01 - Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens in Baghdad: In
the worst attack in Iraq in months, a suicide bomber kills 30 people at
a home where mourners were paying their respects to the family of a man
killed in a car bomb. The Iraqi military blames the attack on al-Qaeda
02 - U.S. Attorney General Opens Investigation
into Destroyed Tapes: Michael Mukasey orders a formal criminal investigation
into the destruction in 2005 of CIA videotapes of the interrogation of
two al-Qaeda suspects. The tapes, from 2002, reportedly included agency
operatives using harsh interrogation techniques. Federal prosecutor John
Durham is chosen to head the inquiry.
10 - U.S. Drops Dozens of Bombs Near Baghdad: Air
attacks, in which about 40,000 pounds of bombs are dropped, target insurgents
linked to al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia on the outskirts of southern Baghdad.
21 - Markets Plunge Around the World: Responding to fears that the U.S.
is headed for an imminent recession, stock markets fall drastically in
Frankfurt, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Paris, London, and other major cities in
Europe and Asia.
22 - Federal Reserve Slashes Interest Rates: In response to the plunge
in markets around the world, the Federal Reserve bank cuts interest rates
by .75%, the largest single-day reduction in the bank's history.
24 - Italy's Government Collapses: Prime Minister
Romano Prodi resigns after losing a confidence vote in the senate. He
survived one a day earlier in the lower house.
31 - U.S. Strike Kills al-Qaeda Leader: The United States announces that
Abu Laith al-Libi, a senior commander of al-Qaeda who recruited and trained
operatives, was killed in a missile strike in northwest Pakistan.
10 - Four Art Masterpieces Stolen: Three men wearing
ski masks steal four pieces of artwork from the Zurich Museum in one of
the largest art robberies in history. In broad daylight, the robbers took
a Cezanne, a Degas, a van Gogh, and a Monet, with a combined worth of
$163 million. (Feb. 18): Two of the paintings, the Monet and the van Gogh,
are found in perfect condition in the backseat of an unlocked car in Zurich.
12 - Writers' Strike Ends: A tentative three-year deal with production
companies is approved, ending the three-month Writers' Guild of America
strike that began on Nov. 5, 2007, and cost the entertainment industry
over $2 billion.
14 - Immigration Smuggling Ring Broken: Immigration authorities in Phoenix,
Arizona, arrest 20 people involved in an illegal immigrant smuggling ring.
Officers also detain 210 illegal immigrants and discover 13 houses used
as way stations in immigrant trafficking.
19 - Castro Resigns as President of Cuba: Fidel Castro, who temporarily
handed power to his brother Raúl in July 2006 when he fell ill,
permanently steps down after 49 years in power
04 - McCain Secures Nomination: After primary wins
in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont, John McCain has enough delegates
to become the Republican presidential nominee. Mike Huckabee drops out
of the race.
06 - Eight Students Killed at Jerusalem Seminary: A Palestinian gunman
from East Jerusalem fires hundreds of rounds of automatic weapons fire
at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, killing eight students. The
attack is the most deadly on Israeli citizens in two years
23 - U.S. Suffers 4,000th Death in Iraq: A roadside bomb in Baghdad kills
four U.S. soldiers, bringing the death toll of American troops to 4,000.
President Bush said of the losses, "I have vowed in the past, and
I will vow so long as I'm president, to make sure that those lives were
not lost in vain, that, in fact, there is an outcome that will merit the
03 - NATO Invites Two Countries to Join Alliance:
Leaders of NATO invite Croatia and Albania to become part of the alliance.
Once admitted, NATO will include 28 countries. Greece vetoes the invitation
to Macedonia, and despite lobbying by the U.S., Ukraine and Georgia are
also denied membership.
06 - Olympic Torch Relay Draws Protests: Dozens of human rights protesters
are arrested in London after they clash with police who line the route
of the Olympic torch relay.
07 - The torch is extinguished several times during the Paris leg of the
10 - Senate Passes Housing Relief Bill: In an attempt to help homeowners
on the brink of foreclosure, the Senate approves, 84 to 12, a measure
that gives a $7,000 tax credit to people who buy foreclosed houses, provides
$150 million to counsel home buyers, and allocates $4 billion to localities
that purchase foreclosed buildings. The bill, which would cost about $15
billion over 10 years, is criticized for also giving tax breaks to home
builders, automakers, airlines, and other industries.
15 - Pope Denounces Pedophile Priests: During his first visit to the United
States, Benedict XVI says he is "deeply ashamed" by the scandal
that has rocked the Catholic church in recent years. "It's difficult
for me to understand how it was possible that priests betrayed in this
way their mission to give healing, to give the love of God to these children,"
17 - Benedict XVI celebrates a mass before 46,000
people at Washington Nationals stadium in Washington, DC. He later holds
a suprise meeting with several victims of sexual abuse by priests in the
20 - Woman Wins Indy Race: Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300, becoming
the first woman to win an IndyCar race.
01 - U.S. Missile Kills Top Militia Leader in Somalia:
American officials say Aden Hashi Ayro, leader of Shabab, an Islamic militant
group with ties to al-Qaeda, was killed in a missile attack. U.S. intelligence
officers had been tracking him for several weeks.
03 - Microsoft Withdraws Bid for Yahoo: After Yahoo rejects Microsoft's
offer of $33 per share, or about $47.5 billion, up from $29.40 a share,
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer announces the company has rescinded
07 - New President of Russia Is Sworn In: Dmitri Medvedev succeeds Vladimir
Putin as the president of Russia. Although he's a Putin loyalist, Medvedev
is said to be moderate and pro-Western.
08 - Parliament elects Putin, head of the United
Russia party, as prime minister.
20 - Kennedy Diagnosed with a Brain Tumor: Senator Edward Kennedy, a Democrat
from Massachusetts who's been in office since 1963, is diagnosed with
a malignant glioma.
03 - Obama Secures the Democratic Nomination: On
the final day of the 2008 primary season, Sen. Barack Obama secures 2,154
delegates and becomes the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
He's the first black candidate to head a major party ticket in a presidential
election. Hillary Clinton does not withdraw from the race, but is expected
to in the coming days.
05 - Sept. 11 Suspects Are Arraigned: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who has
claimed to have organized the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against
the U.S., and four others involved in the planning, face a tribunal for
the first time at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. All five defendants say
they will defend themselves.
06 - Unemployment Rate Spikes: The U.S. Department of Labor reports that
the jobless rate increases from 5% to 5.5%, the biggest monthly increase
in 22 years.
21 - Hundreds Are Killed by Typhoon in the Philippines: More than 800
people die when a ferry is struck by Typhoon Fengshen. About 500 other
people die during the storm.
27 - Gates Ends Day-to-Day Work at Microsoft: Bill Gates remains chairman
of the software giant, but he will no longer work at the company full
time. Instead, he will devote more time to the Bill and Melinda Gates
30 - U.S. Army Faults Itself in Report on Post-Hussein Iraq: In 700-page
study called "On Point II: Transition to the New Campaign,"
the Army says that while it was capable of toppling Saddam Hussein, it
was not equipped to rebuild Iraq into a functional country.
02 - Hostages Are Freed in Colombia: After being
held for nearly six years by FARC rebels, 15 hostages, including three
U.S. military contractors and French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt,
are freed by commandos who infiltrated FARC's leadership.
14 - International Court Issues Arrest Warrant for Sudanese President:
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court,
formally charges Sudan's president Omar Hassan al-Bashir, with genocide
for planning and executing the decimation of Darfur's three main ethnic
tribes: the Fur, the Masalit, and the Zaghawa. Moreno-Ocampo also says
Bashir "purposefully targeted civilians" and used "rapes,
hunger, and fear" to terrorize civilians. Many observers fear that
Bashir will respond to the charges with further violence.
25 - California Bans Trans Fats in Restaurants: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
signs a law that prohibits the use of hydrogenated oils in the state's
88,000 restaurants. The law goes into effect in 2010.
01 -Several Climbers Die on K2: Eleven mountain
climbers are killed when a large mass of ice breaks and causes an avalanche
on the world's second-highest mountain, in northern Pakistan. It is the
deadliest climbing accident on K2 since 1986.
04 - Policemen Are Killed in Terrorist Attack in China: Chinese officials
say two members of the East Turkestan Independence Movement, a Muslim
group based in western China, drive a truck into a group of police officers
who were jogging, then throw explosives and stab them. Sixteen police
officers die and another 16 are wounded. The attack raises concerns about
the upcoming Summer Games.
08 - The Summer Games Open with a Spectacular Ceremony and Tragedy): The
Games open in Beijing with 14,000 performers and 91,000 spectators in
the National Stadium. Dancing, music, and fireworks entertain 840 million
television viewers worldwide. A Chinese man stabs an American couple midday
on the second floor of an ancient tower in Beijing, killing the husband
and injuring the wife. The victim, Todd Bachman, was the father-in-law
of Hugh McCutcheon, the head indoor men's volleyball coach.
13 - U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps wins his 11th career gold medal, becoming
the first athlete in Olympic history to do so.
17 - Michael Phelps wins his eighth gold medal, breaking the record set
by Mark Spitz in the 1972 Games. Phelps also sets the record for the most
golds in a single Olympics.
22 - Iraq and the U.S. Agrees on Timeframe for Troop Pullout: The U.S.
says it will withdraw combat troops from Iraqi cities by June 2009, followed
by the removal of all combat troops by the end of 2011 as long as Iraq
is stable and secure. The draft deal is part of a security pact that governs
U.S. involvement in Iraq.
29 - McCain Chooses Outsider as Running Mate: The day after Sen. Barack
Obama accepts the Democratic nomination for president, Republican John
McCain names Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, as his pick for vice president.
The selection comes as a surprise and is an apparent attempt to woo women
voters and those who are concerned that a McCain administration will be
a continuation of the Bush years.
30 - New Orleans Residents Prepare for Hurricane: One day after the third
anniversary of the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans mayor Ray
Nagin orders residents to begin leaving the city as Hurricane Gustav makes
its way toward Louisiana.
01 - Japanese Prime Minister Resigns: Yasuo Fukuda,
who has been in office barely a year, announces that he will step down
when his party, the Liberal Democrats, select his successor. In June 2008,
the upper house of Parliament, which is controlled by the opposition,
censured Fukuda, citing his mismanagement of domestic issues. The lower
house, however, supported him in a vote of confidence.
03 - Detroit Mayor Steps Down: As part of a plea deal, Kwame M. Kilpatrick
pleads guilty to two felony charges of obstruction of justice and agrees
to resign from office, serve four months in jail, and pay $1 million in
restitution to end a scandal stemming from his attempts to conceal a past
affair with his former chief of staff.
05 - Unemployment Rate Reaches Highest Level in Five Years: The Bureau
of Labor Statistics reports that the jobless rate in the U.S. hits 6.1%,
the highest point since 2003. Some 84,000 people lost jobs in August.
17 - Two Bombs Explode at U.S. Embassy in Yemen: A car bomb and a rocket
hit the U.S. Embassy in Yemen as staff arrived to work, killing 16 people,
including four civilians. At least 25 suspected al-Qaeda militants are
arrested in connection with the attack.
26 - Presidential Candidates Face Off in First Debate: At the end of a
tumultuous week in which the country's financial system teetered on the
brink of collapse, Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama agree that the
government should intervene in the crisis, but conditions and safeguards
must be included in any bailout package. Obama blames the Bush adminstration's
failed economic policy for the turmoil. On foreign policy, the candidates
attack each other over the war in Iraq. McCain lashes out at Obama for
not supporting the surge of troops that has led to a decrease in violence
in Iraq. The debate, which takes place at the University of Mississippi,
was up in the air until midday, as McCain had said that he would not participate
in the debate in order to focus on the national financial crisis.
27 - Chinese Astronaut Makes First Spacewalk: Zhai Zhigang steps out of
the Shenzhou VII spacecraft and enters outer space, performing the first
spacewalk by a Chinese astronaut.
01 - Iraq Takes Control of Awakening Councils:
The Iraqi government takes command of 54,000 mainly Sunni fighters from
the U.S., which had been paying the fighters for their support. The fighters,
members of awakening councils, turned against al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia
in 2007 and began siding with the U.S.
01 - Senate Approves Nuclear Deal with India: Votes, 86 to 13, to end
the ban on trading nuclear fuel with India. In passing the measure, the
Senate ratifies the agreement, which will allow India to buy nuclear fuel
on the world market for its reactors as long as it uses the fuel for civilian
purposes only. India has agreed to give international inspectors access
to its 14 civilian nuclear plants. Eight military facilities, however,
will remain outside the purview of inspectors. The ban was imposed by
the U.S. in 1974 after India tested a nuclear weapon.
03 - Economy Suffers Huge Job Losses in September: The Labor Department
reports that 159,000 jobs were lost in September, the most in five years.
26 - U.S. Troops Launch an Air Attack into Syria: American Special Operations
Forces kill a leader of al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia in a helicopter attack
in Syria, near the Iraqi border. U.S. officials say the militant, Abu
Ghadiya, has smuggled weapons, money, and fighters into Iraq from Syria.
27 - Fighting Intensifies in Congo: After capturing the major army base
of Rumangaboebel, rebel forces in the northeast part of the country who
are loyal to a Tutsi general, Laurent Nkunda, advance toward Goma, the
capital of North Kivu province. Angry civilians attack UN peacekeeping
troops, frustrated that they were not able to thwart the rebels. About
250,000 civilians have fled their homes since a peace accord fell apart
04 - Barack Obama Is Elected President: In an election
that is historic on many levels, Democratic senator Barack Obama wins
the presidential election against Sen. John McCain, taking 338 electoral
votes to McCain's 161. Obama's victory is assured after winning crucial
swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. In addition, Indiana and Virginia
vote for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since
1964. Obama is the first African American to be elected president of the
United States. He will inherit a country facing two wars and an economy
in tatters. Sen. John McCain delivers a gracious concession speech that
focuses on the historic significance of Obama's win. Democrats increase
their majority in the House and pick up five seats in the Senate.
05 - Russian President Sends a Warning to Obama: The day after Sen. Barack
Obama is elected president of the United States, Russian president Dmitri
Medvedev delivers a speech in Moscow in which he says he will deploy short-range
missiles near Poland that could reach NATO countries if the U.S. installs
a missile-defense system in Europe.
18 - Pirates Hijack Oil Tanker: The Saudi oil tanker, anchored about 480
miles off the coast of Somalia, is loaded with some two million barrels
of oil, worth about $100 million. It is the first time pirates have seized
an oil tanker. Piracy in the area has been occurring with increased frequency
19 - Stock Market Tumbles Again: The Dow Jones falls 5.1%, or 427.47 points,
to 7,997.28. It is the first time since 2003 that it has fallen below
8,000. The decline coincides with a report from the Labor Department indicating
that the Consumer Price Index fell by one percentage point in October,
the steepest one-month drop since the index debuted in 1947.
01 - Dow Plunges Amid Report That Economy Is in
Recession: The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops 680 points after the
National Bureau of Economic Research announces that the U.S has been in
recession since Dec. 2007 and the release of a report indicating that
U.S. manufacturing has hit a 26-year low.
08 - Organizers of Sept. 11 Attacks Say They Will Plead Guilty: Khalid
Sheikh Mohammed, suspected of being the mastermind of the attacks, and
four codefendents tell the military judge at Guantanamo Bay that they
want to confess to all charges of murder and war crimes. The judge, Col.
Stephen Henley, tells prosecutors that they must report back on whether
the suspects can be sentenced to death without being found guilty by a