Return to home2009 Jan 1, In
the SF Bay Area a BART police officer shot Oscar Grant (22) on the
platform of the Fruitvale BART Station in the early morning in the
midst of a brawl between 2 young rival groups. Grant died later that
morning at Highland Hospital. Witnesses said Grant was lying face
down with his hands behind him when he was shot in the back by
Officer Johannes Mehserle (27). On Dec 6 an attorney for the family
filed a $25 million claim against BART. On Jan 13 Mehserle was
arrested in Nevada and charged with homicide.
(SFC, 1/2/09, p.A1)(SSFC, 1/4/09, p.B1)(SFC,
1/7/09, p.A6)(SFC, 1/14/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 1, Bank of America
purchased Merrill Lynch to save it from bankruptcy. It was later
revealed that the company had awarded $3.6 billion in bonuses to
over 39,000 employees just before the acquisition by BofA. The
bonuses included $121 million to four top executives.
(WSJ, 2/12/09, p.C3)(WSJ, 2/12/09, p.C3)
2009 Jan 1, Claiborne Pell
(b.1918), former US Senator from Rhode Island (1660-1997), died. He
was the chief sponsor of the 1965 law establishing the national
Endowment for the Arts and the national Endowment for the
Humanities. He also sponsored legislation creating the Basic
Educational Opportunities Grants (1972), which provided direct aid
to college students. The awards were renamed the Pell Grants in
(SFC, 1/2/09, p.B6)
2009 Jan 1, A suicide car bomb
exploded near an Afghan and NATO military convoy in the western
province of Herat and killed an Afghan policeman. 2 UN staff of the
World Food Program and 4 others were kidnapped in Nimroz province by
alleged Taliban militants. The 2 UN workers were freed on Jan 27.
(AP, 1/1/09)(AFP, 1/28/09)
2009 Jan 1, The IMF announced
plans to lend Belarus $2.5 billion to help the country cope with the
global economic crises.
(WSJ, 1/2/09), p.A5)
2009 Jan 1, The Czech Republic
took over the six-month rotating presidency from EU heavyweight
France. It will face the daunting task of implementing a $258
billion European economic stimulus package approved by EU leaders
under the French presidency.
2009 Jan 1, In Germany thieves
over the last 24 hours stole an estimated $250,000 in art work from
the Fasanengalerie, a private art gallery in western Berlin.
(SFC, 1/3/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 1, In India 3 bombs
exploded in the restive northeast, killing at least five people and
wounding 50, about an hour before the nation's top security official
arrived in the area.
2009 Jan 1, The United States
handed over control of the Green Zone and Saddam Hussein's
presidential palace to Iraqi authorities in a ceremonial move
described by the country's prime minister as a restoration of Iraq's
sovereignty. British forces handed over control of Basra airport,
its main military base in southern Iraq, to Iraqi officials in
accordance with an agreement signed with Baghdad this week. A
roadside bomb killed two Iraqi soldiers in the town of Jalula, 80
miles northeast of Baghdad. In Mosul a parked truck bomb killed
three police officers trying to search it and wounded a bystander.
In Kirkuk Iraqi and US troops killed three suspected al-Qaida gunmen
during a raid. American soldiers shot and wounded a woman after she
failed to heed warnings to stop near a Baghdad checkpoint recently
targeted by suicide and car bombs.
(AP, 1/1/09)(AFP, 1/1/09)(AP, 1/3/09)
2009 Jan 1, Israel
assassinated Nizar Rayan (52), a Hamas strongman, in its first
assault on the top leadership of Gaza's rulers, escalating a
crushing aerial offensive even as it declared it was ready to launch
a ground invasion. The aerial strike also killed 12 other people
including two of Rayan's four wives and four of his 12 children.
Officials said more than 400 Gazans have been killed and some 1,700
have been wounded. The UN said the death toll included more than 60
civilians, 34 of them children. Three Israeli civilians and one
soldier have also died in rocket attacks from Gaza.
2009 Jan 1, Vilnius, Lithuania,
a city of about 550,000 people, opened the year sharing the EU
Capital of Culture title with Austria’s Linz.
2009 Jan 1, Mexican federal
police captured two alleged hit men after the suspects threw a hand
grenade at police and soldiers who cornered them at a house. Eight
officers were wounded in the confrontation. In the western town of
La Huerta, a shootout between rival families at a New Year's party
left four dead, and a clash between soldiers and alleged drug
traffickers in Chihuahua state reportedly killed three smugglers.
2009 Jan 1, In northwest
Pakistan a suspected US missile strike by a drone aircraft destroyed
a vehicle, killing at least three foreign militants. The US drone
killed 2 Al-Qaida leaders from Kenya, Usama al-Kini and Sheikh Ahmed
Salim Swedan. Pakistani authorities arrested Ustad Mohammed Yasir, a
former Taliban spokesman, during a raid on his relatives' house in
Peshawar near the Afghan border. Yasir had been previously arrested
by Pakistan in 2005 and sent to Afghanistan where he was released in
2007 in exchange for a kidnapped Italian journalist.
(AP, 1/1/09)(AP, 1/3/09)(WSJ, 1/10/09, p.A6)
2009 Jan 1, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev signed a bell ending jury trials in cases involving
treason, terror, armed revolt and sabotage. Instead, defendants will
have to face three judges.
(WSJ, 1/2/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 1, Russia cut off the
gas to Ukraine after a contract dispute but increased supplies to
other European states to try to reassure customers worried about
2009 Jan 1, Slovakia became the
16th European Union member state to adopt the euro. This day also
marks 10 years since the euro was introduced.
2009 Jan 1, Somali pirates
seized the Blue Star, an Egyptian cargo ship, and its 28
crewmembers. A Malaysian military helicopter saved an Indian tanker
from being hijacked in the new year's first attacks by pirates in
the dangerous Gulf of Aden. A crew of the French warship "PM L'Her"
dispatch boat intercepted two speedboats carrying 8 Somali pirates
as they were preparing to board a Panamanian cargo ship. The Blue
Star and its crew of 28 were freed on March 5 after a ransom was
dropped from a plane.
(AP, 1/1/09)(AP, 1/2/09)(AP, 3/5/09)
2009 Jan 1, Helen Suzman (91),
South African anti-apartheid activist, died. She won international
acclaim as one of the few white lawmakers to fight against the
injustices of racist rule. Suzman, who was twice nominated for the
Nobel Peace Prize, fought a long and lonely battle in the South
African parliament against government repression of the country's
black majority and the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela.
(AP, 1/1/09)(Econ, 1/10/09, p.77)
2009 Jan 1, Sri Lanka said its
forces have captured a key crossroads from Tamil Tiger rebels in the
north and that it will seize the guerrillas' de facto capital within
two days. The fighting killed 50 rebels and four soldiers. A
roadside bomb blast blamed on the rebels killed two policemen on a
foot patrol in the eastern region.
2009 Jan 1-2009 Jun 30, In
Mexico there were some 3,247 drug related killing over this period,
compared with 1,935 in the same period in 2008.
(Econ, 7/11/09, p.38)
2009 Jan 2, In SF the AsianWeek
newspaper, founded in 1979, published its final print edition. It
planned to continue a presence online at www.asianweek.com.
(SFC, 1/1/09, p.C1)
2009 Jan 2, Idaho investors met
with Daren Palmer of Idaho Falls and were informed that as much as
$100 million in their investments was gone. State security
regulators soon launched an investigation into Palmer (40) and his
Trigon Group Inc. under allegations that he had operated a long
running Ponzi scheme.
(WSJ, 1/17/09, p.B4)
2009 Jan 2, In Britain 2 people
were feared dead after a light aircraft crashed into a major railway
line, causing severe disruption to train services between Rugeley
2009 Jan 2, In Burundi an
8-year-old albino boy was hacked to death in front of his mother and
made off with his arms and legs. The body parts of a single albino,
to be used in witch doctor potions, fetched about $1000. This attack
followed another on a 6-year-old girl.
(Econ, 1/17/09, p.50)
2009 Jan 2, Ghana's leader
appealed for calm and urged his people to accept the results of a
tight presidential election as voters in a single district cast
ballots that could decide the West African nation's next president.
Election results from all other districts showed opposition leader
John Atta Mills ahead of his ruling party rival Nana Akufo-Addo by
only around 23,000 votes out of more than 9 million cast.
2009 Jan 2, India eased foreign
borrowing for real estate and certain other companies and allowed
additional liquidity for non-banking financial firms to boost
2009 Jan 2, In Iraq a suicide
bomber sneaked into a luncheon gathering called by the leader of a
local tribe in Youssifiyah, killing at least 23 people and wounding
110. Gunmen killed two people when they opened fire on a checkpoint
manned by members of the Sons of Iraq in Jurf al-Sakhar. Four other
people were reported wounded in the attack 40 miles south of
(AP, 1/2/09)(SFC, 1/3/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 2, Israel bombed a
mosque it claimed was used to store weapons and destroyed homes of
more than a dozen Hamas operatives, but under international
pressure, the government allowed hundreds of Palestinians with
foreign passports to leave besieged Gaza. Thus far more than 400
Gazans have been killed and some 1,700 have been wounded. Three
Israeli civilians and one soldier have also died in the rocket
2009 Jan 2, Kenya's Pres. Mwai
Kibaki signed into law a media bill that opponents say threatens the
country's hard-fought reputation for having one of Africa's most
vigorous press. A controversial part of the bill, which parliament
passed last month, allows the government to shut down media outlets
by declaring a state of emergency. Kibaki said that part was not
included in the bill he signed.
2009 Jan 2, Mexican Federal
prosecutors said they placed three municipal policemen in the
northern border city of Ciudad Juarez under house arrest on
suspicion of aiding drug traffickers. In the northern city of
Monterrey, prosecutors accused former Nuevo Leon state policeman
Aldo Perales (34) of leading a gang of bank robbers and
participating in more than 30 robberies.
2009 Jan 2, In southern Nigeria
an oil pipeline was blown up with dynamite.
2009 Jan 2, Pakistan reopened
the main supply route for US and NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan
after blocking it for three days during a military operation against
militants who have been attacking convoys.
2009 Jan 2, Luis Fortuno (48),
Puerto Rico's new governor was sworn, inheriting an island
government that is battling a recession, a soaring murder rate and a
deficit of more than $1 billion.
2009 Jan 2, Singapore said its
GDP had contracted at an adjusted annualized pace of 12.5% in the
4th quarter. Its biggest contraction since it began publishing data
(WSJ, 1/3/09, p.A4)
2009 Jan 2, Crewmen fired high
pressure water jets to fight off heavily armed Somali pirates trying
to board a Greek oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden in the fourth such
attack since the start of the year. A Chinese cargo ship evaded two
pirate boats chasing it in the Gulf of Aden.
(AP, 1/2/09)(AFP, 1/2/09)
2009 Jan 2, In northern Sri
Lanka government forces captured the Tamil Tigers' de facto capital,
dealing a devastating blow to the rebels' quarter-century fight for
an independent state. A suspected Tamil Tiger suicide attacker on a
motorcycle detonated a bomb near the air force headquarters in the
heart of Colombo during the afternoon rush hour, killing two airmen.
2009 Jan 2, Ugandan Lord's
Resistance Army rebels killed two wildlife rangers and six other
people in a remote national park in northeastern Congo.
2009 Jan 2, Ukraine sought
support in European capitals a day after Russia cut off gas supplies
and hardened its stance on prices. The cutoff came after Ukraine
made a $1.5 billion overdue payment, but Russia demanded another
$600 million, including $450 million penalties for the late payment
for gas shipped in November and December. The two sides also have
not agreed on prices for 2009. Russia accused Ukraine of stealing
gas destined for the rest of Europe.
(AP, 1/2/09)(Reuters, 1/2/09)
2009 Jan 3, The United States
blocked approval of a UN Security Council statement calling for an
immediate cease-fire between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers.
2009 Jan 3, In New Orleans
Danny Platt (22), was arrested and accused of committing an
"extremely hideous" murder because he was ordered to pay child
support. He initially told police that gunmen had kidnapped his 2
2009 Jan 3, Bitcoin, the
“world’s first decentralized digital currency" was introduced. It
was devised in 2008 by programmer Satoshi Nakomoto (thought not to
be the person’s real name). It was run by a peer-to-per network and
limited to 21 million coins. By 2013 the leading exchange was
Mt.Gox, a Tokyo-based firm.
6/18/11, p.83)(Econ, 4/13/13, p.69)
2009 Jan 3, Sir Alan Walters
(b.1926), a top economic adviser to former British PM Margaret
Thatcher, died. Walters received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth
II in 1983.
(AP, 1/6/09)(Econ, 1/10/09, p.50)
2009 Jan 3, Tens of thousands
of people demonstrated in European cities against Israel's
bombardment of Gaza, including protesters who hurled shoes at the
tall iron gates outside the British prime minister's residence in
2009 Jan 3, In eastern China an
explosion at an illegal fireworks factory killed 13 people in the
city of Weifang in Shandong province. A boy, Zou Chuanshuo (2) was
killed with an ax in Luoyang in Hubei province. The child's
grandmother Zhu Deqing (43) and six others were also killed. On Jan
11 authorities arrested junk collector Xiong Zhenlin (32) in Wuhan,
the capital of Hubei province. He confessed to the murders, which
included a widow who jilted him. A Chinese court sentenced him to
death on Feb 9 for the murders. Zhenlin was executed on April 16 in
the central city of Suizhou.
(AP, 1/4/09)(AP, 2/9/09)(AP, 4/16/09)
2009 Jan 3, In Ghana opposition
leader John Atta Mills was declared the next president in the
closest electoral race this West African nation has ever seen. The
peaceful ballot secured Ghana's place as a beacon of democracy on a
2009 Jan 3, In Iraq two
brothers were killed and another was wounded when a bomb they were
concealing in their car exploded near the town of Sinjar, 75 miles
west of Mosul.
2009 Jan 3, Israeli warplanes,
gunboats and artillery units bombarded more than 40 Hamas targets,
including weapons storage facilities, training centers and leaders'
homes. Palestinian medical officials said an Israeli airstrike on a
mosque in the Gaza Strip killed 10 people and wounded dozens in the
northern town of Beit Lahiya.
2009 Jan 3, In southwest
Pakistan two paramilitary soldiers were killed and four wounded in a
landmine explosion in Dera Bugti, Baluchistan province. Sarbaz Khan,
a spokesman for the Baluch Republican Army, later claimed
responsibility of the attack.
2009 Jan 3, Russian gas flows
to four European Union countries fell normal levels after Moscow cut
off supplies to Ukraine in a pricing row with no talks in sight to
resolve the dispute. Bulgaria's Bulgargaz joined energy firms in
Poland, Romania and Hungary in saying they had noted falls in
2009 Jan 3, In Somalia Islamic
insurgents appeared to be scrambling for power, taking over several
police stations in the capital as Ethiopian troops who have been
propping up the government began to pull out.
2009 Jan 3, Sri Lankan troops
advanced on the military headquarters of the Tamil Tigers and
engaged the rebels in fresh gun battles. At least three people were
wounded in a bomb blast in Colombo.
2009 Jan 4, Pres. Obama signed
a law expanding SCHIP, a health scheme covering children in poor
(Econ, 2/7/09, p.26)
2009 Jan 4, New Mexico Gov.
Bill Richardson, Obama's choice for commerce secretary, withdrew
under pressure of a federal investigation into how his political
donors landed a lucrative transportation contract.
(AP, 1/5/09)(SFC, 1/5/09, p.A5)
2009 Jan 4, In Louisiana 8
people were killed when a PHI Inc. helicopter, bound for offshore
oil fields, crashed about 100 miles southwest of New Orleans.
(SFC, 1/5/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 4, In Syracuse, NY,
Shawn Rhines (15) killed public works department employee Casimir
Snyder (47). Police later said Ja-Le Johnson and Rhines would often
hang out in an attic across the street and shoot target practice
with rifles from a window. Police recovered two rifles from the
attic. Rhines confessed and faced 10 years to life in prison.
(SFC, 4/17/09, p.A6)
2009 Jan 4-2009 Jan 5, In
Afghanistan 12 insurgents and 11 civilians were killed in fighting
in central Uruzgan province.
2009 Jan 4, British PM Gordon
Brown pledged to create 100,000 jobs through a public works program
and said he would press banks to resume normal lending as Britain
faces its sharpest economic downturn in decades.
2009 Jan 4, A northern
Guatemala mudslide left at least 37 people dead. At least 50 people
were still missing in Aquil Grande.
(AP, 1/5/09)(AP, 1/6/09)(AP, 1/7/09)
2009 Jan 4, In eastern
Indonesia a series of powerful earthquakes toppled or badly damaged
more than 100 buildings and left one person dead and dozens injured.
(AP, 1/4/09)(AP, 1/5/09)
2009 Jan 4, In Iraq a female
suicide bomber blew herself up among a crowd of pilgrims worshipping
at a revered Shiite shrine in northern Baghdad, killing at least 38
people and wounding about 72.
2009 Jan 4, Israeli ground
troops and tanks cut swaths through the Gaza Strip, cutting the
coastal territory into two and surrounding its biggest city as the
new phase of a devastating offensive against Hamas militants gained
momentum. Gaza officials said at least 31 civilians were killed in
the onslaught. Israel reported one soldier was killed by mortar
fire. The new deaths brought the death toll in the Gaza Strip to
more than 500 since Dec 27. At least 45 missiles fell on southern
Israel, wounding five people. 2 women waving white flags were killed
in the Juher a-Dik neighborhood in Gaza City. The incident occurred
when the Abu Hajaj family evacuated their home after it was hit by a
tank shell. On Aug 12, 2012, an infantry sergeant, who was initially
charged with manslaughter for the deaths of the 2 women, was
convicted in a military court of illegal weapons use as part of a
plea deal and will serve 45 days in prison.
(AP, 1/4/09)(AP, 1/5/09)(AP, 6/16/10)(AP,
2009 Jan 4, In a densely
forested region of Indian Kashmir a gun battle between government
forces and suspected Islamic insurgents raged for a fourth day
leaving at least seven combatants killed.
2009 Jan 4, In eastern Nepal
dozens of people were missing after an overcrowded boat carrying
mostly women and children capsized in the Saptakosi river. More than
50 people were believed on board the boat and only 14 were rescued.
(AP, 1/4/09)(SFC, 1/5/09, p.A12)
2009 Jan 4, Gunmen hijacked a
vessel and 9 crewmen belonging to French oil services group Bourbon
off Nigeria's Niger Delta as it traveled toward a Royal Dutch Shell
offshore oilfield. The 9 crewmen: five Nigerians, two Ghanaians, one
Cameroonian and one Indonesian aboard. were released on Dec 7.
(Reuters, 1/4/09)(AP, 1/6/09)(AP, 1/7/09)
2009 Jan 4, In northwest
Pakistan a suicide bomber attacked police as they rushed to treat
civilians injured by an earlier explosion, killing seven people and
wounding at least 25 others. During a raid elsewhere in northwest
Pakistan, the army discovered a van packed with 880 pounds (400
kilograms) of explosives. Six suspected militants were arrested in
the raid on a house in the Khyber tribal region.
2009 Jan 4, Russia's military
leaders approved a plan by the navy to station warships permanently
in friendly ports across the globe.
2009 Jan 4, Russia asked the EU
to provide monitoring of Ukraine's gas transit system and charged
Ukraine was stealing gas bound for Europe, as Kiev leveled its own
charges. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that the state-controlled
company wanted $450 per 1,000 cubic meters, up from its last offer
of $418. The reductions in gas supplies spread to the Czech Republic
(AP, 1/4/09)(Reuters, 1/4/09)
2009 Jan 4, A French warship
foiled attempts by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden to seize two
cargo vessels and intercepted 19 people.
2009 Jan 4, Sri Lanka’s
rebel-affiliated TamilNet Web site reported that the insurgents
stalled a military advance on the road to Mullaittivu, killing 53
soldiers and wounding 80 others.
2009 Jan 4, Jimmy Mohlala, a
South African official who blew the whistle on alleged corruption in
the building of a stadium for the 2010 World Cup, was shot dead by
unknown gunmen. The 46,000-capacity Mbombela stadium, scheduled for
completion this year, is one of 10 venues for the 2010 World Cup.
2009 Jan 4-2009 Jan 5, In South
Africa a lethal storm on the eastern coast killed 18 people over the
weekend, including four family members struck dead by lightning.
2009 Jan 5, President George W.
Bush authorized the immediate use of US aircrafts to transport
supplies to the international peacekeeping force in Darfur.
2009 Jan 5, Pres. Elect Obama
named William Panetta (70) to head the CIA.
(SFC, 1/6/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 5, The US Federal
Reserve began buying mortgage bonds guaranteed by Fannie Mae,
Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, in an effort to make home financing more
(WSJ, 1/6/09, p.C3)
2009 Jan 5, The California
Supreme Court decided that churches that break away from a national
denomination may not take church assets with them.
(SFC, 1/6/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 5, Alexander James
Trabulse (61) of Colma, Ca., was arrested at San Francisco Airport,
after arriving from France. He had been charged 3 days earlier with
mail fraud. Authorities said he had sent account statements to
investors in his Fahey Fund that inflated the hedge fund’s returns
by as much as 200%. On Nov 3 Trabulse pleaded guilty for defrauding
investors of some $8.3 million. In 2010 Trabulse was sentenced to
over 8 years in federal prison.
(SFC, 1/9/09, p.C1)(SFC, 11/4/09, p.D3)(SFC,
2009 Jan 5, Former US
Representative Joseph P. Kennedy said Citgo Petroleum, the US
refiner owned by the Venezuelan government, planned to stop
deliveries to his Boston-based nonprofit, Citizens’ Energy, due to
falling oil prices. The stop order was removed 2 days later.
(WSJ, 1/6/09, p.A7)(AP, 1/8/09)
2009 Jan 5, A Minnesota board
certified results showing Democrat Al Franken winning the state’s US
Senate recount by 225 votes over Republican Norm Coleman, whose
lawyer promised a legal challenge.
(SFC, 1/6/09, p.A2)(WSJ, 1/6/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 5, Boeing signed a
$2.1 billion deal with India for eight P-81 maritime patrol
(WSJ, 1/6/09, p.B4)
2009 Jan 5, In Illinois Steven
L. Good (52), chief executive of Sheldon Good & Co, one of the
nation’s largest real estate auction firms, was found dead of an
apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a forest outside Chicago.
In 2003 he authored “Churches, Jails and Gold Mines… Mega-Deals from
a Real Estate Maverick."
(WSJ, 1/7/09, p.A9)
2009 Jan 5, In Afghanistan 9
Taliban militants were killed in a gunfight by Afghan and NATO
troops in the southern province of Kandahar. 2 gunmen shot a Muslim
cleric to death inside a mosque in Kandahar city.
(AFP, 1/5/09)(AP, 1/6/09)
2009 Jan 5, British company
Waterford Wedgwood PLC, the maker of classic china and crystal,
filed for bankruptcy protection after attempts to restructure the
struggling business or find a buyer failed.
2009 Jan 5, Chile’s Pres.
Michelle Bachelet announced a $4 billion economic stimulus package.
(WSJ, 1/6/09, p.A9)
2009 Jan 5, China launched a
major crackdown on Internet pornography targeting popular online
portals and major search engines such as Google.
2009 Jan 5, A Chinese woman
(19) died from bird flu in a Beijing hospital, but the World Health
Organization said the case did not appear to signal a new public
2009 Jan 5, In eastern Congo
rival rebel chief of staff Bosco Ntaganda announced the dismissal of
Laurent Nkunda and has taken control of the CNDP rebel movement.
2009 Jan 5, Germany’s ruling
coalition agreed to a 2-year fiscal stimulus package of as much as
$69 billion (€50 billion).
(WSJ, 1/6/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 5, In southwestern
Germany the body of billionaire Adolf Merckle (74) was found near
railway tracks at Blaubeuren. He had committed suicide after his
business empire ran into trouble in the global financial crisis.
Merckle’s VEM holding company controlled Ratiopharm, building
materials giant HeidelbergCement and one of Europe's biggest
wholesale drug distributors, Phoenix. In 2008 Forbes Magazine ranked
Merckle as the world’s 94th richest man.
(AP, 1/6/09)(Econ, 1/10/09, p.58)(AP, 3/18/10)
2009 Jan 5, In Greece gunmen
sprayed Athens riot police with automatic weapons fire, seriously
wounding a policeman in an escalation of violence that broke out
after the fatal police shooting of a teenager on Dec 6. The
Revolutionary Struggle group later claimed responsibility.
(AP, 1/5/09)(AP, 9/30/11)
2009 Jan 5, In Hong Kong a new
survey said one in five residents is considering leaving the city
because of its dire air quality, raising fears over the financial
2009 Jan 5, India handed to
Pakistan what it said was evidence linking the country to the
Islamic militants who attacked Mumbai in November.
2009 Jan 5, In Iraq the US
inaugurated its largest embassy ever in the heart of the Green Zone,
officially opening the $700 million fortress-like compound that was
built as a testament to America's commitment to Iraq. Four bombs
exploded in different parts of Baghdad just before noon, killing
four people and wounding 19. Subhi Hassan, who handles political
relations for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and a bodyguard were
killed after unidentified gunmen chased down their car after it
passed through a checkpoint. US troops killed a civilian in a
vehicle after the driver failed to heed warnings to stop in Baqouba.
(AP, 1/5/09)(AP, 1/6/09)
2009 Jan 5, Israel consolidated
its hold on parts of the Gaza Strip, seizing high-rise buildings on
the outskirts of the territory's biggest city as a stream of world
leaders headed for the region to press for a truce. About 12
Palestinian children were killed. The 10th day of fighting put the
Palestinian death toll at an estimated 550. 3 Israeli soldiers were
killed and 24 others wounded by friendly fire. Gaza health officials
said an Israeli airstrike outside a United Nations school in the
Gaza Strip killed 39 people, many of them children. An Israeli
missile struck a building in Zeitoun where Palestinians had been
herded. At least 30 people were killed. 4 members of the Haji
family, including their three-year-old daughter, were killed and
another nine people were injured when an Israeli tank opened fire on
them in the Zeitun area, despite the fact that they were holding a
white flag. In 2011 Israel's military advocate general closed an
investigation into the white flag incident due to lack of evidence.
(AP, 1/5/09)(SFC, 1/6/09, p.A3)(AP,
1/11/09)(Econ, 1/17/09, p.49)(AFP, 4/12/11)
2009 Jan 5, Israeli forces
directly targeted the house of Wa’el Fares Hamdi al-Samouni, and its
vicinity, killing 21 persons and injuring many others. Between
January 4-7, 27 members of the Samouni family were killed, including
11 children and 6 women, and 35 others were injured. On May 2, 2012,
the Israeli military said it has closed its investigation into the
shelling deaths of 21 members of a single Palestinian family and
would not file any charges. Italian filmmaker Stefano Savona spent
nine years trying to piece together what happened. In 2018 her film
"Samouni Road", which uses animation and 3D images to reconstruct
what happened, received rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival.
2009 Jan 5, In Indian Kashmir
Omar Abdullah (38), a young pro-India Muslim, was sworn in as the
new chief minister after elections that attracted a higher turnout
than many politicians and voters expected.
2009 Jan 5, Ahmed Aboutaleb
(47), a Moroccan immigrant, was installed as mayor of Rotterdam, the
Netherlands' second largest city, in a move hailed as a significant
step for the integration of minorities in the European Union nation.
2009 Jan 5, In Pakistan three
bullet-riddled bodies were found along a road some 16 miles east of
Miran Shah. Police said suspected Taliban militants had executed a
Pakistani construction contractor and two Afghan men they accused of
spying for the US.
2009 Jan 5, Sri Lanka’s
government troops captured a strategic Tamil Tiger-held town and
moved closer to a key rebel base, as citizens raised flags and held
a moment of silence to honor the military as it battles to end the
country's 25-year-old civil war. The rebels, as well has hundreds of
thousands of civilians displaced by the fighting, were confined to a
jungle area slightly larger than the city of Los Angeles.
2009 Jan 5, The Vatican said
that Bishop Allen H. Vigneron will replace Cardinal Adam Joseph
Maida at the head of the Detroit archdiocese. The pope also named
the auxiliary bishop of Halifax, Claude Champagne, as the new bishop
of Edmundston in Canada. Benedict appointed the Rev. Cirilo Flores
as new auxiliary bishop of Orange, California.
2009 Jan 5, Turkey restored the
citizenship of its most famous poet Monday in a symbolic step meant
to show it was addressing criticism of its human rights record in
hopes of joining the European Union. Turkey had stripped Nazim
Hikmet of his nationality in 1951 at the height of the Cold War
because of his communist views, branded him a traitor and imprisoned
him for more than a decade. He died in exile in Moscow in 1963.
2009 Jan 6, Pres. Bush
designated parts of 3 Pacific island chains as national monuments to
protect them from oil and gas extraction and commercial fishing. The
areas totaled some 195,274 square miles and included the Mariana
Trench as well as waters and coral surrounding 3 islands in the
Northern Mariana Islands, Rose Atoll in American Samoa and 7 islands
along the equator in the central Pacific Ocean.
(SFC, 1/6/09, p.A4)
2009 Jan 6, Roland Burris of
Illinois, President-elect Barack Obama's appointed successor, was
turned away when he appeared at the US Capitol to take his in the
convening of the 111th Congress.
2009 Jan 6, North Dakota Gov.
John Hoeven reported a budget surplus and plans to grow reserves to
between $800 million and $1.2 billion.
2009 Jan 6, Hal Ellis (b.1931),
co-founder of the Grubb & Ellis real estate company (1958), died
at his home in Oakland, Ca.
(SFC, 1/8/09, p.C1)
2009 Jan 6, In southern
Afghanistan a NATO serviceman was killed in a hostile incident. In
eastern Afghanistan US-led coalition forces killed 32 armed
insurgents during a clash in Laghman province. The troops also
destroyed two caches of weapons and roadside bomb-making materials
that were too unstable to move to another location. Residents
reported that some civilians died when buildings collapsed as the
cache was destroyed. In western Farah province, Afghan army and
coalition troops killed six militants in raid on a compound.
(AP, 1/6/09)(AP, 1/7/09)
2009 Jan 6, In Bangladesh
Sheikh Hasina Wajed was sworn in for her second spell as prime
minister, restoring democracy to the impoverished country after
almost two years of rule by an army-backed regime.
2009 Jan 6, Bahrain’s credit
outlook was downgraded by Moody’s Investors Service amid tumbling
crude prices and the global financial crises.
(WSJ, 1/7/09, p.A7)
2009 Jan 6, Ethiopia's
parliament adopted a controversial bill imposing heavy restrictions
on foreign-funded humanitarian groups operating in the war- and
famine-ravaged country. Under the new law, any group that draws more
than 10 percent of its funding from abroad will be classified as
foreign, and thus banned from working on issues related to
ethnicity, gender, children's rights and conflict resolution.
(AP, 1/6/09)(AFP, 1/9/09)
2009 Jan 6, A natural gas
crisis loomed over Europe, as a contract dispute between Russia and
Ukraine shut off Russian gas supplies to six countries and reduced
gas deliveries to several others. Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia,
Romania, Croatia and Turkey all reported a halt in gas shipments.
2009 Jan 6, Signs mounted that
the conflict in Gaza is starting to spill over into violence in
Europe's towns and cities, with assaults against Jews and arson
attacks on Jewish congregations in France, Sweden and Britain.
2009 Jan 6, A cease-fire
initiative to halt the increasingly bloody Israeli offensive in
Hamas-ruled Gaza won support from Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on rival sides to
follow up on the proposal. A Hamas rocket hit Gedera, 20 miles from
Tel Aviv, the farthest one has reached to date.
(AP, 1/6/09)(AP, 1/7/09)(Econ, 1/10/09, p.24)
2009 Jan 6, In Mexico masked
gunmen opened fire and tossed a grenade at a television station in
Monterrey as it aired its nightly newscast, leaving behind a message
warning the station about its coverage of drug gangs. Gunmen in
Tijuana opened fire from several cars, killing a 22-year-old
standing with his family outside his house. Two bodies were found
wrapped in blankets and dumped on the street near a cemetery.
2009 Jan 6, In southern Nigeria
armed men robbed an offshore oil platform operated by a subsidiary
of US oil giant ExxonMobile although the attack did not disrupt oil
2009 Jan 6, In Papua New Guinea
Police a woman was tied to a wooden pole, surrounded by rubber tires
and set on fire. Rumors said she was suspected of spreading
witchcraft through the South Pacific island nation.
2009 Jan 6, In Senegal 9 men,
including a prominent activist, were convicted of homosexual acts
and sentenced to eight years in prison. Senegal, a primarily Muslim
nation in West Africa, is one of 38 countries on the continent that
criminalize homosexual acts.
2009 Jan 6, In Somalia 3 masked
gunmen fatally shot a Somali aid worker. The UN envoy to Somalia
said the UN should create a Baghdad-style Green Zone in the African
country so he can base all his aid workers there. Aid workers Keiko
Akahane (32), a Japanese doctor, and Dutchman nurse Willem Sools
(27), were released after being held by Somali gunmen for 108 days.
(AP, 1/6/09)(AP, 1/10/09)
2009 Jan 6, South Korea said it
will invest 50 trillion won ($38.1 billion) over the next four years
on environmental projects in a "Green New Deal" to spur slumping
economic growth and create nearly a million jobs. Opposition
lawmakers ended their violent, 12-day siege of the parliament after
successfully delaying a key vote on a US free trade deal and other
2009 Jan 6, Sri Lankan forces
overran the Tamil Tigers' northernmost defense line and took full
control of Muhamalai, forcing the rebels to fall back about 600
yards to another defense line. Armed men attacked a private Sri
Lankan television station, tossing hand grenades, shooting out TV
screens and starting a fire that caused heavy damage. Reporters
Without Borders said the attack follows accusations by state media
that the Maharaja Organization's television and radio stations were
not "patriotic" enough in their coverage of the government's recent
2009 Jan 6, Turkey held a
shipment bound for Venezuela from Iran saying it contains equipment
that can make explosives.
(WSJ, 1/7/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 6, The WHO said at
least 1,732 people have died in Zimbabwe's cholera epidemic and the
number of cases diagnosed has risen to 34,306.
2009 Jan 6, Venezuela ordered
Israel's ambassador expelled from the country in protest over the
Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip.
2009 Jan 7, The United States
said it has released another $99 million as part of an aid package
to support Mexico's police and soldiers in their fight against drug
cartels. The US released $197 million in December as part of the
$1.3 billion US anti-drug package, known as the Merida Initiative.
2009 Jan 7, The SEC charged
Joseph S. Forte of Broomall, Pennsylvania, an investment fund
manager, with running a Ponzi scheme since at least 1995. Losses to
investors were estimated at $50 million.
2009 Jan 7, US health officials
said an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning has made 388 people
sick across 42 states, sending 18 percent of them to the hospital.
2009 Jan 7, A new federal
report said Mississippi now has the nation's highest teen pregnancy
rate, displacing Texas and New Mexico for that lamentable title.
2009 Jan 7, In Oakland, Ca.,
demonstrations over the New year’s killing of Oscar Grant (22) by a
BART police officer turned violent. BART Officer Johannes Mehserle
quit his job avoiding an interview with police internal affairs
(SFC, 1/8/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 7, In San Francisco
Peter Fong, a paranoid schizophrenic, slashed the throat of Ryosuke
Yoshioka, a sushi chef, in a parking garage in the Inner Richmond
neighborhood. In 2013 Fong was sentenced to life in a mental
(SFC, 5/18/13, p.C4)
2009 Jan 7, Bank of America
Corp. raised more money to cope with US economic turmoil by selling
part of its stake in China Construction Bank Ltd., China's
second-biggest commercial lender, for $2.8 billion.
2009 Jan 7, Afghan locals said
that operations by the NATO-led force in the southern province of
Helmand had killed 19 civilians.
2009 Jan 7, In Argentina an
Italian climber and an Argentine guide both died when a storm
trapped five mountaineers just below the summit of the Aconcagua
peak, the highest mountain in the Americas. The three others
2009 Jan 7, In China a court in
Hangzhou, a prosperous city in eastern Zhejiang province, sentenced
Wang Rongqing (65) to 6 years in jail on charges of subverting state
power for organizing the banned China Democracy Party.
2009 Jan 7, The EU said Russia
and Ukraine will accept using international monitors to verify the
transit of natural gas from Russia through Ukraine's pipelines.
Russia's gas giant Gazprom completely stopped sending gas to
European consumers at 7:44 a.m. (0544 GMT). 80% of Russian gas
shipped via Ukraine.
2009 Jan 7, Freezing
temperatures and exceptional snowfall caused travel delays across
Europe and were blamed for at least 12 deaths, including that of a
man in Milan who was crushed when a canopy collapsed under the
weight of snow.
2009 Jan 7, In Hungary a masked
gunman shot to death Jozsef Takacs (62), a school principal, and
Laszlo Papp (32), a teacher, at a school in the Budapest
neighborhood of Csepel. 2 suspects were arrested the next day.
Police said a security guard shot the two men, hours after he and an
accomplice, a 36-year-old former administrator at the school, were
fired by the principal on suspicion of embezzling up to 4 million
forints ($20,000, euro14,600).
(AP, 1/7/09)(AP, 1/8/09)
2009 Jan 7, B. Ramalingu Raju,
the chairman of India's Satyam Computer Services Ltd., quit after
admitting the company's profits had been doctored for several years,
shaking faith in the country's corporate giants as shares of the
software services provider plunged nearly 80 percent. Raju was
arrested 2 days later as Indian authorities fired the remaining
board members and launched an accounting review of the company.
(AP, 1/7/09)(WSJ, 1/10/09, p.B1)
2009 Jan 7, In northern Iraq a
female suicide bomber allegedly planning to blow herself up among
Shiite pilgrims was arrested, as millions joined processions across
the country to honor the martyrdom of one of their most revered
2009 Jan 7, Israel
ordered a three-hour pause in its Gaza offensive to allow food and
fuel to reach besieged Palestinians, and said it welcomed a
cease-fire proposal as long as Hamas halts rockets and weapons
smuggling. About 300 of the more than 670 Palestinians killed so far
were civilians. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that Israel
and the Palestinian Authority have accepted an Egyptian-French plan
2009 Jan 7, Wildlife activists
said the box turtle is disappearing across Malaysia because of
increased illegal hunting for its meat and use in traditional
2009 Jan 7, In Mexico four
decapitated bodies were found in the Otay Mesa neighborhood of
Tijuana. The victims' heads were left inside a black bag at the
2009 Jan 7, Pakistan’s PM
Yousuf Raza Gilani fired national security advisor Mahmood Ali
Durrani after he gave media interviews on national security issues
without consulting Gilani. The move came hours after Durrani and
other top officials told reporters that the sole surviving Mumbai
attacker was a Pakistani citizen.
2009 Jan 7, Sri Lanka
officially outlawed the Tamil Tigers, ruling out for now the
possibility of peace talks to end a 25-year civil war.
(WSJ, 1/8/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 7, Taiwan’s central
bank unexpectedly cut its key interest rates by half a percentage
point and urged banks to increase corporate lending. The finance
ministry had just reported that ex[ports in December had fallen
41.9% from a year earlier.
(WSJ, 1/8/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 7, Turkey’s state news
said police had detained about 40 people, including 3 retired
generals, in a probe of an alleged plot to overthrow the
Islamist-rooted AK Party government.
(WSJ, 1/8/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 7, Venezuela's Citgo
Petroleum Corp. announced its fuel oil aid program would continue,
just two days after its partner nonprofit group, Boston-based
Citizens Energy, said Citgo had halted the free fuel shipments due
to the world economic crisis.
2009 Jan 7, In Zimbabwe seven
members of the main opposition party were the first of dozens of
jailed dissidents to be formally charged, and they pleaded not
guilty in a bombing plot. Zimbabwe delayed the opening of schools by
two weeks, amid fears that teachers may not show up for classes due
to the country's worsening humanitarian crisis.
(AP, 1/7/09)(AFP, 1/7/09)
2009 Jan 8, President-elect
Barack Obama warned of dire and lasting consequences if Congress
doesn't pump unprecedented dollars into the economy, making an
urgent pitch for his mammoth spending proposal in his first speech
since his election.
2009 Jan 8, The US Navy said a
new international force to battle pirates off the Somali coast is
being formed under American command in a bid to focus more military
resources to protect one of the world's key shipping lanes.
2009 Jan 8, Dell Inc. announced
that it is moving its Irish manufacturing operations to Poland by
2010, as part of a cost cutting measure that will result in the loss
of some 1,900 Irish jobs.
(WSJ, 1/9/09, p.B4)
2009 Jan 8, Department-store
operator Macy's Inc. said it will close 11 underperforming stores in
nine states, affecting 960 employees, and lowered its forecast for
the fourth quarter after one of the weakest holiday seasons in
2009 Jan 8, Flooding in the US
Pacific Northwest led to mudslides and avalanches and closed 20
miles of I-5 between Olympia, Wa., and the Oregon line.
(SFC, 1/9/09, p.A2)
2009 Jan 8, Rev. Richard John
Neuhaus (b.1936), Catholic priest and author, died. His book
included “The Naked Public Square" (1984), which argued that
religious values have a crucial place in American politics.
(WSJ, 1/10/09, p.A6)
2009 Jan 8, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai's office said that reports suggested 17 civilians,
including women and children, were killed in the Jan 6 US raid in
Laghman province. A suicide bomber struck US troops patrolling on
foot in southern Afghanistan, killing three civilians, 2 Americans
and wounding at least nine others. A coalition strike on a
bomb-making network in Zabul killed five militants.
(AFP, 1/8/09)(AP, 1/8/09)(AP, 1/9/09)(SFC,
2009 Jan 8, The Bank of England
cut interest rates from 2% to 1.5%, the lowest level since its
founding in 1694, taking it into uncharted territory as it attempts
to ward off a prolonged recession.
(AP, 1/8/09)(WSJ, 1/9/09, p.A5)(Econ, 1/10/09,
2009 Jan 8, Britain's Financial
Services Authority fined insurance broker Aon Ltd. 5.25 million
pounds ($8 million) for weak anti-bribery controls, the largest
penalty of its kind.
2009 Jan 8, In eastern Congo
Mai Mai militiamen attacked a group of seven rangers killing one in
a government-controlled sector in the far north of Virunga National
2009 Jan 8, A magnitude 6.1
earthquake rocked Costa Rica killing at least 20 people with dozens
(AP, 1/9/09)(AP, 1/14/09)
2009 Jan 8, In Iraq 2
simultaneous roadside bombs tore through an Iraqi army patrol
responding to a mortar attack north of Baghdad, killing six Iraqi
soldiers. Two other Iraqi soldiers died in another blast near the
city of Kirkuk.
2009 Jan 8, Israeli
representatives arrived in Cairo for Egyptian-brokered talks on a
cease-fire proposal after the UN Security Council failed to agree on
action to end the crisis in Gaza.
2009 Jan 8, The UN halted aid
deliveries to the besieged Gaza Strip, citing Israeli attacks on a
UN truck that killed 2 Palestinian workers. For a 2nd straight day,
Israel suspended its Gaza military operation for three hours to
allow in humanitarian supplies. Israel killed at least 11 people,
including three who were fleeing their homes, raising the death toll
from its 13-day offensive to 699 Palestinians. 11 Israelis have died
since the offensive began. Militants in Lebanon fired at least three
rockets into Israel. UN figures said as many as 257 children have
been killed and 1,080 wounded, about a third of the total casualties
since Dec. 27.
(AP, 1/8/09)(SFC, 1/9/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 8, Kuwait’s top
investment bank, Global Investment House, said it had defaulted on
most of its $3 billion in debt, raising concerns that other Arab
Gulf financial firms may follow as the global financial crises
spreads through the region.
(WSJ, 1/9/09, p.C2)
2009 Jan 8, In Pakistan a fire
swept through a slum in Karachi, killing 38 people, many of them
2009 Jan 8, Russia's
state-controlled gas monopoly said it would restore supplies to
Europe through Ukraine, cut off after a dispute between Moscow and
Kiev, as soon as international monitors are in place.
2009 Jan 8, In Somalia
gunmen fatally shot a UN World Food program worker during a food
distribution, the second staff member killed this week.
2009 Jan 8, In Spain Leonidas
Vargas (60), a convicted Colombian drug baron with links to two
major smuggling cartels, was shot dead in a Madrid hospital.
2009 Jan 8, Sri Lankan troops
captured an important Tamil Tiger base and pounded the rebels with
air attacks, forcing the insurgents to withdraw deeper into the
dwindling area that remains under their control. Gunmen on a
motorcycle shot and killed Lasantha Wickrematunge, the editor of a
Sri Lankan newspaper critical of the government, the second violent
attack on media this week. Three days after he was gunned down
execution-style, Wickrematunge's newspaper published a haunting,
self-written obituary in which he says he was targeted for his
writings and adds: "When finally I am killed, it will be the
government that kills me."
(AP, 1/8/09)(AP, 1/12/09)
2009 Jan 8, Darfur rebels
accused Sudan's army of bombing their positions over the last 24
hours, breaking a period of relative calm in the country's violent
2009 Jan 8, In Zimbabwe
opposition members accused of being involved in a bomb plot said
they were tortured into making false confessions.
2009 Jan 9, The US House of
Representatives voted 390-5 for a bill declaring “unwavering
commitment" to Israel."
(Econ, 1/17/09, p.48)
2009 Jan 9, The US Labor
Dept. reported that unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent in
December, the highest level in 16 years, as nervous employers
slashed 524,000 jobs. The labor market is expected to remain weak as
mass layoffs continue.
2009 Jan 9, The US government
began collecting DNA samples from all immigrants arrested and
detained, despite concerns that the move violates their privacy
(SFC, 1/9/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 9, California
officials said they will close state offices two Fridays a month as
the state faced a $42 billion budget gap.
(WSJ, 1/12/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 9, The Illinois House
voted to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich, an unprecedented step in
2009 Jan 9, Chicago-based
Merisant Worldwide Inc., maker of the artificial sweetener Equal,
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, hobbled by the global
credit crisis and sliding sales.
(Econ, 1/30/10, p.77)(http://tinyurl.com/ykx7ghs)
2009 Jan 9, Baltimore Mayor
Sheila Dixon (55) was indicted on charges that she accepted illegal
gifts, including travel, fur coats and gift cards intended for the
poor that she allegedly used instead for a holiday shopping spree.
Her trial began on Nov 9.
(AP, 1/10/09)(SFC, 11/10/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 9, In Miami Charles
Taylor Jr. (31), the son of former Liberian President Charles
Taylor, was sentenced to 97 years in prison for mutilations and
executions carried out in Liberia, in the first US prosecution for
torture committed abroad.
2009 Jan 9, Jon Hager (67), who
performed in the musical comedy duo The Hager Twins on "Hee-Haw,"
died in Nashville. His brother Jim died in May, 2008. The syndicated
TV show, which debuted in 1969, satirized country life with a
mixture of music and comedy.
2009 Jan 9, In southern
Afghanistan a suicide bomber detonated explosives strapped to his
body inside a produce shop, killing 10 civilians and 2 policemen. 3
US soldiers were killed in southern Zabul province.
(AP, 1/9/09)(WSJ, 1/10/09, p.A6)
2009 Jan 9, Lloyds TSB Bank
said it has agreed to pay a 350-million dollar penalty to settle a
probe that it illegally handled financial transfers from 1995 to
2007 for Iran and Sudan in violation of US sanctions.
2009 Jan 9, In Worcestershire,
England, four armed robbers shot and killed Craig Hodson-Walker
(29), a postmaster's son, during a robbery in Fairfield near
Bromsgrove. His father was wounded in the leg.
2009 Jan 9, Cambodian judges
denied that they paid kickbacks to government officials to secure
jobs on a genocide tribunal to try former Khmer Rouge leaders.
2009 Jan 9, In Germany
Commerzbank AG issued a euro5 billion ($6.8 billion) bond, the first
to be backed by the government's massive stabilization package.
2009 Jan 9, In India some
55,000 white collar workers at state-run oil companies called off a
three-day strike, after causing a severe fuel shortage in India.
2009 Jan 9, In Iraq a roadside
bomb targeting worshippers on their way to pray at a Shiite mosque
in Baghdad killed three people.
2009 Jan 9, Israeli jets and
helicopters bombarded Gaza and Hamas responded with a barrage of
rockets on at least two cities as both sides defied a UN call for an
immediate cease-fire. By the afternoon 22 Palestinians had been
killed, pushing the death toll to 776 and in the two-week-old
2009 Jan 9, Kenya’s government
said 10 million people risked going hungry after harvests failed
following a drought.
(WSJ, 1/10/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 9, Lithuania’s FlyLAL
airline, privatized in 2005, announced that SCH Swiss Capital
Holdings, a Switzerland-based firm, has purchased it for $1 million
and debt of about 1 million euros. On Jan 17 FlyLAL airline said it
has suspended its operations after a buyout deal by Swiss investment
firm SCH Swiss Capital Holdings failed.
(AP, 1/9/09)(AP, 1/17/09)
2009 Jan 9, Pakistan’s PM
Gilani said his intelligence agency has given India information
about the Mumbai attacks, as US Vice President-elect Joe Biden
arrived in Pakistan for talks with the country's top leaders. A
series of blasts have gone off near a theater in the eastern city of
Lahore, but there has been no immediate word on casualties.
2009 Jan 9, A Russian
helicopter owned by the state gas giant Gazprom crashed while on a
hunting trip in the mountains of Western Siberia, killing eight
aboard. 3 people survived. The crash involved government officials
on an illegal hunt.
(AP, 1/11/09)(WSJ, 4/28/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 9, Somali pirates
released the MV Sirius Star, an oil-laden Saudi supertanker seized
on Nov 15, after receiving a $3 million ransom. Five of the Somali
pirates drowned with their share of the $3 million ransom after
their small boat capsized.
(AP, 1/9/09)(AP, 1/10/09)
2009 Jan 9, Somali pirates
released a captured Iranian-chartered cargo ship. The ship Delight
was carrying 36 tons of wheat when it was attacked in the Gulf of
Aden Nov. 18 and seized by pirates. All 25 crew were in good health
and the vessel sailed toward Iran.
2009 Jan 9, Sri Lankan troops
captured Elephant Pass, the Tamil Tigers' last stronghold on the
Jaffna peninsula, seizing control of a symbolic highway and
isolating the retreating rebels in a shrinking slice of northeastern
jungle. Government soldiers seized a rebel training camp near the
village of Mulliyaweli, in Mullaitivu.
(AP, 1/9/09)(AP, 1/11/09)
2009 Jan 10, President-elect
Barack Obama made public a detailed analysis by his economic
advisers that estimates the $775 billion plan of tax cuts and new
spending would create 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.
2009 Jan 10, A winter storm
left large swaths of the Midwest and Northeast covered in snow and
freezing rain. 10 inches of snow forced some 100 cancellations at
Chicago’s O’Hare Int’l. Airport. At least 8 inches fell on lower
Michigan and Ohio.
(SSFC, 1/11/09, p.A14)
2009 Jan 10, In Argentina 6
children died in Buenos Aires after a fire ripped through a former
bank being used as a home by poor families.
2009 Jan 10, Australian police
said a Canadian man has been charged with trying to smuggle more
than two million dollars (1.4 million US) worth of cocaine
inside forklift battery cells into Australia from Mexico.
2009 Jan 10, Two British
climbers, including the youngest Briton to conquer Everest, fell
hundreds of meters to their deaths on Mont Blanc in the French Alps.
2009 Jan 10, In Guinea-Bissau a
boat carrying passengers on the Geba River capsized in strong winds,
leaving 42 people missing.
2009 Jan 10, Israeli forces
pounded rocket-launching sites and smuggling tunnels in Gaza and
planes dropped leaflets warning of an escalation in attacks, as
Palestinian militants fired at least 10 more rockets at Israel. The
Israeli military said more than 15 militants were killed in
overnight fighting. An Israeli tank shell killed nine people in a
garden outside a home in the northern Gaza town of Jebaliya. In
Cairo, Egypt, Palestinian Authority Pres. Mahmoud Abbas urged both
Israel and Hamas to agree to an Egypt-brokered truce. Syria-based
Palestinian militant groups including Hamas rejected the idea of
deploying international observers or troops in Gaza.
2009 Jan 10, In Nigeria leaders
of ECOWAS, West Africa's regional economic body, suspended Guinea's
membership following a military coup in the country.
2009 Jan 10, In northwestern
Pakistan at least 40 people were killed over the last 24 hours in
clashes between Sunnis and Shiites in villages of the Hangu
(AP, 1/10/09)(SFC, 1/12/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 10, In northern Peru a
bus ran off a slick mountain road into a ravine, killing at least 33
2009 Jan 10, Russia and the EU
took a step toward securing the resumption of gas flows to Europe
when the two signed a deal on monitoring the supplies through
Ukraine. PM Vladimir Putin said Russia will restart gas supplies to
Europe once an EU-led monitoring mission begins to track gas transit
(AP, 1/10/09)(Reuters, 1/10/09)
2009 Jan 10, South Korean
officials arrested Park Dae-sung (31), a blogger writing under the
pseudonym Minerva. They charged that his postings had led to a
plunge in the value of the won, forcing the government to intervene
in trading. In April 20 Park Dae-sung was cleared of spreading false
(WSJ, 1/13/09, p.A11)(Econ, 1/17/09, p.45)(AP,
2009 Jan 10, In Sri Lanka
government soldiers captured a guerrilla camp in the village of
Aiyamperumal in Mullaittivu. A pro-rebel TamilNet Web site reported
that four civilians were killed in a government artillery assault on
a rebel-held village in Mullaitivu.
2009 Jan 11, At the Golden
Globe awards, "Slumdog Millionaire" emerged as the potential film to
beat at the Academy Awards, an unexpected position for a movie with
a cast of unknowns and a story set among orphans and criminals on
the streets of Mumbai. The late Heath Ledger won a best supporting
actor Golden Globe for “The Dark Knight."
(AP, 1/12/09)(WSJ, 1/12/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 11, A US federal rule
took effect allowing visitors to carry a loaded gun into a park or
wildlife refuge as long as the person had a permit for a concealed
weapon and the state where the park or refuge was located allowed
concealed firearms. Previously, guns in parks had been severely
restricted. The Bush administration had issued the gun rule in
December in response to letters from half the Senate asking
officials to lift the restrictions on guns in parks that were
adopted by the Reagan administration in the early 1980s. On March 19
a US district Judge blocked the rule.
(SFC, 3/20/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 11, South Korea’s
Hyundai Genesis was named North American Car of the Year and the
Ford F-150 as the 2009 North American Truck of the Year. The awards
were first given in 1994. This was the first time a Korean automaker
2009 Jan 11, Marcus Schrenker's
plane went down en route to Destin, Fla., from Anderson, Ind.
Schrenker (38), an Indiana investment manager, had reported that the
windshield imploded and that he was bleeding profusely. Federal
marshals believe he faked a distress call before parachuting from
his plane over Alabama and disappearing on a motorcycle he had
stashed in advance. US Marshals apprehended Schrenker on Jan 13 at a
northern Florida campground. Officers had to tend to Schrenker's
self-inflicted gash to the wrist before he was airlifted to
Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. In August Schrenker pleaded guilty
was sentenced in Florida to 4 years and 3 months in federal prison.
(AP, 1/13/09)(AP, 1/14/09)(SFC, 8/20/09, p.A4)
2009 Jan 11, Australia's
Defense Ministry said its special forces in Afghanistan had killed
Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Rasheed, who had been involved in
recruiting suicide bombers and foreign fighters in Uruzgan province.
2009 Jan 11, In Indonesia
scores of people were feared dead after a ferry carrying more than
260 passengers and crew sank in stormy seas off Sulawesi island.
2009 Jan 11, In Iraq US soldier
Pfc. Sean McCune died of a non-combat related injury near Samarra
north of Baghdad. Sgt. Miguel A. Vegaquinones later pleaded guilty
to involuntary manslaughter in the accidental shooting death of
McCune. Vegaquinones was sentenced in July to three years in jail
for the shooting. A US Marine died in a non-combat related incident
west of Baghdad.
(AP, 1/12/09)(SFC, 1/12/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 11, Israeli troops
made their deepest advance into the Gaza Strip's most heavily
populated area, encountering increasingly fierce resistance from
Islamic Hamas fighters as they warned civilians to stay clear of the
battle zone. Human Rights Watch said that Israel's military has
fired artillery shells with the incendiary agent white phosphorus
into Gaza and a doctor there said the chemical was suspected in the
case of 10 burn victims who had skin peeling off their faces and
2009 Jan 11, In northwestern
Pakistan security forces repulsed an attack by 600 fighters, most of
whom had crossed the border from Afghanistan, leaving at least 40
militants and 6 soldiers dead and scores of others wounded.
(AP, 1/11/09)(SFC, 1/12/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 11, An estimated 2,500
Lebanese and Palestinians protested peacefully in downtown Beirut
against Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, as hundreds of
demonstrators in neighboring Syria shouted insults at the both the
Jewish state and Arab leaders.
2009 Jan 11, Two Nigerian
soldiers were killed and one wounded in an attack by unidentified
gunmen in the restive oil-rich Niger Delta. Police said the attack
might be connected with the police seizure of a vessel, the Sandra
Valleta, which was carrying stolen crude oil.
2009 Jan 11, Arne Naess
(b.1912), Norwegian philosopher, writer and mountaineer, died. He
was best known for launching the concept of "deep ecology,"
promoting the idea that Earth as a planet has as much right as its
inhabitants, such as humans, to survive and flourish.
2009 Jan 11, Russia, Ukraine,
and the EU struck an agreement to try to resume Russian supplies
through Ukraine to Europe. President Dmitry Medvedev said energy
giant Gazprom would only resume gas supplies once Russia had a copy
of the document signed by Ukraine and once the various teams of
international observers were in place. The text of the accord calls
for the EU, Russia and Ukraine to each provide 25 experts to "carry
out checks on the basis of equal parity both on Ukrainian and
(Reuters, 1/11/09)(AFP, 1/11/09)
2009 Jan 11, Slovakia reopened
a nuclear power plant it was forced to shut down as part of its bid
to join the European Union, prompting condemnation from neighboring
Austria, which described the reactor at Bohunice as unsafe.
2009 Jan 11, In central Somalia
clashes between Islamist militias killed at least 29 people and
wounded more than 50 others. It was the latest sign of divisions
within an Islamist insurgency the US government says has links to
2009 Jan 11, New Thai PM
Abhisit Vejjajiva's government won the most seats in by-elections,
strengthening his shaky coalition in its first test at the polls.
2009 Jan 11, A Turkish court
formally arrested 12 more people for ties to an alleged secularist
plot by ultranationalists to bring down the Islamic-rooted
government, bringing the total of people implicated in the case to
more than 100.
2009 Jan 12, The US Senate said
it will seat Roland Burris, the junior senator from Illinois.
(SFC, 1/12/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 12, The US slapped
sanctions on people and firms linked to Pakistani scientist Abdul
Qadeer Khan’s black market nuclear network.
(WSJ, 1/13/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 12, Minnesota
officials said lab tests had confirmed salmonella bacteria in a five
pound container of King Nut brand peanut butter. King Nut of Solon,
Ohio, had recalled the product on January 10. At least 6 people had
been killed and over 470 sickened nationwide in 43 states.
(WSJ, 1/13/09, p.A2)(SFC, 1/20/09, p.A12)
2009 Jan 12, In El Reno,
Oklahoma, a woman and her 4 children, aged 3-7, were found killed.
Texas officials the next day arrested the mother’s boyfriend, Joshua
Steven Durcho (25).
(SFC, 1/14/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 12, Sofa retailer Land
of Leather filed for bankruptcy protection, becoming the latest
British retailer to succumb to a downturn in consumer spending amid
the global economic slowdown.
2009 Jan 12, State media said
China has shut down 91 websites for pornographic and other "vulgar"
content, as well as a political blog portal, since announcing its
latest bid to ensure Internet morality.
2009 Jan 12, In China a
Shanghai distributor of a popular brand of dog food said it had
suspended sales of the product following reports that dogs who ate
it had died from aflatoxin poisoning. This appeared to involve an
imported product, Optima, a brand of dog food made by Nashville,
Tennessee-based Doane Pet Care Co. It was not clear if the pet food
sold in China was the US brand.
2009 Jan 12, War crimes
prosecutors in The Hague accused former Congolese vice president
Jean-Pierre Bemba of using systematic rape to terrorize civilians
suspected of supporting rebels during a bloody power struggle in
neighboring Central African Republic.
2009 Jan 12, Cuba published new
regulations encouraging classic car owners to apply for taxi
licenses and set their own prices for the first time in nearly a
decade as the communist government turns to the free market to
improve its woeful transportation system.
2009 Jan 12, In Dubai Kabir
Mulchandani, chairman of the Dynasty Zarooni development company,
was arrested on charges of fraud and embezzlement. He was accused of
defrauding investors of more than $100 million. He has been under
investigation in India for the past 10 years by the excise
department, directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI), enforcement
directorate (ED), and income tax authority.
(WSJ, 1/24/09, p.C3)(http://tinyurl.com/amevml)
2009 Jan 12, Fiji authorities
rushed to deliver clean drinking water and other supplies to
thousands of villagers who fled flooding from tropical storms. The
storms left 11 people dead.
(AP, 1/12/09)(SSFC, 1/25/09, p.E2)
2009 Jan 12, French teachers
hurled shoes and other objects at police to protest President
Nicolas Sarkozy's high school reforms, prompting police to respond
with tear gas.
2009 Jan 12, Germany’s
coalition government approved a $67 million spending package to
mitigate recession effects.
(Econ, 1/17/09, p.52)
2009 Jan 12, In Greece 3 gunmen
had grabbed Periklis Panagopoulos (74), founder of one of Greece's
largest ferry operators, and his driver in the southern Athens
suburb of Vouliagmeni. Panagopoulos was released unharmed on Jan 20
following a large ransom payment.
2009 Jan 12, In Haiti Police
Commissioner Philippe Jean Raymond of Port-de-Paix was poisoned
after several million dollars of cash seized from the uncle of a
prominent drug smuggler went missing.
(Econ, 2/14/09, p.46)(http://tinyurl.com/dz7gcq)
2009 Jan 12, In Iraq a series
of bombs targeted Iraqi security forces in Baghdad. At least 10
people died as Vice President-elect Joe Biden arriving in Baghdad
following trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
2009 Jan 12, Israeli warplanes
pounded the homes of Hamas leaders and ground troops edged closer to
the Gaza Strip's densely populated urban center, as Israel weighed a
decision to escalate its devastating offensive. Militants managed to
fire off at least four rockets. Gaza officials said the offensive
has killed some 870 Palestinians.
2009 Jan 12, Alitalia's board
accepted Air France-KLM's offer to buy 25 percent of the company and
become its international partner.
2009 Jan 12, Kazakh PM Karim
Masimov told his ministers to start personal blogs to get them
closer to the people of the former Soviet state.
2009 Jan 12, Mozambique
authorities said torrential rains have killed 19 people in the past
few days and that worse flooding may lie ahead.
2009 Jan 12, In Nigeria Susanne
Wenger (93), Austrian-born sculptress, died. She had been initiated
as a Yoruba traditional priestess and was responsible for towering
works of art in one of Nigeria's two World Heritage sites.
2009 Jan 12, In Pakistan the
bodies of two men killed by Taliban militants for allegedly spying
for the US were found in the North Waziristan tribal region to the
south of Mohmand. The two were abducted a week ago as they attempted
to flee with their families. Trucks and other vehicles blocked the
main Quetta-Chaman highway, forcing about 100 trucks carrying NATO
supplies to park.
2009 Jan 12, Russia's state-run
monopoly Gazprom announced it will resume shipping natural gas to
Europe, where tens of thousands of homes and buildings have been
left without heat in freezing weather.
2009 Jan 12, In Somalia
Islamist insurgents fired mortar rounds at the presidential palace
in Mogadishu. At least 13 people were killed in 2 attacks. The
United States circulated a draft resolution calling for a UN
peacekeeping force to be deployed in Somalia to replace a small
African Union force, but leaving the Security Council to make a
final decision by June 1.
(AP, 1/13/09)(SFC, 1/12/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 12, In Sri Lanka heavy
fighting was reported around guerrilla-controlled Mullaittivu
district, with troops seizing a rebel administration base, a
training camp and a bunker line.
2009 Jan 12, Taiwan's
parliament voted through a controversial bill lifting a decades-old
ban on casinos, despite protests that gambling could lead to a
damaging decline in public morality.
2009 Jan 13, President George
W. Bush declared his administration had achieved "a good, solid"
record and gave thanks to both his closest aides and Americans
across the country.
2009 Jan 13, The Pentagon said
that 61 former detainees from its military prison camp at Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba, appear to have returned to terrorism since their release
2009 Jan 13, The city of Los
Angeles, plagued by 23,000 violent gang crimes since 2004, including
784 murders and 12,000 felony assaults, announced that it had won
its first civil judgment, for $5 million, against a criminal gang
that had dominated the heroin trade downtown for decades.
2009 Jan 13, Citigroup
announced that it will spin off its SmithBarney retail brokerage
into a joint venture with Morgan Stanley. Plans were also afoot for
Citigroup to shrink by a third.
(WSJ, 1/14/09, p.A1)
2009 Jun 13, The Detroit-area
band Champagne Saints, comprised of Marius Polikaitis, Saulius
Polteraitis, Jide Mbanefo, Paul Juska and Tadas Kasputis, held a CD
release party for Throwing Hail Marys at the Pike Room at the
Crofoot in Pontiac. Their 2nd album “Sparkle, Darker" came out in
2009 Jan 13, Patrick McGoohan
(b.1928), Emmy winning TV and film actor, died. He created and
starred in the cult classic TV show “The Prisoner" (1967). The
British show premiered in the US in 1968.
(SFC, 1/15/09, p.A2)
2009 Jan 13, Nancy Bird-Walton
(93), Australian aviation pioneer, died from natural causes. She was
the first woman in Australia to operate a commercial aircraft. Sir
Charles Kingsford-Smith, the first man to fly across the
mid-Pacific, taught Watson how to fly in 1933, when she was just 17
years old. Two years later, she obtained a commercial pilot's
license and began taking paying passengers for joyrides around the
2009 Jan 13, In Austria Umar
Israilov (27), a Chechen refugee, was shot dead on a Vienna street.
Officials said they had no proof the killing was political, but
human rights activists said his death was linked to his opposition
to Chechnya's pro-Moscow president. On Jan 28 Austrian authorities
arrested seven suspects, all Chechens, in the killing. On February
19 Polish police arrested Turpal Ali J. (31), a man suspected of
killing Israilov. In 2010 Austrian investigators concluded that
Chechnya Pres. Ramzan Kadyrov ordered the kidnapping of one of his
critics and former bodyguards and that Israilov was shot to death
when the abduction went awry. In 2011 an Austrian prosecutor
sought life sentences for three Russian men on charges they carried
out the murder of the Israilov.
(AP, 1/28/09)(AP, 2/22/09)(AP, 4/27/10)(AP,
2009 Jan 13, China's government
reported that exports fell at their fastest rate in a decade as the
country's trade slump worsened again in December, a decline that's
led to masses of layoffs and growing fears of social unrest.
2009 Jan 13, Ethiopia handed
over security duties in neighboring Somalia to a joint force of
Somali government security forces and Islamic militiamen, a shift
some fear will leave a power vacuum in the lawless African nation.
2009 Jan 13, Iran’s judiciary
announced that 2 men were stoned to death last month for adultery.
(WSJ, 1/14/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 13, Israeli ground
troops closed in on downtown Gaza City, battling Palestinian
militants in the streets of a densely populated neighborhood,
destroying dozens of homes and sending terrified residents running
for cover as gunfire and explosions echoed in the distance. Some 15
rockets and mortar shells were fired toward Israel, causing no
injuries. Egyptian mediators pushed the militant Palestinian Hamas
group to accept a truce proposal for the embattled Gaza Strip in
talks. The UN secretary-general headed to the region to join the
multitrack diplomatic efforts for a cease-fire in Israel’s 18-day
offensive, in which more than 900 Palestinians have been killed,
half of them civilians.
2009 Jan 13, In Latvia a
protest against economic reforms that drew thousands in Riga turned
violent as small pockets of rioters clashed with police and attacked
2009 Jan 13, Pirates attacked a
Norwegian cable ship off the coast of Nigeria but failed to seize
the boat despite gunfire, leaving the crew of 52 unhurt.
2009 Jan 13, Russia and Ukraine
hotly blamed each other as Russia restarted natural gas supplies but
little or no gas flowed toward Europe. EU officials watched in
dismay and criticized both nations for their intransigence.
2009 Jan 13, A Russian warship
helped foil an attack on a Dutch container ship by suspected Somali
pirates in the dangerous Gulf of Aden.
2009 Jan 13, Sudanese army
planes bombed near Muhajiriya in south Darfur, targeting rebels who
had rejected a 2006 peace agreement and the unconditional ceasefire
declared by Bashir last year.
2009 Jan 13, Swedish truck
maker AB Volvo said it will lay off more than 1,600 employees in
Sweden as it slows production amid falling demand for trucks.
2009 Jan 13, The WHO said
Zimbabwe's cholera epidemic has killed more than 2,000 people and
almost 40,000 have contracted the normally preventable disease in
Africa's worst outbreak in nearly a decade.
2009 Jan 14, The US stimulus
plan’s price tag, originally estimated at $775 billion, neared $850
billion as a result of negotiator’s decisions to emphasize
investments to spur job creation.
(WSJ, 1/15/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 14, In Atlanta,
Georgia, a federal appeals court upheld the state’s voter ID law.
(WSJ, 1/30/09, p.A13)
2009 Jan 14, Trammell Crow
(b.1914, Texas real estate developer, died. His projects included
the Dallas Decorative Center (1955) and the 10-million square foot
Dallas Market Center. In the 1970s and 1980s Crow was the nation’s
biggest real estate developer. In 1981 he founded Wyndham Co., which
became one of the nation’s largest hotel chains.
(WSJ, 1/17/09, p.A5)
2009 Jan 14, Ricardo Montalban
(b.1920), the Mexican-born actor, died at his home in Los
Angeles. His 1980 autobiography was titled "Reflections: A Life in
Two Worlds." He became a star in splashy MGM musicals and later as
the wish-fulfilling Mr. Roarke in TV's "Fantasy Island" (1978-1984).
2009 Jan 14, Al-Qaida chief
Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to launch a jihad against Israel and
condemned Arab governments as allies of the Jewish state in a new
message aimed at harnessing anger in the Mideast over the Gaza
2009 Jan 14, In Afghanistan 2
British NATO soldiers were killed in a blast in southern Helmand
2009 Jan 14, In Brazil Cesare
Battisti (54), a leftist fugitive who wrote police thrillers while
evading a life sentence for two political murders, was granted
refugee status in Brazil and an official said he could go free this
week. Italy's government protested the decision. Battisti escaped
from an Italian prison in 1981 while awaiting trial on four counts
of murder allegedly committed when he was a member of the Armed
Proletarians for Communism. He fled to France and reinvented himself
as a mystery writer. Battisti has repeatedly insisted on his
innocence. On March 5, 2010, he was sentenced to two years in prison
for passport fraud.
(AP, 1/14/09)(AFP, 3/6/10)
2009 Jan 14, Canada’s Nortel
Networks Corp, North America's biggest telephone equipment maker,
filed for bankruptcy, hoping to save a once high-flying business
whose decade-long decline has accelerated with the global economic
2009 Jan 14, Jan Kaplicky
(b.1937), a British-based Czech architect, died in Prague just hours
after his wife Eliska gave birth to their daughter Johanka. He
designed the award-winning media center at Lord's cricket ground in
2009 Jan 14, The developer of a
Dubai skyscraper set to soar two-thirds of a mile said it's halting
work on the project for a year as the boomtown grapples with the
2009 Jan 14, A French court
acquitted six doctors and pharmacists in the deaths of at least 114
people who contracted a brain-destroying disease after being treated
with tainted human growth hormones.
2009 Jan 14, Shares in Deutsche
Bank, Germany's biggest bank, slumped after it announced massive
losses for the fourth quarter and new terms for its takeover of
giant retail lender Postbank.
2009 Jan 14, In Iraq two people
were killed and two wounded in a suicide car bombing in the northern
city of Mosul.
2009 Jan 14, Italian police
arrested Giovanni Setola, a top Mafia fugitive, who had eluded
capture earlier this week by climbing through a trap door and into a
sewer below his hideout.
2009 Jan 14, Guerrillas in
Lebanon rocketed northern Israel for the second time in a week,
drawing Israeli artillery fire and threatening to drag the Jewish
state into a second front as diplomatic efforts to broker a truce in
Gaza intensified. Gaza health ministry official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain
said the offensive has killed 1,000 Palestinians, about half of them
civilians, including 300 children. The Israeli navy intercepted an
Iranian ship loaded with medicine, food and clothing destined for
Gaza and forced the vessel to Egypt instead. Palestinian surveyors
estimated that Israel's fierce assault on Gaza's Hamas rulers has
destroyed at least $1.4 billion worth of buildings, roads, pipes,
power lines and other infrastructure.
2009 Jan 14, Police in
Indian-controlled Kashmir said they have arrested Mohammed Ahsan
Dar, the founder and commander of the region's largest rebel group,
calling it a major setback for the separatists.
2009 Jan 14, Pakistan reopened
a supply route for NATO and US forces in Afghanistan after tribesmen
ended a three-day blockade. Thousands of people protested in Quetta
after four police officers were shot dead in what an official said
was a sectarian attack against Shiites.
2009 Jan 14, Philippine
officials said weeklong rains have triggered flash floods,
landslides and sea surges across the Philippines, leaving at least
11 people dead and another 8 missing.
2009 Jan 14, Russia and Ukraine
wrangled over gas supplies again. Bulgaria and Slovakia, cut off by
the row for a freezing week, launched missions to plead for Russian
gas flow to be restored.
2009 Jan 14, Saudi Arabia's
most senior cleric was quoted as saying it is permissible for
10-year-old girls to marry and those who think they're too young are
doing the girls an injustice.
2009 Jan 14, In Somalia Islamic
insurgents fired mortar rounds at the presidential palace and
clashed with government forces, leaving at least five civilians dead
a day after Ethiopian troops handed over security duties.
2009 Jan 14, South Africa’s
health ministry said the death toll from a cholera outbreak has
risen to 15, with more than 2,100 cases registered in a spillover
from Zimbabwe's epidemic. The UN said the death toll from Zimbabwe's
cholera outbreak has risen to 2,106.
2009 Jan 14, South Korea's
Chosun Ilbo newspaper said North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has
reportedly ordered a crackdown on street markets in an apparent move
to reassert control over the economy amid an influx of foreign goods
into the isolated country.
2009 Jan 14, Sri Lankan defense
officials said troops have established total control over the
northern peninsula of Jaffna after flushing out the last remaining
pockets of rebel resistance.
2009 Jan 14, Sudanese security
officers arrested iconic opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi (76) two
days after he urged the head of state to surrender to the
International Criminal Court. Al-Turabi was freed on March 9.
(AP, 1/14/09)(Reuters, 3/9/09)
2009 Jan 14, The UN Security
Council authorized 5,200 UN peacekeepers to replace a 3,300-strong
EU force in Chad and Central African Republic, which have been
seriously affected by fighting in neighboring Sudan's Darfur region.
2009 Jan 14, Venezuelan
lawmakers approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would
allow President Hugo Chavez to run for re-election indefinitely, the
final step before the proposal goes before voters in a referendum.
2009 Jan 14, Venezuela and
Bolivia broke off diplomatic relations with Israel to protest its
military offensive in Gaza.
2009 Jan 15, Pres. George W.
Bush offered his own first draft of history, summarizing eight years
in office. He told the country that while his policies have been
unpopular, there can be little debate about the results saying
America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist
attack on our soil.
2009 Jan 15, Pres. Bush passed
new rules to end over fishing of 40 struggling marine species. Under
the rules the nation’s 8 regional fishery management councils must
draw up measures to end over fishing by 2010.
(WSJ, 1/26/09, p.A2)
2009 Jan 15, Eric Holder,
Obama’s choice for attorney general, called waterboarding torture
and vowed to shut Guantanamo.
(WSJ, 1/16/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 15, Roland Burris was
sworn in as junior senator from Illinois.
(SFC, 1/16/09, p.A4)
2009 Jan 15, The US dollar
strengthened against the ruble to a record 32.40 rubles, well above
the high set in 2003. The depreciation was expected to continue.
(WSJ, 1/16/09, p.C8)
2009 Jan 15, A US Airways
Airbus A320 jetliner, piloted by Chesley B. Sullenberger and bound
for Charlotte, NC, landed in the Hudson River after both engines
failed shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia and an encounter with a
flock of geese. All 155 people aboard Flight 1549 survived.
(AP, 1/16/09)(WSJ, 1/16/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 15, In western
Afghanistan Gen. Fazaludin Sayar, a top Afghan army general, was
killed in a helicopter crash. All 12 others aboard were also killed.
2009 Jan 15, Australia's
tropical Queensland state declared a flood disaster over an area the
size of France and Germany after recent monsoon storms. The floods
are eventually expected to move inland, helping fill lakes and
relieving a long-running drought in parts of Australia's desert
interior and tropical north.
2009 Jan 15, The British
government announced its support for a controversial third runway at
London's chronically overcrowded Heathrow Airport, despite angry
opposition from green groups and locals.
2009 Jan 15, Bulgarians held a
rally outside parliament for the second day to demand that their
government resign because of alleged corruption and a deepening
2009 Jan 15, A police official
said Chinese authorities have detained 13 members of a gang
suspected of kidnapping and selling children, sometimes swooping by
on motorcycles and snatching them in broad daylight. Xinhua News
Agency said Su Tonghua (21) was arrested on Dec. 31. His 12
accomplices were arrested last week.
2009 Jan 15, Denmark's central
bank lowered its key interest rate by 0.75 to 3 percent.
2009 Jan 15, The European
Central Bank cuts its key rate by half a point to 2%, matching its
lowest level ever, set in December 2005.
(WSJ, 1/16/09, p.A5)
2009 Jan 15, The last Ethiopian
troops backing Somalia's fragile government left Mogadishu, as
Islamist forces took control of bases that the Ethiopians had
vacated. An Islamist court under Shabab publicly executed politician
Abdirahman Ahmed (55) to death by firing squad for showing sympathy
(AP, 1/15/09)(Econ, 2/28/09,
2009 Jan 15, In Hong Kong Grace
Mugabe (43), the wife of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, struck
a photographer in the face repeatedly as her bodyguard grabbed him
when he was trying to snap photos of her leaving the five-star
Kowloon Shangri-la Hotel. She was later granted diplomatic immunity
from prosecution over her alleged assault of the British journalist.
2009 Jan 15, Iraq's minister of
higher education escaped injury when a roadside bomb exploded near
his convoy in central Baghdad. A government security guard was
killed and four people were wounded in another blast. Iraqi police
arrested 13 suspected Sunni insurgents north of Baghdad, including
three senior members of an al-Qaida front group.
2009 Jan 15, The Irish
government nationalized Anglo Irish Bank after its chairman, Sean
Fitzpatrick, failed to disclose some €83 million in personal loans.
2009 Jan 15, Israel shelled the
UN headquarters in the Gaza Strip, engulfing the compound and the
main warehouse in fire and destroying thousands of pounds of food
and humanitarian supplies intended for Palestinian refugees.
Fighting killed at least 70 people including 2 top Hamas leaders,
Said Siam (49), the minister of the interior, and deputy Salah Abu
Sharah. Gaza medical officials said 1,100 Palestinians have been
killed since Israel's offensive started Dec. 27. Israeli soldiers
used a Palestinian child, later identified as Majd R, as a human
shield by forcing him to check for booby traps. In 2010 two Israeli
soldiers were convicted of using the child as a human shield. They
received suspended sentences and demotions.
(AP, 1/15/09)(SFC, 1/16/09, p.A2)(AP,
2009 Jan 15, Kazakh lawmakers
approved legislation to guarantee at least two political parties are
represented in parliament, a move designed to improve the Central
Asian nation's tarnished democratic credentials.
2009 Jan 15, A Luxembourg court
ordered Swiss bank UBS AG to pay French financial company Oddo &
Cie euro30 million ($40 million) it had invested in a fund linked to
the alleged fraud perpetrated by US financier Bernard Madoff.
2009 Jan 15, Police in New
Zealand said they had nabbed a man who was trying to crack a bar's
safe after posting security camera footage of the act on the
Internet networking site Facebook.
2009 Jan 15, Pakistani
officials said 71 people have been arrested in a crackdown on groups
allegedly linked to the Mumbai attacks, while adding that the
information India has handed over needs work before it can be used
as evidence in court. Pakistan also said security forces had closed
five training camps run by Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group blamed for the
Mumbai attack, and arrested the entire top, middle and lower-level
leadership and those of a related charity. Security forces killed
and injured a large number of militants in the Swat valley in the
country's northwest. Four local militant commanders died in the
(AP, 1/15/09)(Reuters, 1/15/09)(AP, 1/16/09)(WSJ,
2009 Jan 15, In the Philippines
gunmen abducted three Red Cross workers in a southern Muslim
militant stronghold, prompting a search operation by US-backed
Filipino troops through dense jungles in the country's worst foreign
hostage crisis in nearly eight years. Seven suspects including three
police officers were later arrested in connection with a
wide-ranging official enquiry into the abductions on the southern
island of Jolo. Eugenio Vagni (63), Italian Red Cross worker, was
released on July 11. A Swiss and a Filipino, had been freed earlier
in the year by the militants.
(AP, 1/15/09)(AFP, 4/6/09)(AP, 7/11/09)
2009 Jan 15, The US Air Force
began airlifting heavy machinery to Rwandan troops serving in an
international mission in Darfur, the first time the new US Africa
Command has undertaken a large-scale peacekeeper support operation.
2009 Jan 15, Swiss
pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG said it has secured a $486 million
contract to build a new flu vaccine plant in North Carolina.
2009 Jan 15, Togo agreed to
extradite to the US Solano Cortez Jorge, an alleged druglord from
Colombia, who was arrested trying to smuggle hundreds of pounds
(kilograms) of cocaine through this West African nation last year.
2009 Jan 15, In Turkmenistan
Pres. Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov fired almost one-third of his
Cabinet and the head of the state oil company in a large-scale
reshuffle reminiscent of his eccentric predecessor's frequent
2009 Jan 15, Ukraine rejected
Russia's latest request to pipe natural gas westward to increasingly
frustrated EU consumers, deepening the bitter economic and political
dispute that has paralyzed energy shipments to Europe.
2009 Jan 16, A US government
watchdog said 83 of the nation's 100 largest corporations, including
Citigroup, Bank of America and News Corp., had subsidiaries in
offshore tax havens in 2007, and some of the companies received
federal bailout funding.
2009 Jan 16, The US Treasury
Dept. froze the assets of 4 key al-Qaida operatives including Saad
bin Laden, Osama bin Laden’s 3rd son. Mike McConnell, US Director of
National Intelligence, said Saad bin Laden is no longer under arrest
in Iran and is probably in Pakistan.
(WSJ, 1/17/09, p.A2)
2009 Jan 16, Citigroup said it
is splitting into two businesses as it reported a fourth-quarter net
loss of $8.29 billion, its fifth straight quarterly loss.
2009 Jan 16, Bank of America
Corp , posted its first quarterly loss in 17 years and slashed its
dividend, hours after winning a multibillion-dollar lifeline from
the US government to help absorb Merrill Lynch, which lost a record
$15.31 billion in the quarter.
2009 Jan 16, Kellogg Co. of
Battle Creek, Mich., recalled 16 products containing peanut butter
due to possible salmonella contamination as federal officials
confirmed contamination at a Georgia facility that ships peanut
products to 85 food companies. On Jan 21 federal health authorities
confirmed that peanut butter and paste made by a Virginia company
were the sole sources of the outbreak. The Blakely, Ga., facility
was owned by Peanut Corp. of America, based in Lynchburg, Va. In
2013 four former executives of Peanut Corp. were indicted for the
outbreak that left 9 people dead and hundreds sickened.
(SFC, 1/17/09, p.A2)(WSJ, 1/22/09, p.A4)(SFC,
2009 Jan 16, Circuit City, a
bankrupt electronics retailer based in Richmond, Va., said it failed
to find a buyer and will liquidate its 567 US stores resulting in
the loss of some 30,000 jobs. Circuit city’s last day of sales was
on March 8.
(SFC, 1/17/09, p.C1)(SFC, 3/9/09, p.B1)
2009 Jan 16, Artist Andrew
Wyeth (b.1917), American artist, died at his home in the
Philadelphia suburb of Chadds Ford. He had portrayed the hidden
melancholy of the people and landscapes of Pennsylvania's Brandywine
Valley and coastal Maine in works such as "Christina's World."
2009 Jan 16, In Afghanistan 10
people were killed and more than 30 others had to be rescued when
avalanches buried their vehicles in the Salang pass north of Kabul.
2009 Jan 16, An Algerian
customs officer was killed by armed Islamists west of Algiers. The
35-year-old official had his throat slit after being stopped at a
fake barricade put up and manned by about 10 armed Islamists at
Miliana near Ain Defla.
2009 Jan 16, Australia granted
asylum to 28 people from Afghanistan and Iran, in the first such
move since relaxing tough rules on asylum seekers.
2009 Jan 16, British pop star
Boy George (47) was sentenced to 15 months in jail for imprisoning a
Norwegian male escort (29) after a nude photoshoot. The singer and
disc jockey, who stood trial under his real name George O'Dowd,
admitted to police to handcuffing Audun Carlsen to his bed on April
28, 2007, as he investigated the Norwegian's alleged tampering with
2009 Jan 16, Farhad Hakimzadeh,
a wealthy US businessman with a passion for books about the Middle
East, was sentenced to two years in jail for stealing pages from
rare texts at two of Britain's most venerable libraries.
2009 Jan 16, John Mortimer
(b.1923), British lawyer and writer, died. He was the creator of the
curmudgeonly criminal lawyer Rumpole of the Bailey.
2009 Jan 16, In eastern Congo
the leader of a splinter rebel faction said his forces would stop
fighting the government and the two sides would work together to
battle Rwandan militias at the heart of the conflict. Ugandan
rebels, according to the UN, massacred 100 civilians in Tora, a
village in northeast Congo, the latest atrocity blamed on the
(AP, 1/16/09)(AP, 1/29/09)
2009 Jan 16, The EU threatened
new sanctions against Robert Mugabe's government in Zimbabwe, blamed
for political deadlock, a surging cholera epidemic and runaway
inflation. The UN said the death toll from the cholera outbreak had
risen to 2,201 and that the epidemic is still not under control.
2009 Jan 16, Frenchman Lluis
Colet broke the world record for the longest speech after rambling
nonstop for 124 hours about Spanish painter Salvador Dali, Catalan
culture and other topics.
2009 Jan 16, In India a herd of
nearly 150 hungry elephants rampaged through a village in the remote
northeast, trampling to death a young family as they slept in their
2009 Jan 16, In Iraq a Shiite
candidate for provincial elections was assassinated while
campaigning south of Baghdad, underscoring fears that political
rivalries will lead to a spike in violence ahead of a Jan. 31 vote.
2009 Jan 16, Israel said it was
close to winding up its offensive against Hamas, and diplomats in
Washington said the US will provide assurances on ending weapons
smuggling into Gaza as part of a cease-fire. More than 1,100
Palestinians have been killed since the war began on Dec. 27,
including 346 children. Khaled Mashaal, Hamas' political chief,
rejected Israeli conditions for a Gaza cease-fire and demanded an
immediate opening of the besieged territory's borders. Dr. Ezzeldeen
Abu al-Aish (Izzeldin Abuelaish) told Channel 10 that his house in
the northern Gaza strip town of Jebalia had been hit by Israeli
shells and his daughters, ages 22, 15 and 14, were killed along with
a neighbor girl. In 2011 Dr. Abuelaish authored “I Shall Not Hate: A
Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity.
(AP, 1/16/09)(AP, 2/5/09)(Econ, 2/26/11, p.91)
2009 Jan 16, Kenya's president
declared the country's food crisis a national disaster and asked
international donors to contribute $406 million toward emergency
food aid. The US and Britain signed legal agreements with Kenya,
essentially extradition treaties, in which Kenya agreed to try
(AP, 1/16/09)(WSJ, 2/17/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 16, In Lithuania
police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse some
7,000anti-government protesters throwing rocks and eggs at the
Parliament building. They had gathered to demonstrate against
unpopular reforms aimed at combating the Baltic state's deepening
economic crisis. The Finance Ministry announced it intended to
borrow 1 billion euros (US$1.3 billion) from the European Investment
Bank to help plug a yawning budget gap.
2009 Jan 16, Mauritania and
Qatar suspended contacts with Israel to protest the Gaza bloodshed
at an Arab summit that deepened the divisions between pro-US Arab
nations and their rivals in the Middle East.
2009 Jan 16, Mexico’s central
bank, the Bank of Mexico, cut its benchmark interest rate a half
point to 7.75%.
(Econ, 1/24/09, p.42)
2009 Jan 16, Nicaragua’s
Supreme Court overturned former President Arnoldo Aleman's
conviction and 20-year prison sentence for money laundering, ending
a long-running legal saga that has been colored by Nicaragua's
political landscape. Hours later Mr. Aleman’s Liberal Constitutional
Party ended a filibuster in the National Assembly and voted to let
the Sandinistas run the legislature’s affairs.
(AP, 1/16/09)(Econ, 2/21/09, p.40)
2009 Jan 16, South African
police and game park rangers said they have arrested 11 suspects in
an international rhinoceros poaching ring. Some of the rhinos had
their horns hacked from them while they were still alive.
2009 Jan 16, In South Korea
Yonhap news agency said Busan District Court handed a man named Lim
(42) a suspended 30-month sentence for raping his wife (25) at
knifepoint. It was the first time a man in traditionally
male-dominated South Korea has been convicted of marital rape. Lim
was found dead of apparent suicide on Jan 20.
(AP, 1/16/09)(AP, 1/20/09)
2009 Jan 16, The UN Security
Council unanimously adopted a resolution expressing its intention to
establish a UN peacekeeping force in Somalia, but putting off a
decision for several months in order to assess the volatile
situation in the Horn of Africa nation.
2009 Jan 16, In Venezuela a
takeover of the Caracas City Hall began violently when dozens of
armed Chavez supporters wearing ski masks stormed in after shooting
at the building and tying up security guards. Chavez backers
occupied the civil registry and other municipal buildings to protest
Ledezma's decision to cut them off the city payroll. Caracas Mayor
Antonio Ledezma took to working from an undisclosed friend's office.
2009 Jan 17, President-elect
Barack Obama rolled into the capital city after pledging to help
bring the nation "a new Declaration of Independence" and promising
to rise to the stern challenges of the times. He kicked off a
four-day inaugural celebration with a daylong rail trip, retracing
the path Abraham Lincoln took in 1861.
2009 Jan 17, The US Department
of Defense announced that it transferred six detainees out of
Guantanamo, leaving about 245 at the offshore prison. Four detainees
were sent to Iraq, one to Algeria and one to Afghanistan. Since
2002, more than 525 detainees have departed Guantanamo. Haji
Bismullah (29) of Afghanistan had always insisted that he was no
(AP, 1/18/09)(SFC, 1/19/09, p.A4)
2009 Jan 17, A US researcher
who visited the North said North Korea has hardened its stance on
disarmament, saying it has "weaponized" plutonium into warheads, but
hopes for better ties with President-elect Barack Obama.
2009 Jan 17, Susanna Foster
(84), film star, died. Her dozen films included "The Phantom of the
(SFC, 1/21/09, p.B6)
2009 Jan 17, In Afghanistan a
suicide bomb hit outside the German embassy in Kabul, killing four
civilians and wounding dozens of people including a US soldier who
later died of his injuries.
2009 Jan 17, PM Gordon Brown
told British banks they must own up to the extent of their bad
assets amid more reports his government could launch a fresh bailout
of the struggling sector.
2009 Jan 17, Edmund de
Rothschild (93), former chairman of N.M. Rothschild and Sons
merchant bank and a noted horticulturist, died at his home in
2009 Jan 17, A human rights
groups said Ugandan rebels in eastern Congo have ruthlessly killed
at least 620 people in the past month, and vulnerable civilians in
the region desperately need protection. According to Ugandan troops,
the Lord's Resistance Army rebels set fire to a church in the
village of Tora. it was unclear how many people were killed.
(AP, 1/18/09)(AP, 1/19/09)
2009 Jan 17, A helicopter
carrying 10 French soldiers crashed off the coast of Gabon in
central Africa. At least 2 survived and 2 were killed as rescuers
searched for 6 missing.
2009 Jan 17, Iran's state news
IRNA reported that four Iranians have been convicted and sentenced
to prison in an alleged US-backed plot to topple the government.
2009 Jan 17, Israel bombarded
dozens of Hamas targets hours before a government vote on an
Egyptian brokered cease-fire, prompting Egypt to demand an immediate
halt to the 3-week-old Gaza offensive.
2009 Jan 17, Malaysia's
opposition snatched a parliamentary seat from the beleaguered
coalition government, in a by-election seen as a test of the
nation's political mood.
2009 Jan 17, In Tijuana,
Mexico, a prostitute (19) was smothered to death. 2 US sailors,
petty officers Jarrett Monzingo and Joshua Dockery, were taken into
custody and faced murder and attempted-murder charges while being
held at La Mesa Prison.
2009 Jan 17, Two dehydrated men
from Myanmar were found bobbing in an ice box in the Torres Strait
off Australia. They told authorities they had spent 25 days adrift
after their fishing boat sank. There was no sign of 18 other crew
2009 Jan 17, Pakistani security
forces, backed by artillery and tanks, killed 14 Taliban insurgents
in heavy fighting in the Mohmand region on the Afghan border.
2009 Jan 17, Russia and Ukraine
held gas crisis talks in Moscow that the European Union said were
the "last and best chance" to resolve the row that has left Europe
struggling without key gas supplies.
2009 Jan 17, Sri Lanka’s
Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka said troops have almost completely
cornered the Tamil Tigers in their northeastern jungle base and that
the rebels' elusive supremo may already have fled the island.
2009 Jan 17, Near Yemen
hundreds of people were missing and feared dead after three boats
carrying about 400 migrants from Somalia capsized.
2009 Jan 18, Bob May (69),
American TV and film actor, died. He donned the Robot's suit in the
hit 1960s television show "Lost in Space" (1965).
2009 Jan 18, The Polar Mist
unexpectedly sank 25 miles (40 kilometers) off the Argentine coast,
near the mouth of the Straits of Magellan, as it was being tugged to
dry land. 8 crew members had been rescued 2 days earlier. The owners
of its cargo said nearly $22 million in unrefined gold and silver
went down with it, and they asked insurer Lloyd's of London to foot
the bill for the costly recovery operation. Argentine news media and
maritime experts asked whether the precious metals were aboard at
all. On July 14 divers recovered nearly a ton of unrefined silver
from the ship easing suspicions about insurance claims on the
vessel. Divers concluded their mission on August 2 to retrieve 9.5
tons of unrefined gold and silver.
(AP, 4/8/09)(AP, 7/16/09)(AP, 8/3/09)
2009 Jan 18, Australia listed
the world's largest sea turtle, the leatherback, as endangered due
to the threats posed by overfishing and the unsustainable harvesting
of its eggs and meat.
2009 Jan 18, The roof of a
Brazilian church in Sao Paulo caved in shortly after a religious
service, killing 9 people and injuring 106 more.
2009 Jan 18, British television
presenter Tony Hart (83) died. He had charmed generations of
children with his artsy antics.
2009 Jan 18, Central African
Republic President Francois Bozize dissolved the government, after
pledging to form a unity government at recent peace talks.
2009 Jan 18, China’s public
security bureau of Lhasa, Tibet, launched a "strike hard" campaign
against crime, with raids on residential areas, Internet cafes,
bars, rented rooms, hotels and guesthouses.
2009 Jan 18, Denmark said it is
expanding its financial rescue package by lending the country’s
banks and mortgage $17.8 billion.
(SFC, 1/19/09, p.D1)
2009 Jan 18, Dubai said it has
reached a deal with Nigeria to invest in the African nation's
conflict-ravaged oil industry and other sectors of the economy.
2009 Jan 18, In El Salvador
polls ahead of six-party elections indicated the Farabundo Marti
National Liberation Front, a former guerrilla group known as the
FMLN, will increase its 32-seat plurality in the 84-member
legislature while winning the capital and most of the 262 mayors
races up for grabs.
2009 Jan 18, Militants in
Hamas-ruled Gaza agreed to a weeklong cease-fire with Israel, after
three weeks of violence that Palestinian medics say has killed more
than 1,200 people, about half of them civilians. The announcement
came about 12 hours after Israel declared its own unilateral
ceasefire. On March 19 a final tally of Palestinians killed in
Israel's recent war on Gaza's Hamas rulers was reported to be 1,417,
including 926 civilians. A Palestinian human rights groups published
the names, ages and other information about the dead on its Web
(AP, 1/18/09)(AP, 3/19/09)
2009 Jan 18, Kyrgyzstan began
to come under a massive cyber attack attributed to Russian
“cyber-militia." Less than 20% of the country’s 5.3 million
population had online access. Proposed reasons for the attacks
included the US use of an air base for operations in Afghanistan or
a hit on the fledgling Kyrgyz opposition, which has used the
Internet to express its discontent.
(WSJ, 1/28/09, p.A10)
2009 Jan 18, Moldovan poet
Grigore Vieru (b.1935) died in a car crash. He was admired for his
courage in promoting Romanian, the country's native language, when
Moldova was a Soviet republic. In the 1970s, he wrote "The Little
Bee," Moldova's first Romanian-language school manual for young
2009 Jan 18, Nigerian militants
attacked a loading vessel, a tanker and a tug boat at a crude oil
platform operated by Shell in Bonny and took 8 crew members hostage.
One person was killed in the attack. Nigerian rebels holding two
British oil workers said they had moved 3 British hostages to
another location after what it claimed was a botched rescue attempt
by government troops.
(AFP, 1/18/09)(AP, 1/18/09)
2009 Jan 18, Pakistan’s
information minister said the government will push to quickly reopen
girls' schools destroyed by Islamic militants in the northwest Swat
2009 Jan 18, Russia and Ukraine
announced a deal to end the bitter dispute that has blocked Russian
natural gas from Europe following talks between Russian PM Vladimir
Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko. Under the
terms, Ukraine will pay 20 percent less than the European "market
price" price for gas this year, which Russia says is $450 per 1,000
cubic meters. That's more than twice as much as the $179.50 Ukraine
paid in 2008.
2009 Jan 18, The UN-African
Union peacekeeping mission said rebels from the Justice and Equality
Movement have taken control of Muhajaria town in the western Sudan
region of Darfur.
2009 Jan 19, President George
W. Bush In his final acts of clemency granted early prison releases
to Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, two former Texas-based US
Border Patrol agents whose convictions for shooting a Mexican drug
dealer in 2005 fueled the national debate over illegal immigration.
(AP, 1/20/09)(SFC, 1/20/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 19, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai's office said that Russia is ready to cooperate on
defense matters with Afghanistan. The announcement coincided with an
increasingly public tussle between Afghan and Western officials.
2009 Jan 19, The Arab League’s
22 leaders met in Kuwait City for a 2-day session on infrastructure
projects and ways to deal with the global financial crises.
(SFC, 1/19/09, p.D1)
2009 Jan 19, Britain announced
a second rescue plan for the country's ailing banks, hoping to thaw
frozen lending by offering to insure banks against large-scale
losses on bad assets they already hold.
2009 Jan 19, CAR President
Francois Bozize reappointed Faustin-Archange Touadera as prime
minister of Central African Republic, just a day after the president
dissolved the government.
2009 Jan 19, Chile's former top
air force commander was arrested on charges of taking graft in the
1994 sale of 25 Belgian military planes to the government. Air Force
Gen. Ramon Vega and three other retired officers were charged with
tax evasion, misappropriation of public funds and improper
2009 Jan 19, China warned of a
rising bird flu risk after a second person died of the virus in less
than a month, and said it could be especially dangerous as the
nation headed into the Lunar New Year holiday.
2009 Jan 19, China’s state
media reported that nearly 1,000 people have been caught cheating on
China's notoriously competitive civil service entrance exams, some
with high-tech listening devices in their ears.
2009 Jan 19, El Salvador's
chief leftist party lost its stronghold in the capital but was
winning the most seats in the Legislative Assembly.
2009 Jan 19, Some 25 people,
most of them Haitians, were aboard an overloaded boat that was
illegally traveling the 100-mile (160-kilometer) passage from the
Dutch territory of St. Maarten to the British Virgin Islands. They
were apparently island-hopping in hopes of eventually reaching US
shores when the boat hit a reef, pitching passengers into the ocean.
13 migrants were rescued by a passing fishing boat. In September 4
men, two Sri Lankans and two residents of St. Kitts, were convicted
and sentenced to prison terms ranging up to 2 1/2 years for
organizing the doomed sea voyage from St. Maarten.
(AP, 1/21/09)(AP, 9/22/09)
2009 Jan 19, Iran's state news
agency reported that two internationally renowned Iranian AIDS
physicians were among four men sentenced to prison over the weekend
for allegedly participating in a US-backed plot to overthrow Iran's
Islamic regime. Arash and Kamyar Alaei have been held in prison
since June 2008.
2009 Jan 19, Patrick Rocca
(42), Irish property tycoon, was found dead of apparent suicide at
his home near Dublin.
(WSJ, 1/21/09, p.A13)
2009 Jan 19, Israeli officials
said they hope to pull all its troops out of the Gaza Strip by the
time Barack Obama is inaugurated as president of the United States
on Jan 20. This was the last full day of fighting as Hamas fired 19
rockets into Israel. About 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died
in the offensive, which started Dec. 27.
(AP, 1/19/09)(Econ, 1/24/09, p.53)(AP, 2/11/09)
2009 Jan 19, The International
Court of Justice at The Hague ruled that the United States defied
its order when authorities in Texas on Aug 5, 2008, executed a
Mexican convicted of rape and murder.
2009 Jan 19, Militant attacks
killed a Pakistani soldier near the crucial supply route to US and
NATO forces in Afghanistan. Suspected Taliban militants bombed five
schools in a nearby valley in their growing campaign against girls'
2009 Jan 19, Russia released a
text by President Dmitry Medvedev ordering the government to
introduce economic sanctions against countries supplying weapons to
2009 Jan 19, Russia and Ukraine
signed a deal that restores natural gas shipments to Ukraine and
paves the way for an end to the nearly two-week cutoff of most
Russian gas to a freezing Europe.
2009 Jan 19, In Russia
Stanislav Markelov (34), a human-rights lawyer who unsuccessfully
fought the early release of a Russian colonel convicted of murdering
a Chechen woman, was shot dead on a Moscow street along with
reporter Anastasia Baburova (b.1983). Markelov had told reporters he
was considering file an international court appeal against the early
release of Col. Yuri Budanov, who was convicted in 2003 and
sentenced to 10 years, including time served, for strangling
18-year-old Heda Kungayeva in 2000. He admitted to killing her,
saying he believed she was a Chechen insurgent sniper. Budanov was
freed last week with more than a year left on his murder sentence.
On Nov 4 Nikita Tikhonov and a female comrade were detained for the
murder and Tikhonov confessed to the crime. On May 6, 2011, Tikhonov
was sentenced to life in prison, and his girlfriend received an
(AP, 1/19/09)(Econ, 2/7/09, p.79)(AP,
11/6/09)(Econ, 11/14/09, p.63)(AP, 5/6/11)
2009 Jan 19, Rwanda said it was
restoring relations with Germany after a diplomatic spat between the
two countries over Berlin's arrest of a top Rwandan official for
complicity in the 1994 genocide. A Rwandan court passed a life
sentence on Agnes Ntamabyariro, a former justice minister accused of
ordering the killing of Jean Baptiste Habyarimana, a Tutsi official
who opposed Rwanda's 1994 genocide.
(AP, 1/19/09)(AFP, 1/20/09)
2009 Jan 19, The Saudi king
said his country will donate $1 billion to help rebuild the Gaza
Strip after the devastating Israeli offensive and told Israel that
an Arab initiative offering peace will not remain on the table
forever. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency cut its benchmark lending
rate a half point to 2%, and its deposit rate by three-quarters
point to .75%.
(AP, 1/19/09)(WSJ, 1/20/09, p.A11)
2009 Jan 19, An Atheist Bus
Campaign's message, translated into Catalan, began appearing on two
routes in Barcelona, with plans to extend the campaign to the rest
of the country. A campaign with the concise message "There's
probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life," took to the
road in Britain this month. In Italy buses with the slogan "The bad
news is that God does not exist. The good news is that we do not
need him" will begin traversing the northern Italian city of Genoa
on February 4.
2009 Jan 19, In Russia a girl
disappeared after leaving her home in St. Petersburg for school.
Vity prosecutor's spokesman later Sergei Kapitonov she was killed
that night, and that body parts believed to be hers were found in
plastic bags scattered around the city. Yuri Mozhnov (19), a
florist, and Maxim Golovatskikh (19), a street-market butcher, were
arrested on Jan 31 on suspicion of killing her and eating parts of
2009 Jan 19, In Thailand Harry
Nicolaides (41), an Australian writer, was sentenced to three years
in prison for insulting Thailand's royal family in his novel, a rare
conviction of a foreigner amid a crackdown on people and Web sites
deemed critical of the monarchy. Bangkok's Criminal Court sentenced
Nicolaides to six years behind bars but reduced the term because he
had entered a guilty plea. His 2005 book “Verisimilitude" had sold 7
copies. Nicolaides returned home on Feb 21, after he was granted a
(AP, 1/19/09)(SFC, 1/20/09, p.A3)(AP, 2/21/09)
2009 Jan 19, In Turkey
Abdulkarim Kirca committed suicide. He was found shot in the head in
his apartment in Ankara, following allegations in the Turkish press
that he had been involved in extra-judicial killings of Kurds.
2009 Jan 19, The United Arab
Emirates central bank cut its benchmark lending rate a half point to
(WSJ, 1/20/09, p.A11)
2009 Jan 19, In Zimbabwe
Southern African mediators tried to forge a compromise between
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his rival Morgan Tsvangirai, in
a last-ditch effort to save a power-sharing deal. The power-sharing
talks ended without a deal and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
said no progress was made on what he called the "darkest day of our
(AFP, 1/19/09)(Reuters, 1/20/09)
2009 Jan 20, In Washington DC
some 2 million people packed the National Mall to celebrate the
inauguration of Barack Obama as America's 44th and first black
president. “The Question we ask today is not whether government is
too big or too small, but whether it works." Obama's new
administration ordered all federal agencies and departments to stop
any pending regulations until they can be reviewed by incoming
staff, halting last-minute Bush orders.
(AP, 1/20/09)(Reuters, 1/20/09)(SFC, 1/21/09,
2009 Jan 20, The head of US
Central Command said the US has struck deals with Russia and
neighboring countries allowing it to transport supplies to American
troops in Afghanistan through their territory. US officials have
said that one likely route is overland from Russia through
Kazakhstan and on through Uzbekistan using trucks and trains.
Another possible route is via Azerbaijan across the Caspian Sea to
the Kazakh port of Aktau and then through Uzbekistan.
2009 Jan 20, State Attorney
General Jerry Brown said California will get $54 million as its
share of a national settlement with drug maker Eli Lilly & Co.
for marketing the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa for unapproved uses.
Lilly agreed to pay $1.415 billion to US state and the federal
government, the largest recovery in a health care fraud case in US
(SFC, 1/21/09, p.A21)
2009 Jan 20, In SF Edgar Diaz
(23), a member of the Down Below Gang, was sentenced to 40 years in
federal prison after admitting that he took part in 3 murders:
Beverly Robinson in April 2004, and Kenya Taylor and Antoine Morgan
in June 2004.
(SFC, 1/21/09, p.B2)
2009 Jan 20, Jack Markell
(b.1960) began serving as governor of Delaware. He made education
reform a centerpiece of his tenure.
(Econ, 3/16/13, SR
2009 Jan 20, Chrysler and
Italy’s Fiat confirmed they had reached an agreement on an alliance
that would give Fiat a 35% stake in Chrysler, but only if Chrysler
gets $3 billion more in financial help from Washington.
(WSJ, 1/21/09, p.B1)
2009 Jan 20, US software
protection firm F-Secure said a computer worm known as "Conficker"
or "Downadup" had infected more than nine million computers and was
spreading at a rate of one million machines daily.
2009 Jan 20, In Afghanistan the
coalition said a nighttime raid had killed 19 militants, including
Mullah Patang, a locally feared leader, during an operation in the
Tagab Valley, in Kapisa province just 30 miles (50 kilometers) north
of Kabul. The Afghan news agency Pajhwok quoted villagers saying 25
civilians had been killed. On Jan 27 US commanders traveled to the
village and distributed $40,000 to relatives of 15 people killed in
the US raid. The Americans also apologized for any civilians killed
in the operation.
(AP, 1/21/09)(AP, 1/28/09)
2009 Jan 20, In Belgium the
“Entropa" art installation at the EU headquarters, by Czech artist
David Cerny, covered up the part that showed Bulgaria as a squat
toilet after protests from the aggrieved nation.
2009 Jan 20, The Bank of Canada
cut its key interest rate by a half-point to a fresh 50-year low of
1 percent, as expected, and predicted a period of falling prices
this year as an economic recession takes hold.
2009 Jan 20, The Central
African Republic's main opposition grouping said it refused to join
PM Faustin-Archange Touadera's government because he failed to play
by allegedly established rules.
2009 Jan 20, In Chechnya
Hundreds of people rallied in Grozny to protest the slaying of
Stanislav Markelov (34), a lawyer who opposed the early release of a
Russian army officer convicted of strangling an 18-year-old Chechen
2009 Jan 20, In central China a
16-year-old boy infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus died, the
country's third fatality from the disease this month.
2009 Jan 20, Hundreds of
Rwandan troops rolled into the Democratic Republic of Congo to join
Congolese forces hunting Rwandan rebels operating there since 1994.
2009 Jan 20, In Iraq the
spokesman of PM al-Maliki said Iraq is willing to have the US
withdraw all its troops and assume security for the country before
the end of 2011, the departure date agreed to by former Pres. George
W. Bush. In Baghdad 2 bombings left 5 people dead.
(AP, 1/21/09)(SFC, 1/21/09, p.A22)
2009 Jan 20, In Japan Toyota
tapped Akio Toyoda, grandson of the automaker's founder, as
president, paying homage to its roots at a time when the company
faces its first operating loss in 70 years.
2009 Jan 20, In Kuwait the
deeply divided Arab League failed to come up with a plan to
reconstruct the devastated Gaza Strip and could not agree on whether
to back Egyptian peace efforts to end the crisis.
2009 Jan 20, Mexican
prosecutors said three heads were found in an ice box south of
Ciudad Juarez, which lies across from El Paso, Texas. The heads
belonged to three unidentified men and were found in a rural town
about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Ciudad Juarez. A headless body
was discovered in a canal a few miles (kilometers) away. Mexican
federal police said they have found 3 suspected drug tunnels under
construction in Nogales near the Arizona border.
2009 Jan 20, Pakistani police
said suspected Taliban militants killed six alleged US spies in a
lawless region of northwest Pakistan where American missile attacks
have reportedly killed several al-Qaida leaders in recent months. A
bomb wounded five police officers in Peshawar, the capital of North
West Frontier Province. An industry official said bus drivers in
northwest Pakistan have begun removing audio and video equipment
from their vehicles after Taliban militants threatened suicide
attacks against those who played music or movies for their
(AP, 1/20/09)(AP, 1/21/09)
2009 Jan 20, In Gaza UN chief
Ban Ki-moon voiced sorrow and frustration over the suffering of
civilians during Israel’s 3-week war on Hamas rulers. Ismail Radwan,
a Hamas legislator, celebrated the blood battles as proof of Hamas
strength and defiance.
(SFC, 1/21/09, p.A21)
2009 Jan 20, Russian gas
reached Europe via Ukraine for the first time in two weeks after
Moscow and Kiev ended a contract row that cut supplies to about 20
2009 Jan 20, Saudi Arabia’s
prince Alwaleed bin Talal said his conglomerate Kingdom Holding Co.
lost about $7.9 billion in 2008.
(WSJ, 1/21/09, p.A11)
2009 Jan 20, Abdullahi Yusuf
(75), Somalia's former president and an ex-warlord who was forced
from government, arrived in Yemen in a private jet from his
impoverished homeland, seeking political asylum. Islamic insurgents
and Somali forces clashed in Mogadishu, killing at least 14 people
in the latest sign the Islamists are making inroads into the few
areas the UN-backed government still controls.
(AP, 1/21/09)(AP, 1/21/09)
2009 Jan 20, South Korean
police commandos stormed a vacant office building occupied by
displaced tenants in central Seoul, sparking a clash and a blaze
that killed six people and injured 23.
2009 Jan 20, In Spain 6 people
of Pakistani origin were arrested on suspicion of "fraud" in
Barcelona. They were suspected of financing terrorist activities by
carrying out thefts and sending money raised from criminal
activities to Pakistan.
2009 Jan 20, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez challenged President Barack Obama to remake US
policy toward Latin America, but said he isn't holding out much hope
for major changes. Police used tear gas, plastic bullets and a water
cannon to break up a protest by university students against Chavez's
attempt to eliminate term limits.
2009 Jan 21, President Barack
Obama's first public act in office was to institute new limits on
lobbyists in his White House and to freeze the salaries of high-paid
aides, in a nod to the country's economic turmoil. A judge quickly
granted President Barack Obama's request to suspend the war crimes
trial at Guantanamo of a young Canadian in what may be the beginning
of the end for the Bush administration's system of trying alleged
terrorists. Obama took the oath of office again with Chief Justice
John Roberts to correct the previous day’s initial flub in wording.
In the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government President
Obama instructed the Director of the Office of Management and Budget
(OMB) to issue an Open Government Directive. On Dec 8, 2009, a
memorandum was issued implement this.
(AP, 1/21/09)(Econ, 5/26/12,
2009 Jan 21, Rev. John Skehan
(81), one of two Florida priests accused of embezzling hundreds of
thousands of dollars from their church, pleaded guilty as jury
selection was set to begin in the case. Prosecutors said he and Rev.
Francis Guinan plucked cash from the offering plate and spent it on
upscale homes, gambling trips to Las Vegas with a mistress, even a
$275,000 rare coin collection. On March 24 Skehan was sentenced to
14 months in prison. On March 25 Guinan was sentenced to 4 years in
(AP, 1/21/09)(SFC, 1/22/09, p.A3)(SFC, 3/25/09,
p.A7)(SFC, 3/26/09, p.A6)
2009 Jan 21, Arizona’s
Republican Sec of State, Janice Brewer (b.1944), became governor
after Democrat Janet Napolitano vacated her office to become Pres.
Obama’s Sec. of Homeland Security.
2009 Jan 21, Haydar Al-Shukri,
the director of the Arkansas Earthquake Center at the University of
Arkansas at Little Rock, said a previously unknown fault, could
trigger a magnitude 7 earthquake with an epicenter near a major
natural gas pipeline.
2009 Jan 21, In Missouri a
father was arrested in Daviess County after two sealed coolers with
the remains of two infants were found. a third child is believed to
have died in Oklahoma. A surviving child, a 3-year-old boy, was in
state custody. The man was suspected of fathering four children with
his teenage daughter and faced charges of killing at least one after
human remains were discovered at their rural home.
2009 Jan 21, In Portland,
Oregon, officials said they would begin a criminal investigation
into newly elected Mayor Sam Adams (45), who admitted shortly after
taking office on January 1 that he had lied during his campaign
about a sexual relationship with a much younger gay man.
(WSJ, 1/24/09, p.A4)
2009 Jan 21, In Blacksburg,
Virginia, Haiyang Zhu (25), a Chinese doctoral student at Virginia
Tech, decapitated Xin Yang, a new Chinese graduate student.
(SFC, 1/23/09, p.A4)
2009 Jan 21, Charles Schneer
(b.1920), Hollywood film producer, died in Florida. His 25 films
included “It Came From Beneath the Sea" (1955) and “Hellcats of the
(SFC, 1/27/09, p.B4)
2009 Jan 21, In Afghanistan a
suicide bomber attacked a wedding party in the northern province of
Baghlan, wounding five children and a district police chief. A
suicide car bomber detonated his explosives near an Afghan army
convoy in western Afghanistan, killing two troops.
2009 Jan 21, Scientists
reported that the entire Antarctic continent has been gradually
warming since at least 1957.
(SFC, 1/22/09, p.A10)
2009 Jan 21, Brazil’s central
bank cut its benchmark overnight rate, the Selic rate, to 12.75%,
the highest rate in the America’s, even considering its nearly 7%
(WSJ, 1/22/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 21, Official data
showed Britain's economy is weakening fast, with more figures due
this week expected to confirm the country has sunk into recession
for the first time since 1991.
2009 Jan 21, Germany banned the
production, sale or possession of a synthetic marijuana-like drug
known as "Spice," effective as of Jan 22, becoming the 4th nation to
ban the substance, marketed as an herbal room-freshener, after
Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
2009 Jan 21, In northeastern
India an Assam Rifles paramilitary soldier shot and killed six of
his colleagues, then fled their military camp in a remote and
2009 Jan 21, In Iraq a top
Sunni politician escaped assassination in a Baghdad car bombing that
killed at least 2 other people. Samira Ahmed Jassim (nickname Umm
al-Mumineen), a woman suspected of recruiting more than 80 female
suicide bombers, was arrested, dealing a major blow to one of the
most effective forms of attacks in Iraq.
(WSJ, 1/22/09, p.A1)(AP, 2/3/09)
2009 Jan 21, The last Israeli
troops left the Gaza Strip before dawn, as Israel dispatched its
foreign minister to Europe in a bid to rally international support
to end arms smuggling into the Hamas-ruled territory. The
Palestinian Center for Human Rights released a final tally, saying
1,284 Gazans were killed and 4,336 wounded, the vast majority
civilians. Israel's military said it will investigate charges that
its forces used phosphorous shells in a way that burned civilians
during the fighting in Gaza. Hamas officials conceded that they are
executing Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel during
the 3-week invasion. Fatah officials said at least 19 of its members
have been executed and more brutally tortured. On Sep 9, 2009, the
Israeli rights group B'Tselem published figures it said were
compiled in months of research, including visits to families of
victims. It said 1,387 Gazans were killed, including 773 civilians
(including 252 children younger than 16) and 330 combatants. 13
Israelis also died, including 4 civilians.
(AP, 1/21/09)(SFC, 1/22/09, p.A3)(AP, 9/9/09)
2009 Jan 21, Kosovo armed
forces took over security duties, less than a year after the
territory declared independence and in the face of strong protests
2009 Jan 21, Indonesia’s Health
Ministry said 2 people have died of bird flu, apparently after
contact with sick chickens, raising the country's death toll to 115.
2009 Jan 21, In Nigeria the
best-known militant group in the Niger Delta said one of its allies
carried out an attack on a tanker in southern Nigeria in which one
Romanian crewman was taken hostage. He was soon released. The MT
Meredith, loaded with 4,000 tons of diesel, was attacked by gunmen
in speedboats and sustained "massive damage" during the attack.
(AFP, 1/21/09)(AFP, 1/22/09)
2009 Jan 21, North Korea and
Iran, two nations with nuclear aspirations the US wants to thwart,
both signaled that they were open to new initiatives from President
Barack Obama that could defuse tensions.
2009 Jan 21, In Pakistan a
Saudi called Zabi ul Taifi was among seven Al-Qaida suspects caught
when government forces mounted a raid near the northwestern city of
2009 Jan 21, Portugal became
the 3rd euro zone country this month, after Spain and Greece, to
have its credit rating cut by Standard & Poor’s.
(WSJ, 1/22/09, p.A9)
2009 Jan 21, Russia's military
said that an old Soviet-built nuclear-powered satellite has spewed
fragments in orbit, but insisted they do not threaten the
international space station or people on Earth.
2009 Jan 21, Sri Lanka's
military declared a "safety zone" to enable some 250,000 trapped
civilians to cross into government-controlled territory from the
diminishing area held by Tamil Tiger rebels in the war-torn north.
2009 Jan 21, Three relatives of
Taiwan's former president Chen Shui-bian pleaded guilty to charges
of money laundering, as part of a massive corruption case in which
the ex-leader has been implicated.
2009 Jan 21, Zimbabwe activists
launched a hunger strike to demand faster political change and urge
African leaders to isolate the country's president, Robert Mugabe,
who is accused of overseeing its political and economic collapse.
2009 Jan 22, President Obama
signed an executive order to shutter Guantanamo within one year,
fulfilling his campaign promise to close a facility that critics
around the world say violates the rights of detainees. Obama also
banned the CIA from operating secret prisons.
(AP, 1/22/09)(WSJ, 1/23/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 22, Pres. Obama named
George Mitchell as envoy to the Mideast and Richard Holbrook as
envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
(WSJ, 1/23/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 22, US federal agents
raided Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense systems, 2 small
Pennsylvania defense contractors. They were given millions in
federal funding by Rep. John Murtha, chairman of the defense
appropriations committee. In 2007 the WSJ identified Murtha as the
largest earmarker in the House.
(WSJ, 1/23/09, p.A6)
2009 Jan 22, John Thain (53),
former head of Merrill Lynch, was forced out of top job at Bank of
America, after it was revealed that he had approved multi-million
bonuses for Merrill executives in the wake of big quarterly losses
ahead of its acquisition by Bank of America.
(WSJ, 1/23/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 22, In Bangladesh the
Awami League won a landslide victory in the country’s 481 upazilas
(subdistricts). Three people were killed, 150 injured and voter
intimidation was rife.
(Econ, 1/31/09, p.50)
2009 Jan 22, In Bolivia the
government of President Evo Morales began publishing its own
newspaper "Cambio" (Change). Morales grew so irked at the local
press last month that he said he would no longer hold press
conferences for local reporters and said that only 10 percent of
journalists are "honorable."
2009 Jan 22, Asian economic
gloom worsened when China said growth plunged in the final quarter
of 2008 while Japan said exports fell at a record pace in December
amid weakening Western consumer demand.
2009 Jan 22, A Chinese court
condemned two men to death and gave a dairy boss life in prison in
the first sentences handed down in the tainted milk scandal, which
ignited public anger and accusations of cover-ups.
2009 Jan 22, Congolese and
Rwandan troops advanced on the headquarters of Tutsi rebel leader,
Laurent Nkunda, as Kinshasa used its neighbor to smother a rebellion
in eastern DR Congo. Rwanda arrested Congo rebel leader Laurent
Nkunda after he fled a joint operation launched by the armies of the
(AP, 1/22/09)(AP, 1/23/09)
2009 Jan 22, Estonia said it
will end its nearly six-year military mission in Iraq after it
failed to agree with the Iraqi government on terms for its troop
2009 Jan 22, European Union
antitrust regulators said they raided Slovakia's main telecom
operator last week on suspicion of monopoly abuse.
2009 Jan 22, In Germany Klaus
Zumwinkel (65), the former chief executive of Deutsche Post,
admitted in court that he evaded taxes by squirreling money away in
Liechtenstein, calling it the greatest mistake of his life. A court
on Jan 26 convicted Zumwinkel of tax evasion, giving him a two-year
suspended sentence and a hefty fine.
(AP, 1/22/09)(AP, 1/26/09)
2009 Jan 22, In Iraq gunmen
killed eight members of a Sunni family and kidnapped two others in a
tense area northeast of Baghdad where Shiite militiamen still
operate. A US soldier was killed in a non-combat vehicle accident.
2009 Jan 22, Israel said it is
lifting restrictions on foreign journalists entering the Gaza Strip,
a ban that had drawn strong criticism from news media.
2009 Jan 22, Mexico inaugurated
one of the world’s largest wind farms, a $550 million project built
by Spain’s Acciona Energia.
(SFC, 1/23/09, p.A4)
2009 Jan 22, In Mexico a man
accused of helping a drug kingpin dispose of hundreds of victims by
dissolving their bodies in caustic soda was arrested in the border
city of Tijuana. Authorities said Santiago Meza Lopez confessed to
disposing of at least 300 bodies over a decade. Army troops acting
on a tip raided a chili-drying warehouse, belonging to the brother
of Zacatecas state Sen. Ricardo Monreal, and found people loading
marijuana onto trucks. More than 11.4 tons of the drug were seized
at the plant, near the city of Fresnillo.
(AP, 1/23/09)(AP, 1/29/09)
2009 Jan 22, NATO's Secretary
General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said President Barack Obama's plan to
nearly double American troop numbers in Afghanistan needs to be
matched by a similar surge in development workers and aid funding.
2009 Jan 22, Hundreds of
workers toiled in southern Gaza to repair dozens of tunnels dug
under tents or fake greenhouses while smugglers brought in food and
fuel just days after Israel ended a barrage of bombs and missiles
aimed at cutting off the supply route from Egypt.
2009 Jan 22, Russia's Central
Bank said it will widen the ruble's trading range to allow an
effective 10 percent devaluation of the national currency.
2009 Jan 22, The Sri Lankan
military shelled a village and a makeshift hospital inside a
government-declared "safe zone" for civilians in the north, killing
at least 30 people and injuring scores of others, according to local
2009 Jan 22, Sudanese troops
battled with rebels in southern Darfur, and the fighting killed five
rebels and two soldiers.
2009 Jan 22, Turkey’s police
detained 39 more suspects in a new wave of arrests connected with
Ergenekon, an alleged secularist plot to bring down the
(AP, 1/22/09)(Econ, 1/31/09, p.58)
2009 Jan 23, President Barack
Obama struck down the Bush administration's “global gag rule," a ban
on giving federal money to international groups that perform
abortions or provide abortion information, an inflammatory policy
that has bounced in and out of law for the past quarter-century.
(AP, 1/24/09)(WSJ, 1/24/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 23, Pres. Obama
authorized his first drone strikes. The targets were in the
Waziristan region of Pakistan. One of the strikes hit the wrong
target killing at least 5 civilians.
(Econ, 7/9/16, p.21)
2009 Jan 23, US federal
fisheries regulators announced rules to protect marine mammals
during Navy sonar training along the Atlantic coast and in the Gulf
of Mexico. Similar regulations were issued previously by the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration covering the West
Coast and Hawaii.
(SFC, 1/24/09, p.A2)(AP, 1/24/09)
2009 Jan 23, Gov. David
Paterson picked Democratic US Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to fill New
York's vacant US Senate seat, a day after Caroline Kennedy abruptly
withdrew from consideration.
2009 Jan 23, Joseph Bruno (79),
former majority leader of the New York Senate, was indicted on
federal corruption charges.
(SFC, 1/24/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 23, Geron Corp., a
Menlo Park, Ca., biotechnology company, announced that it had
received a FDA clearance to mount a study of its stem cell treatment
for spinal cord injuries in up to 10 patients.
(WSJ, 1/23/09, p.A12)
2009 Jan 23, In Afghanistan a
NATO soldier died in a bomb blast in the south of the country.
Taliban militants attacked a police post in Kandahar province
sparking a battle in which three policemen died. A roadside bomb
blast struck a joint Afghan army and NATO forces convoy in western
Farah province, killing an Afghan soldier and wounding five NATO
2009 Jan 23, In Australia
rescuers poured water on the parched skin of sperm whales beached on
a remote sand bank on Perkins Island to keep them alive until the
next high tide. All 45 whales died with 2 days.
(AP, 1/23/09)(AP, 1/24/09)(AP, 1/25/09)
2009 Jan 23, Authorities in the
Bahamas charged an island lawmaker and detained two other people in
an alleged plot to extort money from actor John Travolta after the
death of his son. Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater, an attorney from Grand
Bahama, was arrested a day earlier and charged with abetment to
extort and conspiracy to extort.
2009 Jan 23, In Belgium Kim De
Gelder went on a rampage at a day care center, stabbing two young
children and a female worker to death and slashing 10 other children
all over their bodies.
(AP, 1/23/09)(AP, 3/22/13)
2009 Jan 23, Bolivia’s Pres.
Evo Morales seized control of Pan-American Energy’s local natural
gas producer and warned other privately owned companies they would
face similar fates if they do not comply with Bolivian laws.
(WSJ, 1/24/09, p.A6)
2009 Jan 23, The British
economy was officially declared in recession as a galloping economic
crisis has driven down the value of the British pound to a 23-year
low and threatened to remake the country's political landscape.
(McClatchy Newspapers, 1/23/09)
2009 Jan 23, Colombia's
national police chief said that fugitive drug boss Daniel Rendon,
the country's leading drug lord, has offered assassins a bounty of
$1,000 for each police officer they kill. The defense minister said
another 10 Colombian soldiers have been fired for negligence in
connection with the killings of civilians to inflate guerrilla
casualty figures. A major was the highest ranking of the 10
cashiered soldiers from the Popa Battalion in the northern city of
2009 Jan 23, Indian PM Manmohan
Singh was hospitalized and will undergo heart bypass surgery after
doctors found blocked arteries.
2009 Jan 23, Iraqi Foreign
Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said Turkey, Iraq and the United States
have agreed to set up a joint command center in northern Iraq to
gather intelligence to fight Kurdish PKK rebels in the region.
2009 Jan 23, Iraq's top
security official called a decision by his government to close Camp
Ashraf, housing some 3,500 members of an armed Iranian opposition
group north of Baghdad "irreversible," saying the Iraqi authorities
do not allow anti-Iran activities on their soil. Members of the
terrorist People's Mujahedeen, known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, will
either be deported to Iran or be given the option of going to a
third country. A bomb hidden inside a traffic police booth exploded
in western Baghdad, killing a 7-year-old boy and wounding his
2009 Jan 23, Japan’s space
agency (JAXA) launched Ibuki (breath), the first satellite dedicated
to monitoring carbon dioxide emissions. Officials hoped to gather
information on climate change and help the country compete in the
lucrative satellite-launching business.
(AP, 1/23/09)(Econ, 2/14/09, p.90)
2009 Jan 23, Officials said
Liberia's worst caterpillar plague in three decades has spread to
neighboring Guinea after swarms of the crop-eating insects
devastated more than 45 towns.
2009 Jan 23, In northern Norway
an off-duty police officer shot and killed his ex-girlfriend with
another officer's service pistol, then critically wounded himself
outside the elementary school where she was a student teacher.
2009 Jan 23, In Pakistan 2
suspected US missile attacks killed 14 people just east of the
Afghan border. At least five victims were identified as foreign
militants. A suicide attack and a roadside bomb killed two soldiers
and three civilians in the Swat Valley.
2009 Jan 23, In Puerto Rico
three of five co-defendants reached plea agreements days after
another co-defendant, former Acevedo aide Eneidy Coreano, agreed to
testify in a federal corruption trial against former Gov. Anibal
Acevedo Vila and have her charges dropped.
2009 Jan 23, Said Ali
al-Shihri, a Saudi man released from Guantanamo after spending
nearly six years inside the US prison camp, is now the No. 2 of
Yemen's al-Qaida branch, according to a purported Internet statement
from the terror network.
2009 Jan 23, In Sri Lanka
assailants on motorbikes attacked and wounded a newspaper editor and
his wife as they drove to work, the latest in a string of assault on
2009 Jan 23, In Zimbabwe city
workers in Harare began an indefinite strike, demanding to be paid
in hard currency. President Robert Mugabe's ruling party refused to
budge on opposition demands for a unity government, whose fate
hinges on the outcome of a regional summit next week. The WHO said
cholera in Zimbabwe has so far killed 2,773 people.
(AP, 1/23/09)(AFP, 1/23/09)
2009 Jan 24, President Barack
Obama took to the airwaves to promote his economic aid plan in
what's-it-mean-to-me terms: thousands of better schools, lower
electricity bills, health coverage for millions who lose insurance.
2009 Jan 24, In Las Vegas Miss
Indiana Katie Stam was crowned Miss America 2009 by Miss America
2008 Kirsten Haglund.
2009 Jan 24, In Kansas two
people were killed and seven wounded in a shooting on the ninth day
of the wake at a house in Wichita.
2009 Jan 24, In eastern
Afghanistan US-led coalition forces killed 15 militants in an
overnight operation in Laghman province. Local legislators put the
number of dead at more than 20 and said they included women and
2009 Jan 24, Bahamas Sen.
Pleasant Bridgewater, accused of trying to extort money from actor
John Travolta after his son's death, resigned and vowed to prove her
2009 Jan 24, Mariana Bridi
(20), Brazilian model, died from complications related to a
generalized infection caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The bacteria is known to be resistant to multiple kinds of
antibiotics. The infection reduced the flow of oxygen to her limbs,
causing her feet to be amputated last week and her hands this week.
2009 Jan 24, China announced
the death of a 31-year-old woman from bird flu, its fourth human
victim this year, sparking fears of an outbreak during the country's
main festive season.
2009 Jan 24, In El Salvador
final results showed that the former leftist rebels won more seats
than any other party in legislative elections but fell short of a
2009 Jan 24, In India a
right-wing Hindu nationalist group, outraged by what they viewed as
"obscene" behavior, stormed a fashionable bar in the southern city
of Mangalore and the assaulted female patrons. The Sri Ram Sena
(Lord Ram's Army) claimed responsibility for the attack.
2009 Jan 24, In Iraq a suicide
car bomber struck a police patrol in the former insurgent stronghold
of Karmah west of Baghdad, killing four people, including a senior
officer, and wounding six others. Gunmen opened fire on a checkpoint
south of the capital manned by government-backed Sunni fighters who
have joined forces with the Americans against al-Qaida in Iraq. Two
of the so-called Sons of Iraq were killed in the attack in Jurf
al-Sakr and two others were wounded. North of Baghdad a man and a
woman were killed and a child was wounded during a US-Iraqi military
operation in Hawija.
2009 Jan 24, In Italy some 600
migrants and refugees broke out of an overcrowded immigration
facility on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa to protest their
treatment. The migrants returned to the facility after several
2009 Jan 24, Pakistan urged
President Barack Obama to halt US missile strikes on al-Qaida
strongholds near the Afghan border, saying that civilians were
killed the previous day in the first attacks since Obama's
2009 Jan 24, In Singapore a
couple treated open air diners to a 15-minute naked parade,
triggering both embarrassment and applause for a scene almost
unheard of in the conservative city-state. The couple, a Caucasian
man and an ethnic Chinese woman in their 20s, were arrested and
released on bail.
2009 Jan 24, In Somalia 17
people were killed in Mogadishu by a suicide car bomb targeting
African Union peacekeepers. The dead included a police officer, who
tried to stop the suicide bomber’s car. A gunfight between
peacekeepers and insurgents followed left 5 more dead.
(AFP, 1/24/09)(AFP, 1/26/09)
2009 Jan 24, In South Korea
Kang Ho-sun (38) was arrested at his workplace in Ansan, a city
about 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of Seoul, in connection with
the killing of a student who disappeared last month. Her body was
found in a nearby town the next day. Kang later confessed to
kidnapping and killing the student and then admitted to slaying six
other women between December 2006 and December 2008.
2009 Jan 24, A storm killed 11
people in Spain, including four children who were killed when a
sports center collapsed near Barcelona, and four in France as high
winds swept across Spain and southern France.
(AP, 1/24/09)(AP, 1/25/09)
2009 Jan 24, Sudanese
government planes bombed a key town in south Darfur, a week after it
was seized by Darfuri JEM rebels. The next day peacekeepers said the
bomb attack killed and wounded civilians.
(Reuters, 1/24/09)(Reuters, 1/25/09)
2009 Jan 24, Pope Benedict
rehabilitated four traditionalist bishops who lead the far-right
Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), which has about 600,000 members and
rejects modernizations of Roman Catholic worship and doctrine. One
of the four, British-born Richard Williamson, has made statements
denying the full extent of the Nazi Holocaust of European Jews, as
accepted by mainstream historians.
2009 Jan 25, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai condemned a US operation he said killed 16 civilians,
while hundreds of villagers in Laghman province denounced the
American military during an angry demonstration.
2009 Jan 25, Bolivians easily
approved a new constitution aimed at increasing their strength while
allowing leftist President Evo Morales a shot at staying in power
through 2014. The proposed document grants new rights to more than 5
million indigenous inhabitants of 35 distinct “nations." It would
create a new Congress with seats reserved for Bolivia's smaller
indigenous groups and eliminates any mention of the Roman Catholic
Church, instead recognizing and honoring the Pachamama, an Andean
(AP, 1/25/09)(SSFC, 1/25/09, p.A6)(AP, 1/26/09)
2009 Jan 25, In China a Richter
scale 5.0 earthquake hit an area inhabited by the Xibe people. It
destroyed nearly 200 homes and damaged nearly 3,000 buildings. The
community, originally from Manchuria, had established a frontier
garrison in Xinjiang during the Qing dynasty.
2009 Jan 25, Indian police shot
dead two suspected militants from Pakistan in a pre-dawn car chase
near New Delhi.
2009 Jan 25, Liberia’s Ministry
of Agriculture said it has set up a command post and called on
international experts to help fight an invasion by millions of
crop-devouring caterpillars that are eating their way across the
country with dire economic consequences.
2009 Jan 25, In Mexico Chiapas
state Attorney General Raciel Lopez said Mariano Herran has been
charged with embezzling funds while working as Chiapas economy
secretary last year. Herran was Mexico's drug czar from 1997 to
2000, replacing Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, who was convicted of
aiding a top drug lord.
2009 Jan 25, Sri Lankan troops
overran the last town controlled by Tamil rebels, striking a major
blow in Asia's longest-running ethnic conflict.
2009 Jan 25, An avalanche
slammed into a group of Turkish hikers on a trip to a remote
mountain plateau, dragging them more than (1640 feet) 500 meters
into a valley and fatally burying 10 of them.
2009 Jan 25, A small ferry
overloaded with holiday shoppers sank in central Vietnam, killing at
least 40 people ahead of the traditional Lunar New Year. Most of the
dead were women and children.
2009 Jan 26, President Barack
Obama said the nation can't afford "distractions" or "delays" when
it comes to the economic stimulus plan working its way through
Congress. He also ordered the government to re-examine whether
California and other states should be allowed to have tougher auto
emission standards, a clean break from Bush administration policy.
2009 Jan 26, The US Senate
voted 60-34 to confirm Timothy Geithner (b.1961) as Treasury
(WSJ, 1/27/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 26, The US Supreme
Court ruled unanimously that managers cannot retaliate against
employees whop cooperate with discrimination probes.
(WSJ, 1/27/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 26, Fannie Mae
estimated that it would need a capital infusion of 11-16 billion
dollars from the US Treasury to cover losses related to home
(WSJ, 1/27/09, p.A4)
2009 Jan 26, Illinois Gov. Rod
Blagojevich skipped the start of his impeachment trial preferring to
make his case on national TV.
(WSJ, 1/27/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 26, Two Pennsylvania
judges were charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to
send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers.
Prosecutors later said Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella (58)
and Michael Conahan (56) took $2.6 million in payoffs to put
juvenile offenders in lockups run by PA Child Care LLC and a sister
company, Western PA Child Care LLC. Conahan soon pleaded guilty to a
single count of racketeering. The “kids for cash" trial against
Ciavarella began in 2011. On Feb 18, 2011, Ciavarella was convicted
of racketeering. On Aug 11, 2011, Ciavarella was sentenced to 28
years in prison. On Sep 23 Conahan was sentenced to 17.5 years in
prison. On Nov 4, 2011, Robert Powell, the former owner of 2-for
profit juvenile detention centers, was sentenced to 18 months in
prison for his role in the scheme. In 2014 builder Robert Mericle
was sentenced to a year in jail and fined $250k for his role in the
kids for cash scandal. On August 10, 2015, a federal judge approved
a $4.75 million settlement between Powell and some 2,400 juveniles.
(AP, 2/11/09)(SFC, 2/7/11, p.A4)(SFC, 2/19/11,
p.A6)(SFC, 8/12/11, p.A5)(SFC, 9/24/11, p.A4)(SFC, 11/5/11,
p.A5)(SFC, 4/26/14, p.A6)(SFC, 8/13/15, p.A6)
2009 Jan 26, Nicholas Cosmo,
founder of Agape World Inc., was arrested for running a Ponzi scheme
that bilked investors of an estimated $370 million. His Long Island,
NY, firm promised profits of 48-80% a year.
2009 Jan 26, Caterpillar Inc
announced it would cut nearly 20,000 jobs and warned of a tough year
ahead as a downturn that began in the United States metastasized
into a full-blown global recession, gutting orders for earth-moving
equipment. At least 1,500 of the lost jobs were in greater Peoria,
(Reuters, 1/26/09)(Econ, 2/21/09, p.37)
2009 Jan 26, Halliburton said
is has agreed to pay $559 million to the US to settle charges that
one of its former units bribed Nigerian officials during the
construction of a gas plant.
(WSJ, 1/27/09, p.B3)
2009 Jan 26, Home Depot Inc.
announced plans to eliminate 7,000 jobs while closing four dozen
stores under its smaller home improvement brands as the recession
continues to batter the nation's housing market. Its shares climbed
more than 5 percent in morning trading.
2009 Jan 26, Pfizer Inc. said
it is buying rival drug maker Wyeth in a $68 billion deal that will
increase its revenue by 50%. At the same time Pfizer announced cost
cuts that include slashing more than 8,000 jobs as it prepares for
an expected revenue crash when its cholesterol drug Lipitor loses
patent protection in November 2011. Pfizer also said it has agreed
to pay $2.3 billion to settle a federal investigation into its
alleged off-label marketing of the now withdrawn painkiller Bextra.
(AP, 1/26/09)(WSJ, 1/27/09, p.B2)
2009 Jan 26, In Bellflower,
California, Nadya Suleman (33) gave birth to eight babies, only the
second time in history octuplets have survived more than a few
hours. The woman already had six other children and never expected
to have eight more when she took fertility treatment. Her mother
later said the woman had conceived all 14 of her children through in
vitro fertilization, is not married and has been obsessed with
having children since she was a teenager.
(AP, 1/27/09)(AP, 1/30/09)(AP, 1/31/09)(SFC,
2009 Jan 26, Argentina's Pres.
Cristina Fernandez declared an agricultural emergency in the
nation's breadbasket provinces, responding to a key demand by
powerful farm organizations amid the worst drought in decades.
2009 Jan 26, A Bahamas
paramedic was charged in an alleged scheme to extort $25 million
from John Travolta after his chronically ill son died of a seizure
at the family's vacation home.
2009 Jan 26, China greeted the
arrival of the Year of the Ox with fireworks and celebrations,
bidding farewell to a tumultuous 2008 marked by a massive
earthquake, the Olympics, and a global economic crisis.
2009 Jan 26, China’s state
media reported that an 18-year-old man has died from bird flu in
southern China, the fifth human death from the virus in the country
2009 Jan 26, The armies of
Congo and Rwanda, battling together against Rwandan Hutu militiamen
in eastern Congo, clashed with fighters trying to retake a village
and killed 4 of them.
2009 Jan 26, It was reported
that recent analysis of vials of treated wastewater taken from a
plant in Patancheru, where about 90 Indian drug factories dump their
residues, enough of a single, powerful antibiotic was being spewed
into one stream each day to treat every person in a city of 90,000.
2009 Jan 26, Iran’s state radio
reported that several members of its border security forces were
killed in an ambush near the Pakistani border.
2009 Jan 26, In the Netherlands
the first-ever trial of the International Criminal Court began at
The Hague with Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese militia commander,
denying he committed war crimes by recruiting hundreds of child
soldiers to kill and rape.
2009 Jan 26, European Union
leaders said they were willing to take in prisoners being released
from the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, but stressed that
American authorities must show ex-inmates pose no security threat
before they can be resettled.
2009 Jan 26, The European Union
decided to remove an Iranian opposition group from the EU's terror
list and lift the restrictions on its funds, a move likely to
further damage relations strained over Tehran's nuclear program.
2009 Jan 26, European Union
nations announced the addition of 27 Zimbabwean officials and 36
companies to the EU's visa and assets freeze blacklist to pressure
President Robert Mugabe to share power with Zimbabwe's opposition.
(AP, 1/26/09)(Econ, 1/31/09, p.52)
2009 Jan 26, Iceland's
coalition government collapsed, leaving the island nation in
political turmoil amid a financial crisis that has pummeled its
economy and required an international bailout to keep the country
2009 Jan 26, In northern Iraq 2
US helicopters crashed in Tamim province, killing four American
troops, in the deadliest single incident for US forces in more than
four months. Enemy fire was later reported as the cause of the
(AP, 1/26/09)(WSJ, 2/28/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 26, In Madagascar
thousands of demonstrators demanding a new government in Madagascar
took to the streets and set the country's state TV complex on fire
to protest the apparent shutdown of the opposition's radio station.
2009 Jan 26, Norway announced a
20 billion kroner ($2.89 billion) stimulus package to boost growth
(WSJ, 1/27/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 26, In northwest
Pakistan a bomb rigged to a bicycle exploded on a major road in Dera
Ismail Khan, killing at least five people and wounding 20 in the
latest attack to rattle the volatile region. In the southwest gunmen
shot dead the leader of a small Shiite political party in Quetta,
triggering violent protests. Several hundred people torched vehicles
and a bank. Elsewhere in the northwest a man whom militants accused
of spying for America was found shot dead in Datta Khel village in
2009 Jan 26, Southern African
leaders opened fresh talks in Pretoria to end Zimbabwe's political
crisis amid a new threat by President Robert Mugabe to form a
government excluding his arch rival from power.
2009 Jan 26, Spain's Prado
Museum named Asensio Julia as the workshop assistant believed mostly
likely to have painted "Colossus" (1808-1912), a work that was once
attributed to Francisco de Goya y Lucientes.
2009 Jan 26, A UN spokesman in
Colombo said dozens of civilians have been killed in Sri Lanka's
embattled north during ongoing heavy fighting between government
troops and Tamil rebels. At least 10 civilians were killed today
inside an area declared as a "safety zone." Over the weekend, dozens
of people were killed or wounded.
2009 Jan 26, Sudanese warplanes
bombed Darfur rebel positions near the key town of El-Fasher ahead
of an expected ground offensive.
2009 Jan 26, The Economist
magazine said this week's edition has not been distributed in
Thailand because of local objections to an article about the royal
family, the second disruption in two months.
2009 Jan 26, The Thai navy
detained a boat filled with 78 illegal Rohingya migrants, many of
whom had lacerations and burns they said were inflicted by Myanmar
2009 Jan 27, President Barack
Obama chose an Arabic-language satellite TV network for his first
formal television interview as president, delivering a message to
the Muslim world that "Americans are not your enemy."
2009 Jan 27, Eddied Perez
(b.1957, former gang leader and mayor of Hartford, Connecticut,
surrendered to police to face a bribery charge related to home
(SFC, 1/28/09, p.A4)
2009 Jan 27, In California
federal prosecutors said purchasing managers for Kraft Foods and
Frito-Lay have admitted to taking $318,000 in bribes from Randall
Rahal, a former sales broker for SK Foods of Lemoore, a major
Central California tomato processor. On August 11 Robert Watson
(59), former Kraft Foods purchasing manager, was sentenced to 2
years and 3 months for taking $158,000 in bribes.
(SFC, 1/28/09, p.B3)(SFC, 8/12/09, p.D2)
2009 Jan 27, The
social-networking site Facebook removed a group whose title
advocated raising money so a gunman could be hired to "liquidate"
Bolivia's leftist president, Evo Morales. The Spanish-language
group, created in August, had 8,069 members and had drawn the
attention of at least one outraged blogger, when The Associated
Press alerted Facebook. Creator Hony Pierola (20) denied any malice.
2009 Jan 27, A new study led by
the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said
climate change is "largely irreversible" for the next 1,000 years
even if carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could be abruptly halted.
2009 Jan 27, Near Los Angeles
police found the bodies of 7 people at a home in Wilmington.
Ervin Lupoe (40) killed his five children and his wife before
turning the gun on himself. Both adults were recently fired from
their hospital jobs.
2009 Jan 27, John Updike
(b.1932), American writer and poet, died of lung cancer. He released
more than 60 books, including 28 novels, in a career that started in
the 1950s, winning virtually every literary prize. In 2014 Adam
Begley authored “Updike."
(AP, 1/28/09)(Econ, 1/31/09, p.89)(SSFC, 4/13/14,
2009 Jan 27, Gunmen abducted 10
Afghan workers in a daring ambush in Herat. 2 local UN staff,
kidnapped on New Year’s Day by alleged Taliban militants, were
freed. One captive was already freed, but 3 remained hostage. A
roadside bomb struck a vehicle carrying civilians in Kandahar
province, killing four and wounding nine.
(AFP, 1/28/09)(AP, 1/28/09)
2009 Jan 27, In Bahrain police
fired tear gas at dozens of rioters as the public prosecutor charged
three Shiite Muslim activists with promoting a coup.
2009 Jan 27, In Brazil some
100,000 activists of all stripes converged on the Amazon city of
Belem, opening the 9th World Social Forum.
2009 Jan 27, Brazil established
a new set of bureaucratic hoops for importers, raising worries about
(WSJ, 1/28/09, p.A10)
2009 Jan 27, Lord Mandelson,
business secretary to Britain’s PM Gordon Brown, announced loan
guarantees of up to 2.3 billion pounds (2.5 billion euros, 3.2
billion dollars) in credit funding for its ailing auto industry.
(AP, 1/27/09)(Econ, 1/31/09, p.63)
2009 Jan 27, Canada's
Conservative government unveiled a two-year C$40 billion ($32
billion) stimulus package to help pull the economy out of recession,
laying out plans for a budget deficit for the first time after 11
straight years of surplus.
2009 Jan 27, The UN refugee
agency said thousands of Congolese civilians have fled across the
border to South Sudan to escape rebels of the Lord's Resistance
2009 Jan 27, Iceland's
center-left Social Democratic Alliance Party was chosen to lead the
country following the collapse of the island nation's government
amid deep economic troubles and intense political discord.
2009 Jan 27, Iceland raised it
quota on whale hunting to 250 a year, a dramatic increase over past
2009 Jan 27, Ramaswamy
Venkataraman (98), India's eighth president (1987-1992), died. He
helped draft the country's 1950 constitution.
2009 Jan 27, Indonesian police
opened fire on hundreds of people in Papua province during a protest
against alleged police violence. 4 people were injured.
2009 Jan 27, In Iraq a car bomb
exploded near a Kurdish party's office in the northern city of
Mosul, killing at least three Iraqi soldiers only days before
pivotal elections. A Sunni insurgent group claimed responsibility
for downing two US helicopters that crashed a day earlier, killing
four US troops. The US military denied the claim.
2009 Jan 27, Jamaican police
said a gunman shot a woman (55) in her one-room wooden shack and
then set it ablaze, leaving her 3 grandchildren to perish alongside
her in the fire.
2009 Jan 27, Japan announced a
$16.7 billion stimulus package to help businesses that have en
decimated by the global financial crisis.
2009 Jan 27, Japan’s No. 38
Yoshi Maru fishing boat was seized by Russian authorities in waters
between the two countries and was taken to the Russian port of
Nakhodka. On Feb 7 Russian authorities released all 10 Japanese crew
members seized after allegedly straying into Russian waters.
(AFP, 1/28/09)(AP, 2/7/09)
2009 Jan 27, In Mexico thieves,
apparently targeting people who exchange money at Mexico City's
international airport, shot a French citizen in the head.
Authorities warned that gangs have put lookouts at exchange windows
in the terminal. Mexico City prosecutors soon detained two suspects
in the shooting. French scientist Christopher Augur died at a Mexico
City hospital four days after his assault.
(AP, 1/27/09)(AP, 1/30/09)(AP, 1/31/09)
2009 Jan 27, Pakistani tribal
elders urged the government to stop military operations against
Taliban militants in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan and to start
2009 Jan 27, Palestinian
militants detonated a bomb that killed an Israeli soldier patrolling
near Gaza and Israel responded with an airstrike. Not long after the
bombing, a 27-year-old Gaza farmer was killed by Israeli gunfire
along the border several miles away. An Israeli airstrike wounded 2
men, at least one of whom was a Hamas gunman. Israel closed its
crossings into Gaza to humanitarian aid traffic after briefly
(AP, 1/27/09)(SFC, 1/28/09, p.A2)
2009 Jan 27, Pacific Island
leaders gathered in Port Moresby and threatened to expel Fiji from
their forum if coup leader Frank Bainimarama fails to announce
credible plans for elections.
2009 Jan 27, A Peruvian court
freed two men accused of belonging to a military death squad linked
to several massacres in the early 1990s, after the suspects
completed six years in prison without a conviction. Douglas Arteaga
Pascual and Angel Pino Diaz were charged in 2001 and accused of
belonging to a death squad known as the "Colina group." A verdict
was expected this year.
2009 Jan 27, Russian Orthodox
bishops, monks and laymen voted for a new head for the world's
second largest Christian church in a contest between a powerful
modernizer and an influential conservative. Metropolitan Kirill (62)
defeated a conservative rival, Metropolitan Kliment, with 508 of 700
(AP, 1/27/09)(SFC, 2/2/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 27, In South Africa
the 15-nation SADC grouping said after a meeting, its fifth attempt
to secure a deal on forming a unity government, it had agreed that
opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai should be sworn in as prime
minister by February 11. An analyst said chances for a deal appeared
slim. The recently introduced 10 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note
cannot buy a loaf of bread, which costs Z$30 trillion. Two weeks
ago, a loaf of bread cost Z$30 billion.
2009 Jan 27, South Korea’s
central bank announced that a woman will appear on its banknotes for
the first time, with the issuance of a new 50,000-won ($36) bill.
2009 Jan 27, In Sri Lanka a
health official alleged that at least 300 civilians were wounded and
scores feared killed by Sri Lankan army artillery shells fired into
a designated "safe zone" for ethnic Tamils trapped by fighting
between the military and Tamil rebels.
2009 Jan 27, Sudanese armed
forces waged air strikes and artillery attacks on rebels in two key
areas of Darfur for a second day.
2009 Jan 28, President Barack
Obama signed requests from Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Arkansas
Gov. Mike Beebe for federal emergency declarations as crews worked
around the clock to resurrect power lines downed by thick ice in
both states. Since the storm began building on Jan 26, the weather
has been blamed for at least six deaths in Texas, four in Arkansas,
three in Virginia, six in Missouri, two in Oklahoma, and one each in
Indiana and Ohio.
2009 Jan 28, A White House
official said President Barack Obama will press Afghan President
Hamid Karzai to extend government control beyond the capital and
fight corruption under a new US policy with a "significant
2009 Jan 28, US federal
regulators guaranteed $80 billion in uninsured deposits at the
institutions that service the nation’s credit unions.
(WSJ, 1/29/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 28, Peanut Corp.
expanded its recall to all peanut products produced at its Blakely,
Ga., plant since Jan 1, 2007, due to a salmonella outbreak.
(SFC, 1/29/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 28, Billy Powell (56),
Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboard player, died in Florida. He played on such
hits as "Sweet Home Alabama" and survived the Oct 20, 1977, plane
crash that killed three band members.
2009 Jan 28, Five African and
international human rights groups called on the African Union to
press Senegal to move forward with the trial of former Chadian
dictator Hissene Habre.
2009 Jan 28, Albania awarded a
35-year concession to the British-Swiss Zumax AG group for a
euro1.18 billion ($1.55 billion) container terminal for ships in
2009 Jan 28, China’s state
media said at least 81 people have been detained as the country
launched a security sweep in Tibet ahead of one of the region's most
sensitive anniversaries in years.
2009 Jan 28, Cuba’s President
Raul Castro began the first visit to Russia by a Cuban leader since
the end of the Cold War, the latest sign of reviving ties between
the two countries.
2009 Jan 28, El Salvador police
said they found the remains of what they believe to be eight to 10
gang victims at the bottom of a well in Tonacatepeque, located
outside San Salvador.
2009 Jan 28, The European Union
promised billions of dollars in aid to the world's poorest nations
to entice them to sign a new global climate change pact.
2009 Jan 28, French PM Francois
Fillon said 1,000 French 1,650 soldiers would be pulled out from the
EUFOR mission to protect refugees in Chad. He also says France's
1,800-strong contingent in Ivory Coast will be reduced by half.
2009 Jan 28, In Iceland both
parties of the new coalition government supported the appointment of
social affairs minister Johanna Sigurdardottir (66), an openly gay
former air hostess, as interim prime minister.
(SFC, 1/29/09, p.A8)(Econ, 5/2/09, p.52)
2009 Jan 28, In Iraq special
voting began for those needed on duty for Jan 31 elections, such as
security forces and government officials. Iraqis held in detention
also were expected to take part in the early voting.
2009 Jan 28, Israeli warplanes
struck Gaza smuggling tunnels and a weapons factory. There were no
reports of casualties. George Mitchell, Pres. Obama's new Mideast
envoy, said a long-term Gaza truce must be based on an end to
weapons smuggling to Hamas and the re-opening of the territory's
(AP, 1/28/09)(AP, 1/29/09)
2009 Jan 28, Israel’s chief
rabbinate cut ties with the Vatican to protest the reinstatement of
English-born Bishop Richard Williamson (b.1940), who has continued
to deny the Holocaust. Williamson was excommunicated by the Roman
Catholic Church in 1988 because of his unauthorized consecration by
French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, deemed by the Holy See to be
"unlawful" and "a schismatic act."
2009 Jan 28, Japan's defense
minister ordered the dispatch of ships to fight pirates off the
shores of Somalia, joining other countries in the battle against the
2009 Jan 28, Japan’s
territorial row with Russia was re-ignited as Japan announced that
it had cancelled humanitarian aid to the four disputed Russian-held
islands, north of Japan's main northern island of Hokkaido,
following new Russian demand that a disembarkation card be submitted
in addition to the usual procedures.
2009 Jan 28, Japan's former
prime minister Shinzo Abe signed a partnership accord with Iraq, on
a rare visit to the country for a senior leader of the close US
2009 Jan 28, In Kenya a massive
fire swept through a supermarket in downtown Nairobi. 28 shoppers
were burned alive.
(AP, 1/30/09)(AP, 2/3/09)(Econ, 2/7/09, p.42)
2009 Jan 28, In Madagascar
thousands of opposition supporters demanded the resignation of Pres.
Marc Ravalomanana. The director of the main hospital said 43 people
had burned to death as protesters set fires in political violence
earlier in the week.
2009 Jan 28, A new UN report
said Myanmar faced food shortages in many parts of the country,
largely because of last year's cyclone and a rat infestation that
destroyed crops. A human rights group said the Chin people,
Christians living in the remote mountains of northwestern Myanmar,
are subject to forced labor, torture, extrajudicial killings and
religious persecution by the country's military regime.
2009 Jan 28, Pakistan arrested
nine men suspected in a string of deadly bombings last year which
devastated the Danish Embassy, killed an army general and wounded
several FBI personnel. The day’s raids turned up about 220 pounds
(100 kilograms) of explosives and other materials suitable for
making vests worn by suicide bombers.
2009 Jan 28, Russia’s military
said it has halted plans to deploy missiles near the Polish border,
in what could be a sign Moscow is seeking better ties with the new
2009 Jan 28, In Serbia the
editor of a popular liberal radio show, critical of Serb
nationalism, said attackers have disrupted the broadcasts of
Pescanik (Hourglass) and hacked into its Web site.
2009 Jan 28, Sri Lankan forces
fought their way into another village still held by Tamil Tiger
rebels, as neighboring India raised fears for civilians caught up in
2009 Jan 28, A Sudanese man,
Mohammed el-Sari, was jailed for 17 years on charges of trying to
help the International Criminal Court investigate a minister
suspected of war crimes in Darfur. He was arrested in June accused
of trying to solicit information about special police in Darfur, men
trained and paid by the government and supervised by current
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Haroun.
2009 Jan 28, In Switzerland
some 2,500 business and political leaders met at Davos for the World
Economic Forum, as the worst financial crisis since the Great
Depression served to mute the enthusiasm of previous years. China’s
Premier Wen Jiabao and Russia’s PM Vladimir Putin blamed the US-led
financial system for the global economic slump.
(AP, 1/28/09)(WSJ, 1/29/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 28, A Thai court
convicted 66 barefoot, disheveled migrants detained at sea of
illegally entering the country, raising the prospect they could be
sent back to Myanmar despite fears they would be persecuted there.
2009 Jan 29, President Barack
Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, an equal
pay bill, into law, declaring that it's a family issue, not just a
(AP, 1/29/09)(Econ, 2/7/09, p.25)
2009 Jan 29, In Illinois Pat
Quinn (60), the Democrat Lt. Gov., became governor after the state
Senate voted 59-0 to convict Rod Blagojevich (52) of abuse of power.
(AP, 1/30/09)(WSJ, 1/30/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 29, A California judge
ruled that Gov. Schwarzenegger can force state workers to take
furloughs to help close the budget gap.
(WSJ, 1/30/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 29, In southern
Afghanistan coalition troops killed four militants in a strike on a
2009 Jan 29, The African Union
said the exclusion from its summit of Mauritania and Guinea, which
both suffered coups recently, proved the continent had moved on from
its checkered past. The summit was scheduled for Feb 1-3 in
2009 Jan 29, An Australian man
(36) was charged with murder after allegedly throwing his
four-year-old daughter from a Melbourne bridge into the Yarra River
during peak hour traffic. On April 11, 2011, Arthur Freeman was
sentenced to life in prison.
(AFP, 1/29/09)(AP, 4/11/11)
2009 Jan 29, In Bolivia the
last US drug enforcement agents left the country, ordered out by
Pres. Morales, even as police reported that coca cultivation and
cocaine processing were on the rise.
(SFC, 1/30/09, p.A4)
2009 Jan 29, Britain’s PM
Gordon Brown vowed to act with "purpose and determination" to
restore economic growth a day after the IMF said Britain would be
the country worst hit by the global recession.
2009 Jan 29, An international
rights group said Cameroon's government is employing extrajudicial
killings and torture to crush political opponents, and such violence
may escalate as the global economic crisis deepens.
2009 Jan 29, The first of more
than 6,000 Congolese rebels took part in a ceremony to integrate
their units into the regular army as part of a deal to end the
conflict in eastern DR Congo.
2009 Jan 29, The ship
Monchegorsk arrived in Cyprus. It was examined twice after it
arrived under suspicion of ferrying weapons from Iran to Hamas
fighters in Gaza, and detained. The US military had stopped the ship
last month in the Red Sea, and said it found artillery shells and
other arms on board. But it could not legally detain the ship, which
continued to Port Said, Egypt, and then to Cyprus.
2009 Jan 29, The European Union
signed an agreement to give Ethiopia 251 million euros (322 million
dollars) in aid to boost development projects across the Horn of
2009 Jan 29, In France hundreds
of thousands of workers staged a nationwide strike to try to force
President Nicolas Sarkozy and business leaders to do more to protect
jobs and wages during the economic crisis.
2009 Jan 29, India began a plan
to issue a new biometric identity card to its whole 1.2 billion
population. On June 25 Nandan Nilekani, a co-founder of Infosys, was
given ministerial status and appointed to run the scheme.
(Econ, 7/4/09, p.36)(http://tinyurl.com/nvfahh)
2009 Jan 29, Iraq said it will
bar Blackwater Worldwide from providing security protection for US
diplomats because its contractors used excessive force, sanctioning
a company whose image was irrevocably tarnished by the 2007 killings
of 17 Iraqi civilians. Hazim Salim al-Zaidi (51), former Iraqi army
officer in Mosul, was among three Sunni candidates killed two days
ahead of elections. One of the other Sunnis was killed in a drive-by
shooting in western Baghdad. The third was abducted along with his
brother and cousin in the Diyala province town of Mandali near the
Iranian border. Their bullet-riddled bodies were found later in the
(AP, 1/29/09)(AP, 1/31/09)
2009 Jan 29, George Mitchell,
President Barack Obama's Mideast envoy, turned his attention to the
Western-backed Palestinian government in the West Bank. Palestinians
fired a rocket into Israel, and residents of the south Gaza town of
Khan Younis said an Israeli airstrike there wounded an unidentified
man on a motorcycle and five passers-by, among them children walking
home from school. Senior officials in the Islamic group Hamas
indicated a willingness to negotiate a deal for a long-term truce
with Israel as long as the borders of Gaza are opened to the rest of
2009 Jan 29, Japan hanged four
convicted murderers, carrying out the country's first executions of
the year despite international criticism.
2009 Jan 29, Madagascar's
president made a conciliatory gesture, promising to put a radio
station back on air after its closure sparked anti-government
rioting that left at least 43 dead. A US envoy later estimated over
100 dead while police said 76 had died in the rioting.
(AP, 1/29/09)(WSJ, 2/4/09, p.A10)
2009 Jan 29, Mexican police
detained an Ecuadorean man for carrying about $2.5 million in cash
in a suitcase at Mexico City's international airport.
2009 Jan 29, New Zealand’s
central bank lowered its key interest 1.5 percentage points to a
record low of 3.5%, in response to a decelerating global growth
(WSJ, 1/30/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 29, In Nigeria gunmen
kidnapped a Nigerian boy (9) in the oil city of Port Harcourt,
shooting dead a domestic worker who was taking him to school.
2009 Jan 29, Pakistani police
arrested three men who they alleged carried out a deadly 2006
bombing in Pakistan on the orders of India's intelligence agency.
2009 Jan 29, The UN launched an
emergency appeal for $613 million to help Palestinians recover from
Israel's three weeks of military operations in Gaza.
2009 Jan 29, In the Philippines
a powerful explosion destroyed a fireworks factory and a nearby
electronics plant south of Manila, killing at least six people and
injuring more than 40.
2009 Jan 29, Somali pirates
hijacked a German gas tanker, the MV Longchamp, and its 13-man crew
in the Gulf of Aden, the third ship captured off the Horn of Africa
this month. The ship was released along with its 13 crew members on
(AP, 1/29/09)(SFC, 1/30/09, p.A16)(AP, 3/28/09)
2009 Jan 29, A South Korean
biotech company claimed to have cloned dogs using a stem cell
technology for the first time in the world.
2009 Jan 29, In Sri Lanka UN
workers evacuated hundreds of severely wounded civilians from behind
rebel lines as government troops fought to secure final victory over
the Tamil Tigers. Up to 250,000 civilians were trapped in the combat
zone in the northeast of the island.
2009 Jan 29, Swiss police said
they stumbled across a large marijuana plantation last year while
using Google Earth, the search engine company's satellite mapping
software. They arrested 16 people and seized 1.1 tons (1.2 US tons)
of marijuana as well as cash and valuables worth 900,000 Swiss
2009 Jan 29, At the economic
forum in Davos, Switzerland, Israel’s Pres. Peres (85) traded
accusations with Turkey’s PM Erdogan, who declared: “You kill
people," and criticized Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Erdogan stalked
off stage after being cut short during the exchange.
(SFC, 1/30/09, p.A4)(WSJ, 1/30/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 29, Zimbabwe Finance
Minister Patrick Chinamasa said citizens will be allowed to conduct
business in other currencies, alongside the Zimbabwean dollar. A UN
report said Zimbabwe's humanitarian disaster is far worse than
anticipated with only six percent of the population formally
employed and more than half in need of emergency food aid.
(Reuters, 1/29/09)(AFP, 1/29/09)
2009 Jan 30, President Barack
Obama signed a series of executive orders that he said should "level
the playing field" for labor unions in struggles with management.
2009 Jan 30, The Republican
Party chose former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele as the first
black national chairman in its history.
2009 Jan 30, US Senator Claire
McCaskill (D., Mo.) introduced legislation that would limit the
salary, bonuses and stock options of executives of financial
companies getting federal bailout aid to no more than what the US
president earns: $400,000 a year, excluding benefits.
(WSJ, 1/31/09, p.B1)
2009 Jan 30, Exxon Mobil Corp.
reported a profit of $45.2 billion for 2008, breaking its own record
for a US company, even as its fourth-quarter earnings fell 33
percent from a year ago. Chevron reported a record $23.93 billion
(AP, 1/30/09)(SFC, 1/31/09, p.C1)
2009 Jan 30, Scientists
reported that serotonin, a brain chemical that affects people’s
moods, can also transform dessert locusts into swarms that ravage
the countryside. Serotonin, a messenger molecule, carries signals
between nerve cells.
(SFC, 1/30/09, p.A9)(Econ, 2/28/09, p.85)
2009 Jan 30, A trip to the
Grand Canyon turned deadly when a bus carrying Chinese tourists
overturned on an Arizona highway near the Hoover Dam, killing seven
people and injuring 10 others, several critically.
2009 Jan 30, In West Virginia a
small plane crashed in snowy weather killing all six on board.
(SSFC, 2/1/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 30, In Algeria at
least 27 people were wounded and several buildings torched during
clashes among Muslim worshippers outside a mosque in Ghardaia.
2009 Jan 30, Melbourne,
Australia's second-largest city, struggled to cope with a
once-in-a-century heatwave as temperatures hit 109 degrees. The heat
wave has claimed dozens of lives and sparked wildfires that have
razed up to 20 homes.
(AFP, 1/31/09)(WSJ, 1/31/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 30, Bahrain’s riot
police in Manama used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse
protesters angry with perceived government discrimination against
the Shiite majority.
2009 Jan 30, At least two
million worshippers gathered north of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka
for the Bishwa Ijtema, or World Muslim Congregation, a three-day
event billed as the largest annual Islamic event after the hajj. It
was first held in the 1960s and was launched by Tablig Jamaat, a
non-political group that urges people to follow Islam in their daily
2009 Jan 30, In Brazil
officials in Rio Grande do Sul state said 10 victims had drowned in
the city of Pelotas, and that floods had driven thousands from their
2009 Jan 30, In Britain wildcat
strikes against foreign workers spread through oil refineries and
other energy facilities, fuelled by fears of rising job cuts due to
the global slowdown.
2009 Jan 30, Ethiopia said that
4.9 million of its people will need emergency food aid in the first
six months of 2009 due to drought and appealed for $390 million from
donors to pay for it.
2009 Jan 30, In Libreville,
Gabon, leaders of the six Central African states (Cameroon, Chad,
Gabon, CAR, Congo, Equatorial Guinea), began meeting to discuss
closer economic ties, including the creation of a new regional
airline. The Economic and Monetary Union of Central Africa, known as
CEMAC, planned discussions on such issues as monetary reform and the
free movement of citizens.
2009 Jan 30, Hans Beck (79),
creator of the colorful plastic Playmobil toy figures that sold by
the millions around the world, died in Germany. Beck had created and
developed the 3-inch (7.5-centimeter) tall line of figures for the
company in 1971. they were dubbed Playmobil and brought to market in
2009 Jan 30, Georgia's PM
Grigol Mgaloblishvili (35) resigned, citing health reasons after
just three months on the job as President Mikhail Saakashvili's
2009 Jan 30, Guatemala's
government filed 3,350 criminal complaints accusing former soldiers,
paramilitaries and others of human rights violations against more
than 5,000 civilians during the country's 1960-1996 civil war.
2009 Jan 30, Indian officials
said tigers have killed at least three children and four adults in
northern Uttar Pradesh in recent weeks, forcing frightened villagers
to stay indoors while forest rangers search for the wild cats.
2009 Jan 30, Indonesia said it
will repatriate 174 "economic migrants" who fled Myanmar claiming
persecution, as new accounts emerged of their harrowing sea journey
and alleged abuse by the Thai navy. The 174 Rohingya and 19
Bangladeshis being kept at an Indonesian naval base landed in Weh
Island off northern Sumatra on January 7.
2009 Jan 30, An Israeli rights
group said it to use a database detailing the complicity of Israel's
government in widespread illegal construction in West Bank
settlements to help Palestinians file lawsuits over their lost land.
2009 Jan 30, Kuwait’s National
Assembly passed a law banning women from working between 8 pm and 7
am except in hospitals. Legislation also limited the workweek to 48
hours and required accommodation for expatriate workers. New
penalties for begging carried a 6-month sentence and a fine of 500
Kuwaiti dinars followed by deportation.
(SSFC, 2/1/09, p.A4)
2009 Jan 30, Nigerian militants
called off a cease-fire after clashing with government forces.
(WSJ, 1/31/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 30, North Korea
announced that it is scrapping agreements with South Korea on easing
military tensions, accusing Seoul of pushing relations to the brink
2009 Jan 30, A roadside bomb
hit a Pakistani army convoy near a Taliban stronghold in the Swat
valley, killing three soldiers and wounding another six.
2009 Jan 30, In Gaza City some
5,000 people rallied as Hamas lawmaker Khalil al-Hayeh emerged from
hiding and declared victory in the 23-day Israeli offensive in Gaza.
(SFC, 1/31/09, p.A5)
2009 Jan 30, Russia moved to
rebuild ties with Cold War ally Cuba, granting it loans and signing
deals on energy and industrial cooperation.
2009 Jan 30, South African
President Kgalema Motlanthe signed legislation that disbands the
country's elite anti-crime investigating unit, known as the
Scorpions. The unit will now be part of the standard police forces.
2009 Jan 30, Sri Lanka rejected
growing international calls for a ceasefire amid fears for the
safety of 250,000 civilians trapped as the military pushed for
victory against Tamil rebels.
2009 Jan 30, Turkmenistan's
authoritarian President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov ordered members
of his government to go back to school or lose their jobs. He said
that officials are under qualified to implement the necessary
reforms in the energy-rich Central Asian nation.
2009 Jan 30, In Venezuela an
armed group vandalized Caracas' oldest synagogue, shattering
religious objects and spray-painting walls in what Jewish leaders
called the worst attack ever on their community. On March 26
prosecutors filed charges against eight police officers and three
other people, accusing them of involvement in the attack.
(AP, 2/1/09)(AP, 3/26/09)
2009 Jan 30, Zimbabwe's
opposition decided to join a government with President Robert Mugabe
next month, ending a paralyzing political deadlock that has worsened
the desperate economic and humanitarian crisis. WHO reported that
the death toll in Zimbabwe’s cholera outbreak had reached 3,161, out
of 60,401 recorded cases.
(Reuters, 1/30/09)(AP, 1/30/09)
2009 Jan 31, President Barack
Obama promised to lower mortgage costs, offer job-creating loans for
small businesses, get credit flowing and rein in free-spending
executives as he readies a new road map for spending billions from
the second installment of the financial rescue plan.
2009 Jan 31, In Maryland
Goucher College President Sanford Ungar told faculty and students in
an e-mail that Professor Leopold Munyakazi (59) was removed from
teaching after officials learned he had been indicted in 2006 on
genocide charges in Rwanda.
2009 Jan 31, John Lipsky,
deputy head of the IMF, announced that the fund would double its
lending capacity to $500 billion. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, India’s
chief economic planner, deemed the proposal too modest and suggested
that member triple their quotas.
(Econ, 2/7/09, p.67)
2009 Jan 31, Afghanistan's
interior minister announced a US-backed plan to create militias and
give them guns to fight the Taliban. It drew criticism from local
authorities in areas where the first units are being rolled out. An
Afghan tribal leader from southeastern Paktika province was fatally
shot by a NATO patrol after the vehicle he was in failed to stop in
response to signals from soldiers. A second Afghan was wounded. A
Canadian soldier was killed when his armored vehicle hit an
explosive device on a road west of Kandahar.
(AP, 2/1/09)(Reuters, 1/31/09)(AP, 2/4/09)
2009 Jan 31, On the streets of
Birmingham, the queen's English is now the queens English. This week
the city council made it official. England's second-largest city
decided to drop apostrophes from all its street signs, saying
they're confusing and old-fashioned.
2009 Jan 31, Chinese Premier
Wen Jiabao arrived in London in the latest leg of a European tour
aimed at tackling the global financial and economic crisis and
improving relations between the trading partners.
2009 Jan 31, In southern China
revelers celebrating a birthday set off fireworks just before
midnight inside a bar, triggering a blaze that killed 15 people and
2009 Jan 31, Security sources
said Egypt has begun installing cameras and motion sensors along its
border with the Gaza Strip to try to combat smuggling to the
2009 Jan 31, Porsche's new
museum in Stuttgart, a sprawling monument to 60 years of German
engineering, opened to the public.
2009 Jan 31, Roxana Saberi
(31), Iranian-American journalist, was detained in Tehran. In April
she was charged with espionage, two days after her parents visited
their daughter in prison. The government had revoked her press
credentials in 2006. On April 13, 2009, she was tried and soon
sentenced to 8 years in jail for spying. Her lawyer appealed. She
was released in May and in 2010 authored “Between Two Worlds" My
Life and Captivity In Iran."
4/8/09)(AP, 4/18/09)(SSFC, 4/18/10, p.F7)
2009 Jan 31, Iraq's
provincial elections wrapped up without any reports of serious
violence. The polls decided who sits on the councils that run 14 of
Iraq’s 18 provinces. The turnout was 51% of the 7.5 million eligible
voters. US soldiers killed two Iraqi policemen after coming under
fire during an operation against al-Qaida in northern Iraq. An
American soldier died of a noncombat-related injury in the northern
city of Kirkuk.
(AP, 1/31/09)(AP, 2/1/09)(Econ, 1/24/09,
p.54)(Econ, 2/7/09, p.40)
2009 Jan 31, In Kenya an
overturned gasoline tanker exploded as hundreds of people tried to
scoop up free fuel. Some 120 people were killed and 200 injured in
the inferno. Several witnesses said some police were charging 1,000
Kenya shillings ($13) for 60 liters of fuel, an amount that usually
costs about $65, which enraged the crowd.
(AP, 2/1/09)(AP, 2/2/09)(AP, 2/3/09)
2009 Jan 31, In Pakistan two
motorcyclists lobbed a hand grenade at a police patrol in
Baluchistan's Khuzdar district, but hit bystanders instead, killing
one person and wounding 5 others.
2009 Jan 31, Palestinian
militants fired a rocket from Gaza that exploded close to the
southern Israeli town of Ashkelon without causing any damages or
2009 Jan 31, Thousands of
protesters rallied across Russia to criticize the government's
economic course and its response to the global financial crisis. In
Moscow minutes after protesters unfurled anti-Kremlin banners and
chanted "Down with KGB power" and "Russia without Putin," a dozen
young men jumped out of cars and started to beat them with fists and
metal rods. Police ignored the attacks by alleged members of "Young
Russia," a pro-Kremlin youth group.
(AP, 1/31/09)(AP, 2/13/09)
2009 Jan 31, In Somalia
moderate Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed was sworn in. The
next day in a published interview he called for a united front
against violent extremists and signaled his intent to try to bring
together the country's feuding Islamic factions.
2009 Jan 31, Sudan’s state
media reported that a US aid group has been thrown out of the Darfur
region after officials found thousands of Arabic-language bibles
stacked in its office. The Texas-based Thirst No More website
described its work in Darfur as focused on repairing and drilling
water wells and makes no mention of evangelism or other faith-based
2009 Jan 31, In Geneva,
Switzerland, riot police fired tear gas after some 1000
demonstrators began throwing bottles protesting against the annual
World Economic Forum meeting at Davos.
2009 Jan 31, In Thailand some
30,000 supporters of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra gathered in
Bangkok, promising to fight on indefinitely unless the new Thai
government leaves office within 15 days. In northeastern Thailand a
grenade blast killed eight people and wounded 27 others during an
outdoor celebration next to a Buddhist temple.
(AFP, 1/31/09)(AP, 2/1/09)
2009 Jan 31, The Vatican
announced that the Pope has tapped the Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner
(54) to be auxiliary bishop in Linz, the capital of Upper Austria
province. Wagner caused a stir in 2005 when he was quoted as saying
that he was convinced that the death and destruction of Hurricane
Katrina earlier that year was "divine retribution" for tolerance of
homosexuals and laid-back sexual attitudes in New Orleans.
2009 Jan, Little Rock,
Arkansas, launched a $650,000 project to excavate the remains of its
neglected “Little Rock," estimated to be 300 million years old, and
restore it to a place of dignity. In 1872 huge chunks of the rock
were blasted away to make room for a railway bridge.
(WSJ, 1/28/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan, In Ethiopia an
inauguration ceremony was held for the new headquarters of the
53-member AU. Completion was expected December 2011. The structure,
a gift to the AU, was designed by China, managed by China, financed
by China and constructed by China.
2009 Jan, The Tamar gas field
was discovered off the coast of Israel. It was the largest gas find
2009 Jan, In Kazakhstan
newspaper editor Ramazan Yesergepov was arrested and charged with
revealing state secrets in a move that has tarnished the ex-Soviet
nation's democratic credentials as it prepared to assume the
chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe (OSCE). His arrest came after he published correspondence in
the small-circulation weekly Alma-Ata Info that appeared to show
collusion in corruption between a Kazakh businessman and the
National Security Committee, the successor agency to the KGB. On
August 8 Yesergepov was sentenced to three years in prison.
2009 Jan, The population of
Madagascar numbered some 20 million. It was estimated that 70% of
the people lived on less than $1 per day.
(SSFC, 1/4/09, p.E4)
2009 Jan, In Montenegro a huge
aluminium factory on the edge of Podgornica struggled under falling
metal prices. Controlled by Oleg Deripaska, a Russian tycoon, it
depended on large quantities of subsidized electricity. The factory
and its related industries accounted for 40% of the country’s GDP.
(Econ, 1/10/09, p.46)
2009 Jan, Liquor company Diageo
PLC signed a long-term lease to build a Captain Morgan rum
distillery in the Virgin Islands in exchange for a portion of the
territory's excise-tax revenue, estimated at $2.7 billion over 30
years. The distillery opened in late 2010 on the island of St.
Croix. Puerto Rico expected to lose $140 million in 2012 as a result
of the lucrative production of Captain Morgan rum moving to the U.S.
2009 Jan, In northeast Sudan
Israel carried out an attack in which at least 30 people were
killed, to stop weapons being transported to Gaza during its
offensive against Hamas. Reports from Sudan quoted a lone survivor
of the attack as saying two planes flew over the convoy then came
back and shot up the "four or five" trucks. Israeli aircraft or
drones destroyed 23 lorries carrying Iranian arms destined for
Hamas. On May 25 Sudan’s Defense Minister Gen. Abdul-Rahim Hussein
told parliament that the airstrikes killed 56 smugglers and 63
people they were trying to transport across the border to Egypt,
including Somali and Ethiopian migrants.
(Reuters, 3/27/09)(Econ, 4/4/09, p.50)(AP,
2009 Jan, Four tourists, two
Swiss, a German and a Briton, were kidnapped on the Mali-Niger
border. They were transferred to Al-Qaida's North Africa branch,
which asked for a ransom and the release of a radical Islamist
preacher held in Britain. A Swiss and a German tourist were released
in April. Edwin Dyer of Britain, was killed by his captors on May
31. The 2nd Swiss citizen, Werner Greiner, was released in July.
(AP, 4/23/09)(AP, 7/12/09)
2009 Jan, In Sharjah, UAE, a
mob of up to 50 people beat Masri Khan, a Pakistani man, to death
with metal bars in a fight over control of an illegal liquor
business. In March, 2010, 17 Indians were sentenced to death for the
beating. In 2011 the victim’s family accepted over $900,000 in
"blood money," allowing the men to return to their families. In
September, 2011, an Emirati court commuted the death sentences to
two years in prison, paving the way for their return home.
(AFP, 3/30/10)(AP, 7/21/11)(AFP, 9/12/11)
2009 Jan, In Yemen local
jihadists merged with fugitive Al-Qaida operatives to form al-Qaeda
in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
(Econ, 11/6/10, p.73)
2009 Jan - 2009 May, A UN
report in 2011 found that tens of thousands were killed in Sri Lanka
during this period. They were mostly civilian casualties caused by
(Econ, 4/30/11, p.46)
2009 Feb 1, In Super Bowl XLIII
at Tampa, Florida, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona
(SFC, 2/2/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 1, In California
police officers and two armed robbers exchanged gunfire at a Papa
John's Pizza outlet in Chino, 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
Bystander Daniel Baledran (21), of Rubidoux, died after he was shot
2009 Feb 1, In Afghanistan a
suicide bomber in a car attacked a convoy of foreign troops in
Kabul, wounding two Afghans. Afghans demonstrated against an
overnight US military raid in Ghazni province that one villager said
killed several civilians. The US military said its forces only
killed two militants.
2009 Feb 1, The African Union's
12th summit opened in Ethiopia with an agenda officially focused on
infrastructure development. Leaders set aside the first day to
discuss Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's long-standing pet project to
establish a United States of Africa.
(AFP, 2/1/09)(Reuters, 2/1/09)
2009 Feb 1, Algerian newspapers
reported that Ali Ben Touati, a leading member of Al-Qaeda's North
African branch, has surrendered to Algerian authorities.
2009 Feb 1, In Brazil the
world's biggest counterculture political gathering ended with a
flurry of photo-snapping, tent folding and farewell embraces, as
well as uncertainty about what concrete results were accomplished in
the stifling heat of Belem.
2009 Feb 1, Colombia's battered
FARC rebels freed three police officers and a soldier held hostage
for more than a year, handing them over to the International Red
Cross. A car bomb exploded near a police post in the city of Cali,
killing at least one person and injuring at least 18 others after
officers were lured to the scene by a bogus fire alarm.
2009 Feb 1, In Iran police
killed 10 drug smugglers in a shootout near the Afghan border. After
the shootout, police confiscated more than 2,500 pounds of drugs,
most of it opium.
2009 Feb 1, In Iraq according
to unofficial projections allies of Iraq's US-backed prime minister
appeared to have made gains in the provincial elections, rewarding
groups credited with reining in insurgents and militias.
2009 Feb 1, In Italy an Indian
(35) was attacked while sleeping on a bench in Nettuno, a town 50
miles (80 kilometers) south of Rome. 3 young men were arrested for
allegedly beating and setting on fire the Indian immigrant.
2009 Feb 1, Mexico City shut
down a main water pipeline under a new conservation program, cutting
service to more than 2 million residents after some reservoirs
dropped to their lowest levels in 16 years.
2009 Feb 1, In Pakistan at
least 16 suspected militants, one soldier and 19 civilians were
killed in clashes over the last 24 hours in the northwestern Swat
Valley, as the military escalated its offensive against insurgents
in the one-time tourist haven. In the southwest a bomb rigged
to a motorcycle exploded in a market, wounding at least 10 people.
(AP, 2/1/09)(WSJ, 2/2/09, p.A10)
2009 Feb 1, Gaza militants
launched at least 10 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel,
drawing a threat of "disproportionate" retaliation from Israel's
prime minister and further straining a cease-fire that ended
Israel's Gaza offensive. Israeli warplanes bombed the area where
Hamas smuggles in weapons from Egypt.
(AP, 2/1/09)(WSJ, 2/2/09, p.A10)
2009 Feb 1, Sri Lanka's army
declared that rescuing civilians trapped by its offensive against
Tamil Tiger rebels is now one of its top priorities, and said it
captured two camps used by suicide squads. Shells hit a crowded
hospital in the northeast combat zone, killing at least nine people.
(AP, 2/1/09)(AFP, 2/2/09)
2009 Feb 1, In Sudan a
spokeswoman for the UN mission known as UNAMID said the has
government asked peacekeepers to clear out of the town of Muhajeria.
She said Sudan wants to launch an offensive against rebels from the
Justice and Equality Movement, a Chad-backed rebel group that has
held the south Darfur town since mid-January.
2009 Feb 1, In Switzerland the
5-day World Economic Forum at Davos ended with the realization that
the depth of the global financial crises is still unknown and that
the solution remains elusive.
(SFC, 2/2/09, p.A10)
2009 Feb 2, President Barack
Obama promised to establish a review board to oversee the
government's $700 billion rescue package aimed at averting a
financial meltdown, declaring that some of the nation's banks would
have to write down bad debts, while other banks may fail.
2009 Feb 2, Eric Holder won US
Senate confirmation as the nation's first African-American attorney
general, after supporters from both parties touted his dream resume
and easily overcame Republican concerns over his commitment to fight
terrorism and his unwillingness to back the right to keep and bear
2009 Feb 2, Tom Daschle,
President Barack Obama's choice to head the Health and Human
Services Department, apologized to the Senate panel that will decide
his fate, saying he was "deeply embarrassed and disappointed" about
failing to pay more than $120,000 in taxes. On Feb 3 Daschle
withdrew his name from nomination.
(AP, 2/2/09)(WSJ, 2/4/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 2, In New Mexico
Richard Leon Goyette (47) was arrested in Albuquerque for conveying
false information. Angered over losses in the stock market he has
sent financial institutions angry e-mails and dozens of threatening
letters containing suspicious powder.
(WSJ, 2/4/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 2, In southern
Afghanistan a Taliban suicide bomber in a police uniform detonated
his explosives inside a police training center, killing 21 officers
and wounding at least 20.
2009 Feb 2, Hundreds more
British power plant workers went on strike in a widening labor
campaign over the use of overseas workers to build an oil refinery
in Immingham. Workers were upset over the decision by Italian
construction company IREM SpA to use Italian and Portuguese workers
for a 200 million-pound ($280 million) project at a Total refinery.
An estimated 6 million people skipped work when the largest
snowstorm to hit London in 18 years stopped bus and subway services,
grounded airliners and hobbled businesses.
(AP, 2/2/09)(AP, 2/3/09)
2009 Feb 2, In Cambodia police
in Siem Reap arrested Jack Louis Sporich (75), an American from
Chicago. He was charged with sexually abusing four Cambodian boys.
2009 Feb 2, In England a
protester hurled abuse and then a shoe at China's Premier Wen Jiabao
as he delivered a speech on the global economy at Cambridge
2009 Feb 2, A Chinese official
said an estimated 26 million desperately poor rural Chinese are
jobless after pinning their hopes on factory jobs that dried up due
to the global economic slowdown, noting that widespread unemployment
could threaten the country's social stability.
2009 Feb 2, In Ethiopia Libyan
leader Moamer Kadhafi was elected to head the 53-nation African
Union at a summit amid concerns over deadly unrest in Madagascar and
a bid to indict Sudan's president for war crimes.
2009 Feb 2, In Greece riot
police fired tear gas at farmers to prevent them from driving their
tractors to Athens as part of a protest demanding government
2009 Feb 2, Guyana banned
nighttime flights because of a strike by air traffic controllers.
The strike began the night of Jan 30 over union demands for salary
increases of 5 percent. The government says it cannot grant the pay
hikes because it needs to upgrade airport safety equipment.
2009 Feb 2, The International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signed a nuclear inspections deal with
2009 Feb 2, Indonesia's navy
picked up 198 starving, dehydrated boat people from Myanmar who said
they drifted for three weeks after authorities in Thailand forced
them to sea in a boat without an engine. Indonesian fishermen had
discovered the 40-foot (12-meter) boat off Aceh's coast in northern
Sumatra and towed it to shore.
2009 Feb 2, Iran successfully
launched a missile carrying Omid (hope in Farsi), its first
domestically made satellite into orbit. In 2005, Iran launched its
first commercial satellite on a Russian rocket in a joint project
with Moscow, which appears to be the main partner in transferring
space technology to Iran.
2009 Feb 2, In Iraq a roadside
bomb targeting an American convoy exploded. Two people were killed
and six others were wounded.
2009 Feb 2, A missile from an
Israeli aircraft struck a car traveling in the southern Gaza Strip,
killing a Palestinian militant and further straining a truce with
the territory's Hamas rulers. Defense Minister Ehud Barak proposed
linking Gaza with the West Bank by digging a tunnel through Israeli
(AP, 2/2/09)(WSJ, 2/3/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 2, A volcano near
Tokyo erupted, shooting up billowing smoke and showering parts of
the capital with a fine ash that sent some city residents to the car
wash and left others puzzled over the white powder they initially
mistook for snow.
2009 Feb 2, In southwestern
Pakistan gunmen seized John Solecki, head of the UN refugee office
in the city of Quetta, as he traveled to work. On April 4 Solecki
was released unharmed.
(AP, 2/2/09)(SSFC, 4/5/09, p.A7)
2009 Feb 2, Saudi Arabia issued
a list of its 83 most wanted suspects living abroad, including six
Saudis released from Guantanamo Bay, and asked Interpol for help in
2009 Feb 2, In Somalia AU
peacekeepers opened fire on civilian vehicles and fatally shot 18
people after an AU vehicle was hit by a land mine in Mogadishu.
(SFC, 2/3/09, p.A3)
2009 Feb 2, In Sri Lanka rare
images of suffering civilians trapped in the war zone emerged: Dead
parents still cradling their children. A teenage boy with no arms
crying in despair. A severely crowded hospital with many patients
lying on mats under already full beds.
2009 Feb 2, Zimbabwe's central
bank revalued its dollar again, lopping another 12 zeros off its
battered currency to try to tame hyperinflation and avert total
2009 Feb 3, Michigan Gov.
Jennifer Granholm announced a new $54 million movie production
facility to be built at a former GM facility in Pontiac. The state
offered $15 million in film related tax credits and as much as $101
million in state credits over 12 years.
(WSJ, 2/3/09, p.B2)
2009 Feb 3, Sayed Ansari,
spokesman for the Afghan National Directorate of Security, said the
service has broken up a cell of suicide bombers allegedly
responsible for six attacks in Kabul that killed 20 civilians. He
also said those arrested had links to a Pakistani-based jihadist
group, Harakat ul-Mujahedeen, and Sirajjudin Haqqani, an eastern
Afghan insurgent leader.
2009 Feb 3, In Australia PM
Kevin Rudd announced a $27 billion stimulus package. Australia’s
Parliament passed the bill on Feb 13.
2009 Feb 3, In Brazil hundreds
of riot police occupied one of Sao Paulo's biggest slums following a
night of clashes in which three police officers were shot. Residents
said the clashes were a response to the police killing of a man on
Feb 1 in Paraisopolis.
2009 Feb 3, In Brazil Ocelio
Alves de Carvalho was killed on the Kulina Indian reservation. An
Indian who witnessed the killing, and tried to stop it, arrived at
the police station to report the alleged murder the next day. The
witness said body parts were roasted and eaten.
2009 Feb 3, The Bank of England
said high-street banks had borrowed 185 billion pounds since April
to help to free up the home-lending market.
2009 Feb 3, In Colombia leftist
rebels freed their fifth hostage in three days. Ex-governor Alan
Jara (51), held for 7½ years, said that President Alvaro Uribe and
the guerrillas are equally to blame for the country's
2009 Feb 3, In Greece a
suspected left-wing terror group attacked a police station in
Athens, shooting at the building and throwing a hand grenade.
2009 Feb 3, Indonesia’s central
bank cut its key interest rate a half point to 8.25%.
(WSJ, 2/4/09, p.A10)
2009 Feb 3, Eluana Englaro
(37), a woman at the center of Italy's right-to-die debate, was
transferred to a hospital where she is to be allowed to die after 17
years in a vegetative state.
2009 Feb 3, A medium-range
rocket from Gaza landed in the Israeli city of Ashkelon. Hamas said
it is ready to commit to a yearlong cease-fire with Israel in
exchange for a full opening of Gaza's border crossings, ahead of a
new round of talks with Egyptian mediators in Cairo.
2009 Feb 3, Kyrgyzstan said it
would end the US lease of an air base that supports military
operations in Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev
announced his intention to shut the base, at least for the moment,
after Russia agreed to provide Kyrgyzstan with $2 billion in loans
plus another $150 million in financial aid. The lease deal obliges
Kyrgyzstan to give the US 180 days notice to clear the base.
2009 Feb 3, In Mexico the
bodies of retired Mexican General Mauro Enrique Tello and two other
men were found in a sport utility vehicle abandoned on a highway
outside of Cancun. All had been shot many times. Octavio Almanza,
the suspected head of the Zetas in Cancun, was later arrested on
suspicion of masterminding Tello's killing.
(AP, 2/3/09)(SSFC, 2/8/09, p.A4)(AP, 2/11/09)
2009 Feb 3, Islamist militants
blew up a bridge in northwestern Pakistan, cutting a major supply
line for Western troops in Afghanistan in the latest in a series of
attacks on the Khyber Pass by insurgents seeking to hamper the
US-led mission against the Taliban.
2009 Feb 3, Hamas policemen
broke into an aid warehouse in Gaza City and confiscated 3,500
blankets and more than 4,000 food parcels meant for 500 families
after UN officials refused to voluntarily hand it over to the
Hamas-run Ministry of Social Affairs. Ahmad Kurd, the Hamas Minister
of Social Affairs countered that the U.N. had been handing out
relief to groups tied to Hamas' opponents.
2009 Feb 3, A Russian military
Mi-24 helicopter gunship crashed about 700 kilometers (450 miles)
southeast of Moscow, killing all three people aboard.
2009 Feb 3, The Kremlin said
Russia and Belarus will create a new military system to monitor and
defend their air space.
(WSJ, 2/4/09, p.A10)
2009 Feb 3, The hardline Somali
Islamist group Shebab called on its fighters to intensify their holy
war against African Union (AU) peacekeepers.
2009 Feb 3, Spanish police
arrested 13 people on suspicion of links to organized crime and
2009 Feb 3, In Sri Lanka
patients who could walk fled one of last functioning hospitals in
the northern war zone after it was hit by artillery shells, while
the Red Cross negotiated for the evacuation of those severely
wounded. The military said it captured the Tamil Tigers' seventh and
final airstrip, effectively grounding their tiny air force.
2009 Feb 4, President Barack
Obama imposed $500,000 caps on senior executive pay for the most
distressed financial institutions receiving federal bailout money,
saying Americans are upset with "executives being rewarded for
2009 Feb 4, Arkansas Gov. Mike
Beebe signed into law new animal-cruelty restrictions that make
aggravated cruelty to cats, dogs and horses a felony on the first
offense. According to the US Humane Society Arkansas became the 46th
state to make cruelty to animals a felony.
2009 Feb 4, A document was
released that listed thousands of people identified as customers and
victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
(WSJ, 2/6/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 4, Dr. Randeep Mann
allegedly bombed the car of Dr. Trent Pierce, the chairman of the
Tennessee state medical board, in revenge for punishment after 10 of
Mann’s patients fatally overdosed on drugs he had prescribed. Pierce
lost an eye and was severely burned.
2009 Feb 4, In Afghanistan a
roadside bomb killed six bodyguards working for a controversial
Afghan district governor in southern Helmand province.
2009 Feb 4, In northeastern
Australia rain-battered residents were on alert for snakes in their
bathrooms and crocodiles in the road following repeated storms that
have sent local wildlife in search of dry land or a safe haven.
2009 Feb 4, Brazilian police
killed at least 10 suspects, including two teenage boys, during
operations against drug traffickers in Rio de Janeiro.
2009 Feb 4, The British
military said an army officer has been arrested in Afghanistan on
suspicion of leaking official secrets. Britain’s Sun newspaper said
Lt. Col. Owen McNally had leaked figures about civilian deaths in
coalition operations to a worker from a human rights group.
2009 Feb 4, Gao Zhisheng, one
of China's most daring lawyers, was arrested. In Jan, 2010, the
Beijing police officer who took Gao away said he "went missing" in
September, leading to fears for the lawyer's safety. On Jan 21,
2010, a Foreign Ministry official said Zhisheng has been judged by
legal authorities and "is where he should be." This was China's
first public comment on the case. Zhisheng resurfaced in northern
China on March 28, 2010, saying he wants spend time with family and
away from media attention. Gao described his ordeal to The
Associated Press in April and disappeared again 2 weeks later.
(AP, 1/22/10)(SFC, 3/29/10, p.A3)(AP, 1/10/11)
2009 Feb 4, French-US telecom
equipment group Alcatel-Lucent said its net loss widened 48.5
percent to 5.215 billion euros (6.5 billion dollars) in 2008,
blaming asset write-downs in a crumbling world economy.
2009 Feb 4, French group Areva
signed a draft accord for the sale of two to six nuclear reactors to
India, a huge new market now open with the end of a nuclear trade
embargo on New Delhi.
2009 Feb 4, In Germany
countries leading the drive to resolve concerns about Iran's nuclear
program welcomed the new US administration's readiness to engage
with Tehran. Foreign Ministry officials from Germany and the five
permanent members of the UN Security Council: Britain, China,
France, Russia and the US, met in Wiesbaden.
2009 Feb 4, A Greek police
officer (38) shot and seriously wounded a Greek private security
guard (31) outside the US Embassy in central Athens.
2009 Feb 4, An Iraqi lawmaker
said the prime minister's coalition will talk to other parties about
sharing power in mostly southern areas after initial projections
showed the Shiite leader's allies were the big winners in last
weekend's provincial elections. Early results showed that PM
al-Maliki’s allies, the Coalition of the State of Law, finished
first in 10 of the 14 provinces.
2009 Feb 4, Kazakhstan allowed
its currency to devalue 25% in an effort to protect its foreign
exchange and gold reserves amidst falling oil prices.
(WSJ, 2/5/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 4, In Pakistan
assailants overnight torched 10 returning trucks stranded by the
bombing of a key bridge on the main supply route for US forces in
2009 Feb 4, Poland’s defense
minister stated plans to end military missions in Lebanon, the Golan
Heights and Chad in an effort to cut spending due to the global
2009 Feb 4, In Puerto Rico Sara
Kuszak (35) made a desperate call for help from the trunk of her
kidnapper's car, about an hour before she was found dead with her
throat slashed. Eliezer Marquez Navedo (36) confessed to kidnapping
the pregnant tourist as she was jogging and killing her. The FBI
used a signal from the victim's cell phone to help locate the
suspect. Navedo was later convicted of kidnapping, rape and murder
and sentenced to 105 years in prison.
(AP, 2/5/09)(AP, 6/2/09)
2009 Feb 4, Romania’s central
bank cut interest rates by a quarter point to 10%, still the highest
in the EU.
(WSJ, 2/5/09, p.A8)
2009 Feb 4, Russia sought to
bolster its security alliance with six other ex-Soviet nations
(Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and
Uzbekistan) by forming a joint rapid reaction force in a continuing
effort to curb US influence in energy-rich Central Asia.
2009 Feb 4, In Somalia gunmen
killed Said Tahlil Ahmed, the director of the country’s largest
media company, HornAfrik, at a market in Mogadishu. Three Somali
Canadians had established HornAfrik in 1999.
2009 Feb 4, South Korea
implemented its Capital Markets Consolidation Plan (CMCA).
2009 Feb 4, Sri Lanka's
president said that the Tamil Tiger rebels are on the verge of
defeat, but dozens of civilians were reported killed as fierce
fighting continued in Asia's longest-running civil war. The last
hospital in Sri Lanka's shrinking war zone was evacuated as Red
Cross staff and wounded civilians fled attacks that apparently
included cluster munitions. At least 52 civilians were killed by
shelling in the war zone.
(AFP, 2/4/09)(AP, 2/4/09)(WSJ, 2/5/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 4, The Vatican
demanded that Bishop Richard Williamson recant his positions on the
Holocaust before being admitted as a bishop into the Roman Catholic
(WSJ, 2/5/09, p.A8)
2009 Feb 5, New US government
data said the number of US workers filing new claims for
unemployment benefits jumped to a 26-year high last week pointing to
a rapid deterioration in the economy.
2009 Feb 5, In eastern
Afghanistan a suicide car bomb struck a convoy of foreign troops.
2009 Feb 5, The Bank of England
cut interest rates by a half-point to a record low 1 percent as it
fought a deepening recession brought on by the world financial
2009 Feb 5, British workers
voted to end a week-long unofficial strike over the use of foreign
labor at a French-owned oil refinery that sparked sympathy protests
2009 Feb 5, The British Council
said that it has suspended work in Iran because of what it calls
intimidation by the authorities there. The British Council reopened
its Tehran office in 2001 after a 22-year break following the 1979
Islamic revolution. It said 13,000 Iranians took part in English
lessons and other programs it ran in Tehran last year.
2009 Feb 5, A nongovernment
organization said the corrupt elite of Cambodia, one of the world's
most impoverished nations, has laid the groundwork for siphoning off
vast profits from a coming boom in mining and oil exploitation.
2009 Feb 5, China declared an
emergency in eight provinces suffering a serious drought that has
left nearly 4 million people without proper drinking water and is
threatening millions of acres of crops. The government published a
plan for the relocation and urbanization of farmers living near the
Three Gorges Reservoir. Some 1.4 million farmers would have to move
(AP, 2/5/09)(WSJ, 2/7/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 5, Germany's biggest
lender, Deutsche Bank, posted its first annual loss since World War
II after a terrible fourth quarter but said it would survive the
global meltdown without state aid. Deutsche Bank reported a 2008
loss of $5 billion, including $1.8 billion attributed a group run by
Wall Street trader Boaz Weinstein.
(AP, 2/5/09)(WSJ, 2/6/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 5, The Iraqi election
commission said that PM Nouri al-Maliki's party won 38 percent of
the votes in Baghdad in the Jan 31 election, followed by allies of
anti-US cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and a Sunni party with nine percent
each. A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a crowded restaurant
in a Kurdish city near the Iranian border, killing at least 12
2009 Feb 5, The Israeli navy
intercepted a ship delivering 60 tons of supplies to the Gaza Strip
from Lebanon in the latest bid to defy Israel's blockade of the
2009 Feb 5, In Nigeria a
private security official said unidentified gunmen have attacked an
oil-industry vessel off the coast of Nigeria and killed its captain.
2009 Feb 5, In central Pakistan
a suicide bomber blew himself up near a Shiite mosque in the town of
Dera Ghazi Khan, killing 24 people.
(AFP, 2/5/09)(SFC, 2/6/09, p.A3)
2009 Feb 5, Somali pirates said
that they were freeing, a Ukrainian ship carrying tanks and other
heavy weapons after receiving a $3.2 million ransom. The MV Faina
was seized last September 25. The Kenyan government claimed to the
cargo, which included 33 Soviet-designed battle tanks.
2009 Feb 5, The South Africa
Reserve Bank slashed its benchmark interest rate by a full point to
10.5 percent, following a half-point cut in December, saying
inflation is headed downward.
2009 Feb 5, Sri Lanka's prime
minister rejected calls for a cease-fire from donor countries
concerned by reports of growing civilian casualties in the South
Asian nation's civil war and instead demanded the Tamil Tiger
rebels' unconditional surrender.
2009 Feb 5, The Swedish
government agreed to scrap a three-decade ban on building new
nuclear reactors, saying it needs to avoid producing more greenhouse
2009 Feb 5, Jennifer Figge (56)
arrived in Trinidad, exhilarated and exhausted as she touched land
this week for the first time in almost a month, becoming the first
woman on record to allegedly swim across the Atlantic Ocean. Figge
actually swam only a fraction of the 2,100-mile journey. The rest of
the time, she rested on her crew's westward-sailing catamaran.
(AP, 2/8/09)(AP, 2/10/09)
2009 Feb 5, Turkey's parliament
approved the Kyoto Protocol on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The
parliament voted 243-3 after the Cabinet signed the protocol.
2009 Feb 5, Zimbabwe's
parliament passed a constitutional bill to allow a coalition
government of President Robert Mugabe and opposition rivals, being
set up under a deal to end political and economic crisis.
2009 Feb 6, The US FDA approved
the first drug made with materials from genetically altered animals.
Atryn, developed by GTX Biotherapeutics, was made from the milk of a
genetically altered goat and would be used to treat a rare
blood-clotting disorder known as hereditary antithrombin deficiency.
(WSJ, 2/7/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 6, California ordered
200,000 employees, 90% of the state work force, to take an unpaid
day off amid a fiscal crises.
(WSJ, 2/7/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 6, In Ohio Gertrude
"Trudy" Steuernagel, a Kent State University professor, died a week
after she was severely injured in a Jan 29 beating by Sky Walker
(18), her autistic son.
2009 Feb 6, Phil Carey
(b.1925), film and TV actor, died in NYC. He was best known for his
role as business tycoon Asa Buchanan in the ABC soap opera "One Life
2009 Feb 6, It was reported
that Canada has granted Lai Changxing a work permit. Chinese
authorities have accused Lai Changxing of masterminding a network
that smuggled as much as $10 billion of goods with the protection of
corrupt government officials. Before fleeing to Canada in 1999, Lai
lived a life of luxury in China complete with a mansion and a
2009 Feb 6, Nigeria’s
government reported that 84 infants and children have died after
swallowing My Pikin Baby Teething Mixture, a teething syrup laced
with diethylene glycol. A failed bid to smuggle a bus filled with
rice into Nigeria from Niger left seven people dead including two
customs officers set ablaze with petrol.
(SFC, 2/7/09, p.A2)(AFP, 2/8/09)
2009 Feb 6, A Pakistani court
freed nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan. He had admitted to
selling weapon technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.
(WSJ, 2/7/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 6, Pakistani forces
killed 52 Islamic militants in the northwest.
(WSJ, 2/9/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 6, The UN agency for
Palestinian refugees suspended aid to Gaza, accusing the Hamas
rulers of stealing a delivery of humanitarian supplies for the 2nd
time in a week. Jamil Shaqqura (51) died in a hospital of wounds
from beating and torture, a week after he was picked for
interrogation by Hamas' internal security.
(SFC, 2/709, p.A3)(AP, 2/14/09)
2009 Feb 6, Russia granted
transit rights to nonlethal US military supplies headed to
Afghanistan, but only after pressuring Kyrgyzstan to close an air
base leased to the US.
(SFC, 2/7/09, p.A3)
2009 Feb 7, San Francisco
ushered in the Year of the Ox with its annual Chinese New Year
(SSFC, 2/8/09, p.B1)
2009 Feb 7, Blossom Dearie
(b.1926), jazz pianist, singer and songwriter, died in NYC.
(SFC, 2/11/09, p.B7)
2009 Feb 7, In Australia
searing temperatures and wind blasts created a firestorm that swept
across a swath of the country's Victoria state. On “Black Saturday"
some 2298 homes were destroyed with a death toll of 173. The town of
Marysville and several hamlets in the Kinglake district, both about
50 miles (100 km) north of Melbourne, were utterly devastated. In
2012 James Sokaluk was jailed for at least 14 years for starting a
blaze that killed 10 people and destroyed more than 150 homes at
(AFP, 2/8/09)(Econ, 1/14/12, p.61)(AFP, 4/27/12)
2009 Feb 7, In Bolivia
President Evo Morales and thousands of supporters celebrated the new
constitution as it took effect, saying the new document will
enshrine indigenous rights and end centuries of oppression. It
renamed the former republic the “Plurinational State of Bolivia,"
effective as of Jan 22, 2010.
(AP, 2/7/09)(SSFC, 1/20/13, p.P3)
2009 Feb 7, A Bolivian woman
died from an injection of urine allegedly administered by her friend
as a form of health therapy. Investigating prosecutor Oscar Flores
later said that Gabriela Ascarrunz (35) died of an "infection caused
by urine that was injected by fashion designer Monica Schultz."
2009 Feb 7, In Brazil 4 people
at the rear of a plane that crashed in a muddy Amazon river managed
to open an emergency door and swim to safety as the aircraft sank,
dragging 24 others to their death.
2009 Feb 7, In Ecuador
President Rafael Correa ordered the expulsion of a top US diplomat
he accused of suspending $340,000 in annual aid because Ecuador
would not allow the US to veto appointments to the anti-smuggling
2009 Feb 7, In Ethiopia Brian
Adkins (25) was killed in his home in Addis Ababa. He was serving as
a consular officer at the US Embassy there. A suspect was arrested
on Feb 11.
2009 Feb 7, In Antananarivo,
Madagascar, at least 28 people were killed by security forces during
anti-government protests. Arrest warrants were issued the next day
for those deemed responsible for the political violence. A week of
violence left up to 100 people dead.
(SFC, 2/9/09, p.A2)(Econ, 3/21/09, p.50)
2009 Feb 7, Officials in
Morocco said heavy rains have claimed 24 lives and forced 2,000
people to be evacuated over the past week.
2009 Feb 7, In Gaza Hasan
al-Hijazi, who was shot by three masked men. Hamas later issued a
statement calling the killing a "mistake."
2009 Feb 7, In Venezuela tens
of thousands of protesters marched in Caracas to oppose a
constitutional amendment that could allow President Hugo Chavez to
run for re-election indefinitely.
2009 Feb 8, Coldplay’s “Viva la
Vida" won the Grammy for song of the year. Robert Plant and Alison
Krauss' unorthodox partnership yielded rich rewards on Grammy night,
as the pair nabbed five awards for their haunting "Raising Sand,"
including record and album of the year honors.
(WSJ, 2/9/09, p.A1)(AP, 2/9/09)
2009 Feb 8, In Fort Bragg, Ca.,
Aaron Vargas (31) shot and killed Darrell McNeill (63), a former
neighbor. McNeill, a former boy Scout leader and Big Brother, had
begun molesting Vargas at age of 11 and continued as Vargas grew
into his 20s. 12 other men soon came forward with stories of
molestation by McNeill. On April 6, 2010, Vargas pleaded no contest
to voluntary manslaughter charges. On June 15 Vargas was sentenced
to 9 years in prison.
(SSFC, 2/21/10, p.A1)(SFC, 4/7/10, p.A1)(SFC,
2009 Feb 8, In Illinois a
broken holding tank at a Caterpillar plant near Joliet spilled some
65,000 gallons of oil sludge and contaminated a 30-mile section of
the Des Plaines River.
(SFC, 2/9/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 8, A single-engine
plane carrying six US citizens crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off
the north coast of Puerto Rico.
2009 Feb 8, In Afghanistan two
American soldiers died when a roadside bomb they were trying to
defuse exploded. An Afghan interpreter and a policeman also died in
the blast. a roadside bomb ripped through a police vehicle in
Khogyani district, near the border with Pakistan, killing two police
and wounding three civilians. A suicide bomber attacked a group of
Afghan soldiers in southwestern Nimroz province, killing one soldier
and two civilians.
(AP, 2/8/09)(AP, 2/9/09)
2009 Feb 8, In eastern
Bangladesh a ferry boat sank after colliding with a larger ferry on
the Titas River, killing 10 women and children.
2009 Feb 8, In London the film
"Slumdog Millionaire", the rags-to-riches tale of a Mumbai tea boy
who wins big, swept the board at the British Academy Film Awards
(BAFTAs) with seven prizes including best film.
2009 Feb 8, China’s government
said that there was no end in sight for its worst drought in five
decades. Some 4.4 million people lacked adequate drinking water in
the north as winter wheat withered.
(SFC, 2/9/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 8, Sigurdur Helgason
(b.1921), former Icelandic airline CEO (1974-1984), died on the
Caribbean private island of Mustique. He pioneered cheap flights
that carried legions of backpackers between Europe and the United
States in the 1960s and '70s.
2009 Feb 8, In Iraq Spc. James
M. Dorsey (23) of Beardstown, Ill., was found unresponsive by fellow
troops in Baghdad and attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
2009 Feb 8, Kuwait's Central
Bank governor unveiled a $5.15 billion economic stimulus package
aimed at helping struggling investment companies and offering bank
2009 Feb 8, Pakistani Taliban
militants released a graphic video showing the beheading of a Polish
engineer whom they said was killed because Islamabad refused to free
detained insurgents. Piotr Stanczak had been seized in the volatile
northwest on September 28.
2009 Feb 8, Two rockets fired
by Palestinian militants struck southern Israel, violating an
informal truce even as Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers appeared to
hurry closer to a long-term cease-fire deal two days before Israeli
2009 Feb 8, In Somalia at least
three civilians were killed when insurgents attacked African Union
forces and government troops in the strife-torn capital Mogadishu.
2009 Feb 8, In Sri Lanka an
official said more than 15,000 civilians have fled the northern war
zone over the last three days, as government forces appeared poised
to crush the separatist Tamil Tigers.
2009 Feb 8, Voters in
Switzerland approved an expanded labor deal with the European Union
that allows Romanians and Bulgarians to work in the Alpine republic.
2009 Feb 9, US Federal judges
tentatively ordered California to release tens of thousands of
inmates, up to a third of all prisoners, in the next three years to
stop dangerous overcrowding.
2009 Feb 9, Baseball player
Alex Rodriguez admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs with
the Texas Rangers from 2001 to 2003.
(WSJ, 2/10/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 9, In Argentina the
ultraconservative Society of St. Pius X said British Bishop Richard
Williamson, whose denials of the Holocaust led to Vatican demands he
recant, has been removed as the head of an Argentine seminary. On
Feb 19 the bishop was ordered to leave Argentina within 10 days.
(AP, 2/9/09)(AP, 2/20/09)
2009 Feb 9, In Argentina at
least 12 people were missing and over 1000 evacuated after a
mudslide swept away a railroad bridge and homes in the northern
border town of Tartagal.
(SFC, 2/10/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 9, In Australia police
declared incinerated towns crime scenes, and PM Rudd spoke of "mass
murder" after investigators said arsonists may have set some of the
country's worst wildfires in history. The official death toll from
the wildfires was later downgraded to 173 from a previous count of
(AP, 2/9/09)(AP, 2/10/09)(AP, 3/30/09)
2009 Feb 9, In Montreal,
Canada, researchers said that an Indevus Pharmaceuticals gel
formulated to protect women from the virus that causes AIDS appeared
to protect about a third of them from infection, the first time a
so-called microbicide has been shown to work.
2009 Feb 9, In Beijing, China,
the tower of a nearly completed skyscraper was destroyed by a fire
believed to have ignited by a fireworks display marking the end of
the Lunar New Year celebrations. It was part of the new headquarters
for China Central Television (CCTV). In 2010 a Beijing court
sentenced 20 people to up to seven years in prison over the deadly
fire at CCTV's iconic headquarters.
(SFC, 2/10/09, p.A6)(AP, 5/10/10)
2009 Feb 9, In Cuba Orlando
"Cachaito" Lopez (b.1933), considered the "heartbeat" of Cuba's
legendary Buena Vista Social Club for his internationally acclaimed
bass playing, died of complications from prostate surgery.
2009 Feb 9, The French
government said it would give $8.4 million in low interest loans to
Renault SA and PSA Peugeot-Citroen in exchange for pledges that the
car makers won’t close any factories of lay off workers in France
for the duration of the funding.
(WSJ, 2/10/09, p.B2)
2009 Feb 9, A senior Iraqi
security official said that four prisoners have been transferred
from the US military detention center in Guantanamo Bay to Iraqi
custody. A suicide bomber detonated his car near a US Army patrol in
Mosul killing 4 soldiers and their Iraqi translator.
(AP, 2/9/09)(SFC, 2/10/09, p.A3)
2009 Feb 9, In northern Italy
Eluana Englaro (38) died at her clinic as the Italian Senate
discussed legislation clarifying the right to die. Englaro had been
in a vegetative state since a 1992 car accident and died after her
family cut off her food and water.
2009 Feb 9, Nissan said it is
slashing 20,000 jobs, or 8.5 percent of its global work force, to
cope with what Japan's third-largest automaker expects will be its
first annual loss in nine years.
2009 Feb 9, Scientists in Japan
reported that they have identified an enzyme which appears to
suppress breast cancer and they hope the finding will spur new
therapies to control the second most common cancer in the world.
2009 Feb 9, In Madagascar
defense minister Cecile Manorohanta said she has resigned because
civilians were killed when security forces fired on anti-government
protesters over the weekend.
2009 Feb 9, A Palestinian
fighter died in a clash with Israeli troops and Israeli aircraft
attacked two targets in Gaza as mediators tried to broker a
long-term cease-fire a day before Israel holds national elections.
2009 Feb 9, In the Philippines
Abu Sayyaf militants holding three Red Cross workers tried to break
a military cordon that has boxed them in for days, setting off a
clash that wounded five marines and sparked concerns over the
2009 Feb 9, South Korean
prosecutors cleared police of any wrongdoing over a commando raid
last month that left six people dead in a clash with displaced
tenants in central Seoul.
2009 Feb 9, Spain's interior
minister blamed the armed Basque separatist group ETA for an
explosion in the east of Madrid, which police said caused extensive
damage but no casualties.
2009 Feb 9, In Sri Lanka a
woman with a bomb strapped to her body hid in a crowd of civilians
at a refugee camp in Vishvamadu, blowing herself up and killing 29
people as security forces frisked people fleeing the northern war
(AP, 2/9/09)(SFC, 2/10/09, p.A6)(Econ, 2/14/09,
2009 Feb 9, In Sri Lanka 9
bodies were dumped on farmland in the northerly district of
Mullaitivu after they were killed in an army multi-barrel shell
attack. The grave was discovered in 2014. Another mass grave was
reported to be 200 meters away.
2009 Feb 9, In Switzerland
Paula Oliviera (26), a lawyer from Brazil, claimed she was attacked
by three skinheads, one with a Nazi symbol tattooed on the back of
his head, outside a Zurich train station. On Feb 13 investigators
said was not pregnant and probably cut wounds into herself.
2009 Feb 10, Timothy Geithner,
US Treasury Secretary, outlined the government stimulus package. As
much as $2.5 trillion, including $350 billion from the bailout fund,
would come from the Federal Reserve and private investors. The US
Senate approved an $838.2 billion stimulus bill with 3 Republicans
joining Democrats in the 61-37 vote.
(SFC, 2/11/09, p.A1)(WSJ, 2/11/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 10, The US Postal
Service announced that the price of a first-class stamp will rise to
44 cents on May 11. The Postal Service said it lost $2.8 billion
last year and, unless the economy turns around, is headed toward
much larger losses this year.
2009 Feb 10, General Motors
Corp. said it will cut 10,000 salaried jobs, citing the need to
restructure itself with a government deadline looming and amid some
of the worst sales in the auto industry's history.
2009 Feb 10, Teens in
Kalamazoo, Michigan, beat a 50-year-old bicyclist leaving the man
critically injured. On March 26 five teens were charged in the
(SFC, 3/27/09, p.A8)
2009 Feb 10, In Oklahoma an
unusual cluster of twisters ripped across the state killing eight
people. The eight confirmed deaths included seven people in Lone
Grove and a truck driver who was driving through the area.
2009 Feb 10, The Utah state
Department of Agriculture said Africanized honey bees have been
found for the first time in the Beehive State. The bees, long the
subject of lore as "killer bees," were recently discovered in Utah's
Washington and Kane counties.
2009 Feb 10, The first-ever
collision between two satellites occurred over Siberia when a
derelict Russian military communications satellite, Cosmos 2251,
crossed paths with a US Iridium satellite.
(AP, 2/12/09)(Econ, 8/21/10, p.65)
2009 Feb 10, In Afghanistan a
bomb struck a NATO convoy, killing two soldiers and wounding one.
Police spokesman Wazir Pacha said the attack in Khost province was
carried out by a suicide bomber in a vehicle. But a NATO spokesman
blamed the attack on a roadside bomb.
2009 Feb 10, The British
government banned Dutch right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders from
visiting the country to show his anti-Islam film "Fitna" at the
Houses of Parliament. In a telephone interview Wilders called the
government's decision "cowardly" and vowed to defy it.
2009 Feb 10, In England William
Foxton (65), died from a single bullet wound to the head in the
southern port city of Southampton. He killed himself after losing
his life savings in an alleged $50 billion fraud run by Wall Street
financier Bernard Madoff. Foxton had served in the British Army and
more recently worked as a defense contractor in Afghanistan.
2009 Feb 10, The European Union
announced that it has signed a pact with 17 social networking
providers including Facebook, MySpace and Google to improve
safeguards against the bullying of teenagers online.
2009 Feb 10, EU ministers
demanded the reopening of negotiations with Liechtenstein on
(Econ, 2/21/09, p.53)
2009 Feb 10, A tanker burst
into flames after colliding with a container ship in a shipping
channel off the coast of Dubai. The Maltese-flagged tanker, Kashmir,
was carrying about 30,000 tons of oil condensate.
2009 Feb 10, President Nicolas
Sarkozy made the first-ever visit by a French head of state to Iraq,
seeking to reassert French influence in the country even as the US
prepares to draw down its forces.
2009 Feb 10, In Israel
front-runners moderate Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and former PM
Benjamin Netanyahu made last-minute appeals to voters as polls
opened in a close general election whose outcome could determine the
course of Mideast peace negotiations.
2009 Feb 10, In Mexico a drug
gang kidnapped and killed six people near a town in the US-Mexican
border region, prompting a series of gunbattles with soldiers that
left 15 others dead. The violence started when gunmen kidnapped nine
alleged members of a rival drug gang in Villa Ahumada and executed
six of them along the PanAmerican Highway outside of the town.
2009 Feb 10, Nigerian union
officials said a 2-day-old strike by freight and forwarding agents
to protest high charges was worsening cargo congestion in Lagos, the
country's main seaport.
2009 Feb 10, Pakistan called
for a new strategy of dialogue to combat militancy and urged
Washington to reconsider military action on its territory in its
first talks with US envoy Richard Holbrooke.
2009 Feb 10, An unmanned
Russian cargo ship lifted off from Kazakhstan carrying supplies and
a space suit to the international space station and its three-member
crew. American astronauts Michael Fincke and Sandra Magnus are
aboard the station along with Russian Yuri Lonchakov. The crew size
will be doubled to six members later this year.
2009 Feb 10, Sri Lanka's
military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said Tamil Tiger guerrillas
shot dead 19 civilians and wounded 75 others fleeing territory still
under rebel control. The Red Cross loaded some 240 sick and wounded
onto a boat to evacuate them from the war zone.
(AFP, 2/10/09)(AP, 2/10/09)
2009 Feb 10, A Sudanese
government delegation met Darfur rebels from the Justice and
Equality Movement in the Qatari capital for their first peace
contacts since 2007.
2009 Feb 10, Taiwan's former
first lady admitted to laundering $2.2 million and forging
documents, the latest in a judicial process that has seen her
husband stage a jailhouse hunger strike, her daughter lash out at
media, and her son plead guilty to similar charges.
2009 Feb 11, US House and
Senate leaders agreed to a $789 stimulus package.
(SFC, 2/12/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 11, Massachusetts' top
securities regulator said the wife of accused Wall Street swindler
Bernard Madoff pulled $15 million out of a brokerage account only
days before her husband was arrested.
2009 Feb 11, San Francisco city
leaders banned floats, beer and nudity for the upcoming 98th annual
Bay to Breakers run. On Feb 27 city officials agreed to allow nudity
and registered floats free of alcohol.
(SFC, 2/12/09, p.A1)(SFC, 2/28/09, p.B1)
2009 Feb 11, BrightSource
Energy of Oakland, California, announced that it will sell southern
California Edison 1,300 megawatts of electricity from 7 large solar
plants planned for the California desert. This was believed to be
the world’s largest solar deal to date. In September BrightSource
said it had ceased plans for a solar plant at Broadwell Dry Lake in
the Mojave desert.
(SFC, 2/12/09, p.A1)(SSFC, 9/20/09, p.D4)
2009 Feb 11, Estelle Bennett
(67), one of the Ronettes, was found dead at her home in Englewood,
N.J. She was part of the singing trio whose 1963 hit "Be My Baby"
epitomized the famed "wall of sound" technique of its producer, Phil
2009 Feb 11, In NYC Guido
Salvador Carabajo-Jara (26), an immigrant from Ecuador, died after
he was hit by a car then trapped under a van and dragged for nearly
(SFC, 2/13/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 11, In Afghanistan 8
Taliban gunmen wearing suicide vests attacked 3 government buildings
in a coordinated assault that killed 20 people in the heart of Kabul
just ahead of a planned visit from the new US envoy to the region. A
spokesman for the Taliban, said the attacks were in response to the
alleged mistreatment of Taliban prisoners in Afghan government
jails. In Logar province a roadside bomb exploded near a French
military medical team's convoy, killing one French officer and two
Afghans. Also in Logar province a helicopter with the US-backed
coalition killed five civilians as it responded to ground fire.
2009 Feb 11, In Austria Mike
Brennan, a teacher and former football player from Jacksonville,
Florida, working in Vienna, was attacked by two undercover police
officers at a subway station. The police did not identify themselves
and left Brennan lying on the platform. In 2010 prosecutors charged
an undercover policemen with badly beating the black American
teacher after mistaking him for a drug dealer. On Jan 11, 2011, a
judge convicted an undercover Austrian police officer of attacking
Brennan after mistaking him for an African drug dealer and ordered
him to pay a euro2,800 ($3,620) fine.
(AP, 4/27/10)(AP, 1/11/11)
2009 Feb 11, In Azerbaijan a
gunman fatally shot air force chief Lt. Gen. Rail Rzayev (63)
outside his home. He had represented Azerbaijan in talks with Russia
and the US on Moscow's 2007 proposal to make a Soviet-built radar
station in Azerbaijan.
2009 Feb 11, In Egypt
archeologist revealed the discovery of a burial chamber 36 feet
below ground at the necropolis of Saqqara dating back to about
(WSJ, 2/12/09, p.A9)
2009 Feb 11, India’s Supreme
Court declared ragging, the bullying of first-year undergraduates by
older university students, a “human rights abuse in essence" and
ordered measures to stamp it out.
(Econ, 8/1/09, p.38)(http://tinyurl.com/lg6v9a)
2009 Feb 11, In Iraq at least
12 people were killed and 25 others wounded in bombings in Baghdad
targeting Shiite pilgrims traveling to Karbala.
(AP, 2/11/09)(SFC, 2/13/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 11, Inconclusive
election results sent Israel into political limbo with both Foreign
Minister Tzipi Livni and hard-line leader Benjamin Netanyahu
claiming victory and leaving the kingmaker role to a rising
political hawk with an anti-Arab platform.
2009 Feb 11, In northwest
Pakistan provincial lawmaker Alam Zeb Khan was killed and seven
other people wounded after a bicycle bombing in Peshawar, as US
envoy Richard Holbrooke visited the city.
2009 Feb 11, The Philippines
Supreme Court said in a statement it had ordered Manila to negotiate
with the US authorities for an "appropriate agreement on detention
facilities under Philippine authorities" for Lance Corporal Daniel
Smith. In 2006 Smith was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in jail
for raping a Filipina after he took part in military exercises north
of Manila in 2005.
2009 Feb 11, Off Somalia the
USS Vella Gulf detained seven suspected pirates, the Navy's first
arrests since it established an anti-piracy task force this year.
2009 Feb 11, Officials in
Uruguay said a Cuban long-distance runner and track coach have
disappeared and apparently intend to defect. Aguelmis Rojas and
Rafael Diaz had arrived in January on a sports exchange program in
2009 Feb 11, Judges at the
Yugoslav war crimes tribunal voted to suspend the trial of
ultranationalist Serb leader Vojislav Seselj after the prosecution
said its case was being undermined by witness intimidation. The
decision came after 71 prosecution witnesses had already been heard
and with only a handful still to testify.
2009 Feb 11, Zimbabwe's
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister,
joining President Robert Mugabe in a unity government after a decade
of struggling to push him from power.
2009 Feb 12, The first of four
new pennies chronicling Abraham Lincoln's rise from a small Kentucky
cabin went into circulation to honor the 16th president's 200th
2009 Feb 12, A commuter plane,
Continental Connection Flight 3407 from Newark, N.J., coming in for
a landing nose-dived into a house in suburban Buffalo, sparking a
fiery explosion that killed all 49 people aboard and a person in the
home. It was the nation's first fatal crash of a commercial airliner
in 2 1/2 years. Historian Alison Des Forges (66), prominent human
rights advocate who documented genocide in Rwanda, was among the
victims of the crash.
(AP, 2/13/09)(AP, 2/13/09)
2009 Feb 12, In New York Aasiya
Hassan (37) was found beheaded at the Bridges TV offices. Muzzammil
Hassan, founder and CEO of Buffalo, NY-based Bridges TV, was charged
after reporting the death of his wife. He had launched Bridges in
2004 with a mission to show Muslims in a more positive light.
Muzzammil Hassan, who pleaded that he was a victim of spousal abuse,
was convicted on Feb 7, 2011.
(Reuters, 2/16/09)(SFC, 2/8/11, p.A6)
2009 Feb 12, Ed Grothus
(b.1923), owner of the Black Hole “nuclear waste" junk store in Los
Alamos, NM, died. The former Manhattan Project machinist began
collecting rejected equipment from the weapons lab at Los Alamos in
1969 and in 1972 established his Omega Peace Institute at a former
Lutheran church, which later became his First Church of High
(SFC, 3/14/09, p.A10)
2009 Feb 12, In southern
Afghanistan a gunfight between Australian forces and Taliban
fighters killed at least 3 children who were caught in the crossfire
in Uruzgan province. In 2010 three former Australian commandos faced
serious charges in relation to the late-night raid that killed 6
Afghans, including five children. Another two children and two
adults were wounded. In 2011 Australia dropped all charges against
the three commandos.
(AP, 2/13/09)(AP, 9/27/10)(AP, 8/30/11)
2009 Feb 12, In eastern Algeria
2 bombs exploded hours after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika
announced he will run for a new term, killing at least seven people.
2009 Feb 12, Canada said its
federal police will no longer use stun guns against suspects merely
resisting arrest or refusing to cooperate because the guns can cause
death. At least 20 Canadians have died after being zapped by stun
(SFC, 2/13/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 12, In Canada Timothy
Scott (22), a US Marine wanted for abandoning his unit, shot himself
to death outside his mother’s home in Nova Scotia after police tried
to talk him out of firing a gun. Scott had already served 2 terms in
(SSFC, 2/15/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 12, Chile’s central
bank slashed its key interest rate 2.5% to 4.75%.
(WSJ, 2/13/09, p.A8)(Econ, 2/21/09, p.40)
2009 Feb 12, China's President
Hu Jintao arrived in Mali at the start of a four-country African
tour which Beijing insists is about strengthening cooperation and
not solely for economic gain.
2009 Feb 12, The Aluminum
Corporation of China (Chinalco) announced that it would invest $19.5
billion in Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto. In June it was reported
that Chinalco would not complete the deal.
(Econ, 2/14/09, p.73)(AFP, 6/4/09)
2009 Feb 12, Local officials
confirmed that swaths of western China that have large Tibetan
populations have been declared off limits to foreign visitors, ahead
of the politically sensitive 50th anniversary of a failed Tibetan
2009 Feb 12, An Egyptian
security official said police have arrested 40 suspected smugglers
and seized goods in a new crackdown on smuggling into the Hamas-run
Gaza Strip in a crackdown that started last weekend.
2009 Feb 12, Researchers in
Germany, on the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, said
they have completed the first draft of the Neanderthal genome, 3
billion genetic building blocks that will shed new light on the
ancient hominid as well as the origins of humans, its closest
relation. Lead scientist Svante Paabo established in 1997 that
Neanderthals were cousins rather than ancestors of modern humans.
(AP, 2/12/09)(Econ, 2/21/09, p.80)
2009 Feb 12, Domenica Niehoff
(63), Germany's best-known former prostitute, died. She was a
familiar figure on TV talk shows in the 1970s and '80s and was
instantly recognizable for her 48-inch bust and notoriously
2009 Feb 12, Hong Kong's High
Court quashed the conviction of Australian Kevin Egan, one of the
city's most high-profile lawyers, who had been jailed for leaking
the identity of a protected witness to a journalist.
2009 Feb 12, In India Chief
Justice A.P. Shah said the High Court in New Delhi is so behind in
its work that it could take 466 years to clear the backlog.
(SFC, 2/13/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 12, In Indonesia at
least 42 people were injured and hundreds of homes and buildings
damaged when a major earthquake struck off Sulawesi island near the
2009 Feb 12, In Iraq a bomb
attack targeting Shiite pilgrims in Karbala killed 8 people and
injured 52 others.
(AP, 2/12/09)(SFC, 2/13/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 12, Mexican federal
police arrested 10 alleged members of a hit squad working for the
Beltran Leyva drug cartel, who had come to Mexico City to start a
turf war with a rival cartel.
(WSJ, 2/13/09, p.A10)
2009 Feb 12, Pakistan’s
government said for the first time that last November's attack on
Mumbai was launched and partly planned from Pakistan, and it was
holding in custody a ringleader and five other suspects.
2009 Feb 12, Hamas deputy
leader Moussa Abu Marzouk told Egypt's official MENA news agency
that the Islamic militant group has agreed to an 18-month truce with
2009 Feb 12, Off Somalia an
American helicopter from the USS Vella Gulf fired warning shots at
gunmen in two skiffs that had opened fire and tried to board the
Indian-flagged vessel Premdivya. US forces searched the skiff and
found weapons including rocket-propelled grenades, then took nine
suspected pirates aboard the American ship. A Russian
nuclear-powered heavy missile cruiser, Peter The Great, detained 10
Somali pirates closing in on an Iranian-flagged fishing trawler. The
men, were caught with rifles, grenade-launchers, illegal narcotics
and a large sum of money.
2009 Feb 12, In Russia's
restive southern republic of Ingushetia insurgents and police
clashed, leaving four officers and three attackers dead.
2009 Feb 12, Sri Lanka's army
disbanded the mostly ineffective "safe zone" it had established in
the war-wracked north and set up a new refuge for the tens of
thousands of civilians still trapped. A Sri Lankan (26) set himself
on fire outside the UN complex in Geneva in apparent protest against
the military campaign. A five-page letter found near his body
identified the man as a Tamil who had been living in Britain.
(AP, 2/12/09)(AP, 2/14/09)
2009 Feb 12, In Venezuela tens
of thousands clad in red flooded the streets of Caracas, saying a
referendum that would end term limits is the only way President Hugo
Chavez can complete what he calls a socialist revolution.
2009 Feb 13, US Congress
approved a $787 billion stimulus package. The House vote was
246-183, with all Republicans opposed to the package. The Senate
approved the measure 60-38 with three GOP moderates providing
crucial support. It contained provisions recognizing and
compensating some 18,000 Filipino veterans who fought under the
American flag when the Philippines was still an American colony.
(AP, 2/14/09)(AFP, 2/16/09)
2009 Feb 13, The Lynchburg,
Va.-based Peanut Corp. of America, at the heart of a national
salmonella outbreak, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in US Bankruptcy
2009 Feb 13, In Southern
California Amber Dubois (14) disappeared while on her way to
Escondido high school. Her body was found on March 6, 2010, on the
Pala Indian Reservation. On May 15, 2010 John Albert Gardner was
sentenced to life in prison for attacks on Chelsea King (17) and
Amber Dubois (14).
(SFC, 3/8/10, p.C3)(SFC, 5/18/10, p.A4)
2009 Feb 13, US envoy Richard
Holbrooke held key talks in Afghanistan aimed at stepping up the
fight against a Taliban-led insurgency that the top US intelligence
chief warned was escalating.
2009 Feb 13, Australian
authorities charged a man with lighting one of the wildfires that
killed at least 189 people, and whisked him into protective custody
to guard him from public fury. Brendan Sokaluk (39), faced two
charges related to one of the February 7 fires that killed 11 people
in Victoria's Gippsland region, east of Melbourne.
(AP, 2/13/09)(AP, 2/16/09)
2009 Feb 13, Lloyds Banking
Group (LBG), already 43% owned by the British government announced a
£10billion loss at HBOS, which it had taken over last September.
(Econ, 2/21/09, p.56)
2009 Feb 13, State media
reported that China plans to create a blacklist of journalists who
break its reporting rules, adding to an array of controls used to
restrict its domestic media.
2009 Feb 13, The World Bank
said it will provide a $710 million loan to China to help rebuild
areas hit by last year's devastating Sichuan earthquake.
2009 Feb 13, A Congolese
military spokesman said more than 40 members of a Hutu militia
suspected of atrocities during Rwanda's 1994 genocide were killed in
an overnight air raid.
2009 Feb 13, In Germany Ahmad
Obeidi (24), and Afghan immigrant, was convicted of murdering his
16-year-old sister in a so-called "honor killing."
2009 Feb 13, In eastern India
at least 15 people were killed and more than 160 injured when a
train derailed in Orissa state near Jajpur.
2009 Feb 13, In Iraq a female
suicide bomber attacked a tent filled with women and children
resting from a pilgrimage to Karbala, killing 40 people and injuring
60 others. It was the deadliest attack in Iraq this year and the
third straight day of bombings against Shiite pilgrims.
2009 Feb 13, In Mexico
photographer Jean Paul Ibarra (33) and reporter Yenny Marchan were
on their way to the morgue in the southern city of Iguala when
gunmen on another motorcycle came alongside and opened fire. Marchan
received two bullet wounds but survived; Ibarra was killed.
2009 Feb 13, Myanmar's military
government extended the house arrest of the deputy leader of Aung
San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party for one year, despite recent calls
from the United Nations for the release of political prisoners.
2009 Feb 13, Oil giant Royal
Dutch Shell said it has declared force majeure on shipments from its
main Nigerian terminal because of increased attacks by insurgents on
key facilities. Force Majeure (French for "superior force") is a
common clause in contracts which essentially frees both parties from
liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance
beyond the control of the parties.
2009 Feb 13, Two rockets fired
by Gaza militants hit near a communal farm and the town of Sderot.
An Israeli airstrike on Gaza killed one man and critically wounded
another. The men were riding a motorcycle near the town of Khan
Younis when they were hit by fire from an Israeli drone.
2009 Feb 13, In the southern
Philippines 9 gunmen snatched a Sri Lankan peace activist from his
home, the latest in a wave of kidnappings blamed on al-Qaida-linked
2009 Feb 13, In Sri Lanka the
top health official said artillery shelling and gunbattles between
government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels were killing about 40
civilians every day and wounding more than 100 others inside Sri
Lanka's war zone.
2009 Feb 13, Turks and Caicos
Islands jet-setting PM Michael Misick said he will step down as
leader the at the end of March, citing a lack of support for his
scandal-plagued government. Premier Misick reportedly paid himself
more than Britain’s Gordon Brown for running the territory of 36,000
(AP, 2/14/09)(Econ, 2/21/09, p.42)
2009 Feb 13, In Zimbabwe Roy
Bennett, a white farmer turned politician with Tsvangirai's Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), was arrested by state agents just as
the new cabinet was preparing to take office. Tsvangirai had named
Bennett to become the deputy minister of agriculture in the new
2009 Feb 14, In Alabama
suspicious fires destroyed 2 churches and damaged a third near the
(SFC, 2/18/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 14, In Canandaigua,
New York, Kimberly and Christopher Glatz were killed at their home.
Mary Silliman (23) was slain along with Randall Norman (41) a
motorist who intervened when he saw her being roughed up in the
parking lot in a pre-dawn attack outside Lakeside Memorial Hospital
in Brockport. In August Frank Garcia, a nursing supervisor, was
convicted of the Glatz killings and faced another trial for the
Brockport killings. On Sep 1 Garcia was sentenced to life in prison.
p.A5)(http://tinyurl.com/myhxsv)(SFC, 9/2/09, p.A8)
2009 Feb 14, Louie Bellson
(b.1924), big band and jazz drummer, died. The master musician
performed with such greats as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny
Goodman and his late wife, Pearl Bailey.
2009 Feb 14, US envoy Richard
Holbrooke met Afghan President Hamid Karzai as part of Washington's
push to step up efforts against extremism. The Afghan leader
admitted to tensions with its US ally. Marine Sgt. Daniel Hansen was
killed while supporting combat operations in Farah province.
(AP, 2/14/09)(SFC, 2/19/09, p.B4)
2009 Feb 14, Sir Bernard Ashley
(82), British businessman, died. He teamed up with his wife to build
the Laura Ashley (d.1985) fashion and home furnishing brand into a
2009 Feb 14, Over 6,000 people
have fled the Ndele region of the Central African Republic for a
Chadian border village after violence erupted between two ethnic
groups, the Runga and the Gulus.
2009 Feb 14, China's Pres. Hu
Jintao toured the site of a new, Chinese-financed national theater
in Senegal, a day after signing a bilateral agreement promising the
West African nation over $90 million in gifts and loans.
2009 Feb 14, Egyptian Foreign
Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit held talks with Sudanese President Omar
al-Beshir amid reports that the International Criminal Court has
decided to issue a warrant for his arrest..
2009 Feb 14, In Rome G-7
finance ministers strongly rejected protectionism, pledging to work
together to support growth and employment and to strengthen the
banking system so the world can overcome its worst financial crisis
in 50 years.
2009 Feb 14, In Iraq a roadside
bomb killed two civilians and wounded four others, including a
soldier, when it exploded near an Iraqi army patrol in western
2009 Feb 14, Irish authorities
learned about an oil spill through surveillance carried out by the
European Maritime Safety Agency in Lisbon, Portugal. Irish military
aircraft flew over the area and saw the Russian aircraft carrier
Admiral Kuznetsov, a Russian oil tanker, and a Russian oceangoing
tug near the slick. this was the biggest oil spill in the waters
around Ireland in the last ten years.
2009 Feb 14, Mexico City set a
new record as nearly 40,000 people locked lips in the city center
for the world's largest group kiss. Gunmen killed a state police
officer Carlos Reyes and 10 members of his family, including
five children in the town of Monte Largo, Tabasco state. The
shooting also killed a street vendor in front of the house of the
officer. In Jalisco state gunmen burst into a restaurant, killing
seven people and wounding five, including 3 children.
(AP, 2/14/09)(AP, 2/15/09)(AP, 2/17/09)
2009 Feb 14, In northwestern
Pakistan a suspected US missile strike by a drone aircraft flattened
a militant hide-out, killing 27 local and foreign insurgents. Two
officials said dozens of followers of Pakistan's top Taliban leader,
Baitullah Mehsud, were staying in the housing compound when it was
2009 Feb 14, Saudi King
Abdullah (86), in an apparent bid to reform the religious
establishment, dismissed the head of the feared religious
police and a hard-line cleric who issued an edict last year saying
it was permissible to kill owners of satellite TV stations that show
"immoral" content. King Abdullah also appointed Noura al Fayez as
deputy minister of women’s education, the 1st female to hold a
(AP, 2/14/09)(SSFC, 2/15/09, p.A6)(Econ, 2/21/09,
2009 Feb 14, In Somalia
legislators approved a former leader's son as the country’s new
prime minister. Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke faced the task of
uniting a fractious government besieged by Islamic insurgents that
control most of the country.
2009 Feb 14, In Sri Lanka a
suspected Tamil Tiger rebel hurled a hand grenade at a bus full of
war-displaced refugees, killing a woman and wounding 13 others.
2009 Feb 15, In Washington
state a 16-year-old girl was found dead and another teenage girl was
discovered unconscious in a barracks at Fort Lewis Army base south
of Tacoma. In March Army authorities charged Pvt. Timothy E. Bennitt
(19) if the drug overdose of his girlfriend.
(AP, 2/16/09)(SFC, 3/11/09, p.A8)
2009 Feb 15, Illinois
Republicans called for the resignation of Democratic Sen. Roland
Burris following reports of contradicting statements regarding
conversations with close associates of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The next day Burris admitted that he tried to raise money for Gov.
Blagojevich before being appointed to the US Senate.
(SFC, 2/16/09, p.A5)(WSJ, 2/17/09, p.A3)
2009 Feb 15, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai said his government will take part in a US strategic
review of the war there in a sign of increased cooperation at a time
of strained relations. An appeals court upheld 20-year prison
sentences for two men who published a translation of the Quran that
drove religious leaders to call for their execution. The
controversial text is a translation of Islam's holy book into an
Afghan language without the original Arabic verses alongside. A host
of Muslim clerics have condemned the translation, which was
published in 2007 and handed out for free, as blasphemous and
accused its publishers of setting themselves up as false prophets. A
coalition airstrike killed Ghulam Dastagir and eight other militants
in the village of Darya-ye-Morghab. Dastagir was a powerful Taliban
commander who broke a promise to renounce violence after village
elders persuaded President Hamid Karzai to free him from prison.
(AP, 2/15/09)(AP, 2/16/09)
2009 Feb 15, A series of
attacks in Algeria left seven soldiers and a suspected militant
dead, as authorities ratcheted up efforts to secure the country
before presidential elections. An Algerian newspaper reported that
security forces killed a senior member of Al Qaeda's north African
wing after a tip-off from a former militant led them to his hideout.
The daily Ennahar reported that Mourad Bouzid (65), also known as
Ami Slimane, was a charismatic figure instrumental in recruiting and
motivating younger Al Qaeda fighters.
(AP, 2/16/09)(Reuters, 2/15/09)
2009 Feb 15, Britain's Sunday
Times reported that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has bought a
4 million pound ($5.6 million) home in Hong Kong. It was bought last
year, as Mugabe's 20-year-old daughter began studying at the
University of Hong Kong. The paper said it was one of several
properties the Mugabes own in Asia but the first to be documented.
2009 Feb 15, China and Tanzania
signed cooperation agreements worth millions of dollars during a
visit by President Hu Jintao to this east African country aimed to
2009 Feb 15, French specialists
unveiled a new weapon against cancer, a molecular "decoy" that
mimics DNA damage and prompts cancerous cells to kill themselves.
2009 Feb 15, Iraqi officials
nullified election results in more than 30 polling stations across
the country due to fraud in last month's provincial balloting, but
the cases were not significant enough to require a new vote in any
province. A bomb hidden in a garbage pile killed one person and
injured 18 others in Sadr City. In Mosul one civilian and one police
officer were killed in two separate attacks on police patrols.
Police arrested a would-be suicide bomber south of Baghdad who had
explosives under his clothes and said he was also planning to target
pilgrims headed to Karbala. US Staff Sgt. Dean D. diamond (41) was
killed after an improvised explosive device detonated near his
(AP, 2/15/09)(SFC, 2/18/09, p.B5)
2009 Feb 15, Authorities in
Malaysia arrested 26 unmarried Muslim couples in hotel rooms during
Operation Valentine, aimed at curbing illegal premarital sex in this
2009 Feb 15, A rickety boat
carrying illegal migrants from Morocco capsized in rough seas just
off Spain's Canary Islands and 19 of them drowned. At least three
2009 Feb 15, The Taliban
announced a 10-day cease-fire in Pakistan's Swat Valley after
freeing a Chinese hostage during peace talks with the government,
while an abducted American threatened with imminent death by his
kidnappers remained missing.
2009 Feb 15, In southern Russia
a fire ripped through a wooden apartment building, killing 16 people
in Molodyozhny, a village in the Astrakhan region.
2009 Feb 15, Shots from a
Russian naval vessel sank the Chinese-owned cargo ship the New Star
off Russia's east coast. 8 the 16 crew members on board were killed.
The Sierra Leone-flagged, Chinese-owned vessel New Star had earlier
fled the Russian port of Nakhodka where it had been impounded for
2009 Feb 15, In Turkey police
clashed with stone-throwing demonstrators across the country's
predominantly Kurdish southeast during protests marking the 10th
anniversary of a separatist rebel leader's capture.
2009 Feb 15, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez tried for a second time to win the right to
seek re-election far into the future with a referendum widely
regarded as a way to cement socialism. Some 55% percent of the
voters approved the amendment.
(AP, 2/15/09)(AP, 2/16/09)(Econ, 2/21/09, p.39)
2009 Feb 16, Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton launched her Asia tour in Japan calling US-Pacific
ties "indispensable" for curbing problems like climate change, the
global financial crisis and nuclear weapons.
2009 Feb 16, In Stamford,
Connecticut, a 200-pound domesticated chimpanzee was shot dead
by police after a violent rampage that left a friend of its owner
badly mauled. Travis (15) had once starred in TV commercials for Old
Navy and Coca-Cola. The chimp was acting so agitated earlier that
afternoon that the owner gave him the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in
some tea. Owner Sandra Herold later denied giving Xanax to the
chimp. Charla Nash lost her hands, nose, lips and eyelids in the
attack. Doctors later said she will be blind for life.
(AP, 2/17/09)(SFC, 2/19/09, p.A5)(AP, 4/7/09)
2009 Feb 16, In Kansas
Republican legislators blocked an effort by Democratic Gov. Kathleen
Sebelius to transfer funds to allow the state to pay its bills.
Income tax refunds were suspended and the state payroll was
threatened. The impasse was resolved the next day as Gov. Sibelius
met a key Republican demand and signed a bill to balance the budget.
(WSJ, 2/17/09, p.A5)(WSJ, 2/18/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 16, Konrad Dannenberg
(b.1912), German-born rocket designer, died in Huntsville, Ala. He
was part of Werner von Braun’s rocket development team, which sent a
rocket into outer space (1942) and came to the US after WW II.
(WSJ, 2/21/09, p.A5)
2009 Feb 16, A new British
anti-terrorism law went into effect that could effectively bar
photographers from taking pictures of police of military personnel.
(SFC, 2/17/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 16, Authorities
acknowledged that nuclear-armed submarines from Britain and France
collided in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this month, touching off new
concerns about the safety of the world's deep sea missile fleets.
The HMS Vanguard, the oldest vessel in Britain's nuclear-armed
submarine fleet, and the French Le Triomphant submarine, which was
also carrying nuclear missiles, both suffered minor damage in the
2009 Feb 16, Sir Ernest
Harrison (b.1926), British businessman, died. He led Racal
Electronic PLC and oversaw the birth of Vodafone Group PLC (1988).
(WSJ, 2/28/09, p.A8)
2009 Feb 16, China’s Pres. Hu
Jintao arrived in Mauritius to sign deals worth more than 270
million dollars to fund infrastructure projects on the Indian Ocean
island. The next day he pledged continued aid to Africa
despite his country's economic downturn, and wrapped up a
four-nation visit to the continent.
2009 Feb 16, France's top
judicial body recognized the French government's responsibility for
the deportation of Jews during World War II, the clearest such
recognition of the state's role in the Holocaust.
2009 Feb 16, On the French
island of Guadeloupe police detained about 50 people after coming
under a barrage of stones as they tried to take down barricades. On
Martinique as many as 10,000 demonstrators marched through the
narrow streets of the capital to protest spiraling food prices and
denounce the business elite.
2009 Feb 16, In Iraq roadside
bombs struck two minibuses filled with Shiite pilgrims returning to
Baghdad, killing eight people, in the latest of a series of deadly
attacks targeting the pilgrims.
2009 Feb 16, Officials said
Israel has taken control of a large chunk of land near a prominent
West Bank settlement, paving the way for the possible construction
of 2,500 settlement homes, in a new challenge to Mideast
2009 Feb 16, Japan warned it
was in the deepest economic crisis since World War II, after Asia's
biggest economy suffered its worst contraction in almost 35 years.
2009 Feb 16, In Madagascar
anti-government protesters threw stones and police responded with
tear gas as opposition leader Andry Rajoelina continued his attempts
to force out the president. No casualties were immediately reported.
2009 Feb 16, Pakistan’s
government agreed to impose Islamic law and suspend a military
offensive across much the northwest in concessions aimed at
pacifying the Taliban insurgency spreading from the border region to
the country's interior.
2009 Feb 16, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev replaced four provincial governors for their poor
performance amid financial crisis and named new governors for the
western Oryol, Pskov and Voronezh regions and the northern Nenets
2009 Feb 16, Russia Pres.
Medvedev said Bolivia will receive helicopters from Russia to help
fight drugs as well as assistance to develop energy resources.
2009 Feb 16, Cardinal Stephen
Kim Sou-hwan (86), South Korea's first cardinal, died. He was a
tireless advocate for democracy and stood up to a string of military
2009 Feb 16, In Spain Samsung
of South Korea unveiled the world's first solar-powered mobile phone
at an industry show where the sector is showcasing the new
technology it hopes will drive demand through the economic crisis.
2009 Feb 16, The UN said Tamil
Tiger guerrillas have prevented tens of thousands of civilians from
leaving Sri Lanka's war zone and those trying to escape have been
"shot and sometimes killed."
2009 Feb 17, Pres. Obama
announced the deployment of 17,000 extra US troops to Afghanistan.
Pres. Karzai spoke on the phone with President Barack Obama for the
2009 Feb 17, The US federal
government said Texas financier R. Allen Stanford's investment
businesses were too good to be true, and shut his companies down.
The SEC charged Stanford (58) with an $8 billion fraud. On Feb 19
Stanford was tracked down in Virginia, where FBI agents served him
with civil complaint legal papers.
(AP, 2/17/09)(WSJ, 2/18/09, p.A1)(AP, 2/19/09)
2009 Feb 17, Chrysler and GM
told the US government they may need up to $21.6 billion in combined
bailout loans. GM’s survival plan called for cutting a total of
47,000 jobs globally and closing 5 more US factories.
(SFC, 2/18/09, p.C1)(WSJ, 2/18/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 17, Liberty Media
Corp. said it will invest $530 million in financially struggling
satellite radio company Sirius XM Radio Inc.
2009 Feb 17, Trump
Entertainment Resorts Inc, the casino operator named for Donald
Trump, filed for bankruptcy protection as recession and declining
gambling revenues battered the company and its rivals.
2009 Feb 17, In the SF Bay Area
a sewage spill began at the Fort Baker treatment plant of the
Sausalito-Marin County Sanitaru District. By the next day some
300,000 gallons of bacteria-laden sewage had entered the SF Bay.
(SFC, 2/18/09, p.B4)
2009 Feb 17, In Atlanta,
Georgia, Eugenia Calle (57), a prominent researcher who studied
links between cancer and obesity, was found beaten to death in her
condominium. Jamal Thompson (22) was soon arrested and charged with
2009 Feb 17, In Afghan a US
airstrike reportedly killed six women and two children, despite a
recent US-Afghan agreement to increase participation of Afghan
forces in US missions, a step aimed at preventing civilian
casualties. The US coalition said that the strike in the Gozara
district of Herat province killed 15 militants and targeted a leader
named Ghulam Yahya Akbari. The US military on Feb 21 said an
investigation into a coalition operation Gozara found that 13
civilians were among 16 people killed.
(AP, 2/18/09)(AP, 2/21/09)
2009 Feb 17, British experts
that they have found the first evidence of a hemophiliac contracting
mad cow disease from contaminated blood products.
2009 Feb 17, China and Russia
signed a $25 billion energy deal in Beijing that will see the Asian
country secure oil supplies from Moscow for the next 20 years in
return for loans.
2009 Feb 17, Colombia's main
leftist rebel group said that it "executed" eight Indians in the
country's remote southwest, accusing them of acting as paid
informants for Colombia's military. The communique posted on a Web
site sympathetic to the rebels followed widespread but unconfirmed
reports that as many as 27 Awa Indians had been killed.
2009 Feb 17, The UN said some
4.9 million more Ethiopians are in urgent need of food aid, bringing
the total number of people in Ethiopia who need relief aid to 12
million, or 15 percent of the population.
2009 Feb 17, In Equatorial
Guinea gunmen clashed with security forces near the presidential
palace. Gunmen in two speedboats attacked the island capital before
dawn. 16 men from neighboring Nigeria were arrested in the
mysterious attack on the presidential compound. The government said
several attackers drowned.
(AP, 2/17/09)(AP, 2/19/09)
2009 Feb 17, France's lower
house of parliament unanimously passed a law granting government
payments to those who take time off work to care for dying relatives
in their last weeks of life.
2009 Feb 17, Frank-Walter
Steinmeier, Germany's foreign minister met with top Iraqi leaders in
Baghdad in the latest high-level visit by a major Western nation
that opposed the 2003 US-led invasion but has promised to help Iraq
rebuild now that security has improved.
2009 Feb 17, In southern Iraq a
bus filled with Shiite pilgrims collided with a British military
vehicle, killing seven pilgrims and injuring 27 others.
2009 Feb 17, A Milan court
sentenced David Mills, the British former tax lawyer of Italian PM
Silvio Berlusconi, to four-and-a-half years in jail for corruption.
2009 Feb 17, Japan's Finance
Minister Shoichi Nakagawa abruptly resigned over allegations he made
a drunken appearance at a G-7 news conference, shaking PM Taro Aso's
already deeply unpopular government. On Oct 4 Nakagawa (56) was
found dead in his home. Police ruled out foul play.
(AP, 2/17/09)(AP, 10/4/09)
2009 Feb 17, In Japan US
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned North Korea against
following through on a threatened missile launch, saying it would
damage its prospects for improved relations with the United States
and the world. Clinton also signed an agreement with Japan that will
move 8,000 Marines off the southern Japanese island of Okinawa to
the US territory of Guam.
2009 Feb 17, Kosovo celebrated
the first anniversary of its unilateral declaration of independence
from Serbia. Thus far it was recognized by only 54 of the UN’s 192
countries. Five of the EU’s 27 countries so far refused recognition.
(Econ, 2/14/09, p.16)
2009 Feb 17, Business leaders
in Martinique agreed to a 20 percent price cut on most supermarket
products, despite initial refusal.
2009 Feb 17, In Mexico hundreds
of people blocked bridges to the US in three border cities,
demanding the army leave in another challenge for the Mexican
government as it struggles to quell escalating drug violence. 3
police officers, including the operations director of the Ciudad
Juarez city police, were shot to death by unidentified assailants on
a street near the US consulate. Federal police fighting gunmen in
the northern border city of Reynosa had to call the army for help.
After the fighting, which left five gunmen dead and seven police
injured, authorities seized several assault rifles and even a 60 mm
mortar. Cardboard signs with handwritten messages appeared taped to
the doors and windows of businesses in ciudad Juarez, warning that
one officer would be killed every two days police chief Roberto
Orduna did not quit.
(AP, 2/18/09)(AP, 2/18/09)
2009 Feb 17, In southern
Nigeria gunmen attacked two oil facilities operated by Royal Dutch
Shell. A local militant leader claimed responsibility for the attack
in a letter and threatened further violence. A Nigerian appeal court
sacked the governor of the southwestern state of Ekiti after
complaints of vote irregularities and ordered a fresh poll within
(AP, 2/17/09)(AFP, 2/18/09)
2009 Feb 17, NATO warned that
Pakistan risked creating a safe haven for Islamist extremists after
it struck a deal to impose Islamic law and suspend a military
offensive in the former tourist haven of Swat.
2009 Feb 17, In Portugal
Conchita Cintron (b.1922), Peruvian-born matador, died. She faced
her first bull at age 13 and made her premier at the main arena in
Lima in 1937. She reportedly killed over 750 bulls during her career
(SFC, 2/20/09, p.B8)(Econ, 3/7/09, p.93)
2009 Feb 17, The UN agency for
children said Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers have stepped up conscription
of child soldiers, as the rebels prepare to face a final onslaught
by the military. Tamil politicians accused the Sri Lankan government
of ignoring the safety of tens of thousands of civilians in its
campaign to wipe out the Tamil Tiger rebels, saying more than 2,000
noncombatants have been killed in the recent fighting.
(AFP, 2/17/09)(AP, 2/17/09)
2009 Feb 17, The Sudanese
government and Darfur's most powerful rebel group signed an
declaration to conduct future peace negotiations, but failed to
agree on a hoped-for cease-fire after a week of talks.
2009 Feb 17, Sudanese writer
Tayeb Salih (b.1929), one of the most respected Arab novelists of
the 20th century, died in London where he spent most of his life.
His books included the classic "Season of Migration to the North"
(1966) about a Sudanese man's experiences of life and love in
Britain in the 1960s.
2009 Feb 17, The Yemeni
Interior Ministry announced the surrender of Abu al-Hareth Muhammad
al-Oufi, a former Guantanamo detainee who later became an al-Qaida
field commander. He was handed over to Saudi authorities.
2009 Feb 17, In Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe and his arch rival Morgan Tsvangirai sat at
a cabinet table for the first time as ministers of the country's new
unity government held their inaugural meeting. A Zimbabwe court
charged Roy Bennett, a senior MDC party official, over a plot
involving terrorism and insurgency, just days after the party joined
a unity government.
(AFP, 2/17/09)(Reuters, 2/17/09)
2009 Feb 18, President Barack
Obama unveiled the next step in his multi-pronged efforts to lift
the United States out of recession, pledging up to $275 billion to
help stem a wave of home foreclosures that sparked the US financial
meltdown. Obama advisors said he has settled on Kansas Gov. Kathleen
Sebelius as top choice for secretary of health and human services.
(Reuters, 2/18/09)(SFC, 2/19/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 18, Fifty-one
Democrats and 2 Republicans, sent a letter to President Barack Obama
urging him to enforce a ban on importing assault weapons, saying
many such guns are later smuggled south to arm Mexico's ruthless
drug cartels. The ban was implemented under the administrations of
Pres. George H.W. Bush and Pres. Bill Clinton, and the US government
can enforce it under provisions of the 1968 Gun Control Act. But the
US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has
quietly abandoned the ban in recent years.
(AP, 2/18/09)(AP, 2/24/09)
2009 Feb 18, A Florida jury
ordered Philip Morris to pay $8 million in damages to Elaine Hess,
the widow of a smoker who died of lung cancer.
(SFC, 2/19/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 18, Al Qaeda's
Algeria-based branch (AQMI) claimed it is holding two missing
Canadian diplomats hostage and 4 tourists. UN envoy Robert Fowler
and his aide Louis Guay, went missing in the West African country of
Niger last month.
2009 Feb 18, In Antigua panicky
depositors were turned away from Stanford International Bank and
some of its Latin American affiliates, unable to withdraw their
money after US regulators accused Texas financier R. Allen Stanford
of perpetrating an $8 billion fraud against his companies'
2009 Feb 18, A British judge
discharged the jury in the trial of a group of British Muslims
accused of plotting to blow up trans-Atlantic passenger jets in
mid-air, citing legal reasons. Britain’s high court ruled that Abu
Qatada, an extremist Muslim preacher, can be deported to
Jordan despite fears he could face torture there.
(AP, 2/18/09)(SFC, 2/19/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 18, A Chinese state
news agency said AIDS was the top killer among infectious diseases
in China for the first time last year, with 6,897 people dying in
the nine months through September.
2009 Feb 18, In Ecuador US
diplomat Mark Sullivan was declared a “persona non grata" and told
to leave. Pres. Correa later said Sullivan had directed CIA
operations in Ecuador.
(SFC, 2/23/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 18, A leading Egyptian
dissident, Ayman Nour (44), who was jailed after challenging the
country's longtime president in the 2005 elections, was unexpectedly
freed after years of pressure from the United States.
2009 Feb 18, Georgia and Russia
agreed to let monitors visit anywhere they want in Georgia and its 2
(WSJ, 2/19/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 18, Greek police
destroyed a powerful car bomb left outside the offices of Citibank
in a northern Athens suburb in an escalation of left-wing militant
2009 Feb 18, In Guadeloupe
rioters manning barricades fatally shot Jacques Bino, tax agent and
union member, in a housing project in Pointe-a-Pitre, as he returned
home from protests. This was the first death in unrest that has
convulsed France's Caribbean islands for weeks.
2009 Feb 18, Iran’s Deputy
Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said in published remarks that Iran
has built an unmanned surveillance aircraft with a range of more
than 600 miles, enough to reach Israel. Iran announced two years ago
that it had built an unmanned aircraft, but Vahidi's comments were
the first by a top official revealing its range.
2009 Feb 18, In Iraq a roadside
bomb targeting a police patrol in the northern city of Mosul killed
one policeman. In Baghdad gunmen killed a local official from the
Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party.
2009 Feb 18, Israel set a
series of tough conditions for accepting a proposed cease-fire with
Hamas, saying there would be no deal, and no open borders for Gaza,
until the Islamic militant group releases a captured Israeli
soldier. Israeli planes attacked smuggling tunnels around the
Gaza-Egypt border and a disused Hamas security base near the town of
2009 Feb 18, Japanese PM Taro
Aso met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on an island near disputed
resource-rich maritime territory, hoping to make progress toward
resolving a dispute lingering since World war II.
2009 Feb 18, In Morocco
Abdelkader Belliraj (50) was arrested together with a number of
other people, allegedly in possession of a large arsenal of
firearms. The Belgian-Moroccan national was suspected of
spearheading a presumed 35-member terrorist ring.
2009 Feb 18, In Nigeria gunmen
in a midnight raid attacked a compound housing ExxonMobil staff in
the Niger Delta but were repulsed after a fierce battle with
2009 Feb 18, In Pakistan a
pro-Taliban cleric vowed to restore calm to the troubled Swat
valley, leading thousands of men in a march for peace after securing
a controversial deal to enforce sharia law. Gunmen killed a
television reporter hours after he covered the peace march in the
(AFP, 2/18/09)(AP, 2/18/09)
2009 Feb 18, Polish police said
they have detained 78 people, including a priest and a doctor,
suspected of possessing child pornography and spreading it on the
2009 Feb 18, In Sri Lanka
government artillery attacks and air raids inside the northern war
zone killed at least 38 civilians and wounded 140 others.
2009 Feb 18, Sudanese forces
bombed rebel positions in Darfur, with the ink barely dry on a deal
between Khartoum and the strongest rebel group that was hailed as a
turning point in efforts to end the six-year conflict. The next day
the Sudanese army said that it was an allied armed group that fought
Darfur rebels the previous day, not government troops.
(AP, 2/18/09)(AFP, 2/19/09)
2009 Feb 18, Taiwan’s central
bank cut interest rates to a record low as a government statistician
predicted that its economy will shrink for five consecutive
(WSJ, 2/19/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 18, Zimbabwe’s the new
finance minister announced that Zimbabwe has begun paying government
workers in US dollars and will allow more trade in foreign currency
in the first act by a unity government that gave the opposition
control of much of the devastated economy. A court ordered
ministerial nominee Roy Bennett to be kept in custody until March 4,
on the grounds there was "reasonable suspicion" against him in a
2009 Feb 19, Barack Obama made
his first foreign trip as president to Canada where he sought to
quell Canadian concerns about US protectionism.
2009 Feb 19, The DJIA fell
89.68 to 7465.95, a new 6-year low.
(WSJ, 2/20/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 19, The California
state Senate approved a long-awaited budget intended to wipe out a
$42 billion deficit, possibly steering the state clear of a fiscal
2009 Feb 19, Banking giant UBS
said it has agreed to pay $780 million and turn over once-secret
Swiss banking records to settle allegations it conspired to defraud
the US government of taxes owed by thousands of American clients.
2009 Feb 19, In Daly City, Ca.,
a car with 4 friends was sprayed by gun fire on John Daly Blvd.,
near the BART station. Moises Frias Jr. (21), a student at City
College, was killed. Two men in a sedan escaped. The 4 friends had
no known gang affiliations. Police later arrested Luis Herrera (18)
and Danilo Velasquez (28), members of the MS-13 gang, for their
participation in the murder. Jaime Balam (20), a 3rd gang member was
being sought. He was deported to Mexico 8 days after the shooting,
but before being identified as a suspect. In 2011 Herrera pleaded
guilty to racketeering and conspiracy after federal prosecutors
agreed to drop a murder charge. Velasquez was convicted of
racketeering and conspiracy.
(SFC, 2/25/09, p.B2)(SFC, 7/10/09, p.D1)(SFC,
11/11/11, p.C3)(SFC, 11/30/11, p.C2)
2009 Feb 19, In Pennsylvania
Roger Leon Barlow (19) was charged with setting 9 fires in
arson-prone Coatesville, 35 miles west of Philadelphia.
(SFC, 2/20/09, p.A10)
2009 Feb 19, Virginia’s House
of Delegates voted 60-39 on a partial ban on smoking in bars and
restaurants. The Senate had voted 27-13 earlier on the bill, which
was supported by Gov. Timothy Kaine.
(WSJ, 2/20/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 19, Thomas E. Bolger
(b.1927), former head of Bell Atlantic (1983-1988), died.
(WSJ, 2/21/09, p.A5)
2009 Feb 19, In southern
Bangladesh 13 people died and scores were missing after a ferry
carrying more than 100 passengers collided with a cargo boat and
2009 Feb 19, Belgium took
Senegal to the International Court of Justice over the African
nation's failure to prosecute a former Chad president for crimes
against humanity and torture.
2009 Feb 19, Europe's highest
human rights court has awarded Abu Qatada, an extremist Muslim
preacher, euro2,800 ($3,550) for being held unlawfully by British
authorities during an anti-terrorist probe. A day earlier Britain's
highest court ruled that Abu Qatada could be deported to Jordan
despite fears he could face torture there. The European Court of
Human Rights ruled that Qatada and 10 other detainees had their
right to liberty violated when they were held in high-security
2009 Feb 19, France bowed to
demands for wage increases in Guadeloupe in the hope of ending a
month-long strike that has plunged the French Caribbean island into
2009 Feb 19, In southern India
lawyers sympathetic to Sri Lankan rebels set fire to a police
station in Chennai and clashed with police leaving 20 police
(WSJ, 2/20/09, p.A12)
2009 Feb 19, In Israel
far-right politician Avigdor Lieberman endorsed Benjamin Netanyahu
for Israeli prime minister, all but guaranteeing that Netanyahu will
be the country's next leader.
2009 Feb 19, Kyrgyzstan's
parliament voted to close a key US air base in the country, a move
that could hamper Pres. Obama's efforts to increase the number of US
forces in Afghanistan.
2009 Feb 19, About 12 pirates
armed with guns attacked the tug and barge in the Malacca Strait and
kidnapped two crew members as the vessel was en route to Singapore.
2009 Feb 19, US Sen. John Kerry
as well as 2 other congressional Democrats came to the Gaza Strip,
the highest-level visit by a US official since the Hamas militant
group seized power in the territory nearly two years ago. Kerry said
he was in Gaza to view the aftermath of Israel's recent military
offensive against Hamas.
(AP, 2/19/09)(SFC, 2/20/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 19, US Defense Sec.
Robert Gates, in Europe for NATO talks, signed a new military
cooperation agreement with Poland.
(WSJ, 2/20/09, p.A12)
2009 Feb 19, A Moscow court
acquitted three men accused of helping murder Kremlin critic and
journalist Anna Politkovskaya, leaving Russia's most politically
charged killing in years still unsolved. This decision was
overturned in June.
(Reuters, 2/19/09)(AP, 6/25/09)
2009 Feb 19, In Spain the
mobile phone industry's biggest trade show wrapped up after four
days that delivered exciting news for technophiles, average phone
users and even environmentalists. During the show leading
manufacturers announced an initiative to produce a standard charger
that would fit all phones by 2012 in a step set to reduce waste and
2009 Feb 19, The International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said samples taken from a Syrian site
suspected of being a secretly built reactor have revealed new traces
of processed uranium.
2009 Feb 19, Naser Abdel Karim
al-Wahishi, Yemen's most wanted fugitive and leader of al-Qaida in
the Arabian Peninsula, used an audio recording to urge Yemenis to
rise up against the government and called on Arabs in Saudi Arabia
and Gulf countries to help their brothers in Yemen.
2009 Feb 19, Trading resumed at
the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) after a three-month suspension but
transactions were carried out only in US dollars, the first time in
President Robert Mugabe's 29-year rule.
2009 Feb 20, US Defense
Secretary Robert Gates said up to 20 nations have offered to boost
their civilian or military commitments to Afghanistan.
2009 Feb 20, A US Army medic
was convicted of murder for his involvement in the execution-style
slayings of four bound and blindfolded Iraqi detainees shot in the
back of the head in the spring of 2007. The court sentenced him to
life in prison.
2009 Feb 20, California’s Gov.
Schwarzenegger made nearly $1 billion in line-item trims and signed
the new budget bill. The 33 bills in the budget plan included $15
billion in spending cuts, $11.4 billion in borrowing, $12.8 billion
in taxes and about $2 billion in funds from the new federal stimulus
(SFC, 2/20/09, p.A12)(SFC, 2/21/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 20, In California
Ahmadullah Sais Niazi (34), the Afghan-born brother-in-law of Osama
bin Laden’s former bodyguard, was arrested in Orange County on
charges that he lied about ties to terrorist groups on citizenship
and passport papers.
(SFC, 2/21/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 20, Louisiana Gov.
Bobby Jindal announced that he will decline stimulus money
specifically targeted at expanding state unemployment insurance
coverage, becoming the first state executive to officially refuse
any part of the federal government’s payout to states.
2009 Feb 20, In Homer, La.,
police officers Tim Cox and Joey Henry were involved in the fatal
shooting of Bernard Monroe Sr. (73). The shooting sparked protests
and at least 2 investigations. In July both officers resigned from
the police force.
(SFC, 7/29/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 20, General Motors
Corp.'s Swedish-based subsidiary Saab went into bankruptcy
protection so the unit can be spun off or sold by its struggling US
2009 Feb 20, In Wampum,
Pennsylvania, Jordan Brown (11) shot his father's pregnant fiancee,
Kenzie Marie Houk (26), in the back of the head as she lay in bed.
He then put his youth model 20-gauge shotgun back in his room before
going out to catch his school bus. On March 29, 2010, a judge ruled
that boy will be tried as an adult.
(AP, 2/22/09)(SFC, 3/30/10, p.A10)
2009 Feb 20, Australian Federal
Police agents with search warrants boarded an anti-whaling group's
ship, the Steve Irwin, as it docked in the southern Australian city
of Hobart. They seized videotapes of violent clashes between the
activists and Japanese whalers.
2009 Feb 20, The Canadian units
of General Motors Corp and Chrysler sought as much as C$10 billion
($8 billion) in aid from the Canadian and Ontario governments as
they fought to survive an industry wide crisis.
2009 Feb 20, US Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton arrived in Beijing for talks with Chinese
leaders after vowing not to let human rights block progress on the
global economic crisis, climate change and security.
2009 Feb 20, Chinese
authorities closed a chemical plant being investigated for
contaminating water supplies to 1.5 million people in the country's
east. Water supplies were restored after a five-hour shutdown.
Biaoxin Chemical Company caused "massive" tap water pollution in
Yancheng, a city in east Jiangsu province. Investigators identified
the pollutant as a phenol compound used to make products including
air fresheners, medical ointments, cosmetics and sunscreens.
2009 Feb 20, In Egypt 5 crew
members died when a Ukrainian cargo plane crashed during takeoff,
burst into flames and slid down the runway in the city of Luxor.
2009 Feb 20, Christopher Nolan
(43), an Irish poet and novelist, died in Dublin. He had refused to
let cerebral palsy get in the way of his writing. Using a "unicorn
stick" strapped to his forehead to tap the keys of a typewriter,
Nolan laboriously wrote out messages and, eventually, poems and
books as well. His autobiography, "Under the Eye of the Clock: The
Life Story of Christopher Nolan," won the prestigious Whitbread
Award in 1988.
(AP, 2/22/09)(Econ, 2/28/09, p.91)
2009 Feb 20, In Israel Benjamin
Netanyahu appealed to his moderate rivals to join him after the
hard-liner was formally tapped to put together Israel's next ruling
coalition, an alliance that would dilute the power of nationalists
bent on derailing Mideast peace talks.
2009 Feb 20, Kyrgyzstan ordered
US forces to depart within six months from an air base key to
military operations in Afghanistan, complicating plans to send more
troops to battle rising Taliban and al-Qaida violence. A US military
official said Uzbekistan will allow non-lethal US military cargo
heading to Afghanistan to transit through the country.
2009 Feb 20, Latvia's
center-right coalition government resigned after weeks of
instability brought on by the Baltic country's economic collapse.
President Valdis Zatlers said he accepted the resignation of PM
Ivars Godmanis and his administration, which had been in power since
2009 Feb 20, Madagascar
security forces regained control of four government ministries
overnight from opposition activists. Police arrested 50 people and
no injuries were reported.
2009 Feb 20, In Mexico criminal
gangs in Ciudad Juarez followed up on threats and killed police
officer Cesar Ivan Portillo and city jail guard Juan Pablo Ruiz as
they left their homes before dawn to head to work. Public Safety
Secretary Roberto Orduna, the police chief of Ciudad Juarez,
stepped down hours later.
2009 Feb 20, In Myanmar the
government announced an amnesty for 6,300 prisoners. Only a handful
of political detainees were among those released.
(SFC, 2/21/09, p.A2)(AFP, 2/22/09)
2009 Feb 20, Nigeria ordered
its customs service and security and environmental agencies to clamp
down on illegal imports of potentially toxic electronic waste.
2009 Feb 20, In northwestern
Pakistan a suicide bomber attacked the funeral of a slain Shiite
Muslim leader, killing 28 people and triggering deadly rioting.
2009 Feb 20, A Swaziland
government report said about 42 percent of pregnant women in the
country are infected with the virus that causes AIDS, a 3 percent
jump in a single year. An estimated 185,000 of Swaziland's 1 million
people are HIV positive, and about 30,000 are receiving
2009 Feb 20, In Somalia
hardline Islamist militia attacked African Union forces in
Mogadishu, killing one civilian and wounding two others.
2009 Feb 20, Tamil Tiger rebel
pilots on a kamikaze mission crashed their planes in the Sri Lankan
capital, killing two people.
2009 Feb 20, Banking details of
eight American clients of Switzerland's largest bank were sent to US
authorities along with the names of more than 240 other American
clients of UBS. A Swiss court order blocking the move came too late
to stop the action.
2009 Feb 20, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents ambushed a military convoy and
beheaded two soldiers in the second such attack this month.
2009 Feb 20, Six African
migrants drowned and 11 more are presumed dead after smugglers in
the Gulf of Aden forced their passengers overboard in deep water off
Yemen. The smuggling boat was carrying 40 Somalis and 12 Ethiopians
when it approached Yemen's coast.
2009 Feb 21, President Barack
Obama ordered the US Treasury to implement tax cuts for 95 percent
of Americans, fulfilling a campaign pledge he hopes will help jolt
the economy out of recession.
2009 Feb 21, The US postal
service released a set of six 42-cent stamps honoring a dozen early
civil rights activists.
(SFC, 2/21/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 21, The Journal
Register Co., a Yardley, Pa.-based company, filed for bankruptcy
protection. The company owned 2o daily and 159 nondaily newspapers
with some 3,500 employees.
(SSFC, 2/22/09, p.A8)
2009 Feb 21, In Afghanistan a
battle outside Kandahar killed at least six Taliban fighters.
Fighting continued into the next day. An airstrike against militants
in Helmand province killed 8.
2009 Feb 21, In India
Sivaprakasam (60), a former civil servant, burned himself to death
in Tamil Nadu to protest Sri Lanka’s campaign against the Tamil
Tiger rebels. His was the 5th Tamil Nadu suicide by fire this year.
(Econ, 2/28/09, p.46)
2009 Feb 21, In western
Indonesia a Sumatran tiger mauled two illegal loggers to death,
bringing to 5 the number of people killed by the critically
endangered cats in less than a month.
2009 Feb 21, Iraq's infamous
Abu Ghraib prison reopened as the Baghdad Central Prison, with
official promises of humane treatment in a lockup notorious as a
center for abuse, both under Saddam Hussein and the US military.
2009 Feb 21, In Ireland around
100,000 people filled the streets of Dublin in protest at the
government's handling of the country's economic crisis.
2009 Feb 21, Jamaican
regulators said they are forbidding all explicit references to sex
and violence over the airwaves. The announcement followed a Feb. 6
ban that specifically targeted dancehall tunes and videos depicting
"daggering," a dance style popular among Jamaican youth that
features pelvic grinding simulating sex.
2009 Feb 21, In Kashmir two men
were killed when soldiers opened fire after a group of Kashmiri
youths hurled stones at them and chanted anti-India slogans. On
March 21 the Indian army said it would punish three soldiers for
their role in the shooting.
2009 Feb 21, Two rockets were
fired from south Lebanon at Israel, with one slamming into a mostly
Christian Arab village and causing minor injuries to at least one
Israeli. Israel responded by firing at least 6 shells on a village
in the area where the rockets had been launched.
(AP, 2/21/09)(SSFC, 2/22/09, p.A5)
2009 Feb 21, In Mexico
assailants in an SUV hurled two grenades at a police station in the
Pacific resort town of Zihuatanejo, wounding one officer and four
civilians. Teenagers stoned a 22-year-old man to death in Tuxtla
Gutierrez because they believed he had stolen a cell phone and a
bicycle from one of their friends.
2009 Feb 21, In central Nigeria
rioters burned homes, churches and mosques, when violence flared
after Muslims parked their cars in front of a church in Bauchi. The
clashes followed an argument between Christians and Muslims the
previous day. Authorities in northern Nigeria have deployed troops
and imposed a curfew following clashes between Christians and
Muslims which left at least 11 people dead.
(AP, 2/21/09)(AFP, 2/23/09)
2009 Feb 21, A Pakistani
official said that the Taliban and the Pakistani government had
agreed to a "permanent cease-fire" in the restive northwest Swat
Valley. A roadside bomb apparently targeted an oil tanker headed to
NATO troops in Afghanistan. The remote-controlled bomb killed one
person and wounded two others near the Landi Kotal area. The Taliban
had been engineering a class revolt for years by exploiting fissures
between a small group of wealthy landlords and their landless
(AP, 2/21/09)(WSJ, 4/16/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 21, A few hundred
Russian opposition sympathizers held an anti-Kremlin rally in
central Moscow demanding the resignation of the government. Former
chess champion Garry Kasparov and former Prime Minister Mikhail
Kasyanov addressed the crowd from a truck.
2009 Feb 21, In Russia
assailants with automatic rifles blocked a car of 2 bank employees
on a highway in Tula province south of Moscow and stole about 43
million rubles ($1.2 million; euro 940,000) in cash at gunpoint. The
bank employees, a cashier and a driver, were traveling in a Toyota
with no armed escort despite the large amount of cash.
2009 Feb 21, In central
Slovakia a train collided with a bus, killing 11 people and injuring
21 others near the town of Brezno.
2009 Feb 21, A South Korean
housewife broke a world record in marathon singing after crooning
for more than 76 hours without stopping at a Seoul karaoke bar.
2009 Feb 21, In eastern Sri
Lanka a group of Tamil rebels stormed a village, killing two ethnic
Sinhalese farmers and wounding 15 others.
2009 Feb 21, Sudan's justice
minister said Sudan will free 24 Darfur prisoners as part of a
goodwill agreement with rebels, even as fresh reports of violence
came in from the battle-scarred region. Two Sudanese working for
Aide Medicale Internationale, a French humanitarian group in Darfur,
were shot dead in an attack that also left four people wounded. A
gang of 24 men on horses and camels ambushed the workers on a road
between Kurunji and Khor Abeshe in South Darfur.
(Reuters, 2/21/09)(AFP, 2/23/09)
2009 Feb 22, The film "Slumdog
Millionaire," a tale of hope amid adversity and squalor in Mumbai,
came away with 8 Oscars, including best picture and director for
Danny Boyle. Sean Penn won his second best-actor Oscar, this one for
playing slain gay-rights pioneer Harvey Milk in "Milk," while Kate
Winslet took best actress for "The Reader," in which she plays a
former concentration camp guard. Heath Ledger (d.2008) won as best
supporting actor in “The Dark Knight"; Penelope Cruz won as best
supporting actress for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona."
(AP, 2/23/09)(SFC, 2/23/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 22, Mississippi Gov.
Barbour said he would join Louisiana Gov. Jindal in turning down
federal incentives to expand unemployment insurance coverage.
(WSJ, 2/23/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 22, In eastern Algeria
9 members of a private security firm were killed when Islamist
militants attacked their base near Jijel.
2009 Feb 22, In Brazil bubbles,
feathers and glitter swirled on the first night of parades in Rio's
Carnival, as the city's samba schools battled it out for top honors
in what many bill as the world's largest party.
2009 Feb 22, In Brisbane,
Australia, Father Peter Kennedy (71), a rebel Catholic priest who
was sacked for blessing gay couples and allowing women to preach,
defied his archbishop and led mass.
2009 Feb 22, In northern China
a gas explosion ripped through a coal mine outside Taiyuan, capital
of the main coal-producing province of Shanxi, killing at least 77
miners and trapping dozens in the deadliest Chinese coal mine
accident in more than a year.
(AFP, 2/22/09)(AP, 2/25/09)
2009 Feb 22, In Egypt a group
of French teenagers on a school trip was hit hard by a bombing at
Cairo’s famed 14th century Khan al-Khalili bazaar. The attack killed
a 17-year-old French girl and wounded another 24 people: 17 French,
three Saudis, three Egyptians and a German. Egyptian police soon
arrested three suspects. On May 23 Egyptian authorities said they
had arrested seven people for being part of an al-Qaida linked group
accused of carrying out the attack. They included two Palestinians,
two Egyptians, a British-Egyptian, a Belgian-Tunisian and a
French-Albanian woman, some of whom had entered Egypt as students.
(AP, 2/23/09)(AP, 5/23/09)
2009 Feb 22, The bodies of four
people were found in a smuggling tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border,
a day after another body was discovered in the area. Border
officials said about 1,000 university students and holders of
foreign residency permits were eligible to cross, and by
mid-afternoon, about 600 people had made the trip.
2009 Feb 22, The heads of
Europe's largest economies agreed on the need for greater regulation
of financial markets and of products such as hedge funds, as they
met in Berlin to hammer out a joint European position for the G20
meeting in London on April 2.
2009 Feb 22, In Greece Vassilis
Palaiokostas (44) and his Albanian accomplice Alket Rizaj staged a
2nd getaway by helicopter. Palaiokostas was serving a sentence for
robbery and kidnapping when he first escaped with Rizaj in 2006 in a
helicopter. On Nov 16 Alket Rizaj was arrested with a female
companion at an isolated house near the town of Marathon.
(AP, 2/23/09)(AP, 11/16/09)
2009 Feb 22, Iran's official
news agency says the country's first nuclear power plant will begin
preliminary phase operation on Feb 25 after a series of delays.
(AP, 2/22/09)(SFC, 2/23/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 22, A military
official said Iraqi authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a
Sunni lawmaker accused of masterminding a series of high-profile
attacks, including mortar strikes on the Green Zone and a 2007
suicide bombing inside the parliament building. Lawmaker Mohammed
al-Dayni denied the allegations.
2009 Feb 22, In Mexico gunmen
in Chihuahua city shot at a convoy carrying the governor of
Chihuahua, a violence-wracked border state, killing one of his
bodyguards and wounding two other agents. Police arrested two
suspects March 31 in the northern city of Chihuahua, who then led
them to 2 more suspects.
(AP, 2/24/09)(AP, 4/5/09)
2009 Feb 22, In Pakistan a top
official said the local government the North West Frontier Province
will distribute 30,000 rifles to villagers to help security forces
fight the growing strength of Taliban and al-Qaida militants.
2009 Feb 22, Gunmen in northern
Somalia kidnapped a Pakistani. Al-Shabab insurgents claimed to have
carried out a suicide attack on an African Union peacekeeping base
in Mogadishu. 11 Burundi peacekeepers in Somalia were killed and
another 20 injured in a suicide attack by a Somali contractor who
delivered supplies and had easy access to the base.
(AP, 2/22/09)(AP, 2/23/09)
2009 Feb 22, In Turkey Aydin
Dogan (72), chairman of Dogan Sirketler Grubu Holdings AS, a
conglomerate that controls 7 newspapers, 28 magazines and 3 Turkish
television channels as well as energy interests, accused PM Erdogan
of seeking to muzzle criticism. Dogan was recently hit with a
corporate tax bill of around $500 million. Most of the bill centered
on the 2007 sale of a stake in Dogan to Germany’s Axel Springer AG.
Dogan was forced to shrink his empire and dump some critics of pres.
Erdogan before pressure on him ceased.
(WSJ, 2/23/09, p.A9)(Econ, 4/6/13, p.62)
2009 Feb 22, The United Arab
Emirates said it will spend $10 billion to bail out Dubai, whose
huge construction and financial sector expansion plans slowed under
the world wide downturn.
(WSJ, 2/23/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 23, A government
official said US aid for the Gaza Strip's reconstruction will likely
top $900 million, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepared to
make her first Mideast trip as America's top diplomat.
2009 Feb 23, The FBI said it
has rescued more than 45 suspected teenage prostitutes, some as
young as 13, in a nationwide 3-night sweep, Operation Cross Country,
to remove kids from the illegal sex trade and punish their accused
2009 Feb 23, The DJIA fell
250.89 (3.4%) to 7114.78, nearly half the peak it hit 16 months ago,
and its lowest close in over 11 years.
(WSJ, 2/24/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 23, California’s
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco introduced a bill to
legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
(SFC, 2/24/09, p.B1)
2009 Feb 23, In SF Leticia
Hunter (33) was shot and killed in the Tenderloin district. On March
17 three men were charged with murder, assault and cocaine
(SFC, 3/18/09, p.B3)
2009 Feb 23, In Florida the
Rev. Francis Guinan (66) was convicted of 2nd degree grand theft for
embezzling thousands of dollars from his Delray Beach church.
(SFC, 2/24/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 23, In Vassalboro,
Maine, the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop began operations with a
staff of 3 topless waitresses and one bare-chested waiter.
2009 Feb 23, Ford Motor Co.
said it has reached a tentative deal with the United Auto Workers
union on changes to retiree health care, becoming the first Detroit
automaker to secure union concessions on the key issue.
2009 Feb 23, Binyam Mohamed
(b.1978), Ethiopian-born former British resident, was freed from
Guantanamo after nearly seven year in US captivity without facing
trial. He claimed that he was tortured at a covert CIA site in
Morocco. He was arrested at the Karachi airport in April, 2002,
while trying to fly back to Britain on a false passport. During
three months of detention in Pakistan, he was allegedly tortured by
Pakistani agents. In 2004 he was taken to the US prison at Bagram
Air Base in Afghanistan and signed a confession, which he later
claimed was extracted under duress. On Sep 20, 2004, he was flown to
the US military detention center at Guantanamo Bay.
2009 Feb 23, In Afghanistan a
NATO air strike killed up to 16 militants overnight in Badghis
province. In Nimrod province a twin suicide attack killed a
policeman outside the counter-narcotics office of the provincial
capital of Zaranj. Lt. General Jim Dutton, the deputy NATO force
commander, said around 17,000 extra US troops earmarked for
Afghanistan will deploy as fast as possible and thousands more are
requested for August elections. 3 Afghan children died when a shell
blew up. Canada's army later said the children had died after they
brought back a Taliban improvised explosive device to their village.
(AFP, 2/23/09)(AP, 3/2/09)
2009 Feb 23, In southern
Australia more than 100 people evacuated their homes in Victoria
state when new bushfires threatened communities, two weeks after the
nation's worst fire disaster killed more than 200 people.
2009 Feb 23, China’s state
media said pig organs contaminated by a banned animal feed additive
have been blamed for sickening at least 70 people in southern China.
The pig organs tainted by the steroid clenbuterol were sold last
week in markets in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.
Another 14 cases in Guangzhou were reported on Feb 25.
(AP, 2/23/09)(AP, 2/26/09)
2009 Feb 23, Denmark seized
control of Fionia Bank A/S by injecting about $172 million in a deal
that will take away shareholder control and split the bank into two
parts until a sale can be realized. The bank was hit by mounting
losses on bad loans to property developers.
(WSJ, 2/24/09, p.C2)
2009 Feb 23, Finance Minister
Christine Lagarde said the French government is to provide 2.5-5.0
billion euros in loans to support the merger of banks Caisse
d'Epargne and Banque Populaire.
2009 Feb 23, Iraq's restored
National Museum was formally dedicated, nearly six years after
looters carried away priceless antiquities and treasures in the
chaos following the US-led invasion. Iraq's Interior Ministry said
it has arrested a Shiite police gang accused of killing the Sunni
vice president's sister. 3 US soldiers and an interpreter were
killed during fighting north of Baghdad.
(AP, 2/23/09)(AP, 2/24/09)
2009 Feb 23, Honda Motor Co.
named Takanobu Ito (55), head of core automaking operations, as its
new chief executive, in an effort to provide fresh leadership to
battle a global crisis in the auto industry. He replaced Takeo Fukui
(64) as CEO and president.
2009 Feb 23, Norwegian
architect Sverre Fehn (b.1924) died in Oslo. His unique style of
blending modern forms with Scandinavian traditions earned him the
prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize (1997). His white concrete
Glacier Museum (1991), which has been hailed as a landmark within
contemporary architecture. It stands on a plain carved by Norway's
Jostedal Glacier at Fjaerland Fjord.
2009 Feb 23, Pakistani
paramilitary forces killed 10 Taliban militants in a tribal area
bordering Afghanistan and destroyed more than a dozen vehicles and a
main communications system.
2009 Feb 23, South Korea's
Defense Ministry said North Korea recently deployed a new type of
medium-range ballistic missile capable of reaching northern
Australia and the US territory of Guam.
2009 Feb 23, Sri Lanka's Tamil
rebels, facing likely defeat on the battlefield, appealed for a
cease-fire, a call immediately rejected by the government. Rebels
said more than 30 civilians were killed and many more injured as the
government advanced on Puthukkudirirppu.
(AP, 2/23/09)(AP, 2/24/09)
2009 Feb 23, Swedish power
company Vattenfall said it had made a friendly 8.5-billion-euro
(10.9-billion-dollar) offer for Nuon of the Netherlands in a
takeover aimed at creating one of Europe's biggest energy groups.
2009 Feb 24, Pres. Obama
addressed the US Congress and the American people to tap the deep
well of American optimism. Themes of responsibility, accountability
and, above all, national community rang throughout an address
carefully balanced by the gravity of its times. Republican leaders
calling his plan irresponsible and certain to increase taxes and
2009 Feb 24, President Barack
Obama told Japanese PM Taro Aso that his nation was the cornerstone
of US security policy in East Asia and America's links to the world
2009 Feb 24, In NYC Monzer
al-Kassan, a Syrian-born arms dealer, was sentenced to 30 years in
prison for conspiring to sell weapons to Colombian militants in
(SFC, 2/25/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 24, A rocket carrying
a NASA satellite crashed near Antarctica after a failed launch,
ending a $280 million mission to track global warming from space.
2009 Feb 24, In southern
Afghanistan a roadside bomb killed four US troops in the deadliest
single attack on international forces this year. Japan said it will
pay the salaries of Afghanistan's 80,000 police officers for six
months as part of its ongoing financial support for the country.
Afghan soldiers killed 18 militants targeting a poppy eradication
force in Helmand province. Two soldiers were also killed in the
battle. Afghan and coalition forces killed 10 militants in Uruzgan
province. A "precision" airstrike was called in, killing most of the
(AP, 2/24/09)(AP, 2/25/09)
2009 Feb 24, British mining
group Lonmin announced up to 5,500 job cuts in South Africa, dealing
a new blow to the continent's biggest economy as it contracted for
the first time in a decade.
2009 Feb 24, China’s state
media reported that a Chinese delegation will buy as much as $15
billion worth of machinery, automobiles and food products while on a
trip to Europe this week.
(WSJ, 2/25/09, p.A11)
2009 Feb 24, Tour agencies and
other industry people reported that China has closed Tibet to
foreign tourists ahead of next month's highly sensitive 50th
anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
2009 Feb 24, France’s Pres.
Sarkozy and Italy’s Premier Berlusconi signed a deal pairing
utilities from each nation to study the feasibility of building
nuclear power plants in Italy.
(WSJ, 2/25/09, p.A11)
2009 Feb 24, A Paris appeals
court overturned five men's terror convictions, ruling that French
intelligence officials improperly questioned them while they were
detained at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay. Lawyers for the men:
Brahim Yadel, Khaled ben Mustafa, Nizar Sassi, Mourad Benchellali
and Ridouane Khalid, hailed the decision. During their 2007 Paris
trial, the five acknowledged having spent time in military training
camps in Afghanistan but they said they had never put their combat
skills to use.
2009 Feb 24, In Guinea Ousmane
Conte, the son of Guinea's late longtime dictator, was arrested on
allegations of drug trafficking.
2009 Feb 24, Two Iraqi police
officers opened fire on 4 American soldiers and two interpreters
inside a police station in Mosul. One US soldier and an interpreter
were killed. The assailants, believed to be associated with
Al-Qaida, escaped. The two policemen an officer and a sergeant, were
arrested in June by US and Iraqi forces and handed over to Iraqi
(SFC, 2/25/09, p.A2)(AP, 6/18/09)
2009 Feb 24, The Kenya National
commission on Human Rights released a video showing a Kenyan
policeman, who was later killed, saying he saw other officers
execute 58 suspects instead of arresting them.
(SFC, 2/25/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 24, Iran’s Pres.
Ahmadinejad arrived in Kenya with a delegation of nearly 100
officials and business people. He soon struck a deal to export 4
million tons of crude oil a year, to open direct flights between
Tehran and Nairobi, and to provide scholarships for study in Iran.
(http://tinyurl.com/yewhqnk)(Econ, 2/6/10, p.49)
2009 Feb 24, In Michoacan
state, Mexico, Vista Hermosa Mayor Octavio Carrillo was arriving at
his home when four gunmen waiting for him opened fire. He became the
6th elected local official killed in Michoacan since June.
2009 Feb 24, In Nigeria 2 days
of clashes between rival gangs in the southern state of Edo left at
least eight people dead.
2009 Feb 24, North Korea said
it is preparing to shoot a satellite into orbit, its clearest
reference yet to an impending launch that neighbors and the US
suspect will be a provocative test of a long-range missile.
2009 Feb 24, Taliban militants
extended a cease-fire in northwestern Pakistan's Swat valley,
granting more time for peace talks with the government that the US
worries could create a haven for insurgents in the nuclear-armed
2009 Feb 24, South Korea signed
a $3.55 billion deal with Iraq to help rebuild the war-ravaged
country in return for oil and gas. The deal was inked by South
Korean President Lee Myung-bak and his Iraqi counterpart Jalal
2009 Feb 24, Sri Lanka’s
government troops advanced on the last urban area in the north still
in the hands of Tamil Tiger rebels. The defense ministry said 13
bodies of rebel fighters were recovered. The LTTE said 10
civilians were killed and 25 injured when troops fired artillery
guns at the densely populated Puttumattalan.
2009 Feb 24, In Sudan fighting
erupted in the key southern city of Malakal. Some 50 people were
killed and another 100 wounded in 2 days of fighting.
2009 Feb 24, Syria's nuclear
chief told the UN's nuclear agency that his nation has built a new
missile facility on the site of what the US says was a nearly
finished nuclear reactor bombed by Israel in Sep 2007.
2009 Feb 24, In Thailand
thousands of protesters surrounded the prime minister's office
demanding that parliament be dissolved and new elections held, the
latest challenge to the two-month old coalition government.
2009 Feb 24, A Kurdish
politician spoke to lawmakers in Turkey's parliament in the Kurdish
language, openly defying the law, to celebrate UNESCO world
languages week. State-run television immediately cut off the live
2009 Feb 24, The United Arab
Emirates' official news agency said US firms Boeing Co. and Lockheed
Martin Corp. have been awarded almost $3 billion in contracts to
supply transport aircraft for the country's military.
2009 Feb 24, Four Yemenis were
convicted and sentenced up to seven years in prison on for forming
an al-Qaida cell and plotting to attack government and foreign
targets in the country.
2009 Feb 24, Officials said
Zimbabwe's teachers have agreed to end a strike that emptied
classrooms for a year, after the government promised to review
salaries and appealed for 458 million dollars' aid for schools.
2009 Feb 25, Attorney General
Eric Holder said US and Mexican authorities have arrested 750 people
over 21 months in an anti-drug sweep that included 52 members of
Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel. The crackdown culminated 50 overnight
raids. It investigated crimes in the United States, Mexico and
Canada, netted some 59 million dollars in cash, 12,000 kilos (12
tons) of cocaine, 544 kilos (1,200 pounds) of methamphetamine and
1.3 million Ecstasy pills.
(AFP, 2/25/09)(WSJ, 2/26/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 25, A Federal Grand
Jury returned a single count indictment charging Kody Ray
Brittingham (20) of Camp Lejeune, NC, with threatening the
President-Elect of the United States, in violation of Title 18,
United States Code, Section 871, which has a maximum penalty of 5
years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised
release and a fine of up to $250,000. In August Brittingham pleaded
guilty to charges of threatening to kill Pres. Obama and armed
robbery. Brittingham was arrested in mid-December on an unrelated
armed robbery charge and, as a result, separated from the service on
Jan 3. But a search of his barracks also turned up a journal
containing white supremacist material and a plan to kill Obama.
2009 Feb 25, US Interior Sec.
Ken Salazar put the brakes on leases, created under the Bush
administration, on federal land for oil-shale development in
Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. He said the Bush royalty rates would
(AP, 2/26/09)(WSJ, 2/26/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 25, The US Supreme
Court ruled that the Summum group does not have a right to erect the
“Seven aphorism" of its beliefs in Pleasant Gove City, Utah, park
just because the Ten Commandments are displayed there.
(SFC, 2/26/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 25, The FBI arrested
money managers Paul Greenwood (61) of North Salem, NY, and Stephen
Walsh (64) of Sands Point, NY, on charges of conspiracy, securities
fraud and wire fraud. They ware accused of misappropriating at least
(WSJ, 2/26/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 25, In Florida Pablo
Josue Amador (53), a Cuban immigrant and piano teacher, shot and
killed wife, Maria (45), and their youngest daughters, Prescilla and
Rosa, 14 and 13, before killing himself. A teenage son escaped the
shootings and called police.
2009 Feb 25, In Afghanistan a
remote control bomb planted on a motorcycle exploded in Kandahar
city as a convoy of soldiers was passing. Two Afghan bystanders were
killed, and eight people, including five soldiers, were wounded. A
roadside bomb killed 3 British soldiers in Helmand province. A 4th
died from wounds sustained in a firefight.
(AP, 2/25/09)(WSJ, 2/26/09, p.A1)(AFP, 2/26/09)
2009 Feb 25, Mutinous
Bangladeshi border guards opened fire at their headquarters in the
capital and seized a nearby shopping mall, injuring several people
in an insurrection apparently sparked by pay disputes. They agreed
to surrender after the government said it would grant them amnesty.
2009 Feb 25, Danish and Chinese
warships stopped pirates attacking two different vessels off
2009 Feb 25, An Estonian court
convicted a former top security official of treason for passing
domestic and NATO secrets to Russia, the Baltic country's biggest
espionage scandal since the Cold War. Herman Simm (61), the former
head of security at the Estonian Defense Ministry, pleaded guilty
and was sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison. Russia’s
foreign service (SVR) had recruited Mr. Simm on his holiday in
Tunisia in 1995.
(AP, 2/25/09)(Econ, 2/28/09, p.56)
2009 Feb 25, The European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development said that it would invest a
record 7.0 billion euros this year in the former Soviet bloc to
combat an economic crisis in eastern Europe.
2009 Feb 25, In Paris an
auction of art works owned by the late fashion designer Yves Saint
Laurent concluded with dazzling sales of nearly $500 million. Two
rare bronze sculptures that disappeared from China nearly 150 years
ago and demanded back by Beijing, sold for millions. The Chinese
businessman, who bid $15.1 million, later refused payment.
(AP, 2/26/09)(Econ, 3/7/09, p.92)
2009 Feb 25, A 24-hour strike
by Greek civil servants disrupted services across the country,
forcing public hospitals to accept only emergency cases and airlines
to cancel at least 68 flights.
2009 Feb 25, A UN survey said
homicides in Honduras had more than doubled from 2,155 in 2004 to
4,473 in 2008.
(SSFC, 3/1/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 25, In India police
charged Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the man they say is the lone surviving
gunman in last year's Mumbai attacks, with "waging war" against
India and included two Pakistani soldiers among 37 others charged.
2009 Feb 25, Iranian and
Russian technicians conducted a test run of Iran's first nuclear
power plant, a major step toward launching full operations at the
2009 Feb 25, Iraqi authorities
ordered the mid-flight return of a plane carrying a Sunni lawmaker
accused of directing a private terror cell, forcing him back to
Baghdad hours before parliament lifted his immunity and cleared the
way for his arrest. Mohammed al-Dayni faced allegations he
masterminded a string of attacks that include a 2007 suicide bombing
inside the parliament building and mortar strike on Baghdad's Green
Zone. Al-Dayni was picked up by his personal security contingent
before government security arrived. He was later believed to be in
Syria where he appeared on a cooking show.
(AP, 2/25/09)(SFC, 2/26/09, p.A2)(AP, 5/30/09)
2009 Feb 25, A passenger bus
plunged into a river in the Indian part of Kashmir, killing at least
2009 Feb 25, Kenya announced
its first polio infection in 20 years, after a 4-year-old girl was
diagnosed with the disease along the country's remote border with
2009 Feb 25, In Lebanon 3 men
jailed for more than three years in the assassination of former PM
Rafik Hariri were set free on bail, days before an international
tribunal was to begin trying the case. Brothers Mahmoud and Ahmed
Abdel-Al, a member of a pro-Syrian Sunni Muslim fundamentalist
group, were detained in 2005. Syrian Ibrahim Jarjoura, was arrested
in 2006 on suspicion he gave false evidence and misled the
2009 Feb 25, Macao passed its
own version of “Article 23" legislation, which provided sweeping but
vague language banning sedition, but had failed to pass in Hong
(Econ, 3/21/09, p.43)
2009 Feb 25, In Martinique
vandals burned cars and looted stores overnight, as violence spread
to a second French Caribbean island in protests over high prices,
low pay and alleged neglect by officials in Paris.
2009 Feb 25, Mexico’s
government said it will deploy extra troops and federal police to
Ciudad Juarez across the border from Texas, where the police chief
recently bowed to crime gang demands that he resign.
2009 Feb 25, Nigerian teachers
in the country's southwest launched an indefinite strike to press
demands for better pay.
2009 Feb 25, Pakistan's Supreme
Court barred main opposition leader and former premier Nawaz Sharif
from holding office and contesting elections, sparking political
turmoil in the nuclear-armed nation. The court also turfed his
younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif, out of Punjab’s provincial
parliament and his post as its chief minister.
(AFP, 2/25/09)(Econ, 2/28/09, p.47)
2009 Feb 25, Militants in Gaza
launched rockets at southern Israel and Israeli planes attacked
smuggling tunnels as a stable truce between the two sides remained
elusive. Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad said he is seeking $2.8 billion
in foreign aid for rebuilding Gaza Strip. The rival Palestinian
groups Hamas and Fatah agreed to release each other's loyalists from
detention, seeking to lower tensions during reconciliation talks.
2009 Feb 25, Russian news
agencies quoted Chief Military Prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky as saying
that his office has exposed an attempt by military officers to
smuggle $18 million worth of stolen Russian weapons to China via
2009 Feb 25, Russia issued a
DVD and a thick book of historical documents to dispute claims that
the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s amounted to genocide. It was
argued that the Stalin-era famine was a common tragedy across Soviet
(SFC, 2/26/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 25, Rwandan troops
began pulling out of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after a
controversial joint operation with Congolese troops against Rwandan
2009 Feb 25, Saudi police were
reported to have clashed with Shiite pilgrims over several days near
a cemetery in Islam's second-holiest city, leading Shiite Cleric
Sheik Nimr al-Nimr to appeal to the king to put a stop to the
"insults" of the religious police. Shiites make up a small minority
of the country's 22 million people. Following the incendiary sermon,
more than 35 people were arrested in a government crackdown and
al-Nimr went into hiding.
(AP, 2/25/09)(AP, 4/1/09)
2009 Feb 25, In Sierra Leone an
international court modeled after the Nuremberg tribunal convicted 3
top rebel leaders of crimes against humanity. Revolutionary United
Front leader Issa Sesay and one of his battlefield commanders Morris
Kallon were found guilty on 16 of 18 counts, including mutilation,
terrorism, rape, forced marriage, sexual slavery and the enlistment
of child soldiers. Commander, Augustine Gbao, was found guilty on 14
of the 18 counts. On April 8 Sesay was sentenced to 51 years in
prison, Kallon to 40 years, and Gbao to 25 years.
(AP, 2/25/09)(WSJ, 4/9/09, p.A10)
2009 Feb 25, In Somalia an
artillery shell killed two schoolchildren in Mogadishu during the
second day of fighting between AU peacekeepers and Islamist
insurgents. The death toll in the worst fighting for weeks reached
(AP, 2/25/09)(Reuters, 2/25/09)
2009 Feb 25, Spain’s Foreign
Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said Spain is open 'in principle' to
accepting prisoners from the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.
2009 Feb 25, In Sri Lanka
troops fought on the outskirts of the last town under rebel control.
Aid groups estimated that more than 200,000 people were trapped in a
small strip of rebel-held territory.
2009 Feb 25, A Turkish Airlines
plane with 135 people aboard slammed into a muddy field while
attempting to land at Amsterdam's main airport. Nine people were
killed and more than 50 were injured, many in serious condition.
2009 Feb 25, Standard and
Poor's said on it had cut Ukraine's credit ratings to a level
indicating vulnerability to default, amid worries over whether Kiev
will receive the next slice of a vital IMF loan.
2009 Feb 25, Uzbek President
Islam Karimov said he would allow the US to transport non-military
supplies through his country as part of a new supply route to
2009 Feb 26, President
Barack Obama unveiled a $3.6 trillion budget and promised to slash
federal spending by $2 trillion, even as the administration
initially invests large sums of money to revive the faltering
economy. The budget included $630 billion to start pushing toward a
national health insurance program. Defense Secretary Robert Gates
said the Obama administration is reversing an 18-year ban on news
coverage of the return of war dead, allowing photographs of
flag-covered caskets when families of the fallen troops agree.
(AP, 2/26/09)(WSJ, 2/27/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 26, Virgin Megastore,
a music and video retailer, announced the closures of its San
Francisco and New York stores. This would leave the company with 3
stores (Hollywood, Denver, and Orlando) from a peak of 23 stores in
2002. The San Francisco, which opened in 1995, planned to shut down
in late April.
(SFC, 2/27/09, p.A8)
2009 Feb 26, General Motors
reported a $9.6 billion 4th quarter loss bringing its loss for the
year 2008 to $30.9 billion. This was its 2nd worst financial
performance in its 100 year history.
(WSJ, 2/27/09, p.B1)
2009 Feb 26, The Australian
government announced a multi-million dollar investment in research
on reducing gas emissions from farm animals as part of the fight
against global warming.
2009 Feb 26, In Bangladesh
mutinous members of the Bangladesh Rifles, a paramilitary unit in
Dhaka, surrendered their weapons as tanks surrounded their
headquarters after a 2nd day of gunfire in a mutiny that killed 74
people. Security forces searching the headquarters of the border
guard unit soon discovered the bodies of dozens of officers in
shallow graves on the compound, raising the death toll to 76. The
trial of some 3,500 paramilitary troops began in November. At least
48 had already died while in custody. In April, 2010, 136 guards
were given sentences ranging from four months to seven years for
their 2-day uprising. On Nov 5, 2013 152 mutineers were sentenced to
(Reuters, 2/26/09)(AP, 2/27/09)(AP,
2/28/09)(Econ, 11/28/09, p.44)(AP, 4/18/10)(Econ, 11/9/13, p.47)
2009 Feb 26, British
prosecutors said they would not bring charges against Gary McKinnon,
a computer expert accused by a US attorney of the "biggest military
hack of all time," dealing a blow to his bid to avoid extradition.
2009 Feb 26, Former EastEnders
star Wendy Richard (65), who was diagnosed with cancer in January,
died in London. She best known for her role as Pauline Fowler in the
London-based soap whom she played for more than two decades.
2009 Feb 26, In Canada PM
Harper announced a new law to crack down on a wave of gang-related
murders in Vancouver, which was preparing to host the 2010 Winter
(SFC, 2/27/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 26, Colombian
President Alvaro Uribe said he's no longer allowing wiretapping by
the scandal-ridden domestic intelligence agency. The announcement
followed allegations that the spy agency, or DAS, has continued
illegal wiretapping of prominent journalists, Supreme Court justices
and opposition politicians. By the end of April 33 people were
dismissed from Colombia’s Dept. of Administrative Security in the
(AP, 2/26/09)(SFC, 4/29/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 26, In Iraq an
American soldier died while conducting a combat patrol in Baghdad.
2009 Feb 26, Kazakhstan
announced it was pulling out of the Central Asian power grid to
protect its energy supplies, a move that forced rolling blackouts
and electricity rationing on Kyrgyzstan, its tiny, power-starved
2009 Feb 26, At The Hague
UN judges in the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal acquitted former Serb
President Milan Milutinovic of ordering a deadly campaign of terror
by Serb forces against Kosovo Albanians in 1999. The court convicted
five other senior Serbs and gave them prison sentences of between 15
and 22 years. The marathon trial started July 10, 2006.
2009 Feb 26, In Nigeria a
source close to negotiations said US drug giant Pfizer has agreed to
settle a multi-billion dollar damages case with 200 alleged victims
of a drugs trial in Kano. Pfizer and families of the victims of the
drug trial reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement in
principle and agreed to meet in Rome in March to put the deal in
2009 Feb 26, The Nigerian
military raided and destroyed a militant camp in the volatile Niger
Delta as part of its drive to end unrest in the oil-producing
2009 Feb 26, In Pakistan
thousands of supporters of former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif
protested, a day after a court ruling to exclude him and his brother
from elected office raised fears of renewed political turmoil.
2009 Feb 26, The Royal Bank of
Scotland posted a 2008 loss of 24.1 billion pounds, the largest in
British corporate history, because of the credit crunch and the
mis-timed takeover of ABN Amro. The British government has meanwhile
agreed to insure RBS "toxic" assets worth 325 billion pounds in its
Asset Protection Scheme (APS) and will cover 90 percent of losses
stemming from such holdings. Sir Fred Goodwin (50), head of RBS for
a decade, insisted that he is entitled to his full pension of over
£700,000 ($980,000) a year. In March Goodwin received a $4 million
tax-free advance as part of his negotiated pension package. In 2013
Iain Martin authored “Making it Happen: Fred Goodwin, RBS and the
men who blew Up the British Economy."
(AFP, 2/26/09)(Econ, 3/7/09, p.22)(SFC, 3/18/09,
p.A2)(Econ, 10/26/13, p.95)
2009 Feb 26, Sudan’s President
Omar al-Beshir, who faces a possible arrest warrant for alleged war
crimes in Darfur, said he wanted to hold "free" elections soon to
2009 Feb 26, Venezuela
condemned a US State Department report on human rights problems in
the South American country, saying Washington has no right to pass
judgment on its record.
2009 Feb 27, President Barack
Obama outlined his plan for withdrawing combat troops from Iraq by
Aug. 31, 2010.
2009 Feb 27, The US government
said it will exchange up to $25 billion in emergency bailout money
it provided Citigroup Inc. for as much as a 36% equity stake in the
struggling bank. The deal is contingent on private investors also
agreeing to a similar swap. A Commerce Dept. report said the US GDP
had declined 6.2% in the 4th quarter of 2008.
(AP, 2/27/09)(WSJ, 2/28/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 27, California’s Gov.
Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought emergency.
(SFC, 2/28/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 27, San Francisco
handed out pink slips to 262 city employees, with most cuts coming
from the Recreation and park Dept., the Human Services Agency, and
the Dept. of Public Works.
(SFC, 2/28/09, p.B1)
2009 Feb 27, Two members of the
Final Exit Network appeared in a Maryland court and waived an
extradition hearing on charges they aided the suicide of a
58-year-old Georgia man who suffered for years from cancer of the
throat and mouth.
2009 Feb 27, New Mexico
authorities said they have recovered bones from 13 victims at a
desert site west of Albuquerque. 2 victims were identified as
prostitutes reported missing in 2004.
(SFC, 2/28/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 27, Alan Landers (68),
ex-smoker and former face for Winston cigarette advertising, died of
(Econ, 3/14/09, p.88)
2009 Feb 27, In Argentina a new
rule took effect in which members of the armed forces, related to
crimes under the 1976-1983 military dictatorship, will be tried by
civil courts rather than military tribunals.
(SFC, 2/28/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 27, In China US Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Defense David Sedney began talks with a
delegation led by Maj. Gen. Qian Lihua, the Chinese Defense
Ministry's head of foreign affairs, marked a resumption of military
consultations after a half-year suspension.
2009 Feb 27, A Tibetan monk, in
his late 20s, was shot after dousing himself with petrol and setting
himself alight in the Tibetan-populated town of Aba in China's
Sichuan province. Police put out the fire, and the man was taken to
hospital with burn injuries to his neck and head.
2009 Feb 27, Leading
international financial institutions said Eastern Europe's
struggling banks will receive euro24.5 billion ($31.1 billion) worth
of emergency help to shore up their battered finances. Regional
leaders were scheduled to meet this weekend. The Hungarian, Polish
and Czech currencies strengthened on the news of the aid package.
2009 Feb 27, The French film
industry awarded the best film Cesar to Martin Provost's
"Seraphine." Yolande Moreau, who plays Seraphine, won in the 34th
annual Cesar awards best actress category for her portrayal of the
dimwitted maid whose talents as a painter were discovered by a
German art collector on the eve of World War I. The Cesar for best
actor went to Vincent Cassel in "Mesrine," a story based on the real
life of a gangster.
2009 Feb 27, Unions in
Guadeloupe scored a victory in getting a deal to raise some workers'
salaries, but said they will not end a general strike now concluding
its sixth week.
2009 Feb 27, In Ireland the
family of banker Shane Travers was freed uninjured after he
delivered millions of euros stolen from his own branch. A gang had
taken his family hostage and threatened to kill them unless he
cooperated. Irish media put the amount at euro7 million ($9
million). The next day police recovered millions in stolen cash and
interrogated seven suspected robbers.
(AP, 2/27/09)(AP, 2/28/09)(SFC, 2/28/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 27, In Israel Benjamin
Netanyahu failed to persuade his centrist rival, Tzipi Livni, to
join him in a broad coalition, increasing the likelihood that
Israel's next government will be an alliance of hawks and hard-line
religious parties opposed to substantial concessions for peace.
2009 Feb 27, A court ordered
the Japanese government to pay 5.6 billion yen ($57.7 million) to
compensate people whose lives are disrupted by the noise of
warplanes at a US air base on the southern island of Okinawa. The
Fukuoka High Court ruling doubled the 2.8 million yen compensation
awarded in 2005 to the people living around Kadena Air Base, and
upheld the appeals of 5,540 residents.
2009 Feb 27, In Pakistan police
fought running battles with supporters of former PM Nawaz Sharif
near Islamabad as protests against a court order barring him from
elected office continued for a third day.
2009 Feb 27, Researchers in
Peru said an unusually intact fossilized skull of a pelagornithid, a
giant, bony-toothed seabird that lived up to 10 million years ago,
had been found in the in the Pisco Formation, a coastal rock bed
south of the capital, Lima, known for yielding fossils of whales,
dolphins, turtles and other marine life dating as far back as 14
2009 Feb 27, In Sri Lanka
government forces drove deeper into the Tamil Tigers' dwindling
stronghold, confining the rebel group that once controlled a vast
swath of northern Sri Lanka to an area smaller than Manhattan.
2009 Feb 27, A UN tribunal in
Tanzania convicted a former Rwandan military chaplain of attempted
rape and genocide for crimes that included killing people who had
sought refuge in a seminary. The three-judge panel sentenced
Emmanuel Rukundo (50) to 25 years in prison. Rukundo will only serve
17 and half years because the judges gave him credit for the seven
and a half years he has already spent in detention.
2009 Feb 27, The UN Children's
Fund said 53 million children are being targeted by a mass
immunization drive against polio in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory
Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo. Some 844 polio cases were
reported in the 8 countries in 2008, 95% of them in Nigeria.
2009 Feb 28, In Louisiana 3 ½
years after Hurricane Katrina, the National Guard pulled the last of
its troops out of New Orleans, leaving behind a city still desperate
2009 Feb 28, A fishing boat
from Clearwater, Florida, capsized as the four friends were pulling
up the anchor. Nick Schuyler was rescued on March 2. Oakland Raiders
linebacker Marquis Cooper, free-agent defensive lineman Corey Smith
and former University of South Florida player William Bleakley
2009 Feb 28, Paul Harvey
(b.1918), news commentator and talk-radio pioneer, died in Arizona.
His staccato style made him one of the nation's most familiar
voices. Harvey had been heard nationally since 1951, when he began
his "News and Comment" for ABC Radio Networks.
(AP, 3/1/09)(SSFC, 3/1/09, p.A12)
2009 Feb 28, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai ordered that presidential elections be held by April,
months earlier than the August 20 date set by a voting authority,
after lawmakers said they would not recognize him as president after
May 22. Afghan security soldiers killed four militants in a clash in
the southern province of Uruzgan.
(AP, 2/28/09)(AFP, 3/1/09)
2009 Feb 28, In Algeria an army
operation in the mountains of Blida province, about 100 kilometers
(62 miles) south of Algiers killed 6 Islamist militants. One
militant was killed on Feb 26 before the army took the rest of the
group by surprise. Another 16 were reported killed during a search
operation near Soulahane.
(AFP, 3/2/09)(AFP, 3/3/09)
2009 Feb 28, China's
legislature enacted a tough new food safety law, promising tougher
penalties for makers of tainted products in the wake of scandals
that exposed serious flaws in monitoring of the nation's food
2009 Feb 28, A US Marine died
in a non-combat related incident in Iraq's western Anbar province.
2009 Feb 28, Two rockets fired
from Gaza crashed into southern Israel, one into a school that was
closed for the weekend in the coastal city of Ashkelon and another
into an open field.
2009 Feb 28, Police in southern
Mexico found the body of Rolando Landa, head of security in the
township of La Union, near the Pacific beach town of Zihuatanejo.
The body was accompanied by threatening messages apparently left by
members of the Familia Michoacana drug gang. Two police officers in
the town of Praxedis Guerrero, just south of the border town of
Ciudad Juarez, were shot dead in their patrol vehicle.
(AP, 2/28/09)(AP, 3/1/09)
2009 Feb 28, Pakistani officers
said troops have defeated Taliban militants in the Bajur region near
the Afghan border and are close to victory in the tribal region of
Mohmand after a grinding offensive.
2009 Feb 28, In Panama Tomas
Altamirano Mantovani (49), a prominent ruling party lawmaker and son
of a former vice president, died in a traffic accident.
2009 Feb 28, The yacht
Serenity, with two crew from the Seychelles on board, left the
islands en route to Madagascar and disappeared. One of the crew
called his family on March 24, saying he was being held by Somali
pirates and begging for help.
2009 Feb 28, Somalia's new
Pres. Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed said the government and an Islamic
insurgent group have reached a cease-fire deal, days after dozens of
civilians were killed in fighting in Mogadishu.
2009 Feb 28, In Thailand
prominent activists from military-ruled Myanmar and Cambodia were
barred from a meeting with Southeast Asian leaders (ASEAN),
upstaging the opening of the annual summit billed as a historic step
toward greater human rights in the region.
2009 Feb 28, President Hugo
Chavez ordered troops to intervene in Venezuelan rice processing
businesses, saying some have balked at producing under regulated
2009 Feb 28, In Zimbabwe Pres.
Robert Mugabe told followers at his lavish $250,000 birthday party
to respect the new power-sharing government but vowed to press on
with seizures of white farms. A melee broke out in a dining hall
among thousands lined up for a free meal of porridge and vegetables.
Soldiers used truncheons to maintain order.
(AFP, 2/28/09)(SSFC, 3/1/09, p.A5)
2009 Feb, A Texas grand jury
returned a 106-count indictment against the former Montague Sheriff
Bill Keating and 16 others. It revealed that inmates had the run of
County Jail, having sex with their jailer girlfriends, bringing in
recliners, taking drugs and chatting on cell phones supplied by
friends or guards.
2009 Feb, Scientists published
a study showing that genetically modified material did contaminate
native corn in the crop's birthplace in southern Mexico. Elena
Alvarez Buylla, author of the article published in the February
edition of Molecular Ecology, said the difficult atmosphere
surrounding the original debate persists.
2009 Feb, An Australian man in
Victoria state was arrested on charges of raping his daughter for 30
years and fathering four children with her. The daughter first told
police about the alleged abuse in 2005, but no charges were filed
because she said she feared for her safety and would not cooperate
2009 Feb, China extended
nationwide a program of government financed discounts for household
appliances. The program had been due to end in 2008, but was
extended to 9 provinces in December and was now expected to continue
for 4 years.
(Econ, 2/21/09, p.44)
2009 Feb, Chinese authorities
started using fish to try to clean up Lake Taihu when they released
10 million mostly green and silver carp into the water, after the
algae tainted the drinking supply of millions of residents. In 2010
authorities planned to release 20 million more algae-eating fish
into the scenic lake ravaged by pollution.
2009 Feb, In India the high
court of Chhattisgarh state ordered an inquiry into the deaths of 12
Gond tribe people allegedly killed by police in Singaram village.
(SSFC, 5/31/09, p.A8)
2009 Feb, US jets shot down an
Iranian unmanned surveillance aircraft over Iraqi territory about 60
miles northeast of Baghdad. The Ababil 3 was tracked for about 70
minutes before US jets shot it down "well-inside Iraqi airspace."
2009 Feb, Kazakhstan
nationalized BTA Bank, the largest bank in the country. Chairman
Mukhtar Ablyazov was stripped of his position and left the country
for exile in London. Over a dozen more bank managers were arrested
and awaited trial for alleged racketeering and money laundering.
(Econ, 6/20/09, p.40)
2009 Feb, The government of
Liechtenstein fell. New PM Klaus Tschutscher pledged to work with
other countries to get off the “uncooperative" list of tax havens.
(Econ, 4/4/09, SR p.14)
2009 Feb, The UN estimated that
10 million people still lived in Somalia.
(Econ, 2/28/09, p.49)
2009 Mar 1, In eastern
Afghanistan a suicide car bomb blew up near US-led soldiers,
wounding six civilians outside Jalalabad. Attacks in Kandahar
province left seven security guards dead. The US-led coalition
killed four alleged militants in Kandahar.
2009 Mar 1, Bangladeshi police
charged more than 1,000 border guards with murder and arson after a
bloody mutiny in the capital left as many as 148 people dead or
missing, most of them army officers.
2009 Mar 1, China's lunar
probe, the Chang'e-1, named for a moon goddess, ended its
16-month life with a planned crash into the moon.
2009 Mar 1, Scores of Tibetan
monks in southwestern China marched in protest over the banning of a
prayer service, the latest incident in an apparent increase in acts
of defiance against Chinese rule ahead of sensitive anniversaries.
2009 Mar 1, Germany rejected
appeals for a single multibillion euro (dollar) bailout of eastern
Europe, even after Hungry begged EU leaders not to let a new "Iron
Curtain" divide the continent into rich and poor.
2009 Mar 1, An adviser to
Iran's president demanded an apology from a team of visiting
Hollywood actors and movie industry officials, including Annette
Bening, saying films such as "300" and "The Wrestler" were
"insulting" to Iranians. The film "300," portrays the battle of
Thermopylae in 480 B.C., in which a force of 300 Spartans held off a
massive Persian army at a mountain pass in Greece for three days. It
angered many Iranians for the way Persians are depicted as decadent,
sexually flamboyant and evil in contrast to the noble Greeks.
2009 Mar 1, In Iraq about 2,000
Shiites staged marches to protest the results of provincial
elections in tense Diyala province.
2009 Mar 1, Israel's attorney
general notified PM Ehud Olmert that he planned to indict him on
suspicion of illicitly taking cash-stuffed envelopes from a
Jewish-American businessman, a sensational case that turned public
opinion so sharply against the Israeli leader that he was forced to
2009 Mar 1, Officials said the
Malaysian government will issue a new decree restoring a ban on
Christian publications using the word "Allah" to refer to God.
2009 Mar 1, Mexican federal
police made two arrests and confiscated weapons and marijuana in
Tijuana, across the US border from San Diego, after coming under
attack by men linked to a drug cartel.
2009 Mar 1, In northwest
Pakistan at least eight people were killed in two suspected US
missile strikes in South Waziristan near to the border with
2009 Mar 1, Tony Blair paid his
first visit to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as envoy of international
peace brokers and said reconstruction aid after Israel's offensive
would not have a lasting effect without peace. Israel’s PM Ehud
Olmert threatened painful retaliation against Gaza militants for
rockets still hitting Israel, six weeks after its military halted an
offensive that was supposed to have stopped them for good.
(Reuters, 3/1/09)(AP, 3/1/09)
2009 Mar 1, Russia's ruling
party cemented its grip on elected posts with big victories in local
elections despite an economic crisis, but the opposition complained
of widespread cheating.
2009 Mar 1, In Spain Basque
voters chose a new government. Socialists scored big electoral gains
at the expense of nationalists who have held power there for nearly
30 years. The nationalist coalition with 37 seats fell one seat
short of the needed majority.
(AP, 3/1/09)(AP, 3/2/09)(SFC, 3/2/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 1, In Sudan Riek
Machar, the vice president of the southern Sudan government, said
clashes last week between militia and local government troops in
Malakal killed at least 57 people and wounded nearly 100.
2009 Mar 1, In Thailand
Southeast Asian leaders (ASEAN) vowed to push ahead with ambitious
plans to become a European Union-style economic community by 2015
despite roadblocks posed by the global financial crisis and
Myanmar's dismal human rights record.
2009 Mar 2, The Obama
administration threw open the curtain on years of Bush-era secrets,
revealing anti-terror memos that claimed exceptional
search-and-seizure powers and divulging that the CIA destroyed
nearly 100 videotapes of interrogations and other treatment of
2009 Mar 2, The US government
unveiled a revamped rescue package to insurance giant American
International Group (AIG) and will provide the troubled company with
another $30 billion in taxpayer money on an "as needed" basis. The
DJIA fell 299.64 to close at 6763.29, falling below 7,000 for the
first time in 12 years.
(AP, 3/2/09)(WSJ, 3/3/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 2, A massive late
winter snow storm roared out of the Southeast and into the Northeast
overnight, idling hundreds of flights and making the morning rush
treacherous as motorists contended with nearly a foot of snow in
spots. Some 950 flights were canceled at the three main New York
area airports, an almost 300 canceled in Philadelphia.
(AP, 3/2/09)(SFC, 3/3/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 2, An asteroid named
2009 DD45, about the size of one that blasted Siberia a century ago,
buzzed by Earth. It measured between 69 feet and 154 feet in
diameter and came to 48,800 miles from Earth.
2009 Mar 2, A study by Oceana,
a worldwide environmental group, said food supplies for large ocean
fish were dwindling due to industrial fishing to supply fish farms.
An estimated 4 to 11 pounds of prey fish were being consumed to
produce one pound of farmed salmon.
(SFC, 3/3/09, p.B1)
2009 Mar 2, In southern
Australia rescuers used jet skis, backhoes and human muscle to save
dozens of whales and dolphins stranded on Naracoopa Beach on
Tasmania state's King Island. Rescuers refloated 54 whales and five
bottlenose dolphins. A total of 194 pilot whales and seven dolphins
became stranded the previous evening.
(AP, 3/2/09)(AP, 3/3/09)
2009 Mar 2, A Chinese man said
he was the mystery collector behind winning bids for two imperial
bronzes auctioned last week at Christie's over Beijing's objections,
and that he made the bogus offers to protest any sale of the looted
relics. The sculptures disappeared from the Summer Palace on the
outskirts of Beijing when French and British forces sacked and
burned it at the end of the second Opium War in 1860. The sculptures
date to the early Qing Dynasty, established by invading Manchu
tribesmen in 1644. The Christie's catalog said they were made for
the Zodiac fountain at the imperial palace.
2009 Mar 2, In China a top
justice official said courts will accept the cases of hundreds of
families with children sickened in last year's tainted milk scandal.
2009 Mar 2, Cuban President
Raul Castro's ousted powerful officials close to his brother Fidel
in the biggest government shakeup since he took power a year ago.
2009 Mar 2, At a donor’s
conference in Egypt Palestinian Pres. Mahmoud Abbas, seeking to
shore up his position against rival Hamas, asked international
donors to funnel millions of dollars through his government to
rebuild the devastated Gaza Strip. The gathering aimed to raise at
least $2.8 billion from 80 donor nations and international
2009 Mar 2, In Guinea-Bissau
soldiers assassinated President Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira in his
palace hours after a bomb blast killed his rival. A pre-dawn
gunfight at the palace erupted hours after armed forces chief of
staff Gen. Batiste Tagme na Waie, a longtime rival of the president,
was killed by a bomb blast at his headquarters. The military
insisted no coup was taking place.
2009 Mar 2, Iran dismissed US
concerns about how much fissile material the country has produced,
saying it isn't developing a nuclear bomb and that any effort to
make weapons-grade uranium would be difficult under the eyes of
2009 Mar 2, In Iraq Ali Hassan
al-Majid, aka “Chemical Ali," was sentenced to death for a 3rd time,
following his conviction relating to the Feb 19, 1999, death of
ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr. Previous convictions related the
killing of Kurds in the late 1980s and the 1991 crackdown on Shiites
in southern Iraq.
(SFC, 3/3/09, p.A3)
2009 Mar 2, In Morocco Hassan
Al Haski (41), a Moroccan man already convicted over the 2004 Madrid
bombings, was sentenced on appeal to 10 years in jail for his role
in suicide attacks the year before in Casablanca that killed 45
2009 Mar 2, In Pakistan a
suicide bomber killed at least five people and wounded seven others
at a religious school in southwestern Kili Karbala village in Pishin
2009 Mar 2, In Peru's southern
province of Puno 10 people were killed dead and 16 left missing at a
remote mining camp buried by a mudslide.
2009 Mar 3, US President Barack
Obama and British PM Gordon Brown held their first White House
talks. They discussed the coordination of worldwide actions to
(AFP, 3/3/09)(SFC, 3/4/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 3, The IMF said 22 of
the world’s poorest nations may need a total of $25 billion in
additional funding this year.
(WSJ, 3/4/09, p.A10)
2009 Mar 3, In southern
Afghanistan 3 Canadian soldiers were killed and two wounded in a
bomb blast in Arghandab, northwest of Kandahar.
2009 Mar 3, Bangladeshi police
arrested Syed Tauhidul Alam, the suspected ringleader of a deadly
border guard mutiny that killed 74 people, during a raid in a slum
in Dhaka. 4 other border guards were also arrested.
(AP, 3/3/09)(SFC, 3/4/09, p.A4)(Econ, 3/7/09,
2009 Mar 3, Canadian banks cut
their prime lending rates after the Bank of Canada, the country's
central bank, cut its key interest rate by a half-point to a record
low of 0.5 percent.
2009 Mar 3, In southern
Ethiopia a cattle-herding tribe crowned Guyyoo Gobbaa (36) as their
new king in a secret ceremony considered so sacred that the Borena
people believe it has the power to kill unauthorized observers.
2009 Mar 3, In Germany the
building that houses the Cologne city archives collapsed. 3 people
were feared missing in other damaged buildings nearby.
2009 Mar 3, Guatemala’s
President Alvaro Colom announced that a new government commission
will organize and declassify military documents that could shed
light on torture, disappearances and other atrocities during
Guatemala's 36-year civil war. Inmates at a Guatemalan juvenile
prison killed Winter Vidaurre, one of their teachers, during a riot.
They removed his heart before police regained control of the prison
using tear gas. The prisoners had taken three of their teachers
hostage to protest the transfer of several of their fellow inmates
to another detention center.
2009 Mar 3, Lawmakers in
Guinea-Bissau voted to uphold the constitution by which parliament
speaker Raimundo Pereira succeeds as interim president, following
the assassination of the head of state. Pereira took the oath of
(AFP, 3/3/09)(SFC, 3/4/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 3, An official said 4
Indonesians have died of bird flu over the last 2 months, bringing
the death toll in the country over the past several years to 119.
2009 Mar 3, In Iraq the body of
Munther Mohammed Shaheen, the son of a newspaper editor, was found
in Kirkuk. One American soldier was killed in Mosul as insurgents
attacked an US-Iraqi base there.
(AP, 3/4/09)(SFC, 3/4/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 3, In Kyrgyzstan
Syrgak Abdyldayev, a journalist with the Reporter-Bishkek weekly,
was stabbed repeatedly by four assailants after leaving his office.
Opposition parties described the attack as an attempt to stamp out
freedom of expression.
2009 Mar 3, In Mexico hundreds
of heavily armed soldiers fanned out across Ciudad Juarez, trying to
prevent a collapse in law and order just south of the US border.
Joggers found the decapitated bodies of 3 men near a bullfighting
ring in the border city of Tijuana. The heads were found nearby with
a message calling the men "snitches." One of the dead included Jorge
Norman Harrison (38), an American who had been convicted for drug
trafficking in the US. A fourth body, whose head was wrapped in
masking tape, was found in a creek.
(Reuters, 3/3/09)(AP, 3/3/09)(AP, 3/7/09)
2009 Mar 3, In Pakistan at
least a dozen men ambushed Sri Lanka's cricket team with rifles,
grenades and rocket launchers as they drove to the stadium ahead of
a match in Lahore, killing 6 policemen and a driver. The attackers
melted away into the city. None were killed or captured.
2009 Mar 3, Igor Panarin, dean
at the Russian Foreign Ministry's school for future diplomats and a
regular on Russia's state-guided TV channels, told dozens of
students, professors and diplomats that: "There is a high
probability that the collapse of the US will occur by 2010." He also
said the US will break up into six autonomous regions and Alaska
will revert to Russian control.
2009 Mar 3, In Saudi Arabia
Khamisa Sawadi, a 75-year-old widow, was sentenced to 40 lashes and
four months in jail for mingling with two young men who are not
close relatives. The case drew new criticism for the kingdom's
ultraconservative religious police and judiciary.
2009 Mar 3, Sudanese President
Omar al-Beshir inaugurated a massive hydro-electric project that has
displaced tens of thousands and is the largest to be built along the
Nile in 40 years.
2009 Mar 3, In Zimbabwe’s
parliament former opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in.
A judge ordered the release on bail of senior opposition lawmaker
Roy Bennett after nearly three weeks in prison on weapons charges.
2009 Mar 4, The Obama
administration kicked off a new program that's designed to help up
to 9 million borrowers stay in their homes through refinanced
mortgages or loans that are modified to lower monthly payments.
President Barack Obama approved an order to overhaul the way the US
government awards contracts for work to be done by the private
sector, reversing a Bush administration policy.
2009 Mar 4, British PM Gordon
Brown addressed a joint session of the US Congress and bestowed an
honorary knighthood for Senator Edward Kennedy.
(Econ, 3/7/09, p.65)
2009 Mar 4, In California David
Paradiso (28), a man accused of killing his girlfriend, was shot to
death in a Stockton courtroom after he attacked the judge presiding
over his murder trial.
2009 Mar 4, In Texas Kenneth
Wayne Morris was executed for killing a Houston man in a botched
burglary nearly 18 years ago.
(SFC, 3/5/09, p.A6)
2009 Mar 4, Joseph Bloch,
Juilliard School pianist and scholar, died.
2009 Mar 4, In Afghanistan a
car bomb exploded outside the main US military base at Bagram and
wounded three people. The Taliban claimed responsibility.
2009 Mar 4, In central China
more than 2,000 people displaced by construction of the Three Gorges
Dam clashed with police during a protest over missing resettlement
payments, leaving 30 protesters injured.
2009 Mar 4, Channel tunnel
operator Eurotunnel said it will pay its first ever dividend after
making a net profit of 40 million euros in 2008 despite fire damage
of 200 million euros (250 million dollars).
2009 Mar 4, The Finnish
Parliament approved controversial legislation that allows employers
to track workers' e-mails.
2009 Mar 4, Union leaders on
the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe agreed to suspend a
44-day-old general strike as most of their demands continue to be
2009 Mar 4, In India officials
said investigators looking into an outbreak of hepatitis uncovered a
huge operation engaged in illegally recycling hundreds of tons of
used medical equipment. Gujarat state officials launched the probe 2
weeks earlier after 56 people died of hepatitis B.
(SFC, 3/5/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 4, In Ingushetia a man
fired several grenades at the home of former President Murat
Zyazikov in Nazran. Zyazikov was unhurt, but the attacker died in
2009 Mar 4, In Iraq a suicide
bomber triggered an explosives-packed belt as he walked among
members of a police intelligence unit in central Baghdad, killing
three people. A suicide car bomb exploded at a police checkpoint in
Mosul, killing at least two policemen and wounding 15 people. Gunmen
killed a Sunni sheik, his wife and two sons near Samarra, 60 miles
(100 kilometers) north of Baghdad. Gunmen killed Brig. Gen. Salam
Salman Mohammed, a senior Ministry of Interior official, as he drove
to work in Baghdad.
(AP, 3/4/09)(SFC, 3/6/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 4, The Israeli
military aircraft fired upon three smuggling tunnels along the
Gaza-Egypt border. An Israeli missile strike in northern Gaza killed
Khaled Shalan, described as a senior Islamic Jihad commander.
(AP, 3/4/09)(SFC, 3/6/09, p.A3)
2009 Mar 4, Salvatore Samperi
(64), Italian director, died in his house on Lake Bracciano. He was
best known for erotic comedies that challenged the morals of Italy's
2009 Mar 4, In Mexico a fight
between gangs in a state prison in Ciudad Juarez left at least 20
(SFC, 3/5/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 4, In southern Nigeria
gunmen seized two passengers from a ferry near the Bonny Island gas
terminal. 19 others were released shortly after the ferry was
2009 Mar 4, The UN described
the war zone in northern Sri Lanka as an "unfolding humanitarian
catastrophe," where civilians were trapped and dying because they
lacked food and medicine.
2009 Mar 4, The International
Criminal Court at The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese
President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against
humanity in Darfur. He is the first sitting head of state the court
has ordered arrested. The French medical aid organization Doctors
Without Borders (MSF) said it was pulling staff out of Darfur after
the Sudanese government ordered them to leave. Sudan ordered at
least 10 humanitarian groups expelled from Darfur.
(AP, 3/4/09)(AFP, 3/4/09)
2009 Mar 4, Ukrainian masked
and armed security agents searched the headquarters of Naftogaz,
Ukraine's natural gas company, in a raid that the firm said
threatened a deal with Russia over the shipment of gas supplies to
Europe. The raid was said to be connected to a criminal
investigation launched this week into the alleged diversion of some
7.4 billion hryvna ($900 million) in Russian gas by officials at
2009 Mar 4, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez ordered the expropriation of the rice operations of US grain
giant Cargill Inc. and threatened to take over beer and food
manufacturer Polar, the country’s largest private company.
(WSJ, 3/5/09, p.A9)
2009 Mar 4, Zimbabwe’s PM
Morgan Tsvangirai made his first call for an end to international
sanctions, part of his bid to start rebuilding the shattered
economy. He also said the detention of political prisoners is
undermining donor confidence in Zimbabwe's unity government, hurting
efforts to rebuild the economy. US President Barack Obama extended
sanctions against Zimbabwe, saying the troubled African nation had
not resolved its political crisis.
(Reuters, 3/4/09)(AFP, 3/4/09)(Reuters, 3/5/09)
2009 Mar 5, A US federal grand
jury in LA charged Bruce E. Karatz (63) former chairman and chief
executive of KB Home, with multiple counts of fraud and other crimes
related to a stock option backdating scheme that authorities say
bilked shareholders out of millions of dollars.
2009 Mar 5, In Bozeman,
Montana, a natural gas explosion collapsed 3 downtown buildings and
prompted the evacuation of a 2-block area. One person was left
(SFC, 3/6/09, p.A6)
2009 Mar 5, In Ohio 5 people
were found killed in one of Cleveland’s most horrific
shootings in years. Davon Crawford (33), a newlywed, was suspected
of killing his wife, his sister-in-law and three young children.
Crawford shot himself in the head the next day as police confronted
in a home where he was hiding.
(AP, 3/6/09)(SFC, 3/7/09, p.A6)
2009 Mar 5, Australia and South
Korea agreed during a summit between PM Kevin Rudd and President Lee
Myung-bak to deepen security ties and launch formal talks on a free
2009 Mar 5, China fleshed out
an ambitious expansion in government spending designed to prevent
the sinking global economy from further dragging down the country's
recently buoyant growth and sparking unrest among laid-off workers
and poorer Chinese.
2009 Mar 5, The Bank of England
cut interest rates by 50 basis points to a record low of 0.5%, and
said it would pump 75 billion pounds of new money into buying assets
in its battle with recession.
2009 Mar 5, A Colombian warlord
who has cooperated closely with prosecutors was extradited to the
United States despite human rights groups' objections that sending
him away could leave hundreds of murders unsolved. Heberth Veloza
(41), alias "HH," has admitted to personally killing more than 100
people and acknowledged that fighters under his command killed
2009 Mar 5, The European
Central Bank cut its main interest rate by a half percentage point
to 1.5 percent, dropping the cost of borrowing in the 16 countries
that use the euro to a new record low amid grim economic news.
2009 Mar 5, The European Court
of Justice said Britain's law requiring retirement at age 65 is
legal under EU rules. The advocacy group Age Concern took the
British government to court in 2006 to demand the reversal of the
forced retirement rule.
2009 Mar 5, Germany’s restored
Neues Museum was unveiled after six years of painstaking work to
repair World War II bomb damage that ruined much of the renowned
2009 Mar 5, In Ingushetia five
policemen were killed trying to defuse a bomb. Violence continues to
wrack Ingushetia, with bombings, shootings and attacks on police
reported almost daily.
2009 Mar 5, Iraq's parliament
passed a $58.6 billion budget after agreeing to sharp cuts amid
falling oil prices. A car bomb exploded in a crowded livestock
market selling sheep, cattle and goats south of Baghdad, killing at
least 12 people and wounding dozens. Justin Pope (25), a US veteran
who returned to Iraq as a civilian contractor, was shot to death
overnight while protecting American diplomats in Kirkuk.
(AP, 3/5/09)(AP, 3/8/09)
2009 Mar 5, Israeli airstrikes
killed 3 gunmen close to the border after they fired an anti-tank
missile at Israeli forces. In Jerusalem Mari al-Radeideh (26), a
Palestinian driver, rammed a construction vehicle into a bus and
police car on a highway, wounding two officers before he was shot
dead, the latest in a string of attacks by militants using heavy
machinery against Israeli targets.
(AP, 3/5/09)(SFC, 3/6/09, p.A3)
2009 Mar 5, The Israeli and
Turkish foreign ministers met secretly on the sidelines of a NATO
conference, the first high-level contact between the countries since
friction erupted over Israel's recent offensive in the Gaza Strip.
2009 Mar 5, A political scandal
in Japan widened when government figures, including an influential
former premier, said they had taken money linked to a firm whose
murky donations have shaken the opposition.
2009 Mar 5, In Kenya Oscar
Kamau Kingara and John Paul Oulu, who investigated extrajudicial
killings, were shot at close range night while their car was
stuck in traffic near the Univ. of Nairobi. The next day Kenya's top
human rights group charged that the slaying was part of a pattern of
assassinations of people who made allegations about police death
2009 Mar 5, NATO foreign
ministers agreed to resume high-level formal ties with Russia,
suspended last year after Moscow's military thrust into Georgia.
2009 Mar 5, Pakistani officials
said that they have identified the gunmen who ambushed the Sri
Lankan cricket team in Lahore on March 3, leaving 8 people dead.
Police detained over 2 dozen men and most of them belonged to
Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Mohammed, groups linked to Al-Qaida
and designated as terrorist organizations by the US.
(WSJ, 3/6/09, p.A9)
2009 Mar 5, Protests spread
from two French possessions in the Caribbean to the island of
Reunion in the Indian Ocean, where about 15,000 people demonstrated
in different cities against high prices.
2009 Mar 5, Sri Lanka offered a
new safe passage for thousands of civilians trapped in the island's
war zone as a local Red Cross employee was killed while helping
non-combatants leave the area.
2009 Mar 5, Ukraine’s Naftogaz
paid its February bill for Russian gas just hours after Pres. Putin
said Russia would halt supplies if Ukraine failed to meet a March 7
(WSJ, 3/6/09, p.A10)
2009 Mar 5, In Zimbabwe PM
Morgan Tsvangirai said more than 4,000 people have died in the
cholera epidemic that has hit at least 85,000 people, warning the
figures were likely an underestimate.
2009 Mar 6, The US Labor
Department reported that the nation's unemployment rate bolted to
8.1 percent in February, the highest since late 1983, as
cost-cutting employers slashed 651,000 jobs amid a deepening
2009 Mar 6, The IRS said it
would not renew its expiring contracts with two private debt
collection agencies. An in-house tax collection program was cited as
(WSJ, 3/7/09, p.A4)
2009 Mar 6, The CIA destroyed a
dozen videotapes of harsh interrogations of terror suspects,
according to documents filed in a lawsuit over the government's
treatment of detainees. The 12 tapes were part of a larger
collection of 92 videotapes of terror suspects that the CIA
destroyed. The extent of the tape destruction was disclosed through
a suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against the
2009 Mar 6, In California
Annette Yeomans (51) surrendered at the Vista jail and was booked
for investigation of grand theft and embezzlement. The former
bookkeeper reportedly embezzled $9.9 million, forcing her company to
make layoffs as she bought 400 pairs of shoes that she kept in a
room-sized closet decorated with a crystal chandelier and a plasma
television. Authorities alleged that Yeomans embezzled the money
from 2001 to 2007 while she was chief financial officer for Quality
Woodworks, Inc., a cabinetry business in San Marcos.
2009 Mar 6, NASA's
planet-hunting telescope, Kepler, rocketed into space on a historic
voyage to track down other Earths in a faraway patch of the Milky
Way galaxy. The $600 million satellite failed to communicate in
(AP, 3/7/09)(Econ, 10/18/14, p.83)
2009 Mar 6, In Argentina
Claudio Lifschitz, a criminal attorney who accused former President
Carlos Menem of covering up the nation's worst terrorist attack, was
kidnapped and tortured by masked gunmen seeking information about
2009 Mar 6, Colombia’s
anti-narcotics police seized 5.7 tons of cocaine and cocaine base in
a jungle laboratory reportedly run by the Black Eagles, the largest
of a new generation of paramilitary groups.
(SFC, 3/7/09, p.A4)
2009 Mar 6, The EU and Kenya
agreed to allow the country to prosecute suspected pirates captured
by European forces on the high seas.
2009 Mar 6, India's government
said it assisted an Indian businessman in his successful $1.8
million bid for Mohandas Gandhi's eyeglasses and other items,
despite initially protesting the auction as a "crass
commercialization" of the pacifist leader's legacy. An Indian court
had even filed an injunction in an attempt to prevent the auction in
2009 Mar 5, Indonesia and South
Korea agreed to cooperate more closely on a range of issues
including defense, the global financial crisis and alternative
sources of energy.
2009 Mar 6, The Israeli foreign
ministry said it had closed its embassy after the government of
Mauritania asked the Israeli ambassador and his staff to leave.
2009 Mar 6, Kyrgyz lawmakers
voted overwhelmingly to suspend an agreement that allows US-led
coalition forces fighting in Afghanistan to use an air base on its
2009 Mar 6, Mexico published a
new law allowing the planting of genetically modified corn for
(SFC, 3/7/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 6, Morocco cut
diplomatic links with Iran after an outcry in the Sunni Muslim world
over a statement by an Iranian official questioning Sunni-ruled
2009 Mar 6, In Paraguay about
100 women disrobed in a square in downtown Asuncion to protest
2009 Mar 6, The Sri Lankan
government appealed for tens of thousands of civilians to flee the
northern war zone and said it would open two safe passages for the
exodus. Sri Lankan soldiers assailed the last slice of land still
controlled by ethnic Tamil separatists, killing at least 32 rebels
(AP, 3/6/09)(AP, 3/7/09)
2009 Mar 6, A UN spokesman said
its human rights office will examine whether Sudan's decision to
expel aid groups constitutes a breach of basic human rights and
possibly a war crime. UN agencies warned that Sudan's decision to
expel 13 international aid groups will leave more than a million
people without food or health care and could threaten thousands of
(AP, 3/6/09)(AFP, 3/6/09)
2009 Mar 6, A senior employee
of Taiwan's presidential office was indicted on charges of providing
classified information to rival China. Wang Jen-bing was charged
with violating the national security law by leaking documents
gathered during the last three years of former President Chen
Shui-bian's eight-year tenure. Chen Pin-jen, a legislative aid, was
indicted on similar charges.
2009 Mar 6, In Thailand
Chiranuch Premchaiporn was arrested for violating the country’s
Computer Crime Act. She faced 10 charges for not preventing comments
on bulletin boards that might have offended the royal family.
(http://tinyurl.com/4j6w77d)(Econ, 2/5/11, p.54)
2009 Mar 6, In Zimbabwe PM
Morgan Tsvangirai was injured in a car crash that killed his wife.
Tsvangirai was flown the next day to neighboring Botswana for
(Reuters, 3/7/09)(AFP, 3/7/09)
2009 Mar 7, President Barack
Obama promised to do "all that's necessary" to boost the economy and
warned, in an opening shot at critics of his budget proposals, that
the country had tough choices ahead.
2009 Mar 7, SF Bay Area police
completed a 2-day sweep arresting at least 42 people, all alleged
member of the so-called “Taliban" gang.
(SSFC, 3/8/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 7, A widow in western
Afghanistan burned herself alive in what relatives called a
desperate move to escape her miserably poor life.
2009 Mar 7, In Algeria 2 people
were killed and five others wounded in an attack on the barracks of
security forces at Tadmait near Tizi Ouzou east of the capital.
2009 Mar 7, The British
government said it will take a majority stake in Lloyds Banking
Group and guarantee toxic assets, leaving only two major British
banks outside the state's control.
2009 Mar 7, In France a
commuter train slammed into a group of football fans who were
walking on railway tracks in a Paris suburb, killing two youths and
injuring 11 people.
2009 Mar 7, Iraq's PM Nouri
al-Maliki called for an end to the practice of distributing top
government jobs along religious and ethnic lines, saying the system
leads to weakness and mismanagement.
2009 Mar 7, Suspected IRA
dissidents opened fire on British troops and pizza delivery men at
the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast,
killing two soldiers and wounding four other people. The attackers
fired on Mark Quinsey (23) and Patrick Azimkar (21) again as they
lay wounded on the ground. A week later 3 men were arrested over the
killings. On March 27 Colin Duffy (41), a prominent dissident
republican, was remanded in custody after being charged with the
murders of the two British soldiers. He was linked to the soldiers'
murder by DNA evidence. On April 2 police arrested a 19-year-old man
on suspicion of gunning down the two British soldiers. On Jan 20,
2012, Brian Shivers (46) was found guilty of the shooting and
sentenced to at least 25 years in prison. Colin Duffy was cleared.
On May 3, 2013, a judge dismissed the forensic evidence against
Shivers and ruled he was too feeble to have played a role.
(AP, 3/8/09)(AFP, 3/14/09)(Econ, 3/14/09,
p.59)(AFP, 3/27/09)(AP, 4/2/09)(AFP, 1/20/12)(AP, 2/10/12)(AP,
2009 Mar 7, In Pakistan Taliban
militants reportedly shot down a suspected drone aircraft in a
tribal area bordering Afghanistan. In the northwest a bomb-laden car
exploded as police tried to pull a body from it, killing 7 police
and a bystander. A roadside bombing in Darra Adam Khel killed 3
civilians. A suicide bomber in the Khyber tribal region killed 4
(AFP, 3/7/09)(AP, 3/7/09)(SSFC, 3/8/09, p.A10)
2009 Mar 7, Palestinian PM
Salam Fayyad submitted his resignation, a move that could help pave
the way for an elusive power-sharing deal between Palestinian
moderates and militants.
2009 Mar 7, In Sri Lanka more
than 100 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in two days of fighting as
they tried to break a military stranglehold.
2009 Mar 8, In Illinois Pastor
Fred Winters was shot and killed during his Sunday sermon at First
Baptist Church in Maryville. He had deflected the first of Terry Joe
Sedlacek’s four rounds with a Bible, sending a confetti-like spray
of paper into the air in a horrifying scene that congregants
initially thought was a skit. Churchgoers wrestled Sedlacek (27) to
the ground as he waved a knife, slashing himself and two other
(AP, 3/9/09)(SFC, 3/9/09, p.A4)
2009 Mar 8,
Country singer Hank Lochlin (b.1918) died at his home in Brewston,
Alabama. His 70 charted singles included “Send Me the Pillow You
Dream On" (1949 & 1958) and “Please Help Me, I’m Falling"
(SFC, 3/12/09, p.B6)
2009 Mar 8, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai welcomed President Barack Obama's call to identify
moderate elements of the Taliban and encourage them to reconcile
with the Afghan government. In southern Afghanistan a roadside bomb
exploded, killing a Canadian soldier and wounding four others in
(AP, 3/8/09)(AP, 3/9/09)
2009 Mar 8, In Argentina
Matthew Lizotte (25) of Aspen, Colorado, died while scaling the
11,411-foot (3,480-meter) Mount Tronador in Nahuel Huapi National
Park. Two unidentified students were injured when the ice bridge
they were crossing broke.
2009 Mar 8, Ali Bongo (William
Oliver Wallace), English master magician, died at age 79.
(Econ, 3/21/09, p.93)
2009 Mar 8, Iran, Afghanistan
and Pakistan carried out their first joint counter narcotics
2009 Mar 8, The US military
announced that 12,000 American and 4,000 British troops will leave
Iraq by September, hours after a suicide bomber struck police and
recruits lined up at the entrance of Baghdad's main academy, killing
about 30 people, including 5 police officers.
(AP, 3/8/09)(SFC, 3/9/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 8, Kim Jong Il was
unanimously re-elected to North Korea's rubber-stamp parliament.
Outside observers watched closely for hints leader Kim Jong Il may
be grooming a successor.
(AP, 3/8/09)(AP, 3/9/09)
2009 Mar 8, Sudan's Pres. Omar
al-Bashir threatened to kick out more aid groups and expel diplomats
and peacekeepers during his first trip to the beleaguered Darfur
region after an international court indicted him on war crimes.
2009 Mar 8, Off southern
Thailand a 60-foot (18-metre) diving boat, carrying 30 people
including 19 foreigners, was reported missing in the Similan
islands. Police and navy rescued 23 passengers and crew the next day
but two Swiss nationals, two Austrians, a Japanese, a German and a
Thai member of the crew remained missing. The body of one woman was
found on March 10.
2009 Mar 9, President Barack
Obama signed an executive order reversing the US government’s ban on
funding stem-cell research today and pledge to “use sound,
scientific practice and evidence, instead of dogma" to guide federal
2009 Mar 9, The US and South
Korea began annual war games prompting North Korea to call its
military into full combat readiness.
(SFC, 3/10/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 9, In North Carolina
Philip Guyett (42) pleaded guilty to falsifying records so that he
could sell human tissue from corpses that were riddled with cancer
or showed intravenous drug use. He was sentenced in October to 8
years in prison.
2009 Mar 9, The latest American
Religious Identification Survey said 15% of respondents had no
religion, an increase from 14.2% in 2001 and 8.2% in 1990.
2009 Mar 9, Utah Gov. Jon
Huntsman and state house and senate leaders agreed to eliminate the
state’s 40-year-old private club system in an effort to boost
(SFC, 3/10/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 9, Virginia Gov. Tim
Kaine signed a bill that generally restricts smoking in bars and
restaurants to separate rooms that have their own ventilation.
(SFC, 3/10/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 9, Merck & Co.
said it is buying Schering-Plough Corp. for $41.1 billion in stock
and cash in a deal that gives the companies more firepower to
compete in a drug industry facing slumping sales, tough generic
competition and intense pricing pressures. The merger was expected
to eliminate some 16,000 jobs.
(AP, 3/9/09)(SFC, 3/10/09, p.C1)
2009 Mar 9, California-based
Genencor, a division of Danisco A/S, announced the first transfer of
BioIsoprene™ product to The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. By
December the world’s first concept demonstration tires made with
BioIsoprene™ technology, a breakthrough alternative to replace a
petrochemically produced ingredient in the manufacture of synthetic
rubber with renewable biomass, made their debut in Copenhagen,
(http://tinyurl.com/27vewpy)(Econ, 4/24/10, p.79)
2009 Mar 9, Bolivia’s President
Evo Morales ordered a US diplomat to leave his country for allegedly
conspiring with opposition groups, further straining tense relations
six months after he expelled the American ambassador.
2009 Mar 9, China's President
Hu Jintao ordered a "Great Wall" against Tibetan separatism, as
extra soldiers were deployed to the Himalayan region on the 50th
anniversary of a failed anti-Chinese uprising. Homemade bombs
damaged police vehicles in a Tibetan part of western China.
Authorities expanded a security cordon across the restive region
ahead of the 50th anniversary of a failed revolt that sent the Dalai
Lama into exile.
(AFP, 3/9/09)(AP, 3/9/09)
2009 Mar 9, Chinese ships
surrounded and harassed a Navy mapping ship in international waters
off China, at one point coming within 25 feet of the American boat
and strewing debris in its path. The Obama administration said it
would continue naval operations in the South China Sea, most of
which China considers its territory, and protested to China about
what it called reckless behavior that endangered lives. China held
that the USNS Impeccable was operating illegally inside its 200-mile
exclusive economic zone.
(AP, 3/10/09)(WSJ, 3/11/09, p.A8)
2009 Mar 9, Dubai’s public
prosecution indicted 7 suspects on bribery and fraud charges
alleging losses to the Dubai Islamic Bank of over $501 million in
fake deals from 2004 to 2007. Two of the men had left the country.
(WSJ, 3/10/09, p.A7)
2009 Mar 9, A group of Egyptian
army cadets stormed a police station in a southern suburb of Cairo,
leaving at least five policemen and three cadets injured. The attack
came after a local police chief arrested a cadet on March 5 for
loitering on a street corner and refusing to show any ID. The cadet
was taken to the police station, beaten and held overnight.
2009 Mar 9, A cargo ship sank
off the Red Sea coast of Egypt shortly after leaving port, leaving
14 sailors missing. At least 2 crew members drowned. 10 people were
rescued when the 5,600-tonne Ibn al-Battuta went down in the sea off
the port of Abu Dhunaima in Egypt’s Safaga region.
2009 Mar 9, French lawmakers
passed an amendment to ban the sale of alcohol to teens under 18,
part of an effort to tackle the rise of binge drinking in a country
known for a relaxed attitude toward a little libation.
2009 Mar 9, Helg Sgarbi, a man
dubbed "the Swiss gigolo" by the German media, was sentenced to six
years in prison for defrauding BMW heiress Susanne Klatten (46),
Germany's richest woman, of euro7 million ($9 million) and
attempting to blackmail her for tens of millions more.
2009 Mar 9, In Iraq rockets
slammed into the British military base outside the southern city of
Basra, killing one civilian. It was the first such attack on the
base in nearly three months.
2009 Mar 9, The Icelandic
government took control of Straumur Burdaras Investment Bank hf.,
the last of the major Icelandic banks to collapse after running out
2009 Mar 9, In Mexico gunmen
killed six people, including the police chief of Pungarabato, in a
series of attacks in mountain towns in the Pacific coast state of
Guerrero. Gunmen also shot and killed a Michoacan state police
commander outside police headquarters in the city of Zamora.
(AP, 3/9/09)(SFC, 3/10/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 9, In Northern Ireland
Constable Stephen Paul Carroll (48) was shot in the head in an area
known to be home to nationalist republican supporters in Craigavon,
20 miles southwest of Belfast. The Continuity IRA said it killed the
police officer. On March 30, 2012, Brendan McConville (40) and John
Paul Wootton (20) were both found guilty of murder following a
(AFP, 3/10/09)(AP, 3/10/09)(AP, 3/30/12)
2009 Mar 9, Pakistan's top
security official warned opposition leader Nawaz Sharif that his
recent anti-government speeches amounted to treason, ratcheting up
tensions in the country ahead of planned protest rallies this week.
A tribe in the northwestern Bajur region, where the military has
fought insurgents, agreed to stop sheltering foreign fighters and
hand over local Taliban leaders. A tribal elder said some militants
could be pardoned and freed.
(AP, 3/9/09)(AP, 3/10/09)
2009 Mar 9, The Sri Lankan
military said its troops had killed at least 250 Tamil Tigers during
a weekend of fierce fighting around the rebels' shrinking fiefdom in
the northeast of the island.
2009 Mar 9, In Sudan 4 soldiers
from the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force in the war-torn
Darfur region have been wounded in an ambush.
2009 Mar 9, In Sweden
researchers reported that a chimpanzee named Santino had collected a
stash of rocks and then hurled them at visitors at the Furuvik Zoo,
confirming that apes can plan ahead just like humans.
(SFC, 3/10/09, p.A3)
2009 Mar 9, In Uganda a cargo
plane carrying equipment for African Union peacekeepers in Somalia
caught fire and crashed into Uganda's Lake Victoria shortly after
takeoff, killing all 11 people on board.
2009 Mar 10, In Alabama Michael
McLendon (28) set off on a rampage of 10 slayings across two rural
counties and then killed himself.
(AP, 3/11/09)(SFC, 3/12/09, p.A6)
2009 Mar 10, The IMF warned
that the world economy will likely contract this year in a "Great
Recession" and African leaders said the financial crisis could undo
hard-won social-economic gains.
2009 Mar 10, In Afghanistan a
roadside bomb ripped through a minibus, killing four civilians and
wounding six other people in Helmand province. Gunmen in Kandahar
killed Jawed Ahmad (23), an Afghan journalist once held by the US
military in Afghanistan as an enemy combatant.
(AFP, 3/10/09)(AP, 3/11/09)(SFC, 3/11/09, p.A3)
2009 Mar 10, In Algeria border
guards seized 3.5 tons of cannabis in a desert region close to the
frontier with Morocco.
2009 Mar 10, In Egypt rival
Palestinian factions opened talks aimed at coming up with a
power-sharing agreement, hearing a call to forget their contentious
and sometimes bloody past.
2009 Mar 10, Germany's navy
handed over nine suspected Somali pirates to Kenyan authorities and
they will be taken to a court to face charges. The nine were
arrested March 3 after they attacked the Hamburg-based MV Courier
2009 Mar 10, In northern
Honduras a plane from Venezuela that was carrying more than 2 tons
of cocaine crashed, killing the pilot. 2 US Drug Enforcement
Administration helicopters were allegedly pursuing the aircraft when
it went down near El Negrito town.
2009 Mar 10, In Iraq a suicide
bomber struck Sunni and Shiite tribal leaders touring a market after
a reconciliation meeting west of Baghdad, killing 33 people. A US
Marine died in an incident that did not involve combat.
2009 Mar 10, Two cargo ships
collided off the coast of a central Japanese island, leaving 16
South Korean and Indonesian crew members missing.
2009 Mar 10, In Kenya youths
threw stones at police officers and looted stores and cars following
a march by about 1,000 university students through the Nairobi to
protest the deaths of a fellow student and two activists.
2009 Mar 10, Libya released
Jamal al-Haji and Faraj Humaid. They had been sentenced to prison in
2007 for planning a peaceful demonstration to commemorate protesters
who had died in clashes with police.
(SFC, 3/11/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 10, Malaysia’s
government unveiled a 60 billion ringgit ($16.26 billion) economic
stimulus plan amounting to 9% of GDP.
(WSJ, 3/11/09, p.A16)
2009 Mar 10, In western Mexico
5 human heads were found inside coolers along a highway. Authorities
were still searching for the bodies.
2009 Mar 10, Police in Northern
Ireland arrested 2 suspects in the fatal shooting of Constable
Stephen Paul Carroll. On March 24 one of the suspects, a Northern
Ireland teenager (17), was charged with the dissident IRA killing of
Carroll. The teen had an assault rifle and 26 rounds of ammunition
and refused to say a word to his interrogators during 13 days of
questioning. On March 25 Brendan McConville (37), a former Sinn Fein
councilman was arraigned on charges of murdering Carroll.
(WSJ, 3/11/09, p.A16)(AP, 3/24/09)(AP, 3/25/09)
2009 Mar 10, Pakistani security
forces claimed to have killed 35 militants in fresh fighting in the
northwest, on the Afghanistan border. Gunmen torched a truck in
Baluchistan province carrying supplies for NATO forces in
neighboring Afghanistan, leaving its driver and a helper wounded.
(AP, 3/10/09)(AFP, 3/10/09)
2009 Mar 10, The Philippine
president signed a law affirming sovereignty over islands also
claimed by China and Vietnam, sparking protests over the control of
strategic South China Sea islands. The Chinese Embassy issued a
statement expressing its "strong opposition and solemn protest" over
the signing of the law.
2009 Mar 10, In Saudi Arabia a
huge sandstorm blanketed the city of Riyadh with a thick layer of
2009 Mar 10, Spanish police
said they have arrested an Ecuadorian woman who tried to smuggle
into Barcelona liquid cocaine hidden in spray cans of products to
starch clothes or clean glass.
2009 Mar 10, In southern Sri
Lanka a rebel suicide bomber attacked a procession of Muslims
celebrating a religious holiday, killing 15 people and critically
wounding Postal Services Minister Mahinda Wijesekera (66).
(AP, 3/10/09)(AFP, 3/11/09)
2009 Mar 10, Syria opened its
first stock exchange, closed since the 1960s, as it shifted from
socialist policies toward a more market oriented system.
(SFC, 3/11/09, p.A2)(Econ, 11/28/09, p.50)
2009 Mar 10, Tibetans and their
supporters rallied across the Asia-Pacific region demanding an end
to Chinese rule in their homeland on the 50th anniversary of the
Dalai Lama being forced into exile. Paramilitary police and soldiers
swarmed cities and villages in Tibet and restive western China, on
the alert for possible unrest. The Dalai Lama said Tibet had become
"hell on earth" under Beijing's control.
2009 Mar 10, Turkey indicted 56
more people on charges of plotting to topple the Islamic-rooted AK
Party government. The 56 suspects, including 2 retired four-star
generals, were formally indicted on March 25.
(WSJ, 3/11/09, p.A11)(WSJ, 3/26/09, p.A8)
2009 Mar 10, Venezuela's
National Guard destroyed an elaborate network of clandestine
cocaine-processing laboratories along the country's border with
Colombia as part of its anti-drug efforts.
2009 Mar 11, Pres. Obama signed
a $410 billion US spending bill, stuffed with earmarks, to fund the
operations of all but 3 Cabinet departments. He called it a
departure point and unveiled new rules to restrict earmarks.
(SFC, 3/12/09, p.A8)(WSJ, 3/12/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 11, Pres. Obama signed
a bill rolling back the Bush administration restrictions on Cuban
Americans visiting relatives in Cuba.
(SFC, 3/12/09, p.A8)
2009 Mar 11, VP Biden announced
that Pres. Obama has chosen Seattle police chief Gil Kerlikowske as
the nation’s new drug czar.
(WSJ, 3/12/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 11, US authorities
deported 60 Nigerians accused of theft, credit card scams and
2009 Mar 11, A California state
study said global warming is expected to cause a rise of nearly 5
feet along the coastline and severely threatening SF Bay by 2100.
The rising waters could cost the state $14 billion of more to
safeguard the coast.
(SFC, 3/12/09, p.A1)(WSJ, 3/12/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 11, Forbes magazine
released its list of 793 of the world’s richest people. Joaquin "El
Chapo" Guzman, a suspected drug lord and Mexico's most-wanted
fugitive, made the list of billionaires with a fortune described as
"self made." He was No. 701 on the list. The list included 5
(AP, 3/11/09)(SSFC, 3/15/09, p.A4)
2009 Mar 11, In eastern Algeria
suspected Islamist extremists shot and killed a police officer and
wounded another in a shoot-out near Batna city. 3 armed Islamists
were killed by the security forces in Souk El-Thenine town.
2009 Mar 11, Australia said it
would provide funding to Zimbabwe's new unity government, the first
Western power to announce direct support to the new administration.
2009 Mar 11, More than 30
shipping containers of ammonium nitrate fell off a ship in stormy
seas off Australia, damaging the ship's hull and leaking up to 30
tons of oil [see Mar 13]. Swire Shipping's cargo liner Pacific
Adventurer released about 200,000 liters (53,000 US gallons) of
heavy fuel oil off the coast of Queensland state as it travelled
through cyclonic weather. Australia later sought more than 18
million US dollars in compensation from a Hong Kong-based shipping
company. In August the Hong Kong-based Swire Shipping company said
it will pay Australia 25 million dollars (21 million US) in
compensation for the oil spill.
(AP, 3/11/09)(AFP, 5/6/09)(AFP, 8/8/09)
2009 Mar 11, Brazil’s Central
Bank cut its benchmark Selic rate by 1.5% to 11.25%. further cuts
(Econ, 3/28/09, p.44)
2009 Mar 11, In Brazil a
prosecutor charged rancher Regivaldo Galvao, accused of murdering US
nun Dorothy Strang, with trying to fraudulently obtain a plot of the
rain forest that Strang had worked to protect.
(SFC, 3/12/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 11, In eastern China
11 people were killed and 20 were injured after a blast led to the
collapse of a former factory that was housing railway workers.
Preliminary investigations revealed the collapse was triggered when
leftover aluminium powder in the building in Danyang city, Jiangsu
province ignited and exploded just after midnight.
2009 Mar 11, French Pres.
Sarkozy announced that France will return as full-fledged member of
the 26-naqtion NATO alliance.
(SFC, 3/12/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 11, German prosecutors
said they have charged retired Ohio auto worker John Demjanjuk (88)
with more than 29,000 counts of accessory to murder for his time as
a guard at the Nazis' Sobibor death camp, and will seek his
extradition from the US.
2009 Mar 11, In southwestern
Germany Tim Kretschmer (17) dressed in black opened fire at his
former high school in Winnenden, killing 12 people. He fled the
scene and killed a 56-year-old janitor of a nearby psychiatric
hospital in a park. He then fled in a hijacked car, and killed 2
more people before apparently shooting himself to death. Kretschmer
graduated last year from the school of about 1,000 students. In 2011
Stuttgart state court gave Kretschmer’s father a 21-month suspended
sentence for not securing his 9mm Beretta pistol.
2009 Mar 11, In Iraq Tariq
Aziz, Saddam Hussein's former foreign minister, was convicted of
crimes against humanity and sentenced to 15 years in prison for the
1992 execution of 42 merchants accused of price gouging while Iraq
was under UN sanctions.
2009 Mar 11, Italy's highest
court sided with the government and threw out key evidence in an
alleged CIA kidnapping of an Egyptian terrorism suspect in Italy,
dealing a blow to the trial of 26 Americans charged in the case.
2009 Mar 11, Prosecutors in
Kyrgyzstan charged a prominent opposition leader with murder in a
case that government critics say is politically motivated. Alikbek
Jekshenkulov was accused of involvement in the shooting of a Turkish
citizen in late 2007 and illegal possession of a weapon.
Jekshenkulov was foreign minister until February 2007.
2009 Mar 11, In Madagascar Col.
Andre Ndrianarijaona, the leader of a group of mutinous soldiers,
declared himself head of the army, raising questions about the
president's hold on power on this impoverished Indian Ocean island.
2009 Mar 11, Officials in
Namibia said at least 92 people had drowned in its northern regions
since the start of rainy season in Dec.
(SSFC, 3/15/09, p.A4)
2009 Mar 11, Pakistan arrested
hundreds of opposition activists and banned protests in two regions
ahead of a planned rally outside the parliament that could weaken
the already shaky rule of the country's US-allied government.
2009 Mar 11, Saudi Arabia
hosted the leaders of Egypt and Syria in an effort to persuade
Damascus to move away from Iran and join with US-allied Arab
countries in working to blunt Tehran's influence.
2009 Mar 11, The African Union
extended by three months the mandate of its peacekeeping mission in
Somalia, and called on the UN to lift its arms embargo there.
2009 Mar 11, Sri Lanka’s
military killed Sabaratnam Selvathurai, a senior rebel leader, in
fighting in Puthukkudiyiruppu, the last town held by the rebels.
2009 Mar 11, In Sudan armed men
abducted three international aid workers and two Sudanese guards in
the Darfur region, a week after the government ordered aid groups
expelled in response to an international arrest warrant for Sudan's
president on war crimes charges. The abducted workers were from the
Belgian branch of Doctors Without Borders and they were seized from
their offices in the Saraf Umra area.
2009 Mar 12, The US House of
Representatives passed a non-binding resolution recognizing March
14, 2009 as National Pi Day.
2009 Mar 12, Bernard Madoff
pleaded guilty to charges that he carried out an epic fraud that
robbed investors around the world of billions of dollars, turning a
revered money man into an overnight global disgrace whose name
became synonymous with the economic meltdown.
2009 Mar 12, Texas Gov. Rick
Perry announced that he turned down $555 million of federal stimulus
funding that would expand the state's unemployment benefits, saying
the money would have required the state to keep paying for the
expanded benefits after the stimulus money ran out.
2009 Mar 12, Anthony Doyle,
former Chicago police officer, was sentenced to 12 years in prison
for racketeering. He was accused of providing information on
gangland investigations to reputed mob boss Joseph Lombardo.
(SFC, 3/13/09, p.A6)
2009 Mar 12, Swiss
pharmaceutical giant Roche agreed to pay $46.8 billion to buy the 44
percent of biotech pioneer Genentech that it doesn't already own,
ending a long corporate struggle with its US-based cancer drug
2009 Mar 12, The Pacific
Fishery Management Council agreed to extend for a 2nd year the
fishing ban of chinook salmon in California and Oregon.
(SFC, 3/13/09, p.B1)
2009 Mar 12, Leonore Annenberg
(b.1918), the widow of billionaire publisher Walter Annenberg
(d.2002), died in southern California. She had continued directing
the philanthropy of the Annenberg Foundation based in Radnor, a
suburb of Philadelphia, Pa.
(SFC, 3/13/09, p.B8)
2009 Mar 12, The UN refugee
agency said Angola is launching a fresh effort to bring back
refugees still displaced in neighboring African countries, seven
years after the end of the civil war in 2002.
2009 Mar 12, Antiguan voters,
worried by the fallout from an alleged $8 billion fraud scheme
involving R. Allen Stanford, decided between the ruling party and
the one that welcomed the Texas financier to the Caribbean nation
nearly two decades ago. Preliminary results indicated that Antigua's
ruling party will stay in power, but with a narrower margin in
(AP, 3/12/09)(AP, 3/13/09)
2009 Mar 12, In Benin American
Peace Corps volunteer Catherine Puzey was found dead in Badjoude.
She had earlier reported that a local Peace Corps hire was abusing
2009 Mar 12, In Canada 17
people died in the frigid waters off Canada's Atlantic coast after a
Sikorsky S-92 helicopter crashed while ferrying workers to an
offshore oil platform. It went down about 47 nautical miles
southeast of the Newfoundland and Labrador capital of St. John's.
One person was rescued.
(Reuters, 3/12/09)(Reuters, 3/13/09)
2009 Mar 12, China announced
plans to assist millions of unemployed migrant workers with
increases in grain subsidies and rural infrastructure projects.
2009 Mar 12, In Germany a
scientist accidentally pricked her finger with a needle used to
inject the deadly Ebola virus into lab mice. Within 48 hours of the
accident, the at-risk scientist, a woman (45) whose identity has not
been revealed, was injected with an experimental vaccine from
Canada. After 2 weeks the woman appeared to be healthy. At the time
of the accident, she was wearing three layers of protective gloves,
and though the needle stuck her, the plunger of the syringe was not
pushed so it's not certain the virus entered her bloodstream.
2009 Mar 12, The leaders of two
of Indonesia's biggest political parties signed an agreement on
shared goals amid speculation they could join forces against
2009 Mar 12, Latvia's
parliament approved a new center-right government with Europe's
youngest premier as the economic crisis in this Baltic state
deepened. A 67-21 vote made PM Valdis Dombrovskis (37) and his
5-party coalition Latvia’s third government in 15 months.
2009 Mar 12, Liberia’s
agriculture ministry said the country has been hit by a 2nd invasion
of crop-destroying caterpillars. Over a hundred villages have so far
been affected by the plague.
2009 Mar 12, Mexico extradited
two former US Border Patrol agents accused of taking bribes from
migrant smugglers. The US Embassy said Raul Villarreal and Fidel
Villarreal allegedly fled to Mexico after they learned US
authorities were investigating them in 2006. Two suspected migrant
smugglers were also extradited.
2009 Mar 12, Dutch police
arrested Giovanni Strangio (30), an Italian man wanted for the
August 15, 2007, mob killings of six people in the western German
city of Duisburg.
2009 Mar 12, Pakistani police
clashed with black-suited lawyers and opposition activists after the
launch of a cross-country protest rally in defiance of government
attempts to stop it. Paramilitary forces backed by jets and
helicopter gunships killed 18 militants in a restive Pakistani
tribal region bordering Afghanistan. A suspected US missile strike
in northwest Pakistan killed at least 24 people, most of them
(Reuters, 3/12/09)(AFP, 3/12/09)(AFP, 3/13/09)
2009 Mar 12, The Islamic
militant group Hamas made a rare criticism of Palestinian rocket
fire on Israel, saying now is the wrong time as truce talks
2009 Mar 12, Serbia’s war
crimes court convicted 13 Serbs of war crimes for the execution
style killings of some 200 Croats in 1991 during the Balkan
conflicts. 7 former soldiers received the maximum 20-year sentence.
(SFC, 3/13/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 12, The Sri Lankan
army seized the last remaining medical facility held by separatist
Tamil Tiger rebels in the north of the island. The army estimated
that fewer than 500 Tigers were still fighting, although they had
also forced some civilians to fight as well.
2009 Mar 12, Thailand's
opposition filed a censure motion against PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and
five government ministers, accusing them of corruption.
2009 Mar 12, Turkish warplanes
carried out new bombing raids against Kurdish rebel positions in
northern Iraq. The strike targeted hideouts of the Kurdistan
Workers' Party (PKK) in the Zap-Avashin region of the Kurdish-held
autonomous north of Iraq.
2009 Mar 12, In Zimbabwe Roy
Bennett, a top aide to PM Morgan Tsvangirai, was released on bail
after a legal battle that has raised doubts about Zimbabwe's new
2009 Mar 13, The Obama
administration dropped the use of the term “enemy combatant" for
suspected terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay and slightly
modified the legal standard used to justify their continued
(WSJ, 3/14/09, p.A3)
2009 Mar 13, California said it
faced a new $8 billion shortfall by July 2010 due to declining tax
(WSJ, 3/14/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 13, Alan W. Livingston
(91), the music executive who created Bozo the Clown and signed the
Beatles during his tenure as president of Capitol Records, died ion
Beverly Hills. He came up with the Bozo the Clown character for the
1946 album "Bozo at the Circus," which became a hit and spawned a
cottage industry of merchandise and the television series featuring
the wing-haired clown.
2009 Mar 13, Betsy Blair (85),
Oscar-nominated actress and teenage bride (1941-1957) of Gene Kelly,
died in London. In the late 1940s Blair took parts in "The Guilt of
Janet Ames," and "A Double Life." But her movie career stalled after
her enthusiasm for leftist causes landed her on Hollywood's
blacklist. The New Jersey-born actress later married film director
2009 Mar 13, Dozens of popular
tourist beaches on Australia's northeast coast were declared a
disaster zone, with their once-pristine sands fouled by a massive
oil and chemical slick. Queensland state's marine safety authority
said up to 100 tons of fuel, 250,000 liters, were now believed to
have spilled from the Hong Kong-flagged ship Pacific Adventurer amid
cyclonic conditions on March 11.
(AP, 3/13/09)(Econ, 3/21/09, p.45)
2009 Mar 13, Terra Firma, a
London-based private equity firm, announced it would buy 90% of
Consolidated pastoral Company, the Australian cattle holdings of the
Packer family, which encompass 12 million acres of land.
(Econ, 3/21/09, p.67)
2009 Mar 13, In Bangladesh a
fire at Dhaka’s 22-story Bashundhara City mall killed at least 7
people as helicopters plucked survivors from the roof.
(SFC, 3/14/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 13, Thousands of
people across Britain took part in events for Red Nose Day, with
money going towards helping the disadvantaged in Africa and Britain.
2009 Mar 13, John Worboys
(b.1957), a London cab driver, was found guilty of raping or
assaulting 12 women over an 18-month period, often after persuading
them to drink champagne spiked with sedatives. On April 21 he was
sentenced to at least 8 years in prison. In 2010 Scotland Yard
said 102 women have come forward to accuse Worboys of sexually
motivated crimes since his highly publicized trial. In 2017
Britain's Parole Board announced that a panel had approved his
2009 Mar 13, In Burundi an
albino man was murdered and dismembered overnight by suspected
smugglers with links to Tanzanian witch doctors, the fourth such
case in a month in the central African nation.
2009 Mar 13, Chinese Premier
Wen Jiabao said Beijing is willing to hold talks with the Dalai Lama
if Tibet's exiled spiritual leader abandons his separatist cause, as
he defended his government's hard-line policies toward the region.
2009 Mar 13, In Greece dozens
of youths carrying sledgehammers and iron bars smashed cars, banks
and storefronts in an upscale district of central Athens. Leaflets
identified the attackers as members of local anarchist groups. A
similar attack also occurred in the northern city of Thessaloniki,
leaving three banks damaged.
2009 Mar 13, Japan said it
could shoot down any threatening object falling toward its
territory, after North Korea said a planned rocket launch would send
it across Japanese territory.
2009 Mar 13, In Kyrgyzstan
Medet Sadyrkulov, a key opposition figure to Pres. Bakiyev, was
killed in an alleged car crash that left him and 2 passengers burned
(WSJ, 3/14/09, p.A6)(Econ, 1/9/10, p.45)
2009 Mar 13, In southern
Nigeria an attack took place on Chevron Nigeria Limited’s 16-inch
Makaraba-Utonana pipeline. The attack forced Chevron cut its crude
oil production by 11,500 barrels per day.
2009 Mar 13, Pakistani
officials appealed to the opposition to join talks aimed at
resolving the country's political crisis, even as police stepped up
a crackdown on activists trying to reach the capital for a planned
2009 Mar 13, Tristan Anderson
(38) of Oakland, Calif., was wounded in the West Bank village of
Naalin, during a protest against Israel's separation barrier. He
remained in serious condition after undergoing surgery.
2009 Mar 13, Russia’s
Kontinental Management said it has closed for good its Baikal Pulp
and Paper Mill, located on the southern edge of Lake Baikal. It
halted production in October. The plant has polluted the world's
largest freshwater lake with chemical effluent for decades.
2009 Mar 13, A spokeswoman for
Doctors Without Borders says 35 of its foreign staff are leaving
Darfur after the abduction of three colleagues.
2009 Mar 13, The Swiss
government said it would cooperate on cases of international tax
evasion, breaking with a long-standing tradition of protecting
wealthy foreigners accused of hiding billions of dollars in the
2009 Mar 13, Taiwan’s economic
stimulus package was reported to include a $104 shopping voucher for
every one of the island’s 23 million people to be used between the
Chinese New year and the end of April. Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin
added $150 food vouchers for the poor along with job training
programs, financial incentives for new hires and loan guarantees for
(SFC, 3/13/09, p.C1)
2009 Mar 13, In Thailand
suspected Muslim militants killed 3 soldiers in an ambush in
southern Narathiwat province.
(SFC, 3/14/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 13, In Uganda a
building collapsed in the capital, Kampala, when nearby construction
loosened the foundation. At least five people were killed and dozens
remained trapped under the rubble.
2009 Mar 14, President Barack
Obama said the nation's decades-old food safety system is a "hazard
to public health" and in need of an overhau. Obama used his weekly
radio and video address to announce the nomination of former New
York City Health Commissioner Margaret Hamburg as FDA commissioner,
and his choice of Baltimore Health Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein as
2009 Mar 14, President Barack
Obama met with visiting Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da
Silva for talks on the economy, energy and the environment.
2009 Mar 14, The US government
permanently banned the slaughter of cows too sick or weak to stand
on their own, seeking to further minimize the chance that mad cow
disease could enter the food supply.
2009 Mar 14, In Florida Donte
Stallworth, a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, killed
pedestrian Mario Reyes (59) while driving after a night out. On
April 1 Stallworth was charged with DUI manslaughter.
(SFC, 4/2/09, p.A6)
2009 Mar 14, In Coatesville,
Pennsylvania, the 20th arson fire this year was set, one day after
Roger Leon Barlow (19) was held for trial in connection with fires
set between Jan 2 and Feb 3.
(SSFC, 3/15/09, p.A10)
2009 Mar 14, In Afghanistan a
helicopter-borne special operations mission by US troops and Afghan
forces killed five people in Logar province, south of Kabul,
sparking an angry protest from villagers who said the victims were
civilians. 3 ISAF soldiers were killed including one French and one
(AP, 3/14/09)(AFP, 3/14/09)(AFP, 3/15/09)
2009 Mar 14, In Algeria
Islamists cut the throat of a shepherd and 300 of his sheep in
Chatabia village near the Tunisian border. Three family members and
an elected official died in a bomb explosion the following morning
as they headed to the site of the killing.
2009 Mar 14, Bolivia’s
President Evo Morales asked large landowners to voluntarily
relinquish some of their holdings to poor Indians during a ceremony
on property confiscated from Ronald Larsen, a US rancher for,
2009 Mar 14, In England Matthew
Swift (18) and his friend Ross McKnight (16) were arrested for
plotting to murder teachers and pupils at Audenshaw High School in
Greater Manchester. Both were acquitted at trial on Sep 16.
2009 Mar 14, In Burkina Faso an
overloaded canoe capsized on a reservoir, killing at least 15 women
2009 Mar 14, In England G20
finance officials held a day of talks to pave the way for the April
2 London G20 summit on tackling the downturn. They worked to find
common ground amid deep divisions on how to tackle the global
downturn, with key players trying to inject optimism into talks that
many fear could result in little real progress.
(AP, 3/14/09)(AFP, 3/14/09)
2009 Mar 14, In Indonesia
Nasrudin Zulkarnaen, the head of a state-owned pharmaceutical
company, was shot dead. On May 4 Jakarta police arrested Antasari
Azhar, chairman of Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission, as
the alleged mastermind of the drive-by murder.
(Econ, 5/9/09, p.46)
2009 Mar 14, Iran’s state TV
said Iran and China have signed a $3.2 billion gas deal to produce
more than 10 tons of liquid natural gas.
2009 Mar 14, In Martinique
thousands of demonstrators marched and sand in the streets after
officials signed an agreement ending a monthlong strike on the
French Caribbean island.
2009 Mar 14, In Mexico police
acting on a tip found nine bodies partially buried in the desert on
the outskirts of the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez. 1,500
more troops arrived, on top of 2,150 who arrived a day earlier.
Authorities announced the arrest of Sergio Pena Mendoza (39), a
suspected leader of the Zetas, a drug cartel hit squad. A male
suspect threw a hand grenade at police officers in the western city
of Guadalajara. No injuries were reported. Police detained the
suspect and later found 14 more grenades and 10 assault rifles in
2009 Mar 14, Nicaragua’s
President Daniel Ortega accused the US of "taking bread" from the
poor by holding back aid. The US said this week it will continue
delaying some $64 million in development aid because of an election
2009 Mar 14, A Russian Air
Force chief said that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has offered
an island as a temporary base for strategic Russian bombers. Maj.
Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev also said Cuba could be used to base the
2009 Mar 14, In South Africa
Moss Phakoe, a municipal councilor in North West province, was shot
and killed in Rustenburg after handing over a file detailing
corruption in the municipality to a high-ranking ANC official. In
2012 former Rustenburg mayor Matthew Wolmarans was jailed for 20
years for the murder of Phakoe. His former bodyguard Enoch Mtshaba
was sentenced to life in prison.
2009 Mar 14, In Sudan 3 foreign
aid workers kidnapped in Darfur were freed and were returning to
Khartoum with an official who said they were abducted in response to
the international arrest warrant issued for the Sudanese president.
2009 Mar 14, Zimbabwe's
President Robert Mugabe denounced political violence and urged
Zimbabweans to work together following the formation of an inclusive
government with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
2009 Mar 15, Federal Reserve
Chairman Ben Bernanke said America's recession "probably" will end
this year if the government succeeds in bolstering the banking
2009 Mar 15, The space shuttle
Discovery and its crew of 7 launched from the Kennedy Space Center
in Cape Canaveral, Fl., bound for the Int’l. Space Station. It
carried the last set of solar wings to boost the station to full
(SFC, 3/16/09, p.A7)(SFC, 3/18/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 15, The History Guild
of Daly City dedicated its new museum located at the former John
Daly Library, 6351 Mission Street, Ca. 94014, (650-757-7177).
(Opening Day Flyer, 3/15/09)
2009 Mar 15, American
International Group said its executives will receive tens of
millions of dollars in new bonuses, in order to meet a legal
deadline, even though it received a taxpayer bailout of more than
$170 billion dollars. The group of top executives getting bonuses
will receive half of the $9.6 million now, with the average payment
around $112,000. The large bulk of the payments at issue cover AIG
Financial Products, the unit of the company that sold credit default
swaps, the risky contracts that caused massive losses for the
2009 Mar 15, In Miami, Florida,
a man shot four people to death at a family gathering, then went
home and killed himself.
2009 Mar 15, Richard Masato
Aoki (b.1938), former Japanese-American FBI informant (1961-1977)
and early member of the Black Panthers (1967), died in Oakland, Ca.,
from complications relating to diabetes. He had given the Panthers
some of their first guns.
p.A1)(http://tinyurl.com/9g5u4zn)(SFC, 9/8/12, p.C2)
2009 Mar 15, Actor Ron Silver
(62) died in NYC. He had been fighting esophageal cancer for two
years. Silver won a Tony Award as a take-no-prisoners Hollywood
producer in David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow" and did a political
about-face from loyal Democrat to Republican activist after the
Sept. 11 attacks.
2009 Mar 15, In Afghanistan US
soldiers killed 5 militants in an operation about 60 kilometers (40
miles) west of Kandahar city. A blast in Nangarhar province
killed four US soldiers. 3 Afghan civilians died from bombs in Kabul
2009 Mar 15, Belarus'
authoritarian Pres. Lukashenko allowed a banned organization of
ethnic Poles to meet for the first time in four years, sending a
tentative signal of his willingness to relax his tight hold in
exchange for warmer ties with the West. The Union of Poles has been
banned since riot police were sent in to take over its headquarters
in March 2005.
2009 Mar 15, In Abeche, Chad,
UN forces took over command from EU peacekeepers to protect refugees
and displaced people in Chad and the Central African Republic.
2009 Mar 15, El Salvador's
entrenched conservatives faced a stiff challenge from the party of
former guerrillas in presidential elections. Mauricio Funes
(b.1959), a leftist television journalist, made history by bringing
the FMLN, a party of former guerrillas, to power for the first time
since the end of a bloody civil war.
(AP, 3/15/09)(AP, 3/16/09)
2009 Mar 15, Germany's
chancellor Angela Merkel called for greater government supervision
of gun owners after a school shooting last week that killed 15
2009 Mar 15, A German newspaper
reported that Deutsche Post AG has paid a pension of euro20 million
($26 million) to Klaus Zumwinkel, the former CEO convicted of tax
2009 Mar 15, Thirty three
pro-democracy legislators from Hong Kong crossed to Macao to
confront the local government over banned visitors. 5 were
immediately returned over “security reasons" and the rest were
allowed to deliver a letter of protest.
(Econ, 3/21/09, p.43)
2009 Mar 15, In Hungary several
thousand people held right wing, anti-government protests in
Budapest during a national holiday. Police detained 35 people. The
holiday commemorated the unsuccessful 1848 revolution against the
2009 Mar 15, Northern Ireland's
police commander said about 300 Irish Republican Army dissidents
backed by "a few nutters and idiots" are trying to tear apart the
peace process, as his detectives interrogated nine people over the
killings of two soldiers and a policeman.
2009 Mar 15, Two Israeli police
officers were shot and killed while traveling near the Jewish
settlement of Massua in the West Bank. A few days later the Martyrs
of Imad Mughniyeh said it was behind the shooting. The group is
named after an assassinated Hezbollah mastermind. Israeli and
Palestinian security officials said there is no such group. They
believe rogue militants have used the fake name as cover to evade
(SFC, 3/16/09, p.A2)(AP, 3/16/09)(AP, 3/17/09)
2009 Mar 15, In northern
Mozambique a mob angered by false rumors that health workers were
spreading cholera killed a Red Cross volunteer, two health workers
and a policeman.
2009 Mar 15, Pakistan's
opposition leader Nawaz Sharif defied house arrest to lead
anti-government protests that briefly turned violent before becoming
a jubilant show of force against the country's pro-Western
president. Suspected militants attacked a transport terminal in
northwestern Pakistan used to supply NATO troops in Afghanistan
before dawn and torched dozens of containers and military vehicles.
A suspected US missile strike killed two Arabs and three other
people in northwest Pakistan.
2009 Mar 15, Russia's President
Dmitry Medvedev said that he will publicly declare his income and
encouraged other officials to fight corruption by disclosing
relatives' incomes and assets.
2009 Mar 15, In central Somalia
clashes between rival Islamist militias killed at least 14 people
over the last 2 days. Most of those killed were fighters for the
al-Shabab group or its rival Ahlu-sunah Wal-jamea.
2009 Mar 15, Sri Lanka’s
government forces overran a former Tamil Tiger police post, killing
at least nine rebels and raising to 41 the number killed in weekend
2009 Mar 15, Uganda began
withdrawing troops hunting brutal Lord's Resistance Army rebels in
neighboring Congo after the deadline for them to leave expired.
Felix Kulaigye, a Ugandan military spokesman, said the operation had
been a success, with around 100 rebels killed and more than 200
abductees rescued, and that Congo would continue the hunt.
2009 Mar 15, President Hugo
Chavez dispatched the navy to Venezuela's seaports, warning that
state governors who challenge a new law bringing transportation hubs
under federal control could end up in prison. Chavez also said that
Russian bombers would be welcome in Venezuela, but he denied that
his country would offer Moscow its territory for a military base.
2009 Mar 15, In Yemen a bomb
killed four South Korean tourists and their Yemeni guide, the latest
attack targeting foreigners visiting this poor Arab country that has
both famed historic sites and a strong al-Qaida presence. 12 Islamic
suspects were soon arrested.
(AP, 3/16/09)(WSJ, 3/17/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 16, President Barack
Obama blistered insurance giant AIG for "recklessness and greed" and
pledged to try to block it from handing its executives $165 million
in bonuses after taking billions in federal bailout money. Obama
also freed billions of dollars to help the nation’s small businesses
(AP, 3/17/09)(SFC, 3/16/09, p.C1)
2009 Mar 16, The US and Germany
signed an agreement to share science and technology research in an
effort to improve the security of both nations.
2009 Mar 16, Hawaii’s
Supreme Court rejected a state law that allowed the Hawaii
Superferry to operate while an environmental study is being
conducted forcing the inter-island ferry service to cease
2009 Mar 16, In Michigan 4
teenagers were killed when their car was struck by a van driven by
Frances Patricia Dingle in Roseville. Dingle was measured with a
blood alcohol level of .08, twice the legal limit, and was charged
with 2nd degree murder.
(SFC, 3/18/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 16, Vincent Fumo (65),
former Pennsylvania state senator, was convicted of 137 counts of
corruption for schemes that defrauded the state senate of more than
(WSJ, 3/17/09, p.A6)
2009 Mar 16, Wisconsin Gov. Jim
Doyle said the state will use "Live like you mean it" to promote the
state as a tourism and business destination, replacing the slogan
"Life's So Good."
2009 Mar 16, US researchers
said a new test can accurately detect Alzheimer's disease in its
earliest stages, before dementia symptoms surface and widespread
2009 Mar 16, In southern
Afghanistan a suicide bomber struck a police station as a convoy was
about to head out on a poppy eradication mission, killing 11people
and wounding 29. An Australian soldier in a joint Australian-Afghan
army patrol was shot dead during a "very intense firefight" with 20
Taliban insurgents in Uruzgan province.
(AFP, 3/16/09)(AP, 3/17/09)(SFC, 3/17/09, p.A3)
2009 Mar 16, At least two
Algerian soldiers were killed when their convoy was hit by roadside
bombs in the east of the country.
2009 Mar 16, The government of
Dubai resigned to prevent the questioning in Parliament of the
country’s prime minister, the nephew of Kuwait’s emir, regarding a
number of issues including alleged mismanagement and land-use
(WSJ, 3/18/09, p.A8)
2009 Mar 16, Amr Moussa
(b.1936), former Egyptian Foreign Minister and head of the Arab
League, said AL countries will not carry out an International
Criminal Court request to arrest Sudan's president on charges of war
crimes in Darfur.
2009 Mar 16, Sir Nicholas
Henderson (89), a former British ambassador to the US, died in
London. He helped build support for Britain's war effort in
the Falklands Islands.
2009 Mar 16, Bernard d’Espagnat
(87), French physicist and philosopher, was named in Paris as the
winner of this year’s $1.42 million Templeton Prize.
(SFC, 3/17/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 16, In Iraq a
12-year-old girl was killed when American soldiers fired at a
vehicle speeding toward them and Iraqi police near Mosul. The
military said the girl was standing about 100 yards (meters) behind
the vehicle and was struck by a round. In Baghdad a US soldier was
fatally injured during combat operations.
2009 Mar 16, In Kyrgyzstan
opposition parties called for protests across the country this
month, amid worsening economic conditions and mounting accusations
of government repression.
2009 Mar 16, Lebanon opened its
first-ever embassy in Syria in another sign of improving ties
between the long-feuding neighbors.
2009 Mar 16, Madagascar's
opposition leader called on the military to arrest the nation's
president as a power struggle between the two appeared to be
reaching a decisive moment.
2009 Mar 16, Mexico said it
will increase tariffs on about 90 US products in retaliation for
last week's decision to end a pilot program that allowed some
Mexican trucks to transport goods in the United States.
2009 Mar 16, In northern Mexico
a tractor-trailer slammed into a bus carrying Canadian and US
tourists, killing 11. The bus was carrying a group of Texas retirees
from McAllen, Texas, to the northern Mexican state of Zacatecas when
a drunken driver lost control of his tractor-trailer outside the
city of Saltillo.
(AP, 3/17/09)(WSJ, 3/18/09, p.A10)
2009 Mar 16, A UN human rights
investigator accused North Korean authorities of committing
widespread torture in prisons that he called "death traps." Life in
the reclusive communist-ruled country is "dire and desperate," said
Vitit Muntarbhorn, adding that people are denied enough food to
2009 Mar 16, In Pakistan the
Zardari government relented in a major confrontation with the
opposition, agreeing to reinstate Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, the
fired Supreme Court chief justice, whose fate had sparked street
fights and raised fears of political instability. The government
said Chaudhry would be sworn back in on March 21. PM Yousuf Raza
Gilani's announcement also promised the restoration of a handful of
other judges who had remained off the bench since former President
Pervez Musharraf sacked them in 2007. Up to 50 militants attacked a
terminal for trucks carrying supplies to US and NATO troops in
Afghanistan, in the second such assault in northwest Pakistan in two
days. A suicide bomber blew up at a busy bus terminal near
Islamabad, killing at least nine people and wounding 18 more.
2009 Mar 16, Sudan's Pres. Omar
al-Bashir he wants all international aid groups out of the country
within a year, insisting they can drop off supplies "at airports or
seaports" and let Sudanese organizations take care of it.
2009 Mar 16, In southern
Somalia gunmen seized four UN workers, the latest in a series of
attacks on aid workers in the war-ravaged Horn of Africa nation.
2009 Mar 16, In Turkey a UN
global forum on water opened in Istanbul. The UN said global demand
for water is rising as access to safe drinking water remains
inadequate in much of the developing world.
(SFC, 3/17/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 16, The Vatican said
it will launch a Chinese version of its website on March 19 in an
effort to bring more of Pope Benedict's message to China, whose
communist government does not allow Catholics to recognize his
2009 Mar 17, New York Attorney
General Andrew Cuomo said AIG, the troubled insurance giant, paid
bonuses of $1 million or more to 73 employees, including 11 who no
longer work for the company.
2009 Mar 17, US Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton said Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir
will be responsible for "every single death" caused by the expulsion
of 13 foreign aid groups from Sudan.
2009 Mar 17, The Seattle Post
Intelligencer, owned by the Hearst Corp., printed its last newspaper
edition. It will become exclusively Web-based as Seattlepi.com,
making it the nation’s largest daily newspaper to move to online
(SFC, 3/17/09, p.A8)
2009 Mar 17, In Utah Chiew Chan
Saevang (37), a suspected opium trafficker, killed himself and his
girlfriend, Yer Yang (40), after sheriff’s deputies chased them down
on a state highway. Saevang was also wanted in the March 12 slaying
of four Conover, NC, family members.
(SFC, 3/19/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 17, Afghanistan called
for more international help to develop its fledgling and embattled
security forces so that it can take on a larger role in "the fight
2009 Mar 17, Pope Benedict XVI
arrived in Cameroon to start his first visit to Africa as pontiff.
Benedict, arriving in Africa, said that condoms "increase the
problem" of AIDS. The comment, made to reporters aboard his plane,
caused a worldwide firestorm of criticism.
2009 Mar 17, In Canada more
than 100 protesters chanted "war criminal" and flung shoes in
Calgary, angry that former US President George W. Bush was in the
city to give his first speech since leaving the White House.
2009 Mar 17, In Colombia Erik
Roland Larsson (69), a partially paralyzed Swede, was released by
leftist rebels after nearly two years of captivity. He was the last
known foreign hostage held in Colombia by the Revolutionary Armed
Forces of Colombia (FARC).
2009 Mar 17, Egyptian security
officials caught 2 Hamas officials returning to Gaza with nearly
$850,000 stuffed into candy tins.
(SFC, 3/18/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 17, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy's government won a parliamentary confidence vote
prompted by his plans to rejoin NATO's military command, which many
legislators fear would compromise France's independence.
2009 Mar 17, Police in the
Republic of Ireland made public-order arrests from St. Patrick’s Day
festivities that easily exceeded 200, typical for recent years.
Inebriated mobs annually turned districts of Dublin and Belfast into
2009 Mar 17, Madagascar's Pres.
Marc Ravalomanana ceded power to the military, instead of rival
Andry Rajoelina, who plunged the island nation into weeks of turmoil
with his bid for power. The military installed opposition leader
(AP, 3/17/09)(SFC, 3/18/09, p.A4)
2009 Mar 17, In Malaysia a
battle for senior leadership posts in the ruling party was hit with
a bombshell as 15 members including several top figures were found
guilty in an anti-corruption probe.
2009 Mar 17, Authorities in
Myanmar were reported to have arrested five members of detained
pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's political party from March
6-13. the report came a day after the UN called for the release of
more than 2,000 political prisoners in the military-run country.
2009 Mar 17, In the Netherlands
the UN criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia reduced the jail
sentence of Bosnian Serb leader Momcilo Krajisnik from 27 to 20
years, quashing some convictions from a 2006 judgment.
2009 Mar 17, North Korea fully
reopened its border to South Koreans commuting to jobs at factories
in a northern economic zone after four days of restrictions. North
Korean soldiers detained two American journalists near the country's
border with China. Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for former
Vice President Al Gore's San Francisco-based online media outlet
Current TV, were taken into custody near the Tumen River in
northeastern North Korea. They had crossed into the country while
reporting about the sex trade. Both journalists were formally
indicted in April. After 140 days in custody, the reporters were
granted a pardon.
(AP, 3/17/09)(AP, 3/19/09)(SFC, 4/24/09,
p.A2)(SFC, 5/18/10, p.A4)(AP, 8/5/09)
2009 Mar 17, In Pakistan
Islamic courts started work in the Swat valley under a controversial
deal that the government hopes will end two years of bitter
2009 Mar 17, Philippine marines
and al-Qaida-linked militants holding three Red Cross workers
clashed for a second day, leaving three troops and up to 7 Abu
Sayyaf militants dead.
(AP, 3/17/09)(AP, 3/18/09)
2009 Mar 17, Portuguese police
said they have captured more than 7.7 tons (7 metric tons) of
hashish from Morocco with an estimated street value of more than
euro70 million (US$91 million). Police said they netted the drug in
a series of coordinated operations over three days beginning last
2009 Mar 17, Russia's defense
minister charged that the US and NATO were beefing up their military
presence near Russia's borders in a bid for natural resources that
could ignite new conflicts.
2009 Mar 17, In Sudan a
UN/African Union peacekeeper was killed in an ambush in Darfur.
2009 Mar 18, US Pres. Barack
Obama named retired Air Force general Scott Gration as his special
envoy to Sudan to confront what Washington sees as a "horrendous"
situation in Darfur.
2009 Mar 18, The White House
endorsed a bill to triple the size of the AmeriCorps program and
expand service opportunities for students and seniors.
2009 Mar 18, The US central
bank said it would pump more than $1 trillion into the economy with
plans to buy up to $300 billion long-term government bonds and some
$750 billion in mortgage-backed securities, which would help revive
the country's sagging housing market.
2009 Mar 18, The US government
sued Union Pacific in San Diego and Houston saying the rail company
had failed to prevent smuggling of illegal drugs by rail into the US
from Mexico. The government cited at least 58 occasions of illegal
drug transport, mostly marijuana, since 2001. At least one case
(WSJ, 3/19/09, p.A7)
2009 Mar 18, New Mexico Gov.
Bill Richardson, who has supported capital punishment, decided to
sign legislation to repeal the state’s death penalty. The repeal
takes effect on July 1, and applies only to crimes committed after
2009 Mar 18, Felipe E. Sixto
(29) of Miami, a former White House aide, was sentenced to 2½ years
in federal prison for stealing nearly $600,000 from a federally
funded nonprofit group that promotes democracy in Cuba.
(SFC, 3/19/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 18, In Alaska lance
Mackey won his 3rd consecutive Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
(WSJ, 3/19/09, p.A6)
2009 Mar 18, IBM announced that
it was in talks to acquire Sun Microsystems for at least $6.5
billion in cash. The deal soon faltered as the companies failed to
agree on terms.
(Econ, 3/21/09, p.69)(SFC, 4/6/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 18, Natasha Richardson
(45). British actress, died in NYC from a severe brain injury in a
skiing accident in Canada earlier this week.
2009 Mar 18, The Australian
government said it plans to crack down on excessive executive pay
packages. It will amend the Corporations Act to require shareholder
approval for any termination payments that exceed average annual
base salary, which excludes additional compensation such as shares
or stock options.
(WSJ, 3/19/09, p.C2)
2009 Mar 18, Azerbaijan
citizens overwhelmingly voted to scrap presidential term limits in
the oil-rich country courted by Russia and the West. Opposition
leaders claimed the constitutional referendum was rigged and vowed
to dispute the outcome in court. A small European observer mission
said, however, that the vote was transparent and it had seen no
2009 Mar 18, Sean Hodgson (57),
a British man who spent 27 years in prison, walked free after his
murder conviction was overturned because of new DNA evidence in a
case that may help others who have been wrongly convicted.
2009 Mar 18, The prime
ministers of China and North Korea discussed the nuclear situation
on the Korean peninsula as they met in Beijing amid rising tensions
over Pyongyang's atomic and missile programs.
2009 Mar 18, Colombia
extradited former Maj. Julio Cesar Parga Rivas to the US on drug
2009 Mar 18, Costa Rica said it
will re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba, and El Salvador's new
president-elect, Mauricio Funes, promised to do the same after he
2009 Mar 18, Egypt opened its
border crossing with the Gaza Strip for the second time in two
months to allow medical aid and Palestinians to enter the coastal
2009 Mar 18, Amnesty
international said authorities in Gambia have rounded up about 1,000
people and forced them to drink hallucinogens in a witch-hunting
campaign. Authorities began inviting "witch doctors," who combat
witches, to come from nearby Guinea soon after the death earlier
this year of President Yahya Jammeh’s aunt. The concoctions left six
(AP, 3/18/09)(AFP, 7/18/11)
2009 Mar 18, Mumbai police
arrested an Indian businessman (49) for allegedly raping his
daughter for more than eight years, apparently on the advice of a
Hindu mystic who .said it would make him wealthy. Tantrik Hansmukh
Bhai Rathode (54) was arrested the next day.
2009 Mar 18, In Iran Omid
Mirsayafi (29), a blogger convicted of insulting the country’s
ruling clerics, died in Tehran’s main prison.
(SFC, 3/20/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 18, In Iraq a bomb
killed a farming couple in Diyala province. A suicide car bomber
struck a patrol, killing a policeman and wounding two others
2009 Mar 18, Gianni Giansanti
(52), an award-winning Italian photographer, died in Rome after
battling bone cancer. He shot the 1978 image that for many captured
the horror of that era — the bullet-riddled body of Aldo Moro, the
kidnapped former Italian Christian Democrat premier, in the truck of
a parked car. He also had snapped candid portraits of Pope John Paul
II during his pilgrimages.
2009 Mar 18, Kuwait's emir,
Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah, dissolved the 50-member
parliament, to avert parliamentary questioning of his nephew, the
prime minister. He called for new elections within two months,
saying some lawmakers had abused democracy and become a threat to
(AP, 3/18/09)(WSJ, 4/9/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 18, Kyrgyzstan police
detained several prominent activists as they held a ceremony to mark
the seventh anniversary of shootings that left six protesters dead.
2009 Mar 18, Madagascar's
highest court endorsed the army's move to replace the toppled
president with his rival, but the African Union was considering
whether it constituted a coup.
2009 Mar 18, In Mexico Vicente
"El Vicentillo" Zambada, top figure in the Sinaloa drug cartel, was
arrested before dawn at a home in an elite Mexico City neighborhood.
2009 Mar 18, Mozambique’s
interior ministry said 12 prisoners arrested during a riot over a
cholera epidemic have died in their cell in unclear circumstances.
They were among 29 people arrested when riots broke out last month
when Red Cross volunteers were blamed for causing a cholera epidemic
plaguing the country.
2009 Mar 18, Russian news
agencies cited a top defense official as confirming that a contract
to sell powerful air-defense missiles to Iran was signed two years
ago, but saying no such weapons have yet been delivered.
2009 Mar 18, Russia said it was
banning the hunting of baby harp seals, weeks after PM Putin
reportedly called the hunt a bloody industry.
(SFC, 3/19/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 18, Defiant Sudanese
Pres. Omar al-Bashir rallied Arab supporters in Darfur by saying no
war crimes court or the UN Security Council can touch even "an
eyelash" on him despite an international order for his arrest.
2009 Mar 18, In Yemen a suicide
bomber struck a convoy carrying South Korean officials sent to Yemen
to investigate a bombing earlier in the week that killed four South
Korean tourists. No one was hurt.
2009 Mar 19, Pres. Obama
appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and captured some 11.2%
of TV households in 56 US markets.
(WSJ, 3/20/09, p.A4)
2009 Mar 19, A report issued by
the US Interior Department said one-third of the nation's endangered
birds are in Hawaii. 31 Hawaiian bird species were listed as
endangered, more than anywhere else in the country. The native birds
were threatened by the destruction of their habitats by invasive
plant species and feral animals like pigs, goats and sheep, habitat
loss and insect born diseases. The report also said energy
production of all types — wind, ethanol and mountaintop coal mining
— was contributing to steep drops in bird populations.
2009 Mar 19, In New York Hank
Morris, a political advisor, and David J. Loglisci were indicted on
allegations of extracting improper fees in exchange for investments
from New York state’s pension fund.
(WSJ, 4/18/09, p.C1)(http://tinyurl.com/crt5kx)
2009 Mar 19, In NYC Henry
Morris (55), political adviser to former New York comptroller Alan
Hevesi, and David J. Loglisci (38), former New York Deputy
Comptroller, were arrested on charged in a 123-count indictment that
included money laundering, corruption and bribery charges. Some $30
million was allegedly paid to Mr. Morris in a pay-to-play scheme.
(WSJ, 3/20/09, p.C1)
2009 Mar 19, Josias Kumpf (83),
a former Nazi concentration-camp guard, was deported from Wisconsin
to Austria, despite objections from his lawyer that the guard was
simply present at the Trawniki Labor Camp in Poland but committed no
acts of persecution [see Nov 3, 1943].
2009 Mar 19, South Dakota Gov.
Mike rounds signed legislation banning smoking from all indoor
(SFC, 3/20/09, p.A8)
2009 Mar 19, Howard Feldman
(67), an American psychiatrist, was arrested in the Philippines on
charges of tricking an upstate New York couple into wiring him
$70,000 for a bogus liver transplant, that the husband died waiting
for. Feldman has been on the run since 2001.
(SFC, 3/20/09, p.A8)
2009 Mar 19, Cisco Systems said
it will pay around $590 million to acquire Pure Digital Technology,
a maker of pocket sized camcorders.
(WSJ, 3/20/09, p.B5)
2009 Mar 19, In Afghanistan
Helmand MP Dad Mohammad Khan, a key anti-Taliban lawmaker, was
killed with four other men when a bomb tore through their vehicle.
Australia’s defense chief said a bomb disposal expert was killed
trying to defuse a device in Afghanistan, announcing the country's
10th combat death there.
(AFP, 3/19/09)(AP, 3/19/09)
2009 Mar 19, Al-Qaida's chief
Osama bin Laden urged Somali militants to overthrow the country's
new president in a new Web audiotape, trying to torpedo a new push
for peace in a lawless African nation where many fear al-Qaida is
gaining a foothold.
2009 Mar 19, Brazil's Supreme
Court sided with Amazonian Indians in a land dispute that some have
called critical for determining the future of the rainforest that
sprawls the size of Western Europe. The court ruling upheld the
Raposa Serra do Sol reservation for 18,000 Indians who lay claim to
their ancestral land, despite a handful of large-scale farmers who
also occupy the territory in the northernmost reaches of Amazon
jungle bordering Venezuela.
2009 Mar 19, In Quito, Ecuador,
a small army plane crashed into an apartment building, killing seven
people and sending a fireball into the evening sky. The dead
included 3 soldiers, the pilot’s wife and son and 2 people on the
2009 Mar 19, In France hundreds
of thousands of people began protests expected to draw at least a
million demonstrators to the streets to denounce President Nicolas
Sarkozy's handling of the economic crisis.
2009 Mar 19, A US airstrike on
a militant hideout south of Balad Ruz in Diyala province killed at
least 11 insurgents. A US soldier died from non-combat causes.
2009 Mar 19, Former Israeli
President Moshe Katsav was indicted on rape and other sexual offense
charges, after calling off a plea deal that would have allowed him
to escape jail time.
2009 Mar 19, Southern African
nations declared they will not recognize Madagascar's new leader, an
army-backed politician who ousted an elected president. The US said
it would reconsider aid to the island nation.
2009 Mar 19, In Mexico new
tariffs on 89 products took effect in retaliation for a US decision
last week to cancel a cross-border program that gave Mexican
truckers access to their northern neighbor's highways.
2009 Mar 19, In Pakistan
suspected Taliban militants fired a rocket that killed 8 people on a
supply rout to Afghanistan.
(WSJ, 3/20/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 19, Pirates off the
coast of Somalia seized the St. Vincent-flagged Titan, with 24 crew
members on board, including a Greek captain and 3 Greek crew
members. A Turkish warship foiled a pirate attack on a Turkish
commercial ship in the Gulf of Aden.
2009 Mar 19, A Thailand army
spokesman said a roadside bomb had killed four paramilitary rangers
on an intelligence-gathering operation in southern Pattani province.
2009 Mar 20, Two US Navy
vessels, a submarine and an amphibious ship, collided during the
early morning hours in the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and the
Arabian peninsula. The USS Hartford, a submarine, and the USS New
Orleans, an amphibious ship, collided. 15 sailors aboard the
Hartford were slightly injured but able to return to duty. No
injuries were reported aboard the New Orleans.
2009 Mar 20, The US Postal
Service said it will reduce management by 15%, offer early
retirement to 150,000 workers and close 6 of 80 district offices in
response to the slowing economy and losses last year of $2.8
(SFC, 3/21/09, p.A4)
2009 Mar 20, Washington
Mutual's holding company sued federal regulators for billions of
dollars, saying the firesale of the bank's assets to JPMorgan Chase
violated its rights.
2009 Mar 20, Walter Kuhlman
(90), SF Bay Area artist and teacher, died. He was a noted figure in
the postwar Bay Area abstract expressionist movement.
(SFC, 3/30/09, p.B3)
2009 Mar 20, Afghanistan's top
Muslim clerics urged President Hamid Karzai to push ahead with a
proposal for talks with the Taliban that would be mediated by Saudi
Arabia's King Abdullah. In northern Afghanistan 9 policemen and a
district chief were killed in heavy fighting with Taliban
insurgents. 4 Canadian troops and a local interpreter were killed in
two separate explosions. Another NATO soldier was killed in a
"hostile incident" in the south.
(AP, 3/20/09)(AFP, 3/20/09)(Reuters, 3/21/09)
2009 Mar 20, Tens of thousands
of Angolans welcomed Pope Benedict XVI. He urged Angolans to
continue on the path of reconciliation after nearly three decades of
civil war, saying dialogue could overcome all conflict and tension.
2009 Mar 20, China said a new
WTO report rejected the majority of intellectual property complaints
made by the US and broadly backed Beijing's stance against
2009 Mar 20, The African Union
suspended Madagascar, the strongest condemnation by the
international community since opposition leader Andry Rajoelina took
power with the support of the army.
2009 Mar 20, EU leaders pledged
a 125 billion euros in support for eastern Europe and the IMF after
rejecting calls to plough more taxpayer cash into their own
2009 Mar 20, In France several
teenagers were taken into custody after 11 adults were injured in a
pellet gun shooting near a nursery school in Lyon.
2009 Mar 20, Iranian engineer
Majid Kakavand (37) was taken into custody in Paris as he arrived in
Paris from Moscow as part of a European tour with his wife. He was
arrested at the airport under a US warrant suspected of evading
export controls to buy US technology for Iran's military. He was
held in La Sante prison until Aug. 26, then released on condition he
stay in Paris. He faced a Feb. 17 Paris hearing on whether to be
extradited to the United States.
2009 Mar 20, In Iraq followers
of anti-US Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr protested US presence on
the 6th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. In Baghdad’s
Karrada district a pair of roadside bombs exploded within 10 minutes
of one another wounding 4 police officers and 3 civilians.
(SFC, 3/21/09, p.A3)
2009 Mar 20, Mexico’s central
bank lowered its overnight lending rate by .75 to 6.75%, in response
to the deepening recession.
(WSJ, 3/20/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 20, The Mexican army
in Saltillo, Coahuila, arrested Sigifrido Najera Talamantes, an
alleged drug trafficker. He was suspected of organizing an attack on
a US consulate as well as the killing of several soldiers in
retaliation for a government crackdown.
2009 Mar 20, North Korea closed
its southern border for the third time in recent days, even as it
told Seoul it would restore a military communications hot line
severed last week.
2009 Mar 20, In Sudan the
Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), a major rebel group in Darfur,
said it had decided to end peace talks with the Sudanese government
until it lets back aid groups expelled from the troubled region.
2009 Mar 20, The UN Security
Council gave a stamp of approval to Somalia's new unity government
and urged increased international aid to African Union (AU)
peacekeepers trying to contain the violence in the lawless country.
2009 Mar 21, In Oakland, Ca.,
Lovelle Mixon (26), a parolee with an "extensive criminal history,"
opened fire at a routine traffic stop killing Sgt. Mark Dunakin (40)
and gravely wounding Officer John Hege (41). Hours later he gunned
down Sgt. Ervin Romans (43) and Sgt. Daniel Sakai (35), 2 members of
a SWAT team searching for him. SWAT team members returned fire,
killing Mixon. Officer Hege was pronounced dead the next day. It was
later reported that Mixon had robbed and raped 2 women a gunpoint
earlier the same day. In 2011 the city of Oakland paid Douglas
Laughlin, a former KGO-TV cameraman, $175,000 under a civil suit
filed against police who had attacked him and broken his camera as
he tried to film the arrival of the ambulance carrying one of the
(AP, 3/22/09)(SFC, 3/23/09, p.A1)(SFC, 5/5/09,
p.A1)(SFC, 6/9/11, p.C2)
2009 Mar 21, The attorney
general of Connecticut said that he is asking AIG why documents
appear to show the company paid $53 million more in bonuses to its
financial products division than previously reported. a busload of
activists representing working- and middle-class families paid
visits to the lavish homes of American International Group
executives to protest the tens of millions of dollars in bonuses
awarded by the struggling insurance company after it received a
massive federal bailout.
(AP, 3/21/09)(AP, 3/22/09)
2009 Mar 21, In Afghanistan 2
separate bombings killed 11 people near the volatile eastern border
with Pakistan, marring a festive day throughout the country as
citizens celebrated the Persian new year. A bomb detonated by remote
control killed five people near a shrine in the country's eastern
Khost province as they celebrated Nowruz. North of Khost in
Nangarhar province, a suicide bomber in a car blew himself up at a
police checkpoint, killing six people, including five civilians and
one policeman. In southern Afghanistan NATO killed Maulawi Hassan, a
senior Taliban commander, and nine other suspected militants, while
the coalition and its Afghan allies suffered an equal number of
deaths in separate attacks in the same area.
(AP, 3/21/09)(AP, 3/23/09)
2009 Mar 21, In Angola Pope
Benedict XVI appealed to the Catholics of Angola to reach out to and
convert believers in witchcraft who feel threatened by "spirits" and
"evil powers" of sorcery. Two people were killed in a deadly
stampede that broke out at Luanda stadium a few hours before Pope
Benedict XVI addressed young people.
2009 Mar 21, In Botswana
Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone opened a development
conference and warned that the global economic crisis would affect
Africa for at least two years.
2009 Mar 21, In northwestern
China hundreds of Tibetans attacked a police station and government
officials despite heightened security, prompting the arrests the
next day of nearly 100 monks. The protest appeared to be in response
to the disappearance of a Tibetan who escaped from police custody in
2009 Mar 21, In Dagestan 3 days
of intense fighting between police and insurgents in a wooded area
ended with five officers and about a dozen militants left dead.
2009 Mar 21, Hungary’s PM
Ferenc Gyurcsany offered his resignation to allow the formation of a
new government, citing a loss of popularity and worsening economic
crisis. The former communist youth leader was quickly re-elected as
(AFP, 3/21/09)(Econ, 3/28/09, p.63)
2009 Mar 21, Iran's supreme
leader rebuffed President Barack Obama's latest outreach, saying
Tehran was still waiting to see concrete changes in US policy.
2009 Mar 21, Tens of thousand
of people marched in Naples to commemorate the victims of the mafia
and demand an end to the stranglehold of organized crime on southern
2009 Mar 21, In Madagascar
Andry Rajoelina was sworn in as the new president in a ceremony
shunned by the international community after the ousting of the
elected president, Marc Ravalomanana. Rajoelina promised new
elections within two years.
2009 Mar 21, In central Mexico
toxic fumes killed at least 10 people who were trying to clean a
sewage pump station in the town of Atotonilco de Tula.
2009 Mar 21, Nigeria's
anti-graft agency said it was hunting down owners of an Indian
business group, Vaswani Brothers, for allegedly defrauding the
country of three billion naira in unpaid taxes. The brothers were
deported from Nigeria in 2003 after a probe into their operations,
but were allowed back into the country in 2007.
2009 Mar 21, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev replaced Gov. Yuri Yevdomikov of the northwest region of
Murmansk, apparently seeking to ensure that the ruling party
remained in control there after it suffered a surprising defeat in
(SSFC, 3/22/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 21, In Sri Lanka more
than 1,100 civilians fled the war zone as government troops fought
to wipe out separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.
2009 Mar 21, Venezuela's
federal government seized seaports and airstrips in at least four
states, a move critics say is meant to limit the powers of mayors
and governors opposed to President Hugo Chavez.
2009 Mar 22, In Montana a
single-engine turboprop airplane crashed just short of Butte’s Bert
Mooney Airport, killing all 14 people aboard, including 7 children.
The aircraft had departed from Oroville, Calif., and the pilot had
filed a flight plan showing a destination of Bozeman.
2009 Mar 22, Frank Bogert
(1910), long time mayor of Palm Springs, Ca., died. He was elected
to the City Council as a Republican in 1958 and was appointed major.
He stepped down after 9 years in office and in 1992 became the
city’s first elected mayor.
(WSJ, 4/4/09, p.A4)
2009 Mar 22, Afghan and US-led
coalition troops killed five suspected militants during a raid in
northern Kunduz province. But the local mayor said his house was
targeted and that the dead included his cook and driver. A rocket
slammed into the main NATO military base at Kandahar airfield,
killing a contractor and wounding six others. 2 NATO soldiers were
killed in a "hostile incident" in the same region.
(AP, 3/22/09)(AP, 3/23/09)
2009 Mar 22, In Australia
warring bikers brawled through the Sidney airport, beating one
suspected gang member to death and brandishing metal poles "like
swords" as they rampaged through the main domestic terminal in front
of terrified travelers. Anthony Zervas (29) was bludgeoned to death
with a crowd control barrier pole during the fracas. On June 30
Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi (29), head of the Comanchero motorcycle gang,
was charged with murder.
(AP, 3/22/09)(AFP, 6/30/09)
2009 Mar 22, In England a
murder hunt started with the discovery of a victim's left leg and
foot on the side of a Hertfordshire road. By Apr 11 all other body
parts were found except for the man’s hands.
2009 Mar 22, British reality
television star Jade Goody (27) died in her sleep, after a very
public battle with cervical cancer.
(AFP, 3/22/09)(Econ, 3/28/09, p.98)
2009 Mar 22, In India the
Election Commission found Varun Gandhi (29), the great-grandson of
India's first prime minister, guilty of hate speech and inciting
violence against Muslims. He was filmed on March 16 comparing a
rival Muslim politician to Osama Bin Laden and threatening to cut
the throats of Muslims during two political rallies earlier this
(AP, 3/23/09)(Econ, 4/4/09, p.46)
2009 Mar 22, Macedonia held
elections. The governing party's Gjorgje Ivanov (49) emerged as
favorite to win the presidency in an April 5 runoff vote against
51-year-old Social Democrat Ljubomir Frckoski.
2009 Mar 22, In Mexico gunmen
killed Edgar Garcia, a state police commander in charge of
investigating kidnappings and extortion in the western state of
2009 Mar 22, In Pakistan
Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, the chief justice whose ouster spurred
waves of protests that led to a president's downfall, returned to
work, while the ruling party and opposition resolved to cooperate
despite their own clash over his reinstatement.
2009 Mar 22, A group of Saudi
clerics urged the kingdom's new information minister to ban women
from appearing on TV or in newspapers and magazines, making clear
that the country's hardline religious establishment is skeptical of
a new push toward moderation.
2009 Mar 22, Off the coast of
Somalia pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades and automatic
weapons at Japanese, Greek and Hong Kong cargo ships but fled after
the ships took evasive maneuvers.
2009 Mar 22, In South Africa
the Sunday Independent said the Chinese embassy in South Africa had
confirmed its government had appealed to South Africa not to allow
the Dalai Lama into the country for a peace conference on March 27.
Archbishop Tutu threatened to pull out of the meeting and to demand
an explanation from the authorities. On March 24 organizers
postponed the South African peace conference of Nobel laureates
after the government denied a visa to Tibet's spiritual leader the
(AP, 3/22/09)(AP, 3/24/09)
2009 Mar 22, In Sri Lanka the
military said it had killed two rebel leaders during fighting in the
northeast of the island, where the LTTE guerrillas are cornered.
2009 Mar 22, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez, who has for years funneled state oil income
into sweeping social programs, vowed to cut nonessential state
spending and order a review of top officials' salaries as oil income
plunges. Chavez also called President Barack Obama "ignorant,"
saying he has a lot to learn about Latin America.
2009 Mar 23, The Obama
administration took a fresh shot at ending a national paralysis in
lending, teaming up with investors to buy bad bank assets and ease
credit for hard-pressed consumers and businesses. The DJIA responded
with a gain 497.48 to close at 7775.86.
(AP, 3/23/09)(SFC, 3/24/09, p.C1)
2009 Mar 23, US District Judge
Edward Korman ordered the FDA to make the emergency contraceptive
pill, marketed as Plan B, available to 17-year-olds without
prescription within 30 days from the date of his ruling.
2009 Mar 23, Advance
Publications Inc., owner of the Ann Arbor News and 7 other Michigan
newspaper, announced that the 174-year-old Ann Arbor News will
publish its last print edition in July and then become a community
oriented Web site.
(WSJ, 3/24/09, p.B5)
2009 Mar 23, Alaska's Mount
Redoubt volcano erupted five times overnight, sending an ash plume
more than 9 miles into the air in the volcano's first emissions in
nearly 20 years.
2009 Mar 23, US envoy Richard
Holbrooke outlined to NATO new plans to beat insurgents in
Afghanistan. Taliban fighters ambushed a police patrol in southern
Kandahar province's Spin Boldak district, killing eight officers and
wounding another. Afghan police and intelligence agents detained
five Taliban militants in Oruzgan, including the group's senior
commander for the province, Mullah Azizullah. In Kabul Emrose TV’s
Fahim Khodamani was arrested for refusing to censor images of women
dancing in short skirts and plunging necklines.
(AFP, 3/23/09)(AP, 3/23/09)(SFC, 3/25/09, p.A4)
2009 Mar 23, In Australia
volunteers joined rescue workers struggling to save the lives of 17
whales that survived a mass stranding on a beach on Australia's west
coast. Around 90 long-finned pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins
were found beached over more than five kilometers (three miles) in
Hamelin Bay, south of the city of Perth. Most of the animals died,
but rescuers were able to push four dolphins and four whales out to
sea at the stranding site and truck 10 surviving whales overland to
deeper waters. Six whales believed to be part of a pod that was
rescued from a mass stranding re-beached themselves and two died.
One of the 4 surviving whales was found dead on March 26.
(AFP, 3/23/09)(AP, 3/25/09)(AP, 3/26/09)
2009 Mar 23, Canadian officials
declared the nation’s annual seal hunt open, despite a potential EU
ban on the import of seal products.
(SFC, 3/24/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 23, Suncor Energy Inc,
Canada's No.2 oil company, agreed to buy rival Petro-Canada for
about C$18.43 billion ($14.86 billion) to expand its oil sand
reserves and create the country's biggest energy group.
2009 Mar 23, Gov. Zhou
Xiaochuan, Chinese central bank governor, called for a new global
currency controlled by the International Monetary Fund, stepping up
pressure ahead of a London summit of global leaders for changes to a
financial system dominated by the US dollar and Western governments.
2009 Mar 23, A northern Chinese
court accepted a compensation suit against the dairy at the heart of
China's tainted milk scandal, the first court to do so.
2009 Mar 23, In southwest China
the ceiling at a chemical plant collapsed, killing 11 workers and
leaving one person trapped under rubble. A potentially lethal
radioactive material was lost after the 53-year-old Shaanxi Qinling
Cement Co. was torn down in the Tongchuan city in Shaanxi province.
Officials on March 27 said the material had been recovered.
(AP, 3/23/09)(AP, 3/27/09)
2009 Mar 23, In southeastern
Colombia a mortar attack by leftist rebels killed 4 soldiers from an
elite counter-guerrilla unit and left one missing in the
cocaine-producing jungle area of Guaviare state known as Cano
2009 Mar 23, Georgian officials
released videotapes allegedly showing opposition members buying
weapons with the aim of sparking violence during demonstrations
against the president planned for next month.
2009 Mar 23, Honduran President
Manuel Zelaya announced his government will hold a nationwide poll
by June 24 on whether the country should convoke an assembly that
would write a new constitution.
2009 Mar 23, India’s Tata
Motors launched its ultra-cheap Nano car in Mumbai. The vehicle was
hoped to herald a revolution by making it possible for the world's
poor to purchase their first car.
2009 Mar 23, In eastern
Indonesia 2 Komodo dragons mauled a fruit-picker to death. An
8-year-old boy was killed in 2007, the first recorded deadly attack
on a human by one of the endangered lizards in three decades.
2009 Mar 23, Turkey's president
began the first visit to Iraq by a Turkish head of state in more
than 30 years, seeking to press Iraqi leaders to stop Kurdish rebels
from launching cross-border attacks on Turkey. In northern Iraq a
suicide bombing against a Kurdish funeral in Jalula killed 27
people. 8 people were killed in a bombing at a bus stop west of
Baghdad. A suicide blast in Tel Afar killed police officer and
wounded 8 people.
(AP, 3/23/09)(AP, 3/24/09)(SFC, 3/24/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 23, In Japan an MD-11
aircraft operated by FedEx crashed at Tokyo's main international
airport, killing its two-member crew. Though largely retired from
passenger use for economic reasons, the MD-11 aircraft is still
employed for cargo transport.
2009 Mar 23, In southern
Lebanon an explosion killed Kamal Madhat (55), a senior Fatah
official, and three of his bodyguards as they were leaving a
Palestinian refugee camp.
2009 Mar 23, In southwest Nepal
at least one person was killed and another injured when a bomb
exploded inside a government building.
2009 Mar 23, In the Netherlands
Joseph Mpambara (40), a Hutu man, was convicted and sentenced to 20
years in prison for the slaying of two Tutsi mothers and at least
four of their children during Rwanda's 1994 genocide. The Hague
District Court acquitted Mpambara of involvement in the massacre of
hundreds of other Tutsis who had sought shelter in a church. He was
also acquitted of raping four women and killing one of them in a
2009 Mar 23, Pakistani troops
destroyed two militant hideouts in the troubled southwestern
province of Baluchistan, where a UN official was kidnapped last
month. A suicide bomber blew himself up at a police station housing
Pakistan’s terrorism intelligence offices, killing himself and one
(AFP, 3/23/09)(SFC, 3/24/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 23, Sudan's president
traveled to Eritrea, choosing one of Africa's most politically
isolated nations for his first trip abroad since an international
court sought his arrest on charges of war crimes in Darfur. Adam
Khater (39), the Fellowship for African Relief's Darfur director,
was shot to death at his home in the town of Kongo Haraza, near
Sudan's border with Chad.
(AP, 3/23/09)(AP, 3/24/09)
2009 Mar 23, Michael Misick,
the jet-setting premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, resigned, a
week earlier than expected, following an investigation that found
"clear signs" of corruption in the eight-island British dependency.
His successor as premier, Galmo Williams, won a 3-way fight to lead
the ruling Progressive National Party at a convention in early
2009 Mar 23, The Vatican said
Pope Benedict XVI has named Monsignor Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, a
San Diego clergyman, to be bishop of Oakland, California.
2009 Mar 23, In Venezuela
thieves in Caracas ransacked the offices of the Ibrahim Al-lbrahim
mosque, stealing jewels, computers and other objects and throwing
books across the floor. The Ibrahim Al-lbrahim building is Latin
America's second largest mosque after the Rey Fahd Islamic Cultural
Center in Argentina.
2009 Mar 24, Pres. Obama in his
2nd prime time news conference made the case for his $3.6 trillion
(WSJ, 3/25/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 24, US Treasury
Secretary Timothy Geithner called on Congress to grant him new
powers to regulate huge financial companies like insurance giant
AIG, whose failure would pose a grave danger to the US financial
system and the broader economy.
2009 Mar 24, New York’s Gov.
David Paterson ordered layoffs that could total over 4% of state
workers after unions refused concessions.
(WSJ, 3/25/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 24, Cepheid, a
Sunnyvale, Ca., gene-based test developer, said it has devised a
rapid, sensitive diagnostic test for tuberculosis and will make it
available at reduced cost in developing countries. The new automated
test gives results in 2 hours.
(SFC, 3/25/09, p.C1)
2009 Mar 24, Kraft Foods Inc.
notified the FDA that it had detected salmonella in roasted
pistachios through routine product testing. Kraft and the Georgia
Nut Co. recalled their Back to Nature Nantucket Blend trail mix the
next day. The FDA contacted California-based Setton Pistachio and
California health officials shortly afterward. California alone is
the second-largest producer of pistachios in the world.
2009 Mar 24, NATO troops on a
foot patrol shot and killed an Afghan civilian south of Kabul after
he ignored their signals to stop as he sped toward them in a car.
2009 Mar 24, Australian police
arrested a senior motorcycle gang member as authorities launched a
crackdown on biker groups in response to a deadly airport brawl that
shocked the country and brought a simmering gang war out into the
2009 Mar 24, The WHO's annual
report on TB, presented in Rio, indicated that there were 1.37
million cases of people with both TB and HIV in 2007, the latest
year for which statistics are available. About 700,000 people were
infected with both in 2006.
2009 Mar 24, The British
government published its revamped counter-terrorism strategy.
(Econ, 3/28/09, p.67)
2009 Mar 24, The Czech
government collapsed after losing a parliamentary no-confidence vote
over its handling of the economic crisis.
2009 Mar 24, The French
government offered for the first time to compensate victims of
nuclear tests in Algeria and the South Pacific, bowing to decades of
pressure by people sickened by radiation.
2009 Mar 24, Striking French
workers for US manufacturer 3M held their boss hostage amid labor
talks at a plant south of Paris, as anger over layoffs and cutbacks
mounted around the country. Manager Luc Rousselet was released after
being held for 2 days.
2009 Mar 24, In Hungary former
bank governor Gyorgy Suranyi emerged as the preferred candidate to
replace PM Gyurcsany.
(WSJ, 3/25/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 24, Indonesia's
controversial Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said she wants to
end vaccinating children against meningitis, mumps and some other
diseases because she fears foreign drug companies are using the
country as a testing ground.
2009 Mar 24, In Indonesia
rangers found the bodies of 2 rare Sumatran elephants with gunshots
to the head hours after they were used for a patrol against illegal
loggers and several hundred yards from their camp.
2009 Mar 24, Kurdish rebels
rejected calls by Iraq's president to stop fighting against Turkey
and leave Iraqi territory as the visiting Turkish president stepped
up pressure on the Baghdad government to act against the group.
2009 Mar 24, Prosecutors
charged a top aide to Japan's opposition leader in connection with a
political donations scandal, but the lawmaker said he would stay on
as party chief and continue his quest to become the country's next
prime minister. Ichiro Ozawa, the head of the Democratic Party of
Japan, said he still believed he and his aide have not broken any
laws. But he apologized for causing the concerns because of the
2009 Mar 24, Mexican soldiers
in a Monterrey suburb detained Hector Huerta Rios, one of the
nation's 24 top drug traffickers included on a "most-wanted" list
issued two days ago. Officials in Nuevo Laredo began destroying more
than 35 statues dedicated to a "Death Saint" popular with drug
2009 Mar 24, It was reported
that the Moroccan government has begun a clampdown on what it sees
as threats to the kingdom's religious and moral foundations, with
Shiite Islam and gays particularly targeted.
2009 Mar 24, Sri Lanka's
military accused "a vicious coalition" of international aid groups
of harboring terrorists and seeking to prolong the island's civil
war for economic gain.
2009 Mar 25, Australia PM Kevin
Rudd visited the US and urged Americans not to view China as an
enemy but as a country offering huge economic opportunities, even
though its leaders have "done some bad things in the past."
2009 Mar 25, The US House voted
to set aside over 2 million acres in 9 states as protected
wilderness. Legislators also approved a $400 million project to
restore a 3-mile stretch of the San Joaquin River in central
(SFC, 3/26/09, p.A1)(WSJ, 3/26/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 25, One of the US Air
Force's top-of-the-line F-22 fighter jets crashed in the high desert
of Southern California, killing test pilot David Cooley (49), an
employee of prime contractor Lockheed Martin Corp.
(AP, 3/26/09)(WSJ, 3/26/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 25, Arkansas Gov. Mike
Beebe signed 2 bills creating a state lottery, making his state the
43rd plus the district of Columbia to hold such contests.
(SFC, 3/26/09, p.A6)
2009 Mar 25, Conservation
International, a Washington D.C.-based conservation group, announced
the discovery of over 50 new animal species in a remote, mountainous
region of Papua New Guinea. The group spent the past several months
analyzing more than 600 animal species found during its expedition
to the South Pacific island nation in July and August.
2009 Mar 25, North Dakota
officials issued an urgent call for volunteers to help with
sandbagging as record amounts of water poured into the Missouri
River and evacuations were ordered in riverside areas.
2009 Mar 25, John Hope Franklin
(b.1915), revered Duke Univ. historian and scholar of the African
American experience, died in North Carolina. His books included
“From Slavery to Freedom" (1947).
(SFC, 3/26/09, p.B5)
2009 Mar 25, In eastern
Afghanistan a roadside bomb ripped through a van carrying civilians
on a road used by foreign troops, killing 10 and wounding 7 others
in Khost province.
(AP, 3/25/09)(SFC, 3/26/09, p.A3)
2009 Mar 25, Garth Drabinsky
and Myron Gottlieb, Canadian theater impresarios from a company
called Livent, were convicted of fraud. They had been indicted in
the US in 1999 and fled to Canada, where they were charged in 2002.
Six former Livent accountants testified in the trial, saying they
were ordered to inflate income and profit documentation.
2009 Mar 25, China’s state
media said forestry officials in far western China have resorted to
scattering abortion pills near gerbil burrows in a bid to halt a
rodent plague threatening the desert region's fragile ecosystem.
2009 Mar 25, Czech PM Mirek
Topolanek, the current rotating president of the EU, slammed US
plans to spend its way out of recession as "a road to hell."
2009 Mar 25, An Ecuadorean air
force training jet crashed in a jungle area near the Colombian
border. The pilot and a member of the air force rescue team were
killed when a cable snapped as they were being lifted to a
2009 Mar 25, Egypt, one of the
strongest US allies in the Middle East, welcomed Sudan's president
despite an international warrant seeking his arrest on charges of
war crimes in Darfur. Egypt is not an ICC signatory and both it and
the Arab League have backed al-Bashir.
2009 Mar 25, The EU laid
out new labeling rules laid allowing Rose wine customers to know
exactly how their grapes were treated to turn their tipple a
2009 Mar 25, The MT Nipayia, a
Greek-owned and Panama registered ship with a crew of 19, was
hijacked 450 miles east of Somalia’s south coast.
(AP, 3/27/09)(WSJ, 3/27/09, p.A8)
2009 Mar 25, The Indian army
said it had killed 17 militants from Lashkar-e-Taiba in Kashmir.
Recent fighting has left at least 25 people dead.
2009 Mar 25, In Iraq an
American soldier has died of non-combat injuries.
2009 Mar 25, Incoming Israeli
PM Benjamin Netanyahu said his government would be a "partner for
peace with the Palestinians," softening his rhetoric a day after the
centrist Labor Party joined his coalition in exchange for vaguely
worded promises to pursue negotiations.
2009 Mar 25, In Mexico US
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged to stand "shoulder
to shoulder" with Mexico in its violent struggle against drug
cartels, and acknowledged the US shares blame because of its demand
for drugs and supply of weapons.
2009 Mar 25, In Pakistan a
suspected US missile attack killed 8 militants, including 4
foreigners, in the stronghold of Baitullah Mehsud, Pakistan's top
Taliban commander. The New York Times carried a report on its Web
site saying ISI operatives provide money, military supplies and
strategic planning guidance to Taliban commanders, with proof of the
ties coming from electronic surveillance and trusted informants. The
US State Department announced a $5 million bounty for Baitullah
(AP, 3/25/09)(AP, 3/26/09)(SFC, 3/26/09, p.A3)
2009 Mar 25, Romania was given
a loan totaling 20 billion euros (27 billion dollars) by the IMF,
the EU, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD). An austerity program accompanied the loans.
2009 Mar 25, In northwestern
Russia Kirovsk mayor Ilya Kelmanzon was shot dead in his office. A
local utilities chief who was in Kelmanzon's office, then shot
2009 Mar 25, Fahad al-Ruwaily,
a senior al-Qaida leader, returned to Saudi Arabia voluntarily and
turned himself in. He was on a list of the kingdom's 85 most wanted
militants living abroad.
2009 Mar 25, In Edinburgh,
Scotland, vandals attacked the home of former Royal Bank of Scotland
head Fred Goodwin, smashing windows at the house of the ex-CEO whose
700,000 pound ($1.2 million) annual pension has prompted public
2009 Mar 25, Hundreds of
Somalis demonstrated in Baidoa against Islamist fighters after they
imposed a ban on leaf qat, a popular narcotic.
(SFC, 3/26/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 25, Sri Lanka's
military repulsed a Tamil Tiger counterattack in the north of the
island and killed at least 30 of the rebels.
2009 Mar 25, Sudanese officials
said at least 2 people were killed when attackers set fire overnight
to a camp for the internally displaced in Darfur, destroying
hundreds of shelters. A spokesman for the Darfur rebel group Justice
and Equality Movement (JEM) put the toll at three dead and three
injured and blamed a pro-government militia for the attack.
2009 Mar 25, In Turkey a
helicopter crashed in the snow-covered mountains of southern Turkey.
Muhsin Yazicioglu, leader of the small conservative Great Unity
Party, was one of six people on board. Authorities the next day
released a recording of an emergency call made after the crash by
journalist Ismail Gunes, who said he thought he was the only
survivor. Rescue workers found the wreckage on March 27. All 6
people aboard were found dead.
(AP, 3/26/09)(AP, 3/27/09)
2009 Mar 26, The Obama
administration unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the financial system
designed to impose greater regulation on major players like hedge
funds. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told lawmakers that the
changes are needed to fix the flaws exposed by the current financial
crisis, the worst to hit the country in seven decades.
2009 Mar 26, The US Internal
Revenue Service announced new steps aimed at getting taxpayers
hiding money in offshore accounts to pay up, promising not to file
criminal charges for those who voluntarily fess up to hiding money
2009 Mar 26, A New Jersey girl
(14) was accused of child pornography after posting nearly 30
explicit nude pictures of herself on MySpace.com, charges that could
force her to register as a sex offender if convicted.
2009 Mar 26, In Los Angeles US
automaker Tesla Motors unveiled its state-of-the-art five-seat
sedan, billed as the world's first mass-produced, highway-capable
electric car. The San Carlos company said it would likely be built
in Southern California rather than San Jose.
(AFP, 3/26/09)(SFC, 3/27/09, p.C1)
2009 Mar 26, In Brazil
engine pieces from a US plane fell from the sky, hitting 22 houses
and a car but sparing passengers and residents on the ground. Arrow
Cargo's station manager in Manaus, Rai Marinho, said the company
will pay local residents for damages to their property.
2009 Mar 26, The archives from
the London Historical Records, dating back to the 16th century,
began to be made available online. Around 250,000 records were
currently available, with all 77 million uploaded by 2011.
2009 Mar 26, In Ganzi, China, a
predominantly Tibetan prefecture in Sichuan province, Phuntsok
Rabten (27), a Tibetan Buddhist monk of Draggo monastery, was found
dead. He had called for protests against Chinese authorities. He had
fled on a motorcycle after police in a van discovered him
distributing flyers urging Tibetans to leave their farming plots
2009 Mar 26, Ebtisam Ali Rashid
al Bedwani (b.1982) was sworn in as Dubai’s first woman judge.
2009 Mar 26, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy visited Brazzaville and Kinshasa. During the
Kinshasa trip, given over in large part to regional political
issues, Areva signed an agreement with the government allowing the
company to prospect for and mine uranium.
2009 Mar 26, An official said
France will limit or ban bonuses and stock options for executives at
companies bailed out with taxpayer money, as the government
scrambled to calm public outrage at what some see as the greed that
caused the global financial crisis.
2009 Mar 26, In northern
Guatemala a hitman training camp for Mexico's infamous Gulf cartel
was found, along with 500 grenades. Officials seized six rifles,
three motorcycles and several boxes of ammunition during the
operation. The hitmen were among those carrying out nearly daily
attacks on Guatemalan buses in which the driver is often killed.
2009 Mar 26, In Iraq a car bomb
exploded near a crowded market in a mainly Shiite area of Baghdad,
killing at least 20 people, including 4 women and 4 children, in the
country’s sixth major attack this month. A bomb attached to a car
exploded elsewhere in eastern Baghdad, wounding four people. Gunmen
killed Sheik Abdul-Kareem Saleh, a Sunni Arab cleric, and wounded
his son at Jalula, a town northeast of Baghdad where a suicide
bomber struck a Kurdish funeral this week. A foreign contractor was
shot and killed at a base north of Baghdad. Pfc. Carl T. Stovall III
(25) of Kennesaw, Georgia, was taken into custody soon after the
shooting at the US base in Taji.
(AP, 3/26/09)(AP, 3/27/09)(SFC, 3/27/09,
2009 Mar 26, An Israeli
ministry statement said that in a series of tests this week the iron
Dome high-tech system faced rockets of the type fired by Palestinian
and Lebanese militants, and operated successfully.
2009 Mar 26, Israeli police
said they have seized 15 thousand marijuana water pipes in a raid on
a factory in Haifa. Pipes and other drug paraphernalia were banned a
few weeks ago and police are cracking down.
2009 Mar 26, In Kazakhstan a
Soyuz capsule carrying a Russian-American crew and US billionaire
space tourist Charles Simonyi blasted off for the international
2009 Mar 26, The MT Bow Asir, a
Norwegian tanker with a crew of 27, was hijacked off the coast of
(AP, 3/27/09)(WSJ, 3/27/09, p.A8)
2009 Mar 26, In Pakistan a
suicide bomber killed as many as 11 people at a restaurant near
Tank, in South Waziristan, in an attack targeting opponents of the
2009 Mar 26, In central Russia
a head-on collision between a bus and a truck in Petushki, about 120
kilometers (75 miles) east of Moscow, killed 14 people.
2009 Mar 26, Serbian lawmakers
approved a law against discrimination due to race, religion, gender,
sexual orientation or other factors despite opposition from
conservatives, including the Serbian Orthodox Church, and
2009 Mar 26, Somalia's new
interior minister was wounded by a roadside bomb in an attack that
killed his bodyguard and wounded two others. The moderate Islamist
pledged to seek reconciliation with his attackers, widely believed
to be hardline fighters.
2009 Mar 26, In Sri Lanka more
than 2,100 civilians fled in one day from the northern war zone
where the military is squeezing the Tamil Tiger rebels into a
smaller area as it pushes to end 25 years of civil war. in New York,
John Holmes, the UN's top humanitarian official, said the
international organization estimated 150,000 to 190,000 civilians
were trapped by the fighting and unable to escape, resulting in
dozens of deaths each day.
2009 Mar 26, Regulators in St.
Vincent and the Grenadines took control of an island bank linked to
an alleged Ponzi scheme. A complaint alleged that William Wise of
Raleigh, NC, and Kristi Hoegel of Napa, Ca., orchestrated the scheme
through Millennium Bank and its Geneva-based parent United Trust of
Switzerland SA, as well as US affiliates of both organizations.
(SFC, 3/28/09, p.A2)(http://tinyurl.com/cqedzr)
2009 Mar 26, Sudan's president
Omar al-Bashir visited his third country in four days, this time
touching down in Libya, the latest country to welcome the leader
who's wanted by an international court on war crimes.
2009 Mar 26, In Thailand more
than 20,000 protesters ringed the prime minister's office, demanding
the government resign and deriding its distribution of checks to
millions of low-income workers as a payoff.
2009 Mar 26, The UN's top
human-rights body approved a proposal by Muslims nations urging
passage of laws around the world to protect religion from criticism.
The resolution was sponsored by Pakistan, Belarus and Venezuela.
(AP, 3/26/09)(Econ, 4/4/09, p.17)
2009 Mar 27, President Barack
Obama ordered 4,000 more military troops into Afghanistan, vowing to
"disrupt, dismantle and defeat" the Taliban and al-Qaida.
2009 Mar 27, The Texas Board of
Education approved a science curriculum opening the door for
teachers and texts to raise doubts about evolution.
(WSJ, 3/28/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 27, In North Dakota
the Red River rose to a daunting 112-year high and breached one of
the dikes fortifying Fargo, but the mayor pledged to "go down
swinging" as he called for more evacuations and additional National
Guard troops to prevent a devastating flood.
2009 Mar 27, In Tracy, Ca.,
Sandra Cantu (8) went missing from her mobile park home. On April 6
her body was found in a suitcase dumped in an irrigation pond a few
miles away. On April 10 Melissa Huckaby (28), a Sunday school
teacher, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and killing Cantu.
In 2010 Huckaby was sentenced to life in prison without
(AP, 4/7/09)(AP, 4/11/09)(SFC, 6/15/10, p.C2)
2009 Mar 27, Jack Dreyfus (95),
founder of the Dreyfus Fund (1951), died in NYC. His fund helped
found the retail mutual-fund business.
(WSJ, 3/28/09, p.A5)
2009 Mar 27, Southern African
countries (Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia) have been
hit by the worst floods in years, killing more than 100 people and
displacing thousands, as a tropical storm threatened to bring more
2009 Mar 27, Bolivia's Interior
Minister Alfredo Rada said police have uncovered one of the
country's biggest known cocaine processing factories. Two Colombians
and a Bolivian were arrested at the nearly 1,000-acre (400 hectare)
site in the dense, southeastern jungles.
2009 Mar 27, In Chile the
Progressive Governance Summit, a 2-day gathering of leaders from
Latin America and Europe, opened at the resort city of Vina del Mar.
All agreed for an export-credit fund to get trade flowing again.
(AP, 3/27/09)(Econ, 4/4/09, p.43)
2009 Mar 27, Chinese health
officials said that hand, foot and mouth disease has sickened 41,000
people across the country and killed 18 children so far this year.
2009 Mar 27, In China a minibus
collided with two trucks and a bus tumbled into a mountain gorge in
two unrelated crashes, killing a total of 37 people.
2009 Mar 27, In Honda,
Colombia, Arcebio Alvarez (59), a farmer and widower, was arrested
on charges of incest and sexual abuse. He was accused of incest for
allegedly fathering eight children with his daughter. He denied
being the woman's biological father.
2009 Mar 27, In Indonesia
torrential rain caused a dam to burst outside Jakarta, sending a
wall of muddy water crashing into a densely packed neighborhood and
killing at least 96 people with some 130 still missing. The earthen
dam, built in 1933 when Indonesia was still under Dutch rule,
surrounded a man-made lake in Cirendeu on the southwestern edge of
(AP, 3/27/09)(AP, 3/29/09)
2009 Mar 27, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy wrapped up his mini-tour of three African countries,
after meeting with Niger leader Mamadou Tandja. This followed visits
to Kinshasa and Brazzaville.
2009 Mar 27, An overcrowded
boat packed with migrants capsized in stormy seas off the coast of
Libya. Only 20 survived when the wooden vessel with 257 people on
board, mostly African migrants, including 70 women and two children,
both of whom died, sunk only three hours off Libya.
(AP, 3/31/09)(AP, 4/1/09)
2009 Mar 27, Pakistan President
Asif Ali Zardari called for a US change of policy and voiced
opposition to missile strikes. A suicide bomber demolished a mosque
packed with hundreds of worshippers attending prayers near Jamrud in
the Khyber Pass, killing at least 50 people and injuring over 100
(AFP, 3/27/09)(AP, 3/27/09)(SFC, 3/28/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 27, Russian media
reported that the presidential Security Council has released a
document outlining government policy for the Arctic that includes
creating a special group of military forces.
2009 Mar 27, Saudi Arabia’s
King Abdullah (84) appointed his half-brother, Prince Nayef (75), as
his 2nd deputy prime minister.
(Econ, 4/4/09, p.51)
2009 Mar 27, Sri Lanka’s
military said it had killed 29 rebels. 13 were reported killed in a
battle near Puthkkudiyirippu, while army snipers killed another 16.
2009 Mar 27, Thai PM Abhisit
Vejjavija's rejected calls for his resignation by thousands of
anti-government protesters who ringed his office for a second day in
a boisterous rally.
2009 Mar 27, Zimbabwe PM Morgan
Tsvangirai decried a fresh wave of farm invasions across the country
and warned that those responsible for the farm disruptions risk
2009 Mar 28, In Milton,
Massachusetts, Samantha Revelus (17) was stabbed and killed by her
brother. Kerby Revelus (23) then decapitated his 5-year-old sister
as her birthday cake from the day before sat on the kitchen table.
He then turned on his 9-year-old sister, who called police.
Responding officers broke down the door and shot him dead. Sarafina
was hospitalized with defensive wounds to her hands and stab wounds
in her abdomen and one of her legs.
2009 Mar 28, The space shuttle
Discovery landed in Florida following a 13-day mission to the Int’l.
Space Station (ISS).
(SSFC, 3/29/09, p.A12)
2009 Mar 28, In North Dakota
the Red River crested at 12:15 a.m. at 40.82 feet, more than 22 feet
above flood stage.
2009 Mar 28, Afghanistan's
president offered support for the new US strategy for the growing
conflict in his country, praising increased civil and military aid
and highlighting a plan for reconciliation with moderate elements of
2009 Mar 28, Sydney became the
world's first major city to plunge itself into darkness for the
second worldwide Earth Hour, a global campaign to highlight the
threat of climate change.
2009 Mar 28, Thousands of
demonstrators marched through London to demand action on poverty,
jobs and climate change at the start of a week of protests aimed at
the G20 summit in the capital.
2009 Mar 28, In Dubai Sulim
Yamadayev, a former Chechen rebel and brother of Ruslan Yamadaev
(d.2008), was shot in a brazen attack and died on March 30. He had
switched sides to the government during Chechnya's long-running
conflict with Moscow. On April 5 Dubai authorities said they had
arrested two suspects in the slaying. They said Adam Delimkhanov, a
Chechen member of Russia’s lower house and the Chechen president's
right-hand man, had masterminded the killing. On April 12, 2010,
Mahdi Tagi Dhurnia of Iran and Tajik national Mahsoudjan Asmanov
were sentenced to 25 years in prison after being found guilty of
aiding and abetting the assassination of Yamadayev.
(AP, 3/31/09)(SFC, 3/31/09, p.A5)(AP,
4/5/09)(SFC, 4/6/09, p.A3)(AP, 4/12/10)(AP, 12/22/10)(Econ.,
2009 Mar 28, An Egyptian health
ministry spokesman said a two-year-old girl has contracted bird flu,
the 60th reported case since the first outbreak of the disease in
the country in 2006.
2009 Mar 28, In Guyana Janet
Jagan (88), a Chicago native who became Guyana's first white and
first female president (1997), died.
2009 Mar 28, Police in northern
India arrested a great-grandson of the country's first prime
minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, over allegations he made inflammatory
comments against Muslims. Police fired in the air and baton-charged
a crowd of at least 10,000 of Varun Gandhi's supporters shouting
pro-Hindu slogans as he was arrested in his constituency in Uttar
2009 Mar 28, Iraqi troops in
Baghdad arrested the head of Fadhil's Awakening Council for alleged
terrorist activity and for purportedly leading an armed group loyal
to Saddam Hussein's ousted party. Adil al-Mashhadani was believed to
have been involved in murder, extortion and other crimes as well as
leading an armed wing of Saddam's Baath party.
2009 Mar 28, In Nigeria police
s outside Lagos freed a Lebanese hostage after a shoot-out in which
six of his captors were killed. The man was seized March 23 by
gunmen from a waterfront construction site in Lagos' upmarket
residential and business area.
2009 Mar 28, Pakistani security
forces killed 26 militants during an operation in a restive tribal
region bordering Afghanistan. Helicopter gunships went into action
in Mohmand, one of seven lawless tribal districts in northwest
Pakistan where Taliban militants have been active. Dozens of
suspected militants fired rockets at a transport terminal in
Peshawar, damaging a dozen shipping containers.
(AFP, 3/28/09)(AP, 3/29/09)
2009 Mar 28, Tibetans rallied
against the China’s new holiday, Serfs Liberation Day, on the 50th
anniversary of Beijing’s crushing of a Tibetan uprising that led to
the Dalai lama’s exile.
2009 Mar 29, In Santa Clara,
California, police found six people dead, 3 of them children, after
a shooting at a home in the Bay Area city. The shooting appeared to
be a "family on family, murder-suicide." Devan Kalathat (42), an
engineer with Yahoo Inc., killed 5 members of his family before
(AP, 3/30/09)(SFC, 3/31/09, p.A9)(SFC, 4/1/09,
2009 Mar 29, In Illinois Duncan
Connolly (9) and his brother Jack (7), missing since March 8 after
visiting with their father, were found dead in his car. The body of
their father, Michael Connolly, was found nearby.
2009 Mar 29, In North Carolina
Robert Stewart (45) went on a terrifying rampage in the Pinelake
Health and Rehab center, killing seven residents and a nurse and
wounding three other people. He was stopped by a single shot to the
chest fired by Justin Garner, a decorated police officer responding
to a 911 call. Stewart survived and was charged with 8 counts of 1st
degree murder. In 2011 Stewart was convicted of 2nd degree murder
and sentenced from 141 to 177 years in prison.
(AP, 3/30/09)(SFC, 3/31/09, p.A7)(SSFC, 9/4/11,
2009 Mar 29, In North Dakota
the bloated Red River briefly breached a dike, pouring water into a
school campus and the Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker called it a "wakeup
call" for a city that needs to be vigilant for weaknesses in levees
that could give way at any time.
2009 Mar 29, The mysterious
boom and flash of light seen over parts of Virginia was not a
meteor, but actually exploding space junk from the second stage of a
Russian Soyuz rocket, launched March 26, falling back to Earth.
2009 Mar 29, Maurice Jarre
(b.1924), Oscar-winning French composer, died in LA. His film scores
included “Lawrence of Arabia" and “Doctor Zhivago."
2009 Mar 29, Helen Levitt (95),
photographer of New York City, died.
(Econ, 4/11/09, p.87)
2009 Mar 29, Afghanistan's
Supreme Court announced that President Hamid Karzai should remain in
office until a new leader is chosen in a late-summer election, a
decision that effectively extends his term more than three months.
2009 Mar 29, In Australia
thousands of poisonous cane toads met their fate as gleeful hunters
gathered for a celebratory mass killing of the hated amphibians,
with many of the creatures' corpses being turned into fertilizer for
the very farmers they've plagued for years.
2009 Mar 29, In Australia a
gunman opened fire on a senior member of the Hells Angels, shooting
him multiple times outside a Sydney apartment complex in the latest
incident in an escalating battle between biker gangs.
2009 Mar 29, Canadian
researchers said a shadowy cyber-espionage network based mostly in
China has infiltrated secret government and private computers around
the world, including those of the Dalai Lama. They said the network,
known as GhostNet, had infected 1,295 computers in 103 countries and
penetrated systems containing sensitive information in top
political, economic and media offices.
2009 Mar 29, US-backed Iraqi
forces swept through a central Baghdad slum, disarming
government-allied Sunni fighters who launched a two-day uprising to
protest the arrest of their leader. Up to 30% of the Sunni
paramilitaries involved in the uprising escaped with their weapons.
A roadside bomb exploded near a security patrol in the southern city
of Basra, killing one security guard and three civilians.
(AP, 3/29/09)(AP, 4/1/09)
2009 Mar 29, A senior Israeli
defense official said Palestinian militants have smuggled nearly 70
tons of explosives and bomb-making materials and other weapons into
Gaza since Israel ended an offensive meant to choke off the arms
2009 Mar 29, In Abidjan, Ivory
Coast, a stampede at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium left 19 dead
and at least 132 injured at a World Cup qualifying match.
2009 Mar 29, A second boat with
about 350 migrants aboard was rescued safely off the coast of Libya.
2009 Mar 29, The mostly Muslim
Indian Ocean island of Mayotte, a territory of the Comoros
archipelago, overwhelmingly voted to integrate fully with France,
becoming the 101st department of France. The move will bring
financial benefits to residents but also outlaw practices like
polygamy and early marriages.
(AP, 3/29/09)(SFC, 3/30/09, p.A2)(Reuters,
2009 Mar 29, In northwest
Pakistan militants fired rockets at police chasing them after a
kidnapping, killing a senior police official and five other people
in the Balambat area of Lower Dir. Elsewhere in the region militants
kidnapped 11 police officers in the Khyber tribal area that is home
to a major US military supply route.
2009 Mar 29, In the Philippines
Abu Sayyaf commander Albader Parad threatened to behead one of three
Red Cross hostages, two Europeans and a Filipino, at 2 p.m. March
31, unless police and militiamen withdraw from 15 villages on Jolo
2009 Mar 29, In Russia the film
"Olympius Inferno," was first broadcast on state television. It
offering the Kremlin's version of the August war with Georgia and
contained anti-American overtones, reflecting Russia's anger over US
support for Georgia.
2009 Mar 29, In Spain tens of
thousands of demonstrators crowded central Madrid, chanting slogans
against government plans to liberalize the country's abortion laws.
2009 Mar 29, The int’l.
anti-piracy task force captured 7 pirates in the Gulf of Aden after
they opened fire on a German naval supply ship.
(SFC, 3/31/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 29, In Sri Lanka heavy
ground battles between the army troops and the guerrillas left 29
2009 Mar 29, Sudan's Pres. Omar
al-Bashir, who is sought by an international court on charges of war
crimes in Darfur, received a warm welcome in Qatar, where he will
attend this week's Arab League summit.
2009 Mar 29, In central
Tanzania a goods train hit a stationary passenger train, killing at
least 15 people.
2009 Mar 29, Turks voted in
local elections. PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-oriented party
emerged as the leading party in local elections, but saw a slide in
its support compared with a landslide victory two years ago.
(AP, 3/29/09)(AP, 3/30/09)
2009 Mar 30, President Barack
Obama said that neither General Motors nor Chrysler has proposed
sweeping enough changes to justify further large federal bailouts,
and demanded "painful concessions" from creditors, unions and others
as their price for survival. Driving home the point, the White House
ousted the GM Chairman Rick Wagoner as it rejected GM and Chrysler's
restructuring plans. Fritz Henderson, GM's president and chief
operating officer, became the new CEO. Board member Kent Kresa, the
former chairman and CEO of defense contractor Northrop Grumman
Corp., was named interim chairman of the GM board.
2009 Mar 30, Pres. Obama signed
legislation setting aside over 2 million acres as protected
(SFC, 3/31/09, p.A6)
2009 Mar 30, An “Open Cloud"
manifesto was published. IBM and other tech companies issued a
statement of principles that called for keeping cloud computing
services as open as possible.
2009 Mar 30, Intel released
Nehalem, its new superfast chip for servers.
(Econ, 4/4/09, p.73)
2009 Mar 30, Findings were
presented for an experimental combo pill, to prevent heart attacks
and strokes, indicating it as effective as nearly all of its
components taken alone, with no greater side effects. The study
tested the Polycap, an experimental combo formulated by Cadila
Pharmaceuticals of Ahmedabad, India.
2009 Mar 30, In southern
Afghanistan a suicide bomber wearing a police uniform blew himself
up inside a police headquarters in Kandahar, killing nine people and
wounding eight. A roadside bomb killed three police in the eastern
province of Paktia.
2009 Mar 30, Argentina’s health
minister acknowledged that the country was in the middle of a dengue
fever epidemic with nearly 8,000 people infected. Neighboring
Bolivia had about 51,000 cases reported, while Brazil counted some
2009 Mar 30, Downtown Sydney,
Australia's largest city, was plunged into chaos during the late
rush hour when a power cut blacked out traffic lights, caused
gridlock on the roads and left tens of thousands of buildings in
darkness. The blackout exposed a flaw in the city's terrorism
(AP, 3/30/09)(AP, 3/31/09)
2009 Mar 30, Banking officials
meeting in Colombia said Argentina and China have tentatively agreed
to swap $10 billion worth of their currencies to enable South
America's second-largest economy to avoid using dollars in trade
between the nations.
2009 Mar 30, The French
government banned companies that get state funding from issuing
stock options to top managers and limited some other forms of
compensation in an effort to quell public anger over executive pay.
(WSJ, 3/31/09, p.B1)
2009 Mar 30, Hungary’s ruling
Socialist Party nominated economy minister Gordon Bajnai (b.1968) to
become the country’s next prime minister.
(WSJ, 3/31/09, p.A14)
2009 Mar 30, In Lahore,
Pakistan, a group of gunmen attacked the Manawan Police Training
School and rampaged through it for hours, throwing grenades, seizing
hostages and killing 7 police and 2 civilians before being
overpowered by Pakistani security forces in armored vehicles and
helicopters. Six militants were arrested and 8 others died in the
8-hour battle. A suicide car bombing killed four soldiers in Bannu
(AP, 3/30/09)(AFP, 3/31/09)
2009 Mar 30, Malaysia's
national car maker Proton and Detroit Electric, a Dutch-based
company, signed a $555 million deal to make zero emission electric
cars that they said would be more powerful that any existing model.
2009 Mar 30, In Northern
Ireland suspected IRA dissidents and their supporters hijacked cars
in working-class Catholic areas in a coordinated effort to block
roads and threaten police stations.
2009 Mar 30, Fishermen in the
Philippines accidentally caught and soon ate a megamouth shark, one
of the rarest fishes in the world with only 40 others recorded to
have been encountered. The 1,100-pound (500-kilogram) 13-foot
(4-meter) megamouth died while struggling in the fishermen's net off
2009 Mar 30, In Qatar Libyan
leader Moammar Gadhafi stormed out of an Arab summit after
denouncing the Saudi king and declaring himself "the dean of Arab
2009 Mar 30, In Russia PM Putin
pledged over $1 billion in state support to its ailing car industry
in a bid to avoid heavy job losses and potential social unrest.
(WSJ, 3/31/09, p.B2)(http://tinyurl.com/csyby9)
2009 Mar 30, In Russia Sergei
Protazanov, a newspaper employee in a Moscow suburb, died one day
after being beaten near his home in the in the town of Khimki.
Protazanov had been compiling an issue that included reports on
alleged falsifications in local mayoral elections.
2009 Mar 30, In Sri Lanka 26
rebels were killed in a sea battle off Chalai. Four boats belonging
to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were sunk in the battle,
which lasted about four hours before dawn. A leader of the Sea
Tigers, the rebels' naval wing, was among the dead while one
government sailor died and three were wounded.
2009 Mar 30, Thailand's prime
minister avoided his office, as thousands of protesters calling for
his resignation surrounded the seat of government for the fifth day
and ignored police warnings to disperse.
2009 Mar 31, The US Government
Accountability Office released a report saying 4 countries
designated a terrorism sponsors received $55 million from a US
supported program promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy under
the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation program. Between 1997 and 2007 Iran
received over $15 million, $14 million went to Syria, while Sudan
and Cuba received over $11 million each.
(WSJ, 3/31/09, p.A3)
2009 Mar 31, The US State
Department said the United States will seek election to the UN Human
Rights Council this year, announcing the Obama administration's
latest reversal of former President George W. Bush's foreign
2009 Mar 31, The US Congress
passed the Edward Kennedy Serve America Act, a sweeping overhaul of
the 1993 national service program. It tripled the size of AmeriCorps
from 75,000 positions to 250,000.
(Econ, 4/11/09, p.30)
2009 Mar 31, Fritz Henderson,
GM's new chief executive said that more of the automaker's plants
could close and bankruptcy is "more probable" as it works to meet
new, tougher requirements for government aid. In his first news
conference as CEO, Henderson said he expects the company would "need
to take further measures" beyond the 5 plants the company said it
would shutter when it submitted a restructuring plan to the
government last month.
2009 Mar 31, Sun-Times Media
Group, the publisher of the Chicago Sun Times, filed Chapter 11
bankruptcy, becoming the 5th newspaper company to file for
protection since December.
(WSJ, 4/1/09, p.B4)
2009 Mar 31, At the Hague
Afghan President Hamid Karzai and US Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton offered an olive branch to Taliban fighters who
reject al-Qaida and pressed an international conference for help in
strengthening Afghanistan's security forces.
2009 Mar 31, In southern
Afghanistan foreign and Afghan troops killed 30 Taliban fighters and
wounded 17 others during a series of overnight clashes, while a
roadside bomb killed the mayor of eastern Khost city. A member of
the Kandahar provincial council of religious clerics was shot dead
while going home after prayers. A suicide bomber tried to attack a
police post on the border with Iran but blew himself up prematurely
when police warned him to stop.
(AP, 3/31/09)(AP, 4/1/09)
2009 Mar 31, Raul Alfonsin
(b.1927), former Argentine president (1983-1989), died. He guided
his country's return to democracy following a military dictatorship
that left thousands missing.
2009 Mar 31, In Brazil the
state government of Rio de Janeiro said it will build 7 miles of
concrete walls around some of its biggest slums in an effort to halt
deforestation of the jungle surrounding the metropolis.
(SFC, 4/1/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 31, Sir Sacheverell
Reresby Sitwell (81) died in London. He restored the stately home of
his famously eccentric family to its former glory. In 1965 Reresby
Sitwell inherited Renishaw Hall in Derbyshire, the family seat since
1625. Sitwell was the elder son of Sacheverell Sitwell, who with his
brother Osbert and sister Edith were famed for their literary talent
and their quirks.
2009 Mar 31, In Cambodia Kaing
Guek Eav (aka Duch), the chief Khmer Rouge torturer, formally
apologized for the deaths of more than 14,000 people at S-21 prison,
the first Pol Pot cadre to accept blame for crimes committed by the
regime 30 years ago.
2009 Mar 31, In China and
official said police have arrested nine people and revoked the
license of a livestock market owner in a case involving pork tainted
with a chemical that made 70 people sick in Guangzhou, southern
China's biggest city. Investigators determined the pork was tainted
with clenbuterol and ractopamine, banned chemicals used to make
animals develop more muscle and less fat.
2009 Mar 31, Twelve Egyptian
laborers headed for jobs in Jordan were killed and 35 others injured
when their bus overturned in the Sinai peninsula.
2009 Mar 31, Angry French
workers facing layoffs at a Caterpillar factory briefly detained
four of their bosses at the US manufacturer's plant in the Alps to
protest job cuts.
2009 Mar 31, Germany's top
security official banned the Homeland-Faithful German Youth
(HDJ), a far-right group, on the ground that it organizes
seemingly harmless activities to promote racist and Nazi ideology
among children and young people.
2009 Mar 31, In Honduras
assailants stopped journalist Rafael Munguia (36) as he was driving
night in the city of San Pedro Sula, dragged him from his vehicle
and shot him at least eight times. Munguia had recently been
reporting on the country's violent crime wave.
2009 Mar 31, Volkswagen opened
a new plant in western India, pledging to make further inroads into
the country's growing auto market.
2009 Mar 31, In Iraq a suicide
truck bomber plowed through a sandbag barrier to strike a police
station in the northern city of Mosul, killing at least eight people
and wounding 12. The British military transferred over coalition
command of the oil-rich southern province of Basra to the US. A US
Marine died as the result of a non-combat incident in Anbar
province. A US soldier died in a "noncombat-related incident" in
(AP, 3/31/09)(AP, 4/1/09)
2009 Mar 31, Israel’s
parliament approved Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister. His
Cabinet of 29 ministers was among the largest in Israel’s history.
Israeli forces attacked a group of Palestinian militants along the
Gaza-Israel border, killing two gunmen and wounding three others in
one of the worst flare-ups of violence since Israel ended its
offensive in the territory more than two months ago.
(SFC, 4/1/09, p.A5)(AP, 3/31/09)
2009 Mar 31, Italian police
said they have arrested Mario Chiesa for his alleged role in a scam
involving garbage disposal in Milan and elsewhere in northern Italy.
He was one of eight people apprehended, with two others being placed
under house arrest. Chiesa was arrested in 1992 and convicted for
his involvement in the Clean Hands corruption scandals. He served
his sentences doing socially useful work and was freed in 2000.
2009 Mar 31, Bernardo De
Bernardinis, deputy chief of Italy’s Civil Protection Department,
told the people in the L'Aquila region that recent tremors over the
last 4 months posed no danger. He and 6 others were later indicted
following the April 6 earthquake that left 308 people dead. Their
trial began in 2011. On Nov 10, 2014, an appeals court cleared the
seven defendants in the case. Dr. De Bernardinis received a two-year
suspended sentence for the deaths of some of the victims.
(Econ, 9/17/11, p.86)(SFC, 11/11/14, p.A2)(Econ,
2009 Mar 31, Madagascar's
neighbors suspended the impoverished nation from their regional
development and democracy club, and threatened to take further steps
if the Indian Ocean island's ousted president is not restored to
2009 Mar 31, Mexico’s Pres.
Calderon revealed that his country had secured a $47 billion line of
credit from the IMF. It was the 1st country to be approved for the
new Flexible Credit Line, which does not require a country to make
(WSJ, 4/2/09, p.A6)(Econ, 4/4/09, p.76)
2009 Mar 31, Mexican
authorities said police in northern Mexico caught a gang that
allegedly stole oil from state-owned pipelines and smuggled it
across the border to sell it to US refineries.
2009 Mar 31, Pakistan's Supreme
Court restored the provincial government of a main opposition leader
in the Punjab, easing political turmoil. The decision by a
five-member bench returned Shahbaz Sharif to his post as chief
minister of Punjab, but it did not end court reviews of a case
questioning the eligibility of Sharif and his brother Nawaz for
2009 Mar 31, Baitullah Mehsud,
the commander of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for
the March 30 deadly assault on a Pakistani police academy and said
the group was planning a terrorist attack on the White House that
would "amaze" the world. A spokesman from Fedayeen al-Islam, a
little-known militant group linked to the Pakistani Taliban, also
claimed credit for the attack and a similar ambush-style attack
against the Sri Lankan cricket team earlier this month in Lahore.
2009 Mar 31, Peru’s President
Alan Garcia reversed course and accepted a donation from Germany for
a museum honoring those killed in Peru's 20-year armed conflict with
Maoist Shining Path guerrillas.
2009 Mar 31, In Qatar
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sought Arab support for a proposed
oil-backed currency to challenge the US dollar in his latest swipe
at Washington's dominance in global financial affairs.
2009 Mar 31, In Russia
prominent human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov (67) was beaten
outside his Moscow home by unknown attackers. His daughter, Yelena
Liptser, said she believed Ponomaryov, the head of the All-Russia
Movement for Human Rights, was attacked because of his rights work
and his strident criticism of the Kremlin.
2009 Mar 31, In Moscow, Russia,
the hatch slammed shut behind six volunteers from Europe and Russia
who will spend three months isolated in a capsule to simulate
conditions for a manned mission to Mars.
2009 Mar 31, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger rebels appealed again for a halt to fighting in their war
against the government, though they denied they were on the brink of
defeat despite being backed into an ever-shrinking pocket of land.
2009 Mar 31, In Yemen Jan and
Heleen Janszen, a Dutch couple, were kidnapped in a suburb of Sanaa
and taken to a mountainous area near the capital. They were released
on April 14 after Yemen's government paid more than a quarter
million dollars in ransom.
(AFP, 3/31/09)(SFC, 4/1/09, p.A2)(AP, 4/14/09)
2009 Mar, Capt. Michael Nguyen
(28), a West Point Academy graduate, was indicted for skimming over
$690,000 in cash while acting as the civil affairs officer
responsible for overseeing millions of dollars intended for
reconstruction projects and payments to private Iraqi security
forces northeast of Baghdad. Former Army Capt. David Gilliam was
indicted on charges of stashing over $400,000 in his luggage on
return from serving as a disbursement officer in Kandahar.
(SSFC, 4/12/09, p.A6)
2009 Mar, The Vienna initiative
was drawn up to halt the financial contagion spreading through
central and eastern Europe. The IMF and EBRD got the main foreign
banks to come together in Vienna and reach a gentleman’s agreement
between them and with the international financial institutions.
2009 Mar, The IMF disbursed
nearly $200 million to boost the foreign-currency reserves of the
Democratic Republic of Congo and maintain macroeconomic stability.
(Econ, 4/18/09, p.54)
2009 Mar, In CongoDRC Thomas
Kwoyelo, a commander of the Lord's Resistance Army, was captured in
Garamba forest. In 2011 he faced a charges in Uganda.
2009 Mar, In Guinea confessions
regarding drug dealing and corruption began on state television. The
broadcasts became known as "The Dadis Show," after Capt. Moussa
Dadis Camara, the junior army officer who grabbed power in a coup
and promised to crack down on corruption, including on the flagrant
2009 Mar, Liechtenstein’s
Prince Alois agreed this month to start following the rules set down
by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in
Europe aimed at curbing tax havens. Liechtenstein banks alone
managed some $200 billion, while the principality's anonymous trusts
controlled several times that much abroad.
2009 Mar, Mexico’s Attorney
General's office first mentioned Servando Gomez as a leader of La
Familia, and offered $2.4 million for information leading to his
arrest. In 2010 it was reported that Gomez appeared on the
government's 2010 teacher payroll as part of the staff of an
elementary school in rural Arteaga town in Michoacan state.
2009 Mar, Mexico City passed
legislation to ban free non-biodegradable plastic bags. It was
signed in August gave retailers a year to comply.
2009 Mar, In Venezuela Manuel
Rosales, a leading opposition figure, stepped down as mayor of
Maracaibo and went into hiding following politically motivated
corruption charges. Rosales entered Peru as a tourist on April 4 and
sought asylum there.
(AP, 12/11/08)(SFC, 4/21/09, p.A2)(AP, 4/21/09)