November 2002

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff


  • Turkey Elects New Leadership (Nov. 3): Justice and Development Party, led by Recep Erdogan, a former Islamicist, takes 34.1% of the vote.
  • Netanyahu Accepts Cabinet Post (Nov. 3): Former Israeli prime minister agrees to serve as foreign minister on the condition that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon calls for new elections.
  • Karzai Fires Regional Officials (Nov. 3): Afghan president cites abuse of authority and corruption in dismissing 15 leaders.
  • CIA Kills al-Qaeda Members in Yemen (Nov. 4): Missile fired from unmanned Predator aircraft hits car carrying Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi and five other passengers.
  • Diamond Certification Plan Signed (Nov. 5): Forty countries endorse Kimberley Process, which guarantees that only diamonds mined legally in Africa will be traded on the international market. Pact meant to prohibit rebels groups from selling gems to buy arms.
  • Sharon Calls Early Elections (Nov. 5): Israeli elections to be held in January or February, eight months ahead of schedule. Move follows prime minister's failure to form a coalition after the Labor Party bolted the government.
  • Bali Bombing Suspect Arrested (Nov. 5): Amrozi, who has ties to a militant Islamic group, arrested on Java, an island in Indonesia. (Nov. 7): Amrozi admits to planting the car bomb outside a crowded nightclub in Bali. Blast killed more than 180 people.
  • China Convenes Meeting to Name New Leaders (Nov. 8): Chinese Communist Party begins 16th congress to select replacements for outgoing president, party chief, and military leader, Jiang Zemin. (Nov. 14): Jiang Zemin officially retires as general secretary of the Communist Party. Hu Jintao named as his successor. Zemin keeps his position as head of the Central Military Commission and will remain president until March 2003.
  • Security Council Approves Iraq Resolution (Nov. 8): Votes, 15-0, to adopt measure calling on Iraq to disarm or else face “serious consequences.”
  • Iranian Professor Sentenced to Death (Nov. 8): Hashem Aghajari charged with apostasy for an August speech in which he said Muslims should not “blindly” follow religious leaders. Ruling by hard-line judiciary sparks wave of student protests.
  • Palestinian Gunman Strikes Kibbutz (Nov. 10): Five people, including two children, die in attack on Kibbutz Metzer. Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, militant arm of Yasir Arafat's Fatah movement, claims responsibility. Israeli army responds by reoccupying Nablus and raiding Gaza.
  • Alleged Bin Laden Tape Broadcast on Arab Network (Nov. 12): Man on audiotape, released by Qata's Al Jazeera network, extols recent terror attacks in Bali and Moscow and threatens future attacks.
  • U.S. to Cut Fuel Shipments to North Korea (Nov. 13): Move follows North Korea's acknowledgement that it has been working on a system to develop nuclear weapons.
  • Iraq Accepts Resolution (Nov. 13): In a nine-page letter, tells the UN it will allow arms inspectors to begin their task. Also denies possessing weapons of mass destruction.
  • Israelis Killed by Palestinian Snipers (Nov. 16): Twelve die when they are ambushed after Sabbath service in Hebron. Islamic Jihad takes responsibility.
  • Arms Inspectors Arrive in Iraq (Nov. 18): Group, led by Hans Blix, prepares to begin search of country for weapons of mass destruction.
  • Israel's Labor Party Selects Candidate (Nov. 19): Picks Amram Mitzna, dovish mayor of Haifa to run as prime minister against Likud candidate.
  • International Schools Close in Indonesia (Nov. 20): Three schools in Jakarta temporarily shuttered in light of terrorist threats against Western students.
  • NATO Expands by Seven Countries (Nov. 21): At Prague meeting, military alliance admits Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovenia. Members—except Germany—support possible war against Iraq.
  • Al-Qaeda Suspect Arrested (Nov. 21): U.S. officials say that earlier in the month they captured Abd al-Rahim al Nashiri, believed to be head of operations in Persian Gulf.
  • Austrian Chancellor Reelected (Nov. 24): Wolfgang Schüssel's center-right People's Party prevails, winning 42% of the vote. Far-right Freedom Party suffers major blow, taking only 10%.
  • Inspectors Begin Task in Iraq (Nov. 27): United Nations inspectors conduct first searches for weapons of mass destruction, which Iraq denies having.
  • Germany Says It Will Aid Israel (Nov. 27): Chancellor Gerhard Schröder announces country will give Israel Patriot anti-missile system and Fuchs tanks to defend against potential Iraqi assault.
  • Israelis Targeted in Kenya (Nov. 28): Three Israelis and nine Kenyans die in suicide attack on Israeli-owned seaside hotel in Mombasa. Al-Qaeda believed to be involved.
  • Human Rights Court Acquits Indonesian Officials (Nov. 30): Two former army officials and two security officers cleared of charges against humanity in murder of civilians in East Timor in 1999.


  • New York Finalist to Host Olympics (Nov. 2): Chosen over San Francisco in U.S. bid for 2012 Summer Games.
  • Republicans Retake the Senate (Nov. 5): GOP narrowly prevails over Democrats in midterm elections. Also picks up seats in House of Representatives.
  • SEC Chief Steps Down (Nov. 5): Harvey Pitt resigns following controversy over his choice of William Webster to head accounting industry oversight board.
  • Ashcroft Says Virginia Will Try Snipers (Nov. 7): Attorney general selects Virginia over Maryland. Virginia more likely to impose death penalty if suspects John Muhammad and Lee Malvo are convicted.
  • Webster Resigns as Head of Oversight Board (Nov. 12): Former director of the FBI and CIA steps down as chief of accounting oversight board. Controversy erupted after it was disclosed that he led audit board of a company accused of fraud.
  • Bishops Approve Plan for Abusers (Nov. 13): Accused priests will appear before lay board before cases are turned over to Vatican, which will then decide whether or not to submit cases to tribunal of clergy. Sex abuse victims critical of process.
  • Woman Elected House Minority Leader (Nov. 14): Democrat Nancy Pelosi becomes first woman to lead a party in Congress.
  • White House Agrees to Sept. 11 Inquiry (Nov. 14): In compromise with Congress, approves independent board to investigate how and why the attacks occurred.
  • Federal Appeals Court Expands Use of Wiretaps (Nov. 18): In first ruling since it was established 24 years ago, U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review says wiretaps acquired for intelligence can be used in criminal cases.
  • Senate Approves Domestic Security Department (Nov. 19): Votes, 90–9, to create cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security, which will unite 22 agencies and 170,000 workers in the biggest government reorganization in more than 50 years. House had earlier approved the legislation. (Nov. 25): Bush signs legislation and nominates Tom Ridge as secretary of the new department.
  • EPA Relaxes Clean Air Act (Nov. 22): Eases part of New Source Review to allow antiquated power plants to make minor improvements but not obligate them to meet modern standards. Environmentalists outraged, and nine state attorney generals say they plan to sue.
  • President Signs Terrorism Insurance Law (Nov. 26): New legislation requires insurance companies to cover commercial buildings against terrorist attacks by foreigners. Bills says federal government will pay 90% of cost of attack on losses of more than $10 billion, up to $100 billion. Senate and House approved bill earlier in the month.
  • Kissinger to Head Sept. 11 Commission (Nov. 27): President Bush appoints former secretary of state to lead independent inquiry into causes of 2001 terrorist attacks.


  • Judge Approves Microsoft Settlement (Nov. 1): Federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rejects many stiff penalties sought by nine states but does require software giant to reveal information about its Windows operating system.
  • Federal Reserve Cuts Rate (Nov. 6): Government's main interest rate slashed by half a percentage point, signaling Fed's concern over weakened economy. Rate at 41-year low.
  • Actress Found Guilty (Nov. 6): Winona Ryder convicted of grand theft and vandalism. She was arrested in Dec. 2001 for stealing more than $5,500 in merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills.
  • Train Fire Claims a Dozen in France (Nov. 6): Casualties include five members of a Connecticut family. Fire broke out on train from Paris to Vienna.
  • Gates Pledges Millions to Fight AIDS (Nov. 11): While in India, software giant commits $100 million over 10 years to stem the spread of the disease.
  • Tornadoes Ravage Swath of States (Nov. 11): At least 36 people die in storms in Tennessee, Alabama, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi.
  • Florida Teens Admit to Killing Father (Nov. 14): Alex and Derek King, who had their second-degree murder convictions thrown out in October, agree to plead guilty to third-degree murder and a 7- and 8-year prison sentence, respectively.
  • Oil Tanker Splits Near Spain (Nov. 19): Greek–owned vessel, the Prestige, breaks in half and sinks 100 miles offshore. It was carrying 77,000 metric tons of oil.
  • Vaccine May Prevent Cervical Cancer (Nov. 21): Experimental vaccine has proven 100% effective in preventing a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer.
  • Women Account for One-Half of H.I.V. Cases (Nov. 26): United Nations announces that for the first time women infected in about equal numbers as men.

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