The World Almanac E-Newsletter
Volume 1, Number 11 - November 2001
What's in this issue?
November 2-4 -- Banff Mountain Film Festival, Canada
National HolidaysNovember 1 -- All Saints' Day
November 2 -- All Souls' Day
November 3 -- Sadie Hawkins Day
November 6 -- Election Day
November 11 -- Veterans Day
November 16-December 15 -- Ramadan
November 22 - Thanksgiving Day
November 3 - Culture Day, Japan
This Day in History - November
Featured Location of the Month: Baltimore, Maryland
Location: North-central Maryland, at the head of navigation of the Patapsco River, near its mouth on Chesapeake Bay; the largest city in Maryland and one of the busiest ports in the U.S.
Population (2000 Census): 651,154
Mayor: Martin O'Malley
November Temperatures: Normal high of 56.5°F; Normal low of 37.1°F
Colleges & Universities: College of Notre Dame of Maryland; Coppin State College; Goucher College; Johns Hopkins University; Loyola College in Maryland; Maryland Institute, College of Art; Morgan State University; Peabody Conservatory of Music; Saint Mary's Seminary and University; University of Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Baltimore City Community College; Baltimore Hebrew College
Events: 2nd Annual Youth Ball (November 3); Novemberfest Celebration (November 3); Sixth Annual Make-A-Wish Run/Walk (November 4); Chamber Music by Candlelight, Second Presbyterian Church (November 4); A Musical Tour of the Walters, Walters Art Museum (November 4); Favorites Series--Holst's The Planets, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (November 9-11); 2001 Comedy Soul Fest (November 10); Frederick Douglass Walking Tour (November 10); Open House & History Weekend, Cylburn Arboretum (November 10); Owl Prowl, Carrie Murray Nature Center (November 10); Wizards' Weekend (November 10-11); Annual Fall Chrysanthemum Display, Baltimore Conservatory and Botanic Gardens (November 10-25); Thanksgiving Parade (November 17); Recreational Nature Hike, Carrie Murray Nature Center (November 17); Gallery Fair (November 18); Grand Opening Inner Harbor Ice Rink (November 23); The Lighting of the Tin Can Tree at The Can Co. (November 30)
Sports teams: Baltimore Orioles (baseball); Baltimore Ravens (football)
Places to visit: The Inner Harbor, with the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the Maryland Science Center located on the Harbor's western shore; Druid Hill Park, with the Baltimore Zoo; Federal Hill Park; the Cylburn Arboretum and Mansion; the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Park; the home and grave of the writer Edgar Allan Poe; monuments dedicated to Christopher Columbus (1797) and George Washington (1815-29); Baltimore's World Trade Center, designed by the Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, featuring a museum of Maryland history on its 27th floor; Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness Stakes--the second prize in Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown--is nearby; the Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame, located at Johns Hopkins University; the Peale Museum; the Walters Art Gallery; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum (housed in Mount Clare Station, the oldest railroad station in the country); the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Baseball Center, a memorial to baseball's greatest legend and the official museum of the Orioles; the Maryland Science Center of the Maryland Academy of Sciences; the Maryland Historical Society; the Baltimore Civil War Museum-President Street Station; the Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry; Port Discovery, for children; the Museum of Industry; the Maritime Museum; the American Visionary Art Museum; and the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
Tallest Building: Legg Mason Building (40 stories)
History: Before European settlement, the site of Baltimore was inhabited by the Susquehannock Indians. The area was first explored by John Smith in 1608 and was settled in 1661. Founded by the Maryland legislature in 1729; it was incorporated as a city 1797. The bombing of Ft. McHenry (1814) inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner." Baltimore was the birthplace of America's railroads in 1828; the city was rebuilt after a fire in 1904. The two world wars promoted great industrial growth, which led to a diversification of the economy. Starting in the 1960s, downtown and Inner Harbor redevelopment projects revitalized a large area of the central city. In the 1990s revitalization programs were concerned with the conversion of the historically industrial sections of the shoreline to residential, commercial, and entertainment uses.
Birthplace of: John Astin (1930); Tom Clancy (1947); Charles S. Dutton (1951); Mona Freeman (1926); Anita Gillette (1938); David Hasselhoff (1952); Barry Levinson (1932); Kweisi Mfume (1948); Jameson Parker (1947); Jada Pinkett Smith (1971); Parker Posey (1964); Adrienne Rich (1927); Paul Stookey (1937); Michael Tucker (1944); Leon Uris (1924); John Waters (1946); Montel Williams (1956)
Obituaries in October 2001
Dagmar (Virginia Ruth Egnor), 79, statuesque blonde who delighted late-night U.S. television audiences in the early 1950s with her poetry recitations and garbled lectures; Ceredo, WV, Oct. 9, 2001.
Finster, Howard, 84, widely collected Georgia folk artist whose work, replete with religious imagery, was on riotous display at Paradise Garden, near Atlanta; Rome, Ga., Oct. 22, 2001.
Futch, Eddie, 90, trainer of 20 world boxing champions, including five heavyweights; Las Vegas, NV, Oct. 10, 2001.
Herblock (Herbert Lawrence Block), 91, dean of U.S. editorial cartoonists and a fixture at the Washington Post for more than five decades; Washington, D.C., Oct. 7, 2001.
Livingston, Jay, 86, Hollywood songwriter who with his longtime partner, Ray Evans, penned three Oscar-winning songs; Los Angeles, CA, Oct. 17, 2001.
Mansfield, Mike, 98, Montana Democrat whose 16 years as U.S. Senate majority leader (1961-77) set a record and who capped his political career by serving as U.S. ambassador to Japan (1977-88); Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2001.
Plumb, Sir John Harold, 90, Cambridge University-based British historian who was a prolific author of both scholarly and popular works, the latter under the byline J.H. Plumb before he was knighted in 1982; Cambridge, England, Oct. 21, 2001.
Ross, Herbert, 74, dancer and choreographer turned prolific Hollywood film director one of whose most successful films, The Turning Point (1977), was set in the world of classical ballet; New York, NY, Oct. 9, 2001.
Springer, John, 85, press agent who represented many of the Grande dames of Hollywood, from Bette Davis to Marilyn Monroe; New York, NY, Oct. 30, 2001.
Warnke, Paul, 81, a Washington lawyer, who as a top ranking Defense Department official in the 1960s, openly questioned the aims and conduct of the Vietnam War. In 1977, he was named head of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency by Jimmy Carter; Washington, D.C., Oct. 31, 2001.
U.S. Responds to Terrorist Attacks: Sept. 30-Oct. 31
It was reported Sept. 30 that Bush had approved a secret plan to support efforts throughout Afghanistan by anti-Taliban forces to overthrow the regime. Bush also authorized $100 million for relief aid for Afghan refugees.
Addressing the UN General Assembly Oct. 1, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani appealed to delegates not to remain neutral in the current conflict, to choose civilization over terrorism. The same day, a 3d U.S. aircraft carrier, the Kitty Hawk, left Japan for the Middle East; the Enterprise and Carl Vinson were already in the region.
NATO said Oct. 2 that the U.S. had presented clear evidence, sufficient to justify NATO military action, that Osama bin Laden and his organization were responsible for the terror attacks. A document released by the British government Oct. 4 asserted that one of Bin Laden’s top associates had orchestrated the terror attacks and that at least 3 hijackers had been identified as associates of the Al Qaeda organization. Prime Min. Blair said no one could doubt Bin Laden’s responsibility.
About 40 people were killed Oct. 1 when a militant Muslim group attacked the Legislative Assembly building in Srinagar in the Indian province of Jammu and Kashmir.
Amid rising concerns about the use of lethal substances by terrorists, Sec. of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson told a Senate committee
The military response to Sept.11 began after dark on Oct. 7, as the U.S. and Britain struck at targets in Afghanistan, using cruise missiles and long-range bombers. The assault was directed at airports, air defenses, and communication and command centers. B-2 stealth bombers flew nonstop from Missouri to their objectives. In Kandahar, in S. Afghanistan, targets included the Taliban’s headquarters and the compound of Mullah Omar, as well as Al Qaeda housing units. The Taliban defense headquarters near Kabul was also attacked. Pres. Bush announced the attack 30 minutes after it began, warning that though the immediate focus was on Afghanistan, "the battle is broader." U.S. bombing continued on a daily basis after Oct. 7.
In a prerecorded tape provided to the Al Jazeera television network in Qatar and played Oct. 7, Osama bin Laden warned, "America will not live in peace" until "the army of infidels depart the land of Muhammad." He charged that the U.S. bore responsibility for 80 years of "humiliation and disgrace" brought upon the Islamic world.
The rise in tensions and the bombing had disrupted the distribution of food in Afghanistan by relief agencies. On Oct. 8, U.S. transport planes dropped 37,000 meals into areas where mass starvation was feared, On Oct. 9, the Pentagon reported the destruction of 7 terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, though acknowledging that they were probably vacant of personnel. The same day it was reported that 4 guards at a UN-sponsored land-mine-clearing operation near Kabul had been killed, apparently in the bombing raids. By Oct. 9, the Pentagon was claiming effective control of the skies over Afghanistan, and heavy air strikes were launched Oct. 10 against Taliban garrisons and troop encampments. On Oct. 10, at an emergency meeting in Qatar of the Islamic Conference, 56 Islamic nations briefly condemned the Sept 11 attacks and avoided direct condemnations of the military response. Bush Oct. 14 rejected an offer by the Taliban regime to negotiate concerning the possible surrender of bin Laden.
Investigators said Oct. 13 that the envelope that had infected the NBC News employee had been mailed from Trenton, NJ. Mayor Giuliani announced Oct. 14 that 3 of those investigating the NBC anthrax incident had themselves been exposed. Another letter from Trenton, opened at the U.S. Capitol by aides of Sen. Tom Daschle (D, SD), the Senate majority leader, was found Oct. 15, to be contaminated with anthrax. ABC News announced the same day that the 7-month-old son of an ABC producer who had been taken to work for one day by his mother had been hospitalized with an anthrax infection. On Oct. l7 preliminary tests showed that 31 people who worked on Capitol Hill had been exposed to anthrax spores. All 6 Senate and House office buildings were closed for screening. An assistant to Dan Rather, the CBS News TV anchor, tested positive for anthrax Oct. 18, as did a postal worker in Trenton. A 2d Trenton postal worker joined the list Oct. 19, along with an employee at the New York Post newspaper. A suspicious letter found at the Post tested positive for anthrax, Oct. 20; it was also postmarked Trenton. Traces of anthrax were found the same day in the mailroom of the U.S. House. On Oct. 21 a Washington, DC, postal worker, was diagnosed with pulmonary anthrax; then on Oct. 22, 2 Washington postal workers died of anthrax poisoning, while 2 others were hospitalized with anthrax in their lungs. Federal officials acknowledged Oct. 24 that they had underestimated the threat to postal workers. On Oct. 26 anthrax spores were also found in the Washington, DC, area in mail centers serving the CIA, Supreme Court, and Walter Reed Medical Center; in succeeding days additional areas of contamination were found. Officials theorized that the Daschle letter alone was probably not responsible for all cases in the capital. On Oct. 28, a New Jersey postal worker was reported to have pulmonary anthrax (later confirmed); the next day a New Jersey accountant was found to have skin anthrax from an unknown source, and a New York City hospital worker was reported severely ill with suspected pulmonary anthrax (later confirmed), from an unknown source; she subsequently died on Oct. 31. The latter was the 10th known case of pulmonary anthrax in the nation; 3 of those infected had by then died.
Sec. of State Colin Powell and Pres. Musharraf, in Pakistan, Oct. 16, pledged to seek an Afghan coalition government that might include moderate Taliban leaders. The Afghan conflict entered a new phase Oct. 19, when U.S. commandos participated in an assault at Kandahar, site of a Taliban governmental and spiritual base. Their targets included an airfield and a headquarters compound of Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader. Two U.S. soldiers were killed that day in Pakistan, when a helicopter involved in that mission crashed. U.S. planes attacked front-line Taliban troops north of Kabul Oct. 21. Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said Oct. 22 that air attacks on Taliban positions were in support of the anti-Taliban forces; these attacks continued, amid reports that coordination between U.S. forces and Northern Alliance fighters was intensifying. On Oct. 26, however, in what was described as a targeting error, U.S. planes bombed a Red Cross warehouse facility in Kabul; one bomb also hit a nearby residential neighborhood. By the end of October, despite some tangible successes, Pentagon officials were stressing that the road to victory over the Taliban could be a long one.
On Oct. 26, Taliban officials announced they had captured and summarily executed Abdul Haq and 2 associates; the former guerrilla commander, a foe of the Taliban, had been regarded as a potential key figure in inducing defections from Taliban ranks. The same day, a Czech government official said that Mohammed Atta, one of the ringleaders in the Sept. 11 attacks, had met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence official 5 months beforehand.
The U.S. House Oct. 24 (356-66) and Senate Oct. 25 (98-1) passed an antiterrorism bill designed to make authorizing of wiretapping easier and allow detention of immigrants for limited periods without charges; it also contained provisions aimed at curbing money laundering in financing of terrorist operations. The final bill, signed by Pres. Bush on Oct. 26, did not, however contain all the provisions sought by the administration; notably, it did not allow for unlimited detention of persons not charged with specific crimes.
On Oct. 28, in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, gunmen opened fire in the midst of a Sunday morning service by Protestants in a Catholic Church; 16 worshippers were killed. The incident was believed to be an act of retaliation for U.S. military actions in Afghanistan. On Oct.29 Attorney Gen. John Ashcroft warned that new terrorist attacks against the U.S. or American interests abroad were being planned and could take place within a week; he said the administration viewed this information as credible, and was sending a "terrorist threat advisory" to 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies, but did not know anything about the nature or specific targets of the attacks. A similar warning of possible imminent attacks had been issued Oct. 11; no attack had then followed, but it was not known why.
Special Feature: Civilians in Peace, Soldiers in War -- the National Guard
By David Faris
Immediately after the terrorist attacks of September 11, the New York National Guard was dispatched to New York City to begin the rescue and recovery operation from the destruction of Manhattan's World Trade Center. (The Guard and other paid professionals later took over that entire operation from the volunteers who had rushed to help.) But its role in the post-attack world has been much more far-reaching. As President George W. Bush was announcing the beginning of U.S. retaliatory strikes against Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban, he also told the nation that Guard troops, at the command of the state governors, would be deployed around the country to strengthen airport security.
In the weeks since then, apprehensive air passengers are becoming used to the sight of National Guard troops patrolling the airports as the government and airlines struggle to improve the nation’s air security. Besides this very visible role, the Guard is doing round-the-clock duty protecting nuclear power plants, water supplies, subways, and other critical infrastructure from the threat of terrorist attack. And it is no surprise that the government turned to the National Guard to carry out these crucial jobs.
The oldest of the nation's armed forces; the National Guard celebrated its 365th birthday in 2001. Its history is older than the U.S., dating back to the English colonies in the 17th century. The colonies formed militias, a legacy of English tradition that favored fluid groups of citizen-soldiers instead of standing a standing army. The first such groups were formed in 1636 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and the militia, as it was known, saw its first engagement during the Pequot War of 1637. The militias served as the primary military arm of the colonies, and the British drew on their expertise at frontier warfare during the French and Indian War. It continued to play a role in subjugating the Native American population. The National Guard is still the nation's militia, as provided for in the Constitution of the United States (Article I, Section 8).
Militia units were crucial to the colonies' victory in the American Revolution (George Washington had served as a militia colonel before commanding the Continental Army), and to protecting the young country from British invasion in the War of 1812 War of 1812. Throughout the 19th century, except during the Civil War, the U.S. standing army was quite small. Thus the militia still played a vital role, and many of the most famous Civil War military units were militia.
New York was the first state to name its militia the National Guard (in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette's Garde Nationale, the militia of the French Revolution). Landmark 1903 legislation increased Federal control over the states' militias, and in 1916 another act required them all to use the name National Guard. Even as the U.S. entered into World War I, National Guard units comprised 40% of the U.S. expeditionary force sent to fight the Central Powers in 1917. Guard units also made significant contributions in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Today the National Guard has two main divisions, the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, which was created in 1947. Each state and territory maintains its own National Guard divisions, which its governor can call upon in emergencies, to contain civil disorder or provide disaster relief. There are Army National Guard units in 2,700 communities in all 50 states and all territories, and the Air National Guard has more than 170 installations nationwide. Each state's National Guard units also serve as reserve fighting units when needed by the federal government. This unique versatility is what differentiates the National Guard from the other branches of the U.S. military. Today more than 500,000 citizens serve in the Guard; President George W. Bush served with the Texas Air National Guard from 1968 to 1973.
The National Guard's darkest days, and an enduring stain on its reputation, began on May 4, 1970. With the country split down the middle over the seemingly endless Vietnam War, and with campus unrest stirring -- sometimes violently -- after President Richard Nixon's decision to invade Cambodia in April, the state National Guard was called in by order of Ohio governor James A. Rhodes to quell low-level disorder at Kent State University. The precise unfolding of events that day is still the subject of dispute, but when the Guard arrived students were demonstrating and apparently hurling objects at the troops. Then 100 guardsmen armed with M-1 rifles opened fire on the students, killing 4 and wounding 11.
Reactions to the incident split along political lines. Vice President Spiro Agnew denounced the protestors, calling the debacle "predictable and avoidable." Official inquiries were unable to determine precisely what led the guardsmen to open fire, though FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had begun an investigation. Early claims that there had been sniper fire from a nearby roof before the shootings were never substantiated. Though the case was initially closed not long after the incident, U.S. Attorney General Elliott Richardson reopened it in 1973. In November of 1974, 8 Ohio guardsmen were acquitted in the deaths of the four students; in 1979, Ohio settled a civil suit out of court.
Since the Kent State tragedy, states have continued to call on the National Guard in times of civil unrest. California guardsmen were called in to quell the 1992 riots in Los Angeles after the acquittal of four white police officers in the beating of Rodney King, an African-American man named. Troops were also mobilized in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew wrecked the Southeast coast, in 1994, after a deadly Earthquake struck Los Angeles, killing 51 and causing billions in property damage, and in 1995, after Hurricane Opal wreaked havoc on. The National Guard is indispensable in such times of tragedy, providing security and comfort to people whose lives have been upended by the forces of nature or man-made calamity.
The federal government continues to call on the Guard for wartime activities as well. Guard units played a significant role in U.S. military action in Grenada and the Persian Gulf War. The deployment of 60,000 Guard units for Operation Desert Storm was the largest deployment since the Korean War. It remains to be seen what role the National Guard will play in the open-ended conflict in Central Asia and the Middle East, but it is sure to be critical. And although this conflict has been completely overshadowed by other events, it is worth noting that the War on Drugs also involves the National Guard intimately. While its past is not without controversy, the National Guard today is a critical bulwark against terrorism. It is also the branch of the U.S. military with the longest history and most versatility.
As with all branches of the military, the National Guard can use all the help it can get. If you're interested in joining the National Guard, or are just interested in seeing the latest deployments or getting other information, check out the organization's web sites, at www-ngb5.ngb.army.mil and www.ngb.dtic.mil.
SCIENCE IN THE NEWS
2001 Nobels Announced in Physiology or Medicine, Physics & Chemistry Awarded
By Peter Falcier
On October 8, 2001, the Nobel Assembly at Swedish medical university Karolinska Institute in Stockholm awarded this year’s prize in physiology and medicine to three cell researchers for their breakthroughs in explaining key aspects of the cell cycle, the process by which organisms grow and regenerate. Leland Hartwell of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, discovered a specific class of genes, of which one known as "start" has a central role in controlling the first step of each cell cycle. Paul Nurse of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, England defined the genetics and chemistry of one of the cell cycle’s key regulators, the protein CDK (cyclin dependent kinase), which drives the cell through its cycle by chemical modification of other proteins. Timothy Hunt, also of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, discovered cyclins, proteins so named because their levels vary and degrade periodically and during the cell cycle. He showed how cyclins regulate the CDK function in the cell cycle. A better understanding of the cell cycle and any anomalies in it may ultimately help diagnose many forms of tumors and resolve mysteries of cancer and other disorders.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the winners of the Nobel Prizes in physics on October 9, 2001, and a day later announced the chemistry winners. Three scientists shared the physics prize: two Americans, Eric A. Cornell of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, CO, and Carl E. Wieman of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and one German, Wolfgang Ketterle of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA. Cornell and Wieman were the first scientists, in 1995, to create a super-cooled, ultra-condensed group of gas atoms called Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC), originally proposed by Indian physicist Satyendranath Bose and later developed by Einstein. Ketterle, working independently, achieved a condensate with even more closely packed atoms as well as a series of "BEC drops," in effect, a laser of matter rather than light. Their work promises to play a leading role on the world’s smallest stage: the developing field of nanotechnology.
Half of the nearly US$1 million prize in chemistry went jointly to William S. Knowles, retired from Monsanto Company of St Louis, MO, and Ryoji Noyori of Nagoya University in Chikusa, Nagoya, Japan. The other half went to K. Barry Sharpless of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. All three chemists developed molecules that can catalyze reactions in such a way that only one of two possible mirror-image products comes out. Of the two mirror-image products, one can often be very helpful, while the other may be harmful. The pharmaceuticals industry, now relies on the results of this basic research to make products such as L-Dopa (used to treat Parkinson’s disease), antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and heart medicines.
After two failed attempts, a new scientific mission began on Mars October 24, 2001, when an American spacecraft, initially launched from Earth seven months earlier, reached the red planet intact. Following the premeditated burning of its main engine and the resulting decrease in its speed, the NASA 2001 Mars Odyssey was ensnared by Martian gravity, enabling it to be caught in orbit and begin circling the planet. The aerobraking phase is the next precarious stage, in which the spacecraft will use atmospheric drag to lower its velocity to gather data on the planet’s atmosphere. This part of the mission was expected to last three months, beginning October 26, 2001.
The main purpose of the new mission was to locate sources of water with the help of several instruments. A gamma ray spectrometer should provide information about the chemical composition of the Martian terrain, while a neutron spectrometer is designed to search for traces of hydrogen, which could indicate the presence of underground water. In addition, the spacecraft is equipped with an infrared camera system that would allow researchers to detect "hot spots," sites where liquids may shoot through from below the surface, on parts of Mars that do not get sunlight. The new information should provide the basis for choosing landing sites for a future mission on Mars scheduled in 2004.
Chronology -- Events of October 2001
Key Interest Rate Cut to a 39-Year Low as Nation Battles Economic Slump--For the 9th time in 2001, the Federal Reserve Board
Largest Military Contract Ever Goes to Lockheed Martin--On Oct. 26, the Pentagon declared Lockheed Martin the winner of a contract purportedly worth over $200 billion to build a new generation of supersonic jet fighters--more than 3,000 in all--for the U.S. military over the next 20 years. Only 2 companies--Lockheed and Boeing--were in competition for the contract, which industry analysts called the biggest in history. The decision was a major blow to Boeing, already facing 30,000 layoffs in its commercial aircraft division.INTERNATIONAL
Khaleda Zia Wins Power in Bangladesh; Elections Called in Sri Lanka--The Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by Khaleda Zia, won 36% of the votes in general elections Oct. 1, while the rival Awami League, led by the incumbent Hasina Wazed (known as Sheikh Hasina), won 41%. Zia formed an alliance with 2 Islamic parties and another party to gather a plurality of 46% and form a government; she was sworn in as prime minister Oct. 10. Sheikh Hasina claimed the election had been unfair and said her party would boycott Parliament. In Sri Lanka, Pres. Chandrika Kumaratunga dissolved Parliament Oct. 10 and called new elections for December, in response to an expected vote of no confidence, after a year of political instability.
Despite Truce, Israeli-Palestinian Strife Continues--The shaky cease-fire was tested Oct. 2 when 2 Palestinian gunmen attacked the Israeli settlement of Alei Sinai, killing a couple and wounding 15. The gunmen were killed. In retaliation, Israeli tanks Oct. 3 attacked the town of Beit Lahia; 6 Palestinians were killed. Killings on both sides continued in subsequent days. Meanwhile, on Oct. 8, 2 protesters in a demonstration in Gaza against U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan were fatally shot by Palestinian police. In the West Bank, Oct. 14, Israelis killed a local leader of the radical Hamas organization while he was praying.
On Oct. 17, a gunman shot to death the Israeli minister of tourism, Rehavam Zeevi, in a Jerusalem hotel. Zeevi had announced his resignation, effective that day, having charged that Prime Min. Ariel Sharon’s stand against Palestinian violence was weakening. The Palestinian National Authority, Oct.18, rejected Israeli demands to hand over those involved in the killing. Also on Oct. 18, a Palestinian militia leader and 2 others were killed by a car bomb; Israel did not directly claim responsibility, but alleged he had been responsible for 5 Israeli deaths. On Oct. 19-20 Israeli tanks and troops invaded Palestinian-controlled territory in the West Bank and occupied Bethlehem and 5 other major urban areas, in the largest military offensive since 1994; at least 35 Palestinians were killed over the next few days. Pres. Bush demanded that Israel withdraw immediately from the territory it had seized; Israel refused, saying Palestinians had not cracked down on militants. Israeli troops Oct. 24 also attacked the Palestinian town of Beit Rima, killing at least 5 people and arresting at least 11, including 2 who Israelis said had helped kill Zeevi. On Oct. 28, Palestinians sprayed gunfire on a busy street in the northern Israeli city of Hadera, killing 4 women. That night, Israel, acceding in part to pressures from the U.S., withdrew its forces from Bethlehem and Beit Jala, but continued and reportedly intensified its military presence in other West Bank towns.
UN and Sec. Gen. Annan Win Peace Prize--On Oct. 12 it was announced that the United Nations and its secretary general, Kofi Annan, would receive the Nobel Peace Prize. In its citation, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said Annan, who had been unanimously reelected in June, "has been preeminent in bringing new life to the organization." The veteran diplomat from Ghana had been in the forefront in confronting many world crises, including international terrorism and the AIDS epidemic. Another UN secretary general, Dag Hammarskjold had been awarded the peace prize posthumously in 1961. In 2001, the award was made for the 100th time.
4 Get Life in Prison in 1998 Embassy Bombings--Four men convicted in connection with the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 were sentenced Oct. 18 to life in prison without parole. The 4 had been convicted in May of conspiring with the international terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden to bomb the embassies, in which 224 people were killed and thousands injured. Federal Judge Leonard Sand announced the sentences in Manhattan, a short distance from where the buildings of the World Trade Center had been destroyed.
President Bush Meets World Leaders in Shanghai--Pres. Bush met with Pres. Jiang Zemin of China in Shanghai, Oct. 19, but in their public statements they appeared to steer clear of potential matters of discord. At a joint news conference, Bush did not mention his plan for an antimissile shield and referred only briefly to the issue of Taiwan. Bush did say that support was nearly unanimous among Pacific Rim nations for the military attack on Afghanistan and the war on terrorism. Bush met with leaders of 21 nations at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Shanghai Oct. 20. He warned that terrorists sought to disrupt the global economy and urged business leaders around the world to unite against them. Bush met with Pres. Vladimir Putin of Russia in Shanghai Oct. 21. Putin said he believed the 2 countries could agree on altering the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty in a way that would preserve the treaty while allowing the United States to build an antimissile shield.
Violence Erupts in Nigeria as Army Shoots Hundreds--In some of the worst violence since the end of military government in 1999, the Nigerian army attacked villages throughout the eastern state of Benue on Oct. 22. It was unclear who ordered the attacks and how many were killed but many viewed the events as retaliation for the killings of 19 soldiers in the area earlier in the month. The governor of the state said that a "conservative estimate" of the dead was around 500; officials in the capital claimed the soldiers had acted in self-defense. Ethnic and religious conflicts in Nigeria have been endemic since independence and were the source of a civil war in the 1960s.
Irish Republican Army Says It Is Disarming--The Irish Republican Army said Oct. 23 that, in order to prevent the collapse of the peace agreement in Northern Ireland, it would begin to give up its weapons. Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA, had urged Oct. 22 that the weapons be surrendered. David Trimble, the Ulster Unionist leader, said Oct. 23 that he believed his Protestant allies could now rejoin the home-rule government they had left days earlier. Britain Oct. 24 began to reduce its military presence in Northern Ireland.
Explosion Kills Israelis on Russian Airliner--A Sibir Airlines jetliner exploded Oct. 4 and plunged into the Black Sea, killing all 78 passengers crew members. The passengers included 51 Israelis taking a holiday trip to Siberia. U.S. military officials reported evidence Oct. 5 that a missile from a Ukrainian military training exercise had hit the plane. Pres. Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine said, Oct. 13, that he accepted the preliminary conclusion by investigators that one of his country’s missiles had downed the plane, in what he called a "big tragedy."
Alpine Tunnel Blaze Kills at Least 11--The St. Gotthard Tunnel, a key link between Italy and Northern Europe, was shut down on Oct. 24 when 2 trucks collided head-on deep inside the tunnel. Fire and smoke from the collision, coupled with an inadequate ventilation system, trapped motorists in 23 vehicles. On Oct. 28, Swiss authorities said that 11 people were confirmed dead and as many as 35 had been reported missing. Despite the faulty ventilation system, the St. Gotthard tunnel was considered one of the safest in Europe.
On Sept. 30, Naoko Takahashi of Japan, became the 1st woman ever to run under 2 hrs. and 20 mins. for the marathon, clocking a 2:19:46 at Berlin, taking 57 secs. off Kenyan Tegla Loroupe's 1999 mark of 2:20:43 on the same course. At the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon on Oct. 7, Catherine Nderba (Kenya) bettered Takahashi's time by nearly a minute, winning in 2 hrs., 18 mins. and 47 sec.
San Francisco Giant outfielder Barry Bonds, who tied Mark McGwire's single-season home run record of 70 on Oct. 4, broke the record with 2 homers against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Oct. 5. In the final game of the season, Oct. 7, Bonds hit his 73d homer. Bonds also set a new single-season record for walks, finishing with 177.
San Diego's Rickey Henderson, who broke Ty Cobb's career record for runs scored on Oct. 4, finished the season with 2,248 career runs. Henderson got his 3,000th career hit on Oct. 7, the last day of the season.
On Oct. 21, the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Atlanta Braves, 3-2, to win the National League Championship Series, 4 games to 1, and advance to the World Series. Arizona outfielder Craig Counsell was named MVP of the NLCS.
The New York Yankees advanced to the World Series by winning the American League Championship Series, 4 games to 1, clinching the title with a 12-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Oct. 22. The ALCS MVP was New York pitcher Andy Pettitte.
The San Jose Earthquakes defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy in overtime, 2-1, to take the 2001 Major League Soccer Cup at Columbus (OH) Crew Stadium on Oct. 21.
At the World Thoroughbred Championships Oct. 27 at Belmont Park, Tiznow became the first horse ever to repeat as champion of the Breeders' Cup Classic. Tiznow, the 2000 Horse of the Year, held off runner-up Sakhee by nose.
Though Game 4 of the 2001 World Series officially started on Oct. 31, it didn't end until after midnight, marking the 1st time in history that a World Series game extended into November. At 12:04 AM (EST), New York shortstop Derek Jeter hit a home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Yankees a 4-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks and tied the Series at 2 games each. The Fall Classic was delayed one week because the season was postponed by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
Offbeat News Stories
By Kevin Seabrooke
Sultans of Swat
Italy's Anti-Mosquito League held its annual mosquito-killing competition last summer near Milan. Using only their hands, bathing suit-clad contestants had 15 minutes to kill, and collect as proof, as many mosquitoes as they could. Defending champ Cristian Rizzato nabbed 47 insects, doubling his record of 23 in 2000, and took home 6 piglets for his efforts. Second prize was 2 Ostriches, and the third place finisher received 500 fresh eggs.
Calling All Couch Potatoes
It seems like a job offer to good to be true, but NASA has received hundreds of responses to an ad offering $11 an hour to volunteers to agree to lie in bed for a month. The 10 lucky subjects chosen for the project, designed to study the physiological effects of long-duration space flights, will start their snoozes in Jan. 2002 at the Ames Research center in Northern California. The major catch--other than no alcohol or caffeine--is that subjects must spend the entire 30 days tilted head-down 6 degrees. This position best simulates weightlessness and many of the conditions of space flight, according to NASA. Not surprisingly, significantly more men than women have expressed interest in the project.
An experimental Hershey bar left behind by Adm. Richard Byrd's 3d expedition (1939-41) was discovered at the South Pole in Jan. 2001, buried in more than 2 ft. of ice. Explorer Douglas Stoup was checking on a modern cache of food and supplies near the runway at the Admundsen-Scott South Pole Station when he dislodged this vintage Field Ration Bar developed for the U.S. Army in 1937. A forerunner of the more-familiar Field Ration D Bar, it was designed to be melt-resistant and taste only a little better than a boiled potato-to discourage excess consumption. The classic candy bar will remain (presumably uneaten) in an exhibit at the Hershey Museum that lasts until Jan. 31, 2002.
100 Years Ago in the WORLD ALMANAC
Great Railroad Stations - Passenger Traffic
Links of the Month
Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief
Here's something useful; a universal currency converter. The site, www.xe.net/ucc enables you to quickly and easily calculate how much any amount of one currency is worth in another currency. The rates are live, so you'll get the most current rates.
Gallup Polls have been the source of public opinions since 1935. A visit to the site at www.gallup.com, can offer statistical information on a variety of subject matters; whether or not the interviewee favored or opposed the United States from taking direct military action in Afghanistan (Oct. 11-14: Favor 88%, Oppose 10%, No Opinion 2%), whether or not homosexuals should have equal rights in job opportunities (in 2001, 81% agree that they should, 11% oppose), and the top ten Presidential Approval Ratings (George W. Bush, Sept. 21-22, 90%).
Jesse, our Mail Room person, loves to sing Karaoke on Thursday nights in Brooklyn, New York. Is it something you enjoy? Want to give it a try in the privacy of your home? A visit to www.karaokeheaven.com offers up instrumental versions of songs, along with the words to help you get started. Whether you have the yearning to sing "A Big Hunk O Love," by Elvis Presley or "Killing Me Softly" by the Fugees, this is the site to visit.
Some link suggestions from my co-workers:
The National Park Foundation has a great site at www.recreation.gov, offering recreational opportunities on federal (U.S.) land. Each week they offer up a site to visit, plus there is easy access to all of the national sites. It can be as easy as typing in ABRAHAM LINCOLN and getting a list of sites associated with the President (Birthplace National Site, Gettysburg National Military Park, or Mount Rushmore National Monument to name a few), or do a search by activities and states.
The Exploratorium, a hands on science, art and human perception museum in San Francisco, CA, has a neat site at www.exploratorium.edu. At the site you can see a 3-D presentation of the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, see a webcast of the June 21, 2001 solar eclipse, a bobsled stimulator, as well as a walk on the "light" side, an exploration of light, shadow, and images.
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