July 2002

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff


  • International Criminal Court Opens (July 1): Hague-based court will try cases of genocide and war crimes. U.S. removed signature from treaty that created the court.
  • U.S. Bomb Kills Dozens of Afghan Civilians (July 1): Errant 2,000-pound bomb dropped during an Air Force attack kills about 40 members of a wedding party.
  • U.S. Extends Peacekeeping Mission (July 3): Allows force to remain in Bosnia until July 15, while U.S. and UN Security Council negotiate over U.S. demands that Americans be granted immunity from prosecution by International Criminal Court.
  • Two Palestinian Security Chiefs Resign (July 4): Jibril Rajoub and Ghazi Jabali step down two days after Yasir Arafat dismissed them. Their defiance jeopardizes Arafat's attempt to reform Palestinian Authority.
  • Afghan Vice President Assassinated (July 6): Abdul Qadir, a Pashtun, shot in the head by gunmen in Kabul.
  • Pakistanis Confess to U.S. Consulate Bombing (July 8): Two men associated with the Taliban admit to June 14 attack that claimed 12 people.
  • African Leaders Form New Group (July 8): More than 30 leaders meet in Durban to dismantle Organization of African Unity, established 39 years ago to battle apartheid and colonialism, and create the African Union.
  • Turkey Rocked by Cabinet Resignations (July 8): Several legislators and ministers step down amid fears that government is crumbling. (July 11): Foreign minister Ismail Cem resigns, seventh cabinet-level departure.
  • Israeli Police Raid Jerusalem Office of Prominent Palestinian (July 9): Isrealis say Sari Nusseibeh, a moderate college president who has led a drive to condemn suicide bombings by Palestinians, is an agent of Yasir Arafat.
  • England to Relax Marijuana Laws (July 10): Police will not arrest people who use drug in small amounts, but will vigorously pursue dealers.
  • Security Council and U.S. Compromise on New Court (July 12): American peacekeepers granted one-year immunity from prosecution by International Criminal Court. Move ends weeks of tense negotiations.
  • Islamic Militants Attack Hindus (July 14): Kashmir assault claims 25 and wounds more than 30.
  • French President Survives Assassination Attempt (July 14): Student, Maxime Brunerie, 25, fires at Jacques Chirac on the Champs-Élysées.
  • Pearl Kidnapper Sentenced to Death (July 15): Pakistani court convicts Ahmed Omar Sheikh of masterminding the capture and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter. Three others sent to prison for life.
  • IRA Apologizes to Families of Victims (July 16): In a remarkable act of contrition, the Irish Republican Army issues condolences to the relatives of 650 civilians killed during 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland.
  • Spain Arrests al-Qaeda Suspects (July 16): Police detain three men accused of belonging to terror group. Find videotapes containing surveillance of World Trade Center and other possible targets.
  • Suicide Bombings Resume in Israel (July 16): Militants ambush bus near West Bank settlement, killing 9 people. First attack in nearly a month. (July 17): Two Palestinian suicide bombers kill three in Tel Aviv.
  • Sept. 11 Suspect Enters Guilty Plea (July 18): Zacarias Moussaoui pleads guilty to planning terrorist attacks on U.S. and admits belonging to al-Qaeda. (July 25): Withdraws earlier guilty plea and denies he helped to plan the Sept. 11 attacks.
  • Leader of Greek Terrorist Group Arrested (July 19): Alexandros Yiotopoulos, a mathematician, charged with murder, bombings, and bank robberies. He headed November 17, a terrorist group that has killed 23 people since the 1980s.
  • Former Salvadoran Generals Fined Millions (July 23): José Guillermo García and Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova ordered by a federal jury in Florida to pay $54.6 million to three people who were tortured in the early 1980s during El Salvador's civil war. The jury found that the generals allowed atrocities by the military.
  • Israelis Attack Home of Hamas Leader (July 23): Bomb strikes a house in a dense civilian area, killing militant Sheik Salah Shehada and 14 others.
  • Milosevic Deemed Seriously Ill (July 25): Diagnosis that former Yugoslav president suffers from serious heart disease could delay his war-crimes trial.
  • Court Outlaws Iranian Opposition Party (July 27): Bans Iran Freedom Movement, a 40-year-old moderate religious group, and jails 33 members.
  • Rwanda and Congo Sign Peace Accord (July 30): Paul Kagame and Joseph Kabila, presidents of Rwanda and Congo, respectively, agree to end 4-year-old war that has claimed 3 million people.
  • Americans Die in Jerusalem Attack (July 31): Bomb explodes at a Hebrew University cafeteria. Five of the seven casualties are U.S. citizens.


  • Two Dead in Airport Shooting (July 4): Alleged gunman, Egyptian-born Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, kills two at Los Angeles International Airport.
  • Senate Approves Nuclear Waste Site (July 9): Votes, 60–39, to store radioactive material from 39 states inside Nevada's Yucca Mountain. Site expected to open in 2010. (July 23): President Bush approves measure.
  • Bush Speaks Out Against Corporate Malfeasance (July 10): In first policy speech on issue, president calls for prison sentences for offenders, close scrutiny of businesses, and additional funds for enforcement.
  • House Votes to Arm Pilots (July 10): Bill passes, 310–113, to train airline pilots to become deputized flight deck officers and carry guns in cockpits.
  • Bush Announces Deficit (July 12): Shortfall, which follows four years of surpluses, expected to hit $165 billion for 2002. President blames decrease in capital gains tax revenue.
  • American Taliban Member Pleads Guilty (July 15): John Walker Lindh, 21, will serve 20 years in prison for aiding a terrorist organization.
  • Senate Passes Bill to Reform Business Laws (July 15): Votes, 97–0, for legislation that would crack down on corporate malfeasance. Bill calls for accounting-industry oversight board and jail sentences for executives who manipulate balance sheets.
  • Bush Unveils Domestic Security Plan (July 16): Proposal includes measures to protect the country's infrastructure, issue national drivers' licenses, review laws that ban the military from playing a role in U.S. law enforcement, and beef up border patrols. (July 26): House votes, 295–132, to create a Department of Homeland Security.
  • House Ethics Committee Recommends Expulsion of Congressman (July 18): Votes unanimously for ouster of Ohio representative James Traficant, who, in April, was convicted of bribery, conviction, and racketeering.
  • EPA to Clean Up Some Toxic Sites (July 21): In a reversal, agency decides to fund decontamination of 11 areas.
  • U.S. Withholds Aid for Population Fund (July 22): Bush administration refuses to give $34 million, which had been approved earlier, to UN fund.
  • Senate Confirms Surgeon General (July 23): Richard Carmona wins unanimous approval.
  • House Expels Traficant (July 24): Votes, 420–1, to oust from Congress nine-term Ohio Democrat. (July 30): Traficant sentenced to eight years in prison.
  • California to Limit Auto Emissions (July 24): Gov. Gray Davis signs bill restricting pollution from cars and trucks sold in the state.
  • Congressional Negotiators Compromise on Bankruptcy Bill (July 25): Legislation requires individuals to repay some debt over an extended period.
  • House and Senate Pass Corporate Reform Bill (July 25): Legislation makes security fraud a criminal offense, metes stiff penalties for executives who sign off on false financial reports, and creates an accounting-industry oversight board. (July 30): Bush signs measure.
  • House Approves Trade Authority for Bush (July 27): Votes, 215–212, to give president the right to negotiate trade deals with other countries. Congress can only accept or reject the deals, not amend them.
  • Ethics Committee Reprimands Torricelli (July 30): Senate group “severely admonishes” New Jersey senator for accepting gifts from David Chang, a wealthy businessman and campaign contributor.
  • Senate Kills Drug Plan (July 31): Republican and Democratic proposals to help the elderly pay for prescription drugs fall short of the 60 votes necessary for passage. Manages, however, to pass bill that hastens the approval of cheaper, generic drugs.
  • Senate Holds Hearings on Possible War with Iraq (July 31): Experts predict U.S. would succeed in ousting Saddam Hussein but warn of significant troop deployment, a spike in oil prices, and future terrorist attacks.


  • Vivendi Universal Chief Steps Down (July 2): Jean-Marie Messier forced to resign from media giant amid $32.7 billion debt.
  • Dozens Die in Midair Collision (July 2): Swiss air traffic controllers cited for lapses in crash of Russian passenger plane and German cargo plane that killed 71, including 52 Russian children headed for vacation.
  • AIDS Deaths Projected to Skyrocket (July 2): UN announces toll could reach an additional 65 million by 2020 if preventative measures are not expanded.
  • Balloonist Completes Around-the-World Trip (July 2): In sixth attempt, Steve Fossett, Chicago investment banker, circumnavigates globe in a balloon in 14 days.
  • Unemployment Rate Increases (July 5): June jobless rate rises to 5.9 percent, from 5.8 percent in May.
  • Ted Williams Dies (July 5): Legendary Red Sox slugger dies in Inverness, Florida, at age 83.
  • Former WorldCom Take the Fifth (July 8): Bernard Ebbers, former CEO, and Scott Sullivan, former CFO, refuse to testify before Congress about company's accounting practices that inflated profits by $3.8 billion over 15 months.
  • Hormone Replacement Questioned (July 9): Study finds that drug therapy for menopausal women can cause increases in rate of breast cancer, heart attacks, blood clots, and strokes.
  • Early Skull Discovered in Chad (July 11): French scientists report in the journal Nature that they have unearthed a 7-million-year-old member of the human family, Sahelanthropus tchadensis, who has been nicknamed “Toumai.” Fossil combines human and chimpanzee characteristics.
  • Knee Surgery Deemed Useless (July 11): Study reveals that procedure to reduce pain and stiffness caused by arthritis shows no benefit but costs the government and private insurers more than $1 billion a year.
  • Scientists Re-create Polio Virus (July 11): Use virus's genome sequence and DNA purchased by mail. Move shows that terrorists may be able to make biological weapons without a live virus.
  • Millions of Pounds of Beef Recalled (July 19): Agriculture Department pulls 19 million pounds of ground beef from store shelves after 19 people fall ill. Contaminated meat traced to ConAgra plant in Greeley, Colo.
  • Stock Market Plunges (July 19): Dow Jones closes down 3 percent, lowest level since Sept. 11 attacks. Two-week losses of 14.5 percent.
  • WorldCom Files for Bankruptcy (July 21): Largest claim in U.S. history. Lists more than $107 billion in assets.
  • Radical Named Archbishop of Canterbury (July 23): Rowan Williams, an advocate of gays and women priests, will succeed George Carey in October.
  • Adelphia Founder and Sons Arrested (July 24): John Rigas, 78, and sons Timothy and Michael charged with bank, wire, and securities fraud. Accused of using more than $1 billion in company funds for personal use.
  • Stock Market Rebounds (July 24): Dow Jones gains 488 points, or 6.4%—the biggest single-day jump since 1987.
  • AOL Time Warner Under Investigation (July 24): SEC begins probing AOL division to determine if the company inflated revenue from 2000 to early 2002.
  • Imperiled Pennsylvania Miners Rescued (July 28): After spending 77 hours in a dark, flooded mine shaft 240 ft below ground, nine workers emerge in good health.
  • Dozens Die at Ukrainian Air Show (July 27): Fighter jet loses control and rashes into crowd in Lviv, killing 72.
  • Former WorldCom Executives Charged with Fraud (July 31): Scott Sullivan, former CFO, and David Myers, former controller, accused of misstating revenue by more than $3.8 billion.

Sources +
See also: