Portal:Current events/July 2003

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July 2003 was the seventh month of that common year. The month, which began on a Tuesday, ended on a Thursday after 31 days.

Portal:Current events

This is an archived version of Wikipedia's Current events Portal from July 2003.

Law and crime
  • The European Parliament approves two laws that regulate the selling of genetically modified food in the EU territory, requiring labelling of all GM products (products with more than 0.9% genetically modified parts) and allowing member states to separate GM food and non-GM food and crops.
Politics and elections
Science and technology
Armed conflicts and attacks
  • Second Chechen War: At least 16 people are killed and 40 injured by two female suicide bombers in an attack at Krylya, a popular music festival, at the Tushino airfield near Moscow. The Russian authorities blame an on-going terrorism campaign by Chechen rebels; the Chechen government denies any connection to the attacks. (BBC)
  • 2003 occupation of Iraq: 7 newly US-trained Iraqi policemen are killed and at least 13 are wounded by an explosion while they are marching from training school in Ramadi. The American forces overseeing the rebuilding of Iraq's infrastructure, who gave their blessing to the march taking place, blames loyalists to Saddam Hussein; some people on the scene blame U.S. forces. It is the first attack on Iraqis collaborating with the invading coalition forces, as opposed to on the forces themselves. (CNN)
Politics and elections
Arts and culture
  • MSNBC fires conservative talk show host Michael Savage for making several anti-gay remarks towards a prank caller posing as a homosexual. Savage, who was angered by aggressive personal attacks made by "East Coast Bob", the prank caller, stated that the caller "should only get AIDS and die". Gay rights group GLAAD applauds the decision to fire Savage. (Salon)
  • Thousands of people take part in the first bull run of the annual San Fermín festival in Pamplona, Spain. No serious injuries or gorings were reported. (CNN)
Business and economy
Politics and elections
Disasters and accidents
  • Sudan Airways Flight 139 crashes in Port Sudan, killing 116 passengers. A toddler of two or three years is the sole survivor but dies later of his wounds. (Reuters) (MSNBC)
Law and crime
Politics and elections
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Ongoing events

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Ongoing armed conflicts

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Ongoing trials

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July 9, 2003 (Wednesday)

July 10, 2003 (Thursday)

  • The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund announces that on legal advice it has frozen its funds as it faces a demand for £15 million ($25 million) damages for alleged malicious prosecution from the Franklin Mint in the US. The Mint had won a courtcase over its right to manufacture a Diana, Princess of Wales lookalike doll. Hundreds of charities are expected face financial difficulties as a result of the freeze. Arc Charity Chief Executive James Churchill says "I hope that the Franklin Mint Corporation is aware of the damage that their action is causing to groups of vulnerable young people all over the world."
  • Former International Development Secretary Clare Short urges that British Prime Minister Tony Blair voluntarily leave the premiership. Blair, dining with Bill Clinton in London's Guildhall, makes no comment.
  • Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell claims the second most senior Church of England cleric, Archbishop Hope of York, is gay. The Archbishop had previously described his sexuality as a "grey area". The claim follows the row over a nomination of an openly gay canon to a bishopric in England and his withdrawal after attacks from conservative groups within the Anglican communion.
  • NASA reports the discovery of PSR B1620-26 b (unofficially dubbed Methuselah), the oldest extrasolar planet yet discovered. The planet, which is estimated to be 12.7 billion years old, is orbiting the pulsar PSR B1620-26 in the core of the ancient globular star cluster M4, located 5,600 light-years away in the summer constellation Scorpius.[2]

July 11, 2003 (Friday)

  • Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-born Canadian journalist, dies of injuries received from a beating while in Iranian custody. She had been arrested on June 23 while taking photographs outside an Iranian prison. Her death sparks a furor between Canada and Iran over the disposition of her body and the punishment of her killers, and among international free speech groups concerned with freedom of the press in Iran.

July 12, 2003 (Saturday)

July 13, 2003 (Sunday)

  • A national governing council meets for the first time in Baghdad, as US troops launch a new assault on anti-coalition elements.[5]
  • Yahoo! announces that it will buy Internet search listing service Overture Services for $1.63 billion in cash and stock.
  • The United Kingdom media, following tip-offs from the Israeli and British Intelligence Services, state that Seán Ó Muireagáin of the Real IRA had been captured in Israel.

July 14, 2003 (Monday)

July 15, 2003 (Tuesday)

July 16, 2003 (Wednesday)

  • Seán Ó Muireagáin, a Northern Irish journalist, arrested by Israel and held for five days without legal representation in a case of mistaken identity, is released and leaves Israel. The affair causes considerable embarrassment to the Israeli and British secret services, the former having arrested Ó Mureagáin on the advice of the latter, who claimed incorrectly that he was a Real IRA man with the same name. In the confused aftermath, the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman suggests that Ó Muireagáin may have been guilty, while Prime Minister Sharon's spokesman states categorically that he was innocent and the entire affair an error. He claims that Ó Muireagáin is a former convicted Provisional IRA terrorist.
  • A coup d'état takes place in São Tomé and Príncipe; the prime minister Maria das Neves is arrested.[7]
  • Following the 500,000-people protest on July 1, the government of Hong Kong is hit by two resignations of high-ranking officials in one day. One is the Financial Secretary Antony Leung and the other is the Security Secretary Regina Ip, who was in charge of the controversial Article 23.[8]
  • Phil Fontaine is elected Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Canada.
  • An 86-year-old man accidentally hits the accelerator instead of the brake at a farmer's market in Santa Monica, California, driving his car through a closed-off street and killing at least 10 people (including a 3-year-old girl and a 7-month-old boy) and injuring over 50 others. One of the dead is the daughter-in-law of actor Dennis Weaver.
  • An Australian research team led by Graham Giles of The Cancer Council publishes a medical study which concludes that frequent masturbation by males may help prevent the development of prostate cancer.
  • Celia Cruz dies of a cancerous brain tumor.

July 17, 2003 (Thursday)

  • Same-sex marriage in Canada: the federal government releases its draft bill to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples while protecting the rights of clergy not to perform marriages that run counter to their religious beliefs. The government will seek a reference from the Supreme Court of Canada to ensure the bill is constitutional.[9]
  • India declines a United States request to send an occupation force to Iraq. Their United States Envoy assures that Indo-US relations will not be hampered by the refusal.
  • In a press conference in Belfast, journalist Seán Ó Muireagáin denies Israeli claims that suspected him of being a Real IRA activist. He states that he is not, and never has been, a member or supporter of the IRA. Israel repeats that the arrest of Ó Muireagáin was "unfortunate", but refuses to apologise. Israel's treatment of Ó Muireagáin is strongly criticised in Ireland. SDLP ex-minister Sean Farren states that Ó Muireagáin is "well known and respected" in Northern Ireland.
  • Evangelist and former United States Presidential candidate Pat Robertson announces his "massive prayer offensive" dubbed "Operation Supreme Court Freedom", asking Americans to pray that at least three United States Supreme Court justices retire so that the court can be filled with conservative justices who will overturn Supreme Court rulings on school prayer, separation of church and state and sodomy.
  • The Uniting Church in Australia votes to officially recognise and approve of homesexual clergy (ABC (Australia)).

July 18, 2003 (Friday)

July 19, 2003 (Saturday)

July 20, 2003 (Sunday)

July 21, 2003 (Monday)

  • npr.org's All Things Considered program aired a humorous article on the Wiki phenomenon, and on Wikipedia.org.
  • Jong-Wook Lee becomes the new Director-General of the World Health Organization.
  • SCO v. IBM Linux lawsuit: SCO Group announces that it intends to sell binary-only licences to use the free Linux operating system which will remove the threat of litigation from licence-holders. Linux advocates react by stating that SCO has no basis for this action, and that doing this may cause SCO to forfeit their rights under the GNU GPL to use or distribute Linux or Linux-derived code in any form. SCO press release CNet story
  • In Puerto Rico, 25 people are seriously injured after a roof collapse in a Vega Alta, Puerto Rico mall.[16] (in Spanish)

July 22, 2003 (Tuesday)

July 23, 2003 (Wednesday)

  • Die Zeit, a German newspaper, publishes an opinion poll which claims that almost one in three Germans under the age of 30 believe the United States government "could have ordered the September 11 attacks [on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon] itself". 1000 people took part in the survey.
  • California officials announce that over 110% of the required signatures to force a recall election of Governor Gray Davis are in setting the stage for what will be the first gubernatorial recall election in the United States in 82 years.[22]
  • New York City Councilman from Brooklyn, James E. Davis is assassinated at City Hall by former political opponent Othniel Askew.
  • Zahra Kazemi affair: Bill Graham, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, announces that Ms. Kazemi's body has been buried in Iran, contrary to her family's wishes. Consequently, Canada has recalled its ambassador to Iran.
  • The Minister of Justice in Finland, Johannes Koskinen, said that there could be legalized brothels for example for handicapped people. He got very angry response of organizations for handicapped. 66% of people in Ilta-Sanomat newspaper's readers said that prostitution must be under state control.

July 24, 2003 (Thursday)

  • The United States' provisional authority in Iraq releases photos of what are presumably the dead bodies of Uday and Qusay Hussein in an attempt to show the Iraqi people proof that the two were actually killed in a U.S. military operation.[23]
  • California lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante announces that governor Gray Davis will face a recall election on October 7. This will be the second gubernatorial recall election in the United States history (the first occurred 82 years beforehand).[24]
  • Italian officials have decided to attempt a restoration of Michelangelo's David using distilled water.[25]
  • Colin R. McMillan, President Bush's nominee for the post of United States Secretary of the Navy, dies of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
  • Jueves negro: Violent rioting follows on from political demonstrations in Guatemala City. (BBC)

July 25, 2003 (Friday)

July 26, 2003 (Saturday)

July 27, 2003 (Sunday)

  • Comedian Bob Hope dies in his sleep[27]
  • A group of approximately 50 rogue soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines seizes a portion of a shopping mall and the adjacent hotel in Makati City, Metro Manila in the Philippines demanding President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's resignation. They claim to have surrounded the occupied zones with explosives and have temporarily held several people in the hotel, including Australian Ambassador Ruth Pierce. The group is said by some officials to be connected to ousted President Joseph Estrada and oppositionist Senator Gregorio Honasan, who staged several coup attempts in the late 1980s.[28][29]
  • The BBC reports that an extensive investigation of Loch Ness by a BBC team, using 600 separate sonar beams, found no trace of any "sea monster" in the loch. Loch Ness is a popular tourist attraction because of the rumors surrounding an alleged monster or plesiosaur populating the lake (see Loch Ness Monster). The BBC team stated that it is now conclusively proven that "Nessie" does not exist.[30]
  • 2003 Tour de France: Lance Armstrong wins his fifth consecutive Tour de France.

July 28, 2003 (Monday)

  • The United Nations Security Council appoints Harri Holkeri to head the temporary civilian administration UNMIK in Kosovo.
  • Ambassador Ole Wøhlers Olsen, the Muslim Danish coordinator for the U.S.-led provisional authority in southern Iraq resigns unexpectedly, to be replaced by Sir Hilary Synnott, currently the British High Commissioner to Pakistan. Ambassador Olsen, who had been critical of the lack of support for his reconstruction efforts, declared the British and Danish foreign services had chosen to replace him at that time instead of in October, as earlier planned, stating that he himself had been prepared to continue his work in Basra.[31]


  1. ^ "News24, South Africa's premier news source, provides breaking news on national, world, Africa, sport, entertainment, technology & more.". News24. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "HubbleSite - NewsCenter - Oldest Known Planet Identified (07/10/2003) - Introduction". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  3. ^ "Uutiset". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  4. ^ "Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines". Yahoo News. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "BBC NEWS - Middle East - Iraq moves towards self-rule". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "Press Briefing by Scott McClellan". 15 July 2003. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ [2][dead link]
  9. ^ [3][dead link]
  10. ^ "BBC NEWS - UK - Politics - Weapons expert had slashed wrist". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  11. ^ "BBC NEWS - Technology - US snooping plan blocked". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  12. ^ "USATODAY.com - Iraq council fails to choose president". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  13. ^ [4][dead link]
  14. ^ "BBC NEWS - Europe - Corsican lead in Nice blasts". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  15. ^ [5][dead link]
  16. ^ "El Vocero de Puerto Rico". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  17. ^ Manley quits Liberal leadership race
  18. ^ "Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines". Yahoo News. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  19. ^ "CNN.com - Chalabi: Iraqis must draft constitution alone - Jul. 23, 2003". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  20. ^ CNN
  21. ^ "Entertainment - Lifestyle - The Commercial Appeal". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  22. ^ "Excite". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  23. ^ "CNN.com - U.S. releases photos said to show Saddam's sons' bodies - Jul. 24, 2003". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  24. ^ [6][dead link]
  25. ^ [7][dead link]
  26. ^ "Four U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq". Fox News. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  27. ^ "BBC NEWS - Entertainment - Comedian Bob Hope dies". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  28. ^ "BBC NEWS - Asia-Pacific - Rebels seize Manila complex". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  29. ^ "inq7.net". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  30. ^ "BBC NEWS - Science/Nature - BBC 'proves' Nessie does not exist". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  31. ^ [8][dead link]
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