the Context

Paul Gray

Paul Gray, bassist and founding member of heavy metal group Slipknot, is found dead at the age of 38 by a hotel employee in his room in Iowa, United States.

Slipknot bassist Paul Gray has been found dead at a hotel near the band's home town of Des Moines, Iowa.


Iran's largest water supply project is inaugurated in Khorramshahr.

Sarah, Duchess of York

Sarah, Duchess of York receives support from businessman Simon Cowell and an award for her work with the disadvantaged children of the U.S. city of Los Angeles despite being caught in a newspaper sting in Britain.

Social Democratic and Labour Party

Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader and South Down MP Margaret Ritchie resigns from the Northern Ireland Executive. Alex Attwood is the new Minister for Social Development.

The SDLP leader and South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has formally resigned from the Stormont Executive.


Peter Harvey, the UK teacher who attacked a pupil with a dumbbell while shouting "die, die, die", is sentenced to community order as his trial ends in Nottingham. The judge calls him as a "thoroughly decent man".

A teacher who bludgeoned a disruptive teenage pupil with a dumbbell has walked free from court after a judge described him as a “thoroughly decent man”.

General Medical Council

The UK's General Medical Council bans Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who was the first to publish research suggesting a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism, from practicing in the country, finding him guilty of "serious professional misconduct."


The people of Huddersfield in the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees of West Yorkshire in England are ordered to remain indoors and several schools are shut down after a huge fire engulfs a chemical plant in the area.

Plane Stupid

Plane Stupid protesters break into Manchester Airport and lock arms around an aircraft. Flights are suspended.

International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund says "far-reaching" reforms are vital for Spain's economy.

Iranian President

President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is met with protests during a speech in Khorramshahr.


Niger proposes reforms that would see only those with a university degree be allowed to run in presidential elections and parliamentary candidates be under the age of seventy and have some form of secondary education. Opposition groups say this discriminates against the 80 per cent of the population that is illiterate.


A panel of judges rules that Kenya's Islamic courts favour Islam and that this is unconstitutional as Kenya is a secular country.

A Kenyan appeal court rules that Islamic courts are illegal and discriminatory under the current constitution.

Meles Zenawi

Partial results show Western-backed leader Meles Zenawi's party is going to win the national Ethiopian election, although there are allegations it was rigged.

Provisional results showed Ethiopia's ruling party has won national elections, according to officials, amid claims the vote was marred by irregularities.

Bashar al-Ageidi

The assassination of Bashar al-Ageidi from the election-winning Iraqiya bloc of Ayad Allawi takes place outside his house in Mosul.

An Iraqi MP from the secular Iraqiya bloc is shot and killed by gunmen in the northern city of Mosul.

U.S.–China Strategic and Economic Dialogue

The second round of the U.S.–China Strategic and Economic Dialogue begins in Beijing, China.


The first China-Europe High-Level Political Party Forum convenes in Beijing.


Two police officers are killed and six others are wounded by gunmen during unrest in Jamaica's capital, Kingston.

Fierce fighting erupts as Jamaican security forces hunting an alleged drugs lord storm his stronghold in the capital, Kingston.


South Korea and the United States pressure China to allow UN action against North Korea.


South Korea announces that it will refer North Korea to the United Nations Security Council.

The US announces joint naval exercises with Seoul after a report blamed N Korea for the sinking of a Southern warship.


The South Korean military announces that it will resume the suspended practice of psychological warfare against North Korean guards on the Demilitarized zone, and that it would hold anti-submarine military exercises with the United States.


South Korea cuts off trade with North Korea and announces that North Korean ships will no longer be allowed to use South Korean waters. The government demands an apology over the sinking.

Operation Herrick

The widow of an army bomb disposal expert killed there in October admits her husband was under relentless pressure and his elite unit "badly overstretched".

The widow of an army bomb disposal expert killed in Afghanistan said on Monday her husband was under relentless pressure and his elite unit "badly overstretched" on the day he died.

Operation Herrick

Colonel Bob Seddon resigns as principal ammunition technical officer of the Royal Logistic Corps citing concerns about "the pressures on his team operating in Afghanistan".

Colonel Bob Seddon, Britain’s senior bomb disposal officer, has resigned his post after raising concerns for the welfare of his men.


Australia expels an Israeli diplomat after a probe reveals Israel was behind the forging of four Australian passports linked to the assassination of a Hamas operative in Dubai.

Australia expels an Israel diplomat after a probe blames Israel for the use of forged passports in the murder of a Hamas man.


President of Israel Shimon Peres denies a claims that there was an alleged nuclear pact between Israel and South Africa.


Hamas announces that it will boycott Palestinian municipal elections, saying said that the elections were being held under the supervision of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s “unconstitutional government” and would lack fairness and credibility.

Islamist movements say elections "illegal," designed to favor Fatah.

Continue to rise

The death toll as a result of severe flooding in Poland reaches 15 as Interior Minister Jerzy Miller says "The situation is worse than expected".

THE DEATH toll from Poland’s worst flooding in a century rose to 15 yesterday, as swollen rivers flowing north to the Baltic …

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago holds a general election, resulting in the victory of the United National Congress, and Kamla Persad-Bissessar becoming its first female Prime Minister.