Today in History - December 17
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1399 Dec 17,
Tamerlane's Mongols destroyed the army of Mahmud Tughluk, Sultan of
Delhi, at Panipat.
1538 Dec 17, Pope Paul III
excommunicated England's King Henry VIII. [see Aug 31, 1535]
1679 Dec 17, Don Juan, ruler of
1745 Dec 17, Bonnie Prince
Charlie's army retreated to Scotland. [see Dec 6]
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.
1777 Dec 17, France recognized
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.
1797 Dec 17, Joseph Henry, US
scientist, inventor, pioneer of electromagnetism, was born. [see Dec
1798 Dec 17, The 1st
impeachment trial against a US senator, William Blount of Ten.,
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
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
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
(SSFC, 4/22/12, p.F3)
1875 Dec 17, Violent bread
riots took place in Montreal.
1886 Dec 17, At a Christmas
party, Sam Belle shot his old enemy Frank West, but was fatally
1894 Dec 17, Arthur Fiedler,
conductor (Boston Pops), was born in Boston, Mass.
1895 Dec 17, Anti-Saloon League
of America was formed in Washington, DC.
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.
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.
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,
1927 Dec 17, U.S. Secretary of
State Kellogg suggested a worldwide pact renouncing war.
1933 Dec 17, In the first world
championship football game, the Chicago Bears defeated the New York
Giants, 23-21, at Wrigley Field.
1933 Dec 17, Thubten Gyatso
(b.1876), Tibet’s 13th Dalai Lama, died.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/13th_Dalai_Lama)(Econ., 3/21/15, p.38)
1935 Dec 17, Venezuela’s
military strongman Juan Vicente Gomez died. He had lorded over
Venezuela since 1908.
1938 Dec 17, Italy declared the
1935 pact with France invalid, because ratification's had not been
exchanged. France denied the argument.
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.
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.
1943 Dec 17, U.S. forces
invaded New Britain Island in New Guinea.
1944 Dec 17, The U.S. Army
announced the end of its policy of excluding Japanese-Americans from
the West Coast.
1944 Dec 17, The Germans
renewed their attack on the Belgian town of Losheimergraben against
the American Army during the Battle of the Bulge.
1948 Dec 17, The Smithsonian
Institution accepted the Wright brothers' plane, the Kitty Hawk.
1950 Dec 17, French named
Marshal de Lattre de Tassigny to command their troops in Vietnam.
1952 Dec 17, Yugoslavia broke
relations with the Vatican.
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.
1958 Dec 17, Howard Hickey (41)
was named coach of the SF 49ers to replaced Frank Albert, who had
(SSFC, 12/14/08, p.54)
1962 Dec 17, Thomas Mitchell
(70), US, actor (Outlaw), died of cancer.
1965 Dec 17, Ending an election
campaign marked by bitterness and violence, Ferdinand Marcos was
declared president of the Philippines.
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.
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.
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
(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
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
1980 Dec 17, Milton Obote
(1924-2005) began serving a 2nd term as president of Uganda.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
1990 Dec 17, President Bush
nominated former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander to be secretary
of education, succeeding Lauro Cavazos.
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
1991 Dec 17, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev agreed to
dissolve the Soviet Union by the new year.
1992 Dec 17, President-elect
Clinton tapped former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros to be
Secretary of Housing.
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
1992 Dec 17, Israel ordered the
deportation of 418 suspected Muslim fundamentalists from the
1993 Dec 17, Fox Television
outbid CBS for the National Football Conference TV package.
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
1994 Dec 17, Six shots were
fired at the White House by an unidentified gunman.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
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
(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
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
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
(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
(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.
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.
1998 Dec 17, Republicans
advanced the impeachment case against President Clinton to the House
floor for a debate the following day.
1998 Dec 17, House
Speaker-designate Bob Livingston shocked fellow Republicans by
admitting he'd had extramarital affairs.
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
(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.
1999 Dec 17, Grover Washington
Jr., jazz saxophonist, died at age 56 during a TV taping session in
(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
(SFC, 12/18/99, p.A1)(AP, 12/17/00)(SFC, 9/24/02,
2000 Dec 17, President-elect
Bush was named Time magazine's Person of the Year.
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
(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
(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.
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.
2002 Dec 17, Playwright
Frederick Knott (86), who wrote "Dial M For Murder" and "Wait Until
Dark," died in NYC.
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.
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.
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.
2002 Dec 17, The Interfax news
agency reported that Russia has lost 4,705 soldiers, officers and
policemen in Chechnya since 1999.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2004 Dec 17, President Bush
signed into law the largest overhaul of US intelligence-gathering in
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.
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
2004 Dec 17, Tom Wesselman
(73), NYC pop artist, died. He was known for his “bedroom still
(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
(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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
2005 Dec 17, John Ruiz lost the
WBA heavyweight title, dropping a disputed majority decision to
Nikolay Valuev of Russia in Berlin.
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
(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.
2005 Dec 17, In southern
Afghanistan 4 policemen and 3 suspected Taliban fighters were killed
and an Afghan interpreter were wounded in attacks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2005 Dec 17, An explosion in
the southern Gaza Strip killed a militant who fired homemade rockets
at Israel and wounded three other people.
2005 Dec 17, A first group of
southern Sudanese refugees began their journey home after two
decades of living in a camp in Kenya.
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.
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."
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.
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.
2006 Dec 17, In Ohio a plane
crashed in a field killing Paul and Lillian Martin of Austin, Texas,
and their two children.
2006 Dec 17, Kelly James of
Dallas, one of 3 missing climbers, was found dead in a snow cave on
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.
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.
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.
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.
2006 Dec 17, Scores of migrants
who spent days at sea were missing and feared dead after their boat
wrecked off Senegal's coast.
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
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.
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
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
(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
(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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
(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
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
(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.
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.
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.
2007 Dec 17, In northern Sri
Lanka renewed violence between Tamil rebels and government forces
left at least 33 people dead.
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.
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
2008 Dec 17, In Minnesota two
freight trains collided sending an engineer and some cars into the
(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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
(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.
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.
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
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
(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
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.
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.
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
(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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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
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.
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
(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
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
(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
(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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
(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
(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.
2011 Dec 17, Opposition
supporters in Bahrain clashed with police for a third straight day
along a main highway west of the capital.
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.
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.
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
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
(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,
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.
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.
2012 Dec 17, Benin officials
said at least 19 people drowned after a boat capsized on a river
near a village in the south.
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.
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
(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.
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."
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
2012 Dec 17, Italy's government
said an Italian technician and two other employees at a Syrian steel
plant near Latakia have been kidnapped.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
2013 Dec 17, In southern
Afghanistan an aircraft crash killed six American soldiers.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
2013 Dec 17, In Iraq bombings
in and near Baghdad killed 10 Shiite pilgrims as they were making
their way on foot to Karbala.
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
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.
2013 Dec 17, In eastern Lebanon
a car bomb exploded at dawn near a Hezbollah position, causing an
unknown number of casualties.
2013 Dec 17, Russian and
Ukrainian officials signed a series of agreements in Moscow to boost
trade and industrial cooperation.
2013 Dec 17, Saudi authorities
beheaded a Syrian man convicted of smuggling drugs to the
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.
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
(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,
Go to December 18