Today in History - December 24

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1167        Dec 24, John "Lackland" Plantagenet, King of England (1199-1216), was born.
    (HN, 12/24/98)(MC, 12/24/01)

1476        Dec 24, Some 400 Burgundy soldiers froze to death during the siege of Nancy.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1483        Dec 24, Leaders of the English rebels swore fealty to Henry Tudor in the Cathedral of Rennes in Brittany.
    (ON, 12/06, p.1)

1492        Dec 24-1492 Dec 25, The Santa Maria under Columbus ran aground on a reef off Espanola on Christmas eve, and sank the next day. With the remains of the Santa Maria, Columbus built a fort and called it La Navidad. About two dozen crew members were left behind.
    (http://tinyurl.com/dfzzk)(SFC, 10/6/14, p.A2)

1515        Dec 24, Thomas Cardinal Wolsey was appointed English Lord Chancellor.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1524        Dec 24, Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama (~55), who had discovered a sea route around Africa to India, died in Cochin, India. He had served as Viceroy in India. Gama served under the patronage of Dom Manoel and at one time burned alive 380 men, women and children.
    (TL-MB, 1988, p.12)(AP, 12/24/97)(MC, 12/24/01)(SSFC, 3/10/02, p.M3)

1638        Dec 24, The Ottomans under Murad IV recaptured Baghdad from Safavid Persia.
    (HN, 12/24/98)

1660        Dec 24, Mary I Henriette Stuart (29), queen of England, died.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1724        Dec 24, Benjamin Franklin arrived in London.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1745        Dec 24, Benjamin Rush, American medical pioneer and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in Byberry, Pa.
    (HN, 12/24/98)(MC, 12/24/01)

1798        Dec 24, Russia and England signed a Second anti-French Coalition.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1799        Dec 24, A Jacobin plot against Napoleon was uncovered.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1801        Dec 24, Richard Trevithick, inventor of the steam locomotive, completed a road test of his 1st "traveling engine" in Camborne, England.
    (ON, 4/04, p.5)

1809        Dec 24, Kit Carson, one of the most famous mountain men and scouts in the West, was born in Kentucky.
    (HN, 12/24/98)(MC, 12/24/01)

1812        Dec 24, Joel Barlow, aged 58, American poet and lawyer, died from exposure near Vilna, Poland [Lithuania], during Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. Barlow was on a diplomatic mission to the emperor for President Madison.
    (HN, 12/24/98)

1814        Dec 24, The Treaty of Ghent between the United States and Great Britain, terminating the War of 1812, was signed at Ghent, Belgium. The news did not reach the United States until two weeks later (after the decisive American victory at New Orleans). The treaty, signed by John Quincy Adams for the US, committed the US and Britain "to use their best endeavors" to end the Atlantic slave trade.
    (AP, 12/24/97)(WSJ, 12/31/97, p.A11)(HN, 12/24/98)(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T10)

1818        Dec 24, James Prescott Joule, physicist , was born. He discovered the principal of the conservation of energy.
    (MC, 12/24/01)
1818        Dec 24, "Silent Night" was composed by Franz Joseph Gruber.
    (HFA, ‘96, p.44)(SI-WPC, 12/6/96)(MC, 12/24/01)

1850        Dec 24, Frederic Bastiat (b.1801), French free-market economist, died in Rome of tuberculosis.
    (WSJ, 7/5/01, p.A12)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederic_Bastiat)

1851        Dec 24, Fire devastated the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroying about 35,000 volumes.
    (AP, 12/24/97)

1854        Dec 24, The 8.4 Ansei Nankai Quake struck Japan. Over 10,000 people from the Tokai region down to Kyushu were killed.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ansei_Great_Earthquakes)

1860        Dec 24, South Carolina issued a “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina."
    (Econ, 12/1/12, p.34)

1861        Dec 24, The USS Gem of the Sea destroyed the British blockade runner Prince of Wales off the coast at Georgetown, S.C.
    (HN, 12/24/98)

1862        Dec 24, A Christmas present arrived a day early for the Federal troops at Columbus, Ky., in the way of artillery on board the USS New Era.
    (HN, 12/24/98)

1865        Dec 24, Several veterans of the Confederate Army formed a private social club in Pulaski, Tenn., called the Ku Klux Klan. In three short years the organization had members in every former Confederate state and was responsible for terrorist acts against Reconstruction.
    (AP, 12/24/97)(HNQ, 8/4/99)

1868        Dec 24, Emanuel Lasker, world chess champion (1894-21), was born in Germany.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1869        Dec 24, Edwin McMasters Stanton (b.1814), US Secretary of War (1861-65), died.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_M._Stanton)

1871        Dec 24, Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Aida" had its world premiere in Cairo, Egypt. He completed it too late to celebrate the 1869 opening of the Suez Canal.
    (SFC, 7/12/96, p.A11)(AP, 12/24/97)(PCh, 1992, p.522)

1879        Dec 24, Stanislav Pylypovych Lyudkevych, composer, was born.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1889        Dec 24, Daniel Stover and William Hance patented a bicycle with back pedal brake.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1893        Dec 24, Henry Ford completed his 1st useful gas motor.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1901        Dec 24, Clarence King (b.1842), explorer and geologist, died in Arizona. He lived a double life as James Todd, the husband of a black woman named Ada (d.1964 at 103). In 2009 Roger K. Miller authored “Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line."
    (http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/KHA_KRI/KING_CLARENCE_18421901_.html)(SFC, 2/24/09, p.E3)

1904        Dec 24, Herbert D Riley, US vice-admiral (WW II, Guadalcanal, Okinawa), was born.
    (MC, 12/24/01)
1904        Dec 24, German SW Africa abolished the slavery of young children. [see Namibia]
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1905        Dec 24, Howard Hughes (d.1976), American industrialist, film producer, director and aviator, was born.
    (HN, 12/24/98)

1906        Dec 24, Canadian physicist Reginald A. Fessenden became the first person to broadcast a music program over radio, from Brant Rock, Mass.
    (AP, 12/24/97)

1907        Dec 24, I.F. Stone (d.1989), American investigative journalist, was born in Philadelphia. "Those who nobly set out to be their brother's keeper sometimes end up by becoming his jailer. Every emancipation has in it the seeds of a new slavery, and every truth easily becomes a lie."
    (AP, 10/17/99)(AP, 12/24/07)

1914        Dec 24, 577,875 Allied soldiers spent Christmas as prisoners in Germany. World War I was only months old on Christmas Eve 1914 when an extraordinary unofficial truce occurred in many places along the Western Front. "We were all moved and felt quite melancholy," wrote one German soldier, "each of us taken up with his own thoughts of home." German and English troops, often less than one hundred yards from each other, set aside warfare to trade Christmas greetings and sing familiar carols in two languages. The truce, probably observed by two-thirds of the British and German troops, ended with the holiday, but reasserted the basic decency of ordinary men like these British and German soldiers caught up in war. In 2001 Stanley Weintraub authored "Silent Night: The Remarkable 1914 Christmas Truce."
    (HN, 12/24/98)(HNPD, 12/24/98)(WSJ, 12/17/01, p.A16)
1914        Dec 24, John Muir (76), naturalist, died in Martinez, Ca. He was born in Dunbar, Scotland, in 1838.
    (SFEC, 1/2/00, DB p.23)(SFC, 2/2/00, p.A21)(ON, 7/03, p.3)

1917        Dec 24, The Kaiser warned Russia that he would use "iron fist" and "shining sword" if peace was spurned.
    (HN, 12/24/98)

1919        Dec 24, Luisa Tetrazzini sang for 100,000 people in front of Lotta's Fountain on Christmas Eve. Some signal this as the culminating of San Francisco's reconstruction. It was an unusually comfortable winter evenings and the message to the world reinforced the image of wonderful weather in San Francisco, even in winter.
    (SFC, 12/25, 1910)

1920        Dec 24, Enrico Caruso gave his last public performance, singing in Jacques Halevy's "La Juive" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
    (AP, 12/24/97)

1922        Dec 24, Ava Gardner, actress (On the Beach, Night of the Iguana), was born in Grabtown, NC.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1929        Dec 24, Mary Higgins Clark, author (Cry in the Night, Stillwatch), was born in Bronx, NY.
    (MC, 12/24/01)
1929        Dec 24, Stanford scientist J.H.C. Smith reported success in isolating sufficient amounts of carotene to determine its chemical structure. The plant pigment was discovered almost 100 years ago.
    (SFC, 12/24/04, p.F2)

1930        Dec 24, Eduard David (67), German minister (constitution of Weimar), died.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1933        Dec 24, A Paris express train derailed and killed 160. Some 300 were injured.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1936        Dec 24, The 1st radioactive isotope medicine was administered in Berkeley, Ca.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1939        Dec 24, John Hammond produced a 2nd Carnegie Hall Jazz concert that was a panorama of black heritage. Selections from the 1938 & 1939 concerts were issued in 1959, 1987 and a CD set in 1999.
    (WSJ, 11/5/99, p.W11)

1941        Dec 24, The 1st ships of Admiral Nagumo's (Pearl Harbor) fleet returned to Japan.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1942        Dec 24, Jean LXF Darlan, French admiral and leader of the armed forces of Vichy France, was murdered by Gaullists in Algiers.
    (HN, 7/5/98)(MC, 12/24/01)

1943        Dec 24, President Roosevelt appointed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces as part of Operation Overlord. Almost everyone had believed the position would go to American Chief of Staff George C. Marshall.
    (AP, 12/24/97)(HN, 12/24/00)

1944        Dec 24, Adolf Eichmann fled Hungary to Austria as Soviet troops encircled Budapest. He left orders for German forces to massacre all the Jews in Budapest. German Gen. August Schmidthuber, assigned to oversee the mass execution, cancelled the operation after receiving word from Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg that the impending carnage would mark him as a war criminal. 
    (ON, 10/20/11, p.4)

1946        Dec 24, The 4th French republic was established.
    (MC, 12/24/01)
1946        Dec 24, US General MacNarney gave 800,000 "minor Nazis" amnesty.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1947        Dec 24, An estimated 20,000 communists, led by guerrilla General Markos Vafthiades proclaimed the Free Greek Government in northern Greece. They issue a call to arms to establish the regime throughout the nation.
    (HN, 12/24/98)

1951        Dec 24, Gian Carlo Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors," the first opera written specifically for television, was first broadcast by NBC.
    (AP, 12/24/97)

1952        Dec 24, The Public Health Service reported that US births approached 4 million for the year, setting a new record.
    (SFC, 12/20/02, p.E5)

1953        Dec 24, Pierre Salinger, SF Chronicle reporter, won the 1953 McQuade Memorial Award for his articles on poor conditions in California county jails. He had himself arrested under an alias in Bakersfield and Stockton for an inside look.
    (SFC, 12/19/03, p.E3)
1953        Dec 24, 2 speeding express trains crashed head-on killing 103 in Czechoslovakia.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1956        Dec 24, African Americans defied a city law in Tallahassee, Fla., and occupied front bus seats.
    (HN, 12/24/98)

1963        Dec 24, New York’s Idlewild Airport was renamed JFK Airport in honor of the murdered President Kennedy.
    (HN, 12/24/98)
1963        Dec 24, Greeks and Turks rioted in Cyprus.
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1964        Dec 24, The U.S. headquarters in Saigon was hit by a bomb. Two officers were killed.
    (HN, 12/24/98)

1965        Dec 24, US troops in Vietnam reached 184,300. Gen. Westmoreland wanted 210,000 by the end of the year.
    (SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F5)(Econ, 7/11/09, p.88)

1966        Dec 24, Soviet research station Luna 13 soft-landed on the moon.
    (HN, 12/24/98)(MC, 12/24/01)

1967        Dec 24, Burt Baskin (b.1913) co-founder of the Baskins-Robbins ice cream chain, died. He and Irvine Robbins (1917-2008) had become partners in 1948.
    (WSJ, 5/10/08, p.A8)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burt_Baskin)
1967        Dec 24, Greek Junta freed ex-Premier Papandreou.
    (HN, 12/24/98)

1968        Dec 24, The 3 Apollo 8 astronauts (James A. Lovell, William Anders and Frank Borman), orbiting the moon, read passages from the Old Testament Book of Genesis during a Christmas Eve television broadcast. The first pictures of an Earth-rise over the Moon are seen as the crew of Apollo 8 orbits the moon.
    (TL, 1988, p.117)(AP, 12/24/97)(HN, 12/24/99)

1970        Dec 24, Nine GIs were killed and nine wounded by friendly fire in Vietnam.
    (HN, 12/24/98)

1971        Dec 24, Jimmy Hoffa (1913-1975) was released from prison after President Nixon commuted his jail term.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Hoffa)
1971        Dec 24, LANSA Flight 508, a LANSA Lockheed Electra OB-R-941 commercial airliner, crashed in the Peruvian rainforest. Juliane Diller Kopcke (17) of Lima, Peru, was the sole survivor of 92 passengers. She and her mother, famed ornithologist Maria Kopcke, were traveling to meet with her father, biologist Hans-Wilhelm Kopcke. Juliane traveled for 9 days in the jungle before she found help. Her experience became the subject of two films: the 1974 Giuseppe Maria Scotese film Miracoli accadono ancora, I (Miracles Still Happen), and the 2000 film “Wings of Hope" by Werner Herzog film.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juliane_K%C3%B6pcke)

1972        Dec 24, Hanoi barred all peace talks with the U.S. until the air raids are stopped
    (HN, 12/24/98)

1973        Dec 24, The US Congress passed the Home rule Act, which allowed residents of Washington DC to elect a mayor. Walter Washington was elected in 1974.
    (WSJ, 10/28/03, p.A1)(Econ, 9/16/06, p.41)(www.abfa.com/ogc/hrtall.htm)
1973        Dec 24, The MGM Grand in Las Vegas opened to the public.
    (www.vegas4visitors.com/museum/mgmgrand.htm)

1974        Dec 24, An oil spill polluted 1,600 square miles of scenic Inland Sea in Japan.
    (HN, 12/24/98)

1980        Dec 24, Americans remembered the U.S. hostages in Iran by burning candles or shining lights for 417 seconds -- one second for each day of captivity.
    (AP, 12/24/97)

1987        Dec 24, M.G. Ramachandran (b.1917), leading Tamil film actor and Chief Minister of the Tamil Nadu state from 1977, died. He was the first film actor to be a Chief Minister in India.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._G._Ramachandran)
1987        Dec 24, In Lebanon, the kidnappers of Terry Anderson released a videotape in which The Associated Press correspondent told his family he was in good health, and said to President Reagan, "Surely by now you know what must be done and how you can do it." Anderson was freed nearly four years later.
    (AP, 12/24/97)

1988        Dec 24, President-elect Bush nominated Elizabeth H. Dole, onetime transportation secretary, to be his secretary of labor.
    (AP, 12/24/98)

1989        Dec 24, Charles Taylor, a former cabinet minister under Samuel Doe, led a small group of fighters across the border from the Ivory Coast into Liberia. Within a few months he had looted and terrorized much of the countryside and reached the capital. Taylor led the NPFL or National Patriotic Front. The NPFL was composed mainly of the Mano and Gio tribes from northern Nimba County.
    (SFC,4/16/96, p.A-9)(SFC,4/17/96,p.A-8)(SFC,1/30/97,p.A9)(SFC,7/19/97, p.A8)
1989        Dec 24, Ousted Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega, who had succeeded in eluding US forces, took refuge at the Vatican's diplomatic mission in Panama City. It took weeks of negotiation and loud rock music played incessantly outside the embassy by American forces before Noriega agreed to give himself up.
    (AP, 12/24/99)

1990         Dec 24, In Lebanon Omar Karami (1934-2014) began serving his first term as prime minister and continued to May 15, 1992.
    (AP, 1/1/15)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Karami)

1991        Dec 24, Walter Hudson (46), a 1,025 lb. man, died.
    (www.inthe90s.com/generated/obit1991.shtml)(http://tinyurl.com/e1fj)
1991        Dec 24, In North Korea Kim Jong Il (b.1942) became head of the armed forces under his ruling father, Kim Il Sung.
    (Econ, 9/13/08, p.49)(AP, 12/28/11)
1991        Dec 24, A day before resigning, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev briefed Russian President Boris Yeltsin on nuclear weapons-firing procedures. Gorbachev also held a farewell meeting with staff members.
    (AP, 12/24/01)

1992        Dec 24, Pres. Bush had the US Embassy in Belgrade read to Pres. Milosevic the "Christmas Warning" cable: "In the event of conflict in Kosovo caused by Serbian action, the US will be prepared to employ military force against Serbians in Kosovo and in Serbia proper.
    (SFC, 1/19/02, p.A19)
1992        Dec 24, President Bush pardoned former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others in the Iran-Contra scandal.
    (AP, 12/24/97)
1992        Dec 24, President-elect Clinton appointed Bruce Babbitt interior secretary, Mike Espy agriculture secretary and Federico Pena transportation secretary; Clinton also chose Zoe Baird to be attorney general, but the nomination fell apart over Baird's hiring of illegal aliens as domestic workers.
    (AP, 12/24/97)
1992        Dec 24, In Ohio Marvallous Keene and three accomplices began a three-day binge of murder and robbery in Dayton that left 6 people dead. On July 21, 2009, Keene (36) was executed at a Lucasville prison, the 1000th person to die by lethal injection in the US since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
    (www.whiotv.com/news/20117736/detail.html)

1993        Dec 24, The Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, who had blended Christian and psychiatric principles into a message of "positive thinking," died in Pawling, N.Y., at age 95.
    (AP, 12/24/98)

1994        Dec 24, John Osborne (b.1929), British playwright, died. His plays included “Look Back in Anger" (1956) and “Inadmissible Evidence" (1964). In 2007 John Heilpern authored “John Osborn: The Many Lives of the Angry Young Man." 
    (AP, 12/24/99)(WSJ, 1/26/06, p.W6)
1994        Dec 24, Armed Islamic fundamentalists hijacked an Air France Airbus A-300 carrying 227 passengers at the Algiers airport; three passengers were killed before the hijackers were killed by French commandos in Marseilles two days later.
    (SFC, 9/27/97, p.A10)(AP, 12/24/99)

1995        Dec 24, In a Christmas message to U.S. troops in Bosnia, President Clinton praised their peace mission to a land exhausted by war.
    (AP, 12/24/05)
1995        Dec 24, Fire broke out at the Philadelphia Zoo, killing 23 rare gorillas, orangutans, gibbons and lemurs.
    (AP, 12/24/05)
1995        Dec 24, Armed Islamic fundamentalists hijacked an Air France Airbus A-300 carrying 227 passengers at the Algiers airport; three passengers were killed during the siege before the hijackers were killed by French commandos in Marseille two days later.
    (AP, 12/24/00)
1995        Dec 24, British playwright John Osborne ("Look Back in Anger") died at age 65.
    (AP, 12/24/00)

1996        Dec 24, In Bogota, Columbia, at least 37 people were killed. Mayor Antanas Mockus blamed the violence on alcohol consumption.
    (SFC, 12/26/96, p.B4)
1996        Dec 24, In Frankfurt, Germany, a women blew herself up and 2 others were killed at Lutheran Church Singlingen South.
    (SFC, 12/26/96, p.B3)
1996        Dec 24, In India a British made Avro Air Force plane crashed in Andhra Pradesh and killed all 22 onboard.
    (SFC, 12/25/96, p.A12)
1996        Dec 24, In Peru the Uruguay ambassador was released after his country freed 2 rebels jailed there. Six ambassadors were left among the remaining 105 hostages.
    (SFC, 12/25/96, p.A12)
1996        Dec 24, In Rwanda 2,000 returning Hutu refugees were arrested for participating in the 1994 genocide. They joined 85,000 already held in prisons intended for no more than 20,000.
    (SFC, 12/25/96, p.A11)
1996        Dec 24, The streets of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, turned violent as demonstrators traded blows with supporters of President Slobodan Milosevic and then were clubbed by riot police as protests continued for the 35th day.
    (SFC, 12/25/96, p.A1)(AP, 12/24/97)
1996        Dec 24, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said that districts that elect opposition candidates on Jan 2, would see public-housing improvement funds cut.
    (WSJ, 12/24/96, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/31/96, p.1)
1996        Dec 24, In Worcester, South Africa, 2 pipe bombs killed 1 adult and 2 children in shopping areas. The Boer Attack Troop claimed responsibility. in 1997 Jan van der Westhuizen (44), Clifton Barnard (41) and Abraham Myburgh (24) were convicted and given sentences of life in prison for the bombing that killed 4 people.
    (SFC, 12/25/96, p.A10)(SFC, 1/6/97, p.A9)(SFC,10/24/97, p.D6)
1996        Dec 24, In South Korea 6 Chinese sailors were sentenced to death for murder during a mutiny Aug 2 on their fishing vessel when their captain and 10 mates were killed.
    (WSJ, 12/26/96, p.A1)

1997        Dec 24, The world’s first civilian spy satellite, EarlyBird I, was launched from Russia. It was built by EarthWatch Inc. of Longmont, Colo.
    (SFC,12/25/97, p.A6)
1997        Dec 24, From California it was reported that the Air Force agreed to sell McClellan Air Force Base to Sacramento County for a maximum of $90 million. Payments would begin in Dec 2008 and continue over 45 years.
    (SFC,12/24/97, p.A14)
1997        Dec 24, A fire in Detroit killed four children of the Buchanan family.
    (SFC,12/26/97, p.A3)
1997        Dec 24, In Afghanistan the Taliban launched an offensive at Kotel Toopkhana in Badakhshan province and by the next day claimed to have driven out the soldiers of Ahmed Shah Massood.
    (SFC,12/26/97, p.B4)
1997        Dec 24, In Bolivia 2 17th century colonial paintings, titled "Saint Rose of Viterbo" and "Saint Augustin," were stolen from the Roman Catholic Church of San Andres de Machaca. They were recovered in 2011 after a US art dealer reported receiving the paintings on consignment from a collector.
    (AP, 9/19/11)
1997        Dec 24, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the aging revolutionary known as "Carlos the Jackal," was sentenced by a French court to life in prison for the 1975 murders of two French investigators and a Lebanese national. [see Dec 23]
    (AP, 12/24/98)
1997        Dec 24, In Indonesia the currency hit a record low at 6,300 rupiah to the dollar and closed at around 5,850.
    (WSJ, 12/26/97, p.A6)
1997        Dec 24, It was reported that Iraq completed a 150-mile canal to supply water to Basra.
    (WSJ, 12/24/97, p.A1)
1997        Dec 24, In Japan Toshiro Mifune (77), actor, died in Mitaka. His career included more than 130 films and television dramas.
    (SFC,12/25/97, p.A25)(AP, 12/24/98)
1997        Dec 24, In Pakistan two trains collided at Rustam Sargana in the eastern Punjab and killed at least 35 people and injured 100.
    (SFC,12/26/97, p.B4)

1998        Dec 24, In New Jersey a bus carrying New Yorkers to Atlantic City casinos skidded and flipped on the Garden State Parkway. 8 people were killed and 15 injured.
    (SFC, 12/25/98, p.A3)
1998        Dec 24, Most of California's citrus crop was considered ruined after three consecutive nights of freezing cold.
    (AP, 12/24/99)
1998        Dec 24, In Angola a rebel attack on Kuito killed 30 people and wounded 37. 9 of the dead, killed by mortar fire, had sought refuge in a Catholic church.
    (SFC, 12/26/98, p.A12)
1998        Dec 24, In Tbilisi, Georgia, gunmen killed Greek diplomat Anastasius Mizitrasos.
    (SFC, 12/25/98, p.A19)
1998        Dec 24, In Israel Gen'l. Amnon Lipkin-Shahak left the armed forces and said he would help lead new centrist political party against Prime Minister Netanyahu in spring elections.
    (SFC, 12/25/98, p.B8)
1998        Dec 24, In Podujevo, Yugoslavia, Serb forces used tanks and armored vehicles against separatist guerrillas breaking a 2-month cease fire. Ignoring NATO warnings, Serb tanks and troops struck an ethnic Albanian stronghold in Kosovo.
    (SFC, 12/25/98, p.A15)(AP, 12/24/99)

1999        Dec 24, Most of California’s citrus crop was considered ruined after three straight nights of freezing cold.
    (AP, 12/24/00)
1999        Dec 24, The Catholic Jubilee Holy Year began Christmas eve and was scheduled to last to Jan 6, 2001. The Church was expected to ask for forgiveness for past errors. The bronze door to St. Peter's was opened and symbolized the passage from sin to grace.
    (SFC, 12/25/98, p.A18)(SFC, 12/25/99, p.A12)
1999        Dec 24, In Algeria Islamic militants killed 29 people at a roadblock near Khemis Miliana, some 50 miles west of Algiers.
    (SFC, 12/25/99, p.A14)
1999        Dec 24, In Ivory Coast Gen. Robert Guei declared a military coup and an end to the rule by Pres. Henri Konan Bedie.
    (SFC, 12/25/99, p.A12)
1999        Dec 24, In Nepal 5 Sikh men, members of the Kashmir Harakut ul-Mujahedeen, hijacked an Indian Airlines A-300 Airbus with 189 people onboard. After 3 stops for refueling it landed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where it was surrounded by Taliban militia. 26 passengers were released in Dubai. They called for the release of Maulana Massood Azhar, a Pakistani religious leader and other Kashmiri militants. They later raised their demands to $200 million, the release of 35 jailed guerrillas and the exhumation of a dead comrade buried in India. [see Dec 29]
    (SFC, 12/25/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/27/99, p.A1)(SFC, 12/28/99, p.A9)(SFC, 12/29/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 9/14/01, p.A5)
1999        Dec 24, Ignoring NATO warnings, Serb tanks and troops struck an ethnic Albanian stronghold in Kosovo.
    (AP, 12/24/00)
1999        Dec 24, In South Africa 7 policemen were injured after responding to a bomb threat in Cape Town.
    (WSJ, 12/27/99, p.A1)

2000        Dec 24, A group of 7 escaped convicts robbed a sporting goods store in Irving, Texas; a police officer, Aubrey Hawkins, was killed during the robbery. George Rivas, a recent escapee from Connally State prison, killed the officer during a holdup at a sporting goods store. Rivas was convicted for the murder in 2001 and was executed on Aug 14, 2008.
    (SFC, 8/22/01, p.A4)(SFC, 8/30/01, p.A6)(AP, 12/24/05)(AP, 8/15/08)
2000        Dec 24, Susan Berman (55), writer and Las Vegas mobster’s daughter, was found slain in her Los Angeles home. She authored "Easy Street" in 1981.
    (SFC, 1/5/01, p.A1,14)
2000        Dec 24, Nick Massi (73), an original member of the Four Seasons, died.
    (AP, 12/24/01)
2000        Dec 24, From Bahrain it was reported that the emir, Sheikh Hamad, would allow a vote on a new national charter that would make the country a constitutional monarchy.
    (SFC, 12/25/00, p.B2)
2000        Dec 24, In Indonesia at least 19 people were killed when bombs exploded outside 24 churches in Jakarta and 5 other cities and towns. In Aug 2001 Edi Sugiarto was sentenced to 11 years in jail for planting the bombs that killed at least 19 people.
    (SFC, 12/25/00, p.A1)(SFC, 8/15/01, p.A7)(SSFC, 3/3/02, p.A16)
2000        Dec 24, In Sri Lanka government forces raided a rebel camp in Navatkuli and killed 18, including 14 girl soldiers.
    (SFC, 12/25/00, p.A16)
2000        Dec 24, In Venezuela Pres. Chavez appointed Adina Bastidas as vice president following the recent appointment of Isaias Rodriquez as attorney general.
    (SFC, 12/25/00, p.B4)

2001        Dec 24, Officials said President Bush had created a formal line of succession at several key federal agencies in case a Cabinet secretary were to be killed or incapacitated.
    (AP, 12/24/02)
2001        Dec 24, A West Virginia woman kidnapped 16-month-old Jasmine Anderson from a Chicago bus station in order to pass the child off as her own; Sheila Matthews and Jasmine were found by FBI agents three days later in West Virginia. Matthews was later sentenced to more than 12 years in prison.
    (AP, 12/24/02)
2001        Dec 24, In Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and Defense Minister Mohammed Fahim named Gen. Rashid Dostum as deputy defense minister.
    (SFC, 12/25/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 24, In Argentina Pres. Saa planned a new works program to create a million jobs.
    (SFC, 12/25/01, p.A3)

2002        Dec 24, Laci Peterson (27) disappeared from her Modesto, Ca., neighborhood. She was 8-months pregnant. A reward for her return soon reached $500,000. On Jan 24 Amber Frey stepped forward and admitted to an affair with Scott Peterson, the husband of Laci. Laci’s body was found April 14 near the SF Bay Berkeley Marina, where Scott had gone fishing on Dec 24. [see Apr 18, 2003] Peterson convicted of 1st degree murder on Nov 12, 2004.
    (SSFC, 12/29/02, p.A23)(SFC, 1/25/03, p.A1)(AP, 11/12/04)
2002        Dec 24, Chinese pro-democracy activist Xu Wenli was released from a prison in Beijing and flown to the United States.
    (AP, 12/24/03)
2002        Dec 24, Suspected members of Colombia's largest paramilitary group (AUC) killed two police officers and wounded another in southwest Colombia.
    (AP, 12/25/02)
2002        Dec 24, A brutal riot by prisoners in a jail outside Guatemala's capital left 18 inmates dead over two days, including one person by decapitation and 14 others who were burned to death.
    (AP, 12/25/02)
2002        Dec 24, Israeli PM Sharon said Saddam Hussein had transferred chemical and biological weapons to Syria.
    (SFC, 12/25/02, p.A16)
2002        Dec 24, Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian teenager in the Gaza Strip.
    (AP, 12/24/02)
2002        Dec 24, In India's mainly Muslim state of Kashmir 4 civilians and 9 separatist guerrillas were killed in the latest rebel violence.
    (Reuters, 12/24/02)
2002        Dec 24, Saddam Hussein said in an address read on television that Iraqis were ready to fight a holy war against the United States.
    (AP, 12/24/03)
2002        Dec 24, Israeli PM Sharon said Saddam Hussein had transferred chemical and biological weapons to Syria.
    (SFC, 12/25/02, p.A16)
2002        Dec 24, North Korea ratcheted up its standoff with Washington, starting repairs at a long-frozen nuclear reactor and warning that U.S. policy was leading to an "uncontrollable catastrophe" and the "brink of nuclear war."
    (AP, 12/24/03)
2002        Dec 24, In the southern Philippines a bomb believed planted by Muslim Moro rebels killed 16 people, including Mayor Saudie Ampatuan in Datu Piang.
    (AP, 12/24/02)(SFC, 12/25/02, p.A16)(WSJ, 12/26/02, p.A1)
2002        Dec 24, In Somalia 3 unidentified gunmen opened fire on a school minibus in Mogadishu, killing four students and wounding 10 others.
    (AP, 12/24/02)

2003        Dec 24, A US federal appeals court blocked the Bush administration from implementing a major environmental rule change that would have allowed power plants to upgrade their facilities without installing anti-pollution equipment.
    (SFC, 12/25/03, p.A3)
2003        Dec 24, Several Air France flights to Los Angeles were cancelled stranding hundreds of people in Paris on Christmas Eve amid fears of a terrorist attack.
    (AP, 12/24/03)
2003        Dec 24, It was reported that U.S. and Russian experts recovered 37 pounds of weapons-grade uranium, enough to develop a nuclear warhead, from a closed atomic facility in Bulgaria.
    (AP, 12/24/03)
2003        Dec 24, Caroline Weiss Law, Texas oil heiress, died on her 85th birthday. She left 52 major art works, valued at $60-85 million, and $25 million cash to establish an endowment for the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
    (SFC, 2/13/04, p.D12)
2003        Dec 24, In Iraq a string of separate bombings killed 6 civilians and 3 American soldiers.
    (AP, 12/24/03)
2003        Dec 24, Madagascar's former PM Didier Ratsiraka was sentenced to 12 years of hard labor and ordered to pay $7.6 million in damages for his role in last year's election crisis that led to the formation of two governments.
    (AP, 12/24/03)(Econ, 1/1/05, p.34)
2003        Dec 24, Pakistan's Pres. Gen. Pervez Musharraf agreed to step down as head of the armed forces by the end of 2004, part of a deal with the hardline Islamic opposition to end a long standoff that has stalled this nation's return to democracy. Musharraf also agreed to scale back some of the special powers he decreed himself after taking power in a 1999 military coup.
    (AP, 12/24/03)
2003        Dec 24, Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, gave initial approval to constitutional amendments allowing the president to be elected by the legislature rather than by popular vote.
    (AP, 12/24/03)(WPR, 3/04, p.28)

2004        Dec 24, US Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, bearing gifts of praise and encouragement, paid a surprise Christmas Eve visit to US troops in some of the most dangerous areas of Iraq.
    (AP, 12/24/05)
2004        Dec 24, The Comair computer system crashed after it was overwhelmed by cancellations and delays due to winter storms in the Ohio Valley. Comair was forced to cancel all of its 1,100 flights the next day. US AIR cancelled numerous flights and baggage problems rippled through its system for days.
    (SFC, 12/27/04, p.A3)
2004        Dec 24, The Huygens space probe was fired from the international Cassini spacecraft into a successful free fall from Saturn’s orbit to its moon, Titan.
    (SFC, 12/25/04, p.A1)(AP, 12/24/05)
2004        Dec 24, Afghan President Hamid Karzai swore in a new Cabinet.
    (AP, 12/24/05)
2004        Dec 24, Armenia’s parliament voted to send 46 noncom bat troops to Iraq.
    (SFC, 12/25/04, p.A10)
2004        Dec 24, The world's biggest earthquake in almost four years, measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale, struck off the coast of Australia's southern island state of Tasmania, but caused no damage or injury.
    (AP, 12/24/04)
2004        Dec 24, A church official said Marxist rebels in western Colombia had killed Javier Francisco Montoya, a Catholic priest who disappeared earlier this month on a pastoral mission in a rebel-controlled jungle region.
    (AP, 12/24/04)
2004        Dec 24, Marxist FARC rebels abducted at least eight Colombian tourists celebrating Christmas at a lakeside spa in the northwest.
    (AP, 12/26/04)
2004        Dec 24, A suicide bomber blew up a gas tanker in Baghdad in an attack that killed at least nine people.
    (AP, 12/25/04)
2004        Dec 24, Suspected militants hurled a grenade in a village market in Indian Kashmir, killing one person and wounding eight others.
    (Reuters, 12/24/04)
2004        Dec 24, A Pakistani military spokesman said a soldier has been sentenced to death and another soldier given 10 years imprisonment after they were convicted in the Dec 14, 2003, attempt to assassinate President Gen. Pervez Musharraf.
    (AP, 12/24/04)
2004        Dec 24, Russia successfully test-fired a mobile version of the intercontinental Topol-M ballistic missile in the last of four test-firings before its deployment next year.
    (AP, 12/24/04)

2005        Dec 23, Michael Vale (83), the actor best known for portraying sleepy-eyed Fred the Baker in Dunkin’ Donuts commercials, died in New York.
    (AP, 12/24/06)
2005        Dec 24, A land mine exploded on a highway in southern Afghanistan, killing four suspected Taliban insurgents as they tried to plant the explosive on the road.
    (AP, 12/25/05)
2005        Dec 24, It was reported that bovine TB was rising 18% a year on British farms and that the disease was being transmitted by badgers.
    (Econ, 12/24/05, p.79)
2005        Dec 24, China and North Korea signed an agreement to jointly develop offshore oil reserves.
    (AP, 12/24/05)
2005        Dec 24, Congolese and UN troops captured a militia base in the volatile east, as referendum results showed an overwhelming "Yes" to a new constitution intended to help end the country's conflict. UN and Congolese soldiers attacked militiamen in Ituri and Ugandan rebels in Kivu province killing some 80 rebels.
    (AP, 12/24/05)(Econ, 1/7/06, p.49)
2005        Dec 24, In Egypt a court sentenced leading government opponent Ayman Nour to five years' imprisonment for forgery at the end of a year-long judicial process that has drawn international criticism and strained Egypt's relations with the US. Nour was freed in 2009.
    (AP, 12/24/05)(AP, 2/18/09)
2005        Dec 24, In Haiti a UN peacekeeper from Jordan was shot to death while on patrol in Cite Soleil, a slum that has seen almost daily violence since the ouster of President Aristide.
    (AP, 12/25/05)
2005        Dec 24, Iraq’s governing Shiite coalition called on Iraqis to accept results showing the religious bloc leading in parliamentary elections and moved ahead with efforts to form a “national unity" government. The electoral commission said it would carry out a court decision to remove 90 people who were members of Saddam's Hussein's outlawed Baath party from the tickets of political parties and coalitions that participated in Dec. 15 elections. Militants released a video of a Jordanian hostage, giving Jordan 3 days to cut ties with the Baghdad government and free a female would-be suicide bomber involved in November attacks in Amman.
    (AP, 12/24/05)(AP, 12/24/06)
 2005        Dec 24, The Japanese government said it has decided to move forward with a ballistic missile defense program with the United States.
    (AP, 12/24/05)
2005        Dec 24, Russia's Foreign Ministry made a formal offer to Iran to move its uranium enrichment program to Russia, raising diplomatic pressure on Tehran to accept the Western-backed plan it has so far rejected.
    (AP, 12/24/05)
2005        Dec 24, In St. Petersburg, Russia, a Cameroonian student was stabbed to death and another African student was seriously wounded in separate attacks Russian prosecutors called likely hate crimes. More than 15 people in Russia were killed in apparently racially motivated attacks this year. Last year saw 44 such slayings, according to the Moscow Bureau of Human Rights. The group estimates that Russia is home to some 50,000 skinheads and numerous neo-Nazi organizations.
    (AP, 12/26/05)
2005        Dec 24, Yemeni kidnappers freed two Austrian tourists, three days after seizing them in an apparent dispute over the government's arrest of fellow tribesmen.
    (AP, 12/24/05)

2006        Dec 24, Frank Stanton (98), broadcasting pioneer and CBS president for 26 years, died in Boston.
    (AP, 12/24/07)
2006        Dec 24, Chad's president and the leader of a rebel faction that tried to oust him earlier this year signed a peace accord in Libya, but other Chadian insurgents dismissed the deal and vowed to fight on.
    (Reuters, 12/24/06)
2006        Dec 24, China’s state media announced that Du Shicheng, a top Communist Party official in the eastern province of Shandong, had been fired for misconduct.
    (AP, 12/24/06)
2006        Dec 24, In southern Colombia government troops retook control of an area where leftist rebels ambushed and killed 15 soldiers.
    (AP, 12/24/06)
2006        Dec 24, An Egyptian woman died of bird flu, hours after tests confirmed she and two other members of her extended family had been suffering from the highly pathogenic virus.
    (AP, 12/24/06)
2006        Dec 24, Ethiopia launched an attack on Somalia's powerful Islamic movement, sending fighter jets across the border and bombarding several towns in a major escalation of the violence that threatens to engulf the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia's PM Meles Zenawi said his country had been "forced to enter a war."
    (AP, 12/24/06)(AP, 12/24/07)
2006        Dec 24, Germany said it will not offer the Sri Lankan government new aid until the peace process in the country advances and called on other nations to increase the pressure on Colombo.
    (AFP, 12/24/06)
2006        Dec 24, In Guatemala 80 residents of a drug and alcohol treatment center escaped and 13 others were injured in a rebellion that started when patients were told they could not leave to celebrate Christmas.
    (AP, 12/24/06)
2006        Dec 24, In eastern India a wild elephant looking for food killed three people and injured 10 in a forest range in West Bengal state.
    (AP, 12/24/06)
2006        Dec 24, Officials said at least 94 people were killed and dozens left missing by floods in Indonesia and Malaysia. Looting broke out in areas of Malaysia abandoned because of rising waters.
    (AP, 12/24/06)
2006        Dec 24, Iran vowed to push forward efforts to enrich uranium and to change its relations with the international nuclear watchdog.
    (AP, 12/24/06)
2006        Dec 24, In Iraq an American soldier and a Marine had died from combat wounds suffered in Anbar province.
    (AP, 12/25/06)
2006        Dec 24, Mario Scaramella, who met with an ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London the day the Russian fell ill from radiation poisoning, was arrested in Naples after returning from London. Rome prosecutors have accused him of arms trafficking and slander.
    (AP, 12/24/06)
2006        Dec 24, Nigerian vice president Atiku Abubakar's new party, the Action Congress (AC), slammed President Olusegun Obasanjo's declaration that his former deputy's office was now vacant as unconstitutional.
    (AFP, 12/24/06)
2006        Dec 24, A new study was published saying traces of cocaine can be found on 94% of banknotes in Spain, a country that has one of the world's highest rates of users.
    (AP, 12/24/06)
2006        Dec 24, Bo Mya (79), a longtime leader of the Karen National Union, died in Thailand. The KNU was Myanmar's largest guerrilla group.
    (AP, 12/24/06)

2007        Dec 24, The New York Times reported that more than five billion dollars in US aid to Pakistan has often never reached the military units it was intended for to fight Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and was instead diverted to other programs.
    (AP, 12/24/07)
2007        Dec 24, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell $5 billion of new stock to Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign investment company and a smaller stake to a domestic firm. Merrill said it will write down an additional $8 billion of mortgage investments in the 4th quarter.
    (SFC, 12/25/07, p.E1)
2007        Dec 24, George Warrington (b.1952), former head of New Jersey Transit (2002-2007) and former president of Amtrak, died.
    (WSJ, 12/29/07, p.A7)
2007        Dec 24, In Montreal, Canada, Gurpeet Gaur (29) the wife of Harinder Singh Cheema, was beaten and strangled to death. On July 2, 2015, Cheema was arrested in Fremont, Ca., following a fingerprint match on a US immigration application.
    (SFC, 7/10/15, p.D3)
2007        Dec 24, The international charity Save the Children said boys and girls are being recruited in record numbers to act as soldiers, spies and sex slaves in Congo and children have been spotted marching in formation in the war-wracked east of the country over the past week.
    (AP, 12/24/07)
2007        Dec 24, A 12-story building collapsed in Egypt's Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, killing at least 35 people. Shoddy materials, illegal construction and a culture of corruption were blamed for the deaths.
    (AFP, 12/25/07)(AP, 12/30/07)
2007        Dec 24, The head of a special unit said on German radio prosecutors are investigating 12,000 suspects in a child pornography network, the largest ever found in Germany.
    (AP, 12/24/07)
2007        Dec 24, A bomb hidden inside a minivan exploded near the Baghdad governor's office, killing two people and wounding six others. A train struck a minivan at an intersection near the town of Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad, killing a couple and 11 children. 13 Shiite civilians were abducted north of Baqouba.
    (AP, 12/24/07)(SFC, 12/25/07, p.A4)
2007        Dec 24, In Indian Kashmir 5 worshippers were being held hostage inside a mosque for a second day by Muslim rebels as security forces sought to end siege peacefully. Indian forces killed three suspected Islamic militants ending the two-day hostage standoff and sparking angry protests that injured dozens of people.
    (AFP, 12/24/07)(AP, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 24, In Kyrgyzstan Igor Chudinov, a former energy and industry minister was, named prime minister.
    (AP, 12/24/07)
2007        Dec 24, Malaysia's government unveiled a major initiative to protect Hindu temples, hoping to pacify ethnic Indians who complain that hundreds of their places of worship have been demolished in this Muslim-majority country.
    (AP, 12/24/07)
2007        Dec 24, Gunmen shot dead four French tourists in Mauritania in West Africa. Sidi Ould Sidna, was charged with planning and executing the killings of the French tourists. He was extradited by Guinea-Bissau in January but later escaped from authorities. 2 other suspected terrorists were arrested on April 30. In May, 2010, a court sentenced 3 young men to death for the murder of the French tourists. The men pleaded not guilty and said their confessions were extracted under torture.
    (AP, 12/24/07)(AP, 4/30/08)(SFC, 5/26/10, p.A2)
2007        Dec 24, A Nigerian court ordered the arrests of three of the defendants in a trial over a drug test conducted by Pfizer in 1996 which Nigerian authorities say killed 11 children and left others disabled.
    (AP, 12/24/07)
2007        Dec 24, In southwestern Somalia gunmen threw grenades at the home of the regional police chief, killing two of his grandchildren and a bodyguard but not their target. Burundi deployed a 2nd contingent of 92 peacekeepers to Mogadishu, to bolster an African Union force.
    (AP, 12/24/07)(AP, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 24, Southern army officials said militias supported by Khartoum's army have attacked southern Sudanese soldiers near the north-south border killing dozens of people.
    (AP, 12/24/07)
2007        Dec 24, Authorities closed the mausoleum of Taiwan's late dictator Chiang Kai-shek as part of the ruling party's vigorous campaign to diminish the legacy of the late leader.
    (AP, 12/24/07)
2007        Dec 24, The Thai political party allied with deposed PM Thaksin Shinawatra said that it has recruited enough other parties to form a coalition government following its win in the country's first election since a 2006 coup.
    (AP, 12/24/07)

2008        Dec 24, US government data showed that the number of domestic workers filing new claims for jobless benefits jumped by 30,000 to a 26-year peak last week, as the country's year-long recession continued to chill the labor market.
    (AP, 12/24/08)
2008        Dec 24, The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity said it lost more than 15 million dollars, nearly all of its assets, in the alleged fraud scheme run by Wall Street baron Bernard Madoff.
    (AP, 12/24/08)
2008        Dec 24, In Covina, Ca., a man dressed as Santa who had been having marital problems opened fire at a Christmas party, leaving 9 people dead in a home that then caught fire. Hours later police found the body of the suspect, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo (45), at the home of his brother in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles. Police said he killed himself but would not say how.
    (AP, 12/25/08)(AP, 12/26/08)(SFC, 12/27/08, p.A3)
2008        Dec 24, In Sacramento, Ca., Wilbert Paana (72) died following a natural gas explosion at his home. His daughter and granddaughter were critically injured. In 2011 PG&E agreed to pay $26 million for federal and state safety violations related to the explosion.
    (SFC, 6/21/11, p.A1)
2008        Dec 24, In Afghanistan a soldier with the NATO-led force was killed in an insurgent attack in the east of the country. A British soldier was shot dead on Christmas Eve in Helmand province. Cannon fire from a US military base in the northeastern province of Kunar killed four workers when it fell short of its target and hit a road construction compound. The US-led coalition killed two militants and detained two suspects in operations targeting the Taliban in Kapisa province.
    (AFP, 12/24/08)(AFP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 24, British stores deepened discounts, hoping to lure in last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve. Music and DVD seller Zavvi joined tea merchant Whittard and menswear store The Officers Club on the growing list of casualties of a severe downturn in consumer spending and tight credit conditions.
    (AP, 12/24/08)
2008        Dec 24, Harold Pinter (78), a Nobel Prize-winning British playwright, died. He was one of theater's biggest names for nearly half a century. His 32 plays included "The Birthday Party", "The Dumb Waiter" and "The Homecoming". His first play, "The Room," appeared in 1957 and his breakthrough came with "The Caretaker" in 1960. In 2010 Antonia Fraser published “Must You Go? My Life With Harold Pinter."
    (AFP, 12/25/08)(SSFC, 11/7/10, p.F4)
2008        Dec 24, In China a gas leak at the Ganglu Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. in Hebei province killed 17 people.
    (AP, 12/24/08)
2008        Dec 24, In Egypt an Australian teacher (61), who allegedly stuffed his luggage with 2,000-year old animal mummies and religious figurines wrapped as gifts, was arrested and charged with smuggling antiquities.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 24, in Guinea military officers, who have staged a coup, said they were installing Captain Moussa Dadis Camara as president, but promised to hold elections in two years.
    (Reuters, 12/24/08)
2008        Dec 24, In Indian Kashmir police fired tear gas and clashed with protesters, where tens of thousands of soldiers were deployed for the 7th and final leg of multi-stage state elections.
    (AFP, 12/24/08)
2008        Dec 24, Mexican soldiers arrested the deputy police chief in the resort town of Zihuatanejo and six other officers who were allegedly protecting drug cartel members at a cock fight. Soldiers also seized 59 packets of cocaine, 40 bags of marijuana and 20 assault rifles.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 24, Mexico began blocking imports of meat from at least 30 US meat processing plants due to a new US law that required food retailers to label or display the country of origin for meat, produce and certain kinds of nuts. The law, effective as of Sep 30, was part of the 2008 Farm Bill.
    (WSJ, 12/27/08, p.A7)
2008        Dec 24, In Pakistan a bomb-rigged truck with government plates exploded in Lahore, killing one person in a heavily guarded neighborhood home to many government officials.
    (AP, 12/24/08)
2008        Dec 24, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip bombarded southern Israel with dozens of mortars and rockets, sowing panic and despair there and burdening diplomatic efforts to revive an expired truce. Hamas said two of its fighters have been killed in a blast in the southern Gaza Strip.
    (AP, 12/24/08)
2008        Dec 24, Russian energy giant Gazprom threatened to cut gas deliveries to Ukraine on January 1 if a new contract is not signed by then for 2009 but pledged to honor its supply obligations to Europe.
    (AFP, 12/24/08)
2008        Dec 24, A spokesman said  Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf has decided to resign, in a move the African Union said would be positive for the peace process in the Horn of Africa nation. Mohamed Mohamud Guled, named prime minister last week, resigned, saying his controversial appointment was preventing the feuding government from fighting a strengthening Islamic insurgency.
    (Reuters, 12/24/08)(AP, 12/24/08)
2008        Dec 24, The prime ministers of Turkey and Iraq vowed to step up their cooperation in the fight against Turkish Kurdish rebels whose presence in northern Iraq has cast a shadow over relations.
    (AP, 12/24/08)
2008        Dec 24, In southern Ukraine an apartment building was destroyed in a nighttime explosion that killed 27 people in the Crimea peninsula resort of Yevpatoria. The explosion was likely caused by a leak from oxygen canisters in the building's basement.
    (AP, 12/25/08)(AFP, 12/26/08)
2008        Dec 24, Leading Zimbabwean human rights campaigner Jestina Mukoko and nine other activists were charged with plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe's government.
    (Reuters, 12/24/08)

2009        Dec 24, Senate Democrats passed a landmark health care bill in a climactic Christmas Eve vote that could define President Barack Obama's legacy and usher in near-universal medical coverage for the first time in the country's history.
    (AP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, In Arkansas 2 men shot and killed Philip wise, a Salvation Army major, in front of his 3 young children in North Little Rock.
    (SFC, 12/26/09, p.A10)
2009        Dec 24, In Afghanistan a suicide bomber with a horse and cart detonated himself in Kandahar, killing 8 people and wounding 5.
    (AFP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, David Goldman, a New Jersey man, and his 9-year-old son, Sean Goldman, were reunited in Brazil after a five-year international custody battle, and immediately headed home to spend the holidays in the US.
    (AP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, In China the Xinjiang government said five people were convicted of "extremely serious crimes" and sentenced in separate trials on Dec 22 and Dec 23 in the regional capital of Urumqi.
    (AP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, In southern India police with bamboo batons clashed with crowds of protesters as outrage over a delay in creating a new state (Telangana) erupted into violent demonstrations in several cities in Andhra Pradesh. Over 40 people were feared dead after the bridge under construction over the Chambal river collapsed on the outskirts of Kota city in western Rajasthan state. 12 bodies were recovered and 30 others remained missing.
    (AP, 12/24/09)(AFP, 12/25/09)(AP, 12/26/09)
2009        Dec 24, In Iran local media reported that the central bank has warned people not to write on banknotes and sought to collect defaced ones after the appearance of opposition slogans on many.
    (AFP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, In Iraq explosions killed at least 26 people across the country, most of them Shiite pilgrims taking part in a holy mourning ceremony. Twin explosions targeting Shiite Muslim pilgrims in Hillah killed at least 13 people and injured 74 others. In Baghdad a bomb targeting a funeral killed nine and wounded 33 in Sadr City. In a southern Baghdad neighborhood, a bomb killed four Shiite pilgrims and wounded 10 others on their way to Karbala.
    (AP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, About 200 Israeli teenagers soon to be drafted sent a letter to Israel's defense minister, saying they won't enforce any military orders to dismantle settlements in the West Bank because that violates Jewish law. An Israeli settler was shot dead when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on his vehicle in the West Bank.
    (AP, 12/24/09)(AFP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, Two former aides to Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama were charged with falsifying reports of campaign contributions, dashing the promise of the leader who vowed to usher in a new, cleaner era in the country's politics. Dead and false contributors were found on the list of Hatoyama’s campaign donors.
    (AP, 12/24/09)(Econ, 10/25/14, p.44)
2009        Dec 24, In Morocco heavy rains and gale force winds battered parts of the country, killing at least five people and flooding large parts of the northern city of Tangiers.
    (AFP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, In Pakistan a suicide bomber struck a neighborhood home to government buildings and a church in Peshawar, killing four people and underscoring that militant groups retain strength despite being under siege by the army.
    (AP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, In Peru a bus carrying mostly Quechua farmers and merchants home for Christmas plunged 250 feet (80 meters) into a ravine in the southern Andes, killing 42 people and injuring at least eight.
    (AP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, In the Philippines 3 floating bodies were found as search-and-rescue teams combed the waters of Manila Bay for at least 24 people missing after a passenger ferry collided with a fishing boat.
    (AP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev ordered reform of the country's Interior Ministry, saying it was a necessary response to police abuses that have angered Russians and eroded public trust in the government.
    (AP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, Witnesses in Somalia said fighting spurred by a land dispute in Galkayo has killed eight people.
    (AP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, A delegation headed by Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat met Sudanese Omar al-Beshir and helped restore trust between the neighbors.
    (AFP, 12/25/09)
2009        Dec 24, In Suriname rioting and attacks began against migrant workers leaving at least seven foreign migrants dead, hundreds more homeless and a border town in ashes. The riots in Albina began after a Brazilian allegedly stabbed a local man to death and have made the area uninhabitable for an estimated 300 people who fled.
    (AP, 12/27/09)
2009        Dec 24, Taiwanese prosecutors indicted former President Chen Shui-bian on new bribery and money-laundering charges. The new indictment said Chen received bribes worth 610 million New Taiwan Dollars ($19 million) from bankers in connection with two merger deals. It said he shared part of the money with his wife, Wu Shu-chen.
    (AP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, Turkish police detained 31 people, including eight Kurdish mayors, in a sweeping dawn operation targeting Kurdish separatists.
    (AP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, At the Vatican a woman jumped a barrier and rushed at Pope Benedict XVI (82) for the second time in two years, managing to knock him down before being pulled away by security. The Vatican identified the woman involved as Susanna Maiolo (25), a Swiss-Italian national with psychiatric problems, who was immediately taken to a clinic for treatment. The pope was unhurt but retired Vatican diplomat, French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray (87), fractured his hip in the commotion.
    (AP, 12/25/09)
2009        Dec 24, In Venezuela Rafael Antonio Caldera (b.1916), former two-time president (1969-1974 and 1994-1999), died. He is considered as one of the founders of Venezuelan democracy (1958) after decades of dictatorship.
    (AP, 12/24/09)
2009        Dec 24, Yemeni forces, backed by US intelligence, struck a series of suspected al-Qaida hideouts in Shabwa province, including a meeting of senior leaders, killing at least 30 militants in the country's stepped-up campaign against the terror network.
    (AP, 12/24/09)(Econ, 1/2/10, p.35)

2010        Dec 24, In Afghanistan 2 Afghan security guards were killed after coalition forces raided the compound of Tiger International, an Afghan private security company, in Kabul over an alleged plot to attack the United States embassy. A policeman and one civilian were killed by a mine near Khost. A policeman was killed and another injured when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb near the main road between Jalalabad and Torkham in Nangarhar province.
    (AFP, 12/24/10)(AP, 12/26/10)
2010        Dec 24, The leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan met in Istanbul for a new round of talks aimed at building trust between the two neighbors. Turkey’s Pres. Gul said a railroad between Turkey and Pakistan should be extended to Afghanistan and flights between the three countries should be expanded for better cooperation.
    (AP, 12/24/10)
2010        Dec 24, The Bangladesh government announced it was planning a “high-level" investigation into the operations of Grameen Bank, a microlender founded by Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel peace prize.
    (Econ, 1/8/11, p.75)
2010        Dec 24, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko was officially declared the winner of a fourth term in office in a vote that both his challengers and international monitors say was tainted by fraud.
    (AP, 12/24/10)
2010        Dec 24, Colombia’s police and air force began an anti-drug operation in Meta state.
    (AP, 12/30/10)
2010        Dec 24, The Ecuadorean government recognized Palestine as a sovereign state.
    (AP, 12/25/10)
2010        Dec 24, In Ecuador an overcrowded bus plunged into a 1,100-foot (350m) ravine leaving 38 people dead and 46 injured.
    (AP, 12/25/10)
2010        Dec 24, Heavy snow stranded thousands of Christmas travelers in Europe, with Belgium's main airport closed for landing and icy roads in Sweden choked with traffic.
    (AP, 12/24/10)
2010        Dec 24, Guinea's President Alpha Conde named Mohamed Said Fofana, a former director of economic research, as the nation's new prime minister.
    (AP, 12/25/10)
2010        Dec 24, In India Dr. Binayak Sen (60), a physician, outspoken government critic and human rights activist, was convicted along with 2 others of aiding communist rebels in eastern India. All three were sentenced to life in prison.
    (AP, 12/25/10)
2010        Dec 24, In Iraq a Shiite militia leader, his wife and three children were killed in a bomb attack on their home in Haswa, south of Baghdad.
    (AP, 12/24/10)
2010        Dec 24, In Israel hundreds of Israelis and African migrants marched down Tel Aviv's main boulevard to protest a government plan to build a detention facility to hold those who enter the country illegally.
    (AP, 12/24/10)
2010        Dec 24, In Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to concede defeat after presidential elections, faced two major setbacks as officials cut off his access to the state funds used to pay soldiers and state television remained off the air in much of the country. The UN said masked gunmen with rocket launchers were blocking access to what officials believe may be a mass grave site. West Africa leaders from the 15-country regional bloc ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, threatened to send military intervention into Ivory Coast if incumbent Gbagbo refuses to step down peacefully.
    (AP, 12/24/10)(AP, 12/25/10)
2010        Dec 24,  Macedonia police arrested Vellija Ramkovski and 14 employees of his private A1 television channel. The channel has often critical of PM Gruevski’s government.
    (http://tinyurl.com/46rkkat)
2010        Dec 24, In Mexico 11 of the murder victims were shot in Ciudad Juarez.
    (AFP, 12/25/10)
2010        Dec 24, Dutch police arrested 12 Somali men in the key port city of Rotterdam on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack. Dutch authorities on Dec 26 cleared five of the 12 Somali men who were detained Christmas Eve on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack. By Dec 30 the remaining Somalis were released but 3 were still considered suspect.
    (AP, 12/25/10)(AP, 12/27/10)(AP, 12/30/10)
2010        Dec 24, In central and northern Nigeria a series of unprecedented Christmas Eve bomb blasts and attacks on churches left 32 people dead in Jos. 6 people were killed when petrol bombs were thrown at churches in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, in Borno state.
    (AFP, 12/25/10)(Reuters, 12/28/10)
2010        Dec 24, In northwestern Pakistan Taliban insurgents launched coordinated attacks on five paramilitary checkpoints, leaving at least 11 soldiers and 24 militants dead. A bomb fitted with a timer exploded in a private boys' primary school in Peshawar's Pelosi neighborhood, wounding four children. The US embassy in Islamabad said Washington transferred more than 600 million dollars to the Pakistani government this week to pay for its efforts in the fight against violent extremists.
    (AFP, 12/24/10)
2010        Dec 24, Russia's parliament gave preliminary approval to a landmark nuclear arms reduction treaty with the United States, supporting ratification of the new START pact in the first of three required votes.
    (Reuters, 12/24/10)
2010        Dec 24, Russia's central bank raised interest rates on its deposit operations to contain surging inflation, its first step away from the loose policy implemented after the financial crisis hammered the Russian economy.
    (Reuters, 12/24/10)
2010        Dec 24, Russia announced a deal to buy at least two of France’s advanced Mistral-class amphibious warships. This was the first time in modern history that Russia has made a major defense acquisition abroad.
    (SFC, 12/25/10, p.A2)
2010        Dec 24, In Saudi Arabia police shot dead a man, disguised as a woman, at a checkpoint south of Riyadh after he opened fire on them. Police later identified the man as Mohammed Issam Tahir al-Baghdadi, an al-Qaida operative wanted for terrorist activities.
    (AP, 12/27/10)
2010        Dec 24, South Africa's minister of international relations and cooperation said South Africa has been invited by China to join the four-member "BRIC" grouping of fast-growing emerging markets. South Africa is the world's 31st-largest economy, according to World Bank data for 2009 and is less than a quarter the size of the smallest BRIC economy, Russia.
    (Reuters, 12/24/10)
2010        Dec 24, Sudanese government troops killed at least 40 rebels and wounded many more in a new offensive in the country's troubled Darfur region. 3 soldiers also died and 13 were wounded when army forces attacked joint positions of two rebel groups: the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Movement.
    (AP, 12/25/10)
2010        Dec 24, Thailand film director Tanwarin Sukkhapisit said she plans to appeal a decision by the National Film Board that her film, "Insects in the Backyard," cannot not be shown in Thailand because it is immoral and pornographic. The movie was about a transgender father struggling to raise two children.
    (AP, 12/24/10)

2011        Dec 24, In Ohio a single-engine plane crashed 50 miles southeast of Columbus killing 2 women on board. The pilot died of his injuries a day later.
    (SFC, 12/26/11, p.A7)
2011        Dec 24, A gunman wearing an Afghan soldier’s uniform was killed in a gunfight with US troops at an outpost in Bala Boluk district in southwestern Farah province.
    (AFP, 12/25/11)(AP, 12/26/11)
2011        Dec 24, A boat carrying Haitian migrants sank off Cuba's eastern coast. 38 migrants were killed and 87 others rescued by Cuban civil defense forces.
    (AP, 12/24/11)
2011        Dec 24, In Egypt Islamist parties consolidated earlier gains in the multistage parliamentary elections, winning nearly 70 percent of the seats determined so far. The Muslim Brotherhood said it won around 86 of estimated 180 seats up for grabs in the round, or 47%..
    (AP, 12/24/11)
2011        Dec 24, The French national insurance agency said it will file a criminal complaint against Poly Implant Prothese, the maker of faulty breast implants after authorities agreed to pay women for the removal of tens of thousands of potentially faulty breast implants.
    (SSFC, 12/25/11, p.A6)
2011        Dec 24, In eastern Indonesia 2 people were killed and 10 others injured during a violent protest as some 1,000 people protested to stop a gold mining project by Australia's Arc Exploration Ltd. and Indonesian partner, PT Sumber Mineral Nusantara. Villagers feared the project will destroy their land and threaten forests and water resources.
    (AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 24, In Indonesia a rampaging wild elephant trampled a farmer to death on Sumatra island. Only 3,000 Sumatran elephants are believed to remain in the wild.
    (AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 24, In southern Italy Ettore Bruscella (77) shot and killed three members of a family who owned a laundromat, apparently incensed by a years-long battle over the smoke and fumes emitted by the washing machines in the tiny town of Genzano Di Lucania.
    (AP, 12/24/11)
2011        Dec 24, In Kashmir Bashir Ahmed, a shopkeeper and member of the ruling pro-India National Conference, was shot in the head at close range in Srinagar. A group of paramilitary soldiers opened fire on each other inside a camp in Indian Kashmir, killing three soldiers.
    (AP, 12/24/11)(AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 24, Liberian police  overnight arrested CDC secretary general Acarous Gray, a top official of the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change, as the capital was under curfew after rioting by unpaid government workers.
    (AFP, 12/24/11)
2011        Dec 24, In western Mexico the body of a US teenager, identified as Alexis Uriel Marron (18), was found in the trunk of a burned-out car along with the bodies of two other youths near the village of Quiringuicharo, Michoacan state.
    (AP, 12/27/11)
2011        Dec 24, Nigerian police and a local rights group said the death toll from 2 days of attacks in the north attributed to the Islamist Boko Haram sect could reach 100.
    (AFP, 12/24/11)
2011        Dec 24, A Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber rammed a car filled with explosives into a paramilitary camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Bannu town killing six soldiers.
    (AP, 12/24/11)
2011        Dec 24, In Russia an estimated 80,000 demonstrators cheered opposition leaders and jeered the Kremlin in the biggest show of outrage yet against PM Vladimir Putin's 12-year rule.
    (AP, 12/24/11)(Econ, 12/31/11, p.36)
2011        Dec 24, In Syria thousands of mourners carrying flags and pictures of the dead took part in a mass funeral for 44 people killed in twin suicide bombings that targeted intelligence agency compounds in Damascus. Shelling in the city of Homs killed at least three people in the Baba Amr district and set several homes and shops ablaze.
    (AP, 12/24/11)
2011        Dec 24, Turkish authorities released an AFP photographer, along with 12 other people who were detained as part of an investigation into a group prosecutors accuse of having links to Kurdish rebels. A court ordered 35 other suspects formally arrested pending trial over their alleged involvement in the Union of Kurdistan Communities.
    (AP, 12/24/11)
2011        Dec 24, In Yemen security forces and backers of embattled President Saleh shot dead at least 9 protesters as they approached Sanaa. Tens of thousands of protesters who set off from the southern city of Taez on Tuesday for the 270-km (170-mile) march to the capital had arrived in Sanaa in mid-afternoon but were blocked in a southern suburb.  Pres. Saleh said he would leave the country for the US to help calm tensions.
    (AFP, 12/24/11)(AP, 12/25/11)(SSFC, 12/25/11, p.A9)

2012        Dec 24, In Massachusetts a man from Puerto Rico was arrested after cocaine was found in his wheelchair at Logan Int’l. Airport.
    (SFC, 12/25/12, p.A8)
2012        Dec 24, In West Webster, NY, William H. Spengler, Jr. (62) shot and killed two firefighters and seriously injured two others as they responded to a fire at his home. Spengler was convicted in 1981 in the death of his 92-year-old grandmother a year earlier. He served time in prison and was released in 1998. The death toll rose to three as police revealed that a body believed to be the killer's sister, Cheryl Spengler (67), was found in his home. On Dec 28 Dawn Nguyen (24) was arrested and charged in connection with the Christmas Eve ambush.
    (SFC, 12/25/12, p.A9)(AP, 12/25/12)(AP, 12/28/12)
2012        Dec 24, Charles Durning (b.1923), Oscar-nominated character actor, died in Manhattan. His films included "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975), "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" (1982) and “To Be or Not to Be" (1983).
    (AP, 12/25/12)
2012        Dec 24, Jack Klugman (90), stage, film and TV actor, died in Los Angeles. He starred in “The Odd Couple" TV series (1970-1975) and in “Quincy, M.E." (1976-1983).
    (SFC, 12/25/12, p.A12)
2012        Dec 24, An Afghan policewoman, identified as Sgt Nargas, walked into a high-security compound in Kabul and killed American contractor Joseph Griffin (49) with a single bullet to the chest, the first such shooting by a woman in a spate of insider attacks by Afghans against their foreign allies. Nargas moved to Afghanistan from Iran 10 years ago after her husband obtained fake documents enabling her to live and work there. The killing came just hours after an Afghan policeman shot five of his colleagues at a checkpoint in Jawzjan province. The attacker then stole his colleague's weapons and fled to join the Taliban.
    (AP, 12/24/12)(AP, 12/25/12)
2012        Dec 24, In China a van carrying 15 children to kindergarten plunged into a roadside pond killing 11 children in Guixi city, Jiangxi province.
    (SFC, 12/25/12, p.A2)
2012        Dec 24, In Israel former chief rabbi Eliahu Bakshi-Doron was charged as part of what has become known as the "rabbis' file" affair. He and others were accused of falsifying rabbinical certificates for more than 1,000 soldiers and police officers so they could be eligible for salary increases.
    (AP, 12/24/12)
2012        Dec 24, Nigerian security forces detained two journalists from a Hausa-language newspaper over articles they published regarding alleged military abuses during the country's fight against a radical Islamist sect.
    (AP, 12/27/12)
2012        Dec 24, In Yemen a US drone airstrike killed two al-Qaida militants in on Radda in Bayda province. 4 tribesmen were killed in Yemeni artillery strikes on areas in the northeastern province of Marib, where they have been accused of attacks on oil pipelines and power generating stations.
    (AP, 12/24/12)

2013        Dec 24, US postal regulators approved a temporary two-year increase of 3 cents for the first class stamp. The 49 cent rate will be effective as of Jan 26, 2014.
    (SFC, 12/25/13, p.A7)
2013        Dec 24, California’s Gov. Jerry Brown granted clemency to 127 convicted criminals. All the people involved had completed their sentences.
    (SFC, 12/25/13, p.D3)
2013        Dec 24, In southern California Steven Keith (58) collapsed and died in a holding cell after his arrest by Border Patrol agents for allegedly carrying three pounds of marijuana.
    (SFC, 12/30/13, p.A6)
2013        Dec 24, In upstate New York 2 firefighters were killed in an ambush after William Spengler Jr. shot his sister and set fire to his West Webster home. Spengler wounded two other firefighters before committing suicide. In 2014 Dawn Nguyen was sentenced to eight years in prison for buying the guns for Spengler.
    (SFC, 9/18/14, p.A6)
2013        Dec 24, A US federal appeals court ruled that same-sex marriages can continue in Utah, denying a request from the state to halt them.
    (SFC, 12/25/13, p.A10)
2013        Dec 24, NASA astronauts wrapped up successful repairs at the International Space Station after a rare Christmas Eve spacewalk to fix an equipment cooling system. Rick Mastracchi (53) and Mike Hopkins (44) floated outside the orbiting lab for seven and a half hours to replace an ammonia pump whose internal control valve failed on December 11.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 24, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff flew over the flood-hit southeastern state of Espirito Santo, where at least 14 people have died in days of torrential rain. 47 cities in Espirito Santo, which borders Rio de Janeiro state, were affected by the flooding.
    (AFP, 12/24/13)
2013        Dec 24, Hurricane-force winds and torrential rain disrupted transport networks and cut power supplies in Britain and France, one of the busiest travel days of the year just before Christmas, pushing the death toll to at least 6 people.
    (Reuters, 12/24/13)
2013        Dec 24, Britain posthumously pardoned Alan Turing (1912-1954) for a 1952 gay sex conviction which tarnished the brilliant career of the code breaker credited with helping win the war against Nazi Germany and laying the foundation for the computer age.
    (AP, 12/24/13)
2013        Dec 24, In Chile Nicolesa Quintreman (73), a Mapuche Indian leader, was found floating in a reservoir she spent a decade trying to prevent from being created. With her sister Berta, Quintreman became a national figure in Chile during protests against the construction of a hydroelectric dam on tribal land in the forested mountains of southern Chile.
    (AP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 24, China's top legislative committee voted to abolish "re-education through labor" camps introduced more than half a century ago, saying they had served their purpose.
    (AFP, 12/24/13)
2013        Dec 24, In Egypt multiple explosions at the security headquarters in Mansoura killed 16 and injured more than 100.
    (AP, 12/24/13)(AP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 24, Egyptian state television reported the arrest of Hesham Kandil, the country's former prime minister, to serve a one-year prison sentence. He had served under the nation's toppled Islamist president.
    (AP, 12/24/13)
2013        Dec 24, Egypt's football league resumed following repeated suspensions for almost two years after a deadly stadium riot and political unrest in the country.
    (AFP, 12/24/13)
2013        Dec 24, In Iraq a bomb struck the acting Iraqi defense minister's convoy west of Baghdad, wounding two of his guards.
    (AFP, 12/24/13)
2013        Dec 24, Israeli air and ground forces launched a series of attacks on targets across the Gaza Strip, killing a young girl and wounding 10 in response to the deadly shooting of an Israeli civilian by a Palestinian sniper. Palestinian officials reported at least 16 Israeli attacks.
    (AP, 12/24/13)
2013        Dec 24, A Libyan soldier was shot dead and a civilian wounded by a bomb under his car in separate attacks in the eastern city of Benghazi.
    (AFP, 12/24/13)
2013        Dec 24, The Malian Ministry of Defense said that Aliou Mahamar Toure, the former head of the Islamic Police in Gao, has been captured. Toure had presided over a 10-month reign of terror.
    (AP, 12/24/13)
2013        Dec 24, Russian news agency RIA reported that Russia is preparing to lift a suspension it imposed on the import of Lithuanian dairy products on October 7.
    (Reuters, 12/24/13)
2013        Dec 24, Syrian government air raids on rebel-held areas of Aleppo killed at least 15 people, including three children.
    (AP, 12/24/13)
2013        Dec 24, Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul sought to salve furor over a high-level corruption case by assuring the public there would be no cover-up and that the courts were free to investigate.
    (Reuters, 12/24/13)
2013        Dec 24, The UN office of the Commissioner for Human Rights said a mass grave believed to contain the bodies of 75 ethnic Dinka soldiers has been found in South Sudan. Later the office revised that figure to 34 bodies and 75 people feared missing. The UN mission in South Sudan said the erroneous report was an inflation of a "skirmish" in which 15 people were killed. The UN Security Council approved plans to increase number of peacekeepers in South Sudan  to 12,500 troops and 1,323 police.
    (AP, 12/24/13)(Reuters, 12/24/13)
2013        Dec 24, The Zambia Wildlife Authority said it has arrested two people in possession of more than 115 kg (250 pounds) of ivory.
    (AP, 12/24/13)

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