November 2003

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The following events occurred in November 2003:

Events[edit]

November 1, 2003[edit]

  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict: In Israel, a hard-hitting UN report says that Israel will effectively annex large areas of Palestinian territory as a result of the permits it intends to issue to Palestinians near the wall being built. The Israeli West Bank barrier has been built inside the internationally recognised Green Line about 18,000 acres (73 km2) and cuts off the rest of the West Bank. It has been declared a "closed military zone".[1]
  • The October Taylor Nelson Sofres / EOS Gallup EU poll reportedly shows that 59% of Europeans think that Israel is a threat to world peace (greater threat to world peace than North Korea, Iran, or Afghanistan). Also according to the poll, Europeans believe the United States surpasses the "axis of evil" (i.e., Iran, Iraq, and North Korea) and Afghanistan for countries that contribute most to world instability. Around 7,500 people from 15 different European countries were surveyed. Some of the results not yet published are still reportedly "unstable". Representatives will be meeting the EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana to discuss the results of the poll and issues around combating anti-Semitism in Europe.[2][3]
  • Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe announces an overhaul of his cabinet and changes to the central bank aimed at tackling acute economic problems.[4]
  • Communications in the United Kingdom are disrupted as the Royal Mail faces a wave of unofficial strikes.[5]
  • North Korea nuclear weapons program: A North Korean defector to the South says the US cannot trust Pyongyang to stick to any deal about nuclear weapons.[6]
  • Fire fighters in California begin to gain the upper hand as they battle against the wildfires in Southern California.[7]
  • The United States prosecutes Greenpeace for protesting illegal mahogany trade under an 1872 law against "sailormongering".[8]
  • Taipei celebrates the first gay pride parade in either part of China. Approximately 1,000 people march.[9]

November 2, 2003[edit]

  • Occupation of Iraq: In the heaviest single loss for the coalition troops since cessation of the military campaign in Iraq two US Chinook helicopters are fired on by two surface-to-air missiles and one crashes near Fallujah and on its way to Baghdad airport; 16 soldiers are killed and 20 wounded.[10][11] A blast damages an oil pipeline near Kirkuk, north of Baghdad.[12]
  • War on Terrorism: The New York Times reports that militant Muslim recruits are "streaming into Iraq" and answering the call of Osama bin Laden and other extremists. These individuals are joining the fight against the coalition's occupation in Iraq, state counterterrorism officials. Intelligence officials (in six countries) have detected an estimate of hundreds of militant young Muslims from various countries headed for Iraq (primarily by crossing the Syrian or Iranian borders).[13]
  • The Yukos crisis continues, and Dmitry Medvedev, the new Chief of Staff of the Russian president, warns of risks to the economy.[14] Following his appointment, the siloviks continue to dominate Putin's administration in a larger degree than in the Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev years.[15]
  • In the United Kingdom, Tony Blair faces a formal complaint that has been made to the International Criminal Court about the prosecution of the Iraq War.[16]
  • In Hawaii, a shark bites the arm off a 13-year-old girl surfing at Kauai, the fourth such amputation in Hawaiian waters in 20 years.[17]
  • In the Sudan, Locusts cause breathing difficulties and some deaths in Sudan.[18]
  • Former brokers of Prudential Securities are to be charged in Massachusetts as part of a widening investigation into abuses at mutual funds.[19]

November 3, 2003[edit]

  • Occupation of Iraq: US Congress allocates $87 billion for occupation and reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. The funding bill omits a provision included in the Senate version of the bill, demanding that Iraq repay some of the $20 billion of the funds dedicated for rebuilding. U.S. President Bush had been strongly opposed to this provision.
  • At a campaign fundraiser in Birmingham, Alabama, President George W. Bush states that the tax cuts are working to help the economy. Bush also vows that the coalition forces will stay in Iraq. The president states the deaths of 15 soldiers in an attack on a helicopter will not deter the United States. Bush states, "The enemy in Iraq believes America will run. That's why they're willing to kill innocent civilians, relief workers, coalition troops. America will never run."[20][21]
  • Occupation of Iraq: Attacks consisting of six explosions, reportedly coordinated, occur (one in Kirkuk, five in Baghdad). The series of explosions in Baghdad, which may have come from mortar shells, is in an area that is home to several coalition headquarters buildings. The Kirkuk bomb blast northeast of Baghdad kills one Iraqi and wounds 15. The target of this explosion was the deputy governor of the northern Diyala province Aqil al-Hamid, who was in a convoy driving near the city of Baquba. He escapes uninjured. Also, another blast occurs near a holy Shiite Muslim shrine in the city of Karbala kills three people and injured 12.[22][23]
  • The European Commission comes out with another Eurobarometer, a survey of EU citizens. According to the survey, most Europeans think that the war in Iraq is not justified, that UN should supervise Iraq and provide security, and that U.S. should pay for the rebuilding of Iraq. As to which countries pose a threat to world peace, 59% think it is Israel, and 53% that it is the United States.[24]
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission finds further evidence of widespread irregularities in the mutual fund industry.[25] The head of Putnam Investments has resigned.[26]
  • Embattled energy tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has quit as CEO of Yukos.[27]
  • War on Terrorism: Saudi Arabian authorities have broken up, for the second time, a militant ring in Mecca amid a wide crackdown on Islamic extremists. The police combated militants in the streets of the holy city of Mecca, killing two of the suspects and uncovering a large cache of weapons. The raid on two buildings in Mecca's al-Share'a neighborhood foiled a terrorist operation "that did not respect the sanctity of holy places and the month of Ramadan".[28][29]

November 4, 2003[edit]

November 5, 2003[edit]

[46]

  • After 26 years, and at a distance from Earth of over 8 billion miles, Voyager 1 exits the solar system. It is expected to keep on transmitting into the 2020s.[47][48]
  • The Australian Central Bank raises interest rates by 0.25% in a bid to curb surging consumer borrowing.[49]
  • Saskatchewan general election, 2003: The NDP government of Lorne Calvert is returned to power with a majority government.
  • The third Matrix movie, The Matrix Revolutions, opens simultaneously worldwide.[50]
  • The European Union says it will press ahead with retaliation against US steel tariffs if the WTO rules in its favour next week.[51]
  • Occupation of Iraq:
    • The United States states foreign terrorists are slipping into Iraq and believes the people behind recent attacks in Iraq have come in from neighbouring countries. Iraq's Governing Council head, Jalal Talabani, urges Iraq's neighbours to crack down on "terrorists" crossing into Iraq. Talabani states terrorists had entered from Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Syria urges America to withdraw troops from Iraq.[52]
    • Soldiers recount crash horror. One soldier states that he "heard a crash and prayed". Recovering from wounds suffered when their helicopter was shot down in Iraq, the U.S. soldiers expect to be needed in action again.[53]
    • Turkey says it will not send troops to Iraq without a significant improvement in security there.[54]
    • Talabani plans visit to Turkey in bid to ease crisis over Turkey's troops to Iraq.[55]
    • An Iraqi senior judge, Muhan Jabr al-Shuwaili, investigating former officials of Saddam Hussein's regime is kidnapped and shot dead. The Najaf prosecutor-general, Aref Aziz, was also kidnapped and later released unharmed.[56]
    • A second judge, Ismail Yussef Saddek, investigating members of Saddam Hussein's ousted regime is shot dead in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.[57]
    • US intelligence-gathering in Iraq is being questioned partly as a result of disbanding the army.[58][59]
  • The ninth case of mad cow disease is confirmed in Japan.[60]
  • An article in the November issue of J. Climate argues that global warming will bring more snow to the Eastern Great Lakes region.[61]
  • The United Nations votes again and overwhelmingly in a non-binding and non-enforceable resolution for an end to sanctions against Cuba; only the US, Israel, and the Marshall Islands vote against.[62] The US's United Nations ambassador John Negroponte avoided the forum. Washington responded to the vote through a mid-level diplomat, Sichan Siv, who tells the General Assembly delegates that the Cuban embargo was a "bilateral issue" which was really none of the UN's business.[63]
  • Arizona officials believe two rival immigrant smuggling rings are responsible for a shootout in Arizona that killed four people, and wounded several others.[64]
  • In Portland, Oregon, a local election to establish a PUD that would investigate public ownership of Portland General Electric failed when 69% of the voters voted against the measure. Both Portland General Electric, an Enron subsidiary, and PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of Scottish Power contributed $1.9 million to fight the measure.[65]
  • In Seattle, Washington, Gary Ridgway confesses to the murder of 48 women, who were the victims of the Green River Killer. In return, he will not be subject to capital punishment, but serve life imprisonment for his crimes.[66]
  • North Korea nuclear weapons program: United States allies in Asia and Europe agree to stop cooperation on nuclear power plant project. They suspend a multibillion-dollar project to build two nuclear power reactors in North Korea. Japan, South Korea, the United States, and the European Union will announce the fate of the project by November 21.[67]
  • Microsoft contributes $500,000 to fund the search of computer viruses and other malicious code writers, starting with the MSBlast computer worm and the Sobig virus originators. Microsoft will be working with law enforcement agencies (FBI, the Secret Service, and Interpol) in the search. The initiative marks the latest move by Microsoft and law enforcement to curtail attacks that plague the Internet.[68]

November 6, 2003[edit]

  • Weather is an unseasonably warm 18 degrees c in London Heathrow Airport
  • A Foxborough company, Cyberkinetics Inc, plans to asks permission from United States federal regulators to test a device that would enable paralyzed people to control computers directly with their brains or possibly help them move their limbs.[69]
  • Scientists report to United States senators the potential to find energy on the moon. Solar power from the moon could provide clean, affordable, and sustainable electric power.[70]
  • An intruder attempts to insert a Trojan horse program into the code of the next version of the Linux kernel, stored at a publicly accessible source-code repository database. Security features of the BitKeeper system detect the illicit changes within 24 hours. The changes, which would have introduced a security flaw to the kernel, never became a part of the Linux code.[71]
  • The United States will focus its foreign policy on bringing democracy to all peoples of the Middle East. In a major policy speech, US President George W. Bush states that some states people of the region should have responsible democratic leaders, announcing a new American "forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East." Bush states a failure to establish democracy in Iraq would embolden terrorists around the world, increase the danger to the US, and extinguish the hopes of millions in the region. "Our commitment to democracy is being tested in the Middle East," Bush states. He describes democratic reforms in the region as the next great turning point and blames decades of post-colonial Western foreign policy for allowing the many dictatorships and violent theocracies to develop. "As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish," Bush states, "it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment and violence ready for export. And with the spread of weapons that can bring catastrophic harm to our country and to our friends, it would be reckless to accept the status quo."[72][73][74]
  • War on Terrorism: Suspected al Qaeda member tried unsuccessfully to enter the country around the same time as the September 11 hijackers may have been part of a plan to launch other attacks on targets in the United States. Identities of the suspects were discovered after a comparison of visa applications received before September 11 with names recovered from documents seized in caves in Afghanistan. Roger Cressey, former director for counterterrorism for the National Security Council, states the attack may have been "not on 9/11 but certainly afterward. [Osama] bin Laden and his people think strategically."[75]
  • In the United States, Democratic candidate Howard Dean issues an apology for controversial remarks. He stated previously he wanted to be a candidate for "guys with Confederate flags on their pickup trucks."[76]
  • Also in the United States, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is reported ready to take further action in widening mutual fund investigations.[77]
  • SCO v. IBM: Lawyers representing SCO Group in intellectual property litigation stand to benefit significantly if the company settles lawsuits or is sold.[78]
  • In the United Kingdom, the Prince of Wales issues a denial of an unspecified allegation whose publication has been prohibited by court injunction granted against the Mail on Sunday tabloid newspaper. The injunction had been granted to one former Royal Aide, but earlier today The Guardian newspaper had been granted permission to name a person who had sought an injunction. Sir Michael Peat, the Prince's Private Secretary who issues the Prince's statement, attacks the person who had made the original allegation now subject to a court injunction, describing him as someone "who, unfortunately, has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and has previously suffered from alcoholism following active service in the Falklands" and who has a history of making wild allegations which when investigated by police were found to be untrue. Peat says the country has been awash with rumours on the issue for the last week and that the Prince's unprecedented statement was intended to kill off the unfounded speculation. The Prince's Household was previously embroiled in allegations of homosexual rape involving a staff member, amid the allegation that the Prince failed to take appropriate action against the person who allegedly committed the offence. Though details of the incident are not clear, they appear to involved the alleged witnessing of a male royal in bed with a male servant.[79][80][81][82]
  • A book reveals the details of the capture and captivity of Jessica Lynch. She was treated brutally (resulting in Lynch's shattered body) and, says medical records, confirm she was anally raped. The book says some Iraqi doctors said Lynch was virtually dead.[83]
  • The U.S. nickel design changes for the first time since 1938.[84]
  • US President Bush signs Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. This new law, supported by 70% of Americans, takes effect in all states but Nebraska.[85]
  • Just hours after Bush signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, federal judges in California and New York issue injunctions against the newly signed "partial birth abortion" law, forcing the United States government to stop any legal action against doctors who work for Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation, until full hearings can be held on the law's constitutionality.[86]
  • In the United States, NPR is given $200 million, bequeathed by Joan B. Kroc, the widow of Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds.[87]
  • In the United Kingdom, Michael Howard is confirmed as the new leader of the Conservative Party.[88]
  • The Bank of England increases base interest rate 0.25% to 3.75% in an attempt to damp down rising consumer borrowing. This is the first increase in base rate for four years.[89]
  • In Rwanda, four former government ministers go on trial on charges of masterminding genocide in 1994.[90]
  • Occupation of Iraq:
    • Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld unveils a troop replacement plan for Iraq. Overall number of American soldiers in the country will decrease next year, if security conditions permit.[91]
    • United States Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) criticizes the Bush administration's plans to reduce troops in Iraq. The former Vietnam POW discusses why more ground troops are needed to meet policy goals.[92]
    • One US soldier is killed and 2 injured in another ambush.[93]
    • The US begins informing units that will be needed in Iraq in 2004.[94]
    • The Marines will be returning.[95]
    • The United States Department of Defense summarizes US casualties so far.[96]
    • The first Polish soldier is killed in Iraq.[97]
    • A CNN/USA Today Gallup poll suggests that support for President Bush's handling of Iraq is slipping; a majority of the people polled disapprove of what is being done.[98]
  • In Seattle, Washington, the text of Gary Ridgway's ("Green River Killer") confession is released.[99]
  • Free software: The People's Republic of China government has announced that it will fund Linux software development as an alternative to Microsoft's Windows operating system.[100]
  • In Brisbane, Australia, the criminal convictions of controversial right wing politicians Pauline Hanson and David Etteridge for electoral fraud, were completely overturned on appeal[101]
  • Pornographic movies: A Seattle-based porn site reportedly will broadcast the sex video of the Los Angeles-based celebutante, Paris Hilton. Friends of hotel heiress state that new video is a "terrible invasion of her privacy". Roger Vadocz, president of the company, claims the video is Hilton and Rick Solomon having sex.[102]

November 7, 2003[edit]

  • Occupation of Iraq:
  • A monitoring panel states to the United Nations Security Council tells of violations of the arms embargo against Somalia have taken place over a six-month period and the weapons are arriving now continuously in many small quantities (while large quantities arrive less often).[110]
  • In Pakistan, President Pervez Musharraf pledges that Pakistan will match India's military spending spree.[111]
  • Medical marijuana: The largest study to date on the effectiveness of cannabis treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis produces mixed results; doctors state that there is enough evidence to warrant licensing the treatment for the illness.[112]
  • War on Terrorism: US military commander for the Middle East reportedly creates a covert commando force (named Task Force 121) to hunt Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden (and other key terrorists throughout the region). Military officers state a broader, regional mission is given to the force, which has become one of the Pentagon's most highly classified and closely watched operations. The Special Operations organization to act with greater speed on intelligence tips about "high-value targets" and not be contained within the borders where American conventional forces are operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. General John Abizaid, who commands all American forces in the strategic crescent from the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, had previously decided to disband two Special Operations missions (Task Force 5 in Afghanistan and Task Force 20 in Iraq).[113]
  • Foreign relations of the Republic of China: The South Pacific island nation of Kiribati recognizes the Republic of China, bringing the number of countries recognizing Taiwan to 27. Although it has not yet severed ties with the People's Republic of China and has expressed the intention to continue relations, Beijing is expected to break relations in response to this move.[114]
  • Some Arab scholars state Bush's speech over how "Western governments should not back undemocratic regimes" is an important message to the Arab political elite and important message when it comes to the idea of democracy.[115]
  • The United States Senate's permanent ban on Internet access taxes fails, with senators vowing to negotiate over the weekend and return to the topic. State and local governments warn that a permanent extension of an existing moratorium, which expired on November 1, would cost billions in lost tax revenue. The moratorium had applied to special taxes that singled out dial-up and some other Internet access methods and is not related to sales taxes.[116]

November 8, 2003[edit]

  • The Countess of Wessex has given birth to a daughter by Caesarean section one month early. As the first child of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, the baby is eighth in the line of succession to the throne of the United Kingdom.
  • In Pakistan, United Press International reports a letter sent to members of the opposition in Pakistan on a military letterhead causes panic in President Pervez Musharraf's government because it says he "has been imposed on this nation." The letter reportedly states that "We want to assure the nation that this army belongs to you and to Pakistan ... Pervez Musharraf and his clique has been imposed on this nation".[117]
  • The All Blacks defeat South Africa in the first quarter final of the rugby World Cup.[118]
  • Occupation of Iraq:
    • Two US paratroopers are killed west of Baghdad.[119]
    • US forces bomb homes in Tikrit, following the shooting down of a helicopter. Iraqi and American rights investigators state to a conference they had identified 260 mass graves containing the bodies of at least 300,000 Iraqis murdered by Saddam's regime.[120]
    • Debate intensifies about the choices the U.S. faces in devising a strategy for Iraq.[121] U.S. Senator John McCain argues that force levels are inadequate.[122]
    • The International Red Cross, which was already planning to reduce staff in Iraq following a deadly attack on its Baghdad headquarters, states it is temporarily closing its Baghdad and Basra offices due to dangerous conditions.[123][124][125]
    • A US Army study concludes that Iraqi intelligence was excellent during the conflict (in which their fighting forces collapsed), and probably still is.[126]
    • Much work is still needed to win over hearts-and-minds in Iraq.[127]
  • British scientists develop a gel that allows wounds to heal in the half the time it took formerly; the gel speeds wound closure and reduces inflammation.[128]
  • Germany's upper house rejects controversial economic policy changes (tax cuts and changes to labour law) aimed at kick-starting Europe's largest economy. Social Democrat Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has invested much political capital in the reforms, but they are opposed by many labour unions and left-wing politicians.[129]
  • An expert says that the AIDS epidemic in the People's Republic of China is reaching major proportions.[130]
  • North Korea nuclear weapons program: The CIA says North Korea already has one or two nuclear devices and does not need to test them to confirm they are viable.[131]
  • Faced with a hazardous-waste crisis, The Pentagon is pushing to exempt itself from United States environmental laws.[132]
  • The longest U.S. hiring slump in more than 60 years appears to be ending.[133]
  • War on Terrorism: The Commission set up to investigate the September 11, 2001, attacks votes to serve a subpoena on the North American Aerospace Defense Command but rejects a proposal to subpoena the daily counter-intelligence briefings that the CIA receives from the president. After a series of field inquiries and interviews with NORAD personnel, commission staff realize that the materials NORAD had provided were incomplete.[134]

November 9, 2003[edit]

November 10, 2003[edit]

November 11, 2003[edit]

  • The US Senate backs legislation imposing sanctions on Syria; the bill allows the president to adjust sanctions as a function of Syria's co-operativeness.[176]
  • Following yesterday's WTO decision, the People's Republic of China and Japan indicate that they will retaliate against US tariffs on steel imports if the U.S. fails to amend its policy.[177]
  • U.S. Presidential election, 2004: George Soros pledges USD $15.5 million to help defeat President George W. Bush in 2004. Soros says a "supremacist ideology" guides the White House and describes the US under the Bush administration as a danger to the world.[178]
  • War on Terrorism: An Arab magazine claims to have received an e-mail from a member of the Al Qaeda group claiming responsibility for Saturday's bombing in Riyadh that killed 17 people and injured over 100.[179]
  • Occupation of Iraq:
    • The Coalition detains about 20 people suspected of links to al-Qaida.[180]
    • Mayor of Fallujah says a US general threatens stern measures unless attacks on coalition forces stop.[181]
    • The British government and foreign policy establishment pushes privately for an early handover of sovereignty to Iraqis; they say the US shows too little sense of urgency.[182]
    • An Annenberg Public Policy Center poll, taken during widespread publicity over army helicopter shootdowns, says there has been a shift in US public opinion, now split about evenly over whether the war in Iraq is worthwhile.[183][184][185]
    • There is a rising trend of complaints from returning National Guardsmen and reservists as they return to work after assignments.[186]
  • The Control Risks Group reports that London is the leading terrorist target in Western Europe due to British involvement in Iraq and the UK's large Muslim population.[187]
  • Large parts of central London are to be sealed off during US President George W. Bush's state visit to the United Kingdom next week. Due to security concerns Bush is to be denied the traditional state ceremonial carriage-ride up the Mall to Buckingham Palace normally accorded to heads of state.[188]
  • Toyota nudges out Ford in Q3 to become the world's second-largest manufacturer of automobiles behind General Motors.[189]
  • Pornographer Larry Flynt states that he has bought topless photos of famous Iraq war soldier Jessica Lynch and was planning to publish them in January 2004; later, he says he bought them to prevent them from ever being published. The photos reportedly show Lynch frolicking with male soldiers prior to her deployment to Iraq.[190][191][192]
  • Negotiations break down between Montréal 2006 and the Federation of Gay Games on having the Gay Games in Montreal in 2006. Montreal 2006 insist that they will still have an event in 2006, while the FGG mull moving the Games to a different city. The two parties were unable to agree on the size of the event.[193]

November 12, 2003[edit]

  • Occupation of Iraq:
    • A top-secret CIA intelligence report warns about growing numbers of Iraqis concluding the coalition can be defeated and supporting the resistance. The CIA report also cautions that more aggressive counterinsurgency tactics will induce other Iraqis to join the resistance. Slate magazine notes the new anti-insurgency measures in "postwar Iraq" means the situation is "Iraq War – Phase II."[194]
    • In response to a leaked report, Paul Bremer says that terrorists "are trying to encourage the Iraqi people to believe that the United States is not going to stay the course". The CIA report says that the incipient insurgency is deep rooted, growing rapidly and not confined to ex-Baathists.[195][196]
    • President Bush and senior advisers meet in Washington to determine how to move forward in Iraq, given the slow progress of the Iraqi Governing Council and the deteriorating political situation as outlined in the CIA report.[197]
    • Thirty-one people, mostly members of Italian security forces, are killed in a mid-morning truck bombing in Nasiriya. Italian opposition politicians call for a pullout from Iraq.[198][199]
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The Palestinian parliament approves a new cabinet led by Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei.[200]
  • The United Kingdom government announces plans to introduce identity cards, which are intended to eventually become compulsory.[201]
  • The Peruvian Congress approves more charges against ex-President Alberto Fujimori, alleging he trafficked arms to Colombian guerrillas, sanctioned torture, was responsible for the disappearance of student activists, and mismanaged millions of dollars from Japanese charities to build schools for poor children in Peru, with an unexplained $2.3 million shortfall in funds received, among other irregularities.
  • Shanghai With 501 km/h (311 mph) the Shanghai Transrapid sets up a new world record for commercial railway systems.[202]

November 13, 2003[edit]

  • SCO v. IBM: SCO Group files subpoenas for Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds.[203]
  • A British Daily Mirror opinion poll suggests nearly half the people of the United Kingdom see the United States as the biggest threat to world peace and are opposed to President Bush's state visit to the UK.[204]
  • A Belfast Telegraph opinion poll in Northern Ireland in the run up to the Northern Ireland Assembly elections predicts that the Ulster Unionist Party will remain the largest unionist party, defeating the Democratic Unionist Party, while the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party, contrary to many expectations, will outpoll Sinn Féin. At the start of the campaign, many commentators had predicted that both the DUP and Sinn Féin would topple their rivals.[205]
  • Occupation of Iraq:
    • Japan delays sending troops to Iraq because of the worsening security situation.[206]
    • According to military analysts, recent attacks on coalition forces in Iraq are, reportedly, part of a guerrilla strategy to isolate the United States during attempts to achieve international support for rebuilding the country.[207]
    • With growing insurgency in Iraq and increasing criticism in the United States, the White House is pushing for faster action on crucial aspects of its strategy toward Iraq, accelerating the timetable for Iraqi self-government, redoubling military efforts against insurgents via "Operation Iron Hammer", and increasing efforts to convince the American public of the long-term benefit of the transformation of Iraq.[208]
  • Mass media:
    • Leading Saudi Arabian newspaper al-Riyadh (which often reflects government thinking) claims that Qatar's Al Jazeera television coverage of the bombing in Riyadh is aimed at inciting more violence.[209]
    • Thirty media outlets claim, with two separate letters sent to The Pentagon, that United States troops are harassing journalists in Iraq and sometimes confiscating equipment, digital camera media and videotapes. A statement by a Pentagon official states the military is aware of reports that soldiers had sometimes not followed procedures on dealing with the media and promises to take appropriate action.[210]
  • In Canada, the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP rules that the police force used excessive force during the anti-globalization protests at the Quebec City Summit of the Americas FTAA negotiations in April 2001.[211]
  • The Economy: Germany, France and the Netherlands, which together account for more than half the economic activity of the eurozone, report returns to growth in the third quarter as a global economic recovery stokes demand for exports.[212]
  • Chief Justice of Alabama Roy Moore is removed from office by the Alabama Court of Judiciary for failure to remove Ten Commandments monument from court house pursuant to order by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson.[213]
  • A British court rejects a request by the Russian government for extradition of Akhmed Zakayev, an envoy of the Chechen rebels, who is accused of being a terrorist and having committed a number of crimes including kidnapping, murdering Russian soldiers, and levying war. The request was denied on the grounds that Mr. Zakayev was considered likely to be tortured if he was extradited, which would make such deportation illegal under article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The prosecution's evidence was described as a "farce" by one BBC reporter, and reminiscent of Soviet-era show trials.[214][215][216]
  • Cybercrime: Californian man is fined and sentenced to community service for cracking into the website of satellite TV network Al Jazeera during the war in Iraq.[217]
  • United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan holds talks with Bolivia's President Carlos Mesa, Cabinet, indigenous leaders, and local UN staff during the final leg of his South American tour. The visit came several weeks after the tumultuous Bolivian Gas War forced the previous president out of office.[218]
  • Immigration: Long known as a haven of multicultural tolerance, the Netherlands' integration policy comes under scrutiny.[219]
  • Science: Craig Venter and his group announce creation of artificial virus that reproduces, and put the technology into the public domain.[220]

November 14, 2003[edit]

  • 2003 California recall: California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley officially certifies the recall election and he declares Arnold Schwarzenegger the Governor-Elect. The swearing-in is set to take at 11:00 am PST on Monday November 17 on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento, California.
  • Four former heads of Israel's internal security criticise the policies of the right wing Likud-led government of Ariel Sharon towards Palestinians and say the policies if not changed would see Israel "headed for (an) abyss". The four headed the security services for two decades between 1980 and 2000.[221]
  • In Paris over 40,000 people participate in the European Social Forum.
  • Attempting to calm fears that the recent takeover of oil giant YUKOS will mean a return to the era of a state-managed economy, Russian president Vladimir Putin tells Russian businessmen that the government is not planning to take control of the economy.[222]
  • Politics of Canada: Paul Martin is elected leader of the Liberal Party. He becomes Prime Minister-designate and will assume office upon Jean Chrétien's retirement by the end of February 2004.[223]
  • The US trade deficit with the People's Republic of China hit a record USD $12.7 billion in September, with imports from mainland China also a record at $14.8 billion. For the first nine months of that year, the total trade deficit was $89.7 billion. At this pace, it will surpass the record of $103 billion set in 2002.[224]
  • Occupation of Iraq:
    • During his visit to London, President Bush plans to meet the families of UK troops killed in Iraq.[225]
    • Two US troops are killed near Samarra when their vehicle is blown up.[226] US forces kill seven Iraqis thought to have been preparing a rocket attack.[227]
    • Pentagon bans cameras at funerals in Arlington National Cemetery. Coverage of bodies arriving at Dover Air Force Base is already banned.[228]
  • Economy of Japan: Japan's economy grows 0.6% in Q3 to give the seventh quarter of growth after a long recession.[229]
  • War on Terrorism: A leaked UN report claims that attempts to cut off the flow of funds to al-Qaeda are being undermined by lack of will.[230]
  • Politics of Germany: German opposition party CDU votes to expel Member of Parliament Martin Hohmann after he made a speech that was widely criticised for being anti-Semitic.[231]
  • India and the People's Republic of China hold joint naval exercises near Shanghai.[232]

November 15, 2003[edit]

November 16, 2003[edit]

November 17, 2003[edit]

  • Lord Black of Crossharbour is pushed to resign as chief executive of his media empire, which may be sold.[260]
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger is sworn in as Governor of California.[261]
  • Occupation of Iraq:
    • Izzat Ibrahim, a top general in the Iraqi army under Saddam Hussein, is directly implicated in recent attacks on US troops; he is number six on the US list of most wanted Iraqis and the second-highest target still at large after the former president himself.[262]
    • Italian official Marco Calamai resigns from the U.S.-led administration running Iraq, stating that "The provisional authority simply doesn't work". He says that the Iraqis are becoming angry and that the UN needs to step in. He accuses the US of underestimating the complexity of Iraq's social structure.[263]
  • Tony Blair publicly defends his decision to invite President Bush to the UK on a state visit.[264]
  • John Allen Muhammad is unanimously convicted of all four counts in the indictment against him, including two charges of capital murder, committed during the October 2002 sniper shootings in the Washington, DC, metro area. The jury is currently deciding whether Muhammad will be sentenced to death or to life in prison.[265]
  • People living near remote submarine bases in the West Highlands of Scotland are to be issued with potassium iodate tablets in case of a nuclear accident.[266]
  • Coca eradication: The White House Drug Policy Office claims the area planted with coca in Peru and Bolivia combined fell by 35 km2 in the year up to June, suggesting that the coca eradication program in neighboring Colombia was not driving production over the borders. But the US figures were very different from preliminary estimates in September by the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Colombia, which suggested output in Peru and Bolivia may have risen by as much 21 per cent that year.[267]
  • Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is level-pegging against X3D Fritz after three games played.[268]
  • The United States contract bridge team defeats the team from Italy to win the 2003 Bermuda Bowl in Monaco. After thirteen days and over 1000 hands of bridge, the US team wins by one point, after Italian Lorenzo Lauria plays the wrong card from the dummy to lose the last hand.[269]

November 18, 2003[edit]

November 19, 2003[edit]

November 20, 2003[edit]

November 21, 2003[edit]

  • President George W. Bush arrives back in the United States after his controversial State Visit to the UK.[318]
  • U.S. ambassador to the People's Republic of China Clark Randt is called to meet Chinese ministers twice (second day in succession) in connection with US plans to restrict imports of Chinese textiles; Beijing is shocked at the US move.[319]
  • Occupation of Iraq:
    • In the pre-dawn hours RPGs are launched from donkey carts at two Baghdad hotels and the oil ministry building. Reports indicate slight damage and one casualty.[320]
    • Former senior U.S. intelligence official and UNSCOM inspector Scott Ritter urges the Parliament of the United Kingdom to investigate the questionable way in which units of British secret intelligence agencies massaged public opinion prior to war with Iraq.[321][322]
  • The Global Environment Facility Council Approves $224 Million in Grants for 19 Projects to Improve the Global Environment[323]

November 22, 2003[edit]

November 23, 2003[edit]

November 24, 2003[edit]

November 25, 2003[edit]

November 26, 2003[edit]

November 27, 2003[edit]

  • Scientists warn that a devastating influenza epidemic is not only inevitable but may be imminent.[381]
  • The People's Republic of China angrily rejects US anti-dumping measures on imports of televisions from China, saying that the US measures breach WTO agreements and discriminate against Chinese firms; Premier Wen Jiabao is due to visit Washington, DC, next month.[382]
  • British police say that explosives have been found in the Gloucester home of a 24-year-old man being held on suspicion of terrorist activity and links to Al-Qaeda; the suspect is British born of Asian origin.[383][384]
  • Kofi Annan says that the global war against AIDS is being lost.[385]
  • War on Drugs: European Union justice ministers agree to tougher anti-drug laws, but the Netherlands say its "coffee shops"—where cannabis is openly sold and smoked—would survive.[386]
  • Peruvian police clash with campesinos in the town of Carhuamayo (department of Junín), leaving two dead and more than 20 people injured, during a protest against mining pollution. Strikers are demanding the government hand over $58 million from the privatization of a state electricity company for the cleanup.[387]
  • At the end of the First Count of elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly, and reflecting the early tallies the Democratic Unionist Party attracts the highest popular vote, with Sinn Féin coming second, the Ulster Unionist Party third and the SDLP fourth. Minor parties like the Progressive Unionist Party, the Alliance Party and the UK Unionist Party suffer major collapse, with the Women's Coalition losing all its seats. Later counts are expected to boost the middle ground UUP and SDLP, who show greater possibilities of picking up inter-party transfers than the more extreme DUP and Sinn Féin. Nevertheless, Sinn Féin is widely expected to have more MLAs than the SDLP, a reversal of the results in the 1998 Assembly elections. It is too close to call whether the previous larger UUP or the Rev. Ian Paisley's DUP will have more seats after all counts. The final results will not be known until late on Friday, when all six seats in each constituency are filled. The election was held under PR.STV.[388]
  • Plans for the handover of power in Iraq have to be revised after senior Shiites object to indirect elections.[389]
  • President George W. Bush makes a surprise visit to Baghdad to visit the American troops on Thanksgiving Day. The visit is not announced publicly until after Bush has left.[390]
  • Larry Spencer of the Canadian Alliance party makes public statements stating his desire to recriminalize homosexual behaviour in Canada to combat what he claimed was a conspiracy by the homosexual community to infiltrate social institutions to recruit children into the "homosexual lifestyle". He was quickly denounced by numerous public figures including his own party leader, Stephen Harper, who also made him resign his position as Family Issue Critic in the Canadian House of Commons with an apology. However, commentators have noted that these inflammatory homophobic statements have placed the pending vote on the proposed merger with the Progressive Conservative Party on December 6 in jeopardy by illustrating fundamental differences between the parties concerning social attitudes.
  • The Final Build of Street Legal Racing: Redline was completed.

November 28, 2003[edit]

November 29, 2003[edit]

  • In Norfolk, Virginia, the USS Cole leaves port on the destroyer's first overseas deployment since it was bombed in 2000 in Yemen's port at Aden.[403]
  • Police in Turkey announce the arrest of a yet-unnamed man they state has admitted giving the order to suicide bombers to attack Beth Israel synagogue in Istanbul on November 15.[404]
  • Luan Enjie, director of the National Aerospace Bureau of the People's Republic of China states that "By 2020, we will achieve visiting the moon."[405]
  • Occupation of Iraq: A team of eight Spanish intelligence agents is attacked south of Baghdad; seven are killed and one wounded.[406] Two Japanese diplomats are killed near Tikrit. Two U.S. soldiers and a Colombian civilian contractor are killed in Baghdad.
  • In Australia, the opposition Labor Party's finance spokesperson, Mark Latham, announces that he will contest the party leadership ballot on 2 December against the former leader Kim Beazley. Press reports place the two candidates at about 40 votes each, with about ten undecided.[407]
  • French and German university students continue to hold protests, including strikes, over controversial policies such as tuition fees. German students also occupied the central offices of the PDS in Berlin, following a similar protest earlier in the week in which 30 to 40 students occupied the office of Thomas Flierl for more than 24 hours. Protests in both countries have been continuing to spread for the last two weeks.[408][409][410] German press:[411],[412]

November 30, 2003[edit]

See also[edit]

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