US Secretary of State Colin Powell holds up a vial that he described as one that could contain anthrax during his presentation to the UN Security Council. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

2003 US Secretary of State Colin Powell, methodically making his case that Iraq has defied all demands that it disarm, presented tape recordings, satellite photos and informants’ statements that he said constituted “irrefutable and undeniable” evidence that President Saddam Hussain is concealing weapons of mass destruction. “Clearly, Saddam will stop at nothing until something stops him,” Powell told a sceptical UN Security Council, saying Baghdad’s denials represent a “web of lies.” Powell presented his evidence in an appearance that was televised live around the world. The Council members joined by Iraq’s UN ambassador sat around a large circular table with Powell and listened attentively. “The pronouncements that Powell made in his presentation are utterly unrelated to the truth,” countered Mohammad Al Douri. “There are incorrect allegations, unnamed sources, unknown sources.” He also suggested that audio tapes played to the Council by Powell were “not genuine.” Of the 15 Council members, only the US and Britain have voiced support for forcibly disarming Saddam.

Other important events

1782 Spanish forces capture Minorca Island from the British.

1885 Congo is established as a personal possession of Belgium’s King Leopold II.

1917 Mexico becomes a republic.

1936 Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times is released.

1940 Glenn Miller and his Orchestra recorded the hit song Tuxedo Junction.

1958 Jamal Abdul Nasser becomes the first President of the new United Arab Republic, a short-lived union of Syria and Egypt.

1971 Apollo 14 astronauts Alan B. Shepard and Edgar D. Mitchell land on the moon.

1976 Earthquake in Guatemala takes almost 23,000 lives.

1984 Lebanese Prime Minister Shafiq Wazzan resigns.

1985 Spain opens Gibraltar border after 16 years.

1989 Kabul is placed under martial law following the withdrawal of virtually all Soviet troops from the city.

1991 Iraq, under attack by the US and its allies, suspends fuel sales to its citizens.

1993 Italian police arrests suspected gang boss Giuseppe Montalto, believed to be one of the leading figures in the Sicilian Mafia.

1994 A single mortar shell kills 68 people in a Sarajevo marketplace.

1995 Peru and Ecuador break off cease-fire talks and fighting flares again along their disputed jungle border.

1999 King Hussain of Jordan is pronounced clinically dead.

2002 Interim Afghan Prime Minister Hamid Karzai raised the country’s new national flag in a colourful ceremony.

2003 North Korea announces its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon has resumed operations.

2005 Gnassingbe Eyadema, President of Togo dies.

2006 A bomb explosion rips through a passenger bus in a province of southwestern Pakistan, killing at least 13 people.

2010 Northern Ireland reaches landmark deal with Britain to transfer key remaining powers.

2011 Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Amer and Mohammad Asif are banned for at least five years by the International Cricket Council.

2012 A suicide car bomb hits police headquarters in Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing seven people.

2013 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives in Cairo, marking the first visit to Egypt by an Iranian president since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.

2014 Portuguese football legend Eusebio, dies at the age of 71.

2017 Romania scraps corruption decree in a climb down after mass protest.