Portal:Current events/February 2004

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February 2004 was the second month of that leap year. The month, which began on a Sunday, ended on a Sunday after 29 days.

Portal:Current events

This is an archived version of Wikipedia's Current events Portal from February 2004.

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Ongoing events

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February 1, 2004 (Sunday)

February 2, 2004 (Monday)

February 3, 2004 (Tuesday)

February 4, 2004 (Wednesday)

February 5, 2004 (Thursday)

February 6, 2004 (Friday)

February 7, 2004 (Saturday)

February 8, 2004 (Sunday)

February 9, 2004 (Monday)

February 10, 2004 (Tuesday)

  • Same-sex marriage in the United States: A majority of Americans (two to one margin) respond they do not want laws in their states that would legalize same-sex marriages. The poll is taken after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling.[59]
  • A group of 200 AIDS doctors in the United States calls for a boycott of pharmaceutical company Abbott Laboratories to protest the company's recent 401% price hike on its anti-HIV drug Norvir.[60]
  • An Italian intelligence report states that Italy is a departure point, as well as focus of logistic and financial support, for suicide bombers linked to al-Qaida and active against United States-led forces in Iraq. The suicide bombers were drawn from Muslim youths living on the fringes of society in Western Europe.[61]
  • The French National Assembly votes (494 to 36) to ban hijab and all other conspicuous religious symbols from state schools.[62]
  • The White House rebuts Democrats' accusations that Bush shirked his military responsibilities, releasing pay records for the President's National Guard service between May 1972 and May 1973.[63]
  • The oil cartel OPEC announces further limits on the output of crude by one million barrels a day beginning April 1, 2004. If all member states stick to the agreement, OPEC's daily output will be cut by about 10 percent.[64]
  • Recent violence in Haiti has spread as anti-government forces take control of eight towns in Western Haiti. 46 people are dead thus far. Government forces in Cap-Haïtien (second largest city in Haiti) built flaming barricades to keep the rebel forces out of the city. The United Nations urges Haitians on both sides to stop the violence.[65][66]
  • Hundreds of militants and their supporters staged a protest against the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip for putting on trial four men charged in the bombing of a United States diplomatic convoy which killed three Americans. The closed military trial began on February 7.[67]
  • Occupation of Iraq: A large car bomb explodes in the central Iraqi town of Iskandariya, 25 miles (40 km) south of Baghdad, killing at least 50 people.[68]
  • An Iranian airliner crashes on arrival at Sharjah airport in the United Arab Emirates, killing at least 35 people. A few people are thought to have survived.[69]
  • 2004 Philippine elections: The 90-day campaigning period for the president, vice-president, and senators starts this day with no less than six qualified candidates, half of which have no previous political experience. The current president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is seeking a full six-year term. The elections will be held on May 10.[70]
  • The missing Russian politician Ivan Rybkin unexpectedly reappears in Kiev, the capital of neighboring Ukraine, and is said to be on his way back to Moscow. According to his own words he "was entitled to two or three days of private life".[71]
  • Canada's auditor-general, Sheila Fraser, releases a scathing report on a CA$250-million sponsorship fund that had a major portion of its funds directed to firms friendly to the ruling Liberal party; the resulting scandal and inquiry is quite likely to affect the coming election. Alfonso Gagliano, a former cabinet minister involved in the scandal, is removed from his post as ambassador to Denmark and recalled to Canada.[72]

February 11, 2004 (Wednesday)

February 12, 2004 (Thursday)

February 13, 2004 (Friday)

February 14, 2004 (Saturday)

February 15, 2004 (Sunday)

  • Iraqi lawyers say Saddam Hussein is unlikely to stand trial for at least another two years. (Hi Pakistan)
  • United Nations Afghanistan envoy voices disdain at the "brutal and cold-blooded" murder of four deminers working to eradicate landmines in Afghanistan. (UN)
  • Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin goes on record that anyone found to be culpable in the sponsorship scandal, including himself, will be immediately discharged. The issue could delay the upcoming election until after the public enquiry is completed.
  • Same-sex marriage in the United States: Officials at the city and county of San Francisco, California, turn away hundreds of would-be same-sex newlyweds after thousands of gay and lesbian couples show up to marry over the weekend. The city claims it can only handle between 400 and 600 marriages a day, or about one a minute. (365Gay) (AP) (Washington Post) (USA Today) (SF Chronicle)
  • Thousands of protestors in Madrid and other Spanish cities march in opposition to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The protests mark the one-year anniversary of the large protests against the U.S. invasion of Iraq. (Newsday)
  • Scientists at the California Institute of Technology announce the discovery of a galaxy which is the farthest known object in the universe. The galaxy was found with the help of the magnification effect from the Abell 2218 galaxy cluster. (AP)
  • Russian rescue workers are digging through what remains of an indoor water park in Moscow after the roof collapsed yesterday. At least 25 people have been killed, more than 100 people are injured, and at least 17 people are missing. (AP) (CNN)
  • Two fires sweep through China, one in a shopping center and the other in a temple, killing at least 90 and injuring 71. (AP)
  • The British government draws up plans to break up the BBC in the wake of the Hutton inquiry. (Times) (AFP)
  • Iraqi police arrest Mohammed Zimam Abdul-Razaq, a member of the Baath Party and number 41 on the U.S. military's list of most wanted Iraqis. (AP)
  • Iran offers to sell nuclear reactor fuel on the international market under the supervision of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. (NYT)
  • Eddie Guerrero becomes the first Hispanic-American to win the WWE Championship by defeating Brock Lesnar at WWE No Way Out.

February 16, 2004 (Monday)

  • Temple in Jerusalem: An 800-year-old wall holding back part of the hill jutting out from the Western Wall leading up to the Mughrabim Gate partially collapses. Authorities believe a recent earthquake may be responsible. (BBC) (Sydney Morning Herald)
  • India and Pakistan begin formal peace negotiations, with Kashmir on the agenda. (BBC)
  • L. Paul Bremer, the United States administrator of Iraq states he will veto any interim constitution that would make Islam "the chief source of law", as opposed to "a source of inspiration for the law." Many Iraqi women express fears that the rights they hold under Iraq's longtime secular system may be denied them in the interim constitution based upon Islam as "the chief source of law." (NYT)
  • The United States states that Afghanistan's elections scheduled for this June may have to be postponed because of security problems and the failure to register enough voters. Only 8% of eligible Afghan voters have been enrolled to date. (NYT)
  • The Taiwan (ROC)'s pro-independence president, Chen Shui-bian, states that Taiwan may eventually reunify with Mainland China. Nonetheless, Chen rejects the People's Republic of China's one country, two systems formula which was applied to Hong Kong and Macau. This is a new step for Chen who, shortly after taking office in 2000, had said unification was just one option—comments widely seen as a push for independence for the island. (NYT)
  • Same-sex marriage in the United States:
  • The territory of Nunavut, Canada, holds its second general election since its creation. Of the 19 members, one is chosen by acclamation. Eight members of the previous government are returned to office, and five are defeated. The members will elect a premier on March 5.

February 17, 2004 (Tuesday)

  • Bishop Thomas O'Brien, the former head of Arizona's largest Roman Catholic diocese, is convicted of a hit and run making him the first Catholic bishop in the United States to be convicted of a felony. (Washington Post)
  • Democratic presidential nomination: Wisconsin held its primary election. John Kerry got 40% of the vote, followed by John Edwards with 34%, and Howard Dean with 18%.
  • The US FAA announces it will attempt to require a fuel tank inerting system in most large airliners in an effort to prevent fuel tank explosions such as the one which apparently destroyed TWA Flight 800 in 1996. The order could take two years to complete and then would require a retrofit of about 3,800 large Boeing and Airbus jets over the next seven years. (Newsday) (NYT)
  • A CNN survey finds that children made more than 11,000 allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. The 4,450 accused priests represent about 4% of the 110,000 priests who served during the 52 years covered by the study. Nearly 3%, or 133 of the priests, had 10 or more allegations. (CNN)
  • Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, a top Vatican official arrives in Moscow for sensitive talks with the Russian Orthodox hierarchy, which accuses the Catholic Church of aggressive proselytizing in traditionally Orthodox lands. (NYT) (Russian Orthodox Church)
  • An outbreak of dengue fever kills 91 people in Indonesia and infects thousands more. Health officials report that 4,500 people have been hospitalized for the mosquito-borne disease, mostly in the capital and other parts of East Java, including the city of Yogyakarta. The number hospitalized is double that of last year. (BBC) (NYT)
  • A study published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests breast cancer is linked to the use of antibiotics. (Tucson Citizen) (NYT)
  • As expected, the board of directors of the Walt Disney Company unanimously rejects a hostile buyout offer by Comcast, saying the cable television giant's $66 billion bid is too low, but does not rule out accepting a higher bid in the future. (AP)
  • Cingular wins the auction for AT&T Wireless by offering to pay $40.7 billion to become the United States' largest wireless telephone company. (Forbes)
  • Same-sex marriage in the United States: San Francisco Superior court Judge James L. Warner postpones any decision to block the city and county of San Francisco, California, from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to void the 2,464 same-sex marriages that were performed in the city since February 12. This was on the grounds that the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund's order for San Francisco to "cease and desist issuing marriage licenses to and/or solemnizing marriages of same-sex couples; to show cause before this court ..." had an improper semicolon; to do both, rather than one or the other, would have exceeded the judge's jurisdiction. (MSNBC)

February 18, 2004 (Wednesday)

February 19, 2004 (Thursday)

February 20, 2004 (Friday)

February 21, 2004 (Saturday)

Taiwan presidential election 2004: the official campaigning period starts at 07:00 local time.

February 22, 2004 (Sunday)

February 23, 2004 (Monday)

February 24, 2004 (Tuesday)

February 25, 2004 (Wednesday)

February 26, 2004 (Thursday)

  • IDF soldiers fire against protesters against the Israeli West Bank barrier killing two and injuring 20, several of them seriously. (CNN)
  • The United States lifts a ban on travel to Libya, ending travel restrictions to the nation that had lasted for 23 years. (Reuters)
  • Expressions by Disney shareholders of a lack of confidence in its management continue. Five more state pension funds announced that they will not vote for the re-election of chairman (and chief executive) Michael Eisner at next week's meeting. These pension funds – New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Virginia – are following the lead of California – CalPERS made its announcement to the same effect Wednesday. (TheStreet)
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin opens the 2,165 km (1,345 mi) Chita-to-Khabarovsk Amur Highway connecting the Russian Far East alongside the Pacific to the rest of the country. Construction of the highway was begun in 1978. (Guardian) (Tri-Valley Herald)
  • The President of the Republic of Macedonia Boris Trajkovski died in an airplane accident.
  • Swiss police are investigating a man in the killing of an air traffic controller. The suspect apparently lost his family in a midair collision in 2002; the murder victim was on duty at the time of the crash.
  • Microsoft's Japan headquarters are raided on suspicion of violating anti-monopoly laws by the fair trade watchdog. (BBC) (Mainichi)
  • Israel raids four banks in the West Bank seizing currency amounting to over 6 million dollars from accounts which it alleged had been used to fund terrorism. Israel claims it will use the funds for humanitarian projects in Palestinian areas. The U.S. State Department criticized the Israeli raid, and Palestinian Arabs condemned it utterly. (VOA) (SVT)
  • Clare Short, former British Cabinet Minister, alleges on the BBC Today radio programme that British spies regularly intercept UN communications, including those of Kofi Annan, its Secretary-General. (BBC) (Scotsman) The claim comes the day after Katharine Gun, formerly an employee of British spy agency GCHQ, had a charge of breaching the Official Secrets Act 1989 dropped after prosecutors offered no evidence, apparently on the advice of the Attorney General for England and Wales. Gun had admitted leaking American plans to bug UN delegates to a newspaper. (BBC)
  • Same-sex marriage in the United States:
    • The mayor of New Paltz, a village in New York State, announces that the town will start performing civil marriages for same-sex couples. It will not attempt to issue marriage certificates, but married couples in New York State have six months from the date of their wedding to seek a certificate. (365Gay)
    • Rosie O'Donnell marries her partner Kelli Carpenter at San Francisco City Hall. (AP)

February 27, 2004 (Friday)

February 28, 2004 (Saturday)

February 29, 2004 (Sunday)

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