Today in History - December 18

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1118        Dec 18, Afonso the Battler, the Christian King of Aragon captured Saragossa, Spain, a major blow to Muslim Spain.
    (HN, 12/18/98)

1352        Dec 18, Etienne Aubert was elected as Pope Innocentius VI.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1378        Dec 18, Charles V denounced the treachery of John IV of Brittany and confiscated his duchy.
    (HN, 12/18/98)

1505        Dec 18, John IX van Horne, prince-bishop of Lieges, Belgium, was executed.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1565        Dec 18, Benedetto Varchi (62), Italian humanist and historian (L'Ercolano), died.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1569        Dec 18, Jakob Hassler, composer, was born.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1621        Dec 18, English parliament unanimously accepted Protestation.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1633        Dec 18, Willem van de Velde the Younger, Dutch marine painter, was baptized.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willem_van_de_Velde_the_Younger)

1638        Dec 18, Pere Joseph (Francois du Tremblay, b.1577), French Capuchin friar, confidant and agent of Cardinal Richelieu, died. He was the original éminence grise -- the French term ("grey eminence") for a powerful advisor or decision-maker who operates secretly or unofficially. Richelieu was known as Éminence Rouge (red eminence); from the colors of their respective habits.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Leclerc_du_Tremblay)

1688        Dec 18, William of Orange made a triumphant march into London as James II fled in the "Glorious Revolution." William of Orange, son of William II (Prince of Orange) and Mary (daughter of Charles I of England), was fourth in line to the English throne. In 2006 Edward Valance authored “The Glorious Revolution: 1688 – Britain’s Fight for Liberty."
    (WSJ, 2/6/02, p.A16)(Econ, 2/4/06, p.77)(ON, 12/10, p.12)

1707        Dec 18, Charles Wesley, co-founder of the Methodist movement, was born.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1719        Dec 18, Thomas Fleet published "Mother Goose's Melodies For Children."
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1734        Dec 18, Jean-Baptiste Rey, composer, was born.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1737        Dec 18, Antonio Stradivari, the most renowned violin maker in history, died in Cremona, Italy. He made about 1200 violins of great quality of which half still survive. In 2006 Joseph Nagyvary, a Texas biochemist and violin maker, put forward evidence that the quality of sound in a Stradivari violin was due to chemicals used to protect the wood from wood-eating worms.
    (WSJ, 10/17/94, p.1)(AP, 12/18/98)(SFC, 12/28/06, p.A20)

1774        Dec 18, Empress Maria Theresa expelled Jews from Prague, Bohemia and Moravia.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1775        Dec 18-1775 Dec 27, In Philadelphia Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and Francis Daymon, members of the Committee of Secret Correspondence, met 3 times at Carpenter’s Hall with French agent Chevalier Julien-Alexandre Achard de Bonvouloir regarding French support for American Independence.
    (www.historynet.com/benjamin-franklin-revolutionary-spymaster.htm/3)

1777        Dec 18, The 1st America Thanksgiving Day commemorated Burgoyne's surrender at Saratoga. A national Thanksgiving was declared by Congress after the American victory over the British at the Battle of Saratoga in December 1777. For many years Thanksgiving celebrations were haphazard with Presidents Washington, Adams and Madison declaring occasional national festivities.
    (HNPD, 11/26/98)(MC, 12/18/01)

1786        Dec 18, Carl Maria von Weber, German romantic composer (Der Freischutz), was born.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1787        Dec 18, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
    (AP, 12/18/97)

1788        Dec 18, Camille Pleyel, Austrian piano builder and composer, was born.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1796        Dec 18, The Baltimore Monitor appeared as the 1st US Sunday newspaper.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1797        Dec 18, Joseph Henry, inventor, scientist and the first director of the Smithsonian Inst., was born. [see Dec 17]
    (WSJ, 12/17/97, p.A20)

1799        Dec 18, George Washington's body was interred at Mount Vernon.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1812        Dec 18, Napoleon Bonaparte arrived in Paris after his disastrous campaign in Russia.
    (HN, 12/18/99)

1829        Dec 18, Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck (~85), French nature investigator, died.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1844        Dec 18, Ludwig J. von Brentano, German economist, was born.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1856        Dec 18, Joseph John Thomson, English physicist, was born. He discovered the electron and won a Nobel Prize in 1906.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1859        Dec 18, South Carolina declared itself an "independent commonwealth."
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1860        Dec 18, Edward Alexander MacDowell, American composer (Indian Suite), was born.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1862        Dec 18, Nathan B. Forrest engaged and defeated a Federal cavalry force near Lexington in his continued effort to disrupt supply lines.
    (HN, 12/18/98)
1862        Dec 18, Grant announced the organization of his army in the West. Sherman, Hurlbut, McPherson, and McClernand would be Corps Commanders.
    (HN, 12/18/98)

1865        Dec 18 The Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, abolishing slavery, was declared in effect.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.276)(AP, 12/18/07)

1869        Dec 18, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40), composer, died.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1870        Dec 18, Saki, [Hector Hugo Munro], author (Reginald, When William Came), was born in Burma.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1879        Dec 18, Paul Klee (d.1940), Swiss abstract painter best known for The Mocker Mocked, was born.
    (HN, 12/18/98)

1886        Dec 18, Ty [Tyrus Raymond] Cobb, American baseball player, first man to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, was born.
    (HN, 12/18/98)

1888        Dec 18, Robert Moses, power broker, was born. He built Long Island and NYC parks & roads.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1890        Dec 18, Edwin Howard Armstrong, radio pioneer and inventor of FM, was born in NYC.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1892        Dec 18, Anton Bruckner's 8th Symphony, premiered.
    (MC, 12/18/01)
1892        Dec 18, Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker Suite" [“Nutcracker Ballet"] publicly premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the Maryinsky Theater.
    (SFEC, 11/24/96, DB p.44)(AP, 12/18/97)

1904        Dec 18, George Stevens, American director (Alice Adams, Penny Serenade), was born.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1907        Dec 18, Christopher Fry, playwright (Ring Around the Moon), was born in Bristol, England.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1910        Dec 18, Abe Burrows, Broadway composer (Guys & Dolls 1951 TONY), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1911        Dec 18, Jules Dassin, director (Circle of Two, Never on Sunday), was born in Middletown, Ct.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1912        Dec 18, In the famous Piltdown Man Forgery amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson announced the discovery of two skulls from the Piltdown Quarry in Sussex, England. They appeared to belong to a primitive hominid and ancestor of man. Also found was a canine tooth, a tool carved from an elephant's tusk, and fossil teeth from a number of prehistoric animals. Dawson enlisted the help of vertebrate paleontologist Arthur Smith Woodward. They christened it Eoanthropus dawsoni and on this day they announced their find to the Geological Society of London. A 1996 book "Unraveling Piltdown" by John Evangelist Walsh labeled Dawson as the perpetrator of the hoax. The missing link was later determined to be only 600 years old. The fossils had been doctored to look and test to be older. In 2012 Miles Russell authored “The Piltdown Man Hoax: Case Closed." [see 1908, 1913, 1953, 1955 & 1983]
    (PacDisc, Spring ‘96, p.15)(SFEC, 9/22/96, BR p.9)(SSFC, 12/16/12, p.A23)

1913        Dec 18, Willy Brandt, Mayor of Berlin and Chancellor of West Germany, was born as Herbert Frahm.  He was chancellor from 1969-74 and won a Nobel Prize in 1971.
    (HN, 12/18/98)(MC, 12/18/01)

1915        Dec 18, President Wilson, widowed the year before, married Edith Bolling Galt at her Washington home.
    (AP, 12/18/98)
1915        Dec 18, In a single night, about 20,000 Australian and New Zealand troops slipped away from Gallipoli, undetected by the Turks defending the peninsula.
    (HN, 12/18/98)

1916        Dec 18, The Battle of Verdun ended with the French and Germans each having suffered more than 330,000 killed and wounded in 10 months.
    (HN, 12/18/98)

1917        Dec 18, Ossie Davis, actor, playwright (Hot Stuff, Man Called Adam), was born in Cogdell, Ga.
    (MC, 12/18/01)
1917        Dec 18, The Soviet regiment under Stalin and Lenin declared Finland Independent.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1919        Dec 18, Horatio William Parker (56), composer, died.
    (MC, 12/18/01)
1919        Dec 18, British pilot John William Alcock (b.1892), enroute to a Paris air show, was killed while making a forced landing in fog near Rouen. He and navigator Arthur Witten Brown (1886-1948) had recently completed the world’s first nonstop transatlantic flight [see June 14].
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Whitten_Brown)(ON, 4/09, p.1)

1920        Dec 18, Rita Streich, German singer, was born.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1925        Dec 18, Soviet leaders Lev Kamenev and Grigori Zinoviev broke with Stalin.
    (HN, 12/18/98)

1927        Dec 18, Ramsey Clark, American attorney General (1967-69), was born.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1928        Dec 18, Lucien Capet (55), composer, died.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1929        Dec 18, Helene Delangle (1900-1984), French racing pioneer, became the fastest woman driver in the world, averaging 120.5 mph at Montlhery, France. In 2004 Miranda Seymour authored “The Bugatti Queen: In search of a Motor-Racing Legend."
    (Econ, 2/28/04, p.81)

1936        Dec 18, Su-Lin, the 1st giant panda to come to US from China, arrived in SF. The giant panda, captured by Ruth Harkness, was the 1st ever seen in the US. In 2005 Vicki Constantine Croke authored “The Lady and the Panda."
    (http://femexplorers.com/full_article.php?article_id=17)(SSFC, 7/17/05, p.F2)

1939        Dec 18, The Graf Spee was scuttled. A ferocious sea battle off the coast of South America between the German battleship Admiral Graf Spee and the British ships Exeter, Ajax, and Achilles, preceded the scuttling. The German captain Hans Langsdorf, later killed himself. On the 13th, heavily the armed German ship held off the three vessels for three hours, sustaining some damage, and then fled into the harbor of Montevideo, Uruguay. Over the next few days the British tricked the Germans into believing that a large British fleet had them trapped.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1940        Dec 18, Hitler dictated Directive No. 21 to crush Russia in a quick campaign. Adolf Hitler signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Operation “Barbarossa" was launched in June 1941.
    (SFC,10/29/97, p.A23)(AP, 12/18/97)

1941        Dec 18, The US Navy purchased the dry dock and shipyard at Hunters Point, SF, from Bethlehem Steel Co., eleven days after Japan’s attack on Pearl harbor.
    (SFC, 6/9/15, p.A8)
1941        Dec 18, Defended by 610 fighting men, the American-held island of Guam fell to more than 5,000 Japanese invaders in a three-hour battle.
    (HN, 12/18/98)
1941        Dec 18, German submarine U-434 sank.
    (MC, 12/18/01)
1941        Dec 18, Japanese troops landed on Hong Kong. [see Dec 8,19]
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1942        Dec 18, Hitler met with Mussolini and Pierre Laval.
    (HN, 12/18/98)

1944        Dec 18, In a pair of rulings, the US Supreme Court upheld the wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans (Korematsu v. United States), but also said undeniably loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry could not continue to be detained (Ex parte Endo).
    (AP, 12/18/07)
1944        Dec 18, The US Third Fleet encountered a typhoon near the Philippines. The naval destroyers "Hull," "Spence" & "Monaghan" sank in the typhoon. The storm killed 778 American sailors. 62 of 264 men on the Hull were rescued. 24 of 340 men on the Spence were rescued. 6 of 251 men on the Monaghan survived. In 1981 C. Raymond Calhoun, the captain of the destroyer Dewey, authored “Typhoon: The Other Enemy."
    (AH, 10/02, p.56, 60)
1944        Dec 18, The Japanese were repelled from northern Burma by British troops.
    (HN, 12/18/98)

1946        Dec 18, Stephen Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist, was born.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1947        Dec 18, Steven Spielberg, director (ET, Close Encounters, Jaws), was born in Cincinnati.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1948        Dec 18, Janet Fay was hammered to death by Honeymoon Killers.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1951        Dec 18, North Koreans gave the Allies a list of 3,100 POWs.
    (HN, 12/18/98)

1956        Dec 18, "To Tell the Truth" debuted on CBS-TV.
    (MC, 12/18/01)
1956        Dec 18, The Israeli flag was hoisted on Mount Sinai.
    (MC, 12/18/01)
1956        Dec 18, Japan was admitted to the United Nations.
    (TOH, 1982, p.1956)(EWH, 1968, p.1292)(AP, 12/18/97)

1957        Dec 18, The motion picture "The Bridge on the River Kwai" premiered at the RKO Palace Theater in New York City.
    (AP, 12/18/97)
1957        Dec 18, The Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States, went on line. It was taken out of service in 1982.
    (AP, 12/18/07)

1959        Dec 18, In Florida Cliff Walker, his wife and two children were murdered on a ranch in Osprey. Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, the killers of a family in Kansas on Nov 15, were later linked to the murder of the Walker family. Sheriff’s deputies failed to make a DNA link between the family, Hickock and Smith.
    (SFC, 12/5/12, p.A8)(SFC, 8/14/13, p.A6)
1959        Dec 18, Dorothy L. Sayers (66), writer, died.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1960        Dec 18, A rightist government was installed under Prince Boun Oum in Laos as U.S. resumed arms shipments.
    (HN, 12/18/98)

1961        Dec 18, Britain's EMI Records originally rejected the Beatles.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1964        Dec 18, The UC Regents affirmed that university rules should follow the US Supreme Court decisions on free speech.
    (SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F4)

1965        Dec 18, Kenneth LeBel jumped 17 barrels on ice skates.
    (MC, 12/18/01)
1965        Dec 18, U.S. Marines attacked VC units in the Que Son Valley, South Vietnam, during Operation Harvest Moon.
    (HN, 12/18/98)
1965        Dec 18, The Borman and Lovell splash down in the Atlantic ended a 2 week Gemini VII mission.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1966        Dec 18, Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" aired for 1st time on CBS.
    (MC, 12/18/01)

1969        Dec 18, Britain's Parliament abolished the death penalty for murder.
    (AP, 12/18/97)

1970        Dec 18, "Me Nobody Knows" opened at Helen Hayes Theater in NYC for 587 performances.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Me_Nobody_Knows)
1970        Dec 18, An atomic leak in Nevada forced hundreds to flee the test site.
    (HN, 12/18/98)
1970        Dec 18, In Poland rioting continued. Troops and tanks patrolled Polish streets. 20 people were killed in the riots as they protested increased food prices.
    (http://openweb.tvnews.vanderbilt.edu/1970-12/1970-12-18-NBC-2.html)

1971        Dec 18, Pres. Nixon devalued the dollar, and even though the devaluation was effective immediately, only Congress could officially change the gold value of the dollar. The US dollar went off the gold standard and was devalued by 7.9%. The 10% import surcharge was lifted.
    (WUD, 1994, p. 1688)(www.richmondfed.org/faqs/index.cfm?faq=Gold%20and%20Silver)
1971        Dec 18, Pres. Nixon signed into law the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). It gave large portions of prime bear habitat to the Alutiiq people, who had hunted and fished on the island for 7,000 years. 10% of the state, 44 million acres of land, was ceded to native tribes.
    (http://tinyurl.com/3xjb8w)(SFC, 2/2/00, p.A7)(AH, 10/04, p.42)
1971        Dec 18, Reverend Jesse Jackson announced in Chicago the founding of Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity).
    (AP, 12/18/99)
1971        Dec 18, North Vietnamese troops captured the Plain of Jars in Laos. Throughout the Vietnam War, the Plain of Jars was a contested area between Lao tribesmen and Vietnam's communist allies, the Pathet Lao. The area was long controlled by the Pathet Lao and a continual effort had been made by the secret CIA-directed force of some 30,000 indigenous tribesmen to strengthen anti-communist strongholds there. The US committed hundreds of millions of dollars to the war effort in Laos. Details of this secret operation were not released until August 1971.
    (WUD, 1994, p. 1688)(www.arlingtoncemetery.net/aircrew-04191971.htm)

1972        Dec 18, The heaviest bombing of North Vietnam, under orders from US Pres. Nixon, began over Hanoi. “Operation Linebacker II" lasted 11 days and killed over 1600 civilians with 70 US airmen killed or captured. The bombardment ended 12 days later. President Nixon declared that the bombing of North Vietnam would continue until an accord was reached. In 2002 Marshall L. Michel III authored “The 11 Days of Christmas," an account of the B-52 bombings.
    (SFC,12/16/97, p.B1)(AP, 12/18/97)(HN, 12/18/98)(WSJ, 1/22/02, p.A18)

1974        Dec 18, The Broadway production "Of Mice and Men" opened. It starred James Earl Jones and featured Joe Seneca (d.1996). The first stage production was in 1937.
    (SFC, 8/17/96, p.A24)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Of_Mice_and_Men)
1974        Dec 18, In Greece Michalis Stasinopoulos (d.2002), legal scholar, was elected president 10 days following the referendum that abolished the monarchy.
    (AP, 11/1/02)(SFC, 11/2/02, p.A22)

1976        Dec 18, "A Star is Born," with Barbra Streisand, premiered.
    (www.superseventies.com/1977_3singles.html)

1977        Dec 18, Cyril Ritchard (b.1897), Australia-born actor, died. He was awarded a Tony in 1955 for Supporting Actor in the musical “Peter Pan."
    (www.imdb.com/name/nm0728509/bio)

1978        Dec 18, The US Supreme Court ruled in Marquette vs. First Omaha Service Corp. that  national banks can charge customers throughout the country any interest rate allowed by the institution’s home state. This led financial institutions to move credit offices to states with no or very high interest caps.
    (SFC, 5/4/05, p.C1)(http://supreme.justia.com/us/439/299/)

1979        Dec 18, In Spain the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia was sanctioned by King Juan Carlos I. The first autonomous elections were held on 20 March 1980.
    (www.gencat.net:8000/generalitat/eng/guia/antecedents/antecedents18.htm)
1979        Dec 18, The UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was adopted with 10 abstentions. It entered into force on Sep 3, 1981. By 2005 the treaty was endorsed by more than 170 nations, but still opposed by the US.
    (www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/text/econvention.htm)(SFEC, 10/8/00, Z1 p.4)
1979        Dec 18, The UN "Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and other Celestial Bodies" opened for signature. It extended a 1967 Space Treaty and established that the Moon and the other bodies within our solar system to be the common heritage of mankind. It entered into force on July 11, 1984.
    (SFEC, 7/13/97, Par p.18)(www.islandone.org/Treaties/BH766.html)

1980        Dec 18, IRA's Sean McKenna became critically ill and ended his hunger strike.
    (www.pittsburghirish.org/AOHDiv32/Hungerstrike.htm)
1980        Dec 18, Former Soviet Premier Alexei N. Kosygin (1964-80) died at age 76 of a heart attack.
    (AP, 12/18/97)(MC, 12/18/01)

1985        Dec 18, The UN Security Council unanimously condemned "acts of hostage-taking."
    (www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-4118333.html)

1987        Dec 18, Ivan F. Boesky was sentenced to three years in prison for plotting Wall Street's biggest insider-trading scandal. Boesky served about two years of his sentence.
    (AP, 12/18/97)
1987        Dec 18, Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was married in a traditional Islamic ceremony to businessman Asif Ali Zardari.
    (AP, 12/18/97)

1988        Dec 18, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat met in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to discuss how to continue the momentum gained by the first U.S.- PLO dialogue.
    (AP, 12/18/98)

1989        Dec 18, Robert E. Robinson, an attorney and alderman in Savannah, Ga., was killed by a mail bomb similar to a device that had claimed the life of a federal judge in Alabama two days earlier. Walter Leroy Moody Junior was later convicted of both bombings, and is on Alabama's death row.
    (AP, 12/18/99)

1990        Dec 18, Less than a month before a UN deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, President Bush told reporters he believed Americans would support a military strike, if one proved necessary. In Baghdad, the ruling Revolutionary Command Council said Iraq was “ready for the decisive showdown."
    (AP, 12/18/00)

1991        Dec 18, General Motors announced it would close 21 North American plants over the next four years and slash tens of thousands of jobs in a sweeping restructuring of the world's largest company.
    (AP, 12/18/01)

1992        Dec 18, The U.N. Security Council unanimously denounced Israel's deportation of more than 400 Palestinians and demanded their immediate return.
    (AP, 12/18/97)
1992        Dec 18, Kim Young-sam was elected South Korea's first civilian president in three decades.
    (AP, 12/18/97)

1993        Dec 18, The United States and Germany pledged close cooperation to help Boris Yeltsin through Russia's political and economic crises in a meeting in Oggersheim between Vice President Al Gore and Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
    (AP, 12/18/98)

1994        Dec 18, Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina on a private mission to seek an end to 32 months of war.
    (AP, 12/18/99)
1994        Dec 18, Bulgaria’s Socialist Party (ex-communist) won a parliamentary election. Premier Zhan Videnov’s Socialist government won a parliamentary majority.
    (www.projects.v2.nl/~arns/Texts/Chrono/BG.html)(SFC, 6/6/96, p.C5)

1995        Dec 18, The Dow industrials dropped 101.52 points, its biggest one-day loss in four years amid investor worries over the budget stalemate between Congress and President Clinton.
    (AP, 12/18/00)
1995        Dec 18, A powerful fertilizer bomb was found outside an Internal Revenue Service office in Reno, Nevada, but fizzled before its lit fuse could do much damage.
    (AP, 12/18/00)
1995        Dec 18, Queen Elizabeth asked Prince Charles and Diana to divorce.
    (www.princess-diana.com/diana/curriculumvitae.htm)
1995        Dec 18, A chartered Zairian plane crashed in northern Angola killing 139 [141] people. Five people survived. The plane was a Lockheed Electra, an old plane with a capacity of 99. It was owned by Trans Service Airlift, a private company.
    (WSJ, 12/20/95, p.A-1)

1996        Dec 18, Earl Edwin Pitts, a senior US FBI agent, was arrested on espionage charges. He was most active as a Russian spy from 1987-1992. Pitts was sentenced in June 1997 to 27 years in prison after admitting that he'd conspired and attempted to commit espionage.
    (SFC, 12/19/96, p.A1)(AP, 12/18/97)
1996        Dec 18, Aides to President Clinton disclosed that Asian-American businessman Charles Yah Lin Trie, who delivered $460,000 in questionable donations to the Clintons' legal defense fund, had been to the White House at least 23 times since 1993.
    (AP, 12/18/97)
1996        Dec 18, TV industry execs agreed to adopt a ratings system.
    (http://tinyurl.com/bee8z)
1996        Dec 18, Irving Caesar (b.1895), songwriter, died in NYC.
    (www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Irving_Caesar)
1996        Dec 18, Arthur Jacobs (b.1922), English musicologist, died.
    (http://library.wustl.edu/~music/necro/necro-j.html)
1996        Dec 18, In Kenya police killed 2 students who were protesting the killing of another student on the previous day.
    (SFC, 12/19/96, p.C4)
1996        Dec 18, Palestinian police arrested 3 members of a militant group that killed 2 Jewish settlers on Dec 11.
    (WSJ, 12/19/96, p.A1)

1997        Dec 18, President Clinton extended indefinitely the deadline for withdrawal of U.S. troops helping with the U.N. peacekeeping effort in Bosnia.
    (AP, 12/18/98)
1997        Dec 18, Festivus, or the “Festival for the Rest of Us" was made famous by an episode of Seinfeld. It came to be celebrated on Dec 23.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festivus)
1997        Dec 18, In California a fired California highway employee, Arturo Reyes Torres, shot and killed 4 people at the Caltrans maintenance yard in Orange and was himself killed by police.
    (SFC,12/19/97, p.A14)(AP, 12/18/98)
1997        Dec 18, Chris Farley (33), comic actor of Saturday Night Live, was found dead in his Chicago apartment. An overdose of morphine and cocaine was later reported.
    (SFC,12/19/97, p.A3)(SFC, 1/3/98, p.A2)(AP, 12/18/98)
1997        Dec 18, It was reported that the death toll in Europe had climbed to 50 due to the vicious cold as temperatures plunged as low as 19.8 degrees.
    (USAT, 12/18/97, p.10A)
1997        Dec 18, In Bosnia NATO forces seized 2 war crimes suspects. Vlatko Kupreskic was shot when he fired on Dutch soldiers. Anto Furundzija was arrested without trouble.
    (SFC,12/19/97, p.B2)
1997        Dec 18, Richard Tomlinson (b.1963), a former British MI6 officer, was jailed for a year for unlawfully disclosing information about his work. He had joined MI6 in 1991 and was dismissed in 1995, after admitting to passing a synopsis of a proposed book about his experiences in the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) to an Australian publisher. He kept details of his book in secret files on several computers. He had served for 4 years as an agent in Moscow and Bosnia. In 1999 Tomlinson posted the names of British intelligence officers on a Web site. His book “The Big Breach" was published in 2001 in Russia.
    (http://tinyurl.com/2cw2sal)(SFC, 5/13/99, p.C5)(Econ, 12/4/10, p.34)
1997        Dec 18    , In Jamaica In Parliamentary elections 2-term Prime Minister P.J. Patterson took a big lead over Edward Seaga. The People’s National Party won an absolute majority in the 60-seat parliament.
    (WSJ, 12/19/97, p.A1)(SFC,12/19/97, p.B3)
1997        Dec 18, South Korea held presidential elections. One time dissident Kim Dae Yung (Kim Dae-jung)  won the elections with 40.3% of the vote.
    (SFC, 8/14/97, p.C2)(WSJ, 12/19/97, p.A1)(AP, 12/18/98)
1997        Dec 18, In Lebanon a foundation stone was laid for the new US consulate in Beirut.
    (SFC,12/19/97, p.B3)
1997        Dec 18, From Saudi Arabia it was reported the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud was building a 984-foot structure called “The Kingdom Centre" in central Riyadh at a cost of $427 million.
    (WSJ, 12/18/97, p.A1)
1997        Dec 18, In Serbia a group of 12 doctors and medical technicians marched for 3 days from Nis to Belgrade to protest the lack of medical resources. In Belgrade health minister Leposava Milicevic said she was too busy to see them.
    (SFC,12/20/97, p.A12)

1998        Dec 18, US House Republicans rebuffed calls for a vote on censure and pushed forward the vote on impeachment against Pres. Clinton.
    (SFC, 12/19/98, p.A1)(AP, 12/18/99)
1998        Dec 18, US and British struck Iraq for a 3rd day with little resistance. The US B-1 bomber was used to drop bombs. Gen’l. Henry Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said more cruise missiles were launched in the first 2 days than the 289 in the 1991 Gulf War.
    (SFC, 12/19/98, p.A1)(AP, 12/18/99)
1998        Dec 18, The new electronic Rocket Book by NuvoMedia weighed 22 ounces and stored 10 books.
    (WSJ, 12/18/98, p.W15)
1998        Dec 18, The ICO Challenger balloon with Richard Branson, Steve Fossett and Per Lindstrand left Marrakesh, Morocco, in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe.
    (SFC, 12/19/98, p.B3)
1998        Dec 18, In South Carolina the 500th execution took place since capital punishment was resumed in 1977. Andrew Lavern Smith died by lethal injection for his 1983 murder of an elderly couple.
    (SFC, 12/19/98, p.A15)(AP, 12/18/99)
1998        Dec 18, South Korea sank a half-submarine belonging to North Korea and recovered the body of a crewman in a wet suit carrying a grenade.
    (SFC, 12/18/98, p.D9)
1998        Dec 18, Fifty military officers marched in Mexico City decrying corruption and injustice and attempted to present Pres. Zedillo a letter calling for reform. The officers called themselves the Patriotic Command to Raise the Consciousness of the People.
    (SFC, 1/18/99, p.A11)
1998        Dec 18, In Poland Pres. Kwasniewski signed a bill that would allow victims of communist-era repression to see their secret police files.
    (SFC, 12/19/98, p.B3)
1998        Dec 18, In Kosovo, Serbia, Zvonko Bojanic, district mayor of Kosovo Polje, was found severely beaten and shot between the eyes.
    (SFC, 12/19/98, p.A6)

1999        Dec 18, In St. Martinville, Louisiana, Cuban inmates who’d held a jail warden and six others hostage for almost a week surrendered.
    (AP, 12/18/00)
1999        Dec 18,  After living atop an ancient redwood in Humboldt County, California, for two years, environmental activist Julia “Butterfly" Hill came down to Earth, ending her anti-logging protest.
    (AP, 12/18/00)
1999        Dec 18, French film director Robert Bresson died in Paris at age 98.
    (AP, 12/18/00)
1999        Dec 18, Iraq rejected the UN proposal for an inspection plan that would lead to suspension of sanctions.
    (SFEC, 12/19/99, p.A24)
1999        Dec 18, In Italy Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema resigned and brought an end to the 56th government since WW II.
    (SFEC, 12/19/99, p.A26)
1999        Dec 18, In Serbia Zoran Vukicevic (38) was killed and 9 others wounded when gunmen opened fired on the only Serb café in Orahovac. Vukicevic was at least the 146th Serb killed since NATO peacekeepers entered Kosovo.
    (SFEC, 12/19/99, p.A29)
1999        Dec 18, In Colombo, Sri Lanka, a suicide bomb attack wounded Pres. Chandrika Kumaratunga and killed 26 people. Another bomb at a rally of the United National Party killed at least 11 people and injured 40 others. Tamil rebels were blamed. In 2010 Sakthivel Ilankesvaran, an ethnic Tamil man employed as a driver, was sentenced to 30 years of hard labor.
    (SFEC, 12/19/99, p.A21)(WSJ, 12/20/99, p.A1)(AP, 10/27/10)
1999        Dec 18, In Zimbabwe Pres. Mugabe announced at a convention of the ruling party that land would be seized from whites and that the constitutional clause guaranteeing compensation would be scrapped.
    (SFC, 12/20/99, p.A13)

2000        Dec 18, US electors voted for their party’s candidates. In the 224 years of the Electoral College only 9 electors had switched votes. The DC elector withheld her vote to protest lack of representation. Bush won 271 votes, one over the constitutional minimum, and became the official president-elect.
    (WSJ, 11/15/00, p.A18)(SFC, 12/22/00, p.D2)
2000        Dec 18, Antitrust regulators approved the merger of British drug companies Glaxo Wellcome PLC and SmithKline Beecham PLC.
    (AP, 12/18/01)
2000        Dec 18, Randolph Apperson Hearst, billionaire newspaper heir and the last surviving son of William Randolph Hearst, died at age 85 in New York.
    (SFC, 12/19/00, p.A1)(AP, 12/18/01)
2000        Dec 18, The Argentine government announced a $39.7 billion financial rescue package led by the IMF.
    (SFC, 12/19/00, p.B4)(WSJ, 8/23/01, p.A9)
2000        Dec 18, In Canada Pres. Putin of Russia met with Prime Minister Chretien and together supported existing nuclear arms accords. Chretien did not join Putin’s opposition to a US missile defense plan.
    (SFC, 12/19/00, p.B4)
2000        Dec 18, In Mexico Popocatepetl volcano began spraying hot rock and ashes in its biggest eruption in 1200 years.
    (SFC, 12/21/00, p.A22)

2001        Dec 18, A federal judge in Philadelphia threw out Mumia Abu-Jamal's death sentence for the 1981 shooting of a Philadelphia police officer and ordered a new sentencing hearing for the former Black Panther alternately portrayed as a vicious cop-killer and a victim of a racist frame-up. Both sides appealed the ruling.
    (SFC, 12/19/01, p.A1)(AP, 12/17/02)
2001        Dec 18, It was reported that malaria scientists have engineered mice that produce vaccine in their milk.
    (WSJ, 12/18/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 18, Hundreds of al Qaeda and Taliban fighters were reported to have slipped into Pakistan from Afghanistan.
    (SFC, 12/19/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 18, Canada passed the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).
    (Econ, 10/24/09, p.42)(www.justice.gc.ca/eng/antiter/index.html)
2001        Dec 18, Cuba reported that attackers killed a visiting Florida couple, their 8-year-old grandson and 2 others during a highway robbery in Matanzas province.
    (SFC, 12/19/01, p.A4)(WSJ, 12/19/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 18, Yasser Arafat closed 6 Hamas offices in a crackdown on militant groups. Israeli forces arrested 10 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
    (SFC, 12/19/01, p.A4)
2001        Dec 18, Eduard Kokoity (b.1964), former champion of the Soviet Union national wrestling team, assumed office as president of South Ossetia. He had won 45% of the votes in the first round of elections on November 18 and 53% in the 2nd round on December 6.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduard_Kokoity)
2001        Dec 18, Yemeni troops assaulted tribal forces in the Marib region after local leaders refused to turn over suspected members of al Qaeda. At least 12 people were killed and 22 wounded.
    (SFC, 12/19/01, p.A15)(WSJ, 12/19/01, p.A12)

2002        Dec 18, Embattled Senate Republican leader Trent Lott sustained a double-barreled setback as Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee broke ranks to call for a change in party leadership and Secretary of State Colin Powell forcefully criticized Lott's controversial remarks on race.
    (AP, 12/18/03)
2002        Dec 18, Robert Johnson, the billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television, became the 1st African American to own a major sports team. The NBA awarded him rights to the expansion franchise in Charlotte.
    (SFC, 12/19/02, p.A2)
2002        Dec 18, In California Gov. Davis announced a $34.8 billion cash shortage over the next 18 months and that tax increases would be needed. A legislative analyst later assessed the deficit at $21 billion.
    (SFC, 12/19/02, p.A1)(SFC, 1/8/03, p.A17)
2002        Dec 18, Conseco Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
    (WSJ, 12/18/02, p.A3)
2002        Dec 18, At least 4 tornadoes hit Arkansas and Missouri and killed 3 people with 30 injured.
    (SFC, 12/19/02, p.A4)
2002        Dec 18, In Brazil a ferry accident on a the Para River killed at least 22 people with 28 more believed missing. The death toll grew to 44.
    (AP, 12/19/02)(AP, 12/23/02)
2002        Dec 18, In Sudan a bus crashed and burst into flames after hitting a hole on an ill-maintained highway known as "the road of death," killing 30 people.
    (AP, 12/19/02)

2003        Dec 18, A federal judge in NY ruled that Pres. Bush does not have the power to order that a US citizen captured in this country be held indefinitely as an enemy combatant. Federal judges in SF ruled that the administration's policy of imprisoning some 600 non-citizens in Cuba without access to US legal protection raises concerns under US and Int'l. law.
    (SFC, 12/19/03, p.A1)
2003        Dec 18, Lee Boyd Malvo (18) was convicted in Virginia for his role in the 2002 sniper shootings.
    (SFC, 12/19/03, p.A3)
2003        Dec 18, Michael Jackson was formally charged with child molesting and administering an intoxicating agent.
    (WSJ, 12/19/03, p.A1)
2003        Dec 18, A judge in Seattle sentenced confessed Green River Killer Gary Ridgway to 48 consecutive life terms.
    (AP, 12/18/04)
2003        Dec 18, RealNetworks filed a federal anti-trust suit against Microsoft, alleging it has tried to use it monopoly power in PC operating systems to unlawfully dominate the digital media market. A settlement was reached in 2005.
    (SFC, 10/12/05, p.C2)
2003        Dec 18, The US Census Bureau reported the population had grown to 291 million, and would reach 300 million in 4 years.
    (WSJ, 12/19/03, p.A1)
2003        Dec 18, An Ohio school district suspended classes after bullet holes were found in 2 of its buses.
    (WSJ, 12/19/03, p.A1)
2003        Dec 18, The NYSE named John Thain, president of Goldman Sachs, as CEO.
    (WSJ, 1/2/04, p.R12)
2003        Dec 18, In California the small Sierra Railroad (b.1897) announced a successful $1.4 million bid for the 40-mile Mendocino County Skunk train.
    (SFC, 12/19/03, p.A21)
2003        Dec 18, Mark Anthony Fregia, while driving with his girlfriend and 2 children, set their car on fire near the I-80 freeway exit at Pinole, Ca. Erin Weaver was severely burned and the 2 children burned to death in the car. Fregia fled the scene in a stolen car but was caught the next day. In 2007 Fregia was convicted of 2 counts of murder and attempted voluntary manslaughter.
    (SFC, 12/20/03, p.A17)(SFC, 12/4/07, p.B2)
2003        Dec 18, Charles Berlitz (90), linguist and author, died in Florida. His books included "The Bermuda Triangle" (1974), and "Native Tongues," a compendium of language history.
    (SFC, 1/5/04, p.B5)
2003        Dec 18, Bhutan's royal army killed at least 90 Indian separatist guerrillas in three days of fighting to shut down their bases in the tiny Himalayan nation. the Bhutanese army reported six to seven fatal casualties.
    (AP, 12/18/03)
2003        Dec 18, Dragan Nikolic (46), former Bosnian Serb prison camp commander who allowed his troops to rape, torture and murder his Muslim prisoners, was sentenced to 23 years in jail at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Hague.
    (AP, 12/18/03)
2003        Dec 18, The Cayman Islands banned fishing in grouper spawning areas for eight years, citing a sharp decline in the species' population. The ban took effect of Dec 29.
    (AP, 12/19/03)
2003        Dec 18, Israel's PM Sharon said that if talks with Palestinians failed, Israel would unilaterally withdraw from some settlements in order to establish a more defensible border.
    (SFC, 12/19/03, p.A17)
2003        Dec 18, Iran signed a key accord opening its nuclear facilities to unfettered and unannounced inspections.
    (AP, 12/18/03)
2003        Dec 18, The Lithuanian Parliament launched impeachment proceedings against Pres. Rolandas Paksas over charges that his office had connections with organized crime.
    (SFC, 12/19/03, p.A3)
2003        Dec 18, President Vladimir Putin told Russians that he would seek a second term in the March 14 election. He also agreed to renegotiate debt relief for Iraq.
    (AP, 12/18/03)(SFC, 12/19/03, p.A9)

2004        Dec 18, Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet was hospitalized after suffering a stroke.
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2004        Dec 18, In Haiti bands of former soldiers and armed residents looted police arsenals, set bonfires and fired shots into the air amid escalating chaos.
    (AP, 12/19/04)
2004        Dec 18, The former Iraqi general known as “Chemical Ali," Ali Hassan al-Majid, went before a judge in the first investigative hearings of former members of his regime.
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2004        Dec 18, Insurgents claiming to represent three Iraqi militant groups issued a videotape saying they had captured 10 Iraqis working for an American security and reconstruction company and would kill them if the firm did not leave this turbulent country. A clash in Mosul left an Iraqi child dead. An insurgent attack in Mosul left one Iraqi dead. National Guardsmen there killed 3 insurgents.
    (AP, 12/19/04)(SSFC, 12/19/04, p.A12)
2004        Dec 18, Israeli troops killed three Palestinians on the second day of an Israeli raid in the Khan Younis refugee camp in southern Gaza. Israeli forces withdrew and ended a 2-day raid that left 11 Palestinians dead.
    (AP, 12/18/04)(SSFC, 12/19/04, p.A15)
2004        Dec 18, Naples police said they have broken up a mob protection racket focused on local bakeries and flour makers.
    (AP, 12/18/04)
2004        Dec 18, Maoist rebels attacked a police post near Nepal's capital with crude bombs and automatic weapons, killing five policemen.
    (AP, 12/18/04)
2004        Dec 18, The African Union said Sudan had started withdrawing troops in Darfur ahead of an evening deadline to end fighting there, but Khartoum said the pullout was conditional on the rebels halting attacks.
    (AP, 12/18/04)
2004        Dec 18, Sudan's government kept up attacks on rebels in Darfur, defying a deadline set by African Union mediators for an end to active hostilities.
    (AP, 12/19/04)
2004        Dec 18, UN talks on climate change ended with few steps forward as the US, oil producers and developing giants slammed the brakes on the European Union's drive for deeper emissions cuts to stop global warming.
    (AP, 12/18/04)

2005        Dec 18, In a televised speech President Bush declared that Iraq’s parliamentary elections signaled the birth of democracy in the Middle East.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2005        Dec 18, Time magazine named Bill and Melinda Gates and rock star Bono its "Persons of the Year," citing their charitable work and activism aimed at reducing global poverty and improving world health.
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2005        Dec 18, Bhutan state media reported that the king has said he will step down as ruler in 2008 and hold the country's first national elections for a parliamentary democracy. King Jigme Singye Wangchuck said he will be succeeded by his son (25), the crown prince.
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2005        Dec 18, Socialist Evo Morales (46) waved coca branches as he headed to vote amid jubilant townsfolk who hoped to see him become Bolivia's first Indian president and end a U.S.-backed anti-drug campaign aimed at eradicating their crops.
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2005        Dec 18, Chad blamed its neighbor Sudan for a rebel raid on an eastern garrison and announced it was exercising its right to pursue the attackers on Sudanese soil. A spokesman said an early morning attack on Adre's garrison was mounted by army deserters allied with a recently formed rebel group called the Rally for Democracy and Liberty (RDL), which Chad accuses of being a "militia used by the Sudanese government."
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2005        Dec 18, Chinese state media published the names of three villagers killed by police during a protest over the seizure of land for a power plant and provided a rare and vivid account of the small-town politics that led to the bloody confrontation.
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2005        Dec 18, In China authorities ordered a smelter in Shaoguan to halt the discharge of waste into the Bei River that contained an unusual amount of cadmium.
    (SFC, 12/22/05, p.A9)
2005        Dec 18, Congo's war-beleaguered people voted in the first national ballot in over three decades, banging on polling-booth doors to be allowed in to say yes or no to a draft constitution meant to put the country on the path to democracy and lasting peace.
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2005        Dec 18, A German TV station said a German archaeologist kidnapped in Iraq last month with her driver has been freed.
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2005        Dec 18, In Hong Kong World Trade Organization negotiators approved a draft agreement requiring wealthy nations to end farm export subsidies by 2013, a support system that poor nations say puts them at a competitive disadvantage. The agreement required approval by all 149 WTO members.
    (AP, 12/18/05)(SFC, 12/19/05, p.A3)
2005        Dec 18, In southern India thousands of flood victims waiting in line for relief vouchers stampeded into a government-run distribution center, killing at least 42 people and injuring 37.
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2005        Dec 18, Iraq's largest oil refinery, in Beiji, was shut down because of the deteriorating security situation in the region. Suicide bombers and gunmen killed nearly two dozen people across Iraq. Vice President Dick Cheney made a surprise visit and suggested the vote could pave the way for beginning a US pullout.
    (AP, 12/18/05)(AP, 12/30/05)
2005        Dec 18, Israeli PM Ariel Sharon suffered a mild stroke.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2005        Dec 18, Jordan's military court sentenced al-Qaida in Iraq chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to death for a second time for a failed suicide bombing along the Iraqi border a year ago.
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2005        Dec 18, Nigeria grounded Boeing 737 planes across the country for safety checks, stranding thousands of travelers after two deadly accidents in two months.
    (AP, 12/18/05)
2005        Dec 18, In Tanzania the national election commission said Jakaya Kikwete, candidate for the ruling Revolutionary Party, won the presidential election with 80% of the vote.
    (AP, 12/18/05)(Econ, 9/30/06, p.57)

2006        Dec 18, Pres. Bush signed H.R. 5682, the Henry J. Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006 (Hyde Act), to let the US share its nuclear know-how and fuel with India, which continued to refuse to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It exempted from certain requirements of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 a proposed nuclear agreement for cooperation with India. Robert Gates took the oath as Pentagon chief.
    (www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-5682)(SFC, 12/19/06, p.A16)(WSJ, 12/19/06, p.A1)
2006        Dec 18, Thirteen US states sued the EPA to force it to cut fine-particle air pollutants.
    (WSJ, 12/19/06, p.A1)
2006        Dec 18, The US FBI reported that violent crime for the 1st 6 months of 2006 had increased 3.7% with robberies up 9.7%. This reversed a dropping trend from the 1990s.
    (SFC, 12/19/06, p.B1)
2006        Dec 18, The NBA suspended seven players for their roles in a brawl between Denver and New York; each team was fined $500,000.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2006        Dec 18, A new study said US growers produce nearly $35 billion worth of marijuana annually, making the illegal drug the country's largest cash crop, bigger than corn and wheat combined.
    (Reuters, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 18, The Bill and Melinda Gates  Foundation granted the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation $40 million to fight illiteracy in developing countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The Hewlett Foundation had already committed $20 million.
    (SFC, 12/18/06, p.A13)
2006        Dec 18, Verizon Communications Inc. said it and five Asian telecom companies will build a $500 million undersea optical cable linking the United States and China to boost communications capacity by more than 60 times.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 18, In South Bend, Indiana, Daniel Sharp (56) began killing homeless men suspected in stealing scrap metal. In February 2006 Sharp admitted that he and Randy Lee Reeder (50) killed 4 men between Dec 18 and Dec 21 for stealing metal that he and Reeder had collected to sell for salvage. In 2007 Sharp pleaded guilty to the killings.
    (SFC, 2/5/07, p.A3)(SFC, 5/31/07, p.A3)
2006        Dec 18, Joseph Barbera (b.1911), legendary Hollywood animator, died. His characters Fred and Wilma Flintstone and Scooby-Doo made generations of people laugh.
    (Reuters, 12/19/06)(SFC, 12/19/06, p.B5)
2006        Dec 18, Ruth Bernhard (101), legendary photographer, died in SF.
    (SFC, 12/19/06, p.B5)
2006        Dec 18, In Afghanistan a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into a coalition convoy, wounding two troops of the US-led coalition. Taliban militants beheaded a man and fatally stabbed another as a warning to villagers not to give the government or NATO information about Taliban activities.
    (AP, 12/18/06)(AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 18, An Australian court ruled that providing Web links to copyright-protected music is enough to make a site legally liable. The case created legal uncertainty for search engines around the world. The full bench of the Federal Court upheld a lower court ruling that Stephen Cooper, the operator of the Web site in question, as well as Comcen, the Internet service provider that hosted it, were guilty under Australian copyright law.
    (AP, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 18, Sheik Abdul-Ameer al-Jamri (67), a spiritual leader of Bahrain's Shiite opposition, died of heart and kidney failure. He had served in Bahrain's first parliament (1973-75), which was dissolved by the emir. He was jailed for 3½ years (1996-1999) after riots against the country's Sunni leadership.
    (AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 18, British police arrested a 37-year-old man suspected of murdering five prostitutes in a high-profile serial-killer case that has gripped the nation for weeks.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 18, China’s state television said China plans to keep an "absolute ability to control" seven key sectors including oil and telecoms, even as it tries to expose its creaking state-owned firms to the rigors of a market economy.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 18, Manu Sharma, the son of a wealthy Indian politician, was convicted of murder in the shooting death of a waitress who refused to serve him a drink, a case that tested the Indian judiciary's willingness to take on the powerful elite.
    (AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 18, In Indonesia a moderate earthquake killed at least seven people and injured 100, spreading panic across a large swath of Sumatra, the island worst hit by the 2004 Asian tsunami.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 18, Opponents of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took an early lead in key races in Iran's local elections, according to partial results announced, with moderate conservatives winning control of councils across Iran.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 18, Japanese electronics maker Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said it will begin mass production of a new lithium-ion battery that is safe from the overheating problems that prompted a massive recall of Sony Corp. batteries this year.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 18, Jordanian authorities closed down an isolated desert prison where UN investigators and rights groups alleged inmates were routinely beaten and tortured.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 18, A senior government official said money sent home by Moroccans overseas amounted to 40.7 billion dirhams (3.6 billion euros) last year, or roughly 9 percent of Morocco's gross domestic product.
    (AFP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 18, In southern Nigeria near-simultaneous blasts tore through two oil company facilities. The region's main militant group claimed responsibility, saying it had planted car bombs.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 18, North Korea defiantly declared itself a nuclear power at the start of the first full international arms talks since its atomic test and threatened to increase its arsenal if its demands were not met.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 18, Norwegian oil companies Statoil ASA and Norsk Hydro ASA announced plans to merge their offshore oil and natural gas units in a nearly $30 billion (23 billion euro) deal they said would create the world's largest offshore oil operator.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 18, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he is pushing ahead with early elections, despite factional fighting that intensified after his initial call for a poll. He also appealed for international help in restarting peace talks with Israel.
    (AP, 12/18/06)   
2006        Dec 18, Sudan's justice minister said he was ready to cooperate with a UN fact-finding team due to investigate human rights abuses in war-torn Darfur.
    (AFP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 18, Syria’s official SUNA news agency said Syria and Iraq had signed on to a plan to cooperate in combating terrorism and crime.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 18, Venezuela's ruling party took the first step toward creating a single pro-government party, a move opponents criticized as a push to consolidate more power in the hands of President Hugo Chavez after his landslide re-election. Chavez met with Malaysia's PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to discuss expanding trade and deepening ties.
    (AP, 12/18/06)
2006        Dec 18, Six Yemenis released from the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay returned home and were being held by Yemeni authorities to determine if they have any terror ties.
    (AP, 12/18/06)

2007        Dec 18, The US Federal Reserve endorsed new rules that would give people taking out home mortgages new protections against shady lending practices.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 18, In New Jersey authorities broke up a major organized crime ring that took in $2.2 billion in gambling bets over the last 15 months and supplied drugs and cell phones to gang members in a New Jersey state prison. 2 ruling members of New York’s Lucchese crime family and 30 others were arrested.
    (SFC, 12/19/07, p.A4)
2007        Dec 18, The city council of Half Moon Bay, Ca., voted to hire a team of appellate lawyers to fight a federal court decision that ordered the city to pay a developer $36.8 million in a property dispute. The city’s annual budget was $10 million. On April 1, 2008 the City Council approved a settlement under which it would pay $18 million only if it was unable to get special legislation passed to allow Charles Keenan to build 129 lots on property in question and an adjoining parcel, bypassing wetlands protection laws.
    (SFC, 12/19/07, p.B1)(SFC, 4/2/08, p.B1)
2007        Dec 18, PG&E reported plans to support the first commercial wave power plant off California’s Humboldt County coast. 8 power generating buoys, to built by Canada’s Finavera Co., was expected to begin operations in 2012.
    (SFC, 12/18/07, p.A1)
2007        Dec 18, John Morgridge, the retired chairman of Cisco Systems, and his wife Tashia, both graduates from the Univ. of Wisconsin, announced that they are donating $175 million to help low-income Wisconsin students attend any of the state’s public colleges and universities. Morgridge’s fortune was estimated at $2.1 billion.
    (SFC, 12/19/07, p.C2)
2007        Dec 18, An Italian team published the first full genetic sequence of a grape variety, pinot noir, in the Public Library of Science.
    (Econ, 12/22/07, p.137)
2007        Dec 18, In western Afghanistan Taliban fighters killed 15 Afghan guards working for a private security company who were guarding a convoy of fuel tankers. 6 Taliban were killed in the ensuing fight. Elsewhere in Farah fighting between police and militants left 2 militants dead.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 18, In Argentina 7 former army officers and an ex-police official were convicted and sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for human rights abuses during Argentina's bloody dictatorship.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 18, The leaders of Argentina and Venezuela closed ranks against the United States, rejecting US court charges in a campaign cash scandal as one more example of Americans treating their nations like subservient colonies.
    (AP, 12/19/07)
2007        Dec 18, Prosecutors in Aruba dismissed the case against the three main suspects in the disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway, saying they still believe they were involved in her death but can't prove it after 932 days of searching failed to turn up a body.
    (AP, 12/19/07)
2007        Dec 18, An official said Australian copper thieves have turned tomb raiders, pilfering plaques and vases from cemeteries to sell the metal for scrap.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 18, Bermuda's ruling party won a third term in general elections shadowed by racial resentment and allegations of corruption. Premier Ewart Brown's Progressive Labor Party won 22 seats compared with 14 seats for the United Bermuda Party.
    (AP, 12/19/07)
2007        Dec 18, Canada confirmed a new case of mad cow disease, the 11th since 2003, and said the animal in question was a 13-year-old beef cow from Alberta.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 18, A boatload of 59 exhausted African men arrived in the Canary Islands, the latest wave in a constant flood of desperate migrants seeking a better life in Europe.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 18, EU regulators said Mastercard must drop fees it charges for cross-border transactions or face daily fines of 3.5 percent of daily global turnover.
    (AP, 12/19/07)
2007        Dec 18, About 250 Iraqi police raided three villages near Hawija, about 30 miles southwest of Kirkuk, in an operation against suspected al-Qaida in Iraq militants. Police detained 12 al-Qaida in Iraq suspects as well as another eight people, and seized a large weapons cache that included 2,500 mortar rounds, 350 Katyusha rockets, about 150 improvised bombs and about 500 mines. A car bomb targeting a police patrol exploded in central Baghdad killing two policeman and two civilians. A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a cafe near Baquba, killing 13 people and wounding 24.
    (AP, 12/18/07)(AFP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 18, Israeli aircraft launched an assault on the radical Islamic Jihad organization in Gaza, killing the group's overall commander and nine other militants in three fiery strikes. A fourth attack on a security post in southern Gaza killed two Hamas militants.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 18, Japan said it had shot down a ballistic missile in space high above the Pacific Ocean as part of joint efforts with the United States to erect a shield against a possible North Korean attack.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 18, In South Africa delegates of the governing African National Congress cast their votes for party leader. Zuma defeated President Thabo Mbeki by 2,329 votes to 1,505 at the party convention and moved into position to become president in 2009.
    (AP, 12/18/07)(AP, 12/19/07)
2007        Dec 18, In northern Sri Lanka fighting killed 13 rebels and two soldiers. The Tigers said they killed five soldiers.
    (AP, 12/19/07)
2007        Dec 18, A human rights group said that Syrian authorities have arrested two activists, raising to at least seven the number detained following a recent meeting of opposition groups in Damascus. The two had attended the National Council of the Damascus Declaration for Democratic Change, a Dec. 1 gathering of numerous opposition groups and activists calling for democratic reforms in Syria.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 18, In southern Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents shot and killed four people before beheading one victim, days before the country's first election since last year's coup.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 18, The Turkish army sent soldiers about 1.5 miles into northern Iraq in an overnight operation. A Turkish official said the troops seeking Kurdish rebels were still in Iraq by midmorning.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 18, Ukraine's pro-Western coalition appointed Orange Revolution leader Yulia Tymoshenko prime minister and named a government that favors the ex-Soviet republic winning NATO and EU membership.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 18, The UN Security Council voted unanimously to extend the US-led multinational force in Iraq for one year, a move that Iraq's prime minister said would be his nation's "final request" for help.
    (AP, 12/18/07)
2007        Dec 18, The UN passed a resolution backed by 104 states calling for the 1st time for a worldwide moratorium on capital punishment.
    (Econ, 4/26/08, p.46)(www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2007/ga10678.doc.htm)
2007        Dec 18, The Zimbabwe government introduced amendments to tough security and media laws, which critics said were used by President Robert Mugabe to stifle opposition to his 27-year rule.
    (AFP, 12/18/07)

2008        Dec 18, The US FDA cleared stevia, a shrub and an artificial sweetener extracted from it, for public use. The FDA did not technically granted approval to stevia but affirmed it will not object to companies using it in foods and beverages.
    (Econ, 1/30/10, p.77)(www.naturalnews.com/News_000626_stevia_Truvia_FDA.html)
2008        Dec 18, W. Mark Felt (95), former FBI second-in-command, died. He revealed himself as "Deep Throat" in 2005, 30 years after he tipped off reporters to the Watergate scandal that toppled Pres. Nixon.
    (AP, 12/19/08)
2008        Dec 18, John Costelloe (47), the actor who portrayed the gay lover of a closeted mobster on "The Sopranos," died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in New York City.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 18, Canada’s PM Harper said Canada will break a 12-year string of budget surpluses and run a deficit of as much as $30 billion next year to kick-start the economy.
    (Reuters, 12/19/08)
2008        Dec 18, Theoneste Bagosora (67), a former Rwandan army colonel, was convicted of genocide and sentenced to life in prison, the most significant verdict of a UN tribunal set up to bring the killers to justice. The 1994 genocide saw government troops, Hutu militia and ordinary villagers spurred on by hate messages broadcast on the radio going from village to village, butchering men, women and children.
    (AP, 12/18/08)
2008        Dec 18, Albania's Defense Ministry said the country is pulling its 218 troops out of Iraq.
    (AP, 12/18/08)
2008        Dec 18, Iraqi officials said that up to 25 people from the three major security ministries have been arrested over the past week on accusations of conspiring to restore the Baath party, whose exiled leaders staunchly oppose the current government. On Dec 23 the police and security officials, arrested on suspicion of forging identity cards and badges, were released on bail. A police officer said gunmen stormed the Kirkuk home of Nahla Hussein al-Shaly (37) and shot and beheaded her.
    (AP, 12/18/08)(AP, 12/23/08)
2008        Dec 18, Conor Cruise O’Brien (89), Irish diplomat and man of letters, died. His books included “To Katanga and Back" (1962) and “Religion and Politics" (1984).
    (SSFC, 12/21/08, p.B6)
2008        Dec 18, In Italy Parmalat founder Calisto Tanzi was sentenced to 10 years in prison over a 14-billion-euro fraud scandal that led to one of Europe's largest corporate bankruptcies.
    (AFP, 12/18/08)
2008        Dec 18, Riot police clashed with rock-throwing demonstrators in central Athens, sending Christmas shoppers and people in cafes running for cover. Frightened parents scooped up their children from a Christmas carousel in the city's main square and fled.
    (AP, 12/18/08)
2008        Dec 18, Hamas declared a formal end to a 6-month ceasefire with Israel.
    (SFC, 12/19/08, p.A4)
2008        Dec 18, Vietnam approved new regulations banning bloggers from discussing subjects the government deems sensitive or inappropriate and requiring them to limit their writings to personal issues.
    (AP, 12/24/08)

2009        Dec 18, US bank regulators shut down 7 banks including 2 in California. This brought to 140 the number of US banks closed down to the weak economy and mounting loan defaults.
    (SFC, 12/19/09, p.A5)
2009        Dec 18, SF Controller Ben Rosenfield released an audit that said Office Deport had overcharged the city of at least $5.75 million worth of office supplies over 4½ years. Office Depot was beset by overcharging allegations across the country.
    (SFC, 12/19/09, p.C1)
2009        Dec 18, General Motors Co. said it will shut down Saab after talks to sell the brand to a Dutch carmaker collapsed, marking the third time this year that a deal by GM to sell an unwanted brand has fallen through.
    (AP, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 18, In Cambodia a tribunal charged Khieu Samphan, the Khmer Rouge's 78-year-old former head of state, with genocide, adding new momentum to long-delayed trials against the brutal regime that ruled Cambodia 30 years ago (1975-1979).
    (AP, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 18, In China an environmental group backed by the government said it had won two lawsuits on behalf of residents threatened by pollution, marking the first time such an organization has been allowed to file a public interest case.
    (AP, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 18, Wu Ying (28), a Chinese businesswoman, was sentenced to death for cheating investors out of $56 million, the latest case in the country's struggle against widespread corruption. She started out a decade ago with a single beauty salon but eventually built up a holding group, Bense Holdings, that was known around the country. A report said Wu collected the $56 million from investors over two years and was arrested in 2007. In 2012 China's high court overturned the death sentence on Wu Ying and ordered the high court in eastern China's Zhejiang province to retry her case.
    (AP, 12/18/09)(AFP, 4/20/12)
2009        Dec 18, Dominica held elections. PM Roosevelt Skerrit, who has led his small Caribbean country into an alliance with Hugo Chavez, was betting that the early general elections will keep his Labor Party in power for another five years.
    (AP, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 18, The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) recommended the withdrawal of all medicines containing benfluorex, a diabetes and weight-loss drug, in the European Union. In 2010 French officials said the drug, marketed as mediator, may have been linked to the deaths of 500 people over the 33 years it was on the market. Fenfluramine, a related drug, had been withdrawn from the market in 1997 after reports of heart valve disease, pulmonary hypertension, and development of cardiac fibrosis.
    (SFC, 11/17/10, p.A2)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benfluorex)
2009        Dec 18, A French judge filed preliminary charges against former Pres. Jacques Chirac over allegations that Paris City Hall paid for jobs in his political party when was mayor, part of a financing scandal that has long dogged the man who for decades dominated French politics.
    (AP, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 18, A Paris court ruled that Google Inc. is breaking French law with its policy of digitizing books, handing the US Internet giant a euro10,000 ($14,300)-a-day fine until it rids its database of the literary extracts.
    (AP, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 18, India said it has withdrawn 30,000 soldiers from Kashmir as rebel attacks decreased over the past two years. Hundreds of thousands are believed to remain in the heavily militarized region also claimed by Pakistan.
    (AP, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 18, Iranian forces took control of Well 4, a southern Iraqi oil well on a disputed section of the border. 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)
2009        Dec 18, Kenya was said to be steadily losing the democratic gains it has made in recent years as human rights abuses increase and perpetrators aren't held accountable according to the Release Political Prisoners Trust, a human rights watchdog.
    (AP, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 18, Mexican police found six bullet-ridden, decomposing bodies near a highway leading to a Mexican resort on the Gulf of California. The six men were found half-buried on a dirt road off the highway frequently used by tourists from Arizona to reach the Puerto Penasco resort, widely known as Rocky Point. Gunmen killed Pedro Picasso (34), assistant football coach of Mexico first-division team Indios, in the border city Ciudad Juarez. A 2nd, unidentified person also died in the shooting at a cell phone shop. The bound and burned bodies of 8 men were found in the central Mexico state of Queretaro. Gunmen killed four police officers in a series of attacks on patrol cars in the border city of Ciudad Juarez. Police captured Jesus Basilio Araujo, also known by the nickname "The Chicken," a suspected lieutenant of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel linked to more than 109 execution-style killings.
    (AP, 12/18/09)(AP, 12/19/09)
2009        Dec 18, In Nigeria fresh clashes began between farmers and nomads leaving at least 32 people killed  and scores of houses were burnt in central Nassarawa State.
    (AFP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 18, In Pakistan an anti-corruption court in the southern city of Karachi issued summons to 52 suspects, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik and presidential secretary Salman Farooqi, to appear before the judge on Jan. 8. In the northwest a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives near a mosque inside a police compound in the Lower Dir region, killing 10 people, mostly police. A suspected US drone fired 3 missiles at a house in North Waziristan, killing three militants and injuring two others.
    (AP, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 18, In Poland the Nazis' infamous iron sign declaring "Arbeit Macht Frei," German for "Work Sets You Free," was stolen from the entrance of the former Auschwitz death camp. On Feb 2, 2010, a Polish court issued a European arrest warrant for former neo-Nazi leader Anders Hogstrom (34) of Sweden, on suspicion of incitement to commit theft of a cultural treasure. Hogstrom was arrested in Stockholm on Feb 11.
    (AP, 12/18/09)(SFC, 2/3/10, p.A2)(AP, 2/11/10)
2009        Dec 18, South Korea's military said it was investigating a hacking attack that netted secret defense plans with the US and may have been carried out by North Korea.
    (AP, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 18, South Korean trucks crossed into North Korea delivering enough doses of antiviral drugs for 500,000 North Koreans. An estimated 50 people in North Korea have died of swine flu since November. Han Su Chol, a North Korean health minister, expressed thanks.
    (SFC, 12/19/09, p.A4)
2009        Dec 18, The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said an estimated 74,000 Africans, mainly from Ethiopia and Somalia, have fled to Yemen as refugees or economic migrants. That's a 50 percent higher than in 2008.
    (AP, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 18, Aminatou Haidar, a Western Sahara independence activist, returned home after a 32-day hunger strike at a Spanish airport, defusing a diplomatic spat between Spain and Morocco and potentially strengthening separatist campaigners.
    (Reuters, 12/18/09)
2009        Dec 18, Zimbabwe, for years plagued by hyper inflation, presented official data showing it has switched narrowly into an absolute price fall on a monthly basis, following adoption of foreign currencies.
    (AFP, 12/18/09)

2010        Dec 18, Tensions between the US and Venezuela flared over Washington's nominee for ambassador, as President Hugo Chavez warned that diplomat Larry Palmer would be detained and put on the next flight home if he tries to set foot in the country.
    (AP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 18, In a historic vote for gay rights, the US Senate agreed to do away with the military's 17-year ban on openly gay troops and sent President Barack Obama legislation to overturn the Clinton-era policy known as "don't ask, don't tell."
    (AP, 12/19/10)
2010        Dec 18, In Louisiana a small plane crashed after takeoff in Crowley killing 3 people and injuring 2 others.
    (SSFC, 12/19/10, p.A12)
2010        Dec 18, Luis Moreno Ocampo, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, said he has evidence Sudanese Pres. Omar al-Bashir has stolen billions of dollars from his impoverished country. The embezzlement accusations were first reported by British newspaper The Guardian, based on a diplomatic cable provided by the Wikileaks website.
    (AP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 18, In eastern Afghanistan NATO troops killed more than 20 insurgents in fighting after a patrol came under fire. German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid an unannounced visit to northern Afghanistan to boost German troops' morale for a war that is deeply unpopular at home and to meet with the Afghan president. A leader of the Haqqani network was killed in an operation by international forces and their Afghan counterparts in the eastern Khost province. A man was captured during a night raid in the Zharay district of southern Kandahar province by Afghan and coalition forces, who described him as "a key Taliban weapons facilitator."
    (AP, 12/18/10)(Reuters, 12/18/10)(AP, 12/22/10)(Reuters, 12/24/10)
2010        Dec 18, In northeastern Bangladesh a boat packed with passengers capsized on the Surma River. Rescuers the next day said at least 37 people died and 18 more were missing.
    (AP, 12/19/10)
2010        Dec 18, In Brazil bridegroom Rogerio Damascena (29) fatally shot his new wife, Renata Alexandre Costa Coelho (25), his best man, Marcelo Guimaraes, and then himself after announcing to horrified guests that he had a "surprise" for them.
    (AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 18, Fresh snow brought much of Britain to a standstill, on what is traditionally the busiest weekend for shopping and travel in the run-up to Christmas. Blizzards and freezing temperatures shut down runways, train tracks and highways across Europe.
    (Reuters, 12/18/10)(AP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 18, Andrew Lindo (29) strangled, battered and stabbed Marie Stewart to death while their children were asleep, at their home in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. Hours later, he took the two children to collect his lover, Angela Rylance (30), spending the night with her in the bedroom where he had carried out the brutal murder. On Sep 21 a judge ordered that Lindo serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars.
    (AFP, 9/21/11)(www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-14842805)
2010        Dec 18, A 63-ton Chinese fishing boat capsized after ramming into a 3,000-ton South Korean coastguard ship trying to curb its illegal fishing activities, leaving one Chinese crew member dead and another missing.
    (AFP, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 18, Cuban President Raul Castro told legislators that the future of the country's revolution is at stake as the government tries to institute sweeping economic reforms, adding that the changes are meant to strengthen socialism — not replace it.
    (AP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 18, Germany’s weekly Der Spiegel reported that local tax authorities recovered 1.6 billion euros this year from citizens who had stashed their cash in secret accounts in Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
    (AFP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 18, Iran's president announced the start of a plan to slash energy and food subsidies, part of government efforts to boost the country's ailing economy.
    (AP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 18, Iraq's parliament took a major step toward creating a unity government, lifting a ban on three Sunni Muslim politicians who were barred from running in national elections last March after being accused of having ties to Saddam Hussein's ousted regime.
    (AP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 18, An Israeli airstrike killed five Gaza militants in the deadliest attack against the coastal strip in months. The Israeli military says the men were about to launch a rocket attack against southern Israeli communities when they were struck.
    (AP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 18, In the Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to step down from the presidency, ordered all UN peacekeepers to leave the country immediately, calling the global body that has endorsed his political rival an "agent of destabilization." The UN certified results showed that opposition leader Alassane Ouattara had won by "an irrefutable margin."
    (AP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 18, In Mexico a lumber operation, associated with the family of anti-crime crusader Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, killed on Dec 16, was burned down in Ciudad Juarez by unknown arsonists. The body of Manuel Monge Amparan, a relative of Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, was dumped on a street in Ciudad Juarez.
    (AP, 12/18/10)(AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 18, Pakistan and China concluded nearly 15 billion dollars' worth of deals, as visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Beijing would "never give up" on the troubled nuclear-armed Muslim country.
    (AFP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 18, Pakistan's top spy agency denied that it helped unmask the CIA's station chief in Islamabad, dismissing speculation it was retaliating for a US lawsuit linking the Pakistani intelligence chief to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India. The station chief in Islamabad has operated as a virtual military commander in the US war against al-Qaida and other militant groups hidden along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. His recall was made public a day earlier.
    (AP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 18, Russian news agencies said Moscow police have arrested 500 people to stop them attending rival protests over the killing of a soccer fan and the ethnic violence that erupted after the slaying. Seven hunters and forest rangers were shot dead in a wooded area in the Caucasus province of Kabardino-Balkaria.
    (AP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 18, In Spain tens of thousands of workers staged strikes in 40 cities to protest state plans to up the retirement age to slash public deficit.
    (AFP, 12/18/10)
2010        Dec 18, A Sri Lanka Cabinet minister backtracked saying the government will now allow a UN team to visit the country and share evidence gathered during an investigation into whether war crimes were committed during the final phase of the island's bloody civil war.
    (AP, 12/18/10)

2011        Dec 18, Warren Hellman (b.1934), San Francisco financier and sponsor of the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, died from complications of leukemia.
    (SFC, 12/18/11, p.A1)
2011        Dec 18, In eastern Afghanistan 18 civilians and two policemen were wounded when a man threw grenades at a police vehicle in Khost city.
    (AFP, 12/18/11)
2011        Dec 18, Police in Bahrain fired tear gas at thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-government slogans after the funeral of an elderly man who witnesses say died from tear gas inhalation a day earlier.
    (AP, 12/18/11)
2011        Dec 18, In Bolivia suspects, Carlos Uriona and Adelaida Marca allegedly drowned their sister (18) during a bathtub exorcism in Cochabamba. Both were arrested after police found the victim's body inside a store owned by the pastor.
    (AP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 18, Donald Neilson (b.1936), one of Britain's most notorious serial killers, died. He was known as the Black Panther, whose savage murder of Lesley Whittle (17), a teenage heiress, repulsed the nation in 1975.
    (AP, 12/19/11)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Neilson)
2011        Dec 18, In the CongoDRC opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi declared himself winner of the recent presidential vote, despite placing second in official election results.
    (SFC, 12/18/11, p.A2)
2011        Dec 18, Vaclav Havel (b.1936), former Czech president (1990-2003) died. He led the 1989 Velvet Revolution that peacefully toppled communism in the former Czechoslovakia.
    (AP, 12/18/11)(Econ, 12/31/11, p.32)
2011        Dec 18, Egypt's military sought to isolate pro-democracy activists protesting against their rule, depicting them as conspirators and vandals, as troops and protesters clashed for a third straight day. At least 10 protesters have been killed and 441 others wounded in the three days of violence.
    (AP, 12/18/11)
2011        Dec 18, Iranian state media reported that Russia’s Tatneft has signed a preliminary accord valued at $1 billion with the Persian Gulf country to develop the Zagheh oil field located in southwestern Iran. The next day Tatneft said no accord has been signed.
    (SFC, 12/18/11, p.A2)(http://tinyurl.com/7j78scn)
2011        Dec 18, In Iraq Baghdad security said three of Sunni vice-president Tareq Hashemi's bodyguards were arrested for "suspected terrorist activity," and the vice president was briefly escorted off a domestic flight from Baghdad to the autonomous Kurdish region's capital Arbil.
    (AFP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 18, The last US soldiers rolled out of Iraq across the border into neighboring Kuwait at daybreak. The war cost nearly 4,500 American and well more than 100,000 Iraqi lives and $800 billion from the US Treasury.
    (AP, 12/18/11)
2011        Dec 18, Israel released hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, the second and final phase of a swap with Gaza Hamas militants that brought home an Israeli soldier after five years in captivity.
    (AP, 12/18/11)
2011        Dec 18, In the Ivory Coast unrest in Vavoua left 5 people dead. Violence started after a dispute between Republican Forces (FRCI) and youths the previous night left dead a young man who succumbed to his injuries in hospital.
    (AFP, 12/18/11)
2011        Dec 18, In Lebanon a masked gunman shot and killed a bodyguard of the commander of the mainstream Fatah group's armed faction at the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp near the southern port city of Sidon. The camp houses more than 65,000 refugees.
    (AP, 12/18/11)
2011        Dec 18, More than 30,000 Islamists rallied against the US in the Pakistani city of Lahore, demanding Islamabad cut off ties with Washington following NATO airstrikes last month that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
    (AP, 12/18/11)
2011        Dec 18, In the southern Philippines rescuers struggled to help survivors and a ravaged city prepared for a mass burial as the death toll from devastating flash floods rose past 650. Some 900 people were missing.
    (AFP, 12/18/11)
2011        Dec 18, In Russia thousands took to the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg, braving strong winds and torrential rains for a second week of protests over the recent fraud-tainted parliamentary vote.
    (AP, 12/18/11)
2011        Dec 18, Russia’s Kolskaya oil drilling platform capsized and later sank amid fierce storms off the coast of Sakhalin Island, plunging dozens of workers into the churning, icy waters. Of the 67 men aboard, 14 were plucked alive immediately after the accident.
    (AP, 12/18/11)(AP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 18, Somali journalist Abdisalan Sheik Hassan was shot dead in Mogadishu by a man in a Somali government uniform.
    (AP, 12/18/11)
2011        Dec 18, Spanish airline Iberia cancelled a third of its flights because of a strike by pilots fearing job losses when company planes are diverted for a planned new budget carrier.
    (SFC, 12/18/11, p.A2)
2011        Dec 18, In Syria armed clashes erupted, killing at least 14 civilians and six government troops in central and northern Syria.
    (AP, 12/18/11)
2011        Dec 18, Four Yemeni soldiers and two al-Qaida-linked militants were killed in overnight clashes outside the city of Zinjibar.
    (AP, 12/18/11)

2012        Dec 18, In Afghanistan a coalition soldier went missing. Afghan police found the body and turned it over to NATO forces on Dec 29. He was one of 1,560 troops serving from the former Soviet republic of Georgia. 18 Georgian soldiers have been killed since the country joined the international military operations in Afghanistan in August 2009.
    (AP, 12/21/12)(AP, 12/30/12)
2012        Dec 18, British electrical retailer Comet closed its remaining stores for the final time as part of a deal that will cost the government more than 23 million pounds.
    (Reuters, 12/18/12)
2012        Dec 18, Police in Canada's French-speaking province of Quebec announced a breakthrough in the mysterious disappearance last August of truckloads of Canadian maple syrup. Three suspects were arrested, vehicles were seized and syrup-making equipment recovered after a manhunt in Canada and the United States.
    (Reuters, 12/18/12)
2012        Dec 18, Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush was removed from office over his arrest on various charges.
    (SFC, 12/20/12, p.A2)
2012        Dec 18, Chinese state media reported that police have detained more than 500 people from a fringe Christian group for spreading rumors about the world's impending end on Dec 21.
    (AP, 12/18/12)
2012        Dec 18, The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague acquitted Congolese militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo of all charges of commanding fighters who destroyed a village in eastern Congo in 2003, raping and hacking to death some 200 people, including children.
    (AP, 12/18/12)
2012        Dec 18, Egypt's prosecutor general Talaat Abdullah submitted his resignation less than a month after he was swiftly sworn in by the Islamist president, who is embroiled in a power struggle with the judiciary. Hundreds of public prosecutors staged a sit-in outside Abdullah's office in Cairo. The State Council of Judges said it will not oversee the second part of the vote on the draft constitution.
    (AP, 12/18/12)
2012        Dec 18, An Indonesian health official said a boy (4) has died of H5N1 bird flu bringing the total to 160. At least 360 people have died worldwide from this virus since 2003.
    (SFC, 12/19/12, p.A2)
2012        Dec 18, In Iran a collapse and explosion in a coal mine killed eight workers near Tabas city in the country's east.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 18, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke and was in intensive care at a Baghdad hospital, injecting new uncertainty into the country's political future a year after the US military left.
    (AP, 12/18/12)
2012        Dec 18, Mexico’s Pres. Enrique Pena Nieto laid out a security strategy that creates a new national force to combat organized crime.
    (SFC, 12/18/12, p.A2)
2012        Dec 18, In Mexico a prison break in Gomez Palacio, Durango state, left at least 23 people dead including 14 inmates and 9 guards.
    (SFC, 12/20/12, p.A2)
2012        Dec 18, Astronomers reported that North Korea’s new satellite, launched on Dec 12, is most likely dead.
    (SFC, 12/18/12, p.A2)
2012        Dec 18, In Pakistan gunmen shot dead five women working on UN-backed polio vaccination efforts in two different cities, a major setback for a campaign that international health officials consider vital to contain the crippling disease. Taliban insurgents say the program is a cover for espionage.    Two men on a motorcycle hurled hand grenades at the main gate of an army recruiting center in the northwestern town of Risalpur, wounding 10 people.
    (AP, 12/18/12)
2012        Dec 18, Philippine officials said Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) killed 1,043 people with 844 still missing.
    (SSFC, 12/23/12, p.A22)
2012        Dec 18, In Spain thousands of people hit the streets to protest government spending cuts as the PM Mariano Rajoy defended austerity measures. Unemployment was at 25%.
    (SFC, 12/18/12, p.A4)
2012        Dec 18, Clashes between Syrian rebels and an armed Palestinian group loyal to President Bashar Assad raged inside a Damascus refugee camp, as the Syrian military deployed tanks outside.
    (AP, 12/18/12)
2012        Dec 18, In Tunisia some 3000 people protested the leadership in Tunis during ceremonies marking 2 years since a street vendor set himself on fire to protest abuses under former Pres. Ben Ali.
    (SFC, 12/18/12, p.A2)
2012        Dec 18, Ukrainian health officials said 37 people have died from the severe cold spell that hit the country this month.
    (AP, 12/18/12)
2012        Dec 18, The US Treasury Department made public sanctions against two leaders of Congo's M23 rebel group. The US government accused Baudoin Ngaruye and Innocent Kaina of using child soldiers.
    (AP, 12/18/12)
2012        Dec 18, In Colorado Daniel Sanchez (31) killed three people, including his ex-girlfriend outside Longmont. He had just been released from jail on domestic violence charges.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 18, Some 2,000 soldiers from Chad arrived to help the government of Central African Republic fight a rapidly advancing rebel movement, as the fighters claimed to have seized a sixth town.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 18, Mexico’s Pres. Enrique Pena Nieto laid out a security strategy that creates a new national force to combat organized crime. Mexico's new attorney general said that as many as 80 small and medium-size drug cartels are operating in the country, a number far higher than the last formal government assessment.
    (SFC, 12/18/12, p.A2)(AP, 12/18/12)
2012        Dec 18, In the Gulf of Aden 55 people drowned or were missing after an overcrowded boat capsized off the Somali coast.
    (AP, 12/21/12)

2013        Dec 18, A US presidential advisory panel on government surveillance was released. It recommended sweeping limits on the government's surveillance programs, including requiring a court to sign off on individual searches of phone records and stripping the National Security Agency of its ability to store that data from Americans.
    (AP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, The United States voiced regret to India over the treatment of a diplomat whose account of being stripped and cavity-searched triggered outrage.
    (AFP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, The US Federal Reserve decided to reduce its stimulus program and trim its $85 billion a month in bond purchases by $10 billion starting in January.
    (SFC, 12/19/13, p.D3)
2013        Dec 18, A New Orleans jury convicted Kurt Mix (52), a BP drilling engineer, of obstruction of justice in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Mix had deleted a string of text messages to and from his supervisor.
    (SFC, 12/19/13, p.A14)
2013        Dec 18, The NY Times reported that Target was investigating a security breach on point of sale systems at its retail stores that is believed to have begun the day after Thanksgiving. Target disclosed the breach on Dec 19. On August 18, 2015, Target and Visa confirmed an agreement for Target to pay Visa up to $67 million to settle claims.
    (SFC, 12/19/13, p.A11)(SFC, 8/19/15, p.C6)
2013        Dec 18, In Austria a wave of protests against the new government escalated as tens of thousands of civil servants demonstrated in Vienna for better pay and an end to a hiring freeze.
    (Reuters, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, Bolivia accused the United States of helping Jacob Ostreicher (54), a New York businessman, escape from the South American country where he had spent 18 months in prison and was under house arrest for alleged money laundering. Washington denied having a hand in Ostreicher's flight.
    (Reuters, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, Brazil’s defense minister said Sweden's Saab has edged out French and US rivals to win a multi-billion-dollar contract to supply Brazil's air force with 36 new fighter jets.
    (AFP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, The Bank of England said it will issue plastic banknotes for the first time in its history, with Winston Churchill gracing the first run. The note, carrying a value of £5 ($8.2, 6.0 euro), is to be released in 2016.
    (AFP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, A British judge sentenced the former lead singer of the rock band Lostprophets to 29 years in jail, saying that Ian Watkins had "plumbed new depths of depravity" in committing a string of sexual offenses against very young children.
    (AP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs (84), part of a gang of at least 12 men that robbed a Glasgow-to-London Royal Mail train on Aug 8, 1963, died.
    (AP, 12/18/13)(Econ, 1/4/14, p.74)
2013        Dec 18, China's foreign minister paid a rare visit to Israel, reflecting the burgeoning trade ties between the two countries. But the trip was clouded by fresh accusations that Israel's prime minister had compromised the global war on terrorism under heavy Chinese pressure.
    (AP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, Egyptian prosecutors announced a new trial of ousted President Mohammed Morsi and the top leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood, accusing them of conspiring with Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran's Revolutionary Guard and militant groups to carry out a wave of terrorism to destabilize the country.
    (AP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, Egyptian police raided the offices of an NGO affiliated with a leftist former presidential candidate, arresting three employees and confiscating computers. The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, founded by former candidate Khaled Ali, has supported striking factory workers and defended activists at trials.
    (AFP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 18, EU finance ministers reached a banking union accord which will hand Brussels unprecedented new powers to prevent failing banks from wrecking the economy.
    (AFP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, Gambia jailed United Democratic Party treasurer Amadou Sanneh, a leading opposition politician, for sedition after he helped two supporters planning to flee to Finland.
    (AFP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, in south-east Iran 3 military personnel were killed when the vehicle they were travelling in was struck by a roadside bomb.
    (Reuters, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, An Iraqi policeman gave his own life in an attempt to protect pilgrims, embracing a suicide bomber just moments before an attack to shield others from the blast. The bomber struck in Khalis, northeast of Baghdad, killing 5 people and wounding 10. Attacks across the country killed 11 people, including 3 Pakistani Shiite pilgrims.
    (AFP, 12/18/13)(AP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, The Israeli army shot dead a Palestinian man and wounded others in clashes that erupted following military activity in the northern West Bank.
    (AFP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, In Italy frustrated and angry, thousands of students, jobless and tax-weary workers have moved their days-long protest against "useless politicians" to Rome.
    (AP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, In northern Mexico 5 men were killed in a gunbattle with police and military personnel in the Gulf of California resort of Puerto Penasco. Government helicopters fire on at least 10 vehicles as they tried to escape. Sinaloa cartel operator Gonzalo Inzunza was the target, but his body was not among those killed.
    (SFC, 12/19/13, p.A2)(SFC, 12/21/13, p.A2)
2013        Dec 18, In Morocco a visiting group of UN experts said Morocco must put an end to the practice of convicting detainees on the basis of confessions obtained through torture.
    (AFP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, Nigeria's faction-ridden ruling party lost its majority in the House of Representatives as 37 legislators defected to a new opposition coalition, in a major blow to President Goodluck Jonathan.
    (AP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, In Pakistan a suicide bomb attack on a checkpoint in North Waziristan killed at least 3 soldiers and wounded 32 people.
    (Reuters, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, Iyad Sarraj (70), an award-winning Palestinian psychiatrist and human rights campaigner who championed peace with Israel, died in an Israeli hospital overnight of cancer.
    (AFP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, Romanian media reported that some 26 police officers and ambulance employees have been charged with calling undertakers to tell them that someone had died, or in some cases were not yet dead, in exchange for money.
    (AP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, Russia's parliament passed an amnesty bill that will likely apply to the 30-member crew of a Greenpeace ship detained after an Arctic protest, but it wasn't immediately clear if and when the activists would be allowed to leave the country.
    (AP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, In Somalia fighters shot dead 3 Syrian doctors and their 3 Somali colleagues as they travelled to a hospital outside Mogadishu.
    (AFP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, South Sudan said at least 500 people, most of them soldiers, have been killed since Dec 15. The clashes apparently were pitting soldiers from the majority Dinka tribe of President Salva Kiir against those from ousted Vice President Riek Machar's Nuer ethnic group. Fighting spread to Jonglei, the largest state in South Sudan.
    (AP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, In South Sudan fighting between workers in two oil fields killed at least 16 people but the government regained in control and oil production was not affected.
    (Reuters, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 18, The Swiss government said it has decided to keep 760 million Swiss francs ($858 million) in Egyptian and Tunisian assets frozen for three more years.
    (AP, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, Syrian government forces pummeled opposition-held neighborhoods in Aleppo for a 4th day, leveling apartment buildings, flooding hospitals with casualties and killing nearly 200 people. Syria said that British doctor Abbas Khan, alleged to have been effectively murdered in custody, had hanged himself after being arrested for "unauthorized activities." On Oct 27, 2014, a British jury found that the regime of Bashar Assad had deliberately and intentionally killed Dr. Khan.
    (AP, 12/18/13)(AFP, 12/18/13)(Econ, 11/8/14, p.51)(Econ, 11/8/14, p.51)
2013        Dec 18, Turkey's PM Tayyip Erdogan denounced a corruption crackdown on his allies months ahead of elections as a "dirty operation" to smear his administration and undermine the country's progress.
    (Reuters, 12/18/13)
2013        Dec 18, The heads of the UN and European Union aid agencies called for a "humanitarian ceasefire" in Syria to allow convoys to deliver help to areas that aid workers cannot reach.
    (Reuters, 12/18/13)

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