Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden says that his organization is working on "serious projects", and that his priority is to use biological weapons against the United States. Al Qaeda may already have such weapons, and be seeking means to transport and launch them.
Indonesia: An Indonesian court sentences Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir to four years in prison for treason against the Indonesian government. However, the court found insufficient proof that Bashir was the leader of the militant Islamic organization Jemaah Islamiyah.
Occupation of Iraq: Poland assumes a position in postwar Iraq. The coalition in Iraq hands over the south-central part of the country to a force led by Poland. The force of Polish troops leads a multinational peacekeeping brigade that will relieve Coalition forces (in particular the United States Marine expeditionary force). This is Poland's biggest military operation since World War II. This is also the first sign of the global community's commitment to a postwar Iraq.Secretary of StateColin Powell seeks support from Britain, France, Germany, and Russia on a proposed United Nations resolution that would give the United Nations a role in Iraq's economic and political future. Coalition soldiers strongly desire to see more troops from other nations share the work of occupation.
Irish minister Frank Fahy accuses US Immigration authorities at Shannon Airport of acting 'disgracefully' in turning back a group of 13 Irish musicians travelling to attend New York benefit concert to raise money for an Irish cancer victim in the United States for treatment. Ireland's 2003 Eurovision Song Contest singer Mickey Joe Harte, one of the singers refused entry, said they were told they needed no visas in their case. However, at Shannon, the musicians were suddenly told they needed work visas, though the event was for charity and they were providing their services 'free of charge'. Irish people travelling to the United States do not normally need visas except to get paid employment. The concert is scheduled for Friday.
Miss Justice Mary Laffoy dramatically resigns as chairperson of the Laffoy Commission on Child Abuse, which is investigating evidence of child sex abuse in schools, orphanages and Catholic Church-run institutions over decades in Ireland. Her resignation followed one day after the Minister for Education, Noel Dempsey told RTÉ Radio that the Irish Government, worried by suggestions that the investigation would last more than a decade and cost hundreds of millions of euro, wanted to restructure the investigation to examine only a sample of the 1800 cases being investigated. The government has delayed publishing Justice Laffoy's resignation letter. Abuse victim and crusader against abuse Christine Buckey calls for Dempsey's resignation. Colm O'Gorman, of the child abuse charity One in Four, and himself a prominent survivor of abuse, calls on TaoiseachBertie Ahern to publish all correspondence relating to the resignation.
California legislature passes expanded domestic partnership bill. The state assembly approved a measure to extend nearly all the legal rights of married couples to people in same-sex partnerships. If signed by the governor, the bill will become law in 2005.
Singapore drops its 21-year ban on Cosmopolitan magazine and slightly relaxes its film censorship policy. Despite this move, the censorship board's surveyors found the Singaporean public largely does not want the country's tough censorship rules liberalized.
Natural disaster: The Booth and Bear Butte forest fires in the Cascade Mountains, which had been 45% contained, explodes to burn an additional 20,000 acres (80 km2). Estimates of the size of this fire vary between 62,000 and 80,000 acres (250 and 320 km2). The resort community of Camp Sherman, where authorities allowed residents to return, is once again evacuated.
Hong Kong's leader Tung Chee-hwa announces that he will indefinitely postpone plans for an extremely unpopular security bill which sparked massive public protests and would have granted the government broad powers to prosecute vaguely defined threats to national security.
Palestinian Authority: Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas tells the Palestinian parliament to either support him or fire him, a move seen as making public for the first time his quarrel with Yasser Arafat.VOA characterizes Mr. Abbas' ultimatum as the latest twist in a power struggle between him and Arafat, who is the President of the Palestinian Authority.
Johns Hopkins researchers retract all results of a frequently cited study which claimed that extensive and permanent brain damage occurred after just a single dose of Ecstasy. Due to a labelling mistake on the experimental drug vials, all but one of the animals involved in the study were not actually given Ecstasy at all, but were instead given the drug d-methamphetamine.
War on Terrorism: An Israeli warplane drops a relatively small bomb on a house in Gaza City (in an effort to avoid killing innocents, according to military sources who spoke to AP), lightly wounding Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin and 15 other people in an airstrike that Israeli officials confirm was an attempt to wipe out the Islamic group's top leaders as they assemble for a meeting.
Palestinian Authority: Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas submits his resignation to the President of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat. According to Palestinian sources, he will play a "caretaker" role of the position until a new prime minister is sworn in.
Tennis: Justine Henin-Hardenne defeated fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters 7–5, 6–1 to win her first U.S. Open title. She had defeated Clijsters earlier that year to take the French Open as well.
Violence surges sharply in Indian-controlled Kashmir with a series of separatist attacks across the Himalayan region. This follows a bomb explosion on Saturday in the main wholesale market for fruit in the region, which killed six people and wounded 25.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show premiered on NBC. Hosted by comedian and entertainer Ellen DeGeneres and originally filmed in Studio 11 at NBC Studios in Burbank, California, The successful television program has won 31 day-time Emmy Awards and is scheduled to remain on air to at least the 2013-2014 season.
Iraq: The Iraqi Governing Council gains the seat at the Arab League left open since Saddam Hussein's ouster by the US-led coalition earlier that year. The council, which was formed under US auspices, seems to have taken a step toward sovereign legitimacy in the eyes of the international community.
The United States Department of the Treasury revamps its $20 bill as part of its never-ending quest to foil counterfeiters, including the addition of a peach-hued background to the denomination. (Many non-US citizens regard the US dollar as "hard currency" and keep much of their wealth in it as a hedge against inflation.)
Terrorism: Al-Qaida sued over September 11 attacks. Major insurance companies are suing al-Qaida and Middle Eastern governments in a bid to recover billions of dollars in losses related to the September 11 attacks.
Terrorism: ImamSamudra became the second Bali bomber to be sentenced to death by firing squad for his role in the October 12 atrocity which killed 202 people. Samudra greeted the sentence with chants of "Allahu Akbar" (God is great).
War on Terrorism: An Israeli warplane targeted the apartment building which is home of the senior Hamas leader, Mahmoud al-Zahar, in Gaza. Al-Zahar is lightly wounded; his adult son and a bodyguard are killed in the attack. A half-tonbomb destroys the building, marking the first time a Hamas leader has been attacked in his home, an escalation of Israel's campaign against the group. Twenty-five people were wounded, including Zahar's wife and a daughter.
Terrorism: The leader of Hamas, says that its jihad will continue, and that the group may now attack Israeli homes. The military wing of the group has threatened to change tactics by attacking Israeli houses and buildings after Israel tried to kill Hamas political leader.
War on Terrorism: Israel states that an "unwritten and abstract" axis with India and the United States has been created to combat international terrorism and make the world a more secure place for all.
SwedishForeign MinisterAnna Lindh dies in the hospital from stab wounds inflicted while she was shopping in a department store in the centre of Stockholm. In the wake of the incident, both the Yes and No Euro campaigns suspended their activities.
Zimbabwe's only opposition newspaper, the Daily News ceases publication following a court order that it breached the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act introduced by President Robert Mugabe in 2002. The closure follows an armed raid on the paper's offices by police. One reporter told Reuters that the action was an "unprecedented attack on press freedom".
Libya: The United Nations today ends 15-year old sanctions against Libya. The sanctions were imposed following the Lockerbie disaster. The sanctions are lifted following payment by Libya (following an admission of responsibility) of $2.7 billion to the families of those who died in the bombing.
Some of the severe wildfires in British Columbia have been contained, including the one threatening Kelowna. The one near Kamloops is still threatening structures. This has been the worst wildfire season in BC in fifty years.
China formally acknowledges that it has transferred guard duties along the China – North Korea border from the police to the army. The government does not formally report the number of troops deployed, however independent media estimate place it at 150,000.
Richard Grasso, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, resigns amid criticism of his $140 million compensation package and the fact that the compensation was approved without input from the exchange's board of directors.
A passenger aboard a South African Airways jet tries to break into the cockpit during a flight from Cape Town to Atlanta. The passenger, James Drake, is arrested upon arrival. He had also been arrested in 1987 after trying to break into another airplane's cockpit.
Hurricane Isabel: Isabel, now a tropical storm, moves through western Pennsylvania before heading to Ontario, Canada. The storm leaves more than 4.3 million residents along the East Coast of the United States without power.
Email virus: Email users are swamped by a new fast-spreading computer virus circulating through email that purports to be security software from Microsoft, but actually tries to disable security programs that are already running. The worm, dubbed "Swen" or "Gibe", takes advantage of a two-year-old hole in Internet Explorer and affects systems that have not installed a patch for that security hole.
Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Israel says that the United Nations resolution on Yasser Arafat (passed 133–4 with 15 abstentions) "is meaningless. It is only a declaration and not legally binding." Yasser Arafat states it is of the "utmost importance" as a sign of international support for the Palestinians. Israel states Palestinians should focus their energy on fighting terrorism. Israel also insists that a new government being formed by incoming Palestinian Prime MinisterAhmed Qureia cut links to Arafat. Israel says Arafat is tainted by terrorism. Qureia's criticism of United States policy is the strongest sign yet he does not plan to challenge Arafat.
Occupation of Iraq: Two American soldiers are killed and 13 wounded in a mortar attack in Abu Ghraib, and another soldier dies in a roadside attack in Ramadi, bringing the number of U.S. deaths since the war began to 304, of which 165 occurred after President Bush's "mission accomplished" statement of May 1. A member of the Governing Council, Dr. Aquila al-Hashimi, is shot in an assassination attempt (she dies five days later). United NationsSecretary-GeneralKofi Annan strongly condemns the attack and warns that it only undermines the country's political progress.
Galileo probe: After 14 years of flight time and 8 years of service in the Jovian system, Galileo's mission was terminated by sending the probe into Jupiter's crushing atmosphere at a speed of nearly 50 kilometres per second to avoid any chance of it contaminating local moons.
United Nations: World heads of state and government convene at United Nations Headquarters in New York City for the start of the annual General Assembly high-level summit. President of the United StatesGeorge W. Bush urges the international community to help Iraq rebuild itself into a democracy with the "great power to inspire the Middle East." President Bush states a transformed Middle East would also benefit the entire world "by undermining the ideologies that export violence to other lands." President Bush also calls on the Security Council to adopt new anti-proliferation resolution "calling on all members of the UN to criminalize the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction", enacting strict export controls, and securing all sensitive material.
Iraq: A U.S.-led coalition-backed Iraqi Governing Council member, Ayad Allawi, announces restrictions of the operations of TV networks al Jazeera and al-Arabiya. The networks are barred from reporting on official activities and news conferences and from entering ministries and office buildings for the next two weeks. The council claims they incited anti-occupation violence (by airing statements from resistance leaders; specifically broadcasting a video of "terrorists terrorizing Iraqis"), increased ethnic and sectarian tensions and were supportive of the lawless resistance. Allawi hopes the ban sends a "very clear message" to other stations. Al Jazeera responds that it is trying to give a balanced view of the current situation in Iraq and that it considers its ethical standards to be similar to western ones. The Coalition Provisional Authority has not responded to inquiries about the announcement.
Blackout: A power shortcut lays the southern part of Sweden and the eastern part of Denmark dead from midday, creating traffic problems and other disruptions throughout the area. About 2–3 million people are affected. From 4 p.m.Copenhagen has power again. A Swedish nuclear power plant abruptly stopped producing power.
Israeli-Palestinian conflict: A protest letter by a group of 27 Israeli pilots to the Israeli air force is publicized. In the letter, the pilots announce their refusal to fly further missions to bomb leaders of Palestinian terrorist groups in civilian areas. The pilots' letter calls the attacks "illegal and immoral". It draws quick condemnation from commentators, from politicians and from military leaders, with calls for severe punishment including jail, although a dismissal is considered the most likely result. The pilots' protest is a reaction to attacks like the one on Hamas leader Salah Shehade in July 2002, which killed Shehade, his bodyguard and 15 civilians, among them nine children.,
Terrorism: FBI probes Hamas-linked 'criminal enterprises' associated with the radical Islamic group Hamas that has taken responsibility for a string of bombings in Israel. Hamas also declares the organization would not participate with other Palestinian groups in a proposed cease-fire nor join the next Palestinian government. SheikAhmed Yassin states "the enemy is continuing his aggression, killing, and settlement activities."
Occupation of Iraq: Nine rebels in north Iraq are killed. Coalition troops kill nine guerrillas, the biggest toll for more than a month, in scattered action over northern Iraq in the past 24 hours. MajorJosslyn Aberle states "The enemy are becoming more desperate as we pursue them."
Iraq – Constitution: Secretary of StateColin Powell, responding to a rapid timetable self-rule demands from France (and others), states the United States would set a deadline of six months for Iraqi leaders working under the coalition occupation to produce a new constitution. The constitution would clear the way for elections and the installation of a new leadership next year.
Iraq – Terrorism: Mortar rounds hit killing at least seven civilian Iraqis in the town square of Baquba. At least 20 civilian were wounded. Also, Akila al-Hashemi, a member of Iraq's Governing Council, was buried in Najaf a day after she died from wounds inflicted by an unidentified gunmen.
Nuclear Weapons: Iran remains defiant about nuclear program. Iran states it will not give up its nuclear program (including uranium enrichment). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have given Iran until October 31 to prove it has no secret nuclear arms program and told it to halt enrichment activities. Iran states international pressure will not deter its nuclear plans.
Abdalla Yones, who was convicted of murder for killing his daughter, Heshu Yones, for dating a Christian, is sentenced to life in prison after becoming the first person in Britain to admit an "honour killing".
Space – Technology: NASA outlines plans for the Space Shuttle's Replacement, a "Space Taxi". The next-generation space vehicle is on the drawing boards now and NASA has just issued newly defined requirements.
United Kingdom: The British Labour Party is holding its annual conference in Bournemouth on the English south coast. For the party and especially Tony Blair it is a tough conference as his policies (especially over Iraq) are under heavy attack.
European Union: Member states clash over the issue of how many MEPs should represent the European Parliament on the approaching Intergovernmental Conference on October 4. The developing consensus seems to be that at least one representative from the two major parties in the European Parliament will attend the conference, but this procedure is highly controversial—normally parliamentarians do not attend high level meetings among EU leaders.
Russia stalls on signing the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty to reduce global warming. Kyoto Protocol supporters in the EU react with consternation to Russia's decision.
EU foreign affairs ministers have approved a controversial pension reform for EU civil servants, which is set to increase their pension age and make the new entrants work more years to receive the maximum level of pension.