Today in History - May 20
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325 May 20, An
ecumenical council was inaugurated by Emperor Constantine in Nicea,
Asia Minor. The Church Council of Nicaea (aka Iznik) in Asia Minor
condemned the teaching of Arius, a Christian priest at Alexandria
(d.336), who held that Christ was not divine in the same sense as
God the Father. The council fixed Orthodox Easter as the first
Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox unless
the date falls on the 1st day of Passover, in which case it moves to
the next Sunday.
(WUD, 1994, p.80,81)(Sky, 4/97, p.56)(SFC,
4/25/97, p.A21)(HN, 5/20/98)
526 May 20, An earthquake
killed 250,000 in Antioch, Turkey. This was the capital of Syria
from 300-64BCE. [see May 29]
1303 May 20, France returned
Gascony to England’s Edward I.
(HN, 5/20/98)(PC, 1992 ed, p121)
1310 May 20, Shoes began to be
made for both right and left feet.
1347 May 20, Cola di Rienzo
took the title of tribune in Rome.
1364 May 20, Sir Henry Percy
(d.1403), [Harry Hotspur], British soldier, politician, and rebel
leader, was born.
(WUD, 1994, p.1069)(MC, 5/20/02)
1444 May 20, Bernardinus van
Siena (63), Italian saint, died.
1498 May 20, Portuguese
explorer Vasco da Gama arrived at Calicut (Kozhikkode) in Kerala,
1501 May 20, Portuguese
explorer Joao da Nova Castelia (1460-1509) discovered the Ascension
Islands on Ascension Day.
1506 May 20, Christopher
Columbus (55) died in poverty in Spain, still believing he
discovered the coast of Asia. Columbus died in the Spanish city of
Valladolid, and was initially interred in a monastery there. Three
years later, his remains were moved to a monastery on La Cartuja. In
1537, Maria de Rojas y Toledo, widow of Columbus' son Diego, was
allowed to send the bones of her husband and his father to the
cathedral in Santo Domingo for burial. There they lay until 1795,
when Spain ceded the island of Hispaniola to France and decided
Columbus' remains should not fall into foreigners' hands. A set of
remains that the Spaniards thought were Columbus' were then dug up
from behind the main altar in the newly built cathedral and shipped
to a cathedral in Havana, where they remained until the
Spanish-American War broke out in 1898 and Spain brought them to
Seville. But in 1877, workers digging inside the Santo Domingo
cathedral unearthed a leaden box containing 13 large bone fragments
and 28 small ones. It was inscribed "Illustrious and distinguished
male, don Cristobal Colon." The Dominicans said these were the real
remains of Columbus and that the Spaniards must have taken the wrong
remains in 1795.
(AP, 5/20/97)(HN, 5/20/99)(AP, 10/13/02)(SFC,
1509 May 20, Catharina Sforza
(45), "La Sforza del Destino", Italian duchess of Forli, died.
1520 May 20, Hernando Cortes
defeated Spanish troops sent to punish him in Mexico.
1521 May 20, Ignatius Loyola
was seriously wounded by a cannon ball.
1537 May 20, Hieronymus
Fabricius Ab, physician (De Formato Foetu), was born in Aquapend,
1547 May 20, Melchior Bischoff,
composer, was born.
1571 May 20, Venice, Spain
& Pope Pius formed an anti-Turkish Saint League.
1631 May 20, A German army
under earl Johann Tilly conquered Magdeburg.
1639 May 20, Dorchester, Mass.,
formed the 1st school funded by local taxes.
1648 May 20, In Poland King
Ladislas IV died at age 55. His Jesuit brother (39) took rule as
John Casimir II.
(PCh, 1992, p.241)
1663 May 20, William Bradford,
printer, was born.
1674 May 20, John Sobieski
became Poland’s first King. [see 1573]
1690 May 20, England passed the
Act of Grace, forgiving followers of James II.
1704 May 20, Elias Neau formed
a school for slaves in NY.
1743 May 20, [Francois D]
Toussaint L'Ouverture, Haitian leader, was born on the Breda
plantation in Santo Domingo.
(MC, 5/20/02)(AP, 4/7/03)
1750 May 20, Stephen Girard,
rescued U.S. bonds during War of 1812, actor, was born.
1759 May 20, William Thornton,
architect of the U.S. Capitol, actor, was born.
1768 May 20, Dolley Madison,
first lady of President James Madison, was born. She was famous as a
Washington hostess while her husband was secretary of state and
1772 May 20, William Congreve
(d.1828), English officer (design fire rocket), was born.
1774 May 20, The British
Parliament passed the Coercive Acts to punish the colonists for
their increasingly anti-British behavior. The acts closed the port
of Boston. [see Mar 28]
1775 May 20, North Carolina
became the first colony to declare its independence. Citizens of
Mecklenburg County, NC, declared independence from Britain.
(HN, 5/20/98)(MC, 5/20/02)
1784 May 20, Peace of
Versailles ended the war between France, England, and Holland.
1795 May 20, Ignac Martinovics,
Hungarian physicist, revolutionary, was beheaded.
1799 May 20, Honore de Balzac,
French novelist, was born in Tours, France. He is considered the
founder of the realistic school and wrote "The Human Comedy" and
(AP, 5/20/99)(HN, 5/20/99)
1799 May 20, Napoleon Bonaparte
ordered a withdrawal from his siege of St. Jean d'Acre in Egypt.
Plague had run through his besieging French forces, forcing a
retreat. Napoleon, in pursuance of his scheme for raising a Syrian
rebellion against Turkish domination, appeared before Acre, but
after a siege of two months (March–May) was repulsed by the Turks.
1806 May 20, John Stuart Mill
(d.1873), British philosopher and economist, was born. He promoted
utilitarianism and is known as the last great economist of the
classical school. He authored "Principles of Political Economy"
wherein in theorized that production was the real basis for economic
law. He felt that the market was capable of allocating resources but
not of distributing income. "If all mankind minus one, were of one
opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind
would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if
he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
(V.D.-H.K.p.253)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R20)(AP,
1818 May 20, William George
Fargo, one of the founders of Wells, Fargo & Co., actor, was
1825 May 20, Charles X became
King of France.
1830 May 20, The 1st railroad
timetable was published in the newspaper Baltimore American.
1830 May 20, Dr. Hyde patented
a fountain pen.
1834 May 20, The Marquis de
Lafayette (78), US Revolutionary War hero (Marie Joseph Paul Yves
Roche Gilbert du Motier), died in Paris, France. He was the 1st
foreigner to address Congress. In 2002 Congress moved to make him an
honorary US citizen. In 1983 Olivier Bernier authored “Lafayette,
Hero of Two Worlds.” In 200 Harlow Giles Unger authored “Lafayette.”
p.A12)(SFC, 7/23/02, p.A2)(ON, 2/09, p.5)
1847 May 20, Mary Lamb, writer,
1851 May 20, Emile Berliner,
inventor of the flat phonograph record, was born in Germany.
1851 May 20, Rose Hawthorne
Lathrop, US nun, daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne, was born.
1856 May 20, Henri E. Cross
(d.1910), French painter, was born. His real surname was Delacroix
but was changed in 1881.
1856 May 20, Massachusetts
Senator Charles Sumner (1811-1874), an outspoken antagonist against
slavery, gave the "Crime Against Kansas" speech. [see May 22] Sumner
helped form the Republican Party.
1856 May 20, James King, editor
of the Evening Bulletin, died from wounds suffered on May 14. His
death brought about the rising of The Second Committee of Vigilance
and the take over of the SF government.
p.5)(SFC, 7/26/14, p.C5)
1859 May 20, A force of
Austrians collide with Piedmontese cavalry at the village of
Montebello, in northern Italy.
1861 May 20, Kentucky
proclaimed its neutrality in Civil War. [see May 16]
1861 May 20, North Carolina
voted to secede from the Union and became the 11th and last state to
(AP, 5/20/97)(HN, 5/20/98)
1861 May 20, The capital of the
Confederacy was moved from Montgomery, Ala., to Richmond, Va.
1861 May 20, US marshals
appropriated the previous year's telegraph dispatches, to reveal
1862 May 20, President Lincoln
signed the Homestead Act, providing 250 million acres of free land
to settlers in the West. It officially opened the Nebraska territory
for settlement, leading to statehood in 1867. The US government
passed the Homestead Act to stop the spread of slavery to the
Western territories. Public land was awarded to any head of a family
on condition that the settlers improve the land and live there for 5
(Hem., 5/97, p.20)(HNQ, 12/3/00)(HN, 5/20/01)
1864 May 20, Battle at Ware
Bottom Church, Virginia, killed or injured 1,400.
1864 May 20,
Spotsylvania-campaign ended after 10,920 were killed or injured
1867 May 20, British parliament
rejected John Stuart Mill’s law on women suffrage.
1868 May 20, The Republican
National Convention met in Chicago and nominated Grant.
1873 May 20, Levi Strauss
(b.1829) and Jacob Davis of Reno, Nevada, received a US patent their
miners' work pants reinforced with copper rivets. They soon began
marketing them at $13.50 per doz.
(SFC, 4/29/03, B1)(SFC, 1/23/04, p.A10)(SFC,
8/28/98, p.B4)(ON, 4/05, p.12)
1882 May 20, Sigrid Undset,
Norwegian novelist (Kristin Lavransdatter), was born.
1882 May 20, Henrik Ibsen's
"Ghosts" (Gengangere) premiered in Chicago.
1882 May 20, The St.
Gotthard-railroad tunnel opened between Switzerland & Italy.
1883 May 20, Faisal ibn Husayn
(d.1933), the 3rd son of the grand sherif of Mecca, was born in
Mecca. He later became 1st king of Syria (1920) and Iraq (1921).
1889 May 20, Felix Arndt,
composer, was born.
1890 May 20, Beniamino Gigli,
tenor (Enzo-La Gioconda), was born in Italy.
1892 May 20, George Sampson
patented a clothes dryer.
1895 May 20, The 1st commercial
movie performance was at 153 Broadway in NYC.
1896 May 20, Clara Josephine
Wieck Schumann (76), composer, died.
(BLW, 1963 p.191)
1899 May 20, John M. Harlan,
the 91st Supreme Court justice (1955-71), was born in Chicago.
1902 May 20, The United States
ended its three-year military presence in Cuba as the Republic of
Cuba was established under its first elected president, Tomas
Estrada Palma. Theodore Roosevelt had criticized the government’s
sluggish withdrawal of disease-stricken US troops from Cuba.
(HN, 5/20/98)(WSJ, 11/13/98, p.A1)(AP, 5/20/02)
1908 May 20, Jimmy Stewart,
actor, was born in Indiana, Pa. He is best remembered for his roles
in "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."
(WSJ, 5/20/97, p.A18)(HN, 5/20/99)(AP, 5/20/08)
1912 May 20, Joseph Proce, 3rd
victim of NYC's Zodiac killer, was born.
1913 May 20, William Hewlett,
co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Co., was born.
1915 May 20, Moshe Dayan,
Israeli general, minister of Defense, was born.
1916 May 20, The Saturday
Evening Post cover featured a Norman Rockwell painting.
1916 May 20, Sir Ernest
Shackleton with 2 men crew reached a whaling station on St. Georgia
Island after their ship sank in the ice of Antarctica. Shackleton’s
own account of the venture was titled: "South." In 1959 Alfred
Lansing wrote “Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage.” A
biography of Shackleton was written in 1985 by Roland Huntford.
(WSJ, 4/2/98, p.B1)(SFEC, 1/24/99, BR p.6)
1916 May 20, A tornado hit
Codell, Kansas. More hit on the same date in 1917 and 1918.
1917 May 20, Turkish government
authorized Jews to return to Tel Aviv and Jaffa.
1918 May 20, The 1st
electrically propelled warship (New Mexico).
1919 May 20, Volcano Keluit on
Java erupted killing 550.
1926 May 20, Thomas Edison said
Americans prefer silent movies over talkies.
1927 May 20, Charles Lindbergh
(25) took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, N.Y., at 7:40 AM
aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his historic solo flight to
France. The Minnesota native had decided to compete for the $25,000
prize, offered in 1919 by a NY hotel owner to the first pilot to
complete the feat. The Spirit of St. Louis, was capable of flying
4,000 miles on 425 gallons of fuel. His greatest problems on the
33-hour, 30-minute flight were staying awake and keeping ice from
forming on the airplane’s wings.
(AP, 5/20/97)(HN, 5/20/98)(HNPD, 5/21/00)(USAW,
1927 May 20, Saudi Arabia
became independent of Great Britain with the Treaty of Jedda.
1930 May 20, University of
California dedicated $1,500 to research on the prevention and cure
of athlete's foot.
1930 May 20, The first
airplane, piloted by Charles Nicholson, was catapulted from a
(HN, 5/20/98)(MC, 5/20/02)
1932 May 20, In Austria
Engelbert Dollfuss (1892-1934) was sworn in as head of a coalition
government between the Christian-Social Party, the Landbund — a
right-wing agrarian party — and Heimatblock, the parliamentary wing
of the Heimwehr, a paramilitary ultra-nationalist group.
1932 May 20, Amelia Earhart
took off from Newfoundland to become the first woman to fly solo
across the Atlantic. Because of weather and equipment problems,
Earhart set down in Northern Ireland after 13 ½ hours instead of her
intended destination, France.
(HFA, '96, p.30)(HN, 5/20/01)(AP, 5/20/07)(ON,
1933 May 20, Danny Aiello,
actor (Moonstruck, Do the Right Thing), was born in NYC.
1939 May 20, Regular
trans-Atlantic air mail service began as a Pan American Airways
plane, the Yankee Clipper, took off from Port Washington, N.Y.,
bound for Marseilles, France.
1940 May 20, Igor Sikorsky
unveiled his helicopter invention.
1940 May 20, Gen Guderian's
British expeditionary army tanks reached The Channel.
1941 May 20, Germany invaded
Crete by air.
1942 May 20, Glenn Miller and
His Orchestra recorded "(I've Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo" at Victor
Studios in Hollywood.
1942 May 20, US Navy 1st
permitted black recruits to serve.
1942 May 20, Japan completed
the conquest of Burma.
1943 May 20, French, British
and US held a victory parade in Tunis, Tunisia.
1944 May 20, US Communist Party
1945 May 20, Heinrich Himmler
(44), the head of the Nazi Gestapo, was captured in Bremervorde,
(SSFC, 7/8/18, p.C8)
1948 May 20, Israel made the
1st use of its Air Force and claimed its 1st war victory with the
defeat of the Syrian army.
1951 May 20, During the Korean
War, U.S. Air Force Captain James Jabara, flying an F-28 Saberjet,
became the first jet air ace in history.
1954 May 20, Generalissimo
Chiang Kai-shek became president of Nationalist China.
1955 May 20, Argentine
parliament accepted the separation of church & state.
1956 May 20, The US dropped a
thermonuclear bomb from a plane onto Bikini Atoll. [see May 21]
1956 May 20, Max Beerbohm,
caricaturist, writer (Yet Again), died.
1959 May 20, Ford won a battle
with Chrysler to call its new car "Falcon."
1959 May 20, Japanese-Americans
regained their citizenship.
1961 May 20, A white mob
attacked a busload of "Freedom Riders" in Montgomery, Ala.,
prompting the federal government to send in U.S. marshals to restore
(AP, 5/20/97)(HN, 5/20/98)
1963 May 20, A fire in New
Jersey burned out of control and killed 7 people. Nearly 1,000 were
left homeless as the fire moved 9 miles in 6 hours on what was
called Black Saturday.
(SFC, 5/20/09, p.D8)
1963 May 20, Sukarno was
appointed president of Indonesia.
1963 May 20-23, In East
Pakistan a cyclone killed about 22,000 along coast of the Bay of
1967 May 20, A 2-day Spring
Mobilization Conference opened in Washington D.C. The gathering of
700 antiwar activists was called to evaluate the antiwar
demonstrations that had taken place on April 15, 1967 in New York
City and San Francisco. The conference set another antiwar action
for the fall of 1967 and created an administrative committee to plan
it. That committee was the National Mobilization Committee to End
the War in Vietnam (MOBE).
1967 May 20, BBC disc jockey
Kenny Everett gave the official preview of Sgt Pepper's Lonely
Hearts Club Band on the radio show Where It's At, broadcast on the
BBC Light Program. He was unable to play the final track "A Day in
the Life," which the BBC had banned a day earlier due to drug
1968 May 20, The US Supreme
Court (United States v. United Shoe Machinery Corp., 391 U.S. 244)
ruled for the breakup of United Shoe Machinery Company in Mass.
1969 May 20, In Connecticut
Warren Kimbro (d.2009 at 74), a member of the Black Panthers,
fatally shot Alex Rackley (19), another member of the Black
Panthers, who was believed to be an FBI informant. The shooting was
ordered by George Sams, a local Black Panther leader. Prosecutors
later alleged that Bobby Seale had ordered the murder.
1969 May 20, U.S. troops of the
101st Airborne Division and South Vietnamese forces captured Ap Bia
Mountain, Hill 937, after nine days of fighting entrenched North
Vietnamese forces. Ap Bia was referred to as Hamburger Hill by the
Americans, following one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam
(HN, 5/20/02)(AP, 5/20/08)
1970 May 20, Some 100,000
people demonstrated in New York's Wall Street district in support of
U.S. policy in Vietnam and Cambodia.
(AP, 5/20/97)(HN, 5/20/98)
1971 May 20, The US Congress
cancelled the supersonic SST airplane program.
1971 May 20, In Turkey the
National Order Party was shut down by Constitutional Court for being
anti-secular. Erbakan went to Switzerland in self-exile.
1973 May 20, "The Two Gentlemen
of Verona" closed at St. James Theater in NYC after 613
1973 May 20, In the 25th Emmy
Awards the winners included The Waltons, All in the Family &
Mary Tyler Moore.
1974 May 20, Judge John Sirica
ordered President Nixon to turn over tapes and records of 64 White
House conversations regarding Watergate.
1974 May 20, Ian Fairweather
(b.1891), Scotland-born Australian artist, died. He lived for much
of his life as a recluse on Bribie Island, north of Brisbane. In
Murray Bail authored “Fairweather,” a biography with color
reproductions. The book was expanded in 2009.
1975 May 20, The European
Economic Community adopted a trade agreement with Israel.
1978 May 20, The Tokyo
International Airport at Narita opened on a 2,632 acre site on Chiba
Peninsula. The opening was 8 years after it was built due to
opposition by local farmers and univ. students.
1979 May 20, Helen Smith
(b.1956), a British nurse, died after reportedly fall from a balcony
in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The bodies of Helen and Johannes Otten
(35), a Dutch tugboat captain, were found in the street 70 feet
below a sixth floor balcony. Helen was found lying in the road fully
clothed and Johannes, whose underpants were around his thighs, was
impaled upon the spiked railings surrounding the apartment block.
Helen’s father, Ron Smith, did not allow her burial because he did
not believe official Saudi and British reports that the death was an
accident. He believed his daughter was murdered and that her body
could provide forensic evidence to expose a cover up. In 2009 Smith
and his ex-wife decided to cremate their daughter before they both
1980 May 20, In Canada a
referendum of 59.5% of Quebec voters rejected separatism.
1980 May 20, A fire in nursing
home in Kingston, Jamaica, killed some 153 old women.
1984 May 20, "On Your Toes"
closed at the Virginia Theater in NYC after 505 performances.
1984 May 20, Peter Bull (72),
British actor (Dr Doolittle), died of a heart attack.
1985 May 20, US began
broadcasts to Cuba on Radio Marti.
1985 May 20, FBI arrested John
A. Walker. US Navy Chief Petty Officer Walker began spying for the
Soviet Union in 1968 for $1,000 per week. Walker’s ex-wife turned
him into the FBI.
1985 May 20, Israel exchanged
1,150 Palestinian prisoners for 3 Israeli soldiers. The exchange was
later referred to as the Jibril deal after the leader of the
PFLP-GC, Ahmad Jibril.
1986 May 20, The Flintstones
25th Anniversary Celebration aired on CBS-TV.
1986 May 20, In China a tornado
picked up 12 children and deposited them on a sand dune 12 miles
(SFEC, 7/6/97, Z1 p.6)
1987 May 20, Captain Glenn
Brindel, commander of the US frigate Stark, broke his silence
regarding the May 17 loss of 37 sailors in an Iraqi missile attack.
Brindel said he was warned only seconds before missiles struck, and
that he'd had no time to activate the ship's defense system.
1988 May 20, 30-year-old Laurie
Dann walked into a Winnetka, Ill., elementary school classroom,
where she shot to death 8-year-old Nicholas Corwin and wounded
several other children. After wounding a young man at his home, Dann
took her own life.
1989 May 20, Comedian Gilda
Radner died in Los Angeles at age 42.
1989 May 20, China declared
martial law in Beijing. During the pro-democracy protests, Beijing
officials ordered CBS and CNN to end their live on-scene reports.
1990 May 20, In Massachusetts
the body of Cheryl Kosilek (35) was found in her car at a North
Attleborough shopping mall. Robert Kosilek (41) was convicted of her
murder in 1993 and while in prison demanded that the state of
Massachusetts provide him or her with a sex-change operation.
1990 May 20, The Hubble Space
Telescope sent back its first photographs.
1990 May 20, An Israeli opened
fire on a group of Palestinian laborers south of Tel Aviv, killing
seven; the gunman was sentenced to life in prison.
1990 May 20, Romania's ruling
National Salvation Front scored victories in the country's first
free elections in more than 50 years.
1991 May 20, The movie “Barton
Fink” won the top prizes at the 44th annual Cannes Film Festival.
1991 May 20, Lawmakers in the
Soviet Union voted to liberalize foreign travel and emigration.
1991 May 20, The American Red
Cross announced measures aimed at screening blood more carefully for
the AIDS virus.
1992 May 20, Proclaiming his
innocence to the end, Roger Keith Coleman was executed in Virginia's
electric chair for the 1981 rape-murder of his sister-in-law, Wanda
McCoy. In 2006 DNA evidence confirmed that Coleman was guilty.
(AP, 5/20/97)(AP, 1/13/06)
1992 May 20, Thailand's
much-revered monarch (King Bhumibol Adulyadej) called for an end to
violent clashes between troops and pro-democracy protesters.
1993 May 20, An estimated 93
million people tuned in for the 274th & final episode of
"Cheers" on NBC-TV.
1993 May 20, Max Klein (77),
inventor of paint by numbers, died.
1994 May 20, Tributes poured in
following the death of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. President Clinton
said of the former first lady: "She captivated our nation and the
world with her intelligence, her elegance and her grace."
1995 May 20, Timber Country won
the Preakness at Pimlico.
1995 May 20, President Clinton
announced that the two-block stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front
of the White House would be permanently closed to motor vehicles as
a security measure.
1995 May 20, CBS News fired
co-anchor Connie Chung.
1996 May 20, The song Blue
composed by Bill Mack in 1963 for Patsy Cline was finally recorded
by 14-year-old LeAnn Rimes.
(WSJ, 8/29/96, p.B1)
1996 May 20, The Supreme Court
struck down, 6-3, a Colorado constitutional amendment banning laws
that protect homosexuals from discrimination. In another decision,
the court curtailed, 5-4, huge jury awards aimed at punishing or
(WSJ, 5/21/96, p.A-1)(AP, 5/20/97)
1996 May 20, The US paid North
Korea $2 million to help recover the remains of US soldiers killed
during the Korean War.
(SFC, 5/21/96, p.A-11)
1996 May 20, John Pertwee (76),
English actor (Dr Who), died.
1996 May 20, Iraq and the UN
reached an agreement for oil sales in exchange for use of the
revenue in humanitarian aid.
(WSJ, 5/21/96, p.A-1)
1996 May 20, Dr. Eyyad Sarraj,
a Palestinian human rights advocate, was arrested after accusing the
Palestinian Authority of dictatorial rule and torturing prisoners in
the Gaza Strip.
(SFC, 5/20/96, p.A-9)
1996 May 20, In Malaysia timber
exports have reached $1.5 billion from the state of Sarawak in
north-central Borneo Island. The lives of the local Penans and other
forest peoples have been forever fractured. Half of Sarawak is zoned
for logging, 8% is to be permanently protected, and 42% is to be
stripped away for development.
(SFC, 5/20/96, p.A-8)
1996 May 20, Public workers in
many cities of Germany staged warning strikes against the
governments proposed decrease in public spending.
(SFC, 5/21/96, p.A-10)
1996 May 20, Giovanni Brusca
(36), believed by many to be the leader of the Italian Mafia, was
arrested in Sicily. He is charged with masterminding the murder of
Giovanni Falcone, his wife and three bodyguards in 1992 and of
leading teams that damaged the Uffizi museum in Florence with car
bombs in 1993.
(SFC, 5/21/96, p.A-11)(SFC, 8/24/96, p.A12)
1996 May 20, Two French
soldiers were shot and wounded as they assisted French citizens to
evacuate from Bangui in the Central African Republic. This was the
second uprising by the army in two months with 7 people killed since
(SFC, 5/21/96, p.A-11)
1997 May 20, The Senate
approved legislation to ban certain late-term abortions, but fell
three votes shy of the total needed to override President Clinton's
1997 May 20, Marine Corporal
Clemente Banuelos shot and killed the goat herder Esequiel Hernandez
on the Mexican border at El Paso while on border patrol. The marine
claimed self-defense after Hernandez fired 2 shots from a
.22-caliber rifle. A grand jury later declined to indict Banuelos.
(SFC, 8/15/97, p.A8)
1997 May 20, In Venezuela it
was reported that a plan was approved to allow the country’s 4,000
jaguars to be legally hunted. Proceeds of hunting licenses would be
used to move remaining jaguars to protected areas.
(SFC, 5/20/97, p.A14)
1998 May 20, Pres. Clinton
vetoed a school voucher plan that would have provided tax funds for
poor children in Washington D.C. to attend private or religious
(WSJ, 5/21/98, p.A1)
1998 May 20, The House voted
overwhelmingly to block future satellite exports to China. [see May
1998 May 20, The government
unveiled the design for the new $20 bill, featuring a larger and
slightly off-center portrait of Andrew Jackson.
1998 May 20, In another part of
Operation Casablanca, a US federal indictment in LA charged 5
Venezuelans with laundering millions of dollars from drug cartels.
Bankers Esperanza de Saad and Marco Tulio Henriquez were included.
(SFC, 5/21/98, p.A5)
1998 May 20, In Wisconsin
abortion clinics resumed first-trimester abortions after being
assured that the new state law did not impact the first trimester
(SFC, 5/21/98, p.A6)
1998 May 20, In Streamwood
Ill., Frank Capaci, a retired electrician, won the record $195 mil
Powerball lottery of Wisconsin. He chose to take a $104.23 mil lump
(SFC, 5/22/98, p.A3)
1998 May 20, In Beverly Hills,
Calif., Hollywood royalty bid farewell to Frank Sinatra, who had
died almost a week earlier at age 82, in a private, invitation-only
1998 May 20, In Argentina
Alfredo Yabran, a businessman wanted in connection with a 1997
murder, committed suicide in Entre Rios province.
(SFC, 5/21/98, p.A14)
1998 May 20, In Bangladesh a
cyclone pounded the southeastern coast and killed at least 14
people. Nearly 100 fisherman were missing.
(SFC, 5/22/98, p.D4)
1998 May 20, In Cambodia Prince
Ranariddh quit as head of an opposition alliance against Hun Sen and
chose to support Son Soubert.
(WSJ, 5/21/98, p.A1)
1998 May 20, The EU approved a
rescue package to save the French Credit Lyonnais banking group. In
exchange the state bank would be privatized and assets would have to
(SFC, 5/22/98, p.D4)
1998 May 20, In Kyrgyzstan a
truck spilled 20 tons of cyanide and forced 600 people to seek
medical treatment. 3,876 pounds of cyanide leached out of the truck
but did not seem to hurt any local residents. Some fish died in the
river and the water flowed into the 113-mile-long Lake Ysyk Kol. The
Cameco Corp. of Canada ran the Kumtor gold mine and contributed some
15% of the country’s GNP.
(WSJ, 5/28/98, p.A1)(WSJ, 11/18/98, p.A18)
1998 May 20, In Trinidad
Ishmael Sammy, a 22-year-old mechanic, was dragged out of his home
by masked men and shot. In 2010 the director of public prosecutions
said the state did not have the evidence to proceed with a murder
charge against Yasin Abu Bakr and Brent Miller, members of the
Jamaat al Muslimeen group, in the slaying of Sammy. Bakr, a former
police officer who converted to Islam in the 1970s, has been charged
with various crimes over the years but never convicted.
1999 May 20, Robbie Knievel
(37) jumped a 200-foot-wide chasm over the Grand Canyon with his
motorcycle. His old world record was 223 feet.
(SFC, 5/21/99, p.A3)
1999 May 20, The US Senate
passed a bill imposing new gun control measures that included
background checks on all firearm transactions at gun shows and pawn
(SFC, 5/21/99, p.A1)
1999 May 20, The US Justice
Dept. settled charges against Roche Holding AG and BASF AG, two of
the largest vitamin makers, for price fixing. Roche agreed to pay
$500 million with a guilty plea, and BASF agreed to pay $225 million
with a guilty plea.
(SFC, 5/21/99, p.A3)
1999 May 20, The US FDA
approved the painkiller Vioxx made by Merck. The clinical trial of
Vioxx® included more than 5000 patients and approved for diminishing
pain in patients with acute and chronic osteoarthritis, adult pain
relief and primary dysmenorrheal.
1999 May 20, In Conyers, Ga., a
15-year-old boy shot and wounded 6 fellow students at Heritage High
(SFC, 5/21/99, p.A1)
1999 May 20, NATO bombs struck
a hospital in Belgrade and its suburbs leaving a hospital in
smoldering ruins, three patients dead and the nearby homes of three
European ambassadors damaged.
(SFC, 5/21/99, p.A12)(AP, 5/20/00)
1999 May 20, In Canada the
Supreme Court struck down a heterosexual definition of "spouse" as
(SFC, 5/21/99, p.A12)
1999 May 20, In Italy Massimo
D'Antona, a univ. professor of labor law and the architect of labor
reforms, was shot to death as he walked to work in Rome. The Red
Brigade claimed responsibility in a 28-page manifesto left in a
trash bin. In 2005 Nadia Desdemona Lioce, Marco Mezzasalma and
Roberto Morandi were convicted and sentenced to life terms. Paolo
Broccatelli received a nine-year term.
(SFC, 5/22/99, p.A13)(AP, 7/9/05)
1999 May 20, Off the western
coast of Malaysia over 1,100 people escaped from the
Bahamian-registered Sun Vista cruise ship, which caught fire and
sank. The 547-cabin ship under Captain Sven Hartzell was in the
Strait of Malacca when the fire began.
(SFC, 5/21/99, p.D2)(SFC, 5/24/99, p.A12)
1999 May 20, In Pakistan a
cyclone struck the Arabian Sea coast and left an estimated 700
people missing, many of whom were presumed dead. Residents said that
as many as 3,500 people were missing. Some 92 bodies of Indians were
recovered from the cyclone that hit the Pakistani coast by May 27.
The number of bodies of Indian fisherman found reached 278 on Jun 2.
(SFC, 5/21/99, p.A13)(SFC, 5/22/99, p.A16)(SFC,
1999 May 20, In Turkey Semdik
Sakik, a Kurdish guerrilla commander was sentenced to death along
with his brother Arif Sakik.
(SFC, 5/21/99, p.D2)
1999 May 20, The Yugoslav army
took control of the borders of Montenegro to prevent men escaping
into Bosnia and to halt the flow of recruits and weapons to the KLA.
(WSJ, 5/21/99, p.A9)
2000 May 20, “Red Bullet” won
the Preakness Stakes, outpacing Kentucky Derby winner “Fusaichi
2000 May 20, In North Carolina
a bridge collapsed at the Winston NASCAR stock car race in Concord.
107 people were treated and 53 were hospitalized.
(SFC, 5/22/00, p.A2)
2000 May 20, Jean-Pierre
Rampal, classical flutist, died in Paris at age 78.
(SFEC, 5/21/00, p.B11)
2000 May 20, Israeli warplanes
attacked Palestinian targets in Lebanon and destroyed 10 tanks.
Israeli soldiers clashed with Palestinian demonstrators for the 9th
day in Palestinian territories within Israel.
(SFEC, 5/21/00, p.A10)
2000 May 20, In Taiwan Lee
Teng-hui (b.1923 ended his 12-year presidency.
(Econ, 7/9/11, p.42)
2000 May 20, The 5 nuclear
powers of the UN Security Council agreed to eliminate their nuclear
arsenals over time as part of a new disarmament agenda approved by
(SFEC, 5/21/00, p.A8)
2001 May 20, President Bush, in
an address to graduating Notre Dame students, urged a new generation
of American voters to "revive the spirit of citizenship" and carry
on the work of two Democratic presidents: Lyndon Johnson's war on
poverty and welfare reforms under Bill Clinton.
2001 May 20, In China 20 miners
were feared dead in a gypsum mine in the Guangxi region and another
38-39 were trapped in a coal mine in Sichuan. The miners in Sichuan
were working a prison-run mine.
(SFC, 5/21/01, p.A10)(SFC, 5/22/01, p.A11)
2001 May 20, In China 14 people
were executed in 2 cities for robbery and murder.
(SFC, 5/21/01, p.A10)
2001 May 20, The Italian film
"The Son's Room" won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
2001 May 20, In Iran a power
failure by Tavanir, the state-owned utility, left almost the whole
country without electricity for several hours.
(SFC, 5/21/01, p.A10)
2001 May 20, In Iran a woman
was stoned to death after her conviction for acting in pornographic
films was upheld by the Supreme Court.
(SFC, 5/22/01, p.A11)
2001 May 20, In Macedonia
government troops shelled ethnic Albanian positions in response to
machine gun and sniper fire.
(SFC, 5/22/01, p.A11)
2001 May 20, In Mongolia the
3rd presidential elections were scheduled. Pres. Bagabandi was
re-elected with 58% of the vote.
(SFC, 5/17/01, p.C4)(SFC, 5/22/01, p.A11)
2002 May 20, Pres. Bush marked
Cuban Independence Day with a speech that offered Cuba greater
economic and political ties in exchange for free and transparent
elections and an open economy.
(WSJ, 5/20/02, p.A3)(SFC, 5/21/02, p.A3)
2002 May 20, FBI Chief Mueller
said the US may soon be confronted with human bombs like those in
(WSJ, 5/21/02, p.A1)
2002 May 20, Steven Jay Gould
(60), polymath, paleontologist and writer, died of cancer in NYC. He
and Niles Eldredge were proponents of the theory of punctuated
evolution, an update on Darwin's theory of evolution. His books
included “The Mismeasure of Man” (1988). His book “The Hedgehog, the
Fox and the Magister's Pox: Mending the Gap Between Science and the
Humanities” was published posthumously in 2003.
(SFC, 5/21/02, p.A6)(SSFC, 4/13/03, p.M1)
2002 May 20, Veteran Los
Angeles TV newscaster Jerry Dunphy died at age 80.
2002 May 20, East Timor, with a
population at about 800,000, celebrated independence. A legal battle
loomed with Australia over the disputed Greater Sunrise natural gas
field in the Timor Sea. The filed lay 95 miles south of East Timor
and 250 miles north of Australia.
(SFC, 5/20/02, p.A6)(WSJ, 5/20/02, p.A19)(WSJ,
2002 May 20, East Timor was
renamed Timor-Leste upon independence.
2002 May 20, In Israel a
Palestinian suicide bomber killed himself and Israeli troops in
Tulkarem arrested a women who planned a suicide attack. It was also
reported that a Palestinian plan to bomb the twin 50-story towers in
Tel Aviv had been thwarted 3 weeks earlier. PM Sharon fired 4
Cabinet members of Shas who helped defeat his emergency economic
(SFC, 5/21/02, p.A1)
2002 May 20, In Japan the
Int'l. Whaling Commission rejected Iceland's bid for full membership
for a 2nd year in a row.
(SFC, 5/21/02, p.A16)
2002 May 20, In Lebanon a car
bomb killed Jihad Jibril (38), head of local military operations for
the PFLP-GC. He was the son of Palestinian guerrilla leader Ahmed
Jibril who headed the Syrian-based Popular Front for the Liberation
of Palestine-General Command, founded in 1968. In 2008 a retired
Lebanese police officer and a Palestinian were indicted for
allegedly working with Israeli intelligence to assassinate Jibril.
(SFC, 5/21/02, p.A16)(AP, 6/18/08)
2002 May 20, Liberia rejected a
cease-fire appeal by neighboring West African nations and ordered
its forces to look for a missing British priest and 60-blind
Liberian civilians last seen May 13.
(SFC, 5/21/02, p.A16)
2002 May 20, Palestine called
for int'l. monitors for the Kashmir border. 2 Indian soldiers were
killed in fighting.
(SFC, 5/21/02, p.A9)
2003 May 20, The TV show "Buffy
the Vampire Slayer" had its finale. Set in the fictional California
town of Sunnydale, "Buffy" depicted high school as a literal Hell.
The TV series began in 1997 based on a 1992 movie.
2003 May 20, The Bush
administration raised the terrorism alert level to orange on and
called for increased security nationwide.
2003 May 20, The United States
banned all beef imports from Canada after a lone case of mad cow
disease was discovered in the heart of Canada's cattle country.
2003 May 20, Afghan governors
signed an agreement with President Hamid Karzai to pay vital customs
revenues to the central government. Karzai had threatened to resign
due to lack of revenue payments.
(AP, 5/20/03)(WSJ, 5/20/03, p.A1)
2003 May 20, Canadian
agriculture officials said that it took 15 weeks -- from Jan. 31 to
May 16 -- before a battery of tests ordered on a sickly, underweight
cow that had been deemed unfit for human consumption proved it had
mad cow disease. In 2004 investigators identified 68 British cattle
as the probable source of Canada's mad cow cases.
(AP, 5/20/03)(WSJ, 3/22/04, p.A1)
2003 May 20, In northern China
a powerful gas explosion at the Yongtai mine, an unlicensed coal
mine, killed 25 miners. On May 23 flooding in a coal mine in central
China trapped 15 miners,
2003 May 20, Indonesian troops
killed or captured dozens of insurgents in its northwestern province
of Aceh, the 2nd day of a major offensive aimed at destroying a
2003 May 20, Malaysia launched
its government sponsored BioValley complex at a cost of $150
million. In 2005 the journal Nature reported it as a failed project.
2003 May 20, The first of more
than 12,000 Somali Bantus awaiting resettlement set out for the US,
leaving at long last the refugee camps where most have lived for a
2004 May 20, President Bush
made a rare visit to Capitol Hill, where he sought to ease
Republican lawmakers' concerns over the Iraq campaign.
2004 May 20, Detroit Zoo
officials said they will stop exhibiting elephants on ethical
grounds because elephants can develop arthritis and stress-related
ailments in captivity.
2004 May 20, In Afghanistan 3
suspected militants were killed and 23 people detained after 4 U.S.
soldiers were shot and wounded during raids against militia forces
in Tani district. Residents claimed a case of mistaken identities.
2004 May 20, In Colombia 3
bombs exploded in 2 parts of Medellin, killing at least four people
and wounding 15. A wave of attacks marked the 40th anniversary of
(AP, 5/21/04)(AP, 5/22/04)
2004 May 20, Iraqi police
backed by American soldiers raided the home and offices of Ahmad
Chalabi, a prominent Iraqi politician.
2004 May 20, Taketo Hatakeyama
(41), a member of Japan’s Sumiyoshi Kai crime group, killed himself
as police stormed his apartment building in Utsunomiya. This
followed a 2-day standoff. A woman was found dead inside.
2004 May 20, Voters in Malawi,
one of the world's poorest nations, flocked to the polls for their
third multiparty elections in a decade. Bingu wa Mutharika, Pres.
Muluzi’s handpicked successor, was declared the winner. The ruling
party lost its parliamentary majority.
(AP, 5/20/04)(SFC, 5/24/04, p.A3)
2004 May 20, Palestinian
uprising leader Marwan Barghouti, widely seen as a potential
successor to Yasser Arafat, was convicted of ordering shootings that
killed four Israelis and a Greek monk and supplying funds and arms
for other attacks. Israeli troops pressed their offensive in a Gaza
Strip refugee camp for a third day, killing 8 Palestinians, most of
them armed, and demolishing several buildings. In the West Bank, 3
Palestinians were killed by army fire.
2004 May 20, Four suspected
Saudi militants and a policeman were killed in a shootout the Saudi
city of Buraida.
2004 May 20, In Uganda rebels
raided the northern village of Gulu, hacking and burning to death at
least 25 people, including eight children.
2005 May 20, The US military
condemned the publication of photographs showing an imprisoned
Saddam Hussein naked except for his white underwear, and ordered an
investigation of how the pictures were leaked to a British tabloid.
2005 May 20, A federal judge in
SF tossed out half of the convictions against former Ukrainian Prime
Minister Pavlo Lazarenko in a multi-count money-laundering and fraud
verdict, but refused to grant a new trial.
2005 May 20, Illinois lawmakers
voted to have the state sell off about $1 billion worth of
investments in companies doing business with Sudan, part of a
nationwide campaign to protest genocide in the African nation.
2005 May 20, US Airways and
America West merged in a $1.5 billion deal.
(SFC, 5/20/05, p.C1)
2005 May 20-2005 May 23, In
Arizona 12 illegal immigrants were reported dead while crossing the
border under triple digit heat.
(SFC, 5/23/05, p.A3)
2005 May 20, Australia stepped
up diplomatic efforts to stop Japan from increasing its whale hunt,
saying up to 35 countries were opposed to the plan.
2005 May 20, Officials said 3
ferry accidents in Bangladesh in the past week left at least 133
people dead as hope faded for 187 people still missing.
2005 May 20, British scientists
reported the discovery of a new species of monkey in Tanzania, the
(SFC, 5/21/05, p.A1)
2005 May 20, A bus crash north
of Edmonton killed 6 people. RCMP later charged truck driver
Inderjit Singh Virk (32), of Brampton, Ontario, with dangerous
2005 May 20, Young Chilean
soldiers who made it out of a blizzard alive said they had to leave
behind comrades who collapsed from exhaustion and cold. The soldiers
were on a training march in the Andes Mountains May 18, when hit by
the worst snowstorm in the area in decades. As many as 41 soldiers,
40 draftees and one officer, were believed to have died.
2005 May 20, Chinese state
media reported China is to lift a decades-old ban on mainland
tourists visiting political rival Taiwan. Ultimately, however, it
was up to the Taiwan government to decide whether the floodgates
should be opened.
2005 May 20, In northern China
20 people died in mine explosions in two neighboring mines in Shanxi
2005 May 20, Ashraf Saeed
Youssef (27), ringleader of 3 recent attacks that targeted Western
tourists in Egypt, died in the Cairo hospital he'd been transferred
to a week ago for treatment after hitting his head several times
against the wall of his prison cell.
2005 May 20, Hurricane Adrian
slammed into El Salvador, unleashing torrential rains in an area
prone to devastating floods and forcing some 14,000 people to seek
2005 May 20, The EU and NATO
called for an int’l. investigation into the May 13 suppression of
protestors at Andijan, Uzbekistan.
(WSJ, 9/2/05, p.A13)
2005 May 20, The Finnish paper
industry, which accounts for 15% of world production, remained at a
standstill after labor talks between unions and employers ended
2005 May 20, Paul Ricoeur (92),
a French philosopher whose broad interests included biblical
interpretation and the study of human perception, died.
2005 May 20, In Guatemala an
angry mob in the remote settlement of Cruz Chich set fire to 6
people accused of forming a band of robbers, killing 4 as
authorities tried to stop the violence.
2005 May 20, Thousands of
Shiites, many waving Islam's holy book over their heads, protested
the US presence in Iraq. Sunnis shut down places of worship
elsewhere in a show of anger over alleged sectarian violence against
2005 May 20, Palestinian
militants fired six anti-tank missiles and a mortar round and opened
up with light arms at a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip.
2005 May 20, A bomb exploded in
an apartment building in southern Russia's Dagestan region, killing
the area's minister for ethnic relations and his bodyguard.
2005 May 20, Syrian Ambassador
Imad Moustapha said Syria has cut off military and intelligence
cooperation with the US over the last 10 days amid strains in
relations between the two countries over the insurgency in Iraq.
2006 May 20, Federal agents
searched the Capitol Hill office of Rep. William Jefferson of
Louisiana as part of a bribery investigation.
2006 May 20, In Maryland
Barbaro, winner of the Kentucky Derby, fractured an ankle at the
start of the Preakness; Bernardini won the race. Barbaro was
euthanized Jan 29, 2007, due to medical complications.
(SSFC, 5/21/06, p.A1)(AP, 1/29/07)
2006 May 20, New Orleans Voters
re-elected Mayor Ray Nagin, whose blunt style endeared him to some
but outraged others after Hurricane Katrina, giving him four more
years to oversee one of the largest rebuilding projects in U.S.
2006 May 20, Barry Bonds tied
Babe Ruth for second place on the career list with his 714th home
2006 May 20, An explosion in
the Darby Mine No. 1 coal mine in Harlan County, eastern Kentucky,
killed five miners while one other miner was able to get out alive.
2006 May 20, In southern
Afghanistan one French and 16 Afghan soldiers were killed and about
40 other troops were wounded in two firefights as rebels ambushed
two Afghan army convoys and US forces. At least 9 Taliban militants
were killed in the battle in Sangin district. 2 French special
forces troops were killed in neighboring Kandahar province.
2006 May 20, Australian
Aborigines rejected calls for military peacekeepers to protect
indigenous women and children from violence, as a new report
revealed high levels of sexual abuse of young indigenous males.
2006 May 20, In Brazil Sao
Paulo's government refused to release the names of 109 people killed
by police during a week of gangland violence, despite increased
pressure from activists who said public confidence in law
enforcement had been shaken.
2006 May 20, China held a
ceremonial pouring of a final slab of cement for its Three Gorges
Dam in Hubei province. The 600-foot dam cost at least $22 billion.
(SFC, 5/18/06, p.A10)(WSJ, 8/29/07, p.A12)
2006 May 20, President Hosni
Mubarak opened the World Economic Forum in a booming Red Sea resort
with a surprisingly tough speech that signaled deepening strains in
the once-ironclad links with Egypt's American allies and
benefactors. PM Ahmed Nazif said the Egyptian government is not in a
hurry to change the country's political system.
(Reuters, 5/20/06)(AP, 5/20/06)
2006 May 20, Lordi, a Finnish
metal band with monster masks and apocalyptic lyrics, won the
Eurovision contest in Greece.
2006 May 20, India announced a
one billion dollar package to revive its tea industry blighted by
plummeting prices and a downturn in exports.
2006 May 20, Iraq's parliament
approved a national unity government, achieving a goal Washington
hopes will reduce violence so U.S. forces can eventually go home.
But as the legislators met, a series of attacks killed at least 27
people and wounded dozens.
2006 May 20, Irish police
removed Afghan hunger-strikers from a Dublin cathedral, where some
40 protesters gathered on May 15 demanding asylum and warning they
would kill themselves if officers came near.
2006 May 20, Chanchu, the most
powerful storm to strike the South China Sea this early in the
typhoon season, killed nearly 90 people in Asia over the past week.
It was now weakened to a tropical storm and hovering off southern
Japan. 198 Vietnamese fishermen remained missing.
2006 May 20, Lithuanian police
arrested Vidmantas Sungaila (41) for driving his truck down the
center of a two-lane highway 60 miles from Vilnius. Sungaila (41)
registered 7.27 grams per liter of alcohol in his blood repeatedly
on different devices. Medical experts say anything above 3.5 grams
per liter of alcohol in the blood is lethal for most people.
Lithuania has one of the worst road safety records in the EU. Last
year 760 people died in traffic accidents in this country of 3.5
million residents. Most were alcohol-related.
2006 May 20, A bomb blast
seriously wounded Tareq Abu Rajab, the Palestinian intelligence
chief, at his headquarters in what security officials called an
assassination attempt against a key ally of Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas. One bodyguard was killed.
2006 May 20, In Gaza City an
Israeli missile killed Mohammed Dadouh, the top military commander
of the militant group Islamic Jihad. A 2nd missile killed civilians:
3 generations of the Amen family, a grandmother, mother and son were
killed, and a 4-year-old daughter and uncle were paralyzed. The
Israeli Defense Ministry later decided to pay the Amen family’s
medical expenses as "special humanitarian treatment."
2006 May 20, South Korean media
reported that 4 North Koreans had overpowered a security guard and
scaled the wall of a US consulate in China in hopes of gaining
asylum from their impoverished, communist country.
2006 May 20, A man wielding a
box cutter attacked Park Geun-hye (54), the leader of South Korea's
main opposition party, slashing her face during a campaign rally.
Park's mother, Yook Young-soo, was fatally shot in 1974. Five years
later, Park's father was assassinated by the then-chief of the state
2007 May 20, President Bush
welcomed NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to his
Crawford, Texas, ranch, to review strategy on a flurry of issues.
2007 May 20, It was reported
that the US continued to pay Pakistan some $1 billion a year in
reimbursements for military counterterrorism efforts along the
Afghan border. Over the last 5 years Pakistan has received $5.6
billion. Payments averaged $80 million a month.
(SSFC, 5/20/07, p.A6)
2007 May 20, In Idaho law
enforcement officers stormed a church in Moscow where Jason Hamilton
(36) went after wounding three in a courthouse ambush where he faced
mental evaluation. Hamilton killed his wife at home and sexton Paul
Bauer at the church before taking his own life. An officer who was
shot responding to a gunman spraying bullets at a courthouse died of
(AP, 5/20/07)(SFC, 5/21/07, p.A5)(SFC, 5/22/07,
2007 May 20, San Francisco’s
96th annual Bay to Breakers race drew some 60,000 runners. Joe
Spinale (53) died of a heart attack after crossing the finish line.
(SFC, 5/21/07, p.B1)(SFC, 5/22/07, p.B2)
2007 May 20, Alltel Corp., the
fifth-biggest US wireless company and owner of the nation's largest
geographic network, announced that it had signed an agreement to be
acquired by TPG Capital, formerly Texas Pacific Group, and GS
Capital Partners, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs in a deal worth
2007 May 20, In eastern
Afghanistan a suicide bomber on foot detonated himself in a crowded
market just after a US convoy drove by, killing at least 14 people
and wounding 31. Suspected insurgents ambushed a US-led coalition
and Afghan patrol, sparking a battle and airstrikes that killed 25
suspected insurgents in Helmand province. A suicide bomber walked
into a crowded market in the eastern city of Gardez and blew himself
up, killing 14 people and wounding 31. In eastern Nangarhar
province, a roadside bomb hit a police vehicle in the district of
Dara-I-Nur, killing two policemen and wounding seven others. A
British soldier died of wounds from an accident at a British
military base in Sangin.
(AP, 5/20/07)(AP, 5/21/07)
2007 May 20, Confessed
Australian al-Qaida supporter David Hicks was transferred to a
maximum security prison in his hometown after spending more than
five years at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
2007 May 20, Fiona Dawson,
managing director of the Mars snack food business in Britain,
apologized for a widely mocked decision to use animal products in
chocolate bars and said in future its candy would be suitable for
2007 May 20, An exit poll
showed that Bulgaria's ruling Socialist party won the country's
first elections for the European Parliament with 23.9% of votes,
despite voter frustration with rampant corruption and poverty.
2007 May 20, China’s state
press said that pollution and the excessive use of chemicals in
foodstuffs are sending national cancer rates soaring. 20 Chinese
women were killed and 4 injured when a 3-wheeled tractor overturned
on a mountain road in northern Liaoning province.
2007 May 20, Jose Ramos-Horta
was sworn in as East Timor's president as violence erupted in the
capital between rival groups, leaving one person dead.
2007 May 20, Guram Sharadze
(67), the leader of a Georgian opposition movement, was gunned down
on a street in a central part of the capital, Tbilisi.
2007 May 20, In Germany
engineering concern Siemens said Peter Loescher, from US
pharmaceutical giant Merck, will take over as chief executive from
2007 May 20, Hungary’s PM
Ferenc Gyurcsany said that the justice minister resigned and the
national and Budapest police chiefs were dismissed in an effort to
restore public confidence in the force after cases accusing officers
of rape, corruption and theft.
(AP, 5/21/07)(Econ, 6/2/07, p.51)
2007 May 20, A suicide bomber
exploded a tanker truck near an Iraqi police checkpoint outside a
market west of Baghdad, killing at least two officers and injuring
nine people. A bomb planted under a parked car exploded in the
central Baghdad neighborhood of Bab al-Sharji, near the Zahraa
Shiite mosque. The blast killed two civilians, wounded 10. A mortar
shell landed in a commercial area in central Baghdad, killing one
person and wounding three.
2007 May 20, Israeli Vice
Premier Shimon Peres said his government would offer a
counterproposal to an Arab peace initiative to resolve the conflict
with Palestinians. Israeli warplanes fired missiles into a car
carrying Hamas militants and a load of weapons, killing 3 people,
and also demolished arms factories of 2 Palestinian militant groups.
2007 May 20, In Kenya 6 men
were beheaded over the weekend in villages on the outskirts of
Nairobi. This came weeks after members of the Mungiki sect fought
with the police over control of minibus terminals, where they have
been extorting money from drivers. 7 people were soon arrested in
connection with the beheadings.
2007 May 20, Kuwait broke ranks
with the US dollar and decided to track a basket of currencies. It
was estimated that the dollar still accounted for 70% of the basket.
(Econ, 11/24/07, p.75)(http://tinyurl.com/2wojz3)
2007 May 20, Lebanese tanks
pounded a militant group's headquarters in the Nahr al-Bared
Palestinian refugee camp near Tripoli after the northern city's
worst clashes in two decades killed 13 soldiers and 17 militants.
The raid that triggered the clashes was part of a police search for
suspects in a bank robbery a day earlier in Amyoun, a town southeast
of Tripoli. Gunmen of the radical jihadist faction known as Fatah
al-Islam made off with $125,000 in cash in the robbery. The siege
lasted 106 days leaving 47 civilians, 167 Lebanese soldiers and some
287 guerrillas dead.
(AP, 5/20/07)(Econ, 5/26/07, p.47)(Econ, 5/10/08,
2007 May 20, Police in
Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara arrested three leading human rights
campaigners following weeks of crackdowns against students and
activists in the territory.
2007 May 20, Officials said
Nigeria's largest state has sued US drug firm Pfizer for allegedly
using 200 children as "guinea pigs" for a drug test in 1996 that led
to multiple deaths and deformities. In 2010 a leaked WikiLeaks cable
said Pfizer hired investigators to unearth evidence of corruption
against Nigeria’s former attorney general Michael Aondoakaa to
persuade him to drop legal action over the company’s experimental
(AFP, 5/20/07)(SSFC, 12/12/10, p.A4)
2007 May 20, In Pakistan
hardline clerics said that they had released two policemen held
hostage at an Islamabad mosque, after a deal was struck with
authorities to free 4 extremists.
2007 May 20, Hundreds of
demonstrators gathered outside the Moscow’s main broadcast facility
to protest what they called lies and censorship on TV stations that
are either controlled by the state or under its influence.
2007 May 20, A bomb detonated
in Mogadishu near the mayor's vehicle convoy, leaving at least two
civilians dead. His bodyguards shot and killed a suspected insurgent
who had been in a tree near the explosion.
2007 May 20, Sri Lanka's
government claimed to have killed more than 500 rebels in the past
four months and lost 44 of its own soldiers in fierce fighting that
has completely shattered the island nation's peace process.
2007 May 20, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents shot and killed two Buddhist
civilians and wounded a third, while a bomb wounded 11 people,
including five policemen.
2007 May 20, Thousands of
flag-waving Turks demonstrated in the Black Sea port city of Samsun
against the Islamic-rooted government, which they fear is
undermining Turkey's secular system.
2007 May 20, Vietnam elected a
new National Assembly. Vietnam's communist party won more than 91%
of seats in elections for the new national assembly, which will
consist of 493 members.
(Econ, 5/19/07, p.45)(AP, 5/29/07)
2008 May 20, Sen. Barack Obama
won the Oregon primary 58% to 42% for Hillary Clinton. In Kentucky
Clinton won 65% to 30% for Obama. Obama’s delegate count rose to
1,956 with 1,776 for Clinton. 2,026 delegates were needed to win the
(SFC, 5/21/08, p.A1)
2008 May 20, Massachusetts Sen.
Edward Kennedy (76) was diagnosed with a malignant bran tumor.
(WSJ, 5/21/08, p.A1)
2008 May 20, Merck & Co.
announced that it had agreed to pay $58 million as part of a
multi-state settlement of allegations that its ads played down the
health risks for the painkiller Vioxx.
(SFC, 5/21/08, p.C3)
2008 May 20, Scientists
delivered a warning about nanotechnology after tests on lab rodents
found that microscopic, needle-like fibers that are already in
commercial use led to lesions similar to those caused by asbestos.
2008 May 20, Hamilton Jordan
(b.1944), former strategist and chief of staff for Pres. Jimmy
Carter, died in Atlanta, Georgia.
(SFC, 5/21/08, p.A5)
2008 May 20, In Afghanistan
airstrikes and a 3-hour gun battle in Zabul province killed an
Afghan army soldier and 14 insurgents. 6 of the dead insurgents
appeared to be Arabs.
(AP, 5/21/08)(WSJ, 5/22/08, p.A9)
2008 May 20, Painted and
feathered Indians waving machetes and clubs slashed Eletrobras
engineer Paulo Fernando Rezende, an official of Brazil's national
electric company during a protest over a proposed hydroelectric dam
on the Xingu River. Environmentalists warned it could destroy the
traditional fishing grounds of Indians living nearby and displace as
many as 15,000 people. The government said the proposed US$6.7
billion (euro4.3 billion) dam would supply Brazil with an estimated
11,000 megawatts of power and is essential to meet growing energy
2008 May 20, British PM Gordon
Brown urged rich countries to end agricultural subsidies, and said
he will press for a global trade agreement to help the world's
poorest farmers escape poverty.
2008 May 20, The Dalai Lama
began an 11-day visit to Britain, including talks with PM Gordon
Brown who faces a delicate balancing act between supporting Tibetan
rights while not offending China.
2008 May 20, Howard Dill
(b.1934)), Canadian pumpkin grower, died in Nova Scotia. In 1979 he
grew a 438-pound pumpkin, the largest in the world and proceeded to
win the pumpkin growers world championship 4 years in a row using
his new seed variety, Dill’s Atlantic Giant.
(WSJ, 6/7/08, p.A12)
2008 May 20, In China the
confirmed death toll rose to more than 40,000 as authorities
struggled to find shelter for many of the 5 million people whose
homes were destroyed in last week's earthquake.
2008 May 20, In Ethiopia 3
people were killed and four wounded when a bomb exploded near the
foreign ministry in central Addis Ababa.
2008 May 20, The UN children's
agency warned that a severe drought in Ethiopia threatens up to six
2008 May 20, The European
Parliament censured Italy for its treatment of Gypsies.
(Econ, 5/24/08, p.71)
2008 May 20, Xavier Lopez Pena
(49), the suspected leader of the Basque separatist group ETA, was
detained along with three other suspected ETA members in a sweep on
an apartment in the French city of Bordeaux just before midnight.
2008 May 20, Guinea’s Pres.
Conte unexpectedly fired PM Kouyate. Junior troops disgruntled over
back pay and demanding that Guinea's top generals resign began
firing into the air at several military bases on the outskirts of
the capital, Conakry. They took the army's second-in-command
2008 May 20, Whale hunting
season began in Iceland as the country's first whaling ship of the
year set sail in defiance of a worldwide moratorium on the practice.
2008 May 20, West Bengal,
India, completed 2 weeks of local elections, which left 37 people
killed in fighting by rival parties.
(Econ, 5/24/08, p.59)
2008 May 20, Thousands of Iraqi
troops moved unchallenged into Baghdad's Sadr City to seize the
Shiite militia stronghold. Four anti-al-Qaida fighters were killed
by gunmen in an ambush near Duluiyah, north of Baghdad. A boy (7)
was killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the house of
the head of the so-called awakening council in Mandali, east of the
capital. Shells slammed into the center of Balad Ruz, 45 miles
northeast of Baghdad, killing three civilians and wounding nine
2008 May 20, Israeli aircraft
launched at least three strikes on Palestinians, killing a boy (13),
a Hamas fighter and an unidentified man. The first raid aircraft
fired on the northeastern Gaza Strip at a group of Palestinians
launching rockets. The 2nd aircraft fired at Palestinians who were
planting explosives along the fence in central Gaza.
2008 May 20, In Mexico’s
Durango state two rival groups opened fire at each other with
pistols and assault rifles on a highway, killing eight people.
Officials said the Mexican military took over the police department
of Villa Ahumada this week because all 20 officers on the force have
either been killed, run out of town or quit. The body of Victor
Enrique Payan, 2nd in command of police in Morelos, was found with a
second, unidentified Morelos state police officer in the trunk of a
car south of Mexico City.
(AP, 5/20/08)(AP, 5/22/08)
2008 May 20, The UN's top
humanitarian official made fresh pleas to Myanmar's military
government to allow in more foreign aid for cyclone survivors, as
the country began three days of mourning for the 134,000 dead and
2008 May 20, In Russia Pres.
Medvedev convened top officials and lawyers to set up a task force
aimed at cleaning up the weak and often corrupt court system.
(WSJ, 5/21/08, p.A13)
2008 May 20, The International
Organization for Migration (IOM) said a wave of violence against
foreigners in South Africa has forced 13,000 people to flee their
homes and seek shelter in churches and other social centers.
Violence against foreigners had killed at least 24 people and
(AFP, 5/20/08)(Reuters, 5/20/08)
2008 May 20, In Sri Lanka
ground battles in the Welioya, Vavuniya and Mannar areas bordering
the rebels' de facto state in the north killed 25 rebels. Tamil
leader Balasegaram Kandiah (43), known by his nom de guerre, Brig.
Balraj, died of a heart attack. He reportedly led a number of
battles against government forces.
2008 May 20, In Sudan deadly
fighting raged between rival forces in Abyei, a flashpoint oil
district between north and south whose status remains contested
three years after the end of civil war. 22 government troops died in
fighting that threatened the peace process.
(AP, 5/20/08)(AFP, 5/21/08)
2008 May 20, Taiwanese
prosecutors launched a corruption probe against outgoing President
Chen Shui-bian, hours after he completed eight combative years in
office. Ma Ying-jeou (57) took office and exhorted Beijing to build
a better future for people on both sides of the 100-mile-wide Taiwan
2008 May 20, Ian Shuttleworth
(42), a former British police officer, was arrested in Bangkok in an
international crackdown on a sex trafficking ring that saw nine
Thais detained last month in London. He was arrested at his
apartment in downtown Bangkok, where he had set up a security
company providing bodyguards to Thailand's elite. He is accused of
luring Thai women into prostitution by promising them well-paid
restaurant jobs in London, and then selling them to a madam.
2009 May 20, The US House
passed legislation imposing new rules on credit card companies.
Attached to the legislation was a bill allowing people to bring
concealed and loaded guns into US national parks. Pres. Obama signed
the legislation on May 22.
(SFC, 5/21/09, p.A4)(http://tinyurl.com/qbhe4g)
2009 May 20, In Alabama 5
Birmingham police officers were fired for beating an unconscious
suspect ejected from a car after a chase. The attack was captured on
a patrol car videotape but didn't surface publicly for a year. The
video shows police pursuing Anthony Warren's van on Jan. 23, 2008.
One officer on foot was hurt when the van swerved through traffic.
It overturned on a ramp, ejecting Warren, who lay motionless as
officers ran toward him. The video shows them beating him with their
fists, feet and a billy club.
2009 May 20, SF-based
Craigslist sued South Carolina’s Attorney Gen’l. Henry McMaster to
block him from filing criminal charges against the online classified
site for abetting prostitution.
(SFC, 5/21/09, p.C1)
2009 May 20, In NYC four
ex-convicts, 3 Americans and a Haitian citizen, were arrested and
accused of plotting to place bombs at NYC synagogues and shoot down
National Guard jets. James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams
and Laguerre Payen envisioned themselves as holy warriors. The 4 men
were convicted on Oct 18, 2010. They were caught in an FBI sting
operation led by undercover informant Shahed Hussain, who faced
serious punishment in a separate fraud case.
5/22/09, p.A7)(SFC, 10/19/10, p.A6)
2009 May 20, Nebraska Gov. Dave
Heinemen signed a bill to prevent registered sex offenders from
using social networking sites such as Facebook.
(SFC, 5/21/09, p.A4)
2009 May 20, Eric Yang (13),
Singapore-born Texas student, won the National Geographic Bee and
took home a $25,000 college scholarship.
(SFC, 5/21/09, p.A7)
2009 May 20, In Afghanistan a
roadside bomb near Kabul killed two Americans, one service member
and a civilian. 7 militants died after a firefight and airstrikes in
central Ghazni province.
(AP, 5/20/09)(AP, 5/21/09)
2009 May 20, Australian
authorities declared a state of emergency in Queensland as
torrential rain and gale force winds caused extensive flooding and
left one man dead.
2009 May 20, In Britain
hundreds of protesters blocked roads near an oil refinery, as other
sites were hit by a second day of wildcat strikes in a dispute over
hiring foreign workers.
2009 May 20, British actress
Lucy Gordon (28), an up-and-coming talent who played a role in
Spider-Man 3 and will soon appear as Jane Birkin in a Serge
Gainsbourg biopic, killed herself in Paris.
2009 May 20, The Cayman Islands
elected a new government.
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.42)
2009 May 20, EU and Chinese
leaders met in Prague to tackle the economic crisis and turn the
page on tensions over the Dalai Lama. Lingering differences cast a
shadow over the talks.
2009 May 20, In India the
shanty home of another "Slumdog Millionaire" child star was torn
down by Mumbai authorities as they demolished part of city's slum
where she lived.
2009 May 20, An Indonesian
C-130 Hercules military transport plane, carrying troops and their
families, crashed into a row of houses in East Java and burst into
flames, killing 99 people.
2009 May 20, Pres. Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad said Iran test-fired a new advanced missile with a range
capable of reaching Israel and US Mideast bases. The solid-fuel
Sajjil-2 surface-to-surface missile has a range of about 1,200
miles, far enough to strike at southeastern Europe.
2009 May 20, An Iraqi
government agency reported that nearly one in four Iraqis lives
below the poverty line. A car bomb exploded near a group of
restaurants in the Shiite Shula neighborhood of northwest Baghdad,
leaving 41 people dead and more than 70 others injured.
(AP, 5/21/09)(SFC, 5/21/09, p.A3)
2009 May 20, Ireland’s High
Court Justice Sean Ryan unveiled a 2,600-page final report of
Ireland's Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse, which is based on
testimony from thousands of former students and officials from more
than 250 church-run institutions. The nine-year investigation into
Ireland's Roman Catholic-run institutions says priests and nuns
terrorized thousands of boys and girls in workhouse-style schools
for decades, and government inspectors failed to stop the chronic
beatings, rapes and humiliation.
2009 May 20, In Mexico Raymundo
Almanza Morales, a top lieutenant of the Gulf drug cartel and listed
among Mexico's 37 most-wanted traffickers, was captured in Monterrey
along with 3 other suspects after soldiers received an tip.
2009 May 20, Pakistani troops
killed 80 militants and drove the Taliban from a major urban
stronghold, as US military planes brought aid for refugees fleeing
fierce fighting across the northwest. Government forces cleared
Sultanwas, the main Taliban-held town in Buner, overnight following
intense clashes. Residents of Kalam gathered quickly to fight off
the Taliban. They captured eight militants during a shootout and
were expecting another attack.
(AP, 5/20/09)(AP, 5/21/09)
2009 May 20, Paraguay President
Fernando Lugo dismissed the heads of his army, navy and engineering
corps for allowing nearly 1,000 Marxist youth to host a congress on
2009 May 20, In Somalia an
attack by Islamic insurgents on Somali troops near an African Union
peacekeeping base in Mogadishu killed at least three civilians,
including one child, as regional leaders met to discuss ways of
aiding the beleaguered government.
2009 May 20, Sri Lanka
celebrated victory over the Tamil Tigers with a national holiday as
the army hunted fugitive rebels, shooting dead 8 thought to have
escaped from the final battle.
2009 May 20, In Venezuela
thousands of university students marched through Caracas demanding
more state financial aid for public universities after President
Hugo Chavez's government reduced funding by 6 percent.
2010 May 20, US researchers
announced that they have produced a living cell powered by manmade
DNA. They said the world's first synthetic cell, JCV1-syn1.0, is
more a re-creation of existing life, changing one simple type of
bacterium into another, than a built-from-scratch kind.
Genome-mapping pioneer J. Craig Venter said his team's project paves
the way for designing organisms that work differently from the way
nature intended for a wide range of uses.
(AP, 5/21/10)(Econ, 6/19/10, SR p.11)
2010 May 20, Mexican President
Felipe Calderon also took his opposition to a new Arizona
immigration law to Congress, saying it "ignores a reality that
cannot be erased by decree." Calderon also urged the US Congress to
reinstate a ban on assault weapons to help cut cross-border gun
smuggling and reduce drug gang violence for its southern neighbor.
(AP, 5/20/10)(Reuters, 5/21/10)
2010 May 20, In Arkansas 2
police officers were shot dead after pulling over a van with Ohio
plates on I-40. A short time later 2 suspects were killed in a
separate shootout in a Wal-Mart parking lot in West Memphis.
(SFC, 5/21/10, p.A4)
2010 May 20, In Oakland, Ca.,
police arrested at least 26 people as part of a crackdown targeting
members of the Ghost Town street gang. The arrests capped a 5-month
operation dubbed Ghostbusters.
(SFC, 5/21/10, p.C5)
2010 May 20, In Florida a jury
in Broward County handed down a $29.1 million verdict against R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co. to Connie Buonomo (77), a widow who said her
husband started smoking as a teenager. Matthew Buonomo (80) died in
2008 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
(SFC, 5/22/10, p.A4)
2010 May 20, Tesla Motors
announced that it will use a $50 million investment from Toyota
Corp. to help it buy the recently closed Nummi auto plant in
(SFC, 5/21/10, p.A1)
2010 May 20, Australian police
raided 12 properties associated with Agape Ministries, led by Rocco
Leo, and netted 15 guns, slow-burning fuses, detonators, extendable
batons and 35,000 rounds of ammunition.
2010 May 20, In Brazil a court
ordered the arrest of a Polish priest suspected of sexually abusing
a teenager in a Rio de Janeiro suburb and turning his parish home
into what the judge described as an "erotic dungeon" for sex with
adolescents. State prosecutors have accused Marcin Michael
Strachanowski (44) of handcuffing a former altar boy (16) to a bed 3
years ago in the parish house where the priest lived and threatening
to kill the youth if he spoke of the abuse.
2010 May 20, BP conceded that
more oil than it estimated is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico as
heavy crude washed into Louisiana's wetlands for the first time,
feeding worries and uncertainty about the massive monthlong spill.
2010 May 20, Supermarket chain
Asda said that it is to sell cancer drugs at cost-price and called
on its peers who make massive profits on the treatments to follow
suit. The group, owned by US supermarket giant Wal-Mart, said its
initiative follows the success of a similar scheme by Asda for
in-vitro fertility (IVF) treatments.
2010 May 20, Britain's
coalition government outlined a joint legislative program, promising
support for the Afghanistan war, a new drive toward Middle East
peace and a "close and frank" relationship with the United States.
2010 May 20, Chinese officials
said Ma Yaohai (53), a college professor accused of organizing a
swingers club and holding private orgies, has been sentenced to 3
1/2 years in prison, in a case that touched off national debate
about sexual freedom. Ma, along with 21 other people, was arrested
and charged last year under a 1997 law.
2010 May 20, In France a lone
thief stole five paintings valued at $123 million, including major
works by Picasso and Matisse, in an overnight heist from the Paris
Museum of Modern Art.
(AP, 5/20/10)(SFC, 5/21/10, p.A2)
2010 May 20, French police
arrested the leader of Basque separatist group ETA and his second in
command, calling it an important blow but not a death knell for the
2010 May 20, In Greece more
than 20,000 protesters marched to parliament, as unions challenged
harsh austerity measures by staging their fourth general strike this
2010 May 20, In India Cyclone
Laila slammed into the southeast, toppling power lines and plunging
a large swath of coastal Andhra Pradesh state into darkness. Heavy
rains and strong winds claimed at least 23 lives.
(AP, 5/20/10)(AP, 5/21/10)
2010 May 20, In Iran 3
Americans, jailed for 10 months, hugged and kissed their mothers in
an emotional reunion after the women arrived on a mission to secure
the release of their children. One of the prisoners said they all
hoped to go home together in the trio's first public comments since
2010 May 20, In Iraq a US
Division-North soldier died of injuries sustained in a non-combat
related incident. The circumstances surrounding that incident were
2010 May 20, Israel released
Mohammed Abu Teir, a Hamas lawmaker. He was arrested nearly four
years ago following the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Gaza
militants in a deadly cross-border raid.
2010 May 20, In southern
Kyrgyzstan more than 2,000 supporters of the deposed president
rallied near Jalal Abad, a town wracked by ethnic violence.
2010 May 20, In Madagascar
soldiers and police clashed in what a police colonel described as a
failed mutiny, leaving one police officer dead and five wounded. Lt.
Col. Raymond Andrianjafy and several others were soon arrested
(AP, 5/20/10)(AP, 5/22/10)
2010 May 20, In the Maldives 15
representatives of the Afghan government met with 7 Taliban members
for talks, which would continue over the weekend. A Taliban
statement the next day said those at the talks claiming to be from
the Taliban are no longer active members and have "surrendered" to
President Hamid Karzai's government.
(SFC, 5/21/10, p.A2)(AP, 5/21/10)
2010 May 20, In Mexico
gunbattles between security forces and armed attackers killed nine
people in two states along the US border. Federal police announced
the capture of Jose Manuel Garcia, the Sinaloa cartel's alleged
chief operator in Mexico state. In the state of Coahuila, 2 police
officers and 3 gunmen died in a shootout in Torreon. In Ciudad
Juarez federal police detained Luis Humberto Hernandez, an alleged
gang member accused of participating in 11 killings. Timoteo
Alejandro Ramirez and his wife Cleriberta Castro were killed by
gunmen from a rival faction of San Juan Copala in southern Oaxaca
state. Ramirez was the leader of the town's autonomy movement.
(AP, 5/20/10)(AP, 5/21/10)
2010 May 20, A multinational
team blamed North Korea for sinking the South Korean corvette with a
torpedo in March, claiming 46 lives, prompting an angry denial from
Pyongyang and a threat of war if it is punished.
2010 May 20, The Pakistani
government blocked access to YouTube because of "sacrilegious"
content on the video-sharing website, signaling a growing Internet
crackdown against sites deemed offensive to the country's majority
2010 May 20, In Pakistan a
British couple and their daughter were shot dead at a cemetery near
Gujarat as part of a family feud while visiting for a wedding.
Reports named them as Mohammad Yousaf, his wife Pervaiz and their
daughter Tanya (22), from Nelson in Lancashire.
2010 May 20, In Sudan Darfur's
most militarized rebel group (JEM), said it had killed 200 Sudanese
government troops in the western region over the previous 2 days,
but the army denied the toll in the latest fighting to cloud
troubled peace talks.
2010 May 20, The Thai
government declared it had mostly quelled 10 weeks of violent
protests in the capital as buildings still smoldered, troops rooted
out small pockets of resistance and residents attempted to return to
2011 May 20, President Barack
Obama met with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu warned Obama
against chasing what he called a Middle East peace "based on
illusions" as he lectured the US president amid a widening rift in
(AFP, 5/20/11)(AFP, 5/21/11)
2011 May 20, The Embassy of the
United States of America announced the official opening of the
Office of the U.S. Secret Service in Estonia. The Secret Service
office will work closely with its law enforcement partners within
the criminal investigative infrastructure in the Baltic nations of
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
2011 May 20, In California San
Leandro police detective Jason Fredriksson (38) was charged with
giving over a pound of marijuana to a confidential informant, with
whom he had an extra-marital affair, so that she could sell it.
(SFC, 5/21/11, p.A1)
2011 May 20, In Oakland, Ca.,
Antonio Torres (42) was robbed and killed while working on the front
yard of his home on 34th Ave. In September David Lee Hall (19) and
three other youths (15,16,17) were charged with his murder.
(SFC, 9/14/11, p.C4)
2011 May 20, Randy "Macho Man"
Savage (58), a larger-than-life personality from professional
wrestling's 1980s flying-elbow heyday known for his raspy voice,
brash style and the young woman named Miss Elizabeth who often
accompanied him, died in a car crash in Florida.
2011 May 20, A London court
sentenced a former government minister to 16 months in prison over
the largest bogus claim exposed in Britain's lawmaker expenses
scandal. Elliot Morley (58), former Labour Party politician, had
pleaded guilty last month to two charges of false accounting over
bills worth 32,000 pounds (nearly $52,000).
2011 May 20, BP said that it
had recovered more than $1.0 billion in costs linked to last year's
devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill from a US subsidiary of
Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. MOEX USA Corporation held a
10-percent stake in the Macondo well project.
2011 May 20, Canadian PM
Stephen Harper toured the town of Slave Lake, Alberta, where
hundreds of homes, businesses and public buildings had gone up in
flames. 56 fires continued to burn across the north of Canada's
biggest energy producing province. Ten of the fires were out of
2011 May 20, In China 2 workers
were initially killed and 16 injured in the explosion at the plant
of a Foxconn subsidiary in Chengdu. A seriously injured worker died
two days later. The iPad 2 was being made in the building hit by the
2011 May 20, A company China
says is controlled by artist Ai Weiwei was accused of massive tax
evasion in the government's clearest disclosure yet about its
investigation of the activist detained more than six weeks.
2011 May 20, In Guatemala Hugo
Gomez Vasquez, the main suspect in the May 16 drug-cartel massacre
of 27 farmworkers and relatives in Peten province, was arraigned on
charges including conspiracy to murder and kidnapping.
2011 May 20, Indian police
brought formal charges against the Delhi Commonwealth Games chief
for alleged fraud involving a $31 million deal awarded to Swiss
Timing for timekeeping equipment. The Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBI) filed a 50-page charge sheet in a New Delhi
court against Suresh Kalmadi and eight others for their role in the
2011 May 20, Iranian news
reported that the state constitutional watchdog body has ruled that
the president cannot serve as the country's caretaker oil minister.
2011 May 20, Japan's Cabinet
approved a plan to join a global child custody treaty, amid foreign
pressure on Tokyo to revise policies some say allow Japanese mothers
to too easily take their children away from foreign fathers.
2011 May 20, Japan's Tokyo
Electric Power posted a record $15 billion loss and Masataka
Shimizu, its under-fire president, resigned to take responsibility
for the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl 25 years ago.
2011 May 20, In Libya NATO
fighter jets struck three ports in bombing runs overnight, targeting
Gadhafi's navy with a goal of protecting the nearby rebel-held port
of Misrata. A NATO strike this morning hit a police academy in the
Tripoli neighborhood of Tajoura. An international aid group said
that 3,800 Chadians who fled fighting in Libya are stranded in a
remote desert town in northern Chad. NATO warplanes bombed command
centers near Tripoli and in the southwest as part of a continuing
effort to cut communications links between Gadhafi and his units on
(AP, 5/20/11)(AP, 5/21/11)
2011 May 20, Mexican federal
police captured Gilberto Barragan Balderas (41), a leading member of
the Gulf drug cartel, at what appeared to have been his birthday
party. In Zacatecas state at least 10 people were killed in a
gunbattle apparently involving the Zetas and a rival front of gangs
known as the "United Cartels." In the north a fire killed 14 inmates
at a prison in the town of Apodaca, Nuevo Leon state. Police in the
Pacific coast state of Guerrero reported they found the decapitated
bodies of four men in the township of Tecpan de Galeana.
2011 May 20, In Mexico retired
Gen. Jorge Juarez Loera was shot and killed in a suburb of Mexico
City after a road accident.
2011 May 20, Pakistani defense
officials said China has agreed to provide Pakistan with 50 more
fighter jets in a deal clinched during Prime Minister Yousuf Raza
Gilani's trip to Beijing.
2011 May 20, Pakistan's Taliban
attacked a US consulate convoy in Peshawar. Police said a car bomb
was by remote control as the convoy passed, killing one Pakistani.
Twelve people were wounded including 2 US security guards.
2011 May 20, Two young
Palestinians were moderately wounded in Gaza when Israeli troops
opened fire at a protest near the border fence.
2011 May 20, The IMF approved
providing Portugal with $36.8 billion as part of a rescue package to
help the country tackle its debt.
(SFC, 5/21/11, p.D2)
2011 May 20, In Sweden a
43-year old man was charged with having provided 23 women with 510
films and photos of children being exploited in "especially
ruthless" manner. The 23 women from across Sweden were charged with
involvement in what investigators call a unique child pornography
2011 May 20, Swedish defense
group Saab said an ongoing probe into reports it had secretly paid
millions of euros to ensure South Africa did not back out of a deal
to buy 26 fighter jets had turned up no evidence of wrongdoing.
2011 May 20, Syrian security
forces opened fire on protests around the country in the latest sign
the conflict could be moving toward a long and bloody stalemate. The
crackdown on protesters in different parts of the country left at
least 44 people dead, making it one of the deadliest days since an
uprising against Pres. Assad's regime began two months ago.
(AP, 5/20/11)(AP, 5/21/11)
2011 May 20, In western Turkey
a 5.9-magnitude earthquake damaged buildings in Simav. At least
three people were killed in the region.
2011 May 20, In southern
Vietnam a tour boat cruising the Saigon River to celebrate a
3-year-old's birthday capsized during a violent storm, killing the
boy, four other children and 10 adults.
2011 May 20, Yemen's Pres. Ali
Abdullah Saleh called for early presidential elections, ignoring an
earlier promise to sign a deal that would end his decades-long rule.
2012 May 20, Pres. Obama hosted
a summit with NATO allies in Chicago. They charted an outwardly
confident path to a postwar Afghanistan. Nearly 50 US military
veterans at an anti-NATO rally in Chicago threw their service medals
into the street, an action they said symbolized their rejection of
the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
(SFC, 5/21/12, p.A4)(Reuters, 5/21/12)
2012 May 20, In San Francisco
the 101st annual Bay to Breakers run drew 40,000 registered
entrants. Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia and Sammy Kitwara of Kenya were
the top female and male runners.
(SFC, 5/21/12, p.A1)
2012 May 20, An annular eclipse
was visible in western US states from California to Texas.
Visibility came to parts of China, Taiwan and Japan May 21 local
time. An annular eclipse occurs when the moon passes in front of the
sun, but is too far from the Earth to block it out completely,
leaving the "ring of fire" visible.
2012 May 20, Yahoo reached a
deal to sell half of its 40% stake in Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce
provider, for about $7.1 billion.
(SFC, 5/21/12, p.A5)
2012 May 20, A 70
million-year-old skeleton of Tyrannosaurus bataars sold by Heritage
Auctions for over $1 million. On June 19 a federal judge ordered the
dinosaur skeleton to be seized in NYC saying it was brought into the
country from Britain with erroneous claims that it had originated in
Britain and was worth only $15,000. Experts agreed that the skeleton
was from Mongolia. On June 22 the US government seized the skeleton.
In December Eric Prokopi of Gainesville, Fla., pleaded guilty to
smuggling charges. In 2013 NY authorities returned the skeleton to
(SFC, 6/20/12, p.A8)(SFC, 6/23/12, p.A4)(SFC,
2012 May 20, In southern
Afghanistan 2 NATO soldiers were killed in an attack as alliance
leaders gathered in Chicago for a summit dominated by plans to pull
troops out of the Afghan war. 2 children also died and several
civilians were wounded as a suicide bomber targeted a NATO convoy in
Tirin Kot, capital of southern Uruzgan province.
2012 May 20, Algerian
newspapers reported that security services have arrested a large
number of armed Algerian Islamists in the country's northeastern
Tebessa region as they were preparing to enter Libya.
2012 May 20, Robin Gibb
(b.1949), one of the 3 Bee Gees’ brothers, died in London of cancer.
He sang lead vocals on the Bee Gees' first British number one,
"Massachusetts", in 1967, before they switched styles to disco in
2012 May 20, The Dominican
Republic held presidential elections. Several polls showed Danilo
Medina (60) ahead of Hipolito Mejia (71), a former president
(2000-2004). Danilo Medina of the current president's Dominican
Liberation Party received just over 51 percent of the vote.
(AP, 5/20/12)(AP, 5/21/12)
2012 May 20, In Iraq lawyers
for the fugitive Sunni vice president charged with running death
squads that targeted Shiite officials and pilgrims quit the case in
protest after judges would not let them present evidence at the
2012 May 20, In northeast Italy
a 6.0 earthquake rattled the region around Bologna, killing at least
7 people, collapsing factories and sending residents running out
into the streets. A report in 2014 linked this and a May 29
earthquake to high-pressure water pumped by Padana Energia into the
nearby Cavone oilfield in 2011 to squeeze out more oil.
(AP, 5/20/12)(Reuters, 5/20/12)(SFC, 5/22/12,
2012 May 20, In north Lebanon
army troops shot dead a Sunni cleric when his convoy failed to stop
at a checkpoint, the scene of deadly clashes linked to the uprising
in Syria. Another religious figure in the car of cleric Ahmad Abdel
Wahed, known for his support of the anti-regime uprising in
neighboring Syria, was also killed.
2012 May 20, In Libya Abdel
Baset al-Megrahi (60), a Libyan intelligence officer who was the
only person ever convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, died
nearly three years after he was released from a Scottish prison.
2012 May 20, Malian authorities
and ECOWAS mediators agreed that coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo
has the status of former head of state. He will have all the
benefits coming with his rank. They also agreed on a transition
period to full democratic rule of one year.
2012 May 20, In Myanmar
protests began over chronic power outages in the central city
2012 May 20, Pakistan blocked
Twitter, saying the website had refused to remove posts promoting a
Facebook competition involving caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.
2012 May 20, In Serbia
nationalist Tomislav Nikolic, an ardent admirer of Russia, won the
runoff in presidential elections with 50.2% of the vote. Nikolic
said he remained committed to Serbia’s EU aspirations.
(SFC, 5/21/12, p.A2)
2012 May 20, Sudan released 4
United Nations deminers, arrested over 3 weeks ago by the Sudanese
army along the country's tense southern border, and turned them over
to chief African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki.
2012 May 20, Syrian rebels
claimed in an Internet statement that they carried out a
sophisticated attack that killed top political and security
officials meeting in the capital. Syrian officials made quick
denials. At least 48 people were killed elsewhere in the country
including 34 civilians slain in the village of Souran, Hama
(AP, 5/20/12)(AFP, 5/21/12)
2012 May 20, In central Tunisia
thousands of hardline Ansar al-Sharia Islamists, some in Afghan
military garb and waving swords, converged to rally for one of the
country's most radical religious movements. Researchers estimated
Salafists count about 10,000 followers in Tunisia.
2012 May 20, UAR state news
agency WAM reported that the president of the Gulf federation is
ordering the settlement of personal debts of up to 5 million dirhams
($1.4 million) for citizens in default. Emirati leaders periodically
cancel debts of citizens. A similar debt forgiveness order in
January covered thousands of Emiratis owing up to 1 million dirhams
2012 May 20, In Yemen fresh
clashes between al-Qaida fighters and government forces left 17
dead, as the army pushed on with an offensive to regain a key town
in the county's south that fell to the militants more than a year
ago. Militants in Hodeida pulled up in a vehicle and sprayed three
US Coast Guard trainers, wounding one with machinegun fire.
(AP, 5/20/12)(AP, 5/21/12)
2013 May 20, Former general
Thein Sein became the first Myanmar president to be welcomed to the
White House in almost 47 years.
2013 May 20, Edward Snowden
(29), a US contractor working at the National Security Agency, left
his NSA office in Hawaii for Hong Kong.
(AP, 6/10/13)(Econ, 6/15/13, p.11)(Econ, 1/25/14,
2013 May 20, In Dayton, Iowa,
Kathlynn Shepard (15) was abducted along with another girl (12). The
younger girl escaped and called help. Michael Klunder (42), a
registered sex offender was found dead hours later after reportedly
hanging himself. Kathlynn’s body was found by a fisherman on June 7
in the Des Moines River.
(SSFC, 6/9/13, p.A12)
2013 May 20, A NYPD detective
said he’s seen no evidence that one of his informants brought up the
subject of jihad as a way to bait Muslims. Text messages indicated
that informant Shamiur Rahman said the NYPD had encouraged him to
create conversations about jihad or terrorism, then capture
responses and send them to the NYPD.
(SFC, 5/21/13, p.A5)
2013 May 20, In New York
Brooklyn assemblyman Vito Lopez resigned following allegations that
he had groped or harassed at least 8 young female staffers.
(Econ, 5/25/13, p.32)
2013 May 20, In Oklahoma a
mile-wide category 5 tornado with winds of up to 200 mph touched
down in Moore, a suburb of Oklahoma City. 7 children were among the
24 people killed. Early estimated of damages ranged from $1.5-2
billion. In 2017 the Oklahoma City reached a settlement with the
families of the seven children for $14,000 each to settle a lawsuit
arising from construction of a Plaza Towers classroom addition where
the children were killed.
(AP, 5/21/13)(SFC, 5/22/13, p.A6)(Reuters,
5/26/13)(Econ, 5/25/13, p.30)(SFC, 6/14/17, p.A5)
2013 May 20, It was reported
that Yahoo has agreed to buy Tumblr, a popular blogging service, for
(SFC, 5/20/13, p.A1)
2013 May 20, Afghan Pres.
Karzai left for a two-day state visit to India, where he is expected
to request military aid. In the north a suicide bomber dressed in a
police uniform killed 14 people including a prominent provincial
council chief outside the council headquarters in Pul-e-Khumri,
2013 May 20, It was reported
that a businesswoman in southern China has been sentenced to death
on charges of defrauding investors. Lin Haiyan was convicted of
"illegal fundraising" for collecting 640 million yuan ($100 million)
from investors by promising high returns and low risk, according to
a statement by the Intermediate People's Court in Wenzhou. It said
the scheme collapsed in October 2011 and 428 million yuan could not
2013 May 20, In eastern
CongoDRC clashes erupted near Muja between government troops and the
M23 rebel group, believed to be backed by neighboring Rwanda.
2013 May 20, In Dagestan,
Russia, twin car bombings killed 3 people and injured at least 44
more in Makhachkala.
(SFC, 5/21/13, p.A2)
2013 May 20, In Germany Ray
Manzarek (74), keyboard player and founding member of the Doors,
died in Rosenheim. The group was formed in 1965 when Manzarek met
Jim Morrison at Venice Beach, Ca.
(SFC, 5/21/13, p.A6)
2013 May 20, Guatemala's top
court overturned the conviction of former dictator Efrain Rios
Montt, and ordered that the trial be taken back to the middle of the
2013 May 20, In Iraq a wave of
car bombs and shootings killed at least 113 people in Shiite and
Sunni areas. This included ten car bombs in Baghdad, killing at
least 46 people and wounding more than 150. Authorities found 13
dead bodies in a remote desert area of Anbar province. The bodies
included eight policemen who were kidnapped by gunmen on May 17, had
been killed with a gunshot to the head.
(AP, 5/20/13)(AP, 5/21/13)
2013 May 20, In Israel a gunman
killed 4 people in a bungled bank robbery in Beersheba and then took
his own life.
2013 May 20, In Libya
militiamen attacked the Mellitah Oil and Gas complex near Zwara,
injuring two guards and stealing weapons and military vehicles.
2013 May 20, In Mauritania
Sanda Ould Boumana, the Timbuktu-based spokesman for Ansar Dine, was
transferred Nouakchott after he turned himself in over the weekend.
2013 May 20, In Mexico
residents of La Ruana, Michoacan state, who endured months besieged
by the Knights Templars drug cartel, cheered the arrival of hundreds
of Mexican soldiers. The town's supplies had been blocked after the
Knights Templars cartel declared war on the hamlet.
2013 May 20, A Moroccan court
convicted two men of homosexuality and public indecency, and
sentenced each to four months in prison, in the latest case against
gays in this North African nation.
2013 May 20, In Nepal five
climbers, including two Hungarians and a South Korean, disappeared
on Mount Kanchenjunga. Bad weather prevented a rescue helicopter
from reaching their base camp.
2013 May 20, New Zealand PM
John Key said a frozen meat issue is a technical hiccup that he
expects will be resolved this week. Hundreds of tons of frozen
mutton, lamb and beef from New Zealand have been stranded for 2-3
weeks on Chinese docks after China halted their import due to a
2013 May 20, A Norwegian
security firm reported that cyber spies had attacked Telenor, one of
the world’s largest mobile operators, and that the attack was
probably directed from India.
(Econ, 5/25/13, p.61)
2013 May 20, A Pakistani judge
granted bail to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in a case
related to the assassination of ex-PM Benazir Bhutto.
2013 May 20, In Pakistan gunmen
attacked a polio vaccination team in the town of Mamound in the
Bajur tribal area. A policeman guarding the team was killed.
2013 May 20, Russia's only
independent polling agency, said it may have to close after
prosecutors targeted it for "political activity" under a law
spearheading Pres. Putin's crackdown on foreign-funded NGOs. Levada
Center receives between 1.5 and 3% of its funding from foreign
2013 May 20, Russia's
counterterrorism agency said that its special forces killed two
militants and detained a third believed to have been planning a
terrorist act in Moscow.
2013 May 20, Saudi Arabia
recorded another death from a new respiratory virus related to SARS,
bringing the total number of deaths in the kingdom to 16. More than
20 people have died from the virus worldwide.
2013 May 20, In Sweden gangs of
youth angered by the police shooting death of an elderly man in a
mainly immigrant neighborhood hurled rocks at police and set cars
and buildings on fire in a Stockholm suburb early today, forcing the
evacuation of an apartment block.
2013 May 20, Syrian government
forces pushed deeper into Qusair near the Lebanese border, battling
rebels in fierce street fighting. An activist group said at least 23
elite fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group fighting
alongside regime troops have been killed in the clashes.
2013 May 20, In Turkey a hot
air balloon collided with another balloon mid-air during a
sightseeing tour in the Cappadocia region and crashed to the ground,
killing two Brazilian tourists and injuring 23 other people on
2013 May 20, Ugandan police
disabled the presses of the Daily Monitor, an independent newspaper
in Kampala, after forcibly entering its premises to look for
evidence against an army general who recently questioned the
president's alleged plan to have his son succeed him.
2013 May 20, United Arab
Emirates-based construction company Arabtec said it's working to
resolve a rare strike by laborers seeking higher wages. Arabtec said
an undisclosed number of workers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have stayed
in camps for a second day.
2013 May 20, In Yemen a
suspected US drone killed two alleged al-Qaida militants riding a
motorbike outside Radda in Bayda province.
2014 May 20, In Arizona the
human-caused Slide Fire began around Oak Creek Canyon between Sedona
and Flagstaff. By May 26 it covered 25 square miles.
(SFC, 5/23/14, p.A8)(SFC, 5/27/14, p.A6)
2014 May 20, Santa Ana, Ca.,
police arrested Isidro Garcia (41) of Bell Gardens for kidnapping a
girl (15) in 2004. He force her to marry him and have his child in a
hostage relationship for 10 years.
(SFC, 5/22/14, p.A14)
2014 May 20, A US federal judge
overturned Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage.
(SFC, 5/21/14, p.A8)
2014 May 20, In Bosnia nineteen
convicts escaped from prison late today while their guards manned
defenses against the worst floods to hit the Balkans in living
2014 May 20, In Brazil several
leading politicians were arrested as part of a large corruption and
money laundering probe in Cuiaba, a World Cup host city that has had
some of the worst delays and other problems as the soccer tournament
2014 May 20, A British man, for
the first time, was convicted of terrorism-related offenses after
going to Syria with the intention of joining the conflict there.
Kingston Crown Court convicted Mashudur Choudhury (31) of engaging
in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.
2014 May 20, Prince Rupert
Loewenstein (80), former business manager of the Rolling Stones
(1968-2007), died in a London hospital after suffering from
Parkinson's disease. He was the prince who helped make the Rolling
Stones as rich as kings.
2014 May 20, China warned the
US was jeopardizing military ties by charging five Chinese officers
with cyberspying and tried to turn the tables on Washington by
calling it "the biggest attacker of China's cyberspace."
2014 May 20, China's Xinjiang
Supreme Court jailed 39 people in a special operation to curb the
spread of audio and video materials inciting terrorism. They were
convicted of crimes including organizing and leading terrorist
groups, inciting ethnic hatred, ethnic discrimination and the
illegal manufacturing of guns.
2014 May 20, EU regulators
charged banks JPMorgan, HSBC and Credit Agricole with colluding to
manipulate the price of financial products linked to interest rates.
2014 May 20, The European
Commission paid out a first loan tranche of 100 million euros ($137
million) to Ukraine, launching a 1.6 billion euro macro-financial
assistance loan program to prop up the beleaguered economy.
2014 May 20, Police in Iran
confirmed the arrest of six young people for posting a video online
of them dancing to Pharrell Williams' hit song "Happy," showing them
on state television as a public warning to youth in the Islamic
Republic. On Sep 17 the six were given suspended sentences of 91
lashes and six months in prison for obscene behavior.
(AP, 5/21/14)(Reuters, 9/18/14)
2014 May 20, Kenyan university
students threw rocks at police in Nairobi as authorities fired back
with tear gas in running battles that didn't end until police
cornered students in a campus building and fired dozens of rounds of
tear gas inside. Students demonstrated in at least four cities
across the country over a proposed increase in university fees.
2014 May 20, Kuwait set June 26
as the day for by-elections to replace five lawmakers who resigned
in protest after the largely pro-government parliament refused to
question PM Sheik Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah over corruption
2014 May 20, In Libya gunmen
killed a Chinese engineer after kidnapping him and two others from
their worksite. The two others were released.
2014 May 20, Macedonian police
said they have detained 18 people following overnight riots in
Skopje sparked by the fatal stabbing of a Macedonian teenager by an
Albanian bicycle thief. Police arrested a 19-year-old suspect for
2014 May 20, Malawi held
presidential elections. Soldiers deployed the commercial capital of
Blantyre after voters, angered by delays and mishaps at polling
stations in a hotly contested presidential election, torched voting
materials and blocked roads. Incumbent President Joyce Banda,
southern Africa's first female head of state, faced 11 challengers.
On May 30 the electoral commission said Mutharika, the brother of
former president Bingu wa Mutharika, took 36.4% of the votes cast
against Banda's 20.2%.
(Reuters, 5/20/14)(AFP, 5/31/14)
2014 May 20, Nigeria's
parliament approved a six-month extension to a state of emergency in
three northeast states hit by Islamist militant violence. Two bomb
blasts by Boko Haram in the city of Jos killed at least 118 people.
Most victims were women and children vendors. Hours later assaults
by Boko Haram in three villages killed 48 people.
(AFP, 5/20/14)(AP, 5/21/14)(SFC, 5/22/14, p.A3)
2014 May 20, In Norway
international donors pledged more than $600 million dollars in aid
to South Sudan at a conference in Oslo aimed at averting a famine
threatening millions of people.
2014 May 20, The Pakistani army
effectively declared it would override a crucial plank of the
government's strategy and take matters into its own hands. The army
said the time for talks with the troublesome Pakistani Taliban was
2014 May 20, In Russia a
collision between a cargo train and a passenger train near Moscow
killed at least 6 people and left up to 45 others injured.
2014 May 20, A Moscow court
convicted five men of involvement in the 2006 murder of journalist
Anna Politkovskaya. Four of the men were of Chechen origin.
(SFC, 5/21/14, p.A2)
2014 May 20, Thailand's
powerful military chief intervened for the first time in the
country's latest political crisis, declaring martial law and
dispatching gun-mounted jeeps into the heart of the capital with a
vow to resolve the deepening conflict as quickly as possible.
2014 May 20, UN diplomats said
Nigeria has formally asked the UN Security Council al Qaeda
sanctions committee to blacklist the Islamist militant group Boko
2014 May 20, The UN refugee
agency said at least 10,000 people have been driven from their homes
since the start of the Ukraine crisis, with Crimean Tatars the
2015 May 20, David Letterman
hosted his final edition of CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman,”
after 33 years and 6,028 broadcasts.
(SFC, 5/21/15, p.A12)
2015 May 20, The US Office of
the Director of National Intelligence released online images of
documents swept up in the May 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
(SFC, 5/21/15, p.A3)
2015 May 20, Louisiana Gov.
Bobby Jindal issued an executive order to protect people and
businesses that do not want to participate in same-sex marriage,
hours a committee in the state legislature effectively voted down a
bill that would do the same.
(SFC, 5/21/15, p.A10)
2015 May 20, In New Orleans
lawyers announced a $211 million settlement with Transocean Ltd,
owner of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig where an explosion in
April, 2010, killed 11 workers and sent oil spilling into the Gulf
of Mexico for 87 days.
(SFC, 5/21/15, p.A10)
2015 May 20, In Omaha,
Nebraska, Marcus Wheeler (26) opened fire on officers who were
trying to arrest him for a previous shooting, prompting police to
return gunfire in a shootout that left Officer Kerrie Orozco (29)
and the suspect dead.
2015 May 20, JPMorgan Chase,
Citigroup, Barclays and The Royal Bank of Scotland announced a
settlement with the US Justice Dept. and will pay $2.5 billion in
fines and plead guilty to criminally manipulating global currency
market going back to 2007. UBS, has agreed to plead guilty to
manipulating key interest rates and will pay a separate $203 million
2015 May 20, Bob Belden (58),
Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist, died in Manhattan following a heart
attack. Last February he and his group, Animation, completed a 4-day
tour of Iran.
(SFC, 5/22/15, p.D7)
2015 May 20, CERN scientists
operating the world's biggest particle collider set a new energy
record ahead of the massive machine's full restart in June. The
Large Hadron Collider is located in a 27-km (16.8-mile) tunnel
beneath the Swiss-French border.
2015 May 20, Scientists
reported the discovery of stone tools in Kenya that dated back 3.3
million years, pushing back the previous record by some 700,000
(SFC, 5/21/15, p.A6)
2015 May 20, A national UK
police group looking into potential links between multiple British
investigations into past child sex abuse said that more than 1,400
suspects have been identified.
2015 May 20, A Burundi army
officer said police killed a soldier who was trying act as a buffer
between police and protesters, who are demonstrating against the
president's bid for a third term in office.
2015 May 20, Cambodia accepted
the first four people under an agreement it made with Australia nine
months ago to take in asylum-seekers rejected for residency there.
2015 May 20, Canadian police
said they arrested 10 young people from Montreal last week who were
suspected of wanting to leave the country to join jihadist groups.
2015 May 20, Chadian lawmakers
voted to indefinitely extend the mandate of troops participating in
a regional effort to combat Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamist militants
until the joint mission was completed.
2015 May 20, The Chinese navy
warned a US surveillance plane flying over artificial islands that
Beijing is creating in the disputed South China Sea to leave the
area eight times. The mission over Fiery Cross Reef showed sand
being sucked from the bottom of the sea and sprayed onto the
island-in-the-making by Chinese dredgers. The Philippines and
Vietnam both say they own Fiery Cross Reef.
(Reuters, 5/21/15)(Econ, 5/30/15, p.37)
2015 May 20, In China Li Hejun,
one of the country’s wealthiest billionaires, inaugurated a giant
exhibition center near Beijing’s Olympic Forest Park.
(Econ, 5/23/15, p.53)
2015 May 20, In southwest China
a nine-story residential building collapsed in Guiyang city
following a landslide. 16 people remained missing.
2015 May 20, German lawmakers
agreed to make symbolic payments of $11 million to former Soviet
prisoners of war in acknowledgement of their suffering at the hands
(SFC, 5/21/15, p.A2)
2015 May 20, In Guatemala 17
people were arrested in a corruption case involving a $15 million
contract with the Guatemalan Social Security Institute to offer
renal-dialysis services. The Int’l. Commission Against Impunity in
Guatemala (CICIG) alleged that the contract to a Mexican firm was
linked to $2 million in bribes.
(SFC, 6/22/15, p.35)
2015 May 20, Indonesia and
Malaysia said they would offer shelter to 7,000 "boat people" adrift
at sea in rickety boats but, anxious not to encourage a fresh
influx, made clear that their assistance was temporary and they
would take no more. Indonesian authorities said they have bombed and
sank 41 foreign fishing vessels as a warning against poaching in the
(Reuters, 5/20/15)(AP, 5/20/15)
2015 May 20, Iraqi forces said
they fought off an overnight attack by Islamic State militants near
2015 May 20, The US-led
coalition staged 25 air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and
Syria over the last 24 hours.
2015 May 20, Two Israeli
policewomen were injured in annexed east Jerusalem when they were
hit by a car driven by a Palestinian who was then shot dead.
2015 May 20, Italian police
said they have arrested a Moroccan man (22) on suspicion of
involvement in the March attack on the National Museum in Tunisia.
(SFC, 5/21/15, p.A2)
2015 May 20, Japan's
association of zoos and aquariums said it will stop buying dolphins
taken in the controversial hunt at Taiji, possibly raising pressure
to halt the annual event said to be a tradition.
2015 May 20, Kenya health
officials said at least 65 people are confirmed to have died in a
nearly five-month-old cholera outbreak, with infections also
continuing to rise in the capital Nairobi.
2015 May 20, Malawi police said
they have arrested four people suspected of murdering an albino man
five months ago to sell his bones for witchcraft.
2015 May 20, Nigeria’s army
said 579 officers and troops faced charges for alleged offenses
related to the campaign against Boko Haram.
(SFC, 5/21/15, p.A2)
2015 May 20, Philippine police
in Jolo, Sulu province, killed Mindas Manda, a suspected member of
the Abu Sayyaf group. He was allegedly involved in the kidnapping
last week of two Malaysians.
2015 May 20, In central Syria
Islamic State militants seized parts of the ancient town of Palmyra
after fierce clashes with government troops. A mortar shelled
smashed into an elementary school in an upscale neighborhood of
Damascus, killing a female teacher and wounding 23 students.
2016 May 20, The White House
was placed on lockdown for more than an hour and heavily armed
Secret Service agents deployed around the building after a man
brandished a weapon nearby. Jesse Oliveri of Ashland, Pa., was shot
once by a Secret Service agent and taken into custody.
(AP, 5/21/16)(SFC, 5/23/16, p.A6)
2016 May 20, Coca-Cola said it
is halting production in Venezuela of its namesake beverage due to a
sugar shortage brought on by the country's grinding economic crisis.
Last month, Empresas Polar, Venezuela's largest food and beverage
company, stopped production of beer because of a lack of imported
2016 May 20, Afghan Taliban
leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a US drone strike in the
Afghan-Pakistan border area. US officials later said Mansour was
likely killed in an air strike on Pakistani soil.
(AP, 5/21/16)(Reuters, 5/22/16)
2016 May 20, In Bangladesh
Sanaur Rahman, a homeopath doctor, was hacked to death and his
friend critically wounded by men wielding machetes. The two were hit
by three attackers who fled on a motorbike in the western district
2016 May 20, The Chilean
government said it has reached a deal with small-scale fishermen who
had blocked access to the Chiloe archipelago after a toxic algal
bloom put their livelihoods at risk. They will get $1,000 in
compensation. The government aid also extends to other non-fishing
families who depend on the sea, including algae gatherers and
2016 May 20, China reported
that 135 people have been arrested in 22 provinces for illegally
buying and selling vaccines.
2016 May 20, In southern China
at least 8 people were killed and another four went missing in a
strong storm that hammered the city of Xinyi. Officials said the
storm brought the heaviest rainfall since 1954, when authorities
started to collect weather data.
2016 May 20, In Egypt a group
of Muslims set fire to seven houses belonging to Christians and
stripped a woman (70) naked in the southern province of Minya after
rumors that her Christian son had an affair with a Muslim woman.
2016 May 20, The European Space
Agency (ESA) said that a European satellite has spotted a potential
oil slick in the area of the eastern Mediterranean Sea where an
EgyptAir jet disappeared on May 18 with 66 people on board. The
Egyptian navy said earlier today it had found the personal
belongings of passengers and other debris floating in the
2016 May 20, Four French
gendarmes were killed when a helicopter crashed in a mountainous
area of southwest France.
2016 May 20, In India Masunda
Kitada Oliver, a Congolese graduate student who had lived in India
for over six years, hailed an auto rickshaw in New Delhi when three
men insisted they had hired the vehicle. The men beat him up and hit
him on the head with a stone, and he died later that night. India on
May 25 promised swift punishment.
2016 May 20, Iraqi forces
killed at least two protesters while defending Baghdad's Green Zone.
The two supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr were the first casualties of
the months-old protest movement started by the young cleric to push
for political change.
2016 May 20, Israel's defense
minister Moshe Yaalon resigned, saying the nation was being
taken over by "extremist and dangerous elements" after PM Benjamin
Netanyahu moved to replace him with a far-right politician in an
effort to strengthen his coalition.
2016 May 20, In Kazakhstan
attempts to hold demonstrations against a land-reform measure were
blocked. About forty activists were arrested for trying to organize
2016 May 20, Mexico approved
the extradition of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United
States after receiving guarantees he would not face the death
penalty, and the kingpin’s lawyers vowed to block the move.
2016 May 20, NATO foreign
ministers and alliance partners said they have agreed to extend the
Resolute Support mission that trains, advises and assists
Afghanistan's security forces and institutions beyond 2016.
2016 May 20, In Nigeria former
militants of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger
Delta (MEND) called for a halt to a resurgence of attacks on oil and
gas facilities in Nigeria's Niger Delta, saying it is an unnecessary
distraction for President Muhammadu Buhari's administration.
2016 May 20, Peru's tight
presidential race took a surprise turn when prosecutors confirmed
they've opened a preliminary investigation against front-runner
Keiko Fujimori and her American husband for money laundering.
2016 May 20, In the Philippines
Christian missionary Sim Jae-jok (57) from South Korea was
bludgeoned to death with a spade and a cooking gas tank by a robber
who broke into his home southeast Manila.
2016 May 20, Portugal's finance
ministry said it is looking at ways of preventing government
departments from using tax havens after the Treasury debt agency was
found to have held an investment in Jersey.
2016 May 20, Moscow proposed
that Russia and United States, which have been flying separate
bombing campaigns in Syria, launch joint air strikes against
jihadists in the war-torn country from next week.
2016 May 20, South Africa's
Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed a government bid to keep a
seven-year ban in place on the domestic trade in rhino horn. The
decision had no bearing on a ban on international trade in rhino
2016 May 20, Sudan’s
independent Shorouk TV said clashes this week between two clans in
southern West Kordofan State left at least 37 people dead. The Awlad
Subaih and Jamaaniyah reportedly clashed over the theft of sheep.
(SFC, 5/21/16, p.A2)
2016 May 20, Taiwan’s new
President Tsai Ing-wen was sworn in with the country’s export-driven
economy on the ropes and China, which views the self-ruled island as
its own. She urged China to "drop the baggage of history" in an
otherwise conciliatory inauguration speech that Beijing's Communist
Party rulers had been watching for any move towards independence.
2016 May 20, Turkey's
parliament approved a bill to amend the constitution to strip
lawmakers of immunity, a move that paves the way for trials of
several pro-Kurdish and other legislators. The bill put 138
lawmakers, the vast majority of them from two opposition parties, at
risk of prosecution. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed the bill
on June 7.
(AP, 5/20/16)(AFP, 6/8/16)
2016 May 20, UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon appointed former Irish president Mary Robinson
and Kenyan diplomat Macharia Kamau as special envoys for El Nino and
2016 May 20, The United Nations
human rights office called on Mexico to properly investigate
large-scale extrajudicial killings and bring those responsible to
justice, including higher-ranking military officers.
2016 May 20, Vietnam granted
early release from prison to Rev. Nguyen Van Ly, a Catholic priest
who is one of its most prominent dissidents. The move was widely
seen as a goodwill gesture before Pres. Barack Obama arrives on an
official visit on May 22.
2016 May 20, The World Health
Organization said that the Zika virus strain linked to surging cases
of neurological disorders and birth defects in Latin America has for
the first time been found in Africa.
2017 May 20, US Pres. Donald
Trump arrived in Saudi Arabia. President Donald Trump and Saudi King
Salman signed a series of agreements cementing their countries'
military and economic partnerships. The two leaders also signed a
joint vision agreement at the Saudi Royal Court and sealed it with a
(AFP, 5/20/17)(AP, 5/20/17)
2017 May 20, The New York Times
reported that Chinese government "systematically dismantled" CIA
spying operations in China starting in late 2010 and killed or
imprisoned at least a dozen CIA sources over the next two years.
2017 May 20, In central
California a landslide struck a stretch of oceanfront Highway 1 at
Mud Creek on the southern end of Big Sur. The road reopened on July
(SFC, 5/24/17, p.A1)(SFC, 7/18/18, p.A1)
2017 May 20, In Maryland
Richard Collins III (23), a black student a Bowie State Univ., was
stabbed to death by Sean Urbanski (22). Police were treating the
murder as a possible hate crime.
(SFC, 5/23/17, p.A5)
2017 May 20, US technology and
engineering conglomerate GE said it had signed $15 billion of
business deals with Saudi Arabia as part of the kingdom's drive to
diversify its economy beyond oil.
2017 May 20, In eastern
Afghanistan gunmen stormed a bank in Gardez, Paktia province, and
opened fire, killing at least three people and wounding many more
before being shot dead by security forces. Taliban fighters launched
a three-pronged attack on parts of the central-eastern city of
Ghazni overnight, driving a Humvee packed with explosives into the
entrance of a district governor's compound during the assault. 25
Taliban fighters were reported killed along with two members of the
(AP, 5/20/17)(Reuters, 5/20/17)
2017 May 20, In Afghanistan
Taliban fighters launched coordinated attacks on security posts in
the Shah Joy district of Zabul province late today killing at least
20 security forces. At least 10 other security forces were wounded.
A German aid worker and an Afghan guard were killed and a Finnish
woman kidnapped as gunmen stormed an international guest house in
central Kabul late today. The Finnish woman was released on Sep 14.
(AP, 5/21/17)(AFP, 5/21/17)(AP, 9/14/17)
2017 May 20, The CAR United
Nations mission said fighting this week between rival Christian and
Muslim militias in the town of Bria killed at least 22 people,
including 17 civilians, and forced some 10,000 others to flee.
2017 May 20, India finalized a
policy that would allow local private companies to work with foreign
players to make high-tech defense equipment, in a boost to Prime
Minister Narendra Modi's bid to cut reliance on imports.
2017 May 20, Comic Beppe
Grillo, the head of Italy's populist 5-Star Movement, led thousands
in a 15-mile march to demand a guaranteed minimum income for
2017 May 20, The Italian coast
guard said some 2,100 migrants have been rescued at sea to be
brought to safety in Italy over the last 24 hours. Some 5,000
migrants bound for Italy were rescued in waters off the coast of
Libya over the last 48 hours by Italian and Libyan coastguards.
(AP, 5/20/17)(AFP, 5/20/17)
2017 May 20, Softbank, a
Japanese telecoms group, along with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment
Fund and smaller investors including Apple and Sharp, launched the
world’s largest technology investment fund, worth nearly $100
(Econ 5/27/17, p.59)
2017 May 20, Kenyan police shot
dead one person in northern Isiolo county after a political rally
attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta at which supporters of rival
political candidates for regional government positions clashed.
2017 May 20, Macedonia’s
interior ministry said it has suspended 16 police officers over
their failure to prevent an invasion of parliament by protesters
(SSFC, 5/21/17, p.A3)
2017 May 20, Nigerian troops
fought Boko Haram in the Lake Chad area, killing 13 of the Islamic
extremists and arresting 10 others, including 6 women believed to
have helped smuggle supplies to the insurgents.
2017 May 20, Syrian rebels
started leaving the last opposition-held district of Homs city in
the final phase of an evacuation deal that will see President Bashar
al-Assad's government take back the area.
2017 May 20, Tunisian troops
fired shots in the air to disperse protesters who tried to close
down a gas pumping in southern Tatatouine province as part of their
demands for jobs.
2017 May 20, Turkey’s
opposition Sozcu newspaper carried empty columns with writers' names
and also left the weather blank in a "May 19 Press Freedom Special
2017 May 20, Turkey's
pro-Kurdish party elected a new co-leader to replace Figen
Yuksekdag, who has been in jail on terrorism charges since November
and was stripped of her parliamentary status three months ago.
Serpil Kemalbay was chosen as joint leader, alongside Selahattin
Demirtas, who is also in prison over terrorism-related charges but
remains a member of parliament.
2017 May 20, In western
Venezuela a 23-year-old was killed with gunshot wounds to the chest
during a protest. His death brings to at least 48 the number of
people killed since anti-government unrest began two months ago.
Government supporter Orlando Figuera (21) suffered burns to almost
all his body when he was doused with gasoline and set on fire at a
protest in Caracas.
(AP, 5/21/17)(AP, 5/25/17)
2018 May 20, A stream of lava
blocked a Hawaii highway that serves as an escape route for coastal
residents, while the first known serious injury was reported from
fresh explosive eruptions from the Kilauea volcano.
2018 May 20, In North Carolina
Roger Self intentionally rammed into the Surf and Turf Lodge in
Bessemer City killing his daughter (26) and daughter-in-law.
(SFC, 5/21/18, p.A5)
2018 May 20, In Afghanistan
Taliban fighters besieged the governor's compound in Ajrestan
district in Ghazni province as officials sought to reassure an
increasingly angry public that security would improve. The Taliban
attacked a district headquarters in northern Faryab province late
today, burning down about 50 shops in Khuaja Sabz Posh district.
(Reuters, 5/20/18)(AP, 5/21/18)
2018 May 20, Cameroon's
national day was marred by violence as two police officers were
killed in the English-speaking region. Bangem city Mayor Ekuh Simon
was kidnapped by separatist Ambazonia Restoration Forces.
(SFC, 5/21/18, p.A2)
2018 May 20, In eastern India
at least six police officials were killed and another was critically
injured when Maoist rebels targeted their vehicle with a bomb in
Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh state.
2018 May 20, Kenya's head of
the directorate of criminal investigations George Kinoti said
investigators have summoned more than 40 people for questioning
after a "massive theft of public funds" at the country's National
Youth Service (NYS). Domestic media reports said 10 billion
shillings ($100 million) had been stolen through fictitious
invoices, and multiple payments on one supplier invoice, at the NYS.
2018 May 20, In Kenya a train
carrying 250,000 liters of petrol derailed at Mombasa and dumped
part of its cargo into the Indian Ocean and onto a major highway.
2018 May 20, Macedonia's main
opposition party, the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE, said it was against
changing the country's name to Republic of Ilinden Macedonia,
undermining prospects for a solution of a decades-long dispute with
2018 May 20, A spokesman for
Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak said Razak fears for
his safety and has asked for police protection, a day after the
ex-leader complained over the conduct of police searching properties
for evidence of corruption.
2018 May 20, In Nepal
Macedonian climber Gjeorgi Petkov (63).died while attempting to
scale Mount Everest.
2018 May 20, Spanish
authorities said they have broken up an alleged drug ring that
smuggled hashish from Morocco to Europe.
2018 May 20, In Syria a first
batch of Islamic State group fighters left their final stronghold in
Damascus early today under a deal struck after weeks of fierce
combat. State media said government troops fought to crush the last
pockets of resistance by Islamic State militants trapped in an
enclave south of Damascus, denying a report that insurgents had
begun leaving in a withdrawal agreement.
(AFP, 5/20/18)(AP, 5/20/18)
2018 May 20, In Thailand
suspected Muslim insurgents set off small bombs at about two dozen
locations in the country's deep south, wounding two women.
2018 May 20, Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Bosnia to hold his only election
rally outside Turkey, while other EU countries have banned such
events ahead of Ankara's presidential and parliamentary elections
2018 May 20, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro (55) sought a six-year term in a poorly
attended vote that was condemned by foes as the "coronation" of a
dictator and likely to bring fresh foreign sanctions. Official
election results gave President Nicolas Maduro a new six-year term.
Turnout was a low 46 percent.
(Reuters, 5/20/18)(AP, 5/21/18)
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