The World Health Organisation says that six months into its project against AIDS, 440,000 people in developing nations have received antiretroviral drugs. Despite being 60,000 short of its target, the organisation says it is still hopeful of achieving its aim of distributing to 3,000,000 people by the end of 2005 (BBC)
American celebrity Martha Stewart is sentenced to five months in a federal prison, five months of house arrest, two years probation, and ordered to pay a $30,000 fine, for attempting to cover up illegal stock trading. The sentence is stayed pending appeal. (Reuters)
Acceding to the demands of Iraqi militants who kidnapped and threaten to behead truck driver Angelo de la Cruz, the Philippines agrees to withdraw from Iraq. Eleven soldiers leave today, while the remaining 32 are slated to withdraw at a later date. (BBC)
Allegations surface that Iyad Allawi himself summarily executed six prisoners at a Baghdad police station one week before becoming Iraqi prime minister, to "send a clear message to the police on how to deal with insurgents". His office completely denies the event. (SMH)(Age)
The trial for the murder of Canadian journalistZahra Kazemi in Iran ended abruptly on the second day of the proceedings. The lawyers of the Kazemi family insisted that the time has not been enough for proofs to be given, witnesses to be brought to court, and the murderer to be identified.
Jordanian troops detect and intercept four unidentified individuals attempting to "infiltrate to the western side of the Jordan River" (Israel). Three are killed and the fourth arrested. (JNA)
IsraeliPrime MinisterAriel Sharon calls on French Jews to move to Israel immediately in light of the dramatic rise in French anti-semitism (510 anti-semitic acts or threats in the first six months of 2004, compared to 593 for all of 2003). The French government describes his comments as unacceptable. An Israeli spokesperson later claims that Sharon had been misunderstood. (BBC)(Haaretz)
Despite threats, Japan rebuffs demands that Japanese troops be withdrawn from Iraq. Deputy Cabinet Secretary Masaaki Yamazaki states: "For the rebuilding of Iraq, we must continue our support and not give in to terrorism". (Reuters)
Following the decision of the Philippines to accede to hostage-takers' demands that it withdraw all 51 soldiers from Iraq, militants in Iraq abduct three Indians, two Kenyans and an Egyptian, announcing that the hostages would be beheaded unless their countries immediately announce the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
United States and Afghan forces kill 10 suspected Islamic militants and arrest five others. (Reuters)
The United Nations raises its threat warning level for the Gaza Strip to "Phase Four" (the maximum is five) and plans to evacuate non-essential foreign staff from the Gaza Strip. (Reuters)
Kenya calls on its citizens to leave Iraq, after the recent abductions of three Kenyan citizens (AP)
In Canada, one person is reported to have died and five others hospitalized due to an E. coli contamination (AFP)
In Turkey a passenger train travelling between Istanbul and Ankara derails at about 18:45 local time (16:45 UTC) near Pamukova in Sakarya Province. Initial fatality reports from the government suggested that 139 people were killed; this was reduced to approximately 30, without explanation, a few hours later, and the actual number is unclear. (BBC)
An 18-year-old Palestinian, Hassan Zaanin, is shot dead in Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip when he and his family attempt to stop Palestinian gunmen from planting an anti-tank explosive outside their house. (Haaretz)(BBC)
A roadside bomb explodes in Karachi, Pakistan, killing an electrician and wounding six others. The victims were all students and staff at an Islamic seminary, and appear to be the targets of the attack. (BBC)
In Mexico Judge César Flores refuses to authorize an arrest warrant for former president Luis Echeverría and other officials under the accusations of genocide for the killing of students during the "dirty war". Prosecutors are expected to appeal the decision. (BBC)
A suicide bomber attacks near a U.S base in the northern city of Mosul, killing two civilians and an Iraqi security guard. Three U.S soldiers and an Iraqi security guard were wounded.
The Iraqi interim Interior Ministry's Deputy Chief of Tribal Affairs, Col. Musab al-Awadi, is assassinated in Baghdad, along with two of his bodyguards.
Insurgents kill two Iraqi women working as cleaners for British forces in Basra in southern Iraq.
Militants threaten to kill two Jordanian truck drivers they captured within 72 hours if their Jordanian employer does not stop doing business with the U.S. military. (AP)
The International Maritime Bureau says that deaths due to piracy doubled in the first month of 2004 compared with the same period in 2003, to 30 people. Half of the killings were in Nigerian waters. Despite the increased violence, the total number of piracy attacks fell. In the economically critical Straits of Malacca however, attacks rose by a third. (BBC)
South African authorities announce that Al-Qaeda militants have illegally obtained a large number of South African passports, enabling operatives to travel to many African countries and Britain without visas. It is believed that the passports came from crime syndicates operating within the passport office. (AP)
A lower French court annuls the same-sex union of Stephane Chapin and Bertrand Charpentier, stating that the Civil Code does not allow same-sex unions and that allowing them is for the legislature. The couple say they will appeal against the court's ruling, even to the European Court of Human Rights. The mayor who officiated at the ceremony, Noel Mamere of the left-wing Greens Party, had been suspended from duties for one month by the national executive. (AP)
Guerilla mortar fire, directed at the Green Zone in Baghdad, strikes the nearby neighborhood of Salhiya, killing an Iraqi garbage collector, wounding another, and injuring 15 U.S. soldiers.
Dr. Qassem el-Obaidi, assistant director of Mahmudiya hospital, is assassinated in Mahmudiya, 25 miles south of Baghdad.
A suicide bomber launches a failed attack in Baquba, north of Baghdad, killing himself but inflicting no other casualties.
The Jordanian company Daoud and Partners decides to withdraw from Iraq, so as to secure the release of two Jordanian hostages.
The United Nations warns that Bangladesh is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis, as severe flooding causes more than 350 deaths. Forty-one of the country's sixty-four districts are affected by the floods, and officials say 14 million people are either marooned or homeless; other estimates reach as high as 30 million. (BBC)
A massive suicide car-bomb kills 70 Iraqi civilians in an attack near a police station in the city of Baquba, north of Baghdad.
Insurgents launch simultaneous attacks on U.S bases around Ramadi, killing two U.S soldiers and wounding eight. One guerrilla and an Iraqi civilian are killed in the Ramadi fighting. Clashes between Marines and guerillas are reported elsewhere in Al Anbar province, west of Baghdad.
A U.S soldier is killed and three wounded in a roadside bomb attack on a convoy in the town of Balad Ruz, north of Baghdad.
A U.S soldier is killed and another three wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Baghdad. An Iraqi civilian was also injured in the blast.
Seven Iraqi policemen and 35 guerillas are killed in a battle in the town of Suwariyah, southeast of Baghdad, that was started by a raid by Iraqi security forces backed by U.S and Ukrainian troops.
About 220 North Koreans fly to South Korea from an unnamed third country, following 247 who arrived the day before. They arrive at Incheon International Airport on a plane chartered by the South Korean government. The North Korean government describes their apparent defection as "kidnapping". (BBC)
A United Airlines flight carrying 246 passengers to Los Angeles, US, is forced to return to Sydney, Australia, after a bomb threat. Police later describe a hoax warning, found written on an air sickness bag. (CNN)
United States Senator John Kerry formally accepts the 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate nomination. In his acceptance speech he undertakes to "restore trust and credibility to the White House". (MSNBC)
Two Australian anti-war protestors who daubed "No War" in red paint on the top sail of the Sydney Opera House on March 18, 2003, take their case to the New South Wales Court of Appeal. David Burgess, 33, and Will Saunders, 42, claim their defence of self-defence was not heard by their original trial judge. (Sydney Morning Herald)
In Vietnam, dissident pro-democracy activist Dr Nguyen Dan Que is sentenced by the Ho Chi Minh People's Court for "abusing democratic rights to jeopardise the interests of the state, and the legitimate rights and interests of social organisations and citizens". Que is the third dissident this month to be jailed after using the Internet to criticise the ruling Communist government. (Vietnam News Agency) (note the Agency is state-controlled), (Miami Herald).
The Vatican denounces feminism, claiming that it would blur differences between men and women and threatens the institution of the traditional family of one man and one woman, stating that the drive for equality makes "homosexuality and heterosexuality virtually equivalent, in a new model of polymorphous sexuality". (AP)
Iran states that it has resumed building nuclearcentrifuges to enrich uranium, reversing an October 2003 pledge to Britain, France and Germany to suspend all uranium enrichment-related activities. The United States contends that the purpose is to produce weapons grade uranium. (Reuters)