By Caizhen Li
There were lots of different things that happened around the world during 2003. This year was filled with many important events that occurred such as wars, invasions, terrorist attacks and many other political events involving conflicts between different countries.We have summarized some of the major events and some other events around the world that were reported by Blair students.
War in Iraq
The biggest political event of 2003 was the war between the U.S. and Iraq. The U.S. government said the Iraq could not make any more weapons of mass destruction and the U.S. government believed that the Iraqis were hiding the chemical weapons. The U.S Army invaded Iraq but no weapons were found.
The U.S. had control of Iraq, but they did not know where Saddam Hussein was. One of the most noteworthy occurrences of 2003 was when the U.S. military found Saddam Hussein hiding in what was called a "spider hole." This happened in December and they captured him alive with no violence. 2003 ended with questions about how Saddam's case would be handled. Would he be tried in Iraq or in another place?
Terrorist Attack in Morocco
Fatim Kayati reported that "a terrorist bomb blew up at the Hyatt Hotel in Casablanca." Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco and according to news reports there were 10 people killed by a suicide bomber. They don't know for certain who was responsible for the attack, but the authorities believe that it was the Al Quaeda terrorist network.
SARS in China
In China an outbreak of a serious respiratory infection had many terrible consequences for the Chinese people and the world community. The disease is called the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS. It started in China and became a serious world health threat from last January, 2003 until June. Many people were infected with this disease because it could pass easily from one person to another. For this reason, many people in China and nearby Asian countries wore protective facemasks to prevent catching the disease. The disease reached other countries because travelers from Asia were infected and the disease hit several countries. Toronto, Canada was especially hit hard with an outbreak of SARS. Many scientists from other countries went to China to try to help the Chinese people and find out how SARS was being spread. They worked with the Chinese to stop the SARS outbreak.
Political Problems in Haiti
The president of Haiti, Jean Paul Aristide, was popular when he was elected, but now he is not very popular. According to news reports, gangsters who support the government went to other people's houses to kill without any reason. There are some people in Haiti who want to remove Aristide. Senior Sasha Philogene said that many people want to "find a better president who cares about them and loves them."
Snipers in the Washington, DC Area
Sniper attacks, random shooting of innocent people in Montgomery County, Maryland and other places, made people afraid to go outside of their houses and do normal activities like shopping and playing sports. People had to hide in their cars while they were pumping gas because they were afraid that the sniper would sneak behind them and shoot them. Eventually two men were caught and they were found guilty of some of the sniper shootings.
Looking ahead to 2004, let us hope for a peaceful resolution to the conflict between the US and Iraq, more importantly let us hope for peace in the world, less prejudice against specific groups, and less military conflict in the new year.