Today in History - December 17

Return to home

1399        Dec 17, Tamerlane's Mongols destroyed the army of Mahmud Tughluk, Sultan of Delhi, at Panipat.
    (HN, 12/17/98)

1538        Dec 17, Pope Paul III excommunicated England's King Henry VIII. [see Aug 31, 1535]
    (MC, 12/17/01)

1679        Dec 17, Don Juan, ruler of Spain, died.
    (MC, 12/17/01)

1745        Dec 17, Bonnie Prince Charlie's army retreated to Scotland. [see Dec 6]
    (MC, 12/17/01)

1750        Dec 17, Deborah Sampson, was born. She fought in the American Revolution as a man under the alias Robert Shurtleff. In 1797 she authored a memoir. In 2004 Alfred F. Young authored "Masquerade: The Life and Times of Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier.
    (MC, 12/17/01)(SSFC, 4/11/04, p.M4)

1770        Dec 17, Johann Friedrich Schubert, composer, was born.
    (MC, 12/17/01)

1777        Dec 17, France recognized American independence.
    (AP, 12/17/97)

1778        Dec 17, Humphrey Davy (d.1829), English chemist who discovered the anesthetic effect of laughing gas (1799), was born.
    (HN, 12/17/98)(Dr, 7/17/01, p.2)(ON, 12/01, p.7)

1790        Dec 17, An Aztec calendar stone was discovered in Mexico City.
    (HFA, '96, p.44)(MC, 12/17/01)

1791        Dec 17, NYC traffic regulation created the 1st 1-way street.
    (MC, 12/17/01)

1797        Dec 17, Joseph Henry, US scientist, inventor, pioneer of electromagnetism, was born. [see Dec 18]
    (MC, 12/17/01)

1798        Dec 17, The 1st impeachment trial against a US senator, William Blount of Ten., began.
    (MC, 12/17/01)

1807        Dec 17, John Greenleaf Whittier, American poet, was born in Haverhill, Mass. He was an abolitionist, reformer and founder of the Liberal Party.
    (HN, 12/17/99)(AP, 12/17/07)

1821        Dec 17, Kentucky abolished debtor’s prisons.
    (MC, 12/17/01)

1830        Dec 17, Simon Bolivar (b.1783), South American leader for national independence, died of TB in Santa Marta, in Colombia. In 2006 John Lynch authored “Simon Bolivar: A Life."
    (AHD, p.148)(AP, 12/17/97)(Econ, 7/1/06, p.77)

1843        Dec 17, British author Charles Dickens published “A Christmas Carol" at his own expense. It was one of many public and private efforts by Dickens to bring about social reform: prison visits, charity drives, promotion of the so-called "Ragged Schools" for the poor, cash for a fired worker, or a child's education.

1850        Dec 17, In California some 500 Indians in the Yosemite region attacked a store on the Fresno River owned by James Savage. A clerk and two other whites were killed and the $25,000 in cash and goods were taken. This marked the beginning of the Mariposa Indian War. Savage had employed some 500 Yokut Indians to pan for gold.
    (SFC, 5/16/15, p.C2)

1861        Dec 17, The Stonewall Brigade began to dismantle Dam No. 5 of the C&O Canal near Martinsburg, W.Va.
    (HN, 12/17/98)

1862        Dec 17, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order No. 11 designed to combat a Civil War black market in cotton. Grant believed the trade was run primarily by Jewish traders and ordered Jews expelled in his military district. Pres. Lincoln rescinded the order a few weeks later. In 2012 Jonathan D. Sarna authored “When General Grant Expelled the Jews."
    (SSFC, 4/22/12, p.F3)

1875        Dec 17, Violent bread riots took place in Montreal.
    (MC, 12/17/01)

1886        Dec 17, At a Christmas party, Sam Belle shot his old enemy Frank West, but was fatally wounded himself.
    (HN, 12/17/98)

1894        Dec 17, Arthur Fiedler, conductor (Boston Pops), was born in Boston, Mass.
    (MC, 12/17/01)

1895        Dec 17, Anti-Saloon League of America was formed in Washington, DC.
    (MC, 12/17/01)

1900        Dec 17, Ellis Island immigration center re-opened following an 1897 fire.
    (SFEC, 6/20/99, p.T10)

1903        Dec 17, Erskine Caldwell, U.S. novelist, was born.
    (HN, 12/17/98)
1903        Dec 17, The Wright brothers' Flyer I flew for 12 seconds in the first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The brothers were the sons of a Dayton, Ohio, bishop (Church of the United Brethren). Orville Wright made the first powered, controlled and sustained flight. Orville, lying prone at the 605-pound plane's controls, flew a distance of 120 feet in 12 seconds. Wilbur ran beside Flyer's wing tip until it was airborne to keep the wing from dragging in the sand. Four sustained flights were made on this day. The 4th flight lasted fifty-nine seconds. The momentous events of that day received little press attention, since the reticent Wright brothers feared their ideas would be stolen by rival aviators. It was not until 1908, after making many refinements to their flying machine, that the Wrights embarked on a series of public demonstrations that finally earned them worldwide acclaim. A one-hour PBS documentary covered their life as part of "The American Experience." In 2015 David McCullough authored “the Wright Brothers."
    (WSJ, 2/8/96, p.A-12)(AP, 12/17/97)(HNPD, 12/17/98)(SSFC, 12/14/03, p.D3)(SSFC, 12/14/03, p.D3)(SFEC, 9/26/99, p.B8)(Econ., 4/25/15, p.78)

1907        Dec 17, A Bhutan royal dynasty was founded. Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck became the first hereditary king of Bhutan.
    (SFEC, 2/23/96, p.T6)(SSFC, 12/14/14, p.N3)
1907        Dec 17, William Thompson (b.1824), Belfast-born mathematical physicist and engineer, (aka Lord Kelvin), died in Scotland.

1908        Dec 17, Willard Frank Libby, American chemist who won a Nobel Prize (1960) for his part in creating the carbon-14 method in dating ancient findings, was born.
    (HN, 12/17/98)(MC, 12/17/01)

1910        Dec 17, In San Francisco 25 men were arrested for spitting on sidewalks. It cost them $5 to regain their liberty.
    (SSFC, 12/12/10, DB p.46)

1914        Dec 17, Jews were expelled from Tel Aviv by Turkish authorities.
    (MC, 12/17/01)

1925        Dec 17, Col. William "Billy" Mitchell (d.1936) was convicted of insubordination at his court-martial. He was found guilty of conduct prejudicial to the good of the armed services and was suspended from active duty. His recently published book “Winged Defense," had poked fun at the Sec. of War. Mitchell was awarded the Medal of Honor 20 years after his death. In 2004 Douglas Waller authored “A Question of Loyalty."
    (WSJ, 9/7/04, p.D8)(AP, 12/17/08)

1926        Dec17, The military right-wing opposition executed a coup d’etat in Lithuania and a dictatorship was established under Antanas Smetona, who remained president until the country was annexed by the USSR in 1940.
    (Compuserve, Online Encyclopedia)(DrEE, 10/5/96, p.5)

1927        Dec 17, U.S. Secretary of State Kellogg suggested a worldwide pact renouncing war.
    (HN, 12/17/98)

1933        Dec 17, In the first world championship football game, the Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants, 23-21, at Wrigley Field.
    (AP, 12/17/08)
1933        Dec 17, Thubten Gyatso (b.1876), Tibet’s 13th Dalai Lama, died.
    (, 3/21/15, p.38)

1935        Dec 17, Venezuela’s military strongman Juan Vicente Gomez died. He had lorded over Venezuela since 1908.
    (, 5/22/14)

1938        Dec 17, Italy declared the 1935 pact with France invalid, because ratification's had not been exchanged. France denied the argument.
    (HN, 12/17/98)

1939        Dec 17, In the Battle of River Plate near Montevideo, Uruguay, the British trapped the German pocket battleship Graf Spee. German Captain Langsdorf sank his ship believing that resistance was hopeless. [see Dec 13,18]
    (AP, 12/17/97)(HN, 12/17/98)

1941        Dec 17, German troops led by Rommel began to retreat in North Africa.
    (MC, 12/17/01)

1943        Dec 17, The Magnuson Act, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943, was signed into law. The immigration legislation was proposed by US Representative (later Senator) Warren G. Magnuson of Washington.
    (, 8/1/09, p.28)
1943        Dec 17, U.S. forces invaded New Britain Island in New Guinea.
    (HN, 12/17/98)

1944        Dec 17, The U.S. Army announced the end of its policy of excluding Japanese-Americans from the West Coast.
    (AP, 12/17/97)
1944        Dec 17, The Germans renewed their attack on the Belgian town of Losheimergraben against the American Army during the Battle of the Bulge.
    (HN, 12/17/98)

1948        Dec 17, The Smithsonian Institution accepted the Wright brothers' plane, the Kitty Hawk.
    (HN, 12/17/98)

1950        Dec 17, French named Marshal de Lattre de Tassigny to command their troops in Vietnam.
    (HN, 12/17/98)

1952        Dec 17, Yugoslavia broke relations with the Vatican.
    (HN, 12/17/98)

1953        Dec 17, FCC approved RCA's black & white-compatible color TV specifications. Temporary approval of the mechanical CBS color model was rescinded.
    (MC, 12/17/01)(SFC, 3/18/04, p.E1)

1957        Dec 17, The United States successfully test-fired the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.
    (AP, 12/17/97)

1958        Dec 17, Howard Hickey (41) was named coach of the SF 49ers to replaced Frank Albert, who had retired unexpectedly.
    (SSFC, 12/14/08, p.54)

1962        Dec 17, Thomas Mitchell (70), US, actor (Outlaw), died of cancer.
    (MC, 12/17/01)

1965        Dec 17, Ending an election campaign marked by bitterness and violence, Ferdinand Marcos was declared president of the Philippines.
    (HN, 12/17/98)

1969        Dec 17, An estimated 50 million TV viewers watched singer Tiny Tim marry his fiancée, Miss Vicky, on NBC's "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.
    (AP, 12/17/99)
1969        Dec 17, The U.S. Air Force closed its Project "Blue Book" by finding no evidence of extraterrestrial spaceships behind thousands of UFO sightings.
    (AP, 12/17/97)

1970        Dec 17, In Poland riot police under orders from defense minister Gen'l. Wojciech Jaruzelski opened fire on workers protesting food price increases and 44 people were killed in Gdansk, Gdynia, Szczecin, and Elblag. A case against Jaruzelski was opened in 1996 and in 1999 a court ruled that medical reasons would not exempt him from trial. The Jaruzelski trial began in 2001.
    (SFC, 8/28/99, p.A14)(SFC, 5/16/01, p.D3)

1971        Dec 17, A cease fire began between India and Pakistan in East Pakistan.

1975        Dec 17, Lynette Fromme was sentenced to life in prison for her attempt on the life of President Ford.
    (AP, 12/17/97)

1979        Dec 17, In a case that aggravated racial tensions, Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance executive, was fatally beaten after a police chase in Miami. Four white police officers were later acquitted of charges stemming from McDuffie's death.
    (AP, 12/17/99)

1980        Dec 17, Milton Obote (1924-2005) began serving a 2nd term as president of Uganda.
    (SFC, 8/16/03, p.A21)(

1981        Dec 17, Red Brigade terrorists kidnapped Brigadier General James Dozier, the highest-ranking US NATO officer in southern Europe, from his home in Verona, Italy. Dozier was rescued 42 days later.
    (HN, 12/17/98)(AP, 12/17/04)

1982        Dec 17, In Venezuela Hugo Chavez (b.1954) and other junior officers formed a secret group, the Bolivarian Revolutionary Movement 200 (MBR-200), and vowed to change their society. They made their 1st coup attempt in 1992.
    (, 6/12/03, p.A10)

1983        Dec 17, There was an IRA bombing near Harrods department store in London. Six people were killed and 90 injured.
    (SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1 p.7)(
1983        Dec 17, An Economic cooperation agreement between the Community and the Andean Pact countries was signed in Cartagena, Colombia.

1984        Dec 17, Gerd Heinrich (b.1896), recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on the subfamily Ichneumoninae (wasps), died. In 2007 his son Bernd Heinrich authored “The Snoring Bird: My Family’s Journey Through a Century of Biology."

1986        Dec 17, A federal jury in Detroit cleared automaker John DeLorean of all 15 charges in his fraud and racketeering trial.
1986        Dec 17, Eugene Hasenfus, the American convicted by Nicaragua for his part in running guns to the Contras, was pardoned, then released.
    (AP, 12/17/97)
1986        Dec 17, Richard Kuklinsky, a Mafia hitman known as the Iceman, was arrested in New Jersey. He was found guilty of all charges May 25, 1988. Anthony Bruno later authored “The Iceman."
1986        Dec 17, In Colombia Guillermo Cano (b.1925), publisher of the Bogota newspaper El Espectador, was assassinated by drug cartel hitmen hired by Pablo Escobar.
    (SFC, 3/22/97, p.A11)(

1987        Dec 17, With election results showing him the winner, South Korea's president-elect, Roh Tae-woo, appealed for "national harmony" while his opponents claimed he had won through fraud.
    (AP, 12/17/97)

1988        Dec 17, In his first public statement since the US decided to open direct talks with the PLO, Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir expressed shock, calling the US decision a "painful" blow.
    (AP, 12/17/98)

1989        Dec 17, More than 100,000 Soviet citizens turned out to honor the late human rights advocate Andrei D. Sakharov, a day before he was buried in Moscow.
    (AP, 12/17/99)

1990        Dec 17, President Bush pledged “no negotiation for one inch" of Kuwaiti territory would take place as he repeated his demand for Iraq’s complete withdrawal.
    (AP, 12/17/00)
1990        Dec 17, President Bush nominated former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander to be secretary of education, succeeding Lauro Cavazos.
    (AP, 12/17/00)

1991        Dec 17, In an about-face the US White House used the word "recession" to characterize the state of the economy, although spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said the administration did not believe there was a recession in a technical sense.
    (AP, 12/17/01)
1991        Dec 17, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev agreed to dissolve the Soviet Union by the new year.
    (AP, 12/17/01)

1992        Dec 17, President-elect Clinton tapped former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros to be Secretary of Housing.
    (AP, 12/17/97)
1992        Dec 17, President Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in separate ceremonies.
    (AP, 12/17/97)
1992        Dec 17, Israel ordered the deportation of 418 suspected Muslim fundamentalists from the occupied territories.
    (AP, 12/17/02)

1993        Dec 17, Fox Television outbid CBS for the National Football Conference TV package.
    (AP, 12/17/98)
1993        Dec 17, So-called "suicide doctor" Jack Kevorkian was released from jail in Oakland County, Mich., after promising not to help anyone end their lives for the time being.
    (AP, 12/17/98)

1994        Dec 17, Six shots were fired at the White House by an unidentified gunman.
    (AP, 12/17/99)
1994         Dec 17, In Bahrain Hani al-Wasti (25) and Hani Khamees (26) were the first of more than 40 people killed in the political upheaval among the Shiites.
    (AP, 12/17/02)
1994        Dec 17, North Korea shot down a U.S. Army helicopter which had strayed north of the demilitarized zone -- the co-pilot, Chief Warrant Officer David Hilemon, was killed; the pilot, Chief Warrant Officer Bobby Hall, was captured and held for nearly two weeks.
    (AP, 12/17/99)

1995        Dec 17, This year's British Booker Prize in literature was awarded to Pat Barker for "The Ghost Road," the third novel of a trilogy (1991-1995) that work focused on psychologist W.H.R. Rivers and poet Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) set during WW I.
    (, 10/15/97, p.A21)(WSJ, 12/18/95, p.A12)
1995        Dec 17 Eritrea used its warships to try to seize a disputed island in the mouth of the Red Sea from Yemen. Yemen sent warplanes to counter the attack.
    (WSJ, 12/18/95, p.A-1)
1995        Dec 17, Angry voters handed Russian President Boris Yeltsin a stinging rebuff as Communists and right-wing nationalists scored big wins in parliamentary elections on a platform of rolling back democratic reforms. Communists led in early returns in elections for the Duma, the lower house of Russia's parliament. The party was led by Gennady Zyuganov. The CP pulled in 21.9% of the vote with 11.1% for the party of Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
    (WSJ, 12/18/95, p.A-1,10) (WSJ, 12/19/95, p.A-13)(AP, 12/17/00)
1995        Dec 17, Isa Yusuf Alptekin (b.1901), exiled Uighur head of the Islamic Republic of East Turkestan (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China), died in Turkey.
    (Econ, 7/11/09, p.14)(

1996        Dec 17, Kofi Annan of Ghana was elected by acclamation as the 7th Secretary-General of the UN. His 5-year term will start Jan 1.
    (SFC, 12/18/96, p.C2)(AP, 12/17/97)
1996        Dec 17, Six Red Cross workers were slain in their sleep and a 7th was wounded by as many as 15 attackers in Chechnya. The Red Cross immediately suspended all operations in Chechnya.
    (SFC, 12/18/96, p.A1)(AP, 12/17/97)
1996        Dec 17, The Chinese stock market continued to tumble and authorities deployed plainclothes police to keep order among angry investors outside security brokerage houses in the major cities. The drop started when the official People’s Daily newspaper warned that the stock market was overvalued.
    (WSJ, 12/18/96, p.A16)
1996        Dec 17, Sun Yaoting (b.1902), China’s last known eunuch, died.
    (SFC, 12/20/96, p.B6)
1996        Dec 17, In Peru guerrillas took over a party at the house of the Japanese ambassador in Lima. They identified themselves as members of the Tupac Amaru guerrilla movement and demanded the release of imprisoned guerrillas. Nestor Cerpa Cartolini was later identified as the leader of the 20 or so guerrillas. Cerpa’s common-law wife, Nancy Gilvonio, was one of the imprisoned guerrillas whom he demanded be released. Pres. Fujimori’s brother was one of the hostages. All but 72 hostages were later released; the siege ended April 22, 1997, with a commando raid that resulted in the deaths of all the rebels, two commandos and one hostage.
    (SFC,12/25/96,p.A12)(SFC,1/7/97,p.A10)(SFC,1/17/96, p.A12)(AP, 12/17/97)
1996        Dec 17, The Russian Booker Prize for literature, inaugurated in 1992, was awarded to Andrei Sergeyev for his book "Stamp Album."
1996        Dec 17, In Russia an AN-12 military transport crashed and killed all 17 people onboard shortly after takeoff from St. Petersburg. Colonel General Sergei Seleznyov, commander of the Leningrad military district, was among the dead.
    (SFC, 12/18/96, p.C1)
1996        Dec 17, In Somalia militia fighters of Ali Mahdi Mohamed attacked the headquarters of Hussein Aidid in the 5th consecutive day of fighting that brought the number of dead up to 135.
    (SFC, 12/18/96, p.C1)
1996        Dec 17, In Zaire Mobutu Sese Seko stage a triumphal home.
    (SFC, 12/18/96, p.C2)

1997        Dec 17, President Clinton's panel on race relations met at Annandale High School in Virginia.
    (AP, 12/17/98)
1997        Dec 17, The US and 33 other countries signed a convention in Paris aimed at eradicating bribery in international business. Turkey was one of 34 signatories of the OECD’s anti-corruption convention.
    (AP, 12/17/98)(Econ, 3/19/05, Survey p.14)
1997        Dec 17, A new Montana law, effective today, made the entire state an offshore banking center, allowing foreign interests to anonymously stash their cash. Depositors could not be US citizens and a minimum of $200,000 was required.
    (SFC,12/17/97, p.A1)(SFEC, 1/18/98, p.A18)
1997        Dec 17, In New Jersey a settlement was reached that allows gay and unmarried couples to adopt children.
    (WSJ, 12/18/97, p.A1)
1997        Dec 17, A US court ordered Cuba to pay $187.6 million for three men killed when their planes were shot down in 1996 by MiG fighters.
    (WSJ, 12/18/97, p.A1)
1997        Dec 17, In France Salima Ghezali, Algerian human rights campaigner, received the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought.
    (SFC,12/18/97, p.C12)
1997        Dec 17, In Chiapas, Mexico, a young man from an Indian hamlet near Acteal was killed in an ambush by masked gunmen. Antonio Vazquez Secum summoned a band of gunmen and dispatched them to Acteal for revenge.
    (SFEC, 1/25/98, p.A15)
1997        Dec 17, A Ukrainian jetliner from Odessa, a Yakoviev 42, was missing as it approached the Greek city of Salonica with 70-71 people onboard. The wreckage was located near Fotina, Greece, on Dec 20, as a Greek military plane, searching for the wreckage, crashed north of Athens. All five people aboard the C-130 transport plane were killed.
    (WSJ, 12/18/97, p.A1)(

1998        Dec 17, Republicans advanced the impeachment case against President Clinton to the House floor for a debate the following day.
    (AP, 12/17/99)
1998        Dec 17, House Speaker-designate Bob Livingston shocked fellow Republicans by admitting he'd had extramarital affairs.
    (AP, 12/17/99)
1998        Dec 17, US and British forces launched more missiles on the 2nd day of attacks against Iraq. The strikes included some 100 cruise missiles with 2,000 pound warheads. At least 25 people were killed and 75 injured over 2 days. Pres. Boris Yeltsin withdrew the Russian ambassador from Washington and demanded an immediate end to military action. France and Italy expressed strong opposition while Germany rallied to support the US and Britain. A stray US missile hit Khorramshahr, Iran. The US later apologized.
    (SFC, 12/18/98, p.A1,3)(SFC, 12/21/98, p.A20)
1998        Dec 17, In Alagoas state, Brazil, congresswoman Ceci Cunha was killed with her husband and 2 in-laws in an apparent political assassination. Talvane Albuquerque, who lost re-election in October, assumed her seat in the Chamber of Deputies. He was charged with ordering the murder of Cunha, but was immune from criminal prosecution while in office.
    (SFC, 12/18/98, p.D2)(WSJ, 3/16/99, p.A1)
1998        Dec 17, In Britain the high court set aside its ruling against Gen’l Pinochet because one member failed to disclose close ties with Amnesty Int’l. A new panel will rehear Pinochet’s claim of immunity.
    (SFC, 12/18/98, p.A18)
1998        Dec 17, In China dissidents Wang Youcai in Hangzhou and Qin Yongmin in Wuhan, arrested for subversion, pleaded their cases for forming the China Democracy Party. Youcai was released in 2004 and sent to the US.
    (SFC, 12/18/98, p.D3)(SFC, 2/05/04, p.A3)
1998        Dec 17, A boatload of Cubans capsized off Elliot Key, Fla., during an immigrant-smuggling attempt and at least 8 people were drowned.
    (SFC, 12/19/98, p.A7)
1998        Dec 17, In Gabon Karen Phillips (37), a US Peace Corps worker from Philadelphia, was raped and stabbed to death in Oyem. 3 people were arrested in connection with her death.
    (SFEC, 12/20/98, p.C10)
1998        Dec 17, In Indonesia some 4,000 students attempted to storm the parliament in Jakarta in a 2nd day of riots. They were stopped by police riot squads.
    (SFC, 12/18/98, p.D2)
1998        Dec 17, Serbian police attacked a suspected rebel-controlled village in Kosovo. Two ethnic Albanian fighters were killed and 34 were arrested in Glodjane.
    (SFC, 12/18/98, p.D4)

1999        Dec 17, President Clinton signed a law letting millions of disabled Americans retain their government-funded health coverage when they take a job.
    (AP, 12/17/00)
1999        Dec 17, Grover Washington Jr., jazz saxophonist, died at age 56 during a TV taping session in NYC.
    (SFC, 12/18/99, p.C5)
1999        Dec 17, The UN Security Council (Resolution 1284) ended a yearlong deadlock and voted to create a new inspection team (UNMOVIC) to complete the disarmament of Iraq.
    (SFC, 12/18/99, p.A1)(AP, 12/17/00)(SFC, 9/24/02, p.A12)

2000        Dec 17, President-elect Bush was named Time magazine's Person of the Year.
    (AP, 12/17/05)
2000        Dec 17, Pres.-elect Bush named Condoleeza Rice (46) of Stanford to be his national security advisor and Texas Supreme Court Justice Alberto Gonzales as White House counsel.
    (SFC, 12/18/00, p.A1)(AP, 12/17/01)
2000        Dec 17, In Chechnya a rebel attack killed 3 Russian soldiers. A shootout with rebels in Grozny left 2 police officers and 2 rebels dead.
    (SFC, 12/19/00, p.B4)(SFC, 12/18/00, p.E6)
2000        Dec 17, In Colombia gunmen killed 11 people in the village of Chipaque. Leftist rebels were suspected.
    (SFC, 12/19/00, p.B2)
2000        Dec 17, Cuba and Russia agreed to abandon the nuclear power plant at Juragua. Pres. Putin pushed Castro to recognize a small portion of the Soviet-era debt, estimated at $20 billion.
    (SFC, 12/18/00, p.E6)
2000        Dec 17, Israeli and Palestinian officials agreed to hold talks in Washington prior to the departure of Pres. Clinton.
    (SFC, 12/18/00, p.E2)
2000        Dec 17, In Mexico thousands were ordered to evacuate the area around the Popocatepetl volcano due to the formation of a lava dome.
    (WSJ, 12/18/00, p.A1)
2000        Dec 17, In northern Italy at least 10 climbers and skiers were killed after ice formed overnight in the Alps.
    (SFC, 12/18/00, p.E2)

2001        Dec 17, The Bush administration announced that the anthrax attacks most likely originated from a domestic source.
    (SFC, 12/18/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 17, Space shuttle Endeavour returned to Cape Canaveral following A 12-day mission for a crew change at the Int’l. Space Station.
    (SFC, 12/18/01, p.A4)(WSJ, 12/18/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 17, US Marines raised the Stars and Stripes over the long-abandoned American Embassy in Kabul, inaugurating what U.S. envoy James F. Dobbins promised would be a long commitment to the rebuilding.
    (AP, 12/17/02)
2001        Dec 17, In Afghanistan US Delta forces pursued some 300 al Qaeda fighters in the White Mountains. Mullah Omar was reported to have retreated to the mountains near Baghran.
    (SFC, 12/18/01, p.A1,14)
2001        Dec 17, In Haiti 33 gunmen, ex-members of the disbanded military, attacked the national penitentiary, were rebuffed and moved on to the National Palace. At least 10 people were killed. Opposition buildings were attacked in response. Pres. Aristide called the attack a failed coup. Opposition called the attack a staged event to crush dissent. A captured former soldier later said the attack was a coup attempt and that fellow conspirators included a former colonel and 2 former police chiefs. Former Col. Guy Francois was accused of helping plot the attack and  spent two years in prison for his alleged role despite maintaining his innocence.
    (SFC, 12/18/01, p.A3)(SFC, 12/19/01, p.A4)(WSJ, 12/18/01, p.A1)(SFC, 12/21/01, p.A3)(AP, 12/17/02)(AP, 9/15/06)
2001        Dec 17, Israel continued military sweeps as Hamas and the Popular Front rejected Arafat’s call to end attacks.
    (WSJ, 12/18/01, p.A1)

2002        Dec 17, U.S. President George W. Bush ordered the military to begin deploying a national missile defense system with land- and sea-based interceptor rockets to be operational starting in 2004.
    (Reuters, 12/17/02)(SFC, 12/18/02, p.A1)
2002        Dec 17, In New York Gov. George Pataki signed a bill extending civil rights protections to gays and lesbians in the state.
    (SFC, 12/18/02, p.A3)
2002        Dec 17, Insurance and finance company Conseco Incorporated filed for Chapter Eleven protection in the third-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
    (AP, 12/17/03)
2002        Dec 17, Playwright Frederick Knott (86), who wrote "Dial M For Murder" and "Wait Until Dark," died in NYC.
    (AP, 12/17/03)
2002        Dec 17, Congo's government, rebels and political opposition signed a power-sharing agreement after four years of war and 2.5 million lives lost.
    (AP, 12/17/02)
2002        Dec 17, Iraqi exiles in London declared they want to build a "new Iraq" and agreed on a power-sharing plan that for the first time recognizes the political clout of Shiite Muslims, a majority in a nation long controlled by Sunni Muslims such as Saddam Hussein. Some delegates walked out of the London meeting warning of possible civil war if they were sidelined in any new government.
    (AP, 12/17/02)(Reuters, 12/17/02)
2002        Dec 17, Mohammed Jawad allegedly attacked US troops with a grenade. He was arrested and later transferred to Guantanamo Bay. US authorities claimed he was at least 16-years old at the time of his arrest, but it later emerged he may have been as young as 12.
    (SFC, 7/31/09, p.A5)(
2002        Dec 17, Malaysia won control of two tiny palm-fringed islands when the World Court ruled in its favor in a long-running dispute with Indonesia.
    (Reuters, 12/17/02)
2002        Dec 17, The Interfax news agency reported that Russia has lost 4,705 soldiers, officers and policemen in Chechnya since 1999.
    (AP, 12/18/02)

2003        Dec 17, The US CDC reported that the average age of US women for their 1st child was 25.1 years, up from 21.4 in 1970.
    (WSJ, 12/18/03, p.A1)
2003        Dec 17, The Bush administration reached a free-trade deal with El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua for immediate duty-free access to half of all US farm exports and 80% of consumer goods.
    (WSJ, 12/18/03, p.A1)
2003        Dec 17, George Ryan, former governor of Illinois, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of racketeering. Ryan was alter convicted and sentenced to 6 1/2-years in federal prison sentence for racketeering.
    (SFC, 12/18/03, p.A2)(AP, 12/17/08)
2003        Dec 17, Wally Hedrick (75), Beat-era artist, died at his home in Sonoma County, Ca.
    (SFC, 12/24/03, p.A16)
2003        Dec 17, In Britain Ian Huntley, a former school caretaker, was convicted of murdering two 10-year-old girls in 2002. He had previously been investigated for sex crimes. Huntley was sentenced to two life terms.
    (AP, 12/17/03)(Econ, 1/21/06, p.53)
2003        Dec 17, The British government announced the first reported case of a person dying from the human form of mad cow disease after a blood transfusion from an infected donor.
    (AP, 12/17/04)
2003        Dec 17, China Life, China's biggest life insurer, debuted on the NY stock exchange.
    (Econ, 12/20/03, p.104)
2003        Dec 17, The fifth outbreak in two years of the deadly Ebola virus in a the Republic of Congo has so far killed 29 people.
    (AP, 12/17/03)
2003        Dec 17, In France Pres. Jacques Chirac announced his decision to pass a law banning Islamic head scarves and other conspicuous religious symbols in public schools.
    (AP, 12/18/03)
2003        Dec 17, In Greece a court handed multiple life sentences to the leader, chief assassin and three other members of the November 17 terror organization.
    (AP, 12/17/03)
2003        Dec 17, Haiti police stormed and shut down a pro-opposition radio station, smashing studio equipment in what they said was a search for weapons.
    (AP, 12/18/03)
2003        Dec 17, In Baghdad an explosives-laden truck speeding toward a police station slammed into a bus and blew up before dawn, killing at least 10 Iraqis.
    (AP, 12/17/03)
2003        Dec 17, In Iraq guerrillas ambushed a U.S. military patrol with small arms fire, killing one soldier at al-Karmah in northwest Baghdad. The soldier's death brings the number of U.S. soldiers killed in combat to 314 since the war started on March 20.
    (AP, 12/18/03)
2003        Dec 17, Suspected followers of Saddam Hussein shot to death Muhannad al-Hakim a representative of a major Shiite political party and a member of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution.
    (AP, 12/18/03)
2003        Dec 17, South Korea agreed to send 3,000 troops to Iraq in 2004.
    (WSJ, 12/18/03, p.A1)
2003        Dec 17, NATO's Secretary General Lord Robertson ended a tumultuous four-year term.
    (AP, 12/17/03)
2003        Dec 17, In the Ukraine a bus veered off a mountain road and plunged into a deep ditch on the Crimean peninsula, killing 17 people and injuring 19 others.
    (AP, 12/18/03)

2004        Dec 17, President Bush signed into law the largest overhaul of US intelligence-gathering in 50 years.
    (AP, 12/17/05)
2004        Dec 17, The FDA approved a Harvard proposal to test the benefits of 3-4 methylenedioxtmethamphetamine (MDMA). In Nov. researchers in North Carolina gained government approval to test the drug "Ecstasy" as a treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder for the first time since the drug was criminalized in 1985.
    (, 11/6/04)
2004        Dec 17, Pfizer, maker of a popular pain reliever, admitted Celebrex appears to increase the risk of heart attack in users, but has no plans to remove it from the market.
    (AP, 12/17/04)
2004        Dec 17, Tom Wesselman (73), NYC pop artist, died. He was known for his “bedroom still lifes."
    (SFC, 12/21/04, p.B7)
2004        Dec 17, Afghan forces retook control of Pul-e-Charkhi, the country's largest jail, following a day-long standoff. 4 inmates and 4 guards were killed in the violence.
    (AP, 12/17/04)(SFC, 12/18/04, p.A8)
2004        Dec 17, Bhutan began to enforce a total ban on tobacco sales and smoking in public. The royal National Assembly passed the resolution in July.
    (SFC, 11/30/04, p.A2)
2004        Dec 17, Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Dragan Mikerevic resigned, one day after the international community imposed sanctions against Bosnian Serb police and officials for allegedly helping fugitive war crimes suspects evade justice.
    (AFP, 12/17/04)
2004        Dec 17, It was reported that China paid out $15 billion per month to keep the yuan fixed at 8.277 to the US dollar.
    (WSJ, 12/17/04, p.A14)
2004        Dec 17, It was reported that China’s growing power industry was causing global concern over mercury accumulation in the world’s water and food supply.
    (WSJ, 12/17/04, p.A1)
2004        Dec 17, Colombian authorities revealed that they had lost track in June of three IRA-linked men, convicted this week of training Marxist rebels in terrorist tactics.
    (AP, 12/18/04)
2004        Dec 17, The UN said foreign troops have crossed into Congo and called on outside forces to stop giving weapons and reinforcements to renegade soldiers battling army loyalists.
    (AP, 12/18/04)
2004        Dec 17, Dissident forces attacked the village of Buramba, Congo, targeting civilians suspected of sympathizing with pro-government militiamen. At least 30 civilians were killed in the massacre believed to have been a reprisal for the killing of 3 renegade soldiers by a pro-government militia.
    (AP, 1/7/05)
2004        Dec 17, Three days of trade talks ended in Havana. Cuba agreed to buy about $125 million in farm goods from attending U.S. companies.
    (AP, 12/18/04)
2004        Dec 17, European Union leaders and Turkey agreed on a compromise formula to overcome differences over Turkish recognition of Cyprus' government as a condition for opening EU membership talks.
    (AP, 12/17/04)
2004        Dec 17, The US completely forgave $4.1 billion in debt Iraq owed it and urged other nations not part of an international debt relief agreement to follow suit.
    (AP, 12/18/04)
2004        Dec 17, Gunmen attacked a car in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, killing four male passengers, and witnesses said three of the victims were foreigners.
    (AP, 12/17/04)
2004        Dec 17, Israeli troops raided a Gaza refugee camp in retaliation for a deadly Palestinian mortar fire, sparking fighting that killed 8 Palestinians and wounded 24 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier.
    (AP, 12/17/04)(SFC, 12/18/04, p.A14)
2004        Dec 17, Italy's interior ministry said 181 people had been arrested in the past three months in a crackdown on the Camorra in Naples whose turf warfare now overshadows that of the Sicilian mafia.
    (AP, 12/18/04)
2004        Dec 17, It was reported that the AIDS drug nevirapine failed to meet int’l. standards in Uganda. The drug was used to protect babies from HIV infection, but that infected women could develop resistance.
    (SFC, 12/17/04, p.A23)

2005        Dec 17, President George W. Bush acknowledged he signed a secret order after the September 11, 2001, attacks to allow the surveillance of people in the United States.
    (Reuters, 12/17/05)
2005        Dec 17, John Ruiz lost the WBA heavyweight title, dropping a disputed majority decision to Nikolay Valuev of Russia in Berlin.
    (AP, 12/17/06)
2005        Dec 17, Jack Anderson (83), Pulitzer Prize-winning muckraking columnist, died at his home in Maryland. Washington Post columnist Drew Pearson hired Anderson in 1947 and Anderson took over his column after Pearson’s death in 1969.
    (SSFC, 12/18/05, p.B5)
2005        Dec 17, In southern Afghanistan men on a motorcycle opened fire on students leaving school in Lashkargah, killing a pupil and a janitor.
    (AP, 12/17/05)
2005        Dec 17, In southern Afghanistan 4 policemen and 3 suspected Taliban fighters were killed and an Afghan interpreter were wounded in attacks.
    (AFP, 12/18/05)
2005        Dec 17, In Bosnia the reconstructed Stari Most, a bridge that came to symbolize the senseless brutality of the Bosnian war, took its place on the UN's list of protected World Heritage Sites.
    (AP, 12/17/05)
2005        Dec 17, Hundreds of fighters from three rebel armies united to attack the village of San Marino in western Colombia. The bold assault that killed at least five police officers.
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2005        Dec 17, EU leaders agreed on a 7-year spending plan for the 25-nation bloc, a hard-won deal seen as key to shaping the future of an enlarged EU and to restoring faith in its unity.
    (AP, 12/17/05)
2005        Dec 17, In Hong Kong hundreds of protesters wielding bamboo sticks broke through police lines and tried to storm the convention center hosting global trade talks. Security forces scattered the crowd with tear gas. Police said 41 people were injured and 900 were detained.
    (AP, 12/17/05)
2005        Dec 17, India and Pakistan agreed to begin work by 2007 on a pipeline to bring natural gas from Iran, moving ahead with the project despite US disapproval. Iran hoped to break ground this year on a 1,700 mile, $4 billion natural gas pipeline to deliver gas across Pakistan to India. The US opposed the line and threatened sanctions under the 1996 Iran Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) law.
    (AP, 12/18/05)(WSJ, 6/24/05, p.A4)
2005        Dec 17, The chief UN investigator into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri said in published remarks that he believed Syrian authorities were behind the killing.
    (AP, 12/17/05)
2005        Dec 17, Macedonia moved a step closer to realizing its dream of EU membership when the bloc's leaders gave their blessing for it to start membership talks.
    (AFP, 12/17/05)
2005        Dec 17, The Mexican government slammed the US Congress for approving an immigration bill that would tighten border controls and make it harder for undocumented immigrants to get jobs.
    (AP, 12/17/05)
2005        Dec 17, In Mexico 6 people were stabbed or battered to death during a prison gang fight in Ciudad Juarez, across the US border from El Paso, Texas.
    (AP, 12/17/05)
2005        Dec 17, Forty drunken Santas rampaged through central Auckland, NZ, stealing from stores and assaulting security guards in a protest against the commercialization of Christmas.
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2005        Dec 17, An explosion in the southern Gaza Strip killed a militant who fired homemade rockets at Israel and wounded three other people.
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2005        Dec 17, A first group of southern Sudanese refugees began their journey home after two decades of living in a camp in Kenya.
    (AP, 12/17/05)
2005        Dec 17, In Trinidad Randy Depoo, a former political officer at the US Embassy in Trinidad, paid $1,000 for the release of his kidnapped son. The kidnappers originally sought nearly $32,000 but released the youth within hours of the abduction for the lower amount.
    (AP, 12/24/05)
2005        Dec 17, Turkey's PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the EU of trying to pressure Turkish courts in the trial of the country's best-known novelist. Orhan Pamuk is being tried for telling a Swiss newspaper in February that "30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians were killed in these lands, and nobody but me dares to talk about it."
    (AP, 12/17/05)
2005        Dec 17, In Vietnam disaster officials said floods and landslides have claimed at least 47 lives in central Vietnam in the past two weeks.
    (AP, 12/17/05)

2006        Dec 17, In Kirksville, Missouri, a 911 call reporting a "strange odor" from a duplex apartment led police to the bodies of seven people.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 17, In Ohio a plane crashed in a field killing Paul and Lillian Martin of Austin, Texas, and their two children.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 17, Kelly James of Dallas, one of 3 missing climbers, was found dead in a snow cave on Mount Hood.
    (AP, 12/17/06)
2006        Dec 17, Afghan officials replaced Helmand Gov. Mohammad Daud with Asadullah Wafa. Daud led the province that grows more than a third of the world's opium. Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said the appointment of Wafa would help increase security in Helmand, but insisted the increase in poppy cultivation had nothing to do with the change. In eastern Afghanistan a suicide bomber drove up to an American convoy and blew himself up, leaving one Afghan civilian dead and two others wounded. France said it is going to withdraw its 200-strong special forces from Afghanistan, all of its ground troops engaged in the US anti-terror operation there.
    (AP, 12/17/06)(AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 17, In eastern Chad marauding fighters killed and mutilated 20 civilians. The  government blamed the atrocities on militias backed by neighbouring Sudan. Government forces who battled the attackers after their raids on the refugee camp and two other nearby villages also saw eight of their soldiers killed and the victims' eyes gouged out. The army killed nine fighters in return and took four prisoners.
    (AFP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 17, Indian officials said a killer elephant, named after Osama bin Laden by fearful villagers, was killed by sharpshooters. The animal was blamed for 14 deaths in the northeastern state of Assam.
    (AP, 12/17/06)
2006        Dec 17, Britain’s PM Blair and his Iraqi counterpart, Nouri al-Maliki, discussed preparations by British military units in Basra, the main city in southern Iraq, to turn over security to Iraqi forces. Gunmen in Iraqi army uniforms burst into Red Crescent offices and kidnapped more than two dozen people at the humanitarian organization in the latest sign of the country's growing lawlessness. Others killed in violence included two policeman, an Iraqi soldier and a municipal official in Baghdad; and a police officer in Kut. Former Electricity Minister Ayham al-Samaraie, a dual US-Iraqi citizen and the country's only postwar Cabinet minister to be convicted of corruption, escaped police custody in Baghdad for a second time.
    (AP, 12/17/06)(AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 17, Nigeria's ruling party chose a reclusive Muslim state governor, Umaru Yar'Adua, to be its candidate to succeed Olusegun Obasanjo as president of Africa's most populous nation in elections next year.
    (Reuters, 12/17/06)
2006        Dec 17, Gunmen attacked the convoy of the Palestinian foreign minister and raided a training base for an elite security forces unit, stepping up factional violence over a decision by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to end nine months of Hamas leadership and call early elections. A 19-year-old woman and a Palestinian security officer were killed in the chaos. Earlier in the day dozens of gunmen raided a training camp of Abbas' Presidential Guard near the president's residence, killing a member of the elite force.
    (AP, 12/17/06)
2006        Dec 17, Scores of migrants who spent days at sea were missing and feared dead after their boat wrecked off Senegal's coast.
    (AP, 12/17/06)
2006        Dec 17, Zimbabwe's ruling party recommended that President Robert Mugabe's term be extended by two years, to 2010, delaying a showdown between rival factions over the choice of his successor. Opposition and rights groups vowed to stage mass street protests against plans by Mugabe's supporters to extend the veteran ruler's term by another two years.
    (AP, 12/17/06)(AFP, 12/18/06)

2007        Dec 17, President George W. Bush, addressing a Rotary Club meeting, tried to reassure an edgy public that the economy is "pretty good" despite the mix of a failing housing market, a national credit crunch and surging energy costs.
    (AP, 12/17/08)
2007        Dec 17, A US judge ruled that the White House visitor logs are public, a blow to Pres. Bush, who didn’t want to disclose visits by religious conservatives.
    (WSJ, 12/18/07, p.A1)
2007        Dec 17, In Washington, DC, a military judge said the US must hold court hearings to determine whether suspected terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay are prisoners of war or unlawful enemy combatants in a ruling that could delay war crimes trials.
    (AP, 12/19/07)
2007        Dec 17, US trade officials said the US has reached a deal with the EU, Japan and Canada to keep its Internet gambling market closed to foreign companies, but is continuing talks with India, Antigua and Barbuda, Macau and Costa Rica.
    (AP, 12/17/07)
2007        Dec 17, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine signed into law a measure that abolished the death penalty, making New Jersey the first US state in over decades reject capital punishment.
    (SFC, 12/18/07, p.A4)
2007        Dec 17, It was reported that the US was investigation allegations that Public Warehousing Co. owned by Kuwait’s Sultan Al-Essa family, had solicited as much as $80 million in kickbacks under cover as discounts from US suppliers.
    (WSJ, 12/17/07, p.A1)
2007        Dec 17, The World Trade Organization (WTO) launched an investigation into Washington's multi-billion-dollar farm subsidies that Brazil and Canada say break international trading rules.
    (Reuters, 12/17/07)
2007        Dec 17, The Int’l. Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector arm of the World Bank, unveiled a $1 billion health-care strategy for Africa.
    (Econ, 12/22/07, p.121)
2007        Dec 17, In southern Afghanistan several militants were killed in airstrikes and a subsequent operation by US-led coalition troops.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 17, Much of eastern and central Canada was digging out after a massive storm dumped up to 50 cm (20 inches) of snow in places, shocking Canadians who had become accustomed to milder winters.
    (Reuters, 12/17/07)
2007        Dec 17, In Grozny, Chechnya, a roadside bomb killed a prison guard and wounded four other people as they drove in a van transporting suspected criminals.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 17, Dubai ruling Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum pardoned 377 inmates of Dubai prisons this week on the eve of Eid al-Adha, an important Islamic holiday. The pardon included Bert Tatham, a Canadian UN official who advised the Afghan government on eradicating opium poppy crops. Tatham (35) was granted amnesty, six months after being sentenced to four years in prison on a drug smuggling conviction. Tatham was arrested April 23 during a one-hour stopover at the Dubai International Airport, after being caught with a half a gram of hashish, and two poppy bulbs.
    (AP, 12/17/07)
2007        Dec 17, Nine Egyptians were killed and seven injured when a car crashed into a group of people celebrating a religious festival on Egypt's Red Sea coast.
    (AP, 12/17/07)
2007        Dec 17, Iranian Vice President Gholam Reza Aghazadeh said the first nuclear fuel shipment for the Bushehr atomic power plant has arrived in Iran from Russia. Aghazadeh said the Bushehr plant was 95 percent complete and would begin operations next year.
    (AP, 12/17/07)
2007        Dec 17, Al-Qaida's No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri warned of "traitors" among insurgents in Iraq and called on Iraqi Sunni Arab tribes to purge those who help the Americans in a new videotape posted on the Web.
    (AP, 12/17/07)
2007        Dec 17, Defense officials said Israel will allow the Palestinians to set up a new cell phone network, part of warming relations between the sides. The world rallied to the support of the embattled Palestinian government, and the co-chairman of a donors' conference said he was confident they could meet a $5.6 billion target in aid.
    (AP, 12/17/07)
2007        Dec 17, Japan and the United Arab Emirates signed an accord to strengthen economic ties, including a deal for Japanese banks to extend a multibillion-dollar loan to a state-owned Abu Dhabi oil firm.
    (AP, 12/17/07)
2007        Dec 17, Japan began sending warnings to an estimated 8.5 million people that their pension data may have gone missing, as the government seeks to clean up a scandal that has damaged its credibility.
    (AP, 12/17/07)
2007        Dec 17, A Nicaraguan appeals court overturned the conviction of Eric Volz, a US man sentenced to 30 years in prison in the killing of his Nicaraguan girlfriend. Volz (28) was freed on Dec 21 and quickly left Nicaragua.
    (AP, 12/18/07)(AP, 12/22/07)
2007        Dec 17, Nigeria's main militant group urged all armed factions in the restive southern oil heartland to join together and cripple Africa's biggest petroleum industry.
    (AP, 12/17/07)
2007        Dec 17, In Pakistan the Election Commission rejected former PM Nawaz Sharif’s appeal against the rejection of his nomination for next month's parliamentary elections. Police used batons and fired tear gas in a clash with protesters who hurled rocks and bricks at them in Islamabad. A suicide bomber blew himself up among a group of Pakistani army recruits returning from a soccer game in northwestern Pakistan, killing nine of them. The attacker struck near an army communications center in Kohat, about 30 miles from the city of Peshawar.
    (AFP, 12/17/07)(AP, 12/17/07)(AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was ready to become prime minister if his close ally Dmitry Medvedev succeeds him, giving Putin a way to keep a grip on power after he leaves the Kremlin.
    (Reuters, 12/17/07)   
2007        Dec 17, In Saudi Arabia a gang-rape victim who was sentenced to six months in prison and 200 lashes for being alone with a man not related to her was pardoned by the Saudi king after the case sparked rare criticism from the United States, the kingdom's top ally.
    (AP, 12/17/07)
2007        Dec 17, In Somalia mortar shells slammed into Mogadishu, killing at least 12 people, including a mother and her three children, and wounding dozens in an increasingly ferocious Islamic insurgency.
    (AP, 12/17/07)
2007        Dec 17, In northern Sri Lanka renewed violence between Tamil rebels and government forces left at least 33 people dead.
    (AFP, 12/17/07)
2007        Dec 17, Uruguay's last military dictator, Gregorio Alvarez, was charged with the forced disappearance of political prisoners, cheering human rights activists who have long campaigned for his prosecution.
    (AP, 12/17/07)

2008        Dec 17, Microsoft said will release an emergency patch today to fix a perilous software flaw allowing hackers to hijack Internet Explorer browsers and take over computers.
    (AFP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, In Minnesota two freight trains collided sending an engineer and some cars into the Mississippi River.
    (WSJ, 12/18/08, p.A1)
2008        Dec 17, OPEC, meeting in Algeria, said it is cutting 2.2 million barrels a day from its output, the largest ever at one time, to stem crude prices that have plummeted over 70% from summer highs of nearly $150. Members among the 13-nation organization were officially producing a daily 29.045 million barrels in September.
    (AP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, Algerian news reports said Raked Brahim (28) was convicted and jailed for three years for traveling to Iraq in 2007 to take part in attacks against US forces. He was detained in Syria and later deported back to Algeria.
    (AP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, Australian Aborigines won a court fight against Anglo-Swiss mining giant Xstrata's plans to divert a river and expand one of the world's biggest zinc mines.
    (AFP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, Two Australian women were killed when their light aircraft slammed into a suburban house in Sydney after a mid-air collision between two flying school planes.
    (AFP, 12/18/08)
2008        Dec 17, British PM Gordon Brown said his country's troops will leave Iraq by May 31, ending a mission that provided the second-largest military presence in Iraq after the United States. Police said a double-bombing in Baghdad targeting traffic police left at least 18 people dead and 52 others wounded. The US military reported nine killed and 43 wounded.
    (AP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, A London judge sentenced Bilal Abdulla (29) to at least 32 years in prison for his role in the June 29, 2007, attempted car bombs in London and an attack at Glasgow Airport the following day.
    (SFC, 12/18/08, p.A17)
2008        Dec 17, Bulgaria's last 155 troops stationed in Iraq returned home. 13 Bulgarian soldiers and six civilians have died in Iraq since 2003. Bulgaria also has troops in international military missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia.
    (AP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, In Beijing the presidents of China and Angola signed a series of agreements as the oil rich African nation sought greater Chinese participation in its energy and infrastructure development.
    (AP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, The European Parliament gave a jailed Chinese dissident a one-minute standing ovation as it honored him in absentia with its top human rights award.
    (AP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, Gaza militants fired nine rockets at Israel just two days before militants say a truce along the Gaza border is to expire. The rockets were fired by three small militant groups and caused no injuries. Israel says there's no expiration date.
    (AP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, In Indian Kashmir thousands of security forces patrolled towns to protect voters in state elections. Muslim separatists urged residents to boycott the vote and called for a general strike.
    (AP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, The Russian ruble suffered its largest drop in three months after the Central Bank signaled it would accelerate the devaluation of the national currency.
    (AP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, An international anti-piracy force thwarted the attempted takeover of a Chinese cargo ship off the Somali coast, sending in attack helicopters that fired on the bandits and forced them to abandon the ship they had boarded. The Indian navy handed over 23 pirates, caught at sea on Dec 13, to authorities in Yemen.
    (AP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, South African President Kgalema Motlanthe said Zimbabwe's neighbors will launch an urgent humanitarian campaign in the hope of saving the country from economic collapse and a cholera epidemic. Motlanthe also said South Africa would not join international calls for Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to step down, saying it was "not for us" to do so.
    (AP, 12/17/08)(AFP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, A South Korean court found one of the country's most famous actresses guilty of adultery, months after she tried but failed to have a law that makes extramarital affairs a crime ruled unconstitutional. Ok So-ri was handed a suspended jail term.
    (AP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, Sri Lankan fighter jets and attack helicopters pummeled rebel fortifications across the north, as government forces pushed ahead with their offensive against the Tamil Tigers' northern stronghold in the face of punishing seasonal rains and stiff rebel resistance.
    (AP, 12/17/08)
2008        Dec 17, The UN said it will double the budget of its Afghan mission next year, taking on hundreds of new staff and opening more offices to meet more "complex" challenges. The UN’s chief in Afghanistan called for international military forces to revise their agreement with the Afghan government to include practices that will better safeguard civilians.
    (AFP, 12/17/08)(AP, 12/17/08)

2009        Dec 17, The Obama administration handed out the first $182 million of a $7.2 billion pot of stimulus money that will go toward building high-speed Internet networks and encouraging more Americans to use them.
    (AP, 12/17/09)
2009        Dec 17, The US Fish and Wildlife Service declared that attempts over the past two years to save the endangered Kootenai River white sturgeon had failed. An isolated population of the species lives along a stretch of the Kootenai that passes through Montana, northern Idaho and southern British Columbia. Fewer than 500 of the bottom-feeding behemoths survive. It's been 35 years since they successfully spawned due to the 1974 construction of Libby Dam.
    (AP, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 17, SF Mayor Newsom delivered a list of midyear cuts totaling $45 million. He still faced a $522 million deficit for 2010.
    (SFC, 12/18/09, p.A15)
2009        Dec 17, In California the Sonoma Land Trust completed the $36 million purchase of 5,630 acres of coastal grasslands and redwood forest known as the Jenner Headlands.
    (SFC, 12/18/09, p.A1)
2009        Dec 17, Xcor Aerospace of Mohave, Ca., the developer of a rocket plane for space tourism, said it has been selected to supply launch services to the Yecheon Astro Space Center, a nonprofit organization in South Korea.
    (SFC, 12/18/09, p.A21)
2009        Dec 17, Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry (26) died in North Carolina, a day after falling out of the back of a pickup truck during what police said was a domestic dispute with his fiancee.
    (AP, 12/17/09)
2009        Dec 17, In Kansas City, Mo., Chester Harvey Jr. (38), of Laddonia, and his son Chad Michael Harvey (19), of Eolia, tortured and killed James William Boyd McNeely (20) of Ohio in the trucker's basement with the help of several other people. On Dec 30 prosecutors filed for first-degree murder and other charges against the men.
    (AP, 12/31/09)
2009        Dec 17, Jennifer Jones (90), film actress, died. She starred in over 2 dozen films and won an academy award  for her 1943 film “The Song of Bernadette."
    (SFC, 12/18/09, p.A24)
2009        Dec 17, In Afghanistan a key conference on corruption ended with delegates suggesting the government end immunity for corrupt officials and intensify the fight against graft. A suicide attacker wounded 5 Afghan soldiers and 4 tribal leaders in the central province of Uruzgan.
    (AFP, 12/17/09)(AP, 12/17/09)
2009        Dec 17, In the Bahamas 2 US pilots were the only people aboard the small jet when it crashed in an unpopulated area of Great Inagua shortly after taking off from the Dominican Republic en route to Miami. The Jet Falcon was owned by a trust for which the San Francisco, California-based Wells Fargo company acts as trustee.
    (AP, 12/19/09)
2009        Dec 17, Oxfam said some areas of East Africa had received less than 5% of the normal November rains and that many people are malnourished in Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. It was the sixth failed rainy season for war-ravaged Somalia and the worst drought there for 20 years. The European Commission announced that it would immediately release an extra $75 million to fund emergency relief for drought-stricken areas of East Africa. It estimated that 16 million people will need aid in the coming months.
    (AP, 12/17/09)
2009        Dec 17, Bolivia's leftist government was reported to have seized another big ranch from a top opposition figure. It said the 2,500-hectare (10-square-mile) spread will go to landless Indians. President Morales' government also confiscated a 500-hectare parcel from Osvaldo Monasterio, a banker and agribusinessman who owns the Unitel TV network.
    (AP, 12/17/09)
2009        Dec 17, In Brazil a 2-year-old boy with 42 sewing needles stuck in him was airlifted to another hospital in northeastern Bahia state because two of the needles were close to his heart. A police official said Roberto Carlos Magalhaes, the boy's stepfather, had been arrested, that he had confessed to sticking the needles into the boy with the help of a woman and that authorities were investigating whether black magic was involved. On Dec 18 doctors removed 4 of the most life-threatening needles.
    (AP, 12/17/09)(SFC, 12/18/09, p.A5)(AP, 12/19/09)
2009        Dec 17, Canada put its Candu nuclear division up for sale, saying the operation needed outside investors to boost its chances for growth at a time of expanding nuclear power generation and also help cut the cost to taxpayers.
    (Reuters, 12/17/09)
2009        Dec 17, In Copenhagen US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sought to put new life into flagging UN climate talks by announcing the US would join others in raising $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer nations cope with global warming.
    (AP, 12/17/09)
2009        Dec 17, In Ingushetia, Russia, a suicide car bomber attacked a group of police and soldiers in Nazran, wounding at least 23 people. Also in Nazran 2 security officers were killed in a drive-by shooting.
    (AP, 12/17/09)
2009        Dec 17, Iranian forces took control of Well 4, a southern Iraqi oil well on a disputed section of the border in Maysan province. Well 4 lies in the Fauqa Field, part of a cluster of fields Iraq unsuccessfully put up for auction to oil majors in June. The field has estimated reserves of 1.55 million barrels. There have been a number of meetings in recent years aimed at reaching agreement on border fields, so far without success.
    (AFP, 12/18/09)(AP, 12/19/09)
2009        Dec 17, In Iraq a car bomb exploded outside a popular restaurant in central Baghdad, killing 3 people and wounding 16 as diners were out enjoying the start to their weekend.
    (AP, 12/17/09)
2009        Dec 17, Off the coast of Lebanon a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship carrying thousands of sheep and other livestock went down in heavy rain. At least 9 crew members were killed and dozens were missing.
    (AP, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 17, Hannibal Kadhafi, the son of the Libyan leader, filed a civil lawsuit for "protection of personality" against the Swiss canton of Geneva and a local newspaper over the publication of police mugshots taken when he was arrested in Switzerland in July, 2008.
    (AFP, 12/23/09)
2009        Dec 17, Malaysian marine police rescued 62 pangolins. 2 days later Malaysian wildlife authorities said they rescued 130 pangolins and arrested two men attempting to smuggle the protected species. They were expected to be illegally exported to China, Japan and Hong Kong, where animal's meat is considered a delicacy with medicinal qualities.
    (AFP, 12/20/09)(
2009        Dec 17, In Mexico four suspected drug traffickers and two local policemen were killed in a shootout with soldiers in General Zuazua. Soldiers found a list with names of local policemen who may have been on the payroll of the drug gang. They also found more than 1,320 pounds (600 kg) of marijuana and several guns at the scene.
    (AP, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 17, In New Zealand a church billboard was erected showing an apparently naked Virgin Mary and Joseph in bed together and quickly sparked the ire of conservative Christians. On the poster a sad-looking Joseph lies next to Mary, whose face is turned heavenwards under the words: "Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow." St Matthews' vicar, Archdeacon Glynn Cardy, said the billboard was meant to challenge stereotypes about the way Jesus was conceived.
    (AFP, 12/17/09)
2009        Dec 17, A Nigerian judge dismissed a 170-count indictment that accused former Delta state governor James Ibori, of corruption and money laundering. Ibori was also a financial backer of President Umaru Yar'Adua.
    (AP, 12/17/09)
2009        Dec 17, Pakistan's defense minister was blocked from leaving the country along with nearly 250 other top officials, following the Supreme Court's decision to strike down an amnesty for hundreds of Pakistani officials charged with corruption. 2 separate US missile strikes killed 16 people in North Waziristan including Al-Qaida commander Zuhaib al-Zahibi.
    (AP, 12/18/09)(AFP, 12/17/09)(SFC, 12/18/09, p.A11)
2009        Dec 17, Former Syrian President Amin Hafez (b.1920) died. He was brought to power by a military coup only to be overthrown three years later. Hafez became president in a 1963 coup, but Baath Party radicals drove him from power three years later.
    (AP, 12/17/09)
2009        Dec 17, The Vatican said Bishop Donal Murray (69), a Roman Catholic bishop in Ireland, has resigned after a probe of child sex abuse by clergymen accused him of ignoring reports of crimes by priests in his diocese from 1982-1996.
    (AP, 12/17/09)
2009        Dec 17, The Vatican said it has stripped charismatic Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo of his priestly duties because he defiantly continues to ordain bishops despite already being excommunicated. Milingo angered the Vatican when he got married in 2001 to a South Korean woman by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church. He was excommunicated in 2006 after installing four married men as bishops.
    (AP, 12/17/09)
2009        Dec 17, Yemen security forces struck several al-Qaida hideouts and training sites in Abyan province, killing up to 34 suspected militants, including four would-be suicide bombers who planned attacks at home and abroad. At least 17 suspected militants were arrested. Civilians were caught up in the government offensive, with several homes destroyed in the airstrikes and others stormed by troops who mistook them for al-Qaida hideouts.
    (AP, 12/17/09)(Econ, 1/2/10, p.35)

2010        Dec 17, Pres. Obama signed into law a tax bill extending cuts for all Americans. The $858 billion package included 13 months of extended benefits to the unemployed and a boost for renewable power companies.
    (SFC, 12/18/10, p.A12)(SFC, 12/18/10, p.D1)
2010        Dec 17, The states of Arizona and Nevada sued Bank of America Corp., accusing the largest US bank of routinely misleading consumers about home loan modifications.
    (Reuters, 12/17/10)
2010        Dec 17, The widow of Jeffrey Picower (d.2009), a Florida philanthropist, agreed to return $7.2 billion that her husband reaped from the giant Ponzi scheme of Bernard Madoff.
    (SFC, 12/18/10, p.A6)
2010        Dec 17, The Archdiocese of New York announced that a Roman Catholic tribunal has defrocked former monsignor Charles Kavanagh (73) for molesting a teenage student in the 1980s. Kavanagh denied the accusation.
    (SSFC, 12/19/10, p.A12)
2010        Dec 17, Don Van Vliet (69), American musician and artist, died in California. He had performed as Captain Beefheart and was best known for his 1969 album “Trout Mask Replica" released by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band."
    (SFC, 12/18/10, p.A7)
2010        Dec 17, In Afghanistan kidnappers killed a Bangladeshi working for a South Korean firm and held 3 road workers hostage after storming their camp at gunpoint between the northern provinces of Balkh and Samangan. Haitham Mohammed al-Khayat (26), a prominent Jordanian-Palestinian militant better known in extremist circles as Abu Kandahar al-Zarqawi, was killed by US forces. He was an administrator of the online jihadi forum, Al-Hesbah, according to Islamist militant websites.
    (AFP, 12/18/10)(AP, 12/22/10)
2010        Dec 17, British landscape architect Joanna Yeates (25) went missing following a night out. Her body was found in the Failand area of Bristol on Christmas Day. She had been strangled. On Jan 20, 2011, Dutch engineer Vincent Tabak (32) was detained after police uncovered fresh evidence. On Oct 28 Tabak was found guilty of murder.
    (AFP, 1/4/11)(AFP, 1/22/11)(Reuters, 10/28/11)
2010        Dec 17, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made a rare visit to Pakistan aimed at expanding trade ties and the flow of Chinese investment into the country.
    (AP, 12/17/10)
2010        Dec 17, A French court convicted 13 former officials who served under Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet for roles in the disappearance of 4 French nationals. It sentenced two to life in prison: Juan Manuel Contreras Sepulveda, who at the time headed Pinochet's political police, and Octavio Espinoza Bravo, an army colonel. All 14 of the defendants were tried in absentia.
    (AP, 12/17/10)
2010        Dec 17, In Iraq a roadside bomb in southeast Baghdad exploded as Shiite pilgrims were returning home from Karbala, after final ceremonies ended for Ashura, the Shiite Muslims' most solemn religious event of the year. Eight pilgrims were wounded. The UN refugee agency said an "exodus" of thousands of Iraqi Christians was taking place following a deadly church attack in Baghdad carried out by Al-Qaeda militants at the end of October.
    (AP, 12/17/10)(AFP, 12/17/10)
2010        Dec 17, In Israel Christine Luken (44), female American tourist, was stabbed to death. Her body was found on Dec 19 bound and with multiple stab wounds near a road outside Jerusalem. Her friend, Kaye Susan Wilson, told police the two had been hiking in a nearby forest when they were assaulted by two Arab men. She, too, was bound and stabbed, but managed to escape her assailants. On Jan 26, 2011, Palestinians Kifah Ghneimat and Iyad Fatafa were indicted for Luken’s murder. Ghneimat was convicted on Sep 25.
    (AP, 12/19/10)(AP, 1/26/11)(AP, 9/26/11)
2010        Dec 17, Ivory Coast police were out in force in Abidjan as supporters of the internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast's presidential election vowed to try once again to seize state institutions after a similar attempt the day before resulted in up to 30 deaths.
    (AP, 12/17/10)
2010        Dec 17, Kyrgyzstan's fractious parliament named a new prime minister and formed a government, ending weeks of political uncertainty. Social Democrat Party leader Almazbek Atambayev was named premier with 92 out of 114 votes.
    (AP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 17, Maltese Foreign Minister Tonio Borg promised during a visit to the Gaza Strip to donate funds to the United Nations agency caring for Palestinian refugees.
    (AFP, 12/17/10)
2010        Dec 17, In Mexico 141 inmates, a number later raised to 153, escaped from a state prison in the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo. Authorities said the breakout was probably helped by prison employees. More than 40 prison guards were later charged with helping 153 inmates escape from the prison. 11 men were reported abducted from a bar in Acapulco. Two of the abducted men were later found dead. Their hands and feet had been cut off. On Dec 27  police in Acapulco found the decapitated bodies of two more men in front of the same bar.
    (AP, 12/17/10)(AP, 12/28/10)
2010        Dec 17, A Nigerian court sentenced 15 Muslim herdsmen to 10 years each over sectarian violence in the country's central region that left hundreds dead this year. Nigerian tanker drivers suspended petrol deliveries to Lagos and other areas to protest the firing of 2,500 members, sparking long queues at filling stations.
    (AFP, 12/17/10)
2010        Dec 17, Nigerian NDLF militants attacked three pipelines operated by the US oil giant Chevron and Italian firm Agip in the key oil producing state of Delta.
    (AFP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 17, Nigeria dropped charges against US ex-vice president Dick Cheney and others over a bribery scandal allegedly involving Halliburton after a reported settlement of 250 million dollars. On Dec 21 Halliburton said it had agreed to pay 32.5 million dollars to the Nigerian government, plus 2.5 million dollars in costs.
    (AFP, 12/17/10)(AFP, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 17, North Korea said it would strike again at the South if a live-firing drill by Seoul on a disputed island went ahead, with an even stronger response than last month's shelling that killed four people. Russia urged South Korea to halt plans for the artillery drill.
    (AP, 12/17/10)(Reuters, 12/17/10)
2010        Dec 17, In Pakistan 3 American missile attacks killed 54 people in the villages of Spin Drag and Shandana in the Tirah Valley of the Khyber region, an area that has seen few such strikes in the past, possibly signaling an expansion of the CIA-led covert war inside the country.
    (AP, 12/17/10)
2010        Dec 17, Sudan's army clashed with Darfur rebels for a third time in a week. UN officials said clashes between the Sudanese army and former rebels who signed a peace treaty with Khartoum have forced the displacement of more than 12,000 people in less than a week.
    (Reuters, 12/17/10)(AFP, 12/17/10)
2010        Dec 17, In Tunisia Mohamed Bouazizi (26), a university graduate without a steady job and trying to support his family, burned himself after police confiscated the fruits and vegetables he sold without a permit. His self-immolation left him in intensive care and sparked protests over unemployment that led to at least three deaths. Bouazizi died on Jan 4.
    (AP, 1/2/11)(AP, 1/5/11)
2010        Dec 17, Venezuelan lawmakers granted President Hugo Chavez broad powers to enact laws by decree, undermining the clout of a new congress that takes office next month with a bigger opposition bloc. Officials and troops began seizing 47 private ranches as pres. Chavez pushed ahead to take over big swaths of agricultural land in western Venezuela.
    (AP, 12/18/10)(SFC, 12/18/10, p.A2)
2010        Dec 17, In Vietnam Southeast Asia's largest hydroelectric power station began operating to help ease an electricity shortage. The first of six turbines at the Son La station was connected to the national power grid.
    (AFP, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 17, In Yemen gunmen killed three soldiers and wounded seven others when they opened fire on a military base in the southern province of Abyan.
    (AFP, 12/17/10)
2010        Dec 17, Zimbabwe's Pres. Mugabe said the power-sharing government is not working and must end, putting him on a collision course with PM Morgan Tsvangirai. Mugabe told his party conference that British and US companies in Zimbabwe will be nationalized unless sanctions against the country are dropped.
    (AFP, 12/17/10)(AFP, 12/17/10)

2011        Dec 17, Deloris Gillespie (64) burned to death in the elevator of her Brooklyn apartment building after a man ambushed her, sprayed her with liquid and set her afire with a Molotov cocktail. The next day Jerome Isaac (47) told police he set her on fire because she owed him $2,000 for some work he had done for her.
    (AP, 12/18/11)(AP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 17, In Afghanistan international troops exchanged gunfire with guards at a house in Paktia province, and detained a counternarcotics chief and two of his sons. An Afghan woman and another member of the counternarcotics chief's family were killed and three other women were injured. Three policemen were killed when their patrol vehicle was caught in the blast from a roadside bomb on the main highway between Farah and Nimroz provinces.
    (AP, 12/17/11)(AFP, 12/18/11)
2011        Dec 17, In Afghanistan the US military began testing Kaman K-MAX helicopters, a revolutionary new drone for its arsenal. The pilotless helicopters will fly cargo missions to remote outposts where frequent roadside bombs threaten access by road convoys.
    (AP, 1/7/12)
2011        Dec 17, Opposition supporters in Bahrain clashed with police for a third straight day along a main highway west of the capital.
    (AP, 12/17/11)
2011        Dec 17, Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora (70), nicknamed the "barefoot diva", died in a hospital in her native country. Her 1992 album, “Miss Perfumado," earned her 5 gold records.
    (AFP, 12/17/11)(Econ, 1/7/12, p.86)
2011        Dec 17, In Egypt violence raged for a second day in the administrative heart of Cairo as troops and police deployed in force. The count continued in the second stage of elections for the lower house of parliament.
    (AFP, 12/17/11)
2011        Dec 17, Gabon held legislative elections. Voters were expected to hand a resounding victory to President Ali Bongo's party in the face of a boycott by some opposition groups. Some 746,000 people were registered to vote in the country of 1.5 million inhabitants, sub-Saharan Africa's fourth largest oil producer.
    (AFP, 12/17/11)
2011        Dec 17, An overcrowded ship of asylum seekers sank off the island of Java. Indonesian rescuers battled high waves as they searched for survivors. Nearly 250 people fleeing economic and political hardship in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Turkey were trying to reach Australia in search of a better life when their fiberglass ship broke apart. Only 47 people survived.
    (AP, 12/18/11)(AFP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 17, The secular Iraqiya bloc, which won most of the votes of Iraq's disenchanted Sunni Arab minority, walked out of parliament sparking a political crisis days after US forces ended their mission.
    (AFP, 12/17/11)
2011        Dec 17, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev imposed a three-week state of emergency in the oil town of Zhanaozen, where at least 15 people were killed a day earlier in a clash between police and demonstrators. In the southwest police opened fire on rioters in the town of Shetpe, leaving one person dead and 11 wounded. Two days of rioting left 16 people dead.
    (AP, 12/17/11)(AP, 12/18/11)(Econ, 12/31/11, p.26)(Econ, 12/22/12, p.57)
2011        Dec 17, In Nigeria an explosion at a house allegedly used to make home-made bombs in the northeastern city of Maiduguri killed three suspected Islamist sect members. Police shot rifles and fired tear gas at protesters who were demonstrating against toll roads in Lagos.
    (AFP, 12/17/11)(AP, 12/17/11)
2011        Dec 17, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (b.1941) died of a heart attack. His third son, Kim Jong Un, was expected to succeed his father.
    (AP, 12/19/11)(Econ, 12/31/11, p.74)
2011        Dec 17, It was reported that North Korea has agreed to suspend its enriched-uranium nuclear weapons program, a key United States demand for the resumption of disarmament talks, as Washington agreed to provide the North with up to 240,000 tons of food aid.
    (AFP, 12/17/11)
2011        Dec 17, Tropical storm Washi whipped the southern Philippines, unleashing mammoth floods across vast areas that left 440 people dead and nearly 200 missing.
    (AP, 12/17/11)
2011        Dec 17, In Russia about 1,000 demonstrators demanding a rerun of parliamentary elections gathered in central Moscow for a second weekend of protests against the recent fraud-tainted vote.
    (AP, 12/17/11)
2011        Dec 17, Former Miss Venezuela Eva Ekvall (28), whose struggle with breast cancer was closely followed by Venezuelans, died at a hospital in Houston. Ekvall was crowned Miss Venezuela at age 17 in 2000, and the following year she was third runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant in Puerto Rico.
    (AP, 12/19/11)

2012        Dec 17, NASA space probes EBB and Flow expired as they crashed into a lunar mountainside. They were initially named “GRAIL A" and “GRAIL B," but were renamed by a calss of schoolchildren in bozeman, Montana.
    (Econ, 12/22/12, p.124)
2012        Dec 17, Sen. Daniel Inouye (88) of Hawaii died at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Maryland.
    (SFC, 12/18/12, p.A9)
2012        Dec 17, In Afghanistan a car bomb outside a compound housing a US military contractor on the outskirts of Kabul killed at least two Afghan workers and wounded more than a dozen other people. In Nangarhar province a British-made anti-tank mine, left over from the time of the Soviet invasion, killed ten girls ages 9-11.
    (AP, 12/17/12)(SFC, 12/18/12, p.A3)   
2012        Dec 17, Argentina's government told Grupo Clarin, the country's largest media conglomerate, that it has begun a process to break up the company and auction off its media licenses.
    (AP, 12/17/12)
2012        Dec 17, Security forces in Bahrain fired tear gas and stun grenades to break up protest marchers after calls by anti-government groups to snarl the Gulf nation's capital with demonstrators to mark an annual commemoration for two protesters killed in 1994.
    (AP, 12/17/12)
2012        Dec 17, Benin officials said at least 19 people drowned after a boat capsized on a river near a village in the south.
    (AP, 12/17/12)
2012        Dec 17, Brazilian prosecutors said Chevron Corp. has offered to pay $150 million to settle two civil lawsuits stemming from a Nov 2011 offshore oil spill. The lawsuits sought $20 billion in damages.
    (AP, 12/17/12)
2012        Dec 17, In Brazil the Supreme Court trial of the mensalao (big monthly stipend), a scheme for buying votes, ended. 25 of 38 defendants were found guilty of charges including corruption, money-laundering and misuse of public funds.
    (Econ, 12/22/12, p.51)
2012        Dec 17, British energy regulator Ofgem approved 24.4 billion pounds of investment by energy companies to overhaul the country's gas and electricity grid, reducing initial overall spending plans by 16% to 2021.
    (Reuters, 12/17/12)
2012        Dec 17, A Cameroon appeals court upheld a three-year sentence against a man found guilty of homosexual conduct for sending a text message to another man saying: "I'm very much in love with you."
    (AP, 12/17/12)
2012        Dec 17, In Iraq a wave of bombings across the country hit a number of targets, including residents of ethnically disputed areas, killing 25 people and wounding dozens.
    (AP, 12/17/12)
2012        Dec 17, Italy's government said an Italian technician and two other employees at a Syrian steel plant near Latakia have been kidnapped.
    (AP, 12/17/12)
2012        Dec 17, A Milan court fined Moroccan woman Karima el-Mahroug, also known as Ruby, for failing to appear as a witness twice at the former premier's trial. It ordered her to testify in January. She is at the center of Silvio Berlusconi's sex-for-hire scandal €500 ($650).
    (AP, 12/17/12)
2012        Dec 17, Gunmen stormed  the SP Brussels tanker ship off the coast of Nigeria's oil-rich southern delta, ransacking the vessel and kidnapping five Indian sailors in the latest attack targeting foreign workers in the volatile region. On Jan 26 the Indian sailors were reported freed. Separately gunmen abducted four South Koreans and a Nigerian working for Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. at a construction site in the Brass area of Bayelsa state.
    (AP, 12/19/12)(AP, 1/26/13)
2012        Dec 17, In northwest Nigeria 27 people riding atop a truck carrying livestock were killed when it tipped over and crashed.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 17, In Nigeria a pipeline explosion took place in Ije Ododo, in a swampy mangrove forest in the western fringe of Lagos when locals tapped into the pipeline to steal the refined gasoline moving through it. Flames continued thru Dec 20.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 17, In Pakistan a car bomb exploded in a crowded market in Jamrud town in the Khyber tribal area, killing 17 people and wounding more than 40 others. In the southwest attackers shot dead Khadim Hussain Noori in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province. He was the provincial spokesman and also a Shiite Muslim.
    (AP, 12/17/12)
2012        Dec 17, In Pakistan a person working on the anti-polio campaign, a male volunteer, was gunned down in Karachi. Taliban militants also killed three soldiers in an ambush of an army convoy escorting a vaccination team in the northwest.
    (AP, 12/18/12)
2012        Dec 17, Philippine legislators passed a landmark bill that would provide government funding for contraceptives and sexuality classes in schools despite strong opposition by the dominant Roman Catholic Church and its followers. Pres. Aquino III signed the legislation on Dec 21.
    (AP, 12/17/12)(SSFC, 12/30/12, p.A6)
2012        Dec 17, Syria's longtime vice president Farouk al-Sharaa said the army cannot defeat the rebels fighting to topple the regime, the first admission by a top government official that a victory by President Bashar Assad is unlikely.
    (AP, 12/17/12)

2013        Dec 17, US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden offered to help Brazil defeat US spying, but in an open letter said he needs permanent political asylum to do so.
    (AFP, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, The Mega Millions lottery and its jackpot of $648 million went to two winners. One ticket was sold in San Jose, Ca., and the other in Atlanta, Georgia.
    (SFC, 12/19/13, p.A1)
2013        Dec 17, In California ex-firefighter Zane Wallace Peterson (29) of Shasta County was taken into custody for setting wildfires, including the massive Clover Fire that broke out on Sep 9.
    (SFC, 12/19/13, p.C3)
2013        Dec 17, In Reno, Nevada, a gunman opened fire at the Center for Advanced Medicine killing one person and wounding two others before killing himself.
    (SFC, 12/18/13, p.A8)
2013        Dec 17, Christie’s in New York auctioned one edition of Jeff Koons’ “Balloon Dog" for $58.4 million, a record amount for a living artist. The 10-foot steel orange edition was one of five, each a different color.
    (Econ, 12/21/13, SR p.7)(
2013        Dec 17, In southern Afghanistan an aircraft crash killed six American soldiers.
    (Reuters, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, Egypt's security forces clashed with supporters of the former Islamist president at several universities across the country, as an explosive device detonated in a residential area of the capital but caused no injuries or damage.
    (AP, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, The European Union said it has warned Israel against any new West Bank settlement construction following an upcoming Palestinian prisoner release, saying it will be held responsible for any resulting failure of the ongoing peace talks.
    (AP, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, In  France Claude Gueant, the former right-hand man of ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy, was arrested for questioning about alleged misuse of public funds when he served the conservative leader at the interior ministry.
    (Reuters, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, French troops took on armed Christian militias in Bangui, Central African Republic, where the UN said 210,000 people had been uprooted in two weeks of deadly sectarian violence.
    (AFP, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, Greek authorities said an oil tanker came under armed attack overnight about 35 nautical miles south of Nigeria, and the ship's Ukrainian captain and Greek first engineer have been kidnapped.
    (AP, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, Guinea-Bissau's Interior Minister Antonio Suka Ntchama became the second minister to step down in the tiny West African country amid an investigation into how 74 Syrians boarded a flight to Portugal with fake passports.
    (Reuters, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 17, Indian authorities removed security barriers in front of the US embassy in New Delhi apparently in retaliation for the arrest and alleged heavy-handed treatment of an Indian diplomat in New York. Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general in New York, was arrested last week for allegedly underpaying her nanny and committing visa fraud to get her into the United States.
    (Reuters, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, In Iraq bombings in and near Baghdad killed 10 Shiite pilgrims as they were making their way on foot to Karbala.
    (AP, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, In Israel some 200 African migrants and Israeli activists ended a two-day march with a rally denouncing Israel's policy of detaining those illegally in the country.
    (AP, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, Japan approved a plan to increase defense spending by 5% over the next five years to purchase its first surveillance drones, more jet fighters and naval destroyers in the face of China's military expansion.
    (AP, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, In eastern Lebanon a car bomb exploded at dawn near a Hezbollah position, causing an unknown number of casualties.
    (AFP, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, Russian and Ukrainian officials signed a series of agreements in Moscow to boost trade and industrial cooperation.
    (AP, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, Saudi authorities beheaded a Syrian man convicted of smuggling drugs to the ultra-conservative kingdom.
    (AFP, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, In Sicily eruptions at Mount Etna volcano died down, allowing the nearby airport of Catania to re-open after a two-day stoppage that disrupted dozens of flights.
    (AFP, 12/17/13)
2013        Dec 17, In Syria 2 children were among at least 18 people killed in new air strikes on a rebel-held district of Aleppo. The 3-day assault has left over 100 dead.
    (AFP, 12/17/13)(SFC, 12/18/13, p.A5)
2013        Dec 17, Turkish police detained the sons of three cabinet ministers and several well-known businessmen as part of investigations into alleged corruption. Police seized shoeboxes stashed with $4.5 million in cash at the home of Suleyman Aslan, a state-owned bank's chief executive. Police arrested some 50 people altogether on suspicion of tender rigging, covert gold transfers to Iran and bribery.
    (Reuters, 12/17/13)(AP, 12/18/13)(Econ, 1/4/14, p.37)

Go to
Go to December 18

More Info