2002 News and Interesting History Tidbits

Afghanistan Earthquake
A devastating earthquake shook up villages located in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Northern Afghanistan. It was estimated that 1,800 people had died and up to 10,000 people were homeless.

Sabarmati Express
A fire caused by a mob of Muslims on the Sabarmati Express, bound for Ahmedabad with pilgrims returning from the holy site of Ayodhya in the northern Indian state of Uttar P, claims the lives of 57 Hindu Pilgrims.

Affect On Dow Jones of 9/11 Attacks
The first day of trading on September 17, 2001 after the 9/11 attacks causes the largest largest one-day point drop of 684.81 points and by the end of the week had lost 1,369.70 points

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks the previous year, on October 9th 2002 the Dow bottoms out at 7,286.27 from a high of 11,722.98 on January 14th, 2000 having lost over 4,000 points

Department of Homeland Security
US President George W Bush announces the new Department of Homeland Security to protect America from terrorist attacks. A single, permanent department with an overriding and urgent mission, securing the homeland of America and protecting the American people.

Terrorist Dirty Bomb
Attorney General John Ashcroft announces that José Padilla a.k.a. Abdulla al-Muhajir was arrested in Chicago on May 8, 2002, on suspicion that he was an Al-Qaeda terrorist planning to detonate a dirty bomb in the U.S.
A dirty bomb is a radiological dispersal device (RDD), which combines radioactive material with conventional explosives.
The effects are not the same as a nuclear bomb
Nuclear bomb is a weapon of mass destruction compared with.
Dirty bomb is a weapon of mass disruption.
In 2007, he was found guilty by a federal jury, which found that he conspired to kill people in an overseas jihad and to fund and support overseas terrorism and sentenced to 17 years and four months. He is currently serving his sentence at the high-security Supermax prison ADX Florence in Florence, Colorado.

Priests Indiscretion Uncovered
Thousands of personnel files released under a court order showed that the Archdiocese of Boston went to great lengths to hide priests accused of abuse, including clergy who allegedly snorted cocaine and had sex with girls aspiring to be nuns.

As pressure mounts on the Catholic church over allegations that Church Leaders have been covering up abuse by it's priests including many who have been found guilty of sexually abusing children remain in jobs within the US Roman Catholic Church.

To help with the poor publicity this has generated for the Church leaders have suggested that Pope John Paul II be asked to defrock any priest who commits any future sexual abuse of a minor, as well as any priest who has abused more than one child in the past.

Latest reports indicate that as many as 300 civil lawsuits alleging clerical sex abuse have been filed this year since the case of the paedophile priest in Boston.

Yasser Arafat
Israeli helicopters attacked and destroyed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's office in Gaza City.

Israel sends tanks and armored personnel carriers to isolate Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat considered an enemy of Israel in his headquarters compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

He is kept confined within his Ramallah compound for over two years by the Israeli army, and dies at the age of 75 in 2004 .

United Airlines Bankruptcy Protection
United Airlines files for bankruptcy protection after losing $4 billion in the previous two years.

1933 Gold Double Eagle Sells At Auction
The World's Most Expensive Coin the 1933 Double Gold Eagle Sells At Auction for $6.6 million ( $7.6m With Fees ) to an unnamed buyer.

The coin was made by the US mint in 1933 but due to restrictions put in place to stop Americans hoarding much needed gold during the Depression Years the coins were never issued to the public, and it is believed only three officially exist today two in the Smithsonian and this one.

There are thought to be a few more in private collections that were not issued but stolen by a cashier from the US mint, but because the Secret Service had confiscated 8 1933 Gold Double Eagles by 1952, no more have come forward except this latest coin that has just been sold.

Hormone Replacement Therapy HRT Research
Research by the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) has suggested that women who take HRT ( Prempro --- equine hormones, oestrogen and progestin ) for menopausal symptoms were 26% more likely to develop breast cancer and may be at increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Following the report the use of Hormone Replacement Therapy decreased by 50%, but many women still believe the benefits outweigh the risks.

WorldCom Inc Files Bankruptcy Protection
WorldCom Inc. files for bankruptcy protection after disclosing it had inflated profits by nearly $4 billion through deceptive accounting practices from 1999 - 2002 to mask its poor earnings and presenting a false picture of financial growth and profitability of the company.

ETA Steps Up It's Bombing Campaign
The Basque terrorist organisation ETA steps up its campaign of violence to support its aim of self-determination for the Basque country when it explodes two car bombs to coincide with the Seville summit meeting of EU Ministers.

Robert Blake Arrested
Actor Robert Blake is arrested in the shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. (Blake was later acquitted of murder but found liable in a civil case.)

40 million people now infected with Aids / HIV virus worldwide.
The United Nation UNAids report has estimated 40 million people are now living with HIV/Aids worldwide with an estimated 3.1m Aids-related deaths last year.

Breakdown Of rough numbers of Aids/ HIV by area

Sub-Saharan Africa 29.4 million
South America 1.5 million
Eastern Europe 1.2 million
China 1.2 million
North America 1 million
Asia 3/4 million
North Africa and the Middle East 1/2 million
Western Europe 1/2 million
Australia 1/10 million

End Of Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty
The United States has formally withdrawn from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty signed in 1972 by the US and the then Soviet Union. President George W Bush has said the ABM treaty is an outdated relic of the Cold War.

Student Shooting Rampage Germany
An expelled student ( Robert Steinhäuser ) goes on a shooting rampage at the Johann Gutenberg Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany, killing 13 teachers, two students and a police officer before taking his own life.

Robert Steinhäuser dressed in a black ninja-style outfit moved from classroom to classroom, shooting the teachers. According to students, he ignored them and aimed only for the teachers.

Chechen Rebels Take 7000 Hostages
Fifty Chechen rebels storm a Moscow Theatre taking 7,000 hostages. The rebels had explosives strapped to their bodies and were demanding the withdrawal of Soviet Forces from Chechnya. Three days later after the death of two of the hostages Russian Special Forces stormed the building and during the raid most of the terrorists and 120 hostages were killed during the raid.

The Euro
The Euro becomes the official currency of twelve of the European Union's 15 countries

Oregon Fire 2002
The Biscuit Fire was a wildfire that scorched and burned almost a half million acres in Oregon’s beautiful Siskiyou National Forest. The fires were started by lightning in mid-July of that year and was not completely contained until December 31 later that same year. It left some people homeless and made thousands flee from their home for their own safety.

Slobodan Milosevic War Crimes
Slobodan Milosevic was the main defendant in the most important war crimes case since the trial of the Nazis at Nuremberg he was accused of overseeing the murder of hundreds of elderly people and civilians and bombing a hospital

Arthur Andersen Indicted
Arthur Andersen the accounting firm is charged by federal prosecutors with obstruction of justice, securing its first indictment in the collapse of Enron.

"Miss B" Granted Right To Die
A landmark case in British Law comes to it's final conclusion when Dame Elizabeth gave Miss B the legal right to die by having her treatment withdrawn and be transferred to another hospital which would treat her according to her wishes "and permit her life to end peacefully and with dignity".

Just over one month later Miss B died peacefully in her sleep after exercising her right to have all artificial ventilation withdrawn

Andrea Yates Convicted
Andrea Yates, a 37-year-old housewife who drowned her five children in the bathtub of her Texas home in June, 2001 is found guilty

Brazil Win 2002 World Cup
Brazil Win the 2002 World Cup beating Germany 2–0 in the final in Korea Republic
& Japan

Argentinian Financial Woes
As a series of presidents try and grapple with financial problems in Argentina , due to problems with defaulting on earlier IMF loans, 25% unemployment and devaluation of the Peso by 30% the country continues to face further unrest from the population who expect leaders to find a solution.

Uruguay Banking crisis
Following the collapse of other South American Countries currencies hundreds of millions of dollars by locals and foreigners are drawn from the banks in Uruguay causing the country's financial system cracks under the strain with the state bank branches and the countries ATM machines closed while the government decides what it can do. The government has applied to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for loans to keep the financial system afloat.

IMF Loan Brazil
The (IMF)International Monetary Fund has announced details of an additional $30 billion dollar loan to Brazil to help stabilize the economy, this is in addition to the $15 billion last year .

Brazil is the latest of the South American Economies to come under pressure because of super inflation in South America which started in 1999 and went as high as 1,000% to 5,000% per year in the area.

IMF loans do come with a price for the country that borrows the money which need to match financial targets set by the International Monetary Fund in order to get the cash which includes targeting inflation and increasing output.

East Timor Gains Independence
East Timor Gains Independence from Indonesia in 2002

Laci Peterson Reported Missing
Laci Peterson was reported missing from her Modesto, California, home, by her husband, Scott, who was later convicted of murdering her and their unborn son.

Netherlands Assisted Suicide
Restrictions in the Netherlands are loosened further for mercy killings and assisted suicide for patients with unbearable, terminal illness. This follows earlier legislation in 1993 when the Netherlands decriminalized doctor-assisted suicide.

Nuclear Waste Disposal
President George W. Bush approved Nevada's Yucca Mountain as the site for long-term disposal of highly radioactive nuclear waste.

John Walker Lindh
The American John Walker Lindh who was captured on November 25, during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan while fighting for the Taliban is indicted on 5th February by A federal grand jury on 10 charges, alleging that he was trained by Osama bin Laden's network and that he conspired with the Taliban to kill Americans. On July 15th Walker accepted the plea bargain offered which meant he would plead guilty to two charges: — serving in the Taliban army and carrying weapons, also consent to a gag order that would prevent him from making any public statements on the matter for the duration of his twenty-year sentence. In return, all other charges would be dropped. He is currently serving his sentence at ADMAX in Florence, Colorado, the federal Supermax facility .

Identity Theft
One of the largest identity theft operations run had managed by this date to steal from 30,000 people. Only three men were known to be in on this particular ring at this time. One of the suspects had allegedly sold passwords to stolen credit reports. These credit reports were obtained by an employee of an online credit report service.

Miss World Riots Nigeria
An angry crowd of people set fire to and stab riot demonstrators. This incident took place after it was announced by an Islamic news publication that the Miss World Beauty Pageant would have been accepted by Islam’s founding prophet. A total of 50 people were killed and 200 others were injured.

Colorado Fires 2002
June 13, 2002-Forest Fire Fighters Tackle Largest Blazes in History

Forest fire fighters were making some progress while fighting some of the largest blazes in Colorado history. Less-powerful winds and cooler temperatures had contributed largely to the success of controlling these forest fires.

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