Portal:Current events/February 2006

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2006
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February 2006 was the second month of that common year. The month, which began on a Wednesday, ended on a Tuesday after 28 days.

Portal:Current events

This is an archived version of Wikipedia's Current events Portal from February 2006.

  • Governor of West Virginia Joe Manchin asks for a halt in coal mining following two more coal mining deaths in the state that saw fourteen people die in coal mining disasters in January. (CNN).
  • More than 200 Israeli settlers and Israeli Security Forces are injured when the Security Forces brutally beat the settlers of the Amona outpost in the West Bank. (Haaretz)
  • The controversy surrounding the Muhammad cartoons escalates as newspapers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain republish the controversial pictures in defiance of widespread Muslim protests in the Middle East and elsewhere.(BBC)
  • The Latin American TV station teleSUR, backed by the Venezuelan government, has signed a co-operation agreement with the Arabic channel al-Jazeera. (BBC)
  • Shares in Google fall dramatically after the company reported profits below Wall Street estimates. $12 billion in market value was lost. (AP)
  • Astronomers measure the size of newly discovered dwarf planet Eris as larger than Pluto with 84% probability. (astro.uni-bonn.de), (AP via Yahoo!)
  • National Hockey League great Wayne Gretzky has denied placing any bets with an illegal sport gambling operation. (Reuters)
  • Finance chiefs of the G8 countries meet this weekend in Moscow with energy security at the top of their agenda. (BBC)
  • Israel has criticised Russia's decision to invite Hamas leaders to Moscow for talks, following the militant group's victory in Palestinian elections. (BBC)
  • KV63, tomb from the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, dating back more than 3,300 years, has been uncovered in the famed Valley of the Kings, an ancient desert burial ground near the southern city of Luxor. (CTV)
  • United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan wishes editors to stop reprinting the controversial Muhammad cartoons. (CBC)
  • A medium-sized earthquake, registering 4.9, shook central Chile, rattling buildings, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damages. (ABC)
  • H5N1 bird flu virus:
    • The deadly strain of H5N1 avian flu has been found in wild birds in Azerbaijan's Caspian Sea coast. (CBC)
    • Two Indonesian women from an area just east of the capital are in hospital after local tests showed they had the H5N1 bird flu virus. (ABC)
  • At least eight people are killed and 22 wounded by a car bomb in the southern Doura district of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. (BBC)
  • An atheist who sued a small-town priest for saying that Jesus Christ existed has had his case thrown out of court by a judge in Italy. (BBC)
  • The 2006 Winter Olympics open in Turin, Italy, with the opening ceremony at the Stadio Olimpico. It is the 20th winter games and the second hosted by an Italian city. (CBC)
  • Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi causes a political storm by comparing himself to Jesus Christ. (BBC)
  • A royal tomb from the 2nd or 3rd century BC is found in Pella, Greece. It is the largest Greek tomb found to date. This announcement comes a few days after the Egyptian tomb in the Valley of the Kings was found. (Reuters)
  • British tabloid The News of the World releases a video shot in 2004 by a British soldier showing the repeated kicking and beating of four Iraqi teenagers with batons by other British soldiers. The video contains a commentary by the cameraman urging the soldiers on. The Ministry of Defence began an investigation. One man was arrested on 13 February and two more on 14 February. (News of the World) (BBC)(Video)
  • United States military strategists reportedly are developing plans for a possible major military bombing campaign against Iranian nuclear sites as a "last resort" in the event that diplomatic efforts fail to convince Iran to voluntarily end what Western governments consider to be efforts at acquiring a nuclear weapon. (The Telegraph)
  • The North American blizzard of 2006 dumps 27 inches of snow on New York City, closes many major airports, and leaves 200,000 without power in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland. (CNN)
  • In a televised address to the nation, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki announces the resignations of two government ministers in connection with two separate corruption scandals, the "Goldenberg" and "Anglo Leasing" affairs. Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi and education minister George Saitoti both deny any wrongdoing. (BBC)
  • In Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonates an explosive belt in a line of people waiting to receive government payments, killing at least eight other people and wounding about 30, including children and police. (CTV)
  • Saddam Hussein is forced to attend the latest session of his trial, wearing a traditional Islamic robe rather than his usual crisp suit, as he shouted "Down with Bush." (CTV)
  • Tongan Prime Minister Prince Lavaka Ata 'Ulukalala resigns suddenly on 11 February 2006, and also gives up his other cabinet portfolios. He was replaced in the interim by the elected Minister of Labour, Dr. Feleti Sevele. (Pacific Magazine)
  • Australian Renae Lawrence, 28, the only female member of the Bali Nine group arrested in 2005, and fellow accused Scott Rush, 19, are convicted in Indonesia of attempting to import heroin to Australia and sentenced to life imprisonment. (Sydney Morning Herald)
  • The British House of Commons votes by 384 to 184, on a conscience vote, to implement a full smoking ban in all enclosed public places in England from summer 2007. (BBC)
  • The U.S. Senate votes on a budgetary point of order on the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Recovery legislation. The bill's supporters fail to get the 60 votes they need to proceed with a vote on the bill's merits, so the legislation has effectively been returned to committee. (Business Week)
  • Harry Whittington, the 78-year-old lawyer who was shot by Vice President Dick Cheney in a hunting incident, has some birdshot lodged in his heart and he has had a "minor heart attack due to an irregulairty in his heartbeat.". (ABC)
  • Kenyan Police instruct 20 leading figures not to leave the country as investigations into two corruption scandals, the Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing scandals continue. Among the people told to hand in their passports is George Saitoti whose resignation as education minister was announced by President Mwai Kibaki yesterday. Meanwhile, 80 Members of Parliament have demanded the resignation of Deputy President Moody Awori, who is accused of involvement in the Anglo Leasing affair. (BBC)
  • A moderate earthquake shakes east India, recording a 5.7-magnitude. (Reuters)
  • Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein tells the court during the latest session of his trial that he and his seven co-accused are on hunger strike to protest at their treatment. (CTV)
  • A top Iranian official confirms that Iran has resumed small-scale enrichment of uranium at one of its main nuclear facilities last week. (CBC)
  • Iran's veterinary organization said the first cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu had been detected in wild swans in the Islamic Republic. (Reuters)
  • The New York Times reveals the existence of a "destabilization plan" for Hamas, winner of the Palestinian legislative elections. The intention is, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats, to make sure that Hamas officials fail in fulfilling their campaign promises so that the president, Mahmoud Abbas, is forced to call a new election. The plan would cut all Quartet funds from the Palestinian National Authority (PA), while Israel would refuse to release taxes and custom duties it collects on behalf of the PA and also block movements between the West Bank and the Gaza strip. A third of the Palestinian population would suffer from the Quartet's decision to cut funds to the PA. (NYT)
  • Australians Andrew Chan, 21, and Myuran Sukumaran, 24, are sentenced to death by firing squad by an Indonesian court for their role in the Bali Nine heroin smuggling attempt. Fellow accused Martin Stephens, 29, and Michael Czugaj, 20, both receive life prison sentences. (ABC)
  • In Israel, the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court sentences Omri Sharon to a nine-month prison term, a nine-month suspended sentence, and a NIS 300,000 (USD 65,000) fine after he is convicted of violating political fundraising law and providing false testimony. (Ynetnews)
  • Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse: Australian television network SBS airs video and photographs of what it says are previously unpublished images of the abuse of Iraqis in US military custody at Abu Ghraib prison in 2003. (Metronews)
  • Italian ambassador Francesco Trupiano apologizes to Libya on behalf of Italian minister of Constitutional Reform Roberto Calderoli, who suggested Italy use "force against Muslims." (Angola Press)
  • The final three defendants in the Bali Nine hearings in Indonesia, Australians, Matthew Norman, 19, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, 23, and Si Yi Chen, 20, are sentenced to life imprisonment. (NineMSN)
  • The United States and Israel deny a "destabilisation plan" of Hamas, winner of the January 2006 legislative elections, which was revealed on February 14 by the New York Times. However, they do acknowledge that they would cut off funds and transfers of tax-receipts to the Palestinian Authority. The aim of the "destabilisation plan" was to push the PA to organize new elections (NYT).
  • Haitian elections, 2006: In a case of apparent electoral fraud, hundreds of ballot boxes are discovered in a garbage dump in Haiti, throwing the results of the elections there in doubt. CBC
  • Oxfam reports hundreds of thousands are affected by severe water shortages in Kenya and Somalia. (AllAfrica.com)
  • Tens of thousands of refugees are homeless in the Western Sahara after rains wiped out their shelters. (AllAfrica.com)
  • Bolkestein directive: 391 MEP vote for the new directive against 213 (among them the Party of the European Left, the European Green Party and the French Socialist Party). The controversial "country of origin principle", which had led to the Polish plumber controversy, was abandoned, although the current legislation still favorize it (BBC).
  • Following their Palestinian legislative election victory, Hamas chooses Ismail Haniya, considered a moderate, as Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority. (BBC)
  • Telephone recordings show governors in plot against journalist Lydia Cacho who exposed a ring of pedophiles. The recordings include conversations between businessman Kamel Nacif Borge and governors Mario Marín (Puebla) and Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía (Chiapas) in which they arrange for her imprisonment and bribe prison guards to have her raped on arrival. (El Universal) (Reporters Without Borders)
  • A United Nations report condemns the continued existence of Camp Delta, and multiple breaches of Human Rights by the US. (BBC). The UN says that prisoners held there should be immediately charged or released. Like many other countries that the UN Human Rights watchdog has heavily criticised, the US has attacked the report as invalid (BBC). The UN report is available online as a large 54 page PDF
  • Abu Ghraib prison abuse:
    • US civil liberties groups have called for an inquiry into treatment of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib after new images of apparent abuse were shown. (BBC)
    • U.S. slams new Abu Ghraib leak (CNN)
  • After allegations of fraud, officials in Haiti have reached an agreement to declare René Préval the winner of that country's election. (BBC)
  • Tokelau self-determination referendum, 2006: Tokelau decides to remain a New Zealand territory after a referendum on self-governance. A 60% majority voted in favor of self-governance, but a two-thirds majority was required for the referendum to succeed. (NZ Government press release)
Armed conflicts and attacks
Arts and culture
Disasters and accidents
International relations
Politics and elections
  • Uganda holds a general election, the first multiparty election in 25 years. (Times Online) (BBC)
  • Al Askari Mosque bombing: In Iraq over 100 people are killed in violence following yesterday's bombing of the Al Askari Mosque:
    • 47 factory workers are forced off buses and shot at Nahrawan, near Baghdad.
    • About 50 bullet-riddled bodies are found in Baghdad overnight.
    • Al-Arabiya TV reporter Atwar Bahjat and her two crew are killed in Samarra.
    • At least 11 people are abducted from jail in Basra by gunmen dressed as police, and shot.
    • One person is killed in a Sunni mosque in Baquba, where a bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol also kills 12 people. (BBC)
  • A roof at a marketplace in Moscow collapses under heavy snow at approximately 4:50 am local time (0150 UTC), killing at least forty-nine people. The 1970s-built building had the same architect as the Transvaal Water Park, whose roof collapsed in 2004 killing 28 people. (BBC) (CNN)
  • A magnitude 7.5 earthquake occurred at 12:19 am local time (Feb.22, 2219 UTC) in southern Mozambique, 140 miles (230 km) southwest of the coastal city of Beira, centered near Espungabera, a small farming town in a remote and sparsely populated area near the border with Zimbabwe. (USGS), (AP)
  • An ancient Egyptian sun temple has been discovered beneath a flea market in the Ein Shams suburb of Cairo, which is built on top of the ancient city of Heliopolis. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (MSNBC)
  • Al Askari Mosque bombing:
    • Sixty-eight people have been killed so far today in Baghdad, Iraq. Car bombs and mortar barrages rocked Baghdad streets, as news pundits speculate about the possibility of Iraq becoming embroiled in a full-fledged civil war. (MSNBC)
    • Baghdad's primary morgue says that the death toll resulting from violence after the Al Askari Mosque bombing has surpassed 1,300, contrary to earlier information from most news media and the United States military. (Washington Post)
  • The High Court of England and Wales grants the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, an order that delays a four-week suspension from his post ordered by an administrative tribunal last week. (Reuters)
  • For the first time in Europe, a domesticated cat is found infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus. The dead cat was found on the island of Rügen in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany. (AP), (Handelsblatt), (Reuters AlertNet)
  • Congolese government forces and United Nations peacekeepers (part of the MONUC mission) engage militia fighters in the wartorn Ituri district in a battle to retake the town of Tchei. The operation is in conjunction with a more aggressive disarmament policy by the U.N. peacekeepers in the region. (CNN)
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