Return to home2008 Oct 1,
The US Senate voted 74-25 for its version of a $700 billion rescue
of the nation’s banking system. A 2nd House vote was set for Oct 3.
The 451-page bill was larded with earmarks adding billions of
dollars in tax breaks with little to do with restoring confidence in
(SFC, 10/2/08, p.A1)(SFC, 10/3/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 1, The US Senate voted
overwhelmingly in favor of overturning a three-decade ban on atomic
trade with India, allowing American businesses to begin selling
nuclear fuel, technology and reactors in exchange for safeguards and
UN inspections of India's civilian nuclear plants. In response
Pakistani PM Yousaf Raza Gilani said: "Now Pakistan also has the
right to demand a civilian nuclear agreement with America. We want
there to be no discrimination. Pakistan will also strive for a
nuclear deal and we think they will have to accommodate us."
2008 Oct 1, Africom, a US
command structure created one year ago, took over all US military
operations in Africa. Many on the continent feared that the program
has a hidden agenda skewed by the war on terror and a
self-interested scramble for resources.
2008 Oct 1, US officials said
they have seized almost two tons of cocaine from a Panama-flagged
cargo ship in international waters off Puerto Rico. The cocaine was
hidden on a ship, which was loaded with coal and had launched from
2008 Oct 1, Warren Buffett’s
Berkshire Hathaway agreed to invest $3 billion in preferred shares
of GE and the right to buy another $3 billion in stock at $22.25 a
share for 5 years.
(WSJ, 10/2/08, p.B1)
2008 Oct 1, In Oakland, Ca.,
Mayor Dellums, officials from developer Shorenstein Co. and the
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. broke ground on a new $240 million,
23-story office tower. 601 City Center was expected to open in 2
(SFC, 10/2/08, p.B3)
2008 Oct 1, Two days of
torrential rains in the Algerian desert created flash floods. 43
deaths were later confirmed.
(AP, 10/2/08)(AP, 10/12/08)
2008 Oct 1, In Australia a
7-year-old boy broke into the popular Alice Springs zoo, fed a
string of animals to the resident crocodile and bashed several
lizards to death with a rock. By the time he was done, 13 animals
worth around $5,500 had been killed, including a turtle, bearded
dragons and thorny devil lizards.
2008 Oct 1, In Australia a
major report to the government on global warming suggested that
Australians should eat kangaroos instead of cattle and sheep.
2008 Oct 1, The Bank of England
offered 40 billion dollars (22.6 billion pounds) to banking
institutions on a one-week tender amid ongoing world economic
2008 Oct 1, Fifteen more
Chinese dairy companies were identified as producing milk products
contaminated with an industrial chemical, further broadening a
scandal affecting products ranging from baby formula to chocolate.
2008 Oct 1, Berhe
Gebreegziabher, the head of Ethiopia’s animal health in the
agriculture ministry, said an outbreak of African horse sickness has
killed more than 2,000 horses, mules and donkeys in Ethiopia since
2008 Oct 1, The EU imposed one
of its highest ever cartel fines on a "paraffin mafia" accused of
fixing prices and markets for everyday household products like
chewing gum, tires and candles.
2008 Oct 1, EU monitors began
patrolling Georgian territory and Russian troops allowed some of
them into a buffer zone around the breakaway region of South Ossetia
despite earlier warnings from Moscow they would be blocked.
2008 Oct 1-2008 Oct 3, In India
over 100,000 Bollywood actors, technicians and cameramen began an
indefinite strike protesting irregular pay and the hiring of
non-union members. The strike was called off Oct 3 after unions and
producers announced they had thrashed out a deal for better pay and
(WSJ, 10/2/08, p.A14)(AFP, 10/3/08)
2008 Oct 1, The Iraqi
government took responsibility for paying some 54,000 members of
Sunni Arab groups fighting al-Qaeda. A bombing in a car parked
outside a kebab restaurant in the mostly Shiite commercial district
of Karradah in central Baghdad killed at least three people.
(AP, 10/1/08)(WSJ, 10/2/08, p.A14)
2008 Oct 1, In Japan a pre-dawn
fire raged through an adult video theater in the western city of
Osaka, killing at least 15 people and injuring 10 others.
2008 Oct 1, Kenyan police
arrested Andrew Mwangura, a maritime watchdog official, on suspicion
of criminal activity just days after the official gave reporters
sensitive information about a hijacked arms freighter off Somalia's
2008 Oct 1, The Russian Supreme
Court declared the last czar and his murdered family to be victims
of political repression, a decision that helps Russia move toward
closing a chapter in its tortured history.
2008 Oct 1, In Somalia at least
seven civilians were killed in a mortar fire exchange that erupted
when an African Union (AU) plane landed at Mogadishu airport in
defiance of a "ban" by an Islamist militia. 28 Somali migrants died
after their boat capsized off the town of Shabwa because of strong
wind and high waves. A Yemen coast guard patrol reached the boat and
rescued 23 other migrants.
2008 Oct 1, Spanish police said
they have staged their biggest ever operation against Internet child
pornography, arresting 121 people suspected of involvement in a
network that reached 75 countries. Some 800 police took part in
Operation Carousel, an investigation that began last year in
cooperation with Brazilian police.
2008 Oct 1, In central Tanzania
a stampede at an overcrowded dance hall in Tabora killed 20 children
and left 50 others injured as they celebrated the Islamic Eid
2008 Oct 1, In Venezuela Julio
Soto, a student leader at the University of Zulia, was killed by
unidentified gunmen in the western city of Maracaibo. Assailants
sprayed his vehicle with gunfire and then fled without taking
anything. Soto had helped organize protests against constitutional
amendments proposed by President Hugo Chavez.
2008 Oct 2, US vice
presidential candidates held their only debate prior to elections.
Alaska’s Gov. Sarah Palin often spoke in generalities. Delaware Sen.
Joe Biden was generally focused and forceful, and seemed to take
painstaking care not to appear disrespectful in the least.
2008 Oct 2, The US FBI arrested
Puerto Rico Sen. Jorge de Castro Font (45) for providing political
favors in exchange for cash and services totaling roughly half a
million dollars. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on 31
criminal counts including bribery, wire fraud and money laundering.
2008 Oct 2, A new report
suggested that HIV, the AIDS virus, originated in Africa between
1884 and 1924. Earlier estimates had put the date around 1930. A new
estimate of how many Americans have the AIDS virus put the number at
about 1.1 million.
(SFC, 10/2/08, p.A3)(Reuters, 10/3/08)
2008 Oct 2, Bolivian state
media reported that President Evo Morales has rejected a request
from the US Drug Enforcement Administration to fly anti-narcotics
missions over the South American nation's territory.
2008 Oct 2, Britain’s Beckley
Foundation, a charity which numbers senior experts and other
academics among its advisors, reported that cannabis is less harmful
than alcohol or tobacco, and called for a "serious rethink" of
2008 Oct 2, General Vladimir
Zagorec was extradited from Austria to Croatia on charges of
stealing gems used a collateral in an arms deal during the Balkan
wars of the 1990s. 4 days later his lawyer’s daughter Ivana Hodak
(26) was murdered.
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.61)
2008 Oct 2, Suicide bombers
targeted Shiite worshippers as they left morning prayers at two
Baghdad mosques, killing 24 people and injuring 50 others. Gunmen
fatally shot six Sunnis as they traveled in a minibus in the mainly
Shiite town of Wajihiyah, 60 miles north of Baghdad. A suicide
bomber in western Baghdad wounded four American soldiers and 2
(AP, 10/2/08)(WSJ, 10/3/08, p.A14)
2008 Oct 2, India’s ban on
smoking in public places became effective, leaving public health
officials with a much tougher task: get the nation's estimated 120
million smokers to stub out their cigarettes.
2008 Oct 2, In northwest
Pakistan a suicide bomber blew himself up near the house of
politician Asfandyar Wali Khan, who was receiving guests to mark the
end of the Islamic fasting month at his home in Charsadda, killing
at least four people.
2008 Oct 2, Choi Jin-sil (39),
one of South Korea's most popular actresses, was found dead in an
apparent suicide after suffering from post-divorce depression and
harassment by online rumors about her allegedly irregular financial
2008 Oct 2, Sri Lanka’s air
force bombed the offices of the rebel peace secretariat, the
headquarters for its negotiating team in long-defunct peace talks.
Scattered battles killed 42 rebel fighters and two soldiers.
2008 Oct 3, Pres. Bush signed
the Child Soldiers Accountability Act, making it a federal
crime in the US to recruit and use soldiers under 15 years even if
they operate outside the US. Rebel groups and government-armed
militias using child soldiers in the Philippines and 16 other
strife-torn countries faced prosecution in the United States under
the new law.
2008 Oct 3, The US House of
Representatives voted 263-171 for the $700 billion economic rescue
plan and Pres. Bush quickly signed the bill. Wall Street fell 157
points to 10,325.38, its lowest close since October 2005, as more
economic bad news was made public. The $700 billion represented
about 6% of American GDP.
(AP, 10/4/08)(WSJ, 10/4/08, p.B1)(Econ, 9/27/08,
2008 Oct 3, United States
Protection and Investigations, a Houston security company, was
indicted on charges of defrauding the US government for work done
during the Afghanistan war and rebuilding efforts.
2008 Oct 3, The Great Lakes
Governors (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Wisconsin) applauded President George W. Bush for
signing a joint resolution of Congress providing consent to the
Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.
It barred new diversions beyond the Great Lakes Basin.
2008 Oct 3, Thomas Petters
(51), founder of Petters Co., was arrested in Minnesota on charges
of mail and wire fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
Over 20 investors and investment groups were thought to have been
bilked of over $100 million and losses claimed by funds could top $2
(WSJ, 10/4/08, p.B7)
2008 Oct 3, O.J. Simpson was
found guilty of robbing two sports-memorabilia dealers at gunpoint
in a Las Vegas hotel room on Sep 13, 2007. This was 13 years to the
day after being acquitted of killing his wife and her friend in Los
Angeles. Four other men charged in the case struck plea bargains
that saved them from potential prison sentences in return for their
2008 Oct 3, Wachovia said it
agreed to be acquired by San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co.
in a $15.1 billion all-stock deal. But Citigroup demanded that
Wachovia abide by the terms of its earlier deal to buy Wachovia's
2008 Oct 3, In Alabama a
collision on a rural highway between an 18-wheeler and a state van
killed 6 applicants for prison jobs and their driver.
(SFC, 10/4/08, p.A3)
2008 Oct 3, NATO launched an
airstrike near the Afghan border with Pakistan. A jet fighter bombed
two houses in different parts of Datta Khel. Intelligence officials
in the region said 2 women and one child were killed and 5 men
wounded. A militant attack on a US patrol in eastern Kunar province
killed an Afghan civilian and wounded four others.
(Reuters, 10/3/08)(AP, 10/3/08)
2008 Oct 3, Soldiers from both
Cambodia and Thailand were wounded in a brief clash along their
2008 Oct 3, India's Tata Group
announced it was abandoning a plant in eastern India which was
slated to turn out the world's cheapest car after weeks of violent
demonstrations triggered by a land dispute.
2008 Oct 3, Iraq's presidential
council officially approved a law that paves the way for US-backed
provincial elections to be held by the end of January. Iraq's
parliament had approved the law unanimously on Sept. 24 following
months of deadlock centering on a Kurdish-Arab dispute over the city
of Kirkuk. Kurdish legislators agreed to the latest proposal after
all sides accepted a UN compromise to put off the vote in Tamim
province, which includes Kirkuk, and form a committee to recommend
separate legislation for elections there by March 31. The US
military killed Mahir Ahmad Mahmud al-Zubaydi, also known as Abu
Assad or Abu Rami, an al-Qaida in Iraq leader. He was suspected of
masterminding the Oct 2 attacks in Baghdad as well as recent
bombings and the 2006 videotaped execution of a Russian official.
American troops also killed the man's wife in a firefight as they
tried to capture him in the northern neighborhood of Azamiyah in
(AP, 10/3/08)(AP, 10/4/08)
2008 Oct 3, Mexican police
clashed with hundreds of villagers who seized the entrance to a
Mayan archaeological site and six protesters were killed. Hundreds
of villagers had occupied the entrance to the Chinkultic ruins for
nearly a month, saying they were protesting excessive entrance fees
and a lack of investment in the area. 2 men were found shot to death
in Tijuana in the same empty lot near the elementary school where
the 12 bodies were found on sep 29.
2008 Oct 3, US missiles hit a
house in Mohammadkhel near the Afghan border. Two Pakistani
intelligence officials, citing reports from field agents and
informants, said 14 Taliban militants and 8 Arabs died in the attack
about 28 miles west of Miran Shah. 2 people wounded in the attack
died later bringing the toll to 24.
(AP, 10/4/08)(AP, 10/5/08)
2008 Oct 3, Russian share
prices dropped sharply despite a nearly $200 billion Kremlin rescue
plan. Oleg Deripaska, billionaire tycoon, was reported to have given
up his 20% stake in Magna Int’l., a Canadian auto parts maker, to
(WSJ, 10/4/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 3, A car exploded
outside the Russian military's headquarters in South Ossetia,
killing 7 people and wounding 3. The South Ossetian government said
a car, that had been confiscated in an ethnic Georgian village after
weapons were found in it, exploded near a building where leaders of
the Russian peacekeeping force were located.
2008 Oct 3, The United Nations
said fighting has killed at least 80 civilians in Somalia's capital
over the last two weeks. More than 100 people have been injured. UN
humanitarian office spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said nearly half of
Somalia's 8.3 million people were in need of food and other
2008 Oct 3, Sri Lankan air
force jets bombed the offices of the Tamil Tiger political chief
2008 Oct 3, Fighting between
Kurdish rebels and Turkey's army and air force in southeastern
Turkey and northern Iraq killed 15 soldiers and at least 23
insurgents, in the deadliest battle between the longtime enemies
2008 Oct 3, Officials said
Vietnam's health ministry has discovered the industrial chemical
melamine in 18 food products imported from China and three other
countries and has ordered them recalled and destroyed.
2008 Oct 4, The fight over
control of Wachovia intensified, as a judge temporarily agreed to
block the sale of the bank to Wells Fargo, Citigroup announced in a
news release. The next day the battle for control of Wachovia tilted
toward Wells Fargo as a state appeals court blocked a lower court
ruling that had favored rival bidder Citigroup.
(AP, 10/5/08)(AP, 10/6/08)
2008 Oct 4, In SF the 8th
annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, backed by financier
Warren Hellman, continued or its 2nd day in Goldengate Park with an
audience of some 40,000. The next day the festival drew some 100,000
fans. SF also celebrated its annual LoveFest, begun in 2004, with a
downtown parade that drew tens of thousands of spectators.
(SSFC, 10/5/08, p.B1,B3)(SFC, 10/6/08, p.E1)
2008 Oct 4, In the Porter Ranch
area of Los Angeles County Karthik Rajaram (45), an unemployed
financial adviser despondent over his troubles, shot and killed his
wife (39), mother-in-law (69), and 3 sons (7,12,19), before taking
his own life.
(SFC, 10/7/08, p.A6)
2008 Oct 4, Luis Santos
(b.1986), a Concord, Ca., resident, was stabbed to death after a
party near the San Diego college campus. Esteban Nunez (19), the son
of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, was later arrested along
with three others in connection with the stabbing death. In 2010
Esteban Nunez pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and on June
25, 2010, he and a co-defendant were sentenced to 16 years in
p.A4)(http://tinyurl.com/2eaav49)(SFC, 6/26/10, p.A4)
2008 Oct 4, The US coalition
says its forces have killed five militants in two operations
targeting al-Qaida and Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan.
2008 Oct 4, The leaders of
Britain, France, Germany and Italy began meeting in Paris at a
summit on the world financial crisis threatening banks, growth and
jobs across the continent. They vowed to do all they could to
prevent Wall Street's turmoil from destabilizing their banking
systems. Germany's No. 2 commercial property lender, Hypo Real
Estate Holding AG, said its $48 billion rescue plan had unraveled
when private banks pulled out.
2008 Oct 4, A ceremony in
Diwaniyah marked the departure of Polish troops from Iraq. Poland
sent combat troops into Iraq as part of the US-led coalition and had
2,500 troops deployed there at its peak. The last 900 were being
pulled out this month. Two US helicopters collided while landing at
a base in Baghdad. One Iraqi soldier was killed.
(AP, 10/4/08)(AP, 10/5/08)
2008 Oct 4, In Mexico gunmen
killed Salvador Vegara, the mayor of Ixtapan de la Sal, a resort
town southwest of Mexico City. Vegara was in a car with two other
people when the gunmen opened fire from another vehicle. The bodies
of 5 men were found asphyxiated in a car in the eastern part of
Tijuana. The men were beaten and had their hands bound. The bodies
of two beheaded men were found wrapped in blankets on a road
elsewhere in the city. The heads were in black plastic bags nearby.
2008 Oct 4, In Sri Lanka heavy
fighting near the rebels' administrative capital of Kilinochchi left
20 guerrillas and 4 soldiers dead. Soldiers overran five rebel
bunkers in the Mullaitivu district, killing 5 rebels. 4 rebels and a
soldier were killed in clashes in the Vavuniya and Welioya regions.
2008 Oct 4, Taiwan's president
welcomed a US decision to sell the island up to $6.5 billion in
advanced weaponry, while China warned the move would damage
relations between Beijing and Washington.
2008 Oct 5, The United States
opened a trade office in Libya to boost economic ties with the
2008 Oct 5, The Illinois
attorney general's office said that Bank of America was modifying
loans for customers in 11 states.
2008 Oct 5, In northern
California 8 people were killed when a passenger bus, carrying 41
senior Laotian, casino-bound gamblers, ran off a rural road near
Williams. Police the next day arrested driver Quintin J. Watts
(52) on suspicion of driving under the influence. Daniel E. Cobb
(68), owner of the bus, was among the dead. The bus had invalid
plates and identification numbers and a lapsed corporate
registration. A 9th victim died on Oct 10.
(SFC, 10/6/08, p.A1)(SFC, 10/7/08, p.A1)(SFC,
2008 Oct 5, Abu Dhabi’s
Mubadala Development Co. and Texas-based ConocoPhillips said they
have signed a deal with Kazakhstan’s national oil company to drill
in a potentially lucrative region in the Caspian Sea.
(SFC, 10/6/08, p.D1)
2008 Oct 5, Afghan and US
troops clashed and called airstrikes on a group of insurgents in
southern Zabul province, killing 43 militants.
2008 Oct 5, Isolated shootings
in Brazil soured municipal elections that President Luiz Inacio Lula
da Silva's allies hope will give them a leg up on 2010's
2008 Oct 5, In Egypt 13 people
were killed and 24 injured when a bus and a truck collided head-on
south of Cairo.
2008 Oct 5, Germany joined
Ireland and Greece in guaranteeing all private bank accounts,
putting Europe's biggest economy at odds with calls for a unified
European response to the global financial meltdown.
2008 Oct 5, Hong Kong said it
found two Cadbury chocolate products contained considerably more of
the industrial chemical melamine than the city's legal limit in a
growing scandal over Chinese tainted food. China attempted to
contain the fallout from the tainted milk scandal, announcing a new
survey of dairy products showed no traces of melamine and promising
to subsidize farmers hit by the scare.
(AP, 10/5/08)(AFP, 10/5/08)
2008 Oct 5, A Georgian Interior
Ministry official said Russian troops have begun dismantling
positions in the so-called security zones inside Georgia that they
have occupied since August's brief but intense war.
2008 Oct 5, Iceland’s
government and banks scrambled to rescue the country’s banking
system. Its economy was one of the hardest hit by the global
(WSJ, 10/5/08, p.A13)
2008 Oct 5, Clashes between
Hindus and Muslims in Dhule, a western Indian town left at least
four people dead and 80 injured, forcing police to impose a curfew.
2008 Oct 5, Ahmed Abul Gheit,
the first Egyptian foreign minister to visit Iraq in nearly two
decades, arrived in Baghdad and promised to help Iraq face its
challenges. 11 people, including women and children, were killed
after US forces came under attack by gunfire and a suicide bomber
during a raid in Mosul. There were no casualties among American
forces. Elsewhere in the northern city, gunmen opened fire on
mourners in a funeral tent, killing 5 people and wounding 7 others.
American troops acting on a tip killed Abu Qaswarah (also known as
Abu Sara), the No. 2 leader of al-Qaida in Iraq in a raid in the
northern city of Mosul. The Moroccan was known for his ability to
recruit and motivate foreign fighters.
(AP, 10/5/08)(SFC, 10/6/08, p.A3)(AP, 10/15/08)
2008 Oct 5, In Israel PM
Olmert's Cabinet agreed to hand over to Russia a small tract known
as Sergei's Courtyard. The area, which once accommodated Russian
pilgrims visiting the Holy Land, now houses offices of Israel's
Agriculture Ministry and the Society for the Protection of Nature in
2008 Oct 5, A 6.6-magnitude
earthquake struck the mountains of Central Asia, destroying Nura
village in Kyrgyzstan and killing at least 75 people including 41
(AP, 10/6/08)(AP, 10/7/08)(SFC, 10/11/08, p.B6)
2008 Oct 5, In southern Mexico
5 state police officers were arrested in connection with a deadly
raid to dislodge protesters from a Mayan archaeological site.
Mexican authorities seized 7 million pills of pseudoephedrine, the
main ingredient used to make methamphetamine, at the Guadalajara
airport. More than 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms) of the pills were
found packed in 24 boxes on a shipment from Calcutta, India. Three
separate shipments of more than a ton each were confiscated last
month at Mexico City's airport. Those also originated in Calcutta.
2008 Oct 5, MEND, the main
militant group in Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta, said it had
released around 19 Nigerian oil workers kidnapped last month but was
still holding two Britons and a Ukrainian.
2008 Oct 5, In Pakistan a
three-day ultimatum from the government for Afghans living illegally
in Bajur to leave was due to expire today. But of an estimated
80,000 Afghans, only about 15,000 had left.
2008 Oct 5, Iba Ndiaye
(b.1928), Senegalese modernist painter, died in Paris.
(SSFC, 10/19/08, p.B6)
2008 Oct 5, Apirak Kosayodhin,
the leader of Thailand's opposition Democrat Party, won re-election
as governor of Bangkok, defeating the ruling party candidate as well
as a one-time sex tycoon. Thai police arrested Chamlong Srimuang, a
key protest leader and one-time Bangkok mayor, on charges of
insurrection in a continuing crackdown against an anti-government
movement that spearheaded the ouster of a prime minister last month.
2008 Oct 5, In western Turkey a
truck packed with illegal immigrants from Afghanistan and Myanmar
overturned, killing 18 people and injuring 23.
2008 Oct 5 - 2008 Oct 7, The
need of a socio-economic knowledge collider was first pointed out in
the OECD Global Science Forum on Applications of Complexity Science
for Public Policy in Erice, Sicily. The FuturICT project (Future
Information and Communication Technology) grew from this to explore
social life on Earth, and everything it relates to.
2008 Oct 5 - 2008 Oct 17, Arab
militia attacked at least 15 Sudanese villages. Aid workers and a
rights watchdog later said the violence near Muhagariya, a south
Darfur flashpoint has displaced 12,000 people and killed more than
2008 Oct 6, The United States
and Lebanon set up a joint military commission to bolster military
cooperation, a move that follows the first visit by the newly
elected Lebanese president to Washington.
2008 Oct 6, Stock markets
around the world fell on fears that the global financial crises will
worsen. The DJIA fell 800.06 intraday ending down 369.88 to close at
9555.50. Oil prices closed at $87.81, its lowest settlement since
(SFC, 10/7/08, p.D3)(WSJ, 10/5/08, p.C3)
2008 Oct 6, The US Supreme
Court declined a patent appeal from Dish Network forcing the company
to pay TiVo $104 million.
(SFC, 10/7/08, p.D6)
2008 Oct 6, It was reported
that Atherton, Ca., philanthropist Lorry Lokey (81) had pledged $75
million to the Stanford Univ. School of Medicine for a major stem
cell research center. In 2007 he had pledged at least $33 million.
(SFC, 10/6/08, p.B1)
2008 Oct 6, Three European
scientists shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in medicine for separate
discoveries of viruses that cause AIDS and cervical cancer,
breakthroughs that helped doctors fight the deadly diseases. French
researchers Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier were cited
for their discovery of human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV; while
Germany's Harald zur Hausen was honored for finding human papilloma
viruses that cause cervical cancer.
2008 Oct 6, Bank of America
said it will modify troubled mortgages with up to $8.4 billion in
interest rate and principal reductions for nearly 400,000 customers
of Countrywide Financial Corp., the troubled mortgage lender it
acquired last summer.
2008 Oct 6, Eli Lilly & Co.
said it would pay $70 per share for New York’s Imclone. The offer
put about $1 billion into the pocket of Bristol-Myers for its stake
in Imclone and still allowed it to share in revenue from Erbitux, a
(SFC, 10/7/08, p.D6)
2008 Oct 6, Mother’s Cookies,
an Oakland, Ca. institution for 92 years, filed for Chapter 11
bankruptcy in Delaware. Owner Catterton Partners, a private equity
firm based in Connecticut, cited failed efforts to obtain credit
(SFC, 10/9/08, p.C1)
2008 Oct 6, Stewart Parnell, an
executive for Peanut Butter of America, sent an e-mail saying that
delays in shipping product from a Georgia plant was costing huge
dollars. Federal investigators later found that batches of product
containing salmonella were shipped with fake lab records saying
salmonella screenings were negative. On Sep 21 Parnell was sentenced
to 28 years in prison.
(SFC, 9/22/15, p.A7)
2008 Oct 6, G7 president Robert
Zoellick said the Group of Seven is outmoded and should be replaced
with a new entity that would include growing economies in Asia and
(SFC, 10/7/08, p.D5)
2008 Oct 6, European
governments struggled to find a coordinated approach to the crisis
sweeping financial markets, as Denmark became the latest country to
guarantee bank deposits, putting more pressure on Britain and other
countries to follow.
2008 Oct 6, In France
Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, the son of a late French president, an
Israeli-Russian billionaire and 40 other people charged with
trafficking arms to war-riven Angola or taking kickbacks faced
judges in a long-awaited trial in Paris. Prosecutors alleged that
French businessman Pierre Falcone and Arkady Gaydamak, an Israeli
tycoon based in France at the time, organized the sale of Russian
arms to Angola from 1993-2000, for a total of US$791 million, in
breach of French government rules. In 2009 Falcone and Gaydamak were
sentenced to 6 years in prison.
(AP, 10/6/08)(Econ, 10/31/09, p.62)
2008 Oct 6, In France traders
at Groupe Caisse d’Epargne bank, founded in 1818, began trading in
equity derivatives hoping the market would rise. The irregular
trades were unwound at a loss of some $808 million.
(WSJ, 10/18/08, p.B1)
2008 Oct 6, Clashes between
ethnic groups in India's remote northeast killed 19 more people,
bringing the death toll from four days of violence to 49, including
15 people shot by police. Another 100,000 people have fled their
2008 Oct 6, Israeli PM Ehud
Olmert visited Moscow, aiming to focus on Russian arms sales to
Israel's enemies. By contrast, Russia hoped the meeting will bolster
its image as a Middle East peacemaker.
2008 Oct 6, A panel of
scientists met in Monaco for the 2nd international UNESCO symposium
on The Ocean in a High-CO2 World. On Jan 30, 2009, they issued the
Monaco Declaration, which summed up their deliberations, and
reported that acidity of ocean surface waters has increased 30%
since the 17th century.
(SFC, 1/31/09, p.A4)(http://tinyurl.com/bdtj3p)
2008 Oct 6, A suicide bomber
attacked legislator Rasheed Akbar Niwani’s house in eastern
Pakistan, killing at least 20 people and wounding more than 50.
Officials said Pakistani authorities have begun expelling Afghan
refugees from the Bajaur tribal region that has become the main
battleground between troops and fighters linked to the Taliban and
(AP, 10/6/08)(Reuters, 10/6/08)(SFC, 10/7/08,
2008 Oct 6, In northern Sri
Lanka a suspected rebel suicide bomber blew himself up inside a
crowded opposition party office, killing a former army general and
2008 Oct 6, A Nigerian UN
peacekeeper was killed when up to 60 gunmen ambushed a patrol in
Sudan's war-torn western region of Darfur.
2008 Oct 6, Switzerland's top
prosecutor charged 10 people with laundering more than US$1 billion
dollars (1.349 billion euros) during a decade-long mafia cigarette
smuggling operation. Authorities said they broke up the smuggling
ring in 2004.
2008 Oct 6, A magnitude 6.6
earthquake killed at least 10 people in Yangyi, Tibet, the hardest
hit village in Dangxiong County.
(Reuters, 10/6/08)(AP, 10/7/08)
2008 Oct 6, Turkish warplanes
bombed a Kurdish rebel hideout in northern Iraq, the third air
strike in retaliation for an attack that killed 15 soldiers three
2008 Oct 7, The US Federal
Reserve announced a radical plan to buy massive amounts of
short-term debt in a dramatic effort to break through the severe
credit clog. The Fed began lending unsecured to companies for the
first time in its history.
(AP, 10/7/08)(Econ, 10/11/08, p.93)
2008 Oct 7, Republican John
McCain and Democrat Barack Obama held their 2nd presidential debate.
Tom Brokaw of NBC, the moderator, screened their questions and also
chose others that had been submitted online.
2008 Oct 7, A US federal judge
ordered that 17 Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo Bay military
prison be released in the US by Oct 10. The next day a federal
appeals court temporarily blocked the decision.
(SFC, 10/8/08, p.A2)(SFC, 10/9/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 7, Lee W. Dubois (32)
of Lexington, SC, a former Army contractor, pleaded guilty to
stealing nearly $40 million worth of jet and diesel fuel from a US
Army base in Iraq and selling it on the black market. Dubois
admitted he and others used false paperwork to draw more than 10
million gallons of fuel from Camp Liberty in Baghdad between October
2007 and May.
2008 Oct 7, California State
Controller John Chiang warned that state revenues and cash flows
were deteriorating and that the state was already short $1.1 billion
after the first 3 months of its fiscal year.
(WSJ, 10/8/08, p.A9)
2008 Oct 7, Harvard Univ. said
medical device billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, chairman of Swiss-based
Synthes Inc., had donated $125 million, the largest one-time gift in
the history of the school. In 2004 Wyss had donated $25 million to
support doctoral programs at Harvard.
(WSJ, 10/5/08, p.A6)
2008 Oct 7, Advanced Micro
Devices (AMD) and Advanced Technology Investment, a recently formed
investment firm owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, said they will
become joint owners of a new company that will take over AMD’s
factories in Germany.
(WSJ, 10/8/08, p.B3)
2008 Oct 7, Afghan refugees
flowed over the border from Pakistan’s Bajur battle zone after
officials accused them of links with Taliban militants and ordered
2008 Oct 7, Algerian PM Ahmed
Ouyahia said there had been 250 million euros worth of damage,
largely to infrastructure, from the recent flooding.
2008 Oct 7, The Toronto stock
exchange fell 401 points making a cumulative drop of 3942 points
since Sep 1. As PM Harper spoke to reassure business people,
Canadian autoworkers held a funeral march to mark the loss of some
67,000 jobs over the past year.
(Econ, 10/11/08, p.51)
2008 Oct 7, Chancellor Angela
Merkel's Cabinet voted to extend Germany's military mission in
Afghanistan for 14 more months.
2008 Oct 7, Iceland
nationalized its second-largest bank under day-old legislation and
negotiated a euro4 billion ($5.4 billion) loan from Russia to shore
up the nation's finances amid a full-blown financial crisis.
2008 Oct 7, In India Tata
Chairman Ratan Tata said the company had acquired 1,100 acres in
Gujarat state and will relocate equipment from the failed Nano
minicar project in West Bengal.
(WSJ, 10/8/08, p.A14)
2008 Oct 7, In northeast India
5 days of clashes between members of the Bodo tribe, Assam’s largest
tribe, and local Muslims left 53 people dead with 25 of them shot by
(Econ, 10/11/08, p.60)
2008 Oct 7, In Iraq an American
soldier was fatally shot by an al-Qaida in Iraq extremist in Mosul.
An Iraqi policeman was also killed in the fighting.
2008 Oct 7, Israel's PM Olmert
said he received assurances that Russia would not allow Israel's
security to be threatened, but offered no indication he won the
concrete promises he sought on Russian arms sales or sanctions on
2008 Oct 7, In Kenya Jerome
Corsi, who wrote "The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of
Personality," was picked up by police and deported for not having a
2008 Oct 7, In Mauritania
police fired tear gas and used batons to beat back union activists
demanding the reinstatement of the deposed president.
2008 Oct 7, Mexico extradited
former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo (2000-2004) to face
corruption charges, and the ex-leader told a judge there is no
evidence to support the allegations against him.
2008 Oct 7, In Ciudad Juarez,
Mexico, across the border from El Paso, Texas, gunmen killed police
commander Rodolfo Barragan (38) in a hail of bullets at a hotel
2008 Oct 7, Tropical Storm
Marco roared ashore on Mexico's Gulf coast with near-hurricane force
winds, prompting a shutdown of some oil platforms and forcing the
evacuation of some 3,000 people.
2008 Oct 7, In Romania some
7,000 workers and trade unionists marched around the parliament in
Bucharest to demand higher salaries and better working conditions.
2008 Oct 7, Former Guantanamo
detainee Mustafa Ibrahim Mustafa Al Hassan arrived in the Sudanese
capital of Khartoum and vowed to campaign for the release of the
roughly 255 inmates remaining at the US military prison.
2008 Oct 7, The Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences announced that two Japanese citizens and a
Japanese-born American won the 2008 Nobel Prize in physics for
discoveries in the world of subatomic physics.
2008 Oct 7, Thai riot police
clashed with thousands of opposition PAD protesters who barricaded
Parliament and vowed to block the government from exiting the
building. 2 people were killed. Deputy PM Chavalit Yongchaiyudh
resigned to take responsibility for the chaos.
(AP, 10/7/08)(SFC, 10/9/08, p.A16)(Econ,
2008 Oct 7, Turkish warplanes
bombed suspected Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq and
southeast Turkey, in new air strikes responding to an attack that
killed 17 soldiers at a military outpost four days ago.
2008 Oct 7, The UN food agency
(WFP) said it is resuming free breakfasts for hundreds of thousands
of poor Cambodian schoolchildren after securing new funds for a
program suspended due to high food prices.
2008 Oct 7, The UN refugee
agency said at least 5,000 people have fled violence in northeastern
Congo and sought shelter in neighboring Sudan over the last two
weeks due to ferocious attacks by rebels of the Lord's Resistance
Army from neighboring Uganda.
2008 Oct 7, Zambia's ambassador
said Zambia and the World Health Organization (WHO) have joined the
hunt for a mystery illness that has killed four people in South
Africa. A South Africa, health official said the mystery disease may
be Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.
(AFP, 10/7/08)(Reuters, 10/7/08)
2008 Oct 8, Pres. Bush signed
legislation allowing American businesses to enter India’s
multi-billion-dollar nuclear market.
(SFC, 10/9/08, p.A13)
2008 Oct 8, The US embassy said
in a statement that the United States and Vietnam have agreed to
lift restrictions on air cargo routes between the two countries.
2008 Oct 8, In Afghanistan at
least 27 Islamic militants were killed in military operations across
the country. Villagers reported that 10 civilians died in rebel
2008 Oct 8, Australian
scientists said hundreds of new marine species and previously
uncharted undersea mountains and canyons have been discovered in the
depths of the Southern Ocean.
2008 Oct 8, Six central banks
jolted markets by cutting interest rates together in an attempt to
shore up confidence in the world's crisis-stricken financial system.
The US Fed reduced its key rate from 2% to 1.5%. The Bank of England
unexpectedly slashed its key lending rate by a half-point to 4.5%.
The Bank of Canada cut its key interest rate by 50 basis points to
2.5%. China also cut its key interest rates for a second time in
less than one month to 6.9%. The European Central Bank sliced its
rate by half a point to 3.75%. Sweden, and Switzerland also cut
rates. Earlier in a day Japan's Nikkei showed its biggest drop since
the October, 1987 stock market crash. The IMF said the world economy
is entering a major downturn.
(AP, 10/8/08)(AFP, 10/8/08)(Econ, 10/11/08,
2008 Oct 8, Britain added to
the financial chaos engulfing Iceland by declaring it planned to sue
over lost deposits held by thousands of Britons with Icelandic bank
accounts. The news from London overshadowed an emergency loan from
Sweden to Iceland's biggest bank.
2008 Oct 8, The Asian
Development Bank announced $35 million in emergency food aid to ease
the burden of soaring food prices among some of Cambodia's poorest
2008 Oct 8, In Egypt at least
11 people died when an apartment building collapsed in the port city
2008 Oct 8, In Iraq a female
suicide bomber detonated an explosives vest in Baqouba, the
provincial capital of Diyala province, killing 10 people and
wounding 21. A man accompanying the woman failed to detonate his
explosives vest and was arrested at the scene.
(AP, 10/8/08)(SFC, 10/9/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 8, Human Rights Watch,
a New York-based human rights group, accused Jordan's security
services of carrying out widespread torture in the country's jails.
The torture allegations came from 66 out of 110 prisoners
interviewed randomly in seven of Jordan's main prisons in 2007 and
2008 Oct 8, Malaysia’s PM
Badawi said he will step down in March and hand over power to his
deputy in order to prevent a split in the UMNO party.
(WSJ, 10/9/08, p.A13)
2008 Oct 8, Maldives islanders
in the cramped city of Male and scores of far-flung atolls began
voting in the first democratic presidential election in their tiny
2008 Oct 8, President Felipe
Calderon unveiled plans for 53 billion pesos ($4.4 billion) in
emergency spending on roads, schools, hospitals and an oil refinery
next year to help Mexico combat the world financial crisis. Mexican
authorities said that 16 people were killed over the last 24 hours
in Baha California across the US border from California. State
officials blamed warring cells of the Arellano-Felix drug cartel for
the killings and other homicides plaguing the area in recent weeks.
5 state police officers were killed in the western state of Jalisco
by grenade-lobbing gunmen who fired more than 800 bullets in the
2008 Oct 8, In Nepal a small
airplane crashed and caught fire as it tried to land in foggy
weather at a tiny mountain airport near Mount Everest, killing 18
people, including 16 tourists from Germany, Australia and Nepal.
2008 Oct 8, It was reported
that Gaza's smugglers have gone legit. Owners of the scores of
tunnels running under the Gaza-Egypt border have registered with the
Hamas authorities, pledged to pay workers' compensation and hooked
up their operations to the electricity network.
2008 Oct 8, Russian forces
pulled back from positions outside South Ossetia, bulldozing a camp
at a key checkpoint and withdrawing into the separatist region as EU
monitors and relieved Georgian residents looked on.
2008 Oct 8, Pirates in Somalia
released 15 Filipino seamen and four other crewmen of a chemical
tanker hijacked nearly two months ago, but were still holding 67
other Filipino sailors.
2008 Oct 8, South Korea's top
military officer said North Korea is working to develop a nuclear
warhead for a long-range missile, a day after the communist state
tested its short-range weaponry.
2008 Oct 8, The Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences said two Americans and a US-based Japanese
scientist won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for discovering and
developing a glowing jellyfish protein that revolutionized the
ability to study disease and normal development in living organisms.
Japan's Osamu Shimomura and Americans Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien
shared the prize for their work on green fluorescent protein, or
GFP. Shimomura discovered the jellyfish protein in 1961. In the
early 1990s Douglas Prasher conducted research on the jellyfish gene
that made Chalfie’s and Tsien’s work possible.
(AP, 10/8/08)(SFC, 10/21/08, p.A6)
2008 Oct 8, In Turkey rebels
ambushed a police bus, killing four policemen and the driver in the
Kurdish-dominated city of Diyarbakir, further escalating tensions.
2008 Oct 9, Virginia’s Gov.
Timothy M. Kaine ordered 570 state employee layoffs, cut college
funding by at least 5%, ordered som older prisons closed and
postponed state employee raises to deal with a $2.5 billion fiscal
(WSJ, 10/10/08, p.A6)
2008 Oct 9, Chicago’s Cook
County Sheriff Tom Dart halted evictions on foreclosed properties,
saying innocent tenants were being put on the street. But bankers
said he was breaking the law.
2008 Oct 9, Wells Fargo
& Co. proceeded with plans to acquire Wachovia as Citigroup said
it would not pursue additional legal actions to halt the takeover.
The Federal Reserve approved the acquisition on Oct 12.
(SFC, 10/10/08, p.A1)(SFC, 10/13/08, p.A15)
2008 Oct 9, Afghanistan
appealed for more NATO help to attack heroin dealers at a meeting
with NATO counterparts in Budapest. General David McKiernan, the top
US commander in Afghanistan, said he backed a "political solution"
to the country's dragging conflict with Taliban-led extremists. The
US pushed NATO allies to order their troops to target Afghanistan's
thriving heroin trade in a bid to stem the flow of drug money to the
widening insurgency against the troubled international military
(AFP, 10/9/08)(AP, 10/9/08)(SFC, 10/10/08, p.A16)
2008 Oct 9, Ethiopia signed a
220-million-euro (300 million dollar) deal with a French company for
the construction of Africa's largest wind farm.
2008 Oct 9, The Swedish Academy
announced French novelist Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio (b.1940) as
the 2008 Nobel Prize in literature for his poetic adventure and
"sensual ecstasy." Le Clezio made his breakthrough as a novelist
with "Desert," in 1980.
2008 Oct 9, Trading in
Hungary’s bond market broke down as buyers practically disappeared
for a 10-year auction. The government raised less than planned. A
day earlier it left its key lending rate at 8.5%.
(WSJ, 10/10/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 9, Iceland suspended
trading on its stock exchange for two days and took control of the
country's largest bank, the third to be placed under its protective
umbrella, as it grappled with a banking crisis that is threatening
to engulf the entire country.
2008 Oct 9, Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered his government to suspend a
controversial new sales tax, a day after a rare strike by merchants
worried about how the new measure would affect their business.
2008 Oct 9, Saleh al-Auqaeili,
an Iraqi lawmaker loyal to anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr,
was killed when a bomb struck his convoy in Baghdad. At least one
bystander was also killed in the bombing.
2008 Oct 9, The Libyan oil
company Tamoil said the Libyan government has again decided to halt
oil deliveries to Switzerland.
2008 Oct 9, Poll results in the
Maldives indicated President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to be headed for a
runoff against Mohamed Nasheed, a former political prisoner who
leads the main opposition.
2008 Oct 9, The International
Atomic Energy Agency said North Korea has told it that the
government is placing all its main nuclear complex off-limits to
inspectors and will stop its program of dismantling the site.
2008 Oct 9, Two American
journalists, Holli Chmela (27) and Taylor Luck (23), who went
missing during a vacation in Lebanon eight days ago were released in
Syria and returned to Jordan. The next day they said they had been
"kidnapped" by their taxi driver and taken into Syria, where they
were held in custody for a week before being released.
(AP, 10/9/08)(AP, 10/10/08)
2008 Oct 9, In northern Mexico
gunmen opened fire in a bar in Chihuahua, killing 11 people. The
body of Miguel Angel Villagomez, editor of La Noticia newspaper in
the western state of Michoacan, was found shot dead on the side of a
highway in neighboring Guerrero state.
2008 Oct 9, Montenegro and
Macedonia recognized Kosovo's independence, despite opposition from
Serbia, which called the moves by its Balkan neighbors a betrayal
and expelled the Montenegrin ambassador from Belgrade.
2008 Oct 9, NATO joined a
growing international force to protect vessels off Somalia's
perilous coast, sending military ships to the treacherous waters
where pirates are negotiating the release of an arms-laden tanker.
2008 Oct 9, Pakistani fighter
jets and helicopter gunships destroyed a Taliban militant facility
in the Swat Valley, killing 20 militants. Separately, five
civilians, including women and children, were killed when a shell
hit a house in the Matta district of Swat during clashes between
troops and insurgents. Bombings targeting police killed 10 people
and wounded 14 in the volatile northwest and the capital. Suspected
US missile strikes hit Tappi village in North Waziristan, killing at
least 9 people and a house in the village of Dande Darpa Khel.
(AFP, 10/9/08)(SFC, 10/10/08, p.A17)
2008 Oct 9, In Peru a bomb
killed 13 soldiers and 2 civilians in Huancavelica, east of Lima, in
an apparent response to an army operation to shut down Shining Path
(AP, 10/10/08)(Econ, 10/18/08, p.50)
2008 Oct 9, Somali pirates
freed 20 Filipino seamen from a hijacked ship they held for more
than 80 days, as the Philippine government doubled the pay of
sailors passing through pirate-infested international waters. 47
Filipinos on three other ships were still in the hands of Somali
pirates. Pirates also released 29 Iranian crew members and their
cargo ship hijacked off Somalia's coast in late July.
2008 Oct 9, A suspected Tamil
Tiger suicide bomber blew himself up near a convoy carrying a senior
Sri Lankan Cabinet minister, wounding his deputy and at least six
others. One bystander was killed and a wounded person died in the
(AP, 10/9/08)(SFC, 10/10/08, p.A17)
2008 Oct 9, According to the
Sudanese army 15 people were killed when Darfur rebels attacked a
local government convoy with military escort in the far west of the
2008 Oct 9, The central banks
of Taiwan and South Korea cut interest rates as Japan and others
pumped more cash into the financial markets.
(WSJ, 10/10/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 9, The leaders of
Thailand's anti-government protesters said they will surrender to
police after a court dropped treason charges against them, but vowed
to continue their occupation of the prime minister's office after
2008 Oct 9, In Tobago Anna
Sundsval (62) and Oke Olsoon (73) of Sweden were slashed to death at
their home in the Bon Accord area. A suspect was arrested the next
2008 Oct 9, Ukrainian President
Viktor Yushchenko called early general elections after dissolving
parliament when parties failed to resurrect a ruling pro-Western
coalition in the former Soviet state.
2008 Oct 9, Zimbabwe's
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said that power-sharing talks
with President Robert Mugabe's government had stalled and outside
mediation was needed to break the deadlock. The UN food agency made
an urgent appeal for 140 million dollars (102 million euros) in food
aid for more than five million Zimbabweans facing severe hunger. A
state newspaper said Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate soared to 231
million percent in July.
2008 Oct 10, G7 leaders
confronted a financial system in shambles as they gathered in
Washington with panic selling in the stock markets, credit frozen
solid and the world teetering on recession. US Treasury Secretary
Hank Paulson said the government will buy direct stakes in banks to
stem a global financial collapse. G7 ministers announced a 5-point
plant to support financial institutions.
(Reuters, 10/10/08)(SFC, 10/11/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 10, Global stocks dove
head first to five-year lows at the end of a brutal week as even the
traditional safe-havens of gold and government bonds suffered as
fear-stricken investors sought refuge in cash. The DJIA fell 128 to
close at 8451.19 in its most volatile day ever as the Dow swung 1019
points during the day. Oil on the NY mercantile Exchange fell over
10% to close at $77.70 a barrel, its lowest level in over a year.
(Reuters, 10/10/08)(SFC, 10/11/08, p.C1)(WSJ,
2008 Oct 10, The US and India
signed a pact allowing American firms to sell nuclear technology to
(WSJ, 10/11/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 10, Alaska released a
report in which a legislative investigator found that Gov. Palin had
violated state ethics laws and abused her power by trying to have
her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper.
2008 Oct 10, In Los Angeles
Leland Wong (51), a former city commissioner (2002-2004) under Mayor
James Hahn, was sentenced to 5 years in prison and ordered to pay
about $139,000 in restitution for accepting bribes from companies
seeking city business.
(SSFC, 10/12/08, p.B7)
2008 Oct 10, The Connecticut
Supreme Court voted 4-3 to give gay and lesbian couples the right to
marry ruling that civil unions fell short of giving them full
equality. It became the 3rd state to legalize such unions.
(SFC, 10/11/08, p.A6)(WSJ, 10/11/08, p.A7)
2008 Oct 10, Ed Jew, former San
Francisco supervisor, pleaded guilty to one count each of mail
fraud, bribery and extortion as part of a scheme to shakedown
Chinese immigrant owners of tapioca drink shops in the sunset
District for $84,000 in bribes. In 2009 he was sentenced to 64
months in federal prison.
(SFC, 10/11/08, p.B1)(SFC, 4/4/09, p.A1)
2008 Oct 10, Jim Benson
(b.1945), software entrepreneur and founder of SpaceDev (1997),
died. He had hoped to build rockets to colonize asteroids.
(WSJ, 10/18/08, p.A10)
2008 Oct 10, NATO defense
ministers authorized their troops in Afghanistan to attack drug
barons blamed for pumping up to US$100 million (euro74 million) a
year into the coffers of resurgent Taliban fighters.
2008 Oct 10, The London stock
market plunged by almost 10.0 percent again, after fresh falls on
Wall Street, as investors continued to fret over the worldwide
2008 Oct 10, Canada’s Finance
Minister Jim Flaherty said Canada plans to buy up to C$25 billion in
insured mortgages to help cushion banks from the global financial
crisis and address a "scarcity" of private-sector lending.
2008 Oct 10, Chile's President,
Michelle Bachelet, signed law 20.299 making October 31st a new
annual public holiday to coincide with Reformation Day and to be
called "Día Nacional de las Iglesias Evangélicas y
Protestantes". The date marked the 1517 posting by Martin
Luther of his 95 thesis in Wittenberg, Germany.
(http://tinyurl.com/62uhnt)(Econ, 11/8/08, p.52)
2008 Oct 10, A state news
report said Beijing will ban half of its 3.4 million cars from the
roads during periods of very heavy pollution. A crane at a
construction site next to a kindergarten collapsed in Zibo city,
Shandong province, killing five children.
2008 Oct 10, Congo's President
Joseph Kabila named Budget Minister Adolphe Muzito (51) as the new
prime minister following the resignation of 83-year-old Antoine
2008 Oct 10, Finland's
ex-president Martti Ahtisaari won the Nobel Peace Prize for his
efforts to build a lasting peace from Africa and Asia to Europe and
the Middle East. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said it honored
Ahtisaari for important efforts over more than three decades to
resolve international conflicts.
2008 Oct 10, In Iraq Diyar
Abbas Ahmed (28), a Kurdish journalist, was gunned down in Kirkuk. A
New York-based journalists' group said it was the 136th killing of a
reporter since the US-led invasion of Iraq five years ago. A car
bomb exploded in a market in southern Baghdad killing at least 14
people. Bombings and shooting around the country killed 24 people.
(AP, 10/11/08)(SFC, 10/11/08, p.A3)
2008 Oct 10, Police in Srinagar
shot and killed two people and at least four protesters were
wounded, as thousands of Muslims took to the streets of Indian
Kashmir to protest the visit of India's prime minister.
2008 Oct 10, The Libyan news
agency JANA said Libya will withdraw $7 billion of assets in Swiss
banks, cut economic ties with Switzerland and stop supplying it with
oil to protest against poor treatment of Libyan diplomats and
2008 Oct 10, Mexico's central
bank auctioned foreign reserves in 3 auctions in an increasingly
aggressive bid to push the peso stronger. In all, the bank sold off
2008 Oct 10, In Mexico
authorities in Tijuana reported that a total of 91 people had been
killed in a wave of gangland homicides since Sept. 26.
2008 Oct 10, A suicide bomber
drove his car into an anti-Taliban tribal council meeting in
northwest Pakistan, killing at least 30 people, the second suicide
bombing in as many days. The bomber blew himself up when around 500
members of Alizai tribe were gathered to draw up a strategy as part
of government-backed efforts to drive out militants from tribal
areas. Angry Pakistani tribesmen traded fire with Taliban militants
and demolished their houses in a northwestern tribal region
following the car suicide attack.
(AP, 10/10/08)(Reuters, 10/11/08)
2008 Oct 10, Peru’s President
Alan Garcia accepted the resignation of his entire Cabinet without
naming replacements in response to an oil kickbacks scandal.
2008 Oct 10, Portugal's
Parliament voted by a large majority against proposals to allow
same-sex marriages in the mostly Roman Catholic country.
2008 Oct 10, In Qatar the Doha
Center for Media Freedom opened under the leadership of Robert
Menard of France. Menard had previously led the Paris-based
Reporters Without Borders.
(Econ, 5/16/09, p.52)(http://tinyurl.com/rxkzzh)
2008 Oct 10, Serbia expelled
the Macedonian ambassador, reflecting its fury over the recognition
of Kosovo's independence by its closest neighbors.
2008 Oct 10, Singapore’s
economy fell into recession for the first time in 6 years leading
the city-state’s central bank to ease monetary policy and warn of
more struggle to come.
(WSJ, 10/11/08, p.A10)
2008 Oct 10, Armed pirates off
Somalia hijacked a Greek chemical tanker with a crew of 20 flying a
2008 Oct 10, Spain's government
insisted that a 30 billion euros ($41 billion) fund it will use to
buy assets from banks starved for liquidity will have zero cost for
2008 Oct 10, Heinz Imhof, known
as the Father of Syngenta, died, He orchestrated the 2000 merger of
the crop-protection and seeds divisions of Switzerland’s Novartis AG
and Anglo-Swedish Astra-Zeneca PLC, creating Sygenta, the biggest
agrichemical business in the world.
(WSJ, 11/8/08, p.A6)
2008 Oct 10, A Swedish court
sentenced Chilean tenor Ernesto "Tito" Beltran (43) to two years and
six months in prison for raping an 18-year-old nanny and molesting a
7-year-old girl. The appeals court in Goteborg upheld a previous
rape conviction, but overturned an acquittal in the molestation
2008 Oct 10, Leaders of Thai
anti-government protests were granted bail after surrendering to
police and immediately vowed new rallies, raising fears of mounting
turmoil days after deadly street clashes. At least 22 people were
killed and 24 others injured when a bus packed with passengers
crashed in eastern Thailand.
2008 Oct 10, Ukraine's PM Yulia
Tymoshenko said there will be no early parliamentary elections,
defying a presidential decree and raising the stakes in her fierce
political battle with the president. She said Ukraine has no money
for an early election and predicted that parliament will not pass
the necessary legislation.
2008 Oct 10, The UN urged Congo
and Rwanda to hold talks to avoid a war after Kinshasa accused its
eastern neighbor of sending troops over the border to back Congolese
2008 Oct 10, Yemeni officials
and the UN refugee agency said about 100 migrants from Somalia were
missing and feared drowned in the treacherous waters off the coast
of Yemen after smugglers forced them overboard 3 miles off Yemen’s
coast. 47 were believed to have survived.
(AP, 10/10/08)(SFC, 10/11/08, p.A10)
2008 Oct 10, Zimbabwe's
political rivals agreed to seek renewed mediation from former South
African President Thabo Mbeki to try to end deadlock over posts in a
2008 Oct 11, President Bush met
with foreign financial officials and pledged a global response to
the credit crisis that will lead toward a "path of stability and
2008 Oct 11, The Bush
administration removed North Korea from a terrorism blacklist as
North Korea agreed to all US nuclear inspection demands. The
breakthrough is intended to salvage a faltering disarmament accord
before President Bush leaves office in January.
2008 Oct 11, Afghan Pres.
Karzai named Muhammad Hanif Atmar (40) as his interior minister in a
Cabinet reshuffle aimed to curb high-level corruption. In
Afghanistan about 40 militants more were killed as a three-day
operation wound up in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province.
Atmar was a former official in Afghanistan’s communist-era secret
(AFP, 10/12/08)(SSFC, 10/12/08, p.A7)
2008 Oct 11, It was reported
that the population of adult hake fish off Argentina’s coast has
declined by 70% in the past 20 years. Skippers reportedly paid some
$2-3 million in bribes to inspectors and routinely underreported
(Econ, 10/11/08, p.53)
2008 Oct 11, Austrian
politician Joerg Haider (b.1950) died in a car accident while
speeding drunk. His far-right rhetoric at times sounded sympathetic
to the Nazis and contemptuous of Jews and led to months of
international isolation for the Alpine republic. At the time of his
death, Haider was governor of the province of Carinthia and leader
of the Alliance for the Future of Austria, a party he formed after
breaking away from the far right Freedom Party in 2005.
(AP, 10/11/08)(Econ, 10/18/08, p.99)
2008 Oct 11, A strong
earthquake hit Chechnya and other parts of Russia's North Caucasus,
killing at least 13 people and damaging scores of hospitals, schools
and other buildings.
(AP, 10/11/08)(SFC, 10/18/08, p.B6)
2008 Oct 11, India's PM Singh
launched Kashmir's first train service, the fruit of an eight-year
project that overcame tough terrain and rebel strife, on a visit
overshadowed by violence. Shops, businesses and schools were shut to
protest Singh’s visit.
(AFP, 10/11/08)(AP, 10/12/08)
2008 Oct 11, In Acre, Israel,
police said rioters torched two empty apartments owned by Arabs in a
predominantly Jewish neighborhood. 12 people were put into custody
for rioting and eight under house arrest.
2008 Oct 11, Italian security
forces including army paratroops arrested seven members of the
Camorra mafia believed linked to the killing of African immigrants
near Naples last month.
2008 Oct 11, In Mexico gunmen
killed six young men at a family party in the gang-plagued border
city of Ciudad Juarez. In Tijuana federal police arrested seven
reputed members of a cell of the Arellano Felix drug cartel,
including a city police officer.
2008 Oct 11, Hurricane Norbert
hit Mexico as a Category 1 storm and left 4 people dead in the Baha
peninsula and Sonora state.
(SFC, 10/18/08, p.B6)
2008 Oct 11, US missile strikes
in Pakistan's northwest killed five people, but none was believed to
be a foreign al-Qaida fighter.
2008 Oct 11, Peru’s President
Alan Garcia announced that he has appointed Yehude Simon (61), a
leftist governor, to become the chief Cabinet minister, a day after
the minister's predecessor resigned along with 16 colleagues amid a
brewing oil-kickbacks scandal.
2008 Oct 11, Russia launched a
ballistic missile from a submarine in a record flight of over 7,100
miles, hitting a target in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for the
first time. Russian TV showed what it said was the Sineva missile
launching from the submarine Tula.
2008 Oct 11, In Sri Lanka
fighting around Kilinochchi killed 26 rebels and two soldiers in two
separate clashes. Other battles in Welioya and Vavuniya killed four
2008 Oct 11, In Sudan Abu Bakr
Kadu, a Sudan Liberation Movement-Unity commander, said 23 civilians
had died after Janjaweed Arab militia assaulted villages over 3 days
in the Muhagiriya area of southern Darfur. He also said 28 Janjaweed
2008 Oct 11, Thailand's
embattled PM Somchai Wongsawat, indicated that he may resign in the
wake of fierce anti-government protests earlier this week that left
two people dead and hundreds injured. Thousands of supporters of the
ruling coalition gathered on the outskirts of Bangkok in a show of
strength, two days ahead of a planned major protest by a group
hoping to topple the elected government.
2008 Oct 11, Turkish warplanes
and artillery bombed dozens of Kurdish rebel targets overnight in
northern Iraq following an escalation in rebel attacks.
2008 Oct 11, Zimbabwe’s state
Herald newspaper published a list from the official government
gazette giving the ruling ZANU-PF party 14 ministries, including the
key portfolios of defense, home and foreign affairs, justice, media,
mines and land. This would allow 83-year-old Mugabe to retain his
iron grip on power. Opposition party spokesman Nelson Chamisa said
it was a "midnight ambush style of attack" and meant the proposed
national unity government was now in jeopardy.
2008 Oct 12, In California Hans
Florine (44) and Yuji Hirayama (39) broke their own World Record for
the fastest climb up the Nose of El Capitan (2:37:5) in Yosemite
National Park. They first record was set on Jul 2 with a time of
(SFC, 7/3/08, p.A1)(SFC, 10/13/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 12, In Afghanistan 62
militants, part of a group of 150 that had been seen massing outside
of Lashkar Gah for several days, were killed overnight in NATO
air strikes that stopped them from entering the Helmand provincial
capital. Taliban commander Mullah Qadratullah was among the dead.
The US-led coalition killed five Taliban rebels in Ghazni. Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reporter Mellissa Fung (35) was
kidnapped in Kabul. She was freed on Nov 8.
(AP, 10/12/08)(AFP, 10/13/08)(SFC, 10/13/08,
2008 Oct 12, Algeria announced
it will spend 500 million euros (675 million dollars) on protecting
towns from flooding as the death toll from floods this month rose to
2008 Oct 12, Australia and New
Zealand gave a blanket guarantee to all bank deposits in a move
likely to raise pressure on other economies to do the same, amid a
crisis of confidence in the global financial system.
2008 Oct 12, Dozens of renowned
British writers came out against new anti-terrorism legislation,
publishing a collection of satire, essays, fiction and poetry to
protest a proposal allowing police to hold suspects without charge
for up to 42 days. The next day the House of Lords rejected the plan
and the government said it would abandon the proposal.
(AP, 10/12/08)(SFC, 10/14/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 12, European leaders
hammered out action to confront the financial crisis, adding their
voices to a global chorus of demands for coordinated action against
2008 Oct 12, In Iraq Qassim
al-Aboudi, the spokesman for the election commission, said there's
not enough time to organize a ballot this year but that it will take
place soon after the New Year. 2 Iraqi soldiers were killed in the
Yarmouk district of Baghdad. A car bomb exploded in a commercial
street of southwestern Baghdad, killing 7 people and wounding 9
others. Another car bomb in Mosul killed 6 people. A Christian music
store owner was shot to death in Mosul, the latest in a series of
killings that has caused thousands of members of the religious
minority to flee the city. Iraq deployed around 1,000 police in
Christian areas of Mosul as thousands of members of the minority
group fled the worst violence against them in 5 years. A spate of
attacks on Christians in Mosul since September 28 had killed at
least 11 people.
(AP, 10/12/08)(AFP, 10/12/08)(AP, 10/13/08)(SFC,
2008 Oct 12, Lithuanians voted
in a general election likely to mark comebacks for ex-president
Rolandas Paksas or former political star Viktor Uspaskich. A
non-binding referendum was also on the ballot as part of a battle to
delay the closure of Ignalina, a Soviet-era nuclear power station
which provides 70 percent of Lithuania's electricity. Voters dealt a
major blow to Lithuania's leftist government by boosting the
conservative opposition as well as some populist leaders, including
an impeached ex-president, in weekend elections. Homeland Union
leader Andrius Kubilius said he was ready to form a new Cabinet
after his party won the most votes in the first round, receiving
19.2 percent. The governing Social Democratic Party, which has
controlled the prime minister's office since 2001, finished fourth
with 11.7 percent.
(AFP, 10/12/08)(AP, 10/13/08)
2008 Oct 12, An angry crowd in
central Mexico attacked police and helped nearly three dozen illegal
Central American immigrants escape from custody after hearing that
officers had allegedly sold the migrants to human smugglers in the
farming town of Rafael Lara Grajales, Puebla state. Federal police
managed to round up 21 migrants.
(AP, 10/14/08)(SSFC, 10/26/08, p.A23)
2008 Oct 12, North Korea said
it will resume dismantling its main nuclear facilities, hours after
the US removed the communist country from a list of states
Washington says sponsor terrorism.
2008 Oct 12, Pakistani
helicopter gunships bombed a meeting of Islamic militants linked to
Al-Qaeda near the border with Afghanistan. Among the dead were two
Taliban commanders and 12 potential suicide bombers. More than 24
extremists with links to Al-Qaeda were killed near the Afghan border
in the Bajaur tribal region.
2008 Oct 12, A Soyuz spacecraft
with two Americans and a Russian on board lifted off from Kazakhstan
for the international space station. The Soyuz TMA-13 capsule
carried American computer game millionaire Richard Garriott, US
astronaut Michael Fincke and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov.
2008 Oct 12, Somali forces from
semiautonomous Puntland unsuccessfully raided a hijacked ships. 2
pirates were killed.
(WSJ, 10/13/08, p.A15)
2008 Oct 12, Sri Lanka’s
soldiers destroyed three bunkers and captured four others after
battles that killed 15 rebels near their administrative capital of
Kilinochchi. Separate clashes in the same area killed four rebels
and one soldier. In the northern Jaffna peninsula, troops killed
four rebels along the front lines while a rebel mortar attack killed
two soldiers. Clashes in Mullaitivu killed four rebels and wounded
2008 Oct 12, The United Arab
Emirates said it would guarantee domestic bank deposits and with
Saudi Arabia promised fresh financial support to domestic banks.
(WSJ, 10/13/08, p.A5)
2008 Oct 12, Pope Benedict XVI
gave the Roman Catholic church four new saints, including an Indian
woman whose canonization is seen as a morale boost to Christians in
India who have suffered Hindu violence. They included Sister
Alphonsa (1910-1946) of the Immaculate Conception, a nun from
southern India and India’s first woman saint; Gaetano Errico
(1791-1860), a Neapolitan priest who founded a missionary order in
the 19th century; Sister Maria Bernarda, born as Verena Buetler
(1848-1924) in Switzerland, who worked as a nun in Ecuador and
Colombia; and Narcisa de Jesus Martillo Moran (1832-1869), a 19th
century laywoman from Ecuador who helped the sick and the poor.
2008 Oct 12, In Venezuela Pres.
Chaves, on Indigenous Resistance Day, presented the Yukpa Indians
titles to some blocks of land. This fell short of the 150,000 acres
they claimed as ancestral territory.
(Econ, 1/17/09, p.41)
2008 Oct 13, Stock markets
rejoiced after governments worldwide launched multibillion-dollar
bailouts to shore up banks, and Britain called for a new Bretton
Woods agreement to reshape the world financial system. The US
Central Bank said it would provide unlimited dollars the European
Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank.
Britain committed £37 billion ($64 billion) to capitalize its big
banks. Wall Street rebounded with the biggest stock rally since the
Great Depression. The DJIA rose 936 points to close at 9,387.61, its
largest point gain ever and one of its largest percentage increases.
(Reuters, 10/13/08)(SFC, 10/14/08, p.A1)(WSJ,
10/14/08, p.A3)(Econ, 10/18/08, p.83)
2008 Oct 13, Paul Krugman, the
Princeton University scholar and New York Times columnist, won the
Nobel prize in economics for his analysis of how economies of scale
can affect trade patterns and the location of economic activity. The
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences praised Krugman for formulating a
new theory to answer questions about free trade and said his theory
has inspired an enormous field of research.
(AP, 10/13/08)(Econ, 10/18/08, p.90)
2008 Oct 13, ABC News reported
that Tim Mahoney (52), a US Democratic Representative from Florida,
had an affair with an aide and then paid her $121,000 to keep her
quiet and avoid a sexual harassment suit. His affair with Patricia
Allen (50) had begun in 2006.
(SFC, 10/15/08, p.A6)
2008 Oct 13, In the SF Bay Area
fire crews extinguished a fire that had begun a day earlier on Angel
Island. All the historic buildings on the island were saved. The
fire burned 400 of the island’s 740 acres.
(SFC, 10/14/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 13, In Afghanistan 8
civilians were killed in separate insurgent attacks. 5 Afghan men
who worked as translators were abducted by unknown gunmen in the
eastern province of Paktia as they were driving to Kabul by taxi. A
coalition service member was killed and several others were wounded
in southern Afghanistan when their vehicle was hit by a roadside
(AFP, 10/13/08)(AP, 10/14/08)
2008 Oct 13, First ladies from
seven west African countries gather in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso,
for a conference on ways to end female circumcision, a widespread
practice in the region despite efforts to end it.
2008 Oct 13, Cambodian PM Hun
Sen gave Thailand an ultimatum to withdraw troops from a disputed
stretch of jungle-clad border within 24 hours or his forces would
turn the area into a "death zone." Thai troops retreated the next
(Reuters, 10/13/08)(AP, 10/14/08)
2008 Oct 13, Europe put $2.3
trillion on the line to protect the continent's banks, a figure that
dwarfed the Bush administration's $700 billion rescue program.
2008 Oct 13, The EU temporarily
lifted a travel ban on the president of Belarus, a country regarded
as Europe's last dictatorship, as relations with the country start
2008 Oct 13, The EU condemned
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's "unilateral decision" to form a
new government and threatened fresh sanctions unless he respects a
power-sharing deal. Mugabe swore in his two vice presidents, casting
doubt on a new mediation effort aimed at saving a power-sharing deal
with the opposition.
2008 Oct 13, Guillaume
Depardieu (37), French film star, died of pneumonia. The
often-troubled son of renowned French film star Gerard Depardieu had
gained praise for his own career as an actor. In 2003 he Depardieu
had his right leg amputated to end years of pain from a bacterial
infection that followed a motorcycle accident in 1996.
2008 Oct 13, In India police
arrested seven relatives of a 75-year-old widow for doing nothing to
prevent the woman from killing herself by jumping into her husband's
2008 Oct 13, Iraq's oil
minister met 34 oil company representatives in London to set out the
ground rules for foreign multinationals' first bite at the country's
enormous energy reserves since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
2008 Oct 13, Israel shut down
entry from the West Bank during the 7-day Sukkot holiday. The order
bars almost all West Bank Palestinians from entering Israel until
2008 Oct 13, Italian police
arrested five people in the Calabria region, including the mayor of
Rosarno, for suspected ties to the local mob.
2008 Oct 13, In Pakistan ten
Islamic extremists died in a gunbattle with soldiers in the
Khawazakhela district of the Swat valley during an ongoing military
operation against fighters loyal to local cleric Maulana Fazlullah.
Security forces fired mortar and artillery rounds at militants in
the Charmang area of the Bajur region overnight, killing nine
insurgents. Pro-government tribesmen exchanged fire with militants
in the Nawa and Kotkai areas of Bajur. Thirteen militants and two
pro-government tribesmen were killed.
(AFP, 10/13/08)(AP, 10/13/08)
2008 Oct 13, Singapore's High
Court ruled that an opposition party and two of its leaders must pay
$416,000 in defamation damages to PM Lee Hsien Loong and his father,
former PM Lee Kuan Yew, related to criticism published in 2006 in
the party's newspaper.
2008 Oct 13, In Somalia
Islamist insurgents attacked African Union peacekeepers in
Mogadishu, triggering fierce clashes that killed a civilian and
wounded five others.
2008 Oct 13, Barbara Hogan,
South Africa’s new health minister, broke from a decade of
discredited government policies declaring that AIDS is caused by HIV
and must be treated by conventional medicine.
(SFC, 10/14/08, p.A3)
2008 Oct 13, In Sri Lanka
fighting in the Kilinochchi region killed 11 rebel fighters and two
soldiers. Fighting in Jaffna, Vavuniya and Mullaittivu killed nine
2008 Oct 13, Sudanese officials
disclosed the arrest of Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-al-Rahman (aka Ali
Kushayb), a Janjaweed militia leader who was charged by the Int’l.
Criminal court in 2007 for crimes against humanity.
(SFC, 10/14/08, p.A6)
2008 Oct 13, Swiss authorities
said they have found high concentrations of melamine in biscuits
from Thailand and Sri Lanka and have called on other European
countries to withdraw the products.
2008 Oct 13, A Venezuelan court
issued arrest warrants for eight suspects in the Oct 1 killing of
Julio Soto, a student leader who helped organize protests against
constitutional amendments proposed by President Hugo Chavez.
2008 Oct 14, President Bush
announced a $250 billion plan by the government to directly buy
shares in 9 of the nation's leading banks, saying the drastic steps
were "not intended to take over the free market but to preserve it."
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said the US housing
sector faced more losses and the economy was in recession even as
authorities moved to stabilize the financial system.
(Reuters, 10/14/08)(AP, 10/14/08)(WSJ, 10/14/08,
2008 Oct 14, The US
Treasury revised the 2008 fiscal deficit to $455 billion, as opposed
to the $389 billion projected in July. The national debt, at 38% of
GDP, was well below the 1990s peak of 49%.
(Econ, 10/18/08, p.41)(Econ, 10/25/08, p.40)
2008 Oct 14, Key lending rates
between banks in the US and Europe continued to fall slowly in
response to combined pledges from governments to inject money into
banks and guarantee their debt. But rates remained abnormally high,
a sign of the stress in the world financial system.
2008 Oct 14, A wildfire in
northern Los Angeles covered 13,285 acres.
(SFC, 10/15/08, p.B6)
2008 Oct 14, Ohio executed
Richard Cooey (41), a 5-foot-7, 267-pound double murderer (1986),
who had argued that his obesity made death by lethal injection
2008 Oct 14, Gray wolves in the
northern US Rocky Mountains returned to the endangered species list,
thanks to a court victory by environmental groups over the US
government [see Mar 28, 2008].
2008 Oct 14, Reymundo Guerra,
sheriff of rural Starr County, Texas, next to the Mexican border,
was arrested at his office after being indicted on charges alleging
he was involved in a large-scale cocaine and marijuana smuggling
2008 Oct 14, In eastern
Afghanistan a roadside bomb blast killed three NATO soldiers. In the
south, a bomb attack apparently intended for NATO troops exploded
against an Afghan minivan in Uruzgan province, killing nine
civilians. Dost Mohammad Arighistani, head of the government's labor
and social affairs department for the southern province of Kandahar,
was killed in his car with his bodyguard as he traveled to work.
Taliban militants attacked police checkpoints ringing Lashkar Gah.
18 militants were killed and three police wounded. 6 policemen died
after a shootout among officers inside a police checkpoint about 15
miles north of Lashkar Gah.
(AP, 10/14/08)(AFP, 10/14/08)(AP, 10/15/08)
2008 Oct 14, The prosecution
office of Bosnia's war crimes court said it ordered the arrest of
Milorad Skrbic, 48; Milorad Radakovic, 46; Gordan Djuric, 40; and
Ljubisa Cetic, 39, for allegedly having participated in 1992 in the
wartime execution of 200 civilians.
2008 Oct 14, Indian author
Aravind Adiga (b.1974) won the 2008 Booker Prize with his first
novel: “The White Tiger." The book follows Balram Halwai, the son of
a rickshaw puller, who dreams of better things than life as teashop
worker and driver.
2008 Oct 14, Burundi said it
has completed its deployment of another 850 soldiers to Somalia,
bringing to about 3,400 the total number of African Union
peacekeepers stationed there. Burundi had already deployed some 850
soldiers to Somalia as part of AMISOM (African mission in Somalia).
2008 Oct 14, Canadians voted in
an election. Conservative PM Stephen Harper, the first Western
leader to face the electorate since the start of the international
economic meltdown, won reelection with a bolstered minority
government. Some 59.1% of eligible Canadian voters went to the
polls, breaking the previous record low turnout of just under 61% in
2004. The Liberal share of the popular vote fell to 26%.
(AP, 10/14/08)(Reuters, 10/15/08)(Econ, 10/18/08,
2008 Oct 14, China unveiled a
plan to achieve universal health care. The plan hoped to cover 90%
of the population within 2 years and achieve universal health care
by 2020. State media reported that a ginseng injection contaminated
by bacteria caused the deaths of three people using the medicine to
treat thrombosis and heart disease.
2008 Oct 14, The UN said
intense fighting between the Congolese army and Ugandan rebels have
forced over 50,000 people to flee their homes in the north-eastern
Democratic Republic of the Congo's Ituri region.
2008 Oct 14, Egyptian police
shot dead an African migrant and wounded another as they tried to
cross illegally into Israel.
2008 Oct 14, An Ethiopian
minister said his country urgently needs US$265 million to feed 6.4
million people affected by drought.
2008 Oct 14, Iceland's blue
chip stocks plunged 77 percent when trading reopened on after a near
week-long suspension and an official delegation from the island
sought Russian help in saving the economy from collapse.
2008 Oct 14, In north and
northeastern India a series of road accidents killed at least 48
people and injured another 64. 43 of the dead died in 2 bus crashes.
2008 Oct 14, The Israeli
military troops in the West Bank shot a Palestinian as he prepared
to lob a blazing Molotov cocktail into a Jewish settlement north of
Jerusalem. Troops found another 10 firebombs at the scene ready to
2008 Oct 14, North Korea
resumed steps to disable its nuclear reactor under renewed
monitoring, after a deal with Washington to save the disarmament
process from collapse.
2008 Oct 14, The Hamas
government announced that it will not permit thousands of striking
teachers to return to their jobs, further heightening tensions with
its political rivals in the West Bank. Despite the August 24 strike,
Hamas kept schools running and hired some 2,200 new teachers and
2008 Oct 14, The Philippine
Supreme Court threw out a proposed accord to grant minority Muslims
expanded autonomy after Christian protests and renewed fighting
convinced the government to abandon the deal. The accord would have
expanded an existing six-province Muslim autonomous region in
Mindanao, subject to the agreement of local residents.
2008 Oct 14, Off the Somali
coast a Panamanian-flagged vessel and its 11 crew members, nine
Syrians and two Somalis, were freed after a gunbattle in which one
Puntland soldier was killed and three wounded. The 10 pirates, who
had held the ship since Oct 9, surrendered when they ran out of
2008 Oct 14, The World
Conservation Congress ended in Barcelona, Spain. The meeting was
awash in gloomy forecasts.
(Econ, 10/18/08, p.68)
2008 Oct 14, In Sri Lanka
government forces pounded rebel defenses with airstrikes and ground
assaults. Heavy fighting across the north killed 49 Tamil Tiger
fighters and 7 soldiers. TamilNet reported that 3 soldiers were
killed in the government–controlled east.
(AP, 10/15/08)(SFC, 10/15/08, p.A5)
2008 Oct 14, Syria established
diplomatic relations with Lebanon, ending six decades of
non-recognition of its neighbor's sovereignty in an apparent bid to
curry favor with the West as it pursues indirect peace talks with
2008 Oct 14, The UN Security
Council voted unanimously to renew its peacekeeping mission in Haiti
for another year.
2008 Oct 15, John McCain and
Barack Obama held their final televised debate at Hofstra Univ. in
Hempstead, NY. It was moderated by Bob Schieffer of CBS.
(AP, 10/16/08)(SFC, 10/16/08,
2008 Oct 15, The US Commerce
Department reported that retail sales decreased 1.2% last month,
nearly double the 0.7% drop that had been expected. Stocks plunged
733 points in their second biggest point loss ever.
(AP, 10/15/08)(SFC, 10/16/08, p.C1)
2008 Oct 15, At Camp Pendleton,
California, Sgt. Jan Pietrzak (24) and his wife, Quiana
Jenkins-Pietrzak (26) were found gagged, tied and shot in the head
in the living room of their Winchester home. Investigators said the
house had been ransacked and a fire had been set, an apparent effort
to destroy evidence. 4 Marines were later charged with two counts of
first-degree murder and special-circumstance allegations of
committing multiple murders, committing the crime during a robbery
and rape by instrument.
2008 Oct 15, In Illinois a
medical helicopter crashed just before midnight and killed a
desperately ill 1-year-old girl and three crew members when the
aircraft clipped a radio structure's wire and went down in a
suburban Chicago field.
2008 Oct 15, A NYC police
officer warned Michael Mineo, a tattoo parlor worker, that if he
reported being sodomized with a baton during an arrest at a subway
station, officers would lock him up for a felony. Officer Richard
Kern (25) was later charged with aggravated sexual abuse and
assault. Fellow Officers Alex Cruz and Andrew Morales were charged
with hindering prosecution and official misconduct for allegedly
covering up the crime.
2008 Oct 15, In Afghanistan
international war planes bombed a gathering of Taliban and other
militants overnight in Barham Chah on the border with Pakistan and
killed up to 70. An explosion in Helmand province killed a British
(AFP, 10/15/08)(AP, 10/16/08)
2008 Oct 15, Authorities in
Azerbaijan said turnout was high in a presidential election
boycotted by the opposition and almost certain to return Ilham
Aliyev for a second term in the oil-producing state. President Ilham
Aliyev had 89% of the vote with 70% of precincts reporting.
(AP, 10/15/08)(AP, 10/16/08)
2008 Oct 15, In Barbados 13
Caribbean countries approved a new Economic partnership Agreement
(EPA) with the EU.
(Econ, 10/18/08, p.50)
2008 Oct 15, Nicky Reilly (22),
a convert to Islam, pleaded guilty at a London court to attempted
murder and engaging in preparation for terrorism by researching how
to make bombs. He was arrested shortly after a blast rattled a
family restaurant in the southwest English city of Exeter 200 miles
(320 kilometers) west of London on May 22.
2008 Oct 15, The Shell
Anglo-Dutch group said a Nigerian court has ordered it to hand over
land around its giant Bonny oil terminal to the local population, a
key demand of armed rebels in the volatile region. Shell said ruling
was given some months ago but we have appealed.
2008 Oct 15, Cambodia and
Thailand exchanged fire on the border in a clash over disputed land
which left two soldiers dead and several wounded.
2008 Oct 15, Chile’s President
Michelle Bachelet signed into law a measure that bans all whale
hunting off Chile's 3,400-mile (5,500-kilometer) coast.
2008 Oct 15, EU leaders agreed
to stick to ambitious plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions 20% by
2020, but divisions over how to share out the cuts were widened by
fears over the impact of the financial crisis.
2008 Oct 15, Iceland moved to
shore up its ravaged economy by slashing borrowing costs and
officials pursued efforts to get help from Russia in tackling the
worst financial crisis in the island's history.
2008 Oct 15, Esha Momeni, a
student at California State University, Northridge, was driving on a
highway in Tehran when she was stopped by authorities, who said they
were traffic police, and later taken to Evin prison. Her computer
and other materials related to her research on the Iranian women's
movement were confiscated.
2008 Oct 15, Baghdad and
Washington reached final agreement on a pact requiring US forces to
withdraw from Iraq by 2012. The agreement, reached after months of
difficult negotiations, would allow US troops to remain here after
their UN mandate expires Dec. 31. The US military detained 2
suspected insurgents in raids targeting al-Qaida in Iraq's
leadership in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. A US soldier died of
(WSJ, 10/16/08, p.A1)(AP, 10/16/08)(AP,
10/17/08)(SFC, 10/17/08, p.A9)
2008 Oct 15, A Malaysian court
ordered Tuanku Jaafar Tuanku Abdul Rahman (86), the country's former
king (1994-1999), to settle a $1 million debt to a bank in a
landmark verdict that ended a centuries-old tradition shielding the
country's royal sultans from legal prosecution.
2008 Oct 15, Pakistani
President Asif Ali Zardari reached trade deals with China, raising
hopes that Beijing would help his country through difficult economic
and diplomatic times.
2008 Oct 15, Armed pirates
hijacked a bulk carrier with 21 crew members in the Gulf of Aden
near Somalia. The ship under a Panamanian flag was operated by the
2008 Oct 15, In Sri Lanka air
force jets bombed a group of rebels who were building an earthen
embankment as a defense against advancing government forces in
2008 Oct 15, The foreign
ministers of Syria and Lebanon signed an agreement formalizing
diplomatic ties between the two countries for the first time in
their turbulent history.
2008 Oct 15, Turkish media
reported that a hijacker attempted to commandeer a Turkish Airlines
plane over Belarus but that he was overpowered by passengers.
2008 Oct 15, The Turkish
military clashed with Kurdish rebels near the Iraqi border in
battles in which four soldiers and five rebels were killed. A
Turkish helicopter crashed during the clash. A soldier was killed
and 15 security personnel were slightly injured in the crash.
2008 Oct 15, The IMF said
Ukrainian authorities have asked the International Monetary Fund for
help in stemming a financial crisis in the country. The government
took emergency measures to rescue banks and stabilize the national
currency, the hryvna, after worried depositors withdrew more than
US$1 billion from their accounts this month.
2008 Oct 15, A Vietnamese court
sentenced journalist Nguyen Viet Chien (56) to two years in prison,
accusing him of writing inaccurate stories about one of the
country's most high-profile corruption cases. Fellow reporter Nguyen
Van Hai (33) was sentenced on the charges to two years of
"re-education without detention." The reporters were arrested in May
for writing about a 2005 scandal in which Transportation Ministry
officials were accused of gambling with allegedly embezzled funds.
Police Maj. Gen. Pham Xuan Quac (62) and investigator Dinh Van Huynh
were charged with "deliberately revealing state secrets," for giving
information to the journalists. Quac, who has retired, was given a
warning, while Huynh was sentenced to one year in prison.
2008 Oct 15, Former South
African leader Thabo Mbeki opened a second day of talks with
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his main rival to save a
power-sharing deal that has floundered over cabinet posts.
2008 Oct 15, Wang Yung-Ching
(b.1917), founder of Formosa Plastics Group, died leaving a fortune
estimated at $7 billion. He had set up a small PVC plant in 1954 in
Taiwan with money from a US aid program.
(WSJ, 10/18/08, p.A10)
2008 Oct 15, A study by Gaffney
Cline & Associates of a big natural gas filed in Turkmenistan
confirmed the South Yolotan-Osman as the fifth largest in the world.
(WSJ, 10/16/08, p.A9)
2008 Oct 16, Pres. George W.
Bush signed the 315-page Rail Safety Improvement Act. The bill
introduced a new rail safety system called Positive Train Control
2008 Oct 16, The US FDA said it
would open its first office in China before the end of the year.
Over 60 FDA would be placed world-wide over the next year.
(SFC, 10/17/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 16, Nasdaq filed with
the SEC to temporarily suspend rules to remove securities trading
below a dollar. The Sec approved the change effective this day.
(SFC, 10/25/08, p.C1)
2008 Oct 16, The annual TED
prize was awarded to Sylvia Earl, Deep ocean explorer; Jill Cornell
Tarter, astronomer; and Jose Antonio Abreu, classical music maestro.
(SFC, 10/17/08, p.C3)
2008 Oct 16, Hawaii state
officials said they will stop giving health coverage to the 2,000
children enrolled by Nov. 1, but private partner Hawaii Medical
Service Association will pay to extend their coverage through the
end of the year without government support. Hawaii lawmakers had
approved the health plan in 2007 as a way to ensure every child can
get basic medical help.
2008 Oct 16, The Hubble Space
Telescope went into the final stages of recovery after NASA
successfully bypassed a faulty computer and resurrected an
18-year-old spare from orbital hibernation.
2008 Oct 16, Edie Adams
(b.1927), actress and singer, died. The blonde beauty had won a Tony
Award for bringing Daisy Mae to life on Broadway and played the
television foil to her husband, comedian Ernie Kovacs.
2008 Oct 16, In southern
Afghanistan an insurgent's rocket hit Lashkar Gah, capital of the
world's largest opium producing region, killing a civilian and
wounding five other people. An Afghan policeman killed a US soldier
on foot patrol in Paktika province and a second international troop
was killed by a mortar in another "possible friendly fire" incident.
Air strikes in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province reportedly
killed 17 civilians. 18 insurgents were killed in fighting in Kunar
(AP, 10/16/08)(AFP, 10/16/08)(SFC, 10/18/08,
2008 Oct 16, Brazil's President
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva arrived in Mozambique to launch a project
to make anti-AIDS drugs in the southern African country.
2008 Oct 16, Around one million
Burundian children under the age of five suffer chronic
malnutrition, the UN food agency announced as it marked World Food
Day in the tiny central African nation.
2008 Oct 16, Cambodia and
Thailand agreed to joint patrols of disputed border areas after
deadly clashes, but made little progress toward resolving their
long-standing territorial spat.
2008 Oct 16, Canadian police
said a bomb damaged a natural gas pipeline in British Columbia,
describing the overnight attack as the second of its kind in the
same area in a week.
2008 Oct 16, In Dubai a British
couple was sentenced to three months in jail in a case that has
caused controversy because the two were charged in July with having
sex on the beach. The Dubai Court of Appeals upheld the guilty
verdict but dropped the prison sentences for Michelle Palmer and
Vince Acors, though it ruled the couple must still be deported from
the United Arab Emirates and pay a fine of about $272 each.
(AP, 10/15/08)(AP, 11/25/08)
2008 Oct 16, The European
Commission announced 15 million euros (20 million dollars) of
emergency food aid for victims of drought and soaring food prices in
five east African countries. The biggest share will go to Ethiopia
and Somalia and smaller amounts to Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti.
2008 Oct 16, The European
Central Bank extended emergency loans to Hungary’s central bank. The
ECB said it will lend up to $6.75 billion.
(SFC, 10/17/08, p.A5)
2008 Oct 16, The International
Committee of the Red Cross said Iran and Iraq have signed an
agreement to trace missing persons from the war between the two
countries. About 1 million people died in the eight-year war that
began when Saddam Hussein launched an attack on Iran in 1980.
2008 Oct 16, A heavy sandstorm
turned Iraq's capital into a pinkish haze, sending dozens of people
to the hospital with respiratory problems and delaying a number of
international flights. The US military detained 2 more suspected
insurgents in raids targeting al-Qaida in Iraq's leadership in the
northern Iraqi city of Mosul. A US soldier was killed in Diyala
(AP, 10/16/08)(SFC, 10/15/08, p.A9)
2008 Oct 16, Israeli troops
shot and killed a Palestinian man in Kufr Malek, a village near
Ramallah. An army patrol spotted three men carrying firebombs and
troops shot one man after the trio ignored warning shots. The other
two escaped. A Palestinian man died in a Ramallah hospital a day
after being shot by troops in the nearby Jelazoun refugee camp.
2008 Oct 16, Italian police
arrested Antonio Pelle (46), an alleged fugitive mobster, believed
to be the head of an organized crime clan involved in the slaying of
six people in Germany last year. His family was involved in a feud
that led to the Aug. 15, 2007 killing of six Italians outside a
restaurant in Duisburg, Germany.
2008 Oct 16, In Kenya violence
re-started between the Murule and Garre in Mandera town triggered by
need for space for 920 families displaced by flash floods. A
security operation was then set up to intervene following a request
by the area members of parliament when the conflict took a
cross-border dimension with one clan getting support from Al-Shabaab
militants from Somalia. In 2009 Human Rights Watch issued a 51-page
report, called "Bring the Gun or You'll Die," saying Kenyan security
forces tortured hundreds of civilians and raped at least a dozen
women during a three-day operation to disarm militias in the Mandera
2008 Oct 16, Authorities in
Malaysia and Singapore said they will guarantee all foreign currency
and local currency bank deposits.
(WSJ, 10/17/08, p.A5)
2008 Oct 16, An influential
council of Malaysia's state rulers warned people not to question the
supremacy of Islam or the special privileges enjoyed by the
country's ethnic Malay majority.
2008 Oct 16, In Mexico six
people were lined up and gunned down outside a business in the
border city of Ciudad Juarez.
2008 Oct 16, Pirates in
southern Nigeria seized eight fishing vessels with a total of 96
crew and later threatened to seriously harm them if ransom is not
2008 Oct 16, The Pakistani
rupee dropped to more than 82 to the dollar, continuing a slide that
has seen it lose more than 30% of its value this year. A suspected
US missile strike killed a purported foreign militant in South
Waziristan, a tribal area considered a haven for the Taliban and
al-Qaida. A suicide bombing in the Swat Valley left four security
personnel dead. In Bajur 7 militants were killed by plane and
helicopter gunship attacks.
(AP, 10/16/08)(SFC, 10/17/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 16, In Somalia at
least 23 people were killed in Mogadishu when insurgents attacked
camps housing African Union and Ethiopian troops, triggering heavy
2008 Oct 16, Somali pirates
released 22 sailors they kidnapped on Sep 10, after the South Korean
ship owner paid a ransom. Koo Ja-Woo, an executive director of J and
J Trust, which owns the ship, said his company paid an unspecified
sum to the pirates through a foreign middleman with experience in
dealing with the seizure of ships.
2008 Oct 16, Spain's leading
judge agreed to investigate the disappearances of tens thousands of
people during the 1936-39 civil war and the ensuing Franco
dictatorship, many of whom are believed to be buried in mass graves.
Spanish police arrested 13 men accused of harboring Islamic
extremists and helping them flee the country, including several
suspects in the Madrid terror bombings of 2004.
(AFP, 10/16/08)(AP, 10/16/08)
2008 Oct 16, Sri Lankan troops
captured the rebel-held town of Maniyakkulam, in the island's north
following heavy fighting that killed a large group of guerrillas.
2008 Oct 16, Sudanese President
Omar al-Beshir launched his "people's initiative" for peace in
Darfur with an elaborate ceremony attended by regional dignitaries
but no rebels involved in fighting.
2008 Oct 16, Switzerland
launched a massive recapitalization of UBS AG saying it will invest
$5.3 billion in UBS in return for a 9% stake.
(WSJ, 10/17/08, p.A3)
2008 Oct 16, Hurricane Omar
passed the Virgin Islands overnight leaving oil spills in St. Croix
as 40 boats sank or washed ashore.
2008 Oct 17, The Bush
administration named the beluga whale in Alaska’s Cook Inlet an
endangered species, despite opposition from Gov. Palin. Only 375
beluga whales remained there as opposed to some 1,300 in the 1970s.
In 2011 a US federal judge upheld the listing.
(SFC, 10/18/08, p.A3)(SFC, 11/22/11, p.A6)
2008 Oct 17, US drug czar John
Walters said that Mexico's drug cartels are crossing the border to
kidnap and kill inside the United States, and promised that an
anti-drug aid package to help Mexico to fight the gangs will be
2008 Oct 17, Harvard Univ.
announced a gift of $45 million and 31 major works of art from 1936
alumna Emily Rauh Pulitzer for the Harvard Art Museum. It was the
largest gift in the history of the museum.
(SFC, 10/18/08, p.E3)
2008 Oct 17, In Philadelphia
college student Jocelyn Kirsch (23) was sentenced to five years in
prison and ordered to pay more than $100,000 in restitution. She and
her former boyfriend, Edward Anderton, had stolen the identities of
friends and neighbors in 2006 and 2007 to net more than $116,000 in
goods and services. Anderton’s sentence was pending.
2008 Oct 17, Mervyn’s, a
Hayward, Ca., based retailer, said it plans to liquidate its
remaining 149 locations and shutter the business after the holiday
(SFC, 10/18/08, p.C1)
2008 Oct 17, Pfizer Inc. said
it has reached agreements to end up to 92% of personal injury
lawsuits relating to anti-inflammatory drugs Bextra and Celebrex,
linked to elevated risks of heart attacks and stroke, at a cost of
(SFC, 10/18/08, p.A2)
2008 Oct 17, George M Keller
(b.1923), former head of Standard Oil of California (1981-1988),
died at his home in Palo Alto, Ca. He oversaw the 1984 merger with
Gulf Oil to form Chevron Corp.
(SFC, 10/18/08, p.B1)
2008 Oct 17, Levi Stubbs (72),
Four Tops frontman, died at his home in Detroit. His dynamic and
emotive voice drove such Motown classics as "Reach Out (I'll Be
There)" and "Baby I Need Your Loving."
2008 Oct 17, In Afghanistan a
bomb in Paktika province killed two civilians. A two-day battle in
Wardak province left 20 militants dead. NATO-led forces assaulted
the insurgent stronghold with airstrikes 40 miles west of
(AFP, 10/18/08)(AP, 10/20/08)
2008 Oct 17, Two Indonesian
fishing crew picked up in Australian territorial waters with 14
refugees on their boat were charged with people smuggling.
2008 Oct 17, Some 30 leaders of
French-speaking nations attended a 3-day summit of French-speaking
nations in Quebec City, Canada. The focus was dominated by the
world's financial woes.
2008 Oct 17, Chechen leader
Ramzan Kadyrov opened one of Europe's biggest mosques in the rebuilt
capital of the southern Russian region, saying it was proof Russian
rule and Islam can go together. The mosque, named "The Heart of
Chechnya" and constructed by Turkish builders, can host up to 10,000
2008 Oct 17, A bomb planted
near a Baghdad mosque killed three Shiite worshippers as they were
leaving prayers. Iraqi mosques used the Muslim week's holy day to
address recent attacks against Christians.
2008 Oct 17, In Mexico 334
police officers were ousted in ciudad Juarez after they failed
psychological, background and other checks as part of a clean-up
campaign meant to root out officers who are corrupt or cooperating
with drug traffickers. The border city sent police recruiters across
the country as it tries to replace nearly half a police force gutted
by firings and retirements.
2008 Oct 17, In northwest
Pakistan troops backed by helicopter gunships and artillery pounded
militant positions, killing 60 fighters and wounding many others
near the town of Matta in the Swat Valley.
2008 Oct 17, In southern
Thailand a 25-year-old man was shot dead in a gunfight with security
officials after the arrests of five other suspected militants.
2008 Oct 17, Turkish warplanes
carried out successful airstrikes inside Iraq on the main bases used
by Kurdish rebels. The air strikes on Qandil Mountain killed 25
Kurdish rebels and wounded many more. Earlier in the day, the
military said it intercepted Kurdish rebel radio chatter indicating
that up to 35 guerrillas had been killed in clashes with troops
earlier this week in southeastern Sirnak province.
(AP, 10/17/08)(AP, 10/24/08)
2008 Oct 17, The UN added
Japan, Austria, Turkey, Mexico and Uganda as members to the 10
non-permanent seats of the Security Council, replacing Belgium,
Indonesia, Italy, Panama and South Africa.
2008 Oct 18, UC Berkeley
dedicated the new sculpture “Berkeley Big People" by Emeryville
artist Scott Donohue. It was erected just off I-80 at a cost of
(SFC, 10/17/08, p.A16)
2008 Oct 18, In Daly City, Ca.,
the new Landmark Plaza announced the opening of its mixed use
project at 88 Hillside Blvd. Sales for 43 of its Phase I townhome
and tower units began in November. Phase II would bring on an
additional 48 unites.
(SFC, 10/18/09, p.G5)(SFC, 11/22/08, p.F8)
2008 Oct 18, Thingiverse, a
website dedicated to the sharing of user-created digital design
files, was launched Zach Smith as a companion site to MakerBot
Industries, a DIY 3D printer kit making company.
2008 Oct 18, In Afghanistan men
on motorbikes shot dead a prominent pro-government Afghan tribal
elder and his son, a former bodyguard for President Hamid Karzai, as
they left a mosque in Kandahar. A bomb in eastern Paktika
province killed two civilian men and a child.
2008 Oct 18, Phil Woolas,
Britain’s new immigration minister, said the government will impose
tougher restrictions on immigration as the global financial crisis
lifts unemployment to the highest rate in nearly a decade.
2008 Oct 18, Liu Zhihua, a
former Beijing vice mayor in charge of overseeing Olympic
construction projects, was given a suspended death sentence for
corruption, in a stern warning to wayward Communist officials. The
sentence will be commuted to life in prison in two years if Liu
shows good behavior.
2008 Oct 18, At least two
Russian soldiers were killed and 10 others were wounded when rebels
ambushed a military convoy in the Sunzha region of Ingushetia.
2008 Oct 18, Shiite cleric
Muqtada al-Sadr called on Iraq's parliament to reject a US-Iraqi
security pact as tens of thousands of his followers rallied in
Baghdad against the deal. Abdul-Hadi al-Janabi, the leader of
a US-allied Sunni group that turned against al-Qaida, was killed in
a drive-by shooting south of Baghdad. Masked gunmen attacked the
home of a US-allied Sunni group in Balad, north of Baghdad, killing
(AP, 10/18/08)(SSFC, 10/19/08, p.A22)
2008 Oct 18, Mexican federal
authorities raided a “narco-mansion" in Mexico City and arrested 15
alleged traffickers during the middle of a party. A mini menagerie
was also found at the site that included 2 African lions, 2 white
tigers and 2 black panthers.
2008 Oct 18, Pakistan said that
China will help it build two more nuclear power plants, offsetting
Pakistani frustration over a recent nuclear deal between archrival
India and the US. Pakistani fighter jets bombed a militant camp and
munition storage facility in the northwest, killing at least 20
insurgents and causing extensive damage. In nearby Bajur district
seven more insurgents were killed when jets bombed their positions.
3 militants were killed in other parts of Bajur when they tried to
attack security posts.
(AP, 10/18/08)(AP, 10/19/08)
2008 Oct 18, Somali pirates
released a Thai ship after receiving a ransom.
2008 Oct 18, In southern Sudan
unknown assailants kidnapped nine Chinese oil workers.
2008 Oct 18, In southern
Thailand 2 Muslim men were killed in separate drive-by shootings.
2008 Oct 18, Zimbabwean
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai characterized failed talks to
form a unity government with President Robert Mugabe as "a
monologue" saying the veteran ruler refused to compromise on the
allocation of key ministries.
2008 Oct 19, Pres. Bush signed
a bill reauthorizing Amtrak for another 5 years.
2008 Oct 19, Colin Powell, a
Republican and retired general who was President Bush's first
secretary of state, broke with the party and endorsed Democrat
Barack Obama for president, calling him a "transformational figure"
while criticizing the tone of John McCain's campaign.
2008 Oct 19, It was reported
that California’s San Mateo County suffered potential losses of some
$150 million due to the bankruptcy of Lehman Bros. The Lehman Bros.
portfolio accounted for 5.9% of the county’s investment fund. County
cities Daly City, Redwood City and San Bruno each racked up losses
exceeding $1 million.
(SSFC, 10/19/08, p.B1)
2008 Oct 19, In San Francisco
over 20,000 runners took part in the 5th annual Nike’s Women’s
Marathon. They raised over $18 million for leukemia and lymphoma
research. Arien O’Connell (24) of NYC ran the fastest time, but did
not win because she did not register as an “elite" runner. On Oct 22
Nike recognized O’Connell as “a winner" in the race.
(SFC, 10/20/08, p.B1)(SFC, 10/21/08, p.B1)(SFC,
2008 Oct 19, Richard Blackwell
(86), actor turned fashion designer, died in Los Angeles. He claimed
to be the first to make designer jeans for women. In 1960 he issued
his first tongue-in-cheek criticism of Hollywood fashion disasters.
(SFC, 10/21/08, p.B5)
2008 Oct 19, Hal Kant (b.1931),
lawyer for the Grateful Dead (1971-2001), died in Reno, Nev. He led
the Grateful Dead to incorporate, making it one of the first rock
bands to offer health benefits and pensions.
(WSJ, 10/25/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 19, Dee Dee Warwick
(63), a soul singer who won recognition for both her solo work and
her performances with her older sister Dionne Warwick, died in New
2008 Oct 19, Taliban militants
stopped a bus traveling on Afghanistan's main highway in the Maiwand
district of Kandahar province, captured some 50 people on board and
killed 26 of them with at least 6 beheaded. International and Afghan
forces killed 34 Taliban fighters south of the Helmand provincial
capital of Lashkar Gah. In early 2009 Canadian military police
charged Captain Robert Semrau of shooting and killing a man,
described by the military police, as a "presumed insurgent," on or
about October 19, 2008.
(AP, 10/19/08)(AP, 10/20/08)(AP,
2008 Oct 19, China's communist
leaders announced the approval of key rural reform that for the
first time will permit farmers to lease or transfer their land in a
change aimed at raising rural incomes and speeding migration from
the farm to the cities. The policy change was approved a week ago at
a high-level meeting.
2008 Oct 19, In Colombia
Vladimir Vanoy (32), the son of a warlord extradited to the US on
drug charges, was murdered by unidentified assailants at the gate to
his condominium outside Bogota. Earlier this month a Miami judge
sentenced Ramiro Vanoy to 24 years in prison on drug-trafficking
2008 Oct 20, Our Lady of Kazan,
Cuba's first Russian Orthodox cathedral, was consecrated amid church
bells and the presence of President Raul Castro, in a sign of
goodwill toward the island's former chief benefactor. Cuba's Russian
community has dwindled to several hundred as most returned home
following the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.
2008 Oct 19, The French
Cabinet's spokesman said "swindlers" last month broke into the
personal bank account of President Nicolas Sarkozy and swiped small
sums of money. More than 30,000 demonstrators marched across Paris
to denounce the conservative government's budget restrictions, job
cuts and other controversial reforms in the public education system.
On Oct 21 police arrested two men suspected of stealing the bank
details of several people without realizing the identity of their
victims. They are believed to have used small sums to pay mobile
(AP, 10/19/08)(AP, 10/21/08)
2008 Oct 19, An Israeli
businessman was kidnapped in Ghana. The kidnappers initially
demanded $500,000 ransom, then lowered it to $300,000.
2008 Oct 19, In India 2 people
were killed and 12 injured after a bridge being built to extend New
Delhi's six-year-old metro system collapsed onto a bus and cars.
2008 Oct 19, Iraq’s PM Nouri
al-Maliki's ruling Shiite alliance said that parts of the draft
security agreement that would keep US troops here for three more
years needs more discussion and amendments before it can be
approved. A roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi police patrol killed
two people and wounded 10 in southeastern Baghdad. A second roadside
bomb in the same neighborhood blew up shortly afterward, wounding
three other policemen traveling in car and four civilians in another
vehicle. A US Marine died in a non-combat incident at Asad Air Base
in the west of Iraq.
(AP, 10/19/08)(AP, 10/20/08)
2008 Oct 19, Pakistan’s
government said it may have to accept politically unpopular IMF
assistance to ward off a possible economic meltdown if wealthy
nations turn it down.
2008 Oct 19, The Philippine
government said it would pay 50,000 (1,063 dollars) for every M-16
assault rifle surrendered by a communist insurgent who abandoned the
2008 Oct 19, In Somalia 3
gunmen shot the employee of the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, as he
walked home in the southern town of Hudur.
2008 Oct 19, South Korea
announced a $130 billion economic rescue package, with $100 billion
of this in the form of guarantees for foreign currency debts.
(Econ, 10/25/08, p.52)
2008 Oct 19, Turkish warplanes
again bombed Kurdish rebel hideouts across the border in northern
Iraq. The bombings targeted four towns near the Turkish border.
2008 Oct 20, The DJIA rose
413.21 points as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke tentatively
endorsed a new stimulus package.
(SFC, 10/21/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 20, Nebraska’s Gov.
Dave Heineman and state lawmakers agreed to amend the new safe-haven
law so as to protect only parents of new-born children from
(SFC, 10/21/08, p.A3)
2008 Oct 20, Taliban gunmen
killed Gayle Williams (34), a Christian aid worker in Kabul, as she
was walking to work. The militant group said it targeted the
British-South African citizen because she was spreading her
religion. In Faryab province militants killed five policemen,
including a district police chief. In northern Afghanistan, a
suicide bomber killed two German soldiers and five children in
(AP, 10/20/08)(SFC, 10/21/08, p.A12)
2008 Oct 20, President Evo
Morales agreed to seek only one more five-year term, a key
concession that all but ended a standoff in Congress over a new
constitution to empower Bolivia's long-oppressed indigenous
2008 Oct 20, Festus Gontebanye
Mogae, who led Botswana from 1998 to 2008, was chosen as the winner
of the 2008 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.
2008 Oct 20, Sister Emmanuelle
(b.1908), a Belgian-born nun who devoted her life to helping the
poor in North Africa and in France, died in France. Madeleine
Cinquin had spent 20 years working with children in a slum in Cairo
as part of a lengthy career helping the dispossessed.
2008 Oct 20, In China, a
veterinarian said some 1,500 dogs, bred for their raccoon-like fur,
have died after eating feed tainted with the same chemical that
contaminated dairy products and sickened tens of thousands of babies
2008 Oct 20, The French
government allocated €10.5 billion among six of its banks.
(Econ, 10/25/08, p.89)
2008 Oct 20, Officials in
Honduras said a week of heavy rains has caused landslides and
flooding that have killed at least 11 people and left two others
2008 Oct 20, India’s central
bank cut its repurchase rate, a leading rate for which the central
bank lends to other banks, to 8%, the first reduction since March
(WSJ, 10/21/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 20, The United States
and Iraq announced a $14 million program to set up a conservation
and historic preservation institute, refurbish the National Museum
in Baghdad and enhance the training of museum and archaeological
professionals in Iraq. An Iraqi policeman was arrested for allegedly
using police vehicles to smuggle weapons to Baghdad. Bombs struck a
double-decker bus and a taxi in eastern Baghdad, killing four
2008 Oct 20, Mexico agreed to
deport Cubans who sneak illegally through Mexican territory to reach
the US, a step toward cutting off an increasingly violent and
heavily used human trafficking route. 21 prisoners died in a fight
between inmates at a prison across the border from McAllen, Texas.
Police said two soldiers and a security guard were found stabbed to
death at a housing construction site in the village of Las
Margaritas, northern Mexico. The body of a federal policeman was
found riddled with gunshot wounds in Tijuana.
2008 Oct 20, Pakistani forces
killed up to 35 militants near the Afghan border, as the region's
provincial chief called for "peaceful dialogue" in a meeting with a
US State Department official.
2008 Oct 20, Palestinian Pres.
Abbas published remarks saying Israel has failed to protect
Palestinians against attacks by Israeli settlers during the olive
2008 Oct 20, US Ambassador
Michael McKinley and Peru's foreign minister signed an accord
forgiving US$25 million of Peru's foreign debt and directing the
money to a tropical forest conservation program.
2008 Oct 20, A financially
strapped South Korean man went on an arson and stabbing rampage in
Seoul, leaving six people dead and seven others wounded.
2008 Oct 20, The Sri Lankan
government admitted that scores of its troops had been killed or
injured in fierce fighting with the Tamil Tigers, its biggest
reported battlefield loss in months. Battles since Oct 18 had left
33 soldiers dead, three missing in action and 48 injured. The bodies
of 11 rebels were recovered from the battlefield.
2008 Oct 20, In Thailand
thousands of anti-government protesters marched through the streets
of Bangkok, calling the prime minister a "murderer" and demanding he
resign over the violent quashing of a previous rally.
2008 Oct 20, A Kurdish
demonstrator died after a clash with police in eastern Turkey.
Kurdish protesters staged demonstrations in many parts of Turkey
over the weekend following allegations that Kurdish rebel leader
Abdullah Ocalan was mistreated in prison.
2008 Oct 20, The UN said the
financial crises will add at least 20 million people to the world’s
jobless, raising the total to 210 million.
(WSJ, 10/21/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 21, Top US and Russian
military officers held an unannounced meeting in Helsinki in an
effort to maintain dialogue after Moscow's crushing defeat of
American ally Georgia.
2008 Oct 21, The US Federal
Reserve announced that it will start buying commercial paper, a
crucial short-term funding mechanism many companies rely on for
day-to-day operations, from money market mutual funds.
2008 Oct 21, US federal agents
arrested dozens of members of the Mongol motorcycle club in six
states, following an undercover investigation in which they
infiltrated the notorious motorcycle gang. Prosecutors said it could
herald the end of what they call a criminal group.
(AP, 10/22/08)(SFC, 10/22/08, p.B2)
2008 Oct 21, National City
Corp, an Ohio-based regional bank hard hit by the credit crisis,
announced plans to slash 4,000 jobs and said rising reserves for
soured mortgage and real estate construction loans led to its fifth
straight quarterly loss.
2008 Oct 21, The Pentagon said
it has dropped war-crimes charges against five Guantanamo Bay
detainees after the former prosecutor in their cases complained that
the military was withholding evidence helpful to the defense.
Lawyers for Ethiopian refugee Binyam Mohamed, a British resident
held at Guantanamo, said the US has dropped all charges against him,
but he is still being held at the US prison camp. Binyam Mohamed, an
Ethiopian citizen, had lived in Britain for 7 years, and was
arrested in Pakistan in 2002.
(AP, 10/21/08)(Econ, 2/7/09, p.49)
2008 Oct 21, Argentina proposed
to nationalize the private pensions in order to meet debt payments.
The nationalization of the private pension funds took place in
(WSJ, 10/22/08, p.A1)(Econ, 2/27/10, p.28)
2008 Oct 21, Bolivia’s Congress
ratified Pres. Morales’ draft constitution, designed to empower the
(WSJ, 10/22/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 21, The Bank of Canada
cut its key interest rate by a quarter point, less than expected, to
2.25 percent but said it would likely have to ease further to combat
the effects of the global financial crisis.
2008 Oct 21, In Denmark Hammad
Khuershid, a Danish citizen of Pakistani origin, and Abdoulghani
Tokhi, an Afghan, were convicted of preparing a terrorist attack.
They were secretly filmed mixing the type of explosive used in the
2005 London transit bombing. They were arrested in the Copenhagen
area in September 2007. Khuershid and Tokhi were sentenced to 12 and
seven years in prison, respectively.
2008 Oct 21, EU lawmakers
joined US civil liberty campaigners in criticizing a new scanner
that allows airport security to see through passengers' clothes,
calling it a virtual strip search that should only be used as a last
2008 Oct 21, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy backed the creation of sovereign wealth funds in
Europe that, when coordinated, could provide an "industrial
response" to the financial crisis.
2008 Oct 21, In Greece riot
police fired tear gas to disperse a group of rock-throwing youths
during a demonstration in support of a nationwide general strike
that brought air, rail and ferry traffic to a halt.
2008 Oct 21, In India 25,000
members of the United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees
went on strike in a dispute over pensions. The Reserve Bank of India
denounced the strike as illegal.
(Econ, 10/25/08, p.87)
2008 Oct 21, A bomb exploded
outside a training center for police commandos in northeast India,
killing at least 17 people and wounding 23 more.
2008 Oct 21, Indonesia's
parliament ratified the Southeast Asian charter committing ASEAN
member nations to promote democracy and human rights, clearing the
way for its formal adoption before year's end. Anti-terrorism police
seized bomb-making materials and a large cache of weapons and
ammunition during a raid on a house in Jakarta. Anti-terrorism
squads arrested five suspected Islamic radicals believed to have
been plotting to blow up Indonesia's largest fuel depot.
(AP, 10/21/08)(AP, 10/22/08)
2008 Oct 21, Iran, Russia and
Qatar discussed the formation of an OPEC-style cartel among some of
the largest natural gas producing nations, a prospect that has
unnerved energy-importing nations in Europe and the United States.
2008 Oct 21, Iraq's Cabinet
decided to ask the Americans for unspecified changes in the draft
security pact. A bomb targeting a police patrol exploded in eastern
Baghdad, wounding two civilians.
2008 Oct 21, Italy's Court of
Cassation ordered Berlin to pay a total of euro1 million (US$1.3
million) to nine family members of victims of a June 1944 massacre.
The next day Germany rejected the ruling by Italy's top criminal
2008 Oct 21, Jordanian police
arrested a local writer for incorporating verses of the Quran, the
Muslim holy book, into his love poetry. Islam Samhan, published his
collection of poems, "Grace like a Shadow," without the approval of
the Jordanian government, and authorities said it insults the holy
2008 Oct 21, In Kashmir trucks
laden with fruit, honey, garments and spices crossed the heavily
armed frontier as India and Pakistan opened a trade route between
the two sides of the divided region for the first time in six
2008 Oct 21, Police in northern
Mexico reported receiving an ice chest packed with four human heads.
The chest arrived at the Ascencion police station in Chihuahua state
was marked "vaccines," but wasn't claimed for a week. Jesus Zambada
was among 16 members of the Sinaloa drug cartel arrested after a
shootout in Mexico City. Zambada is the brother of Ismael Zambada,
who allegedly heads the Sinaloa cartel along with one of Mexico's
most wanted men, Joaquin Guzman.
2008 Oct 21, Amnesty
International criticized major failings in Nigeria's criminal
justice system and called on the government to immediately put in
place a moratorium on capital punishment.
2008 Oct 21, Taliban militants
ambushed a convoy of security forces in Pakistan's northwestern Swat
valley, sparking clashes that left at least five personnel and six
2008 Oct 21, Saudi Foreign
Minister Saud al-Faisal confirmed for the first time that the
kingdom has been sponsoring talks between the Afghan government and
the Taliban militia.
2008 Oct 21, Saudi Arabia’s
interior minister said authorities have indicted 991 suspected
militants on charges that they participated in terrorist attacks
carried out in the kingdom over the last five years.
2008 Oct 21, A Somali official
said Somali gunmen acting as freelance coast guards freed a hijacked
Indian dhow and its 13 crew members after a battle with pirates off
the country's northern coast. The cargo-laden vessel was en route to
Somalia from Asia when it was seized over the weekend.
2008 Oct 21, A Thai court found
former PM Thaksin Shinawatra (59) guilty of corruption and sentenced
him to two years in prison. His wife, Pojaman (51), was acquitted.
2008 Oct 21, Turkish soldiers
killed two Kurdish guerrillas during a clash near the village of
Dallitepe in the country's southeast.
2008 Oct 21, Zimbabwe's main
opposition party warned that unless its leader Morgan Tsvangirai is
issued a passport he will not attend a meeting next week aimed at
breaking a deadlock in power-sharing talks. The party also said that
only fresh elections would resolve a dispute over who controls key
cabinet posts, a make-or-break issue under a power-sharing pact
signed with President Robert Mugabe.
(AP, 10/21/08)(Reuters, 10/21/08)
2008 Oct 22, The Bush
administration imposed financial sanctions on an Iranian state-owned
bank for allegedly providing financial services in support of the
country’s weapons program.
(SFC, 10/23/08, p.A11)
2008 Oct 22, Federal
immigration officials arrested several members of the MS-13, Mara
Salvatrucha, street gang after conducting raids in SF, Richmond and
south San Francisco. 29 people were indicted on multiple charges
including murder, car theft and extortion.
(SFC, 10/23/08, p.B8)(SFC, 10/24/08, p.B1)
2008 Oct 22, Sheriffs' deputies
in Crockett County, Tenn., arrested two suspects, Daniel Cowart (20)
of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman (18) of Helena-West Helena,
Ark., on unspecified charges. On Oct 27 federal authorities charged
the 2 white supremacists for allegedly plotting to go on a national
killing spree, shooting and decapitating black people and ultimately
targeting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. On March
29, 2010, Cowart pleaded guilty to eight of 10 counts in an
indictment accusing him of conspiracy, threatening a presidential
candidate and various federal firearms violations. Co-defendant
Schlesselman pleaded guilty in January.
(AP, 10/28/08)(AP, 3/29/10)
2008 Oct 22, The DJIA tumbled
514.45 to close at 8519.21, its 7th biggest point drop in history,
as investors believed that the global economy is heading into a deep
recession. Hungary’s central bank raised interest rates by 3 points,
from 8.5% to 11.5%, to prevent a run on its currency. Argentine and
Brazilian stock markets each fell about 10%. Former Fed Chief Alan
Greenspan said he was wrong to think that financial markets could
(WSJ, 10/22/08, p.A1)(SFC, 10/24/08, p.C1)(Econ,
2008 Oct 22, The Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation said that over the next 5 years it will
grant 104 scientists and researchers in 22 countries $100,000 each
to research in areas selected from applications that were submitted
over the Internet.
(WSJ, 10/23/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 22, Near Livermore,
Ca., 2 horses were found shot to death in a pasture on Collier
Canyon Road. A calf was also found shot to death on Manning Road in
Alameda County. A reward of $17,000 was later offered for
information on the killing of the horses.
(SFC, 10/31/08, p.B4)
2008 Oct 22, The fishing vessel
Katmai sank off Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. 4 crew members were
rescued after spending some 15 hours in a life raft. 5 bodies were
recovered with 2 men missing.
(SFC, 10/24/08, p.A10)
2008 Oct 22, A US-led coalition
airstrike hit an Afghan army checkpoint, killing nine soldiers. The
American military acknowledged that its forces may have "mistakenly"
killed allied troops. In southern Uruzgan province a two-day battle
that ended with 35 Taliban fighters killed along with three Afghan
police. US troops killed 7 militants and detained 7 others in a
series of operations throughout Afghanistan. Among the dead was a
Taliban leader in Helmand province responsible for attacks on
coalition forces and Afghan security checkpoints. Another three
militants were killed inside a cave in the western Farah province's
Bala Buluk district during a raid by American and Afghan troops. In
western Afghanistan a roadside bomb killed three US coalition
(AP, 10/22/08)(AP, 10/23/08)
2008 Oct 22, Leaders from three
African trading blocs, accounting for more than half the continent's
industrial output, met in the Ugandan capital, to push for a single
market. Six heads of state and foreign ministers from 26 countries
of the East African Community, Common Market for Eastern and
Southern Africa (COMESA) and Southern Africa Development Community
gathered in Kampala for a Tripartite Summit.
2008 Oct 22, Defense Minister
Joel Fitzgibbon said Australia will reduce its troop deployment to
East Timor because of the improved security situation.
2008 Oct 22, The British
government won its appeal to the highest court against previous
rulings allowing displaced Indian Ocean Chagos islanders to return
home. The resettlement of the Chagossians in the 1960s and1970s
allowed Britain to lease the main island, Diego Garcia, to the
United States military for 50 years.
2008 Oct 22, British
researchers said a drug, known by its lab name of alemtuzumab and
licensed for use against leukemia, braked and even reversed the
effects of multiple sclerosis among patients with MS.
2008 Oct 22, The Canadian
dollar tumbled to its lowest level versus the US dollar in more than
three years as lower oil prices and a stronger greenback combined to
knock the currency below 80 US cents.
2008 Oct 22, China’s government
announced that the minimum downpayment on first homes would be
reduced to 20% from 30%, stamp tax would be eliminated and mortgage
(Econ, 10/25/08, p.52)
2008 Oct 22, Officials said the
EU, the US and other international donors have pledged more than
$4.5 billion for rebuilding parts of Georgia that were damaged in
its war with Russia.
2008 Oct 22, In Guatemala City
Abel Giron (29), a layout designer for El Periodico newspaper, died
after being struck in the heart with an arrow fired by assailants
waiting for him outside his home.
2008 Oct 22, India launched its
first mission to the moon, rocketing the Chandrayaan 1 satellite up
into the pale dawn sky in a two-year mission to redraw maps of the
lunar surface. On board was the Mono Mineralogy Mapper, a NASA
(AP, 10/22/08)(Econ, 10/25/08, p.96)
2008 Oct 22, A car bomb
exploded in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, killing four
civilians. Local government acknowledged it has yet to persuade
frightened Christians to return to the homes they fled. In Baghdad
three separate blasts killed a sick man being transported in an
ambulance and wounded 11 others. An influential Iraqi cleric living
in Iran issued a fatwa condemning a US-Iraqi security pact that
would keep American troops in Iraq for three more years and warned
Iraqi leaders not to back the deal.
2008 Oct 22, An Ivory Coast
court jailed Salomon Ugborugbo (39), a Nigerian man, for 20 years
for the 2006 dumping of hundreds of tons of toxic waste from an
international oil trader that killed at least 16 people and left
more than 100,000 needing treatment. Essouoin Koua Desire, who
played a key role in Ugborugbo's local company Tommy securing the
US$20,000 waste disposal contract, was also convicted and jailed for
2008 Oct 22, In Ciudad Juarez,
across the border from El Paso, Texas, four men were shot inside a
go-cart rental at the Xtreme amusement park. Elsewhere in the city,
a used car salesman was shot to death while driving down a main
boulevard hours after leading hundreds of other business owners in a
protest against kidnappings and extortion. In Tijuana a 1-year-old
boy was killed when the car he was riding in crashed as the driver
tried to flee a gunbattle. In northern Mexico 10 gunmen were killed
in running battles with state police in the city of Nogales. Outside
the northeastern city of Monterrey, a soldier, the director of a
security firm and third man were found stabbed to death alongside a
2008 Oct 22, Pakistani
lawmakers passed a resolution calling for an urgent review of the
government's national security strategy, saying that dialogue with
Islamic militants should be given the "highest priority." The
International Monetary Fund moved to bail out cash-strapped Pakistan
in the Fund's first bid to shore up an Asian economy following
global financial turmoil as the fiscal deficit hit 10% of GDP. An
air strike at a militant compound in northwestern Bajaur tribal
district killed 33 rebels.
(AP, 10/22/08)(AFP, 10/22/08)(AFP,
10/23/08)(Econ, 10/25/08, p.54)
2008 Oct 22, Russia's foreign
minister said Moscow wants to negotiate an extension of its lease at
Ukraine's Black Sea port of Sevastopol. The move would keep Russia's
Black Sea Fleet in the port where it has been stationed for
2008 Oct 22, In Sri Lanka the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rammed explosives-laden
boats against the MV Ruhuna and MV Nimalawa which were supplying the
besieged Jaffna peninsula in a pre-dawn attack. Officials said at
least six members of the elite Black Sea Tiger suicide squad may
have perished in the attack.
2008 Oct 23, Former Federal
Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the current financial crisis is
a "once-in-a-century credit tsunami" which will have a severe impact
on the US economy, driving unemployment higher. Greenspan also said
he was "shocked" at the breakdown in US credit markets and that he
was "partially" wrong to resist regulation of some securities.
(AP, 10/23/08)(Reuters, 10/23/08)
2008 Oct 23, Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said the US is suspending a trade deal with
Bolivia. She called it unfortunate but necessary because Bolivian
President Evo Morales has failed to improve anti-drug efforts.
2008 Oct 23, NYC Mayor
Bloomberg persuaded the city council, in a 29-22 vote, to amend the
term limit law allowing him to run for re-election next year.
(SFC, 10/24/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 23, In California a
new solar thermal power plant, built by startup Ausra, opened north
of Bakersfield. It will generate as much as 5 megawatts, enough for
3,750 homes. Ausra and other companies planned bigger plants in the
(SFC, 10/24/08, p.C1)
2008 Oct 23, In Afghanistan a
US coalition raid in Paktika province killed three insurgents and
detained four others. Three Turks were kidnapped in Khost province.
In southern Helmand province armed assailants attacked a man and
gouged out his eyes in front of his family during a gruesome
(AP, 10/24/08)(AP, 10/25/08)(AP, 10/26/08)
2008 Oct 23, England Schools
Minister Jim Knight said millions of children in England aged from
five to 16 in state-funded schools will receive compulsory lessons
about subjects including sex and drug use.
2008 Oct 23, Canada’s Finance
Minister Jim Flaherty said the government would guarantee borrowing
by the nation's banks to ease a lending crunch and keep them on
equal footing with foreign competitors. The Bank of Canada said the
global financial crisis, a US recession and falling commodity prices
will bring Canada to the brink of a recession in late 2008 and early
2008 Oct 23, Rebel attacks
using land mines in Chechnya killed one Russian soldier and wounded
10 other servicemen and police.
2008 Oct 23, China arrested six
people for their alleged role in supplying contaminated milk to the
country's dairy companies, as the Health Ministry said more than
3,600 Chinese children remain hospitalized after consuming
compromised products. Scores of villagers in a remote timber region
ransacked the offices of a forestry company and fought with security
guards, accusing the company of paying too little for use of their
(AP, 10/23/08)(AP, 10/27/08)
2008 Oct 23, China and
Singapore signed a free trade agreement on the eve of a summit of
European and Asian leaders in Beijing. Held every two years, ASEM
has no mandate to issue decisions, but participants hope it will
produce some degree of consensus ahead of a Nov. 15 meeting of the
world's top economies in Washington to discuss the worst financial
crisis since the 1930s.
(AP, 10/23/08)(WSJ, 10/24/08, p.A13)
2008 Oct 23, Colombia's
director of domestic intelligence resigned after her agency was
caught spying on a prominent political opponent of President Alvaro
Uribe. At least six small explosive devices left in trash cans
detonated in Bogota, wounding 18 people and frightening residents.
2008 Oct 23, In Croatia Ivo
Pukanic (47), who owned and edited Nacional, an influential
publication known for its investigative journalism and Nacional's
marketing director, Niko Franjic, died when an explosive device was
placed near their car in the capital, Zagreb. On Oct 31 Croatian
police filed murder charges against five people over the bombing
deaths. In 2010 six alleged members of a crime gang were convicted
of conspiring to assassinate Pukanic and a fellow worker. Main
suspect Zeljko Milovanovic, who was tried in absentia, was sentenced
to the maximum 40 years in prison. He was being held in neighboring
Serbia and tried on similar charges. 5 other defendants were
sentenced to 15 to 33 years in prison.
(AP, 10/24/08)(AP, 10/31/08)(AP, 11/3/10)
2008 Oct 23, Cuba and the
European Union ended a five-year standoff by signing an agreement
that calls for EU members to send the island euro2 million (US$2.6
million) in immediate hurricane recovery aid and up to euro30
million (US$38.8 million) more in financing next year.
2008 Oct 23, The European
Parliament awarded a prestigious rights prize to jailed Chinese
dissident Hu Jia on the eve of a key Beijing summit and despite
pressure from Beijing not to honor him.
2008 Oct 23, A European Union
court has ruled that EU governments should no longer freeze the
funds of People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, an Iranian
opposition group on the bloc's terror blacklist. A British court
ruled in its favor last year.
2008 Oct 23, France’s Pres.
Sarkozy unveiled a strategic national investment fund that will buy
stakes in French industries with borrowed money to protect them from
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.62)
2008 Oct 23, A Paris criminal
court convicted nine people including a French-Algerian former
prison inmate who admitted establishing an Islamic group that called
for armed jihad in France.
2008 Oct 23, The French Navy
captured nine pirates near the Gulf of Aden finding anti-tank
missiles, other weapons and ship boarding gear on the boats. A
Somali pirate warned that if a hijacked Ukrainian arms ship was
attacked the ship's 20-man crew would be killed.
2008 Oct 23, A Greek minister
resigned after being accused of involvement in a burgeoning scandal
involving a state land swap with a powerful Orthodox monastery that
has undermined the government's popularity. Minister of State
Theodoros Roussopoulos, who is also the government spokesman, said
he was stepping down in order to defend himself against a "malicious
and totally groundless attack."
2008 Oct 23, A huge explosion
at an illegal fireworks factory in western India killed 27 people,
including 12 children.
2008 Oct 23, The US
relinquished control of a southern province that includes Sunni
areas once known as the "triangle of death," handing security
responsibility to the Iraqi government. Babil was the 12th of 18
Iraqi provinces to be placed under Iraqi control. In Baghdad Iraq's
labor minister escaped assassination when a suicide bomber rammed an
explosives-laden SUV into his convoy, killing at least nine people.
2008 Oct 23, An Italian
military helicopter crashed in northeastern France, killing all
eight people on board.
2008 Oct 23, In Mexico 2 people
were found dead in Tijuana, across the border from San Diego,
California, including a badly burned corpse left in a trash bin.
2008 Oct 23, Nigeria's Supreme
Court deferred ruling on challenges to President Umaru Yar'Adua's
April 2007 election victory but did not set a date for handing down
its final judgment. Nigerian troops killed two militants in a river
clash with insurgents in the volatile oil-rich Niger Delta. 2 AK 47
rifles and ammunitions were recovered from the militants.
(Reuters, 10/23/08)(AFP, 10/24/08)
2008 Oct 23, In Pakistan
suspected US spy drones fired missiles into a school set up by a top
Taliban commander in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan, killing 11
people. Residents said that all of the victims were local tribesmen,
adding that locals had fired at two suspected US drones hovering
2008 Oct 23, Mohammed Albaden,
a Palestinian assailant, stabbed two Israelis in an east Jerusalem
neighborhood, killing an 86-year-old man and wounding a police
officer in what authorities called a "terror incident."
2008 Oct 23, In Romania vandals
rampaged through a sprawling Jewish cemetery in Bucharest, toppling
tombstones and smashing markers for as many as 200 graves.
2008 Oct 23, Russia, which sent
a warship to Somalia's coast to combat pirates, asked the African
nation for carte blanche to use force in its territorial waters.
2008 Oct 23, South Africa’s
National Assembly approved new legislation to disband the Scorpions
investigating unit and incorporate it into the police force.
2008 Oct 23, The Ukrainian
currency plunged against the dollar as people raced to exchange
booths to convert their savings into US currency. Ukraine's Foreign
Ministry said in a statement that the Russia’s desire to extend its
port lease at Sevastopol "cannot be a subject of discussion." It
said that Russian ships will have to leave Ukrainian waters in 2017.
2008 Oct 23, In southern Yemen
a tropical storm, formed out in the Indian Ocean earlier in the
week, hit the remote Hadramut province. Flooding which followed left
at least 90 people dead and some 20,000 displaced.
(AP, 10/25/08)(SSFC, 10/26/08, p.A18)(AP,
2008 Oct 24, PNC Financial
Services Group Inc agreed to purchase ailing Ohio-based National
City Corp in a government-supported $5.6 billion deal that will
create the No. 5 U.S. bank by deposits.
2008 Oct 24, In Chicago the
mother and brother of actress and singer Jennifer Hudson were found
shot to death on the city’s South Side. Hudson’s nephew, Julian King
(7), was missing. His body was found in an SUV on Oct 27. William
Balfour, Jennifer Hudson's estranged brother-in-law, was arrested on
Dec 1 at Stateville Correctional Center on a murder warrant and
released to detectives as he awaited formal charges in the deaths of
the relatives of the singer and Oscar-winning actress. On May 11,
2012, Balfour was convicted of the 3 murders and faced mandatory
life in prison.
(SFC, 10/25/08, p.A5)(AP, 10/27/08)(AP,
12/2/08)(SFC, 4/9/12, p.A6)(SFC, 5/12/12, p.A6)
2008 Oct 24, In Tennessee a
sport utility vehicle carrying 4 cheerleaders collided with an
oncoming car on a wet, foggy highway in Scott County, northwest of
Knoxville. 3 cheerleaders were killed and a 4th died the next day. A
passenger in the car also was killed.
2008 Oct 24, Milton Katselas
(b.1933), acting teacher and director, died in LA. His direction
work included both the theater (1969) and film (1972) version of
“Butterflies Are Free."
(SFC, 11/4/08, p.B5)
2008 Oct 24, Asian and European
leaders, meeting in Beijing, called for a coordinated response to
the global financial meltdown and prepared to endorse a critical
role for the International Monetary Fund in aiding the hardest-hit
2008 Oct 24, Colombia's army
chief fired three colonels in the case of 11 men who disappeared
from Soacha, a poor district just south of Bogota. They were found
dead in August and September, months after their abduction in a war
zone hundreds of miles away. The young men appeared to have
been kidnapped and murdered to inflate the body count of dead
guerrillas. On Oct 29 President Alvaro Uribe's government fired 25
soldiers, including three generals and four colonels, over the
killings of the 11 civilians.
(AP, 10/24/08)(AP, 10/29/08)(Econ, 11/1/08, p.47)
2008 Oct 24, The World Food
Program said fighting in eastern Congo has driven some 200,000 from
their homes during the last 8 weeks, exacerbating an already dire
2008 Oct 24, Officials in
Honduras said at least 29 people are dead and 14 others are missing
because of heavy rains that began 2 weeks ago.
2008 Oct 24, Iceland, where the
financial system has all but collapsed, reached a deal with the IMF
for $2 billion to help fix its broken banking system, restart
currency trading and soften the blow from the global downturn.
(Reuters, 10/25/08)(WSJ, 10/25/08, p.A9)
2008 Oct 24, Tokyo and Beijing
agreed to establish a hotline between their leaders to build mutual
trust, as Prime Minister Taro Aso held his first meeting as Japanese
leader with his Chinese counterparts.
2008 Oct 24, A Soyuz capsule
carrying an American and two Russians touched down on target in
Kazakhstan after a descent from the international space station,
safely delivering the first two men to follow their fathers into
2008 Oct 24, In central Mexico
2 human heads were found with threatening messages. 2 adults were
killed when assailants riddled their pickup truck with bullets on a
Tijuana street. A 1-year-old girl riding with them was hit by
multiple rounds from an assault rifle and was hospitalized in
critical condition. Police also found nine people shot to death in
Playas de Rosarito, just south of Tijuana.
2008 Oct 24, OPEC said at an
emergency meeting that it will slash oil production by 1.5 million
barrels to stem the "dramatic collapse" of oil prices, but crude
prices plunged 7 percent anyway as financial markets spiraled
downward across the globe.
2008 Oct 24, In Paraguay a
small plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Asuncion, killing all
five people on board. The plane belonged to the private hospital
Asismed and was used to transport patients. Hospital President
Miguel Figueredo said the pilot had said he would be conducting a
test flight, and did not tell officials he would have passengers.
2008 Oct 24, In the Philippines
communist rebels triggered a land mine and opened fire on a
Philippine army unit in an ambush that killed six soldiers on
Mindanao Island. The rebels manually triggered the US-made claymore
mine as the soldiers hiked past on a narrow mountain trail and then
2008 Oct 25, The United States
announced a pledge of an additional $320 million to the global fight
against bird flu at a conference in Egypt. The US also warned
against complacency in combating the virus, which could mutate and
cause a deadly pandemic.
2008 Oct 25, Anne Pressly (26),
an Arkansas KATV anchorwoman, died in Little Rock several days after
she didn't answer her wake-up call and was found brutally beaten in
her home. On Nov 26 officers arrested suspect Curtis Lavelle Vance
(28) at a home in Little Rock. Vance was convicted of murder on Nov
(AP, 10/26/08)(AP, 11/27/08)(SFC, 11/12/09, p.A6)
2008 Oct 25, Martin A.
Pomerantz (91), astrophysicist, died. In 1979 he built a telescope
at the South Pole and propelled the new field of helio-seismology.
In 1995 the National Science Foundation dedicated the Martin A.
Pomerantz Observatory in Antarctica.
(SSFC, 11/2/08, p.B3)(WSJ, 11/15/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 25, An Afghan guard
killed a Briton and a South African, 2 top officials working for
international courier company DHL, and them himself in a shoot out
in Kabul. A senior police official said an argument had erupted
between the foreigners and some Afghans and it was not a Taliban
(AP, 10/26/08)(SSFC, 10/26/08, p.A20)
2008 Oct 25, In China the 2-day
ASEM economic summit closed. 43 Asian and European leaders pledged
around $4 trillion to support banks and restart money markets to try
to stem the global crisis. This was ASEM’s 7th biennial gathering
(Reuters, 10/25/08)(Econ, 11/1/08, p.49)
2008 Oct 25, In Georgia an
explosion killed Gia Mebonia, mayor of the small town of Mujhava,
while he was inspecting a house damaged by overnight shelling near
the separatist region of Abkhazia. A villager was also killed and a
local police officer was seriously injured.
2008 Oct 25, Police in India
arrested more than 1,000 students in eastern Bihar state after their
protests over the release on bail of a firebrand politician turned
2008 Oct 25, About 300 Shiites
rallied in the southern city of Basra against a security pact being
negotiated that allows US troops to stay in Iraq for three more
years. In Baghdad, bombs killed an Iraqi army brigadier general and
2008 Oct 25, In Mexico soldiers
and federal police arrested Eduardo Arellano Felix (52), a reputed
leader of the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix cartel, after a shootout
in the border city across from San Diego.
2008 Oct 25, Pirates stormed
and ransacked a French vessel in Nigeria's restive oil-rich south
but there were no casualties.
2008 Oct 25, Nearly 600 newly
trained Palestinian troops took up positions in Hebron. In the Gaza
Strip, three Palestinians were killed when a smuggling tunnel
linking Gaza to Egypt collapsed. In the West Bank, a 23-year-old
Palestinian was seriously wounded by Israeli army fire during a
clash in the refugee camp of Fara.
2008 Oct 25, Pakistan's army
captured Loi Sam a key militant stronghold in the Bajur region near
the Afghan border, a breakthrough in a bloody push against the
Taliban and al-Qaida. The offensive launched in early August has
claimed the lives of some 1,500 suspected militant, 73 soldiers and
(AP, 10/25/08)(SSFC, 10/26/08, p.A20)
2008 Oct 25, In the Philippines
communist guerrillas, disguised as anti-narcotics agents, barged
into a poorly guarded prison in Quezon province southeast of Manila
and freed seven of their comrades in a daring 15-minute attack
staged without firing a shot.
2008 Oct 25, Muslim Magomayev
(66), an Azeri-born Soviet-era opera and pop singer, died in Moscow.
His fame was at its peak in the 1960s and 70s.
2008 Oct 25, A gunman shot dead
a Somali woman employee in the latest of a string of attacks on the
humanitarian community. Duniya Sheik Daud was the 15th aid worker
killed so far this year in Somalia.
2008 Oct 25, Tens of thousands
of opposition supporters marched through Taiwan's capital to protest
an upcoming visit by a senior Chinese envoy, saying the trip was
part of Chinese efforts to assert control over the self-ruled
2008 Oct 26, At the University
of Central Arkansas in Conway a shooting left two students dead and
a third person wounded. On Oct 28 4 men were charged with capital
murder and other felonies for the shootings in Conway.
(AP, 10/27/08)(SFC, 10/29/08, p.A3)
2008 Oct 26, In Massachusetts
Christopher Bizilj died after accidentally shooting himself in the
head with an Uzi submachine gun. In 2011 gun fair organizer Edward
Fleury was cleared of charges of furnishing machine guns to minors
during the gun fair in Westfield.
2008 Oct 26, John Campbell
(1941), Australia-born mayor of Fortuna, Ca., and former head of
Pacific Lumber (PALCO), died.
(SFC, 10/27/08, p.B3)
2008 Oct 26, Tony Hillerman
(b.1925), author of the acclaimed Navajo Tribal Police mystery
novels and creator of two of the unlikeliest of literary heroes —
Navajo police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee — died of pulmonary
2008 Oct 26, Gabriel Lerner
(27) was kidnapped and killed after he offered 2 men a ride in St.
Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Lerner was from the Milwaukee area and
worked as a clerk for a Superior Court judge on the island. On March
4, 2011, Auriel Frett (24) was convicted of first degree murder for
the slaying. Jurors deliberated less than three hours before
reaching the verdict. The co-defendant, who was 17 at the time of
the murder, pleaded guilty last year. He was sentenced to 20 years
2008 Oct 26, Brazil held
nationwide municipal elections. The ruling party was expected to
dominate. Brazil's ruling party lost its chance to retake control of
Sao Paulo, South America's biggest city. Fernando Gabeira, an
ex-guerrilla who once kidnapped a US ambassador (1969), failed in
his bid to become mayor of Rio de Janeiro.
2008 Oct 26, In Chile municipal
elections were held and Alliance, the center-right opposition, won
41% of the vote for mayors, 2 point more than the governing
center-left Concertacion coalition. This was the first-ever
nationwide defeat of Concertacion, which has ruled since 1990.
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.47)
2008 Oct 26, China’s state
media said the World Bank and France have agreed to lend China more
than $900 million to rebuild areas devastated by a massive
earthquake earlier this year.
2008 Oct 26, In Colombia former
congressman Oscar Tulio Lizcano (62) walked to freedom in a
western along with the young guerrilla commander, who had been
his jailer, after eight years of captivity in the hands of leftist
2008 Oct 26, Rebels seized an
east Congo army base and the headquarters of a refuge housing some
of the world's last mountain gorillas, in heavy fighting that sent
thousands of civilians fleeing. An unknown number of soldiers,
rebels and civilians were killed in the renewed fighting in North
2008 Oct 26, An Egyptian news
agency that transmitted footage of protesters tearing down a
portrait of the president was fined $27,000 for operating unlicensed
equipment, and its owner said he was targeted as a warning to other
media. A judge upheld a complaint by the government against Nader
Gohar, head of the Cairo News Company. The complaint came shortly
after CNC broadcast footage from Al-Jazeera English in April showing
the anti-government protesters.
2008 Oct 26, Hungary reached
agreement with the IMF and the EU on a broad economic rescue
package, including substantial financing, steadying its battered
currency. The deal was expected to be finalized over the next few
2008 Oct 26, Government troops
in Indian Kashmir opened fire on hundreds of angry protesters
demanding the release of several people arrested during a recent
strike, killing one and wounding at least three others.
2008 Oct 26, A top
Revolutionary Guards commander said Iran is supplying weapons to
"liberation armies" in the Middle East, offering the first official
confirmation the country provides weapons to armed groups in the
2008 Oct 26, Prime
Minister-designate Tzipi Livni abandoned efforts to form a
government Sunday, putting Israel on course for new elections and
endangering already fragile Middle East peace talks.
2008 Oct 26, Kuwait's Central
Bank stepped to prop up one of the country's biggest banks and said
it was considering guaranteeing deposits in domestic banks, in one
of the first concrete signs that the global financial crisis may
next hit the oil-rich Gulf.
2008 Oct 26, Lithuania's
conservatives Homeland Union, led by former PM Andrius Kubilius, won
the parliamentary ballot for the first time since 2000, in a run-off
vote that cemented their first-round defeat of the ruling Social
Democrats two weeks ago. Homeland Union won 44 seats in the
(AP, 10/26/08)(WSJ, 10/27/08, p.A14)
2008 Oct 26, In Mexico City
kidnappers grabbed Javier Morena (5), the son of poor fruit sellers,
with the intent to ask for a $23,000 ransom. The boy was killed with
an injection of acid and buried outside the city. 5 suspects in the
kidnapping were later arrested and confessed to the killing.
(SFC, 11/4/08, p.11)
2008 Oct 26, Pakistan troops
killed 11 Taliban militants in separate clashes in a tribal region.
15 people including 10 Taliban militants died in a gunbattle with
locals in the restive Swat valley. Locals thwarted a Taliban attempt
to seize militia chief Pir Samiullah. Hundreds of Taliban returned
and seized 3 militia members, beheading one of them. Unknown gunmen
shot dead the brother of Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud. A
US missile strike in the South Waziristan area killed Haji Omar
Khan, a lieutenant of veteran Afghan Taliban chieftain and former
anti-Soviet fighter Jalaluddin Haqqani, along with at least 15 other
(AP, 10/26/08)(AFP, 10/27/08)(WSJ, 10/27/08,
2008 Oct 26, The Palestinian
national team hosted an international match for the first time, in
the West Bank's only regulation-size stadium. Located in a West Bank
suburb of Jerusalem. The game against Jordan ended in a 1-1 tie.
2008 Oct 27, South Korea
lowered its key interest rate from 5% to 4.25%.
(WSJ, 10/25/08, p.A11)
2008 Oct 26, Four US military
helicopters attacked a civilian building under construction shortly
before sundown in Sukkariyeh about five miles inside the Syrian
border. A government statement said eight people were killed,
including a man and his four children and a woman. An Associated
Press journalist at the funerals in the village's cemetery saw the
bodies of seven men, none of them minors. The area targeted is near
the Iraqi border city of Qaim, which had been a major crossing point
for fighters, weapons and money coming into Iraq.
2008 Oct 26, The IMF said it
has reached a tentative agreement to provide Ukraine with $16.5
billion in loans over the next 2 years to help the country out of
(SFC, 10/27/08, p.D1)
2008 Oct 27, A Washington DC
jury found Alaska’s Sen. Stevens guilty on seven counts of trying to
hide more than $250,000 in free home renovations and other gifts
from a wealthy oil contractor. Stevens, who first entered the Senate
in 1968, faced Alaska's voters in upcoming elections as a convicted
felon. On April 1, 2009, the US Justice Dept. dropped charges
against Stevens, saying prosecutors’ mistakes forced the move.
(AP, 10/28/08)(WSJ, 4/2/09, p.A1)
2008 Oct 27, An FBI spokesman
said 642 arrests in 29 cities were made last week during a 3-day
sting operation, Operation Cross Country II, focusing on people who
forced teens into prostitution. 100 adults were arrested in the SF
(SFC, 10/28/08, p.B1)
2008 Oct 27, A US officials
announced that Francisco Celaya Carrilo, a Mexican immigration
officer, had been caught in Arizona with 170 pounds of marijuana.
(SFC, 10/28/08, p.A11)
2008 Oct 27, The DJIA fell 203
to 8,175.77, a 5½ year low.
(SFC, 10/28/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 27, In northern
Afghanistan a suicide bomber wearing a police uniform blew himself
up inside a police station, killing 2 American soldiers and 2
Afghans in Baghlan province. The Taliban claimed responsibility.
Insurgents downed a US helicopter in Wardak province. Crew members
survived and were rescued.
(AP, 10/27/08)(SFC, 10/28/08, p.A8)(AFP, 11/9/08)
2008 Oct 27, Thousands of
civilians threw rocks at four UN offices in eastern Congo, venting
outrage at the organization's inability to protect them from rebel
forces advancing on the provincial capital of Goma.
2008 Oct 27, In Ethiopia 19
people were killed when the bus they were traveling in hit a wall
after its wheels snapped off some 200 kilometers (124 miles) south
of Addis Ababa. Turbo Tumo, who represented Ethiopia at the 1996
Atlanta Olympics, was among those killed.
2008 Oct 27, Georgia's Pres.
Saakashvili dismissed PM Vladimir Gurgenizde and recommended Grigol
Mgaloblishvili (35), the country's ambassador to Turkey, as his
replacement. Saakashvili said Gurgenizde would now head a government
2008 Oct 27, In Iraq US forces
killed 5 assailants in the eastern district of New Baghdad. A
roadside bomb exploded later in the same district killing 3
civilians. A car bomb in Baghdad killed a doctor and his friend. A
car bomb in Tuz Khormato killed an Iraqi soldier.
(SFC, 10/28/08, p.A8)(SFC, 10/28/08, p.A8)
2008 Oct 27, Mexican
prosecutors said a major drug cartel has infiltrated the Mexican
attorney general's office and may have paid a spy inside the US
Embassy for details of DEA operations. 5 officials of the attorney
general’s organized crime unit were arrested on allegations they
served as informants for the Beltran-Leyva Cartel.
(AP, 10/27/08)(SFC, 10/28/08, p.A11)
2008 Oct 27, A West African
court ordered Niger to pay compensation to Hadijatou Mani (24), who
was sold into slavery at age 12 and held for a decade. She had been
forced to work as a domestic servant and a sexual slave until 2005.
(SFC, 10/28/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 27, It was reported
that a new study, released last week, has found dangerous levels of
toxic metals in produce grown on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico,
formerly used as a Navy bombing range, despite US government claims
that the soil there is safe.
2008 Oct 27, In Somalia Aisha
Ibrahim Duhulow, a 13-year-old girl who said she had been raped, was
stoned to death in Kismayo after being accused of adultery by
2008 Oct 27, In central Sudan
kidnappers killed 4 Chinese oil workers out of nine they had been
holding hostage for more than a week. A local leader in troubled
South Kordofan state, where the hostages were abducted and killed,
said the Chinese died as a result of fighting between the Sudanese
army and the kidnappers. The next day 3 bodies and 3 wounded were
flown to Khartoum. A 4th body was found on Oct 29. The last 2 were
reported found Oct 31, one alive and one dead.
(AFP, 10/28/08)(AFP, 10/29/08)(AP,
2008 Oct 27, Leaders of a
Southern African bloc gathered in Zimbabwe to press President Robert
Mugabe and the main opposition leader to break an impasse on forming
a unity government.
2008 Oct 28, The DJIA rose
889.35 to 9,065.12, its 2nd biggest gain in the Dow’s history.
(SFC, 10/29/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 28, In Anaheim, Ca., a
newlywed, killed by police after he stepped outside his home to
confront suspected burglars, was shot in a case of mistaken
identity. Julian Alexander died after being shot twice in the chest
by a police officer who was chasing four burglary suspects.
2008 Oct 28, Kwame Kilpatrick
(38), former Detroit mayor, was sent to jail for 4 months for his
part in a sex-and-text scandal.
(SFC, 10/29/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 28, Google along with
the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild
announced a settlement regarding the use of copyrighted book
material. Google agreed to pay $125 million to start the Books
Rights Registry, resolve legal fees and deal with other issues
relating to authors and online book use.
(SFC, 10/29/08, p.C1)
2008 Oct 28, In California Bill
Martin (65), Mendocino realist painter and art teacher, died. His 3
books included “Paintings “1969-1979."
(SFC, 11/13/08, p.B4)
2008 Oct 28, Afghan and
Pakistani leaders vowed to seek dialogue with Taliban insurgents,
saying the "door is now open" for reconciliation.
2008 Oct 28, Ricardo Claro
(b.1934), Chilean industrialist, died. His industrial empire
stretched from shipping (CSAV) to media to wine (Santa Rita). In
1974 he announced to the world, on behalf of the Pinochet
government, that Chile was once again open for business.
(WSJ, 11/8/08, p.A6)
2008 Oct 28, Amnesty
International urged the United States and other nations to halt
military aid to Colombia until it stems a rise in killings of
noncombatants by security forces and heeds other UN prescriptions
for ending its long-running internal conflict.
2008 Oct 28, Rebels vowing to
take Congo's eastern provincial capital of 600,000 people advanced
toward Goma as Congolese troops and UN tanks retreated, while tens
of thousands fled to a makeshift shelter.
2008 Oct 28, Iceland’s PM Geir
Haarde said his country needs about $6 billion in loans to recover
from the financial meltdown, just as the country's central bank
separately hiked its interest rates by a massive 6 percentage points
(AP, 10/28/08)(WSJ, 10/29/08, p.A10)
2008 Oct 28, In Iraq 4 police
officers were killed in a drive-by shooting in the northern city of
Mosul and three civilians were killed in a separate Baghdad bombing.
2008 Oct 28, Voters turned out
in strength to choose the Maldives' first democratically-elected
president in a run-off between Asia's longest serving leader and a
former political prisoner. Nasheed won 54% of the vote to Gayoom's
46%, according to provisional results from the nation's elections
(AP, 10/28/08)(AP, 10/29/08)
2008 Oct 28, Mexico's Congress
passed a watered-down energy industry reform that enables private
contractors to participate in the state-owned oil business but won't
likely draw enough investment to reverse declining production.
2008 Oct 28, Namibia sold more
than seven tons of ivory for $1.1 million, in the first legal
auction of elephant tusks in nearly a decade, exclusively for
Chinese and Japanese buyers.
2008 Oct 28, Pakistani
President Asif Ali Zardari announced government awards for US
Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden and Republican
Senator Richard Lugar. Biden and Lugar in July introduced a
bipartisan US aid plan which calls for $1.5 billion per year in
non-military spending to support economic development in Pakistan.
2008 Oct 28, In Peru police and
protesters clashed violently at a blockaded bridge in the province
of Moquegua leaving 71 injured.
2008 Oct 28, A Moscow jury said
Alexei Frenkel (36), former chairman of VIP Bank, ordered the
September, 2006, murder of Andrei Kozlov (41), a Central Bank
official. 3 Ukrainians were found guilty of the killing. A 4th
Ukrainian and 2 people from Moscow were found guilty as accessories
to the murder.
(WSJ, 10/29/08, p.A14)
2008 Oct 28, The bodies of
Russian Otto Messmer and Victor Betancourt of Ecuador were found in
their Moscow apartment at the Jesuit Moscow headquarters. Several
days later, police announced a 38-year-old man had confessed to the
killings but gave few details. In 2009 a federal Investigative
Committee announced the man had been drinking with Betancourt, and
when Betancourt suggested they have sex, the man bludgeoned
Betancourt with a dumbbell. The man allegedly killed Messmer later
to cover up the first killing.
2008 Oct 28, In Serbia Miladin
Kovacevic (21) was detained on suspicion that he "inflicted severe
bodily harm" on Bryan Steinhauer during the fight in a bar in
upstate New York last May. Steinhauer (22) only recently emerged
from a coma. In 2010 prosecutors filed assault charges against
Kovacevic. The beating left Steinhauer with skull fractures and a
severe brain injury.
(AP, 10/28/08)(AP, 3/2/10)
2008 Oct 28-2009 Oct 29, In
northern Somalia 5 suicide car bombs attacks killed 28 people in
Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, and in Bosasso, Puntland.
Somali authorities arrested Cleric Sheik Mohamed Ismail in
connection with the attacks. Shirwa Ahmed, one of the suicide
bombers, was an American citizen and former resident of Minnesota.
(AP, 10/30/08)(SFC, 10/30/08, p.A4)(Econ,
2008 Oct 28, South Korean
officials said a North Korean soldier has defected for the 2nd time
in a decade.
2008 Oct 28, In Sri Lanka the
Tamil Tigers' rudimentary air force bombed a power station on the
outskirts of Colombo. The bombing damaged some turbines at the power
station. A worker hospitalized after the attack died the next day.
2008 Oct 28, The Syrian
government ordered that an American school and a US cultural center
in Damascus be closed in response to a deadly raid by US helicopters
near the Syrian border with Iraq.
2008 Oct 28, Turkey's warplanes
and artillery struck Kurdish rebel targets inside northern Iraq.
2008 Oct 28, Zimbabwe’s
opposition issued an urgent call for a regional summit after talks
aimed at breaking a political deadlock with Pres. Mugabe’s party
(SFC, 10/29/08, p.A6)
2008 Oct 29, The US Federal
Reserve cut the federal funds rate, the interest banks charge each
other on overnight loans, by half a percentage point, and the
government finally began distributing funds from the billions in the
financial rescue package.
2008 Oct 29, The IMF said it
will offer as much as $100 billion in new 3 month loans to countries
battered by the financial crises without requiring sever changes in
policies as demanded in past decades.
(WSJ, 10/30/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 29, Democratic
presidential candidate Barack Obama held a half-hour commercial
ahead of the World Series baseball game.
2008 Oct 29, The Philadelphia
Phillies won the baseball World Series over the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3
with the conclusion of Game 5, which had been stopped by rain 2 days
(SFC, 10/30/08, p.D1)
2008 Oct 29, Marc M. Keyser
(66) was arrested at his home in Sacramento for sending hoax anthrax
threats by mail to media outlets.
(SFC, 10/31/08, p.B4)
2008 Oct 29, In South San
Francisco, Ca., Shivnesh Reddy (21), an AC Transit worker, was shot
to death and robbed of money he was carrying to buy marijuana. In
2011 Jimmy Nabong (19), a Norteno gang member, was convicted of 1st
degree murder. Neil Chand, an alleged friend of Reddy who pleaded no
contest and testified against Nabong, was sentenced to 25 years to
life in prison.
(SFC, 3/17/11, p.C2)
2008 Oct 29, In upstate New
York, more than 40,000 customers remained without power, a day after
the season's first big snowstorm blew through the region.
2008 Oct 29, Google, Microsoft,
Yahoo and a coalition of human-rights groups founded the Global
Network Initiative to create guidelines for technology companies in
internet-restricting countries. GNI was founded upon its "Principles
of Freedom of Expression and Privacy."
2008 Oct 29, In Australia
Joseph Thomas (35), a Muslim convert dubbed "Jihad Jack" by the
Australian media, was sentenced to nine months in prison but freed
because of time already served. He spent time at an al-Qaida
training camp and met Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.
2008 Oct 29, David Miliband,
Britain’s foreign secretary, acknowledged China’s suzerainty over
(Econ, 11/8/08, p.54)
2008 Oct 29, Software engineer
Momin Khawaja, a Canadian man who was the first to be charged under
a tough new anti-terror law, was found guilty in a trial linked to a
plot to carry out bomb attacks in Britain. On march 12, 2009,
Khawaja was sentenced to 10-1/2 years in jail for his involvement in
plans to bomb nightclubs, trains and a shopping center in Britain.
(Reuters, 10/29/08)(AP, 3/12/09)
2008 Oct 29, China cut interest
rates for the 3rd time in six weeks.
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.84)
2008 Oct 29, A local Chinese
government acknowledged that officials knew about melamine-tainted
eggs for a month before the contamination was publicly disclosed. A
Dalian government notice said that local authorities were notified
Sept. 27 of tests by the customs bureau of Liaoning province that
had found melamine in a batch of export-bound eggs produced by
Dalian Hanwei Enterprise Group.
2008 Oct 29, China set a new
policy on climate change, asking rich countries to help fund
cleanup, and acknowledged that its polluting emissions were about
the same as in the US.
(WSJ, 10/30/08, p.A13)
2008 Oct 29, In northern China
a gas explosion in a mine shaft at a coal mine trapped 29 miners at
the Yaotou mine in central Shaanxi province. 26 bodies were
recovered over the next few days and 3 remained missing. In Henan
province 20 miners were trapped after a mine flooded at the Mazhuang
colliery. After a few days rescuers gave up hope of finding any
(AP, 10/30/08)(AFP, 11/2/08)
2008 Oct 29, Congolese rebel
forces advanced on the eastern city of Goma, threatening to
overwhelm government troops and a 17,000-strong UN force deployed to
halt a return to all-out war. The Congolese army said troops from
Rwanda have crossed the nearby border and attacked its soldiers in
support of a minority Tutsi rebellion. Congolese rebels declared a
ceasefire after a four-day push to the gates of Goma that threatened
to drag Congo back to all-out war, but heavy gunfire resumed near
the eastern city after dark.
(Reuters, 10/29/08)(AP, 10/29/08)
2008 Oct 29, In Ecuador a new
temporary Supreme Court was picked by lottery. Judges said they will
boycott it. The temporary 21-member court, chosen at random from the
ranks of the 31 former justices, is supposed to operate until a
permanent body takes over in 2009.
2008 Oct 29, Officials said
that EU governments promised to lend Hungary 6.5 billion euros ($8.1
billion) as part of a 20 billion euro ($25 billion) international
rescue package to help it weather a financial crisis that has
sharply devalued its currency.
2008 Oct 29, In Germany
Viswanathan Anand of India retained his world chess title by drawing
with the white pieces against Russian challenger Vladimir Kramnik.
2008 Oct 29, In Iraq the US
military handed over security responsibilities for the southern
province of Wasit to Iraqi authorities. A new commuter rail was
launched that travels 15 miles through Sunni and Shiite
neighborhoods in the heart of Baghdad. At least 8 people were killed
and wounded dozens in separate attacks. A bombing in eastern Baghdad
killed six people.
(AP, 10/29/08)(AP, 10/30/08)
2008 Oct 29, Nigerian President
Umaru Yar'Adua dropped 20 government ministers out of a total of 44
in a cabinet shake-up.
2008 Oct 29, Pakistan
registered "a strong protest" with Washington's ambassador to
Islamabad over a number of missile attacks by US drones inside its
territory. Gunmen killed three Shiite Muslims in a sectarian attack
in northwestern Pakistan.
2008 Oct 29, In southwestern
Pakistan a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck before dawn, killing at
least 215 people and turning mud and timber homes into rubble. An
estimated 15,000 people were left homeless, and rescuers were
digging for survivors in a remote valley in Baluchistan province.
Officials later feared the death toll would pass 300.
(AP, 10/29/08)(AP, 10/30/08)(AP, 10/31/08)
2008 Oct 29, A boat carrying 27
activists and humanitarian supplies sailed into the Gaza Strip,
defying an Israeli naval blockade to call attention to Israeli
sanctions on the Hamas-controlled territory. The passengers included
Mairead Corrigan Maguire, who won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her
work with Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.
2008 Oct 29, In Peru a
1,000-strong mob set fire to the station and took 25 officers
captive in San Martin province. They reportedly were angered when
police threw tear gas near a school and several children were
2008 Oct 29, Russia's
parliament quickly ratified treaties cementing close economic and
military ties with Georgia's two breakaway provinces.
2008 Oct 29, Pirates hijacked
the Turkish freighter MV Yasa Neslihan with a crew of 20 off the
coast of Somalia. Pirates freed the Yasa Neslihan freighter on Dec 6
after paying a ransom.
(SFC, 10/31/08, p.A8)(AP, 1/7/09)
2008 Oct 29, South Korea
reported that Kim Jong Il has suffered a serious setback in his
recovery from a stroke.
(WSJ, 10/30/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 29, Sri Lankan troops
captured a small village in northern Sri Lanka, pushing ahead with
their offensive against the Tamil Tigers hours after the rebel group
launched a brazen airstrike on the capital.
2008 Oct 29, In Sudan gunmen
opened fire on a group of South African peacekeepers guarding a well
in Darfur, killing one and seriously wounding another.
2008 Oct 29, A Syrian criminal
court convicted 12 dissidents of fomenting sectarian strife and
sentenced them to two and a half years in prison. The defendants,
members of a pro-democracy group known as the Damascus Declaration,
were arrested last December. The Damascus Declaration, formed in
2005, is the broadest coalition of opposition figures in Syria.
2008 Oct 29, The UN panel
overseeing compensation for victims of Iraq's 1990 invasion of
Kuwait said it has paid an $888.6 million (709.4 million euros)
installment from Iraqi oil funds to cover losses and damages
suffered by governments and private companies.
2008 Oct 29, The UN General
Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution urging the US to
repeal its trade embargo against Cuba, and the island nation's
foreign minister said he expects the next American president to
2008 Oct 29, The US and Vietnam
launched three new programs to help provide job training and health
care to disabled people in Danang, where American troops stored and
mixed Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
2008 Oct 29, Venezuela launched
its first satellite from Sichuan, China. It will begin carrying
radio, television and other data transmissions in early 2009 after
three months of tests.
2008 Oct 30, The US government
reported that the economy shrank in the summer, the strongest signal
yet that a recession may have already begun. The Commerce Department
reported that the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of
economic health, fell at an annual rate of 0.3% in the
July-September period, a significant slowdown after growth of 2.8%
in the prior quarter.
2008 Oct 30, In California
Randall Cover (46), a former city of Sonoma Water Department
supervisor, was indicted by a federal grand jury in SF for receiving
$102,795 in kickbacks from Underground Express. In November a suit
was filed against 2 former employees of San Francisco’s Public
Utilities Commission for taking thousands of dollars in kickbacks
from Sheldon Morris and his Novato plumbing company, Underground
Express. In 2009 Morris was sentenced to nearly 3 years in federal
(SFC, 11/1/08, p.B2)(SFC, 11/25/08, p.B1)(SFC,
2008 Oct 30, In Florida the son
of former Liberian President Charles Taylor was found guilty by a US
court in Miami of torture in the first prosecution under a
14-year-old law that allows citizens to be prosecuted for such
crimes committed abroad. Charles Taylor Jr. was arrested at Miami
International Airport in 2006 and pleaded guilty to a charge of
lying about his father's identity on a passport application.
2008 Oct 30, In Iowa US federal
agents arrested Sholom Rubashkin, a former senior executive of the
Agriprocessors, a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, for
employing illegal immigrants for commercial gain and helping them
secure fake documents. A day earlier Iowa labor authorities levied
some $10 million in fines against Agriprocessors for labor
violations. On Nov 12, 2009, Rubashkin was convicted on 86 of 91
financial fraud charges.
(WSJ, 10/31/08, p.A3)(SFC, 11/13/09, p.A8)
2008 Oct 30, Scientists
reported that 1 in 17 men living on the coasts of North Africa and
southern Europe may have a Phoenician direct male line ancestor.
Evidence was based on Y-chromosomes collected in Cyprus, Malta,
Morocco, the West Bank, Syria and Tunisia.
(SFC, 10/31/08, p.A14)
2008 Oct 30, Taliban militants
stormed a government building in the center of Kabul and one of them
blew himself up inside, killing five people. 4 police were killed in
Panjwayi district of Kandahar province, after their patrol vehicle
struck a newly planted mine.
2008 Oct 30, In Australia 4
teenagers were charged with attacking an almost blind greater
flamingo at Adelaide Zoo. The bird is believed to be the oldest of
its kind in the world.
2008 Oct 30, The Economist
magazine presented its annual innovation awards. Winners included
Martin Evans, for stem cell research at Cardiff Univ.; Jimmy Wales
of Wikipedia for the promotion online public collaboration; Matti
Makkonen, a Finnish engineer, for the development of Short Message
Service (SMS), better known as text messaging; Steve Chen and Chad
Hurley of YouTube, for the creating of an easy way to share video;
Arthur Rosenfeld of Lawrence Berkeley for his promotion of energy
efficiency; Sumio Iijima for the discovery of carbon nanotubes; Bill
and Melinda Gates for the developing a philanthropic support
platform; and Nokia Corp. For its ability to respond to social and
(Econ, 12/6/08, TQ p.13)
2008 Oct 30, Westfield London
mall, London's biggest mall, opened despite the gloomy economic
climate that threatens to dampen vital Christmas sales.
2008 Oct 30, China’s state
media reported that the industrial chemical melamine is commonly
added to animal feed in China to make it appear higher in protein.
This appeared to be a tacit admission by the government that
contamination is widespread in the country's food supply.
2008 Oct 30, In China 12 people
died after an elevator plunged at the Sunshine City construction
site in east Fujian province.
2008 Oct 30, Laurent Nkunda,
the rebel general besieging Congo's eastern provincial capital Goma,
said he wants direct talks with the government about ending fighting
in the region and his objections to a $5 billion deal that gives
China access to the country's vast mineral riches in exchange for a
railway and highway. Nkunda said he sent a letter to the UN
peacekeeping mission in Goma saying he will set up an "urgent
humanitarian corridor" for refugees and humanitarian aid. Refugees
have continued fleeing the war-torn eastern province for neighboring
(AP, 10/30/08)(AFP, 10/30/08)
2008 Oct 30, An Ecuadorean
presidential commission concluded that US intelligence services
infiltrated the Andean nation's military and police and supported a
cross-border incursion by Colombian troops that killed a top rebel
2008 Oct 30, In Germany the
last flight lifted off from Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, bringing an
end to an era of aviation that spanned World War II, the Cold War
and the rebirth of the German capital. The grounds reopened in 2010
as a public park.
(AP, 10/30/08)(SSFC, 12/16/12, p.P6)
2008 Oct 30, In India a series
of 11 coordinated blasts tore through northeast Assam state, killing
at least 77 people and sending police scrambling to find any
unexploded bombs in a province troubled by years of separatist
violence and ethnic tensions. The next day the "Islamic Security
Force-Indian Mujahedeen" took responsibility and warned such attacks
would continue in Assam state.
(AP, 10/30/08) (AFP,
10/31/08)(SFC, 10/31/08, p.A2)
2008 Oct 30, Indonesia's
parliament passed a bill banning pornography, ignoring opposition
from lawmakers and rights groups who worry it will be used to
justify attacks on artistic, religious and cultural freedom.
2008 Oct 30, Murat Zyazikov
(51), the unpopular leader of Russia's violence-plagued republic of
Ingushetia, said he has resigned. Pres. Medvedev named an apparent
unknown, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, to take over as the republic's acting
2008 Oct 30, An Iraqi
opposition lawmaker claimed that thousands of his countrymen are
being mistreated in detention centers outside the official prison
system. A car bomb exploded near a market in north Baghdad, killing
one person and wounding five.
2008 Oct 30, Japan unveiled a
$51.5 billion stimulus package to buttress its economy against the
fallout of the global financial crises.
(WSJ, 10/31/08, p.A9)
2008 Oct 30, Morocco’s
Interior Minister Chakib Benmoussa said flooding over the last week
has killed 28 people and caused major damage in various parts of the
2008 Oct 30, Palestinian
militants in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket into southern Israel in
violation of a 4-month-old truce, but the strike did not cause any
injuries or damage. The Israeli Defense Ministry responded by
snapping shut cargo crossings into Gaza until further notice.
2008 Oct 30, In South Korea a
court ruled that a law that allows only visually impaired people to
become licensed masseurs does not violate the constitution, in a
victory for the blind. South Korea's Constitutional Court upheld a
ban on adultery, rejecting complaints that the 55-year-old law is
outdated and constitutes an invasion of privacy.
2008 Oct 30, A powerful car
bomb exploded at a university in the northern Spanish city of
Pamplona, wounding 17 people and setting a building on fire in an
attack blamed on Basque separatists.
2008 Oct 30, A Swiss court
convicted 2 brothers from Kosovo of running a massive drug smuggling
ring that prosecutors said supplied Western Europe with up to half
of its heroin. Ragip and Kemal Shabani channeled 1.5 tons of heroin
through Europe from the mid-1990s until 2003, when they were shut
2008 Oct 30, In Thailand
assailants threw a grenade into a crowd of anti-government
protesters occupying a bridge, wounding 10 people ahead of a
demonstration outside the British Embassy in Bangkok.
2008 Oct 30, Zambians voted for
a successor to the late President Levy Mwanawasa in an election the
main opposition leader accused the ruling party of rigging. Zambia's
main opposition candidate was ahead in early presidential election
results, but his lead was slowly narrowing. Banda ended up winning
40% of the vote and opposition leader Michael Sata secured 38%.
(Reuters, 10/30/08)(AP, 10/31/08)(AP, 11/2/08)
2008 Oct 31, Pres. Bush signed
an executive order restoring the Libyan government’s immunity from
terror-related lawsuits and dismissing pending compensation cases in
response to Libya’s payment of $1.5 billion into a fund to
compensate the families of victims the 1986 bombing of a German
disco and the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.
(SFC, 11/1/08, p.A3)
2008 Oct 31, A jury of US
military officers at Guantanamo's second war-crimes trial reached a
verdict that could put Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, Osama bin Laden's
alleged "media secretary" and video maker, in prison for life.
Announcement of the decision was postponed to Nov 3.
2008 Oct 31, J.P. Morgan Chase
& Co. launched a plan to modify the terms of $70 billion in
mortgages for borrowers who were either behind on their payments or
soon could be. As many as 400,000 borrowers could be moved into
lower rate mortgages.
(WSJ, 11/1/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 31, Airship Ventures
began operating zeppelin flights from Moffett field in Mountain
View, Ca. Passenger tickets were set at $495 per person for one hour
and $950 for 2 hours.
(SFC, 10/28/08, p.A1)
2008 Oct 31, VeraSun Energy,
one of America’s biggest ethanol producers, filed for bankruptcy
after being caught in the gyrations of the prices of corn and
(Econ, 11/8/08, p.79)
2008 Oct 31, The Leakey
Foundation awarded its Leakey Prize to American primatologist Jane
Goodall and Japanese scientist Toshidada Nishida for their work with
(SFC, 10/30/08, p.B1)
2008 Oct 31, Satoshi Nakamoto,
a pseudonymous cryptography buff, unveiled a project he dubbed
bitcoin, a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer,
with no trusted third party.
(Econ, 5/9/15, SR p.16)
2008 Oct 31, Studs Terkel
(b.1912), Chicago radio personality and writer, died. His books
included “The Good War," which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984.
(SFC, 11/1/08, p.A2)
2008 Oct 31, In eastern
Afghanistan a series of operations by US forces targeted an al-Qaida
leader and a bomb-making cell, killing 19 militants in Nangarhar and
Khost provinces. Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said the
militant group has released two aid workers from Bangladesh whom
they had kidnapped in Ghazni province late last month.
2008 Oct 31, Brazil's state-run
oil company signed an agreement to explore for oil in deep Caribbean
waters north of Cuba that officials in Havana say could contain 20
billion barrels of crude.
2008 Oct 31, Petrofac evacuated
56 non-essential workers from the North Sea Heather Alpha oil rig
after a reports of 10-20 ton oil spill.
2008 Oct 31, Top British
filmmaker Danny Boyle's new Mumbai-based film "Slumdog Millionaire"
won rave reviews after its screening at the close of the London Film
2008 Oct 31, Middle East
investors will own up to one third of Barclays Plc after Abu Dhabi
and Qatar provided most of 7.3 billion pounds ($12.1 billion) raised
by the bank to repair damage from the global financial crisis and
avoid taking UK government rescue funds.
2008 Oct 31, Heavily-armed
pirates swarmed aboard an oil industry support vessel working off
the coast of Cameroon and kidnapped 10 of 15 crew members, including
six Frenchmen. A man claiming to represent a rebel group opposed to
Cameroon's takeover of the Bakassi Peninsula warned the hostages
would be killed unless Cameroonian officials agreed to reopen the
2008 Oct 31, In Canada an
explosion damaged a natural gas wellhead in the same area of
northeast British Columbia where two pipelines have been bombed this
2008 Oct 31, In southern China
a truck driver killed 4 people and injured 20 by driving into a
crowd of high school students coming out of class. The male driver
was shot dead by police after the incident in the city of Zhuhai in
2008 Oct 31, Thousands of
war-weary refugees set out on foot for their homes in eastern Congo,
taking advantage of a cease-fire as American and UN envoys joined
efforts there to find a political solution to the region's
2008 Oct 31, In southern Egypt
tourist bus overturned, killing six Belgian tourists and injuring 26
other Belgian passengers.
2008 Oct 31, Israeli settlers
clashed with Israeli police and Palestinians in the West Bank town
of Hebron following the overnight demolition of an unauthorized
settler outpost. Israelis from across the political spectrum slammed
a decision to air the first-ever television interview with Yigal
Amir (43), the extremist Jew who assassinated PM Yitzhak Rabin in
(AP, 10/31/08)(AFP, 10/31/08)
2008 Oct 31, In Japan an essay
by Gen. Toshio Tamogami, head of Japan’s air force, was published.
He had won a competition for best essay denying Japan’s wartime role
as an aggressor and sponsor of atrocities. The contest was sponsored
by Toshio Motoya, the head of a hotel chain. Within hours of
publication Gen. Toshio Tamogami was out of a job.
(Econ, 11/8/08, p.57)
2008 Oct 31, Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi, starting his first visit to post-Soviet Russia,
planned to discuss opening a Russian naval base in Libya to
counterbalance US interests in the region.
2008 Oct 31, In Mexico police
arrested Antonio Galarza, the reputed leader of the violent Gulf
drug cartel for the border city of Reynosa, in the northern city of
Monterrey on suspicion of weapons violations and organized crime.
2008 Oct 31, A suspected US
drone aircraft fired missiles into a house in Mir Ali town in
Pakistan's North Waziristan region on the Afghan border. Al-Qaida
member Abu Kasha Iraqi was among those killed. Abu Jihad al-Masri,
described by the US as al-Qaida’s propaganda chief, was among 3
people killed when a missile hit their truck. A second house was
hit, killing 12 including suspected foreign militants in Kari Kot in
South Waziristan. 29 people were reported killed in the 2 attacks. A
suicide bomber attacked the convoy of a regional police chief,
killing 3 police officers and 5 civilians in Mardan in the North
West Frontier Province.
(AP, 10/31/08)(AFP, 11/1/08)(SFC, 11/1/08, p.A3)
2008 Oct 31, Gunmen in
Peshawar, Pakistan, kidnapped Zia ul-Haq Ahadi, the brother of
Afghanistan's finance minister, while he was walking to his mother's
home after praying at a mosque. Ahadi, a businessman who lives in
Afghanistan, was in Peshawar to visit his mother.
2008 Oct 31, Spain approved a
measure to let descendants of people who fled into exile after its
1936-39 Civil War apply for Spanish citizenship. The government said
it believes up to 500,000 children and grandchildren of such emigres
are eligible. The government says 300,000 of those people live in
2008 Oct, In the US the number
of personal bankruptcies for October jumped nearly 8% as compared to
September. Filings totaled 108,595, up nearly 34% from October,
(SSFC, 11/16/08, p.A5)
2008 Oct, US customs officials
at Miami International Airport seized a 3,000-yeor-old Egyptian
sarcophagus from a shipment coming from Spain after the importer
could not present proper documentation to prove ownership. It dated
back to the 21st Dynasty (1070-945 B.C.) and belonged to a noble
called Imesy. An investigation found the coffin had been stolen from
Egypt 126 years ago and taken to Spain before it was shipped to the
US. In 2010 it was returned to Egypt.
2008 Oct, US Special Forces
soldiers freed a kidnapped American working for the Army Corps of
Engineers during a nighttime mission. The American, who had been
working on US government-funded infrastructure projects, was
abducted in mid-August and had been held just 30 miles west of Kabul
with no public notice of his abduction. The mission to free the
contractor killed several insurgents.
2008 Oct, Solyndra, a
Fremont, Ca., company, launched a new type of solar panel using
lightweight glass tubes. It expected installation costs to be half
that of conventional panels.
(Econ, 10/11/08, p.110)
2008 Oct, Smart Union, a
Chinese toymaker founded by Tony Wu, went into forced liquidation
with the direct loss of some 12,000 jobs and the indirect loss of
many more. Flooding in June hit Dongguan and severely impacted the
company’s inventories and the following credit crunch forced it to
shut down in September.
(Econ, 1/17/09, p.63)
2008 Oct, China’s first Disney
operated English-language school opened.
(Econ, 8/28/10, p.52)
2008 Oct, A US Embassy cable
called Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, a powerful leader of
the nation's bottom caste untouchables, a 'virtual paranoid
dictator' who had institutionalized corruption throughout India's
most populous state, charged potential candidates $250,000 to run
for Parliament on her party's ticket and was obsessed with becoming
prime minister. The cable was revealed by WikiLeaks in 2011.
2008 Oct, Yemen’s President Ali
Abdullah Saleh disclosed that a "terrorist cell" linked to Israel's
intelligence services had been dismantled. Bassam al-Haidari was
later found guilty of contacts with Israeli premier Ehud Olmert on
the Internet to plot against Yemen and sentenced to death. 2 other
men received 3-year jail terms.
2008 Nov 1, Members of the
Machinists Union, representing some 27,000 workers in Washington,
Oregon, and Kansas, ratified a new contract with the Boeing Co.
ending an 8-week strike.
(SSFC, 11/2/08, p.A4)
2008 Nov 1, A gunman fatally
shot Cincinnati minister Rev. Donald Fairbanks Sr. and wounded a
church deacon just after the two men arrived at a northern Kentucky
church to attend a funeral. Frederick L. Davis, of Covington,
quickly surrendered to police and was charged with murder, first
degree assault, criminal mischief and violating an emergency
2008 Nov 1, Yma Sumac (b.1922),
Peruvian-born singer known as the “Nightingale of the Andes," died
in LA. Her voice was said to range over 4½ octaves. Her first album,
“Voice of the Xtabay" (1950) soared to the top of the LP charts.
(SFC, 11/4/08, p.B4)
2008 Nov 1, In southern
Afghanistan Dutch Major General Mart de Kruif replaced Canadian
Major General Marc Lessard as head of 19,000 mostly British,
Canadian, Dutch and US NATO-led soldiers of the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
2008 Nov 1, In Australia the
badly decomposed body of Chen Liu (27) was found in Sydney, about
two weeks after a friend reported him missing. 34 nails were found
during a post-mortem examination of Liu's body, and were located
mainly in his skull. They were fired from an 85 mm nail gun at close
2008 Nov 1, Bolivian President
Evo Morales suspended US anti-drug operations as Washington's
relations with his leftist government spiraled downward.
2008 Nov 1, It was reported
that British Major Sebastian Morley, commander of SAS (Special Air
Service) troops in Afghanistan, has resigned, reportedly in disgust
at equipment failures that he believes led to the death of four of
2008 Nov 1, Britain’s PM Gordon
Brown left for a tour of oil-rich Gulf states, hoping to persuade
them to give extra funds to help countries hit by the world economic
2008 Nov 1, Five migrants were
rescued after 15 days lost at sea. One died the next day. A total of
33 Dominican migrants were trying to reach Puerto Rico by boat when
they were reported missing by relatives in mid-October. Survivors
said they lost their way after the captain abandoned the ship. The
survivors ate their dead comrades to stay alive. Four Dominicans
were later charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly
helping to organize the illegal boat trip to Puerto Rico that ended
in the deaths of 29 migrants.
(AP, 11/2/08)(AP, 11/11/08)
2008 Nov 1, Three Tunisian men
accused of terrorism links by Italian prosecutors arrived in Milan
under heavy security after being extradited from Britain. Habib
Ignaoua, Mohamed Khemiri and Ali Chehidi were arrested in the London
and Manchester areas last year as part of coordinated raids across
Europe against an alleged Italian-based network recruiting fighters
for Iraq and Afghanistan.
2008 Nov 1, Tutsi-led rebels
tightened their hold on newly seized swaths of eastern Congo,
forcing tens of thousands of frightened, rain-soaked civilians out
of makeshift refugee camps and stopping some from fleeing to
government-held territory. Congolese soldiers killed nine fighters
from Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) after 30-50 rebels
attacked a village in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo.
(AP, 11/2/08)(AFP, 11/2/08)
2008 Nov 1, Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak promised to push ahead with economic reform and step
up efforts to combat poverty, despite the impact of the
international financial crisis on Egypt's economy.
2008 Nov 1, In Iraq a police
quick reaction force for Anbar province moved to the border town of
Qaim, about 200 miles northwest of Baghdad, to prevent al-Qaida from
moving into the area from Syria. Unknown assailants gunned down a
policeman on a foot patrol along Palestine Street in Shiite eastern
2008 Nov 1, Malaysia defended
its recognition of Kosovo as an independent state, a move that
caused Serbia to expel the Southeast Asian nation's ambassador.
2008 Nov 1, The top officer of
Mexico's federal police force quit amid allegations that drug gangs
have infiltrated senior levels of crime-fighting agencies. Acting
federal police Commissioner Gerardo Garay said he was stepping aside
"to place myself at the orders of legal judicial authorities to
clear up any accusation against me."
2008 Nov 1, In South Africa
thousands of dissidents in the African National Congress met to pave
the way for a new South African party, the Congress of the People
(COPE) in a bitter split from the movement that led the
(AFP, 11/1/08)(Econ, 12/13/08, p.58)
2008 Nov 1, Sri Lanka's defense
ministry said its warships sank at least four rebel boats and killed
at least 14 guerrillas while the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE) said they destroyed a navy fast attack craft and a
hovercraft. Security forces took control of a two-kilometer
(1.25-mile) rebel bunker line north of Kilinochchi amidst heavy
2008 Nov 1, Jacques Piccard
(b.1922), a scientist and underwater explorer who plunged deeper
beneath the ocean than any other man, died in Geneva, Switzerland.
2008 Nov 1, Zimbabwe opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai called for a truth commission to examine
atrocities in the country dating back to the massacres of ethnic
minorities in the 1980s.
2008 Nov 2, Opus, a politically
beleaguered penguin created by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed,
appeared in the Sunday comics for the last time.
(SFC, 10/27/08, p.E1)
2008 Nov 2, Paula Radcliffe
defended her title at the NYC marathon to become the second woman to
win the race three times. Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil won
the men's race for the second time in three years.
2008 Nov 2, In southern
California police in Long Beach found 5 people shot to death in a
homeless encampment in the shadow of the San Diego Freeway. In 2017
gang members David Ponce and Max Rafael were found guilty of five
counts of murder. Police said the motive was a feud over drug debts
between Ponce and one of the victims, and that the others were
killed to ensure there were no witnesses.
(SFC, 11/4/08, p.A2)(SSFC, 9/24/17 p.A6)
2008 Nov 2, The leaders of
Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to intensify talks to end a 20-year
conflict over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
2008 Nov 2, Belarus President
Alexander Lukashenko greeted visiting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi
and said he hopes to boost ties between their countries.
2008 Nov 2, British PM Gordon
Brown said he is confident that Saudi Arabia will contribute to the
International Monetary Fund's bailout reserves after he promised
business leaders in the Gulf that they would have a say in any
future new world economic order.
2008 Nov 2, China opened the
final session of the Canton Fair, the country's biggest trade show,
amid complaints that attendance has been dismal because of the
financial crisis clobbering the nation's biggest export markets in
the US and Europe. In southwest China at least 40 were killed after
mudslides engulfed several villages.
(AP, 11/2/08)(AFP, 11/2/08)(AP, 11/4/08)
2008 Nov 2, Dubai Port World
(DP World) said it has agreed on a deal to run the cargo terminal in
the Algerian port Djendjen. The port, which opened in 1993, is the
most commercially important in Algeria.
2008 Nov 2, Ahmed Al-Mirghani
(67) former head of Sudan’s last democratically elected government
(1986-1989), died in Egypt. In 1989 a military coup led by current
President Omar al-Bashir unseated him.
2008 Nov 2, In Guyana American
pilots James Barker and Chris Paris and Canadian technician Patrick
Murphy were doing uranium survey work for Prometheus Resources
Guyana Inc., a subsidiary of U308 Corporation of Toronto, Canada,
when the plane went missing.
2008 Nov 2, Iranian authorities
arrested Hossein Derakhshan (b.1975), a well-known Canadian-Iranian
blogger. In 2010 he was sentenced to almost 20 years in prison.
2008 Nov 2, Israel’s Cabinet
decided to ratchet up law enforcement measures directed at extremist
settlers. It also decided to halt government funding for the some
100 outposts built by settlers.
2008 Nov 2, Mexican prosecutors
said 11 policemen have been shot to death near Mexico City in a
three-day string of drug-gang attacks. In Tijuana, across the border
from San Diego, California, police found two decapitated bodies
wrapped in blankets in a vacant lot.
2008 Nov 2, The Moroccan
government banned an issue of the French magazine L'Express
International, claiming it insults Islam in articles exploring the
relationship between that religion and Christianity.
2008 Nov 2, In Pakistan a
suicide bomber detonated his vehicle at a checkpoint at Zalai Fort
in South Waziristan killing 8 troops.
(SFC, 11/3/08, p.A11)
2008 Nov 2, A week of flooding
triggered by torrential rains in northern and central Vietnam killed
some 92 people, 22 of them in the capital Hanoi hit by the worst
flooding in 35 years.
(Reuters, 11/2/08)(AP, 11/3/08)(AP, 11/5/08)
2008 Nov 2, The bodies of 60
Somali and Ethiopian migrants washed up on the shores of southern
Yemen over the last three days.
2008 Nov 2, Veteran diplomat
Rupiah Banda (72) was sworn in as the new president of Zambia
following a narrow and disputed victory over a populist rival in an
election forced by the death of the country's former leader.
2008 Nov 3, Ali Hamza al-Bahlul
(39), an aide to Osama bin Laden who refused to defend himself at
his Guantanamo war crimes trial, was convicted of three
terrorism-related charges and was sentenced to life in prison. In
2015 a US federal appeals court ruled that the conspiracy case
against Bahlul was legally flawed because conspiracy is not a war
(AP, 11/3/08)(AP, 11/4/08)(SFC, 6/13/15, p.A4)
2008 Nov 3, Circuit City Stores
Inc. said it is closing about 20 percent of its US stores, cutting
thousands of jobs, in an effort to return the nation's No. 2
consumer electronics retailer to profitability. The closure of 155
US stores would put as many as 7,300 employees out of work.
(AP, 11/3/08)(SFC, 11/4/08, p.D1)
2008 Nov 3, In southern
Afghanistan 37 civilians, including women and children, were killed
in international air strikes that hit Wach Baghtu village in Shah
Wali Kot district of Kandahar. 26 insurgents were also reported
killed. In Afghanistan gunmen abducted Dany Egreteau (32), a French
aid worker in Kabul, and shot dead an Afghan man who tried to rescue
him. The Taliban said it was not involved. Afghan and coalition
troops seized 40 tons of hashish during a raid in Nawa Kili village
in southern Kandahar province.
(AFP, 11/3/08)(AP, 11/3/08)(AFP, 11/5/08)(AP,
2008 Nov 3, In Bangladesh Pres.
Iajuddin Ahmed signed an order sending the army back to the
barracks, drawing to an end the state of emergency that began Jan
(Econ, 11/8/08, p.58)
2008 Nov 3, Two of Brazil’s
largest banks agreed to merge in a move to buttress the country’s
financial system. Itau Holding Financeira SA will purchase its
smaller rival Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros SA.
(WSJ, 11/4/08, p.C1)
2008 Nov 3, UK Financial
Investments (UKFI) was set up to mange the British government’s
stakes in rescued banks. John Kingman, a Treasury executive, was
placed in charge.
(Econ, 3/7/09, p.64)
2008 Nov 3, In Iraq PM Nouri
al-Maliki pledged to protect Iraq's Christian minority, which has
faced a spate of attacks this month in the northern city of Mosul.
Parliament approved legislation restoring guaranteed seats on
provincial councils to Christians and other small religious
communities, the last major hurdle to holding provincial elections
next year. A string of bombings in Baghdad and Baqouba killed nine
people and wounded at least 33 others.
2008 Nov 3, General David
Petraeus, the US commander running the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,
held talks with Pakistani leaders who told him to stop US strikes on
militants in Pakistani territory.
2008 Nov 3, The Scottish
government approved controversial plans by US tycoon Donald Trump to
build a huge luxury golf resort on the country's east coast.
2008 Nov 3, Spain's government,
grappling with soaring unemployment and an economy buffeted by the
global credit crunch, announced a plan to help families make
mortgage payments and reward businesses that hire.
2008 Nov 3, Chen Yunlin, the
most senior Chinese official to visit Taiwan since the end of a
civil war 60 years ago, arrived in Taipei on a charter flight from
Beijing for talks on strengthening economic ties, as supporters of
independence for the island staged demonstrations and planned mass
protest rallies against his visit.
2008 Nov 3, Zimbabwean
officials say they have sold almost 4 tons of ivory for over
$450,000 and the money will go to the country's cash-strapped
2008 Nov 4, The US Presidential
race was called for Barack Obama at 11p.m. on the East Coast. An
hour later Obama was on stage at Grant Park in Chicago, speaking to
the tens of thousands of supporters gathered there. Obama beat
McCain 52% to 46% in the popular vote and 365 to 173 in the
(AP, 11/5/08)(Econ, 11/8/08, p.39)(SFC, 11/20/08,
2008 Nov 4, The Federal
Communications Commission ruled that a valuable chunk of wireless
spectrum will be open to whatever mobile devices Americans want to
use, amounting to a political setback for traditional telephone
companies and a partial win for Google.
(http://tinyurl.com/5uyqzj)(SFC, 11/7/08, p.C1)
2008 Nov 4, In Alaska voters
ousted Republican Sen. Ted Stevens. Democrat Mark Begich claimed a
narrow victory on Nov 18, after a tally of remaining ballots showed
him holding a 3,724-vote edge.
2008 Nov 4, Arkansas voters
passed a measure blocking the adoption of children by unmarried
couples. John McCain won the state by 20 points over Barack Obama.
Arkansas voters approved a state lottery by a 63% margin. In 2010 a
Circuit Court judge in Little Rock struck down the measure on
adoption, saying it infringed on a person’s right to privacy.
(SSFC, 11/9/08, p.A5)(Econ, 11/22/08, p.45)(SFC,
2008 Nov 4, California voters
put a stop to gay marriage, creating uncertainty about the legal
status of 18,000 same-sex couples who tied the knot during a
four-month window of opportunity opened by the state's highest
court. On Nov 19 the California state Supreme Court agreed to decide
on the legality of the Proposition 8 measure. It was later reported
that opponents and supporters had pumped a total of $85 million in
to the measure. State voters approved Proposition 2 for improved
treatment of farm animals. Voters also approved Proposition 1A, a
$9.5 billion bond for high-speed rail service from SF to LA. Marin
and Sonoma voters approved Measure Q for a quarter cent sales tax
increase to build and operate a commuter train for Cloverdale to
Larkspur. Prop. 11, a measure to overhaul state redistricting rules,
passed as the final tally was completed 3 weeks later.
(AP, 11/6/08)(SFC, 11/5/08, p.A17)(SFC, 11/6/08,
p.A17, B1)(SFC, 11/20/08, p.A1)(SFC, 11/27/08, p.A1)(SFC, 2/3/09,
2008 Nov 4, California voters
passed Prop. 9 by 54% increasing crime victims’ rights to
participate in legal procedings and required inmates who are denied
parole to wait as long as 15 years for their next parole hearing.
(SFC, 10/2/14, p.D2)
2008 Nov 4, Voters in Richmond,
Ca., approved a Measure T, which called for a tax assessment on
Chevron Corp. for the value of crude oil that is refined in the
city. On Dec 16, 2009, a Contra Costa County judge struck down the
(SFC, 12/25/09, p.D1)
2008 Nov 4, Mitchell Daniels
(R) was re-elected governor of Indiana with 58% of the vote.
(Econ, 8/21/10, p.21)
2008 Nov 4, Massachusetts
voters passed Question 2, a measure to decriminalize the possession
of less than an ounce of marijuana, with 65% in support. Under the
state constitution the measure becomes law after 30 days.
(SFC, 11/7/08, p.A7)(Econ, 11/8/08, p.48)
2008 Nov 4, Michigan voted for
Barack Obama and legalized medicinal marijuana.
(Econ, 11/8/08, p.48)
2008 Nov 4, In Missouri
Democrat Jay Nixon was elected governor replacing Republican Gov.
Mat Blunt, who did not seek re-election. Missouri’s 11 electoral
votes went to McCain as it became the last state to complete results
on Nov 19.
(SFC, 11/5/08, p.A14)(SFC, 11/20/08, p.A16)
2008 Nov 4, President-elect
Barack Obama won one of Nebraska's electoral votes, the first time
in history that the state has split its votes and the first time in
44 years that it had given a vote to a Democrat. The result was not
known until Nov 14. Nebraska voters did away with racial
(AP, 11/15/08)(Econ, 12/6/08, p.37)
2008 Nov 4, Voters in Nevada
favored Barack Obama and ousted 2 Republicans to give Democrats a
majority in the state senate.
(WSJ, 11/10/08, p.A10)
2008 Nov 4, In North Carolina
Democrat Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue was elected governor. Democrat Kay
Hagan defeated Republican state Sen. Elizabeth Dole.
(SFC, 11/5/08, p.A14)(WSJ, 11/5/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 4, In Tennessee John
McCain beat Barack Obama by 15 points. Republicans held their 4 US
House seats and took control of both chambers of the state
legislature for the first time since Reconstruction.
(WSJ, 11/22/08, p.A2)
2008 Nov 4, Oregon’s GOP Sen.
Smith lost to Democrat Jeff Merkley, giving the Democrats at least
57 Senate votes in 2009.
(WSJ, 11/6/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 4, Washington voted
for Barack Obama and became the 2nd state after Oregon to legalize
(Econ, 11/8/08, p.48)
2008 Nov 4, Michael Crichton
(b.1942), doctor turned author and film director, died in LA. His
books included “The Andromeda Strain" (1969), “The Great Train
Robbery" (1975) and “Jurassic Park" (1990), all of which were made
into popular films. He also created the TV series ER in 1994.
(SFC, 11/6/08, p.A4)
2008 Nov 4, In Afghanistan Gen.
David Petraeus, the new chief of the US Central Command, took a
firsthand look at the war following a two-day visit to Pakistan.
US-led troops killed five insurgents in the southern Helmand
province, after the militants ambushed their patrol. in Kandahar
province Don Ayala (46), a US military contractor, shot and killed
Abdul Salam, an Afghan civilian, after Salam Afghan ignited a
pitcher of fuel and threw it on social scientist Paula Lloyd (36),
inflicting serious burns. On Nov 20 Ayala was charged in Virginia
with 2nd degree murder. Lloyd died from the burns on Jan 7, 2009.
(AP, 11/4/08)(SFC, 11/21/08, p.A3)(SFC, 1/10/09,
2008 Nov 4, In Austria 2 men
and a woman were arrested in the raid in the southern town of
Villach. The raid on a suspected gang of international jewel thieves
recovered an uncut ruby known as the "Prince of Burma" worth 3.2
million euros ($4.1 million). The ruby along with diamonds and other
gems were stolen from a German jewelry dealer in Milan, Italy, in
2008 Nov 4, In London A sketch
by Winnie the Pooh illustrator E.H. Shepard titled "Tiggers Don't
Like Honey" fetched 31,200 pounds ($49,770) at auction, well above
the pre-sale estimate of 15,000 to 20,000 pounds ($24,000 to
2008 Nov 4, In China
authorities in Chongqing, one of China's biggest cities, vowed to
crack down on violence that has marked a rare strike by taxi
drivers, and called for an immediate return to work.
2008 Nov 4, Gen. Mario Montoya,
the commander of Colombia's army, resigned abruptly in a widening
scandal over the killing of scores of civilians, allegedly spurred
by promotion-seeking officers to inflate rebel body counts.
2008 Nov 4, Congolese rebel
leader Laurent Nkunda threatened to take his eastern guerrilla war
westwards to the capital Kinshasa unless the government agreed to
talks on the country's future. Congo's government refused rebel
leader Laurent Nkunda's demand for direct talks.
(Reuters, 11/4/08)(AP, 11/4/08)
2008 Nov 4, Human Rights Watch
reported that both Georgia and Russia used cluster bombs during
their brief summer war. Georgia’s bombs, purchased from Israel,
killed at least 3 Georgian civilians, including 2 who touched
unexploded bombs and died after the fighting ended. Many of the
bombs were said to have malfunctioned.
(WSJ, 11/4/08, p.A12)
2008 Nov 4, In Germany a tour
bus returning from a day trip to a farm caught fire on a highway
near the northern city of Hannover, killing 20 people. A cigarette
was suspected but it may also have been caused by a spark from the
2008 Nov 4, India’s finance
minister called in the bosses of state owned banks for a chat.
Afterwards they said they would cut their lending rates by .75%.
(Econ, 11/8/08, p.91)
2008 Nov 4, In northern India.
a passenger bus rolled into a gorge near Kufri, a popular ski
resort, killing at least 45 people.
2008 Nov 4, Iran's parliament
impeached Interior Minister Ali Kordan after he admitted having a
fake degree from Oxford University, in a vote widely seen as a
defeat for hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
2008 Nov 4, In Iraq bombs
exploded at a bus station and a small market in Baghdad, killing at
least 15 people and wounding 29 others. One person died when a
roadside bomb targeted the convoy of a Shiite government official
and former member of the Iraqi Governing Council in central Baghdad.
In Mosul a suicide bomber rammed his car into a passing police
patrol, injuring four officers. One civilian died on the scene of a
road accident with coalition troops near the city of Tikrit. A
second Iraqi died after being rushed to an aid station.
(AP, 11/4/08)(SFC, 11/5/08, p.A17)
2008 Nov 4, Italian police
arrested 47 people including the wife of a jailed mafia boss in
raids on a Naples-based organized crime syndicate. They also seized
bank accounts and assets worth about 80 million euros ($102 million)
in the raids.
2008 Nov 4, One of Mexico's top
pointmen in the war against drug trafficking died when a government
jet crashed into a Mexico City street, setting fire to dozens of
vehicles. The loss of Interior Secretary Juan Camilo Mourino, former
anti-drug prosecutor Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos and six others
thinned the ranks of Mexico's already embattled leadership. 9 people
on the plane were killed as well as 5 people on the ground. A 15th
victim died 2 weeks later. A 16th victim died in On Dec 11. Three
alleged hitmen suspected in the killing of a top border-state police
official died in a gunbattle with police in Nogales. They were
suspected of having helped kill Sonora state police chief Juan
Manuel Pavon on Nov 2. One Sonora state police officer died in the
shootout. A suspect in Pavon's killing was taken into custody.
(AP, 11/5/08)(AP, 11/6/08)(AP, 11/18/08)(AP,
2008 Nov 4, A World Bank
delegation launched a sewage project, long delayed by the standoff
between Israel and Hamas, in the Gaza Strip to prevent raw sewage
from spilling into residential areas.
2008 Nov 4, In the Philippines
a ferry packed with commuters overturned after it was buffeted by
monsoon winds and huge waves, killing 42 people including 11
children. 76 people were rescued from the Don Dexter Cathlyn. It
capsized shortly after leaving port in central Masbate island.
Officials the next day detained the captain on suspicion of
operating the vessel illegally.
(AP, 11/4/08)(AP, 11/5/08)
2008 Nov 4, Puerto Rico voted
to oust incumbent Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila, who is under indictment
for allegedly violating campaign finance laws. Challenger Luis
Fortuno of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, vowed to fight
crime and spur the island's troubled economy. On March 20, 2009, a
jury found Vila not guilty on all 9 charges against him.
(AP, 11/4/08)(SFC, 3/21/09, p.A2)
2008 Nov 4, In Moscow
ultranationalists and anti-immigrant activists tossed smoke grenades
and scuffled with riot police on a national holiday celebrating
Russian unity. Youths assaulted a Turkmen diplomat outside his
Moscow consulate and killed an Uzbek in separate attacks.
2008 Nov 4, Spain’s government
reported that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits
has jumped to 2.8 million (11.3%), the highest since 1996, in the
latest devastating fallout from the international financial crisis.
2008 Nov 4, Sudanese
journalists launched a mass hunger strike, and three independent
newspapers stopped work for three days in the country's biggest
organized media protest against draconian censorship.
2008 Nov 4, Taiwan and China
set aside decades of hostilities and agreed to drastically expand
flights and allow shipping links across the Taiwan Strait, a
potential hotspot that has long threatened to become a war zone.
2008 Nov 4, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents detonated two bombs at a tea
stall and shopping area, killing one person and wounding at least
2008 Nov 4, In a bid to improve
strained Catholic-Muslim relations, the Vatican hosted scholars,
imans and clerics from both religions as it opened a three-day
2008 Nov 5, In St. Johns,
Arizona, a boy (8) fatally shot his father, Vincent Romero (29) and
Timothy Romans (39) of San Carlos, with a .22-caliber rifle.
2008 Nov 5, In San Francisco,
Ca., Charles Heard shot and killed Richard Barrett (29) outside the
Fuse Bar in North Beach. Barrett had refused to give up his
Flintstones’ Bamm-Bamm pendant. In 2010 Heard (25) was convicted of
first degree murder under the felony murder rule.
(SFC, 7/2/10, p.C2)
2008 Nov 5, John Leonard,
former editor of the NY Times Book Review (1970-1983), died in NYC.
(SFC, 11/11/08, p.B4)
2008 Nov 5, Africans across the
continent sang, danced in the streets and wrapped themselves in US
flags to cheer for America's first black president. Kenya will party
for two days, after Pres. Kibaki declared a national holiday for Nov
6 in honor of Obama.
2008 Nov 5, In Algeria Fateh
Bouchibane, mayor of Timezrit in the Kabylie region, was abducted
2008 Nov 5, Queen Elizabeth II
approved a new constitution for the Falkland Islands. It formalizes
the system of self-government on the South Atlantic archipelago,
while giving Britain the final say on foreign policy, policing and
the administration of justice.
2008 Nov 5, Cpl. Daniel James
(45), a former British army interpreter, was convicted of espionage
for sending e-mails to an Iranian diplomat while serving in
Afghanistan in 2006.
2008 Nov 5, A Cameroon militia
leader said one of the 10 hostages seized by a local militia off
Cameroon's coast last week was killed in a failed rescue attempt by
2008 Nov 5, In Congo heavy
fighting erupted for a second day between rebels and a
pro-government militia in lawless North Kivu province, but a wider
cease-fire was holding around this provincial capital. In Kiwanja
fighters loyal to rebel General Laurent Nkunda drove out
pro-government Mai-Mai militia, sending its inhabitants fleeing in
panic. A local clergyman said at least 180 civilians had been killed
overnight. The next day UN peacekeepers found the bodies of a dozen
(AP, 11/5/08)(AP, 11/6/08)(Econ, 11/8/08, p.61)
2008 Nov 5, In southern
Ethiopian farmers stoned to death Legesse Wegi, a senior rebel
figure suspected of organizing fatal blasts in the capital Addis
2008 Nov 5, Germany’s cabinet
approved measures to boost the economy that will cost around €23
billion ($29.9) over the next 4 years.
(WSJ, 11/6/08, p.A15)
2008 Nov 5, In Iraq a suicide
bomber rammed his car into a police patrol on the road to Baghdad’s
airport, killing 6 people. In Amara a police officer died from a
(SFC, 11/6/08, p.A2)
2008 Nov 5, Hamas militants
pounded southern Israel with a barrage of rockets, hours after
Israeli forces killed six gunmen. The clashes began the previous
evening after Israeli forces burst into Gaza to destroy what the
army said was a tunnel being dug near the border to abduct Israeli
troops. The Israeli military said 35 rockets were fired. Late the
same day Israel launched another airstrike, killing a Palestinian
militant in northern Gaza. The army said it was targeting a rocket
launcher, whom the Islamic Jihad group identified as its own. The
group had fired two rockets at the Israeli border town of Sderot and
one of its leaders, Khader Habib, declared the truce over.
(AP, 11/5/08)(AP, 11/6/08)
2008 Nov 5, Libya's Moamer
Kadhafi met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in his
traditional Bedouin tent during a visit to Kiev expected to focus on
energy and military cooperation.
2008 Nov 5, In Mozambique a
medical officer said at least 50 people have died of cholera and
more than 100 have been taken to hospital since the disease broke
out last week in northern Manica province.
2008 Nov 5, A Pakistani army
air strike overnight destroyed a suspected militant training
facility in the Bajur tribal area near the Afghan border. 15
insurgents were killed. The dead included a Pakistani militant
commander named Wali Rehman, who was known to shelter foreign
militants linked to al-Qaida.
(AP, 11/5/08)(AP, 11/6/08)
2008 Nov 5, Russia will deploy
missiles near NATO member Poland in response to US missile defense
plans, President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday in his first state
of the nation speech.
2008 Nov 5, In Somalia 6
employees of the French aid group Action Against Hunger were
kidnapped in the town of Dhusamareb. They included four non-Somali
workers and two chauffeurs.
2008 Nov 5, Zimbabwe issued
three new denominations of banknotes, including a one-million-dollar
note, as the impoverished country struggles to cope with runaway
2008 Nov 6, President elect
Barack Obama chose Rahm Emanuel (48), a fiery partisan unafraid of
breaking glass and hurting feelings, as his White House chief of
staff. It was reported that Obama's campaign chief strategist David
Axelrod, one of the main architects of his election victory, had
agreed to become a senior advisor in the White House.
2008 Nov 6, The leaders of GM,
Ford and Chrysler came to Capital Hill along with the president of
the UAW to discuss billions of dollars in financial help for the
struggling car industry.
(SFC, 11/7/08, p.C3)
2008 Nov 6, Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger proposed $4.4 billion in new taxes and a similar
amount in spending cuts to deal with California's worsening fiscal
crisis, saying, "We must stop the bleeding."
2008 Nov 6, Philadelphia’s
Mayor Nutter said a budget deficit crises will force the city to
close libraries and swimming pools, suspend planned tax reductions,
cut more than 800 jobs and trim salaries to deal with a $1 billion
(SFC, 11/7/08, p.A7)
2008 Nov 6, David Booth (61),
chief executive of Dimensional Fund Advisors mutual fund, said he
will donate $300 million to the Univ. of Chicago’s business school.
(WSJ, 11/6/08, p.A4)
2008 Nov 6, In northwest
Afghanistan an airstrike killed 13 Taliban militants and seven
civilians in Ghormach district of Badghis province, a day after
President Hamid Karzai demanded a halt to civilian casualties in
US-led coalition operations.
2008 Nov 6, The Himalayan
kingdom of Bhutan crowned a new king, placing a charismatic
Oxford-educated bachelor as head of state of the world's newest
democracy. Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (28) became the world's
youngest reigning monarch.
2008 Nov 6, The European
Central Bank cut its key interest rate by half a percentage point to
3.25% and the Bank of England made an even more aggressive reduction
of 1.5%, from 4.5% to 3%, in an effort to ease the financial crisis
and boost their flagging economies. The rate in England was lowest
(AP, 11/6/08)(Econ, 11/8/08, p.71)
2008 Nov 6, Authorities said
Hungary is preparing a financial aid package worth up to 600 billion
forints ($3 billion, 2.3 billion euros) to boost domestic banks'
capital and help them refinance debts.
2008 Nov 6, A series of bomb
blasts across Baghdad killed six people and injured more than 20
others, in the fourth consecutive day of heightened violence in the
Iraqi capital. The al-Qaida leader, known as Abu Ghazwan, was killed
during a raid on a weapons cache. An American soldier has died of
noncombat related causes.
(AP, 11/6/08)(AP, 11/7/08)(AP, 11/8/08)
2008 Nov 6, In Italy Domenico
Magnoli (27), an alleged mobster, woke up in a private Italian
clinic following liposuction surgery, and was arrested for
trafficking in cocaine. Police alleged that Magnoli, born in Cannes,
France, has links to the Piromalli crime clan in the 'ndrangheta
2008 Nov 6, Japanese
researchers said they had created functioning human brain tissues
from stem cells, a world first that has raised new hopes for the
treatment of disease.
2008 Nov 6, Mexican authorities
detained Rodolfo de la Guardia Garcia, the No. 2 official in the
Federal Agency of Investigation from 2003-2005, suspected of aiding
drug traffickers, and Jaime Gonzalez Duran, alleged founder of a
vicious gang of drug-cartel hit men. A cache of 540 rifles, 165
grenades, 500,000 rounds of ammunition and 14 sticks of TNT were
seized at a house in the city of Reynosa, across the border from
McAllen, Texas. This was the largest seizure of drug-cartel weapons
in Mexico's history. In the northeast, police mistakenly opened fire
on a family of six, seriously wounding a teenage girl. In the west,
inmates rioted, killing six. And police in Tijuana found three more
bodies accompanied by messages that appeared to be from drug
2008 Nov 6, In Nigeria at least
six navy personnel were killed in a gun battle between two rival
gangs in southern oil-rich Bayelsa state.
2008 Nov 6, In Pakistan a
suicide bomber attacked a gathering of anti-militant Salarzai
tribesmen, killing at least 17 and wounding 45 in the Batmalai area
of the Bajur tribal region, where the military has clashed with
insurgents for months. Another suicide bomber rammed his vehicle
into a checkpoint in the Swat Valley killing at least 2 paramilitary
(AP, 11/6/08)(SFC, 11/7/08, p.A13)
2008 Nov 6, In the central
Philippines a small ferry capsized during a storm at Bagongon islet.
11 passengers drowned in waters just 200 yards offshore. 30 survived
a 3 remained missing.
(AP, 11/6/08)(AP, 11/7/08)
2008 Nov 6, Romania's defense
minister says the country's 501 peacekeepers in Iraq will all leave
by the end of the year.
2008 Nov 6, A Romanian computer
programmer who hacked into computers used by the U.S. Navy, the
Department of Energy and NASA was convicted on Romanian charges and
ordered to pay thousands in damages. Victor Faur (28) was also given
a 16-month suspended prison sentence. In 2006 Faur was indicted in
the United States on nine federal counts of computer intrusion and
one of conspiracy.
2008 Nov 6, A suspected suicide
explosion hit a minibus unloading passengers in Vladikavkaz, the
capital of Russia's North Ossetia province, killing 12 people.
(AP, 11/6/08)(Reuters, 11/7/08)
2008 Nov 6, A group of Saudi
activists began a rare public hunger strike to demand judiciary
reform and draw attention to the detention without trial of 11
2008 Nov 6, Taiwan's President
Ma Ying-jeou made history when he met with a senior Chinese official
as tens of thousands of anti-Beijing protesters brought the island's
capital to a standstill.
2008 Nov 6, State media
reported that Zimbabwe's government will release millions of dollars
in unspent foreign aid given to the country last year to fight AIDS,
tuberculosis and malaria. An official said Zimbabwe's largest gold
mining firm has stopped operations at its five mines across the
strife-torn country, resulting in 5,000 people losing jobs. The
closures resulted from long delays in receiving payments for gold
delivered to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which has a monopoly on
the country's gold trade.
2008 Nov 7, US Pres.–elect
Obama gave his first news conference and vowed to pass a stimulus
plan as his first act.
(WSJ, 11/8/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 7, The US Labor
Department said the nation's employers cut 240,000 jobs in October,
hurtling the US unemployment rate to a 14-year high of 6.5 percent.
2008 Nov 7, General Motors
Corp. reported $2.5 billion losses in the third quarter, burning
through $6.9 billion in cash and warned that it could run out of
cash in 2009. GM also said it has suspended talks to acquire
Chrysler. Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. said it lost $129 million in the
third quarter as the struggling automaker burned through $7.7
billion in cash and set plans for more job cuts.
2008 Nov 7, In Afghanistan a
clash between police and the Taliban in Zabul province, killed seven
insurgents and wounded two policemen.
2008 Nov 7, In China hundreds
of people clashed with police in the southern city of Shenzhen,
throwing stones and setting fire to a police car after a
motorcyclist died while trying to avoid a checkpoint.
2008 Nov 7, The UN
secretary-general joined African leaders to try to end the fighting
in eastern Congo, where a fragile cease-fire is close to collapse. A
UN official and a peacekeeping officer said Angolan troops are
fighting alongside Congolese soldiers battling rebels outside the
eastern provincial capital of Goma. The UN official said an
unspecified number of Angolans arrived four days ago.
2008 Nov 7, Egyptian police
arrested 25 Muslim Brotherhood members at a meeting at Faous, in the
eastern Nile Delta.
2008 Nov 7, European planemaker
Airbus said that Spanish tourism company Grupo Marsans has signed a
firm order for 61 aircraft worth almost $9 billion at list prices.
2008 Nov 7, In Georgia
thousands of the United Opposition coalition demonstrated in the
first major protest against President Mikhail Saakashvili since the
August war with Russia. At least two significant opposition parties,
The Republican Party and the Christian Democrats, stayed away from
the protest, citing the need for postwar unity against Russia.
2008 Nov 7, In Germany Klaus
Zumwinkel, the former head of Deutsche Post, was charged with tax
evasion. He had stepped down from his post in February following a
raid on his home in Cologne.
(Econ, 11/15/08, p.77)
2008 Nov 7, In Petionville,
Haiti, the collapse of a school killed at least 94 children and
teachers. There may have been hundreds of students in La Promesse
school when the concrete building collapsed. Fortin Augustin, the
preacher who owns and built College La Promesse in suburban
Port-au-Prince, was arrested Nov 8 and charged with involuntary
(AP, 11/8/08)(AP, 11/9/08)(AP, 11/11/08)(SFC,
2008 Nov 7, India said it will
send one of its most decorated army units to join a UN mission in
Congo and support other Indian troops as Congolese rebels advance to
seize fresh areas.
2008 Nov 7, In southern Nigeria
armed rebels killed a Nigerian sailor during an overnight attack on
US giant Chevron's oil facility.
2008 Nov 7, An environmentalist
group and four Nigerians filed suit against Royal Dutch Shell PLC in
the Netherlands, claiming the company was negligent in cleaning up
oil spills in Nigeria.
2008 Nov 7, In Pakistan
suspected US drones fired missiles into Kam Sam, on the border
between North and South Waziristan, killing 13 militants, including
4-5 foreigners. This was the latest in a series of strikes that has
(Reuters, 11/7/08)(SFC, 11/7/08, p.A8)
2008 Nov 7, Palestinian
militants in the Gaza Strip fired at least 3 rockets at southern
Israel, fraying a five-month truce that has been tested sorely this
week. There were no injuries.
2008 Nov 7, Mieczyslaw Rakowski
(81), Poland's last communist-era party chairman and prime minister,
died. Rakowski, a historian and journalist, was chairman of the
communist Polish United Workers' Party from July 1989 until the
party was dissolved at its January 1990 congress during the
country's bloodless transition to democracy.
2008 Nov 7, General Motors
Corp. dedicated its first Russian assembly plant, a $300 million,
70,000-car-a-year factory just outside of St. Petersburg.
2008 Nov 7, Pirates near
Somalia hijacked a Danish cargo ship with 13 crew members, which
consisted of Russians and Ukrainians. The CEC Future was
released on January 16 following a ransom payment by Clipper
(AP, 11/8/08)(AP, 1/16/09)
2008 Nov 7, South Korea reduced
its key interest rate by .25%, its 3rd cut in 4 weeks.
(WSJ, 11/10/08, p.A13)
2008 Nov 8, On Long Island, NY,
7 students from Patchogue-Medford High School attacked Marcelo
Lucero (38), an immigrant from Ecuador. Jeffrey Conroy (17) stabbed
and killed Lucero as he struggled to defend himself. Police soon
arrested the 7 teens. In 2010 Jeffrey Conroy (19) was convicted of
(SFC, 11/22/08, p.A6)(SFC, 4/20/10, p.A6)
2008 Nov 8, Li Ximing (82),
Beijing's Communist Party boss during the bloody 1989 crackdown on
pro-democracy protests, died.
2008 Nov 8, Congolese soldiers
advanced toward rebel lines in renewed fighting that threatens a
tenuous cease-fire around the eastern provincial capital Goma.
2008 Nov 8, In Guatemala 15
bodies were found after a bus burned on an unpaved road in a
mountain valley about 90 miles (140 kilometers) east of the capital,
Guatemala City. The bus had originated in Nicaragua and all the
bodies had been shot before being set on fire. On March 31, 2009,
Investigators in Guatemala announced that a drug gang was
responsible for the grisly killings of 15 Nicaraguans and a Dutch
man aboard the bus. In 2010 Juan Carlos Policarpi was convicted
sentenced to multiple life terms. Rony Terraza was also convicted
and sentenced to three years in prison. Authorities arrested a
former police officer in connection with the attack and sought seven
more people in the case.
(AP, 11/10/08)(AP, 4/1/09)(AP, 6/9/10)
2008 Nov 8, In India at least
five people were killed when they tried to dismantle a discarded
artillery shell in the northern town of Meerut.
2008 Nov 8, PM Nouri al-Maliki
called for changes to the Iraqi constitution to give more power to
the central government, especially in security and other key fields.
Kurdish politicians promptly dismissed al-Maliki's proposals,
defending their regional rule. Iraq's presidential council signed
off on legislation giving Christians and other religious minorities
fewer guaranteed seats on provincial councils than the UN and some
political groups had recommended. A suicide bomber slammed his car
into a police checkpoint, killing eight civilians and wounding 17
policemen on a highway near Ramadi.
2008 Nov 8, In New Zealand John
Key's center-right National Party swept to power on a theme of
change in elections, ending the nine year reign of Helen Clark's
Labor Party. National, with 59 seats, supported by the libertarian
Act Party with 5 seats and United Future with one seat, won the
122-seat parliament. Mr. Key had made a fortune as a currency trader
and by 2014 it was valued at $40 million.
(AFP, 11/8/08)(WSJ, 11/10/08, p.A14)(Econ,
2008 Nov 8, In Pakistan police
found the bullet-ridden bodies of the two men in the North
Waziristan tribal region after a tip from residents. Militants
claimed they were spies for the United States and dumped their
bodies with a warning in a Pakistani border region at the center of
a campaign of suspected American missile strikes. Fighting reported
elsewhere in Pakistan's volatile northwest left 29 militants and
three Pakistani soldiers dead. Security forces fatally shot a local
journalist in the Swat Valley area. Mohammad Shoaib, worked for the
Azadi newspaper and apparently did not stop his vehicle when
signaled to do so.
(AP, 11/8/08)(AP, 11/9/08)
2008 Nov 8, A group of European
lawmakers sailed from Cyprus into Gaza, defying an internationally
backed blockade of the Hamas-run territory with activists promising
to send more visitors and goods to end the coastal strip's
2008 Nov 8, Mieczyslaw Rakowski
(81), politician and former editor of Polityka magazine, died.
(Econ, 11/22/08, p.99)
2008 Nov 8, The fire safety
system on a brand-new Russian nuclear submarine accidentally turned
on as the sub was being tested in the Sea of Japan, spewing
chemicals that suffocated 20 people and sent 21 others to the
hospital. The dead included 17 civilians and 3 seamen. Construction
of the Nerpa, an Akula II class attack submarine, started in 1991
but was suspended for years because of a shortage of funding.
Testing on the submarine began last month and it submerged for the
first time last week.
2008 Nov 8, Sudanese security
banned two newspapers from publishing after they protested against
draconian censorship measures and arrests of journalists.
2008 Nov 8, Kenneth Dale Peters
(55), an American tourist, was shot and killed and a friend wounded,
in an apparent robbery attempt aboard a sailboat on Venezuela's
Caribbean coast. On Nov 12 regional police arrested Jose Rodriguez,
Jonas Marcano and Johan Isazis. They will face charges of homicide
and attempted homicide.
(AP, 11/10/08)(AP, 11/13/08)
2008 Nov 9, In a record bailout
of a private company the US government scraped its original $123
billion plan to rescue troubled insurance giant American
International Group (AIG) and replaced it with a new $150 billion
financial package, including $40 billion for partial ownership.
(AP, 11/10/08)(WSJ, 11/10/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 9, Health experts
presented findings of a study, called Jupiter, that found
Crestor, a cholesterol drug made by AstraZeneca, reduced the risk of
heart-related death, heart attacks and other serious cardiac
problems by 44%.
(WSJ, 11/10/08, p.B1)
2008 Nov 9, In Louisiana
Raymond "Chuck" Foster, 44, shot and killed an Oklahoma woman, who
was lured over the Internet to take part in a Ku Klux Klan
initiation, after a fight broke out when she asked to be taken back
to town. The group tried to cover it up by dumping her body on a
rural roadside and setting her belongings aflame. Foster, the local
Klan leader was soon in jail on a second-degree murder charge, and
seven others were charged with trying to help conceal the crime.
2008 Nov 9, A Taliban suicide
attacker rammed a bomb-filled minivan into a NATO military convoy in
Afghanistan, killing two Spanish soldiers and critically wounding
another. Officials said US coalition forces killed 14 militants who
fired on them in Khost province. The province's governor, Arsallah
Jamal, said the 14 men were civilian construction workers and were
2008 Nov 9, A Bahrain-based
Islamic investment bank unveiled plans for a five-billion-dollar
energy sector business hub at Sabratha, Libya.
2008 Nov 9, In Sao Paulo,
Brazil, finance ministers from 20 leading nations (G20) agreed to
boost emerging economies’ role in negotiations to overhaul the
international financial system.
(SFC, 11/10/08, p.D1)
2008 Nov 9, Troubled neighbors
Chad and Sudan exchanged ambassadors, six months after diplomatic
ties were ruptured over tit-for-tat accusations of support for armed
2008 Nov 9, China announced a
$586 billion stimulus package in its biggest move to stop the global
financial crisis from hitting the world's fourth-largest economy.
2008 Nov 9, Doctors struggled
to contain an outbreak of cholera in a sprawling refugee camp near
Congo's eastern provincial capital of Goma, as new fighting ignited
fears that infected patients could scatter and launch an epidemic.
2008 Nov 9, Hurricane Paloma
leveled hundreds of homes along Cuba's southern coast before rapidly
losing steam over land, weakening from a dangerous Category 4 storm
into a tropical depression in less than a day.
2008 Nov 9, Egyptian
authorities denied entry to one of Osama bin Laden's sons and put
him on a plane to Qatar, becoming the third country to reject the
self-proclaimed "ambassador for peace." Omar Osama bin Laden (27)
and his British wife, Zaina Alsabah (52), arrived at Cairo
International Airport over the weekend after he unsuccessfully tried
to seek political asylum in Spain.
2008 Nov 9, Rose Kabuye, Rwanda
Pres. Kagame's chief of protocol, was arrested at Frankfurt airport
on an international warrant issued in 2006 by French anti-terrorism
judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere.
2008 Nov 9, Indonesia boosted
security after three Islamic militants (Imam Samudra, 38, and
brothers Amrozi Nurhasyim, 47, and Ali Ghufron, 48) were executed
for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people. Emotional
supporters thronged ambulances carrying their caskets through narrow
streets, some calling for revenge.
2008 Nov 9, In Iraq a female
suicide bomber blew herself up at a hospital west of Baghdad,
killing three people and injuring five others. 2 women and a
10-year-old girl were killed in the attack in Amiriyat al-Fallujah
near Fallujah. A roadside bomb in Mosul killed 3 Iraqi soldiers and
wounded 4 others. A bomb attached to a bike in Khalis killed at
least 2 people.
(AP, 11/9/08)(SFC, 11/10/08, p.A12)
2008 Nov 9, Israel and the
Palestinians pledged to continue peace talks that President Bush
launched last year even though a possible deal won't be reached
until after he leaves office.
2008 Nov 9, Pakistani
airstrikes pounded suspected insurgent hide-outs in the Bajur tribal
region bordering Afghanistan, killing 13 alleged militants. A
remote-controlled bomb planted on a motorcycle killed a passer-by
and wounded five others in a market in Sui town in southwest
2008 Nov 9, Southern African
leaders opened a regional summit on Zimbabwe, hoping to break a
deadlock over the allocation of cabinet posts which has prevented
formation of a power-sharing government.
2008 Nov 9, Taiwan’s central
bank cut its key interest rate for the 4th time in less than 8
weeks. The cut was .25%.
(WSJ, 11/10/08, p.A13)
2008 Nov 9, Kuo Te-tsai (42), a
Taiwanese drug trafficker, was arrested at a Thai beach resort with
229 pounds of heroin worth millions of dollars in a joint operation
by American, Taiwanese and Thai drug enforcement authorities.
2008 Nov 9, Zimbabwe's
neighbors failed to break an impasse on forming a unity government,
prompting opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to appeal to the
African Union to step in.
2008 Nov 10, Citigroup says it
is imposing a moratorium on most foreclosures as part of a series of
initiatives aimed at helping at-risk borrowers remain in their
homes, making Citi the latest big bank to announce sweeping efforts
to try to curtail losses from souring mortgages.
2008 Nov 10, Circuit City
Stores Inc., the second-biggest electronics retailer in the US,
filed for bankruptcy protection but planned to stay open for
business as the busy holiday season approaches.
2008 Nov 10, George W. Housner
(b.1910), known in his profession as the father of earthquake of
(WSJ, 11/22/08, p.A11)
2008 Nov 10, Afghan writer Atiq
Rahimi won France's top book prize, the Goncourt, for a novel penned
in French, "Syngue Sabour", or Stone of Patience.
2008 Nov 10, New York Times
reporter David S. Rohde (41) was abducted along with an Afghan
reporter colleague and a driver south of Kabul. Rohde and Afghan
reporter Tahir Ludin (35) escaped captivity in North Waziristan on
2008 Nov 10, In Brazil bandits
blew up a police station with dynamite after stealing drugs and
weapons in Botucatu city in Sao Paulo state.
2008 Nov 10, Deutsche Post AG
said it will close all of its DHL Express service centers, cut 9,500
jobs in the United States and eliminate US-only domestic express
shipping by land and air, citing heavy losses and fierce
2008 Nov 10, An explosion
killed two Georgian police officers near the disputed region of
South Ossetia. EU monitors called the attack an unacceptable breach
of the cease-fire that ended the Georgia-Russia war.
2008 Nov 10, Miriam Makeba
(b.1932), the South African folk singer and anti-apartheid activist
fondly known as "Mama Africa," died in southern Italy after
performing at a concert against organized crime.
(AP, 11/10/08)(SFC, 11/11/08, p.B5)
2008 Nov 10, International
experts said in a report that Irish Republican Army splinter groups
are launching more attacks in Northern Ireland than at any time in
recent years, and are increasingly trying to kill police officers.
2008 Nov 10, In Iraq a suicide
bomber struck in a crowd gathered at the site of an explosion that
moments earlier had damaged a bus filled with schoolgirls. Both
blasts killed 31 people and wounding 71 others. A female suicide
bomber attacked a security checkpoint in Baqouba, killing five
people including a local leader of Sunni group opposed to al-Qaida.
(AP, 11/10/08)(AP, 11/11/08)
2008 Nov 10, Iraq and China
signed the final agreement on a $3 billion deal to develop the Ahdab
oil field south of Baghdad over a 22 year-period.
2008 Nov 10, Italian railway
and mass transit workers staged a strike creating chaos for
commuters. A wildcat protest by some of Alitalia’s staff forced the
national airline to scrap dozens of flights.
(SFC, 11/11/08, p.A3)
2008 Nov 10, In Japan a
California-based computer scientist, a Canadian philosophy professor
and a Canadian molecular biologist each received US$500,000 at an
awards ceremony for this year's Kyoto Prizes for achievement in the
arts and sciences.
2008 Nov 10, Gunmen in northern
Kenya seized two Italian Catholic nuns from a church before dawn and
took them across the border into a Somali region largely controlled
by Islamist insurgents. The nuns were free on February 19, 2009.
(AP, 11/10/08)(AP, 2/19/09)
2008 Nov 10, Malaysia's Scomi
Engineering said its consortium with an Indian company has won a
1.85 billion ringgit ($523 million) state contract to build the
first monorail in India.
2008 Nov 10, Mexico’s President
Felipe Calderon chose Fernando Gomez-Mont as the new Secretary of
the Interior. 7 people were found dead in a string of gruesome
attacks in the border city of Juarez. Police there chased a truck
that opened fire on a state vehicle, causing a car crash that killed
a bystander and injured four others. In northwestern Mexico 27
farmworkers who were kidnapped by dozens of heavily armed men
wearing military-style uniforms. Local news media reported that a
drug gang may have kidnapped the men to make them work growing
2008 Nov 10, In Nicaragua the
ruling Sandinista party (FSLN) claimed victory in nationwide
municipal elections, but rival parties said the early returns were
misleading and the US government expressed concern about the vote.
(AP, 11/11/08)(Econ, 5/1/10, p.38)
2008 Nov 10, Militants in
northwest Pakistan hijacked 13 trucks carrying supplies for Western
forces in Afghanistan as they passed through the Khyber Pass.
2008 Nov 10, Pirates near
Somalia hijacked the MT Stolt Strength. a Philippines chemical
tanker with 23 crew, bringing the total number of attacks in waters
off the African nation this year to 83.
2008 Nov 10, Sweden's financial
regulator says it has revoked the banking license from troubled
investment bank Carnegie and that Sweden's national debt office will
take control of the bank.
2008 Nov 10, Taiwan's coast
guard rescued 9 crewmen and searched for 19 missing seamen after
their fishing boat foundered in rough seas.
2008 Nov 10, President Robert
Mugabe said a new Zimbabwe government would be formed "as quickly as
possible" despite his rival Morgan Tsvangirai's rejection of a
regional compromise on a power-sharing deal.
2008 Nov 11, Tim Lincecum,
pitcher for the SF Giants, was named winner of the Cy Young Award.
(SFC, 11/12/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 11, Suspected Taliban
militants kidnapped Shamsudin Agha, a religious leader in western in
Farah province, after he criticized the use of suicide attacks as a
weapon of war in the country. Authorities recovered Agha's body the
2008 Nov 11, Bolivian officials
said they have formally asked the US to extradite former President
Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, who ordered a military crackdown on 2003
riots in which at least 60 people died.
2008 Nov 11, Jack Scott (85),
former British TV sitcom star (On the Buses), died.
(Econ, 12/6/08, p.109)
2008 Nov 11, At least 13
soldiers were killed in an ambush by rebels at Kabo, near the
Central African Republic's border with Chad, 400 kilometers (250
miles) north of Bangui.
2008 Nov 11, The UN reported
that hundreds of Congolese soldiers rampaged through several
villages in eastern Congo raping women and pillaging homes as they
pulled back ahead of a feared rebel advance.
(SFC, 11/12/08, p.A7)
2008 Nov 11, Egypt's chief
archaeologist has announced the discovery of a 4,300-year-old
pyramid in Saqqara, the sprawling necropolis and burial site of the
rulers of ancient Memphis. The new pyramid is the 118th discovered
so far in Egypt.
2008 Nov 11, Armed Bedouin
attacked a security checkpoint in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and seized
11 policemen in a restive area near the border with Israel. The
Bedouin tribesmen were angered by a police shooting a day earlier
that killed a suspected Bedouin smuggler in the area.
2008 Nov 11, French police
arrested 10 people, described as anarchists, suspected for the
recent sabotaging of high-speed trains. In 5 instances since late
October iron rods were jammed into power cables in order to hold up
(WSJ, 11/12/08, p.A12)
2008 Nov 11, The Imams Bridge
in north Baghdad reopened. It had closed 3 years ago after a
stampede during a Shiite procession killed almost 1,000 people. A
pair of roadside bombs exploded in quick succession in east Baghdad
during the morning rush hour, killing 3 people and wounding 14
others. An Internet monitoring service said 10 Iraqi insurgent
groups have agreed to escalate attacks against US and Iraqi forces
to derail the proposed US-Iraqi security agreement. Hajji Hammadi, a
leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, was killed. He was blamed in the April,
2004, abduction and murder of Army reservist Staff Sgt. Matt Maupin
of Batavia, Ohio.
(AP, 11/11/08)(AP, 11/12/08)(AP, 11/20/08)
2008 Nov 11, Rabbi Meir Porush,
an ultra-Orthodox rabbi, faced off against Nir Barkat (49), a
secular businessman, in Jerusalem's mayoral race. Nir Barkat, a
former paratroops officer, won the election with 52% support.
(AP, 11/11/08)(AP, 11/12/08)
2008 Nov 11, Mohamed Nasheed
took the oath of office as the Maldives' first democratically
elected president. He now leads the flattest nation on Earth, with
an average height of 2.3 meters (7 feet) above sea level, and one
considered particularly vulnerable to the perils of global climate
change and rising sea levels.
2008 Nov 11, In Mexico 21
police were arrested in the northern border city of Tijuana on
suspicion of working with criminal gangs. The body of a 28-year-old
man was dumped in an empty lot in the beach resort of Rosarito,
2008 Nov 11, Myanmar sentenced
23 activists, including 5 Buddhist monks arrested during anti-junta
protests last year to 65 years each in jail, in what rights groups
branded a fresh attempt to stifle dissent. Min Ko Naing, considered
as one of Myanmar's top activists, was among those sentenced.
(AP, 11/11/08)(AFP, 11/14/08)(AFP, 11/15/08)
2008 Nov 11, A Nigerian appeal
court sacked the governor of the southern state of Edo following
complaints of vote irregularities and declared his opponent the
2008 Nov 11, Pakistan’s
military said at least 11 Taliban militants were killed and two
soldiers wounded in gunfights with troops in the northwestern Swat
valley, rocked by a violent campaign to introduce Islamic law. A
suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Peshawar Sports Complex,
hosting athletes from around the country, killing at least two
2008 Nov 11, Russia’s central
bank widened its target band for the currency’s rate against the
dollar by about 1% in each direction. Weeks of rigid defense had
fueled a $112 billion decline in reserves. The central bank also
raised interest rate by 1% in an effort to keep money from flowing
out of the country.
(WSJ, 11/12/08, p.A8)
2008 Nov 11, Rwanda expelled
the German ambassador and Pres. Kagame declared that Germany
violated his country's sovereignty when it arrested one of his aides
in connection with an attack that set off Rwanda's 1994 genocide.
2008 Nov 11, Swedish truck and
bus maker Volvo AB said it will lay off nearly 1,000 staff at its
powertrain unit in Sweden and the United States as the global
financial crisis continues to weigh on the demand for heavy
2008 Nov 11, In Taiwan former
Pres. Chen Sui-bian was detained by police after prosecutors sought
his formal arrest on corruption and money laundering charges. He was
later taken to hospital complaining that police had roughed him up.
(SFC, 11/12/08, p.A4)
2008 Nov 11, Uruguay's Senate
voted to depenalize abortion during the first trimester, a rare step
in a Latin American nation. President Tabare Vasquez vetoed the
measure on Nov 14.
(AP, 11/11/08)(AP, 11/14/08)
2008 Nov 11, In Zimbabwe riot
police beat dozens of students and pro-democracy activists marching
through Harare to demand a new government to tackle the country's
worsening economic and political crisis.
2008 Nov 12, The Department of
the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board announced the release of
a joint final rule to implement the Unlawful Internet Gambling
Enforcement Act of 2006. The act made it illegal for financial
institutions to transfer funds between punters and online gambling
sites. Compliance was required by Dec 1, 2009.
2008 Nov 12, The Supreme Court
lifted restrictions on the Navy's use of sonar in training exercises
off the California coast, a defeat for environmental groups who say
the sonar can harm whales.
2008 Nov 12, US prosecutors
charged Raoul Weil, a senior executive of Swiss bank UBS AG, of
helping some 20,000 rich clients evade federal income taxes on
assets of some $20 billion from 2002-2007. In 2014 a federal court
in Florida acquitted Mr. Weil.
(WSJ, 11/13/08, p.A1)(Econ, 11/8/14, p.76)
2008 Nov 12, A judge cleared
the way for gay marriage to begin in Connecticut, a victory for
advocates stung by California's referendum that banned same-sex
unions in that state.
2008 Nov 12, LCD makers LG
Display of South Korea, Sharp of Japan, and Chunghwa Picture tubes
of Taiwan pleaded guilty to US charges of price fixing and will pay
fines totaling $585 million.
(WSJ, 11/13/08, p.B3)
2008 Nov 12, In Fort
Lauderdale, Florida, sophomore Teah Wimberly (15) shot Amanda
Collette at Dillard High School, then walked to a seafood restaurant
to call authorities and turn herself in.
2008 Nov 12, Mitch Mitchell
(61), English drummer for the legendary Jimi Hendrix Experience of
the 1960s and the group's last surviving member, was found dead in
his hotel room in Portland, Oregon, the last stop on the West Coast
part of a tour.
(AP, 11/13/08)(SFC, 11/13/08, p.B4)
2008 Nov 12, Walter Gabrielson
(1935), California artist, died, His 1993 self-published
autobiography was titled “Persistence."
(SSFC, 11/16/08, p.B6)
2008 Nov 12, In Afghanistan a
bomb-filled tanker exploded outside the office of the provincial
council in Kandahar, killing six people and wounding 42. Two British
troops were killed in an explosion in southern Helmand province. Men
squirted the acid from water bottles onto three groups of students
and teachers walking to school in Kandahar. Some of the girls
received burns only on their school uniforms but others will have
scars on their faces. On Nov 25 officials announced the arrest of 10
Taliban militants involved in the acid attack.
(AP, 11/12/08)(AP, 11/13/08)(AP, 11/14/08)(AP,
2008 Nov 12, Algeria's
parliament overwhelmingly approved constitutional amendments that
abolish presidential term limits, paving the way for President
Abdelaziz Bouteflika to seek a third term in spring elections.
2008 Nov 12, Angola announced
it is mobilizing troops to send to neighboring Congo, heightening
fears that the fighting in this central African nation will engulf
other countries in the region. North of Kibati the bodies of two
dead government soldiers lay in the center of the road beside a
2008 Nov 12, A Sidney court
sentenced an Australian woman to 22 months periodic detention for
assisting in the suicide of her longtime partner, an Alzheimer's
sufferer who had been rejected for a legal euthanasia in
2008 Nov 12, The Canadian
government announced a series of steps to improve the
availability of long-term credit including the purchase of C$50
billion ($40 billion) more in insured mortgages from banks.
2008 Nov 12, China launched a
50-day campaign against unlicensed taxis in Beijing.
(WSJ, 11/14/08, p.A10)
2008 Nov 12, In Colombia the
investment company Proyecciones DRFE (Dinero Rapido Facil Efectivo -
Easy Money, Fast Cash) collapsed in Narino state leaving investors
in the pyramid scheme with losses estimated at some $270 million.
Investors took to the streets on rumors that owner Carlos Alfredo
Suarez had fled the country. At least 2 people died in ensuing
riots. A week later Panama extradited David Murcia Guzman, the
president of DMG Group, suspected of running the country's biggest
pyramid scheme. On Mar 13, 2009, the government announced it had
recovered just $20.5 million, which would be distributed equally
among some 214,000 investors, who would receive about $96 each. On
Dec 16 Murcia was sentenced to 30 years and 8 months in prison for a
money-laundering conviction and was fined $12.5 million. He is
expected to be extradited to the US soon on money-laundering
p.A9)(Econ, 11/22/08, p.49)(SFC, 3/14/09, p.A2)(SFC, 10/14/09,
2008 Nov 12, Germany's biggest
industrial union secured a 4.2 percent pay rise over 18 months for
the nation's manufacturing workers in a deal that averted an all-out
2008 Nov 12, In Germany Dr.
Gero Huetter said his 42-year-old patient, an American living in
Berlin who was not identified, had been infected with the AIDS virus
for more than a decade. But 20 months after undergoing a transplant
of genetically selected bone marrow, he no longer shows signs of
carrying the virus.
2008 Nov 12, Hong Kong
officials said they had found elevated levels of melamine in fish
feed from China’s Fuzhou Haima Feed Co.
(WSJ, 11/13/08, p.A13)
2008 Nov 12, Indonesian health
officials said test results from two laboratories in the capital
came back positive confirming that a girl (15) died of bird flu last
2008 Nov 12, Iran successfully
test-fired the Sajjil, a new generation of long range
surface-to-surface missile using solid fuel, making them more
accurate than its predecessors. It had a range of about 1,200 miles
2008 Nov 12, In Iraq a series
of bombings shook Baghdad for the third straight day, killing at
least 11 people and wounding about 60. In Mosul unidentified gunmen
killed two sisters from a Christian family as they were waiting in
front of their house for a ride to work. Barzan Mohammed Abdullah,
an Iraqi soldier, opened fire on US troops after a quarrel broke out
in Mosul, killing two American soldiers and wounding six in a
military compound before he was shot to death.
(AP, 11/12/08)(SFC, 11/13/08, p.A3)
2008 Nov 12, Israeli troops and
Palestinian militants fought with missiles and mortars along the
Gaza-Israel border, raising new concerns that an increasingly shaky
five-month-old truce might collapse. Four Hamas militants were
killed in the exchange, and the Hamas military wing said it would
2008 Nov 12, The United States
says it has shipped 50,000 metric tons of heavy fuel oil to North
Korea as part of a nuclear disarmament deal. The fuel is scheduled
to arrive in the North in late November and early December. North
Korea said that it won't allow outside inspectors to take samples
from its main nuclear complex to verify the communist regime's
accounting of past nuclear activities.
2008 Nov 12, North Korea's
powerful military announced it will shut the country's border with
the South on Dec. 1, a marked escalation of threats against Seoul's
new conservative government at a time of heightened tension on the
2008 Nov 12, In Pakistan
Stephen Vance, a US development worker, and his driver were shot
dead in Peshawar. 3 security forces died when a suicide bomber
rammed his explosives-laden vehicle at the gate of government school
for boys in the northwestern village of Subhan Khwar, 22 miles north
2008 Nov 12, In Somalia the
Islamist al-Shabab militia, that the US calls a terror organization,
seized Merka, a key port town, giving it control of most of southern
Somalia and sidelining the weak government.
2008 Nov 12, In South African a
truck carrying workers collided with another truck, killing 23
people and injuring nine.
2008 Nov 12, Sudanese President
Omar Hassan al-Bashir, facing a possible indictment by the
International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur,
announced a ceasefire in the region.
2008 Nov 12, Pirates
commandeered the Karagol, a Turkish chemical tanker, off the coast
of Yemen. 14 Turkish personnel were aboard the tanker. The Russian
frigate Neustrashimy and the British frigate Cumberland foiled
pirates who fired automatic weapons toward a Danish ship and twice
tried to seize it in the Gulf of Aden. The Karagol was released on
Jan 12, 2009.
(AP, 11/12/08)(AP, 1/13/09)
2008 Nov 12, Zimbabwe's main
opposition said it would not join a new government with President
Robert Mugabe until unresolved power-sharing issues were ironed out.
2008 Nov 13, The US government
said the number of newly laid-off individuals seeking unemployment
benefits has jumped to a seven-year high.
2008 Nov 13, The US Mint was
scheduled to issue the Van Buren dollar coin, the 8th of its
presidential dollar series.
(WSJ, 12/27/07, p.D6)
2008 Nov 13, US Federal health
officials slapped a sweeping detention order on dozens of imported
foods from China, from snacks and drinks to chocolates and candies.
The agency said the action was needed as a precaution to keep out
foods contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, which can
cause serious kidney problems.
2008 Nov 13, Police in
Richmond, Ca., arrested 18 people in connection with a crackdown on
the Deep Central (Deep C) gang. Officials served 43 arrest warrants
in Richmond as well as other Bay Area and Sacramento counties
wrapping up a yearlong investigation by California drug agents.
(SFC, 11/14/08, p.B5)
2008 Nov 13, In Afghanistan a
suicide car bomber struck a US patrol, killing eight Afghan
civilians and one US soldier and wounding 74 civilians in Nangarhar
province. US troops killed four al-Qaida-linked militants during a
raid in eastern Afghanistan.
(AP, 11/14/08)(SFC, 11/14/08, p.A14)
2008 Nov 13, In Chile
authorities said public health services failed to tell 512 people
that they tested positive for HIV. Private-sector health services
also fell down, failing to inform an estimated 1,700 people that
tests show them carrying the AIDS virus.
2008 Nov 13, China signed an
agreement in Geneva to loosen controls on financial news providers
in an out-of-court settlement of a dispute with the US, the EU and
2008 Nov 13, The European Union
proposed plans to toughen up rules covering taxes on foreign
accounts in an effort to stop tax evasion which has been endemic in
some EU nations.
2008 Nov 13, The 38th Chess
Olympiad started in Dresden, Germany. It included 146 teams in the
open division, often referred to as the men's division although it
includes a few women. The separate women's division included 111
2008 Nov 13, An American
soldier died of a noncombat cause in western Iraq. A civilian cargo
aircraft crashed in the desert south of Fallujah.
(AP, 11/14/08)(AP, 11/13/08)
2008 Nov 13, In Mauritania the
military junta that ousted President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi
released him in response to international pressure.
2008 Nov 13, In Mexico Armando
Rodriguez, a crime reporter in the border city of Juarez, was
killed, adding to dozens of journalist deaths in a country where
newspapers are so fearful, many refuse to cover drug violence. With
his death, 24 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000, at
least seven of them in direct reprisal for their reports on crime,
and seven others have disappeared since 2005.
2008 Nov 13, Mexico City Health
Secretary Armando Ahued said that the government will start handing
out doses of one or two Viagra, Levitra or Cialis pills on Dec. 1.
2008 Nov 13, Pakistan announced
that China had offered it a $500 million aid package.
(WSJ, 11/14/08, p.A10)
2008 Nov 13, In northwestern
Pakistan gunmen kidnapped Hashmatullah Atharzadeh, an Iranian
diplomat, and killed his local guard. Peshawar’s police chief
Suleman Shah said the spate of killings and abductions was in
reaction to the military operations against insurgents in the
adjoining tribal belt. Iranian intelligence agents freed Atharzadeh
in late March, 2010.
(AFP, 11/13/08)(AP, 3/30/10)
2008 Nov 13, Myanmar courts
handed down sentences of between six and eight years for 4 Buddhist
monks and two to 16 years for members of Nobel Peace Prize winner
Aung San Suu Kyi's party for involvement in last year's massive
protests against the military junta. 14 more activists from the NLD
were sentenced the next day at different courts in Yangon for
between two to 16 years, all in relation to last year's protests.
2008 Nov 13, Gaza militants
fired a new barrage of rockets and mortars at Israeli border areas,
prompting Israel to bar planned food and fuel shipments to
Palestinian civilians hurt by the unraveling of a five-month-old
2008 Nov 13, In Thailand
assailants hurled explosives at vendors protesting a rent increase
by new managers of a government-owned market in Bangkok, wounding 13
2008 Nov 13, Vietnam's premier
pledged to probe a corruption case in which Japanese businessmen
have admitted bribing a Vietnamese official in the latest scandal
involving a foreign aid-funded road project.
2008 Nov 14, The US Army
promoted its first woman, Ann Dunwoody, to the rank of four-star
(WSJ, 11/15/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 14, Space shuttle
Endeavour and 7 astronauts made a night time launch and raced toward
the international space station for a home makeover job.
2008 Nov 14, In the SF Bay
Area police arrested 17 more people as part of a federal drug
investigation targeting members of the Project Trojans street gang
in North Richmond, San Pablo, Antioch and El Sobrante.
(SFC, 11/15/08, p.B2)
2008 Nov 14, In Iowa police
again arrested Sholom Rubashkin, former chief executive of
Agriprocessors Inc., a Postville slaughterhouse, on new charges of
bank fraud. In 2010 Rubashkin (51) was sentenced to 27 years in
prison and ordered to pay $27 million in restitution for his
conviction on fraud charges.
(WSJ, 11/15/08, p.A2)(SFC, 6/22/10, p.A4)
2008 Nov 14, In California
firefighters and a squadron of aircraft launched a desperate
daylight attack to push back a wind-whipped wildfire that destroyed
210 homes and forced thousands to evacuate near Santa Barbara. The
fire was later traced to a bonfire out at a tea garden by a group of
young adults, who thought they had put the fire. Further south a
wildfire broke out in the foothill community of Sylmar on the edge
of the Angeles National Forest and quickly spread across 2,600
acres. By the next day it tore through the city's northern
foothills, sending thousands of residents fleeing in the dark,
forcing a hospital to evacuate and destroying an untold number of
(AP, 11/14/08)(AP, 11/15/08)(SFC, 11/19/08, p.A4)
2008 Nov 14, In Santa Clara,
Ca., Jing Hua Wu (47), recently laid off, shot and killed 3 people
at SiPort Inc., including CEO Sid Agrawal and Brian Pugh, the vice
president of operations.
(SFC, 11/15/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 14, Irving Gertz
(1915), movie composer, died. He composed or contributed to over 200
scores for horror, sci-fi and Westerns, which included such films as
“It Came from Outer Space" (1953) and “Gun for a Coward" (1957).
(SFC, 11/24/08, p.B3)
2008 Nov 14, In Afghanistan US
forces grabbed a "key insurgent leader" in a joint raid with Afghan
police in a village in eastern Ghazni province. Coalition forces
also killed 10 militants in a strike against a bomb-making cell in
the eastern Paktia province.
2008 Nov 14, Azerbaijan
lawmakers voted 86-1 to back President Ilham Aliev's request to
withdraw the 150 troops serving as part of the US-led coalition in
2008 Nov 14, The EU said that
the 15 countries that use the euro are officially in a
recession, as their economies shrank for a second straight
quarter because of the world financial crisis and sinking demand.
2008 Nov 14, Nearly half of Air
France's flights were grounded by a pilots' strike expected to last
through the weekend.
2008 Nov 14, An Indian probe
landed on the moon, in a milestone for the country's 45-year-old
2008 Nov 14, In India suspected
Maoist insurgents triggered landmine blasts to scare away voters in
Chhattisgarh state, killing 2 people.
(WSJ, 11/15/08, p.A6)
2008 Nov 14, In India the
Kuber, a 45-foot fishing boat, left port at Porbandar with a crew of
5 men. It was soon hijacked by terrorists from Pakistan, who used it
to reach Mumbai for the attacks that began late Nov 26. The crew
were all killed, including lead crewman Amar Narayan Singh (45), who
was found with his throat slashed.
(WSJ, 12/2/08, p.A6)
2008 Nov 14, In Indonesia 5
people were killed and 14 were feared dead after a landslide
triggered by heavy rain crushed scores of houses in West Java.
2008 Nov 14, Iraq's national
security advisor said all British troops will be out of Iraq by the
end of next year.
2008 Nov 14, In Mexico 2
bullet-ridden bodies were found at the foot of a monument in Ciudad
Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, one of them partially stuffed
into a large pot. Four scuba divers died while performing
maintenance in an aqueduct that supplies Mexico City.
(AP, 11/14/08)(AP, 11/16/08)
2008 Nov 14, In Myanmar
journalist Ein Khaing Oo, who had been detained for five months, was
sentenced to two years in prison for her coverage of a protest over
the lack of government relief for victims of a devastating cyclone.
She was convicted in a closed-door trial on charges of "disturbing
2008 Nov 14, In Nigeria 22
Filipinos were arrested by a joint army-navy patrol on the Warri
River with the vessel MT Akuada laden with its cargo of 12,500
metric tons of crude oil. On Feb 20, 2009, 13 Filipinos were
sentenced to five years each or a fine of one million naira (6,800
dollars) for stealing crude oil from the Niger delta.
2008 Nov 14, In Pakistan a
Japanese and an Afghan journalist were shot in the frontier city of
Peshawar, the third attack on foreigners in three days. Motoki
Yotsukura from the Asahi Shimbun newspaper was wounded in the leg.
Abdul Sami Yousafzai, was more seriously hurt. Missiles apparently
fired by US unmanned aircraft in North Waziristan killed at least 12
people, including 9 militants.
(AP, 11/14/08)(AFP, 11/14/08)(WSJ, 11/15/08,
2008 Nov 14, Palestinian
militants attacked Ashkelon in southern Israel with rocket fire.
They also unleashed rockets at nearby Sderot, where rescue services
said one person was lightly wounded by shrapnel. The barrages
followed an earlier strike by Israeli aircraft targeting militants
firing rockets in northern Gaza. Israel kept the crossings into Gaza
sealed for a tenth straight day, forcing the UN to suspend its food
aid distribution to 750,000 Gaza residents.
2008 Nov 14, Russian lawmakers
gave preliminary approval for extending presidential terms from four
years to six, a move observers say could pave the way for Vladimir
Putin to return to the presidency.
2008 Nov 14, Thailand former PM
Thaksin and his wife, Pojaman, who married in 1976, divorced at the
Thai consul general's office in Hong Kong. A political observer
suggested the divorce could have been aimed at protecting the
family's considerable assets, which are mostly held in Pojaman's
2008 Nov 14, Zimbabwe's main
opposition party said that it will not join a unity government with
Pres. Mugabe until the rivals resolve their differences over a
2008 Nov 15, G20 leaders ended
a 2-day economic summit in Washington. They released a joint
communique covering eight pages and 47 action items, with an
overarching focus to establish a series of new safeguards for the
fragile and opaque global financial system.
2008 Nov 15, In southern
California the Triangle Complex broke out in Corona and Orange
counties. The fire soon covered 10,475 acres and damaged or
destroyed 119 residences.
(SFC, 11/17/08, p.A9)
2008 Nov 15, In North Carolina
tornadoes killed 2 people.
(SSFC, 11/16/08, p.A2)
2008 Nov 15, In Afghanistan
police thwarted a suicide attack in the eastern city of Khost.
Officers surrounded a suspect, who was on foot, and the man
detonated the explosives on his body. The would-be attacker died,
but no one else was injured. Also in Khost province, coalition and
Afghan troops detained a militant leader of the network led by the
Afghan insurgent leader Jalaluddin Haqqani. Coalition forces
accidentally killed a civilian during a clash with insurgents in
Zabul province. The civilian was killed when a grenade fired by
coalition forces overshot its target. 30 insurgents were killed
during a clash with US-led coalition troops in Helmand province. In
eastern Paktia province's Zurmat district coalition troops killed
five al-Qaida-associated insurgents and nabbed eight, including a
militant leader accused of helping the Taliban move and train Arab
and other foreign fighters into Afghanistan. Colour Sergeant
Krishnabahadur Dura (36), from 2nd Battalion the Royal Gurkha
Rifles, was killed after an explosion in the Musa Qala district of
(AP, 11/15/08)(AP, 11/16/08)(AP, 11/17/08)
2008 Nov 15, In the West
African nation Burkina Faso a collision between a passenger bus and
a truck killed more than 60 people.
2008 Nov 15, In eastern China a
subway tunnel under construction collapsed in Hangzhou, trapping
workers and creating a huge crater into which more than 10 vehicles
plunged. At least 7 people died and 14 were missing.
(AP, 11/15/08)(AP, 11/17/08)
2008 Nov 15, The government of
Ecuador delayed a $30.6 million interest payment on part of its debt
of $10 billion, which amounted to 21% of GDP. A committee soon
reported evidence of malfeasance on debt contracts issued between
1976 and 2006.
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.44)
2008 Nov 15, A Georgian
policeman was shot dead by a group of armed Abkhazians. The group
was said to have entered Georgian-controlled territory to plant land
mines. Abkhazian presidential envoy Ruslan Kishmariya said police
from the separatist side killed one and wounded two Georgian
"saboteurs" in the tense Gali district.
2008 Nov 15, A senior aide to
PM Nouri al-Maliki said US and Iraqi negotiators have agreed on a
draft of a security pact that would allow American troops to stay in
Iraq for three more years after their UN mandate expires Dec. 31. A
suicide car bomber struck a commercial district in the northern city
of Tal Afar, killing 10 people and wounding 20. In Baghdad a car
bomb parked near the National Theater exploded in the mainly Shiite
district of Karradah, killing at least five people and wounding 23.
An American Marine died from wounds suffered in a roadside bombing
west of Baghdad a day earlier.
2008 Nov 15, In Mexico more
than 1,500 demonstrators marched through the violence-plagued border
city of Tijuana to protest the current of killings and kidnappings.
Two people were shot to death at a Tijuana taco restaurant. 4 men
and a woman were shot to death at a pool hall. A girl (14) and two
men were shot down in a Tijuana street just before midnight.
(AP, 11/15/08)(AP, 11/16/08)
2008 Nov 15, An official said
Pakistan has agreed to borrow $7.6 billion from the International
Monetary Fund to avoid adding an economic crisis to its struggle
against Islamic militants. Helicopter gunships, backed by artillery,
began pounding suspected insurgent hideouts in Mohmand tribal area.
(AP, 11/15/08)(AP, 11/16/08)
2008 Nov 15, Gazans seeking
food aid walked away empty-handed from locked United Nations
distribution centers after a strict Israeli border closure depleted
UN food reserves.
2008 Nov 15, In southwestern
Romania two explosions in a coal mine killed eight miners and four
2008 Nov 15, In Somalia
fighters of al-Shabab took control of the port town of Barawe
without a fight after the government's allies left as soon as they
heard the fighters were on their way.
2008 Nov 15, Gunmen hijacked a
freighter with 23 crew off the coast of Somalia. The crew of the
Japanese-owned Chemstar Venus consisted of five South Koreans and 18
Filipinos. Somali pirates hijacked the Sirius Star, a newly
commissioned supertanker, more than 450 nautical miles southeast of
Mombasa, Kenya, along with its 25-member crew. The ship, owned by
Saudi oil company Aramco, was capable of carrying about 2 million
barrels of oil. The ship was released on Jan 9, 2009.
(AP, 11/16/08)(AP, 11/17/08)(AP, 1/9/09)
2008 Nov 15, Sri Lanka's
president asked Tamil Tigers to surrender after troops claimed
re-taking Pooneryn, a strategically-important town from the
separatists, following months of heavy fighting. Army troops
destroyed 16 rebel bunkers in the Mullaitivu district and fought a
series of battles in the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi, inflicting
"heavy casualties" on the guerrillas.
2008 Nov 15, Mario Masuku
(b.1951), Swaziland leader of the opposition People’s United
Democratic Movement (Pudemo), was jailed.
2008 Nov 15, In Yemen a
16-year-old boy died when police fired at locals demonstrating at a
voter registration center. The crowds were protesting the
government's rejection of opposition attempts to amend the country's
electoral law. Yemen's political parties have been preparing the
amendment to the electoral law for the past year in an effort to
bring more women into parliament, curb vote-rigging and limit the
influence of government officials.
2008 Nov 16, In Afghan suicide
car bombers struck a NATO convoy in the northern Baghlan province
and a US convoy in western Herat province. One civilian was killed
in the northern attack.
2008 Nov 16, In Australia a
storm in Brisbane damaged about 4,000 homes, destroying at least 30,
flattened cars and felled power lines, plunging large swathes of the
city into darkness.
2008 Nov 16, Reg Varney (92), a
comic actor who played a cheery Cockney bus driver in British sitcom
"On the Buses," died.
2008 Nov 16, On Canada's
Pacific coast 7 people were killed and one was injured when the
charter plane they were flying in crashed on Thormanby Island.
2008 Nov 16, Congo's main rebel
leader promised a UN envoy to support a cease-fire and UN efforts to
end the fighting, and the diplomat said he hoped the warring sides
would hold peace talks in Kenya. Congo government troops abandoned
their position at Rwindi, 130 km (80 miles) north of Goma in North
Kivu province, after a battle with the rebels involving small arms
and heavier weapons. UN peacekeeping troops at Rwindi stayed in
their base during the fighting.
(AP, 11/16/08)(AP, 11/17/08)
2008 Nov 16, Guinea Bissau,
seen as a major African drugs hub, went to the polls for
parliamentary elections, which observers hoped would bring stability
to the West African nation. The African Party for the Independence
of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which has been dominant since
independence from Portugal in 1974, is favorite to win the election.
(AP, 11/16/08)(AFP, 11/17/08)
2008 Nov 16, Iraq's Cabinet
approved a security pact with the United States that will allow
American forces to stay in Iraq for three years after their UN
mandate expires at the end of the year. 7 people died and 7 others
were wounded in a suicide car bombing at a police checkpoint in
Diyala province. A roadside bomb in a Sunni enclave of Baghdad
killed three people and wounded 7 at a checkpoint belonging to
US-backed fighters. The US military said Iraq's Shiite-dominated
government is making good on promises to pay thousands of US-backed
Sunni fighters in Baghdad, despite some government unease over the
2008 Nov 16, Israeli leaders
made a secret journey to neighboring Jordan, listening to pleas from
King Abdullah II to avert a large-scale military operation in the
Gaza Strip. An Israeli airstrike killed 4 Palestinian militants as
they were firing mortars at Israel from the Gaza Strip, just hours
after another group of militants struck Israel in a separate rocket
(AP, 11/16/08)(AP, 11/20/08)
2008 Nov 16, In
Indian-controlled Kashmir a bridge under construction over an icy
Himalayan river collapsed, killing four workers and leaving 19
others missing and feared dead.
2008 Nov 16, The party
representing New Zealand's indigenous Maori people will get its
first Cabinet posts under a multiparty deal signed by PM-elect John
Key to form a center-right minority government.
2008 Nov 16, Officials said
Nigeria's anti-drugs agency had seized 30,000 kilograms of cannabis
contained in 5,923 bags in southern Edo state earlier this week. In
June, the agency seized 80 ton of cannabis in its largest ever
single haul, in the southwestern city of Ibadan.
2008 Nov 16, Pakistan
temporarily barred oil tankers and container trucks from a key
passageway to Afghanistan, threatening a critical supply route for
US and NATO troops and raising more fears about security in the
militant-plagued border region. NATO troops in eastern Afghanistan
fired 20 artillery rounds at insurgents inside Pakistan in an attack
the alliance said was coordinated with the government in Islamabad.
(AP, 11/16/08)(AP, 11/18/08)
2008 Nov 16, In Peru Edwin
Valladolid was arrested in Lima carrying a box of 36 grenades ahead
of the arrival next week of 18 world leaders for a Pacific Rim
2008 Nov 16, Russian liberals
launched a pro-Kremlin political party promising to defend middle
class values but rivals said it was just a tool for the authorities
to suck support away from genuine opposition groups.
2008 Nov 16, Somali
pirates freed another vessel after securing a ransom and a Russian
frigate repelled an attack on a Saudi ship.
2008 Nov 16, Sri Lanka's air
force pounded the Tamil Tiger rebels' main northern defense line in
the Muhamalai area of Jaffna peninsula.
2008 Nov 16, Sudanese and rebel
forces traded accusations that the other is initiating a new wave of
fighting in the ravaged Darfur region just days after the government
had offered a cease-fire.
2008 Nov 16, In Vietnam weekend
flooding killed at least 11 people in the southern and central
regions, submerged thousands of homes in Ho Chi Minh city and
stranded air and railway passengers.
2008 Nov 17, Vice President
Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales were
indicted on state charges involving federal prisons in a South Texas
county that has been a source of bizarre legal and political battles
under the outgoing prosecutor. Cheney was charged with engaging in
an organized criminal activity related to the vice president's
investment in the Vanguard Group, which holds financial interests in
the private prison companies running the federal detention centers.
It accuses Cheney of a conflict of interest and "at least
misdemeanor assaults" on detainees because of his link to the prison
companies. The indictment accused Gonzales of using his position
while in office to stop an investigation in 2006 into abuses at one
of the privately-run prisons. On Dec 1 a Texas judge dismissed the
indictments against Cheney and Gonzales.
(AP, 11/19/08)(SFC, 12/2/08, p.A8)
2008 Nov 17, The SEC charged
Mark Cuban, high-tech entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas
Mavericks, with illegal insider trading for allegedly using
confidential information to avoid over $750,000 in stock losses from
the sale of Mama.com stock in 2004.
(SFC, 11/18/08, p.D1)
2008 Nov 17, A report was
released concluded that Gulf War syndrome is a legitimate illness
suffered by more than 175,000 US war veterans who were exposed to
chemical toxins in the 1991 Gulf War.
2008 Nov 17, Citigroup Inc.
said it is cutting approximately 53,000 more jobs in the coming
quarters as the banking giant struggles to steady itself after
suffering massive losses from deteriorating debt.
2008 Nov 17, US Automakers
begged governments to save them amid a spreading global recession.
Cash-strapped General Motors Corp. said it will sell its entire
stake in Suzuki Motor Corp. for 22.37 billion yen ($230 million),
the automaker's latest move to stay afloat while awaiting a decision
on government aid for the industry.
2008 Nov 17, Yahoo said
co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang will resign his post as CEO, but
continue his previous role as “Chief Yahoo" and remain on the
(SFC, 11/18/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 17, In Afghanistan 5
insurgents died in the clash in Farah's Bala Buluk region.
2008 Nov 17, Algeria and
Argentina signed an agreement to boost cooperation over civil
nuclear energy as part of Argentine President Cristina Kirchner's
tour of northern Africa.
2008 Nov 17, Australia said it
will invest millions of dollars in non-lethal whale research to show
Japan that the animals do not need to be killed in order to be
2008 Nov 17, Guy Peellaert
(b.1934), Belgian painter and collagist, died. His work included the
book “Rock Dreams" (1974), published in collaboration with British
rock journalist Nik Cohn.
(SSFC, 11/23/08, p.B8)
2008 Nov 17, Bolivian President
Evo Morales expressed hope for improved relations with the United
States under Barack Obama's presidency, but said he will never allow
the US anti-drug agency to resume operating in his country.
2008 Nov 17, In northwest China
a crowd of 1,000 people stormed a local Communist Party
headquarters, smashing cars and clashing with police following a
land dispute. The protesting began with just a small group of people
complaining about the demolition of their homes to make way for a
new road in Longnan city in Gansu province. Police later arrested 30
people for involvement in a two-day violent protest, that had to be
broken up with tear gas after 74 people were injured.
(AP, 11/18/08)(AFP, 11/20/08)
2008 Nov 17, In central China
flood waters trapped workers in a coal mine in Pingdingshan, Henan
province. The next day rescuers saved 33 miners who had been trapped
for 28 hours by an underground flood. One miner died.
(AP, 11/17/08)(AP, 11/18/08)
2008 Nov 17, Ethiopia’s state
news agency said the Wabe Shebelle river in the southeast highlands
burst its banks after heavy rains, killing 11 people and stranding
2008 Nov 17, French police
arrested ETA's alleged military chief, the most wanted Basque
separatist still at large and a man Spanish officials branded a
"bloodthirsty terrorist." Miguel De Garikoitz Aspiazu Rubina (35),
alias "Txeroki", was captured in Cauterets, a spa and ski resort in
the Pyrenees near the border with Spain's autonomous Basque region.
On Nov 24 Spain indicted Aspiazu and four other men over the car
bombing at a Madrid airport parking garage on Dec. 30, 2006.
(AFP, 11/17/08)(AP, 11/24/08)
2008 Nov 17, Iceland moved to
secure $6 billion in loans to refloat its collapsed financial system
as Britain said it would welcome a government promise to guarantee
its citizens' deposits in collapsed internet bank Icesave.
2008 Nov 17, In eastern
Indonesia a 7.5 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Sulawesi
killed at least 6 people, damaged hundreds of homes and briefly
triggered a region-wide tsunami warning.
(AP, 11/17/08)(SFC, 11/17/08, p.A3)(AP, 11/18/08)
2008 Nov 17, Baghdad Mayor
Sabir al-Issawi said in statement that Iraq's Cabinet has earmarked
$3 billion for a Baghdad subway project.
2008 Nov 17, A car carrying
Yaakov Alperon (51), one of Israel's top mafia kingpins, exploded as
it traveled in central Tel Aviv, killing him and threatening to
unleash an all-out war in Israel's increasingly violent underworld.
(AP, 11/17/08)(SFC, 11/18/08, p.A14)
2008 Nov 17, The mother ship in
Japan's whaling fleet left for the country's annual hunt in the
Antarctic. Greenpeace anti-whaling activists vowed to disrupt the
expedition once again after high-seas clashes forced an early halt
2008 Nov 17, Large crowds voted
in some towns in Indian Kashmir while protesters clashed with police
in others as state elections began amid boycott calls by Muslim
2008 Nov 17, In Iran Ali
Ashtari (45), convicted of spying for Israel, was hanged after being
sentenced to death on June 30 by a revolutionary court in Tehran.
The electronics salesman worked in supplying military, security and
defense centers across the Iran.
2008 Nov 17, The Kenya Wildlife
Service (KWS) said a ton of ivory items and 57 suspects were netted
in a four-month operation billed Africa's largest-ever crackdown on
wildlife crime. Operation Baba also seized cheetah, leopard, serval
cat and python skins as well as hippo teeth at several markets,
airports and border crossings in Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, Kenya,
Uganda and Zambia.
2008 Nov 17, A Mexican
newspaper's offices were damaged by two grenades in the
violence-plagued city of Culiacan in northwestern Mexico.
2008 Nov 17, Courts in
military-ruled Myanmar sentenced at least seven democracy activists
to prison, continuing a crackdown that saw about 70 people jailed
2008 Nov 17, Pakistan sent
armed troops to escort trucks along a key supply route for US and
NATO forces in Afghanistan. In northwest Pakistan a suicide car
bomber attacked an army post, killing at least 3 people. Violence
elsewhere in the region left at least five suspected militants dead.
Taliban militants attacked Pakistani tribal leaders in the Bajur
region near the Afghan border, triggering a gunbattle and a blast
that killed seven people.
(AP, 11/17/08)(AP, 11/18/08)(WSJ, 11/18/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 17, In the Philippines
a gunman on a motorcycle killed Arecio Padrigao, a hard-hitting
Filipino radio commentator, in front of Bukindon State University in
southern Gingoog city. This was the seventh deadly attack on
reporters in the Philippines this year.
2008 Nov 17, In Somalia
witnesses said African Union (AU) peacekeepers from Burundi have
started moving into positions usually manned by Ethiopian troops in
the capital Mogadishu, as part of the ongoing Djibouti peace
2008 Nov 17, Sri Lankan troops
captured the strategic towns of Mankulam, Pannikankulam, and
Kumalamunai from Tamil Tiger rebels following fierce fighting in the
north of the island.
2008 Nov 17, Sudanese police
detained more than 60 journalists for around three hours and
instructed them to go to court for protesting against draconian
2008 Nov 17, Venezuela and Iran
announced a plan to start a new university program in the South
American country with a focus on teaching socialist principles.
2008 Nov 18, The chief
executives of Detroit’s Big Three automakers appeared before the US
Senate Banking Committee along with the head of the UAW union to
plea for financial aid under the current economic crises.
(WSJ, 11/19/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 18, A judge in Georgia
sentenced 25-year-old Rico Todriquez Wright to spend the next 20
years in prison after his victim mentioned a hip hop confession to
police. Wright shot a man twice and felt so good about it, the
rapper wrote a song describing the shooting and calling out the
victim by name.
2008 Nov 18, George C. Chesbro,
US writer, died. His 27 novels included a detective series featuring
Mongo, a dwarf detective. “Shadow of a Broken Man" (1977) starred
Mongo and proved to be Chesbro’s breakout hit.
(SFC, 11/27/08, p.B8)
2008 Nov 18, In Afghanistan
insurgents in western Farah province ambushed an Afghan army supply
convoy, killing five troops and wounding five others.
2008 Nov 18, Belgian brewing
giant InBev announced it had completed the takeover of
Anheuser-Busch to create the world's biggest brewer. Beijing agreed
to Belgium-based InBev SA's takeover of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc.'s
Chinese operations as part of their global merger, but limited
future acquisitions on anti-monopoly grounds.
2008 Nov 18, A Cambodian monk
(17) was arrested for raping a British woman (39) while taking her
on a tour of a cave in the northwestern Sampov mountains near his
Buddhist temple. The monk also allegedly stole $55 and a cell phone
from the woman.
2008 Nov 18, Demoralized
Congolese government troops, retreating before eastern rebels,
clashed with their own local militia allies who tried to make them
stand and fight after the armed forces chief was replaced.
2008 Nov 18, Separate bands of
pirates seized a Thai fishing trawler with 16 crew members and an
Iranian cargo vessel with a crew of 25 in the Gulf of Aden. Pirates
on the trawler then apparently fired on the Indian naval frigate
Tabar. The Indians, believing the trawler to be a pirate "mother
ship," returned fire turning the Ekawat Nava 5 into a massive
fireball and killing 14 of the 15 crew as well as the pirates. The
Tabar then chased two attack boats into the night. A surviving
sailor spent six days adrift in the shark-infested ocean before
another ship picked him up. The Iranian vessel was released on Jan
(AP, 11/19/08)(AP, 11/26/08)(SFC, 11/26/08,
p.A3)(AP, 1/10/09)(AP, 6/5/09)
2008 Nov 18, Grand Ayatollah
Ali al-Sistani. Iraq's top Shiite cleric, said that the US-Iraqi
security pact would only be viable if the country's main political
groups backed it and it restored the country's full sovereignty.
Iraqi lawmakers loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr disrupted a
parliamentary debate ahead of a Nov. 24 vote on a US-Iraqi security
agreement that would keep American troops in Iraq for three more
years. An alleged senior member of Iran's elite security forces
suspected of funneling arms into Iraq was detained by Iraqi police
at Baghdad International Airport while he was trying to leave the
country. The man was released on Nov 21.
(AP, 11/18/08)(AP, 11/19/08)(AP, 11/23/08)
2008 Nov 18, Israeli tanks
forged into the southern Gaza Strip, drawing mortar fire from
Palestinian militants and intensifying violence that has chipped
away at a tenuous cease-fire. Israeli seamen boarded a Palestinian
fishing boat and arrested one of Gaza's foreign supporters and five
Palestinian fishermen. The foreigner was identified as Andrew Muncie
2008 Nov 18, John Key (47)
became New Zealand's conservative new prime minister and underscored
the economy as his top priority.
(AP, 11/18/08)(Econ, 11/15/08, p.51)
2008 Nov 18, Northern Ireland's
leaders announced a deal allowing power-sharing cabinet meetings to
resume in the British province for the first time in over four
2008 Nov 18, Italian
authorities in Sicily seized assets worth euro700 million ($885
million) from Giuseppe Grigoli, a supermarket chain owner, suspected
of letting the Mafia use his businesses to launder money.
2008 Nov 18, In Japan Takehiko
Yamaguchi (66) and his wife Michiko (61) were found dead near the
doorway of their home in Saitama, just outside Tokyo. Evidence
showed the pair had been stabbed repeatedly. On Nov 22 Takeshi
Koizumi (46) turned himself in to police saying that he had killed
the retired vice health minister. Authorities later said they
suspected the attacks were connected to the ministry's mishandling
of millions of pension records, a debacle that has drawn intense ire
from the public, many of whom lost their retirement funds as a
result. It was later reported that Koizumi accused the ministry of
killing his childhood pet dog.
(AP, 11/23/08)(AP, 11/24/08)
2008 Nov 18, Thousands of
supporters of Nicaragua's leftist ruling party armed with rocks
tried to block an opposition march on the capital to protest alleged
vote fraud, setting off clashes that injured at least five people.
2008 Nov 18, Pakistani security
forces in the Kabal area of the Swat valley killed seven militants.
In another incident in the valley's Kanju area, insurgents ambushed
an army convoy, killing a soldier.
2008 Nov 18, Owners of a Saudi
oil supertanker hijacked by Somali pirates grappled with how to
respond, as navies patrolling the region said they would not
intervene to stop or free the captured vessel.
2008 Nov 18, Spanish artist
Miquel Barcelo unveiled his lavish, $23 million ceiling painting at
the European headquarters of the United Nations in Switzerland, a
project that has evoked controversy over its hefty price tag.
2008 Nov 18, Spain's most
famous judge abandoned a drive for a symbolic indictment of the late
Gen. Francisco Franco and his regime, dropping a probe into
atrocities committed during and after the country's ruinous civil
2008 Nov 18, Sri Lankan naval
forces backed by helicopter gunships attacked a group of rebel
boats, sinking two and killing six Tamil Tiger sailors. Sri Lankan
air force jets bombed a rebel training camp in the north as ground
forces waged new battles with Tamil Tiger rebels across the front
(AP, 11/18/08)(AP, 11/19/08)
2008 Nov 18, In Zimbabwe riot
police prevented striking doctors and nurses from protesting against
the collapsing health care system, which lacks even basic drugs amid
a rapid spread of cholera in the country.
2008 Nov 19, FBI agent Sam
Hicks was shot and killed while serving a warrant at a home near
Pittsburgh, during a roundup of drug suspects in the greater
Pittsburgh area. Christina Korbe was charged with homicide. Her
husband, Robert Korbe, was one of 35 people charged in a 27-count
(AP, 11/19/08)(SFC, 11/20/08, p.A4)
2008 Nov 19, The US DJIA fell
to levels not seen since 2003. the DJIA closed down 427.47 at
(SFC, 11/20/08, p.C1)
2008 Nov 19, In NYC the
Triborough Bridge was renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.
(SFC, 11/20/08, p.A4)
2008 Nov 19, The US Coast Guard
suspended its search for roughly 90 migrants feared dead after their
makeshift boat apparently sank in an often-stormy stretch of water
between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The boat left the
southeastern Dominican Republic on the night of Nov 12 and a woman
whose boyfriend was on the boat alerted authorities that it was
missing on Nov 16.
2008 Nov 19, The New Jersey
Office of the Attorney General said online dating service eHarmony
has agreed to create a new website for gays and lesbians as part of
a settlement with a gay man in New Jersey.
2008 Nov 19, California state
and federal officials said they have seized 5.2 million marijuana
plants from public and private land during this year’s growing
season, half of which were grown in California.
(SFC, 11/20/08, p.B8)
2008 Nov 19, NASA flight
controllers were revamping plans for the remaining spacewalks
planned during space shuttle Endeavour's visit to the international
space station, after astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper lost a
crucial tool bag floating out to space during a repair trip. NASA
put the value of the tools at $100,000.
(AP, 11/19/08)(SFC, 11/20/08, p.A2)
2008 Nov 19, In Miami, Florida,
police arrived to find Abraham Biggs (19) dead in his father's bed
12 hours after the Broward College student first declared on a Web
site that he hated himself and planned to die. It was only then that
the Web feed stopped. Some users told investigators they did not
take him seriously because he had threatened suicide on the site
2008 Nov 19, John Hayes,
Hollywood screenwriter, died in New Hampshire. His work included
“Peyton Place" (1957) and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Rear Window"
(SFC, 11/25/08, p.B4)
2008 Nov 19, The British
government announced plans to make it illegal to pay for sex with
women forced into prostitution and to name men who solicit sex on
the streets, measures that prostitutes say will put more women at
2008 Nov 19, Chinese President
Hu Jintao promised Cuba at least $78 million in donations, credit
and hurricane relief. Hu also met with a thin-looking Fidel Castro
before leaving for the Asia-Pacific economic summit in Peru. China
agreed to donate $8 million to Cuba and extend the second, $70
million phase of $350 million in previously agreed-upon credit to
renovate Cuban hospitals.
2008 Nov 19, China and Peru
signed a free trade agreement.
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.42)
2008 Nov 19, In China Huang
Guangyu, founder and chairman of GOME Electrical Appliances, was
detained for insider trading in shares of Shandong Jintai Group, a
pharmaceutical company controlled by his brother. On Feb 12, 2010,
authorities announced charges of insider trading and bribery.
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.69)(Econ, 2/20/10, p.64)
2008 Nov 19, Georgia and Russia
held their first major, mediated talks since their August war.
(WSJ, 11/20/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 19, Germany extradited
to France Rose Kabuye (47), chief of protocol to Rwandan President
Paul Kagame, over an assassination triggering the 1994 genocide,
amid mass anti-European protests in Kigali. Some European
investigators feared that Kabuye deliberately delivered herself to
German authorities so her lawyers could gain access to the case
files prepared against her and other Kagame allies.
2008 Nov 19, Germany chemical
company BASF SE said it is temporarily closing 80 plants worldwide
due to slumping demand and cutting production at 100 more, including
facilities in Texas and Louisiana. Some 20,000 workers are affected.
2008 Nov 19, In Haiti Max Cosci
of Doctors Without Borders said at least 26 children had died over a
two-week period in the remote, southeastern area of Baie d'Orange.
The UN World Food Program says it is sending medical and food aid to
2008 Nov 19, The IMF approved a
two-year, $2.1 billion support program for Iceland designed to
restore confidence and stabilize the country's shattered economy.
2008 Nov 19, Iran's official
news agency said Iranian border guards have killed several Kurdish
separatists in a shootout in the western part of the country. The
gunmen were said to be part of the Kurdish separatist group, known
as the PEJAK, the Iranian wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party
2008 Nov 19, A court in
military-ruled Myanmar sentenced a student activist to 6 1/2 years
in jail, a week after his father received a 65-year prison term for
his own political activities and a decade after his grandfather died
in custody. Di Nyein Lin was one of three student activists
sentenced by a court in a suburb of Yangon for various offenses,
including causing public alarm and insulting religion.
2008 Nov 19, In Pakistan gunmen
shot and killed Ameer Faisal Alvi, a retired Pakistani army general,
and his driver on the outskirts of capital, Islamabad. Alvi had led
military operations against insurgents in the tribal regions. A
suspected American missile bombarded a village in Bannu district,
deep inside Pakistani territory, marking what appears to be the
first time the US has struck beyond the tribal belt bordering
Afghanistan. Six alleged militants were killed including Abdullah
Azam al-Saudi, a senior member of Osama bin Laden's terror network.
(AP, 11/19/08)(AFP, 11/19/08)
2008 Nov 19, Philippine health
officials said at least two people have died and more than 1,500 are
in hospital following a suspected outbreak of cholera in the
2008 Nov 19, Vladimir
Kuznetsov, a former UN diplomat convicted in the US of money
laundering and fraud, arrived in Moscow and will serve the last 16
months of his sentence in a Russian prison. Kuznetsov once chaired
the UN's powerful budget oversight committee.
2008 Nov 19, Spanish doctors
reported the successful transplant to a woman of a new windpipe with
tissue grown from her own stem cells, eliminating the need for
2008 Nov 19, The UN asked for
$7 billion (5.5 billion euros) to fund its humanitarian work around
the world in 2009, almost double last year's appeal as a result of
soaring food prices and crises in Africa, among other factors. The
UN's food agency will slim down its bureaucracy, work to cut costs
and make investments that will improve efficiency as part of a
reform plan adopted by member nations.
2008 Nov 19, The World Food
Program said that it has signed a new food aid deal to allow the UN
agency to provide 350,000 tons of grain to millions in Zimbabwe.
2008 Nov 20, A US federal judge
ordered the release of five Algerians held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
and the continued detention of a sixth in a major blow to the Bush
administration's strategy to keep terror suspects locked up without
2008 Nov 20, US Congressional
efforts to rescue Detroit’s auto makers collapsed with lawmakers
saying the industry lacks credibility to return to profitability.
Democrats asked for a convincing turnaround plan by Dec 2.
(WSJ, 11/21/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 20, The DJIA fell
444.99 to its lowest level since March, 2003.
(SFC, 11/21/08, p.C1)
2008 Nov 20, In Afghanistan
US-led forces killed an Afghan civilian in a battle that also left
two militants dead.
2008 Nov 20, The new Australian
Sex Party launched at Sexpo, an annual sex exhibition in Melbourne.
It has already gathered the required 500 members and plans to
register with the electoral commission next week.
2008 Nov 20, The UN Security
Council voted unanimously to extend the European Union's
peacekeeping force in Bosnia for a year, emphasizing the importance
of the country's progress towards Euro-Atlantic integration.
2008 Nov 20, Britain called on
Rwandan President Paul Kagame to use his "influence" over Congolese
rebels led by general Laurent Nkunda to end to violence in eastern
Democratic Republic of Congo.
2008 Nov 20, A meteor streaked
across the sky of the Canadian Prairies producing a fire ball that
shone brightly enough to be seen over an area 700 km (435 miles)
wide. Searchers soon found the remains of the 10-ton meteor.
2008 Nov 20, In southwestern
Colombia the Nevado del Huila volcano erupted and loosed avalanches
of mud and ash that injured nine, destroyed bridges and trapped
people in their towns. At least 10 people died in landslides
triggered by the eruption.
(AP, 11/22/08)(SFC, 11/29/08, p.B6)
2008 Nov 20, Dubai held a
launch party for its Atlantis Hotel.
(Econ, 12/20/08, p.115)
2008 Nov 20, Egypt held
emergency talks with nations bordering the Red Sea on how to stop
Somali gunmen from hijacking ships. Somali pirates had already
seized at least 80 ships off the Horn of Africa this year.
(SFC, 11/21/08, p.A13)
2008 Nov 20, The European Union
formally recognized Welsh, which dates back to the 6th century, as a
minority tongue. It became an official tongue in Wales in 1993, 450
years after British rulers gave it the boot in favor of English.
2008 Nov 20, Finland's Finance
Ministry said four Nordic countries will lend Iceland $2.5 billion
(euro1.98 billion) to help the country recover from its economic
2008 Nov 20, The 2008 edition
of Beaujolais Nouveau wine arrived, and vintners hoped it will lift
spirits despite the financial crisis and a dismal crop.
2008 Nov 20, Georgian officials
said Russian and separatist forces attacked a Georgian police
checkpoint near the village of Ganmukhuri, near the breakaway
province of Abkhazia. Anatoly Zaitsev, the chief of staff for the
Abkhaz armed forces, said that a group of Abkhaz troops patrolling
the area were shelled from the Georgian side and returned fire, and
no Russian troops were involved.
2008 Nov 20, Iraqi opposition
lawmakers shouted and pounded their desks in protest in a second day
of emotional debate in parliament over a proposed agreement with the
US that would allow American forces to stay in Iraq for three more
years. Baghdad authorities announced a campaign to kill stray dogs
who roam the Iraqi capital in packs, after a spate of fatal dog
attacks left children in some neighborhoods fearful of going
outside. An American soldier died of non-combat-related causes.
(AP, 11/20/08)(AP, 11/21/08)
2008 Nov 20, Jewish settlers in
Hebron spray-painted graffiti on a mosque slurring the Prophet
Muhammad and defaced a Muslim cemetery, Israeli military officials
said, threatening to worsen tensions in this volatile West Bank
2008 Nov 20, Latvia said it is
looking to start talks with IMF and had formally entered into
negotiations with the European Commission on emergency financial
(WSJ, 11/21/08, p.A10)
2008 Nov 20, US oil group
Chevron suspended export contracts on much of its Nigerian
production after a militant attack on a key pipeline. Chevron said
it was declaring "force majeure" until December 31 following the Nov
14 attack on the pipeline which carries supplies to its Escravos
terminal in the Niger Delta.
2008 Nov 20, The Norwegian
government said it has picked the US developed F-35 Joint Strike
Fighter to replace its aging US-made F-16 aircraft in a roughly 60
billion kroner ($8.5 billion) deal.
2008 Nov 20, In Pakistan a
militant Taliban group warned of reprisals if there was another US
drone attack, as the government condemned the latest missile strike
in its territory. A suicide bomber killed at least four people when
he blew himself up at a mosque northwest of Khar, the main town in
the troubled Bajaur tribal region. Pakistani jets and artillery
killed 17 people, including up to four Uzbek commanders, as they
pounded suspected Taliban and Al-Qaeda hideouts in Bajaur overnight
and into the morning. Pakistani jets also killed 20 militants in
attacks on militant centers in the northwestern Swat valley. A
suicide bomber attacked a mosque in the border region where
government-backed anti-militant tribesman were praying, killing 8,
including the head of the group.
(AFP, 11/20/08)(AP, 11/21/08)
2008 Nov 20, In the Philippines
a mother and her 3 children were among the six people killed after a
mudslide triggered by days of heavy rain buried houses in a southern
gold mining town.
2008 Nov 20, Boris Fyodorov
(50), Russian economic reformer, died.
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.88)
2008 Nov 20, The UN Security
Council voted unanimously to impose sanctions on pirates, arms
smugglers, and perpetrators of instability in Somalia in a fresh
attempt to help end years of lawlessness in the Horn of Africa
2008 Nov 20, South Africa said
it will withhold aid for Zimbabwe until a representative government
is in place, in what appeared to be the first punitive measure by a
regional country to enforce a power-sharing agreement.
2008 Nov 20, South Korean
activists sent propaganda leaflets over the border into North Korea,
ignoring their own government's pleas to stop the practice and
threats from the North to sever relations if it continues.
2008 Nov 20, Sri Lanka's
military said that it smashed a key Tamil Tiger defense line in the
island's far north and seized an airfield, putting new pressure on
the shrinking jungle mini-state.
2008 Nov 20, The International
Criminal Court prosecutor requested arrest warrants for rebels in
Sudan's Darfur region, accusing them of storming an African Union
camp and killing 12 peacekeepers in Sep, 2007.
2008 Nov 20, Switzerland’s
central bank cut its benchmark interest by a full percentage point,
the latest in a global round of aggressive rate cuts amid stuttering
(WSJ, 11/21/08, p.A16)
2008 Nov 20, In Thailand a
grenade attack on demonstrators occupying the Thai premier's offices
killed one person and wounded 29, prompting protest leaders to call
for a new march against the government.
2008 Nov 19, Turkey’s central
bank cuts its core overnight borrowing rate by .5% to 16.25%.
(WSJ, 11/20/08, p.A15)
2008 Nov 20, The UN Security
Council voted unanimously to send some 3,000 additional UN
peacekeepers to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help prevent
a new war in the country's east.
2008 Nov 20, Vietnam's
president Nguyen Minh Triet was set to meet Venezuelan leader Hugo
Chavez, during the first visit by a head of state from the communist
nation here, mainly focused on oil and gas ties.
2008 Nov 20, In Vietnam family
planning chiefs said officials in Communist Vietnam, alarmed by a
new baby boom, are to crack down on couples having more than two
children. The government first launched a two-child policy in the
early 1960s. A 2003 ordinance encouraged small families without
making it illegal for families to have a third child.
2008 Nov 20, The US ambassador
to Harare, James McGee, said that a total of 294 people have been
confirmed dead from cholera in Zimbabwe, amid some 1,200 cases of
the water-borne disease.
2008 Nov 21, The DJIA rose
494.13 to close at 8,046.42 following news that Pres.-elect Obama
would likely pick Timothy Geithner, chief of the New York Federal
Reserve, as the next Treasury secretary.
(SFC, 11/22/08, p.C1)
2008 Nov 21, The Nebraska
Legislature voted 43-5 to make abandonment of children legal only
for infants up to 30 days old. Gov. Dave Heinemen signed the
emergency bill effective after midnight.
(SFC, 11/22/08, p.A2)
2008 Nov 21, In Afghanistan a
suicide bomber rammed the gate of an army base in the southern
province of Zabul, killing three civilians and seriously wounding
four Afghan soldiers. A man was killed after being interrogated by
the Taliban leadership. US-led troops shot and killed a civilian in
Khost when the vehicle he was in came too close to a patrol. 8
wedding-goers were killed when two or three grenades were thrown
into the men's section of the wedding in the northern province of
(AP, 11/21/08)(AFP, 11/22/08)
2008 Nov 21, Mario Ferreyra
(63), an ex-Argentine police commander, committed suicide in front
of rolling television cameras as he was about to be arrested for
alleged human rights violations during the country's dictatorship.
2008 Nov 21, Canada and
Colombia signed a free trade agreement, hoping to boost investment
and trade flows at a time of global economic instability.
2008 Nov 21, Chinese
authorities destroyed the home of leading rights activist Ni Yulan
in front of her distraught husband who pleaded with the government
to release her from jail. Chen Daojun, a writer and journalist who
was arrested after protesting against a power plant in southwest
China, was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of
subverting state power.
2008 Nov 21, In eastern Congo
armed men shot and killed a 20-year-old woman at the Kibati refugee
camp where thousands of displaced people live in constant fear,
caught between soldiers and rebels. Armed men also forced families
there out of their huts and looted them. Didace Namujimbo, a
journalist working for a UN-backed radio station, was shot dead in
(AP, 11/21/08)(AP, 11/22/08)
2008 Nov 21, Ethiopia’s
government said the death toll from floods in southeastern Ethiopia
has risen to 17 and more than 100,000 people have been left
2008 Nov 21, German security
officials said they are dropping the pursuit of a ban on Scientology
after finding insufficient evidence of illegal activity.
2008 Nov 21, Germany banned
Hezbollah's Lebanon-based satellite television station on grounds
that it violates the country's constitution.
2008 Nov 21, In Iraq thousands
of followers of a radical Shiite cleric protested a proposed
US-Iraqi security deal, burning an effigy of President George W.
Bush in the same square where Iraqis beat a toppled Saddam Hussein
statue five years ago.
2008 Nov 21, A shootout between
Lebanese soldiers and a group of gunmen in the northern port city of
Tripoli left one of the gunmen dead and two wounded.
2008 Nov 21, In Mexico Attorney
General Eduardo Medina Mora told reporters that Noe Ramirez,
Mexico’s former drug czar, accepted $450,000 from drug traffickers,
and that cartel leaders offered to pay him monthly for alerting them
to planned police operations. In 2013 the case against Ramirez was
dropped due to lack of evidence. In Tijuana 3 gunmen burst into the
Bar Utopia, a bar popular with university students and opened fire.
2 men and a woman died instantly and 3 others died the next day.
(AP, 11/21/08)(AP, 11/22/08)(AP, 4/24/13)
2008 Nov 21, Courts in
military-ruled Myanmar handed long prison sentences to a prominent
Buddhist monk and Zarganar, a popular comedian active in the
country's pro-democracy movement, rounding out two weeks of an
intensive judicial crackdown on activists.
2008 Nov 21, Amsterdam said it
will order the closure of dozens of coffee shops that sell cannabis
near schools in accordance with new legislation.
2008 Nov 21, In northwestern
Pakistan a bomb killed eight mourners at the funeral of Shiite
cleric Allama Nazir Shah Naqvi, who was fatally shot earlier in the
(AP, 11/21/08)(SFC, 11/22/08, p.A3)
2008 Nov 21, Vadim Pokrovsky,
Russia's anti-AIDS coordinator, said the number of registered HIV
cases is growing 10 percent a year despite increased government
funding. He said that the actual number of people with HIV was
likely higher than 1 million.
2008 Nov 21, Somali security
forces and Islamic insurgents engaged in one of the fiercest
gunbattles in recent weeks in Mogadishu, killing at least 17 people
and wounding six.
2008 Nov 21, Somali pirates
released a hijacked Greek-owned tanker with all 19 crew safe and the
oil cargo intact. The Liberian-flagged tanker MV Genius had been
seized on Sept. 26. The ship's management company said a ransom was
paid but did not say how much.
2008 Nov 21, Zimbabwe refused
to let former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, ex-US President Jimmy
Carter and rights advocate Graca Machel to visit the impoverished
African country for a humanitarian mission. They came as members of
The Elders group, formed by former South African President Nelson
Mandela to foster peace and tackle world conflicts.
2008 Nov 22, In Afghanistan a
French trooper was killed and another wounded when a mine engulfed
them about 10 kilometers (six miles) south of Kabul. A bomb exploded
in a vegetable market in the eastern town of Khost, killing a
15-year-old boy and a man passing-by. Another bomb blew up a police
vehicle in the central province of Ghazni and killed three policemen
and wounded two. The bullet-riddled body of Ghais Haqmal, the
governor of Marawara district, was found in Kunar province. He had
been abducted by Taliban three months ago and the militants had
demanded the release of 50 of their jailed comrades in exchange for
his life. The US-led military announced that troops had killed 14
insurgents in operations in the southern provinces of Helmand and
Farah in the past two days. Afghan and coalition forces killed 17
insurgents in air strikes in the southern province of Kandahar. The
government of the central province of Ghazni said its forces had
thwarted a Taliban attack on the Ab Band district administration
center killing eight gunmen.
(AFP, 11/22/08)(AFP, 11/23/08)
2008 Nov 22, Burundi's
parliament adopted a new set of laws abolishing the death penalty
for the first time in the troubled central African country.
2008 Nov 22, The Yellow River
Conservancy Committee reported that one-third of the Yellow River,
which supplies water to millions of people in northern China, is
heavily polluted by industrial waste and unsafe for any use.
2008 Nov 22, Congolese rebel
leader Laurent Nkunda sought to reassure people in territory
recently seized in a lightning advance, telling thousands gathered
in Rutshuru for his first mass rally that his men intend to bring
peace, not war, to Congo. A rebel offensive under Nkunda began to
push some 1,500 Hutu FDLR militiamen from Ishasha. The move forced
over 3,000 civilians to flee to neighboring Uganda.
(AP, 11/22/08)(SFC, 11/27/08, p.A8)
2008 Nov 22, In eastern Congo 2
mass graves containing as many as 2,000 bodies were discovered in
Bukavu on a plot of land formerly owned by a member of the Congolese
Rally for Democracy (RCD), a Rwandan-backed rebel group. The RCD
became a political party in 2003. Many of its top leaders were
integrated into the government, taking jobs as vice presidents and
2008 Nov 22, The French
Socialist Party said that Martine Aubry, the architect of France's
35-hour work week, has won the party's leadership in an extremely
tight race, an outcome quickly challenged by partisans of rival
2008 Nov 22, A prison fight in
Guatemala has left seven inmates dead, including five who were
decapitated. The fight in the Pavoncito prison in Guatemala City
erupted because inmates were angry over the transfer of a group of
alleged gang members from another prison.
2008 Nov 22, In Guatemala the
head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia was among three
people killed in a boat accident on Lake Atitlan.
2008 Nov 22, Malaysia's top
Islamic body ruled against Muslims practicing yoga, saying it has
elements of other religions that could corrupt Muslims. On Nov 25
Malaysia's leader assured Muslims they can perform yoga if they do
not chant religious mantras, an apparent effort to assuage public
anger over an Islamic body's ban of the ancient Indian exercise.
(AP, 11/22/08)(AP, 11/26/08)
2008 Nov 22, Ibrahim Nasir
(b.1926), who led the Maldives' independence movement from the
British and became the island nation's first president, died in
2008 Nov 22, Dutch electronics
giant Philips said it will cut "about five percent" of its 32,000
strong workforce in the medical division worldwide, affecting 1,600
2008 Nov 22, Nicaragua's
opposition pressed on with a bid to cancel disputed elections
despite a presidential decree declaring that effort
2008 Nov 22, In Abuja, Nigeria,
MTV launched its first-ever music award program for Africa, with
acts from across the world's poorest continent nominated for prizes
in the capital.
2008 Nov 22, In northwest
Pakistan British-born Rashid Rauf, the alleged Al-Qaeda mastermind
of a 2006 transatlantic airplane bombing plot, was killed in a US
missile attack. He had been in custody under the Security of
Pakistan Act when he escaped in December 2007 from Pakistani police
custody, although all charges relating to terrorism had been
dropped. Also among the five killed in the early morning incident
was Egyptian Abu Zubair al-Misri, another wanted Al-Qaeda operative.
2008 Nov 22, In Peru the 21
leaders at the APEC conference endorsed a sweeping action plan that
had been approved a week ago at the G20 emergency meeting in
2008 Nov 22, Qatar unveiled its
new Museum of Islamic Art, designed by I.M. Pei. By 2012 the MIA was
considered to be one of the half-dozen best in the world.
(Econ, 11/22/08, p.95) (Econ, 3/31/12, p.92)
2008 Nov 22, Nearly 600 Tibetan
exiles, gathered at Dharamsala, India, at the behest of the Dalai
Lama, ended a 6-day meeting. They reaffirmed their absolute “faith
and allegiance" in the Dalai Lama’s leadership and agreeing to
pursue for Tibet’s autonomy. They did not rule out a possible shift
in policy to independence if current middle-way policy with China
fails to yield any result in the near future.
2008 Nov 22, In Yemen opening
ceremonies were held for the $60 million Saleh Mosque glorifying the
country's leader, President Ali Abdullah Saleh. It's a massive sum
in a country that ranks as the poorest in the Arab world and is
beset by internal armed conflict, terrorism and severe malnutrition.
2008 Nov 23, President George
W. Bush, wrapping up his final summit with world leaders, offered a
message of hope that despite the worst economic crisis in decades,
the global economy will emerge in better shape. He was expected to
tout the benefits of free trade during a meeting with his host,
Peru's President Alan Garcia, before attending the final sessions of
the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) as he
wrapped up three days of discussions. Summit leaders predicted a
worldwide recovery in 18 months.
(AP, 11/23/08)(SFC, 11/24/08, p.A11)
2008 Nov 23, Rushing to rescue
Citigroup, the US government agreed to shoulder hundreds of billions
of dollars in possible losses at the stricken bank and to plow a
fresh $20 billion into the company.
2008 Nov 23, In San Francisco’s
North Beach Brian Goggin unveiled his art installation, “Language of
the Birds," a $120,000 effort that involved hundreds of people.
(SFC, 11/24/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 23, In Hollywood, Ca.,
Mario Majorski (48) of Oregon was shot and killed by a security
guard at the Scientology Celebrity Center as he tried to attack
guests with a pair of Samurai swords.
(SFC, 11/25/08, p.B8)
2008 Nov 23, In New Jersey
Joseph Pallipurath (27) of Sacramento, Ca., shot and killed Reshma
James (24), his estranged wife, at the Syrian Orthodox Knayaya
Church in Clifton. He also killed bystander Dennis John Malloosseril
(25) at the church and wounded a 3rd person. Pallipurath was
arrested late the next day in Georgia. On May 27, 2011, Pallipurath
was sentenced to two life sentences in prison.
(SFC, 11/25/08, p.A3)(SFC, 11/26/08, p.A3)(SFC,
2008 Nov 23, In southeastern
Australia rescuers returned 11 pilot whales to sea, a day after a
pod of 64 mothers and calves were found stranded on a beach.
2008 Nov 23, In southern Brazil
weekend rains caused rivers to overflow their banks. The resulting
floods and mudslides left at least 114 people dead. In northeastern
Paragominas a mob of about 3,000 people, enraged by a crackdown on
illegal logging, trashed a government office, and tried to attack
(AP, 11/25/08)(AP, 11/24/08)(AP, 12/1/08)
2008 Nov 23, In southwest China
men wielding knives and batons attacked employees at an arcade in a
brawl that left five dead and two injured in Chongqing.
2008 Nov 23, Congolese soldiers
stopped a peacekeepers' convoy at an impromptu roadblock and dragged
23 Congolese men off the trucks, accusing them of being rebels. UN
officials said the men were rebels who had surrendered as well as
national policemen and civilians.
2008 Nov 23, In Egypt police
fired tear-gas at about 2,000 rioters in the southern town of Aswan
as they protested the police shooting to death of a bird-seller.
2008 Nov 23, In Georgia gunfire
that broke out as Pres. Saakashvili and Polish Pres. Lech Kaczynski
were traveling near a roadblock at the edge of Georgia-controlled
territory. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there was no
gunfire from Russian or South Ossetian positions and suggested
Georgia engineered the incident to discredit Russia and South
Ossetia. In Tbilisi Nino Burjanadze, a former ally of Pres.
Saakashvili, founded a new party: the Democratic Movement-United
(AP, 11/24/08)(WSJ, 11/24/08, p.A8)
2008 Nov 23, In Guinea Bissau
mutinous soldiers fought their way into the fortified residence of
President Joao Bernardo Vieira's in a 3-hour gunbattle but did
not hurt the head of state.
2008 Nov 23, Indonesia rescued
Bank Century at a cost of 6.76 trillion rupiah ($730m). In 2010
Indonesia’s parliament ruled that the bailout was illegal and
suggested that indications of corruption be investigated.
(Econ, 3/6/10, p.55)(http://tinyurl.com/y8l28yq)
2008 Nov 23, Baghdad
authorities killed more than 200 stray dogs, the opening day of a
campaign to cull dog packs roaming the capital that was prompted by
a spate of fatal attacks on residents. According to Baghdad's
provincial council 13 people died in August alone in the capital
after being attacked by dogs.
2008 Nov 23, In Indian Kashmir
turnout was high for a 2nd round of voting despite boycott calls by
Muslim separatists and clashes in some towns between protesters and
2008 Nov 23, Kenyan PM Raila
Odinga called for the deployment of African Union peacekeepers to
Zimbabwe to bring President Robert Mugabe back into line.
2008 Nov 23, In Northern
Ireland 4 police officers were killed in an early morning road
2008 Nov 23, Saudi Arabia
slashed a key lending rate and cut reserve requirements amid
intensifying economic headwinds.
(WSJ, 11/24/08, p.A8)
2008 Nov 23, In Sri Lanka at
least 27 soldiers were killed and another 70 wounded in fresh
fighting just outside Kilinochchi, the political capital of the
Liberation Tigers (LTTE). Tamil Tiger rebels said they killed 43 Sri
Lankan soldiers in the island's north, halting the government's
march toward a strategic crossroads.
(AFP, 11/24/08)(AP, 11/24/08)
2008 Nov 23, In Thailand
protesters seeking the resignation of the prime minister massed in
the capital for what they said would be their biggest rally yet and
a final showdown with the government. Thousands of soldiers and
police were ordered to use nonviolent means to keep the peace.
2008 Nov 23, In Venezuela
President Hugo Chavez sought to hold on to his dominance in state
and municipal elections, facing an opposition aiming to win back
power in key states and cities. Chavez's opponents made important
gains in local elections, capturing the Caracas mayor's office and
three of the most populous states, but his allies won a strong
(AP, 11/23/08)(AP, 11/24/08)
2008 Nov 24, The Bush
administration, after a long legal battle, agreed to send Salim
Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s driver, home to Yemen. Hamdan was
transferred to Yemen the next day.
(WSJ, 11/25/08, p.A1)(AP, 11/26/08)
2008 Nov 24, The US government
won a terrorism conviction against Texas-based Holy Land, what had
been the nation's largest Muslim charity, and five of its leaders
for funneling millions of dollars to the Palestinian militant group
Hamas. Holy Land supporters accused the government of politicizing
the case as part of its war on terrorism, while attorneys for the
foundation said Holy Land's mission was philanthropy and providing
aid to the Middle East.
2008 Nov 24, Delaware’s Gov.
Ruth Ann Miner named Edward Kaufman, a former aide to Sen. Joe
Biden, to fill the Senate seat Biden was leaving for the vice
(SFC, 11/25/08, p.A14)
2008 Nov 24, Cecil Underwood
(b.1922), former 2-time governor of West Virginia, died. He won his
first term in 1956 to become the state’s youngest governor. In 1996
he was elected again and became the state’s oldest governor.
(SFC, 11/25/08, p.B4)
2008 Nov 24, In eastern
Afghanistan US troops killed six militants and detained 12 others in
2008 Nov 24, Bhutan opened its
4th annual Gross National Happiness (GNH) conference.
(SFC, 12/4/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 24, China's President
Hu Jintao arrived in Greece for a three-day visit timed to coincide
with the signing of a 831.2 million euro ($1 billion) port deal.
2008 Nov 24, Congolese soldiers
went on an overnight looting and shooting spree in a sprawling
Congolese refugee camp, stealing from hungry and traumatized people
who have fled fighting in the country's east.
2008 Nov 24, A Haitian teen
shot and killed a classmate in a rare outbreak of school violence in
the troubled country.
2008 Nov 24, The National Bank
of Hungary cut its key interest rate by half a percentage point to
an annual rate of 11% to support the economy amid the global
2008 Nov 24, In Indonesia
health workers and rights activists sharply criticized a plan by
lawmakers in remote Papua province, who have thrown their support
behind a controversial bill requiring some HIV/AIDS patients to be
implanted with microchips, part of extreme efforts to monitor the
2008 Nov 24, In Iraq a female
suicide bomber blew herself up near an entrance to the US-protected
Green Zone killing 7 people. A bomb tore through a minibus carrying
Iraqi government employees and killed at least 13 people, most of
them women. Three more people were killed in bomb attacks on police
patrols in Baghdad and Baqouba. An American soldier died of
noncombat-related causes in Diyala province.
(AP, 11/24/08)(AP, 11/25/08)(SFC, 11/25/08,
2008 Nov 24, Adel Hussein was
sentenced six months in jail by a court in Irbil, capital of the
Kurdish-ruled region, for violating a public decency law by writing
a story about homosexuality. The case centered on an April 2007
article Hussein wrote for the independent weekly Hawlati that
detailed the physical effects of homosexual sex.
2008 Nov 24, Malaysia released
suspected terrorist Yazid Sufaat, an alleged biological weapons
expert who was also linked to the September 11 attacks in the United
2008 Nov 24, North Korea
detailed plans to radically curtail ties with South Korea,
announcing the end of daily cross-border train service and tours of
a historic city in response to what it called Seoul's
2008 Nov 24, In Pakistan
government forces killed 15 militants in the Swat valley. An
official said a two-week operation to secure the frontier city of
Peshawar, which sits on a key supply route for US and NATO troops in
Afghanistan, killed 25 suspected militants.
(AP, 11/24/08)(SFC, 11/25/08, p.A13)
2008 Nov 24, Pakistan, the
front-line country in the battle against Islamist terrorism, won
final approval for a $7.6 billion loan from the IMF to help stave
off a possible economic meltdown.
2008 Nov 24, Gazans crowded
into banks to withdraw money amid a worsening currency shortage
resulting from Israeli sanctions.
(WSJ, 11/25/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 24, Shipping officials
from around the world called for a military blockade along the coast
of Somalia to intercept pirate vessels heading out to sea.
2008 Nov 24, In Thailand
thousands of anti-government protesters fanned out across Bangkok,
causing Parliament to shut down and forcing a group of riot police
to retreat in what the activists called their final bid to oust a
2008 Nov 25, The Bush
administration unveiled a set of new programs intended to pump an
additional $800 billion into the economy and thaw still-frozen
credit markets. The US Federal Reserve said it will buy up to $600
billion in mortgage-backed assets in another attempt to deal with
the financial crisis.
(AP, 11/25/08)(AP, 11/26/08)
2008 Nov 25, The Bush
administration imposed financial sanctions on four people it called
"cronies" of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe whose support
allegedly allowed Mugabe to undermine democracy.
2008 Nov 25, The US said it
will freeze about $64 million in anti-poverty aid to Nicaragua amid
accusations that local elections were fraudulent.
2008 Nov 25, The US Federal
Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) said the list of banks it considers
to be in trouble shot up nearly 50 percent to 171 during the third
2008 Nov 25, A judge ruled that
a strict Florida law that blocks gay people from adopting children
is unconstitutional, declaring there was no legal or scientific
reason for sexual orientation alone to prohibit anyone from
2008 Nov 25, Gerald Schoenfeld
(b.1924), head of the Shubert Organization, died in NYC. From 1972
he and Bernard B. Jacobs (d.1996) reinvigorated the commercial
(SFC, 11/27/08, p.B8)
2008 Nov 25, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai demanded at a meeting with a UN Security Council team
that the international community set a "timeline" for ending
military intervention in Afghanistan.
2008 Nov 25, In Australia BHP
Billiton dropped its controversial hostile takeover bid for rival
Rio Tinto because of the global economic crisis.
2008 Nov 25 Armenia won its
second straight gold medal at the Chess Olympiad in Germany by
defeating China 2.5-1.5 in the 11th and final round.
2008 Nov 25, In Britain the
application process began for a national identity card for some
foreign nationals in an attempt to combat terrorism and identity
fraud. On June 30, 2009, home secretary Alan Johnson said Britons
would not be required to have the new ID cards. A British law went
into effect that allows courts to prevent someone from being forced
into marriage, a move that comes as governments across Europe
confront immigrant practices that sometimes clash with more liberal
values. On Oct 12, 2011, Britain’s highest court ruled that the ban
on foreign spouses aged under 21 entering Britain is unlawful.
(AP, 11/25/08)(Econ, 7/4/09, p.55)(AP, 10/12/11)
2008 Nov 25, In Britain a
Sheffield man (56) was sentenced to life in prison for raping his
children for more than 25 years, from the time they were between 8
and 10, beating them when they resisted. Between them, the daughters
bore their father seven surviving children. Two more died at birth;
the other pregnancies ended in abortion or miscarriage.
2008 Nov 25, Bulgaria lost
euro220 million ($286 million) in promised payments from the EU
because of its failure to tackle corruption.
2008 Nov 25, In Egypt the state
news agency MENA reported that Coptic Pope Shenuda III has banned
Egyptian Christians from praying in a church-owned building in Cairo
after sectarian clashes there with Muslims.
2008 Nov 25, EU ministers
sought to enlist counterparts from 27 African countries in a new
effort to curb the flood of illegal immigration.
2008 Nov 25, Greenland polling
stations opened in a referendum on expanding home rule. Voters
overwhelmingly approved a plan for more autonomy from Denmark and to
take advantage of potential oil reserves off the glacial island's
(AP, 11/25/08)(AP, 11/26/08)
2008 Nov 25, In eastern India
suspected communist rebels blew up a bridge, killing five police
officers who were escorting election officials in Chattisgarh state.
2008 Nov 25, Iran said it has
broken a spy ring working for Israel’s intelligence service, Mossad.
The prosecutor general said it would the death penalty for 3
suspects in custody.
(SFC, 11/26/08, p.A8)
2008 Nov 25, In northern
Iraq 2 American servicemen were killed when a gunman in an Iraqi
army uniform opened fire while they were distributing humanitarian
2008 Nov 25, It was reported
that Ireland plans to impose tough new penalties on beggars for the
first time since the Potato Famine 160 years ago.
2008 Nov 25, In Mexico 7 bodies
were dumped before dawn at a school soccer field in the border city
2008 Nov 25, Nigeria’s state
media said the country has signed a $780 million (605 million euros)
loan agreement with the World Bank to finance three projects.
2008 Nov 25, Pakistan said its
Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has shut down a
unit that spied on domestic politicians.
(SFC, 11/26/08, p.A3)
2008 Nov 25, Russian warships
arrived in Venezuela in a show of strength aimed at the United
States as Moscow seeks to expand its influence in Latin America.
2008 Nov 25, In eastern Sri
Lanka 12 people, including three suspected Tiger rebels, were killed
in fresh violence. Heavy fighting raged on three fronts around the
northern town of Kilinochchi, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's
(LTTE) political headquarters.
2008 Nov 25, In Thailand
Bangkok's main international airport halted all flight operations
after anti-government protesters stormed the departures area.
2008 Nov 25, Indochina
Airlines, Vietnam’s first privately owned airline, began operations.
2008 Nov 26, Edna Parker (115),
the world’s oldest person, died in Shelbyville, Indiana.
(WSJ, 11/28/08, p.A10)
2008 Nov 26, British data
showed its economy shrank 0.5% in the 3 months to September, placing
it perilously close to recession as it feels the chill from the
global financial crisis.
2008 Nov 26, China cut interest
rates by more than a percentage point to 5.58%, the most significant
cut in 11 years, as the economic conditions worsened.
(SFC, 12/9/08, p.A10)(Econ, 11/29/08, p.80)
2008 Nov 26, China executed
Wang Zhendong, a businessman convicted of bilking thousands of
investors out of $416 million in a bogus ant-breeding scheme.
2008 Nov 26, European ministers
pledged euro10 billion ($12.8 billion) to an ambitious list of 30
space missions, including one to put a robotic rover on Mars.
2008 Nov 26, In India 110
people were killed and over 300 injured when suspected Islamic
militants attacked 10 sites in Mumbai including the five-star Taj
Mahal Palace and Tower and the 19th century Chhatrapati Shivaji
railroad station. On Oct 3, 2009, David Headley (b.1960 as Daood
Sayed Gilani), a US citizen of Pakistani descent, was arrested in
Chicago on suspicion of doing reconnaissance Mumbai attack. In 2010
Gilani pleaded guilty and testified that the Pakistani spy agency
provided individual handlers for the Lashkar-e-Taiba attackers. In
2013 Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy authored “The Siege: Three
Days of Terror Inside the Taj.
11/27/08)(SFC, 10/20/10, p.A5)(Econ, 11/23/13, p.81)
2008 Nov 26, In Iran a court
sentenced a man who blinded a woman with acid also to be blinded
with acid under the country's Islamic law. Majid Movahedi (27)
confessed to attacking Ameneh Bahrami (24) in 2004 to dissuade
anyone from marrying the woman he loved. Movahedi was sentenced to
be blinded in both eyes in February, 2009. In 2011 Bahrami announced
that it would cost Movahedi two million euros to escape a
court-ordered blinding. In 2011 Bahrami pardoned Mohavedi as he
knelt in an operating room with her attacker waiting for her to drop
acid in his eyes.
(AP, 11/27/08)(AP, 5/17/11)(AP, 7/31/11)
2008 Nov 26, In Iraq intense
deal making among political factions delayed by one day a
parliamentary vote on a security pact that would allow American
forces to stay in the country through 2011 under tight Iraqi
supervision. A roadside bomb killed two civilians and wounded four
in central Baghdad. 18 young women, purportedly belonging to a
suicide bombing network in northern Iraq, surrendered and signed a
form promising not to conduct attacks as part of a reconciliation
(AP, 11/26/08)(AP, 11/27/08)
2008 Nov 26, Nigeria's food and
drug control agency NAFDAC said 25 children have died in the last
fortnight after taking a teething mixture discovered to contain a
harmful substance. Laboratory tests on the drug found out that it
contains a killer element known as diethylene glycol. The agency
shut down the premises of the Nigerian manufacturer. The death count
soon rose to 34 as more children lost their lives after being given
"My Pikin" teething syrup contaminated with diethylene glycol,
blamed for causing kidney failure.
(AFP, 11/26/08)(Reuters, 12/3/08)
2008 Nov 26, The UN and other
aid agencies appealed to the international community to send $462
million in emergency assistance to address what they said is a
humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories.
2008 Nov 26, In North Ossetia
Vitaly Karayev, the mayor of Vladikavkaz, was shot and killed in the
latest violence to hit a region. The next day An obscure Islamic
group claimed responsibility for the assassination of a mayor in
Russia's troubled North Caucasus, saying he had sanctioned
persecution of Islamic women.
(AP, 11/26/08)(AP, 11/27/08)
2008 Nov 26, In Peru suspected
rebels armed with machine guns and grenades ambushed a police patrol
in the central jungle, killing four officers and wounding five
2008 Nov 26, Qatar based Al
Jazeera launched Sharek, a website where photos and videos can be
submitted for use, once verified, in Al Jazeera’s television and
(Econ, 7/9/11, SR
2008 Nov 26, Off Sierra Leone
pirates from neighboring Guinea attacked a Chinese fishing vessel in
a rare attack that ended with four suspects dead. Two pirates were
shot, two drowned and the other pirates were arrested by the Sierra
2008 Nov 26, In northern
Somalia 2 foreign journalists were kidnapped while doing a story on
the rampant piracy in the region. The Britain and journalist and his
Spanish counterpart were released on Jan 4, after almost six weeks
in captivity in Somalia's breakaway Puntland state.
(AP, 11/26/08)(AFP, 1/4/09)
2008 Nov 26, South Africa's
health minister said Zimbabwe faced a humanitarian crisis after a
major outbreak of cholera, vowing not to turn away anyone who
crosses the border for treatment. Botswana's foreign minister said
Zimbabwe's neighbors should close their borders in an attempt to
bring down Pres. Robert Mugabe, in the strongest call yet for action
2008 Nov 26, Sudanese police
demolished about 10,000 homes in a shanty town south of Khartoum,
using tear gas to disperse protesting residents.
2008 Nov 26, The UN Security
Council approved the deployment of a EU mission (Eulex) throughout
Kosovo under the UN umbrella.
(AP, 11/26/08)(Econ, 11/15/14, p.55)
2008 Nov 26, In Venezuela
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to help start a local
nuclear energy program and said Moscow is willing to participate in
a socialist trade bloc in Latin America led by President Hugo
2008 Nov 27, Macy’s held its
82nd Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC.
(SFC, 11/28/08, p.A2)
2008 Nov 27, An SUV plunged off
an overpass in northern Colorado and hit a concrete embankment in a
fiery crash, killing all seven people inside it, including two young
2008 Nov 27, A sport utility
vehicle carrying 8 people from Texas plunged off an unfinished
bridge into a river in northern Mexico, causing the death of three
adults and four children.
2008 Nov 27, In southern
Afghanistan 2 British troops were killed after being fired at by
insurgents while on patrol. A suicide car bomber targeting an
American convoy exploded about 200 yards (meters) outside the US
Embassy in Kabul, killing at least four Afghan bystanders as people
entered the compound for a Thanksgiving Day race. In northwestern
Afghanistan Taliban insurgents killed 13 Afghan troops in an ambush
of their convoy. NATO-led troops fired on insurgents inside
Pakistan. The artillery attacks killed several insurgents and caused
several secondary explosions, indicating the presence of ammunition
at the locations. The U.N.'s drug czar said the Taliban and other
warlords could clear almost half a billion dollars from
Afghanistan's opium trade this year, money that will help finance
(AFP, 11/27/08)(AP, 11/27/08)(AP, 11/28/08)
2008 Nov 27, In China
assailants allegedly pulled members of a Belgian television crew
from their vehicle, beat them and took their notes and money. VRT
asked for compensation for damaged equipment, an apology to the
journalists and a guarantee that the journalists will be able to
2008 Nov 27, More than 10,000
Congolese civilians fled to Uganda in a matter of hours to escape
2008 Nov 27, An Airbus A320
passenger plane crashed off France's southern coast during a
maintenance flight, killing 3 people and leaving the 4 others on
(AP, 11/28/08)(AP, 12/1/08)
2008 Nov 27, Germany's defense
minister laid the foundation stone for the first national memorial
in Berlin, designed by German architect Andreas Meck, to soldiers
killed serving in the country's post-World War II military.
2008 Nov 27, Black-clad Indian
commandoes raided two luxury hotels to try to free hostages, and
explosions and gunshots shook Mumbai, India's financial capital, a
day after suspected Muslim militants killed 110 people.
2008 Nov 27, Iraq's parliament
approved a security pact with the United States that lets American
troops stay in the country for three more years, setting a clear
timetable for a US exit for the first time since the 2003 invasion.
Under the security pact, US forces will withdraw from Iraqi towns
and cities by June 30 and the entire country by Jan. 1, 2012.
(AP, 11/27/08)(AP, 11/28/08)
2008 Nov 27, A court inside
Myanmar's notorious Insein prison sentenced a comedian who has
criticized the government's cyclone response to 14 more years,
bringing his total prison term to 59 years, his lawyer said.
Comedian and activist Zarganar was given a 45-year prison sentence
last week after he was convicted on charges related to interviews he
gave to foreign media outlets.
2008 Nov 27, South Korea's
supermarket chains resumed selling US beef, nearly five months after
the government lifted an import ban imposed over fears of mad cow
2008 Nov 27, Spain's prime
minister announced an €11 billion ($14 billion) stimulus plan to
revive the country's flagging economy.
2008 Nov 27, In Spain novelist
Juan Marse (75), known for his descriptions of hardship in Catalonia
during the Spanish civil war (1936-1939), won the Cervantes Prize,
the Spanish speaking world’s highest literary prize.
(SFC, 11/28/08, p.E10)
2008 Nov 27, Switzerland
reached an agreement with the EU to join the European Union's
Schengen passport-free travel zone effective next month.
2008 Nov 27, Thailand's
government prepared to crack down on protesters occupying the
capital's two airports, but called on the public not to panic as
rumors of a coup swept through the city.
2008 Nov 27, Yemeni security
troops in San’a opened fire on thousands of protesters calling for a
boycott of April parliamentary elections, wounding a number of
2008 Nov 28, This day was
marked as Native American Heritage Day. US federal legislation set
aside the day after Thanksgiving — for this year only — to honor the
contributions American Indians have made to the US. Congress passed
legislation this year designating the day as Native American
Heritage Day, and President George W. Bush signed it last month.
2008 Nov 28, Space shuttle
Endeavour and its crew of seven departed the international space
station, ending a 12-day visit.
2008 Nov 28, In New York
Jdimytai Damour (34), a Long Island Wal-Mart worker, was killed
after a crowd of post-Thanksgiving shoppers burst through the doors
at the suburban Valley Stream store and knocked him down. In 2009
Wal-Mart agreed to pay nearly $2 million and improve safety at its
92 New York stores as part of a deal with prosecutors that avoids
criminal charges in the trampling death.
(AP, 11/29/08)(AP, 5/6/09)
2008 Nov 28, William Finnegan,
TV and film producer, died in New York. His film and TV work
included “The Dollmaker" (1984) and “Hawaii Five-0."
(SFC, 12/3/08, p.B6)
2008 Nov 28, In Afghanistan US
troops killed Haji Yakub, a wanted Taliban commander, who tried to
hide from soldiers under a woman's burqa. Afghan and coalition
forces killed 33 militants when their patrol came under attack in
southern Helmand province. In Kandahar province a three-day
NATO-Afghan operation in Zhari district killed 12 militants. Police
in Farah province killed four insurgents setting up a makeshift base
in a village, apparently aiming to launch strikes on Farah city.
Afghan army and police attacked a nine-vehicle convoy, killing four
insurgents and wounding another three as other insurgents fled. An
Afghan police officer was also killed in the gunbattle in Farah
2008 Nov 28, In Argentina a
three-judge panel formally charged former President Carlos Menem
with arms trafficking as he watched on live video from hundreds of
miles away because doctors say he is too ill to travel.
2008 Nov 28, China executed Wo
Weihan, a scientist accused of passing information to Taiwan,
triggering condemnation from his family and several countries
including the US.
2008 Nov 28, Tens of thousands
of Colombians marched to demand leftist rebels free hostages they
have held for as long as a decade or more.
2008 Nov 28, Congo rebels
captured the border post of Ishasha in eastern Congo, increasing
their stranglehold over the region. At least 13,000 frightened
civilians have fled into Uganda over the last two days.
2008 Nov 28, In Cuba Russia's
president Medvedev met with Fidel Castro, discussing Guantanamo Bay
and hopes for a multipolar world with Cuba's former leader during a
tour of Latin America aimed at raising Moscow's presence in the
2008 Nov 28, Ethiopia announced
that it will withdraw its forces from Somalia by the end of the
year, leaving this country's weak and fractured government to face
an increasingly powerful Islamic insurgency.
2008 Nov 28, In India commandos
who stormed the Mumbai headquarters of an ultra-orthodox Jewish
group found the bodies of five hostages inside, as a fresh battle
raged at the luxury Taj Mahal hotel and other Indian forces ended a
siege at another five-star hotel. More than 150 people have been
killed since gunmen attacked 10 sites across India's financial
capital on Nov 26, including 22 foreigners, two of them Americans.
Commandos killed the last two gunmen inside the luxury Oberoi hotel,
where 24 bodies had been found.
(AP, 11/28/08)(AP, 11/29/08)
2008 Nov 28, In Iraq a suicide
bomber blew himself up among worshippers waiting to be searched
outside a mosque run by followers of anti-American Shiite cleric
Muqtada al-Sadr, killing at least 12 people.
2008 Nov 28, Japan announced it
would end its airlift operations in Iraq by the end of the year,
citing security improvements and moves toward democracy in Iraq.
2008 Nov 28, In Mexico at least
12 masked gunmen opened fire inside a restaurant in the northern
border city of Ciudad Juarez, killing eight.
2008 Nov 28, In Myanmar 2
journalists were jailed for seven years each on charges of
undermining the military junta after they were caught with a UN
human rights report. A court in a northeastern suburb of Yangon
sentenced Thet Zin, editor of the local Myanmar-language journal
News Watch, and Sein Win Maung, the paper's manager, under the
country's draconian Printing and Publishing Law.
2008 Nov 28, Clashes erupted in
Jos, Nigeria, after a local election dispute, leaving at least three
people dead and prompting the military to send troops into city
streets to restore order. Over the next 3 days at least 300 people
were killed and 7,00 displaced. In southern Nigeria gunmen abducted
a Scottish oil industry worker.
(AP, 11/28/08)(Econ, 12/6/08, p.64)
2008 Nov 28, In Pakistan a
suicide car bomber killed seven people in the northwestern town of
2008 Nov 28, A Palestinian was
killed in a clash with Israeli forces in southern Gaza. A mortar
attack on an Israeli army base injured eight Israeli soldiers. The
next day the Islamic militant group Hamas claimed responsibility.
(AP, 11/28/08)(AP, 11/29/08)
2008 Nov 28, Somali pirates
hijacked the chemical tanker chemical tanker M/V BISCAGLIA with 25
Indian and 3 Bangladeshi crew members. A helicopter rescued three
British security guards who had jumped into the sea. The Liberian
flagged ship operated out of Singapore. The ship was freed on Jan 23
following a $1 million ransom.
(AP, 11/28/08)(AP, 1/24/09)(WSJ, 1/31/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 28, Zimbabwe’s
opposition said it has agreed on a draft constitutional amendment to
allow the formation of a power-sharing government, but obstacles
still remain to setting it up. The UN warned that cholera has killed
389 people in Zimbabwe to date and that the disease is also
spreading into neighbouring Botswana and South Africa.
(AFP, 11/28/08)(Reuters, 11/28/08)
2008 Nov 28, A regional
tribunal in Namibia ruled that 78 white Zimbabweans can keep their
farms because the government's land reform scheme discriminated
2008 Nov 29, Joern Utzon
(b.1918), the Danish architect who designed the iconic Sydney Opera
House (1957), died. In 2003 Utzon won the Pritzker prize.
(AP, 11/29/08)(Econ, 12/13/08, p.104)
2008 Nov 29, In Afghanistan a
soldier with the NATO-led force shot and killed an Afghan policeman
in a car in Lashkar Gah that was driving toward a NATO patrol at
2008 Nov 29, In Bangladesh
police in Dhaka arrested eight members of a hard-line Islamic group
for damaging a 41-foot outdoor sculpture of a group of white storks.
The statue by sculptor Mrinal Haque has stood at a road intersection
2008 Nov 29, In southern China
about 300 taxi drivers went on strike in Chaozhou, smashing cars and
demanding a crackdown on unlicensed taxis in the latest protest
against illegal taxi competition in China.
2008 Nov 29, In Gambia British
missionary David Fulton (60) and his wife (46) were arrested for
alleged sedition. Fiona Fulton was released in December, 2009. David
Fulton was freed in 2010 after serving nearly two years for
2008 Nov 29, Georgia said it is
cutting diplomatic relations with Nicaragua after the Central
American nation recognized the breakaway regions of South Ossetia
2008 Nov 29, In India a 60-hour
terror rampage that killed at least 173 people across Mumbai,
India's financial capital, ended when commandos killed the last
three gunmen inside the 565-room Taj Mahal hotel while it was
engulfed in flames. A group called Deccan Mujahideen, which alludes
to a region in southern India traditionally ruled by Muslim kings,
claimed responsibility for the attack. Officials said they believed
that just 10 gunmen had taken part in the attack. Nine were killed
and one was captured. The 10th gunman was later identified as
Mohammad Ajmal Amir Imam from Faridkot village in Pakistan. 19
foreigners were killed including 6 Americans.
(AP, 11/29/08)(WSJ, 11/29/08, p.A1)(AP,
12/1/08)(WSJ, 12/5/08, p.A1)(SFC, 12/10/08, p.A9)(Econ, 12/6/08,
2008 Nov 29, In Iraq a rocket
attack in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone killed 2 people. In Diyala
province Mayor Sayid al-Anbaki of Salam district announced the
discovery of 7 mass graves in the village of Botoama. Al-Qaida in
Iraq had dominated the region in 2006-2007.
(SSFC, 11/30/08, p.A19)
2008 Nov 29, In Nigeria
witnesses said hundreds of people have been killed in the central
city of Jos as Christians and Muslims clashed over the result of a
local election. The violence began following a rumor that the mostly
Muslim All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) had lost the election to
the mainly Christian federal ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP).
Over 10,000 people were displaced from their homes and sought refuge
in churches, mosques and army and police barracks.
2008 Nov 29, Pakistan's foreign
minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a press conference that Pakistan
will take action against any group within its borders if it was
involved in the Mumbai attacks. A suspected US missile strike killed
at least two people near Miran Shah in northwestern Pakistan.
2008 Nov 29, In Qatar French
President Nicolas Sarkozy told Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir to
take action to end the conflict in Darfur.
2008 Nov 29, Officials in Sri
Lanka said floods caused by days of heavy rains killed at least
seven people, left four soldiers missing and displaced tens of
thousands in insurgency-ravaged northern Sri Lanka.
2008 Nov 30, The US space
shuttle Endeavour ended a 16-day trip to the int’l. space station
landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California after storms hit the
main landing site in Florida.
(SFC, 12/1/08, p.A4)
2008 Nov 30, In Afghanistan a
suicide bomber on foot attacked a German Embassy vehicle in Kabul.
No Germans were hurt, but the blast killed two Afghans and wounded
2008 Nov 30, In southern
Australia a group of 150 whales that became stranded on a remote
coastline were battered to death on rocks before rescuers could save
2008 Nov 30, In Canada
three opposition parties reached a tentative deal to defeat the
minority Conservative government and then put together a coalition.
2008 Nov 30, Chinese health
authorities and the UN AIDS agency pledged to fight discrimination
against people with the disease in China with the unveiling of a
massive red ribbon, the symbol of AIDS awareness, at the Olympic
Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing.
2008 Nov 30, In northern China
a coal mine blast killed 15 miners at the Changlong Coal Mine in
Heilongjiang province. 3 rescuers died the next day in a cave-in.
2008 Nov 30, Rebels in eastern
Congo pulled out of Ishasha, a town on the Ugandan border they
captured in fighting that forced 10,000 people to flee.
2008 Nov 30, In Guatemala
Mexican and Guatemalan drug traffickers, arguing about a horse race
in the rural border town of Santa Ana Huista, began a series of
gunbattles in which 17 people died.
2008 Nov 30, In Haiti a dozen
men in T-shirts declaring "I am gay" and "I am living with HIV/AIDS"
marched with hundreds of other demonstrators through St. Marc in
what organizers called the Caribbean nation's first openly gay
2008 Nov 30, India's top
security official, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, resigned as the
government struggled under growing accusations of security failures
following terror attacks that killed 174 people.
2008 Nov 30, The head of Iran's
nuclear power agency said the country is willing to help neighboring
Arab countries build joint light-water nuclear power plants if they
2008 Nov 30, Iraqi and Iranian
troops exchanged the remains of soldiers killed during the 1980-1988
war between the two countries. It was the first such handover since
the two signed an agreement in October to work together in tracing
thousands still missing after the war.
2008 Nov 30, Mexico’s President
Felipe Calderon pledged to clean up corruption within his
administration and vowed that his government would never negotiate
with drug lords. The bodies of 9 decapitated men were found in a
vacant lot in Tijuana, part of a wave of violence that claimed at
least 23 lives over the weekend in this border city plagued by
2008 Nov 30, In Nigeria
residents delivered more bodies to the main mosque in the central
Nigerian city of Jos, bringing the death toll from two days of
clashes between Muslim and Christian gangs to around 400 people. In
July, 2009, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said more than 700 died in
clashes in Jos, and urged the prosecution of members of security
forces it accused of "arbitrary killings."
(AP, 11/30/08)(AFP, 7/20/09)
2008 Nov 30, Six Pakistani
security officers and two suspected militants were killed in new
violence close to the Afghan border. Fighting in the past two
days between ethnic and political gangs that left 16 people dead in
2008 Nov 30, Poland adopted an
economic package for 2009-2010 valued at 24 billion euros (30
billion dollars) to help weather the impact of the global financial
2008 Nov 30, Romanians trickled
to the polls to elect a new parliament, as the leftist Social
Democrats and right-wing Liberal Democrats battled it out ahead of
PM Calin Tariceanu's Liberals. The leftist Social Democrats won the
most votes, but failed to get enough support to take power outright.
(AP, 11/30/08)(SFC, 12/1/08, p.A4)
2008 Nov 30, Pirates chased and
shot at the M/S Nautica, a US cruise liner with more than 1,000
people on board, but failed to hijack the vessel as it sailed along
a corridor patrolled by international warships.
2008 Nov 30, Sri Lankan
soldiers recaptured Kokavil, a key northern town near the
headquarters of Tamil Tiger rebels, 18 years after the area was
seized by the insurgents.
2008 Nov 30, A pioneering Swiss
program to give addicts government-authorized heroin was
overwhelmingly approved, according to projections that showed voters
simultaneously rejecting the decriminalization of marijuana.
2008 Nov 30, In Thailand
attackers set off explosions at anti-government protest sites,
wounding 51 people and raising fears of widening confrontations in
Thailand's worst political crisis in decades, which has strangled
its economy and shut down its main airports. Thousands of government
supporters wearing red shirts, headbands and bandanas joined a rally
against the protest alliance. So far six people have been killed in
bomb attacks, clashes with police and street battles between
government opponents and supports.
2008 Nov 30, Zimbabwe's health
minister insisted that the country's crumbling medical system was
taking all necessary measures to combat a cholera epidemic, even as
more than 1,000 new cases were reported.
2008 Nov, A US diplomatic cable
said donors in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are sending
an estimated $100 million annually to radical Islamic schools in
Pakistan that back militancy. The cable was leaked to the public on
May 22, 2011.
2008 Nov, The coffin of
Austrian billionaire Friedrich Karl Flick (d.2006) was stolen from a
cemetery in Velden, southern Austria. Thieves demanded 6 million
euros ($9 million) for the coffin's return. It was found in Nov 2009
by private investigators in Budapest. A 41-year-old Hungarian
lawyer, identified only as Barnabas Sz., was suspected of
masterminding the crime and was in police custody. Four other
suspects were still at large.
2008 Nov, China detained Hu
Zhicheng, an American automotive engineer, on accusations he misused
trade secrets. His case was first reported in Dec, 2009, in an
account written under a pen name that appeared on Boxun News.
Zhicheng was released in May, 2010, with no charges filed against
him, but he was not allowed to leave China. On June 3, 2013, word
came that he was finally free to return to his home in southern
(AP, 12/17/09)(AP, 5/14/10)(SFC, 6/6/13, p.A13)
2008 Nov, Dubai’s government
and state-owned enterprises debt amounted to $80 billion, equivalent
to 148% of GDP.
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.53)
2008 Nov, In South Africa a
verdict by the tribunal of the regional Southern African Development
Community (SADC) found that Zimbabwe had wrongly taken land from
nearly 80 farmers, saying they had been targeted because of their
race. In 2010 white farmers whose land was seized under Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe's land reforms claimed a house owned by his
government in South Africa based on the SADC verdict.
2008 Dec 1, President-elect
Barack Obama announced that Robert Gates would remain as defense
secretary. Obama picked former campaign rival Hillary Rodham Clinton
as secretary of state.
2008 Dec 1, In Alabama mayor
Larry Langford of Birmingham was arrested on charges of steering
millions of dollars of bond work to a friend in exchange for over
$230,000 in bribes. The 101-count indictment also charged Montgomery
banker Bill Blount and lobbyist Al LaPierre.
(SFC, 12/2/08, p.A2)
2008 Dec 1, California’s Gov.
Schwarzenegger declared a fiscal emergency and called legislators
into a new special session in order to trim a $11.2 billion budget
(SFC, 12/2/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 1, In Tracy, Ca., Kyle
Ramirez (16) escaped from a home where he had been shackled and
tortured for over a year. In 2010 defendants Michael Schumacher (36)
was sentenced to 30 years in prison, his wife Kelly Lau (32)
received 33 years, and the boy’s guardian Caren Ramirez (45) was
given 34 years. All three had accepted plea deals. In 2010 Anthony
Waiters (31), a neighbor, was convicted of 9 charges including
aggravated mayhem and false imprisonment. On Feb 28, 2011, Waiters
was sentenced to life in prison. In 2015 Sacramento County agreed to
pay $4 million to settle a suit accusing its Child Protective
Services workers of ignoring Kyle’s welfare.
(SFC, 10/9/10, p.C2)(SFC, 11/24/10, p.C3)(SFC,
12/7/10, p.C3)(SFC, 3/1/11, p.C3)(SFC, 7/24/15, p.D1)
2008 Dec 1, The NBER, a
private, nonprofit research organization, said its group of academic
economists who determine business cycles met and decided that the US
recession began last December.
2008 Dec 1, A federal jury in
SF cleared Chevron Corp. of responsibility for any human rights
abuses during a violent protest on a company oil platform in Nigeria
a decade ago.
2008 Dec 1, US researchers
reported that almost 20% of young American adults have a personality
disorder that interferes with everyday life, and that even more
abuse alcohol or drugs.
(SFC, 12/2/08, p.A10)
2008 Dec 1, China's Health
Ministry said six babies may have died after consuming tainted milk
powder, up from a previous official toll of three, and announced a
six-fold increase in its tally of infants sickened in the scandal,
to nearly 300,000.
2008 Dec 1, In northern China
11 girls died of carbon monoxide poisoning at a school in Shaanxi
province. A news report said the girls had lit a fire to keep warm.
2008 Dec 1, In Germany Monika
Halbe (44) was sentenced to four years and three months in prison
for killing the children born in 1988 and 2003 by suffocation or
neglect. The case of a third infant killed in 1986 and stored with
the other two was not prosecuted because the statute of limitations
2008 Dec 1, India has formally
demanded that Pakistan take "strong action" against the people
behind the Mumbai attacks. An Indian police official said the only
gunman captured alive after the attacks claimed to belong to
Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani militant group with links to the
disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir and one long seen as a creation
of the Pakistani intelligence service.
2008 Dec 1, A series of suicide
bomb attacks struck US and Iraqi security forces in Baghdad and the
northern city of Mosul, killing at least 32 people and wounding
(AP, 12/1/08)(SFC, 12/2/08, p.A4)
2008 Dec 1, The Israeli navy
turned away a Libyan ship heading to Gaza with 3,000 tons of
humanitarian aid, ending the most high-profile effort yet to break a
blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory.
2008 Dec 1, In Italy the worst
flooding in Venice in more than 20 years forced residents and
tourists to wade through knee-high water.
2008 Dec 1, In Mexico Tijuana's
anti-corruption police chief was fired and replaced with an army
officer, following three days of violence that left 37 people dead
in this border city plagued by warring drug gangs. In southern
Mexico Fabian Ramirez shot his 50-year-old mother in the back
Monday, wounding her. He then allegedly killed three police officers
who arrived at the scene, including Iguala's police chief. Police
captured Ramirez, but four armed men broke into the jail and took
him away by force. The next day Ramirez was found beheaded.
(AP, 12/1/08)(AP, 12/2/08)
2008 Dec 1, In Nigeria some two
thousand angry youths stormed a mosque in the riot-torn city of Jos
as a top parliament official appealed for an end to religious
troubles that have left hundreds dead.
2008 Dec 1, Militants in
northwestern Pakistan attacked trucks ferrying supplies to NATO and
US forces in Afghanistan, killing two people and destroying a dozen
vehicles. A suicide attack on a security checkpoint in the
Swat Valley killed 8 people and wounded 40.
2008 Dec 1, A 12-day UN climate
conference opened in Poznan, Poland. During the conference Chief
Bill Erasmus of the Dene nation in northern Canada brought a stark
warning about the climate crisis: The once abundant herds of caribou
are dwindling, rivers are running lower and the ice is too thin to
2008 Dec 1, Romania's
parliamentary election results showed the centrist and leftist
parties less than a percentage point apart with more than 90 percent
of the vote counted, raising the prospect of tough negotiations to
form a coalition.
2008 Dec 1, South Africa used
World AIDS Day to urge its menfolk to get themselves tested for the
HIV virus that leads to the illness.
2008 Dec 1, In Thailand a
senior tourism official said an estimated 350,000 passengers have
been unable to fly out since anti-government protesters shut down
Bangkok's two airports last week.
2008 Dec 1, In Zimbabwe gunfire
broke out in downtown Harare when rampaging, unpaid soldiers
attacked money changers and clashed with police. Zimbabwe rejected a
court ruling that demanded the government stop its policy of seizing
land from white farmers. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai urged
the world to help end a "man-made" humanitarian crisis which has
left hundreds of people dead in a cholera epidemic.
2008 Dec 2, Detroit’s Big Three
auto makers presented turnaround plans to Congress and sought $34
billion in aid.
(WSJ, 12/3/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 2, The new Washington,
DC, Capitol Visitor Center opened to the public. The 580,000
square-foot structure ended up costing $621 million, over twice the
(Econ, 12/20/08, p.53)(www.aoc.gov/cvc/)
2008 Dec 2, In Arkansas a
federal indictment was unsealed accusing evangelist Tony Alamo (74)
of sexually abusing five girls on separate occasions beginning in
1994, including a period when he was serving a tax-evasion sentence
at a halfway house in Texarkana. Alamo was convicted on July 24 of
taking girls as young as 9 across state lines for sex. On Nov 13
Alamo was sentenced to 175 years in prison.
(AP, 12/3/08)(SFC, 7/25/09, p.A3)(SFC, 11/14/09,
2008 Dec 2, Georgia Sen. Saxby
Chambliss trounced Democrat Jim Martin, winning his second term by a
margin of more than 10 percentage points. The victory in the runoff
denied Democrats a filibuster-proof majority and cemented the
state's reputation as a GOP bastion.
2008 Dec 2, In Chicago federal
prosecutors unveiled a series of elaborate sting operations aimed at
officers who hired out to ride shotgun for drug deals and other
criminal activities. Those charged include 10 Cook County sheriff's
correctional officers, four Harvey police officers and one Chicago
2008 Dec 2, Hawaii unveiled
plans to be first in the nation to roll out electric car stations
statewide, a move Gov. Linda Lingle hailed as a major step
toward weaning the islands off oil.
2008 Dec 2, Eric Von der Porten
(50), SF Bay Area hedge fund manager, committed suicide at his home
in San Carlos, Ca.
(SSFC, 1/4/09, p.A1)
2008 Dec 2, Odetta Holmes
(b.1930), African-American folk singer, died. Her fame peaked in
1963 when she marched with martin Luther King and performed for
(SFC, 12/3/08, p.A4)
2008 Dec 2, Henry Molaison
(82), a native of Connecticut, died. In the 1950s he had his medial
temporal lobes removed by surgery to alleviate his grand mal
epileptic seizures. From that point on he was unable to form new
memories. Scientists learned from Molaison that the hippocampus is
crucial in forming some long term memories, but not for maintaining
or retrieving them.
(Econ, 12/20/08, p.146)
2008 Dec 2, US troops killed 10
Taliban militants during operations in southern and central
Afghanistan, while five more witnesses testified at a hearing over
allegations that two American soldiers mistreated a detainee.
2008 Dec 2, Australia cut its
key interest rate by one percentage point to 4.25%.
(WSJ, 12/3/08, p.A12)
2008 Dec 2, A British judge
ordered Abu Qatada, a radical Muslim cleric, to be jailed because of
fears he was preparing to abscond. Qatada was once described as
Osama bin Laden’s ambassador in Europe.
(SFC, 12/3/08, p.A14)
2008 Dec 2, Mike Terry (61),
anti-apartheid activist, died. He led Britain's anti-apartheid
movement for nearly two decades and played a pivotal role in turning
British public opinion against South Africa's white minority rule.
2008 Dec 2, A Burundi soldier
serving with African Union forces in Somalia was killed in fighting
with Islamist insurgents in the war-torn capital Mogadishu.
2008 Dec 2, Canadian
governor-general Michaelle Jean, the acting head of state, said she
would cut short a foreign trip to help resolve one of the worst
political crises in Canada's history.
2008 Dec 2, Ted Rogers (75),
founder of Rogers Communications, died in Toronto. He transformed a
single FM radio station into a North American broadcasting,
publishing and wireless telecommunications conglomerate.
2008 Dec 2, India demanded
Pakistan hand over 20 of its most wanted fugitives as a sign of good
faith, while both sides tried to cool tensions over the Mumbai
attacks before a visit by Washington's top diplomat. India named
Yusuf Muzammil, the senior leader of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba,
as the mastermind of the attacks in Mumbai. A bomb exploded in a
train coach in India's insurgency-hit northeast, killing at least
three people and injuring another 29.
(AP, 12/2/08)(WSJ, 12/3/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 2, A special Iraqi
court sentenced Saddam Hussein's notorious cousin, "Chemical Ali"
Hassan al-Majid, to death after convicting him of crimes against
humanity for his part in crushing the 1991 Shiite uprising in
southern Iraq. A series of bombs in northern and southern Iraq
killed at least 14 Iraqis.
(AP, 12/2/08)(SFC, 12/3/08, p.A17)
2008 Dec 2, Dozens of Jewish
settlers rioted in the West Bank town of Hebron, clashing with the
Israeli troops who guard them but who may also soon evict them from
a disputed building they've occupied.
2008 Dec 2, In Kenya a
government anti-corruption watchdog said it is suing seven current
and former Kenyan officials for a total of a quarter of a million
dollars, saying they obtained the money dishonestly.
2008 Dec 2, In Nigeria
authorities in central Plateau state announced the arrest of 16
alleged "mercenaries" from neighbouring Niger. Isa Ibrahim, the
Nigerien Ambassador to Nigeria, said that those arrested had been
living in Jos for several years as water vendors.
2008 Dec 2, In Switzerland Alex
Widmer (52), head of private banking at Julius Baer Holding AG,
(www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/05/europe/baer.php)(WSJ, 2/2/09, p.C4)
2008 Dec 2, In Tanzania Simon
Bikindi, Rwandan singer-songwriter, was sentenced to 15 years in
prison by the Tanzania-based UN war crimes court for inciting the
killings of ethnic Tutsis during the 1994 genocide. In 2010 a court
upheld his 15 year sentence. The time Bikindi has already spent in
prison since his arrest in July 2001 will be deducted from the 15
(AFP, 12/2/08)(AFP, 3/18/10)
2008 Dec 2, Thailand's PM
Somchai Wongsawat resigned after weeks of protests closed the
capital's airports, stranding 300,000 travelers. Protesters promised
to lift their siege, and international flights were expected to
resume on Dec 5. Deputy PM Chaowarat Chandeerakul will become the
caretaker prime minister. Parliament will have to pick a new prime
minister within 30 days.
2008 Dec 2, Zimbabwe slipped
deeper into crisis as the death toll from a cholera epidemic neared
500 and members of President Robert Mugabe's armed forces were
accused of taking part in a looting spree.
2008 Dec 3, The US government
released the first part of a $400 million aid package to support
Mexico's police and soldiers in their fight against drug cartels.
Jesus Martin Huerta, the No. 2 federal prosecutor in the border city
of Ciudad Juarez, was shot dead.
2008 Dec 3, Laura Garza, an
aspiring dancer, disappeared after leaving a NYC nightclub with a
registered sex offender. On April 11, 2010, her remains were found
in Olyphant, Pa. DNA confirmation was announced on April 26.
2008 Dec 3, In California
Theodore Neff (66) was found strangled to death as his house on San
Pablo Bay burned. Within days police arrested Alejandro Hernandez
Rivera (24), a male prostitute, in a sting operation. Neff’s golden
flute was in Rivera’s car. In 2010 Rivera was convicted of 1st
degree murder and sentenced to 33 years in prison.
(SFC, 9/21/10, p.A1)(SFC, 10/5/10, p.C1)(SFC,
2008 Dec 3, Lynn Gilderdale
(31), who suffered from myalgic encephalomyelitis (aka chronic
fatigue syndrome), died in East Sussex with the assistance of her
mother, Kay Gilderdale. In 2010 a British jury cleared the mother of
2008 Dec 3, In Iraq a sticky
bomb attached to a minibus carrying Education Ministry employees
exploded, killing at least one civilian and wounding five others in
eastern Baghdad. Another such bomb attached to a car exploded near
the entrance of the heavily fortified Green Zone, wounding the
driver, an Iraqi contractor working with US forces.
2008 Dec 3, An international
rights group said the torture of prisoners including al-Qaida
suspects has increased under the military junta that rules
Mauritania, where security forces routinely abuse detainees with
electric shocks, burnings, beatings and sexual violence.
2008 Dec 3, NATO foreign
ministers affirmed their support for US plans to install
anti-missile defenses in Europe despite Russia's strong opposition.
NATO foreign ministers said they expected Albania and Croatia to
become the alliance's newest members by April.
2008 Dec 3, In the southern
Nigerian state of Akwa Ibom one person was killed during an attack
on a convoy of Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), a subsidiary of US oil
2008 Dec 3-2008 Dec 4, In
Norway 94 nations signed a treaty banning cluster bombs in a move
that supporters hope will shame the US, Russia and China and other
non-signers into abandoning weapons blamed for maiming and killing
civilians. Norway, which began the drive to ban cluster bombs 18
months ago, was the first to sign, followed by Laos and Lebanon,
both hard-hit by the weapons.
(AP, 12/3/08)(Econ, 12/13/08, p.70)
2008 Dec 3, Pakistani
airstrikes killed 30 suspected militants in 2 area of the Mohmand
border region. A suicide attack on a convoy in the same region
killed 3 soldiers and a civilian.
(SFC, 12/4/08, p.A13)
2008 Dec 3, In Puerto Rico a
Rockwell International 690B plane slammed into El Yunque mountain,
killing Caribbean pilot Ken Webster and two US tourists on board. A
spokesman for the Medical Mutual of Ohio health insurance company
later identified the two Americans as Kent W. Clapp, the firm's
chief executive, and his fiancee, Tracy Turner.
2008 Dec 3, In Spain's northern
Basque region suspected ETA separatists shot and killed a
businessman in the first attack linked to the group since the arrest
of its military chief last month.
2008 Dec 3, In Thailand the
first commercial flight in a week arrived in Bangkok as
anti-government protesters ended their siege of the country's two
main airports, declaring victory after PM Somchai Wongsawat was
ousted by a court ruling.
2008 Dec 3, In Yemen the bodies
of 24 Somalis washed ashore following an accident involving a boat
trying to smuggle migrants. Strong winds pushed the bodies on to
beaches over the last 2 days near the town of al-Qasha'a. 184 more
Somalis involved in the accident managed to swim ashore.
2008 Dec 3, Zimbabwe riot
police charged into a group of doctors and nurses protesting the
deepening economic and health crisis, as deaths rose sharply from a
cholera epidemic blamed on collapsing infrastructure.
2008 Dec 4, AT&T Inc.
joined the recession's parade of layoffs by announcing plans to cut
12,000 jobs, about 4 percent of its work force.
2008 Dec 4, In Afghanistan 2
Danish soldiers serving with NATO's force were killed in southern
Helmand province. The governor of Afghanistan's key southern
Kandahar province said he was sacked by the central government and
complained that powerful people in his region had been sabotaging
his work. US-led troops killed four militants in Helmand province,
after the insurgents fired on a joint US-Afghan patrol.
(AFP, 12/4/08)(AP, 12/4/08)(AP, 12/5/08)
2008 Dec 4, In Afghanistan
eight prisoners were killed at Kabul's Pol-i-charki Prison, during a
clash between guards and prisoners.
2008 Dec 4, The Bank of England
cut its base interest rate from 3% to 2%, a rate last seen in 1951.
(Econ, 12/6/08, p.74)
2008 Dec 4, In Burundi a summit
was held in Bujumbura stating the position of the Great Lakes region
on the implementation of the peace agreements signed at the Dar es
Salaam summit of 2006 in Tanzania.
2008 Dec 4, Canada’s PM Stephen
Harper won a rare suspension of Parliament, managing to avoid being
ousted by opposition parties angry over the minority Conservative
government's economic plans and an attempt to cut off party
2008 Dec 4, In eastern
China a fire at the dormitory of a seafood company killed 11 workers
and injured 10 others.
2008 Dec 4, The Danish navy
intercepted and sunk a suspected pirate vessel drifting off Somalia.
7 men were handed over to authorities in Yemen but were not
immediately suspected of any crime.
2008 Dec 4, Europe's top human
rights court ruled that storing DNA from people with no criminal
record is in breach of their rights, a landmark decision that could
force Britain to destroy the samples of nearly 1 million people on
2008 Dec 4, In France armed
robbers, some disguised as women, snatched €85 million ($108
million) worth of diamond rings, necklaces and luxury watches from a
Harry Winston boutique on a posh Paris avenue in one of the largest
jewel heists in history. In June, 2009, French police arrested 25
suspects in connection with the robbery and recovered some of the
jewelry. In 2011 investigators found jewels valued at $25 million in
a plastic container set in a cement mold inside a sewer at a home in
the Paris suburb of Seine-St. Denis. The house belonged to one of
the 9 people charged in the heist. On Feb 27, 2015, eight were
convicted on charges including armed robbery over the heist and
another a year earlier at the same store.
(AP, 12/5/08)(SFC, 6/23/09, p.A2)(SFC, 3/10/11,
2008 Dec 4, The
Luxembourg-based European Court of First Instance said EU
governments "violated the rights of defense" of the People's
Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI), and that the EU nations have
not provided sufficient proof to blacklist the group.
2008 Dec 4, Iraq's presidential
council approved a security pact that sets out a three-year
timeframe for US troops to leave, the final step for the agreement
to replace a UN mandate that expires Dec. 31. Two suicide bombers in
explosives-laden trucks took aim at police stations in the former
Sunni insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, killing at least 15 people
and wounding more than 100. A suicide car bomber killed two US
soldiers and wounded nine Iraqi civilians near a checkpoint in the
northern city of Mosul. A bomb in Baquba killed 3 people.
(AP, 12/4/08)(SFC, 12/5/08, p.A23)
2008 Dec 4, Rioting by Jewish
settlers spread in the West Bank after Israeli soldiers forcibly
removed about 250 extremists from a disputed house in the center of
Hebron. Banks in the Gaza Strip shut down to count their dwindling
cash. Israel lifted a four-week-old ban on international journalists
entering the Gaza Strip.
2008 Dec 4, Pirates attacked an
oil-services vessel before dawn off the coast of Nigeria and
kidnapped two foreign workers.
2008 Dec 4, Drug agents in Peru
seized 3 tons of cocaine mixed into a shipment of guano bound for
Spain. Four Peruvians and a Colombian were arrested.
2008 Dec 4, In Somalia 20 men
and women graduated from medical school in Mogadishu, something that
nobody in Somalia has done in nearly two decades.
2008 Dec 4, Sweden’s central
bank cuts its benchmark interest rate from 3.75% to 2% saying
monetary policy was less effective than usual.
(Econ, 12/6/08, p.92)
2008 Dec 4, Zimbabwe declared a
national emergency over a cholera epidemic and the collapse of its
health care system, as the government sought more international help
to pay for food and drugs to combat the crisis.
2008 Dec 5, The US and China
pledged to work together to tackle global financial turmoil as they
wrapped up economic talks but left open whether the high-level
dialogue will continue under President-elect Barack Obama.
2008 Dec 5, The US labor Dept.
said employers slashed 533,000 jobs in November, the most in 34
years, catapulting the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent, dramatic
proof the country is careening deeper into recession.
2008 Dec 5, O.J. Simpson was
sentenced in Las Vegas from 9 to 33 years in prison for kidnapping
and assaulting two sports memorabilia dealers with a deadly weapon.
2008 Dec 5, Cliff Lambert (74),
a Palm Springs retiree, was stabbed to death and buried in the
desert. To date his body has not been found. The murder was
orchestrated by Kaushal Niroula, a SF New College exchange student
from Nepal along with 2 other students including Craig McCarthy of
Daly City. Miguel Bustamante was the alleged murderer. In 2010 the
three faced trial on murder charges. McCarthy (30) pleaded guilty to
lesser charges and testified against the others. The plot to kill
Lambert, sell his home and take his assets also included Danny
Garcia and SF attorney David Replogle. On Dec 3, 2011, Replogle and
Bustamante were convicted of 10 criminal counts including
first-degree murder. On Sep 7, 2012, Niroula and Garcia were
convicted of first-degree murder and other charges.
(SSFC, 5/23/10, p.A17)(SSFC, 9/5/10, p.C3)(SFC,
1/4/11, p.C2)(SFC, 9/8/12, p.C4)
2008 Dec 5, Nina Foch (b.1924),
Dutch-born Hollywood film star, died in Los Angeles. Her films
included “An American in Paris" (1951).
(SFC, 12/13/08, p.A5)
2008 Dec 5, In Afghanistan 3
Canadian soldiers were killed by a massive bomb, bringing to 100 the
number who have lost their lives since the country's military
mission there started in 2002.
2008 Dec 5, Australia's driest
state was forced to purchase water for the first time to ensure
adequate supplies in the midst of a drought. Karlene Maywald, state
water security minister, said South Australia has purchased 61
billion gallons (231 gigaliters) of water so that Adelaide, the
state capital, will have enough water for 2009 even if the drought
2008 Dec 5, In southern China
about 100 factory owners and employees held up red protest banners
outside a government building, demanding that officials help them
collect more than $13 million in debts from an electronics factory
that recently closed.
2008 Dec 5, In northeast
Colombia suspected leftist rebels attacked a small police convoy
with explosives and automatic weapons, killing eight police officers
and wounding one. Police blamed the attack on the National
Liberation Army (ELN), which operates in the oil-producing region
2008 Dec 5, A boat from the
Dominican Republic was found adrift. 2 survivors were found by
fisherman and 49 others were presumed dead. Migrants had set off on
Nov 13 in search of jobs in Puerto Rico.
2008 Dec 5, India and Russia
signed a civilian nuclear deal that would see Russia build four
nuclear reactors for power-starved India.
2008 Dec 5, Police in India
arrested two Indian men accused of illegally buying mobile phone
cards used by the gunmen in the Mumbai attacks. In eastern India
suspected Maoist rebels killed five police officers in an ambush.
(AP, 12/6/08)(AP, 12/5/08)
2008 Dec 5, Iranian state radio
said police confirmed that a militant group active in Iran has
killed all 16 police officers it abducted in June. Shortly after the
abduction, the Sunni Muslim Jundallah group said it had executed two
of the officers and threatened to kill the remaining 14 unless
imprisoned members of the group were released.
2008 Dec 5, In Iraq three women
were killed in Balad Ruz, north of Baghdad, when a bomb planted in a
2008 Dec 5, Israeli defense
officials reinstated a ban on international journalists entering the
Gaza Strip, despite protests from the heads of major news
organizations and an appeal to the country's Supreme Court.
2008 Dec 5, Japan approved a
law that will grant citizenship to all children born out of wedlock
to Japanese fathers who acknowledge them, regardless of the
nationality of their mothers.
2008 Dec 5, Kyrgyzstan's state
radio station was reported to have taken BBC programming off the
airwaves, days after withdrawing broadcasting rights from US-funded
Radio Liberty's Kyrgyz Service.
2008 Dec 5, Gerardo Garay,
Mexico's former acting federal police chief, was accused of
collaborating with a notorious cartel and stealing money from a
mansion during a raid to bust a drug trafficking ring. Victor
Serrano (24), a hit team chief, was wounded and 3 alleged gang
members died in a shootout in Mexicali. 14 others were arrested.
(AP, 12/5/08)(AP, 12/8/08)
2008 Dec 5, In Pakistan a car
bomb devastated a busy street in the northwestern city of Peshawar,
killing 30 people and injuring about a hundred.
(AP, 12/5/08)(AP, 12/6/08)(Econ, 12/13/08, p.50)
2008 Dec 5, In Romania
Constantin Ticu Dumitrescu (80), once jailed as a communist-era
"enemy of the state," died after years of fighting to reveal details
of the country's troubled past.
2008 Dec 5, Russian Orthodox
Patriarch Alexy II (79) died. He had presided over a vast
post-Soviet revival of faith but struggled against the influence of
2008 Dec 5, In Saudi Arabia
nearly 3 million Muslims from all over the world gathered in Mecca,
on the eve of the start of the annual hajj pilgrimage.
2008 Dec 5, In Somalia 12
people were killed as mortar shells rained down on homes and a small
market in Mogadishu.
(SFC, 12/6/08, p.A5)
2008 Dec 5, In southern
Thailand 4 people were killed by a bomb at a drugstore suspected to
have been planted by Muslim insurgents.
2008 Dec 5, The leaders of
Pakistan and Afghanistan met for Turkish-sponsored talks aimed at
reducing tensions over militant attacks along the countries' lawless
2008 Dec 5, The UN General
Assembly passed a resolution that as of 2009, June 8th would be
recognized as World Oceans Day.
(SSFC, 6/9/13, p.C3)
2008 Dec 6, Indicted Democratic
US Rep. William Jefferson was ousted from his New Orleans area
district, while Republicans narrowly held on to the seat vacated by
a retiring incumbent. Republican attorney Anh "Joseph" Cao won 50%
of the vote to Jefferson's 47% and will become the first
Vietnamese-American in Congress.
2008 Dec 6, A Montana state
judge ruled that doctor assisted suicides are legal in the state.
(SSFC, 12/7/08, p.A4)
2008 Dec 6, The Univ. of Hawaii
activated the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System
(PS1) to search for dangerous asteroids.
(Econ, 12/6/08, p.100)
2008 Dec 6, Martha "Sunny" von
Bulow (b.1932), daughter of utilities tycoon George Crawford, died
in New York. The heiress spent the last 28 years of her life in
oblivion after what prosecutors alleged in a pair of sensational
trials were two murder attempts by her husband. In 19082 Claus von
Bulow was convicted of trying twice to kill her by injecting her
with insulin at their estate in Newport, R.I. That verdict was
thrown out on appeal, and he was acquitted at a second trial in
2008 Dec 6, Okay Airways,
China's first private airline, began a planned one-month suspension
of passenger service 10 days early after skittish airports insisted
on cash to refuel its planes. The airline suffered from financial
and management woes.
2008 Dec 6, In Denmark
"Gomorra," a movie by Italian director Matteo Garrone about Naples'
criminal underworld, won the best film prize at the 21st annual
European Film Awards.
2008 Dec 6, Greek police shot
and killed Alexis Grigoropoulos (15). His death sparked two weeks of
the worst rioting the country has seen in decades. In 2010 a court
sentenced a police officer to life in prison for Grigoropoulos'
death, and a second officer to 10 years.
2008 Dec 6, India’s central
bank cuts its benchmark short term lending and borrowing rates by
one percentage point. The next day the government unveiled a
stimulus package that included increased spending and easing of some
(WSJ, 12/8/08, p.A8)
2008 Dec 6, A series of attacks
targeted Iraqi security forces in Baghdad and in the north, killing
at least six people, including a senior member of an anti-al-Qaida
2008 Dec 6, The Irish
government ordered the recall of all pig meat products made in the
Republic of Ireland after dioxins were discovered in slaughtered
pigs thought to have eaten contaminated feed.
2008 Dec 6, Mexican soldiers
found at least eight bodies buried in a shallow grave in Michoacan
2008 Dec 6, Amsterdam unveiled
plans to close brothels, sex shops and marijuana cafes in its
ancient city center as part of a major effort to drive organized
crime out of the tourist haven.
2008 Dec 6, Palestinians packed
into cars to leave the West Bank city of Nablus after Israel eased
restrictions on residents leaving the town in vehicles for the first
time in six years.
2008 Dec 6, In the Philippines
gunmen armed with automatic weapons and grenades fired on police
officers who were tailing them, leaving at least 17 people dead in a
fierce shootout in a Manila suburb.
2008 Dec 6, In Moscow, Russia,
ultranationalist attacked 2 migrant workers, one of whom escaped. On
Dec 10 the severed head of Salekh Azizov (20), the other Tajik
migrant worker, was found in a trash bin. A group calling itself the
Militant Organization of Russian Nationalists claimed
responsibility. For the year some 85 people were reported killed by
(SSFC, 12/14/08, p.A25)
2008 Dec 6, Sri Lanka's
military captured a rebel-held village, bringing half of a main
highway leading to the rebels' de facto capital of Kilinochchi under
2008 Dec 6, Zimbabwe's
President Robert Mugabe came under fresh international pressure over
his country's economic collapse as his government announced plans to
introduce a 200 million dollar bill.
2008 Dec 7, NYC police officers
escorted a drunken Gap designer (29) to her East Village apartment.
In 2011 a Manhattan jury acquitted two officers of rape, but found
them guilty of misconduct for three unauthorized post midnight
visits to her apartment.
(SFC, 5/27/11, p.A6)
2008 Dec 7, Off the coast of
Cameroon at least three dozen people were missing and feared dead
after a ferryboat accident. It was transporting 43 people in West
Africa's Gulf of Guinea.
2008 Dec 7, Former Central
African Republic president Ange-Felix Patasse arrived in Bangui
after 5 years in exile in Togo to participate in long-delayed peace
talks in the troubled country.
2008 Dec 7, China protested
strongly to France over President Nicolas Sarkozy's meeting with the
Dalai Lama, calling it a "rude intervention" into Chinese affairs.
2008 Dec 7, Francois-Xavier
Lalanne (81), French sculptor, died at his home in Ury. For 40 years
he and his wife worked in tandem, producing some works jointly,
2008 Dec 7, Ghanaians voted for
a new president in a tight race between two foreign-educated lawyers
hoping to lead the West African nation into an era of greater
prosperity thanks to offshore oil. Two technocrats were expected to
get the most votes in a filed of 8 seeking to replace incumbent
Pres. John Kufuor. No candidate managed to win a majority and Nana
Akufo-Addo and John Atta Mills were scheduled for a runoff on Dec
(Reuters, 12/7/08)(WSJ, 12/8/08, p.A12)(WSJ,
2008 Dec 7, In Greece rioters
rampaged through Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki,
hurling Molotov cocktails, burning stores and blocking city streets
with flaming barricades after protests against the fatal Dec 6
police shooting of Alexandros Grigoropoulos (15) in Exarchia erupted
(AP, 12/7/08)(Econ, 12/13/08, p.59)
2008 Dec 7, In Iraq a bomb
hidden in an abandoned store exploded as the mayor of Baqouba was
leading a tour through the city center. The blast wounded the mayor,
Abdullah al-Hiali, and 34 other people. In northern Iraq Dr. Adel
Hussein, freelance journalist, was pardoned by Massoud Barzani, the
president of the self-ruled Kurdish region in the country's north.
He had been imprisoned for 13 days for violating a public decency
law by writing a story in 2007 about homosexuality. He was among 121
people pardoned by the president in advance of the Muslim
celebration of Eid al-Adha.
(AP, 12/7/08)(AP, 12/10/08)
2008 Dec 7, Large crowds voted
in several towns in Indian Kashmir, while separatists in other areas
boycotted the polls and clashed with government forces in the fourth
phase of state elections in the disputed Himalayan region.
2008 Dec 7, Kenya’s PM Raila
Odinga said foreign troops should prepare to intervene in Zimbabwe
to end a worsening humanitarian crisis and Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe should be investigated for crimes against humanity.
2008 Dec 7, A Kurdish rebel
group declared a nine-day holiday cease-fire in their fight against
Turkey, calling it a "first step toward peace."
2008 Dec 7, In southern
Malaysia a bus skidded off a highway, smashed into a tree and
plunged into a ditch, killing nine people and injuring 19 others.
2008 Dec 7, In Mexico 10
suspected drug traffickers and a soldier were killed in gunbattles
in southern Guerrero state. 6 people were killed when assailants
opened fire inside a pool hall in Ciudad Juarez, across the border
from El Paso, Texas.
2008 Dec 7, A Mexican
government Learjet plunged into Atlangatepec lake in central Mexico,
killing two pilots in the second deadly crash in a month involving a
federally owned plane.
2008 Dec 7, Gunmen blasted
their way into two transport terminals in Pakistan and torched more
than 160 vehicles, including 790 Humvees, destined for US-led troops
in Afghanistan, in the biggest assault yet on a vital military
supply line. The losses possibly exceeded $10 million.
2008 Dec 7, Pakistani security
forces overran a militant camp on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad,
Pakistani Kashmir's main city, and seized Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, an
alleged mastermind of the attacks that shook Mumbai last month.
Zarar Shah, another top operational commander, and 10 others were
seized at the camp run by the banned group Laskhar-e-Taiba.
(AP, 12/8/08)(WSJ, 12/9/08, p.A10)
2008 Dec 7, In the Philippines
Abu Sayyaf and Muslim militants engaged in fierce clashes with
governments troops who took over a southern village on Basilan
island notorious as a hide-out for kidnappers and al-Qaida-linked
rebels. At least five soldiers were killed and dozens wounded.
2008 Dec 7, In Saudi Arabia
nearly 3 million Muslims converged on a rocky desert hill outside
Mecca to perform the ritual of forgiveness marking the climax of the
2008 Dec 7, Thailand's main
opposition party called for an emergency parliament session to prove
its majority in a bid to form the next government and end months of
political chaos, as loyalists of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra
struggled to stay in power.
2008 Dec 8, Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed and 4 co-defendants, charged with plotting the Sept. 11
attacks, told a military judge that they want to immediately confess
at their war-crimes tribunal at Guantanamo Bay.
(AP, 12/8/08)(WSJ, 12/9/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 8, Marc Dreier (58),
owner of a prominent NYC law firm, was indicted with criminal
charges and civil complaints alleging he defrauded investors of some
$115 million by selling them phony financial instruments. On Dec 23
federal prosecutors charged Kosta Kovachev (57), a former
stockbroker, for his role in Dreier’s 2006 Ponzi scheme. In 2009 the
indictment was amended and estimated the alleged fraud at about $700
(WSJ, 12/9/08, p.A3)(WSJ, 12/24/08, p.A3)(WSJ,
2008 Dec 8, In San Diego The
F/A-18D Hornet crashed into a street about two miles from Marine
Corps Air Station Miramar as the pilot was returning from a training
flight. 4 people, a mother, 2 children and a grandmother, were
killed in one house. Two homes were destroyed.
(AP, 12/9/08)(WSJ, 12/9/08, p.A1)(SFC, 12/10/08,
2008 Dec 8, The Chicago-based
Tribune Co. filed for bankruptcy as it struggled with $13 billion in
debt and a drop-off in advertising.
(SFC, 12/9/08, p.D2)
2008 Dec 8, Dow Chemical Co.
said it will slash 5,000 full-time jobs, about 11 percent of its
total work force, close 20 plants and sell several businesses to
rein in costs amid the economic recession.
2008 Dec 8, Robert Prosky (77),
American theater, film and TV actor, died.
(SFC, 12/12/08, p.B9)
2008 Dec 8, In Brazil Police
chief Paulo Fernando Fortunato reported that 13 gay men were killed
in a park in suburban Sao Paulo between February 2007 and August
2008 Dec 8, British car parts
maker Wagon PLC said it planned to file for a form of bankruptcy
protection after a global slump in demand for cars crippled its
2008 Dec 8, British and French
leaders met with European business executives to discuss plans for
major government spending on infrastructure and energy projects
aimed at helping Europe to beat the downturn.
2008 Dec 8, Quebec's ruling
Liberals strengthened their grip on power in a provincial election,
winning a parliamentary majority and defeating separatists who want
independence for the predominantly French-speaking Canadian
2008 Dec 8, In China Liu Xiaobo
(53), a dissident, was detained hours before releasing Charter 08,
the China democracy movement's most comprehensive call yet for
peaceful reform. Liu had cut short a visiting scholar stint at
Columbia University to join the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing
in 1989. He and three other older activists famously persuaded
students to peacefully leave the square hours before the deadly June
2008 Dec 8, Congolese rebels
opened peace negotiations with a government delegation in Nairobi in
their first direct talks on ending the conflict in eastern
Democratic Republic of Congo.
2008 Dec 8, The EU formally
launches its anti-piracy task mission off the Somali coast,
preparing to take over from the NATO flotilla guarding one of the
world's most important shipping lanes.
2008 Dec 8, The EU joined calls
for President Robert Mugabe to step down after 28 years ruling
Zimbabwe, where spreading cholera and food shortages have worsened a
desperate humanitarian crisis.
2008 Dec 8, French police
arrested the suspected military chief and "No. 1 member" of ETA, a
new blow to the banned Basque militant group just weeks after his
alleged predecessor was caught.
2008 Dec 8, The National Bank
of Hungary cut its key interest rate by half a percentage point to
an annual rate of 10.5% due to the deteriorating economy outlook.
(WSJ, 12/9/08, p.C2)
2008 Dec 8, The US military
captured four suspected members of a Shiite militant group in Iraq
allegedly trained and funded by Iran.
2008 Dec 8, Victor Hugo Moneda,
a senior Mexico City police commander, was slain in a drive-by
shooting outside his home. He had overseen raids in the capital's
gang-filled Tepito neighborhood.
2008 Dec 8, In Pakistan armed
militants launched a second raid in as many days on NATO depots,
torching nearly 100 more vehicles destined for the alliance's forces
2008 Dec 8, In the Philippines
suspected extortionists armed with automatic rifles and
rocket-propelled grenades attacked two cargo ships docked at a
southern port, wounding two crew members.
2008 Dec 8, In northern Vietnam
a blast at a coal mine killed at least seven workers and injured 15.
2008 Dec 9, Federal authorities
arrested Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (51) on charges that he
brazenly conspired to sell or trade the US Senate seat left vacant
by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder. Upon his
arrest Blagojevich and his wife were awash in over $200,000 in
credit card debt. Blagojevich was released after paying a
(AP, 12/9/08)(SFC, 12/10/08, p.A4)(SFC, 7/2/10,
2008 Dec 9, The US Treasury
said it had sold $30 billion in four-week bills at an interest rate
of zero percent, for the first time since the notes began issuing in
(SFC, 12/10/08, p.C4)
2008 Dec 9, Wal-Mart Stores
Inc. said it will pay up to $54.25 million to settle a class-action
lawsuit that alleged the discount giant cut workers' break time and
didn't prevent employees from working off the clock in Minnesota.
2008 Dec 9, SF Mayor Gavin
Newsom announced $71 million in cuts that included the loss of jobs
for nearly 400 city employees.
(SFC, 12/10/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 9, Nevada state and
federal authorities said they arrested nearly two dozen people, many
with ties to Eastern Europe, in a credit card fraud and identity
theft scheme that cost Las Vegas businesses and consumers about $1.5
2008 Dec 9, In Afghanistan
Mohammad Bobi, a Taliban commander, was killed during a targeted
overnight operation just south of Kabul.
2008 Dec 9, In Argentina
officials announced that 10,000 bone fragments had been unearthed
between February and September, inside the once-secret Arana
detention center in La Plata. Political dissidents were tortured and
killed there during the 1976-1983 “Dirty War."
2008 Dec 9, The Bank of Canada
unexpectedly cut its key interest rate by three-quarters of a
percentage point to a 50-year low of 1.50 percent and declared the
Canadian economy to be in a recession.
2008 Dec 9, In Beijing
delegates from six nations focused on a Chinese proposal on how to
verify North Korea's claims about its atomic program in talks aimed
at ending the secretive regime's nuclear activities.
2008 Dec 9, In China activists
issued a new public call for greater freedoms ahead of the 60th
anniversary of the UN convention on human rights, but police
detained two of the signatories before it was even issued. The
petition known as Charter 08 was issued online and initially signed
by 303 intellectuals. Within a week 5,000 people added their
(AP, 12/9/08)(Econ, 1/17/09, p.42)(Econ, 2/14/09,
2008 Dec 9, Ethiopian troops
were reported to be pouring into neighboring Somalia to fight
radical Islamists who have taken over much of the country, raising
fears of more violence in a country fighting a deadly insurgency and
2008 Dec 9, In Paris, France,
entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, Jordan's Queen Noor and other
dignitaries launched an ambitious project aimed at eliminating the
world's nuclear weapons over the next 25 years.
2008 Dec 9, The European Union
and Canada reached a deal to open their aviation markets to each
other by removing restrictions on direct flights and foreign
ownership in airlines.
2008 Dec 9, Hong Kong health
authorities said more than 80,000 chickens will be slaughtered after
bird flu was found on a poultry farm, the first outbreak at a farm
here in nearly six years.
2008 Dec 9, India police
released the names of nine suspected Islamic militants killed during
their attack on Mumbai, bolstering India's charges that all of them
came from Pakistan. A speeding bus caught fire in northern Uttar
Pradesh state, killing at least 63 Hindu pilgrims.
(AP, 12/9/08)(AP, 12/10/08)
2008 Dec 9, Ireland's
farm minister said Irish cattle have tested positive for chemicals
which have triggered a cancer scare previously confined to pork.
2008 Dec 9, Israel reopened its
crossings with Gaza to shipments of humanitarian aid and fuel.
International journalists were also being allowed in.
2008 Dec 9, Sony said it is
slashing 8,000 jobs, or 4 percent of its global work force, aiming
to cut costs by $1.1 billion a year as an economic downturn and a
stronger yen batter profits at the Japanese electronics maker.
2008 Dec 9, Andrius Kubilius
(b.1956) began serving as the Prime Minister of Lithuania. He
already served as the PM 1999. He led the conservative political
party Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats.
2008 Dec 9, Mexico's Congress
voted to broaden police powers, allowing law enforcement agencies to
use undercover agents and taped conversations as evidence in a bid
to help them fight increasingly bloody drug cartels. In the Gulf
coast state of Tabasco, soldiers detained 11 police officers from
four towns for questioning on suspicion of aiding the Gulf drug
cartel. In the northern city of Tijuana four bodies were found.
2008 Dec 9, Pakistan arrested
some 40 people in raids that targeted Lashkar-e-Taiba in the
Northwest Frontier Province and Punjab.
(WSJ, 12/10/08, p.A9)
2008 Dec 9, A South African man
accused of attempting to smuggle hundreds of rare chameleons,
snakes, lizards and frogs out of Madagascar inside his jacket and
luggage was convicted and sentenced to a year in jail.
2008 Dec 9, President Robert
Mugabe rejected mounting Western pressure for him to resign, even as
his health minister called for more international aid to battle a
deadly cholera epidemic. US President George W. Bush joined calls
for Robert Mugabe to step down, but the African Union rejected
tougher action against Mugabe and said only dialogue could solve its
(AFP, 12/9/08)(Reuters, 12/9/08)
2008 Dec 10, Congressional
officials said majority Democrats and the White House have finalized
a deal to spend $15 billion on emergency loans for struggling US
2008 Dec 10, The US proposed to
track down Somali pirates not only at sea, but on land and in
Somalian air space with cooperation from the African country's weak
2008 Dec 10, In southern
Afghanistan 6 police and a civilian were killed when US-led forces
targeting a Taliban commander bombed a police station in Zabul
2008 Dec 10, Anglo-Australian
mining giant Rio Tinto said it will slash some 14,000 jobs globally
to cut its debt by 10 billion US dollars as it battles falling
prices and a global slowdown.
2008 Dec 10, In Australia Taha
Abdul-Rahman of Sydney was jailed for 3½ years for buying seven
rocket launchers stolen from the military between 2001 and 2003,
most of which have never been recovered by authorities.
2008 Dec 10, British television
broadcast a documentary of the assisted suicide of Craig Ewert
(d.2006 at 59), a terminally ill American, as he died in
Switzerland. The documentary, “Right to Die?," was made by
Oscar-winning director John Zaritsky.
(SFC, 12/11/08, p.A2)
2008 Dec 10, Sark, the English
Channel Island that let only landowners vote for 450 years, held the
first parliamentary election in its history.
2008 Dec 10, The government of
Cambodia and the UN agreed in principle to strengthen measures to
prevent corruption among staff at the country's genocide tribunal.
2008 Dec 10, The European
Commission awarded the first Chaillot Prize to the Al-Nahda
Philanthropic Society for Women, a Saudi charity which helps
divorced and underprivileged women.
2008 Dec 10, Protesters
attacked Athens' main courthouse with firebombs during a hearing for
police officers whose shooting of a teenager set off rioting that
appeared to be tapering off even as a general strike paralyzed the
2008 Dec 10, Indonesia launched
the Bali Democracy Forum to promote human rights and democracy. The
forum was attended by foreign ministers from around 20 countries,
with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Australian PM Kevin Rudd
(Econ, 2/19/11, p.43)(http://tinyurl.com/6hbsxh5)
2008 Dec 10, Israel agreed to
allow the delivery of cash to banks in the Gaza Strip to ease a cash
crunch that has badly hobbled the economy of the blockaded
2008 Dec 10, In Italy a bumper
harvest was expected to push wine production above that of
neighboring France for the first time in a decade, making Italy the
world's largest wine producer.
2008 Dec 10, Police in Jamaica
said armed gangs wrestling for control of 2 communities near the
capital have forced over 200 people from their homes.
(SFC, 12/11/08, p.A4)
2008 Dec 10, In Mexico a
shootout between rival gangs killed 10 people in Sinaloa state, home
of the powerful cartel of the same name. US security consultant
Felix Batista was kidnapped in Saltillo, Coahuila state, while there
to offer advice on how to confront abductions for ransom. He claimed
to have helped resolve nearly 100 kidnap and ransom cases.
(AP, 12/11/08)(AP, 12/15/08)
2008 Dec 10, In Romania Theodor
Stolojan (65), former World Bank economist, was chosen to become the
next prime minister. On Dec 15 Stolojan renounced the job and was
replaced by Emil Boc (42), the leader of the same centrist
Democratic Liberal Party.
(SFC, 12/11/08, p.A4)(AP, 12/15/08)
2008 Dec 10, In Saudi Arabia
Muslims poured into Mecca for a final day of the hajj.
2008 Dec 10, In northern Sri
Lanka separatist Tamil rebels fought intense battles against
government forces trying to advance on the militants' de facto
capital, killing at least 89 soldiers. The military disputed the
death toll, saying pitched battles in the north over the past two
days had left 20 soldiers and 27 rebels dead.
2008 Dec 10, The Nobel Prizes
were awarded in twin ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo.
2008 Dec 10, The death toll
from Zimbabwe's cholera outbreak soared to nearly 800 and a court
ordered police to find a missing rights activist, piling more
pressure on President Robert Mugabe's government.
2008 Dec 11, The $14 billion
package to aid General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC
collapsed amid disputes over union wage cuts. A band of mostly
Republican Southern senators, including states that subsidized
foreign auto makers, formed the heart of the opposition.
(AP, 12/12/08)(WSJ, 12/12/08, p.A3)
2008 Dec 11, US Interior Sec.
Dirk Kemphorne announced major changes to the Endangered Species Act
causing environmental groups to charge that the ‘midnight rules" set
to go into effect before Pres. Obama takes offices were intended to
eviscerate the wildlife protection law.
(SFC, 12/12/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 11, Bernard Madoff
(70), a quiet force on Wall Street for decades, was arrested and
charged with allegedly running a $50 billion "Ponzi scheme" in what
may rank among the biggest fraud cases ever.
2008 Dec 11, California’s air
quality board approved the nation’s most sweeping plan to reduce
global warming by curbing emissions.
(SFC, 12/12/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 11, California
conservation officials said a $9.9 million deal to buy the Sonoma
Ranch, also known as the Walsh Property, would be completed by the
end of the year.
(SFC, 12/12/08, p.B1)
2008 Dec 11, In Los Angeles the
husband and daughter of Karine Hakobyan were killed. On March 26,
2010, Karine Hakobyan was shot to death in Hollywood.
2008 Dec 11, Ron Carey (72),
former Teamsters president (1992-1997), died in NYC.
(SFC, 12/13/08, p.B5)
2008 Dec 11, Bettie Page (85),
the 1950s secretary-turned-model, died. Her controversial
photographs in skimpy attire or none at all helped set the stage for
the 1960s sexual revolution.
2008 Dec 11, Australian police
said detectives have charged 22 men including a policeman, a senior
lawyer and a child care worker in connection with a child
pornography-sharing network spanning 70 countries. Brazilian
information, which was shared via the international policing network
Interpol, identified more than 200 suspects in 70 countries.
2008 Dec 11, Police in Brussels
and eastern Belgium detained 14 suspected al-Qaida-linked extremists
in raids, including one militant who allegedly was plotting a
2008 Dec 11, As Greece suffered
through its sixth day of violence, there were troubling signs of
unrest spreading across Europe. Angry youths smashed shop windows,
attacked banks and hurled bottles at police in small but violent
protests in Spain and Denmark, while cars were set alight outside a
consulate in France.
2008 Dec 11, Hong Kong's
government confirmed that the deadly H5N1 virus was found at a
poultry farm, the first outbreak on a farm here in nearly six years.
2008 Dec 11, Indian authorities
reported an outbreak of bird flu in Assam state. Some 245,000 birds
had been culled and the outbreak was localized.
(WSJ, 12/12/08, p.A12)
2008 Dec 11, Indonesia and
Malaysia agreed to heighten intelligence cooperation to anticipate
rising cross-border crime due to the impact of the global economic
2008 Dec 11, In northern Iraq a
suicide bomber struck a crowded restaurant where Kurdish officials
were meeting with Arab tribal leaders to discuss long-standing
ethnic tensions, killing at least 48 people and wounding nearly 100.
(AP, 12/11/08)(SFC, 12/12/08, p.A4)
2008 Dec 11, Malaysia's
government drew flak after admitting it spent 1.68 million dollars a
year on PM Badawi’s sprawling residence in the administrative
2008 Dec 11, Esther Chavez, a
women's rights activist, was named the winner of Mexico's National
Human Rights Award. She first drew attention to the slayings of
young women in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez in the
2008 Dec 11, Mexican soldiers
shot to death Silvia Arzate (35), a pregnant woman, after she
reportedly failed to stop at a highway checkpoint in the northern
state of Chihuahua.
2008 Dec 11, In southern Nepal
a crowded school bus skidded off a bridge on a highway, killing at
least 20 students and two teachers. At least 57 others were injured.
2008 Dec 11, Multilateral talks
with North Korea failed to break an impasse on checking Pyongyang’s
nuclear declarations. This led the US to halt fuel oil shipments
until specific steps are taken to verify nuclear activities.
(WSJ, 12/13/08, p.A10)
2008 Dec 11, Pakistan ordered
the closure Jemaat-u-Dawa, a charity linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the
militant group suspected in the Mumbai attacks, a day after the
outfit was declared a front for terrorists by the United Nations. A
suspected US strike killed six people on the Pakistan side of the
Afghan border, a lawless region believed to be a stronghold of
2008 Dec 11, In northern Russia
an explosion and fire ripped through a mine, killing 12 workers.
2008 Dec 11, The South African
Reserve Bank cut a key interest rate by a half percentage point to
11.5 percent in a bid to stimulate the flagging economy.
2008 Dec 11, South Korea’s
central bank cut its main interest rate by a percentage point to 3%,
its 4th and largest cut in two months.
(WSJ, 12/11/08, p.A12)
2008 Dec 11, Venezuelan
prosecutors formally charged Manuel Rosales, a leading opposition
figure, with corruption, as President Hugo Chavez pushed forward
with plans for a referendum to end term limits. Rosales denied any
wrongdoing, saying the accusations are politically motivated.
2008 Dec 11, President Robert
Mugabe declared that Zimbabwe's cholera crisis was over, even as the
UN raised the death toll from the epidemic to 783.
2008 Dec 12, The White House
and the Treasury said they were considering diverting money from the
Wall Street rescue fund to stave off bankruptcy filings among the
carmakers. General Motors Corp. said it will temporarily close 20
factories across North America and make sweeping cuts to its vehicle
production as it tries to adjust to dramatically weaker automobile
2008 Dec 12, The Bush
administration issued a regulation exempting farms from reporting
releases of hazardous air pollution from animal waste to federal,
state and local authorities. The white House also approved a coal
mining rule that makes it easier for some firms to dump rock and
sludge near rivers.
(SFC, 12/13/08, p.A9)(WSJ, 12/13/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 12, In Woodburn,
Oregon, a bomb exploded inside a branch of the West Coast Bank,
killing a police officer and a state bomb disposal technician.
Police arrested Joshua A. Turnidge (32), a steelworker, in Salem on
Dec 14. Joshua’s father, Bruce Turnidge (57), was also soon arrested
and charged with the bombing. In 2010 Bruce Turnidge and his son
were convicted on 18 counts related to the bank bombing.
(AP, 12/13/08)(SSFC, 12/14/08, p.A6)(SFC,
12/15/08, p.A3)(SFC, 12/16/08, p.A4)(WSJ, 12/27/08, p.A2)(SFC,
2008 Dec 12, Cardinal Avery
Dulles died in NYC. His more than 20 books included “Models of the
Church" (1974). Dulles, the son of former Sec. of State John Foster
Dulles, joined the Jesuits after he was discharged from the Navy in
2008 Dec 12, Van Johnson
(b.1916), Hollywood film star, died in Nyack, NY. His boy-next-door
wholesomeness made him a popular Hollywood star in the '40s and '50s
with such films as "30 Seconds over Tokyo," "A Guy Named Joe" and
"The Caine Mutiny."
(AP, 12/12/08)(SFC, 12/13/08, p.A5)
2008 Dec 12, In central
Afghanistan NATO troops fired on a civilian bus that refused
warnings to stop, killing four passengers in Wardak province.
2008 Dec 12, A court in
Australia approved the use of Facebook, a popular social networking
Web site, to notify a couple that they lost their home after
defaulting on a loan.
2008 Dec 12, Belgian
authorities charged six suspected al-Qaida-linked extremists with
membership in a terrorist group. They including a woman whose
husband was involved in the assassination of Afghanistan's that
killed anti-Taliban warlord Ahmed Shah Massoud, shortly before the
Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
2008 Dec 12, In Chile admirers
of former dictator Augusto Pinochet inaugurated a museum in his
honor, a move they hope will burnish the image of a man reviled by
much of the world.
2008 Dec 12, Colombia
extradited Diego Montoya, one of its most notorious drug trafficking
suspects, to the United States to stand trial. Colombian authorities
said he sent tons of cocaine to the United States and is responsible
for at least 1,500 killings in a two-decade career.
2008 Dec 12, Tassos
Papadopoulos (b.1934), Cyprus' hardline former president
(2003-2008), died of lung cancer in Nicosia. He had ushered the
divided island into the European Union (2004) after rallying Greek
Cypriots to reject a UN peace deal.
2008 Dec 12, Ecuador’s Pres.
Rafael Correa said his nation will skip a $30.6 million payment to
bondholders due on Dec 15. This was Ecuador’s 3rd default in 3
(WSJ, 12/12/08, p.A8)(Econ, 7/4/09, p.34)
2008 Dec 12, Estonia’s
parliament passed a law making it the first country to allow
(WSJ, 12/13/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 12, European Union
leaders agreed to give concessions to Ireland so it will hold a new
referendum on the EU's stalled Lisbon reform treaty, which aims to
make the 27-nation bloc a stronger player on the world stage.
2008 Dec 12, Greek youths
hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at riot police in Athens, who
responded with stun grenades and tear gas. Despite seven straight
days of unrest, Greece's prime minister rebuffed calls to resign and
hold early elections.
2008 Dec 12, In Guatemala a mob
in San Pedro Solom beat and then shot to death five men suspected of
kidnapping a 15-year-old girl.
2008 Dec 12, Nigeria's Pres.
Umaru Yar'Adua vowed to speed up electoral reforms after overcoming
a legal challenge to his election and receiving a report on problems
with the country's electoral laws. The Supreme Court ruled 4-3 to
dismiss a suit by opposition leaders, but conceded that widespread
irregularities had occurred in his 2006 election.
(AFP, 12/12/08)(SSFC, 12/14/08, p.A20)
2008 Dec 12, Pakistan stage
overnight raids, shut offices and arrested scores of activists of
Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), an Islamic charity associated with
Lashkar-e-Taiba, as international pressure mounted for firm action
against militants blamed for the Mumbai attacks. Maulana Masood
Azhar, head of the Jaish-e-Mohammad group, blamed with
Lashkar-e-Taiba for a 2001 attack on India's parliament, was also
2008 Dec 12, The chief
Palestinian negotiators said Israel proposed to annex 6.8 percent of
the West Bank and to take in a few thousand refugees under a peace
deal, but it has not revealed its position on the most contentious
issue, the future of Jerusalem.
2008 Dec 12, In Poland
negotiators at a UN climate conference broke through red tape and
freed up millions of dollars to help poor countries adapt to
increasingly severe droughts, floods and other effects of global
2008 Dec 12, Sir David Barclay
and his twin brother, Sir Frederick Barclay, abruptly closed their
businesses on the Channel Island of Sark and shut off the flow of
investment after their candidates for the island's first elected
parliament were largely rejected by voters. Only two of the nine
candidates backed by the brothers won seats in the legislature. Nine
of the 12 candidates they had denounced as "dangerous to Sark's
future" were elected.
2008 Dec 12, In Sri Lanka
clashes with troops left 10 rebels dead near their de facto northern
2008 Dec 12, Switzerland became
the 25th member of the passport-free zone of the Schengen countries,
after interior and justice ministers of the 27 EU member states
formally approved the accession of this non-EU country on Nov 27.
The number of Chinese visitors quickly soared.
2008 Dec 12, Taiwanese
prosecutors indicted former President Chen Shui-bian on graft
charges, a stunning blow for a man who rode to power 8 1/2 years ago
on promises to reform the island's corrupt political culture.
2008 Dec 12, In Thailand a
commercial fishing commission agreed to cut the catches of bigeye
tuna in parts of the Pacific Ocean, a small step in an effort to
save a threatened species that is a favorite among sushi lovers.
Environmentalists lambasted the Western and Central Pacific
Fisheries Commission's decision to reduce catches by only 10 percent
in each of the next three years. They wanted an immediate 30 percent
reduction that scientists advising the body had recommended.
2008 Dec 12, A UN Security
Council panel said that Rwanda and Congo are fighting a proxy war by
aiding each other's enemies, a conclusion that could lead to
additional UN sanctions over the conflict in the central African
region. A UN report cited an advisor to Rwandan President Paul
Kagame and a member of the Congolese opposition, both wealthy
businessmen, as key financial backers of rebels in eastern DR Congo.
(AP, 12/12/08)(AFP, 12/13/08)
2008 Dec 12, The Vatican raised
its opposition to embryonic stem cell research, the morning-after
pill, in vitro fertilization and human cloning to a new level in a
major new document on bioethics.
2008 Dec 12, Zimbabwe's central
bank introduced a 500 million dollar note, as the African country
struggles to cope with the world's highest inflation and crippling
2008 Dec 13, In New Hampshire
370,000 customers still had no electricity following a huge ice
storm. Utility crews worked through a night of hand-numbing cold in
the Northeast but they still had a long way to go before restoring
power to all of the more than 1 million homes and businesses blacked
out by the storm. Most of the outages were in New Hampshire,
Massachusetts, Maine and New York.
2008 Dec 13, A woman (28) in
Richmond, Ca., was jumped by four men, taunted for being a lesbian,
repeatedly raped and left naked outside an abandoned apartment
building. In early January police arrested 2 men and 2 teens on
suspicion of the gang-rape. On Dec 18, 2013, Humberto Salvador (36),
the ringleader of the gang rape, was convicted of multiple charges
in the case. Robert Ortiz (20) still awaited trial. Darrell Hodges
(20) was already sentenced to 24 years. Josue Gonzalez, who
testified against Salvador, was awaiting sentencing for carjacking
(AP, 12/23/08)(AP, 1/2/09)(SFC, 12/19/13, p.C3)
2008 Dec 13, Alex Bellini, an
Italian adventurer, was rescued a mere 65 nautical miles short
of his goal, Australia, after rough weather sapped him of his final
shreds of energy. He had spent 10 months rowing more than 9,500
nautical miles (18,000 kilometers) across the Pacific.
2008 Dec 13, Britain’s PM
Gordon Brown paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan, where he spoke to
troops battling the Taliban and held talks with President Hamid
Karzai. 3 Canadian soldiers were killed and one wounded in southern
Afghanistan when an explosive device detonated near the armored car
in which they were riding.
(AFP, 12/13/08)(Reuters, 12/14/08)
2008 Dec 13, Cuban President
Raul Castro arrived in Venezuela on his first international visit as
2008 Dec 13, The Indian navy
captured 23 pirates who threatened a merchant vessel in the lawless
waters of the Gulf of Aden, where dozens of ships have come under
attack by gunmen in recent months. The pirates were from Somalia and
Yemen. A German helicopter thwarted another attack on a freighter
being chased by speed boats off Yemen.
(AP, 12/13/08)(SSFC, 12/14/08, p.A20)
2008 Dec 13, Voters cast their
ballots in the fifth phase of state elections in Indian Kashmir as
scattered clashes between protesters and government forces left one
2008 Dec 13, Japan, China and
South Korea moved to ward off the effects of the global financial
crunch at a trilateral summit in Japan, while Tokyo and Seoul
criticized North Korea for stalling denuclearization talks.
2008 Dec 13, In southern
Nigeria 5 aides of the governor Edo state were killed when their car
collided head-on with an oncoming vehicle on a road.
2008 Dec 13, North Korea warned
that it will slow down work on ending its nuclear drive after
six-party talks collapsed, but South Korea predicted a fresh start
for diplomacy under US president-elect Barack Obama.
2008 Dec 13, In northwest
Pakistan militants attacked a terminal used by vehicles ferrying
supplies to US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Elsewhere in the
northwest clashes involving security forces, tribesmen and
insurgents killed 8 people, including two children. Authorities
found the bodies of 2 Afghan men in Miran Shah. A letter found
nearby alleged the men gave information that aided the US in
launching missile strikes in the militant-plagued region.
2008 Dec 13, In Russia former
chess champion Garry Kasparov and other prominent liberals launched
a new anti-Kremlin movement.
2008 Dec 13, Russian troops
retook Perevi village near the breakaway region of South Ossetia
just hours after withdrawing. The move drew criticism from Georgia,
the EU and US Senator John Kerry, who was on a half-day visit to
2008 Dec 13, In South Africa
scores of international beauties took to the stage as the Miss World
pageant started. Russian blonde Kseniya Sukhinova was crowned the
58th Miss World after a two-hour spectacle that combined elements of
travelogue and reality show, and the kind of flag-waving usually
seen at sports events.
2008 Dec 13, In northern Spain
about 100 demonstrators, formerly jailed as members of the violent
Basque group ETA, protested and called on the government to begin
talks to end the region's long-running separatist conflict.
2008 Dec 13, Sri Lankan air
force jets bombed Tamil separatists in the island's embattled north.
2008 Dec 13, Sudanese officials
said thousands have fled the volatile oil town of Abyei after fresh
north-south fighting has reignited tensions over the contested area.
2008 Dec 13, The Zimbabwean
government accused the West of deliberately starting the country's
cholera epidemic, stepping up a war of words with the regime's
critics as the humanitarian crisis deepened. Air Marshal Perrance
Shiri, head of Zimbabwe's air force, was wounded in the hand in an
alleged assassination attempt by gunmen who ambushed his car.
(AP, 12/13/08)(AP, 12/16/08)
2008 Dec 14, Pres. George W.
Bush visited Baghdad just 37 days before he hands the war off to
President-elect Barack Obama, who has pledged to end it. At the end
of nearly two hours of meetings, Bush defended the war, now in its
sixth year, as a reporter threw his shoes at him. The reporter was
later identified as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for
Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo,
Egypt. Bush then traveled to Afghanistan where he spoke to US
soldiers and Marines at a hangar on the tarmac at Bagram Air Base.
On March 12 shoe thrower was convicted of assaulting a foreign
leader and sentenced to 3 years in prison. On April 7 the sentence
was soon reduced to one year. In 2010 Muntadhar al-Zeidi published
his first book, entitled "The Last Salute to President Bush."
(AP, 12/14/08)(AP, 12/15/08)(AP, 3/12/09)(AP,
2008 Dec 14, It was reported
that a 513-page draft version of “Hard Lessons: The Iraq
Reconstruction Experience," was circulating among technical
reviewers in Baghdad and Washington. It was compiled by the Office
of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction led by
Stuart Bowen, a Republican lawyer, and detailed the blunders of
reconstruction efforts in Iraq.
(SSFC, 12/14/08, p.A24)
2008 Dec 14, in Afghanistan a
bomb hidden in a wooden cart exploded in Kandahar, killing three
police officers and wounding 11 people.
2008 Dec 14, Orascom Telecom,
an Egyptian company, said it will launch 3G mobile telephone service
in North Korea on Dec 15, after winning the contract to build the
advanced network in a country where private cell phones are banned.
2008 Dec 14, Eva Habil (53)
became Egypt's first female mayor. The Christian lawyer, beat five
male candidates, including her younger brother, to become mayor of
the predominantly Coptic Christian town of Komboha in southern
2008 Dec 14, An Egyptian bus
crowded with passengers, many of them students, veered off the road
into a canal south of Cairo, killing 59 passengers.
(AP, 12/14/08)(AP, 12/15/08)
2008 Dec 14, In Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel met with German ministers, business
executives and labor leaders to chart a course through the financial
2008 Dec 14, In Gaza City an
estimated 300,000 supporters of Hamas gathered to mark 21 years
since the organization’s founding. Israel closed its crossing with
Gaza to journalist in response to rocket fire over the weekend.
(SFC, 12/15/08, p.A14)
2008 Dec 14, In Mexico gunmen
staged four attacks on police within a half-hour period, killing
four officers in Ciudad Juarez, the border city overrun by
2008 Dec 14, On the Niger-Mali
border Tuareg rebels of the Front for the Forces of Redress (FFR)
kidnapped Robert Fowler, a Canadian UN special envoy, and Louis
Guay, a Canadian diplomat, along with their local driver. Days later
the FFR made contradictory statements both claiming and condemning
responsibility. On March, 2009, rebels released the driver. The
Canadian diplomats were released in April, 2009.
2008 Dec 14, In the
northeastern Philippines an overcrowded ferry capsized just short of
its destination in rough seas, causing terrified passengers to leap
into the sea. At least 30 people drowned.
(AP, 12/15/08)(AP, 12/16/08)
2008 Dec 14, In Russia police
thwarted an anti-Kremlin protest organized by Garry Kasparov's
opposition group, seizing demonstrators and shoving them into
trucks. They detained at least 25 people including the group's
2008 Dec 14, It was reported
that Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns a double-decker
"flying palace" and recently raised his bet on Citigroup, lost $4
billion in the past year.
2008 Dec 14, Sudanese officials
said several thousand civilians have fled the town of Abyei after
renewed clashes in the disputed oil district where fighting this
year raised fears of a return to civil war.
2008 Dec 14, In Syria former US
President Jimmy Carter met with Khaled Mashaal, the exiled leader of
the Palestinian militant group Hamas, for the second time this year.
2008 Dec 14, Voters in
Turkmenistan cast ballots in a parliamentary election hailed by the
government as an exercise in democracy but dismissed by critics as a
2008 Dec 14, Uganda, southern
Sudan and Congo launched an offensive against the Lord's Resistance
Army bases based in eastern Congo in an attempt to end one of the
continent's longest and most brutal wars.
2008 Dec 15, The US Supreme
Court ruled that consumers can sue Altria Group Inc.’s Philip Morris
USA unit under state unfair trade laws for its advertising of
(WSJ, 12/16/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 15, Pres. –elect
Barack Obama announced that he was nominating Steven Chu, a Nobel
Prize winning physicist, to be his energy secretary.
(Econ, 1/10/09, p.69)
2008 Dec 15, California Senator
Diane Feinstein (75) was tapped as the chairwoman of the US Senate
(SFC, 12/16/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 15, California
Governor Schwarzenegger and First Lady Shriver gave introductory
speeches broadcast live via video from the California Museum website
for the 2008 inductees to the California Hall of Fame. The inductees
included Dave Brubeck, Jane Fonda, Theodor Geisel ("Dr. Seuss"),
Robert Graham, Quincy Jones, Jack LaLanne, Dorothea Lange, Julia
Morgan, Jack Nicholson, Linus Pauling, Leland Stanford and Alice
2008 Dec 15, In Afghanistan a
5-day joint Afghan-NATO operation in Helmand province left 40
militants dead, including the Taliban's leader in that region.
Taliban fighters near Lashkar Gah killed two Afghan police officers
in a checkpoint attack. One of the attackers also died. A British
soldier was killed "as a result of enemy fire" in a separate
incident in Helmand. In central Oruzgan province 3 insurgents were
killed when a bomb they were planting exploded.
(AP, 12/15/08)(AP, 12/16/08)
2008 Dec 15, The Association of
Southeast Asian Nations moved to forge an EU-style community,
signing a charter that makes the bloc a legal entity for the first
time and could pave the way for creating a single market within
2008 Dec 15, Australia pledged
to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least five percent by 2020 to
fight climate change, but critics said the plan was a "global
embarrassment" and called for deeper reductions.
2008 Dec 15, In Belarus nearly
2,000 entrepreneurs rallied Minsk, decrying new regulations that
they said are destroying small business in the ex-Soviet republic.
New regulations, which take effect Jan 1, included doubling their
taxes and forcing them to reregister their businesses.
2008 Dec 15, A spokeswoman in
London said Madonna has settled her divorce with ex-husband Guy
Ritchie by parting with at least 50 million pounds ($76 million).
2008 Dec 15, In China
substances commonly used as industrial dyes, insecticides and drain
cleaners were included on a list of illegal food additives released
as part of a months long government crackdown aimed at improving the
country's shoddy food safety record.
2008 Dec 15, In China the BYD
Co. introduced the F3DB, country’s first homegrown electric vehicle
for the mass market. The sedan was expected to be priced at about
$22,000 and introduced to the US in the second half of 2010.
(WSJ, 12/13/08, p.B2)
2008 Dec 15, A plane from the
Dominican Rep. went missing near the Turks and Caicos Islands that
reportedly had 12 people, including 11 migrant workers, on board.
Several days after the disappearance, Dominican authorities said
Adriano Jimenez, the pilot, was allowed to take off even though he
had only a US student pilot's license.
(AP, 12/16/08)(AP, 12/17/08)(AP, 12/16/09)
2008 Dec 15, In Ecuador former
President Leon Febres Cordero (77) died. The colorful, right-wing
leader served as president from 1984-1988 and had dominated
Ecuadorean politics for almost two decades. He was dubbed the
"owner" of the nation by his opponents.
2008 Dec 15, Europe's biggest
bank, London-based HSBC, joined a list of top names in world finance
admitting huge potential losses in a suspected pyramid fraud scam
run by Wall Street figurehead Bernard Madoff.
2008 Dec 15, Siemens pleaded
guilty to charges of bribery and corruption and agreed to pay fines
of $800 million in America and $540 million in Germany, on top of an
earlier €201 million. For over 6 years Siemens had paid foreign
officials some $805 million to win contracts. By 2015 Siemens paid
had some $3 billion on fines and internal investigations.
(Econ, 12/20/08, p.112)(Econ, 5/9/15, p.14)
2008 Dec 15, Hungary's
Constitutional Court annulled a law giving rights to domestic
partners because it would diminish the importance of marriage.
2008 Dec 15, Thousands of
Iraqis took to the streets to demand the release of a reporter who
threw his shoes at President George W. Bush, as Arabs across many
parts of the Middle East hailed the journalist as a hero and praised
his insult as a proper send-off to the unpopular US president. A
suicide truck bomber killed at least five people at a checkpoint
west of Baghdad. A security official said three gunmen killed the
imam of a local Sunni mosque in Saadiya, Diyala province. US troops
killed three suspected insurgents and detained three others in
separate operations targeting al-Qaida networks in northern Iraq.
The US military handed over 39 detainees, described as former
members of Saddam Hussein's regime, to the government.
(AP, 12/15/08)(AP, 12/16/08)
2008 Dec 15, Israel released
224 Palestinian prisoners in a gesture to moderate Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas, and jubilant detainees waving Palestinian
flags jumped on the roof of one of the buses carrying them to
2008 Dec 15, A Pakistani
transporters association said truckers are refusing to haul supplies
to NATO and US forces in Afghanistan because of mounting attacks
along the main route.
2008 Dec 15, A Moscow court
sentenced seven young Russian men to prison for murdering 19 people
in a string of hate attacks. 2 leaders of a skinhead group, also
convicted of 12 attempted murders, received 10-year prison
2008 Dec 15, Peacekeepers in
Sudan said as many as 250 people have died in separate tribal
clashes in remote parts of Sudan's south Darfur region over the last
2008 Dec 15, Taiwanese
jetliners and cargo ships left for China to open a new era of direct
air and shipping services with the mainland, formally ending a
nearly six-decade ban on regular links between the rivals.
2008 Dec 15, In Thailand
Abhisit Vejjajiva, a patrician 44-year-old with an Oxford education,
was elected the prime minister in a parliamentary vote amid hopes
that he can calm the political storms that have battered the country
for the past three years. On Feb 24, 2011, Abhisit Vejjajiva
publicly acknowledged his dual Thai-British nationality for the
first time during a debate in Parliament.
(AP, 12/15/08)(AP, 2/24/11)
2008 Dec 15, A group of about
200 Turkish intellectuals issued an apology on the Internet for the
World War I-era massacres of Armenians in Turkey.
2008 Dec 15, In southern Yemen
tribesmen kidnapped a German aid worker and her parents, demanding
the government release imprisoned clan members.
2008 Dec 15, President Robert
Mugabe's government vowed to thwart western efforts to put Zimbabwe
on the UN Security Council agenda, saying it was not a threat to
2008 Dec 16, The US Federal
Reserve announced that it was reducing its target for the federal
funds rate to between zero and 0.25 percent, down from 1 percent, a
level that was already the lowest target rate in a half century.
2008 Dec 16, Ronald E. Ferguson
(66), former chief executive of General Re Corp., received a 2 year
sentence for his role in a fraudulent scheme to manipulate the
financial statements of American International Group (AIG). This
cost AIG shareholders over a half billion dollars.
(WSJ, 12/17/08, p.C7)
2008 Dec 16, The publisher of
the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News confirmed plans to cut
home delivery to three days a week and cut close to 900 jobs.
(WSJ, 12/17/08, p.B4)
2008 Dec 16, NASA said
satellite data indicated that more than 2 trillion tons of land ice
in Alaska, Antarctica and Greenland since 2003 among the latest
signs of global warming. A scientist from America’s National Snow
and Ice Data Center said the shrinking of Arctic ice (and exposure
of extra sea to radiation) was warming the world at an accelerating
(SFC, 12/17/08, p.A20)(Econ, 12/20/08, p.109)
2008 Dec 16, Sam Bottoms
(b.1955), film and TV actor, died of brain cancer at his home in Los
(SFC, 12/19/08, p.B6)
2008 Dec 16, Melvin S. Cohen
(b.1918), longtime chairman of Wisconsin-based National Presto
(WSJ, 12/27/08, p.A7)
2008 Dec 16, Three Guantanamo
prisoners were flown to Bosnia and released to their families.
(SFC, 12/17/08, p.A2)
2008 Dec 16, In eastern
Afghanistan police and US troops in Khost province killed three
insurgents suspected of links to Al-Qaeda, denying local claims that
the victims were civilians.
2008 Dec 16, Bangladesh's
military-backed government said it will end nearly two years of
emergency rule and restore civil liberties before this month's
2008 Dec 16, In Brazil South
American leaders agreed to create a regional defense council aimed
at preventing local conflicts and reducing dependence on US
weaponry. 33 countries from across the Americas had gathered for a
2-day meeting to discuss issues ranging from defense to economics.
(WSJ, 12/17/08, p.A16)(Econ, 12/20/08, p.57)
2008 Dec 16, Chinese
agricultural officials ordered the slaughter of some 377,000
chickens after finding the H5N1 bird flu virus in two areas of
(WSJ, 12/17/08, p.A14)
2008 Dec 16, Stein Bagger,
Danish business executive, was sent back to Denmark from the US,
where he had surrendered following the exposure of an estimated $185
swindle in his firm, IT Factory.
(WSJ, 12/17/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 16, French police
found explosives hidden in a Paris department store after a tip-off
from a group demanding the withdrawal of French troops from
2008 Dec 16, French competition
watchdogs slapped a record fine of 575 million euros (785 million
dollars) on global steel giant ArcelorMittal and another 10 steel
firms found guilty of price-fixing.
2008 Dec 16, In Greece
protesters forced their way into Greece's state NET television news
studio and interrupted a news broadcast featuring the prime minister
so they could urge viewers to join mass anti-government
2008 Dec 16, An Indonesian
province beleaguered by a spiraling HIV infection rate scrapped
plans to implant microchips in those with full-blown AIDS, following
strong opposition from government officials, health workers and
2008 Dec 16, In Iraq Muntadhar
al-Zeidi (28), the journalist who threw his shoes at President
George W. Bush, was handed over to the Iraqi judiciary, a move that
signals the start of criminal proceedings. 3 bombings in Baghdad and
another in Diyala province killed four people and wounded at least
2008 Dec 16, Israeli troops
killed Jihad Nawhda (23), a wanted Palestinian militant in the West
Bank, and the Islamic Jihad group retaliated with rocket fire from
the Gaza Strip.
2008 Dec 16, In Israel a bus
filled with 49 passengers plunged into a desert ravine near the
resort town of Eilat. 24 Russian travel agents were killed. In 2014
the bus driver was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
(AP, 12/16/08)(SFC, 12/17/08, p.A8)(Reuters,
2008 Dec 16, Italian police
backed by helicopters arrested almost 90 suspected mobsters and
thwarted a plan by the hobbled Sicilian Mafia to reconstitute itself
and form a new ruling commission to set strategy. Gaetano Lo Presti
(52), the alleged Mafia boss of a Palermo neighborhood, hanged
himself in jail, hours after he was arrested in a blitz against Cosa
(AP, 12/16/08)(AP, 12/17/08)
2008 Dec 16, In Italy Fiat
Group SpA for the first time shut down most of its Italian plants
for a month, laying off nearly 50,000 workers for an extended
holiday as it copes with the precipitous drop in demand for new
2008 Dec 16, The central banks
of Sweden and Denmark came to the aid of Latvia with currency swap
agreements. This enabled the Bank of Latvia, to borrow as much as
(WSJ, 12/17/08, p.C2)
2008 Dec 16, Somalia's
UN-backed government crumbled further as the president defied
parliament and Kenya announced sanctions against him in a strong
2008 Dec 16, Somali pirates
hijacked a tugboat belonging to total SA off the Yemeni coast. On
August 3 pirates freed the tugboat TB Masindra 7, its attached
Indonesian barge ADM1 and its 11 Indonesian sailors after a ransom
was paid to end the second-longest hostage saga off the coast of
(AP, 12/16/08)(AFP, 8/3/09)
2008 Dec 16, In Spain an
unoccupied hotel on the resort island of Mallorca partially
collapsed during remodeling work, killing four workers.
2008 Dec 16, In northern Sri
Lanka intense fighting left at least 25 government troops and 120
Tamil Tigers dead in ongoing battles for the rebels' political
capital. The rebels said they forced the troops to retreat after a
day of bloody battles, killing 170 soldiers and wounding more than
(AP, 12/16/08)(AP, 12/17/08)
2008 Dec 16, The UN Security
Council approved land and air attacks on pirate bases in Somalia.
(SFC, 12/17/08, p.A14)
2008 Dec 17, Microsoft said
will release an emergency patch today to fix a perilous software
flaw allowing hackers to hijack Internet Explorer browsers and take
2008 Dec 17, In Minnesota two
freight trains collided sending an engineer and some cars into the
(WSJ, 12/18/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 17, OPEC, meeting in
Algeria, said it is cutting 2.2 million barrels a day from its
output, the largest ever at one time, to stem crude prices that have
plummeted over 70% from summer highs of nearly $150. Members among
the 13-nation organization were officially producing a daily 29.045
million barrels in September.
2008 Dec 17, Algerian news
reports said Raked Brahim (28) was convicted and jailed for three
years for traveling to Iraq in 2007 to take part in attacks against
US forces. He was detained in Syria and later deported back to
2008 Dec 17, Australian
Aborigines won a court fight against Anglo-Swiss mining giant
Xstrata's plans to divert a river and expand one of the world's
biggest zinc mines.
2008 Dec 17, Two Australian
women were killed when their light aircraft slammed into a suburban
house in Sydney after a mid-air collision between two flying school
2008 Dec 17, British PM Gordon
Brown said his country's troops will leave Iraq by May 31, ending a
mission that provided the second-largest military presence in Iraq
after the United States. Police said a double-bombing in Baghdad
targeting traffic police left at least 18 people dead and 52 others
wounded. The US military reported nine killed and 43 wounded.
2008 Dec 17, A London judge
sentenced Bilal Abdulla (29) to at least 32 years in prison for his
role in the June 29, 2007, attempted car bombs in London and an
attack at Glasgow Airport the following day.
(SFC, 12/18/08, p.A17)
2008 Dec 17, Bulgaria's last
155 troops stationed in Iraq returned home. 13 Bulgarian soldiers
and six civilians have died in Iraq since 2003. Bulgaria also has
troops in international military missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo and
2008 Dec 17, In Beijing the
presidents of China and Angola signed a series of agreements as the
oil rich African nation sought greater Chinese participation in its
energy and infrastructure development.
2008 Dec 17, The European
Parliament gave a jailed Chinese dissident a one-minute standing
ovation as it honored him in absentia with its top human rights
2008 Dec 17, Gaza militants
fired nine rockets at Israel just two days before militants say a
truce along the Gaza border is to expire. The rockets were fired by
three small militant groups and caused no injuries. Israel says
there's no expiration date.
2008 Dec 17, In Indian Kashmir
thousands of security forces patrolled towns to protect voters in
state elections. Muslim separatists urged residents to boycott the
vote and called for a general strike.
2008 Dec 17, The Russian ruble
suffered its largest drop in three months after the Central Bank
signaled it would accelerate the devaluation of the national
2008 Dec 17, An international
anti-piracy force thwarted the attempted takeover of a Chinese cargo
ship off the Somali coast, sending in attack helicopters that fired
on the bandits and forced them to abandon the ship they had boarded.
The Indian navy handed over 23 pirates, caught at sea on Dec 13, to
authorities in Yemen.
2008 Dec 17, South African
President Kgalema Motlanthe said Zimbabwe's neighbors will launch an
urgent humanitarian campaign in the hope of saving the country from
economic collapse and a cholera epidemic. Motlanthe also said South
Africa would not join international calls for Zimbabwe's President
Robert Mugabe to step down, saying it was "not for us" to do so.
(AP, 12/17/08)(AFP, 12/17/08)
2008 Dec 17, A South Korean
court found one of the country's most famous actresses guilty of
adultery, months after she tried but failed to have a law that makes
extramarital affairs a crime ruled unconstitutional. Ok So-ri was
handed a suspended jail term.
2008 Dec 17, Sri Lankan fighter
jets and attack helicopters pummeled rebel fortifications across the
north, as government forces pushed ahead with their offensive
against the Tamil Tigers' northern stronghold in the face of
punishing seasonal rains and stiff rebel resistance.
2008 Dec 17, The UN said it
will double the budget of its Afghan mission next year, taking on
hundreds of new staff and opening more offices to meet more
"complex" challenges. The UN’s chief in Afghanistan called for
international military forces to revise their agreement with the
Afghan government to include practices that will better safeguard
(AFP, 12/17/08)(AP, 12/17/08)
2008 Dec 18, The US FDA cleared
stevia, a shrub and an artificial sweetener extracted from it, for
public use. The FDA did not technically granted approval to stevia
but affirmed it will not object to companies using it in foods and
2008 Dec 18, W. Mark Felt (95),
former FBI second-in-command, died. He revealed himself as "Deep
Throat" in 2005, 30 years after he tipped off reporters to the
Watergate scandal that toppled Pres. Nixon.
2008 Dec 18, John Costelloe
(47), the actor who portrayed the gay lover of a closeted mobster on
"The Sopranos," died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in New York
2008 Dec 18, Canada’s PM Harper
said Canada will break a 12-year string of budget surpluses and run
a deficit of as much as $30 billion next year to kick-start the
2008 Dec 18, Theoneste Bagosora
(67), a former Rwandan army colonel, was convicted of genocide and
sentenced to life in prison, the most significant verdict of a UN
tribunal set up to bring the killers to justice. The 1994 genocide
saw government troops, Hutu militia and ordinary villagers spurred
on by hate messages broadcast on the radio going from village to
village, butchering men, women and children.
2008 Dec 18, Albania's Defense
Ministry said the country is pulling its 218 troops out of Iraq.
2008 Dec 18, Iraqi officials
said that up to 25 people from the three major security ministries
have been arrested over the past week on accusations of conspiring
to restore the Baath party, whose exiled leaders staunchly oppose
the current government. On Dec 23 the police and security officials,
arrested on suspicion of forging identity cards and badges, were
released on bail. A police officer said gunmen stormed the Kirkuk
home of Nahla Hussein al-Shaly (37) and shot and beheaded her.
(AP, 12/18/08)(AP, 12/23/08)
2008 Dec 18, Conor Cruise
O’Brien (89), Irish diplomat and man of letters, died. His books
included “To Katanga and Back" (1962) and “Religion and Politics"
(SSFC, 12/21/08, p.B6)
2008 Dec 18, In Italy Parmalat
founder Calisto Tanzi was sentenced to 10 years in prison over a
14-billion-euro fraud scandal that led to one of Europe's largest
2008 Dec 18, Riot police
clashed with rock-throwing demonstrators in central Athens, sending
Christmas shoppers and people in cafes running for cover. Frightened
parents scooped up their children from a Christmas carousel in the
city's main square and fled.
2008 Dec 18, Hamas declared a
formal end to a 6-month ceasefire with Israel.
(SFC, 12/19/08, p.A4)
2008 Dec 18, Vietnam approved
new regulations banning bloggers from discussing subjects the
government deems sensitive or inappropriate and requiring them to
limit their writings to personal issues.
2008 Dec 19, Citing danger to
the national economy, the Bush administration approved an emergency
bailout of the US auto industry, offering $17.4 billion in rescue
loans in exchange for deep concessions from the desperately troubled
carmakers and their workers.
2008 Dec 19, IRS agents
arrested Ausaf Umar Siddiqui (42), vice president of Frye’s
Electronics in San Jose, Ca., for gambling with millions in stolen
money. Since 2005 he had collected over $65 million in kickbacks
from five vendors. In 2011 Siddiqui pleaded guilty to wire fraud and
money laundering. 7 other felony counts were dropped in exchange.
(SFC, 12/24/08, p.A1)(SFC, 9/14/11, p.C3)
2008 Dec 19, California’s Gov.
Schwarzenegger ordered layoffs and mandatory unpaid time off for
(SFC, 12/20/08, p.B1)
2008 Dec 19, Florida’s prison
population topped 100,000, making it the 3rd state to break into six
digits after California and Texas.
(WSJ, 12/20/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 19, In Atlanta,
Georgia, one worker died and at least 18 others were injured when a
walkway being built collapsed at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
(SFC, 12/20/08, p.A2)
2008 Dec 19, Dock Ellis
(b.1945), former baseball pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, died.
He had allegedly thrown a no-hiiter in 1970 while triping on LSD. In
2014 The documentary film “No-No: A Dockumentary" starred Dock Ellis
and was directed by Jeff Radice.
2008 Dec 19, Three Danish
soldiers and one from the Netherlands were killed in separate
incidents in Afghanistan, losing their lives just as the commitment
of some countries to the fight in Afghanistan begins to wane.
2008 Dec 19, Bahraini security
troops fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse thousands of
protesters demanding Arab governments take action to end the closure
of the Gaza Strip.
2008 Dec 19, The lower chamber
of Czech parliament failed to extend a mandate for the deployment of
the country's troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and other foreign missions
for next year, meaning the soldiers will leave soon.
2008 Dec 19, Egypt's
communications ministry says Internet cables in the Mediterranean
Sea have been cut, causing massive Internet outages.
2008 Dec 19, France’s finance
ministry unveiled a package of financial aid from the EU and
others totaling $10.7 billion to help Latvia.
(WSJ, 12/20/08, p.A8)
2008 Dec 19, Masked youths
attacked the French Institute in Athens with firebombs Friday, while
Greek union members and university professors geared up for new
anti-government rallies outside Parliament.
2008 Dec 19, In Lebanon
thousands of Hezbollah supporters protested the Israeli blockade on
the Gaza Strip.
2008 Dec 19, In Mexico 3 gunmen
were killed following a shootout with army troops in the southern
state of Guerrero.
2008 Dec 19, In northern Mexico
a small plane carrying government officials and television reporters
crashed in northern Mexico and all five people on board are in
serious condition. The plane was carrying state water commission
chief Rafael Reyes, his assistant and two TV Azteca reporters. They
were hospitalized along with the pilot.
2008 Dec 19, In Nigeria's Niger
Delta gunmen in speedboats attacked three oil services ships and
kidnapped at least two Russians in separate incidents. The pair
escaped on foot from a militant camp on Feb 15 and were found by
naval personnel on patrol on Feb 19.
(AP, 12/20/08)(AP, 2/19/09)
2008 Dec 19, Militants in
Pakistan launched rockets at two trucks returning from delivering
fuel to US-led forces in Afghanistan, killing three people along a
critical and increasingly dangerous supply route. 3 people died in
Rawalpindi when a building collapsed after it was ravaged by a fire
for several hours.
2008 Dec 19, Federal agents in
Puerto Rico arrested three island police officers accused of
providing security for drug traffickers.
2008 Dec 19, Russia’s PM
Vladimir Putin said that new tariffs were designed to prop up demand
for Russian-made cars and secure jobs in the ailing Russian auto
industry. The tariff hike would send prices for used foreign-made
cars up 50 percent, while prices for new foreign-made cars could
jump up to 15 percent.
2008 Dec 19, South Korea Friday
completed its troop pullout from Iraq, ending a four-year mission to
help reconstruct the war-torn nation.
2008 Dec 19, Sri Lankan fighter
jets and attack helicopters bombed rebel bunkers and a flotilla of
boats in the northern war zone Friday as government troops breached
another section of the Tamil Tigers defense fortifications.
2008 Dec 19, St. Kitts and
Nevis, staged its first hanging in a decade. Charles Elroy Laplace,
condemned in 2006 for killing his wife in a knife attack, was hanged
as a small crowd held a vigil outside the brick prison walls in
2008 Dec 19, President Robert
Mugabe declared that "Zimbabwe is mine" and vowed never to surrender
to calls to step down, as his political rival threatened to quit
stalled unity government talks.
2008 Dec 19, Mediators said
Yemeni kidnappers have released their three German hostages after
the Yemeni government agreed to meet some of their conditions,
including paying a ransom and releasing some tribesmen from prison.
2008 Dec 20, The NY Times said
China has blocked access to its Web site, days after the central
government defended its right to censor online content it deems
2008 Dec 20, San Francisco
Police Chief Heather Wong (52) announced her retirement. She became
the city’s first female police chief nearly 5 years ago.
(SSFC, 12/21/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 20, In Afghan
coalition forces killed four armed militants and detained five
suspects during an operation in Zabul province. Afghan and coalition
troops found and destroyed 2.5 tons of marijuana in an abandoned
school in southern Kandahar province.
2008 Dec 20, Militant
environmental activists said they had intercepted the Japanese
whaling fleet in Antarctic waters and attempted to attack one of the
boats with stink bombs.
2008 Dec 20, Belgium's King
Albert consulted political leaders after the government collapsed
for the third time in a year following its botched attempt to bail
out financial group Fortis.
2008 Dec 20, The British
government said it has sold its final stake in the country's nuclear
weapons plant, prompting criticism from MPs who said it throws the
independence of the British nuclear deterrent into question.
State-owned British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL) sold its one-third
stake of the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at
Aldermaston, Berkshire, to Jacobs Engineering Group of the United
2008 Dec 20, The Canadian and
Ontario governments announced they would follow the US in providing
C$4 billion ($3.3 billion) in emergency loans to the Canadian arms
of Detroit's ailing automakers to keep them operating while they
restructure their businesses.
2008 Dec 20, Central African
Republic peace talks wrapped up with rebels and government officials
expressing hope that the meeting had paved the way for lasting
solutions to the country's unrest.
2008 Dec 20, China said it will
send two destroyers and a supply vessel to the seas off Somalia to
back international efforts to fight piracy.
2008 Dec 20, In Greece
protesters attacked a city-sponsored Christmas tree in central
Athens Saturday, tossing garbage and hanging trash bags from its
branches before clashing with riot police.
2008 Dec 20, Iranian state
radio said Iran has sent a warship to the coast of Somalia to
protect its cargo ships against piracy.
2008 Dec 20, An Israeli air
strike against a Gaza rocket squad killed a Palestinian militant,
the first death since Hamas militants formally declared an end to a
six-month truce with Israel.
2008 Dec 20, In Mali suspected
Tuareg rebels attacked an army outpost in the country's remote
north, setting off a battle in which 20 people were killed.
2008 Dec 20, Some 500 motorists
rallied in Russia's far east to protest the government's decision to
raise car import tariffs. Thousands of others were expected to stage
similar demonstrations across Russia on Dec 21.
2008 Dec 20, In Russia Olga
Lepeshinskaya (b.1916), a Soviet-era prima ballerina who danced with
the Bolshoi Ballet for decades, died.
2008 Dec 21, Christopher
Hibbert (1924), a British historian, died. His over 50 books covered
subjects from the medieval Battle of Agincourt to the American
2008 Dec 21, Congolese Tutsi
rebels threatened to advance into UN-monitored buffer zones in
eastern Congo after refusing to sign a declaration ending
hostilities with the government.
2008 Dec 21, Iran reported that
Russia has begun delivering S-300 air defense systems, which could
help repel any Israeli and US air strikes on its nuclear sites.
2008 Dec 21, Barrages of
rockets fired from Gaza hit Israeli towns and the Israeli air force
responded with a missile strike as violence surged following the
official expiration of a shaky truce with Hamas.
2008 Dec 21, The deposed
president of Mauritania was set free after 4 1/2 months under house
arrest and immediately began working to retake power from the junta
that overthrew him.
2008 Dec 21, Mexican
Authorities found the decapitated bodies of 12 men in the southern
state of Guerrero, and some of the victims have been identified as
2008 Dec 21, In Nepal 12 staff
at a prominent newspaper and magazine publisher were injured when
they were attacked by dozens of Maoist activists angered by critical
2008 Dec 21, Pakistani fighter
jets attacked suspected Taliban and Al-Qaeda positions in a lawless
tribal area on the border with Afghanistan, killing four militants.
Police found 2 bullet-ridden bodies of Afghan nationals in an
abandoned village in North Waziristan, who allegedly acted as spies
for US forces.
(AFP, 12/21/08)(AP, 12/21/08)
2008 Dec 21, In far east Russia
riot police in Vladivostok clubbed, kicked and detained dozens of
people as hundreds across the country protested an increase in car
(AP, 12/21/08)(WSJ, 12/22/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 21, Sri Lanka’s
government said its troops captured the strategic village of
Nedunkerni in the northeast. A pro-rebel report said Tamil Tiger
rebels killed 60 Sri Lankan troops advancing toward their de facto
capital. The government said 12 soldiers died.
2008 Dec 22, In Tennessee a dam
broke at the Kingston Fossil Plant spilling some 5.4 million cubic
yards of toxic coal ash sludge near the Emory River. TVA officials
later said the spill does not threaten water in the Tennessee River,
which is fed in part by the Emory River. On Jan 2 federal data
showed arsenic levels over 100 times the acceptable amount in the
Emory River. In February the TVA estimated cleanup costs of up to
$825 million. In May the estimate for cleanup was raised to $975
million. In 2010 state regulators hit the TVA with penalties
totaling $11.5 million for the coal ash spill. The sludge was
shipped to a landfill outside Uniontown, Alabama.
(SFC, 12/25/08, p.A6)(WSJ, 12/26/08, p.A2)(SFC,
12/27/08, p.A2)(SFC, 1/3/09, p.A3)(WSJ, 2/13/09, p.A1)(SFC, 5/2/09,
p.A4)(SFC, 6/15/10, p.A4)(Econ, 12/4/10, p.44)
2008 Dec 22, In Texas a gunman
in pickup truck killed two people and injuring another in a series
of rush hour shootings on Dallas-area roads. The next day police
identified Brian Smith (37), a former Utah state trooper, as the
shooter. Smith died Dec 24 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
(AP, 12/23/08)(SFC, 12/24/08, p.A3)(SFC,
2008 Dec 22, California's chief
financial officer warned that the state would run out of money in
about two months as hopes of a Christmas budget compromise melted
into political finger-pointing by the end of the day.
2008 Dec 22, In California it
was announced that the Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery has been sold
to the Foley Wine Group of Los Olivos, Ca.
(SFC, 12/23/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 22, An Associated
Press analysis found that the 116 banks that so far have received US
taxpayer dollars to boost them through the economic crisis gave
their top tier of executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries,
bonuses and other benefits in 2007.
2008 Dec 22, In Nevada the
Encore, Steve Wynn’s vaguely Chinese-themed hotel, opened.
(Econ, 2/7/09, p.29)(http://tinyurl.com/byf3qk)
2008 Dec 22, Alfred Shaheen
(b.1922), the dean of Hawaiian couture, died. In 1948 he started
manufacturing rayon Hawaiian shirts in a Quonset hut left over from
the war. Within a decade annual revenue grew to $4 million.
(WSJ, 1/24/09, p.A12)
2008 Dec 22, In central
Afghanistan a car bomb with two attackers exploded near the
governor's compound in Ghazni province, killing one Afghan civilian
and wounding seven. The two attackers also died.
2008 Dec 22, Albania passed a
law removing from public posts people linked with the feared former
Communist secret police, despite criticism from opposition parties
and concerns within the international community.
2008 Dec 22, Belarus' president
sought $3 billion in economic aid from Russia to help its struggling
economy, but Moscow demanded in return that Belarus recognize two
breakaway Georgian regions as independent nations.
2008 Dec 22, China’s central
bank announced its 5th interest rate cut in just over 3 months. The
benchmark one year lending rate was cut .27% to 5.31%.
(WSJ, 12/23/08, p.A5)
2008 Dec 22, In Egypt 7 Russian
tourists died when their bus flipped over along the winding mountain
roads north of the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik.
2008 Dec 22, In Guinea longtime
dictator Lansana Conte died. His death was made public the next day
as a military-led group seized control of the airwaves.
2008 Dec 22, OSCE talks on the
Georgia collapsed, when Russia demanded the group join Moscow in
recognizing the statehood of the provinces of South Ossetia and
Abkhazia. The mission will expire on Dec 31.
2008 Dec 22, Toyota Motor Corp.
projected its first-ever operating loss since 1939,
acknowledging that its nine-year stretch of global
vehicle-sales growth had stalled. Pres. Katsuaki Watanabe projected
an operating loss of $1.7 billion.
(AP, 12/22/08)(WSJ, 12/23/08, p.A7)
2008 Dec 22, Laura Zuniga (23),
a reigning Mexican beauty queen from the drug-plagued state of
Sinaloa, was arrested with suspected gang members in a truck filled
guns and ammunition. Soldiers found a large stash of weapons,
including two AR-15 assault rifles, .38 specials, 9mm handguns, nine
magazines, 633 cartridges and $53,300 in US currency.
2008 Dec 22, In Pakistan
suspected US drones fired at least two missiles into South
Waziristan region on the Afghan border, killing seven people.
2008 Dec 22, The ruble dropped
further as the Central Bank again eased its support of the Russian
currency, under constant pressure from plunging oil prices and
2008 Dec 22, Sri Lankan troops
launched a major attack against Tamil rebel fortifications, sparking
clashes that killed 57 insurgents and 10 soldiers. The Tamil Tigers
said more than 100 soldiers were killed.
2008 Dec 22, A Sudanese
official said at least 18,000 Eritrean and Somali refugees have
arrived in Sudan since the start of the year, and the government is
struggling to provide them with aid.
2008 Dec 22, UN experts said
some 5.5 million people in Zimbabwe, about half the population, need
food aid, as they called for increased international help for the
country which is battling a cholera epidemic. A UN human rights
expert said Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is "a mad dictator"
who has lost all sense of reality.
(AP, 12/22/08)(Reuters, 12/22/08)
2008 Dec 23, President George
W. Bush granted pardons to 14 individuals and commuted the prison
sentences of two others convicted of misdeeds ranging from drug
offenses to tax evasion, from wildlife violations to bank
embezzlement. One pardon, that of Isaac Robert Toussie, was reversed
the next day after it was learned that Toussie's father had donated
tens of thousands of dollars to the Republican Party a few months
(SFC, 12/24/08, p.A3)(AP, 12/25/08)
2008 Dec 23, Wal-Mart Stores
Inc., the world's largest retailer, said it will pay as much as $640
million to settle 63 lawsuits over wage-and-hour violations, ending
years of dispute.
2008 Dec 23, It was reported
that Wal-Mart has offered $2.8 billion to buy a majority stake in
Distribucion y Servicio D&S, a Chile-based grocer.
(WSJ, 12/23/08, p.C10)
2008 Dec 23, In Phoenix,
Arizona, Joe Sauceda Gallegos (36) beat 2 boys, ages 7 and 10, with
an aluminum baseball bat. On Apr 4, 2012, Gallegos was sentenced to
2 life terms in prison, after pleading guilty to 2 counts of 1st
(SFC, 12/25/08, p.A4)(SFC, 4/5/12, p.A8)
2008 Dec 23, In NYC police
found the body of investor Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet (65)
at his Madison Avenue office. He had grown increasingly subdued
after the Madoff scandal broke and apparently swallowed sleeping
pills and slashed his wrists with a box cutter. His investment fund
had lost $1.4 billion with Bernard Madoff.
(AP, 12/24/08)(SFC, 12/24/08, p.C3)
2008 Dec 23, A court in
northeast Bangladesh sentenced three Islamic militants to death and
two others to life in prison for a 2004 grenade attack that wounded
a British diplomat and killed three other people.
2008 Dec 23, Bangladeshi
authorities said a new outbreak of bird flu had been detected at a
village in the north of the country as they struggled to contain the
2008 Dec 23, Brazil and France
signed an arms deal that could lead to Latin America's first nuclear
2008 Dec 23, El Salvador’s
President Tony Saca announced he will withdraw Salvadoran troops
from Iraq after Dec. 31, pulling out the only remaining soldiers
from Latin America.
2008 Dec 23, Germany filed suit
at the World Court asking Italy to stop its legal system from
awarding damages to victims of Nazi war crimes.
2008 Dec 23, In Guinea a
military-led group seized control of the airwaves and declared a
coup after the death of the mineral-rich West African country's
longtime dictator, but PM Ahmed Tidiane Souare insisted he remained
2008 Dec 23, Iraq’s parliament
voted to allow non-US foreign troops to stay in the country into
2009 after a power struggle ended in the speaker’s resignation.
(WSJ, 12/24/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 23, The director of an
Irish security company was forced to steal euro1.2 million ($1.7
million) from his own company and deliver it to an armed gang that
had kidnapped his wife and daughter.
2008 Dec 23, Israeli forces
killed three Hamas militants on the Gaza border.
2008 Dec 23, Kosovo threatened
to ban products coming from Serbia if Belgrade does not reverse its
policy of blocking goods that carry a customs stamp from its former
2008 Dec 23, Mexican
authorities in southern Chiapas state said 8 bodies were found
stuffed in plastic garbage bags and dumped on a rural road near the
Guatemalan border in an area plagued by drug violence.
2008 Dec 23, In the southern
Philippines members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front attacked
villages in the Sultan Kudarat township, killing 9 civilians.
(SFC, 12/27/08, p.A6)
2008 Dec 23, The World Bank
finalized a loan of 975 million euros (1.34 billion dollars) for
Poland to support economic reform plans, in a measure not directly
related to the global economic crisis.
2008 Dec 24, US government data
showed that the number of domestic workers filing new claims for
jobless benefits jumped by 30,000 to a 26-year peak last week, as
the country's year-long recession continued to chill the labor
2008 Dec 24, The Elie Wiesel
Foundation for Humanity said it lost more than 15 million dollars,
nearly all of its assets, in the alleged fraud scheme run by Wall
Street baron Bernard Madoff.
2008 Dec 24, In Covina, Ca., a
man dressed as Santa who had been having marital problems opened
fire at a Christmas party, leaving 9 people dead in a home that then
caught fire. Hours later police found the body of the suspect, Bruce
Jeffrey Pardo (45), at the home of his brother in the Sylmar area of
Los Angeles. Police said he killed himself but would not say how.
(AP, 12/25/08)(AP, 12/26/08)(SFC, 12/27/08, p.A3)
2008 Dec 24, In Sacramento,
Ca., Wilbert Paana (72) died following a natural gas explosion at
his home. His daughter and granddaughter were critically injured. In
2011 PG&E agreed to pay $26 million for federal and state safety
violations related to the explosion.
(SFC, 6/21/11, p.A1)
2008 Dec 24, In Afghanistan a
soldier with the NATO-led force was killed in an insurgent attack in
the east of the country. A British soldier was shot dead on
Christmas Eve in Helmand province. Cannon fire from a US military
base in the northeastern province of Kunar killed four workers when
it fell short of its target and hit a road construction compound.
The US-led coalition killed two militants and detained two suspects
in operations targeting the Taliban in Kapisa province.
(AFP, 12/24/08)(AFP, 12/25/08)
2008 Dec 24, British stores
deepened discounts, hoping to lure in last-minute shoppers on
Christmas Eve. Music and DVD seller Zavvi joined tea merchant
Whittard and menswear store The Officers Club on the growing list of
casualties of a severe downturn in consumer spending and tight
2008 Dec 24, Harold Pinter
(78), a Nobel Prize-winning British playwright, died. He was one of
theater's biggest names for nearly half a century. His 32 plays
included "The Birthday Party", "The Dumb Waiter" and "The
Homecoming". His first play, "The Room," appeared in 1957 and his
breakthrough came with "The Caretaker" in 1960. In 2010 Antonia
Fraser published “Must You Go? My Life With Harold Pinter."
(AFP, 12/25/08)(SSFC, 11/7/10, p.F4)
2008 Dec 24, In China a gas
leak at the Ganglu Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. in Hebei province killed
2008 Dec 24, In Egypt an
Australian teacher (61), who allegedly stuffed his luggage with
2,000-year old animal mummies and religious figurines wrapped as
gifts, was arrested and charged with smuggling antiquities.
2008 Dec 24, in Guinea military
officers, who have staged a coup, said they were installing Captain
Moussa Dadis Camara as president, but promised to hold elections in
2008 Dec 24, In Indian Kashmir
police fired tear gas and clashed with protesters, where tens of
thousands of soldiers were deployed for the 7th and final leg of
multi-stage state elections.
2008 Dec 24, Mexican soldiers
arrested the deputy police chief in the resort town of Zihuatanejo
and six other officers who were allegedly protecting drug cartel
members at a cock fight. Soldiers also seized 59 packets of cocaine,
40 bags of marijuana and 20 assault rifles.
2008 Dec 24, Mexico began
blocking imports of meat from at least 30 US meat processing plants
due to a new US law that required food retailers to label or display
the country of origin for meat, produce and certain kinds of nuts.
The law, effective as of Sep 30, was part of the 2008 Farm Bill.
(WSJ, 12/27/08, p.A7)
2008 Dec 24, In Pakistan a
bomb-rigged truck with government plates exploded in Lahore, killing
one person in a heavily guarded neighborhood home to many government
2008 Dec 24, Palestinian
militants in the Gaza Strip bombarded southern Israel with dozens of
mortars and rockets, sowing panic and despair there and burdening
diplomatic efforts to revive an expired truce. Hamas said two of its
fighters have been killed in a blast in the southern Gaza Strip.
2008 Dec 24, Russian energy
giant Gazprom threatened to cut gas deliveries to Ukraine on January
1 if a new contract is not signed by then for 2009 but pledged to
honor its supply obligations to Europe.
2008 Dec 24, A spokesman
said Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf has decided to resign,
in a move the African Union said would be positive for the peace
process in the Horn of Africa nation. Mohamed Mohamud Guled, named
prime minister last week, resigned, saying his controversial
appointment was preventing the feuding government from fighting a
strengthening Islamic insurgency.
(Reuters, 12/24/08)(AP, 12/24/08)
2008 Dec 24, The prime
ministers of Turkey and Iraq vowed to step up their cooperation in
the fight against Turkish Kurdish rebels whose presence in northern
Iraq has cast a shadow over relations.
2008 Dec 24, In southern
Ukraine an apartment building was destroyed in a nighttime explosion
that killed 27 people in the Crimea peninsula resort of Yevpatoria.
The explosion was likely caused by a leak from oxygen canisters in
the building's basement.
(AP, 12/25/08)(AFP, 12/26/08)
2008 Dec 24, Leading Zimbabwean
human rights campaigner Jestina Mukoko and nine other activists were
charged with plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe's
2008 Dec 25, Eartha Kitt (81),
singer, dancer and actress, died in NYC. The self-proclaimed "sex
kitten" attracted fans with her sultry voice and catlike purr even
as she neared 80.
2008 Dec 25, In Idaho Robert
Aragon let his son Bear (12) and daughter Sage (11) attempt to walk
some 10 miles home in freezing conditions, after their car broke
down along an isolated rural highway. Bear survived but Sage died of
hypothermia. In Oct 2009 a jury acquitted Aragon of involuntary
2008 Dec 25, In southern
Afghanistan US coalition forces killed 11 Taliban militants,
including the leader of a bomb-making cell, during an operation in
2008 Dec 25, Police in northern
Bangladesh arrested three suspected militants tied to the Jumatul
Mujahedeen Bangladesh, a banned Islamic group, and seized a large
cache of bomb-making materials. The arrests were made in separate
raids over the last 24 hours.
2008 Dec 25, Chinese state
media reported that 59 people in Tibet have been detained on charges
that they sought to foment unrest by spreading ethnic hatred and by
downloading and selling banned songs from the Internet.
(SFC, 12/26/08, p.A16)
2008 Dec 25, A German military
helicopter chased away pirates who were trying to board an Egyptian
ship off the coast of Somalia. One of the ship's crew was shot in
2008 Dec 25, In Guinea coup
leader Capt. Moussa Camara solidified his grip as PM Ahmed Tidiane
Souare and other government leaders surrendered and stepped down.
(SFC, 12/26/08, p.A21)
2008 Dec 25, Iraq's Christians,
a scant minority in this overwhelmingly Muslim country, quietly
celebrated Christmas with a present from the government, which
declared it an official holiday for the first time. A bombing
outside a restaurant frequented by police killed four people and
wounded 25 others in Baghdad’s Shiite neighborhood of Shula. An
American soldier was killed in a rocket or mortar attack near the
northern city of Mosul.
2008 Dec 25, Israel moved
closer to invading Gaza, saying it had wrapped up preparations for a
broad offensive after Palestinian militants fired about 100 rockets
and mortar shells across the border in two days.
2008 Dec 25, Japan and Vietnam
signed an economic partnership pact with a promise to cut tariffs on
some 92% of goods and services traded between the two nations within
2008 Dec 25, Lebanese army
officers discovered seven rockets set up with timers that were on
the verge of firing near the border with Israel.
2008 Dec 25, The Marshall
Islands declared a state of emergency after severe flooding, that
occurred from Dec. 9 to Dec. 15, forced more than 600 people from
2008 Dec 25, In Mexico, at
least four people were killed in a gun battle between suspected drug
traffickers in a remote mountain area of Sinaloa.
2008 Dec 25, In Peru five
nightclubbers are dead after a tear gas grenade was detonated in the
middle of a crowded disco in Juliaca.
2008 Dec 25, Zimbabwe police
ignored a court order to allow the release to hospital of a rights
activist and several opposition figures accused of recruiting
2008 Dec 26, In Hawaii a power
failure during a thunderstorm blacked out Oahu’s population of about
900,000 people and thousands of tourists including vacationing
President-elect Barack Obama.
2008 Dec 26, In Philadelphia a
duplex fire apparently caused by fuel spilling from an overfilled
kerosene heater killed seven people, including 3 kids, in a basement
that had only one exit.
2008 Dec 26, In southern
Afghanistan a Canadian soldier was killed and three others wounded
in a bomb blast. 2 suicide car bombs took place in western
Afghanistan, but only the attackers were killed in the blasts. 3
foreigners were wounded in an attack in Herat.
2008 Dec 26, Azerbaijan's
parliament voted to hold a referendum next year on constitutional
changes that could allow incumbent President Ilham Aliyev to stay in
power when his current mandate runs out.
2008 Dec 26, Brazilian police
detained Regivaldo Galvao, a rancher suspected in the 2005 slaying
of rain forest activist Dorothy Stang (73), for allegedly illegally
acquiring titles to land the US nun died trying to defend.
2008 Dec 26, Chinese warships,
armed with special forces, guided missiles and helicopters, set sail
for anti-piracy duty off Somalia, the first time the communist
nation has sent ships on a mission that could involve fighting so
far beyond its territorial waters.
2008 Dec 26, China’s state
media reported that nearly 5,000 higher-level Chinese government
officials were punished for corruption over the past year.
2008 Dec 26, China National
Offshore Oil Corp., the country's largest offshore oil and gas
producer, signed four oil cooperation agreements with Taiwan's CPC
2008 Dec 26, A Chinese man and
two Lebanese nationals were shot dead in a crime wave in
southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo that also left 10
Congolese dead this week. The mayor of Lubumbashi, Marie-Gregoire
Tambila, said that 11 people had been killed in the last four days
in her city, including a Lebanese national who was killed on
Christmas day. In eastern Congo attackers, identified as members of
the Lord’s Resistance Army, killed some 100 people at a church in
Doruma. The UN said rebels had killed 189 people over 2 days.
(AFP, 12/26/08)(SFC, 12/30/08, p.A10)
2008 Dec 26, Three suspected
al-Qaida in Iraq insurgents broke out of jail during a riot that
killed six police officers and seven prisoners in the western city
(AP, 12/26/08)(SFC, 12/27/08, p.A5)
2008 Dec 26, Israel reopened
its border with Gaza to allow deliveries of humanitarian aid,
despite continued rocket and mortar fire from the coastal strip and
growing expectations of a large-scale Israeli military campaign
against Palestinian militants. A rocket fired by Palestinian
militants fell short and killed 2 schoolgirls in the northern Gaza
(AP, 12/26/08)(SFC, 12/27/08, p.A5)
2008 Dec 26, In Mexico a gang
of about 20 men armed with assault rifles robbed a train in the
western state of Michoacan and carted off some of its freight. Dr.
Laura Avila. Avila was found dead in the rural health clinic she was
staffing in Jalisco state. Police soon arrested Ricardo Garcia
Barajas (25), a farm worker, who allegedly hacked the doctor to
death with a machete for refusing to treat his son.
(AP, 12/27/08)(AP, 1/2/09)
2008 Dec 26, Pakistan began
moving thousands of troops to the Indian border, sharply raising
tensions triggered by the Mumbai terror attacks.
2008 Dec 26, Russia's ruble
fell to a three-year low against the dollar after the Central Bank
allowed a third sharp drop in the currency in five days as the
government continues to feel the heat of the global meltdown.
2008 Dec 26, Serbia arrested 10
former Kosovo Albanian guerrilla fighters suspected of involvement
in killings and abductions in the former Serbian province of Kosovo
2008 Dec 26, Spain approved a
new provision that also allows anyone whose parents or grandparents
were born in Spain but went overseas because of their political
beliefs or economic hardship to become Spaniards.
2008 Dec 27, It was reported
that the mountain pine beetle was expected to kill virtually every
mature lodgepole pine in Colorado. The beetle had already destroyed
pine forests from Mexico to Canada.
(WSJ, 12/27/08, p.A2)
2008 Dec 27, Sculptor Robert
Graham (b.1938) died in Santa Monica, Ca. His massive bronze works
mark civic monuments across America, included the Franklin Delano
Roosevelt Memorial in Washington.
(AP, 12/28/08)(SFC, 12/29/08, p.A2)
2008 Dec 27, In northern Nevada
a 13 rail cars containing grain were involved in a derailment along
the Humboldt River. The derailment triggered the collapse of a
102-year-old bridge spanning the river.
(SSFC, 12/28/08, p.B2)
2008 Dec 27, In southern
Afghanistan a suicide attacker detonated a car bomb at a police
checkpoint, killing three policemen and two civilian men on a
motorbike. 2 Canadian soldiers were killed in a blast in southern
Kandahar province. An Afghan policeman and an interpreter also died
in the attack in Panjwayi district, a Taliban stronghold about 25
kilometers (15 miles) west of Kandahar city. A member of the
Kandahar provincial council was shot dead in a mosque. US troops
killed five militants and detained six in operations against
(AP, 12/27/08)(AFP, 12/28/08)
2008 Dec 27, An explosion in
central China's Henan province killed 15 people and injured nine
others. Explosives, used for small-scale demolition, were illegally
stored at a home when they ignited, destroying more than 10
neighboring houses. At least 17 workers were killed and one
seriously injured when an elevator suddenly dropped to the ground at
a construction site in central Hunan province.
2008 Dec 27, Guinea's coup
leader said he would allow the opposition and union leaders to help
choose a prime minister. The military junta was boosted by the
endorsement of neighboring Senegal as it attempted to garner
international backing, and, after meeting political parties,
promised to stamp out the burgeoning drugs trade.
(AP, 12/27/08)(Reuters, 12/27/08)
2008 Dec 27, In Iraq a bomb
tore through a busy square in Baghdad at midday, killing at least 24
people and wounding 54. A suspected al-Qaida in Iraq fugitive was
killed in a gun battle with police in the western city of Ramadi. He
was one of four suspected al-Qaida in Iraq members who escaped
during a jailbreak and ensuing riot at a Ramadi police station a day
earlier that left six policemen and seven insurgents dead. An Iraqi
soldier and two other people were killed when a car bomb exploded as
they were trying to defuse it in Musayyib. Police in the northern
city of Kirkuk also arrested six suspected insurgents, including the
former driver of Hassan al-Majid — Saddam Hussein's cousin who is
also known as "Chemical Ali."
(AP, 12/27/08)(SSFC, 12/28/08, p.A4)
2008 Dec 27, Israel began
“Operation Cast Lead" as its warplanes retaliating for rocket fire
from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the
Hamas-ruled territory in waves of airstrikes, killing nearly 200
people and wounding 270 others in the single bloodiest day of
fighting in years. Gaza militants fired 30 rockets and mortars after
the air offensive began. A missile hit the town of Netivot, killing
an Israeli man and wounding four people.
(AP, 12/27/08)(Econ, 1/10/09, p.24)
2008 Dec 27, In Malaysia Tuanku
Ja'afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman (86), a royal state ruler, died. He
became Malaysia's king for five years (1994-1999) under the
country's unique monarchal system.
2008 Dec 27, Turkey's
parliament reduced the budget allocations of most ministries by up
to 16 percent to cut overall spending as the country seeks a loan
deal with the International Monetary Fund.
2008 Dec 27-2009 Jan 21, In
Egypt security forces arrested at least 860 activists of the Muslim
Brotherhood as public demonstrations mounted during the Israeli
assault on Gaza.
(Econ, 1/17/09, p.48)
2008 Dec 28, In Michigan strong
winds knocked down tree limbs and power lines eliminating power to
nearly 230,000 homes and businesses, mostly in Wayne and Oakland
2008 Dec 28, Thomas Boklund
(b.1939), former head of Oregon Steel Mills Inc., died. In 2007 the
company merged with Russia’s Evraz Group SA in a deal valued at
(WSJ, 1/31/09, p.A4)
2008 Dec 28, In Afghanistan 14
children were among 20 Afghans killed in new extremist attacks in
Khost province. A remote-controlled bomb exploded outside a music
shop in the southern town of Tirin Kot, killing one person and
2008 Dec 28, In northern
Bangladesh a truck loaded with iron rods veered off a road, killing
24 hitchhikers riding in the back and injuring 13 others.
2008 Dec 28, In Canada eight
snowmobilers were killed as they were hit by a pair of avalanches in
southeast British Columbia. 3 men survived.
(AP, 12/30/08)(AP, 12/31/08)
2008 Dec 28, Ghanaians turned
out to choose a successor to outgoing president John Kufuor in the
second round of an election seen as a test of just how stable the
west African nation is. Opposition leader John Atta Mills won
Ghana's presidential ballot by less than half a percentage point. He
inherited a fiscal deficit of 14.5%.
(AP, 12/28/08)(AP, 12/29/08)(Econ, 1/2/10, p.36)
2008 Dec 28, Coup leaders
demoted Guinea's many military generals, setting up a possible
struggle with battalions no longer under central command.
2008 Dec 28, Indian PM Manmohan
Singh called the higher than expected turnout in elections in
disputed Kashmir a "vote for democracy," as results showed no one
party dominated the polls.
2008 Dec 28, Iran's supreme
leader issued a religious decree that said anyone killed while
defending Palestinians in Gaza would be considered a martyr.
2008 Dec 28, In Iraq a suicide
bomber on a bicycle blew himself up amid a crowd of demonstrators in
Mosul, who were protesting Israel's airstrikes on Gaza. One
demonstrator was killed with 16 others wounded. A bomb exploded on
the outskirts of Fallujah, killing two civilians and wounding four
others. A roadside bomb killed a US soldier in Baghdad’s Sadr City.
(AP, 12/28/08)(SFC, 12/29/08, p.A12)
2008 Dec 28, Israeli warplanes
pressing one of Israel's deadliest assaults ever on Palestinian
militants dropped bombs and missiles on a top security installation,
smuggling tunnels and dozens of other targets across Hamas-ruled
Gaza. Some 280 Palestinians died in the first 24 hours of the
campaign against Gaza rocket squads. Prisoners fled Gaza's central
prison after it was damaged by an Israeli airstrike. 17 of them were
later numbered among 32 dead in extra-judicial killings by Hamas.
(AP, 12/28/08)(AP, 2/14/09)
2008 Dec 28, In Jamaica Vincent
Ford (68), songwriter, died. He is credited with composing the Bob
Marley reggae classic "No Woman, No Cry" (1974).
2008 Dec 28, Kuwait decided to
scrap a deal to form a $17.4 billion petrochemical joint venture
with US company Dow Chemical.
2008 Dec 28, Malaysia reported
that it is zooming in on forests with a satellite in order to fight
illegal logging, which its government says is harming the major
timber exporting country.
2008 Dec 28, In Mexico 7 people
were killed in a series of shootings in the border city of Tijuana
over the last 2 days.
2008 Dec 28, In northwest
Pakistan 36 people were killed and 15 hurt in a suspected suicide
car bomb attack in Shalbandi, in the Swat valley, where villagers 4
months earlier had killed 6 Taliban fighters.
(AFP, 12/28/08)(SFC, 12/29/08, p.A11)
2008 Dec 28, In Sri Lanka a
suspected Tamil rebel suicide bomber killed at least seven troops
and one civilian in a blast at a guard post near the Sri Lankan
capital. Another 17 people, including four civilians, were wounded.
2008 Dec 28, In Thailand
thousands of supporters of exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra began
converging on Parliament, vowing to stage demonstrations until the
new government holds elections.
2008 Dec 28, The UN Security
Council has issued a statement expressing serious concern at the
escalating violence in Gaza and is calling on Israel and the
Palestinians to immediately halt all military activities.
2008 Dec 28, Zimbabwe’s state
media said the government will prosecute 140 white landowners on
charges of failing to vacate their farms under the country's
controversial 2000 land reform program.
2008 Dec 29, The US federal
government approved $6 billion in aid to GMAC LLC, the financing
company vital to the future of General Motors.
(WSJ, 12/30/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 29, Citigroup Inc said
it is injecting $800 million of new capital into its South Korean
banking arm, joining other banks in efforts to shore up their
2008 Dec 29, Yellowstone
National Park was jostled by a host of small earthquakes for a third
straight day, and scientists watched closely to see whether the more
than 250 tremors were a sign of something bigger to come.
2008 Dec 29, Freddie Hubbard
(b.1938), Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter, died in Los Angeles.
2008 Dec 29, Lt. Gen. Victor H.
Krulak (b.1913), Marine commandant (1995-1999), died. His book
“First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps" (1984),
examined the history and culture of the US Marine Corps.
(WSJ, 1/3/09, p.A5)
2008 Dec 28, In Afghanistan 14
children were among 20 Afghans killed in new extremist attacks in
Khost province. A remote-controlled bomb exploded outside a music
shop in the southern town of Tirin Kot, killing one person and
wounding two. In Helmand province soldiers and police killed 7
insurgents as Taliban militants attacked a police post.
(AFP, 12/28/08)(SFC, 12/30/08, p.A3)
2008 Dec 29, Bangladeshis voted
in their droves in elections that marked the end of two years of
emergency rule, with a pair of rival former prime ministers vying to
reclaim power in the impoverished nation. Former PM Sheikh Hasina
won a landslide victory.
(AFP, 12/29/08)(AP, 12/30/08)
2008 Dec 29, The British pound
fell to a record low against the euro, flirting with one pound per
euro as two gloomy economic forecasts stoked expectations that the
Bank of England will make further interest rate cuts next year.
2008 Dec 29, Canadian searchers
recovered the bodies of six of the eight snowmobilers missing since
they were hit by a pair of avalanches in southeast British Columbia.
2008 Dec 29, Top brass from the
Chinese and Russian armies hailed closer ties in their first-ever
conversation over a newly installed military hot line.
2008 Dec 29, In China 9 people
went on trial in connection with the tainted milk scandal.
This followed the announcement of steps to compensate the
families of hundreds of thousands of children harmed by contaminated
2008 Dec 29, In Ethiopia
Birtukan Midekssa (35), head of the Unity for Democracy Justice
party, was arrested and resumed serving her life term after her
pardon from a life sentence was revoked. She had irked the regime
when she reportedly claimed during a recent visit to Europe that she
had never voiced remorse or acknowledged any mistake to obtain her
pardon in 2007.
2008 Dec 29, Ted Lapidus
(b.1929), French fashion designer who redefined chic with the 1960s
unisex look, died. Lapidus created his label in 1951, and in 1963
became a member of the prestigious Paris fashion club that runs
haute-couture, La Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.
2008 Dec 29, In Germany Munich
Re, the world's number two reinsurer, said natural disasters killed
over 220,000 people in 2008, making it one of the most devastating
years on record and underlining the need for a global climate deal.
2008 Dec 29, The African Union
suspended Guinea after a military coup in the west African nation.
2008 Dec 29, The Indian Coast
Guard rescued two people off India's east coast during a search for
more than 300 illegal immigrants missing for the past four days and
feared dead. Survivors told Indian authorities that more than 300
people from Bangladesh and Myanmar, members of the ethnic Rohingya
minority, had jumped from a rickety boat that had been drifting for
13 days in the Indian Ocean and tried to swim to shore near the
Andaman Islands. On Jan 16 a refugees' advocacy group accused the
Thai navy of tying up four illegal immigrants and throwing them into
the ocean before abandoning hundreds of others on a barge in open
water, where some 300 drowned. At least 100 were rescued in Indian
waters. Survivors at the time told Indian authorities they had been
detained by Thai authorities, who towed them into the open sea and
(AP, 12/30/08)(AP, 1/16/09)(SSFC, 1/18/09, p.A5)
2008 Dec 29, In India Manjit
Bawa 67), a leading Indian artist, died. His work had highlighted
2008 Dec 29, In Iran 5
hard-line student groups and a conservative clerical group launched
a registration drive, seeking volunteers to carry out suicide
attacks against Israel.
2008 Dec 29, Israel obliterated
symbols of Hamas power on the third day of what the defense minister
described as a "war to the bitter end," striking next to the Hamas
premier's home, and devastating a security compound and a university
building. The three-day death toll rose to at least 315, with some
1,400 wounded. One medium-range rocket fired at the Israeli city of
Ashkelon killed an Arab construction worker and wounded several
others. Egypt opened its borders to Gaza and allowed trucks loaded
with humanitarian aid to enter the Rafah terminal. A Palestinian
stabbed and wounded four Israelis in a West Bank settlement before
he was shot and wounded.
2008 Dec 29, Scottish police
charged Justice Ngema (35) with attempting to murder Magdeline
Makola (38), a nurse who was found locked in the trunk of her car,
where police say she may have been kept for up to 10 days. Makola
had been reported missing after she failed to show up for work at
the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Dec. 18. She was last seen Dec. 15.
2008 Dec 29, Abdullahi Yusuf,
the president of Somalia's UN-backed government, resigned amid
deepening international pressure, a move that could usher in more
chaos as a strengthening Islamic insurgency scrambles for power.
2008 Dec 29, In Sudan Lt.
Commander Pape Lamine Ndiaye, a Senegalese military officer, died
after being shot in Darfur on Dec 27, whilst serving with the AU
2008 Dec 29, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded an immediate cease-fire in
Gaza and urged Mideast and world leaders to do more to help end the
Israeli-Hamas conflict and promote political dialogue.
2008 Dec 30, US President
George W. Bush signed a nuclear inspection agreement with the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which will boost
international monitoring of nuclear activities,
2008 Dec 30, A US federal judge
on awarded more than $65 million to several men who were captured
and tortured by North Korea after the communist country seized the
U.S. spy ship USS Pueblo on Jan 23, 1968. North Korea never
responded to the lawsuit filed by William Thomas Massie, Donald
Raymond McClarren, Dunnie Richard Tuck and the estate of Lloyd
Bucher. U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. entered the
judgment against the country.
2008 Dec 30, Illinois Gov. Rod
Blagojevich named former state Attorney General Roland Burris (71)
to replace Barack Obama as state senator. The surprise move put
opponents in the uncomfortable position of trying to block Burris
from becoming the Senate’s only black member.
(SFC, 12/31/08, p.A3)
2008 Dec 30, The Bahamas'
foreign affairs minister said China will help build a national
sports stadium. Construction will start early next year in the
capital of Nassau. China will send the Bahamas a $7.3 million grant
as well as Chinese construction workers who will build the stadium.
2008 Dec 30, Belgium's Flemish
Christian Democrat Herman Van Rompuy reached agreement on a new
coalition government of five parties, opening the way for his
nomination as prime minister by King Albert II. A new government
took office that is nearly a replica of the quarrelsome alliance of
Christian Democrats, Liberals and Socialists that quit earlier this
month in a bank bailout scandal.
2008 Dec 30, A Chinese
state-run newspaper said the companies, whose tainted milk products
sickened nearly 300,000 children and were blamed in the deaths of
six, will likely pay 1.1 billion yuan ($160 million) in compensation
to victims' families.
2008 Dec 30, China’s state
press said paleontologists in east China have dug up what they
believe is one of the world's largest group of dinosaur fossils
including the remains of an enormous "platypus."
2008 Dec 30, Congo’s health
minister said An Ebola virus outbreak has killed 11 people in
western Congo. Caritas, a Catholic charity, reported that over 400
people have been killed in northeaster Congo since Christmas day.
(AP, 12/30/08)(SFC, 12/31/08, p.A3)
2008 Dec 30, Coup leaders in
Guinea named Kabine Komara, a civilian banker, as prime minister,
making good on a key promise a week after seizing power upon the
death of the country's dictator.
2008 Dec 30, Iraqi forces
arrested Arshad Abid Dayem, a leader of the "Soldiers of Heaven"
cult, along with 4 of his aides. The cult has carried out bloody
attacks during the Shiite Ashura holiday the past two years. Ashura
this year falls on Jan 7.
2008 Dec 30, In Indian Kashmir
the National Conference, which with 28 seats won more than any other
party, and the Congress party, which won 17, struck an agreement to
form a new coalition, giving them a majority in the state
2008 Dec 30, Paul Hofmann (96),
Austria-born writer, died in Rome. During WWII he informed on his
Nazi commanders in occupied Rome and later became a New York Times
correspondent. Hofmann authored over a dozen books, including "That
Fine Italian Hand," "The Seasons of Rome: A Journal" and "O Vatican!
A Slightly Wicked View of the Holy See."
2008 Dec 30, Libya asked oil
companies to slash production by 270,000 barrels per day from Jan.
1, the latest such reduction by an OPEC member as the producer group
struggles to boost faltering oil prices.
2008 Dec 30, Pakistan closed
the main route used to ferry supplies to US and allied troops in
Afghanistan after launching a fresh offensive against militants in
2008 Dec 30, Palestinian
militants, armed with deadlier missiles than ever before, kept up
rocket assaults against Israel, despite relentless air attacks
against Gaza's Hamas rulers and unwelcome word from Egypt that it
would not bail them out. More than 370 Palestinians have died since
the Israeli air onslaught against Gaza's Islamic Hamas rulers began
on Dec 27.
2008 Dec 30, The Kremlin said
President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a law extending presidential
terms from four years to six, a move seen as paving the way for
Vladimir Putin's return to the presidency.
2008 Dec 30, Russia's natural
gas company Gazprom said it will stop energy shipments to Ukraine
and sharply raise the price for future deliveries if it doesn't pay
a $2 billion debt by New Year's Eve. The Ukrainian government issued
a decree saying two state banks would lend state energy company
Naftogaz Ukrainy up to $2 billion to pay its arrears to Russia’s
Gazprom. Disagreements remained on future gas costs.
(AP, 12/30/08)(WSJ, 12/31/08, p.A5)
2008 Dec 30, In Somalia mortars
slammed into a busy market in Mogadishu, as the country's weak
government crumbled and the impending pullout of allied Ethiopian
troops raised fears that Islamic insurgents might seize the
opportunity to take over.
2008 Dec 30, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger separatists said are open to restarting peace talks with the
government, despite the continuing military offensive aimed at
crushing the group.
2008 Dec 30, In Thailand
anti-government protesters abandoned their siege of the Foreign
Ministry building, easing a standoff that threatened to re-ignite a
long-running political crisis.
2008 Dec 31, US mortgage lender
Freddie Mac said interest rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage
dropped to an average of 5.10% for the week ending this day, down
from the previous week's 5.14%.
2008 Dec 31, In Aspen,
Colorado, James Chester Blanning (72), walked into two downtown
banks afternoon and left gift-wrapped bombs made of gasoline and
cell phone components. He had skied competitively as a teen but had
grown bitter about his hometown. His bombs caused the evacuation of
a 16-block area, which lasted until 4 a.m. Police found Blanning
dead in his Jeep Cherokee a few hours later in a rural area east of
2008 Dec 31, SF ended the year
with 98 homicides. In Milwaukee, Wisc., the total number of
homicides dropped 32%, from 105 in 2007 to 71 in 2008, the lowest
number since 1985. Detroit had 344 slayings, a 13% drop from the 396
in 2007; Philadelphia's 332 killings were a 15% drop from the 392 in
2007; and the 234 homicides in Baltimore were 17% less than the 392
the year before. Cleveland recorded 102 homicides in 2008, down from
a 13-year high of 134 in 2007. Homicides in New York rose 5.2%, to
522 from 496 the year before. Slayings in Los Angeles were down to
376 in 2008 compared to 400 the prior year. Preliminary data in
Chicago showed 508 homicides were reported in 2008, the first time
the city had more than 500 murders since 2003 and about 15% more
than the 442 homicides reported in 2007. Washington, D.C., ended
2008 with 186 homicides, up from 181 in 2007.
(SFC, 1/2/09, p.1)(AP, 1/3/09)
2008 Dec 31, Donald Westlake
(1933), American mystery author, died while vacationing in Mexico.
He authored over 90 books and a number of screenplays.
(SFC, 1/2/09, p.B6)
2008 Dec 31, In Afghanistan
Taliban militants attacked a district governor's compound in
southern Helmand province, killing 20 police guards and fatally
shooting the mother of one as she pleaded unsuccessfully for her
son's life. Two foreign soldiers helping to fight the extremists
were killed in separate incidents. US-led forces killed eight armed
Taliban militants in Zabul province.
(AFP, 1/1/09)(AP, 1/1/09)
2008 Dec 31, In Brazil
Christian Wolffer (70), owner of the Wolffer Estate winery, bled to
death after suffering two deep cuts on his back while swimming on
New Year's Eve near the colonial town of Paraty, about 150
kilometers (100 miles) west of Rio de Janeiro. A man suspected of
piloting a motorboat that struck and killed Wolffer was detained on
2008 Dec 31, It was reported
that China has delayed plans to start the central section of its
massive South-to-North water diversion project by 4 years due to
(WSJ, 12/31/08, p.A4)
2008 Dec 31, China’s state-run
Xinhua news agency reported that a pair of Chinese forestry
executives cheated thousands of investors out of 160 million dollars
by selling off "timber lands" in a barren desert region. Chairman
Chen Xianggui of Inner Mongolia's Wanli Afforestation Co. was
sentenced to 11 years in prison by a court in the region while
general manager Liu Yanying received nine years for the pyramid
2008 Dec 31, Tian Wenhua,
former chairwoman of the Sanlu Group, one of China’s biggest dairy
producers, pleaded guilty to selling fake and substandard milk
(SFC, 1/1/09, p.A3)
2008 Dec 31, In Denmark a
gunman shot and wounded two Israelis working at the Rosengaard mall
in Odense. Police son arrested a 27-year-old Dane born in Lebanon of
(AP, 1/1/09)(AP, 1/2/09)
2008 Dec 31, India's president
signed an anti-terror bill into law to boost police powers in the
wake of a bloody attack on the country's financial capital.
2008 Dec 31, In Iraq Oil
Minister Hussein al-Shahristani kicked off the country's second
postwar bidding round, naming 11 oil and gas fields or groups of
fields as eligible for development proposals. 8 people were killed
in four bombings in the north. At least 314 US soldiers died in
2008, down from 904 in 2007.
(AP, 12/31/08)(AP, 1/1/09)
2008 Dec 31, Israel rejected
international pressure for a two-day cease-fire with Hamas and sent
warplanes to demolish smuggling tunnels that are the lifeline of
Gaza's Islamic rulers. Gaza officials said the five days of
airstrikes have killed 390, including 200 uniformed members of Hamas
2008 Dec 31, Mexico sent 10
alleged drug smugglers to the United States, capping an already
record year for extraditions between the two countries. 2 Canadian
tourists were hospitalized with gunshot wounds after assailants
opened fire at a nightclub in the resort town of Cabo San Lucas.
2008 Dec 31, In Pakistan tanks,
artillery and helicopter gunships continued their attacks in the
Khyber Pass. Over the last two days, security forces destroyed 19
suspected militant compounds and arrested 28 Pakistanis. Government
troops reportedly killed three militants in the operation to secure
the major supply route to US and NATO troops in Afghanistan.
2008 Dec 31, A senior Pakistani
government official said Zarar Shah, a militant arrested in
Pakistan, has confessed involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks and
is giving investigators details of the plot. Shah and another
suspect, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, were said to be cooperating with
2008 Dec 31, In Bangkok,
Thailand, a New Year's Eve fire erupted at the Santika nightclub.
Before the revelry was over, 62 people were killed and more than 200
injured after they tried to flee what swiftly became a charred,
gutted ruin in a glitzy Bangkok entertainment area.
(AP, 1/1/09)(AP, 1/4/09)
2008 Dec 31, The UN Security
Council held an emergency meeting on an Arab request for a binding
and enforceable resolution condemning Israel and halting its
military attacks on Gaza. The US immediately called the draft
resolution circulated by Libya on behalf of the 22-member Arab
League "unacceptable" and "unbalanced" and because it makes no
mention of halting the Hamas rocket attacks that led to the Israeli
2008 Dec 31, The Vatican
announced that it will no longer automatically adopt new Italian
laws as its own, citing the vast number of laws Italy churns out,
many of which are in odds with Catholic doctrine.
2008 Dec, Most Australian
taxpayers received checks for $900 to help stimulate the economy.
(Econ, 5/28/11, SR p.5)
2008 Dec, Bolivia banned
imports of 2nd-hand cars over 5-years old. In 2011 the government
provided a 25-day amnesty for owners to register illegal imports and
pay a fine.
2008 Dec, In Chile engraver
Pedro Urzua Lizana unknowingly left off the bottom part of the
letter "l" while hurriedly fixing a minor deformity in the original
mold for making dies to stamp out Chilean 50-peso pieces for 2009.
The coins were released to the public, but no one at the mint,
including himself, knew about the error until a coin collector
called in October to point it out. Urzua was fired in December,
2008 Dec, Ecuador’s Central
Bank signed an agreement under which Iran’s Central Bank would set
up a credit line of $40 million, extendable by $80 million, for the
use of Ecuadorean importers.
(Econ, 4/17/10, p.44)
2008 Dec, Unemployment in Iran
was estimated at 4 million people and expected to rise under falling
(Econ, 12/6/08, p.66)
2008 Dec, Italy’s public debt,
the world’s 3rd biggest, was the equivalent of 104% of GDP.
(Econ, 12/13/08, p.61)
2008 Dec, In Norway Think
Global AS, a front runner in the plug-in car market, filed for
Bankruptcy after its failure to get capital financing under the
current credit crunch.
(WSJ, 1/24/09, p.B2)
2008 Dec, Moscow agreed to
provide Lebanon with 10 MiG-29 fighter jets. A few days later
Washington promised to deliver tanks to Beirut.
2008 Dec, Russia’s Finance
Leasing Co. (FLC), a subsidiary of United Aircraft Corp., defaulted
on $250 million of bonds, the first default by a state-owned company
on foreign debt since the country’s 1998 financial meltdown.
(WSJ, 3/23/09, p.A1)
2008 Dec, Serbia sold its state
oil monopoly NIS to Russia’s Gazprom at a discount. Officials
expected the payoff would be a steady fuel supply. In January gas
supplies to Serbia stopped as Russia halted deliveries via Ukraine.
(SFC, 1/12/09, p.A6)
2008 Dec, Sierra Leone again
earned the distinction of being the world’s least developed country.
Over 70% of the population lived on less than 70 American cents per
(Econ, 12/13/08, p.55)
2008 Dec, Tanganyika Oil was
acquired by a subsidiary of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.
(Sinopec) for $2 billion.
(Econ, 6/27/09, p.72)
2008 Dec, A 131-page report by
the UN Procurement Task Force said former officials Ventzislav
Stoykov and Edgar Casals each scammed hundreds of thousands of
dollars and ran outside ventures at the UN's Economic Commission for
Africa. The task force recommended providing the ECA report to
prosecutors in Ethiopia and the Philippines and to US authorities to
review visas Casals apparently obtained through Santiago "Sonny"
Busa, a former US consular chief in Addis Ababa.
2008 Dec-2009 Jan, In 2009
Human Rights Watch issued a report saying 6 missile strikes in Gaza
by Israeli drones killed 29 civilians, including 8 children, during
(SFC, 7/1/09, p.A3)
2008 Dennis Avery, heir to the
Avery labels fortune, commissioned artist Ricardo Arroyo Breceda to
produce life-size sculptures on private property located in
California’s 937-square-mile Anza Borrega Desert State Park, the 2nd
largest state park in the US.
(SSFC, 3/11/12, p.N6)
2008 The term mansplaining took
off after an essay from author Rebecca Solnit, “Men Explain Things
To Me." The term covers scenarios in which arrogant men impose their
knowledge on women. In 2016 Sweden’s largest trade unions, Unionen,
launched a mansplaining hotline.
2008 Mark Abley authored “The
Prodigal Tongue: Dispatches from the Future of English," a look at
the changing English language.
(WSJ, 6/28/08, p.W8)
2008 Peter Ackroyd authored
“Thames: The Biography."
(SSFC, 11/16/08, Books p.5)
2008 L.K. Advani, head of
India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) authored “My Country My Life,"
a history of Indian politics.
(Econ, 5/31/08, p.88)
2008 Spencer E. Ante authored
“Creative Capital: Georges Doriot and the Birth of Venture Capital."
In 1946 Doriot (1899-1987), a French-born Harvard professor, took
public his Boston-based American Research & Development (ARD)
(WSJ, 5/21/08, p.A17)
2008 Dan Ariely authored
“Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our
(SSFC, 4/13/08, Books p.8)
2008 Margaret Atwood authored
:Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth."
(Econ, 10/18/08, p.96)
2008 Nena Baker authored “Body
Toxic: How the Hazardous Chemistry of Everyday Things Threatens Our
Health and Well-Being."
(SSFC, 10/12/08, Books p.4)
2008 Stephen Baker authored
“The Numerati," a look at the new technology of data mining and how
it is used.
(WSJ, 9/15/08, p.A21)
2008 Maria Balinska authored
“The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread."
(WSJ, 11/29/08, p.W11)
2008 James Bamford authored
“The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA From 9/11 to the
Eavesdropping on America.
(SSFC, 10/26/08, Books p.1)
2008 Halima Bashir and Damien
Lewis authored “Tears of the Desert: One woman’s True Story of
Surviving the Horrors of Darfur."
(Econ, 8/16/08, p.80)
2008 Gary J. Bass authored
“Freedom’s Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention."
(WSJ, 8/21/08, p.A11)
2008 Mark Bauerlein authored
“The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young
Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future."
(WSJ, 5/13/08, p.A15)
2008 Jasper Becker authored
“City of Heavenly Tranquility: Beijing in the History of China."
(Econ, 8/2/08, p.85)
2008 Ronen Bergman authored
“The Secret War with Iran: The 30-Year Clandestine Struggle Against
the World’s Most dangerous Terrorist Power."
(Econ, 9/6/08, p.98)
2008 William J. Bernstein
authored “A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World."
(Econ, 7/19/08, p.91)
2008 Linda J. Bilmes and Joseph
E. Stiglitz authored “The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost
of the Iraq Conflict.
(Econ, 3/15/08, p.98)
2008 Bill Bishop authored “The
Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us
(Econ, 4/29/17, p.24)
2008 Matthew Bishop and Michael
Green authored “Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save the
(WSJ, 10/10/08, p.W10)
2008 Douglas A. Blackmon
authored “Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black
Americans from the Civil War to World War II." In 2009 Blackmon, an
editor at the Wall Street Journal, won a Pulitzer Prize for the
(WSJ, 4/21/09, p.B6)
2008 Botanist Patrick Blanc
authored “The Vertical Garden."
(SSFC, 3/6/11, p.N6)
2008 Philip Bobbit, American
professor of Law, authored “Terror and Consent: The Wars for the
(Econ, 4/5/08, p.87)
2008 Kasia Boddy authored
“Boxing: A Cultural History."
(Econ, 6/21/08, p.104)
2008 Eavan Boland and Edward
Hirsch edited “The Making of a Sonnet," a documentation of the
sonnet’s long life.
(WSJ, 3/22/08, p.W11)
2008 John R. Bradley, British
writer, authored "Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the
Brink of a Revolution."
2008 Sir Richard Branson,
chairman of the British Virgin Group, authored “Business stripped
Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur."
(Econ, 9/27/08, p.80)
2008 Jonathan Brent authored
“Inside the Stalin Archives: Discovering the New Russia."
(WSJ, 12/2/08, p.A17)
2008 Wallace S. Broecker and
Robert Kunzig authored “Fixing climate: What Past Climate Changes
Reveal About the current Threat – And How to Counter It."
(Econ, 5/17/08, p.101)
2008 Willie Brown, former mayor
of SF (1996-2004) and speaker of the California State Assembly
(1981-1995), authored his autobiography “Basic Brown: My Life and
(WSJ, 2/7/08, p.D9)
2008 Robert Bryce authored
“Gusher of Lies: the Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence."
(WSJ, 3/26/08, p.D9)
2008 Michael Burleigh authored
“Blood and Rage: A Cultural History of Terrorism."
(Econ, 3/8/08, p.94)
2008 John Burrow authored “A
History of Histories," a survey of history writing.
(WSJ, 4/19/08, p.W9)
2008 David Carr (1956-2015), NY
Times media columnist, authored his memoir: “The Night of the Gun."
(SFC, 2/12/15, p.A11)
2008 Paul B. Carroll and Chunka
Mui authored “Billion dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn from the
Most Inexcusable business Failures of the Last 25 Years."
(WSJ, 9/24/08, p.A27)
2008 Ha-Joon Chang, South
Korean-born economist, authored “Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free
Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism."
(SSFC, 2/3/08, p.M3)
2008 Leslie Chang, American
journalist, authored “Factory Girls: From Village to City in a
Changing China." This followed her 3 years of reporting on women
workers in Dongguan.
(Econ, 5/11/13, p.51)
2008 Amit Chaudhuri (b.1962)
authored “Clearing a Space: Reflections on India, Literature and
2008 Joanne Chen authored “The
Taste of Sweet," a thumbnail history of sweetness.
(WSJ, 4/26/08, p.W8)
2008 George Clarke authored
“Justice and Science: Trials and Triumphs of DNA.
(SFC, 2/29/08, p.E3)
2008 Patrick Cockburn authored
“Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for
(Econ, 3/29/08, p.110)
2008 Steve Coll authored “The
Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century."
(Econ, 4/12/08, p.92)
2008 Paul K. Conkin authored “A
Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American
Agriculture since 1929."
(WSJ, 9/29/08, p.A23)
2008 Matthew Connelly authored
“Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population," a
look at the rise and fall of the population control movement.
(WSJ, 4/1/08, p.D10)(Econ, 5/24/08, p.106)
2008 George Cooper authored
“The Origin of Financial Crises: Central Banks, Credit Bubbles and
the Efficient Market Fallacy."
(Econ, 9/13/08, p.79)
2008 Gary Cross authored “Men
to Boys: The Making of Modern Immaturity."
(WSJ, 9/20/08, p.W8)
2008 Andrew Darby authored
“Harpoon: Into the Heart of Whaling," an examination of whale
hunting and the anti-whaling movement.
(Econ, 5/10/08, p.94)
2008 Leonard J. Davis authored
“Obsession: A History," a historical look at the characteristic
two-mindedness where a compulsive self acts while an observing self
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.96)
2008 Felix Dennis, English high
school dropout and publishing magnate, authored “How to Get Rich:
One of the World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets."
(WSJ, 6/11/08, p.A21)
2008 John Diamond authored “The
CIA and the Culture of Failure: US Intelligence From the end of the
Cold War to the Invasion of Iraq."
(SFC, 9/7/08, Books p.1)
2008 Jay P. Dolan authored “The
Irish Americans: A History."
(WSJ, 10/27/08, p.A15)
2008 Bruce Dover authored
“Rupert’s Adventures in China: How Murdoch Lost a Fortune and Found
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.79)
2008 Christopher Duggan
authored “The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796."
(Econ, 2/26/11, p.89)
2008 Edzard Ernst and Simon
Singh authored “Trick or Treat: The Undeniable Facts About
(SSFC, 8/24/08, Books p.3)
2008 William N. Eskridge Jr.
authored Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Laws in America, 1861-2003.
(SSFC, 5/11/08, Books p.4)
2008 Chris Fair authored
“Cuisines of the Axis of Evil," an analysis of the national cuisines
of 10 countries and their foreign policy records.
(WSJ, 10/3/08, p.W5)
2008 Dan Falk authored “In
Search of Time: The Science of a Curious Dimension."
(SFC, 11/25/08, p.E2)
2008 Alice Feiring authored
“The Battle for Wine and Love: Or How I Saved the World From
(SFC, 5/23/08, p.E6)
2008 Douglas J. Feith, for
Undersecretary for Policy, authored “War and Decision: Inside the
Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism."
(WSJ, 4/8/08, p.D8)
2008 Niall Ferguson authored
“The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World."
(Econ, 10/11/08, p.113)
2008 Alec Foege authored “Right
of the Deal: The Rise of Clear Channel and the Fall of Commercial
Radio." Clear Channel sponsored its own story “Clear Vision: The
Story of Clear Channel Communications," written under contract by
(WSJ, 7/10/08, p.B1)
2008 R.F. Foster authored “Luck
and the Irish: A Brief History of Change from 1970."
(WSJ, 2/23/08, p.W8)
2008 Donna Freitas authored
“Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and
Religion on America's College Campuses."
(WSJ, 4/29/08, p.A11)
2008 Patrick French authored
“The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V. S.
Naipaul." V.S, Naipaul (b.1932), English novelist born in
Chaguana, Trinidad, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001.
(SFC, 10/12/01, p.C1)(WSJ, 11/7/08, p.W10)
2008 Betty Fussell (70)
authored “Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef."
(SFC, 11/18/08, p.E5)
2008 Dan Gardner authored
“Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear."
(Econ, 3/15/08, p.99)
2008 Urs Gasser and John
Palfrey authored “Born Digital."
(Econ, 2/27/10, TQ p.10)
2008 Michael S. Gazzaniga
authored “Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique."
(WSJ, 7/8/08, p.A19)
2008 Steven M. Gelber authored
“Horse Trading in the Age of Cars: Men in the Marketplace."
(WSJ, 12/3/08, p.A15)
2008 Rose George authored “"The
Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It
(Econ, 10/11/08, p.114)
2008 Ted Gioia authored Delta
Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who
Revolutionized American Music.
(Econ, 10/18/08, p.97)
2008 Tom Gjelton, NPR
correspondent, authored “Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba," a
history of Bacardi rum.
(SFC, 9/9/08, p.E3)
2008 Misha Glenny authored
“McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld."
(WSJ, 4/12/08, p.W9)
2008 Jonah Goldberg authored
“Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from
Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning." It quickly became America’s
biggest-selling political book.
(WSJ, 1/4/08, p.W5)(Econ, 2/9/08, p.89)
2008 Marshall Goldman authored
“Petrostate: Putin, Power and the New Russia."
(WSJ, 6/19/08, p.A13)
2008 Gordon Goldstein authored
“Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in
2008 Ronald M. Green authored
“Babies by Design: The Ethics of Genetic Choice."
(Econ, 2/9/08, p.89)
2008 Steven Greenhouse authored
“The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker."
(SFC, 4/29/08, p.E2)
2008 David Hajdu authored “The
Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed
(SFC, 9/7/08, Books p.7)
2008 James Harding authored
“Alpha Dogs: The Americans Who Turned Political spin into a Global
(Econ, 5/24/08, p.109)
2008 Tim Harford authored “The
Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World," a
reader-friendly guide to the economics of everyday life.
(Econ, 2/23/08, p.102)
2008 David Boyd Haycock
authored “Mortal Coil: A Short History of Living Longer."
(WSJ, 7/10/08, p.A13)
2008 Michael Heller authored
“The Gridlock Economy," in which he argued how vaguely defined and
aggresively asserted property rights stifle innovation and cost
(www.gridlockeconomy.com/)(Econ, 5/30/09, SR
2008 Henry Hitchings authored
“The Secret Life of Words: How English Became English."
(Econ, 9/20/08, p.103)
2008 Philip Hoare authored
“Leviathan, or the Whale." In 2009 his book won the $33,000 Samuel
Johnson Prize, Britain’s leading nonfiction book prize.
(SFC, 7/1/09, p.E2)
2008 Heidi Holland authored
“Dinner with Mugabe: The Untold Story of a Freedom Fighter who
Became a Tyrant."
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.94)
2008 Jeff Howe authored
“Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of
(Econ, 9/27/08, p.98)
2008 Alan Jacobs authored
“Original Sin: A Cultural History."
(WSJ, 6/13/08, p.A13)
2008 Rowan Jacobsen authored
“Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honeybee and the Coming
(WSJ, 9/19/08, p.A21)
2008 Brian Michael Jenkins
authored “Will Terrorists Go Nuclear."
(WSJ, 10/5/08, p.A25)
2008 Ayesha Jalal authored
“Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia."
(WSJ, 4/4/08, p.W5)
2008 Brett Kahr authored “Who’s
Been Sleeping in Your Head: The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies."
(Econ, 2/2/08, p.96)
2008 Michio Kaku authored
“Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration of the world of
Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel.
(Econ, 3/8/08, p.95)
2008 Michael Kane authored
“Game Boys: Professional Videogaming’s Rise From the Basement to the
(SFC, 6/17/08, p.E2)
2008 Eugene Karecki,
documentary filmmaker, authored “The American Way of War: Guided
Missiles, Misguided Men, and the Republic in Peril."
(SSFC, 11/2/08, Books p.5)
2008 Craig Karmin authored
“Biography of the Dollar: How the Mighty Buck Conquered the World
and Why It’s Under Siege.
(WSJ, 3/1/08, p.B1)
2008 Dec 29, Elin Kelsey
authored “Watching Giants: The Secret Lives of Whales."
(Econ, 12/13/08, p.101)
2008 Tarun Khanna authored
“Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India are Reshaping The
Futures and Yours."
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.80)
2008 Tubten Khetsun authored
“Memories of Life in Lhasa Under Chinese Rule."
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.93)
2008 Michael Kimmel authored
“Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men."
(WSJ, 9/20/08, p.W8)
2008 Stephen Kinzer authored “A
Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It," the
story of Paul Kagame and Rwanda.
(Econ, 8/23/08, p.73)
2008 Torkel Klingberg authored
“The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the Limits of
(WSJ, 12/13/08, p.A17)
2008 Dan Koeppel authored
“Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World."
(SSFC, 2/17/08, p.M3)
2008 Richard Koo authored “The
Holy Grail of Macroeconomics."
(Econ, 12/20/14, p.112)
2008 Edward Kritzler authored
Jewish Pirates in the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling
Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for
Treasure, Religious Freedom – and Revenge."
(SSFC, 11/2/08, Books p.7)
2008 Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen
Moore and Peter J. Tanous authored “The End of Prosperity: How
Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy--If We Let It Happen."
(WSJ, 10/10/08, p.W10)
2008 Alan Lafley, the boss of
Proctor & Gamble (P&G), authored “The Game-Changer: How You
Can Drive Revenue and Profit With Innovation."
(Econ, 8/22/09, p.55)
2008 Robert Lawrence authored
“Blue Collar Blues: Is Trade to Blame for Rising US Income
(Econ, 10/11/08, SR p.33)
2008 Jane Lawson authored “The
Spice Bible: Essential Information and More Than 250 Recipes Using
Spices, Spice Mixes, and Spice Pastes."
(WSJ, 5/24/08, p.W8)
2008 Mary Lefkowitz authored
“History Lesson: A Race Odyssey," an account of what she experienced
after questioning the veracity of Afrocentrism and the motives of
(WSJ, 4/15/08, p.D9)
2008 Tony Leon, former head of
South Africa’s Democratic Alliance, authored “On the Contrary:
Leading the Opposition in a Democratic South Africa."
(Econ, 8/16/08, p.81)
2008 Seth Lerer authored
“Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History From Aesop to Harry
(SSFC, 7/6/08, Books p.1)
2008 Diandra Leslie-Pelecky
authored “The Physics of NASCAR."
(WSJ, 9/12/08, p.W6)
2008 James Lever, a book
editor, authored “Me Cheetah: My Life in Hollywood," a
pseudo-autobiography by Tarzan’s friendly chimpanzee. It was first
published in Britain before the author’s name was revealed. The
American edition came out in 2009.
(WSJ, 3/13/09, p.W10)
2008 David Levering Lewis
authored “God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe 570-1215."
(SSFC, 2/3/08, p.M1)
2008 Steve LeVine authored
“Putin’s Labyrinth: Spies, Murder, and the Dark Heart of the New
(Econ, 7/19/08, p.92)
2008 Bernard-Henri Levy (1948),
Algeria-born French philosopher, published “Left In Dark Times: A
Stand Against the New Barbarism." It offered a polemic explaining
why he remains faithful to the core principles of the democratic
left. It was an abridged translation of book published last year in
(SFC, 10/22/08, p.E2)
2008 Ben Lewis authored “Hammer
& Tickle: A History of Communism Told Through Communist Jokes.
(Econ, 7/5/08, p.92)
2008 William A. Link authored
“Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern
Conservatism," a biography of the former 5-term senator from North
(WSJ, 2/12/08, p.D8)
2008 Genevieve Lloyd authored
“Providence Lost," a work of intellectual history in which the
author attempts to restore some of the lost continuities that
connect modern philosophy to its ancient sources.
(WSJ, 11/28/08, p.W6)
2008 Andrew W. Lo authored
“Hedge Funds: An Analytic Perspective."
(Econ, 6/14/08, p.102)
2008 Edward Lucas authored “The
New Cold War: Putin’s Russia and the Threat to the West."
(WSJ, 2/26/08, p.D6)
2008 Sandra Mackey authored
“Mirror of the Arab World: Lebanon in Conflict."
(SFC, 3/22/08, p.E2)
2008 Kishore Mahbubani, former
Singaporean diplomat, authored “The New Asian Hemisphere: The
Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East."
(Econ, 8/20/11, p.42)
2008 James Mann authored “The
China Fantasy: Why Capitalism Will Not Bring Democracy to China."
(Econ, 10/24/09, SR p.14)
2008 Hara Estroff Marano
authored “A Nation of Wimps," in which she complains that
over-involved parents are sapping the will of American youths.
(WSJ, 5/29/08, p.A15)
2008 Andy Mullholland and Nick
Earle authored “Mesh Collaboration: Creating New Business Value in
the Network of Everything."
(Econ, 10/25/08, p.17)
2008 Marion Nestle authored
“Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine," which
illuminates the connections between the food supplies of
humans, farm animals and pets.
(Econ, 9/6/08, p.97)
2008 Kevin Mattson authored
“Rebels All: A Short History of the Conservative Mind in Postwar
(SSFC, 8/24/08, Books p.3)
2008 Scott McClellan, former
George W. Bush White House press secretary, authored “What Happened:
Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception."
(SFC, 5/29/08, p.A1)
2008 Patrick J. McCloskey
authored “The Street Stops Here: A Year at a Catholic High School in
(WSJ, 12/5/08, p.A19)
2008 Paul R. McHugh, M.D.,
authored Try to Remembers: Psychiatry’s Clash over meaning Memory
and Mind," in which he recounts the history of the movement to
recover “repressed" memories of abuse.
(WSJ, 11/20/08, p.A19)
2008 Anand Menon authored
“Europe: The State of the Union," a history of the EU.
(Econ, 5/17/08, p.103)
2008 Robert S. Miller, chairman
of Delphi Corp., authored “The Turnaround Kid: What I Learned
Rescuing America's Most Troubled Companies."
(WSJ, 4/16/08, p.D8)
2008 Stephen Miller authored
“The Peculiar Life of Sundays."
(WSJ, 11/22/08, p.W10)
2008 Charles R. Morris authored
“The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the
Great Credit Crash.
(Econ, 3/8/08, p.93)
2008 Marwan Muasher (52),
former Jordanian ambassador to Israel (1995-1996). authored “The
Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation."
(Econ, 8/23/08, p.72)
2008 John Mullan authored
“Anonymity: A Secret History of English Literature." The work
consisted of a series of case histories of anonymous or pseudonymous
(WSJ, 9/4/08, p.A17)
2008 Richard Muller, a
physicist at UC Berkeley, authored “Physics for Future Presidents:
The Science Behind the Headlines.
(SSFC, 8/3/08, Books p.1)
2008 Shuja Nawaz authored
“Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army and the Wars Within."
(Econ, 6/21/08, p.100)
2008 Geoff Nicholson authored
“The Lost Art of Walking: The History, Science, Philosophy, and
Literature of Pedestrianism.
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.87)
2008 Walter Nugent authored
“Habits of Empire: A History of American Expansion."
(Econ, 6/21/08, p.100)
2008 Joseph S. Nye authored
“The Powers to Lead," a look at the nature of leadership in today’s
(Econ, 5/17/08, p.103)
2008 Duncan O’Brien authored
“The White Ships: A Tribute to Matson’s Luxury Liners." These ships
included the Malolo, Mariposa, Monterey, and Matsonia from
(SSFC, 11/30/08, p.E3)
2008 Dr. Paul A. Offit authored
“autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the
Search for a Cure."
(WSJ, 9/23/08, p.A27)
2008 Gary Y. Okihiro authored
“Island World: A History of Hawaii and the United States."
(WSJ, 10/17/08, p.A11)
2008 James Orbinsky, Canadian
physician and former head of Doctors without Borders, authored “An
Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action for the Twenty-First
(SSFC, 10/5/08, Books p.1)
2008 David B. Ottaway authored
“The King’s Messenger: Prince Bandar bin Sultan and America’s
Tangled Relationship with Saudi Arabia."
(Econ, 11/8/08, p.101)
2008 Josh Ozersky authored “The
Hamburger: A History."
(Econ, 4/26/08, p.107)
2008 Max Page authored “The
City’s End: Two Centuries of Fantasies, Fears, and Premonitions of
New York's Destruction."
(WSJ, 10/3/08, p.A19)
2008 Arvind Panagariya authored
“India: The Emerging Giant."
(Econ, 3/8/08, p.94)
2008 Jay Parini authored
“Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America."
(WSJ, 11/8/08, p.W8)
2008 Irene Pepperberg authored
“Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Uncovered a Hidden
World of Animal Intelligence – And Formed a Deep bond in the
(Econ, 10/25/08, p.100)
2008 Rufus Phillips authored
“Why Vietnam Matters: An Eyewitness Account of Lessons Not Learned."
(Econ, 10/3/09, p.55)
2008 T. Boone Pickens, former
head of Mesa Petroleum, authored “The first Billion is the Hardest."
(WSJ, 9/10/08, p.A13)
2008 Daniel H. Pink (43)
authored “The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide
You’ll Ever Need," a career-coaching book rendered in Japanese manga
(WSJ, 4/9/08, p.D11)
2008 Christopher Plummer,
Canadian-born Shakespearean actor, authored his memoir “In Spite of
(WSJ, 11/4/08, p.A17)
2008 Paul Polak, founder of
International Development Enterprises (IDE) authored “Out of
Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail." The former
Denver-based psychologist cashed out his business in 1981 and soon
developed an irrigation treadle pump for poor farmers.
2008 Kenneth M. Pollack
authored “A Path Out of the Desert: A Grand Strategy for America in
the Middle East."
(WSJ, 7/17/08, p.A13)(Econ, 7/26/08, p.94)
2008 Michael Pollan authored
“In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto," an exploration of the
relationship between nutrition and the Western diet. In 2009 it
became the basis for the PBS TV documentary “The Botany of Desire."
(SFC, 10/28/09, p.E1)
2008 David A. Price authored
“The Pixar Touch: The making of a Company."
(Econ, 5/24/08, p.107)
2008 Alan Prince and Lewis
Schiff authored “The Middle-class Millionaire: The Rise of the New
Rich and How They Are Changing America."
(WSJ, 3/5/08, p.D9)
2008 Ahmed Rashid authored
“Descent Into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation
Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.
(Econ, 7/26/08, p.95)
2008 John Reader authored
“Propitious Esculent: The Potato in World History."
(Econ, 3/1/08, p.92)
2008 Mary Roach authored “Bonk:
The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex."
(SSFC, 4/6/08, Books p.1)
2008 Andrew Roberts authored
“Gandhi and Churchill."
(WSJ, 5/2/08, p.W5)
2008 Alexander Rose authored
“American Rifle: A Biography."
(Econ, 10/18/08, p.96)
2008 Patrick Rosenkranz
authored “Rebel Visions: The Underground Comix Revolution."
(SFC, 3/15/17, p.D6)
2008 David Rothkopf authored
“Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making."
He calculated that Harvard, Stanford and the Univ. of Chicago are
now the world’s top three superclass producers.
(SSFC, 3/30/08, Books p.1)(Econ, 4/26/08, p.106)
2008 Anthony Rudel authored
“Hello Everybody: The Dawn of American Radio."
(WSJ, 10/9/08, p.A15)
2008 Marcus du Sautoy authored
“Finding Moonshine: A Mathematician’s Journey Through Symmetry."
(Econ, 2/2/08, p.94)
2008 Michael Scheuer, former
CIA veteran, authored “Marching Toward Hell: American and Islam
(SSFC, 2/17/08, p.M1)
2008 Jeffrey D. Sachs, director
of the Earth Institute and special adviser to the UN Sec. Gen. on
the Millennium Development Goals, authored “Common Wealth: Economics
For a Crowded Planet."
(Econ, 3/29/08, p.111)
2008 Robert J. Samuelson
authored “The Great Inflation and its Aftermath: The Past and Future
of American Affluence."
(Econ, 11/22/08, p.96)
2008 Mark Sandalow authored
“Madame Speaker: Nancy Pelosi’s Life, Times, and Rise to Power."
(SSFC, 6/15/08, Books p.4)
2008 Alice Schroeder authored
“The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life." Bantam paid
$7.2 million for the North American rights.
(WSJ, 8/23/08, p.W1)(WSJ, 10/15/08, p.A17)
2008 Anthony Seldon authored
“Blair Unbound," a continuation of his 2004 book “Blair," which
covered the career of former British PM Tony Blair.
(WSJ, 4/28/08, p.A17)
2008 Tushaar Shah authored
“Taming the Anarchy: Groundwater Governance in South Asia."
(Econ, 5/22/10, SR p.11)
2008 James J. Sheehan, Stanford
historian, authored “Where Have All the Soldiers Gone," an
exploration of the rise and fall of militarism in Europe.
(WSJ, 1/17/08, p.D7)
2008 Raja Shehadeh authored
“Palestinian Walks," a “highly original consideration of the
Palestinian-Israeli issue structured around a series of vigorous,
attentive hikes through the occupied territories."
(Econ, 8/14/10, p.69)(http://tinyurl.com/26lulh5)
2008 Kathryn Shevelov authored
“for the Love of Animals: The Rise of the Animal Protection
(SSFC, 7/13/08, Books p.4)
2008 Lewis H. Siegelbaum
authored “Cars for Comrades: The Life of the Soviet Automobile."
(Econ, 7/12/08, p.94)
2008 Julian Sivulka authored
“Ad Women: How They Impact What We Need, Want, and Buy," a history
of women’s role in American advertising.
(WSJ, 12/17/08, p.A19)
2008 Hugo Slim authored
“Killing Civilians: Method, Madness and Morality in War."
(Econ, 2/16/08, p.92)
2008 David M. Smick authored
“The World Is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy."
(WSJ, 9/19/08, p.A21)
2008 Barbara Smit authored
“Sneaker Wars: The Enemy Brothers Who Founded Adidas and Puma and
the Family Feud That Forever Changed the Business of Sport." She
traced the story of brothers Adolf Dassler (1900-1978) and Rudolf
Dassler (1898-1974), who launched shoe-making operations in Germany
in the 1920s and later split to form Adidas and Puma.
(WSJ, 3/21/08, p.W5)
2008 Michael Soussan authored
“Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International
Diplomacy," in which he tells of his 3-year close-up experience in
the UN’s Oil for Food program beginning in 1997.
(WSJ, 11/14/08, p.A15)
2008 Mark Stein authored “How
the States Got Their Shapes."
(WSJ, 5/31/08, p.W9)
2008 Randall Stross authored
“Planet Google: One Company’s Audacious Plan to Organize Everything
(WSJ, 9/17/08, p.A25)
2008 Eluned Summers-Bremmer
authored “Insomnia: A Cultural History."
(WSJ, 2/29/08, p.W4)
2008 Cass Sunstein and Richard
Thaler co-authored “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth,
and Happiness," a look at the potential for behavioral economics to
improve the effectiveness of government.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nudge_%28book%29)(Econ, 3/24/12, p.78)
2008 Leonard Susskind authored
“The Black Hole War: My Battle With Stephen Hawking to Make the
World Safe for Quantum Mechanics."
(WSJ, 7/28/08, p.A13)
2008 Ron Suskind authored “The
Way of the World," in which he claimed that the White House in 2003
ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from Tahir
Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the head of Iraqi intelligence, to Saddam
2008 Darcy Tell authored “Times
Square Spectacular," a history of NYC’s Times Square.
(WSJ, 3/22/08, p.W11)
2008 Christina Thompson
authored “Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All: A New
(Econ, 8/9/08, p.78)
2008 E. Fuller Torrey authored
“The Insanity Offense: How America’s Failure to Treat the Seriously
Mentally Ill Endangers Its Citizens." He describes the grim
consequences of laws that, beginning in the late 1960s, released the
seriously mentally ill from the oversight of state mental health
(WSJ, 6/14/08, p.W10)
2008 William Tucker authored
“Terrestrial Energy: How Nuclear Power Will Lead the Green
Revolution and Lead America’s Energy Odyssey."
(WSJ, 12/16/08, p.A21)
2008 Ted Turner (69),
broadcasting entrepreneur and self-said largest private landowner in
the US, authored his memoir: "Call Me Ted."
(WSJ, 11/10/08, p.B10)
2008 Christine Varney (b.1955)
authored “The Folklore of Capitalism." The book was seen as a satire
on the inadequacy of US antitrust laws. In April, 2009, she became
Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust at the Department of
2008 Benito Vergara authored
“Pinoy Capital: The Filipino Nation in Daly City."
2008 Rob Walker authored
“Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are."
(WSJ, 7/2/08, p.A11)
2008 Barbara Walters (b.1929),
former NBC TV journalist, authored “Audition: A Memoir."
(Econ, 5/17/08, p.104)
2008 Craig Walzer compiled and
edited “Out of Exile: Narratives from the Abducted and Displaced
People of Sudan."
(SSFC, 12/14/08, Books p.1)
2008 Physicist Frank Wilczek,
Nobel Prize winner (2004), authored “The Lightness of Being: Mass,
Ether, and the Unification of Forces."
(Econ, 9/6/08, p.98)
2008 Hugh Wilford authored “The
Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America," an account of the
CIA’s post war front groups.
(WSJ, 1/23/08, p.D8)
2008 Eric G. Wilson authored
“Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy."
(WSJ, 2/8/08, p.W5)
2008 David Wolman authored
“Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email," an
historical look at English language spelling reform.
(WSJ, 10/30/08, p.A17)
2008 Gordon S. Wood authored
“The Purpose of the Past: Reflections of the Use of History."
(SFC, 3/15/08, p.E3)
2008 Bob Woodward authored “The
War Within: A Secret White House History, 2006-2008." It included
allegations of US espionage on Iraq’s PM al-Maliki and other top
(SFC, 9/6/08, p.A5)
2008 Martin Wolf authored
“Fixing Global Finance."
(Econ, 1/17/09, p.81)
2008 Michael Wolff authored
“The Man Who Owns the News," a biography of Rupert Murdoch.
(Econ, 12/6/08, p.86)
2008 Sam Wyly (b.1934),
American billionaire entrepreneur, authored “1,000 Dollars & and
(WSJ, 12/29/08, p.A11)
2008 The book “The Corpse
Walker: Real Life Stories, China From the Bottom Up" by Liao Yiwu,
Chinese poet, was translated to English by Wen Huang. The book was
banned as soon as it was published in China. Wen had been imprisoned
for 5 years for an epic poem published after the 1989 Tiananmen
(SSFC, 5/18/08, Books p.1)
2008 Gabriel Zaid, Mexican
writer, authored “The Secret of Fame: The Literary Encounter in an
Age of Distraction."
(SFC, 5/14/08, p.E5)
2008 Fareed Zakaria authored
“The Post-American World."
(WSJ, 5/6/08, p.A21)(Econ, 5/24/08, p.108)
2008 Adam Zeman authored “A
Portrait of the Brain."
(Econ, 3/1/08, p.88)
2008 Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard
professor, authored “The Future of the Internet – And How To Stop
It," in which he explains how the promise of the Internet might not
be realized, and points the way toward reducing the current risks.
(Econ, 9/4/10, p.76)
2008 Slavoj Zizek, Slovenian
writer, authored “Violence." It was a smaller offspring of his
larger book “In Defense of Lost Causes," also published this year.
(SSFC, 9/28/08, Books p.7)
2008 TLC began airing its
reality show “Nineteen Kids and Counting" featuring the Arkansas
family of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. The series was cancelled in
2015 when reports surfaced that Josh Duggar (27), the oldest child,
had fondled four of his sisters and a babysitter a dozen years
(SFC, 7/17/15, p.A6)
2008 Lisa F. Jackson (57),
American filmmaker, produced her 75-minute film: “The Greatest
Silence: Rape in the Congo.
(SFC, 4/5/08, p.E1)
2008 Some 610 films were
released this year in the US.
(Econ, 11/28/09, p.79)
2008 The term Alt-Right was
reputedly coined by Richard Spencer of the US National Policy
(Econ, 9/17/16, p.23)
2008 The US signed weapons
agreements this year valued a $37.8 billion, or 68.4% of all
business in the global arms bazaar, up from $25.4 billion in 2007.
Italy was 2nd with $3.7 billion and Russia 3rd with $3.5 billion.
(SFC, 9/7/09, p.A3)
2008 Foreign intelligence
inserted a flash drive into a US military laptop on a post in the
Middle East. In 2010 it was disclosed that the malicious code placed
on the drive uploaded itself onto a network run by the US military’s
Central Command and resulted in the most significant breach of US
(SFC, 8/26/10, p.A7)
2008 US Attorney Richard
Streeter received a $65 million judgment on behalf of US Navy
crewmen held captive for nearly a year by North Korea in 1968. The
former crewmen have never collected any money.
2008 Tyler and Cameron
Winklevoss settled a lawsuit with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The brothers requested payment of their $45 million settlement to be
made in shares of Facebook. By the time Facebook went public in 2012
their stock was worth some $300 million.
(SSFC, 12/24/17, p.D5)
2008 In San Francisco the
16-story Arterra residential tower, designed by Kwan Henmi, was
built at 300 Berry St.
(SSFC, 2/6/11, p.C2)
2008 The Chronicle of Life
Foundation was established by Kai Pommerenke, a UC Santa Cruz
economist, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its mission was
to save personal memories and any photos or other files, thus
creating a chronicle of one’s life. The service was launched for
public use on Dec 20, 2010.
2008 San Francisco-based
Castlight Health was founded to enable employers and health plans to
lower the cost of health care and provide individuals unbiased
pricing and quality information to make smart health care purchase
2008 Airbnb, an online sharing
service for accomodations, was founded in San Francisco. Nate
Blecharszyk was among the co-founders.
(Econ, 3/9/13, TQ p.13)
2008 San Francisco landlords
Kip and Nicole Macy faced charges relating to their illegal attempts
to evict their 5 tenants at 744-746 Clementina St. They failed to
show up for trial in 2010 and fled to Italy, where they were
detained in 2011. In 2013 they pleaded guilty to residential
burglary, attempted grand theft and stalking. Under a plea deal they
faced 4 years and 4 months in prison.
(SFC, 6/20/13, p.D6)
2008 Leah Busque founded
TaskRabbit, an online and mobile marketplace that allows users to
outsource small jobs and tasks to others in their neighborhood.
Users name the task they need done, name the price they are willing
to pay, and a network of pre-approved TaskRabbits bid to complete
the job. By 2013 TaskRabbit employed some 15,000 workers.
p.64)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TaskRabbit)(SFC, 8/16/13, p.D2)
2008 IXPI (Intellectual
Property Exchange Int’l.) was set up by Ocean Tomo, a Chicago-based
merchant bank set up in 2003 that specializes in intellectual
property. The IXPI financial exchange would let companies buy, sell
and hedge patent rights. It planned to debut in 2012.
(Econ, 5/12/12, p.72)(http://www.oceantomo.com/)
2008 Toy maker Chris Nee
pitched her Doc McStuffins doll idea to Disney executives. The
company changed the doll’s race from white to black and by 2013 it
was a top seller.
(SSFC, 12/8/13, p.D7)
2008 Give Directly was founded
by a team that included Michael Faye and Paul Niehaus at Cambridge,
Massachusetts. The charity hands out no-strings-attached cash to the
poorest people it can find. Google and Facebook were among the
prviders of the cash.
2008 In Boston a biohacker
movement began when Jason Bobe co-founded a 2-member group called
DIYbio (do-it-yourself biology).
(SSFC, 12/20/09, p.A18)
2008 Nathan Eagle founded a
service called txteagle, a Boston-based service, to distribute small
jobs via text messaging in return for small payments.
2008 Roadrunner, a $121 million
supercomputer housed at Los Alamos, NM, became the first computer to
break the petaflop barrier by processing just over a quadrillion
mathematical calculations per second. In 2013 it was decommissioned,
replaced by something smaller, faster and more energy efficient.
(SSFC, 3/31/13, p.A8)
2008 Royal Dutch Shell set up
its 22,000 ton Perdido spar off the coast of Texas and chained it to
the seabed 2,400 meters below the surface. The platform had been
constructed in Finland.
(Econ, 3/6/10, TQ p.15)
2008 Raytheon Corp. deployed
Zeus, its directed energy weapon, to detonate unexploded ordnance
from, a safe distance. Under development by Raytheon was the Laser
Area Defense System (LADS) for the destruction of incoming artillery
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.91)
2008 Geologists proposed a new
epoch of history called the Anthropocene to encompass the years in
which people have had profound effects on the the workings of planet
(Econ, 7/20/13, p.70)
2008 In Utah scientists
discovered the fossils of a predator dinosaur that lived about 100
million years ago. In 2013 it was named Siats meekerorum, and said
to be related to allosauroids.
(SFC, 11/23/13, p.A10)
2008 The planet WASP-12b was
discovered in the Auriga Constellation, about 600 light-years from
Earth. It is more than 300 times the size of Earth. In 2010 the
Hubble space telescope discovered that the planet in our galaxy is
in the process of being devoured by the star that it orbits and
could be devoured over the next ten million years.
2008 The average salary for an
American baseball player was around $3 million as compared to
$500,000 for a player in Japan.
(Econ, 3/29/08, p.84)
2008 In the US 2.3 million
families lost their home or faced foreclosure, reducing home the
home ownership rate from 69% in 2004 to 67.5%.
(Econ, 4/18/09, p.76)
2008 Phoenix, Az., known as
America’s kidnapping capital, reached a 10-year high with 359
kidnappings. The majority were committed by drug and immigrant
(SFC, 12/28/09, p.A5)
2008 SIGAR, the special
investigator general for Afghanistan reconstruction, was formed. By
2015 it identified more than $1 billion in potential savings to US
taxpayers as well as millions in wasted projects.
(SFC, 11/27/15, p.A3)
2008 The population of
Afghanistan stood at about 32 million with over half living in
poverty. The country suffered its 7th year of drought.
(SFC, 12/12/08, p.A1)
2008 Nearly 4,000 Afghan
civilians were killed this year in insurgency-linked unrest, more
than two-thirds in rebel attacks and about 1,100 by foreign forces
according to Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM). The UN recorded 2,118
civilian deaths in 2008 of which 55% were attributed to the Taliban.
(AFP, 1/21/09)(Econ, 2/21/09, p.29)
2008 The UN estimated that
Afghanistan’s illegal opium trade for this year was worth about $3.4
billion, or 33% of the country’s GDP.
(Econ, 8/22/09, p.22)
2008 Luanda, Angola, became one
of the most expensive cities in the world as office space costs
reached $8,000 a square meter and rents for a 2-room apartment
downtown reached $15,000 a month. Large oil reserves and diamond
mines sparked development in the port with limited seafront land.
(SSFC, 9/14/08, p.A19)
2008 In Australia a video was
made showing an unarmed, dark-skinned man, who refused to undergo a
strip search in a Perth detention facility, screaming in apparent
agony after being zapped with a stun gun eight times while
surrounded by nine police officers. He was stunned another five
times off-camera. The video was made public in 2010 as an example of
the wrongful use of a stun gun.
2008 The population of Bhutan
numbered about 642,000.
(SFC, 12/4/08, p.A1)
2008 Jacob Ostreicher, owner of
a Brooklyn flooring company, and Swiss investors, including
principal Andre Zolty, began investing $25 million in a rice
growing operation in Bolivia. Claudia Liliana Rodriguez, the woman
they entrusted to manage the investment, turned out to be a
Colombian con artist. In 2011 Ostreicher was imprisoned in Bolivia
and the state agency in charge of seized drug assets called
transport companies to pick up operation’s rice.
2008 Gen. Rasim Delic (d.2010
at 61), wartime commander of the Bosnian Army, was convicted of
cruelty to Bosnian Serb prisoners during Bosnia's 1992-95 war. Delic
was the most senior Muslim Bosniak officer convicted by the court in
its 17-year history.
2008 In Botswana Pres. Festus
Mogae planned to retire after 10 years in office with Ian Khama, the
half-white son of Botswana’s first president, as his anointed
(Econ, 3/29/08, p.62)
2008 In Brazil police began
setting up Pacifying Police Units (UPPS) in some of the favelas of
Rio de Janeiro to help restore law and order.
(Econ, 6/12/10, p.42)
2008 Banco do Brazil bought
Nossa Caixa, a mid sized state-owned banking firm.
(Econ, 5/15/10, SR p.11)
2008 Britain enacted a law
protecting transgender people at work.
2008 The British Royal Mint
produced at least 100,000 20-pence coins with no date. The error was
acknowledged in June, 2009. The last time a similar error occurred
was in 1672.
(SFC, 6/30/09, p.A2)
2008 BP bypassed its private
Russian partners and negotiated a deal with Gazprom, Russia’s state
controlled gas company.
(Econ, 2/5/11, p.73)
2008 Britain’s National
Ballistics Intelligence Survey (NABIS) was set up to identify guns
and bullets as the number of shootings rose.
(Econ, 10/5/13, p.61)
2008 Cameroon airline Camair
ceased trading. Yves Michel Fotso and Paul Gamo Hamani, two former
bosses of the airline were detained and placed under formal
investigation for embezzlement of public funds: Hamani in 2009 and
Fotso in 2010.
2008 Canada raised its
heterosexual age of consent from 14 to 16.
(Econ, 11/15/14, p.62)
2008 In Alberta, Canada, the
opposition Wildrose Party was founded by disaffected Conservatives
who wanted the government to rein in spending and taxes.
(Econ., 5/2/15, p.30)
2008 The first Massive Open
Online Course (MOOC) began in Canada as an online computing course.
By 2012 MOOCS were offering college students lectures for a fraction
of the cost of attending a university.
(Econ, 6/28/14, p.21)
2008 Chinese journalist Yang
Jisheng authored "Tombstone," a 1,200-page account of the 1958-1961
famine — which he estimated claimed at least 36 million Chinese
lives. In 2016 Jisheng was blocked from traveling to the United
States to accept a Harvard University prize for the book.
2008 In China
regulations took effect on open government information (OGI).
(Econ, 5/3/14, p.40)
2008 China legalized horse
(Economist, 9/29/12, p.66)
2008 China executed some 1,700
convicts this year.
(Econ, 1/2/10, p.31)
2008 Commercial Aircraft
Corporation of China (COMAC) was founded to develop a range of
aircraft. Its first airplane, a regional jet called ARJ21, entered
into service in June 2016.
(Econ, 11/5/16, p.58)
2008 In China Eric Pan founded
Saeed Studio, a Shenzhen contract manufacturer. By 2014 it was one
of the world’s largest manufacturers of open sourced hardware.
(Econ, 1/18/14, p.14)
2008 China became Mozambique's
second-largest investor after neighboring South Africa, pouring 76.8
million dollars (58.6 million euros) into the country.
2008 Chad’s population was
about 10 million.
(SFC, 11/23/00, p.D5)
2008 China became the world’s
largest emitter of carbon dioxide this year as it spewed some 6.5
billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, about 22% of the world’s
(Econ, 4/17/10, p.64)
2008 In CongoDRC Col. Samy
Matumo, the commander of a renegade brigade, controlled the tin
operations in Bisie, North Kivu province. He and his men extorted,
taxed and appropriated as much as $80 million a year from mining
operations in the area.
(SSFC, 11/16/08, p.A21)
2008 In CongoDRC some 16,000
new cases of sexual violence, 65% of them involving children, were
registered this year.
(Econ, 8/15/09, p.54)
2008 Dubai handled an estimated
60% of Iran’s merchandise trade, hosted nearly 10,000 Iranian-owned
firms and was linked to Iran by over 250 flights a week.
(Econ, 11/8/08, p.65)
2008 Jack Shahin, an American
businessman, was detained in Dubai as part of a probe into alleged
embezzlement by executives at Deyaar Development, one of several
Dubai-based property developers that rose to prominence during the
emirate's building boom last decade. He spent the next four years
behind bars without trial.
2008 A report by the Egyptian
Center for Women's Rights said two-thirds of women in Egypt
experienced sexual harassment on a daily basis.
2008 El Salvador this year had
the world’s highest murder rate.
(Econ, 3/14/09, p.39)
2008 Equatorial Guinea was
ranked by Transparency Int’l. as the world’s 9th most corrupt
country. Pres. Nguema spent less than 2% of the GDP on public health
and less than 1% on education.
(Econ, 7/18/09, p.44)
2008 NATO set up a research
center in cyberdefence in Tallinn, Estonia. It was scheduled to be
formally inaugurated in 2009.
(Econ, 12/6/08, TQ p.21)
2008 Ethiopian authorities
burned half a million pirated CDs and DVDs in the center of Addis
(Econ 7/8/17, p.43)
2008 Ethiopia’s population
stood at about 85 million and was growing by 2 million a year. The
country’s defense budget was $300 million.
(Econ, 8/13/05, p.38)(Econ, 10/11/08, p.36)
2008 In Europe an upward trend
in suicides began as the euro zone entered a recession. The term
“economic suicides" was soon adopted by media outlets to describe
(SFC, 8/15/12, p.A2)
2008 France dismantled its
Renseignements Generaux, a network of domestic information gathering
field agents. It was merged into a new internal service that over
relied on communications surveillance and under-detected information
on the ground.
(Econ, 7/9/16, p.42)
2008 France’s banking
supervisor fined Societe Generale (SocGen) €4m for its laxity in the
case of futures trader Jerome Kerviel.
(Econ, 5/24/14, p.68)
2008 In Germany the Storch
Heinar (stork Heinar) cartoon character was originally hatched by
members of a group that fights the far right and linked to the
left-leaning Social Democratic Party, which heads
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's state government. The bird was
initially meant to combat the rise in popularity of a fashion label
popular with neo-Nazis, Thor Steinar.
2008 In what came to be called
“dieselgate" German car companies agreed to install inadequately
small tanks of urea, used to cut nitrogen-oxide emissions from
diesel engines, in order to save cash.
(Econ 7/29/17, p.56)
2008 In Germany David Schneider
and Robert Gentz, the founders of Zalando, started selling flipflops
online from the Berlin flat. By 2016 the online company was Europe’s
largest vendor of clothing and footwear.
(Econ, 9/3/16, p.59)
2008 Guinea’s new military
junta fueled inflation by printing extra money. Military strongman
Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara ordered the central bank to send a truck
full of cash each week to the barracks from which he ran the country
before he went into exile after surviving an assassination attempt.
2008 India’s Congress Party
boasted of paying bribes to wavering lawmakers to secure passage of
a landmark civilian nuclear deal between India and the US. In 2011
WikiLeaks revealed a diplomatic cable that described Congress
insiders showing off chests of money to achieve this end.
(SFC, 3/18/11, p.A2)
2008 Research in India
began to document two little known languages, Aka and Miji. A third
language, Koro, was discovered in the process. In 2010 researchers
said Koro, spoken by only about 1,000 people, was a distinct
language with an entirely different vocabulary and linguistic
structure from Aka.
2008 India’s treated sewage was
estimated 13%. An estimated 700 million people in India had no
access to a proper toilet.
(Econ, 12/13/08, SR p.11)
2008 A study published in Delhi
estimated that 40% of the city’s residents had damaged lungs along
with a range of other ill effects due to pollution.
(Econ, 11/12/16, p.38)
2008 India-based Tata
Consultancy Services opened a new facility in Milford, Ohio.
(Econ, 11/5/11, p.74)
2008 In Indonesia Prabowo
Subianto (b.1951), a former son-in-law of Suharto, formed the Great
Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindara) with backing from his
billionaire brother Hashim Dojohadikusumo. Subianto had led a
special forces unit under Suharto (1995-1998) that over the years
was accused of many atrocities.
2008 Indonesia achieved rice
self-sufficiency for the first time in 24 years.
(Econ, 1/10/09, p.38)
2008 Abu Deraa, the nom de
guerre of Ismail al-Lami, fled Iraq to Iran. He was a military
leader of Sadr's Mahdi Army until he was disowned by the militia for
alleged atrocities during sectarian Shiite-Sunni conflicts that
peaked in 2006-2007.
2008 Israeli soldiers began
using a smelly liquid named Skunk to disperse Palestinian
protesters. It was developed by Odortec, an Israeli pesticide
(Econ, 6/6/15, p.40)
2008 In Israel a human
cranium dating to about 53,000BC was found in the Manot Cave.
Anthropologists later said the cranium was a missing connection
between African and European populations.
(SFC, 1/29/15, p.A7)
2008 Jamaica’s population
was about 2.8 million.
2008 The Japanese film
“Departures" depicted the beauty and dignity of nokan, a
Buddhist-derived ritaul cleansing ceremony for the recently
(Econ, 8/6/16, p.32)
2008 Japan began allowing city
residents to divert a proportion of their income to a furusato (a
home town area) of their choice.
(Econ., 4/18/15, p.35)
2008 Japan’s Olympus Corp. paid
a $687 advisory fee relating to the purchase of Gyrus, a British
medical devices firm. The fee was over 30% of the purchase price. In
2011 the company confessed that the deals were designed to hide
losses on securities dating back to the 1990s.
(Econ, 11/12/11, p.74)
2008 Bridge International
Academies, a for-profit school system, opened its headquarters in
Kenya. It was founded by friends Shannon May, Jay Kimmelman and Phil
Frei, who met at Harvard University to solve for some of the most
intractable problems in education and development.
2008 Libya, under the
leadership of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, signed a 50-year, renewable
lease for 100,000 hectares of agricultural land with Mali's
government. The land in the Malibya project was provided rent free,
with water rights included, on the condition that Libya build canals
and roads to cultivate rice and cattle there. Some 60,000 small
farmers residing within the area were left without water rights.
2008 Libya exported some $46
billion worth of oil this year. Its population stood at about 6
(Econ, 8/22/09, p.41)
2008 The population of
Macedonia was about 2 million with about a quarter of them being
(Econ, 6/7/08, p.64)
2008 Madagascar banned exports
of rough sapphires in hopes of creating local polishing centers with
better jobs. The export ban was lifted in 2010.
2008 In Madagascar seven of ten
people lived on less than $2 per day. By 2014 this rose to nine of
(Econ, 1/4/14, p.36)
2008 Malaysia founded
Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), a sovereign wealth fund aimed
at ensuring economic development for the state of Terengganu. In
2009 it was renamed 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
2008 The population of the
Maldives stood at about 370,000 people.
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.52)
2008 About 62,000 inhabited the
2008 In Mexico drug related
violence this year left 6,268 people dead. The killings were
concentrated in just 3 states, and most of those in 3 cities: Ciudad
Juarez in Chihuahua, Tijuana in Baja California, and Culiacan in
(Econ, 3/7/09, p.30, 31)
2008 The population of
Montenegro numbered about 650,000.
(Econ, 1/10/09, p.46)
2008 In Nepal a WWF survey
found just 121 adult tigers of breeding age in the country.
2008 Netherlands ended a record
period of economic expansion that lasted nearly 26 years.
(Econ, 5/21/16, p.68)
2008 In the Netherlands Saban
Baran (38) was convicted of leading a gang notorious for forcing
more than 100 women into prostitution, tattooing some of them to
mark them as the gang's property. Prosecutors also say some women
who came from Germany and eastern Europe were forced to have breast
implants and illegal abortions while working in brothels in
Amsterdam and other Dutch cities. In 2009 he fled while on a
temporarily release from prison, where he was serving a 7½ year
term, to visit his wife and newborn baby.
2008 Nicaragua’s population was
about 5.8 million with a third living in Managua.
2008 Pakistan was stripped of
its emerging market status. In 2016 index provider MSCI said it
would readmit Pakistan in May, 2017.
(Econ, 6/18/16, p.77)
2008 In Peru city officials of
Cerro de Pasco gave mine owner, Peru-based Volcan Compania Minera
S.A., permission to take another 28 acres (11.33 hectares) of the
town, including the center square and its colonial church, rebuilt
in 1748 after an earthquake. If not, the company threatened to close
the pit-mine, putting 4,000 jobs at risk. About the same time,
Peru's congress passed a bill to condemn and relocate Cerro de
Pasco, based on US Centers for Disease Control studies that found
soil, homes and water saturated with toxic levels of lead.
2008 Qatar and Sudan set up a
joint venture for investments in Sudan, which focused on developing
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.62)
2008 Rwanda banned plastic
bags. This led to a thriving underground industry smuggling bags
from Congo DRC.
(Econ, 3/25/17, p.42)
2008 Saudi Arabia abandoned its
self-sufficiency agricultural program when it discovered that
farmers were burning through water coming from a non-replenishable
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.62)
2008 In Saudi Arabia Raif
Badawi co-founded a website as a platform for open debate on
religion. He was banned from travel in 2009 after criticizing the
official Wahhabist doctrine. In 2012 he was jailed for ridiculing
Islamic religious figures.
(Econ, 4/6/13, p.58)(Econ, 5/17/14, p.46)
2008 UNESCO proclaimed Madain
Saleh, as a site of patrimony, becoming Saudi Arabia's first World
Heritage Site. It was chosen for its well-preserved remains from
late antiquity, especially the 131 rock-cut monumental tombs, with
their elaborately ornamented facades, of the Nabatean kingdom.
2008 Scotland gained control
over its planning rules.
(Econ, 9/27/14, p.55)
2008 The assets of Zastava, a
Serbian maker of Yugo cars and Kalashnikov rifles, were transferred
to a new company, Fiat Automobili Srbija (FAS).
(Econ, 11/2/13, p.70)
2008 Serbian military exports
this year were worth about $200 million. This amount was doubled in
(Econ, 1/8/11, p.51)
2008 Singapore sentenced Yong
Vui Kong (19) of Malaysia to hang for smuggling 47 grams (1.65
ounces) of heroin into Singapore. His third and final appeal was
rejected on April 4, 2012.
2008 In South Africa the top
10% of households pocketed 58% of the nation’s income this year,
making it one of the most unequal countries in the world.
(Econ, 12/15/12, p.74)
2008 South Africa this year had
over 100 policemen killed while on duty. They in turn shot dead some
600 suspects and innocent bystanders.
(Econ, 10/3/09, p.58)
2008 In South Africa
anti-foreigner violence left some 62 people dead this year.
(Econ., 4/25/15, p.44)
2008 In Spain Simona Levi, a
theater director, launched Xnet with a plan to protect cultural
freedom. The project changed radically on May 15, 2011, referred to
colloquially as 15-M, when the economic crisis gripping Spain gave
birth to the "Indignados" movement. It then developed into an
Internet-based project for stamping out Spanish corruption.
2008 Spain’s population reached
45 million, up from 40 million in 2000, mostly due to immigration.
12% of the population was foreign born, up from 3% in 1998.
(Econ, 11/8/08, SR p.11,16)
2008 The population of St.
Kitts stood at about 40,000.
(Econ, 2/2/08, p.46)
2008 Sudan and Iran signed an
agreement to strengthen bilateral military relations.
2008 Jok Madut Jok,
Sudanese-born associate professor of history at Loyola Marymount
University in Los Angeles, returned to southern Sudan and built the
Marol Academy in his home village. In October, 2010, Southern Sudan
announced that Jok is joining the Ministry of Culture and Heritage
2008 The ICC issued an arrest
warrant for Ahmed Haroun, Sudan’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs,
on 51 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly
committed in Sudan's western Darfur region in 2003 and 2004.
2008 The population of Suriname
numbered about 480,000.
(SSFC, 12/7/08, p.E5)
2008 In Swaziland Amos Mbedzi
of South Africa survived a botched bomb attack against King Mswati
III at a bridge of the Lozitha Royal Palace in the commercial hub
Manzini. The bomb exploded prematurely. Mbedzi survived with serious
injuries while two others in the car were killed. In 2w012 Mbedzi
was convicted of high treason.
2008 Sweden eliminated its
taxes on residential property.
(Economist, 10/13/12, SR p.20)
2008 Sweden-based Spiber
Technologies, an advanced biomaterials company, was founded. Its
primary goal was to develop and commercialize state-of-the-art
patented technologies based on the recombinant spider silk protein.
2008 Spotify, a Swedish
Internet music streaming service, was founded.
(Econ, 3/22/14, p.64)
2008 Herve Falciani, a native
of Monaco, walked out of a Geneva branch of HSBC, where he had
worked for three years, with five CD-ROMS containing data on
thousands of account holders.
(Econ, 10/19/13, p.79)
2008 The ATLAS particle
detector at CERN, Switzerland, was completed.
2008 Syrian authorities blocked
225 internet sites this year, up from 159 in 2007.
(Econ, 7/25/09, SR p.13)
2008 The population of Tristan
da Cunha, the most remote settlement in the world, stood at 269.
Access to the outside world required a 6-7 day ocean voyage.
(Econ, 6/7/08, TQ p.28)
2008 Turkish hacker Ercan
Findikoglu was taken into custody by the police after a four-year
chase by the Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Bureau.
2008 In Turkey working women
were able to retire at age 43, and men at age 47. A newly adopted
retirement age of 65 was set to become effective in 2048.
(Econ, 8/9/08, p.50)
2008 In Uganda Isaac Nabwana
began making films in Wakaliga, a slum area in Kampala. By 2016 he
had written, directed and edited more than 47 films and the area
became known as Wakaliwood.
(Econ, 3/5/15, p.46)
2008 Kiev university students
established Femen, a group whose main aims are to improve the role
of women in Ukraine's male-dominated, post-Soviet society. By 2010
it had become a small army of 300 mainly student activists ready to
peel off in public to support Ukrainian women's rights.
2008 A Human Rights Watch
report said Venezuela’s Pres. Chavez had effectively neutralized the
judiciary as an independent branch of government.
(Econ, 2/19/11, p.40)
2008 The Vietnamese German
University (VGU) opened in Ho Chi Minh City. It focused on
engineering and economics with programs taught in English by
visiting German professors.
(Econ, 10/2/10, p.45)
2008 The World Bank launched
its "Strategic Framework for Development and Climate Change" to help
stimulate and coordinate public and private sector activity to
combat climate change. It began using green bonds with proceeds tied
to environmental activities. The idea was invented by Christopher
Flensborg, with SEB, a Swedish bank.
(http://tinyurl.com/y9dznbz)(Econ, 3/22/14, p.73)
2008 Zimbabwe’s President
Mugabe sent in the police and army to stop the "informal" diamond
panning at the Marange fields in favor of mining companies.
2008-2009 In Hungary six Roma, including a
5-year-old boy, were killed in a series of attacks. In 2015 an
appeals court agreed with the life sentences without the possibility
for parole given to Zsolt Peto and brothers Arpad and Istvan Kiss.
It also confirmed the 13-year prison sentence for Istvan Csontos,
the driver in some of the attacks.
2008-2011 In San Mateo, Ca., Catherine Marie
Abou-Remeleh of Hayward, an employee of the Mid-Peninsula Water
District, embezzled $238,000 during this period to pay off gambling
debts. In 2014 she was sentenced to nine months in home detention at
an assisted care facility. Remeleh (54) was also placed on five
(SFC, 10/28/14, p.C4)
2008-2012 In Ireland as many as 560 suicides
during this period were later linked to the country’s economic
(SSFC, 3/9/14, p.A4)