Today in History - December 13

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1048        Dec 13, Al-Biruni (74), Arabic royal astrologer, died.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

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."
    (www.newadvent.org/cathen/09540b.htm)(SSFC, 10/23/05, p.M1)

1250        Dec 13, Frederick II (55), German Emperor (1212-1250), died.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

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.
    (HN, 12/13/99)

1621        Dec 13, Emperor Ferdinand II delegated the 1st anti-Reformation decree.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

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 ashore.
    (NG, Aug., 1974, p.196)(SFEC, 10/4/98, p.T4)(AP, 12/13/07)

1769        Dec 13, Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, received its charter.
    (AP, 12/13/97)

1774        Dec 13, Some 400 colonists attacked Ft. William & Mary, NH.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

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.
    (HN, 12/13/98)

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.
    (HN, 12/13/99)

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.
    (HN, 12/13/98)

1816        Dec 13, E. Werner von Siemens, German artillery officer and inventor, was born.
    (MC, 12/13/01)
1816        Dec 13, Patent for a dry dock was issued to John Adamson in Boston.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

1818        Dec 13, Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln, was born.
    (HN, 12/13/98)

1833        Dec 13, HMS Beagle and Charles Darwin arrived in Port Deseado, Patagonia.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

1835        Dec 13, Phillips Brooks, the American Episcopal bishop, was born in Boston. He wrote the words to "O Little Town of Bethlehem."
    (AP, 12/13/99)

1838        Dec 13, Alexis Millardet, botanist who developed the first successful fungicide, was born.
    (HN, 12/13/00)

1861        Dec 13, Battle of Alleghany Summit, WV.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

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, 12/13/98)(HNQ, 10/14/00)

1864        Dec 13, Battle of Ft. McAllister, Ga.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

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.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Barrett_%28Fenian%29)

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]
    (HN, 12/13/98)
1890        Dec 13, Marc Connelly, playwright, actor, director and journalist (The Green Pastures), was born.
    (HN, 12/13/00)

1902        Dec 13, The Committee of Imperial Defense held its first meeting in London.
    (HN, 12/13/98)

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.
    (HN, 12/13/98)

1911        Dec 13, Kenneth Patchen, American poet and author, was born. His works included "Before the Brave" and "Hurrah for Anything."
    (HN, 12/13/99)

1918        Dec 13, President Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit Europe while in office.
    (AP, 12/13/97)
1918        Dec 13, US army of occupation crossed the Rhine and entered Germany.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

1920        Dec 13, George P. Schultz, US Secretary of State (1982-89), was born.
    (MC, 12/13/01)
1920        Dec 13, League of nations established the Int’l. Court of Justice in The Hague.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

1923        Dec 13, Phillip Anderson, physicist, was born.
    (HN, 12/13/00)

1925        Dec 13, Dick Van Dyke, actor (Rob Petrie-Dick Van Dyke Show), was born in West Plains, Mo.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

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 was designed.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

1929        Dec 13, Christopher Plummer, actor (Sound of Music, Doll's House), was born in Toronto.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

1935        Dec 13, Karim Aga Khan, prince, billionaire, and husband of Rita Hayworth, was born.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

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 atrocity.
    (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]
    (MC, 12/13/01)

1940        Dec 13, Hitler issued preparations for Operation Martita, the German invasion of Greece.
    (HN, 12/13/98)

1941        Dec 13, British forces launched an offensive in Libya.
    (HN, 12/13/98)
1941        Dec 13, U-81 torpedoed the British aircraft carrier Ark Royal.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

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.
    (AP, 12/13/97)
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 objects.
    (WSJ, 8/13/99, p.W10)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassily_Kandinsky)

1945        Dec 13, France and Britain agreed to quit Syria and Lebanon.
    (HN, 12/13/98)

1949        Dec 13, Knesset voted to transfer Israel's capital to Jerusalem.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

1950        Dec 13, James Dean began his career with an appearance in a Pepsi commercial.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

1951        Dec 13, After meeting with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, President Harry S. Truman vowed to purge all disloyal government workers.
    (HN, 12/13/98)

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.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

1961        Dec 13, Beatles signed a formal agreement to be managed by Brian Epstein.
    (MC, 12/13/01)
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.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

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.
    (AP, 12/13/04)

1966        Dec 13, The 1st US bombing of Hanoi, North Vietnam, took place.
    (MC, 12/13/01)

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.
    (HN, 12/13/98)

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 Sea (1944).
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_A._Spruance)

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.
    (HN, 12/13/99)

1973        Dec 13, Britain cut the work week to three days to save energy supply.
    (HN, 12/13/98)
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 members world-wide.
    (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 woman.
    (AP, 12/13/97)(http://tinyurl.com/377b2l)

1980        Dec 13, Christian Democrat Jose Napoleon Duarte was named the president of El Salvador’s new government.
    (AP, 12/13/00)

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, 8/30/09)

1985        Dec 13, France sued the U.S. over the discovery of an AIDS serum.
    (HN, 12/13/98)

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.
    (AP, 12/13/97)

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, p.E6)(www.mideastweb.org/arafat1988.htm)

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.
    (AP, 12/13/99)

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 embassy.
    (AP, 12/13/00)

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 Yeltsin.
    (AP, 12/13/01)(www.therussiasite.org/legal/laws/CISagreement.html)
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 reconciliation.
    (AP, 12/13/01)

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.
    (AP, 12/13/03)
1993        Dec 13, The space shuttle Endeavour returned from its mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
    (AP, 12/13/98)
1993        Dec 13, Myrna Loy (88), actress (Thin Man, Vanity Fair), died. [see Dec 14]
    (MC, 12/13/01)

1994        Dec 13, An American Eagle commuter plane carrying 20 people crashed short of Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, killing 15.
    (AP, 12/13/98)

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.
    (AP, 12/13/00)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/97)
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 authorities.
    (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 secretary-general.
    (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 high-tech products.
    (AP, 12/13/97)
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 Luzhkov.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/13/98)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/98)
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 in Londonderry.
    (SFEC,12/14/97, p.A26)
1997        Dec 13, In Spain tens of thousands marched in San Sebastian to protest the murder of Jose Luis Caso.
    (SFEC,12/14/97, p.A24)
1997        Dec 13-1997 Dec 14, In South Korea panic buying hit the supermarkets as people rushed to hoard staples prior to price increases.
    (SFC,12/15/97, p.B1)

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 perjury.
    (AP, 12/13/99)
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, 9/27/09)
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 proposals.
    (AP, 12/13/00)
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, 12/19/99, p.A18)
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.
    (www.snapfish.com/release12132000)(SFC, 4/10/10, p.D1)
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 Damascus.
    (AP, 12/13/00)
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.
    (AP, 8/26/14)
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, 12/14/01, p.A1)
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 conspiracy.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/13/03)
2002        Dec 13, Henry Kissinger resigned as head of the new commission to investigate the Sep 11 terror attacks.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/14/02)
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.
    (AP, 12/16/02)
2002        Dec 13, Hamas marked its 15th anniversary with a rally that drew some 30,000 supporters in southern Gaza.
    (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 network.
    (AP, 12/13/03)

2003        Dec 13, Oklahoma quarterback Jason White won the Heisman Trophy.
    (AP, 12/13/04)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/03)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/03)
2003        Dec 13, Tens of thousands of students took to the streets of three German cities, protesting government plans to slash funding for universities.
    (AP, 12/13/03)
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.
    (AP, 12/14/03)
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 female passenger.
    (AP, 12/13/03)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/03)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/03)
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 heart attack.
    (AP, 12/14/03)

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 Feb 25.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/13/05)
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 Mullah Omar.
    (AP, 12/14/04)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/05)
2004        Dec 13, The Chinese government said China and Russia will hold their first joint military exercise next year.
    (AP, 12/13/04)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/04)
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 offensive.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/14/04)
2004        Dec 13, In Venezuela President Hugo Chavez's allies in Congress appointed 17 new justices to the supreme court.
    (AP, 12/13/04)
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.
    (www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=10216)(Econ, 1/22/05, p.36)

2005        Dec 13, American Red Cross President Marsha Evans announced her resignation.
    (AP, 12/13/06)
2005        Dec 13, A US Navy helicopter with 3 crew members crashed somewhere off the coast of Colombia.
    (AP, 12/13/05)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/05)
2005        Dec 13, General Motors Corp. said it plans to nearly triple the number of cars it produces in India to meet growing demand.
    (AP, 12/13/05)
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 deadly bombings.
    (AP, 12/14/05)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/05)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/05)
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 Turkish government.
    (AP, 12/13/05)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/13/05)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/05)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/05)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/05)

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.
    (AP, 12/13/07)
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 penalty opponents.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/13/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/07)
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 Kandahar province.
    (AP, 12/14/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/06)
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 day.
    (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 cooperation pact.
    (AP, 12/13/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/12/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/06)
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 events.
    (AFP, 12/13/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/14/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/06)
2006        Dec 13, Security forces shot dead at least six Tamil Tiger rebels during a confrontation in Sri Lanka's restive eastern province.
    (AFP, 12/14/06)
2006        Dec 13, Syria said it has admitted more than 800,000 Iraqis who have fled the violence in their country.
    (AP, 12/13/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/14/06)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/06)

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 emissions reductions.
    (AP, 12/13/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/08)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/08)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/07)
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 international politics."
    (AP, 12/14/07)
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 poor.
    (AP, 12/13/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/07)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/13/07)
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.
    (www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/dec/13/india.randeepramesh)(AP, 12/14/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/07)
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 trial.
    (AFP, 12/13/07)
2007        Dec 13, In south-west Nigeria at least 17 people burned to death when four vehicles burst into flames in a crash.
    (AFP, 12/15/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/14/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/07)
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.
    (AFP, 12/15/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/07)
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.
    (AP, 12/14/07)

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.
    (AP, 12/13/08)
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 and robbery.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/13/08)
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 Cuba's leader.
    (AP, 12/13/08)
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 person dead.
    (AP, 12/13/08)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/08)
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.
    (AFP, 12/14/08)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/08)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/08)
2008        Dec 13, In Russia former chess champion Garry Kasparov and other prominent liberals launched a new anti-Kremlin movement.
    (AP, 12/13/08)
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 Tbilisi.
    (AP, 12/13/08)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/08)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/08)
2008        Dec 13, Sri Lankan air force jets bombed Tamil separatists in the island's embattled north.
    (AP, 12/13/08)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/08)
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 September.
    (AP, 12/13/09)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/09)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/09)
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 psychological problems.
    (AP, 12/14/09)
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 sanctuary.
    (AP, 12/13/09)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/09)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/09)
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 of Razah.
    (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.
    (Reuters, 12/13/10)
2010        Dec 13, A US federal judge in Virginia ruled that Congress could not order individuals to buy health insurance.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/14/10)
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.
    (AP, 12/14/10)
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.
    (AP, 12/14/10)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/10)
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 September election.
    (AFP, 12/13/10)
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.
    (AP, 12/16/10)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/10)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/10)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/10)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/10)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/10)
2010        Dec 13, Israel flew home 150 illegal Sudanese migrants in a secret operation that was the largest such deportation from the Jewish state.
    (AP, 12/14/10)
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 members.
    (AP, 12/14/10)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/10)
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 transfer.
    (AP, 12/13/10)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/10)
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 five years.
    (AP, 12/13/10)

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.
    (AP, 12/13/11)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/11)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/11)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/11)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/11)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/11)
2011        Dec 13, Iran's official news agency said the country's judiciary has issued indictments against 15 American and Zionist spies.
    (AP, 12/13/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/14/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/11)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/11)
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.
    (SSFC, 4/8/12, p.N3)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Halim_of_Kedah)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/11)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/16/11)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/11)   
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/11)
2011        Dec 13, Saudi Arabia promised to provide the newly formed government of unrest-hit Yemen with urgently needed aid, mainly petroleum products.
    (AFP, 12/13/11)
2011        Dec 13, In southern Senegal several soldiers were killed in an attack blamed on separatist rebels in the restive Casamance region.
    (AFP, 12/13/11)
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 opposition followers.
    (AFP, 12/13/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/11)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/19/11)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/11)

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 Republican opposition.
    (AP, 12/13/12)
2012        Dec 13, The US CALM Act (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation), which limits the volume of TV commercials, went into effect.
    (AP, 12/12/12)
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 Song.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/13/12)
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 damages.
    (AP, 12/13/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/14/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/14/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/12)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/12)
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 war.
    (AP, 12/13/12)
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 information.
    (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.
    (AP, 12/13/12)

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, p.A7)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/13)
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.
    (AFP, 12/13/13)
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 corruption.
    (Reuters, 12/13/13)
2013        Dec 13, In western China a gas explosion at a coal mine killed 21 workers  in Xinjiang region's Changji prefecture.
    (AP, 12/14/13)
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 Kosovo.
    (AP, 12/13/13)
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 BASF.
    (Reuters, 12/13/13)
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 sanctions blacklist.
    (AFP, 12/13/13)
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 western Sicily.
    (AFP, 12/13/13)
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 this year.
    (AFP, 12/13/13)
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 the executive.
    (AP, 12/13/13)
2013        Dec 13, Nigerian air raids in the northeast reportedly killed scores of fighters attending the burial of fellow insurgents.
    (AP, 12/14/13)
2013        Dec 13, In northwest Pakistan attacks on polio teams killed a polio worker and two policemen assigned to protect one of the teams.
    (AP, 12/13/13)
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.
    (AP, 12/13/13)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/13/13)
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 large protests.
    (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.
    (Reuters, 12/13/13)
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.
    (Reuters, 12/13/13)

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