August 2006

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff


  • Israel Intensifies Ground Offensive in Lebanon (Aug. 1): More than 7,000 additional troops enter southern Lebanon.
  • U.S. General Gives Grim Report on Iraq (Aug. 3): Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of American forces in the Middle East, tells the Senate Armed Services Committee that the sectarian violence in Iraq could further deteriorate into a civil war.
  • Ukrainian Parliament Approves New Prime Minister (Aug. 4): Former president Viktor Yanukovich is named prime minister. He is a bitter rival of President Viktor Yushchenko.
  • Mexican Electoral Tribunal Rules in Recount Demand (Aug. 5): Judges decide that votes from about 12,000 polling places will be recounted. Andrés Manuel Lopéz Obrador, the leftist candidate who was narrowly defeated by conservative candidate Felipe Calderón, had demanded a full recount. (Aug. 28): Electoral tribunal dismisses legal challenge by Lopéz Obrador, saying it did not find proof of electoral fraud.
  • Rape and Murder Hearing Opens in Iraq (Aug. 7): Article 32 hearing, similar to a grand jury proceeding, begins for five U.S. soldiers who are accused of raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and killing her and three members of her family.
  • British Authorities Thwart Major Terrorist Operation (Aug. 10): Police arrest 24 British-born Muslims, most of whom have ties to Pakistan, who had allegedly plotted to blow up as many as 10 planes using liquid explosives. Officials say details of the plan were similar to other schemes devised by al-Qaeda. Airports all over the world beef up security. (Aug. 21): British officials charge 11 people in connection with the suspected plot. Eight are charged with conspiracy to commit murder and preparing acts of terrorism. The others are charged with lesser crimes.
  • Suicide Bomber Attempts to Blow Up Shiite Shrine in Iraq (Aug. 10): The attacker's explosives detonate during a police check outside the Shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf, killing 35 people and wounding more than 120.
  • Security Council Agrees on Resolution to End Violence in Lebanon (Aug. 11): Votes unanimously to expand the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon to 15,000 troops from 2,000 and to send 15,000 Lebanese troops to help the UN soldiers. The document also calls upon Hezbollah to cease attacks, Israel to end “all offensive military operations,” and Israel to withdraw its troops from southern Lebanon. The resolution, however, does not indicate how Hezbollah will be disarmed. (Aug. 15): The cease-fire goes into effect and violence subsides. Thousands of Lebanese stream back to their homes, many of which have been destroyed.
  • Two Journalists Are Kidnapped in Gaza (Aug. 14): Steve Centanni, an American, and Olaf Wiig, a cameraman from New Zealand, who both work for Fox News, are taken from their armored car at gunpoint. (Aug. 27): The journalists are both released and are in good health.
  • Record Number of Iraqi Civilians Die (Aug. 15): Figures from the Iraqi Health Ministry and the Baghdad morgue show that more than 3,400 civilians died in July, a 9% increase over the June figure.
  • Runoff Necessary in Congo Presidential Election (Aug. 20): Incumbent president Joseph Kabila, who won 45% of the vote, will face businessman Jean-Pierre Bemba, who took 20%, in the runoff.
  • Hussein Faces Another Genocide Trial (Aug. 21): Former Iraqi president refuses to enter a plea in the opening day of his trial for allegedly orchestrating the murder of about 50,000 Kurds in 1988—what was called the Anfal campaign.
  • Iran Offers to Talk About Its Nuclear Program (Aug. 22): Officials, however, do not say they will end enrichment of uranium, which was required by the U.S. and Europe as part of an incentives package.
  • Security Council Passes Resolution on Darfur (Aug. 31): Votes to send up to 17,300 peacekeeping troops to Darfur, Sudan, to help implement the peace agreement signed in May. The Sudanese government, however, objects to the resolution.
  • Iran Ignores Deadline on Nuclear Activity (Aug. 31): Iran, which defiantly refuses to follow UN Security Council demand to stop enriching uranium by Aug. 31, now faces the threat of sanctions. In addition, the International Atomic Energy Agency reports to the Security Council that it has found traces of highly enriched uranium at Iran's Natanz facility.


  • U.S. Oil Field Is Shut Down (Aug. 7): BP is forced to close its operations in Prudhoe Bay, the country's largest oil field, when corrosion is discovered in a pipeline. The field normally produces about 400,000 barrels of oil a day. Gas prices increase as much as 5 cents a gallon.
  • Lieberman Is Upset in Primary (Aug. 8): Incumbent senator Joe Lieberman from Connecticut is defeated by businessman Ned Lamont, who campaigned on an antiwar platform. Lieberman says he will run in the general election as an independent.
  • Immigrant Population Continues to Increase (Aug. 15): The Census Bureau's American Community Survey reports that the number of immigrants in U.S. households has increased 16% since 2000.
  • Judge Rules Against Wiretapping (Aug. 17): Federal judge Anna Diggs Taylor finds that the National Security Agency's program of secretly wiretapping Americans' communications overseas without a warrant violates the Constitution. The Justice Department appeals, however, and the program is allowed to continue.
  • Census Bureau Releases Poverty and Income Figures (Aug. 29): Median household income increased by 1.1% in 2005. Census Bureau officials say, however, that incomes did not rise; rather, more family members entered the workforce. The poverty rate remained at 12.6% of the population.


  • Federal Reserve Halts Rate Increases (Aug. 8): The central bank ends two-year trend of raising interest rates in an attempt to curb inflation.
  • Dell Recalls Millions of Computer Batteries (Aug. 14): In the largest recall ever of a consumer electronics product, Dell recalls 4.1 million notebook batteries because of the risk that they may catch fire.
  • Judge Limits Marketing of Cigarettes (Aug. 17): In her 1,742-page ruling, federal judge Gladys Kessler says that cigarette makers have sold and marketed “their lethal product with zeal, with deception, with a single-minded focus on their financial success.” She orders the companies to stop labeling cigarettes as “low tar,” “light,” or “natural.”
  • FDA Approves Morning-After Pill (Aug. 24): The Food and Drug Administration allows the over-the-counter sale of contraceptive pill to women over the age of 18. Decision ends a three-year debate.
  • Pluto Is Demoted (Aug. 24): The International Astronomical Union votes to redefine the solar system, and Pluto loses its status as a planet. It is reclassified as a dwarf planet.
  • Dozens Die in Kentucky Plane Crash (Aug. 27): A Comair jet crashes into a field in Lexington after it attempts to take off from the wrong runway; 49 people are killed.
  • California Leaders Agree on Emissions Controls (Aug. 30): Law will force a cut in emissions of carbon dioxide by 25% by 2020.

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