Today in History - December 22
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1135 Dec 22,
Stephen of Blois was crowned the king of England.
1428 Dec 22, Richard Neville
Warwick, 2nd earl of Salisbury, was born.
1440 Dec 22, Bluebeard, pirate,
1643 Dec 22, Rene-Robert
Cavelier La Salle, French explorer (Louisiana), was born. [see Nov
1668 Dec 22, Stephen Day, 1st
British colonial printer, died.
1696 Dec 22, James Oglethorpe,
General, author, colonizer of Georgia, was born in England.
1727 Dec 22, William Ellery, US
attorney and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born.
1745 Dec 22, Jan Dismas Zelenka
(66), composer, died.
1772 Dec 22, A Moravian
missionary constructed the 1st schoolhouse west of Allegheny.
1775 Dec 22, Esek Hopkins was
named the first commander of the US Navy. He took command of the
Continental Navy, a total of seven ships.
(HFA, '96, p.44)(AP, 12/22/97)(HN, 12/22/98)
1783 Dec 22, Washington
resigned his military commission. [see Dec 23]
1807 Dec 22, Congress passed
the Embargo Act, designed to force peace between Britain and France
by cutting off all trade with Europe. It was hoped that the act
would keep the United States out the European Wars.
(AP, 12/22/97)(HN, 12/22/98)
1808 Dec 21, Ludwig van
Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C Minor and Symphony No. 6 in F Major
had their world premieres in Vienna, Austria.
1810 Dec 22, British frigate
Minotaur sank killing 480.
1815 Dec 22, Spanish colonial
authorities executed Mexican revolutionary priest Jose Maria Morelos
1824 Dec 22, Chiefess Kapiolani, a
Christian, defied Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, and lived.
Tennyson's eponymous poem celebrated the event.
1828 Dec 22, Rachel Jackson,
beloved wife of Andrew Jackson, died of heart disease just weeks
before her recently elected husband was inaugurated as president of
the United States. Andrew Jackson had been 21 and a promising young
lawyer when Rachel Donelson Robards, his landlady's daughter and the
estranged wife of Lewis Robards of Kentucky, caught his eye. Robards
had started divorce proceedings, but had dropped them without his
wife's knowledge. Believing she was a free woman, Rachel married
Andrew Jackson in 1791. Two years later, the couple discovered that
Robards was finally suing for divorce--on the grounds of adultery
and desertion. The divorce was granted, and in 1794, the couple
quietly remarried. Yet, for the rest of her life, Rachel was
unjustly slandered for her irregular marriage. The gossip became
particularly painful during the 1828 presidential campaign when the
37-year-old scandal was resurrected as a campaign issue. Andrew
Jackson defeated his opponent John Quincy Adams, but when Rachel
died soon after the election, Jackson bitterly attributed her death
to "those vile wretches who...slandered her."
1829 Dec 22, The Baltimore
& Ohio Railroad opened the first passenger railway line.
1832 Dec 22, HMS Beagle and
Charles Darwin reached Barnevelts Islands.
1853 Dec 22, Maria Teresa
Carreno (d.1917), Venezuelan composer and singer, was born in
1856 Dec 22, Frank Kellogg, US
Secretary of State (1925-29) who tried to outlaw war with the
Kellogg-Briand Pact, was born. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1929.
(HN, 12/22/98)(AP, 10/9/09)
1858 Dec 22, Giacomo Puccini,
Italian operatic composer best known for Madam Butterfly, La Boheme
and Tosca, was born in Lucca, Italy. [see Jun 22]
(HN, 12/22/98)(MC, 12/22/01)
1862 Dec 22-Jan 2, Raid on
Morgan's: Bardstown to Elizabethtown, Ky.
1864 Dec 22, During the Civil
War, Gen’l. Sherman telegraphed Pres. Lincoln from Georgia, saying:
"I beg to present to you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah
with 150 guns and plenty of ammunition." In 2008 Noah Andre Trudeau
authored “Southern Storm: Sherman’s March to the
(SFEC, 11/30/97, p.T4)(AP, 12/22/97)(WSJ, 8/4/08,
1868 Dec 22, John Nance Garner,
(VP-D-1933-41), was born in Texas.
1869 Dec 22, Edwin Arlington
Robinson (d.1935), American poet, was born. “Christmas has come and
gone, and I—to speak selfishly—am glad of it. The season always
gives me the blues in spite of myself, though I manage to get a good
deal of pleasure from thinking of the multitudes of happy kids in
various parts of the world.”
(AP, 12/26/97)(SFEC, 4/23/00, BR p.6)
1882 Dec 22, 1st string of
Christmas tree lights was created by Thomas Edison.
(SFC, 12/23/98, Z1 p.3)(MC, 12/22/01)
1883 Dec 22, Arthur Wergs
Mitchell, first African-American to be elected to the U.S. House of
Representatives, was born.
1885 Dec 22, Ito Hirobumi began
serving as the first prime minister of Japan. He also served as the
5th (1892-96), 7th (1898) and 10th (1900-1901) PM of Japan.
1894 Dec 22, Debussy's "Prelude
l'apres-midi d'un faune," premiered.
1894 Dec 22, French army
officer Alfred Dreyfus was fraudulently convicted of treason in a
court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism.
Dreyfus, a Jewish artillery captain on the General Staff, was
accused of passing secret French military documents to the German
embassy in Paris. Dreyfus was eventually vindicated. [see 1906]
(WSJ, 4/22/96, p.A-20)(AP, 12/22/97)
1899 Dec 22, Wiley Post,
aviation pioneer, was born in Texas.
1902 Dec 22, Jacques-Philippe
Leclerc, French WW II hero (liberator of Paris), was born.
1907 Dec 22, Actress Dame Peggy
Ashcroft was born in Croydon, England.
1910 Dec 22, In Chicago, Ill.,
21 firefighters died when a wall collapsed at the Union Stock Yards
1911 Dec 22, The Commonwealth
Bank of Australia (CommBank) was founded as a government bank. In
1991 it became a public company.
1911 Dec 22, Ecuador’s
President Estrada died of a heart attack.
1912 Dec 22, Claudia "Lady
Bird" Johnson, wife of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, was born.
1915 Dec 22, In China Yuan
Shikai proclaimed the Empire of China (1915–1916) with himself as
Emperor of China.
1918 Dec 22, The last of the
food restrictions, which had been enforced because of the shortages
during World War I, were lifted.
1929 Dec 22, Soviet troops left
Manchuria after a truce was reached with the Chinese over the
Eastern Railway dispute.
1932 Dec 22, The Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia was proclaimed.
1936 Dec 22, Hector Elizondo,
actor (American Gigolo, Young Doctors in Love), was born in NYC.
1937 Dec 22, The NYC Lincoln
Tunnel opened to traffic.
(SFEC, 7/4/99, p.T4)(MC, 12/22/01)
1938 Dec 22, In San Francisco
Charlie Low opened his Forbidden City nightclub at 363 Sutter (later
369 Sutter), one block outside the gate of Chinatown. In 2014 Arthur
Dong authored “Forbidden City, USA: Chinese American nightclubs,
(SFC, 1/10/15, p.C2)
1939 Dec 22, Ma Rainey (53),
"Mother of the Blues", US blues singer and composer, died.
1939 Dec 22, 99 died in 2nd
train wreck at Friedrichshafen, Germany.
1939 Dec 22, 125 died in train
wreck at Magdeburg, Germany.
1940 Dec 22, Nathanael West
(b.1902), [Weinstein], US writer (Cool Million), died in an auto
accident at age 37. In 1962 Stanley Edgar Hyman authored “Nathanael
West.” In 1970 Jay Martin authored the biography: "Nathanael West:
The Art of His Life." In 2010 Marion Meade authored “Lonely Hearts:
The Screwball world of Nathanael West and Eileen McKeney.”
(WUD, 1994, p.1623)(WSJ, 8/11/97, p.A12)(SFC,
1941 Dec 22, The cartoon
character Archie Andrews, drawn by Montana and written by Vic Bloom,
first appeared in Pep Comics #22. In 2014 Archie Comics said the
Archie character will be heroically sacrifice himself in Life with
1941 Dec 22, British Prime
Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington for a wartime
conference with President Roosevelt.
1941 Dec 22, Japanese troops
made an amphibious landing on the coast of Lingayen Gulf on Luzon,
1942 Dec 22, The Soviets drove
German troops back 15 miles at the Don River.
1943 Dec 22, Beatrix Potter
(b.1866), English author, died. She first told the story of Peter
Rabbit in the form of a "picture letter" to Noel Moore, the son of
Potter's former governess in 1893. A 2nd illustrated letter the same
month later became “The Tale of Jeremy Fisher.” The “Tale of Peter
Rabbit” was published in 1901. At her death she bequeathed all her
holdings, 14 farms and 4,000 acres of land, to the National Trust.
1944 Dec 22, During the Battle
of the Bulge, the Germans demanded the surrender of American troops
at Bastogne, Belgium; Brigadier Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe
(1898-1975) reportedly replied: "Nuts!"
(AP, 12/22/97)(HN, 12/22/98)
1945 Dec 22, Diane Sawyer,
newscaster (60 Minutes, ABC Prime Time), was born in Glasgow, Ky.
1945 Dec 22, The U.S.
recognized Tito's government in Yugoslavia.
1945 Dec 22, Otto Neurath
(b.1882), Austrian philosopher of science, sociologist, and
political economist, died. He was a leading figure of the Vienna
Circle and in the late 1920s helped create the Isotype, a symbolic
way of representing quantitative information via easily
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Neurath)(Econ, 12/24/16, p.29)
1956 Dec 22, The 1st gorilla
was born in captivity at Columbus, Ohio.
1956 Dec 22, The evacuation of
the Suez Canal was completed by Britain and France.
(WUD, 1994, p.1685)(MC, 12/22/01)
1963 Dec 22, The official 30
days of mourning ended following the assassination of President
1965 Dec 22, The EF-105F Wild
Weasel made its first kill over Vietnam.
1966 Dec 22, The United States
announced the allocation of 900,000 tons of grain to fight the
famine in India.
1967 Dec 22, In San Francisco
Bobby Seale, chairman of the Black Panthers, spoke at Hunters Point
atop the sound truck of the Peace and Freedom Party and urged
Negroes to buy guns.
(SSFC, 12/17/17, p.50)
1970 Dec 22, Treblinka SS
commander Franz Stangl (b.1908) was sentenced to life in prison. He
was responsible for the murder of approximately 900,000 people in
the period 1941-1943.
1971 Dec 22, The UN General
Assembly voted to ratify the election of Kurt Waldheim (1918-2007)
of Austria to succeed U Thant as the 4th Secretary-General.
1972 Dec 22, Diana Sue
Sylvester (22) was raped and killed in the SF Sunset District after
walking home from UCSF. In 2006 John Puckett (72), a retired carpet
installer in Stockton, was arrested for the murder based on DNA
evidence. In 2008 Puckett (74) was convicted of first-degree murder.
(SFC, 4/22/06, p.B1)(SFC, 2/22/08, p.B7)
1972 Dec 22, In Vietnam Bac Mai
hospital was bombed by American B-52s when they missed an air base
on the outskirts of Hanoi. 18 hospital workers and patients were
(SFC, 12/16/97, p.B1)
1975 Dec 22, The Energy Policy
and Conservation Act (EPCA) made it policy for the US to establish a
reserve up to one billion barrels (159 million m³) of petroleum. The
Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created to provide a guaranteed
domestic supply. The oil was put into salt domes on the Gulf Coast
near the Texas-Louisiana border. The storage capacity was 700
1977 Dec 22, Steve Cauthen
(b.1960), Kentucky-born jockey, won his 355th race at age 16 setting
a new earnings record.
1977 Dec 22, Thomas Helms (26)
climbed to the edge of the observation deck on the eighty-sixth
floor of the Empire State Building, and jumped intending to kill
himself on the streets 1000s of feet below. He only fell twenty feet
before landing on a narrow ledge on the 85th floor. Helms suffered
no major injuries but was knocked unconscious for
half-an-hour--adequate time for an emergency crew to bring him
1977 Dec 22, Three dozen people
were killed when a 250-foot-high grain elevator at the Continental
Grain Co. plant in Westwego, La., exploded.
1978 Dec 22, California Highway
Patrol Officer Roy Blecher (50) and William Freeman (35) were shot
to death with their own guns while patrolling on I-80 in West
Sacramento. Luis Rodriguez (23) and Margaret Klaess (19) were
charged with the murders. Klaess pleaded guilty to a lesser charge
and served 3 years in prison. Rodriguez (d.2016) was sentenced to
life in prison.
1978 Dec 22, The Communist
Party in China issued a communiqué following 2 meetings on the
economy. Teng Hsiao-p’ing (Deng Xiaoping) led the Chinese people in
a Great Leap Forward with a program of economic reform in a market
oriented economy. Deng introduced the "household responsibility
system" in a drought-parched region which allowed farmers to keep
some of the benefits of their labors. Deng Xiaoping announced a new
"open door" policy.
A-1)(SFC, 2/20/96, p.A4)(WSJ, 5/3/99, p.A22)(Econ, 12/13/08, p.31)
1978 Dec 22, Rudolf Slavik,
Czechoslovakia-born creator of the Leviathan cocktail (1934), died.
(SSFC, 12/13/09, p.K3)
1980 Dec 22, US Congress passed
the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act to ease the burden being
placed on these states. The Act gave each US state the
responsibility of developing a method of disposing of their own
waste by 1986.
1980 Dec 22, Ben Weingart
(b.1887), a multimillionaire philanthropist, died. He and 2 partners
had developed the city of Lakewood, north of Long Beach, Ca. On June
6, 1951, Ben Weingart and his wife Stella established The B.W.
Foundation as a non-profit California corporation. The name was
changed to the Weingart Foundation in April, 1978.
1981 Dec 22, Zdzislaw Rurarz
(1930-2007), Polish ambassador to Japan, defected to the US to
protest the imposition of martial law. Romuald Spasowski, the
ambassador to the United States, also defected.
1983 Dec 22, Egyptian president
Mubarak met with PLO leader Yasser Arafat.
1984 Dec 22, Bernhard Goetz
shot at four black teens who attempted to rob him in a New York
subway. He later claimed self-defense and was acquitted of attempted
murder in 1987 in a trial where lawyer William Kunstler represented
Darrel Cabey, who was paralyzed in the shooting. 3 other wounded
teens, James Ramseur, Barry Allen, and Troy Canty went to jail.
(SFC, 4/8/96, p.A-3)(AP, 12/22/98)
1987 Dec 22, The Reagan
administration criticized Israel's handling of the Palestinian
uprising in the occupied territories, particularly the military's
use of live ammunition against civilians.
1987 Dec 22, In Zimbabwe ZANU
leader Robert Mugabe and ZAPU leader Joshua Nkomo signed a unity
agreement that merged the two parties to form one party known as
ZANU PF. This effectively dissolved ZAPU into ZANU, renamed ZANU-PF.
1988 Dec 22, President-elect
Bush appointed Dr. Louis W. Sullivan secretary of health and human
services, Samuel K. Skinner transportation secretary and Manuel
Lujan Jr. interior secretary.
1988 Dec 22, Chico Mendes, a
rubber tapper and political and environmental activist, was murdered
in Acre state by a death squad allegedly directed by Hildebrando
(WSJ, 3/16/99, p.A1)(SFC, 12/22/08, p.A17)
1989 Dec 22, Samuel Beckett
(83, playwright, died in Paris. His work included the novel "The
Unnamable." In 1997 2 biographies of Beckett were published: "Damned
to Fame" by James Knowlson and "Samuel Beckett: The Last Modernist,"
by Anthony Cronin. In 1999 Maurice Harmon published "No Author
Better Served: The Correspondence of Samuel Beckett and Alan
Schneider." Schneider (d.1984) was Beckett's American director.
(SFEC, 9/30/96, p.A23)(WSJ, 7/11/97, p.A12)(SFEC,
1/17/99, BR p.7)(AP, 12/22/99)
1989 Dec 22, Germany’s
Brandenburg Gate opened for border crossings.
1989 Dec 22, In Romania there
was a revolt and miners riots. Romania's hard-line Communist ruler,
Nicolae Ceausescu, was toppled in a popular uprising following 23
years of dictatorial rule. Ion Ileascu and other top Communist
functionaries of Ceausescu seized control. Ileascu ruled until Nov
(SFC, 11/18/96, p.A10)(SFC, 11/20/96, p.C4)(AP,
12/22/97)(SFC, 6/15/98, p.A11)
1990 Dec 22, Twenty-one sailors
returning from shore leave to the aircraft carrier USS “Saratoga”
drowned when the Israeli ferry they were traveling on capsized.
1990 Dec 22, Lech Walesa took
the oath of office as Poland's first popularly elected president.
Ryszard Kaczorowski (1919-2010), the last president of Poland’s
government in exile in London, ended his 2-year term. He passed the
presidential insignia to Lech Walesa, thus ending the 45-years long
episode of the Polish government in exile.
1991 Dec 22, The body of Lt.
Col. William R. Higgins, an American hostage murdered by his
captors, was found dumped along a highway in Lebanon.
1991 Dec 22, In Alabama
Christopher Lee Price used a sword and a dagger to fatally stab a
pastor. In 2019 his April execution was postponed after attorneys
argued that the state's lethal drug combination had led to botched
executions. Price was executed on May 30, 2019.
(SFC, 4/12/19, p.A4)(SFC, 5/31/19, p.A2)
1992 Dec 22, President-elect
Clinton chose Warren Christopher to be his secretary of state and
tapped Les Aspin to be defense secretary.
1992 Dec 22, The UN General
Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/47/193 by which 22 March of each
year was declared World Day for Water, to be observed starting in
1992 Dec 22, A Libyan Boeing
727 jetliner crashed, killing 157 people.
1993 Dec 22, Singer Michael
Jackson, fighting back against child molestation allegations, issued
a video statement in which he said he was "totally innocent of any
1994 Dec 22, US House Democrats
chastised Speaker-to-be Newt Gingrich for accepting a $4.5 million
book advance from Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
1994 Dec 22, North Korea handed
over the body of American pilot David Hilemon, killed when his
helicopter was shot down over the communist country three days
earlier. [see Dec 17]
1995 Dec 22, The Senate
approved a wide-ranging Republican plan to overhaul the nation’s
welfare system, 52-to-47, but without enough votes to override
President Clinton’s promised veto.
1995 Dec 22, The Mt. Zion
Baptist Church in Boligee, Ala., burned down. Arson was suspected
and investigations by the FBI and ATF were later begun.
(SFC, 6/11/96, p.A16)
1995 Dec 22, Actress Butterfly
McQueen, who’d played the scatterbrained slave Prissy in “Gone With
the Wind,” died at age 84.
1996 Dec 22, Eight workers were
killed in an explosion at the Wyman Gordon Forgings
metal-fabricating plant in northwest Houston. They had been doing
maintenance on 9-story pressurized tanks.
(SFC, 12/24/96, p.A3)(AP, 12/22/97)
1996 Dec 22, Peruvian
guerrillas holding more than 360 hostages at the Japanese
ambassador's residence in Lima released 225 hostages but still held
140 of their captives.
(SFC, 12/24/96, p.A7)(AP, 12/22/97)
1997 Dec 22, During his visit
to Bosnia, President Clinton thanked American troops and lectured
the nation's three presidents to set aside their differences.
1997 Dec 22, Actress Hunter
Tylo, whose pregnancy got her fired from TV's steamy soap "Melrose
Place," was awarded $4.9 million by jurors who agreed she was
1997 Dec 22, The FDA approved
Merck’s drug Propecia for countering baldness.
(WSJ, 12/23/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 22, A small plane
crashed near Hampshire, Ill., and 4 people were killed.
(SFC, 12/5/98, p.A6)
1997 Dec 22, In Algeria
attackers stormed Shari hamlet and killed 28 villagers including 15
children and 5 women. The same night 53 villagers, mostly women and
children, died in a massacre in the neighboring Sidi el Antar
hamlet. Another 11 had their throats cut in Algiers in the Bainem
(SFC, 12/26/97, p.A19)
1997 Dec 22, In Columbia a new
wave of paramilitary attacks began in the Riosucio region and some
500 more peasants fled to Pavarando for safety.
(SFC, 1/5/98, p.A10)
1997 Dec 22, In Lithuanian a
vote count showed Arturas Paulauskas led the country’s 2nd
presidential vote since breaking with the Soviet Union. A runoff
with Vladas Adamkus was set for Jan 4. Vytautas Landsbergis, who ran
third, threw his support behind Adamkus.
(SFC, 12/22/97, p.A11)(WSJ, 12/23/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 22, In Mexico some 70
pro-government gunmen of the Peace and Justice paramilitary group
killed 45 people, including 21 women 9 men and 15 children, in the
Tzoztzil Indian village of Acteal. Opposition groups called for the
resignation of Gov. Julio Cesar Ruiz Ferro, who had repeatedly
denied the existence of paramilitary groups in the state. In 1998 12
officials of the state attorney general’s office were arrested for
failing to stop the massacre. The government paid compensation to
families of the victims and to the wounded. In 1999 20 government
supporters were sentenced to 35 years in prison and 81 people were
still scheduled for trial. In Dec 2007 authorities re-arrested
Antonio Santiz, the alleged mastermind of the massacre. Santiz had
been arrested for his alleged involvement in 2000, but a judge threw
out the charges in 2001, ruling there wasn't enough evidence. In
2008 a Mexican judge sentenced brothers Antonio and Mariano Pucuj to
26 years in prison for their participation in the massacre. In
August, 2009, Mexico's Supreme Court ordered freedom for 20 men
convicted in the Acteal massacre and new trials for six more, ruling
that prosecutors used illegally obtained evidence. In November,
2009, the Supreme Court ordered the release of nine more people
convicted in massacre, ruling their convictions were based on
illegally obtained evidence. New trials were ordered for 16 others.
(SFC, 12/24/97, p.A1)(SFC, 12/26/97, p.B7)(SFC,
7/4/98, p.A9)(SFC, 7/20/99, p.A11)(AP, 12/23/07)(AP, 2/27/08)(AP,
1997 Dec 22, In Somalia leaders
of the rival factions approved a plan to restore national
government. An interim government was planned with power to be
shared among the factions.
(SFC, 12/23/97, p.D2)
1998 Dec 22, The women's
American Basketball League folded in the midst of its 3rd season.
(SFC, 12/23/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 22, The Energy Dept.
for the first time awarded a billion-dollar contract to the
Tennessee Valley Authority to produce tritium at a TVA nuclear
reactor for military use.
(SFC, 12/23/98, p.A3)
1998 Dec 22, Nationwide gas
stations faced this deadline to replace or improve their underground
fuel tanks. Thousands of rural gas stations were expected to go out
of business due to the costs.
(SFC, 12/7/98, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/22/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 22, The Bil Mar meat
packing plant in Michigan recalled 35 million pounds of hot dogs and
lunch meats following the deaths of 16 people due to the bacteria
Listeria monocytogenes. In Jan. another 30 million pounds were
recalled from the Thorn Apple Valley plant in Arkansas.
(SFC, 2/11/99, p.A7)
1998 Dec 22, In Angola rebels
shelled Kuito and 26 people were reported killed. Some 60,000
refugees had fled there to escape fighting elsewhere.
(WSJ, 12/23/98, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/24/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 22, A third Chinese
dissident, Qin Yongmin, was sentenced to prison for trying to
organize an opposition party.
1998 Dec 22, In Iraq UN aid
groups returned to Baghdad.
(WSJ, 12/23/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 22, In Lebanon an
Israeli rocket killed woman and her 6 children.
(SFC, 12/23/98, p.C2)
1998 Dec 22, In South Africa
Gugu Dlamini (36), an AIDS activist, died from wounds inflicted by a
(SFC, 12/28/98, p.A7)
1999 Dec 22, President Clinton
urged Americans not to panic despite enhanced security measures
prompted by fears of terrorism.
1999 Dec 22, In Atlanta,
Georgia, federal drug police seized $72 million worth of cocaine in
"Operation Juno," a 3 year sting operation that also netted $10-26
million laundered through a fake brokerage firm. 5 people were
arrested in Tucker and another 47 nationwide.
(SFC, 12/23/99, p.A2)(WSJ, 12/23/99, p.A1)
1999 Dec 22, An Algerian
accused of trying to smuggle nitroglycerin and other bomb-making
materials into the United States from Canada pleaded innocent in
Seattle to all five counts of a federal indictment. Ahmed Ressam was
convicted in April 2001 of terrorist conspiracy and eight other
1999 Dec 22, In Chicago Louis
Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, preached a new line and
called for an end to "the cycle of violence and the cycle of
(SFC, 12/23/99, p.A3)
1999 Dec 22, Two astronauts
from the shuttle “Discovery” went on a spacewalk to replace broken
instruments in the Hubble Space Telescope.
1999 Dec 22, In Algeria a 5.8
earthquake struck near Oran and at least 20 people were killed and
(SFC, 12/23/99, p.C7)
1999 Dec 22, In Britain a
Korean Air 747 cargo plane crashed near London and all 4 people
aboard were killed.
(SFC, 12/23/99, p.C7)
1999 Dec 22, In Italy Premier
Massimo D'Alema won a vote of confidence for a new cabinet.
(SFC, 12/23/99, p.C7)
1999 Dec 22, In Mozambique
Pres. Joaquim Chissano was declared the winner of elections that
were held earlier in the month. He won 52% as opposed to 48% for
Afonso Dhlakama of the Mozambique Resistance Movement, known as
Renamo. In parliament Frelimo won 133 seats vs. 117 for Renamo.
(SFC, 12/23/99, p.C7)
1999 Dec 22, In the Philippines
the MV Asia South Korea ferry with 606 passengers sank southeast of
Manila near Bantayan Island and at least 9 people were killed. 58
people were missing.
(SFC, 12/23/99, p.C7)(SFC, 12/24/99, p.A11)
1999 Dec 22, In Spain police
found a 2nd van loaded with 1,650 pounds of explosives in Alhama de
Aragon. Two days earlier a van, bound for Madrid, was stopped with
1,980 pounds of explosives.
(SFC, 12/24/99, p.A20)
1999 Dec 22, In Venezuela 2
helicopters crashed on aid missions and at least 4 people were
(WSJ, 12/23/99, p.A1)
2000 Dec 22, Pres. Clinton
granted Christmastime clemency to 62 people including Dan
Rostenkowski, former Illinois congressman and chairman of the House
Ways and Means Committee.
(SFC, 12/23/00, p.A1)(AP, 12/22/05)
2000 Dec 22, Pres.-elect Bush
named Sen. John Ashcroft of Missouri to become US Attorney General,
and Gov. Christie Todd Whitman of New Jersey as head of the EPA.
(SFC, 12/23/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 22, Madonna and film
director Guy Ritchie wed in Scotland.
2000 Dec 22, The US, Japan,
Europe and other industrial powers agreed to provide debt relief to
22 poor nations: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gambia, Guinea,
Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique,
Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda,
Zambia, Bolivia, Guyana, Honduras and Nicaragua.
(SFC, 12/23/00, p.A14)
2000 Dec 22, UN members agreed
to reduce US dues following the Ted turner proposal to pick up a $34
(SFC, 12/23/00, p.A12)
2000 Dec 22, In Germany 3
American teenagers were convicted of murder for the Feb 27 deaths of
2 people, killed from rocks thrown from a freeway overpass.
(SFC, 12/23/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 22, In India
separatists attacked the Red Fort in New Delhi and 3 people were
(WSJ, 12/26/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 22, Israel announced
that it is prepared to surrender sovereignty over the Temple Mount
in Jerusalem as part of a peace agreement.
(SFC, 12/23/00, p.A12)
2000 Dec 22, In Mexico the army
closed a base in Chiapas and continued to pull troops from the
(SFC, 12/23/00, p.A14)
2000 Dec 22, In South Korea
some 15,000 bank workers went on strike to protest merger plans that
threatened mass layoffs.
(SFC, 12/26/00, p.C5)
2000 Dec 22, Three armed
robbers stormed into Stockholm's National Museum and made off with a
Rembrandt self-portrait and two masterpieces by Renoir. 10 people
were later sentenced to prison for their roles in the theft; all
three paintings have been recovered.
2000 Dec 22, In Turkey
government prison raids ended after 430 inmates surrendered at
Umraniye. The 4-day siege left 28 people dead including 16 burned
alive. Government forces had not been able to enter the leftist
controlled wards of Bayrampasa prison in Istanbul for a decade.
(SSFC, 12/24/00, p.B4)
2001 Dec 22, It was reported
that a new “thermobaric” bomb had been developed by the Pentagon for
use in caves and tunnels. The BLU-118b was capable of destroying a
tunnel’s contents without collapsing the tunnel mouth.
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A19)
2001 Dec 22, Passengers and
flight attendants subdued Richard Colvin Reid on AA Flight 63 from
Paris to Miami. He appeared to have explosive materials in his
shoes. The flight was diverted to Boston and the FBI confirmed that
his shoes were packed with explosives. Reid had trained with
Lashkar-e-Taiba. French police identified the man as Tariq Raja
(28), a Sri Lankan traveling on a British passport. The sneakers
contained pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) and triacetone
triperoxide (TATP). On Jan 30, 2003 Reid was sentenced to life in
prison. A 2nd plot involved Saajid Badat, who backed out of similar
plan on a different flight. In 2005 a British judge sentenced Badat
(25) to 13 years in prison.
(SSFC, 12/23/01, p.A1)(SFC, 12/24/01,
p.A1,6)(SFC, 1/31/03, p.A1)(SFC, 4/23/05, p.A4)(WSJ, 12/8/08, p.A6)
2001 Dec 22, A cloned cat named
CC (Carbon Copy) was born following a year of experimentation by
scientists at Texas A&M scientists. The $3.7 million research
project was funded by John Sperling (81), founder of the Univ. of
Phoenix. Sperling soon formed the Sausalito firm Genetic Savings to
(SFC, 2/15/02, p.A1)(SFC, 2/16/02, p.A1)(SFC,
2001 Dec 22, Hamid Karzai was
sworn in as prime minister of Afghanistan.
2001 Dec 22, A fishing boat
from North Korea, suspected of spying, exchanged fire with Japanese
coast vessels and sank after a 6-hour chase. 15 crewmen were lost. 2
bodies were later recovered. North Korea later denied any links to
the fishing boat and accused Japan of a “smear campaign.”
(SSFC, 12/23/01, p.A15)(SFC, 12/24/01, p.A4)(SFC,
2002 Dec 22, Time magazine
named Coleen Rowley, Cynthia Cooper and Sherron Watkins as Persons
of the Year for their whistle-blowing efforts against the FBI,
WorldCom and Enron.
(SFC, 12/23/02, p.A2)
2002 Dec 27, Keith
Mackie-Harris and Jerry Duckworth were shot to death at a party in
the 800 block of Campbell St. in Oakland, Ca. A gang called the Nut
Cases was found responsible and gang members faced trial in 2006. In
2007 Joe Ralls (31) was sentenced to 23 years in prison for the
(SFC, 2/6/06, p.A11)(SFC, 5/12/07, p.B2)
2002 Dec 22, Afghanistan's 6
neighbors (Iran, Pakistan, China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and
Uzbekistan) agreed to halt meddling and signed a non-intervention
agreement in Kabul.
(SFC, 12/23/02, p.A3)
2002 Dec 22, Joe Strummer (50),
lead singer of the legendary British punk band The Clash, died in
(SFC, 12/24/02, p.A2)(AP, 12/22/03)
2002 Dec 22, Suspected
Colombian rebels blew up a bus carrying workers to a U.S.-run oil
field, killing two and wounding 11.
2002 Dec 22, In Guyana Desmond
Hoyte (b.1929), former President (1985-1992) died.
2002 Dec 22, In Lithuania
Valdas Adamkus failed to get an absolute majority (35.2%) in
national elections, forcing him into a Jan. 5 runoff with former
Prime Minister Rolandas Paksas (19.8%).
2002 Dec 22, Montenegro held
presidential elections but voters failed to turn out in sufficient
(AP, 12/22/02)(WSJ, 12/24/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 22, North Korea said
it had begun removing U.N. monitoring equipment from a nuclear
reactor at the centre of the communist state's suspected pursuit of
2002 Dec 22, In Spain tens of
thousands of people marched in silence through the coastal city of
Bilbao to demand the dissolution of the armed Basque separatist
2003 Dec 22, A federal deadline
for Sept 11 related injury claims was set for midnight. A final
tally showed 4,033 claims for the 2001 WTC attack.
(SFC, 12/30/03, p.A4)
2003 Dec 22, A federal judge
ruled the Pentagon couldn't enforce mandatory anthrax vaccinations
for military personnel.
2003 Dec 22, A 6.5 earthquake
jolted the central California coast. Marilyn Zafuto (55) and
Jennifer Myrick (20) were killed in Paso Robles when the 1892
Mastagni Building and its 15-foor clock tower collapsed. Damages
from the San Simeon quake were estimated at some $100 million.
(AP, 12/23/03)(SFC, 12/23/03, p.A1)(SFC,
2003 Dec 22, Leaders of Arab
countries from the Persian Gulf agreed to form a pact to combat
terrorism and praised Washington for planning to transfer power to
Iraqis by mid-2004.
2003 Dec 22, Brazil's Pres.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed a sweeping gun-control law in an
effort to rein in what he called "an epidemic of murder by
2003 Dec 22, China put forth
legislation to change its constitution to protect private property
rights for the first time since the 1949 communist revolution, a key
step in making capitalism its economy's driving force.
2003 Dec 22, Colombian rebels
freed four Israelis and a Briton held hostage for 101 days.
2003 Dec 22, An international
human rights group criticized a peace agreement giving soldiers and
rebels temporary immunity from prosecution for atrocities committed
against civilians in Burundi's 10-year civil war.
2003 Dec 22, Egyptian Foreign
Minister Ahmed Maher (68) was attacked by Islamic extremists at the
Al Axsa mosque in Jerusalem. He said the incident would only
strengthen his country's resolve to settle the Israeli-Palestinian
(AP, 12/23/03)(SFC, 12/23/03, p.A3)
2003 Dec 22, In Haiti an armed
gang opened fire on anti-government protesters during a clash that
killed one man and left President Jean-Bertrand Aristide facing
growing unrest. A radio station later reported that the death toll
rose to eight.
(AP, 12/22/03)(AP, 12/25/03)
2003 Dec 22, In Iraq a roadside
bomb exploded near a U.S. military convoy, killing two American
soldiers and an Iraqi translator.
2003 Dec 22, Ivory Coast rebel
officials said they will rejoin a power-sharing government meant to
secure peace after a nine-month civil war in the divided West
2003 Dec 22, The UN Security
Council voted unanimously to maintain sanctions on Liberia including
an arms embargo and a ban on importing diamonds from the west
2003 Dec 22, Poland's Pres.
Aleksander Kwasniewski made an unannounced visit to the headquarters
of Polish-led peacekeepers in Iraq.
2003 Dec 22, Pakistan
acknowledged that some scientists participating in its nuclear
program may have been involved in the proliferation of sensitive
2003 Dec 22, Russia agreed to
write off 65% of the debt owed by Iraq.
(WSJ, 12/23/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 22, South Korea and
Japan began negotiations on establishing a free-trade agreement
between the East Asian economic powerhouses.
2003 Dec 22, The South Korean
government dispatched hundreds of soldiers to farms to help
slaughter chickens and ducks in an effort to contain a contagious
bird flu spreading throughout the country.
2003 Dec 22, The world's
richest lottery spread $2.2 billion in Christmas cheer throughout
Spain, including to a village whose name means luck.
2004 Dec 22, Defense Secretary
Donald H. Rumsfeld, stung by criticism that he'd been insensitive to
the needs of troops and their families, offered an impassioned
defense, saying when he meets wounded soldiers or relatives of those
killed in battle, "their grief is something I feel to my core."
2004 Dec 22, Vancouver Canucks
forward Todd Bertuzzi received a conditional discharge after
pleading guilty to assault, more than nine months after slugging
Colorado forward Steve Moore from behind during a hockey game.
2004 Dec 22, A Texas woman paid
$50,000 for a cloned cat, Little Nicky, created by Genetic Savings
and Clone of Sausalito, Ca.
(SFC, 12/23/04, p.A1)
2004 Dec 22, A European Union
court ruled that Microsoft Corp. must immediately divulge some trade
secrets to competitors and produce a version of its flagship Windows
operating system stripped of the program that plays music and video.
2004 Dec 22, Former Argentine
president Carlos Menem returned to Argentina following months abroad
to avoid arrest. Menem announced he would run again for the
presidency after an Argentine judge last week dismissed a warrant
2004 Dec 22, In Mexico an
explosion at a pumping station near Santiago Tuxtla caused a burst
of high pressure that ruptured the oil line 70 miles away in
Nanchital. 210,000 gallons of oil flowed into the Coatzacoalcos
River, creating a 10-mile-long slick extending into the gulf.
2004 Dec 22, Thieves stealing
fuel from a pipeline in Nigeria set it ablaze as they fled from
police, and at least 20 people died in the fire.
2004 Dec 22, The husband of
Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was freed from house
arrest, a day after he was detained for failing to attend a court
2004 Dec 22, Poland's PM Marek
Belka and Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski arrived in Iraq for a
Christmas visit to Polish troops.
2004 Dec 22, In an apparently
secret deal, the state-owned Rosneft oil company bought
BaikalFinansGroup, the obscure company that purchased Yukos' most
important production unit at auction Dec 19. The Yuganskneftegaz
subsidiary was sold for $9.3 billion, half of what foreign auditors
say it was worth.
2004 Dec 22, Saudi Arabia
announced it was withdrawing its ambassador to Libya and ordered out
Libya's envoy in response to reports that Tripoli plotted to
assassinate the Saudi crown prince.
2004 Dec 22, The US signed a
99-year lease on a site for its new de facto embassy in Taiwan, an
event described as a milestone in relations.
2004 Dec 22, Turkey and Syria
signed a free-trade accord.
(WSJ, 12/23/04, p.A1)
2004 Dec 22-2004 Dec 26,
Government troops in eastern Congo battled Rwandan militiamen in
growing violence between the former allies from the country's bloody
2005 Dec 21, The US Congress
completed work on a one-month extension of the Patriot Act and sent
it to President Bush.
2005 Dec 22, NYC striking bus
and subway workers ended a 3-day strike voting to return to work and
resume negotiations on a labor contract.
(SFC, 12/23/05, p.A3)
2005 Dec 22, Astronomers using
the Hubble Space Telescope reported the discovery of 2 new moons and
2 new rings circling Uranus.
(SFC, 12/23/05, p.A4)
2005 Dec 22, Brazil said it
will pay off its remaining $2.6 billion debt to the Paris Club in
(WSJ, 12/23/05, p.A13)
2005 Dec 22, A decomposed body
discovered in a Brussels canal a week ago was reported to be that of
Juvenal Uwilingiyimana, a Rwandan former minister indicted by a UN
tribunal on charges of genocide.
2005 Dec 22, China's southern
business capital of Guangzhou rushed to ensure water supplies as a
toxic spill from a smelter flowed toward the city of 7 million
people 60 miles north of Hong Kong. Yingde, a smaller city nearby,
stopped drawing drinking water from the contaminated Bei river. The
spill from a smelter in Shaoguan pushed up levels of the heavy metal
cadmium in the Bei to 10 times acceptable limits.
2005 Dec 22, In southwestern
China a gas explosion at a road construction site killed 42 people
in Sichuan province.
2005 Dec 22, Cuba announced it
had turned a corner in its recovery from severe financial crisis,
reporting 11.8 percent growth in 2005 using its own method for
calculating gross domestic product.
2005 Dec 22, Mohammed Mahdi
Akef, the leader of Egypt's main Islamic opposition group, said the
Holocaust was a "myth," and he slammed Western governments for
criticizing disclaimers of the Jewish genocide.
2005 Dec 22, The European Court
of Human Rights (ECHR) ordered Turkey to put in place within three
months an effective reparations mechanism for Greek Cypriots who
were stripped of their possessions in the 1970s.
2005 Dec 22, France's
parliament approved an anti-terrorism bill that will boost the use
of video surveillance and allow police more time to question terror
2005 Dec 22, Tali Fahima (28),
an Israeli woman, was sentenced to three years in prison for aiding
a Palestinian gunman and relaying information to the enemy.
2005 Dec 22, Israeli troops
shot and killed three Palestinian militants, including Bashar Hanani
(29), the local leader of a small radical faction, during an arrest
raid in the West Bank city of Nablus.
(AP, 12/22/05)(SFC, 12/23/05, p.A15)
2005 Dec 22, Italy's antitrust
authority said it has opened an investigation to determine whether
Premier Silvio Berlusconi violated conflict of interest rules when
his government approved subsidies to Italians who buy
2005 Dec 22, Japan's government
said the population dropped this year for the first time on record,
signaling a demographic turnaround for one of the world's
fastest-aging societies. Japan became the world's first leading
economy to suffer a decline in population, with 21,408 more deaths
than births, the feared onset of what may become a crippling labor
shortage at mid-century.
(AP, 12/22/05)(AP, 1/20/07)
2005 Dec 22, The Dutch
government said it planned to send up to 1,400 additional troops to
Afghanistan for expanded NATO peacekeeping.
2005 Dec 22, A lottery known as
"El Gordo" — the Fat One — sprinkled more than $2.4 billion in
Christmas cheer around Spain, with this Catalan town known for its
churches and convents blessed with a quarter of the windfall.
2005 Dec 22, Romania's prime
minister rejected US calls to allow adoptions by foreigners of about
1,000 Romanian children.
2005 Dec 22, A toxic spill from
China reached Khabarovsk, and the region's governor appealed for
calm in the Far Eastern Russian city, where residents have crammed
their apartments with bottles, pails, pans and even bathtubs full of
2005 Dec 22, Sweden's
immigration authority was facing harsh criticism after media
reported that employees celebrated deportations of asylum-seekers
with cakes and champagne.
2005 Dec 22, An Istanbul court
fined an author and a journalist for insulting the Turkish state,
the latest convictions under a law that European officials say
limits freedom of expression and must be changed.
2006 Dec 22, The US said it
canceled a joint military exercise with the Philippines scheduled
for next year because of a dispute over the custody of a US Marine
appealing his rape conviction.
2006 Dec 22, Rape charges were
dropped against three Duke University lacrosse players, but
kidnapping and sexual offense charges remained. Those charges were
later dropped as well.
2006 Dec 22, Space shuttle
Discovery and its seven-member crew landed in Florida after a
smooth, 13-day flight to rewire the International Space Station.
(AFP, 12/23/06)(AP, 12/22/07)
2006 Dec 22, SF police officer
Bryan Tuvera (28) was shot in the head in a gunbattle that left
Marlon Ruff (33), a 2-year fugitive, dead in the Sunset District.
Tuvera died hours later.
(SFC, 12/23/06, p.A1)(SSFC, 12/24/06, p.A1)
2006 Dec 22, Rafael Robb (56),
tenured economics professor at the Univ. of Pennsylvania, bludgeoned
his wife (39) to death in Norristown. In 2007 he pleaded guilty to
(SFC, 11/27/07, p.A8)
2006 Dec 22, In southern
Afghanistan a roadside bomb exploded next to a police patrol killing
2006 Dec 22, President Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva called in the Brazilian air force to help
transport airline passengers on an emergency basis as long delays
and overbooked planes snarled commercial flights over the busy
2006 Dec 22, Thick fog caused
the cancellation of flights at London's Heathrow Airport for a 4th
day, forcing thousands of passengers to scrap or delay their
Christmas travel plans.
2006 Dec 22, In China the first
talks on North Korea's nuclear program since the communist nation
tested an atomic device ended without an agreement on disarmament or
a date for further negotiations.
2006 Dec 22, Cuban finance
officials acknowledged in an unusually critical year-end report that
the country's economy is still suffering the affects of the severe
crisis of the 1990s but nevertheless grew 12.5 percent in 2006.
2006 Dec 22, The European
spacecraft COROT was launched in Kazakhstan. The satellite will use
its 27-centimetre telescope to search for dips of light due to
planets passing in front of their parent stars in events called
(Econ, 6/2/07, p.86)
2006 Dec 22, India and Pakistan
started a two-day swap of detained illegal fishermen and immigrants
including children as part of attempts to improve ties between the
2006 Dec 22, A parked car bomb
killed two people and wounded four in Samarra. US-led forces
launched multiple raids across Iraq, killing one terrorist and
capturing 25 terror suspects. A US soldier died when his patrol came
2006 Dec 22, Iraqi citizens
filed a $200 million lawsuit against a prominent European bank and
an Australian wheat exporter, saying they were cheated out of
humanitarian goods when the companies permitted the UN oil-for-food
program to be corrupted.
2006 Dec 22, The Roman Catholic
Church denied a religious funeral for Piergiogio Welby, the
paralyzed Italian author who died after a doctor disconnected his
respirator, saying it would treat his public wish to "end his life"
as a willful suicide.
2006 Dec 22, The office of
President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah blocked five major Hamas
appointments to senior government positions. Ferocious gunbattles
broke out between Hamas and Fatah militants in the Gaza Strip and
West Bank. A Hamas militiaman injured in violence that touched off
the Gaza City shootout died of his wounds.
2006 Dec 22, A top executive
with Russian gas giant OAO Gazprom said Georgia will pay more than
double what it pays now for Russian natural gas under a new
2006 Dec 22, In Somalia
Ethiopian attack helicopters and tanks headed for battle as fighting
raged for a fourth day between Somalia's Islamic militia and the
country's secular government.
2006 Dec 22, South Korea
rejected the latest shipment of US beef and asked Washington to
explain why it contained unacceptable levels of the toxic chemical
2006 Dec 22, Residents of
Almazan, a small town in rural Spain, won the top prize of 390
million euros in the world's richest lottery, known as El Gordo or
"the fat one".
2006 Dec 22, In Turkmenistan
acting president Gurbungali Berdymukhamedov pledged that new
elections will be democratic, but only in the late dictator's
interpretation of the word.
2006 Dec 22, In Ukraine
Russia’s Pres. Putin and Pres. Yushchenko oversaw the signing of
numerous bilateral accords. Putin assured his Ukrainian counterpart
that Moscow wants good relations, in a meeting that both leaders
presented as a break from the strained relationship of the past.
2006 Dec 22, The UN adopted new
regulations aimed at restricting the future employment of UN staff
who handle contracts for goods and services following fraud
2007 Dec 22, In SF Leonard Milo
Hoskins (49), a computer software developer, was last seen alive in
the city’s Mission Terrace neighborhood. His body was found Feb 1 in
a van owned by housemates Richard Carelli (38) and Michelle
Pinkerton (38), who left town after their van was towed from the
area during a police investigation. Murder warrants were later
issued for the couple. On April 7 Carelli and Pinkerton were
arrested in El Rosario on the Baha peninsula after they were tracked
down by James Spring (39) of San Diego. In 2011 Carelli pleaded
guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was expected to serve 6 years
(SFC, 2/14/08, p.A1)(SFC, 2/15/08, p.B6)(SFC,
4/9/08, p.A1)(SFC, 2/25/11, p.C5)
2007 Dec 22, Making the
first-ever trip to Afghanistan by a French president, Nicolas
Sarkozy met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss the
political and military situation in the war-torn country.
2007 Dec 22, In Bahrain
Security forces conducted sweeps through Shiite villages, arresting
several protesters involved in a week of demonstrations against the
2007 Dec 22, In Egypt a
policeman was killed overnight in a shootout with Bedouin tribesmen
smuggling African immigrants into Israel. A minibus fell off a ferry
and sank in the Nile River in southern Egypt, killing 16 people
including six children.
(AFP, 12/22/07)(AP, 12/22/07)
2007 Dec 22, Ethiopia claimed
it was receiving an influx of around 600 Eritreans fleeing political
oppression in their country every month.
2007 Dec 22, French author
Julien Gracq (97), one of the last links with the pre-World War II
Surrealist movement, died.
2007 Dec 22, Ghana's Pres. John
Kufuor said that offshore oil reserves discovered in the West
African country's waters total 3 billion barrels.
2007 Dec 22, Police in India
arrested two men near Lucknow suspected of being Islamic militants
involved in a series of explosions that ripped through courthouse
complexes in three north Indian cities last month, killing at least
2007 Dec 22, Iraqi Defense
Minister Abdul-Qadir al-Obaidi, who is himself a Sunni, said Sunni
militias, known as Awakening Councils, will not be allowed to become
a separate military force. A suicide car bomb exploded at a
checkpoint manned by Iraqi army and police in the western Baghdad
neighborhood of Ghazaliyah, killing 4 people and wounding another
six. On the southern outskirts of the capital, a roadside bomb
wounded five bystanders near a hospital in the town of Madin. In
Mosul a roadside bomb targeting a passing police patrol killed one
policeman and wounded two others.
(AP, 12/22/07)(AP, 12/23/07)
2007 Dec 22, Hundreds of
government soldiers withdrew from a vast buffer zone dividing Ivory
Coast, the first stage of a long-delayed nationwide disarmament
2007 Dec 22, In northwestern
Pakistan clashes started, four days after the Shiite Turi and
Sunnite Mengal tribes signed a ceasefire agreement following weeks
of fighting which left more than 100 people dead. The rival tribes
were using heavy weapons and by Dec 30 the death toll had reached
2007 Dec 22, Spain's "El
Gordo," the world's biggest lottery, gave out 2.2 billion euros
($3.2 billion) in Christmas prizes.
2007 Dec 22, In northern Sri
Lanka government forces captured a key defense line of Tamil Tiger
guerrillas in fighting that killed six rebels and one soldier.
2007 Dec 22, Turkish warplanes
bombed Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq in the third confirmed
cross-border offensive by Turkish forces in less than a week.
2008 Dec 22, In Tennessee a dam
broke at the Kingston Fossil Plant spilling some 5.4 million cubic
yards of toxic coal ash sludge near the Emory River. TVA officials
later said the spill does not threaten water in the Tennessee River,
which is fed in part by the Emory River. On Jan 2 federal data
showed arsenic levels over 100 times the acceptable amount in the
Emory River. In February the TVA estimated cleanup costs of up to
$825 million. In May the estimate for cleanup was raised to $975
million. In 2010 state regulators hit the TVA with penalties
totaling $11.5 million for the coal ash spill. The sludge was
shipped to a landfill outside Uniontown, Alabama.
(SFC, 12/25/08, p.A6)(WSJ, 12/26/08, p.A2)(SFC,
12/27/08, p.A2)(SFC, 1/3/09, p.A3)(WSJ, 2/13/09, p.A1)(SFC, 5/2/09,
p.A4)(SFC, 6/15/10, p.A4)(Econ, 12/4/10, p.44)
2008 Dec 22, In Texas a gunman
in pickup truck killed two people and injuring another in a series
of rush hour shootings on Dallas-area roads. The next day police
identified Brian Smith (37), a former Utah state trooper, as the
shooter. Smith died Dec 24 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
(AP, 12/23/08)(SFC, 12/24/08, p.A3)(SFC,
2008 Dec 22, California's chief
financial officer warned that the state would run out of money in
about two months as hopes of a Christmas budget compromise melted
into political finger-pointing by the end of the day.
2008 Dec 22, In California it
was announced that the Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery has been sold
to the Foley Wine Group of Los Olivos, Ca.
(SFC, 12/23/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 22, An Associated
Press analysis found that the 116 banks that so far have received US
taxpayer dollars to boost them through the economic crisis gave
their top tier of executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries,
bonuses and other benefits in 2007.
2008 Dec 22, In Nevada the
Encore, Steve Wynn’s vaguely Chinese-themed hotel, opened.
(Econ, 2/7/09, p.29)(http://tinyurl.com/byf3qk)
2008 Dec 22, Alfred Shaheen
(b.1922), the dean of Hawaiian couture, died. In 1948 he started
manufacturing rayon Hawaiian shirts in a Quonset hut left over from
the war. Within a decade annual revenue grew to $4 million.
(WSJ, 1/24/09, p.A12)
2008 Dec 22, In central
Afghanistan a car bomb with two attackers exploded near the
governor's compound in Ghazni province, killing one Afghan civilian
and wounding seven. The two attackers also died.
2008 Dec 22, Albania passed a
law removing from public posts people linked with the feared former
Communist secret police, despite criticism from opposition parties
and concerns within the international community.
2008 Dec 22, Belarus' president
sought $3 billion in economic aid from Russia to help its struggling
economy, but Moscow demanded in return that Belarus recognize two
breakaway Georgian regions as independent nations.
2008 Dec 22, China’s central
bank announced its 5th interest rate cut in just over 3 months. The
benchmark one year lending rate was cut .27% to 5.31%.
(WSJ, 12/23/08, p.A5)
2008 Dec 22, In Egypt 7 Russian
tourists died when their bus flipped over along the winding mountain
roads north of the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik.
2008 Dec 22, In Guinea longtime
dictator Lansana Conte died. His death was made public the next day
as a military-led group seized control of the airwaves.
2008 Dec 22, OSCE talks on the
Georgia collapsed, when Russia demanded the group join Moscow in
recognizing the statehood of the provinces of South Ossetia and
Abkhazia. The mission will expire on Dec 31.
2008 Dec 22, Toyota Motor Corp.
projected its first-ever operating loss since 1939, acknowledging
that its nine-year stretch of global vehicle-sales growth had
stalled. Pres. Katsuaki Watanabe projected an operating loss of $1.7
(AP, 12/22/08)(WSJ, 12/23/08, p.A7)
2008 Dec 22, Laura Zuniga (23),
a reigning Mexican beauty queen from the drug-plagued state of
Sinaloa, was arrested with suspected gang members in a truck filled
guns and ammunition. Soldiers found a large stash of weapons,
including two AR-15 assault rifles, .38 specials, 9mm handguns, nine
magazines, 633 cartridges and $53,300 in US currency.
2008 Dec 22, In Pakistan
suspected US drones fired at least two missiles into South
Waziristan region on the Afghan border, killing seven people.
2008 Dec 22, The ruble dropped
further as the Central Bank again eased its support of the Russian
currency, under constant pressure from plunging oil prices and
2008 Dec 22, Sri Lankan troops
launched a major attack against Tamil rebel fortifications, sparking
clashes that killed 57 insurgents and 10 soldiers. The Tamil Tigers
said more than 100 soldiers were killed.
2008 Dec 22, A Sudanese
official said at least 18,000 Eritrean and Somali refugees have
arrived in Sudan since the start of the year, and the government is
struggling to provide them with aid.
2008 Dec 22, UN experts said
some 5.5 million people in Zimbabwe, about half the population, need
food aid, as they called for increased international help for the
country which is battling a cholera epidemic. A UN human rights
expert said Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is "a mad dictator"
who has lost all sense of reality.
(AP, 12/22/08)(Reuters, 12/22/08)
2009 Dec 22, The Obama
administration announced that Howard Schmidt is the president's
choice to be his cyber security coordinator.
2009 Dec 22, A US federal
appeals court ordered Microsoft Corp. to stop selling its Word
program in January and pay a Canadian software company $290 million
for violating a patent, upholding the judgment of a lower court.
Toronto-based i4i Inc. sued Microsoft in 2007, saying it owned the
technology behind a tool in the popular word processing program.
2009 Dec 22, Parker Griffith
(b.1942), a Democratic congressman from Alabama, announced that he
was switching parties to become a Republican.
2009 Dec 22, In Afghanistan 4
militants were killed in two separate operations. In the Qarabagh
district of Ghazni province, 3 insurgents were killed by a joint
Afghan-international force. An Afghan army and police patrol killed
a militant suspected of making bombs in Zabul province. In Kandahar
province, 2 civilians were killed and 3 wounded when a roadside mine
explosion hit their vehicle.
2009 Dec 22, The EU Court of
Human Rights said Bosnia’s constitution discriminates against Jews
and Roma because it does not allow them to run for parliament of
president. Only Bosnians, Serbs and Croats are allowed to run for
(SFC, 12/23/09, p.A2)
2009 Dec 22, Budget airline
EasyJet cancelled about 180 flights due both to the "significant
snowfall" and airport closures across Britain, in a fresh blow to
passengers hoping to travel for the Christmas holidays.
2009 Dec 22, Chinese local
media reported that a man who killed and ate what may have been the
last wild Indochinese tiger in China was sentenced to 12 years in
jail. Kang Wannian, a villager from Mengla, Yunnan Province, met the
tiger in February while gathering freshwater clams in a nature
reserve near China's border with Laos. He claimed to have killed it
2009 Dec 22, Egypt confirmed it
is engaged in construction along its border with Gaza but said it is
not building what some reports have said is a steel wall to block
2009 Dec 22, An Ethiopian court
sentenced five people to death, including Berhanu Nega, an Ethiopian
professor teaching at a US university, and 33 to life in prison for
being members of a terror group and conspiring to assassinate
government officials. Nega, an exiled opposition leader, was elected
mayor of Addis Ababa in 2005. Berhanu and more than 100 other
opposition politicians were arrested after the 2005 election and put
on trial for treason. Berhanu and others were pardoned and freed
after 20 months, but the government last week revoked Berhanu's
2009 Dec 22, Eurostar resumed
its high-speed rail service linking Britain, France and Belgium
after a three-day suspension that stranded tens of thousands of
2009 Dec 22, Hansjoerg Haber,
EU monitoring mission chief, said Russia has failed to fully observe
an EU-brokered peace deal that ended last year's war with Georgia.
He said Russia has not met an obligation to withdraw its forces to
positions held before the August 2008 conflict.
2009 Dec 22, The Pan American
Development Foundation reported that poverty has forced at least
225,000 children in Haiti's cities into slavery as unpaid household
servants, far more than previously thought.
2009 Dec 22, Iran's president
dismissed a year-end deadline set by the Obama administration and
the West for Tehran to accept a UN-drafted deal to swap enriched
uranium for nuclear fuel, and claimed his government is now "10
times stronger" than a year ago. A state television Web site said
Pres. Ahmadinejad had appointed a new chief of the Art Academy,
removing opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi from the post. In
southern Iran police shot dead two relatives of convicts during a
melee that erupted at a public execution. Relatives, who came to
watch the hanging of two convicts, started a scuffle, prompting the
police to open fire.
(AP, 12/22/09)(AP, 12/23/09)(AP, 12/24/09)
2009 Dec 22, American Airlines
Flight 331 carrying 154 people skidded across a Jamaican runway in
heavy rain, bouncing across the tarmac and injuring more than 40
people before it stopped just short of the Caribbean Sea.
(AP, 12/23/09)(SFC, 12/24/09, p.A2)
2009 Dec 22, Lithuania said it
may have hosted two 'war on terror' lock-ups used by American agents
to interrogate suspected Al-Qaeda members. Arvydas Anusauskas, the
head of an inquiry commission, said the first project was developed
from 2002 and that a 2nd site was created in 2004. The probe found
that five CIA-linked aircraft landed on Lithuanian soil from 2003 to
2006. Two touched down in Vilnius on February 3, 2003, and October
6, 2005. In the second case, border guards were barred from checking
the plane. Three other aircraft landed at Palanga, on the Baltic
coast, around 330 km from Vilnius, on January 2 and February 18,
2005, and March 25, 2006.
2009 Dec 22, In Mexico
assailants gunned down the mother, aunt and siblings of Melquisedet
Angulo (30), a marine killed in the Dec 16 raid that took out Arturo
Beltran Leyva, one of Mexico's most powerful cartel leaders. This
sent a chilling message to troops battling the drug war: You go
after us, we wipe out your families. Gunmen sprayed bullets at a
restaurant in Piedras Negras where the mayor of a Texas border town
was eating with a Mexican state attorney general and other
officials. A woman leaving the building was killed. Journalist
Alberto Velazquez of the newspaper Expresiones de Tulum was gunned
down this week as he left a holiday party in the Mexican Caribbean
resort town of Tulum, bringing to 12 the number of reporters killed
this year in the country.
(AP, 12/22/09)(AP, 12/25/09)
2009 Dec 22, Pakistani Taliban
commander Hakimullah Mehsud urged his fighters not to stir trouble
in North Waziristan, apparently in the hope of securing sanctuary in
a region that is dominated by militants who have signed a truce with
the government. A suicide bomber struck outside a press club in the
northwestern city of Peshawar, killing three people and wounding 17.
2009 Dec 22, In Puerto Rico
Gov. Luis Fortuno signed legislation that lowered the blood alcohol
limit for drivers ages 18 to 20 to .02% from the standard .08% that
applies to all other drivers on the US island.
2009 Dec 22, Saudi Arabia said
that 73 Saudis have been killed and 26 gone missing since the
kingdom launched an offensive against Yemeni Shiite rebels along the
border last month. Rebels, known as Hawthis, have alleged dozens of
civilian deaths in Saudi air assaults.
(SFC, 12/23/09, p.A2)
2009 Dec 22, Spain's Christmas
lottery showered hundreds of thousand of euros (dollars) in prize
money on the country's capital. The top prize of the lottery, ranked
among the world's richest, went to holders of tickets bearing the
number 78294. The number appears on 1,950 tickets, and each holder
stood to win euro300,000 ($430,000).
2010 Dec 22, President Barack
Obama fulfilled a campaign promise and signed a landmark law
repealing the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the armed
2010 Dec 22, The US Senate, in
its final act of the lameduck session, approved the Strategic Arms
Reduction Treaty (71-26) signed earlier this year by Pres. Obama and
Russia’s Pres. Medvedev.
(SFC, 12/23/10, p.A6)
2010 Dec 22, In South San
Francisco, Ca., 3 young men were shot and killed in a driveby
shooting at the corner of Linden and Eighth Lane. In 2012 nineteen
people were indicted for the killings. 3 federal agents were wounded
during arrest procedures.
(SFC, 5/4/12, p.A10)
2010 Dec 22, In Chicago 2
firefighters were killed when a roof collapsed in a vacant burning
building. The tragedy took place exactly 100 years following the
Chicago Union Stock Yards fire that killed 21 firemen.
(SFC, 12/23/10, p.A7)
2010 Dec 22, Afghan officials
said Iran has banned fuel exports to Afghanistan, stranding about
3,000 fuel trucks at the border and driving up wholesale prices for
the refined products ahead of what many Afghans fear will be a
blistery winter in their oil-poor nation.
2010 Dec 22, A joint Afghan and
NATO patrol killed several insurgents in the southern province of
Helmand during an operation targeting a mid-level Taliban leader
involved in roadside bomb attacks. A Taliban leader involved in the
Dec 19 bus bombing in Kabul and two other insurgents in an airstrike
in Ghazni province in the center of the country. A roadside bomb
struck a tractor pulling a cart loaded with passengers, killing a
child and wounding nine people in the Garm Ser district of Helmand
2010 Dec 22, Albania invited an
international investigation into claims it was linked with the
trafficking of organs from slain civilians during the war in
2010 Dec 22, In Argentina
former dictator Jorge Videla was sentenced to life in prison for the
torture and murder of 31 prisoners, most of whom who were "shot
while trying to escape" in the months after his military coup.
2010 Dec 22, In Australia Kok
Loong Wong of Malaysia appeared in a Sydney court charged with
possessing 200 pounds (90 kg) of crystal meth in his home, the
seventh-largest "ice" haul in Australian history.
2010 Dec 22, A rights group
said Belarus has opened criminal probes against 18 leading
opposition figures over involvement in post-election riots that
could see them jailed for up to 15 years. Belarus has said it
arrested over 600 people in the wake of recent protests against
authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko's re-election.
2010 Dec 22, Bolivia sent a
letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declaring its
recognition of an independent and sovereign state of Palestine.
2010 Dec 22, A Dubai court
slashed the prison terms for two men convicted in the 2009 slaying
of a former Chechen warlord from life to just three years in a
surprise ruling that highlighted the international intrigue
surrounding the case. The family of the slain Chechen strongman,
Sulim Yamadayev, had submitted a letter disavowing any desire for
further punishments in connection with the killing.
2010 Dec 22, In France 113
children arrived from Haiti to start new lives with adoptive parents
in time for the holidays.
2010 Dec 22, Haitian officials
said angry mobs have lynched at least 45 people in recent weeks,
accusing them of spreading a cholera outbreak that has killed over
2,500 people across the country.
2010 Dec 22, The Indian
government, facing mounting public anger over soaring onion costs,
scrapped tax on imports of the vegetable to try to rein in prices of
the staple food.
2010 Dec 22, Iran's armed Sunni
militant group said it will kill an abducted Iranian after
authorities rejected an offer to swap the hostage for 200 of the
group's imprisoned members. The man was identified as a former
worker at an Iranian nuclear facility who was kidnapped two months
2010 Dec 22, In Iraq a large
military operation targeting Al-Qaeda and their sleeper cells was
launched overnight in Anbar province. 93 suspects were arrested,
including 60 wanted men. Gunmen with silenced weapons raked the car
of General Imad Hasham with gunfire in a Baghdad street, killing him
and wounding his daughter. Gunmen also with silenced weapons shot
and wounded police Lieutenant Colonel Majid Hamid as he was driving
through the Amiriya area of Baghdad.
2010 Dec 22, In Rome, Italy,
all embassies were informed about a pair of package bombs that
exploded at the Swiss and Chilean embassies, injuring two people who
opened them. Security officials later said that an Italian group
calling itself Informal Anarchist Federation claimed responsibility.
(AP, 12/23/10)(AP, 12/24/10)
2010 Dec 22, In Rome tens of
thousands of students took to the streets to peacefully protest
planned changes in the university system. Protests in Palermo and
Milan turned violent.
(SFC, 12/23/10, p.A4)
2010 Dec 22, Nigeria’s state
oil firm said it has shut down three of its four refineries because
of sabotage of pipelines leading to them. It called on the military
to increase security.
2010 Dec 22, A small Pakistani
army training plane crashed into mountains in the country's
southwest. The pilot and co-pilot died in the crash.
2010 Dec 22, The Saudi Civil
and Political Rights Association said in a statement that the
Interior Ministry summoned the coordinators of the protest to notify
them that their request has been rejected, without giving any
reasons. The group's 20 demands included curtailing privileges of
members of the Saudi royal family, fighting corruption and nepotism,
and creating an independent judiciary.
2010 Dec 22, South Korea
announced land and sea military exercises including its largest-ever
live-fire drill near North Korea just as tension on the peninsula
was beginning to ease after Pyongyang's attack on a southern island.
2010 Dec 22, Spain's "El
Gordo", one of the world's biggest lotteries, gave out 2.3 billion
euros (1.9 billion British pounds) in Christmas prizes with
Spaniards spending almost the same as last year on tickets.
2010 Dec 22, In Sudan Mudawi
Ibrahim, a prominent Darfur activist, was sentenced to one year in
prison and fined on embezzlement charges. He was acquitted on the
same charges earlier. Authorities appealed and won a new verdict
without a retrial.
2010 Dec 22, Thailand's
government withdrew armed soldiers from skytrain stops in Bangkok
and other key sites as it lifted an eight-month-old state of
emergency imposed when protesters overran the capital.
2010 Dec 22, In Tunisia a
24-year-old jobless protester was electrocuted after announcing he
wanted to end his life and mounting a high-voltage electricity pole
in the town of Sidi Bouzid. Police fired tear gas at stone-throwing
protesters after simmering tensions linked to unemployment erupted
after the demonstrator committed suicide.
2010 Dec 22, The UN nuclear
agency said tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste from a defunct
Serbian reactor have been repatriated to Russia. The 2.5 metric tons
(2.76 tons) of the spent fuel arrived at a secure Russian facility
from Serbia's Vinca reactor.
2010 Dec 22, The UN Security
Council voted to increase by half the number of African Union
peacekeepers supporting Somalia's transitional government against
2010 Dec 22, A Venezuelan court
sentenced Jose Sanchez Montiel, an opposition politician, to 19
years in prison, saying he was an accomplice in the 2007 killing of
a military intelligence official. He was elected to the National
Assembly in September while in jail awaiting sentencing. On Dec 24,
2011, a court granted parole to Montiel for humanitarian reasons
because of his advanced prostate cancer.
(AP, 12/23/10)(AP, 12/24/11)
2011 Dec 22, US House Speaker
John Boehner announced that Republicans have decided to accept a
short-term extension of the payroll tax cut, preventing a hike in
taxes just nine days before the tax break expires for 160 million
2011 Dec 22, US regulators
approved a Westinghouse next generation nuclear reactor slated for
Florida Power and Light’s Turkey Point plant and five other
utilities in the Southeast. These would be the first new reactors in
the US in 3 decades.
(SFC, 12/23/11, p.A6)
2011 Dec 22, The US Justice
Dept. unsealed a suit against AseraCare Hospice of Texas for
fraudulently certifying patients as terminally ill to illegally
collect Medicare payments since at least 2007. AseraCare is a
subsidiary of Golden Living, which was 99% owned by the Washington
State Investment Board, whose investments are managed by Fillmore
(SFC, 1/6/12, p.A8)(http://tinyurl.com/7ewsnhv)
2011 Dec 22, In Fort Wayne,
Indiana, babysitter and trusted neighbor Michael Plumadore (39)
bludgeoned Aliahna Lemmon (9) to death with a brick then dismembered
her, hiding her head, hands and feet at his home and dumping the
rest of her remains nearby.
2011 Dec 22, Francisco Morales
(52) was arrested in Brownsville, Texas, for posing as a physician
and performing procedures using stem cells on patients in Mexico.
Three other were later charged in the operation.
(SFC, 12/29/11, p.A9)
2011 Dec 22, In eastern
Afghanistan a NATO service member was killed by a roadside bomb.
Insurgents tried to overrun a police checkpoint in western Ghor
province. One attacker was killed and three policemen were wounded
in the clashes.
(AP, 12/22/11)(AP, 12/23/11)
2011 Dec 22, Argentina’s Senate
gave final approval to a package of laws doubling the penalties for
crimes committed with the goal of terrorizing the people or
pressuring authorities to take some action. Human rights groups were
concerned it will be used to crack down on social protest. The
Senate also imposed tough new limits on foreign ownership of
farmland, part of a package of laws that give the government much
more control over the agricultural industry.
2011 Dec 22, Bahrain's official
news agency said 79 education ministry employees who were dismissed
from their jobs during months of protests will get their jobs back
by January 1.
2011 Dec 22, In southern China
witnesses said police have begun arresting protesters after two days
of violent clashes, as the local government warned against further
2011 Dec 22, Egypt's
military-appointed PM Kamal el-Ganzouri called for national dialogue
to resolve the country's political crisis and pleaded for a
two-month calm to restore security after weeks of protests and
bloodshed. Some 3,000 students from Ain Shams University in Cairo
marched after a prayer service for a student killed in the recent
clashes. Turnout was light in the second day of voting in run-off
2011 Dec 22, French officials
prepared to decide if thousands of women should have their implants
surgically removed. Silicone gel implants, made by a company called
Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) which was shut down in 2010, appear to
have an unusually high rupture rate and have sparked an
investigation in France into possible links to cancer. Fears over
the safety of the breast implants made by PIP spread to Australia,
South America and across Europe.
2011 Dec 22, Berlin-based
Transparency International published a survey: "Daily Lives and
Corruption: Public Opinion in South Asia," which found 62% of south
Asians believed corruption had got worse over the past three years,
with Indians and Pakistanis the most pessimistic.
2011 Dec 22, Indonesian police
arrested eight people in connection with an overloaded boat carrying
250 asylum seekers that capsized on Dec 17 en route to Australia, as
the confirmed death toll reached 90.
2011 Dec 22, In Iraq a wave of
at least 14 morning bombings ripped across Baghdad, killing 69
people in the worst violence in Iraq for months. The bombings bore
all the hallmarks of al-Qaida's Sunni insurgents. 4 more bombings in
the evening killed 3 more people.
(AP, 12/22/11)(SFC, 12/23/11, p.A3)(AP, 12/27/11)
2011 Dec 22, Italy’s Senate
voted to give final approval to a $40 billion austerity and growth
package designed to eliminate its budget deficit by 2013.
(SFC, 12/23/11, p.A2)
2011 Dec 22, Kenyan authorities
said they have seized 727 pieces of ivory in a container at the main
port of Mombasa in one of the largest hauls of tusks in recent
years. The items were wrapped in plastic bags in a container which
documents said was destined for Dubai.
2011 Dec 22, In Mexico a group
of gunmen attacked three passenger buses in the Gulf coast state of
Veracruz, killing seven passengers in what authorities said appeared
to be a violent robbery spree. 3 US citizens were among the dead.
(AP, 12/22/11)(AP, 12/23/11)
2011 Dec 22, In Nigeria unrest
broke out in the city of Damaturu and two other northeastern cities,
Maiduguri and Potiskum, leaving at least six people dead.
2011 Dec 22, Pakistan's PM
Yousuf Raza Gilani claimed there was a conspiracy to oust the
country's civilian government, a sign of growing tension with the
army over a secret memo sent to Washington earlier this year asking
for help in averting a supposed military coup.
2011 Dec 22, In Pakistan nearly
3 dozen Taliban fighters attacked a paramilitary fort in the
northwest, killing one soldier and kidnapping 15 others. They
captured a significant amount of weapons. The bodies of the
kidnapped were found on Jan 5.
(SFC, 1/6/12, p.A4)
2011 Dec 22, The rival
Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas took an important step toward
reconciliation, announcing plans for the Islamic militants to join
the umbrella group that has overseen two decades of on-and-off peace
talks with Israel. Israeli officials reacted with alarm to the
2011 Dec 22, Russia’s President
Dmitry Medvedev responded to protests over the fraud-tainted
election by proposing some reforms to liberalize the political
system, but sternly warned that the government won't allow
"provocateurs and extremists" to threaten stability.
2011 Dec 22, In Senegal
Barthelemy Dias, the youth leader of the West African country's
Socialist party, was attacked by political opponents at his office.
Dias was charged with murder on Dec 28 for the political clash that
left one person dead and three others wounded. He maintained that he
acted in self-defense.
2011 Dec 22, A rebel spokesman
said troops from Sudan's Darfur region have begun moving towards the
capital Khartoum, more than three years after they made an
unprecedented attack on the capital.
2011 Dec 22, In Syria fresh
raids and gunfire by government forces killed at least 19 people,
most of them in the central city of Homs and northern Idlib
province. Arab League delegates traveled to Syria to arrange the
deployment of foreign monitors under a plan aimed at ending the
regime's deadly 9-month-old crackdown on dissent. A total of 500
observers are planned.
2011 Dec 22, Turkey's PM
Erdogan said his country is recalling its ambassador to France and
halting official contact in retaliation for a vote in the French
Parliament making it a crime to deny the 1915 mass killings of
Armenians was a genocide. The bill, just passed in France's lower
house, still needed approval in the Senate.
2011 Dec 22, In Yemen fighting
killed five militants and five soldiers in Zinjibar. Residents
reported heavy naval bombardment of the city, near Yemen's southern
2012 Dec 22, Gun enthusiasts
thronged to shows around the country to buy assault weapons they
fear will soon be outlawed after a massacre of school children in
Connecticut prompted calls for tighter controls on firearms.
2012 Dec 22, In Afghanistan US
Navy Seal Cmdr. Job W. Price (42) of Pottstown, Pa., died of a
noncombat-related injury in Uruzgan province. His death was being
investigated as a suicide.
2012 Dec 22, Dominican Rep.
authorities announced the arrest of 7 suspects and the seizure of
more than 2,200 pounds of cocaine and heroin. A records 9 tons of
cocaine was reported seized this year.
(SSFC, 12/23/12, p.A10)
2012 Dec 22, Egypt’s Vice
President Mahmoud Mekki resigned, saying he realized that politics
did not suit his professional background as a judge. Central bank
governor, Farouq el-Oqdah, also resigned.
2012 Dec 22, Egyptians voted in
the second and final phase of a referendum on an Islamist-backed
constitution that has polarized the nation, with little indication
that the result of the vote will end the political crisis in which
the country is mired.
2012 Dec 22, In Iraq a bomb
hidden in a plastic bag exploded near the shop in the town of
Qazaniyah 180 km northeast of Baghdad. 4 people were killed and 11
2012 Dec 22, In northern
Nigeria twin suicide bombings targeted two major mobile phone
operators, threatening communications in Kano. Authorities suspected
the Boko Haram sect for the attacks.
2012 Dec 22, Hyundai Heavy
Industries Co. paid about $187,000 to free four South Korean workers
and their local colleague abducted on Dec 17. Police learned of the
kidnapping payment only after arresting one of three suspected
2012 Dec 22, In Oman more than
1,400 candidates competed in the Gulf nation's first municipal
elections, a concession following Arab Spring-linked unrest.
2012 Dec 22, In Pakistan a
suicide bomber attacked a political rally held by the Awami National
Party. 9 people were killed including politician Bashir Ahmad
Bilour, a senior minister in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Another 20 were wounded in the attack in Peshawar.
(AP, 12/22/12)(SSFC, 12/23/12, p.A6)
2012 Dec 22, Pope Benedict XVI
granted his former butler a Christmas pardon, forgiving him in
person during a jailhouse meeting for stealing and leaking private
papers in one of the gravest Vatican security breaches in recent
times. Paolo Gabriele was freed and returned to his Vatican City
apartment where he lives with his wife and three children.
2013 Dec 22, A band of severe
weather from tornadoes to icy blasts left at least 7 people dead as
winter storms and severe weather pushed up the East Coast, bringing
record high temperatures to Philadelphia and NYC. The storm system
brought freezing rain across much of Eastern Canada, cutting power
to hundreds of thousands of people and wreaking havoc on holiday
plans at one of the busiest travel times of the year.
(Reuters, 12/23/13)(AP, 12/23/13)
2013 Dec 22, Louisiana’s Lt.
Gov. Jay Dardenne said the “Duck Dynasty” reality TV show is
important to state tourism and that he could connect the Robertson
family to new producers if they cannot reach an agreement with the
A&E network. Patriarch Phil Robertson was suspended last week
for telling GQ magazine that gays are sinners akin to adulterers and
(SFC, 12/23/13, p.A7)
2013 Dec 22, NY-based Tiffany
& Co. said it was ordered to pay Swatch Group AG about 402
million Swiss francs ($449 million) in compensation over a
contractual dispute. The Netherlands Arbitration Institute also
required Tiffany to pay more than $9 million for the Swiss
watchmaker's legal fees and the cost of arbitration.
2013 Dec 22, Apple announced
that it has finalized a deal to sell the iPhone through China
Mobile, the world’s largest mobile phone carrier.
(SFC, 12/23/13, p.A12)
2013 Dec 22, Australia
announced an aerial Customs and Border Protection mission to the
Southern Ocean as a showdown looms between Japan's whaling fleet and
Sea Shepherd activists, saying it would send a message to both sides
that the world was watching.
2013 Dec 22, Bangladesh
security forces arrested 37 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals after
raiding an illegal Internet telephone operation they were allegedly
running in an upscale Dhaka neighborhood.
2013 Dec 22, Bangladesh police
charged the owners and 11 others over the nation's worst garment
factory fire that killed 111 people, after wrapping up an
investigation on the Nov 24, 2012, tragedy.
2013 Dec 22, In Brazil 14
people died when a bus drove off a road and plunged into a ravine in
Sao Paulo state.
2013 Dec 22, In Central African
Republic former Seleka rebels and their Muslim supporters blocked a
route near Bangui's airport to protest against French troops
conducting a disarmament operation, accusing them of killing 3
fighters in clashes.
2013 Dec 22, In Egypt 3 leading
figures of the 2011 uprising were jailed for three years each for
their role in recent protests, as the army-backed authorities
intensified a crackdown on dissent.
2013 Dec 22, In Germany Mikhail
Khodorkovsky vowed to do all he can to ensure the release of other
political prisoners in Russia.
2013 Dec 22, In Honduras
Nedenia Post Dye (46), a great-granddaughter of Marjorie
Merriweather Post, was found slain at her luxury spa on Roatan
island. Police arrested suspect Lenin Roberto Arana, a local singer
that to quit drugs.
(SSFC, 12/29/13, p.A5)
2013 Dec 22, India's
anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal vowed to clean up "dirty
politics" in a fiery speech suggesting that his Aam Aadmi will team
up with the Congress party to form a state government in Delhi.
(AFP, 12/22/13)(Econ, 12/14/13, p.49)
2013 Dec 22, In Libya a suicide
car bomb attack on a military checkpoint on the outskirts of
Benghazi killed 13 people.
2013 Dec 22, Saudi Arabia's
official news agency says King Abdullah has appointed his son,
Prince Mishaal, as the new governor of Mecca.
2013 Dec 22, In South Korea
hundreds of riot police stormed into a labor umbrella group's head
office in a bid to arrest union leaders. They detained about 130
strikers and confederation members. Workers with the state-run Korea
Railroad had walked off the job in protest against a decision to set
up a unit to run a high-speed bullet train, which they say will lead
to privatization and layoffs.
2013 Dec 22, South Sudan's
central government lost control of Bentiu, the capital of key
oil-producing Unity state. Renegade forces loyal to a former deputy
president seized more territory in fighting that has raised fears of
full-blown civil war in the world's newest country.
2013 Dec 22, In Spain millions
were glued to their televisions as 2.5 billion in euros was
distributed in the country’s Christmas lottery during a 4-hour TV
show. For the first time 20% of winnings over 2,500 euros was taxed.
(SFC, 12/23/13, p.A2)
2013 Dec 22, A Sudanese court
acquitted award-winning journalist Faisal Mohammed Salih of
publishing lies in a column he wrote about an activist's allegation
of rape in custody.
2013 Dec 22, In Sweden
thousands took to the streets of Stockholm in a protest against
racism following a neo-Nazi attack on a similar but much smaller
rally last weekend.
2013 Dec 22, Syrian aircraft
pummeled an opposition neighborhood in Aleppo, killing at least 65
people and extending the government's furious aerial bombardment of
the rebel-held half of the divided city to an eighth consecutive
day. A suicide bomber detonated his bomb-rigged truck near a primary
school in the Shiite town of Umm al-Amed, killing at least 12
people, half of them children.
(AFP, 12/22/13)(AP, 12/22/13)(CSM, 12/23/13)
2013 Dec 22, In Thailand tens
of thousands of anti-government demonstrators massed peacefully
across Bangkok in their latest bid to topple PM Yingluck Shinawatra
before a February election the main opposition party will boycott.
2013 Dec 22, Turkish media
reported that authorities have removed another 25 police chiefs from
their posts, widening a crackdown on the force since it launched a
corruption investigation that PM Tayyip Erdogan has called a "dirty
operation" against his rule. Turkey's interior minister said he has
offered his resignation to PM Erdogan over a corruption scandal that
has resulted in his son's arrest. Police in Istanbul clashed with
protesters denouncing Erdogan's government over a corruption and
bribery scandal targeting his allies.
(Reuters, 12/22/13)(AP, 12/22/13)
2013 Dec 22, Ukrainian
opposition leaders urged supporters at a rally to stay on Kiev's
main square through New Year and Christmas, as street protests
appeared to be losing momentum.
2014 Dec 22, Joseph Sargent
(b.1925), American film director, died at his home in Malibu, Ca.
His films included “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” (1974),
“MacArthur” (1977) and “Jaws: The Revenge” (1987).
(SFC, 12/25/14, p.D4)
2014 Dec 22, Legendary British
singer Joe Cocker (70) died at his home in Crawford, Colorado. His
intense, gritty voice won him wide acclaim that spanned both rock
2014 Dec 22, Federal
authorities in Atlanta charged Mark Quentin Henry (45) and four
others with taking guns aboard at least 17 commercial airliners this
year as they traveled from Atlanta to both NYC airports. 153 guns,
all bought in Georgia, were seized during a 7-month gun trafficking
(SFC, 12/24/14, p.A6)
2014 Dec 22, A grand jury in
Baltimore returned indictments against 22 people involved in a
multi-state dog-fighting ring. 225 dogs and at least 20 weapons were
recovered following raids in Baltimore and West Virginia.
(SFC, 12/23/14, p.A5)
2014 Dec 22, In New Hampshire,
Jesus Gonzalo Palazuelos Soto, a member of the Sinaloa drug cartel,
was sentenced to nine years in prison. He had pleaded guilty to
conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine.
2014 Dec 22, Pennsylvania's
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said it imposed a
$999,900 fine on US oil and natural gas company Vantage Energy Inc,
one of the largest given to a driller by DEP this year, for several
environmental regulations violations.
2014 Dec 22, The Algerian army
killed Abdelmalek Gouri, the head of a militant group that beheaded
French tourist Herve Gourdel in September after it had pledged
allegiance to the Islamic State group. 2 other militants were also
killed in the operation in Isser.
2014 Dec 22, A court in
Argentina convicted and sentenced a doctor and midwife for their
roles in abducting newborns from women during the 1976-1983 military
dictatorship. The court sentenced retired military doctor Norberto
Atilio Bianco (69), to a 13-year term, and midwife Yolanda Arroche
(85), to a seven-year term. It acquitted a third accused, doctor
Raul Eugenio Martin (75).
2014 Dec 22, China's ruling
Communist Party announced a corruption investigation into Ling
Jihua, a one-time senior aide to former president Hu Jintao, as
President Xi Jinping opens another front in his sweeping battle
against deep-rooted graft.
2014 Dec 22, China issued
rules, effective March 1, requiring real-estate owners to register
their holdings with authorities, a major step in the fight against
official corruption that should make it harder for property
speculators to evade regulations.
2014 Dec 22, Chinese
prosecutors indicted the son of Hong Kong action film star Jackie
Chan on the charge of sheltering others to use drugs, more than four
months after he was detained.
2014 Dec 22, A Chinese military
plane crashed in the country's northwest and at least two people
2014 Dec 22, In CongoDRC at
least 30 people died when an overcrowded boat hit a rock and sank on
the Congo river. On Dec 25 rioting youngsters went on the rampage in
Isangi, the vessel's scheduled destination.
2014 Dec 22, Indian PM Narendra
Modi's reform agenda suffered a setback as protests erupted in
parliament and in the streets over a campaign by Hindu hardliners
linked to his party to convert Muslims and Christians to Hinduism.
2014 Dec 22, Italian
authorities said they have cracked a neo-Fascist plot to attack
immigrants and political targets, including magistrates.
2014 Dec 22, Kurdish fighters
in Iraq pushed deeper into the town of Sinjar, held by the Islamic
State group, but faced stiff resistance from the Sunni militants who
captured it in August.
2014 Dec 22, In France a driver
ploughed into a Christmas market in western France, injuring 10
people in Nantes. The driver stabbed himself in the chest "at least
nine times", causing himself serious, but not life-threatening,
2014 Dec 22, France-based
Airbus delivered its first next-generation A350-900 plane to Qatar
Airways in a formal ceremony that kickstarts its bid to erode rival
Boeing's dominance in the lucrative long-haul market.
2014 Dec 22, An Indonesian
court sentenced five janitors to up to eight years in prison over
the rape of a kindergartner boy (6) at an international school in
Jakarta. A sixth suspect committed suicide while in custody after
drinking bathroom cleanser.
2014 Dec 22, Kenyan police
arrested Feisal Mohammed Ali, an alleged ivory trafficker, at a
rental house in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. On Dec 24 a Kenyan court
charged him with smuggling tusks.
(AP, 12/23/14)(AFP, 12/24/14)
2014 Dec 22, In Libya clashes
in Benghazi killed another 16 people and wounded dozens.
2014 Dec 22, In Mexico Father
Lopez Gorostieta was kidnapped by a gang on the outskirts of Ciudad
Altamirano; his truck was found abandoned two days later. On Dec 25
he was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in an area of
southern Guerrero state dominated by drug cartels.
(AP, 12/27/14)(SFC, 12/27/14, p.A2)
2014 Dec 22, In northwestern
Myanmar a woman was fatally shot during a crackdown on protesters at
a controversial Chinese-backed copper mine.
2014 Dec 22, Nicaraguan
officials and a Chinese company broke ground on a $50 billion
transoceanic waterway predicted to rival the Panama Canal.
2014 Dec 22, In northeastern
Nigeria a bombing at a bus station killed at least 20 people at the
Dukku motor park on the outskirts of Gombe city. An explosion at the
main market in Bauchi city killed 7 people and injured 25 others.
(AFP, 12/22/14)(AFP, 12/23/14)
2014 Dec 22, North Korea, at
the center of a confrontation with the United States over the
hacking of Sony Pictures, experienced a complete Internet outage for
hours before links were restored on Dec 23.
2014 Dec 22, Norway's prison
authorities said they had seized over 200 letters from mass murderer
Anders Behring Breivik to prevent him from setting up a network
2014 Dec 22, Russia bailed out
a mid-sized bank for about $500 million to save it from bankruptcy.
The Central Bank said it will give Trust Bank 30 billion rubles that
will allow it to continue operating as normal.
2014 Dec 22, Activists said
Russia's Internet watchdog is working to block social networking
sites rallying support for a mass protest next month backing Kremlin
critic Alexei Navalny.
2014 Dec 22, In Scotland a
refuse truck crashed into a group of pedestrians in Glasgow killing
2014 Dec 22, A Spanish judge
ordered the king’s sister, Princess Cristina, to be tried along with
her husband on tax fraud charges.
(SFC, 12/23/14, p.A2)
2014 Dec 22, Spaniards were
glued to televisions as awards were announced in the world's richest
lottery. Holders of over 100 tickets in an upper middle class Madrid
neighborhood hit the jackpot as they celebrated winning 400,000-euro
($490,000) payoffs from a 2.5 billion-euro ($3 billion) pot of cash.
20 were also purchased in the southern city of Cadiz and a handful
were sold in other cities across the nation.
2014 Dec 22, The World Health
Organization said the Syrian government has approved the delivery of
medicine and surgical supplies to three areas of the country aid
workers were previously unable to reach regularly, including
2014 Dec 22, Pope Francis
listed 15 "ailments" of the Vatican Curia during his annual
Christmas greetings to the cardinals, bishops and priests who run
the central administration of the 1.2-billion strong Catholic
2015 Dec 22, Clarence Moses-El
(60), who spent 28 years in prison after being convicted of a rape
he says he didn’t commit, was released from the Denver County Jail
on bond after a judge threw out the guilty verdict in the case.
2015 Dec 22, In Afghanistan
British military advisers were deployed to the Helmand region.
Military planes dropped supplies to besieged Afghan forces in Sangin
after Taliban insurgents captured large swathes of the opium-growing
2015 Dec 22, Belgium police
detained a 9th man, identified as Abdoullah C. (30), in connection
with the Nov 13 attacks in Paris.
(SFC, 12/25/15, p.A3)
2015 Dec 22, Burundi's
government rejected a proposed African Union peacekeeping mission
already dubbed an "invasion force" by parliament.
2015 Dec 22, An Egyptian
military court sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie to
10 years in prison over deadly clashes following the 2013 ouster of
Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
2015 Dec 22, Greece's
parliament approved a resolution calling on the government to
recognize the state of Palestine.
2015 Dec 22, India passed
legislation lowering the age at which someone can be tried for rape
and other crimes to 16, spurred into action by an uproar over the
release of a minor convicted in a 2012 fatal gang rape of a
23-year-old woman on a Delhi bus.
2015 Dec 22, India’s media
reported that Alam Khan, the son of an murder victim, has confessed
to stabbing his father's killer to death and chopping his body into
12 pieces, one for every year since his father was slain.
2015 Dec 22, A small Indian
paramilitary plane crashed just outside New Delhi's main airport,
killing all 10 people on board.
2015 Dec 22, Indonesia’s
Forestry Ministry's investigations director said the government has
punished 23 companies for causing forest fires that spread thick,
smoky haze around Southeast Asia.
2015 Dec 22, Iraq's armed
forces stormed the center of Ramadi, in a drive to dislodge Islamic
State militants from their remaining stronghold in a city they
captured in May.
2015 Dec 22, The Italian
coastguard more than 650 people have been plucked to safety in the
Mediterranean and one body recovered.
2015 Dec 22, Malawi’s justice
minister said the government it will not arrest or prosecute gay
citizens while lawmakers review existing anti-gay laws.
2015 Dec 22, In Nepal a group
of ethnic protesters rejected a proposal from the government to end
months of conflict that has resulted in shortages of fuel and other
supplies and the deaths of 50 people. The group said the proposal
does not address their concerns and that the government was not
serious about their demands.
2015 Dec 22, Russian President
Vladimir Putin and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu agreed in a phone
call to coordinate their two countries' actions to fight terrorism
in the Middle East.
2015 Dec 22, An appeals court
in Saudi Arabia commuted a sentence of death by stoning for a Sri
Lankan maid convicted of adultery. The sentence was commuted to
three years in prison.
2015 Dec 22, In Spain the
Madrid city council announced it would rename 30 streets that pay
tribute to heroes of Francisco Franco's brutal dictatorship.
2015 Dec 22, In Syria Islamic
State group jihadists killed 9 students when they shelled a school
in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor.
2015 Dec 22, Tanzanian
authorities said they have seized tusks from about 45 elephants and
arrested two suspects at their home in Dar es Salaam.
2015 Dec 22, Tunisia extended
for another two months a state of emergency imposed after a deadly
November bus bombing claimed by the Islamic State group.
2015 Dec 22, Turkish tanks
pounded Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in Cizre. The army
said it has killed 127 Kurdish militants in a week.
2015 Dec 22, Turkish police
killed two female "terrorists" in a pre-dawn raid on a cell of
suspected militants in Istanbul.
2015 Dec 22, Eleven migrants
bound for EU member Greece, including 3 children, drowned off the
2015 Dec 22, Uruguayan
authorities said flooding caused by heavy rains has killed at least
two people and forced nearly 1,000 from their homes.
2015 Dec 22, Yemeni officials
said a Saudi-led coalition has launched more than a dozen airstrikes
against anti-government rebels in Taiz province, killing at least
2015 Dec 22, In Yemen
unidentified gunmen shot dead resistance leader Jalal al-Awbali in
the Dar Saad district of northern Aden.
2015 Dec 22, Most of Zambia was
plunged into darkness following a problem in the network. Power was
restored around midnight after an about five-hour outage.
2016 Dec 22, The Obama
administration said it is officially scrapping a post-9/11
requirement for immigrant men from predominantly Muslim countries to
register with the federal government.
(SFC, 12/23/16, p.A6)
2016 Dec 22, US Pres.-elect
Donald Trump named Kellyanne Conway as his White House counselor.
(SFC, 12/23/16, p.A5)
2016 Dec 22, Congo DRC soldiers
sealed part of the Matshipisha-Gbadolite neighborhood of Lubumbashi
and carried out mass arrests of young men, as talks to defuse the
country's explosive political crisis were set to continue.
2016 Dec 22, In eastern Congo
DRC fighting between Hutu and Nande ethnic militias killed left at
least 20 people dead in Bwalanda, North Kivu province.
(Reuters, 12/22/16)(SFC, 12/24/16, p.A2)
2016 Dec 22, Democratic
Republic of Congo troops killed 10 soldiers from neighboring Burundi
after they crossed the border overnight in pursuit of rebels.
2016 Dec 22, In Iraq three
suicide car bombs killed at least 15 civilians and eight Iraqi
policemen in Kokjali (Gogjali), an eastern suburb of Mosul. The
Islamic State claimed responsibility. Mortar fire also killed 11
people including four aid workers as civilians gathered to receive
assistance in Mosul city.
(Reuters, 12/22/16)(AFP, 12/22/16)
2016 Dec 22, In Israel Basel
Ghattas, an Arab lawmaker in the Knesset, to have his parliamentary
immunity stripped amid an investigation into suspicions he smuggled
cellphones to Palestinian prisoners.
2016 Dec 22, Japan and the US
marked a partial return of the land used by American troops to
Okinawa in a ceremony on the southern island, but there was no sign
the move was helping to lessen protests against the island's heavy
US military presence. Nearly 10,000 acres was returned to Okinawa in
exchange for six helipads for Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft being built
nearby. Locals protested the ceremony.
(AP, 12/22/16)(SSFC, 12/25/16, p.A6)
2016 Dec 22, In Japan a huge
fire in Itoigawa city spread to about 140 buildings. It was brought
under control after authorities called in extra firefighters to
fight the blaze.
2016 Dec 22, Two overcrowded
inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving
Libya for Italy. Some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared
2016 Dec 22, In Nigeria a
faction of Boko Haram allied to the Islamic State group attacked an
army barracks in northeastern Yobe state. President Muhammadu Buhari
said troops defeated Boko Haram in its Sambisa Forest stronghold in
2016 Dec 22, Russian Defense
Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russian air strikes in Syria have killed
35,000 rebel fighters since the start of operations there and
prevented the collapse of the Syrian state.
2016 Dec 22, Saudi Arabia
projected another budget deficit of 198 billion riyals ($53 billion)
in 2017 but reported a less-than-expected shortfall for this year
after cutbacks in the face of lower oil prices.
2016 Dec 22, Spain's annual
Christmas lottery showered some 56 million euros ($58 million) on
residents of the struggling town of Pinos Puente in the southern
region of Andalucia where nearly a third of the population is out of
2016 Dec 22, The Islamic State
released the video late today which purports to show the burning of
two Turkish soldiers captured near the northern Syrian town of
al-Bab. The two soldiers went missing in the area of al-Dana,
northwest of al-Bab, in late November.
2016 Dec 22, In Thailand
pro-democracy activist Jatupat 'Pai' Boonpattararaksa was
re-arrested after his bail was revoked in a case accusing him of
sharing online a Thai-language BBC story about the country's new
2016 Dec 22, Turkey's defense
minister said the number of Turkish soldiers killed in recent
attacks by Islamic State militants near the northern Syrian town of
al-Bab has risen to 16, adding that three other soldiers were
seriously wounded. He said a total of 35 Turkish soldiers have been
killed since the start of Turkey-backed rebels' incursion into
northern Syria that began on August 24.
2016 Dec 22, Pope Francis told
Vatican officials to start appointing women and lay people to top
jobs in the Curia, the Holy See bureaucracy that he is seeking to
2016 Dec 22, The UN Security
Council postponed a vote on a draft resolution demanding that Israel
halt its settlement activities in the Palestinian territories and
east Jerusalem. Egypt requested the delay to allow time for
consultations on the measure.
2017 Dec 22, President Donald
Trump signed a temporary spending bill to keep the government
running, for now. Trump also signed the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul
passed by the GOP controlled Congress.
(AP, 12/22/17)(SFC, 12/23/17, p.A6)
2017 Dec 22, The US State
Department said the United States would provide Ukraine with
"enhanced defensive capabilities" as Kiev battles Russian-backed
separatists in the eastern part of the country.
2017 Dec 22, The US State
Department re-designated China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea,
Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as
"countries of particular concern" under the International Religious
Freedom Act for having engaged in or tolerated egregious violations
of religious freedom.
2017 Dec 22, The San
Francisco-based Ninth US circuit court of Appeals ruled that Pres.
Trump has acted illegally for the third time in banning US entry of
anyone from a group of mostly Muslim nations. The court delayed
enforcement of its ruling while the government appeals to the
(SFC, 12/23/17, p.A6)
2017 Dec 22, The Trump
administration said energy companies and other businesses that
accidentally kill migratory birds will no longer be criminally
prosecuted, in a decision hailed by industry but denounced by
2017 Dec 22, California
officials said the 65% contained Thomas Fire, that has been burning
through rugged, drought-parched coastal terrain since Dec. 4, has
become the largest on record in the state. It surpassed the previous
record of the 2003 Cedar fire in San Diego County that scorched
273,246 acres and killed 15 people.
2017 Dec 22, Dozens of former
Miss Americas called on the leaders of the Atlantic City, NJ,
pageant organization to step down in the wake of an email scandal in
which CEO Sam Haskell and others used crass and vulgar terms to
refer to past winners. Pres. Josh Randall, president of the Miss
America Organization, and two other officials resigned the next day.
(SFC, 12/23/17, p.A5)(SSFC, 12/24/17, p.A9)
2017 Dec 22, Ohio Gov. John
Kasich signed legislation prohibiting doctors from performing
abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
(SFC, 12/23/17, p.A5)
2017 Dec 22, A US federal
lawsuit was filed in Oklahoma City on behalf of 15 girls who say
they were molested by Arnold Cohen (86), a Perry school district
(SFC, 12/26/17, p.A4)
2017 Dec 22, United Health
Group Inc. said that it will start an offer next week to buy all
outstanding shares of Empresas Banmédica. It planned to spend about
$2.8 billion to buy the health care provider and insurer that
operates in Chile, Columbia and Peru.
2017 Dec 22, In Afghanistan a
suicide car bombing killed at least six policemen in southern
Kandahar province while a motorcycle bomb blast in western Herat
province killed four civilians.
(AP, 12/22/17)(AFP, 12/22/17)
2017 Dec 22, Angola continued
to suffer a week of fuel shortages, a bitter irony for one of
Africa's leading oil producers, and a hardship that some people
blame on opponents of President Joao Lourenco.
2017 Dec 22, Cameroonian
reporter Ahmed Abba, a correspondent with Radio France International
(RFI), was released from jail after 29 months in detention. A
military tribunal in April sentenced Abba to 10 years in prison and
fined him the equivalent of about 85,000 euros ($100,000) for
"laundering the proceeds of terrorist acts" and "failure to denounce
acts of terrorism". A day earlier a military court acquitted on the
first charge and upheld the second, handing him a 24-month sentence.
2017 Dec 22, In Egypt hundreds
of Muslim demonstrators assaulted an unlicensed church south of
Cairo, in the latest assault on members of the country's Coptic
minority. The church in Giza, just outside of Cairo, was yet to be
sanctioned by the state but has been observing prayers for 15 years.
Authorities soon detained 15 people pending an investigation into
the attack on the church.
(AP, 12/23/17)(Reuters, 12/24/17)
2017 Dec 22, Two former French
spies were placed under formal investigation to face charges of
spying for a foreign power, compromising classified secrets and
delivering information detrimental to fundamental national
2017 Dec 22, In Germany a
Romanian truck driver was convicted of murder and rape in the
killing last year of a woman (27) who was out jogging in a forest in
Endingen. Austria sought the man's extradition for a further trial
there over the killing in 2014 of a French female student in
2017 Dec 22, India and China
discussed ways to prevent a repeat of a recent face-off between
their armed forces at a Himalayan plateau where their borders meet
and agreed that resolving their boundary disagreements served the
interests of both countries.
2017 Dec 22, In Indonesia the
remains of a pregnant elephant, already dead for about ten days, was
found in a palm oil plantation in Aceh on Sumatra island, in what
authorities suspect was a deliberate poisoning.
2017 Dec 22, Israeli troops
shot dead at least two Palestinians, as protests intensified against
Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
2017 Dec 22, Italy organized a
first airlift of refugees from Libyan detention centers after coming
under international criticism for helping the Libyan coast guard
block migrants from leaving by boat.
2017 Dec 22, Japan-based
Toshiba Corp.'s energy systems unit unveiled a long telescopic pipe
carrying a pan-tilt camera designed to gather crucial information
about the situation inside the reactor chambers at the
tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant.
2017 Dec 22, Macedonia's
left-wing prime minister said he is ready to renounce his country's
claim to the legacy of Alexander the Great to help solve a
26-year-old dispute with neighboring Greece over the country's name.
2017 Dec 22, Malaysian police
said they have arrested 20 suspected militants, including 13
foreigners, adding to a list of hundreds detained in recent years
accused of having links to terror groups. The suspects were arrested
in a counter-terror operation carried out in four states between
Nov. 30 and Dec. 15.
2017 Dec 22, Mexico’s interior
ministry published figures showing that a total of 23,101 murder
investigations were opened in the first 11 months of this year,
surpassing the 22,409 registered in the whole of 2011. This was the
highest Mexican murder total since modern records began.
2017 Dec 22, In the southern
Philippines a mudslide triggered by heavy rain buried dozens of
houses in a farming community in the Tubod region, Lanao del Norte
province. Local officials said seven people had been killed by
flooding in Lanao del Sur province.
2017 Dec 22, Communist
guerrillas in the Philippines declared a Christmas truce after the
government made a similar overture despite a recent breakdown of
peace talks. The truce would also mark the 49th founding anniversary
on Dec. 26 of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
2017 Dec 22, The Polish
government donated 100 million zlotys ($28 million) to preserve a
major Jewish cemetery in Warsaw where many tombstones are
dilapidated or covered by vegetation.
2017 Dec 22, Russian Defense
Minister Sergei Shoigu said a total of 48,000 of Russian troops have
taken part in Moscow's military campaign in Syria.
2017 Dec 22, A group of Russian
scientists sounded the alarm over what they said were attempts by
Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the security service (FSB), to
openly justify Stalin's mass purges, the first such attempt in
2017 Dec 22, In Serbia
authorities in Belgrade faced outrage over the purchase of a plastic
Christmas tree that reportedly cost 83,000 euros ($98,000) and has
sparked corruption allegations.
2017 Dec 22, In South Korea
Shin Kyuk-Ho (95), the wheelchair-bound founder of South Korea's
embattled Lotte retail conglomerate, was convicted of embezzlement
and breach of duty and sentenced to four years in prison.
2017 Dec 22, Spain's National
Court agreed to extradite 93 Chinese citizens following a crackdown
on Spain-based gangs that allegedly swindled people in China out of
millions of euros by telephone.
2017 Dec 22, Uganda's army said
it had launched attacks on a shadowy rebel group in the eastern
Democratic Republic of Congo, where the militants killed 14 UN
peacekeepers earlier this month.
2017 Dec 22, The UN Security
Council approved a US-drafted resolution ramping up sanctions on
North Korea by restricting oil supplies vital for Pyongyang's
missile and nuclear programs.
(AFP, 12/22/17)(AP, 12/23/17)
2017 Dec 22, UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres extended for three years the
mandate of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is prosecuting
suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister
2017 Dec 22, The Vatican
confirmed that Pope Francis had ordered up an investigation into
alleged financial and other irregularities in the diocese of one of
his top advisers, Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga.
2017 Dec 22, A court in Vietnam
upheld a nine-year jail sentence for prominent activist and blogger
Tran Thi Nga (40), convicted of spreading propaganda against the
2018 Dec 22, An air of chaos
enveloped Washington as the US government kicked off the holidays by
partially shutting down, following the failure of leaders to pass a
federal spending bill as negotiations stalled over Donald Trump's
demand for money to build a US-Mexico border wall.
2018 Dec 22, Human rights
groups along with current and former soccer players on called on
FIFA and the Australian government to intervene to stop the
extradition of Hakeem al-Araibi, a Melbourne-based refugee and
semi-professional soccer player, from Thailand to Bahrain.
2018 Dec 22, Balkan leaders
from Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia gathered in the Serbian capital of
Belgrade as part of a regular regional initiative to foster
cooperation on an array of issues such as migration and trade.
2018 Dec 22, The Bangladesh
Nationalist Party (BNP) said authorities closed its website last
week when they shut 54 news portals and websites for what they
claimed were security reasons, just days before the December 30
2018 Dec 22, A Brazilian court
shot down a fresh injunction by a judge over a plan by plane makers
Boeing of the US and Embraer of Brazil to create a $5.26-billion
2018 Dec 22, Paddy Ashdown
(b.1941), the face of centrist politics in Britain for more than a
decade died after being treated for cancer. The one-time marine
commando stood down in 1999 and went on to become the United Nations
high representative and European Union special representative for
Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2018 Dec 22, Canadian PM Justin
Trudeau made a surprise holiday visit to Mali to see troops on a UN
peacekeeping mission. Trudeau also met with Mali's PM Soumeylou
Boubeye Maiga to discuss relations between the two countries.
2018 Dec 22, In eastern
CongoDRC rebels attacked the city of Beni late today, killing five
civilians and wounding eight others. The ADF militia from Uganda was
2018 Dec 22, Cuban lawmakers
unanimously approved a revised draft of a new constitution that
retains the island's one-party socialist system but reflects its
socio-economic opening since the fall of the Soviet Union.
2018 Dec 22, Dr. Jiko Luveni
(72), the first female speaker of Fiji's Parliament, died. She was
re-elected in last month's general election and retained the role of
2018 Dec 22, French President
Emmanuel Macron traveled to Chad for a two-day visit to meet with
French soldiers deployed in the Sahel region with Operation Barkhane
amid persistent extremist threats.
2018 Dec 22, French "yellow
vests" turned out in smaller numbers for a sixth Saturday of
protests in cities and border points, as a fatal road accident
brought the death toll to 10 since the movement began last month.
2018 Dec 22, In Indonesia a
deadly tsunami struck in the dark, without warning, killing at least
222 people late today along the Sunda Strait. The disaster followed
an eruption and possible landslide on the volcanic island of Anak
Krakatau. The death toll soon climbed to 430, with at least 159
missing and more than 1,400 injured.
(AP, 12/23/18)(AP, 12/24/18)(Reuters, 12/26/18)
2018 Dec 22, Iran's state TV
reported the execution by lynching of Hamid Reza Bagheri Derain, a
businessman convicted of fraud, bribery and embezzlement.
2018 Dec 22, In Israel
Holocaust survivor Simcha Rotem (94) died. He was among the last
known Jewish fighters from the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising against
2018 Dec 22, Italy's far-right
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Italian ports were closed to
hundreds of migrants rescued off Libya after a mother and newborn
baby were evacuated to Malta. A day earlier Proactiva Open Arms
rescued more than 300 migrants from three vessels in difficulty.
2018 Dec 22, In Kashmir a
gunbattle between Indian troops and rebels early today left six
militants dead and triggered a new round of anti-India protests in
the disputed Himalayan region.
2018 Dec 22, Libya and Turkey
agreed to open an urgent joint investigation into a consignment of
arms which arrived from Turkey and was seized On Dec. 18 at the
Khoms port. The consignment contained 3,000 Turkish-made pistols, as
well as some other pistols, hunting rifles and ammunition.
2018 Dec 22, In Madagascar
former president Andry Rajoelina was set to return to power as
partial election results gave him a clear lead over his predecessor
Marc Ravalomanana, who has alleged the vote count was fraudulent.
2018 Dec 22, Palestinian Pres.
Mahmud Abbas said he intended to dissolve the Palestinian
Legislative Council after a court decision that ordered the move and
elections to be held within six months.
2018 Dec 22, Russia's
state-controlled Rosatom corporation said that Reactor No. 1 at the
Leningrad nuclear power plant has been shut down as planned. It said
it will take until 2023 to fully unload its uranium fuel. Launched
in 1973, the reactor became the first unit of the RBMK-1000 type to
be built in the Soviet Union. A reactor of the same type exploded in
Chernobyl in April 1986.
2018 Dec 22, In Russia nine
construction workers were trapped inside a burning potash mine in
the Perm region near the Ural Mountains. Rescuers soon found the
nine construction workers dead in the mine operated by potash maker
(AP, 12/22/18)(Reuters, 12/23/18)
2018 Dec 22, Saudi Prince Talal
bin Abdul Aziz (87), a half-brother of King Salman, died. He was
known as a tireless advocate of reform, sometimes in defiance of the
2018 Dec 22, In Serbia
thousands of protesters marched in Belgrade for the third week in a
row against what they say is a crackdown by the government of
President Aleksandar Vucic on opposition parties and the media.
2018 Dec 22, In Somalia at
least 13 people were killed and 17 wounded in a car bomb attack
claimed by al Qaeda-linked group al Shabaab close to the president's
residence in Mogadishu. The death toll from a double car-bomb attack
soon rose to 26.
(Reuters, 12/22/18)(AP, 12/24/18)
2018 Dec 22, In Spain multiple
people picked the top winning Gordo number, spreading the 680
million euros ($773 million) distributed for it to 46 of the
country's 50 provinces.
2018 Dec 22, In Sudan protests
over worsening economic conditions resumed for a fourth consecutive
day. Activists reported that authorities rounded up more than a
dozen politicians from a leftist opposition coalition. Main
opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi blamed "armed repression" for the
death of 22 people in days of protests, although officials gave a
lower death toll.
(AP, 12/22/18)(AFP, 12/22/18)
2018 Dec 22, In Turkey
thousands of protesters took to the streets in Istanbul to
demonstrate against the rising cost of living and crippling
inflation. The protest was organized by the KESK, a confederation of
public service workers unions.
2018 Dec 22, Turkey's Interior
Minister Suleyman Soylu said nearly 300,000 Syrians have returned to
their country following Turkey's two cross-border operations in
2018 Dec 22, Ukraine's
president signed a bill that orders the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to
change its name to reflect its ties to Moscow.
2018 Dec 22, UN monitors
arrived in Yemen to oversee a fragile ceasefire in the rebel-held
city of Hodeida, the latest push to secure peace in the devastated
2018 Dec 22, The Vatican
announced that Pope Francis has given the homeless of Rome a
Christmas gift of a new clinic in St. Peter's Square where they can
get free medical help.
2018 Dec 22, Venezuela's navy
"intercepted" a ship exploring for oil on behalf of Exxon Mobil Corp
in Guyanese waters. An Exxon spokeswoman said seismic explorations
in the western portion of Guyana's Stabroek Block "have been paused
until they can be safely continued," and that the vessel was
operating in Guyana's exclusive economic zone.
Go to December 23