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April 2003 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December

Ongoing events 2003 invasion of Iraq
SARS outbreak
Reconstruction of Afghanistan
Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Contents

Events

April 1, 2003

April 2, 2003

April 3, 2003

April 4, 2003

April 5, 2003

  • The Senate of Belgium approves a change in the nation's war crimes law so that it will no longer apply to citizens of nations with sufficient human rights laws. The House of Representatives had already approved the change. The law had been used in the past to charge such people as George H. W. Bush, Colin Powell and Ariel Sharon with war crimes, and had interfered with Belgium's international relations. [8]
  • Monty's Pass wins the Grand National

April 6, 2003

  • British forces step up their presence in the southern Iraq city of Basra. According to embedded journalists, the citizens of Basra braved gunfire to dance in the streets and cheer for the British troops. UPI's Chief International Correspondent Martin Walker claimed that he had witnessed at least one Basra citizen kiss a British tank. [9]
  • In a friendly fire incident, U.S. warplanes struck a convoy of allied Kurdish fighters and U.S. Special Forces during a battle in northern Afghanistan. At least 18 people are killed and more than 45 wounded, including senior Kurdish commanders.

April 7, 2003

  • As part of a plea bargain, alleged Mafia boss Vincent "Chin" Gigante admits in court that he has been feigning insanity for more than 30 years. [10]
  • In Oakland, California, police fired rubber bullets and beanbags at anti-war protesters and dockworkers outside the Port, injuring at least a dozen demonstrators and six longshoremen standing nearby. Most of the 500 demonstrators were dispersed peacefully, but a crowd of demonstrators was blocking traffic on private property near the port and fail to disperse after police warnings. Oakland Police Chief said demonstrators also threw objects and bolts at them, and said the use of weapons was necessary to disperse the crowd. He indicated non-lethal projectiles were used to respond to direct illegal action. The longshoremen were caught in the crossfire. A dockworker spokesman reported Police gave two minutes to disperse, then did not move to arrest people, instead they opened fire. Demonstrators also claim though the rubber bullets were supposed to be shot at the ground, the Police took direct aim at them. Oakland police said 31 people were arrested at the port.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says that war in Iraq is "drawing to a close". [11]
  • Embedded NPR journalists relay reports from a top official with the 1st Marine Division that U.S. forces near Baghdad have discovered 20 medium range BM-21 missiles armed with warheads containing deadly sarin and mustard gas that are "ready to fire." [12], [13]
  • More than a dozen Coalition soldiers, a Knight Ridder reporter, a CNN cameraman and two Iraqi prisoners of war are sent for chemical weapons decontamination after exhibiting symptoms of possible exposure to tabun and sarin nerve agents and lewisite blistering agents while searching an Iraqi agricultural warehouse and a nearby military compound on the Euphrates river between the cities of Kerbala and Hilla. U.S. soldiers found eleven 25-gallon barrels and three 55-gallon chemical drums, hundreds of gas masks and chemical suits, along with large numbers of mortar and artillery rounds. Initial tests of the chemicals were positive, then a second test was done which came back negative. A third test, conducted by a mobile testing unit provided by Germany confirmed the existence of sarin. Some reports indicate that the chemicals found at the agricultural warehouse may turn out to be pesticides. Further tests are planned in the United States. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said later in a Pentagon briefing that "almost all first reports we get, turn out to be wrong. We don't do first reports and we don't speculate." [14], [15]
  • Syracuse University defeats the University of Kansas to win the NCAA's college basketball championship

April 8, 2003

April 9, 2003

April 10, 2003

April 11, 2003

April 12, 2003

April 13, 2003

April 13th, 2003 is the date of the Devils Own Motorcycle Club was found.

April 14, 2003

April 15, 2003

April 16, 2003

April 17, 2003

April 18, 2003

April 19, 2003

  • Nigeria holds a presidential election.

April 20, 2003

  • A bench clearing brawl happens in a baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the St. Louis Cardinals. Tino Martinez was hit by a 1-0 pitch from Miguel Batista, and took first base. He was then forced out at second base during the next batter's at-bat. When heading back to the dugout, Martinez charged Batista from behind. Batista turned and threw the ball at him, and players from both teams joined the altercation. The Diamondbacks ultimately won the game, 1-0, and the MLB suspends Martinez for four games, and Batista for ten.

April 21, 2003

April 22, 2003

April 23, 2003

  • A U.S. commanding officer in Baghdad announces that five U.S. soldiers are under investigation for the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from caches of money found in Iraq. [66]
  • The British and Irish governments publicly ask three questions of the IRA. Depending on clarification offered, the Northern Ireland Executive may be reinstated or the Assembly elections postponed.

April 24, 2003

April 25, 2003

April 26, 2003

  • Unknown assailants fire incendiary devices on an ammunition dump in suburban Baghdad, triggering hours of explosions. American sources put the casualties at six dead and four wounded; Iraqi sources state 25 wounded. [72]
  • Winnie Mandela is sentenced to four years in prison (five years, less one year suspended) for theft and fraud. [73]

April 27, 2003

April 28, 2003

  • At Falluja, 50 km from Baghdad, American soldiers from the 82nd Airborne opened fire on a group of protesters, killing between 6 and 17 and leaving others injured. The incident occurred during a demonstration outside a local school were American forces were stationed. The day before 2 soldiers were wounded in Ramadi when a hand grenade was thrown from a crowd. Different variasions of the incident exist. 2 days later on April 30, 2003, another shooting incident occurred in which 3 people died. After the incidents relations with the populus of Falluja soured, and tensions would continue to build until the Nov. 2004 Battle of Falluja.
  • The World Health Organization announces that SARS has peaked in all affected countries except the People's Republic of China. These countries include Canada, Singapore, and Vietnam, as well as Hong Kong. [74] [75]
  • SARS is made only the fourth disease, after plague, yellow fever, and cholera, that countries are required to report to the World Health Organization. [76]
  • Apple Computer revealed a new online music store, entitled the iTunes Music Store, for its iTunes and iPod products. Each song can be downloaded for 99 cents and there is no subscription fee.
  • A Mexicana de Aviacion jet is forced to land at San Francisco International Airport in California after the pilot accidentally sets off the anti-terror alarm.

April 29, 2003

April 30, 2003








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