Encyclopedia > February 2003

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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:

Table of contents

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)
  • 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)
  • 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 Isonews.com (http://www.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 it's 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 British 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

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 Chretien. 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)

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 one 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

  • Four ex-Symbionese Liberation Army members are sentenced to prison for the 1975 murder of Myrna Opsahl during a bank robbery in Carmichael, California.[13] (http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/projects/sla/story/6114412p-7070153c)
  • A very large demonstration was held in Melbourne to protest against the Australian government's support for the USA's policy on Iraq. Organisers estimated that 200,000 people came out on to the streets, while some news sources put the number at "up to 150,000". [14] (http://au.news.yahoo.com/030214/2/qcxe)
  • UNMOVIC chief weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei presented a report to the United Nations Security Council. They stated that the Iraqis had been co-operating well with the inspectors and that no weapons of mass destruction had been found, but that the Saddam Hussein regime had still to account for many banned weapons believed to have been in his arsenal. Mr Blix also expressed doubts about some of the conclusions in Colin Powell's Security Council presentation of February 5, and specifically questioned the significance of some of the photographic evidence that Mr Powell had presented.
  • Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned mammal, is euthanized well short of her natural lifespan because of a progressive lung disease.

February 13, 2003

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

February 6, 2003

February 5, 2003

February 4, 2003

February 3, 2003

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 burning 14 hours after the collision.



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