16 April 2007

Seung-Hui Cho guns down 32 people and injures 17 before committing suicide at Virginia Tech.

On 16 April 2007, 32 people died after being gunned down on the campus of Virginia Tech by Seung Hui Cho, a student at the college who later committed suicide.

The Virginia Tech shooting began around 7:15 a.m., when Cho, a 23-year-old senior and English major at Blacksburg-based Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, shot a female freshman and a male resident assistant in a campus dormitory before fleeing the building.

Police were soon on the scene; unaware of the gunman’s identity, they initially pursued the female victim’s boyfriend as a suspect in what they believed to be an isolated domestic-violence incident.

However, at around 9:40 a.m., Cho, armed with a 9-millimeter handgun, a 22-caliber handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, entered a classroom building, chained and locked several main doors and went from room to room shooting people. Approximately 10 minutes after the rampage began, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The attack left 32 people dead and more than a dozen wounded. In all, 27 students and five faculty members died in the massacre.

Two days later, on April 18, NBC News received a package of materials from Cho with a timestamp indicating he had mailed it from a Virginia post office between the first and second shooting attacks. Contained in the package were photos of a gun-wielding Cho, along with a rambling video diatribe in which he ranted about wealthy “brats,” among other topics.

In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shooting, authorities found no evidence that Cho, who was born in South Korea and moved to America with his family in 1992, had specifically targeted any of his victims. The public soon learned that Cho, described by students as a loner who rarely spoke to anyone, had a history of mental-health problems.

It was also revealed that angry, violent writings Cho made for certain class assignments had raised concern among some of his professors and fellow students well before the events of April 16.

In 2011, Virginia Tech was fined by the U.S. Department of Education for failing to issue a prompt campus-wide warning after Cho shot his first two victims.

School officials sent an email notification about the dorm shooting to students and faculty at 9:26 that morning. According to the Department of Education, the message was vague and did not indicate there had been a murder or that the gunman was still at large.

3 February 2007

A bombing in a Baghdad market kills at least 135 people.

The 3 February 2007 Baghdad market bombing was the detonation of a large truck bomb in a busy market in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on 3 February 2007. The suicide attack killed at least 135 people and injured 339 others. The bomb, estimated to be about one ton in weight, brought down at least 10 buildings and coffee shops and obliterated market stalls in a largely Shi‘ite enclave less than a half mile from the Tigris River.

The attacks killed at least 135 and injured 339 others, making it the deadliest attack since the Sadr City bombings of 23 November 2006. The blast was the worst of four massive bomb attacks in the preceding three weeks, all targeting dense Shi’ite areas in Baghdad and Al Hillah, including an attack on 22 January 2007 in another central Baghdad market that killed at least 88 and injured more than 160. The same market was hit by a series of car bombs on 2 December 2006, which killed more than 50 people. After the explosion, the closest hospital was quickly overwhelmed with patients affected by the blast. A Health Ministry official said the death toll was likely to rise significantly. The Iraqi Interior Ministry estimated that about 1,000 people had been killed throughout Iraq in the preceding week due to gunbattles, drive-by shootings and bomb attacks.

According to police, the attacker was driving a truck carrying food when the explosives detonated, destroying stores and stalls that had been set up in the busy outdoor Sadriyah market. Many people were looking to purchase food before a curfew scheduled for that evening; it is likely the suicide bombers planned this in order to cause maximum casualties.

9 January 2007

Apple announces original iPhone at Macworld in San Francisco.

MACWORLD SAN FRANCISCO—January 9, 2007—Apple® today introduced iPhone, combining three products—a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod® with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching and maps—into one small and lightweight handheld device. iPhone introduces an entirely new user interface based on a large multi-touch display and pioneering new software, letting users control iPhone with just their fingers. iPhone also ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, which completely redefines what users can do on their mobile phones.
“iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We are all born with the ultimate pointing device—our fingers—and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse.”

iPhone is a revolutionary new mobile phone that allows users to make calls by simply pointing at a name or number. iPhone syncs all of your contacts from your PC, Mac® or Internet service such as Yahoo!, so that you always have your full list of up-to-date contacts with you. In addition, you can easily construct a favorites list for your most frequently made calls, and easily merge calls together to create conference calls.
iPhone’s pioneering Visual Voicemail, an industry first, lets users look at a listing of their voicemails, decide which messages to listen to, then go directly to those messages without listening to the prior messages. Just like email, iPhone’s Visual Voicemail enables users to immediately randomly access those messages that interest them most.
iPhone includes an SMS application with a full QWERTY soft keyboard to easily send and receive SMS messages in multiple sessions. When users need to type, iPhone presents them with an elegant touch keyboard which is predictive to prevent and correct mistakes, making it much easier and more efficient to use than the small plastic keyboards on many smartphones. iPhone also includes a calendar application that allows calendars to be automatically synced with your PC or Mac.
iPhone features a 2 megapixel camera and a photo management application that is far beyond anything on a phone today. Users can browse their photo library, which can be easily synced from their PC or Mac, with just a flick of a finger and easily choose a photo for their wallpaper or to include in an email.
iPhone is a quad-band GSM phone which also features EDGE and Wi-Fi wireless technologies for data networking. Apple has chosen Cingular, the best and most popular carrier in the US with over 58 million subscribers, to be Apple’s exclusive carrier partner for iPhone in the US.

iPhone is a widescreen iPod with touch controls that lets music lovers “touch” their music by easily scrolling through entire lists of songs, artists, albums and playlists with just a flick of a finger. Album artwork is stunningly presented on iPhone’s large and vibrant display.
iPhone also features Cover Flow, Apple’s amazing way to browse your music library by album cover artwork, for the first time on an iPod. When navigating your music library on iPhone, you are automatically switched into Cover Flow by simply rotating iPhone into its landscape position.
iPhone’s stunning 3.5-inch widescreen display offers the ultimate way to watch TV shows and movies on a pocketable device, with touch controls for play-pause, chapter forward-backward and volume. iPhone plays the same videos purchased from the online iTunes® Store that users enjoy watching on their computers and iPods, and will soon enjoy watching on their widescreen televisions using the new Apple TV™. The iTunes Store now offers over 350 television shows, over 250 feature films and over 5,000 music videos.
iPhone lets users enjoy all their iPod content, including music, audiobooks, audio podcasts, video podcasts, music videos, television shows and movies. iPhone syncs content from a user’s iTunes library on their PC or Mac, and can play any music or video content they have purchased from the online iTunes store.

iPhone is a Breakthrough Internet Communications Device
iPhone features a rich HTML email client which fetches your email in the background from most POP3 or IMAP mail services and displays photos and graphics right along with the text. iPhone is fully multi-tasking, so you can be reading a web page while downloading your email in the background.
Yahoo! Mail, the world’s largest email service with over 250 million users, is offering a new free “push” IMAP email service to all iPhone users that automatically pushes new email to a user’s iPhone, and can be set up by simply entering your Yahoo! name and password. iPhone will also work with most industry standard IMAP and POP based email services, such as Microsoft Exchange, Apple .Mac Mail, AOL Mail, Google Gmail and most ISP mail services.
iPhone also features the most advanced and fun-to-use web browser on a portable device with a version of its award-winning Safari™ web browser for iPhone. Users can see any web page the way it was designed to be seen, and then easily zoom in to expand any section by simply tapping on iPhone’s multi-touch display with their finger. Users can surf the web from just about anywhere over Wi-Fi or EDGE, and can automatically sync their bookmarks from their PC or Mac. iPhone’s Safari web browser also includes built-in Google Search and Yahoo! Search so users can instantly search for information on their iPhone just like they do on their computer.
iPhone also includes Google Maps, featuring Google’s groundbreaking maps service and iPhone’s amazing maps application, offering the best maps experience by far on any pocket device. Users can view maps, satellite images, traffic information and get directions, all from iPhone’s remarkable and easy-to-use touch interface.

iPhone’s Advanced Sensors
iPhone employs advanced built-in sensors—an accelerometer, a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor—that automatically enhance the user experience and extend battery life. iPhone’s built-in accelerometer detects when the user has rotated the device from portrait to landscape, then automatically changes the contents of the display accordingly, with users immediately seeing the entire width of a web page, or a photo in its proper landscape aspect ratio.
iPhone’s built-in proximity sensor detects when you lift iPhone to your ear and immediately turns off the display to save power and prevent inadvertent touches until iPhone is moved away. iPhone’s built-in ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the display’s brightness to the appropriate level for the current ambient light, thereby enhancing the user experience and saving power at the same time.

Pricing & Availability
iPhone will be available in the US in June 2007, Europe in late 2007, and Asia in 2008, in a 4GB model for $499 and an 8GB model for $599, and will work with either a PC or Mac. iPhone will be sold in the US through Apple’s retail and online stores, and through Cingular’s retail and online stores. Several iPhone accessories will also be available in June, including Apple’s new remarkably compact Bluetooth headset.

iPhone includes support for quad-band GSM, EDGE, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR wireless technologies.
iPhone requires a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS® X v10.4.8 or later and iTunes 7; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows 2000, Windows XP Home or Professional. Internet access is required and a broadband connection is recommended. Apple and Cingular will announce service plans for iPhone before it begins shipping in June.

Learn More About iPhone
To learn more about iPhone, please visit Apple.com or watch the video of the iPhone introduction at www.apple.com/iphone/keynote.
Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning desktop and notebook computers, OS X operating system, and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital music revolution with its iPod portable music players and iTunes online store.

14 August 2007

Bombings in Kahtaniya kills at least 334 people.

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The 2007 Yazidi communities bombings occurred at around 7:20 pm local time on August 14, 2007, when four coordinated suicide bomb attacks detonated in the Yazidi towns of Kahtaniya and Jazeera near Mosul.

The Iraqi Red Crescent estimated that the bombs killed at least 500 and wounded 1,500 people, making this the Iraq War’s most deadly car bomb attack. It was also the second deadliest act of terrorism in history, following only behind the September 11 attacks in the United States.

For several months leading up the attack, tensions had been building up in the area, particularly between Yazidis and Sunni Muslims. Some Yazidis living in the area received threatening letters calling them “infidels”.Leaflets were also distributed denouncing Yazidis as “anti-Islamic” and warning them that an attack was imminent.

The attack might be connected to an incident wherein Du’a Khalil Aswad, a 17-year-old Yazidi girl, was stoned to death by the Yazidis. Aswad was believed to have wanted to convert in order to marry a Sunni. Two weeks later, after a video of the stoning appeared on the Internet, Sunni gunmen stopped minibuses filled with Yazidis; 23 Yazidi men were forced from a bus and shot dead.

The Sinjar area which has a mixed population of Yazidis, Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs was scheduled to vote in a plebiscite on accession to the Kurdish region in December 2007. This caused hostility among the neighbouring Arab communities. A force of 600 Kurdish Peshmerga was subsequently deployed in the area, and ditches were dug around Yazidi villages to prevent further attacks.

25 July 2007

Pratibha Patil becomes India’s first female president.

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Pratibha Patil has won the 12th Presidential Elections of the Republic of India, becoming the first woman president of the second most populous country in the world.

Patil, 72, previously governor of the state of Rajasthan, had support from the governing coalition. She won approximately two thirds of the vote, almost double the number of votes of her nearest rival Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who resigned as Vice-President after losing the poll.

Patil was a last-minute candidate who appeared when the coalition that leads the congress and the communist allies could not choose a common candidate. The supporters of Patil hope that her election could bring to the spotlight, problems that affect women in India, such as the high murder rate or domestic violence and abuse.

More than 4,500 members of the Parliament of India and state Legislative Assemblies were eligible to vote for the largely ceremonial office.

Patil was recently the centre of controversy after allegations that a bank gave out cheap loans to her relatives, and for her controversial statements about the Muslim veil.

The President-elect will succeed the 11th President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, an engineer and scientist. She is expected to be sworn in on July 25 in the Central Hall of Parliament.

The President of India, also called Rashtrapati, is the head of state and first citizen of India and the Supreme Commander of the Indian armed forces. The President’s role is largely ceremonial. The powers of the President of India are comparable to those of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The real executive authority in India is vested in the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister. In 1966, Indira Gandhi became the first and to date the only female prime minister of India.

29 June 2007

The first iPhone is released by Apple Inc.

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The iPhone is the first smartphone model designed and marketed by Apple Inc. It is the first generation of iPhone that was announced on January 9, 2007 after years of rumors and speculation.It was introduced in the United States on June 29, 2007, and it featured quad-band GSM cellular connectivity with GPRS and EDGE support for data transfer.

On June 9, 2008, Apple announced its successor, the iPhone 3G. The original iPhone has not received software updates from Apple since iPhone OS (now iOS) 3.1.3. Since June 11, 2013, the original iPhone has been considered “obsolete” in Apple retail stores, “vintage” by other service providers in the US, and “obsolete” in all other regions.Apple does not service vintage or obsolete products, and replacement parts for obsolete products are not available to service providers.

The iPhone was released on June 29, 2007 in the United States where thousands of people were reported to have waited outside Apple and AT&T retail stores days before the device’s launch; with many stores reporting stock shortages within an hour. To avoid repeating the problems of the PlayStation 3 launch, which caused burglaries and even a shooting, off-duty police officers were hired to guard stores overnight. It was later made available in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland and Austria in November 2007.Six out of ten Americans surveyed said they knew the iPhone was coming before its release.

9 January 2007

Apple’s Steve Jobs introduces the first iPhone at the Macworld conference in San Francisco.

The first Macworld Expo occurred in 1985 in San Francisco. The conference itself was created by Peggy Kilburn,[7] who helped to increase the size and profit of the event during her tenure (1985–1999). Among the speakers recruited by Kilburn were David Pogue, Steve Case, Bob LeVitus, as well as representatives from BMUG, LaserBoard, and other major user groups.

The San Francisco event has always been held at the Moscone Center. The Expo was also held in Brooks Hall near the San Francisco Civic Center from 1985 until 1993, when the expansion of Moscone Center allowed the show to be consolidated in one location.

Until 2005, the U.S. shows were held semiannually, with a January show in San Francisco and an additional summer show held in the Eastern US. The later event was held initially in Boston at the Bayside Expo & Executive Conference Center, later expanding with a dual presence at the World Trade Center Boston. From 1998 to 2003 it took place in New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The 2004 and 2005 summer shows, retitled Macworld Conference & Expo took place in Boston, although without Apple’s participation. Other companies followed Apple’s lead, canceling or reducing the size of their own exhibits, which resulted in reduced attendance compared with previous Macworld conferences. On 16 September 2005, IDG announced that no further summertime shows would be held in NYC or in Boston.

7 November 2007

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Nine died in the Jokela school shooting in Tuusula, Finland

The Jokela school shooting occurred on 7 November 2007, at Jokela High School in Jokela, a town in the municipality of Tuusula, Finland. The gunman, 18-year-old student Pekka-Eric Auvinen, entered the school on that morning armed with a semi-automatic pistol. He killed eight people and wounded one person in the toe before shooting himself in the head; twelve others were also injured by flying shattered glass or sprained ankles. Auvinen died later that evening in a Helsinki hospital.

This was the second school shooting in the history of Finland. The previous incident occurred in 1989 at the Raumanmeri school in Rauma, when a 14-year-old fatally shot two fellow students. Less than one year after the Jokela school massacre, the Kauhajoki school shooting occurred in Kauhajoki, where a gunman shot and killed ten people before killing himself.

27 September 2007

dawn

The Dawn probe is launched by NASA.

The Dawn space probe was launched by NASA on 27 September 2007 and is controlled by its Jet Propulsion laboratory of the California Institute of Technology. Its mission was to primarily study two protoplanets in the asteroid belt called, Vesta and Ceres. Dawn is currently orbiting around Ceres after arriving there in March 2015. Prior to that it spent 14 months from July 2011 orbiting Vesta. It will remain in orbit around Ceres until the conclusion of its mission, probably sometime in 2017. The primary mission aim is to address is the role that water might have had in determining the evolution of the planets. Both of these dwarf plants are very icy.