October 2005

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff


  • Bombers Attack in Bali (Oct. 1): At least 22 people die when several bombs explode at tourist sites on the Indonesian island of Bali, which was also attacked in 2002. Suicide bombers are suspected.
  • Shiite and Kurdish Leaders Change Election Rules (Oct. 2): New rules say that constitution will fail if two-thirds of all registered voters—rather than two-thirds of those who vote—reject it in three or more provinces. Changes likely to ensure that constitution passes in the national referendum on Oct. 15. (Oct. 5): Facing pressure from the UN and U.S. officials, the Iraqi National Assembly votes to reverse the rules change.
  • Nuclear Agency and Its Chief Win Nobel Prize (Oct. 7): The International Atomic Energy Agency and its leader, Mohamed ElBaradei share the Nobel Peace Prize. In the run-up to the war in Iraq, ElBaradei was skeptical that Saddam Hussein had resumed a nuclear weapons program, angering the Bush administration.
  • Earthquake Devastates Pakistan (Oct. 8): Approximately 54,000 people die when a magnitude 7.6 tremblor rocks Pakistani-controlled part of Kashmir. About 800 die in India. The United Nations estimates that more than 2.5 million are homeless.
  • German Leaders Reach Deal (Oct. 10): Angela Merkel, leader of the Christian Democratic Union, which narrowly prevailed over Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's Social Democratic Party in September elections, to become country's first female chancellor. Social Democrats will control eight of 14 ministries.
  • Iraq to Change Draft Constitution (Oct. 11): Leaders agree to create a panel that could revise the constitution. In exchange, Sunni leaders say they will support the constitution in the upcoming referendum.
  • Liberia Holds Election (Oct. 11): Voters to select president and legislators who will replace interim government that has been in charge since President Charles Taylor stepped down in 2003. (Oct. 18): Former soccer star George Weah and Harvard-educated economist Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to face each other in a runoff election.
  • Syrian Minister Found Dead (Oct. 12): Ghazi Kanaan, interior minister, reportedly committed suicide. He was questioned in September about the February murder of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik Hariri. Many believed Syrian officials were involved in the assassination.
  • Dozens Killed in Russia (Oct. 13): Insurgents attack police and security offices, killing about 85 people in the southern city of Nalchik. Officials think guerrillas are connected to Chechen separatists.
  • Iraqis Vote on Constitution (Oct. 15): Millions of Iraqi voters head to the polls to vote on a constitution. Participation of Sunnis is mixed. (Oct. 25): Electoral commission reports that constitution has passed, with 79% of voters supporting it. But it failed by more than a two-thirds majority in two Sunni-dominated provinces and by less than a two-thirds majority in a third, making the victory a narrow one. Turnout among Sunnis is high.
  • Hussein Trial Begins (Oct. 19): Former Iraqi president pleads not guilty to charges related to the killing of 143 people in the town of Dujail, Iraq, in 1982. Seven others also on trial.
  • UN Releases Report on Slaying (Oct. 20): Investigation concludes assassination of former Lebanese prime minister was carefully organized by Syrian and Lebanese intelligence officials, including Syria's military intelligence chief, Asef Shawkat, who is the brother-in-law of Syrian president Bashar Assad.
  • Afghan Election Results Released (Oct. 21): More than a month after Parliamentary elections, results show that at least half of the lower house will be composed of Islamic conservatives and former jihad fighters. Women take 68 seats, or more than 25%.
  • U.S. Deaths in Iraq Reach Solemn Milestone (Oct. 25): Number of deaths of U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq reaches 2,000. The figure represents the number of fatalities since the war began in March 2003.
  • Iranian President Makes Inflammatory Statement (Oct. 26): At a speech in front of 4,000 students, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Israel should be “wiped off the map.” Remark ignites international outrage.
  • Violence on the Rise Between Israelis and Palestinians (Oct. 26): Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for suicide bombing that kills 20 in the Israeli town of Hadera. (Oct. 27): Israeli troops launch retaliatory airstrikes in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
  • Violence Explodes in Paris Suburbs (Oct. 27): Rioters begin setting cars on fire and looting in the working-class suburbs after two boys are accidentally killed while hiding from police.
  • Explosions Rock New Delhi (Oct. 29): Two coordinated blasts kill about 50 people in India's capital city.
  • UN Warns Syria (Oct. 31): Security Council, in a unanimous vote, tells Syria to stop obstructing an investigation into the February assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.


  • Bush Nominates Woman for Supreme Court (Oct. 3): President selects Harriet Miers, White House counsel, to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Miers, who is a longtime friend of President Bush, has never been a judge. Nomination coincides with opening of Supreme Court, with new Chief Justice John Roberts. (Oct. 27): After facing weeks of blistering criticism from both Democrats and Republicans about her qualifications, Miers withdraws her nomination.
  • DeLay Indicted Again (Oct. 3): For the second time in a week, the House majority leader is accused of violating state's election laws. While the earlier indictment was for conspiracy, this one is for money-laundering, a more serious charge. Both indictments are for the same alleged offense.
  • Official Indicted in Lobbyist Case (Oct. 5): David Safavian, former top procurement officer in the Bush Administration, is charged with obstruction an investigating and lying about his contacts with Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist who is under federal investigation.
  • Senate Passes Law Regulate Treatment of Prisoners (Oct. 5): Senate, voting 90–9, defies veto threat by President Bush, and approves measure that bans the use of “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” of anyone under the custody of the American military.
  • Judge Lifts Contempt Order Against Miller (Oct. 12): A day after New York Times reporter Judith Miller testifies about notes from an interview with I. Lewis Libby, President Cheney's chief of staff, which she recently discovered, a federal judge lifts the contempt order.
  • Miers Asked to Redo Questionnaire (Oct. 19): Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee tell U.S. Supreme Court nominee to revise parts of her judicial questionnaire. They said several of her responses were “inadequate,” “insufficient,” and “insulting.”
  • House Passes Law Protecting Gun Industry (Oct. 20): Votes, 283–144, in favor of legislation that shields gun makers and dealers from liability lawsuits.
  • DeLay Booked in Houston (Oct. 20): Representative Tom DeLay is fingerprinted and photographed as a result of indictments that charge him with conspiracy and money laundering. He is freed on a $10,000 bond.
  • Libby Is Indicted (Oct. 28): A federal grand jury indicts I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, with one count of obstruction of justice, two of perjury, and two of making false statements in connection with an investigation into who disclosed the identity of a covert CIA officer. He resigns. (Oct. 31): David Addington, Cheney's counsel, named as Libby's replacement.
  • Bush Nominates Judge for Supreme Court (Oct. 31): Selects conservative judge Samuel Alito, a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. If confirmed, Alito will replace the retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Announcement comes days after Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination.


  • GM and Union Reach Deal (Oct. 17): General Motors and the United Auto Workers union agree to cut $1 billion in annual health benefits for workers and retirees.
  • Bush Nominates Successor to Greenspan (Oct. 24): President selects Ben Bernanke, his chief economic adviser, to replace Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.
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