Today in History - December 19

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1154        Dec 19, Henry Plantagenet of the Angevin dynasty was crowned Henry II, King of England with Eleanor  of Aquitaine as queen.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor,_Duchess_of_Aquitaine)(ON, 6/12, p.5)

1562        Dec 19, The French Wars of Religion between the Huguenots and the Catholics began with the Battle of Dreux.
    (HN, 12/19/98)

1683        Dec 19, Philip V, King of Spain (1700-24, 24-46), was born in Versailles, France. [see Feb 20]
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1686        Dec 19, Robinson Crusoe left his island after 28 years (as per Defoe).
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1732        Dec 19, Benjamin Franklin began publishing "Poor Richard's Almanack." [see Dec 28]
    (AP, 12/19/97)(MC, 12/19/01)

1776        Dec 19, Thomas Paine published his first "American Crisis" essay, writing: "These are the times that try men's souls."
    (HFA, '96, p.44)(AP, 12/19/97)

1777        Dec 19, Gen. George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pa., to camp for the winter. [see Dec 17]
    (AP, 12/19/97)

1778        Dec 19, Marie-Therese-Charlotte, daughter of King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, was born.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1779        Dec 19, Auguste-Gaspard-Louis Desnoyers, engraver, was born in Paris, France.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1790        Dec 19, Sir William Parry, England, Arctic explorer, was born.
    (HN, 12/19/98)

1793        Dec 19, French troops recaptured Toulon from the British. Napoleon Bonaparte led the intense shelling of British positions. This led to his promotion to brigadier general.
    (ON, 2/12, p.6)

1813        Dec 19, British forces captured Fort Niagara during the War of 1812.
    (AP, 12/20/06)

1814        Dec 19, Edwin McMasters Stanton, US Secretary of War (1861-65), was born in Ohio.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1823        Dec 19, Georgia passed the 1st US state birth registration law.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1849        Dec 19, Henry Clay Frick (d.1919), coal and steel magnate, was born in West Overton, Penn.
    (www.netstate.com/states/peop/people/pa_hcf.htm)

1851        Dec 19, Joseph Mallord William Turner, English painter and printmaker, died.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._M._W._Turner)(SFC, 6/20/15, p.E3)

1862        Dec 19, Nathan B. Forrest tore up the railroads in Grant and Rosecrans' rear, causing considerable delays in the movement of Union supplies.
    (HN, 12/19/98)
1862        Dec 19, Skirmish at Jackson-Salem Church, Tenn., left 80 casualties.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1871        Dec 19, Albert L. Jones patented corrugated paper in NYC.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1888        Dec 19, Fritz Reiner, US conductor (Chicago Symphony Orch), was born in Budapest, Hungary.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1890        Dec 19, Start of Sherlock Holmes "Adventure of Beryl Coronet."
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1903        Dec 19, The Williamsburg suspension bridge opened between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
    (MC, 12/19/01)
1903        Dec 19, Heinrich Lienhard (b.1822), Swiss immigrant to the United States, died in Illinois. His reminiscences for the years 1822 to 1850 are an important historical source re California Trail and Sutter's Fort in California from 1846 to 1850.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Lienhard)

1906        Dec 19, H. Allen Smith, Ill, humorist, author (Low Man on Totem Pole), was born.
    (MC, 12/19/01)
1906        Dec 19, Leonid Brezhnev, Soviet General Secretary of the Communist arty and President of the Supreme Soviet from 1964 until 1982, was born in the Ukraine.
    (HN, 12/19/98)(MC, 12/19/01)

1907        Dec 19, A gas explosion killed 239 workers in a coal mine in Jacobs Creek, Pa.
    (AP, 12/19/97)(MC, 12/19/01)

1908        Dec 19, In Venezuela Gen. Juan Vicente Gomez (1857-1935) seized power from Pres. Cipriano Castro, while Castro was in Europe for medical treatment.
    (AP, 5/22/14)

1909        Dec 19, U.S. socialist women denounced suffrage as a movement of the middle class.
    (HN, 12/19/98)

1910        Dec 19, Jean Genet, criminal, novelist, dramatist (The Blacks), was born in Paris, France. In 1993 Edmund White published “Jean Genet: A Life."
    (WUD, 1994, p.590)(SFEC, 10/5/97, Z1 p.3)(MC, 12/19/01)
1910        Dec 19, Rayon was 1st commercially produced by Marcus Hook in Penn.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1911        Dec 19, Onetime race-car driver Weldon Cooke piloted the homemade Black Diamond airplane over Mount Tamalpais on a flight from Oakland, Ca., to Marin County.
    (SFC, 12/18/11, p.A1)

1915        Dec 19, Edith Piaf, internationally famous French cabaret singer, was born. She is best remembered for her songs "La Vie en rose" and "Non, je ne regrette rein."
    (HN, 12/19/99)
1915        Dec 19, Alvis Alzheimer (b.1864), German neurologist (Alzheimer Disease), died.
    (www.ibro.info/Pub_Main_Display.asp?Main_ID=34)

1918        Dec 19, Robert Ripley (1890-1949) began his "Champs and Chumps" cartoon series in the NY Globe. By 1929 the sports series turned into “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!"
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ripley)

1919        Dec 19, The Thimble Theatre cartoon strip, by Elzie Segar (1894-1938) of Chesater, Ill., made its debut in the New York Journal and featured the characters Olive Oyl, Castor Oyl, and Ham Gravy, who were the comic's leads for about a decade. Segar added Popeye in 1929.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.C._Segar)
1919        Dec 19, American Meteorological Society was founded.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1926        Dec 19, Former Lithuanian Pres. Aleksandras Stulginskis served for a few hours as acting president, the 5th president of Lithuania, following a coup that returned Antanas Smetona (1874-1944) to office.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandras_Stulginskis)

1928        Dec 19, The 1st autogiro flight was made in the US. It was a predecessor of the helicopter.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1932        Dec 19, The British Broadcasting Corp. began transmitting overseas with its "Empire Service" to Australia.
    (AP, 12/19/97)

1933        Dec 19, Cicely Tyson, actress, best remembered for her role in The Autobiography of Ms. Jane Pittman, was born.
    (HN, 12/19/98)

1939        Dec 19, The British destroyer HMS Hyperion sighted the German liner Columbus about 400 miles off the coast of Virginia. The still neutral American heavy cruiser Tuscaloosa was also in the area, and silently observed the two ships. Rather than surrender the ship, her crew scuttled her, and she burned and sank. Her passengers and crew, 567 men and nine women, were taken aboard Tuscaloosa as rescued seamen, not as prisoners of war as they would have been had the British picked them up. Tuscaloosa took all personnel to New York City. A year later 512 members of the crew were settled on Angel Island in SF Bay. After the end of war many returned to Germany.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Columbus_%281924%29)    (SSFC, 1/18/15, DB p.46)

1940        Dec 19, Phil Ochs, anti-war folk singer (Joe Hill, War is Over), was born in El Paso, Tx.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1941        Dec 19, US Attorney General Francis Biddle issued Circular No. 3591 to all federal prosecutors to drop references to peonage and label such files as “Involuntary Servitude and Slavery." This was in response to Pres. Roosevelt’s fear that mistreatment of blacks would be used in propaganda by Japan and Germany.
    (WSJ, 3/29/08, p.W8)
1941        Dec 19, US Office of Censorship was created to control info about WW II.
    (MC, 12/19/01)
1941        Dec 19, Hitler took complete command of German Army.
    (MC, 12/19/01)
1941        Dec 19, Japanese landed on Hong Kong and clashed with British troops.
    (HN, 12/19/98)

1942        Dec 19, British advanced 40 miles into Burma in a drive to oust the Japanese from the colony.
    (HN, 12/19/98)

1943        Dec 19, William De Vries, surgeon-inventor (Symbion artificial heart), was born in Brooklyn.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1944        Dec 19, Richard Leakey, anthropologist, was born.
    (MC, 12/19/01)
1944        Dec 19, During the Battle of the Bulge, American troops began pulling back from the twin Belgian cities of Krinkelt and Rocherath in front of the advancing German Army.
    (HN, 12/19/98)
1944        Dec 19, The French newspaper Le Monde began publishing. Charles de Gaulle called for the launch of Le Monde to replace Le Temps, which had become tainted by collaboration with German invaders.
    (Econ, 6/12/10, p.70)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Monde)

1945        Dec 19, Congress confirmed Eleanor Roosevelt as the U.S. delegate to the UN.
    (HN, 12/19/98)
1945        Dec 19, Jean Giraudoux' "La Folle de Chaillot," premiered in Paris.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1946        Dec 19, Noel Coward's musical "Pacific 1860," premiered in London.
    (MC, 12/19/01)
1946        Dec 19, War broke out in Indochina as troops under Ho Chi Minh launched widespread attacks against the French. The French retook Hoa Binh with a drop by airborne forces. They abandoned it in October 1950 in the panic following Viet Minh victories on Colonial Route 4.
    (AP, 12/19/06)(http://maoist.wikia.com/wiki/Vo_Nguyen_Giap)(www.historynet.com/the-hoa-binh-campaign.htm)

1950        Dec 19, The North Atlantic Council named General Eisenhower supreme commander of Western European defense forces of NATO.
    (www.nato.int/multi/photos/1950/m501219a.htm)(AP, 12/19/00)
1950        Dec 19, Tibet's Dalai Lama fled a Chinese invasion.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1953        Dec 19, Robert A. Millikan (85), US physicist (Nobel 1923), died.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1955        Dec 19, Carl Perkins recorded "Blue Suede Shoes."
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1957        Dec 19, The musical play "The Music Man," starring Robert Preston, with book and songs by Meredith Willson, opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theater for 1,375 performances. Mason City, Iowa, Willson's home town, unveiled Music Man Square in 2002
    (AP, 12/19/97)(MC, 12/19/01)(SSFC, 3/14/04, p.D12)

1959        Dec 19, Walter Williams (117), officially recognized as the last survivor of the 4 million who fought in the Civil War, died in Houston. He served as forage master for a Confederate cavalry company. The last survivor of the Union Army was Albert Woolson. He died on August 2, 1956 at the age of 109.
    (HN, 12/19/98)(www.chipublib.org/008subject/005genref/faqvet.html)

1960        Dec 19, A fire aboard the USS Constellation, under construction at Brooklyn, killed 50.
    (www.hullnumber.com/CV-64)
1960        Dec 19, Frank Sinatra recorded “Ring-A-Ding-Ding" in his 1st session with Reprise Records.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1961        Dec 19, The UN General Assembly adopted Resolutions 1714 (XVI) for the formation of its World Food Program (WFP).
    (www.fao.org/docrep/46140E/46140e06.htm)

1962        Dec 19, Transit 5A1, the 1st operational navigational satellite, was launched.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1965        Dec 19, French president De Gaulle was re-elected. Mitterrand got 45% of the vote.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1966        Dec 19, Alberto "La Bomba" Tomba, Italian skier (Olympic-gold-1988, 92), was born.
    (MC, 12/19/01)

1968        Dec 19, Norman Thomas (b.1884), founder of the ACLU and Socialist Party leader (1926-55), died.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Thomas)

1971        Dec 19, Stanley Kubrick's X-rated "A Clockwork Orange" premiered.
    (http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1800048705/info)

1972        Dec 19, Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, ending the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.
    (AP, 12/19/97)

1974        Dec 19, Nelson A. Rockefeller was sworn in as the 41st vice president of the United States after a House vote.
    (AP, 12/19/97)(HN, 12/19/98)
1974        Dec 19, Former Pres. Nixon’s presidential papers were seized by an act of Congress. A court later ruled that much of the material belonged to Nixon and that he deserved compensation. In 1998 there was still no settlement on value.
    (WSJ, 11/27/98, p.W10)

1975        Dec 19, John Paul Stevens, appointed by Pres. Gerald Ford, was sworn in as a US Supreme Court judge.
    (NW, 7/7/03, p.51)

1977        Dec 19, Pres. Jimmy Carter signed into law the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The act made it a crime for a US citizen to pay bribes to win contracts abroad. The Lockheed Corp. had bribed Japanese officials for business contracts and caused a furor that brought down the Tokyo government and inspired the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the US.
    (SFC, 4/8/96, p.A-8)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Corrupt_Practices_Act)

1978        Dec 19, Jury selection began in Salem, Ore., in the case of John J. Rideout, accused of raping his wife, Greta. Rideout was acquitted; the couple divorced after the trial.
    (AP, 12/19/03)

1980        Dec 19, Pres. Jimmy Carter signed legislation to protect Lake Tahoe.
    (SFC, 12/16/05, p.F2)

1982        Dec 19, Four bombs exploded at South Africa's only nuclear power station in Johannesburg.
    (HN, 12/19/98)

1984        Dec 19,  Near Orangeville, Utah, 27 miners died in a coal mine fire due to a faulty air compressor at the Wilberg Mine.
    (SFC, 9/25/01, p.A14)(AP, 12/19/04)
1984        Dec 19, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang signed an accord to return Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty on Jul 1, 1997. China pledged to grant Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy and permit it to retain its capitalist system for 50 years.
    (SFEC, 6/22/97, p.A14)(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A8)(AP, 12/19/97)

1985        Dec 19, In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mary Lund became the first woman to receive a Jarvik VII artificial heart. Lund received a human heart transplant 45 days later; she died October 14, 1986.
    (AP, 12/19/05)

1986        Dec 19, Lawrence E. Walsh was appointed independent counsel to investigate the Iran-Contra affair.
    (AP, 12/19/07)
1986        Dec 19, The Soviet Union announced it had freed dissident Andrei Sakharov from internal exile, and pardoned his wife, Yelena Bonner.
    (AP, 12/19/97)

1987        Dec 19, The Palestinian uprising in Israel's occupied territories spread to Arab east Jerusalem.
    (AP, 12/19/97)

1988        Dec 19, President-elect Bush nominated New York Congressman Jack Kemp to be his secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
    (AP, 12/19/98)
1988        Dec 19, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir agreed to a Likud-Labor coalition to govern the Jewish state.
    (AP, 12/19/98)
1988        Dec 19, Polisario Front fighters opened fire on two DC-7s chartered by USAID to spray for locusts over Morocco. One crashed, killing all five crew onboard.
    (AP, 6/11/13)

1989        Dec 19, Police in Jacksonville, Fla., disarmed a parcel bomb at the local NAACP office, the fourth in a series of mail bombs to turn up in the Deep South. One bomb killed a Savannah, Ga., alderman, and another a federal judge in Alabama. Walter L. Moody Jr. was convicted in both bombings.
    (AP, 12/18/99)

1990        Dec 19, Iraq urged its people to stockpile oil to avoid shortages should war break out, and Saddam Hussein declared he was “ready to crush any attack."
    (AP, 12/19/00)

1991        Dec 19, The failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) agreed to settle federal racketeering charges by forfeiting all its U.S. assets.
    (AP, 12/19/01)
1991        Dec 19, Patricia Bowman, who had accused William Kennedy Smith of raping her, told ABC's "Prime Time Live" she was shocked by his acquittal.
    (AP, 12/19/01)
1991        Dec 19, Donna Ann Morrow (37) was murdered in Menlo Park, Ca., following an argument with her husband, Joseph Morrow, who fled the country. Her body was found in 2003 in the Santa Cruz Mountains on property that had been owned by Joseph Morrow. Police tracked Morrow to Manila, where he was arrested in Jan, 2003. Morrow’s trial began in 2006. In 2007 Morrow (59) agreed to be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
    (SFC, 12/24/03, p.A14)(SFC, 1/6/06, p.B5)(SFC, 3/7/06, p.B1)(SFC, 9/12/07, p.B4)
1991        Dec 19, Rebel Serbs declared independence in the Krajina region, which was almost a third of Croatia. The Republic of Serbian Krajina lasted 4 years with the hilltop fortress of Knin as the capital.
    (SFC, 6/7/96, p.A15)(SFC,10/16/97, p.A12)(WSJ, 4/22/99, A12)

1992        Dec 19, More than 400 suspected Muslim fundamentalists deported by Israel were confined to a makeshift refugee camp in a "no man's land" in Lebanon because of the Lebanese government's refusal to accept them.
    (AP, 12/19/97)

1993        Dec 19, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and senior PLO officials ended two days of closed-door talks in Oslo, Norway, in which they sought to break a deadlock over Palestinian self-rule in the occupied territories.
    (AP, 12/19/98)

1994        Dec 19, Former President Jimmy Carter, on a peace mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina, met with Bosnian Serb leaders, who offered a four-month cease-fire.
    (AP, 12/18/99)
1994        Dec 19, CNN publicly acknowledged it had disobeyed a judge's order in broadcasting former Panamanian military ruler Manuel Noriega's prison telephone conversations.
    (AP, 12/18/99)

1995        Dec 19, The Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate, turning fears to cheers on Wall Street a day after the biggest one-day stock plunge in four years.
    (AP, 12/19/00)
1995        Dec 19, A gunman opened fire inside a Bronx, New York, shoe store, killing five people.
    (AP, 12/19/00)
1995        Dec 19, Yigal Amir, the confessed assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, went on trial.
    (AP, 12/19/00)

1996        Dec 19, The television industry unveiled a plan to rate programs using tags such as “TV-G," “TV-Y" and “TV-M."
    (AP, 12/19/01)
1996        Dec 19, The school board of Oakland, Calif., voted to recognize Black English, also known as "ebonics," in a decision that set off a firestorm of controversy. The board later reversed its stance.
    (SFC, 12/20/96, p.A1)(SFC, 12/30/96, p.A17)(SFC, 1/1/97, p.A24)(AP, 12/19/97)
1996        Dec 19, The Pentagon chose Lawrence Livermore National Labs. for a $1.1 billion super-laser project. Known as the National Ignition Facility, its goal will be to ignite a self-sustaining fusion reaction in a controlled lab setting.
    (SFC, 12/20/96, p.E1)
1996        Dec 19, Marcello Mastroianni (72), Italian actor, died in Paris. He appeared in 171 films and had just finished shooting “Journey to the Beginning of the World.
    (WSJ, 12/20/96, p.A1)(SFC, 6/20/97, p.A9)(AP, 12/19/97)
1996        Dec 19, In Indonesia a new city was approved in Jonggol, 25 miles southeast of Jakarta. Pres. Suharto’s son, Bambang Trihatmodjo, was in charge of the consortium overseeing the project.
    (WSJ, 12/27/96, p.A6)
1996        Dec 19, In Pakistan Benazir Bhutto’s husband, the former investment minister, was released from jail, and shortly after charged with the murder of Bhutto’s brother.
    (WSJ, 12/20/96, p.A1)
1996        Dec 19, Yuli Khariton (92), the Soviet nuclear scientist who helped develop the Soviet atomic bomb, died.
    (WSJ, 12/20/96, p.A1)

1997        Dec 19, B.B. King, blues guitarist, gave his electric guitar, “Lucille," to Pope John Paul after the Vatican’s annual Christmas concert.
    (SFC,12/18/97, p.E5)
1997        Dec 19, The $200 million James Cameron epic film “Titanic" opened in NYC. It went on make box office records.
    (WSJ, 3/18/98, p.B1)(AP, 12/19/98)
1997        Dec 19, In NYC Reginald Bannerman died after he was struck by a train. He was fleeing a beating by 6 NYC narcotics detectives, who had been out drinking. He was dragged and kicked outside a Crown heights nightclub and was fired upon when he fled onto the tracks of the Steeling St. subway station.
    (SFEC,12/28/97, p.A13)
1997        Dec 19, In Milwaukee a postal clerk, Anthony J. De Culit, shot and killed his supervisor, a co-worker and wounded another and then killed himself.
    (SFC,12/20/97, p.A3)(AP, 12/19/98)
1997        Dec 19, In Indonesia a Singapore SilkAir operated Boeing 737-300 jet crashed by the Musi River north of Palembang on its flight from Jakarta to Singapore. All 104 people on board were feared dead. The 10-month-old plane was later found to have some fasteners missing. Capt. Tsu Way Ming was later suspected of having committed suicide due to investment losses
    (SFC,12/20/97, p.A10)(WSJ, 1/8/98, p.1)(WSJ, 7/30/98, p.A1)(AP, 12/19/98)
1997        Dec 19, Masaru Ibuka (b.1908), co-founder of Japan’s Sony Corp), died at age 89.
    (www.pbs.org/transistor/album1/addlbios/ibuka.html)

1998        Dec 19, President Clinton was impeached on 2 counts, Articles 1 and 3, by the Republican-controlled House for perjury and obstruction of justice. The 42nd chief executive became only the second in history to be ordered to stand trial in the Senate, where, like Andrew Johnson before him, he was acquitted.
    (SFEC, 12/20/98, p.A1)(AP, 12/19/99)
1998        Dec 19, Rep. Bob Livingston of Louisiana resigned as speaker-designate of the House. He had earlier admitted to being unfaithful to his wife.
    (SFEC, 12/20/98, p.A1)(AP, 12/18/99)
1998        Dec 19, The US and Britain ended their attack on Iraq after 4 days of air and missile strikes in Operation Desert Fox. An early estimate of US defense expenses was put at $500 million. Some 62 members of the Republican Guard were killed.
    (SFEC, 12/20/98, p.A1,24)(SFC, 12/22/98, p.A14)(WSJ, 8/27/99, p.A10)
1998        Dec 19, The Ramadan holiday began in Saudi Arabia.
    (SFC, 12/19/98, p.A21)
1998        Dec 19, In Sierra Leone rebels overran the eastern diamond city of Koidu and many were killed.
    (WSJ, 12/21/98, p.A1)
1998        Dec 19, In Spain Antonio Ordonez, bullfighter, died at age 66. His career was chronicled in a Hemingway novel.
    (WSJ, 12/21/98, p.A1)

1999        Dec 19, The shuttle Discovery was launched following 9 delays from Cape Canaveral with 7 astronauts on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
    (SFC, 12/20/99, p.A3)
1999        Dec 19, Actor Desmond Llewelyn (85), who’d starred as the eccentric gadget expert Q in a string of James Bond films, was killed in a car crash in East Sussex, England.
    (AP, 12/19/00)
1999        Dec 19, Macao spent its last day under Portuguese control before being handed back to China, ending 442 years of colonial rule.
    (AP, 12/19/00)
1999        Dec 19, In Maluku province, Indonesia, a least 5 people were killed in a clash between Christians and Muslims in Ambon. In Aceh province at least 3 paramilitary police were killed by separatist guerrillas.
    (SFC, 12/21/99, p.C8)
1999        Dec 19, In Russia parliamentary elections were held. The Communist Party led with over24% of the vote. 4 of the next 5 parties were centrist groups with Unity at 23.2%.
    (SFC, 12/20/99, p.A1)(SFC, 12/22/99, p.C9)

2000        Dec 19, President-elect Bush met with President Clinton in Washington.
    (AP, 12/19/01)
2000        Dec 19, US stocks fell sharply as the Federal Reserve left the interest rate unchanged at 6.5%. Nasdaq fell 112 to 2,511.
    (SFC, 12/20/00, p.B1)
2000        Dec 19, Death claimed jazz bassist Milt Hinton at age 90.
    (AP, 12/19/01)
2000        Dec 19, Death claimed gospel singer Roebuck “Pops" Staples at age 85.
    (AP, 12/19/01)
2000        Dec 19, Death claimed former New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay at age 79.
    (AP, 12/19/01)
2000        Dec 19, Death claimed Rob Buck (42), lead guitarist for the rock band 10,000 Maniacs.
    (AP, 12/19/01)
2000        Dec 19, The U.N. Security Council voted to impose broad sanctions on Afghanistan Taliban rulers unless they closed “terrorist" training camps and surrender U.S. embassy bombing suspect Osama bin Laden.
    (AP, 12/19/01)
2000        Dec 19, In Indonesia Pres. Wahid traveled to Aceh province. He ordered troops to stop targeting civilians and apologized for failing to stop military abuses.
    (SFC, 12/20/00, p.C4)
2000        Dec 19, In Israel Benjamin Netanyahu dropped from the election race after the Knesset voted not to disband itself.
    (SFC, 12/19/00, p.A16)
2000        Dec 19, In Mexico over 30,000 people were evacuated from the area of the Popocatepetl volcano as the volcano resumed activity.
    (SFC, 12/20/00, p.A1)
2000        Dec 19, It was reported that 60 Russians had died of hypothermia in Moscow since the weather turned cold on Oct 10.
    (WSJ, 12/19/00, p.A1)
2000        Dec 19, In Moscow Deputy Mayor Iosif Ordshonikidze was shot and gravely wounded by masked gunmen near City Hall. He was overseeing construction of the multi-billion-dollar “Citi" business district.
    (SFC, 12/20/00, p.C5)
2000        Dec 19, In Sri Lanka government soldiers detained 8 Tamil civilians. Their bodies were later found in a mass grave.
    (WSJ, 12/27/00, p.A1)
2000        Dec 19, It was reported that swiftlet colonies in Thailand were threatened due to the excessive harvesting of their edible nests for Chinese restaurants.
    (SFC, 12/19/00, p.A16)
2000        Dec 19, In Turkey at least 17 people were killed when security forces stormed 20 prisons to end a 2-month hunger strike.
    (SFC, 12/20/00, p.A20)

2001        Dec 19, Comcast Corp. agreed to buy AT&T Broadband as part of an agreement valued at $72 billion.
    (SFC, 12/20/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 19, The Sep 11 WTC death toll was reduced to 3,000. In 2002 a revised tally put the total dead at 2,795. In 2003 the count was reduced to 2,752.
    (SFC, 12/20/01, p.A15)(WSJ, 8/20/02, p.A1)(WSJ, 9/9/02, p.A1)(WSJ, 11/4/02, p.A1)(USAT, 10/30/03, p.7A)
2001        Dec 19, The fires that had burned beneath the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York City for the previous three months were declared extinguished except for a few scattered hot spots.
    (AP, 12/19/02)
2001        Dec 19-24, Christian Michael Longo (27) killed his wife and 3 children. The bodies of Mary Jane Longo and 2-year-old daughter were found in an inlet along the central Oregon coast a week after the bodies of 2 other Longo children were found. Longo was arrested in Mexico Jan 13. Longo was convicted and sentenced to death Apr 16, 2003.
    (SFC, 12/31/01, p.A9)(SFC, 1/16/02, p.A3)(SFC, 4/17/03, p.A10)
2001        Dec 19, In Argentina Pres. de la Rua declared a state of siege as looters ransacked shops and markets in Buenos Aires and across the north. Domingo Cavallo, economy minister, resigned.
    (SFC, 12/20/01, p.A1,3)(WSJ, 12/20/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/21/01, p.A9)
2001        Dec 19, Britain advised the UN that it would lead a security force in Afghanistan and contribute 1,500 soldiers to a force of 5,000.
    (SFC, 12/20/01, p.A14)
2001        Dec 19, In the Comoros Islands troops killed 5 of 13 gunmen who posed as American agents hunting al Qaeda fugitives.
    (WSJ, 12/20/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 19, Al Qaeda prisoners in Pakistan revolted and 14 were killed. Another 18 escaped.
    (WSJ, 12/20/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 19, In Sri Lanka rebels declared a one-month truce.
    (WSJ, 12/20/01, p.A1)

2002        Dec 19, US Secretary of State Colin Powell declared Iraq in "material breach" of a U.N. disarmament resolution.
    (AP, 12/19/03)
2002        Dec 19, U.N. weapons inspectors reported that Iraq's new arms declaration contained inconsistencies and contradictions and didn't answer key questions about its nuclear, chemical and biological programs.
    (AP, 12/19/02)
2002        Dec 19, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington told high school students that Osama bin Laden was popular in poor countries because of his charitable works and challenged the US to do the same.
    (SFC, 12/21/02, p.A3)
2002        Dec 19, Ten US brokerage firms agreed to pay $1.44 billion in fines to end investigations over misleading stock recommendations.
    (SFC, 12/20/02, p.A1)(SFC, 12/21/02, p.B1)
2002        Dec 19, After a prosecutor cited new DNA evidence, a judge in New York threw out the convictions of five young men in a 1989 attack on a Central Park jogger who had been raped and left for dead.
    (AP, 12/19/03)
2002        Dec 19, A tornado in Newton, Mississippi, hit stores and injured at least 50 people. Gov. Musgrove declared a local state of emergency.
    (WSJ, 12/20/02, p.A1)
2002        Dec 19, In Afghanistan a grenade attack in Kabul injured 4 people including 2 French citizens. 2 Afghan interpreters died from their wounds the next day.
    (SFC, 12/21/02, p.A9)
2002        Dec 19, In Cambodia some 1 million people participated in the transfer of some remains of Buddha from Phnom Penh to a new shrine in Oudong.
    (SFC, 12/20/02, p.A18)
2002        Dec 19, In India Maoist rebels killed 18 policemen in an ambush in a dense forest in the eastern state of Jharkhand.
    (Reuters, 12/20/02)
2002        Dec 19, In the Ivory Coast rebels captured the city of Man in the coffee-rich west and vowed to continue their push until they reached the commercial capital, as French troops prepared to face them.
    (AP, 12/19/02)
2002        Dec 19, Suspected militants killed three young women (21-22) in their homes just days after posters appeared in India's Jammu and Kashmir state ordering women to wear a veil.
    (Reuters, 12/20/02)   
2002        Dec 19, In South Korea elections Roh Moo-hyun (56) had 48.9 percent and Lee Hoi-chang 46.6 percent. Turnout among the nation's 35 million eligible voters was 70.2%.
    (AP, 12/19/02)
2002        Dec 19, In Pakistan Asif Ramzi, a member of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, died with 3 others in a covert bomb-making facility in Karachi.
    (SFC, 12/20/02, p.A24)
2002        Dec 19, It was reported that AIDS in Thailand infected 1 in 60 people and that by 2006 some 50,000 annual deaths would result from AIDS-related causes.
    (SFC, 12/19/02, p.A18)

2003        Dec 19, New plans revealed that the signature NYC skyscraper at the World Trade Center site will be a 1,776-foot glass tower that twists into the sky, topped by energy-generating windmills and a spire that evokes the Statue of Liberty. The plan was produced after months of contentious negotiations between Daniel Libeskind, who designed the overall five-building site plan, and David Childs, the lead architect for the Freedom Tower.
    (AP, 12/20/03)(SFC, 12/20/03, p.A1)
2003        Dec 19, U.S. troops mistakenly shot and killed three Iraqi police officers and wounded two others, thinking they were bandits.
    (AP, 12/20/03)
2003        Dec 19, Hope Lange (70), film actress, died in Santa Monica.
    (SFC, 12/22/03, p.A20)
2003        Dec 19, Les Tremayne (90), film actor, died.
    (AP, 12/19/04)
2003        Dec 19, An Ontario court ruled that the Canadian government discriminated against same-sex couples by denying pension benefits to survivors whose partners died before 1998. Benefits were made retro-active to April 17, 1985.
    (SFC, 12/21/03, p.A14)
2003        Dec 19, China said it has issued rules restricting exports of missile, nuclear and biological technologies that can be used to make or deliver weapons of mass destruction.
    (AP, 12/20/03)
2003        Dec 19, Colombia's attorney general charged the crew of a military helicopter with involuntary manslaughter for killing 17 civilians with a bomb during a 1998 clash with rebels.
    (AP, 12/21/03)
2003        Dec 19, Fisheries ministers of the 15 European Union nations reached a compromise deal to protect dwindling stocks of cod, hake and other species.
    (AP, 12/19/03)
2003        Dec 19, German lawmakers adopted a package of tax cuts and looser employment laws.
    (SFC, 12/20/03, p.A3)
2003        Dec 19, Israelis ushered in the eight-day Hanukkah holiday.
    (AP, 12/19/03)
2003        Dec 19, Parmalat SpA, an Italian food giant, reported a $4.9 billion shortfall. Soon another $3.6 billion in bonds was also in question. Parmalat planned to file for bankruptcy protection in what turned into the biggest corporate fraud in Europe's history. Parmalat employed 36,000 people in 29 countries. Fausto Tonna, former chief financial officer, soon acknowledged that there was systematic falsification of accounts for some 15 years. In 2001 an auditor in Brazil had raised an alarm over financial transactions. The accounting scandal reached $17 billion.
    (SFC, 12/24/03, p.B1)(WSJ, 12/26/03, p.C1)(WSJ, 3/29/04, p.A3)(Econ, 8/6/05, p.57)
2003        Dec 19, Japan announced that it will begin building a missile defense system.
    (AP, 12/19/03)
2003        Dec 19, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, after secret negotiations with the United States and Britain, agreed to halt his nation's drive to develop nuclear and chemical weapons and the long-range missiles to deliver them. Libya admitted to nuclear fuel projects, including possessing centrifuges and centrifuge parts used in uranium enrichment. Libya showed American and British inspectors a significant quantity of mustard agent. Libya acknowledged it intended to acquire equipment and develop capabilities to create biological weapons. Libya admitted "elements of the history of its cooperation with North Korea" to develop extended-range Scud missiles.
    (AP, 12/19/03)(AP, 12/20/03)
2003        Dec 19, Wim Sombroek (b.1934), Dutch soil researcher, died. He was the first modern investigator of terra preta, Amazonian dark earths, the carbon-rich soils developed by ancient civilizations in what was once thought to be a pristine wilderness.
    (http://tinyurl.com/afgo8j)(Econ, 8/29/09, p.69)(www.iuss.org/popup/Wim_Sombroek.htm)
2003        Dec 19, In the Philippines landslides and floods left least 127 people dead, and dozens were still missing and feared dead.
    (AP, 12/20/03)(AP, 12/21/03)(AP, 12/22/03)
2003        Dec 19, Venezuela's opposition turned in 3.4 million signatures to demand a recall referendum on Hugo Chavez' rule.
    (AP, 12/19/03)
2003        Dec 19, In Zimbabwe riot police shut down the printing plant of the only independent daily newspaper, defying a court order that overturned a government ban.
    (AP, 12/19/03)

2004        Dec 19, President George Bush for the second time was chosen as Time magazine's Person of the Year.
    (AP, 12/19/04)
2004        Dec 19, Renata Tebaldi (82), opera singer, died in San Marino.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2004        Dec 19, A vehicle carrying a group of suspected Taliban fighters attacked a military checkpoint in southern Afghanistan, sparking a firefight that left six dead.
    (AP, 12/20/04)
2004        Dec 19, Canada’s PM Paul Martin met Moammar Gadhafi, the latest in a string of world leaders to visit Tripoli following the Libyan strongman's renunciation of terrorism. Martin said Canadian construction company SNC-Lavalin has won a $1 billion contract to help build a major water distribution system in Libya.
    (AP, 12/19/04)(Reuters, 12/19/04)
2004        Dec 19, UN officials said about 100,000 civilians in eastern Congo have fled a week of fighting between renegade soldiers and army loyalists, hiding deep into the forest where humanitarian workers cannot reach them.
    (AP, 12/19/04)
2004        Dec 19, Golkar, Indonesia’s largest party in parliament, removed Akbar Tandjung as leader and replaced him with Jusuf Kalla, the country’s new vice-president.
    (Econ, 1/1/05, p.29)
2004        Dec 19, The Iranian Red Crescent Society said heavy rains have caused flash floods that killed at least 34 people and injured 43 others in southern Iran.
    (AP, 12/19/04)
2004        Dec 19, Car bombs rocked Najaf and Karbala, Iraq's two holiest Shiite cities, killing 67 people and wounding more than 120. In downtown Baghdad dozens of gunmen carried out a brazen ambush that killed three Iraqi employees of the organization running next month's elections.
    (AP, 12/19/04)(WSJ, 12/21/04, p.A1)
2004        Dec 19, Israel approved the release of 170 Palestinian prisoners in a goodwill gesture toward Egypt and the new Palestinian leadership.
    (AP, 12/19/04)
2004        Dec 19, It was reported that Pres. Vicente Fox’s administration had failed thus far  to dent corruption inside Mexico’s 445 prisons and jails.
    (SSFC, 12/19/04, p.A21)
2004        Dec 19, Suspected communist rebels ambushed an army patrol near the Nepalese capital, killing at least 9 soldiers. 3 rebels were killed in subsequent fighting.
    (AP, 12/19/04)
2004        Dec 19, A driver lost control of a bus in a heavy rainstorm in Peru's mountains and the vehicle plunged 165 feet into a river, killing 49 people on board and injuring 15.
    (AP, 12/21/04)
2004        Dec 19, Russia's little-known BaikalFinansGroup bought Yuganskneftegaz, the core production unit of oil giant Yukos, at auction for $9.3 billion US.
    (AP, 12/19/04)(Econ, 1/1/05, p.49)
2004        Dec 19, Polling stations were nearly empty in elections for Turkmenistan's rubber-stamp parliament, forcing officials to carry ballot boxes door-to-door in this nation ruled by a former Soviet Communist boss who has been declared president-for-life.
    (AP, 12/19/04)

2005        Dec 19, Pres. Bush in a news conference said he had legal power to authorize the NSA to tap domestic calls and called leaking of the spying project to the media a shameful act.
    (WSJ, 12/20/05, p.A1)
2005        Dec 19, US House lawmakers opened the way for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and approved $29 billion for hurricane relief during an all-night session bringing their legislative year to a close. The budget package included $454.3 billion for defense.
    (AP, 12/19/05)(WSJ, 12/19/05, p.A1)
2005        Dec 19, US federal authorities fined Dutch bank ABN Amro Holding NV $80 million for violating US money-laundering laws and sanctions against Iran and Libya. Nearly a decade of violations involved billions in transactions passing through bank offices in NY and Dubai, UAR.
    (WSJ, 12/20/05, p.A3)
2005        Dec 19, US Federal prosecutors said MSC Ship Management of Hong Kong had agreed to pay $10.5 million to settle a pollution case.
    (WSJ, 12/20/05, p.A1)
2005        Dec 19, Southern California running back Reggie Bush was named The Associated Press Player of the Year.
    (AP, 12/20/06)
2005        Dec 19, Energy supplier FPL Group Inc. announced it is buying rival power-plant operator Constellation Energy Group Inc. for more than $11 billion in stock in a deal that would create one of the nation's biggest electricity conglomerates.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, The US energy Dept. reported that greenhouse-gas emissions grew 2% over the past year, well off the pace to hit Kyoto targets.
    (WSJ, 12/20/05, p.A1)
2005        Dec 19, In Florida a 58-year-old propeller seaplane, owned by Chalk’s Ocean Airways, crashed in the water off Miami Beach after taking off for Bimini in the Bahamas. 20 people were killed. Federal investigators found longstanding cracks in a wing that fell off.
    (AP, 12/20/05)(SFC, 12/20/05, p.A4)(WSJ, 12/22/05, p.A1)
2005        Dec 19, Vincent “The Chin" Gigante, Mafia king, died at the federal prison in Springfield, Missouri. He was serving a 12 year sentence following a 1997 conviction for racketeering.
    (SFC, 12/20/05, p.B7)   
2005        Dec 19, Afghanistan inaugurated its first popularly elected parliament in more than three decades, a major step toward democracy following the ouster of the hardline Taliban.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, In Bolivia Evo Morales, candidate for the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), won the presidential elections, a victory that would solidify the continent's shift toward the political left.
    (AP, 12/19/05)(Econ, 5/20/06, p.42)
2005        Dec 19, Chad's army said its forces had killed about 300 rebels after they launched a failed offensive on a border town in one of the worst attacks in an escalating conflict. Chad's foreign minister said the troops then chased the rebels into Sudan and destroyed their bases across the border.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, A World Bank fund signed deals to buy pollution credits from two Chinese chemical companies for $930 million under a plan that lets richer countries meet commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions by paying for reductions in poorer economies.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, The International Court of Justice held Uganda responsible for the killing, torture and cruel treatment of civilians in Congo from August 1998 to July 1999 and ordered reparations. Fighting in the region raged for three more years and the armies withdrew only in June 2003, despite the court's order in July 2000 to halt operations and safeguard civilians.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, In Germany Ladislav Niznansky (88), a former Nazi commander, was acquitted of murder in three massacres in Slovakia after a court said there was no reliable evidence he was involved in the killings. Niznansky, a former Slovak army captain who at first supported the 1944 revolt, changed sides after he was captured and took charge of the Slovak section of a Nazi unit, code-named Edelweiss, that hunted resistance fighters and Jews. He was convicted of the massacres and sentenced to death in absentia by Czechoslovakia in 1962.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, In Iraq about 24 top former officials in Saddam Hussein's regime, including a biological weapons expert known as "Dr. Germ," have been released from jail. A militant group released a video of the purported killing of American adviser Ronald Allen Schulz. His body and that of a woman believed to be his Iraqi fiancee were found by the US military in a grave in September 2008. A suicide car bomb exploded outside a children's hospital in western Baghdad, killing at least two civilians and wounding 11, including seven policemen.
    (AP, 12/19/05)(AP, 5/23/09)
2005        Dec 19, Violent demonstrations broke out across Iraq and the oil minister threatened to resign after the government raised the prices of gasoline and cooking fuel by up to 9 times.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, The US military said 5 soldiers from an elite U.S. Army unit have been sentenced to up to six months confinement in cases concerning the abuse of detainees in Iraq.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, The United Kingdom's first gay couple to win legal recognition under a new civil partnership law drove past protesters to make their vows inside Belfast City Hall.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, Israel's battered Likud Party chose Benjamin Netanyahu to run against Ariel Sharon in March elections, and the former Israeli prime minister pledged to bring the party back to power.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, Antonio Fazio, embattled Italian central bank chief, resigned.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, Japan’s Honda Motor Co. said it plans to start mass-producing solar cells in 2007, eyeing growing demand for environmentally friendly energy sources.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, Lebanon closed a military route that crossed its border into Syria, ending nearly 3 decades of unmonitored flow of high-ranking officials and goods between the two countries.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, Fernando Zevallos, an airline founder who was labeled Peru's drug kingpin by the Bush administration, was convicted of money laundering and cocaine trafficking and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The court also ordered him to pay a fine of $29 million for conspiring with Peru's Nortenos drug gang to ship 3.3 tons of cocaine to Mexico.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, Spanish police arrested 15 people on suspicion of recruiting and indoctrinating fighters for Iraq's insurgency.
    (AP, 12/19/05)
2005        Dec 19, In Sudan some 500 camel and horse-riding assailants killed 20 civilians and burned their huts in West Darfur.
    (AP, 12/21/05)
2005        Dec 19, In Vietnam Trinh Huu (53), an Australian of Vietnamese origin, was convicted and sentenced to death by firing squad for trafficking heroin.
    (Reuters, 12/20/05)

2006        Dec 19, Pres. Bush said he plans to expand the overall size of the US military.
    (SFC, 12/19/06, p.A1)
2006        Dec 19, US and North Korean financial experts met over Washington's campaign to isolate the communist country from the international banking system, the key stumbling block in negotiations over Pyongyang's nuclear program.
    (AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 19, Maryland suspended executions after a state appeals court ruled that lethal injection procedures didn’t get a proper hearing.
    (WSJ, 12/20/06, p.A1)
2006        Dec 19, Harrah’s Entertainment, the world’s largest casino company, accepted a $17.1 billion offer from Apollo Management LP and Texas Pacific Group. It was the 4th largest private equity buyout to date.
    (SFC, 12/19/06, p.B2)
2006        Dec 19, In Afghanistan Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani, a top Taliban military commander described as a close associate of Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar was killed, in an airstrike close to the border with Pakistan. Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a purported Taliban spokesman, denied that Osmani had been killed, saying the airstrike instead killed Mullah Abdul Zahir, a group commander, and three other Taliban fighters.
    (AP, 12/23/06)
2006        Dec 19, Stephen Tame (29) from Suffolk, England, was awarded more than 3 million pounds in damages. The devout Christian said an accident at work boosted his libido and wrecked his marriage as he turned to prostitutes and pornography.
    (Reuters, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 19, In eastern England a 48-year-old man, who reportedly lives in the red-light district of Ipswich, was arrested as the 2nd suspect in the recent deaths of five prostitutes.
    (AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 19, Salvatore Mancuso, one of Colombia's most feared paramilitary warlords, testified before a special tribunal. His confession was meant to sharply reduce his jail time for hundreds of murders and forcing tens of thousands from their land during a decade-long reign of terror.
    (AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 19, Tens of thousands of Indian tribal people, many carrying bows and arrows, gathered in the impoverished central state of Chhattisgarh to protest against Maoist rebel violence. Millions of poor tribal people living in India's remote forests for generations will receive ownership rights under a new bill approved by Parliament.
    (AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 19, In Indonesia's Central Java province 10 people, mostly teenagers, were killed and dozens injured in a stampede at a packed music concert.
    (AFP, 12/20/06)
2006        Dec 19, Iraqi authorities executed 13 men by hanging after they were convicted of murder and kidnapping, lining them up in hoods and green jumpsuits with their hands bound behind their backs. Gunmen in military uniforms robbed government accountants as they left a Baghdad bank with bags of cash in the second such theft in a week. Roadside bombs killed at least two civilians in the capital. Gunmen in Baghdad killed Mitashar al-Sudani (60), a veteran Iraqi actor and comedian. He was known for his stage portrayal of the lighter side of life in Baghdad during Ottoman rule in the early 1900s.
    (AP, 12/19/06)(AP, 12/20/06)
2006        Dec 19, An official report into Ireland's biggest political scandal said former PM Charles Haughey received more than $15 million in secret payments and lied about his knowledge of the funds.
    (AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 19, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made a surprise visit to Jordan for talks with King Abdullah II on ways to revive Mideast peacemaking. A wanted Palestinian militant was killed and two others were arrested by Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Nablus. Gunbattles raged in the streets of Gaza City between the Hamas and Fatah movements, killing at least four people in factional fighting that shredded a shaky truce. At least 18 people were wounded, including five children caught in the crossfire.
    (AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 19, Kyrgyzstan’s President Kurmanbek Bakiyev accepted the resignation of the government due to a dispute with parliament, adding new tension to the troubled politics of a country of strategic interest to both Russia and the United States.
    (AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 19, A Libya court convicted five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor of deliberately infecting 400 children with HIV and sentenced them to death, despite scientific evidence the youngsters had the virus before the medical workers came to Libya. The verdict, which will be automatically referred to Libya's Supreme Court, drew quick condemnation from European nations. The six later had their death sentences commuted, and were transferred to Bulgaria, where they were pardoned and set free.
    (AP, 12/19/06)(AP, 12/19/07)
2006        Dec 19, Officials said thousands of soldiers sent to seize control of one of Mexico's top drug-producing regions have discovered widespread cultivation of a hybrid marijuana plant that is easy to grow and difficult to kill.
    (AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 19, Nigeria's former military ruler General Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the presidential candidate of one of the country's main opposition parties, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).
    (AFP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 19, In southwestern Pakistan a former anti-government tribal chief was killed and six other men were wounded in a land mine explosion.
    (AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 19, The UN evacuated 71 aid workers from the largest refugee camp in Darfur after gunmen looted their compounds, leaving some 130,000 refugees virtually without humanitarian help.
    (AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 19, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he was ready for dialogue with the United States but warned Washington against giving Damascus orders.
    (AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 19, Thailand’s stock market experienced a record decline as the government moved to clamp down on foreign investment. Thailand’s SET index lost 15% of its value. By the end of the day the government partially lifted its restrictions.
    (WSJ, 12/20/06, p.C1)(SFC, 12/21/06, p.C3)(Econ, 1/6/07, p.59)
2006        Dec 19, A Turkish court acquitted Ipek Calislar, a writer of insulting the country's founder, amid calls from the EU to change repressive laws curbing freedom of expression. The book was the first comprehensive biography of Latife Ussaki, who was married to Ataturk for about two years until he divorced her in 1925.
    (AP, 12/19/06)
2006        Dec 19, Dr. Peter Piot, the head of the UN anti-AIDS agency, said AIDS-stricken Southern African nations should develop a policy of mass male circumcision to fight the disease.
    (Reuters, 12/19/06)

2007        Dec 19, Pres. Bush signed a bill calling for an increase in auto-fuel efficiency, the first in 32 years.
    (WSJ, 12/19/07, p.A1)
2007        Dec 19, The United States government rejected a request by California for it to be allowed to introduce tough new vehicle emissions standards, dealing a blow to the state's hopes of slashing greenhouse gas levels over the next decade.
    (AFP, 12/20/07)
2007        Dec 19, Time magazine named Russian President Vladimir Putin its 2007 "Person of the Year."
    (AP, 12/19/07)
2007        Dec 19, US researchers said a highly sensitive microchip may help doctors detect rare traces of cancer circulating in the bloodstream, offering a way to better manage treatment.
    (Reuters, 12/19/07)
2007        Dec 19, Lance Cpl. Maria Frances Lauterbach (20) disappeared, just days after meeting with military prosecutors to talk about her allegation that Marine Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean (21) raped her. Her cell phone was found Dec. 20 near the main gate at Camp Lejeune, NC. On Jan 11 her burned remains were found in the backyard of Laurean’s home as a nationwide search for Laurean continued. In 2010 a jury found Laurean guilty of first degree murder and sentenced him to life in prison.
    (AP, 1/12/08)(SFC, 1/12/08, p.A4)(SFC, 8/24/10, p.A4)
2007        Dec 19, Leaders of Belgium's feuding Dutch- and French-speaking parties agreed to form an interim government to run the country in the short term, while a more permanent solution to the political crisis is sought.
    (AP, 12/19/07)
2007        Dec 19, In Chile a retired general and two former sergeants were fined and sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing a leftist couple shortly after Chile's 1973 military coup. The Santiago Court of Appeals said in a communique that Gen. Fernando Polanco and Sgts. Luis Fernandez and Hector Vallejos, all retired, were ordered to pay $600,000 to the son of the slain couple, Ernesto Lejderman.
    (AP, 12/19/07)
2007        Dec 19, In Tianjin, China, Li Baojin was convicted of taking bribes worth $760,000 from 7 businesses between 1996 and 2006. Li was also convicted of misappropriating $1.9 million from the Tianjin prosecutor's office. Li's sentence was suspended for two years. That means his death sentence will be commuted to life imprisonment if he shows good behavior for the next two years.
    (AP, 12/20/07)
2007        Dec 19, Donors pledged millions of dollars at a conference in Spain to help Guinea Bissau, which a top UN official called "under siege" by drug cartels who might even sway the country's future polls.
    (AFP, 12/19/07)
2007        Dec 19, In southern Pakistan an express train crowded with holiday travelers derailed, killing 40 people and leaving hundreds of terrified survivors to claw their way out of the wreckage in total darkness. A trailer truck hit a rickshaw crowded with children going to school in eastern Pakistan, leaving 14 people dead.
    (AP, 12/19/07)(AP, 12/20/07)
2007        Dec 19, A Hamas official confirmed that Gaza's embattled Hamas leaders are seeking a cease-fire after months of Israeli attacks and sanctions, going so far as to make an unprecedented appeal through the Israeli media.
    (AP, 12/19/07)
2007        Dec 19, In South Korea former Hyundai CEO Lee Myung-bak (66) claimed victory in presidential election as voters overlooked fraud allegations to give him a landslide win on hopes he will revive the economy. This was also Myung-bak’s birthday and 37th wedding anniversary.
    (AP, 12/19/07)(Econ, 12/15/07, p.49)
2007        Dec 19, The Sri Lanka military said soldiers killed four separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in two separate clashes.
    (AP, 12/19/07)
2007        Dec 19, Uganda's military said it had shot dead two Congolese soldiers on the volatile border between the two countries, after they tried to resist being arrested on suspicion of raping two teenage girls.
    (Reuters, 12/19/07)

2008        Dec 19, Citing danger to the national economy, the Bush administration approved an emergency bailout of the US auto industry, offering $17.4 billion in rescue loans in exchange for deep concessions from the desperately troubled carmakers and their workers.
    (AP, 12/19/08)
2008        Dec 19, IRS agents arrested Ausaf Umar Siddiqui (42), vice president of Frye’s Electronics in San Jose, Ca., for gambling with millions in stolen money. Since 2005 he had collected over $65 million in kickbacks from five vendors. In 2011 Siddiqui pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering. 7 other felony counts were dropped in exchange.
    (SFC, 12/24/08, p.A1)(SFC, 9/14/11, p.C3)
2008        Dec 19, California’s Gov. Schwarzenegger ordered layoffs and mandatory unpaid time off for state workers.
    (SFC, 12/20/08, p.B1)
2008        Dec 19, Florida’s prison population topped 100,000, making it the 3rd state to break into six digits after California and Texas.
    (WSJ, 12/20/08, p.A1)
2008        Dec 19, In Atlanta, Georgia, one worker died and at least 18 others were injured when a walkway being built collapsed at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
    (SFC, 12/20/08, p.A2)
2008        Dec 19, Three Danish soldiers and one from the Netherlands were killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan, losing their lives just as the commitment of some countries to the fight in Afghanistan begins to wane.
    (AP, 12/19/08)
2008        Dec 19, Bahraini security troops fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse thousands of protesters demanding Arab governments take action to end the closure of the Gaza Strip.
    (AP, 12/19/08)
2008        Dec 19, The lower chamber of Czech parliament failed to extend a mandate for the deployment of the country's troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and other foreign missions for next year, meaning the soldiers will leave soon.
    (AP, 12/21908)
2008        Dec 19, Egypt's communications ministry says Internet cables in the Mediterranean Sea have been cut, causing massive Internet outages.
    (AP, 12/19/08)
2008        Dec 19, France’s finance ministry unveiled a package of financial aid from the EU  and others totaling $10.7 billion to help Latvia.
    (WSJ, 12/20/08, p.A8)
2008        Dec 19, Masked youths attacked the French Institute in Athens with firebombs Friday, while Greek union members and university professors geared up for new anti-government rallies outside Parliament.
    (AP, 12/19/08)
2008        Dec 19, In Lebanon thousands of Hezbollah supporters protested the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.
    (AP, 12/19/08)
2008        Dec 19, In Mexico 3 gunmen were killed following a shootout with army troops in the southern state of Guerrero.
    (AP, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 19, In northern Mexico a small plane carrying government officials and television reporters crashed in northern Mexico and all five people on board are in serious condition. The plane was carrying state water commission chief Rafael Reyes, his assistant and two TV Azteca reporters. They were hospitalized along with the pilot.
    (AP, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 19, In Nigeria's Niger Delta gunmen in speedboats attacked three oil services ships and kidnapped at least two Russians in separate incidents. The pair escaped on foot from a militant camp on Feb 15 and were found by naval personnel on patrol on Feb 19.
    (AP, 12/20/08)(AP, 2/19/09)
2008        Dec 19, Militants in Pakistan launched rockets at two trucks returning from delivering fuel to US-led forces in Afghanistan, killing three people along a critical and increasingly dangerous supply route. 3 people died in Rawalpindi when a building collapsed after it was ravaged by a fire for several hours.
    (AP, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 19, Federal agents in Puerto Rico arrested three island police officers accused of providing security for drug traffickers.
    (AP, 12/19/08)
2008        Dec 19, Russia’s PM Vladimir Putin said that new tariffs were designed to prop up demand for Russian-made cars and secure jobs in the ailing Russian auto industry. The tariff hike would send prices for used foreign-made cars up 50 percent, while prices for new foreign-made cars could jump up to 15 percent.
    (AP, 12/20/08)
2008        Dec 19, South Korea Friday completed its troop pullout from Iraq, ending a four-year mission to help reconstruct the war-torn nation.
    (AP, 12/19/08)
2008        Dec 19, Sri Lankan fighter jets and attack helicopters bombed rebel bunkers and a flotilla of boats in the northern war zone Friday as government troops breached another section of the Tamil Tigers defense fortifications.
    (AP, 12/19/08)
2008        Dec 19, St. Kitts and Nevis, staged its first hanging in a decade. Charles Elroy Laplace, condemned in 2006 for killing his wife in a knife attack, was hanged as a small crowd held a vigil outside the brick prison walls in Basseterre.
    (AP, 12/19/08)
2008        Dec 19, President Robert Mugabe declared that "Zimbabwe is mine" and vowed never to surrender to calls to step down, as his political rival threatened to quit stalled unity government talks.
    (AP, 12/19/08)
2008        Dec 19, Mediators said Yemeni kidnappers have released their three German hostages after the Yemeni government agreed to meet some of their conditions, including paying a ransom and releasing some tribesmen from prison.
    (AP, 12/19/08)

2009        Dec 19, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska agreed to provide the 60th and deciding vote for sweeping health care legislation in the Senate, capping a year of struggle and a final burst of deadline bargaining on President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.
    (AP, 12/19/09)
2009        Dec 19, Afghan President Hamid Karzai unveiled his choice of cabinet, reflecting a need to please all his backers from warlords to Washington and commit to clean government. Out of the 23 nominations, only one woman was put forward, to head the Ministry for Women's Affairs.
    (AFP, 12/19/09)(AP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 19, Four passenger trains broke down in the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France, stranding more than 2,000 passengers for hours, many without heating, light or water. Fatigued passengers arrived in London 10 hours late after a long night trapped on trains. The problem began because of the abrupt temperature change when trains traveled through extremely cold air in France and then entered the warm tunnel.
    (AP, 12/19/09)
2009        Dec 19, Cambodia sent back to China 20 Uighur Muslims who had fled China after deadly ethnic rioting and sought asylum in Cambodia, even though rights groups feared they faced persecution and possibly execution there. 2 other Uighurs who had been with the group were missing.
    (AP, 12/19/09)
2009        Dec 19, In Denmark the 13-day UN climate conference ended. It narrowly escaped collapse by agreeing to recognize a political accord brokered by President Barack Obama with China and other emerging powers. A plan to protect the world's biologically rich tropical forests was shelved after world leaders failed to agree on a binding deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A small group of nations blocked the Copenhagen Accord, because it lacks specific targets for reducing carbon emissions. After a break, the conference president gaveled the decision to "take note" of the agreement instead of formally approving it. Experts said that clears the way for the accord to become operational in practice even though it has not been formally approved by the conference. Several developing countries, including Bolivia, Cuba, Sudan and Venezuela, bitterly protested the deal and said it is unacceptable because it lacks specific targets for reducing carbon emissions.
    (AP, 12/19/09)(SSFC, 12/20/09, p.A1)
2009        Dec 19, The European Union opened its borders unrestricted to more than ten million Serbs, Montenegrins and Macedonians after nearly 20 years, a major boost for the troubled region's hopes for closer ties with the 27-nation bloc.
    (AP, 12/19/09)
2009        Dec 19, In Georgia a woman and her 8-year-old daughter were killed when a World War II memorial was intentionally blown up in Kutaisi. The 46-meter (150-foot) concrete and bronze war memorial stood on the proposed site for a new parliament building.
    (AP, 12/19/09)
2009        Dec 19, Hundreds of supporters of a slain Papuan rebel leader Kelly Kwalik pelted Indonesian police with stones as tensions flared ahead of the commander's funeral.
    (AFP, 12/19/09)
2009        Dec 19, Iran's hard-line judiciary acknowledged for the first time that at least 3 prisoners detained after June's disputed presidential election were beaten to death by their jailers. The judiciary said 12 officials at Kahrizak prison were charged, three of them with murder.
    (AP, 12/19/09)
2009        Dec 19, An Iraqi official said a mass grave discovered in northeast Iraq contains dozens of bodies, mostly of women and children, believed killed during a crackdown against Kurds by former dictator Saddam Hussein. The grave was originally found nearly two years ago west of Kirkuk, though its discovery was only made public this week after forensic pathologists began examining it.
    (AP, 12/19/09)
2009        Dec 19, Iraqi troops massed near an oil well on the border in a standoff with Iranian forces that seized control of the site in a sudden flare up of tension between the two uneasy neighbors.
    (AP, 12/19/09)
2009        Dec 19-2009 Dec 20, In Israel parts of a 2000 interview were broadcast on Channel 2 TV over the weekend describing how forensic pathologists in the 1990s harvested organs from dead bodies, including Palestinians, without permission of their families. The Israeli military confirmed that the practice took place and said it had stopped in 2000.
    (AP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 19, Lebanon's PM Saad Hariri, who has blamed neighboring Syria for the assassination of his father, visited Damascus for the first time since the 2005 killing, a trip that a close associate said was extremely difficult for him to make.
    (AP, 12/19/09)
2009        Dec 19, In eastern Mauritania an Italian, Sergio Cicala and his wife, Philopene Kabore, were missing and their car was found abandoned, near the border with Mali. On Dec 21 police arrested Abderrahmane Ould Imidou, a man presumed to have kidnapped the two Italians.
    (Reuters, 12/19/09)(AP, 12/22/09)
2009        Dec 19, Mexican authorities announced that Salomon Tagle, a suspect in the high-profile 2005 kidnapping of businessman Hugo Alberto Wallace, has been taken into custody in Mexico. Tagle was expelled from the Dominican Republic flown to Mexico, where he was taken into custody on kidnapping charges. Wallace’s mother, Maria Isabel Miranda, frustrated with investigators' lack of progress in her son's case, had launched her own probe and a public campaign to press for justice.
    (AP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 19, Nigerian militants said they had carried out their first attack on an oil pipeline since an amnesty offer because the absence of Pres. Yar'Adua was delaying peace talks. A truck carrying bags of cement crushed and killed at least 55 people when the driver lost control and ran into a crowd on a road in Dekina, in central Kogi state.
    (Reuters, 12/19/09)(AFP, 12/20/09)
2009        Dec 19, A 6.4-magnitude quake was centered off the eastern coast of Taiwan. 14 people were injured and with minor damage in Taipei as well as near the epicenter.
    (AP, 12/19/09)

2010        Dec 19, In northern Afghanistan troops shot dead rebels at an army recruitment center in Kunduz to end a day-long siege following 2 attacks by militants that killed at least 13 security personnel. In Kabul two suicide bombers targeted an army bus, killing five military personal. One civilian was killed and four children were wounded when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in Panjwayi district, in Kandahar province.
    (AFP, 12/19/10)
2010        Dec 19, Belarus held elections. Authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko expressed confidence that he would win a fourth term. Opposition leaders and rights activists reported that more than 30 people campaigning against the president had been detained. The country's election commission declared that Lukashenko got almost 80% of the vote in a preliminary count, handing him a fourth term in office.
    (AP, 12/19/10)(AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 19, A Dubai court sentenced Mark Arnold (42), a Briton, charged with killing Kelly Winter, his South African ex-lover, to life in prison. Winter (36) disappeared in August 2008 following a quarrel with Arnold. Prosecutors charged him with clubbing her to death with a baseball bat and dumping her body with weights in the sea. Her body was never found. Life in prison equals 25 years in the United Arab Emirates.
    (AFP, 12/19/10)
2010        Dec 19, Europe saw little respite from the Arctic conditions that have closed airports and disrupted travel on the weekend before Christmas.
    (Reuters, 12/19/10)
2010        Dec 19, The Guatemalan military declared a state of siege in a northern province that authorities say has been overtaken by Mexican drug traffickers.
    (AP, 12/19/10)
2010        Dec 19, Iran levied up to a five-fold hike in fuel prices as the government started scrapping subsidies as part of a long-awaited economic overhaul, despite initial resistance by conservatives. Thousands of truck drivers nationwide stopped working because they were not allowed to increase their prices.
    (AFP, 12/19/10)(SFC, 12/25/10, p.A5)
2010        Dec 19, Israel's cabinet decided to limit stipends paid to full-time ultra-Orthodox Jewish seminary students after the payments sparked widespread protests among university students.
    (AFP, 12/19/10)
2010        Dec 19, Ivory Coast state television left no doubt who's in control of the media: Laurent Gbagbo was shown taking the oath of office with no mention that the United Nations says he lost the presidential election and should step down. The UN warned against attacks on its personnel in Ivory Coast and said it would stay.
    (AP, 12/19/10)
2010        Dec 19, In Mexico a massive oil pipeline explosion lay waste to parts of in San Martin Texmelucan, incinerating people, cars, houses and trees as gushing crude turned streets into flaming rivers. At least 29 people were killed, 14 of them children. Authorities blamed oil thieves after investigators found a hole in the pipeline and equipment for extracting crude. On Jan 10 a police officer died of his injuries bringing the death toll to 30.
    (AP, 12/19/10)(AP, 12/22/10)(AP, 1/10/11)
2010        Dec 19, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hosted dozens of Israeli legislators and activists, and urged them to relay a simple message to the Israeli public — he is serious about negotiating a peace deal and that the Palestinians will never again resort to violence.
    (AP, 12/19/10)
2010        Dec 19, In the northern Philippines a fire rapidly swept through a 5-storey budget hotel in Tuguegarao burning to death 15 people, several crammed in bathrooms where they fled in panic. Nine of the victims were nursing students in town to take a licensing exam. The death toll rose to 16 after one person died in a hospital
    (AP, 12/19/10)(AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 19, In Somalia a merger was announced between al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam. Analysts and fighters said the weak, UN-backed government could face an increase in attacks from Islamist insurgents after the two largest groups dropped their running feud and merged.
    (AP, 12/20/10)
2010        Dec 19, Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir said the country would adopt an Islamic constitution if the south split away in a referendum due next month, in a speech in which he also defended police filmed flogging a woman.
    (Reuters, 12/19/10)
2010        Dec 19, The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
    (AP, 12/19/10)

2011        Dec 19, Fierce winds and snow that caused fatal road accidents and shuttered highways in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The storm was blamed for at least six deaths.
    (AP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 19, NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Cornell University has chosen by New York City to build a technology campus on Roosevelt Island with a grant of city-owned land and $100 million. Charles Feeney of the Duty Free Shopping Group donated $350 million.
    (Econ, 1/7/12, p.26)(http://tinyurl.com/cz9lz8z)
2011        Dec 19, In, Webster, Pennsylvania, police shot and killed Eli Franklin Myers (58) during a standoff hours after he killed East Washington officer John David Dryer during a traffic stop.
    (SFC, 12/20/11, p.A8)
2011        Dec 19, Members of an Australian class action lawsuit, who blame a German pharmaceutical company's anti-morning sickness drug, Thalidomide, for causing birth defects, won the right to have their case heard in their own country. The class action against Grunenthal is open to Australians born between Jan. 1, 1958, and Dec. 31, 1970, who were injured after their mothers took thalidomide while pregnant.
    (AP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, Belarus police arrested dozens of regime opponents who tried to stage a banned vigil in Minsk. Australian filmmaker Kitty Green (27) was detained while covering a topless protest outside the offices of the Belarussian KGB security services to mark Lukashenko's disputed re-election a year ago. Three members of the radical Femen group were also seized by KGB security agents who forced them to strip naked in a forest and threatened to torch them.
    (AFP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 19, In Brazil a juvenile court judge in the northeastern state of Alagoas sentenced three priests for sexually abusing minors for years. Monsignor Luiz Marques Barbosa was sentenced to 21 years in prison, while Monsignor Raimundo Gomes and priest Edilson Duarte were given 16 years and four months in prison.
    (AP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 19, In northern Brazil say a woman gave birth to conjoined twin boys with one body and two heads at the Santa Casa de Misericodia Hospital in Belem.
    (AP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 19, In Denmark the Copenhagen City Court ruled that Marcel Lychau Hansen had strangled 73-year-old Edith Louise Andrup in 1987 and 40-year-old Lene Buchardt Rasmussen three years later. The court also found him guilty of raping three teenagers and a 23-year-old woman in 1995 and two women in 2005 and 2010, respectively.
    (AP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, Egyptian soldiers in riot gear swept through Cairo's Tahrir Square and opened fire on protesters demanding an immediate end to military rule. The Health Ministry said at least three people were killed, bringing the death toll for four days of clashes to 14.
    (AP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, Gabon's ruling party, the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), claimed it had won 114 out of parliament's 120 seats in a legislative election largely boycotted by the opposition but given a clean bill of health by observers.
    (AFP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, The Air Berlin group, Germany's 2nd-largest airline, said United Arab Emirates airline, Etihad, is to pay 72.9 million euros ($95 million) to become its biggest shareholder.
    (AP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, Guinean officials indefinitely postponed legislative elections initially set for December 29 to meet opposition demands for a role in planning the polls to prevent fraud.
    (AFP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, Iraqi officials said judges have barred Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi from travelling overseas.
    (AP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, In Kenya a police officer was killed and two others seriously wounded after a suspected landmine attack on their patrol vehicle in the northern Dadaab refugee camp.
    (AFP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, Mauritania said it has signed an agreement with French oil group Total to explore for oil at sea and to extract any oil discovered.
    (AFP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, Mexican prosecutors announced they have found another clandestine grave holding 10 bodies in the northern state of Durango, bringing to 14 the number of such burial sites found in the state this year. Soldiers found the 10 bodies last week in a field on the outskirts of the state capital. Prosecutors also said two mutilated bodies were found scattered in the plaza of Pueblo Viejo, Morelos state, while a boy was killed around the same time in what police say may have been a related crime. Mexico's tax service announced that authorities had found 480 drums containing almost 100 metric tons of precursor chemicals used to make methamphetamines at the Pacific coast port of Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan state.
    (AP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, Morocco’s Islamist al-Adl wal-Ihsane (Justice and Charity) group said they were ending their role in the weekly protests that have taken place since February, because the movement had been taken over by elements that wanted to limit the demands for change.
    (AP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, In Nepal a second general strike in three days brought much of the country to a halt as protestors blocked roads and torched cars over the prison killing of a senior opposition party activist. Shiva Poudel, chairman of a party youth wing, was critically injured when a group of inmates attacked him in a prison in the southern district of Chitwan on December 6 and he died in Kathmandu on Dec 17.
    (AFP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, Nigeria launched a communications satellite into space to replace one that failed in 2008. The satellite was launched from Xichang in southwest China.
    (AFP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, Hundreds of furious Pakistanis blocked off the Islamabad airport highway, demonstrating against debilitating gas shortages and pelting police with stones. A second angry crowd torched tires in Islamabad and twin city Rawalpindi, throwing stones at police and private vehicles over gas rationing that has left thousands of homes without heat for hours at a time.
    (AFP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, A teenage Pakistani woman told of her terror as her husband chopped off her nose and lips in a furious marital row, and threatened to kill herself unless the police brought him to justice. Salma Bibi (17) said her husband, Ghulam Qadir (22), subjected her to a beating, then bound her hands and feet with rope and hacked into her face with a razor in a remote village in the southwestern province Baluchistan.
    (AFP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, Peruvian migration officials gave paroled American Lori Berenson (42) a document, three days after barring her exit, clearing her to leave the country with her toddler son to spend the holidays with her family in New York City. Berenson said she fully intended to return to Peru by the court-ordered deadline of Jan 11.
    (AP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, In the southern Philippines the death toll from devastating flash floods rose to 927 and was expected to climb higher as relief workers recovered more bodies from Mindanao.
    (AFP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, Saudi billionaire Prince Walid bin Talal and his Kingdom Holding Company announced a combined investment of $300 million in the social networking site Twitter.
    (AFP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, South Sudanese rebel chief George Athor was killed in a clash with soldiers of the newly independent nation.
    (AFP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 19, Sudan’s parliament raised taxes on the Internet, mobile phone calls and other telecommunications in a bid to help cover lost oil income from South Sudan.
    (AP, 12/20/11)
2011        Dec 19, Sweden’s Saab Automobile filed for bankruptcy, giving up a desperate struggle to stay in business after previous owner General Motors Co. blocked takeover attempts by Chinese investors.
    (AP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, Syria signed an Arab League initiative that will allow Arab observers into the country, as part of an effort to end the nation's increasingly bloody 9-month-old crisis.
    (AP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki said that Tunisia's Jews are full citizens and those that had left were welcome to return. His comments came almost two weeks after Israeli deputy PM Silvan Shalom called on the country's remaining Jews to emigrate to Israel.
    (AP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, A Turkish news agency reported that security forces may have killed as many as 20 Kurdish separatist rebels in the country's southeast.
    (AP, 12/19/11)
2011        Dec 19, The UN General Assembly approved a resolution denouncing human rights violations in Iran in an 89-30 vote. There were 64 abstentions.
    (SFC, 12/19/11, p.A2)
2011        Dec 19, In Yemen fresh fighting between suspected Al-Qaeda militants and army troops in Abyan province killed 4 soldiers and 16 al-Qaida-linked militants.
    (AP, 12/20/11)

2012        Dec 19, Pres. Obama said Vice President Joe Biden will lead an effort to craft policies to reduce gun violence. Obama laid out a plan to reduce gun violence amid calls for action after the massacre of 26 people including 20 children in a Connecticut elementary school.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, Four US State Department officials resigned under pressure, less than a day after a damning report blamed management failures for a lack of security at the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, In Las Vegas Olivia Culpo (20), a student at Boston University, became the new Miss Universe, defeating dozens of contestants from six continents. An American had not won the Miss Universe title since Brook Lee won in 1997.
    (AP, 12/20/12)
2012        Dec 19, A new Gallup poll said seven of the world’s 10 countries with the most upbeat attitudes are in Latin America with Panama and Paraguay at the top. The people least likely to report positive emotions lived in Singapore.
    (SFC, 12/20/12, p.A2)
2012        Dec 19, Argentina's cash-strapped state energy company signed a partnership deal with Chevron Corp. for a "massive development" of the South American country's vast nonconventional oil and gas resources.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, Bolivian authorities ordered the arrest of magistrate Ariel Rocha in a widening scandal triggered by American Jacob Ostreicher’s report of being fleeced and extorted by corrupt prosecutors.
    (SFC, 12/20/12, p.A2)
2012        Dec 19, The Bank of England said that new governor Mark Carney, currently governor of the Bank of Canada, will receive a 250,000 pound a year housing allowance in addition to his 624,000 pound salary.
    (Reuters, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, British oil company BP said it is selling its stake in a South China Sea gas field to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company for $308 million in cash.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, The British-appointed governor of the Cayman Islands named Julianna O’Connor as the territory’s new premier.
    (SFC, 12/20/12, p.A2)
2012        Dec 19, The Cook Islands designated a 756,000 square mile shark sanctuary.
    (SFC, 12/19/12, p.A5)
2012        Dec 19, Ecuador's Central Bank President Pedro Delgado resigned after acknowledging that he presented a fake academic degree 22 years ago, a scandal that prompted the country's leader to call for him to face justice. Delgado, who is a cousin of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, apologized to the nation.
    (AP, 12/20/12)
2012        Dec 19, Former German Defense Minister Peter Struck (69), a vehement opponent of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, died following a heart attack.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, In Iraq the Sunni chief of Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi's protection force was arrested on the strength of confessions made by some suspects. The chief reportedly confessed that he took part in terrorist attacks. 9 other bodyguards of al-Issawi were arrested and under investigation. The next day Al-Issawi angrily denounced the arrests.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 19, A Jerusalem municipal official said Israel is pressing forward with construction in a new east Jerusalem settlement, part of a series of new building plans that have drawn worldwide rebuke, including from its closest ally, the United States.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, In Israel Amnon Lipkin-Shahak (68), a former Israeli military chief who later became a Cabinet minister, died after a long battle with cancer. He oversaw a 16-day military campaign, codenamed "Grapes of Wrath," against Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon in 1996.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, In Kazakhstan a Soyuz spacecraft carrying an American, a Russian and a Canadian lifted off for the Int’l. Space Station for a 2-day journey and 4-month stay.
    (SFC, 12/20/12, p.A2)
2012        Dec 19, In northern Nigeria more than 30 assailants stormed a house, killing two people and kidnapping French engineer Francis Collomp in the town of Rimi, Katsina state. On Nov 17, 2013, Collomp was reported freed.
    (AP, 12/20/12)(Reuters, 11/17/13)
2012        Dec 19, Norwegian energy company Statoil ASA said it has bought 70,000 acres of land rich in gas and liquid gas in West Virginia and Ohio.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, In Pakistan gunmen shot dead a woman working on UN backed polio vaccination efforts and her driver in the northwestern town of Charsadda. Earlier in the day gunmen shot a polio worker in the head in the city of Peshawar, wounding him critically. The recent killings prompted the UN's public health arm to suspend work on the vaccination drive in two of Pakistan's four provinces.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, Senegal's national assembly adopted a much-anticipated law, which creates a special tribunal to try ex-Chadian dictator Hissene Habre. This was the first step in ending 22 years of impunity that began when the deposed former president fled to Senegal, leaving behind a country strewn with mass graves.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, South Africa said at least 633 rhinoceros have been killed this year alone as a poaching epidemic continues to threaten the animals.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, Ruling-party candidate Park Geun-hye (Bahk guhn-hae) was elected South Korean president, becoming the country's first female leader despite her past as the daughter of a divisive dictator.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, Switzerland's UBS AG agreed to pay some $1.5 billion in fines to international regulators following a probe into the rigging of a key global interest rate.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, Syrian state media said government forces are carrying out a broad offensive against rebels in the suburbs of Damascus, as the UN appealed for a billion dollars to support rising numbers of Syrian refugees.
    (AP, 12/19/12)
2012        Dec 19, Yemen Pres. Abed Rabu Mansour Hadi ordered a shakeup of the country’s Defense Minsitry, removing the powerful son, relatives and aides of ousted leader Ali Abdullah Saleh.
    (SFC, 12/20/12, p.A2)

2013        Dec 19, The California Public Utilities Commission fined Pacific Gas & Electric more than $14 million for the utility’s “delay and obfuscation" in revealing that its records for a natural gas pipeline in San Carlos failed to show potentially risky welds.
    (SFC, 12/20/13, p.A1)
2013        Dec 19, In San Francisco nudism activist Gypsy Taub (44) married Jaymz Smith (20) and both promptly went naked in front of City Hall.
    (SFC, 12/20/13, p.D1)
2013        Dec 19, In Fresno, Ca., four teenage boys shot and injured teacher Steven Guerrero after he fought back during an attempted robbery at Edison High School. Four Norteno gang members, ages 16-17, were soon arrested.
    (SSFC, 12/22/13, p.A9)(SFC, 12/26/13, p.A8)
2013        Dec 19, In New Jersey a Chinese citizen, the admitted ringleader of an international smuggling operation that trafficked in $4.5 million worth of rhinoceros horns, ivory cups and trinkets, pleaded guilty in federal court.
    (AP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 19, New Mexico’s Supreme Court legalized gay marriages in the state.
    (Econ, 1/4/14, p.21)
2013        Dec 19, The NYC Council voted to ban electronic cigarettes in indoor public places.
    (SFC, 12/21/13, p.A6)
2013        Dec 19, Al Goldstein (77), the publisher of Screw magazine, died at a Brooklyn hospice. He and Jim Buckley co-founded the magazine in 1968 and it continued to 2003.
    (SFC, 12/20/13, p.D9)
2013        Dec 19, Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea to help train the national team and renew his friendship with the North's young leader, Kim Jong Un.
    (AP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, A jury at London's Old Bailey criminal court decided unanimously that Michael Adebolajo (29) and Michael Adebowale (22) were guilty of murdering Lee Rigby (25), an Afghan war veteran, on May 22 but not guilty of the attempted murder of a police officer.
    (Reuters, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, Hunks of plaster and dust rained down on a packed audience when the ceiling of London’s Apollo Theater partially collapsed. More than 75 people were injured — seven seriously.
    (AP, 12/20/13)(SFC, 12/20/13, p.A5)
2013        Dec 19, Cuba announced it will allow unrestricted car imports for the first time in half a century, marking the end of an era that made icons of the island's vintage automobiles. Cubans soon found that imported cars were priced far beyond what an average salary could afford. 
    (AFP, 12/19/13)(Econ, 1/11/14, p.30)
2013        Dec 19, Danish lawmakers approved sending a cargo ship and a warship to pick up Syria's most dangerous chemical weapons.
    (AP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, An Egyptian court acquitted former leader Hosni Mubarak's two sons and his last prime minister, Ahmed Shafik, of corruption charges.
    (AP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, The European Space Agency launched its star-surveying satellite Gaia into space, hoping to produce the most accurate three-dimensional map of the Milky Way and to better understand the evolution of our galaxy.
    (AP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, German media and officials in Berlin said about 200 cars stolen in Germany have been tracked down in Tajikistan, where most are now driven by family and friends of President Emomali Rakhmon.
    (AFP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, Honduras President Porfirio Lobo fired Gen. Juan Carlos Bonilla, the national police chief, who has long faced accusations he ran death squads when he was a lower-level officer and whose force has been hit with frequent abuse claims.
    (AP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, In Iraq suicide bombings targeting Shiite pilgrims around Baghdad on their way to Karbala and other violence across the country killed at least 36 people.
    (AP, 12/19/13)(AFP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 19, Iraq received 75 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles from the US to help combat operations against the country’s branch of al-Qaida.
    (SFC, 12/26/13, p.A2)
2013        Dec 19, The Israeli military killed a Palestinian gunman during an arrest raid in the West Bank.
    (AP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, The Tokyo governor who helped his city secure the 2020 Olympics resigned after revelations that he received 50 million yen ($480,200) from a hospital company.
    (AP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, In Mexico Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo (79), a drug czar disgraced by his arrest and conviction for aiding a powerful drug cartel, died after a long bout of prostate cancer.
    (AP, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 19, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said he will pardon jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The move, along with an amnesty for the two jailed members of the Pussy Riot punk band and the 30-member crew of a Greenpeace ship, appears designed to assuage international criticism of Russia's rights record ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Sochi.
    (AP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hayat newspaper reported that a Saudi court has jailed a man for 15 years after convicting him of recruiting 14 nationals to join Al-Qaeda's affiliate in neighbouring Yemen.
    (AFP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, South Africa's government dismissed criticisms that a $21 million state-funded security upgrade of Pres. Jacob Zuma's private home was extravagant. The upgrades included a swimming pool, chicken coop and cattle pen.
    (Reuters, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, South Africa’s environmental ministry said the country has lost nearly 1,000 rhinos this year in a poaching surge to feed the black-market demand for their horns.
    (AFP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, South Sudan said that the government no longer controls Bor, the capital of Jonglei, its largest and most populous state. Two UN peacekeepers from India were killed and a third wounded when a UN base was overrun by armed youths in Jonglei State. Two dozen Dinka officials were killed during the attack in Akobo.
    (AP, 12/19/13)(AP, 12/20/13)(Reuters, 12/20/13)(Econ, 1/4/14, p.36)
2013        Dec 19, Spanish police searched the headquarters of the ruling People's Party (PP) for 14 hours as part of a corruption investigation that earlier this year threatened to destabilize the government of PM Rajoy.
    (Reuters, 12/20/13)
2013        Dec 19, Amnesty Int’l. accused an al-Qaida-linked rebel group that controls large parts of northern Syria of running secret prisons in which torture and summary killings are common.
    (AP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, The last Sudanese prisoners to be released from US detention at Guantanamo Bay arrived home, as US President Barack Obama tried to speed up repatriations and close the controversial facility. Mohammed Noor Uthman (51) and Ibrahim Othman Ibrahim Idris (52) were both considered by the US military to be members of Al-Qaeda.
    (AFP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, Togo freed two Indian sailors imprisoned since July after India appealed to President Faure Gnassingbe for their release on compassionate grounds.
    (AFP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, In Turkey Istanbul's most senior police official was dismissed, days after police launched raids that detained dozens of people.
    (AP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, In Turkmenistan official election results said the ruling party won the most seats in the Dec 15 legislative elections, while a new party set up to diversify politics in the ultra-controlled state won its first-ever mandates.
    (AFP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, A UN panel probing war crimes in Syria reported that people around the country are systematically vanishing without a trace as part of a widespread campaign of terror against civilians.
    (AP, 12/19/13)
2013        Dec 19, A 52-year-old Italian man set himself on fire in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican and suffered serious burns.
    (Reuters, 12/19/13)

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