2001 World History
- Congo president Laurent Kabila assassinated by bodyguard (Jan. 16). In final days of presidency, Bill Clinton issues controversial pardons, including one for Marc Rich, billionaire fugitive financier (Jan. 20). George W. Bush is sworn in as 43rd president (Jan. 20). Earthquake kills thousands in India (Jan. 26 et seq.). Libyan convicted in Flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland (Jan. 31). Right-winger Ariel Sharon wins election in Israel (Feb. 6). U.S. submarine Greeneville sinks Japanese fishing boat, killing 9 (Feb. 9). FBI agent Robert Hanssen is charged with spying for Russia for 15 years (Feb. 20). The long-simmering resentment of Macedonia's ethnic Albanians erupts into violence (March 15 et seq.). British livestock epidemic, foot-and-mouth disease, reaches crisis levels (March 23). Bush abandons global-warming treaty (Kyoto Protocol), angering European leaders (March 30). U.S. spy plane and Chinese jet collide. The 24 crew members of the U.S. plane are detained for 11 days; U.S. issues a formal statement of regret (April 2 et seq.). Race riots in Cincinnati continue for several days following a shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer (April 7 et seq.). U.S. millionaire Dennis Tito becomes first space tourist, visiting the International Space Station aboard a Russian booster (April 28). Former Klansman Thomas E. Blanton convicted of 1963 murder of four black girls in Birmingham, Ala. (May 1). After a Palestinian suicide bomber kills 5 and wounds more than 100 in a Netanya shopping mall, Israeli warplanes retaliate by bombing West Bank and Gaza strip (May 18). Four are declared guilty in 1998 terrorist bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (May 29). Balance of the Senate shifts after Jim Jeffords of Vermont changes his party affiliation from Republican to Independent. The move strips Republicans of control of the Senate and gives Democrats the narrowest of majorities (50–49–1) (June 5). Bush signs new tax-cut law, cutting taxes by $1.35 trillion over 11 years, the largest tax cut in 2 decades (June 7). Mohammad Khatami, Iran's moderate president, is reelected in a landslide (June 9). Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh executed (June 11). Syrian forces evacuate Beirut area after decades of occupation (June 19). Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic is delivered to UN tribunal in The Hague to await war-crimes trial (June 29). Without U.S., 178 nations reach agreement on climate accord, which rescues, though dilutes, 1997 Kyoto Protocol (July 23). Bush allows stem cell research, approving federal funds for studies using existing strains of stem cells (Aug. 9). After six months of fighting, a peace agreement is signed between rebels and the Macedonian government (Aug. 13). Budget surplus dwindles; some blame the slowing economy and the Bush tax cut (Aug. 22). Terrorists attack United States. Hijackers ram jetliners into twin towers of New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked plane crashes 80 mi outside of Pittsburgh. Toll of dead is more than 3,000. Within days, Islamic militant Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terrorist network are identified as the parties behind the attacks (Sept. 11). Anthrax scare rivets nation, as anthrax-laced letters are sent to various media and government officials. Several die after handling the letters (October 5 et seq.). In response to Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, U.S. and British forces launch bombing campaign against Taliban government and al-Qaeda terrorist camps in Afghanistan. Bombings continue on a daily basis (Oct. 7 et seq.). Irish Republican Army announces that it has begun to dismantle its weapons arsenal, marking a dramatic leap forward in Northern Ireland peace process (Oct. 23). Plane crash kills 260 in Queens, N.Y. (Nov. 12). Afghani factions create a post-Taliban government (Nov. 27). Enron Corp., one of world's largest energy companies, files for bankruptcy (Dec. 2). Israel condemns the Palestinian Authority as a “terror-supporting entity” and severs ties with leader Yasir Arafat following mounting violence against Israelis. The Israeli Army begins bombing Palestinian areas (Dec. 4 et seq.). Taliban regime in Afghanistan collapses after two months of bombing by American warplanes and fighting by Northern Alliance ground troops (Dec. 9). Hamid Karzai, new interim Afghan leader, is sworn in (Dec. 22).