July 2007

Here are the key news events of the month organized into three categories: World News, U.S. News, and Business, Society, and Science News.

World

  • Israel Releases Money to Palestinians (July 1): With members of Hamas no longer part of the Palestinian government, Israel resumes financial ties to the Palestinian Authority and begins to transfer tax revenue to the government.
  • U.S. Official Says Iran Trained Iraqi Soldiers (July 2): Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, a military spokesman, accuses Iran's Revolutionary Guards of helping Iraqis plan and execute an attack in Karbala in January 2007 in which five American soldiers were killed.
  • Iraqi Cabinet Makes Progress on Oil Law (July 3): Cabinet approves the hydrocarbon framework law, one component of a larger legislative package, which states that the revenue from oil sales belongs to all Iraqis and outlines the function of the oil and gas council. Parliament must also approve the legislation.
  • British Journalist Is Freed in Gaza (July 4): Alan Johnston, a BBC correspondent who was abducted on March 12 in Gaza by a radical clan called Army of Islam, is released.
  • Pakistani Government and Militants Face Off at Mosque (July 3): Government security officers, radical Islamist clerics, and students at Islamabad's Red Mosque exchange gunfire. The militants advocate the imposition of Shariah, or Islamic law, in Pakistan. (July 10): After negotiations between government officials and mosque leaders fail, troops storm the compound and kill Abdul Rashid Ghazi, who took over as chief of the mosque after the earlier capture of Maulana Abdul Aziz, his older brother. More than 60 people die in the violence.
  • Suicide Bomber Kills 150 in Iraq (July 7): A truck filled with explosives destroys dozens of homes and shops in Amerli, a Shiite village north of Baghdad. Hundreds are wounded in the attack. About 250 people are killed in three days in Iraq by insurgent attacks.
  • Millions Stolen in Baghdad Bank Robbery (July 11): Guards at the Dar Es Salaam bank make off with $282 million in U.S. dollars.
  • Suspected Bombers Are Convicted in London (July 11): Four Islamic men, all originally from the Horn of Africa, are sentenced to life in prison by a British judge for attempting to bomb the London transit system in July 2005. Their failed plot followed the July 7, 2005, attack that killed 56 people.
  • Russia Pulls Out of Arms Treaty (July 14): Russian president Vladimir Putin announces that the country will suspend its participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, a cold-war era agreement that limits the deployment of heavy weaponry.
  • Dozens Die in Attack in Kirkuk (July 16): A suicide bomber drive a bomb-laden truck into a compound that housed offices of Kurdish politicians, killing 85 people. Victims include shoppers at a nearby market.
  • North Korea Shuts Down Reactor (July 16): Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency verify that North Korea has shut down its weapons-making nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, one part of an agreement reached in February 2007.
  • Intelligence Report Shows al-Qaeda Remains Strong (July 17): National Intelligence Estimate concludes that al-Qaeda has gained strength in the past two years and that the United States faces "a persistent and evolving terrorist threat over the next three years." The report says the 2006 cease-fire between the Pakistan government and tribal leaders has allowed al-Qaeda to flourish.
  • Pakistani Court Rules in Favor of Suspended Judge (July 20): Country’s Supreme Court rules that President Pervez Musharraf acted illegally when he suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The court reinstates Chaudhry, who may hear legal challenges involving Musharraf’s continued rule as president and head of the military.
  • Ruling Party Prevails in Turkish Elections (July 23): The Justice and Development Party, the Islamic party headed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, wins 46.6% of vote in parliamentary elections.
  • Euphoria Over Soccer Win Gives Way to Grief (July 25): Iraqis take to the streets to celebrate the national team's win over South Korea in the semifinals of the Asian Cup soccer match. The festivities give way to panic after two suicide bombers attack crowds in Baghdad, killing at least 50 people and injuring about 140.
  • India and U.S. Reach Accord on Civilian Nuclear Power (July 27): Deal allows India, which has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, to buy nuclear fuel from the U.S. to expand its civilian nuclear energy program and reprocess its spent fuel. India agrees to open the reprocessing facility to international inspectors.
  • Security Council Approves Resolution on Darfur (July 31): Votes unanimously to deploy as many as 26,000 peacekeepers from the African Union and the United Nations forces to help end the violence in Darfur that has killed about 200,000 people since 2003. The operation, the world's largest, will cost some $2 billion.
  • Tribunal Charges Khmer Rouge Figure (July 31): Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, who ran the notorious Tuol Sleng prison, is indicted for crimes against humanity. The Khmer Rouge rule from 1975 to 1979 led to the state-sponsored extermination of between one million and two million citizens.

Nation

  • Bush Commutes Libby's Sentence (July 2): Calling the 30-month sentence of I. Lewis Libby excessive, President spares Vice President Dick Cheney's former aid any jail time. Libby was convicted of lying to FBI agents and to a grand jury in the investigation of who leaked to the press the name of a covert CIA agent.
  • Court Dismisses Challenge to Wiretapping Program (July 6): Federal Appeals Court, overturning an earlier decision, says the plaintiffs who challenged the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program failed to show adequate direct injury to sue.
  • Bush Defies Congressional Subpeona (July 9): Citing executive privilege, the president refuses to hand over any documents relating to the firing of nine U.S. prosecutors in 2006 and instructs Harriet Miers, Bush's former counsel, and Sara Taylor, the former deputy assistant to the president and White House director of political affairs, to also refuse to testify. (July 11): Sara Taylor testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and says she does not think President Bush was involved in the dismissals. She invokes executive privilege several times in refusing to answer questions. (July 25): The House Judiciary Committee votes, 22 to 17, to hold Harriet Miers and White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten in contempt for refusing to testify about the dismissals.
  • Former Surgeon General Testifies That the Bush Administration Tried to Interfere with Reports (July 10): Appearing before a Congressional commitee, Richard Carmona says high-ranking administration officials prohibited him from discussing or reporting on stem cells, emergency contraception, and global and prison health. He also says he was pressured to weaken a report on the effects of second-hand smoke.
  • House Passes Bill to Cut Government Subsidies to Student Lenders (July 11): Votes, 273 to 149, to cut $19 billion in federal subsidies to companies that lend money to students. Law would increase maximum Pell grants by $500 for the next five years and offers loan forgiveness for public servants.
  • Bush Gives Mixed Review of Progress in Iraq (July 12): White House report indicates that the Iraqi government has satisfactorily met eight out of 18 benchmarks, including deploying three brigades in and surrounding Baghdad and spending nearly $8 billion to train and outfit Iraqi troops. The government has failed in eight areas, including passing an oil revenue law and organizing local elections. Later in the day, the House votes, 223 to 201, to require that most troops leave Iraq by April 1, 2008.
  • Head of Veterans Administration Announces Retirement (July 17): Jim Nicholson says he is leaving as Secretary of Veterans Affairs to return to the private sector.
  • Executive Order Allows Some Severe Interrogation Techniques (July 20): President Bush gives CIA the authority to resume using a number of harsh interrogation methods when questioning terrorism suspects. The order, however, does not allow the use of waterboarding or exposing suspects to extreme heat or cold.
  • Court Orders Government to Hand Over Information on Detainees (July 20): Federal appeals court rules that the U.S. government must release information to lawyers who are defending Guantánamo detainees who are challenging their detention.
  • Minimum Wage Increases (July 24): The minimum wage increases to $5.85, up from $5.15. It's the first increase in 10 years. The wage will increase 70 cents each year through 2009, when it will be $7.25 an hour.
  • Gonzales Denies Dissent in Justice Department Over Spying Program (July 24): At a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testifies that there was never dissent within the Bush administration over the Terrorist Surveillance Program, the National Security Agency's warrantless eavesdropping program. Instead, Gonzales said disagreements surrounded another secret program. (July 26): FBI director Robert Mueller III contradicts Gonzales, saying several top Justice Department officials threatened to resign over the Terrorist Surveillance Program.
  • Panel Recommends Changes to Healthcare for Soldiers and Veterans (July 25): Bipartisan presidential commission, set up in response to the inadequate treatment of troops at the Walter Reed Medical Center, suggests overhauling the system that makes disability and compensation determinations and improving treatment for brain injuries and post traumatic stress.
  • Congress Passes Antiterrorism Bill (July 26): Senate and House vote, 85 to 8 and 371 to 40, respectively, in favor of legislation that enhances screening of air and sea cargo and revises how antiterrorism grants are distributed to states, allocating more money to states deemed at risk for a terrorist attack.
  • House Passes Ethics Bill (July 31): Passes, 411 to 8, the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which calls on lawmakers to disclose the names of lobbyists who bundle $15,000 in contributions within a six-month period and prohibits lawmakers from accepting gifts, trips, or meals from lobbyists.

Business/Science/Society

  • Russia Is Awarded 2014 Olympics (July 4): The International Olympic Committee announces that Sochi, Russia, a Black Sea resort, will host the Winter Games in 2014. It will be the first time Russia or the former Soviet Union hosts the Winter Games.
  • Argentina Experiences Unusual Snowfall (July 10): Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, experiences its first snowfall in 89 years.
  • Plane Crashes into Building in Brazil (July 17): An Airbus 320 skids off a runway in São Paulo and crashes into an office building, killing about 180 people. It is the worst aviation accident ever in Brazil.
  • Harry Potter Sales Brisk (July 21): In its first day on bookshelves, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final installment in J. K. Rowling's best-selling series, sells more than 8.3 million copies.
  • Murdoch Wins Approval to Buy Dow Jones (Jully 31): The Bancroft family, owner of the Dow Jones & Company, which publishes the Wall Street Journal, agrees to sell the company to media magnate Rupert Murdoch, who owns the News Corporation. The purchase values Murdoch's media holdings at $28 billion.

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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