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June 1, 2004
- RoC Premier Yu Shyi-kun is prevented for six hours from delivering a key government report on the floor of the Legislative Yuan when opposition lawmakers, refusing to recognize President Chen Shui-bian's narrow re-election on March 20, tore up his report and unfurled banners and placards with the words "no truth, no president" and "bogus regime". (TheStraitsTimes) (Channelnewsasia)
- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) releases a new report in which Iran amends its claims. Iran now states that it imported parts for centrifuges capable of making bomb-grade uranium that it previously said were made in the country. Highly enriched uranium (weapons grade 36% uranium-235) is found at a Farayand, a site previously unknown to the IAEA. (Reuters)
- Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, a powerful Sunni Muslim tribal leader and critic of the U.S.-led occupation, is named president of Iraq's incoming government, after Iraqi leaders reject the Americans' preferred candidate for the post.
- Shi'ite Muslims in Karachi, enraged by a mosque bombing that killed 20 worshippers, battle police and burn U.S. fast food restaurants as the government struggles to contain a third day of violence in Pakistan's largest city. (CNN) (BBC)
- Democrat Stephanie Herseth narrowly defeats Republican Larry Diedrich in a closely watched by-election for South Dakota's US House seat. (The Guardian) (CNN) (Reuters)
- The government in Zimbabwe proposes new contracts for all Internet service providers that will force them to block content or report "malicious messages" to the authorities. (BBC)
- Norway becomes the world's second nation after Ireland to ban smoking in all bars and restaurants. (Reuters)
- Jennifer Hawkins, a twenty-year-old Australian, wins the Miss Universe contest, held in Quito, Ecuador. (AP)
- Dr. Jiang Yanyong disappears days before the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
June 2, 2004
- Five aid workers representing Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) are killed in a Taliban ambush in north-western Afghanistan. The workers are one Dutchman, one Belgian, one Norwegian, and two Afghans. The incident leads MSF to temporarily suspend their activities nation-wide, except for life-saving activities. (BBC) (MSF Press Release)
- In a speech given at the United States Air Force Academy, President Bush compares the present War on Terrorism in the Middle East to World War II in Europe. (AP) (BBC)
- Zhou Zhengyi, the 11th richest businessman in mainland China, is given a three-year jail sentence for stock market fraud. (BBC)
- Norman Hutchins, who has a fetish for surgical masks becomes the first person in history to be banned from all British hospitals. (BBC)
- Scaled Composites announces that the world's first private manned space flight is scheduled for June 21, 2004. (BBC)
- U.S. government prosecutors, preparing for an upcoming trial of four former executives of Merrill Lynch and two former executives of Enron released a document that could prove helpful to the defense—indicating that the intent of the allegedly fraudulent transaction was, at the least, a bit equivocal. Trial begins Monday. (NYT)
June 3, 2004
- The Bilderberg Group meets near Milan, Italy. (BBC)
- All outgoing flights from the UK are temporarily grounded following an air traffic control computer failure. (BBC)
- Central Intelligence Agency director George Tenet tenders his resignation, citing "personal reasons". He will serve as CIA Director until mid-July. John McLaughlin, the deputy director for the CIA will become the acting Director until a permanent Director is chosen and confirmed by Congress. (AP) (BBC) (Reuters)
- Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal: Two U.S. Marines, Pfc. Andrew J. Sting and Pfc. Jeremiah J. Trefney, have been jailed for between eight to twelve months after pleading guilty to prisoner abuse at Al Mahmudiya prison in Iraq which occurred after the events at Abu Ghraib prison. (CNN) (BBC)
- The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will raise output by 2 million barrels a day from July 1 and by another 500,000 barrels per day (79,000 m3/d) from August 1. (IHT) (BBC)
June 4, 2004
- George W. Bush presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Pope John Paul II who criticizes him for the Iraq war while more than 100,000 protest in Rome and other Italian cities. (The Independent) (Calgary Herald)
- North Korea bans citizens from using mobile phones.
- The 15th anniversary of the crackdown of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 is marked in Hong Kong by a candlelight vigil. Police keep Tiananmen Square and other places in mainland China free of demonstrators. (BBC) (VOA)
- A second high-ranking CIA official, Deputy Director for field operations James Pavitt, is to retire early, after 31 years, citing personal reasons; speculation arises that his resignation and that of former Director George Tenet are possibly linked with the Iraq weapons of mass destruction or 9-11 intelligence issues. (BBC) (Reuters)
- New Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi gives his first televised national address. Five U.S soldiers are killed and another five wounded when their convoy comes under attack from roadside bombs and RPGs near Sadr City. The Mahdi Army agrees to a truce in Najaf with U.S forces and vows to withdraw if the Americans make a similar commitment.
- Marvin Heemeyer goes on a rampage with a 50-ton armour-plated Komatsu D355A bulldozer in Granby,Colorado resulting in 13 buildings destroyed and $7 million in damage.
June 5, 2004
- Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan dies at the age of 93 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. (SF Chronicle) (BBC) (Reuters) (Washington Post)
- An outbreak of pseudomembranous colitis, a Clostridium difficile infection, is believed to have killed as many as 89 people in hospitals in Montreal, Quebec and Calgary, Alberta. (CBC)
- Noël Mamère, mayor of Bègles (near Bordeaux), France, celebrates the first same-sex marriage in France, between Bertrand Charpentier and Stéphane Chapin. Interior minister Dominique de Villepin states that the wedding is illegal and announces that the mayor will face censure. Mamère claims he is interpreting French law, inspired by similar actions in San Francisco and other US cities. (swissinfo)
- North Light wins the 225th Epsom Derby, the second race in the British Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. (BBC)
- Belmont Stakes: Birdstone defeats Smarty Jones to prevent Smarty Jones from winning the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. (ESPN)
June 6, 2004
- Heads of state and war veterans mark the sixtieth anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Nazi-controlled Europe in World War II. An estimated 250,000 people died in the Battle of Normandy. (BBC)
- Palestinian Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti is sentenced to five life terms plus forty years by an Israeli court for his role in Palestinian terrorism. (CNN)
- U.S.-led occupation of Iraq: Brigadier General Mark Hertling, a top US commander in charge of Najaf, Iraq, states "The Moqtada militia is militarily defeated. We have killed scores of them over the last few weeks, and that is in Najaf alone. ... The militia have been defeated, or have left." US Coalition patrols and checkpoints are still active around Najaf and its twin city of Kufa, Iraq. (News.com.au)
- French Open: Gastón Gaudio wins the men's singles title, defeating compatriot Guillermo Coria 0–6, 3–6, 6–4, 6–1, 8–6. (AP)
June 7, 2004
- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) opens its two-day conference on Humanitarian Needs of Palestinian Refugess opens in Geneva, Switzerland. Participation in the conference is by invitation only. Israel is excluded from the conference. (UNRWA) (IMRA)
- Gunmen attack a BBC news team in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing cameraman Simon Cumbers and seriously injuring correspondent Frank Gardner. (BBC)
- U.S.-led occupation of Iraq: The UN Security Council reaches a compromise agreement on the draft resolution on Iraq. (BBC)
- North American Free Trade Agreement: The United States Supreme Court opens US roads to trucks from Mexico, enforcing a key component of the NAFTA agreement over the protests of some environmentalists and Teamsters. (Washington Post)
- A civil trial begins in San Francisco, California, in the U.S. Justice Department's effort to prevent the purchase of PeopleSoft by Oracle Corporation. Antitrust authorities contend that the proposed acquisition of PeopleSoft, for USD $7.7 billion, would effectively monopolize the market for enterprise software. (NYT)
- The Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Calgary Flames in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals 2–1, their first Stanley Cup victory. (ESPN) (SI.com) (TSN)
June 8, 2004
- Venezuela's National Electoral Council announces that Hugo Chávez's presidency will be subject to a recall referendum on 15 August, with general elections to follow within 30 days if the vote goes against the president. (BBC)
- Al-Qaeda members in Saudi Arabia threaten new attacks on Western passenger airliners. (Reuters)
- A March 2003 memorandum by US administration lawyers is released, which concludes that President George W. Bush was not bound by international treaty or by federal law against torture because the commander-in-chief had the authority to protect national security. (BBC)
- Venus passes between the Sun and the Earth in the first transit of Venus since 1882. (BBC)
- U.S.-led occupation of Iraq:
- U.S.-led special forces free three Italians and a Pole held hostage in Iraq. They are among the civilians kidnapped on April 12 near Baghdad. At that time, a fifth hostage was murdered after Italy refused the kidnappers' demands to withdraw its troops from Iraq. (Reuters)
- A suspected car bomb kills 4 Iraqis and wounds 11 outside a United States military base in the northern town of Baquba. (Reuters)
- A suspected suicide car bomb kills 9 and wounds at least 25 others in Mosul. (Reuters)
- UK Health Minister John Reid warns against anti-tobacco vigilantism, defending cigarettes as one of the "very few pleasures in life" available to the poor. (BBC) (Daily Telegraph)
- Chinese Internet authorities shut down the website of the Open Constitutional Initiative (OCI), a leading website campaigning for greater constitutional protections in China. OCI is a group of intellectuals that have been posting essays on the website related to constitutional issues and the protections of citizens rights as laid out in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China.
- The heart of the dauphin Louis-Charles, recognized by French royalists as Louis XVII of France, is entombed in the royal crypt of Saint-Denis Basilica outside Paris, 211 years after he perished in the French Revolution. DNA testing had verified the heart as belonging to the son of the guillotined King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. No French government officials or members of reigning royal families attend the service. (CBC) a
June 9, 2004
- Kurdish leaders in Iraq state that the Kurds would "refrain from participating in the central government" should the interim constitution be modified or replaced with a constitution that diminishes Kurdish political role in the central government. (NYT)
- An explosion injures at least 17 in a commercial district of Cologne, Germany. Authorities are treating it as a bomb attack. (CBC) (BBC)
- The British Phonographic Industry decides not to follow the rest of the IFPI in suing for file sharing of music. (CIO Today) (IFPI press release)
- U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft tells the Senate Judiciary Committee that George W. Bush did not approve the torture of terrorist prisoners; he also reiterates his stance that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to al-Qaeda fighters. (Salt Lake Tribune) (BBC)
- Twenty heavily armed foreign militants are killed by Pakistan in the South Waziristan mountainous tribal region near the Afghan border where it is believed that hundreds of al-Qaida members are hiding. (NYT)
- Canada announces it will be increasing its non-military role in Iraq, while NATO is currently undecided about sending more support to Iraq. (The Globe and Mail)
- The village of Fucking, Austria, votes to keep its name, despite the cost of stolen traffic signs and possible embarrassment over its meaning in English. (Ananova) (Daily Record)
- Washington D.C. hosted the State Funeral for former President Ronald Reagan.
June 10, 2004
- Votes are counted on Super Thursday in the UK as elections are held for the European Parliament, local council elections and for Mayor of London and the London Assembly. The local council elections show major losses for the Labour Party, attributed by Labour to protest voting over the 2003 invasion of Iraq. (BBC) (Guardian) (Guardian) (Daily Telegraph) (Daily Telegraph) (results from Guardian)
- Voting begins in the four-day-long European Parliament election; the United Kingdom and the Netherlands vote today. The Dutch authorities, in breach of an EU-wide reporting embargo, release their results in the early evening. (BBC)
- Mathematics professor Louis de Branges de Bourcia claims a proof of the Riemann hypothesis, a long-standing and fundamental mathematical problem for a solution of which the Clay Mathematics Institute has offered a USD $1 million prize. (CNet) (Purdue University press release)
- The U.S. State Dep't. announces that its Patterns of Global Terrorism report for 2003 was incomplete and partially incorrect. Instead of a decrease in terrorist attacks and casualties since 2002, the revised version will show a "sharp increase" over the previous year. (Press briefing), (Guardian)
- A polling organization announces that there is broad support in the U.S. state of California for a November ballot measure to limit the effect of the "three strikes" sentencing law. The Field Poll shows the measure, which would impose the 25-years-to-life only if the third felony is a serious or violent crime, is supported by 76% of those asked, opposed by 14 percent. (Sacramento Bee)
- Turkey releases four Kurdish prisoners. (Salt Lake Tribune)
- Pakistani paramilitary troops launch an offensive, hunting for foreign fighters in the tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan. (Asian times)
- The Zimbabwean cricket team is suspended from playing Test matches by the ICC till the end of 2004 due to their policy of racial bias in team selection.
- Apple Computer announces its new top-of-the-line Mac G5 will use water-cooling technology. ITworld
- Martha Stewart asks a federal judge to throw out charges of obstructing justice, claiming false evidence. (Bloomberg)
- Musician Ray Charles dies due to liver failure/hepatitis C at his home in Beverly Hills, California, surrounded by family and friends.
June 11, 2004
- On the third anniversary of the execution of Timothy McVeigh for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing, the penalty phase of his co-accomplice, Terry Nichols, ends in a deadlocked jury over the issue of handing out a death penalty verdict. By law, the judge in the case must sentence Nichols to life in prison (a term he is already serving). (CNN)
- Ken Livingstone is re-elected Mayor of London for a second four-year term after polling 828,380 first and second preference votes, defeating his nearest rival Conservative Steve Norris by 161,202 votes. (Guardian)
- Eleven Chinese road construction workers and an Afghan guard are murdered in their sleep 20 miles (32 km) south of the Afghan city of Kunduz. Four more Chinese are hospitalized for wounds suffered in the same attack. The dead are among more than 100 engineers and workers engaged on a World Bank project to build a road from Kabul to the Tajikistan border. Mullah Dadullah, one of the top Taliban commanders, recently issued orders to his fighters to strike at road builders. (NYT)
- The Cassini–Huygens probe approaches within 2,000 km (1,200 mi) of Phoebe, the outermost moon of the planet Saturn. (Wired News) (BBC)
- Ronald Reagan's funeral held at Washington National Cathedral and burial service at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library later in the day. (White House) (Washington National Cathedral)
- Food fight at Monroe-Woodbury High School escalates into a near-riot.
June 12, 2004
- A meteorite plunges into a family's living room in the Auckland, New Zealand, suburb of Ellerslie on Saturday afternoon. No one is hurt. Weighing 1.3 kilograms (2.9 pounds), it is the ninth ever meteorite to be found in the country, and the first to hit a home. (TVNZ) (Stuff) (Reuters)
- In a Constitutional referendum in Ireland, the electorate approves a constitutional amendment denying Irish citizenship to all children born in Ireland unless one of the parents is an Irish citizen or the parents were legally resident for three years prior to the birth. This closes a perceived loophole where considerable numbers of women in the late stages of pregnancy were allegedly arriving in Ireland, since the parents of citizens were also allowed to remain in the country. (BBC)
- Football (soccer): Greece upset favourites Portugal in the Euro 2004 tournament opening match, beating the Portuguese 2–1. (BBC)
- Australia renames the town of Ballarat to "Chicken Catchatorie" for a day in a bid to cross promote the towns VFL finalist football team with their sponsor, Chicken Tonight.
June 13, 2004
- Results of Serbian presidential elections show expected lead of Tomislav Nikolić with 30.1% of votes, followed with Boris Tadić with 27.3%; but it comes as a surprise that Bogoljub Karić has 19.3% of votes, more than government's candidate Dragan Maršićanin with 13.3%. Second round will be held on Sunday 27 June. (cesid.org)
- Taiwanese pop singer A-Mei cancels a concert in the mainland Chinese city of Hangzhou after protesters accused her of supporting Taiwan independence. (BBC)
- Australian federal election, 2004: The Australian Labor Party slightly backs away from its promise to withdraw the country's troops from Iraq by Christmas if it wins. (VOA)
- Football (soccer): In Euro 2004, Zinedine Zidane scores two second-half goals in added time to lead France to a 2–1 win over England. Fabien Barthez saved a David Beckham penalty earlier in the second half to help make France's win possible. (BBC)
- Internet censorship in mainland China: Access to Wikimedia has been blocked by the People's Republic of China. (ITworld) (China Tech News) (Slashdot)
June 14, 2004
- Cartoon Network relaunches itself with a new logo and slogan "This is Cartoon Network."
- Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency accuses Iran of "less than satisfactory" cooperation during the IAEA's investigation of its nuclear program. ElBaradei demands "accelerated and proactive cooperation" from Iran, while Iran rejects further restrictions on nuclear programs. (NYT) (BBC)
- The Supreme Court of the United States overturns a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling (Newdow v. United States Congress) that would have removed the phrase under God from the Pledge of Allegiance by an 8–0 ruling that the father cannot file a complaint on behalf of his noncustodial daughter. (AP)
- European Parliament election:
- Near-complete preliminary results show general defeat of governing parties and slight perceived rise of eurosceptic parties, but the balance of power in the Parliament remains similar despite the 10 new member states. (BBC)
- Sinn Féin wins its first European Election seat in the Republic of Ireland surprising governing parties Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats, and another in Northern Ireland. (E.U. Business) (BBC)
- Unofficial Reading Festival forum Reading Festival Online (http://forum.readingfestivalonline.co.uk) moved from its old server and location to a new, aesthetically and technologically superior VBB based server.
June 15, 2004
- Tim Berners-Lee receives the Millennium Technology Prize in Helsinki. (Technology awards)
- Janis Karpinski, the United States Brigadier General at the center of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse in Iraq, says that she was "ordered from the top" to treat detainees "like dogs", as they are treated in Guantanamo. (BBC) (Guardian) (Voice of America)
- Bombs detonated against oil pipelines in Iraq result in the main Iraqi oil terminal being shut down for at least 10 days, an estimated revenue loss of USD 600 million to the Iraqi government. (NYT) (BBC)
- A militant Islamic group that has been identified as connected to Al Qaida releases a video-tape where they state they will kill an American hostage, Paul Johnson, if group members are not released from Saudi Arabian prisons in 72 hours. (BBC)
- FARC guerrillas massacre 34 coca farmers in Norte de Santander department, Colombia, in the worst such attack since President Álvaro Uribe took office. (BBC) (AP)
- U.S. Rep. Chris Bell files an ethics complaint against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. (CNN)
- Apple Computer launches its iTunes Music Store digital music service in the United Kingdom, France and Germany. The price for a single track will be 79 pence or 99 euro cents. (Forbes) (The Register)
- The Detroit Pistons win their first NBA Championship since 1990 by defeating the widely favored Los Angeles Lakers 4–1 in a best-of-seven series. The Pistons swept all three of their home games, a first in the 20 years of the 2–3–2 game format. The final game's score was 100–87. (NBA.com)
June 16, 2004
- EU leaders meet in Brussels to try to agree on the draft European constitution amid the showing of popular discontent with national governments in the recent European Parliament election. (BBC) (Guardian)
- The US's 9/11 Commission states that although meetings between al Qaeda representatives and Iraqi government officials had taken place, it has found "no credible evidence" of a "collaborative relationship" between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks or in any other strike against U.S. interests. It also finds that the original plan involved ten jets and that there was dispute within the terrorist network about its implementation until only shortly before September 11. (Washington Post) (AP) (BBC)
- Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr calls upon members of his Mahdi Army to return to their homes and end their attacks. (NYT)
- The trial begins of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russian oil tycoon on charges of tax evasion and fraud; the proceedings are later adjourned. (VOA) (BBC)
- 25 people die and 100 hurt in a train derailment on the Konkan Railway in India, near the western city of Mumbai. (Times of India)
- Jiang Yanyong's wife, Hua Zhongwei, is reported to have been freed from detention incommunicado in China and returned to the couple's Beijing home. (Reuters)
- The Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, a group of 27 retired U.S. diplomats and military officers, publishes an open letter that states that U.S. President George W. Bush has so harmed international relations that only a new leader can repair them. (BBC) (Newsweek) (CNN)
- A computer virus capable of infecting cellphones running the Symbian OS with Bluetooth capabilities, "Cabir", has been developed by software experts. (Forbes) (BBC) (Reuters)
- The Bloomsday centennial is commemorated in Dublin and around the world. (IHT) (Reuters UK)
- The Hong Kong securities-industry watchdog obtained a court order freezing all assets belonging to hedge fund manager Charles Schmitt, or his fund of funds, CSA Absolute Return. Mr. Schmitt himself is in the custody of Hong Kong authorities on suspicions that he's misappropriated investor funds. (TheStreet.com)
June 17, 2004
- The Pentagon confirms a report in The New York Times that CIA chief George Tenet – who steps down from the post next month – was allowed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to have an Iraqi prisoner secretly detained in alleged violation of the Geneva Convention. (BBC) (NYT)
June 18, 2004
- Russian President Vladimir Putin says that Russia had warned the United States several times that Saddam Hussein was planning terrorist attacks against the US. (BBC) (Pravda.RU) (Khaleej Times)
- European Union Intergovernmental Conference:
- The latest meeting of the European Council in Brussels ends in the agreement of a constitution for the European Union. (BBC)
- Leaders of the European Union grant candidate country status to Croatia. Talks on accession are due to begin early next year. (BBC) (Irish Times Online)
- No consensus is reached on a candidate for head of the European Commission. (BBC)
- The television station Al-Arabiya reports that kidnapped hostage Paul Johnson has been beheaded by Al-Qaida militants. (CNN)
- Ichthyologists claim to have discovered a new species of Chimaera fish off the coast of Brazil. (CNN)
June 19, 2004
- Witnesses and hospital officials say that 22 Iraqis, among them children, women, and youths, are killed in a U.S. air strike in a residential neighborhood in Fallujah. U.S. officials say that they targeted an Abu Musab al-Zarqawi safe house. (Reuters) (CBC) Iraqi locals dispute the American account. (BBC)
- OpenBeOS becomes Haiku (operating system), announced at the first WalterCon in Columbus, Ohio.
an asteroid discovered by NASA named 2004 MN4 that may hit earth in 2029.
June 20, 2004
- India and Pakistan agreed in Qingdao, China, to extend a nuclear testing ban and to set up a hotline between their foreign secretaries aimed at preventing misunderstandings that might lead to a nuclear war. (CNN)
- The Philippine Congress announces that Gloria Arroyo has been reelected to a second term as President of the Philippines in the 2004 general election. (Reuters)
- Researchers find SARS in human tears, shedding light on one of the ways the virus propagates, as well as an early-warning test. (CTV) (ABC Online Australia)
June 21, 2004
- 48 Nobel laureates endorse John Kerry as they think that he would increase the prosperity, health, environment, and security of Americans. They criticize the Bush administration for reducing funding for scientific research, setting restrictions on stem cell research, ignoring scientific consensus on critical issues such as global warming, and hampering cooperation with foreign scientists by using deterrent immigration and visa practices. (Reuters)
- A report by the New York Times alleges that the United States administration overstated the intelligence value and importance of the prisoners held at the controversial prisoner camp at Guantanamo Bay. The report, based on interviews with government officials, concludes that only a relatively small percentage of the prisoners were sworn members of Al Qaeda, and that most were relatively unimportant, low-level people. (NYT) (IHT)
- The Supreme Court of the United States, in Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, rules that mandatory disclosure of identity to the police, when asked, does not violate the Fifth Amendment, and the Miranda warning does not apply. (CNN) (AP)
- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warns Security Council members not to grant the United States another exemption from prosecution by the International Criminal Court, stating that it was wrong, especially after the abuse of prisoners in Iraq. (New Zealand Herald) (NYT)
- Iran seizes three British Royal Navy patrol boats on the Shatt al-Arab waterway that divides Iran from Iraq. Their eight British crew members are detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. (BBC)
- SpaceShipOne, the first privately and commercially funded aircraft/spaceplane designed for space travel without funding from any government, successfully embarks upon its maiden flight into outer space. Designed by legendary aerospace designer Burt Rutan and funded by billionaire Paul Allen, the ship was launched from a larger plane and, after igniting its burners, flew 62 miles (100 km) into space and back down again, an altitude that officially makes test pilot Michael Melvill an astronaut. (BBC) (Space.com)
- The United States reportedly tries to isolate the United Nations Population Fund because it allegedly supports abortions. (NYT)
- Three former top bankers in the United Kingdom, accused of stealing more than US$7 million from NatWest (now part of the Royal Bank of Scotland) in a scheme that helped to bring about the collapse of Enron vowed to fight attempts to extradite them to the United States.
- The first official group of Hmong refugees from the Wat Tham Krabok camp in Thailand begin arriving in the United States. 14,300 to 15,000 refugees are expected to arrive by the end of the year. The camp is one of the last remaining from results of the Vietnam War. One family had left early on June 16 due to a medical emergency. (BBC) (MPR)
- Facing impeachment over corruption charges, Governor John G. Rowland of Connecticut announces that he will resign, effective July 1. (NYT)
June 22, 2004
- The United States Supreme Court rules that Health Maintenance Organizations cannot be sued in state courts under malpractice laws. (Forbes)
- The Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency reports Iran could soon free eight British military sailors seized yesterday on the Iranian side of the Shatt al-Arab waterway shared with Iraq if interrogations show they had "no bad intention." (ABC)
- An Islamic militant group beheads Kim Sun-il, a South Korean contractor, according to Al Jazeera television. (Al Jazeera)
- Imran Khan, Pakistani cricketer and politician, and Jemima Khan, daughter of the late Anglo-French billionaire Sir James Goldsmith, announce their divorce. (Arab News)
- The RIAA, in its anti-piracy campaign, sues 482 more John Does that could possibly be file sharing users. ((newsfactor.com)(Dallas News) (Reuters))
- Francisco Ortiz Franco, editor of Mexican newsweekly Zeta, is ambushed and killed by gunmen in Tijuana. Ortiz Franco and Zeta were particularly well known for their work in investigating drug trafficking and reporting government corruption. (BBC)
June 23, 2004
- U.S. policy on (a) the use of torture to extract information from captured enemy combatants and (b) on whether the Taliban and al Qaeda detainees qualify as "prisoners of war" under the Geneva Convention:
- The White House releases a February 7, 2002, memo in which President George W. Bush ordered humane treatment of captured Taliban and al Qaeda fighters despite a Justice Department legal opinion that the Geneva Convention does not apply. Twenty-one other memos requested by Senate Democrats have not yet been released; no released memos address Iraq or Abu-Ghraib Prison. (MSNBC) (Memo)
- Gordon B. Hinckley, 15th president of the LDS church, awarded presidential medal of Freedom from George W. Bush.
- The U.S. administration releases a U.S. Justice Department memo asserting that the legal opinion that the president had "the legal authority to order prisoners to be tortured". The memo indicates that Donald Rumsfeld denied approval to strongly coercive physical measures, but approved what has been described as "mild, noninjurious physical contact", and use of "detainee's individuals phobias (such as fear of dogs)". (VOA) (News24)
- The U.S. administration asserts that it refused to permit the use of torture, even if to do so would be legally permissible.
- A class action lawsuit of an unprecedented 1.6 million women is allowed by a federal judge in a case about sexual discrimination at U.S. retailer Wal Mart. (Baltimore Sun)
- Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi vows to hunt down militants threatening to assassinate him, dismissing their bloody campaign before a U.S. handover to Iraqi rule in a week's time. (Reuters)
- Saudi Arabia offers an amnesty from execution to any al Qaida-affiliated militants within the kingdom who turn themselves in within the next month. (Reuters)
- The United States abandons an attempt to shield its soldiers from war crimes prosecution by the International Criminal Court. (Washington Post)
- Mainland Chinese vandals deface the website of the Democratic Progressive Party for the second time in two weeks with People's Liberation Army propaganda. (Inquirer) (TaipeiTimes)
June 24, 2004
- Princess Caroline of Monaco obtained a judgment from the European Court of Human Rights condemning Germany for non-respect of her right to a private life. The seven judges who examined her request ruled that German jurisdictions have misunderstood this right by refusing to forbid publication of photographs depicting Caroline in scenes of her daily life.
- Murder of Ronald Gajraj, who had made Guyanese death squad allegations.
- Iraqi insurgents explode multiple car bombs and seize police stations in a six-city offensive, killing over 100 and wounding at least 320, nearly all Iraqis. U.S officials accuse Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's network of involvement. (AP)
- Bombs explode in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey, killing three and wounding at least 18. (Reuters)
- "The gun that killed nine million people", the Browning with serial no. 19047 which Gavrilo Princip used to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, is found in a Jesuit house in Austria and will be put on display in the Vienna museum of military history. (Scotsman)
June 25, 2004
- After Siemens AG threatens to move thousands of jobs from North Rhine-Westphalia to Hungary, IG Metall (a trade union) agrees to a 40-hour work week for the same pay they currently receive for working 35. The agreement reduces by €5 the cost of each Siemens mobile phone manufactured under the new agreement. IG Metall workers had enjoyed the 35-hour work week since 1984. (Deutsche Welle) (IHT)
- Republican Jack Ryan withdraws from the contest for U.S. Senate seat from Illinois under pressure from the party amid allegations that he took his ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan, to some sex clubs. (Reuters)
- British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith says that he is "unable to accept" that the U.S. military tribunals will yield a fair trial for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Scotsman) (BBC)
- In an open letter, Ralph Nader warns Canadians against voting for the Conservative Party in the federal election on June 28, 2004. (CBC)
- A treasured guitar owned by Eric Clapton fetches a record USD $959,500 at a charity auction. (BBC)
- The government of Norway, the third-largest petroleum-exporting nation, ends a week-long oil workers' strike by imposing wage and pension terms on the contending sides. (The Street.com)
June 26, 2004
- Pakistan's Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali resigns. (BBC)
- U.S. presidential election
- The United States Green Party, in a rebuff to Ralph Nader, nominates Texas lawyer David Cobb as their candidate for President of the United States. This means that Nader will need to attain ballot access on his own in over 23 states, instead of being able to be placed on the ballots automatically as the Green Party candidate. Nader has announced that he may attempt to gain access as the Reform Party candidate. (The Progress Report)
- Ralph Nader holds a second convention in Portland to put his name on the presidential ballot in Oregon. This attempt is supported by conservative groups who hope his name will draw votes in this swing state from Democratic hopeful John Kerry. (Portland Oregonian) The outcome of the convention is still unknown: 943 forms were collected, but 1000 valid signatures are needed; many forms had more than one signature on them, however, the state elections board will require several weeks to validate all of the signatures.
- The Download.ject attack on Internet Explorer users is neutralised for the moment, with the Russian server containing the backdoor program having been shut down. Security experts warn that the IE vulnerabilities still exist and a copycat attack is still possible. (CNet) (Information Week)
- Czech Prime Minister Vladimír Špidla resigns after narrowly surviving a vote of no confidence. (BBC)
- Yasser Arafat, President of the Palestinian Authority, commits to refrains from attacks on the Olympics scheduled for this August in Athens, Greece. (WAFA)
- Six Palestinians, including Nayef Abu Sharkh, head of the Nablus old city part of the Al Aqsa Brigades, and Jaafar Masri, the leader of Hamas' military wing in Nablus, are killed during an Israeli operation, according to Palestinian sources. (CNN)
June 27, 2004
- Fahrenheit 9/11 breaks the record for highest opening-weekend earnings in the United States for a documentary, earning US$23.9 million. (Box Office Mojo).
- In the 2004 Serbian presidential election, Boris Tadić defeats Tomislav Nikolić in the run-off, with 53.7% to 45.0% of the votes. (ABC).
- In the 2004 Lithuanian presidential election, Valdas Adamkus wins in the run-off against Kazimiera Prunskiene, with 52.1% to 47.8% of votes (BBC).
- The Taliban kill 16 Afghans after stopping a bus and forcing the sixteen to alight, possibly to get the victims' voter registration cards for elections scheduled in September of this year. (PakTribune) (NYT)
- Iraq Occupation and resistance:
- Palestinians detonate 150 kg (330 lb) of explosives placed in a 300 meter (1000 ft) long tunnel against an Israeli army position in the Gaza Strip. 2000 Palestinians rush into the streets of Gaza City to celebrate. (Guardian)
- Gay pride celebrations, parades and protests are held globally, marking the 35th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the traditional birth of the modern LGBT civil rights movement. (Salt Lake Tribune)
- Patrick Dempsey races a Panoz GTS at the second race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
- Colombian Soccer Team Independiente Medellín beats their rival and city's other major club Atlético Nacional in the finals of the 2004 Copa Mustang I.
- Muse holds a headlining concert in Glastonbury.
June 28, 2004
- Chinese lawyers visit the victims of last year's deadly accident involving an abandoned WWII-era cache of mustard gas in Qiqihar. The chemical weapons were left behind by invading Japanese troops during the war. The lawyers are preparing to sue the Japanese government. (Xinhuanet)
- Canadian federal election, 2004: Results give the Liberal Party a minority government; in a likely alliance with the NDP, they will together hold exactly half the Commons seats. Despite the heated nature of the campaign, turnout was the lowest in recent memory. (CBC)
- The United States Supreme Court rules six-to-three that "illegal combatants" such as those held in Guantánamo can challenge the basis of their detentions, yet can also be held without charges or trial. (BBC) (NYT)
- The currencies of Estonia (the kroon), Lithuania (the litas), and Slovenia (the tolar) enter ERM II, the European Union's Exchange Rate Mechanism, in a move towards joining the euro. (BBC) (ECB1) (ECB2) (ECB3)
- Iraq Occupation and resistance:
- At a low key ceremony in Baghdad, Paul Bremer hands over power in Iraq two days before the U.S.-imposed deadline. (BBC)
- The Islamic Retaliation Movement/Armed Resistance Wing threatens to decapitate Hassoun Wassef Ali, a Muslim U.S. Marine of Lebanese descent, if detainees in US-led occupation prisons are not freed. (AlJazeera) (NYT)
- A previously unknown Iraqi group claimed that it has executed Keith Matthew "Matt" Maupin, a U.S. Army Private First Class captured on April 9. (AlJazeera)
- In Mongolia, the ruling Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party suffers considerable losses in the general election. Official results have not yet been announced, and it remains unclear whether the MPRP will retain its majority. The MPRP has accused the opposition of vote rigging, and has refused to concede defeat. (Ulaanbaatar Post) (Reuters)
- José Manuel Barroso, the Prime Minister of Portugal, gains the backing of the United Kingdom and Germany as the next President of the European Commission (The Independent)
- A Hong Kong appellate court rules 2–1 that a will presented by Nina Wang of her abducted and presumed dead husband Teddy Wang is a forgery. (CNN)
June 29, 2004
- Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, the head of the ruling party in Pakistan, is elected as the new interim Prime Minister of the nation after the resignation of Zafarullah Khan Jamali. (Guardian)
- The United States Supreme Court rules 5–4 in Ashcroft v. ACLU that the Child Online Protection Act is likely in violation of the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech. The case will be reheard at a lower court. (MSNBC)
- European Union leaders formally nominate Portuguese Prime Minister José Manuel Barroso to the post of European Commission president. (BBC)
- Albertan MLA Gary Masyk blames Premier Ralph Klein for causing the defeat of the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2004 federal election, and leaves the Progressive Conservative Party for the newly formed Alberta Alliance.
June 30, 2004
- In an unprecedented move, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York write to Tony Blair on behalf of all 114 Anglican bishops, expressing deep concern about UK government policy and criticising coalition troops' conduct in Iraq. They cite the abuse of Iraqi detainees, which they say has been "deeply damaging" – and state that the government's apparent double standards "diminish the credibility of western governments". (BBC) (The Scotsman)
- The United States Federal Reserve raises the federal funds interest rate for the first time in four years, by a quarter point. (ABC News)
- Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is sworn into a new six-year term as president of the Philippines following a disputed victory in the May 2004 presidential election. (VOA)
- Iraq Occupation and resistance: The United States formally hands over legal custody of Saddam Hussein to the new Iraqi government. The trial of Saddam Hussein is expected to take place in January. (BBC)
- The Spanish minister of justice, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, announces a number of social bills to be introduced, including one that will legalize same-sex marriage in Spain, one that will introduce rights for common-law couples, and one that will allow transgendered people to legally change their name and sex designation without the requirement of surgery. (abc.es)
- The Israeli Supreme Court issues a landmark ruling that a 30-kilometer planned stretch of the separation barrier in eastern Jerusalem violates the legal rights of the local Palestinian population to an extent not justified by security concerns, and therefore must be changed. (Haaretz)