January 2004

January 2004

January 2004 : ← - January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December-


January 1

* Ireland's Roman Catholic and Protestant Boy Scouts organisations merge after nearly a century of division, in spite of efforts by the Roman Catholic bishops to block the merger.
* State papers released under Britain's Thirty Year Rule suggest that the United States considered using force to seize oil fields in the Middle East during an oil embargo by Arab states in 1973. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3333995.stm] State papers also released reveal that, contrary to what was believed at the time, Princess Margaret of the United Kingdom would not have lost her title and Civil List payments if she had married Group Captain Peter Townsend, a divorced War hero in the 1950s. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3363809.stm] [http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-12964688,00.html]
* The Republic of Ireland takes over the presidency of the European Union, succeeding Italy, whose presidency is widely criticised as having been a failure due to the collapse of efforts to adopt a European constitution. [http://www.rte.ie/news/2004/0101/eu.html]
* Montréal/Dorval International Airport is renamed Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
*A British Airways flight from London to Washington, DC is canceled one day after the same flight is delayed for three hours on the tarmac at Dulles International Airport for security screening. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=1&u=/ap/20040101/ap_on_re_eu/britain_flight_canceled]
*Comparing planned United States finger-printing and photographic security controls on travelers from Brazil and other nations to Nazi actions, a Brazilian judge orders the fingerprinting of all arriving United States citizens in response. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&ncid=564&e=1&u=/nm/20040101/ts_nm/brazil_usa_immigration_dc]
*No leap second is added this year. This is the fifth year in a row without a leap-second after 28 years of adding leap-seconds to compensate for the slowing of the Earth's rotation. [http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/science/01/01/leap.second.ap/index.html]
*Haiti's bicentennial celebrations erupt in violence. [http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20040102T230000-0500_53845_OBS_CALM_RETURNS_TO_HAITI_AFTER_CLASHES_AT_BICENTENNIAL_CELEBRATIONS.asp]

January 2

* South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, composed of foreign ministers from seven south Asian countries (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan) meeting in Islamabad agree to create the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) by 2006. [http://www.ndtv.com/template/template.asp?template=Indopakfaceoff&slug=Foreign+Ministers+clear+SAFTA+draft&id=13501&callid=0&category=National]
* It appears that Stardust has successfully flown past Comet Wild 2 collecting samples that it will return to Earth in two years time. This is the first sample return mission to a comet and the first time that samples have returned to Earth from any celestial body since 1974. The spacecraft also took detailed images of the comet's icy nucleus. [http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/news/status/031230.html] [http://spaceflightnow.com/stardust/040102image.html] [http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/stardust_update_040102.html]
* U.S. Representative Ralph Hall from Texas files for reelection and switches parties from Democrat to Republican. [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2004/01/02/national1903EST0642.DTL]

January 3

* A Boeing 737, Flight 604, flown by Egyptian charter company Flash Airlines headed for Cairo crashes into the Red Sea minutes after take-off from the holiday resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. All 148 people on board are killed, of whom more than 120 were French tourists. Though both United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were in the area, neither were involved in the incident, contrary to initial reports. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3364795.stm] [http://airdisaster.com/news/0104/03/news.shtml] [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&e=1&u=/nm/20040103/ts_nm/egypt_plane_dc]
* The BBC cancels the appearance of Coca Cola sponsorship credits in the music charts in its BBC One "Top of the Pops" show, after criticism from politicians and health campaigners that it would be promoting junk food and unhealthy drink products to teenagers. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/01/03/nchart03.xml&sSheet=/portal/2004/01/03/ixportal.html]
* Ricardo Palmera, better known as Simon Trinidad, one of top seven Colombian rebel group, FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) is arrested in Ecuador. [http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/379017.html]
*Exploration of Mars: The first of the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit, has successfully landed on the Martian surface with a "very strong signal" being received from the lander. It was a tense few minutes as no signal was received from the lander during the minutes while it bounced over the surface. Mission Control is described as being a wild place with the mission scientists very happy. The first pictures are expected at the earliest around 0730 UTC [http://spaceflightnow.com/mars/mera/statustextonly.html] [http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/spirit_lands_040103.html] [http://www.marsdaily.com/2004/040104045302.b7uog1c3.html] [http://www.marsdaily.com/2004/040104045621.j8itddj8.html]
* The People's Republic of China's fifth-largest brokerage is seized by China Securities Regulatory Commission and local authorities for "illegal and irregular management operations and disorderly management." The unusual move to clamp down on China Southern Securities is a high-profile attempt to stem corruption in Mainland China. [http://edition.cnn.com/2004/BUSINESS/01/02/china.broker.reut/] [http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_4-1-2004_pg5_20]
* Casey Kasem hosts his final edition of the popular radio program American Top 40. The following week, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest officially took over hosting duties of the show. Casey continues to host two other radio programs, American Top 20 and American Top 10.

January 4

* The Loya jirga adopts a new Constitution of Afghanistan [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3366455.stm BBC Article Describing Adoption of Afghan Constitution] ]
* A military court in Israel sentences five Israelis to one year in jail for refusing to serve in the military because of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. [ [http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0105-03.htm Five Israeli Soldiers Jailed for conscientiously objecting to Gaza and West Bank occupation by Israeli troops] ] (Compare conscientious objector)
*Exploration of Mars: American Mars probe "Spirit" mission is successful and is sending back images. Spirit is alive after rolling to a stop on the surface of Mars; confirmed by NASA's Deep Space Network (9:00 p.m. PST). [ [http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/20040104a.html Press release on "Spirit's" Performance on Mars] ]
* Mikhail Saakashvili becomes president-elect of Georgia, following the Presidential elections. He had been widely expected to win following the November 23, 2003 ousting of President Eduard Shevardnadze. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3367495.stm BBC Article detailing Mikhail Saakashvili's victory in Georgian presidential elections] ]
*Bolivian Gas War: In a televised speech, Bolivian President Carlos Mesa announces that a national referendum will be held on 28 March to resolve the issue of how Bolivia's large natural gas reserves will be exploited. [ [http://www.forbes.com/markets/newswire/2004/01/05/rtr1198107.html Forbes Article announcing a referendum, to be held March 28, to discuss the exploitation of Bolivia's Natural gas reserves] ]
* Britney Spears abruptly marries a childhood friend, Jason Allen Alexander, in a Las Vegas, Nevada wedding chapel at 5:30 a.m.; by afternoon, the couple have arranged an annulment, which is expected to be made official when the courts reopen on Monday. [ [http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040104.wbrit0104_2/BNStory/Entertainment/ Britney Spears' abrupt marriage and equally abrupt annulment] ]

January 5

* A British and a German Member of the European Parliament both receive letter bombs in the post. This follows an earlier letter bomb sent to the President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3369129.stm]
*Ulster Unionist Party defector Jeffrey Donaldson and two other MLAs join Rev. Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party, pushing the DUP's numbers in the Northern Ireland Assembly to 33. [http://www.rte.ie/news/2004/0105/north.html]
* Jaap de Hoop Scheffer of the Netherlands became the new Secretary General of NATO, replacing Britain's Lord Robertson. [http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2004/01-january/e0105a.htm]
* The United States begins tracking foreign arrivals according to the new United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040105/ap_on_re_us/airport_security&cid=519&ncid=716]
* Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee meet face-to-face to discuss improving relations between their two countries. [http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20040105_817.html]
* South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which comprises India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives, signs the South Asia Free Trade Agreement, a draft agreement to eliminate tariffs by 2016. [http://www.iht.com/articles/123880.html]
* Norwegian prosecutors announce that they have abandoned their attempts to prosecute Jon Johansen for his release of the DeCSS DVD decryption software. [http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article.jhtml?articleID=702236]
* Panhellenic Socialist Movement, the ruling political party of Greece, is about to change leadership. The official report is expected to be published on January 7, 2004. It is expected by many that the new leader will be George Papandreou, junior. See [http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=506866&lngDtrID=244] and [http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=506507] (Greek)
* A potential local root vulnerability [http://isec.pl/vulnerabilities/isec-0013-mremap.txt] has been found in Linux 2.2, 2.4, and 2.6, and Linux Kernel developers have corrected the issue in 2.4 and 2.6; distributors are expected to offer the patches soon, for the benefit of those users who do not compile their own kernels.

January 6

* The man charged for the murder of Sweden's FM Anna Lindh on September 10, Mijailo Mijailović, through his defence lawyer requests an interrogation to give critical details on the stabbing. Seemingly Mijailović thereby confesses the assault.

* The "Daily Mirror", a British tabloid, publishes the blacked out portion of a letter wherein Diana, Princess of Wales alleged that someone was trying to kill her. The relevant portion reads: " [M] y husband is planning 'an accident' in my car, brake failure & serious head injury in order to make the path clear for him to marry." The part "my husband" (referring to Charles, Prince of Wales) had been previously blacked out, and the word "him" replaced with "Charles" in transcripts of the letter released by Diana's butler, Paul Burrell. [http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/page.cfm?objectid=13785435&method=full] The revelation comes on the same day the inquest into the death of Diana and her lover Dodi Al-Fayed is officially opened. [http://people.aol.com/people/news/now/0,10958,571219,00.html]
* Pakistan is cited as the source of nuclear weapon technology supplied to Libya, Iran and North Korea. The components intercepted at sea by Italy en-route to Libya were fabricated in Malaysia. There is no evidence that the Pakistani government of President Pervez Musharraf knew about the transfer of technology of Libya. [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/01/06/MNGD7448BA1.DTL] [http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=107214]

*Pakistan and India have agreed to a new round of talks to settle the Kashmir dispute. The talks will be begin February 2004. [http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=107214]
*Exploration of Mars: The first color images have been released from the Spirit rover on Mars. They are the highest resolution images ever taken on the surface of another planet. It has also been announced by NASA that they plan to name the rover's landing site on Mars "Columbia Memorial Station" in honor of the crew of STS-107. [http://spaceflightnow.com/mars/mera/040106columbia.html] [http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040106a/PIA04995_br.jpg] [http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/spirit_color_040106.html] [http://www.spacedaily.com/news/mars-mers-04i.html]
*Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate is declared the official anthem of Karnataka [http://www.hinduonnet.com/2004/01/11/stories/2004011103410400.htm]

January 7

* In the United States, the Bush administration proposes a major reform of immigration law, creating a temporary worker program and giving legal status to both illegal and foreign workers for renewable three-year periods. [http://www.iht.com/articles/124131.html] [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,107644,00.html]
* The Supreme Court of Indonesia upholds the death sentence handed down to Bali bomber Amrozi. The 12 October, 2002 attacks killed 202 mainly holiday makers on the resort island of Bali. [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1021822.htm] [http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/01/07/1073437329581.html]

* Costas Simitis, the prime minister of Greece and president of the ruling PASOK, after informing the country's president Costis Stephanopoulos, announced his resignation. At the same time he announced national elections for March 7, 2004, when PASOK will have a new president, expected to be George Papandreou. PASOK will be challenged by the New Democracy opposition led by Kostas Karamanlis. See [http://www.primeminister.gr/gr/showdoc2.asp?menu=3000104&p1=1328&p2=3&p3=1&p1s=&p2s=&p3s=] , [http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=507210&lngDtrID=244] , [http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=507133] , [http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=507247] (Greek) and [http://www.mpa.gr/article.html?doc_id=426057] , [http://www.mpa.gr/article.html?doc_id=426055] , [http://www.mpa.gr/article.html?doc_id=426060] , [http://www.mpa.gr/article.html?doc_id=426206] , [http://www.mpa.gr/article.html?doc_id=426061] (English).
*Exploration of Mars: Mars Express failed to hear any signal from the Beagle 2 spacecraft during its first pass over the landing site. This is major blow, but scientists have once again not given up all hope. They will attempt again tomorrow using a different communication mode. The Beagle 2 mission manager, Colin Pillinger, set February 7 as the day to abandon contact efforts. By that time Beagle 2 would have switched into an autotransmit mode after having not received any signal for over a month if it was still alive [http://www.beagle2.com/news/index.htm] .
* A report from the International Monetary Fund expresses alarm regarding mounting budget deficits in the United States due to recession, tax cuts, and spending for the war on terrorism. The report says that the unprecedented level of external debt incurred poses "significant risks" not just for the United States but for the rest of the world. However, many outside economists note that other countries are also running large deficits and that underlying economic conditions in the U.S. are still robust. [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/07/politics/07CND-FUND.html?hp] [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3377795.stm]

* U.S.-led occupation of Iraq: Mortar attacks by Anti-American insurgents wound 35 U.S. soldiers at a military camp west of Baghdad. Six mortar rounds exploded around 6:45 p.m. local time. [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2004/01/07/international1725EST0702.DTL]

January 8

* Levi Strauss & Co. shuts its last U.S. jeans sewing plant in San Antonio, Texas, ending all U.S. manufacturing as it shifts to a contract production model. The closure ends a "Made in the U.S.A." tradition dating back to the 1870s. [http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/business/2343774]
*The "Queen Mary 2" is christened by Queen Elizabeth II. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3368707.stm]
* An RTÉ "Prime Time" investigation accuses the Garda Síochána, the Republic of Ireland's police force, of violent abuse of people arrested. Irish Minister of State Dick Roche accuses Gardaí of "torture" of one student beaten up in a Dublin police station, while a former judge accuses police of committing perjury in his courts. The Gardaí deny all allegations. [http://www.rte.ie/news/2004/0108/garda.html]

* The United States withdraws a group of 400 weapons inspectors from Iraq after finding nothing of substance. 1400 inspectors remain. [http://www.news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2386490] [http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/content.asp?y=2004&dt=0109&pub=Utusan_Express&sec=World&pg=wo_03.htm]
* Occupation of Iraq: Nine United States soldiers are reported killed after a Black Hawk helicopter makes an emergency landing near the central Iraqi town of Falluja. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/3379433.stm]
* The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace publishes a report accusing the United States of "systematically misrepresenting" the threat posed by "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction". [http://www.news24.com/News24/World/Iraq/0,,2-10-1460_1467121,00.html] [http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1118424,00.html] [http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/special_packages/iraq/7662169.htm]
*The New Jersey legislature passes a bill creating a domestic partnership status for same-sex couples, with many of the same legal rights as marriage. It becomes the fifth U.S. state to offer such a status to same-sex couples. [http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/01/08/nj_senate_oks_legal_rights_for_same_sex_couples_governor_expected_to_sign/]

January 9

* Education in Greece: George Papandreou, junior talks about the possibility to allow private universities in Greece. [http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=507815] (Greek)
* Turkey fully abolishes the death penalty. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3384667.stm]
* USA lowers the terrorism advisory level to yellow (elevated) from orange (high). [http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/01/09/terror.threat.level/]
* Bangladesh bans books published by the Ahmadiyya movement, an Islamic sect. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3382931.stm]
*Exploration of Mars: Engineers at JPL decide to turn the Mars Spirit Rover around on its lander after it was found the airbags could not be retracted enough to allow it to move off in a forward direction. It is expected the rover will drive off sometime next week. The Rover has also stood up and deployed its front wheels. [http://spaceflightnow.com/mars/mera/040108airbags.html] [http://spaceflightnow.com/mars/mera/statustextonly.html]
*Two volcanoes erupt: the Piton de la Fournaise on Réunion Island, and the Volcán de Fuego near Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala. The eruption in Guatemala is not thought to be serious enough to require evacuations. [http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040109.wvolc0109/BNStory/International/]
*In Guatemala City, fifteen people die and twenty are hurt when a public bus collides with a crane. [http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0109GuatemalaCrash09-ON.html] [http://www.lahora.com.gt/04/01/09/index.html]
*Enron Corporation: Former Assistant Treasurer Lea Fastow and wife of Andrew Fastow, failed to respond to a plea agreement by the deadline. The offer would have allowed her to plead guilty in federal court to lesser charges and serve five months in return for her testimony. Her trial for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion is scheduled to start February 10. [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/10/business/10enron.html]

January 10

*Occupation of Iraq: Protests in the city of Amarah because of unemployment occur. Police officers and soldiers open fire on demonstrators. Five or six are killed and one or eleven wounded. [http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/01/11/sprj.nirq.main/index.html]
* In publicity for a new book for which former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill is the primary source, "60 Minutes" reveals O'Neill's claims that the Bush administration was making plans for an invasion of Iraq within days of Bush's inauguration. Bush officials note that regime change in Iraq had been official U.S. policy since 1998, three years before Bush took office. O'Neill, fired for his opposition to tax cuts, also characterized Bush as so disengaged in cabinet meetings that he "was like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people". On the positive side, O'Neill also described Bush as such a good listener that he (O'Neill) was able to give a non-stop monologue for nearly an hour in a one-on-one meeting. [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/09/60minutes/main592330.shtml]
* "SCO v. IBM": SCO Group claims that it has "low-level talks" with Google about a possible license agreement related to Linux. [http://www.forbes.com/markets/bonds/newswire/2004/01/09/rtr1205268.html]
*Iraq and weapons of mass destruction: On January 9, 2004, Danish troops discovered decade-old mortar rounds containing suspicious liquid buried in Southern Iraq. Initial tests now indicate that the rounds contain the banned chemical weapon blister gas. Final tests should be available in two days. [http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/01/10/sprj.irq.chemicals/index.html] [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&ncid=564&e=3&u=/nm/20040110/ts_nm/iraq_chemicals_dc_5]
* A speed boat carrying illegal immigrants from Albania, bound for Italy broke down and capsized. 11 people survived, while as many as 21 died due to drowning and exposure. Two have been arrested by Albanian authorities for people smuggling, while other senior officials have been implicated in connection with the tragedy. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3386481.stm] [http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/01/10/albania.immigrant.ap] [http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=436718&section=news]
* American Idol host Ryan Seacrest officially takes over hosting duties of the popular radio program American Top 40. His predecessor, Casey Kasem, continues to host other similar programs.

January 11

*Exploration of Mars: NASA's "Spirit" rover now has its arm and all six of its wheels free, and only a single cable must be cut before it can turn and roll off its lander onto the soil of Mars. As that milestone is completed, scientists are taking opportunities to take extra pictures and gather other data. [http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/releases/2004/15.cfm]
*Occupation of Iraq:
**U.S. military records show that attacks against coalition soldiers have decreased by 22% in the four weeks following the capture of Saddam Hussein. [http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-01-12-iraq-attacks-down_x.htm]
**More protests in Amarah take place. Demonstrators, many of them related to the victims of January 10, requested compensation. No significant violence reported. [http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/01/11/sprj.nirq.main/index.html]

January 12

*The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announces the ten top United States patent recipients. For the 11th year in a row, IBM tops the list; the next three in the list are headquartered in Japan. Companies from the Netherlands (Philips) and Korea (Samsung) also make appearances. [http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/speeches/04-01.htm]
*The U.S. State Department concludes that the Israeli attack on USS "Liberty" in 1967, although probably accidental, was an act of gross negligence and that Israel should be held responsible. [http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/01/12/us.israel.ussliberty/index.html] [http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1073881745637]
*Canadian federal election, 2004: Stephen Harper announces his entry into the race to lead the new Conservative Party of Canada. Earlier today, Jim Prentice drops out of the leadership contest, citing a lack of funds. [http://globeandmail.ca/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040112.wprentince0112/BNStory/National/]
*Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Over 100,000 people rally in Tel Aviv to protest Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plans to withdraw from parts of Gaza and the West Bank, which would involve abandoning some Israeli settlements in those areas. [http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/01/12/sharon.protest/index.html]
* The deadline for SCO Group to present evidence "with specificity" in the "SCO v. IBM" lawsuit expires
* IBM and Intel Set Up $10m SCO Defense Fund. [http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104_2-5138820.html]
*Astronauts on board the International Space Station think that a leak in a hose used to stop the fogging of an Earth observation window was causing the slow loss of pressure in the station. Although it would have taken a couple of months for the crew to be in any danger, some equipment on the station was only rated to just below the normal pressure. Although the cause appears to have been located, ground controllers are still getting the crew to close the station into three sections to allow them to get baseline pressure readings and to make sure that there are no more leaks. [http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/spacenews/reports/issreports/2004/iss04-3.html]
* "Computer Associates says may face SEC civil action": Software company Computer Associates International Inc, which is under investigation by federal regulators over its accounting practices, says it may face civil charges for improper accounting of revenue in fiscal 2000. [http://www.reuters.com/financeNewsArticle.jhtml?type=governmentFilingsNews&storyID=4111261]
*Iran's provincial governors are threatening to resign unless a decision by the conservative Guardian Council is reversed. [http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=D0FAA0AF-CD90-4691-90C40E9FCF88BA77]
* Mars Exploration Rover Mission: The "Spirit"'s air bags that cushioned its landing on Mars have been obstructing the vehicle's path, and this complication has postponed its exit of the launch vehicle until Wednesday or Thursday. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=624&ncid=753&e=10&u=/ap/20040112/ap_on_sc/mars_rover_shoving_off]
*The World Wildlife Fund-UK reports that the orangutan is in danger of becoming extinct within the next 20 years because of commercial logging and clearance for oil palm plantations. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20040112/sc_nm/environment_orangutans_dc_1]
*Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, religious leader of Iran, announces that he will not intervene in a growing political confrontation between progressives and hardliners after the Guardian Council, which he controls, barred thousands of candidates from running in upcoming Parliamentary elections (including 80 current members of Parliament). [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/13/international/middleeast/13TEHR.html?ex=1074574800&en=4ad1412984e737e9&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE]

January 13

* Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Tom Hurndall, a British peace activist with the International Solidarity Movement, dies after being shot in the head by an Israeli soldier on April 11 2003. The Israeli government say that they may consider bringing manslaughter charges against the soldier; the man's family claim that he should be tried for murder. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3394899.stm]
* Education in Greece: Debate over the private universities issue and George Papandreou, junior's suggestions (see 9 January) between New Democracy and PASOK. [http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=508624] (Greek)
*The Constitutional Court of Italy strikes down a law enacted to give Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi immunity from prosecution while in office. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3392973.stm]
*British serial killer Dr Harold Shipman is found dead in his cell. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3391871.stm]
*The Bichard Inquiry into events preceding the Soham murders formally opens [http://www.bichardinquiry.org.uk/] [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3391433.stm]
*Occupation of Iraq: A United States Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter is shot down near the central Iraqi town of Habbaniya, but is able to land without casualties. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3392211.stm]
*A Yak-40 airliner en route from Termez in Uzbekistan crashes near the capital Tashkent, killing all 37 crew and passengers, including the U.N.'s top official in the country, Richard Conroy. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3393845.stm]
* Robin Cook says that the British Museum's Parthenon Marbles must be returned to Greece. [http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=508606] (Greek), [http://www.mpa.gr/article.html?doc_id=427404] (English), [http://www.greece.gr/CULTURE/CulturalHeritage/marbles.stm] (Background, English)

January 14

* J.P. Morgan Chase strikes a $58 billion merger deal to buy Bank One to create the second-largest bank in the United States.
* Iraq and weapons of mass destruction: Tests performed by American and Danish military experts indicate no chemical agents are present in the "suspicious" mortar shells discovered in Iraq on January 9. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&e=5&u=/ap/20040114/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_mortar_shells_9]
* Self-confessed killer of Swedish FM Anna Lindh, 25-year-old Mijailo Mijailović, says during cross-examination in a Stockholm court that he heard voices in his head commanding him to attack Lindh when he encountered her in a Stockholm shopping mall 10 September last year. Lindh died the next day from the many stab wounds she received. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3396409.stm]
* Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan said, "It's just a matter of time before we begin to see employment start to pick up quite significantly, as it always has in the past." Greenspan is also not worried about the fall of the dollar or the half trillion dollar U.S. trade deficit. [http://www.washtimes.com/business/20040113-113126-4771r.htm]
* Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
** Reem El-Reyashi, a Palestinian suicide bomber, kills four border guards at the Erez Crossing. She is the first female suicide bomber used by Hamas. Four months before, Israel targeted Hamas leadership, including Ahmed Yassin, as a result Hamas halted all suicide bombing for four months. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3395973.stm]
** Jack Kelley, USA TODAY foreign correspondent and a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize just two years ago, was forced to resign after the newspaper determined he repeatedly misled editors during an internal investigation into stories he wrote. Among the stories that are being investigated is one published Sept. 4, 2001, contains an account of an attack on Palestinians by 13 Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Mark Memmott, the reporter asked to investigate Kelley, said he could not find anyone with first-hand knowledge of the attack. [http://www.usatoday.com/news/2004-01-13-reporter_x.htm]
* A secondary school student in the Netherlands kills a teacher in his school cafeteria. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3394831.stm]
* Greek electronic game ban: Greek police raid Internet cafés in Larissa. 80 computers are taken by the police as evidence and 3 Internet café owners are arrested. [http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=508793&lngDtrID=252] (in Greek).
* Education in Greece: 114 University professors sign a document against George Papandreou's positions on private universities and their recognition ("anagnorisi"). [http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=508745&lngDtrID=244] (Greek)
* Jacques Delors referred to Prime Minister of Greece Costas Simitis, Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker, and former Prime Minister of Belgium Jean Luc Dehaene as the top three candidates for the position of the President of the European Commission. [http://www.mpa.gr/article.html?doc_id=427305]
* A 45-year old Sudanese man travelling from Washington Dulles International Airport to airport Dubai is arrested en route at London's Heathrow Airport on suspicion of carrying 5 bullets in his coat pocket. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3396667.stm] [http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/world/7708240.htm]
* U.S. President George W. Bush, in a speech at NASA headquarters, announces a plan to develop a new space vehicle to return humans to the moon by the year 2015 and proposes the retirement of the space shuttle fleet by 2010 along with a $1 billion funding increase for NASA. [http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/01/20040114-3.html]
*Enron Corporation: Former CFO Andrew Fastow and his wife Lea Fastow, former Assistant Treasurer, accept a plea agreement. Andrew Fastow will serve a ten-year prison sentence and forfeit $23.8 million. Lea Fastow will serve a five-month prison sentence and a year of supervised release, including five months of house arrest. Both will provide testimony against other Enron corporate officers. [http://www.startribune.com/stories/535/4319468.html]
*Turkey and Greece: 22 Turkish military aircraft entered into the Greek Athens FIR. 5 of these aircraft were loaded with ammunition. Greek aircraft intercepted them. Source: Athens News Agency and in.gr. [http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=508975&lngDtrID=244] (Greek)
* Noted author d.g.k. goldberg died after a long and hard-fought battle with brain tumors and lung cancer.

January 15

*The United Nations sides with the United States on voting in Iraq. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other UN officials call direct elections in advance of July 2004 impractical, due to continuing disorder in Iraq and other factors. [http://www.washtimes.com/world/20040115-112502-3479r.htm]
*30,000 Shiite protesters in Basra call for immediate country-wide elections in Iraq, a move that would give them more power than the UN-backed plan for regional caucuses mandated by the US-led coalition [http://www.thestar.ca/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1074166569307&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154]
*South Korea's foreign minister Yoon Young-kwan resigns after a controversy in which his ministry was accused of diverging from the government's policy of increased independence from the United States. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-3627495,00.html]
*The European Union asks the World Trade Organization for authorization to impose trade sanctions against the United States in response to the U.S.'s anti-dumping scheme, which has been ruled illegal by the WTO. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/wto/article/0,2763,1123880,00.html]
*Canadian federal election, 2004: Former Ontario Health Minister Tony Clement declares his candidacy for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. Also confirmed is the candidacy of auto parts magnate Belinda Stronach, who will announce her entry into the leadership race next week. [http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/01/15/conservatives_clement040115]
*Italy has indicted three Germans, all former members of an SS Panzergrenadier Division, on charges of massacring 560 people in 1944 in the Italian village of Sant'Anna di Stazzema. The three Germans, Gerhard Sommer, 83; Alfred Schonenberg, 83; and Ludwig Sonntag, 80, are currently living in Germany. It is not clear whether Italy will request the three men's extradition from Germany. [http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=56139]
*U.S. presidential election, 2004: Carol Moseley Braun drops out of the race and endorses Dr. Howard Dean, confirming rumors circulating the night before as she taped an appearance on "The Daily Show". [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040115/ap_on_el_pr/braun&cid=694&ncid=716]
*The date for the publication of the Hutton Inquiry's report into the death of British weapons scientist Dr David Kelly is announced as January 28, 2004. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3400303.stm]
*The creditors of ailing Finnish low-cost carrier Flying Finn have threatened to confiscate the airline's planes. [http://www.iltasanomat.fi/uutiset/sahkeet.asp?id=703525]
*Exploration of Mars: The Spirit Rover has rolled off its lander to start its exploration. The first journey was only three metres. It took the rover about 78 seconds, ending with the back of the rover being 0.7 metres from the lander. [http://spaceflightnow.com/mars/mera/040115drive.html]
* The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announces the release of the Composite Capability/Preference Profiles (CC/PP 1.0). W3C's new standard profiling language CC/PP provides a standardized format of the description of information that will allow Web-enabled devices to effectively communicate their capabilities to the desired server and aids in delivering Web content to broad range of devices.
*José Bono, a prominent Socialist Spanish politician, is recorded calling Tony Blair "a complete dickhead" ("un gilipollas integral"). [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/01/16/wspain16.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/01/16/ixworld.html&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=165966]
*Popeye, like Tintin, turns 75 this month. [http://www.kingfeatures.com/pressrm/rel_154_12_1_2004.htm]

January 16

*Chen Shui-bian makes a televised address reiterating the Four Noes and One Without pledge and announcing the two questions for a referendum to coincide with the ROC presidential election, 2004 on March 20. [http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/01/16/taiwan.referendum.ap/index.html] [http://www1.chinadaily.com.cn/en/doc/2004-01/17/content_299926.htm]
*U.S. President George W. Bush appoints Charles Pickering to the United States Court of Appeals. His nomination was filibustered in the U.S. Senate, so President Bush made a recess appointment. [http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040116/D8044KNG0.html]
*Earthquake in Iran: Iran updates the death toll from the Bam earthquake to 41,000 people. The final figure could be as high as 45,000. [http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=21685&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs]
*The People's Republic of China arrests a top Hong Kong official into custody over suspicion of espionage for the United Kingdom. [http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1073281079666]
*Nunavut general election, 2004: Premier Paul Okalik of Nunavut, Canada, requests a dissolution of the territory's legislature and an election call for February 16. [http://north.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=nune-nominations]
*On or around this date, the United States national debt passes US$7 trillion.

January 17

*Planned NASA servicing missions for the Hubble Space Telescope are cancelled. Safety concerns are cited as the main reason behind the decision. [http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/157010_hubble17.html] [http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0401/16hubblesm4/]
*Human cloning: Fertility expert Dr. Panos Zavos claims to have successfully transplanted a two week old embryo into a 35 year old woman. He said he had not done the act anywhere where "the spirit of the law" was against such a procedure. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3406129.stm]
*George Papandreou of Greece promised that he will suggest to sign a mutual agreement with Turkey for lowering their defense military expenses. [http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=509619&lngDtrID=244] (Greek).
*Protesters call for resignation of German Federal Police chief Ulrich Kersten: about 6,000 people demonstrates against moving Germany's Federal Police (BKA) headquarters from Wiesbaden to Berlin. [http://www.deutschewelle.de/english/0,3367,1432_A_1091660_1_A,00.html]

January 18

*Occupation of Iraq: At around 8 am local time (5 am GMT) in Baghdad, Iraq, an insurgent suicide bomber driving a car filled with explosives blew himself up while attempting to enter "Assassin's Gate." Early reports said that about 18 people, including 16 Iraqi civilians and two United States Department of Defense workers were killed, while another 56 Iraqi civilians were wounded. [http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/01/18/sprj.nitop.baghdad.blast/index.html]
*Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon praises the Israeli ambassador to Sweden, Zvi Mazel, for vandalising the artwork entitled "Snow White and The Madness of Truth" displayed at a Stockholm museum. The piece, created by an Israeli-born composer/musician, consists of a white float carrying a picture of a Palestinian suicide bomber in a pool of blood-coloured water. Mazel was caught on surveillance video disconnecting the electric power from the display and throwing a lamp into the water. Mazel says, "This exhibit was the culmination of dozens of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish events in Sweden." [http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-3639943,00.html]
*Ex-Australian cricketer and current Victorian coach David Hookes is rushed to hospital after being hit from behind during a brawl outside the Beaconsfield Hotel in St Kilda, Victoria. He is "technically dead" by the time paramedics arrive, but is revived, and is placed in Melbourne's Alfred Hospital in a coma and on life support. [http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/01/19/1074360687447.html]

January 19

* Cargo ship "MS Rocknes" with a crew of 30 including the pilot capsizes near Bergen, Norway at 1630 local time (1530 UTC). Two people are reported dead and 24 still missing the morning after the accident. The ship was carrying a heavy load of rocks for use as shielding on top of a gas pipeline to Emden, Germany from the Norwegian Ormen Lange offshore gas field [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3412079.stm] .
* The English Court of Appeal calls for an end to the prosecution of parents whose babies may have died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (cot death) in cases where the only evidence is contended expert testimony. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/3409183.stm]
* The European Space Agency releases detailed colour images of the surface of Mars, taken by its orbiting Mars Express probe. [http://www.esa.int/export/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEMWF0474OD_0.html]
* NASA's Spirit rover arrives at its initial destination, a rock named "Adirondack", and prepares for analysis. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=96&e=1&u=/space/20040120/sc_space/spiritpreparestounlockadirondack] [http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20040119/spirit.html]
* U.S. presidential election, 2004: The Iowa caucuses yield unexpectedly strong results for Democratic candidates John Kerry, who earns 38% of the state's delegates and John Edwards, who takes 32%. Former front-runner Howard Dean slips to 18%, and Richard A. "Dick" Gephardt's fourth-place (11%) finish [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30424-2004Jan19.html] [http://pennlive.com/newsflash/lateststories/index.ssf?/base/politics-1/107456304117782.xml] prompts him to end his presidential bid. [http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Politics/ap20040119_1786.html]
* Yigal Amir, assassin of Yitzhak Rabin, plans to marry. [http://www.blogitorial.com/2004/01/yigal_amir_to_marry.html]
* "Snow White and The Madness of Truth" displayed at a Stockholm museum is again vandalized. A Russian-Jewish artist floats another image in the pool, that of Mijailo Mijailović, the murderer of Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh. [http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=56425]
*José María Aznar's government in Spain is dissolved prior to March general elections. He has said he will not run for a third term of office. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/spain/article/0,2763,1126831,00.html] .

January 20

*2004 Canadian Federal Election: Belinda Stronach officially announces her run for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. [http://www.thestar.ca/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1074596565057&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154]
*Martha Stewart pleads not guilty to five criminal counts that include conspiracy, obstruction of justice and securities fraud stemming from a sale of ImClone stock in 2001. Conviction on any of the charges against her could put Ms. Stewart in federal prison. The five counts carry a total prison term of 30 years and a $1.25 million fine. [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/20/business/20CND-MARTHA.html?hp]
*Colonel Rashid Abu Shbak of the Palestinian Authority, said that information was still coming in and the investigating team had been upgraded, but he had no new leads on who was behind the bombing attack of an American diplomatic convoy on October 15, 2002. Three people died in the attack. U.S. officials have been stopped from going to Gaza since the attack. No decision has been made yet on when they might be allowed to return. Col. Shbak blamed Israel for the lack of progress in the investigation. [http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=4169415]

January 21

* The International Olympic Committee urges Athens to continue working round-the-clock for the 2004 Summer Olympics. The deadline is for August 13. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympics_2004/3417755.stm]
* Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon Magnus's wife Crown Princess Mette-Marit gives birth to a daughter, at 0913 local time (0813 UTC), at Rikshospitalet University Hospital in Oslo. The newborn princess, named Ingrid Alexandra, weighs in at 3,686 grams and is 51 cm tall. She is second in succession to the Norwegian throne. [http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article.jhtml?articleID=713922] [http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article.jhtml?articleID=714840]
* The latest World Economic Forum event opens in Davos, Switzerland, with a keynote address by Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.
* The Royal Canadian Mounted Police raid the residence of "Ottawa Citizen" reporter Juliet O'Neill for the purposes of searching for evidence of leaked information in the Maher Arar deportation scandal. It was widely denounced by media groups and civil libertarians

January 22

*Mars Exploration Rover Mission: MER-A "Spirit" rover stops transmitting meaningful data and has thought to have gone into 'safe mode'. The cause of this is unknown but the rover is still able to send back a simple acknowledgement tone. [http://spaceflightnow.com/mars/mera/status.html]
*Staff members of the United States Republican Party are accused of infiltrating Democratic Party computers and making copies of confidential files stored on the compromised computers. The infiltrations reportedly began in early 2002. [http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/01/22/infiltration_of_files_seen_as_extensive/]
*Maher Arar sues the United States government for having deported him to Syria and not Canada, his country of citizenship. He was reportedly tortured in Syria. [http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/01/22/ararsuit040122]
*Enron Corporation: Richard Causey, former chief accounting officer was indicted in Houston, Texas on federal charges of securities fraud and conspiracy for his role in masking Enron's faltering fiscal health in late 2001. He has pled not guilty. [http://www.newsday.com/business/printedition/ny-bzenro233638506jan23,0,167980.story?coll=ny-business-print]
* Zimbabwe's only independent daily newspaper resumes publishing. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040123/ap_on_re_af/zimbabwe_media]

January 23

* David Kay steps down from Iraq Survey Group. George Tenet names former UN weapons inspector Charles Duelfer to succeed Kay. [http://www.spacewar.com/2004/040123222319.3mq7ylpu.html]
* The International Monetary Fund has joined the World Bank in forgiving US$4 billion of the $6.5bn debt owed by Nicaragua, sharply reducing the nation's overall debt payments. [http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=2D3D6D01-D8B3-4FA3-9F6AB47FF0B27966]
* The European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter directly detects water ice in the southern polar region of the planet Mars. [http://www.esa.int/export/esaCP/SEM8ZB474OD_index_0.html] [http://edition.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/01/23/mars.water.ice/]
* NASA's Spirit rover communicated with Earth in a signal detected by NASA's Deep Space Network antenna complex near Madrid, Spain, at 12:34 Universal Time (4:34 am PST) this morning. The transmissions came during a communication window about 90 minutes after Spirit woke up for the morning on Mars. The signal lasted for 10 minutes at a data rate of 10 bits per second. Mission controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., plan to send commands to Spirit seeking additional data from the spacecraft during the subsequent few hours. [http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/20040123a.html] The flight team for NASA's Spirit received data from the rover in another communication session that began at 13:26 Universal Time (5:26 am PST) and lasted 20 minutes at a data rate of 120 bits per second. [http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/20040123b.html]
* A Thai man suspected of having bird flu died, according to the Public Health Ministry. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=624&ncid=753&e=10&u=/ap/20040123/ap_on_sc/asia_bird_flu]
*At least 51 people, including a bridegroom, were killed on Friday when a fire ripped through a makeshift wedding hall in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu during a marriage ceremony. [http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/EE0FD6AA-6A32-4B78-82F7-4D6BEE0C8AC0.htm]
*An explosion has killed two people at Zhengzhou railway station, one of the People's Republic of China's biggest transport hubs. [http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/68E3BD44-319D-4D3B-AE3D-67CD101F491D.htm]

January 24

* Mars Exploration Rover Mission
**NASA isolates the flash memory aboard "Spirit" as the most probable cause of communications problems; work continues on a method to operate the rover without it. [http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/20040124a.html]
**MER-B "Opportunity" successfully lands on Mars and continues communications through all stages.

January 25

* Georgia's new president, Mikhail Saakashvili, is sworn in. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3426977.stm]
* Chess player Viswanathan Anand wins in group A of the Corus chess tournament. Thirteen-year-old Norwegian prodigy, Magnus Carlsen, wins in group C. [http://www.coruschess.com/]
*David Kay says, in his opinion, Iraq had no banned WMD stockpiles: "I don't think they existed," Kay said, "What everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last (1991) Gulf War, and I don't think there was a large-scale production program in the '90s." [http://www.npr.org/display_pages/features/feature_1615880.html] David Kay also says that part of Saddam Hussein's secret weapons programme may have been hidden in Syria. [http://www.manoramaonline.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=manorama/MmArticle/CommonFullStory&c=MmArticle&cid=1074829704662&channel=News&p=1002194839100&count=7] [http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/7ECE4398-8057-49B2-8B13-1B3D7F7CADCB.htm] Syria denies receiving Iraq arms. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3428383.stm]
* Indonesia announces that millions of birds have died from avian influenza in the last few months. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/indonesia/Story/0,2763,1131233,00.html]
* Golden Globe Awards: Major winners include "", "Lost in Translation" and "Angels in America".
* Hungarian footballer Miklos Fehér dies in a match between Benfica and Vitória Guimarães in Portugal. Benfica will subsequently retire his number 29 shirt.

January 26

* President Hamid Karzai signs into law the new constitution of Afghanistan. [http://www.thestar.ca/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1075117169557&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968705899037]
* Avian influenza has now been detected in a total of nine countries, with Pakistan and Laos as the latest additions. Pakistan has detected less dangerous strains H7 and H9. A six-year-old Thai boy became the seventh victim in Asia, with another ten suspected cases in the country. Around 19 million chickens have been slaughtered as a result of fighting the spread of the flu. The World Health Organisation expresses concern about a serious human outbreak. (WHO) [http://www.thedailystar.net/2004/01/27/d4012701066.htm] [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/445711.cms] [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1031975.htm]
*In "Fellers v. United States", the United States Supreme Court unanimously reaffirms the Miranda Warning. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=558&e=8&u=/ap/scotus_police_questioning]
*A federal judge in Los Angeles, California declares a portion of the USA Patriot Act, banning "expert advice and assistance" to suspected foreign terrorist groups, to be unconstitutional. [http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&e=3&u=/nm/security_patriotact_dc]
*The House of Representatives of Connecticut votes unanimously to investigate the dealings of Governor John Rowland, a step which might lead to impeachment proceedings. Rowland is accused of using state contractors for his personal gain. [http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=domesticNews&storyID=4211318]
*The US Energy Department's Inspector General releases a report stating that guards at the Y-12 enriched uranium storage facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee have been cheating on security drills, possibly for 20 years. [http://www.ig.doe.gov/pdf/ig-0636.pdf] [http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,62052,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2]
* Top Hamas official Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi offered a 10-year truce if Israel would withdraw from territory occupied since 1967 and acknowledge the creation of a Palestinian state. Israel dismissed the peace offer as "ridiculous". [http://www.reuters.com/locales/newsArticle.jsp?type=worldNews&locale=en_IN&storyID=4209129]

January 27

* The People's Republic of China announces an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza in the autonomous region of Guangxi, becoming the 10th country in Asia to do so [http://www.straitstimes.com.sg/latest/story/0,4390,232055,00.html?] . There are suspected cases in Hunan and Hubei provinces [http://www1.chinadaily.com.cn/en/doc/2004-01/27/content_301172.htm] [http://www.iht.com/articles/126779.html] .
* British Prime Minister Tony Blair narrowly defeats a rebellion in his own party over the Higher Education Bill - a highly controversial bill to reform higher education funding, including the introduction of increased and variable tuition fees. It is approved in the House of Commons by 316 votes to 311. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3434329.stm] [http://education.guardian.co.uk/students/tuitionfees/story/0,12757,1132974,00.html]
* U.S. presidential election, 2004: Senator John Kerry wins the New Hampshire primary. Howard Dean comes second.
* Academy Awards: nominations announced, leading films are ' (11), ' (10), "Seabiscuit" (7), "Mystic River" (6), and "Cold Mountain" (6). Keisha Castle-Hughes, at 13, becomes the youngest nominee ever for the Academy Award for Best Actress
* A new e-mail worm, Novarg/Mydoom, is spreading rapidly to thousands of machines running Microsoft Windows. It rapidly becomes the fastest-spreading e-mail worm to date. [http://www.f-secure.com/v-descs/novarg.shtml] , [http://vil.nai.com/vil/content/v_100983.htm] , [http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.novarg.a@mm.html] , [http://www3.ca.com/virusinfo/virus.aspx?ID=38102] , [http://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/virusencyclo/default5.asp?VName=WORM_MIMAIL.R] [http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/security/0,2000061744,39115847,00.htm] .

January 28

*Milan Babić, the former leader of the breakaway Republic of Serbian Krajina (now re-incorporated into Croatia), pleads guilty to crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
*David Kay testifies before a United States Senate committee stating that evidence of weapons of mass destruction was based on inaccurate intelligence. "I believe that the effort that has been directed to this point has been sufficiently intense that it is highly unlikely that there were large stockpiles of deployed, militarized chemical weapons there" and, even if Iraq did not have weapons stockpiles, this does not mean that nation wasn't dangerous. Kay urges for an inquiry into the intelligence failure and states that the United States needed better intelligence. [http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Politics/ap20040128_129.html] [http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0401/S00195.htm] [http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2464394] [http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=reutersEdge&storyID=4230282]
*The Hutton Inquiry report is released, stating the suicide of Iraqi weapons expert David Kelly did not involve "dishonourable conduct" on the part of the United Kingdom's government and exonerates Prime Minister Tony Blair of any wrongdoing in Kelly's death. The BBC receives harsh criticism for the allegations within Andrew Gilligan's report on weapons of mass destruction and the BBC's subsequent backing of the report. Gavyn Davies takes full responsibility for any wrong-doing and resigns as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the BBC. [http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/] [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3434661.stm] [http://www.dw-world.de/english/0,3367,1433_A_1099230_1_A,00.html] [http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/DC3A6AA9-AF97-45F3-9920-71731BAC5FE3.htm]
*The discovery of a new form of matter, Fermionic condensate, has been announced. [http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/science/01/28/matter.new.reut/index.html] .
*The World Wide Web Consortium releases Document Object Model Level 3 Validation as a W3C Recommendation. [http://www.w3.org/]
*San Jose, California mayor Ron Gonzales suffers a mild stroke while giving the State of the City address. The mayor is expected to make a full recovery.
*A rare artefact from 1800s used against witchcraft is found in the United Kingdom. Now displayed in a museum. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/lincolnshire/3437241.stm]

January 29

* A 60-ton sperm whale carcass explodes in downtown Tainan, Taiwan, causing traffic chaos and showering vehicles and pedestrians with blood and entrails. [http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4096586/]
* A report submitted today to the State of Maryland states that the electronic voting machines made by Diebold Election Systems "have such poor computer security and physical security that an election could be disrupted or even stolen by corrupt insiders or determined outsiders". The machines have been purchased by a number of states in the United States. [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/29/technology/29CND-SECU.html] This is the third report to state that the machines do not meet the security requirements of an election. Previous reports are available online: [http://www.dbm.maryland.gov/dbm_search/technology/toc_voting_system_report/votingsystemreportfinal.pdf] , [http://avirubin.com/vote/] .
* Hutton Inquiry: The BBC Director-General, Greg Dyke, resigns in the continuing fall-out from the report. Mr Dyke is the second high-ranking BBC official to resign. Mark Byford is appointed Acting Director-General. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3441181.stm] The UK media in general condemns the report as a whitewash. [http://media.guardian.co.uk/huttoninquiry/story/0,13812,1134025,00.html]
* The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades of Fatah claim responsibility for a suicide bombing aboard a city bus, in which Ali Yusuf Jaara, a member of the Palestinian police force, kills 10 Israelis and wounds more than 50, outside the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem. Simultaneously with the bombing, Shaul Mofaz, Israeli Defense Minister, is meeting with American envoys Wolfe and Sauterfield, who have requested an easing-up of conditions for the Palestinians. The explosion also coincides with a German-brokered prisoner swap between Israel and the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah. [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/388486.html] [http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=56993] [http://www.dunnconnect.com/articles/2004/01/28/ap/Headlines/d80chhb00.txt]

January 30

*Hutton Inquiry: Reporter Andrew Gilligan resigns from the BBC in the continuing fallout of the publication of Lord Hutton's report into the circumstances of the death of Dr David Kelly. This follows the earlier resignation of the Director-General Greg Dyke and chairman of the Board of Governors Gavyn Davies. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3446391.stm] [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3446443.stm]
* Former French Prime Minister and current Mayor of Bordeaux Alain Juppe is convicted of a party funding scam in the 1980s and early 1990s, and is given an 18 month suspended jail sentence and disqualified from elected office for 10 years, although he retains his mayoralty pending his appeal. He had been viewed as Jacques Chirac's likely successor in the 2007 Presidential election. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3444239.stm]
* Muslims begin the annual Hajj today amid fears of a possible attack by Saudi-born Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network. [http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=4249017]
* Sheik Ahmed Yassin, leader of Hamas, announces that his group is making an all-out effort to kidnap Israeli soldiers to use as bargaining chips for Palestinians in Israeli prisons, following the prisoner exchange between Israel and Hezbollah in which the remains of three Israeli soldiers and a businessman were exchanged for over 400 prisoners on January 29, 2004. [http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/international/AP-Israel-Palestinians.html]
* Self-confessed German cannibal Armin Meiwes is sentenced to 8 years and 6 months' imprisonment for manslaughter [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3443293.stm] . The prosecution had sought a life sentence for murder.
* David Bradley, creator of the famous "Ctrl-Alt-Del" keystroke combination, retires from IBM. [http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/28/35226.html]

January 31

*The United States defence budget is set to exceed US$400 billion next year—an almost 7% increase—according to budget proposals inadvertently posted on the Pentagon's website. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3447281.stm] [http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/story.asp?j=93200472&p=93zxyy78]
*The People's Republic of China puts poultry export bans on three more areas after a World Health Organization warning that the chance of controlling the Avian flu outbreak is slipping. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3446881.stm] A new SARS case is confirmed in Guangdong province. [http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=4254330&section=news]
*British Airways and Air France cancel five upcoming US flights to Washington DC and Miami, Florida amid fears of targeting by Al-Qaida. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3447715.stm] [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A839-2004Jan31.html] [http://www.forbes.com/personalfinance/retirement/newswire/2004/01/31/rtr1237099.html]
*The Svalbard Undersea Cable System is officially put into operation, giving the island group at 78° North a 40Gb connection to the Norwegian mainland. The dual 1,440 km fiber optic lines from Svalbard to Harstad is needed for communicating with polar orbiting satellite stations on Svalbard, some owned by NASA and NOAA. [http://www.ksat.no/] , [http://www.tyco.com/tyco/press_release_detail.asp?prid=622]
*Copper prices rise to a 6-year high in New York as 441 unionised workers strike at BHP Billiton's Cerro Colorado mine in northern Chile after pay negotiations fail. [http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20040131/RCOMX31/TPBusiness/MoneyMarkets]


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