Historical Timeline

Calendar Months

   "Most newspaper article events happen anywhere from days, to months, to years before they reach publication. Consequently, most newspaper articles on this timeline are preceded by the date of the newspaper in which they appear." [E.M.]      *Color Code

January 2004

2004 - Astronomic Configuration - January 1st, 2004: "Sun [10 Capricorn], Moon [0 Taurus], Mercury [28 Sagittarius R], Venus [13 Aquarius], Mars [9 Aries], Jupiter [18 Virgo], Saturn [9 Cancer R], Uranus [0 Pisces], Neptune [11 Aquarius], Pluto [20 Sagittarius], Chiron [18 Capricorn]." [Link: 1]

2004 - In Effect? / CAN-SPAM Legislation - January 2004: "[....] In January 2004, federal CANSPAM legislation took effect with a clear definition of spam and improved enforcement guidelines. It became illegal under federal law to send e-mail with deceptive headers, addresses or improperly labled pornography, and Internet service providers were empowered to file lawsuits. [....]" [Based on: article by Brad Smith, Commentary section, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 08/12/05]

2004 - Nebra Sky Disk / Mittelberg Germany - "National Geographic Magazine [January Issue] printed an article about a bronze 'Sky Disk' believed to be about 3,600 years old." [E.M.]

2004 - Flu Epidemic? / United States - January 1st, 2004: "ATLANTA - The flu is widespread in almost every state, and the number of deaths from pneumonia and influenza is now at an epidemic level, federal health officials said Wednesday [12/31/03]. [....] Pneumonia and influenza accounted for 7.8 percent of all deaths reported for the period, hitting what the CDC described as an 'epidemic threshold.' " [Reuters News Service / & contributions from The Associated Press]

2004 - Earthquake / Mexico - January 2nd, 2004: "MEXICO CITY - A strong earthquake rocked Mexico City and Acapulco on Thursday [01/01/04]. [....] The Mexico quake, centered 25 miles east of the resort of Zihuatanejo, had a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 and struck shortly after 5:30 p.m. local time. [....] It was followed by a strong aftershock with a magnitude of 5.2." [A.P.]

2004 - Depleted U.S. Pensions - January 2nd, 2004: "NEW YORK - Last year's stock market rally added more than $100 billion to corporate America's depleted pension funds, but even that wasn't enough to offset forces that continued to weaken the funds. If all America's 500 largest companies had to make good on their promises to workers and retirees immediately, they'd have to plug a gap of $259 billion in their pension funds, according to a study by Standard & Poor's that will be published soon." [Mary Williams Walsh, The New York Times]

2004 - Ice Age Camp / Siberia - January 2nd, 2004: "WASHINGTON - A people who may have been ancestors of the first Americans lived in Artic Siberia, enduring one of the most unforgiving environments on earth at the height of the ice age, say researchers who have discovered the oldest evidence yet of humans living near the frigid gateway to the New World. Russian scientists uncovered a 30,000-year-old site where ancient hunters lived on the Yana River in Siberia, about 300 miles north of the Artic Circle and not far from the Bering land bridge that then connected Asia with North America." [A.P.]

2004 - Earthquake / Indonesia - January 2nd, 2004: "JAKARTA, Indonesia - An earthquake shook parts of eastern Indonesia on Friday [01/02/04], witnesses and officials said. The undersea quake struck shortly before dawn in the Straights of Lombok, about 18 miles off the east coast of Bali. The U.S. Geological Service recorded the temblor at 5.4." [A.P.]

2004 - Kiowa Down / Iraq - January 3rd, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A U.S. Army helicopter [OH-58 Kiowa Warrior from the 82nd Airborne Division] was shot down Friday [01/02/04] near the volatile Sunni Muslim town of Fallujah, with one American soldier killed and another injured." [Laura King, Los Angeles Times]

2004 - Stardust Spacecraft - January 3rd, 2004: "PASADENA, Calif. - In a feat akin to hitting one high-speed bullet with another, NASA's Stardust spacecraft flashed through the tail of a comet Friday [01/02/04], collecting tiny grains of primordial matter to try to better understand the origins of the solar system and perhaps even how life began on earth. After traveling nearly 2.5 billion miles in five years, the 16-foot-long probe passed within 143 miles of the nucleus of comet Wild-2 at about 1:22 p.m. St. Louis time, snapping 72 pictures of the 4-mile-wide snowball of rock and ice. It collected a thumbnail-sized parcel of stardust that it will carry home to a Utah landing in two years." [Los Angeles Times]

2004 - Earthquake / Loyalty Islands - January 3rd, 2004: "An earthquake measuring 7.1 occured southeast of the Loyalty Islands on this date."

2004 - Status / U.S. Budget Deficit - January 4th, 2004: "The government covers the deficit by borrowing. Last year, that borrowing equaled $3,500 for every household in America. This year's borrowing will equal nearly 5 percent of everything the country produces (the gross domestic product). If it's not reined in soon, such astronomical debt will create drag on the economy, and interest payments will drain the government's ability to serve the next generation. The first major crisis could hit when the baby boomers begin cashing their Social Security checks in 2010." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2004 - Mars Landing / "Spirit" Rover - January 4th, 2004: "The first US rover - called Spirit - landed on Mars at about 0435 GMT on Sunday [Saturday, 12/03/04, 11:35 p.m. EST]. The 'robotic geologist' will be followed down in late January by its twin, Opportunity." [BBC News] [Links: 1, 2]

2004 - Audiotape / Osama Bin Laden? - January 4th, 2004: "A speaker thought to be bin Laden says on an audiotape broadcast on Al-Jazeera that the U.S.-led war in Iraq is the beginning of the 'occupation' of Persian Gulf states for their oil. He calls on Muslims to keep fighting a holy war in the Middle East. Officials say it is probably authentic." [A.P., 10/30/04]

2004 - Fatality / Flash Airlines  Fight FSH604 - January 4th, 2004: "SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt - A charter jet full of French tourists returning home from Egyptian vacations crashed into the Red Sea early Saturday [01/03/04], killing all 148 people aboard. Officials blamed mechanical failure." [Salah Nasrawi, A.P.]

2004 - Fireballs / Spain - January 5th, 2004: "Hundreds of witnesses reported seeing fireballs cross the skies of northern Spain on Sunday [01/04/04] in what authorities said may have been a disintegrating meteorite, Spanish radio said." [News Services]

2004 - New Constitution / Afghanistan - January 5th, 2004: "KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghans approved a new constitution on Sunday [01/04/04] to cement a fragile peace and push ahead with reconstruction two years after a U.S.-led coalition ousted the Taliban rulers." [A.P.]

2004 - Land Aquisition / Brazil Indians - January 5th, 2004: "Armed with shotguns and bows and arrows, thousands of Brazilian Indians invaded ranches near the border with Paraguay to claim what they say is ancestral land, state officials and police said Sunday [01/04/04]. [....] The government of President  Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has promised to increase the redistribution of land to Indians who have suffered discrimination for centuries. Brazil's Indian agency says they will hold about 12 percent of the nation after extra demarcations of ancestral land take place." [News Services]

2004 - Stem Cell Research / New Jersey - January 5th, 2004: "WEST ORANGE, N.J. - New Jersey has become the second state [after California] to allow stem cell research as Gov. James E. McGreevey signed a law Sunday [01/04/04] that he said would 'move the frontiers of science forward.' " [A.P.]

2004 - Coffee & Diabetes - January 6th, 2004: "PHILADELPHIA - Drinking more coffee may reduce the risk of developing the most common of diabetes, a study found." [Joann Loviglio, A.P.]

2004 - Obesity / U.S. Teens - "January 6th, 2004: "CHICAGO - Teenagers in the United States have the highest rates of obesity among 15 industrialized countries, including France and Germany, in a study of nearly 30,000 youngsters ages 13 and 15." [A.P.]

2004 - Air Leak / Intl. Space Station - January 6th, 2004: "The international space station is experiencing a slow, steady drop in air pressure, and American and Russian flight controllers are investigating posible causes of the leak. [....] Mission control first noticed the drop in pressure  Jan. 1 and said the data showed a daily decline of about 2 milimeters of mercury." [U.S. Digest]

2004 - Tourist Screening / United States - January 6th, 2004: "MIAMI - U.S. Imigration officers began fingerprinting and photographing tens of thousands of visitors arriving from other countries Monday [01/05/04], in what federal authorities described as a sophisticated new security measure to monitor who enters the country and how long they stay." [New York Times]

2004 - Consumer Debt / United States - January 6th, 2004: "NEW YORK - As the bills from year-end spending sprees arrive, Americans are finding that the mountain of debt they've built is growing. Consumer debt has doubled to record levels in the last ten years, making it hard for many families to cope. [....] Consumer debt hit a record $1.98 trillion in October 2003, according to the Federal Reserve's most recent figures. The debt includes credit cards and car loans, but not mortgages. It translates to about $18,700 for each U.S. household. [....] How did American consumers get so deep in debt? Robert D. Manning, a sociology professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology who wrote 'Credit Card Nation - The Consequences of America's Addiction to Credit,' said the problem dates to the 1980's, when financial institutions began issuing  cards and making loans to people who wouldn't have qualified under old criteria. [....] The nation's credit-card debt  stands at $735 billion, or nearly $7,000 a household. And because about 40 percent of users pay off their balances each month, the card debt of those who carry balances is closer to $12,000 dollars. [....] What's surprising about the nation's debt is that it has continued to rise despite record numbers of mortgage refinancing from 2001 to 2003, many of them yielding cash that consumers have used to pay down credit-card balances. [....] Though refinancings have allowed upper-income households to put their balance sheets in order, lower-income families without that option are finding it harder to cope. 'They're the folks filing for bankruptcy in record numbers,' Zandi said. Consumer bankruptcies have exceeded one million a year since 1996, hitting a record 1.54 million in 2002. Filings totaled 1.25 million in the first nine months of 2003." [Eileen Alt Powell, The Associated Press]

2004 - Letter Bombs / European Union - January 6th, 2004: "BRUSSELS, Belgium - Two more letter bombs addressed to senior members of the European Parliament burst into flames and another was intercepted Monday [01/05/04] - bringing the number of seven since Dec. 27." [A.P.]

2004 - Trivia / Mexican Immigration, U.S.A. - January 6th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush will propose changes in immigration law to allow workers from Mexico to enter the United States if they have jobs waiting for them, officials said Monday [01/05/04]."

2004 - Foreign Worker Legal Status / United States - January 7th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - A plan being proposed by President George W. Bush would give legal status to foreign workers, including millions already toiling in America's underground economy. They would be allowed to stay in the United States but not be put on a fast track toward permanent U.S. residency." [A.P.]

2004 - Global Species Destruction - January 8th, 2004: "NEW YORK - Hundreds of species of plants and animals around the globe could vanish or be on the road to extinction over the next 50 years if global warming continues, scientists warn." [A.P.]

*Trivia - "It is amazing to consider that Nikola Tesla, sometime in the 1920's first wrote in his personal journals his thoughts concerning the buildup of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere. These gases, caused by manmade and natural pollutants were to eventually cause the planet's overall temperature to increase to such a point that the polar icecaps would melt, flooding the coastlines. As well, weather patterns would change dramatically bringing about fierce storms, droughts in some areas and floods in others. Agriculture would be destroyed and life as we know it would cease to exist." [Tim Swartz, The Lost Journals of Nikola Tesla, p. 120]

2004 - Anti-American Attack / Sunni Triangle - January 8th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Anti-American insurgents fired mortar rounds at a U.S. military camp Wednesday night [01/07/04], wounding 35 U.S. soldiers, the U.S. command said." [A.P.]

2004 - Bicycle Bomb / Iraq - January 9th, 2004: "A bomb strapped to a bicycle exploded outside a Shiite mosque after prayers in Baquba, killing at least six people."

2004 - Lowered / U.S. Terrorism Level - January 9th, 2004: "Homeland security Secretary Tom Ridge lowered the nation's terrorism risk level from 'high' [orange] to 'elevated' [yellow]."

2004 - Questionable Credibility? / Dick Cheney - "... Cheney cited a November [2003] article in the Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, as 'the best source of information' on cooperation between Saddam and al-Qaida. The article was based on a leaked top-secret memorandum. It purportedly set out evidence, compiled by a special Pentagon intelligence cell, that Saddam was in league with al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. It was written by Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, the third-highest Pentagon official and a key proponent of the war. [Jonathan S. Landay, Knight Ridder Newspapers, March 2004]

2004 - Prisoner of War Designation / Saddam Hussein - January 9th, 2004: "The U.S. Defense Department announced that it had designated Saddam Hussein a prisoner of War."

2004 - Flooding / Brazil - "Flood date(s): January 10th-March 8th, 2004. Number of recorded deaths: 161." [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 207]

2004 - Antibiotics Shortage? - January 11th, 2004: "A dramatic shortage in the number of new antibiotics could create a public health crisis soon, infectious disease experts warn. [....] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved eight antibacterial drugs since 1998. Only two of those were completely new classes of antibiotics." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2004 - Revelations / Paul O'Neill - January 11th, 2004: "CRAWFORD, Texas - Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill says the United States began laying the groundwork for an invasion of Iraq just days after President George W. Bush took office in January 2001 - more than two years before the start of the U.S.-led war that ousted Saddam Hussein." [A.P.]

2004 - People's Choice Awards - January 12th, 2004: " 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl' won the favorite movie award, while 'Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' took the favorite drama category. 'Bruce Almighty' was named favorite comedy. [....] 'Friends' won for favorite comedy series." [A.P., 01/12/04]

2004 - Lost Flights / Lambert Field - January 12th, 2004: "Lambert Field lost a greater percentage of flights and available seats over the last two years than any other large hub in the country." [Shane Graber, St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2004 - Revelations / Paul O'Neill - January 12th, 2004: "O'Neill said he tried to warn Vice president Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits - expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone - posed a threat to the U.S. economy. Cheney cut him off. 'You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter,' he said, according to experts. Cheney continued: 'We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due.' A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired. [....] In the CBS interview, O'Neill likened Bush at Cabinet meetings to 'a blind man in a room full of deaf people.' " [Reuters News Service]

2004 - The Price of Loyalty - January 13th, 2004: "Responding to an account provided by O'Neill in a book to be published today, 'The Price of Loyalty,' by Ron Suskind, Bush said he was working from his first days in office on how to put into effect an existing national policy of promoting a change of government in Iraq. But the president said his focus at the time was on re-evaluating the ways in which the United States and Britain were enforcing the 'no-flight' zones in northern and southern Iraq." [New York Times News Service]

2004 - Polygamy Trivia / Utah - January 13th, 2004: "A civil rights attorney challenged Utah's ban on polygamy Monday [01/12/04], citing a Supreme Court ruling that struck down a Texas sodomy law." [U.S. Digest]

2004 - Concrete Wall / Jerusalem - January 13th, 2004: "ABU DIS, West Bank - With the thud of tons of concrete hitting soft earth, Israel worked Monday [01/12/04] to build a 25-foot-high wall on the edge of Jerusalem, signaling Israel's encirclement of the city is becoming permanent." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Troops / Sahara Desert - January 13th, 2004: "NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania - The United States is expanding anti-terrorism efforts to the remote reaches of West Africa's Sahara borders, dispatching U.S. troops and contractors to help seal the predominantly Islamic region to al-Qaida and its allies." [A.P.]

2004 - Reported Prisoner Abuse / Abu Ghraib Prison, Iraq - January 13th, 2004: "A military police officer reports abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison to his superiors." [New York Times, 05/09/04]

2004 - Car Bomb / Iraq - January 14th, 2004: "A suspected suicide car bomb exploded outside a police station in Baquba, killing at least two passers-by and wounding 26 people, many of them police."

2004 -  Apache Down / Iraq - January 14th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Hostile fire brought down an Army Apache attack helicopter Tuesday [01/13/04], the third aircraft lost this month west of Baghdad. No one was hurt. [....] The AH-64 helicopter gunship from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment crashed near the town of Habbaniyah, but the two crew members escaped injury, military spokesman Col. William Darley said." [A.P.]

2004 - Status / Biotech Crops - January 14th, 2004: "More farmers than ever - 7 million in 18 countries  - chose to plant genetically modified crops last year despite global controversy about their use, according to a report made public Tuesday [01/13/04]. [....] The use of genetically modified plants, also called biotech crops, has increased 40-fold since 1996. And the group predicts that 10 million farmers in at least 25 countries will plant 247 million acres of biotech crops within five years. [....] Monsanto, based in Creve Coeur [Mo.], is the world's leading provider of biotech seeds and traits. The company sold $1.9 billion of these products in the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2002. The  International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications estimated the global market value of biotech crops at $4.5 billion to $4.75 billion last year, based on seed prices plus technology fees added on for the use of patent-protected traits. It expects the market to top $5 billion next year." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2004 - Fatality / Uzbek Airliner - January 14th, 2004: "TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - A domestic airliner crashed Tuesday [01/13/04] on approach to the airport in Uzbekistan's capital, the interior ministry said. At least 36 people, including the top U.N. official for Uzbekistan, were aboard, and no survivors were reported." [A.P.]

2004 - Prisoner Abuse Inquiry / Iraq - January 14th, 2004: "Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the senior American commander in Iraq, orders a criminal inquiry into the reports of abuse." [New York Times, 05/09/04]

2004 - Tanker Crash / Baltimore, Md. - January 14th, 2004: "At least four people were killed Tuesday [01/13/04] after a tanker truck carrying flammable liquid plunged off a highway overpass and exploded into a fiery mass on other vehicles along Interstate 95 near Baltimore, officials said. [....] Besides the tanker, at least three other vehicles burned during the hour-long fire." [U.S. Digest]

2004 - Status / Nuclear Test Ban Treaty - January 15th, 2004: "VIENNA, Austria - In a new signal that Libya is serious about renouncing its weapons of mass destruction, U.N. officials said Wednesday [01/14/04] that the North African country has ratified the nuclear test ban treaty. Libya's nuclear program was far from producing a weapon, and the treaty is 12 nations short of the 44 ratifications needed for it to enter into force. [....] Once it comes into force, the treaty bans any nuclear weapon test explosion in any environment." [A.P.]

2004 - Suicide Bomber / Israel-Gaza Border - January 15th, 2004: "EREZ CROSSING, Gaza Strip - A Palestinian blew herself up Wednesday [01/14/04] at the Israel-Gaza border, killing three Israeli soldiers  and a private security guard and signaling a new tactic by Hamas militants, who had never before dispatched a woman as a suicide bomber. [....] The bombing took place as efforts to restart peace negotiations remained stalled, with Israel's leaders threatening to impose a new boundary between Israel and the Palestinians if no progress is made soon. Violence over the past 39 months has killed 2,618 people on the Palestinian side and 909 on the Israeli side." [A.P.]

2004 - Guilty Plea / Andrew S. & Lea W. Fastow - January 15th, 2004: "HOUSTON - Andrew S. Fastow, chief architect of the off-the-books deals that brought down Enron Corp., and his wife pleaded guilty Wednesday [01/14/04] in agreements that could take prosecutors to the top of Enron's corporate ladder." [A.P.]

2004 - Privy to Alleged Iraq Prisoner Abuse / Donald Rumsfeld - January 15th, 2004: "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld became aware of alleged abuse and the photographs and received general descriptions of them in mid-January." [New York Times, 05/09/04]

2004 - Privy to Alleged Iraq Prisoner Abuse / Richard Meyers - January 15th, 2004: "Gen. Richard B. Meyers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was briefed on the abuse and the photographs in a general sense in mid-January." [New York Times, 05/09/04]

2004 - Status / Spirit Rover - January 16th, 2004: "PASEDENA, Calif. To the great relief of NASA scientists, the Spirit rover rolled onto the surface of Mars and trundled across the salmon-colered soil Thursday [01/15/04] for the first time since the vehicle bounced to a landing nearly two weeks ago." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Appeal / United Nations - January 16th, 2004: "The Bush administration wants the United Nations to help the United States solve problems threatening to block  Iraq's political transition, the most prominent being a demand by a Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, for nationwide elections to choose a governing assembly. [....] Senior U.S. officials say that if obstacles to the interim government can't be overcome, the July 1 deadline for sovereignty to Iraqis may have to slip." [Baltimore Sun]

2004 - Prisoner Abuse Statement / Iraq - January 16th, 2004: "The American military command in Iraq issues a statement on the criminal investigation." [New York Times, 05/09/04]

2004 - Civilan Casualties / Afghanistan - January 17th, 2004: "KABUL, Afghanistan - The Afghan president on Saturday [01/30/04] said a U.S. airstrike last month killed 10 civilians, including women and children, contradicting American military reports that claimed the casualties were Taliban militants. [....] President Hamid Karzai said an Interior Ministry report had found that the airstrike Jan. 17 on a village killed 10 civilians - despite the U.S. military's declaration that five Taliban militants and no civilans died. [....] The Jan. 17 raid followed two botched airstrikes on villages in December that killed 15 children." [A.P.]

2004 - Suicide Car Bomber / U.S. Baghdad Headquarters, Iraq - January 18th, 2004: "A suicide car bomber killed at least 20 people, mostly Iraqi civilians, at the entrance to the main U.S. Baghdad headquarters. More than 100 people were wounded."

2004 - Leadership Suspension / 320th U.S. Military Police Battalion, Iraq - January 18th, 2004: "The leadership of the 320th Military Police Battalion, the unit involved in the Abu Ghraib incidents, is suspended from duties." [New York Times, 05/09/04]

2004 - An End to Evil - January 19th, 2004: "Do not pick a fight with David Frum (former Bush speechwriter and stimulating author) or Richard Perle (former Assistant Secretary of Defense and 'eminence grise of foreign policy hard-liners). Their book, 'An End to Evil; How to Win the War on Terror,' provides a devestating reply to every single argument advanced by the left against this war and provides an intellectual and moral boost to those who have supported it from the beginning. [....] Frum and Perle recommend scrapping the regional bureaus at the department of state, which lack clear missions and, in the author's words, tend to 'stop representing America to the world and begin representing the world to America'. [....] Here you will find the Frum/Perle and, more broadly, the conservative answer to such questions as how to deal with France and Saudi Arabia, which are really adversaries; manage the United Nations; undermine the Tehran mullahocracy; defuse the North Korean bomb; wean Pakistan from Saudi-inspired (and underwritten) extremism; police our borders; and lean hard on nations like Egypt, Syria/Lebanon, Venezuela and others to cease all support for terror. But the greatest contribution of 'An End to Evil' is its full-throated, passionate defense of the rightness of our cause. In the Islamists, the authors argue, we are facing the moral equivalent of the Nazis and Communists. Everywhere that the bacillus of Islamism has incubated, it has wrought misery and destruction. Though the authors agree we are not at war with Islam itself, they note that within the Muslim world it is the Islamists, not the moderates, who have the wind at their backs. Spreading democracy is not just benevolent; it is the very best self-defense. 'Our vocation,' Frum and Perle write, 'is to support justice with power. It is a vocation that has earned us terrible enemies. It is a vocation that has made us, at our best moments, the hope of the world.' " [Based on: article by Mona Charen, Copyright: Creators Syndicate]

2004 - Legionnaires' Epidemic / France - January 19th, 2004: "A food factory in northern France closed on Sunday [01/18/04] after bacteria linked to an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease nearby was detected in the cooling system. Two other factories have already been shut in the area since the outbreak of the disease, which has killed ten people. Health Minister Jean-Francois Mattei said the region had been hit by an epidemic 'never before seen, neither in France, nor elsewhere, so vicious is this strain of legionnaires'. ' " [News Services] 

2004 - Status / Prisoner Abuse Investigation, Iraq - January 19th, 2004: "Sanchez requests a senior-level investigation of practices and proceedures at Abu Ghraib, separate from the criminal investigation." [New York Times, 05/09/04]

2004 - Shiite Protest / Iraq - January 20th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Tens of thousands of Shiite Muslims marched in Baghdad on Monday [01/19/04] to demand early elections." [A.P.]

2004 - Status Report / Spirit Rover - January 20th, 2004: "The first use of the tools on the arm of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit reveals puzzles about the soil it examined and raises anticipation about what the tool will find during its studies of a martian rock. Today and overnight tonight, Spirit is using its microscope and two up-close spectrometers on a football-sized rock called Adirondack, said Jennifer Trosper, mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. 'We're really happy with the way the spacecraft continues to work for us,' Trosper said. The large amount of data - nearly 100 megabits - transmitted from Spirit in a single relay session through NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft today 'is like getting an upgrade to our Internet connection.' Scientists today reported initial impressions from using Spirit's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, Moessbauer spectrometer and microscopic imager on a patch of soil that was directly in front of the rover after Spirit drove off its lander Jan. 15. 'We're starting to put together a picture of what the soil at this particular place in Gusev Crater is like. There are some puzzles and there are surprises,' said Dr. Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., principal investigator for the suite of instruments on Spirit and on Spirit's twin, Opportunity. One unexpected finding was the Moessbauer spectrometer's detection of a mineral called olivine, which does not survive weathering well. This spectrometer identifies different types of iron-containing minerals; scientists believe many of the minerals on Mars contain iron. 'This soil contains a mixture of minerals, and each mineral has its own distinctive Moessbauer pattern, like a fingerprint,' said Dr. Goestar Klingelhoefer of Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany, lead scientist for this instrument. The lack of weathering suggested by the presence of olivine might be evidence that the soil particles are finely ground volcanic material, Squyres said. Another possible explanation is that the soil layer where the measurements were taken is extremely thin, and the olivine is actually in a rock under the soil. Scientists were also surprised by how little the soil was disturbed when Spirit's robotic arm pressed the Moessbauer spectrometer's contact plate directly onto the patch being examined. Microscopic images from before and after that pressing showed almost no change. 'I thought it would scrunch down the soil particles,' Squyres said. 'Nothing collapsed. What is holding these grains together?' Information from another instrument on the arm, an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, may point to an answer. This instrument 'measures X-ray radiation emitted by Mars samples, and from this data we can derive the elemental composition of martian soils and rocks,' said Dr. Johannes Brueckner, rover science team member from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany. The instrument found the most prevalent elements in the soil patch were silicon and iron. It also found significant levels of chlorine and sulfur, characteristic of soils at previous martian landing sites but unlike soil composition on Earth. Squyres said, 'There may be sulfates and chlorides binding the little particles together.' Those types of salts could be left behind by evaporating water, or could come from volcanic eruptions, he said. The soil may not have even originated anywhere near Spirit's landing site, because Mars has dust storms that redistribute fine particles around the planet. The next target for use of the rover's full set of instruments is a rock, which is more likely to have originated nearby. Spirit landed in the Connecticut-sized Gusev Crater on Jan. 3 (EST and PST; Jan. 4 Universal Time). In coming weeks and months, according to plans [Oh really, really?], it will examine rocks and soil for clues about whether the past environment there was ever watery and possibly suitable to sustaining life. Spirit's twin Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, will reach Mars on Jan. 25 (EST and Universal Time; 9:05 p.m., Jan. 24, PST) to begin a similar examination of a site on the opposite side of the planet. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover project for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. Images and additional information about the project are available from JPL at http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov and from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., at http://athena.cornell.edu." [Links: 1, 2, 3] [Article paragraph indents untranscribed to save space - D.R.D.]

2004 - U.S. State of the Union Address - January 20th, 2004: "President George W. Bush delivered a State of the Union Address."

2004 - Mad Cow Status / United States - January 20th, 2004: "The government has now found 23 of the herd of 81 Canadian cattle that included the Holstein discovered in the United States with mad cow disease, the Agriculture department said Monday [01/19/04]." [News Services]

2004 - Communications Gliche? / Spirit Rover - January 21st, 2004:  "Ground controllers were able to send commands to the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit early Wednesday and received a simple signal acknowledging that the rover heard them, but they did not receive expected scientific and engineering data during scheduled communication passes during the rest of that martian day. Project managers have not yet determined the cause, but similar events occurred several times during the Mars Pathfinder mission. The team is examining a number of different scenarios, some of which would be resolved when the rover wakes up after powering down at the end of the martian day (around midday Pacific time Wednesday). The next opportunity to hear from the vehicle is when the rover may attempt to communicate with the Mars Global Surveyor orbiter at about 8:30 p.m. Pacific time tonight. A second communication opportunity may occur about two hours later during a relay pass via the Mars Odyssey orbiter. If necessary, the flight team will take additional recovery steps early Thursday morning (the morning of sol 19 on Mars) when the rover wakes up and can communicate directly with Earth. Full details on the rover's status will be described in the next daily news conference Thursday at 9 a.m. Pacific time at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which will be broadcast live on NASA Television." [Link: 1]

2004 - Year of the Monkey - January 22nd, 2004: "This is the first day in the Year of the Monkey. It is Year 4701 by Chinese calendar."

2004 - Oil Drilling / Alaska - January 22nd, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Interior Secretary Gale Norton signed off on a bill Thursday for managing 8.8 million acres of Alaska's North Slope and opening most of the acreage to oil and gas development." [A.P.]

2004 - Indictment / David Appel - January 22nd, 2004: "JERUSALEM - An Israeli court has indicted [01/21/04] a real estate developer [David Appel] on charges of trying to bribe Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the late 1990s when he was foreign minister, raising questions about Sharon's conduct and his future in office. [....] Appel is also accused of paying membership dues for some members of Sharon's Likud Party in 1999, to help Sharon and former Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert secure top positions in party elections." [Baltimore Sun]

2004 - Television Appearance / Li Hongzhi - January 22nd, 2004: "In a rare televised appearance, Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi said Wednesday [01/21/04] that China cracked down on the meditation group because government leaders envied its popularity." [News Services]

2004 - Questionable Credibility? / Dick Cheney - January 22nd, 2004: "WASHINGTON - CIA Director George Tenet on Tuesday [03/09/04] rejected recent assertions by Vice President Dick Cheney that Iraq cooperated with the al-Qaida terrorist network and that the administration had proof of an illicit Iraqi biological warfare program. [....] Tenet acknowledged to Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the Committee's senior Democrat, that he had told Cheney that the vice president was wrong in saying that two truck trailers recovered in Iraq were 'conclusive evidence' that Saddam had a biological weapons program. Cheney made the assertion in a Jan. 22 interview with national Public Radio." [Jonathan S. Landay, Knight Ridder Newspapers, March 2004]

2004 - Overcharges / Halliburton - "Halliburton says it will repay the U.S. $6.3 million in overcharges in Iraq contract." [A.P.]

2004 - Status Report / Mars "Spirit" & "Opportunity" - January 23rd, 2004: "Some members of the flight team for NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers are preparing for this weekend's landing of the second rover, Opportunity, while others are focused on trying to restore the first rover, Spirit, to working order. 'We should expect we will not be restoring functionality to Spirit for a significant amount of time - many days, perhaps two weeks - even in the best of circumstances,' said Peter Theisinger, rover project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spirit transmitted data to Earth today for the first time since early Wednesday. The information about the rover's status arrived during three sessions lasting 10 minutes, 20 minutes and 15 minutes. Engineers will be examining it overnight and developing a plan for obtaining more on Saturday [01/24/04] morning. Spirit's flight software is not functioning normally. It appears to have rebooted the rover's computer more than 60 times in the past three days. A motor that moves a mirror for the rover's infrared spectrometer was partway through an operation when the problem arose, so the possibility of a mechanical problem with that hardware will be one theory investigated. 'We believe, based on everything we know now, we can sustain the current state of the spacecraft from a health standpoint for an indefinite amount of time,' Theisinger said. That will give the team time to work on the problem. Meanwhile, Spirit's twin, Opportunity, will reach Mars at 05:05 Universal Time on Jan. 25 (12:05 a.m. Sunday EST or 9:05 p.m. Saturday PST) at a landing site on the opposite side of the planet from Spirit. Opportunity's landing site is on plains called Meridiani Planum within an Oklahoma-sized outcropping of gray hematite, a mineral that usually forms in the presence of water. Scientists plan to use the research instruments on Opportunity to determine whether the gray hematite layer comes from sediments of a long-gone ocean, from volcanic deposits altered by hot water, or from other ancient environmental conditions. Analysis of Spirit's descent through Mars' atmosphere for its landing at Gusev has contributed to a decision by flight controllers to program Opportunity to open its parachute higher than had been planned earlier, said JPL's Dr. Wayne Lee, chief engineer for development of the rover's descent and landing systems. The Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter has taken an image of Spirit's landing region that shows the spacecraft's lander platform on the ground. The jettisoned parachute, backshell and heat shield are also visible, noted Dr. Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, lead investigator for the orbiter's camera and a member of the rover science team [Ok, so what about the rover? Did you happen to note anything about it?]. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover project for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. Images and additional information about the project are available from JPL at http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov and from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., at http://athena.cornell.edu." [Link: 1] [Article paragraph indents untranscribed to save space - D.R.D.]

2004 - Kiowa Down / Iraq - January 24th, 2004: "A U.S. Army OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter attached to the 101st Airborne Division crashed Friday [01/23/04] in northern Iraq [the 4th U.S. helicopter crash in Iraq this month] , killing the two pilots, the U.S. Military said." [A.P.]

2004 - Anti-American Bombings / Iraq - January 25th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi insurgents struck Saturday [01/24/04] in the volatile Sunni Triangle west of Baghdad, killing five U.S. soldiers in separate bombings and narrowly missing an American convoy with a blast that killed four Iraqis and wounded about forty others north of the capital." [A.P.]

2004 - Bombing / Iraqi Party Headquarters - January 24th, 2004: "The Iraqi Communist party headquarters in Baghdad was bombed Friday [01/23/04], killing two people."

2004 - "Skynet?" - January 25th, 2004: "A St. Louis physicist [Stephen Thaler] created a computer program called the Creativity Machine that simulates what goes on in the human brain. It has invented new products, composed music, coined new words and frightened some who fear such self-aware machines could take over the world. [....] Thaler, too, is engineering independent robots. A glossy, black, plastic cockroach named H3 could be the prototype for swarms of bunker-busting robots that could seek out, explore and use collective intelligence to defeat an enemy target. The U.S. Air Force has contracted Thaler to create such robots. [....] Thaler's first contact with the Air Force used a Creativity Machine to help design warheads that reconfigure the pattern of schrapnel scattering. That's important to limit collateral damage and to save money by tailoring bombs to destroy a target in one hit. [....] Spy agencies want to use Thaler's technology to map the Internet and detect unusual behavior. [....] Sci-fi fans see similarity between Thaler's thinking machines and Skynet. There's even an eerie coincidence between the fictional satellite's Judgement Day - August 29th, 1997 - and the date the patent for Creativity Machine became final - August 19th, 1997." [Tina Hesman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2004 - Mars Landing / "Opportunity" Rover - January 25th, 2004: "NASA's Opportunity rover returned the first pictures of its landing site early today, revealing a surreal, dark landscape unlike any ever seen before on Mars. Opportunity relayed the images and other data via NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. The data showed that the spacecraft is healthy, said Matt Wallace, mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 'Opportunity has touched down [01/24/04] in a bizarre, alien landscape,' said Dr. Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., principal investigator for the science instruments on Opportunity and its twin, Spirit. 'I'm flabbergasted. I'm astonished. I'm blown away.' The terrain is darker than at any previous Mars landing site and has the first accessible bedrock outcropping ever seen on Mars. The outcropping immediately became a candidate target for the rover to visit and examine up close. Wallace noted that the straight-ahead path looks clear for the rover to roll off its lander platform. The rover is facing north-northeast. JPL Administrator Dr. Charles Elachi said, 'This team succeeded the old fashioned way. They were excellent, they were determined, and they worked very hard.' JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover project for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington. Images and additional information about the project are available from JPL at http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov and from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., at http://athena.cornell.edu." [Link: 1]

2004 - President Mikhail Saakashvili / Georgia - January 25th, 2004: "Saakashvili, a 36-year-old U.S.-educated lawyer, won a huge mandate to reform the former Soviet republic in a landslide election victory this month and is and being inaugurated Sunday." [News Services]

2004 - Kiowa Down / Iraq - January 26th, 2004: "TIKRIT, Iraq - A U.S. helicopter crashed into the Tigris river while searching for a missing soldier on Sunday [01/25/04], and the aircraft's two crew members were missing, the Army said. It did not say what caused the crash of the OH-58D  Kiowa Warrior helicopter, attached to the 101st Airborne Division." [A.P.]

2004 - Cyclone  Elita / Madagascar - "Cyclone date(s): January 26th-February 4th, 2004. Number of recorded deaths: 29." [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 207]

2004 - Signed / Afghan Constitution - January 26th, 2004: "President Hamid Karzai signed the post-Taliban constitution into law."

2004 - Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke  / St. Louis Mo. - January 26th, 2004: "At the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica Raymond Leo Burke became the new archbishop of St. Louis Mo."

2004 - Rocket Attack / Coalition Headquarters, Iraq - January 27th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - "Insurgents fired a rocket at the headquarters of the U.S.-led coalition Monday [01/26/04] night after gunmen killed seven Iraqi ploicemen in a pair of attacks west of Baghdad." [A.P.]

2004 - Trivia / Solar Minimum? - "Solar physicist David Hathaway has been checking the sun every day since 1998, and every day for six years there have been sunspots. Sunspots are planet-sized "islands" on the surface of the sun. They are dark, cool, powerfully magnetized, and fleeting: a typical sunspot lasts only a few days or weeks before it breaks up. As soon as one disappears, however, another emerges to take its place. Even during the lowest ebb of solar activity, you can usually find one or two spots on the sun. But when Hathaway looked on Jan. 28, 2004, there were none. The sun was utterly blank. It happened again last week, twice, on Oct. 11th and 12th. There were no sunspots. 'This is a sign,' says Hathaway, 'that the solar minimum is coming, and it's coming sooner than we expected.' [....] 'Contrary to popular belief,' says Hathaway, 'the solar cycle is not precisely 11 years long.' Its length, measured from minimum to minimum, varies: 'The shortest cycles are 9 years, and the longest ones are about 14 years.' What makes a cycle long or short? Researchers aren't sure. 'We won't even know if the current cycle is long or short - until it's over,' he says." [NASA News] 

2004 - Sales Decline / Kraft Foods - January 28th, 2004: "Kraft Foods Inc., the largest U.S. food company, said Tuesday [01/27/04] that it will eliminate about 6,000 jobs after profit fell for a second consecutive quarter because of declining sales of products such as Oreo cookies and higher marketing spending. [....] Analysts such as Morgan Stanley's David Adelman have speculated that Altria Group Inc., which owns 84 percent of Kraft, may spin off the company next year. Altria, formerly known as Phillip Morris Cos. [say again?] sold 16 percent of Kraft in a public offering in 2001." 

2004 - New Form of Matter? - January 29th, 2004: "BOULDER, Colo. - Scientists say they have created a new form of matter [Fermions] from a half-million Potassium atoms chilled to within a wisper of absolute zero, the coldest possible temperature. [....] Fermions represent a class of subatomic particles that include electrons, and they are among the building blocks of atoms and molecules. According to a law of quantum mechanics, no two identical fermions may occupy the same quantum state. On Dec. 16th, researchers at the joint lab known as JILA used lasers to trap the small cloud of potassium atoms. By limiting their natural motion, they cooled the atoms to 50-billionths of a degree above absolute zero, or minus 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Normally subatomic fermions in these atoms would repel oneanother. But the researchers said that when they applied a magnetic field to the ultracold atoms, the atoms briefly matched up in pairs and created a condensate, behaving in a coordinated wave pattern. [....] In October, two American citizens and a Russian shared the Nobel Prize for physics experiments explaining the behavior of matter at nearly absolute zero. In 2001, physicists at JILA shared a Nobel prize for creating the Bose-Einstein condensate - another kind of new matter from another category of subatomic particles at ultralow temperatures." [A.P.]

2004 - Car Bomb / Afghanistan - January 29th, 2004: "KABUL, Afghanistan - A car bomber blew himself up in a taxi next to British peacekeepers patroling the Afghan capitol Wednesday [01/28/04], killing one soldier and wounding four." [A.P.]

2004 - Telemarketing Restrictions - January 29th, 2004: "Starting today, if you have Caller ID you'll know when a telemarketer is trying to reach you. That's when Federal Trade Commission regulations kick in requiring telemarketing firms to identify themselves." [U.S. Digest]

2004 - Suicide Attack / Shaheen Hotel, Iraq - January 29th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - As civic and religious leaders debated whether Iraq is stable enough for elections this spring, U.S. military officials said that a 500-pound bomb - hidden inside a truck disguised as a Red Crescent ambulance - was used in a deadly suicide attack [that killed three people and injured at least a dozen] early Wednesday [01/28/04] at a Baghdad hotel." [Los Angeles Times]

2004 - Israeli / Lebanese Prisoner Exchange - January 29th, 2004: "Israel freed about 400 Palestinians to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in exchange for the bodies of three of its soldiers and an Israeli businessman, Elhanan Tannenbaum."

2004 - Snow / Mexico - January 30th, 2004: "On this day parts of Mexico saw snow."

2004 - Suicide Bomber / Israel - January 30th, 2004: "JERUSALEM - A powerful blast blew a Jerusalem bus to pieces Thursday [01/29/04], killing 10 Israelis and the Palestinian bomber. The explosion showered a placid residential neighborhood with shattered glass, twisted metal and human remains." [News Services]

2004 - Fatalities / Saudi Security Agents - January 30th, 2004: "MECCA, Saudi Arabia - Five Saudi security agents were killed in a shootout with terrorism suspects in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Thursday [01/29/04], as nearly two million Muslims began the annual hajj pilgrimage to mecca." [A.P.]

2004 - Weapons Cache Explosion / Afghanistan - January 30th, 2004: "KABUL, Afghanistan - An explosion at a weapons cache in Afghanistan killed seven U.S. soldiers and wounded three Thursday [01/29/04]. The U.S. Central Command also said an American soldier was missing." [A.P.]

2004 - Opportunity Rover / Martian Soil - "The rover Opportunity rolled onto Martian soil and offered scientists tantalizing evidence that the landing site once lay in liquid water."

2004 - Status / Prisoner Abuse Investigation, Iraq - January 31st, 2004: "Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba is appointed to lead the senior-level investigation [of alleged prisoner abuse in Iraq]." [New York Times, 05/09/04]

2004 - U.S. War Dead / Iraq - "Total amount of identified hostile and non-hostile U.S. troops killed in Iraq this month [January] amounts to 46." [A.P., 05/01/04]

February 2004

2004 - Suicide Bombers / Iraq - February 2nd, 2004: "IRBIL, Iraq - Two suicide bombers with explosives wired to their bodies struck the offices of the country's two main Kurdish parties in nearly simultaneous attacks Sunday [02/01/04], killing at least 56 people and wounding more than 235 in the deadliest assault in Iraq in six months." [A.P.]

2004 - Trampling Deaths / Muslim Hajj - February 2nd, 2004: "MINA, Saudia Arabia - At least 244 people were trampled to death and hundreds more hurt Sunday [02/01/04] under the crush of worshippers in the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Saudia Arabia." [A.P.]

2004 - End / Arizona Prison Standoff - February 2nd, 2004: "BUCKEYE, Ariz. - One of the longest U.S. prison hostage standoffs in decades ended Sunday [02/01/04] when a corrections officer was released from the guard tower where a pair of inmates had held her for two weeks, a Corrections Department spokesman said." [A.P.]

2004 - Total U.S. Fatalities / Afghanistan - "In all, 107 U.S. soldiers have died - 37 of them in combat - in the attack on Afghanistan that began in October 2001, as the United States sought to capture al-Qaida terrorists with bases there." [A.P., 02/01/04]

2004 - Ricin Scare / U.S. Senate Building - February 3rd, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Preliminary tests of a white powder discovered in a Senate office building Monday [02/02/04] were positive for the potentially deadly poisin ricin, the U.S. Capitol police chief said." [A.P.]

2004 - Strong Earthquake / Papua, Indonesia - February 5th, 2004: "An earthquake measuring 7.0 occured near Papua, Indonesia on this date."

*Trivia: "Earthquake date: February 4th, 2004. Earthquake location: Papua, Indonesia. Earthquake magnitude: 7.0. Number of recorded fatalities: 37."  [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 208]

2004 - Strong Earthquake / Papua, Indonesia - February 7th, 2004: "An earthquake measuring 7.3 occured near Papua, Indonesia on this date."

2004 - Hazardous Materials / United States - February 8th, 2004: "Although transport of spent nuclear fuel gets most of the media and law enforcement attention, more than 300 million shipments of hazardous materials crisscross the country each year, moving almost invisibly through communities on interstates, railroads and airplanes. [....]The number of total spills and other reportable incidents involving hazardous material shipments reached 14,661 last year - roughly double the typical year in the late 1980's according to preliminary counts by the Department of Transportation's Research and Special Programs Administration." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2004 - U.S. Poultry Ban - February 9th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - U.S. agriculture officials said Sunday [02/08/04] they were optimistic they could quickly persuade Japan and South Korea to drop their bans on U.S. poultry in response to an outbreak of bird flu in Delaware. [....] Malaysia and Singapore also banned  imports of U.S. poultry. [....] Twelve thousand chickens were destroyed Saturday morning at a Delaware farm after two birds tested positive Friday [02/06/04] for the H7 bird influenza virus." [Reuters News Service]

2004 - Israeli Warplanes / Lebanon - February 9th, 2004: "The Lebanese army said its anti-aircraft units fired on eight Israeli warplanes that violated Lebanese airspace at midday Sunday. [02/08/04]." [Bloomberg news]

2004 - Japanese Military Deployment / Iraq - February 9th, 2004: "In southeastern Iraq, a heavily armored convoy of Japanese soldiers arrived [02/08/04] as part of Tokyo's first military deployment in a hostile region since 1945." [A.P.]

2004 - Presidential Briefing / Prisoner Abuse Allegations, Iraq - February, 2004: "President George W. Bush was briefed on the allegations of abuse in early February at a meeting attended by Rumsfeld and Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to testimony on Friday [05/07/04]." [New York Times, 05/09/04]

2004 - Doctrine & Training Review / U.S. Prisoner Operations, Iraq & Afghanistan - February 10th, 2004: "Lt. Gen. Paul T. Mikolashek, the Army's inspector general, begins a review of doctrine and training in prisoner operations throughout the region [Iraq], including Afghanistan." [New York Times, 05/09/04]

2004 - Suicide Bomber / Iraq - February 11th, 2004: "ISKANDARIYA, Iraq - A suicide bomber exploded a truck bomb outside a police station south of Baghdad on Tuesday [02/10/04] morning, killing at least 50 people and injuring more than 50 others. Many of the victims were job applicants and pedestrians." [Los Angeles Times]

2004 - Trivia / Priestly Sex Abuse - February 11th, 2004: "The AP [Associated Press] contacted dioceses across the country and found that 1,341 clergy members have been accused of molesting minors, with more than half the dioceses yet to report." [A.P.]

2004 - HIV Status / United States - February 11th, 2004: "SAN FRANCISCO - A sudden, surprising increase in HIV infections has been discovered among black male college students in North Carolina, and officials fear the same is probably happening across the south. [....] The increase was first noticed in 2002, and officials now believe it began in mid-2001 and is continuing. [....] Blacks are 11 times more likely than white Americans to get AIDS. Even though they make up 12 percent of the population, they account for 39 percent of AIDS cases and 54 percent of new HIV infections. Among black men, like whites, the leading cause of infection is sex with other men [so, legalize gay marriage?]. [....] Nationwide, an estimated 900,000 people have HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention says that in recent years infections have risen somewhat among gay men of all races and fallen slightly among women." [A.P.]

2004 - Bird Flu Status / United States - February 11th, 2004: "DOVER, Del. - Officials responded to a new discovery of bird flu Tuesday by ordering a quarantine of 80 farms and the slaughter of 72,000 more chickens. The swift action was aimed at averting more bans on U.S. exports." [A.P.]

2004 - Explosion / Army Recruiting Center, Iraq - February 11th, 2004: "Early today an explosion went off near an army recruiting center in Baghdad, killing between 20 and 25 Iraqis, a coalition spokesman said." [Los Angeles Times]

2004 - Cloned Human Embryo - February 12th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Researchers in South Korea for the first time have cloned a human embryo and then culled stem cells from it, the scientists say. The reported development marked an important step toward one day growing patients' own replacement tissue to treat diseases." [A.P.]

2004 - Israeli Invasion / Gaza Strip - February 12th, 2004: "GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israel sent troops and tanks into a densely populated neighborhood and a refugee camp Wednesday [02/11/04] to search for Palestinian militants, setting off the bloodiest day of fighting in the Gaza Strip in 16 months. Fifteen Palestinians were killed, and more than 50 were wounded." [A.P.]

2004 - Unconventional Weapons Threat - February 12th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush urged nations Wednesday [02/11/04] to work together to stop the spread of unconventional weapons, a problem that he called 'the greatest threat before humanity today' [....] Others said Bush should have led by example by dropping U.S. efforts to develop new types of 'bunker busting' nuclear weapons or by announcing even deeper cuts in the U.S. arsenal."  

2004 - Investigation Status / Northeast Blackout - February 13th, 2004: "A programming error has been identified as the cause of alarm failures that might have contributed to the scope of last summer's Northeast blackout, industry officials said Thursday [02/12/04]." [U.S. Digest]

2004 - World Court Hearings / West Bank Separation Barrier - February 13th, 2004: "JERUSALEM - Israel won't attend world court hearings on the West Bank separation barrier, saying Thursday [02/12/04] that the judges don't have the authority to rule on this case." [A.P.]

2004 - Earthquakes / Pakistan - February 14th, 2004: "Two quakes Saturday killed at least 21 people in the northwestern part of Pakistan. The quakes had magnitudes of 5.7 and 5.5."

2004 - Assassination / Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev - February 14th, 2004: "DOHA, Qatar - Chechnya's exiled former president, wanted by Russia for terrorrism and ties to al Qaida, was assassinated Friday [02/13/04] when a bomb blew apart his car as he left a mosque with his teenage son. [....] The blast took place one week after a bombing in a Moscow subway killed 41 people and wounded more than 100." [A.P.]

2004 - Castro Taunts U.S. - February 15th, 2004: "America's economy hangs by a thread while Cuba -after four decades under a U.S. economic blockade  - continues to offer free health care and boasts an infant mortality rate lower than its northern neighbor, President Fidel Castro asserted early Saturday."

2004 - Prison Break / Iraq - February 15th, 2004: "FALLUJAH, Iraq - In a brazen daylight attack, guerrillas with rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and mortars stormed a police station Saturday [02/14/04] in the town of Fallujah. They freed dozens of prisoners in a battle that killed as many as 23 people and dealt another blow to U.S. efforts to resurrect  Iraq's security forces. [....] U.S. forces, nominally in charge of security, had not arrived at the scene by late afternoon." [Washington Post]

2004 - State of Emergency / Algeria - February 16th, 2004: "Algeria defended its 12-year-old state of emergency on Sunday [02/15/04], insisting that it should not be lifted so long as the country is fighting Islamic rebels." [News Services]

2004 - Earthquake / Sumatra - February 17th, 2004: "An earthquake shook Indonesia's Sumatra island, killing five people, and damaging 60 homes, officials said Tuesday. The quake had an estimated magnitude of 5.6. It struck the town of Padang Pandjang at 9:44 p.m. Monday [02/16/04]." [News Services]

2004 - Status / Priestly Sex Abuse - February 17th, 2004: "CNN reported Monday [02/16/04] that 4,450 Roman Catholic clergy have been accused of molesting minors since 1950."

2004 - Peace Talks / India & Pakistan - February 17th, 2004: "ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - India and Pakistan opened peace talks Monday [02/16/04] - the first such talks in 2 1/2 years." [A.P.]

2004 - Mad Cow Disease / New Form? - February 17th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Italian scientists have found a second form of mad cow disease that more closely resembles the human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease than the usual cow form of the illness. [....] Both the human and cattle diseases cause holes to form in the brain. The Italian researchers found that, in addition to the holes, two cows had an accumulation of amyloid plaque in their brains. Amyloid plaques are an indication of Alzheimer's disease in humans. They have also been found in people with sporadic CJD but had not been found in cattle, the researchers said. Mad cow disease is formally known as BSE - bovine spongiform encephalopathy - and the Italians named the new form with plaques BASE." [A.P.]

2004 - Impending Coup / Haiti - February 18th, 2004: "PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Haiti's prime minister warned Tuesday [02/17/04] of an impending coup and appealed for international help to contend with a bloody uprising that has claimed 57 lives. But the United States and France expressed reluctance to send troops to put down the rebellion." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Do-Not-Call Registry - February 18th, 2004: "DENVER - Handing a victory to consumers who loathe telemarketers, a federal appeals court Tuesday [02/17/04] upheld the popular do-not-call registry, dismissing claims that it violates free speech rights and is unfair to business." [A.P.]

2004 - Gross Mismanagement / U.S. Justice Dept. - February 18th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The federal prosecutor who won convictions in the government's first and only terrorism trial after the Sept. 11 attacks has filed a suit against Attorney General John Ashcroft accusing the Justice Department of 'gross mismanagement' in the war on terrorism." [Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2004 - Suicide Bombers / Iraq - February 19th, 2004: "HILLAH, Iraq - Suicide bombers detonated explosives outside a Polish-run base Wednesday [02/18/04], killing 10 Iraqi's and wounding more than 100 people - more than half of them coalition soldiers. [....] The early morning blasts - from 1,540 pounds of explosives - flattened 11 homes nearby. [....] Earlier Wednesday, U.S. troops arrested seven militants believed linked to al-Qaida in the turbulent city of Baqouba, north of the capital, the military said.  It gave no details on the nationalities of the militants. There was no indication the truck bomb attacks and the U.S. raid were directly linked." [A.P.]

2004 - Lethal Train Accident / Iran - February 19th, 2004: "NEYSHABUR, Iran - Runaway train cars carrying a lethal mix of fuel and chemicals derailed, caught fire and then exploded hours later Wednesday [02/18/04] in northeast Iran, killing more than 200 people, injuring at least 400 and leaving dozens trapped beneath crumbled mud homes." [A.P.]

2004 - Traffic Bottlenecks / United States - February 19th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The number of major U.S. traffic chokepoints - places where highways cannot handle all the cars - rose 40 percent over five years, a study says." [A.P.]

2004 - Artificial Blood - February 20th, 2004: "CHICAGO - Paramedics are testing an experimental blood substitute on severly injured patients without their consent in an unusual study under way or proposed at 20 hospitals around the country. [....] Supporters say the current product, PolyHeme, made by Northfield Laboratories of Evanston, Ill., is safer and could save many of the nearly 100,000 people who die of bleeding injuries each year nationwide. [....] PolyHeme is made by extracting oxygen-carrying hemoglobin from human red blood cells and can be used in patients with any blood type. It safely dissipates in the body after about 24 hours, the company says." [A.P.]

2004 - Experimental Lung Cancer Vaccine - February 20th, 2004: "DALLAS - An experimental vaccine wiped out lung cancer in some patients and slowed its spread in others in a small but promising study, researchers say. Three patients injected with the vaccine, GVAX had no recurrence of lung cancer for more than three years afterward, according to the study of 42 people with the most common form of the disease, non-small cell lung cancer." [A.P.]

2004 - Water Status / Mars - February 20th, 2004: "The first look beneath the Martian surface has shown that the soil composition changes dramatically with depth and hints that trace amounts of water have been present recently or may even be there now, researchers said Thursday [02/19/04]. The Opportunity rover spent the last three days examining a 4-inch-deep, 20-inch-long trench. Pictures of the wall of the trench show it is composed of sand-sized grain of red rock cemented together. The cement could have been formed by tiny amounts of water rising to the surface, bringing with it salts that would act as a cement, a Jet Propulsion Labatory geologist said." [U.S. Digest]

*Trivia: "Surface water on Mars existed across a significant span of time, not just for years but eons, suggest new findings [July 2004] made by NASA's Mars rover Opportunity." [Newscientist.com, 07/19/04]

2004 - Ballistic Missle Technology / Russia - February 20th, 2004: "Russia has developed ballistic missle technology that can outwit any defensive system, a top Russian general said Thursday [02/19/04]. The statement was a clear challenge to the United States' planned $50 billion anti-missle shield. On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin promised to equip his armed forces with a new generation of long-range weapons matching those of the United States. Col. Gen. Yury Baluyevsky, first deputy chief of staff, said that during large-scale military exercises Wednesday [02/18/04], Russia test-launced a missle system that could maneuver in midflight, allowing it to dodge defenses. 'The test carried out yesterday confirmed that we can build weapons which will render any anti-missle system defenseless against an attack by Russia's strategic forces,' he said." [News Services]

2004 - Tibetan New Year - February 21st, 2004: "The Tibetan New Year begins."

2004 - Ralph Nader / Presidential Candidate? - February 22nd, 2004: "Ralph Nader announced that he is running for president as an independent."

2004 - Trivia / U.S. Forces, Iraq - February 23rd, 2004: "Guard and Reserve soldiers make up about 22 percent of the forces in Iraq. That level is expected to rise to nearly 40 percent as a result of force rotations in the coming weeks." [A.P.]

2004 - Rebellion Status / Haiti - February 23rd, 2004: "PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Rebel forces captured Haiti's second-largest city Sunday [02/22/04], dealing a major blow to the government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide."

2004 - New Cancer Drug / VX-680 - February 23rd, 2004: "The treatment called VX-680 and being developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., represents the first drug to stop tumors by targeting enzymes called Aurora kinases. Research has shown that Aurora kinases play an important role in mitosis, or the process of cell division, which is out of control in cancer patients. Aurora kinases have been identified as overly abundant in certain types of cancer, such as leukemia, colon cancer and breast cancer." [News Services]

2004 - Suicide Bombing / Jerusalem - February 23rd, 2004: "JERUSALEM - Israel said Sunday [02/22/04] that a suicide bombing that killed eight passengers on a Jerusalem bus would not deter it from continuing to build a barrier on the West Bank. More than 60 people were injured in the attack by a Palestinian suicide bomber." [Los Angeles Times]

2004 - Record Troop Rotation / Iraq - February 23rd, 2004: "CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - A quarter-million soldiers - all but a few of them Americans - have begun passing through the desert kingdom of Kuwait on their way to or from the war in neighboring Iraq, the largest such rotation of U.S. forces in history, according to military planners overseeing the project."

2004 - Drug Testing / British Schools - February 23rd, 2004: "LONDON - Prime Minister Tony Blair said Sunday [02/22/04] that British schools would be given the power to carry out random drug testing on students." [A.P.]

2004 - Endangered Coral / Great Barrier Reef - February 23rd, 2004: "SYDNEY, Australia - A new report warns that rising ocean temperatures will kill most of the coral on the Great Barrier Reef by 2050, an official said Sunday [02/22/04]." [A.P.]

2004 - Politics / Russia - February 24th, 2004: "Putin fires prime minister along with entire Cabinet."

2004 - Avian Flu / Texas - February 24th, 2004: "SAN ANTONIO - A strain of avian flu found on a Texas chicken farm is considered far deadlier to poultry than originally thought and has spread to live bird markets in Houston, federal officials said Monday [02/23/04]. [....] It is the first time since 1983-84 that high-pathogenic avian flu has been found in the United States, DeHaven [Dr. Ron DeHaven] said." [A.P.]

2004 - Heavy Snow / New Mexico - February 24th, 2004: "Heavy snow spread across wide areas of New Mexico."

2004 - Strong Earthquake / Morocco - February 24th, 2004: "A strong earthquake struck northern Morocco early today, killing at least nine people [but 560 as of 02/25/04] around the Mediterraanean port city of Al Hoceima, the state news agency MAP reported. [....] A U.S. Geological Survey said the quake measured 6.5 on the richter scale." [News Services]

*Trivia: "Earthquake location: Al Hoceima, NE Morocco. Earthquake magnitude: 6.4. Number of recorded fatalities: 629."  [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 208]

2004 - Palestinian Case / World Court  - February 24th, 2004: "THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Palestinians presented an impassioned case to the world court on Monday [02/23/04] against the Israeli separation barrier in the West Bank, while Israel appealed to world opinion to ignore the proceedings it called [but did not attend] inherently unfair." [A.P.]

2004 - Proposed Gay Marriage Ban / U.S.A. - February 24th, 2004: "President George W. Bush called for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage."

2004 - Kiowa Down / Iraq - February 25th, 2004: "A U.S. military helicopter [OH-58 Kiowa] crashed into the Euphrates River killing its two pilots. The U.S. military has lost 15 helicopters since  the occupation began in May."

2004 - Grinch Greenspan - February 25th, 2004: "Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan told lawmakers that Congress should rein in the federal deficit through cuts in spending - including in entitlement programs such as Social Security - rather than through tax increases." [A.P.]

2004 - Trivia / Church vs. State? - February 25th, 2004: "The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states may deny public scholarship money to students seeking religious training."

2004 - Ricin Letter / Washington - February 25th, 2004: "Published in Newspaper today was an article about the discovery this month of a ricin-tainted letter on a mail-opening machine in an office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. The article mentioned another ricin-tainted letter destined for Washington that was intercepted last year by the Secret service at an offsite mail processing facility on November 6th, 2003."

2004 - U.S. Universal Healthcare / NOT - February 25th, 2004: "The United States is the only industrialized country in the world that does not provide health care for all of its citizens." [Sharon Penrod]

2004 - Canadian Drugs / Wisconsin & Minnesota - February 25th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Wisconsin will begin providing its residents with access to Canadian Internet pharmacies today, Gov. Jim Doyle said Tuesday [02/24/04] He acted as federal regulators issued new warnings to another state [Minnesota] that has already done it. [....] Wisconsin will follow the model of Minnesota, which last month launched a Web site that links information on two Canadian Internet pharmacies the state has certified as safe and reputable." [A.P.]

2004 - AIDS-Resistant Monkeys - February 26th, 2004: "Monkeys have a protein called TRIM5-alpha that is somehow able to stop the AIDS virus from shedding its protective coat after it enters a healthy cell. The shedding of the virus coat... is considered essential to the infection cycle." [A.P.]

2004 - Resignation / Richard Perle - February 26th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Richard Perle - one of the most outspoken advocates for invading Iraq - has quietly resigned from the Defense Policy Board, an influential bipartisan Pentagon advisory group. [....] Perle's resignation comes as President George W. Bush finds his administration facing a growing number of congressional, legal and internal investigations into dubious prewar intelligence on Iraq and lucrative contracts for Iraqi reconstruction. [....] Although the Defense Policy Board is a bipartisan advisory committe that has no role in making policy, Perle was an influential member of the group. Other members include Vice President Dick Cheney, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith and I. Lewis Libby - Cheny's chief of staff - all of whom were outspoken proponents of a pre-emptive attack on Iraq." [Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2004 - Israeli Raid / Palestinian Banks - February 26th, 2004: "RAMALLAH, West Bank - Israeli forces burst into Palestinian banks on Wednesday [02/25/04], corralled employees, covered security cameras and seized at least $6.7 million in an unprecedented raid. Israel said Iran, Syria, and Lebanese guerillas sent the funds to Palestinian militants." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. National Guard / Balkans & Sinai - February 26th, 2004: "Guard quietly has taken over missions in Balkans, Sinai." [Harry Levins]

2004 - Alleged British [& U.S.] Spying - February 27th, 2004: "LONDON - A former Cabinet member charged Thursday [02/26/04] that British intelligence agents spied on U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the period leading up to the invasion of Iraq last year, intercepting and transcribing his confidential conversations. [....] In New York, a spokesman for Annan said such activity would violate international law and if it happened it needed to stop. And the controversy served to further highlight allegations that the United States spied on members of the U.N. Security Council during the same period." [Cox News Services]

2004 - Status / Anti-Land Mine Treaty - February 27th, 2004: "President George W. Bush's administration intends to end the U.S. military's use of land mines that are not timed to self-destruct, but it will not sign a 150-nation anti-land mine treaty, an administration official said Thursday [02/26/04]." [U.S. Digest]

2004 - Passionate Scolding / U.S. Catholic Bishops - February 28th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The nation's Catholic bishops accepted a passionate scolding Friday [02/27/04] from their own review board of prominent lay Catholics for their 'shameful' handling of more than 10,000 'substantiated allegations' of sexual abuse against minors by 4,392 priests and deacons. That's about 4 percent of the men in religious service between 1950 and 2002." [Cox News Service]

2004 - Ethanol Explosion / Virginia Coast - February 29th, 2004: "CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. - A tanker carrying 3.5 million gallons of industrial ethanol exploded and sank about 50 miles off the Virginia coast Saturday [02/28/04] night, the Coast Guard said. At least three of the 27 crew members aboard were killed, and rescue crews were searching for 19 others. [....] The explosion occured after a fire started on the deck of the ship, Shaffer said. [....] Moss [Coast Guard Senior Chief John Moss] said the Coast Guard did not know how much of the ethanol was released into the water." [News Services]

*Trivia: "The captain of the tanker that exploded and sank two years ago [2004], killing him and 20 others, had ordered crew members to open vapor-filled cargo tanks for cleaning, the coast Guard said in a report released Tuesday [01/03/06]. The 570-foot Bow Mariner, filled with ethanol, fuel oil and diesel oil, went down about 50 miles off the Virginia coast on Feb. 28, 2004. Twenty-one of the 27 crew members died. Capt. Efstratios Kavouras was among the 18 whose bodies were never found. Investigators could not determine what sparked the explosion but said Kavouras' order was a 'breach of normal safe practices for a tank ship and defies explanation or excuse.' " [Based on: News Services article (Tanker captain's actions may have led to blast), p. A3, S.L.P.D., 01/04/06]

2004 - Interim Constitution Approval / Iraq - February 29th, 2004: "An interim constitution is approved for Iraq."

2004 - Defense, Security Pact / African Nations - February 29th, 2004: "African leaders signed a sweeping defense and security agreement Saturday [02/28/04] that allows the fledgling African Union to send forces to intervene in civil wars, international conflicts and coup attempts across the continent." [News Services]

2004 - U.S. War Dead / Iraq - "Total amount of identified hostile and non-hostile U.S. troops killed in Iraq this month amounts to 21." [A.P., 05/01/04]

March 2004

2004 - Time Gate? - March 1st, 2004: "Eight years ago, American and British scientists who conducted investigations in Antarctica made a sensational discovery. US physicist Mariann McLein told the researchers noticed some spinning gray fog in the sky over the pole on January 27 which they believed to be just ordinary sandstorm. However, the gray fog did not change the form and did not move in the course of time. The researchers decided to investigate the phenomenon and launched a weather balloon with equipment capable to register the wind speed, the temperature and the air moisture. But the weather balloon soared upwards and immediately disappeared.
   "In a little while, the researchers brought the weather balloon back to the ground with the help of a rope attached to it before. They were extremely surprised to see that a chronometer set in the weather balloon displayed the date of January 27, 1965, the same day 30 years ago. The experiment was repeated several times after the researchers found out the equipment was in good repair. But each time the watch was back it displayed the past time. The phenomenon was called 'the time gate' and was reported to the White House." [Based on: Olga Zharina, Pravada.Ru]

2004 - Best Actor / Sean Penn - "At the Academy Awards, Sean Penn won best actor for 'Mystic River.' "

2004 - National Defense? / Israel - March 2004: "Most Americans have no idea that the possibility of a full-fledged nuclear ‘suicide bombing’ by the state of Israel itself is a cornerstone of Israel’s national security planning. However, there are some U.S. policymakers who have dared to express their concerns about this dangerous policy, which is known as what Pulitzer Prize-winning author Seymour Hersh referred to, in the book by the same name, 'The Samson Option.'
   "As Hersh has documented—and Israeli historian Avner Cohen has confirmed it in even more detail in his own book, Israel and the Bomb—Israel’s entire national defense policy (from its inception) was framed around the development of powerful nuclear bombs. As Hersh makes clear, the Israelis are willing, if necessary, to 'blow up the world'—including themselves—if they have to do so in order to defeat their Arab foes.
   "The so-called 'Samson Option' for Israel is based on the well-known story of Samson in the Bible, who—after being captured by the Philistines—brought down Dagon’s temple in Gaza and killed himself along with a number of Philistines. As Hersh put it: 'For Israel’s nuclear advocates, the Samson Option became another way of saying 'Never Again'.'
   "The Sampson Option is a matter of concern—even for many high-placed American policy makers who are otherwise staunch supporters of Israel—but this is not something that has received widespread attention in the American press.
   "American Free Press reported one year ago that—buried in brief news notes in some Jewish newspapers in early 2003—former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres had formally broken Israel’s longstanding policy of denying its nuclear weapons capabilities, although it was not reported in the mass media in America.
   "Peres admitted in a Feb. 20, 2003 speech in Jerusalem that Israel did indeed have nuclear weapons. The Israeli leader made the admission to a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
   "(Despite all of this, most mainstream reports about Israel’s nuclear programs continue to state that Israel officially denies having nuclear weapons, Peres’ statement notwithstanding.)
   "This admission by Peres was particularly interesting because in 1999, many American Jewish organizations reacted with alarm when then-President Bill Clinton dared to mention Israel’s nuclear program.
   "On May 14, 1999, the influential Jewish weekly, Forward, published an article expressing outrage that 'President Clinton is raising for the first time public concerns about Israel’s nuclear program.'
   "The article pointed out that some 35 members of the U.S. Congress had written a letter to Clinton expressing concerns about imprisoned Israeli nuclear engineer Mordechai Vanunu, who was the first to publicly expose Israel’s nuclear bomb production program.
   "Responding in a letter dated April 22, 1999 to then-Rep. Lynn Rivers (D-Mich.), President Clinton did more than just express his own concerns about Vanunu’s plight. Clinton also said: 'I . . . share your concerns about the Israeli nuclear program. We have repeatedly urged Israel and other non-parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to adhere to the treaty and accept comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.
   "Forward reported that 'Jewish leaders reacted with shock at news that Mr. Clinton had weighed in on Mr. Vanunu and Israel’s nuclear program,' and cited the reaction of Anti-Defamation League director Abe Foxman, who attacked Clinton, saying: 'I can’t believe the president would send such a letter. These are very sensitive issues. It is so judgmental.'
   "Foxman’s disgust with Clinton was not unique. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, declared: 'The president’s reference to Israel’s nuclear program is surprising and disturbing. As far as we know it’s unprecedented.' " [Based on: article by Michael Collins Piper, A.F.P., March 2004]

2004 - Trade Penalties / United States - March 1st, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The United States comes under international trade penalties for the first time today, the result of congressional delay in steering through presidential politics, employment anxiety and budget deficits to head off the tariffs. A 5 percent penalty tariff from the European Union awaits U.S. exports such as jewelry and refrigerators, toys and paper." [A.P.]

2004 - Trivia / "The Passion of the Christ" - March 2nd, 2004: "Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ' pulled in $125.2 million in its first five days at the box office - the highest total in history for a film opening on a Wednesday." [Based on: S.L.P.D.]

2004 - Fatality / Khalil al-Zaben - March 2nd, 2004: "Gunmen killed a well-known advisor to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Gaza City early today, security officials said." [News Services]

2004 - Water On Mars - March 3rd, 2004: "Scientists announce the planet Mars had a wet past."

2004 - Rosetta Spacecraft - March 3rd, 2004: "A European spacecraft sped away from Earth's gravity Tuesday [03/02/04] after a flawless launch, beginning a 10-year journey to land on an icy comet in search of answers about the birth of the solar system and the origins of life on Earth." [News Services]

2004 - Property Rights / China - March 3rd, 2004: "BEIJING - Communist China is changing its constitution to embrace the most basic tenet of capitalism, protecting private property rights for the first time since the 1949 revolution." [A.P.]

2004 - Trivia / Online Porn, United States - March 3rd, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The Bush administration's top Supreme Court lawyer says he typed the words 'free porn' into an Internet search engine on his home computer and got a list of more than 6 million Web sites. That's proof, Solicitor General Theodore Olson told the Supreme Court on Tuesday [03/02/04], of the need for a law protecting children from a tide of online smut." [A.P.]

*Trivia: "Microsoft and Canadian authorities on Thursday [04/07/05] launched a software program designed to help police worldwide hunt down child porn traffickers by enabling authorities for the first time to link information such as credit card purchases, Internet chat room messages and arrest records. Microsoft said the Child Exploitation Tracking System is the first software designed specifically to capture pornagraphers who prey on children and sell their images via the internet. It will allow police departments worldwide to share and track previously unlinked information on investigations and suspects. [....] The FBI has seen a 2,000 percent increase in the number of child pornography images on the Internet since 1996, and Canadian police estimate that more than 100,000 Web sites contain images of child sexual abuse. Experts say at least 95 percent of victims are abused by someone they know, either a relative or a neighbor. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A9, 04/08/05]

2004 - Suicide Bombers / Shiite Muslim Shrines - March 3rd, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Suicide bombers set of simultaneous attacks on Shiite Muslim shrines crowded with pilgrims in two Iraqi cities Tuesday [03/02/04], killing at least 143 people. The attacks took place on the holiest day on the Shiite calendar [Ashoura] and were the bloodiest since the fall of Saddam Hussein." [A.P.]

2004 - Conspiracy Charge / Bernard J. Ebbers - March 3rd, 2004: "NEW YORK - Federal prosecutors on Tuesday [03/02/04] charged Bernard J. Ebbers, WorldCom Inc.'s co-founder and former chief executive, with conspiracy, securities fraud and filing false statements in connection with the company's $11 billion accounting scandal, which led to the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history." [Cox News Service]

2004 - Volcanic Eruption / Caribbean - March 4th, 2004: "A major eruption at the Soufriere Hills volcano sent a massive cloud of ash about 20,000 feet into the sky Wednesday [03/03/04], but no injuries or damage was reported, officials said. [....] The eruption came more than seven months after a major lava dome collapse July 12. No one was reported injured in that collapse. Montserrat's volcano came to life in 1995, eventually causing more than half the Caribbean island's population to leave. An eruption in 1997 killed 19 people and buried the capital, Plymouth." [News Services]

2004 - UFO Sightings? / Mexico - March 5th, 2004: "MEXICO CITY - The Mexican Air Force has released footage [05/11/04] of what a UFO expert said were 11 invisible unidentified flying objects picked up by an infrared camera [03/05/04] as they whizzed around a surveillance plane." [Reuters, 05/11/04] [Link: ]

2004 - Biotech Crop Ban / California - March 5th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Business leaders in Mendocino County in northern California planned a huge party at a local winery now that the county's voters have become the first in the nation to approve a ban on genetically engineered crops. 'We've sent the biotech bullies packing and ordered Monsanto back to St. Louis,' proclaimed Laura Hamburg, spokeswoman for the Yes on Measure H campaign." [Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2004 - Conviction / Martha Stewart - March 6th, 2004: "NEW YORK - Martha Stewart was convicted Friday  [03/05/04] of obstructing justice and lying to the government about why she sold her ImClone stock just before the price plumeted. The verdict could send her to prison and cripple the homemaking empire built around her vision of gracious living." [A.P.]

2004 - Hospitalization / U.S. Attorney General, John Ashcroft - March 6th, 2004: "Attorney General  John Ashcroft was in a hospital intensive care unit Friday [03/05/04] after suffering a severe case of gallstone pancreatitis, a serious and painful abdominal illness." [A.P.]

2004 - Cyclone  Gafilo / Madagascar - "Cyclone date(s): March 7th-19th, 2004. Number of recorded deaths: 198." [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 207]

2004 - Avian Flu / Maryland - March 8th, 2004: "Maryland agriculture officials ordered the slaughter of 328,000 birds Sunday [03/07/04] on two huge commercial chicken farms following the discovery of avian flu. The number of birds killed is nearly four times the number slaughtered when two Deleware farms were infected last month." [U.S. Digest]

2004 - Conservative Victory / Greece - March 8th, 2004: "ATHENS, Greece - Greek conservatives swept to a landslide victory Sunday [03/07/04] in parliamentary elections that ended 10 years of Socialist government and assigned a new caretaker to the troubled preparations for this summer's Olympics." [A.P.]

2004 - Disposition / Hugo Chavez - "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez once again accused Washington of financing efforts to oust him and recalled that Venezuela, the world's No. 5 oil exporter, was traditionally a leading supplier of oil to the United States." [News Services]

2004 - Gas Exploration / Saudi Arabia - March 8th, 2004: "RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - In a milestone agreement, Saudi Arabian officials signed contracts with foreign oil executives Sunday [03/07/04] to explore for natural gas in the country's vast southern desert known as the Rub al-Khali, or Empty Quarter. [....] U.S. firms were conspicuous in their absence among the winners [Rusia, China, Italy & Spain] of these landmark deals." [A.P.]

2004 - Signed Interim Constitution / Iraq - March 9th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's Governing Council signed a landmark interim constitution Monday [03/08/04] that establishes a framework for democratic self-rule after the U.S.-led civil occupation ends this summer." [Washington Post]

2004 - Gallbladder Removal / John Ashcroft - March 9th, 2004: "U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft had his gallbladder removed."

2004 - Prime Minister Gerard Latortue / Haiti - March 10th, 2004: "Gerard Latortue, the once-exiled former foreign minister of Haiti, returned today for another try. He later was sworn in on March 12th, 2004."

2004 - Life Sentence / Lee Boyd Malvo - March 10th, 2004: "Lee Boyd Malvo was formally sentenced [03/10/04] to life in prison without parole."

2004 - Long-Range Missle Test / Pakistan - March 10th, 2004: "ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan has test-fired [03/09/04] the most advanced missle [Shaheen 2] in its arsenal, capable of delivering a nuclear warhead deep inside rival India. [....] The missle has a range of 1,250 miles, meaning it could easily hit Bombay, New Delhi, Lucknow, Jaipur, and other major Indian cities." [A.P.]

2004 - Questionable Credibility / Dick Cheney - March 10th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - CIA Director George Tenet on Tuesday [03/09/04] rejected recent assertions by Vice President Dick Cheney that Iraq cooperated with the al-Qaida terrorist network and that the administration had proof of an illicit Iraqi biological warfare program. [....] Tenet acknowledged to Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the Committee's senior Democrat, that he had told Cheney that the vice president was wrong in saying that two truck trailers recovered in Iraq were 'conclusive evidence' that Saddam had a biological weapons program. Cheney made the assertion in a Jan. 22 interview with national Public Radio. [....] Levin also questioned Tenet about a Jan. 9 interview with the Rocky Mountain News, in which Cheney cited a November article in the Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, as 'the best source of information' on cooperation between Saddam and al-Qaida. The article was based on a leaked top-secret memorandum. It purportedly set out evidence, compiled by a special Pentagon intelligence cell, that Saddam was in league with al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. It was written by Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, the third-highest Pentagon official and a key proponent of the war. 'Did the CIA agree with the contents of the Feith document?' Levin asked. 'Senator, we did not clear the document,' Tenet replied. 'We did not agree with the way the data was characterized in that document.' Tenet, who pointed out that the Pentagon, too, had diavowed the document, said he learned of the article Monday night [03/08/04?], and he planned to speak with Cheney about the CIA's view of the Feith document. In building the case for war, Bush, Cheney and other top officials relied in part on assessments by the CIA and other agencies. But they concealed disputes and dissents over Iraq's weapons programs and links to terrorists that were raging among analysts, U.S. diplomats and military officials. They also used exaggerated and fabricated information from defectors and former Iraqi exile groups that was fed directly into Cheney's office and the Pentagon. Those groups included the Iraqi National Congress, whose leader, Ahmad Chalabi, was close to hawks around Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the White House, but who was distrusted by the CIA and the State Department." [Based on: article by Jonathan S. Landay, Knight Ridder Newspapers] - [Article paragraph indents untranscribed to save space. - D.R.D.]

2004 - Death Sentence / John Allen Muhammad - March 10th, 2004: "MANASSAS, Va. - Sniper mastermind John Allen Muhammad was sentenced to death Tuesday [03/09/04] by a judge who called the Washington-area shootings that left 10 people dead 'so vile that they were almost beyond comprehension.' Muhammad denied any involvement in the October 2002 rampage, echoing a claim of innocence he made in his opening statement to the jury when  he briefly served as his own attorney." [A.P.]

2004 - Arrested / Israeli Computer Hacker - March 11th, 2004: "Israeli police acting at the request of the FBI have arrested an Israeli youth for allegedly hacking into and damaging a police computer system in Pennsylvania, authorities said Wednesday [03/10/04]. The 19-year-old suspect was released on bond after a hearing Wednesday in the southern city of Beersheba, said police spokesman Gil Kleiman. He would not give the youth's name. The hacking destroyed some records in the computer system of the police department, Kleiman said, adding that he did not know which department in Pennsylvania had been affected. Kleiman said the suspect may be charged with computer fraud." [News Services]

2004 - Train Bombs / Spain - March 12th, 2004: "MADRID, Spain - Ten bombs hidden in backpacks exploded in quick succession Thursday [03/11/04], blowing apart four comuter trains and killing at least 192 people and wounding more than 1,400. Spain at first blamed Basque separatists, but a shadowy group claimed responsibility in the name of al-Qaida for the worst terrorist attack on a European target since World War II." [A.P]

*Trivia: "Serbian police arrested [08/16/05] a key suspect wanted in connection with last year's Madrid train bombings, the Spanish Interior Ministry said Wednesday [08/17/05]. The suspect was identified as Abdelmajid Bouchar. The 22-year-old Moroccan allegedly fled a suburban Madrid apartment shortly before ringleaders in the attack blew themselves up to avoid arrest three weeks after the bombings. [....] The judge investigating the train bombings has jailed 31 people - mostly Moroccans or people of Moroccan origin." [Based on: News Services article, p. A11, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 08/18/05]

2004 - Nationwide Protest / Spain - March 12th, 2004: "State TV estimated that nationwide, more than 11 million people marched - one quarter of Spain's 42 million population [to protest the terrorist bombings in Madrid]." [A.P.]

2004 - Impeachment / Roh Moohyun - March 12th, 2004: "SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea's parliament impeached President Roh Moo-hyun on charges of illegal electioneering and incompetence today, stripping him of his constitutional powers in an unprecedented vote that followed hours of scuffles and protests." [A.P.]

2004 - Black Box Recovery / Rwanda - March, 2004: "U.N. officials said Thursday [03/11/04] they had discovered a black box [Hey! It only took ten years!] sent from Rwanda after a 1994 plane crash that unleashed a genocide in the African nation [News Services, March 2004 - bracket emphasis by E.M.]."

2004 - Faulty Estimates / Halliburton Co. - March 12th, 2004: WASHINGTON - Halliburton Co. acknowledged to Pentagon auditors that it provided faulty cost estimates last year for $ 2.7 billion in services to American troops in Iraq and Kuwait, according to documents released Thursday [03/11/04] by the Defense Department. [....] The Pentagon audit found a $67.3 million difference in what KBR agreed to pay its subcontractors and what it tried to charge the government." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Military Briefing / Taguba Report - March 12th, 2004: "Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba briefs military commanders on his report. Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly, chief of the Army Reserve, orders an assessment of reservists' training for military police and military intelligence." [New York Times, 05/09/04]

*Trivia: "The Pentagon acknowledged on Monday [08/01/05] that two former members of the military team handling prosecutions of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, alleged last year that the trial system was rigged in favor of the government. Officials said the prosecutor' claims of ethical lapses and potential criminal acts had been reviewed and dismissed as unfounded. Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said an investigation determined they were 'much ado about nothing.' In a later written statement, the Pentagon said an 'operational assessment' of the chief prosecutor's office - undertaken in response to the allegations - recommended a restructuring, including unspecified personnel changes. The allegations by Air Force  Maj. John Carr, who was then a captain, and Air Force Maj. Robert Preston were first reported by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times on Monday [08/01/05]. Both newspapers quoted from March 2004 internal e-mails written by Carr and Preston that detailed the allegations. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 08/02/05]

2004 - Spread Thin? / U.S. Army - March 13th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The Army is spread so thin around the globe that when it needs fresh combat troops for Iraq this fall, it will have little choice but to call back the same soldiers who led the charge in Baghdad last spring." [A.P. article by Robert Burns]

2004 - Lead Levels / Herculaneum, Mo. - March 13th, 2004: "State regulators said Friday [03/12/04] that properties closest to the Doe Run Co. lead smelter in Herculaneum are being recontaminated, about three years after cleanup crews started hauling away lead-contaminated soil." [St. Louis Post Dispatch]

2004 - Obesity Epidemic / United States - March 13th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration on Friday [03/12/04] launched a broad anti-obesity campaign that will include revising the familar nutrition label on food packages to make it easier to count their calories. [....] 'Far too many Americans are literally eating themselves to death,' said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. 'The epidemic of obesity threatens the health of millions of Americans.' "

2004 - Major U.S. Sweep / Afghanistan - March 14th, 2004: "KABUL, Afghanistan - The American military stepped up efforts to find Osama bin Laden and destroy his al-Qaida and Taliban supporters, announcing Saturday [03/13/04] a major new sweep across southern and eastern Afghanistan involving thousands of troops."

2004 - Socialist Victory / Spain - March 15th, 2004: "MADRID, Spain - The war in Iraq was being cited as the cause for a second regime change Sunday [03/14/04], as angry Spanish voters ousted the ruling party of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, who had allied his government with the war despite strong popular resistance. [....] With nearly all the votes counted, the Socialists won 164 seats in the 350-seat Spanish Parliament, and Aznar's Popular Party had fallen from an absolute majority to 148 seats. The Socialists are expected to form the next government in a coalition with leftist parties." [Matthew Schofield, Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2004 - Finger Pointing / Colin Powell - March 15th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Colin Powell expressed concern Sunday [03/14/04] about a slide to authoritarian rule in Russia under President Vladimir Putin, who easily swept to a second term. [....] Powell had said earlier that Russians must 'understand that to have full democracy of the kind that the international community [do you mean the international community or the United states?] will recognize, you've got to let candidates have all access to the media that the president has [Like... the way it is in the United states. Right?].' Powell told 'Fox News Sunday' that the people must not be kept in any way 'from participating in the open, full democratic process'. [....] Russia's presidential vote was held a few months after the pro-Putin party won a sweeping victory in parliamentary elections. Foreign observers said those elections were unfair and a setback for democracy because of the authorities' use of the state-run media and other means of influence." [A.P.]

2004 - Suicide Bombers / Israeli Port - March 15th, 2004: "ASHDOD, Israel - Two Palestinian suicide bombers attacked a closely guarded Israeli port Sunday [03/14/04], killing 11 Israeli's and wounding 18 in the first deadly assault on a strategic installation in more than three years of Israeli-Palestinian fighting." [A.P.]

2004 - Whereabouts? / Osama bin Laden - March 15th, 2004: "Asked whether the military might be closing in on bin Laden, Rumsfeld replied: 'No. That's what I want to disabuse anyone of. You know he may be alive, or he may not be. We don't know if he's alive or dead. He may be in Afghanistan. He may be in Pakistan. He may be someplace else.' " [A.P.]

2004 - President Vladimir Putin / 2nd Term - March 15th, 2004: "MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin claimed victory early today after easily winning a second term with more than 69 percent of the vote, confirming widespred expectations of a commanding victory." [A.P.]

2004 - Tyco Suit - March 16th, 2004: "NEW YORK - A video of a $2 million birthday party presented at the trial of two former top executives of Tyco International and questions about sexual partners had nothing to do with their case, a defense lawyer [Stephen Kaufman] said Monday [03/15/04] in closing arguments. [....] Prosecutors contend Kozlowski, 57, and his co-defendent, former cheif financial officer Mark H. Swartz, 43, looted the conglomerate of more than $600 million and used the money to finance a lavish lifestyle. [....] The two are accused of stealing $170 million by taking unauthorized bonuses and by abusing loan programs, and another $430 million by manipulating Tyco stock prices from 1995 through 2000." [A.P.]

2004 - Observation / Planetoid Sedna - March 16th, 2004: "The most distant object in our solar system ever observed could rewrite the history of the Earth and sun, astronomers say. Scientists found the icy world last year and officially announced the discovery in a press conference Monday [03/15/04]. [....] Scientists believe the barren object, dubbed a planetoid, is made of the same ice and rock that comprises Pluto and other far-flung debris."

2004 - Spanish Troop Withdrawl? / Iraq - March 16th, 2004: "MADRID, Spain - Spain's incoming prime minister pledged Monday [03/15/04] to bring Spanish troops home from Iraq unless the United nations takes control there, harshly criticizing the  U.S.-led war even as he promised to maintain good relations with Washington."

2004 - Settlement / Bank of America & Fleet Boston - March 16th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Bank of America and FleetBoston Financial will pay $515 million to resolve allegations of improper mutual-fund trading and will reduce fees investors pay by $160 million in the biggest fund scandal settlement to date, federal and New York state authorities said Monday [03/15/04]." [A.P.]

2004 - Late-Winter Snowstorm / United States - March 17th, 2004: "NEWARK, N.J. - A late-winter snowstorm blew out of the Midwest and into the Northeast Tuesday [03/16/04], making driving treacherous and closing schools just four days before the start of spring." [A.P.]

2004 - Hotel Blast / Iraq - March 18th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A powerful explosion tore through a five-story hotel and several Iraqi homes in the heart of Baghdad on Wednesday [03/17/04] night, killing at least 27 people and wounding at least 45 just days before the anniversary of the start of the U.S.-led war in Iraq." [Chicago Tribune]

2004 - Rioting / Kosovo - March 19th, 2004: "PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro - Ethnic Albanians burned Serb homes and churches Thursday [03/18/04] as Kosovo convulsed in a second day of rioting. The worst violence since the province's war ended in 1999 has killed at least 31 people and injured hundreds. Serbian nationalists elsewhere set mosques on fire and threatened to retaliate with 'slaughter and death.' NATO sent reinforcements to quell tension in the U.N.-run province and eased the threat of renewed conflict in the Balkans. [....] The clashes began Wednesday [03/17/04] when ethnic Albanians blamed Serbs for the drownings of two children." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Detainee Transfer Memo - March 19th, 2004: "At the request of the CIA, the Justice Department drafted a confidential memo that authorized the agency to transfer detainees out of Iraq for interrogation - a practice that international legal specialists say contravenes the Geneva Conventions. [....] The draft opinion was written by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel and dated March 19th, 2004." [Based on: Dana Priest, The Washington Post, 10/24/04]

2004 - Suspicious Injuries / Stephen Hawking - March 19th, 2004: "Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has been questioned by detectives about alleged abuses that reportedly left him with a series of unexplained injuries, police said Thursday [03/18/04]. [....] It was the first time police have spoken to Hawking  since opening an investigation late last year into reports that he suffered mysterious injuries, including a broken wrist, gashes to the face and a cut lip." [News Services]

2004 - International Peace Vigil - March 20th, 2004: "... On March 20, during a powerful New Moon, we experienced the Vernal Equinox. On that day, a delegation of spiritual leaders from around the world joined James Twyman in Iraq for an International Peace Vigil. This took place in Iraq's National Theater at 12:00 noon EST. For one hour, millions of people all over the world focused their hearts and minds on Peace and joined in consciousness with the ceremony taking place in Baghdad. [....] This motivated millions of people all over the world to participate in Peace rallies. There were 250 Peace rallies in the United States alone and countless others around the planet." [by, Patricia Diane Cota-Robles, Pathfinder, May/June 2004, Vol. 14 No. 3]

2004 - Mistreatment Charges / U.S. Military Police - March 20th, 2004: "Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt anounces that six military police officers have been charged with assault, cruelty, indecent acts and mistreatment of prisoners." [New York Times, 05/09/04]

2004 - Presidential Assassination Attempt / Taiwan - March 20th, 2004: "TAIPEI , Taiwan - A day after an assassination attempt against their president, Taiwan's voters go to the polls today [03/20/04] in what might be the most important election in their history. President Chen Shui-bian is competing against a challenger offering a more conciliatory policy toward Taiwan's powerful neighbor, China. [....] Some supporters of Chen's opponent seemed to view the fact that  Chen escaped virtually unharmed, and that no one was arrested, as evidence that his backers, known as 'greens,' were somehow behind the incident or had fabricated it entirely." [Baltimore Sun]

*Trivia: "Taiwan's high court ruled [November 2004] against voiding President Chen's thin March 20 re-election, shutting down months of recounting, litigation and probes." [W.S.J., 11/05/04]

2004 - Activity of Light? - March 21st, 2004: "... On March 21, an activity of Light took place that had been prophesied  by indigenous people for centuries. The prophesy foretold that when 8,000 drums sound in unison, the Age of Peace will be at hand. [....] And on the morning of March 21, 2004, 8,000 drums sounded their melodious rhythm around the world. [....]." [Based on article by Patricia Diane Cota-Robles, Pathfinder, May/June 2004, Vol. 14 No. 3]

2004 - Heavy Artillery / Pakistan - March 21st, 2004: "PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Pakistan forces pounded tribal areas Saturday [03/20/04] with heavy artillery and Cobra helicopters for the third day in a row, but hopes faded that Osama bin Laden or his lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahri might be cornered. [....] 'The U.S. has the technology to find an insect on the head of a person half way around the world, and they can't find Osama bin Laden,' said Malik Darya Khan, 38, a merchant. 'Someone has already arrested him and are now using this attack in South Waziristan for President Bush's election.' " [Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2004 - New Understanding / Heart Attacks - March 21st, 2004: "A new and emerging understanding of how heart attacks occur indicates that increasingly popular aggressive treatments may be doing little or nothing to prevent them. [....] The new model of heart disease shows that most heart attacks do not originate with obstructions that narrow arteries. Instead, recent and continuing studies show that a more powerful way to prevent heart attacks in patients at high risk is to adhere rigorously  to what can seem like boring old advice - give up smoking, for example, and take drugs to control blood pressure, drive cholesterol levels down and prevent blood clotting. [....] Researchers say, most heart attacks do not occur because an artery is narrowed by plaque. Instead, they say, heart attacks occur when an area of plaque bursts, a clot forms over the area and blood flow is abruptly blocked. In 75 percent to 80 percent of cases, the plaque that erupts was not obstructing an artery and would not be stented or bypassed. The dangerous plaque is soft and fragile, produces no symptoms and would not be seen as an obstruction to blood flow." [Gina Kolata, New York Times]

2004 - Record High Levels / Carbon Dioxide - March 21st, 2004: "MAUNA LOA OBSERVATORY, Hawaii - Carbon dioxide, the gas largely blamed for global warming, has reached record-high levels in the atmosphere after growing at an accelerated pace in the past year, say scientists monitoring the sky from this 2-mile-high station atop a Hawaiian volcano. [....] Before the industrial age and extensive use of fossil fuels, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere stood at about 280 parts per million, scientists have determined. Average readings at the observatory hovered around 379 parts per million on Friday [3/19/04], compared with about 376 a year ago. That year-to-year increase of about 3 parts per million is considerably higher than the average annual increase of 1.8 parts per million over the past decade, and markedly more accelerated than the 1-part-per-million annual increase recorded a half-century ago." [A.P.]

*Trivia: "It is amazing to consider that Nikola Tesla, sometime in the 1920's first wrote in his personal journals his thoughts concerning the buildup of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere. These gases, caused by manmade and natural pollutants were to eventually cause the planet's overall temperature to increase to such a point that the polar icecaps would melt, flooding the coastlines. As well, weather patterns would change dramatically bringing about fierce storms, droughts in some areas and floods in others. Agriculture would be destroyed and life as we know it would cease to exist." [Tim Swartz, The Lost Journals of Nikola Tesla, p. 120]

2004 - Funding / SETI - March 22nd, 2004: "Paul Allen, chairman of Charter Communications and co-founder of Microsoft Corp., has donated $13.5 million to help fund the search for extraterrestial life. [....] The donation [according to the California-based SETI Institute] from Allen would be used to create a radio telescope or array of more than 200 dish antennas that will increase signals from space." [U.S. Digest]

2004 - Trivia / Fortune 500 List - March 22nd, 2004: "NEW YORK - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. topped the Fortune 500 list again last year as the improving economy boosted many major companies to record revenues." [A.P.]

2004 - Medical Marijuana / Canada - March 22nd, 2004: "Canada plans to make government-certified marijuana available in local pharmacies. Officials are organizing a pilot project in the British Columbia province modeled on a year-old program in the Netherlands. Now, 78 medical users in Canada are permitted to buy government marijuana, which is grown in Flin Flon, Manitoba. An ounce sells for $113, and the marijuana is sent by courier to patients or their doctors. But the government is changing the regulations to allow participating pharmacies to stock marijuana for sale to approved patients without a doctor's perscription. A notice of the change is expected to be made public this spring, allowing for drugstore distribution later in the year." [News Services]

2004 - Fatality / Sheik Ahmed Yassin - March 22nd, 2004: "GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the founder and leader of the Hamas militant group, which targeted Israelis in suicide bombings, was killed by missles fired from Israeli helicopters as he left a mosque at daybreak today, witnesses said." [A.P.]

2004 - Pro-U.S. Candidate / El Salvador - March 22nd, 2004: "SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador - The pro-U.S. candidate [Tony Saca, of the National Public Alliance, ARENA] in El Salvador's presidential election Sunday [03/21/04] easily defeated a former Communist Party guerrilla leader, partial returns showed." [A.P.]

2004 - Factional Fighting / Afghanistan - March 22nd, 2004: "KABUL, Afghanistan - Forces loyal to Herat's governor claimed to have retaken control in the western city today after fierce factional fighting that killed Afghanistan's aviation minister and left as many as 100 people dead." [A.P.]

2004 -  Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad / Malaysia - March 22nd, 2004: "KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysians gave their prime minister a huge election victory on Sunday [03/21/04], smashing a fundamentalist Muslim party that had wanted to impose an Islamic state in the Southeast Asian country." [A.P.]

2004 - "Against All Enemies" / Richard A. Clark - March 22nd, 2004: "Former Bush counterterrorism coordinator, Richard A. Clark, in his new book [which reaches bookstores today] illustrates the first detailed portrait of the Bush administration's wartime performance by a major participant."

2004 - AIDS Status / Worldwide - "... AIDS has killed more than 20 million people [average, one million people per year?] since the epidemic began two decades ago. Twice that many people now live with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and barring major medical breakthroughs most of these people are expected to die within the next ten years, the bureau said." [Source Article, A.P.]

2004 - Trivia / Low-Calorie Life-Span - March 23rd, 2004: "WASHINGTON - It may never be too late to extend life through sensible eating. A study shows that a strict, low-calorie diet increased the life-span of aged mice by more than 40 percent." [A.P.]

2004 - Bioterror Prophet / Tommy Thompson - March 23rd, 2004: "Japan, like the United States, is certain to be a target of an attack with biological weapons and should be ready to respond, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson was quoted as saying today. 'It is not if there is going to be an attack in Japan, it is when it is going to be,' Thompson was quoted as telling the newspaper Asahi Shimbun. 'Japan is going to have a bioterrorism attack sometime in the future, just like America is going to have.' " [News Services]

2004 - PCB Settlement - March 24th, 2004: "BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A $300 million settlement of federal claims over PCB contamination in Anniston, Ala., will give plantiffs an average of $7,725 apiece while paying their lawyers millions - including $29 million to the firm of Johnnie L. Cochran, a celebrity lawyer in California." [A.P.]

2004 - 911 Apology / Richard Clarke - March 24th, 2004: "Your government failed you. Those entrusted with protecting you failed you. And I failed you. We tried hard. But that doesn't matter, because we failed. And for that failure, I would ask, once all the facts are out, for your understanding and your forgiveness." [President George W. Bush's counterterrorism chief, Richard Clarke]

2004 - Medicare Status / United States - March 24th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly, will fall into deficit this year and exhaust its surplus funds by 2019, seven years earlier than expected, according to new projections released Tuesday [03/23/04]." [Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2004 - Increased Gas Prices / United States - March 24th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The national average retail price of gasoline as measured by AAA set a record Tuesday [03/23/04] - nearly $1.74 a gallon." [A.P.]

2004 - Habitable Environment? / Planet Mars - March 24th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - A Mars rover has confirmed that a shallow sea of rippling saltwater once flowed slowly over at least one spot on the surface of the Red Planet, NASA scientists say. The historic discovery by the little robotic explorer Opportunity significantly increases the chances that life may have existed [You don't say?] on another world besides Earth, NASA scientists said [Oh! You do say!] Tuesday [03/23/04]. 'We think Opportunity is parked on what was once the shoreline of a salty sea on Mars,' said Steve Squyres, lead scientist for the rover project. 'This was a habitable environment,' he declared." [Knight Ridder newspapers]

2004 - Mutual Fund Penalties - March 25th, 2004: "BOSTON - Putnam Investments, the first fund company formally accused of wrongdoing in the state and federal investigations of alleged improper trading, should pay 'hundreds of millions of dollars' in penalties, the Securities and Echange Commission says. [....] Last week, Bank of America Corp. and FleetBoston Financial Corp. agreed to penalties of $675 million, the biggest yet." [Bloomberg News]

2004 - E.U. Fine / Microsoft Corp. - March 25th, 2004: "BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Union on Wedneday [03/24/04] slapped Microsoft Corp. with a fine of about $603 million for abusing its Windows software monopoly. The EU also ordered sanctions that go well beyond Microsoft's antitrust settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, setting up what could be another lengthy court battle."

2004 - Settlement Claims / HCA Inc. - March 25th, 2004: "Hospital chain HCA Inc. shelled out $1.7 billion dollars in recent years to settle claims of false Medicare and Medicaid reporting and improper kickbacks." [A.P.]

2004 - Western-Style Institutions? / Iraq - March 25th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - With less than 100 days until power is handed over to Iraqis, the top U.S. administrator said Wednesday [03/24/04] that he was establishing several Western-style institutions that are expected to put a moderating influence on the fledgling government that takes over June 30. [....] 'One hundred days from now, Iraqis will be sovereign in their own land and responsible for their own future,' Bremer said in an outdoor speech in the Green Zone, the heavily protected area housing coalition headquarters in central Baghdad." [A.P.]

2004 - Iron Deficiency / Developing World - March 25th, 2004: "About 40 percent of the developing world's people suffer from iron deficiency, 15 percent lack adequate iodine and as many as 40 percent do not get enough vitamin A." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Troop Withdrawls / Germany, etc. - March 25th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has drafted plans to withdrawl as many as half of the 71,000 troops based in Germany as part of an extensive realignment of American military forces that moves away from large concentrations in Europe and Asia, according to U.S. officials. [....] In Asia, about 15,000 troops out of a total presence of about 100,000 would be withdrawn, mostly by streamlining administrative staffs of the U.S. military commands in South Korea and Japan, the officials said. But much of that reduction could be offset by a buildup of personnel and aircraft in Guam and the possible stationing of another aircraft carrier battle group in either Guam or Hawaii, the officials said. The Pentagon plan also calls for new training and staging areas in Australia and expansion of military ties with Singapore and Thailand. [....] In Western Europe, which hosts about 102,000 U.S. military service personnel, most of the expected reduction would come in Army forces in Germany.  The Army would withdraw more than 60 percent of 56,000 troups in Germany, home of the 1st Armored and 1st Infantry divisions, officials said." [Washington Post]

2004 - Obesity Link / High-Fructose Corn Sweetener? - March 26th, 2004: "RALEIGH, N.C. - Researchers say they've found more evidence of a link between a rapid rise in obesity and a corn product [high-fructose corn sweetener] used to sweeten soft drinks and food since the 1970s." [A.P.]

2004 - Clonaid Update - March 28th, 2004: "Thirteen cloned babies are now alive thanks to our dedicated team of doctors and scientists. They are all healthy and no problem has been found in any one of them that could be attributed to their mode of conception. The 8 babies born in February and March of this year are located in Australia, Mexico ( 2 of them), Brazil, Spain, Italy, England and Hong Kong, Each month, between 10 and 15 implantations will be performed in our laboratory. Clonaid team is now looking for laboratories who would be willing to analyze tissue samples of one of our cloned baby girl and the ones of her mother and who could certify publicly that they have the same DNA but different telomeres. If you have such an interest, please contact us on this website." [Sunday 28 March 2004 - 00:22:07]  

2004 - H-43A "Hyper X" Plane - March 28th, 2004: "EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - A 12-foot experimental plane equipped with a special jet engine streaked across the Pacific Ocean at more than seven times the speed of sound [about 5,000 mph] Saturday [03/27/04], shattering a technological barrier and brightening prospects for super-fast airline flights. [....] The previous record holder for a jet aircraft was the SR-71 spy plane, which reached speeds of 2,100 mph. The X-43A also surpassed the Mach 6.7 speed record set by the X-15 rocket-powered plane in 1967." [Los Angeles Times]

2004 - Newspaper Closed / Iraq - March 29th, 2004: "BAGHDAD - The country's U.S.-led coalition closed a newspaper in the capital, charging the Shiite weekly with 'intent to disrupt general security and incite violence' against occupational forces." [Washington Post]

2004 - Socialist Victories / France - March 29th, 2004: "PARIS - President Jacques Chirac and his ruling conservative party suffered a crushing defeat in regional midterm elections Sunday [03/28/04], with the opposition Socialists and their Green and Communist allies seizing control of the vast majority of regional councils. The results marked a sharp rebuke for the government's attempts to reform France's costly health care, pension and educational systems." [Washington Post]

2004 - NATO Expansion - March 30th, 2004: "The expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to 26 members was celebrated [03/29/04] as NATO signaled a willingness to play a military role in Iraq if authorized by a new U.N. Security Council resolution. [....] Joining Bush under bright sunshine were the leaders of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latavia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia." [A.P.]

2004 - Suicide Bombers / Uzbekistan - March 30th, 2004: "TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - Two women blew themselves up at a children's store and bus stop in the Uzbek capital Monday [03/29/04], the first suicide attacks in this U.S.-allied nation in Central Asia and the finale to 12 hours of mayhem that killed 17 people, besides the bombers." [A.P.]

2004 - Suicide Bomber / Bolivia - March 31st, 2004: "LA PAZ, Bolivia - An angry miner with dynamite strapped to his chest blew himself up inside Bolivia's Congress on Tuesday [03/30/04], killing two police officers and wounding 10 others, authorities said. [....] In addition to killing the bomber and the two officers, the blast critically injured Col. Carlos Za, head of the country's intelligence service." [A.P.]

2004 - Penalty / Massachusetts Financial Services Co. - March 31st, 2004: "Massachusetts Financial Services Co. is penalized $50 million for failing to disclose revenue sharing arrangements with brokerage firms and the conflicts created by them." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A 10, 12/21/04]

2004 - International Court of Justice Decision / Consular Relations, U.S.A. - "The Supreme Court agreed Friday [12/10/04] to decide whether the federal courts must give a hearing to a Mexican death row inmate in Texas who says the state violated international law by trying him for murder without first notifying Mexican diplomats who might have helped him. [....] The case marks the Supreme Court's first opportunity to respond to a March 31 [2004] decision by the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, which ruled that the United States had violated the Vienna Convention on consular relations in the case of the Texas inmate, Jose Ernesto Medellin, and 48 other Mexican nationals on death row. Including the Mexicans directly involved in the international court's ruling, 118 foreign nationals from 32 countries are on death row in the United States. [....]" [Washington Post, 12/11/04]

2004 - U.S. War Dead / Iraq - "Total amount of identified hostile and non-hostile U.S. troops killed in Iraq this month amounts to 50." [A.P., 05/01/04]

2004 - Record Trade Deficit / United States - "WASHINGTON - The United States posted a record trade deficit in March, reflecting Americans' demand for foreign-made goods as well as the most expensive crude oil since 1983. The $46 billion deficit reported Wednesday [05/12/04] by the Commerce Department represented an increase of 9.1 percent from February's imbalance and came despite the fact that U.S. exports climbed to an all-time high in March." [A.P., May 2004]

April 2004

2004 - Fatalities / American Contractors, Iraq - April 1st, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents ambushed and killed four American civilian contractors Wednesday [03/31/04] in Fallujah, and a cheering mob then torched their vehicles, dragged their charred bodies through the streets and strung two from an iron bridge over the Euphrates River. [....] More than six hours after the contractors were killed, neither Iraqi police nor U.S. Marines in charge in Fallujah had appeared at the scene, according to witnesses interviewed on television. The military said later that it was dispatching troops but did not address the delay. [....] A senior military officer said the four were all retired special operations forces - three Navy SEALs and one Army Ranger. [....] A tribal sheik, reached by telephone in Fallujah on Wednesday evening, attributed the crowd's anger to the killing of several civilians in crossfire Friday [03/26/04], when U.S. Marines engaged insurgents in a downtown gunbattle. 'Children and women were killed. They were innocent. They were just walking down the street,' said Ibrahim Abdullah al-Dulaimi, 55. 'People in Fallujah are very angry with the American soldiers.' On March 24th, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force replaced the Army's 82nd Airborne Division in command of Anbar province, which includes the resistance centers Fallujah and Ramadi. American troops had been keeping a low profile in Fallujah recently, but a large U.S. Marine patrol entered the city center Friday before the shootout that killed at least six civilians and a journalist." [Boston Globe]

2004 - Open Letter 2 / Ford Johnson to Harold Klemp - April 2nd, 2004: "Author Ford Johnson, sends a second 'Open Letter' to Harold Klemp, the Spiritual Leader of Eckankar." [E.M.]  

2004 -  Railroad Bomb Discovered? / Spain - April 3rd, 2004: "MADRID, Spain - A partially assembled bomb containing 26 pounds of explosives was discovered Friday during a routine track check on a high-speed rail line linking the Spanish capital to Seville. The explosives were thought to be the same type as those used in the March 11 terrorist attacks in Madrid, officials said."

2004 - Global Meditation - April 4th, 2004: "... There was a global meditation on that day [04/04/04] in which Lightworkers all over the world joined together in unison with the Angels to invoke the Light of God and the Gifts of the Angels. This meditation took place at 4:44 p.m. local time on 04-04-04. [....]" [by, Patricia Diane Cota-Robles, Pathfinder, May/June 2004, Vol. 14 No. 3]

2004 - Flooding / Coahuila, N Mexico - "Flood date(s): April 4th-6th, 2004. Number of recorded deaths: 37." [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 207]

2004 - Foreign Troops / Haiti - April 6th, 2004: "PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Secretary of State Colin Powell gave assurances Monday [04/05/04] of full U.S. support for Haiti's interim government but said democracy cannot flourish until politically motivated pirate armies lay down their weapons. [....] Almost 2,000 U.S. troops are serving in Haiti and are expected to leave in June, along with Canadian and Chilean troops. Their combined total is about 3,600 troops." [A.P.]

2004 - Earthquake / Hindu Kush - April 6th, 2004: "A powerful earthquake jolted the remote Hindu Kush mountains along Afghanistan's northeast border with Pakistan on Tuesday [04/06/04]. [....] The temblor struck at 2:24 a.m. Tuesday. The U.S. Geological Survey in Golden Colo. said it had a magnitude of 6.6." [U.S. Digest]

2004 - Mission Status / Spirit Rover - April 6th, 2004: "NASA's rover Spirit wrapped up its primary mission to Mars on Monday [04/05/04] as it continued to roll across the planet's surface on an extended tour that could last through September." [U.S. Digest]

2004 - Bird Slaughter / British Columbia - April 6th, 2004: "Canadian officials ordered Monday [04/05/04] the slaughter of 19 million chickens and turkeys in British Columbia to try to stop the spread of bird flu." [News Services]

2004 - Branded Outlaw / Muqtada al-Sadr - April 6th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. officials declared Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr an outlaw on Monday [04/05/04] and said a warrant had been issued for his arrest as the confrontation in Baghdad between his armed militia and the American military entered a second day." [Washington Post]

2004 - Ousted President / Lithuania - April 7th, 2004: "Lawmakers narrowly ousted Lithuania's scandal-tainted president Tuesday [04/06/04] for abuse of office, ending the Baltic state's worst political crisis since it gained independence from Moscow. [....] Pakas was accused of illegally arranging citizenship for one of his chief financial backers, businessman Yuri Burisov, divulging state secrets and using his office for financial gain." [News Services]

2004 - U.S. Fatalities / Ramadi, Iraq - April 7th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Sunni Muslim insurgents killed about a dozen U.S. Marines in heavy fighting Tuesday [04/06/04] in the western city of Ramadi, military spokesmen said." [Washington Post]

2004 - Train Derailment / Mississippi - April 7th, 2004: "YAZOO CITY, Miss. - An Amtrack passenger train headed to Chicago derailed [at about 7pm] and toppled onto its side in rural central Mississippi late Tuesday [04/06/04], killing at least one person and injuring at least 65 others. [....] The train appeared to leave the track on a trestle five or six feet over a swampy area and landed on its side several feet below the track surface." [A.P.]

2004 - Proposed Drug Testing / U.S. Federal Workers - April 7th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The hair, saliva and sweat of federal workers could be tested for drug use under a new government policy proposed Tuesday [04/06/04] that could set a standard for private companies." [A.P.]

2004 - Cyclone  22P / Fiji - "Cyclone date(s): April 8th, 2004. Number of recorded deaths: 22." [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 207]

2004 - 911 Prisoner Release - April 8th, 2004: "HAMBURG, Germany - The only Sept. 11 suspect ever convicted [Mounir el Motassadeq] walked out of jail Wednesday smiling and laughing, freed less than 2 1/2 years into a 15-year sentence after judges ruled that the evidence was too weak to hold him pending a retrial." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Airstrikes / Fallujah Mosque - April 8th, 2004: "FALLUJAH, Iraq - U.S. Marines battled insurgents for control of the Sunni Muslim stronghold of Fallujah on Wednesday [04/07/04], calling in airstrikes against a mosque compound where witnesses said dozens were killed in six hours of fighting. An anti-U.S. uprising led by a radical Shiite cleric raged for the fourth day in southern cities." [A.P.]

2004 - Flooding / W Kenya - "Flood date(s): April 9th-May 11th, 2004. Number of recorded deaths: 50." [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 207]

2004 - Shiite Militia / Iraq - April 9th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi insurgents fought U.S. troops at two mosques in Fallujah and maintained control over all or part of three southern cities in the worst chaos and violence since Baghdad fell a year ago today." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Hostage? / Iraq - April 9th, 2004: "The U.S. military said it could not immediately confirm [in June 2004] whether a man shown being shot in a murky videotape was indeed Maupin [Spc. Keith M. Maupin], who was taken hostage after an attack April 9 outside Baghdad." [A.P., 06/29/04]

2004 - Release / Pre-911 Memo - April 10th, 2004: "The 'Presidents Daily Brief' from August 6th, 2001 was released on the evening of April 10th, 2004."

2004 - Ephedra Ban - April 12th, 2004: "A government ban on sales of ephedra kicks in today unless a federal judge issues the industry a reprieve. The herbal stimulant has been linked to 155 deaths and dozens of heart attacks and strokes." [U.S. Digest]

2004 - Drought / American West - April 12th, 2004: "RENO, Nev. - From the brittle hillsides of Southern California to the drying fields of Idaho, from Montana to New Mexico, a relentless drought is worsening across most of the West, water supplies are dwindling, and the threat of wildfires is rising. 'Most of the West is headed into six years of drought, and some areas are looking at seven years of drought,' said Rick Ochoa, weather program manager at the national Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. [....] The U.S. National Resources Conservation Service says there's a potential for water restrictions and widespread crop and pasture losses in central Nevada, southern Idaho, most of south-central Montana and eastern and southwestern Utah." [A.P.]

2004 - Miss USA / Shandi Finneessey - April 12th, 2004: "Shandi Finnessey of Missouri was crowned Miss USA."

2004 - Drones Collision / Afghanistan - April 12th, 2004: "GARDEZ, Afghanistan - Two unmanned drones crashed a block away from a ceremony where U.S. and Afghan officials were inaugurating a courhouse Sunday [04/11/04]. The event went ahead as planned." [A.P]

2004 - Flooding / Djibouti City, Djibouti - "Flood date(s): April 12th-16th, 2004. Number of recorded deaths: 53." [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 207]

2004 - U.S. Navy Doctor Death / Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - April 12th, 2004: "Ten months after the fact, the Pentagon disclosed Tuesday [02/22/05] the death [04/12/04] of a Navy doctor [Cmdr. Adrian Basil Szwec] at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2004 - News Conference / President Bush - April 13th, 2004: "In a rare news conference speech this evening, President Bush reportedly said: 'We're changing the world, and the world will be better off and America safer for what we're doing. We are not going to leave; we're going to finish the job.' "

2004 - Ricin Suspect - April 14th, 2004: "SEATTLE - A man who might be suffering from autism has been arrested on suspician of making the deadly poisin ricin from castor seeds in his suburban Seattle home, officials said Tuesday [04/13/04]. Robert Alberg, 37, the son of prominent venture capalist Tom Alberg, bought 4.7 pounds of castor seeds by mail and had begun to process them into ricin when he was arrested last week, the U.S. attorney in Seattle said in court papers." [Reuters News Service]

*Trivia: "A man who's family says he may suffer from autism pleaded guilty this week [August 2004] of possessing the deadly poison ricin in his suburban Seattle home, according to a family representative. Robert Alberg, 37, son of prominent venture capitalist Tom Alberg, was arrested in April [2004] after buying 4.7 pounds of castor seeds by mail and starting to process them into ricin. As part of his plea agreement Wednesday [08/11/04] in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Alberg will be on probation for five years and be required to seek mental health treatment. Ricin is a poison with no known antidote." [News Services, 08/14/2004]

2004 - Mosque Standoff / Najaf, Iraq - April 14th, 2004: "NAJAF, Iraq - A 2,500-strong U.S. force, backed by tanks and artillery, massed Tuesday [04/13/04] on the outskirts of Najaf for a showdown with a radical cleric, raising fears of an assault on the holiest Shiite city." [A.P.]

2004 - Improper Trading? / Bank of America - April 14th, 2004: "CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Bank of America Corp. shareholders are paying the price for Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis' agreement to pay $375 million to settle accusations that it let favored clients improperly trade mutual funds." [Bloomberg News]

2004 - Bush's Blessing / Sharon Proposal - April 15th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush embraced on Wednesday [04/14/04] an Israeli proposal to withdrawl unilaterally from Gaza, agreed that Israel can permanently keep some of the occupied West Bank and said Palestinian refugees wouldn't have the right to return to Israel under any final peace settlement. Bush announced the new policies during a joint White House appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. His announcement swept away decades of U.S. insistence that any final peace settlement must require a return to Israel's 1949 borders, or something very close to them. The new stands also softened long-standing U.S. objections to Israel's settlements in Palestinian territory and to Israel's construction of a fence to separate Palestinian and Israeli areas. They also enraged Palestinians. Bush is 'the first President who has legitimized the settlements in the Palestinian territories when he said that there will be no return to the borders of 1967,' Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia told reporters from his home in the Jerusalem suburb of Abur Dis. [....] 'In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final-status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949,' Bush said during a news conference with Sharon. [....] 'We walked away from some traditional policies,' said Walker [Edward Walker], a former U.S. ambassador to Israel under former President Bill Clinton. 'Sharon got pretty much everything he wanted and positive-sounding positions on borders and settlements'. [....] Neither administration officials nor Israeli officials said how many West Bank settlements would be abandoned. 'These are heroic and courageous actions,' Bush said. 'If all parties choose to embrace this moment, they can open the door to progress and put an end to one of the world's longest-running conflicts.' " [Knight-Ridder Newspapers]

2004 - European "Truce" Proposal / Osama Bin Laden? - April 15th, 2004: "A man identifying himself as bin Laden offers a 'truce' to European countries that do not attack Muslims, saying it would begin when their soldiers leave Islamic nations. The tape gives the countries three months to start pulling out troops. It vows revenge against the United States for the Israeli assassination of Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin." [A.P., 10/30/04] 

2004 - Investigation / U.S. Military Intelligence Practices, Iraq - April 15th, 2004: "Maj. Gen. George R. Fay, the incoming deputy Army chief of staff for intelligence, begins an investigation into the practices of military intelligence officers in Iraq, including those at Abu Ghraib." [New York Times, 05/09/04]

2004 - AbGONE - April 16th, 2004: "A major new breakthrough pill with ingredients that target abdominal fat and water that cause pot belly has been announced by Biotech Research." [Media Services S-5547 OF-10021R-1, Advertisement]

2004 - "Plan of Attack" - April 16th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush secretly ordered a war plan drawn up against Iraq less than two months after U.S. forces attacked Afghanistan and was so worried the decision would cause a furor he did not tell everyone on his national security team, says a new book on his Iraq policy. Bush feared that if news got out about the Iraq plan as U.S. forces were fighting another conflict, people would think he was too eager for war, journalist Bob Woodward writes in 'Plan of Attack,' a behind-the-scenes account of the 16 months leading to the Iraq invasion." [By Calvin Woodward and Siobhan McDonough, A.P.]

2004 - Assassination / Khalil Naimi - April 16th, 2004: "NAJAF, Iraq - Gunmen assassinated an Iranian diplomat [Khalil Naimi] in Baghdad on Thursday [04/15/04] just as Iran, with tacit U.S. approval, attempted to mediate with a radical Shiite cleric defying American forces in this southern Iraqi city."

2004 - "Truce" Rejection / European Nations - April 16th, 2004: "LONDON - European nations, including Iraq war opponents Germany and France, vigorously rejected on Thursday [04/15/04] a truce offer purportedly from Osama bin Laden. They said there could be no negotiating with his al-Qaida terrorist network." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Intimidation Tactics / Fallujah, Iraq - April, 2004: "Marines were broadcasting messages by loudspeaker in the city [Fallujah] to agitate insurgents, announcing 'You are cowards for hiding behind women and children. Come out and fight,' and blaring heavy metal music, including AC/DC's 'Shoot to Thrill,' said Marine Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne." [A.P.]

2004 - Illegal Mining / Brazil - April 18th, 2004: "Officials of the Brazilian government's Funai Indian agency found about 20 diamond miners dead in a remote Amazon Indian reserve, authorities said Saturday [04/17/04]. [....] The National Indian Foundation (Funai) says tension has been rising between illegal miners and Indians on the reserve. Mining on the Indian reserves is illegal in Brazil."

2004 - Highways Closed / Iraq - April 18th, 2004: "BAGHDAD - The U.S. military abruptly closed parts of two major highways running north and south from the Iraqi capital early Saturday [04/17/04], attributing the shutdown to a spate of attacks and bombings by insurgents along the roads." [Washington Post]

2004 - Israeli Assassination / Abdel Aziz Rantisi - April 18th, 2004: "JERUSALEM - Israeli helicopters fired two missles into a white sedan carrying top Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi in the Gaza Strip late Saturday [04/17/04], killing him and two others." [Cox News Service]

2004 - Explosions / Basra, Iraq - April 21st, 2004: "Near-simultaneous explosions ripped through three police stations in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, killing 40 and wounding 200, a hospital source said." [A.P.]

2004 - Launch / Gravity Probe B - April 21st, 2004: "WASHINGTON - An idea conceived when Dwight Eisenhower was president finally soared into orbit Tuesday [04/20/04] when NASA launced a satellite designed to test parts of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. It took decades of technological development and funding fights to get the $750 million satellite from the drawing board, where it began in 1959, to the launchpad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. [....] Gravity Probe B will test two parts of what Einstein theorized in 1916: first, that the mass of an object, such as the Earth, causes space to curve around it; second, that its rotation slowly drags space and time with it, a theoretical effect that has never been seen. [....] Green said the team will have the best test of Einstein's ideas ever obtained after only one month of data." [Orlando Sentinel

2004 - Resignation / Mark Whiston - April 21st, 2004: "DENVER - The chief executive of Janus Capital Group resigned Tuesday [04/20/04], becoming the latest figure to be brought down by allegations of improper trading practices in the mutual fund industry." [A.P.]

2004 - Guilty Plea / Darleen A. Druyun - April 21st, 2004: "ALEXANDRIA, Va - A former Air Force official Tuesday [04/20/04] pleaded guilty to conspiracy for secretly negotiating for a job with Boeing Co. while she oversaw the Pentagon's consideration of a multibillion-dollar contract with the aviation giant." [A.P.]

2004 - Art Censorship / St. Louis University - April 21st, 2004: "The Rev. Lawrence Biondi, president of St. Louis University, is rebuffing demands that he remove from prominent view a painting ['Four Rivers'] based on a swastika design."

2004 - Mono-Sex Mice - April 22nd, 2004: "PHILADELPHIA - Just ahead of Mother's Day, scientists have found a way to cut dads out of the picture, at least among rodents: They have produced mice with two genetic moms - and no father." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. War Cost / Iraq - April 22nd, 2004: "The war is costing an estimated $4.7 billion a month, officials said." [A.P.]

2004 - Train Accident / North Korea - April 22nd, 2004: "Nearly 3,000 people were reportedly killed after a train accident today in North Korea. The death toll later revised was well below 1,000."

2004 - Prison Release / Mordechai Vanunu - April 22nd, 2004: "ASHKELON, Israel - Mordechai Vanunu walked out of prison on Wednesday [04/21/04], 18 years after exposing Israel's nuclear secrets, and immediately defied Israeli restrictions by speaking with international news media to demand the Jewish state open its reactor to international inspection. [....] 'Israel don't need nuclear weapons, especially now that all the Middle East is free from nuclear weapons,' he said. 'My message today to all the world is open the Dimona reactor for inspection.' Because Israel is not party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty, the International Atomic Energy Agency has no power to look into its nuclear program. The U.N. agency, however, is seeking talks with Israel." [A.P.]

2004 - Suicide Bomber / Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - April 22nd, 2004: "RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - A suicide attacker bombed a security police building in the Saudi capital Wednesday [04/21/04], killing at least four people besides the bomber and wounding 148. The attack had the hallmark of an al-Qaida operation, officials said." [Abdullah Al-Shihri, A. P.]

2004 - New Crew / International Space Station - April 22nd, 2004: "KOROLYOV, Russia - A Russian spacecraft brought a fresh crew to the international space station without a hitch Wednesday [04/21/04], but things weren't so smooth on the ground, where a top space official lashed out at NASA over the length of future missions." [A.P.]

2004 - Environmental Barometers / Frogs & Toads - April 22nd, 2004: "Frogs and toads are cold-blooded and breathe through their skin. This, combined with their dependence on clean air and water, makes them a good 'barometer' of environmental health." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2004 - Release / U.S. War Dead Photos - April 23rd, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The Pentagon's ban on images of dead soldiers' homecomings at all military bases was breached Thursday [04/22/04], as hundreds of photographs of flag-draped caskets at Dover Air Force Base were released on the Internet by a Web site dedicated to combating government secrecy." [New York Times]

2004 - Sexual Abuse / Lutheran Minister - April 23rd, 2004: "MARSHALL, Texas - Victims of a former Lutheran minister who sexually molested boys won a jury award of nearly $37 million Thursday [04/22/04], bringing the total payout in the case to about $69 million." [A.P.]

2004 - Limited Sovereignty / Iraq's Caretaker Government - April 23rd, 2004: "WASHINGTON - U.S. plans for a new caretaker government in Iraq would place severe limits on its sovereignty, including only partial command over its armed forces and no authority to enact new laws, American officials said Thursday [04/22/04]." [New York Times]

2004 - Baathification / Iraq - April 24th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Easing the ban on top members of Saddam Hussein's former Baath party is an overdue correction of a U.S. mistake, experts and many Iraqis said, blaming the policy for converting thousands of potential allies into anti-U.S. guerrillas. [....] The much debated 'de-Baathification' policy emerged in a May 16 [2003?] decree from newly arrived U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer. It fired tens of thousands of Baathists from government jobs." [A.P.]

2004 - SARS Death / China - April 24th, 2004: "BEIJING - China on Friday [04/23/04] reported the world's first SARS death this year and ordered officials to start screening thousands of travelers for fevers at airports and train stations to block a new outbreak of the disease." [A.P.]

2004 - Restored Trade / U.S. & Libya - April 24th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush took steps Friday [04/23/04] to restore normal trade and investment ties with Libya, moving to allow resumption of oil imports and most commercial and financial activities as a reward to Moammar Gadhafi for eliminating his most destructive weapons." [A.P.]

2004 - Last Coal Mine Closed / France - April 24th, 2004: "France closed its last coal mine Friday [04/23/04], saying goodbye to a trade that endured for nearly three centuries and underpinned the Industrial Revolution." [News Services]

2004 - Failed Collections / U.S. Criminal Debt - April 24th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - An investigation has identified $25 billion in fines and other payments the Justice Department has failed to collect from criminals, almost double the amount auditors counted three years ago, the General Accounting Office reported Friday [04/23/04]." [A.P.]

2004 - Married / Prince Johan Friso, Netherlands - April 25th, 2004: "AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Prince Johan Friso, the second son of Queen Beatrix, married human rights activist Mabel Wisse Smit on Saturday [04/24/04] without the approval of the Dutch government, giving up his claim to the throne for love." [A.P.]

2004 - Global Poverty vs. Military Spending - April 26th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - World finance ministers promised on Sunday [04/25/04] to do more to deal with the crushing burden of global poverty, promising help in such areas as education, debt relief and AIDS. [....] Finance ministers from the world's seven wealthiest countries endorsed a proposal to promote economic development in the Middle East, specifically mentioning the Palestinian areas of the West Bank and Gaza, along with Iraq and Afghanistan. [....] Wolfensohn [World Bank President James Wolfensohn] said he was encouraged that progress had been made and there was a growing realization among wealthy nations that the $900 billion being spent annually on military budgets could not ensure a safer world as long as only $50 billion was being spent on foreign aid. 'This imbalance is just so obviously ludicrous,' he said 'We need to focus on the causes of conflict and the causes of instability.' "

2004 - New Hamas Leader / Gaza Strip - April 27th, 2004: "JERUSALEM - Mahmoud Zahar, an Egyptian-trained physician who's son was killed in an Israeli airstrike, was identified by Israel on Monday [04/26/04] as the new Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Assaults / Iraq - April 28th, 2004: "FALLUJAH, Iraq - U.S. warplanes and artillery attacked Sunni insurgents holed up in a slum Tuesday [04/27/04] in a thunderous show of force that rocked Fallujah, sending huge plumes of black smoke into the night sky. The assault came after American troops killed 64 gunmen near the southern city of Najaf." [A.P.]

2004 - Prisoner Abuse Photos / Iraq - April 28th, 2004: "The photos were first broadcast Wednesday [04/28/04] on CBS' '60 Minutes II'. [....] World leaders and ordinary Arabs condemned the images." [A.P.]

2004 - Privy to Abuse Photos / George W. Bush - April 28th, 2004: "President Bush said he first saw or heard about the photographs when they were broadcast on the CBS News program '60 Minutes II' on April 28th [2004]." [04/27/04]

2004 - Terrorist Attack / Former U.N. Office, Syria - April 28th, 2004: "DAMASCUS, Syria - Gunmen attacked a former United Nations office in a diplomatic quarter of Damascus late Tuesday [04/27/04], setting off a battle with police that pelted nearby building with bullets and grenades. The government said two attackers, a policeman and a civilan were killed." [A.P.]

2004 - Cost / U.S. Wars - "The Pentagon faces a $12.3 billion shortfall through September [2004] for the cost of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and its worldwide effort against terrorism, congressional auditors estimated Wednesday [07/21/04]. The amount is triple what Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, projected in April he would need to make it through September." [A.P., 07/22/04]

2004 - Iraqi War Dead / Iraq - "Also in April [2004], up to 1,361 Iraqis were killed, according to an Associated Press tally." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. War Dead / Iraq - "Total amount of identified hostile and non-hostile U.S. troops killed in Iraq this month [April 2004] amounts to 136. According to the Pentagon, the number of U.S. wounded amounts to 900." [A.P., 05/01/04]

2004 - Trivia / Ilario G. Pantano - April 2004: "A Marine lieutenant accused of murdering two detained Iraqis and hanging a taunting sign over their corpses was cleared of all charges Thursday [05/26/05], a decision the Marine Corps said was in 'the best interests' of the officer and the country. Marine 2nd Lt. Ilario G. Pantano - a Wall Street energy trader who rejoined the military in response to the Sept. 11 attacks - did not deny shooting the suspected insurgents 60 times or hanging the sign that displayed a corps slogan: 'No better friend, no worse enemy.' Instead, Pantano, 33, asserted that he had killed the Iraqis in self-defense after the unarmed men made threatening moves toward him during a search of their car in April last year [2004] near Mahmudiyah, Iraq, 15 miles south of Baghdad. [....] The lieutenant, who is married and has two children, will continue with his duties as a training officer at camp Lejeune, base spokesman 2nd Lt. Barry Edwards said." [Based on: Los Angeles Times article, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A13, 05/27/05]

2004 - U.S. Fired White Phosphorus Shells? / Fallujah, Iraq - April 2004: "Between Nov. 8 and Nov. 20, 2004, U.S. forces in Iraq conducted Operation Phantom Fury, also known as the Battle of Fallujah. It was a ferocious fight for control of the city of 250,000 just 35 miles west of Baghdad. [....] 'Some artillery guns fired white phosphorus rounds that create a screen of fire that cannot be extinguished with water,' the Washington Post had reported from Fallujah during the battle. 'Insurgents reported being attacked with a substance that melted their skin, a reaction consistent with white phosphorus burns.' A doctor at a nearby hospital confirmed that 'some corpses' of insurgents 'were melted.' Nor was it the first time U.S. forces had used white phosphorus against human targets in Fallujah. During an April 2004 operation that was cut off in midstream on orders from Washington, mortar companies routinely alternated white phosphorus shells with conventional high explosives. [....]" [Based on:  Other Views page article (U.S. credibility goes up in smoke) by Eric Mink, p. C13, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12/07/05] - [Paragraph indents removed to save space - E.M.]

Calendar Months

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