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.
    (Econ, 3/30/13, p.80)(

771        Dec 4, With the death of his brother Carloman, Charlemagne became sole ruler of the Frankish Empire.
    (HN, 12/4/98)

1110        Dec 4, Syria harbor city of Saida (Sidon) surrendered to the Crusaders.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1197        Dec 4, Crusaders wounded Rabbi Elezar ben Judah.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1371        Dec 4, Reinald III (38), ("The Fat,") duke of Gelre (1343-61), died.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1514        Dec 4, Richard Hunne, English "heretic", allegedly committed suicide.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1534        Dec 4, Turkish sultan Suleiman occupied Baghdad.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1584        Dec 4, John Cotton, English-born Puritan clergyman who wrote “The Way of the Church of Christ in New England," was born.
    (HN, 12/4/98)

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 Massachusetts.
    (AP, 12/4/08)

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, p.75)

1665        Dec 4, Jean Racine's "Alexandre le Grand," premiered in Paris.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

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 sovereign.
    (WSJ, 7/30/03, p.A12)(WSJ, 9/15/07, p.W10)(

1688        Dec 4, General strategist John Churchill (later Duke of Marlborough) joined with William III.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1674        Dec 4, Father Marquette built the 1st dwelling at what is now Chicago.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1732        Dec 4, John Gay (47), English poet (Beggar's Opera), died.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1745        Dec 4, Bonnie Prince Charles reached Derby.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

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 Farewell."
    (AP, 12/4/97)(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.T4)(WSJ, 12/10/03, p.D8)

1791        Dec 4, Britain's Observer, oldest Sunday newspaper in world, was 1st published.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

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, 7/2/98)(HN, 12/4/00)

1798        Dec 4, Luigi Galvani (61), Italian anatomist and physicist, died.

1812        Dec 4, Peter Gaillard of Lancaster, Pa., patented a horse-drawn mower.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

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 born.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

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.
    (, 9/21/06)

1833        Dec 4, American Anti-Slavery Society was formed by Arthur Tappan in Phila.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

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 getting tired."
    (AP, 4/25/97)(SFEC, 3/1/98, Z1 p.8)(AP, 4/22/98)(HN, 12/4/00)

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.
    (MC, 12/4/01)
1843        Dec 4, Robert Schumann's "Das Paradied und die Peri," premiered in Leipzig.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

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, 12/4/01)

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.
    (HNPD, 12/3/98)
1861        Dec 4, The Federal Senate, voting 36 to 0, expelled Senator John C. Breckenridge of Kentucky because he joined the Confederate Army.
    (HN, 12/4/98)
1861        Dec 4, Queen Victoria of Britain forbade the export of gunpowder, firearms and all materials for their production.
    (HN, 12/4/98)

1862        Dec 4, Winchester, Va., fell into Union hands, resulting in the capture of 145 Southern soldiers.
    (HN, 12/4/98)

1863        Dec 4, Seven solid days of bombardment ended at Charleston, S.C. The Union fired some 1,307 rounds.
    (HN, 12/4/99)

1864        Dec 4, Battle of Waynesborough (Brier Creek) Ga.
    (MC, 12/4/01)
1864        Dec 4, Romanian Jews were forbidden to practice law.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1865        Dec 4, Edith Cavell, English nurse who tended to friend and foe alike during World War I, was born.
    (HN, 12/4/98)

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, 12/4/00)

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 great things."
    (WSJ, 3/19/96, p.A-12)(WSJ, 12/15/97, p.A20)(AP, 1/1/98)
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.
    (HN, 12/4/98)

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)(

1914        Dec 4, The first Seaplane Unit formed by the German Navy officially came into existence and began operations from Zeebrugge, Belgium.
    (HN, 12/4/98)

1915        Dec 4, Ku Klux Klan received a charter from Fulton County, Ga.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

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.
    (AP, 12/4/97)
1918        Dec 4, France cancelled trade treaties in order to compete in postwar economic battle.
    (HN, 12/4/98)

1922        Dec 4, Gerard Philipe, actor (Caligula, Le Diable au Corps), was born in Cannes, France.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1923        Dec 4, Cecil B. DeMille's 1st version of "Ten Commandments" premiered.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1924        Dec 4, Frank Press, geophysicist, was born.
    (HN, 12/4/00)

1927        Dec 4, Duke Ellington opened at the Cotton Club in Harlem.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1930        Dec 4, Vatican approved the rhythm method for birth control.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1931        Dec 4, "Frankenstein" opened at Mayfair.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1933        Dec 4, Jack Kirkland's "Tobacco Road," premiered in NYC.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1935        Dec 4, 1,200 at St Joseph's College, Philadelphia, enrolled in an anticommunism class.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

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 governor.
    (AH, 2/05, p.22)
1941        Dec 4, Nazi ordinances placed the Jews of Poland outside protection of courts.
    (MC, 12/4/01)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/97)
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. 
    (AP, 12/4/97)

1947        Dec 4, Tennessee William's play “A Streetcar Named Desire" premiered on Broadway starring Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy. [see Dec 3]
    (HN, 12/4/00)

1948        Dec 4, SS Kiangya hit a mine in Whangpoo River, China. It sank and 2,750 were killed. [see Dec 3]
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1950        Dec 4, University of Tennessee defied court rulings by rejecting five Negro applicants.
    (HN, 12/4/98)
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.
    (AP, 7/19/13)

1951        Dec 4, Copland-Robbins' "Pied Piper," premiered in NYC.
    (MC, 12/4/01)
1951        Dec 4, Superheated gases rolled down Mount Catarman (Philippines), killing 500.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

1952        Dec 4, The Grumman XS2F-1 made its first flight.
    (HN, 12/4/98)
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.
    (Econ, 7/28/12, p.31)(

1965        Dec 4, The United States launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Comdr. James A. Lovell aboard.
    (AP, 12/4/97)
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.
    (MC, 12/4/01)

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.
    (SFC, 1/23/08, p.B5)(

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 p.8)(

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, p.R4)(

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 Milk.
    (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. Patterson (1924-2008).
    (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 assassinations.
    (HN, 12/4/98)(Econ, 2/20/10, p.57)(

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.
    (SSFC, 2/14/04, p.M3)(
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.
    (, 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.
    (AP, 12/4/04)

1985        Dec 4, Robert McFarland resigned as US National Security Advisor. Admiral John Poindexter was named to succeed.
    (HN, 12/4/98)
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, 12/18/07, p.B3)

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.
    (AP, 12/4/06)

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.
    (AP, 12/4/97)

1988        Dec 4, The government of Argentina announced that hundreds of heavily armed soldiers had ended a four-day military revolt.
    (AP, 12/4/98)
1988        Dec 4, In Venezuela, former President Carlos Andres Perez was declared the winner of the country's presidential election.
    (AP, 12/4/98)

1989        Dec 4, President Bush briefed NATO leaders in Brussels, Belgium, on the just-concluded Malta summit with Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
    (AP, 12/4/99)

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.
    (AP, 12/4/00)
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)(
1990        Dec 4, Iraq promised to release 3300 Soviet citizens it was holding.
    (AP, 12/4/00)

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 junk bonds.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/4/01)
1991        Dec 4, Pan American World Airways ceased operations. However, a new, smaller version of Pan Am was later formed.
    (AP, 12/4/01)
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, 12/4/97)(HN, 12/4/01)

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.
    (AP, 12/4/97)

1993        Dec 4,     Astronauts aboard space shuttle Endeavour captured the near-sighted Hubble Space Telescope for repairs.
    (AP, 12/4/98)
1993        Dec 4, Authorities found the body of 12-year-old kidnap victim Polly Klaas in a wooded area of Cloverdale, Calif.
    (AP, 12/4/04)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/99)

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.
    (AP, 12/4/00)

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.
    (AP, 12/4/98)
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 children.
    (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 wages.
    (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 25 years.
    (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 (ESDP).
    (, 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 organizations.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/4/00)
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 administration.
    (SFEC, 12/5/99, p.A1)(
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.
    (AP, 12/4/01)
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 disease.
    (AP, 12/4/01)
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 billion loan.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/4/02)
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 saver.
    (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 analysis.
    (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 22.
    (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 murder.
    (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, 12/8/01, p.A6)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/03)
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 million.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/5/02)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/02)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/02)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/02)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/02)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/02)

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 2004.
    (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 Camp Monteith.
    (AP, 12/6/03)
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 to ignore.
    (AP, 12/4/03)
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.
    (AP, 12/5/03)
2003        Dec 4, In India election results showed the ruling Hindu nationalist party wrested control from the opposition in three of four state legislatures.
    (AP, 12/4/03)
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 Moo-hyun.
    (AP, 12/4/03)
2003        Dec 4, El Salvador's government ignores and sometimes contributes to widespread labor abuses, Human Rights watch said in a new report.
    (AP, 12/4/03)
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 peace negotiations.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/4/03)

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.
    (AP, 12/04/05)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/04)
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 justice.
    (AP, 12/4/04)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/04)
2004        Dec 4, Two US soldiers were killed and four wounded when their patrol came under attack in the northwestern city of Mosul.
    (AP, 12/4/04)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/04)
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 in 2008.
    (AFP, 12/4/04)

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.
    (AP, 12/4/06)
2005        Dec 4, In Washington, D.C. Robert Redford, Tina Turner, Tony Bennett, Julie Harris and ballerina Suzanne Farrell headlined the annual Kennedy Center Honors.
    (AP, 12/4/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/06/05)
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 passers-by.
    (AP, 12/04/05)
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 China.
    (AFP, 12/04/05)
2005        Dec 4, Croatia won its first Davis Cup title.
    (AP, 12/4/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/04/05)
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.
    (AP, 12/04/05)
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.
    (AP, 12/04/05)
2005        Dec 4, Oil-rich Kazakhstan voted in a presidential election widely expected to give Nursultan Nazarbayev another seven-year term.
    (AP, 12/04/05)
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.
    (AP, 12/05/05)
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.
    (AP, 12/05/05)
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 militants.
    (AP, 12/04/05)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/06)
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 equity firm.
    (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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/5/06)
2006        Dec 4, Insurance Australia Group (IAG) announced it will buy British motor insurer Equity Insurance Group for 570 million pounds.
    (AFP, 12/4/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/06)
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 Shanxi province.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/4/06)
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 group ABB.
    (AP, 12/4/06)
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 nation.
    (AP, 12/4/06)
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 Penitentiary.
    (AP, 12/6/06)
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).
    (AFP, 12/23/06)
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 comrades.
    (AP, 12/4/06)(AP, 12/5/06)(WSJ, 6/3/08, p.A4)(
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.
    (AP, 12/5/06)
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 war.
    (AP, 12/4/06)
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 cities.
    (AFP, 12/4/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/5/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/06)
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.
    (AFP, 12/5/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/06)

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 terrorist organization.
    (AP, 12/4/08)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/5/07)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/07)
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.
    (AFP, 12/4/07)
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 improving ties.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/6/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/07)
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 be reviewed.
    (AP, 12/7/07)
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 of Baghdad.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/4/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/07)
2007        Dec 4, In Mexico gunmen shot and killed a deputy police chief inside his house in the border city of Tecate.
    (AP, 12/4/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/07)
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.
    (AFP, 12/4/07)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/07)
2007        Dec 4, In southern Thailand a bomb killed six people and injured 20 in one of the deadliest attacks in recent months.
    (AP, 12/4/07)
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.
    (AFP, 12/4/07)

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.
    (AP, 12/4/08)
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.
    (AP, 12/6/08)
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 financing.
    (Reuters, 12/4/08)
2008        Dec 4, In eastern China a fire at the dormitory of a seafood company killed 11 workers and injured 10 others.
    (AP, 12/4/08)
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.
    (AP, 12/5/08)
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 its database.
    (AP, 12/4/08)
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, p.A4)(AP, 2/28/15)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/08)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/08)
2008        Dec 4, Pirates attacked an oil-services vessel before dawn off the coast of Nigeria and kidnapped two foreign workers.
    (AP, 12/4/08)
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.
    (AP, 12/15/08)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/08)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/08)

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.
    (AFP, 12/4/09)
2009        Dec 4, GM and its Chinese partner SAIC announced a joint venture to produce small cars in India.
    (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."
    (AP, 12/4/09)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/09)
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 homeless.
    (AP, 12/4/09)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/09)
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,, 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.
    (AP, 12/9/09)
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.
    (AFP, 12/5/09)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/09)
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.
    (AP, 12/5/09)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/09)
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.
    (AP, 12/5/09)
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.
    (AFP, 12/5/09)
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.
    (AP, 12/5/09)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/09)
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.
    (AP, 12/5/09)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/09)

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.
    (AP, 12/5/10)
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.
    (AP, 12/5/10)
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.
    (AFP, 12/4/10)
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.
    (AP, 12/5/10)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/10)
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.
    (AFP, 12/4/10)
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 war.
    (AP, 12/4/10)
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 it.
    (AFP, 12/4/10)
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.
    (AP, 12/5/10)
2010        Dec 4, In northeastern Nigeria a shootout between suspected members of a radical Muslim sect and security forces killed three people, including an 8-year-old boy.
    (AP, 12/5/10)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/10)
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 soldiers.
    (AP, 8/27/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/11)
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 Non-Proliferation Treaty.
    (AFP, 12/4/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/11)
2011        Dec 4, DR Congo President Joseph Kabila led chief rival Etienne Tshisekedi 49 percent to 34 with about half of polling centers counted.
    (AFP, 12/4/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/11)
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%.
    (AFP, 12/4/11)
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 state.
    (AFP, 12/4/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/11)
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 killed.
    (AP, 12/4/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/11)
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.
    (AFP, 12/4/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/26/11)
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.
    (AFP, 12/4/11)
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.
    (AFP, 12/5/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/11)
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 the ballots.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/4/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/5/12)
2012        Dec 4, The British government said Chancellor George Osborne will invest 5 billion pounds in schools, science and transport projects.
    (AP, 12/4/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/12)
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."
    (AP, 12/4/12)
2012        Dec 4, In Iraq gunmen broke into a house in eastern Baghdad, killing six members of an Iraqi family.
    (AP, 12/4/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/12)
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 such construction.
    (AP, 12/4/12)
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 vice president.
    (AP, 12/4/12)
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, 12/9/12, p.A4)
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 group.
    (AP, 12/5/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/12)
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 Yemen.
    (AP, 12/4/12)

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.
    (AP, 12/5/13)
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 dirtiest places.
    (AP, 12/4/13)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/13)
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.
    (AFP, 12/4/13)
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 China.
    (AFP, 12/4/13)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/13)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/5/13)
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 Citigroup.
    (AP, 12/4/13)
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 far-right extremists.
    (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 wounding 70.
    (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 assassination.
    (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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/13)
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.
    (AFP, 12/5/13)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/13)
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.
    (AFP, 12/4/13)
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.
    (AFP, 12/5/13)
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 development.
    (AFP, 12/4/13)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/13)

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.
    (AP, 12/4/14)
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 and NYC.
    (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.
    (, 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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/14)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/14)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/14)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/14)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/14)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/14)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/14)
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 State militants.
    (Reuters, 12/4/14)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/14)
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 other penalties. 
    (Reuters, 12/4/14)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/14)
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.
    (AP, 12/4/14)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/14)
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 2013.
    (Reuters, 12/4/14)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/4/14)

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