Calendar of 2000

▪ 2001

"We are fortunate to be alive at this moment in history. Never before has our nation enjoyed, at once, so much prosperity and social progress with so little internal crisis and so few external threats. Never before have we had such a blessed opportunity—and, therefore, such a profound obligation—to build the more perfect union of our founders' dreams."
U.S. Pres. William J. Clinton in his state of the union message before Congress, January 27

January 1
      The year 2000 arrives safe and sound, without any serious computer-related “Y2K” problems that many had anticipated, such as computer breakdowns, interruptions in utility services, banking and billing crises, airplane crashes, and military incidents; the rollover is celebrated by some as the beginning of a new millennium.

      Greenwich Electronic Time, a new time standard for the Internet based upon the long-traditional and universally accepted Greenwich Mean Time and Coordinated Universal Time, is launched in London by Prime Minister Tony Blair.

January 2
      Rioting and looting break out between majority Muslims and minority Coptic Christians in the village of Al-Kosheh, about 450 km (270 mi) south of Cairo, and more than two dozen deaths are reported; Copts constitute about 10% of the Egyptian population.

January 3
      Acting Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin fires Tatyana Dyachenko, daughter of former president Boris Yeltsin; Dyachenko had wielded enormous power in the Kremlin, maintaining links to a number of controversial businessmen, and had organized her father's presidential campaign in 1996.

      Turkish Pres. Suleyman Demirel officially opens the new Ataturk International Airport, located 24 km (15 mi) west of Istanbul; the terminal building is designed to accommodate 14 million passengers a year and has been constructed with special provisions to withstand earthquakes.

January 4
      Alan Greenspan is nominated by Pres. Bill Clinton for a fourth four-year term as chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System.

      In the annual postseason Sugar Bowl, Florida State University defeats Virginia Tech 46–29 and claims the national college football Division I-A championship; other New Year's classic bowl games include the Rose Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Citrus Bowl, and the Gator Bowl on January 1; the Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl take place on January 2.

January 5
      At least 11 persons, including the woman suicide bomber, die in an explosion in the offices of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike; the unsuccessful assassination attempt on the prime minister is widely believed to be the work of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam separatist group.

      Hillary Rodham Clinton formally moves into the house she bought in Chappaqua, N.Y., in order to establish residency in the state and thereby meet the electoral requirements as a candidate for senator from New York; she is the only first lady ever to have moved out of the White House before the end of the president's term.

January 6
      After fleeing his homeland in late December 1999 and crossing the Himalaya Mountains, the 17th Karmapa Lama, Uguen Trinley Dorje, third in the hierarchy of Tibetan Buddhist leaders (after the Dalai and Panchen Lamas), arrives in Dharmshala, India, near the border with Tibet; the motives and circumstances for the defection are not immediately clear.

      The Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Canada's national television network, is ordered by the state regulatory authority, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, to stop broadcasting highly popular foreign-made films during peak viewing hours and concentrate on Canadian program content.

January 7
      In contravention of the North American Free Trade Agreement, U.S. officials announce that they will not permit free access to roads in all states by Mexican trucks and buses, citing safety concerns; some interpret the announcement as a political move aimed at winning support of the Teamsters Union for the presidential candidacy of Vice Pres. Al Gore.

January 8
      The National Society of Film Critics awards are announced; for the first time in the 34-year history of the awards, two films are tied for best-picture honours, Being John Malkovich and Topsy-Turvy.

January 9
      With almost 92% of voters' support and a 95% turnout, Uzbekistan's Pres. Islam Karimov comfortably, if controversially, wins reelection; he has been president of the Central Asian country since 1991.

      The IBM Corp. announces that it will develop Internet software to support Linux, the open-source operating system available free to computer programmers, and will set up a Linux software development centre in India.

January 10
      In the largest corporate merger ever—a deal valued at $183 billion—Internet service provider America Online, Inc., announces that it plans to buy the giant media corporation Time Warner, Inc.; AOL chief executive Steve Case would be chairman and Time Warner head Gerald Levin the CEO of the new company. (SeeFebruary 3.)

      Defying a decision by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service on January 5 that Elián González, a six-year-old Cuban refugee, be returned to his father in Cuba no later than January 14, a circuit court judge in Miami, Fla., grants custody of the youngster to his maternal relatives living in the Miami area. (See April 22.)

January 11
      Following a medical examination on January 5, the British government announces that exiled dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte is not fit to stand trial in Spain; Pinochet is charged with 35 counts of human rights violations that took place during his tenure as president of Chile.

      Two baseball players, Carlton Fisk, a catcher for the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox, and Tony Pérez, a first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds, are elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.; Pérez is the first Cuban to be so honoured.

      By executive order President Clinton creates three new national monuments—Grand Canyon-Parashant on the north rim of the Grand Canyon and Agua Fria, both in Arizona, and California Coastal, along the coast of California—and extends the territory of a fourth, the Pinnacles National Monument, in California.

January 12
      The government of Turkey announces that it has postponed the scheduled execution of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan; the decision, seen as a political victory for Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, is apparently linked to scrutiny of Turkey's human rights record and its application to join the European Union. (See February 9.)

      In compliance with a 1999 European Court of Human Rights ruling, Great Britain ends its ban on the service of openly gay men and women in the armed forces.

January 13
      Bill Gates resigns as chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp. and is replaced by Steven Ballmer; Gates continues as chairman and chief architect of software at Microsoft.

      Park Tae Joon, president of the United Liberal Democrats, is confirmed as prime minister of the Republic of Korea.

January 14
      The Russian government issues a new, tougher national security strategy, replacing one adopted in 1997; the new document criticizes the United States and Western Europe for expansionism and allows for the use of nuclear weapons in war if other methods of resolution have been exhausted.

      After scientists express concern about possible undesirable ecological consequences of some genetically modified crops (notably threats to the monarch butterfly), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency places sowing limits on Bt, a type of corn that has been genetically engineered to make the plant resistant to certain types of insects. (See January 24.)

      South Korea announces plans to build a rocket capable of placing a satellite into Earth orbit and to establish a national space program.

January 15
      Zeljko Raznatovic (known by his nom de guerre, “Arkan”), a Serb ultranationalist paramilitary leader and crony of Yugoslav Pres. Slobodan Milosevic, and two others are shot dead by unknown assassins in a downtown Belgrade hotel.

January 16
      In the second round of Chile's presidential elections, Ricardo Lagos Escobar of the centre-left Concertación alliance narrowly defeats Joaquín Lavín Infante of the rightist Alliance for Chile.

      Two huge British pharmaceutical companies, Glaxo Wellcome PLC and SmithKline Beecham PLC, announce plans to merge on equal terms in a deal worth $75.7 billion; the combined corporation would represent the world's largest pharmaceutical company. (See February 7.)

January 17
      Charismatic, which won the 1999 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes thoroughbred horse races but lost his chance to become the first Triple Crown winner in two decades when he broke a leg in the Belmont Stakes, is named 1999 Horse of the Year in Los Angeles.

January 18
      Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl resigns as honorary chairman of his party, the Christian Democratic Union; Kohl and other former top CDU officials have been under formal investigation since January 3 on charges of embezzling state funds. (See January 20.)

      A test of the missile defense system being developed by the U.S. military fails when a rocket launched in the Pacific does not intercept and destroy a mock warhead launched from an air base in California. (See July 8.)

January 19
      The UN Security Council endorses the appointment of former South African president Nelson Mandela, originally made in December 1999, to lead the Arusha (Tanz.) peace process toward a settlement of grievances between the sides in Burundi.

      Retired basketball superstar Michael Jordan announces that he is acquiring part ownership in the Washington Wizards professional basketball team; the Washington, D.C., franchise has not won a championship since 1978.

January 20
      Wolfgang Hüllen, a leading finance official of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, hangs himself as a parliamentary group begins an investigation into illicit payments to the party in the 1990s. (See January 18.)

      The Times (London) reports that scientists have discovered remains of the largest dinosaur yet known, a herbivore about 48–50 m (157–164 ft) in length, in the southern Patagonia region of Argentina; no name has yet been given to the dinosaur.

January 21
      Pres. Jamil Mahuad Witt of Ecuador is ousted in a military coup in Quito; the action by a group of middle-ranking army officers follows the occupation of the capital and other large cities by indigenous rights groups. (See March 9.)

      Representatives of 70 countries gathered in Geneva under United Nations auspices agree to ban the use of soldiers under the age of 18 in military conflicts; the final document is a protocol to the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

January 22
      Chinese officials react strongly and negatively to plans to hold a one-day conference on January 23 in Osaka, Japan, on the sensitive issue of the 1937 Nanking (Nanjing) Massacre, in which thousands of residents of the Chinese city were killed, raped, and robbed by invading Japanese troops; the conference promoters had called the 1937 event “the biggest myth of the 20th century.”

January 23
      Pres. Hugo Chávez Frías appoints Isaías Rodríguez, a top official in the Constituent Assembly, to the new post of vice president of Venezuela.

      At the Golden Globe Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills, Calif., the film American Beauty wins honours for best drama, best director—Sam Mendes (for his first motion picture), and best screenplay.

January 24
      Delegates from more than 130 countries convene in Montreal to discuss regulation of trade in genetically modified (GM) foods; the group agrees that importing countries should have the right to scientific information about the GM organisms used in a given product and should have the right to refuse to admit GM items into their countries; an agreement, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, is reached on January 29. (See January 14.)

      The U.S. Supreme Court votes 6–3 to uphold a Missouri law that limits the amount of money a person may donate to support a candidate in a state election; the decision is expected to have a significant impact on the ongoing national debate about campaign finance issues.

January 25
      Thai special forces overrun a hospital in the town of Ratchaburi that had been occupied on January 24 by 10 members of a Karen rebel group from neighbouring Myanmar (Burma) who held staff and patients hostage; the terrorists, believed to be members of the gang controlled by Johnny and Luther Htoo, 12-year-old twin brothers, are all killed in the government raid.

January 26
      Hans Blix, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is appointed to lead the United Nations commission to oversee the disarmament of Iraq after the first candidate, another Swedish diplomat, Rolf Ekeus, could not win the support of all Security Council members.

      Egypt's People's Assembly passes a new law according women the right to divorce their husbands on grounds of incompatibility; the old principle, based on Islamic law, allowed women to divorce only with convincing evidence of mistreatment or other specific circumstances. (See March 12.)

      The International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., announces that its year 2000 honorees are women's tennis legend Martina Navratilova, 1950s Australian star Mal Anderson, and referee and tennis official Robert Kelleher; the three are to be inducted on July 15.

January 27
      Following a decade of vigorous public debate, German officials dedicate a two-hectare (five-acre) parcel of land near the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin as the site of a national Holocaust memorial; the design of American architect Peter Eisenman is chosen for the project.

January 28
      A U.S. government report concludes that workers making nuclear weapons have been exposed to radiation and chemicals that have led to higher-than-normal rates of cancers and early death; this is the first time the government has acknowledged that people probably contracted cancer from radiation exposure while working in the plants.

      American Lindsay Davenport wins the Australian Open women's singles tennis championship, defeating defending champion Martina Hingis of Switzerland 6–1, 7–5; in the men's competition on January 30, American Andre Agassi also defeats the defending champion, Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov, 3–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–4.

      Two new subway lines, part of a $2.2 billion project funded largely by the European Union, are opened in Athens; the two new routes are added to an earlier line that links the Plaka district of the Greek capital with the port of Piraeus.

January 29
      Quarterback Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott (who played several positions), defensive end Howie Long, linebacker Dave Wilcox, and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney are named to the American Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

      Awards are announced at the closing gala of the 2000 Sundance Film Festival; the Grand Jury Prize for best dramatic film is split between Girlfight, directed by Karyn Kusama, and You Can Count on Me, directed by Kenneth Lonergan, while the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary goes to Long Night's Journey into Day, directed by Frances Reid and Deborah Hoffmann.

January 30
      In a move that surprises industry observers, the French telecommunications group Vivendi announces an alliance with the British mobile telephone group Vodafone AirTouch PLC, which in turn has tendered a hostile takeover bid for the German company Mannesmann AG (see February 3); the new company will be Europe's number one Internet and new-media provider.

      The St. Louis Rams defeat the Tennessee Titans 23–16 in the professional football Super Bowl XXXIV; Rams quarterback Kurt Warner, who threw passes for a record 414 yd, is voted the game's Most Valuable Player.

January 31
      Two separate reports, one by the Indonesian Commission to Investigate Human Rights Violations in East Timor and the other by the UN Commission of Inquiry into East Timor, find that the Indonesian military cooperated with local pro-Indonesian militia groups in violating the human rights of the East Timorese.

      Gov. George Ryan of Illinois, citing the large number of death row inmates whose convictions had recently been overturned, declares a moratorium on executions in the state.

"I am asking for forgiveness for what Germans have done, for myself and my generation, for the sake of our children and grandchildren, whose future I would like to see alongside the children of Israel."
German Pres. Johannes Rau addressing the Israeli Knesset (parliament), February 16, during a state visit

February 1
      Following four months of intensive negotiations, the Austrian People's Party agrees to form a coalition with the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), led by ultranationalist Jörg Haider; the FPÖ's success has clouded Austrian politics, and on January 31 the European Union had threatened to break with Austria if the right-wingers were allowed to participate in the government.

      Subway and bus workers in France go on strike to protest the first day of the mandated shorter workweek; the government had decreed a maximum 35-hour week in an effort to lower unemployment.

February 2
      The U.S. Federal Trade Commission moves to block the takeover of the Atlantic Richfield Co., a large California-based petroleum company, by the British giant BP Amoco, citing the possibility that the new company would enjoy a dominant position on the West Coast.

      Some 120 Koreans, who had been sent to Sakhalin Island in the 1940s and put to forced labour by Japan and had been trapped there by Cold War politics ever since, return home to South Korea.

February 3
      Vodaphone AirTouch PLC of Great Britain announces plans to acquire Mannesmann AG, Germany's largest mobile phone company; the deal, reportedly worth about $180 billion, would be the largest takeover ever (see January 30) and would result in the world's largest telecommunications group.

      The Ford Motor Co. announces that it will provide each of its 350,000 employees worldwide with a personal computer and unlimited Internet access for $5 per month for three years, after which the computers will belong to the employees.

      Jill Barad, who had revived the Barbie doll for American toy maker Mattel Inc., resigns as chairman and CEO of the company; she had been one of a very few women to lead a Fortune 500 company.

February 4
      Lord Archer, a prominent British Conservative politician who had campaigned for mayor of London, is expelled from the party for five years for breaches of political ethics and integrity.

      The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the unemployment rate in the United States for January 2000, adjusted for seasonal variations, is the lowest it has been in 30 years—4%.

February 5
      Several mortar shells land near Iran's presidential palace; a group called the Mujaheddin-e-Kha1q says it launched the attack and that the target was Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei.

      Violent anti-immigrant riots break out in El Ejido, near Almería, Spain, the centre of a region that has a high percentage of Moroccan agricultural labourers; the violence spreads to nearby towns and continues until February 7.

February 6
      Acting Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin announces that Russian troops have taken Grozny, the capital of the secessionist republic of Chechnya; few expect the guerrilla war to wind down, however, as the Chechen insurgents retreat to the mountainous southern regions of the republic.

      Tarja Halonen, a Social Democrat and former foreign minister, is elected president of Finland; she is the first woman to hold the position.

      A long-running strike at the huge National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, ends after a majority of the students and faculty vote to stop striking and federal police enter the campus and evict the protesters from university buildings.

      The two-day 2000 world speed-skating championships finish up in Milwaukee, Wis.; the overall winners are Gianni Romme of The Netherlands and Claudia Pechstein of Germany.

February 7
      In the second pharmaceutical megamerger of the year (see January 16), the U.S. company Pfizer Inc. announces it will acquire another American firm, Warner-Lambert Co., for nearly $90.3 billion and create the second largest drug company in the world.

      Stipe Mesic comfortably wins the second round of the presidential election in Croatia, defeating Drazen Budisa 56% to 44%.

      Puerto Rico wins baseball's 30th Caribbean Series with a 13–10 victory over the Dominican Republic; the Puerto Rican team racked up 86 hits during the series, breaking a record that had stood for 47 years.

February 8
      Some of the largest World Wide Web sites, including eBay, CNN,, and E*Trade, are attacked by a hacker and maliciously jammed—closed down—for several hours following a similar attack on Yahoo! a day earlier; in April it is revealed that the main culprit is a 15-year-old youth from Montreal who goes by the Internet name of “Mafiaboy.”

      Ion Gheorghe Maurer, the communist prime minister of Romania from 1961 to 1974, dies in Bucharest, Rom., at age 97.

February 9
      The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a major organization seeking independence for the Kurds who live in Turkey, declares an end to its violent activities and calls for its members to work within the Turkish state structure; the PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, remains in a Turkish prison sentenced to death for terrorism. (See January 12.)

February 10
      Researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva announce that they have re-created in the laboratory the conditions that existed at the beginning of the universe within 10 microseconds after the big bang.

      A major space telescope, ASTRO-E, is launched from Japan's Kagoshima Space Center as the third leg of a triangle whose other legs are NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory and Europe's XXM-Newton Observatory and whose purpose is to study cosmic X-rays; the telescope is lost when a rocket fails to lift it into a sustainable orbit.

February 11
      Self-rule for Northern Ireland, under which power in the province was shared between the Roman Catholic and Protestant factions and which had been instituted a scant two months earlier, is revoked by the British government because of lack of progress in disarmament by the Irish Republican Army.

      Cyanide from a gold mine spill on January 30 has killed as much as 90% of the aquatic life in the Somes (Szamos) River in Romania and Hungary and the Tisza River in Hungary before it reaches the Danube River north of Belgrade, Yugos. (See March 10.)

February 12
      A referendum in Zimbabwe on a new constitution that would give aging Pres. Robert Mugabe vastly increased powers is defeated when 55% of those turning out to vote cast their ballots against it; Mugabe has been prime minister or president in Zimbabwe since 1980.

      The 10th heads of state and ministerial meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, held every four years, opens in Bangkok, with representatives of some 180 countries and organizations in attendance.

      In Cleveland, Ohio, Michelle Kwan wins the U.S. figure skating championship women's title for the third time in a row and the fourth time overall; Michael Weiss takes the men's title for the second time.

February 13
      Hans von Sponeck, head of the UN “oil for food” humanitarian program in Iraq, resigns, complaining that the UN's efforts are inadequate; the following day Jutta Burghardt, head of the UN World Food Programme in Iraq, resigns as well for the same reasons.

February 14
      NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft achieves orbit around the asteroid Eros, becoming the first spacecraft ever to orbit an asteroid.

      The former powerful head of the Indonesian military forces, General Wiranto, is suspended from his duties by Pres. Abdurrahman Wahid; Wiranto had been accused of human rights abuses in East Timor.

      Foreign ministers of the European Union gather in Brussels at the first meeting of a 10-month intergovernmental conference to streamline and rationalize the operation of the EU as its membership expands significantly in coming years.

      A series of tornadoes in southwestern Georgia kills at least 18 people and injures more than 100 others.

February 15
      Peacekeeping troops from the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic leave the country; the UN forces had been in the country since March 1998.

      The establishment in the U.S. of the Women's United Soccer Association is announced by Discovery Communications Inc., which led the search for financing; the eight-team league plans to begin play in April 2001.

      The top prize in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the most prestigious competition for dog breeders, is won by Salilyn 'N Erin's Shameless, an English springer spaniel.

February 16
      Wolfgang Schäuble, head of the Christian Democratic Union, Germany's opposition party, resigns his party posts and acknowledges mishandling of the scandal involving alleged irregularities in party finance under former chancellor Helmut Kohl. (See January 20.)

      The South Korean chaebol (conglomerate) Hyundai Group announces that it will soon open an office in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, to oversee a construction project; Hyundai is the first southern company to establish an office in North Korea. (See February 26.)

February 17
      The United Nations Security Council recommends the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu as the 189th full member of the United Nations.

      Following his easy victory in elections in January, Kumba Ialá of the Party of Social Renewal is sworn in as president of Guinea-Bissau. (See November 24.)

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories' Prevnar, the first vaccine against invasive pneumococcal diseases for infants and toddlers, including a form of meningitis that kills several hundred children annually.

February 18
      Reformist elements win a large majority in the elections to the sixth Majlis (parliament) in Iran, much strengthening the hand of Pres. Mohammad Khatami.

      The U.S. Department of Labor announces that the Ford Motor Co. has agreed to a settlement in a suit charging it with widespread discrimination against women and minorities.

February 19
      Shots are exchanged between border patrols from Honduras and Nicaragua in the Gulf of Fonseca area on the Pacific Coast; the maritime border—especially the small island of Cayo Sur—has been in dispute for some time. (See March 7.)

      The first stage of the Red Sea Free Trade Zone, an area encompassing some 26 sq km (10 sq mi) between Port Sudan and Sawakin, is opened by the government of The Sudan.

February 20
      At the concluding ceremonies of the 50th Berlin Film Festival, the American film Magnolia is awarded the Golden Bear, the festival's top prize.

      The 42nd annual Daytona 500 automobile race at Daytona Beach, Fla., is won by Dale Jarrett, the fourth three-time winner of the race, the most important in the NASCAR Winston Cup series.

      The Winter Goodwill Games at Lake Placid, N.Y., which began February 16, wrap up; among the winners are Great Britain's Alexandra Hamilton in women's skeleton, American Jim Shea, Jr., in men's skeleton, and Latvia's Sandis Prusis and Janis Ozols in two-man bobsled.

February 21
      Three days of violent conflicts begin between Muslims and Christians in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna after calls for the introduction of Shariʿah (fundamental Islamic law) in Kaduna state; other states in the predominantly Muslim north of the country are in the process of adopting Shariʿah.

      Some 85,000 people, including the mayor of San Juan, march silently in Puerto Rico's capital to protest the resumption by the U.S. of military bombing exercises on the island of Vieques.

      Veteran consumer rights advocate Ralph Nader announces that he will seek the nomination of the Green Party for the United States presidency; Nader is expected to draw a larger measure of support than previous third-party contenders have done.

      Iranian Pres. Mohammad Khatami opens the first subway in Tehran, the capital city, a metropolis of 11 million people.

February 22
      The Finnish paper manufacturer Stora Enso Oyj announces it will acquire Consolidated Papers, Inc., based in Wisconsin, for $3.9 billion plus assumption of $900 million in debts; this is the fourth large acquisition in the paper industry in two weeks.

      Dileep Nair, a management expert from Singapore, is named to the post of inspector general of the United Nations.

February 23
      The Grammy Awards for excellence in recorded music are presented; the big winner is Carlos Santana, who takes home eight Grammys; Christina Aguilera is named best new artist.

      A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates a sharp rise between 1991 and 1995 in prescriptions for behaviour-altering drugs for children two to four years of age.

February 24
      Pope John Paul II arrives in Cairo for the first-ever visit by a pontiff to Egypt. (See March 20.)

      Some 60,000 people are evacuated as Mt. Mayon, a volcano north of Legaspi on the Philippine island of Luzon, begins to erupt; an eruption in 1993 killed 77 people.

      The Chamber of Mines of South Africa announces that gold production in the country has fallen to its lowest level since 1954; the cause is thought to be weak gold prices resulting from restructuring in the mining sector.

February 25
      Bombs explode on a bus that is being transported on a ferry off Mindanao in the Philippines, killing about 40 people.

      Four New York City police officers are acquitted of all charges in the shooting death in February 1999 of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed immigrant from Guinea; the verdict sets off several days of protest.

February 26
      Fisheries associations in North and South Korea sign an agreement allowing South Korean vessels to fish in North Korean waters. The government of South Korea rejects the agreement on February 28, however. (See February 16.)

      Egypt's People's Assembly votes to extend for an additional three years the state of emergency that has existed in that country since 1981.

      Mt. Hekla, located in an uninhabited region of Iceland some 120 km (75 mi) from Reykjavík, erupts as thousands of tourists observe.

February 27
      The Limpopo River in southern Africa overflows its banks in the culmination of weeks of heavy rains and disastrous flooding primarily in Mozambique but also in Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

February 28
      Prime Minister Pierre-Célestin Rwigema of Rwanda resigns following a series of disagreements with the Transitional National Assembly, the Rwandan legislature.

      Darryl Strawberry of the New York Yankees is suspended for the entire 2000 baseball season as a result of a blood test that was positive for cocaine; he had previously been suspended in 1999 and 1995.

February 29
      A girl in the first grade is shot and killed by a six-year-old boy in her class in an elementary school in Mount Morris township, near Flint, Mich.

      Manager Sparky Anderson is named to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, as are Norman (“Turkey”) Stearnes, a Negro leagues star, and John (“Bid”) McPhee, who played for the Cincinnati Reds in the late 19th century.

"We are deeply saddened by the behaviour of those who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer, and asking your forgiveness we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood with the people of the Covenant. "
Pope John Paul II, in a prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, March 26

March 1
      In ceremonies in Washington, D.C., the U.S. turns over to Turkey 133 artifacts that had been looted from archaeological sites; some of the items are more than 2,500 years old.

      The World Wildlife Fund begins a program in which it will work with businesses to help them find practical ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; the first companies to join the program are IBM and Johnson & Johnson.

      The last workers of 11 foreign aid agencies leave The Sudan rather than accede to an ultimatum issued by the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army, which demanded money and control over the agencies' operations.

March 2
      Great Britain announces that it has decided to drop extradition proceedings against former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte because of his poor health; on his return to Chile the following day, however, Pinochet appears to be robust. (See January 11 and August 8.)

      Team New Zealand, skippered by Russell Coutts, wins the America's Cup yacht race for the second time in a row, defeating the Prada Challenge of Italy in five straight races in the best-five-of-nine regatta. (See May 19.)

March 3
      Kevin Uliassi ends his attempt at the first solo around-the-world balloon flight a little past the halfway mark, in Myanmar (Burma).

      In the face of widespread criticism, Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian institution in Greenville, S.C., abandons its long-standing ban on interracial dating.

March 4
      Hundreds of persons demonstrate in support of a church in Indianapolis, Ind., that refuses to withhold taxes from its employees' paychecks; the church denies the government's authority.

March 5
      To the general acclaim of government and private groups unable to cope with abandoned babies, SterniPark e.V., a German nonprofit organization, opens the first “Babyklappe” (baby depository) in Hamburg; unwanted newborns may be left anonymously in the device, similar to a bank deposit receptacle, which provides a heated crib and signals an attendant within a few minutes of the presence of a baby.

      A Southwest Airlines jet crashes through a fence at the end of the runway in Burbank, Calif.; only minor injuries result.

March 6
      The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are held; among those admitted are Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, and James Taylor and the bands Earth, Wind & Fire, the Lovin' Spoonful, and the Moonglows.

      John Cardinal O'Connor, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, is awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honour awarded by the U.S. Congress; O'Connor dies on May 3, 2000.

      The first African elephant ever to be born after conception through artificial insemination is born at the Indianapolis Zoo; the mother, 24-year-old Kubwa, has carried the female, which is later named Amali (Swahili for “hope”) and which weighs 92 kg (201 lb) at birth, for 22 months.

March 7
      In the series of U.S. primary elections known as “Super Tuesday,” the clear choices to emerge are Vice Pres. Al Gore for the Democrats and Texas Gov. George W. Bush for the Republicans.

      Under the auspices of the Organization of American States, Nicaragua and Honduras agree on a joint border patrol, a first step toward resolving a dispute over the two countries' maritime boundaries. (See February 19.)

March 8
      The Bosnian town of Brcko, which links the two Serb sections of the nation, is officially established as a “self-governing neutral district,” part of neither the Serb Republic nor the Muslim-Croat federation; the event marks the resolution of the last outstanding Bosnian territorial dispute from the Dayton accords.

      Two rush-hour subway trains collide in Tokyo after one derails; 5 deaths result, and at least 33 are injured.

March 9
      In a desperate attempt to save an economy in free fall, a measure is signed into law that changes Ecuador's currency from the sucre to the U.S. dollar; the rate of exchange is 25,000 sucres to the dollar. (See January 21.)

      Two of the largest German banks, Deutsche Bank AG and Dresdner Bank AG, announce plans to merge and form the largest investment bank in Europe; the plans later fall through, however.

March 10
      Jens Stoltenberg becomes Norwegian prime minister and appoints an all-Socialist government following the resignation announcement on March 9 of the centre coalition of Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik.

      The National Climatic Data Center reports that winter temperatures in the United States were the warmest on record for the third year in a row.

      A dam in a Romanian mine breaks, causing spillage of toxic metals into the Vaser River and the rivers fed by it. (See February 11.)

March 11
      In what is called the worst mining disaster in decades in Ukraine, a methane-gas explosion in a coal mine kills some 80 workers.

      Ricardo Lagos Escobar is sworn in as president of Chile, the first Socialist to hold the office since Pres. Salvador Allende Gossens was killed in a coup in 1973. (See January 16.)

March 12
      Spanish legislative elections return an absolute majority for the incumbent, Prime Minister José María Aznar López, and his Popular Party; opposition leader Joaquín Almunia resigns his post as head of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party.

      Speaking at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, Pope John Paul II issues an apology for sins committed by Roman Catholics in the past two millennia against Jews, women, indigenous peoples, immigrants, the poor, and the unborn as well as for sins committed “in the service of the truth.”

      Chinese dissident clergyman Ignatius Kung, the former Roman Catholic bishop of Shanghai who spent 30 years in Chinese jails for his beliefs and who was secretly named cardinal in 1979, dies in exile.

      Hundreds of thousands of Muslims march in Casablanca, Mor., to protest governmental plans to grant increased rights to women, including the right to marry without the consent of a male guardian. (See January 26.)

March 13
      The United Nations publishes a report that is critical of a number of African and European countries for ignoring UN sanctions imposed on the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola rebel movement for the sale of diamonds to finance the purchase of arms for use in the Angolan civil war.

      South African Pres. Thabo Mbeki announces that he has called for the creation of a panel of experts to assess claims by some scientists that AIDS is caused not by the HIV virus but rather by poverty and drug abuse.

March 14
      It is announced in London that Ross Stretton, director of the Australian Ballet, will succeed Sir Anthony Dowell as the director of the Royal Ballet in 2000–01.

      Doug Swingley of Lincoln, Mont., wins the 28th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, finishing in 9 days 58 minutes, which breaks the record he set in 1995.

March 15
      Thailand's new central bankruptcy court declares Thai Petrochemical Industry insolvent; the firm had defaulted on a $3.5 billion loan in 1997.

      Researchers announce that they have found in China the fossils of what may have been the first primate in the world; the creature, which scientists have named Eosimias, lived 45 million years ago and weighed less than 28 g (one ounce).

March 16
      Two of the three people vying for the position of managing director of the International Monetary Fund withdraw, ensuring the election of Horst Köhler, a German; Köhler is unanimously elected to the post on March 23.

      Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, the prime minister of Nepal, agrees to resign; on March 20 King Birendra names Girija Prasad Koirala to the post.

      A judge in Lahore, Pak., sentences Javed Iqbal, who had been found guilty of the murder and mutilation of 100 children, to be executed in the same manner in which he murdered his victims.

March 17
      A fire in the church of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God in Kanungu, Uganda, kills at least 500 cult members; the tragedy is originally thought to be a mass suicide, but later evidence suggests that the victims were kept in the church involuntarily and some tried to escape.

      Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain begins her first state visit to Australia since 1992, four months after a proposal to make Australia a republic was defeated in a referendum.

March 18
      More than half a century of rule by the Kuomintang comes to an end in Taiwan as opposition leader Chen Shui-bian is elected to the presidency; his position favouring Taiwanese independence vexes China, but his pledge to root out corruption in government is popular among the electorate.

March 19
      Abdoulaye Wade wins a second-round election to succeed Abdou Diouf as president of Senegal; he is the third president in the history of independent Senegal, and his victory marks the end of the 40-year rule of the Socialist Party.

      U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton arrives in New Delhi, his first stop on a weeklong visit in South Asia that takes him to India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan; this is the first visit of a U.S. president to India since 1978.

      One of the longest private-sector white-collar strikes in U.S. history comes to an end as management and engineers at the Boeing Co., based in Seattle, Wash., approve a new contract.

March 20
      At least 35 Sikhs are massacred in a village in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir; the attackers wear Indian army uniforms, but the Indian government claims that the raid is the work of militant Muslim organizations based in Pakistan.

      France's ParisBourse SA, Belgium's Brussels Exchange, and The Netherlands' Amsterdam Exchange announce that they will merge to become the second largest stock exchange in Europe, Euronext NV. (See May 3.)

      Pope John Paul II begins the third of his historic visits to the Middle East (see February 24) in Amman, Jordan, spending the rest of his visit, until March 26, in Israel and Palestinian-administered areas.

March 21
      The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Food and Drug Administration does not have the authority to regulate tobacco products.

      More than 150 Kurds are arrested in Turkey for violating the ban on celebrating the Kurdish New Year. (See February 9.)

March 22
      At least 50 people are burned to death when a pipeline delivering oil from the Niger River delta region of Nigeria explodes; the poor people were reportedly trying to siphon off fuel from the pipeline.

      American physicist Freeman Dyson is named winner of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

      Former South African president Nelson Mandela rejects assertions published in a history of the British secret service, MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations by Stephen Dorril, that he at one time was an agent of influence for MI6.

March 23
      Pres. Pasteur Bizimungu of Rwanda resigns for personal reasons, and the Supreme Court appoints Vice Pres. Maj. Gen. Paul Kagame to replace him ad interim; Kagame is the first Tutsi to hold this office since the civil war between the Hutu and Tutsi peoples began in 1994. (See April 1.)

      At the summit meeting of the European Union in Lisbon, Port., a free-trade agreement is signed with Mexico; it is the first such agreement between the EU and a Latin American country.

      The Loloata Understanding, an agreement to establish an autonomous government on the secessionist island of Bougainville, is signed by the president of the Bougainville People's Congress and Papua New Guinea's minister for Bougainville affairs.

March 24
      A judge in São Paulo, Brazil's largest city, orders Celso Pitta, the city's mayor, out of office for alleged corruption; two days later Pitta obtains permission to remain in office pending an appeal of the charges.

      NASA announces that in order to avoid the risk of an uncontrolled crash and possible casualties and property damage, it will intentionally crash the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory into the ocean because the orbiting observatory's navigation system is damaged.

      The World Health Organization says that 11% of tuberculosis cases worldwide involve drug-resistant strains of the disease; areas worst hit by the drug-resistant strain are Estonia, Latvia, and parts of Russia and China.

March 25
      The Audrey Jones Beck Building, an addition to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, opens in the Texas city; the new structure, designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, doubles the exhibition space of the museum.

March 26
      Vladimir Putin is elected president of Russia with about 53% of the vote; he had served as acting president since Boris Yeltsin's resignation in December 1999.

      The Academy Awards are presented, with Billy Crystal as host; big winners are American Beauty, Kevin Spacey, Hilary Swank, Michael Caine, and Angelina Jolie.

March 27
      As part of the settlement of a lawsuit brought by a coalition of environmental groups, the U.S. Department of Energy abandons plans to build the nation's first nuclear-waste incinerator in Idaho.

March 28
      The Japanese Diet (parliament) passes legislation raising the retirement age in Japan from 60 to 65 beginning in 2013.

      Tornadoes touch down in the Texas cities of Fort Worth and Arlington; the twister in Fort Worth rips through downtown, damaging or destroying about 70 commercial buildings and more than 300 homes.

      Police in Israel recommend that former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted for bribery, theft, and obstruction of justice.

March 29
      Astronomers announce that they have detected two planets, about the size of Saturn, orbiting distant stars.

      The Chicago Cubs play the New York Mets in Tokyo as major league baseball opens the season with its first game ever played outside North America.

March 30
      An article in the journal Nature reports the discovery and DNA analysis of clearly dated late Neanderthal remains from a limestone cave in the northern Caucasus Mountains of Russia; the find demonstrates the genetic identity of Neanderthals throughout Europe and supports the theory that the Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, modern humans, did not share a common human ancestor.

      It is reported that Lieut. Gen. Claudia Kennedy, the highest-ranking woman in the U.S. Army, has filed a complaint of sexual harassment against Maj. Gen. Larry G. Smith.

March 31
      Relief agencies of the United Nations report that some 12 million people in Africa, some 8 million of them in Ethiopia, face imminent starvation; they appeal for emergency food aid totaling about $200 million.

      The Xerox Corp. discloses plans to lay off 5,200 workers, about 5% of its workforce.

" The Court concludes that Microsoft maintained its monopoly power by anticompetitive means and attempted to monopolize the Web browser market, both in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act."
Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, in his “conclusions of law” at the end of the second phase of the U.S. government's suit against Microsoft Corp., April 3

April 1
      Maj. Gen. Paul Kagame, a Tutsi, is nominated by the Rwandan Patriotic Front to run for president of Rwanda; he has been acting as interim president since Pasteur Bizimungu resigned the post (see March 23) and is duly elected to office on April 17.

      Nineteen-year-old American Michelle Kwan wins the women's title at the world figure-skating championships in Nice, France, with a program that includes seven triple jumps; Kwan had captured this title in 1996 and 1998 as well.

April 2
      Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi suffers a stroke and is rushed to a Tokyo hospital; he dies on May 14 after having lain in a coma for 43 days. (See April 5.)

      A cyclone, the third in two months to hit Madagascar, destroys the coastal town of Antalaha.

      Zambia's former longtime president, Kenneth Kaunda, officially announces his retirement from politics just a few months before the presidential elections that he was expected to enter.

April 3
      Leaders of the European Union and the Organization of African Unity hold the first African-European summit in Cairo.

      The Michigan State University Spartans win the NCAA men's Division I basketball tournament by defeating the University of Florida Gators 89–76; the previous day the women's tournament had been won by the University of Connecticut Huskies when they beat the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers 71–52.

April 4
      The government of South Korea orders some 85% of the country's livestock markets closed in an attempt to end an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease that had struck livestock in South Korea and Japan in recent days.

      The United Nations Development Programme issues a report saying that bad government is frequently a major cause of poverty.

      Waiting, a novel by Chinese émigré writer Ha Jin, wins the 2000 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction; the book had earlier won the 1999 National Book Award.

April 5
      The Diet (parliament) elects Yoshiro Mori of the Liberal-Democratic Party prime minister of Japan, replacing Keizo Obuchi. (See April 2.)

      A computer glitch closes down the London Stock Exchange for nearly eight hours on the last day of Great Britain's fiscal year.

      The Turkish Grand National Assembly votes down a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed a president a second term in office; the measure had been supported by Pres. Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

April 6
       At the end of a 10-week trial beset with controversy, Nawaz Sharif, who had been deposed as prime minister of Pakistan in October 1999, is found guilty of hijacking and terrorism and is sentenced to life imprisonment.

April 7
      The World Health Organization reports that more than two-thirds of the world's nations do not maintain safe blood supplies.

      Momcilo Krajisnik, a Bosnian Serb leader, appears before an international war crimes tribunal in The Hague to face charges of genocide.

      In a bid to reduce its dependence on diminishing oil reserves, Oman begins exporting gas; the first shipment, bound for South Korea, is carried out of the port of Qalhat.

April 8
      Pres. Hugo Bánzer Suárez declares a state of emergency in Bolivia after five days of protest, which erupted in Cochabamba over a plan to raise water rates 35%, virtually shut down the country; the water plan is dropped on April 11, but antigovernment protests continue.

      A tilt-rotor aircraft being used in a U.S. Marine Corps training exercise in Arizona crashes, killing all 19 marines aboard.

April 9
      Eduard Shevardnadze is reelected president of Georgia with what some observers believe is an improbably large margin of victory.

      The Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok) party of Konstantinos Simitis wins a narrow majority in the Greek parliamentary elections.

      German race-car driver Michael Schumacher wins the San Marino Grand Prix in his Ferrari, making a clean sweep of the first three events of the season; he had previously won the Australian (March 12) and Brazilian (March 26) Grand Prix races.

      Fijian golfer Vijay Singh wins the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga., with a final score of 10 under par.

      In the first single-drama production broadcast live on American television in almost 40 years, a revival of Fail Safe, the 1964 film by Sidney Lumet, is shown on CBS television; reviews are generally favourable.

April 10
      The winners of the Pulitzer Prizes are announced at Columbia University, New York City; recipients of journalistic awards include the Washington Post and the Denver Post, and in arts and letters the winners include Jhumpa Lahiri for fiction and Donald Margulies for drama.

      The British Home Office proposes that pubs be permitted to serve drinks past 11 PM, the cutoff time that has been in effect since World War I.

April 11
      David Irving, a British right-wing historian, loses the lawsuit he brought against Deborah Lipstadt, an American writer; Irving claims that she libeled him by calling him a Holocaust denier in her book Denying the Holocaust, but the judge rules that Lipstadt's description of Irving is accurate.

      The Egyptian government approves the sale of a parcel of land near Cairo for the construction of a private French-language university, which will open in 2001.

April 12
      Prime Minister Andris Skele of Latvia resigns as a result of a disagreement over privatization issues; on April 25 Pres. Vaira Vike-Freiberga names Andris Berzins to replace him.

      The National Office of Electoral Processes announces that Pres. Alberto K. Fujimori of Peru must face Alejandro Toledo in a runoff election; Toledo's supporters had alleged electoral fraud. (See May 28.)

April 13
      Government leaders of the 11-member Council of the Baltic Sea States meet in the Danish town of Kolding; discussions centre on relations with Russia and increasing the prominence of the Baltic region in Europe.

      South Africa announces plans to construct a deepwater port at Coega, Eastern Cape province; the port, to be built in 2000, is visualized as the centre of a new industrial zone.

April 14
      Explosions at Ndjili International Airport in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, triggered by a fire in an ammunition dump, kill more than 100 people.

      The Nasdaq Composite Index, which reflects the performance of a number of mostly high-technology stocks, falls 10% in a single day, the most precipitous drop in three years; the index bounds back by 7% on April 18, however.

      The top prize of the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva is awarded to the Swedish-made Aqua Barrier, a temporary flood barrier that can be erected easily and quickly.

April 15
      A team of scientists in Australia announces the discovery of the fourth largest crater in the world, located in Western Australia near Shark Bay; researchers believe it may be the result of the impact that caused a mass extinction of terrestrial life in the late Triassic or Permian Period.

      U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton proclaims the creation of the Giant Sequoia National Monument, a 133,000-ha (328,000-ac) area in the Sierra Nevada in California.

      A new eight-lane highway bridge connecting the cities of Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mex., across the Rio Grande is formally opened; the route handles about 40% of all merchandise that moves overland across the U.S.-Mexico border.

April 16
      The International Monetary Fund holds its spring meeting in Washington, D.C.; protests, while smaller than those that assembled for the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle, Wash., in December 1999, nonetheless bring the city to a standstill.

      The London Marathon is won by Antônio Pinto of Portugal, with a time of 2 hr 6 min 36 sec, and by Tegla Loroupe of Kenya, with the best women's time of 2 hr 24 min 33 sec.

April 17
      Israel informs the United Nations that it will withdraw all its forces from Lebanon by July 7; the action will end its 18-year occupation of an area in southern Lebanon that Israel called a security zone.

      Dutch architect and author Rem Koolhaas is named the winner of the 2000 Pritzker Architecture Prize; the award is presented in ceremonies in Jerusalem on May 29.

      Business Week magazine reports that in 1999 the average pay of a corporate chief executive officer rose 17% over 1998 levels and that the average CEO in 1999 received 475 times what the average blue-collar worker was paid.

      The Boston Marathon is won by Kenyan Elijah Lagat, who just barely beats out Gezahenge Abera of Ethiopia with a time of 2 hr 9 min 47 sec; in the women's race Catherine Ndereba of Ethiopia triumphs with a time of 2 hr 26 min 11 sec.

April 18
      The European Roma Rights Centre files a suit in the European Court of Human Rights in which the government of the Czech Republic is accused of racial discrimination in education; the suit is brought on behalf of 18 Roma (Gypsy) families who say that their children were placed in schools for the mentally deficient because of their race.

      “Ant Noises,” an outrageous new art exhibit that follows up on the 1997 “Sensation” show and features works by Damien Hirst, Ron Mueck, and Jenny Saville among others, opens for a private showing at London's Saatchi Gallery; it opens to the public on April 20.

April 19
      The Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, votes to ratify the START-II treaty; the Duma (lower house) had approved the treaty, which called on Russia to halve its strategic arsenal, on April 14.

      A Philippine Airlines Boeing 737 airliner crashes in the Philippines upon its landing approach, killing all 131 people aboard.

      The Oklahoma City National Memorial, built to commemorate the 168 victims of the 1995 terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, is officially dedicated.

April 20
      According to a report circulated by the Associated Press, South Korean military and police forces executed at least 2,000 political prisoners early in the Korean War (1950–53).

      Paleontologists announce that they have discovered the fossilized heart of a dinosaur in a skeleton found in South Dakota; it appears to have four chambers and one aorta, which suggests that dinosaurs may have been warm-blooded.

April 21
      Pakistani leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf announces that henceforth “honour killings” of women who are felt to have shamed their families will be legally treated as murders.

      French automobile manufacturer Renault agrees to purchase Samsung Motors of South Korea for an estimated $340 million–$350 million plus $200 million in debts; Renault acquired a 37% stake in the Japanese carmaker Nissan in 1999.

      UNICEF reports that the warring sides in Afghanistan have agreed to a three-day truce to permit a polio-immunization drive to take place.

April 22
      On the first day of official celebrations commemorating the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Portuguese in Brazil, a “march of the excluded” led by Brazilian Indians is broken up by military police in the town of Pôrto Seguro, Bahia state.

      Months after the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service had ordered the Miami, Fla., relatives of Elián González to return the boy to his Cuban father's custody, agents stage a predawn raid and forcibly return Elián to his father. (See January 10 and June 28.)

April 23
      Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim rebel group from the Philippines, takes 21 European and African tourists and Malaysian and Filipino workers hostage on the Malaysian island of Sipitang; Philippine Pres. Joseph Estrada rejects their ransom demands. (See August 27.)

      The archbishop of San Salvador, Fernando Sáenz, asks the El Salvador government to pardon two soldiers who have served 19 years for the rape and murder of three American nuns and a social worker in 1980.

      In Las Vegas, Nev., Brazilian rider Rodrigo Pessoa wins the World Cup 2000 competition in horse show jumping for a record third year in a row; his mount is the French-bred stallion Baloubet.

April 24
      Seven children are wounded when a gunman fires into a crowd at the main entrance to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

April 25
      In the world weight lifting championships, held in Sofia, Bulg., Donka Mincheva of Bulgaria breaks her own world record set in 1999 for the snatch in the women's 48-kg (105.5-lb) division, and Halil Mutlu of Turkey breaks a world record in the clean and jerk in the men's 56-kg (123-lb) class.

      Small Square in the historic centre of Prague is renamed to honour Franz Kafka; a house in which the author lived was situated on the square.

April 26
      A major exhibit of African art, “Art and Oracle: Spirit Voices of Africa,” opens to the public at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art; two days earlier the collection had been blessed by a Yoruba priest.

      Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont signs into law a measure allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions that confer the same legal rights as those pertaining to marriage.

April 27
      AT&T sells 360 million shares of tracking stock in a subsidiary, AT&T Wireless Group, in the largest initial public offering of stock in U.S. history.

      Scientists in France announce that they have successfully used gene therapy to cure three babies born with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), which otherwise would have doomed them to live in a sterile, controlled-atmosphere bubble.

April 28
      After the resignation of Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema on April 19, Giuliano Amato is approved for the post by a narrow margin of votes in Parliament, and he sets about forming Italy's 58th government since World War II.

      The U.S. Department of Justice and 17 states ask Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson to break Microsoft Corp. into two competing companies. (See June 7.)

      A U.S. federal judge agrees with five major music publishers that, a company that distributes recorded music free over the Internet, is acting in violation of copyright laws. (See July 26.)

April 29
      A Japanese tourist and a tour group bus driver are beaten to death in Todos Santos Cuchumatán, Guat., by a mob of some 500 people who reportedly believe that the tourists planned to steal the villagers' children.

      A major exhibit titled “Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga” opens at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.; the show features 300 items from 29 lenders and will travel to several other cities in the U.S. and Canada.

      Lennox Lewis of Great Britain knocks out American Michael Grant in the second round of a title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City and retains the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation heavyweight titles.

April 30
      Ceremonies to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War are held at the Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; in a gesture of goodwill by the government, some 12,000 prisoners are released.

      Emirates, the airline of the United Arab Emirates, is the first company to buy the Airbus A3XX, the new generation of jumbo jet airliner; an order is placed for 10 of the huge craft. (See September 29.)

"Regardless of whether we grant normal trade status to China, the Chinese market is opening. Someone is going to have the opportunity to sell to this vast new market. The question is who will be there when the door opens?"
Dennis Hastert, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, in floor debate, May 24

May 1
      Union actors in the United States go on strike against the advertising industry to protest proposed changes in the way they are paid for making television commercials.

      The National Archaeological Museum of Naples sets a museum record for attendance; the draw is an exhibit of erotic art, most of it from Pompeii, Italy, that is being exhibited to the public essentially for the first time since Pompeii was excavated in the 18th century.

May 2
      U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark steps down as commander of NATO forces and is replaced by U.S. Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston.

      Archaeologists excavating the ruins of León Viejo, a well-preserved Spanish colonial lowland city in Nicaragua, find the skeleton of Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, the conquistador who established the first two settlements in Nicaragua.

      Julie Krone becomes the first woman jockey elected to the thoroughbred racing's national Hall of Fame; in 1993 she became the first woman to win a Triple Crown race (the Belmont Stakes).

May 3
      The London Stock Exchange announces plans to merge with the Frankfurt, Ger.-based Deutsche Börse AG to form iX, the fourth largest stock exchange in the world and the largest in Europe; the LSE scotches the agreement on September 12, however. (See March 20.)

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announces plans to require that companies notify and receive permission from the FDA before putting genetically altered foods onto the market.

May 4
      London holds its first direct elections for the post of mayor; the winner is Ken Livingstone, an independent left-wing politician.

      An e-mail virus that started the previous day in Asia sweeps through Europe and North America, forcing major companies and government institutions, including the British Parliament and the U.S. House of Representatives, to shut down their e-mail systems; dubbed the Love Bug, the computer “worm” comes disguised as a love letter. (See August 21.)

      The Nature Conservancy agrees to buy Palmyra, a 275-ha (680-ac) atoll lying 1,693 km (1,052 mi) south of Hawaii, from the family that has owned it since 1922; the group's plans involve ecotourism and protection of the fragile atoll environment.

      The government of the Australian state of Victoria confirms that the air-conditioning cooling towers of the aquarium in Melbourne are the source of the outbreak of Legionnaire disease that has sickened 81 people since April 27.

May 5
      Ahmet Necdet Sezer, chief justice of the Constitutional Court, is elected president of Turkey by the Turkish Grand National Assembly; he indicates that he supports the separation of religion and politics.

      The French Canadian performance troupe Cirque du Soleil releases the IMAX movie Journey of Man, made up of acts drawn from the shows Mystère and O.

May 6
      The 126th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., is won by Fusaichi Pegasus—owned by Fusao Sekiguchi, trained by Neil Drysdale, and ridden by Kent Desormeaux.

      A new award show, the Classical BRIT Awards for accomplishment in classical music (and marketing) in Great Britain, is broadcast from the Royal Albert Hall in London; pianist Martha Argerich and bass-baritone Bryn Terfel are named female and male Artists of the Year, respectively; Sacred Arias by tenor Andrea Bocelli takes Album of the Year honours.

May 7
      Vladimir Putin is sworn in as president of Russia; he promptly appoints Mikhail Kasyanov prime minister. (See March 26.)

      Rwanda says that it will withdraw its troops from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which raises hopes for an end to the six-nation war.

      Three members of Emgann, a Breton separatist group, are put under investigation for the bombing on April 19 of a McDonald's restaurant in Quévart, France.

May 8
      It is announced that German and Japanese scientists have decoded the human chromosome 21, which is responsible for the condition known as Down syndrome. (See June 26.)

      The Philadelphia school board adopts a policy requiring all public-school students to wear uniforms to class; it is the first major American city to take this step.

May 9
      Former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards, together with his son and three associates, is found guilty of conspiracy and racketeering; he had served four terms as governor and had survived more than two dozen criminal investigations before this trial, which began January 10.

      The biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, $366 million, is won by two people, one in Utica, Mich., and one in Lake Zurich, Ill., in the seven-state Big Game.

May 10
      In an important setback for those who seek to patent biological substances and processes, the European Patent Office revokes a U.S. patent granted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and W.R. Grace & Co. for a preparation derived from the neem tree, native to India and used as a fungicide there for centuries.

      The United States makes its first report on its compliance with the UN Convention Against Torture, maintaining that, though there are areas of concern, the nation is committed to the elimination of abuse by police officers and other government agents; Amnesty International, however, paints a darker picture of the U.S. record.

May 11
      A baby girl born in New Delhi is officially declared to be the billionth Indian citizen, although the UN says that India already reached this milestone in August 1999.

      A forest fire in New Mexico roars into the towns of Los Alamos and White Rock, threatening the highly sensitive Los Alamos National Laboratory; the fire was set on May 4 by the National Park Service as a controlled burn to prevent wildfires, but it had blazed out of control by May 5.

      A new art museum, Tate Modern, is opened in London in the restored Bankside Power Station; it houses some 600 modern paintings and sculptures.

May 12
      The Supreme Court of Pakistan rules that the coup by which Gen. Pervez Musharraf seized power in October 1999 was legal and gives Musharraf three years in which to restore democracy.

      In an interview at the United Nations in New York City, Secretary-General Kofi Annan criticizes the U.S. for its reluctance to participate fully in peacekeeping operations in Africa; he especially regrets Pres. Bill Clinton's reluctance to commit ground troops in areas of distress.

      Science magazine reports that two skulls found in the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia are 1.7 million years old and may have belonged to members of the human species that first migrated out of Africa.

May 13
      The Vatican reveals the Third Secret of Fátima, ending decades of sometimes fevered speculation; the pope believes the vision, which was revealed to a group of children at Fátima, Port., in 1917 by an apparition of the Virgin Mary, prophesied his attempted assassination in 1981.

      India's cabinet approves plans to create three new states to be carved from existing states: Uttaranchal, from Uttar Pradesh; Jharkhand, from Bihar; and Chhattisgarh, from Madhya Pradesh; the three states come into being in November.

      Lara Dutta of India is named Miss Universe 2000 in ceremonies in Nicosia, Cyprus; another Indian, Priyanka Chopra, wins the Miss World title in November.

May 14
      On Mother's Day hundreds of thousands of gun-control advocates rally in Washington, D.C., and several other U.S. cities in the Million Mom March.

      The 45th Drama Desk Awards are held in New York City; winning shows include Copenhagen, Contact, The Real Thing, and Kiss Me, Kate.

May 15
      Street battles between Palestinians and Israeli troops in the West Bank towns of Janin and Ram Allah erupt in gunfire; it is the worst gunfire exchange since 1996.

      The U.S. Supreme Court invalidates a law that had permitted victims of rape and domestic violence to sue their attackers in federal court.

May 16
      The Internet portal Lycos announces that it will be bought by Terra Networks, the Spanish telephone company Telefónica's Internet branch, in a deal that includes a partnership with the German company Bertelsmann AG to create an Internet company with operations in 37 countries.

      Thomas E. Blanton, Jr., and Bobby Frank Cherry are charged with murder in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.

      The pop musician who had changed his name to an unpronounceable glyph in 1993 announces that he is henceforth to be known by his previous name, Prince.

May 17
      Two weeks after his forces took 500 UN peacekeepers hostage, rebel leader Foday Sankoh is arrested outside his home in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and turned over to the government.

      The Turkish soccer team Galatasaray (Istanbul) beats Arsenal of London 4–1 in a penalty shootout to win the Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) Cup in Copenhagen after a day of violent clashes between supporters of the teams; it is the first time a Turkish team has won a major European trophy.

      Sue, the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex fossil ever found, is unveiled at The Field Museum in Chicago; the museum acquired the skeleton, found in 1990 in South Dakota, for $8.4 million at auction.

May 18
      Thousands of protesters clash violently with police in Belgrade, Yugos., responding to the government's shutdown of opposition-controlled media outlets.

      Chris Ferguson, nicknamed “Jesus” because of his beard and shoulder-length hair, wins the 31st annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Nev., and takes away $1.5 million.

May 19
      A group of gunmen led by businessman George Speight storm Fiji's Parliament and take Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry and other officials hostage, declaring that they are staging a coup. (See May 29.)

      New Zealand is shocked to learn that five members of the victorious Team New Zealand, including skipper Russell Coutts, have resigned in order to compete for the next America's Cup with Swiss pharmaceutical heir Ernesto Bertarelli.

      Egypt holds its first-ever horse endurance race on a nearly 100-km (62-mi) course in the desert; the winner is Falah—ridden by Sheikh Muhammad ibn Rashid al-Maktum, the crown prince of Dubayy—which finishes with a time of 5 hr 34 min.

May 20
      Cherie Booth, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, gives birth to a 3.1-kg (6-lb 12-oz) baby boy, Leo, the first child to be born to a prime minister in office in more than 150 years.

      The largest diamond mine in the world is officially opened in northern Botswana; it is expected to increase Botswana's diamond production by 30%.

      Mt. Cameroon, a volcano located southwest of the Cameroonian capital, Yaoundé, erupts; no casualties are reported, however.

May 21
      Long-delayed local and legislative elections are held in Haiti, where the turnout is estimated at over 50% (compared with 5% in the last legislative election, in 1997); the nation has had no legislature since January 1999.

      In the Bavarian Alpine village of Oberammergau the 40th showing (since 1634) of the world-famous Passion Play—about the last five days in the life of Jesus Christ—opens; in response to criticism, some of the play's passages that had been considered anti-Semitic have been removed or changed.

      The Cannes International Film Festival awards ceremony is held; the winner of the Palme d'Or is Dancer in the Dark, by Danish director Lars von Trier; its star, the Icelandic singer Björk, wins the best actress award.

May 22
      The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the 1996 Communications Decency Act, requiring that sexually oriented cable programming be completely blocked from nonsubscribers or restricted to the hours between 10 PM and 6 AM, is overly restrictive and in violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

      Celebrations are held in Yemen to mark the 10th anniversary of that country's unification.

May 23
      United Airlines reveals plans to buy US Airways, formerly known as USAir and earlier as Allegheny Airlines, for $11.6 billion; the purchase would make it a dominant carrier in the northeastern United States.

May 24
      In the wake of the collapse of Israel's proxy militia, the South Lebanon Army, Israel withdraws the last of its forces from southern Lebanon six weeks earlier than originally planned. (See August 5.)

      The U.S. House of Representatives approves permanent normal trading status for China, a status Congress had denied China for 20 years.

      Pres. Rexhep Meidani of Albania visits Kosovo, the first visit ever by an Albanian head of state to the neighbouring Yugoslav province; Kosovo is heavily populated by ethnic Albanians.

May 25
      Croatia becomes the 26th member of the NATO Partnership for Peace program.

      The Martha Graham Dance Company announces that financial problems have forced it to suspend operations for the foreseeable future.

      The Israel Festival, featuring art, music, theatre, opera, and dance, opens in Jerusalem.

May 26
      The Biennale of Sydney begins an exhibition of works by 50 influential artists and thinkers, including Gerhard Richter and Yayoi Kusama.

May 27
      Pakistan launches a program to collect income taxes from the 99% of the people who do not pay; it has been estimated that 70% of the Pakistani economy is off the books.

      A recently rediscovered opera with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is performed for the first time since 1814; the work, The Philosopher's Stone, debuts at the Hampstead and Highgate Festival in London.

      The U.S. government releases new dietary guidelines, indicating that 9 out of 10 Americans need to improve their eating habits.

May 28
      Under public pressure following exposure of financial misdealings 10 years ago, Israeli Pres. Ezer Weizman announces that he will resign effective July 10.

      Pres. Alberto K. Fujimori of Peru wins a third term in a runoff election that is widely viewed as fraudulent. (See April 12 and September 16.)

      More than 200,000 people march through downtown Sydney in the biggest civil rights march in Australia's history.

      Colombian Juan Montoya wins the 84th Indianapolis 500, the first rookie to win the auto race since 1966.

May 29
      Suharto, the former president of Indonesia, is put under house arrest as the government prepares to bring charges of corruption and abuse of power against him. (See August 3.)

      Fiji's military takes over the government and imposes martial law; the deposed president had recently fired Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry, who is being held hostage by forces led by George Speight. (See May 19.)

May 30
      The local government for Northern Ireland, suspended in February, begins operating again after the Irish Republican Army agrees to put down its weapons and allow inspections.

      Mou Qizhong, once touted as a model entrepreneur in the Chinese socialist-market economy, is sentenced to life in prison for fraud.

      Russia's Bolshoi Ballet begins its first American tour in 10 years with a performance of Romeo and Juliet at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

May 31
      UNICEF releases a report indicating that up to half of the females worldwide are at one time or another subject to domestic abuse; the report was commissioned as a follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.

      Hong Kong closes the last of the refugee camps that it had maintained for Vietnamese refugees since 1975, offering the 1,400 people who still reside in the camp Hong Kong residency.

" When life is reduced to its very essence, we find that we have many genes in common with every species on Earth, and that we're not so different from one another."
J. Craig Venter, at the White House news conference announcing the sequencing of the human genome, June 26

June 1
      After European regulators torpedoed a three-way deal that would have included French aluminum producer Pechiney, Alcan Aluminum Ltd. of Canada announces its impending purchase of Algroup of Switzerland for $4.7 billion; the resulting company would be the world's second largest aluminum company, after Alcoa.

      Expo 2000, a universal world exposition, opens in Hannover, Ger., to run until October 31; exhibits include a half-underground Ferris wheel and a giant eyeball in which visitors may interact with mechanical rats and pigeons. (See July 22.)

June 2
      A group supporting independence for the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya releases a document amounting to a draft constitution for an independent “State of Papua.”

      About 60 small ships, some of which had been used to assist in rescuing British troops from the beaches of Dunkirk, France, during World War II, set sail from Dover, Eng., in a special 60th-anniversary voyage to Dunkirk; the Dunkirk Veterans Association plans to disband on June 30.

      U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton is awarded the International Charlemagne Prize for his contributions to European unity; the award is conferred by the German city of Aachen, which was the favourite residence of the emperor Charlemagne.

June 3
      Archaeologists announce that they have discovered the remains of the ancient Egyptian cities of Herakleion, Canopus, and Menouthis submerged in the Mediterranean Sea.

      The Symphony of the Millennium, composed by 19 people and played by 333 musicians, church bells in 15 area churches, and 2,000 bell ringers in the audience, takes place at St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, Que.

June 4
      A magnitude-7.9 earthquake shakes the southeastern part of Sumatra, the second largest Indonesian island; at least 120 people are known to be dead.

      The Tony Awards are presented in Radio City Music Hall in New York City; recipients include the plays Copenhagen, Contact, The Real Thing, and Kiss Me, Kate and the actors Jennifer Ehle, Stephen Dillane, Heather Headley, and Brian Stokes Mitchell.

June 5
      Bill Clinton becomes the first U.S. president to address the Russian parliament; before a joint session of the State Duma and the Federation Council in Moscow, he calls for an end to divisiveness between the two countries.

      Ukraine's Pres. Leonid Kuchma announces that the Chernobyl nuclear power station, site of a catastrophic accident in 1986, will be closed down completely. (See December 15.)

June 6
      The British-Dutch corporation Unilever announces that it plans to buy Bestfoods of the United States for $24.3 billion; the union would create the world's second largest food business. (See June 25.)

      Poland's centre-right “Solidarity coalition” government falls after nearly three years in power; a new minority government under Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek is named the following day.

      The World Bank approves a plan for an oil pipeline to carry oil from the Doba Basin, an oil field under development in southern Chad, through Cameroon to the Atlantic Ocean; environmentalists consider this a dubious decision.

June 7
      In the final decision of the widely watched and publicized case, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson orders the Microsoft Corp. to split into two competing entities. (See April 28.)

      As Sri Lanka celebrates its first War Heroes Day, a suicide bomber kills a cabinet minister and 20 other people; it is assumed that the secessionist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam group is behind the attack. (See August 3.)

      A new map of the region of the universe that includes the Milky Way Galaxy is announced; it encompasses a much larger area than have previous maps and appears to confirm the theory of the end of greatness—that is, that there is a limit to how large a cosmic structure can be—as well as other theories of the origin of the universe.

June 8
      Stephen Saunders, the military attaché at the British embassy in Athens, is shot and killed; the attack is blamed on the left-wing terrorist group November 17, which has been blamed for 23 killings since 1975, although no member of the group has ever been arrested.

      The government of Brazil decrees that same-sex couples who can prove that their relationship is stable may inherit pension and social security benefits from one another; this is the first legal recognition of same-sex relationships in Latin America. (See September 12.)

June 9
      Buenos Aires is brought to a virtual standstill as workers stage a nationwide one-day strike to protest the Argentine government's austerity plan.

      “Food for the Mind,” an exhibit of 150 modern paintings and sculptures, opens at the State Gallery of Modern Art in Munich, Ger.; it is part of a collection of 550 pieces recently donated by the Anette and Udo Brandhorst Foundation.

June 10
      Pres. Hafez al-Assad, ruler of Syria since 1971, dies in Damascus, Syria; his son, Bashar al-Assad, succeeds him and is inaugurated on July 17.

      The New Jersey Devils defeat the defending champions, the Dallas Stars, to win the Stanley Cup, the National Hockey League championship; the score of the final game is 2–1.

      The 132nd running of the Belmont Stakes is won by Commendable; neither the winner of the Kentucky Derby, Fusaichi Pegasus, nor the winner of the Preakness, Red Bullet, participates in the race.

      The Millennium Bridge, a footbridge over the River Thames and the first new span across the river in London in more than a century, formally opens; the weight of the thousands of first-day visitors induces the structure to sway noticeably, which causes some concern among the design engineers, and they close the bridge for repairs on June 12. (See June 30.)

June 11
      An earthquake of magnitude 6.7 strikes Taiwan; it is considered an aftershock of the quake that killed approximately 2,400 people in September 1999.

      Brazilian tennis player Gustavo Kuerten wins the French Open, defeating Sweden's Magnus Norman one day after Mary Pierce of France was victorious over Conchita Martínez of Spain in the women's tournament.

June 12
      Officials reveal that while checking the Los Alamos National Laboratory after forest fires burned near the sensitive facility in May, they discovered that computer hard drives containing weapons data were missing; the drives are mysteriously discovered behind a photocopy machine on June 16.

      The U.S. Department of Justice agrees to pay $18 million to the estate of Richard Nixon in compensation for the papers and tapes that it seized in 1974 after Nixon resigned the presidency.

      The Jubilee Line, the newest extension of the London Underground mass transit system, is named the Millennium Building of the Year by the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust; it was designed by architect Roland Paoletti.

June 13
      Pres. Kim Dae Jung of South Korea meets with Kim Jong Il, leader of North Korea, in Pyongyang, North Korea, to begin talks on reunification; it is the first-ever visit of a South Korean leader to North Korea. (See June 25.)

      Pres. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi of Italy pardons Mehmet Ali Agca for his attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1981; Agca is freed from prison in Italy and sent to Turkey to serve time in prison for the murder of a newspaper editor. (See May 13.)

June 14
      Bartholomew Ulufa'alu, prime minister of the Solomon Islands, resigns under duress nine days after being kidnapped by the Malaita Eagle Force; the nation has been undergoing ethnic unrest and fighting between natives of Guadalcanal and those of Malaita; on June 30 Parliament elects Manasseh Sogavare to replace Ulufa'alu.

      Bass PLC, a British brewing and retail corporation, agrees to sell Bass Brewers, together with the trade name Bass, to a Belgian company, Interbrew SA; the sale will make Interbrew the second largest brewer in the world.

June 15
      The government of Germany promises to shut down 19 nuclear power plants over the next 20 years in an agreement supported by the Greens but denounced by the Christian Democrats.

      An economic survey shows that the number of people living below the poverty level in Pakistan has nearly tripled over the past 10 years.

June 16
      MirCorp, a company that is owned by a Russian space-launch company and a group of foreign investors and that seeks to develop commercial uses for the abandoned space station Mir, announces that it plans to send paying customers as tourists to Mir beginning in 2001; on November 16, however, Russia annouces that it will crash the stattion in to the Pacific Ocean in February 2001.

June 17
      An upper-caste militia slaughters 34 lower-caste people in a village in Bihar state, India, where intercaste violence kills scores of people every year.

      The undefeated Shane Mosley wins the World Boxing Council welterweight boxing title, defeating Oscar de la Hoya in a split decision in Los Angeles.

June 18
      Tiger Woods wins the 100th U.S. Open with a score of 272, 12 under par and 15 strokes ahead of his nearest competitor; this is the largest margin of victory ever in a major golf tournament. (See July 23.)

      The 7th International Exhibition of Architecture, part of the Venice Biennale, opens in that Italian city; with Massimiliano Fuksas as curator, it is the largest and most expensive architecture exhibit ever mounted.

June 19
      British customs officials discover the bodies of 58 Chinese people hidden behind crates of tomatoes in the cargo area of a Dutch truck arriving on a ferry from Belgium; the victims, believed to be illegal immigrants, perished from respiratory failure.

      The Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Indiana Pacers 116–111, winning the National Basketball Association championship; Shaquille O'Neal is named Most Valuable Player of the series.

June 20
      The facade of the Palais Garnier, the Paris opera house first opened in 1875, is officially unveiled; it is part of a restoration project scheduled to be completed in 2007.

June 21
      The World Health Organization releases a report ranking the health care systems of its member countries; the top five are France, Italy, San Marino, Andorra, and Malta, and the lowest rank is given to Sierra Leone.

      Thousands rally in Athens to protest a government decision to bar disclosure of religious affiliation on Greek national identification cards.

June 22
      NASA announces that images from the Mars Global Surveyor suggest that there may be sources of liquid water at or near the surface of Mars.

      For the first time in 15 years, the general public is permitted to observe sunrise at the summer solstice at Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in England; some 6,000 assorted druids, New Age religionists, and others peacefully celebrate the solstice, although rain obscures view of the sunrise.

June 23
      The Cotonou Agreement, a trade and aid agreement between the European Union and close to 80 less-developed countries, is signed in Cotonou, Benin; the document replaces the 25-year-old Lomé Convention.

      An oil tanker sinks off the South African coast near Cape Town, spilling hundreds of tons of oil and causing severe damage to the Robben Island nature reserve, home to one of the world's biggest African penguin colonies.

      In a referendum held in the Dutch part of the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, the people vote in favour of withdrawing from the Netherlands Antilles but remaining within The Netherlands.

      A rock and roll museum, the Experience Music Project, designed by Frank O. Gehry, opens in Seattle, Wash., with three days of concerts in six venues.

June 24
      The first International India Film Awards ceremony takes place in the Millennium Dome in London; awards go to the movie Hum dil de chuke sanam and to the actors Aishwarya Rai and Sanjay Dutt.

      The two largest white-led political parties in South Africa, the New National Party and the Democratic Party, merge to form the Democratic Alliance; its membership is primarily white, Coloured (mixed-race), and Indian, but it hopes to attract more black members.

June 25
      Parliamentary elections in Japan result in large gains for the opposition Democratic Party of Japan; the ruling coalition led by the Liberal-Democratic Party barely holds on to its majority. (See April 5.)

       South Korea observes the 50th anniversary of the start of the Korean War with low-key speeches, eschewing the usual military parade and canceling battle reenactments. (See June 13 and August 3.)

      Philip Morris announces plans to buy Nabisco Holdings, which will make it the world's second largest food company, overtaking the planned Unilever-Bestfoods merger. (See June 6.)

June 26
      Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health's Human Genome Project, and J. Craig Venter, of Celera Genomics, announce that they have essentially completed the sequencing of the human genome.

      Adrian Nicholas of Great Britain leaps from a height of 3,000 m (10,000 ft) over Mpumalanga, S.Af., using a parachute made according to a design by Leonardo da Vinci some 500 years ago; the device works, which confounds the expectations of most experts.

June 27
      The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS issues a report indicating that, at present infection rates, at least two-thirds of 15-year-old boys in the hardest-hit African countries (among them Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa) will eventually die of AIDS.

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases 10 captive-bred Puerto Rican parrots (Amazona vittata) into a rain forest in Puerto Rico as part of a program to replenish the population of wild parrots, which number fewer than 50.

June 28
      Elián González arrives back in Cuba, seven months after he was rescued at sea and became the centre of an international drama. (See April 22.)

      The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Boy Scouts are legally entitled to exclude gay troop leaders from membership in the organization.

      Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee meets with Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres, who is president of the European Council, and the president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, for the first-ever summit-level talks India has had with the EU.

      The Western premiere of Semyon Kotko, an opera by Sergey Prokofiev (who died in 1953) that had been banned in the U.S.S.R. since it was composed in 1948, takes place in London with the Mariinsky (Kirov) Company under the direction of Valery Gergiev, who has been specializing in the often-neglected works of Soviet-era composers.

June 29
      On the Indonesian island of Halmahera, about 500 people crowd onto a ferry designed to hold only 250 in an attempt to escape Christian-Muslim violence; the ferry sinks in a storm off Sulawesi, drowning all but 10 passengers.

      In a referendum in Uganda, voters choose to retain the nonparty system that has been in place there since 1986.

      American artist Robert Rauschenberg's latest work, Synapsis Shuffle, a series of 52 panels that are meant to be reassembled by different people each time the work is exhibited, goes on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

      IBM Corp. announces a new computer, ASCI White, which it created for the U.S. Department of Energy to simulate nuclear weapons tests; it is the fastest computer in the world.

      A copy of the Declaration of Independence is auctioned over the Internet by Sotheby's for $8,140,000, the highest price ever in an Internet auction.

June 30
      Sirius Satellite Radio successfully launches its first satellite; the company plans to use it to beam 50 channels of digital radio to paid subscribers throughout the U.S.

      It is reported that a wooden bridge built in 1207 in Zhejiang province in China has been destroyed in flooding resulting from torrential rains. (See June 10.)

"Today we have shown those at home and abroad that our nation is one of free men and women who believe in the means of democracy and law to achieve progress and solutions to our problems."
Mexican Pres. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Léon in his message to the people after his party's loss in the election, July 2

July 1
      The 16.4-km (10.2-mi) series of bridges and tunnels spanning The Sound (Øresund in Danish, Öresund in Swedish), which lies between Copenhagen and Malmö, Swed., is formally opened by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

      A military ceremony marks the closing of France's nuclear testing facility in French Polynesia.

      Under growing pressure, notably from African American groups, South Carolina removes the Civil War Confederate battle flag from the statehouse; instead, the flag is flown at an adjacent memorial for Confederate soldiers.

July 2
      Vicente Fox Quesada, of the centre-right National Action Party, wins the election for president of Mexico, ending the 71-year domination of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

      The former communist rulers in Mongolia are returned to power in a landslide election, winning 72 of the 76 contested legislative seats. (See July 26.)

      France, the 1998 world champion, defeats Italy 2–1 in the association football (soccer) Euro 2000 final in Rotterdam, Neth.

July 3
      The Gettysburg National Tower, a privately owned observation tower overlooking Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, opened in 1974 and acquired in a lawsuit by the U.S. National Park Service, is demolished as the first step of a plan to restore the site to its Civil War-era appearance.

July 4
      Pattimura University in the city of Ambon in the Moluccas is extensively burned in the continuing civil violence between Muslims and Christians in Indonesia.

      The “tall ships” sail into New York Harbor; the colourful flotilla of sailing ships includes a full-size replica of the 39-m (129-ft) slave ship Amistad, which eventually will be docked at New Haven, Conn., and serve as a museum.

July 5
      The UN Security Council imposes an 18-month worldwide ban on purchases of diamonds from Sierra Leone, profits from which have been supporting weapons purchases and armed conflict in that West African nation and elsewhere in Africa. (See March 13 and July 12.)

      U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton signs two international agreements, one to prevent children under the age of 18 from being sent to war and the other to prevent children from being sold or traded for purposes such as sexual exploitation or organ harvesting.

July 6
      Twyla Tharp's new troupe, Twyla Tharp Dance, debuts at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C., with two premieres, Surfer at the River Styx and Mozart Clarinet Quintet K. 581.

July 7
      A panel convened by the Organization of African Unity issues a report criticizing France, the United States, the UN Security Council, the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, and Belgium for having failed to prevent genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

July 8
      The Episcopal Church approves an alliance with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (which had approved the agreement in 1999) that involves each church's recognizing the members and sacraments of the other and sharing clergy and resources.

      The third official test of the proposed U.S. missile defense system fails when a decoy does not deploy and a dummy warhead fails to separate from its booster rocket.

      The latest novel by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, is released in the United States; many bookstores open at midnight and host theme parties for the event, and lines of eager fans of the youthful sorcerer stretch for blocks.

July 9
      American Pete Sampras wins a record-breaking 13th Grand Slam tennis title when he defeats Australian Patrick Rafter at Wimbledon to win the men's All England final for the seventh time; on July 8 Venus Williams defeats fellow American Lindsay Davenport to become the first African American to win a women's Wimbledon championship since Althea Gibson did so in 1958.

      Police fire tear gas into the crowd after some fans begin throwing debris on the field at a World Cup qualifying soccer game in Harare, Zimb.; 13 people are trampled to death.

July 10
      Belfast, N.Ire., comes to a standstill as a result of a protest called by the Protestant loyalists in response to new rules that do not permit the traditional Orange parade to pass through Roman Catholic areas.

      Pres. Ezer Weizman of Israel resigns three years before the end of his term after reports of financial misdealings were made public. (See May 28.)

July 11
      A cattle raid in northern Uganda leaves 63 herders dead; the cattle rustling that is traditional among nomadic herders in the region has become especially deadly in recent years because of the growing number of firearms being brought into the area.

      The African Methodist Episcopal Church names a female bishop, Vashti Murphy McKenzie, for the first time in its 213-year history.

      An Israeli expert says that several years of drought have caused a dangerous shortage of water in Israel; a further threat is that the water sources may become contaminated by salt deposits and thereby be rendered useless.

July 12
      In Afghanistan the ruling Taliban agrees to rescind an order forbidding women to hold jobs; the ban had greatly increased the number of women and children begging. (See July 28.)

      Matthew Coon Come, the former grand chief of the Cree Indians of Quebec, is elected head of Canada's Assembly of First Nations.

      De Beers Consolidated Mines, which controls more than half the world's raw diamonds, announces that henceforth, rather than hoarding diamonds to manipulate prices, it will rely on an advertising-led marketing strategy; in addition, it announces new rules intended to decrease trafficking of diamonds from conflict areas in Africa. (See July 5.)

July 13
      In Fiji 18 political hostages, including the former prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, are released by rebels after 56 days in captivity. (See May 19 and July 26.)

      Vietnam and the United States sign a trade agreement in Washington, D.C.; President Clinton hails it as “a historic reconciliation.”

      WorldCom and Sprint call off their proposed merger, which, when it was announced in October 1999, was believed to be the largest in history.

July 14
      A freak tornado touches down in Alberta at a popular campground on Pine Lake, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more.

      Science magazine publishes an analysis of climate data for the past 1,000 years that strongly suggests that human activity is primarily responsible for the sharp global warming of the 20th century.

      The French national holiday Bastille Day is celebrated with the largest picnic in history; some four million Frenchmen break bread together at nearly 640 km (400 mi) of red-and-white checkered tablecloths stretching from Dunkirk on the English Channel, through Paris, to the Pyrenees Mountains in the south.

July 15
      UN troops rescue 222 Indian peacekeepers and 11 UN military observers who have been held by the rebel Revolutionary United Front since May in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. (See August 4.)

July 16
      A pipeline explosion in Warri, Nigeria, kills at least 30 villagers who had been illegally siphoning gas from the line; the explosion occurs less than a week after another, at Adeje, killed more than 250; the practice of puncturing pipelines to steal fuel has resulted in many such disasters in Nigeria.

      A pipe bursts at the Petrobrás-owned Getúlio Vargas oil refinery in Araucária, Braz., spilling about four million litres (about a million gallons) of oil into a tributary of the Iguaçu River; it is Brazil's worst oil disaster in 25 years.

July 17
      Germany agrees to pay $5 billion to compensate people who were forced into slave labour under the Nazi regime; half of the money will be contributed by industrial concerns and half by the government.

      Nepal abolishes bonded servitude, freeing some 36,000 serfs, most of whom had been labouring to pay off debts incurred by their forebears; the move comes two days after a massive demonstration against the practice.

      General Mills, Inc., agrees to buy the Pillsbury Co., a division of Diageo PLC; the resulting company, with about $13 billion in sales annually, would rank fifth among the world's food companies.

July 18
      A bill to end the right of U.S. presidents to create national monuments is defeated in the Senate; President Clinton's commitment of nearly 1.4 million ha (4 million ac) to national monuments has aroused opposition in western states. (See April 15 and November 9.)

      A new dress code permits girls in elementary schools in Tehran to wear colours other than black, brown, or dark blue.

July 19
      The U.S. Export-Import Bank announces a program in which it will offer $1 billion annually in loans to sub-Saharan Africa to be used in the fight against AIDS.

      At the Somali peace conference being held in Arta, Djibouti, delegates declare that the yet-unnamed interim government will be seated in Baidoa, Somalia, pending the rehabilitation of the traditional capital, Mogadishu. (See August 25.)

      In London, Elizabeth the Queen Mother's 100th birthday is officially celebrated with a pageant of 7,000 marchers, floats, singers, dancers, and well-wishers; the “Queen Mum,” who won the enduring love of her people during World War II, actually turns 100 on August 4.

July 20
      Scientists in Princeton, N.J., report that they have induced light waves to travel faster than the speed of light but reassure doubters that this does not contradict Einstein's theory that nothing having mass can exceed the speed of light; it is believed that the technology used could find applications in fibre optics and computer networks.

      French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin reveals a plan that would gradually bring autonomy to the Mediterranean island of Corsica, which has been the scene of a violent separatist campaign.

July 21
      The annual meeting of the Group of Eight industrialized nations opens in Nago, Okinawa; the three-day summit is preceded by demonstrations by about 27,000 people protesting the American military presence on the Japanese island.

      Scientists at Fermilab's Tevatron particle accelerator in Illinois announce that the tau neutrino, a subatomic particle that is integral to the standard model of particle physics and that has existed only in theory for 25 years, has been detected.

July 22
      The Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, the largest such gathering in the world, opens with a performance by the Beaux Arts Trio; the event will last two weeks and feature 98 concerts.

      Four hundred Oz fans, many in costume, gather in Bloomington, Ind., to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of L. Frank Baum's beloved fantasy The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

      Peter Stein's production of Goethe's Faust, a spectacle in six parts that cost DM 30 million (about $15 million) to stage and takes 21 hours to complete, opens at Expo 2000 in Hannover, Ger. (See June 1.)

July 23
      Côte d'Ivoire votes on a new constitution; the most important changes in the country's basic law would significantly tighten citizenship requirements for presidential candidates. (See October 25.)

      A wildfire that was started by lightning on July 20 in Mesa Verde National Park, Colo., suddenly triples in size, threatening 1,000-year-old Anasazi cliff dwellings in the park.

      American cyclist Lance Armstrong wins the Tour de France for the second consecutive year.

      Australian golfer Karrie Webb wins the U.S. Women's Open by five strokes; also, Tiger Woods becomes the youngest player ever to win golf's Grand Slam round of tournaments when he wins the British Open by eight strokes.

July 24
      The Offshore Kazakhstan International Operating Co., a consortium of nine oil companies, confirms that there has been a major oil find, the Kashagan oil field, in the Caspian Sea off Kazakhstan.

      Portuguese association football (soccer) star Luis Figo is traded from the FC Barcelona team to Real Madrid for a record $56 million.

July 25
      An Air France Concorde en route from Paris to New York City crashes on takeoff, killing all 109 on board as well as 4 persons on the ground; in 24 years of passenger service, it is the first time one of the supersonic airliners has crashed.

      President Clinton announces that two weeks of intense negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat in an attempt to bring peace to the Middle East have failed.

July 26
      Mongolia's legislature, the Great Hural, elects Nambaryn Enhbayar of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party prime minister. (See July 2.)

      Fiji's army arrests coup leader George Speight, claiming that he has not returned the military weapons he stole and that he has made threats against the new president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo. (See July 13.)

      In a flagship copyright case, U.S. Judge Marilyn Patel issues a preliminary injunction ordering Napster, a company that facilitates the free exchange of music files on the Internet, to cease trading copyrighted materials; a court decision on July 28, however, permits Napster to continue operating pending further investigations. (See April 28.)

July 27
      British Prime Minister Tony Blair announces an extensive plan to revamp the National Health Service over the course of the next 10 years.

      An article in The New England Journal of Medicine says that a rare heart disorder called long-QT syndrome may be responsible for more than one-quarter of sudden infant death syndrome cases.

      As part of the yearlong London String of Pearls Millennium Festival, the Royal Opera House presents The Fleeting Opera over two nights on barges being towed along the Thames; the audience must walk slowly along the riverbank to see the performance.

July 28
      The Taliban orders a complete ban on the growing of the opium poppy, a major cash crop in Afghanistan; in the past the Taliban has said the country could not afford to give up the crop. (See July 12.)

      At Katyn, Russia, a memorial is dedicated to the 4,000 Polish officers who were massacred there by Soviet secret police in 1940.

      The leftist Italian newspaper L'Unità, which first appeared in 1924, publishes its last issue before suspending operations.

      To foil a murder plot against the mayor, police in Zaragoza, Spain, arrest two people believed to be Basque separatist Euskadi Ta Askatasuna terrorists, but the next day a former Basque provincial governor is assassinated in the town of Tolosa.

July 29
      Joe Montana, Howie Long, Ronnie Lott, Dan Rooney, and Dave Wilcox are inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, in a ceremony attended by 111 of the 136 living hall of famers.

July 30
      In elections in Venezuela, Pres. Hugo Chávez Frías wins reelection under a new constitution that extends his term and dramatically increases the power of the office.

      An outbreak of the mosquitoborne disease dengue fever causes health authorities in El Salvador to place the nation in a state of high alert.

      Rubens Barrichello, driving a Ferrari, wins the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, Ger.; his teammate Michael Schumacher is eliminated in a collision at the first curve of the race.

July 31
      A report published in Colombia says that in the past three years two million Colombians have abandoned the country and that millions more would leave if they could; the reasons for the exodus include the high rates of violence and unemployment.

      Ninety-five-year-old Stanley Kunitz is named 10th poet laureate of the United States; his 12th book of poetry is scheduled to be released later in the year.

"All the crew from the 6th, 7th and 8th compartments moved over to the 9th. There are 23 people here. We decided to do this because of the accident. None of us can get to the surface. . . . It's too dark to write here and I'm writing blindly. It seems we have no chance, no more than 10–20 percent. I hope that at least someone will read this."
excerpts from the note written probably on August 12 or 13 and found on the body of Capt.-Lieut. Dmitry R. Kolesnikov aboard the sunken Russian submarine Kursk, as read by Adm. Vladimir Kuroyedov, commander in chief of the Russian navy, to the families of the crew in Murmansk, Russia, in October

August 1
      The Steel Dragon 2000, the world's largest rollercoaster at 97 m (318 ft) in height, 2.4 km (1.5 mi) in length, and nearly four minutes in duration, opens at Nagashima Spaland, an amusement park in western Japan.

      The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany's newspaper of record, gives up the use of the reformed German that had been agreed to by German-speaking countries in 1996 and returns to publishing in the traditional language.

August 2
      Republican Party delegates, meeting at their national convention in Philadelphia, nominate Texas Gov. George W. Bush and former secretary of defense Richard Cheney as the party's candidates for president and vice president of the United States. (See August 16.)

      A number of Chinese, frustrated at their inability to obtain Hong Kong residency permits, set fire to the Hong Kong immigration offices.

August 3
      The former president of Indonesia, Suharto, is formally charged with corruption. (See May 29 and September 28.)

      An official with South Korea's Ministry of Unification announces plans to rebuild the Pyongyang–Seoul railroad, which had been severed in 1945; ground is broken on September 18. (See June 25 and August 15.)

      Sri Lankan Pres. Chandrika Kumaratunga proposes a new constitution that will give increased autonomy to Tamils in hopes of ending the war with Tamil separatists; she is forced to postpone voting indefinitely on August 8, however. (See June 7.)

August 4
      The UN Security Council extends and strengthens the mandate of the peacekeepers in Sierra Leone but does not order more troops, notwithstanding the request for the additional help by the commander of the force. (See July 15.)

      More than 400 new forest fires are ignited by lightning in the western United States on a day during which 70 major fires, 15 of them in Montana, are burning 300,000 ha (747,000 ac) of land. (See August 18.)

August 5
      Twenty-two years after authorization was granted to do so, United Nations peacekeepers begin spreading out in force to guard the border between Israel and Lebanon. (See May 24.)

      Chicago-based United Airlines cancels 156 flights because of a shortage of pilots, who, since their contract lapsed in April, have been refusing to work overtime; a tentative settlement is reached on August 26.

August 6
      Ayatollah Ali Khamenei orders the Iranian legislature to drop a bill—which had been the centrepiece of the legislation to be considered since the electoral victory of the reformists earlier in 2000—to permit a free press; two days later Bahar, the last major reformist newspaper, is ordered closed.

      A conference of evangelical Protestants from 209 countries meeting in Amsterdam concludes with the issuance of a charter for future evangelical work.

August 7
      The U.S. National Academy of Sciences reports that sites where nuclear bombs were built are likely to remain unacceptably toxic for tens of thousands of years; the report also notes the existing risk of contaminants' migrating to nearby areas.

      An agreement is signed between the U.S. government, the state of Michigan, and five Native American tribes to change the fishing method permitted Native Americans in the Great Lakes in northern Michigan; the measure is intended to rebuild fish populations and improve relations between whites and Native Americans.

      It is announced that by the decision of the International Court of Arbitration, Andersen Consulting must pay its parent firm Arthur Andersen $1 billion and give up the Andersen name for which it is allowed to become an independent company.

August 8
      A bomb explodes in a pedestrian underpass in Moscow's Pushkin Square at the evening rush hour, killing 12 people; Russian authorities believe it is an act of Chechen terrorism, but Chechen spokesmen deny it.

      Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister and the leader of the opposition to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, is convicted of sodomy and sentenced to nine years in prison.

      The Supreme Court of Chile rules that former dictator Augusto Pinochet Ugarte is not entitled to immunity from prosecution, clearing the way for a possible trial. (See March 2 and December 1.)

August 9
      Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., announces the recall of 6.5 million tires, citing a tread-separation problem that has led to 46 deaths to date, though it will take up to a year to replace the tires; the company is faced with 50 lawsuits and a federal investigation relating to the problem.

      Prices of stock for Eli Lilly and Co. drop 31% following news that patent protection for the firm's top-selling pharmaceutical, the antidepressant Prozac, will end two years sooner than expected; the company can expect to lose billions of dollars in revenue as vastly cheaper generic substitute drugs go on the market.

August 10
      Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka, the world's first female prime minister, retires, and her daughter, Pres. Chandrika Kumaratunga, appoints Ratnasiri Wickramanayake to the post; Bandaranaike dies on October 10.

      Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chávez Frías becomes the first head of state to visit Iraq since the Persian Gulf War when he meets with Saddam Hussein in Baghdad; the stop is part of his tour to encourage unity among OPEC countries.

August 11
      Veerappan, a legendary bandit in India, issues a list of new demands to be met before he will release his hostage, the at least equally legendary movie star Rajkumar, whom he kidnapped two weeks previously. (See November 15.)

August 12
      The Russian nuclear submarine Kursk sinks in the Barents Sea after the hull is damaged by a series of explosions; rescuers finally reach the submarine on August 21 only to find the vessel flooded and all 118 crew members dead.

      A week after the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service announced the closure of 260,000 sq km (100,000 sq mi) of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean to long-line fishing, the Natural Resources Defense Council and SeaWeb release 700 chefs from their pledge not to serve swordfish.

August 13
      Paraguay holds an election to fill the vice presidential post left vacant when Luis María Argaña was assassinated in 1999; results are so close that the winner, Julio César Franco, of the opposition Authentic Radical Liberal Party, is not announced until August 24.

August 14
      In the course of a four-day meeting in Moscow, the Jubilee Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church votes to canonize Tsar Nicholas II, the last of the Romanov dynasty to have ruled Russia, and his family; they were murdered on the orders of communist officials in 1918.

      The U.S. Department of Energy reports that natural gas prices have doubled in the past year and forecasts winter heating bills as much as 50% higher than the previous winter's; it warns that heating oil may also experience steep price rises.

August 15
      Two hundred members of families separated by the Korean War are permitted to meet each other for the first time since then, half in South Korea and half in North Korea. (See August 3.)

      Colombian army troops fighting an insurgency in Antioquia province fire on an elementary-school hiking trip, killing six children.

      Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, the president of Somaliland, calls on the United Nations to grant it a special status, given that international recognition of the self-proclaimed republic is unlikely to be forthcoming, so that it can develop separately from Somalia.

August 16
      Democratic Party delegates, meeting at their national convention in Los Angeles, nominate Vice Pres. Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman, senator from Connecticut, as the Democratic candidates for president and vice president of the United States. (See August 2.)

      A band of militant Muslims from Tajikistan, intending to destabilize the government of Uzbekistan, attempts to cross Kyrgyzstan but is held down by Kyrgyz troops in a fierce battle.

August 17
      The Royal Ulster Constabulary holds its final graduation parade; it is to be renamed the Police Service of Northern Ireland and restructured in hopes that it will become a force that is supported by Roman Catholics as well as Protestants.

      A U.S. federal judge issues a ruling that prohibits the distribution of software that makes it possible to copy digital versatile discs (DVDs).

August 18
      The People's Consultative Assembly of Indonesia decides to keep the military included as part of the government until 2009.

      More than 400,000 ha (1,000,000 ac) are on fire in the western region of the United States, more than at any other time since 1910, and Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt warns that the situation is very likely to worsen. (See August 4.)

      Brazilian authorities say a group of 250 Indians living near the border with Peru, who were noticed only when they turned out to protest the creation of a national park on their land, are the Naua tribe, thought to have become extinct in the 1920s.

August 19
      A natural gas pipeline explodes near Carlsbad, N.M., sending a fireball into a nearby campsite and killing 11 people.

      In the German town of Neubrandenburg three young men, dubbed neo-Nazis in the press, beat a 15-year-old boy to death “out of frustration and boredom.”

August 20
      Pope John Paul II celebrates mass for more than two million youths at the close of the six-day World Youth Festival held by the Roman Catholic Church in Rome.

      As the culmination of the Hungarian celebration of the 1,000th anniversary of their nation, King Stephen I is canonized by the Eastern Orthodox Church; the Roman Catholic Church canonized him over 900 years ago.

      Tiger Woods wins his second consecutive Professional Golfers' Association of America championship by one stroke; he is the second player ever to win three major tournaments in one year (the first was Ben Hogan, in 1953).

August 21
      Charges against the Philippine student believed to be responsible for the Love Bug are dropped; the Philippines currently has no law against creating and disseminating such a virus. (See May 4.)

August 22
      Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors admits it had covered up tens of thousands of consumer complaints about its products since 1977 in order to avoid costly and embarrassing recalls.

      The Golden Venture, an old freighter used to smuggle refugees from China to the United States until it ran aground in 1993, is sunk off the coast of Boca Raton, Fla., to create an artificial reef.

August 23
      In response to widespread anger over his ineffectual leadership, Indonesian Pres. Abdurrahman Wahid revamps his cabinet and signs a decree turning the day-to-day running of the government over to Vice Pres. Megawati Sukarnoputri.

      A Gulf Air Airbus A320 crashes just before approaching Bahrain International Airport in the capital, Manama, killing all 143 passengers and crew.

August 24
      A record 23.9 cm (9.4 in) of rain fall in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh state, India, more than twice what was forecast; flooding in the state kills at least 120 people in three days, which brings the total of flood-related deaths in India for the year to 400.

      The journal Nature reports that a team of Finnish scientists has succeeded in creating a stable compound with the element argon, long believed to be inert.

August 25
      Somalia's new legislature, meeting in Arta, Djibouti, elects Abdiqassim Salad Hassan as Somalia's first president in nine years; warlords in Somalia warn that they will not allow this government. (See July 19 and September 21.)

      A report in Science magazine says that magnetic readings from the Galileo spacecraft suggest that Jupiter's moon Europa has an ocean of liquid water beneath its surface ice.

      Ceremonies in Weimar, Ger., mark the centenary of the death of Friedrich Nietzsche; speakers include the controversial philosopher Peter Sloterdijk and the actress Libgart Schwarz.

August 26
      U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton arrives in Nigeria to meet with Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo and show his support for the new civilian government; during his four-day trip he will also visit Tanzania and Egypt.

      Sparked by their retiring star, Cynthia Cooper, the Houston Comets defeat the New York Liberty two games to none to take the Women's National Basketball Association championship in Houston, Texas.

      The team of youngsters from Maracaibo, Venez., defeats the squad from Bellaire, Texas, 3–2 to claim the 2000 baseball Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

August 27
      A fire breaks out near the top of the world's second tallest freestanding structure, the 540-m (1,772-ft) Ostankino television tower; most television service to Moscow is knocked out, and three people die as firefighters find it exceedingly difficult to get equipment to the fire.

      The Philippine separatist group Abu Sayyaf releases 5 of the 21 hostages it seized from a Malaysian resort (see April 23), in addition to a hostage taken later (though it also takes a further hostage); Libya paid ransom for all the released hostages.

August 28
      The Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders opens at the United Nations; the four-day meeting of some 1,000 religious leaders explores ways for diverse religions to contribute to world peace.

      Northern Texas experiences its 59th consecutive day without rain; the drought in the state breaks the Dust Bowl record set in 1934 and tied in 1950. (See September 23.)

      The New York Stock Exchange begins listing the prices of seven stocks in dollars and cents; previously all stock was listed in fractions.

      Der Spiegel reports that the new Duden dictionary of the German language has reached bookstores; included are 5,000 new words, including many from the world of computers, such as the new verbs downloaden and mailen.

August 29
      Pres. Andrés Pastrana Arango of Colombia says that his country cannot make progress against the production and trafficking of illegal drugs without a large reduction in demand elsewhere in the world.

August 30
      A subway train entering the Notre-Dame de Lorette station in Paris mysteriously keels over and derails; 24 passengers are injured.

      East Timorese refugees riot in Kupang, the capital of West Timor, on the first anniversary of the vote for independence.

      Tatarstan, a largely Muslim republic in the Russian Federation, chooses to begin teaching the Tatar language in the Roman rather than the Cyrillic alphabet; the changeover is expected to be completed in 2011.

      The Supreme Court in Israel rules that a scholar working on the Dead Sea Scrolls has a copyright to his reconstruction of the text of one of the scrolls.

August 31
      Poland marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of Solidarity, originally a trade union and later a political party.

      The journal Nature reports that computer scientists have built a robot that has designed and built other robots.

"We believe that the central challenge we face today is to ensure that globalization becomes a positive force for all the world's people. For while globalization offers great opportunities, at present its benefits are very unevenly shared, while its costs are unevenly distributed."
United Nations Millennium Declaration from the General Assembly

September 1
      U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton decides that the technology for building a national missile defense system is insufficiently developed and passes on the decision as to whether to proceed with such a system to his successor in office.

      The first South American regional summit, attended by 12 heads of state, concludes in Brasília, Braz.

      TV Breizh, the first television channel to present programming in the Breton language, begins broadcasting in France.

September 2
      Transnistria celebrates the 10th anniversary of its declaration of independence from Moldova with a military parade in the city of Tiraspol; its independence, however, has never been recognized internationally.

      The four-day World Conference on Assisted Dying, attended by about 500 people from 22 countries, opens in Boston; members of the disabled rights group Not Dead Yet protest outside the venue.

September 3
      Pope John Paul II beatifies five persons, including Pope John XXIII, a popular choice, and Pope Pius IX, whose elevation is criticized by many because of his conservative dogma and alleged anti-Semitism.

      The governor of Khartoum issues an order banning women in the Sudanese capital from any job in which they come in contact with men, in order to “honour women [and] uphold their lofty status.”

      An earthquake of magnitude 5.2 shakes northern California; its epicentre, under Mt. Veeders near Yountville, is found to lie along a previously unknown fault.

September 4
      Truckers in France blockade fuel depots as they begin a nationwide strike to protest high fuel costs. (See September 12.)

      Israel ends the monopoly of Bezeq, the state-owned company, on domestic telephone and Internet service.

September 5
      To the dismay of members of other faiths, Roman Catholic Church officials in the Vatican issue a pronouncement that salvation is available “fully and only through the Catholic Church.” (See October 17.)

      The U.S. State Department releases a report on religious freedom worldwide; it singles out China, Afghanistan, Iraq, Russia, and Israel for criticism.

      Pres. Alberto Fujimori of Peru decrees a major expansion of Bahuaja-Sonene National Park and creates the adjoining Tambopata National Reserve; as many as 550 bird species and more than 1,200 butterfly species have been recorded in a single locality within the region.

      The American scooter fad rolls on; the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that the number of scooter-related injuries in the U.S. has increased 700% since May.

September 6
      The three-day Millennium Summit, attended by more than 150 heads of state or their representatives, opens at the United Nations in New York City with an address by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

      Tuvalu, a group of nine coral atolls with a population of about 10,000, becomes the 189th member of the United Nations.

      Three UN workers are beaten to death by pro-Indonesia militiamen in West Timor; the UN High Commissioner for Refugees effectively suspends operations in West Timor.

September 7
      Archaeologists announce that they have discovered a particularly large and splendid Mayan palace hidden in the jungle at the Cancuén site in Guatemala.

      Two American researchers report in the journal Nature that they have found empirical evidence of cannibalism at an early Anasazi site in southwestern Colorado.

September 8
      NASA scientists report that earlier in the season than expected the ozone hole over Antarctica is at its largest yet, 28.5 million sq km (11 million sq mi).

      A ceremony is held in Galveston, Texas, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, the hurricane that killed approximately 6,000 residents of Galveston in 1900.

September 9
      Venus Williams defeats Lindsay Davenport to win the women's competition at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, her second Grand Slam tennis victory in a row; the following day Marat Safin upsets Pete Sampras to take the men's championship.

      The Philippine rebel group Abu Sayyaf releases the last four of the vacationing Westerners that they had seized at a Malaysian resort in April and held captive; they still hold workers from the resort as well as two journalists and a dozen evangelical Christians whom they abducted later. (See April 23.)

      “Unseen Treasures: Imperial Russia and the New World,” an exhibit detailing Russian activities in North America in the 18th and 19th centuries, opens at the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, N.C.

September 10
      Completing its 7,485th showing in an 18-year run, the musical Cats, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and directed by Trevor Nunn, closes on Broadway; it was the longest-running Broadway show in history.

      The Emmy Awards are presented; winners include the television series Will & Grace and The West Wing and actors Michael J. Fox, James Gandolfini, Patricia Heaton, Sela Ward, Sean Hayes, Richard Schiff, Megan Mullally, and Allison Janney.

      Indiana University at Bloomington fires Bobby Knight, its controversial head basketball coach, for having assaulted a student; Knight held the position for 29 years and was one of college basketball's most successful coaches ever, despite a succession of charges of truculent and unsportsmanlike behaviour.

      Hong Kong holds its second legislative election under Chinese rule; observers are struck by the unexpectedly low turnout, which is believed to reflect disillusionment with the political process.

September 11
      Secretary-General Annan tells the UN Security Council that Iraq has refused to allow a group of experts into the country to assess the impact of the economic sanctions imposed on the country since 1990; Iraq complains that its populace is suffering privations but has refused all offers of help.

September 12
      The U.K. is brought to a standstill as protesters effectively put a stop to gasoline deliveries to service stations throughout the country; similar protests against high fuel prices are taking place in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Spain. (See September 4.)

      The Dutch parliament passes a law giving status to marriages of same-sex couples equal to that of unions between men and women; gays are said to enjoy more civil rights in The Netherlands than in any other country.

      Scientists report that extensive searches by primatologists for Miss Waldron's red colobus (Procolobus badius waldroni), a monkey of the tropical forests of western Ghana and eastern Côte d'Ivoire, have failed to find any living examples, and they fear it may be extinct; if so, this would be the first primate to have become extinct since the early 1700s.

      The second of two elephant groups, comprising 15 animals in all, arrives safely at Quicama National Park in Angola; the animals were donated by South Africa to help restock the park, which has been all but emptied of wildlife by the civil war that began in 1975.

September 13
      Chase Manhattan Corp. announces plans to purchase J.P. Morgan & Co. Inc. for more than $35 billion; the resulting company, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., will be the third largest financial concern in the U.S.

      The U.S. government agrees to drop 58 of the 59 charges of stealing nuclear weapons secrets under which it had held Wen Ho Lee, an employee of Los Alamos (N.M.) National Laboratory, for nine months; in the plea agreement Lee pleads guilty to one minor count and, sentenced to time already served, goes free.

September 14
      Premier Cruise Lines, based in Port Canaveral, Fla., abruptly goes out of business; authorities seize three ships mid-cruise, putting at least 1,450 passengers ashore.

September 15
      The Games of the XXVII Olympiad open in Sydney, Australia.

      The man believed to be the leader of the Basque separatist organization ETA, Ignacio Gracia Arregui, is arrested in Bidart, France.

September 16
      Pres. Alberto K. Fujimori of Peru unexpectedly announces that he will call new elections immediately and will not be a candidate in those elections; he does not, however, specify when they will be held. (SeeMay 28 and November 20.)

      Public transportation in Los Angeles shuts down as the United Transportation Union goes on strike one minute after midnight; hundreds of thousands of people, mostly low-income, rely on the transit system.

      Istanbul's first new subway in 125 years is inaugurated; the new 24-hour line runs about eight kilometres (five miles) from Taksim Square to the neighbourhood of Levent, making four stops.

      A delegation from Cuba's National Assembly offers to send Cuban physicians to poor areas of the U.S. and to train 500 poor and minority Americans in medicine in Cuba; the U.S. government makes no response.

September 17
      The winners of the Lasker Awards for medical research are announced: in clinical research, Harvey Alter and Michael Houghton; in basic medical research, Aaron Ciechanover, Avram Hershko, and Alexander Varshavsky; and for special achievement, Sydney Brenner.

September 18
      Betty S. Beene, president of United Way of America since 1997, announces her resignation, effective Jan. 31, 2001; she is displaced in a power struggle between the national United Way and a number of large local chapters of the charitable organization.

      A Chinese newspaper reports that the army of terra-cotta soldiers in the Qin tomb that was discovered in 1974 could be threatened by mold; a Belgian firm has been hired to combat the problem. (See October 8.)

      Ground is broken for a new four-lane highway to run parallel to the new Pyongyang–Seoul railway in Korea. (See August 15.)

September 19
      The U.S. Congress passes a bill to give China permanent normal trading status after 20 years of having annually refused to grant this agreement.

      U.S. Census Bureau officials say that 67% of households filled out and returned census forms in 2000, which is 2% higher than the previous census, in 1990, and a reversal of a 30-year trend of declining participation.

September 20
      After six years the Whitewater investigation into alleged financial irregularities involving President Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton closes; the independent counsel says there is insufficient evidence to charge the Clintons with any wrongdoing.

      The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission brings stock fraud charges against a 15-year-old high-school student and reaches an agreement in which the boy is to repay $285,000, the allegedly ill-gotten gains plus interest.

September 21
      Somali Pres. Abdiqassim Salad Hassan meets with warlord Hussein Mohamed Aidid in Surt, Libya, to discuss reconciliation. (See August 25 and October 14.)

      The final approval from the U.S. National Capital Planning Commission is obtained for architect Friedrich St. Florian's design for the National World War II Memorial, to be built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.; the ground breaking is scheduled to take place on Veterans Day. (See November 11.)

September 22
      The British Court of Appeal issues a ruling that doctors may operate to separate conjoined twins born August 8; though the surgery will kill one of them, it has been determined that they will both die without it; the parents, from Malta, had sought to block the surgery. (See November 7.)

      France permits a charter plane to fly from Paris to Baghdad, in violation of UN sanctions against Iraq, in an apparent attempt to force reconsideration of the flight embargo.

      The German federal radiation protection authority announces that shipments of spent nuclear fuel will be resumed; plutonium from several German power plants is to be recycled at a plant in La Hague, France.

      The premiere of Intolleranza, a two-act opera with music by Luigi Nono to texts by a variety of writers that includes Bertolt Brecht, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Paul Éluard, and Jean-Paul Sartre, takes place at the Cologne (Ger.) Opera House.

September 23
      A few drops of rain falling just before midnight end a record-shattering 84 days without rain in northern Texas; the more plentiful showers that fall the following day are not enough to end the drought, however. (See August 28.)

September 24
      The head of Peru's National Intelligence Service, Vladimiro Montesinos, flees to Panama and requests asylum; he has been missing since September 14, when a video surfaced showing him bribing a legislator to vote for President Fujimori.

      In a referendum French citizens agree to shorten the presidential term of office from seven to five years; turnout is the lowest for such a vote in decades.

      Voters in Switzerland reject a proposal to impose a limit on the percentage of the population that may be composed of foreigners.

September 25
      Vojislav Kostunica declares he is the winner of the Yugoslav presidential election held September 24, but the incumbent, Slobodan Milosevic, will not release election results; on September 28 the government-controlled election commission orders a runoff to be held in October. (See October 6.)

      It is reported that dozens of African guest workers, mostly Chadians, have been killed in clashes with Libyans that continue near the town of Az-Zawiyah, in northwestern Libya.

September 26
      A Greek ferryboat runs aground on a well-marked islet in the Aegean Sea and sinks, killing at least 80 passengers; it is later reported that the captain was asleep and most of the crew were watching a sports match at the time.

      The annual conference of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank begins in Prague; thousands of protesters attempt to disrupt proceedings but are unsuccessful.

September 27
      Floodwaters wash through the streets of Calcutta, leaving 55,000 people homeless.

      The heads of state of the 11 members of OPEC meet for the first time since 1975, in Caracas, Venez.

      A team of researchers reports in the journal Nature Genetics that they have discovered the gene associated with the development of type 2 diabetes.

September 28
      Voters in Denmark reject the euro, opting instead to retain the krone as their currency; Denmark is the only European Union country to have offered a referendum on the currency.

      Corruption charges against former Indonesian president Suharto are dropped and his house arrest is lifted after court-appointed physicians declare him medically unfit to stand trial. (See May 29 and August 3.)

      Israeli statesman Ariel Sharon visits the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and asserts Israeli sovereignty over it; local Palestinians feel this is a provocation and respond with rage.

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announces that it has approved the marketing in the U.S. of RU-486, a prescription pill that will allow a woman to terminate a pregnancy days or even weeks after conception.

September 29
      Aventis CropScience, which grows genetically modified corn (maize) for use in animal feed, agrees to buy back the year's entire crop when it learns that some of its corn was used for making Taco Bell taco shells.

      Singapore Airlines orders 25 of Airbus Industrie's superjumbo A3XXs, 15 of them on option; the sale is seen as a reversal for the American airplane manufacturer Boeing.

September 30
      John Crosby, who created the Santa Fe (N.M.) Opera and directed it for 43 years, retires; he is succeeded by Richard Gaddes.

      La Grange, Ga., becomes the first completely wired town in the U.S.; the city project brings free Internet access to all residents, schools, and businesses.

"I expect support from Europe for the democratic changes in Serbia and for its return to where it has always belonged—Europe."
Vojislav Kostunica, new president of Yugoslavia, on October 13

October 1
      Pope John Paul II canonizes Mother Katharine Drexel, Josephine Bakhita, and Maria Josefa as well as 120 Roman Catholics who were killed in China; China says the new martyr saints were guilty of heinous crimes against the Chinese people.

      Syria's official newspaper, Al-Thawra, publishes a two-page article by Arif Dalila, a leader of Syria's new civil rights movement, that criticizes state control of the economy; the publication of such criticism is unprecedented in the Syrian press.

October 2
      On the eve of the 10th anniversary of German reunification, three Molotov cocktails are thrown at the front of the Jewish synagogue in Düsseldorf, Ger.; the national debate on residual anti-Semitism in Germany is rekindled.

October 3
      Tang Fei, who has served as premier of Taiwan for less than five months, resigns, citing poor health; the following day Pres. Chen Shui-bian appoints Tang's deputy, Chang Chun-hsiung, in his place.

      The Seimas (legislature) of Lithuania agrees to return to Jewish communities throughout the world hundreds of Torah scrolls found in the country after World War II.

October 4
      A government spokeswoman says the worst floods in over a century have left more than 700,000 people homeless in Bangladesh.

      Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announces that Mt. Logan, the highest peak in Canada, will henceforth be known as Mt. Pierre Elliott Trudeau, for the recently deceased former prime minister; by October 19, however, protests have caused him to rescind the decision.

October 5
      Responding positively to a challenge from Germany, the European Court of Justice halts a proposed European Union-wide ban on tobacco advertising that was to have taken effect in 2001.

      Recipients of the “Alternative Nobel Prizes” (officially the Right Livelihood Awards) are announced: Birsel Lemke and Tewolde Egzhiaber, environmentalists from Turkey and Ethiopia, respectively; Munir, an Indonesian human rights activist; and Wes Jackson, an American plant geneticist.

      The former president and CEO of Sotheby's auction house, Diana D. Brooks, pleads guilty to having fixed commission fees with rival auction house Christie's.

October 6
      The day after a massive popular uprising that caused the opposition to melt away, Yugoslavia's high court declares that opposition leader Vojislav Kostunica is the winner of the presidential election held on September 24, and Slobodan Milosevic resigns. (See September 25.)

      A magnitude-7.3 earthquake strikes near Sakaiminato, Japan; though it is the most powerful earthquake since the devastating Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995, damage and casualties are relatively low because the epicentre is in a sparsely inhabited area.

October 7
      Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, who turned 79 in January, abdicates in favour of his eldest son, Henri; Henri had been serving as his father's “lieutenant-representant” since 1998.

      The new opera Dead Man Walking opens at the San Francisco Opera with music by Jake Heggie and libretto by Terrence McNally; mezzo-soprano Susan Graham stars in the role of Sister Helen Prejean.

      At the height of its success, the popular American improv-rock band Phish plays its final concert before breaking up for at least the foreseeable future.

      Davo Karnicar, a Slovenian ski instructor, becomes the first person to ski down Mt. Everest in a single run.

October 8
      Pres. Aleksander Kwasniewski is reelected for a second term in Poland's third presidential election since the fall of communism.

      Spokesmen from Advanced Cell Technology, a biotechnology company based in Massachusetts, announce that they have successfully cloned an endangered African gaur, which is now being carried by a cow in Iowa.

      Newspapers report that the largest Buddha image in the world, carved of red sandstone in a cliff in western China, is eroding rapidly as a result of its humid environment and of acid rain. (See September 18.)

      A huge $240 million conference centre for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints formally opens in Salt Lake City, Utah; the centre includes a 21,000-seat auditorium and a 1.6-ha (4-ac) rooftop garden featuring an alpine meadow and hundreds of trees.

October 9
      The Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine is awarded to Paul Greengard, Eric R. Kandel, and Arvid Carlsson.

      During the ongoing violent crisis in Israel, Jews living in the largely Arab-populated town of Nazareth rampage through the streets following Yom Kippur services; in the ensuing melee, two Arabs are killed. (See October 12.)

      David Trimble, first minister of the Northern Ireland Assembly, survives a vote of no-confidence brought by a segment of his Ulster Unionist Party that feels that he is too conciliatory toward Sinn Fein.

October 10
      The Nobel Prize for Physics is awarded to Herbert Kroemer, Zhores Alferov, and Jack S. Kilby for work in information technology; the Nobel Prize for Chemistry goes to Alan G. MacDiarmid, Hideki Shirakawa, and Alan J. Heeger.

      For the first time, South Korean visitors attend the military parade in Pyongyang that celebrates the anniversary of communist rule in North Korea; meanwhile, one of North Korea's top military leaders meets in the White House with Bill Clinton, the first time a U.S. president has ever met with a North Korean official. (See October 24.)

October 11
      The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences is awarded to Americans James J. Heckman and Daniel L. McFadden.

      The Philippine Congress opens hearings into bribery charges against Pres. Joseph Estrada. (See November 13.)

      The 100th launch of the NASA space shuttle program takes place as Discovery is placed into orbit with the final components for the International Space Station; the crew of the station arrives aboard a Russian Soyuz vehicle on November 2.

      In a ceremony in London, the International Women of the Year Association awards the title Greatest Woman Achiever of the Century to Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space; South African statesman Nelson Mandela is named Leader of the Century.

October 12
      A small boat pulls alongside the USS Cole, a U.S. Navy destroyer refueling in the port of Aden, Yemen, and explodes, ripping a 150-sq m (1,600-sq ft) hole in the side of the ship and killing 17 U.S. crew members; U.S. and Yemeni officials begin an investigation, but no likely activist group claims responsibility.

      The crisis in Israel escalates when two Israeli soldiers wander into a funeral in the Palestinian city of Ram Allah and are killed by a mob. (See October 9.)

      The Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded to Gao Xingjian, a Chinese-born novelist and playwright.

October 13
      The Nobel Prize for Peace is awarded to Kim Dae Jung, president of South Korea.

      A U.S. federal court of appeals overturns a district court ruling that U.S. citizens residing in Puerto Rico have the right to vote in the U.S. presidential election; the appeals court rules that an amendment to the Constitution would be required for Puerto Ricans to gain that right.

      The Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., inducts players Isiah Thomas, Bob McAdoo, and Meadow George (“Meadowlark”) Lemon; coaches Pat Summitt, Morgan Wootten, and C.M. Newton; journalist Dave Kindred and broadcaster Hubie Brown; and the inventor of the 24-second shot clock, Danny Biasone.

October 14
      Pres. Abdiqassim Salad Hassan enters Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, to establish a national government, the first in Somalia since 1991. (See September 21.)

      A Saudi Arabian Airlines jet en route from Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, to London is hijacked by two Saudi civil servants; they are flown to Baghdad, Iraq, where they request political asylum, citing a lack of basic freedoms in Saudi Arabia.

      Kiribati holds spectacular ceremonies to mark the opening of its new parliament building in the capital on Tarawa atoll.

      The Rosie the Riveter Memorial, the first national monument to the women who worked on the American home front during World War II, is dedicated in Richmond, Calif., where tens of thousands of women worked in the shipyards.

      Miss Hawaii, Angela Perez Baraquio, is named Miss America; of Filipino descent, she is the first Asian American woman to win the crown.

October 15
      Pro-government candidates win decisively in elections held for the lower house of the legislature in Belarus; opposition candidates had urged a boycott, and Western governments had said that they would not recognize the election.

October 16
      Reports from Cambodia say that 227 people have died there in flooding of the Mekong River; this is in addition to the 319 people in Vietnam reported killed by the floods, which are held to be the worst in decades.

      Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam leads the Million Family March in Washington, D.C.; the celebration of the family is organized in cooperation with the Unification Church, run by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and includes a mass wedding ceremony.

      The Chevron Corp. announces that it will buy Texaco Inc. for $35.1 billion and create a new company, called ChevronTexaco, that will be the world's fourth largest oil company.

October 17
      The U.K.'s Queen Elizabeth II meets with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican; the meeting, their first one there in two decades, is intended to defuse tension between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches that arose when the Vatican declared the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church. (See September 5.)

      Patrick Roy, goaltender for the Colorado Avalanche hockey team, wins his 448th game, breaking Terry Sawchuk's record, which had stood since 1970 and had been considered unbreakable.

      In England a high-speed train traveling from London to Leeds derails while traveling around a bend, killing four passengers; the cause appears to be a damaged track.

      The World March of Women, which has been holding demonstrations against poverty and violence against women around the world, gathers at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza in New York City to present petitions to the United Nations.

October 18
      World Health Organization workers begin an intensive effort to discover the origins of an outbreak of Ebola fever in Uganda that began when a woman in the village of Kabede Opong died of the disease on September 17 and that has to date killed some 40 people within a 24-km (15-mi) radius.

      The Royal Gold Medal for Architecture is presented to American Frank O. Gehry at London's Banqueting House.

October 19
      Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter announces that he feels compelled to sever his ties with the Southern Baptist Convention because of its adoption of increasingly conservative doctrines.

      The journal Nature publishes a report by biologists at West Chester University of Pennsylvania who believe they have revived a 250 million-year-old—10 times older than any other known living organism—bacterium from a crystal of rock salt.

October 20
      A fire destroys a large nightclub in Mexico City, killing at least 20 patrons; the city had earlier sought to shut the club down for safety violations, but the owners, suspected of being involved in organized crime, had obtained injunctions to keep it open.

      The much-ballyhooed heavyweight boxing match between Mike Tyson and Andrew Golota ends abruptly when Golota quits after the second round; later Golota is hospitalized with a concussion.

October 21
      The leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia are among the participants who meet in Cairo in the first Arab League summit meeting since 1996.

      Tantalus, a 10-part, 10 1/2-hour play about the Trojan War staged by the Denver (Colo.) Center Theatre Company, opens at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

October 22
      The General Electric Co. agrees to acquire Honeywell International Inc. in a tax-free merger valued at $45 billion, plus assumed debt; the transaction is one of the biggest industrial mergers ever.

      Turkey requires all residents to stay at home while it conducts a national census by sending census takers door-to-door for the first time.

October 23
      The Avery Fisher Prize, awarded for excellence in instrumental music, is conferred upon Edgar Meyer, a double bassist, and David Shifrin, a clarinetist; at the ceremony they play a duet that Meyer composed for the occasion.

      Construction magnate Rafiq al-Hariri is named prime minister of Lebanon.

October 24
      The board of directors of AT&T approves a plan to split the company into four entities, each of which would be traded independently; it would be the largest reorganization of the company since it broke apart into regional "Baby Bells" in 1984.

      U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright concludes two days of meetings with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang. (See October 10.)

      Veteran comedian, writer, and director Carl Reiner is awarded the Mark Twain Prize of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; previous recipients of the prize, which acknowledges contributions to American humour, were Richard Pryor (1998) and Jonathan Winters (1999).

      Russia's State Statistics Committee indicates that the country's population fell 0.3% in the first eight months of 2000 and predicts that the population will decline by 11 million over the next 14 years.

October 25
      Robert Gueï, military leader of Côte d'Ivoire, flees the country, and Laurent Gbagbo declares victory in presidential elections that were held three days earlier. (See July 23 and December 10.)

      UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appoints Thoraya Ahmed Obaid of Saudi Arabia director of the UN Population Fund and nominates Ruud Lubbers of The Netherlands to replace Sadako Ogata as UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

      French and Kenyan scientists unearth the fossilized remains of a group of hominids at Kapsomin, Kenya; the rocks in which they are found are six million years old, so the team believes the fossils could be the oldest hominid remains ever discovered.

October 26
      The New York Yankees beat the New York Mets four games to one to win baseball's World Series (popularly called the Subway Series this year) for the third year in a row.

      The robot spacecraft NEAR Shoemaker passes within a distance of five kilometres (three miles) from the asteroid 433 Eros and takes detailed pictures of the ancient solid rock body.

      The European Parliament awards the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to the citizens group ¡Basta Ya!, which is trying to put an end to Basque separatist terrorism in Spain. (See October 30.)

      China's news agency, Xinhua, reports that archaeologists have found relics in the Three Gorges area that indicate that it was occupied by humans 100,000 years ago, which makes it, and not the valley of the Huang Ho, the cradle of civilization in China.

October 27
      After autonomy talks between Denmark and its dependency the Faroe Islands break down, Faroese Prime Minister Anfinn Kallsberg announces that a referendum on independence will be held in 2001.

      Gordon Davis is appointed to succeed Nathan Leventhal as the president of the Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts in New York City at the end of the year.

      For the first time, at a concert near Tel Aviv, the music of German composer Richard Wagner is played in public in Israel; a group of Holocaust survivors protests.

October 28
      Opening ceremonies are held for Dubai Internet City, a free-trade zone in the city of Dubayy, U.A.E., that the crown prince envisions as a major new economy centre in the Middle East.

      A baseball game is played in Barquisimeto, Venez., between a team of retired Cuban all-stars managed by Fidel Castro and a similar Venezuelan team featuring Pres. Hugo Chávez at first base; Cuba wins 17–6.

October 29
      Local elections in Brazil bring the leftist Workers' Party to power in several major cities, including São Paulo, where party candidate Marta Suplicy is elected mayor.

      Pres. Ben Mkapa of Tanzania is reelected to a five-year term, and Amani Abeid Karume is elected president of Zanzibar; the elections in Zanzibar, however, are widely viewed as fraudulent.

      Volker Braun, a poet from the former East Germany, is awarded the Georg Büchner Prize, the top award in German literature.

October 30
      Spanish Supreme Court Judge José Francisco Querol Lombardero, together with his driver and bodyguard, are killed by a car bomb in Madrid; it is believed that the Basque separatist group ETA is responsible. (See October 26.)

      Ferocious storms that began the night before lash European coasts from southern England to Scandinavia, causing several deaths and immense property damage.

October 31
      Stung by French reports that call his country a haven for money launderers, Prince Rainier of Monaco declares that treaties between France and Monaco should be reworked in order to grant full sovereignty to Monaco.

      An experiment to trade stock in German professional association football (soccer) clubs flops as the shares of Borussia Dortmund sink well below the initial offering price of €11 (about $10).

      Pope John Paul II proclaims Sir Thomas More, an English humanist and statesman who was canonized in 1935, the Roman Catholic patron saint of politicians; More was decapitated in 1535.

"The American people have now spoken, but it's going to take a little while to determine exactly what they said."
U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton on November 8, the day after the U.S. presidential election and six weeks before the winner was known

November 1
      The General Assembly of the United Nations admits Yugoslavia as a member eight years after ruling that, since four of its six constituent republics had seceded, it had to reapply for membership as a new state.

      Formal ceremonies mark the beginning of the official celebration of the 200th anniversary of the White House, which was first occupied by U.S. Pres. John Adams in 1800.

November 2
      Chess world champion Garry Kasparov loses his title to a former protégé, Vladimir Kramnik; observers feel that Kasparov's play in the tournament was uncharacteristically weak.

      Members of an expedition in Turkey announce the discovery of a well-preserved 1,500-year-old wooden ship under the waters of the Black Sea, the fourth find in recent months; researchers are seeking evidence for a theory that the Black Sea was at one time a freshwater lake and was later inundated with salt water.

November 3
      The U.K.'s High Court rules that the involuntary exile of the indigenous population of the Chagos Archipelago by the British government in the late 1960s was illegal and that the people affected may resettle; the islands were evacuated because of their strategic Indian Ocean location.

      American media giant Viacom Inc. announces that it will buy BET Holdings, the 10th largest African American-owned company in the U.S. and the owner of Black Entertainment Television for a total of about $3 billion, including assumption of $570 million in debts.

November 4
      Arguably the most extravagant opera production ever takes place when the China Shanghai International Festival of the Arts stages Giuseppe Verdi's Aïda in a sports stadium with a cast of thousands as well as elephants, camels, lions, tigers, a panther, and a boa constrictor.

      Max Nicholson, the father of the British environmental movement, supervises a census of birds in London's Kensington Gardens that he pioneered in 1925; the census's findings show that the number of house sparrows has dropped from 2,603 in 1925 to 8 in 2000.

November 5
      In its biggest electoral victory since 1990, the Sandinista National Liberation Front in Nicaragua wins municipal elections in Managua, the capital; the Sandinista candidate for mayor, Herty Lewites, wins by a 15% margin.

      In parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, the ruling New Azerbaijan Party wins 17 of the 25 contested seats; international observers consider the balloting flawed, however.

      The body of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, who died—or was killed—in 1975, is ceremonially reburied in a marble tomb in Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa.

      The New York City Marathon is won by Abdel Kader el-Mouaziz of Morocco with a time of 2 hr 10 min 8 sec; Lyudmila Petrova of Russia, with a time of 2 hr 25 min 45 sec, is the first woman across the finish line.

      Iraqi Airways resumes domestic civilian flights; these flights had been suspended since the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

November 6
      The Anglo-Australian mining group Rio Tinto, Ltd., wins the bidding for Australian diamond-mining concern Ashton Mining, Ltd., against rival De Beers of South Africa.

      After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announces that it will seek to end the use in drugs of phenylpropanolamine, which is associated with a slight risk of stroke, manufacturers and pharmacists rush to remove many of the most common and popular cold remedies from the market.

November 7
      The U.S. presidential election arrives at a statistical tie between Vice Pres. Al Gore and Gov. George W. Bush of Texas; although Gore wins the popular vote nationally, the tally of votes in the electoral college, which legally determines the winner, hinges on Florida, where the results are too close to call. (See November 26.)

      In London the Booker Prize for literature is awarded to Canadian Margaret Atwood for The Blind Assassin.

      Surgeons in Manchester, Eng., separate conjoined twin girls born August 8 to parents from Malta; as expected, the twin that lacked the ability to live on her own dies, but the prognosis for the surviving girl is good. (See September 22.)

November 8
      The South Korean conglomerate Daewoo Motor is forced into bankruptcy when creditors, in response to the refusal of labour unions to accept job cuts, halt the cash flow to the company.

      The director of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, announces that the Large Electron-Positron Collider will be shut down; many believed that the CERN facility provided the best chance to accomplish a top scientific quest, confirming the existence of the Higgs boson, a hypothetical subatomic particle.

      The French Senate passes a bill, approved by the National Assembly in May, stating that the Ottoman Empire was guilty of genocide against Armenians in 1915; Turkey condemns the move.

November 9
      The General Assembly of the United Nations votes to condemn the U.S. embargo against Cuba for the ninth consecutive year; the margin of votes against the embargo is the largest yet.

      U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton creates the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona north of the Grand Canyon and expands the Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho by 267,500 ha (661,000 ac). (See July 18 and December 4.)

      In observance of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night of Nazi violence against the Jews in 1938, hundreds of thousands of people march in German cities protesting neo-Nazis and recent attacks on immigrants and synagogues.

      Ruth Simmons is named president of Brown University, Providence, R.I.; she will be the first African American to head an Ivy League university.

November 10
      In Haiti 16 former soldiers and paramilitary personnel are found guilty of having perpetrated a massacre in the slum of Raboteau in 1994.

      For the first time, it becomes possible to register for Internet domain names in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

November 11
      A fire breaks out in a cable car carrying at least 180 skiers through a tunnel to a glacier ski run near Kaprun, Austria; nearly all the passengers are killed.

      President Clinton, former U.S. senator Bob Dole, and actor Tom Hanks symbolically break ground (by shoveling dirt from a box) for the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.; a court injunction bars actual construction until the arguments of those opposed to the location of the memorial can be heard. (See September 21.)

November 12
      OPEC chooses as its new secretary-general Ali Rodríguez Araque, the oil minister of Venezuela.

      In India the Congress (I) party elects as its leader Sonia Gandhi, widow of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1991.

November 13
      The House of Representatives of the Philippines formally impeaches Pres. Joseph Estrada; the four articles of impeachment concern bribery, corruption, violation of public trust, and violation of the constitution. (See October 11 and December 7.)

      Pres. Jiang Zemin of China arrives in Cambodia for the first visit of a Chinese head of state in that country in more than three decades; the previous day he had become the first Chinese president ever to visit Laos.

      Montenegro, one of the two constituent republics of Yugoslavia, makes the Deutsche Mark the sole legal tender in the republic, replacing Yugoslavia's own currency, the dinar.

November 14
      The city of Pusan, S.Kor., announces plans to build what it believes will be the world's tallest building, Lotte World II, which will be 107 stories and 464.5 m (1,524 ft) tall and house an amusement park; it is scheduled to be completed in 2005.

      Martin Macwan, founder of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, an Indian organization that supports the rights of Dalits, or untouchables, is honoured by the Human Rights Watch organization; on November 21 Macwan also receives the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.

      Joining the wave of panic over “mad cow” disease that has been sweeping Europe for weeks, the French government bans the sale of T-bone steaks; French chefs have been declining to make beef dishes, and Italian municipalities have been banning beef from school menus.

November 15
      The Southern Cross Cable Network, at 30,000 km (18,000 mi) the world's longest fibre-optic cable—connecting Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and the U.S. state of Hawaii to the West Coast of the United States—goes live.

      President Clinton arrives in Brunei, the first stop of a farewell tour of Asia; on December 16 he flies to Hanoi; he is the first U.S. president to visit Vietnam since 1969 and the first ever to visit Hanoi.

      The National Book Awards are presented to Susan Sontag for her fiction work In America, Nathaniel Philbrick for his nonfiction book In the Heart of the Sea, Lucille Clifton for her poetry collection Blessing the Boats, and Gloria Whelan for her young-adult book Homeless Bird; science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury is given a medal for distinguished contribution to American letters.

      Indian movie star Rajkumar, kidnapped by notorious bandit Veerappan on July 30, is released unharmed, though it appears that most of Veerappan's demands have not been met; India rejoices. (See August 11.)

November 16
      The board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers votes to add seven new possible suffixes for domain names: .biz, for businesses; .coop, for cooperatives; .museum, for museums; .aero, for aviation; .info, for general information; .pro, for professionals; and .name, for individuals; they should be operational in summer 2001.

      The Acela Express, Amtrak's first high-speed train, makes its inaugural run from Washington, D.C., to Boston in 2 hours 26 minutes.

      The Coca-Cola Co. settles a racial discrimination lawsuit, agreeing to pay $192.5 million, make broad changes, and allow an outside panel to monitor its behaviour; it is the largest such settlement in history.

November 17
      The Thunderbolt roller coaster at Coney Island, New York City, is demolished; the coaster had been built in 1926 and last operated in 1983.

      In Colorado a man who killed another man in a skiing accident in 1997 is convicted of criminally negligent homicide; it is the first time a skier has faced criminal charges for such a death.

November 18
      The French government notifies holders of czarist-era Russian government bonds, worthless since the October Revolution in 1917, that they can now redeem those bonds.

      Ground is broken in Shanghai on a computer-chip factory that is a joint venture between Jiang Mianheng, the son of Chinese Pres. Jiang Zemin, and Winston Wang, the son of the chairman of Taiwan's Formosa Plastics.

November 19
      India announces that it will unilaterally suspend military operations in Kashmir throughout Ramadan, the Muslim holy month.

      American chef Julia Child is awarded the Legion of Honour by France in a ceremony in Boston.

November 20
      Pres. Alberto Fujimori of Peru faxes a letter of resignation from Tokyo; the following day the legislature refuses to accept his resignation and deposes him instead. (See November 22.)

      The Banco do Estado de São Paulo, Braz., is privatized when Banco Santander Central Hispano wins the auction to buy it for the highest price—some $3.6 billion—ever paid for a state bank in South America.

      Great Britain's Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, formally opens the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place, West Sussex, with the goal of collecting and conserving seeds from 10% of the world's wild seed-bearing plant species in order to safeguard them against extinction.

November 21
      A group of armed gunmen robs a branch of the National Bank of Egypt in Maragha and flees with more than a quarter million dollars; the bandits fire at random as they drive away, and a total of 13 people die in the raid.

      More than one-third of the Australian state of New South Wales is covered with mud and water from 13 flooded rivers; the floods are called the worst in the region in 40 years.

      The United Farm Workers calls off the boycott of California table grapes called in 1984 by union organizer Cesar Chavez, saying the goals of the strike have been met.

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces that it will be unable to add to the endangered species list this year because its resources are tied up defending lawsuits brought by environmentalist groups seeking to create critical habitat designations.

November 22
      Moderate opposition legislator Valentín Paniagua is sworn in as interim president of Peru; he names former UN secretary-general Javier Pérez de Cuellar prime minister. (See November 20.)

      The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration approves a plan to assess the usefulness of marijuana in relieving pain and increasing appetite in AIDS patients; in the study 60 such patients are to be given government-grown marijuana.

      A United Nations report sponsored by the World Health Organization and UNICEF says that 40% of the world's people lack basic sanitation and one-sixth of the population has no access to a water supply.

November 23
      The European Court of Human Rights, sitting at Strasbourg, France, rules that Constantine II, former king of Greece, and his family are entitled to compensation for real property seized when he was dethroned in 1974 and his holdings formally confiscated by the government of Greece in 1994.

      A spokesman for Mozambique says that 82 prisoners died mysteriously on November 21 in the town of Montepuez; many of them had been jailed after antigovernment riots two weeks previously.

November 24
      Science magazine reports that scientists from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., have created a working “nanomachine”; a submicroscopic motor powered by organic molecules drives an equally tiny propeller.

      An attempt by Gen. Ansumane Mane to overthrow his erstwhile partner in power, Pres. Kumba Ialá of Guinea-Bissau, is suppressed. (See November 30).

November 25
      Slobodan Milosevic is reelected head of the Socialist Party of Serbia; he had emerged from his postelection seclusion only a few days earlier. (See October 6.)

      The UN World Climate Change Conference, meeting in The Hague, ends without agreement after two weeks of negotiation between the U.S. and the European Union on greenhouse gas issues.

November 26
      Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris certifies that George W. Bush has won the presidential election in that state by a margin of 537 out of approximately 6,000,000 votes cast, taking Florida's 25 electoral votes; Al Gore immediately contests the count. (See November 7 and December 8.)

      Haitian elections draw a light turnout and a boycott by the opposition, and they are neither financed nor observed by the international community; on November 29 former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide is declared the winner, with a margin of almost 92%.

      The electorate in Switzerland votes overwhelmingly against cutting spending on the traditionally neutral country's unusually large military.

November 27
      In elections in Canada, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and his Liberal Party beat out the rightist Canadian Alliance, led by Stockwell Day; it is the first time since World War II that a prime minister has won a third consecutive election.

      The giant General Electric Co. announces that Jeffrey Immelt, head of GE Medical Systems, will succeed Jack Welch as president and CEO when Welch retires in April 2001.

      The Lærdal Tunnel, at 24.5 km (15.2 mi) the world's longest, opens to traffic in Norway, allowing travelers to go from Oslo to Bergen without traversing mountains.

November 28
      Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak surprises opponents in the Knesset (parliament), who are preparing to vote him out, by calling for new elections.

      French composer Pierre Boulez is awarded the 2001 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition of the University of Louisville, Ky., for his chamber piece Sur incises; the award is considered the top international music composition prize.

      The U.S. Customs Service announces that it has banned imports from a Chinese-owned clothing factory in Mongolia after learning that the company used forced child labour on its assembly line; the vast majority of the clothing manufactured at this factory was sold in the United States.

November 29
      It is reported that novelist Stephen King has decided to suspend serialization of The Plant, which he had been publishing on his World Wide Web site and asking readers to pay for on the honour system; a diminishing number of people, King says, have been making the requested payment.

      The Coca-Cola Co. formally donates 50 years of television advertising and related materials to the Library of Congress as part of the observance of the library's bicentennial.

November 30
      Gen. Ansumane Mane, the leader of the opposition in Guinea-Bissau as well as a former president, is killed in a scuffle with government troops north of Bissau, the capital. (See November 24.)

      The KunstHaus in Vienna opens an exhibit of the work of Friedensreich Hundertwasser entitled “Hated—Built—Loved: From Utopia to Reality,” which includes some 20 scale models of the architect's international projects; Hundertwasser, famed for his iconoclastic, fairy-tale structures, died in February 2000.

      Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom names her daughter, Princess Anne, Lady of the Order of the Thistle because of her close ties to Scotland.

"He who wins by injustice may dominate the present day, but history will always judge him to be a shameful loser. There can be no exception."
Kim Dae Jung, on accepting the Nobel Prize for Peace in Oslo, December 10

December 1
      Vicente Fox Quesada is inaugurated as president of Mexico, ending the dominance of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which had ruled since 1929.

      Chinese officials confirm rumours that Gao Changli, the minister of justice, was removed from office in the past week; they make no comments on the reports that say Gao is under investigation for corruption.

      Charges of kidnappings are brought against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, and his arrest is ordered in Chile. (See August 8.)

      The U.S. Army announces that it has destroyed the last of the chemical weapons stockpiled on Johnston Island, a coral reef about 1,330 km (825 mi) southwest of Hawaii, and has begun a three-year cleanup of the depot.

      Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks attends a ceremony opening the Rosa Parks Library and Museum in Montgomery, Ala., and she is awarded the first Governor's Medal of Honor for Extraordinary Courage.

December 2
      Indonesian troops open fire on independence supporters in the secessionist province of Irian Jaya (West Papua). (See June 2.)

      The popular and highly successful alternative rock band Smashing Pumpkins holds its last concert, in Chicago, before breaking up after 13 years together.

December 3
      The annual Kennedy Center Honors Gala celebrates the artistic contributions of tenor Plácido Domingo, rocker Chuck Berry, actress Angela Lansbury, dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, and actor Clint Eastwood.

      Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten wins the Masters Cup in Lisbon and thereby attains the number one tennis ranking for the year.

      Sandra Baldwin is elected president of the U.S. Olympic Committee; she is the first woman to hold this position.

December 4
      PepsiCo Inc. concludes a deal to purchase the Quaker Oats Co. for about $13.4 billion in stock; the deal brings the popular sports drink Gatorade to PepsiCo, a leader in carbonated beverage brands as well as the owner of Tropicana juices and Lipton teas.

      U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton creates the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, at 341,360 sq km (131,800 sq mi)—all underwater—the largest nature reserve in the nation. (See November 9.)

December 5
      Pentagon investigators conclude that large numbers of unarmed Korean civilians were killed by U.S. forces at No Gun Ri in 1950, although the exact number killed and the reason for the incident remain unclear.

December 6
      The French Internet service provider Wanadoo (a unit of France Télécom) agrees to buy the troubled British Internet service provider Freeserve to create the second largest such company in Europe.

      At a time when many nations around the world are lowering their spending on defense, Australia plans to increase defense spending in light of the increased peacekeeping role being played in the Pacific region by Australian armed forces.

      Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, two giant pandas on long-term loan from China, arrive at the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C.

      Queen Elizabeth II formally opens the Great Court, the redesigned centre of the British Museum in London; the Great Court features a stunning translucent roof that covers the largest (0.8-ha [2-ac]) covered public square in Europe.

December 7
      The impeachment trial of Philippine Pres. Joseph Estrada opens in the Senate chamber in a suburb of Manila. (See November 13.)

      Officials in California declare a stage-three power alert, the first ever in the state, as electricity reserves drop to dangerous levels.

      Nature magazine reports that a study of mitochondrial DNA from 53 people of diverse ethnic and geographic backgrounds indicates that the human race originated in Africa and that migration from Africa did not begin until 52,000 years ago.

      Construction begins on the Millennium Ribble Link, the first canal to be built in England in 150 years; the 6.5-km (4-mi) canal will have nine locks and link the Lancaster Canal with the River Ribble.

      The 45th annual Asia-Pacific Film Festival opens in Hanoi, Vietnam; 450 delegates from 17 countries are in attendance to view 57 films entered into competition.

December 8
      The Florida Supreme Court rules that ballots in some Florida counties must be hand counted in order to determine the winner of the U.S. presidential election in Florida and thus the winner of Florida's electoral college votes, necessary to win the presidency; Republican candidate George W. Bush appeals the decision. (See November 26 and December 12.)

      An attack by a member of an outlawed fundamentalist Muslim sect kills 20 people at Friday prayers at a mosque in Khartoum, The Sudan.

      The Russian parliament votes to restore the old Soviet national anthem with new lyrics as the new national anthem of Russia to replace the wordless song by Mikhail Glinka that has been the Russian national anthem since 1990; the change becomes official on December 30.

December 9
      Prime Minister Ehud Barak announces his resignation, forcing new elections in Israel, probably in early February 2001.

      The Heisman Trophy goes to Chris Weinke, a quarterback for the Florida State University Seminoles; the 28-year-old is the oldest player ever to win the trophy.

December 10
      The Nobel Prizes are presented in ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo.

      In parliamentary elections in Côte d'Ivoire, the Ivorian Popular Party, the party of Pres. Laurent Gbagbo, wins 96 of the 225 seats; a boycott by Alassane Ouattara's Rally of Republicans party means that the seats for representatives of the Muslim north will remain vacant. (See October 25.)

      In a runoff presidential election, former president Ion Iliescu of the leftist Social Democratic Party of Romania handily defeats Corneliu Vadim Tudor of the nationalist extremist Greater Romania Party; Tudor characterizes the results as “a victory of the Antichrist.”

      Spain clinches its first-ever Davis Cup international team tennis championship, knocking off Australia three matches to one (with a dead fifth match not played).

      Former prime minister Mohammed Nawaz Sharif, who had been convicted of abuse of power as well as kidnapping and hijacking in connection with the coup in Pakistan in 1999, is released from prison and flown into exile in Saudi Arabia. (See April 6.)

December 11
      Parliamentary elections in Trinidad and Tobago result in a narrow victory for the United National Congress, the party of Prime Minister Basdeo Panday.

      Zinedine Zidane, a French midfielder who plays for Juventus of Turin, Italy, is named Player of the Year by FIFA, the world association football (soccer) governing body; the Algerian-born Zidane won the award in 1998 as well.

      Alex Rodriguez, shortstop for the Texas Rangers professional baseball team, nails down the largest contract in sports history; the team agrees to pay him $252 million over a 10-year period, more than doubling the previous record contract (Kevin Garnett of basketball's Minnesota Timberwolves in 1997).

December 12
      In a complex and divided decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that, though Florida ballots should be hand counted, there are inadequate standards for such a count and there is insufficient time in which to perform it; in effect, the decision grants victory in the presidential election to George W. Bush. (See December 8 and December 18.)

      In Algiers Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Eritrean Pres. Isaias Afwerki sign a treaty to end their countries' destructive two-year border war; UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright are among the observers.

      Spanish novelist, critic, and newspaper columnist Francisco Umbral is named the 2000 recipient of the Cervantes Prize, the highest honour in Spanish-language letters.

      General Motors announces plans to phase out production of the Oldsmobile; first produced in 1897, Oldsmobile is the oldest American automobile brand.

December 13
      It is announced in Washington that an international 22-member team has discovered the source of the Amazon River, Carhuasanta Creek on Nevado Mismi mountain in Peru, some 6,400 km (4,000 mi) from its mouth on the Atlantic Ocean.

      The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rules that employers that provide insurance coverage for preventive medicines should also provide coverage for contraceptive drugs and devices.

      Patrick McEnroe replaces his brother, John, as captain of the American Davis Cup tennis team.

December 14
      Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin pardons Edmond Pope, an American businessman who on December 6 had been sentenced to 20 years in prison for espionage.

      Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ataollah Mohajerani, known for having overseen liberalized press and artistic freedoms in Iran, is removed from office.

December 15
      On the order of Ukrainian Pres. Leonid Kuchma, the Chernobyl nuclear station is powered down and officially closed.(See June 5.)

      Botanists in Australia report that they have found a stand of “living fossil” trees of the genus Eidothea in a remote area about 640 km (400 mi) north of Sydney; a similar discovery of a different genus of trees also believed to be unchanged since prehistoric times was reported in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney in 1994.

      The Academy of American Poets announces that the Wallace Stevens Award for poetry will be given to Frank Bidart.

December 16
      George W. Bush names retired general Colin Powell to be his secretary of state when he takes office as president of the United States in January; if confirmed, Powell will be the first African American to hold that post.

      The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in England, is performed for the 20,000th time; based on an Agatha Christie story, the play opened in the West End in 1952 and has employed 318 actors in the eight roles in the play.

      The findings of the Galileo spacecraft that suggest that there is water under ice on Jupiter's moon Ganymede are reported to the American Geophysical Union; previous findings had suggested the presence of water on Europa and Callisto.

December 17
      Two Teamsters local unions ratify contracts with the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press, ending a dispute that lasted five and one-half years.

December 18
      Members of the electoral college from Nevada have the honour of formally electing George W. Bush to the U.S. presidency when they bring the total electoral vote cast for the Republican candidate to 271, one more than needed for victory. (See December 12.)

      Popocatépetl, a volcano near Mexico City, produces what observers believe is the biggest eruption in centuries and the fourth major eruption in the past 5,000 years.

      Aetna Inc., the biggest health insurance company in the United States, announces plans to raise premiums, drop two million customers, and lay off 5,000 workers.

      The Gillette Co. announces plans to close eight factories and lay off 8% of its workforce in January 2001.

December 19
      The UN Security Council imposes a harsh embargo on the Taliban, the de facto rulers of Afghanistan; Secretary-General Kofi Annan and aid workers in Afghanistan, both UN-affiliated and private, oppose the move.

      The Guatemalan legislature approves a plan to use the U.S. dollar in everyday business while keeping the quetzal as the official currency of the country.

      Airbus Industrie's A380 superjumbo jet program is formally launched in Toulouse, France; the double-decker aircraft will be the largest passenger plane in the air, seating up to 555 passengers in cruise-ship-style luxury.

December 20
      India announces plans to extend its unilateral Ramadan cease-fire in Kashmir for another month; Pakistan responds by announcing a partial withdrawal of its troops in the area.

      U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton issues rules that require that medical providers obtain the consent of patients before releasing medical information pertaining to those patients.

      The second Charles Ives Living award, the largest award for musical composition, is given to Chen Yi, a prolific Chinese-born American composer; recipients of the award are required to forswear employment other than composition for a three-year period.

December 21
      Military contractor Northrop Grumman agrees to buy Litton Industries, a builder of military ships and information systems.

      Zimbabwe's Supreme Court rules that Pres. Robert Mugabe must produce a workable plan for land reform within six months, indicating that, while land redistribution is necessary, simply seizing the land from the owners is unconstitutional.

December 22
      The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund announce that the world's industrial powers, including the United States, Japan, and many European countries, have agreed to forgive the debts of 22 of the world's poorest countries.

      Three American teenagers, sons of U.S. Army personnel stationed in Germany, are convicted of murder in Hessen, Ger., for a February incident in which they dropped rocks from a pedestrian overpass onto a highway in Darmstadt, killing two motorists.

December 23
      The United Nations completes the first major reform of its budget in nearly 30 years; one of the changes reduces the percentage of both the administrative and the peacekeeping budgets that the U.S. is responsible for.

December 24
      Viswanathan Anand of India defeats Aleksey Shirov of Spain to become the Fédération Internationale des Échecs world champion, replacing Aleksandr Khalifman in the position, in Tehran; Anand declines to say whether he plans to play Vladimir Kramnik, who became the Brain Games Network world champion in November.

      On Christmas Eve in Bethlehem, Manger Square is dark and the new hotels almost empty; tourism, the major industry in the West Bank Israeli town, has been choked off since October, when the Israeli army sealed off the area.

December 25
      A partial eclipse of the Sun is visible throughout most of North America; there will not be another Christmas Day solar eclipse until 2307.

      Pres. Jiang Zemin of China and Pres. Tran Duc Luong of Vietnam sign an agreement demarcating the border between the countries in the Gulf of Tonkin, the culmination of years of negotiation.

December 26
      Thailand's new official anticorruption commission rules that the leading candidate for the January 2001 elections for prime minister has engaged in financial wrongdoing; the following day a member of the commission itself resigns after admitting failure to disclose assets.

      The Seventh World Zoroastrian Congress opens with two days of athletic contests followed by five days of meetings and educational and arts programs in Houston, Texas; it is the first time the world congress has taken place outside Asia.

      An employee of Edgewater Technology Inc. in Wakefield, Mass., murders seven of his fellow employees in a workplace rampage.

December 27
      Muslims worldwide begin the three-day celebration of Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan.

      Peru's legislature passes a law to change the legislative system from one of all at-large representatives to one of representation based on geographic districts.

      Hockey Hall of Fame member Mario Lemieux, one of the best players in the game, returns to the ice as the player-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time since his retirement on April 27, 1997; he scores one goal and makes two assists.

December 28
      Montgomery Ward & Co., Inc., an icon in American catalog sales and retailing since its beginnings in 1872, announces that it will close its 250 remaining stores and file for bankruptcy.

      In a runoff election necessitated by the results of the election held December 7 in Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor defeats John Atta Mills, the candidate supported by Jerry Rawlings, for the presidency; Rawlings had held power since 1982.

      At the end of a three-day meeting in Tehran, top military leaders from Russia and Iran agree on an expanded military and security cooperation agreement; relations between the two countries had been cool and low-key since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

      The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the population of the United Stated topped 281 million in 2000—a much larger figure than predicted—with the fastest growth rate recorded in the South and West.

December 29
      In a suburb of Tehran, a soccer brawl spreads off the fields and into the streets, resulting in damage to 250 buses and the arrest of at least 60 people; one team owner blames increased soccer violence on the ban on women's attendance at soccer games.

December 30
      In the third session of a closed-door trial in Tehran, a former head of internal security, Mostafa Kazemi, confesses to having masterminded the killings of dissident writers and intellectuals.

      The biggest meeting of the philosophical community, the three-day annual meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, attended by some 3,000 philosophers, wraps up in New York City.

December 31
      Five bombs go off in scattered locations around Manila, killing at least 14 people.

      After a full year of utterly failing to live up to its publicity, the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, London, closes.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

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