Today in History - February 17
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364 Feb 17,
Flavius Jovianus (~32), Christian emperor of Rome (363-64), died.
763 Feb 17, The An Lushan
rebellion, begun in 755, ended. It had spanned the reigns of 3 Tang
emperors before it was quashed. The rebellion and subsequent
disorder resulted in a huge loss of life and large-scale
1387 Feb 17, Jogaila founded
the archdiocese of Vilnius and provided land for the Bishop’s
1454 Feb 17, At a grand feast,
Philip the Good of Burgundy took the "vow of the pheasant," by which
he swore to fight the Turks.
1461 Feb 17, The Houses of York
and Lancaster battled again at St. Alban’s. Queen Margaret defeated
the Earl of Warwick and freed Henry VI.
(MH, 12/96)(AM, 7/01, p.69)
1568 Feb 17, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximillian II agreed to pay tribute to the Sultan for peace.
1598 Feb 17, Boris Godunov, the
boyar of Tatar origin, was elected czar in succession to his
1600 Feb 17, Giordano Bruno
(b.1548), Italian philosopher, occasional alchemist and advocate of
Copernican theory, was burned at stake by the Catholic Church. In
2008 Ingrid D. Rowland authored “Giordano Bruno: Philosopher /
p.A17)(WSJ, 12/19/08, p.A15)
1612 Feb 17, Ernst of Bayern
(57), prince, bishop of Luik, archbishop of Cologne, died.
1621 Feb 17, Miles Standish was
appointed 1st commander of Plymouth colony.
1634 Feb 17, William Prynne
(1600-1669), English Puritan leader and pamphleteer, was tried in
Star Chamber for publishing "Histrio-masti."
(WUD, 1994 p.1159)(MC, 2/17/02)
1652 Feb 17, Gregorio Allegri
(67), Italian singer, composer (Miserere), died.
1673 Feb 17, Moliere, [Jean
Baptiste Poquelin], French author (Tartuffe, Le Malade Imaginaire),
1691 Feb 17, Thomas Neale was
granted a British patent for American postal service.
1720 Feb 17, Spain signed the
Treaty of the Hague with the Quadruple Alliance ending a war that
was begun in 1718.
1732 Feb 17, Louis Marchand
(63), composer, died.
1774 Feb 17, Raphaelle Peale,
U.S. painter, was born.
1776 Feb 17, Edward Gibbon
(1737-1794), English historian, published his 1st volume of "Decline
& Fall of Roman Empire." He completed the 6-volume classic in
(WUD, 1994 p.596)(WSJ, 5/26/07, p.P6)
1796 Feb 17, Giovanni Pacini,
composer, was born.
1796 Feb 17, James Macpherson
(b.1736), Scottish poet, died. In 1761 he had announced the
discovery of an epic on the subject of Fingal written by Ossian
(based on Fionn's son Oisín). He then published poems by Ossian, the
alleged blind 3rd century poet, which became very popular and later
exposed as a fraud.
1801 Feb 17, The House of
Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and
Aaron Burr, electing Jefferson president. Burr became vice
president. When George Washington announced that he would retire
from office, he set the stage for the nation's first two-party
(AP, 2/17/98)(HN, 2/17/98)
1801 Feb 17, Thomas Jefferson
won the White House vowing to get rid of all federal taxes. He was
supported by a new coalition of anti-Federalists that was the
ancestor of the Democratic Party. In 2003 Jules Witcover authored
"Party of the People: A History of the Democrats."
(WSJ, 10/10/97, p.A1)(WSJ, 6/10/98, p.A18)(SSFC,
1817 Feb 17, A street in
Baltimore became the first to be lighted with gas from America's
first gas company.
1820 Feb 17, Henri Vieuxtemps,
composer, teacher (Brussels Cons), was born in Verviers, Belgium.
1827 Feb 17, Johann Heinrich
Pestalozzi (81), Swiss educator, died.
1833 Feb 17, Lt. George Back
(1796-1878) departed Liverpool, England, on the packet ship Hibernia
with 4 men to search for missing Arctic explorer Captain John Ross.
Ross had left England in 1829 to seek a Northwest Passage by way of
the Arctic Ocean.
1836 Feb 17, HMS Beagle and
Charles Darwin left Tasmania.
1844 Feb 17, A. Montgomery
Ward, mail order business founder, was born.
1852 Feb 17, The Imperial
Museum, the 5th and last building of what became known as the New
Hermitage, opened to the public (Feb 2 OS) in St. Petersburg,
Russia. It was commissioned by Nicholas I and designed by Leo van
Klenze of Germany.
1854 Feb 17, Friedrich A.
Krupp, German arms manufacturer, was born.
1856 Feb 17, Heinrich Heine
(b.1797), German journalist and poet, died in Paris. His prose work
included a series of travel memoirs that began in 1826 with “The
1859 Feb 17, Giuseppe Verdi's
opera "Un Ballo in maschera" premiered in Napoli.
1864 Feb 17, Andrew Barton
"Banjo" Paterson (d.1941), Australian poet and journalist, was born.
He is best known for his song “Waltzing Matilda.”
(HN, 2/17/01)(NG, 8/04, p.29)
1864 Feb 17, Confederate
officer George Dixon used the submarine H.L. Hunley to sink the USS
Housatonic in Charleston Harbor, S.C. 5 Union soldiers died on the
Housatonic as did the 9-man crew of the Hunley as it soon sank. In
1995 the Hunley was found by Clive Cussler. The event was turned
into a TNT cable movie in 1999. On Aug 8, 2000, the Hunley was
raised and returned to Charleston.
(HN, 2/17/98)(SFC, 7/9/99, p.C1)(SFC, 8/9/00,
p.A3)(Econ, 4/10/04, p.25)
1865 Feb 17, The South Carolina
capital city, Columbia, was half destroyed by fire as the
Confederates evacuated and Union forces under Major General William
Tecumseh Sherman marched through. It's not known which side set the
blaze. Sherman had made a swift and steady advance through Georgia
and South Carolina, and by late February 1865, his army was
approaching Charlotte, North Carolina.
(HN, 2/17/98)(AP, 2/17/98)
1865 Feb 17, Union forces
regained Fort Sumter.
(HFA, '96, p.22)
1865 Feb 17-18, Battle of
1867 Feb 17, William Cadbury,
chocolate manufacturer, was born.
1867 Feb 17, The 1st ship
passed through the Suez Canal.
1870 Feb 17, Mississippi became
the 9th state readmitted to US after Civil War. [see Feb 23]
1870 Feb 17, Nebraska, the last
state needed to secure ratification, approved the 15th Amendment to
the US Constitution, guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of
(AH, 2/05, p.17)
1874 Feb 17, Thomas J. Watson
Sr. (d.1956), U.S. industrialist, was born in upstate New York. In
1914 he began running the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co., a
predecessor to IBM. He converted the financially ailing
manufacturing business into the international giant IBM.
(WUD, 1994, p.1614)(HN, 2/17/99)(WSJ, 5/15/03,
1874 Feb 17, Adolphe Quetelet
(b.1796), Belgian astronomer and mathematician, died. He founded and
directed the Brussels Observatory and was influential in introducing
statistical methods to the social sciences.
1876 Feb 17, Sardines were 1st
canned by Julius Wolff in Eastport, Maine.
1880 Feb 17, Tsar Alexander II
of Russia survived an assassination attempt.
1883 Feb 17, A. Ashwell
patented a free toilet in London.
1889 Feb 17, H[aroldson] L.
Hunt, Texas oil multi-millionaire, was born.
1897 Feb 17, The forerunner of
the National PTA, the National Congress of Mothers, was founded in
1901 Feb 17 Gustav Mahler
(1860-1911) conducted the Viennese premiere of his Second Symphony,
which also saw the first public performance of his early work Das
klagende Lied, in a revised two-part form.
1901 Feb 17, Carles Casagemas
(b.1881), Spanish painter and close friend of Picasso, shot himself
in front of Germaine Pichot.
1904 Feb 17, The original
two-act version of Giacomo Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly" was
poorly received during its world premiere at La Scala, Milan.
1905 Feb 17, Russia’s Grand
Duke Sergei Alexandrovich (b.1857), the brother of Tsar Alexander
III, was assassinated by a terrorist bomb at the Kremlin.
1906 Feb 17, Alice Lee
Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt's irrepressible eldest
daughter, married Congressman Nicholas Longworth of Ohio in an
elaborate White House ceremony. Heedless of social convention,
Alice's behavior routinely shocked her family and friends. Once the
president, when confronted with another of Alice's escapades,
remarked, "I can do one of two things, I can run the country or
control Alice. I cannot do both." Nevertheless, the world public was
captivated with the first daughter, who seemed to embody the ideal
Gay Nineties woman. In spite of its promising beginning, Alice's
25-year marriage to Longworth was not a happy one, but Alice reigned
as the grande dame of Washington, D.C. society for another 50 years.
1908 Feb 17, Walter Lanier
“Red” Barber, baseball announcer for the Cincinnati Reds, the
Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees, was born in Columbus,
(HN, 2/17/01)(AP, 2/17/08)
1909 Feb 17, Marjorie Lawrence,
soprano (Venus-Tannhauser), was born in Australia.
1909 Feb 17, A government
commission reported that the tobacco industry was controlled by six
men with 86 firms that were worth $450 million.
1909 Feb 17, Apache chief
Geronimo died of pneumonia at age 80, while still in captivity at
Fort Sill, Okla.
1910 Feb 17, In San Francisco 3
elephants appearing at a Broadway vaudeville house went on a rampage
while parading in North Beach.
(SSFC, 2/14/10, DB p.42)
1911 Feb 17, The 1st hydroplane
flight to & from a ship was made by Glenn Curtiss in San Diego.
1913 Feb 17, Oskar Danon,
composer, conductor, was born.
1913 Feb 17, Rene Leibowitz,
composer, conductor, was born.
1913 Feb 17, NY Armory Show
introduced Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp to US public. [see Feb 15]
1917 Feb 17, Edmund Bishop
(70), English secretary of Thomas Carlyle, died.
1917 Feb 21, The SS Mendi
steamship sank after being accidentally rammed in the British
Channel by the SS Darro, an empty meat ship bound for Argentina. 607
members of the South African Labour Corps, 9 officers and 33 crew
lost their lives. The crew of the Darro made no attempt to rescue
1919 Feb 17, Germany signed an
armistice giving up territory in Poland.
1920 Feb 17, A directorship for
the Klaipeda (Kaliningrad) region was formed.
1924 Feb 17, Margaret Truman,
pres. daughter, writer (Murder at FBI), singer, was born in Mo.
1925 Feb 17, Hal Holbrook,
actor (All the President's Men, Mark Twain), was born in Cleveland.
1926 Feb 17, An avalanche
buried 75 in Sap Gulch, Bingham, Utah, and 40 died.
1927 Feb 17, The death toll
reached 24 with some 3,000 left homeless after a fierce storm hit
the Pacific Coast.
(SFC, 2/15/02, p.G8)
1929 Feb 17, Chaim Potok,
novelist (The Chosen, The Promise), was born.
1932 Feb 17, Irving Berlin's
musical "Face the Music," premiered in NYC.
1933 Feb 17, Newsweek magazine
was first published by Thomas J.C. Martyn under the title
1933 Feb 17, Blondie Boopadoop
married Dagwood Bumstead in the comic Blondie.
1933 Feb 17, US Senate accepted
the Blaine Act ending prohibition.
1933 Feb 17, The League of
Nations censured Japan in a worldwide broadcast. The rise of
militaristic nationalism led Japan down the road to Pearl Harbor and
World War II.
1934 Feb 17, 1st high school
auto driving course was offered by State College, Penn.
1935 Feb 17, Thirty-one
prisoners escaped an Oklahoma prison after murdering a guard.
1936 Feb 17, Jim Brown, NFL
fullback (Cleveland Browns), actor (Dirty Dozen), was born in Ga.
1937 Feb 17, Nearly at the end
of the four years of construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, 10
construction workers lost their lives when a section of scaffold
fell through a safety net. When construction began on the
35-million-dollar bridge spanning the Golden Gate Strait between San
Francisco and Marin County, Chief Engineer Joseph B. Strauss was
determined to use the most rigorous safety precautions available.
Protective hardhats and glare-free goggles were required and special
diets were developed to combat dizziness. But it was the safety net
strung under the bridge during construction that saved the lives of
19 men who became known as the "Half-Way-to-Hell" Club. Until
February 17, 1937, only one life had been lost during construction.
The Golden Gate Bridge opened to vehicular traffic on May 28, 1937.
1938 Feb 17, The first Baird
color TV was demonstrated at the Dominion Theatre in London. [see
(HN, 2/17/01)(MC, 2/17/02)
1941 Feb 17, The SS Gairsoppa
was torpedoed by a German U-boat. The British ship was carrying some
219 tons of silver when it sank in the North Atlantic some 300 miles
(490 km) off the Irish coast. Of the 85 people on board, only one
survived. In 2011 Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration confirmed
the identity and location of the ship. In 2012 Odyssey Marine
Exploration said it had succeeded in removing about 43% of the
1942 Feb 17, Sidney Newsom
(b.1877), California architect, died. He and his brother Noble
created homes that recalled Spanish haciendas, English cottages,
French chateaus and American colonial homesteads.
1943 Feb 17, Dutch churches
protested to Artur Seyss-Inquart against persecution of Jews.
1944 Feb 17, U.S forces landed
on Eniwetok atoll in the South Pacific Marshall Islands. Battle of
Eniwetok Atoll began. US victory on Feb 22.
(HN, 2/17/99)(MC, 2/17/02)
1944 Feb 17, US began night
bombing of Truk in the Marianas Islands.
1944 Feb 17, Oil was discovered
in commercial quantities in Alabama.
1945 Feb 17, Gen. MacArthur’s
troops landed on Corregidor in the Philippines. General Tomoyuki
Yamashita was the Japanese general opposing MacArthur.
1947 Feb 17, The Voice of
America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.
1949 Feb 16, Chaim Weitzman was
elected the 1st president of Israel.
1950 Feb 17, In New York 31
people died in a train crash at Long Island’s Rockville Center.
1951 Feb 17, FBI director J.
Edgar Hoover initiated a secret nationwide program intended to
remove politically suspect employees from their jobs. Congress never
authorized the “Responsibilities Program” and over 4 years it
provided governors of nearly every state verbal reports on the
political backgrounds of 908 employees.
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F2)
1951 Feb 17, Packard introduced
its “250” Chassis Convertible.
1953 Feb 17, Baseball star and
pilot Ted Williams was uninjured as his plane was shot down in
1955 Feb 17, Britain announced
its ability to make hydrogen bombs.
1956 Feb 17, ATV Midlands
launched a weekday service and ABC began transmission at weekends in
the same region the following day. A north of England service,
covering Lancashire and Yorkshire, began in May, with ABC
broadcasting at weekends and Granada during the week.
1957 Feb 17, Suez Canal
1958 Feb 17, The comic strip
"B.C.", created by Johnny Hart (1931-2007), 1st appeared.
1959 Feb 17, The U.S. launched
its first weather station in space, Vanguard II weighing 9.8 kg.
(HN, 2/17/98)(MC, 2/17/02)
1960 Feb 17, Martin Luther King
Jr. was arrested in the Alabama bus boycott.
1962 Feb 17, Beach Boys
introduced a new musical style with their hit "Surfin."
1962 Feb 17, Bruno Walter (85),
symphony conductor (NY Philharmonic), died.
1963 Feb 17, Michael Jordon,
Chicago Bulls basketball player, was born. He led the Bulls to three
consecutive NBA titles and was considered by some to be the greatest
basketball player ever.
1963 Feb 17, Soviet leader
Khrushchev visited the Berlin Wall.
1964 Feb 17, The Supreme Court
ruled in Westberry vs. Sanders that congressional districts
within each state had to be roughly equal in population. Boundaries
would need to be redrawn after every census.
(AP, 2/17/98)(Econ, 6/18/11, p.33)
1966 Feb 17, Alfred P. Sloan
Jr. (b.1875) former president GM (1923-1956), died. As president of
GM he brought in corporate management, introduced the ideas of model
changes and offering a car "for every purse and purpose." In 2002
David Farber authored "Sloan Rules."
(WSJ, 6/19/96, Adv. Supl)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)
1967 Feb 17, Beatles released
"Penny Lane" & "Strawberry Fields." Strawberry Fields was a
children’s home run by the Salvation Army. It was closed in 2005.
1969 Feb 17, Bob Dylan &
Johnny Cash recorded an album that was never released.
1969 Feb 17, Russia and Peru
signed their first trade accord.
1970 Feb 17, Robert Marasco's
"Child's Play," opened at the Royal theater on Broadway.
1970 Feb 17, Joni Mitchell
(b.1943) held a concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
1970 Feb 17, At Fort Bragg,
North Carolina, Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald’s wife and 2 daughters were
murdered. Dr. MacDonald was convicted of the murders but claimed
that drug-crazed assailants were responsible. The book "Fatal
Vision" by Joe McGinniss recounted the story. In 2005 evidence was
presented that Helena Stoeckley (1953-1983), a defense witness, had
admitted to a prosecutor that she was at MacDonald’s house on the
night of the murder.
(WSJ, 4/16/97, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/14/05,
1970 Feb 17, Alfred Newman
(b.1900), US composer, died.
1970 Feb 17, S.Y. Agnon, Jewish
writer and Nobel Prize winner (1966) died in Jerusalem. His books
included “Days of Awe,” a compendium of Jewish practices, legends
1972 Feb 17, President Nixon
departed on his historic 10-day trip to China.
(AP, 2/17/98)(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F7)
1972 Feb 17, Giulio Andreotti
(1919-2013) began serving his first term as the 41st prime minister
1973 Feb 17, President Richard
Nixon named Patrick Gray director of the FBI.
1975 Feb 17, Art by Cezanne,
Gauguin, Renoir, and van Gogh, valued at $5 million, was stolen from
the Municipal Museum in Milan.
1979 Feb 17, China invaded
Vietnam and began a "pedagogical" war against Vietnam. China
completed its withdrawal on March 19. In China’s border war with
Vietnam deputy commander Zhang Wannian led a victorious division
offensive in the battle of Liang Shan.
1981 Feb 17, Pope John Paul II
met with President Marcos in Manila.
1982 Feb 17, Thelonious S. Monk
(b.1917), US, jazz pianist, composer (Blue Monk), died. Monk, one of
the early bebop musicians of the 1940s, stopped touring and
recording in the early 70s, leaving such jazz standards as
"Straight, No Chaser" and " ‘Round Midnight." In 2009 Robin D. G.
Kelley authored “Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American
1982 Feb 17, Zimbabwe’s Robert
Mugabe dismissed Joshua Nkomo (1917-1999) for plotting a coup. A
rebel insurrection that professed loyalty to Nkomo followed and was
crushed. Nkomo fled the country.
1985 Feb 17, In Tennessee
Sidney Porterfield beat Ron Owens to death at his Shelby County
home. On January 14, 1986, Gaile Owens (33), the wife of Ron Owens,
was sentenced to death for hiring a stranger to kill her abusive
husband. In 2010 her sentenced was commuted to life. In 2011 she won
(http://tinyurl.com/3dpr6cy)(SFC, 10/8/11, p.A5)
1985 Feb 17, Murray Haydon
became the third person to receive an artificial heart.
1986 Feb 17, Johnson and
Johnson, maker of Tylenol, announced it would no longer sell
over-the-counter medications in capsule form, following the death of
a woman who had taken a cyanide-laced capsule.
1986 Feb 17, The Single
European Act modifying the Treaty of Rome was signed a 1st time in
Luxembourg. [see Feb 28] The single European Act was passed to end
trade restricting regulations and create a true single European
market by 1992.
(Econ, 9/25/04, Survey
1988 Feb 17, Lt. Col. William
Higgins, an American officer serving with a United Nations truce
monitoring group, was kidnapped in southern Lebanon. He was later
slain by his captors.
1989 Feb 17, Iran's President
Ali Khamenei said Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses,"
could save himself from a death sentence pronounced by Ayatollah
Khomeini if he were to apologize for his book, which was regarded as
1990 Feb 17, Former President
Reagan spent a second day in a Los Angeles courtroom, giving
videotaped testimony about the Iran-Contra affair for the trial of
his former national security adviser, John Poindexter.
1990 Feb 17, The first set of
Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) officials were elected.
Due to electoral protest, the ARMM formally started to function only
on July 9, 1990 following the oath taking of Atty. Zacaria A. Candao
as First Regional Governor of ARMM.
1991 Feb 17, Benin held
elections for the National Assembly, its first multi-party election
since 1964. No party secured an overall majority. The largest
grouping was an alliance of the pro-Soglo parties.
1991 Feb 17, During the Persian
Gulf War, Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz traveled to Moscow for a
meeting with Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
1992 Feb 17, Serial killer
Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced in Milwaukee to life in prison. He was
beaten to death in prison in November 1994.
1992 Feb 17, Italian police
arrested Mario Chiesa, the first one to be picked up in what would
become Italy's massive corruption scandals. This date became
considered a watershed moment in recent Italian history. Italy’s
"Clean Hands" corruption scandal originated in Milan. A series of
bribery cases led to the conviction and flight of Socialist Bettino
(AP, 3/31/09)(SFEC, 7/13/97, p.T11)(Econ,
11/26/05, Survey p.10)
1993 Feb 17, President Clinton
addressed a joint session of Congress, asking Americans to accept
one of the biggest tax increases in history as part of a plan to
stimulate the economy and curb massive budget deficits.
1993 Feb 16-1993 Feb 17, An
overcrowded ferry carrying up to 1,500 people sank between Jeremie
and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, killing an estimated 500-700 people; only
285 people were known to have survived.
(AP, 2/17/98)(AP, 2/3/06)
1994 Feb 17, The U.S.
government reported a record trade deficit with Japan the previous
1994 Feb 17, Bosnian Serbs
began large-scale withdrawal of its heavy guns from the hills around
Sarajevo under pressure from Russia.
1995 Feb 17, Federal judge
allowed a lawsuit claiming US tobacco makers knew nicotine was
addictive and manipulated its levels to keep customers hooked.
1995 Feb 17, Colin Ferguson was
convicted of six counts of murder in the December 1993 Long Island
Rail Road shootings. He was later sentenced to a minimum of 200
years in prison.
1996 Feb 17, World chess
champion Garry Kasparov beat IBM supercomputer "Deep Blue," winning
a six-game match in Philadelphia. Kasparov had lost the first game,
won the second, fifth and sixth games and earned draws in the third
1996 Feb 17, The NEAR-Shoemaker
space craft was launched. The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous craft
was scheduled to reach the Eros asteroid in 4 years. NASA planned to
land the craft on Eros, a 22 by 8 mile rock, in Feb 2001.
(SFC, 9/22/00, p.A7)
1996 Feb 17, A powerful 7.5
earthquake and subsequent tidal waves hit eastern Indonesia in the
region of Irian Jaya and killed at least 62 people. Tidal waves
killed more than 100 people in Indonesia.
(WSJ, 2/20/96, p.A-1)(AP, 2/17/01)
1997 Feb 17, In a surprising
development, Pepperdine University said that Whitewater prosecutor
Kenneth Starr would step down from the probe to take a full-time job
at the school. [see Feb 21]
(SFC, 2/18/97, p.A1)(AP, 2/17/98)
1997 Feb 17, The Virginia House
of Delegates voted to retire the state song “Carry Me Back to Old
Virginia,” and make it the state song emeritus.
(SFC, 2/18/97, p.A3)
1997 Feb 17, In Austin, Texas,
Angela Peck was stabbed in the back and the neck by Carl Wayne
Thomas (21), a security guard. She pleaded for mercy and promised to
blame the attack on a fictitious character. Thomas agreed and
summoned aid. She later told the truth and Thomas confessed. He
agreed to a 42-year prison sentence for attempted murder.
(SFC, 10/13/97, p.A9)
1997 Feb 17, Adrian Jacobs,
British businessman and writer, died penniless in London. His work
included a children’s book titled “The Adventures of Willy the
Wizard – No. 1 Livid Land” (1987). In 2009 his estate charged that
J.K. Rawlings, author of the popular Harry Potter books, plagiarized
1997 Feb 17, In France striking
bus and tram drivers in Lille returned to work after an agreement
was reached to reduce their workweek to 35 hours from 38, without a
pay reduction, along with an extra 2 weeks annual vacation.
(SFC, 2/18/97, p.A10)
1997 Feb 17, In Zaire
government forces used 3 fighter aircraft to bomb the rebel-held
city of Bukavu. At least 6 civilians were killed and 20 injured.
(SFC, 2/18/97, p.A10)
1998 Feb 17, The U.S. women's
hockey team won the gold medal at Nagano, Japan, defeating Canada
1998 Feb 17, President Clinton,
preparing Americans for possible air strikes against Iraq, said
military force is never the first answer "but sometimes it's the
1998 Feb 17, A jury in Fort
Worth, Texas, convicted former Naval Academy midshipman Diane Zamora
(20) of killing a 16-year-old romantic rival. Zamora and her
ex-boyfriend, former US Air Force Academy cadet David Graham, were
sentenced to life in prison in the slaying of Adrianne
1998 Feb 17, The US government
began an airwave auction to sell rights for 1,150 Mhz chunks of
microwave radio spectrum at 28 gigahertz. The spectrum was expected
to be used in Local Multipoint Distribution Services (LMDS).
(SFC, 2/18/98, p.B1)
1998 Feb 17, UN Sec. Gen’l.
Kofi Annan announced that he would travel to Baghdad to try to
resolve the ongoing crises over Saddam Hussein’s refusal to allow
unconditional weapons inspections.
(SFC, 2/18/98, p.C2)
1998 Feb 17, In Detroit a
landlord paid an arsonist (35) a Rottweiler dog for setting a fire
to get rid of a family on her property. The fire killed 4 children.
(SFC, 2/19/98, p.A3)
1998 Feb 17, Bob Merrill
(b.1921), composer and lyricist, died from suicide at age 74. His
work included the musicals "Carnival" and "Funny Girl" and the song
"How Much Is That Doggie in the Window."
1998 Feb 17, In Belgium a
parliamentary panel found no police complicity in the killings of 4
girls in Charleroi that sparked demonstrations in 1996.
(WSJ, 2/18/98, p.A1)
1998 Feb 17, Ernst Juenger,
German writer, died at age 102.
(SFC, 2/18/98, p.A18)
1998 Feb 17, In Indonesia Pres.
Suharto fired Soedradjad Djiwandono, the country’s Central Bank
(SFC, 2/18/98, p.C3)
1998 Feb 17, An Iranian crowd
cheered as US wrestlers carried the Stars and Stripes into an
international meet in Tehran.
1998 Feb 17, In Sierra Leone 7
Western relief workers were reported kidnapped.
(SFC, 2/18/98, p.C3)
1999 Feb 17, In a
satellite-linked address to college campuses across the country,
President Clinton made his case for shoring up Social Security and
1999 Feb 17, In Berlin Israeli
security guards shot and killed 3 Kurds who forced their way into
the Israeli consulate. The protesters were enraged by reports that
Israel aided in the arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.
(SFC, 2/18/99, p.A1)(AP, 2/17/00)
1999 Feb 17, Andy Elson (45)
and Colin Prescot (48) of England launched a balloon attempt to
circle the globe from Almeria in southern Spain.
(SFC, 2/19/99, p.A13)
1999 Feb 17, In Ecuador
legislator Jaime Hurtado was shot dead along with 2 aides in Quito.
(WSJ, 2/18/99, p.A1)
1999 Feb 17, In Mexico armed
men kidnapped Alvaro Campos, the father of soccer star Jorge Campos,
near Acapulco. Campos was released after 6 days.
(SFC, 2/19/99, p.A15)(SFC, 2/24/99, p.A9)
1999 Feb 17, In the Philippines
Brigadier Gen'l. Victor Obillo was kidnapped by rebels of the New
People's Army in the Baguio district of Davao City.
(SFC, 2/18/99, p.A12)
1999 Feb 17, In Romania police
crushed a coal miners protest and arrested Miron Cozma. One person
was killed and a hundred were injured.
(SFC, 2/18/99, p.A12)
2000 Feb 17, A House panel said
in a report that the program to inoculate all 2.4 million American
military personnel against anthrax was based on “a paucity of
science” and should be suspended; the Pentagon defended the program
and vowed to continue the inoculations.
2000 Feb 17, Alan Greenspan
warned that the Federal Reserve would probably raise interest rates
to further avert inflation. The next Fed meeting was scheduled for
(SFC, 2/18/00, p.A1)
2000 Feb 17, In China
authorities detained Chen Zixiu (60) for heading to Beijing to
protest for the Falun Gong. She was unable to pay a fine of $120 and
was beaten and died on Feb 21. The government denied mistreatment.
(SFC, 2/29/00, p.A14)(SFC, 3/1/00, p.A13)
2000 Feb 17, Russia was accused
by human rights groups and refugees of brutality toward
Chechens in camps. Vladimir Putin named Vladimir Kalamanov, the head
of the migration service, to look into allegations of torture, rape
and executions by Russian soldiers against Chechen civilians.
Separately Zhirinovsky was barred by electoral authorities from the
(SFC, 2/19/00, p.A10)(WSJ, 2/18/00, p.A1)
2001 Feb 17, Pres. Bush named
John Negroponte (62) as the next US ambassador to the UN.
(SSFC, 2/18/01, p.D5)
2001 Feb 17, Khalid Abdul
Muhammad (born as Harold Moore), national chairman of the New Black
Panther Party and former Nation of Islam official, died at age 53 in
Marietta, Ga. He was known for his harsh rhetoric about Jews and
(SSFC, 2/18/01, p.A2)(AP, 2/17/02)
2001 Feb 17, In El Salvador
another earthquake hit San Salvador. The 5.3 quake killed at least 1
(SSFC, 2/18/01, p.D6)
2001 Feb 17, The
Cambodian-registered East Sea freighter with 912 ethnic Kurds ran
aground off the French Riviera. The crew of the ship fled following
the intentional grounding. Criminal gangs in Turkey and Iraq were
reported to be behind the smuggling.
(SSFC, 2/18/01, p.D1)(SFC, 2/19/01, p.A10)
2002 Feb 17, Pres. Bush opened
a three-nation Asian tour in recession-wracked Japan, where he urged
PM Junichiro Koizumi to follow through on long-promised economic
(SFC, 2/18/02, p.A1)(AP, 2/17/07)
2002 Feb 17, The new US
Transportation Security Administration took over supervision of
aviation security from the airline industry and the Federal Aviation
2002 Feb 17, Ward Burton took
advantage of Sterling Marlin's blunder for his first victory in the
Daytona 500. Marlin, who appeared in control of the race, was
penalized for getting out of his car and pulling briefly on a
damaged fender during the stoppage.
2002 Feb 17, There were 3
reported winning Lotto tickets in the record $193 million Cal. state
lottery. Andy Kampe (57) picked up a claim form at Albertson’s in
Half Moon Bay on Feb 18.
(SFC, 2/18/02, p.A2)(SFC, 2/19/02, p.A1)
2002 Feb 17, Israeli police
foiled an attempted suicide bombing near Hadera. One man was shot
and killed and another killed when his stolen car exploded. The Al
Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed the 2 dead as its members.
(SFC, 2/18/02, p.A9)
2002 Feb 17, In Nepal Communist
rebels killed 129 police, soldiers and civilians in Mangalsen and
(SFC, 2/18/02, p.A3)
2002 Feb 17, In Saudi Arabia a
man was sentenced to 6 years in prison and 4,750 lashes for having
sex with his wife’s sister. The woman, who did not consent, was
sentenced to 6 months and 65 lashes.
(SFC, 2/18/02, p.A10)
2003 Feb 17, An estimated 40
million viewers tuned in to the finale of Fox's reality show "Joe
Millionaire," in which Evan Marriott chose Zora Andrich.
2003 Feb 17, A blizzard
shut down much of the mid-Atlantic region on Presidents Day with
windblown snow up to 4 feet deep, halting air and some rail travel
and caused at lest 40 deaths.
(AP, 2/17/03)(SFC, 2/18/03, A1)(SFC, 2/19/03, A3)
2003 Feb 17, In Chicago
21 people were killed at the E2 nightclub in an early morning
stampede after security guards used mace and pepper spray to halt a
fistfight between 2 women. On Sep 23 the owner and 3 others
associated with the club were charged with involuntary manslaughter.
(SFC, 2/18/03, A1)(SFC, 9/24/03, p.A3)
2003 Feb 17, Baltimore Orioles
pitcher Steve Bechler died of heatstroke at a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,
hospital, less than 24 hours after complaining of dizziness during a
spring training workout.
2003 Feb 17, London
began charging motorists $8 a day to drive in its center.
(SFC, 2/17/03, A2)
2003 Feb 17, European Union
leaders declared their solidarity with the United States, warning
Saddam Hussein that Iraq faced one "last chance" to disarm
peacefully but calling war a last resort.
2003 Feb 17, Israeli
soldiers killed a top Hamas fugitive in a roadside ambush. In
another operation they raided a stronghold of the militant Islamic
group, shooting dead 2 Palestinians and blowing up the house of a
2003 Feb 17, American CIA
operatives snatched Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr (Abu
Omar) from his house in Milan and took him to Egypt, where he was
jailed, tortured and released. In 2005 an Italian judge ordered the
arrest of 13 American suspects on charges of kidnapping. In 2009
Nasr asked for euro10 million (nearly $15 million) in damages from
the American and Italian defendants charged in his abduction.
(Econ, 7/2/05, p.48)(AP, 10/7/09)(SFC, 10/8/09,
2003 Feb 17, In Mexico
the bodies of 3 women were found in the desert outside of Ciudad
Juarez, the latest victims in a string of killings in the border
2003 Feb 17, Uzbek
journalist Ergash Bobozhonov (61), who wrote articles published
abroad criticizing corruption among officials, was arrested and
faced charges including libel.
2004 Feb 17, Cameron Todd
Willingham (b.1968) was executed in Texas. He had been convicted of
murdering his three young children by arson at the family home in
Corsicana, Texas on December 23, 1991. An informant who sent him to
jail later said he lied in order to get a reduced sentence on
pending robbery charges.
2004 Feb 17, In Wisconsin John
Kerry won the primary with about 40 percent of the vote while
Edwards finished a close second with 34 percent. Dean, who had
banked his future on a strong showing, drew just 18 percent.
(AP, 2/18/04)(SFC, 2/18/04, p.A1)
2004 Feb 17, Cingular Wireless
won the bidding war to acquire AT&T Wireless Services for nearly
$41 billion in cash, a deal that would create the largest cell phone
company in the US.
2004 Feb 17, In Connecticut 2
cranes collapsed at a bridge construction site and one worker was
(WSJ, 2/18/04, p.A1)
2004 Feb 17, In Ecuador riot
police firing tear gas clashed with hundreds of Indian protesters,
leaving at least 17 people injured in the second day of
demonstrations demanding more roads and better education for
isolated Andean communities. Separately prison inmates held 360
visitors hostage to protest overcrowding, long sentences and poor
conditions including a lack of running water.
2004 Feb 17, Finnish technology
group Setec said it won the first order for passports with new
biometric technology required by international aviation authorities
and the U.S. government.
2004 Feb 17, The Gambian
president announced the discovery of "large quantities" of oil in
his tiny West African nation, saying the offshore find would
eliminate poverty and hunger.
2004 Feb 17, In Haiti pres.
Aristide said the nation is in the throes of a coup attempt and
appealed for international help.
(WSJ, 2/18/04, p.A1)
2004 Feb 17, India and Pakistan
reached a broad agreement on the timetable for sustained peace talks
on disputed Kashmir and other tough issues separating the South
2004 Feb 17, In Iraq roadside
bombs killed 2 U.S. soldiers in separate attacks in Baghdad and
Sunni Muslim areas to the north of the capital.
2004 Feb 17, A new study
reported that 2 cows in Italy had been found with a new form of mad
cow disease, bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy (BASE).
(SFC, 2/17/04, p.A7)
2004 Feb 17, Jose Lopez
Portillo (83), former Mexican president (1976-1982) who governed
through an oil-driven boom to a debt-induced bust, died of
complications from pneumonia.
2004 Feb 17, The Dutch
parliament approved a measure to expel 26,000 people seeking
political asylum, despite objections from left-leaning political
parties and human rights groups.
2004 Feb 17, UN agencies began
urgently airlifting relief supplies into eastern Chad and western
Sudan to help more than 600,000 Sudanese lacking food, water and
medical supplies because of fighting.
2005 Feb 17, President Bush
named John Negroponte, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, as the
government's first national intelligence director (DNI). Central
American politicians and human rights activists issued stinging
criticism of Negroponte, citing the career diplomat's active backing
for the Contra rebels and support for a government involved in human
(AP, 2/17/05)(Econ, 3/19/05, p.29)
2005 Feb 17, Two US Border
Patrol agents in Texas stopped a van carrying 743 pounds of
marijuana and shot Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, an admitted Mexican drug
smuggler, as he fled back across the Rio Grande. In 2006 agents
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were sentenced to 11 and 12 years in
prison for offenses that included violating the smuggler’s civil
rights and failure to report the shooting to superiors. In 2007
Latino gang members beat Ignacio Ramos at the Yazoo City Federal
Correctional Complex in Mississippi. Both agents were freed in 2009
following a commute of their sentences by outgoing Pres. George
(SFC, 10/20/06, p.A6)(SSFC, 2/18/07, p.A11)(SFC,
2005 Feb 17, ChoicePoint Inc.,
a national provider of identification and credential verification
services, said it will send an additional 110,000 statements to
people informing them of possible identity theft after a group of
well-organized criminals was able to obtain personal information on
almost 140,000 consumers through the company. In 2006 ChoicePoint
agreed to pay $15 million to settle FTC charges that consumer
privacy rights were violated in the DB theft.
2005 Feb 17, An archaeology
report by the Museum of New Mexico's Office of Archaeological
Studies confirmed that a 600-year-old pueblo is buried under Santa
Fe's City Hall, its convention center, the parking lot they share
and nearby federal buildings.
2005 Feb 17, Researchers
demonstrated a robot that used a “passive-dynamic design” to learn
walking step by step like a toddler.
(SFC, 2/18/05, p.A2)
2005 Feb 17, Gene scientists
published the 1st map of a common DNA variations.
(WSJ, 2/18/05, p.A1)
2005 Feb 17, Dan O'Herlihy
(85), Irish-born actor, died in Malibu, Calif.
2005 Feb 17, In Afghanistan a
cold snap over the past month has claimed at least 267 lives and
thousands more people were thought to be stranded in remote areas.
Winter blizzards left over 1,000 children dead.
(AFP, 2/17/05)(SFC, 3/3/05, p.A1)
2005 Feb 17, In Brazil Pres. Da
Silva signed decrees creating 2 new Amazon environmental protection
areas in a region of Para state coveted by soy farmers and ranchers
less than a week after an American nun was gunned down trying to
protect the jungle from deforestation.
(AP, 2/18/05)(SFC, 2/18/05, p.A14)
2005 Feb 17, EU finance
ministers warned Greece to get its finances in order by the end of
2006 and bring its annual budget deficit in line with EU spending
rules or face hefty fines.
2005 Feb 17, Georgia’s
parliament approved Zurab Nogaideli as premier.
(WSJ, 2/18/05, p.A1)
2005 Feb 17, Iraq's electoral
commission certified the results of the Jan. 30 elections and
allocated 140 of 275 National Assembly seats to the United Iraqi
Alliance, giving the Shiite-dominated party a majority in the new
2005 Feb 17, Hundreds of Jewish
settlers took first steps to eventually leave their homes in the
Gaza Strip, a day after Israel's parliament approved $871 million in
compensation for them.
2005 Feb 17, In Rwanda cabinet
ministers from 11 African nations gathered to flesh out details of a
deal intended to end a cycle of wars, rebellions, dictatorships and
poverty in central Africa's Great Lakes region.
2005 Feb 17, Spanish police
arrested two suspected members of the armed Basque separatist group
ETA in Valencia, seizing explosives that they planned to use for
2005 Feb 17, In southern
Thailand a bomb exploded near a tourist hotel in the border town of
Sungai Kolok, killing 5 people and wounding over 40.
(AP, 2/17/05)(SFC, 2/18/05, p.A3)
2006 Feb 17, Harry Whittington,
the lawyer shot by Vice President Dick Cheney while quail hunting,
left a Corpus Christi, Texas, hospital, saying "accidents do and
2006 Feb 17, A federal jury in
New Orleans cleared Merck and Co. in the death of a 53-year-old
Florida man who had taken the painkiller Vioxx.
2006 Feb 17, Two US CH-53E
helicopters crashed off the coast of Djibouti. Only 2 of 12 crew
2006 Feb 17, Louisiana
lawmakers voted to assume control of new Orleans levees from local
(WSJ, 2/18/06, p.A1)
2006 Feb 17, A fierce storm
system swept across the Midwest moving eastward, ripping the roof
off an Indiana church, pelting Arkansas with hail and cutting power
to thousands in Michigan.
2006 Feb 17, Radio Shack Corp.
, whose chief executive has admitted to lying on his resume, said
quarterly profit fell 62 percent after a switch in wireless
providers led to an inventory write-down, sending its shares to a
nearly three-year low. The company announced a new turnaround plan
that includes closing 400 to 700 company-operated stores.
2006 Feb 17, US-based Space
Adventures announced it plans to build a $265 million spaceport in
the United Arab Emirates.
2006 Feb 17, Ray Barreto (76),
a Grammy-winning Latin jazz percussionist, died in New Jersey.
(SFC, 2/18/06, p.B5)
2006 Feb 17, William Cowsill
(58), lead singer of the family band The Cowsills, died in Calgary,
Alberta. The pop family band was the inspiration for “The Partridge
Family” TV series (1970-1974).
(SFC, 2/21/06, p.B4)(AP, 2/17/07)
2006 Feb 17, UN and government
officials said 6 Congolese soldiers died of hunger in an army
training camp that ran out of food in the east of the country.
2006 Feb 17, French President
Jacques Chirac has arrived for his first visit to Thailand as head
of state, with Paris hoping to secure lucrative contracts in one of
the most dynamic countries in the region.
2006 Feb 17, In Iraq
authorities also found the bodies of three men who had been bound
and shot in the head in northern Baghdad. 2 gunmen stormed into a
fashion accessories store in southern Baghdad's Maalif area and
killed two brothers working there. Drive-by gunmen killed a
cigarette salesman in Husseiniyah, a town about 20 miles northeast
2006 Feb 17, An Iraqi
contractor pleaded guilty to adding $1.14 million in fraudulent
surcharges after Halliburton hired his company to fly in military
(WSJ, 2/18/06, p.A1)
2006 Feb 17, In western Japan 2
young children were found stabbed on a roadside, one dead and the
other seriously injured.
2006 Feb 17, In Benghazi,
Libya, 11 people were killed or wounded during a riot at the Italian
consulate when police firing bullets and tear gas tried to contain
more than 1,000 demonstrators hurling rocks and bottles. The Libyans
were angry over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
(AFP, 2/18/06)(Econ, 3/26/11, p.32)
2006 Feb 17, Nepal's Supreme
Court ordered the royalist government to release 37 political
detainees who opposed the king's rule, while communist insurgents
freed two abducted officials amid a major army offensive in the
2006 Feb 17, Pakistan security
forces seized heavy weapons and munitions destined for Islamic
militants in a northwestern tribal region near Afghanistan.
2006 Feb 17, A Pakistani cleric
announced a $1 million bounty for killing a cartoonist who drew
Prophet Muhammad, as thousands joined street protests and Denmark
temporarily closed its embassy and advised its citizens to leave the
2006 Feb 17, In the eastern
Philippines a rain-soaked mountainside disintegrated into a torrent
of mud, swallowing hundreds of houses and an elementary school in
sludge three stories high. 1,800 people were missing and feared
dead, which included nearly every man, woman and child who lived in
Guinsaugon. Logging in the area was cited as a contributing factor.
8.5 million acres of forests had been logged in the Philippines over
the last 15 years.
(AP, 2/18/06)(SFC, 2/18/06, p.A9)
2006 Feb 17, Russian
prosecutors opened an investigation into the editor of a newspaper
that reprinted caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, and another
paper was ordered closed after publishing a cartoon depicting
Muhammad along with Jesus, Moses and Buddha.
2006 Feb 17, David Sampson,
America’s Deputy Sec. of Commerce, announced in Kiev that the US now
recognized Ukraine as a market economy.
(Econ, 11/4/06, p.86)
2007 Feb 16, US Senate
Republicans foiled a Democratic bid to repudiate President Bush's
deployment of 21,500 additional combat troops to Iraq. Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice made a surprise visit to Baghdad.
2007 Feb 16, At Camp Pendleton,
Calif., Marine Lance Cpl. Robert B. Pennington was sentenced to 8
years in military prison for his role in the kidnapping and killing
of an Iraqi civilian.
2007 Feb 17, In Cape Canaveral,
Florida, a rocket carried 5 satellites into orbit as part of the
THEMIS mission to study magnetic storms in the Earth’s atmosphere.
(SSFC, 2/18/07, p.A4)
2007 Feb 17, In North Dakota
More than 8,900 people flapped their arms and legs on the state
Capitol grounds in an attempt to reclaim the record, which was
snatched away about a year ago in Michigan. The snow angel category
was created in 2002 when 1,791 people made snow angels on the
Capitol grounds in North Dakota.
2007 Feb 17, In Chicago 3 women
were found bludgeoned to death with a hammer in two apartments on
the city's far North Side. Police had a suspect in custody. All were
Assyrian Christians, and recent immigrants to the US.
2007 Feb 17, In southwestern
Pennsylvania fire swept through a house in Waynesburg, killing six
young children and a woman and injuring one other person.
2007 Feb 17, NATO-led forces in
southern Afghanistan shot to death an Afghan civilian mistaken for a
suicide bomber because of twine and straps protruding from his
2007 Feb 17, In Rio de Janeiro
the Black Ball band, which has played carnival since 1918, opened
the first full day of Carnival.
2007 Feb 17, About 40 prisoners
escaped from a jail in East Timor, adding to security concerns as it
prepares for elections following political turmoil and violence last
2007 Feb 17, Ecuador’s new
leftist President Rafael Correa said he will resign if his
supporters do not win control of an assembly to rewrite Ecuador's
2007 Feb 17, President Jacques
Chirac awarded the Legion d'Honneur order to actor and director
Clint Eastwood (76), calling his latest films lessons in humanity.
Chirac said Eastwood's latest films "Flags of our Fathers" and
"Letters from Iwo Jima" showed the impasse that can follow from the
blind use of force.
2007 Feb 17, Maurice Papon
(96), a former French Cabinet minister, died. He was convicted of
complicity in crimes against humanity for his role in deporting Jews
during World War II and became a symbol of France’s collaboration
with the Nazis.
(AP, 2/17/07)(Econ, 2/24/07, p.99)
2007 Feb 17, Police in the
central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh recovered 390 pieces of bones
of newly born babies or fetuses from the backyard of a Christian
missionary hospital. Last December, the government said 10 million
girls had been killed by their parents in the past 20 years either
before they were born or immediately after.
2007 Feb 17, In Iraq a suicide
car bomber rammed into a crowded market in Kirkuk moments after a
booby-trapped vehicle exploded, killing at least nine people and
injuring 60. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made an unannounced
stop in Baghdad before heading for scheduled talks in Israel. Iraqi
authorities foiled a potential suicide bomber near Karbala. A
minivan came under fire after the driver failed to slowdown at a
checkpoint, and then detonated the explosives and was killed in the
blast. A US soldier in Baghdad was killed when an insurgent hurled a
grenade at his vehicle. Another soldier died when a patrol came
under fire north of Baghdad. A US Marine died in western Iraq.
(AP, 2/17/07)(AP, 2/18/07)(AP, 2/19/07)
2007 Feb 17, Some 70 thousand
Italians under heavy police guard protested against the expansion of
a US military base in Vicenza that has divided the center-left
(Reuters, 2/17/07)(Econ, 2/24/07, p.61)
2007 Feb 17, Lesotho held
elections. The ruling party, which has brought stability to the
mountain kingdom, faced a new rival set up on a platform of change.
2007 Feb 17, Former Nicaraguan
President Arnoldo Aleman acknowledged for the first time that he
spent $1.8 million in government money on jewelry and meals, mostly
while he was abroad seeking aid following the devastation of
Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
2007 Feb 17, Nigerian hostage
takers released an American oil worker in Port Harcourt.
2007 Feb 17, In southwestern
Pakistan a suicide bomber killed 15 people, including a judge, after
blowing himself up inside a courtroom in Quetta.
2007 Feb 17, A US human rights
watchdog that recently sent a team to Saudi Arabia to investigate
abuses said in a new report the kingdom keeps thousands of prisoners
in jail without charge, sentences children to death and oppresses
2007 Feb 17, Syrian President
Bashar Assad arrived in Iran to discuss Iraq and other Middle East
issues with President Mahmoud Ahmadinajed.
2007 Feb 17, James Morris, the
head of the UN food agency, said some 18,000 children die every day
because of hunger and malnutrition and 850 million people go to bed
every night with empty stomachs, a "terrible indictment of the world
2008 Feb 17, US President
George W. Bush discussed the bloody conflict in neighboring Kenya
with Tanzania's Pres. Jakaya Kikwete before showering him with
praise and signing over a $700 million development grant.
2008 Feb 17, The US Department
of Agriculture ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of frozen
beef from a California slaughterhouse, the subject of an
animal-abuse investigation, that provided meat to school lunch
programs. Downer cows at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company
had been processed and sent for use in the National School Lunch
(AP, 2/18/08)(Econ, 3/1/08, p.36)
2008 Feb 17, In Afghanistan a
suicide bombing at an outdoor dog fighting competition in Kandahar
killed 80 people and wounded scores more, in what appeared to be the
deadliest terror attack there since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
The attack apparently targeted Abdul Hakim Jan, a militia commander,
who had stood up against the Taliban and died in the attack.
2008 Feb 17, In Algeria African
Union energy ministers launched a new energy organization for Africa
tasked with coordinating policy for the resource-rich continent.
2008 Feb 17, British chancellor
Alistair Darling announced that stricken mortgage lender Northern
Rock would be nationalized.
(Econ, 2/23/08, p.73)
2008 Feb 17, In China an
explosion at an illegal mine disguised as a wild boar farm killed 26
people in northern Hebei province. On Dec 31, 2009, Gao Huailiang
was sentenced to death in Hebei province, for making, selling and
transporting illegal explosives. 20 others were sentenced to prison
time for running the mine.
(AP, 2/18/08)(AP, 12/31/09)
2008 Feb 17, Communist party
leader Demetris Christofias led in exit polls after Cyprus
elections. It was unclear who he would be competing against in a
run-off on Feb 24.
2008 Feb 17, Indian troops
killed at least 20 Maoist guerrillas in clashes following the
killing of 13 policemen by the insurgents in the eastern state of
2008 Feb 17, Israeli troops
backed by aircraft and tanks clashed with Palestinian militants
firing mortars and machine guns near Gaza's former international
airport, killing three gunmen and a civilian. Later a Palestinian
rocket struck a house in the southern Israeli town of Sderot,
shortly after the UN's humanitarian chief condemned the rocket fire
and urged Gaza's Hamas rulers to end the attacks.
2008 Feb 17, In Iraq a female
suicide bomber struck in a predominantly Shiite area of central
Baghdad, killing at least three people in an attack that occurred as
officials have been stressing the capital's increased security. In
Mosul a police officer and two civilians were killed when a bomb in
a parked car detonated.
2008 Feb 17, Kosovo declared
itself a nation, mounting a historic bid to become an "independent
and democratic state" backed by the US and key European allies but
bitterly contested by Serbia and Russia. Russia denounced Kosovo's
independence declaration and called for an emergency meeting of the
UN Security Council, underlining its opposition.
2008 Feb 17, Madagascar was hit
by Cyclone Ivan. At least 44 people were killed and some 145,000
(Reuters, 2/18/08)(SFC, 2/26/08, p.A3)
2008 Feb 17, In New Zealand 3
people were killed after a light plane and a helicopter collided in
mid-air in the coastal settlement of Paraparaumu.
2008 Feb 17, In southwest
Pakistan a military pickup truck struck a land mine that killed four
troops and wounded two others. The Baluch Republican Army, a little
known rebel group, claimed responsibility for the attack.
2008 Feb 17, In South Korea a
special prosecutor's team questioned President-elect Lee Myung-bak
over allegations of financial fraud a week ahead of his
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.
In 2010 Italy’s highest court overturned a guilty verdict against
Mills, ruling that the stature of limitations had expired.
(AFP, 2/17/09)(SFC, 2/25/10, p.A2)
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)
2010 Feb 17, Defense Secretary
Robert Gates announced that the Obama administration has decided to
give the war in Iraq a new name, "Operation New Dawn," effective
Sept 1, to reflect the reduced role US troops will play in securing
the country this year as troop levels fall.
2010 Feb 17, San Francisco
police along with state and federal agents arrested 28 suspected
gang members in a daylong operation to clear the “worst of the
worst” off the streets.
(SFC, 2/20/10, p.C4)
2010 Feb 17, In Palo Alto, Ca.,
a Cessna 310 crashed into a neighborhood after takeoff from the
fogged-in Palo Alto Airport, killing all 3 people aboard. 4 houses
were damaged, but no one on the ground was injured. Pilot Doug Bourn
(56), Brian Finn (42) and Andrew Ingram (31) worked for Tesla Motors
(SFC, 2/18/10, p.A1)(SFC, 2/19/10, p.A9)
2010 Feb 17, It was reported
that a mysterious illness was killing brown pelicans along the
northern California coast. Some 100 birds were in for treatment at
the Int’l. Bird Rescue Research Center in Cordelia. Some 300 others
found treatment at the center’s San Pedro branch. Biologists on Feb
22 said stormy weather had caused the disappearance of prey in
stirred up waters possible due to El Nino and recent big storms.
(SFC, 2/17/10, p.A1)(SFC, 2/23/10, p.C2)
2010 Feb 17, Military
commanders raised the Afghan flag in the bullet-ridden main market
of the Taliban's southern stronghold of Marjah as firefights
continued to break out elsewhere in the town between holed-up
militants and US and Afghan troops. Helmand Gov. Gulab Mangal said
about 40 insurgents have been killed since the offensive began Feb
13. Four NATO service members have been killed, and one Afghan
2010 Feb 17, In Brazil the
Unidos da Tijuca samba group was crowned champion of the Rio
Carnival parades for the first time in more than seven decades.
Viradouro, which chose a 7-year-old as a drums corps queen, placed
last out of 12 schools in the drum corps category, and scored even
lower in the float category.
2010 Feb 17, France's Pres.
Nicolas Sarkozy made the first visit ever by a French president to
Haiti, once his nation's richest colony. Sarkozy said France will
cancel Haiti’s 56 million in debt and pledged hundreds of millions
in aid for the catastrophic Jan 12 earthquake.
(AP, 2/17/10)(SFC, 2/18/10, p.A3)
2010 Feb 17, In Haiti 8
American missionaries were freed from jail and left for Miami,
nearly three weeks after being arrested trying to take 33 children
out of the earthquake-stricken country. Group leader Laura Silsby
and her former nanny Charisa Coulter remained in jail.
(AP, 2/17/10)(SFC, 2/19/10, p.A4)
2010 Feb 17, In Iraq the
bullet-riddled body of Assyrian Christian student Wissam George (20)
was recovered in Mosul after he went missing the same morning.
2010 Feb 17, In Myanmar Gaw
Thita, a Buddhist monk, was quietly sentenced to seven years in
prison violating immigration laws by taking a trip to Taiwan last
2010 Feb 17, Pakistan's
government was forced into an embarrassing U-turn, withdrawing the
recent appointments of top judges that sparked a showdown with the
Supreme Court and a fresh crisis in the country. Police in Karachi
arrested a suspected Taliban commander. He was identified as
Abdullah, also known as Abu Waqas, a commander from the Bajaur
region on the Afghan border. Unknown gunmen ambushed a vehicle
carrying militants in the Kurrum region on the border, killing six
Taliban and wounding two. A US drone fired a missile into the North
Waziristan region on the Afghan border, killing at least three
(AFP, 2/17/10)(Reuters, 2/17/10)
2010 Feb 17, A court in Sri
Lanka freed 14 men held on suspicion of plotting a coup with
opposition leader and ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka.
2011 Feb 17, US federal
authorities charged 111 doctors, nurses and physical therapists in
nine cities with Medicare fraud totaling over $225 million, part of
a massive nationwide bust that snared more suspects than any other
in history. The indictments were for suspects in Miami, Los Angeles,
Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Brooklyn, Tampa, Fla., and Baton
2011 Feb 17, Federal
prosecutors in Arizona said two illegal immigrants from Mexico, Jose
Beltran-Bermudez and Yazmin Arvayo-Palafox, have been indicted after
they were found to possess a combined 222 assault rifles and 5
pistols that authorities say were headed to Mexico.
2011 Feb 17, US Federal
authorities said police have arrested nine people and seized 300
firearms, including assault rifles, in a raid targeting an arms ring
that allegedly sold weapons to Mexican drug traffickers. Operation
Too Hot to Handle netted a haul of around 300 guns, mostly
Kalashnikov-type rifles and semi-automatic pistols, seized in
Arizona, Texas and Mexico.
2011 Feb 17, In Florida Jorge
Barahona (53) appeared in court on charges of aggravated child
abuse. He and his wife had adopted twins, a boy and a girl, from
foster care in 2008. On Feb 14 Nubia (10) was found dead. Her
brother was found coated in a toxic chemical and Barahona was found
doused in gasoline in an apparent attempt at suicide.
(SFC, 2/18/11, p.A7)
2011 Feb 17, In Ohio Frank
Spisak (59), who shot three people to death nearly 30 years ago on
the campus of Cleveland State University in a shooting rampage that
targeted African Americans, was executed. His racially motivated
shooting spree took place from February 1982 to August 1982. During
his 1983 trial, Spisak grew a Hitler-style mustache, carried a copy
of Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" and gave the Nazi salute to the jury.
2011 Feb 17, In Wisconsin 14
Democratic lawmakers disappeared as the state Senate was about to
begin debating a measure by Gov. Scott Walker that would eliminate
collective bargaining for most state public employees. Protesters
filled the Capitol for a 3rd day.
(SFC, 2/18/11, p.A6)
2011 Feb 17, Chevron and a US
aid agency announced a $50 million plan aimed at improving
conditions in Nigeria's main oil-producing region, where pollution
and poverty have led to years of unrest.
2011 Feb 17, Afghan and NATO
forces said they have captured leaders of an insurgent group in
eastern Afghanistan, including one believed to be linked to last
month's suicide attack on a Kabul supermarket. Insurgent attacks
elsewhere killed three, including a NATO service member. The
multinational force said it killed a member of the Haqqani network
in an airstrike in Khost province. An Afghan National Police officer
was killed when he was hit by a NATO convoy in a traffic circle near
the US Embassy in Kabul. A NATO operation in Kunar province killed
number of insurgents. Afghan civilians were later reported killed in
(AP, 2/17/11)(Reuters, 2/20/11)(AP, 2/21/11)
2011 Feb 17, An Australian
diver was killed by sharks in south Australia, in only the second
fatal shark attack in Australian waters in more than two years.
2011 Feb 17, Bahrain army
patrols and tanks locked down Manama after riot police swinging
clubs and firing tear gas smashed into demonstrators, many of them
sleeping, in a pre-dawn assault in the capital that uprooted their
protest camp demanding political change. At least five people were
killed and more than 230 injured.
(AP, 2/17/11)(AP, 2/18/11)
2011 Feb 17, Belgium citizens
staged a party to mark 249 days without a government, a figure that
they are treating as a world record in political waffling. Belgium
snatched Iraq's dubious record as the country boasting the world's
longest political crisis of recent times.
(AP, 2/17/11)(AFP, 2/17/11)
2011 Feb 17, Britain's
government said gay couples are to be allowed civil partnership
ceremonies in churches, erasing some of the last remaining
distinctions between gay partnerships and traditional marriages.
2011 Feb 17, Cyber crime costs
the British economy some 27 billion pounds ($43.5 billion) a year
and appears to be "endemic," according to the 1st official
government estimate of the issue.
2011 Feb 17, Analysts of the
British research firm, Capital Economics, wrote that the government
of Venezuela could default on its obligations in 2012.
(Econ, 2/26/11, p.43)
2011 Feb 17, A top Canadian
cabinet minister said a cyber attack on key economic ministries last
month was serious but will not affect the timing of next month's
federal budget. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp said hackers using
China-based servers had broken into computer systems at the Finance
Department and Treasury Board.
2011 Feb 17, China warned the
United States not to use calls for uncensored access to the Internet
as a pretext to interfere in the domestic affairs of other
2011 Feb 17, At least 1,500
Egyptian workers from the Suez Canal Authority protested for better
pay in three cities straddling the strategic waterway.
2011 Feb 17, Hong Kong’s health
authority said at least 12 people have died from swine flu in less
than a month, after the latest death from the disease.
2011 Feb 17, In Iran opposition
leader Mir Hossein Mousavi was reported missing. His daughters said
they had no word from either of their parents since Feb 15.
(SFC, 2/18/11, p.A2)
2011 Feb 17, In Iraq Kurdish
security forces opened fire in Sulaimaniyah on a crowd of protesters
surrounding the headquarters of the party affiliated with Kurdish
President Massoud Barzani. Two people were killed and 54 injured.
Hundreds of demonstrators massed in the southern city of Basra to
demand the local governor's ouster. Protesters in Nasir stormed a
local government building. Gunmen in a speeding car shot and killed
a spokesman for the provincial government in the northern city of
(AP, 2/17/11)(AFP, 2/19/11)
2011 Feb 17, Israeli forces
shot dead three Palestinians along the tense border with the Gaza
Strip before dawn. Soldiers fired on the men after they were spotted
planting an explosive device in a no-go zone along the border
between 2 and 3 am.
2011 Feb 17, A Lebanese
military court convicted Amin al-Baba of spying for Israel and
sentenced him to death. He had been spying for Israel from 1997
until his 2009 arrest.
2011 Feb 17, Libyan protesters
seeking to oust longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi defied a crackdown
and took to the streets in four cities on what activists have dubbed
a "day of rage." At least 14 demonstrators have been reported killed
in clashes with pro-government groups.
2011 Feb 17, Madagascar's
ousted president said he will attempt to return from exile in South
Africa despite facing a life sentence in prison, as the regime that
forced him out in a coup vowed to keep order on the Indian Ocean
2011 Feb 17, In Mexico cartel
member Juan Carlos Vasconcelos (24) was arrested for three shootings
that killed 20 people on the outskirts of Mexico City. The 1st
shooting left 5 people dead on Jan 8. Another killed 8 people on Jan
16 and the third left 7 dead Feb 13. Six human heads were dumped
outside a police station in Veracruz state. An 11-year-old boy and
his father were killed in an ambush on their car in Ciudad Juarez.
2011 Feb 17, In northern
Nigeria police killed three men after they attacked a bank and a
police station in Darazo, Bauchi state.
2011 Feb 17, In Puerto Rico
police arrested 469 people over the last 36 hours in a sweep that
targeted people accused of crimes ranging from murder to traffic
2011 Feb 17, Russian riot
police raided the offices of Inteko, a building company belonging to
Yelena Baturina, Russia’s richest woman and wife of former Moscow
Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. The raid was part of an investigation into the
alleged embezzlement of $444 million from the Bank of Moscow.
(SFC, 2/18/11, p.A3)
2011 Feb 17, Swiss media
reported that a private helicopter carrying five people has crashed
near the western Swiss ski resort of Les Diablerets.
2011 Feb 17, In Tanzania an
ammunition depot exploded in Dar Es Salaam killing at least 25
people and sent thousands into a stadium for safety.
(SFC, 2/18/11, p.A2)
2011 Feb 17, Pope Benedict XVI
and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met at the Vatican, stressing
the need for better ties and the promotion of shared Christian
2011 Feb 17, In Vietnam 12
people from nine countries were killed in Vietnam's deadliest tour
boat accident since the country opened to foreign visitors 25 years
ago. Nine foreigners and six Vietnamese survived only by flinging
themselves overboard and swimming to other tour boats anchored
nearby in Ha Long Bay.
2011 Feb 17, In Yemen several
thousand protesters defied appeals for calm from the military and
the country's most influential Islamic cleric and marched through
the capital, pressing on with their campaign to oust the US-allied
2012 Feb 17, The US Congress
approved legislation renewing a payroll tax cut for 160 million
workers and jobless benefits for millions more, backing the main
items on President Barack Obama's jobs agenda in a rare burst of
2012 Feb 17, The FBI arrested
Amine El Khalifi (29) of Morocco in Washington DC. He was charged by
criminal complaint with attempting to use a weapon of mass
destruction against US property. He had a MAC-10 automatic weapon
and wore a suicide-bomber vest given to him by FBI undercover agents
posing as accomplices in the sting operation. If convicted, he could
receive a maximum sentence of life in prison.
(SFC, 2/18/12, p.A12)
2012 Feb 17, The westbound top
deck of the SF Bay Bridge was closed until Feb 21 as work progressed
on the new eastern span set to open Labor Day 2013. The bridge
reopened the evening of Feb 19 as work was completed ahead of
(SFC, 2/18/12, p.A1)(SFC, 2/20/12, p.A1)
2012 Feb 17, In Louisiana two
barges collided near Laplace spilling oil and leading officials to
close a 5-mile stretch of the Mississippi River.
(SFC, 2/18/12, p.A5)
2012 Feb 17, In Angola the Epal
water utility in Luanda vowed to repair a burst water main within
days, to end severe shortages that have lasted a week across much of
the city. Most people in this city of seven million live without
running water or electricity.
2012 Feb 17, Budget carrier Air
Australia collapsed, stranding thousands of passengers as its
domestic flights and international services to Honolulu, Bali and
Phuket were all grounded.
2012 Feb 17, Bahrain announced
the deportation of four foreign activists for "taking part in
illegal demonstrations," bringing to 12 the number expelled over the
2012 Feb 17, In Brazil the
globe's biggest Carnival bash opened in Rio. It promised to be an
even bigger blowout this year, with 20 percent more tourists
expected than in 2011.
2012 Feb 17, British student
Glenn Mangham (26) was jailed for 8 months after admitting to
hacking into Facebook between April and May last year. Mangham
claimed he had been trying to expose weaknesses in Facebook's
security and was not driven by financial motives.
2012 Feb 17, In western China
Tibetan Buddhist monk Tamchoe Sangpo set himself on fire at Bongtak
monastery in Qinghai province amid a wave of such protests against
China's handling of the vast Tibetan areas it rules.
2012 Feb 17, Thousands of
Egyptians rallied in the Mediterranean city of Port Said, saying
that its residents were not behind a deadly soccer riot earlier this
month that killed 74 people.
2012 Feb 17, The EU partially
lifted sanctions on Zimbabwe to encourage further progress in
political reforms but kept restrictions on veteran President Robert
2012 Feb 17, In France British
PM David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy put recent
disputes behind them to unveil a nuclear power deal and renew their
own sometimes shaky political alliance. Cameron said the British
engineering firm Rolls-Royce will secure a £400 million (481 million
euro, $632 million) share in the work to build Britain's first
French-pioneered EPR reactor at Hinkley Point in southern England.
2012 Feb 17, France and Britain
pledged to help the Syrian opposition in its struggle against Bashar
al-Assad's regime but said conditions were not right for a foreign
intervention as in Libya. Pres. Sarkozy urged anti-Assad forces to
unite and be better organized.
2012 Feb 17, Germany’s
conservative Pres. Christian Wulff resigned over allegedly receiving
favors while he was governor of Lower Saxony state. The opposition
proposed Joachim Gauck to replace Wulff. A federal assembly was
expected to elect Gauck in March.
(AP, 2/18/12)(SFC, 2/18/12, p.A2)(Econ, 2/25/12,
2012 Feb 17, In Greece two
masked robbers stole artifacts from a museum In Patras. On Nov 23
three men were arrested after tried to sell a gold seal-ring dating
back some 3,200 years. All the artifacts were found buried in a
field 3 km (2 miles) from the museum.
2012 Feb 17, It was reported
that Kolkata, once the capital of British India, is slowly being
painted blue -- the favorite color of Mamata Banerjee, the fiery new
chief minister of West Bengal, who has ordered a makeover.
2012 Feb 17, Ivory Coast's
President Alassane Ouattara was named the new head of West Africa's
regional bloc, outgoing chief Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria announced
before the close of the Economic Community of West African States in
2012 Feb 17, In southern Nepal
a mob burned alive Dengani Mahato (40) after accusing her of casting
black magic spells in remote Madi village. A shaman and the nine
locals suspected of taking part in the crime were arrested on
suspicion of murder. Bhakta Bahadur Rumba crushed his three young
daughters to death with stones as they slept in remote Faparbari
(AFP, 2/17/12)(AP, 2/17/12)
2012 Feb 17, In Pakistan a
suicide attacker on a motorcycle blew himself up in a market in
Parachinar town, Kurram region. 31 Shiite Muslims died and at least
35 people were left wounded. Taliban commander, Fazal Saeed Haqqani,
claimed responsibility saying that Shiites had been attacking
(AP, 2/17/12)(AFP, 2/18/12)
2012 Feb 17, In Panama members
of the Ngobe-Bugle Indian tribe again blocked the Pan-American
Highway after a breakdown in negotiations with the government over
2012 Feb 17, Senegalese riot
police fired tear gas at protesters on a main commercial boulevard
in Dakar, after the country's opposition went ahead with a protest
in defiance of a government ban. Violence broke out in Tivaouane,
seat of Senegal's largest Islamic brotherhood the Tidiane, where the
mayor's office was burned down after police hurled teargas into a
(AP, 2/17/12)(AFP, 2/18/12)
2012 Feb 17, In Somalia a car
bomb exploded inside the compound of a major police building in
Mogadishu, wounding at least one police officer.
2012 Feb 17, Sri Lanka police
fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse thousands of protesters
in the center of the capital protesting higher fuel prices.
2012 Feb 17, Sudanese police
raided student dormitories at Khartoum's main university, beating
and arresting hundreds of students in the latest crackdown on youth
protesters. Students at the university began protesting in late
December to demand compensation for people displaced from their
homes by construction of a dam near the city of Dammir. They also
have been calling for the right to form a student union and for an
end to police violence.
2012 Feb 17, Swiss authorities
said they have confiscated $6 trillion in counterfeit US bonds at
the request of Italian prosecutors. In Italy eight people were
arrested across the country and placed under investigation for fraud
and other crimes. The bonds, carrying the false date of issue of
1934, had been transported in 2007 from Hong Kong to Zurich, where
they were transferred to a Swiss trust.
2012 Feb 17, Thousands of
Syrians rallied to demand Bashar al-Assad's ouster, as the embattled
president's forces unleashed their heaviest pounding yet of Homs in
a brutal bid to crush dissent. Nine bodies of unidentified people
were found in Homs, said the Observatory, which also reported the
heaviest shelling in the city for two weeks. 4 people were killed by
security forces in Damascus following protests in the area.
(AFP, 2/17/12)(AP, 2/17/12)(AFP, 2/19/12)
2013 Feb 17, Thousands of
protesters gathered on Washington's National Mall calling on Pres.
Obama to reject the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline proposal
and honor his inaugural pledge to act on climate change.
2013 Feb 17, The NY Times
reported that a 60-page analysis by Mandiant, a US computer security
firm, has traced one of the world’s most sophisticated hacking
groups to Shanghai and the gates of Unit 61398 of the Chinese
(SFC, 2/20/13, p.D1)(Econ, 2/23/13, p.12)
2013 Feb 17, Bahrain's interior
ministry said police have arrested eight members of an alleged
terrorist cell linked to Iran and other countries following
widespread clashes in the Gulf nation during protests marking the
second anniversary of an Arab Spring-inspired uprising.
2013 Feb 17, British actor
Richard Briers (79), best known for the 1970s TV sit-com "The Good
Life" but also for his Shakespearean roles, died at his London home.
His film credits included "A Chorus Of Disapproval" (1989) and
"Watership Down" (1978) in which he was the voice of Fiver.
2013 Feb 17, Ecuadoreans cast
ballots with President Rafael Correa (48), a dynamic, polemical
economist, highly favored to win a 2nd re-election. His leftist
government has won broad backing from the lower classes as it leads
Latin America in social spending as a portion of the economy. Correa
won 56.9% of the vote against 23.8% for his closest challenger,
longtime banker Guillermo Lasso.
2013 Feb 17, In Egypt thousands
of soccer fans enforced a work stoppage in the city of Port Said to
protest "injustices" by the government, disrupting rail services and
forcefully evicting workers from their factories and the provincial
2013 Feb 17, In Greece some 40
masked attackers raided the facilities of a prospective gold mine in
the north overnight, setting machinery and offices alight. Some
residents objected to what they say will be the destruction of the
environment and of pristine forest at Skouries in the Halkidiki
2013 Feb 17, Iran’s independent
Arman daily reported that authorities are confiscating Buddha
statues from shops in Tehran, to stop the promotion of Buddhism in
2013 Feb 17, In Iraq multiple
car bombs exploded within minutes of each other as Iraqis were out
shopping in and around Baghdad, killing at least 37 people and
wounding more than 100 in mainly Shiite areas.
2013 Feb 17, Hundreds of French
and Malian soldiers retook the jihadist stronghold of Bourem, a town
where many radical Islamic fighters were believed to have fled.
2013 Feb 17, A Moroccan
military court convicted 24 Western Saharan activists for their
roles in the killing of 11 soldiers at a protest camp in 2010, and
gave nine of the defendants life sentences.
2013 Feb 17, Gunmen attacked an
oil vessel off the coast of Nigeria's oil-rich southern delta,
kidnapping six foreigners. Three Ukrainians, two Indians and a
Russian were taken from a vessel run by energy company Century
2013 Feb 17, The Harita
Bauxite, a bulk carrier, sank near the Philippines. 10 of 24
crewmen, mostly from Myanmar, were rescued. One later died and the
rest remianed missing. The vessel was thought to be carrying nickel
ore from Indonesia.
(SSFC, 4/7/13, p.46)
2013 Feb 17, A top Syrian
government official said electricity has been restored in most parts
of Damascus and power will gradually reach the south. The power
outage plunged Damascus into darkness late the previous evening and
affected much of southern Syria. Fighting raged in at least three
provinces between rebels and troops loyal to Pres. Assad.
2014 Feb 17, In California 2
CHP officers were killed as they responded to a multi-vehicle crash
on Hwy. 99 near Kingsburg.
(SFC, 2/18/14, p.A5)
2014 Feb 17, In Miami, Florida,
local artist Maximo Caminero (51) smashed a colored vase, valued at
$1 million, by Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei. Caminero was charged
with criminal mischief. Caminero said he was protesting against
favoritism for int’l. rather than local art.
(SFC, 2/18/14, p.A5)
2014 Feb 17, In Idaho an
avalanche buried four people killing one man 36 miles north of
(SFC, 2/18/14, p.A5)
2014 Feb 17, Cambodian police
arrested two Vietnamese men who were trying to smuggle almost 80 kg
(176 pounds) of illegal ivory from Angola.
2014 Feb 17, In Colombia 5
policemen were killed by FARC guerrillas.
(Econ, 2/22/14, p.32)
2014 Feb 17, Ethiopian Airlines
co-pilot Hailemedehin Abera Tagegn (31) locked his colleague out of
the cockpit, hijacked a Rome-bound plane and landed in Geneva, all
in an attempt to seek asylum in Switzerland.
(AP, 2/17/14)(AFP, 2/17/14)
2014 Feb 17, In Georgia Vano
Merabishvili, a top ally of former President Mikhail Saakashvili,
was convicted of embezzlement and abuse of office and sentenced to
five years in prison.
2014 Feb 17, Greek authorities
said they have charged the head of a demining charity, his wife and
seven other people with fraud and money laundering involving 9
million euros ($12 million) in public funding.
2014 Feb 17, Iran's ambassador
to Moscow said Russia could build the Islamic republic a second
nuclear power reactor under a proposed oil-for-goods swap that has
raised grave concern in Washington.
2014 Feb 17, In Israel an
explosion atop 5-story building in Acre collapsed three floors
leaving 5 people dead. It was reported as an act of sabotage meant
to take out a cellular antenna placed on the roof by the owner.
(SSFC, 2/23/14, p.A6)
2014 Feb 17, Niger security
officials said they have arrested about 20 Boko Haram Islamist
militants from neighboring Nigeria who were suspected of planning
attacks in Niger's south east border town of Diffa.
2014 Feb 17, In the southern
Philippines a bombing suspect was killed in a gunbattle when he
clashed with police commandos. Police were trying to serve a warrant
to Muslim militant Yusop Kusain for his alleged involvement in a
deadly 2007 bombing.
2014 Feb 17, In South Korea at
least 10 people were killed and 50 more feared trapped after the
Manua Ocean Resort auditorium collapsed under heavy snow in the city
of Gyeongju. Some 560 students from Busan Univ. Foreign Studies had
gathered there for a 2-day freshman orientation.
(AFP, 2/17/14)(SFC, 2/18/14, p.A2)
2014 Feb 17, A wave of around
250 African migrants managed to breach the high defenses of the
Spanish enclave of Melilla in Morocco, with more than half making it
into the EU territory.
2014 Feb 17, A UN panel warned
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he may be held accountable for
orchestrating widespread crimes against civilians. The UN Human
Rights Council delivered a 400-page report on human rights
violations in North Korea.
(AP, 2/17/14)(Econ, 2/22/14, p.33)
2014 Feb 17, Syrian government
troops took control of the village of Maan after destroying the last
"hideouts of terrorists, who came into the village and committed a
massacre." Anti-Assad Islamic fighters overran the village on Feb 9.
2014 Feb 17, In Venezuela a
student protester (17) died after being hit by a vehicle in
Carupano. This was the 4th fatality from political unrest over the
2014 Feb 17, In Zimbabwe former
US Rep. Melvin Jay Reynolds (62) was arrested on suspicion of
possessing pornography and an immigration offence. Reynolds, an
Illinois Democrat, resigned from his congressional seat in 1995
after he was convicted of 12 counts of statutory rape, obstruction
of justice and solicitation of child pornography. On Feb 21 a judge
dismissed the pornography charges but ordered Reynolds to pay a fine
or face jail time after pleading guilty to charges of violating the
country's immigration laws.
(AP, 2/18/14)(AP, 2/21/14)
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