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March 2003

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

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

See also:

Table of contents

March 31, 2003

March 30, 2003

March 29, 2003

March 28, 2003

March 27, 2003

March 25, 2003

  • Faulty wiring is announced as the cause of the crash of Swissair flight 111[?].
  • SARS: Ontario declares a public health emergency. Anyone who was at Scarborough[?] Grace Hospital in the past 10 days is to be isolated at home. [6] (http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/03/26/quarantine030326)

March 24, 2003

March 23, 2003

March 22, 2003

March 21, 2003

March 20, 2003

March 19, 2003

  • Jørn Siljeholm[?], a weapons inspector recently in Iraq, accused the U.S. of lying about evidence for weapons of mass destruction. English (http://www.aftenposten.no/english/world/article.jhtml?articleID=511811), Norwegian (http://www.dagbladet.no/nyheter/2003/03/19/364325)
  • Telephone tapping of EU headquarters uncovered. According to EU officials the taps targetted six EU states including Austria, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The taps appear to have been installed when the building was constructed in 1994.[13] (http://asia.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=ZGWP2EGCFUFDACRBAE0CFEY?type=worldNews&storyID=2407202)
  • A group of doctors in Hong Kong claims to have identified the agent causing severe acute respiratory syndrome as belonging to the paramyxoviridae family of viruses. [14] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2862991.stm)
  • European Union Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner, David Byrne, said "cases like SARS demonstrate only too clearly that contagious diseases require a high level of preparedness across borders. Imagine if it had been an influenza pandemic which, in the past, had a devastating impact on humans. In order to meet the contemporary public health threat of communicable diseases, we must strengthen coordination and surveillance at Community level. The most effective way to do so is by setting up a European Union Centre for Disease Control."
  • Paul Twomey[?] is chosen for being the next president of ICANN. [15] (http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-19mar03.htm)

March 18, 2003

March 17, 2003

March 16, 2003

March 15, 2003

March 14, 2003

March 13, 2003

March 12, 2003

March 11, 2003

March 10, 2003

  • Iraq disarmament crisis: The White House press secretary, paraphrasing the President, stated "If the United Nations fails to act, that means the United Nations will not be the international body that disarms Saddam Hussein. Another international body will disarm Saddam Hussein." [34] (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030310-4)
  • Iraq disarmament crisis: *Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, stated "If the US and others were to go outside the [Security] Council and take military action it would not be in conformity with the [UN] Charter".
  • French president Jacques Chirac declares that France will veto a UN resolution sponsored by Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The resolution would authorise use of force against Iraq unless that country proves it disarmament by March 17. [35] (http://www.examiner.com/headlines/default.jsp?story=n.diplomacy.0311w)
  • North Korea test-fires a short-range missile into the Sea of Japan. This is North Korea's second recent such launch. [36] (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3200105&thesection=news&thesubsection=world)
  • Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov announced that Russia would veto a UN resolution by the US and Great Britain authorising the use of force against Iraq. [37] (http://www.news24.com/News24/World/Iraque/0,6119,2-10-1460_1331062,00)
  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan[?] is elected to the Turkish parliament and is expected to become prime minister shortly. Erdogan supports deployment of US troops in Turkey and is expected to call for a new vote on the issue as one of his first official acts. [38] (http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,910912,00)
  • Deutsche Telekom discloses an annual loss of 24.6 billion euros.
  • U.S. diplomat John Brown, who joined the State Department in 1981, resigned. He said that the Bush administration's Iraq policy was fomenting a massive rise in anti-US sentiment around the world and he could not support it.

March 9, 2003

March 8, 2003

  • In a referendum, Malta votes in favor of joining the European Union in 2004.
  • An oil refinery and an oil pipeline are attacked in the northeastern Indian province of Assam. The United Liberation Front of Asom[?] separatist group claims responsibility and according to regional newspapers threatens more such attacks. [40] (http://www.canada.com/news/story.asp?id=70FD4B15-B9E1-4020-9D4F-0036E79A7115)
  • Iraq disarmament crisis: Kuwaiti workers have been instructed to make 35 holes in the fence between Iraq and Kuwait, and that the Kuwaiti army is positioning tanks at these openings. [41] (http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/03/08/sprj.irq.kuwait/index) The Pakistan Daily Times[?] reported that UNIKOM had found armed US Marines in the demilitarized zone along the fence last month. [42] (http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_9-3-2003_pg4_4) CBC reported that 230 UN support workers have been ordered out of the demilitarized zone. [43] (http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/03/08/kuwait_unikom030308)

March 7, 2003

  • Pravda reports that Georgia intends to seek UN Security Council approval to use military force against Abkhazia. [45] (http://english.pravda.ru/politics/2003/03/07/44162)
  • The United States declared a national emergency and joined the European Union in imposing economic sanctions on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and members of his government for "systematically undermin[ing] democratic institutions" in Zimbabwe. [46] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/2831701.stm)
  • War on Terrorism: Two of Osama bin Laden's sons are rumored to have been arrested in a skirmish in southern Afghanistan. [47] (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56098-2003Mar7) This report was denied by both United States and Pakistani officials. [48] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/2828431.stm)
  • Iraq disarmament crisis: Hans Blix reports to the UN Security Council citing Iraq's increased but qualified cooperation.
  • Revising the draft resolution put forth by the United States, Britain and Spain a week ago, Britain proposes setting March 17 as the date for Iraq to voluntarily disarm or face the prospect of war.
  • The Nikkei benchmark hit a 20-year low record as war in Iraq appears closer, alleged stock manipulation by Nikko Salomon Smith Barney came to light, North Korea is preparing to test fire a mid-range missile, and a new political scandal in the party of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi came to light. [49] (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030307/ts_nm/markets_japan_stocks_dc_3)
  • Broadway musicians union members went on strike in protest over producers' proposals to cut the number of musicians at live performances, and the possibility of using taped music. All but one of Broadway's musicals closed as a result.

March 6, 2003

March 5, 2003

March 4, 2003

March 3, 2003

  • Under intense American pressure, Turkey indicates that its Parliament will consider a second vote on whether to allow U.S. troops to use Turkish bases for a military attack on Iraq.
  • A man was arrested at a shopping mall in Guilderland, New York for refusing to remove a t-shirt which bore the slogan "Give Peace A Chance." He was charged with "trespassing 'in that he knowingly enter(ed) or remain(ed) unlawfully upon premises.'" He had purchased the shirt at the mall.
  • In protest of American aggression in the Iraq disarmament crisis, an international protest effort occurred called The Lysistrata Project in which public readings of the ancient Greek play, Lysistrata, were performed.

March 2, 2003

  • Armed North Korean fighter aircraft intercept and target a United States reconnaissance aircraft over International Waters[?] in the Sea of Japan. This is the first such interception since April 1969 when a North Korean jet shot down a United States Navy surveillance airplane, killing all 31 crewmen aboard. [54] (http://apnews.excite.com/article/20030304/D7PI51200)
  • Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq destroys six more Al-Samoud 2 missiles, bringing the total destroyed to 10 out of an estimated 100 missiles ordered eliminated by the U.N. The U.S. continues to dismiss Iraq's actions as "part of its game of deception." Iraq indicates that it may halt destruction of the missiles if the U.S. indicates it will go to war anyway.
  • UK newspaper The Observer publishes what it claims to be a leaked memo [55] (http://www.observer.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,905954,00) from a high-ranking NSA official dated January 31, 2003. In it are orders to spy on the domestic and official communications of the United Nations Security Council members other than the U.S. and the United Kingdom. The memo names "... members Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria and Guinea, ..." as candidates for special attention. [56] (http://www.observer.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,905936,00)
  • French president Jacques Chirac starts a three-day visit to the former French colony Algeria. It is the first visit of a French president to Algeria at the highest ceremonial level.

March 1, 2003

  • Iraq disarmament crisis: The Turkish speaker of Parliament voids the vote accepting U.S. troops involved in the planned invasion of Iraq into Turkey on constitutional grounds. 264 votes for and 250 against accepting 62,000 U.S. military personnel do not constitute the necessary majority under the Turkish constitution, due to 19 abstentions. [57] (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21613-2003Mar1)
  • Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack and of other al-Qaeda attacks, is reported to have been arrested in Pakistan and turned over to US authorities for questioning.
  • Under U.N. supervision, Iraq begins destroying four of its Al Samoud missiles.
  • The United Arab Emirates calls for Iraqi president Saddam Hussein to step down to avoid war. The sentiment is later echoed by Kuwait and Bahrain.

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