Today in History - December 21

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69        Dec 21, Vespacian, a gruff-spoken general of humble origins, entered Rome and was adopted as emperor by the Senate.
    (PCh, 1992, p.37)

1118        Dec 21, Thomas Becket (d.1170), archbishop of Canterbury, was born (some sources say 1120). His close friend Henry II of England later ordered his martyrdom.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Becket)

1375        Dec 21, Giovanni Boccaccio (b.1332), Italian poet (Vita di Dante), died at his home in Certaldo.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.133)(MC, 12/21/01)

1429        Dec 21, Jacquemart de Blaharies, Tournay "heretic", was burned to death.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1620        Dec 21, The Mayflower reached Plymouth, Mass. after a 63-day voyage. Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower went ashore for the first time at present-day Plymouth, Mass. The crew of the ship did not have enough beer to get to Virginia and back to England so they dropped the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock to preserve their beer stock.
    (HFA, '96, p.44)(AP, 12/20/97)(Hem., 8/96, p.115)(MC, 12/21/01)

1708        Dec 21, French forces seized control of the eastern shore of Newfoundland after winning a victory at St. John’s.
    (HN, 12/21/98)

1790        Dec 21, Samuel Slater opened the first cotton mill in the United States in Rhode Island. [see Dec 20]
    (HN, 12/21/98)

1804        Dec 21, Benjamin Disraeli (d.1881), Prime Minister of Great Britain (1868, 1874-80), was born. He instituted reforms in housing, public health and factory regulations. "Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a regret." In 1993 Stanley Weintraub published “Disraeli: A Biography."
    (AP, 10/21/97)(WSJ, 11/17/98, p.21)(HN, 12/21/98)(MC, 12/21/01)

1818        Dec 21, Lewis H. Morgan, US ethnologist (Systems of Consanguinity), was born.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1829        Dec 21, The 1st stone arch railroad bridge in US was dedicated in Baltimore.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1835        Dec 21, HMS Beagle sailed into Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1848        Dec 21, William Craft and his wife Ellen, slaves to separate masters, escaped under disguise from Macon, Georgia, and made there way to Philadelphia. In 1860 Craft authored “Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom."
    (ON, 10/04, p.10)

1861        Dec 21, Pres. Lincoln signed legislation establishing the Medal of Honor. The medal was first authorized for Sailors and Marines, and the following year for Soldiers as well.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medal_of_Honor)

1862        Dec 21, U.S. Congress authorized the Medal of Honor to be awarded to Navy personnel that had distinguished themselves by their gallantry in action.
    (HN, 12/21/98)

1866        Dec 21, Indians led by Red Cloud and Crazy Horse killed Captain William J. Fetterman and 79 other men who had ventured out from Fort Phil Kearny to cut wood. U.S. Army Captain William J. Fetterman once boasted, "Give me 80 men and I'll march through the whole Sioux nation!" When Lakota warriors under the overall leadership of Chief Red Cloud gathered around Fort Phil Kearny (in what is now Wyoming), Fetterman got command of his 80 men. Disobeying the orders of his commander, Colonel Henry B Carrington, not to proceed beyond the Lodge Trail Ridge, Fetterman pursued a band of retreating Indians--and rode right into a waiting trap, allegedly laid by the Ogallala warrior Crazy Horse. Fetterman, his executive officer and 78 troopers were wiped out.
    (HNPD, 12/21/98)(HN, 12/21/98)

1872        Dec 21, The HMS Challenger, under Captain George Nares, sailed from Portsmouth, England, on a 4-year journey to survey the world’s oceans.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Challenger_expedition)(Econ, 4/17/10, SR p.13)

1879        Dec 21, Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, aka Joseph Stalin, was born. Joseph Stalin, Communist leader of the Soviet Union was responsible for the killing of more than 10 million of his own people.
    (HN, 12/21/98)(HNQ, 4/6/00)

1898        Dec 21, French scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discovered 2 new elements that they later named radium and polonium.
    (AP, 12/21/97)(http://fi.edu/case_files/curie/pandr.html)

1907        Dec 21, Oskar Lassar (58), German dermatologist, died.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1910        Dec 21, 2.5 million plague victims were reported in the An-Hul province of China.
    (HN, 12/21/98)
1910        Dec 21, Explosion in coal mine in Hulton, England, killed 344 mine workers.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1911        Dec 21, Joshua Gibson, baseball player for the Negro Leagues, Home-Run King, was born. Segregated baseball lasted sixty years in the United States.
    (HN, 12/21/98)

1913        Dec 21, The first crossword puzzle, created by Arthur Wynne, the English-born New York journalist, was published in the New York World.
    (AP, 12/21/97)(www.fun-with-words.com/first_crossword.html)

1914        Dec 21, The first feature-length silent film comedy, "Tillie's Punctured Romance," was released.
    (AP, 12/21/04)

1917        Dec 21, Andre Eglevsky, choreographer (Limelight), was born.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1918        Dec 21, Donald Regan, White House staffer and US Secretary of Treasury (1981-85), was born.
    (MC, 12/21/01)
1918        Dec 21, Kurt Waldheim, 4th Secretary General of the United Nations, was born.
    (HN, 12/21/98)

1919        Dec 21, J. Edgar Hoover gallantly deported anarchist, feminist Emma Goldman to Russia for agitating against forced conscription in the US.
    (WSJ, 12/11/95, p.A-1)(MC, 12/21/01)

1921        Dec 21, Supreme Court ruled labor injunctions and picketing unconstitutional.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1922        Dec 21, Paul Winchell, ventriloquist (Jerry Mahoney, Knucklehead Smith), was born in NYC.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1923        Dec 21, Nepal changed from British protectorate to independent nation.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1928        Dec 21, President Coolidge signed the Boulder Dam bill.
    (HN, 12/21/98)

1929        Dec 21, The 1st US group hospital insurance plan was offered in Dallas, Tx.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1932        Dec 21, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made their 1st movie together, “Flying Down to Rio."
    (MC, 12/21/01)
1932        Dec 21, Carl McGee, Oklahoma inventor, applied for a patent for his parking meter. He had came up with the 1st coin-operated, single-space, mechanical meter to be used to free up parking spaces in downtown Oklahoma City.
    (WSJ, 6/30/05, p.B1)(www.ok-history.mus.ok.us/enc/parking.htm)

1933        Dec 21, Dried human blood serum was 1st prepared at the Univ. of Pennsylvania.
    (MC, 12/21/01)
1933        Dec 21, Newfoundland reverted to being a crown colony.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1935        Dec 21, Phil Donahue, talk show host, was born in Cleveland, Ohio.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1937        Dec 21, Jane Fonda, actress (Barbarella, Klute), physical fitness fanatic, Vietnam Protestor, was born in NYC.
    (MC, 12/21/01)
1937        Dec 21, Walt Disney’s "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" premiered as the 1st feature-length color & sound cartoon.
    (www.scils.rutgers.edu/~kvander/swfilms.html)
1937        Dec 21, Frank Kellog (80), US foreign minister (Nobel 1929), died.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1939        Dec 21, Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich named Adolf Eichmann leader of "Referat IV B," the group in charge of transport of Jews for Final Solution.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1940        Dec 21, Frank Zappa, rocker (Mothers of Invention, Catholic Girls), was born in Baltimore.
    (MC, 12/21/01)
1940        Dec 21, F. Scott Fitzgerald (44), American author (Zelda, The Great Gatsby), died of a heart attack.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._Scott_Fitzgerald)

1942        Dec 21, The US Supreme Court ruled all states had to recognize divorces granted in Nevada.
    (AP, 12/21/05)

1944        Dec 21, German troops surrounded the 101st Airborne Division at the Bastogne in Belgium.
    (HN, 12/21/98)

1945        Dec 21, Gen. George S. Patton died at the age of 60 in Heidelberg, Germany, of injuries from a car accident. In 1998 Brian Sobel published “The Fighting Pattons." It was a history of the Patton family.
    (AP, 12/21/97)(WSJ, 8/14/98, p.W7)(HN, 12/21/98)

1946        Dec 21, Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," premiered.
    (MC, 12/21/01)
1946        Dec 21, An earthquake and tidal wave killed 1,086 in Japan.
    (HN, 12/21/98)(MC, 12/21/01)

1948        Dec 21, The state of Eire (formerly the Irish Free State) declared its independence.
    (AP, 12/21/97)
1948        Dec 21, Seishiro Itagaki, Japanese General and minister of War, was hanged.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1954        Dec 21, Dr. Sam Sheppard, an osteopathic surgeon, was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife, Marilyn, and was sentenced to life in prison. Sheppard spent 10 years in prison before the Supreme Court overturned the verdict; he was acquitted at retrial in 1966 and died four years later. [see Jul 4]
    (AP, 12/21/04)   

1958        Dec 21, Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), having come out of retirement, was elected to a seven-year term as the first president of the Fifth Republic of France. De Gaulle selected Maurice Couve de Murville (d.1999 at 92) as his foreign minister.
    (AP, 12/21/98)(SFC, 12/25/99, p.B4)(Econ, 10/04/08, p.56)

1959        Dec 21, Florence Griffith Joyner, runner (Olympic-3 gold-1988), was born in LA, Calif.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1961        Dec 21, JFK & British PM MacMillan met in Bermuda.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1962        Dec 21, A US and Cuba accord released Bay of Pigs captives.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1963        Dec 21, The Turk minority rioted in Cyprus to protest anti-Turkish revisions in the constitution.
    (HN, 12/21/98)

1964        Dec 21, Britain’s House of Commons voted to ban the death penalty.
    (HN, 12/21/98)

1965        Dec 21, Four pacifists were indicted in New York for burning draft cards.
    (HN, 12/21/98)

1966        Dec 21, USSR launched Luna 13. It soft-landed on the Moon’s Oceanus Procellarum.
    (MC, 12/21/01)

1967        Dec 21, Louis Washkansky (55) died in South Africa 18 days after undergoing the 1st heart transplant.
    (AP, 12/3/97)(HNQ, 1/9/99)

1968        Dec 21, Apollo 8 with astronauts Borman, Lovell & Anders was launched on the 1st mission to orbit the moon.
    (AP, 12/21/97)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_8)

1969        Dec 21, Diana Ross and the Supremes make their final television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, singing "Someday We'll Be Together", which would be the last of their 12 number one singles.
    (http://forums.w3oc.com/showthread.php?p=1967)
1969        Dec 21, Vince Lombardi (1913-1970), head coach of the Washington Redskins, coached his last football game and lost.
    (www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/was/1969.htm)

1970        Dec 21, A meeting took place between Elvis Presley and President Nixon as Elvis sought to get the credentials of a Federal Agent to help Nixon fight drugs. The meeting remained secret until The Washington Post broke the story on Jan. 27, 1972.
    (AP, 1/8/07)

1973        Dec 21, Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, US and USSR leaders met in Geneva. The Geneva Conference of 1973 was an attempt to negotiate a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict as called for in UN Security Council Resolution 338 which was passed after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Conference_(1973))

1975        Dec 21, There was a terrorist kidnapping of Saudi oil minister Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani and other ministers at the OPEC gathering in Vienna, Austria. Three people were killed and 11 taken hostage. The oil ministers were taken to North Africa in a hijacked plane in a $1 billion ransom drama. Carlos the Jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, later admitted to planning the attack. In 2001 Germany sentenced Hans-Joachim Klein to 9 years for his role in the attack. Klein had accused Sonja Suder of recruiting him to take part in the bloody Vienna siege. In 2013 Suder was acquitted of having helped Carlos in the OPEC attack. She was found guilty of having aided in three non-deadly explosives and arson attacks in Germany in the late 1970s. 
    (WSJ, 12/4/95, p.B-1)(SFC,12/11/97, p.C2)(SFC, 2/16/01, p.D2)(AFP, 11/12/13)
1975        Dec 21, Didier Ratsiraka, Madagascar military commander, was elected to a seven-year term as president in a national referendum. He published a "red book" of Marxist principles and nationalized much of the economy. In the 1980s with severe economic decline Ratsiraka changed course and established ties with the world Bank and the IMF.
    (SFC, 8/19/96, p.A10)(www.wildmadagascar.org/overview/loc/16-history_1975-1992.html)

1976        Dec 21, Russel Wright (b.1904), American designer, died. His American Modern dinnerware was manufactured by Steubenville Pottery from 1939 to about 1959.
    (SFC, 8/10/05, p.G4)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russel_Wright)
1976        Dec 21, The Liberian-registered tanker Argo Merchant ran aground near Nantucket Island, spilling millions of gallons of oil into the North Atlantic.
    (AP, 12/21/97)

1978        Dec 21, Police in Des Plaines, Ill., arrested John W. Gacy Jr. and began unearthing the remains of 33 men and boys that Gacy was later convicted of murdering. 27 bodies were found under his house, 2 in the back yard and 4 were fished out of the nearby Des Plaines River. He was executed in 1994.
    (SFEC, 11/22/98, p.A2)(AP, 12/21/98)
1979        Dec 21, The Lancaster House Agreement was signed in London. It ended biracial rule in Zimbabwe Rhodesia following negotiations between representatives of the Patriotic Front (PF), consisting of ZAPU ( Zimbabwe African Peoples Union) and ZANU ( Zimbabwe African National Union) and the Zimbabwe Rhodesia government, represented by Bishop Abel Muzorewa and Ian Smith.
    (www.reference.com/browse/Lancaster_House_Agreement)

1980        Dec 21, The California Supreme Court ruled that a father has no automatic right to give his child his last name.
    (SFC, 12/16/05, p.F2)
1980        Dec 21, It was reported that the deadly red tide had given Northern California one of its worst seasons of paralytic shellfish poisoning in years.
    (SFC, 12/16/05, p.F2)
1980        Dec 21, Iran requested $24 billion in US guarantees to free hostages.
    (http://rescueattempt.tripod.com/id12.html)

1983         Dec 21, Paul de Man (b.1919), Belgium-born Yale professor of humanities, died in Connecticut. He had curried favor with Nazi occupiers during WWII and fled to the US after being convicted of fraud and embezzlement in a publishing house he reated. In 2014 Evelyn Barish authored “The Double Life of Paul de Man."
    (SFC, 5/11/14, p.F7)

1986        Dec 21, 500,000 Chinese students gathered in Shanghai’s People’s Square calling for democratic reforms, including freedom of the press.
    (HN, 12/21/98)

1987        Dec 21, In New York City three white teen-agers from the Howard Beach section of Queens were convicted of manslaughter in the death of a black man who was chased onto a highway, where he was struck by a car. A fourth defendant was acquitted.
    (AP, 12/21/97)

1988        Dec 21, Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. pleaded guilty to SEC charges of security felonies and paid a $650 million fine.
    (www.kipnotes.com/Scandal.htm)
1988        Dec 21, Bob Steele (60), [Robert Bradbury], died after short illness.
    (http://www.b-westerns.com/steele0.htm)
1988        Dec 21, Pan Am Flight 103 was downed over Lockerbie, Scotland by a terrorist bomb. 270 people were killed aboard the Boeing 747. Libya was accused of responsibility for the bombing, which killed 259 people onboard and 11 on the ground. Two Libyan operatives, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and A-Amin Khalifa Fahimah, were indicted in 1991 and thought to be in hiding in Libya. They were sent to the Netherlands for trial in 1999 and implicated Mohammed Abu Talb, a Palestinian terrorist jailed in Sweden. In 2000 Ahmad Behbahani (32) told a 60 Minutes journalist from a refugee camp in Turkey that he proposed the Pan Am operation and coordinated the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. He also claimed that Iran was behind the 1994 bombing in Argentina that killed 86 people. Behbahani was later called a fraud by the CIA and FBI. In 2001 a Scottish court convicted Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, of murder in the 1998 bombing of Pan am Flight 103. A 2nd Libyan, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, was acquitted. The conviction was upheld in 2002. In 2003 Libya set up a $2.7 billion fund for families of 270 people killed.
    (WSJ, 12/18/95, p.A-9)(SFC, 5/11/96, p.A-8)(SFC, 6/7/97, p.A4)(AP, 12/21/97)(WSJ, 4/6/99, p.A1)(SFC, 11/25/99, p.A14)(SFC, 6/5/00, p.A9)(SFC, 6/6/00, p.A10)(SFEC, 6/11/00, p.A20)(SFC, 1/31/01, p.A11)(SFC, 3/15/02, p.A9)(AP, 8/15/03)

1989        Dec 21, VP Quayle sent out 30,000 Xmas cards with the word beacon spelled beakon.
    (www.totse.com/en/ego/no_laughing_matter/danforth.html)
1989        Dec 21, Kentuckian Larry Mahoney was convicted on 27 counts of manslaughter for a 1988 collision with a church bus. It was the nation's most deadly drunken-driving accident.
    (http://tinyurl.com/kuvl3)
1989        Dec 21, Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu delivered what turned out to be his final public speech. The hard-line Communist ruler was visibly stunned as his listeners began booing. Ceausescu fled from power and was executed four days later.
    (AP, 12/21/99)

1990        Dec 21, British Prime Minister John Major met with President Bush at Camp David, Maryland; afterward, the two leaders expressed their unity on the Persian Gulf crisis.
    (AP, 12/21/00)
1990        Dec 21, In Iraq hundreds of thousands of Iraqis participated in an evacuation drill to test war readiness.
    (AP, 12/21/00)

1991        Dec 21, Cable TV and sports magnate Ted Turner married actress Jane Fonda near Capps, Fla. They divorced in May 2001.
    (AP, 12/21/01)
1991        Dec 21, El Sayyid Nosair was acquitted in New York of killing Jewish extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane. Nosair was later convicted in a federal trial.
    (AP, 12/21/01)
1991        Dec 21, In Bosnia-Herzegovina a Serb minority held an unofficial referendum opposing separation from Yugoslavia. Local Serb leaders proclaimed a new republic separate from Bosnia.
    (SFC,10/16/97, p.A12)(www.vdiest.nl/Europa/boznia.htm)
1991        Dec 21, Eleven of the 12 former Soviet republics proclaimed the birth of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the death of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
    (AP, 12/21/01)

1992        Dec 21, President-elect Clinton tapped Richard Riley to be education secretary and Hazel O'Leary to be energy secretary; Clinton expressed anger at "bean counters" for saying he was not appointing enough women to his Cabinet.
    (AP, 12/21/97)
1992        Dec 21, A Dutch DC-10 burst into fire at landing on Faro, Portugal, and 56 died.
    (http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19921221-0)

1993        Dec 21, First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, in an interview with The Associated Press, said her husband, President Clinton, had solicited her advice on major issues; but, she added, her powers were limited.
    (AP, 12/21/98)

1994        Dec 21, A firebomb on the #4 train at Fulton St. New York City subway injured 48 people. Unemployed computer programmer Edward Leary was later convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 94 years in prison.
    (AP, 12/21/99)

1995        Dec 21, The House approved sweeping welfare reform which President Clinton said he would veto. He later signed a revamped version.
    (AP, 12/21/00)
1995        Dec 21, A train collision outside Cairo, Egypt, claimed 75 lives.
    (AP, 12/21/00)
1995        Dec 21, The city of Bethlehem passed from Israeli to Palestinian control.
    (AP, 12/21/97)

1996        Dec 21, After two years of denials, House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted violating House ethics rules.
    (AP, 12/21/97)
1996        Dec 21, Dr. David Ho, AIDS researcher, was named ‘Man of the Year" by Time Magazine.
    (SFEC, 12/22/96, p.A2)(AP, 12/21/97)
1996        Dec 21, China’s rulers named 60 pro-Beijing stalwarts to a new interim legislature of Hong Kong to replace the panel elected in 1995.
    (SFEC, 6/22/97, p.A14)

1997        Dec 21, President Clinton, accompanied by his wife and daughter, left for Bosnia to spread holiday cheer -- and to carry the news that he wanted U.S. troops to remain there indefinitely as the region recovered from its devastating war.
    (AP, 12/21/98)
1997        Dec 21, It was reported that Andrew S. Grove, chairman and CEO of Intel Corp., was named time magazine’s “Man of the Year."
    (SFEC,12/21/97, p.A2)
1997        Dec 21, In Colorado Susannah Chase (23) was brutally attacked, abducted, sexually assaulted and beaten in Boulder. She died the following day of severe head injuries. In 2008 DNA evidence connected Diego Olmos Alcalde to the slaying, as he served time in Wyoming for a kidnapping. In 2009 Chilean citizen Diego Olmos Alcalde (39) was sentenced to life in prison for Chase’s murder.
    (SFC, 4/6/98, p.A3)(SFC, 6/30/09, p.A4)(http://tinyurl.com/nwtazu)
1997        Dec 21, Johnny Coles (71), jazz trumpeter, died in Philadelphia. His records included “The Warm Sound of Johnny Coles" and “Little Johnny C."
    (SFC,12/26/97, p.B6)
1997        Dec 21, In Cameroon Pius Njawe, the publisher of the leading opposition newspaper Le Mesager, ran a story that Pres. Paul Biya suffered a heart attack. On Dec 29 Njawe was reported to have been imprisoned for the story.
    (SFC,12/30/97, p.B2)
1997        Dec 21, In Colombia rebels overran Patascoy, a small military base in Narino province and killed 22 soldiers. Some 400 rebels overwhelmed 32 defenders. 3 soldiers survived the attack and were found by rescuers after 2 days. In the northwest weekend fighting between rebels and right-wing paramilitaries left 6 dead. Later reports said rebels were holding 18-19 soldiers hostage. Pvt. Libio Jose Martinez was among those captured. Martinez and 3 others were killed by the FARC during combat on Nov 26, 2011.
    (WSJ, 12/22/97, p.A1)(SFC,12/23/97, p.D3)(SFC,12/24/97, p.A8)(SFC,12/27/97, p.A13)(AP, 11/27/11)
1997        Dec 21, In Serbia Milan Milutinovic of the ruling Socialists claimed victory in the runoff election against Vojislav Seselj, but it wasn’t clear if the turnout exceeded 50%.
    (WSJ, 12/22/97, p.A1)

1998        Dec 21, The Winter Solstice.
    (NH, 12/98, p.73)
1998        Dec 21, The World Association of Newspapers awarded the 1999 Golden Pen of Freedom award to exiled Iranian writer Faraj Sarkuhi, former editor of the cultural journal Adineh.
    (SFC, 12/22/98, p.C4)
1998        Dec 21, The FDA approved the first vaccine against Lyme disease.
    (WSJ, 12/22/98, p.A1)
1998        Dec 21, In China 3 dissidents were sentenced to prison terms of 11-13 years. Xu Wenli received 13 years, Wang Youcai 11 years and Qin Yongmin 12 years for subversion, i.e. trying to organize an opposition party. Xu Wenli was released in Dec, 2002.
    (SFC, 12/22/98, p.A14)(AP, 12/21/99)(SFC, 12/25/02, p.A1)
1998        Dec 21, Israel's parliament voted 81-30 for early elections, signaling the demise of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ailing hard-line government. Peace policies were rejected 56-48.
    (SFC, 12/22/98, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/22/98, p.A1) (AP, 12/21/99)
1998        Dec 21, In Kosovo, Serbia, Milic Jovic (52), a Serbian police officer, was shot and killed in Podujevo.
    (SFC, 12/22/98, p.C2)
1998        Dec 21, In Turkey Prime Minister-designate Bulent Ecevit abandoned efforts to form a new government.
    (SFC, 12/22/98, p.C4)

1999        Dec 21, Amid heightened concerns about the possibility of a holiday terrorist attack, security was ordered tightened at American airports and the Pentagon said it was taking “appropriate action" to protect US forces overseas.
    (AP, 12/21/00)
1999        Dec 21, The US blocked $498 million in loan guarantees to the Russian Tyumen Oil Co. following charges of illegal control of a bankruptcy proceeding.
    (SFC, 12/22/99, p.A18)
1999        Dec 21, In Guatemala City a Cubana de Aviacion DC-10 skidded and crashed on landing. At least 26 people were killed.
    (SFC, 12/22/99, p.C9)
1999        Dec 21, In Sri Lanka presidential elections were held. At least 7 people were killed in poll violence. Pres. Chandrika Kumaratunga won 51% of the vote. Ranil Wickremesinghe, the nearest rival, won 43%.
    (WSJ, 11/24/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/22/99, p.A1)(SFC, 12/23/99, p.C10)

2000        Dec 21, President-elect Bush resigned as governor of Texas; Lt. Gov. Rick Perry was sworn in to replace him.
    (AP, 12/21/01)
2000        Dec 21, Final US election results showed Al Gore with 50,996,116 votes vs. Gov. Bush with 50,456,169. Gore led by over 500,000 votes but lost to bush by one electoral college vote.
    (SFC, 12/22/00, p.A11)
2000        Dec 21, Christine Todd Whitman, governor of New Jersey, agreed to serve as director of the EPA for Pres.-elect Bush.
    (WSJ, 12/22/00, p.A1)
2000        Dec 21, Ted Turner offered to make up the $35 million difference between dues the US owes to the UN and the amount Congress is wiling to pay.
    (SFC, 12/22/00, p.A1)
2000        Dec 21, A UN report accused Jonas Savimbi and UNITA rebels in Angola of trading diamonds for arms.
    (SFC, 12/22/00, p.A20)
2000        Dec 21, Indonesia announced plans for talks with local leaders in Aceh, Irian Jaya and Maluku provinces.
    (SFC, 12/22/00, p.A21)
2000        Dec 21, In Israel the legislature blocked an attempt by Shimon Peres to run for prime minister. The Feb 6 election pits Ariel Sharon against Ehud Barak.
    (SFC, 12/22/00, p.A20)
2000        Dec 21, Israeli officials acknowledged a “liquidation" policy for hunting down and killing Palestinian militants.
    (SFC, 12/22/00, p.A20)
2000        Dec 21, In Russia the lower house gave preliminary backing for plans by the Ministry of Atomic Affairs to take in spent nuclear fuel from European and Asian countries for hard currency.
    (SFC, 12/22/00, p.A20)
2000        Dec 21, In Sri Lanka Tamil rebels announced a unilateral month-long cease-fire with hopes of resuming peace talks. Sri Lanka launched a new offensive just hours following the rebel cease-fire.
    (SFC, 12/22/00, p.A22)(WSJ, 12/22/00, p.A1)

2001        Dec 21, Pres. Bush met with Pres. Nazarbayev of Kazakstan and signed documents “related to transportation connections."
    (SFC, 12/22/01, p.A5)
2001        Dec 21, President Bush signed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, which required the African nation to adopt land ownership protections in order to continue receiving U.S. aid.
    (SFC, 12/22/01, p.A5)(AP, 12/21/02)
2001        Dec 21, US warplanes attacked a convoy of trucks heading for the Pakistan border and 65 people were reported killed. 12 were killed in the convoy and 15 in nearby villages. The convoy was said to be heading for Kabul.
    (SFC, 12/22/01, p.A19)(SFC, 12/29/01, p.A16)
2001        Dec 21, Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker announced an agreement on a state takeover of the Philadelphia school system. Plans called Edison Schools Inc. to help run the district.
    (SFC, 12/22/01, p.A4)
2001        Dec 21, Pfizer agreed to settle a suit over the diabetes drug Rezulin after a jury awarded $43 million to a Texas woman who said it destroyed her liver.
    (SFC, 12/22/01, p.A5)
2001        Dec 21, Dick Schaap (b.1934), Emmy-winning sports broadcaster and author, died in New York at age 67.
    (AP, 12/21/02)(NW, 12/31/01, p.111)
2001        Dec 21, In Kabul, Afghanistan, power was officially transferred from Pres. Rabbani to Hamid Karzai.
    (SFC, 12/22/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 21, In Argentina Ramon Puerta, head of the Senate, became president following an extraordinary session of both houses.
    (SFC, 12/22/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 21, In Bulgaria at least 7 young people were killed when they rushed the entrance of a Sofia downtown disco.
    (SFC, 12/22/01, p.A5)
2001        Dec 21, India recalled its top envoy from Pakistan and suspended bus and train service between the 2 countries.
    (SFC, 12/22/01, p.A3)
2001        Dec 21, Six Palestinian teenagers were killed in skirmishes with the Palestinian Authority. Hamas called a halt to suicide bombings and mortar attacks.
    (SFC, 12/22/01, p.A1)(SSFC, 12/23/01, p.A12)(AP, 12/21/02)

2002        Dec 21, President Bush received a smallpox vaccination, fulfilling a promise he'd made when he ordered inoculations for about a-half million U.S. troops.
    (AP, 12/21/03)
2002        Dec 21, In Oregon the bodies of Renee Morris (31), Bryant (10), Alexis (8), and Jonathan (4), were found by hunters in Tillamook State Forest. Edward Morris (37) was arrested Jan 4.
    (SSFC, 1/5/03, p.A7)
2002        Dec 21, Hank Lusetti (86), former Stanford all-American basketball player, died. Lusetti is credited with introducing the one-handed jump shot.
    (WSJ, 6/9/04, p.D8)( www.hoopville.net)
2002        Dec 21, In Afghanistan 6 people in a German military helicopter and up to eight on the ground were killed when the aircraft crashed before landing at an airport near the capital Kabul.
    (Reuters, 12/21/02)
2002        Dec 21, French forces opened fire on rebels in western Ivory Coast, trying to stop the insurgents from pushing past them toward the commercial capital Abidjan.
    (AP, 12/21/02)
2002        Dec 21, French television journalist, Patrick Bourrat, was struck while crossing the path of an incoming tank during US military exercises in Kuwait. Bourrat died the next day.
    (AP, 12/22/02)
2002        Dec 21, In southern India an express train jumped the tracks, killing at least 18 people and injuring 80.
    (Reuters, 12/21/02)
2002        Dec 21, In Pakistan 2 people were killed in Hyderabad when a bomb ripped through their bus.
    (Reuters, 12/21/02)
2002        Dec 21, An 11-year-old Palestinian girl died of a gunshot wound in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli troops reinforced a blockade.
    (AP, 12/21/02)
2002        Dec 21, In Qatar some Persian Gulf leaders opened a summit by calling for regional unity and fast inspections by U.N. experts searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
    (AP, 12/21/02)
2002        Dec 21, In Spain Jose Hierro (80), a poet who won the Spanish-speaking world's highest literary award while writing in a Madrid coffee shop, died.
    (AP, 12/21/02)

2003        Dec 21, Tom Ridge, head of the US Department of Homeland Security, announced that the government was elevating the national terror alert warning to "Code Orange," an upgrade from the "Code Yellow" elevated status.
    (AP, 12/22/03)
2003        Dec 21, Time magazine's named The American soldier, who bears the duty of "living with and dying for a country's most fateful decisions," as Person of the Year.
    (AP, 12/21/03)
2003        Dec 21, Dave Dudley (75), pioneer of truck-driving country songs, died. His hits included "Six Days on the Road."
    (SSFC, 12/28/03, p.E10)
2003        Dec 21, Guinea's longtime leader Lansana Conte was expected to easily win another term as president in elections after an opposition boycott left a little-known parliamentarian as the only challenger for the post.
    (AP, 12/21/03)
2003        Dec 21, In Honduras crowds at a Christmas toy giveaway at National Stadium surged out of control, and a 7-year-old girl was killed and about 80 other people were injured. Television station, Compania Televisora, has run the charity giveaway for eight years, and many businesses contributed toys to the event.
    (AP, 12/21/03)
2003        Dec 21, Israeli troops conducted a series of raids in the West Bank city of Nablus, arresting Hamas leader Adnan Asfour and killing a 5-year-old Palestinian boy.
    (AP, 12/21/03)
2003        Dec 21, More than 150 people were killed in mudslides in the Philippines. [see Dec 19]
    (AP, 12/21/04)
2003        Dec 21, Oleg Troyanovsky (84), Soviet diplomat, died.
    (AP, 12/21/04)
2003        Dec 21, The Sudan government and rebels have moved a step closer to ending their 20-year civil war after agreeing on how to divide the country's oil revenue.
    (AP, 12/21/03)
2003        Dec 21, A vessel, carrying some 60 migrants from Jordan, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, left the Turkish Mediterranean resort of Marmaris late Dec 20 and was heading to the Greek island of Rhodes when it sank.
    (AP, 12/22/03)

2004        Dec 21, Federal officials announced that naproxen, a painkiller sold by prescription and also over the counter as Aleve, might increase people's risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
    (WaP, 12/21/04)
2004        Dec 21, The Associated Press told the Bowl Championship Series to stop using its college football poll to determine which teams would play for the national title and in the most prestigious bowl games.
    (AP, 12/21/05)
2004        Dec 21, The NFL fined Jacksonville safety Donovin Darius $75,000 for a hit across the neck of Green Bay's Robert Ferguson that left the wide receiver temporarily paralyzed.
    (AP, 12/21/05)
2004        Dec 21, Siemens CEO Heinrich von Pierer said his German industrial conglomerate has signed a $2 billion deal to provide Russia's national railway with 60 high speed trains. The InterCityExpress (ICE) trains would initially run between Moscow and St. Petersburg at speeds of up to 155 miles per hour. They also will be used between St. Petersburg and Helsinki, Finland, and between other large cities within Russia.
    (AP, 12/21/04)
2004        Dec 21, India’s parliament tabled the Employment Guarantee Act, which planned to give one member of every poor family at least 100 days of work at minimum wage on public works projects.
    (Econ, 1/1/05, p.28)
2004        Dec 21, British PM Tony Blair made a surprise visit to Baghdad, urging Iraqis to support national elections and describing violence here as a "battle between democracy and terror."
    (AP, 12/21/04)
2004        Dec 21, A suicide bombing on a base near Mosul killed 22 people and wounded 72 at Forward Operating Base Marez as US soldiers sat down to lunch. Halliburton Co. lost four employees in the attack at the military base. A radical Muslim group, the Ansar al-Sunnah Army, claimed responsibility. 2 French reporters held hostage for 4 months in Iraq were released.
    (WSJ, 12/22/04, p.A1)(AP, 12/21/05)
2004        Dec 21, The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to maintain economic sanctions against Liberia but promised to review a ban on diamond sales in three months and a ban on timber exports in six months.
    (AP, 12/21/04)
2004        Dec 21, Morocco tried to blot out stains of past human rights abuses with public testimony about tortures and disappearances in the Muslim kingdom.
    (Reuters, 12/21/04)
2004        Dec 21, Pakistani police arrested the husband of former PM Benazir Bhutto in the killing of a former judge and his son in 1996, taking him back into custody just a month after he'd been freed on bail.
    (AP, 12/21/04)
2004        Dec 21, Janes’ Defense Weekly said the US will assign serving military officers to its de facto embassy in Taiwan for the first time since 1979 in a reversal of a longstanding policy.
    (AFP, 12/21/04)
2004        Dec 21, Sudan's government and Darfur rebels agreed to formally end faltering talks. The African Union urged both sides to stop fighting so peace efforts could resume in January. Save the Children UK is pulling out of the Darfur region of Sudan because four of its workers have been killed there.
    (AP, 12/21/04)

2005        Dec 21, The US Senate stopped a bid by Ted Stevens, Alaska’s Republican Sen., on a measure for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the US military spending bill. Senators also forced through a 5-month extension of key provisions of the Patriot Act. The move effectively killed a compromise that would have made permanent 14 of 16 provisions. The next day Senators cut the extension to 5 weeks.
    (SFC, 12/21/05, p.A1)(SFC, 12/22/05, p.A5)(SFC, 12/23/05, p.A1)
2005        Dec 21, US Energy Sec. Samuel Bodman announced that the Univ. of California would retain management of the New Mexico Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab in a 7-year, $512 million contract in a consortium that includes Bechtel Corp.
    (SFC, 12/22/05, p.A1)
2005        Dec 21, Millions of New Yorkers trudged to work in another bone-chilling commute without subways and buses as a transit strike entered its second day. The transit union suggested it would be willing to end the strike if a plan to change workers’ pensions were dropped.
    (AP, 12/21/05)(SFC, 12/22/05, p.A9)
2005        Dec 21, In Maryland 2 off-duty Baltimore police officers were shot to death at a suburban townhouse in Randallstown by a state officer for the Dept. of General Services. Eugene Victor Perry Jr. (33) surrendered shortly after the shootings. One of the victims was his former fiancee.
    (SFC, 12/23/05, p.A3)
2005        Dec 21, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the coming reduction in US troop levels should have no harmful effect on Afghanistan's security.
    (AP, 12/21/05)
2005        Dec 21, Hallam Tennyson (85), the great-grandson of poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, was found stabbed to death at his London apartment.
    (AP, 12/24/05)
2005        Dec 21, An international panel, formed to resolve disputes between Eritrea and Ethiopia, said Eritrea violated int’l. law when it invaded the north of Ethiopia in May 1998.
    (AFP, 12/22/05)
2005        Dec 21, The UN Security Council voted unanimously to maintain diamond and timber sanctions against Liberia but said it will lift the embargoes when the country's new government ends illicit trade in its valuable resources.
    (AP, 12/21/05)
2005        Dec 21, George Weah, the loser of Liberia's first postwar presidential elections, dropped his legal challenge of the results, saying he would accept the outcome in the interest of national reconciliation.
    (AP, 12/21/05)
2005        Dec 21, In Nigeria Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell announced the closure of a third flowstation, following the alleged sabotage of a pipeline, bringing a loss in crude oil production to 180,000 barrels per day (bpd).
    (AFP, 12/21/05)
2005        Dec 21, Peru's president declared a state of emergency in six jungle provinces and promised to stamp out the nation's remaining Shining Path guerrillas after suspected rebels killed eight police officers in an ambush.
    (AP, 12/22/05)
2005        Dec 21, In Russia's Far East authorities in Khabarovsk cut off water to its 10,000 people as a toxic slick from a chemical plant explosion in China floated downriver.
    (AP, 12/21/05)
2005        Dec 21, The UN and the African Union condemned an attack on a village in Sudan’s western Darfur region in which camel and horse-riding assailants killed 20 civilians and burned their huts.
    (AP, 12/21/05)
2005        Dec 21, Uzbekistan courts sentenced 42 people to between 12 and 20 years in prison in connection with the May uprising in the eastern city of Andijan, which was brutally suppressed by government troops.
    (AP, 12/21/05)(SFC, 12/22/05, p.A3)

2006        Dec 21, The US Marine Corp. charged 4 Marines at Camp Pendleton with multiple counts of murder for the Nov 19, 2005, slayings of 2 dozen civilians in Haditha, Iraq. 4 officers were also charged with crimes related to their alleged failure to investigate and report the slayings.
    (SFC, 12/22/06, p.A1)(AP, 12/21/07)
2006        Dec 21, Tan Dun’s opera “The First Emperor," premiered at the NY Metropolitan with Placido Domingo as the Emperor. It was based on the life of Qin Shi Huang (260-210BC), who unified China. The libretto was by Tan Dun and novelist Ha Jin was drawn from the screenplay for “The Legend of the Bloody Zheng" by Lu Wei.
    (WSJ, 12/27/06, p.D8)
2006        Dec 21, The US Census Bureau said Arizona had deposed Nevada as the fastest growing US state.
    (WSJ, 12/22/06, p.A1)
2006        Dec 21, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine signed legislation giving same-sex couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage under state law, but not the title.
    (SFC, 12/22/06, p.A4)
2006        Dec 21, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. offered to pay $499 million to settle federal investigations into whether the company bilked insurers by inflating wholesale prices of a number of its drugs.
    (SFC, 12/22/06, p.D3)
2006        Dec 21, Deutsche Bank AG agreed to pay $208 million to end SEC investigations into improper mutual fund trading.
    (SFC, 12/22/06, p.D3)
2006        Dec 21, Fidelity Investments said it will pay more than $42 million to its mutual funds after a review found that its traders had "misdirected" business to brokers who lavished them with expensive gifts.
    (Reuters, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 21, The Denver area was motionless for a second day after a powerful blizzard dumped 2 feet of snow on the region.
    (AP, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 21, In Concord, Ca., 4 people died when their small plane struck Highway 4 as it attempted to land at Buchanan Field.
    (SFC, 12/22/06, p.B1)
2006        Dec 21, In Bangladesh riot police dispersed thousands of protesters who smashed vehicles during a general strike to force electoral reforms before next month's elections.
    (AP, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 21, British police charged Steven Wright, a 48-year-old truck driver who lives in the red-light district of Ipswich, with the murder of five local prostitutes whose naked bodies were found in rural areas around the eastern England town.
    (AP, 12/22/06)
2006        Dec 21, Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded after a thick blanket of freezing fog forced hundreds of flights to be canceled at Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport.
    (AP, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 21, Cape Verde PM Jose Maria das Neves said Africa must stop blaming its colonial past for its problems and instead point the finger at the continent's leaders.
    (AFP, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 21, Officials said Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steelmaker, has signed a $8.7 billion project with the Orissa government to build a steel plant in the eastern Indian state.
    (AP, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 21, Indonesia overturned a terror conviction against the militant Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who served 2 1/2 years for conspiracy in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed more than 200 people.
    (AP, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 21, In Iran final election results showed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's opponents won local council elections.
    (AP, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 21, Delegates representing Shiite groups forming the largest bloc in Iraq's parliament gathered in Najaf at the home of the country's top Shiite cleric to seek his blessing for a new coalition that would promote national reconciliation. Radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr agreed to allow his supporters to go back to their positions in the Iraqi government after a three-week boycott to protest the Iraqi prime minister's meeting with US President George W. Bush. A suicide bomber killed 15 people and wounded 15 others in a crowd of police volunteers in eastern Baghdad. 4 American troops died from combat wounds in Anbar province.
    (AP, 12/21/06)(AP, 12/22/06)
2006        Dec 21, Japan said it saw no hope of a breakthrough in talks on scrapping North Korea's nuclear weapons, accusing Pyongyang of using a financial dispute with the United States to drive a stake into a proposed deal.
    (AP, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 21, In Lebanon police arrested four people and seized a large quantities of weapons, explosives and fuses in raids against a pro-Syrian party.
    (AP, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 21, In southern Nigeria armed militants in speedboats have killed three policemen in an overnight attack on a residential facility belonging to French oil company Total. Shell, began relocating staff dependants after a bomb blast.
    (AP, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 21, Fighting erupted for a 3rd straight day between Somali fighters, one day after an EU envoy got both the government and a rival Islamic movement to agree to resume peace talks.
    (AP, 12/21/06)
2006        Dec 21, Royal Dutch Shell and its partners agreed to hand over 50% plus one share of the Sakhalin II oil and gas project to OAO Gazprom, the Russian state-controlled energy firm, for $7.45 billion. Shell and its partners have already put $12 billion into the project, which was about 80% complete.
    (WSJ, 12/22/06, p.A3)
2006        Dec 21-2006 Dec 22, Fighting between Darfur rebels and government forces near the town of Kutum killed 7 people and insurgents shot down 2 army helicopters in the area.
    (Reuters, 12/24/06)
2006        Dec 21, President Saparmurat Niyazov (66), Turkmenistan's eccentric and iron-fisted leader, died. He had created a lavish cult of personality during two decades of rule over his isolated nation. The Turkmen constitution says the speaker of parliament assumes power on the death of the president. But just hours after Niyazov's death was reported, the national security council named Berdymukhamedov acting president and announced that speaker Overzgeldy Atayev had been charged with unspecified criminal offenses.
    (AP, 12/21/06)(AP, 12/22/06)

2007        Dec 21, The US Federal Reserve, working to combat the effects of a severe credit crunch, announced it had auctioned another $20 billion in funds to commercial banks at an interest rate of 4.67%. It pledged to continue with the auctions "for as long as necessary."
    (AP, 12/21/07)
2007        Dec 21, Ken Hendricks (b.1941), creator of ABC Supply (1982), one of the largest US roofing supply companies (1982), died. He used his wealth in part to rebuilt his home town of Beloit, Wisconsin.
    (WSJ, 12/29/07, p.A7)
2007        Dec 21, Two Afghans were killed in Kandahar province when a bomb exploded that was planted in a decapitated Afghan.
    (AP, 12/24/07)
2007        Dec 21, Bahraini security forces stormed the houses of the country's most outspoken Shiite opposition group at dawn, arresting at least seven of its members. Shiites account for about 70 percent of Bahrain's 450,000 citizens, but the ruling family is Sunni.
    (AP, 12/21/07)
2007        Dec 21, Belgian police arrested 14 Muslim extremists suspected of planning the jailbreak of an al-Qaida prisoner convicted of plotting a terrorist attack on US air base personnel. They were released the next day after a court decided there was insufficient evidence to hold them for more than 24 hours.
    (AP, 12/21/07)(AP, 12/22/07)
2007        Dec 21, Brazil announced it will create a landholder registry and send 700 more federal police to the Amazon River basin in a new effort to monitor and prevent deforestation in the environmentally sensitive region.
    (AP, 12/21/07)
2007        Dec 21, Former British PM Tony Blair left the Church of England and converted to Catholicism, the faith of his wife and children.
    (AP, 12/22/07)
2007        Dec 21, The British pound hit an historic low against the euro owing to heightened expectations of cuts to British interest rates in 2008.
    (AP, 12/21/07)
2007        Dec 21, Ian Thow, a former mutual fund salesman in British Columbia, was fined C$6 million ($6.1 million) and banned from working in the West Coast province's capital markets for life. In October a commission panel found that Thow defrauded hundreds of clients between January 2003 and May 2005, convincing some to sell their mutual funds and mortgage their homes to raise money to invest in non-existing construction loans and Jamaican bank.
    (Reuters, 12/21/07)
2007        Dec 21, Caribbean leaders gathered in Cuba for a regional oil summit. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez presided at a regional petroleum summit, pressing his efforts to counter US influence in Latin America and the Caribbean by suggesting more of his neighbors could pay for cheap oil with goods or services in lieu of cash.
    (AP, 12/21/07)
2007        Dec 21, A Chinese radio station reported that about 1,000 riot police fired tear gas at protesters in southern China who were blocking an electricity pylon near a power station in Dongzhou village they felt was built on unfairly seized land.
    (AP, 12/21/07)
2007        Dec 21, China's first fully homegrown commercial aircraft, the 70-seat ARJ21, rolled off the production line, marking a potential milestone for the country's aviation program. Its first test flight was set for 2008.
    (AP, 12/21/07)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACAC_ARJ21)
2007        Dec 21, Chinese archeologists raised a merchant ship loaded with porcelain and other rare antiques to the surface in a specially built basket. The 100-foot Nanhai No. 1, discovered in 1987, sank off the south China coast some 800 years ago during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).
    (AP, 12/21/07)
2007        Dec 21, Costa Rican agents made the largest marijuana bust in the Central American nation's history, seizing 4.85 tons of the drug found in an abandoned boat.
    (AP, 12/22/07)
2007        Dec 21, At least eight Egyptians were killed and 24 others injured when a bus collided head-on with another vehicle on an intercity road south of Cairo.
    (AP, 12/21/07)
2007        Dec 21, In Guatemala congressman-elect Marco Antonio Xicay (42) of the conservative Patriotic Party was shot to death by unidentified attackers outside the popular Fuentes Georginas resort.
    (AP, 12/22/07)
2007        Dec 21, India announced a final successful test of the surface-to-air Akash missile before starting mass production under a plan to build a national missile defense shield.
    (AP, 12/21/07)
2007        Dec 21, New Australian PM Kevin Rudd met with al-Maliki during a surprise visit to Baghdad. Rudd said that after the troops withdraw in June, Australia will continue to help train the Iraqi police force and army. A gunmen attacked a family in Diyala province near Balad Ruz, killing two men and kidnapping a third. Just east of Baqouba, the capital of Diyala, two men standing in front of their house were killed by unknown armed men. A double roadside bomb attack killed one US soldier and wounded 11 in northern Kirkuk province.
    (AP, 12/21/07)(Reuters, 12/22/07)
2007        Dec 21, Israeli Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said that PM Ehud Olmert may consider talks with Hamas on a long-term cease-fire. A Hamas militant was killed in a clash with Israeli troops near the Israel-Gaza border.
    (AP, 12/21/07)
2007        Dec 21, Japan's regulators announced the country's biggest financial market reforms in a decade amid hot competition in Asia to be the region's financial hub. Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said Japan is dropping its plan to kill humpback whales in the seas off Antarctica. The fleet will, however, kill some 935 minke whales, a smaller, more plentiful species, and 50 fin whales.
    (AP, 12/21/07)(AP, 12/22/07)(AFP, 12/24/07)
2007        Dec 21, In Pakistan a suicide attacker detonated a bomb packed with ball bearings and nails amid hundreds of worshippers at the residential compound of a former top security official for President Pervez Musharraf, killing 56 people in Sherpao, a village 25 miles northeast of the city of Peshawar.
    (AP, 12/21/07)(AFP, 12/22/07)
2007        Dec 21, In Saudi Arabia the annual 5-day hajj come to a close as some 3 million pilgrims participated.
    (AP, 12/21/07)
2007        Dec 21, In Freetown, Sierra Leone, a two-story building of apartments and shops caught fire and exploded, killing 14 people and injuring 40.
    (AP, 12/21/07)
2007        Dec 21, In Tajikistan a late night avalanche of snow hit a section of one of the main roads, killing 3 people. Earlier reports had put the toll at 15.
    (AP, 12/24/07)
2007        Dec 21, The Security Council voted unanimously to extend the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo for a year and demanded that all militias and armed groups in the volatile east lay down their weapons and start disarming.
    (AP, 12/21/07)

2008        Dec 21, Christopher Hibbert (1924), a British historian, died. His over 50 books covered subjects from the medieval Battle of Agincourt to the American Revolutionary War.
    (AP, 1/6/09)
2008        Dec 21, Congolese Tutsi rebels threatened to advance into UN-monitored buffer zones in eastern Congo after refusing to sign a declaration ending hostilities with the government.
    (AP, 12/21/08)
2008        Dec 21, Iran reported that Russia has begun delivering S-300 air defense systems, which could help repel any Israeli and US air strikes on its nuclear sites.
    (AP, 12/21/08)
2008        Dec 21, Barrages of rockets fired from Gaza hit Israeli towns and the Israeli air force responded with a missile strike as violence surged following the official expiration of a shaky truce with Hamas.
    (AP, 12/21/08)
2008        Dec 21, The deposed president of Mauritania was set free after 4 1/2 months under house arrest and immediately began working to retake power from the junta that overthrew him.
    (AP, 12/21/08)
2008        Dec 21, Mexican Authorities found the decapitated bodies of 12 men in the southern state of Guerrero, and some of the victims have been identified as soldiers.
    (AP, 12/21/08)
2008        Dec 21, In Nepal 12 staff at a prominent newspaper and magazine publisher were injured when they were attacked by dozens of Maoist activists angered by critical coverage.
    (AFP, 12/21/08)
2008        Dec 21, Pakistani fighter jets attacked suspected Taliban and Al-Qaeda positions in a lawless tribal area on the border with Afghanistan, killing four militants. Police found 2 bullet-ridden bodies of Afghan nationals in an abandoned village in North Waziristan, who allegedly acted as spies for US forces.
    (AFP, 12/21/08)(AP, 12/21/08)
2008        Dec 21, In far east Russia riot police in Vladivostok clubbed, kicked and detained dozens of people as hundreds across the country protested an increase in car import tariffs.
    (AP, 12/21/08)(WSJ, 12/22/08, p.A1)
2008        Dec 21, Sri Lanka’s government said its troops captured the strategic village of Nedunkerni in the northeast. A pro-rebel report said Tamil Tiger rebels killed 60 Sri Lankan troops advancing toward their de facto capital. The government said 12 soldiers died.
    (AP, 12/21/08)

2009        Dec 21, The Obama administration took aim at tarmac horror stories, ordering airlines to let passengers stuck in stranded airplanes to disembark after three hours.
    (AP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 21, Senate Democrats won a crucial test vote on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, putting them on track for passage before Christmas of the historic legislation to remake the nation's medical system and cover 30 million uninsured.
    (AP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 21, In Alaska an oil spill was discovered coming from a 6-inch pipeline in the Prudhoe Bay oil field.
    (SFC, 12/23/09, p.A8)
2009        Dec 21, In Afghanistan police fought a three-hour gunbattle in the center of Gardez, Paktia province, finally killing two Taliban militants who stormed a multistory market with dozens of civilians inside.
    (AP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 21, In Cambodia Ieng Thirith, the last of the former Khmer Rouge leaders standing trial for alleged crimes committed three decades ago, was charged with genocide. The ultracommunist regime's social affairs minister and the wife of another defendant, Ieng Sary, had earlier been charged with crimes against humanity.
    (AP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 21, Cambodia signed 14 deals worth an estimated $850 million with China, two days after defying international pressure by deporting 20 ethnic Chinese asylum-seekers, underlining growing trade and diplomatic links.
    (AP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 21, China and France hailed their reinvigorated ties and sealed a series of economic deals during a visit to Beijing by PM Francois Fillon. Electricite de France (EDF) and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC) formalized their joint venture for the construction of two nuclear reactors at a power plant in Taishan in southern Guangdong province. French aerospace and defense industries group Safran and US conglomerate General Electric won a multi-billion-dollar contract to equip China's future C919 passenger jet with engines.
    (AFP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 21, In Colombia at least 10 men in military uniforms abducted Gov. Luis Francisco Cuellar (69) from his home in Florencia, capital of the southern state of Caqueta, killing a police guard and blasting open the governor's door with explosives. FARC was believed to be responsible. Cuellar’s body, still clad in pajamas, was found lying at the top of a steep hill on Florencia's outskirts the next morning. President Alvaro Uribe soberly told Colombians that kidnappers had slit the throat of the southern governor.
    (AP, 12/22/09)(AP, 12/23/09)
2009        Dec 21, Eurostar halted services for a third day to probe a breakdown of trains through the Channel Tunnel that stranded thousands, prompting an angry French government to demand an explanation and call its own inquiry. President Nicolas Sarkozy summoned the head of the French train authority to the Elysee Palace and ordered him to get the Eurostar moving again after a three-day suspension of the cross-Channel train service that has wreaked havoc on the holiday travel plans of some 40,000 people. The death toll from winter storms across Europe rose to at least 80 as transport chaos spread amid mounting anger over the failure of high-speed trains.
    (AP, 12/21/09)(AFP, 12/21/09)(Reuters, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 21, It was reported that gunmen in Guatemala have killed more than 170 bus drivers this year to scare them and transportation companies into paying extortion fees that fuel the country's multimillion-dollar organized crime network.
    (AP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 21, In India Riona Wines, based in western Maharashtra state, the country's grape-growing centre, signed investment agreements with Italian vintners Moncaro and Enzo Mecella.
    (AFP, 12/22/09)
2009        Dec 21,  Tens of thousands of Iranian mourners turned the funeral procession of the country's most senior dissident cleric into an anti-government protest, chanting "death to the dictator" and slogans in support of the opposition amid heavy security.
    (AP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 21, In northern Iraq a suicide bomber attacked the convoy of a Tel Afar city council chief, killing Hussein Akrash and three guards.
    (AP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 21, Mexico City lawmakers made the city the first in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, a change that will give homosexual couples more rights, including allowing them to adopt children.
    (AP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 21, In Mexico construction began on the Palace of the Maya Civilization Museum in Yucatan state.
    (SSFC, 12/27/09, p.A22)
2009        Dec 21, A Pakistani court in Lahore ordered the noses and ears of two men cut off after they did the same thing to a young woman whose family spurned one of the men's marriage proposal. Sher Mohammad and a friend, Amanat Mohammad, were accused of kidnapping the woman and cutting off her ears and nose in late September in the Raiwind area of Lahore.
    (AP, 12/22/09)
2009        Dec 21, In Somalia a bomb blast and a separate mortar attack on a radio station in Mogadishu killed eight people.
    (AP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 21, The UN accused the Ugandan-based Lord's Resistance Army of killing, mutilating and raping villagers in Sudan and Congo in what may have been crimes against humanity.
    (AP, 12/21/09)
2009        Dec 21, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his rival PM Morgan Tsvangirai announced an agreement on commissions to drive media and electoral reforms, one of the key issues which has been threatening their power-sharing deal.
    (AP, 12/22/09)

2010        Dec 21, US tax authorities announced that Deutsche Bank has admitted criminal wrongdoing and agreed to pay more than $550 million in connection with its participation in tax shelters from 1996-2002 that enabled the rich to temporarily avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in US taxes.
    (AP, 12/22/10)
2010        Dec 21, The United States said it has approved travel sanctions against Laurent Gbagbo and about 30 others following Ivory Coast's disputed presidential election.
    (AP, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 21, The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe's attorney general, Johannes Tomana, saying his actions undermined the country's democratic institutions.
    (Reuters, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 21, In southern Afghanistan a British soldier was one of two NATO service members killed in Helmand. 5 civilians died as militants attacked coalition forces in the Sangin district. Seven insurgents were killed in the battle.
    (AP, 12/21/10)(AP, 12/22/10)
2010        Dec 21, The Australian Defense Force said steroids and unidentified substances had been seized in recent raids after a tip-off. A report claimed Australian sailors have been stashing large amounts of cocaine and heroin on navy ships and selling them in Sydney's red light district and that this has been going on "for years."
    (AFP, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 21, In Belarus Grigory Kostusyev, a presidential candidate arrested after weekend elections, said the KGB tried to pressure him into renouncing his opposition to the country's authoritarian regime.
    (AP, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 21, British man Stephen Griffiths (40), who called himself the "Crossbow Cannibal," was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to killing three prostitutes. Griffiths admitted murdering Suzanne Blamires (36), Shelley Armitage (31) and Susan Rushworth (43), who all worked as prostitutes near his home in Bradford.
    (AP, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 21, Toronto-Dominion Bank said it will buy Chrysler Financial from private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management for $6.3 billion, joining the throng of Canadian institutions expanding foreign operations.
    (Reuters, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 21, China urged North Korea to follow through on its offer to allow UN nuclear monitors into the country as a way to alleviate international tensions during a standoff with the South.
    (AP, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 21, In Cuba Francisco Chavez Abarca of El Salvador was handed a 30-year prison sentence for his role in a string of bombings at tourist hotels in the 1990s. The bombings killed an Italian tourist in 1997.
    (AP, 12/22/10)
2010        Dec 21, The leaders of Egypt and Libya were in Khartoum for talks with Sudanese leaders on the future of Africa's largest country ahead of a referendum that's likely to break it into two.
    (AP, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 21, A French judge charged exiled Rwandan Hutu rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana (47) over his alleged role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The former "executive secretary" of the Hutu guerrilla FDLR, who had been living in France as a computer technician, was charged with crimes against humanity.
    (AFP, 12/22/10)
2010        Dec 21, Alpha Conde heralded a new era for Guinea after being sworn as the nation's first freely elected president in front of visiting heads of state and jubilant supporters.
    (AFP, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 21, Hungary’s Fidesz party passed the second part of contentious legislation placing broadcast, print and online media under the supervision of a new authority with power to impose large fines for ill-defined offenses.
    (Econ, 1/8/11, p.53)
2010        Dec 21, In India Russia’s Pres. Medvedev clinched agreements with its Cold War-era ally to deepen nuclear energy cooperation and develop a supersonic fighter to rival a US jet. Russia and India pledged to share intelligence and work together to fight international terror.
    (Reuters, 12/21/10)(AP, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 21, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a new government to be headed by incumbent Shiite PM Nouri al-Maliki, ending nine months of political deadlock that threatened to stall economic development and suck the country back into sectarian violence. They also adopted a 43-point program aimed at liberalizing the economy and fighting terrorism. Women made up a quarter of the 325-seat Parliament but were given only two ministries in the 44-member Cabinet, approved after a nine-month delay.
    (AP, 12/21/10)(AFP, 12/21/10)(AP, 12/23/10)
2010        Dec 21, The Israeli air force hit seven suspected militant sites in the Gaza Strip in an unusually large operation. Palestinian militants retaliated by sending a rocket crashing down near a kindergarten in southern Israel. Israel's military chief confirmed the Palestinian use of Kornet missiles. This marked a new milestone for Gaza militants, who have steadily built up their arsenal from a collection of crude, homemade rockets to include more menacing imported weapons. Israeli defense officials said the laser-guided Kornet came from Iran. Israel's answer, called Trophy, was the first-of-its-kind Israeli-made system carried by tanks that is designed to shoot down missiles like the Kornet.
    (AP, 12/21/10)(AP, 12/22/10)
2010        Dec 21, Toyota Motor Corp. agreed to pay the US government a record $32.4 million in additional fines to settle an investigation into its handling of two recalls at the heart of its safety crisis. The latest settlement, on top of a $16.4 million fine Toyota paid earlier in a related investigation, brought the total penalties levied on the company to $48.8 million.
    (AP, 12/21/10)
2010        Dec 21, In Mexico seven gunmen kidnapped 9 Central American migrants from a train near the Ixtepec, a town in Oaxaca state. Five of the migrants escaped and reported the kidnapping. Another was killed as he tried to flee. 3 remained missing.
    (AP, 12/27/10)
2010        Dec 21, Netherlands-based Royal DSM NV, the world’s largest maker of vitamins, agreed to buy Martek Biosciences, a US maker of nutritional ingredients for baby food, for $1.09 billion.
    (SFC, 12/22/10, p.D3)
2010        Dec 21, A Sudan military source said 20 soldiers from the south Sudan army (SPLA) have been killed in clashes with rebels led by former general George Athor.
    (AFP, 12/22/10)
2010        Dec 21, In Tonga Noble Lord Tu’ivakano won a secret ballot among lawmakers to become the country’s first prime minister elected by parliament rather than appointed by King George Tupou V.
    (SFC, 12/21/10, p.A2)
2010        Dec 21, Venezuela’s congress, dominated by President Hugo Chavez's allies, passed a law barring foreign funding for nongovernment organizations and political parties, adding to a series of measures that critics say aim to stifle dissent.
    (AP, 12/22/10)
2010        Dec 21, In Zimbabwe 9 people died and 25 were injured when a speeding bus slammed into a truck in Harare. 3 infants were among the dead.
    (AP, 12/22/10)

2011        Dec 21, The Obama administration issued the first US standards to cut mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants.
    (SFC, 12/22/11, p.A9)
2011        Dec 21, The US government said it is suspending training for new Peace Corps volunteers in the Central American nations of Guatemala and El Salvador while it assesses security concerns. It was also decided to pull all volunteers from Honduras.
    (AP, 12/21/11)(AP, 1/18/12)
2011        Dec 21, It was reported that California Watch has found repeated violations over the past year by Prime Healthcare Services for aggressive billing to Medicare.
    (SFC, 12/21/11, p.A1)
2011        Dec 21, Operators ran the first train down Afghanistan's first major railroad, clearing the way for a long-awaited service from the northern border that should speed up the US military's crucial supply flow and become a hub for future trade. Uzbekistan's state-owned SE Sogdiana Trans will run the commercial train service.
    (AP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 21, In eastern Afghanistan a roadside bomb blast killed five Polish soldiers in Ghazni province. Afghan police shot dead a would-be suicide bomber before he was able to attack a police station in Khost province.
    (AP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 21, Bosnia police and local media reported that as Monika Ilic, a Bosnian Serb woman suspected of such brutal crimes against non-Serbs at the beginning of the 1992-95 Bosnian war, has been detained. Her victims reportedly called her the "Female Monster." Ilic was reportedly 18 when she married Goran Jelisic, a convicted murderer and concentration camp torturer.
    (AP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 21, Cambodia and Thailand announced an agreement in principle to withdraw troops from a border area where a territorial dispute triggered deadly clashes.
    (AP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 21, In China villagers of Wukan gave up their protests over land confiscations after the Guangdong party leadership promised to look into their complaints. On Jan 15, 2012, protest leader Lin Zuluan was appointed as the village’s new party chief.
    (Econ, 1/28/12, p.24)
2011        Dec 21, Human Rights Watch released a report stating CongoDRC security forces had killed at least 24 people and "arbitrarily" arrested dozens more since Kabila's disputed victory was announced December 9.
    (AFP, 12/22/11)
2011        Dec 21, In Egypt voting in election runoffs for the first parliament since Hosni Mubarak's ouster resumed without the long lines outside polling centers seen in previous rounds of the staggered vote.
    (AP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 21, An Ethiopian court convicted Swedish journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson of supporting a terrorist group and entering the country illegally, with the prosecution calling for a maximum sentence of 18 years and six months. On Dec 27 a court  sentenced the two journalists to 11 years in prison on charges of supporting terrorism.
    (AFP, 12/22/11)(AP, 12/27/11)
2011        Dec 21, Finnish officials said they have found around 160 tons of explosives and 69 surface-to-air Patriot missiles on a cargo ship bearing a British flag and ultimately destined for China. They didn't know the origin of the missiles or who was supposed to receive them.
    (AP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 21, Hong Kong health workers began slaughtering 17,000 chickens after a carcass was found infected with bird flu at a poultry market.
    (SFC, 12/22/11, p.A2)
2011        Dec 21, In Indonesia 4 people were killed but 100 rescued when an overloaded boat sank. The wooden boat was carrying villagers returning home for the Christmas holidays.
    (AFP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 21, Iraq's PM Nouri al-Maliki said he has granted a six-month extension on a deadline to close Camp Ashraf, which has housed Iranian exiles for decades. The six-month extension started in November. He also said the UN would relocate 400 to 800 of the residents to other countries by end of December. Al-Maliki also told Kurdish authorities to hand over Sunni vice president Tariq Al-Hashemi, who fled to the semiautonomous region to escape an arrest warrant on charges he ran hit squads targeting government officials.
    (AP, 12/21/11)(SFC, 12/22/11, p.A4)
2011        Dec 21, Jamaican investigators found the severed head and bullet-riddled body of Navardo Hodges of the Clansman gang, a man they believe was a high-ranking member of a notorious drug-and-extortion gang known for beheading victims.
    (AP, 12/22/11)
2011        Dec 21, In Mexico Veracruz state spokeswoman Gina Dominguez said 800 police officers and 300 administrative employees have been laid off an effort to root out corruption. She said they can still apply for state police jobs but must meet stricter standards. In the meantime the Navy will take over.
    (AP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 21, A blast in Myanmar's commercial hub and former capital Yangon killed one woman and wounded another.
    (AFP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 21, Shell, the major oil producer in Nigeria, said an oil spill a day earlier likely occurred as workers tried to offload oil onto a waiting tanker. Shell estimated the Bonga spill likely was less than 40,000 barrels, or 1.68 million gallons. The oil slick affected 115 miles (185 km) of ocean along Nigeria's coast.
    (AP, 12/22/11)(AFP, 7/17/12)
2011        Dec 21, The opposition Syrian National Council urged the UN Security Council and Arab League to hold emergency meetings after regime forces "massacred" more than 200 people in two days.
    (AP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 21, In southeast Turkey a passenger bus collided with a truck on a single lane road, killing 25 people.
    (AP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 21, The UN tribunal for Rwanda handed life sentences to Matthieu Ngirumpatse and Edouard Karemera, former heads of the ex-ruling party, for genocide crimes committed in 1994.
    (AFP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 21, Marie-Claire Mukeshimana (43), a Rwandan woman convicted in absentia by a court in her country for her role in the 1994 genocide, arrived in Kigali after being extradited from the US. She was sentenced in 2009 to 19 years in prison for complicity in the killing of several children who had sought refuge at a convent in southern Rwanda.
    (AFP, 12/22/11)
2011        Dec 21, In South Africa the Limpopo branch of the African National Congress adopted controversial plans for the expropriation of land and the nationalization of mines. It said compensation must be paid not on the land itself but only on improvements.
    (AFP, 12/21/11)
2011        Dec 21, In Yemen overnight fighting against al-Qaida-linked fighters in the south killed 10 of the militants and five soldiers outside Zinjibar. Abdel-Rahman al-Wahishi, brother of Yemen's al-Qaida leader, was among dozens of people killed in battles raging for days in the south of the country.
    (AP, 12/21/11)(AP, 12/22/11)

2012        Dec 21, President Barack Obama formally nominated Democratic Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, The National Rifle Association said guns and police officers in all American schools are what's needed to stop the next killer "waiting in the wings." NRA executive chief Wayne LaPierre delivered a 25-minute tirade against the notion that another gun law would stop killings.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that ringed seals and bearded seals will be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Loss of sea ice due to climate warning was blamed.
    (SFC, 12/22/12, p.A6)
2012        Dec 21, A judge in Atlanta, Georgia, suspended a state law banning abortions for women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant.
    (SFC, 12/25/12, p.A8)
2012        Dec 21, Brenda Stokes Wilson (50) slashed a co-worker at the Bellagio casino in las Vegas. It was later learned that she had stabbed to death Jade Morris (10), her ex-boyfriend’s daughter, whom she was supposed to take Christmas shopping.
    (SFC, 1/3/13, p.A5)(http://tinyurl.com/bznkswf)
2012        Dec 21, In Pennsylvania Jeffrey Lee Michael of Geeseytown (44) fatally shot a woman decorating for a children's Christmas party at a tiny church hall and killed two men elsewhere in a rural township before he was shot dead in a gunfight with state troopers.
    (AP, 12/22/12)(AP, 12/22/12)
2012        Dec 21, British Dr. Derek Keilloh was stripped of his medical license for misconduct and dishonesty over the death of an Iraqi man who was beaten and killed while in the custody of British troops. Keilloh had treated Baha Mousa, a hotel clerk who died at a British base after being detained in Basra in September 2003.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, In Egypt Thousands of Islamists clashed with their opponents in Alexandria, on the eve of the second leg of voting on the country's contentious constitution that has deeply polarized the nation.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, The European Union said it has agreed to re-launch €174.3 million in development funds to Guinea.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, Haiti’s government announced that it has awarded permits for the first time in its history to allow two companies to openly mine for gold and copper.
    (SFC, 12/22/12, p.A2)
2012        Dec 21, In Iraq Sunni Deputy PM Saleh al-Mutlaq threatened that his Iraqiya bloc could withdraw from the political process altogether if lawmakers and independent bodies are not allowed to monitor the investigation involving al-Issawi's staff.
    (AP, 12/23/12)
2012        Dec 21, Italy’s PM Mario Monti resigned following Parliament’s confidence vote on the 2013 budget. Monti had said he would step down after the budget was passed.
    (SFC, 12/22/12, p.A5)
2012        Dec 21, In Ivory Coast say at least one person was dead after two simultaneous attacks overnight on Ivorian security forces.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, In southeastern Kenya at least 39 people were killed when farmers raided a village of herders. The Pokomo tribe of farmers raided a village of the semi-nomadic Orma herding community at dawn in the Tana River Delta. 13 children, 6 women, 11 men and 9 attackers were killed.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, Kyrgyzstan's state-owned natural gas company said it is to be sold to Russia's energy monopoly Gazprom, raising hopes of an end to debilitating energy shortages in the impoverished Central Asian nation.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, The al-Qaida-linked group that controls much of northern Mali and other rebels agreed to cease hostilities in the areas they control, a day after the United Nations backed a regional plan to oust the Islamists from power in a military intervention next year.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, Dawn broke over ancient holy sites in southern Mexico to celebrations, ushering in the start of a new era for the Maya people that had been billed as a possible end of the world.
    (Reuters, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, In Mexico US Marine veteran Jon Hammar (27), jailed for months after trying to carry a family heirloom shotgun across the border, was freed.
    (AP, 12/22/12)
2012        Dec 21, Jose Salvador Alvarenga left Mexico in his 23 foot (7m) fiberglass boat for a day's fishing, accompanied by a teen he knew only as Ezekiel, who was between 15 and 18. A storm blew them off course. Ezekial died after a month. Alvarenga ended up surviving 13 months on fish, birds and turtles before washing ashore on the remote Marshall Islands some 5,500 miles (8,800 km) away.
    (AP, 2/3/14)
2012        Dec 21, In Mozambique 14 people died when a tire burst on a speeding minibus, causing the driver to lose control and collide with an oncoming vehicle.
    (AP, 12/22/12)
2012        Dec 21, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmusen said the Syrian military has continued to fire Scud-type missiles against anti-government forces, describing the move as an act of desperation of a regime nearing its end.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, North Korea said that an American citizen, identified as Pae Jun Ho, has been detained after confessing to unspecified crimes, confirming news reports about his arrest. State media said Pae arrived in the far northeastern city of Rajin on Nov. 3 as part of a tour.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, A mob in southern Pakistan stormed a police station to seize a mentally unstable Muslim man accused of burning a copy of Islam's holy book, beat him to death, and then set his body afire. Police arrested 30 people for suspected involvement in the attack.
    (AP, 12/22/12)
2012        Dec 21, In southwestern Pakistan gunmen killed eleven Pakistanis and Afghans in a border town as they were trying to cross to Iran to travel on to Europe as illegal migrants.
    (AP, 12/22/12)
2012        Dec 21, Poland’s Interior Ministry said the death toll from sub-freezing temperatures that set in in December was 49 people so far, compared to 19 in the whole of December last year. Another 15 people died of cold in October and five in November. Another 41 have been killed by carbon monoxide inhalation from coal or other ways of heating their homes since temperatures started falling.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, The lower house of the Russian parliament overwhelmingly passed a bill that would ban adoption of Russian children by Americans, sending the controversial legislation a step closer to President Vladimir Putin's desk. This was part of a larger measure by angry lawmakers retaliating against a recently signed US law that calls for sanctions against Russians deemed to be human rights violators.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, In Sierra Leone the OCTEA diamond mining company said that the company is increasing the year-end salary bonus for workers from 20% to 30%. Officials said a deadly strike at the Koidu diamond mine is now over. Two people were killed in violence there, where workers went on strike over bonuses and work conditions.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, Syrian rebels attacked a base protecting a military industrial compound in the country's north as anti-government forces pushed forward in efforts to capture wider areas near the border with Turkey. 7 rebels were reported killed in the attack on the air defense base in the town of al-Safira.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, The UN said 4 peacekeepers have been killed and one injured in Sudan’s Darfur region when one peacekeeper opened fire on fellow UN-AU peacekeepers.
    (SFC, 12/22/12, p.A2)
2012        Dec 21, Pope Benedict XVI pressed his opposition to gay marriage, denouncing what he described as people manipulating their God-given identities to suit their sexual choices — and destroying the very "essence of the human creature" in the process.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, In Yemen hundreds of thousands rallied across the country to support a military shake-up this week that limited the powers held by loyalists of the country's ousted leader, including his son.
    (AP, 12/21/12)
2012        Dec 21, In Yemen Dominik Neubauer of Austria was kidnapped along with a Finnish couple. In February a video was posted in which he said his captors would kill him in a week if a ransom demand was not met.
    (AP, 2/25/13)

2013        Dec 21, At least two people were killed as wild storms and suspected tornadoes tore through parts of Mississippi and Arkansas.
    (Reuters, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute said annual manatee deaths topped 800 for the first time since record-keeping began in the 1970s.
    (SSFC, 12/22/13, p.A9)
2013        Dec 21, Edgar Bronfman Sr. (84), the former Seagram liquor company executive and ex-World Jewish Congress head, died at his home in New York. He had helped obtain restitution for Holocaust victims from Swiss banks.
    (AFP, 12/22/13)
2013        Dec 21, Cuba’s President Raul Castro warned his country could remain estranged from the United States for decades if Washington does not drop political demands.
    (AFP, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, Egypt's deposed Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, and 129 others including members of Hamas and Hezbollah, were referred to trial on murder and other charges related to a mass jail break during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
    (Reuters, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, The mayor of Georgia's capital Tbilisi was suspended from office after he was charged with misspending public funds in a case he and his opposition colleagues said was a witch-hunt against supporters of former president Mikheil Saakashvili.
    (Reuters, 12/22/13)
2013        Dec 21, Greece's coalition government pushed through parliament a new property tax required under the country's international bailout obligations, but saw its majority dwindle in the process.
    (AFP, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, In Iraq 5 senior officers, including a divisional commander, and 10 soldiers were killed in a raid on an Al-Qaeda hideout in Anbar province. Violence elsewhere killed 5 policemen, including the police chief of Al-Sharqat district northwest of Baghdad.
    (AFP, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, Israeli soldiers shot and wounded a Palestinian man in the southern Gaza Strip. Witnesses said the shooting happened when several young Palestinians who were hunting birds approached the security fence separating the territory from Israel and came under fire. Israel said terrorists had attempted to conceal an explosive device in order to attack IDF soldiers.
    (AFP, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, In Italy 9 detained illegal immigrants stitched their lips together with thread from their bedsheets in a protest to demand their release.
    (Reuters, 12/22/13)
2013        Dec 21, In Lebanon Hezbollah fighters ambushed a group of Syrian rebels as they infiltrated through a smuggler route outside Nahle. About 30 rebels were reported killed.
    (SFC, 12/25/13, p.A2)
2013        Dec 21, Madagascar's presidential candidates both claimed victory in run-off polls, each accusing the other of rigging the run-off as results started to trickle in.
    (AFP, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, Mauritania held runoff elections. The ruling party secured a majority of seats in round two of the parliamentary election. The decisive victory for the Union of the Republic party assured that President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who came to power in a 2008 coup, will retain complete control of the organs of state.
    (AP, 12/23/13)
2013        Dec 21, In Niger up to 1,000 demonstrators marched in Niamey to protest their country's "unbalanced" partnership with nuclear firm Areva as the French giant negotiates a new uranium mining agreement with the government.
    (AFP, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, In northwestern Pakistan gunmen attacked an anti-polio vaccination center in the Khyber tribal region, killing a medic on duty.
    (AP, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, Saudi Arabia said one more person has died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to 56 the number of deaths in the kingdom at the center of the outbreak.
    (AP, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, Somalia's parliament approved as the new prime minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, a political newcomer and economist who faces tough challenges in the war-torn nation.
    (AFP, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, In South Sudan rebel gunfire hit a US military aircraft trying to evacuate American citizens caught in a Bor, a battle ground between the country's military and renegade troops. Four US service members were wounded, one critically.
    (AP, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, Sudan's military said it has "liberated" several areas of war-torn South Kordofan state, but rebels dismissed the claim as propaganda, saying a government offensive achieved nothing.
    (AFP, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, Vandals in Sweden burned down a giant straw goat meant to symbolize Christmas spirit. This was the 27th time it was burned down since 1966, when the Yule symbol was first erected.
    (AP, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, Thailand's main opposition party announced it would boycott an election in February, deepening uncertainty about the poll and fuelling a campaign to overthrow PM Yingluck Shinawatra's government.
    (Reuters, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, Turkey’s PM Tayyip Erdogan denounced "international groups" and "dark alliances" for entangling Turkey in a corruption scandal that has exposed deep rifts between him and Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric who helped him rise to power.
    (Reuters, 12/21/13)
2013        Dec 21, In southern Yemen several cities were virtually paralyzed by a second day of confrontations between militants and security forces in which 11 people were wounded. Fighting raged in the north as the Sunni Islamist Al-Islah party accused Zaidi Shiite rebels known as Huthis of abducting one of its members. In the eastern province of Marib saboteurs blew up two sections of an oil pipeline.
    (AFP, 12/21/13)

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