May 2004

May 2004

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


< May 2004 >
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23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31

Deaths in May

28 Gerald Anthony
27 Umberto Agnelli
22 Richard Biggs
20 Len Murray
17 Tony Randall
17 Ezzedine Salim
9 Alan King
9 Akhmad Kadyrov
8(?) Nick Berg
7 Waldemar Milewicz
1 Robert Phelps
Other recent deaths

Ongoing events

Reconstruction of Iraq
– Occupation & Resistance
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Liberal Party of Canada scandal
War on Terrorism
US 9–11 Commission
Same-Sex Marriage in the US
Darfur genocide in the Sudan
Ongoing wars
2004 in Afghanistan#May

Election results in May

02 Panama (general)
07 Iran (Majlis, second round)
10 Philippines (general)
13 India (general)
16 Dominican Rep. (president)
20 Malawi (general)
23 Germany (president)

Related pages

Year in ...


May 1, 2004

The Rochester Americans rally from a 3–1 series deficit to complete the comeback and defeat the Syracuse Crunch on Norm Milley's OT goal in the first round of the American Hockey League playoffs at the Onondaga County War Memorial.

May 2, 2004

  • Investment banker Frank Quattrone of Credit Suisse First Boston is convicted of obstructing justice and witness tampering. Quattrone played a significant role in the Initial Public Offerings of Amazon, Netscape, Intuit and other Internet companies. (NYT)
  • Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller resigns one day after Poland becomes a member of the European Union. His government was the most unpopular of the nine that have ruled Poland since the fall of the communist regime in 1989. Miller's Left Democratic Alliance party, plagued by a series of corruption scandals (including the Rywin affair), hit a record low in popularity rankings in the last months which led some of its members to break away and form a new party, the Social Democracy of Poland. President Aleksander Kwaśniewski announces he will designate Marek Belka, a liberal economist, as new prime minister. (Reuters)
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
    • Israel's Likud Party votes in a referendum not to pull out of the Gaza Strip unilaterally. The referendum's defeat is seen as a major blow to the Sharon government. Sharon subsequently says that he will not resign and may modify the plan. (BBC)
    • Palestinian gunmen kill a pregnant Israeli mother, Tali Hatuel, and all four of her young daughters near the Kissufim Crossing in the Gaza Strip. The killers are shot dead by security forces. The incident is believed to have influenced voting intentions in the referendum held the same day. (INN) (BBC)
  • Martín Torrijos wins Panama's presidential election. (BBC)
  • U.S. civilian contractor Thomas Hamill, who was taken hostage by Iraqi insurgents on April 9, is found by U.S. forces south of Tikrit after escaping his captors. (MSNBC)
  • The Sasser worm is spreading. It has the chance of becoming as big as the Blaster worm epidemic because it can infect computers running Microsoft Windows directly without user interaction. (AP)
  • A government report has found that secret searches in the U.S. are up 85% since 2001. (Baltimore Sun)
  • A shell containing mustard gas, was found in the middle of a street west of Baghdad. Officials from the Defense Department commented that this was part of an improvised explosive device (IED). It was not certain that use was to be made as a bomb. (Fox News) (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

May 3, 2004

  • The US is starting to lose its dominance in the sciences; "the rest of the world is catching up", according to John E. Jankowski of the National Science Foundation. Scientists from Europe and now other countries are now publishing more papers in major professional journals than scientists from the U.S.. New York Times p.A1.
  • An Egyptian court rejects the petition of an Egyptian movie producer seeking to establish an Egyptian-Israeli friendship organization stating: "Egyptian society does not need a friendship association with Israel. The Egyptian public and Arabs do not need such false friendships, as demonstrated by the attacks on the Palestinian people." (INN)(HaAretz)
  • French police seek 500 kg (1,100 lb) of ammonium nitrate fertilizer stolen from the port of Honfleur at the mouth of the Seine River. The fertilizer can be converted easily into a powerful explosive. Such an explosive was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. AZF suspended operations inside France while the group seeks to upgrade its arsenal. (NYT)
  • Mexico and Peru recall their ambassadors from Cuba, citing recent "offensive" comments by Cuban head of state Fidel Castro. The Cuban ambassador to Mexico is also expelled, for "activities incompatible with his diplomatic status". (VOA) (BBC)
  • At US$38.21 per barrel of crude, oil prices hit their highest level since 1990. (AP)
  • In an open letter to George W. Bush more than 50 former high-ranking United States diplomats (including former ambassadors to Saudi Arabia and Qatar) complain about the Bush administration's policy towards the Middle East claiming that the President's approach, and specifically his endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan, is losing the U.S. "credibility, prestige and friends". The letter follows a similar one written by 52 former British diplomats sent to Tony Blair a few days earlier. (BBC)

May 4, 2004

May 5, 2004

May 6, 2004

May 7, 2004

  • Japan's longest-serving chief cabinet secretary, Yasuo Fukuda, resigns to take responsibility for not making pension payments. (VOA)
  • A report from the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights describes a "reign of terror" imposed by government-backed militias in Sudan's western province of Darfur. (UN)
  • A bomb blast during Friday prayers at a Shia mosque in Karachi, Pakistan, kills 10 people and injures 100. A suicide bombing is suspected. The head cleric of the mosque is among the dead. (NYT) (National Post)
  • Vladimir Putin is sworn in for his second (and final) four-year term as Russian president. (BBC)
  • Iraq Occupation and resistance:
  • Chilean President Ricardo Lagos signs legislation legalizing divorce. (BBC)
  • U.S. attorney Brandon Mayfield is detained in the investigation of the 11 March Madrid attacks. (CNN) (BBC)
  • The Prime Minister of Nepal Surya Bahadur Thapa resigns amid protests by opposition parties. Prime Minister Thapa was appointed by King Gyanendra eleven months ago. The opposing parties are demanding formation of an all party government with a Prime Minister of their choice. (BBC)
  • The FDA blocks the Over-the-counter sale of a morning-after pill despite the (23–4) recommendation of a federal advisory panel. (NYT)

May 8, 2004

  • Israel makes the first permanent appointment of an Arab to its Supreme Court as Salim Jubran is selected unanimously; Esther Hayut and Elyakim Rubinstein are also selected unanimously. Edna Arbel, the former state prosecutor who recommended indicting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on bribery charges, is selected amongst considerably more controversy and opposition. (Haaretz)
  • Computer security: German authorities arrest an 18-year-old high school student on suspicion that he is responsible for creating the Sasser worm, which has infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide by exploiting a flaw in the Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems. According to CNET, a US$5 million reward from Microsoft was instrumental in leading investigators to the suspect. (AP) (CNET)
  • Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wraps up a landmark visit to Greece. Both sides pledge cooperation—Erdoğan visits the Turkish minority in Thrace and urges reconciliation, and his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis says Greece will support Turkey's EU bid, marking a high point in Greco-Turkish relations. (BBC) (BBC) (BBC)

May 9, 2004

May 10, 2004

May 11, 2004

May 12, 2004

May 13, 2004

May 14, 2004

  • Vatican foreign minister Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo says torture of prisoners is a "more serious" blow for U.S. than September 11 (Al Jazeerah). American reaction is negative. (Catholic News)
  • The British tabloid newspaper The Daily Mirror, which published photos allegedly depicting British Army soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, concedes that it was hoaxed, apologises, and sacks its editor Piers Morgan. (BBC) (Al Bawaba) (Reuters)
  • Danish Crown Prince Frederik marries Australian Mary Donaldson in Copenhagen. The service is attended by royalty and dignitaries from around the world, amidst very high security in the face of terrorism fears. (BBC)
  • Roh Moo-hyun is reinstated as President of South Korea after that country's Constitutional Court overturns the National Assembly's March 12 impeachment vote against him. (KBS News)
  • Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka loses a parliamentary vote of confidence, less than two weeks after he was appointed to the post. He will continue in a caretaker capacity until a new candidate is appointed. (BBC) (PolitInfo)
  • The impact crater of the "Great Dying"—the end-Permian event, the largest extinction event in the history of life on Earth—appears to be a 125-mile (200-km)-wide crater called "Bedout" off the northwestern coast of Australia. (UCSB Press release)
  • Iraqi Occupation and resistance:
    • Mohammad's Army, in an interview with IWPR, states "We want to inform America that its attempt to stir up sectarian discord is a failure." (IWPR)

May 15, 2004

May 16, 2004

  • Voters in the Dominican Republic go to the polls to elect a new president; with 79% of the vote counted, former president Leonel Fernández is declared the winner. (BBC)
  • The Israeli army announces its intention to demolish hundreds of additional houses in the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip along the border with Egypt after the Supreme Court rejects a petition against the demolitions. In the past, the IDF has found dozens of tunnels hidden underneath homes allegedly used to smuggle guns, ammunition, explosives, fugitives, drugs and other illegal materials into Gaza. The court had previously issued a temporary injunction after 88 homes had been destroyed leaving more than 1000 people homeless (UNRWA figures disputed by the Israeli army). (BBC) (Haaretz) (Maariv)
  • French European Union parliamentarian Paul Marie Couteax declares: "I have no hesitation in saying that we must consider giving the Arab side a large enough force, including a large enough nuclear force, to persuade Israel that it cannot simply do whatever it wants. That is the policy my country (France) pursued in the 1970s when it gave Iraq a nuclear force."(JPost)

May 17, 2004

May 18, 2004

May 19, 2004

May 20, 2004

May 21, 2004

May 22, 2004

May 23, 2004

May 24, 2004

May 25, 2004

May 26, 2004

May 27, 2004

May 28, 2004

  • A court in Chile strips former dictator Augusto Pinochet of his immunity from prosecution, paving the way for him be tried for human rights abuses in the 1970s and 1980s. (BBC)
  • A 6.1-magnitude earthquake strikes on Iran's Caspian Sea coast. Some 20 deaths and minor damage are reported. (BBC)
  • G4 and TechTV officially merge to form the highly controversial G4techTV network. The merger was a complete failure and, although the plan was to get TechTV's millions of viewers hooked on G4, it backfired, and is now known as one of the largest flops in entertainment history.

May 29, 2004

May 30, 2004

  • Thousands of people in Hong Kong take to the streets to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, and to protest Beijing's recent moves to limit their autonomy. (VOA) (BBC)
  • Pakistan test-fires a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, but claims it will not increase tensions with India. (PakistanLink)
  • Saudi commandos storm the Khobar housing compound where Islamic militants were holding several dozen hostages, ending with 22 dead. (BBC)
  • Thousands of Pakistani Sunni Muslims riot in Karachi, ransacking property, setting fire to four banks, and stoning vehicles after Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, an influential pro-Taliban cleric, is killed in a drive-by shooting. (NYT) (BBC)
  • Buddy Rice wins the 2004 Indianapolis 500 driving for Rahal Letterman Racing. (VOA) (Sports Illustrated)
  • An F2 tornado on May 30 affected portions of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area on the same day the Indianapolis 500 was taking place. The tornado missed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by six miles and forced post-racing events to be held indoors. The tornado did however caused extensive damage across southern and eastern Marion County south of the downtown area. While 26 people were injured, over 700 structures were damaged by the storm.

May 31, 2004

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