2002 World History
- The euro currency debuts in 12 European countries (Jan. 2). U.S. takes Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners to Guantanamo Bay (Jan. 10). Defrocked priest John Geoghan convicted of child molestation; church's role in cover-up sparks national outrage (Jan. 18). U.S. reporter Daniel Pearl kidnapped in Pakistan (Jan. 23). Kenneth L. Lay, chairman of bankrupt energy trader Enron, resigns; company under federal investigation for hiding debt and misrepresenting earnings (Jan. 24). President Bush's first State of Union address labels Iran, Iraq, and North Korea “an axis of evil” (Jan. 29). Queen Elizabeth II of England marks 50 years as monarch (Feb 6). The trial of Slobodan Milosevic on charges of crimes against humanity opens at The Hague (Feb. 12). American Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh charged with supporting terrorism (Feb. 13). Reporter Pearl confirmed dead in Pakistan (Feb. 21). Angolan UNITA rebel leader Jonas Savimbi killed in battle (Feb. 22). Tamil Tigers and Sri Lankan government sign a cease-fire agreement (Feb. 22). Hundreds in India die in Hindu-Muslim clashes (March 2). U.S. and Afghan troops launch Operation Anaconda against remaining al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan (March 2). Saudi peace proposal—offering Israel normal relations with all Arab nations in return for withdrawal from occupied territories—approved at Arab League summit (March 28). Israeli tanks and warplanes attack West Bank towns of Nablus, Jenin, Bethlehem, and others in response to string of Palestinian suicide attacks. In the first three months of 2002, 14 suicide bombers killed dozens of Israeli civilians and wounded hundreds (March 29–April 21). Israeli prime minister Sharon calls for exile of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat (April 2). UNITA Rebels and Angolan government sign a cease-fire ending 30 years of civil war (April 4). International Criminal Court wins UN ratification, but U.S. refuses to ratify (April 11). Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez ousted in coup, then reinstated (April 12, 14). U.S. and Russia reach landmark arms agreement to cut both countries' nuclear arsenals by up to two-thirds over the next ten years (May 13). East Timor becomes a new nation (May 20). In letter to Director, FBI lawyer Coleen Rowley criticizes FBI for thwarting terrorist efforts (May 21). Dirty bomb plot foiled with arrest of Jose Padilla (June 10). U.S. abandons 31-year-old Antiballistic Missile treaty (June 13). At national conference, U.S. bishops recommend zero tolerance policy for priests who abuse children (June 14). Arthur Andersen firm convicted of destroying documents relating to former client Enron Corp. (June 15). Bush announces U.S. will not recognize an independent Palestinian state until Yasir Arafat is replaced (June 24). WorldCom, after admitting to misstating profits, files for bankruptcy—largest claim in U.S. history (July 21). Pennsylvania miners rescued after spending 77 hours in a dark, flooded mine shaft (July 28). Bush signs corporate reform bill in response to spate of corporate scandals (July 30). Bush addresses United Nations, calls for a “regime change” in Iraq (Sept. 12). Tyco executives L. Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz indicted in stock-fraud scheme (Sept. 12). Terrorist bomb in Bali kills hundreds (Oct. 12). Government suspended in Northern Ireland in protest of suspected IRA spy ring (Oct. 14). Former ImClone Executive Sam Waksal pleads guilty to charges including fraud and perjury (Oct. 15). North Korea admits to developing nuclear arms in defiance of treaty (Oct. 16). Vatican calls for softening of U.S. bishops' abuse policy (Oct. 18). Chechen rebels take 763 hostages in Moscow theater; Russian authorities release a gas into theater, killing 116 hostages and freeing remaining survivors (Oct. 23–26). Snipers prey upon DC suburbs, killing ten and wounding others (Oct. 2–24). Police arrest two sniper suspects, John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo (Oct. 24). CIA kills six al-Qaeda members in Yemen (Nov. 4). Republicans retake the Senate in midterm elections; gain additional House seats (Nov. 5). UN Security Council passes unanimous resolution calling on Iraq to disarm or else face “serious consequences” (Nov. 8). China's Jiang Zemin officially retires as general secretary; Hu Jintao named as his successor (Nov. 14). UN arms inspectors return to Iraq (Nov. 18). EPA relaxes Clean Air Act (Nov. 22). Bush signs legislation creating cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security (Nov. 25). Boston archbishop Cardinal Bernard Law resigns over growing child sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church (Dec. 13). Trent Lott steps down as Republican leader after furor over pro-segregationist remark (Dec. 20). Sen. Bill Frist unanimously elected Republican leader of the Senate (Dec. 23).