August 12th a virus attacks about 500,000 computers running versions of Microsoft Windows. The virus, called the Blaster worm is traced back to a teenager in Minnesota, Jeffrey Lee Parson, who is arrested on August 29th for allegedly creating a variant of the original Blaster program.
A huge blackout occurs on August 14th, which is the country's largest power failure in history. 50 million people throughout eight states and parts of Canada lose electricity. The cause for the failure is unknown, but most experts claim the grid is in need of upgrades. Power returns to most affected areas after 29 hours on August 15th, while Detroit is left in the dark until August 16th.
August 11th finds a British court investigating the suicide of David Kelly, a defense-ministry scientist. The BBC claims Kelly told journalist Andrew Gilligan that the government had "sexed up" intelligence about Iraq's alleged weapons programs to help justify the war in Iraq.
On August 15th, Libyan officials finally accept the blame for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. The nation agrees to pay $2.7 billion to the families of the victims of the attack. The admission allegedly opens the door for the UN to remove sanctions against Libya.
A suicide bombing on a crowded bus in Jerusalem kills 20 people and wounds more than 100 on August 19th. Hamas and Islamic Jihad both claim they're responsible for the blast. On August 21st, Israel retaliates by killing a top Hamas member, Ismali Abu Shanab, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad formally bow out of the cease fire which had been in observance since June 29th.
On August 27th, President Bush relaxes environmental rules for power plants, refineries and other industrial complexes. The new rule allows plants to upgrade systems without improving pollution controls.
Charles Bronson dies at age 81 in Los Angeles, California, on August 30th. Bronson received much notariety as the vigilante in "Death Wish" and its many sequels. Bronson appeared in a host of other films, including "The Mechanic," "The Dirty Dozen," "The Great Escape" and "Battle of the Bulge."
Helpful sites for August,
MSNBC.com: Jeffrey Lee Parson - Features an interview with the youth who is charged with unleashing a computer virus, which attacks software components of those using the Microsoft Windows operating system.
Wikipedia: David Kelly - The British defence ministry employee is outlined. Kelly was found dead just three days after his BBC interview about Britain's research on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
BBC: On this Day in 1988 - Presents news reports and video clips from the initial coverage of the Lockerbie tragedy in 1988 plus detailed info about Libya's involvement in the terrorist action.