Timeline 2008 January-March
Return to home
2008 Jan 1,
The US and Guatemala formally ratified the Hague Abduction
(SFC, 5/15/12, p.A2)
2008 Jan 1, This marked the
start of the International Year of the Potato as declared by the UN.
The potato stood s the world’s 4th biggest food crop, after maize,
wheat and rice.
(Econ, 3/1/08, p.18, 92)(SSFC, 10/5/08, p.A15)
2008 Jan 1, In Arizona new laws
targeting employers who hire illegal immigrants took effect, with
experts predicting the move may cost the state's economy billions of
dollars in lost income and taxes.
2008 Jan 1, In California a
batch of new state laws took effect including a 50-cent raise in the
minimum wage to $8 per hour. AB1298 too effect. It expanded the
state’s data-breach notification law to include unencrypted medical
(SFC, 1/2/08, p.A1)(SFC, 1/4/08, p.C1)
2008 Jan 1, The Michigan
Wolverines upset No. 9 Florida 41-35 in the Capital One Bowl to win
their first bowl game since 2003. This one was special. Michigan's
senior class won its first bowl game in four tries and Lloyd Carr
ended his coaching career on a high note.
2008 Jan 1, In New Hampshire
Dozens of gay and lesbian couples entered into civil unions in the
early moments of New Year's Day as a new state law legalized the
2008 Jan 1, By state law strip
clubs in Texas began imposing a $5 surcharge, dubbed the “pole tax,”
providing the state with an estimated $40 million in annual revenue.
Most of the proceeds were to go to programs supporting victims of
(Econ, 1/5/08, p.28)
2008 Jan 1, Across Afghanistan
roadside bombs and military operations killed 19 people, including
14 Taliban fighters.
(AP, 1/1/08)(AP, 1/2/08)
2008 Jan 1, Bhutan election
officials announced that the Himalayan nation will begin its
transformation from an absolute monarchy to a democracy with several
leaders fresh out of college at the helm. The size of the country's
population is unknown. Estimates put it between 700,000 and 2.2
2008 Jan 1, In Rio Piracicaba,
Brazil, a jail fire killed eight inmates who could not be rescued
because the guard had left with the keys.
2008 Jan 1, Britain defied a
Russian order to close the regional offices of its cultural arm from
New Year's day, but there was no evidence of Russian attempts to
forcibly close British Council centers.
2008 Jan 1, China’s new Labor
Contract Law (LCL) went into effect. The legislation aimed at
strengthening the contractual rights of workers.
2008 Jan 1, EU newcomers Cyprus
and Malta adopted the euro, bringing to fifteen the number of
countries using the currency with increasing clout over the slumping
2008 Jan 1, Vandals torched 372
cars as France celebrated the New Year, down on the figure last year
after a night the police described as "relatively calm."
(AP, 1/1/08)(Reuters, 1/1/08)
2008 Jan 1, Smokers took to
lighting up on the sidewalks as a ban took effect across France ,
Germany and Lithuania, the latest European countries to say "no
smoking." Across France smokers took advantage of a one-day grace
period and savored their last cigarettes over morning coffee in
cafes as a ban against lighting up in bars and restaurants took
(AP, 1/1/08)(AFP, 1/1/08)
2008 Jan 1, In Ghana 2 US Navy
sailors, Patrick Mack (22) of Warren, Mich., and Lonnie Davis Jr.
(35) of Riverdale, Ga., were found dead in a hotel room in Accra.
They were stationed aboard the USS Fort McHenry, which is on a
7-month voyage in the Gulf of Guinea.
(AP, 1/1/08)(AP, 1/3/08)
2008 Jan 1, In northern India 2
assailants with guns and grenades ambushed a police recruitment
center in an attack that killed seven police officers and a civilian
in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh state. In Bihar state suspected Maoist
rebels shot dead four soldiers.
2008 Jan 1, Iraq began curbing
its food ration system. By June it planned to end the program
altogether for many of the country’s citizens. A suicide attacker
detonated an explosives-rigged vest at a Shiite funeral in Baghdad,
killing 36 people gathered to mourn the death of an Iraqi army
officer killed in a car bombing. In Jalula the bodies of a Sunni
policeman and four of his relatives were found hours after gunman
abducted them from their home. Also in Diyala province, a Shiite man
and his 16-year-old son where killed in a drive-by shooting as they
stood outside their home.
(AP, 1/1/08)(AP, 1/2/08)(WSJ, 2/26/08, p.A5)
2008 Jan 1, In Kenya a mob
torched a church sheltering hundreds of people fleeing election
violence. Up to 50 ethnic Kikuyus were killed in the fire in the
Assemblies of God Church in the Rift Valley city of Eldoret. The
death toll from ethnic riots triggered by President Mwai Kibaki's
disputed re-election soared to nearly 200.
(AP, 1/1/08)(Reuters, 1/1/08)(AP, 1/2/08)
2008 Jan 1, Libya took over the
rotating presidency of the UN Security Council in a major step back
to global respectability after decades as a pariah of the West.
2008 Jan 1, In Mexico import
tariffs on maize, beans, sugar and milk were eliminated.
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.38)
2008 Jan 1, In Mongolia a
government official said at least 11 people died and another 21 were
hospitalized for drinking tainted vodka during New Year's Eve
celebrations in Ulan Bator.
2008 Jan 1, In Nigeria armed
men killed 13 people over New Year in Port Harcourt when they
attacked two police stations and a hotel. The Niger Delta Vigilante
Movement, led by Ateke Tom, claimed responsibility.
(AFP, 1/2/08)(SFC, 1/2/08, p.A3)
2008 Jan 1, Pakistan's election
commission said that unrest following the killing of Benazir Bhutto
would almost certainly force the postponement of Jan. 8 elections,
despite opposition threats of street protests if the poll is
delayed. Militants abducted four Pakistani paramilitary soldiers in
a tribal area. Pakistani troops killed 25 militants close to the
Afghan border in fighting following the abduction of four soldiers.
(AP, 1/1/08)(AFP, 1/1/07)(AP, 1/2/08)
2008 Jan 1, Gaza's ruling Hamas
militant group launched a new crackdown on the rival Fatah movement,
arresting dozens of activists and barring public gatherings after
Fatah anniversary celebrations sparked deadly violence. Fighting
stretched into a second day, leaving a total of eight dead and 60
2008 Jan 1, Slovenia became the
first of 12 newcomers to take over the rotating presidency of the EU
Union, a big psychological boost to a nation that gained
independence from the ruins of the former Yugoslavia 16 years ago.
2008 Jan 1, In Sri Lanka a
gunman assassinated an opposition lawmaker and one other person at a
New Year religious service near Colombo, and the lawmaker's party
held the government responsible for his slaying.
2008 Jan 1, In Sudan an
American diplomat and his driver were shot to death in Khartoum.
John Granville (33), an official for the US Agency for International
Development, was being driven home at about 4 a.m. when another
vehicle cut off his car and opened fire before fleeing the scene. A
group calling itself Ansar al-Tawhid later claimed responsibility
for the murder. On Feb 9 Sudanese security forces arrested two
suspects in the murder. On Sep 20 five Sudanese Islamists admitted
in filmed statements their role in murdering Granville and his
driver. They were formally charged on Feb 5, 2009. On June 24 four
Islamists were sentenced to death. A 5th man was sentenced to 2
years in prison for providing a weapon.
(AP, 1/1/08)(AP, 1/2/08)(AFP, 1/5/08)(AP,
2/10/08)(AP, 9/21/08)(AP, 2/5/09)(AFP, 6/24/09)
2008 Jan 1, In Uzbekistan as of
this day execution by firing squad will no longer be legal, and the
maximum sentence will be life or long-term imprisonment. The reforms
have been incorporated into new criminal code and were sanctioned by
a presidential decree signed by Islam Karimov.
2008 Jan 1, Venezuela launched
a new currency with the new year, lopping off three zeros from
denominations in a bid to simplify finances and boost confidence in
a money that has been losing value due to high inflation.
2008 Jan 2, California led 15
other states and 5 environmental groups into federal court to
challenge the Bush administration’s refusal to let the state limit
vehicle emissions of gases that contribute to global warming.
(SFC, 1/3/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 2, Gold prices swept
to a record high of $861.10 above the key $850-an-ounce mark, driven
by surging oil, a weaker dollar and simmering geopolitical tensions.
It later backtracked slightly to $855.70/$856.50 in New York at 2:25
2008 Jan 2, Oil futures hit an
intraday high of $100 per barrel and closed at a record $99.62.
(WSJ, 1/3/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 2, US researchers said
a married couple who sailed to America from England around 1630 are
the reason why thousands of people in the United States are at
higher risk of a hereditary form of colon cancer.
2008 Jan 2, Becton, Dickinson
and Co said it received clearance from the Food and Drug
Administration for a test to identify the presence of two deadly
healthcare-associated infections: Staphylococcus aureus and
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
2008 Jan 2, In Algeria a car
bomb exploded near a police station in Naciria east of Algiers,
killing at least four people and ripping off the building's façade.
2008 Jan 2, Sterling slumped to
a record low against the euro after the release of weak British
economic data that raised expectations of further interest rate cuts
by the Bank of England.
2008 Jan 2, George MacDonald
Fraser (82), English author of the "Flashman" series of historical
adventure yarns, died. "Flashman," published in 1969, introduced
readers to an enduring literary antihero: the roguish, irrepressible
Harry Flashman. Fraser’s work also included over 30 movie scripts
including “The Three Musketeers” (1973).
(AP, 1/3/08)(WSJ, 1/17/08, p.D7)(Econ, 1/12/08,
2008 Jan 2, In southern Chile
hundreds of people fled their homes overnight as the Llaima volcano
erupted, rocking the area with explosions and spewing lava and ash.
2008 Jan 2, Egypt allowed more
than 2,000 Palestinian pilgrims to enter the Gaza Strip, drawing a
fierce rebuke from Israel, which had tried to prevent top members of
the militant Hamas from returning home.
2008 Jan 2, France's most
drastic measure to curb smoking went into effect with a full ban on
lighting up in cafes, restaurants and discotheques.
2008 Jan 2, In northern India
an unusually fierce cold snap has killed nine people over the past
two days, bringing the death toll from weeks of unusually chilly
weather to 38.
2008 Jan 2, In Iraq a suicide
bombing in Baqouba killed seven people, including Abu Sadjat, a
local tribal chief, and wounded 22 others.
(AP, 1/2/08)(SFC, 1/3/08, p.A11)
2008 Jan 2, Israeli forces
killed seven Palestinian militants in a clash before dawn, pressing
its war against armed groups in the Gaza Strip days before President
Bush arrives to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace.
2008 Jan 2, International
pressure mounted on Kenya's leaders to end postelection violence
that has killed more than 300 people. Vice President Moody Awori
told a local television station that the violence has cost the
country $31 million a day.
2008 Jan 2, In Lebanon Sheik
Hassan Nasrallah, the leader Hezbollah, declared no president will
be elected unless his opposition party gets veto power in the future
2008 Jan 2, Myanmar's military
junta dramatically raised the annual fee for TV satellite dishes, an
apparent move to block the foreign news channels that beamed in
global criticism of its recent crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
2008 Jan 2, Authorities said
Pakistan's elections will be delayed six weeks until Feb. 18 because
of unrest following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Opponents
condemned the postponement but said they would take part in the vote
anyway. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said that he had
requested a team of investigators from Britain's Scotland Yard to
assist in the investigation into the killing of opposition leader
2008 Jan 2, The Sri Lankan
government decided to withdraw from an internationally brokered
cease-fire with the insurgents. Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels
detonated a bomb near a bus carrying wounded soldiers through a busy
commercial district in Sri Lanka's capital, killing one soldier and
three civilians and wounding 24 other people. Air force jets
launched two airstrikes in the north, one targeting a Tamil Tiger
naval base in Mannar district and the other a logistics base in
Mullaitivu district. Some 5,000 people had died over the last two
years of the cease-fire.
(AP, 1/3/08)(Econ, 1/5/08, p.36)
2008 Jan 2, Darfur rebels in
Sudan said they had taken a town around Geneina, the main city of
west Darfur which they claim to have surrounded.
2008 Jan 3, Democrat Barack
Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses as the
candidates move on to New Hampshire. Obama won with 38% over Edwards
at 30% and Hillary Clinton at 29%. Overall, Clinton leads with 175
delegates, including superdelegates, followed by Obama with 75 and
Edwards with 46. Huckabee won 34% with Romney at 25%. Huckabee
scored 30 delegates and Romney got 7.
2008 Jan 3, Ford Motor Co.
named Tata Motors Ltd. the top bidder for its Jaguar and Land Rover
brands and entered into "focused negotiations at a more detailed
2008 Jan 3, In southwestern
Afghanistan a suicide bomber attacked Indian road construction
workers and their Afghan police escorts, killing seven and wounding
2008 Jan 3, In Chile Interior
Minister Belisario Velasco, one of the most powerful officials in
President Michelle Bachelet's government, resigned as part of an
expected Cabinet shake-up. Mapuche Indians trying to reclaim
farmland they say belonged to their ancestors clashed with police in
violence that left protester Matias Catrileo dead.
(AP, 1/3/08)(AP, 1/5/13)
2008 Jan 3, China issued rules
restricting the broadcast of Internet videos to sites run by the
(WSJ, 1/4/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 3, A bitterly cold
winter storm pummeled parts of Europe, killing at least three
sailors when a ship sank in rough seas, and piling up snow that
stranded thousands at airports, on mountain roads and in remote
2008 Jan 3, Worshippers at a
Hindu temple in southern India stampeded as they tried to draw close
to a goddess' statue, trampling at least five people to death and
injuring 15 others. The northern state of Himachal Pradesh said it
planned to use unemployed youths to sterilize monkeys to try to
combat aggressive primates who have been raiding farms. The idea
drew immediate condemnation from conservationists, who said the plan
was unscientific and would likely worsen the problem.
2008 Jan 3, Iraqi PM Nuri
al-Maliki held talks with PM Gordon Brown, notably discussing the
plight of five Britons seized in Baghdad last year. Abdul-Aziz
al-Hakim, a top Shiite politician, acknowledged the contribution of
US-backed Sunni Arab groups to the decline in violence across Iraq
and called for their use in the continuing fight against al-Qaida.
The Samarra dam bridge, one of the entrances into Samarra,
reopened. For the past 8 months, the entrances to the city were
essentially closed due to the levels of violence. At least 5 people
were killed in two separate attacks in Baghdad, one targeting a
local member of the prime minister's party. One woman was killed and
another civilian wounded when a rocket slammed into the primarily
Shiite neighborhood of Washash in northwest Baghdad. Iraqi
authorities ordered a one-day vehicle ban in Baqouba in response to
a series of deadly suicide bombings and other attacks by al-Qaida in
Iraq against predominantly Sunni fighters that have allied with the
United States. The US military killed two insurgents and detained 12
in the Diyala region. But the operations also resulted in the deaths
of two American soldiers the wounding of another in a small arms
(AFP, 1/3/08)(AP, 1/3/08)(AP, 1/4/08)(AP, 1/5/08)
2008 Jan 3, Israeli tanks and
warplanes attacked a series of targets throughout the Gaza Strip. 9
people were killed including 3 civilians with over 30 Palestinians
wounded. The attack had intensified following a Katyusha rocket
strike 10½ miles into Israel. The Israeli military uncovered an arms
cache in Nablus that contained explosives, military equipment and
material for manufacturing rockets.
(AP, 1/3/08)(SFC, 1/4/08, p.A16)(SSFC, 1/6/08,
2008 Jan 3, Israeli authorities
ordered fowl destroyed in an area of northern Israel after chickens
kept at a kindergarten were diagnosed with a deadly strain of bird
2008 Jan 3, Crews in Naples,
where the streets increasingly are lined with trash, began cleaning
up a long disused dump in a bid to ease a mounting garbage crisis.
2008 Jan 3, In Kenya riot
police fired tear gas and water cannons to beat back crowds heading
for a banned rally to protest the disputed election, and the
president said he is willing to talk to the opposition once calm has
2008 Jan 3, Libya's foreign
minister declared an end to confrontation with the US in a rare
visit to Washington by a top Libyan diplomat aimed at cementing ties
between the former foes.
2008 Jan 3, In the southern
Philippines 2 al-Qaida-linked Muslim militants, including one wanted
for the 2001 kidnapping of three Americans and 17 other people from
a resort island, were captured in separate raids. Troops arrested
suspected Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Tuwatin Anahalul in Zamboanga del
Sur province's Margusatubig town.
2008 Jan 3, Puerto Rico halted
all bird imports after a rare outbreak of avian flu in nearby
Dominican Republic, where authorities killed more than 100 chickens,
including fighting roosters that tested positive for the lethal
virus. The ban forced the cancellation of more than 100 cockfights,
dealing a blow to the lucrative industry.
2008 Jan 3, South Sudanese
officials said North Sudanese troops have missed a third deadline to
fully redeploy from the south following over two decades of
north-south civil war that ended in 2005.
2008 Jan 3, In northern Sri
Lanka heavy fighting broke out between government troops and Tamil
Tigers, hours after Colombo announced it was pulling out of a
tattered ceasefire agreement with the rebels.
2008 Jan 3, Turkey’s Parliament
approved a law extending a smoking ban in this tobacco-growing
nation to all bars, restaurants and coffeehouses by mid-2009.
2008 Jan 3, In Turkey a car
bomb exploded in the Kurdish-dominated southeastern city of
Diyarbakir, killing 6 people, including 5 students. 67 people were
wounded, including military personnel.
(AP, 1/3/08)(Reuters, 1/4/08)(AP, 1/8/08)
2008 Jan 3, President Hugo
Chavez shuffled his Cabinet, naming a retired military officer as
vice president and other changes aimed at tackling corruption and
inefficiencies in his socialist government.
2008 Jan 4, The US Labor
Department said hiring practically stalled in December, driving the
nation's unemployment rate up to a two-year high of 5 percent and
fanning fears of a recession. The DJIA fell 256.54 to 12800.18.
(AP, 1/4/08)(WSJ, 1/5/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 4, The United States
700 MHz FCC wireless spectrum auction, officially known as Auction
73, was started by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
AT&T, Verizon and others paid close to $20 billion for the
700MHZ band covering channels 52-69 on the television dial.
2008 Jan 4, Flights were
grounded and trucks overturned in Northern California as wind gusted
to 80 mph during the second wave of the arctic storm that has sent
trees crashing onto houses, cars and roads. Hundreds of thousands of
customers lost power from central California into Oregon and
Washington. An estimated 1.9-2.1 million PG&E customers lost
(AP, 1/5/08)(SFC, 1/8/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 4, In Texas Jana
Shearer (21), the girlfriend of Christopher Lee McCuin (25), was
taken by McCuin from her home and killed. McCuin was arrested Jan 5
after police found that he had cooked parts of her body and may have
tried to eat them. On Dec 7 McCuin was found dead in his jail cell.
(AP, 1/7/08)(AP, 12/8/08)
2008 Jan 4, In Oakland, Ca.,
Jessica Birden (19) died from wounds suffered on Jan 1, when she was
found unconscious on a trail in the King Estates Recreation Area in
the Oakland Hills. On Jan 8 Kenneth Jovan Washington, a man
suspected in her assault and that of others in the Bay Area, was
charged with her murder and another attack on Dec 24.
(SFC, 1/8/08, p.B3)(SFC, 1/9/08, p.B3)
2008 Jan 4, Mort Garson
(b.1983), Canadian-born composer and arranger, died in SF. He
co-wrote the 1963 hit “Our Day Will Come,” performed by Ruby and the
Romantics. He also fused the Moog synthesizer with orchestral music
and composed music that was used by CBS-TV in 1969 in film footage
of NASA spaceflights as Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon.
(SFC, 1/16/08, p.B9)
2008 Jan 4, In Afghanistan’s
Uruzgan province a clash between NATO troops and Taliban insurgents
near Tirin Kot, the provincial capital, left two civilians dead and
five others wounded.
2008 Jan 4, Young men stormed
the streets of Guinea, hurling rocks and setting tires ablaze as
labor unions called for a strike, threatening to throw the African
nation into gridlock.
2008 Jan 4, P. Chidambaram,
India’s finance minister, urged state-run banks to reduce lending
rates by half a percentage point to spur consumption and investment
as signs emerge of a slowdown in consumer spending. Police arrested
14 men for allegedly harassing two women outside a five-star hotel
in Mumbai during New Year's celebrations, a case that drew
widespread criticism after police initially refused to pursue it.
(AP, 1/4/08)(AFP, 1/5/08)
2008 Jan 4, Israeli troops on a
night mission in the Gaza Strip killed two Hamas gunmen in the early
hours as Israel responded to Palestinian rocket fire with strikes
against militants that left 11 dead in 24 hours.
2008 Jan 4, Kenya's opposition
called for a new presidential election to settle a dispute that has
sparked deadly riots from the capital to the coast, but a government
spokesman said a new vote could come on only on orders from the
highest court. The World Food Program warned that 100,000 people
faced starvation in western Kenya.
(AP, 1/4/08)(SFC, 1/5/08, p.A3)
2008 Jan 4, Kosovo's
legislators were sworn in at the first session of a new parliament
that is widely expected to declare independence from Serbia early
2008 Jan 4, A Moroccan court
sentenced 51 Islamists of the Ansar El Mahdi group to between two
and 25 years in jail for plotting to overthrow the government here
and install an Islamist regime.
2008 Jan 4, Myanmar's
Independence Day was marked by opposition calls for the freeing of
democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners as the
military rulers urged national discipline.
2008 Jan 4, Russian rescuers
saved 11 people stranded for nearly three months in a remote area of
the Pacific coast after a fishing trip went wrong. Their two boats
were damaged in a storm on October 10 during a fishing expedition
off the Kamchatka Peninsula.
2008 Jan 4, The annual 5,760
Dakar Rally was canceled on the eve of the race across the Sahara
Desert because of terror threats and the recent Christmas Eve
killings of a French family in Mauritania blamed on al-Qaida-linked
militants. The race, organized by the France-based Amaury Sport
Organization (ASO), had been due to start in Lisbon, Portugal, and
finish in Dakar, Senegal, on Jan. 20.
(AP, 1/4/08)(WSJ, 1/5/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 4, Fresh fighting
erupted between southern Sudanese forces and Khartoum-backed Arab
tribesmen near key oil areas of the country, former southern rebels
said, further denting hopes of an end to north-south hostilities.
2008 Jan 4, Taiwan's ties with
its ally Malawi were shaky after the African country snubbed the
island's top diplomat in an aborted visit to the African nation
aimed at persuading it to resist diplomatic wooing by China.
2008 Jan 4, A private plane
carrying 14 people, including 8 Italians, crashed into the sea after
taking off from Venezuela's Los Roques islands.
(AP, 1/5/08)(AP, 1/7/08)
2008 Jan 4, The Zambian
government awarded a 1.2 billion dollar crude oil deal to a Kuwait
firm to supply over 1.4 million tons of oil to the southern African
2008 Jan 4, Zimbabwe’s
state-owned The Herald daily reported that a diarrhea outbreak has
hit Harare following weeks of uncollected garbage, sewer blockages
and erratic water supplies.
2008 Jan 5, Georgia authorities
served a warrant charging Gary Michael Hilton (61) with the
kidnapping with bodily injury of Meredith Emerson (24). Emerson was
last seen on New Year's Day hiking with her black Labrador
retriever, Ella, in Vogel State Park. On Jan 7 he led investigators
to a spot in a wooded area in north Georgia where they found her
body. In March Hilton was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
(AP, 1/6/08)(AP, 1/8/08)(SFC, 3/24/08, p.A8)
2008 Jan 5, In Hayden, Idaho, a
man who believed he bore the "mark of the beast" used a circular saw
to cut off one hand, then he cooked it in the microwave and called
2008 Jan 5, A levee break
flooded hundreds of homes In Nevada as a storm that has pummeled the
West Coast with high wind and heavy rain dropped a thick blanket of
snow on the Sierra Nevada.
2008 Jan 5, In Alaska a small
plane crashed at the end of a runway off Kodiak Island killing 6
people enroute to celebrate Eastern Orthodox Christmas.
(SFC, 1/7/08, p.A3)
2008 Jan 5, Heavy rains caused
flooding across parts of eastern Australia, forcing the evacuation
of hundreds of people as rural towns throughout the area were put on
2008 Jan 5, Georgians voted to
determine whether to keep Mikhail Saakashvili as president in the
former Soviet republic, where he was once considered a symbol of
democratic reform but now faces accusations of authoritarian
leanings. Saakashvili's supporters poured onto the streets, tooting
car horns and waving white-and-red national flags, celebrating
victory based on exit poll results. Saakashvili received 52.8% of
the vote according to preliminary results.
(AP, 1/5/08)(AP, 1/6/08)(AP, 1/7/08)
2008 Jan 5, In Iraq a roadside
bomb struck a passing minibus north of the town of Muqdadiyah,
killing six people. In Baqouba another roadside bomb wounded three
2008 Jan 5, The Israeli army
wound up a large 3-day operation in Nablus saying they had
discovered another explosives laboratory there.
(SSFC, 1/6/08, p.A18)
2008 Jan 5, Kenya’s government
said President Kibaki is ready to form "a government of national
unity" to help resolve disputed elections that caused deadly riots.
Some 300 people have been killed and the UN said 250,000 made
homeless in violent protests and clashes since the vote.
2008 Jan 5, Malaysia’s New
Straits Times said Malaysian police have arrested a beauty parlor
owner and a farmer suspected of distributing a sex video showing a
former Health Minister Chua Soi Lek committing adultery. Soi Lek
resigned Jan 2 after admitting he was the man in the video.
2008 Jan 5, Jacob Zuma, the new
African National Congress leader and would-be national president,
took another wife, in a Zulu tradition of polygamy that coexists
uneasily with calls for gender equality in modern South Africa.
2008 Jan 5, Syria joined other
Arab nations in endorsing the head of Lebanon's army as that
country's next president, putting pressure on the Lebanese
opposition to drop demands that have blocked a compromise over the
2008 Jan 6, In southeastern
Utah a chartered bus ran off a wet road and rolled 41 feet down an
embankment, killing eight passengers who were returning home from a
ski trip. About 20 others were injured.
2008 Jan 6, Adam Gadahn,
Al-Qaida's American spokesman, urged fighters to meet President Bush
with bombs when he visits the Middle East, according to a new video
posted on the Internet. Gadahn, also known as Azzam al-Amriki, was
charged with treason in the US in 2006 and has been wanted since
2004 by the FBI, which is offering a $1 million reward for
information leading to his arrest or conviction.
2008 Jan 6, Martha Arguello
(b.1917), the cartoonist known as Marty Links, died in San Rafael,
Ca. She was the creator of the Bobby Sox and Emmy Lou cartoon
strips, which ran in the SF Chronicle for over 35 years.
(SFC, 1/9/08, p.B9)
2008 Jan 6, In Afghanistan 3
Taliban militants were killed in a battle between police and NATO
troops in the Zhari district of Kandahar.
2008 Jan 6, In Kinshasa a peace
summit aimed at ending fighting in Congo's blood-steeped eastern
provinces of North and South Kivu opened without the presence of
President Joseph Kabila and rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda.
2008 Jan 6, In Georgia several
thousand people rallied in Tbilisi, claiming early election results
that indicated Mikhail Saakashvili would narrowly win a second
presidential term were fraudulent.
2008 Jan 6, Dr. Pramod Karan
Sethi (80), inventor of a low-cost prosthetic foot that has helped
millions of people in developing and war-torn countries, died in
Jaipur, India. The surgeon developed the Jaipur Foot in 1968 with
India's rural poor in mind.
2008 Jan 6, Five Iranian
Revolutionary Guard boats harassed and provoked three US Navy ships
in the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route off the Iranian
coast. The US Navy Times newspaper later reported that a threatening
radio message at the end of a video showing Iranian patrol boats
swarming near US warships in the Persian Gulf may have come from a
prankster rather than from the Iranian vessels.
(AP, 1/7/08)(AP, 1/14/08)
2008 Jan 6, Two Iraqi soldiers
threw themselves on a suicide bomber who slipped into a crowd
celebrating Iraq's Army Day, but the attacker detonated an
explosives vest, killing both soldiers and nine other people. A
series of attacks across Baghdad that left as many as 16 people
dead. Near Muqdadiyah a joint Iraqi-US patrol discovered five
severed heads. Near the city of Khalis in Diyala province suspected
al-Qaida in Iraq fighters attacked the house of a local sheik and
kidnapped him and 13 members of his family.
2008 Jan 6, North Korea stepped
up anti-US propaganda with a six-nation nuclear disarmament process
bogged down and Pyongyang and Washington in dispute over the delay.
2008 Jan 6, In northwest
Pakistan suspected Islamic militants in 2 attacks fatally shot 8
tribal leaders involved in efforts to broker a cease-fire between
security forces and insurgents.
(AP, 1/7/08)(SFC, 1/8/08, p.A14)
2008 Jan 6, The head of Gaza's
energy authority said Palestinians in Gaza will be forced to live
without electricity eight hours a day, beginning today, because
Israel has sharply reduced fuel supplies to the territory's only
2008 Jan 6, In northern Sri
Lanka heavy fighting raged where Tiger rebels said they lost a key
leader, as Norwegian-led monitors began pulling out before the
formal end of a tattered truce.
2008 Jan 6, In Zurich Sonntag
newspaper reported that Credit Suisse faces a fresh assets write-off
of 2.5 billion Swiss francs (1.5 billion euros, $2.3 billion) from
the US sub-prime crisis.
2008 Jan 6, Zimbabwe state
media reported that the government has awarded an immediate 600% pay
rise to striking magistrates and prosecutors in a bid to end a
3-month work stoppage.
2008 Jan 7, Jerry Fitch, a
Mississippi businessman, must pay more than 750,000 dollars in
damages to the man whose wife he wooed away, after the US Supreme
Court declined to hear an appeal in the case.
2008 Jan 7, The Stanford Center
for the Study of Poverty and Inequality (www.inequality.com)
announced the launch of its new quarterly publication, Pathways, an
online and hardcopy magazine dedicated to examining poverty and
inequality in the United States.
(SFC, 1/29/08, p.E1)
2008 Jan 7, Starbucks ousted
CEO Jim McDonald and Howard Schultz, current Chairman and former CEO
(1987-2000), took over. Starbucks faced added competition as
McDonald’s planned to install coffee bars selling espresso.
(WSJ, 1/8/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 7, Tornadoes were
reported or suspected in southwest Missouri, southeastern Wisconsin,
Arkansas, Illinois and Oklahoma. Two people were killed in Missouri.
2008 Jan 7, In Alabama Lam
Luong (37), a shrimp fisherman and drug addict, threw his 4 young
children into the Intracoastal Waterway from the Dauphin Island
bridge. He initially reported the children missing and then
confessed. On March 5, 2009, Luong pleaded guilty and asked to be
put to death. On April 30 he was sentenced to death. In 2013 an
appeals court ordered a new trial.
(SFC, 1/10/08, p.A3)(SFC, 3/6/09, p.A6)(SFC,
5/1/09, p.A8)(SSFC, 2/17/13, p.A12)
2008 Jan 7, Bill Belew
(b.1931), costume king, died in Palm Springs, Ca. He created the
outfits worn by Elvis Presley and other pop stars.
(WSJ, 2/2/08, p.A12)
2008 Jan 7, In southern
Afghanistan a suicide bomber on a motorcycle attacked a border
police patrol, killing a policeman. In neighboring Helmand province,
police discovered and tried to defuse a remote-controlled roadside
bomb in Nad Ali district, but it exploded, killing two policemen and
two civilians. In eastern Afghanistan as roadside bomb killed two
soldiers from the US-led coalition.
(AP, 1/7/08)(AP, 1/8/08)
2008 Jan 7, Australians battled
both fires and some of the worst flooding in decades that stranded
residents in several communities after days of intense summer heat
2008 Jan 7, Britain’s PM Gordon
Brown announced plans for a new national screening program to combat
some of the country's biggest killer diseases.
2008 Jan 7, Chadian air force
planes attacked a Chadian rebel base across the border, southwest of
El-Geneina in the Darfur region of Sudan.
2008 Jan 7, China’s state media
said authorities in central China have expelled 500 people from the
Communist Party for defying the country's one-child policy. Wei
Wenhua (41), a passer-by who filmed a streetside fracas between
villagers and authorities, was beaten and killed in Hubei province.
His death touched off protests in central China, in the latest
incident to underscore public anger over abusive treatment by
(AP, 1/7/08)(AP, 1/9/08)
2008 Jan 7, Colombia’s army
captured Carlos Marin Guarin, who uses the nom de guerre "Pablito,"
a senior commander of the ELN, Colombia’s second largest rebel
2008 Jan 7, Philip Agee (72), a
former CIA agent who became an outspoken critic of Washington's Cuba
policy, died in a Havana hospital following ulcer surgery. Agee quit
the CIA in 1969 after 12 years working mostly in Latin America at a
time when leftist movements were gaining prominence and
sympathizers. His 1975 book "Inside the Company: CIA Diary," cited
alleged CIA misdeeds against leftists in the region that included a
22-page list of purported agency operatives.
2008 Jan 7, President Mikhail
Saakashvili said his re-election demonstrates that Georgia is on the
road to becoming a European democracy, while his opponents denounced
the vote as fraudulent and vowed to renew street protests.
2008 Jan 7, In Guatemala the
National Convergence Front (FCN) was formed by former military
officers. In March 2013, the party chose the popular comic TV actor
Jimmy Morales as its secretary-general.
2008 Jan 7, President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad presented Iran's budget to parliament, promising it
would curb a sharp rise in inflation and redistribute Iran's
abundant oil revenues among the country's 70 million people.
2008 Jan 7, In Iraq a double
suicide attack outside an agency that cares for Sunni mosques and
shrines killed a prominent leader of a US-backed group fighting
al-Qaida and at least five others. 12 people died in the twin
bombing. In eastern Baghdad, a roadside bomb detonated near a
technology university, killing four people, including a student, and
wounding 11 others. In Baghdad's Jadriyah neighborhood, two roadside
bombs went off minutes apart, killing one civilian and wounding four
other people, including three policeman. Gunmen kidnapped 8 members
of a newly-formed US-backed Shiite armed group in northern Baghdad's
(AP, 1/7/08)(AP, 1/8/08)
2008 Jan 7, Police in Naples
clashed with protestors over a mafia-linked rubbish disposal crisis
as the Italian government convened an emergency meeting to try and
resolve the row.
2008 Jan 7, Kenya's opposition
leader canceled nationwide protests, saying he wanted to avoid new
violence and give mediation a chance to resolve the election dispute
that has killed nearly 500 people in political and ethnic
bloodletting. The chief US envoy for Africa said the vote count from
Kenya's election was rigged, but both parties could have been
involved, declining to blame either President Mwai Kibaki or the
opposition leader who ran against him.
2008 Jan 7, Kosovo's rival
parties struck a power-sharing deal to form a government that is
expected to declare independence from Serbia this year.
2008 Jan 7, A shootout between
Mexican authorities and suspected criminals just across the border
from Texas left three people dead and eight injured.
2008 Jan 7, The National
Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) said 6 people have died and
more than 20,000 others have been displaced by Mozambique's rising
waters, the worst since the deadly flooding of 2000 to 2001.
2008 Jan 7, In South Korea fire
tore through a refrigeration warehouse under construction in an
industrial district south of Seoul, killing 40 people and sending
toxic fumes into the air.
2008 Jan 7, According to new
military figures gunbattles between government troops and Tamil
Tiger rebels have brought the death toll for four days of fighting
to 81. Violence intensified following the government's Jan 2
announcement that it would formally withdraw from a 2002 cease-fire
2008 Jan 7, Armed men opened
fire on a UN/African Union supply convoy in Sudan's war-torn Darfur
region, the first attack on the newly formed joint peacekeeping
mission. On Jan 10 Sudan admitted that its troops had opened
fire on a joint UN/African Union peacekeeping convoy in Darfur
saying the attack was the result of a "shared mistake."
(Reuters, 1/8/08)(Reuters, 1/10/08)
2008 Jan 7, The Tunis-based
Arab League Educational Cultural and Scientific Organization said
nearly one in 3 people in the Arab world is illiterate, including
nearly half of all women in the region.
2008 Jan 7, In Turkey an
accused Kurdish rebel suspected of detonating a deadly car bomb last
week in Diyarbakir was captured. Six other suspects also were
2008 Jan 8, Pres. Bush met with
Turkey’s Pres. Abdullah Gul to discuss US policy on Turkey's fight
against Kurdish rebels. Bush prepared to leave later in the day on
his first major trip to the Mideast to try to build momentum for
2008 Jan 8, Pres. Bush signed
legislation aimed at preventing the severely mentally ill from
(WSJ, 1/9/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 8, California’s Gov.
Schwarzenegger in his 5th State of the State speech proposed a
constitutional amendment to keep the state from spending more than
it collects in taxes. He said the projected $14 billion deficit was
driven by voter-approved mandates escalating faster than state
income. The proposed cost cutting included a the shutdown of 48
(SFC, 1/9/08, p.A1)(SFC, 1/17/08, p.A12)
2008 Jan 8, In New Hampshire
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (39%) led Barack Obama (36%) and John
McCain (37%) led Mitt Romney (32%), reviving their sagging
2008 Jan 8, Gold futures surged
above $880 an ounce and closed at $880.30, up $18.30.
(SFC, 1/9/08, p.C3)
2008 Jan 8, James "Jimmy" Cayne
(73), Bear Stearns Cos. Chief Executive, said he will give up
day-to-day control of the fifth-largest US investment bank amid
unprecedented losses from the subprime mortgage crisis. He planned
to remain as executive chairman, and will be succeeded as CEO by
President Alan Schwartz, effective immediately.
(AP, 1/8/08)(Econ, 1/12/08, p.65)
2008 Jan 8, Google unveiled a
strategy for its philanthropic arm, Google.org, under the leadership
of Dr. Larry Brilliant. The program will be funded with 1% of the
firm’s equity, annual profits and employee’s time and pursue 5 core
initiatives in 3 areas: fighting climate change, economic
development, and building an early warning system for pandemics and
(Econ, 1/19/08, p.75)
2008 Jan 8, Flooding in
northern Indiana left 3 people dead.
(SFC, 1/10/08, p.A3)
2008 Jan 8, In Algeria an army
commander and three members of the security forces were killed
during an operation aimed at flushing out an Islamist group in
scrubland in the north of the country. The sweep, aided by
helicopters, was intended to flush out a group of 10-15 new recruits
to the Al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb group, who were intent on
launching attacks on Constantine.
2008 Jan 8, In Vienna, Austria,
a court convicted an accountant of embezzling $1.8 million from the
Helsinki Federation for Human Rights to support his mistress, a
crime that forced the respected group to fold. The 43-year-old
accountant to three years in jail, two of which were suspended. His
31-year-old girl friend was sentenced to two years, 16 months of
which could be served on parole.
2008 Jan 8, Britain’s PM Gordon
Brown said that he wants a 3-year public sector pay deal, rather
than the traditional annual deals, to control inflation and maintain
2008 Jan 8, Sohail Qureshi
(29), a dentist, was jailed in London after admitting planning to
travel to Pakistan to carry out unspecified acts of terrorism.
Qureshi, who was sentenced to four and a half years, was detained at
London Heathrow Airport in October 2006 carrying thousands of pounds
in cash, as well as a night sight, medical supplies and computer
2008 Jan 8, Britain's Royal
Mail issued a set of stamps commemorating James Bond to mark 100
years since the birth of his creator, Ian Fleming.
2008 Jan 8, China posted a
regulation dating from Dec 31 declaring war on the "white pollution"
choking its cities, farms and waterways. China said it is banning
free plastic shopping bags and called for a return to the cloth bags
of old, steps largely welcomed by merchants and shoppers. The ban
takes effect June 1.
2008 Jan 8, The US military
said US and Iraqi forces have launched operation Phantom Phoenix to
strike against al-Qaida in Iraq and other extremists, hoping to
build on a recent reduction of violence and push militants from
their strongholds. The head of the municipality of Baghdad's
primarily Sunni neighborhood of Yarmouk was killed when a bomb
attached to his car exploded. A suicide bomber detonated his
explosives at a checkpoint manned by police special forces in the
Madain area, about 15 miles southeast of Baghdad, killing two
members of the special forces and wounding five people. 3 US
soldiers were killed and two wounded in an attack in Salahuddin
(AP, 1/8/08)(AP, 1/10/08)
2008 Jan 8, In northern Greece
a group of female protesters locked in a land dispute with the Greek
Orthodox Church defied a 1,000-year-old ban and entered the all-male
Mount Athos monastic sanctuary.
2008 Jan 8, Two rockets fired
from Lebanon struck northern Israel overnight, expanding the
violence that has erupted on Israel's other borders ahead of
President Bush's visit to the region. No injuries were reported.
2008 Jan 8, Some 60,000 tons of
garbage were piled up in the streets of Naples.
(Econ, 1/12/08, p.44)
2008 Jan 8, Kenya's opposition
leader rejected talks with the president, describing an invitation
to meet as "public relations gimmickry" that would undermine
attempts to end the ethnically-charged election standoff that has
killed more than 500 people.
2008 Jan 8, Maumoon Abdul
Gayoom (70), the Maldives president, survived an assassination
attempt when boy scout Mohammed Jaisham Ibrahim (15) grabbed the
knife of an attacker who jumped out of a crowd of people greeting
(AP, 1/9/08)(AP, 1/10/08)
2008 Jan 8, In Mexico 3 US
residents and seven others linked to the powerful Gulf drug cartel
were arrested following a deadly shootout in Rio Bravo just across
the border from Texas. In a second shootout, two federal agents were
killed and three more injured when they clashed with a group of
suspects in the nearby city of Reynosa.
2008 Jan 8, A human rights
campaign group called on Morocco to stop "muzzling" independence
campaigners in the vast disputed region of Western Sahara, as
UN-brokered peace talks on the 32-year row got underway in New York.
2008 Jan 8, Nauru’s foreign
minister said Australia's plans to close a much-criticized detention
center for asylum seekers on Nauru will devastate its economy.
2008 Jan 8, A Sri Lankan
government minister died in a roadside bombing blamed on the Tamil
Tiger rebels, the first successful assassination of a top Sri Lankan
official in 19 months. The bomb tore through the car carrying Nation
Building Minister D.M. Dassanayake as he traveled through the Ja-Ela
2008 Jan 8, A government
spokeswoman said Taiwan cannot match China's reported $6 billion aid
offer to Malawi, but hopes a legacy of goodwill can convince the
African nation not to switch allegiance to its giant neighbor.
2008 Jan 8, The wife of ousted
PM Thaksin Shinawatra was handed an arrest warrant after she
returned to Thailand to face corruption charges that could put her
behind bars for 20 years.
2008 Jan 9, The US imposed
sanctions on Mishan Jaburi, owner of Al Zawra television in Syria,
and Brig. Gen. Ahmed Foruzandeh, leader of the Iranian Quds Force,
for broadcasting attacks on American troops and calls to violence.
Jaburi, a former parliamentarian in Iraq, had fled to Syria in 2006
amid charges that he had embezzled millions from Iraq’s treasury.
The BBC said the station was last seen July 27.
(SFC, 1/10/08, p.A13)
2008 Jan 9, Members of US
Congress increased their salaries to $169,300 this year, up $4,100,
or 2.5%, after forgoing a raise in 2007.
(WSJ, 1/10/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 9, Muir Woods in
northern California was listed on the national Registry of Historic
Places on its 100th anniversary as a national monument.
(SFC, 1/10/08, p.B1)
2008 Jan 9, A Survey of teen
sexual behavior in Europe and North America found that a
“substantial minority” of 15-year-olds have had intercourse.
(WSJ, 1/10/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 9, Some 70 cars
crashed on a highway blanketed by fog and smoke from a brush fire in
central Florida. 4 people were killed.
(AP, 1/9/08)(SFC, 1/10/08, p.A3)
2008 Jan 9, In Washington, DC,
the bodies of 4 girls, ages 5-17) were found by federal marshals
delivering eviction papers. They had been dead for about seven
months. Banita Jacks (34) was later convicted of killing her 4
daughters and in Dec 2009 was sentenced to 120 years in prison.
(SFC, 12/19/09, p.A5)(http://tinyurl.com/ya5qebf)
2008 Jan 9, Afghan authorities
said that at least 34 people had been killed in days of heavy
snowfall across the country. A NATO vehicle struck a mine in
southern Afghanistan, killing one soldier and wounding another,
while a militant attack in the east left a policeman dead.
(AFP, 1/9/08)(AP, 1/10/08)
2008 Jan 9, British police and
animal welfare authorities rescued 84 neglected horses from a farm
where they had found 31 dead horses, ponies and donkeys.
2008 Jan 9, Sir John Harvey
Jones, British corporate manager and TV star, died. He served as
chairman of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) from 1982-1987. In
1990 he became the presenter of the pioneering BBC TV show
“Troubleshooter” (1990-1992) which “aimed to interest the general
public in the nitty-gritty of running a business.” From 1989 to 1994
he served as chairman of The Economist.
(Econ, 1/19/08, p.94)
2008 Jan 9, French legal
plaintiffs said police have arrested Marcel Bivugabagabo (53), a
former officer in the Rwandan army accused of taking part in the
1994 genocide. Bivugabagabo was commander of the Ruhengeri sector in
western Rwanda from April to July 1994.
2008 Jan 9, The WHO, based on
door-to-door surveys of nearly 10,000 households, estimated that
151,000 Iraqis had died from the start of war in March, 2003, to
June, 2006. 2 policemen were found dead inside their vehicle in the
al-Azizyah area, 35 miles southeast of Baghdad. 4 bodies were
retrieved from the Tigris River in Suwayrah, 25 miles south of
Baghdad. 6 US soldiers were killed and four were wounded in a
booby-trapped house in Diyala.
(SFC, 1/10/08, p.A9)(AP, 1/9/08)(AP, 1/10/08)
2008 Jan 9, The Israeli
military fired at Palestinian militants in Gaza, killing three
people, after a rocket hit a house in a battered Israeli border town
just as President Bush, with an entourage of some 800 people, began
his Mideast peace mission. Bush, seeking to pull Israel and the
Palestinians toward serious negotiations, said that despite ongoing
land squabbles and fears of violence he has high hopes that a
Mideast peace pact can be achieved before he leaves office at the
end of the year.
(AP, 1/9/08)(Econ, 1/5/08, p.39)
2008 Jan 9, African Union chief
John Kufuor met Kenyan leaders to try to break a political deadlock
following disputed presidential polls that sparked widespread
violence and left at least 600 dead. Hundreds of Kenyans tried to
flee the country's west amid escalating opposition anger after the
president named half of a new Cabinet, a line-up packed with his
(AFP, 1/9/08)(AP, 1/9/08)
2008 Jan 9, Hashim Thaci (39),
a former rebel leader, was elected Kosovo's prime minister, vowing
that the province is only weeks away from independence and calling
on Serbia to give up its claim to the territory.
2008 Jan 9, The latest round of
UN-led peace talks between Morocco and the pro-independence
Polisario Front ended in stalemate, with the two sides agreeing to
try again in March to resolve a 32-year dispute for control of
2008 Jan 9, Norway and Sweden
dropped plans to send some 400 troops to the UN peacekeeping force
in Darfur because of opposition by Sudan.
(WSJ, 1/10/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 9, A natural gas blast
ripped through an apartment building in Russia's Tatarstan region,
killing at least seven people.
2008 Jan 10, A US Justice
Department audit was released and said telephone companies have cut
off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of
the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time.
2008 Jan 10, California Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed an austere state budget to close a
projected $14.5 billion deficit.
(SFC, 1/11/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 10, Ed Jew resigned
from his seat on the SF Board of Supervisors effective as of noon on
(SFC, 1/11/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 10, Afghanistan urged
Iran to stop deporting its citizens during the winter months, saying
doing so could cause a humanitarian disaster.
2008 Jan 10, In Belarus police
broke up a rally of 2,000 entrepreneurs protesting moves by the
authoritarian government to increase the burden on private business.
The demonstrators opposed new legislation that would force them to
reregister their ventures and double the amount of taxes they have
2008 Jan 10, Britain’s
government unveiled a new energy policy, which included a decision
to support the building of new nuclear-power stations.
(Econ, 1/12/08, p.49)
2008 Jan 10, British media
reports said 3 swans found dead on a nature reserve in south-west
England have tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu.
2008 Jan 10, Helicopters sent
by Venezuela's president picked up two hostages freed by Colombian
rebels in the jungle and flew the women across the border. Clara
Rojas was an aide to Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid
Betancourt in February 2002 when the two were kidnapped on the
campaign trail. Rojas gave birth in captivity to a boy fathered by
one of the guerrillas. Betancourt is still being held. The other
freed hostage, former congresswoman Consuelo Gonzalez de Perdomo,
had been abducted in September 2001. FARC, in a statement published
on a pro-rebel Web site, said the unilateral release demonstrated
the group's "unquestionable willingness" to engage the government in
talks over the release of remaining hostages. The Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia is thought to still hold more than 700
(AP, 1/11/08)(Econ, 1/19/08, p.39)
2008 Jan 10, In Georgia
authorities formally charged Badri Patarkatsishvili, a billionaire
businessman, who ran in this month's presidential election with
plotting to overthrow the government. Patarkatsishvili left Georgia
in November and has spent time in Britain and Israel. He has
acknowledged offering large sums of money to police if they side
2008 Jan 10, India's Tata
Motors unveiled the world's cheapest car, bringing new mobility
within the reach of tens of millions of people and nightmares to
environmentalists, traffic engineers and safety advocates. The Tata
Nano was expected to sell for about $2,500.
(AP, 1/10/08)(SFC, 1/11/08, p.C1)
2008 Jan 10, In central
Baghdad, two bombs exploded almost simultaneously near a military
checkpoint, killing two policemen and one soldier. 11 others were
wounded, including four civilians. US bombers and jet fighters
unleashed 40,000 pounds of explosives during a 10-minute airstrike,
flattening what the military called safe havens for al-Qaida in Iraq
on the southern outskirts Baghdad. Al-Jibouri, leader of Arab
Jabour's Awakening Council, said the airstrikes killed at least 21
al-Qaida militants including a group leader.
(AP, 1/10/08)(AP, 1/11/08)
2008 Jan 10, A cargo boat laden
with 500 tons of garbage from Naples docked at the island of
Sardinia as the government worked to undo a weeks-long trash
emergency that left heaps of waste piled up on the streets of
2008 Jan 10, Japan’s Matsushita
Electric Industrial Co. said it will drop the name of its
charismatic founder and become Panasonic Corp. to strengthen its
2008 Jan 10, An African Union
statement said former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is taking over
mediation in Kenya's disputed presidential election. Kenya's feuding
political leaders agreed to an immediate cessation of violence and
any acts that may harm efforts to end the country's post-election
(AP, 1/10/08)(AFP, 1/10/08)
2008 Jan 10, In Mexico gunmen
shot dead two federal agents and a civilian in the central state of
2008 Jan 10, Sir Edmund Hillary
(88), the first person to stand atop the world's highest mountain,
died in New Zealand. He was remembered as a deeply driven but
unassuming man who strived to help the people of Nepal in the
decades after his 1953 ascent of Mount Everest with Sherpa Tenzing
2008 Jan 10, In eastern
Pakistan a suicide bomber blew himself up among police deployed
outside a court in Lahore, killing at least 25 people, including 21
policemen, and wounding more than 70. Pakistani troops killed more
than 50 Taliban militants after fighting off an attack overnight on
a military fort near the town of Ladha in rugged South Waziristan.
(AP, 1/10/08)(WSJ, 1/11/08, p.A1)(AFP, 1/12/08)
2008 Jan 10, In the West Bank
President Bush predicted that a Mideast peace treaty would be
completed by the time he leaves office. Bush named Lt. Gen. William
Fraser III of the US Air Force to oversee compliance with a
US-backed peace plan.
2008 Jan 10, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin named a prominent nationalist politician as
ambassador to NATO at a time of severely strained ties between the
2008 Jan 10, Government
officials and rebels said soldiers and Shiite rebels are fighting
again in northern Yemen, breaking a 6-month-old cease-fire with
clashes that have killed more than 30 people.
2008 Jan 11, Bank of America
said it will buy Countrywide Financial for $4.1 billion in stock, a
deal that rescues the country's biggest mortgage lender and expands
the financial services empire of the nation's largest consumer bank.
2008 Jan 11, A historic
passenger jet flight from Australia to Antarctica touched down
smoothly on a blue ice runway, launching the only regular airlink
between the continents.
2008 Jan 11, Belgium, France
and Poland pledged to provide the resources needed to launch a
European Union peacekeeping force for Chad and the Central African
2008 Jan 11, Liverpool launches
its year as European Capital of Culture with events including a
musical about its past and future starring ex-Beatle Ringo Starr.
2008 Jan 11, Canada confirmed
it would hold a formal inquiry into why former PM Brian Mulroney
accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash from a business
2008 Jan 11, The EU food-safety
agency endorsed meat and milk derived from cloned animals.
(WSJ, 1/12/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 11, In France militant
French farmer Jose Bove and about 15 supporters called off their
hunger strike in its eighth day after the government ordered the
suspension of the use of genetically modified corn.
2008 Jan 11, The World Bank
uncovered serious incidents of fraud and corruption in about $750
million of health projects it has funded in India dating back to
(WSJ, 1/14/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 11, In Iraq an
influential Shiite leader called for Sunnis and secular parties to
rejoin the government and help break months of deadlock. In Baghdad
a car bomb exploded near a bakery killing 4 people.
(SFC, 1/12/08, p.A6)
2008 Jan 11, President Bush had
tears in his eyes during an hour-long tour of Israel's Holocaust
memorial and told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the US
should have bombed Auschwitz to halt the killing. Bush wrapped up
his 3-day visit to Israel and departed for Kuwait, where he sought
Arab support for the US-backed Mideast peace deal.
2008 Jan 11, Japan's parliament
cleared the way for its navy to return to the Indian Ocean on a
US-backed anti-terror mission, after stiff lobbying from Washington
in support of the measure.
2008 Jan 11, In Kazakhstan a
methane gas explosion ripped through a coal mine, owned by
ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, killing at least 30
(AP, 1/11/08)(AFP, 1/13/08)
2008 Jan 11, In central Mexico
a helicopter carrying volunteers on a mission to distribute toys to
needy children crashed, killing eight people, including a government
2008 Jan 11, In Nigeria MEND,
the prominent militant group in the oil-rich Niger Delta, said it
planted an explosive device that set a tanker on fire in Port
2008 Jan 12, America formally
opened its new $174 million base at the south Pole. It took almost
20 years to design and build.
(Econ, 1/19/08, p.89)
2008 Jan 12, In Half Moon Bay,
Ca., the annual Maverick surfing contest was won by Greg Long (24),
or Orange County, who split his first prize of $30,000 with 5 other
finalists in a pact that netted each $9,500.
(SSFC, 1/13/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 12, In Daly City, Ca.,
Jose Perez-Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant, broke into a house and
beat a woman with a metal pry bar after she surprised him. The
attack left the woman (78) blind. Perez was tracked to Guadalajara,
Mexico, where he was arrested in November 2008. In 2011 he was
sentenced in San Mateo County to 11 years and 8 months in prison.
(SFC, 3/4/11, p.C3)
2008 Jan 12, In southern
Afghanistan Dutch troops killed two of their own men during a
nighttime battle in Uruzgan province, and separately two allied
Afghan soldiers they mistook for enemies. About 1,650 Dutch troops
were deployed in Uruzgan as part of the NATO mission there. 14 Dutch
troops have died since their mission began last year.
2008 Jan 12, Greenpeace said
its protest ship located Japan's whaling fleet in Antarctic waters
and is pursuing it to stop the hunt for the giant sea creatures.
2008 Jan 12, At Argentina's
main airport frustrated passengers smashed ticket counters and threw
objects at airline staff after the country's flagship airline
canceled international flights for a 2nd day due to delays caused by
a baggage handlers strike and a walkout by ticket counter workers.
2008 Jan 12, In Bangladesh
thousands of textile factory workers took to the streets blocking a
major highway in the capital Dhaka, demanding a pay rise and
2008 Jan 12, China’s state
media reported that accidents in China's coal mines killed 3,786
people In 2007, a toll that is a marked improvement from previous
years, but still leaves China's mines the world's deadliest.
2008 Jan 12, Croatia’s
Parliament approved a new coalition government headed by PM Ivo
Sanader, who vowed to pursue Croatia's quest to join the EU and
2008 Jan 12, Iraq's parliament
voted to allow some former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party
to reclaim government jobs and said others could receive pensions
but could not return to work. A US soldier died after a bomb struck
his vehicle in northern Iraq.
(AP, 1/12/08)(SFC, 1/14/08, p.A19)
2008 Jan 12, A leading Kenyan
human rights group said some of the worst violence in the country's
deadly disputed presidential election was the work of militias paid
and directed by politicians. Maina Kiai, chairman of the
state-funded human rights body, said that in response to attacks on
Kikuyu, government politicians have recruited the Mungiki, a Kikuyu
gang blamed for a string of beheadings carried out in Nairobi's
slums this year. The EU, US and UN urged Kenya's feuding politicians
to agree a peaceful and democratic end to violence that has killed
575 people since disputed December 27 polls.
(AP, 1/12/08)(Reuters, 1/12/08)(WSJ, 1/14/08,
2008 Jan 12, A Macedonian Army
helicopter returning from a peacekeeping mission in Bosnia crashed
in foggy conditions, killing all 11 people on board.
2008 Jan 12, In Nigeria a
speeding fuel tanker crashed and spilled its cargo in Port Harcourt,
and as many as three dozen people were feared dead in the resulting
2008 Jan 12, In Pakistan
security forces arrested 59 insurgents after they attacked police
with rockets near the town of Ladha in South Waziristan.
2008 Jan 12, Gunmen smashed
windows, burned buses and looted computers belonging to a private
American school in Gaza before dawn, an attack officials believed
was linked to President Bush's visit to the West Bank earlier this
2008 Jan 12, Saudi authorities
beheaded an Indonesian maid convicted of killing her employer. The
Interior Ministry said the maid used a pillow to suffocate her
employer Aisha Al Makhaled and then stole her jewelry in the
southern province of Asir.
2008 Jan 12, South African
national police chief Jackie Selebi was placed on extended leave, a
day after prosecutors announced plans to charge him with corruption
over his links to a murder suspect. Selebi resigned as president of
Interpol and planned to fight corruption allegations.
(AP, 1/12/08)(WSJ, 1/14/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 12, Angel Gonzalez
(82), one of Spain's most prominent poets and member of a literary
generation known for its opposition to the dictatorship of Gen.
Francisco Franco, died.
2008 Jan 12, Taiwan's
opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) won a landslide victory over the
ruling DPP in legislative elections, dealing a humiliating blow to
the government's hardline China policies two months before a
2008 Jan 12, In Venezuela
Commander Hugo Chavez, spearheaded the installation of the Founding
Congress of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) at the
San Carlos quarter in Caracas.
2008 Jan 13, The NY Times
reported that at least 121 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have
committed a killing or been charged in one in the US after returning
2008 Jan 13, Ken Kelley (58),
former editor of the Ann Arbor Argus and the SF-based SunDance
magazine, died in Pleasanton, Ca.
2008 Jan 13, In Abu Dhabi, UAR,
President Bush said that Iran is threatening the security of the
world, and that the United States and Arab allies must join together
to confront the danger "before it's too late."
2008 Jan 13, William Wood, US
ambassador to Afghanistan, flew to Musa Qala, previously held by the
Taliban in the heart of the world's largest poppy-growing region,
and told with Mullah Abdul Salaam, the ex-militant commander now in
charge there, that Afghans must stop "producing poison." In southern
Afghanistan Taliban militants killed eight officers in an attack on
a police checkpoint in Kandahar province. A suicide bomber killed
another policeman and wounded eight other people when he blew
himself up in a housing compound in the town of Lashkar Gah in
neighboring Helmand province.
(AP, 1/13/08)(AP, 1/14/08)
2008 Jan 13, Two young
adventurers completed a 62-day paddle of more than 2,000 miles to
become the first people to travel from Australia to New Zealand by
2008 Jan 13, In Chile Patricia
Troncoso (39), an imprisoned Indian-rights activist who has been on
a hunger strike for 93 days, was sent to a hospital because of her
deteriorating condition. Troncoso, imprisoned in 2002, is serving a
10-year sentence for participating in a group that set a fire on a
farm claimed by Mapuche Indian activists who say the property
belonged to their ancestors.
2008 Jan 13, China took aim at
price manipulators and hoarders of goods, as Beijing ramped up its
campaign to rein in inflation which is running at its highest level
in more than a decade. The government said it has closed more than
11,000 small coal mines as part of a two-year-old safety crackdown
aimed at stemming the industry's high death toll.
(Reuters, 1/13/08)(AP, 1/13/08)
2008 Jan 13, Delegation chief
Kambasu Ngeze said at a Congolese peace conference that renegade
general Laurent Nkunda's Kivu movement vowed to continue its armed
struggle "with neither remorse nor regret."
2008 Jan 13, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed plans to sign a nuclear cooperation
agreement with the United Arab Emirates amid reports French firms
could construct up to two nuclear reactors there.
2008 Jan 13, In Georgia tens of
thousands of opposition supporters rallied in Tbilisi to protest
what they denounced as massive vote fraud that helped US-allied
Mikhail Saakashvili win a second presidential term.
2008 Jan 13, Indian PM Manmohan
Singh arrived in Beijing for a three-day visit aimed at boosting
sometimes strained relations between the two Asian giants.
2008 Jan 13, In Iraq several
Shiite and Sunni political factions united to pressure Kurds over
control of oil and the future of Kirkuk, which the Kurds wished to
(SFC, 1/14/08, p.A19)
2008 Jan 13, Irish PM Bertie
Ahern arrived in Cape Town as part of a five-day visit to South
Africa and Tanzania.
2008 Jan 13, King Abdullah II
of Jordan arrived on a three-day official visit to Morocco. Talks
between King Abdullah II and Morocco's King Mohammed VI focused on
revitalizing trade between Amman and Rabat.
2008 Jan 13, A UN humanitarian
agency said floods in Mozambique have killed about 50 people and
displaced tens of thousands.
2008 Jan 13, In Sri Lanka
Japan's peace envoy opened talks, hinting international donors may
hold back much-needed foreign aid if the island's decades-long
ethnic conflict escalates. Government soldiers crossed the front
lines, destroying three bunkers and killing six rebels. Troops
killed a 7th insurgent when he went to inspect the front lines north
of rebel-held territory.
(AP, 1/13/08)(AP, 1/15/08)
2008 Jan 13, In Thailand six
suspected militants escaped in a jailbreak.
2008 Jan 14, The trial of US
film actor Wesley Snipes began regarding unpaid taxes from
1999-2004. During this period he earned $38 million and paid no
taxes under advice from 2 tax professionals, who cited section 861
of the federal tax code.
(SFC, 1/14/08, p.A2)
2008 Jan 14, The NASA space
probe Messenger skimmed 124 miles above Mercury in the first of 3
passes before it settles into orbit in 2011.
(SFC, 1/14/08, p.A20)
2008 Jan 14, A 30-year-old
Boeing 747, outfitted by NASA with a telescope, stopped at Ames
Research Center in Mountain View, Ca. The Stratospheric Observatory
for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) was expected to begin scientific
flights in 2009.
(SFC, 1/15/08, p.B3)
2008 Jan 14, California
officials confirmed that zebra mussels have been found in the San
Justo Reservoir, a dam near Hollister. This type of mussel was first
detected in the US in the Great lakes in 1989 and has spread like a
plague. Colorado officials earlier this month confirmed zebra
mussels in Lake Pueblo.
(SFC, 1/25/08, p.B1)(http://tinyurl.com/2nojd2)
2008 Jan 14, In Indianapolis
two mothers and their 2 babies were shot and killed. 2 men were seen
running form the victim’s home. Four men were later arrested in
connection with the fatal shootings.
(SFC, 1/16/08, p.A4)(AP, 1/20/08)
2008 Jan 14, Richard Knerr
(82), co-founder of the toy company that popularized the Hula Hoop,
Frisbee and other fads that became classics, died. Knerr started
Wham-O in 1948 with his childhood friend Arthur "Spud" Melin.
2008 Jan 14, In Afghanistan
militants with suicide vests, grenades and AK-47 rifles attacked
Kabul's most popular luxury hotel, killing 8 people in a coordinated
assault. Three hotel employees and two guards were killed during the
attack along with an American citizen and a Norwegian reporter. A
Filipina spa supervisor wounded in the attack died the next day.
2008 Jan 14, The British
government said all visitors to Britain requiring visas will have to
be fingerprinted starting today.
2008 Jan 14, A Chinese cargo
ship sank in high waves off western Taiwan, leaving 12 seamen
2008 Jan 14, Alvaro Colom (56)
was sworn in for a four-year term as president of Guatemala, along
with Vice President Rafael Espada, who gave up a decades-long
medical career in Texas to return to Guatemala last year as Colom's
2008 Jan 14, In India hundreds
of residents were evacuated as a towering fire in a central Calcutta
market burned for the third straight day. Some 2,500 shops have been
destroyed in the blaze, although there have been no serious injuries
or deaths reported.
2008 Jan 14, In Iraq gunmen
assassinated Sunni Judge Amir Jawdat al-Naeib as he headed to work
in Baghdad. Gunmen who apparently followed two Iraqi soldiers from a
military camp opened fire on them, killing both. To the north in
Buhriz, a booby-trapped house exploded as Iraqi police searched the
building. A police officer and 2 members of the local Awakening
Council were killed. Haji Uday, a senior member of the Awakening
Council in Baquba was killed in a collision with a dump truck. In
Kut 4 people were killed when US troops opened fire in an
intersection. Alternately the US military said a suspected criminal
was killed when 2 vehicles failed to stop as they approached a
US-Iraqi patrol in Kut.
(AP, 1/14/08)(SFC, 1/15/08, p.A15)
2008 Jan 14, PM Ehud Olmert
told a powerful parliamentary panel that Israel rejects "no options"
to block Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
2008 Jan 14, Kazakhstan’s state
oil company Kazmunaigas said it has ended a long-running conflict
with a group of Western majors over ownership of the Kashagan oil
field, one of the world's largest new deposits.
2008 Jan 14, In Mexico Tijuana
District Commander Jose de Jesus Arias Rico and his assistant Elbert
Escobedo Marquez were riddled with bullets as they traveled in a
private vehicle after finishing their shift. A car chase and
shootout between Tijuana municipal police and at least two people
who allegedly tried to rob an armored car after it made a cash
pickup at a bank. One suspect was killed and another was wounded.
2008 Jan 14, Pakistani security
forces killed 23 Taliban fighters and lost seven of their own men
during clashes, while a Taliban spokesman said 17 troopers were
captured. A bomb killed 10 people in Karachi as Pres. Musharraf was
visiting, sparking violent protests. Six British detectives left
Pakistan bound for London with evidence collected from their
investigation into the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader
(Reuters, 1/14/08)(AP, 1/14/08)(AFP, 1/15/08)
2008 Jan 14, Russia’s Foreign
Ministry said no more visas will be issued for new British Council
expatriate employees in Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg,
accreditation renewals for existing employees will be blocked and a
tax inquiry will be launched against the Saint Petersburg office
after a British cultural organization reopened offices in defiance
of an order to close. Russia last month ordered the closure of the
two regional offices of the British Council, a nonprofit
organization that acts as the cultural arm of the British Embassy,
saying they were operating illegally.
(AFP, 1/14/08)(AP, 1/14/08)
2008 Jan 14, In Saudi Arabia
President Bush, on his first visit to this oil-rich kingdom,
delivered a major arms sale to its ally in a region.
2008 Jan 14, The Serbian
government said has adopted a secret plan to implement "in case of a
unilateral declaration of independence" by Kosovo.
2008 Jan 14, In South Africa
Johan Nel (18), wearing camouflage and carrying a rifle, began
firing on a group of children as he took a path through the
settlement just outside the village of Swartruggens. His shooting
rampage in the black settlement left four people dead, including a
mother and her infant. His father handed him over to police. In
November Nel pleaded guilty as his trial started.
(AP, 1/24/08)(AP, 11/17/08)
2008 Jan 14, In Sri Lanka
Japanese mediator Yasushi Akashi met with Foreign Minister Rohitha
Bogollagama and President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the envoy's
three-day visit. Government fighter jets attacked a Tamil Tiger
intelligence and military base in Kombavikulam in a rebel-held area.
A second air raid destroyed a rebel artillery position in a village
in Mannar. The military said a wave of pitched battles, bombings and
an airstrike killed at least 22 guerrillas and 2 soldiers in
northern Sri Lanka. Rebels said they held off a major military
offensive in Mannar in a battle that killed at least 30 soldiers and
(AP, 1/15/08)(AFP, 1/15/08)
2008 Jan 14, A rebel chief said
Sudanese warplanes have been bombing rebel positions around the town
of Geneina for the past three days in a bid to break the siege on
the West Darfur state capital. Local media said gunmen stormed a
Darfur prison, setting free at least 90 detainees, as sporadic
violence continued to erupt throughout the western Sudanese region.
A UN official in South Darfur said the attack appeared to have been
conducted by fighters from the Salamat tribe of nomadic Arabs, who
escaped with several of the detainees also believed to be Salamat.
The Salamat and other Darfur nomadic tribes are among the groups
suspected of belonging to the janjaweed.
(AFP, 1/14/08)(AP, 1/14/08)
2008 Jan 14, Taiwan reported
that Malawi has cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of
relations with China, which has been using its rising political and
economic clout to reduce the number of countries who recognize the
island. Chinese state media said Beijing and Malawi had established
diplomatic relations late last month.
2008 Jan 14, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents killed eight soldiers, leaving
one beheaded, in a bomb and shooting attack.
2008 Jan 15, Pres. Bush signed
an exemption to allow the US Navy to continue using high-power sonar
off the coast of Southern California. Anti-submarine warfare
training would still not go forward because an injunction was in
place against the practice due to its effect on whales and other
marine mammals. On Feb 4 a federal judge rejected the Bush
(SFC, 1/17/08, p.A3)(SFC, 2/5/08, p.A3)
2008 Jan 15, Republican Mitt
Romney won the Michigan primary with 39.4% of the vote. McCain got
30% and Huckabee 15.4%.
(SFC, 1/16/08, p.A11)
2008 Jan 15, A US District
judge ordered the border city of Eagle Pass, Texas, to surrender 233
acres to the federal government for the construction of a border
fence by the Homeland Security Dept.
(SFC, 1/17/08, p.A5)
2008 Jan 15, US lawyers for the
families of seven Americans killed in the Sep, 1989, bombing of
French UTA Flight 772 said a federal judge in Washington has ordered
Libya and six of its officials to pay more than $6 billion in
2008 Jan 15, Citigroup Inc.
said it lost $9.8 billion in last year's final three months, the
largest quarterly deficit in its 196-year history. The company
slashed its dividend and 4,200 jobs as it recorded a mammoth
write-down for bad bets on the mortgage industry. Vikram Pandit
planned a $14.5 capital infusion from sovereign wealth funds and
(AP, 1/15/08)(Econ, 1/19/08, p.82)
2008 Jan 15, Brad Renfro (25),
a street-smart Tennessee schoolboy plucked from obscurity in 1993 to
play the title role in "The Client" (1993), was found dead in his
home in LA.
2008 Jan 15, A Boeing-built
satellite for mobile voice and data services was placed in orbit by
a rocket launched from a floating platform in the Pacific Ocean.
2008 Jan 15, Afghan authorities
raided a house in Kabul where the alleged attackers on the Serena
Hotel had spent the night before the attack. Police found a video
showing two of the assailants, identified as Farouq and Salahuddin,
saying they were ready to die. The owner of the house and his
brother were arrested. Officials said heavy snow, avalanches and
cold weather have killed at least 85 people in western Afghanistan
in recent days.
2008 Jan 15, Australia's new
government told an Indian envoy that it will not sell uranium to his
country while it is not a member of the global nonproliferation
2008 Jan 15, An Australian
judge banned the company that conducts Japan's whale hunt from
killing the animals in a large part of its regular hunting grounds
off Antarctica. Japanese whalers said they are holding captive two
activists who "illegally" boarded their vessel in the Southern
Ocean, in a dramatic escalation in the battle between the two sides.
2008 Jan 15, Barbados held
elections. The opposition swept to power, winning at least 20 of the
30 seats in Barbados' legislature. David Thompson led the Democratic
Labor Party back to power and inherited a public debt equal to 88%
(AP, 1/16/08)(Econ, 1/19/08, p.40)
2008 Jan 15, Brazil signed
accords with Cuba offering economic aid and sealed a deal to drill
for oil off the island’s coast. Brazil’s Pres. Luiz Inacio Lula da
Silva Trade with businessmen in tow signed trade and investment
deals totaling some $1 billion.
(WSJ, 1/16/08, p.A1)(Econ, 6/28/08, p.45)
2008 Jan 15, Britain and Russia
traded threats and recrimination as a diplomatic feud over the role
of the British government's cultural arm worsened.
2008 Jan 15, The Canadian
government fired the country's top nuclear watchdog, criticizing her
for how she handled the closure of a key reactor which makes medical
2008 Jan 15, Finland's Nokia,
the top global mobile phone manufacturer, said that it planned to
close a factory in Germany by mid-year which employs 2,300 workers.
2008 Jan 15, The French
government announced during a visit by Pres. Sarkozy that it will
set up a permanent military base of up to 500 troops in the United
2008 Jan 15, In Georgia tens of
thousands of people demonstrated in Tbilisi, pressing for a
presidential runoff but celebrating an agreement giving the
opposition more control over the main state-funded television
2008 Jan 15, India confirmed a
bird flu outbreak among poultry following the death of thousands of
chickens in the past week in the state of West Bengal. A train
collided with a packed auto rickshaw in eastern India, killing nine
people and injuring two.
(AFP, 1/15/08)(AP, 1/15/08)
2008 Jan 15, In Iraq 5 school
children were killed after being struck by a car in the convoy of a
top judicial official during a chaotic gunbattle with checkpoint
guards in Baghdad.
2008 Jan 15, Israeli tanks and
helicopters raided Gaza, killing the son of the territory's most
powerful leader and 16 other Palestinians in the bloodiest day of
fighting since Hamas seized the coastal strip in June.
2008 Jan 15, Kenya’s
legislators chose an opposition member as parliament speaker in a
close vote, giving a victory to foes of the president as they
prepared for mass protest rallies. Grace Kaindi, the police chief of
Kisumu, said she had ordered her officers to fire on a rioting
crowd, saying she was forced to because police were overwhelmed
during protests over disputed elections. Of the 612 deaths
government officials have attributed to election violence, 53 were
in Kisumu; hospital records show 44 of those were killed by police
2008 Jan 15, An explosion
targeted a US Embassy vehicle in northern Beirut, killing four
Lebanese and injuring a local embassy employee.
2008 Jan 15, In Mexico before
dawn Margarito Saldana, Tijuana district commander, was shot dead
while he slept in his home.
2008 Jan 15, In Nigeria a
civilian was killed and two policemen injured in an overnight attack
on the convoy of a port authority official in the oil hub city Port
Harcourt. Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell said that local people were
hampering efforts to repair the sabotaged pipelines at the Forcados
export terminal in southern Nigeria.
2008 Jan 15, In Pakistan some
200 Islamic militants overran the Sararogha Fort close to the Afghan
border breaking through the walls with rockets. The battle killed
seven soldiers and left 20 missing. The military said 50 attackers
2008 Jan 15, In the Philippines
gunmen ransacked a Roman Catholic school in the southernmost
Tawi-Tawi Island, fatally shooting Reynaldo Roda (55), a priest who
had received death threats from Muslim militants and abducting a
2008 Jan 15, In Saudi Arabia
Pres. Bush urged OPEC nations to put more oil on the world market
and warned that soaring prices could cause an economic slowdown in
the US. The kingdom's oil minister said Saudi Arabia will raise oil
production when the market justifies it.
2008 Jan 15, A southern
official said in the local press that troops from northern Sudan are
hiding out in bushes of south Sudan in defiance of a peace deal
requirement to withdraw.
2008 Jan 15, Singing
schoolchildren welcomed Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian to St.
Lucia for his first visit since the small Caribbean island shifted
diplomatic ties to Taipei instead of rival China.
2008 Jan 15, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents exploded a bomb that left at
least 39 people injured in a market in Yala.
2008 Jan 15, Turkish warplanes
bombed Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq in the latest in a
series of cross-border air strikes.
2008 Jan 16, CIA analyst Tom
Donahue disclosed that criminals have been able to hack into
computer systems via the Internet and cut power to several cities
outside the US. He offered few specifics on what actually went
2008 Jan 16, US District Judge
Charles Breyer sentenced Gregory Reyes, former CEO of Brocade
Communications Systems Inc., to 21 months in prison and fined him
$15 million for ordering options grants to employees to be changed
to look as though they were made on days when the stock's value was
lower. On March 26, 2010, Reyes was convicted in a 2nd jury trial
over backdating employee stock options.
(AP, 1/16/08)(SFC, 3/27/10, p.D1)
2008 Jan 16, A US District
court in Kansas City, Mo., unsealed a 42-count indictment that
accused the Islamic Relief Agency of paying Mark Deli Siljander, a
former Michigan congressman (1981-1987), $50,000 for lobbying funds
that were sent to terrorists.
(SFC, 1/17/08, p.A4)
2008 Jan 16, In Georgia 2
off-duty DeKalb County police officers were killed in what appeared
to be an ambush at an apartment complex in what residents described
as a high-crime neighborhood.
2008 Jan 16, BEA Systems
accepted an $8.5 billion offer to be acquired by Oracle Corp.
(SFC, 1/17/08, p.C1)
2008 Jan 16, Sun Microsystems
agreed to buy MySQL AB, a Swedish-based database firm, for $1
(SFC, 1/17/08, p.C3)
2008 Jan 16, Texas was ranked
as the biggest polluter in the US, making it the 7th worst in the
world if it were its own nation.
(WSJ, 1/17/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 16, A British cultural
organization accused Russian authorities of harassing its staff and
said it had temporarily closed its offices in St. Petersburg.
2008 Jan 16, Chile's congress
backed a pension reform bill to ensure the country's landmark social
security program for the first time covers every citizen.
2008 Jan 16, Pres. Bush visited
Egypt. Stalled reforms and bitterness over the jailing of hundreds
of dissidents haunted his visit. Bush promised to stay engaged in
pulling Israelis and Palestinians toward a peace pact by the end of
2008 Jan 16, In Iraq a woman
wearing a vest lined with explosives blew herself up near a popular
market and Shiite mosque in turbulent Diyala province, killing eight
civilians. Small arms fire killed 3 US soldiers conducting
operations in Salahuddin province.
2008 Jan 16, In Israel a
hawkish faction in PM Ehud Olmert's coalition pulled out of the
government, weakening him at a time when he needs broad support to
reach a peace deal with the Palestinians by the end of the year.
Israeli forces evacuated two makeshift settlement outposts in the
West Bank. Israeli aircraft targeting Palestinian rocket squads hit
a wrong vehicle killing a boy (12), along with his father and uncle.
(AP, 1/16/08)(SFC, 1/17/08, p.A10)
2008 Jan 16, Italian police
arrested scores of suspected mobsters in Palermo in the latest raid
on suspected Sicilian Mafia hideouts.
2008 Jan 16, Japan's whaling
fleet in the Antarctic halted its operations and scrambled to
arrange the turnover of two activists who boarded one of its harpoon
ships after a tense, high-seas chase, accusing the Sea Shepherd
conservation group of piracy.
2008 Jan 16, In Kenya police
fired tear gas and bullets to disperse thousands of protesters in
several cities at the start of three days of opposition rallies that
reignited post-election violence. At least one person was fatally
shot by police.
2008 Jan 16, In Morocco 16
people were killed and 30 injured when an apartment block being
built in Kenitra collapsed.
2008 Jan 16, In New Zealand
Hone Tuwhare (86), the first Maori poet to be published in English
and one of New Zealand's most celebrated verse writers, died.
2008 Jan 16, Niger authorities
formally charged two French journalists with threatening state
security for attempting to report on rebel groups in Niger's
volatile north, a crime punishable by death in the West African
2008 Jan 16, Russia warned
Kosovo's leaders that if they declare independence the territory
will never become a member of the UN or other international
2008 Jan 16, South Korea's
conservative president-elect Lee Myung-bak revealed plans to scrap
the government ministry that has preached reconciliation with North
Korea, after pledging to be tougher on Pyongyang than his liberal
2008 Jan 16, In southeastern
Sri Lanka a bomb and shooting attack blamed on Tamil separatists
ripped through a packed civilian bus, killing 27 people as the
government officially withdrew from a cease-fire with the rebels.
Commandoes advanced into rebel territory in Mannar and destroyed a
bunker, killing 4 female rebels. 9 rebels were killed in a clash
elsewhere in Mannar.
(AP, 1/16/08)(AP, 1/17/08)
2008 Jan 16, Turkey's PM
Erdogan challenged a ban on women wearing head scarves in
universities and public offices, saying there is no need to wait for
a constitutional change to remove the ban.
2008 Jan 16, Uzbekistan's
President Islam Karimov was sworn in for a third presidential term,
despite a constitutional two-term limit. Freedom House, a US-based
democracy watchdog, said in its annual report that Uzbekistan
remains among the world's most repressive societies.
2008 Jan 16, The UN Security
Council imposed sanctions on three Kuwaitis who allegedly help
finance al-Qaida operations and recruit fighters for the terrorist
network. The three men, Hamid Al-Ali, Jaber Al-Jalamah and Mubarak
Mushakhas Sanad Al-Bathali, will be added to a list of some 480
individuals and businesses with purported links to al-Qaida and the
2008 Jan 16, The Venezuelan
Observatory of Prisons said more than an inmate a day died violently
in Venezuela's crowded prisons last year. Some 498 prisoners were
killed in riots and other violent acts in 2007, up from 412 in 2006.
2008 Jan 17, The White House,
members of Congress and Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke agreed
that strong action is needed to help avoid a US recession. The DJIA
fell over 306 points to 12,159.
(SFC, 1/18/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 17, The US EPA said
Massey Energy, the country’s 4th largest coal producer, had agreed
to pay a $20 million fine as part of a settlement over allegations
that it routinely polluted hundreds of streams and waterways in West
Virginia and Kentucky.
(SFC, 1/18/08, p.A7)
2008 Jan 17, A US federal judge
struck down Texas laws barring out-of-state retailers from shipping
wine to consumers.
(WSJ, 1/18/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 17, The NYSE agreed to
buy the American Stock Exchange for $260 million in stock.
(SFC, 1/18/08, p.C4)
2008 Jan 17, Merrill Lynch
& Co Inc reported about $16 billion in mortgage-related
write-downs and adjustments in the worst quarter of the company's
2008 Jan 17, Investigators
probing the source of a listeria outbreak said the strain that
killed three people was found at a dairy processing plant in central
2008 Jan 17, Scientists at
Stemagen, a California company, reported that they have created the
first mature cloned human embryos from single skin cells taken from
(SFC, 1/18/08, p.A18)
2008 Jan 17, Australia said it
would send a ship to pick up two anti-whaling activists who jumped
on a Japanese harpoon vessel from a rubber boat in Antarctic waters,
offering a solution to a tense, two-day standoff on the high seas.
2008 Jan 17, Britain accused
Russia of "conduct not worthy of a great country" after what it
called a campaign of intimidation by security services forced its
cultural centers in two Russian cities to halt operations.
2008 Jan 17, A British Airways
jet from Beijing carrying 152 people crash-landed, injuring 19
people and causing more than 200 flights to be canceled at Europe's
2008 Jan 17, In Burkina Faso
leaders of half a dozen African countries agreed on Ivory Coast's
Philippe-Henri Tacoury-Tabley as the new head of the central bank of
the eight-nation West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).
2008 Jan 17, In southwestern
Colombia the Galeras volcano erupted violently, spewing ash miles
into the sky and prompting the evacuation of several thousand people
2008 Jan 17, Members of the
European Parliament adopted a resolution criticizing Egypt's human
rights record, even after Cairo summoned EU ambassadors to complain
about the text.
2008 Jan 17, In Germany
officials said a troubled teen (16) is spending nine months in
remote Siberia as part of efforts to turn him away from violence.
"If he doesn't hack wood, his place is cold. If he doesn't get
water, he can't wash."
2008 Jan 17, Bobby Fischer
(b.1943), the reclusive chess genius, died in Iceland. He became a
Cold War hero by dethroning the Soviet world champion in 1972 and
later renounced his American citizenship.
2008 Jan 17, In Iraq a suicide
bomber blew himself up inside a Shiite mosque on the outskirts of
Baqouba, killing at least 11 and wounded 15.
2008 Jan 17, An Israeli court
sentenced a major in Israel's army reserves to five years in prison
for offering secret information to Iran and the Islamic militant
group Hamas. David Shamir (45), a psychiatrist, was convicted of
contact with a foreign agent and possession of information with the
intent of endangering state security. He never managed to deliver
any secret information.
2008 Jan 17, Rains battered
portions of flood-ravaged southern Africa, killing at least three
people in Malawi and forcing Zambia to declare a national disaster.
2008 Jan 17, In Mexico
officials found six bodies inside a Tijuana house where gunmen took
refuge during a shootout with soldiers and police.
2008 Jan 17, Militants in
Hamas-ruled Gaza bombarded southern Israel with rockets and Israel
pounded back with air and ground fire pushing peace efforts to the
sidelines. Israeli rockets killed at least 5 Palestinians including
2 militants and 3 civilians.
(AP, 1/17/08)(SFC, 1/18/08, p.A10)
2008 Jan 17, In New Zealand
Karen Aim (26), a Scottish tourist from the Orkney Islands, was
attacked on her way home after drinking with friends in the town of
Taupo. Police responding to reports of vandalism at a Taupo high
school found her lying in a pool of blood on a street corner. In
March a 14-year-old boy was charged with her slaying.
2008 Jan 17, In Pakistan a
suspected Sunni extremist opened fire in a Shiite mosque, in the
northwestern city of Peshawar, and then blew himself up, killing 9
people and wounding at least 20 on the eve of the Ashoura religious
festival. Helicopter gunships opened fire on two suspect cars near a
third fort in South Waziristan, killing eight militants. A teenager
(15) who said he was part of a team of assassins sent to kill former
PM Benazir Bhutto was arrested near the Afghan border. The teen was
also involved in a plot to attack Shiites during an Ashoura
(AP, 1/17/08)(AFP, 1/18/08)(AP, 1/19/08)
2008 Jan 17, In Somalia Islamic
militants fired mortar shells and guns in Mogadishu sparking
crossfire with Ethiopian troops that left at least 20 people dead.
(SFC, 1/18/08, p.A4)
2008 Jan 17, Sri Lanka's
military said air force jets destroyed a hideout used by senior
Tiger rebels. The pro-rebel TamilNet Web site said the jets had
struck a civilian area and seven people had been wounded. Suspected
Tamil Tiger rebels fatally shot 10 ethnic Sinhalese civilians in
southern Thanamalwila village. A pro-rebel Web site said those
killed were civilians carrying guns provided by the government after
an attack on a farm in the same area that killed 32 people this
(AP, 1/17/08)(AP, 1/18/08)
2008 Jan 18, Pres. Bush called
for a $145 billion stimulus package centered on tax breaks to
rejuvenate the US economy.
(SFC, 1/19/08, p.C1)
2008 Jan 18, In eastern
Afghanistan more than 20 Taliban rebels were killed and over a dozen
wounded in a joint operation between Afghan and Western forces.
2008 Jan 18, Two activists who
had jumped on board a Japanese whaling boat were returned to their
ship by Australian officials.
2008 Jan 18, British PM Gordon
Brown brought a high-profile delegation of business leaders to China
for a visit focused on expanding economic ties between the
countries. Brown began a major effort to position Britain as China's
premier international business partner, offering London as a base
for distribution of the Asian nation's state fund for private
2008 Jan 18, Mohammed Mansour
Jabarah (25), a Canadian citizen of Iraqi descent, who admitted
plotting to bomb US embassies in Singapore and the Philippines in
2002 was sentenced to life in prison after telling the court he had
been "brainwashed" by al Qaeda.
2008 Jan 18, Central African
Republic PM Elie Dote tendered his resignation and that of his
government. His resignation came amid a social crisis gripping the
country, marked by government disruptions and near-paralysis in
public schools due to a civil servant strike over salaries launched
earlier this month.
2008 Jan 18, Egypt angrily
rejected a European parliament resolution criticizing its human
rights record, with Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit saying it
revealed both arrogance and ignorance.
2008 Jan 18, In Iraq heavy
security was set up in Karbala, where some 30,000 troops watched
over hundreds of thousands of pilgrims performing the culmination of
Ashoura rites. Militant Sunnis look upon Ashoura with contempt. They
believe some of its rituals, like self flagellation and the use of
images, amount to pagan worship and violate Islamic teachings. In
Basra at least 44 people were killed, including seven officers, two
civilians and 35 gunmen, after the fighting with members of the
Soldiers of Heaven cult. Cult leader Ahmed Hassan Yamani was among
the dead along with 4 police officers. About 60 gunmen were
arrested. Aziz Khazim Alwan, the governor of Dhi Qar, of which
Nasariyah is the capital, said at least 28 people were killed in
that city, including 10 police.
(AP, 1/18/08)(AP, 1/19/08)(SFC, 1/19/08, p.A7)
2008 Jan 18, Defense officials
said Israel has closed all border crossings into Gaza, cutting off
food and humanitarian supplies to the coastal strip in a bid to
pressure its Hamas rulers to stop a barrage of rocket attacks on
Israeli towns. Israeli air strikes in Gaza killed two civilians and
one militant while Palestinians fired 16 rockets into southern
2008 Jan 18, A court in Palermo
convicted Sicily's Gov. Salvatore Cuffaro of helping a Mafia boss
and sentenced him to five years in prison.
2008 Jan 18, In Kenya a
weakened opposition said it would turn to economic boycotts and
strikes to keep up pressure over the East African nation's disputed
election. 12 new deaths raised the toll to at least 22 people killed
in three days of protests called by the opposition, all but five
blamed on police.
(AP, 1/18/08)(AP, 1/19/08)(SFC, 1/19/08, p.A3)
2008 Jan 18, Libya defended
plans to carry out a massive expulsion of illegal immigrants,
rejecting criticism from a human rights group that doing so would
violate international law.
2008 Jan 18, It was reported
that the EU’s environment commissioner has threatened to take Malta
to the European Court of Justice to force an end spring shooting of
turtledoves and quail. Bird hunting and trapping is a traditional
pastime in Malta where migrating stop twice every year. Numerous
protected birds have been killed.
(WSJ, 1/18/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 18, Renault-Nissan
signed an accord with the Moroccan government for what it says will
be one of its largest automobile-making operations in the world, set
to be constructed near Tangiers.
2008 Jan 18, Ian Paisley, head
of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), stepped away
from the helm of the Free Presbyterian Church, which he had founded
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.55)
2008 Jan 18, In South
Waziristan, Pakistan, “security forces used artillery, mortars and
small-arms fire to engage the miscreants. Reportedly, 50-60
miscreants were killed and (the) rest of them dispersed.” Militants
ambushed a convoy moving from the main town of Wana, in the
Chaghmalai area of South Waziristan, prompting a fierce-one hour
gunbattle. Between 20 and 30 rebels were killed. Security forces
captured 40 militants in the Chaghmalai area. 2 Sunni extremists on
death row for a 2004 attack on a procession that killed 42 Shiites
escaped from their cell in southwest Baluchistan province.
(AFP, 1/18/08)(AP, 1/18/08)(Reuters, 1/19/08)
2008 Jan 18, Russian President
Vladimir Putin clinched a key pipeline deal with Bulgaria that
strengthens Moscow's grip on European gas markets before issuing a
stern warning about the future status of Kosovo.
2008 Jan 18, In South Korea a
fish merchant was critically ill after setting himself ablaze during
a rally demanding greater compensation for South Korea's worst oil
2008 Jan 18, UN chief Ban
Ki-moon picked Hollywood heart-throb George Clooney, a passionate
advocate for an end to war and famine in Sudan's Darfur region, as
the world body's latest Messenger of Peace.
2008 Jan 18, In Yemen gunmen
believed to be al-Qaida militants opened fire on a tourist convoy
near the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden, killing two Belgian
women and their driver. In 2009 four Al-Qaida militants were
convicted for the attack and sentenced to death.
(AP, 1/18/08)(AP, 7/11/10)
2008 Jan 19, In Nevada Hillary
Clinton defeated rival Barack Obama 51-45% in a tight Democratic
contest. Her delegate count increased to 236 followed by Obama with
136 and 50 for Sen. John Edwards. Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts
governor, cruised to victory in the little-contested GOP Nevada
(AP, 1/20/08)(SSFC, 1/20/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 19, In South Carolina
John McCain (33%) bested Mike Huckabee (30%), a former Arkansas
governor, in a GOP fight that focused on the economy.
(AP, 1/20/08)(SSFC, 1/20/08, p.A6)
2008 Jan 19, In southern
California a Hummer, suspected of carrying drugs and heading to
Mexico, cut through a campground and hit and killed Luis Aguilar
(32), a US Border Patrol, as he threw a spike strip in front of the
vehicle. On Jan 23 Jesus Navarro Montes (22) was arrested in the
northern state of Sonora for hitting Aguilar. On April 12, 2011,
Navarro was found guilty of drug charges and second degree murder
for killing Aguilar. On July 1 Navarro was sentenced to life in
prison and was given an additional 80 years in prison on drug
(SFC, 1/21/08, p.A3)(AP, 1/23/08)(Reuters,
4/13/11)(SFC, 7/2/11, p.A5)
2008 Jan 19, Suzanne Pleshette
(b.1937), film and TV star, died in Los Angeles. The husky-voiced
star was best known for her role as Bob Newhart's sardonic wife on
television's long-running "The Bob Newhart Show." Her work included
roles in such films as Hitchcock's "The Birds" and in Broadway plays
including "The Miracle Worker."
2008 Jan 19, James Levoy
Sorenson (b.1921), medical device inventor and Utah real estate
investor, died. He amassed over 40 medical patents and introduced
the disposable paper surgical mask.
(WSJ, 1/26/08, p.A8)
2008 Jan 19, John Stewart (68),
singer and songwriter, died in San Diego. He wrote the Monkees' hit
"Daydream Believer" and became a well-known figure in the 1960s folk
music revival as a member of The Kingston Trio.
2008 Jan 19, In southern
Afghanistan a roadside bomb, probably intended for Afghan or NATO
forces, killed five civilians in a taxi in the Panjwayi district of
Kandahar province. Militants attacked a convoy of trucks carrying
gravel to a NATO base in Helmand, killing four drivers and two
(AP, 1/20/08)(AP, 1/21/08)
2008 Jan 19, In Algeria an
armed Islamist was killed in a clash with anti-terrorist security
forces at Tebessa, near the Tunisian border while a fourth man died
at Jijel, also in the east. His weapon was seized.
2008 Jan 19, Andy Palacio (47),
Belize musician, died in Belize City. His 2007 album “Watina” was
acclaimed as one of the best world music releases of the year.
(SFC, 1/22/08, p.B5)
2008 Jan 19, Activists said
actress Mia Farrow has arrived in Cambodia and plans to defy a ban
on holding a ceremony at a former Khmer Rouge prison, as part of her
campaign on Darfur.
2008 Jan 19, Egyptian police
shot dead a man from Ivory Coast and detained two other African
migrants who were trying to cross illegally into Israel.
2008 Jan 19, Ethiopia’s justice
minister Dimegn Wube said half of Ethiopian women are victims of
2008 Jan 19, In India
laboratory workers analyzed new samples from dead chickens amid
fears that India's worst-ever bird flu outbreak may have spread in
eastern India as locals resisted a massive cull.
2008 Jan 19, Hundreds of
thousands of Shiites beat their heads and chests and whipped
themselves with chains across much of Iraq to honor the martyrdom of
one of their most revered saints. Two bombs hidden under trash
struck an Ashoura procession in the city of Kirkuk, killing at least
two. A rocket attack also struck a busy market in the northern city
of Tal Afar, killing at least 7 people and wounding 17. Three
suicide bombers targeted a police station in Ramadi, the capital of
Anbar and a former Sunni insurgent stronghold. Guards killed one
attacker, but two others detonated their explosives at the entrance,
killing at least five officers. A US Marine was killed during
fighting in Anbar. A roadside bomb killed another soldier in the
rural al-Qaida in Iraq stronghold of Arab Jabour. The soldier who
died was the gunner who sits atop the MRAP vehicle. The V-shaped
hull of the huge Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) truck is
designed to deflect blasts from roadside bombs. Three crew members
tucked inside the cabin were wounded.
(AP, 1/19/08)(AP, 1/20/08)(AP, 1/21/08)(AP,
2008 Jan 19, Israeli air
strikes killed two Hamas militants in Gaza, a day after Israel
sealed the territory and bombed an empty Hamas government ministry
in an intensifying campaign to halt rocket fire on Israeli border
2008 Jan 19, In Kenya 5 people
died in ethnic clashes when three ethnic groups, Kalenjin, Kisii and
Kikuyu, fought each other with bows and arrows and machetes in
villages around the Catholic Kipkelion Monastery in the Rift Valley.
2008 Jan 19, In Lebanon Sheik
Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's reclusive leader, claimed the militant
group had the remains of Israeli soldiers killed in Lebanon during
the 2006 war, saying the dead were left behind "in our villages and
2008 Jan 19, In Spain civil
guard police found explosives and other equipment during raids on
five addresses in Barcelona and arrested 12 Pakistanis and two
Indians after receiving information from its own and other European
2008 Jan 19, In northern Sri
Lanka 23 rebels, 17 in one battle alone, and one soldier were killed
in clashes. In northeastern Welioya village fighting killed six
rebels and left a soldier missing.
2008 Jan 19, Turkmenistan Pres.
Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov reversed his predecessor's 2001 ban on
operas and circuses, saying that with increasing development in the
Central Asian nation, it deserved to have such artistic
2008 Jan 19, The bodies of
nearly 50 Africans trying to immigrate washed up on Yemen's shores
after their boat capsized in the treacherous waters of the Gulf of
2008 Jan 19, Nationwide power
outages shut down basic services across Zambia and Zimbabwe as anger
mounted in South Africa over power cuts that have wreaked havoc in
the continent's economic hub.
2008 Jan 20, The Nature
Conservancy said the Hewlett and Packard families had donated the
28,359-acre San Felipe Ranch, southeast of San Jose, as a
conservation easement to protect the property from development.
(SFC, 1/21/08, p.A6)
2008 Jan 20, In southern
California The two small Cessnas crashed near the small Corona
Municipal Airport, killing five and raining debris and bodies down
on car dealership parking lots.
2008 Jan 20, Brianna Denison
(19) last was seen at the edge of the University of Nevada, Reno.
Her body was found Feb 15, 8 miles away near a business park and an
autopsy confirmed that she died of strangulation. DNA evidence
linked her kidnapping to two other attacks on women near the
university late last year.
2008 Jan 20, In southern
Afghanistan an explosion struck a NATO patrol vehicle outside a
former Taliban town, killing one British soldier and wounding five
2008 Jan 20, In Algeria 2 armed
suspects died in the Eddough mountains, near the eastern city of
Annaba, after they failed to follow orders to surrender.
2008 Jan 20, Britain's PM
Gordon Brown arrived in India hailing relations between the two
countries as a "partnership of equals" as he looked to further boost
2008 Jan 20, The final 210
members of the first battalion of Burundian soldiers to be deployed
in Somalia as part of an African Union peace-keeping force left
Bujumbura for Mogadishu. Burundi is expected to deploy a total of
1,700 soldiers in Somalia, alongside around 1,600 troops from Uganda
who have been in the capital Mogadishu since March.
2008 Jan 20, In Cambodia
American actress Mia Farrow was forced to cancel a ceremony in Phnom
Penh highlighting human rights abuses in Sudan after authorities
barred her access to the city's genocide museum.
2008 Jan 20, Some 8.4 million
Cubans ratified a slate of parliamentary candidates that included
the ailing Fidel Castro (81).
(SFC, 1/21/08, p.A3)
2008 Jan 20, In western India a
bus carrying Hindus on a religious pilgrimage skidded off a hill and
plunged into a gorge, killing at least 38 people and injuring 40
2008 Jan 20, Iran’s official
Islamic Republic News Agency reported that a fourth Russian shipment
of nuclear fuel had arrived, destined for a power plant being
constructed in the southern port of Bushehr.
2008 Jan 20, In western Iraq a
suicide bombing killed six people near Fallujah. The attacker (18)
was a relative carrying a box of candy at a gathering of tribal
members to celebrate the recent release of a relative, Hadi Hussein,
who had been released after more than a week in US custody. Hussein
and five other people were killed in the blast.
(AP, 1/20/08)(AP, 1/21/08)
2008 Jan 20, In Kenya renewed
ethnic fighting broke out in a Nairobi slum following the deaths of
more than 20 people in demonstrations against the disputed
re-election of President Mwai Kibaki. Several people were beaten and
hacked to death with machetes.
(AP, 1/20/08)(AP, 1/21/08)
2008 Jan 20, Joshua Milton
Blahyi (37), one of Liberia's most notorious rebel commanders, known
as Gen. Butt Naked for charging into battle wearing only boots,
spoke of his role under Charles Taylor in the civil war. He returned
last week to confess his role in terrorizing the nation, saying he
is responsible for 20,000 deaths.
2008 Jan 20, In Myanmar a bus
plunged over the side of a road and flipped over, killing 27
passengers and injuring 10 others.
2008 Jan 20, Pakistan villagers
said army helicopter gunships launched strikes in an area regarded
as a stronghold of a Taliban commander linked with the assassination
of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.
2008 Jan 20, Gaza's power plant
shut down late in the day after an Israeli border closure blocked
the entry of fuel that powers it. This plunged Gaza City into
darkness, and gas stations and many bakeries stopped operating.
Health officials warned that hospital generators were running out of
fuel. 5 rockets were fired into Israel, down from 53 in the two
(AP, 1/20/08)(AP, 1/21/08)
2008 Jan 20, Serbia held
presidential elections. A pro-Western and a nationalist candidate
faced off in a closely contested race. The electoral commission,
giving preliminary results after counting 30% of ballots, said that
so far Radical Party leader Tomislav Nikolic had 38% support, while
incumbent Boris Tadic% had 35 percent. Both Tadic and Nikolic reject
independence for Kosovo, but Nikolic, unlike the current president,
has promised tough measures against countries that recognize
2008 Jan 20, In Sri Lanka
troops overran at least six rebel bunkers in Adampan village,
killing two female fighters. Simultaneous clashes took place in the
villages of Periyathampanai and Madu and, killing a total of 4
rebels. Soldiers killed an area rebel leader on the Jaffna
peninsula. Soldiers on the northern Jaffna peninsula fired on the
Tiger boats as they sailed near the shore.
2008 Jan 21, Stocks fell
sharply worldwide following declines on Wall Street last week amid
investor pessimism over the US government's stimulus plan to prevent
2008 Jan 21, Marie Smith (89),
a resident of southeastern Alaska, died. She was the last speaker of
her native Eyak language.
(Econ, 2/9/08, p.92)
2008 Jan 21, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai told the parliament on its opening day that around
300,000 children cannot attend school because of violence in the
2008 Jan 21, In northeastern
Australia surging floodwaters forced scores of people to evacuate
their homes. Farmers described the heavy rains as a mixed blessing
after years of drought.
2008 Jan 21, Police in
ex-Soviet Belarus dispersed a protest by about 2,000 entrepreneurs
denouncing President Alexander Lukashenko's decree that places
restrictions on hiring staff. Businessmen said the new regulations
deny them the right to hire workers outside their immediate families
or obliges them to re-register and be subject to higher taxes.
2008 Jan 21, Brazil’s Petrobras
announced the discovery of a huge natural gas reserve off the coast
of Rio de Janeiro.
(WSJ, 1/23/08, p.A10)
2008 Jan 21, Shares in China's
banks fell sharply after news reports said its No. 2 lender, Bank of
China, might write down holdings of US mortgage securities and two
others increased reserves for possible losses. State media said a
gas explosion in an illegal mine in northern China has killed at
least 20 people.
2008 Jan 21, Officials said
Congo government negotiators and rebel groups reached a deal to end
fighting in the vast country's restive east, where some 800,000
people had to flee their homes over the last year.
2008 Jan 21, Iran's supreme
leader reversed a decision by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and
ordered him to implement a law supplying natural gas to remote
villages amid rising dissatisfaction with the president's
performance. Local media have reported 64 cold-related deaths this
winter and say gas cuts are to blame.
2008 Jan 21, In Iraq a suicide
bomber apparently targeting a senior security official blew himself
up inside a funeral tent, killing 18 people in Hajaj. US troops
killed two al-Qaida-linked militants and detained 18 during raids in
central and northern Iraq. A parked car bomb exploded as an Iraqi
army patrol passed by south of Mosul, killing two civilians.
(AP, 1/21/08)(AP, 1/22/08)
2008 Jan 21, Israel launched an
advanced spy satellite that will be able to track events in Iran,
the country it considers its top foe, even at night and in cloudy
weather. India successfully launched the Israeli spy satellite into
(AP, 1/21/08)(AFP, 1/21/08)
2008 Jan 21, In Italy a key
ally of Premier Romano Prodi pulled his party from the Cabinet amid
a corruption scandal, sending the center-left governing coalition
scrambling to keep the administration from falling.
2008 Jan 21, Latvia's Foreign
Ministry declared a Russian diplomat persona non grata, citing a
report that he was a threat to national security. On Jan 25 Russia
said it will expel a Latvian diplomat in apparent retaliation. Some
400,000 non-citizens lived in Latvia. Ethnic Russians accounted for
a third of the country's population of 2.3 million.
2008 Jan 21, Mexico's army
captured Alfredo Beltran Leyva, a top lieutenant of the Sinaloa
cartel. He allegedly commanded squads of hit men and organized drug
2008 Jan 21, In southern
Nigeria a major oil pipeline belonging to Italian oil company Agip
caught fire and a tanker truck exploded in separate incidents.
2008 Jan 21, President Pervez
Musharraf in Brussels pledged to hold free elections as he began a
European trip aimed at bolstering outside support, but urged the
West not to hold Pakistan to unrealistic rights standards.
2008 Jan 21, Paraguay's ruling
party nominated Education Minister Blanca Ovelar as its presidential
candidate, a first for the South American nation, but her candidacy
of still faces a court challenge.
2008 Jan 21, In Saudi Arabia
the daily Al-Watan, which is deemed close to the Saudi government,
reported that the Interior Ministry issued a circular to hotels
asking them to accept lone women, as long as their information is
sent to a local police station.
2008 Jan 21, In Sri Lanka
government soldiers attacked Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers across the
front lines in the embattled north, triggering a battle that killed
15 guerrillas and two soldiers.
2008 Jan 21, Sudan confirmed
that it has appointed Musa Hilal, the suspected head of a Sudanese
militia accused of murder, rape and other atrocities in Darfur, to a
senior government post. President Omar al-Bashir dismissed
allegations against the man as untrue.
2008 Jan 22, In a surprise move
the US Fed move cutting its key lending rate a steep three-quarters
of a percentage point reducing the federal funds rate to 3.5%, a
week before its regularly scheduled meeting. It was aimed at fears
troubling the financial markets from the US subprime crisis was
spreading to the broader economy.
(AP, 1/22/08)(SFC, 1/23/08, p.C1)
2008 Jan 22, A US official said
thousands of Vietnamese living illegally in the US now face
deportation after the two countries completed an agreement following
a decade of work on the pact.
2008 Jan 22, The NYC Board of
health voted to require restaurant chains to state the number of
calories in everything on their menus. Full enforcement began in
2008 Jan 22, Heath Ledger (28),
an Australian-born actor, was found dead at a Manhattan apartment.
He received an Oscar nomination for his role as a troubled gay
cowboy in the 2006 film, "Brokeback Mountain." The NYC medical
examiner later said Ledger died of an accidental overdose of
painkillers, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication and other
(AP, 1/22/08)(AP, 2/6/08)
2008 Jan 22, In Afghanistan
Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh (23) was sentenced to death by a three-judge
panel in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif for distributing a
report he printed off the Internet to fellow journalism students at
Balkh University. The judges said the article humiliated Islam, and
members of a clerics council had pushed for Kaambakhsh to be
punished. A media group said he is actually being punished for
reporting by his brother about abuses by northern warlords. On
appeal the death sentence was reduced to 20 years. In 2009
Kaambakhsh was freed and left the country following a pardon signed
by President Hamid Karzai.
(AP, 1/23/08)(Reuters, 9/7/09)
2008 Jan 22, The Bank of Canada
held back in the face of an aggressive interest rate cut by the US
Federal Reserve, shaving just a quarter-point off its own key rate,
but it signaled more cuts to come as US recession worries spiral.
2008 Jan 22, The foreign
ministers of China and Germany said that ties between their
countries had normalized after months of stony silence over Berlin
receiving the Dalai Lama.
2008 Jan 22, A new survey said
war, disease and malnutrition are killing 45,000 Congolese every
month in a conflict-driven humanitarian crisis that has claimed 5.4
million victims in nearly a decade.
2008 Jan 22, The French
government unveiled proposals to slash youth unemployment in the
high-immigrant suburbs that exploded into rioting in 2005, pledging
to create tens of thousands of new jobs.
2008 Jan 22, In India officials
said an outbreak of bird flu in India's most densely populated state
could spiral out of control, as the disease spread to a seventh
district in West Bengal.
2008 Jan 22, Iraq's parliament
passed a law to change the Saddam Hussein-era flag, meeting the
demands of Iraq's Kurdish minority who threatened not to fly the
banner during a pan-Arab meeting in the Kurdish-run north next
month. A suicide bomber detonated his explosives in front of a high
school in Baqouba. One 25-year-old male bystander was killed and 21
people were wounded, including 12 students and eight teachers.
Gunmen broke into a house and killed six men in a family for
cooperating with the Iraqi army. The men had given information on
al-Qaida movements to local Awakening Council members. A US soldier
was killed and another was injured when their vehicle rolled over in
the northern city of Kirkuk.
(AP, 1/22/08)(AP, 1/23/08)
2008 Jan 22, Israel eased a
5-day blockade of Gaza for a day, allowing in shipments of fuel and
medicine. But tensions erupted over Egypt's closure of its Gaza
border, with Palestinian protesters breaking through the crossing
and clashing with Egyptian guards.
(AP, 1/22/08)(WSJ, 1/23/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 22, In Lithuania
Michael Campbell (35), a prominent IRA dissident, was arrested along
with a female companion in a sting operation while allegedly trying
to purchase weapons and explosives.
2008 Jan 22, In Mexico 11
alleged hit men for a powerful drug cartel were captured at two
Mexico City mansions stocked with grenades and automatic weapons, a
day after Mexican authorities reported nabbing one of the cartel's
2008 Jan 22, North Korea
accused the US of failing to meet its commitments toward the
communist nation, blaming Washington for the slow progress in a
nuclear disarmament deal.
2008 Jan 22, North Korea said
it will close its embassy in Australia because it can no longer
2008 Jan 22, An influential
group of retired officers from Pakistan's powerful military urged
President Pervez Musharraf to immediately step down, saying his
resignation would promote democracy and help combat religious
militancy. Islamic militants in Pakistan attacked a fort near the
Afghan border, one of two clashes with government forces that left
seven troops and 37 fighters dead. In Europe, President Pervez
Musharraf said border attacks were "pinpricks" that his government
(AP, 1/22/08)(AP, 1/23/08)
2008 Jan 22, Serbia agreed to a
multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline project as part of an energy deal
with Russia. This would boost Moscow’s control over gas supplies to
(WSJ, 1/23/08, p.A4)
2008 Jan 22, According to
anti-Khartoum Sudanese rebels armed militias backed by Sudan's
government killed 21 people in an attack on Sureif Judad, a village
in West Darfur.
2008 Jan 22, The UN Security
Council's permanent members and Germany agreed on a new draft
resolution on sanctions against Iran, strengthening existing
measures over the country's refusal to suspend its nuclear program.
2008 Jan 22, A UN report said a
newborn in Sierra Leone has the lowest chance in the world of
surviving until age 5, and the prospects are almost as bad for
children in Angola and Afghanistan.
2008 Jan 23, The US
Congressional Budget Office estimated that the deficit for the
current budget year will jump to about $250 billion, citing the
weakening economy. This figure does not reflect at least $100
billion in red ink from an economic stimulus measure in the works.
2008 Jan 23, Bechtel Corp. and
its partner Parsons Brinckerhoff in Boston’s Big Dig announced an
agreement to pay $407 million to settle a government lawsuit and
avoid criminal charges over the 2006 collapse that left one woman
(SFC, 1/24/08, p.C1)
2008 Jan 23, Police in San Jose
and Santa Clara, Ca., picked up over 70 people, part of more than
140 sought in the culmination of Operation Meltdown, a year-long
undercover investigation into copper theft.
(SFC, 1/24/08, p.B2)
2008 Jan 23, In Detroit Mayor
Kilpatrick responded to revelations by the Detroit Free Press
regarding an affair with a top aide in 2002-2003. He said that
period represented a difficult time in his life. Some 14,000 text
messages revealed that he had lied under oath during testimony in
2007 over the use of his security unit to cover up his extramarital
affair with Christine Beatty, his Chief of Staff.
(SFC, 1/24/08, p.A9)
2008 Jan 23, In Afghanistan a
Canadian soldier was killed and two others were injured when a
military convoy struck an improvised mine near the southern city of
2008 Jan 23, In Australia the
final issue of The Bulletin magazine was published. It was launched
in 1880 and became an institution in Australian publishing.
2008 Jan 23, Canada bowed out
of the 2009 UN conference on racism in Durban, South Africa, saying
it would likely "degenerate into ... expressions of intolerance and
2008 Jan 23, In Chile retired
Col. Ivan Quiroz was arrested in the southern city of Concepcion
after remaining at large for four months. He went into hiding to
avoid a 10-year prison sentence in a human rights case dating from
the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet He had been convicted as
member of a secret police unit that killed 12 members of a
pro-communist urban guerrilla gang in 1987.
2008 Jan 23, In China a train
ran into group of railway workers in eastern Shandong province,
killing 18 and injuring nine others.
2008 Jan 23, The EU unveiled
its comprehensive climate and energy proposals.
2008 Jan 23, Militia leaders
signed a peace accord with Congo's government aimed at ending years
of fighting in the country's restive east.
2008 Jan 23, In France an
economic commission headed by Jacques Attali issued a report: 300
Decisions for Changing France,” which had been requested by Pres.
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.51)
2008 Jan 23, PM Costas
Karamanlis became the first Greek premier to pay an official visit
to Turkey in nearly 50 years, reflecting warmer ties between two
countries that have come close to war several times.
2008 Jan 23, In Iran a top
interior ministry official said more than 2,000 reformers seeking
democratic changes within Iran's hard-line ruling establishment have
been disqualified from running in the upcoming parliamentary
2008 Jan 23, In Iraq an
explosion struck an apartment building in Mosul shortly after police
arrived to investigate a tip about a weapons cache inside, killing
at least 38 people and injuring 225. The huge blast destroyed about
50 buildings in the Mosul slum. It was later blamed on the Seifaddin
Regiment, some 150 foreign and Iraqi fighters who entered Iraq from
Syria a few months earlier. A relief organization later said more
than 60 people were killed and 280 wounded based on estimates from
relatives who buried victims without officially registering them.
Gunmen opened fire on an Iraqi army checkpoint in central Baghdad,
killing 8 soldiers and wounding two.
(AP, 1/23/08)(AP, 1/24/08)(SSFC, 1/27/08,
2008 Jan 23, Italy’s Premier
Romano Prodi won a confidence vote in parliament's lower house, but
his chances for success in the upper house appeared to worsen as
more allies defected amid growing pressure on the center-left leader
2008 Jan 23, In Malaysia tens
of thousands of ethnic Indian Malaysians gathered at the Batu Caves
temple outside Kuala Lumpur to celebrate Thaipusam, one of
Hinduism’s biggest festivals. In past years over a million have
turned out. The reduced turnout was due to a boycott called by the
Hindu rights Action Force (Hindraf), despite PM Badawi’s promise to
make Thaipusam a public holiday in the capital.
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.42)
2008 Jan 23, Nepal's government
reversed a fuel price hike after two days of nationwide protests and
clashes in the capital.
2008 Jan 23, Fifteen pilot
whales died in beach strandings in southern New Zealand while
rescuers monitored progress of 15 others toward safer waters.
2008 Jan 23, Tens of thousands
of Palestinians on foot and on donkey carts poured into Egypt from
Gaza after masked gunmen used land mines to blast down a seven-mile
barrier dividing the border town of Rafah.
2008 Jan 23, A Polish military
plane carrying 20 passengers and crew crashed in flames in
northwestern Poland, killing all aboard including an air force
2008 Jan 23, Russia said a new
draft UN resolution on Iran's disputed nuclear program does not call
for any harsh sanctions, and the Iranian president said new measures
would not deter the country in its pursuit of nuclear technology.
2008 Jan 23, Police in Moscow
arrested Semyon Mogilevich, a suspected crime boss with alleged
links to Russia's multibillion dollar gas business. Mogilevich, a
Ukrainian-born Russian citizen, has long been sought by the FBI and
2008 Jan 23, In Venezuela a
dozen opposition parties formally launched the Coalition for
Democratic Unity (MUD).
2008 Jan 24, US Democratic and
Republican congressional leaders reached a tentative deal on tax
rebates of $300 to $1,200 per household and business tax cuts to
jolt the slumping economy.
2008 Jan 24, Colorado’s House
of Representatives voted 62-1 to censure Rep. Douglas Bruce, who
kicked a newspaper reported taking his picture and refused to
(SFC, 1/25/08, p.A4)
2008 Jan 24, Dennis Kucinich
(b.1946), US Congressmen for Ohio, announced that he is dropping his
long-shot bid for president.
(WSJ, 1/25/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 24, Sergei Tretyakov
(51), a former Russian spy who had never spoken out about his spying
before this week, granted his first news media interviews to
publicize the book: "Comrade J.: The Untold Secrets of Russia's
Master Spy in America after the End of the Cold War," by former
Washington Post journalist Pete Earley, which was published on this
day. Tretyakov said his agents helped the Russian government steal
nearly $500 million from the UN's oil-for-food program in Iraq
before the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
2008 Jan 24, Doctors said they
have developed a technique that could free many patients from having
to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives. The
treatment involved weakening the patient's immune system, then
giving the recipient bone marrow from the person who donated the
2008 Jan 24, Researchers at the
J. Craig Venter Institute of Rockville, Md., reported that they have
built from scratch a synthetic chromosome containing all the genetic
material needed to produce the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium, the
tiniest bacteria ever found.
(SFC, 1/25/08, p.A1)(Econ, 1/26/08, p.76)
2008 Jan 24, In central
Afghanistan 9 Afghan policemen were killed during an anti-Taliban
operation by US-led coalition troops in Ghazni. Afghan police said
the police appeared to have been killed by the US airstrikes, which
also destroyed several houses.
2008 Jan 24, Doctors said an
Australian girl spontaneously switched blood groups and adopted her
donor's immune system following a liver transplant in the first
known case of its type. Demi-Lee Brennan was aged nine and seriously
ill with liver failure when she received the transplant. Nine months
later it was discovered that she had changed blood types and her
immune system had switched over to that of the donor after stem
cells from the new liver migrated to her bone marrow. She was now a
2008 Jan 24, In Brazil
government officials held a top-level emergency meeting to deal with
the problem of Amazon deforestation. Satellite images showed that as
much as 2,700 square miles of land was cleared during the last five
months of 2007. All logging was banned in 36 municipalities and
fines stiffened for illegal cutting.
(AP, 1/24/08)(SFC, 3/22/08, p.A3)
2008 Jan 24, In Britain almost
two dozen Romanians were arrested after police swooped on a child
2008 Jan 24, In China
protesters staged a rare public demonstration in Beijing over what
they said were illegal property seizures and compensation packages
that fell far short of that needed to buy new homes. Authorities
said sulfuric acid had leaked into the water supply from a chemical
factory in central China, poisoning at least 26 villagers.
2008 Jan 24, French bank
Societe Generale (SocGen) announced a $3 billion write-down on its
exposure to mortgage related investments. Societe Generale also said
it has uncovered a $7.14 billion fraud, one of history's biggest, by
futures trader Jerome Kerviel (31). His scheme of fictitious
transactions was discovered as stock markets began to stumble in
recent days. In 2010 he authored “The Spiral: Memoirs of a Trader,”
in which he presented himself as the victim of an immoral financial
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.73)(AP, 1/24/08)(Econ, 5/8/10,
2008 Jan 24, A German court
convicted Redouane El Habhab (38), a German of Moroccan heritage, of
helping al-Qaida in Iraq and sentenced him to nearly six years in
2008 Jan 24, Iran received a
sixth shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia, destined for a power
plant being constructed in the southern port of Bushehr.
2008 Jan 24, A suicide bomber
killed Brig. Gen. Salah Mohammed al-Jubouri, the director of police
for Ninevah province, and two other officers after they toured the
site of the wreckage of a blast a day earlier that devastated a
predominantly Sunni neighborhood in the northern city of Mosul. A
roadside bomb also struck a police patrol in central Baghdad,
killing two officers and injuring two, along with 3 civilians. In
Karbala a roadside bomb targeted a senior aide of Iraq's Shiite
spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. The aide,
Abdul-Mahdi al-Karbalai, escaped with a wound to the arm, but two of
his bodyguards were killed and two were wounded.
(AP, 1/24/08)(AP, 1/25/08)
2008 Jan 24, A top Israeli
defense official said that Israel wants to relinquish all
responsibility for the Gaza Strip, including the supply of
electricity and water, now that the territory's southern border with
Egypt has been opened.
2008 Jan 24, In Italy Premier
Romano Prodi resigned after the Senate voted 161-156 to sink his
20-month-old center-left coalition in a fiery session in which one
senator was spat on, fainted and was carried out on a stretcher.
2008 Jan 24, Japan's national
police, facing allegations that officers regularly squeeze
confessions from suspects with abuse, issued guidelines for the
first time setting limits on how far they can go in questioning
2008 Jan 24, In Kenya Pres.
Kibaki and Opposition leader Odinga talked for the first time since
the election, but the president angered the opposition by insisting
after the hour-long meeting, mediated by former UN Secretary-General
Kofi Annan, that his position as head of state was not negotiable.
2008 Jan 24, Pakistani troops
backed by tanks and gunships cleared militant hideouts near the
Afghan border in a major offensive that left ten soldiers and 40
2008 Jan 24, Two Palestinians
infiltrated a religious seminary and attacked students in a West
Bank settlement before being shot dead. Palestinian gunmen killed an
Israeli police officer near Jerusalem.
2008 Jan 24, Russian election
officials said Mikhail Kasyanov, the only liberal Kremlin critic in
the presidential race, stands to be kept off the ballot because tens
of thousands of signatures on his nominating petitions were
forgeries. In Moscow Semyon Mogilevich, a businessman wanted by
Interpol, was arrested on tax evasion charges.
(AP, 1/24/08)(Econ, 3/15/08, p.73)
2008 Jan 24, In Sri Lanka 16
victims of what appeared to have been execution-style killings were
found by villagers in a district 206 km (130 miles) north of the
2008 Jan 24, In Davos,
Switzerland, fears of world recession briefly took a back seat at
the World Economic Forum, where leaders from Afghanistan, Pakistan
and Iraq focused on how to establish security in their volatile
regions. Afghan Pres. Karzai stressed how extremists used economic
exploitation to recruit bombers.
(AP, 1/24/08)(AFP, 1/24/08)
2008 Jan 24, In Switzerland the
country's supreme court said prosecutors acted within the law when
they froze funds belonging to the Russian central bank at the behest
of a Swiss firm. The funds were frozen over a legal dispute with
Geneva-based trading firm Noga dating back to the end of the Soviet
2008 Jan 24, Taiwan's Premier
Chang Chun-hsiung and his cabinet resigned en masse, less than two
weeks after the governing Democratic Progressive Party's crushing
defeat in parliamentary elections.
2008 Jan 24, In southern
Thailand Muslim militants fatally shot a Buddhist teacher as he
pulled out of his driveway to head to work.
2008 Jan 24, Turkey's
Islamist-rooted ruling AK Party and a key opposition party agreed to
cooperate to lift a ban on the wearing of the Islamic headscarf in
universities, a move sure to anger the secular elite.
2008 Jan 24, Zimbabwean police
arrested Nicholas van Hoogstraten (63), a British businessman, after
finding a large quantity of foreign currency and alleged
pornographic material in his possession. In 2002 the
multi-millionaire was convicted of the manslaughter of an associate
and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment but the conviction was
quashed the following year and he was freed. On Jan 29 a Zimbabwe
court ordered his release.
(AFP, 1/26/08)(AFP, 1/29/08)
2008 Jan 25, In Miami Moises
Maionica (36) of Venezuelan pleaded guilty in a scheme to cover up
the source of $800,000 seized in a suitcase in Argentina that was
allegedly sent by Venezuelans as a donation to Cristina Fernandez's
2008 Jan 25, Goldman Sachs
Group and Credit Suisse Group said they will cut about 2,000 job
worldwide as a credit crisis puts a damper on fixed-income trading
and corporate deal making.
2008 Jan 25, Gold and platinum
prices reached new highs after mine stoppages in South Africa, a
leading producer of the precious metals, led to buying on supply
concerns. An ounce of gold for February delivery spiked to $924.30,
a fresh record, on the New York Mercantile Exchange before easing
back to settle at $910.70, up $4.90. April platinum peaked at a new
high of $1,694.90 an ounce. Prices later settled at $1,670, up $57.
2008 Jan 25, Richard Darman
(b.1943), former budget director (1989-1992) under Pres. George H.W.
Bush, died. He was the chief architect of the landmark 1990 deficit
(WSJ, 1/26/08, p.A8)
2008 Jan 25, In Afghanistan
US-led coalition and Afghan troops clashed with insurgents while
searching a compound near the Pakistani frontier, leaving one
coalition soldier dead.
2008 Jan 25, Scottish &
Newcastle, the UK's largest brewer, announced it has agreed to be
bought by Carlsberg and Heineken, for around 7.6 billion pounds.
2008 Jan 25, Egyptian guards
with riot shields formed human chains along the Egypt-Gaza border,
but were unable to stop hundreds of Palestinians from rushing into
Egypt after a bulldozer wrecked another section of fence along the
2008 Jan 25, Ethiopia's
administration for refugee and returnee affairs said that more
than 450 Eritreans, including 234 soldiers, fled their country into
Ethiopia in January alone.
2008 Jan 25, In France tens of
thousands of civil servants demonstrated to protest job cuts and
press for higher salaries in what the government dismissed as a
"labor union ritual."
2008 Jan 25, India and France
said they would push their military ties beyond weapons sales and
open up nuclear power cooperation as soon as New Delhi is able to
enter the global atomic energy market.
2008 Jan 25, Iraq’s PM
al-Maliki announced that the government was preparing to strike back
against al-Qaida in the northern city of Mosul after two days of
deadly bombings killed nearly 40 people. He promised the fight "will
be decisive." The US military said that American and Iraqi killed an
estimated 41 suspected al-Qaida in Iraq militants.
2008 Jan 25, In Kenya street
battles engulfed the western city of Nakuru, tense with ethnic
rivalries, leaving bodies in the roadways with gashes in their heads
and arrows lodged in their torsos in the latest fighting set off by
the disputed presidential election. Overnight, half the town of
Total Station was burned down and at least two people were killed.
2008 Jan 25, A car bomb ripped
through eastern Beirut, killing Capt. Wissam Eid, Lebanon's top
anti-terrorism investigator, as he returned from a meeting on the
probe into the 2005 assassination of a former prime minister. Three
others died in the blast.
2008 Jan 25, In Lithuania a
specially established commission on image creation, chaired by PM
Gediminas Kirkilas, approved a strategic marketing concept for the
presentation of Lithuania around the world.
2008 Jan 25, North and South
Korea held working-level military talks, the first dialogue between
the two countries this year, as Seoul's conservative president-elect
prepared to take office with calls for a tougher stance toward
2008 Jan 25, Pakistani troops
battled Islamic militants during a search for several hijacked
trucks full of ammunition, with up to 30 rebels and two soldiers
killed. Militants said only a few fighters were killed along with 6
(AFP, 1/25/08)(SFC, 1/26/08, p.A6)
2008 Jan 25, Russia's lower
house of parliament annulled an agreement with Ukraine on using
Soviet-built military radars, citing Kiev's bid to join NATO.
2008 Jan 25, In South Africa
gold production ground to a halt as the industry became the latest
victim of a spiraling electricity crisis which the government
labeled a national emergency.
2008 Jan 25, At Davos,
Switzerland, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates announced at the World
Economic Forum that his foundation would give $306 million to use
green technology and farming techniques to boost millions out of
hunger and poverty.
2008 Jan 25, A World Trade
Organization (WTO) accession committee approved Ukraine's membership
bid, clearing the way for the former Soviet republic to join the
2008 Jan 25, The commander of
US forces in Central Asia met with Uzbek President Islam Karimov,
the first visit by a high-level US military officer since the
authoritarian leader evicted American troops amid Western criticism
of a bloody government crackdown.
2008 Jan 26, Barack Obama
routed Hillary Rodham Clinton in the racially charged South Carolina
primary, regaining campaign momentum in the prelude to a Feb. 5
coast-to-coast competition for more than 1,600 Democratic National
Convention delegates. Nearly complete returns showed Obama winning
55% of the vote, Clinton gaining 27%. Edwards had 18% and won only
his home county of Oconee. The South Carolina Democratic Party broke
its own turnout record in the presidential primary.
2008 Jan 26, The film “Frozen
River,” directed by Courtney Hunt, won first prize at the Sundance
Film Festival in Park City, Utah. “Trouble the Water” won as best US
documentary film. “The Wackness” won the audience award.
(SSFC, 1/27/08, p.A2)
2008 Jan 26, Miss Michigan
Kirsten Haglund, a 19-year-old aspiring Broadway star, was crowned
Miss America 2008 in a live show billed as the unveiling of the
87-year-old pageant's new, hipper look.
2008 Jan 26, It was reported
that some 15,000 birds had died over the last month around Utah’s
Great Salt Lake due to avian cholera, caused by the bacterium
Pasteurella multocida. The disease was introduced into the wild
during the 1940s from US domestic poultry.
(SFC, 1/26/08, p.B6)
2008 Jan 26, Viktor
Schreckengost (b.1906), designer of numerous household products,
died. He melded Bauhaus functionalism and American sensibility.
(WSJ, 2/2/08, p.A12)
2008 Jan 26, In Afghanistan
gunmen kidnapped Cyd Mizell (49), a burqa-clad American aid worker,
and her driver, Abdul Hadi, while they were driving through a
residential section of Kandahar. She worked for the aid agency Asian
Rural Life Development Foundation.
(AP, 1/26/08)(AP, 1/27/08)
2008 Jan 26, According to the
Int’l. Crisis Group, a Brussels-based lobby, the CAR has dropped
below the level even of a failed state.
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.46)
2008 Jan 26, Egyptian riot
police and armored vehicles restricted Gaza motorists to a small
border area of Egypt, in the second attempt in two days to restore
control over the chaotic frontier breached by Hamas militants. At
least 36 Egyptian security personnel have been hospitalized,
including some in critical condition, due to border incidents with
2008 Jan 26, In Guyana gunmen
stormed into Lusignan, a coastal village, and shot dead 11 people
with 5 children among the dead. Police and government officials
suspected a gang led by Rondell Rawlins, a former Guyanese soldier,
is behind the violence. Rawlins has accused security forces of
kidnapping his pregnant 18-year-old girlfriend days ago and police
say he threatened to carry out attacks until she is found.
2008 Jan 26, In Indonesia a
small cargo plane disappeared and apparently crashed during a short
flight over Borneo island, and all three people aboard were feared
2008 Jan 26, A security chief
for Sunni tribesmen who rose up against al-Qaida in Iraq said the
Jan 23 explosion in northern Iraq was spearheaded by foreign
fighters under the sponsorship of Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of the
Libyan leader. A former city official was stabbed to death along
with his wife and daughter in their home in a predominantly Shiite
neighborhood in Baghdad. An American soldier was killed by a bomb
while on foot patrol in Baghdad.
(AP, 1/26/08)(AP, 1/27/08)
2008 Jan 26, In Iraq a former
city official was stabbed to death along with his wife and daughter
in their home in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood in northeastern
Baghdad. Elsewhere in the capital, an American soldiers was killed
by a bomb while on foot patrol.
2008 Jan 26, In northern Jordan
a tour bus collided with a water tanker, killing at least 21 people
with 33 Injured.
2008 Jan 26, George Habash
(81), former PLO leader, died in Jordan. His radical PLO faction
gained notoriety after the simultaneous hijackings of four Western
airliners in 1970 and the seizure of an Air France flight to
2008 Jan 26, In Kenya sporadic
gunshots rang in Nakuru as those forced from their homes by
postelection violence threatened revenge. Police took 16 charred
bodies to a mortuary, where onlookers sobbed.
2008 Jan 26, Malaysian police
detained 53 activists in a crackdown on a planned opposition-led
protest over inflation ahead of national elections expected within
2008 Jan 26, Russian riot
police fired warning shots into the air and beat demonstrators who
tried to rally against alleged vote-rigging in the Muslim region of
2008 Jan 26, Sri Lankan air
force jets bombed the Tamil Tiger rebels' naval headquarters while
the group's sea wing leaders were holding a meeting there.
2008 Jan 26, In western
Thailand a bus packed with passengers heading to a funeral tumbled
down a mountain, killing nine people and injuring 26 others.
2008 Jan 26, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez and allies Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba,
members of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA),
launched a regional development bank intended to strengthen their
alliance and promote independence from US-backed lenders like the
World Bank as Chavez hosted a summit with ALBA leaders.
2008 Jan 27, Gordon B. Hinckley
(b.1910), the humble head of the Mormon church, died in Salt Lake
City. He added millions of new members and labored long to burnish
the faith's image as a world religion.
2008 Jan 27, In Australia an
Aborigine elder, Mr. Ward (b.1961), died of heatstroke during a
four-hour, non-stop trip to face a drink-driving charge in a prison
van with broken air-conditioning. In 2010 state director of public
prosecutions Joe McGrath told Ward's widow that charges would not be
laid against the two guards employed by security firm GSL, now known
as G4S, who were in charge of the van. In 2010 Ward’s family was
awarded 3.2 million Australian dollars ($2.9 million) in
2008 Jan 27, Chinese police
shot and killed two members of a "terrorist gang" and rounded up 15
others during a raid in the restive northwestern Muslim region of
Xinjiang. Police found guns, homemade bombs, training materials and
"extremist religious ideological materials" during a raid in Urumqi.
(Reuters, 2/18/08)(AP, 3/9/08)
2008 Jan 27, At least 10 bodies
were recovered after a boat capsized on Lake Tanganyika in eastern
Congo. An official later said the overloaded boat was piloted by a
2008 Jan 27, Egyptian forces
brandishing electrified batons stopped Gaza cars from crossing the
breached border and tightened security at checkpoints to try to
confine Palestinians who moved freely into Egypt for a fifth
2008 Jan 27, France's Societe
Generale said Jerome Kerviel, the young trader blamed for losses
that cost the bank more than $7 billion, hacked computers and used
"several techniques of fraud." Judicial officials said the man would
remain in custody a further 24 hours. The bank said Kerviel had
built up a position worth some $73.5 billion, which was eventually
closed or hedged by Jan 23 with a loss of $7.21 billion.
2008 Jan 27, Indonesia, the
nation hardest hit by bird flu, recorded its 100th human death as
the virus picked up speed across Asia.
2008 Jan 27, Former Indonesian
President Suharto (b.1921) died. The US Cold War ally led one of the
20th century's most brutal dictatorships over 32 years that saw up
to a million political opponents killed.
2008 Jan 27, In Iraq an
American soldier was killed in a roadside bombing.
2008 Jan 27, In western Kenya
gangs armed with machetes and bows and arrows burned and hacked to
death members of a rival tribe, as the death toll from the latest
explosion of violence over disputed presidential elections rose to
2008 Jan 27, In Lebanon
protesters angry about electricity rationing clashed with troops in
Beirut's worst riots in a year, leaving 7 Shia youths dead.
(AP, 1/27/08)(Econ, 2/2/08, p.56)
2008 Jan 27, Mozambique said it
would forcibly evacuate 10,000 people who have defied government
calls to leave areas at risk of flooding along the Zambezi valley in
the country's central regions.
2008 Jan 27, In northwest
Pakistan security forces retook the Kohat Tunnel, which was captured
a day earlier, and killed at least 24 militants.
(SFC, 1/28/08, p.A12)
2008 Jan 27, Mikhail Kasyanov,
former prime minister and the most vocal Kremlin critic in Russia's
presidential contest, was barred from the ballot by election
authorities who said tens of thousands of signatures on his
nominating petitions were faked. Kasyanov denounced the Central
Election Commission's ruling as politically motivated and described
the election as "farce." "I have no doubt that Putin personally made
the decision not to register my candidacy," he said in a statement.
2008 Jan 27, In central Turkey
a passenger train derailed, killing at least nine people and
injuring dozens of others, possibly due to ice on the tracks.
2008 Jan 28, Pres. Bush State
in his State of the Union speech called again for immigration
reform, an end to lawmakers' pet projects, control of Social
Security spending and making tax cuts permanent.
2008 Jan 28, The US Senate
confirmed former North Dakota Gov. Edward Schafer as secretary of
(WSJ, 1/29/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 28, A US District
judge in Washington, DC, sentenced Ricardo Palmera, a Colombian
rebel leader, to 60 years in prison. Palmera admitted serving as
FARC’s chief negotiator during discussions over the release of 3
American hostages captured in 2003.
(SFC, 1/29/08, p.A4)
2008 Jan 28, Data Privacy Day
began in the United States and Canada, as an extension of the Data
Protection Day celebration that started in Europe in 2007. In the
United States, the House and Senate passed Resolutions recognizing
January 28, 2009 as National Data Privacy Day, and the Senate also
recognized National Data Privacy Day in 2010 and 2011.
2008 Jan 28, It was reported
that security costs for California Gov. Schwarzenegger and other top
state officials approached $38 million a year. A state senate panel
rejected a proposed $14.7 billion health-care plan supported by Gov.
(SFC, 1/28/08, p.D1)(WSJ, 1/29/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 28, Pegasus Wireless,
a Fremont, Ca., technology company, filed for bankruptcy. In 2011
financial officer Stephen Durland was sentenced to 33 months in jail
for fraudulent stock sales that netted him some $2.1 million. CEO
Jasper Knabb pleaded guilty to stock fraud that netted him some $29
million and awaited sentencing. On June 7, 2012, Knabb was sentenced
to 21 years in federal prison.
(SFC, 10/15/11, p.D1)(SFC, 6/8/12, p.D1)
2008 Jan 28, In SF one worker
was killed and 2 others badly injured when a 5-story tower of a
decommissioned power plant collapsed during demolition in the
Hunters Point neighborhood.
(SFC, 1/29/08, p.D2)
2008 Jan 28, Afghanistan’s
Health Ministry said as many as 300 Afghans had died over the past
10 days from bitter cold and heavy snows.
(SFC, 1/29/08, p.A4)
2008 Jan 28, Abderrahmane
Bouzegza, leader of the Dec 11 attacks in Algiers, was killed by the
army at Boumerdes, east of the capital. 4 others responsible for the
attacks were arrested in February.
2008 Jan 28, In London
demonstrators staged noisy protests as Pakistan's President Pervez
Musharraf held talks with PM Gordon Brown, amid criticism over human
rights and concern over elections.
2008 Jan 28, In Chile Patricia
Troncoso, an indigenous rights activist jailed for setting fire to a
farm once owned by Mapuche Indians, ended her 110-day hunger strike.
2008 Jan 28, Congolese Tutsi
rebels and Mai Mai militia clashed in eastern Democratic Republic of
Congo, breaking a ceasefire signed last week aimed at ending A
long-running conflict in the east.
2008 Jan 28, Egyptian security
forces and Hamas militants strung barbed wire across one of the
openings in the Egypt-Gaza border, a sign that a days-long breaching
of the frontier may be nearing an end.
2008 Jan 28, The EU launched
its long-awaited peacekeeping force for Chad and the Central African
Republic to help protect hundreds of thousands of refugees from
2008 Jan 28, A French court
sentenced six French charity workers to 8 years in prison, after
they were convicted in Chad of trying to kidnap 103 children they
said were orphans from Darfur.
2008 Jan 28, Archbishop
Christodoulos (69), the leader of Greece's powerful Orthodox Church,
died. He eased centuries of tension with the Vatican but was viewed
as reactionary by his liberal critics.
2008 Jan 28, Iran received the
final shipment of uranium fuel from Russia for its first nuclear
plant, state media reported, a key step toward the launch of the
reactor's operations expected later this year.
2008 Jan 28, In Iraq a roadside
bomb struck a minibus carrying a coffin and mourners to a funeral in
the predominantly Shiite southeastern neighborhood of New Baghdad,
killing three passengers. Insurgents attacked 4 policemen heading
home from work south of Mosul, killing two and wounding the other
two. US troops detained 18 al-Qaida-linked militants in two days of
operations ending today north of Baghdad. 5 American soldiers were
killed in a complex attack in Mosul, described as one of al-Qaida in
Iraq's last strongholds.
(AP, 1/28/08)(AP, 1/29/08)
2008 Jan 28, In Nakuru, Kenya,
the provincial capital of the fertile Rift Valley, 64 bodies were
counted at the morgue. In Kisumu on the shore of Lake Victoria,
armed mobs of young men torched houses and buses, burning alive
anyone inside and blocking blood-spattered roadways.
2008 Jan 28, Pakistani
authorities found the body of Keith Ryan (37), a US immigration and
customs enforcement attache, with a bullet wound in his head at his
home in Islamabad and were investigating a suspected case of
suicide. A US missile from a Predator drone destroyed a suspected
militant hideout in Torkhali village in North Waziristan, killing 12
people inside. Later reports said there were seven Arabs and six
Central Asians killed. Abu Laith al-Libi, a top al-Qaida commander,
was among the dead.
(Reuters, 1/28/08)(Reuters, 1/31/08)(AP, 1/31/08)
2008 Jan 28, In Somalia 3 staff
members of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF-Holland) were killed and
one wounded when their vehicle hit a land mine on a road between the
international staff members' home and the hospital where they worked
in the southern Somali town of Kismayo. In response Doctors Without
Borders evacuated its 87 employees from Somalia.
2008 Jan 28, In Sri Lanka
security forces killed 45 rebels along the northern frontlines.
2008 Jan 28, Thailand’s
parliament chose Samak Sundaravej, representing ex-PM Shinawatra’s
interests, as premier easily beating the Democratic party candidate
(SFC, 1/29/08, p.A4)
2008 Jan 29, Pres. Bush signed
an executive order for federal agencies to ignore “earmarks” that
aren’t explicitly enacted into law.
(SFC, 1/30/08, p.A6)
2008 Jan 29, In Florida Sen.
John McCain won the Republican primary with 36% of the vote. Mitt
Romney was 2nd with 31% and Rudi Giuliani 3rd with 15%.
(SFC, 1/30/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 29, Federal fishery
regulators said the number of chinook salmon returning to
California's Central Valley has reached a near-record low, pointing
to an "unprecedented collapse" that could lead to severe
restrictions on West Coast salmon fishing this year.
2008 Jan 29, Robert M. Ball
(93), considered to be the father of the US Medicare system, died.
(WSJ, 1/31/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 29, Margaret Truman
Daniel (b.1924), the only daughter of former Pres. Harry Truman,
died in Chicago. From 1980 to 1996 Daniel wrote 13 murder mysteries
beginning with “Murder in the White House,” which became a best
(SFC, 1/30/08, p.A2)
2008 Jan 29, In southern
Afghanistan roadside bombings killed three civilians.
2008 Jan 29, In northern
Algeria a car loaded with explosives and headed for a police station
exploded after officers stopped the attack with bullets. At least
two people were killed and 23 wounded.
2008 Jan 29, Gold prices hit a
record high 933.33 dollars in London as the market was driven higher
by production problems in key producer South Africa and the weak US
2008 Jan 29, In China deadly
winter storms, the worst in five decades, showed no signs of letting
up, where cities were blacked out, transport systems were paralyzed
and a bus crash on an icy road killed at least 25 people during the
nation's busiest travel season.
2008 Jan 29, Congolese Tutsi
rebels and a rival Mai Mai militia group pledged to respect a
recently-signed peace accord, a day after clashes between their
fighters broke the ceasefire.
2008 Jan 29, A Cairo court
ruled to allow Egyptian Bahais to leave their religion blank on
official documents, in effect restoring their access to jobs,
schools and medical and financial services.
2008 Jan 29, Cars and trucks
traveled freely across the border from Gaza to Egypt for a seventh
day. Egyptians living near the breached border with Gaza warned that
chaos was brewing and demanded the crisis be resolved.
2008 Jan 29, Iran’s state media
reported that more than 50 followers of the minority Baha'i faith
were convicted of distributing propaganda against the country's
Islamic regime. The faith was banned after the 1979 Islamic
revolution, and it is not recognized in the Iranian constitution as
a religious minority.
2008 Jan 29, A suicide car
bomber targeted a US patrol in Mosul, killing at least one Iraqi and
wounding as many as 15. Iraqi police north of Baghdad found 19
bullet-riddled bodies near the former insurgent stronghold of
Muqdadiyah. In Baghdad a bombing at a checkpoint wounded five
American soldiers and three civilians. Iraqi officials claimed it
was a suicide bombing and said two people were killed. An Iraqi
television cameraman and his driver were killed in a roadside
bombing north of Baghdad. The female correspondent and camera
assistant traveling with them were wounded.
(AP, 1/29/08)(AP, 1/30/08)
2008 Jan 29, Japan's coast
guard said it has sent a team of officers to protect its whaling
fleet against intensifying protests by environmentalists.
2008 Jan 29, Japan said it was
setting up a fund to help African countries enhance protection of
intellectual property rights, calling it key to boosting the
continent's economic potential.
2008 Jan 29, In Kenya former UN
chief Kofi Annan launched formal mediation efforts to end the
post-election crisis, where the killing of an opposition legislator
stoked bloody protests. Gunmen killed Mugabe Were, an opposition
lawmaker in Nairobi, triggering a new flare-up of the ethnic
fighting. A gang hefting machetes dragged a doctor from the
president's Kikuyu tribe from his clinic "and then cut and cut until
his head was off."
(Reuters, 1/29/08)(AP, 1/29/08)
2008 Jan 29, In Mexico City
Elvira Arellano, a deported Mexican migrant who holed up in a
Chicago church to fight for immigrants' rights, rallied support for
Flor Crisostomo (28), another woman now seeking refuge in the same
building. Four Mexican military officers and one soldier, were
turned over to prosecutors for alleged links to Alfredo Beltran
Leyva, but their cases weren't made public until Oct 31.
(AP, 1/30/08)(AP, 10/31/08)
2008 Jan 29, Scientists in New
Zealand reported that smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes
in terms of lung cancer risk and warned of an "epidemic" of lung
cancers linked to cannabis.
2008 Jan 29, Pakistan’s
President Pervez Musharraf returned home after a weeklong trip to
Europe. Security forces exchanged gunfire with Islamic militants
holed up at a house in Karachi, with 3 militants and two policemen
dead. A fourth militant, who was wounded in the shootout, died later
in the day. Hundreds of students in Miran Shah protested Pakistan's
support for the US-led war on terror.
(AFP, 1/29/08)(AP, 1/29/08)(AP, 1/30/08)
2008 Jan 29, Saudi Arabia said
it had killed some 158,000 chickens after the deadly H5N1 bird flu
strain was found at an infected farm. The agriculture ministry also
said more than 4.5 million fowl have been killed in provinces around
the capital, but it did not specify when the killing took place.
2008 Jan 29, In Sri Lanka the
defense ministry said its troops smashed 16 guerrilla bunkers in the
district of Mannar and killed at least 22 rebels. Tamilnet said at
least 11 school children and the principal of the school were among
those killed when the Sri Lanka Army triggered a Claymore mine
targeting a bus carrying school children.
2008 Jan 29, Officials in
impoverished Tajikistan said they would be forced to cut power to
much of the country as residents endured one of the coldest winters
in 25 years. Tajikistan is rich in water resources, but the cold
weather has frozen rivers flowing into the Nurek reservoir.
2008 Jan 29, In Venezuela 4
gunmen held more than 30 people hostage inside a bank during a
lengthy and tense standoff with police that began with a botched
robbery in the town of Altagracia de Orituco.
2008 Jan 30, The US Federal
Reserve cut its federal funds rate by half a point to 3%, and left
the door open to further cuts. The 1.25 point cut in 8 days was the
largest since it began disclosing rate moves two decades ago.
(SFC, 1/31/08, p.C1)(WSJ, 1/31/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 30, Democrat John
Edwards exited the presidential race, ending a scrappy underdog bid
in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while
grappling with family hardship that roused voters' sympathies.
2008 Jan 30, Following his
third place finish in Florida, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani
dropped out of the presidential race and endorsed Sen. John McCain.
2008 Jan 30, In Philadelphia
Nurse Lee Cruceta (35) admitted he cut body parts from 244 corpses
and helped forge paperwork so the parts, some of them diseased,
could be used in unsuspecting patients. Cruceta has also pleaded
guilty to related charges in New York and negotiated pleas to serve
concurrent sentences of 6 1/2 to 20 years.
2008 Jan 30, Using DNA, the
blueprint of life, US researchers said they have made a
three-dimensional structure from particles of gold in a development
that could lead to a host of custom-designed materials.
2008 Jan 30, It was reported
that bats were dying off by the thousands as they hibernated in
caves and mines around New York and Vermont, sending researchers
scrambling to find the cause of mysterious condition dubbed "white
nose syndrome." Up to 11,000 bats were found dead last winter and
many more were showing signs of illness this winter.
2008 Jan 30, Fr. Marcial Maciel
Degollado (b.1920), Mexican Roman Catholic priest who founded the
Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi movement (1941), died in
2008 Jan 30, In Afghanistan a
suicide bomber in a vehicle tried to attack a NATO convoy in
Kandahar province's Zhari district, but instead hit a private car
wounding 4 civilians.
2008 Jan 30, The Bangladesh
government said an unidentified person has donated $130 million to
help rebuild hundreds of schools and storm shelters destroyed by a
cyclone along Bangladesh's southwest coast.
2008 Jan 30, In Brazil heavily
armed police cracking down on crime ahead of Rio's famed carnival
celebrations engaged in shootouts with criminals in two slums,
killing at least seven suspects.
2008 Jan 30, China’s government
deploy nearly 500,000 army troops to assist areas troubled by winter
storms. 15 sailors drowned and another was missing after two ships
collided on China's Yangtze river.
2008 Jan 30, Wilber Varela, one
of Colombia's most-wanted drug lords, was found slain in Merida,
Venezuela. Varela's war with his rival within the Norte del Valle
cartel, Diego Montoya, plagued the city of Cali and much of
southwestern Colombia, killing more than 1,000 people in several
2008 Jan 30, Thousands of
striking taxi drivers drove at a snail's pace around France as part
of a protest against government plans to open up their business to
2008 Jan 30, Police in India
said they broke up an illegal organ transplant ring spanning five
Indian states and involving at least four doctors, several
hospitals, two dozen nurses and paramedics and a car outfitted as a
laboratory (see Feb 7).
(AP, 1/30/08)(WSJ, 1/31/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 30, The final Winograd
Commission report was announced in Binyanei HaUma in Jerusalem. It
had been commissioned to inquire into Israel’s 2006 war in Lebanon.
2008 Jan 30, Ao Man-long,
Macau's highest-level official ever convicted of corruption, was
sentenced to 27 years in prison for taking contract kickbacks in the
construction boom that's turning the Chinese gambling enclave into a
Las Vegas-style vacation destination.
2008 Jan 30, Mozambique’s
interior ministry said police intercepted a lorry carrying 39
youngsters as they were about to be smuggled across the border into
Zimbabwe by suspected child traffickers. Rights groups warned late
last year that trafficking of Mozambican children across to
neighboring countries, mostly South Africa, has risen tenfold in the
last two years.
2008 Jan 30, In southern Nepal
34 people were wounded in a bomb attack at a political rally.
2008 Jan 30, In Pakistan 3
suspected militants allegedly planning suicide attacks died when a
bomb detonated early in Miran Shah.
2008 Jan 30, In the southern
Philippines a homemade bomb ripped through a fish processing plant,
killing three and injuring 27 workers.
2008 Jan 30, President Vladimir
Putin and his likely successor called for sweeping environmental
improvements, saying cleaning up Soviet-era pollution and reducing
industrial waste are crucial for Russia's economy and public health.
2008 Jan 30, Imprisoned Russian
oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky launched a hunger strike to protest
authorities' refusal to give his jailed ex-lawyer AIDS medication.
2008 Jan 30, South African
police raided a downtown Johannesburg church late at night where
hundreds of Zimbabweans had taken refuge, hauling people in pajamas
to a police station in scenes reminiscent of apartheid-era raids.
2008 Jan 30, Auto giant Ford
announced a multi-million dollar investment in South Africa,
brushing aside fears about an electricity crisis which has alarmed
other international investors.
2008 Jan 30, In Sri Lanka
troops overran at least 25 bunkers and killed 10 guerrillas.
2008 Jan 30, Subprime-related
problems at UBS AG mounted as the Swiss bank unveiled $4 billion in
new write-downs in a surprise statement and sank deep into the red
for the year, depressing its shares.
2008 Jan 30, Tunisia hosted the
25th session of the meeting of Arab Ministers of the Interior.
Security chiefs agreed to toughen rules on material that might
2008 Jan 30, The United
Nation's disaster relief agency announced that a meningitis outbreak
that has claimed some 52 lives in Burkina Faso by mid-month has
spread to three other west African countries. A spike in the number
of meningitis cases has also been reported in Mali, Niger and
Nigeria since the end of 2007.
2008 Jan 30, The UN Security
Council renewed the mandate of the struggling UN peace force on the
Eritrea-Ethiopia border for six months despite a request from
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for just one month.
2008 Jan 30, Vietnam’s central
bank raised official interest rates up 1.5% to fight inflation which
had reached 14.1%, the highest since 1995.
(Econ, 2/2/08, p.46)
2008 Jan 31, The US Navy test
fired an incredibly powerful new big gun designed to replace
conventional weaponry aboard ships. Navy officials called it the
"world's most powerful electromagnetic railgun."
2008 Jan 31, US Army Maj. John
Cockerham and his wife pleaded guilty to bribery, conspiracy and
money laundering committed while he was a contracting officer in
Kuwait (2004-2006, during which time he made over $9 million. Maj.
James Momon Jr., his successor, later pleaded guilty to pocketing
over $1 million. Cockerham and his wife were initially indicted on
Aug 22, 2007.
(SSFC, 10/26/08, Par
2008 Jan 31, Human Rights Watch
charged that Europe and the US increasingly tolerate autocrats
posing as democrats out of pure self-interest, in countries such as
Pakistan, Kenya, Nigeria and Russia, as human right abuses go on.
2008 Jan 31, The Sewerage
Agency of Southern Marin, Ca., let nearly 3 million gallons of
treated and raw sewage spill into the SF Bay. A week later it was
reported that a spill on Jan 25 had released 2.5 million gallons.
Over the next 2 weeks at least 65 birds were found dead on the
shores of Richardson Bay Audubon Center.
(SFC, 2/6/08, p.B7)(SFC, 2/9/08, p.B1)
2008 Jan 31, Dorothy Dixon
(29), 6 months pregnant, was found dead at a home in Alton, Ill.
Housemates had used her for target practice with BBs, burned her
with a glue gun and doused her with scalding liquid that peeled away
her skin. Investigators put much of the blame on Michelle Riley
(35), who they said befriended Dixon but pocketed monthly Social
Security checks she got because of her developmental delays. In 2009
Riley pleaded guilty to the torture and killing of Dixon.
(AP, 3/22/08)(SFC, 10/27/09, p.A4)
2008 Jan 31, The Mideast and
India suffered a 2nd day of telecom woes after two undersea Internet
cables in the Mediterranean sustained damage.
(WSJ, 2/1/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 31, In southern
Afghanistan a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a mosque,
killing Helmand province's deputy governor and five other people. A
car bomb exploded next to an Afghan army bus in Kabul, wounding four
civilians and a solider.
2008 Jan 31, In China a top
agriculture official warned that snow battering central China has
dealt an "extremely serious" blow to winter crops, raising the
likelihood that future shortages would exaggerate already surging
food prices. China said it had stopped production and exports from a
company whose insecticide-tainted frozen dumplings sickened 10
people in Japan. Tens of thousands of Chinese massed impatiently
near a railway station in Guangzhou, desperate to get on trains home
for a major holiday after days of delay caused by snow.
(AP, 1/31/08)(Reuters, 1/31/08)
2008 Jan 31, The EU ordered
Italy to clean up Naples within a month, or face legal action.
2008 Jan 31, It was reported
that the EU is suing Malta for permitting residents to hunt 2
species of birds in the spring. The Maltese government said it
qualifies for an exemption under EU rules.
(WSJ, 2/1/08, p.A6)
2008 Jan 31, India's Tata
Chemicals, part of tea-to-steel conglomerate Tata Group, announced
it was buying US-based soda-ash producer General Chemical Industrial
Products for over one billion dollars.
2008 Jan 31, In Iraq militants
fired 20 rockets at Britain’s airport base in Basra. British gunners
responded with artillery fire and 10 Iraqi civilians were killed or
wounded. A bomb-rigged car blew up in Baghdad killing at least 5
people in a Shiite enclave. 2 US soldiers were killed, one by a
roadside bomb in Baghdad and another by a rocket or mortar attack on
a convoy support center south of the capital.
(AP, 2/1/08)(SFC, 2/1/08, p.A13)
2008 Jan 31, In Kenya an
opposition lawmaker was gunned down by a police officer in the
second fatal shooting of an opposition legislator this week.
National police chief Hussein Ali said the police officer, who has
been arrested, shot David Too in a dispute over the officer's
girlfriend. The opposition said it was an assassination plot. Kenyan
police killed four people as mobs set scores of houses and
businesses ablaze in a western Kenyan town. In Kisumu police fired
tear gas and then live rounds at scores of protesters trying to
block the main road. Kofi Annan suspended crisis talks aimed at
ending Kenya's political crisis after the lawmaker was shot dead,
triggering further clashes. In Ethiopia UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon met with Pres. Kibaki at the African Union summit and warned
that the violence in Kenya could spiral out of control unless quick
action was taken.
(AP, 1/31/08)(AFP, 1/31/08)(AP, 2/1/08)
2008 Jan 31, In Mexico tens of
thousands of demonstrators marched through downtown Mexico City to
protest recent trade openings that removed the last tariff
protections for ancestral Mexican crops like corn and beans.
2008 Jan 31, Thousands of
Pakistani lawyers burned effigies of President Pervez Musharraf
during nationwide protests to press for the release of the country's
deposed chief justice. Two Pakistani soldiers were killed and two
others wounded when a bomb exploded near their convoy in Wana in
(AFP, 1/31/08)(AP, 2/1/08)
2008 Jan 31, In the southern
Philippines Abu Sayyaf commander Wahab Upao, a Muslim militant who
allegedly gunned down a Roman Catholic priest in a raid on a school,
was killed in a clash with troops pursuing an Indonesian terror
2008 Jan 31, Romania’s
Constitutional Court struck down the 1999 law that opened Romania's
secret police archives. It effectively forced the Council for the
Study of the Securitate Archives to shut down, and makes its
previous decisions null.
2008 Jan 31, In South Korea a
court ruled against Samsung and its chairman Lee Kun-hee in
the nation’s biggest civil lawsuit. It ordered them to pay $2.7
billion to the creditors of Samsung Motors.
(Econ, 2/9/08, p.71)
2008 Jan 31, In northern Sri
Lanka a bomb being transported by a suicide bomber on a bicycle
exploded prematurely, killing 4 people and injuring 13. Separate
clashes across the north killed 15 Tamil rebels. Japan cautioned it
will review its aid policy unless the violence subsided.
(AP, 1/31/08)(AFP, 1/31/08)(AP, 2/1/08)
2008 Jan 31, In Turkey an
explosion ripped through an unlicensed fireworks factory in an
industrial section of Istanbul, killing 20 people and injuring 117.
2008 Jan 31, An official at the
UN labor agency said more than 5 million people will lose their jobs
this year as the world economy slows.
2008 Jan, In Massachusetts Ly
Van Aggadipo (b.1917), a Cambodia-born Buddhist monk, died. He had
fled Cambodia in 1979 and later settled in the US. In 2010 friends
and followers released a book of his poetry titled “Oh! Maha Mount
Dangrek,” which contained an autobiographical poem on the horrors of
the Khmer Rouge and a friend’s story of love in the time of
(SFC, 3/23/10, p.E3)
2008 Jan, The NYC-based
Pro-Publica investigative reporting unit was set up with help from
the Sandler Foundation.
2008 Jan, Grameen Bank, a
Bangladesh-based microfinance institution, opened its first American
branch. As of September, 2011, it had lent over 25 million to some
(Econ, 9/24/11, p.42)
2008 Jan, Belgium began sending
out inspectors to daily check on 150 randomly selected sick and not
so sick civil servants. Some government departments were averaging
35 days of sick leave per year.
(WSJ, 1/9/09, p.A1)
2008 Jan, The population of
Central African Republic was about 4 million. Bandits known as
Zaraguina, mostly from Chad, were reported to be looting, kidnapping
and demanding thousands of dollars in ransom for local cattle
herders from the Peuhl tribe.
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.47)
2008 Jan, In France,
investigating magistrates seized 23 notebooks of Yves Bertrand,
former head of Renseignements Genereaux (RG), one of the country’s
domestic intelligence services, as part of an inquiry into the
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.60)
2008 Jan, In southern Thailand
killings rose sharply this month to 55. Some 2,800 deaths were
counted since 2004.
(Econ, 3/1/08, p.45)
2008 Feb 1, Microsoft Corp.
made an unsolicited takeover offer of $44.6 billion for Yahoo Inc.
in its boldest bid yet to challenge Google Inc.'s dominance of the
lucrative online search and advertising markets.
2008 Feb 1, Exxon Mobil Corp.
posted the largest annual profit by a US company, $40.6 billion, as
the world's biggest publicly traded oil company benefited from
historic crude prices.
2008 Feb 1, According to a new
study the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer in
women is poised to become one of the leading causes of oral cancer
2008 Feb 1, In Loganville, Ga.,
Darryl Spearman (55) and Cherri Spearman (52) were found dead in
their home by relatives. Investigators said they were beaten to
death. The next day police arrested their son, Joshua Spearman (18),
on two counts of murder.
2008 Feb 1, In Cockeysville,
Md., Nicholas Waggoner Browning (15) shot and killed his father John
Browning (45) and mother Tamara (44) and his brothers Gregory (13)
and Benjamin (11). On Oct 27 Browning pleaded guilty to first-degree
murder charges and faced at least 2 decades in prison. On Jan 23,
2009, he was sentenced to 4 life terms, but could be eligible for
parole in 23 years with good behavior.
(SFC, 2/4/08, p.A4)(SFC, 10/28/08, p.A6)(AP,
2008 Feb 1, Actress Shell
Kepler (49) died at Oregon Health & Science University hospital.
For years she played the gossipy nurse Amy Vining on the TV soap
opera "General Hospital."
2008 Feb 1, An Australian
report said that Japanese harpoonists killed five whales in one day
after Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd ships, which had halted the hunt
in Antarctic waters, were forced to return to port to refuel.
2008 Feb 1, Bangladesh
livestock officials said more than 27,000 chickens and ducks have
been slaughtered after bird flu was confirmed at a poultry farm near
the border with India.
2008 Feb 1, In Brazil men
dressed as nuns swilled beer and danced down the cobblestoned
streets of a Rio hillside to kick off five days of uninhibited
2008 Feb 1, Chad's army fought
to drive off rebels who pushed to within 100 km (60 miles) of the
capital N'Djamena and the clashes delayed the deployment of European
peacekeepers. A French Defense Ministry official said France has
sent about 150 supplementary troops to Chad as a "precautionary
measure" in response to a rebel offensive.
2008 Feb 1, China’s government
said 3 weeks of crippling snow storms have inflicted $7.5 billion in
damages and announced a $700 million relief fund for farmers.
2008 Feb 1, Chinese aluminium
giant Chinalco said it and US peer Alcoa have bought a 12-percent
stake in Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto, setting up a possible
takeover tussle with rival BHP Billiton.
2008 Feb 1, In Ethiopia a
summit of African Union leaders shifted its attention from the
crisis in Kenya to Chad, with delegates voicing fears of a major
conflict that could scupper peace efforts in Sudan.
2008 Feb 1, Hundreds of Hamas
supporters protested on the breached Gaza-Egypt border to demand it
remain open, while Egyptian troops poured cement and laid down metal
spikes in a new attempt to halt the influx of Gazans.
2008 Feb 1, Scientists in
Finland said they had replaced a 65-year-old patient's upper jaw
with a bone transplant cultivated from stem cells isolated from his
own fatty tissue and grown inside his abdomen.
2008 Feb 1, In Iraq 2 female
suicide bombers blew themselves up in separate attacks on Baghdad
pet bazaars, killing at least 68 people and wounding dozens. The
attacks were the deadliest in the Iraqi capital since 30,000 more
American troops flooded into the center of the country last spring.
The next day officials raised the death toll to at least 99,
including 62 people killed at the central al-Ghazl market and 37
others killed about 20 minutes later across town. PM al-Maliki said
the suicide bombers were both mentally disabled and that their
suicide vests were remotely controlled.
(AP, 2/1/08)(AP, 2/2/08)
2008 Feb 1, Scientists in Japan
and New Zealand said they have created a "tear-free" onion using
biotechnology to switch off the gene behind the enzyme that makes us
2008 Feb 1, The US promised
Kazakhstan to help it bring its armed forces up to NATO standards in
a new military cooperation pact certain to irritate Russia.
2008 Feb 1, Kenya's rival sides
said they had agreed to take action to end monthlong violence from a
disputed presidential election, but the death toll mounted when
police fired on mobs setting homes and businesses ablaze in the west
of the country. At least 14 people were killed as the death toll
rose to over 800 with some 300,000 forced from their homes.
(AP, 2/2/08)(SFC, 2/2/08, p.A5)
2008 Feb 1, In Mauritania at
least one gunman opened fire on the Israeli Embassy, setting off a
battle with guards that wounded one person. 8 people were soon
detained, but all were released for lack of evidence. 2 suspected
terrorists were arrested on April 30.
(AP, 2/1/08)(AP, 2/19/08)(AP, 4/30/08)
2008 Feb 1, In Pakistan a
suicide bomber attacked a military checkpoint in North Waziristan,
killing five government soldiers about two miles from the scene of a
US missile attack that had killed a top al-Qaida commander.
2008 Feb 1, Pirates seized a
Danish-owned tug boat and its six crew members off Somalia's
northeastern coast and demanded ransom. The 115-foot Svitzer
Korsakov was built in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was on its way to
Sakhalin Island in the Far East.
2008 Feb 1, In northern Sri
Lanka government troops attacked Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers along the
front lines, triggering a battle that killed 10 guerrillas and two
2008 Feb 1, In Sweden Christer
Merrill Aggett (32), a British man, was sentenced to 14 years in
prison for infecting two young women with HIV and putting 13 more at
risk of infection. Six of them were under the age of 15, the legal
age of consent in Sweden, when the sexual encounters took place.
2008 Feb 1, The US announced it
will resume military and other aid to Thailand as a result of the
country's successful election and its formation of a democratically
2008 Feb 1, Wireless equipment
maker LM Ericsson AB reported a sharp drop in fourth-quarter net
profits and said it would lay off around 1,000 employees in Sweden
because of costs cuts.
2008 Feb 2, Mitt Romney coasted
to a win in presidential preference voting by Maine Republicans,
claiming his third victory in a caucus state and fourth overall.
2008 Feb 2, In Tinley Park,
Ill., a gunman herded five women into the back room of a strip mall
Lane Bryan clothing store and killed them during a botched robbery.
He vanished after walking out of the shop's front door.
2008 Feb 2, Gus Arriola
(b.1917), cartoonist, died in Carmel, Ca. His Gordo (1941-1985)
cartoon strip was one of the first in the US to celebrate Mexican
(SSFC, 2/3/08, p.B1)
2008 Feb 2, Joshua Lederberg
(b.1925), Stanford professor and Nobel-winning molecular biologist,
died in NY.
(SFC, 2/8/08, p.B9)
2008 Feb 2, African Union
leaders condemned the latest unrest in Chad and Kenya at the close
of a summit overshadowed by new crises on the continent and which
saw little headway achieved on older ones. Hundreds of rebels
penetrated the capital of Chad, clashing with government troops and
moving on the presidential palace after a three-day advance through
the oil-producing central African nation.
(AFP, 2/2/08)(AP, 2/2/08)
2008 Feb 2, Hamas agreed to
Egyptian calls to control the flow of Palestinians through the
breached Gaza border and expects Egypt to seal remaining gaps in the
2008 Feb 2, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy married former model Carla Bruni at the Elysee
2008 Feb 2, An Indonesian
health ministry official said floods in Jakarta have killed three
people and displaced nearly 100,000 after two days of torrential
2008 Feb 2, Iraqi forces raided
two villages north of the capital, killing seven suspected militants
and arresting four others. Near Samarra, Iraqi police killed four
men and captured a senior aide to an al-Qaida in Iraq leader. Near
Tal Afar Iraqi commandos killed three wanted men and arrested three
others. The US military accidentally killed nine Iraqi civilians
near Iskandariyah during an operation targeting al-Qaida in Iraq,
the deadliest known case of mistaken identity in recent months.
(AP, 2/2/08)(AP, 2/4/08)
2008 Feb 2, An Iraqi government
official said Iraq has halted oil exports to Austria's OMV, the
leading oil and gas group in central Europe, to protest a deal with
the self-ruled Kurdish region.
2008 Feb 2, A Lebanese
prosecutor issued arrest warrants for 11 soldiers and six civilians
in connection with Jan 27 clashes between troops and Shiite Muslim
protesters that left 7 people dead.
2008 Feb 2, A police raid in
Pakistan's northwest triggered a shootout that killed two officers
and three militants and led the insurgents to use women and children
as human shields.
2008 Feb 2, South Korean car
giant Hyundai Motor Co opened a second plant in India, making the
country its biggest foreign manufacturing site.
2008 Feb 2, In central Sri
Lanka a bomb tore through a bus packed with mostly elderly Buddhist
pilgrims, killing 18 people and wounding 51 others.
2008 Feb 2, Taiwan's president
inaugurated a runway on disputed Taiping island in the Spratlys
chain in the South China Sea, sparking a protest from the
Philippines which also claims sovereignty over the isle.
2008 Feb 2, In Turkey tens of
thousands of secular Turks rallied against a plan by the government
to allow women students to wear the Muslim headscarf at university,
a move they say will usher in a stricter form of Islam.
2008 Feb 3, The New York Giants
won the Super Bowl XLII over for the favored New England Patriots
2008 Feb 3, Jorge Liderman
(50), a composer and professor at UC Berkeley, was struck and killed
by a BART train at the El Cerrito station in a suspected suicide.
(SFC, 2/4/08, p.B1)
2008 Feb 3, In East Oakland,
Ca., two teenage girls from San Leandro were shot and killed as they
were catching a ride to a music studio. In 2012 Gumaro Baez (22) was
sentenced to life in prison for their murder plus 2 counts of
(SFC, 2/29/12, p.C4)
2008 Feb 3, Australian PM Kevin
Rudd announced a summit of 1,000 ordinary citizens to address
long-term challenges facing the nation, saying the best ideas could
influence government policy. He also scolded the country's
opposition for haggling over the exact content of a planned apology
to Australia's Aborigines, saying its meaning will be quite clear.
2008 Feb 3, Chadian forces
backed by tanks and helicopter gunships struggled to repel a rebel
assault on the capital, and insurgents claimed to have trapped the
president in his palace. Chadian rebels, reportedly backed by
Sudanese military aircraft, launched an attack on the eastern town
of Adre, which borders on Sudan's Darfur region.
(AP, 2/3/08)(AFP, 2/3/08)
2008 Feb 3, In southern China
railway service inched back to normal, a day after one person died
in a stampede by frustrated train passengers who were stranded for
days because of snow ahead of an important holiday.
2008 Feb 3, Egyptian troops
closed the last breach in Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip, ending
11 days of free movement for Palestinian residents of the blockaded
2008 Feb 3, In southwest
Germany an apartment building fire killed at least nine people, five
of them children, and left 20 people hospitalized in Ludwigshafen.
2008 Feb 3, In western India a
four-story building collapsed in Ahmadabad, killing eight people and
injuring another 12 after a warning to evacuate days before went
2008 Feb 3, Iraq's presidency
council issued a controversial law that allows lower-ranking former
Baath party members to reclaim government jobs, the final step for
the first US-backed benchmark approved by parliament. A senior
Interior Ministry official and his bodyguard were wounded and his
driver was killed by a bomb planted on his car. A mortar round
slammed into a street in a northeastern section of the capital,
killing an Iraqi soldier on foot patrol. An Iraqi policeman was
killed in a drive-by shooting near Kut.
2008 Feb 3, Israeli forces
opened fire across the Lebanese border, killing one person and
wounding another. The Israeli military said it was responding to
fire apparently from drug smugglers on the Lebanese side.
2008 Feb 3, In Italy Ernesto
Illy (82), the longtime head of Italian coffee giant illycaffe SpA,
died. A chemist and son of Francesco Illy, who founded the company
in 1933, Ernesto traveled the world in search of the best blend of
2008 Feb 3, Police said
Japanese investigators found insecticide on the outside of six bags
of Chinese-made dumplings in Japan after separate dumplings made by
the same company sickened 10 people there.
2008 Feb 3, The leader of
Kenya's opposition called for the African Union to send peacekeepers
to help stem violence sparked by the country's disputed presidential
2008 Feb 3, In Nigeria fighters
from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND)
attacked a military houseboat stationed at the Shell Petroleum Tora
manifold in Bayelsa state of Nigeria. The attack killed three
2008 Feb 3, Two strong
earthquake shook the African Great Lakes region, killing at least 37
people in Rwanda and six in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
(AFP, 2/3/08)(AFP, 2/4/08)
2008 Feb 3, Serbs voted in a
knife-edge presidential election that could decide whether their
country turns its back on the West in response to the imminent loss
of the breakaway province of Kosovo. Boris Tadic took 50.5% of votes
cast to beat nationalist Tomislav Nikolic by about 100,000 votes.
(AP, 2/3/08)(Reuters, 2/4/08)
2008 Feb 3, In Somalia a
roadside bomb killed eight civilians and wounded nine others when it
exploded near a minibus full of passengers in war-ravaged Mogadishu.
2008 Feb 3, In Sri Lanka a
female suicide bomber attacked the main railway station in the
capital of Colombo, killing at least 15 people and wounding 93
others. The dead included 7 students and their baseball coach killed
on the eve of Freedom Day.
(AP, 2/3/08)(AFP, 2/5/08)(Econ, 2/9/08, p.66)
2008 Feb 3, Thailand's new PM
Sundaravej said he will also become the defense minister in a
soon-to-be unveiled Cabinet to deter the military from staging a
coup against his government.
2008 Feb 4, President Bush
unveiled a $3.1 trillion budget that supports sizable increases in
military spending to fight the war on terrorism and protects his
signature tax cuts. Bush says the plan will keep the US economy
growing and protect the US militarily.
2008 Feb 4, In Utah Thomas S.
Monson (80) was introduced as the 16th president of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had become known for his
folksy storytelling as he ascended through church ranks.
2008 Feb 4, Platinum soared
above $1,800 an ounce for the first time as investors bet that a
power shortage in South Africa will tighten global supply for the
metal used in jewelry and automobiles.
2008 Feb 4, Intel said it has
built a new chip with a record 2 billion transistors. Its new
quad-core Itanium processor will operate at frequencies up to 2
(SFC, 2/5/08, p.C2)
2008 Feb 4, Afghan and foreign
troops conducted two raids on the homes of suspected Taliban
militants, leaving 10 people dead, including women and children. A
separate clash in southern Uruzgan province left nine suspected
2008 Feb 4, The chief Aruban
prosecutor said a hidden-camera interview with a Dutch student
saying missing teenager Natalee Holloway was dead and that he had a
friend dump her body at sea is admissible in court. The tape, which
was first broadcast the previous evening on Dutch television,
appeared to spur the investigation.
2008 Feb 4, In Chad government
forces and rebels clashed for a third day in the capital of
N'Djamena with gunfire and shelling heard throughout the city.
2008 Feb 4, In Chile Gen.
Gonzalo Santelices, head of the Santiago army garrison, resigned
amid accusations that he was involved in a case dating back to the
nation's military dictatorship. Santelices had acknowledged that as
a young lieutenant in October, 1973, he followed orders and
transferred 14 prisoners from a jail in northern Chile to a desert
area where they were executed by firing squad.
2008 Feb 4, Hundreds of
thousands of Colombians wearing white T-shirts marched in their
homeland and abroad to demand that FARC, the country's largest rebel
group, stop kidnapping people and release those it holds.
2008 Feb 4, Tata Guines
(b.1930), Cuban conga drummer, died. His six decade career helped
popularize Afro-Cuban rhythms worldwide.
2008 Feb 4, Dominican merchants
closed a popular border market that caters to Haitians, punishing
their impoverished neighbor for banning Dominican poultry and egg
imports following an outbreak of avian flu.
2008 Feb 4, EU nations gave
preliminary approval to plans to send a 1,800-strong policing and
administration mission to Kosovo to replace the current UN mission.
2008 Feb 4, Egyptian forces and
Palestinian gunmen exchanged fire at the Gaza-Egypt border, killing
one person and wounding 59 others a day after Cairo closed the
breached frontier with the Hamas-run enclave.
2008 Feb 4, The UN Security
Council sent a "firm and unwavering demand" that Eritrea immediately
lift fuel restrictions hampering the efforts of peacekeepers
monitoring a tense buffer zone between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
2008 Feb 4, India and Pakistan
signed an agreement to exchange security information, opening up a
new channel of communication between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
2008 Feb 4, Iran said it
launched a research rocket and unveiled its first major space
center, which will be used to launch research satellites.
2008 Feb 4, At least 3 Iraqis
were killed and one child was injured after American soldiers
stormed a tiny one-room house in the village of Adwar, 10 miles
south of Tikrit, and opened fire. Iraqi police, relatives and
neighbors said a couple and their son (19) were shot to death in
their beds. Iraqi police said two young girls were wounded and one
died the next day at a hospital.
2008 Feb 4, In Israel a suicide
bomber blew himself up in Dimona, the southern town that houses
Israel's secretive nuclear reactor. An Israeli woman (73) was killed
and 7 other people wounded. Police killed a 2nd attacker before he
had a chance to detonate his explosives belt. An Israeli response
killed 9 armed Hamas men.
(AP, 2/4/08)(Econ, 2/9/08, p.54)
2008 Feb 4, Kenya said violence
over disputed elections had eased enough to lift a monthlong ban on
live television broadcasts. The fighting has killed over 1,000
people and made 300,000 homeless since the Dec. 27 presidential
election. Violence continued as former UN secretary-general Kofi
Annan said the government and governing party have rejected his
choice to lead mediation efforts. At least 7 people were killed
overnight in battles between Kisii and Kalenjin communities 155
miles west of the capital.
2008 Feb 4, In Pakistan a
suicide bomber on a motorbike rammed into a minibus carrying
security personnel, detonating a blast that killed at least six
people and wounded more than 30 in the latest attack in the
Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi.
2008 Feb 4, In the Philippines
at least 7 civilians, including four children, were killed during a
military operation against al-Qaida-linked militants on southern
2008 Feb 4, In Serbia Boris
Tadic celebrated his re-election as president by pledging to stay on
a pro-Western course despite nationalist anger over a looming
declaration of independence by Kosovo province.
2008 Feb 4, In northeastern Sri
Lanka a roadside bomb attack blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels tore
through a civilian bus. 14 people were killed and 15 injured in the
Freedom day attack. According to the defense ministry, the rebels
have lost at least 913 fighters since the beginning of the year,
compared with just 37 government soldiers killed.
(AP, 2/4/08)(AFP, 2/5/08)
2008 Feb 4, In southern
Thailand a bomb exploded outside an Islamic boarding school, killing
one person and wounding 12. A separate bombing wounded six people,
in the latest violence attributed to an Islamic separatist rebellion
that has entered its fifth year.
2008 Feb 4, Turkey’s warplanes
bombed some 70 Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq.
2008 Feb 4, Ugandan rebels from
the Lord's Resistance Army killed 136 people and looted property
during an attack in and around Kajo-Keji in southern Sudan. In March
officials said Sudanese renegades frustrated with not being absorbed
into the military -- and not Ugandan rebels initially suspected --
were behind the attacks in south Sudan.
(AFP, 2/8/08)(AFP, 3/15/08)
2008 Feb 4, Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon said the UN has transferred $161 million from the
defunct oil-for-food program to a development program for Iraq.
2008 Feb 5, The US Treasury
Dept. said it is imposing financial sanctions against family members
of the military-run government of Myanmar and individuals it
identified as key members of the financial empire of Tay Za.
(SFC, 2/6/08, p.A7)
2008 Feb 5, Obama won 13 Super
Tuesday states; Clinton, eight plus American Samoa. Clinton won
California and scored the advantage in delegates, bring her total to
845 to Obama's 765, by the latest accounting. McCain won 9 states.
Romney won 7 states. Huckabee said he would press on with his White
House candidacy, emboldened by 5 wins in the South.
2008 Feb 5, A US Court of
Appeals rejected a decision giving Georgia a quarter of Lake
Lanier’s capacity over the coming decades. It said such changes
require congressional approval. Alabama and Florida had challenged
the initial 2003 agreement.
(WSJ, 2/6/08, p.A10)
2008 Feb 5, Storms swept across
southeast US as Super Tuesday primaries were ending. At least 31
people were killed in Tennessee, 13 in Arkansas, 7 in Kentucky and
four in Alabama. It was one of the 15 worst tornado death tolls
since 1950, and the nation's deadliest barrage of tornadoes since 76
people were killed in Pennsylvania and Ohio on May 31, 1985. The
death toll rose to 59.
(AP, 2/6/08)(AP, 2/7/08)(WSJ, 2/8/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 5, Renewed recession
fears followed the release of US service sector data from the
Institute of Supply Management. It showed activity moved rapidly
into contraction in January.
2008 Feb 5, In southern
Afghanistan a roadside bomb hit a US-led coalition vehicle in
Helmand province, killing one soldier and wounding two others.
2008 Feb 5, A Bangladesh
official said Abdul Kader Mollah, an employee of Titas Gas
Distribution Company, the country’s biggest state-owned gas company,
allegedly used his position to pocket a colossal 145 million dollars
in bribes over 12 years. Mollah at the time earned a mere 100
dollars a month.
2008 Feb 5, Senior researchers
at Britain's International Institute for Strategic Studies warned
that "neo-Taliban" groups operating in Pakistan's tribal areas may
soon become a global menace.
2008 Feb 5, British scientists
said they have created human embryos containing DNA from two women
and a man in a procedure that researchers hope might be used one day
to produce embryos free of inherited diseases.
2008 Feb 5, Chinese Premier Wen
Jiabao said "final victory" was in sight with transportation
returning to normal after the worst winter in decades, but power
outages remained a problem for millions. the former communist party
boss of Olympic host city Qingdao was sentenced to life in prison
for accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Du
Shicheng was found guilty of taking $870,000 worth of bribes from
2000 to January 2006 while serving as the port city's most powerful
(AP, 2/5/08)(AP, 2/6/08)
2008 Feb 5, In Guatemala 5 bus
drivers were shot dead, each while driving passengers on different
main roads into Guatemala City. 7 more were killed the following
day, prompting their colleagues to go on strike for several days.
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.40)
2008 Feb 5, Ching Cheong (58),
a Hong Kong journalist charged with spying for Taiwan, was released
from prison in mainland China after being detained for nearly three
2008 Feb 5, A new Iraqi flag,
stripped of the three green stars of Saddam Hussein's toppled Baath
party, was hoisted over the Iraqi Cabinet building in a symbolic
break with the past nearly five years after the US-led invasion. In
Taji, north of Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives
near the convoy of a sheik working with US forces, killing two of
his followers. Those killed were members of the Taji Awakening
2008 Feb 5, An Israeli
airstrike in response to Qassam rockets killed 7 Hamas police
officers near Khan Yunis. A barrage of rockets followed and battered
Sderot less than a half mile from the Gaza fence, seriously wounding
a woman just before the arrival of President Shimon Peres.
(AP, 2/5/08)(SFC, 2/6/08, p.A7)(SFC, 2/7/08,
2008 Feb 5, In Mozambique one
person was killed and 63 were wounded in Maputo when police opened
fire in a bid to break up violent protests against increases in bus
fares. The local council of Tete said an outbreak of diarrhea in the
flood-hit city has claimed the lives of 64 people since early
(AP, 2/5/08)(AFP, 2/5/08)
2008 Feb 5, Maharishi Mahesh
Yogi, a guru to the Beatles who introduced the West to
transcendental meditation, died at his home in the Dutch town of
(AP, 2/6/08)(Econ, 2/16/08, p.95)
2008 Feb 5, In Rwanda Theoneste
Niyitegeka, a doctor and one-time possible presidential candidate,
was sentenced to 15 years in jail for his role in the country's 1994
2008 Feb 5, Serbia's coalition
government was on the verge of collapse over the European Union's
plans to send a mission to Kosovo province.
2008 Feb 5, In northeastern
Somalia grenade attack killed 21 people and wounded 100 in Bossaso,
2008 Feb 5, A South African
court sentenced Daniel Geiges (69), a Swiss engineer, for his part
in an international nuclear smuggling ring. Geiges was given a
13-year suspended sentence on charges relating to a network run by
disgraced Pakistan nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan. Geiges' former boss
and co-accused, German engineer Gerhard Wisser was given an 18-year
suspended sentenced last year in a plea agreement for his role in
2008 Feb 5, In South Africa 12
patients, including two children, were killed when their minibus
overturned en route to a hospital in South Africa's Northern Cape
2008 Feb 5, Simba Makoni, a
senior member of Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party, said he would run
for president at the March 29 election in the first major internal
challenge to Robert Mugabe in 20 years.
2008 Feb 5, UN officials said
Ethiopia and Bangladesh have offered to jump-start the UN
peacekeeping mission in Darfur by loaning it helicopters to fly
troops and supplies around the vast region in western Sudan.
2008 Feb 6, The US SEC settled
with David Li, head of the Bank of East Asia, charges of insider
trading regarding last year’s acquisition of Down Jones by News
Corp. Michael Leung, another Hong Kong tycoon, and his family also
settled for $8.1 million in disgorged profits and a similar amount
(Econ, 2/9/08, p.83)
2008 Feb 6, The play “Betrayed”
by George Packer opened at Manhattan's Culture Project. It was based
on his article in the New Yorker concerning Iraqis, who have worked
with American forces.
2008 Feb 6, Samba group Beija
Flor was declared Brazil's carnival champion for the fifth time in
six years. While Beija Flor's dancers were topless, the judges drew
the line at going bottomless, penalizing the rival Sao Clemente
group for breaking a rule against display of genitalia during its
2008 Feb 6, PM Gordon Brown
announced that evidence gathered through wiretapping will be allowed
in British courts for the first time under proposals aimed at
bringing more terrorism suspects to justice.
2008 Feb 6, In China the Year
of the Pig ended at midnight making way for Year of the Rat.
2008 Feb 6, Congo arrested and
turned over for trial Mathieu Ngudjolo, an army colonel and former
rebel leader accused of leading a deadly 2003 attack on a village in
the country's lawless east. Ngudjolo was expected to arrive at the
International Criminal Court in the Hague the next day.
2008 Feb 6, Ecuador's
Tungurahua volcano shot columns of ash miles into the air, as
officials ordered the evacuation of 3,000 villagers living near its
2008 Feb 6, In France 7 doctors
and pharmacists went on trial for the deaths of more than 100 young
people who died of a brain-destroying disease after being treated
with tainted human growth hormones.
2008 Feb 6, Iraqi and US
officials said videotapes seized during US raids on suspected
al-Qaida in Iraq hide-outs show the terror group training young boys
to kidnap and assassinate civilians. A roadside bomb exploded near a
police convoy transporting suspected Shiite militia fighters south
of Baghdad, killing four passers-by and wounding nine other people.
At least 19 people were killed or found dead across the country. The
US military said that its troops, along with Iraqi forces, had
killed seven suspected insurgents and detained 45 others in five
days of raids across Iraq. The US military said videos seized from
suspected al-Qaida in Iraq hideouts show militants training children
who appear as young as 10 to kidnap and kill. A US soldier killed by
a roadside bomb in western Baghdad.
(AP, 2/6/08)(AP, 2/7/08)
2008 Feb 6, Israel launched
airstrikes against militants firing rockets from the Gaza Strip on
and vowed to maintain a war "on all fronts" until the territory's
Hamas rulers halt attacks. Hamas rockets wounded two young sisters
at Kibbutz Beeri.
(AP, 2/6/08)(SFC, 2/7/08, p.A4)
2008 Feb 6, Italy's Pres.
Giorgio Napolitano dissolved parliament, clearing the way for early
elections just two years after the last parliamentary vote. Premier
Romano Prodi will continue as caretaker premier until the election.
2008 Feb 6, The Mozambican
government announced that it was scrapping a planned increase in bus
fares as the death toll from riots sparked by the price hikes rose
2008 Feb 6, In Nigeria armed
men killed a policeman in an overnight attack and kidnapped the wife
of a prominent politician in Port Harcourt. She was released 2 days
(AFP, 2/6/08)(AFP, 2/9/08)
2008 Feb 6, A coalition of
Taliban militants in northwestern Pakistan declared an "indefinite"
cease-fire in fighting against security forces. The government said
it was preparing for peace talks. A Pakistani army helicopter
crashed in the same region, killing three generals and five other
soldiers. Gunmen on a motorbike shot dead a ethnic Pashtun
politician in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi, raising
tensions ahead of elections later this month.
(AP, 2/6/08)(AFP, 2/6/08)
2008 Feb 6, A Russian court
suspended the trial of Vasily Aleksanian, an ailing former executive
of the dismantled oil giant Yukos, but refused to release him from
jail to be treated for AIDS-related cancer and tuberculosis.
2008 Feb 6, In eastern
Switzerland 2 paintings by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) worth nearly
five million Swiss francs (4.5 million dollars, 3.1 million euros)
were stolen from a museum. The two oil paintings, "Tete de Cheval"
from 1962 and "Verre et pichet" from 1944, were stolen from a
cultural centre in the eastern town of Pfaeffikon.
2008 Feb 6, Thailand made an
uneasy return to democracy with the swearing-in of a Cabinet
dominated by loyalists to the prime minister ousted nearly 17 months
ago in a military coup. Suspected Muslim insurgents detonated a bomb
near a Chinese shrine in southern Thailand, killing one soldier and
wounding six other people.
2008 Feb 6, Ukraine's main
opposition party vowed to continue its blockade of parliament, a day
after fist fights and protests over NATO membership caused the
president to cancel his state of the nation speech.
2008 Feb 7, The US Congress
passed an emergency plan that rushed rebates of $600 to $1,200 to
most taxpayers and $300 checks to disabled veterans, the elderly and
other low-income people. President Bush indicated he would sign the
2008 Feb 7, The US said it was
barring 10 leading Kenyan politicians from entering the US, the
first time Washington has blamed them for the postelection violence
that has brought the African country to the brink of collapse.
2008 Feb 7, Mitt Romney, former
governor of Massachusetts, suspended his campaign for the Republican
(SFC, 2/8/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 7, US prosecutors said
Merck will pay $671 million to settle claims it overcharged
government health programs for 4 drugs and gave doctors fees and
gifts to induce them to prescribe the drugs. The case was triggered
when a sales manager filed suit in 2001 and a Louisiana doctor
(SFC, 2/8/08, p.C2)
2008 Feb 7, In Los Angeles a
man barricaded himself in a house after telling police he had killed
3 relatives, then opened fire on a SWAT team, killing one officer
and wounding another. Randall Simmons (51) was the first SWAT
officer killed in the line of duty in the unit’s 41-year history.
(AP, 2/7/08)(SFC, 2/8/08, p.A4)
2008 Feb 7, In Port Wentworth,
Georgia, an explosion and fire at a sugar refinery owned by Imperial
Sugar, based in Sugar Land, Texas, left 11 people dead. Imperial had
acquired Savannah Foods & Industries, the producer of Dixie
Crystals, in 1997. The acquisition doubled the size of the company,
making it the largest processor and refiner of sugar in the US.
(AP, 2/8/08)(SFC, 2/11/08, p.A10)(AP, 2/24/08)
2008 Feb 7, In Kirkwood,
Missouri, a gunman stormed a council meeting, yelled "Shoot the
mayor!" and opened fire, critically wounding Mayor Mike Swoboda
(69), killing two police officers and three city officials. Swoboda
died on Sep 6. Charles Le "Cookie" Thornton, who had lost a
free-speech lawsuit against the St. Louis suburb 10 days earlier,
was fatally shot by law enforcers. He had claimed in the past city
leaders stifled and harassed him.
(AP, 2/8/08)(SFC, 9/7/08, p.A3)
2008 Feb 7, In Portsmouth,
Ohio, William Michael Layne (56) stabbed his estranged wife in front
of her 5th grade class and girl friend in an alley behind her home
and then shot himself dead in a standoff with police. Both women
were in critical condition.
2008 Feb 7, In Afghanistan a
suicide car bomb targeting a NATO convoy left three soldiers lightly
wounded in eastern Khost province. A bungled suicide attack hurt two
civilians in southwestern Nimroz province.
2008 Feb 7, In eastern Algeria
suspected Islamist militants gunned down eight police officers in a
late night ambush outside the village of Ain R'Ghiya. In a separate
morning attack, another officer was killed and one injured in the
village of Boukalfa.
2008 Feb 7, A new security pact
between Australia and Indonesia came into force at a ceremony in
Perth attended by the foreign ministers of the at-times testy
2008 Feb 7, Belize's opposition
United Democratic Party won a landslide victory in general
elections, ending PM Said Musa's 10 years in office. UDP leader Dean
Barrow was to be sworn in as the country's first black prime
minister the next day.
(AP, 2/8/08)(Econ, 2/16/08, p.44)
2008 Feb 7, Bolivia's foreign
minister said that the world has an obligation to send aid to
flood-ravaged areas, linking a disaster that has killed 49 people to
global climate change.
2008 Feb 7, The Bank of
England’s monetary policy committee (MPC) lowered interest rates
from 5,75% to 5.5%.
(Econ, 2/9/08, p.63)
2008 Feb 7, Chadian President
Idriss Deby Itno issued a "solemn call" for a European peacekeeping
force for Darfur refugees, to deploy as soon as possible. The
president also said he was "ready to pardon" six French aid workers
convicted in December of trying to kidnap more than 100 children
they said were orphans from Darfur.
(AP, 2/7/08)(AFP, 2/7/08)
2008 Feb 7, Chile announced it
will try to head off power rationing by cutting electrical voltage,
distributing efficient light bulbs and extending daylight savings
2008 Feb 7, In Egypt at least
29 people, including children, were killed and 16 injured in a
traffic pileup blamed on early morning fog southeast of Cairo.
2008 Feb 7, In Greece senior
clergy elected Metropolitan Bishop Ieronymos of Thebes as the new
leader of the powerful Orthodox Church to succeed the late
2008 Feb 7, In western India
Dynaneshwar Sathawane, a local leader of the ruling Congress party,
was stripped, stoned and beaten to death by a mob during a rally of
nearly 500 people in Maharashtra state.
2008 Feb 7, Experts said Iran's
nuclear project has developed its own version of an advanced
centrifuge to churn out enriched uranium much faster than its
2008 Feb 7, In Iraq gunmen
stormed a house near Baqouba, separated out the women and children
inside and killed three brothers, all members of a US-backed
neighborhood watch group. A roadside bomb killed three awakening
council members and wounded eight others south of Baghdad. A
truckload of weapons, ammunition and explosives were seized at an
Iraqi police checkpoint at the entrance to Karbala. US troops
captured an alleged Shiite militia leader and three other suspects
in a raid south of Baghdad. 15 suspected militants were detained in
sweeps through Sadr City, and one person was killed.
(AP, 2/7/08)(AP, 2/8/08)
2008 Feb 7, Israeli ground
forces backed by warplanes exchanged fire with Hamas gunmen in the
northern Gaza Strip, killing a teacher and six militants in
escalating violence that is hobbling peace efforts. Israeli troops
entered the town of Qabatiya before dawn to arrest an Islamic Jihad
militant. Soldiers shot a mentally disabled man, Taysir Nazal (56),
as he emerged from his home, in his legs. Nazal died from his wounds
on Feb 14.
(AP, 2/7/08)(AP, 2/14/08)
2008 Feb 7, Authorities in
Italy and the US conducted raids targeting dozens of alleged members
of Mafia clans who controlled drug trafficking between the two sides
of the Atlantic. A 169-page indictment in the US went back 3 decades
and included at least 7 murders. The main targets in NY included 3
of the “five families” controlling organized crime in America: the
Genovese, Bonanno and Gambino families.
(AP, 2/7/08)(Econ, 2/16/08, p.41)
2008 Feb 7, Libya’s National
Oil Corp and Indonesia signed a deal for the north African state to
supply the world's most populous Muslim nation with crude oil for
the next 20 years.
2008 Feb 7, Mexican soldiers
seized nearly 10 tons of marijuana, a machine gun, scores of assault
rifles and three grenades in a raid just across the border from
2008 Feb 7, NATO defense
ministers held talks on Afghanistan in Lithuania. France agreed to
help Canada in fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.
2008 Feb 7, Nepalese
authorities arrested Amit Kumar, the alleged mastermind of a shadowy
organ transplant operation in India that illegally removed hundreds
of kidneys, sometimes from unwilling donors, at a jungle resort in
southern Nepal (see Jan 30).
2008 Feb 7, Pakistani police
arrested two suspects in the suicide attack that killed opposition
leader Benazir Bhutto. A team from Scotland Yard returned to
Pakistan to report the conclusions of their probe into the
assassination. 3 men were killed and 13 others wounded when a bomb
exploded in southwestern Baluchistan province.
2008 Feb 7, The OSCE’s election
monitoring organization said that it will not observe Russia's
presidential election next month because of the "severe
restrictions" imposed by the Kremlin.
2008 Feb 7, In Sri Lanka
government troops attacked rebel bunkers along the northern front
lines, triggering gunbattles that killed 34 rebels and one soldier.
2008 Feb 7, Tanzania's PM
Edward Lowassa and two Cabinet ministers resigned over a corruption
scandal involving a contract with a nonexistent firm supposedly
based in the US. Pres. Jakaya Kikwete dissolved the entire Cabinet
as a result.
2008 Feb 7, Turkey’s lawmakers
voted to approve a constitutional amendment allowing female students
to enter universities wearing Islamic head scarves, a move that many
secular Turks view as an attempt to impose religion on their daily
2008 Feb 7, The WHO warned in a
new report that the "tobacco epidemic" is growing and could claim 1
billion lives by the end of the century unless governments
dramatically step up efforts to curb smoking.
2008 Feb 8, Pres. Bush reached
his lowest approval rating in an Associated Press-Ipsos poll as only
30% said they like the job he is doing, including an all-time low in
his support by Republicans. Congress' approval fell to just 22%,
equaling its poorest grade in the survey.
2008 Feb 8, It was reported
that Exxon Mobil Corp. has obtained a court order freezing over $12
billion in bank accounts and assets in Europe, the Caribbean and New
York belonging to Venezuela’s state oil company in a dispute over
compensation for expropriated assets.
(WSJ, 2/8/08, p.A3)
2008 Feb 8, The Nebraska
Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that the electric chair is cruel and unusual
punishment. The state planned to seek a new method of execution.
(SFC, 2/9/08, p.A2)
2008 Feb 8, In Louisiana Latina
Williams (23) shot and killed 2 fellow students, Karsheika Graves
(21) and Taneshia Butler (26), at Louisiana Technical College.
(SFC, 2/9/08, p.A4)
2008 Feb 8, The Nebraska
Supreme Court declared the electric chair unconstitutional.
(Econ, 2/16/08, p.39)
2008 Feb 8, A suicide car
bomber blew himself up near a convoy of Afghan troops, killing one
soldier and a child who was nearby. Another four soldiers and a
child were also wounded in the attack in central Ghazni province.
2008 Feb 8, Australia's widely
criticized "Pacific Solution" policy of holding asylum seekers on
remote islands ended when the last detainees flew out of Nauru to
live in Australia.
2008 Feb 8, In western Austria
a fire engulfed a home for the elderly, killing at least 11 people.
2008 Feb 8, Canada said it
planned to keep its 2,500-strong military mission in Afghanistan
until some time in 2011, two years longer than initially scheduled.
2008 Feb 8, The UN said it is
being forced to prepare an imminent pullout from Eritrea and plans
to relocate all its peacekeeping troops there across the border in
2008 Feb 8, Former UN chief
Kofi Annan, who is mediating talks between Kenya's political rivals,
said they were close to a deal aimed at ending weeks of postelection
bloodshed but no power-sharing agreement had been reached yet.
2008 Feb 8, France’s President
Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to send thousands of extra police and more
than $700 million in aid to neglected, heavily immigrant
neighborhoods that exploded in riots in 2005 and 2006.
2008 Feb 8, In the
Indian-controlled part of Kashmir avalanches killed at least eight
people and forced hundreds more to leave their snowbound villages.
2008 Feb 8, Iraqi President
Jalal Talabani welcomed an expected Russian decision to write off 91
percent of Iraq's estimated $13 billion debt, calling it a "historic
turning point" in relations between the two countries. 5 American
soldiers were killed in two roadside bombings, 4 in Baghdad and one
in Tamim province.
(AP, 2/8/08)(AP, 2/9/08)
2008 Feb 8, In New Zealand a
knife-wielding woman (33), originally from Somalia, tried to hijack
a regional domestic flight, stabbing both pilots and threatening to
blow up the twin-propeller plane before she was subdued.
2008 Feb 8, A presidential
statement said Nigeria has approved a new policy requiring gas
producers to direct a part of their output to the domestic market,
rather than exporting it.
2008 Feb 8, Scotland Yard
released a report saying that Pakistan's opposition leader Benazir
Bhutto died as a result of a suicide bomb blast, not a gunshot. The
findings supported the Pakistani government's version of the events.
2008 Feb 8, Palestinian
militants launched nearly 20 rockets at Israel hours after Israel
began cutting electricity to the Gaza Strip in an attempt to halt
2008 Feb 8, In Rwanda members
of the Chamber of Deputies (Lower House) of Parliament voted in
favor of a controversial new law aimed at stopping "genocide
ideology," a term for the outlook that perpetrators of genocide
foster to fan divisive hate campaigns between different groups of
Rwandans. Parliament adopted the law in June.
2008 Feb 8, In Sri Lanka
gunbattles along the front lines in the northern districts of
Jaffna, Mannar and Vavuniya killed 41 Tamil Tiger rebels and three
2008 Feb 8, The Sudanese
military said it bombed 3 towns in West Darfur while striking at
rebel forces. Rebels said Sudanese government aircraft, army and
militia attacked towns in West Darfur state, causing heavy civilian
casualties. A rebel chief said Sudanese troops backed by Janjaweed
militia left at least 150 dead and wounded in the assault. A
Sudanese employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC) was killed in Darfur. On March 20 the UN accused the Sudanese
army of looting towns and raping girls and women during the attacks
on Sirba, Sileia and Abu Suruj. The attacks killed at least 115
people and caused some 30,000 to flee their homes.
(AP, 2/8/08)(AFP, 2/8/08)(AFP, 2/12/08)(SFC,
2008 Feb 8, Officials said that
the WTO has ruled against the EU's import tariffs for bananas,
possibly opening the door to millions of dollars in US commercial
2008 Feb 9, Sen. Barack Obama
swept the Louisiana primary and caucuses in Nebraska and Washington
state, slicing into Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's slender delegate
lead in their historic race for the Democratic presidential
nomination. Obama also won almost 90% in the Virgin Islands. McCain
narrowly won Washington while Huckabee took Kansas along with a
narrow win in Louisiana.
(AP, 2/10/08)(SSFC, 2/10/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 9, In San Mateo
County, Ca., police found John Alfred Dennis Jr. (59), an Oakland
historian and respected college teacher, slain in a vehicle at
Montara State Beach. Troy Tyrone Thomas (43), the driver of the
vehicle, was arrested. Dennis had mentored Thomas for some years. On
July 7 Thomas pleaded guilty and faced life in prison.
(SFC, 2/11/08, p.D1)(SFC, 2/12/08, p.B1)(SFC,
2008 Feb 9, Michigan’s
unemployment rate topped the nation at 7.6%.
(Econ, 2/9/08, p.31)
2008 Feb 9, A massive fire in
London's famed Camden market caused extensive damage to the market
and area buildings.
2008 Feb 9, Egypt's highest
civil court ruled that 12 Coptic Christians who had converted to
Islam could return to their old faith, ending a yearlong legal
battle over the predominantly Muslim state's tolerance for
2008 Feb 9, The French
government suspended the use of genetically modified corn crops in
France while it awaits EU approval for a full ban.
2008 Feb 9, In Haiti a man
blamed for kidnappings in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Petionville
was pummeled with rocks and killed by neighbors in the seaside Cite
Soleil slum. The next day UN and Haitian police rescued a suspected
kidnapper (27) from a mob in downtown Port-au-Prince.
2008 Feb 9, In India Baba Amte
(93), founder of a leper center in Warora (1951), died at the center
in western Maharashtra state.
(SFC, 2/22/08, p.B9)(Econ, 3/1/08, p.93)
2008 Feb 9, A stampede at an
Indonesian punk rock concert left 10 people dead and dozens more
injured, most of them teenagers.
2008 Feb 9, Iraqi police killed
Abu Omar al-Dori, a local al-Qaida in Iraq leader, in his home in
Samarra. 12 decomposed bodies were discovered in a mass grave near
Baqouba. Iraqi police arrested 31 Shiite activists in early morning
raids south of Baghdad.
2008 Feb 9, An 8-year-old boy
lost his leg in a rocket attack on Sderot, one of the 11 rockets
fired at southern Israel. Four Israeli airstrikes after the attack
killed a Gaza gunman and targeted weapons-making operations of the
Islamic militant Hamas group.
2008 Feb 9, In Japan the
world's leading economies pledged to work together to secure
stability in volatile markets but brushed off the idea of a single
uniform remedy for the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations.
2008 Feb 9, Raila Odinga,
Kenya's opposition leader, demanded that Pres. Kibaki resign, a
sharp turnaround from his conciliatory tone during talks with the
government earlier this week.
2008 Feb 9, In northwestern
Pakistan a suicide bomber struck at an election rally in Peshawar,
killing 27 people and wounding more than 25.
(AP, 2/9/08)(AP, 2/10/08)
2008 Feb 9, Sudan and the
African Union-UN peacekeeping mission for Darfur signed an agreement
determining how the joint force will operate, capping weeks of
2008 Feb 9, Turkey’s parliament
voted to amend the constitution to lift a decades-old ban on Islamic
head scarves at Turkey's universities, despite fierce opposition
from the secular establishment.
2008 Feb 10, In the Grammy
Awards Amy Winehouse won five of the six awards for which she was
nominated. Album of the Year went to jazzman Herbie Hancock for his
Joni Mitchell tribute album. Barack Obama won best spoken word album
for the audio version of his book "The Audacity Of Hope: Thoughts On
Reclaiming The American Dream."
2008 Feb 10, Barack Obama added
the Maine Democratic presidential caucus to the three contests he
swept a day earlier against rival Hillary Rodham Clinton.
2008 Feb 10, Steve Gerber (80),
the comic book writer and creator whose signature character was the
alienated, cigar-chomping Howard the Duck, died in Las Vegas.
Gerber, who also co-created Marvel's "Omega the Unknown" and created
the 1980s animated series "Thundarr the Barbarian," suffered from
2008 Feb 10, Roy Scheider
(b.1932), actor and a one-time boxer, died. His broken nose and
pugnacious acting style made him a star in "The French Connection."
He later uttered "You're gonna need a bigger boat,” one of cinematic
history's most memorable lines in "Jaws.”
(AP, 2/11/08)(SFC, 2/11/08, p.A2)
2008 Feb 10, Ray J. Wu,
Chinese-born professor at Cornell Univ. and creator of a transgenic
(WSJ, 2/16/08, p.A6)
2008 Feb 10, State media
reported that China has lost about one tenth of its forest resources
to recent snow storms regarded as the most severe in half a century.
2008 Feb 10, The Africa Cup of
Nations, a biennial soccer tournament held this year in Ghana, ended
with Egypt’s defeat of Cameroon 1-0.
2008 Feb 10, In northern Iraq
car bombs and gunmen struck new US allies, police and civilians. At
least 80 people were reported killed or found dead in a spasm of
violence that coincided with a visit by US Defense Secretary Robert
Gates to Baghdad. A US soldier was killed in a roadside bombing. 8
masked gunmen wielding machine guns stormed the Sultan Palace Hotel
in Basra and seized a British reporter and his Iraqi interpreter.
(AP, 2/11/08)(SFC, 2/11/08, p.A14)(AP, 2/12/08)
2008 Feb 10, In Nigeria 6
people, including three policemen, were killed in a gun battle with
robbers in Nigeria's commercial city Lagos.
2008 Feb 10, Norway closed its
embassy in the Afghan capital because of terror threats.
2008 Feb 10, In South Korea a
fire destroyed the 610-year old wooden structure at the top of the
Namdaemun gate. The two-tiered wooden structure was renovated in the
1960s, when it was declared South Korea's top national treasure. The
next day police arrested a man, who admitted to the arson. Chae
Jong-ki (69) was later convicted of violating the Cultural
Properties Protection Law and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
(AP, 2/11/08)(SFC, 2/12/08, p.A16)(AP, 4/24/08)
2008 Feb 10, The UN refugee
agency said up to 12,000 "terrified" refugees from Sudan's Darfur
region have fled across the border to neighboring Chad after the
latest air strikes by the Sudanese military and thousands more may
be on their way.
2008 Feb 10, In Switzerland
armed robbers stole paintings by Cezanne, Degas, van Gogh and Monet
worth $163.2 million from the E.G. Buehrle Collection in Zurich, one
of Europe's finest private museums for Impressionist and
2008 Feb 10, President Hugo
Chavez threatened to cut off oil sales to the United States in an
"economic war" if Exxon Mobil Corp. wins court judgments to seize
billions of dollars in Venezuelan assets.
2008 Feb 11, A US defense
official, an ex-Boeing engineer and two others were charged in 2
separate spy cases with spying for China involving sensitive
military and aerospace secrets, including on the space shuttle.
Dongfan Chung, a longtime aerospace worker in Southern California,
was indicted for allegedly passing classified documents to China in
an elaborate espionage endeavor that spanned two decades and exposed
trade secrets from the space shuttle, the Delta IV rocket and the
C-17 military transport aircraft. In 2010 Chung was sentenced to
over 15 years in prison.
2/12/08, p.A3)(SFC, 2/9/10, p.A4)
2008 Feb 11, William Lerach
(61), a former partner at a well-known New York law firm, was
sentenced to two years in federal prison for his role in a lucrative
kickback scheme involving class-action lawsuits against some of the
nation's biggest corporations. Authorities said Lerach's former
firm, now known as Milberg Weiss, made an estimated $250 million
over two decades by filing legal actions on behalf of professional
plaintiffs who received kickbacks.
2008 Feb 11, It was reported
that Patricia Cornwell (51), crime novelist, was donating $1 million
to NYC’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice to help start a Crime
(WSJ, 2/11/08, p.B7)
2008 Feb 11, It was reported
that Ronald Fearing, Berkeley professor in electrical engineering,
has invented a tape-like substance based on the physics used by
geckos to scoot upside-down across ceilings.
(SFC, 2/11/08, p.C1)
2008 Feb 11, Dow Jones added
Chevron and Bank of America to its DJIA index in place of Altria
Group and Honeywell Int’l.
(SFC, 2/12/08, p.C1)
2008 Feb 11, Rep. Tom Lantos
(80) of California, the only Holocaust survivor to serve in
2008 Feb 11, Frank Piasecki
(b.1919), helicopter pioneer and test pilot, died. In 1940 he
co-founded P-V Engineering Forum (1940) with Howard Venzie. In 1960
Piasecki Helicopter Corp. merged with Boeing Airplane Co.
(WSJ, 2/16/08, p.A6)
2008 Feb 11, President Evo
Morales declared a US Embassy security officer to be an "undesirable
person" after reports that the officer asked an American scholar and
30 Peace Corps volunteers to pass along information about Cubans and
Venezuelans working in Bolivia.
2008 Feb 11, In London the
price of platinum struck an historic high nearing $1,900 on supply
disruptions caused by power shortages in South Africa, the white
metal's biggest producer.
2008 Feb 11, Chad's PM Nouradin
Koumakoye demanded that the international community remove refugees
who have fled to Chad from Sudan's Darfur region.
2008 Feb 11, A Cairo appeals
court acquitted Howayda Taha, an Al-Jazeera journalist sentenced to
six months over a film that highlighted torture in Egyptian police
stations, but it still upheld a fine against her.
2008 Feb 11, Rebel soldiers
shot and critically wounded East Timor's Pres. Jose Ramos-Horta, and
opened fire on PM Xanana Gusmao, in a failed coup attempt in the
recently independent nation. Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado and one of
his men were killed in the attack on the home of Ramos-Horta, while
one of the president's guards also died. In 2010 Angelita Pires
(43), an Australian woman, was cleared of the attempted
assassination. Prosecutors had stated that she had persuaded her
lover, rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, to mount the attack. 23 others
were sentenced to jail terms ranging from nine to 16 years. 4 others
(AP, 2/11/08)(AP, 3/3/10)
2008 Feb 11, Twin car bombs
struck near the compound of Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, one of Iraq's most
powerful Shiite politicians, killing at least six civilians and
2008 Feb 11, In Japan US Staff
Sergeant Tyrone Luther Hadnott was arrested after a 14-year-old girl
said he raped her in his car. Hadnott was released Feb 29 after the
girl withdrew her criminal complaint against him. He still faced a
US military investigation. On May 16 Hadnott (38) was found guilty
of abusive sexual conduct and sentenced to four years in prison.
(AFP, 2/12/08)(AP, 3/1/08)(AP, 5/16/08)
2008 Feb 11, Gunmen killed a
Nigerian naval officer and forced several others to dive for their
lives into the water in oil-rich southern Rivers State.
2008 Feb 11, Pakistani security
forces critically wounded Mansoor Dadullah, a top figure in the
Taliban militia, among six militants captured after a firefight near
the border. Nisar Ali Khan, an independent candidate running in next
week's parliamentary elections, was killed along with seven
supporters in a suicide attack in North Waziristan. Pakistani
lawyers began a nationwide boycott of the courts to pressure the
president to reinstate senior judges he sacked under a state of
emergency more than three months ago. Pakistani envoy, Tariq
Azizuddin, was heading to the Afghan capital Kabul with his driver
when they disappeared in the lawless Khyber tribal district.
Azizuddin was released on May 17. 2 technicians from the Pakistan
Atomic Energy Commission were abducted by masked men in the
(AP, 2/11/08)(AFP, 2/12/08)(AP, 5/17/08)
2008 Feb 11, Spanish police
arrested at least 13 members of the outlawed Basque separatist party
Batasuna in a crackdown on groups linked to the armed organization
ETA before next month's elections.
2008 Feb 11, Uruguay President
Tabare Vazquez ousted his ministers of defense, foreign affairs and
industry, saying he was seeking a better team for his final two
years in office.
2008 Feb 12, US Treasury Sec.
Henry Paulson and 6 major lenders announced a new initiative to help
seriously delinquent homeowners stave off foreclosure.
(SFC, 2/13/08, p.C1)
2008 Feb 12, Barack Obama won
75% of the vote in Washington DC, nearly two-thirds in Virginia and
approximately 60% in Maryland. McCain's victory in Virginia was a
relatively close one, the result of an outpouring of religious
conservatives who backed Mike Huckabee.
2008 Feb 12, A US federal
appeals court has overturned a statute outlawing sex toy sales in
Texas, one of the last states, all in the South, to retain such a
2008 Feb 12, The Writers Guild
of America voted to end their 3-month strike.
(SFC, 2/13/08, p.A4)
2008 Feb 12, US filmmaker
Steven Spielberg abandoned his role in the Beijing Olympics and a
host of prominent figures accused China of not doing enough to press
its ally Sudan to end devastating violence in Darfur.
2008 Feb 12, Speedo introduced
its new LZR Racer swimsuit. By June 38 of 42 world swimming records
were broken by swimmers wearing the suit.
(Econ, 6/14/08, p.100)(http://tinyurl.com/44xc9v)
2008 Feb 12, Brandon McInerney
(14) shot and killed Larry King, a gay classmate in Ventura County,
Ca. On Nov 21, 2011, McInerney pleaded guilty to the murder charge,
as well as one count each of voluntary manslaughter and use of a
firearm. On Dec 19 McInerney was sentenced to 21 years in
(SFC, 8/12/11, p.C5)(AP, 11/21/11)(AP, 12/19/11)
2008 Feb 12, General Motors
Corp. reported a $38.7 billion loss for 2007, the largest annual
loss ever for an automotive company, and said it is making a new
round of buyout offers to US hourly workers in hopes of replacing
some of them with lower-paid help.
2008 Feb 12, US astronauts
attached Europe’s $2 billion space lab to the int’l. space station.
(SFC, 2/12/08, p.A8)
2008 Feb 12, In Manhattan
psychologist Kathryn Faughey (56) died in her Upper East Side office
after being stabbed 15 times with a cleaver and knife. Psychiatrist
Kent Shinbach was also slashed in the attack. The assailant escaped.
David Tarloff (39) was arrested on Feb 16. He blamed Faughey for
having institutionalized him 17 years earlier.
(SFC, 2/14/08, p.A3)(SSFC, 2/17/08, p.A2)
2008 Feb 12, In Afghanistan’s
Khost province a roadside bomb killed 4 Afghan guards working for
the US military.
2008 Feb 12, England's
commissioner for children and a civil liberties group joined in on a
campaign to ban high-frequency devices intended to drive misbehaving
children away from shops and other areas.
2008 Feb 12, Badri
Patarkatsishvili (52), a Georgian tycoon, was found dead in his
mansion near London. Police said they were treating the death as
suspicious. He had claimed he was the target of assassination plot
after helping lead anti-government protests in his homeland. He had
built his fortune in Russia, where he became Berezovsky's business
partner. However, the two men claimed in British court documents
that the Russian government forced them to sell their stakes in oil
company Sibneft, Russian Aluminum and television channel ORT for a
fraction of their value. Interim tests indicated that
Patarkatsishvili died of natural causes.
(AP, 2/13/08)(AP, 2/14/08)
2008 Feb 12, In Canada at least
22 people, including a minor, have been charged in what police said
was one of Central Canada's biggest investigations of Internet child
2008 Feb 12, China and Russia
challenged the United States at a disarmament debate by formally
presenting a plan to ban weapons in space, a proposal that
Washington has called a diplomatic ploy by the two nations to gain a
2008 Feb 12, In southwestern
China a bus veered off a highway and plunged down a 160-foot cliff
into a river, killing at least 21 people.
2008 Feb 12, Danish police said
they have arrested three people suspected of plotting to kill one of
the 12 cartoonists behind the Prophet Muhammad drawings that sparked
a deadly uproar in the Muslim world two years ago.
2008 Feb 12, East Timor
declared a state of emergency. Australian troops and a warship
arrived to boost security after rebel attacks on the country's two
top leaders left the president in "extremely serious" condition with
2008 Feb 12, European Union
antitrust regulators raided Intel Corp. and computer resellers
searching for evidence that they may have broken cartel or monopoly
2008 Feb 12, The EU resumed
deployment of a much-awaited peacekeeping force for two countries
neighboring Sudan's troubled Darfur region.
2008 Feb 12, President Nicolas
Sarkozy said France is ready to transfer technology to Brazil so
that an attack submarine, helicopters and the Rafale fighter plane
can be built there.
2008 Feb 12, Hisham Michwit
Hamdan (27), an Iraqi journalist who disappeared after leaving his
offices two days ago to buy some supplies, was found shot to death
in central Baghdad. A police officer was killed and two others
wounded when gunmen in a speeding car attacked their patrol just
south of Basra. Gunmen opened fire on a school bus in Diyala
province, killing two girls and a boy and wounding the driver and
two other pupils. The attack happened as the bus traveled between
the predominantly Sunni town of Kanaan and the mainly Shiite town of
Balad Ruz. Iraqi police and forensics officials said a mass grave
with 13 decomposed bodies was uncovered in an orchard near
2008 Feb 12, Israel said it
plans to build 1,000 homes in East Jerusalem, angering Palestinians
who said the move undermines efforts for a peace deal.
(WSJ, 2/13/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 12, A boat was wrecked
off southern Morocco leaving 24 African migrants missing, but 11
others were rescued.
2008 Feb 12, In Myanmar
supporters of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi protested to demand
democracy in Myanmar, days after the military regime said it would
hold elections in 2010 under a new constitution likely to entrench
the junta's powerful position.
2008 Feb 12, In Pakistan new
army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani ordered the withdrawal of
military officers from the government’s civil departments.
(SFC, 2/13/08, p.A4)
2008 Feb 12, The Philippine
government called for calm amid growing street protests calling for
President Gloria Arroyo to resign over a corruption scandal which
has implicated her husband and a close aide.
2008 Feb 12, Russia agreed to
eliminate a murky middleman company from its gas trade with Ukraine
in exchange for 50% share of Ukraine’s domestic gas market.
(WSJ, 2/13/08, p.A5)
2008 Feb 12, In northern
Somalia gunmen kidnapped a German aid worker after exchanging fire
with his bodyguards. The next day Somaliland forces freed him from
(AP, 2/12/08)(AP, 2/13/08)
2008 Feb 12, South Africa’s
security minister announced that the government is dissolving an
elite graft-busting unit set up by prosecutors, in the latest twist
in a struggle between South Africa's crime-fighting agencies.
2008 Feb 12, South Korea held
its first-ever trial by jury as part of reform measures aimed at
increasing confidence in the judicial system. A nine-member jury in
Daegu heard the case of a man (27) accused of assaulting a woman
(70) while trying to burglarize her house. By South Korean law, the
findings of jury are nonbinding, with the final verdict still
resting in the hands of a judge, as in the past. Juries will be used
at the request of defendants in some criminal cases.
2008 Feb 12, Tiger rebels
shelled a key base in northern Sri Lanka, killing six soldiers and
wounding 10, as the defense ministry said the rebels sustained heavy
losses in new fighting.
2008 Feb 12, In Syria Imad
Mughniyeh (45), the suspected mastermind of dramatic attacks on the
US Embassy and US Marine barracks that killed hundreds of Americans
in Lebanon in the 1980s, died in a car bombing. Hezbollah and its
Iranian backers blamed Israel for the killing. Israel denied
involvement and said it was looking into the death. Mughniyeh, a
Lebanese Shia, was recruited by Ali Hassan Salameh (d.1979),
the chief of operations officer of Black September. In 2015 the
Washington Post reported that the CIA and Israel's spy agency Mossad
were behind the plot.
(AP, 2/13/08)(Econ, 6/7/14, p.88)(AFP, 1/31/15)
2008 Feb 12, Venezuela's state
petroleum company PDVSA said it suspended oil supplies to ExxonMobil
in retaliation for the US energy giant's effort to freeze billions
of dollars in global PDVSA assets.
2008 Feb 13, President Bush
signed legislation to rush rebates ranging from $300 to $1,200 to
millions of people, the centerpiece of government efforts to brace
the wobbly economy. First, though, you must file your 2007 tax
2008 Feb 13, A prosecutor in
Buffalo, NY, announced that a woman, who spent 13 years in prison
after being convicted of strangling her 13-year-old daughter, was
exonerated by forensic evidence showing she died of a cocaine
overdose. Lynn DeJac (44) insisted that a former boyfriend was
2008 Feb 13, NY Gov. Eliot
Spitzer hired a prostitute in Washington, DC, and paid her $4,300.
News of this broke on March 10, when he apologized to his family and
(WSJ, 3/11/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 13, In Afghanistan an
Italian soldier was killed in an ambush while he was distributing
food and clothes to civilians. A roadside bomb struck Afghan
security forces killing 3 people and wounding four in the Musa Qala
district. In western Afghanistan Taliban militants freed the last
six hostages from a group of 21 men abducted Feb 10, while they
hunted for rare birds in Farah province. US-led coalition swoops on
Taliban leaders in Uruzgan and Zabul provinces left several
insurgents dead. 2 civilians transporting construction materials
were blown up by a rebel bomb.
(AP, 2/13/08)(AFP, 2/14/08)
2008 Feb 13, Australians
watched a live broadcast of their government apologizing for
policies that degraded its indigenous people. PM Rudd said
Australians had reached a time in their history when they must face
up to their past to be able to cope with the future. Aborigines
numbered about 450,000 in Australia's population of 21 million.
2008 Feb 13, The WTO condemned
China for the first time for taxing imports of auto parts at the
same rate as foreign-made finished cars.
(SFC, 2/14/08, p.C3)
2008 Feb 13, In Colombia a
delegation of visiting US union leaders expressed alarm at what its
members called a steady erosion of labor rights in the world's
deadliest country for organized labor.
2008 Feb 13, The EU's top
justice official called for a massive shake-up of the bloc's border
security, recommending that all visitors be screened and
fingerprinted and a satellite surveillance system be set up to keep
illegal migrants out.
2008 Feb 13, In Greece
thousands of demonstrators marched through Athens and Thessaloniki
to protest government social security reforms as a Greek general
strike shut down schools, hospitals and all public services.
2008 Feb 13, Iraq's parliament
passed three key pieces of legislation that set a date for
provincial elections, allot $48 billion for 2008 spending, and
provide limited amnesty to detainees in Iraqi custody. Following the
session the parliament began a five-week holiday.
2008 Feb 13, In Italy police
raided sites in Calabria and issued arrest warrants for 57 people,
including politicians, bankers and businessmen, in the latest mafia
sweep targeting drug trafficking and extortion rackets.
2008 Feb 13, Kenya's rival
parties sequestered themselves at a luxury lodge in a game park as
they attempted to hammer out a peace deal to end weeks of bloodshed.
2008 Feb 13, Malaysia’s
government dissolved Parliament, opening the way for elections.
(WSJ, 2/14/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 13, In Nepal a
shortage of fuel prompted by strikes and protests in the south
forced the shutdown of much of the capital's public transportation
2008 Feb 13, In Nigeria at
least seven people were killed and several more were trapped when a
four-storey building collapsed in Lagos.
2008 Feb 13, In Pakistan a
roadside bomb exploded as a crowd was leaving a political rally in
the Swat Valley, killing one man and wounding a candidate for next
2008 Feb 13, Vuk Obradovic
(61), a former Yugoslav army general who was one of the opposition
leaders who toppled strongman Slobodan Milosevic, died.
2008 Feb 13, Zimbabwean
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai urged South African President
Thabo Mbeki to show some "courage" and pressure Robert Mugabe ahead
of next month's elections. Former finance minister Simba Makoni
pledged to heal the wounds of Zimbabwe as he unveiled his manifesto
for next month's election battle against veteran President Robert
2008 Feb 14, The US Mint
officially issued the Monroe dollar coin, the 5th of its
presidential dollar series.
(WSJ, 12/27/07, p.D6)
2008 Feb 14, New Mexico
announced that Hillary Clinton won the Feb 5 Democratic caucus
giving her 14 delegates to 12 for Obama.
(SFC, 2/15/08, p.A3)
2008 Feb 14, In DeKalb,
Illinois, former student Steven Kazmierczak (27) killed six people
at Northern Illinois University before committing suicide. 15 people
2008 Feb 14, Boeing and India's
Tata Industries announced an agreement to set up a joint venture
company to handle an initial 500 million dollars of defense-related
aerospace component work in India.
2008 Feb 14, Angola extradited
Henry Okah, the alleged leader of Movement for the Emancipation of
the Niger Delta (MEND), to Nigeria.
2008 Feb 14, Brazil flew 50,000
doses of yellow fever vaccine to Paraguay following an outbreak
there, the first in 34 years.
(SFC, 2/15/08, p.A4)
2008 Feb 14, In London the
price of platinum soared past 2,000 dollars an ounce to a record as
power shortages affected mining production in South Africa, the
biggest supplier of the white precious metal.
2008 Feb 14, Chad's Pres.
Idriss Deby declared a state of emergency and signed a decree
increasing government powers for 15 days.
(SFC, 2/15/08, p.A12)
2008 Feb 14, The European
Commission gave the green light for a 170 million euro ($248
million) grant to build a gas-fired power plant in Lithuania by an
agency run by the
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
2008 Feb 14, An Iraqi police
officer in Salahuddin province said that a house in Zab belonging to
a Sunni Arab and tribal leader was bombarded in a US air strike, and
that six family members died. A US military account said troops
returned fire from insurgents, killing two and then called in air
support, which killed another four militants.
(AP, 2/15/08)(SFC, 2/16/08, p.A6)
2008 Feb 14, A UN spokesman
said political rivals trying to lead Kenya out of weeks of violence
signed an agreement, but no details were released and the talks were
to continue next week.
2008 Feb 14, Serbia's
government proclaimed that any unilateral act by Kosovo's ethnic
Albanian leadership to declare independence would be invalid and
2008 Feb 14, The chief of
Hezbollah vowed to retaliate against Israeli targets anywhere in the
world after accusing the Jewish state of killing the militant Imad
Mughniyeh in Syria.
2008 Feb 14, A leading human
rights group appealed to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to stop the
execution of a woman accused of witchcraft and performing
2008 Feb 14, In Switzerland UBS
AG posted a 4th-quarter net loss of $11.28 billion, and a loss for
the entire year, besieged by investments in US subprime mortgages.
Chairman Marcel Ospel announced his resignation on Feb 27.
(AP, 2/14/08)(Econ, 4/5/08, p.72)
2008 Feb 14, In Thailand
General Secretary Mahn Sha (64), leader of the Karen National Union
(KNU), was shot and killed at his home in Mae Sot by three men who
arrived in a pickup truck. The KNU is one of the biggest ethnic
groups fighting Myanmar's military government. Initial
investigations showed that the assailants were also Karen.
2008 Feb 14, Zimbabwe's
inflation rate, already the highest in the world, soared to a new
high of 66,212.3%.
2008 Feb 15, A leading US
doctor’s group endorsed the medical use of marijuana and urged the
government to life a ban.
(WSJ, 2/16/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 15, It was reported
that a new computer virus called Mocmex, identified as a Trojan
Horse from China, had been discovered in digital photo frames. It
recognized and blocked antivirus software from over 100 security
vendors and collected passwords for online games.
(SFC, 2/15/08, p.C1)
2008 Feb 15, In Afghanistan
bitter cold, snowstorms and avalanches were reported to have killed
926 people, half of them in the hard hit west, as the country
suffered one of the most brutal winters in decades.
2008 Feb 15, Representatives
for Australian Aborigines confirmed plans to launch the first
compensation lawsuits since a landmark government apology earlier
this week for past abuses.
2008 Feb 15, A group of
Canadian sex trade workers hoping to set up a legal "co-op" brothel
in time for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver said they have won
approval to incorporate themselves.
2008 Feb 15, A restaurant fire
in eastern China killed 11 people and injured at least 4 others.
2008 Feb 15, Czech President
Vaclav Klaus won a second five-year term. Lawmakers chose him over a
University of Michigan economics professor.
2008 Feb 15, In northern
Copenhagen gangs of rioters set fire to cars and garbage trucks, the
sixth night of rioting and vandalism that has spread from the
capital to other Danish cities.
2008 Feb 15, Two international
rights groups said Egyptian police have stepped up arrests of
persons suspected of having HIV, detaining four men this month in a
crackdown that violates basic human rights.
2008 Feb 15, In eastern India
hundreds of Maoist militants stormed six police compounds in
carefully coordinated attacks, killing 13 police personnel and one
civilian. 11 policemen were injured.
2008 Feb 15, A 3-year-old
Indonesian boy died of bird flu, the country's second death from the
illness in one day. The two cases, which were apparently unrelated,
brought Indonesia's bird flu death toll to 105.
2008 Feb 15, In Iraq 2 suicide
bombers, one apparently armed with a grenade as well as an explosive
vest, killed at least three people and wounded 17 as worshippers
left a Shiite mosque after prayers in the northwestern city of Tal
Afar. 3 neighborhood security guards were killed and 2 others
injured when US attack helicopters fired at their checkpoint south
(AP, 2/15/08)(SFC, 2/16/08, p.A6)
2008 Feb 15, In Mexico City a
bomb exploded near the police headquarters killing one man. A singer
and two members of his staff were tortured and killed just south of
the California border, apparently the latest victims in a string of
slayings of Mexican musicians. The border killings were not reported
until Feb 20.
(WSJ, 2/16/08, p.A1)(AP, 2/20/08)
2008 Feb 15, In Gaza City a
powerful blast went off in the house of Ayman Atallah Fayed, a
senior Islamic Jihad activist, killing him, his wife, three sons and
2008 Feb 15, In the Philippines
thousands of protesters massed in Jakarta with some hurling tomatoes
at images of President Gloria Arroyo and her husband, demanding
their ouster for alleged corruption.
2008 Feb 15, Sova, a Russian
human rights group, said hate crimes in Russia have killed 17 people
and injured more than 50 others since the beginning of the year.
2008 Feb 15, Serbia's newly
re-elected president Boris Tadic pledged at his inauguration that he
would never stop fighting against independence for Kosovo.
2008 Feb 15, In southeast
Turkey hundreds of Kurdish protesters battled police, leaving a
young demonstrator dead and dozens injured on the ninth anniversary
of guerrilla leader Abdullah Ocalan's capture.
2008 Feb 16, US President
George W. Bush in Benin, opening a five-country Africa tour,
stepped up pressure on Kenyan leaders to accept a power-sharing deal
to end their country's deadly political crisis.
2008 Feb 16, In Maryland a car
plowed into a crowd that had gathered to watch a drag race on a
suburban road, killing 8 people and injuring at least four.
(AP, 2/16/08)(SSFC, 2/17/08, p.A2)
2008 Feb 16, It was reported
that the first flowering in 50 years had taken place in the bamboo
forests of Bangladesh leading to a plague of rats. The last
flowering in 1958 also caused a similar rodent plague.
(SFC, 2/16/08, p.B6)
2008 Feb 16, Egyptian border
guards shot and killed an Eritrean woman and arrested her two young
daughters after they tried to cross illegally into Israel.
2008 Feb 16, The EU gave the
final approval for the deployment of a 1,800-member policing and
administration mission in Kosovo.
2008 Feb 16, In Italy Michael
Seifert (83), a former SS prison guard who was sentenced to life in
prison in Italy for Nazi war crimes, was jailed near Naples, hours
after he was extradited from Canada. Seifert, known as the "Beast of
Bolzano," was convicted in absentia in 2000 by a military tribunal
in Verona on nine counts of murder committed while he was an SS
guard at a prison transit camp in Bolzano, northern Italy.
2008 Feb 16, A company source
said Toshiba Corp is planning to give up on its HD DVD format for
high-definition video, conceding defeat to the competing Blu-Ray
technology backed by Sony Corp.
2008 Feb 16, In northwest
Pakistan a suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into
an independent parliament candidate's election office, killing at
least 40 people and wounding more than 90 days before a crucial
vote. A second car bombing near a checkpoint killed two civilians
and wounded eight security personnel.
(AP, 2/16/08)(AP, 2/17/08)
2008 Feb 17, US President
George W. Bush discussed the bloody conflict in neighboring Kenya
with Tanzania's Pres. Jakaya Kikwete before showering him with
praise and signing over a $700 million development grant.
2008 Feb 17, The US Department
of Agriculture ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of frozen
beef from a California slaughterhouse, the subject of an
animal-abuse investigation, that provided meat to school lunch
programs. Downer cows at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company
had been processed and sent for use in the National School Lunch
(AP, 2/18/08)(Econ, 3/1/08, p.36)
2008 Feb 17, In Afghanistan a
suicide bombing at an outdoor dog fighting competition in Kandahar
killed 80 people and wounded scores more, in what appeared to be the
deadliest terror attack there since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
The attack apparently targeted Abdul Hakim Jan, a militia commander,
who had stood up against the Taliban and died in the attack.
2008 Feb 17, In Algeria African
Union energy ministers launched a new energy organization for Africa
tasked with coordinating policy for the resource-rich continent.
2008 Feb 17, British chancellor
Alistair Darling announced that stricken mortgage lender Northern
Rock would be nationalized.
(Econ, 2/23/08, p.73)
2008 Feb 17, In China an
explosion at an illegal mine disguised as a wild boar farm killed 26
people in northern Hebei province. On Dec 31, 2009, Gao Huailiang
was sentenced to death in Hebei province, for making, selling and
transporting illegal explosives. 20 others were sentenced to prison
time for running the mine.
(AP, 2/18/08)(AP, 12/31/09)
2008 Feb 17, Communist party
leader Demetris Christofias led in exit polls after Cyprus
elections. It was unclear who he would be competing against in a
run-off on Feb 24.
2008 Feb 17, Indian troops
killed at least 20 Maoist guerrillas in clashes following the
killing of 13 policemen by the insurgents in the eastern state of
2008 Feb 17, Israeli troops
backed by aircraft and tanks clashed with Palestinian militants
firing mortars and machine guns near Gaza's former international
airport, killing three gunmen and a civilian. Later a Palestinian
rocket struck a house in the southern Israeli town of Sderot,
shortly after the UN's humanitarian chief condemned the rocket fire
and urged Gaza's Hamas rulers to end the attacks.
2008 Feb 17, In Iraq a female
suicide bomber struck in a predominantly Shiite area of central
Baghdad, killing at least three people in an attack that occurred as
officials have been stressing the capital's increased security. In
Mosul a police officer and two civilians were killed when a bomb in
a parked car detonated.
2008 Feb 17, Kosovo declared
itself a nation, mounting a historic bid to become an "independent
and democratic state" backed by the US and key European allies but
bitterly contested by Serbia and Russia. Russia denounced Kosovo's
independence declaration and called for an emergency meeting of the
UN Security Council, underlining its opposition.
2008 Feb 17, Madagascar was hit
by Cyclone Ivan. At least 44 people were killed and some 145,000
(Reuters, 2/18/08)(SFC, 2/26/08, p.A3)
2008 Feb 17, In New Zealand 3
people were killed after a light plane and a helicopter collided in
mid-air in the coastal settlement of Paraparaumu.
2008 Feb 17, In southwest
Pakistan a military pickup truck struck a land mine that killed four
troops and wounded two others. The Baluch Republican Army, a little
known rebel group, claimed responsibility for the attack.
2008 Feb 17, In South Korea a
special prosecutor's team questioned President-elect Lee Myung-bak
over allegations of financial fraud a week ahead of his
2008 Feb 18, President Bush
handed out hugs and bed nets in Tanzania's rural north, saying the
US is part of a new international effort to provide enough mosquito
netting to protect every child between one and five from contracting
malaria in this east African nation.
2008 Feb 18, President Bush
hailed Kosovo's bold and historic bid for statehood, saying "The
Kosovars are now independent."
2008 Feb 18, Platinum hit a
record high for the 13th successive day on lingering power supply
shortages which have disrupted mining in main producer South Africa.
2008 Feb 18, In Afghanistan a
suicide car bomber targeting a Canadian military convoy killed 37
civilians at a busy market in Spin Boldak in southern Kandahar
province. Afghan and NATO-led troops killed two regional Taliban
commanders in southern Afghanistan
(AP, 2/18/08)(AP, 2/21/08)
2008 Feb 18, The British
government introduced emergency legislation to temporarily
nationalize Northern Rock PLC. British PM Gordon Brown, detailing
nationalization plans, said the stricken mortgage lender will remain
nationalized until adverse market conditions change.
2008 Feb 18, In Colombia a
cashiered army lieutenant colonel and 14 soldiers were convicted of
murdering 10 elite counternarcotics police agents in an ambush that
showed how deeply drug corruption threatens Colombia's security
2008 Feb 18, Egyptian security
sources said police have rounded up some 500 Palestinians in north
Sinai in the past four days and plan to deport them back into Gaza
2008 Feb 18, Ethiopia’s
state-media reported that 309 police officers, suspected of links
with separatists rebels, have been arrested in the Ogaden region as
part of a government crackdown.
2008 Feb 18, More than 1,000
police raided housing projects outside Paris, detaining over 30
people in a bid to find rioters who led an outburst of violence last
2008 Feb 18, Alain
Robbe-Grillet (85), avant-garde French author, died. He dispensed
with conventional storytelling as a pioneer of the postwar "new
2008 Feb 18, At least 13 Maoist
rebels and six paramilitary soldiers were killed in renewed fighting
in eastern India, days after carefully coordinated rebel attacks
killed 13 police and two civilians.
2008 Feb 18, In Goa, India, the
bruised body of Scarlette Keeling (15), a British citizen, was found
on a beach with her clothes partially removed. Some of her injuries
indicated sexual assault. In March 3 men were detained in connection
with her murder. On March 13 police confirmed murder charges against
local barman Samson D'Souza (29) and Placido Carvalho, an alleged
drugs dealer working the beaches of the former Portuguese colony.
(AP, 3/9/08)(AFP, 3/13/08)
2008 Feb 18, Italian police
captured Pasquale Condello (57), the top boss of a powerful
organized crime syndicate. The Condello crime clan was one of the
most ferocious 'ndrangheta families and Condello had received
several life prison terms for four murders and other crimes.
2008 Feb 18, Kosovo's leaders
sent letters to 192 countries seeking formal recognition of
independence, and suspense gripped the province as its citizens
awaited key backing from the US and key European powers.
2008 Feb 18, Pakistanis voted
for a new parliament in elections shadowed by fears of violence and
questions about the political survival of President Pervez
Musharraf. 56% of the votes cast in Baluchistan province were fake.
(AP, 2/18/08)(SSFC, 9/25/11, p.A4)
2008 Feb 18, Callixte
Nzabonimana (55), Rwanda’s former youth and sport minister, was
arrested in the town of Kigoma, Tanzania. He faced trial for
participating in the 1994 genocide. The trial of Nzabonimana,
described by prosecutors as "the Butcher of Gitarama," began at the
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Tanzania on Nov
(Reuters, 2/19/08)(AFP, 11/9/09)
2008 Feb 18, Sri Lankan
soldiers captured a line of strategic rebel bunkers after a battle
that killed 10 rebels and one soldier.
2008 Feb 19, President George
W. Bush paid somber homage to the estimated 800,000 killed in
Rwanda's 1994 genocide and urged global action to end the bloodshed
in Sudan's Darfur region "once and for all."
2008 Feb 19, Barack Obama won
Wisconsin (58%) and Hawaii (76%) adding to a primary season winning
streak that now totals 10. This put Hillary Rodham Clinton into a
virtual must-win scenario in Democratic contests coming early next
month in Texas and Ohio.
(AP, 2/20/08)(SFC, 2/21/08, p.A10)
2008 Feb 19, The SF-based
Sharper Image retailer filed for bankruptcy protection. The
184-store chain planned to close 96 stores nationwide. The Sharper
Image brand name was later sold to Hilco Organization and Gordon
Brothers Group LLC for $33 million in partnership with Windsong
Brands LLC and Bluestar Alliance.
(SFC, 3/8/08, p.C1)(SSFC, 6/29/08, p.C5)
2008 Feb 19, In southwestern
Minnesota a driving a van crashed into a school bus, killing four
students. Olga Marino Franco del Cid (24) of Minneota, was later
charged in state court with four counts of criminal vehicular
homicide. Federal prosecutors later filed identity theft charges
against the woman, who had identified herself as Alianiss
Nunez-Morales. Immigration investigators said they found the real
Nunez-Morales in Connecticut.
2008 Feb 19, In southern
Afghanistan a car bomb exploded near a police compound, killing at
least one person and wounding four.
2008 Feb 19, The African Union
extended by two months sanctions slapped on the rebellious Comoran
isle of Anjouan in the Indian Ocean.
2008 Feb 19, Armenians voted
for a new president. PM Serzh Sarkisian (Sargsyan), given credit for
rising living standards, won with 53% of the vote, enough to avert a
runoff with rival Levon Ter-Petrosian (21%).
(Reuters, 2/19/08)(Econ, 2/23/08, p.70)(Econ,
2008 Feb 19, In England Karen
Matthews reported that her daughter was missing in the Yorkshire
town of Dewsbury. Shannon (9) was found safely 24 days later in the
base of a divan bed at the flat of Michael Donovan. On Dec 4 Karen
Matthews (33) and Michael Donovan (40) were found guilty of
kidnapping. The mother allegedly hoped to scoop the reward money
when the girl was found.
2008 Feb 19, Canada’s province
of British Columbia announced its intention to implement a carbon
tax of $10 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions
(2.41 cents per liter on gasoline) beginning July 1, 2008, making BC
the first North American jurisdiction to implement such a tax.
2008 Feb 19, An ailing,
81-year-old Fidel Castro resigned as Cuba's president after nearly a
half-century in power, saying he will not accept a new term when
parliament meets Feb 24.
2008 Feb 19, A Japanese navy
destroyer equipped with advanced radar plowed into a fishing boat
off the Pacific coast, splitting the boat in two and plunging two
fishermen into the chilly waters. The men remained missing.
2008 Feb 19, Japan’s Toshiba
Corp. announced it would no longer develop, make or market
high-definition HD DVD players and recorders, conceding defeat to
the competing Blu-Ray technology backed by Sony Corp.
2008 Feb 19, Myanmar's ruling
junta said the country's new draft constitution, which will replace
one scrapped in 1988, has been completed.
2008 Feb 19, Pakistan's ruling
party conceded defeat after opposition parties routed allies of
President Pervez Musharraf in parliamentary elections.
2008 Feb 19, Serbs set off
sporadic explosions and torched checkpoints between Serbia and
Kosovo to protest Kosovo's declaration of independence and
international recognition of the new nation.
2008 Feb 19, In Thailand Glenn
Richard Allen (61), an American man was sentenced, to 16 years in
prison for raping a 13-year-old girl and sexually abusing a second
teenager in Pattaya, a Thai seaside resort town notorious for its
2008 Feb 19, The body of a
teenage girl was found hanging in the woods of a Welsh village, and
authorities said it was the 17th young suicide in just over a year
near one town in South Wales.
2008 Feb 20, A US Navy SM-3
missile knocked out a dying US spy satellite. Officials said the
intent was to destroy an onboard tank of toxic fuel.
(SFC, 2/21/08, p.A3)
2008 Feb 20, In Afghanistan an
explosion in Helmand province claimed the life of a British soldier.
30 Taliban militants were killed in a joint Afghan and foreign
special forces operation backed by air support in southern Helmand
(AP, 2/21/08)(AFP, 2/21/08)
2008 Feb 20, In Armenia
thousands of opposition supporters marched through the capital after
an election official said complete results showed that the prime
minister had won the presidential election. On Jan 19, 2010, a court
sentenced Nikola Pashinian, editor of the Armenian Times opposition
newspaper, to seven years in prison for organizing mass unrest in
the wake of the 2008 presidential elections.
(AP, 2/20/08)(AP, 1/19/10)
2008 Feb 20, The US FDA
inspected a heparin production facility in China. 19 deaths and some
350 allergic reactions had taken place among patients who received
heparin sold in the US by Baxter Int’l. In March officials
identified oversulfated condroitin sulfate, a chemical that does not
occur naturally, as a contaminant in the drug. In April the death
toll linked to contaminated heparin was raised to 62.
(WS, 2/21/08, p.A1)(SFC, 3/20/08, p.C3)(SFC,
2008 Feb 20, Quebec provincial
police conducted raids, breaking up a hacking ring that police said
was responsible for an estimated CDN$45 million (US$44.3 million) in
damage to computer systems.
2008 Feb 20, Ecuador's
government declared a national state of emergency police to help
with aid in flooded regions. 12 people had died and thousands were
displaced as severe rains and floods battered the small Andean
2008 Feb 20, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel attacked Liechtenstein’s traditional banking secrecy
and demanded a US-style deal giving Berlin insight into German
investments in the Alpine tax haven.
2008 Feb 20, In Ghana President
Bush sought to soothe African fears about American interests on the
continent. He said the US isn’t aiming to make Africa into a base
for greater military power or a proxy battleground with China.
2008 Feb 20, A powerful
earthquake struck western Indonesia, killing three people and
injuring 25 others.
2008 Feb 20, Yevgeny Adamov,
the former atomic energy minister whom Washington accused of
stealing millions in U.S. government funds earmarked for bolstering
security at Russian nuclear plants, was sentenced Wednesday to 5 ½
years in prison.
2008 Feb 21, President George
W. Bush promised US support for Liberia in its recovery from a
crippling civil war as he visited the close U.S. ally on the last
stop of a five-nation tour of Africa.
2008 Feb 21, It was reported
that the US Defense Dept. had dispersed $80 million monthly, or some
$1 billion a year, for the last 6 years to Pakistan to support
troops in the tribal area along the Afghan border.
(SFC, 2/21/08, p.A3)
2008 Feb 21, Google Inc. said
will begin storing the medical records of a few thousand people as
it tests a long-awaited health service that's likely to raise more
concerns about the volume of sensitive information entrusted to the
Internet search leader.
2008 Feb 21, Ben Chapman
(1928-2008), film star, died. He played the creature in the film
“The Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954).
(Econ, 3/8/08, p.97)
2008 Feb 21, Evan Mecham
(b.1924), former Arizona Gov. (1987-1988), died. He was impeached,
indicted and subjected to a recall campaign in 1988 for misuse of
state funds and inflammatory racial opinions.
(SFC, 2/23/08, p.B5)
2008 Feb 21, In Afghanistan
NATO troops found 1.65 tons of opium, which ISAF said was worth $400
million, and a "significant quantity" of drug-making equipment. The
$400 million figure appeared to be the opium's estimated street
value once it was trafficked outside Afghanistan.
2008 Feb 21, Hans Janitschek
(73), an Austrian journalist who spent years as a UN consultant and
also served as secretary general of the Socialist International
organization, died suddenly at UN headquarters. Janitschek wrote
several political biographies, co-authored Waldheim's autobiography
and published more than a dozen books.
2008 Feb 21, Australia's new
government confirmed that it would withdraw its combat troops from
Iraq by mid-year but pledged strong ties with the United States
ahead of landmark talks this week.
2008 Feb 21, In Brazil a
ferryboat carrying more than 100 passengers collided with a barge
carrying fuel tanks and sank to the bottom of the Amazon River. At
least 14 people died. 92 people were rescued by several small boats
and the state's floating police station.
2008 Feb 21, In London Steve
Wright (49) was found guilty of murdering five prostitutes in a
killing spree which brought terror to the English market town of
Ipswitch in 2006.
2008 Feb 21, In Burkina Faso
some 200 people were arrested following a 2-day protest against
rising living costs which ended in violent clashes.
2008 Feb 21, Chinese state
media said authorities are using algae-munching fish to clean up one
of the country's most polluted lakes, and after their diet of toxins
they will be sold on to consumers.
2008 Feb 21, In Iraq 4 British
soldiers were wounded near their base outside the southern city of
Basra, an attack the Iraqi police described as a roadside bomb
explosion that targeted a British patrol.
2008 Feb 21, A magnitude-6.2
earthquake, the largest ever recorded on Norwegian territory, hit
off the Arctic Svalbard islands, the national seismic monitoring
center said. No casualties or damage were reported.
2008 Feb 21, In Serbia
protesters, outraged at US support for Kosovo, stormed the US
Embassy in Belgrade and set part of it on fire. Zoran Vujovic (21)
died in the fire and 150 people were injured. Police arrested almost
200 rioters involved in the protests.
(SSFC, 2/24/08, p.A4)(WSJ, 2/25/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 21, In South Korea a
special prosecutor cleared Pres.-elect Lee Myung-bak of financial
(SFC, 2/21/08, p.A3)
2008 Feb 21, Turkish troops
launched a ground incursion across the border into Iraq in pursuit
of separatist Kurdish rebels.
2008 Feb 21, In Venezuela a
plane carrying 46 people crashed in the western mountains, 6 miles
from the airport in the Andean city of Merida. All aboard were
2008 Feb 22, Arizona Republican
Rep. Rick Renzi was indicted on charges of extortion, wire fraud,
money laundering and other matters in an Arizona land swap scam that
allegedly helped him collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in
2008 Feb 22, John Heath (81)
was sentenced In Los Angeles to 28 years in prison in an investment
scam that prosecutors say seeped across half the country and bilked
1,800 people, many of them elderly, of about $190 million.
2008 Feb 22, In Texas 3 British
bankers were sentenced to just over three years in prison for their
roles in a fraudulent scheme with former Enron Chief Financial
Officer Andrew Fastow, and they're hoping to serve some of that time
2008 Feb 22, The US FDA granted
accelerated market approval for Genentech’s drug Avastin to treat
advanced breast cancer. The drug cost was bout $7,700 per month.
Avastin was already approved for colorectal and lung cancer.
(WSJ, 2/23/08, p.A3)
2008 Feb 22, Canadian Foreign
Minister Maxime Bernier pledged $555 million in fresh aid to Haiti,
as he wrapped up a three-day visit to the impoverished Caribbean
2008 Feb 22, In China 4 men
pleaded guilty in a Yunnan court to producing bogus receipts valued
at $147 billion. The scam operated in 9 provinces. In 2007 almost
3,000 cases of printing fake receipts were uncovered.
(Econ, 3/1/08, p.70)
2008 Feb 22, The European Space
Agency (ESA) said on Ulysses, a US-European space scout that has
been orbiting the Sun for 17 years, almost four times its expected
lifetime, is on the brink of dying.
2008 Feb 22, The German finance
ministry threatened to tax all financial transfers to Liechtenstein
unless the Alpine principality relaxed its banking secrecy codes and
helped trace tax evaders.
2008 Feb 22, An angry mob in
Guatemala, that took 29 policemen hostage a day earlier, released
the officers in exchange for talks with the government on legalizing
their lands and possibly dropping charges against a jailed farm
2008 Feb 22, Muqtada al-Sadr
announced that he has extended a cease-fire order to his Shiite
Mahdi Army by another six months. A bomb hidden under a horse-drawn
cart exploded in downtown Baghdad, killing three civilians. 2
policemen died when a booby-trapped car exploded in Tikrit.
2008 Feb 22, In New Zealand a
key conference on cluster bombs ended in Wellington with most of the
122 governments represented backing a draft treaty banning the
2008 Feb 22, North Korea opened
its main nuclear reactor to foreign media for the first time in a
bid to show that it is complying with a disarmament accord to
disable the facility.
2008 Feb 22, In Pakistan
roadside bomb exploded as a wedding party was passing nearby in the
volatile northwest, killing at least 10 people and wounding four
2008 Feb 22, Majed Barghouti
(44), a Hamas preacher, died in the custody of the Palestinian
intelligence service. The next day his family alleged that he had
been tortured by interrogators from the rival Fatah faction.
2008 Feb 22, Serbs protesting
Kosovo's independence for a fifth straight day Friday attacked UN
police guarding a key bridge in northern Kosovo with stones, glass
bottles and firecrackers.
2008 Feb 22, South Africa and
India agreed to allow businessmen traveling between the two
countries multiple entry visas, as part of several agreements signed
2008 Feb 22, In Sri Lanka
clashes broke out in at least six locations in northern Jaffna,
Mannar, Vavuniya districts and Welioya, leaving 31 rebels and one
2008 Feb 22, In Tunisia 2
Austrian tourists were kidnapped. Al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa
later claimed responsibility and warned western tourists to stay
away. The 2 tourists were released on October 31.
(AFP, 3/11/08)(WSJ, 3/11/08, p.A1)(AP, 10/31/08)
2008 Feb 23, In Santa Monica,
California, "Juno," a runaway hit comedy about a wisecracking
pregnant teen, picked up the top prize at the Spirit Awards, the
independent film community's version of the Oscars.
2008 Feb 23, It was reported
that Dr. Nathan Wolfe, a virologist at UCLA, was pushing for the
creation of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative, a planet-wide
network to forecast epidemics before they happen.
(Econ, 2/23/08, p.97)
2008 Feb 23, A B-2 stealth
bomber crashed on take-off from the Pacific island of Guam, the
first such incident involving the futuristic craft. Both pilots on
board ejected safely as the 1.2-billion-dollar radar-evading plane
went down at Andersen airbase.
2008 Feb 23, In eastern
Afghanistan 7 Afghan security guards died when their car hit a
roadside bomb in the Sarkano district of Kunar province. A gunman
killed a district police chief in the region.
2008 Feb 23, The presidents of
Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia gathered in Buenos Aires to try to
agree on how to divide scarce supplies of Bolivian natural gas.
(WSJ, 2/23/08, p.A6)
2008 Feb 23, Police on the
Channel Island of Jersey found a child's buried remains at Haut de
la Garenne, a former children's home. They soon widened their search
for bodies to six more sites in and around the home.
(AFP, 2/25/08)(Econ, 3/1/08, p.58)
2008 Feb 23, A senior Chinese
official said the freakish winter storms that coated much of central
and southern China in snow and ice have left 129 people dead so far
2008 Feb 23, In Iraq rockets or
mortars hit the US-protected Green Zone. Shihab al-Timimi, the head
of the Iraqi Journalists Union, was shot and wounded. A boat
carrying 11 Shiites to the holy city of Karbala overturned in the
Tigris river and six people drowned. a suicide bomb attack killed
Sheik Ibrahim Mutayri al-Mohamaday, the leader of one Awakening
Council in Saqlawiyah, in Anbar province. A group of gunmen first
opened fire on a checkpoint, killing one police officer. Then three
of the attackers armed with explosives belts stormed the checkpoint,
two blowing themselves up.
(AP, 2/23/08)(AP, 2/24/08)
2008 Feb 23, An Israeli army
missile strike killed 3 Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip.
Militants from Gaza had fired 4 mortar shells at Israel earlier in
(SSFC, 2/24/08, p.A8)
2008 Feb 23, Japan's space
agency launched an experimental communications satellite designed to
enable super high-speed data transmission at home and in Southeast
2008 Feb 23, In northern Kosovo
up to 2,000 Serb protesters chanting "Kosovo is Serbia!" marched
through Kosovska Mitrovica, an ethnically divided town, in a sixth
day of demonstrations against Kosovo's declaration of independence.
(AP, 2/23/08)(SFC, 2/23/08, p.A3)
2008 Feb 23, in Puerto Rico
Eddie Maco Campbells (b.1970) of Oakland, Ca., was shot and killed
after an argument at a bar in the popular tourist area of Isla
Verde. On March 13, 2009, a judge in Puerto Rico found Jose Perez
Pagan guilty of murdering Campbells.
2008 Feb 23, In Saudi Arabia
bus plunged over a cliff, killing at least 25 people on board.
2008 Feb 23, Janez Drnovsek
(57), former president of Slovenia, died. He helped lead Slovenia to
independence from Yugoslavia and later enthralled many of his
countrymen by adopting a New Age lifestyle.
2008 Feb 23, In Sri Lanka
fighting erupted in northeastern Welioya region, where soldiers
killed at least eight guerrillas. A bomb explosion on a bus wounded
at least 14 people in Mount Lavinia, near the Colombo.
2008 Feb 23, Turkish troops
pressed their offensive against Kurdish PKK guerrillas in northern
Iraq, two days after crossing the mountainous border.
2008 Feb 24, Joel and Ethan
Coen’s crime saga "No Country for Old Men" won a leading four
Academy Awards, including best picture. All four acting prizes went
to Europeans: Frenchwoman Marion Cotillard, the best-actress winner
for "La Vie En Rose"; Spaniard Javier Bardem, who took supporting
actor for "No Country"; and Brits Daniel Day-Lewis and Tilda
Swinton, he claiming his second best-actor honor for "There Will Be
Blood," she winning supporting actress for "Michael Clayton."
2008 Feb 24, Ralph Nader,
consumer activist, launched an independent campaign for the White
(SFC, 2/25/08, p.A4)
2008 Feb 24, In southern
Afghanistan a roadside bomb tore through a convoy carrying Kandahar
governor Asadullah Khalid, missing the official but killing three
2008 Feb 24, The first flight
by a commercial airline to be partly powered by biofuels took off
from London on a short trip to Amsterdam billed as heralding a new
eco-friendlier era of airline travel.
2008 Feb 24, Pearl Cornioley,
British spy (nom de guerre was Genevieve Touzalin), died. She
parachuted into France during WWII posing as a cosmetics saleswoman
to deliver coded messages to Resistance members.
2008 Feb 24, In China’s Hubei
province water plant workers from Jianli County found that the
Dongjing River, a tributary of the Han, had turned red and foamy.
The pollution forced authorities to cut water supplies to as many as
2008 Feb 24, Greek Cypriots
elected Dimitris Christofias, leader of the Communist Akel Party, as
its new president with just over 53 percent of the vote, ahead of
conservative former Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides with 46.6
percent. Christofias had campaigned on a pledge to act quickly to
restart long-stalled talks to reunify the island.
(AP, 2/25/08)(Econ, 3/1/08, p.53)
2008 Feb 24, In Cuba Raul
Castro became the new president. The island's parliament tapped
revolutionary leader Jose Ramon Machado (77) for the government's
No. 2 spot.
2008 Feb 24, Iran said that it
has started using new centrifuges that can churn out enriched
uranium at more than double the rate of the machines that now form
the backbone of the Islamic nation's nuclear program.
2008 Feb 24, In Iraq a suicide
bomber struck Shiite pilgrims as they were resting in Iskandariyah
during a days-long walk to a Shiite shrine in Karbala, killing at
least 56 people and wounding 68. Earlier, extremists attacked
another group of pilgrims in the predominantly Sunni Baghdad
neighborhood of Dora, killing three and wounding 36. In Hawija,
about 30 miles southwest of Kirkuk, a parked car bomb went off next
to a patrol of Sunni tribesmen who aligned with US forces to fight
al-Qaida in Iraq. One civilian bystander was killed and 10 people
(AP, 2/24/08)(AP, 2/25/08)
2008 Feb 24, In Milan, Italy,
masked thieves drilled a tunnel and broke into a jewelry showroom as
employees were preparing for a VIP showing by Damiani, making off
with gold, diamonds and rubies in a brazen daylight heist.
2008 Feb 24, The LGT Group,
Liechtenstein’s largest financial group, confirmed that stolen
client data, believed to be fueling a major German tax-evasion
probe, included confidential information on thousands of customers
and beneficiaries in other countries.
(WSJ, 2/25/08, p.A6)
2008 Feb 24, Turkey's military
said that eight more soldiers were killed in combat during its
cross-border ground operation in northern Iraq, raising the death
toll to 15. Turkish troops and Kurdish PKK rebels fought close
battles in northern Iraq that left scores dead on the fourth day of
a major ground offensive Baghdad and Washington fear could further
(AP, 2/24/08)(Reuters, 2/24/08)
2008 Feb 24, In Venezuela a
blast near the entrance of the Fedecamaras business chamber
headquarters in Caracas killed a 44-year-old man suspected of trying
to plant the bomb. The next day Venezuela's justice minister blamed
"anarchists" for the explosion and vowed to capture those
2008 Feb 24, A rights group
said Zimbabwe's biggest state hospital has stopped surgical
operations because of a breakdown of equipment and shortages of
2008 Feb 25, In Connecticut 5
former insurance company executives were found guilty of a scheme to
manipulate the financial statements of the world's largest insurance
company, American International Group Inc.
2008 Feb 25, Visa Inc. said its
initial public offering later this year could raise up to $19
billion, making it the largest in US history. Visa will offer 406
million shares at $37 to $42 per share.
(AP, 2/25/08)(SFC, 2/26/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 25, The Taliban
threatened to attack mobile phone facilities in Afghanistan,
alleging that the technology was being used at night to pin-point
the Islamic rebels' hideouts. 7 insurgents were killed in two
separate clashes in Helmand province. A rocket fired by insurgents
in the Kajaki region of Helmand province killed five Afghan
(AFP, 2/25/08)(AP, 2/27/08)
2008 Feb 25, In Argentina the
body of Paul Alberto Navone, a retired army officer, was found dead
of a gunshot in an apparent suicide. He had been called to testify
about the fate of twins born to a political prisoner in 1978.
2008 Feb 25, Czech PM Mirek
Topolanek said he will complete a deal on missile defense this week
in Washington, and attributed Russian opposition to the project to
lingering frustration over the collapse of the Soviet Union. During
his visit Topolanek signed a memorandum of understanding that will
allow Czechs to apply for a US visa waiver online.
(AP, 2/25/08)(Econ, 3/8/08, p.61)
2008 Feb 25, In Guatemala
President Alvaro Colom announced that a new panel will work to
declassify military documents that should shed light on killings,
torture and other human rights violations during Guatemala's 36-year
2008 Feb 25, A roadside bomb
killed four Shiite pilgrims and wounded 15 south of Baghdad in at
least the third fatal attack on people traveling to one of their
sect's most sacred gatherings. A suicide bomber in a wheelchair
talked his way into Samarra’s operations center and blew himself up,
killing the deputy commander, Abdul Jabbar Rabeia. Gunmen opened
fire on a police convoy in Mosul. Four officers were killed in the
2008 Feb 25, The New York
Philharmonic arrived in a snowy Pyongyang to play the symphony "From
the New World" in an overture to thaw still frozen ties from the
Cold War era between the United States and North Korea.
2008 Feb 25, In Pakistan a
suicide bomber hit a car carrying Lt. Gen. Mushtaq Ahmed Baig,
the army's surgeon general, in Rawalpindi, killing him along with at
least seven other people. Gunmen opened fire and hurled grenades at
the office of a British-run aid group in northwest Pakistan, killing
at least four local staff and wounding 10 others.
(AP, 2/25/08)(AFP, 2/25/08)
2008 Feb 25, Thousands of
Filipinos took to the streets and flocked to churches in a fresh
wave of nationwide protests on the anniversary of a 1986 grass-roots
revolt, calling for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to resign.
2008 Feb 25, Up to 2,000 Serb
protesters rallied against Kosovo's independence in the new nation's
tense north, a few setting fire to EU flags in what has become a
daily challenge following the country's secession from Serbia.
2008 Feb 25, South Africa
announced that it was reversing a 1995 ban on killing elephants to
help control their booming population, drawing instant outrage from
2008 Feb 25, In South Korea
former businessman Lee Myung-Bak took office as president, promising
greater prosperity both for his own nation and for impoverished
North Korea if it scraps its nuclear drive.
2008 Feb 25, Turkey's military
said it had killed 41 more separatist Kurdish rebels in clashes in
northern Iraq, raising the reported guerrilla death toll in a
cross-border operation to 153.
2008 Feb 26, Buddy Miles (60),
former drummer with Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana and other popular
rock musicians, died in Texas. Over his career he appeared in over
(SFC, 2/29/08, p.A2)
2008 Feb 26, Porter Thompson,
former president of SF-based Bechtel Inc. (1975-1983), died.
(SSFC, 3/30/08, p.B6)
2008 Feb 26, In Afghanistan a
rocket attack on an Afghan National Army patrol killed two soldiers
and wounded six others in southern Kandahar province. A roadside
bomb killed two Polish soldiers patrolling in eastern Afghanistan.
2008 Feb 26, In Algeria the
"emir" Hamza (alias Abdi Abdi), a suspected leader of al-Qaida's
local affiliate, was killed during the sweep in the town of Legatha.
2008 Feb 26, In Brazil a
helicopter had just left an oil rig with 17 oil workers and three
crew members on board when it went down some 75 miles off the coast.
15 people aboard were rescued mostly unharmed. Rescuers located two
bodies inside the sunken wreck, bringing the death toll to three.
Two others remain missing.
2008 Feb 26, Brunei’s Prince
Jefri effectively lost control of the 55-story New York Palace
Hotel, formerly known as the Helmsley Palace. A firm owned by prince
Jefri paid $202 million for the hotel in 1993 using funds from the
Brunei Investment Agency (BAI).
(WSJ, 3/1/08, p.A6)
2008 Feb 26, Mohammed Hamid
(50), a man who dubbed himself "Osama bin London" was found guilty
by a British court of organizing extremist training camps and
2008 Feb 26, In Cameroon the
death toll after a 2nd day of strike-related violence reached 8. A
taxi drivers' strike over rising fuel costs triggered widespread
rioting exacerbated by anger over the cost of food, high
unemployment and plans by President Paul Biya (75) to change the
constitution to extend his 25-year rule for a third term of 7 years.
Government ministers said around 25 to 40 people were killed,
although a human rights group put the toll at over 100.
(AP, 2/27/08)(Econ, 3/1/08, p.49)(Reuters,
2008 Feb 26, Canada confirmed a
new case of mad cow disease, the 12th since 2003, and said the
animal in question was a six-year-old dairy cow from Alberta that
had most probably eaten infected feed.
2008 Feb 26, The mayor of Koui,
a town in northwest Central African Republic (CAR), was abducted
along with four other people. 3 captives including the mayor were
later killed. 2 captives were released by ransom.
2008 Feb 26, Hungary’s central
bank adopted a new currency regime allowing its currency to float
rather than trade in a band against the euro, which began in 2001.
Adoption of the euro was predicted to take place in 2014 at the
(WSJ, 2/26/08, p.A5)
2008 Feb 26, The Iraqi
government demanded for the first time that Turkey immediately
withdraw from northern Iraq, warning it feared the ongoing incursion
could lead to clashes with the official forces of the semiautonomous
2008 Feb 26, A suicide bomber
attacked a bus outside the city of Mosul. The Iraqi army said 9 were
killed and 9 injured. The US military put the toll at 8 dead and 8
injured. Gunmen in civilian clothes stopped two buses at a fake
checkpoint on a highway in volatile Diyala province and kidnapped 21
men. They later released three women. 15 gunmen broke into a house
in the village of Tuz Khormato, killing an Iraqi soldier and
wounding his brother. In Hawija two members of the local awakening
council, Sunni fighters who have turned against al-Qaida, were
killed after gunmen opened fire on a checkpoint.
2008 Feb 26, Israel's highest
court upheld a much-criticized plea bargain that allowed former
President Moshe Katsav to avoid rape charges and a possible prison
term. Israeli troops seized the facilities of a Hamas-affiliated
charity in the West Bank city of Hebron, saying it funneled money to
the Islamic group's militant activities and recruited members to its
2008 Feb 26, Mediator Kofi
Annan suspended the talks to end Kenya's deadly postelection crisis
after weeks of negotiations brought little progress.
2008 Feb 26, A Nigerian
election tribunal upheld the president's declared victory in last
year's disputed election.
2008 Feb 26, Mexican lawmakers
approved judicial reform that would introduce public, oral trials
and guarantee the presumption of innocence, even as lawmakers
deleted a proposal to allow police to search homes without a
warrant. Mexico's Senate approved a law that would ban smoking in
workplaces, public buildings and public transportation across the
country, allowing it in private businesses only if special,
ventilated smoking areas are set up. Investigators found parts from
at least 8 bodies in a series of backyard pits at a house in Ciudad
Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. In March the body
count increased to 36.
(AP, 2/27/08)(AP, 2/26/08)(AP, 3/3/08)(AP,
2008 Feb 26, An audience of
North Korea's communist elite gave America's oldest orchestra a
standing ovation after a rousing set that took in Dvorak, Gershwin
and a Korean folk song. Some Philharmonic members were so overcome
they left the stage in tears.
2008 Feb 26, A "doomsday" seed
vault, built to protect millions of food crops from climate change,
wars and natural disasters, opened deep within an Arctic mountain in
the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.
(AP, 2/26/08)(Econ, 3/10/12, p.71)
2008 Feb 26, The deadly
conflict in Darfur entered its sixth year with no solution in sight,
as Khartoum continued to resist the full deployment of a
peacekeeping force amid a fresh wave of bombings.
2008 Feb 26, The WHO said
drug-resistant TB had reached its highest levels ever at 5% of all
new TB cases worldwide. In parts of the former Soviet Union and
China it reached 15-22% of new cases.
(SFC, 2/27/08, p.A2)
2008 Feb 27, US National
Intelligence Director Michael McConnell said told a Senate committee
in Washington that Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government
controls just 30% of the country. The resurgent Taliban controls
10-11% of the country, while local tribes control the rest. The
Afghan Defense Ministry soon replied saying: "All Afghan people know
that in the 34 provinces of Afghanistan and in more than 360
districts ... the government has control." A remote-controlled bomb
hit a civilian vehicle in eastern Khost province, killing the driver
and wounding six people. A militant ambush of an opium poppy
eradication force in Helmand province sparked clashes that left 25
Taliban fighters and a policeman dead.
(AP, 2/27/08)(AP, 2/28/08)
2008 Feb 27, The euro finished
above $1.50 for the first time after US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke’s testimony supported market expectations of another US
(WSJ, 2/28/08, p.C2)
2008 Feb 27, The annual TED
conference opened for a 4-day session in Monterey, Ca.
(SFC, 2/28/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 27, William F. Buckley
(b.1925), conservative author of over 50 books and editor of the
National Review, died at his home in Connecticut.
(AP, 2/27/08)(SFC, 2/28/08,
2008 Feb 27, Boyd Coddington
(63), car-building legend, died in southern California. His
testosterone-injected cable TV reality show "American Hot Rod"
introduced the nation to the West Coast hot rod guru.
2008 Feb 27, In Chile a small
police plane crashed at a sports field in Chile's capital, killing
all six aboard and five on the ground.
2008 Feb 27, In China an early
morning factory fire left 15 people dead and three others severely
wounded in Shenzhen.
2008 Feb 27, The EU fined
Microsoft Corp. $1.3 billion for charging rivals too much for
software information. The fine is the largest ever for a single
company and the first time the EU has penalized a business for
failing to obey an antitrust order.
2008 Feb 27, French ambassador
Bernard Bajolet said France has handed Algeria details of
radioactive leaks from nuclear tests in the Algerian desert in the
1960s and should have acted earlier to clean up the damage.
2008 Feb 27, Germany's highest
court found that government surveillance of personal computers
violates the individual right to privacy. German investigators said
this will restrict their ability to pursue terrorists.
2008 Feb 27, The German luxury
carmaker BMW said that a restructuring plan aimed at boosting
profitability would see the overall elimination of 8,100 jobs
2008 Feb 27, Shihab al-Timimi
(74), the chief of the Iraqi Journalists' Union died of wounds
suffered in an ambush on Feb 23. Shiite pilgrims headed to a major
religious gathering were again targeted by extremists when a
roadside bomb detonated near a bus in Baghdad, killing one traveler.
US soldiers killed an Iraqi civilian who raised suspicion and failed
to heed warnings to stop as he approached their foot patrol north of
Baghdad. A young Iraqi man that may have been mentally disabled was
shot and wounded after he ran toward a patrol in Tahrir. Jar Allah,
also known as Abu Yasir al-Saudi, and another Saudi known only as
Hamdan, were both killed in Mosul by a guided missile fired from a
military helicopter. The wanted al-Qaida in Iraq leader was
responsible for numerous attacks and including the bombing deaths of
five American soldiers on Jan 28.
(AP, 2/27/08)(AP, 2/28/08)(AP, 3/2/08)
2008 Feb 27, Japan and Israel
shared their concerns about Iranian nuclear programs and agreed to
cooperate to prevent Tehran from going nuclear.
2008 Feb 27, A Palestinian
rocket struck a college campus in southern Israel, killing one
person and injuring a second. The Hamas militant group said it had
fired more than 20 rockets into southern Israel, including eight at
Sderot, the town near Gaza where the deadly strike took place. The
rocket barrage came hours after an Israeli airstrike killed five
Hamas militants earlier in the day. Late in the day Israeli aircraft
attacked the empty office of Gaza's Hamas prime minister and the
nearby Interior Ministry building. Palestinians said the blasts
killed a baby and wounded two dozen people in the surrounding area.
(AP, 2/27/08)(AP, 2/27/08)
2008 Feb 27, In Singapore Mas
Selamat bin Kastari, an alleged leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah
militant network, escaped from the Whitley Road Detention Centre. He
was accused of planning to hijack a plane and crash it into the
city's Changi Airport.
2008 Feb 27, Spanish judges
acquitted 20 Islamic terror suspects of the most serious charges in
an alleged plot to blow up a court, but convicted them of lesser
2008 Feb 27, In Sudan
unidentified gunmen attacked a village in Darfur, killing about 20
civilians. A Darfur rebel group blamed pro-government militiamen for
the dawn raid.
2008 Feb 27, Turkey said the
death toll for rebels reached 230 during the operation in northern
Iraq that began last week. The death toll for soldiers stood at 24.
Troops killed 77 Kurdish rebels in night-long clashes with 5 Turkish
2008 Feb 27, Two Venezuelan
helicopters left for Colombia on a mission to pick up four hostages
held by rebels for more than six years. Rebels turned over four
ex-lawmakers to representatives from Venezuela in the same region
where they released two others on Jan 10.
(AP, 2/27/08)(AP, 2/28/08)
2008 Feb 27, The WHO confirmed
the first urban cases of yellow fever in Latin America in 60 years.
(WSJ, 2/28/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 28, The Pew Center on
the States reported that 1% of adult Americans are in jail or
prison, an all-time high that cost state governments nearly $50
billion a year in addition to over $5 billion spent by the federal
government. The US led the world in the percentage of residents
incarcerated with China a distant second.
(SFC, 2/29/08, p.A7)
2008 Feb 28, It was reported
that Aluminum Bahrain BSC had filed suit in federal court in
Pittsburgh accusing Alcoa Corp. of a 15-year conspiracy involving
overcharging, fraud and bribery.
(WSJ, 2/28/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 28, California’s
Second District Court of Appeal ruled that California law requires
parents to send their children to full-time public or private
schools, or have them taught by credentialed tutors at home. The
ruling put an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants. On
March 7 Gov. Schwarzenegger denounced the ruling and promised to
change the law if necessary to guarantee that parents are able to
educate their children at home. On August 8 a state appeals court
ruled that parents have a right to educate their children at home
even if they lack a teaching credential.
(SFC, 3/7/08, p.A1)(SFC, 3/8/08, p.A1)(SFC,
2008 Feb 28, It was reported
that California state Senator Leland Yee has introduced a bill to
let Daly City purchase the 68-acre Cow Palace property, owned by the
state, and tear it down for redevelopment.
(SFC, 2/28/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 28, Under threat of
legal action SF returned $2.7 million to the US Justice Dept. and
promised to pay the rest. This was half of the $5.4 million it had
received from 2004-2006 to prosecute alleged border crimes. Federal
officials added demands for another $300,000 that SF received in
2007. The grants had been processed by Brad Burgess of the Public
Resource management Group in Roseville, Ca.
(SFC, 4/10/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 28, In SF the new
InterContinental Hotel opened at Fifth and Howard streets just in
time for the 75th annual meeting of the American Academy of
(SSFC, 2/24/08, p.C1)
2008 Feb 26, In SF the New
College of California received official word that the Western
Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) had revoked
accreditation. The school was forced to close later this year.
Kaushal Niroula, an exchange student from Nepal, contributed
significantly to the school’s closure following a binge of graft and
(SFC, 2/28/08, p.B1)(SSFC, 5/23/10, p.A1)
2008 Feb 28, At the TED
conference in Monterey, Ca., Geneticist Craig Venter, who mapped his
genome and the genetic diversity of the oceans, said he is creating
a life form that feeds on climate-ruining carbon dioxide to produce
2008 Feb 28, In Las Vegas two
vials of ricin were found a manager at the Extended Stay America
motel. 2 days earlier police had found firearms and an “anarchist
type textbook” there. Roger Von Bergendorff (57) was the last to
stay in the room, and has been in critical condition since calling
an ambulance on Feb. 14 complaining of respiratory distress. In
April Bergendorff was indicted on federal charges that included
possession of a biological toxin. Bergendorff was convicted and
sentenced in November to 3½ years in federal prison.
(AP, 3/1/08)(SFC, 3/3/08, p.A4)(SFC, 4/23/08,
p.A3)(SFC, 11/18/08, p.A8)
2008 Feb 28, Joseph M. Juran
(b.1904), pioneer of quality control, died. Juran’s 80-20 rule
states that that 80% of a firms problems stem from 20% of causes. He
called this his Pareto principle, after Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923),
an Italian economist who noted that 20% of the population owned 80%
of the property in Italy. Juran’s “Quality and Control Handbook”
(1951) made his reputation. In 2004 he authored his memoir
“Architect of Quality.”
(WSJ, 3/8/08, p.A7)
2008 Feb 28, In Afghan four
militants died and another was wounded when the roadside bomb they
were planting on a main road in Helmand exploded prematurely.
2008 Feb 28, In western
Antarctica a 160-square mile chunk of ice on the edge of the Wilkins
ice shelf began collapsing. It had been there for some 1,500 years.
In 2010 scientists suggested that break was the result of gravity
waves generated by a series of storms on the coast of Patagonia.
(SFC, 3/26/08, p.A4)(Econ, 2/20/10, p.79)
2008 Feb 28, In Bangladesh a
ferry carrying more than 100 people collided with a cargo vessel and
capsized in a river near Dhaka, killing at least 39 people with 20
(AP, 2/28/08)(AP, 2/29/08)
2008 Feb 28, A bitterly divided
Bolivian Congress approved a national vote on President Evo Morales'
proposed constitution, which would grant greater political power to
Bolivia's long-oppressed indigenous groups.
2008 Feb 28, In Bulgaria a
night train traveling from Sofia to the northeastern town of Kardam
caught fire. Officials said at least eight people died, adding that
the toll could rise.
2008 Feb 28, The presidents of
resource-hungry China and oil-rich Nigeria met ahead of the planned
signing of energy deals in Beijing's latest overture to an African
2008 Feb 28, In China at least
14 miners were missing after a cave-in at the Jianbao Coal Minein
Jixi city. The mine owners in northeastern Heilongjiang province
initially concealed the number of missing workers.
2008 Feb 28, Cuba's government
signed two key international human rights treaties that Fidel Castro
long opposed, but said it had reservations about some provisions and
accused the United States of impeding the Cuban people's enjoyment
of their rights.
2008 Feb 28, In Ecuador a
landslide caused some 4,000 barrels of oil to spill from its main
pipeline contaminating Coca River.
2008 Feb 28, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that a government may not deport an individual
to a state where he may be at risk of torture or other
(Econ, 3/1/08, p.63)
2008 Feb 28, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy, following talks with South African President Thabo
Mbeki in South Africa, announced a "renegotiation" of all French
military accords with African nations, arguing that France no longer
had a "policing" role to play on the continent. French power giant
Alstom announced a 1.36 billion euro (two-billion-dollar) contract
for the construction of a coal-fuelled power plant in South Africa
which is suffering from a severe electricity shortage.
2008 Feb 28, In Paris the body
of former top model Katoucha Niane (47) was found in the River
Seine. The former model and speaker against female circumcision went
missing in January. Her 2007 book, "Katoucha, In My Flesh,"
described her own experience with female circumcision at age 9.
(AP, 2/29/08)(AP, 3/7/08)
2008 Feb 28, An Indonesian
court rejected a civil case against the youngest son of ex-dictator
Suharto for alleged corruption and awarded him 550,000 dollars in a
countersuit he filed.
2008 Feb 28, In Iraq the US
military captured an insurgent leader who was recruiting and
training women, including his wife, to wrap themselves in explosives
and blow themselves up, the latest sign that al-Qaida in Iraq plans
to keep using women to carry out suicide attacks.
2008 Feb 28, Kenya's rival
politicians, aided by AU chairman Jakaya Kikwete, signed a
power-sharing agreement and shook hands after weeks of bitter
negotiations on how to end the country's deadly postelection crisis.
(AP, 2/28/08)(Econ, 3/1/08, p.49)
2008 Feb 28, Israeli aircraft
struck a series of targets throughout the Gaza Strip, killing 15
Palestinians, including 5 boys. Palestinian rocket fire continued
throughout the day, lightly wounding two people. Hamza al-Haya, the
son of hardline Hamas lawmaker Khalil al-Haya, was among those
killed. Hamas said he had commanded a rocket-launching squad in
(AP, 2/28/08)(SFC, 2/29/08, p.A10)
2008 Feb 28, Liberia's Health
Minister Walter Gwanigale said health services are chronically
understaffed with only 51 native doctors in the west African nation.
2008 Feb 28, The Madhesi in
southern Nepal pledged to end violent protests and a paralyzing
general strike after reaching an agreement with the government to
establish autonomous regions in the Himalayan nation. 2 days after
the Madhesi agreement the government signed another agreement with a
2nd alliance of ethnic and regional groups.
(AP, 2/28/08)(Econ, 3/8/08, p.50)
2008 Feb 28, In Pakistan a
predawn explosion killed up to 12 suspected militants in South
Waziristan. A US drone was suspected.
(SFC, 2/29/08, p.A10)
2008 Feb 28, Neil Bush, younger
brother of US President George W. Bush, called on Paraguay's Pres.
Nicanor Duarte as the guest of a business federation founded by the
Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
2008 Feb 28, Swedish and
Norwegian authorities cracked down on terror financing, arresting
six people in what Swedish investigators said were coordinated raids
in Stockholm and Oslo.
2008 Feb 28, Former Thai
premier Thaksin Shinawatra vowed to clear his name on corruption
charges and called for national unity as he flew home to a jubilant
welcome from thousands of supporters.
2008 Feb 29, US Defense
Department officials announced that they had formally agreed to
implement the long-discussed Defense Telephone Link (DTL) with
China. The US and China established a hotline between their defense
10/24/09, SR p.9)
2008 Feb 29, The Ninth US
circuit Court of appeals ruled that the US Navy must protect
endangered whales from the potentially lethal effects of underwater
sonar during anti-submarine training off the Southern California
coast, rejecting Pres. Bush’s attempt to exempt the exercises from
(SSFC, 3/2/08, p.A2)
2008 Feb 29, A divided Virginia
Supreme Court affirmed the nation's first felony conviction for
illegal spamming, ruling that Virginia's anti-spamming law does not
violate free-speech rights.
2008 Feb 29, At the annual TED
conference in Monterey, Ca., writer Dave Eggers, cosmologist Neil
Turok and religious scholar Karen Armstrong received awards and then
made wishes to the TED community. Eggers wished that community
members engage a local school and seek transformative change.
(SFC, 3/1/08, p.C1)
2008 Feb 29, In southern
Afghanistan Taliban militants blew up a telecommunications tower
following a warning to phone companies to shut down the towers at
night or face attack.
2008 Feb 29, Algerian security
forces chased some 30 Islamic insurgents planting roadside bombs
back into their refuge east of the Algiers.
2008 Feb 29, In Belgium lawyers
said Belgian writer Misha Defonseca (71) has admitted that she made
up her best-selling memoir, "Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust
Years," depicting how, as a Jewish child, she lived with a pack of
wolves in the woods during the Holocaust.
2008 Feb 29, In Brazil police
killed six alleged drug gang members in Rio de Janeiro, while a
bodyguard for the state security chief was shot dead what appeared
to be an attempted robbery.
2008 Feb 29, The British
military decided to pull Prince Harry out of Afghanistan
"immediately" after news of his deployment leaked out in foreign
2008 Feb 29, China agreed to
release sensitive records about missing US soldiers and establish a
hot line to the Pentagon.
2008 Feb 29, France and
energy-hungry South Africa signed three economic accords, including
one for the construction of a 1.36-billion euro coal-fuelled power
plant by French energy giant Alstom.
2008 Feb 29, In Ghana 9
Nigerians were sentenced to 5 years each for faking e-mails and
letters, including one from the Ghanaian president, to dupe a
Frenchman out of $185,000.
2008 Feb 29, In Guatemala an
overcrowded bus plunged off a highway and rolled into a gully,
killing 45 people and injuring 20 more.
2008 Feb 29, In Iraq gunmen
killed 3 people and abducted Chaldean Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho
(65) soon after he left Mass in Mosul, the latest in what church
members called a series of attacks against Iraq's small Christian
community. A British serviceman was killed in a rocket attack in
southern Iraq, taking the Britain’s death toll since the start of
the conflict to 175.
(AP, 3/1/08)(AFP, 3/1/08)
2008 Feb 29, Italy’s Eni SpA
signed a major oil production agreement with Venezuela. Last month
Eni said it had reached a compensation deal in which Venezuela
agreed to a payment in excess of $700 million.
(WSJ, 3/1/08, p.A5)
2008 Feb 29, Hundreds of Serb
police in Kosovo vowed not to follow the orders of the
Albanian-dominated force after the territory split from Serbia.
2008 Feb 29, Hezbollah
denounced the deployment of US warships off Lebanon and said it
won't be intimidated. The US-backed Lebanese government distanced
itself from the military move.
2008 Feb 29, In Pakistan a
suicide bomber killed at least 44 people and injured up to 90 in
Peshawar. In the Swat Valley a police officer was killed in the
northwestern Lakki Marwat district in a bomb blast along with three
others. Later in the day during funeral ceremonies a suicide bomber
rammed his car into a security vehicle, killing a civilian, a
security official and injuring 21 others.
2008 Feb 29, Peruvian officials
arrested seven members from the Coordinadora Continental
Bolivariana, a Venezuela-based leftist movement, including the
group's alleged leader, Roque Gonzalez, who spent eight years in
prison for kidnapping a Bolivian politician. Two more alleged
members were arrested on March 17 trying to carry in $65,000 from
Ecuador, money Peruvian authorities suspect is Venezuelan.
Coordinadora founder Fernando Rivero told The Associated Press in
Venezuela that the group is entirely autonomous.
2008 Feb 29, Two former
Philippine presidents, once bitter foes, joined tens of thousands of
protesters at a rally to press for President Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo's resignation over a raging corruption scandal.
2008 Feb 29, In Sri Lanka a
suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew himself up injuring 7
people as police tried to search his house in the heavily-guarded
Sri Lankan capital. In a massive search carried out shortly
afterwards, police recovered six powerful Claymore mines, the type
commonly used by Tamil Tiger rebels, from a house in the same area
2008 Feb 29, Turkey's military
said it has ended a ground offensive against Kurdish rebels in Iraq,
but said that foreign influence did not play a role in its decision.
2008 Feb 29, The UN refugee
agency said that 3,000 refugees from Darfur have arrived in Chad in
the last week, bringing the total number to over 13,000 in February
2008 Feb, In Abu Dhabi ground
was broken on the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, the
1st step in an initiative to foster renewable energy and
environmental technologies. The Masdar Initiative was initially
unveiled in 2006.
(Econ, 4/26/08, p.40)(Econ, 12/6/08, TQ p.29)
2008 Feb, The 22-member Arab
League approved restrictive guidelines for satellite channels.
(SFC, 5/27/08, p.A9)
2008 Feb, In China poisoned
food at a snack bar in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen, killed two
diners and sickened 61 others. In 2009 two migrant workers were
sentenced to death for the poisoning. Ke Bizhi was sentenced to
death, while Wang Yingde was also given death but with the
possibility of it being commuted to a life sentence if he shows good
behavior over the next two years. Zhu Yuanlin, the businessman who
masterminded the plot, was sentenced to life in prison. Another man
was given 15 years for his role in the scheme.
2008 Feb, Renault SA invested
$1 billion for a 25% stake in Russian car maker OAO Avtovaz.
(WSJ, 3/21/08, p.A1)(Econ, 6/7/08, p.74)
2008 Feb, India announced a
debt waiver to some 30 million small farmers as part of its budget
along with a massive job creation scheme for rural paupers.
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.46)
2008 Feb, A Pakistani military
assault into the Mehsud territory of South Waziristan was
unaccountably called off after it killed over 1,000 Mehsud and Uzbek
(Econ, 10/17/09, p.36)
2008 Feb, A senior Spanish
judge issued arrest warrants against 40 Rwandan army officers,
including 11 generals, for genocide and crimes against humanity
related to events that took place between 1994 and 2000.
2008 Feb, Turkey and Pakistan
signed agreements to produce cluster bomb munitions.
(Econ, 5/24/08, p.80)
2008 Mar 1, It was reported
that 78% of Americans say they belong to the Christian tradition,
while 5% said they belong to other faiths.
(Econ, 3/1/08, p.34)
2008 Mar 1, In Emory, Texas, a
teenage girl joined her boyfriend and two others to help kill her
mother and 2 brothers (8,13). Her parents had demanded that she
break up with her boyfriend. Terry Caffey, the father, survived with
(SFC, 3/3/08, p.A4)
2008 Mar 1, In eastern
Afghanistan a roadside bomb struck a tractor, killing three people,
including a woman and a child, and wounding seven others.
2008 Mar 1, Algerian troops
called in helicopters and assaulted a hideout with rockets and
helicopter fire, killing 25 members of an al-Qaida affiliate in
2008 Mar 1, Armenian police
forcefully dispersed a demonstration by several hundred opposition
supporters who had camped out in the capital for more than a week to
protest the results of presidential elections. The violent protests
left eight dead and more than 100 injured and prompted President
Robert Kocharian to declare a sweeping, 20-day state of emergency.
(AP, 3/1/08)(AP, 3/2/08)
2008 Mar 1, In Australia up to
300,000 people lined Sydney's streets to watch the Gay and Lesbian
Mardi Gras, as the largest gay pride march in the Asia Pacific
region marked its 30th anniversary.
2008 Mar 1, BHP Billiton,
Melbourne-based mining giant, said it plans to invest $975 million
to upgrade and expand its thermal coal mines in South Africa to
sustain coal exports amid soaring coal prices.
2008 Mar 1, Colombia's defense
minister said security forces killed Raul Reyes (59), a leading
commander of the FARC rebel group, in combat and air strikes in
neighboring Ecuador. Reyes was the nom de guerre of Luis Edgar
Devia. 23 other rebels were also killed and a laptop computer was
seized with documents indicating a close relationship between the
rebels and Venezuela’s Pres. Chavez. Colombia later acknowledged
that an Ecuadorean was killed during the raid. It was later reported
that a computer memory stick was acquired in the raid that held the
names, aliases and identity numbers of 9,387 rebels, including some
(AP, 3/1/08)(AP, 3/5/08)(Econ, 3/8/08, p.43)(AP,
2008 Mar 1, A violent storm
plagued parts of Europe and deaths rose to 10 after two people in
Poland were killed by falling objects because of hurricane-strength
winds. Germany reported 2 deaths, the Czech Rep. 2 deaths and 4 more
2008 Mar 1, In Iraq 2 separate
attacks on buses of Shiites killed five people and wounded 11. The
US military said it had killed six insurgents and detained 13
suspects in the last 24 hours during operations against al-Qaida in
Iraq in central and northern Iraq.
2008 Mar 1, In Nepal some 1,300
makeshift bamboo huts were destroyed at the Goldhap refugee camp
before the blaze was brought under control. The fire left estimated
10,000 refugees without shelter.
2008 Mar 1, In Pakistan police
formally charged top Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud
with plotting the murder of Benazir Bhutto.
2008 Mar 1, Palestinians called
off peace talks with Israel after 33 Gazans, at least half of them
civilians, were killed in violence that escalated sharply during the
day. The death toll climbed as Israeli troops, backed by tanks and
aircraft, went after Palestinian militants who fired 40 rockets and
mortars at southern Israeli communities near Gaza. A total of 54
Palestinians, roughly half of them civilians, were killed in
fighting, the highest single-day death toll in more than seven years
of violence. Two Israeli soldiers also were killed.
(AP, 3/1/08)(AP, 3/2/08)
2008 Mar 1, In the Philippines
a bomb wounded two Filipino soldiers and four women at a bar near a
military camp on Jolo Island, where US troops were conducting
2008 Mar 1, In Spain thousands
of pro-hunting demonstrators blowing bugles and accompanied by
hunting dogs, thronged a boulevard in central Madrid to protest a
law restricting the use of lead shot.
2008 Mar 1, At least 69 nomads
and nine soldiers were killed were killed in clashes with forces
from the ex-rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army in southern Sudan.
2008 Mar 2, Ayman al-Zawahri,
Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader, published "Exonerations," with al-Sahab,
al-Qaida's media wing, on militant Islamic Web sites. The book slams
radical militants who have disavowed armed struggle and turned their
backs on violence.
2008 Mar 2, In southern
California Jamiel Shaw II (17) was gunned down by Pedro Espinoza, a
19-year-old illegal Mexican immigrant, in Arlington Heights, LA
County. On Nov 2, 2012, Espinoza was sentenced to death.
2008 Mar 2, Blind jazz
guitarist Jeff Healey (41), known for his blues-based rock and his
distinctive playing style, died in a Toronto hospital after a
life-long battle with cancer.
2008 Mar 2, Amaro da Costa, a
senior East Timorese rebel soldier, surrendered. He was accused of
being involved in last month's attacks on the country's president
and prime minister.
2008 Mar 2, In northern
Honduras 8 people were shot dead at a billiards hall by gunmen
disguised as policemen in San Pedro Sula, a city plagued by violent
gangs and drug traffickers. Honduras last month began a nationwide
effort to halt a rising wave of violence and stem the flow of guns
on the street.
2008 Mar 2, Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his landmark visit to Iraq opened a new
chapter in "brotherly" relations between the two countries, which
were once bitter enemies. 13 gunmen were killed and eight were
injured in clashes with American and Iraqi forces in the town of Tal
Afar. 2 police officers were also killed and four were injured. In
two other separate attacks in Diyala, police reported that five
people were killed when a roadside bomb hit a bus, while another
assault killed a patrolling police officer. The US military found a
grave in Samarra with 14 bodies, believed to be members of the Iraqi
security forces executed by al-Qaida in Iraq. A car bomb in Samarra
had killed four people, including one child. Police in Samarra,
however, reported that at least seven people were killed and 10
people were injured. In central and northern Iraq US and Iraqi
forces killed 9 suspected insurgents and detained 44 others in raids
targeting al-Qaida. 3 Iraqi troops were killed in one of the
operations. During the operation, the SWAT teams found bomb-making
materials, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, rifles, grenades, a
landmine and ammunition.
(AP, 3/2/08)(AP, 3/3/08)(AP, 3/6/08)
2008 Mar 2, Israeli aircraft
sent missiles slamming into the office of the prime minister of
Hamas-ruled Gaza before dawn, pressing forward with an offensive
that has killed nearly 70 Palestinians in two days of fighting. A
21-month-old girl was among the dead in new violence. The Israeli
onslaught failed to stop rockets from battering southern Israel. 9
were fired at southern Israel by midday, including one that struck a
house in Sderot.
2008 Mar 2, In northwestern
Pakistan a suicide bomber blew himself up at a large meeting called
by tribal elders pushing for peace, killing at least 40 people and
injuring more than 100 in Darra Adam Khel in North West Frontier
Province about 25 miles south of Peshawar.
2008 Mar 2, Russians voted for
a new president in an election likely to hand victory to First
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, President Vladimir Putin's
chosen successor, but criticized by the opposition for a lack of
real competition. With 99.45 percent of the votes counted, Medvedev
had 70.23 percent.
(Reuters, 3/2/08)(AP, 3/3/08)
2008 Mar 2, In Sri Lanka
artillery exchanges left at least 25 Tamil rebels and two Sri Lankan
soldiers dead as Pres. Rajapakse vowed to destroy the separatist
2008 Mar 2, Thais went to the
polls to vote in the country's first elections for the upper house
of Parliament since a 2006 military coup ousted elected PM Thaksin
2008 Mar 2, Venezuela and
Ecuador ordered troops to their borders with Colombia, sharply
raising tensions after Colombia killed a top rebel leader on
Ecuadorean soil. Ecuadorean troops recovered the seminude bodies of
15 rebels in their jungle camp. Soldiers also found three wounded
women at the camp, a Mexican philosophy student injured by shrapnel
and two Colombians, who were evacuated by helicopter to be treated.
2008 Mar 3, The US and EU filed
a WTO case against China demanding that it loosen restraints on
foreign companies vying for a greater slice of the country's
lucrative market for financial information.
2008 Mar 3, In West Palm Beach,
Florida, Alburn Edward Blake (60) opened fire inside a Wendy’s
restaurant killing a paramedic and wounding 5 others before killing
(SFC, 3/4/08, p.A4)
2008 Mar 3, In Memphis,
Tennessee, police found 6 bodies, including 2 men, 2 women and 2
boys, and 3 seriously wounded children, aged 1-12, in the
Binghampton neighborhood. Jessie L. Dotson (33), the brother of one
of the dead men and a convicted killer recently released from
prison, was arrested March 7. In 2010 Dotson was convicted for the 6
murders and faced the death penalty.
(SFC, 3/5/08, p.A5)(AP, 3/9/08)(SFC, 10/12/10,
2008 Mar 3, In Washington state
3 new expensive homes went up in flames in the Seattle suburb of
Woodinville. A spray painted sign was marked ELF, the initials of
the Earth Liberation Front. 2 other homes had minor fire or smoke
(SFC, 3/4/08, p.A3)
2008 Mar 3, In eastern
Afghanistan a suicide car bomber attacked a government building
protected by NATO and Afghan troops. 2 NATO troops and two civilians
died in the blast.
(AP, 3/3/08)(AP, 3/4/08)
2008 Mar 3, Colin Norris (32),
convicted of killing four elderly patients in northern England with
insulin overdoses, was sentenced to life in prison. must serve at
least 30 years before being eligible for parole. Norris was arrested
in December 2002 but not charged until 2005.
2008 Mar 3, The film "Away from
Her" was the big winner at Canada's Genie Awards, winning seven
statuettes, including best picture, best actor, best actress and
best director for first-time filmmaker Sarah Polley.
2008 Mar 3, Cambodia passed
legislation on the “Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual
Exploitation” to comply with the United States policy on human
2008 Mar 3, Ecuador's president
said that his government was in "very advanced" talks with Colombian
rebels to free 12 hostages, including former presidential candidate
Ingrid Betancourt and three US contractors, but was thwarted by
Colombia’s military raid. Venezuela and Ecuador expelled Colombia’s
diplomats and cracked down on trade across the border.
2008 Mar 3, Egyptian security
forces detained at least 36 members of the Muslim Brotherhood,
Egypt's strongest opposition group, including some likely candidates
in local elections next month. The men were accused of belonging to
a banned group, possessing anti-government literature and organizing
unauthorized meetings. Egypt has arrested more than 230 members of
the Islamist group since mid-February, taking the total number in
detention to well over 550.
2008 Mar 3, Parvin Ardalan
(36), an Iranian women's rights activist, was to receive the 2007
Olof Palme award in Stockholm, Sweden, but was told just before her
flight that she was not allowed to leave the country.
2008 Mar 3, The UN Security
Council imposed another round of sanctions on Iran for refusing to
suspend uranium enrichment. Iran defiantly vowed to continue its
nuclear program, which it insists is aimed only at generating power.
2008 Mar 3, In Iraq Pres.
Talabani and Iran’s Pres. Ahmadinejad signed 7 memorandums of
understanding on issues including industrial development, trade and
customs. At least 23 people were killed and dozens were wounded when
two suicide car bombs exploded in different parts of Baghdad. 3
police officers were killed by a parked car bomb in the town of
Shikaat, north of Baghdad.
2008 Mar 3, Israeli ground
troops pulled out of northern Gaza before daybreak, following the
first extended sweep in an offensive against Palestinian rocket
squads that has left more than 100 dead and led the Palestinian
president to call off peace talks.
2008 Mar 3, In western Kenya
dozens of people with assault rifles and machetes stormed a village,
killing at least 13 people, including six children. Some were burned
alive in their homes. National Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said
the attack in Embakasi village was over land, not the country's
disputed Dec. 27 presidential election.
2008 Mar 3, In Myanmar 5 people
were killed in execution-style shootings in the wealthy Yangon
neighborhood where democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi is under house
2008 Mar 3, A UN helicopter
crashed while flying in bad weather in Nepal's mountainous east,
killing at least 10 people.
2008 Mar 3, A Red Cross
official said more than 900 people have been stricken with typhoid
in a city just south of the Philippine capital Manila. The disease
was spread out in 18 villages.
2008 Mar 3, Russia quelled
protests in Moscow following the elections and reduced natural gas
supplies to Ukraine over $600 million in alleged nonpayments for
(WSJ, 3/4/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 3, Saudi police
arrested 28 suspected militants accused of trying to rebuild
al-Qaida’s terror network in the kingdom.
(WSJ, 3/4/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 3, The US launched an
airstrike on a Somali town held by Islamic extremists to go after a
group of terrorist suspects. Three missiles hit Dobley, a town four
miles from the Kenyan border, destroying a home and seriously
injured eight people.
2008 Mar 3, In Sri Lanka 14
rebels were killed in ongoing clashes with government forces.
2008 Mar 3, The Sri Lankan navy
said it rescued 71 Burmese Bangladeshi citizens aboard a vessel that
had drifted for 12 days in the Indian Ocean. 20 others had died from
lack of food and water.
(SFC, 3/4/08, p.A3)
2008 Mar 3, The UN in Sudan
accused a rebel group of blocking access to a mountainous area in
Darfur where 20,000 people are trapped after fighting between
government and rebels.
2008 Mar 3, Tens of thousands
of Syrians filled the central square of the capital to protest an
Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip that has left scores of
2008 Mar 4, John McCain
clinched the Republican nomination. Hillary Clinton won primaries in
Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island, halting Barack Obama's winning streak.
Obama won in Vermont. Obama came away with a large share of
delegates, too, in counting that continued.
2008 Mar 4, In Vermont voters
in Brattleboro and Marlboro passed a nonbinding, symbolic measure
that instructs town police to arrest President George W. Bush and
Vice President Dick Cheney for "crimes against our Constitution" and
"extradite them to other authorities that may reasonably contend to
2008 Mar 4, Platinum prices
spiked to an all-time peak at $2,279.25.
2008 Mar 4, Gary Gygax
(b.1938), co-creator of the role-playing Dungeons & Dragons
game, died in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Gygax and Don Kaye had founded
Tactical Studies Rules (TSR) in 1973. In 1974 Gygax and David
Arneson published D&D. In 1997 TSR was sold to Wizards of the
(WSJ, 3/8/08, p.A7)(Econ, 3/15/08, p.102)
2008 Mar 4, In eastern
Afghanistan a suicide car bomb exploded near a government compound,
killing a policeman. The bombing, claimed by the extremist Taliban,
was the fifth in a week in the eastern province of Khost. In
southwestern Nimroz province Taliban militants attacked a police
checkpoint, and the ensuing two-hour gunbattle left three policemen
dead. Near Hyderabad, Afghanistan, an Afghan man was killed. Master
Sgt. Joseph D. Newel faced allegations in the case that included
premeditated murder; wrongfully mutilating a dead body; larceny; and
violation of a lawful order. In 2009 Newell was acquitted of
premeditated murder and mutilation.
2008 Mar 4, Ethnic Armenian and
Azerbaijani forces exchanged fire for hours near the disputed
territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan warned it could try to
reclaim the disputed region. Soldiers were killed and wounded on
both sides. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty said in a statement that
its two Armenian affiliates halted the broadcasts to comply with an
emergency decree that allows media to only report news that is
sanctioned by the government.
(AP, 3/5/08)(WSJ, 3/5/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 4, The Reserve Bank of
Australia raised its official cash-rate target by a quarter point to
7.25% in an effort to tighten credit as inflation remained
(WSJ, 3/5/08, p.A2)
2008 Mar 4, An Australian
aquaculture company claimed a world first in artificially breeding
endangered southern bluefin tuna.
2008 Mar 4, The US embassy in
Sarajevo said the US government has cut development aid to the
political party of Bosnian Serb PM Milorad Dodik because of its
2008 Mar 4, In Brazil police
used rubber bullets and tear gas to remove 900 activists from a tree
farm they had invaded to highlight allegations its Swedish-Finnish
operators violated a law forbidding foreign companies from owning
2008 Mar 4, The Bank of Canada
slashed its overnight interest rate by 50 basis points for the first
time since November 2001, lowering it to 3.5% and signaling further
cuts to shield the economy from the damaging effects of the US
2008 Mar 4, China said its
defense spending would jump 17.6 percent this year but insisted the
rise was moderate, amid a flare-up in tensions with the United
States over Beijing's growing military muscle.
2008 Mar 4, China and Russia
scuttled a Western attempt to introduce a resolution on Iran's
nuclear defiance at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy
2008 Mar 4, Costa Rican police
detained 14 people, including a family court judge and a lawyer, on
suspicion of participating in a scheme in which mothers allegedly
were paid to give up their babies.
2008 Mar 4, In Cairo US Sec. of
State Condoleezza Rice said she has released $100 million in
military aid to Egypt after telling the US Congress the money was
necessary for national security reasons. Police arrested 54 members
of Egypt's largest opposition movement, the first day for
registration of candidates for key local council elections.
(Reuters, 3/4/08)(AP, 3/4/08)
2008 Mar 4, France pinned the
blame on Sudanese forces for a shooting near the border with Chad
that left one French soldier wounded and another missing and asked
Sudanese authorities for help in locating the missing soldier. Sgt.
Gilles Pollin’s remains were formally identified Mar 7 and flown to
Paris from Khartoum.
(AP, 3/4/08)(AP, 3/7/08)
2008 Mar 4, Israel said it
would return to Hamas-ruled Gaza if necessary as it mounted new
airstrikes on the Palestinian territory after militants fired more
rockets at a nearby Israeli town. Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas declared that peace is his first choice in the Mideast and
visiting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice exhorted Israel to
"spare innocent life" in the latest upsurge in fighting in
Hamas-ruled Gaza. Palestinians fired three rockets at Israel. About
25 Israeli armored vehicles rumbled into southern Gaza and clashed
with militants after nightfall. A 1-month-old baby was killed in the
crossfire. A local Islamic Jihad leader was killed and 8 militants
and 3 civilians were wounded.
(AP, 3/4/08)(AP, 3/5/08)
2008 Mar 4, Israel has said
Hezbollah is rearming and has an arsenal that includes 10,000
long-range rockets and 20,000 short-range rockets in southern
Lebanon, according to a report from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
2008 Mar 4, Italian police said
they have seized 150 million euros of property and goods from
feuding Calabrian mafia clans who are under investigation for the
murder of six Italians outside a pizzeria in Germany last year.
2008 Mar 4, Ian Paisley, the
fiery Protestant preacher who reversed a lifetime of stubbornness to
embrace an unlikely peace, announced his retirement as leader of
Northern Ireland's power-sharing government with Roman Catholics.
2008 Mar 4, In Pakistan 2
suicide bombers blew themselves up at a prestigious naval college in
the eastern city of Lahore, killing at least five people and
2008 Mar 4, The Rwandan
government and the UN signed a deal allowing detainees sentenced by
the UN-backed court on the Rwanda genocide to be jailed in Rwanda.
2008 Mar 4, In Sri Lanka 7
rebels were killed in ongoing clashes as government forces pushed
deeper into Tamil Tiger territory. 3 days of fighting left at least
90 guerrillas and nine government soldiers dead.
2008 Mar 4, In southern Sudan
activists warned that the 2006 arrival of White Nile Petroleum
Company (WNPOC), a consortium led by Malaysia's Petronas, in Unity
State threatens the Sudd wetlands, the world's largest maze of
swamps, lagoons and tributaries. Villagers said thousands were
forcefully evicted to make way for the low-sulphur crude oil
venture. They lost ancestral homes, died from contamination and saw
2008 Mar 4, Officials said
Turkey is ready to take part in a planned Mediterranean Union after
winning assurances that it is not meant as a substitute for Ankara's
eventual EU membership.
2008 Mar 4, Ugandan troops
clashed with rebels from the Lord's Resistance Army inside
2008 Mar 4, Ukraine's natural
gas company warned that if Russia further cuts its gas supplies, it
could begin diverting shipments intended for western Europe.
2008 Mar 5, The US Federal
Housing Authority (FHA) raised loan limits in California.
(WSJ, 3/6/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 5, Hillary Rodham
Clinton, fresh off a campaign-saving comeback, hinted at the
possibility of sharing the Democratic presidential ticket with
Barack Obama, with her at the top. Obama played down his losses,
stressing that he still holds the lead in number of delegates.
2008 Mar 5, Hassan Abu-Jihaad
(b.1976 as Paul R. Hall), a former US sailor, was convicted by a
jury for disclosing in 2001 the location of Navy ships and their
weaknesses to someone suspected of financing terrorism. In 2009 he
was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the maximum penalty for his
2008 Mar 5, Oil surged to a new
record high closing at 104.52 on the NY Mercantile Exchange. The
previous inflation-adjusted high of $103.76 was reached in April
(WSJ, 3/6/08, p.A3)
2008 Mar 5, According to a
study released by Fidelity Investments a couple retiring this year
will need about $225,000 in savings to cover medical costs in
2008 Mar 5, Dirk
Kemphorne, US Interior Sec., released a flood of water from
the Glen Canyon Dam to help restore the Colorado River ecosystem.
The canyon had been flooded 2 times earlier in 1996 and 2004.
(SFC, 3/6/08, p.A12)
2008 Mar 5, In North Carolina
Eve Carson (22), Univ. of North Carolina student body president, was
found dead on a street not far from the Chapel Hill campus. She had
been shot several times, including once in the right temple. On
March 12 Lawrence Alvin Lovette Jr. (17) and Demario James
Atwater (21) were charged with first-degree murder in the death of
Carson. A day later Lovette was also charged with first-degree
murder in the death of Abhijit Mahato, a doctoral student in
computational mechanics, who was found shot to death inside his
apartment a few blocks south of Duke's campus in January. In 2010
Atwater pleaded guilty to several federal crimes and agreed to a
(AP, 3/8/08)(AP, 3/13/08)(SFC, 4/20/10, p.A6)
2008 Mar 5, Joseph Weizenbaum
(b.1923), a computer programmer who helped advance artificial
intelligence only to become a critic of the technology later in his
life, died. He was a professor at MIT when in 1966 he introduced
ELIZA, named for Eliza Doolittle, the heroine of "My Fair Lady." The
program allowed a person to "converse" with a computer, using what
the person said to create the computer's reply.
(AP, 3/13/08)(WSJ, 3/15/08, p.A6)
2008 Mar 5, Australia cancelled
a one billion dollar (930 million US) contract for US-made Seasprite
helicopters following a review of the troubled project.
2008 Mar 5, In Central African
Republic rebels killed five government soldiers and lost one of
their own men in 2 days of clashes near the country's northwestern
border with Chad.
2008 Mar 5, In northwest China
a hijacker in Xi’an armed with explosives took a group of Australian
tourists and a translator hostage before police shot and killed him.
A fire at a coal mine in northeastern China killed 17 people.
(AP, 3/5/08)(AFP, 3/5/08)
2008 Mar 5, In China at least
13 miners were missing at the Taiyuan Coal Mine in Hegang city. 43
men were trapped when the mine caught fire, but 30 were rescued. The
mine owners in northeastern Heilongjiang province initially
concealed the number of missing workers.
2008 Mar 5, The
Washington-based OAS declared Colombia’s attack on rebels in Ecuador
a violation of Ecuador's sovereignty and called for OAS
Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza to lead a delegation to both
countries to ease tensions. But the resolution stopped short of
explicitly condemning the assault. Pres. Chavez said Venezuela will
search for other countries like Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina to
replace products imported from Colombia.
2008 Mar 5, In Egypt police
arrested 86 Brotherhood members in several provinces. All faced
charges of belonging to an illegal group and possessing
Brotherhood-related promotional leaflets.
2008 Mar 5, The EU urged Serbia
to make clear it saw its future with Europe and laid out incentives
on visas, education and transport to try to boost the bloc's image
in the Balkans.
2008 Mar 5, In Germany scores
of flights were canceled as hundreds of airport workers walked off
the job at several airports, part of a wider labor action to win
higher pay for public service workers.
2008 Mar 5, Iraq's cabinet gave
the green light to the Oil Ministry to sign agreements with
international oil companies to help increase the nation's crude
output. An Iraqi official said Turkish warplanes attacked Kurdish
separatist rebels in northern Iraq less than a week after the end of
a large-scale ground operation. The US military freed two former
Health Ministry officials after an Iraqi court dropped charges of
kidnapping, murder, and corruption stemming from Shiite militia
2008 Mar 5, In western Japan 3
vessels collided in a strait, killing one Filipino crew member and
leaving three others missing when their cargo ship sank. The body of
Gold Leader's captain, Tomas Nirid Demandaco Jr. (51), was found the
next day. A suspected right-wing activist committed suicide by
shooting himself in the head in front of Japan's parliament in
apparent protest against Japan's warming ties with China.
(AP, 3/5/08)(AP, 3/6/08)
2008 Mar 5, In Myanmar
pro-democracy party of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's
said they had failed in a bid to sue the military government for not
recognizing their 1990 election victory.
2008 Mar 5, An aid group said
North Korea executed 15 people trying to flee of helping others
(WSJ, 3/6/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 5, In Pakistan a court
quashed corruption cases against Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of
slain former PM Benazir Bhutto. In the North West Frontier (NWFP)
the Awami National Party (ANP) signed a provincial power sharing
agreement with the Pakistan People’s Party.
(AP, 3/5/08)(Econ, 3/22/08, p.46)
2008 Mar 5, Visiting Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice persuaded Palestinians to return to peace
talks. President Mahmoud Abbas said he will resume peace talks with
Israel, backing off a threat to boycott negotiations until Israel
reaches a truce with Hamas militants in Gaza.
2008 Mar 5, Philippine
officials said soaring oil prices and the rising cost of living have
driven nearly four million people in the Philippines back into
2008 Mar 5, In Puerto Rico
public school teachers voted to suspend a 10-day strike that
shuttered classrooms and sparked clashes between protesters and
2008 Mar 5, Sweden’s Karolinska
Institute said researchers have discovered a protein that stimulates
the formation of fat cells, a finding that could potentially be used
to treat obesity.
2008 Mar 5, Russia's state gas
monopoly announced that it was ending a reduction in natural gas
supplies to Ukraine after the two countries' presidents and gas
company chiefs reached an agreement aimed at ending a debt and
2008 Mar 5, In Somalia a
firefight between Islamic insurgents and Somali police at a
checkpoint outside the capital has left five people dead.
2008 Mar 5, South Ossetia
appealed for international recognition as an independent nation,
further adding to simmering tensions in Georgia and throughout the
strategic South Caucasus region.
2008 Mar 5, Turkmenistan's
state media reported that President Berdymukhamedov had approved a
plan to reward women who give birth to eight or more children, a
one-time bonus and lifetime perks.
2008 Mar 5, A NATO official
said that Uzbekistan has allowed some members of the alliance,
including the US, to use an air base on its territory in a signal of
thawing relations with the West.
2008 Mar 6, In Nevada letters
began arriving this week to patients who received injected
anesthesia at the endoscopy center from March 2004 to mid-January
were urged to get tested for hepatitis B and C, and HIV. The Las
Vegas clinic was found to be reusing syringes and vials of
medication for nearly four years.
2008 Mar 6, A lawmaker said
Abkhazia, a region that broke away from Georgian government control
in the 1990s, intends to seek international recognition as an
independent nation, citing Kosovo as a precedent.
2008 Mar 6, In Albania a boat
carrying partygoers celebrating the birthday of 5-year-old twins
sank just after midnight in a lake near the capital, killing 16
people, including the two children.
2008 Mar 6, Britain unveiled a
timetable for the introduction of controversial biometric identity
cards, starting with non-European foreigners who will be obliged to
have them from later this year.
2008 Mar 6, In Britain the
Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) said that up to 700
hundred personnel of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) had
begun a 24-hour stoppage in response to poor pay conditions and
below-inflation wage increases over the past few years.
2008 Mar 6, In Colombia Pedro
Pablo Montoya, a guerrilla known as Rojas, came to government troops
with the severed right hand of FARC rebel leader Ivan Rios (46), a
laptop computer and ID, saying he had killed his boss three days
earlier. Rojas handed himself over to the soldiers. The US State
Department had a bounty of $5 million for Rios' capture. In 2011
Rojas was sentenced to 40 years for his role in a 1999 attack on the
northwestern town of Narino, in which 9 police and 7 civilians were
killed. A march protesting the Colombian government and paramilitary
death squads drew tens of thousands of people and 6 organizers were
(AP, 3/7/08)(AP, 3/14/08)(AP, 11/10/11)
2008 Mar 6, In Egypt police
arrested 26 members of the Muslim Brotherhood in an ongoing
crackdown on Egypt's largest Islamic opposition group ahead of next
month's local election.
2008 Mar 6, Greece's main power
company extended rolling blackouts as a strike by the company's
workers entered its fourth day.
2008 Mar 6, Officials said
authorities in Indian Kashmir have begun poisoning stray dogs in an
anti-rabies drive that aims to kill some 100,000 dogs in the
region's main city.
2008 Mar 6, In Iraq an attack
killed 68 people in a Baghdad shopping district. 120 were wounded.
Many of the victims were teens or young adults.
2008 Mar 6, A gunman
infiltrated a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem and opened fire in a
library, killing 8 students and wounding dozens before an Israeli
army officer nearby shot the gunman dead. In Gaza, the Islamic
militant Hamas praised the attack.
(AP, 3/6/08)(AP, 3/7/08)
2008 Mar 6, Nicaraguan
President Daniel Ortega announced that he is breaking off relations
with Colombia because of his country's opposition to the Colombian
raid on a guerrilla base in Ecuador.
2008 Mar 6, A massive power
outage struck Pakistan's largest city of Karachi and left the entire
city of more than 15 million people without electricity.
2008 Mar 6, Palestinian
militants ambushed an Israeli army jeep on the border with Gaza,
killing one soldier and wounding three. Deputies of Egypt's
intelligence chief Omar Suleiman met with officials from the Islamic
militant Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad in the Egyptian Sinai
city of el-Arish to persuade Hamas to accept a truce that would halt
2008 Mar 6, Serbia's tottering
coalition government voted down a bid by nationalist PM Vojislav
Kostunica to rule out any deal with the EU until it revokes the
independence of Kosovo.
2008 Mar 6, K. Sivanesan (51),
a Sri Lankan Tamil lawmaker, was killed in a roadside bomb attack by
government security forces. At least 61 Tamil Tiger rebels and five
government troops were killed in 2 days of fresh fighting across Sri
Lanka's embattled north.
(AFP, 3/6/08)(AFP, 3/7/08)
2008 Mar 6, Journalists and a
security official said Sudanese authorities have reimposed daily
censorship of newspapers after they published reports accusing the
government of backing Chadian rebels.
2008 Mar 6, Viktor Bout, a
suspected Russian arms dealer, was arrested at a five-star hotel in
downtown Bangkok on allegations that he supplied Colombian rebels
with arms and explosives. He had been accused of flouting UN
embargoes and was wanted by Interpol.
2008 Mar 6, A Kurdish
demonstrator wounded a day earlier in clashes with police in eastern
Turkey died of his injuries.
2008 Mar 6, About 700 Turkish
school children were hospitalized for apparent food poisoning.
2008 Mar 7, Pres. Bush called
an impromptu new conference to calm fears following news of a 63,000
job loss nationwide in February. The January job loss was 22,000.
The Federal Reserve said it plans to make $100 billion available to
banks in March to ease the credit crises.
(SFC, 3/8/08, p.C1)
2008 Mar 7, US Congressman
questioned ex-corporate CEOs on executive compensation as their
companies lost billions in the subprime debacle.
(SFC, 3/8/08, p.C1)(WSJ, 3/8/08, p.A3)
2008 Mar 7, The IRS said it
will spend nearly $42 million on letters alerting taxpayers to
(WSJ, 3/8/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 7, Texas oilman David
Chalmers was sentenced to two years in prison after admitting to
paying millions of dollars in kickbacks to Iraq in connection with
the UN oil-for-food program.
2008 Mar 7, David Gale
(b.1921), UC mathematician, died. In 1962 he and UCLA Prof. Lloyd
Shapley proposed a solution to the “stable marriage problem.” The
paper proved a fertile contribution to real cases of “two-sided
(WSJ, 3/28/08, p.A6)
2008 Mar 7, Algerian
authorities seized 2 tons of cannabis on the border with Morocco. 2
more tons were seized Mar 3. The total was valued at around 4
2008 Mar 7, Captain Paul Watson
of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a protest ship harassing
Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean, said he was shot in a
high-seas clash and his crew members pelted with flash grenades,
injuring one. Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and Japanese
officials insisted only warning devices were fired.
2008 Mar 7, Australian
officials said police have rescued 10 South Korean women who were
forced to work in a Sydney brothel by a sex slavery syndicate that
lured them to Australia with promises of legitimate jobs.
2008 Mar 7, The Belarusian
Foreign Ministry said it has demanded that the US ambassador leave
the country and recalled its ambassador in the US over Washington's
economic sanctions against the ex-Soviet nation.
2008 Mar 7, Francis Pym (86),
former Northern Ireland secretary (1973-74) under Edward Heath, died
after a long illness. He also served as former PM Margaret
Thatcher’s foreign secretary during the Falklands War (1982) but was
fired in 1983 and became a Thatcher antagonist.
2008 Mar 7, A flight crew
prevented an apparent attempt to crash a China Southern flight from
Urumqi. Officials later said a Uighur woman attempted to start a
fire on board the flight to Beijing. No passengers were injured. In
northern Hebei province 10 people were killed in a collision between
a bus and a truck loaded with coal.
(AP, 3/9/08)(AP, 3/7/08)(Econ, 3/22/08, p.29)
2008 Mar 7, At a summit in the
Dominican Republic the presidents of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador
agreed to end a bitter dispute triggered by a Colombian cross-border
raid with testy handshakes and an apology.
2008 Mar 7, An official said
Egypt is building a 13-foot high concrete and rock wall interspersed
with watch towers along its narrow boundary with the Gaza Strip to
prevent Hamas militants from breaching the border.
2008 Mar 7, Bombings in the
northern city of Mosul killed at least 4 people and wounded 46. Twin
bombings in the central part of the city killed one person and
injured 14 others. An American soldier was killed during an
operation in Diyala province.
(AP, 3/7/08)(AP, 3/8/08)
2008 Mar 7, Mexican soldiers
seized assault rifles, grenades, marijuana and bulletproof vests
bearing police insignia after a brief shootout in the border city of
Tijuana. Police commander Ricardo Rodriguez was shot dead in a city
plaza by gunmen who opened fire with assault rifles from a moving
2008 Mar 7, Both of Spain's
major political parties called off all election campaigning
nationwide after Isaias Carrasco, a former city councilman, was shot
dead in the Basque region just two days before general elections.
2008 Mar 7, Suspected Kurdish
rebels killed a civilian and took another hostage in a southern
Turkish province near the border with Syria.
2008 Mar 8, Calls to end forced
marriage, domestic abuse and job discrimination marked International
Women's Day as demonstrators took to the streets worldwide.
2008 Mar 8, Over 20 inches of
snow in Columbus, Ohio, eclipsed the February 1910 record of 15.3
inches. At least 7 deaths were linked to the Midwest snowstorm.
(SFC, 3/10/08, p.A6)
2008 Mar 8, Sen. Barack Obama
captured the Wyoming Democratic caucuses, seizing a bit of momentum
in the close, hard-fought race with rival Sen. Hillary Rodham
Clinton for the party's presidential nomination.
2008 Mar 8, In Algeria Al
Qaeda's wing in north Africa said in an Internet posting that it has
killed 20 Algerian soldiers and wounded 30 in clashes in its eastern
stronghold, where the army has launched a campaign against the
2008 Mar 8, In Colombia a
stadium brawl at a soccer rivalry game left about 80 people wounded
in the city of Cali, 18 of them with stab wounds.
2008 Mar 8, India awarded
Russia a 965-million-dollar contract to upgrade its multi-role
MiG-29 warplanes. The two post-Cold War allies signed the deal to
extend the life of India's fleet of 70 MiG-29 jets another 15 years
from their current 25 years.
2008 Mar 8, As many as 5,000
people took to the streets in Basra, protesting deteriorating
security in the southern city where Iraqi forces assumed
responsibility for safety last December. Two separate bombings in
Diyala province left six people dead. The US military said that
Iraqi security forces had discovered a mass grave near Khalis in
Diyala province containing perhaps 100 bodies. Police also reported
that the bullet-ridden bodies of 13 men were found near the same
2008 Mar 8, It was reported
that Kenya’s wild animal populations has fallen by about 70% in the
last 30 years.
(Econ, 3/8/08, p.86)
2008 Mar 8, Malaysia's ruling
coalition was dealt a shock rebuke in elections that looked set to
deliver the key state of Penang to the opposition as well as a slice
of its majority in parliament. The National Front won only 140
seats, or 63 percent of the constituencies, losing its two-thirds
majority for the first time since 1969 and slumping from its 2004
landslide victory when it won 91 percent of the seats. An alliance
of three opposition parties also secured control of 5 of Malaysia’s
13 state administrations. The Democratic Action party won the Penang
legislative assembly, becoming the first opposition party to win in
Penang in over 40 years.
(AFP, 3/8/08)(AP, 3/9/08)(WSJ, 3/10/08,
p.A3)(Econ, 8/13/11, p.40)
2008 Mar 8, North Korea’s
official news agency reported that leader Kim Jong Il hopes for
stronger friendship with Syria, amid lingering suspicions of a
secret nuclear connection between the two countries.
2008 Mar 8, Rwandan President
Paul Kagame announced a major cabinet reshuffle which saw the
appointment of seven new ministers.
2008 Mar 8, Serbian PM Vojislav
Kostunica announced his resignation, saying his government was no
longer functioning because of disunity in the coalition.
2008 Mar 8, In Turkey Iraq's
Pres. Jalal Talabani, on the 2nd day of his visit, said he wants a
"strategic" partnership with Turkey, including getting the
neighboring nation's businesses to invest in his oil-rich but
2008 Mar 9, In Cupertino, Ca.,
2 racing cyclists, Kristy Gough (30) and Mat Peterson (29), were
killed during a training ride when a deputy sheriff veered into the
opposite lane of traffic on Stevens Canyon Road. Officer James
Council (27) said he had fallen asleep at the wheel. In 2009 Council
was sentenced to 4 months in jail and 800 hours of community
(SFC, 3/10/08, p.A1)(SFC, 3/10/08, p.A1)(SFC,
3/12/08, p.C1)(SFC, 6/26/09, p.B1)
2008 Mar 9, Thousands of Afghan
students in Jalalabad chanted slogans and burned Danish and Dutch
flags in the latest in a series of protests over perceived insults
against Islam. 4 militants were killed in clashes with Afghan and
foreign troops in the Korengal Valley in the eastern province of
(AP, 3/9/08)(AP, 3/11/08)
2008 Mar 9, In Argentina a
passenger train slammed into a bus at a rural rail crossing before
dawn, killing 18 people and leaving at least 47 others injured.
2008 Mar 9, In Tanta, Egypt, at
least 5,000 members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood
demonstrated against government attempts to block members from
registering their candidacy in April's key local elections.
2008 Mar 9, French voters went
to the polls for local elections predicted to deliver yet more bad
news to Nicolas Sarkozy, whose popularity has plummeted since his
triumphant presidential victory last year.
2008 Mar 9, In Hungary 80% of
voters in a referendum rejected small charges for doctor visits, and
hospital stays as well as tuition fees for higher education.
(Econ, 3/29/08, p.67)
2008 Mar 9, An Israeli
Construction Ministry official said PM Ehud Olmert has approved new
construction in a West Bank settlement outside Jerusalem. An Israeli
soldier wounded by Gaza militants in a border ambush on Mar 6 died
of his wounds. The news immediately drew Palestinian condemnation.
2008 Mar 9, An army operation
began in western Kenya pursuing members of a group linked to bloody
clashes over land. Up to 30,000 people fled their homes.
2008 Mar 9, Moroccan security
forces arrested 19 members of the country's largest Islamic
opposition group. Another 25 were arrested as day earlier after they
tried to hold marches in solidarity with the Palestinians.
2008 Mar 9, Former Pakistani PM
Nawaz Sharif said he would join the late Benazir Bhutto's party in a
coalition, raising the prospect of a government hostile to President
Pervez Musharraf. Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif declared they would
work together in what came to be called the Murree declaration.
(Reuters, 3/9/08)(Econ, 3/15/08, p.52)
2008 Mar 9, Spaniards voted in
a general election after a divisive campaign dominated by economic
concerns. PM Zapatero won re-election as the Socialists gained five
seats for a total of 169 in the 350-seat parliament. The opposition
conservative Popular Party (PP) also gained five seats to reach 153,
while smaller left-wing parties and some nationalist parties lost
(AP, 3/9/08)(AP, 3/10/08)(WSJ, 3/10/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 9, A government
newspaper reported that Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has
signed into law a bill giving local owners the right to take
majority control of foreign companies, including mines and banks.
2008 Mar 10, New York Gov.
Eliot Spitzer admitted to his role in a prostitution scandal. He
faced mounting calls to resign. The governor first came under
suspicion because of cash payments from several bank accounts to an
account operated by a call-girl ring.
2008 Mar 10, An Associated
Press investigation showed that a vast array of pharmaceuticals,
including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex
hormones, have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least
41 million Americans.
2008 Mar 10, Crude oil futures
moved to another all-time high as April delivery for light, sweet
crude rose to $107.90 per barrel.
(WSJ, 3/11/08, p.C7)
2008 Mar 10, Highway and
utility crews cleared major highways in time for morning commuters
following the weekend snowstorm that buried parts of Ohio in as much
as 20 inches of snow. The storm battered a wide band from the lower
Mississippi Valley to New England.
2008 Mar 10, In Afghanistan 10
militants and two officers were killed when police clashed with
Taliban fighters in the southern Uruzgan province. In southern
Afghanistan two women and two children were caught in the line of
fire and killed during a clash between NATO troops and insurgents.
(AP, 3/11/08)(AP, 3/12/08)
2008 Mar 10, African Union
troops arrived in the Comoros before launching a military offensive
against the island of Anjouan and its rebellious leader.
2008 Mar 10, Canada’s
government said hunters will be allowed to kill 275,000 young harp
seals on the ice floes off eastern Canada this year, a number that
animal rights activists said was totally unsustainable.
2008 Mar 10, Leaders of the
Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) converged on
Kinshasa for a summit focusing on the situation in Chad in the wake
of a failed rebel assault.
2008 Mar 10, China said it will
keep family-planning limits to one child per couple for at least
(WSJ, 3/11/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 10, Guatemala's first
trial on "forced disappearance" charges began in connection with six
civilians who went missing during the nation's 36-year civil war.
2008 Mar 10, A female suicide
bomber in the predominantly Sunni town of Kanaan, 13 miles east of
Baqouba. killed the head of a local group of Sunni fighters in who
had turned against al-Qaida insurgents. A suicide bomber killed five
American soldiers on a foot patrol after detonating his explosives
vest in central Baghdad. Another 3 American soldiers and their
interpreter were killed by a roadside bomb in eastern Diyala
(AP, 3/10/08)(AP, 3/11/08)
2008 Mar 10, Israeli PM Ehud
Olmert has instructed the army to halt airstrikes and raids into the
Gaza Strip in response to a recent drop in rocket fire from the
2008 Mar 10, In Malaysia PM
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was sworn in for a new 5-year term despite
calls for his resignation. Malaysian stocks fell over 10% and
triggered for the first time a limit-down rule established after the
1997-1998 Asian financial crises.
(WSJ, 3/11/08, p.C7)
2008 Mar 10, In Mexico a
researcher said satellite photographs show illegal loggers have
clear-cut large swathes of trees in the heart of a monarch butterfly
reserve, threatening the insects' habitat. The images show illegal
loggers chopped 1,100 acres of trees since 2004 in the core of a
wooded park in Michoacan state.
2008 Mar 10, In central Mexico
a sports utility vehicle fell into a canal, killing nine small
children but leaving their teacher unharmed.
2008 Mar 10, Tropical cyclone
Jokwe battered parts of Mozambique for a third day. At least 16
people were killed with thousands of homes destroyed in northern
(Reuters, 3/10/08)(AFP, 3/11/08)
2008 Mar 10, A Manila court
acquitted the flamboyant widow of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos of
32 counts of illegally transferring wealth abroad during her
husband's 20-year rule.
2008 Mar 10, The coalition
government of Serbian PM Vojislav Kostunica was formally dissolved,
opening the way for an early parliamentary election.
2008 Mar 10, Sri Lankans
trickled to the polls in the turbulent eastern city of Batticaloa to
vote in the first municipal elections since government forces seized
control of the east last year from ethnic Tamil rebels. The Karuna
Group, a pro-government militia composed of former Tamil Tiger
rebels, won the election despite allegations that it used child
soldiers, extorted businessmen and carried out killings.
(AP, 3/10/08)(AP, 3/11/08)
2008 Mar 10, Hundreds of
Tibetan exiles began a six-month march from India to Tibet to
protest Beijing's hold on the Himalayan region and China's hosting
of the Olympic Games. Indian police barred the Tibetan exiles from
(AP, 3/10/08)(WSJ, 3/11/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 10, A top Vatican
official listed drugs, pollution, genetic manipulation and social
and economic injustice as new sins.
(AP, 3/11/08)(WSJ, 3/11/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 10, Vietnam’s central
bank widened the band in which it allows the Vietnamese dong to rise
or fall against the dollar from .75% to 1%. The bank said it plans
to expand the band to 2% in an effort to unshackle its economy from
the sliding dollar.
(WSJ, 3/19/08, p.A8)
2008 Mar 11, The US Federal
Reserve and other central banks said they will pump $200 billion
into the financial markets, using the Term Securities Lending
Facility (TSLF), to help ease the strain from the credit crisis.
Wall Street rebounded with its biggest rally since 2002 at the DJIA
rose 416.66 to 12,156.81. Gas prices rose to a record national level
of $3.2272 per gallon.
(AP, 3/11/08)(SFC, 3/12/08, p.B1,B3)(Econ,
2008 Mar 11, Sen. Barack Obama
picked up five more delegates than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in
Mississippi's Democratic primary.
2008 Mar 11, The US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention said 26% of US teen girls are
infected with at least one sexually transmitted disease. The rate
was highest among blacks.
(AP, 3/11/08)(WSJ, 3/12/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 11, The SF Board of
Supervisors passed a law requiring chain restaurants to post
nutrition information on their menus.
(SFC, 3/12/08, p.C1)
2008 Mar 11, The Pacific
Fishery Management Council said it would have to ban all salmon
fishing, due to depleted spawning, unless a request is made for an
(SFC, 3/13/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 11, The US space
shuttle Endeavour blasted off from a seaside Florida launch pad to
deliver part of a long-awaited Japanese space laboratory and a
Canadian-built robotic system to the International Space Station.
2008 Mar 11, In western
Afghanistan police backed by NATO-led troops killed four suspected
criminals after a spate of kidnappings and robberies. The ministry
said an Afghan soldier was killed in Kapisa province, just north of
Kabul. Taliban militants attacked a district administrative compound
in southern Zabul province, and the ensuing one-hour gunbattle left
one Taliban dead and three wounded. 5 militants set fire to the
generator, fuel tank and antenna of the tower in the Obe district of
Herat province. The tower belonged to the Areeba company. Afghan and
US-led coalition forces killed nearly a dozen suspected militants in
Helmand during a clash in Garmsir district.
(AP, 3/11/08)(AP, 3/12/08)(AP, 3/13/08)
2008 Mar 11, Bangladesh's
military-backed government backed down from a policy to ensure equal
property rights to women amid angry protests by Muslim clerics that
the move would override Islamic law.
2008 Mar 11, The Belgian
government and banks agreed to pay $170 million to Holocaust
survivors, families of victims and the Jewish community for their
material losses during Word War II.
2008 Mar 11, The Bank of
England said it would inject a further 10 billion pounds into money
markets amid the ongoing credit crunch.
2008 Mar 11, Some 600,000 poor
Chileans will receive monthly pensions starting in July under a law
signed by President Michelle Bachelet that plugs gaps in Chile's
widely copied private pension system.
2008 Mar 11, China unveiled
plans to revamp bureaucratic government ministries and create new
agencies to help it tackle pressing issues such as nuclear energy,
food and drug safety, environmental protection and the Internet.
2008 Mar 11, Thousands of
Chinese security personnel fired tear gas to try to disperse more
than 600 monks taking part in a second day of rare street protests
2008 Mar 11, Three generals
regarded as national heroes in Croatia went on trial at the Hague,
accused of orchestrating the killing of at least 150 Serbs in a 1995
military campaign that unleashed widespread murder and pillage.
2008 Mar 11, EU regulators
cleared Google's $3.1 billion bid for online ad tracker DoubleClick,
saying the acquisition won't curb competition for online ads.
2008 Mar 11, At least 42 people
were killed across Iraq. A roadside bomb hit a bus traveling in
southern Iraq, killing at least 16 civilians, while gunmen opened
fire on another bus in the capital, leaving one person dead. The
Pentagon said up to 90% of the foreign fighters in Iraq cross from
(AFP, 3/11/08)(AP, 3/12/08)(WSJ, 3/12/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 11, In Japan
authorities arrested in Osaka arrested Hatsue Shimizu (64) and
Yoshiko Ishii (55), two sisters, for allegedly hiding millions of
dollars worth of cash in their garage to evade inheritance taxes.
Their father, who was in the real-estate lease business, died in
2004, leaving $72.9 million to his family.
2008 Mar 11, Top leaders
Malaysia's opposition-ruled states will no longer follow a longtime
affirmative action program that benefits the majority Malays, in the
wake of an election upheaval that clipped the ruling coalition's
2008 Mar 11, Mexico's federal
attorney general's office announced an investigation into
allegations of corruption against Interior Secretary Juan Camilo
Mourino, a confidant of the president who holds the government's
second highest profile job.
2008 Mar 11, State media said
Mozambique's President Armando Guebuza has sacked three senior
members of his government, including his foreign minister.
2008 Mar 11, Nigerian soldiers
hunting Niger Delta gang leader Ateke Tom said they had found a huge
cache of arms and ammunition, along with an illegal pipeline used to
tap stolen oil, in a raid on one of his bases.
2008 Mar 11, In Lahore,
Pakistan, massive suicide bombs ripped through a seven-story police
headquarters and a business, killing 27 people and wounding more
than 200 others in attacks that deepened the security crisis. The
wounded included 32 girls who were hit by flying debris at a school
near the police building.
(AP, 3/11/08)(AP, 3/12/08)
2008 Mar 11, Palestinian
militants in Gaza launched a rocket at the Israeli city of Ashkelon,
causing no injuries but threatening to upset a recent period of
2008 Mar 11, In Peru a
helicopter ferrying passengers from the La Granja copper mine owned
by the Rio Tinto Group crashed in the Andes with 10 people aboard.
The wreckage was found the next day.
2008 Mar 11, Serbia and Russia
demanded that the UN administration in Kosovo halt the transfer of
authority to the European Union, calling a handover illegal and
declaring they will never recognize the independence of the Serb
2008 Mar 12, The United States
signed agreements with EU members Latvia and Estonia that will
enable the tiny Baltic nations to join the U.S. visa waiver program
2008 Mar 12, The US Treasury
said the government turned in a $175.56 billion budget deficit for
February, a record for any month. The federal deficit swelled to
$263.3 billion in the first five months of this budget year.
2008 Mar 12, The US Treasury
said it blacklisted Future Bank of Bahrain because it is controlled
by Bank Melli of Iran, which plays a role in financing Tehran’s
nuclear and missile programs.
(WSJ, 3/13/08, p.A3)
2008 Mar 12, NY Gov. Eliot
Spitzer announced his resignation effective March 17, completing a
stunning fall from power after he was nationally disgraced by links
to a high-priced prostitution ring. This put Lt. Gov. David Peterson
in place as the nation’s first legally blind governor.
(AP, 3/12/08)(SFC, 3/12/08, p.A12)
2008 Mar 12, In Alaska Lance
Mackey won his second consecutive Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race,
completing the 1,100-mile journey in just under 9 1/2 days.
2008 Mar 12, Hulu.com, a free
video Web site, was launched as a online joint video venture between
NBC and News Corp. In 2010 it announced that it would begin selling
2008 Mar 12, Howard Metzenbaum
(b.1917), self-made millionaire and former Ohio Senator (1976-1995),
died in Florida.
(SFC, 3/13/08, p.A10)
2008 Mar 12, Afghan and
international forces attacked Taliban militants as they traveled by
motorcycle toward the Pakistan border. The troops employed
airstrikes during a four-hour battle and killed 41 militants,
including 17 from Nimroz. In southern Afghanistan a suicide car
bomber attacked a convoy of Canadian troops, killing a passing
civilian and wounding one soldier. In Zabul province, Afghan
security forces and NATO troops launched an operation against
Chechen fighters meeting in Daychopan district. The ensuing two-hour
gun battle left three Chechens dead and six wounded. in Farah
province, authorities recovered the dead body of the Pusht Rod
district police chief, a day after he was kidnapped along with five
(AP, 3/12/08)(AP, 3/13/08)
2008 Mar 12, US-led forces in
Afghanistan fired a missile into Pakistan that killed 4 women and 2
boys. Pakistan lodged a protest the next day with coalition forces
(AP, 3/13/08)(SFC, 3/14/08, p.A17)
2008 Mar 12, In Australia
police said a quarter-ton of cocaine with a street value of more
than 80 million US dollars has been seized after being shipped in
from Southeast Asia.
2008 Mar 12, In Austria a
dispute began with the opening of "Religion, Flesh and Power," a
collection of about 50 paintings, drawings and sculptures, some with
homo-erotic themes, by Austrian artist Alfred Hrdlicka (80). Among
them is Hrdlicka's rendition of the Last Supper: a large, loosely
rendered black and white etching that shows Jesus and his disciples
engaging in sex acts on the table where they shared their final meal
before Christ's crucifixion.
2008 Mar 12, Human Rights Watch
said in a report that the armies of migrant workers building
Beijing's skyscrapers and Olympic venues are being bilked of wages
and placed in dangerous conditions. China's foreign minister said
Human rights groups that cite the Beijing Games in their criticisms
of the Chinese government are violating the Olympic charter.
2008 Mar 12, In Iraq coalition
soldiers killed a young Iraqi girl after firing a warning shot at a
woman who "appeared to be signaling to someone" along a road where
several bombs had recently been found. Chaldean Catholic Archbishop
Paulos Faraj Rahho was found dead near the city of Mosul, where he
was kidnapped last month. 3 US soldiers died in a rocket attack on
Combat Outpost Adder near Nasiriyah.
2008 Mar 12, Gaza's Hamas prime
minister publicly set his conditions for a cease-fire with Israel to
end the fighting that has killed dozens in recent weeks. Ismail
Haniyeh demanded an end to Israeli military activity in the
Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, a lifting of Israeli economic sanctions and
the opening of Gaza's borders. Hours later Israeli forces killed 4
Palestinian militants in the West Bank. Israeli troops riding in a
taxi van pulled up behind the militants' parked Daihatsu and began
(AP, 3/12/08)(WSJ, 3/13/08, p.A1)(AP, 4/1/08)
2008 Mar 12, A UN tribunal
extended the sentence of Rwandan Roman Catholic priest Athanase
Serombawar to life in prison after upholding his war crimes
conviction for ordering militiamen to burn and bulldoze a church
with 1,500 people inside during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He was
originally sentenced to 15 years in prison.
2008 Mar 12, Sri Lanka’s
defense ministry said at least another 28 Tamil Tiger rebels were
killed by security forces in overnight fighting across Sri Lanka's
embattled north. Air force fighter jets pounded three suspected
rebel bases in Mannar.
2008 Mar 12, Turkish troops
killed 11 Kurdish rebels during clashes near the border with Iraq.
(WSJ, 3/13/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 13, The US House
Republicans’ campaign committee said it is missing several hundred
thousand dollars, and possibly more, after discovering suspected
fraudulent activity by former treasurer Christopher Ward, who was
dismissed on Jan 28.
(WSJ, 3/14/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 13, US gold futures
rallied to a record high of $1,000 an ounce, fueled by a combination
of a weakening dollar, strong investment demand and inflation fears
due to rising crude oil prices.
2008 Mar 13, The Florida Senate
passed a bill that could mean suspensions for students with droopy
britches. Orlando Sen. Gary Siplin, a Democrat, has said the fashion
statement has a back-story -- it was made popular by rap artists
after first appearing among prison inmates as a signal they were
looking for sex.
2008 Mar 13, AOL said it will
acquire Bebo, a social Web site, for $850 million.
(SFC, 3/14/08, p.C1)
2008 Mar 13, In Afghanistan a
remote-controlled bomb hit a police vehicle in Saydabad district of
Wardak province, killing one policeman and wounding four others. A
suicide bomber in Kabul targeting US troops killed 6 Afghan
(AP, 3/13/08)(SFC, 3/14/08, p.A17)
2008 Mar 13, Canada’s
Parliament voted to extend its mission in Afghanistan to 2011,
provided NATO supplies more troops and equipment to back up its
forces in the volatile south.
2008 Mar 13, Chad accused Sudan
of sending anti-government rebels across their border into its
territory as international mediators struggled to broker a fresh
peace accord between the two neighbors. The presidents of Chad and
Sudan signed a non-aggression pact, vowing not to support rebel
attacks against each other, many of which were launched from
(AP, 3/13/08)(AFP, 3/14/08)
2008 Mar 13, Chile said it has
agreed to receive 117 Palestine refugees from Iraq who have spent
months living in tents along the desert border with Syria.
2008 Mar 13, In China an
avalanche buried 12 workers at a mountainous construction site for a
pipeline in the far northwest.
2008 Mar 13, A human rights
group said Chinese sales of assault rifles and other small arms to
its ally Sudan have grown rapidly during the Darfur conflict despite
a UN arms embargo.
2008 Mar 13, A deployment of
100 Sudanese soldiers arrived in Comoros, ahead of a likely African
Union-backed operation against the rebel island of Anjouan.
2008 Mar 13, Cuba and Mexico
declared their once-chilly relations fully restored, and Cuba's
foreign minister said he will soon deliver a formal invitation for
Mexico's president to visit the island.
2008 Mar 13, In Egypt A Muslim
Brotherhood leader said more than 90 percent of Egyptian Islamist
candidates have been prevented from registering for April local
elections due to a crackdown by the regime and a campaign of
2008 Mar 13, In Ethiopia a bus
hit a landmine near the disputed Ethiopian-Eritrean border, killing
at least eight people and wounding 27 others.
2008 Mar 13, Volkswagen, the
biggest European car maker, vowed to become "the best auto
manufacturer in the world" and welcomed a looming takeover by luxury
sports car maker Porsche.
2008 Mar 13, Indian police
arrested 100 Tibetan exiles trying to walk to their homeland as part
of a major protest ahead of the Beijing Olympics, although the
demonstrators vowed the march would go on.
2008 Mar 13, A parked car bomb
exploded in a commercial district of central Baghdad, killing 18
people and wounding 57. 5 members of an Awakening Council were
killed when gunmen attacked two separate checkpoints near Tikrit. A
female suicide bomber attacked an Awakening Council gathering in the
village of Zab outside Kirkuk and 3 people were killed with seven
(AP, 3/13/08)(AP, 3/14/08)
2008 Mar 13, The militant
Islamic Jihad group in Gaza fired more than a dozen rockets at
southern Israel after Israeli undercover forces killed one of its
West Bank leaders, shattering a recent lull in Gaza fighting.
2008 Mar 13, In central Mexico
6 people were shot and killed inside a private law office in
2008 Mar 13, The Dutch
parliament voted unanimously to outlaw bestiality and pornography
2008 Mar 13, In Pakistan more
than 1,000 tribesmen protested against the killing of eight
civilians by Pakistani forces this week in the lawless Bajaur tribal
2008 Mar 13, Serbian President
Boris Tadic disbanded parliament and called an early general
election for May 11.
2008 Mar 14, The near-collapse
of US investment giant Bear Stearns and its Federal Reserve bailout
heightened fears that the worst is not over for the spreading global
credit crunch. The Federal Reserve and JP Morgan Chase & Co.
offered to extend loans for 28 days. The US dollar hit a record low
against the euro, closing at 1.567 per euro.
(AFP, 3/14/08)(SFC, 3/15/08, p.C1)(WSJ, 3/15/08,
2008 Mar 14, In Mississippi
Richard Scruggs, chief architect of the $206 billion tobacco
settlement in 1998, pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe a judge
with $50,000 in a dispute over legal fees.
(SFC, 3/15/08, p.A2)
2008 Mar 14, Robert Soloway
(28), dubbed "the King of Spam," faced a possible 26-year jail
sentence after pleading guilty in Seattle to charges of fraud and
tax evasion. On July 22 Soloway was sentenced to 47 months in
2008 Mar 14, A tornado his
downtown Atlanta, Georgia, and left 27 people injured. Workers
cleaning debris found one dead body on March 22.
(SSFC, 3/23/08, p.A3)
2008 Mar 14, In Pleasanton,
Ca., Ernest Scherer (60), a real estate investor, and his wife
Charlene Abendroth (57), an accounting lecturer, were found
bludgeoned to death inside their home. In 2009 their son, Ernest
Scherer III (30), was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with the
murders. On may 20, 2011, Ernest Scherer III was sentenced to life
(SSFC, 3/23/08, p.B1)(SFC, 2/25/09, p.B4)(SFC,
2008 Mar 14, Afghan and foreign
troops clashed with Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan,
leaving three suspected militants dead and two wounded. The US-led
coalition killed "several" militants in an operation in eastern
(AP, 3/14/08)(AFP, 3/16/08)
2008 Mar 14, In Australia
Milton Orkopoulos (50), a former New South Wales state minister, was
convicted on child sex and drugs charges after being described as a
"sordid genius" by prosecutors.
2008 Mar 14, Five Burundi
insurgents and a government soldier were killed in a clash with the
army in the north of the war-wracked central African country's
2008 Mar 14, It was reported
that China had likely surpassed the US last month in its number of
(WSJ, 3/14/08, p.B3)
2008 Mar 14, In China a gas
explosion at a southwestern Yunnan coal mine killed 14 miners and
2008 Mar 14, Iranians voted in
elections. About 4,500 candidates nationwide ran for parliament's
290 seats. With final results reported from all races except those
in Tehran, 113 of parliament's 290 seats went to conservatives.
(AP, 3/14/08)(AP, 3/17/08)
2008 Mar 14, The Bush
administration's Mideast envoy pushed Israel and the Palestinians to
speed up peace negotiations at the first meeting the US has attended
since talks resumed nearly four months ago.
2008 Mar 14, Russian forces
raided a forest camp in the volatile North Caucasus province of
Dagestan, leading to a shootout in which six suspected militants, a
police officer and an Interior Ministry servicemen died.
2008 Mar 14, In Senegal members
of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference moved to
create a battle plan, including legal action, to defend Islam from
political cartoonists and bigots.
2008 Mar 14, Hundreds of Serbs
stormed a UN courthouse in northern Kosovo, took control of the
site, and raised a Serbian flag.
(WSJ, 3/15/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 14, Sri Lanka’s
pro-rebel TamilNet Web site said rebels beat back advancing troops
on three fronts in Mannar and Welioya regions, killing 22 soldiers.
2008 Mar 14, In northern Syria
a bus carrying high school students rammed into a house and flipped
over, killing at least 24 people and injuring 34.
2008 Mar 14, In Tibet angry
protesters set shops ablaze and gunfire in Lhasa as the largest
demonstrations in two decades against Chinese rule turned violent
months ahead of the Beijing Olympics. 18 people died in the
conflagration or from physical assaults. The government later said
losses amounted to 280 million yuan ($41 million).
(AP, 3/14/08)(Econ, 2/6/10, p.43)
2008 Mar 14, The UN General
Assembly adopted a resolution demanding the "immediate, complete and
unconditional" withdrawal of all Armenian forces from Azerbaijan's
territory in a vote in which more than 100 countries abstained.
2008 Mar 14, In Zimbabwe the
teacher’s union said thousands of teachers state schools have ended
a 3-week strike after being awarded a 754% salary increase by the
2008 Mar 15, In NYC an
apartment building on Manhattan’s East Side was crushed in a giant
crane collapse that killed 7 people and injured 17.
(AP, 3/16/08)(SFC, 3/18/08, p.A2)
2008 Mar 15, It was reported
that spores of Ug99, a wheat killing fungus that emerged in East
Africa nearly 10 years ago, has been spread by winds into the Saudi
Peninsula and South Asia.
(SFC, 3/15/08, p.B6)
2008 Mar 15, In Afghanistan a
suicide car bomb attack near a convoy of international troops killed
a 13-year-old Afghan child and wounded a soldier in Khost province.
3 militants were killed in the former Taliban stronghold of Musa
Qala in Helmand province.
(AP, 3/15/08)(AFP, 3/16/08)
2008 Mar 15, In Albania 26
people, including several children, were killed and over 250 injured
by a series of large explosions at an army base on the outskirts of
the capital Tirana. The explosions began when workers were moving
stocks of old Chinese and Soviet shells stored at the base. Some
workers were repackaging 40-year-old Chinese-made shells to disguise
their origin. In September Kosta Trebicka, a businessman turned
whistle-blower, was killed when his jeep crashed on a remote
(Reuters, 3/16/08)(AP, 3/18/08)(Econ, 10/11/08,
2008 Mar 15, Azerbaijan warned
it would review relations with France, Russia and the US after they
voted against a UN resolution calling on Armenia to pull out of
2008 Mar 15, China's
legislature re-elected Hu Jintao as president, giving him a second
five-year term as leader of the world's most populous country. It
also returned Hu as head of the Central Military Commission, the
body overseeing the armed forces.
2008 Mar 15, China kept
government workers confined to their offices and ordered tourists
out of Tibet's capital while lines of soldiers sealed off streets
where riots had erupted. A Tibetan exile group said at least 30
people were killed in protests a day earlier. Tibet's
government-in-exile demanded the UN intervene to end what it called
"urgent human rights violations" by China in the region following
2008 Mar 15, Congo’s foreign
debt stood at $12 billion and interest payments consumed a large
chunk of its budget.
(Econ, 3/15/08, SR p.12)
2008 Mar 15, In Iran hard-line
allies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pulled ahead in Iran's
parliamentary elections, according to partial results, but the
president's conservative critics were making a strong showing that
could unsettle his domination of the legislature.
2008 Mar 15, Iraqi security
forces clashed with a breakaway faction of Shiite cleric Muqtada
al-Sadr's Mahdi Army in Kut, leaving five dead and 15 wounded.
2008 Mar 15, Thousands of
Italians marched in an anti-mafia protest and called on all citizens
to take a public stand against Italy's powerful crime syndicates.
2008 Mar 15, Alitalia, Italy’s
state-owned national airline, accepted a takeover offer worth $217
made by air France-KLM, a French-Dutch airline group. The Italian
government accepted the offer on March 17.
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.73)
2008 Mar 15, In Japan Tony
Blair, during a meeting of senior officials from the world's top 20
greenhouse gas emitters, urged the world's heaviest polluters
including the United States, China and India to agree to binding
emissions cuts, saying failure to act on global warming would be
2008 Mar 15, Vytautas Kernagis
(57), popular Lithuanian singer, died of cancer.
2008 Mar 15, Officials said the
main telecom operator in the United Arab Emirates, Etisalat, has
launched mobile services in Nigeria, becoming the fifth operator
2008 Mar 15, In Nigeria a Wings
Airline 19-seater aircraft went missing shortly after leaving Lagos
for the Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River state. On Aug 30 hunters
found the wreckage of the plane and the bodies of its three crew
2008 Mar 15, In Pakistan a bomb
struck an Italian restaurant crowded with foreigners, killing a
Turkish aid worker and wounding at least 12 other people.
2008 Mar 15, Qatar-based
investment company IAS International said it was undertaking a
series of development projects in Central African Republic worth 1.6
2008 Mar 15, In Qatar the
consecration of the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary was held. This
became Qatar’s first Roman Catholic church, ending decades of
clandestine worship for tens of thousands of foreign workers. The
$15 million, 2,700-seat church was built on land donated by Qatar's
emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani.
(AP, 3/14/08)(AP, 3/15/08)
2008 Mar 15, In southern
Thailand a bomb exploded in the parking lot of an upscale hotel,
killing two people and wounding 14 others.
2008 Mar 16, The US Federal
Reserve, acting urgently over the weekend to stabilize financial
markets, approved a cut in its emergency lending rate to 3.25% from
3.50%. The move will allow big investment firms to quickly secure
2008 Mar 16, JPMorgan said it
would buy Bear Stearns for $236.2 million, $2 a share, in a stunning
fall for one of the world's largest and most venerable investment
banks. In 2009 William D. Cohan authored “How the Money Vanished: A
Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street.”
(AP, 3/17/08)(WSJ, 3/6/09, p.A13)
2008 Mar 16, Ivan Dixon
(b.1931), black actor, director and producer best known for his role
as Kinchloe on the 1960s television series "Hogan's Heroes," died.
2008 Mar 16, Ola Brunkert (62),
a former drummer for 1970s Swedish pop group ABBA, was found dead
after an apparent accident in his house in Mallorca. He first played
with ABBA on the group's first single, "People Need Love," and
toured with the band in 1977, 1979 and 1980.
2008 Mar 16, In Afghanistan’s
eastern Nangarhar province four militants were killed in an exchange
of fire after attacking a police post near the border with Pakistan.
A Canadian soldier died in an explosion while on foot patrol in
(AFP, 3/16/08)(AP, 3/17/08)
2008 Mar 16, Premier Wen Jiabao
was appointed to a second five-year term as China's top economic
official, leading efforts to cool soaring inflation and showcase the
country to the world at the Beijing Olympics.
2008 Mar 16, The Dalai Lama
called for an international investigation into China's crackdown
against protesters in Tibet, which he said is facing a "cultural
genocide" and where his exiled government said 80 people were killed
in the violence. Internet users in China were blocked from seeing
YouTube.com after dozens of videos about protests in Tibet appeared
on the popular US video Web site.
2008 Mar 16, Comoran soldiers
encountered a "disorganized" resistance from rebel forces in Anjouan
and "the confrontation that followed led to the deaths of dozens of
rebel forces. The next day Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Amiri Salimou
said the National Development Army (AND) army had carried out two
"successful" operations against forces loyal to Mohamed Bacar's
forces on March 9-10 and March 14-16.
2008 Mar 16, In Egypt 23
people, mostly policemen, were killed when their vehicle smashed
into a truck on the highway between Cairo and Alexandria.
2008 Mar 16, In France the
Socialists took an estimated 49% of the vote, against 47.5% for the
Pres. Sarkozy’s UMP. Socialists now control 58% of towns with more
than 30,000 inhabitants, after winning 40 from the right including
2008 Mar 16, In France a pipe
ruptured while a tanker was being loaded at a Total refinery. Some
3,000 barrels of fuel oil leaked in and along the Loire River.
2008 Mar 16, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel acknowledged her country's "historical responsibility"
to Israel as she opened a three-day visit marking the 60th
anniversary of the Jewish state.
2008 Mar 16, In India suspected
insurgents lobbed a hand grenade at thousands of people
participating in a cultural festival in the northeast Jonai, killing
three and wounding another 50.
2008 Mar 16, In northern India
15 poor people were freed from captivity after selling their blood
to private clinics to make money. Five people were arrested and
later charged with illegal confinement of people and attempt to
2008 Mar 16, Iran's Culture
Ministry announced the closure of nine cinema and lifestyle
magazines for publishing pictures and stories about the life of
"corrupt" foreign film stars and promoting "superstitions."
2008 Mar 16, Sen. John McCain,
the Republican Party's presumptive nominee for president who has
linked his political future to US success in Iraq, was in Baghdad
for meetings with Iraqi and US diplomatic and military officials.
2008 Mar 16, Tuareg rebels
(MNJ) in Niger killed a police officer and a republican guard in an
attack 200 kilometers north of the capital Niamey.
2008 Mar 16, In Pakistan a
drone dropped 7 missiles on a compound outside Wana in South
Waziristan, killing at least 20 people.
(AP, 3/16/08)(SFC, 3/17/08, p.A9)
2008 Mar 16, In northern Sri
Lanka suspected separatist Tamil rebels killed a police officer and
a soldier in separate attacks, taking the death toll from two days
of violence to 30.
2008 Mar 17, The US
administration signed deals with Hungary, Lithuania and Slovakia
paving the way for visa-free travel for their citizens despite
concerns in Brussels over the bilateral agreements.
2008 Mar 17, In New York David
Paterson was sworn in almost exactly a week after allegations first
surfaced that former Gov. Eliot Spitzer was "Client 9" of a
high-priced call girl service. Paterson tried to come clean about
his own skeletons just hours after assuming office by acknowledging
a years-old affair.
2008 Mar 17, Hannaford Bros., a
grocery store chain in the Northeast US and Florida owned by
Belgium’s Delhaize Group SA, disclosed that as many as 4.2 million
customer account numbers had been stolen between Dec 7 and Mar 10.
The intrusion was not discovered until Feb 27 and occurred over a
network system that experts had believed to be secure.
(WSJ, 3/31/08, p.B4)
2008 Mar 17, The commodities
markets staged a broad sell off after climbing for months. Most
commodities recovered the next day.
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.85)
2008 Mar 17, The first
carbon-linked derivatives contracts began trading on the Green
Exchange, a joint venture between the NY Mercantile Exchange,
Evolution Markets and Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and others.
Carbon permits this year reached nearly $47 a ton.
(Econ, 3/15/08, p.91)(Econ, 3/3/12, p.82)
2008 Mar 17, Roland Arnall
(b.1939), founder of Ameriquest Mortgage Co., died. He was also the
co-founder of the Holocaust memorial Simon Wiesenthal Center. In
2006 he began serving as US ambassador to the Netherlands.
2008 Mar 17, in Afghanistan 4
NATO soldiers, 2 Danes, a Canadian and a Czech with the
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), were killed in new
attacks, including a Taliban suicide bomb that also took the lives
of three Afghan civilians.
2008 Mar 17, A judge awarded
Heather Mills a total of $48.6 million in the financial settlement
of her divorce from former Beatle Paul McCartney. This was a fifth
of what she had demanded.
(AP, 3/17/08)(Econ, 3/22/08, p.65)
2008 Mar 17, An EU force of
3,700 troops still deploying in Chad and the Central African
Republic (CAR) announced the official start of its year-long mission
to protect refugees and displaced people. The EU force in Chad was
known as EUFOR, and the UN Mission there and the CAR was called
(AFP, 3/17/08)(Econ, 5/31/08, p.52)
2008 Mar 17, China denounced
attacks on its embassies by pro-Tibetan activists hours before a
deadline for rioters in Lhasa to turn themselves in and said it
would do all in its power to protect its territorial integrity.
2008 Mar 17, In India 7 migrant
workers believed to be from northern Uttar Pradesh state were shot
and killed on the outskirts of Impala, the capital of Manipur state.
2008 Mar 17, Indonesia and
South Africa agreed to reduce obstacles to trade and business and
jointly explore new avenues for electricity generation.
2008 Mar 17, In Iraq police
said they found the bodies of three members of a US-allied group
fighting al-Qaida in Udaim. Sen. John McCain stressed the importance
of a US commitment to Iraq during talks with Iraq's prime minister.
Explosions struck Baghdad during twin visits by the presumptive
Republican presidential nominee and Vice President Dick Cheney. A
female suicide bomber struck Shiite worshippers in Karbala, killing
at least 32 people with 51 wounded. The blast was the deadliest in a
series of attacks that left at least 78 Iraqis dead.
(AP, 3/17/08)(AP, 3/18/08)(AP, 3/19/08)
2008 Mar 17, The Mozambican
government made an urgent appeal to the UN World Food Program to
help more than 60,000 people left destitute when cyclone Jokwe hit
northern and central parts of the country.
2008 Mar 17, UN forces pulling
Serb demonstrators from a UN courthouse were attacked by hundreds of
furious protesters who massed outside, setting off an hours-long
battle with rocks, grenades and live ammunition. One UN policeman
(AP, 3/17/08)(WSJ, 3/19/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 18, The US Federal
Reserve approved a .75% cut in the federal funds rate to 2.25%. This
was aimed at shoring up the US financial system shaken by huge
losses in the housing market. The DJIA responded with a gain of
420.41 to close at 12,392.66.
(SFC, 3/19/08, p.C1)
2008 Mar 18, Barack Obama
addressed his problem with pastor Jeremiah Wright in a speech in
Philadelphia and turned to a broad discussion of race, hitherto
untouched in his campaign.
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.31)
2008 Mar 18, The US FCC ended
261 rounds of bidding in the auction of airwaves and raised almost
(WSJ, 3/19/08, p.B6)
2008 Mar 18, Protesters in
Australia burned Chinese flags, demanding freedom for Tibet,
following similar demonstrations in Europe and the US against
Beijing's crackdown on anti-government riots in the Himalayan
2008 Mar 18, Five Belgian
parties sealed a deal for a coalition government under Christian
Democrat Yves Leterme, ending a political limbo which threatened to
split the linguistically divided country.
2008 Mar 18, In Botswana De
Beers and the government set up a Diamond Trading Company (DTC) as a
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.74)
2008 Mar 18, Anthony Minghella
(54), Oscar winning British director, died. He turned such literary
works as "The English Patient," "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Cold
Mountain" into acclaimed movies.
2008 Mar 18, A British judge
ruled against Exxon Mobil Corp., tossing out an order to freeze $12
billion in assets belonging to Venezuela's state oil company in a
case that stemmed from the nationalization of a project last year.
2008 Mar 18, The world's
biggest passenger plane, Airbus's A380, touched down in London on
its first commercial flight to Europe facing questions from green
groups over its eco-friendly billing.
2008 Mar 18, The World Food
Program (WFP) made a six million dollar appeal to feed some 90,000
Burundian refugees in Tanzania who expect to return to the central
African country in 2008.
2008 Mar 18, Canada formally
recognized the breakaway republic of Kosovo, a decision Serbia said
was a major mistake that could encourage separatists in the province
2008 Mar 18, Egypt's President
Hosni Mubarak, amid rising public discontent at sky-rocketing food
prices, said in the official Al-Ahram daily that uncontrolled
population explosion is draining the state's budget. A baby is born
every 23 seconds in Egypt, which is the Arab world's most populous
nation with a population of 78 million.
2008 Mar 18, Egyptian police
fatally shot a Sudanese woman and arrested a second one who was with
an infant as they tried to cross into Israel.
2008 Mar 18, In India 4 migrant
workers were shot and killed in two separate shootings on the
outskirts of Impala, the capital of Manipur state.
2008 Mar 18, In India the Dalai
Lama vowed he would resign as leader of Tibet's exiles if violence
back home worsened, just hours before his aides said 19 people were
killed in new demonstrations.
2008 Mar 18, Iraq's main Sunni
bloc boycotted a conference aimed at reconciling the nation's
sectarian groups. A roadside bomb near a gas station in northern
Baghdad killed three people, including two police officers. Vice
President Dick Cheney, delving into internal Iraqi politics, pushed
a Kurdish leader to play a helpful role in passing legislation to
foster national reconciliation and forge a new agreement for US-Iraq
relations in years to come.
2008 Mar 18, In Israel Angela
Merkel, chancellor of Germany, addressed Israel’s parliament and
condemned the rocket attacks from Gaza.
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.59)
2008 Mar 18, Kenya's President
Mwai Kibaki signed into law two bills passed by parliament that put
in place a power-sharing deal which halted post-election unrest.
2008 Mar 18, In Sri Lanka
battles, roadside bombings and artillery attacks across the front
lines of Sri Lanka's civil war killed 35 ethnic Tamil rebels and two
soldiers. The combatants were killed in at least 17 different
2008 Mar 18, Darfur rebels said
they had fought off a major assault from Sudanese government forces
in the troubled region, inflicting casualties and pushing troops
back to West Darfur's capital.
2008 Mar 18, In the UAR South
Asian workers, striking over pay in the Emirate of Sharjah, torched
offices and vehicles.
2008 Mar 18, An appeals court
in Ho Chi Minh City sentenced an Australian woman to death for
heroin trafficking. Vietnam-born Jasmine Luong (34), of Sydney, was
convicted during a one-day trial of trafficking 3 pounds of heroin.
2008 Mar 18, In Yemen a mortar
shell exploded by a high school next to the American embassy,
killing one Yemeni guard and wounding 13 students and three other
guards. Five suspects were later arrested in the attack, which the
US said targeted its embassy. An Interior Ministry official later
said al-Qaida militant Hamza al-Dayan launched three mortars at the
embassy before fleeing the scene in a vehicle with three
(AP, 3/18/08)(WSJ, 3/21/08, p.A1)(AP, 3/22/08)
2008 Mar 19, Antiwar protests
were held in cities across the US on the 5th anniversary of the war
in Iraq. In SF some 150 people were arrested.
(SFC, 3/20/08, p.A1)(WSJ, 3/20/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 19, In Oakland, Ca.,
police shot and killed Jose Luis Buenrostro (15) who allegedly aimed
a sawed-off shotgun at them.
(SFC, 3/20/08, p.B2)
2008 Mar 19, VISA opened for
trading on the NYSE after setting an IPO price of $44 per share, the
largest public offering in US history. Visa shares closed at $56.60.
(SFC, 3/19/08, p.C1)(SFC, 3/20/08, p.C1)
2008 Mar 19, Flooding forced
hundreds of people to flee their homes and closed scores of roads
across a wide swath of the US midsection as a huge storm system
poured as much as 10 inches of rain on the region. Flooding was
reported in parts of Arkansas, southern Illinois, southern Indiana,
Missouri and Kentucky with over a dozen deaths.
(AP, 3/19/08)(AP, 3/20/08)
2008 Mar 19, Colorado health
officials told residents of Alamosa to stop drinking and cooking
with tap water, after tap water samples tested positive for
salmonella contamination. By March 22 over 200 cases were reported.
2008 Mar 19, Osama bin Laden
accused Pope Benedict XVI of helping in a "new Crusade" against
Islam and warned of a "severe" reaction to European publications of
cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that insulted many Muslims.
2008 Mar 19, US forces
searching for bomb makers raided Afghan homes near the border with
Pakistan, exchanging gunfire with militants. Six people were killed,
including two children and a woman.
2008 Mar 19, Philip Jones
Griffiths (72), Welsh-born photojournalist, died. He spent years
traveling across Vietnam to capture the effects of the war on its
2008 Mar 19, Paul Scofield
(b.1922), towering British stage actor, died. He won international
fame and an Academy Award for the film "A Man for All Seasons," in
which he played Sir Thomas More.
2008 Mar 19, Arthur C. Clarke
(b.1917), English-born science fiction writer, died in Sri Lanka.
Clarke wrote or collaborated on close to 100 books and had moved to
Sri Lanka in 1956. He had just finished his last novel, co-authored
with Frederik Pohl, titled “The Last Theorem.”
(AP, 3/19/08)(SFC, 3/19/08, p.A2)(SSFC, 8/10/08,
2008 Mar 19, China called the
Dalai Lama a "wolf in monk's robes" and said it was locked in a
"life-and-death battle" with his supporters after protests marking
the biggest challenge to Chinese rule in Tibet in almost two
decades. Lhasa prosecutors announced the arrest of 24 suspects on
charges of endangering state security.
(AP, 3/19/08)(WSJ, 3/20/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 19, Conservationists
said Honore Mashagiro, a ranger in Congo's Virunga National Park,
has been arrested for allegedly masterminding the massacre last
summer of 10 endangered mountain gorillas.
2008 Mar 19, Chantal Sebire
(52), who suffered from a painful facial tumor and had drawn
headlines across France with her quest for doctor-assisted suicide,
was found dead. On Mar 17 a court in the city of Dijon rejected her
request to be allowed to receive a lethal dose of barbiturates under
a doctor's supervision.
2008 Mar 19, In Iraq a female
suicide bomber detonated an explosives vest packed with ball
bearings near a bus terminal northeast of Baghdad, killing at least
three people. US troops accidentally killed three Iraqi policemen
and wounded another, the latest in a series of friendly fire
2008 Mar 19, In Japan Masaaki
Takahashi (61) of Tokyo was found fatally stabbed in his cab in
Yokosuka, about a half-mile from a US naval base. US and Japanese
authorities soon began searching for a US sailor for questioning in
the killing of the Japanese taxi driver. On April 2 US sailor
Olatunbosun Ugbogu (22), a Nigerian national, admitted during police
questioning that he had killed the man. On July 30, 2009, Ugbogu was
sentenced to life in prison.
(AP, 3/21/08)(AFP, 4/2/08)(AP, 7/30/09)
2008 Mar 19, Kosovo
independence was recognized by Bulgaria, Croatia and Hungary.
(WSJ, 3/20/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 19, Kuwait’s ruled
dissolved Parliament and set elections for May 17 after a political
standoff delayed reforms.
(WSJ, 3/20/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 19, In southern Nepal
masked gunmen shot and killed Kamal Prasad Adhikari, a candidate
from a small communist party contesting upcoming elections.
2008 Mar 19, Legislators
elected Pakistan's first female speaker of parliament, seating
Fehmida Mirza, a follower and lookalike of assassinated former PM
2008 Mar 19, In the Russian
region of Chechnya 9 people were been killed in an hour-long clash
between police and unidentified gunmen.
2008 Mar 19, Uganda said that
Lord's Resistance Army rebel leader Joseph Kony has left his base in
the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and moved to the Central
2008 Mar 20, The X Prize
Foundation and sponsor Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. offered
$10 million to the teams that can produce the most production-ready
vehicles that get 100 miles per gallon or more.
2008 Mar 20, North Carolina
lawmakers voted 109-5 to boot Rep. Thomas Wright, a Wilmington
Democrat, from office for mishandling $340,000 in loans and
(SFC, 3/21/08, p.A4)
2008 Mar 20, In North Carolina
Darryl Turner was killed after being shocked by a police officer’s
Taser. In 2011 a jury ordered Taser Int’l. to pay Turner’s family
$10 million. Lawyers said the company had failed to warn that a
Taser shot near the heart poses a substantial risk of cardiac
(SFC, 7/21/11, p.A6)(http://tinyurl.com/3homyou)
2008 Mar 20, In southern
Afghanistan security forces said an exchange of fire between British
soldiers and police left a policeman dead and two men wounded from
each side. A soldier with the NATO-led force died after being struck
by a bomb.
(AFP, 3/20/08)(AP, 3/21/08)
2008 Mar 20, Flemish Christian
Democrat Yves Leterme took over as Belgian prime minister, ending
nine months of deadlock.
2008 Mar 20, Brazilian
officials said an outbreak of dengue in Rio de Janeiro state has
killed at least 47 people this year.
(SFC, 3/21/08, p.A4)
2008 Mar 20, The Bank of
England said it would inject 5.0 billion pounds into short-term
money markets every week until April 9.
2008 Mar 20, China sent
additional troops into restive areas and made more arrests in the
Tibetan capital Lhasa in an effort to suppress anti-government
protests even as the Dalai Lama offered face-to-face negotiations
with Chinese leaders. Tibet authorities said they had arrested
dozens of people involved in a wave of anti-Chinese violence. China
forced the last remaining foreign journalists out of Tibet, and
stepped up restrictions on Internet and radio reports from people
within the country.
(AP, 3/20/08)(Reuters, 3/20/08)(AP, 3/21/08)
2008 Mar 20, Cuba issued what
appears to be the first public report on prices and inflation in the
private sector, in an unusually realistic acknowledgment of the key
role the informal economy plays in island life.
2008 Mar 20, Israeli defense
officials announced they've worked out a tentative deal for Egypt to
become the main electricity supplier to the Gaza Strip.
2008 Mar 20, In Mali clashes
began around Tinzaouatene, near the Algerian border, as insurgents
attacked soldiers clearing mines in what the rebels feared was a
prelude to a government offensive. 3 soldiers were killed when their
vehicle was blown up by a mine and four captured in combat by the
2008 Mar 20, Mozambican
President Armando Guebuza dismissed the head of the armed forces and
his deputy, barely a week after firing three senior ministers.
2008 Mar 20, Fidelis Omeni, an
environment ministry official said, Nigeria has been suspended from
the International Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
for alleged breaches of its provisions.
2008 Mar 20, Kim Yong-Nam,
North Korea's de facto head of state, arrived in Namibia as part of
his goodwill visit to three African nations, which also includes
Angola and Uganda. Namibia and North Korea hoped to strengthen their
economic ties. Kim Yong-Nam warned against countries plundering
resources from poor African countries.
2008 Mar 20, A suicide car bomb
killed five Pakistani soldiers and wounded nine others near the
2008 Mar 20, Palestinian
militants accidentally set off a large blast at a Hamas training
base in the central Gaza Strip, killing 2 members of the violent
Islamic group and wounding another.
2008 Mar 20, A Russian air
force Su-25 fighter jet blew up in flight near the Far East city of
Vladivostok and the pilot was killed.
2008 Mar 20, In Sri Lanka
troops, according to a statement the next day, ambushed ethnic Tamil
rebels with a roadside bomb, overran bunkers and engaged in
firefights across the north, killing 29 insurgents.
2008 Mar 20, Turkish warplanes
bombed Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq.
2008 Mar 20, Morgan Tsvangirai,
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader and presidential candidate in
March 29 general elections, said that the voters' register was
filled with tens of thousands of ghost voters.
2008 Mar 21, Two companies that
provide workers for the State Department said they fired or
otherwise punished those who improperly accessed the passport
records of the three major presidential candidates. The security
breaches touched off demands for a congressional investigation.
2008 Mar 21, The California
Academy of Science named David Mindell (55), a human evolutionary
researcher at the Univ. of Michigan as the institution’s new science
chief. The new academy building in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park
was due to open in 6 months.
(SFC, 3/22/08, p.B1)
2008 Mar 21, In southern
Afghanistan a suicide attacker blew himself up near a busy shrine in
Kandahar, killing two policemen. International forces helping the
Afghan government lost three soldiers in two separate bombings in
(AP, 3/21/08)(AP, 3/23/08)
2008 Mar 21, A regulator said
China will shut down or punish dozens of video-sharing Web sites for
carrying content deemed pornographic, violent or a threat to
national security under rules that tighten Internet controls.
China’s government stepped up its manhunt for protesters in last
week's riots in the capital of Tibet, as thousands of troops
converged on foot, trucks and helicopters to Tibetan areas of
2008 Mar 21, The Democratic
Republic of Congo banned the ethnic-based religious and political
sect Bundu dia Kongo (BDK), a shadowy separatist sect, following a
3-week police offensive against its western strongholds which UN
investigators say killed dozens of people.
2008 Mar 21, The Greek and
Turkish Cypriot leaders agreed to restart peace talks on reunifying
their ethnically split island, and to open a crossing in the heart
of the divided capital.
2008 Mar 21, President Nicolas
Sarkozy announced a modest cut in France's nuclear arsenal, to less
than 300 warheads, and urged China and the United States to commit
to no more weapons tests.
2008 Mar 21, Iraqi security
forces clashed with Shiite militia fighters southeast of Baghdad for
a second day. At least two police officers and two gunmen had died
in the fighting in the city of Kut when factions of the Mahdi Army
militia attacked security checkpoints.
2008 Mar 21, In Indian Kashmir
two boys, aged five and 14, were killed when a hand grenade they
mistook for a toy exploded.
2008 Mar 21, In Mali 5
civilians, including a child, were reported killed, again when their
vehicle hit a mine near Tinzaouatene. 29 soldiers were taken
prisoner when a convoy of wounded soldiers heading for Kidal was
intercepted by rebels.
2008 Mar 21, In Myanmar a man
set himself on fire at Shwedagon pagoda, Yangon's most famous
landmark in a political protest against the military junta. He died
of his injuries in April.
(www.mysinchew.com/node/8895)(WSJ, 4/23/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 21, Pakistani troops
shut down three FM radio stations and arrested eight employees after
the stations aired a speech by a pro-Taliban cleric.
2008 Mar 21, In Moscow
firefighters found the body of Channel One correspondent Ilyas
Shurpayev (32) in his apartment with stab wounds and a belt around
his neck. He was a native of the mostly Muslim Dagestan province and
had worked in Russia's violence-ridden North Caucasus, which
includes Dagestan and war-scarred Chechnya. Dagestan. On March 31
officials said that two men from Tajikistan have admitted robbing
and killing Shurpayev.
(AP, 3/21/08)(AP, 3/31/08)
2008 Mar 21, In Spain a car
bomb exploded at a police barracks in the northern Rioja region
following a warning from the Basque separatist organization ETA,
injuring one person.
2008 Mar 21, In Turkey unrest
erupted when celebrations marking Newroz day, or the Kurdish new
year, degenerated into demonstrations in favor of the armed
separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Ankara lists as a
2008 Mar 21, In Venezuela a
riot broke out between prison gangs at the San Fernando de Apure
lockup. 9 inmates were left dead and 20 more wounded.
(SSFC, 3/23/08, p.A3)
2008 Mar 22, Michael Kassel
(54), San Francisco blues musician (the Hellhounds) poet known as
Vampyre Mike, died after a long illness. His books included
“Graveyard Golf” and “Going for the Low Blow.”
(SSFC, 4/20/08, p.B6)
2008 Mar 22, Israel Lopez,
Cuban bassist and composer known as “Cachao,” died in Miami. He is
credited with pioneering the mambo style of music (1937). In 1993
Andy Garcia, a Cuban American actor, made a documentary of Cachao’s
(SSFC, 3/23/08, p.A2)
2008 Mar 22, Afghan and
international forces killed over 40 Taliban militants in an air and
ground strike in Uruzgan province. 2 coalition soldiers were killed
by a roadside bomb in Kandahar province.
(AP, 3/23/08)(SFC, 3/24/08, p.A12)
2008 Mar 22, In Bangladesh an
emergency official said a tropical storm has killed at least five
people. The storm also leveled around 3,000 huts.
2008 Mar 22, The population of
Botswana numbered about 1.8 million.
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.74)
2008 Mar 22, China said 19
people died in riots in the Tibetan capital last week and official
media warned against the unrest spreading to the northwest region of
Xinjiang, where Uighur Muslims bridle under Chinese control. Exiled
Tibetans claim as many as 100 have died in the protests which
spilled over this week into neighboring ethnic-Tibetan areas.
2008 Mar 22, More than 500
African Union troops arrived on the Comoros island of Moheli to join
local forces massed for a military offensive to retake the rebel
island of Anjouan.
2008 Mar 22, The population of
the Union of Comoros was about 840,000.
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.55)
2008 Mar 22, Population if
Djibouti was about 800,000.
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.55)
2008 Mar 22, Egyptian and
European archeologists announced they had discovered a giant statue
of Queen Tiy, the wife of 18th dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep III, on the
south Egypt site of the Colossi of Memnon.
2008 Mar 22, Eighteen Ukrainian
sailors were missing after their tug boat sank off the Hong Kong
coast following a collision with a cargo ship. 7 people were
rescued. On Dec 13, 2010, a Hong Kong court convicted four seamen
over the deaths of the 18 Ukrainian sailors.
(Reuters, 3/23/08)(AFP, 1/13/10)
2008 Mar 22, A US airstrike
struck two checkpoints manned by US-allied Sunni fighters in
Samarra, killing six and injuring two. A suicide bomber drove a
truck laden with explosives into the home of the mayor in Samarra. 3
security guards were killed and four others injured. A bomb exploded
on a minibus in a predominantly Shiite area of eastern Baghdad,
killing at least one passenger and injuring 8. An awakening council
member in western Baghdad's Mansour neighborhood was killed and four
others were injured in a mortar blast. A roadside bomb targeting a
police patrol killed one passer-by and injured 7, in the northern
city of Kirkuk. A roadside bombing northwest of Baghdad killed 3 US
soldiers and two Iraqi civilians.
(AP, 3/22/08)(AP, 3/23/08)
2008 Mar 22, Magdi Allam (55),
Italy's most prominent Muslim, converted to Catholicism in a baptism
by the pope at a Vatican Easter service. The iconoclastic writer has
condemned Islamic extremism and defended Israel.
2008 Mar 22, The population of
Kosovo was about 2 million, with about 90% ethnic Albanian.
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.60)
2008 Mar 22, US Vice President
Dick Cheney completing a two-day stay in Saudi Arabia, discussed
ways to stabilize the energy market with Saudi King Abdullah.
2008 Mar 22, In southern Sudan
two World Food Program (WFP) drivers on their way to the oil-rich
Abyei state were stabbed to death by six assailants.
2008 Mar 22, Ma Ying-jeou (57),
Taiwan's opposition candidate of the KMT, cruised to victory in the
presidential election, promising to expand economic ties with China
while protecting the island from being swallowed up politically by
its giant communist neighbor. Ma, a Harvard-educated lawyer and a
former mayor of Taipei, won 58% of the votes compared to 41.5% for
DPP challenger Frank Hsieh. The official Central Election Commission
said Taiwan's two referendums on joining the UN have failed.
(AP, 3/22/08)(Econ, 3/29/08, p.54)
2008 Mar 22, In Turkey dozens
of people were injured and scores detained as police used truncheons
and tear gas to break up violent Kurdish protests in several eastern
2008 Mar 23, It was reported
that 1,195 migrating bison had been culled in Montana after leaving
Yellowstone in search of food. The culling was expected to continue
(SSFC, 3/23/08, p.A4)
2008 Mar 23, Network Solutions,
an American network provider, said it had suspended a website that
Dutch MP Geert Wilders had reserved to post his anti-Islamic film,
which has sparked wide condemnation and fears of a backlash.
2008 Mar 23, The Alaska Ranger,
a 189-foot fishing vessel, sank off the Aleutian Islands, killing
the captain and 4 crew members. 42 crew members were rescued. State
environmental regulators were notified that the ship was carrying
145,000 gallons of diesel when it sank in deep seas.
(AP, 3/24/08)(SFC, 10/1/09,
2008 Mar 23, In Wisconsin
Madeline Neumann (11) died of complication from diabetes after her
parents prayed in lieu of seeking medical help. Both parents were
charged with reckless homicide.
2008 Mar 23, In Afghanistan 5
members of an Afghan mine-clearing team were killed.
(SFC, 3/25/08, p.A3)
2008 Mar 23, China attacked
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her recent meeting with the Dalai
Lama, accusing her and other "human rights police" of double
standards and ignoring the truth about the unrest in Tibet. Han
residents said some 500 Uighurs protested in Khotan in the
northwestern Xinjiang region. A bombing targeted a government
building in the town of Gyanbe. Chinese authorities later arrested 9
monks for the bombing.
(AP, 3/23/08)(SFC, 4/3/08, p.A8)(AFP, 4/13/08)
2008 Mar 23, In Indian Kashmir
4 policemen and a senior member of a hardline Islamic militant group
were killed in a fierce gun battle near Srinagar.
2008 Mar 23, Iranian artillery
shelled three border towns in northern Iraq where Iranian Kurdish
rebels are believed to be operating.
2008 Mar 23, In Iraq a suicide
car bomber killed at least 13 Iraqi soldiers and wounded dozens more
people in Mosul. At least 10 civilians were killed and 20 more were
wounded in rocket or mortar blasts in scattered areas of eastern
Baghdad. The US-protected Green Zone in Baghdad came under fire from
either mortars or rockets, and a round that fell short injured two
bystanders. An American financial analyst working for the US Embassy
in Baghdad was severely wounded in the rocket attack and died soon
after. The overall US death toll in Iraq rose to 4,000 after four
soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in Baghdad.
(AP, 3/23/08)(AP, 3/24/08)(AP, 3/26/08)
2008 Mar 23, In eastern Japan a
person was stabbed to death and at least seven others were hurt by a
man who went on a knifing spree at a shopping mall. Police arrested
Masahiro Kanagawa (24), who was also wanted over the earlier slaying
of a 72-year-old man.
2008 Mar 23, In Pakistan 25
trucks carrying fuel to US-led forces in Afghanistan were destroyed
in a possible bomb attack near the Torkham customs post. At least 50
people were injured.
(SFC, 3/24/08, p.A12)
2008 Mar 23, Saudi Arabia said
inflation reached a 27-year high of 8.7% in February.
(WSJ, 3/24/08, p.A6)
2008 Mar 23, Serbian PM
Vojislav Kostunica accused NATO peacekeepers and UN police of using
"snipers and banned ammunition" to quell a Serb riot against
2008 Mar 23, South Korea's
Hyundai Motor said it would begin mass producing hybrid cars next
year amid growing demand for fuel-efficient and environmentally
2008 Mar 23, In southeast
Turkey Kurdish protesters clashed with police for a 4th day. Two
people have been killed In the clashes and dozens injured.
(WSJ, 3/24/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 24, The US National
Association of Realtors said sales of previously occupied homes rose
2.9% in February with a median price drop of 8.2%. Foreclosed
properties represented about one in nine or currently listed homes
(WSJ, 3/25/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 24, JPMorgan Chase
& Co., under threat by angry shareholders, raised its bid for
Bear Stearns to $10 per share from an earlier $2 per share offer.
(SFC, 3/25/08, p.D3)
2008 Mar 24, In Detroit, Mich.,
Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (37) was charged with 8 felonies in an
obstruction of justice case that involved a romantic affair with a
chief of staff.
(SFC, 3/25/08, p.A3)
2008 Mar 24, In Iowa City,
Iowa, a woman and her 4 children were found dead. The burned body of
Steven Sueppel (42), the husband and father, was found soon after in
a wrecked van. Sueppel had been indicted last month on charges of
stealing some $560,000 from Hills Bank and Trust, where he was vice
president and controller.
(SFC, 3/25/08, p.A2)
2008 Mar 24, Hal Riney
(b.1932), a leading figure in the advertising world, died in San
Francisco. He created the brand and image of General Motors’ Saturn
(SFC, 3/26/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 24, Richard Widmark
(b.1914), film star, died at his home in Connecticut. His 65 films
over 5 decades included “Kiss of Death” (1947), for which he
received his sole Academy Award nomination, for best supporting
(SFC, 3/26/08, p.A2)
2008 Mar 24, Al-Qaida deputy
leader Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims in a new audiotape to
strike Jewish and American targets in revenge for Israel's recent
offensive in the Gaza Strip.
2008 Mar 24, In Afghanistan
gunmen fatally shot 2 Afghan members of a mine-clearing team. Afghan
and allied forces killed 12 Taliban fighters.
(SFC, 3/25/08, p.A3)(WSJ, 3/25/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 24, Bhutan held its
first democratic elections. A new parliament and new constitution
diluted the powers of its popular monarch. The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa
(DPT) or Bhutan United Party, led by ex-premier Jigmi Thinley (55),
won 44 of 47 seats. Thinley has pledged to boost development and
happiness in the Himalayan nation.
(AP, 3/25/08)(Econ, 3/29/08, p.58)
2008 Mar 24, Neil Aspinall
(b.1941)), Beatle associate and boss of Apple Corps, died in NYC.
2008 Mar 24, An American cargo
ship under contract to the US Navy opened fire on a small Egyptian
boat while moving through the Suez Canal. Egyptian authorities said
at least one man was killed. On Aug 28 the US ambassador met with
the family Mohammed Fouad, the man killed, and offered an apology
and 750,000 Egyptian pounds, or about US$140,000. In return, the
family agreed not to sue the US government.
(AP, 3/25/08)(AP, 8/29/08)
2008 Mar 24, In Greece 3 men
from a free-press group ran onto the field of the stadium in Ancient
Olympia during a flame-lighting ceremony for the Beijing Olympics,
evading massive security aimed at preventing such disruptions in the
wake of China's crackdown in Tibet.
2008 Mar 24, In Iraq PM
al-Maliki announced that Operation Charge of the Knights would begin
the next day in Basra. He sent over 30,000 Iraqi troops into Basra,
mentored by US Marines, to clean out the Shia militias.
2008 Mar 24, Pakistan's
National Assembly elected as prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, a
top official in assassinated former PM Benazir Bhutto's party.
Gilani ordered the release of all judges detained after President
Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule last year.
(Reuters, 3/24/08)(AFP, 3/24/08)
2008 Mar 24, Portugal's
President Anibal Cavaco Silva began a 3-day official visit to
Mozambique, where members of his government have signed four
2008 Mar 24, A car bomb
exploded outside a bank in southern Russia's violence-plagued
Ingushetia region, wounding at least five people.
2008 Mar 24, Saudi Arabia said
its king would send a lower level diplomat to the March 29 Arab
League summit in Syria, which hoped to help solve the stalemate in
(WSJ, 3/25/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 24, The WHO said polio
transmission has been stopped in Somalia.
(WSJ, 3/25/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 24, South Korea's
president asked North Korea to consider sending home prisoners of
war and captured civilians in return for receiving humanitarian aid
2008 Mar 24, Rafael Azcona
(b.1926), Spanish novelist and scriptwriter, died. He was known for
films such as the Oscar-winning comedy "Belle Epoque" and Luis
Garcia Berlanga's "The Executioner."
2008 Mar 24, An exiled Tibetan
leader said 2 weeks of protests against China's rule of Tibet have
left about 130 people dead.
2008 Mar 25, The US Supreme
Court ruled that US ratification of certain treaties isn’t
enforceable unless Congress takes additional steps.
(WSJ, 3/26/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 25, A widely watched
index of US home prices fell 11.4 percent in January, its steepest
drop since data for the indicator was first collected in 1987. The
decline reported in the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index
means prices have been growing more slowly or dropping for 19
2008 Mar 25, America’s baseball
season opened in Japan as the Boston Red Sox beat the Oakland
(Econ, 3/29/08, p.83)
2008 Mar 25, In Florida part of
a construction crane fell 30 floors at the site of a Miami condo
tower, killing 2 workers and injuring 5.
(WSJ, 3/26/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 25, US researchers,
who have identified all 1,116 unique proteins found in human saliva
glands, said the discovery could usher in a wave of convenient,
spit-based diagnostic tests that could be done without the need for
a single drop of blood.
2008 Mar 25, In Afghanistan
gunmen have attacked a group of police along the border with Iran,
killing four police and two civilians.
2008 Mar 25, Argentina’s
President Cristina Fernandez refused to ease tax hikes on
agricultural exports, facing down angry farmers embroiled in a
nationwide strike that has all but halted production in one of the
world's biggest beef-exporting nations. The tax on soybeans had been
raised to 40%, up from 27% in 2007.
(AP, 3/26/08)(Econ, 3/29/08, p.49)
2008 Mar 25, In western Austria
some 70 vehicles were involved in a pileup on an autobahn killing
one person and injuring at least 37 others.
2008 Mar 25, Belarus said it
had uncovered a spy ring working for Washington, deepening a
diplomatic and human rights row between the countries. Police beat
demonstrators with truncheons and hauled them into waiting trucks as
thousands of opposition protesters turned out in defiance of a
government ban on the anniversary of the 1918 short-lived
declaration of independence.
2008 Mar 25, Director Koichiro
Matsuura said that Visegrad’s Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic bridge, a 16th
century stone bridge over the Drina River that links Bosnia and
Serbia, has been added to UNESCO's World Heritage List. A ceremony
in Sarajevo marked the event.
2008 Mar 25, Auctioneers said
the painting "La Surprise" (~1718) by French artist Jean-Antoine
Watteau, missing for 200 years, has been found in a British country
house and could now sell for up to five million pounds.
2008 Mar 25, Troops from the
Indian Ocean archipelago nation of Comoros seized control of the
rebel island of Anjouan after a seaborne assault backed by the
2008 Mar 25, In eastern
Guatemala at least nine people were killed and seven wounded in a
shootout that is likely tied to drug traffickers. Guatemalan drug
boss Juan Jose "Juancho" Leon was summoned by Mexican traffickers
for what he was told was business. Instead, dozens of attackers
ambushed his entourage with grenades and assault rifles, killing
Leon and 10 others in a brazen demonstration of power.
(AP, 3/25/08)(AP, 7/21/09)
2008 Mar 25, In western
Honduras a passenger bus plunged off a highway and rolled 500 yards
down a hillside, killing 26 people and injuring at least 19.
2008 Mar 25, Officials said
Indonesia plans to restrict access to pornographic and violent sites
on the Internet after the country's parliament passed a new
2008 Mar 25, Iraqi forces
clashed with Shiite militiamen in the southern oil port of Basra and
least 22 people were killed. 5 suspected militants were killed in
Basra while attempting to place a roadside bomb. Gunmen patrolled
several Baghdad neighborhoods as followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada
al-Sadr ordered a nationwide civil disobedience campaign to demand
an end to the crackdown on their movement. 2 bombs exploded in
central Baghdad, killing one civilian and wounding eight others. A
US-allied Sunni fighter was killed in a drive-by shooting northeast
of the capital. In August it was reported that a secret deal with an
Iran-backed militia kept British forces out of the battle, leaving
US and Iraqi forces to fight alone. The Ministry of Defense denied
any deal was struck and said it held back to ensure that the
operation was seen as Iraqi-led. The effect was that 4,000 British
soldiers were kept out of action for six days until a deal brokered
in Iran ended heavy fighting.
(AP, 3/25/08)(AP, 8/5/08)
2008 Mar 25, In Nepal police
armed with bamboo sticks stopped a protest by Tibetan refugees and
monks in front of the Chinese Embassy and arrested about 100
2008 Mar 25, King Abdullah of
Saudi Arabia made a proposal for dialogue among the world’s
monotheistic religions. Abdullah said Saudi Arabia's top clerics
gave him a green light.
2008 Mar 25, In Sri Lanka
fighting across the war-ravaged northern district killed at least
one soldier and 19 rebels.
2008 Mar 25, In Sudan a World
Food Program (WFP) driver was shot dead and his assistant seriously
wounded in South Darfur state.
2008 Mar 25, It was reported
that Syria is cracking down more on Internet use, imposing tighter
monitoring of citizens who link to the Web, as well as jailing
bloggers who criticize the government and blocking YouTube and other
Web sites deemed harmful to state security.
2008 Mar 26, Motorola Inc said
it would split into two publicly traded entities to separate its
loss-making handset division from its other businesses, sending its
shares up about 5%.
2008 Mar 26, Scientists said
the basic ingredients for life: warmth, water and organic chemicals,
are in place on Saturn's small moon Enceladus, in detailing the
content of huge plumes erupting off its surface.
(Reuters, 3/26/08)(Econ, 5/30/15, p.78)
2008 Mar 26, The NASA space
shuttle Endeavour and its crew of seven made a night landing in
Florida following a 16 day mission to the ISS.
(SFC, 3/27/08, p.A3)
2008 Mar 26, In southern
Afghanistan 8 civilians were killed when a bomb-filled car exploded
near a crowded bazaar in Helmand province, in an attack claimed by
the Taliban. A police officer was killed in a roadside bombing in
Helmand. Insurgents attacked a NATO patrol, killing one soldier and
wounding another. Militants fired a rocket at opium poppy
eradication police, killing two policemen and wounding another.
US-led coalition forces killed several Taliban militants after
coming under attack in Helmand province.
(AP, 3/26/08)(AP, 3/27/08)(AP, 3/28/08)
2008 Mar 26, It was reported
that British pig husbandry is in crisis due to exploding global
grain prices. Last month British pig farmers recorded “Stand By Your
Ham” based on the 1968 US country classic “Stand By Your Man” by
(WSJ, 3/26/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 26, China announced
the surrender of hundreds of people over anti-government riots among
Tibetans and allowed the first group of foreign journalists to visit
the regional capital since the violence.
2008 Mar 26, In China 24 people
were killed when fireworks that had been trucked to the Gobi Desert
to be destroyed exploded as they were being dumped into a ditch.
2008 Mar 26, Manuel "Sureshot"
Marulanda (78), co-founder and commander of the Revolutionary Armed
Forces of Colombia (FARC), died of a heart attack. On May 24
President Alvaro Uribe announced he is willing to offer rebels who
free hostages "conditional liberty" and passage abroad. Marulanda,
whose real name is Pedro Antonio Marin, and had led the
peasant-based FARC since its founding in 1964. Alfonso Cano
(Guillermo Leon Saenz), the FARC’s chief ideologue, was expected to
(AP, 5/25/08)(Econ, 5/31/08, p.42)(AP, 3/26/09)
2008 Mar 26, In Dubai a massive
explosion at a fireworks factory left two people dead and two
injured. Subsequent fires rapidly spread, sending thick clouds of
black smoke into the sky.
2008 Mar 26, French Pres.
Nicolas Sarkozy vowed to open a new chapter in ties with Britain as
he arrived for a state visit which he hopes will also help repair
his image as a statesman.
2008 Mar 25, Air travel between
Georgia and Russia resumed, more than 17 months after Moscow
suspended flights because of tension between the ex-Soviet
2008 Mar 26, India's Tata
Motors said it had bought British luxury icons Jaguar and Land Rover
from ailing US carmaker Ford Motor Co for 1.15 billion pounds (2.3
2008 Mar 26, Iraq's prime
minister gave gunmen in the southern oil port of Basra three days to
surrender their weapons and renounce violence as clashes between
security forces and Shiite militia fighters erupted for a second
day. Officials said at least 40 people were killed and 200 wounded
in the fighting in Basra. 3 Americans were seriously injured by
rockets or mortars fired into Baghdad’s Green Zone. A mortar shell
or rocket that apparently fell short struck a minibus in the mainly
Shiite district of Karradah, killing at least 3 passengers and
wounding 9 others. Two rounds also slammed into another area of
Karradah, killing 3 civilians and wounding six. Two other Iraqis
were killed and 4 wounded when another round struck a residential
area in a Shiite neighborhood in western Baghdad. Gunmen killed a
US-allied Sunni fighter and wounded his wife and daughter after
storming his house in Samarra. Several Iraqi civilians were killed
or injured in separate fighting between US troops and suspected
al-Qaida in Iraq insurgents in the northern town of Tikrit. A US
airstrike there left 7 bodies in the rubble of houses and a local
judge who owned one of the houses was among the dead. Two American
soldiers were killed in separate attacks in Baghdad.
(AP, 3/26/08)(AP, 3/27/08)
2008 Mar 26, The Israeli
military captured Omar Jabar, the mastermind of the March 2002
bombing in Netanya, the deadliest suicide bombing of the Palestinian
2008 Mar 26, Italian officials
held a crisis meeting after Japan and South Korea banned imports of
mozzarella following the discovery of high dioxin levels in buffalo
milk used to make the famed cheese.
2008 Mar 26, In Mexico a
confrontation in Sinaloa state left four civilians and two soldiers
dead. A military judge later issued an arrest warrant for 5 soldiers
considered as suspects.
2008 Mar 26, TimeRime BV was
founded by Marijn Bom, Jaap Joziasse, Gerard Pastwa and Pico
Wilbrenninck, as a spin-off of the Dutch webdevelopment company
2008 Mar 26, In Norway a
six-story apartment building collapsed in the west coast city of
Aalesund after it was hit by a rock slide, injuring 15 people and
leaving five missing.
2008 Mar 26, Philippine farmers
warned that the country was facing a serious rice supply crisis, as
the government signed a deal to import rice from Vietnam to boost
local reserves at a time of rising prices and shrinking global
2008 Mar 26, In the southern
Philippines a passenger boat with 14 people on board capsized,
leaving only one known survivor, a man who swam several hours to
shore. Most of the missing were children.
2008 Mar 26, A roadside blast
in Sri Lanka's restive eastern region killed two policemen while
fighting in the north left at least 19 rebels and one soldier dead.
2008 Mar 26, The African
Union-UN mission said 5 civilians were killed and more than a dozen
others injured when an international peacekeeping vehicle crashed
into a bus in Darfur.
2008 Mar 26, Trinidad’s RBTT,
the largest regionally owned bank, agreed to accept a takeover by
the Royal Bank of Canada.
(Econ, 3/29/08, p.50)
2008 Mar 26, Venezuela's
National Assembly opened an investigation into a congressman's
accusations that two of President Hugo Chavez's brothers acquired 17
ranches in recent years.
2008 Mar 27, A US appeals Court
in Philadelphia overturned the death sentence of Mumia Abu Jamal,
who had been convicted of killing Officer Daniel Faulkner on Dec 9,
(SFC, 3/28/08, p.A4)
2008 Mar 27, In Kansas City,
Mo., a judge convicted Terry Blair (46) of killing 6 women in 2004.
Blair faced life in prison.
(SFC, 3/28/08, p.A4)
2008 Mar 27, Adobe systems, the
maker of the popular photo-editing software Photoshop, launched a
basic version available for free online.
2008 Mar 27, In Columbus,
Georgia, Charles Johnston (63) stormed a hospital and killed 3
people including a nurse he blamed for his mother’s death in 2004.
Johnston was wounded and taken into custody.
(SFC, 3/29/08, p.A2)
2008 Mar 27, Comorans staged
angry anti-French protests as France decided whether to give ousted
rebel leader Mohamed Bacar asylum after he fled to its Indian Ocean
territory of Mayotte.
2008 Mar 27, Iraq’s PM Nouri
al-Maliki promised to pursue his fight against Shiite militias in
Basra to "the end." Al-Sadr called for a political solution to the
burgeoning crisis and an end to the "shedding of Iraqi blood." Tens
of thousands of Shiites took to Baghdad's streets to protest the
government crackdown on militias in Basra as heavy fighting between
Iraqi security forces and gunmen erupted for a third day in the
southern oil port and the capital. The death toll in the Shiite city
of Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad, rose to at least 60.
Tahseen Sheikhly, the Sunni civilian spokesman for the Baghdad
security operation, was kidnapped and three bodyguards killed. A
booby-trapped car exploded near the Iraqi Red Crescent Society's
offices in Baghdad, killing two civilians and wounding five.
(AP, 3/27/08)(AP, 3/28/08)
2008 Mar 27, The Mexican
government said it has sent more than 2,500 soldiers and federal
police to curb soaring violence in a border state across from Texas
and New Mexico.
2008 Mar 27, Myanmar's junta
chief insisted that he is not power-hungry and intends to hand
control of the government to the winners of elections in 2010.
2008 Mar 27, Geert Wilders, a
Dutch lawmaker, released his 15-minute film “Fitna,” which linked
verses of the Koran to violent images from terrorist attacks.
(SFC, 3/28/08, p.A4)
2008 Mar 27, North Korea
expelled all 11 South Korean officials from a joint industrial
estate just north of the border in retaliation for Seoul's new
tougher line towards the communist state.
2008 Mar 27, Suspected
militants attacked an ambulance in a Pakistani tribal region on the
Afghan border killing at least six people, including two
paramilitary soldiers. A gunman on a motorcycle has fatally shot two
anti-terrorism officials in the southern city of Karachi.
(AP, 3/27/08)(AP, 3/28/08)
2008 Mar 27, The
editor-in-chief of the local edition said the Philippines will get
its own edition of Playboy magazine, only without the nudity that
made the US version famous. The Philippine edition will be launched
on April 2 as a "mature lifestyle magazine."
2008 Mar 27, Puerto Rico’s Gov.
Anibal Acevedo Vila was charged with 19 counts in a campaign finance
probe, including conspiracy to violate US federal campaign laws and
giving false testimony to the FBI. 12 others were also charged in
the corruption probe.
(AP, 3/27/08)(WSJ, 3/28/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 27, In northern Sri
Lanka a series of battles along the front lines killed 17 ethnic
Tamil rebels and two government soldiers.
2008 Mar 27, A group of monks
shouting there was no religious freedom disrupted a carefully
orchestrated visit for foreign reporters to Tibet's capital, an
embarrassment for China as it tried to show Lhasa was calm following
deadly anti-government riots.
2008 Mar 27, Turkey's armed
forces killed 15 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party
(PKK) in northern Iraq using long-range land weapons.
2008 Mar 27, A helicopter
belonging to Ukraine's border guards crashed off an island in the
Black Sea. One officer was rescued and 12 were missing.
2008 Mar 28, The US
Transportation Security Administration said it will change they way
its officers search passengers with body piercings after a Texas
woman complained she was forced to remove a nipple ring with pliers
in order to board an airplane.
2008 Mar 28, The grey wolf of
the northern Rocky Mountains was taken off the federal protection
list after reaching a population of some 1,500 in the greater
Yellowstone region. Wolves were reintroduced in 1995 after
disappearing from the area in 1926. On July 18 a judge restored
protection for the wolves in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, derailing
plans for public wolf hunts this fall. On Sep 29 a federal court
overturned the Bush administration’s decision to remove gray wolves
from the endangered species list in the Great lakes region.
(Econ, 3/29/08, p.44)(SFC, 7/19/08, p.A4)(WSJ,
2008 Mar 28, Helen Yglesias
(92), American novelist and editor, died. Her first book: “How she
Died” (1972), tells of Mary Moody Schwartz, the daughter of a
Communist convicted of spying for the Soviets in the 1930s.
(SFC, 4/8/08, p.B5)
2008 Mar 28, British Airways
Plc cancelled a fifth of flights from its new $8.6 billion terminal
at London's Heathrow airport as chaos from its shambolic opening
spilled into a second day.
2008 Mar 28, Jean-Jacques
Demafouth, an exiled former defense minister in the Central African
Republic, said that he had been elected head of the main rebel group
and would lead it into peace talks. The UN said rebel fighters
attacked CAR villages between Feb 9 and Mar 10 raping women and
taking 150 hostages, including 55 children.
2008 Mar 28, In Chile 5 youths,
aged 14-20, attacked 9 German soldiers and took them hostage in the
port city of Iquique. One soldier escaped and police quickly
surrounded the house and arrested four suspects after a shootout.
2008 Mar 28, China allowed the
first foreign diplomats to visit Tibet following deadly riots, as
Germany joined some other European nations in announcing its leader
would skip the Olympics opening. Police closed off Lhasa's Muslim
quarter, two weeks after Tibetan rioters burned down the city's
mosque during the largest anti-Chinese protests in nearly two
2008 Mar 28, Mohamed Bacar, the
rebel leader of the Comoros island of Anjouan, arrived in Reunion to
an uncertain future, two days after his ouster by Comoran and
African Union forces.
2008 Mar 28, President Raul
Castro's government said it is allowing cell phones for ordinary
Cubans, a luxury previously reserved for those who worked for
foreign firms or held key posts with the communist-run state.
2008 Mar 28, A commerce
ministry official said Egypt is to suspend rice exports for six
months to try to meet the demands of its own people hit by soaring
food prices. Hundreds of residents of the ancient city of Luxor
clashed with riot police during a protest against government
attempts to move them to make room for an open-air museum free of
(AP, 3/28/08)(AP, 3/29/08)
2008 Mar 28, Indonesian police
said they were investigating the deaths over the last 2 weeks of 21
people who drank a concoction labeled an herbal remedy.
2008 Mar 28, PM Nouri
al-Maliki's office says the Iraqi government has given residents of
Basra until April 8 to turn over "heavy and medium-size weapons" in
return for a reward. US warplanes carried out at least two
airstrikes overnight in Basra for the first time since clashes
between Shiite militias and Iraqi security forces erupted this week.
A US warplane strafed snipers in the southern city of Basra, killing
at least 16 suspected militants after Iraqi troops came under heavy
fire. Shiite militants also clashed with government forces for a
fourth day in Iraq's oil-rich south and sporadic fighting broke out
in Baghdad. A US helicopter also fired a Hellfire missile during
fighting in the Baghdad's militia stronghold of Sadr City, killing
four gunmen. Iraqi police and hospital officials in Sadr City said 5
civilians were killed and 4 others wounded in the attack. A US air
assault in the Kazamiyah neighborhood, west of Sadr City, killed 10
militants. At least 12 militia fighters were killed and 7 others
wounded in fighting in Mahmoudiya. Fierce fighting in the Mahdi Army
stronghold of Nasiriyah killed at least 4 people. 2 Iraqi security
forces were killed and 3 wounded in Kut.
(AP, 3/28/08)(AP, 3/29/08)(AP, 3/30/08)
2008 Mar 28, Jordan, Iraq and
Yemen announced at the last minute that their top leaders will not
attend this weekend's Arab summit in Damascus.
2008 Mar 28, North Korea
test-fired a barrage of short-range missiles in apparent response to
the new South Korean government's tougher stance on Pyongyang.
2008 Mar 28, Palestinian medics
say a Palestinian man was killed by Israeli army fire as he
approached Gaza's border fence with Israel. The Israeli military
said the man was armed and hurled a grenade at forces close to the
2008 Mar 28, South Africa
launched a four million dollar program to track down tuberculosis
patients who have defaulted treatment, leading to resistant strains
of the illness.
2008 Mar 28, In northeastern
Tanzania 75 miners were missing and believed to have died in mines
following heavy rains.
2008 Mar 28, Turkish warplanes
hit Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq.
2008 Mar 28, Combat helicopters
and F-16 fighter jets opened fire at a clandestine airstrip in
Venezuela's remote southern plains as part of a government
counter-drug effort. Army Gen. Jesus Gonzalez told state television
that so far this year, the military has demolished 67 airstrips used
by drug traffickers to smuggle cocaine from neighboring Colombia to
the United States and Europe. Another 90 are to be destroyed next
2008 Mar 29, In SF Philip Ng
(24) and Ernad Joldic (21) were shot and killed in a car at
Excelsior and Athens Street. In 2009 Erick Lopez, an alleged member
of MS-13 street gang, was indicted for the killings.
(SFC, 10/23/09, p.A12)
2008 Mar 29, Afghan, US and
Pakistani officers opened the first of six joint military
intelligence centers along the Afghan-Pakistan border, an effort to
cut down on militants' movement in a region of rising terrorist
2008 Mar 29, A police
headquarters building in Angola's capital collapsed and at least 24
people were killed.
2008 Mar 29, Sydney's iconic
Opera House and Harbor Bridge went dark as the world's first major
city turned off its lights for this year's Earth Hour, a global
campaign to raise awareness of climate change.
2008 March 29, Azerbaijan
customs halted a shipment of Russian equipment for Iran’s first
nuclear power plant. The equipment was released May 1.
(WSJ, 5/2/08, p.A8)
2008 Mar 29, In Brazil Isabella
Nardoni (5) died after falling from her father's sixth-floor Sao
Paulo apartment. On April 18 Alexandre Nardoni (29) and his wife,
Anna Carolina Jatoba (24), the father and stepmother of the
5-year-old girl, were arrested for allegedly throwing the girl from
their apartment window.
2008 Mar 29, British Airways
said that it was canceling more flights to and from London Heathrow
airport's new Terminal 5 for a third day running because of
2008 Mar 29, Angus Fairhurst
(b.1966), one of the group of "Young British Artists" who stormed
the international art scene in the 1990s, died of suicide during a
walk in Scotland.
2008 Mar 29, Three seal hunters
died after a fishing vessel capsized in the icy waters of the Gulf
of St. Lawrence, marking the first accident of Canada's 2008 seal
2008 Mar 29, Al-Sadr called on
his followers to defy government orders to surrender their weapons,
saying arms of the Mahdi Army should only be turned over to a
national leadership "that can get the occupier," meaning the
Americans their coalition allies, out of Iraq. Iraq's Health
Ministry reported at least 75 civilians have been killed and at
least 500 others injured in a week of clashes and airstrikes in Sadr
City and other eastern Baghdad neighborhoods. US jets widened the
bombing of Basra, dropping two precision-guided bombs on a suspected
militia stronghold north of the city. Iraqi police said a US
warplane strafed a house and killed eight civilians, including two
women and one child. Mortars landed in Shiite areas of eastern
Baghdad, killing at least one person and injuring 12. American
troops and Iraqis unearthed 14 significantly decomposed bodies in a
mass grave northeast of Baghdad.
(AP, 3/29/08)(AP, 3/30/08)
2008 Mar 29, In Kathmandu,
Nepal, around 80 Tibetan protesters shouting "stop the killing in
Tibet" were hauled away in police vehicles and detained after
demonstrating outside the Chinese embassy.
2008 Mar 29, In southwestern
Nigeria 5 employees of Express Oil were seized by angry youths in
Ondo state over the company's failure to pay royalties for its
operations in the area.
2008 Mar 29, In Somalia at
least 10 people were killed in Mogadishu after government troops
shelled a market area known to be an insurgent hideout.
(SSFC, 3/30/08, p.A2)
2008 Mar 29, An Arab League
summit in Damascus, where Syrian President Bashar Assad questioned
how long Arab nations can keep offering Israel a land-for-peace
proposal. Islamic and Arab leaders denounced a Dutch film that
portrays Islam as a ticking time bomb aimed at the West, demanding
international laws to prevent insults to religions.
(AP, 3/29/08)(AP, 3/30/08)
2008 Mar 29, Zimbabweans lined
up for hours to vote in elections that present President Robert
Mugabe with his toughest political challenge in 28 years in power.
2008 Mar 30, The Pritzker jury
announced French architect jean Nouvel (62) as the winner of the
2008 Pritzker Prize.
(WSJ, 3/31/08, p.A5)
2008 Mar 30, Leading doctors
urged a return to older, tried-and-true treatments for high
cholesterol after hearing full results of a failed trial of Vytorin.
2008 Mar 30, British Airways
cancelled another batch of flights as it struggled to cope with a
massive backlog of luggage at London Heathrow airport's new
multi-billion-pound Terminal 5.
2008 Mar 30, Dith Pran (65),
whose experiences during the Cambodian genocide of the 1970s were
adapted into the award-winning movie "The Killing Fields," died in
2008 Mar 30, Pernod Ricard SA,
a French spirits company, agreed to pay the Swedish government 5.28
billion euros for Vin & Sprit, the maker of Absolut, outbidding
2008 Mar 30, Shiite cleric
Muqtada al-Sadr offered to pull his fighters off the streets of
Basra and other cities if the government halts raids against his
followers and releases prisoners held without charge.
2008 Mar 30, Israel pledged to
remove 50 West Bank roadblocks as part of a package to improve
everyday life for Palestinians after US Sec. of State Rice met with
Israel's defense minister, Ehud Barak, and Palestinian PM Salam
2008 Mar 30, In Syria Iraq
refused to endorse the final declaration of the Arab summit because
it did not condemn terrorism in the country, a divisive end to a
gathering marred by disputes and boycotts.
2008 Mar 30, The Vatican said
Islam has overtaken Roman Catholicism in number of adherents. It
recently put the Roman Catholic number at 1.13 billion. Others
estimated Muslims to number around 1.3 billion.
(WSJ, 3/31/08, p.A8)
2008 Mar 30, Zimbabwe's
opposition said it had won the most crucial election since
independence, but President Robert Mugabe's government warned
premature victory claims would be seen as an attempted coup.
2008 Mar 31, The Bush
administration proposed the most far-ranging overhaul of the
financial regulatory system since the stock market crash of 1929 and
the ensuing Great Depression. Alphonso Jackson, the Bush
administration's top housing official, under criminal investigation
and intense pressure from Democratic critics, announced he is
2008 Mar 31, Gregg Bergersen
(51), a Pentagon weapons analyst, pleaded guilty to giving
classified information about US and Taiwanese military
communications systems to Tai Kuo, a New Orleans furniture salesman
working with the Chinese government.
(WSJ, 4/1/08, p.A2)
2008 Mar 31, The US investment
banking company Lehman Brothers sued the Japanese trading company
Marubeni, seeking to recover $350 million in financing it says was
2008 Mar 31, American director
Jules Dassin (96), whose Greek wife Melina Mercouri starred in his
hit movie "Never on Sunday" and six more of his films, died at an
2008 Mar 31, A clash in
southern Afghanistan killed a Danish soldier and wounded two others.
A separate attack on a NATO patrol killed two British troops. an
airstrike killed three men irrigating land close to a road in
Kandahar province. The men may have been mistaken for militants
planting roadside bombs. In Helmand province police arrested Mullah
Naqibullah, a senior Taliban commander who has escaped twice from
Afghan prisons. Naqibullah was nabbed during a clash that left three
(AP, 3/31/08)(AP, 4/1/08)
2008 Mar 31, Some of England's
most sacred soil was disturbed for the first time in more than four
decades as archaeologists worked to solve the enduring riddle of
Stonehenge: When and why was the prehistoric monument built?
2008 Mar 31, Chad's state radio
announced that the president has pardoned six French aid workers
convicted of kidnapping 103 children.
2008 Mar 31, Chinese President
Hu Jintao presided over the re-lighting of the Olympic torch in
Beijing, signaling the start of an around-the-world torch relay that
already has become a magnet for protesters.
2008 Mar 31, Chinese
authorities arrested suspects in four arson and murder cases
stemming from anti-government riots that engulfed the Tibetan
capital in mid-March.
2008 Mar 31, New President Raul
Castro's government has lifted a ban on Cubans staying at hotels
previously reserved for foreigners, ending another restriction that
had been especially irksome to citizens.
2008 Mar 31, In Iraq the
fortified Green Zone came under fresh attack, less than 24 hours
after anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr told his fighters
to stand down following a week of clashes with government forces.
Near Buhriz unknown gunmen in a car attacked a checkpoint manned by
US-backed Sunni fighters. Four of the fighters were killed.
2008 Mar 31, Jerusalem's city
hall has announced a plan to construct 600 new apartments in the
Pisgat Zeev neighborhood of east Jerusalem.
2008 Mar 31, Scientists in
Japan reported that they have designed artificial molecules that
when used with rats successfully reversed liver cirrhosis, a serious
chronic disease in humans that until now can only be cured by
2008 Mar 31, Malaysia's Islamic
opposition party delivered a protest note to the Netherlands'
embassy over the release of an anti-Islam movie by a maverick Dutch
lawmaker, while hard-line Muslims in neighboring Indonesia demanded
the death of the filmmaker.
2008 Mar 31, In Mexico Juana
Barraza (50), a former female wrestler who terrorized Mexico City as
the "Little Old Lady Killer," was sentenced to 759 years in jail for
killing 16 elderly women.
2008 Mar 31, Turkey's top court
decided to put the Islamist-rooted ruling party on trial for alleged
anti-secular activity, in a case that could threaten national
stability and Ankara's bid to join the EU. Clashes between Turkish
troops and Kurdish rebels left nine rebels and three soldiers dead
in Turkey's southeast.
(AFP, 3/31/08)(AP, 4/1/08)
2008 Mar 31, Zimbabwe's
opposition Movement for Democratic Change and President Robert
Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF were on level-pegging, as the results
trickled in from a weekend general election. The MDC's own tally of
votes in 128 of the 210 parliamentary seats showed that its leader
Tsvangirai had secured 60 percent of votes against 30 for Mugabe in
the presidential race.
2008 Mar, Ahmed Muhammed
Dhakane of Somalia was arrested on immigration charges in
Brownsville, across the Rio Grande from Matamoros, Mexico. In 2011
Dhakane (25) was sentenced to 10 years in prison for failing to
acknowledge ties to two global terrorist groups.
2008 Mar, Malaysian police
arrested 2 Mexican brothers at a secluded meth factory along with a
Singaporean and a Malaysian. Police seized more than 60 pounds
(nearly 30 kg) of methamphetamine worth $15 million.
2008 Mar, The population of
Malaysia numbered about 28 million people. About 3.9 million had
dial-up internet subscriptions and 1.2 million had broadband.
(Econ, 3/15/08, p.52)
2008 Mar, In South Africa tens
of thousands of swallows fell dead in Limpopo province as wet
weather prevented them from eating properly less than a week before
their migration for Europe.
(SFC, 4/12/08, p.B6)
2008 Mar, Islamic members of
the UN Human Rights Council, backed by China and Russia, pushed
through a resolution saying free speech could be limited out of
“respect for religions and beliefs.”
(Econ, 4/26/08, p.77)
2008 Mar, Kholoud Ahmad Jua'an
Al Daheri was appointed the UAE’s first female judge.
2008 Mar, It was reported that
life expectancy in Zimbabwe, once the highest in sub-Saharan Africa,
had fallen to 36 years.
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.53)
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