August 2002

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff


  • Iraq Moves to Resume Inspection Talks (Aug. 1): Iraqi foreign minister Naji Sabri invites UN inspector Hans Blix to Baghdad to discuss weapons inspections. (Aug. 5): Iraq says it will give members of Congress access to areas believed to be arms-development sites.
  • Judge Orders Release of Detainee Names (Aug. 2): Rules that the Bush administration must disclose names of people arrested following Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
  • Taiwan President Says Country Separate from China (Aug. 2): Chen Shui-bian also encourages a referendum on the issue.
  • Turkey Passes Reforms (Aug. 3): Parliament votes to ban death penalty, except in time of war, and broaden rights of Kurds. Moves required for entry into European Union.
  • Bolivian Congress Ends Presidential Deadlock (Aug. 4): Selects former president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada over Evo Morales.
  • Several Die in String of Palestinian Attacks (Aug. 5): At least 14 people victims in ambushes in Jerusalem, Galilee, and Nablus.
  • Suspected Pakistani Militants Attack Christian Sites (Aug. 5): Six die when four men open fire at Islamabad's Murree Christian School. (Aug. 9): Four die in Islamabad after a grenade attack on a missionary hospital.
  • UN and U.S. Refuse Inspection Talks in Iraq (Aug. 5): Congress rejects Iraq's offer to have members personally inspect weapons sites. (Aug. 6): Secretary General Kofi Annan says inspectors will only go if Iraq agrees to follow rules set by UN.
  • Explosions Rock Bogotá During Inauguration (Aug. 7): FARC guerrillas suspected in attacks on presidential palace and nearby slum that claim at least 14 people as Alvaro Uribe Vélez takes oath of office nearby.
  • IMF Loan Rescues Brazil (Aug. 7): U.S. backs $30 billion loan to beleaguered nation.
  • U.S. and Palestinian Leaders Meet (Aug. 8): Secretary of State Colin Powell, Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat, and other leaders discuss future of Yasir Arafat and timetable for elections and statehood.
  • White Farmers Ordered to Leave Property (Aug. 8): Zimbabwe redistribution policy, drafted by President Robert Mugabe, seeks to return to black farmers land that was taken during the colonial era without offering compensation to current white owners.
  • Iraqi Opposition Leaders Meet with U.S Officials (Aug. 9): Iraqi groups promise to work with U.S. toward democracy if Saddam Hussein is overthrown.
  • Iranian President Assails U.S. (Aug. 13): While in Afghanistan, Khatami criticizes Bush, saying his reaction to Sept. 11 attacks created an international atmosphere of hostility that could spiral out of control.
  • Israel Indicts Palestinian Leader (Aug. 14): Marwan Barghouit, leader in Yasir Arafat's Fatah organization, charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and working with a terrorist group. He's considered a possible successor to Arafat.
  • Musharraf Rebukes Militants (Aug. 14): In Nation Day speech, Pakistani president condemns recent attacks on country's Christian sites by Islamic guerrillas.
  • Indonesian Court Rules on Human Rights Cases (Aug. 14): Former governor of East Timor, Abilio Soares, convicted for not stopping 1999's post-referendum killing spree by pro-Indonesian militia and government troops. (Aug. 15): Six military leaders and police officers acquitted of charges, outraging human rights groups.
  • Families of Sept. 11 Victims File Suit (Aug. 15): Relatives of about 900 victims file $100 trillion claim against members of the Saudi royal family, banks, charities, and the government of Sudan, alleging they financed Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
  • North and South Korean Officials Meet (Aug. 14): Reconciliation talks resume, and envoys set dates for an economic summit and another round of reunions.
  • Bush Protests Sentencing of Activist (Aug. 15): Refuses Egypt's request for funds, beyond $2 billion allotted annually, after Egyptian court sentences Saad Eddin Ibrahim to seven years in prison for political activism.
  • Pope Returns to Homeland (Aug. 16): Begins emotional, three-day trip to Poland, which many believe will be his last.
  • Israel and Palestinians Agree on Withdrawal Plan (Aug. 18): Agreement, “Gaza, Bethlehem first,” calls for Israel to pull out of areas if Palestinians agree to rein in militants. Hamas and Islamic Jihad reject the deal.
  • Videotapes Support al-Qaeda Weapons Theory (Aug. 19): CNN broadcasts footage of al-Qaeda members giving instructions on how to build bombs and fire surface-to-air missiles and of dogs dying, allegedly from exposure to chemical agents. Network paid $30,000 for 64 tapes.
  • Palestinian Terrorist Dies (Aug. 19): Abu Nidal, blamed for deaths of 900 people in 20 countries, reportedly killed himself in Iraq.
  • Stoning Sentence Upheld (Aug. 19): An Islamic appeal court in Nigeria upholds the punishment for Amina Lawal, 30, who was convicted in March of having sex out of marriage.
  • Protesters Seize Iraqi Embassy in Berlin (Aug. 19): Members of Democratic Iraqi Opposition of Germany, calling for ouster of Saddam Hussein, take over building.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Will Not Run for Reelection (Aug. 21): Jean Chretien announces he will step down when his third term expires in Feb. 2004.
  • Pakistan President Rewrites Constitution (Aug. 21): Pervez Musharraf makes sweeping changes that allow him to dissolve parliament and appoint supreme court justices and military leaders.
  • U.S. Imposes Sanctions on North Korea (Aug. 22): Citing the country's sale of Scud missile parts to Yemen, Bush administration halts contracts and licenses for high-tech products. North Korea had sold the components during Clinton's term.
  • World Leaders Gather at Development Meeting (Aug. 26): Thousands of officials, including about 100 heads of state, meet in Johannesburg for the United Nations' World Summit on Sustainable Development.
  • Bush Adds Chinese Muslim Group to Terrorist List (Aug. 26): Citing ties to al Qaeda, administration puts East Turkestan Islamic Movement from Xinjiang province on list of terrorist organizations. Grateful, China announces new rules to rein in export of missile technology.
  • Iranian President Seeks Broader Power (Aug. 28): Mohammad Khatami announces plans to present legislation to parliament that would limit the role of the hard-line clerics in government and courts. Religious oversight board, the Guardian Council, has thwarted most of Khatami's attempts at reform.
  • Four Indicted for Terrorist Activity (Aug. 28): Arab men in Detroit charged with running a “sleeper operational combat cell.” Government alleges they provided fake licenses, bought weapons, and sheltered terrorists.
  • Trade Group Rules Against U.S. on Tax Break (Aug. 30): World Trade Organization says European Union can fine U.S. $4 billion for allowing companies to avoid taxes by using offshore subsidiaries to export American-made products. U.S. plans to rewrite law to avoid paying the penalty.


  • Senate Approves Trade Authority for Bush (Aug. 1): Votes, 64–34, to give president the right to negotiate trade deals with other countries. Congress can only accept or reject the deals, not amend them. (Aug. 6): Bush signs the trade bill.
  • Bush Sets New Medical Privacy Rules (Aug. 9): Rolls back protections, enacted by President Clinton, that required doctors and other health-care providers to get written permission before disclosing patient information for treatment or claim payment.
  • Germ Weapon Expert Denies Role in Anthrax Attacks (Aug. 11): Steven Hatfill also says high-profile government investigation is destroying his reputation.
  • Bush Discusses Economy at Texas Forum (Aug. 13): At Baylor University meeting, president reports that he's confident about future of U.S. economy. Also announces he will not grant Congress $5.1 billion in emergency funds.
  • Amtrak Suspends High-Speed Service (Aug. 13): Design flaws in Acela trains shelve service on Eastern seaboard route.
  • Texas Executes Mexican Citizen (Aug. 14): Javier Suarez Medina, 33, executed despite pleas for clemency by Mexican president Vicente Fox. Suarez was convicted in 1989 of the murder of an undercover police officer.
  • Former Security Chief Advises Against Iraq Attack (Aug. 15): In Wall Street Journal, Brent Scowcroft, close friend and adviser of Bush family, warns that invasion could jeopardize war on terrorism.
  • INS Chief to Resign (Aug. 16): James Ziglar announces plans to step down by the end of the year. Department criticized for handling of visas and border issues after Sept. 11 attacks.
  • Bush Proposes Easing Logging Laws (Aug. 22): In an effort to stem destructive wildfires, president seeks to allow loggers to thin forests by cutting large trees.
  • Court Rules FBI Filed Erroneous Documents (Aug. 22): Congress announces that in May secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court identified more than 75 cases in which the FBI and the Justice Department mislead the court in seeking clearance for wiretaps and electronic surveillance.
  • Bush Scales Back Steel Tariffs (Aug. 22): Administration revises March legislation and exempts 178 imported steel products from hefty fees.
  • Budget Office Predicts Large Deficits (Aug. 27): Forecast by Congressional Budget Office expects deficits through 2005 and expects 2002 tax revenues to come in 6.6% lower than in 2001.
  • Justices Urge Court to Reconsider Juvenile Executions (Aug. 29): In dissent, Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer encourage colleagues to reexamine the constitutionality of meting death sentences for offenders who commit crimes as juveniles.


  • Conjoined Twins Separated (Aug. 6): Guatemalan girls, joined at their heads, survive 22-hour surgery at U.C.L.A Medical Center.
  • Waksal Faces More Charges (Aug. 7): Founder and former ImClone CEO indicted on charges of insider trading, bank fraud, forgery, and obstruction of justice.
  • WorldCom Discloses Inflated Revenue (Aug. 8): Latest accounting irregularity reveals $3.3 billion in false earnings, bringing total to $7.1 billion since 1999.
  • Scientists Identify Hunger Hormone (Aug. 8): London scientists report in journal Nature that the hormone PYY, produced in the small intestine, triggers a feeling of fullness after eating.
  • US Airways Files for Bankruptcy (Aug. 11): Sixth-largest airline in U.S. plans to maintain service during reorganization.
  • Several Die in Europe Floods (Aug. 12): Prague and Dresden, where levels of the Elbe River rise about 30 ft above normal, suffer most, with damage estimated to top $20 billion. More than 70,000 people evacuated in worst flooding on record. Towns in Austria and Slovakia also affected by flooding of the Danube. (Aug. 16): Elbe reaches 29.5 ft, 9 in. higher than peak in 1845.
  • FDA Orders Recall of Implant Tissue (Aug. 14): Also tells CryoLife, country's biggest tissue processor, to destroy soft tissue processed after Oct. 3, 2001, after 27 people develop infections.
  • Russian Helicopter Crashes in Chechnya (Aug. 19): Transport vehicle lands in a minefield, increasing number of casualties. Toll at 117, the country's largest military air disaster.
  • Conviction in California Kidnapping (Aug. 21): David Westerfield convicted of kidnapping and murdering his neighbor, 7-year-old Danielle van Dam.
  • Enron Official Pleads Guilty to Felonies (Aug. 21): Michael J. Kopper, former division director, admits to paying kickbacks to Andrew Fastow, former CFO, conspiring to commit wire fraud, and money laundering.
  • Skakel Sentenced in Moxley Murder (Aug. 29): Michael Skakel, nephew of Ethel Kennedy, given 20 years to life in prison for 1975 killing of Martha Moxley.
  • Japanese Sub Found Near Pearl Harbor (Aug. 29): Research divers find vessel in routine dive. Discovery provides proof that Japanese attempted to penetrate harbor before launching air attack.
  • Baseball Strike Averted (Aug. 30): Major league baseball team owners and players' union agree to revenue-sharing deal and luxury tax for big-budget teams.

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