Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- Would-be shoe-bomber Richard Reid is sentenced to life in prison for trying to down American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami. Reid had previously pleaded guilty. 
- A false rumor that Thai actress Suvanant Kongying had told a reporter that the temple ruins at Angkor really belong to Thailand led to a riot in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, causing the destruction of the Thai Embassy and dozens of Thai-owned businesses, hotels and factories.
- An election in the state of Oregon to pass an temporary three-year income tax failed with 54% of the votes voting against and 44% voting for. This forced the first layoffs in the Oregon State Police since its creation in 1934, and other actions including cutbacks in many of the local school districts.
- The Internet was attacked by very high traffic caused by a self-replicating software worm program called "SQL Slammer". This attacked Microsoft SQL servers, causing them to spray the Internet with more copies of the worm program. This was made possible by a security vulnerability in Microsoft SQL Server. The worm attack had the side effect of causing a distributed denial-of-service attack on the rest of the Internet.
- The New Democratic Party of Canada picks Toronto city councillor Jack Layton as its new leader, replacing Alexa McDonough, at its convention in Toronto. Layton wins on the first ballot, beating veteran MP Bill Blaikie.
- War on Terrorism: The United States Department of Homeland Security officially begins operation and former governor Tom Ridge takes command. Reorganization of other departments effected by its creation in the United States Government will continue for some time. This represents the largest reorganization of the United States Government since the creation of the United States Department of Defense during World War II.
- The RIAA, a music industry lobbying group, announces that Hilary Rosen will step down as head of the organization at the end of 2003. Rosen achieved notoriety on the Internet for her prolific efforts to halt the spread of copyrighted mp3 recordings on peer to peer file sharing networks such as Napster and Kazaa. Reports indicate that the members of the RIAA are unhappy with Rosen's nearly total failure to achieve this goal. 
- Elections for the Tweede Kamer, the main chamber of parliament of The Netherlands. The PvdA wins, but CDA remains the largest party in parliament. LPF loses. CDA and VVD do not get a majority.
- A large arctic air mass over much of central North America brings severe cold and wind chill over much of southern Canada and northern United States for several days.
- Germany and France celebrate the 40th anniversary of their friendship in Versailles (Elysée Treaty).
- An earthquake hits Mexico that is 7.6 on the Richter scale. The center of the earthquake was on located on the Pacific coast, in the State of Colima. Even in Mexico City, the capital 400 kilometres away from the center of the earthquake, the earthquake was felt.
- Convicted cracker Kevin Mitnick is allowed to use a computer again.
- Finsbury Park mosque in Finsbury Park, London, England, often associated with Islamic extremism, was raided by British police in an investigation related to the hunt for the poison ricin. Seven men who were apparently living at the mosque were arrested, and a replica firearm , tear gas and a stun gun were reported as having been found on the premises. 
- As part of the plan to invade Iraq, British defence secretary Geoff Hoon announces that 26,000 British troops and equipment including 120 tanks will be sent to Kuwait, joining the 5,000 troops already on their way there. 
- A mass mobilization pulls together global protests against war on Iraq in cities around the world, including Tokyo, Moscow, Paris, London, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Cologne, Bonn, Goteborg, Istanbul, and Cairo. NION and ANSWER hold protests in Washington D.C. and San Francisco, California.
- The Swiss yacht Allinghi, captained by New Zealand skipper Russell Coutts, defeated Oracle, a San Francisco, California-based yacht, to win the challenger final of the America's Cup. Allinghi will now face the New Zealand defender, yet to be determined.
- A series of bushfires engulfed portions of Canberra, the capital of Australia. About 500 homes were burnt when the bushfires hit Canberra with great suddenness and speed at about 14:00. 4 people died and over 60 hospital admissions were made, and about 240 persons were treated for injuries. The Mount Stromlo Observatory was destroyed, and over 200 homes were burnt in the western suburb of Duffy. Some northwestern suburbs were also affected. The Australian Capital Territory government later declared a state of emergency. The afternoon sky turned dark or yellowish-grey and city residents saw a yellow-orange full moon that night.
- Tom Ridge is unanimously recommended by a United States Senate subcommittee to be confirmed by the full Senate as head of the new United States Department of Homeland Security which is scheduled to begin operation on January 24. (RealAudio stream)
- A 1.3-mile tunnel, representing the latest major piece of Boston, Massachusetts' Big Dig, opened, connecting the Massachusetts Turnpike to Logan International Airport. The tunnel will reduce the trip from downtown Boston from 45 minutes in traffic to 8 minutes. The next phase, taking the elevated Interstate 93 and putting it underground, should be finished by early 2004.
- Gertrude Janeway, the last widow of a Union veteran from the American Civil War, died at the age of 93, in Blaine, Tennessee. Gertrude married John Janeway in 1927, when she was 18 and he was 81. He died in 1937. Still alive is Confederate widow Alberta Martin, of Elba, Alabama.
- US Senator Russ Feingold introduces a bill to halt the Information Awareness Office and Total Information Awareness pending a review of privacy issues involved. The US Congress attempting to suspend an internal Department of Defense project is a highly unusual step. 
- UN weapons inspectors in Iraq stated that they found empty rocket warheads, designed to carry chemical warfare agents, at the Ukhaider Ammunition Storage Area .
- Belgian plant pathologist, Emile Frison , of the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain states that the banana may become extinct within 10 years.
- In a 7-2 decision in the case Eldred v. Ashcroft, the Supreme Court of the United States rules the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act constitutional, preventing the expiration of any U.S. copyrights for 20 years from the date the law went into effect.
- A statement, issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and signed by Pope John Paul II, declared that all Roman Catholic politicians must adhere to church teachings, and that they cannot be faithful to the Church if they vote against Church positions on such issues as abortion.
- War on terrorism: Three more suspects have been arrested in Manchester in England in connection with the investigation into ricin found in London, although it now appears as though the raid was initially carried out as the pursuance of an investigation into immigration issues. A Special Branch policeman, Stephen Oake, was fatally stabbed during the arrests, and three other officers were also injured, one seriously. This brings the total of those arrested to fourteen.
- British humanitarian agency Care International warns that the security situation in Afghanistan is "urgent" and warns that coalition troops should not redirect resources from security to nation-building efforts, as this could enable factional forces to overthrow the internationally backed government in Kabul. 
- 20,000 workers at US industrial giant General Electric go on strike in 23 states over a GE plan to require workers to pay more for health insurance benefits. 
- War on terrorism: Six more suspects have been arrested in Bournemouth in England in connection with the investigation into ricin found in London. This brings the total of those arrested to eleven.
- Senator Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut announced he will run in the 2004 U.S. presidential election
- The Indian government had to shamefully withdraw its case against Iftikhar Gilani to prevent itself from a rather piquant situation where two of its ministries would have given contradictory opinions. Gilani had been arrrested under the Official Secrets Act.
- North Korea threatens that the US will vanish in a "sea of fire" if it continues to challenge North Korea.
- Ariel Sharon and his Likud party are the target of continued accusations of political corruption.
- Steve Case announces his resignation as chairman of AOL after 18 years at the head of the company.
- Groundbreaking begins on Hong Kong Disneyland, scheduled to open in 2006.
- According to the Peruvian media, was found a Fokker F-28 which crashed near Chachapoyas. The 42 passengers and 4 crew members were all killed as a consequence of the accident.
- George H. Ryan, Governor of Illinois, announced that he commuted the sentences of all 157 people on the state of Illinois' Death Row to life in prison. "Our capital system is haunted by the demon of error: error in determining guilt and error in determining who among the guilty deserves to die. What effect was race having? What effect was poverty having? Because of all these reasons, today I am commuting the sentences of all death row inmates," Ryan said. Ryan's term of office expires on January 13.
- A U.S. court ordered the controversial organization Clonaid, which claims that it produced a human clone, to reveal the identity and whereabouts of the alleged cloned baby.
- North Korea formally withdraws from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
- The INS registration deadline for males in the United States aged 16 and older from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. A controversial Bush administration policy designed to capture terrorists requires all such men to submit to "special registration" procedures consisting of fingerprinting, photographing, and lengthy interviews concerning their whereabouts, associations, and activities. 
- The Pentagon orders 62,000 US troops to the Persian Gulf
- Gordon Campbell, premier of British Columbia, is arrested for drunk driving on vacation in Maui. He is the first sitting Canadian premier to be arrested. A scandal ensues.
- North Korea threatens war if the United Nations applies economic sanctions.
- Air Midwest airplane crashes during take off from Charlotte, North Carolina's international airport, killing all 21 people aboard. The plane, headed to Greer, South Carolina, was not able to maintain altitude after take-off, crashing onto a USAirways plane hangar. In another crash, in Turkey, at least 74 of the 77 people on board died when a plane of the Turkish Airlines company, crashed while attempting an emergency landing at the Diyarbakir airport.
- Jon Johansen was acquitted of all charges in the Norwegian DeCSS trial, in an important test case for copyright law.
- War on Terrorism: British police announced details of the discovery of traces of the toxin ricin in a flat in Wood Green in North London in the wake of the arrest of 6 terrorist suspects. The timing of this news coincided with a major speech by Prime Minister Tony Blair dealing with the threat of terrorism and Britain's relationship with the U.S.A.
- British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon announced details of the call-up of reservists in the military build-up calculated to increase pressure on Iraq.
- French President Jacques Chirac, in a New Year's message to French forces, stated that French forces should be prepare to be activated if the United Nations decides on military action in Iraq.
- Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihaj Vajpayee told an educational conference in Mumbai: "Our scientists are now talking of going to the Moon."
- Astronomers at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton University have found the most distant extrasolar planet, OGLE-TR-56b, by a new technique of observing the intensity of light as a planet transits its sun, rather than by gravitational perturbation.
- Three Wise Men day celebrated all over Latin America. A tradition for centuries in Latin America, the Three Wise Men day is the official ending of Christmas on most Latin American countries. During this day, most Latin American children will receive presents just as if it was another Christmas Day.
- The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas Day, due to the discrepancies between the Julian and Gregorian calendars. See Epiphany.
- The flood in Germany turns out to be less severe than expected in the last few days. Exception is Wertheim, where a 100-year-high is expected.
- Terrorist incident: A double suicide bombing shatters a busy area of Tel Aviv, Israel. 23 people are killed and about 100 are wounded. Both the Islamic Jihad and Hamas claim to be responsible for the double bombing.
- U.S. plan to invade Iraq: Turkey's Milliyet newspaper published a picture showing tanks at an airstrip that it said was the disused Bamerni air base inside Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. If this report is true, this may be the first evidence of a NATO military presence in Iraq. 
- Richard A. "Dick" Gephardt, the United States House of Representatives minority leader, announced his intention to run for the Democratic nomination in the 2004 U.S. presidential election.
- Clonaid announces the birth of another human baby clone to a couple of Dutch lesbians. Clonaid also says there will be four other cloned babies delivered by February 2003.
- The Immigration and Naturalization Service of the United States proposes rules which will require all Americans traveling abroad to disclose detailed personal information both before leaving the country and before being permitted to re-enter the country. 
- In Bourake , Côte d'Ivoire, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin met with political leaders of the Patriotic Movement of the Ivory Coast , who agreed to participate in negotiations to be held in Paris, France, the week of January 15, 2003. However, two independent rebel groups in the west of the country, assisted by fighters from Liberia, have seized villages and the cocoa crops inside those villages, forcing residents to flee to the port of San Pedro with no possessions. One-fifth of the world's cocoa crop passes through San Pedro. A French unit is guarding the port.
- U.S. plan to invade Iraq: United Nations arms inspectors from UMOVIC have established a base of operations in Mosul, Iraq, 375 kilometers or 200 miles north of Baghdad, to speed the inspection process.
- College football: At the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona, the Ohio State University Buckeyes defeated the University of Miami (Florida) Hurricanes, 31-24, to win the national championship.
- Journalist Geoff Mackley  reports after a helicopter mission that the Cyclone Zoe led to no casualties on the island of Tikopia, even though devastation was enormous. The 1,000 inhabitants of the island survived in caves. Reports that they had already resumed their daily occupations like fishing are misleading: they were "fishing" for their possesions that were blown out to sea. The situation on the island of Anuta with 600 inhabitants is not known yet.
- The first 49 of a promised 1,264 West African peacekeepers arrives at Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, to help supervise the cease-fire between the government of President Laurent Gbagbo and the main rebel group, the Patriotic Movement of the Ivory Coast . Rebellion against the Gbagbo government began September 19, 2002. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed to send peacekeepers on September 29. The EECOWAS peacekeepers will join 2,500 French forces. Rebel groups occupy the northern half of Cote d'Ivoire.
- French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin arrives in Cote d'Ivoire to help mediate the conflict.
- Oil leakage from the sunken tanker Prestige threatens the southwestern coast of France. The prefect of Aquitaine reported a slick from the tanker is 50 kilometers (30 standard miles) from the coast. French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin promised 50 million euros for the cleanup. The Prestige, which carried 77,000 tonnes of crude oil, sunk in late November, 2002, off the coast of the Galician region of Spain.
- The People's Republic of China Foreign Ministry reacted to a report in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz which stated that Israel had complied with a U.S. request to suspend all contracts on the exports of arms and security equipment from the PRC to Israel. Israeli Defence Ministry Director-General Amos Yaron stated that Israel intends to "track down" all security ties with the PRC. An unnamed senior Israeli official stated that the Americans were using the pretext of protecting Taiwan to cover a proposed shift of American policy to allow direct arms sales to the PRC.
- United States Army division commanders are beginning a war game at US V Corps headquarters at Heidelberg, Germany, called VICTORY SCRIMMAGE. The exercise is under the command of Lieutenant General William S. Wallace, who is expected to command American ground forces in a planned U.S. war against Iraq.
- Clonaid Chief Executive Brigitte Boisselier told the French television station France 2 that the American parents of the supposed clone that Clonaid created are balking at provicing DNA evidence to prove that their new-born baby "Eve" is really a clone. The claim is that the parents are afraid that Florida will try to take the baby away from them.
- Users of the Gregorian calendar around the world celebrate the New Year. Happy New Year!
- Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva ("Lula") becomes the 37th president of the Federative Republic of Brazil for the period (2003-2007). Da Silva was elected representing the Worker's Party with 61% percent of the vote. His inaugural speech includes vows to wipe out poverty, hunger, and corruption, but da Silva promised during the campaign to abide by an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to maintain a budget surplus of 3.75% and filled key economic posts with men considered friendly to foreign investment. Among guests at the inauguration were Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Cuban President Fidel Castro, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick.
- The Turkish-registered tanker Vicky, with 70,000 tonnes of diesel cargo, struck the wreck of the sunken auto carrier Tricolor off the coast of Dunkirk, France. The double-hulled tanker freed itself from the wreck with the rising tide and sailed a mile off to check for leakage. The Vicky is the second ship to strike the wreck of the Tricolor since the carrier sank on December 14, 2002.
- A Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules overflew the islands of Tikopia and Anuta in the Solomon Islands to inspect damage by Cyclone Zoe. The overflight carried officials of the Australian government agency AusAid . Reports show that there was damage to crops and traditional homes, but there may be no casualties among the islands' 1,600 inhabitants.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details