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April 2003

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

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

See also:

Table of contents

April 30, 2003

April 29, 2003

April 28, 2003

April 27, 2003

April 26, 2003

  • Unknown assailants fire incendiary devices on an ammunition dump in suburban Baghdad, triggering hours of explosions. American sources put the casualties at six dead and four wounded; Iraqi sources state 25 wounded. [6] (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A40653-2003Apr26)
  • Winnie Mandela is sentenced to four years in prison (five years, less one year suspended) for theft and fraud. [7] (http://allafrica.com/stories/200304260034)
  • Tennis player Andre Agassi, at age 33, becomes the oldest man ever to be ranked number one in the world in the the World Tennis Association[?] rankings

April 25, 2003

April 24, 2003

  • 2003 Iraq war: Iraqi former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz surrenders himself to U.S. forces [9] (http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=8D794774-7DFD-4032-8DF8B77DE291B940)
  • The Dixie Chicks pose nude on the cover of Entertainment Weekly[?], with political slogans on their bodies, in response to their critics' reaction to lead singer Natalie Maines' derogatory remark against President Bush. [10] (http://www.msnbc.com/news/904637.asp)
  • In the Red Lion Area Junior High School[?] cafeteria (Red Lion, Pennsylvania), eighth-grader James Sheets, carrying multiple weapons, fatally shoots the principal, Eugene Segro, and then fatally shoots himself. Two years earlier, the same school district was the site of a machete attack that injured another principal, two teachers and 11 pupils.
  • Winnie Mandela is found guilty of theft and fraud involving funds of the African National Congress and faces up to fifteen years in prison. [11] (http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,942604,00?=rss)
  • The Canadian federal fisheries minister, Robert Thibault, announces the complete closure of the Atlantic cod fishery, in order to prevent the commercial extinction of cod. [12] (http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20030425.wcodd0425/BNStory/National)
  • An article in Nature states that the chemical pyrroloquinoline quinone[?] should be classed as one of the B vitamins.

April 23, 2003

  • A U.S. commanding officer in Baghdad announces that five U.S. soldiers are under investigation for the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from caches of money found in Iraq. [13] (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030423/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_us_military_thefts_2)
  • The British and Irish governments publicly ask three questions of the IRA. Depending on clarification offered, the Northern Ireland Executive may be reinstated or the Assembly elections postponed.

April 22, 2003

  • Dissident British Labour Party MP George Galloway is accused by the Daily Telegraph of receiving £375,000 a year from the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. Galloway has denied the allegations and vowed to sue the Telegraph for libel. [14] (http://www.dailytelegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/04/22/nback22.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/04/22/ixnewstop) [15] (http://media.guardian.co.uk/iraqandthemedia/story/0,12823,941141,00)

April 21, 2003

April 20, 2003

  • A bench clearing brawl happens in a baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the St. Louis Cardinals. Apparently, Cardinals player Tino Martinez[?] said some words to pitcher Miguel Batista[?] while on his way to second base. Batista then threw the ball at Martinez, and players from both teams joined the altercation. The Diamondbacks ultimately won the game, 1-0, and the MLB suspends Martinez for four games, and Batista for ten.
April 19, 2003
  • Nigeria holds a presidential election.

April 18, 2003

April 17, 2003

April 16, 2003

April 15, 2003

April 14, 2003

April 13, 2003

April 12, 2003

April 11, 2003

  • The northern Iraqi city of Mosul falls to coalition forces as the Iraqi army's 5th Corps offers a letter of surrender. The only remaining major city left to fall is Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, where some expect the remaining regime loyalists to make their final stand. [37] (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/04/11/international0620EDT0536.DTL)
  • Europe's largest civil engineering project, and the world's largest single metro expansion project, is officially opened in Madrid. Metrosur, a 40-kilometre loop of the Madrid metro in the southern suburbs of the city, took under 3 years to complete.
  • Microsoft announces that its will port its Windows Media Player to Linux, in a remarkable step that acknowledges Linux as a significant competing platform on the desktop [38] (http://www.vnunet.com/News/1140128)
  • Der Spiegel reports that Apple Computer is planning to buy Universal Music, one of the giants of the record industry, from Vivendi [39] (http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/0,1518,244270,00)
  • Cuba executes three men charged with terrorism for hijacking a passenger ferry on April 2. Another four men receive life sentences. [40] (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=589&ncid=589&e=1&u=/ap/20030411/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cuba_hijackers_executed_6)
  • In response to Baseball Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey[?]'s April 8 decision to cancel a 15th anniversary celebration of "Bull Durham[?], sportswriter[?] Roger Kahn[?] cancels a planned appearance at the baseball museum. [41] (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030411/people_nm/people_robbins_writer_dc_4)

April 10, 2003

  • United States Green Berets and Kurdish fighters enter the city of Kirkuk in Iraq with little resistance. Turkey and U.S., in separate statements, say they will not allow the Kurds to occupy the city. [42] (http://www.washtimes.com/national/default-200341121717.htm), [43] (http://www.canada.com/news/story.asp?id=45D53827-FA52-4452-9E87-7DF9276D26B9)
  • British Airways and Air France simultaneously announce that they will retire the supersonic Concorde aircraft later this year. Passenger numbers had never recovered following a crash that killed 113 in 2000. [44] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2934257.stm) In response, Sir Richard Branson offers to buy British Airways' Concordes for £1 for the use of his Virgin Atlantic Airlines. BA dismisses the offer as a stunt and indicates that the planes will go to air museums. [45] (http://www.news24.com/News24/Finance/Companies/0,,2-8-24_1346143,00)
  • A fire destroys a boarding school for the deaf in Makhachkala[?], Russia, killing 28 children, aged 8 to 14. About 100 other children suffer burns and smoke inhalation, 39 of which are in serious condition. [46] (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030410/ap_on_re_eu/russia_school_fire&cid=518&ncid=716)

April 9, 2003

  • At the International Science Festival at Edinburgh's Royal Museum, the stuffed remains of Dolly the sheep are for the first time displayed. [47] (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=573&ncid=757&e=6&;u=/nm/20030409/od_nm/odd_britain_dolly_dc)
  • Baghdad falls to coalition forces. American infantrymen seize deserted Ba'ath Party ministries and pull down a huge iron statue of Saddam Hussein at the Fardus square[?] in front of the Palestine Hotel[?], as a symbolic ending his autocratic rule of Iraq. Baghdad citizens then dragged the severed head of the statue through the streets of the city. Dozens of people there cheer U.S. soldiers, according to BBC. Much looting of cars and buildings is seen in Baghdad and other cities as the government and police lost control. [48] (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030410-71572160.htm), [49] (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/04/09/MN249161.DTL), [50] (http://www.asahi.com/international/update/0411/005), [51] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2933707.stm), [52] (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2838.htm)
  • The fate of Saddam Hussein remains unknown after a U.S. B-1B bomber dropped four 2,000-pound bunker-busting bombs on a building where Hussein was thought to be meeting with his sons and senior aides on April 7. The bombs blew a 60-foot-deep crater in a residential neighborhood that is not under coalition control, refueling speculation about the possible death of Saddam Hussein. British intelligence officials said that they believed Hussein left the targeted building just minutes before it was destroyed, and that he probably survived the attack. [53] (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,5944-639777,00) [54] (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/09/international/worldspecial/09INTE) [55] (http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,932750,00) [56] (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/iraq/inside/la-war-id9apr09,1,3264432.story)
  • Iraq's ambassador to the U.N. Muhammad Ali al-Douri[?] tells reporters that "the game is over." [57] (http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/04/09/iraq_ambass030409)
  • U.S. Undersecretary of State, John Bolton[?], warns Iran, Syria, and North Korea that they should "draw the appropriate lesson from Iraq". [58] (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030409/ts_nm/iraq_usa_warning_dc)

April 8, 2003

  • U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei reiterates a statement he made on March 31, to which the United States has yet to respond, that only the UN IAEA has a mandate to search out and destroy any nuclear weapons or parts of a nuclear weapons program found in Iraq. [59] (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030416/wl_nm/iraq_nuclear_inspections_dc_2)
  • Hong Kong health officials say that spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome may mean it's going to be around for a while. WHO officials are cautiously optimistic that it can be contained. [60] (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/09/science/sciencespecial/09INFE), [61] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2927695.stm)
  • The Iraqi ambassador to the Arab League, Mohsen Khalil[?], announces that "Iraq has now already achieved victory - apart from some technicalities." [62] (http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=281613&contrassID=1&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y)
  • Deaths of 3 journalists in Baghdad: Two American air to surface missiles[?] hit the Qatar satellite station Al Jazeera's office in Baghdad and kill a reporter and wound a cameraman. U.S. Officials said that the offices were not targeted, but were right next to the Iraqi Ministry of Information building which was a target. The nearby office of Arab satellite channel Abu Dhabi is also hit by air strikes. Al Jazeera accuses the U.S. of attacking Arab media to hide facts. On the same day a U.S. tank fires into the 15th floor of the Palestine Hotel[?] in Baghdad, where almost all remaining foreign journalists are based, and kills two cameramen and wounds three. In the Abu Dhabi case the station airs the picture of Iraqi fire from beneath of the camera. In the hotel case, however, other journalists on the scene deny any fire from or around the hotel. [63] (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/08/international/worldspecial/08CND-CAMERAMAN), [64] (http://www.asahi.com/international/update/0408/024), [65] (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=1503&ncid=1503&e=1&u=/afp/20030408/ts_afp/iraq_war_baghdad_media_030408165654)
  • Baseball Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey[?] cancels a planned celebration for the 15th anniversary of "Bull Durham[?]." Petroskey cites recent comments made by film co-stars Tim Robbins[?] and Susan Sarandon as potential dangers to U.S. troops in Iraq. The celebration was to take place April 26 and 27. [66] (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030410/ap_on_en_mo/bbo_hall_bull_durham_cancellation_1)

April 7, 2003

  • As part of a plea bargain, alleged Mafia boss Vincent "the Chin" Gigante admits in court that he has been feigning insanity for more than 30 years. [67] (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/04/08/MN89146.DTL)
  • In Oakland, California, police fired rubber bullets and beanbags at anti-war protesters and dockworkers outside the Port, injuring at least a dozen demonstrators and six longshoremen standing nearby. Most of the 500 demonstrators were dispersed peacefully, but a crowd of demonstrators[?] was blocking traffic on private property near the port and fail to disperse after police warnings. Oakland Police Chief said demonstrators also threw objects and bolts at them, and said the use of weapons was necessary to disperse the crowd. He indicated non-lethal projectiles were used to respond to direct illegal action. The longshoremen were caught in the crossfire. A dockworker spokeman reported Police gave two minutes to disperse, then didnot move to arrest people, instead they opened fire. Demonstrators also claim though the rubber bullets were supposed to be shot at the ground, the Police took direct aim at them. Oakland police said 31 people were arrested at the port.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Powell says that war in Iraq is "drawing to a close". [68] (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030408-82540860.htm)
  • United States troops push into the centre of Baghdad and enter at least one abandoned Presidential Palace. (see Invasion of Baghdad).
  • Embedded NPR journalists relay reports from a top official with the 1st Marine Division that U.S. forces near Baghdad have discovered 20 medium range BM-21[?] missiles armed with warheads containing deadly sarin and mustard gas that are "ready to fire." [69] (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47645-2003Apr7), [70] (http://abcnews.go.com/sections/world/Primetime/iraq_main030407)
  • More than a dozen Coalition soldiers, a Knight Ridder[?] reporter, a CNN cameraman and two Iraqi prisoners of war are sent for chemical weapons decontamination after exhibiting symptoms of possible exposure to Tabun and Sarin nerve agents and lewisite blistering agents while searching an Iraqi agricultural warehouse[?] and a nearby military compound on the Euphrates river between the cities of Kerbala[?] and Hilla[?]. U.S. soldiers found eleven 25-gallon barrels and three 55-gallon chemical drums, hundreds of gas masks and chemical suits, along with large numbers of mortar and artillery rounds. Initial tests of the chemicals were positive, then a second test was done which came back negative. A third test, conducted by a mobile testing unit provided by Germany confirmed the existence of sarin. Some reports indicate that the chemicals found at the agricultural werehouse may turn out to be pesticides. Further tests are planned in the United States. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said later in a Pentagon briefing that "almost all first reports we get, turn out to be wrong. We don't do first reports and we don't speculate." [71] (http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=L5KG4VLUQZXNSCRBAEKSFEY?type=topNews&storyID=2522510), [72] (http://www.msnbc.com/news/895392.asp)
  • Syracuse University defeats the University of Kansas to win the NCAA's college basketball championship

April 6, 2003

  • British forces step up their presence in the southern city of Basra. According to embedded journalists, the citizens of Basra braved gunfire to dance in the streets and cheer for the British troops. UPI's Chief International Correspondent Martin Walker claimed that he had witnessed at least one Basra citizen kiss a British tank. [73] (http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030407-025947-4642r)
  • In a friendly fire incident, U.S. warplanes struck a convoy of allied Kurdish fighters and U.S. Special Forces during a battle in northern Afghanistan. At least 18 people are killed and more than 45 wounded, including senior Kurdish commanders.

April 5, 2003

  • The Senate of Belgium approves a change in the nation's war crimes law so that it will no longer apply to citizens of nations with sufficient human rights laws. The House of Representatives had already approved the change. The law had been used in the past to charge such people as George H. W. Bush, Colin Powell and Ariel Sharon with war crimes, and had interfered with Belgium's international relations. [74] (http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?Page=%5CForeignBureaus%5Carchive%5C200304%5CFOR20030407d)

April 4, 2003

April 3, 2003

April 2, 2003

April 1, 2003



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