern United States for several days.
  • Germany and France celebrate the 40th anniversary of their friendship in Versailles (Elysée Treaty).

January 21, 2003

  • An earthquake hits Mexico that is 7.6 on the Richter scale. The center of the earthquake was on located on the Pacific coast, in the State of Colima. Even in Mexico City, the capital 400 kilometres away from the center of the earthquake, the earthquake was felt.
  • Convicted cracker Kevin Mitnick is allowed to use a computer again.

January 20, 2003

January 18, 2003

January 17, 2003

January 16, 2003

January 15, 2003

January 14, 2003

  • War on Terrorism: Three more suspects have been arrested in Manchester in England in connection with the investigation into ricin found in London, although it now appears as though the raid was initially carried out as the pursuance of an investigation into immigration issues. A Special Branch policeman, Stephen Oake, was fatally stabbed during the arrests, and three other officers were also injured, one seriously. This brings the total of those arrested to fourteen.
  • British humanitarian agency Care International warns that the security situation in Afghanistan is "urgent" and warns that coalition troops should not redirect resources from security to nation-building efforts, as this could enable factional forces to overthrow the internationally backed government in Kabul. [7]
  • 20,000 workers at US industrial giant General Electric go on strike in 23 states over a GE plan to require workers to pay more for health insurance benefits. [8]

January 13, 2003

  • War on Terrorism: Six more suspects have been arrested in Bournemouth in England in connection with the investigation into ricin found in London. This brings the total of those arrested to eleven.
  • The Indian government had to shamefully withdraw its case against Iftikhar Gilani to prevent itself from a rather piquant situation where two of its ministries would have given contradictory opinions. Gilani had been arrested under the Official Secrets Act.

January 12, 2003

  • North Korea threatens that the US will vanish in a "sea of fire" if it continues to challenge North Korea.
  • Ariel Sharon and his Likud party are the target of continued accusations of political corruption.
  • Steve Case announces his resignation as chairman of AOL after 18 years at the head of the company.
  • Groundbreaking begins on Hong Kong Disneyland, scheduled to open in 2006.
  • According to the Peruvian media, was found a Fokker F-28 which crashed near Chachapoyas. The 42 passengers and 4 crew members were all killed as a consequence of the accident.

January 11, 2003

  • George H. Ryan, Governor of Illinois, announced that he commuted the sentences of all 157 people on the state of Illinois' Death Row to life in prison. "Our capital system is haunted by the demon of error: error in determining guilt and error in determining who among the guilty deserves to die. What effect was race having? What effect was poverty having? Because of all these reasons, today I am commuting the sentences of all death row inmates," Ryan said. Ryan's term of office expires on January 13.
  • A U.S. court ordered the controversial organization Clonaid, which claims that it produced a human clone, to reveal the identity and whereabouts of the alleged cloned baby.

January 10, 2003

January 8, 2003

January 7, 2003

  • Jon Johansen was acquitted of all charges in the Norwegian DeCSS trial, in an important test case for copyright law.
  • War on Terrorism: British police announced details of the discovery of traces of the toxin ricin in a flat in Wood Green in North London in the wake of the arrest of 6 terrorist suspects. The timing of this news coincided with a major speech by Prime Minister Tony Blair dealing with the threat of terrorism and Britain's relationship with the U.S.A.
  • British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon announced details of the call-up of reservists in the military build-up calculated to increase pressure on Iraq.
  • French President Jacques Chirac, in a New Year's message to French forces, stated that French forces should be prepare to be activated if the United Nations decides on military action in Iraq.
  • Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee told an educational conference in Mumbai: "Our scientists are now talking of going to the Moon."
  • Astronomers at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton University have found the most distant extrasolar planet, OGLE-TR-56b, by a new technique of observing the intensity of light as a planet transits its sun, rather than by gravitational perturbation.

January 6, 2003

January 5, 2003

  • The flood in Germany turns out to be less severe than expected in the last few days. Exception is Wertheim, where a 100-year-high is expected.
  • Terrorist incident: A double suicide bombing shatters a busy area of Tel Aviv, Israel. 23 people are killed and about 100 are wounded. Both the Islamic Jihad and Hamas claim to be responsible for the double bombing.

January 4, 2003

January 3, 2003

January 2, 2003

  • The first 49 of a promised 1,264 West African peacekeepers arrives at Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, to help supervise the cease-fire between the government of President Laurent Gbagbo and the main rebel group, the Patriotic Movement of the Ivory Coast. Rebellion against the Gbagbo government began September 19, 2002. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed to send peacekeepers on September 29. The EECOWAS peacekeepers will join 2,500 French forces. Rebel groups occupy the northern half of Cote d'Ivoire.
  • French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin arrives in Cote d'Ivoire to help mediate the conflict.
  • Oil leakage from the sunken tanker Prestige threatens the southwestern coast of France. The prefect of Aquitaine reported a slick from the tanker is 50 kilometers (30 standard miles) from the coast. French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin promised 50 million euros for the cleanup. The Prestige, which carried 77,000 tonnes of crude oil, sunk in late November, 2002, off the coast of the Galician region of Spain.
  • The People's Republic of China Foreign Ministry reacted to a report in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz which stated that Israel had complied with a U.S. request to suspend all contracts on the exports of arms and security equipment from the PRC to Israel. Israeli Defence Ministry Director-General Amos Yaron stated that Israel intends to "track down" all security ties with the PRC. An unnamed senior Israeli official stated that the Americans were using the pretext of protecting Taiwan to cover a proposed shift of American policy to allow direct arms sales to the PRC.
  • United States Army division commanders are beginning a war game at US V Corps headquarters at Heidelberg, Germany, called VICTORY SCRIMMAGE. The exercise is under the command of Lieutenant General William S. Wallace, who is expected to command American ground forces in a planned U.S. war against Iraq.
  • Clonaid Chief Executive Brigitte Boisselier told the French television station France 2 that the American parents of the supposed clone that Clonaid created are balking at providing DNA evidence to prove that their new-born baby "Eve" is really a clone. The claim is that the parents are afraid that Florida will try to take the baby away from them.

January 1, 2003

  • Users of the Gregorian calendar around the world celebrate the New Year. Happy New Year!
  • Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva ("Lula") becomes the 37th president of the Federative Republic of Brazil for the period (2003-2007). Da Silva was elected representing the Worker's Party with 61% percent of the vote. His inaugural speech includes vows to wipe out poverty, hunger, and corruption, but da Silva promised during the campaign to abide by an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to maintain a budget surplus of 3.75% and filled key economic posts with men considered friendly to foreign investment. Among guests at the inauguration were Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Cuban President Fidel Castro, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick.
  • The Turkish-registered tanker Vicky, with 70,000 tonnes of diesel cargo, struck the wreck of the sunken auto carrier Tricolor off the coast of Dunkirk, France. The double-hulled tanker freed itself from the wreck with the rising tide and sailed a mile off to check for leakage. The Vicky is the second ship to strike the wreck of the Tricolor since the carrier sank on December 14, 2002.
  • A Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules overflew the islands of Tikopia and Anuta in the Solomon Islands to inspect damage by Cyclone Zoe. The overflight carried officials of the Australian government agency AusAID. Reports show that there was damage to crops and traditional homes, but there may be no casualties among the islands' 1,600 inhabitants.

Events by month

2005: January February March April May June July August September
2004: January February March April May June July August September October November December
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
2001: January February March April May June July August September October November December
2000: January February March April May June July August September October November December

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