Return to home1048 Dec 13,
Al-Biruni (74), Arabic royal astrologer, died.
1204 Dec 13, Maimonides
(b.1135), Spanish-born Jewish scholar, died in Cairo. His books
included the “Mishnah Torah," the single most important Jewish book
after the Bible and Talmud, and “Guide for the Perplexed." In 2005
Sherwin B. Nuland authored “Maimonides."
1250 Dec 13, Frederick II (55),
German Emperor (1212-1250), died.
1545 Dec 13, The Church Council
of Trent began with the meeting of 30 bishops. It lasted 3 years but
took 18 years to complete its work. The Council sparked the
beginning of the Counter-Reformation. [see 1562]
(CU, 6/87)(TL-MB, 1988, p.17)
1553 Dec 13, Henry IV (d.1610),
Henry of Navarre, Henry the Great, 1st Bourbon king of Navarre,
France, (1572/89-1610), was born.
(WUD, 1994, p.662)(MC, 12/13/01)
1577 Dec 13, Sir Francis Drake
of England set out with five ships on a nearly three-year
journey that would take him around the world.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.22)(AP, 12/13/97)
1585 Dec 13, William Drummond,
Scottish poet and laird of Hawthornden, was born. His chief
collection, "Poems," appeared in 1616.
1621 Dec 13, Emperor Ferdinand
II delegated the 1st anti-Reformation decree.
1642 Dec 13, Dutch navigator
and explorer Abel Janszoon sighted present-day New Zealand. He fled
after Maori cannibals feasted on the “friendship party" he sent
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.196)(SFEC, 10/4/98, p.T4)(AP,
1769 Dec 13, Dartmouth College,
in New Hampshire, received its charter.
1774 Dec 13, Some 400 colonists
attacked Ft. William & Mary, NH.
1784 Dec 13, Samuel Johnson
(b.1709), English lexicographer, essayist, poet and moralist best
known for "The Dictionary of the English Language," died.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." -- (To which Ambrose
Bierce replied, "I beg to submit that it is the first.") Johnson, an
antagonist of slavery, left behind an annuity and much of his
personal property to his black valet, Francis Barber (b.1735-1801).
In 1791 Boswell wrote the celebrated "The Life of Samuel Johnson."
In 1955 Walter Jackson Bate (1918-1999) published "The Achievement
of Samuel Johnson" and in 1977 the biography "Samuel Johnson." In
2000 Adam Potkay authored "The Passion for Happiness," in which he
argued that Samuel Johnson should be included in the Anglo-Scottish
Enlightenment along with David Hume, Adam Smith and Edward Gibbon.
In 2000 Peter Martin authored "A Life of James Boswell." In 2008
Peter Martin authored “Samuel Johnson: A biography."
(AP, 10/8/97)(WSJ, 11/29/00, p.A24)(ON, 11/06,
p.10)(SSFC, 10/28/07, p.M3)(WSJ, 9/18/08, p.A23)
1789 Dec 13, The National Guard
was created in France.
1797 Dec 13, Heinrich Heine
(d.1856), German lyric poet, critic, satirist and journalist, was
born. His works included "Trip to the Hartz Mountains" and "Germany,
a Winter Tale." "In these times we fight for ideas, and newspapers
are our fortresses."
(AHD, p.611)(AP, 7/18/97)(HN, 12/13/99)
1812 Dec 13, The last remnants
of Napoleon Bonaparte's Grand Armeé reached the safety of Kovno,
Poland after the failed Russian campaign.
1814 Dec 13, General Andrew
Jackson announced martial law in New Orleans, Louisiana, as British
troops disembark at Lake Borne, 40 miles east of the city.
1816 Dec 13, E. Werner von
Siemens, German artillery officer and inventor, was born.
1816 Dec 13, Patent for a dry
dock was issued to John Adamson in Boston.
1818 Dec 13, Mary Todd Lincoln,
wife of President Abraham Lincoln, was born.
1833 Dec 13, HMS Beagle and
Charles Darwin arrived in Port Deseado, Patagonia.
1835 Dec 13, Phillips Brooks,
the American Episcopal bishop, was born in Boston. He wrote the
words to "O Little Town of Bethlehem."
1838 Dec 13, Alexis Millardet,
botanist who developed the first successful fungicide, was born.
1861 Dec 13, Battle of
Alleghany Summit, WV.
1862 Dec 13, Confederate forces
dealt Union troops a major defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg,
Va. The Battle of Fredericksburg ended at Marye’s Heights with the
bloody slaughter of Union troops, while Confederate President Davis
reviewed Braxton Bragg’s troops at Murfreesboro, Tenn. Burnside,
newly appointed commander of an army of over 120,000, planned to
cross the Rappahannock River and advance on the Confederate capital
of Richmond. Some 78,000 troops under Confederate General Robert E.
Lee took a strong position on the high ground near Fredericksburg,
Virginia. Burnside’s assault resulted in over 12,500 casualties for
the Union compared with about 5,000 for the entrenched Confederates.
Burnside was relieved of command the following month.
(WUD, 1994, p.565)(AP, 12/13/97)(HN,
1864 Dec 13, Battle of Ft.
1867 Dec 13, The Clerkenwell
bombing killed 12 people. It was an attempt to free Richard
O’Sullivan-Burke, a senior Fenian arms agent, and was the most
infamous action carried out by the Fenians in Britain.
1887 Dec 13, Corporal Alvin C.
York of Wolf River Valley, Tennessee, was born. York was awarded the
Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross for
heroism during World War I's Argonne Offensive. York was a reluctant
soldier, but his frontier upbringing had made him an outstanding
marksman. [see Oct 8, 1918]
1890 Dec 13, Marc Connelly,
playwright, actor, director and journalist (The Green Pastures), was
1902 Dec 13, The Committee of
Imperial Defense held its first meeting in London.
1903 Dec 13, Italo Marconi
received a patent for the ice cream cone in NJ. [see Sep 22, 1903]
(MC, 12/13/01)(SSFC, 10/5/03, p.C3)
1908 Dec 13, The Dutch took two
Venezuelan Coast Guard ships.
1911 Dec 13, Kenneth Patchen,
American poet and author, was born. His works included "Before the
Brave" and "Hurrah for Anything."
1918 Dec 13, President Wilson
arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit
Europe while in office.
1918 Dec 13, US army of
occupation crossed the Rhine and entered Germany.
1920 Dec 13, George P. Schultz,
US Secretary of State (1982-89), was born.
1920 Dec 13, League of nations
established the Int’l. Court of Justice in The Hague.
1923 Dec 13, Phillip Anderson,
physicist, was born.
1925 Dec 13, Dick Van Dyke,
actor (Rob Petrie-Dick Van Dyke Show), was born in West Plains, Mo.
1928 Dec 13, George Gershwin's
musical work "An American in Paris" had its premiere, at Carnegie
Hall in New York. The debut was performed by the New York
Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Walter Damrosch.
(AP, 12/13/98)(MC, 12/13/01)
1928 Dec 13, The clip-on tie
1929 Dec 13, Christopher
Plummer, actor (Sound of Music, Doll's House), was born in Toronto.
1935 Dec 13, Karim Aga Khan,
prince, billionaire, and husband of Rita Hayworth, was born.
1937 Dec 13, The Japanese army
occupied Nanking, China. A group of Japanese soldiers forced their
way into the family home of Xia Shuqin (8) in Nanjing, and killed
seven of her family members. Xia and her 4-year-old sister were
seriously injured but escaped. According to Chinese media, a US
missionary then serving as the chairman of the International
Commission of the Red Cross in Nanjing filmed the killings of Xia's
family members. In 2006 a Chinese court has awarded Xia Shuqin
$200,000 in compensation after ruling in her favor against two
Japanese historians, who claimed she fabricated her account of the
(HN, 12/13/98)(AP, 8/23/06)
1939 Dec 13, In the Battle at
La Plata 3 British cruisers fought the German "pocket battleship,"
Graf Spee, which took refuge in Montevideo, Uruguay. The following
day, the badly damaged ship left port, deliberately ran aground in
the bay, where the officers led the crew in scuttling and exploding
the Graf Spee. Two days later, the commander of the German warship
committed suicide in his Buenos Aires hotel room. Today, at low
tide, water commuters between Buenos Aires and Montevideo can see
part of the superstructure breaking the surface. [see Dec 17,18]
1940 Dec 13, Hitler issued
preparations for Operation Martita, the German invasion of Greece.
1941 Dec 13, British forces
launched an offensive in Libya.
1941 Dec 13, U-81 torpedoed the
British aircraft carrier Ark Royal.
1944 Dec 13, During World War
II, the U.S. cruiser Nashville was badly damaged in a Japanese
kamikaze suicide attack that claimed 138 lives.
1944 Dec 13, US carrier planes
bombed the Japanese transport ship Oryoku Maru off of Olongapo in
the Philippines. 300 POWs were killed.
(SSFC, 8/7/05, p.B2)
1944 Dec 13, Wassily Kandinsky
(b.1866), Russian artist credited with the invention of abstract
art, died in France. He held that shapes and colors in art, like
notes in music, should represent feelings and emotions, not actual
1945 Dec 13, France and Britain
agreed to quit Syria and Lebanon.
1949 Dec 13, Knesset voted to
transfer Israel's capital to Jerusalem.
1950 Dec 13, James Dean began
his career with an appearance in a Pepsi commercial.
1951 Dec 13, After meeting with
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, President Harry S. Truman vowed to
purge all disloyal government workers.
1958 Dec 13, Ahmed Mukhtar
Baban, premier of Iraq, was executed along with Burhanuddin
Bashajan, Iraqi minister of Foreign affairs and Rafiq Aref, Iraqi
chief-staff Arabs Statenbond.
1961 Dec 13, Beatles signed a
formal agreement to be managed by Brian Epstein.
1961 Dec 13, Grandma [Anna M]
Moses (101), US painter, folk artist, died.
(SFC, 3/26/97, z1 p.7)(MC, 12/13/01)
1963 Dec 13, Capital records
signed a right of 1st refusal agreement with Beatles.
1964 Dec 13, In El Paso, Texas,
President Johnson and Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off
an explosion that diverted the Rio Grande, reshaping the
U.S.-Mexican border and ending a century-old dispute.
1966 Dec 13, The 1st US bombing
of Hanoi, North Vietnam, took place.
1968 Dec 13, President Lyndon
B. Johnson and Mexico’s President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz met on a bridge
at El Paso, Texas, to officiate at ceremonies returning the
long-disputed El Chamizal area to the Mexican side of the border.
1969 Dec 13, Raymond A.
Spruance (b.1886), US Admiral, died. He directed US Naval forces at
the WWII Battle of Midway (1942) and the Battle of the Philippine
1972 Dec 13, Astronaut Gene
Cernan climbed into his Lunar Lander on the Moon and prepared to
lift-off. He was the last man to set foot on the Moon.
1973 Dec 13, Britain cut the
work week to three days to save energy supply.
1973 Dec 13, Claude Vorilhon,
former French race car driver, began the Rael movement in France.
While commuting to his job as a sportswriter, he decided to drive
past the office and stop at a nearby volcano in Auvergne. During his
stop, Vorilhon saw the flashing red light of a space ship, which
opened its hatch to reveal a green alien with longish dark hair.
Once aboard the spaceship, he said he was entertained by voluptuous
female robots and learned that the first human beings were created
by aliens called Elohim, who cloned themselves. Vorilhon said that
he was instructed to take the name Rael and spread the news that
humans were placed on Earth by extraterrestrials who had engineered
our DNA. In 1997 Rael founded Clonaid, a company dedicated to
cloning people. In 2001 the Raelian movement numbered about 55,000
(WSJ, 8/24/01, p.W14)(Reuters, 12/28/02)
1978 Dec 13, The Philadelphia
Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which went into
circulation the following July. This was the 1st US coin to honor a
1980 Dec 13, Christian Democrat
Jose Napoleon Duarte was named the president of El Salvador’s new
1981 Dec 12-1981 Dec 13, In
Poland Gen’l. Jaruzelski imposed martial law, effective at midnight,
restricting civil rights and suspending operation of the independent
trade union Solidarity in a crackdown on the Solidarity labor
movement. Polish labor leader Lech Walesa was arrested. Martial law
formally ended in 1983. Women kept the organization going as most
male leaders were arrested. In 2005 Shana Penn authored
“Solidarity’s Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland.
(SFC, 10/24/96, p.C7)(AP, 12/13/97)(HN,
12/13/98)(Econ, 7/30/05, p.76)
1984 Dec 13, In Peru 123
people, including men, women and children from area farming
communities, were slaughtered at Putis, in Ayacucho province. Army
soldiers suspected the farmers supported guerrillas with the Shining
Path. According to a later government-appointed truth commission,
the military offered Putis as a safe haven for people fleeing
Shining Path rebels in the region. Soldiers then tricked villagers
into digging their own grave and killed them on suspicion of ties to
the guerrillas. In 2008 a Peruvian forensics team began excavating a
mass grave containing the remains of 123 men, women and children
killed by the military at Putis. In 2009 DNA tests identified 28 of
92 bodies, including 15 women and five children.
(AP, 5/25/08)(AFP, 5/30/08)(AP, 2/26/09)(AP,
1985 Dec 13, France sued the
U.S. over the discovery of an AIDS serum.
1987 Dec 13, Secretary of State
George P. Shultz said the Reagan administration would begin making
funding requests for the proposed "Star Wars" defense system.
1988 Dec 13, PLO chairman
Yasser Arafat addressed the U.N. General Assembly in Geneva, where
it had reconvened after the United States refused to grant Arafat a
visa to visit New York. Arafat accepted UN Resolutions 242 and 338,
which recognized Israel's right to exist.
(AP, 12/13/98)(SSFC, 6/3/07,
1989 Dec 13, South African
President F.W. de Klerk met for the first time with imprisoned
African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, at de Klerk's
office in Cape Town.
1990 Dec 13, A final evacuation
flight from Iraq arrived in Germany, carrying the US ambassador to
Kuwait and his staff, who had endured a 110-day Iraqi siege of their
1991 Dec 13, Five Central Asian
republics of the Soviet Union (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) agreed to join the new Commonwealth of
Independent States (CIS) being organized by Russian President Boris
1991 Dec 13, Iran’s Pres. Akbar
Hashemi Rafsanjani visited Sudan with some 157 officials. He signed
agreements to train Sudan’s Popular Defense Forces, a version of
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, and agreed to pay China $300 million
for weapons ordered for Sudan.
(Econ, 4/4/09, p.50)(http://tinyurl.com/d6ruxp)
1991 Dec 13, North Korea and
South Korea signed a non-aggression agreement aimed at eventual
1992 Dec 13, An Israeli border
guard was kidnapped near Tel Aviv and later killed by the Hamas
fundamentalist organization. The slaying prompted Israel to expel
hundreds of Palestinians, sending them into Lebanese territory.
Abdel Aziz Rantisi was among the 400 deported members of Hamas.
(AP, 12/13/97)(SSFC, 4/18/04, p.A18)
1993 Dec 13, The U.S. Supreme
Court ruled, 5-4, that people were entitled to a hearing before real
property linked to illegal drug sales could be seized.
1993 Dec 13, The space shuttle
Endeavour returned from its mission to repair the Hubble Space
1993 Dec 13, Myrna Loy (88),
actress (Thin Man, Vanity Fair), died. [see Dec 14]
1994 Dec 13, An American Eagle
commuter plane carrying 20 people crashed short of Raleigh-Durham
International Airport in North Carolina, killing 15.
1995 Dec 13, As President
Clinton flew to Paris to attend the signing of the Bosnian peace
accord, Congress gave him partial backing for his Bosnia policy.
1995 Dec 13, Chinese democracy
activist Wei Jingsheng, who had already spent 16 years in prison,
was sentenced to 14 more. In Nov 1997, Beijing granted Wei medical
parole to travel to the United States for treatment.
1995 Dec 13, Four hostages:
Donald Hutchings, Keith Mangan, Paul Wells and Dirk Hasert, who were
seized in July by Kashmir guerillas, who called themselves Al Faran,
were killed. In May ‘96 a Muslim insurgent, who claimed to have been
involved, said the men were killed and buried in the mountains in
Dec. The captured rebel Nasir Mehmood said in a police report that
the hostages were killed Dec 13, 1995 by guerrillas of
Harkat-ul-Ansar. The Al Faran name was coined to confuse Indian
(SFC, 5/27/96, p.A6)(SFC, 12/23/96, p.A12)
1996 Dec 13, Pres. Clinton
nominated Bill Daley, a Chicago attorney, as commerce secretary, and
Bill Richardson as US ambassador to the UN.
(SFC, 12/14/96, p.A1)(AP, 12/13/97)
1996 Dec 13, The U.N. Security
Council chose Kofi Annan of Ghana to become the world body's seventh
(SFC, 12/14/96, p.A1)(AP, 12/13/97)
1996 Dec 13, Trade ministers
from 28 countries meeting in Singapore endorsed a U.S.-crafted trade
pact to abolish import duties on computers, software and other
1996 Dec 13, In Russia a new
statue of Peter the Great, meant to honor the navy that he built,
was made by Georgian artist Zurab Tsereteli and erected on the
Moscow River. The artist was a close friend of Moscow Mayor Yuri
(SFC, 12/14/96, p.A10)(SFC, 3/17/97, p.A8)
1996 Dec 13, In Serbia the
demonstrations spread to 10 cities.
(SFC, 12/14/96, p.A10)
1997 Dec 13, A ribbon-cutting
ceremony was held in Los Angeles for the $1 billion Getty Center,
one of the largest arts centers in the United States.
1997 Dec 13, In SF a fire in a
Bayview-Hunters Point housing project killed 6 people including 5
children. Henry Lee Redmond (60), a live-in boyfriend of Delores
Evans (42), one of the victims, apparently started the fire with a
cigarette while drinking. Redmond escaped and claimed that he tried
to douse the fire and yelled to the people upstairs. The SF Housing
Authority was found negligent for not installing a smoke detector or
fixing a faulty heater in 2008 still owed $13.5 million to relatives
of the victims. The SF Housing Authority finished paying off the
judgment in 2009.
(SFEC,12/14/97, p.A1)(SFC,12/16/97, p.A17)(SFC,
4/24/08, p.B3)(SFC, 4/10/09, p.B3)
1997 Dec 13, Michigan Wolverine
Charles Woodson was named winner of the Heisman Trophy, the first
primarily defensive player so honored.
1997 Dec 13, In Northern
Ireland gangs of Catholic youths attacked police during a protest
march by rival Protestants in the annual Lundy’s Day demonstration
1997 Dec 13, In Spain tens of
thousands marched in San Sebastian to protest the murder of Jose
1997 Dec 13-1997 Dec 14, In
South Korea panic buying hit the supermarkets as people rushed to
hoard staples prior to price increases.
1998 Dec 13, With a grave
impeachment threat looming, President Clinton told a news conference
in Jerusalem he would not resign, and insisted he did not commit
1998 Dec 13, Kabul,
Afghanistan, was hit by a barrage of rockets that killed 17 and
wounded 80 people. The launch site appeared to come from an area
controlled by an ousted defense chief.
(WSJ, 12/14/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 13, Angola was
reported to be withdrawing tanks and troops from Congo’s civil war.
(WSJ, 12/14/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 13, In Burkina Faso
Norbet Zongo, a prominent journalist and presidential critic, was
found dead in the wreckage of his burned car along with 2 cousins
and a chauffeur in Ouagadougou. His death prompted thousands to take
to the streets accusing Pres. Blaise Compaore’s government of
involvement. Zongo was killed with his brother and 2 others. Zongo
had inquired into the arrest and death of a driver, David Ouedraogo,
to Francois Compaore, the brother of the president and "head of
mission to the presidency." Ouedraogo was accused of stealing
$50,000. [see Jan 1998]
(SFC, 12/15/98, p.C3)(SFC, 2/19/00, p.A10)
1998 Dec 13, In Colombia an
anti-guerrilla raid at Santo Domingo village in Arauca state killed
a number of civilians. Most of the dead were victims of rockets and
strafing by military aircraft. The US oil-company air attack was
coordinated by 3 American civilian airmen. Later reports said the
rockets and warplanes were bought with US anti-drug aid. In 2002 a
government report faulted a Colombian helicopter pilot and crewman
for dropping a bomb that killed 17 civilians in Santo Domingo.
Charges of involuntary manslaughter were levied in 2003. In 2009 a
judge found two Colombian air force pilots guilty of murder and
sentenced them to 31 years in prison each for the cluster-bombing of
Santo Domingo that killed 17 people, including 6 children.
(SFC, 12/15/98, p.C4)(WSJ, 12/15/98, p.A1)(SFC,
12/22/98, p.C4)(SFC, 6/15/01, p.A1)(AP, 10/25/02)(AP, 12/21/03)(AP,
1998 Dec 13, Indonesia
announced a plan to recruit some 40,000 young people to help
suppress social and religious unrest.
(SFC, 12/14/98, p.C2)
1998 Dec 13, Puerto Rico voters
rejected statehood by a vote of 50.2% to 46.5%. The winning option
was none of the above, but interpreted as a decision to remain as
commonwealth, a US territory with local autonomy.
(SFC, 12/14/98, p.A4)(AP, 12/13/99)
1998 Dec 13, In Sierra Leone as
many as 200 died in weekend battles 35 miles from the capital. The
Nigerian-led military said that a large force of rebels had been cut
off and annihilated.
(WSJ, 12/15/98, p.A1)
1999 Dec 13, In a spirited
presidential campaign debate, Texas Governor George W. Bush and
Senator John McCain fought over tax policy and farm subsidies, while
McCain was pushed to defend his centerpiece campaign finance
1999 Dec 13, In Louisiana 8
Cuban nationals at the St. Matin Parish jail in St. Martinville took
as hostage Warden Todd Louvierre, 2 deputies, and 5 inmates. They
demanded either freedom or deportation. 2 Cubans surrendered on Dec
17 and freed 3 female hostages. An agreement was reached Dec 18 for
the Cubans to return to Cuba.
(SFC, 12/15/99, p.A3)(SFC, 12/18/99, p.A3)(SFEC,
1999 Dec 13, Mayfield Fund and
@Ventures, the affiliated venture capital arm of CMGI, announced
that they have completed the initial $7.50 million round of venture
capital funding for a photography Internet startup. Snapfish.com,
formerly code-named 'Project SkyTalk,' will offer a revolutionary
new business model in the photography market. In 2005 the company
was acquired by Hewlett-Packard.
1999 Dec 13, In Algeria
militants attacked and killed 11 nomads in the desert town of
Taghit, 620 miles southwest of Algiers.
(SFC, 12/15/99, p.B3)
1999 Dec 13, In Colombia
leftist rebels attacked a naval base at Jurado near Panama and 23
marines were killed and dozens wounded.
(SFC, 12/14/99, p.B2)
1999 Dec 13, In his first major
test on the road to peace with Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud
Barak won parliamentary backing for opening negotiations with
1999 Dec 13, Israeli troops
killed 2 men in Beit Awa in the West Bank and captured 3 others
during a search for Hamas activists.
(SFC, 12/14/99, p.B2)
1999 Dec 13, Ireland and
Northern Ireland began cross-border cooperation with a meeting in
Armagh. Twice yearly summits called the North-South Ministerial
Summit represented the first political link since partition in 1920.
(SFC, 12/14/99, p.A12)
2000 Dec 13, Pres. Clinton
spoke in Northern Ireland and urged compromise to push forward the
peace process. Disputes over police reform, British military
installations and IRA weapons stayed unresolved. Clinton ended his
last presidential visit to Northern Ireland after meeting for nearly
three hours with members of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
(SFC, 12/14/00, p.C4)(AP, 12/13/01)
2000 Dec 13, Pres. Clinton
declared Wyoming a disaster area following a month of storms.
(WSJ, 12/14/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 13, Republican George
W. Bush claimed the presidency five weeks after Election Day and a
day after the U.S. Supreme Court shut down further recounts of
disputed ballots in Florida. Democrat Al Gore conceded, delivering a
call for national unity.
(SFC, 12/14/00, p.A1)(AP, 12/13/01)
2000 Dec 13, A federal judge
upheld the Univ. of Michigan’s affirmative action program citing
diversity as a critical component of higher education.
(SFC, 12/14/00, p.A5)
2000 Dec 13, The US energy
secretary exercised emergency authority and ordered 12 generating
companies to sell power to California.
(SFC, 12/14/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 13, Seven inmates made
a daring escape from the maximum security the Connally Unit state
prison in Kenedy, Texas. Police in Colorado caught 4 escaped
convicts on Jan 22, 2001. A 5th committed suicide. The 2 at large
were caught Jan 23. The surviving six were sentenced to death for
killing a Dallas-area police officer during a robbery.
(SFC, 12/15/00, p.A11)(SFC, 1/23/01, p.A3)(SFC,
1/24/01, p.A2)(AP, 12/13/05)
2000 Dec 13, It was reported
that scientists had decoded the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana, a
common spindly weed, making it the 1st plant to have its genetic
material fully described.
(SFC, 12/14/00, p.A11)
2000 Dec 13, In Ecuador an oil
pipeline bombing killed 8 bus passengers near the Colombian border.
(WSJ, 12/14/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 13, Fighting in Gaza
left 4 Palestinian policemen dead. A Fatah activist was killed in
the West Bank.
(WSJ, 12/14/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 13, Russia’s Pres.
Putin traveled to Cuba for business and rest. There was a $20
billion debt owed by Cuba to the former Soviet Union.
(SFC, 12/14/00, p.C8)(SSFC, 12/17/00, p.D2)
2000 Dec 13, Russia’s
prosecutor’s office announced the close of a corruption
investigation of former Pres. Yeltsin, his daughters, and a top
Kremlin official with no charges.
(SFC, 12/14/00, p.C8)
2000 Dec 13, A Sri Lankan
national murdered his girlfriend, Kavitha Kandiahr (23), in Basel,
Switzerland. He was arrested on Aug 26, 2014, in New Zealand under a
Swiss warrant and granted interim name suppression by a New Zealand
court pending an appearance next week.
2000 Dec 13, In Zimbabwe a
white farmer was killed amid the land-expropriation drive.
(WSJ, 12/14/00, p.A1)
2001 Dec 13, Pres. Bush gave
Russia a formal 6-month advance notice of his decision to withdraw
from the 1972 ABM treaty in order to advance his missile-shield
plans. China and Russia offered muted criticism.
(WSJ, 12/13/01, p.A1)(SFC, 12/14/01, p.A3)
2001 Dec 13, US Congress
approved a $343.3 billion defense bill.
(SFC, 12/14/01, p.A5)
2001 Dec 13, The US Defense
Dept. released a videotape of Osama bin Laden talking about the Sep
11 attacks. The tape clearly indicated his advance knowledge of the
suicide attacks. The tape was found weeks ago in Jalalabad.
(SFC, 12/13/01, p.A7)(SFC, 12/14/01, p.A1)(WSJ,
2001 Dec 13, The US military
sent in special operations forces into the Tora Bora area to look
for al Qaeda leaders.
(SFC, 12/14/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 13, Argentine workers
staged a strike, the 8th one against the 2-year-old administration
of Pres. de la Rua. Unemployment was reported to have risen to 18.3%
in October from 16.4% in May.
(WSJ, 12/14/01, p.A11)
2001 Dec 13, In Belgium some
80,000 antiglobalization protesters rallied in Brussels
against an EU summit set to start the next day.
(WSJ, 12/14/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 13, The Beijing First
Intermediate Court sentenced 6 people to prison for 3 to 12 years
for downloading material from the Internet on the banned Falun Gong
spiritual movement and passing it along.
(SFC, 12/24/01, p.A4)
2001 Dec 13, In India 5 gunmen
and a suicide bomber tried to enter a gate at the parliament
building in New Delhi. 6 policemen and the attackers were killed and
18 wounded. The Kashmiri Lashkar-e-Tayyaba separatist group was held
responsible. The attack left 14 people dead. In 2006 Afzal Guru, a
Kashmiri, was sentenced to death for his involvement in the
(SFC, 12/14/01, p.A3)(WSJ, 12/14/01, p.A1)(SFC,
12/15/01, p.A3)(SSFC, 12/16/01, p.A14)(Econ, 10/7/06, p.47)
2001 Dec 13, The Israeli
government broke off contact with Yasser Arafat and began hitting
targets in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Israeli forces destroyed
Palestinian TV and radio transmission facilities and divided the
Gaza Strip into 3 parts. In Ramallah Israeli soldiers seized the
home and family of a Palestinian militia commander.
(SFC, 12/13/01, p.A1)(SFC, 12/14/01, p.A1)
2002 Dec 13, President Bush
announced he would take the smallpox vaccine along with U.S.
military forces, but was not recommending the potentially risky
inoculation for most Americans.
2002 Dec 13, Henry Kissinger
resigned as head of the new commission to investigate the Sep 11
(SFC, 12/14/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 13, Pope John Paul II
accepted the resignation, due to sex abuse, of Boston's Cardinal
Bernard Law (71).
(SFC, 12/14/02, p.A1)(AP, 12/13/07)
2002 Dec 13, Monsignor Ignatius
Wang (68) of SF was named as an auxiliary bishop for the SF
Archdiocese, the 1st US bishop of Asian ancestry.
(SFC, 12/14/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 13, In Colombia 2
bombs exploded in Bogota, one targeting a senator in his office and
another hitting a luxury residential hotel where lawmakers stay. At
least 16 people were wounded in the bombings.
2002 Dec 13, The EU reached
agreement to accept 10 new countries in 2004. These included Czech
Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,
Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
(SFC, 12/14/02, p.A3)
2002 Dec 13, Japan's ruling
coalition agreed to tax reforms to revive the economy.
(FT, 12/14/02, p.3)
2002 Dec 13, In northwest
Liberia an overcrowded boat capsized, killing at least 48 people and
leaving more than 100 others missing.
2002 Dec 13, Hamas marked its
15th anniversary with a rally that drew some 30,000 supporters in
(SFC, 12/14/02, p.A6)
2002 Dec 13, The U.N. Security
Council condemned "acts of terror" against Israel in Kenya and
deplored the claims of responsibility by the al-Qaida terror
2003 Dec 13, Oklahoma
quarterback Jason White won the Heisman Trophy.
2003 Dec 13, William Roth Jr.
(82), former Delaware Senator, died. He was 1st elected to Congress
in 1966 and served 5 terms as a senator. He helped created the
popular Roth retirement account and the Kemp-Roth tax cuts. His
wrote the book "The Power to Destroy" (1999), a look at the IRS.
(SFC, 12/15/03, p.A2)(WSJ, 12/15/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 13, Oscar Schachter
(88), pioneer of int'l. law, died in NYC. He helped establish the
legal framework of the United Nations.
(SSFC, 12/28/03, p.A29)
2003 Dec 13, In Canada Paul
Martin, in one of his first acts as prime minister, cancelled the
scandal-plagued federal advertising sponsorship program. It had
begun in 1996 under PM Chretien to promote federalism in Quebec, but
turned into a slush fund for the Liberal Party.
(AP, 12/13/03)(Econ, 11/5/05, p.42)
2003 Dec 13, More than 250 US
agribusiness representatives traveled to Cuba for sales talks,
marking the 2nd anniversary of the first US commercial food
shipments to the island.
2003 Dec 13, EU efforts to seal
its first-ever constitution collapsed, after leaders in Brussels
could not agree on the best way to divvy power once the bloc adds 10
new members next year.
2003 Dec 13, Tens of thousands
of students took to the streets of three German cities, protesting
government plans to slash funding for universities.
2003 Dec 13, Indonesian troops
gun downed at least three suspected rebels, including the first
female insurgent killed in the current offensive, and captured eight
others during clashes in the war-torn province of Aceh.
2003 Dec 13, American forces
captured a bearded and haggard-looking Saddam Hussein in an
underground hide-out on a farm in Adwar near his hometown of Tikrit.
2 other Iraqis were arrested. Small arms and $750,000 in bills were
also seized. The 55 most-wanted Iraqis and their status, according
to U.S. Central Command: 39 were in custody, 13 remained at large, 2
were confirmed killed and one was reported killed.
(AP, 12/14/03)(SFC, 12/15/03, p.A13)
2003 Dec 13, Israeli troops
fired on a taxi that drove through a West Bank checkpoint, killing a
2003 Dec 13, Chinese Premier
Web Jiabao sought to assure Mexican leaders that their country's
economy is not threatened by China's lower wages and cheaper goods,
saying the two nations are partners, not rivals.
2003 Dec 13, Pres. Alejandro
Toledo demanded the resignation of Peru's first-ever female PM and
her 15-minister Cabinet in the wake of rumors about her personal
life. A political rival was spreading rumors that she is a lesbian.
2003 Dec 13, Philippine Foreign
Secretary Blas Ople (76), a key ally of President Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo in her support for Washington's war on terror, died of a
2004 Dec 13, A jury in Redwood
City, Ca., recommended the death penalty for Scott Peterson for
murdering his wife Laci and their unborn son. Sentencing was set for
(AP, 12/14/04)(SFC, 12/14/04, p.A1)
2004 Dec 13, Google announced
plans to digitally scan the book collections of 5 major libraries,
including the Univ. Michigan, Stanford, Harvard, NY Public Library
and Oxford, which agreed to books published before 1900.
(SFC, 12/14/04, p.A1)
2004 Dec 13, Oracle Corp.
raised its takeover bid for bitter rival PeopleSoft Inc. by 10
percent and sealed a $10.3 billion deal that will create the world's
second largest maker of business applications software.
(AP, 12/13/04)(SFC, 12/14/04, p.A1)
2004 Dec 13, NASA Administrator
Sean O'Keefe resigned.
2004 Dec 13, It was reported
that the math skills of US students were declining that some
educators were importing texts from Singapore, where students
routinely scored high.
(WSJ, 12/13/04, p.A1)
2004 Dec 13, Afghan
intelligence agents arrested two senior Taliban military commanders,
including a former security chief of the hardline regime's leader
2004 Dec 13, A Chilean judge
indicted former dictator General Augusto Pinochet on charges of
kidnapping nine political dissidents and killing one of them during
his 17-year military regime.
2004 Dec 13, The Chinese
government said China and Russia will hold their first joint
military exercise next year.
2004 Dec 13, China said it will
impose duties on its exports of textiles and apparel in an effort to
alleviate the impact of eased restrictions effective Jan 1.
(SFC, 12/14/04, p.D3)
2004 Dec 13, In Baghdad a
suicide car bomber killed 13 people and injured at least 15 near the
Harthiyah entrance on the western edge of the Green zone. Clashes
resumed in Fallujah.
(AP, 12/13/04)(AP, 12/14/04)
2004 Dec 13, In Nigeria the
first face-to-face working meeting between Sudan government and
Darfur rebel negotiators began. Cease-fire violations were on the
rise in Sudan's bloodied Darfur region and the fighting was
"poisoning" peace talks.
2004 Dec 13, The UN restricted
its humanitarian operations in Sudan's troubled South Darfur area
following a shooting that killed two aid workers. Rebels said they
would boycott peace talks until the government stops a Darfur
(AP, 12/14/04)(WSJ, 12/14/04, p.A1)
2004 Dec 13, In Uganda a boat
carrying dozens of traders across Lake Albert capsized, killing at
least 22 people.
2004 Dec 13, In Venezuela
President Hugo Chavez's allies in Congress appointed 17 new justices
to the supreme court.
2004 Dec 13, Rodrigo Granda,
the principle international spokesperson for the most powerful
revolutionary guerrilla group in Latin America, the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was kidnapped in broad daylight
(4pm) in the center of Caracas.
2005 Dec 13, American Red Cross
President Marsha Evans announced her resignation.
2005 Dec 13, A US Navy
helicopter with 3 crew members crashed somewhere off the coast of
2005 Dec 13, It was reported
that scientists had injected human stem cells into the brains of
2-week-old mouse embryos and that the cells had taken on the traits
of their neighbors.
(SFC, 12/13/05, p.A1)
2005 Dec 13, Stanley Tookie
Williams maintained his innocence right up until his death, even
when an admission of guilt may have spared him execution.
California's execution of Stanley Tookie Williams outraged many in
Europe who regard the practice as barbaric, and politicians in Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's native Austria called for his name to be
removed from a sports stadium in his hometown.
2005 Dec 13, General Motors
Corp. said it plans to nearly triple the number of cars it produces
in India to meet growing demand.
2005 Dec 13, In Bangladesh
security forces arrested the suspected military commander and the
alleged accountant of a banned Islamic group blamed for a wave of
2005 Dec 13, Brazil’s finance
ministry said it would make a full repayment of its $15.5 billion
IMF debt over the next 2 years.
(Econ, 12/24/05, p.49)
2005 Dec 13, Virgin Galactic,
the British company created by entrepreneur Richard Branson to send
tourists into space, and New Mexico announced an agreement for the
state to build a $225 million spaceport.
2005 Dec 13, In Australia a
jury convicted Bradley John Murdoch (47), a mechanic, in the July
14, 2001, Outback death of British backpacker Peter Falconio (28).
He also was convicted of assaulting and abducting Falconio's
girlfriend, Joanne Lees. Murdoch was given a mandatory life sentence
by Northern Territory Supreme Court Justice Brian Martin.
2005 Dec 13, Britain's Vodafone
Group PLC offered the highest bid, $4.55 billion, in an auction to
buy Telsim, Turkey's 2nd-largest cell-phone company, from the
2005 Dec 13, DB Real Estate, a
subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, closed grundbesitz-invest, a €6.2
billion property fund, for a revaluation. It was the 1st closure in
the 40-year history of the open-ended property funds.
(Econ, 1/21/06, p.73)
2005 Dec 13, A 6-day
ministerial meeting of the WTO opened in Hong Kong.
(Econ, 12/24/05, p.97)
2005 Dec 13, Senior Health
Ministry officials said Indonesia confirmed its ninth human death
from bird flu, taking the global death toll from the disease to 71,
all in Asia.
2005 Dec 13, Iraqis living
abroad began voting in the country's parliamentary elections. Gunmen
killed a Sunni Arab candidate for parliament and militants tried to
blow up a leading Shiite politician in separate attacks, the last
day of campaigning for Iraq's election.
(AP, 12/13/05)(AP, 12/13/06)
2005 Dec 13, The authorities in
Kazakhstan, angered by a British comedian's satirical portrayal of a
boorish, sexist and racist Kazakh television reporter, confirmed
that they have pulled the plug on his alter ego's Web site. Sacha
Baron Cohen plays Borat in his "Da Ali G Show" and last month he
used the character's Web site www.borat.kz to respond sarcastically
to legal threats from the Central Asian state's Foreign Ministry.
2005 Dec 13, Masked Palestinian
security forces have arrested dozens of Islamic Jihad activists in a
series of overnight raids across the West Bank in recent days.
However, the raids netted only low-level operatives, and some
suspect the goal is to appease the United States and Israel rather
than crush the militant group.
2005 Dec 13, A UN tribunal
convicted former Lt. Col. Aloys Simba, a retired Rwandan army
officer, of genocide and sentenced him to 25 years in prison for
participating in the slaughter of ethnic minority Tutsi.
2006 Dec 13, President Bush
held high-level talks at the Pentagon, after which he said he would
"not be rushed" into a decision on a strategy change for Iraq.
2006 Dec 13, Jeffrey Skilling
reported to a low-security prison in Minnesota to begin serving a
24-year sentence for his crimes as a top executive at Enron Corp.
(SFC, 12/14/06, p.A11)
2006 Dec 13, Angel Nieves Diaz
(55) was executed by lethal injection in Florida for the 1979 murder
of the manager of a Miami topless bar. Diaz required a 2nd dose and
took 34 minutes to die due to liver disease. The case roused death
(SFC, 12/15/06, p.A4)
2006 Dec 13, Idaho officials
tested tissue samples to find out why more than 1,000 mallard ducks
have died along Land Springs Creek near Oakley, about 180 miles
southeast of Boise.
2006 Dec 13, Richard Carlson
(45), a SF Bay Area psychotherapist and author, died on a flight
from SF to NY. His books included “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff" and
30 other motivational books.
(SFC, 12/16/06, p.B1)
2006 Dec 13, Lamar Hunt (74),
the owner of football's Kansas City Chiefs who coined the term
"Super Bowl," died in Dallas.
2006 Dec 13, Peter McColough
(b.1922), former CEO of Xerox (1968-1982), died. He funded the
fabled Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1969.
(WSJ, 12/23/06, p.A6)
2006 Dec 13, NATO said there
were some Taliban casualties in southern Afghanistan when NATO
troops launched a "precision air strike against a known Taliban
command post" in an isolated area of the Panjwayi district of
2006 Dec 13, A fictional TV
program in Belgium incited viewers as it depicted a faux active
revolt in Flanders.
(SFC, 12/15/06, p.A23)
2006 Dec 13, Botswana's High
Court ruled that the country's Bushmen were entitled to live and
hunt on their ancestral lands in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve,
in judgment hailed as victory for the hunters.
2006 Dec 13, An international
expedition declared that a rare, nearly blind white dolphin that
survived for millions of years, is effectively extinct after ending
a fruitless six-week search of its Yangtze River habitat.
2006 Dec 13, The parliament of
Gambia, one of the world's poorest countries, passed a law to give
former presidents free foreign holidays, cars and personal staff for
life after they leave office. 60% of Gambia’s people live on less
than $1 (50 pence) a day.
2006 Dec 13, In Haiti gunmen
abducted 10 children after hijacking a school bus and another car in
brazen daylight assaults. 7 of the children were released the next
(AP, 12/14/06)(AP, 12/15/06)
2006 Dec 13, Indian PM Manmohan
Singh started a visit to Japan to seek support from the major
civilian atomic power for the controversial US-India nuclear
2006 Dec 13, A car bomb
exploded near a crowded bus stop in eastern Baghdad during morning
rush hour, killing 11 people and wounding 27. In northern Iraq 2
suicide car bombers attacked an Iraqi army base, killing four
soldiers and wounding 10. A car bomb killed two policemen who were
trying to defuse it in Sadr City.
(AP, 12/13/06)(AP, 12/14/06)
2006 Dec 13, Israel's Supreme
Court ruled that some Palestinians injured by the Israeli military
may sue the state for compensation, a decision hailed as
groundbreaking by an Arab civil rights group but condemned by
right-wing Israeli lawmakers as damaging to the country's security.
2006 Dec 13, Jordanian and
Iraqi interior ministers and their security officials met to
coordinate plans and share intelligence on terrorist groups such as
al-Qaida, which has staged devastating attacks in both states.
2006 Dec 13, In Laos more than
400 members of the Hmong hill tribe minority, on the run for decades
from the communist government, surrendered to the authorities there.
2006 Dec 13, Malaysia's unique
revolving monarchy was passed to Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin (44),
the youthful sultan of oil-rich Terengganu state. Mizan was a keen
rider who has represented his country at international equestrian
2006 Dec 13, A group of about
300 Mazahua Indians briefly seized a water treatment plant on Mexico
City's western outskirts and temporarily cut off one of the main
sources of water for the metropolis of 18 million people. The
protest was motivated by demands for more government development
aid. The government teamed up with doctors, academics and a US-based
drug company to announce a campaign to reduce the number of smokers
in Mexico by more than 10 percent in three years.
2006 Dec 13, Palestinian gunmen
forced a Hamas commander to his knees and shot him to death outside
the courthouse where he worked as an Islamic judge, escalating
factional tensions in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyeh
cut short his trip to Sudan.
2006 Dec 13, In Peru a
passenger bus slammed into an oncoming truck on mountain curve and
plunged into a river in Amazonas state, killing at least 21 people
and injuring 30.
2006 Dec 13, Security forces
shot dead at least six Tamil Tiger rebels during a confrontation in
Sri Lanka's restive eastern province.
2006 Dec 13, Syria said it has
admitted more than 800,000 Iraqis who have fled the violence in
2006 Dec 13, Two
Laotian-American men were shot to death at a bus station in
northeastern Thailand after returning from a trip to Laos. Thai
police said they suspect a political connection to the killings.
2006 Dec 13, A UN court trying
leaders of Rwanda's 1994 genocide jailed a former Catholic priest
for 15 years for ordering bulldozers to level a church, sparking the
death of 2,000 people hiding inside.
2007 Dec 13, Nobel laureate Al
Gore accused the United States of blocking progress at the UN
climate conference, and European nations threatened to boycott
US-led climate talks next month unless Washington compromises on
2007 Dec 13, US Sen. George
Mitchell presented his report on steroid use among professional
baseball players. The 409-page report identified 85 names to
differing degrees in connection with the alleged use of
performance-enhancing drugs and recommended tough new measures for
testing and investigations.
(SFC, 12/14/07, p.A1)(AP, 12/13/08)
2007 Dec 13, Democratic
presidential hopefuls meeting in Johnston, Iowa, called for higher
taxes on the highest-paid Americans and on big corporations in an
unusually cordial debate.
2007 Dec 13, New Jersey
lawmakers approved a measure to abolish the death penalty. Gov. Jon
Corzine said he would sign it within a week.
(SFC, 12/14/07, p.A3)
2007 Dec 13, Shareholders of
Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, approved
a takeover by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
2007 Dec 13, In SF Dr. David
Kessler, onetime commissioner of the FDA, was fired as dean of the
UCSF School of Medicine by Chancellor Michael Bishop. Kessler said
he had been labeled as a “whistle blower" after he attempted to
uncover financial irregularities that predated his 2003 appointment.
(SFC, 12/15/07, p.A1)
2007 Dec 13, In Louisiana 2
graduate students from India were found tied up and shot in the head
on the edge of Louisiana State Univ.
(SFC, 12/15/07, p.A4)
2007 Dec 13, In southern
Afghanistan a civilian car hit a freshly planted land mine, killing
six people and wounding six others. Taliban militants beheaded a
woman they accused of spying and her grandson.
2007 Dec 13, Argentina's new
president reacted furiously to accusations by US prosecutors that an
intercepted suitcase full of cash from Venezuela was meant to
finance her election campaign, calling the charge "garbage in
2007 Dec 13, Brazil's Senate
refused to renew a financial transaction tax that fills the
government's coffers, handing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva a
political defeat that could threaten his social programs for the
2007 Dec 13, Former Canadian PM
Brian Mulroney apologized publicly for accepting hundreds of
thousands of dollars in cash from a German arms dealer, but he
bluntly rejected suggestions he had taken kickbacks.
2007 Dec 13, EU leaders signed
the Treaty of Lisbon to reform the bloc's institutions and give it
stronger leadership, marking the end of a difficult process that has
lasted nearly a decade.
2007 Dec 13, In northeast
India a bomb tore through a moving train, killing five passengers
and wounding four others in Assam state. The Adivasi National
Liberation Army, a little-known militant group, said it was
responsible for the attack. In southern India two men attacked a
self-proclaimed holy man (80) and chopped off his right leg,
apparently believing it had magical powers.
2007 Dec 13, In Mosul gunmen
stormed a house and killed the woman who owns it, apparently because
she had turned a room in the home into a beauty salon. A car bomb
went off about 100 yards away from the Italian Embassy in the
northern Baghdad neighborhood of Waziriyah. 3 policemen and 4
civilians were wounded. An American soldier was shot to death in an
attack in southern Baghdad and another was shot and killed in
northern Ninevah province.
(AP, 12/13/07)(AP, 12/14/07)(AP, 12/15/07)
2007 Dec 13, Ireland's
government announced it will organize new nonreligious primary
schools in the capital, a move that reflects growing immigration and
declining church power in this traditionally Roman Catholic nation.
2007 Dec 13, Israeli high
school teachers ended a two-month strike after receiving a pay raise
and government promises to redress some of the problems in the
Israeli school system, including class size.
2007 Dec 13, Japan said that
Russia seized four Japanese fishing boats in disputed waters between
the two countries, calling the detention unacceptable and demanding
an explanation from Moscow.
2007 Dec 13, Malaysia said it
has arrested five leaders of ethnic Indian rights group Hindraf
under controversial security laws that allow for detention without
2007 Dec 13, In south-west
Nigeria at least 17 people burned to death when four vehicles burst
into flames in a crash.
2007 Dec 13, North Korea
verbally responded through a diplomatic channel to a letter Bush
sent to Kim earlier this month. A senior US official with knowledge
of the contents said it was delivered through a diplomatic channel
in New York and contained what appeared to be a pledge from
Pyongyang to follow through on its denuclearization deal as long as
the United States held to its end of the bargain.
2007 Dec 13, In southwest
Pakistan twin suicide bombers blew themselves up close to a military
checkpoint in Quetta, killing five soldiers and wounding 22 people.
2007 Dec 13, In the Philippines
leaders of 2 separatist groups met with Seif al-Islam Khadafy, son
of Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy, and said they should be able to
resolve differences that dated back to 1976 when the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front broke from the Moro National Liberation Front.
(SFC, 12/15/07, p.A9)
2007 Dec 13, Opposition leader
Garry Kasparov said the Kremlin has stopped him from running for
president by preventing his supporters from meeting to nominate him.
2007 Dec 13, Russia and Iran
reached agreement on a schedule for finishing construction of a
nuclear power plant that plays a central role in the international
tensions over Iran's atomic program, Russian news agencies reported.
2007 Dec 13, Marie-Therese
Kampire, who taught politics at Rwanda's National University, was
found guilty by a traditional "gacaca" court. The former university
teacher was given a 19-year prison sentence for her role in the
murder of a colleague's wife during the Rwanda genocide.
2007 Dec 13, In Somalia mortar
rounds slammed into the biggest market in Mogadishu and gunbattles
erupted across the city, killing 17 people hours after a government
official said radical Muslims had regrouped and were poised to
launch a massive attack.
2007 Dec 13, An official said
Thai tax authorities have seized assets worth about $34.2 million
from family members of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra.
2008 Dec 13, In New Hampshire
370,000 customers still had no electricity following a huge ice
storm. Utility crews worked through a night of hand-numbing cold in
the Northeast but they still had a long way to go before restoring
power to all of the more than 1 million homes and businesses blacked
out by the storm. Most of the outages were in New Hampshire,
Massachusetts, Maine and New York.
2008 Dec 13, A woman (28) in
Richmond, Ca., was jumped by four men, taunted for being a lesbian,
repeatedly raped and left naked outside an abandoned apartment
building. In early January police arrested 2 men and 2 teens on
suspicion of the gang-rape. On Dec 18, 2013, Humberto Salvador (36),
the ringleader of the gang rape, was convicted of multiple charges
in the case. Robert Ortiz (20) still awaited trial. Darrell Hodges
(20) was already sentenced to 24 years. Josue Gonzalez, who
testified against Salvador, was awaiting sentencing for carjacking
(AP, 12/23/08)(AP, 1/2/09)(SFC, 12/19/13, p.C3)
2008 Dec 13, Alex Bellini, an
Italian adventurer, was rescued a mere 65 nautical miles short
of his goal, Australia, after rough weather sapped him of his final
shreds of energy. He had spent 10 months rowing more than 9,500
nautical miles (18,000 kilometers) across the Pacific.
2008 Dec 13, Britain’s PM
Gordon Brown paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan, where he spoke to
troops battling the Taliban and held talks with President Hamid
Karzai. 3 Canadian soldiers were killed and one wounded in southern
Afghanistan when an explosive device detonated near the armored car
in which they were riding.
(AFP, 12/13/08)(Reuters, 12/14/08)
2008 Dec 13, Cuban President
Raul Castro arrived in Venezuela on his first international visit as
2008 Dec 13, The Indian navy
captured 23 pirates who threatened a merchant vessel in the lawless
waters of the Gulf of Aden, where dozens of ships have come under
attack by gunmen in recent months. The pirates were from Somalia and
Yemen. A German helicopter thwarted another attack on a freighter
being chased by speed boats off Yemen.
(AP, 12/13/08)(SSFC, 12/14/08, p.A20)
2008 Dec 13, Voters cast their
ballots in the fifth phase of state elections in Indian Kashmir as
scattered clashes between protesters and government forces left one
2008 Dec 13, Japan, China and
South Korea moved to ward off the effects of the global financial
crunch at a trilateral summit in Japan, while Tokyo and Seoul
criticized North Korea for stalling denuclearization talks.
2008 Dec 13, In southern
Nigeria 5 aides of the governor Edo state were killed when their car
collided head-on with an oncoming vehicle on a road.
2008 Dec 13, North Korea warned
that it will slow down work on ending its nuclear drive after
six-party talks collapsed, but South Korea predicted a fresh start
for diplomacy under US president-elect Barack Obama.
2008 Dec 13, In northwest
Pakistan militants attacked a terminal used by vehicles ferrying
supplies to US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Elsewhere in the
northwest clashes involving security forces, tribesmen and
insurgents killed 8 people, including two children. Authorities
found the bodies of 2 Afghan men in Miran Shah. A letter found
nearby alleged the men gave information that aided the US in
launching missile strikes in the militant-plagued region.
2008 Dec 13, In Russia former
chess champion Garry Kasparov and other prominent liberals launched
a new anti-Kremlin movement.
2008 Dec 13, Russian troops
retook Perevi village near the breakaway region of South Ossetia
just hours after withdrawing. The move drew criticism from Georgia,
the EU and US Senator John Kerry, who was on a half-day visit to
2008 Dec 13, In South Africa
scores of international beauties took to the stage as the Miss World
pageant started. Russian blonde Kseniya Sukhinova was crowned the
58th Miss World after a two-hour spectacle that combined elements of
travelogue and reality show, and the kind of flag-waving usually
seen at sports events.
2008 Dec 13, In northern Spain
about 100 demonstrators, formerly jailed as members of the violent
Basque group ETA, protested and called on the government to begin
talks to end the region's long-running separatist conflict.
2008 Dec 13, Sri Lankan air
force jets bombed Tamil separatists in the island's embattled north.
2008 Dec 13, Sudanese officials
said thousands have fled the volatile oil town of Abyei after fresh
north-south fighting has reignited tensions over the contested area.
2008 Dec 13, The Zimbabwean
government accused the West of deliberately starting the country's
cholera epidemic, stepping up a war of words with the regime's
critics as the humanitarian crisis deepened. Air Marshal Perrance
Shiri, head of Zimbabwe's air force, was wounded in the hand in an
alleged assassination attempt by gunmen who ambushed his car.
(AP, 12/13/08)(AP, 12/16/08)
2009 Dec 13, Pres. Obama said:
“I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat-cat
bankers on Wall Street."
(Econ, 12/19/09, p.126)
2009 Dec 13, The US Senate
cleared a $447 billion omnibus spending bill for Pres. Obama’s
signature. It contained thousands of earmarks and double digit
increases for several Cabinet agencies.
(SFC, 12/14/09, p.A11)
2009 Dec 13, Paul Samuelson
(b.1915), American economist and 1970 winner of the Nobel Memorial
Prize in Economic Sciences, died at his home in Belmont, Mass.
(SFC, 12/14/09, p.D1)
2009 Dec 13, In Burkina Faso
diplomats from the US, the African Union and the EU, met to discuss
a plan to return Guinea to civilian rule. West Africa's regional
economic body called for troops to be sent to Guinea to prevent
violence in the wake of an assassination attempt against the
military leader earlier this month and a bloody massacre in
2009 Dec 13, Chile held
elections. Sebastian Pinera, a billionaire who grew rich providing
credit cards to Chileans, strongly led in the polls. With 98% of the
vote counted Pinera won 44% of the vote, to 30% for former President
Eduardo Frei (67). A runoff vote was scheduled for Jan 17.
(AP, 12/13/09)(AP, 12/14/09)
2009 Dec 13, In Iran police
surrounded the campus of Tehran University on Sunday, trapping
hundreds of students protesting what they said were fabricated
government images of the burning of a photo of the Islamic
Republic's revered founder.
2009 Dec 13, Iraq's top
security chiefs said that the US military had warned them in advance
about an imminent attack but the tip came too late to act on before
last week's deadly Baghdad bombings against government sites. The
also said that 13 al-Qaida-linked suspects have been detained in
connection with the Dec 8 bombings.
2009 Dec 13, Italy’s Premier
Silvio Berlusconi (73) was hospitalized in Milan with a fractured
nose and two broken teeth from an attack by a mentally disturbed man
who hit him in the face with a statuette. Police arrested attacker
Massimo Tartaglia (42), a 42-year-old man with a history of
2009 Dec 13, Pakistani soldiers
battled militants in a tribal region close to the Afghan border,
killing seven insurgents but losing two of their own in skirmishes
in an area where al-Qaida and the Taliban have long sought
2009 Dec 13, In the southern
Philippines tribal gunmen freed 47 hostages, but the region
continued to be wracked by violence. Suspected Islamic radicals
overnight staged a deadly jail break in which 31 inmates were freed,
including comrades accused of beheading marines.
(AP, 12/13/09)(SSFC, 12/13/09, p.A4)
2009 Dec 13, In Serbia a grimy
three-car train pulled out of Belgrade's railway station on the
first direct trip to Sarajevo in nearly 18 years, restoring a link
broken at the start of ethnic warfare in the former Yugoslavia.
2009 Dec 13, In Spain people in
Catalonia voted in symbolic referendums that organizers hoped would
be a step towards eventual independence from Spain for the wealthy
region. About 94% favored independence with turnout of about 25%.
(AP, 12/13/09)(AP, 12/14/09)
2009 Dec 13, Turkish
nationalists and Kurdish activists clashed in Istanbul, leaving at
least one person injured from a gunshot during street battles.
2009 Dec 13, In Yemen air
strike killed at least 35 people in the northwest where rebels have
been fighting a guerrilla war against Yemeni and Saudi forces.
Rebels said 70 civilians were killed as fighter jets struck the town
(SFC, 12/14/09, p.A2)
2010 Dec 13, President Barack
Obama signed into law the $4.5 billion Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act,
part of an administration-wide effort to combat childhood obesity.
Thousands more children would get into school-based meal programs
and those lunches and dinners would become more nutritious.
(AP, 12/13/10)(SFC, 12/14/10, p.A7)
2010 Dec 13, The US government
welcomed a World Trade Organization ruling that upheld President
Barack Obama's controversial decision last year to slap duties on
Chinese-made tires to protect US workers from a market-disrupting
surge in imports.
2010 Dec 13, A US federal judge
in Virginia ruled that Congress could not order individuals to buy
(SFC, 12/14/10, p.A14)
2010 Dec 13, A classified US
document, dated Feb 26, 2010, released by WikiLeaks said Venezuela’s
government sold China oil for as little as $5 a barrel and was upset
that China apparently profited by selling the fuel to other
countries. Another embassy report on Sept. 23, 2009, said Venezuela
has been manipulating its oil price index. Other cables indicated
significant problems at PDVSA.
2010 Dec 13, US immigration
agents discovered a 13-foot drug tunnel stretching from the Mexican
border to a metered parking space in Arizona, where vehicles with
holes cut in the bottom would park and take marijuana from people
inside the underground space.
2010 Dec 13, Sheila Verke, a
64-year-old substitute teacher and single parent from Fort Mohave,
Arizona, claimed a $95.3 million Powerball jackpot.
2010 Dec 13, Richard Holbrooke
(b.1941), a former US ambassador to the UN, died following surgery
for a tear in his aorta. Holbrooke edited the magazine “Foreign
Policy from 1972-1977. He was remembered for engineering the end of
the 1992-1995 Bosnia war, Europe's bloodiest conflict since World
War II, and for seeking to bring stability to war-torn Afghanistan.
In 2011 Derek Chollet and Samantha Power edited “The Unquiet
American: Richard Holbrooke in the World."
(AP, 12/14/10)(SFC, 12/14/10, p.A6)(Econ,
12/18/10, p.166)(Econ, 12/3/11, p.102)
2010 Dec 13, Schools in
Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and other states closed because of snow
and low temperatures. Authorities worked frantically to reach
motorists in snow-covered northwest Indiana who were trapped in
their cars in biting temperatures.
2010 Dec 13, Afghan lawmakers
demanded that President Hamid Karzai inaugurate a new parliament on
December 19 and draw a line under disputed results of a fraud-hit
2010 Dec 13, In Argentina a
yacht returning from Antarctica smashed ashore in a storm near the
city of Ushuaia, killing two Polish brothers, Marek and Pawel
Radwanski, and injuring five other people.
2010 Dec 13, A Chinese vessel
carrying fertilizer and heavy fuel collided with a German cargo ship
off northwestern Denmark. The Hong Kong-flagged Cleantec was listing
and its 24-man crew was ready to be evacuated.
2010 Dec 13, Egyptian officials
said rain and sandstorms that battered the country at the weekend
killed at least 31 people, adding the toll could rise as rescue
workers were still sifting through two collapsed buildings.
2010 Dec 13, The EU said it
will impose sanctions on Ivory Coast unless the incumbent president
recognizes his rival as the winner of last month's election, as
panic spread in Abidjan after shots were briefly fired.
2010 Dec 13, India's parliament
ended its winter session without having passed a single piece of
legislation, after the opposition forced adjournments for 22
business days in a row.
2010 Dec 13, In Iraq four
Shiites were killed and 17 others wounded when a suicide bomber
detonated explosives in Balad Ruz. Insurgents killed a woman and her
daughter when they bombed the house of a member of Sahwa, the
anti-Qaeda militia, in the town of Jurf al-Sakhr.
2010 Dec 13, Israel flew home
150 illegal Sudanese migrants in a secret operation that was the
largest such deportation from the Jewish state.
2010 Dec 13, The Oriental Rose,
Japanese-operated chemical tanker, was strafed by gunfire from an
unidentified vessel off the Somali coast slightly wounding two crew
2010 Dec 13, A UN official said
a campaign to resettle ethnic Nepalese forced out of Bhutan two
decades ago has found homes for 40,000 refugees in Western
countries, although tens of thousands continue to wait.
2010 Dec 13, In Pakistan a
roadside bomb exploded near a school bus in Peshawar, killing the
driver and wounding at least two children. Human Rights Watch (HRW)
said at least 22 Pakistani teachers and other education
professionals were killed by suspected militants between January
2008 and October 2010 in the southwestern province of Baluchistan.
The provincial government in Baluchistan said the situation was
beginning to improve and that fewer teachers were asking to
2010 Dec 13, Mikhail Prokhorov,
the Russian billionaire owner of the New Jersey Nets, introduced a
new line of hybrid cars — called "Yo" — that he hopes to begin
selling in 2012.
2010 Dec 13, A South Korean
fishing boat sank in the Antarctic Ocean's frigid waters, with 22
sailors feared killed in the open sea where vessels trawl for
deep-water fish. 20 survivors were rescued shortly after the 614-ton
vessel went down some 1,400 miles (2,250 km) south of New Zealand. 5
bodies were recovered and 17 men remained missing.
(AP, 12/13/10)(SFC, 12/14/10, p.A2)
2010 Dec 13, St. Vincent and
the Grenadines PM Ralph Gonsalves, who has led the Caribbean nation
into an alliance with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, won a narrow victory
in parliamentary elections to keep his party in power for another
2011 Dec 13, An American
military drone MQ-9 Reaper, which had been used to monitor piracy
off the East African coast, crashed at an airport on the island
nation of Seychelles during a routine patrol.
2011 Dec 13, California’s
Attorney General Kamala Harris announced a new unit devoted to
prosecuting high-tech crimes. Each year over 1 million Californians
were said to be victims of identity theft, with losses of over $46
million in 2010.
(SFC, 12/14/11, p.D1)
2011 Dec 13, Algeria and
Mauritania's leaders vowed to beef up security in the Sahel region,
where Islamist militants, Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM),
were holding a dozen Western hostages.
2011 Dec 13, In Belgium Nordine
Amrani (33), armed with hand grenades and guns, opened fire in the
crowded center of Liege, leaving 4 people dead, including the
attacker. The dead included a 15-year-old boy, a 17-year-old girl,
and an 18-month-old toddler. A 75-year-old woman who had initially
been counted among the dead was taken off the list, even though she
stands virtually no chance of recovering from her injuries. The body
of a cleaning woman in her forties was discovered during a search of
Amrani's property. She was killed just before the murderous spree at
Liege's main square.
(AP, 12/13/11)(AP, 12/14/11)
2011 Dec 13, Chilean doctors
successfully separated conjoined twin girls in a marathon 20-hour
surgery, saying that the operation went extremely well despite
challenges. Doctors at Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital separated Maria
Jose Paredes Navarrete from her twin sister Maria Paz at the thorax,
abdomen and pelvis. Maria Jose died on Dec 18.
(AP, 12/14/11)(AP, 12/18/11)
2011 Dec 13, Police in eastern
DR Congo broke up a banned opposition protest march against
President Joseph Kabila's bitterly disputed re-election. Some 500
opposition supporters had defied a ban on protests imposed by the
mayor of Bukavu.
2011 Dec 13, Egyptian PM Kamal
al-Ganzuri said that 20,103 political prisoners had been released
since February when a popular uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak.
2011 Dec 13, European
Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said that a demand by Britain
for its financial services industry to be exempted from EU
regulation threatened to break up the single market.
2011 Dec 13, In Guinea-Bissau a
transport strike paralyzed much of the country, forcing residents to
trek into work by foot, as taxi drivers stayed off the roads to
protest police extortion.
2011 Dec 13, Iran's official
news agency said the country's judiciary has issued indictments
against 15 American and Zionist spies.
2011 Dec 13, In Iraq pumping
from the southern Rumaila field fell following two explosions to
700,000 barrels per day, down from 1.4 million barrels. Oil exports
were not affected. The pipelines were expected to be repaired in
about a week.
2011 Dec 13, Japanese news
reports said Japan's government has selected the Lockheed Martin
F-35 stealth fighter to bolster its aging air force and is likely to
announce the multibillion-dollar deal by the end of the week.
2011 Dec 13, A convoy of 25
Russian trucks was stopped by US soldiers guarding the Kosovo border
with Serbia, increasing tensions in the volatile region.
Peacekeepers said the convoy's cargo consisting of canned food,
blankets, tents and power generators looked to be intended for those
manning the roadblocks, and not for the general Kosovo Serb
population. EU officials in Kosovo said the Russians can pass if
they allow an international police escort. Three EU police vehicles
escorted the convoy on Dec 16 after taking a roundabout way through
Serbia to bypass roadblocks.
(AP, 12/14/11)(AP, 12/17/11)
2011 Dec 13, In Libya around
500 disgruntled protesters from Benghazi, cradle of the uprising
against Moamer Kadhafi, demonstrated for a second day against the
nation's new rulers despite assurances the former rebel bastion will
be Libya's economic capital.
2011 Dec 13, In Malaysia Sultan
Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah was officially installed on the throne,
making him the first ruler to hold the ceremonial kingship twice
since it started rotating every five years among heads of the
country’s 9 states.
2011 Dec 13, Myanmar
authorities gave Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party the green light
to rejoin mainstream politics, paving the way for the Nobel laureate
to run for a seat in the new parliament.
2011 Dec 13, In Nigeria a
powerful bomb blast targeting soldiers followed by gunfire rocked
the troubled city of Maiduguri, with at least 10 people killed. The
blast occurred ahead of President Goodluck Jonathan's presentation
of his 2012 budget before parliament in Abuja.
2011 Dec 13, In Nigeria a
boat capsized carrying as many as 55 people going from Eagle
Island to Mgbuodohia in Rivers state. At least 30 people died. 14
others were feared dead.
2011 Dec 13, Pakistani police
said they have rescued 53 students, including children as young as
seven, who had been chained in the basement of a madrassa raided by
security forces in the port city of Karachi.
2011 Dec 13, The Palestinian
flag was raised for the first time above a UN agency, the UNESCO
headquarters in Paris, in a diplomatic victory won despite stiff
resistance from the US and Israel.
2011 Dec 13, In the Philippines
police arrested Benjamin Abalos, the former elections chairman, on
charges he aided the vote fraud allegedly ordered by former
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
2011 Dec 13, Saudi Arabia
promised to provide the newly formed government of unrest-hit Yemen
with urgently needed aid, mainly petroleum products.
2011 Dec 13, In southern
Senegal several soldiers were killed in an attack blamed on
separatist rebels in the restive Casamance region.
2011 Dec 13, Sierra Leone
police announced an end to a 3-month ban on political rallies which
was imposed after clashes between supporters of the ruling party and
2011 Dec 13, Slovenia’s state
electoral commission said the center-left Positive Slovenia party
won 28.5% of the Dec 4 ballots, or 28 seats in the 90-member
parliament. That is not enough for Positive Slovenia to form a
government on its own.
2011 Dec 13, Scientists at
CERN, Switzerland, announced the possible discovery of the Higgs
boson, a fundamental particle proposed by British researcher Peter
Higgs in 1964.
(Econ, 12/17/11, p.137)
2011 Dec 13, Syrian security
forces fired on a funeral procession in a restive northwestern
border region, killing two people. Activists reported the deaths of
at least 28 civilians across Syria. State media reported that "armed
terrorists" — its usual term for regime opponents — shot and killed
Brig. Gen. Ghanem Ibrahim al-Hassan, who teaches at the Assad
Military Engineering Academy in the town of Saraqeb in Idlib.
(AP, 12/13/11)(AP, 12/14/11)(SFC, 12/14/11, p.A4)
2011 Dec 13, Three Thai
soldiers were killed and one was critically wounded when an old
landmine exploded as they were trying to defuse it on the country's
border with Cambodia.
2011 Dec 13, Pope Benedict XVI
approved seven new saints for the Catholic Church, including
Hawaii's Mother Marianne and a 17th-century Native American,
Caterina Tekakwitha. Marianne cared for leprosy patients on Hawaii's
Molokai peninsula in the late 1880s, soon after the death of Father
Damien, who was canonized in 2009. Tekakwitha, who lived from
1656-1680 in the US and Canada, became the first Native American to
be beatified in 1980.
2011 Dec 13, Venezuelan
authorities extended house arrest for Maria Lourdes Afiuni, a judge
whose case has been strongly criticized by human rights groups.
Afiuni was arrested after she released banker Eligio Cedeno, who had
been in jail awaiting trial on charges of violating currency
controls. Cedeno fled the country shortly following his release.
2012 Dec 13, Susan Rice, the
embattled US ambassador to the UN, withdrew her name from
consideration to be secretary of state in the face of angry
2012 Dec 13, The US CALM Act
(Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation), which limits the
volume of TV commercials, went into effect.
2012 Dec 13, James Billington,
the Librarian of Congress, announced that Carole King (70) will
receive the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular
(SFC, 12/15/12, p.E2)
2012 Dec 13, In California the
Illinois-based Walgeen Co. was ordered to pay $16.57 million to
local government and environmental agencies to settle claims of
dumping hazardous wastes.
(SFC, 12/14/12, p.A12)
2012 Dec 13, In Afghanistan a
suicide car bomber killed two Afghan civilians and wounded 14 others
near Kandahar Airfield, the main US military base in the south.
2012 Dec 13, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled in favor of Khaled El-Masri, a German man, who
says the CIA illegally kidnapped him and took him to a secret prison
in Afghanistan in 2003. It said the government of Macedonia violated
El-Masri's rights repeatedly and ordered it to pay €60,000 in
2012 Dec 13, Honduras President
Porfirio Lobo interrupted all television programing to call for a
national dialogue with the country's key players, many of whom he
accused of trying to oust him just a week ago, to find a way out of
a constitutional crisis.
2012 Dec 13, Iraq's President
Jalal Talabani announced that the central government and Kurdish
leaders have reached a deal aimed at easing a military standoff that
began last month.
2012 Dec 13, In Iraq a car bomb
went off in a commercial street in western Baghdad, killing four
people and wounding eight others. In Anbar province two soldiers
were killed after another bomb exploded near their observation post
in the city of Fallujah.
2012 Dec 13, Israel's attorney
general indicted Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for
alleged breach of trust, but decided not to file a number of more
serious charges in a fraud and money-laundering case.
2012 Dec 13, A Kenyan official
said an intelligence message intercepted from an al-Qaida-linked
Somali militant group shows that the rebels are being offered up to
$8,000 as a reward for killing Kenyan security officers.
2012 Dec 13, In Morocco Sheikh
Abdessalam Yassine (84) died. He was the charismatic religious
leader of the country’s largest opposition movement and longtime
opponent of two Moroccan kings.
2012 Dec 13, NATO's
Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he thinks Syria
President Bashar Assad's regime is on the brink of collapse.
2012 Dec 13, Amnesty
International accused the Pakistani military of carrying out
widespread human rights abuses in the country's northwest tribal
region where the army is fighting a domestic Taliban insurgency.
2012 Dec 13, Thousands of
Palestinians marched through the streets of Hebron, chanting
anti-Israel slogans and waving green Hamas flags during a funeral
procession for a teenager killed by Israeli troops a day earlier.
2012 Dec 13, Russia's President
Vladimir Putin lambasted a US bill imposing sanctions on Russian
officials accused of human rights violations, saying that it hurts
Russian-American relations. The US Congress last week passed a bill
penalizing Russian officials accused of rights violations.
2012 Dec 13, Russian Deputy
Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that President Bashar Assad
is losing control of his country and the rebels might win the civil
2012 Dec 13, South Korean media
reported that Kenneth Bae (44), a US citizen has been held in North
Korea for a month. Security officials there had found a hard disk
found in his possession they they believed contained sensitive
(SFC, 12/14/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 13, In Syria a bomb
blast near a school in a Damascus suburb killed 16 people, at least
half of them women and children. Three bombs collapsed walls of the
Interior Ministry building, killing 9 people. One of the dead was
parliament member Abdullah Qairouz. State TV journalist Anmar
Mohammed was one of 3 killed in explosions near the Palace of
Justice in the suburb of Jermana and in the upscale Mezzeh 86
district. American correspondent Richard Engel and his team were
kidnapped shortly after crossing the border from Turkey into Syria.
They escaped on Dec 16 at a security checkpoint in Idlib province
and two captors were killed.
(AP, 12/13/12)(AP, 12/18/12)
2012 Dec 13, In Ukraine a
violent brawl between supporters of the president and opposition
lawmaker broke out in parliament, nearly overshadowing the naming of
a new pro-government speaker to lead the fractious body. Opposition
lawmakers were angry over the fact that some of their opponents
continued the controversial practice of voting in place of their
absent colleagues, despite a recent ban.
2013 Dec 13, In southern
California Brian Beaird (51), a National Guard veteran, was shot and
killed following a police chase for reckless driving. The shooting
was captured on live television and showed Beaird being shot after
he stepped out of his car with his hands raised. In 2014 the LA City
Council voted to pay $5 million to Beaird’s family.
(SFC, 8/21/14, p.D2)
2013 Dec 13, In the SF Bay Area
the Sonoma Land Trust in a complicated $8.3 million deal acquired
4,400 acres of dry land on Skaggs Island with plans to restore it
back to a functioning marsh.
(SFC, 12/14/13, p.D1)
2013 Dec 13, Colorado schoolboy
Karl Pierson (18), armed with a shotgun, opened fire and wounded two
fellow students at Arapahoe High School in Centennial before killing
himself. Student Claire Davis (17), shot in the face, died on Dec 21
after eight days on life support. Pierson had been demoted from
captain of the debate team and was believed to have been targeting
the team coach.
(AP, 12/14/13)(AFP, 12/22/13)(SSFC, 8/17/14,
2013 Dec 13, In Kansas airpot
worker Terry Lee Loewen (58) was arrested at Wichita’s Mid-Continent
Regional Airport as part of an FBI sting. He planned to attack the
airport with what he thought were explosives loaded in a car in as
plot aiming to support al-Qaida.
(SFC, 12/14/13, p.A7)
2013 Dec 13, A US federal judge
struck down parts of Utah’s anti-polygamy law as unconstitutional.
Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that part of the state law prohibiting
cohabitation violated the First amendment. He left standing the
state’s ability to prohibit multiple marriages.
(SSFC, 12/15/13, p.A13)
2013 Dec 13, Bangladesh was
rocked by a new wave of deadly violence as Islamist supporters went
on the rampage to vent their fury at the execution of Abdul Quader
Molla for war crimes. 3 protesters were killed and 2 activists from
the ruling Awami League were hacked to death. An Islamist became the
latest fatality after he was shot dead during clashes with ruling
party activists in the southern town of Sonaimuri.
2013 Dec 13, Prince Harry
became the first member of Britain's royal family to reach the South
Pole after a three-week charity trek with injured military veterans
from Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia.
2013 Dec 13, China formally
charged Xu Zhiyong, a prominent campaigner for officials to reveal
their wealth, after police accused him of breaking the law by
organizing demonstrations. Zhiyong, who has also pushed for greater
civil rights, was arrested in August in a case that exposed
shortcomings in the government's drive against deep-rooted
2013 Dec 13, In western China a
gas explosion at a coal mine killed 21 workers in Xinjiang
region's Changji prefecture.
2013 Dec 13, Egyptian security
forces fired tear gas to disperse dozens of Islamist demonstrators
marching across the country to demand the release of detained
student protesters. Two young men were killed in the clashes.
(AP, 12/13/13)(AFP, 12/14/13)
2013 Dec 13, The European Union
Rule of Law Missio said a suspected mass grave has been discovered
at the Rudnica quarry in Serbia believed to contain bodies of ethnic
Albanians who were killed during the 1998-99 war between Serbia and
2013 Dec 13, Europe's
second-highest court said it has overturned a decision by the
European Commission to allow the cultivation and sale of a
genetically modified potato developed by German chemicals group
2013 Dec 13, Iran quit nuclear
talks with world powers, accusing Washington of going against the
spirit of a landmark agreement reached last month by expanding its
2013 Dec 13, Twenty-two Iraqi
suspects facing terrorism charges escaped from a prison in northern
Baghdad after killing a security guard, but most were rearrested
later in the day. Masked gunmen killed 18 people, most of them
Iranians, working on a gas pipeline outside the northeastern town of
Muqdadiya. Violence across the country killed 37 people.
(AP, 12/13/13)(Reuters, 12/13/13)(AFP, 12/13/13)
2013 Dec 13, Italian police
said they have arrested 30 people linked to Matteo Messina Denaro,
the head of Cosa Nostra, including his sister and several cousins in
2013 Dec 13, A Malawi Catholic
rights group accused President Joyce Banda of being "part and
parcel" of a massive fraud scandal that has rocked her government
2013 Dec 13, Mexico's Senate
passed the most dramatic political reform in decades that would
allow re-election of some public officials, create new electoral
oversight and make the Attorney General's office independent from
2013 Dec 13, Nigerian air raids
in the northeast reportedly killed scores of fighters attending the
burial of fellow insurgents.
2013 Dec 13, In northwest
Pakistan attacks on polio teams killed a polio worker and two
policemen assigned to protect one of the teams.
2013 Dec 13, Philippine
officials said the death toll from Typhoon Haiyan that struck on Nov
8 has passed 6,000 with nearly 1,800 people missing.
2013 Dec 13, Rwanda's supreme
court extended the jail term of Victoire Ingabire, an opposition
politician, to 15 years from eight after she sought to overturn her
initial conviction for trying to undermine the state and minimizing
the 1994 genocide. Human Rights Watch said some of the charges were
politically motivated and the trial raised questions about the
independence of the judiciary.
2013 Dec 13, Syria’s state news
agency SANA reported that authorities have freed for "humanitarian
reasons" 366 detainees from Aleppo prison in the north of the
country which is under rebel siege. Islamist rebels linked to al
Qaeda kidnapped at least 120 Kurdish civilians from a village near
the Turkish border in Aleppo province.
(AFP, 12/13/13)(Reuters, 12/13/13)
2013 Dec 13, Ukrainian
President Viktor Yanukovich made few concessions in crisis talks
with the opposition, his first direct attempt to defuse weeks of
unrest over a policy swerve to Russia away from Europe. A Ukrainian
court released all those arrested during a violent police dispersal
of demonstrators near the presidential administration building, one
of the demands of the opposition that has conducted three weeks of
(Reuters, 12/13/13)(AP, 12/13/13)
2013 Dec 13, A UN inquiry
published today said chemical weapons were likely used in five out
of seven attacks investigated by UN experts in Syria, where a 2
1/2-year civil war has killed more than 100,000 people.
2013 Dec 13, UN peacekeeping
chief Herve Ladsous said an arsenal of weapons have been found by UN
peacekeepers, including heavy caliber arms and enough ammunition to
last a year, at the site of the last stand by M23 rebels in eastern
Democratic Republic of Congo.