Dar Heatherington, Lethbridge alderman, disappears in Great Falls, Montana, and is found three days later, alleging that she had been abducted and raped. A series of legal battles later stated that Heatherington had made these charges up, though she maintains her innocence.
Brian Duchow, a Milwaukee bus driver, is charged with child abuse of a passenger with Down syndrome, allegedly hitting him and threatening more abuse. The abuse was recorded on an audio tape using a recorder that the parents had put in the child's backpack.123
May 7, 2003
Nearly 40,000 manuscripts and 700 artifacts belonging to the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad are recovered by U.S. Customs agents working with museum experts in Iraq. Some looters had returned items after promises of rewards and amnesty, and many items previously reported missing had actually been hidden in secret storage vaults at the museum prior to the outbreak of war.
A five-hour transit of Mercury takes place, an event that occurs only 13 times per century on average.
A vulnerability in the Microsoft Passport Internet authentication system is announced which allows an attacker to change a victim's password and thereby hijack their account. This affects Hotmail and other Passport-enabled systems, allowing an attacker to use a victim's email account and obtain other personal data such as credit card numbers.,45
In New York City, the World Boxing Council declares itself bankrupt, to avoid paying a former world champion 30 million dollars after the former boxer wins a lawsuit against the organization.
King Mohammed VI of Morocco releases 9459 prisoners from Morocco's prisons in celebration of the birth of his first son and heir, who was named Prince Hassan.
An F4tornado hits metro area of Oklahoma City, and became the 10th costliest tornado in United States history. No one was killed but many were injured. The tornado followed a path similar to that of the F5 tornado of May 3, 1999.
The United States Senate Armed Services Committee votes to lift a 10-year-old ban on the research and development of low-yield nuclear weapons as part of its 2004 defense-spending bill. The majority of the committee and the Bush administration argue that such weapons may in the future become necessary to deal with terrorist threats, and to effectively incinerate biological or chemical weapons installations. The move is criticized by Democrats who fear that it will increase the risks of nuclear proliferation and nuclear escalation in warfare.,78
The United States House of Representatives approves a tax-cut measure for $550 billion over 10 years. This is $176 billion less than President George W. Bush originally proposed, but $200 billion more than the Senate's version of the same measure. One highly controversial aspect of the President's initial proposal that the House removed is the repeal of the tax on dividends paid by corporations to shareholders. There are also important differences between the House and Senate bills, and great difficulty is foreseen in reconciling them before they may be sent to the President for approval.
May 10, 2003
The first confirmed SARS case is reported in Finland. A man who had been visiting Toronto is now being treated at Turku University Hospital.
May 11, 2003
Ponds on the north side of Catoctin Mountain, near Gambrill Park Road and Tower Road in Frederick, Maryland, are under investigation by the FBI, in connection with the 2001 anthrax attacks. FBI investigators found anthraxspores and other evidence in their search of ponds in the area during December and January 2002. Divers retrieved a "clear box" with holes that could accommodate protective biological safety gloves, as well as vials wrapped in plastic from a pond in the Frederick Municipal Forest. A new theory has been developed suggesting how a criminal could have packed anthrax spores into envelopes without harming (him/her) self. Officials from Fort Detrick have stated that the water is safe because once in water anthrax spores cluster together and descend to the bottom. The water in the pond has been tested several times over the course of the investigation, and all indications are that the water is safe.
A number of newspapers have published the alleged identity of the British Force Research Unit's most senior informer within the Provisional IRA, code-named Stakeknife, who is thought to have been head of the Provisional IRA's internal security force, charged with routing out informers like himself. The person named has fled.
Filip Vujanovic, a former Prime Minister who favors independence, was elected President of Montenegro. This was the third attempt at electing a President in five months; the first two votes did not attract enough voters to make the vote valid. This time the legislature had eliminated the turnout requirement.
A truck bomb explodes at FSB headquarters in Znamenskoye, Chechnya, killing 59 and wounding some 200 more, in an apparent suicide attack. Official Russian sources blame the incident on Chechen separatist rebels.,910
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing of the Treasury Department of the United States releases a new 20 dollarnote, aimed at defeating the technological advances of counterfeiters. The note is expected to begin circulating in the fall of 2003; which is five years since the last $20 note was released in 1998. New designs for the $50 and $100 notes will follow in 2004 and 2005. The most distinctive change in the new currency design is in color. It is the first U.S. currency since 1905 to include colors other than green and black. Different colors for different denominations will make it easier to tell one note from another, and more difficult to counterfeit. The New Color of Money Web site (includes images)
Much of France comes to a standstill in a general strike of the public and private sectors.12
Russian officials identify Arab militant Abu Walib as the mastermind behind the May 12 bombing in Znamenskoye, Chechnya, and claim links between that incident and the bombings in Riyadh 14 hours later.13
A suicide bombing occurs at a religious festival in the town of Iliskhan-Yurt, in southeastern Chechnya. At least 14 people are killed by the bombing. The attack is apparently an attempt to assassinate Akhmad Kadyrov, the Moscow-appointed chief administrator of Chechnya. Kadryov escaped injury.,1415
May 14, 2003
DARPA's Information Processing Technology Office solicits bids for the LifeLog project, an extremely ambitious effort to create a massive searchable computer database, "an ontology-based (sub)system that captures, stores, and makes accessible the flow of one person's experience in and interactions with the world ... The objective ... is to be able to trace the 'threads' of an individual's life in terms of events, states, and relationships".,1617
The bodies of 17 Hispanics, suspected Mexicanillegal immigrants, were found by police in Victoria, Texas. One more person, a man, died in a hospital, raising the death total to 18. 13 of the bodies were found inside a locked truck, and four of them outside it. A man was later arrested in Houston on suspicion of being the smuggler who led the 18 persons to their deaths.
May 15, 2003
The journal Nature reports that all species of large fish in the world's oceans have been so thoroughly overfished that just 10% of the population that there was in 1950 remains. The scientists who authored the report conclude that the world's oceans are no longer even close to their natural state. Sharks, Atlantic cod, and Pacific sardines are tapped as particularly imperilled with extinction. The scientists recommend drastic measures to reduce ocean fishing. Nature, Environment News, BBC
The United States Senate approves a tax-cut bill designed to cut revenues by a total of $350 billion over ten years. The Senate takes a compromise position on the controversial issue of taxing stock dividends; the dividend tax is temporarily reduced, then eliminated, and reinstated for 2007. The bill will now go to a conference committee to resolve differences with a $550 billion tax cut passed by the House on May 10.
China announces a new series of measures to combat SARS. Foreign adoptions of Chinese babies are now suspended. The penalties for knowingly spreading the disease have been increased, and now include execution.
2003 occupation of Iraq: United States and United Kingdom officials announce a change of policy concerning the redevelopment of Iraq. The establishment of an Iraq-led national assembly will be put off indefinitely, and Allied commanders will remain in charge, reportedly because no new government would have the necessary amount of real power.
Bear Attack: Gary Smith, running from Sun Point to St. Mary Falls in Glacier National Park, Montana USA is attacked by a Grizzly Bear. The attack is thwarted by the use of Bear Spray and the resulting injuries are minor.
A case of BSE ("mad cow disease") in a single cow in Alberta is confirmed by Canadian federal and provincial officials. The animal had been destroyed and declared unfit for consumption prior to being diagnosed. The US issues a temporary ban on all Canadian beef. This is the first North American case of BSE since one in 1993 involving an animal born in Britain.
A Ukrainian YAk-42 plane crashes in northeast Turkey, near the city of Trabzon, killing all aboard. The plane carried 12 crew-members and 62 Spanish soldiers returning from a six-month peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.28
In the city of Munich (Germany), the SPD and Greens, who have a city hall majority, decide in separate meetings to migrate 14,000 city-owned Windows NT PC workstations to the SUSELinuxoperating system. In spite of personal meetings with Microsoft CEOSteve Ballmer and substantial rebates offered on a Microsoft solution, Munich now becomes the largest German city to migrate all of its client PCs to Linux. As an office suite, OpenOffice.org will be used.30
Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon states that the "occupation" of Palestinian territories is "a terrible thing for Israel and for the Palestinians" and "can't continue endlessly." Sharon's phraseology prompts shock from many in Israel, leading to a clarification that by "occupation," Sharon meant control of millions of Palestinian lives rather than actual physical occupation of land.31
SCO v. IBM Linux lawsuit: Novell enters the lawsuit between the SCO Group and IBM with a press release concerning the SCO Group's ownership of UNIX. "To Novell's knowledge, the 1995 agreement governing SCO's purchase of UNIX from Novell does not convey to SCO the associated copyrights," a letter to the SCO Group's CEODarl McBride said in part. "We believe it unlikely that SCO can demonstrate that it has any ownership interest whatsoever in those copyrights. Apparently you share this view, since over the last few months you have repeatedly asked Novell to transfer the copyrights to SCO, requests that Novell has rejected."
EU countries will get more financial power. A convent which thinks about the future of EU is giving member countries more authority to decide of their own finance politics. Countries not belonging to EMU couldn't take part in these decisions.
May 29, 2003
Space Shuttle Columbia disaster: NASA officials release experimental findings proving that the insulation known to have hit the leading edge of Columbia's left wing could have created a gap in between protective heat panels.35
A Russian nuclear energy company founded a branch to promote its bid for Finland's new nuclear power plant. Competing bids have been submitted by French-German company Framatome and General Electric. Finnish power company TVO will make its selection in the autumn at the earliest, but by the end of the year at the latest.
The Indian Ministry of Defence announced its purchase of Phalcon early warning radar systems from Israel. The contract is worth U.S. $1.2 billion.
Legendary entertainer Bob Hope celebrates his 100th birthday, quipping "I'm so old, they've canceled my blood type." 36