July 2000 News and Events
- Mexico Elects Reform President (July 1): Leader of center-right party, Vicente Fox Quesada, soundly defeats governing party's candidate, Francisco Labastida Ochoa. Election ends 71 years of rule by Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
- Ten Jews Convicted by Iranian Court (July 1): Found guilty of spying and aiding Israel, Iran enemy. Western leaders criticize verdict.
- Israeli Government Collapses (July 9): Prime Minister Ehud Barak's fragile coalition crumbles as rightist parties desert on eve of Camp David conference in protest of anticipated concessions to Palestinians.
- President of Israel Resigns (July 10): Ezer Weizman, 75, quits amid accusations of financial misdealings.
- Syrian Voters Confirm President (July 10): Referendum approves Bashar al-Assad to succeed late father, Hafez al-Assad, who ruled autocratically for 30 years.
- Israel Ends Arms Deal with China (July 12): Cancels plan to sell Beijing elaborate $250 million airborne radar system. Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak makes announcement at Camp David summit.
- Germany Agrees to Compensate Forced Laborers (July 17): Approves $5 billion package to settle claims stemming from atrocities of Nazi regime.
- U.S. Commits to Help Africa Fight AIDS (July 18): Pledges $1 billion year in loans to fund purchase of American AIDS drugs and medical services.
- Aid to Poor Countries Promised (July 23): Group of eight major powers ends Japan economic conference with promise to end extreme poverty and the spread of infectious diseases, such as AIDS and malaria.
- Mideast Peace Talks Fail (July 25): President Clinton ends summit after two weeks of negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders at Camp David. Leaders could not reach compromise on Jerusalem.
- Accord on Holocaust Claims Approved (July 26): U.S. judge gives final sanction of $1.25 billion to settle claims by survivors who had sued Swiss banks they charged had hoarded assets deposited during World War II. Thousands closer to collecting money.
- China Sentences Official (July 31): Decrees death for Cheng Kejie, former vice chairman of National People's Congress, accused of taking almost $5 billion in bribes.
- Vermont Legalizes Civil Unions (July 1): Becomes first state recognizing same-sex unions.
- Crucial Pentagon Missile Test Fails (July 8): High-speed interceptor intended to destroy dummy warhead fails to separate from booster rocket. Malfunction hinders Pentagon's chance to prove effectiveness of $60 billion defense system and President Clinton's plan to move ahead with system.
- U.S. and Vietnam Agree on Trade (July 13): Accord would permit nearly unrestrained commerce between the countries.
- Congress Votes to Repeal Estate Tax (July 14): Senate, 59–39, disregards veto threat by president. House had previously passed measure.
- Senate Passes Married Couples Tax Cut (July 18): Approves measure, 61–38, to reduce income levies for most couples by $248 billion over next ten years.
- U.S. Officials Cleared in Waco Deaths (July 21): Special counsel John Danforth exonerates Attorney General Janet Reno and the government of any wrongdoing in 1993 tear-gas assault on Branch Davidian cult compound. Counsel blames religious sect members, notably the group's leader, David Koresh, for deaths.
- Bush Chooses Running Mate (July 25): Names Richard B. Cheney, 59, former defense secretary and longtime family friend. As a Congress member, Cheney was considered extremely conservative.
- Wildfire Rages in Far West (July 2 et seq.): Destroys nearly 500,000 acres in California, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, and Montana. Damage in millions. (July 31): Hundreds of firefighters and fleet of helicopters and tankers battle 63,270-acre blaze in Sierra Nevada.
- Tall Ships Parade in New York Harbor (July 4): Twenty-six ships from many nations lead procession of 300 military vessels.
- Episcopal-Lutheran Alliance Formed (July 8): Historic link approved at Episcopalians' 73rd general convention. Signals era of ecumenical outreach.
- Blast Kills Hundreds in South Nigeria (July 10): Schoolchildren among victims as damaged gasoline pipeline explodes. Fuel-scavenging villagers among dead.
- Black Church Names Woman as Bishop (July 11): African Methodist Episcopal Church elects Rev. Vashti Murphy McKenzie as its first female leader.
- Death Toll Past 100 in Philippine Catastrophe (July 12): Mountain of rubbish collapses and crushes hundreds of huts in squatters' colony called Promised Land.
- Women Warned Against a Spermicide (July 12): UN reports that popular nonoxynol-9 may increase risk of H.I.V. infection in those susceptible to contracting virus.
- Record Damages in Tobacco Lawsuit (July 14): Florida jury orders industry to pay $144.8 billion in punitive damages to some 500,000 Florida smokers. Award is largest in United States history.
- AIDS Conference Ends in South Africa (July 14): Nelson Mandela tells 13th international session scientists should focus on fighting epidemic ravaging Africa, where virus affects 4.2 million.
- German Firm to Buy U.S. Company (July 23): Deutsche Telekom agrees to pay $50.7 billion to acquire 1-year-old cellular communications company, Voicestream Wireless Corporation.
- Russian Module Joins Space Station (July 25): “Star” docks with International Space Station. Planners hope for stimulus to construction of orbital research outpost sponsored by U.S. and Russia.
- Concorde Crash Kills 113 near Paris (July 25): Air France craft carrying mainly German passengers bound for New York. All 109 crew members and passengers are killed, as well as at least four on ground. First Concorde crash since this first supersonic passenger plane began commercial operation in 1976. Craft had been delayed by repairs to engine that caught fire. (July 28): Officials say evidence suggests burst tire caused fire that engulfed Concorde.