July 2004

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff


  • Powell Visits Sudan (July 1): U.S. secretary of state and Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the UN, urge government to rein in the Arab militias in Darfur.
  • Hussein Appears in Court (July 1): Former Iraqi president and 11 codefendants are arraigned on charges of crimes against humanity.
  • Iraq Leader Signs New Security Law (July 6): Legislation allows Prime Minister Allawi to impose emergency rule, ban groups he deems seditious, and hold people considered security risks.
  • Pentagon Sets Up Tribunal for Prisoners (July 7): Combat Status Review Tribunal will allow nearly 600 prisoners at Guantánamo Bay to challenge their status as enemy combatants.
  • World Court Rules Against Israeli Barrier (July 9): International Court of Justice says portion of the fence that cuts into occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank is illegal and advises Israel to remove it.
  • Afghanistan Postpones Parliamentary Elections (July 9): Elections, scheduled for late 2004, put off until April 2005 because of country's continuing instability.
  • AIDS Conference Opens in Bangkok (July 11): Officials gather for the 15th International AIDS Conference to discuss status of worldwide epidemic. World Health Organization AIDS director says the world has “failed miserably” to combat the spread of the disease.
  • Sharon Seeks Coalition with Labor (July 12): Israeli prime minister asks Labor party leader Shimon Peres to join his government. Move would give Ariel Sharon's coalition a majority in parliament.
  • Al-Qaeda Operative Arrested (July 13): Pakistani authorities arrest computer engineer Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan and confiscate his laptop, which contains files that indicate al-Qaeda had conducted reconnaissance of several buildings in the U.S.
  • Iraqi Insurgents Behead Another Hostage (July 14): Jamaat al-Tawhid, militant group led by al-Zarqawi, announces it has decapitated a Bulgarian truck driver.
  • Violence Rocks Iraq (July 14): Car bomb explodes outside American compound in Baghdad, killing 10 people. (July 18): Defense ministry official assassinated. (July 19): Tanker truck filled with explosives blows up near a police station in Baghdad.
  • British Report Critical of Intelligence on Iraq (July 14): Report says government relied on “seriously flawed” intelligence to make its case for the war in Iraq.
  • Life Expectancy Drops in Africa (July 15): Report by the United Nations Development Program finds that life expectancy has dropped to below 40 and poverty on the rise in seven countries hit hardest by AIDS. Countries include Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Zambia, Malawi, Central African Republic, and Mozambique.
  • Palestinian Premier Submits Resignation (July 17): Ahmed Qurei tells Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat he plans to step down. (July 27): Qurei withdraws resignation after Arafat agrees to hand over some control of security agencies to Qurei.
  • Radical Paper to Reopen in Iraq (July 18): Prime Minister Allawi orders the newspaper Al Hawza, run by rebel cleric al-Sadr, to resume operations four months after it was shuttered by U.S. troops.
  • Kidnappings Follow Philippine Troop Withdrawal (July 20): Angelo dela Cruz released after Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo accedes to kidnappers' demands and pulls troops from Iraq. (July 21): Insurgents kidnap seven other foreign workers and threaten to behead them.
  • Former Mexican President Charged (July 23): Prosecutor accuses Luis Echeverría, president of Mexico from 1970 to 1976, of genocide in the 1971 massacre of 25 student protesters. (July 24): A federal judge dismisses the case.
  • Karzai Picks Running Mate (July 26): Afghan president selects Ahmed Zia Massoud, the brother of Ahmed Shah Massoud, the Northern Alliance leader who was assassinated by al-Qaeda operatives on Sept. 9, 2001, as vice-presidential nominee.
  • Iraq Wracked by Violence (July 28): At least 70 people die when suicide bomb explodes outside a police station in Baquba. Iraqi forces and foreign troops attack insurgent stronghold south of Baghdad, killing 35 militants.
  • Aid Agency to Withdraw from Afghanistan (July 28): Doctors Without Borders announces plans to leave Afghanistan after 24 years of service because of dangerous conditions.
  • Iraq Postpones National Conference (July 29): Meeting of 1,000 delegates to choose 100-member national assembly put off for two weeks because of kidnappings increase.
  • Pakistani Official Survives Assassination Attempt (July 30): Prime Minister-designate Shaukat Aziz targeted by suicide bomber.
  • UN Adopts Resolution on Sudan (July 30): Security Council demands Sudanese government move to disarm militias in Darfur.


  • Construction at Ground Zero Begins (July 4): Cornerstone of the Freedom Tower put into place during symbolic ceremony.
  • Church Declares Bankruptcy (July 5): Roman Catholic archdiocese in Portland, Ore., files for bankruptcy protection as a result of claims in child-sex lawsuits.
  • Panel Highly Critical of Intelligence Agencies (July 5): Senate Intelligence Committee reports that information on Iraq's weapons programs that was used to justify the war in Iraq was flawed.
  • Kerry Names Running Mate (July 6): Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee selects Sen. John Edwards as his pick for vice president.
  • Court Rules Against Nuclear Waste Project (July 9): Federal appeals court says Energy Department plan for burying nuclear waste at Nevada's Yucca Mountain must guarantee safety from leaks for longer than the 10,000 years stipulated.
  • Bush Administration Dismantles Logging Rules (July 12): Agriculture secretary Ann Veneman announces plans to end Clinton directive that banned logging, road building, and other development in national forests.
  • Senate Kills Effort to Ban Same-Sex Marriages (July 14): Votes, 50–48, against proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
  • Government Changes Obesity Policy (July 15): Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson declares obesity an illness, thus allowing Medicare to cover treatment for it.
  • U.S. Refuses to Aid Population Fund (July 16): For the third consecutive year, Bush administration withholds contribution to the United Nations Population Fund. Administration claims the fund supports programs in China that promote abortion. Officials from the Population Fund dispute the claim.
  • Los Alamos Shut Down (July 16): Director of nuclear weapons laboratory halts most operations after a series of security and safety lapses. (July 26): Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham orders a halt in classified operations at all of the Energy Department's labs.
  • September 11 Panel Harshly Critical of Government (July 22): Bipartisan commission completes 19-month investigation with the release of a report that calls for sweeping changes in country's intelligence agencies and the creation of a cabinet-level intelligence director.
  • Army Report Blames Rogue Soldiers for Abu Ghraib Scandal (July 22): U.S. Army inspector general contradicts other reports when he concludes that the prison abuse was not a systemic problem.
  • Democratic National Convention Begins (July 26): Delegates gather in Boston to nominate Sen. John Kerry as their presidential candidate. Speakers include Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, and Sen. Hillary Clinton. (July 27): Barack Obama delivers keynote address. Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan, urges voters to support stem-cell research. (July 29): Sen. Kerry accepts the Democratic nomination.
  • Leaders of Islamic Charity Arrested (July 27): Five former officials of the Holy Land Foundation charged by U.S. officials with funneling more than $12 million to Palestinian terrorists. Two other leaders who were wanted by the FBI left the country while under investigation.


  • Jobs Growth Slows (July 2): Labor Dept. reports gain of 112,000 jobs in June. Jobless rate stays at 5.6%.
  • Former Enron Chief Indicted (July 7): Kenneth Lay charged by a federal grand jury.
  • Adelphia Chief Convicted (July 9): John Rigas and his son Timothy found guilty 18 counts of fraud and conspiracy.
  • Cholesterol Targets Changed (July 12): Federal health agencies reduce target levels of LDL cholesterol by about 30%.
  • Stewart Sentenced (July 16): Martha Stewart sentenced to five months in prison and fined $30,000 after being found guilty of four counts of obstruction of justice and lying to federal investigators.
  • Dozens of Children Killed in Fire (July 16): More than 80 die when an elementary school catches fire in southern India.
  • Wages Not Keeping Up with Inflation (July 16): Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that hourly earnings dropped by 1.1% in June, after inflation. The same wages also fell in May, by .8%.
  • Microsoft to Pay Huge Dividend (July 20): World's largest software company announces it will pay shareholders a special dividend of $3 a share. Total payout around $32 billion, by far the largest ever.
  • Hawking Revises Black Hole Theory (July 21): Cosmologist Dr. Stephen Hawking reverses himself and concludes information can be retrieved from black holes.
  • Bush Administration Predicts Record Budget Shortfall (July 30): White House projects $445 billion deficit for current fiscal year, or 3.8% of GDP, largest dollar amount in history.
  • Economic Growth Stalls (July 31): Commerce Department reports GDP grew at annual rate of 3% in the second quarter, down from 4.5% in the first quarter.

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