Today in History - May 23
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1059 May 23,
Henri I crowned his son King Philip I of France.
1153 May 23, David I (~68),
king of Scotland (1124-53), died.
1162 May 23, Thomas Becket was
elected archbishop of Canterbury.
1275 May 23, King Edward I of
England ordered a cessation to the persecution of French Jews.
1421 May 23, Jews of Austria
were imprisoned and expelled.
1423 May 23, Benedict XIII,
[Pedro the Luna], Spanish Pope (1394-1423), died. He had been
elected by the Avignon cardinals during the Great Western Schism.
(MC, 5/23/02)(PTA, 1980, p.402)
1430 May 23, Joan of Arc was
captured by the Burgundians, who sold her to the English.
(AP, 5/23/97)(HN, 5/23/98)
1498 May 23, The body of
Girolamo Savonarola (45), moral scourge of Florence (1494-98), was
burned along with 2 Dominican companions. An enraged crowd burned
the previously hanged body of Savonarola at the same spot where he
had ordered cultural works burned the year before. In 2006 Lauro
Martines authored “Fire in the City,” an account of Savonarola’s
(www.historyguide.org/intellect/savonarola.html)(WUD, 1994, p.1672)
(WSJ, 5/19/06, p.W6)
1533 May 23, The marriage of
England's King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon was declared null
(AP, 5/23/97)(HN, 5/23/98)
1536 May 23, Pope Paul III
installed the Portuguese Inquisition at the request of John III. Its
most common accusation was maintaining outlawed Jewish practices in
secret. The Inquisition was disbanded in 1821.
1611 May 23, Matthias von
Habsburg was chosen king of Bohemia.
1618 May 23, The Thirty Years
War (1618-1648) ravaged Germany. It began when three opponents of
the Reformation were thrown through a window. The “official”
Defenestration of Prague was the “official” trigger for the Thirty
Year’s War. Local Protestants became enraged when Catholic King
Ferdinand II reneged on promises of religious freedom and stormed
Hradcany Castle and threw 3 Catholic councilors out of the window
and into the moat.
(V.D.-H.K.p.90)(NH, 9/96, p.18,22)(HN, 5/23/98)
1701 May 23, Scottish-born sea
captain William Kidd was hanged on the banks of the Thames after
being found guilty of piracy and murder. Kidd had reluctantly became
a privateer for England in 1696 and was expected to fight pirates on
the open sea, seize their cargoes, and provide a hefty share of the
spoils to the Crown. According to his British accusers, Kidd turned
to piracy himself as the deadline for reporting to his employers in
New York approached and he had not taken enough booty to fulfill his
commission. Kidd himself did not know he was a wanted man until he
dropped anchor in the West Indies in April 1699. He chose to
surrender to the authorities and submit to a London trial, believing
to the end that he could clear his name. Important evidence in his
favor was suppressed and he was hanged.
1706 May 23, Battle of
Ramillies: Marlborough defeated the French and 17,000 were killed.
1707 May 23, Carolus Linnaeus
[Carl von Linné, d.1778], Swedish botanist, was born.
(HN, 5/23/01)(WUD, 1994 p.834)
1718 May 23, William Hunter
(d.1783), obstetrician, surgeon, anatomy teacher, was born near
Glasgow, Scotland. In 1768 he opened a medical school. The Glasgow
Hunterian Museum opened in 1807.
1734 May 23, Friedrich Anton
Mesmer, physician and hypnotist, was born.
1750 May 23, Carlo Goldoni's
"Il Bugiardo," premiered in Mantua.
1779 May 23, Benedict Arnold,
military governor of Philadelphia, wrote a query to the British
asking what they would pay for his services. He had already begun
trading with the British for personal profit and faced charges.
(ON, 11/01, p.1)
1785 May 23, Benjamin Franklin
in Paris spoke of his invention of bifocals in a letter to friend
and philanthropist George Whatley.
1788 May 23, South Carolina
became the eighth state to ratify the U. S. Constitution.
(AP, 5/23/97)(HN, 5/23/98)
1799 May 23, Thomas Hood
(d.1845), English poet, composer (Song of the Shirt), was born. "I
saw old Autumn in the misty morn Stand shadowless like silence,
listening To silence."
(AP, 9/23/98)(MC, 5/23/02)
1810 May 23, Margaret Fuller
(d.1850), American social reformer, writer and critic, was born. She
was the first female journalist for the New York Tribune. "Man is
not made for society, but society is made for man. No institution
can be good which does not tend to improve the individual."
(AP, 7/12/97)(HN, 5/23/99)
1819 May 23, Bolivar’s
revolutionary commanders met in the deserted village of Setenta,
Venezuela, and planned a march across the Andes to attack Spanish
forces in New Granada (Colombia).
(ON, 3/05, p.1)
1820 May 23, James Buchanan
Eads, engineer of the Eads Bridge in St. Louis, was born.
1832 May 23, Samuel Sharp was
hanged in Jamaica for leading a slave rebellion. He is survived by
his immortal declaration: "I would rather die upon yonder gallows
than live in slavery."
(Econ, 2/24/07, p.73)(http://tinyurl.com/3cu2ds)
1848 May 23, Helmuth J.L. von
Moltke, German general, chief of staff (WW I), was born.
1861 May 23, Virginia citizens
voted 3 to 1 in favor of secession, becoming the last Confederate
(HN, 5/23/98)(MC, 5/23/02)
1861 May 23, Pro Union and pro
Confederate forces clashed in Clarksburg, West Virginia.
1862 May 23, Confederate Gen.
Stonewall Jackson took Front Royal, Virginia, in the Valley
Campaign. Jackson captured 691 federal soldiers. His success was
based on information from Confederate spy Isabella Boyd.
(HN, 5/23/98)(ON, 4/10, p.2)
1863 May 23, The 7th Day
Adventist church was formally established in Battle Creek, Michigan
with a membership of 3,500. Among its founders was Ellen G. White,
whose extensive writings are still held in high regard by
Seventh-day Adventists today.
1863 May 23, In Germany the
General German Workers’ Association (ADAV) was founded. In 1869 it
became the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Germany (SDAP). In
1875 it became the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
1864 May 23, Union General
Ulysses Grant attempted to outflank Lee in the Battle of North Anna,
1865 May 23, The American flag
was flown at full staff over White House for the 1st time since
Lincoln was shot. Union Army's Grand Review began in Washington DC.
1867 May 23, Jesse James gang
robbed a bank in Richmond, Missouri, with 2 killed and $4,000 taken.
1868 May 23, Kit Carson
(b.1809), American scout and frontiersman, died at Fort Lyon,
Colorado. In 1999 David Roberts authored "A Newer World: Kit Carson,
John C. Freemont and the Claiming of the American West."
(WUD, 1994, p.227)(SFEC, 2/13/00, BR
1873 May 23, Canada's North
West Mounted Police force was established. The North West Mounted
Police was formed by the Canadian government to protect new settlers
in the territory between Manitoba and British Columbia. [see Mar 9]
(AP, 5/23/97)(HNQ, 5/5/98)
1875 May 23, Alfred Pritchard
Sloan, Jr., president and chairman of the board for General Motors,
was born. His foundation started the cancer research center
Sloan-Kettering Institute. Sloan defined the modern automobile
industry and helped rescue General Motors in 1920.
(HN, 5/23/99)(WSJ, 1//03, p.D8)
1883 May 23, Douglas Fairbanks,
actor, was born in Denver, CO.
(HN, 5/23/98)(MC, 5/23/02)
1883 May 23, The first baseball
game between one-armed and one-legged players was played.
1887 May 23, The 1st
transcontinental train arrived in Vancouver, BC.
1891 May 23, Par Lagerkvist,
Swedish writer (The Dwarf, Barabbas), was born.
1871 May 23, In France
extremists burned the Tuileries Palace.
1895 May 23, The New York
Public Library had its origins with an agreement combining the
city's existing Astor and Lenox libraries. James Lenox, the son of a
wealthy Scottish merchant, started the NY Public Library.
(HFA, '96, p.30)(AP, 5/23/97)(SFCM, 12/10/00,
1900 May 23, Civil War hero
Sgt. William H. Carney became the first African American to receive
the Medal of Honor, thirty-seven years after the Battle of Fort
1901 May 23, American forces
captured Philippine rebel leader Emilio Aguinaldo.
1903 May 23, Dr. Horatio Nelson
Jackson set off to cross the US from San Francisco in his $2,500
Winton touring car with his mechanic Sewell Croker. They reached NYC
(SFC, 6/16/03, p.A1)(SFC, 6/18/03, p.A23)(ON,
1906 May 23, Henrik Ibsen (78),
Norwegian playwright and poet died in Christiania, Norway.
1908 May 23, John Bardeen,
physicist, co-inventor of the transistor, was born.
1908 May 23, Part of the Great
White Fleet arrived in Puget Sound, Washington.
1908 May 23, In the SF Bay Area
John Morrell and his crew boarded their 485-foot airship in a field
near Berkeley High School. The ship’s gas bag burst at 300-feet and
the 20 men aboard plunged to the ground. 9 were seriosuly injured
but no one died.
(SFC, 10/11/14, p.C2)
1910 May 23, Franz Kline
(d.1962), American painter of abstract expressionist style, was born
in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
1910 May 23, Artie Shaw
(d.2004), jazz bandleader and clarinetist, was born as Arthur Jacoby
Arshawsky on the Lower East Side of NYC to poor Eastern European
(HN, 5/23/01)(SFC, 12/31/04, p.A4)
1911 May 23, The NY Public
Library building at 5th Avenue was dedicated by Pres Taft. In 2008
the central reference building at 42nd and Fifth Avenue was renamed
"The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building following a $100 million
contribution by Schwarzman (b.1947), co-founder of the Blackstone
Group, toward the expansion of the New York Public Library.
1915 May 23, Italy declared war
on Austria-Hungary in World War I. Italy entered World War I and
came up against the Austro-Hungarian forces including many
Slovenians in the Julian Alps near Trieste. Over 29 months 12 major
battles were fought along the Soca River.
(AP, 5/23/97)(HN, 5/23/98)(SFEC, 7/9/00, p.T14)
1920 May 23, Helen O'Connell,
big band vocalist, was born.
1921 May 23, James [Benjamin]
Blish, US-UK sci-fi author (Hugo, Black Easter, Star Trek
Reader), was born.
1922 May 23, "Abbie’s Irish
Rose" opened for the 1st of over 2,500 performances.
1928 May 23, Rosemary Clooney
(d.2002), singer, was born in Maysville, Ky.
(HN, 5/23/01)(SSFC, 6/30/02, p.A20)
1928 May 23, Italian Gen.
Nobile reached the North Pole for a 2nd time with a 16-man crew
aboard the dirigible Italia. The ship crashed the next day.
(ON, 10/00, p.5)
1934 May 23, Robert A. Moog,
electrical engineer, creator of the Moog synthesizer, was born.
1934 May 23, Wallace Carothers
manufactured the 1st nylon, polymer 66.
1934 May 23, Bonnie Parker (23)
and Clyde Barrow (24) were shot some 4 dozen times early in the
morning in a police ambush by Texas Rangers as they were driving a
stolen Ford Deluxe along a road in Bienville Parish, near Sailes,
La. This ended the most spectacular manhunt seen in America up to
that time. The pair had spent the previous 2 years killing and
robbing banks in the Midwest. Bonnie Parker was 19 and Clyde Barrow
was 21 when they met in Dallas in 1930. By the time the Barrow
gang's crime spree ended four years later, Bonnie, Clyde, Clyde's
brother Buck and Buck's wife had terrorized the Southwest and
Midwest and were believed to have committed 13 murders. In 1997
Clyde’s bullet-ridden shirt was auctioned off to a Nevada casino for
$85,000. His largest theft was estimated at $4,000. In 1979 Ted
Hinton and Larry Grove authored "Ambush: The Real Story of Bonnie
and Clyde." In 2009 Jeff Guinn authored “Go Down Together: the True
Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde.”
(SFC, 4/3/97, p.A13)(SFC, 4/15/97, p.A13)(AP,
5/23/97)(HN, 5/23/02)(ON, 7/02, p.3)(WSJ, 3/10/09, p.A13)
1937 May 23, John Davison
Rockefeller (97), industrialist, died in Ormond Beach, Fla. In 1998
Ron Chernow published this biography: “Titan: The Life of John D,
Rockefeller, Sr.” His value in 1999 dollars totaled $190 billion.
(AP, 5/23/97)(WSJ, 5/8/98, p.W1)(SFEC, 5/23/99,
Par p.7)(MC, 5/23/02)
1939 May 23, The US submarine
Squalus sank off the coast of New Hampshire. A diving bell designed
by Charles "Swede" Momsen (d.1967) brought 33 survivors (26
perished) safely to the surface. In 1999 Peter Maas authored "The
Terrible Hours," an account of the sinking and rescue. This was the
first successful undersea rescue operation to retrieve a sunken
(SFEC, 9/26/99, Par p.4,5)(WSJ, 8/17/00,
1939 May 23, British parliament
planned to make Palestine independent by 1949.
1939 May 23, Hitler proclaimed
he wants to move into Poland.
1939 May 23, Dmitri
Shostakovitch was appointed professor at conservatory of Leningrad.
1940 May 23, Tommy Dorsey and
His Orchestra, the Pied Pipers and featured soloist Frank Sinatra
recorded "I'll Never Smile Again" in New York for RCA.
1940 May 23, The 1st great
dogfight between Spitfires took place.
1940 May 23, The Polish
submarine ORP Orzel left Rosyth, Scotland, and disappeared in the
North Sea during a mission with the Allies.
1943 May 23, Thomas Mann began
writing his novel Dr. Faustus.
1943 May 23-24, Some 826 Allied
bombers attacked Dortmund.
1944 May 23, During World War
II, Allied forces bogged down in Anzio began a major breakout
1945 May 23, Winston Churchill,
the head Britain’s coalition government, resigned pending the
upcoming general election. He continued to serve as the head of the
caretaker government which lasted till he lost the election on July
26 and officially resigned as PM.
1945 May 23, British military
police arrested Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz, Hitler's designated
successor ("Fuhrer for a Weekend").
1945 May 23, Heinrich Himmler
(44), the head of the Nazi Gestapo, committed suicide while
imprisoned in Luneburg, Germany.
(AP, 5/23/97)(HN, 5/23/01)
1947 May 23, Jane Kenyon, poet
(Let Evening Come, Otherwise), was born.
1948 May 23, China’s People's
Liberation Army began to encircle the Nationalist defenders in
Changchun, while cutting off air transportation. The siege lasted
for 150 days and ended when the People's Liberation Army under Gen.
Lin Biao entered Changchun after the Nationalist 60th Army and New
7th Army surrendered. Some 160,000 civilians died, mainly of hunger,
trapped in a killing zone outside the city walls.
1949 May 23, The Federal
Republic of (West) Germany with Bonn as the capital officially came
into existence under a new constitution.
(WUD, 1994, p.1684)(Econ, 3/28/09, p.59)
1951 May 23, Anatoli Karpov,
world chess champion (1975-85), was born in the USSR.
1951 May 23, Peter Ustinov's
"Love of Four Colonels," premiered in London.
1951 May 23, The Dalai Lama
signed the “17-point agreement” in which he agreed to accept Chinese
sovereignty over Tibet.
1953 May 23, Schools 1st used
1958 May 23, Mao Tse Tung
started his "Great leap forward" movement in China. China tried to
modernize its economy in “The Great Leap Forward” and urged
factories and farms to meet impossible production targets.
Farmers were forced to pool their possessions and devote all land to
grain cultivation. Rather than concede failure, local officials
misled central planners about output. The result: a famine that may
have killed as many as 30 million people by the end of 1960. The
story is told by Jasper Becker in his 1997 book “Hungry Ghosts:
Mao’s Secret Famine.”
(WSJ 12/10/93)(SFEC, 10/7/96, A12)(WSJ, 2/7/97,
1959 May 23, Presbyterian
church accepted women preachers.
1960 May 23, A tidal wave, due
to a 9.5 earthquake off Chile, hit Hilo, Hawaii. It killed 61
people, wiped out the beaches and destroyed 537 buildings. It went
on to hit Japan.
(SFEC, 4/2/00, p.T4)(SSFC, 8/25/02, p.C14)
1960 May 23, Israel announced
Israeli agents had captured former Nazi official SS Lt. Col. Adolf
Eichmann in Argentina. Eichmann was tried in Israel, found guilty of
crimes against humanity, and hanged in 1962. [see May 11]
(WSJ, 4/28/97, p.A17)(AP, 5/23/02)
1962 May 23, OAS leader general
Raoul Salan was sentenced to life in prison. French general Raoul
Salan led a failed army revolt in Algeria (July, 1960) and then fled
abroad, continuing to direct increasing terrorist Secret Army
Organization (OAS) attacks on the French and Algerian governments,
turning the Algerian War of Independence into a three-way war in
Algeria and a right-wing guerrilla insurrection in France.
1962 May 23, Ruben Jaramillo,
Mexican agrarian reformer, was assassinated along with his family by
(SFC, 12/31/96, p.C9)(AP, 5/23/04)
1964 May 23, In San Francisco 6
people died in a fire at All Hallows Catholic Church. Panic seized
some 250 people after a Samoan fire dancer’s pan of gasoline
exploded from a cigarette lighter.
(SSFC, 5/25/14, DB p.42)
1965 May 23, David Smith
(b.1906), American sculptor, died in Albany NY. His farm in upstate
New York was named the Terminal Iron Works. His work included
"Circle and Box," "XI Books, III Apples," "Lunar Arc," "Becca" and
1969 May 23, The BBC ordered 13
episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
1969 May 23, The Who released
their rock opera "Tommy."
1971 May 23, In California poet
Lou Welch (b.1926) walked away from Gary Snider’s residence in the
Sierra foothills and was never seen again.
1975 May 23, The US Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) banned the sale of turtles with shells
that measured less than four inches in length. The turtles were
identified as major carriers of salmonella bacterium and had been
widely sold as pets for kids.
(WSJ, 5/30/96, p.B1)(http://tiny.cc/IEWJ3)
1975 May 23, Jackie "Moms"
Mabley (b.1894), comedienne, died. Her films included “Amazing
1977 May 23, Pres. Jimmy Carter
presented an environmental message to Congress: "I am directing to
make a one-year study of the probable changes in the world’s
population, natural resources and environment through the end of the
century. This study will serve as the foundation of our longer-term
planning. The Global 2000 Report sold 1.5 million copies and
pronounced a world that would be more crowded, more polluted, less
stable ecologically and more vulnerable to disruption than the world
(SFC, 12/31/00, WB p.1)
1977 May 23, The US Supreme
Court refused to hear appeals of former Nixon White House aides H.R.
Haldeman, John Ehrlichman & John Mitchell in connection with
their Watergate convictions.
1977 May 23, Moluccan
extremists held 105 schoolchildren and 50 others hostage on a
hijacked train in Netherlands. The children were released May 27.
The siege ended June 11.
1982 May 23, The British HMS
Antelope was attacked. It sank the next day after an unexploded bomb
detonates. Ten Argentine aircraft were destroyed.
1983 May 23, Radio Moscow
announcer Vladimir Danchev (35) praised Afghanistan Muslims standing
up to Russia. He was removed from the air. Soviet sources said that
Vladimir Danchev, the Radio Moscow news announcer who twice in six
days described Soviet troops in Afghanistan as an occupying force,
had been dismissed and was under investigation.
1985 May 23, Thomas Patrick
Cavanagh, an aerospace engineer who admitted trying to sell
"stealth" bomber secrets to the Soviet Union, was sentenced in Los
Angeles to life in prison.
1986 May 23, Sterling Hayden
(b.1916), actor and author, died in Sausalito, Ca. he appeared in 35
films and wrote two books, including his autobiography: “The
5/22/11, DB p.46)
1987 May 23, Rescue workers and
survivors searched through the rubble of a killer tornado in
Saragosa, Texas, that had claimed 30 lives. Texas Gov. Bill Clements
expressed his sorrow, and pledged all possible help.
1988 May 23, Less than a week
before a scheduled superpower summit in Moscow, Secretary of State
George Shultz went to Capitol Hill to ask for a prompt Senate vote
to ratify the intermediate-range nuclear missile treaty.
1989 May 23, An estimated 1
million people in Beijing and tens of thousands in other Chinese
cities marched to demand that Premier Li Peng resign.
1990 May 23, Clinton’s campaign
for a 5th term as governor of Arkansas received a $60,000 loan from
the Perry County Bank. More cash was requested a few days later.
(SFC, 6/28/96, p.A7)
1990 May 23, Neil Bush, son of
the president, denied any wrongdoing as a director of a failed
Denver savings-and-loan in testimony before Congress. The cost of
rescuing US savings & loan failures was put at up to $130
1990 May 23, The Soviet Union
unveiled an economic-reform program that included plans for a
1991 May 23, In a five-to-four
vote, the US Supreme Court upheld regulations barring federally
subsidized family planning clinics from discussing abortion with
pregnant women, or from telling women where they could get
1991 May 23, Holly Washa (22)
of Burien, Washington, was kidnapped, raped and soon murdered. Cal
Coburn Brown was convicted of murder in 1993 and sentenced to death
in 1994. In 2009 the Washington supreme Court granted a last minute
reprieve and postponed his execution, which would have been the
state’s first since 2001.
(SFC, 3/13/09, p.A6)(http://tinyurl.com/alz33r)
1991 May 23, Last Cubans troops
1991 May 23, Peter T. Thwaites,
British brig-gen, playwright (Love or money), died.
1992 May 23, Pres. Bush issued
Executive Order 12807 authorizing the repatriation of Haitian
refugees interdicted by the Coast Guard.
1992 May 23, The United States
and four former Soviet republics signed an agreement in Lisbon,
Portugal, to implement the START missile-reduction treaty that had
been agreed to by the Soviet Union prior to its dissolution.
1992 May 23, In Sicily
anti-Mafia investigator Giovannii Falcone was murdered on a highway
outside Palermo. Falcone’s wife and 3 bodyguards were also killed.
Sicilian politician Salvo Lima was also murdered. Anti-Mafia
investigator Paolo Borsellino was killed in another blast some
months later. In 1997 Pietro Aglieri, aka "U Signurinu" (The Little
Gentleman), was arrested for involvement in all three murders. 24
mobsters were convicted in the murder in 1997, including Leoluca
(SFC, 9/27/97, p.A12)(SFEC, 6/7/98,
1993 May 23, A jury in Baton
Rouge, La., acquitted Rodney Peairs of manslaughter in the shooting
death of Yoshi Hattori, a Japanese exchange student he'd mistaken
for an intruder. Peairs was later found liable in a civil suit
brought by Hattori's parents.
1994 May 23, "Pulp Fiction" by
American director Quentin Tarantino won the Golden Palm for best
film at the 47th Cannes Film Festival.
1994 May 23, Funeral services
were held at Arlington National Cemetery for former first lady
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
1994 May 23, Some 270 pilgrims,
most of them Indonesian, were killed in a stampede in Mecca as
worshippers surge toward cavern for symbolic ritual of "stoning the
1995 May 23, Leland William
Modjeski (37), a graduate student, was shot and wounded on the White
House lawn after scaling a fence with an unloaded gun.
1995 May 23, The nine-story
hulk of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was
demolished. That day, James Nichols, whose brother and a friend were
charged in the Oklahoma bombing, was released from federal custody.
1996 May 23, The US House
approved, by a vote of 281-144, election-year legislation to raise
the minimum wage by 90 cents an hour.
1996 May 23, The Mt. Tabor
Baptist Church in Cerro Gordo, N.C., burned down. Arson was
suspected and investigations by the FBI and ATF were later begun.
(SFC, 6/11/96, p.A16)
1996 May 23, In San Francisco
the Joe Goode Performance Group celebrated its 10th anniversary with
the opening of "The Maverick Strain," a spoken word and dance
performance that explored the renegade impulse in American culture.
(SFC, 5/25/96, p.B1)
1996 May 23, Federal agents in
the Bay Area and Sacramento, Ca., began arresting agents of China’s
two main government-owned arms companies on suspicion of smuggling
2,000 illegal automatic assault weapons into the US. The smugglers
are representatives of China Northern Industrial Corp. (Norinco) and
Poly Technologies. Norinco reports to the State Council headed by
Premier Li Peng. Poly Tech operates under the Chinese army General
Staff, which reports to Chinese Pres. Jiang Zemin.
(SFC, 5/23/96, p.A1)(SFC, 5/23/96, p.A17)
1996 May 23, The Armed Islamic
Group said that it had killed 7 French Trappist monks who were
kidnapped two months ago from the Notre Dame de l’Atlas monastery at
Tibhirine near Medea on Mar 27. Only their decapitated heads were
found. In 2002 John W. Kister authored "The Monks of Tibhirine." In
2010 this story was covered in the French film “Of Gods and Men.”
(SFC, 5/24/96, p.A14)(WSJ, 2/19/02, p.A24)(Econ,
1996 May 23, In Bangladesh as
many as 77 people were feared drowned in a sunken ferry after a
collision on the Jamuna River. More than 50 ferries have sunk since
1981 killing more than 1,000 people.
(SFC, 5/25/96, p.A11)
1996 May 23, In Mexico a
teacher’s march turned into a bloody confrontation with police and
40 teachers were injured. Pres. Zedillo later fired Police Chief
David Garay for his heavy-handed action.
(SFC, 6/1/96, p.A12)
1996 May 23, A North Korean
pilot flew his unarmed Mig-19 jet to South Korea. Capt. Lee Chul Soo
(30) was the first pilot to defect since 1983.
(SFC, 5/24/96, p.A12)
1997 May 23, The defense at the
Oklahoma City bombing trial suffered an embarrassing setback when
one of its own witnesses provided testimony damaging to defendant
1997 May 23, The Senate
decisively approved a carefully constructed deal to balance the
budget and cut taxes.
1997 May 23, In Algiers 2 car
bombs exploded and killed 7 people and wounded 12 in the town of
(SFC, 5/24/97, p.C1)
1997 May 23, In Indonesia
thousands rampaged the streets of Jakarta after a confrontation
between the rival United Development Party and the ruling Golkar
Party. A 5-day cooling off period was declared. On Borneo as many as
130 people died in a shopping complex fire set by rioters during a
(SFEC, 5/26/97, p.A10)(SFC, 5/24/97, p.A8)
1997 May 23, In Iran
presidential elections put conservative speaker Ali Akbar Nateq
Nouri against left-leaning cleric Mohammad Khatami (54). Former
Culture Minister Mohammad Khatemi won in a landslide over
hard-liners in the ruling Muslim clergy.
(WSJ, 3/20/97, p.A12)(AP, 5/23/98)(SFEC,
1997 May 23, Russia and Belarus
signed a union charter for economic, military and political
(SFC, 5/24/97, p.A8)
1997 May 23, From Russia it was
reported that huge forest fires near Lake Baikal had consumed more
than 400,000 acres of Siberian woodland and killed 20 people over
the last 2 months.
(SFC, 5/23/97, p.A18)
1998 May 23, From Guatemala it
was reported that the Pacaya volcano had erupted during the week and
covered Guatemala City with a half-inch of grit.
(SFC, 5/23/98, p.A5)
1998 May 23, From India and
Pakistan it was reported that temperatures had reached 120 degrees
and claimed 34 lives. Most of the fatalities occurred in the
southwestern Indian state of Maharashtra.
(SFC, 5/23/98, p.A5)
1998 May 23, Official returns
showed two convincing "yes" votes for the Northern Ireland peace
accord: a surprisingly strong 71.1 percent in British-linked
Northern Ireland, and 94.4 percent in the Republic of Ireland.
1999 May 23, At Cannes the
Belgian film "Rosetta" by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne won the
Golden Palm Award at the 52nd Cannes Film Festival. The Russian film
'Moloch" won for best screenplay and "Humanity" by Frenchman Bruno
Dumont won the runner-up Grand Jury Prize. The Jury Prize went to
"The Letter" by Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira.
(SFC, 5/24/99, p.D3)
1999 May 23, Owen Hart (33), a
professional wrestler also known as "The Blue Blazer," was killed
when he fell 50  feet while being lowered into the ring at a
World Wrestling Federation show in Kansas City. The fall was revised
to 90 feet in front of 16,200 fans at the Kemper Arena.
(SFC, 5/24/99, p.A6)(SFC, 5/25/99, p.A3)(AP,
1999 May 23, Some 14,000 ethnic
Albanians crossed the border from Kosovo to Macedonia in the last 2
(SFC, 5/24/99, p.A12)
1999 May 23, In Algeria men
armed with guns and bombs attacked a village near Medea and killed
(SFC, 5/24/99, p.A13)
1999 May 23, In Germany
Johannes Rau, a prominent Social Democrat, was elected president by
the 1,338 member federal assembly with a 690 majority.
(SFC, 5/24/99, p.A13)
1999 May 23, In Indonesia
thousands rallied in the streets of Jakarta in support of Megawati
(SFC, 5/24/99, p.A14)
1999 May 23, In Iraq US planes
bombed Iraqi defense systems.
(SFC, 5/24/99, p.A13)
2000 May 23, Two weeks before a
US-Russia arms summit, presidential candidate George W. Bush said he
would slash America’s nuclear arsenal as part of a broad national
security review that would call for a missile-defense system.
2000 May 23, The US Nasdaq
market fell 6% to 3,164.55.
(SFC, 5/24/00, p.A1)
2000 May 23, Ethiopian forces
reclaimed Zalambessa, which was seized by Eritrea 2 years ago.
(WSJ, 5/24/00, p.A1)
2000 May 23, In France the
15-day strike by armored truck security guards ended after they
agreed to a risk premium of $138 per month.
(SFC, 5/24/00, p.C4)
2000 May 23, The South Lebanon
Army abandoned its positions and Israel’s 22-year occupation of its
“security zone” ended.
(SFC, 5/24/00, p.A1)
2000 May 23, In Nigeria
Christians and Muslims clashed for a 2nd day in Kaduna and the death
toll mounted to 100.
(SFC, 5/24/00, p.C4)
2001 May 23, The US Senate
passed an 11-year, $1.35 trillion tax cut bill.
2001 May 23, Pres. Bush banned
the import of rough diamonds from Liberia in an effort to deprive
rebels in Sierra Leone of a source of funds.
(SFC, 5/24/01, p.C3)
2001 May 23, Pres. Bush met
with the Dalai Lama as China condemned the Taiwan president’s visit
(WSJ, 5/24/01, p.A1)
2001 May 23, US Sec. of State
Colin Powell began his 4-nation African tour in Mali and met with
Pres. Alfa Omar Konare.
(SFC, 5/24/01, p.C2)
2001 May 23, In Arizona 12
illegal Mexican immigrants were found dead due to dehydration. 2
more were found dead the next day. In 2002 Jesus Lopez-Ramos, one of
3 smugglers, was sentenced to 16 years in prison. In 2004 Luis
Alberto Urrea authored "The Devil's Highway: A True Story," about
the ill-fated crossing.
(SFC, 5/24/01, p.A3)(SFC, 5/25/01, p.A3)(SFC,
2/23/02, p.A5)(SSFC, 4/11/04, p.M2)
2001 May 23, An Israeli
contractor was killed in an ambush in the West Bank. 38 Palestinians
including 15 children were wounded in a firefight at the Rafah
refugee camp in Gaza.
(SFC, 5/24/01, p.A14)
2001 May 23, India called off a
6-month cease-fire in Kashmir and at the same time invited
Pakistan’s military leader to visit and discuss how to bring peace
to the region.
(SFC, 5/24/01, p.C2)
2001 May 23, The negotiations
for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants were
completed in Stockholm, Sweden. The convention entered into force on
May 17th, 2004 with ratification by an initial 128 parties and 151
2001 May 23, The UN reported
that in Sierra Leone some 2,300 fighters turned in their weapons in
the 1st 6 days of a new disarmament deal.
(SFC, 5/24/01, p.C3)
2002 May 23, Pres. Bush at a
Berlin press conference said that he expects Pres. Putin to “get on
board” with America's hard-line policy toward Iran and Iraq. Bush
also addressed the German Parliament and said terrorist groups
constitute a “new totalitarian threat,” and then flew on to Moscow.
(SFC, 5/24/02, p.A1)
2002 May 23, It was reported
that the US government had charged Jeffrey A. Royer, a former FBI
agent, with giving stock traders information on criminal probes of
public companies in a scheme hatched by investor Amr “Anthony”
Elgindy. 3 others were also charged including a current FBI agent.
(WSJ, 5/23/02, p.A1)(WSJ, 5/29/02, p.A1)(WSJ,
2002 May 23, The Pentagon
reported that the Defense Dept. sprayed live nerve and biological
agents over Navy ships in 6 six tests between 1964-1968. The Project
shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD) experiments included the use of
sarin and VX nerve gases and the staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB).
(SFC, 5/24/02, p.A7)
2002 May 23, Sam Snead (89),
golfing legend, died.
(WSJ, 5/24/02, p.A1)
2002 May 23, The UN voted to
extend the mandate for an int'l. force in Afghanistan for 6 months
but with no expansion of troops or presence beyond Kabul.
(SFC, 5/24/02, p.A13)
2002 May 23, Pope John Paul II
visited Bulgaria, his 1st to the Orthodox nation of just 80,000
(SFC, 5/24/02, p.A13)
2002 May 23, In Israel a bomb
exploded under a tanker truck near a fuel depot but failed to ignite
the tanker fuel.
(SFC, 5/24/02, p.A18)
2002 May 23, The Israeli
Embassy in Paris burned beyond repair. A faulty circuit was
(SFC, 5/24/02, p.A16)
2002 May 23, Pedro Carmona
(60), CEO of Industrias Venoco CA and Venezuela‘s recent 2-day
president, escaped house arrest and sought refuge in the Colombian
(SFC, 5/24/02, p.A16)(WSJ, 3/10/08, p.A5)
2003 May 23, Golfer Annika
Sorenstam failed to make the 36-hole cut at the PGA Tour in Fort
Worth, Texas, missing the cut by four strokes. She was the first
woman to play in a PGA Tour event in 58 years.
2003 May 23, The US Congress
gave its final approval to $330 billion in new tax cuts for
families, investors and businesses. Congress passed a $350 billion,
10-year tax cut.
(AP, 5/23/03)(WSJ, 11/3/04, p.A6)
2003 May 23, US defense
officials reported that American troops had confiscated gold bars
valued at $34 million from a truck in northern Iraq.
2003 May 23, Another travel
alert for Toronto, Canada, was issued following the report of 20
possible new cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
2003 May 23, Researchers from
China and Hong Kong identified a coronavirus in 3 wild mammals, palm
civets, a raccoon dog and a ferret badger, sold in the live-animal
food markets of South China.
(SFC, 5/24/03, p.A1)
2003 May 23, In India officials
reported that a heat wave in southern Indian has killed at least 198
people in the past eight days.
2003 May 23, Israel's PM Ariel
Sharon agreed to work with a US-backed peace plan to end 32 months
of fighting and to set up a Palestinian state.
2003 May 23, The Democratic
Party in the Dutch Caribbean territory of St. Maarten won
legislative elections, winning support for its platform of working
with the regional government before seeking independence from the
2004 May 23, Seattle’s new $165
million downtown Central Library, designed by Rem Koolhaas,
(SFC, 5/21/04, p.W1)(WSJ, 1/13/05, p.D8)
2004 May 23, In eastern
Bangladesh 2 river ferries carrying about 250 passengers capsized
during a storm, and dozens of people were feared dead. The death
toll climbed to 74.
(AP, 5/24/04)(WSJ, 5/24/04, p.A1)(AP, 5/25/04)
2004 May 23, Rod Hall (53),
British literary agent, was found dead in his London home. An
autopsy revealed the cause of death to be multiple stab wounds to
the chest and abdomen. On May 29 Usman Durrani, 20, a student from
east London, was charged with the murder.
2004 May 23, In France a
section of the futuristic, cylindrical passenger terminal at Paris'
Charles de Gaulle airport collapsed, killing 4 people and injuring
2004 May 23, In Germany Horst
Koehler, a former head of the IMF and advocate of bolder economic
reforms, was elected as the country's 9th postwar president.
(AP, 5/23/04)(Econ, 5/22/04, p.47)
2004 May 23, In India's portion
of Kashmir suspected Islamic militants blew up a military bus,
killing at least 33 soldiers and relatives, and wounding 15.
(AP, 5/23/04)(SFC, 5/24/04, p.A7)
2004 May 23, It was reported
that Iraq faces an estimated $120 billion debt including over $21
billion creditors of the Paris Club.
(SSFC, 5/23/04, p.A1)
2004 May 23, In Iraq US troops
battled fighters loyal to a radical Muslim cleric in his stronghold
of Kufa, and at least 32 insurgents and three civilians were killed.
Gunmen killed a police captain and a university student who were
headed by car to Baghdad from Baqouba. Insurants loyal to al-Sadr
gave up control of central Karbala.
(AP, 5/23/04)(SFC, 5/24/04, p.A1)
2004 May 23, A car explosion
rocked the West Bank city of Nablus, killing at least 2 people.
Israeli military denied responsibility.
2004 May 23, In Tunisia Arab
leaders concluded a 2-day summit and committed their countries to
(SFC, 5/24/04, p.A7)
2005 May 23, US Senate
moderates reached a bipartisan compromise agreeing on a yes-no vote
on some disputed judicial nominees and not to block future ones
except in extraordinary circumstances. Republicans agreed to back
off a bid to end filibusters in such cases.
(WSJ, 5/24/05, p.A1)
2005 May 23, President Bush
said that US troops in Afghanistan will remain under US control
despite Afghan President Hamid Karzai's request for more authority
2005 May 23, Kansas City rapper
Anthony “Fat Tone” Watkins (24) and another man were found shot dead
in the Southern Highlands area of Las Vegas. Police later said that
a SF rap promoter named Andre Dow, aka “Mac Minister,” and Jason
Mathis killed the 2 men to avenge the Nov, 2004, killing of Andre
“Mac Dre” Hicks in Kansas. Mathis was arrested in 2005 in SF. Dow
was arrested in 2006 in SF.
(SFC, 5/26/05, p.B5)(SFC, 11/29/05, p.A1)(SFC,
2005 May 23, Afghan and
coalition forces killed two insurgents in a firefight in central
Afghanistan, while US aircraft bombed and destroyed a cave where
about six other rebels were believed hiding.
2005 May 23, Thousands of
British Broadcasting Corp. journalists and technicians began a
24-hour strike over proposed job cuts, severely disrupting radio and
2005 May 23, In Shenzhen,
China, 16 buildings toppled near the Hong Kong border in what state
media said was the largest urban demolition blast ever in China.
2005 May 23, In eastern Congo
militiamen calling themselves Rastas killed at least 18 people and
kidnapped at least 50 others in a late-night attack on the village
of Ninja, hacking their victims to death as they ran for safety.
2005 May 23, A Russian-made
plane crashed shortly after takeoff near Bunyakiri, Congo, killing
2005 May 23, French
anti-terrorist officers captured three suspected members of the
Basque separatist group ETA in an early morning sweep in southeast
2005 May 23, A string of car
bombs and suicide attacks across Iraq killed at least 49 Iraqis and
wounded more than 130. Militants assassinated a top national
security official. Five US troops were killed by roadside bombs and
a vehicle accident.
(AP, 5/23/05)(AP, 5/24/05)
2005 May 23, In Ireland a bus
full of high school students collided with two cars northwest of
Dublin on and tipped over into a ditch, killing five teenage girls
and injuring 50 people.
2005 May 23, Morocco's king
pulled out of the first North African summit in more than a decade,
over Algeria's latest comments in a long-running dispute over
independence for Western Sahara. Moroccan King Mohammed VI will be
represented at the two-day summit in Tripoli, Libya, by Morocco's
foreign minister, Mohamed Benaissa.
2005 May 23, The Norwegian
Petroleum Directorate announced a wildcat exploration well drilled
in the Norwegian Sea has made a promising natural gas strike,
although it was too early to say how large.
2005 May 23, The Palestinian
Election Commission said that parliamentary elections scheduled for
July 17 will be delayed because it needed more time to prepare for
2005 May 23, Ryszard Kalisz,
Poland's interior minister, offered his resignation amid reports of
growing corruption in police forces around the country.
2005 May 23, The Vatican said
there was no investigation under way of allegations that Rev.
Marcial Maciel Degallado, the Mexican founder of a conservative
religious order, sexually abused seminarians more than 30 years ago.
2005 May 23, In Zimbabwe
paramilitary units armed with batons and tear gas patrolled Harare's
main roads as police warned they would not tolerate any more
protests against their crackdown on street trading, the only
livelihood for thousands in the shattered economy.
2006 May 23, Pres. Bush met
with Israel’s OM Olmert and urged him to reach out to Abbas as an
alternative to dealing with Hamas.
(WSJ, 5/24/06, p.A1)
2006 May 23, A US federal
agency charged that employees at mortgage giant Fannie Mae
manipulated accounting so that executives could collect millions in
bonuses as senior management deceived investors and stonewalled
regulators. Federal regulators expected a $400 million settlement.
(AP, 5/23/06)(SFC, 5/24/06, p.C1)
2006 May 23, In a recording
posted on the Internet, a voice purported to be that of Osama bin
Laden said neither Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person convicted in
the US for the Sept. 11 attacks, nor anyone held at Guantanamo had
anything to do with the al-Qaida operation.
2006 May 23, ABC appointed
Charles Gibson to replace Elizabeth Vargas as anchor of its "World
News Tonight" evening newscast.
2006 May 23, In California the
Hercules City Council voted unanimously to use eminent domain to
prevent Wal-Mart from building a bog box store on a 17-acre lot near
the city’s waterfront on the SF Bay.
(SFC, 5/24/06, p.B1)
2006 May 23, Washington Mutual
Inc., the nation's largest savings and loan, notified 1,400 workers
in Washington and Florida that they will lose their jobs as part of
the company's cost-saving strategy.
2006 May 23, MIT unveiled its
first working prototype of its $100 laptop designed for the Third
World under an initiative named “One Laptop Per Child.”
(SFC, 5/24/06, p.C3)
2006 May 23, Lloyd Bentsen
(b.1921), former Texas senator, died at his home in Houston. In 1988
Michael Dukakis picked him as his vice-president candidate. In 1993
he became Bill Clinton’s first treasury secretary.
(SFC, 5/24/06, p.A2)(Econ, 6/3/06, p.84)
2006 May 23, In Afghanistan
Pres. Hamid Karzai ordered an investigation into US airstrikes on a
village that killed at least 16 civilians and asked to meet with the
US commander of forces. A land mine blew up under a vehicle carrying
a team of Afghan health workers, killing a doctor, two nurses and
2006 May 23, In Bangladesh
angry garment workers set fire to seven textile factories in and
around the capital after news that an employee shot in the back
during recent protests over better pay and working conditions had
2006 May 23, Congo arrested a
group of foreign security guards on suspicion of plotting a coup
ahead of national elections. Interior Minister Theophile Mbemba said
there were three Americans, 10 Nigerians and 12 South Africans among
the group of 32 taken into custody. Mbemba said all the men had
received visits from their respective ambassadors.
2006 May 23, Fighting between
disgruntled former soldiers and the military left at least two
people dead in East Timor, as Australia and New Zealand offered to
provide troops to the tiny nation to help restore calm.
2006 May 23, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel met the Shanghai bishop from the Chinese Catholic
church on the final day of a visit in which rights issues took
center stage alongside trade.
2006 May 23, Warplanes from
Greece and Turkey collided over the Aegean Sea island of Karpathos
as they shadowed each other. Officials said the Turkish pilot was
rescued unhurt, and a search was launched for the Greek pilot.
2006 May 23, Iran’s government
closed one of the country's top three newspapers, detaining its
editor and cartoonist, Mana Neyestani, for publishing a caricature
that caused members of Iran's Azeri minority to riot in protest.
Amnesty International said in a report in 2007 that 19 people were
reported killed in the unrest and hundreds arrested. Neyestani was
released from jail after 3 months and fled the country with his
wife. In 2012 he published his autobiographical comic book "An
Iranian Metamorphosis," a Kafkaesque story recounting his 2006
(AP, 5/23/06)(AFP, 2/10/12)
2006 May 23, A bomb went off in
a motorcycle parked in the courtyard of a Shiite mosque in Baghdad,
killing 11 people and wounding at least nine, the deadliest of the
attacks across Iraq that claimed 40 lives. A US soldier died when
his patrol was attacked by small arms fire and rocket-propelled
grenades south of Balad.
(AP, 5/23/06)(AP, 5/25/06)
2006 May 23, Ibrahim Hamed
(41), a top Hamas military commander, surrendered in Ramallah after
Israeli troops surrounded his hideout and threatened to demolish it
with him inside. He was linked by Israel to attacks that killed 78
people, including five Americans.
2006 May 23, Italy's new deputy
economics minister called the nation's economic situation "a
disaster," saying the deficit in 2006 may exceed 4.5 percent of
gross domestic product.
2006 May 23, Ziad Khalaf Raja
al-Karbouly, an Iraqi government contractor, confessed on Jordanian
television to kidnapping and killing on the orders of al-Qaida in
Iraq before he was lured to Jordan and arrested.
2006 May 23, Mexico’s Pres. Fox
began a five-day trip to the US in Utah before moving on to
Washington state and California. Immigration was the major focus of
Fox's trip as the US Senate considered legislation to strengthen
2006 May 23, In Mexico 3 men
were shot to death in two different attacks in the border city of
Nuevo Laredo, bringing to at least 115 the number of people slain by
violence this year.
2006 May 23, The Dutch
parliament approved new anti-terrorism measures that make it easier
to arrest suspects without strong evidence and hold them longer
2006 May 23, Pakistani
officials said at least 7 people have died and thousands of others
have fallen sick after drinking contaminated water in Faisalabad, a
city famous for its textile mills. The outbreak of gastroenteritis
began May 14. The last two fatalities happened May 21.
2006 May 23, Serbia's president
said he recognized the results of the independence vote in
Montenegro that will separate the tiny Adriatic republic from its
union with Serbia.
2006 May 23, A high-level UN
delegation arrived in Sudan to press a reluctant government to
accept a large force of U.N. peacekeepers in the strife-torn Darfur
2006 May 23, In Thailand PM
Thaksin Shinawatra resumed his duties as challenges to his hold on
power mounted even after a self-imposed leave of absence for seven
2006 May 23, In northern
Thailand flash floods left thousands of people stranded on rooftops
and trapped inside trains. 9 people were reported killed.
2007 May 23, President Bush,
speaking at the US Coast Guard commencement, portrayed the Iraq war
as a battle between the US and al-Qaida and contended that Osama bin
Laden was setting up a terrorist cell in Iraq to strike targets in
2007 May 23, Jordin Sparks (17)
of Glendale, Ariz., was crowned the newest and youngest "American
2007 May 23, The California
Energy Commission announced rules that barred municipal utilities
from signing new contracts with coal-fired power plants. Coal
generated about 20% of the state’s electricity.
(SFC, 5/28/07, p.A17)
2007 May 23, A conservation
group said dozens of European mammals faced extinction unless
immediate measures are taken to protect them. 35 of the continent’s
231 mammal species fell into the threatened category.
(SFC, 5/23/07, p.A7)
2007 May 23, A bomb in northern
Afghanistan killed a Finnish soldier and an Afghan civilian, while a
suicide attacker in Kabul killed two people, including a policeman.
Two operations in southern Afghanistan killed 18 suspected
militants, including seven "foreigners," while six people died when
a stash of ammunition exploded in the east.
(AP, 5/23/07)(AP, 5/24/07)
2007 May 23, Australian PM John
Howard and his Greek counterpart Kostas Karamanlis sealed a deal
which concluded a decades-long debate over pensions for one of the
world's largest expatriate Greek communities.
2007 May 23, Belarus lawmakers
backed legislation stripping hundreds of thousands of disabled and
retired people and students of social benefits and other state
2007 May 23, The High Court in
London upheld a ruling letting families return to their Indian Ocean
island homes, from where they were forced out 30 years ago to make
way for a US military base. The Court of Appeal backed a High
Court ruling in May last year that allowed the families to return to
the Chagos Islands, except for Diego Garcia, a launchpad for US
military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
2007 May 23, China said it was
investigating reports that toothpaste containing a potentially
deadly chemical had been exported to Central America.
2007 May 23, Colombia announced
capital controls on some foreign investments to try to curb the
soaring peso, which has made greater gains against the dollar this
year than any other currency.
2007 May 23, The BBC reported
that Pakistani UN peacekeepers charged with disarming Congolese
militia instead engaged in gold and weapons trafficking with militia
members. The Pakistani unit in question deployed to Mongwalu in
2007 May 27, The inaugural
sermon was held at Mega Frater, Central America's biggest church.
The new center of the Fraternidad Cristiana, a Neo-Pentecostal
church based in the Guatemalan City, includes an auditorium that
seats 12,500, a seven-story parking tower topped with a helipad and
a day-care center for 3,000 kids.
2007 May 23, An Iraqi
intelligence officer alleged in a published report that 70% percent
of insurgents fighting in Iraq come from Gulf countries via Syria
where they are provided with forged passports. A suicide bomber
walked into a packed market café in the town of Mandali, and blew
himself up, killing 15 people and wounding 20 others. A suicide
bomber (17) blew himself up in the house of two brothers who were
supporting a Sunni alliance opposed to al Qaida in the Anbar
province, killing 10 people, including the men, their wives and
their children. A parked car bomb exploded in a parking lot in
Jbala, killing three civilians and wounding 15 others. Gunmen drove
into a commercial area in central Baghdad and opened fire on shops,
killing four civilians and injuring 14 others. US-led forces
discovered a cache of Iranian money and bomb-making equipment during
a raid in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City in Baghdad. Two
suspected militants were killed in the raid and 19 others detained.
At least 104 people were killed in sectarian violence or found dead,
including 32 who died in suicide bombings. US authorities examined a
body found in a river south of Baghdad and identified it as Pfc.
Joseph Anzack Jr., one of three US soldiers seized in an ambush on
May 12. 2 US soldiers were killed during combat operations in Anbar
(AP, 5/23/07)(AP, 5/24/08)
2007 May 23, Japan passed a law
to fund the reorganization of US forces in Japan and help move
thousands of Marines from the country's south to the US territory of
Guam. Fire broke out at a farm in northern Japan, killing about
2007 May 23, In Lebanon
hundreds of Palestinian civilians carrying their belongings in
plastic bags trickled out of a besieged refugee camp, taking
advantage of a truce in fighting that mostly held overnight.
2007 May 23, In western Mexico
a tractor-trailer loaded with sand smashed into a toll booth and
rebounded into other vehicles, setting off a blaze that killed 10
2007 May 23, Philippine
President Gloria Arroyo said she welcomed a greater global role by
Japan as she discussed a stalled free trade agreement in Tokyo.
2007 May 23, Romania's
suspended President Traian Basescu was reinstated after he won a
referendum on his removal from office.
2007 May 23, In Serbia Slobodan
Milosevic's paramilitary commander and 11 other men were convicted
and sentenced in the assassination of Serbia's first democratically
elected prime minister, Zoran Djindjic.
2007 May 23, In northern Syria
14 people were killed and 20 injured when an Iraqi bus overturned on
the Raqqa-Aleppo highway about 250 miles north of Damascus.
2007 May 23, In southern
Thailand 7 people including two teenagers were killed, while 11
others were injured in a spate of bombings by suspected separatist
2007 May 23, The UN human
rights commissioner said that Burundi has agreed to set up a
tribunal to try people suspected of genocide and war crimes during
its 12-year civil war.
2007 May 23, Yuri Chernogayev,
an Uzbek reporter for German broadcaster, said he faces up to 10
years in prison after being accused of defaming President Islam
2008 May 23, Vallejo, Ca.,
officially declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy as it faced a $16 million
deficit with no money in reserve for fiscal year 2008-2009. Vallejo,
population 117,000, emerged from bankruptcy on Nov 1, 2011. Legal
fees cost the city $8 million.
(SFC, 5/24/08, p.B1)(SFC, 11/2/11, p.C5)
2008 May 23, In Kansas at least
17 tornadoes touched ground, one of which killed 2 people in a car
75 miles west of Wichita.
(SSFC, 5/25/08, p.A2)
2008 May 23, George Frederick
Jewett Jr. (81), former director of Potlatch Corp., philanthropist
and sailing buff, died in SF. He had chaired 5 America’s Cup
(SFC, 5/26/08, p.B3)
2008 May 23, Utah Phillips
(b.1935), a seminal figure in American folk music, died of
congestive heart failure in Nevada City, California. Born Bruce
Duncan Phillips in Cleveland, Ohio, he had performed extensively and
tirelessly for audiences on two continents for 38 years.
2008 May 23, In eastern
Afghanistan a suicide bomber blew himself up as an Afghan army
convoy slowed to pass a pothole-riddled section of road, killing
four soldiers and a child. In southern Afghanistan several
insurgents were killed and six others detained during a US-led
(AP, 5/23/08)(AP, 5/24/08)
2008 May 23, In Brazil 12 South
American leaders gathered in Brasilia to set up the Union of South
American Nations. UNASUR was expected to replace the South American
Community, declared in 2004, and unite the Mercosur and Andean
Community free trade areas. Members included Argentina, Bolivia,
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname,
Uruguay and Venezuela.
2008 May 23, China and Russia
jointly condemned a US plan for a global missile defense system at
the start of a highly symbolic visit by new Russian President Dmitry
2008 May 23, UN peacekeepers
found over 100 bodies in three mass graves in the east of Democratic
Republic of Congo. A UN spokesman said they apparently were graves
dating back to the 1990s, but that is was difficult to know
2008 May 23, Indonesia's
government raised gasoline pump prices by nearly 30 percent because
of the surging cost of oil and gas on the global market. The move
triggered generally peaceful protests throughout the vast Indonesian
2008 May 23, Clashes between
Israeli troops and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip left five
2008 May 23, Frank Phel (74),
an American tourist, was hit and killed by a train at a Rome station
as he was walking on the tracks in a daze after being drugged and
robbed. The suspected robber was arrested the next day.
2008 May 23, Japan allocated
$54 million in emergency grants to the UN to help Afghanistan,
Africa and Palestinian refugees cope with the ongoing food crisis.
2008 May 23, Mexico's attorney
general said homicides related to organized crime jumped 47 percent
in 2008, in a rare confirmation of how bad violence has become.
2008 May 23, Mexican federal
officials said they plan to clean up Acapulco's bay, where an
estimated 400 gallons (1,700 liters) of sewage spews into the
Pacific ocean every second.
2008 May 23, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Myanmar's junta agreed to allow
all aid workers into the country after weeks of refusing access to
foreign relief experts seeking to help cyclone survivors.
2008 May 23, The International
Court of Justice awarded Singapore sovereignty over a disputed
island at the eastern entrance of the Singapore Straits. The ICJ
ruled in favor of Singapore in the 28-year dispute with Malaysia
over a tiny but strategic uninhabited island the size of half a
football field. The court, however, gave Malaysia ownership of a
smaller uninhabited outcropping. Sovereignty over a third disputed
cluster of rocks was left to be determined later between the
countries when they sort out their territorial waters.
2008 May 23, In Somalia a
roadside bomb exploded near a compound housing African Union (AU)
peacekeepers in Mogadishu, causing some casualties.
2008 May 23, South Africa's
security chief accused right wingers, linked to the former apartheid
government, of fanning xenophobic violence that has spread to Cape
Town, the second largest city and tourist center.
2008 May 23, In Sri Lanka Army
troops launched two separate attacks along the front lines on the
Jaffna peninsula and destroyed 13 rebel bunkers. Guerrillas said 16
civilians were killed in a roadside bomb attack carried out by
government forces deep inside Tamil Tiger territory. Rebels also
said a government airstrike elsewhere in Kilinochchi killed an
infant and a teenage girl. Other fighting in the Vavuniya and Mannar
regions bordering the rebels' de facto state in the north killed
seven rebels and one soldier.
2008 May 23, In Turkey one
rebel and one village guard were killed in a clash near the border
2008 May 23, A UN food aid
agency said the response to its appeal for money to help meet
soaring fuel and food costs went beyond what it had hoped to
collect, saying $500 million from Saudi Arabia means it won't have
to cut rations.
2009 May 23, Pres. Obama
selected Gen. Charles Bolden (62), a retired astronaut, to lead
(SSFC, 5/24/09, p.A16)
2009 May 23, It was reported
that millions of bats in at least 7 US states (Connecticut, New
York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and West
Virginia) have died from white-nose syndrome, a fungal diseases. In
2011 the fungus Geomyces destructans was identified as the cause.
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.36)(SFC, 10/28/11, p.A18)
2009 May 23, In Afghanistan a
group of Taliban fighters in Ghazni province ambushed police in a
market and one civilian was killed in the firefight. The US military
updated earlier reports and said international and Afghan forces
have killed 60 militants and seized 102 tons (92 metric tons) of
opium poppy seeds, drugs and chemicals during a four-day operation
in southern Helmand province. A British soldier with the NATO-led
alliance was killed in a bomb blast in the insurgency-hit south of
(AP, 5/23/09)(AFP, 5/24/09)
2009 May 23, In Australia
thousands more people in the flood-hit east were told to leave their
homes as gale-force winds lashed the coast. Emergency services said
up to 20,000 people had been cut off.
2009 May 23, Horst Koehler won
a 2nd term as German president in a parliamentary vote that gave
conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel a symbolic victory months
ahead of a national election.
2009 May 23, Nepal’s lawmakers
elected communist party leader Madhav Kumar Nepal (56) as the new
prime minister in a move aimed at ending weeks of political turmoil.
2 people were killed, one of them a teenager, and 14 wounded when a
bomb exploded in a packed Roman Catholic church on the outskirts of
2009 May 23, The Church of
Scotland voted in favor of appointing an openly gay minister, the
latest case involving sexuality to create a division in the Anglican
Communion. The church's ruling body voted 326 to 267 to support the
appointment of the Rev. Scott Rennie (37), who was previously
married to a woman and is now in a relationship with a man.
2009 May 23, Pakistani security
forces entered Mingora, the main town in a northwestern Taliban
stronghold, engaging in fierce street battles as they tried to
wrench the Swat Valley from militants. 17 suspected militants were
killed in the past 24 hours of the operation. Matta, another major
town in the valley, has been cleared of militants, but some 1,500 to
2,000 insurgents remain in the valley. Gunmen in southwestern
Baluchistan province kidnapped a French tourist, snatching him from
a group of compatriots.
(AP, 5/23/09)(AFP, 5/23/09)
2009 May 23, It was reported
that Saudi Arabian investors were spending $100 million to raise
wheat, barley and rise on land leased from the government of
Ethiopia. The World Food Program estimated that it would spend
almost the same amount between 2007 and 2011 to provide 230,000 tons
of food aid to some 4.6 million Ethiopians threatened by hunger and
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.61)
2009 May 23, Former South
Korean President Roh Moo-hyun (62) jumped to his death while hiking
in the mountains behind his rural home. His hard-won reputation as a
corruption fighter was tarnished by bribery allegations that drew in
his family and closest associates.
(AP, 5/23/09)(Econ, 5/30/09, p.88)
2010 May 23, The US government
threatened to remove BP from efforts to seal a blown-out oil well in
the Gulf of Mexico if it doesn't do enough to stop the leak, though
it acknowledged only the company and the oil industry have the
needed know-how. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said the state is not
waiting for federal approval to begin building sand barriers to
protect the coastline from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
2010 May 23, In New Jersey a
crowd of some 30-35 thousand gathered at the Statehouse in Trenton
to protest Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed budget cuts. Christie has
called for workers to accept wage freezes and contribute to their
(SSFC, 5/23/10, p.A9)
2010 May 23, Jose Lima
(1972-2010), a right-hand Dominican pitcher who was a 20-game winner
and an All-Star during a 13-year major league career, died in
Pasadena, Ca., of an apparent heart attack.
2010 May 23, British
screenwriter Simon Monjack (39), the husband of Brittany Murphy, was
found dead at his Los Angeles home, five months after the Hollywood
actress died. Murphy, best known for her major roles in "Clueless,"
"Girl Interrupted," and "8 Mile" in 2002, died Dec. 20, at age 32
after collapsing in her home.
2010 May 23, Britain's Duchess
of York Sarah Ferguson said she was "very sorry" for her lapse of
judgment after she was recorded apparently offering to sell access
to her ex-husband Prince Andrew in return for 500,000 pounds
2010 May 23, In southern China
a fuel rod at the Guangdong Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station
experienced a "very small leakage" that increased radioactivity
levels slightly in the nuclear reactor's cooling water. The plant
supplies power to Hong Kong.
2010 May 23, In Colombia
leftist rebels killed nine marines and wounded two in a firefight.
The marines were attacked when they entered a rebel camp in Solano,
a municipality in the southern state of Caqueta.
2010 May 23, Ethiopia held
Parliamentary elections. PM Meles Zenawi rejected opposition
complaints of fraud elections and said he expected to win on the
strength of his economic record. The ruling Ethiopian People's
Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and allied parties won 534
seats out of 536 declared, giving PM Meles Zenawi most seats in the
547-member parliament. The EU observation mission released its final
report on Nov 8. It said the electoral process was short of
international standards concerning transparency, and that state
resources were used in the ruling party's campaign.
(Reuters, 5/23/10)(Reuters, 5/26/10)(AP, 11/8/10)
2010 May 23, Iran said it will
abandon an offer to ship some of its uranium stockpile abroad if the
United States imposes new sanctions. Iran's intelligence minister
said he had no doubt three US citizens arrested last July near the
Iraq border were spies and called on Washington to propose a
prisoner swap to secure their release.
2010 May 23, The Iraqi cabinet
said in a statement that a court has sentenced to death a man
accused of the kidnapping and killing of five Russian embassy civil
2010 May 23, In Jamaica masked
men defending a reputed drug lord sought by the United States
torched a police station and traded gunfire with security forces in
a patchwork of barricaded slums in Kingston.
2010 May 23, In Nigeria fresh
violence between Muslims and Christians in Jos left one person dead
and another seriously wounded, a day after three others were killed.
15 suspects were arrested for the previous day’s killings. Gunmen in
the delta seized 3 Chinese technicians. The men were freed on May
(AP, 5/23/10)(AFP, 5/23/10)(AP, 5/29/10)
2010 May 23, Pakistani Foreign
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that his country plans to boost
trade with Egypt, during a visit to Cairo where he met with
President Hosni Mubarak.
2010 May 23, In Gaza masked
gunmen stormed a UN-run Gaza summer camp early on Sunday and set it
on fire, threatening "harsh measures" against the Gaza director of
UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.
2010 May 23, Dozens of American
soldiers and a battery of Patriot missiles arrived in Poland, where
they will spend the next two years teaching the Polish military to
operate the advanced guided missile system at a base just a few
miles from the Russian border.
2010 May 23, In Somalia
Islamist militants attacked the presidential compound and other
government positions in Mogadishu. At least 15 people were killed
and 30 others wounded.
2010 May 23, The Swedish 1885
“Treskilling Yellow” postage stamp retained its title as the world’s
most expensive stamp following an auction in Geneva. In 1996 it had
sold for a record $2.3 million. The price this year was not
(SSFC, 5/23/10, p.A6)
2010 May 23, Anwar Al-Awlaki, a
US-born radical preacher who has encouraged Muslims to kill American
soldiers, called for the killing of US civilians in his first video
released by a Yemeni offshoot of al-Qaida.
2011 May 23, President Obama
arrived in Ireland to begin a six-day European tour. The president
took a helicopter from Dublin for a quick visit to Moneygall, the
site of a piece of his ancestry. Falmouth Kearney, a shoemaker and
Obama's thrice-removed grandfather on his Kansas-born mother's side,
left Moneygall for the US in 1850 at the height of Ireland's Great
Famine. Obama's roots in the town were discovered during the 2008
2011 May 23, The US Supreme
Court said California must reduce its prison population by over
30,000 in two years to address its inadequate prison health care
(SFC, 5/24/11, p.A1)
2011 May 23, Bradley Franzen
(41) pleaded guilty in a Manhattan court to bank fraud, money
laundering and illegal gambling offenses. The US president of a
Costa Rica-based company faced up to 30 years in prison for
illegally processing payments for Internet poker firms.
2011 May 23, Reputed
Philadelphia mob boss Joseph Ligambi and 12 others were indicted
with charges of racketeering and gambling.
(SFC, 5/24/11, p.A4)
2011 May 23, Square, a startup
co-founded by Jack Dorsey (one of the creators of Twitter), unveiled
a new payment system that undercut credit card processing fees
charged to small businesses and making it easy for them to accept
(Econ, 5/28/11, p.79)
2011 May 23, A spokesman for
the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said the
group has halted payments for program in China amid mismanagement by
a public agency.
2011 May 23, In southern
Afghanistan a NATO service member died in an explosion. NATO forces
in southern Helmand province conducting a search shot and killed an
Afghan who they said acted hostile and raised an object toward
troops. The object was a flashlight. An unnamed intelligence source
said Taliban leader Muhammad Omar was shot dead 2 days earlier as he
moved from Quetta, Pakistan, to North Waziristan. There was no
(AP, 5/24/11)(SFC, 5/24/11, p.A3)
2011 May 23, In Argentina Dr.
Carlos Livio Warter (61) was arrested at his home in a wealthy
Buenos Aires neighborhood, on charges of falsely billing $1 million
in health insurance claims in Hawaii. He worked as a psychiatrist
and led seminars based on his latest book, "Pathways to the Soul."
Warter was charged in August 2009 with 37 state felonies accusing
him of Medicare fraud, each punishable by up to five years in
prison. This February he voluntarily surrendered his medical license
for failure to comply with professional conduct laws. In 1982 Warter
was convicted of falsifying reports in Denver. A 2009 notice from
Washington state's Medical Quality Assurance Commission said "The
conviction was based on your stipulation that you overcharged the
state of Colorado, through the Medicaid system, in the sum of
$44,500." The notice was sent to Warter in denying his application
to practice medicine there.
(AP, 5/25/11)(AP, 5/25/11)
2011 May 23, In Burkina Faso
thousands of students took to the streets of the capital burning
tires and chanting in support of teachers who are demanding better
2011 May 23, Chile exhumed the
remains of President Salvador Allende for an autopsy to determine
whether he committed suicide or was assassinated during the 1973
2011 May 23, Dominican Rep.
Deputy Health Minister Jose Rodriguez said there have been 1,143
cases of cholera and 14 deaths since the outbreak began in November.
The number of new cases reported today is up about 50 percent since
the middle of May.
2011 May 23, EU foreign
ministers decided to impose asset freezes and travel bans on more
Iranian officials and companies with links to the nuclear program.
It was not yet clear how many officials and companies were involved.
2011 May 23, The EU imposed
sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad because of his
government's continuing crackdown on anti-government protesters,
condemning the violence in which more than 900 people have
reportedly been killed.
2011 May 23, A French
diplomatic source said France and other members of a NATO-led
coalition plan to deploy attack helicopters in Libya, a move aimed
at ramping up pressure against Muammar Gaddafi's forces.
2011 May 23, Greece said it
will immediately start selling state assets and take more than $8.4
billion in additional fiscal measures this year to address its debt
(SFC, 5/24/11, p.A2)
2011 May 23, In Honduras gunmen
opened fire on Manuel Acosta, the manager of a daily newspaper, as
he was driving home in Tegucigalpa. Acosta was shot six times and
his car had more than 30 bullet holes. Acosta was able to drive home
and his family took him to a hospital.
2011 May 23, India's PM
Manmohan Singh began a six-day trip to Ethiopia and Tanzania, aiming
to strike deeper economic ties with a continent rich in minerals and
commodities, but where Asia's third-largest economy lags far behind
2011 May 23, Iraq's Electricity
Ministry spokesman said a five-year plan with Iran will let Iraq buy
25 million cubic meters of natural gas each day to feed two power
plants in northeastern suburbs of Baghdad, one built by Iran and the
other by South Korea's Hyundai conglomerate.
2011 May 23, Iraq's Electricity
Ministry spokesman said a five-year plan with Iran will let Iraq buy
25 million cubic meters of natural gas each day to feed two power
plants in northeastern suburbs of Baghdad, one built by Iran and the
other by South Korea's Hyundai conglomerate.
2011 May 23, In Iraq two bomb
blasts targeting security forces in Kirkuk and Baghdad killed two
people and wounded 20, underscoring instability. PM Nouri al-Maliki
insisted that security forces have been mostly successful in curbing
2011 May 23, In Japan furious
parents at the center of the atomic crisis and hundreds of their
supporters rallied in Tokyo against revised nuclear safety standards
in schools they say are putting children at risk. A new limit
allowed exposure of up to 20 millisieverts a year, 20 times the
radiation that was permissible before the March 11 tsunami caused a
meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
2011 May 23, Mexican
prosecutors said they have detained 16 policemen who allegedly took
bribes to protect members of a drug gang who carried specially
marked cards to avoid detention. Police in Acapulco found a
decapitated body and a head with mutilated ears inside a cab left
next to a hotel in a tourist area. In Durango gunmen attacked
highway police on the outskirts of the state capital, killing a
female officer (35) and wounding 4 officers and a civilian.
2011 May 23, Mozambique’s
Supreme Court slashed jail time for Antonio Munguambe, transport and
communications minister from 2005 to 2008, to four and a half years
as opposed to 20, saying embezzlement from a public company earned a
lesser penalty than stealing money from the government.
2011 May 23, In Nigeria a Borno
State policeman on patrol was killed in a drive-by shooting near St.
Mary Catholic Church in the city of Maiduguri. Boko Haram, a radical
Muslim sect, was blamed for the killing.
2011 May 23, North Korean
leader Kim Jong-Il visited a development zone in eastern China, as
he pursued a secretive trip aimed at seeking answers for his
nation's crippled economy.
2011 May 23, Pakistani troops
recaptured the PNS Mehran base in Karachi after a 16-hour battle
with as few as six Taliban gunmen, who had launched their brazen
attack to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden. 3 militants were
killed in the gunbattle while the body of a fourth was believed to
be buried under the rubble of a collapsed wall. Two suspects were
believed to have fled the scene. At least 7 militants, including
three Arab nationals, were killed in a missile strike by a US drone
aircraft in North Waziristan. An Afghan television station reported
Taliban leader Mullah Omar had been killed in Pakistan, but the
group denied it, saying he was safe and in Afghanistan.
2011 May 23, A Saudi pilot died
when his US-made F-15 fighter jet crashed in eastern Saudi Arabia.
2011 May 23, In Sudan armed men
burned and looted the flashpoint town of Abyei. Southern Sudan's
military said the northern army is moving to carry out a "full-scale
war" in the contested region. Angry Sudanese rallied in the southern
capital of Juba, demanding northern forces end their "invasion" of
the contested Abyei region.
(AP, 5/23/11)(AFP, 5/23/11)
2011 May 23, Yemeni security
forces battled in the streets of Sanaa with fighters from the
country's most powerful tribe, which has joined the opposition, in
an eruption of violence after President Ali Abdullah Saleh refused
to sign an agreement calling on him to step down.
2012 May 23, The US Interior
Department announced a plan to allow periodic increases in the flow
of Colorado River water through the Grand Canyon to help propel silt
and sediment downstream.
(SFC, 5/24/12, p.A8)
2012 May 23, BP agreed to spend
over $400 million to settle legal complaints about chronic pollution
problems at its refinery in northwest Indiana.
(SFC, 5/24/12, p.A8)
2012 May 23, In Maine shipyard
employee Casey Fury set fire to rags aboard the USS Miami nuclear
submarine as it underwent overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in
Kittery. The fire caused $450 million in damages. On March 15, 2013,
Fury was sentenced to 17 years in prison. On March 28, 2014, the US
Navy deactivated the submarine after estimated repairs grew
substantially over the $450 million estimate.
(SFC, 3/16/13, p.A6)(SFC, 3/29/14, p.A8)
2012 May 23, In New Mexico 2
lightning-sparked fires merged to form the Gila Wilderness blaze.
Bay May 25 it had spread over 85,000 acres, or more than 130 square
(SFC, 5/26/12, p.A8)
2012 May 23, Paul Fussell
(1924-2012), American writer and warrior against war, died. His
books included “BAD Or, The Dumbing of America” (1991).
(Econ, 6/9/12, p.98)
2012 May 22, In northeast
Afghanistan 2 foreign doctors and their 3 Afghan colleagues were
kidnapped in a remote area of Badakhshan province. Officials said
one managed to escape and alerted authorities.
(AP, 5/23/12)(SFC, 5/24/12, p.A2)
2012 May 23, The annual index
by Business Review Weekly said Australia's richest person, Gina
Rinehart (58), has eclipsed Wal-Mart heiress Christy Walton to
become the world's wealthiest woman. The index put the mining
tycoon's personal fortune at Aus$29.17 billion (US$28.48 billion).
2012 May 23, In Brazil subway
workers went on strike in Sao Paulo, but ended it five hours later
after halting a system used daily by more than 4 million people.
2012 May 23, Family history
website ancestry.co.uk published online for the first time the wills
of famous Britons such as Winston Churchill, among those of six
million other people.
2012 May 23, In Canada
locomotive engineers and conductors at Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd
went on strike after failing to reach a contract agreement, shutting
down freight operations on Canada's second-biggest railroad.
2012 May 23, NY-based Human
Rights Watch said a branch of Chinese city governments, set up to
monitor everything from unlicensed street vendors to unauthorized
construction, is rife with abuse of power, stoking already high
2012 May 23, The UN refugee
agency said fighting between Congolese army and mutineers has forced
tens of thousands of people from their homes since late April, with
thousands taking refuge in Uganda and Rwanda.
2012 May 23, Egyptians voted in
presidential elections for the first time in generations. A field of
13 candidates ran in the 2-day vote. This first run was not expected
to produce an outright winner. A runoff between the two top
vote-getters will be held June 16-17.
2012 May 23, EU leaders
concluded their latest summit with few concrete steps to fix the
continents financial crises.
(SFC, 5/24/12, p.A7)
2012 May 23, Iran and six world
powers resumed talks over Tehran's nuclear program. Diplomats from
six world powers offered Iran new proposals to ease international
concerns about its nuclear program, but appeared to reject Tehran's
appeals to ease economic sanctions to help move along talks.
2012 May 23, Iran's navy saved
the American-flagged Maersk Texas cargo ship that was being attacked
by pirates in the Gulf of Oman. It was the first time the Iranian
navy protected a US ship from pirates.
2012 May 23, The Israel
Antiquities Authority said archeologists digging at a Jerusalem site
have found the oldest artifact that bears the inscription of
Bethlehem, a 2,700 years old seal with the name of Jesus'
2012 May 23, In Kenya Sylvester
Opiyo, also known as Musa Osodo, was abducted by armed men after the
car he was traveling in with five other people broke down in western
Kenya. Police have denied they are holding him. Opiyo, sympathetic
to the Somali militant group al-Shabab, was arrested in March after
three grenades were thrown at a Nairobi bus stop, killing nine
people. He was released without charge.
2012 May 23, Pakistani doctor
Shakil Afridi, who helped the US track down Osama bin Laden, was
convicted of high treason and sentenced to 33 years in prison.
Afridi also was ordered to pay a fine of about $3,500 and will spend
an additional 3½ years in prison if he does not. Afridi was tried
under the Frontier Crimes Regulations, or FCR, the set of laws that
govern Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal region. He had the right to
appeal. Court documents later showed that he was convicted for
conspiring with an Islamist militant commander.
(AP, 5/23/12)(AP, 5/30/12)
2012 May 23, In Pakistan 2 US
drone missiles killed 4 militants in a Taliban compound near
2012 May 23, Peru's Supreme
Court approved Joran van der Sloot's extradition to stand trial in
the United States, but only after the confessed murderer has served
out his 28-year prison sentence in the South American nation. Peru’s
justice minister and Cabinet were still required to endorse the
2012 May 23, In the first case
brought under the Philippines 2001 wildlife act, farmer Bryan Balaon
(26) was fined 100,000 pesos ($2,300), for shooting and eating one
of the world's rarest eagles. The Philippine eagle, or Pithecophaga
jefferyi, found only in the country's vanishing forests, is the
world's largest eagle and is "critically endangered" with just
90-250 pairs left in the wild.
2012 May 23, Saudi Arabia’s SPA
state news said Saudi Arabia has signed a $3-billion deal with
Britain to buy Hawk trainer jets for the Gulf kingdom's air force.
The majority of the Hawks will be made at BAE's plants in Samlesbury
and Warton in Lancashire, northwest England.
(AFP, 5/23/12)(Reuters, 5/23/12)
2012 May 23, Saudi Arabia said
it will give its impoverished neighbor Yemen aid worth $3.25 billion
and urging other nations to take similar steps.
2012 May 23, In Saudi Arabia a
Saudi woman defied orders by the notorious religious police to leave
a mall because she is wearing nail polish and recorded the
interaction on her camera. Her video went viral, attracting more
than a million hits in just five days.
2012 May 23, Syria's oil
minister acknowledged the heavy toll international sanctions have
taken on the country's oil sector, saying that they had sucked about
$4 billion from the economy.
2012 May 23, The executive
committee of the Syrian National Council asked Burhan Ghalioun to
pursue his duties until a new president is elected at a meeting on
June 9 and 10.
2013 May 23, Pres. Obama
announced new restraints on targeted killings and outlined plans for
winding down drone strikes.
(SFC, 5/24/13, p.A8)
2013 May 23, Danny Werfel told
IRS employees in an email that he has been selected as new acting
head of the IRS division that targeted tea party groups. Lois Lerner
was replaced as director a day after she refused to answer questions
at a congressional hearing.
2013 May 23, In Oregon Grant
Acord (17) was arrested after police received a tip that he was
making a bomb to explode in West Albany High School.
(SSFC, 5/26/13, p.A11)
2013 May 23, In Washington, DC,
Julian Zapata Espinoza pleaded guilty to the Feb 15, 2011, killing
of US Custom’s agent Jaime Zapata during an ambush in Mexico. He
also pleaded gulty to the attempted murder of ICE special agent
Victor-Avila. Three other defendants were also charged with murder.
(SFC, 5/24/13, p.A7)
2013 May 23, Lawyers said an
order of the Roman Catholic Church has agreed to pay $16.5 million
to more than 400 adults who said they were sexually abused as
children by religious leaders. The victims claimed abuse at schools
and child-care facilities belonging to the Christian Brothers and
the Christian Brothers of Ireland, Inc, in 17 US states and Canada
from the late 1940s or early 1950s until the 1980s.
2013 May 23, In Texas local
leaders of the Boy Scouts of America voted to open their ranks to
openly gay boys for the first time in 103 years. They retained a ban
on adults serving as leaders.
(AP, 5/23/13)(SFC, 5/24/13, p.A1)
2013 May 23, In northern
Washington an I-5 bridge over the Skagit river collapsed, dumping 2
vehicles and 3 people into the water. There were no fatalities.
(AP, 5/23/13)(SFC, 5/24/13, p.A9)
2013 May 23, Britain’s
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it has fined a wealth
management unit of US bank JPMorgan Chase 3.08 million pounds ($4.6
million) for being unable to show it was giving clients the right
2013 May 23, Election officials
in the Cayman Islands said the opposition party has won nine of 18
seats, one short of a majority needed to control the British
territory's legislature. Ousted former Premier McKeeva Bush was
re-elected to the West Bay seat he has held since 1984.
(AP, 5/23/13)(Econ, 5/25/13, p.35)
2013 May 23, In CongoDRC M23
rebels fired two rockets into the eastern city of Goma, killing one
person and wounding four. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived
in Goma, hours after a rebel group fighting government forces nearby
said they would impose a cease-fire to allow the visit to proceed.
2013 May 23, A Guinean
government spokesman said at least 15 people were injured, four of
them by bullet wounds, during a protest in Conakry between
opposition parties and security forces.
2013 May 23, In Iraq gunmen
shot dead 4 soldiers at an army checkpoint in Taji, a former
insurgent stronghold. Militants exchanged fire with military forces
and pro-government Sunni militia in the western village of Karma,
near Fallujah. 3 soldiers were killed and 18 people wounded,
including seven Sunni fighters.
2013 May 23, In Japan a
radiation leak took place at the Hadron Experimental Facility in
(SSFC, 5/26/13, p.A6)
2013 May 23, In Lebanon
opponents and supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad traded
heavy machine gun fire and mortar shells in the port city of
Tripoli, leaving 5 people dead in what was described as some of the
heaviest fighting there in years.
2013 May 23, Malaysian
authorities detained 3 anti-government figures, charged a student
activist with sedition and seized hundreds of opposition newspapers,
raising political tensions after recent national elections triggered
claims of fraud.
2013 May 23, Attackers in Niger
detonated two car bombs. One assault on an army camp killed 20
soldiers and 3 jihadists in Agadez. Two jihadists ran away and holed
themselves up inside a dormitory on the base, where they were
killed. Another attack took place in the remote town of Arlit at a
French-operated uranium mine. 14 employees, one of whom died later,
were wounded. Two suicide bombers were killed. The twin attacks were
claimed by the Mali-based Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West
Africa, or MUJAO, a spinoff of al-Qaida's affiliate in Africa. It
was also claimed in a statement by notorious Algerian terrorist,
Moktar Belmoktar, whose brigade known as "Those Who Sign in Blood."
(AP, 5/23/13)(AP, 5/24/13)
2013 May 23, In southwest
Pakistan a large bomb hidden by the Taliban in a rickshaw exploded
as a police vehicle passed by. 11 policemen and two civilians were
killed on the outskirts of Quetta. Several militants attacked an
army checkpoint in Kurram tribal area, killing four soldiers.
Soldiers, backed by gunship helicopter and jet fighters, chased the
militants fleeing to their hideouts and killed 20 of them.
2013 May 23, A rising tide of
seaweed halted a nuclear power station near Edinburgh, Scotland,
threatening to clog up its cooling system.
2013 May 23, In Sweden groups
of youths early today burned down a restaurant, torched more than 30
cars and injured 3 police in a fourth night of riots in suburbs
Stockholm that started following a fatal police shooting.
2013 May 23, Togo police fired
tear gas to disperse protesters in the latest confrontation between
the ruling party and the increasingly active opposition.
Demonstrators were gathering to protest the death of an opposition
member, who died in jail.
2013 May 23, Officials in the
Turks and Caicos Islands said they have recovered $19.5 million and
over 2,500 acres of real estate as they continued to seize assets
improperly obtained by corrupt politicians.
(SFC, 5/24/13, p.A2)
2013 May 23, In Vietnam Nick
Vujicic (32), an Australian evangelical preacher, spoke before some
25,000 at a soccer stadium in Hanoi. He was born with a rare
disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. His book
“Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action” was published
in 2012. It was son translated into Vietnamese by Nguyen Bich Lan,
who shares Vujicic’s situation of being born with the rare disorder
called tetra-amelia syndrome.
(SFC, 5/25/13, p.A4)(http://tinyurl.com/prp5yev)
2014 May 23, The Standard &
Poor’s 500 index climbed to a record close above 1900 for the first
time rising .4% to 1900.53.
(SFC, 5/24/14, p.D1)
2014 May 23, In California
Elliot Rodger (22) stabbed 3 people to death in his apartment before
gunning down 3 more victims in a drive-by late today. He then took
his own life during the chaotic killing spree in downtown Isla
Vista, near the University of California Santa Barbara campus. He
posted his intentions on YouTube just a day before he took to the
streets in a black BMW armed with a semi-automatic hand gun.
(Reuters, 5/24/14)(Reuters, 5/25/14)
2014 May 23, In Colorado a
federal judge sentenced a former Ethiopian jail guard to 22 years in
prison for immigration crimes. Kefelgn Alemu Worku was convicted of
genocide in absentia in Ethiopia in 2000 and sentenced to death. He
reportedly had tortured and killed dozens of people during
government sponsored violence in the 1970s.
(SFC, 5/24/14, p.A11)
2014 May 23, In Afghanistan
gunmen armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades
attacked an Indian Consulate in Herat, though its diplomatic staff
escaped unharmed. Police and soldiers killed three assailants in a
gunbattle that saw the building catch fire.
2014 May 23, China warned Japan
to stay out of a growing dispute with its neighbors over the South
China Sea, as the Philippines implicitly accused Beijing of delaying
talks aimed at a solution.
2014 May 23, In China Liu Han,
a former mining tycoon, was sentenced to death for leading a crime
gang that killed rivals. Han had been chairman of the Sichuan
Hanlong Group, an energy conglomerate with stakes in Australian and
(AP, 5/23/14)(SFC, 5/24/14, p.A3)
2014 May 23, In China a tour
bus carrying 26 people fell into a section of the Jiulong River in
Fujian province killing at least 2 people. Five people remained
missing. 24 passengers were from Taiwan.
2014 May 23, Egyptian security
sources said Shadi al-Menei, an Islamist militant leader in the
Sinai Peninsula, has been shot dead along with 5 others by unknown
assailants. State news said a security officer was shot dead by
unidentified gunmen at a security checkpoint in the North Sinai town
of Rafah. In Fayoum, southwest of Cairo, one man was killed and
three others wounded at clashes between security forces and
supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.
2014 May 23, Europe's main
human rights and democracy forum accused Azerbaijan of intimidating
and repressing its critics.
2014 May 23, A Haitian
government official said health authorities will distribute pain
medication to clinics around the country amid a surge in suspected
cases of a mosquito-borne virus that is new to the region. More than
5,500 suspected cases of the chikungunya virus have been reported in
Haiti, up from 1,500 cases a week earlier.
2014 May 23, An Indian court
ordered anti-corruption campaigner Arvind Kejriwal to remain behind
bars for another two weeks as he continued to refuse to pay bail in
a defamation case.
2014 May 23, Iraq took legal
action against Turkey after Ankara announced that oil from Iraq's
autonomous Kurdish region was being exported to international
2014 May 23, In Iraq violence
in Baghdad and in Nineveh killed 9 people as throngs of Shiite
pilgrims converged on Baghdad for annual commemoration rituals.
2014 May 23, In Libya at least
2 people were killed when missiles fired at a special forces army
base missed their target and struck family homes in the eastern city
2014 May 23, The African Union
said ethnic Tuareg separatist rebels have signed a cease-fire deal
after having pushed the Malian army out of Kidal.
2014 May 23, The Int’l.
Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague sentenced Germain Katanga, a
Congolese militia leader, to 12 years in prison for his role in a
2003 attack where more than 200 civilians were killed.
(SFC, 5/24/14, p.A3)
2014 May 23, In Pakistan dozens
of baton-wielding Sikhs pushed past the front gate and entered the
grounds of the parliament in Islamabad as they protested against
recent attacks on their houses of worship.
2014 May 23, In Russia’s North
Caucasus 4 militants and a member of Russia's security service were
killed during clashes in Karbadino-Balkaria.
2014 May 23, Syrian rebels and
government forces began a truce in an opposition-held area near the
central city of Homs. The truce in al-Waar, which lies across the
Orontes River from Homs, was meant to enable the warring sites to
negotiate an agreement that will allow the rebels to leave the area
without being attacked, or later arrested.
2014 May 23, In Thailand ousted
members of the former government turned themselves in to the
country's new military junta, as soldiers forcefully dispersed
hundreds of anti-coup activists who defied a ban on large-scale
gatherings to protest the army's seizure of power.
2014 May 23, A Tunisian soldier
was killed and five wounded in a landmine explosion near the
Algerian border where security forces have been hunting Islamist
2014 May 23, In Ukraine armed
pro-Russian separatists clashed with Ukrainian self-defense fighters
near the eastern city of Donetsk, two days before the presidential
election, and at least two people were killed.
2014 May 23, A United Nations
committee concluded that the Vatican has effective worldwide control
over bishops and priests who must comply with a UN anti-torture
treaty, a finding that could expose the Catholic Church to new
lawsuits by victims of clerical sex abuse.
2014 May 23, The UN said nearly
30 children fleeing the war-ravaged Central African Republic have
died in just a month from starvation, exhaustion and exposure after
crossing into Cameroon.
2014 May 23, In Vietnam a woman
(67) died after setting herself on fire in downtown Ho Chi Minh City
in protest against China's deployment of an oil rig in waters
claimed by Hanoi.
2014 May 23, The WTO ruled that
China's anti-dumping duties on imports of American-made cars and
sport-utility vehicles violate international trade rules.
2014 May 23, In northern Yemen
suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden car into a checkpoint
manned by Shi'ite Muslim fighters, killing at least three people in
2014 May 23, Zambia Ranger
Dexter Chilunda was killed while investigating reports of gunshots
in Liuwa Plain National Park. Two suspected poachers were arrested
on June 1.
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