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July 2006

World

  • Dozens Are Killed at Iraqi Market (July 1): More than 60 people are killed by a suicide bomber in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad. A Sunni member of parliament, Tayseer Najah al-Mashhadani, and eight of her bodyguards are kidnapped in Baghdad.
  • Mexican Election Results Are Inconclusive (July 2): Felipe Calderón of the conservative National Action Party leads leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador by about 1 percentage point in the presidential election. López Obrador alleges irregularities and calls for a recount.
  • Former U.S. Army Private Is Charged with Murder and Rape (July 3): Steven D. Green, who was recently discharged for a “personality disorder,” is accused of raping an Iraqi teenage girl and killing her and three members of her family. The incident took place in March 2006. (July 9): Four other soldiers are charged with the rape and murder of the girl and her family. A fifth is charged with “dereliction of duty” for not reporting the incident.
  • North Korea Test Fires Missiles (July 4): Country launches at least six missiles over the Sea of Japan. One of them, an intercontinental ballistic missile, fails.
  • Violence Intensifies in Gaza (July 6): Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants continue to clash a week after Israel entered the Gaza Strip to seek the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit. About 20 Palestinians are killed in the fighting.
  • Nobel Peace Laureate Is Named Prime Minister of East Timor (July 8): President Xanana Gusmão appoints José Ramos-Horta as prime minister, hoping to restore stability to the country after several months of fighting between former soldiers and police.
  • India Tests a Long-Range Missile (July 9): India launches a missile with a range of 1,800 miles, the longest range in its arsenal.
  • Chechen Terrorist Is Killed (July 10): Shamil Basayev, who organized the seizure of a Moscow theater in 2002 and the school in Beslan in 2004, dies in an explosion in Ingushetia carried out by Russian security forces.
  • Bombs Kill Hundreds on Trains in India (July 11): More than 200 people die and hundreds more are wounded when a series of bombs explode on commuter trains in Mumbai during the evening rush hour.
  • Russia and China Agree with West on Iran (July 12): Countries say they will join the United States and Europe in seeking a Security Council resolution against Iran if it does not respond to an offer of financial incentives if it halts its nuclear activities. Both countries had previously resisted such a move.
  • Hezbollah Opens New Front in Middle East (July 13): Lebanese militant group fires rockets into Israel, killing eight soldiers and kidnapping two others. In response, Israel launches a major military attack, bombing the Lebanese airport and parts of southern Lebanon. (July 14): Israel blockades Lebanon and attacks Lebanon’s airport. Hezbollah continues to fire rockets—believed to have been supplied by Iran—into Israel. (July 16): Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and other Persian Gulf states take the unusual step of condemning Hezbollah for “inappropriate and irresponsible acts.” (July 17): At the Group of 8 summit meeting in Russia, British prime minister Tony Blair and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan propose deploying an international force to stop the fighting. (July 20): U.S. Marines enter Lebanon for the first time in 20 years to evacuate Americans. (July 24): U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice travels to Beirut and meets with Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora and the speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri. Israeli troops and Hezbollah militants engage in fierce ground battles. (July 25): Four unarmed UN observers are killed by an Israeli air strike. (July 30): After more than 50 civilians, including 37 children, are killed in Qana, Lebanon, by an Israeli air strike, Israel says it will suspend air attacks on Lebanon for 48 hours. (July 31): Israel resumes air strikes on Lebanon, despite promise to suspend them, saying they are justified to respond to “imminent threats.”
  • Baghdad Endures Increased Sectarian Violence (July 15): Nearly 150 people are killed in five days of suicide bombings, mortar attacks, and shootings that bring the country to the brink of civil war. The U.S. increases its troop presence in the city to help quell the violence. (July 19): According to a UN report, more than 100 civilians died each day in June in Iraq. (July 25): Nuri al-Maliki visits the White House for the first time as Iraqi prime minister, and President Bush says he will redeploy 4,000 U.S. troops to Baghdad to try to stop the escalating violence.
  • Security Council Resolution Condemns North Korea (July 15): Voting unanimously, council demands that North Korea halt its ballistic missile program and urges it to return to negotiations on its nuclear program.
  • Olympic Committee Members Are Kidnapped (July 15): More than 30 members of Iraq’s Olympic committee, including the group’s president, are abducted in Baghdad. The members represent several ethnic groups, casting doubt that the motive was sectarian.
  • Hussein Is Hospitalized (July 23): After being on a hunger strike for about two weeks, the former Iraqi president, who is on trial on charges of crimes against humanity, is being fed through a tube. Hussein and other defendants are protesting the trial procedures and are seeking increased protection for their lawyers.
  • Hussein's Trial Ends (July 27): The trial of the former Iraqi president on charges of crimes against humanity ends after nine months. He is accused of ordering the 1982 execution of 148 men and boys in a Shiite village.
  • Agency Masked Reconstruction Costs in Iraq (July 28): Audit finds that the United States Agency for International Development used an accounting scheme to mask budget overruns on projects in Iraq.
  • Congo Holds Historic Multiparty Elections (July 30): About 9,700 candidates vie for 500 seats in the national assembly, and 33 run for president in the country's first multiparty elections in 46 years.
  • Castro Temporarily Steps Aside (July 31): Cuban president hands over power to his brother Raúl while he undergoes surgery on his intestines. It is the first time in 47 years as president that Castro has relinquished control over the country.
  • UN Passes Resolution on Iran (July 31): Security Council resolution calls on Iran to stop enriching uranium by Aug. 31 or face the threat of sanctions.
  • NATO Takes Command of Southern Afghanistan (July 31): The U.S. transfers control of an international force, giving NATO responsibility for fighting the Taliban and drug lords in the troubled region.

Nation

  • Reports Indicate That CIA Closed Bin Laden Unit (July 3): National Public Radio reports that in late 2005 the CIA shut down “Alec Station,” which was charged with tracking down al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
  • New York Court Rejects Gay Marriage (July 6): Court of Appeals rules, 4–2, that a law limiting marriage to a man and a woman does not violate the state's constitution. The majority decision says that recognition of same-sex marriage is a matter for the legislature to decide, not the judiciary.
  • White House Concedes That Detainees Are Protected by the Geneva Convention (July 11): Bush administration says terror suspects are entitled to basic human rights and legal rights under the Geneva Convention.
  • Columnist Says He Cooperated with Prosecutor (July 12): Robert Novak, who in a 2003 column disclosed the identity of a covert CIA officer, says he named three sources for the column to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald six months after his piece was published. He had said earlier that he did not cooperate with Fitzgerald.
  • Bush Will Allow Secret Court to Rule on Wiretaps (July 13): If Congress approves the deal, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court will review the National Security Agency’s program of wiretapping Americans suspected of terrorism without warrants.
  • Former CIA Officer Sues Three Officials (July 13): Valerie Plame Wilson and her husband, Joseph Wilson, sue Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Lewis “Scooter” Libby's, saying they violated the couple’s constitutional rights when they conspired to leak the identity of Plame Wilson, a CIA officer, to the press.
  • Bush Vetoes Stem Cell Bill (July 19): A day after the Senate voted, 63–37, in favor of legislation that would expand the number of stem cell lines available for embryonic research using federal financing, the president uses the veto for the first time.
  • Senate Extends Voting Rights Act (July 20): A week after the House passes the bill, the Senate votes, 98–0, to extend by 25 years the law that bans voter discrimination.
  • Democrats Revise Primary Schedule (July 22): Party's Rules and Bylaws Committee votes to allow two states to hold early primary votes. South Carolina can have its primary presidential election one week after New Hampshire, and Nevada will run its caucus a week before the New Hampshire primary.
  • Senate Passes Abortion Restriction (July 25): Votes, 65–34, to make it a federal crime to transport an underage girl across state lines to have an abortion and avoid the parental notification laws of certain states.
  • House Approves Nuclear Pact with India (July 26): Votes, 359–68, to allow the U.S. to provide India with fuel for its civilian nuclear power program.
  • House Passes Minimum Wage Increase with Condition (July 29): Votes, 230–180, to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 from $5.15 per hour by 2009, but the increase is linked to a reduction in the estate tax.

Business/Society/Science

  • Space Shuttle Launches Successfully (July 4): Discovery lifts off for a 13-day mission to the International Space Station. (July 17): Discovery lands safely after delivering supplies to the International Space Station and conducting three spacewalks.
  • Former Enron Chief Dies (July 5): Kenneth Lay, founder and former chairman and chief executive of the energy-trading company, dies of coronary artery disease at age 64. He was awaiting sentencing after his May conviction of fraud and conspiracy.
  • Tax Revenue Cuts Deficit (July 11): Tax receipts from businesses and wealthy individuals in the current fiscal year will be about $119 billion higher than expected and will help reduce the federal deficit.
  • Italy Wins Its Fourth World Cup (July 9): Defeats France, 5–3, in a penalty shootout. France's star, midfielder Zinédine Zidane, is ejected for head-butting Italian defender Marco Materazzi.
  • Ceiling Panels Fall in Boston Tunnel (July 10): Four three-ton concrete slabs fall, killing a woman. Investigation finds that hundreds of other panels need to be repaired. The tunnel is part of the Big Dig, the biggest federally funded highway project in history.
  • Hundreds Die in Tsunami (July 18): More than 800 people die when an undersea earthquake hits off the coast of Java, Indonesia.

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