This article covers breaking news and events in August 2004.
Sunday 1st August 2004
Asunción / Paraguay : In a fire in a shopping center , at least 200 people die and several hundred people are injured, well over 100 are life-threatening. The fire brigade suspects a restaurant kitchen to be the source of the fire . The owner of the center, who allegedly ordered the exits to be closed after the fire broke out to prevent looting , is being held in custody. President Nicanor Duarte Frutos decreed a three-day national mourning .
Berlin / Germany : In Germany, the special tax on alcopops comes into effect, which makes standard 275 ml bottles more expensive by 85 cents, plus VAT , and which is supposed to make drinks less attractive to young people.
Krefeld / Germany : As has now become known, the confectionery factory "Nappo" in Krefeld has introduced a 60-hour week without wage compensation in a flash at a works meeting . The company's employees, mostly women, are paid according to the 38-hour tariff . This is illegal under applicable laws .
Hamburg / Germany . German utility companies are apparently stretching natural gas imported from abroad on a larger scale with liquid gas-air mixtures. As early as 1989, according to SPIEGEL, several municipal companies were exposed because they were selling more gas to their customers than they had obtained from their suppliers.
New York / USA . A new UN report raises the most serious allegations against the Sudanese government: both in the crisis region of Darfur and in the Upper Nile region , the government has been responsible for extrajudicial executions and mass killings in recent months . There is overwhelming evidence of coordinated actions by government forces and the Arab militias.
Sunday August 8, 2004
Wiesbaden / Germany . Violent storms with hail and cloudbursts have caused millions in damages according to dpa in Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg . Roads and railroad tracks were impassable, and in some places there were power outages that lasted for hours. As far as is known, no people were injured.
Brussels / Belgium . Many of those injured in the gas explosion on July 30th will find it difficult to afford treatment for their severe burns , Belgian media reported. The health insurance companies assume reportedly paying the necessary medicines not for the numerous fire victims. Some patients should therefore be presented with an invoice for 15,000 euros.
Copenhagen / Denmark . In Greenland, plant particles were discovered in a geological drilling three kilometers under the ice. These are likely several million years old and of great value for geological research.
Berlin / Germany . The body of the Berlin state manager of the SPD, Andreas Matthae , was found in his apartment . He had committed suicide by hanging . He had recently been given leave of absence due to public prosecution investigations.
Monday August 9, 2004
Athens / Greece : The previous Bulgarian IOC member Ivan Slawkow and four previously accredited sports agents have been excluded from access to all IOC events with immediate effect. Undercover reporters from the broadcaster BBC had been able to prove their willingness to buy votes, i.e. corruption .
Brussels / Belgium . A European Union delegation sent to Sudan could not find any evidence of genocide in the crisis region of Darfur . Pieter Feith (Advisor to EU Foreign Policy Coordinator Javier Solana ): “We are not in a genocide situation there, but it is clear that the killing is widespread, is going on quietly and slowly and the villages are still on fire.”
Germany : After his resignation claim against Chancellor Gerhard Schröder , the former is SPD boss Lafontaine in his party strongly criticized. His resignation from the party and even a party expulsion process were called for. According to election researchers, a possible new left party would currently receive around 15-20% of the vote if Lafontaine supported after leaving the SPD.
Leipzig / Germany : The controversial use of the term “ Monday demonstration ”, which is particularly controversial among many politicians, has sparked a broad debate in the media. The organizers of the numerous protests against the interference in the welfare state by Hartz IV , for example in Magdeburg , Suhl , Gera , Rostock, but also in the West German cities of Dortmund , Gelsenkirchen and Remscheid, rejected this criticism as inconsistent, said Leipzig pastor Christian Führer . In the evening there were Monday demonstrations against social cuts ( Hartz IV / Agenda 2010 ) and others. a. in Dessau, Magdeburg (12,000 participants), Halle (3000), Aschersleben, Gera and Leipzig (10,000). In the old federal states u. a. in Hamburg and Gelsenkirchen.
Tokyo / Japan : A leak in a 50 cm thick pressure pipe in Mihama - nuclear power plant of the operator "Kansai Electric Power Co." ( Kansai Electric Power Company ) about 320 kilometers northwest of Tokyo has caused several deaths and 10 serious injuries. The authorities said that there was no radioactivity from the leak, where steam was hot at 200 degrees . Another reactor of the operator "Tokyo Electric Power Co." ( Tepco ) in Fukushima also had to be shut down due to a leak on the same day.
Baghdad / Iraq . The Iraqi government has ordered the Baghdad editorial office of the well-known Arab television station Al Jazeera to close and to impose a 30-day broadcasting ban on it. Government spokesmen accused the station of " showing too much crime and criminals ". Al Jazeera officials called the decision a serious interference with freedom of the press and freedom of expression .
Hamburg / Germany . According to a report from Die Zeit , a survey by the Federal Statistical Office indicates that the gap between rich and poor in Germany is widening: the financial assets of the poorest quarter of West German households shrank by half from 1993 to 2003, while the financial assets of the wealthiest neighborhood has increased by 25%. The proportion of households considered poor rose from 9.4 to 11.1% in 2002. The newspaper reported that the Federal Statistical Office would not officially present the figures because of the "social explosives" they contain. The Federal Office rejected this claim.
Lübeck / Germany . The 22-year-old violinist Erik Schumann from Lübeck is the third winner to receive the Leonard Bernstein Award of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival endowed with 10,000 euros . The award is to be presented on Friday.
Turkey . A collision between two trains in northwestern Turkey, halfway between Ankara and Istanbul , kills 36–39 people and injures 88.
Thursday August 12, 2004
Brussels / Belgium . The independent European Anti-Fraud Office (Olaf) has come to the preliminary conclusion that there has been no misuse of EU funds by the Palestinian Authority . The EU Commission previously came to the same conclusion after media reports reported abuses. Meanwhile, the commission announced that it would provide further funds for victims of house demolition in the West Bank .
Al-Anbar / Iraq . Two US soldiers were killed in the afternoon when a CH-53 helicopter crashed and three others were injured. Thus the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq has risen to 935. A British soldier died and several were wounded in an explosion while on patrol in Basra .
Najaf / Iraq . In fighting in Iraq between US troops and fighters from the “ Mahdi Army” of the Shiite preacher Moktada al Sadr around the Imam Ali mosque in Najaf, numerous Iraqis were apparently injured and killed. News agencies now speak of around 160 dead and hundreds injured, including children and women. The US army is said to have taken the city of Najaf during the day and access to the Imam Ali bin Abi Talib shrine was blocked. A total of 2,000 US soldiers and 1,800 Iraqi security forces are said to be deployed. There are said to be around 1000 Al-Sadr fighters in the city. British troops are meanwhile taking action against al-Sadr rebels in the southern Iraqi cities of Basra , Amara , Nasirija , Samawa and Diwaniyya .
New York / USA . Michael Moore publishes an interview with Porter Goss , in which the latter describes himself as "not qualified" for service in the CIA , partly due to a lack of language and technical skills. The interview was recorded while filming Fahrenheit 9/11 , but was not used in the film.
Sweden . Sweden has exactly 9 million inhabitants as of 2:58 p.m. today . According to Swedish press reports, the name of the newborn Swede is Jakob, his parents are Jeanette and Hans-Christian.
Hanoi / Vietnam . A Vietnamese man died of the H5N1 influenza A virus , the causative agent of the H5N1 bird flu . This particularly dangerous variant had already cost hundreds of deaths in the spring. In other regions of Vietnam, others are said to be infected.
Khartoum / Sudan . The United Nations reports that the Sudanese government has agreed to set up security zones of 20 km around the refugee camps in the west of the Darfur crisis region . Implementation would already be possible in the coming week if appropriate decisions are made over the weekend.
China . 63 people are killed and more than 1,800 injured in a cyclone in Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China.
Stralsund / Baltic Sea . A sperm whale got lost in the Baltic Sea. According to Stralsund marine researchers, this is a "millennium event". The animal should be male and 10–12 years old. Because the Baltic Sea is too shallow and there is no food, the whale has only a slim chance of survival.
Caracas / Venezuela : In Venezuela, the electorate will vote on a referendum to end the term of office of President Hugo Chávez . Due to the high demand, the election has been extended by several hours.
Berlin / Germany . The turnover of the German manufacturing industry rose unusually strongly in June of this year by 14.9%. The domestic sales rose by a whopping 9.5%, while foreign sales even improved by 23.6%. The number of employees fell by 2% over the same period.
Caracas / Venezuela . The Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez survived the referendum initiated by the opposition and supported by Venezuela's private media, which his “Bolivarian Constitution” makes possible for the first time, with 58% approval. In 2001 the opposition tried to overthrow Chavez by means of a coup . The election was overseen by independent international election observers , including former US President Jimmy Carter and staff at his Atlanta- based Carter Center. The opposition does not recognize the result.
Washington, DC / USA . The US has not recognized the result of the referendum against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez , from which he emerged victorious. Although the u. a. International election observers sent by former US President Jimmy Carter confirmed a “fair victory”, the US government is demanding an investigation into allegations of fraud by the Venezuelan opposition.
Hamburg / Germany . In the so-called “terror trial” against Mounir El Motassadeq , the 23-year-old witness Shahid N. testified that Motassadeq was part of the inner circle of the death pilots around Mohammed Atta . In doing so, he contradicted the summary of testimony that the United States had recently sent to the German court.
Najaf / Iraq . Following the warning from the Iraqi government last Sunday when it asked all foreign journalists to leave Najaf, the Iraqi police have now surrounded a hotel with independent journalists. The security forces announced that they would shoot any journalist who leaves the hotel. This means that only journalists who are under the protection of the US Army are active in the embattled city .
Sydney / Australia . A study by the Australian Center for Independent Studies suggests that the island nation of Nauru should give up its full independence and seek other options such as annexation to Australia. The author of the study suggested that they should reorganize the structure of parliament and services.
Leipzig / Germany . Dispute among the organizers of the Monday demonstrations : The "Action Alliance: Social Justice - Stop the Social Welfare Cut" invited the controversial SPD politician Oskar Lafontaine on August 30th . Some officials demand that he refrain from speaking. The organizers of the “Social Forum” want the demos to be independent of the party and not a platform for politicians, but for those affected.
Caracas / Venezuela . Since the Venezuelan opposition does not recognize the result of the referendum against left-wing President Hugo Chávez , the authorities in Venezuela have now agreed to randomly check the result in the presence of government officials, international election observers and representatives of the opposition. International election observers had not noticed any irregularities so far. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised the peaceful manner in which the referendum. After the announcement of the result, however, there were sometimes bloody riots in the capital Caracas.
France . Severe storms occurred in the south of France. There were 3 fatalities and 5 missing. Bathing on the Mediterranean coast was banned for almost 40 km, 1,300 tent ends were brought to safety from crossing rivers, 30,000 people were temporarily without electricity.
Kathmandu / Nepal . All traffic connections to Nepal's capital Kathmandu have been torn down. The reason for this is a corresponding statement by the Maoist rebels.
Budapest / Hungary . The Hungarian Prime Minister Péter Medgyessy (SP) has resigned, the cause is said to be an ongoing dispute within the governing coalition. A successor is to be nominated shortly.
Khartoum / Sudan . The Sudanese government has announced the disarming of the Arab Janjawid militias in some parts of the crisis region of Darfur . Eight so-called "security zones" are to be set up and around 180 weapons have been confiscated so far.
Abuja / Nigeria . The Nigerian Senate approves the deployment of up to 1,500 soldiers to the crisis region of Darfur as part of an African Union (AU) peacekeeping force . A first advance party of 150 men will support the unit of equal strength from Rwanda , which has been on site since Sunday, in securing AU observers.
USA : Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry filed a complaint with the Federal Electoral Commission (FEC) against a TV commercial. In the TV commercial for the Vietnam veterans group "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth", financed by the Texan businessman Bob J. Perry , he is personally attacked. His morale as commander of a speedboat is criticized. According to media reports, there should also be links between the veterans group and the family of George W. Bush . John Kerry had already discussed his service in Vietnam at the beginning of the election campaign, he was one of 3 officers who commanded the 3 speedboats in Vietnam on February 28, 1969.
Kathmandu / Nepal : On the third day of the blockade by Maoist rebels, there were injuries for the first time in the Nepalese capital. Some civilians were injured in a bomb attack on an official building and a police officer was previously shot by the rebels.
United States . Kenneth Cordier has to leave George W. Bush's campaign team . He is a retired colonel and was responsible for veterans issues. He appeared in a TV commercial for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, in which the opposing candidate John Kerry is described as a liar and a traitor. There are supposed to be indications that the production and broadcast of the commercial were illegally coordinated with the election campaign of George W. Bush. Another TV commercial is to follow.
Wolfsburg / Germany : The VW Board Member for Human Resources, Peter Hartz, demands a zero round from VW employees in order to reduce wage costs. The trade union IG Metall is demanding a wage increase of 4% and a job guarantee for ten years for the 103,000 employees in the six “West German” locations.
Monday 23 Aug 2004
Berlin / Germany . According to a “Data Report 2004” presented by the Federal Statistical Office in Berlin and social scientists , it emerges that more and more Germans are dissatisfied. The dissatisfaction with the social security systems in Germany stands out in particular. In addition, according to those responsible for the "data report", it is becoming apparent that the gap between rich and poor is widening. In 2002 there would have been more rich and poor statistically speaking than in 2000 when the data was last collected. The data were collected in 2002.
Melbourne / Australia . The Nauru House in Melbourne, Nauru's biggest overseas building was in early September 2004 will be sold. Estimates for the selling price were between 120 and 140 million Australian dollars . The Air Nauru and the Government had its facilities in Nauru House by the end of August grant of 2004.
Berlin / Germany . After the verbal attacks against Chancellor Gerhard Schröder , which were accompanied by the throwing of eggs , it was decided in government circles to strengthen the active protection of the Chancellor and, if possible, to limit all of Schröder's appointments to the purely political level.
Russia . In the evening in Russia were two Russian Tupolev - Aircraft of suicide bombers almost simultaneously in the Tula Oblast and Rostov-on-Don to crash . A total of 89 people were killed in the crashes. The government and the domestic intelligence service FSB initially tried to cover up the terrorist background.
Finland . Four-time Olympic and world champion Matti Nykänen was arrested and, together with his wife Mervi, is suspected of murder after he stabbed an acquaintance with a knife while under the influence of alcohol.
Iraq . The Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni , who was kidnapped in Iraq on August 19, is killed by his kidnappers.
Najaf / Iraq . With the mediation of the Shiite Ayatolla Ali as-Sistani , a peaceful solution is found for the Najaf, which is contested between US troops and fighters Muqtada al-Sadr . The US soldiers leave the city, which is secured by police units of the interim government; the Imam Ali mosque comes under the control of as-Sistani himself.
The internet auction house Ebay was the victim of a hacker attack in the morning . According to DENIC , the domain was redirected to a private person's server for several hours and a copy of the start page was displayed. The error has now been fixed, but the process has not yet been fully clarified.
Kabul / Afghanistan . Ten people, including nine children, died in a school bomb attack in the southern Afghan province of Paktia .
Baghdad / Iraq . Further unrest in Iraq. Gunmen killed five Iraqi police officers and injured two others in Baquba . In Fallujah , 14 people, including eight children, were injured in a US airstrike and skirmishes between American troops and insurgents. Professor Iman Abdul-Munem Junis was shot dead in Mosul in northern Iraq .
Tokyo / Japan : A typhoon hit the southern main island of Kyushu with wind speeds of up to 144 kilometers per hour . Four people died. More than 12,000 residents of Kyushu have been evacuated. Power outages occurred in over 250,000 households.
New York / United States : The election party convention of the US Republicans begins in New York under massive security measures . George W. Bush will be officially named as the Republican Party candidate for the presidential election in early November.
Kabul / Afghanistan : An attack on a building of a US security company in the capital Kabul claimed at least seven lives and many injured.
Chechnya : As expected, the Russian preferred Alu Alkhanov won the presidential election in Chechnya with 73.5% of the vote and a turnout of 85%. Alkhanov succeeds the murdered Akhmat Kadyrov . Observers and the opposition criticized the irregularities.
Tuesday August 31, 2004
Baghdad / Iraq : A group of Iraqi extremists who call themselves the "Military Committee of the Ansar al-Sunna Army" claimed to have killed twelve Nepalese hostages. The reason is that they "[...] came from their country [to Iraq]" to "fight the Muslims".
Hamburg / Germany : The defender of Mounir al-Motassadeq in the Hamburg terror trial, Josef Gräßle-Münscher, is apparently currently in mortal danger after a car that suddenly turned left, according to police, crashed into his motorcycle.
Moscow / Russia : Ten people are killed and more than 50 are injured in a suicide attack in northern Moscow. Chechen terrorists are suspected to be behind the crime.
Paris / France : The deadline given by Iraqi hostage-takers to the French government ends this evening. The perpetrators are calling for the so-called headscarf ban in French schools to be lifted . The hostages, Christian Chessnot and Georges Malbrunot, two French journalists, would otherwise die.