September 2003

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff


  • Iraqi Governing Council Selects Cabinet (Sept. 1): Twenty-five member body will assume day-to-day control of government functions.
  • Islamic Cleric Receives Mixed Verdict in Bali Bombing (Sept. 2): Indonesian court acquits Abu Bakar Bashir of ordering the attack on a Bali nightclub, but finds him guilty of aiding and abetting treason.
  • Car Bomb Explodes at Baghdad Police Compound (Sept. 2): Police chief, the assumed target, spared in attack. One person killed and more than 25 wounded. Fourth car bomb to explode in a month in Iraq.
  • U.S. Seeks UN Help in Iraq (Sept. 3): In a shift in policy, the Bush administration introduces a draft resolution to UN Security Council calling for a multinational force, under U.S. command, to help in Iraq.
  • UN Reports That Taylor Fled with Aid Money (Sept. 5): Former Liberian president Charles Taylor left country with about $3 million donated to the country for disarming rebels. Another investigation revealed he stole or diverted about $100 million from Liberia.
  • Hong Kong Abandons Security Rules (Sept. 5): Tung Chee-hwa, chief executive of Hong Kong, announces withdrawal of proposed legislation that would have imposed lengthy jail terms for sedition, secession, or treason. Move follows massive protests against laws.
  • Palestinian Prime Minister Resigns (Sept. 6): Mahmoud Abbas steps down, saying Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat undermined his authority. (Sept. 7): Arafat nominates Ahmed Qurei, speaker of Palestinian parliament, as prime minister.
  • Suicide Bombers Strike in Israel (Sept. 9): In separate attacks, two Palestinians blow themselves up at a cafe and a bus stop. Fifteen people killed.
  • Iran Faces Deadline on Nuclear Compliance (Sept. 9): Britain, France, and Germany submit a UN resolution demanding that Iran provide complete information on its nuclear material and allow UN inspectors free access to nuclear sites.
  • Second Bali Bomber Sentenced (Sept. 10): Indonesian court metes death sentence to Imam Samudra for his role the 2002 bombing of a nightclub that killed 202 people.
  • Bin Laden Appears on Videotape (Sept. 10): On eve of second anniversary of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, seen on Al Jazeera network.
  • Swedish Foreign Minister Slain (Sept. 11): Anna Lindh dies from stab wounds she received while shopping in a Stockholm department store.
  • Israeli Government Announces Plans to Remove Arafat (Sept. 11): Threatens to exile, jail, or kill Palestinian leader. Statement bolsters Arafat's popularity among Palestinians.
  • U.S. Troops Kill Iraqi Police Officers (Sept. 12): In firefight in Falluja, soldiers kill ten policemen and a Jordanian security guard. Some of the victims gunned down from close range. U.S., which said troops fired upon first, apologizes for deaths.
  • Sweden Rejects the Euro (Sept. 14): Vote against adopting Europe's single currency, 56.1% to 41.8%.
  • Trade Talks Collapse in Cancún (Sept. 14): Representatives from developing nations quit meeting of World Trade Organization, rejecting compromise on farm subsidies proposed by wealthier nations.
  • U.S. to Reduce Loan Guarantees to Israel (Sept. 16): In first action against Israel, U.S. announces plan to protest Israel's expansion of settlements in West Bank.
  • U.S. Accelerates Plan for Iraqi Army (Sept. 17): New timetable envisions deployment of 40,000-troop army within a year.
  • Iraqi Leaders Present Security Proposal (Sept. 18): Five opposition leaders draft a plan to transfer police responsibilities from American troops to Iraqi militia forces.
  • Gunmen Shoot Iraqi Leader (Sept. 20): Akila al-Hashimi, one of three women on the Iraqi Governing Council, critically wounded in assassination attempt. (Sept. 25): Hashimi dies of wounds to her pancreas.
  • Japanese Premier Overwhelmingly Reelected (Sept. 20): Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi takes 60% of the vote in race for leader of the Liberal Democratic Party.
  • Bush Addresses the UN (Sept. 23): President calls on other nations to put aside differences on the invasion of Iraq and work together to rebuild the nation. In his speech, French president Jacques Chirac criticizes the preemptive invasion of Iraq.
  • Draft Report Says Inspectors Have Not Found WMD in Iraq (Sept. 24): Interim document states that arms-inspection team has not yet uncovered any unconventional weapons during its four-month search.
  • OPEC to Cut Production (Sept. 24): Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries announce that they will reduce output by 3.5% on Nov. 1, citing a weak world economy.
  • Powell Gives Iraq Deadline to Write Constitution (Sept. 25): Announces that U.S. plans to require Iraqis to draft a constitution within six months.
  • Russia to Continue to Help Iran Build Nuclear Reactor (Sept. 27): Russian president Vladimir Putin tells President Bush that he will not cancel contract to aid in Iran's purportedly civilian nuclear energy program.


  • Bush Creates New Jobs Position (Sept. 1): At Labor Day speech in Ohio, president announces new post, assistant secretary of commerce for manufacturing.
  • Court Blocks New Media Regulations (Sept. 3): Federal appeals court votes to stop implementation of new rule, passed by Federal Communications Commission, expanding reach of media companies. (Sept. 16): Senate votes, 55–40, in favor of a resolution to repeal new media rules.
  • Foreign-Born Population Jumps (Sept. 3): Census Bureau reports the number of U.S. residents who were born in other countries grew to more than 33 million in 2002, an amount slightly larger than the entire population of Canada. The increase represents a 5% rise from 2001.
  • Judicial Nominee Withdraws Name (Sept. 4): Miguel Estrada gives up nomination fight after two-year battle. Democrats launched a filibuster to prevent a vote on his nomination.
  • Bush Seeks $87 Billion to Help in Iraq (Sept. 7): In a nationally televised speech, president Bush asks Congress for $87 billion to aid military and reconstruction efforts in Iraq.
  • Tours of Reserve Troops Extended (Sept. 9): U.S. Army announces that Army Reserve and National Guard troops will remain in Iraq and Kuwait for as long as one year.
  • Bush Calls for Revision of Patriot Act (Sept. 10): President seeks to broaden subpoena powers, expand federal death penalty statute, and allow judges to deny bail for suspects in terrorism cases.
  • California Recall Postponed (Sept. 15): The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocks gubernatorial recall election until outmoded punch-card ballot machines—still used by six counties—are replaced. (Sept. 23): A federal appeals court unanimously overturns decision to delay recall vote. Election set for Oct. 7.
  • Clark Enters Presidential Race (Sept. 17): Retired U.S. Army general Wesley Clark, the former supreme allied commander of NATO, announces his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
  • Ashcroft Issues New Guidelines for Prosecutors (Sept. 22): Directive limits the instances where prosecutors can seek plea bargains with criminal defendants. Opponents say move will overwhelm court system.
  • Federal Court Blocks Curbs on Telemarketing Calls (Sept. 24): Ruling thwarts implementation of federal Do-Not-Call registry, which includes more than 50 million phone numbers. Court says Federal Trade Commission needs congressional approval to enforce program.
  • Number of Americans Living in Poverty Increases (Sept. 26): Census Bureau reports poverty rate increased to 12.1% in 2002, up from 11.7% in 2001. Figure represents an increase of 1.7 million people. At the same time, median household income dropped by 1.1% from 2001 to 2002.
  • Uninsured Americans Increased in 2002 (Sept. 29): The number of people without health insurance rose to 43.6 million, or 15.2%, up from 14.6% in 2001. Largest increase in 10 years.
  • Justice Dept. to Investigate Leak of Classified Information (Sept. 29): Department informs White House of probe into who revealed the identity of a CIA officer to a syndicated columnist. Former ambassador Joseph Wilson, the husband of the CIA operative, believes the Bush administration leaked his wife's name as punishment for his disclosure that Bush's claim that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger was false.


  • Study Shows Intestinal Hormone May Curb Appetite (Sept. 4): Researchers report in New England Journal of Medicine that injection of hormone PYY reduces appetite in both fat and thin people.
  • RIAA Sues Music Swappers (Sept. 8): The Recording Industry Association of America files civil lawsuits against 261 people who shared more than 1,000 music files on the Internet. (Sept. 9): Brianna LaHara, 12, settles with RIAA, agreeing to pay $2,000 in fines for illegally sharing songs over the Internet.
  • Boston Archdiocese Settles with Abuse Victims (Sept. 9): Church agrees to pay $85 million to settle about 550 lawsuits filed by people who said they were sexually assaulted by priests. Each victim to receive between $80,000 and $300,000.
  • NYSE Chairman Steps Down (Sept. 17): Richard Grasso resigns amid controversy over his lucrative $140 million pay package. (Sept. 21): NYSE names John S. Reed, former chief executive of Citicorp, interim chairman of exchange.
  • Hurricane Sweeps Through Mid-Atlantic States (Sept. 18): Isabel hits North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, DC, with winds of 100 mph, and causes at least 23 deaths. Millions left without power.
  • Scientists Discover Giant Rodent Fossil (Sept. 19): Scientists have identified the fossil remains of a buffalo-sized rodent that resembled a guinea pig. The creature, described in Science, lived about 6 million to 8 million years ago in South America, weighed over 1500 pounds, and measured 9-feet long and 3-feet tall.

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