Today in History - December 4
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749 Dec 4,
John of Damascus (b.~676), a Christian Arab theologian, died at the
Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem. He is considered "the last of the
Fathers" of the Eastern Orthodox church and is best known for his
strong defense of icons.
771 Dec 4, With the death of
his brother Carloman, Charlemagne became sole ruler of the Frankish
1110 Dec 4, Syria harbor city
of Saida (Sidon) surrendered to the Crusaders.
1197 Dec 4, Crusaders wounded
Rabbi Elezar ben Judah.
1371 Dec 4, Reinald III (38),
("The Fat,") duke of Gelre (1343-61), died.
1514 Dec 4, Richard Hunne,
English "heretic", allegedly committed suicide.
1534 Dec 4, Turkish sultan
Suleiman occupied Baghdad.
1584 Dec 4, John Cotton,
English-born Puritan clergyman who wrote “The Way of the Church of
Christ in New England,” was born.
1619 Dec 4, A group of settlers
from Bristol, England, arrived at Berkeley Hundred in present-day
Charles City County, Va., where they held a service thanking God for
their safe arrival. Some suggest this was the true first
Thanksgiving in America, ahead of the Pilgrims' arrival in
1642 Dec 4, Cardinal
Armand-Jean Duplessis Richelieu (57), French statesman and bishop of
Luzon, died. "If you give me six lines written by the most honest
man, I will find something in them to hang him." "He did too much
harm to be praised, and too much good to be damned."
(MC, 12/4/01)(WSJ, 9/24/02, p.D8)(Econ, 1/24/04,
1665 Dec 4, Jean Racine's
"Alexandre le Grand," premiered in Paris.
1679 Dec 4, Thomas Hobbes
(b.1588), English philosopher, died. "The reputation of power IS
power." Hobbes sought to separate politics from religion. In his
book “Leviathan” he argues that the only way to secure civil society
is through universal submission to the absolute authority of a
(WSJ, 7/30/03, p.A12)(WSJ, 9/15/07,
1688 Dec 4, General strategist
John Churchill (later Duke of Marlborough) joined with William III.
1674 Dec 4, Father Marquette
built the 1st dwelling at what is now Chicago.
1732 Dec 4, John Gay (47),
English poet (Beggar's Opera), died.
1745 Dec 4, Bonnie Prince
Charles reached Derby.
1783 Dec 4, Gen. George
Washington said farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in NYC.
In 2003 Stanley Weintraub authored "General Washington's Christmas
(AP, 12/4/97)(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.T4)(WSJ, 12/10/03,
1791 Dec 4, Britain's Observer,
oldest Sunday newspaper in world, was 1st published.
1795 Dec 4, Thomas Carlyle
(d.1881), English (Scot) essayist, critic and historian, friend of
Ralph Waldo Emerson, was born. His work included “The French
Revolution” and “Sartor Resartus.” “A man doesn’t know what he
knows, until he knows what he doesn’t know.” "No great man lives in
vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men."
(V.D.-H.K.p.400)(SFEC, 6/28/98, Z1 p.8)(AP,
1798 Dec 4, Luigi Galvani (61),
Italian anatomist and physicist, died.
1812 Dec 4, Peter Gaillard of
Lancaster, Pa., patented a horse-drawn mower.
1816 Dec 4, James Monroe of
Virginia was elected the fifth president of the United States. He
defeated Federalist Rufus King.
(AP, 12/4/97)(MC, 12/4/01)
1822 Dec 4, Frances Crabbe,
English feminist and founder of the Anti-Vivisection Society, was
1829 Dec 4, British colonial
rulers abolished "suttee" (Sati) in India. This was the practice of
a widow burning herself to death on her husband's funeral pyre.
1833 Dec 4, American
Anti-Slavery Society was formed by Arthur Tappan in Phila.
1835 Dec 4, Samuel Butler
(d.1902), English writer and painter, was born. His work included
“Erewhon” and “The Way of All Flesh.” “There are two great rules of
life, the one general and the other particular. The first is that
everyone can, in the end, get what he wants if he only tries. This
is the general rule. The particular rule is that every individual is
more or less an exception to the general rule.” “A hen is only an
egg’s way of making another egg.” “Life is one long process of
(AP, 4/25/97)(SFEC, 3/1/98, Z1 p.8)(AP,
1839 Dec 4, The Whig Party
opened a national convention in Harrisburg, Pa., where delegates
nominated William Henry Harrison for president. Soon after the Whigs
constructed a 10-foot ball of twine, wood and tin, covered with Whig
slogans, and rolled it from Cleveland to Columbus, Ohio, and across
the country. This led to the expression "Keep the ball rolling."
(AP, 12/4/99)(SSFC, 1/11/04, p.D6)
1843 Dec 4, Manila paper (made
from sails, canvas & rope) was patented in Mass.
1843 Dec 4, Robert Schumann's
"Das Paradied und die Peri," premiered in Leipzig.
1844 Dec 4, James K. Polk was
elected 11th president of US. His wife, Sarah, recognized that James
was insufficiently impressive to draw attention on appearance and
therefore began the tradition of having “Hail to the Chief” played
when he made a public showing.
(HFA, ‘96, p.46)(SFC, 7/14/96, Z 1 p.2)(MC,
1861 Dec 4, Lillian Russell,
singer and actress, was born Helen Louise Leonard in Clinton, Iowa.
She performed in burlesque and light opera, debuting in Gilbert and
Sullivan's HMS Pinafore in 1879. Russell was praised for her
voluptuous beauty and was frequently photographed. Women everywhere
tried to emulate her plump physique by buying potions and corsets to
accentuate their curves. Although Russell was the ideal beauty of
her time, her 186-pound figure--which she kept by eating without
restraint--would be quite a departure from today's standard of
beauty. Russell later wrote a newspaper column on health, beauty and
love, and she died in 1922.
1861 Dec 4, The Federal Senate,
voting 36 to 0, expelled Senator John C. Breckenridge of Kentucky
because he joined the Confederate Army.
1861 Dec 4, Queen Victoria of
Britain forbade the export of gunpowder, firearms and all materials
for their production.
1862 Dec 4, Winchester, Va.,
fell into Union hands, resulting in the capture of 145 Southern
1863 Dec 4, Seven solid days of
bombardment ended at Charleston, S.C. The Union fired some 1,307
1864 Dec 4, Battle of
Waynesborough (Brier Creek) Ga.
1864 Dec 4, Romanian Jews were
forbidden to practice law.
1865 Dec 4, Edith Cavell,
English nurse who tended to friend and foe alike during World War I,
1866 Dec 4, Wassily Kandinsky
(d.1944), Russian artist, was born. He is credited with the
invention of abstract art.
(WUD, 1994, p.778)(WSJ, 8/13/99, p.W10)(HN,
1867 Dec 4, The Order of
Patrons of Husbandry, more commonly known as the National Grange,
was founded by Oliver Kelley, a traveling clerk with the U.S.
Department of Agriculture. The original purpose of the Grange was to
provide enrichment opportunities for isolated farm families, but its
purpose quickly became economic and political. Farmers, particularly
in the Midwest and South, were frequently victimized by railroad
monopolies that charged exorbitant rates and storage fees. By 1872,
14 states had Grange chapters and membership had risen to about
800,000. Grangers took the lead in organizing farmers' cooperatives
to successfully distribute their own produce and in just a few
years, Grangers had won enough political support to influence
national legislation regulating railroads. The Grange was succeeded
by the Farmers' Alliances and in 1891, farmers and labor organizers
formed the influential People's Party, or the Populist Party.
(HFA, ‘96, p.44)(WUD, 1994, p.615)(HNPD, 12/4/98)
1875 Rainer Maria Rilke
(d.1926), German-Austrian poet, was born. He was born in Prague to
German-speaking parents. His works include New Poems (1907), his
autobiographical novel: “The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge,” and
his masterpieces the “Duino Elegies” and “The Sonnets to Orpheus.”
His mistress was Lou Andreas-Salome, a novelist, essayist and
clinical psychologist. Ralph Freedman wrote a biography of Rilke
titled Life of a Poet: Rainer Maria Rilke in 1996. His complete
works were published in 1966 and an annotated edition in 1996. In
1997 his early work was published: “Diaries of a Young Poet,”
translated by Edward Snow and Michael Winkler. On the new year day:
“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new,
untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that
has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us
see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what
it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious and
(WSJ, 3/19/96, p.A-12)(WSJ, 12/15/97, p.A20)(AP,
1875 Dec 4, William Marcy Tweed
(d.1878), the "Boss" of New York City's Tammany Hall political
organization, escaped from jail and fled the country. He went to
Cuba and then Spain were he was identified from cartoons by Thomas
Nast and returned to prison.
(AP, 12/4/97)(Arch, 7/02, p.24)
1890 Dec 4, Ben Tillman
(1847-1918) began serving as the 84th governor of South Carolina and
continued to 1894. From 1895 he served as a United States Senator
until his death. Tillman led a paramilitary group of Red Shirts
during South Carolina's violent 1876 election. On the floor of the
US Senate, he frequently ridiculed blacks, and boasted of having
helped to kill them during that campaign.
1892 Dec 4, Francisco Franco (y
Bahamonde), Spanish general and dictator (1936-75), was born. He
came to power as a result of the Spanish Civil War.
(HN, 12/4/00)(MC, 12/4/01)
1900 Dec 4, The French National
Assembly, successor to the States-General, rejected Nationalist
General Mercier’s proposal to plan an invasion of England.
1903 Dec 4, Alfred Leslie Rowse
(d. 10/3/97), Shakespeare scholar and authority on Tudor England,
was born in St. Austell, England. He authored 90 volumes of history,
poetry and biography. His best seller was “A Cornish Childhood.” He
asserted that the “Dark Lady” in Shakespeare’s sonnets was the
Italian poet Emilis Bassano Lanier.
(SFEC, 10/5/97, p.D10)(MC, 12/4/01)
1911 Dec 4, The US Supreme
Court in Grigbsy v. Russell established the policy owner’s right to
transfer an insurance policy.
(Econ, 6/13/09, p.78)(http://tinyurl.com/nj4pe5)
1914 Dec 4, The first Seaplane
Unit formed by the German Navy officially came into existence and
began operations from Zeebrugge, Belgium.
1915 Dec 4, Ku Klux Klan
received a charter from Fulton County, Ga.
1918 Dec 4, President Wilson
set sail for France to attend the Versailles Peace Conference. He
was the 1st chief executive to travel outside US while in office.
1918 Dec 4, France cancelled
trade treaties in order to compete in postwar economic battle.
1922 Dec 4, Gerard Philipe,
actor (Caligula, Le Diable au Corps), was born in Cannes, France.
1923 Dec 4, Cecil B. DeMille's
1st version of "Ten Commandments" premiered.
1924 Dec 4, Frank Press,
geophysicist, was born.
1927 Dec 4, Duke Ellington
opened at the Cotton Club in Harlem.
1930 Dec 4, Vatican approved
the rhythm method for birth control.
1931 Dec 4, "Frankenstein"
opened at Mayfair.
1933 Dec 4, Jack Kirkland's
"Tobacco Road," premiered in NYC.
1935 Dec 4, 1,200 at St
Joseph's College, Philadelphia, enrolled in an anticommunism class.
1941 Dec 4, The Chicago Tribune
and the Washington Herald published FDR's top secret plan to invade
Europe in 1943.
(SFC, 12/29/99, p.E1)
1941 Dec 4, In Yreka, Ca., the
new state of Jefferson elected John C. Childs (71) as its 1st
(AH, 2/05, p.22)
1941 Dec 4, Nazi ordinances
placed the Jews of Poland outside protection of courts.
1941 Dec 4, Operation Taifun
(Typhoon), which was launched by the German armies on October 2,
1941 as a prelude to taking Moscow, was halted because of freezing
temperatures and lack of serviceable aircraft. Temperatures near
Moscow fell to 40 degrees below zero the breech-blocks of German
rifles froze solid. The engines of their vehicles would not start.
The Soviets began a counter-attack with 17 armies and their T-34
tanks that included 25 Siberian divisions and the Nazis were forced
to retreat in panic.
(SFC, 10/29/97, p.A23)(HN, 12/4/98)
1942 Dec 4, President Roosevelt
ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration, which
had been created to provide jobs during the Depression.
1942 Dec 4, U.S. bombers struck
the Italian mainland and Naples for the first time in World War II.
(AP, 12/4/97)(HN, 12/4/98)
1945 Dec 4, The Senate approved
U.S. participation in the United Nations.
1947 Dec 4, Tennessee William's
play “A Streetcar Named Desire” premiered on Broadway starring
Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy. [see Dec 3]
1948 Dec 4, SS Kiangya hit a
mine in Whangpoo River, China. It sank and 2,750 were killed. [see
1950 Dec 4, University of
Tennessee defied court rulings by rejecting five Negro applicants.
1950 Dec 4, In North Korea the
US Navy's first black pilot, Ensign Jesse Brown, was downed in his
fighter plane in the Jangjin Reservoir. Wing man Lt. j.g. Thomas
Hudner crashed landed his plane in a failed attempt to save Brown.
In 2013 Hudner returned to the site of the crash.
1951 Dec 4, Copland-Robbins'
"Pied Piper," premiered in NYC.
1951 Dec 4, Superheated gases
rolled down Mount Catarman (Philippines), killing 500.
1952 Dec 4, The Grumman XS2F-1
made its first flight.
1959 Dec 4, Peking pardoned Pu
Yi, ex-emperor of China and of the Japanese puppet state of
Manchukuo. Aisingyoro Henry Puyi, the last emperor, Xuantong, was
declared rehabilitated and released as “citizen” Puyi. He settled
down as a gardener and wrote the book “From Emperor to Citizen.”
(SFC, 6/11/97, p.C16)(HN, 12/4/98)
1960 Dec 4, The USSR vetoed
Mauritania's application for UN membership.
(EWH, 4th ed., p.1233)
1963 Dec 4, In Brazil Sen.
Arnon de Mello (1911-1983), the father of future president Fernando
Collor, shot and killed Senator Joseph Kairala of Acre in the
Senate, but was never tried. The intended victim was Mello’s
political enemy Senator Silvestre Pericles.
1965 Dec 4, The United States
launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy
Comdr. James A. Lovell aboard.
1965 Dec 4, The Brazilian
Democratic Movement (MDB) was founded as the official opposition
party to the supporters of military rule gathered under the National
Renewal Alliance Party (ARENA) umbrella.
1967 Dec 4, Bert Lahr (72),
[Irving Lahrheim], US comic (Wizard of Oz), died.
1968 Dec 4, The US stock market
began an 18 month decline of 44%.
1969 Dec 4, In Chicago police
stormed an apartment on the West Side and killed 2 Black Panthers,
Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. Panther defense minister Bobby Rush had
left the site just hours earlier.
(SFC, 12/15/99, p.AA4)
1972 Dec 4, Kenneth Parnell
(1931-2008), convicted sex offender, kidnapped Steven Stayner (7) in
Merced, Ca. Parnell had already served 3 years for molesting an
8-year-old boy in Bakersfield in 1952. Stayner (14) escaped in 1980
along with Timmy White (5) of Ukiah, Parnell was again sent to
prison and was paroled in 1985. In 2004 Parnell returned to prison
after trying to procure an African American boy.
1974 Dec 4, Pioneer II made its
closest approach to Jupiter.
1975 Dec 4, Ramos Horta helped
form an independent East Timor government but was forced to flee 3
days before Indonesia invaded.
(SFEC, 6/27/99, p.A22)
1975 Dec 4, Hannah Arendt
(b.1906), German-born American historian and philosopher, died. Her
books included "The Origins of Totalitarianism." In 2001 Lotte
Kohler edited "Within Four Walls: The Correspondence Between Hannah
Arendt and Heinrich Blucher 1936-1938."
(WSJ, 8/31/99, p.A22)(SSFC, 4/15/01, BR
1976 Dec 4, Benjamin Britten
(b.1913), English composer, died. Paul Kildea later authored
“Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century” (2013). Neil
Powell authored Benjamin Britten: A Life for Music” (2013).
(WSJ, 7/26/99, p.A21)(Econ, 3/2/13, p.79)
1977 Dec 4, Neil Simon's
"Chapter Two," premiered in NYC.
1977 Dec 4, Jean-Bedel Bokassa
(1921-1996), ruler of the Central African Empire, crowned himself
emperor in a ceremony duplicating the coronation of Napoleon. It was
believed to have cost more than $100 ($25) million. Bokassa was
deposed in 1979.
(AP, 12/4/97)(WSJ, 1/11/99,
1978 Dec 4, San Francisco got
its first female mayor. The Board of Supervisors voted 6-2 for
Dianne Feinstein to replace the assassinated George Moscone. The
Board voted unanimously to rename Yerba Buena Convention Center
after Moscone and to name a new gay community center after Harvey
(AP, 12/4/98)(SFC, 12/5/03, p.E10)
1979 Dec 4, The Jeremiah
O’Brien Liberty ship was guided into dry dock at the Bethlehem Yard
in SF for a $1 million project to memorialize it as one of the last
WW II Liberty Ships. The project was led by Rear Admiral Thomas J.
(SFC, 12/3/04, p.F8)(SSFC, 10/5/08, p.B7)
1979 Dec 4, In Saudi Arabia
security forces overran the Grand Mosque in Mecca, which had been
seized on Nov 16. One of two African-American converts, who had
participated in the take-over of the mosque, was killed. The other
was later released and returned to the US. In 2007 Yaroslav Trofinov
authored “The Siege of Mecca.”
(WSJ, 9/18/07, p.A8)
1980 Dec 4, In El Salvador the
bodies of four American nuns slain two days earlier were unearthed.
Colonel Edgardo Casanova was the military commander of the area at
the time. Five national guardsmen were later convicted of murder and
sentenced in May 1984 to 30 years in prison. In 1998 the guardsmen
admitted that they were acting on orders from above. In 1993 a UN
Truth Commission report concluded that Colonel Carlos Eugenio Vides
Casanova, director of the National Guard and brother of Edgardo, and
Gen’l. Jose Guillermo Garcia, the minister of defense, had organized
an official cover-up. Both men were granted residence in the US. 3
of the 5 convicted guardsmen were released in 1998 due to prison
overcrowding. In 1999 families of the victims filed suit against
Casanova and Garcia who were living in Florida. In 2000 a federal
jury cleared the 2 retired generals. In 2002 a Florida jury found
Casanova and Garcia responsible for torture and ordered payment of
$54.6 million to 3 victims living in Florida.
(AP, 12/4/97)(SFC, 4/3/98, p.B2)(SFC, 4/23/98,
p.A16)(SFC, 6/25/98, p.A10) (SFC, 7/23/98, p.C2)(SFC, 5/13/99,
p.C3)(SFC, 11/3/00, p.A3)(SFC, 7/24/02, p.A12)
1981 Dec 4, "Falcon Crest"
premiered on CBS-TV and ran to 1990.
1981 Dec 4, President Reagan
broadened the power of the CIA by allowing spying in the U.S. This
was Executive Order on Intelligence No 12,333. The order also barred
(HN, 12/4/98)(Econ, 2/20/10,
1982 Dec 4, Guatemalan Pres.
Rios Montt met with US Pres. Ronald Reagan in Honduras. Reagan
dismissed reports of human rights abuses in the region and lifted an
arms embargo to resume sales to military rulers.
1982 Dec 4, A new version of
China’s constitution dropped the worker’s right to strike.
1983 Dec 4, US jet fighters
struck Syrian anti-aircraft positions in Lebanon in retaliation for
Syrian-backed attacks on the US peacekeeping force. The Syrian
anti-air defense shut down two American airplanes and a pilot was
captured. The positions of the Marines at the Beirut International
Airport were bombarded. Eight Marines were killed.
(http://tinyurl.com/35ek6z)(SFC, 4/27/05, p.A8)
1984 Dec 4, A five-day hijack
drama began as four armed men seized a Kuwaiti airliner en route to
Pakistan and forced it to land in Tehran, where the hijackers killed
American passenger Charles Hegna.
1985 Dec 4, Robert McFarland
resigned as US National Security Advisor. Admiral John Poindexter
was named to succeed.
1985 Dec 4, In SF, Ca., Barbara
Martz (28) was raped and stabbed to death when she walked in on a
robbery at her Potrero Hill home. In 2007 DNA evidence linked John
Davis, already in prison at Pelican Bay, to her murder. On Aug 27
Davis was convicted of murder. On Dec 17 he sentenced to life in
prison without parole.
(SFC, 8/16/07, p.B3)(SFC, 8/28/07, p.B1)(SFC,
1986 Dec 4, Neil Simon's
"Broadway Bound" premiered in NYC.
1986 Dec 4, Both houses of US
Congress moved to establish special committees to conduct their own
investigations of the Iran-Contra affair.
1987 Dec 4, Cuban inmates at a
federal prison in Atlanta freed their 89 hostages, peacefully ending
an 11-day uprising. The agreement provided for a nationwide
moratorium on deportations of Mariel detainees.
1988 Dec 4, The government of
Argentina announced that hundreds of heavily armed soldiers had
ended a four-day military revolt.
1988 Dec 4, In Venezuela,
former President Carlos Andres Perez was declared the winner of the
country's presidential election.
1989 Dec 4, President Bush
briefed NATO leaders in Brussels, Belgium, on the just-concluded
Malta summit with Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
1990 Dec 4, President Bush, on
a five-nation South American tour, said in Uruguay he was not
convinced that “sanctions alone” would bring Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein “to his senses” about invading Kuwait.
1990 Dec 4, Due to Persian Gulf
crisis gas prices hit $1.60 per gallon in NYC.
1990 Dec 4, Eric Larrabee (68),
magazine editor, author, arts administrator, teacher and champion of
the arts, died at his home in Manhattan. His books included
“Commander in Chief: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, His Lieutenants, and
Their War” (1987).
(WSJ, 1/12/08, p.W9)(http://tinyurl.com/2j2tkr)
1990 Dec 4, Iraq promised to
release 3300 Soviet citizens it was holding.
1991 Dec 4, The Judds’ final
concert took place in Nashville.
1991 Dec 4, Charles Keating,
Arizona land developer and chairman of Lincoln Savings and Loan
Association, was convicted on 17 counts of securities fraud in state
court. Keating was one of the most controversial figures in the
savings and loan scandals of the late 1980s. Keating's sales
personnel persuaded depositors to put their money into high-risk
(SFC, 6/22/96, p.A3)(MC, 12/4/01)
1991 Dec 4, Patricia Bowman
testified at William Kennedy Smith's trial in West Palm Beach, Fla.,
that Smith had raped her the previous Easter weekend.
1991 Dec 4, Pan American World
Airways ceased operations. However, a new, smaller version of Pan Am
was later formed.
1991 Dec 4, Associated Press
correspondent Terry Anderson, the longest held of Western hostages
in Lebanon, was released after nearly seven years in captivity. The
last American hostages in Lebanon were released.
(TMC, 1994, p.1991)(SFC, 9/26/96, p.A3)(AP,
1992 Dec 4, President Bush
ordered American troops to lead a mercy mission to Somalia,
threatening military action against warlords and gangs who were
blocking food for starving millions.
1993 Dec 4,
Astronauts aboard space shuttle Endeavour captured the near-sighted
Hubble Space Telescope for repairs.
1993 Dec 4, Authorities found
the body of 12-year-old kidnap victim Polly Klaas in a wooded area
of Cloverdale, Calif.
1993 Dec 4, Frank Zappa (52),
rock musician and composer, died in Los Angeles. In 2004 Barry Miles
authored “Frank Zappa: A Biography.”
(AP, 12/4/98)(SFC, 12/25/04, p.E2)
1994 Dec 4, Bosnian Serbs
released 53 of some 400 U.N. peacekeepers held as insurance against
further NATO airstrikes.
1995 Dec 4, In a near-freezing
drizzle, the first NATO troops landed in the Balkans to begin
setting up a peace mission that brought American soldiers into the
middle of the Bosnian conflict.
1996 Dec 4, Judge Kevin Chang
put a stay on the order that Hawaii allow gay marriages pending a
ruling by the state Supreme Court.
(SFC, 12/5/96, p.A3)
1996 Dec 4, The Mars Pathfinder
[delayed from Dec 2] was launched from Cape Canaveral on a 310
million-mile odyssey to explore the planet's surface. It had a
remote-controlled 22-pound, 6-wheel, roving vehicle to sample
Martian soil and rock and send data back beginning on Jul 4, 1997.
(SFC, 8/8/96, p.A6)(SFC, 11/5/96, p.A4)(SFC,
12/4/96, p.A4)(AP, 12/4/97)
1996 Dec 4, In South Africa a
new constitution was given final approval. It would go into full
effect in 1999.
(SFC, 12/5/96, p.C2)
1996 Dec 4, In Tajikistan
government troops repulsed an attack by Islamic rebels. Pres.
Emomali Rakhmonov was to meet with the Muslim opposition. Russia had
25,000 troops guarding the 900-mile border with Afghanistan where
the rebels had bases.
(SFC, 12/5/96, p.C5)
1996 Dec 4, In Zaire government
troops went on a rampage of looting and raping in Kisangani. Rebels
announced the capture of Kindu 250 miles south of Kisangani.
(SFC, 12/5/96, p.C5)
1997 Dec 4, The National
Basketball Association suspended All-Star Latrell Sprewell of the
Golden State Warriors for one year for choking and threatening to
kill his coach, P.J. Carlesimo, three days earlier. An arbitrator
later reduced the suspension and reinstated Sprewell to the
Warriors, which had terminated his contract.
1997 Dec 4, In Santa Claus,
Ga., Jerry Scott Heidler (20) was arrested for the murder of a
couple and their two children and the kidnapping of three foster
(SFC, 12/5/97, p.A3)
1997 Dec 4, In Canada postal
workers ended their strike under threat of heavy fines with a 5.15%
wage increase over 3 years.
(SFC, 12/5/97, p.B5)
1997 Dec 4, The EU banned
tobacco advertising and gave cigarette makers until 2006 to end
sponsorship of major sports and cultural events. Governments get 3
years to enact the ban beginning Oct 1988 on all advertising except
at stores that sell cigarettes.
(SFC, 12/5/97, p.B2)
1997 Dec 4, From France it was
reported that Paul Cezanne graces the new 100 franc bill. He
replaced Eugene Delacroix, who was on the old bill with his painting
depicting the French Revolution and its topless symbol Marianne.
(SFC, 12/4/97, p.C5)
1997 Dec 4, In Indonesia some
2,000 Dole farmworkers on Mindanao went on strike protesting low
(SFC, 2/16/98, p.A10)
1997 Dec 4, In Liberia Samuel
Dokie, an opposition politician, was found slain in Bong County with
his wife and bodyguard. He had been reported missing after being
arrested by security men in Pres. Taylor’s stronghold of Gbarnga.
(SFC, 12/5/97, p.B5)
1997 Dec 4, UNESCO designated
additional places as World Heritage sites at a conference in Naples.
Prior to the addition there were 506 sites designated over the last
(SFC, 12/5/97, p.B7)
1998 Dec 4, It was reported
that an informant known as CS-1 confessed that he participated in a
bin Laden-inspired plot to attack American military facilities
around the world.
(SFC, 12/4/98, p.A16)
1998 Dec 4, The first PC for
the car, made by Clarion Co., went on sale for $1,299. It use a
Microsoft operating system and responded to voice commands to change
radio stations and CDs, check e-mail, and use global positioning.
(SFC, 12/5/98, p.D1)
1998 Dec 4, The shuttle
Endeavour was launched with a crew of 6 from Cape Canaveral. It
contained the 2nd component of the new int’l. space station.
(SFC, 12/4/98, p.A2)
1998 Dec 4, The London Guardian
was cited in a report that 3 high security officials in Libya, were
convicted and sentenced to prison for dereliction of duty. Abdullah
Senussi, Musa Koussa and Mohammed al-Misrati were thought to be the
superiors of the men wanted for the 1988Lockerbie Pan Am bombing.
(SFC, 12/4/98, p.A16)
1998 Dec 4, Britain and France
signed an agreement for greater cooperation in crises management and
military operations. At the Anglo-French summit in St Malo, the
leaders of the UK and France decided on the need for a "capacity for
autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces." This led
to the establishment of the European Security and Defense Policy
(www.heritage.org/Research/Europe/bg2053.cfm)(SFC, 12/5/98, p.A10)
1998 Dec 4, In Cambodia the
last Khmer Rouge fighting force surrendered, but 3 leaders refused
to give up.
(WSJ, 12/7/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 4, In China Lin Hai
(30), a software entrepreneur, was arrested for inciting subversion
by providing 30,000 Chinese e-mail addresses to “hostile foreign
(SFC, 12/5/98, p.A10)
1998 Dec 4, From Egypt it was
reported that a new 3rd party, named “Wasat” or middle party, was
emerging. It was an alternative to the fundamentalist Islamic regime
and the secular state.
(SFC, 12/5/98, p.A10)
1998 Dec 4, Honduras declared a
national alert because of epidemics. 20,000 people were reported to
have cholera and 31,000 suffered from malaria. Diarrhea was
affecting some 208,000.
(SFC, 12/5/98, p.A10)
1999 Dec 4, NASA scientists
continued to wait in vain for a signal from the Mars Polar Lander,
raising questions about the whereabouts of NASA’s $165 million
probe. It’s believed the spacecraft was destroyed after it plunged
toward the Red Planet.
1999 Dec 4, In New Mexico 13
people were killed when a van carrying 17 crashed into a
tractor-trailer on an icy stretch of I-40 35 miles east of
Albuquerque. The victims were undocumented workers from Mexico.
(SFEC, 12/5/99, p.A12)(WSJ, 12/6/99, p.A1)
1999 Dec 4, In Utah 8 teenagers
taking part in a wilderness program for troubled youths beat one
counselor and tied another to a tree and fled into the desert. They
were all rounded up within days and 7 of 8 accepted plea bargains.
(SFC, 12/16/99, p.A14)
1999 Dec 4, Rose Bird (b.1936),
25th Chief Justice of the California’s highest court, died of
cancer. She had taught criminal and consumer law at Stanford Law
School (1972-1974). In 1977 she was appointed as chief justice by
Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. She left office in January 1987. As
Chief Justice she was chair of the Judicial Council of California,
the constitutional body responsible for improving state court
1999 Dec 4, In Austria 5 people
died and 25 injured when a barrier gave way in a stampede at
snow-boarding event in Bergisel Stadium in Innsbruck.
(SFEC, 12/5/99, p.A26)
1999 Dec 4, In Belgium Prince
Philippe married Mathilde d'Udekem.
(SFEC, 12/5/99, p.A2)
1999 Dec 4, In Chechnya Russian
troops pillaged the Alkhan-Yurt village 10 miles southwest of Grozny
and killed 17 civilians.
(SFC, 12/23/99, p.A14)
1999 Dec 4, In Indonesia
soldiers shot and wounded at least 12 protestors in Aceh province on
the 23rd anniversary of an independence movement. In Irian Jaya
province an estimated 20,000 people protested for independence in
Nabire, 400 miles west of the capital Jayapura.
(SFEC, 12/5/99, p.A26)
2000 Dec 4, Pres. Clinton set
aside 84 million underwater acres along the northwestern stretch of
the Hawaiian Islands as a nature reservation.
(SFC, 12/5/00, p.A3)
2000 Dec 4, In Florida Judge
Sauls denied Al Gore’s request for a recount. The US Supreme Court
set aside the decision by the Florida Supreme Court to extend the
vote counting deadline and sent the case back to the Florida court.
A Florida state judge refused to overturn George W. Bush's certified
victory in Florida.
(SFC, 12/5/00, p.A1)(AP, 12/4/01)
2000 Dec 4, PepsiCo agreed to
pay $13.4 billion to acquire Quaker Oats.
2000 Dec 4, Scientists reported
that the Novartis leukemia drug STI-571 brought cancer into
remission in most patients in clinical trials.
(SFC, 12/5/00, p.A13)
2000 Dec 4, Scientists found a
deep-sea garden of hot springs and towering spires that they called
the “Lost City” over 3,200 feet deep in the Atlantic Ocean.
(SFC, 12/16/00, p.A2)
2000 Dec 4, In southern Congo
over 10,000 refugees were driven into northern Zambia due to renewed
fighting over the last 12 days.
(SFC, 12/5/00, p.A16)
2000 Dec 4, It was reported
that a mutated oral polio vaccine infected at least 3 people in the
Dominican Republic and Haiti. That standard vaccine appeared to work
against the mutated strain.
(SFC, 12/4/00, p.E2)
2000 Dec 4, European Union farm
ministers approved a six-month ban on animal products in fodder,
part of an extraordinary plan to stem growing panic over mad cow
2000 Dec 4, In India the
military was attacked twice by suspected Islamic guerrillas and at
least 5 people were killed. In Kashmir a bus carrying police
officers fell into a gorge at Baithi Chashma in the Donda district
and at least 27 officers were killed.
(SFC, 12/5/00, p.A15)
2000 Dec 4, Israeli soldiers
wounded 25 people in the West Bank village of Husan.
(SFC, 12/5/00, p.A14)
2000 Dec 4, In the Ivory Coast
protestors clashed with riot police in Abidjan. The city was
paralyzed and least 2 people were killed.
(SFC, 12/5/00, p.A15)
2000 Dec 4, Pakistan said it
won’t insist to being party to Indian peace talks with Kashmiri
separatists but that it must be a party to the final settlement.
(WSJ, 12/5/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 4, The Turkey stock
market fell 8% and marked a 2-week drop of 40% as interest rates
soared to 1,200%. Officials began talks with the IMF for a $5
(SFC, 12/5/00, p.A15)
2001 Dec 4, Pres. Bush
announced the seizure of assets and records of the Holy Land
foundation for Relief and Development based in Richardson, Texas,
due to suspected ties with Hamas.
(SFC, 12/5/01, p.A16)
2001 Dec 4, The Bush
administration ordered tons of PCBs removed from the upper Hudson
River. Dredging was expected to cost GE $500 million.
(SFC, 12/5/01, p.A6)
2001 Dec 4, The US Postal
Service reported a $1.7 billion loss for fiscal 2001.
(WSJ, 12/5/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 4, The Olympic flame
began a 46-state, two-month journey from Atlanta, host city of the
1996 Summer Games, to the opening ceremony of the 2002 Salt Lake
City Winter Games.
2001 Dec 4, A. Alfred Taubman
of Sotheby’s auction house was convicted of conspiracy with his
counterpart at Christie’s in a scheme that netted them some $400
million over the years.
(SFC, 12/30/01, p.D8)
2001 Dec 4, The “Goner”
computer worm was reported spreading worldwide disguised as a screen
(SFC, 12/5/01, p.B1)
2001 Dec 4, Edwin Huffine, US
forensic scientist, launched a new DNA ID software program developed
with a team of Bosnian experts at the Sarajevo-based Int’l.
Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP). The program used kinship
(SFC, 12/4/01, p.A3)
2001 Dec 4, In Afghanistan US
bombing continued at Kandahar and Tora Bora. Baglan and Balkh were
noted as a pockets of resistance with up to 3,500 Taliban
militiamen. An interim government was scheduled to take power Dec
(SFC, 12/5/01, p.A14)
2001 Dec 4, Israeli troops
moved into Palestinian-controlled territory in Ramallah and Nablus
and closed off 7 West Bank cities. Israeli warplanes and helicopters
bombed at least 8 targets in 5 cities and towns including a police
building near Arafat’s headquarters. A police officer and a
15-year-old boy were killed.
(SFC, 12/4/01, p.A12)(SFC, 12/5/01, p.A1,16)
2001 Dec 4, In South Africa
Marike de Klerk (64), former wife of former Pres. F.W. de Klerk, was
found stabbed and strangled in her luxury apartment near Cape Town.
Police arrested Luyanda Mboniswa (21), a security guard, on Dec 5.
The guard confessed Dec 7. In 2003 DNA evidence linked him to the
(SFC, 12/6/01, p.A6)(SFC, 12/7/01, p.A6)(SFC,
12/8/01, p.A7)(AP, 4/8/03)
2001 Dec 4, In Sri Lanka the
death toll reached 45, since Oct 21, as elections began for a new
225-seat Parliament. Poll violence killed 10 and an army blockade
kept some 130,000 minority Tamils from casting ballots. The
opposition United National Party won.
(SFC, 12/5/01, p.A7)(WSJ, 12/6/01, p.A1)(SFC,
2001 Dec 4, The Zimbabwe high
court reversed a previous decision and ruled that seizures of
white-owned farms are legal. Pres. Mugabe had expanded the court and
replaced many of the justices.
(WSJ, 12/5/01, p.A1)
2002 Dec 3, The US Supreme
Court justices heard arguments on whether federal laws intended to
combat organized crime and corruption could be used against
anti-abortion demonstrators. In Feb, 2003, the court ruled that such
laws were improperly used to punish abortion opponents.
2002 Dec 4, A US federal board
rejected a 1.8 billion loan guarantee for United Airlines.
(SFC, 12/5/02, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/5/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 4, The governor of
Mississippi signed legislation capping punitive damage awards at $20
(WSJ, 12/5/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 4, John Weaver,
historian, died in Las Vegas. His books included "Los Angeles: The
Enormous Village" (1980).
(SFC, 12/7/02, p.A25)
2002 Dec 4, Jesus Antonio
Nunez, mayor of the western Colombian town of Ambalema, was
assassinated, apparently after going to a meeting with the country's
main rebel group. He was the 13th mayor killed this year.
2002 Dec 4, Security forces
fired on student protesters in the East Timorese capital, killing
two people and prompting angry mobs to loot shops and set fire to
several buildings, including the prime minister's house.
2002 Dec 4, Iraqi forces shot
at allied aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone and U.S. planes
retaliated by bombing part of the country's air defense system.
2002 Dec 4, Israeli soldiers
killed two suspected Islamic militants in a gun battle in a West
Bank village, and Israeli helicopters fired missiles on a
Palestinian government complex in the Gaza Strip, killing a security
guard and injuring five people.
2002 Dec 4, Kurdish militiamen
of the PUK battled Islamic militants (Ansar al-Islam) believed to be
linked to al-Qaida in northern Iraq, and as many as 30 militiamen
were killed or wounded.
(AP, 12/4/02)(SFC, 12/6/02, p.A18)
2002 Dec 4, Separatists in
Indonesia's Aceh province commemorated the 26th anniversary of their
fight with at least one military flag-raising ceremony and vows to
keep fighting Jakarta's rule.
2002 Dec 4, Thailand released
thousands of prisoners, including many jailed for minor narcotics
offences, to mark the 75th birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the
world's longest reigning monarch.
2003 Dec 4, Pres. Bush lifted
tariffs on imported steel and averted a trade war with Europe.
(SFC, 12/5/03, p.A20)
2003 Dec 4, It was reported
that some 29 million Americans selected "none" for their religious
affiliation in recent polls.
(SFC, 12/4/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 4, Barry Bonds, SF
homerun star, told a grand jury that he used a clear substance and a
cream supplied by BALCO, but that he never thought they were
steroids. The SF Chronicle obtained a transcript of his testimony in
(SFC, 12/3/04, p.A1)
2003 Dec 4, Toy seller FAO
Schwartz filed for bankruptcy.
(SFC, 12/5/03, p.B2)
2003 Dec 4, It was reported
that scientists saw 2003 set to become the 3rd hottest year since
modern temperature records began. The warmest since 1880 was 1998
followed by 2002.
(WSJ, 12/4/03, p.A10)
2003 Dec 4, Federal prosecutor
Jonathan Luna was attacked after leaving his office in Baltimore
around midnight. His body was found 6 hours later, stabbed 36 times
apparently in a furious fight for his life before drowning in a
Pennsylvania creek. Luna was involved in the prosecution of rapper
Deon Lionel Smith (32) and Walter Oriley Poindexter.
(AP, 12/5/03)(SFC, 12/5/03, p.A6)
2003 Dec 4, In eastern Kosovo
Sgt. Daryl Brooks (43), a US peacekeeper, was found dead with a
gunshot wound in a concrete bunker inside the U.S. military base
2003 Dec 4, The Australian
government said it will join a U.S. program to build a missile
defense system, calling the threat of ballistic missiles too grave
2003 Dec 4, Congo health
officials were investigating the poison deaths of 64 people,
allegedly from a potion used to ward off evil spirits. A Roman
Catholic priest, who allegedly administered the drink, fled the
village of Bosobe early last week after people started falling ill.
2003 Dec 4, In India election
results showed the ruling Hindu nationalist party wrested control
from the opposition in three of four state legislatures.
2003 Dec 4, In Kisumu, Kenya,
Tommy Thompson, US Sec. of Health and Human Services, dedicated a
new $6.4 million field laboratory to be operated by the CDC. It was
the largest of its kind in Africa. The local TB and malaria rates
were among the highest in the world.
(SFC, 12/5/03, p.A5)
2003 Dec 4, South Korea's
parliament, for the first time in 49 years, overrode a presidential
veto to clear the way for an independent investigation into
corruption allegations against three former aides of President Roh
2003 Dec 4, El Salvador's
government ignores and sometimes contributes to widespread labor
abuses, Human Rights watch said in a new report.
2003 Dec 4, Palestinians opened
formal talks in Egypt aimed at forging a cease-fire they hope will
induce Israel to halt its attacks on militants and lead to renewed
(AP, 12/4/03)(WSJ, 12/5/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 4, Interpol put ousted
Liberian leader Charles Taylor on its most-wanted list, issuing a
"red notice" calling for his arrest on war crimes charges in Sierra
Leone's civil war.
2004 Dec 4, President Bush
received the president of Pakistan, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, in the
Oval Office; afterward, Bush pronounced himself "very pleased" with
Pakistan's efforts to flush out terrorists.
2004 Dec 4, The euro closed at
a record $1.3460. Over the next few years “it seems an excellent bet
that there will be a large drop in the dollar.”
(SFC, 12/7/04, p.D3)(Econ, 12/4/04, p.71)
2004 Dec 4, Miss Peru, Maria
Julia Mantilla Garcia, an aspiring high school teacher, was crowned
Miss World 2004 In Southern China.
2004 Dec 4, Colombian drug
kingpin Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela was flown to the US, becoming
the most powerful Colombian trafficker ever extradited to face US
2004 Dec 4, Suicide attackers
carried out a string of car bombings against Iraqi policemen in
Baghdad and Kurdish militiamen in the north, killing 14 people and
wounding at least 59.
2004 Dec 4, Two US soldiers
were killed and four wounded when their patrol came under attack in
the northwestern city of Mosul.
2004 Dec 4, Russia said India
should become a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security
Council if the top decision-making body is enlarged to reflect
post-Cold War realities.
2004 Dec 4, Zimbabwe's ruling
party elected longtime cabinet minister Joyce Mujuru as the
country's first woman vice-president at the end of a party congress,
putting her on course to succeed Mugabe when he eventually retires
2005 Dec 4, Members of the
former Sept. 11 commission said the US was at great risk for more
terrorist attacks because Congress and the White House had failed to
enact several strong security measures.
2005 Dec 4, In Washington, D.C.
Robert Redford, Tina Turner, Tony Bennett, Julie Harris and
ballerina Suzanne Farrell headlined the annual Kennedy Center
2005 Dec 4, Film producer Gregg
Hoffman (42), who developed an eight-minute film into the horror hit
"Saw" and its gory successor "Saw II," died unexpectedly after
complaining of pain.
2005 Dec 4, In Afghanistan a
suicide bomber detonated explosives on a street in the southern city
of Kandahar, killing himself and a civilian and wounding two
2005 Dec 4, Chinese Premier Wen
Jiabao arrived in France for a four-day visit. The Chinese
government and the European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus
signed a cooperation agreement at a public ceremony in Toulouse that
may pave the way for the opening of an aircraft assembly plant in
2005 Dec 4, Croatia won its
first Davis Cup title.
2005 Dec 4, Tens of thousands
of protesters marched through the streets of Hong Kong to pressure
the government to speed up political reforms that would allow voters
to pick the territory's leader and entire legislature.
2005 Dec 4, Unidentified gunmen
killed a parliamentary candidate and an Iraqi police commander in
separate attacks while a bomb that detonated as a police patrol
passed through central Baghdad killed three civilians.
2005 Dec 4, Israeli aircraft
fired missiles at an abandoned building and a rocket launching
ground in the northern Gaza Strip in the first aerial attack on Gaza
in more than a month.
2005 Dec 4, Oil-rich Kazakhstan
voted in a presidential election widely expected to give Nursultan
Nazarbayev another seven-year term.
2005 Dec 4, In Mali at a
weekend Franco-African summit President Jacques Chirac called upon
the US to remove the subsidies to their cotton producers. Chirac
also urged rich countries to double development aid, as African
leaders warned tackling poverty was crucial to stem a growing tide
of illegal immigration.
2005 Dec 4, In Russia, the
snow-covered roof of an indoor swimming pool collapsed onto parents
and children in Chusovoi, a Ural Mountains town, killing 14 people,
including 10 children.
2005 Dec 4, In Sri Lanka a land
mine killed 6 Sri Lankan soldiers with 3 wounded in a northern area
that is home to most of the country's Tamil minority. A government
soldier near the northern city of Jaffna. The military blamed the
Tamil Tiger rebels for attacks.
(AP, 12/04/05)(AP, 12/05/05)
2005 Dec 4, Syrian security
forces clashed with militants planning to launch terror attacks in
the northern city of Aleppo. Five people were wounded, including two
2005 Dec 4, Thailand's King
Bhumibol Adulyadej publicly rebuked PM Thaksin for pursuing lawsuits
against media outlets that oppose his policies.
2006 Dec 4, The White House,
unable to win Senate confirmation, said UN Ambassador John Bolton
will step down when his temporary appointment expires within weeks.
2006 Dec 4, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
(55), leader of Iraq's largest political party, the Supreme Council
for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), spoke with Pres. Bush
for more than an hour at the White House. He became leader of the
SCIRI when his brother and party founder Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir
al-Hakim was killed in a bombing in August 2003. Al-Hakim had ties
to Iran and the officially disbanded Badr militia.
2006 Dec 4, Truck driver Tyrone
Williams was convicted in Houston of the deaths of 19 illegal
immigrants crammed into a sweltering tractor-trailer in May 2003.
2006 Dec 4, In Jena, La., six
black students (the Jena Six) beat a white schoolmate in an
altercation that stemmed from the hanging of nooses in August in a
tree on school grounds under which white students regularly
gathered. The black teenagers were initially charged with attempted
murder, but later dropped to aggravated second-degree battery in 4
cases. In September, 2007, charges against Mychal Bell were moved to
juvenile court following huge civil rights protests. It was later
reported that 7 black students were involved in the Dec 4 beating.
On Dec 3, 2007, Bell pleaded guilty to a juvenile charge of 2nd
degree battery in return for an 18-month sentence. On June 26, 2009,
5 members of the Jena 6 pleaded no contests to misdemeanor simple
battery with no jail time.
(SFC, 9/21/07, p.A3)(SFC, 9/28/07, p.A3)(Econ,
9/29/07, p.33)(SFC, 12/4/07, p.A3)(SFC, 6/27/09, p.A5)
2006 Dec 4, Bank of New York
Co. agreed to take over Mellon Financial Corp. in a $16.5 billion
all-stock deal that will create the world's largest securities
servicing company and one of the biggest asset managers.
2006 Dec 4, Chipmaker LSI Logic
Corp. and Agere Systems reached a $4 billion stock swap deal. LSI
closed down 14% to $9.12 per share. LSI CEO Abhi Talwalkar offered
the equivalent of $22.81 per share for Agere.
(SFC, 12/5/06, p.C1)
2006 Dec 4, Station Casinos of
Las Vegas said it received a $4.7 billion buyout offer from its
founding family and affiliate of Colony Capital LLC, a private
(SFC, 12/5/06, p.C3)
2006 Dec 4, Shares of Pfizer
Inc. fell 15.6% in opening trade, wiping out nearly $30 billion of
market value, after the world's biggest drugmaker scrapped
development of its most important experimental medicine. Pfizer
halted work on torcetrapib, which was designed to raise levels of
"good" HDL cholesterol, because of increased deaths and heart
problems among patients given the product in a late-stage trial.
2006 Dec 4, An E. coli outbreak
that sickened at least 58 people, two of them seriously, was linked
by health investigators to three Taco Bell restaurants in New
Jersey. The outbreak, initially believed to stem from green onions,
was later believed to have come from lettuce.
(AP, 12/4/06)(SFC, 12/14/06, p.A6)
2006 Dec 4, NASA announced
plans to begin building a permanent base on the moon by 2024, with
the first teams landing in 2020.
(SFC, 12/5/06, p.A2)
2006 Dec 4, In Afghanistan 2
journalists, whose identities and media organization were not
identified, reportedly went missing in Kandahar province.
2006 Dec 4, Insurance Australia
Group (IAG) announced it will buy British motor insurer Equity
Insurance Group for 570 million pounds.
2006 Dec 4, Tomma Abts (38)
became the first female painter in the 22-year history of Britain's
$ 49,000 Turner Prize to win the controversial modern art award.
(AFP, 12/4/06)(SFC, 12/5/06, p.F8)
2006 Dec 4, PM Tony Blair has
announced plans for Britain to retain its nuclear deterrent but
promised to cut the number of nuclear warheads by 20%. Blair also
launched plans for a new multibillion-dollar submarine-based nuclear
missile defense system, warning lawmakers the future may hold
perilous threats from rogue regimes and state-sponsored terrorists.
2006 Dec 4, China’s state media
said Ying Fuming, a manager at the Fanchang Grease Factory in
Taizhou in east China, has been arrested for using grease from
swill, sewage, pesticides and recycled industrial oil to make lard
for human consumption. 6 children died of possible food poisoning at
a boarding school at the school in Nanyao, a village in northern
(AP, 12/4/06)(AP, 12/6/06)
2006 Dec 4, Egypt’s Interior
Ministry said police had arrested an American, 11 Europeans and
several others from Arab countries for allegedly plotting terrorist
attacks in Middle Eastern countries including Iraq.
2006 Dec 4, The Estlink cable
connected power grids of the Baltic States with Finland. The cost of
Estlink, which measures 100 kilometers (60 miles), was around 110
million euros (132 million dollars). It was built by Swiss-Swedish
2006 Dec 4, In Fiji soldiers
moved against at least two police compounds, seizing weapons in the
apparent first step toward taking over the South Pacific island
2006 Dec 4, In Haiti as many as
30 inmates escaped through a small hole in a prison wall in the
latest of several breakouts from the overcrowded National
2006 Dec 4, Police in eastern
India were alerted that a container, packed with radioactive
material, had been stolen from a fortified research facility,
prompting a major hunt and fears of contamination. It carried
uranium and radiation and could have an adverse effect in an area of
1.5 kilometers (0.93 mile).
2006 Dec 4, Drive-by shootings
and a suicide car bomber killed at least seven Iraqis and wounded
five. American forces killed two militants and destroyed a vehicle
packed with explosives. A US helicopter went down in Lake Qadisiyah
west of the Iraqi capital, killing one Marine and leaving three
missing in Anbar province. An insurgent attack on an American
military patrol in Baghdad killed Pfc. Ross McGinnis and wounded
five. Another US serviceman died in southern Iraq in an accident
involving his vehicle. In 2008 Pres. Bush awarded the Medal of Honor
to McGinnis, who had placed his body between a grenade and 4
(AP, 12/4/06)(AP, 12/5/06)(WSJ, 6/3/08,
2006 Dec 4, The Israeli army
killed a Palestinian and arrested 17 militants in raids across the
West Bank, despite a decision by the military to scale back such
operations in order to bolster a shaky truce with the Palestinians
in the Gaza Strip.
2006 Dec 4, Against a backdrop
of protests, the defense minister gave citations to Dutch troops who
served in the UN peacekeeping force that failed to prevent the
slaughter of Muslims in the Srebrenica enclave during the Bosnian
2006 Dec 4, In Pakistan at
least eight people were killed in torrential rains and flooding,
which blocked roads and caused widespread disruption in several
2006 Dec 4, In Peru a bus
speeding through the fog on a twisting mountain road in the Andes
fell 1,320 feet into a ravine, killing 45 people.
2006 Dec 4, Marine Lance Cpl.
Daniel Smith was convicted in the Philippines of raping a Filipino
woman and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
2006 Dec 4, Rescuers in the
Philippines all but gave up hope of finding survivors in
mudslide-swamped villages on the slopes of the Mayon volcano, five
days after Typhoon Durian killed an estimated 1,000 people.
2006 Dec 4, Russia's atomic
energy agency declined to comment on Japanese news reports that
North Korea had offered Russia exclusive rights to its natural
uranium deposits in exchange for support at six-way talks on
Pyongyang's nuclear weapons.
2006 Dec 4, Russia gave a
frosty welcome to a team of British counter-terror officers probing
the poisoning of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, and laid
down some strict ground rules for their work in Moscow.
2006 Dec 4, In Sudan militias
entered El Fasher, the main town in the Darfur region and started
looting the market. Militias there fought members of a former rebel
group in clashes which the rebels said left up to seven people dead.
(AP, 12/4/06)(Reuters, 12/4/06)
2006 Dec 4, Turkish security
forces clashed with an angry crowd trying to lynch a man accused of
raping several girls and killing two of them in southeastern Turkey.
One person was killed in the violence, and at least 22 were injured.
2007 Dec 4, Defending his
credibility, President George W. Bush said Iran was dangerous and
needed to be squeezed by international pressure despite a
blockbuster intelligence finding that Tehran had halted its nuclear
weapons program four years earlier. The intelligence report on Iran
figured in a Democratic debate on National Public Radio as rivals
assailed front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton for voting in favor of
a Senate resolution designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard a
2007 Dec 4, The governors of
Washington and Oregon declared states of emergency after a severe
storm smacked the region with hurricane-force winds and several
inches of rain. At least four people were killed by the storm.
2007 Dec 4, Pimp C (33), born
as Chad Butler, was found dead in an upscale hotel in Los Angeles.
He had spun searing tales of Texas street life into a key role in
the rise of Southern hip-hop.
2007 Dec 4, In Kabul US Defense
Secretary Robert Gates said he was pushing the world's countries for
more commitment to Afghanistan's fight against growing extremist
violence. A suicide car bomber targeted a NATO convoy in Kabul,
wounding 22 civilians passing nearby. An explosion struck a patrol
of NATO-led troops, leaving one soldier dead and two others wounded.
(AP, 12/4/07)(AP, 12/5/07)
2007 Dec 4, Sen. Renan
Calheiros, president of Brazil's Senate, resigned while fighting
allegations of corruption. Calheiros, a key ally of President Luis
Inacio Lula da Silva, retained his position as a senator. A
legislative commission voted 17-3 last week to recommend his
expulsion after finding evidence that he used third parties to
illegally acquire two radio stations and a newspaper.
(AP, 12/4/07)(Econ, 12/8/07, p.43)
2007 Dec 4, New census data
said one in five people in Canada last year was born in another
country, the highest proportion since the 1930s. The Bank of Canada
cut its key overnight interest rate by one-quarter point to 4.25
percent, saying it expects US subprime mortgage woes and financial
market fallout to last longer than anticipated.
2007 Dec 4, The Chadian army
fought heavy battles against rebel forces in the east of the country
near the border with Sudan's troubled Darfur region.
2007 Dec 4, France and Algeria
agreed to cooperate on civilian nuclear technologies. French oil
group Total said it had signed a deal to invest about 1.5 billion
dollars in a new 3.0-billion-dollar (2.0 billion euros)
petrochemical plant in Algeria.
(AFP, 12/4/07)(AP, 12/4/07)
2007 Dec 4, Greece and Turkey
agreed to joint military measures aimed at easing tensions and
(WSJ, 12/5/07, p.A1)
2007 Dec 4, Police in northern
India broke up a major tiger poaching ring, arresting an alleged
kingpin and 15 others.
2007 Dec 4, Iran's foreign
minister welcomed the US decision to "correct" its claim that Tehran
has an active nuclear weapons program, while Israel's defense
minister said Israeli intelligence believes Iran is still trying to
develop an atomic weapon.
2007 Dec 4, In Iran Makwan
Moloudzadeh, a man convicted of raping three boys when he was 13
years old, was hanged despite a chief justice's order that the case
2007 Dec 4, In Iraq Sunni Arab
lawmakers ended a yearlong boycott of politics in Kirkuk, after the
Kurdish majority agreed to allot one-third of government jobs to
Arabs and appoint an Arab as deputy governor. A suicide bomber blew
himself up near a police station in Jalula, northeast of Baghdad,
killing at least eight people and wounding 30. Kidnappers of five
Britons, seized on May 29, demanded that Britain pull all its forces
from Iraq, according to a new video broadcast made on Nov 18. The US
military said 40 senior al Qaeda in Iraq members were either
captured or killed in November, including a senior adviser to the
Sunni Islamist group's leader. Three US soldiers were killed in a
"complex attack" involving a roadside bomb and small arms fire north
(AP, 12/4/07)(AP, 12/5/07)
2007 Dec 4, Israel said it is
seeking bids to build more than 300 new homes in a disputed east
Jerusalem neighborhood, drawing Palestinian condemnations that the
move is undermining the newly revived peace talks.
2007 Dec 4, In Italy Vincenzo
Santapaola, a suspected Mafia boss, and scores of alleged mobsters
were arrested during raids in Catania, Sicily. Police also seized
weapons and drugs, and found a book that listed extortion fees and
salaries of the people working for the family.
2007 Dec 4, In Mexico gunmen
shot and killed a deputy police chief inside his house in the border
city of Tecate.
2007 Dec 4, State media said
Myanmar's military junta has completed the release of 8,585
prisoners, but it was unclear if any of those released were among
those detained during the crackdown.
2007 Dec 4, In southern Nigeria
pirates attacked a vessel operated by oil major ExxonMobil in the
Niger Delta, killing a crew member and injuring another.
2007 Dec 4, Former PM Nawaz
Sharif said that Pakistan's major opposition parties will demand the
end of emergency rule and the release of former Supreme Court judges
as a condition for their participation in parliamentary elections.
2007 Dec 4, Tens of thousands
of mineworkers downed tools in South Africa in a one-day strike over
safety standards, accusing their bosses of putting lives at risk for
the sake of profits.
2007 Dec 4, UN human rights
experts said Sudanese forces and allied militia have killed several
hundred civilians in ground attacks and aerial bombardments on
villages in Darfur in the past six months.
2007 Dec 4, In southern
Thailand a bomb killed six people and injured 20 in one of the
deadliest attacks in recent months.
2007 Dec 4, American officials
confirmed that Vietnam is holding four US citizens, hours after
gaining their first consular access to two of the detainees, both
Vietnamese-born pro-democracy activists.
2008 Dec 4, AT&T Inc.
joined the recession's parade of layoffs by announcing plans to cut
12,000 jobs, about 4 percent of its work force.
2008 Dec 4, In Afghanistan 2
Danish soldiers serving with NATO's force were killed in southern
Helmand province. The governor of Afghanistan's key southern
Kandahar province said he was sacked by the central government and
complained that powerful people in his region had been sabotaging
his work. US-led troops killed four militants in Helmand province,
after the insurgents fired on a joint US-Afghan patrol.
(AFP, 12/4/08)(AP, 12/4/08)(AP, 12/5/08)
2008 Dec 4, In Afghanistan
eight prisoners were killed at Kabul's Pol-i-charki Prison, during a
clash between guards and prisoners.
2008 Dec 4, The Bank of England
cut its base interest rate from 3% to 2%, a rate last seen in 1951.
(Econ, 12/6/08, p.74)
2008 Dec 4, In Burundi a summit
was held in Bujumbura stating the position of the Great Lakes region
on the implementation of the peace agreements signed at the Dar es
Salaam summit of 2006 in Tanzania.
2008 Dec 4, Canada’s PM Stephen
Harper won a rare suspension of Parliament, managing to avoid being
ousted by opposition parties angry over the minority Conservative
government's economic plans and an attempt to cut off party
2008 Dec 4, In eastern China a
fire at the dormitory of a seafood company killed 11 workers and
injured 10 others.
2008 Dec 4, The Danish navy
intercepted and sunk a suspected pirate vessel drifting off Somalia.
7 men were handed over to authorities in Yemen but were not
immediately suspected of any crime.
2008 Dec 4, Europe's top human
rights court ruled that storing DNA from people with no criminal
record is in breach of their rights, a landmark decision that could
force Britain to destroy the samples of nearly 1 million people on
2008 Dec 4, In France armed
robbers, some disguised as women, snatched €85 million ($108
million) worth of diamond rings, necklaces and luxury watches from a
Harry Winston boutique on a posh Paris avenue in one of the largest
jewel heists in history. In June, 2009, French police arrested 25
suspects in connection with the robbery and recovered some of the
jewelry. In 2011 investigators found jewels valued at $25 million in
a plastic container set in a cement mold inside a sewer at a home in
the Paris suburb of Seine-St. Denis. The house belonged to one of
the 9 people charged in the heist. On Feb 27, 2015, eight were
convicted on charges including armed robbery over the heist and
another a year earlier at the same store.
(AP, 12/5/08)(SFC, 6/23/09, p.A2)(SFC, 3/10/11,
2008 Dec 4, The
Luxembourg-based European Court of First Instance said EU
governments "violated the rights of defense" of the People's
Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI), and that the EU nations have
not provided sufficient proof to blacklist the group.
2008 Dec 4, Iraq's presidential
council approved a security pact that sets out a three-year
timeframe for US troops to leave, the final step for the agreement
to replace a UN mandate that expires Dec. 31. Two suicide bombers in
explosives-laden trucks took aim at police stations in the former
Sunni insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, killing at least 15 people
and wounding more than 100. A suicide car bomber killed two US
soldiers and wounded nine Iraqi civilians near a checkpoint in the
northern city of Mosul. A bomb in Baquba killed 3 people.
(AP, 12/4/08)(SFC, 12/5/08, p.A23)
2008 Dec 4, Rioting by Jewish
settlers spread in the West Bank after Israeli soldiers forcibly
removed about 250 extremists from a disputed house in the center of
Hebron. Banks in the Gaza Strip shut down to count their dwindling
cash. Israel lifted a four-week-old ban on international journalists
entering the Gaza Strip.
2008 Dec 4, Pirates attacked an
oil-services vessel before dawn off the coast of Nigeria and
kidnapped two foreign workers.
2008 Dec 4, Drug agents in Peru
seized 3 tons of cocaine mixed into a shipment of guano bound for
Spain. Four Peruvians and a Colombian were arrested.
2008 Dec 4, In Somalia 20 men
and women graduated from medical school in Mogadishu, something that
nobody in Somalia has done in nearly two decades.
2008 Dec 4, Sweden’s central
bank cuts its benchmark interest rate from 3.75% to 2% saying
monetary policy was less effective than usual.
(Econ, 12/6/08, p.92)
2008 Dec 4, Zimbabwe declared a
national emergency over a cholera epidemic and the collapse of its
health care system, as the government sought more international help
to pay for food and drugs to combat the crisis.
2009 Dec 4, The New York Times
reported that the White House has authorized the CIA to expand the
use of unmanned aerial drones in Pakistan to track down and strike
suspected Taliban and Al-Qaeda members.
2009 Dec 4, GM and its Chinese
partner SAIC announced a joint venture to produce small cars in
(Econ, 12/12/09, p.72)
2009 Dec 4, Afghan troops and
US Marines launched the first offensive since President Barack Obama
announced an American troop surge, striking against Taliban
communications and supply lines in Helmand province. About 1,000
Marines as well as Afghan troops were taking part in the operation,
known as "Cobra's Anger."
2009 Dec 4, NATO said 25
countries had pledged a total of around 7,000 more troops to support
the US-led war in Afghanistan, following President Barack Obama's
commitment of 30,000 extra US troops.
2009 Dec 4, In northern
Bangladesh an overcrowded passenger boat capsized after being hit by
a small ferry, leaving at least 46 people dead. 18 Bangladesh
fishermen were assaulted in the Bay of Bengal off the southern coast
of Bangladesh after pirates attacked by a band of 25-30 pirates. The
survivors said the pirates severely beat them and slashed some of
the fishermen with knives before throwing them all overboard. 16
fishermen remained missing.
(AP, 12/4/09)(AP, 12/8/09)
2009 Dec 4, In southern Brazil
at least 20 people were reported dead in mudslides triggered by
heavy rains as rivers rose to rooftops and thousands were left
2009 Dec 4, China sentenced
three more people to death for murder and other crimes committed in
riots in the western region of Xinjiang in July.
2009 Dec 4, In China the
file-sharing site BTCHINA, a major source of overseas movies,
television shows and games in the country, was closed. Another site,
VeryCD.com, was down on Dec 9 and a report in the Southern
Metropolis Daily said other file sharing sites would be closed in
the coming days. The closures were said to be a fight against
copyright infringement, but could be seen as another measure aimed
at controlling what content the country's Web users can find online.
2009 Dec 4, A leading Ethiopian
newspaper said it had closed down as a result of months of
government "persecution and harassment" against its staff. The
weekly Addis Neger newspaper, often critical of government policies,
published its last edition on Dec 5 before some of its staff fled
the country for fear of arrest.
2009 Dec 4, Major European
public financial institutions launched a pan-European equity fund to
boost key EU policies in areas such as climate change, energy
security and transport networks.
2009 Dec 4, In Guatemala
retired Col. Marco Antonio Sanchez was convicted and sentenced to 53
years in prison in the forced disappearance of civilians during
Guatemala's civil war. The convictions for the 1981 abductions at
the village of El Jute were the first ever under charges of failing
to respect the rights of civilians.
2009 Dec 4, Indian officials
said Arabinda Rajkhowa, the commander of a powerful rebel movement
in the remote northeast, was arrested along with a top deputy.
Security officials said the chairman of the United Liberation Front
of Asom, or ULFA, was actually arrested days earlier in Bangladesh,
where he had long been thought to be hiding.
(AP, 12/4/09)(Econ, 12/12/09, p.47)
2009 Dec 4, A jailed Mafia
hitman linked Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi to the Cosa Nostra,
telling a court that a godfather convicted for a 1993 bombing
campaign had boasted of his links to the media mogul.
2009 Dec 4, In Italy Amanda
Knox of Seattle, Wa., was convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher
(21), her British roommate on Nov 1, 2007. The conviction was
announced at around midnight after 13 hours of deliberations. Knox
was sentenced to 26 years in prison. The court also convicted Knox's
co-defendant and former boyfriend, Italian Raffaele Sollecito, and
gave him a 25-year jail term for the murder. Rudy Hermann Guede, an
Ivory Coast citizen, had already been convicted in the murder and
sentenced to 30 years in prison.
2009 Dec 4, Fazal Haque Qureshi
(64), an Indian Kashmiri separatist leader who supports talks with
New Delhi over the restive region's future, was critically wounded
by unknown attackers.
2009 Dec 4, Kenyan health
officials said a cholera epidemic was sweeping across the country
with 4,700 cases reported in the past month along with 119 deaths.
(SFC, 12/5/09, p.A2)
2009 Dec 4, In northern Mexico
a pair of shootouts between troops and gunmen killed 13 people in a
suburb of Monterrey, including a bystander and a drug trafficker
linked to the killing of a retired army officer. Almanza Morales,
killed in the attack, was accused of working for the Zetas, drug
traffickers who also serve as enforcers for the Mexican Gulf cartel,
and of killing army Brig. Gen. Juan Arturo Esparza and his four
bodyguards in a November attack.
2009 Dec 4, Nepal's top
politicians strapped on oxygen tanks and held a Cabinet meeting amid
Mount Everest's frigid, thin air to highlight the danger global
warming poses to glaciers. Landless laborers in the far west, backed
by Maoists, claimed tracts of government owned forest for
themselves. National security forces opened fire and burned
squatter’s huts. 3 people died in the clashes.
(AP, 12/4/09)(AP, 12/5/09)(Econ, 12/12/09, p.46)
2009 Dec 4, Amsterdam City
councilwoman Marijke Vos planted a sapling, in the Amsterdamse Bos
park. It was derived from a 150-year-old chestnut tree that once
cheered Anne Frank as her family hid from the Nazis. 149 Others will
be planted around the world.
2009 Dec 4, North Korea made an
unlikely foray into designer denim as the "Noko Jeans" label was
launched in Sweden. The brand is Swedish but the black jeans are
manufactured in North Korea, an experiment its creators described as
a way to open doors to the reclusive communist country. The next day
Stockholm’s PUB department store removed the new line of designer
jeans from its shelves, saying it wants to avoid courting
controversy through ties with the isolated communist nation. Noko
Jeans founders said they will continue to sell the jeans on their
Web site and that retailer Aplace will continue to sell them on
their Web site.
(AP, 12/4/09)(AP, 12/5/09)
2009 Dec 4, In Pakistan
militants stormed a mosque in Rawalpindi near Pakistan's army
headquarters, killing at least 37 people, including 6 army officers
and 3 soldiers. They attacked during prayers spraying gunfire and
throwing grenades before blowing themselves up.
(AP, 12/4/09)(SFC, 12/5/09, p.A2)
2009 Dec 4, Philippine security
forces raided four compounds belonging to a powerful clan suspected
in the massacre of 57 people in the Philippines' worst political
violence. Soldiers using metal detectors, sniffer dogs and an
excavator dug up more than a dozen crates of bullets in the mansion
of a local mayor linked to last week's massacre.
(AP, 12/4/09)(Reuters, 12/4/09)
2009 Dec 4, In Sudan gunmen
killed three Rwandan soldiers in an ambush in the northern town of
Saraf Umra in the western Darfur region.
2009 Dec 4, In Switzerland
Roman Polanski took refuge at his snowbound chalet after being
granted bail under house arrest, while he fights extradition to the
US on a child sex case.
2010 Dec 4, President Barack
Obama signed legislation giving the lame-duck Congress two more
weeks to try to pass a legislation funding the government for the
rest of the budget year, through September.
2010 Dec 4, A Nevada panel
voted to establish the state’s first-ever bear hunting season. Some
200-300 lived along Nevada’s eastern Sierra.
(SSFC, 12/5/10, p.A14)
2010 Dec 4, Mill Valley, Ca.,
resident John Nuzzo (65) died of an apparent heart attack. He was
better know to legions of fans as John Leslie, an adult film actor
who appeared in over 300 movies before becoming a prolific director.
(SFC, 12/9/10, p.C5)
2010 Dec 4, In southwestern
China an explosion caused by illegally stored chemicals killed seven
people and injured 37 at an Internet café.
2010 Dec 4, The Colombian Red
Cross said the toll from weeks of heavy rains across Colombia has
risen to 174 people dead and over 1.5 million homeless.
2010 Dec 4, In Haiti 17 people
died when a group taxi slammed into a truck on a blind curve in the
southern peninsula town of Aquin.
2010 Dec 4, In Iraq bombs
killed 17 people across Baghdad, including Iranian pilgrims near a
revered shrine and shoppers at a Shiite neighborhood market.
2010 Dec 4, Israel said it was
disappointed by Brazil's decision to recognize a Palestinian state
within the 1967 borders, saying it flew in the face of efforts to
negotiate a peace deal.
2010 Dec 4, Ivory Coast
President Laurent Gbagbo was sworn in for a new term even though the
UN and world leaders maintain his opponent won the disputed
election, which was the West African nation's first since a civil
2010 Dec 4, In northern Israel
a massive fire was still consuming swathes of land, with little sign
Israeli and foreign firefighters were winning the battle to contain
2010 Dec 4, In Jamaica an oil
spill was discovered in Kingston Harbor. Authorities were still
investigating a Nov 22 spill in the capital's harbor, the
7th-largest natural harbor in the world.
2010 Dec 4, In northeastern
Nigeria a shootout between suspected members of a radical Muslim
sect and security forces killed three people, including an
2010 Dec 4, In Russia a
Dagestan Airlines passenger jet, carrying at least 155 people, made
an emergency landing at a snowy Moscow airport after its engines
failed. It skidded off the runway and slammed into buildings,
killing two people and injuring around 40.
2010 Dec 4, It was reported
that South African gangsters were stealing supplies of the
antiretroviral drug Stocrin. They were mixing it with cannabis, rat
poison and some other ingredients to make a lethal new drug called
whoonga (wunga), used to produce a cheap high.
(Econ, 12/4/10, p.60)
2011 Dec 4, In southeast
Georgia 4 Army soldiers based at Fort Stewart killed Michael Roark
(19), a former comrade, and his girlfriend, Tiffany York (17), to
protect an anarchist militia group they formed that stockpiled
assault weapons and plotted a range of anti-government attacks. On
Aug 27, 2012, Pfc. Michael Burnett (26) gave testimony and pleaded
guilty to manslaughter, illegal gang activity and other charges. He
made a deal to cooperate with prosecutors against the three other
2011 Dec 4, Washington DC
police detained over 30 people in a standoff at the Occupy DC
campaign in McPherson Square.
(SFC, 12/5/11, p.A8)
2011 Dec 4, It was reported
that final preparations were underway for the Chemistry Metallurgy
Research Replacement Facility (CMRR) at Los Alamos National
Laboratory, NM. The high-end price tag estimate of $5.8 billion is
almost $1 billion more than New Mexico's annual state budget and
more than double the lab's annual budget.
2011 Dec 4, Australia’s Labor
party passed PM Julia Gillard's proposal with 206 votes to 185,
reversing a decades-old policy excluding New Delhi from Australia's
uranium trade because it is not a signatory to the Nuclear
2011 Dec 4, In Brazil Socrates
Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira (57), footballer and
political agitator, died. In 2007 he authored “Football Philosophy.”
(Econ, 12/10/11, p.106)
2011 Dec 4, Croatians voted in
a parliamentary election expected to unseat long-dominant
conservatives and empower a center-left coalition. The vote for
151-seat parliament pits the governing center-right Croatian
Democratic Union, or HDZ, against a coalition of left-leaning
parties. The latter has led recent opinion polls.
2011 Dec 4, DR Congo President
Joseph Kabila led chief rival Etienne Tshisekedi 49 percent to 34
with about half of polling centers counted.
2011 Dec 4, In the Dominican
Rep. Sonia Pierre (48), a human rights activist who bravely fought
discrimination against poor Dominicans of Haitian descent, died.
2011 Dec 4, In Egypt initial
election results showed that Islamist parties won 65% of all votes
cast for parties in the first round of parliamentary polls. The
secular liberals, who played a key part in the January-February
uprising, managed just 13.4%.
2011 Dec 4, In eastern India a
landmine attack by Maoist rebels struck the convoy of a senior
politician, killing ten policemen and a young boy in Jharkhand
2011 Dec 4, In Indonesia 11
people were killed when a high concrete wall collapsed in a housing
complex during a heavy downpour in Makassar, Sulawesi island.
2011 Dec 4, Iran's official
IRNA news agency reported that Iranian armed forces have brought
down an unmanned US spy plane that violated Iranian airspace along
the country's eastern border. Iran said it used
advanced electronic warfare measures to detect, hack and bring down
an advanced RQ-170 Sentinel drone. It suffered minor damage and was
now in possession of Iran's armed forces." Footage of the drone was
aired on Dec 8.
(AP, 12/4/11)(SSFC, 12/11/11, p.A8)
2011 Dec 4, In Iraq explosions
killed six people, including a father and son who were assembling a
makeshift bomb that accidentally detonated inside their home in
Kirkuk. In Baghdad a roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi military convoy
in the capital's western suburb of Abu Ghraib. 4 soldiers were
2011 Dec 4, In Srinagar,
Kashmir, authorities used batons, tear gas and water canons to break
up Muslim religious processions held in defiance of a strict curfew.
2011 Dec 4, Kazakhstan
prosecutors said a clash outside the commercial capital of Almaty
has left five militants and two government troops dead. The fighting
occurred as security services cornered suspects wanted in the murder
last month of two policemen in Almaty.
2011 Dec 4, Pilots at Lebanese
national carrier Middle East Airlines (MEA) ended a five-day strike
in protest at the dismissal of a cancer-stricken colleague which
grounded dozens of flights at Beirut airport.
2011 Dec 4, The Mexican army
said that it has seized a total of at least 167 antennas, 155
repeaters, 166 power sources, 71 pieces of computer equipment and
1,446 radios. The equipment was taken down in several cities in the
Gulf coast state of Veracruz and the northern states of Nuevo Leon,
Coahuila, San Luis Potosi and Tamaulipas. The network was built
around 2006 by the Gulf cartel, a narcotics-trafficking gang that
employed a group of enforcers known as the Zetas, who had defected
from Mexican army special forces.
2011 Dec 4, Morocco's main
leftwing party said it had decided not to take part in a government
coalition led by the country's moderate Islamists.
2011 Dec 4, The Kathmandu-based
Int’l. Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) published
reports showing that Nepal's glaciers have shrunk by 21 percent and
Bhutan's by 22 percent over the last 30 years.
2011 Dec 4, In northern Nigeria
gunmen from a radical Muslim sect raided Azari town, Bauchi state,
bombing police stations and robbing banks in an attack that killed
at least six people.
2011 Dec 4, Peru’s President
Ollanta Humala declared a state of emergency in the northern
department of Cajamarca following weeks of protests against the
Minas Conga mining project.
(Econ, 12/10/11, p.42)
2011 Dec 4, Russians cast their
ballots with muted enthusiasm in parliamentary elections. Several
parties complained of extensive election violations aimed at
boosting the vote count of United Russia, the party of PM Vladimir
Putin. An election official later described how he had manipulated
the vote at his polling station to give Putin's party the desired 65
percent, when in fact it had won no more than 25 percent.
(AP, 12/4/11)(AP, 3/4/12)
2011 Dec 4, In Singapore
hundreds of people gathered at a park to protest sexual violence
against women as part of the global "SlutWalk" movement, in a rare
public demonstration in the tightly controlled city state.
2011 Dec 4, Slovenians voted in
an early election expected to bring conservatives back to power,
where they will have to tackle the country's mounting debt,
unemployment and a looming recession. President Danilo Turk said
that "the most important task of the new government will be to
restart economy." The outgoing center-left government of PM Borut
Pahor has failed to push through pension and labor reform requested
by the EU. The center-left Positive Slovenia party won with 28.5% of
(AP, 12/4/11)(AP, 12/13/11)
2011 Dec 4, Syria signaled it
still might be willing to comply with the Arab League's plan, saying
its objections were simply a matter of details. In central Syria new
violence killed at least six people, including a female university
professor and a father and his three children.
2011 Dec 4, Yemeni officials
said clashes between the army and tribal fighters in Taiz have left
at least 28 people dead over the last 3 days. Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi
formed a military commission under the Gulf Cooperation Council
agreement to oversee the restructuring of the security forces, many
of which are controlled by Saleh's relatives.
(SFC, 12/5/11, p.A2)(AFP, 12/6/11)
2012 Dec 4, A ban on nudity in
San Francisco was given final approval by the city’s Board of
Supervisors in a raucous meeting at which several people stripped
naked in board chambers.
(SFC, 12/5/12, p.C1)
2012 Dec 4, It was reported
that conservationsists have saved some 3,000 acres in California’s
Sierra Nevada. The Truckee Donner land Trust and Trust for Public
Land closed an $8 million deal to buy Webber Lake and Lacey Meadows
at the headwaters of the Little Truckee River.
(SFC, 12/4/12, p.A1)
2012 Dec 4, Researchers at Duke
University reported that the lions of Africa's savannahs have lost
as much as 75% of their habitat in the last 50 years as humans
overtake their land and the lion population dwindles.
2012 Dec 4, Branislav
Milinkovic (52), Serbia's ambassador to NATO, was chatting and
joking with colleagues in a multistory parking garage at Brussels
Airport when he suddenly strolled to a barrier, climbed over and
flung himself to the ground below.
2012 Dec 4, The British
government said Chancellor George Osborne will invest 5 billion
pounds in schools, science and transport projects.
2012 Dec 4, A top official of
the World Wide Fund for Nature said that despite armed guards,
Cameroon's dwindling elephant population is being decimated by
heavily armed gangs of international poachers.
2012 Dec 4, In southern China a
fire in a clothing factory apparently caused by arson killed 14
people in Shantou city, Guangdong province. The victims were all
women aged 18-20. The next day suspect Liu Shuangyun said he started
the fire due a longtime dispute over less than $500 in unpaid wages.
(AP, 12/4/12)(SFC, 12/6/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 4, Thousands of
Egyptians massed in Cairo for a march to the presidential palace to
protest the assumption by the nation's Islamist president of nearly
unrestricted powers and a draft constitution hurriedly adopted by
his allies. Several independent Egyptian newspapers suspended
publication. The media protest involved at least eight influential
dailies and was part of a planned campaign of civil disobedience.
2012 Dec 4, Iran claimed it had
captured a U.S. drone after it entered Iranian airspace over the
Persian Gulf, but the US Navy said all its unmanned aircraft in the
region were "fully accounted for."
2012 Dec 4, In Iraq gunmen
broke into a house in eastern Baghdad, killing six members of an
2012 Dec 4, Eamon Kelly (65), a
senior figure in Ireland's criminal underworld, was chased down the
street and shot to death near his Dublin home, two years after
surviving a similar assassination bid. The Real IRA paramilitary
group was suspected of being behind the hit. Real IRA figures in
recent years have demanded a slice of the gangsters'
drug-trafficking profits in exchange for not killing them or burning
down their business fronts.
2012 Dec 4, Israel said it is
moving forward with plans for two major settlement projects in east
Jerusalem, even as a senior Palestinian official warned that his
government could pursue war crimes charges if Israel doesn't halt
2012 Dec 4, Tuareg rebels of
northern Mali agreed to stop pursuing a separate state during talks
with Mali’s government in Burkina Faso.
(SFC, 12/5/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 4, Namibia's President
Hifikepunye Pohamba said that Hage Geingob will return to serve as
the nation's prime minister as part of a major cabinet reshuffle.
Geingob's elevation came after he was confirmed Dec 2 as SWAPO's
2012 Dec 4, In the southern
Philippines at least 78 villagers and soldiers drowned when torrents
of water dumped by a powerful typhoon cascaded down a mountain,
engulfing emergency shelters and an army truck in Andap village. The
deaths toll from Typhoon Bopha (aka Typhoon Pablo), one of the
strongest storms to hit the country this year, reached nearly 600
with another 600 missing.
(AP, 12/4/12)(AP, 12/5/12)(AP, 12/8/12)(SSFC,
2012 Dec 4, In northeastern
Somalia militants attacked an army post, killing 12 soldiers in one
of the deadliest attacks in recent months by the al-Qaida-linked
2012 Dec 4, Syrian state media
said a mortar slammed into a school in the Damascus suburbs, killing
29 students and a teacher. Syrian forces fired artillery at rebel
targets in and around the capital. The international community grew
increasingly alarmed about the regime's chemical weapons stocks.
Naji Assaad, a journalist for the state-run Tishrin newspaper, was
killed near his home in al-Tadhamon, a suburb of Damascus.
2012 Dec 4, Off the coast of
Istanbul a cargo ship sank in a severe storm in the Black Sea and a
Turkish rescue boat searching for its missing crew hit nearby rocks
and also went down. At least three people were killed and 10 others
were missing in the two sinkings.
2012 Dec 4, Vietnam said it
would begin new patrols in the South China Sea after it accused a
Chinese fishing boat of cutting a seismic cable attached to one of
its vessels exploring for oil and gas. India also said it would
consider sending navy vessels to protect its interests in the area.
(SFC, 12/5/12, p.A3)
2012 Dec 4, Amnesty
International charged in a new report that Al-Qaida committed
"horrific" rights abuses during its 16 months in power in southern
2013 Dec 4, A Norman Rockwell
painting titled “Saying Grace” sold for a record $46 million at a
Sotheby’s auction in NYC.
(SFC, 12/5/13, p.A12)
2013 Dec 4, In Florida the
former Miami Art Museum opened as the $131 Perez Art Museum Miami.
(SSFC, 12/15/13, p.P3)
2013 Dec 4, Scientists reported
mitochondrial DNA results from a human thighbone found in Spain
estimated to be 400,000 years old. The DNA showed a closer relation
to Denisovans who lived in Siberia than to Neanderthals.
(SFC, 12/5/13, p.A9)
2013 Dec 4, Algerian army
helicopters killed a top al-Qaida leader and four associates as they
sped through the southern Algerian desert. Khalil Ould Addah, aka
Abu Bassen, a regional leader from the Sahara branch.
2013 Dec 4, In Argentina
violence in Cordoba left at least 3 people dead as a police sit-in
prompted hours of looting, robberies, injuries and vigilante mobs
trying to protect their neighborhoods. The violence ended when
police agreed to a 52% pay increase.
(SFC, 12/5/13, p.A2)(SSFC, 12/8/13, p.A6)
2013 Dec 4, It was reported
that Argentina’s Riachuelo river flowing through the La Boca
district of Buenos Aires has been named one of the planet's 10
2013 Dec 4, OPEC leaders
meeting in Austria agreed to hold its crude production ceiling at 30
million barrels per day despite oversupply concerns and competition
from cheaper shale oil.
2013 Dec 4, In Botswana the
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said key
states, where the illegal ivory trade flourishes, have pledged to
take urgent measures to try to halt the illicit trade and secure
elephant populations across Africa.
2013 Dec 4, British PM David
Cameron faced demands for the return of priceless artefacts looted
from Beijing in the 19th century, the last day of his visit to
2013 Dec 4, China accused
Washington of taking Japan's side in a tense clash over disputed
islands in the East China Sea, underscoring rising regional friction
as visiting Vice President Joe Biden met with Beijing's leaders.
2013 Dec 4, In eastern China
hazardous air pollution forced schools to shut or suspend outdoor
activities in at least two cities, where residents complained of the
yellow skies and foul smells that are symptomatic of the country's
crippling smog crisis.
2013 Dec 4, The European
Commission fined a group of major global banks a total of 1.7
billion euros ($2.3 billion) for colluding to profit from the
manipulation of key interest rates. The banks named as participating
in cartels were Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland,
Societe Generale, Credit Agricole, HSBC, JPMorgan, UBS and
2013 Dec 4, German officials
said hundreds of unsolved killings and attempted killings in the
country over the last two decades may have been committed by
(SFC, 12/5/13, p.A2)
2013 Dec 4, In Iraq a car bomb
exploded at the gate of the Police Intelligence Department in the
religiously-mixed city of Kirkuk. Later, gunmen and suicide bombers
attacked a police intelligence headquarters and a nearby shopping
mall in a coordinated attack in Kirkuk, killing 11 people and
(AP, 12/4/13)(Reuters, 12/5/13)
2013 Dec 4, In Lebanon Hassan
al-Laqis (53), a senior Hezbollah leader, was killed overnight upon
returning home from work in Beirut. Hezbollah accused Israel for the
(AP, 12/4/13)(SFC, 12/5/13, p.A5)
2013 Dec 4, Libya's national
assembly voted to make sharia, Islamic law, the basis of all
legislation and for state institutions in a decision that may impact
banking, criminal and financial laws.
2013 Dec 4, In Morocco a
Cameroonian immigrant plunged to his death when police raided his
fourth-floor apartment in Tangiers, raising tensions in the city
after a similar death in October.
2013 Dec 4, Nicaragua police
said 6 suspected robbers and 4 police officers were killed in a
shootout in a remote rural part of the northwest.
2013 Dec 4, Nigerian police
said that they raided a home and freed 16 pregnant girls and young
women allegedly being forced to have babies to be sold.
2013 Dec 4, Scientists reported
mitochondrial DNA results from a human thighbone found in Spain
estimated to be 400,000 years old. The DNA showed a closer relation
to Denisovans who lived in Siberia than to Neanderthals.
(SFC, 12/5/13, p.A9)
2013 Dec 4, In Syria fighters
linked to Al-Qaeda executed Yasser Faysal al-Joumaili (32), an Iraqi
freelance cameraman. He was kidnapped by fighters of the Islamic
State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) while on his way out of Syria
and executed in the northwestern border province of Idlib.
2013 Dec 4, Tunisia's southern
Tozeur region ground to a halt, as the latest in a growing number of
strikes around the country was called to protest a lack of
2013 Dec 4, Ukraine's PM Mykola
Azarov warned protesters trying to blockade government buildings
they would be punished for any "illegal acts", as officials went to
Moscow seeking aid to avoid a financial meltdown. Thousands of
people continued to rally in Kiev against the decision to freeze
ties with the EU and get closer to Russia.
(Reuters, 12/4/13)(AP, 12/4/13)
2013 Dec 4, The Green Climate
Fund, designed as the UN’s most important funding body in the battle
on climate change in developing nations, launched its headquarters
in South Korea.
2014 Dec 4, Stuart Jones,
America's new Ambassador to Iraq, said the US government has come to
an agreement with Baghdad on "privileges and immunities" for US
troops based in the country.
2014 Dec 4, In the SF Bay Area
swarms of protesters swept through Oakland and San Francisco for a
2nd straight night to castigate authorities for the killings of
unarmed black men by police triggered by recent events in Missouri
(SFC, 12/5/14, p.A18)
2014 Dec 4, In Kansas City,
Mo., SUV driver Ahmed Aden (34), a local Somali of Chriostian faith,
ran over a Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein (15) and drove away. Aden was
charged with murder on Dec 5. Locals said he had been harassing the
community with anti-Islamic taunts and violent threats.
(http://tinyurl.com/lu84xv8)(SFC, 12/6/14, p.A6)
2014 Dec 4, Australia for the
first time exercised sweeping new security powers allowing it to
block citizens from traveling to overseas conflict zones such as
those in Iraq and Syria, where dozens of Australians have joined
Islamist militant groups.
2014 Dec 4, The Bosnia-based
Int’l. Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), established in 1996,
said it will become a permanent global body to help track missing
persons around the globe.
(SSFC, 12/7/14, pA20)
2014 Dec 4, Canada’s Indsutry
Minister James Moore signed off on the takeover of US-based Burger
King by Ontario-based Tim Hortons chain of coffee shops.
(SFC, 12/5/14, p.C2)
2014 Dec 4, In Chechnya gunmen
stormed a building in Grozny killing some 19 people, including 10
police. 6 gunmen were reported killed.
(Reuters, 12/4/14)(SFC, 12/5/14, p.A8)
2014 Dec 4, China marked its
first Constitution Day as part of President Xi Jinping's drive to
show that the country embraces rule of law while ensuring that the
ruling Communist Party holds on to its unrivaled authority.
2014 Dec 4, Hungary's economy
minister says the state has signed a preliminary deal to buy
Budapest Bank, the country’s 8th largest bank by assets, from
General Electric by June 30.
2014 Dec 4, In northern India 5
children were killed when a train crashed into their school van at
the unmanned Mahaso railroad crossing, Uttar Pradesh state.
2014 Dec 4, In Iraq a string of
car bombs killed at least 37 people in Baghdad and Kirkuk.
(AP, 12/4/14)(SFC, 12/5/14, p.A2)
2014 Dec 4, In Italy Ignazio
Marino, the mayor of Rome, ordered a review of city contracts after
a police investigation revealed a web of corrupt relationships
between politicians and criminals in the Italian capital.
2014 Dec 4, In Kenya two men
were reported jailed for gang raping children after Kenya's high
court in 2013 ordered the police to re-open 10 cases where officers
had yelled at, demanded bribes from and even locked up girls who
tried to report rape to them.
2014 Dec 4, A Kenyan military
aircraft crashed in the region of the southern Somali city of
Kismayu due to technical problems after a combat mission.
2014 Dec 4, Kurdish sources
said a second group of 150 Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces has
entered the Syrian border town of Kobani from Turkey to replace a
first group helping Kurdish forces fight off a siege by Islamic
2014 Dec 4, The Philippine
anti-corruption prosecutor ordered the suspension of the country's
top police officer in connection with a contract with a courier
company to deliver gun licenses.
2014 Dec 4, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin said money collected in one of the country’s two
"rainy day" funds should be used to support domestic banks, as he
set out efforts to help Moscow counteract Western sanctions and
overcome its economic woes. Putin also proposed an amnesty for those
returning capital to Russia, indicating they would not face tax or
2014 Dec 4, Slovakia's PM
Robert Fico said his government is terminating the lease of a major
state-owned hydro power plant to Enel, an Italian energy company.
Enel owns a 66 percent stake in Slovakia's major power producer,
Slovenske elektrarne, and is currently trying to sell its share. The
government owns the remaining 34 percent.
2014 Dec 4, In Syria at least
19 government soldiers and militiamen were reported killed after
Islamic State launched an overnight attack on one of the
government's last remaining strongholds in Deir al-Zor province. 7
IS fighters were reported killed.
2014 Dec 4, Yemeni and Western
sources said Saudi Arabia has suspended most of its financial aid to
Yemen, in a clear indication of its dissatisfaction with the growing
political power of Shi'ite Houthi fighters friendly with Riyadh's
regional rival, Iran.
2014 Dec 4, Al Qaeda's Yemen
branch published a video purporting to show an American hostage and
threatened to kill him if unspecified demands were not met.
Journalist Luke Somers (33) was kidnapped in Sanaa in September
2014 Dec 4, Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe (90) purged VP Joice Mujuru (59) seen just months ago
as his most likely successor, denouncing her before party loyalists
as leader of a "treacherous cabal" bent on removing him from power.
Go to December 5