Today in History - December 25

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    Christmas is the festival celebrating the birth of Christ and is observed in most countries on December 25. Christmas is sometimes called Yule (from the Anglo-Saxon) or Noel (from the French). Christian churches throughout the world hold special services on Christmas Day to give thanks for the birth of Christ. In addition to religious observances, Christmas is a time of merrymaking and feasting. North American customs are a combination of those of the various European countries from which the original settlers came. On Christmas Eve children hang stockings for Santa Claus to fill with gifts. The Christmas tree, usually an evergreen, was first used in Germany. Topped with a star or spire and decorated with colored lights and shiny ornaments, the tree plays an important part in the celebration. Mistletoe was sacred to the Druids, priests of ancient Britain and Gaul. The Norse used holly and the Yule log to keep away evil spirits. Gifts were exchanged during the Roman celebration of the Saturnalia, a feast to the god Saturn. Gift-giving came to symbolize the gifts brought to the Christ Child by the Magi. The most popular Christmas legend however, is that of Santa Claus, whose name came from Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children. Many of the qualities that Santa Claus is known for came from Clement C. Moore's poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas."
    (HN, 12/25/99)
    In 354    Pope Liberius decided to add the Nativity to the Church calendar and selected December 25 to celebrate it. [see 336]
    (WSJ, 12/21/07, p.A19)

1CE        Dec 25, The celebrated birth of Christ in Bethlehem. The birth of Jesus is celebrated on Dec. 25th because the Romans needed to replace the pagan holiday called the Feast of the Unconquered Sun. In Ethiopia Jan 7 is the day that Christmas is celebrated. According to the gospel of Matthew Joseph soon fled with his family to Egypt following a decree by Herod that ordered all boys of Bethlehem under age 2 to be put to death. The gospels of Luke and Matthew are inconsistent on historical facts. Christ’s birth on this day was officially set by the Roman Church in 336AD. [see 6-2BCE]
    (SFC, 12/4/94, p. S-4)(SFC, 8/2/99, p.A10)(Econ, 1/1/05, p.38)

274        Dec 25, Emperor Aurelian imported into Rome the cult of Sol Invictus and made its Dec 25 festival a national holiday.
    (WSJ, 12/18/98, p.W15)

336        Dec 25, The first recorded celebration of Christmas on this day took place in Rome. By this year Dec 25 was established in the Liturgy of the Roman Church as the birthday of Jesus. [see 354] The Basilica of St. Anastasia was built as soon as a year after the Nicaean Council. It probably was where Christmas was first marked on Dec. 25, part of broader efforts to link pagan practices to Christian celebrations in the early days of the new religion. In 2007 Italian archaeologists unveiled an underground grotto, near St. Anastasia, that they believe ancient Romans revered as the place where a wolf nursed Rome's legendary founder Romulus and his twin brother Remus. 
    (WSJ, 12/18/98, p.W15)(AP, 12/25/99)(AP, 12/22/07)

376        Dec 25, In Milan, Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, forced the emperor Theodosius to perform public penance for his massacre.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

800        Dec 25, Pope Leo III crowned Frankish warrior-king Charlemagne as heir of the Roman emperors at the basilica of St. Peter's at Rome.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.105)(Econ, 9/4/10, p.56)

820        Dec 25, Leo V, the Armenian, Byzantine gen and Emperor (813-20), was murdered.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1066        Dec 25, William the Conqueror (d.1087), Duke William of Normandy, was crowned king of England. Under the reign of William I the construction of Windsor Castle began.
    http://members.tripod.com/~Battle_of_Hastings/Contents.html
    (TLC, 6/25/95)(SFC, 5/25/96, p.A12)(AP, 12/25/97)(HN, 12/25/98)

1223        Dec 25, St. Francis of Assisi assembled one of the first Nativity scenes, in Greccio, Italy.
    (AP, 12/25/97)

1621        Dec 25, The governor William Bradford of New Plymouth prevented newcomers from playing cards. The queens later depicted on playing cards were said to be: spades (Pallas), hearts (Judith), diamonds (Rachel), clubs (Elizabeth).
    (HN, 12/25/98)(SFC, 3/20/99, p.B4)(MC, 12/25/01)

1635        Dec 25, Samuel de Champlain (b.1575), French navigator and founder of Quebec City, died in Quebec. In 2008 David Hackett Fischer authored “Champlain’s Dream."
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_de_Champlain)(WSJ, 10/11/08, p.W8)

1642        Dec 25, (OS) Isaac Newton (d.1727), English physicist, mathematician and scientist, was born in Woolsthorpe (Grantham), Lincolnshire, England. He enunciated the laws of motion and the law of gravity  [see Jan 4, 1643].
    (V.D.-H.K.p.205)(HN, 12/25/98)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton)

1643        Dec 25, Captain William Mynors of the Royal Mary, a British East India Company vessel, named Christmas Island when he sailed past it on Christmas Day. Sovereignty of the island was transferred to Australia in 1957.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_Island)

1651        Dec 25, The General Court of Boston levied a five shilling fine on anyone caught “observing any such day as Christmas."
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1683        Dec 25, Kara Mustapha (b.~1634), chief of the Ottoman janissaries, appeared before the grand vizier in Belgrade. He was sentenced to death and executed for the military loss at Vienna.
    (WSJ, 12/5/06, p.D12)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kara_Mustafa)

1688        Dec 25, English king James II landed in Ambleteuse, France.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1711        Dec 25, London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, was declared officially complete by Parliament. In fact construction was to continue for several years after that, with the statues on the roof only being added in the 1720s. In 2008 Leo Hollis authored “The Phoenix: St Paul’s Cathedral and the Men Who Made Modern London."
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Paul%27s_Cathedral)

1739        Dec 25, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1739-1799) was born. He was the first African American musician to achieve international renown as a classical composer, violinist and conductor.
    (http://ChevalierDeSaintGeorges.Homestead.com/Page1.html)

1741        Dec 25, Astronomer Anders Celcius introduced the Centigrade temperature scale.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1745        Dec 25, Prussia and Austria signed the Treaty of Dresden. This gave much of Silesia to the Prussians.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1761        Dec 25, Elisabeth Petrovna (~51), tsarina of Russia (1741-62), died.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1776        Dec 25, Gen. George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River for a surprise attack against 1,400 Hessian forces at Trenton, N.J.
    (AP, 12/25/97)(MC, 12/25/01)

1779        Dec 25, A court-martial was convened against Benedict Arnold. He defended himself successfully on 6 of 8 charges but was convicted of illegally issuing a government pass and using government wagons to transport personal goods.
    (ON, 11/01, p.2)

1799        Dec 25, Napoleon’s new constitution went into effect. It gave him, as First Consul, powers to promulgate laws, nominate senior officials, control finances and conduct negotiations with foreign powers.
    (ON, 1/02, p.12)

1818        Dec 25, "Silent Night" by Franz Gruber was performed for the first time, at the Church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorff, Austria.
    (HFA, '96, p.44)(AP, 12/25/97)

1821        Dec 25, Clara Barton (d.1912), the founder of the American Red Cross, was born in North Oxford, Massachusetts. She worked as a volunteer nurse during the Civil War, distributing food and medical supplies to troops and earning herself the label "Angel of the Battlefield." She later served alongside the International Red Cross in Europe--however, she could not work directly with the organization because she was a woman. In 1882 she formed an American branch of the Red Cross. Barton lobbied for the Geneva Convention and she expanded the mission of the Red Cross to include helping victims of peacetime disasters. Clara Barton died at her home in Glen Echo, Maryland, on April 12, 1912, when she was 90 years old.
    (HNPD, 12/26/98)(WUD, 1994 p.123)

1832        Dec 25, Charles Darwin celebrated Christmas in St. Martin at Cape Receiver.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1833        Dec 25, Charles Darwin celebrated Christmas in Port Desire, Patagonia.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1834        Dec 25, Charles Darwin celebrated Christmas on Beagle at Tres Montes, Chile.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1835        Dec 25, Charles Darwin celebrated Christmas in Pahia, New Zealand.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1837        Dec 25, In the Battle of Okeechobee US forces defeated the Seminole Indians.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1861        Dec 25, Stonewall Jackson spent Christmas with his wife; their last together.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1862        Dec 25, President and Mrs. Lincoln visited hospitals in the Washington D.C. area on this Christmas Day.
    (HN, 12/25/98)
1862        Dec 25, John Hunt Morgan and his raiders clashed with Union forces near Bear Wallow, Kentucky. Fighting also occurred at Green’s Chapel.
    (HN, 12/25/99)

1865        Dec 25, Evangeline Cory Booth, Salvation Army general (1904-34), was born.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1868        Dec 25, President Andrew Johnson granted an unconditional pardon to all persons involved in the Southern rebellion that resulted in the Civil War.
    (AP, 12/25/97)

1870        Dec 25, Rosa Luxemburg (d.1919), Polish-German revolutionary and founder of the German Communist Party, was born: "Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently."
    (HN, 12/25/98)(AP, 7/6/99)
1870        Dec 25, The Tiber broke its banks in a terrible flood in Rome.
    (Econ, 7/25/05, p.72)

1876        Dec 25, Mohammed Ali Jinnah (d.1948), founder of Pakistan (1947), gov. (1947-58), was born in Karachi.
    (SFC, 7/30/03, p.A11)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Ali_Jinnah)

1893        Dec 25, Robert Leroy Ripley, artist, author and radio broadcaster (Believe It or Not), was born in Santa Rosa, Calif.
    (www.ripleysf.com/ripley/about/about.html)

1896        Dec 25, "Stars & Stripes Forever" was written by John Philip Sousa.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1899        Dec 25, Humphrey Bogart, actor (“Here's looking at you, kid" in Casablanca), was born in NYC. [see Jan 23, 1899]
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1907        Dec 25, Cab Calloway, band leader and first Jazz singer to sell a million records, was born.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1912        Dec 25, Italy landed troops in Albania to protect its interests during a revolt there.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1913        Dec 25, In San Francisco the St. Francis of Assisi church on Vallejo Street re-opened following fire damage from 1906.
    (SSFC, 3/25/12, DB p.41)

1914        Dec 25, German and British troops declared an unofficial truce to celebrate Christmas during World War I.
    (HN, 12/25/98)
1914        Dec 25, The British Royal Navy Air Force attempted to bomb the German Zeppelin shed at Cuxhaven. Fog obscured the mission and the bombs were dropped on other sites, i.e. a seaplane base on Langeoog Island, the light cruisers Stralsund and Graudenz and the city of Wilhemshaven. An audacious British air attack on a Zeppelin base in northern Germany caught the Germans with their defenses down.
    (AH, 1/97)(HN, 3/22/97)

1915        Dec 25, At the war front near Laventie, France, British and German soldiers exchanged greetings, cigarettes and engaged in a short game of free-for-all soccer.
    (SFC, 8/3/01, p.D5)

1918        Dec 25, Anwar Sadat (d.1981), president of Egypt, was born. "There can be hope only for a society which acts as one big family, and not as many separate ones." He shared a Nobel Peace Prize in 1978.
    (AP, 5/9/98)(HN, 12/25/98)
1918        Dec 25, Revolt erupted in Berlin.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1924        Dec 25, Rod Serling (d.1975), writer and host (Twilight Zone, Night Gallery), was born in Syracuse, NY. He was also the author of "Requiem for a Heavyweight." He was remembered in the PBS production titled: "Submitted for Your Approval," first broadcast on 11/29/95.
    (WSJ, 11/27/95, p.A-14)(Internet)

1925        Dec 25, Carlos Castaneda, author of “The Teachings of Don Juan," was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil or Cajamarca, Peru. He lied about the statistical details of his life.
    (SFC, 6/19/98, p.A2)
1925        Dec 25, U.S. troops under Admiral Latimer disarmed Nicaraguan insurgents in support of the Diaz regime.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1926        Dec 25, Hirohito became emperor of Japan, succeeding his father, Emperor Yoshihito (Hirohito was formally enthroned almost two years later). This marked the beginning of the Showa Period (1926-1989).
    (AP, 12/25/97)(Jap. Enc., BLDM, p. 216)

1927        Dec 25, Mexican congress opened land to foreign investors, reversing the 1917 ban enacted to preserve the domestic economy.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1930        Dec 25, Theodor Noldeke (b.1836), German professor, died in Karlsruhe, Germany. He is generally recognized as the father of Western Qur'anic criticism. In 1857 a Paris academy offered a prize for the best critical history of the Quran and Noldeke won.
    (WSJ, 1/12/08, p.A6)(http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0199-1544012_ITM)

1931        Dec 25, New York's Metropolitan Opera broadcast an entire opera over radio for the first time: "Hansel und Gretel" by Engelbert Humperdinck.
    (AP, 12/25/97)

1935        Dec 25, Albert Joost (57), SF Bay lighthouse keeper, died of injuries from a fire at the Southampton lighthouse between Angel Island and Richmond harbor.
    (www.rudyalicelighthouse.net/CalLts/Smptn/Smptn.htm)(SSFC, 12/26/10, DB p.46)

1939        Dec 25, Finnish troops entered Soviet territory.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1941        Dec 25, The USS President Coolidge, a luxury liner repurposed for medical transport, arrived in San Francisco with 125 men wounded in the Dec 7 attack at Pearl Parbor, Hawaii.
    (SFC, 12/7/13, p.C4)
1941        Dec 25, Free French occupied the French Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon off the Canadian coast.
    (HN, 12/25/98)
1941        Dec 25, Japan announced the surrender of the British-Canadian garrison at Hong Kong. Major John Crawford (d.1997) and some 1,975 Canadian soldiers were captured and incarcerated at the Sham Shui Po prison camp at Kowloon for 44 months.
    (G&M, 7/30/97, p.A24)(HN, 12/25/02)(AP, 12/25/07)
1941        Dec 25, In northwestern Lithuania some 400 young Jewish women were killed by Lithuanian police.
    (WSJ, 1/19/08, p.W8)

1944        Dec 25, Prime Minister Winston Churchill went to Athens to seek an end to the Greek civil war.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1946        Dec 25, Jimmy Buffett, singer and writer, was born in Pascagoula, Miss. He recorded “Margaritaville" in 1977.
    (SSFC, 4/28/02, Par p.22)
1946        Dec 25, Comedian W.C. Fields (b.1879) died in Pasadena, Calif., at age 66/67.
    (SFEC, 11/3/96, DB p.56)(AP, 12/25/97)(MC, 12/25/01)
1946        Dec 25, Chiang Kai-shek offered a new Chinese constitution in Nanking pledging universal suffrage.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1949        Dec 25, Sissy Spacek, (Carrie, Badlands, Coal Miner's Daughter), was born in Quitman, Tx.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1950        Dec 25, Scottish nationalists stole the Stone of Scone from the British coronation throne in Westminster Abbey. The 485 pound stone was recovered in April 1951.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1955        Dec 25, In Iran Navvab Safavi (b.1923), a firebrand cleric, was tried and executed. He was responsible for founding of the Fadayan-e Islam group and with them the assassination of several leading Iranians.
    (Econ, 5/4/13, p.52)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navvab_Safavi)

1957        Dec 25, Frederick Law Olmsted (87), US architect (Central Park, NYC), died.
    (MC, 12/25/01)
1957        Dec 25, Ramdane Abane (b.1920), Algerian Berber revolutionary leader, was assassinated in Morocco.
    (www.amazighworld.org/history/personalities/ramdane_abane.php)(SFC, 6/28/08, p.E2)

1961        Dec 25, Rheinhold Ruedenberg (b.1883), MIT electrical engineer, died. He patented the principle of electron-microscope imaging in 1931 for Siemens and Halske.
    (www.msu.edu/~daggy/cop/bkofdead/obits-ru.htm)(www.timelinescience.org/years/1950.htm)

1962        Dec 25, The Bay of Pigs captives who were ransomed, vowed to return and topple Castro.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1964        Dec 25, A flood wiped out the town of Klamath in northern California as the Eel River overflowed its banks. The Douglas Memorial Bridge across the Klamath River was made useless. Flooding on the Ell, Klamath and other rivers left 19 people dead.
    (SFEC, 12/5/99, p.T5)(SSFC, 1/25/15, p.D6)

1965        Dec 25, Entertainer Chris Noel gave her first performance for the USO at two hospitals in California.
    (HN, 12/25/98)
1965        Dec 25, Sherman Poppen invented the “Snurfer," the first snowboard by screwing together two pairs of children’s skis.
    (Hem., 12/96, p.82)

1970        Dec 25, Federico Fellini’s “The Clowns," part documentary and part fantasy, was released in Italy for television and the next day as a film.
    (SFC, 1/12/15, p.A6)(TVM, 1977, p.139)

1973        Dec 25, Skylab astronauts took a seven hour walk in space and photographed the comet Kohoutek.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1974        Dec 25, The category 4 Cyclone Tracy reduced 90% of Darwin, Australia, to rubble. 65 people died including 49 in the city and 16 at sea.
    (SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T10)(www.emergency-management.net/cyclone.htm)

1976        Dec 25, Some 100 Moslems, returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca, died when their boat, the Egyptian SS Patria, sank in the Red Sea.
    (HN, 12/25/98)(www.emergency-management.net/ship_acc.htm)

1977        Dec 25, Israeli PM Menachem Begin met Egyptian Pres. Sadat (1918-1981) in Egypt.
    (www.washington-report.org/backissues/1098/9810083.html)
1977        Dec 25, Comedian Sir Charles Chaplin died in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland at age 88. In 2006 Richard Schickel edited “The Essential Chaplin."
    (AP, 4/16/00)(WSJ, 6/23/06, p.W6)

1978        Dec 25, Guards at the SF De Young Museum discovered that 4 Renaissance paintings had been stolen. In 1999 3 of the works, including Rembrandt's "Portrait of a Rabbi," were recovered in NYC. "Harbor Scene" by William van de Velde was still missing.
    (SFC, 11/11/99, p.A1,13)(SFC, 2/10/00, p.A27)(SFC, 12/19/03, p.E2)
1978        Dec 25, Vietnam invaded Cambodia and drove the Khmer Rouge into sanctuaries along the Thai border, finally ending the mass genocide depicted in the 1984 film "The Killing Fields." It was the first full-scale war between the two countries since 1917. 400 people were killed in initial clashes.
    (NG, 5/85, p.574-5)(WSJ, 2/27/96, p.A-1)(SFC, 6/14/97, p.A15)(SFC, 4/30/98, p.A11)

1979        Dec 25, Large numbers of Soviet airborne forces joined stationed ground troops and began to land in Kabul, Afghanistan.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in_Afghanistan)
1979        Dec 25, Egypt began a major restoration of the Sphinx.
    (HN, 12/25/98)
1979        Dec 25, In Tong-du-cheon, Korea, two US soldiers, David Medina and Reinaldo Roa, approached an MP station under cover of darkness. Medina and Roa had earlier been arrested for beating up an elderly Korean store owner. They tossed a hand-grenade through the front door and several MPs were injured by shrapnel and other debris. In the ensuing confusion, the suspects escaped. Roa and Medina were later caught after they bragged about their feat.
    (PSS, 12/30/79)

1980        Dec 25, The paintings "La route" (Bend of the road) by Paul Cezanne, "La tete de jeune fille au Ruban bleu" (Portrait of a Lady) by Auguste Renoir, and "Le cri" (The cry) by Paul Gauguin were among nearly 2 dozen stolen from the Argentine National Fine Arts Museum in Buenos Aires. The art works were located at a Paris gallery in 2002, where they had been brought by a Taiwanese man claiming to represent a Chinese investor. The investor said he bought them from a Brazilian senator who said he inherited them from his family.
    (AP, 11/25/05)(http://cpprot.te.verweg.com/2003-July/000215.html)

1987        Dec 25, Authorities recaptured Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who had escaped two days earlier from the federal prison in Alderson, W.V., where she was serving a life sentence for her attempt on the life of President Ford.
    (AP, 12/25/97)
1987        Dec 25, Antoni Imiela pounced on Sheila Jankowitz near her home in Forest Hill, southeast London. The attack preceded a series of rapes across south-east England in 2001 and 2002 for which the ex-railway worker was given seven life sentences in 2004. In 2012 the 'M25 Rapist' was sentenced 12 years more for raping Jankowitz.
    (AFP, 3/22/12)

1989        Dec 25, Billy Martin (b.1928), former baseball manager, died in a truck crash in Fenton, NY.
    (AP, 12/25/99)
1989        Dec 25, In Canada a 6.3 earthquake, the Ungava event, struck northern Quebec and was later attributed to retreating ice sheets from 10,000 years earlier.
    (WSJ, 6/9/06, p.A11)
1989        Dec 25, The Bank of Japan raised interest rates to slow the heated economy.
    (Econ, 7/22/06, p.66)
1989        Dec 25, Ousted Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were executed following a popular uprising. His regime had mobilized some 700,000 informants to keep tabs on the population of 23 million people.
    (SFC, 12/27/96, p.B1)(AP, 12/25/97)(SSFC, 8/20/06, p.A20)

1990        Dec 25, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev won sweeping new powers from the Congress of People’s Deputies.
    (AP, 12/25/00)
1990        Dec 25, Romania’s former monarch, King Michael, arrived on his first visit to his homeland since Communist rulers forced him to abdicate four decades earlier. He was deported by the new Bucharest government less than 12 hours later.
    (AP, 12/25/00)

1991        Dec 25, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev went on television to announce his resignation as the eighth and final leader of a Communist superpower that had already gone out of existence. He was ousted as Soviet leader Boris Yeltsin established his position.
    (TMC, 1994, p.1991)(SFC, 12/3/97, p.C6)(AP, 12/25/97)

1992        Dec 25, U.S. Marines delivered wheat to a refugee camp in Bardera, Somalia, setting off a small riot among the Somalis; American and French troops also took control of Hoddur.
    (AP, 12/25/97)

1993        Dec 25, Full-fledged Christmas celebrations returned to Bethlehem for the first time since the Palestinian uprising began six years earlier.
    (AP, 12/25/98)
1993        Dec 25, In London, an unidentified 59-year-old woman who'd been implanted with donated eggs gave birth to twins in a case that sparked controversy.
    (AP, 12/25/98)

1994        Dec 25, Pope John Paul II, in his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" message, bemoaned "selfishness and violence" around the world.
    (AP, 12/25/99)
1994        Dec 25, A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus in Jerusalem and wounded 12 Israelis. Hamas took responsibility.
    (WSJ, 3/6/96, p. A-15)(G&M, 7/31/97, p.A8)(AP, 12/25/99)

1995        Dec 25, The Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Hillsborough, N.C., burned down. Arson was suspected and investigations by the FBI and ATF were later begun.
    (SFC, 6/11/96, p.A16)
1995        Dec 25, Dean Martin (b.1917), singer, comedian, actor, died at age 78 in Beverly Hills, Ca. In 1998 Brian Gunn published “Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey & the Last Great Show Biz Party," a biography of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.
    (WSJ, 12/26/95, p. A-1)(AP, 12/25/97)(SFC, 5/16/98, p.A1)(SFEC, 7/5/98, BR p.5)
1995        Dec 25, An ailing Pope John Paul the Second cut short his traditional Christmas greetings, telling crowds he was fighting to regain his health.
    (AP, 12/25/00)
1995        Dec 25, In South Africa supporters of the Zulu nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party carried out a Christmas massacre where 18 supporters of the African National Congress (ANC) were killed in the KwaZulu-Natal province. 600 members of Inkatha, a Zulu nationalist group, were responsible. In 1998 5 of the 13 men convicted in the massacre were freed from prison.
    (WSJ, 12/26/95, p. A-1)(SFC, 12/23/98, p.C2)

1996        Dec 25, Croatian Serbs attacked Croats who had been bused in to their former hometown in Eastern Slavonia for Christmas services.
    (WSJ, 12/26/96, p.A1)
1996        Dec 25, In Gabon officials said that Pres. Bongo’s ruling party swept 47 of 55 parliamentary seats in elections last week.
    (SFC, 12/26/96, p.B4)
1996        Dec 25, In Malaysia tropical storm Greg killed at least 163 people in the northern Borneo state of Sabah.
    (WSJ, 12/27/96, p.A1)(SFC, 12/30/96, p.A8)
1996        Dec 25, Some 280 migrants from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were suspected of having drowned in the Mediterranean while being transshipped in the Malta-Sicily channel. At least 283 people died while on the illegal voyage from Alexandria to Italy.
    (SFEC, 1/5/97, p.A13)(Econ., 4/25/15, p.21)
1996        Dec 25, Peruvians held candles high and prayed outside the Japanese ambassador's residence, where leftist rebels freed one hostage for health reasons, but continued to hold more than 100 others.
    (AP, 12/25/97)
1996        Dec 25, In Serbia Pres. Milosevic banned street demonstrations.
    (SFC, 12/26/96, p.A1)

1997        Dec 25, Richard Bliss, a field technician for Qualcomm Inc. accused of spying in Russia, arrived in San Diego after Russian authorities were persuaded to let him return home. Russia said its investigation of Bliss continues.
    (AP, 12/25/98)
1997        Dec 25, Comedian Jerry Seinfeld announced plans to fold his highly successful NBC sitcom "Seinfeld" at the end of the season.
    (AP, 12/25/98)
1997        Dec 25, In Algeria Interior Minister Mustapha Benmansour announced that the ruling National Democratic Rally won 80 of 96 contested seats.
    (SFC,12/26/97, p.A19)
1997        Dec 25, A gale hit Britain and Ireland with 100 mph winds and 4 people were killed. A French fishing vessel was feared to have sunk off Wales.
    (WSJ, 12/26/97, p.A1)
1997        Dec 25, From the Ivory Coast it was reported that early marriages in sub-Saharan Africa were still very common. Islamic law allows the marriage of girls as soon as they can conceive.
    (SFC,12/25/97, p.A18)
1997        Dec 25, A Russian Proton-K rocket failed 6 hours after launch and dumped the $100 million ASIASAT-3 satellite made by Hughes Space and Comm. Int’l. for Asia Satellite Telecom. into a useless orbit. Engineers in May, 1998, planned to use gravity assist to send the satellite around the moon and back to a usable orbit.
    (SFC,12/26/97, p.B2)(SFC, 4/30/98, p.A7)
1997        Dec 25, In Sri Lanka fighting erupted in the north and at least 17 people were killed.
    (SFC,12/26/97, p.A16)
1997        Dec 25, In Zambia former president Kenneth Kaunda was confined to prison for 28 days on suspicion of being linked to the Oct 27 coup attempt.
    (SFC,12/26/97, p.A1)

1998        Dec 25, Seven days into their journey , American millionaire Steve Fossett, British mogul Richard Branson and Per Lindstrom of Sweden set down their ICO Global Challenger balloon in the Pacific near Honolulu. This ended their latest effort to circumnavigate the world.
    (SFC, 12/26/98, p.A1)(AP, 12/25/99)
1998        Dec 25, A storm snapped power lines in Virginia and left thousands without power as cold weather hit across the South.
    (SFC, 12/28/98, p.A9)
1998        Dec 25, Belarus Pres. Lukashenko and Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin declared an agreement to begin unifying their currencies and economies next year.
    (SFC, 12/26/98, p.A1)
1998        Dec 25, In Lima, Peru, a tear gas bomb caused a stampede in a disco and 9 young people, 13-21, were crushed to death. The bomb was said to have been thrown by members of a youth gang.
    (SFC, 12/26/98, p.A14)
1998        Dec 25, In Sierra Leone Sam Bockarie of the Revolutionary United Front said that his rebels would march into Freetown on New Year's Day unless the government agreed to terms that included the release of Foday Sankoh. Rebels had captured Makeni and were battling for Kenema.
    (SFC, 12/26/98, p.A14)
1998        Dec 25, In Serbia US diplomats in Kosovo persuaded army officers to pull back some of their forces.
    (SFC, 12/26/98, p.A8)

1999        Dec 25, Space shuttle “Discovery’s" astronauts finished their repair job on the Hubble Space Telescope.
    (SFEC, 12/26/99, p.A17)(AP, 12/25/00)
1999        Dec 25, Erik de Mul, the UN Afghan coordinator reached Kandahar, Afghanistan, and began negotiations with Sikh hijackers.
    (SFEC, 12/26/99, p.A1)
1999        Dec 25, A Cuban airplane, Russian-made YAK-42, crashed just before landing in the northern Venezuelan state of Carabobo and all 22 people onboard were killed.
    (SFEC, 12/26/99, p.D6)(WSJ, 12/27/99, p.A1)
1999        Dec 25, Russian forces launched an attack on Grozny led by 700 pro-Moscow Chechen volunteers.
    (SFEC, 12/26/99, p.A1)

2000        Dec 25, Pres. Clinton laid down a new set of proposals for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The proposals included a Palestinian concession for some 3.7 million refugees to give up the right of return and for Israelis to cede sovereignty over the Temple Mount.
    (SFC, 12/26/00, p.A1)(SFC, 12/27/00, p.A14)
2000        Dec 25, In central China as many as 309 young people were killed at an unlicensed disco fire in Louyang city.
    (SFC, 12/26/00, p.C6)(AP, 12/25/01)
2000        Dec 25, In Colombia Pres. Pastrana announced a draft for an agreement with the ELN to pull government troops from areas in Bolivar state.
    (SFC, 12/26/00, p.C2)
2000        Dec 25,  In Kashmir a car bomb went off in Indian controlled Srinagar and 8 people were killed with 23 injured. The Pakistan-based rebel groups Jamaat-ul Mujahedeen and Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility.
    (SFC, 12/26/00, p.C4)(WSJ, 12/26/00, p.A1)
2000        Dec 25, In Pakistan bombs exploded in 4 cities. 36 people were injured in Lahore.
    (SFC, 12/26/00, p.C4)
2000        Dec 25, In Russian regional governor elections Roman Abramovitch (34), head of the Sibneft oil company, won in Chukotka and Vladimir Shamanov won in Ulyanovsk. Chukotka is the Russian region across from Alaska.
    (WSJ, 12/26/00, p.A1)(WSJ, 6/13/01, p.A1)

2001        Dec 25, From Mazar-e-Sharif to Kandahar in Afghanistan and the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Arabian Sea, American forces celebrated Christmas with carols, touch football and turkey dinners.
    (AP, 12/25/02)
2001        Dec 25, India and Pakistan armies exchanged artillery fire in the mountains of Kashmir.
    (SFC, 12/26/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 25, Arab gunmen ambushed Israeli troops along the Jordan border. One Israeli soldier was killed along with 2 of the gunmen. Israel lifted a blockade around Jericho.
    (SFC, 12/26/01, p.A3)(WSJ, 12/26/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 25, Burundi Maj. Gen. Gahiro reported that 515 Hutu rebels and 28 soldiers had been killed in the Tenga region since Nov 26. He said fighting the area was liberated but that fighting continued.
    (SFC, 12/26/01, p.A8)
2001        Dec 25, Salman Raduyev, a Chechen warlord, was sentenced by a Russian court to life in prison for terrorism and murder.
    (SFC, 12/26/01, p.A4)
2001        Dec 25, Grigory Pasko (39), Russian military journalist, was sentenced to 4 years in prison plus credit for time served for passing state secrets to Japan. He had reported on the Russian navy practice of ocean-dumping old weapons and nuclear waste. In 2002 the Supreme Court struck down the 1996 military secrecy order used to convict Pasko. In 2002 a military court upheld the verdict.
    (SFC, 12/26/01, p.A5)(SFC, 2/13/02, p.A16)(SFC, 6/26/02, p.A10)
2001        Dec 25, In his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" message, Pope John Paul II turned his thoughts at Christmas to children — Palestinian, Israeli, American, Afghan and African — declaring that humanity's hope depends on helping them.
    (AP, 12/25/02)

2002        Dec 25, Andrew Whittaker of Hurricane, W. Va., won the Powerball lottery ticket for $314.9 million.
    (SFC, 12/30/02, p.A2)
2002        Dec 25, Katie Hnida became the first woman to play in a Division I football game when she attempted an extra point following a New Mexico touchdown in the Las Vegas Bowl. Hnida, a walk-on junior, had her kick blocked but by then she had already made history in the 27-13 loss to UCLA.
    (AP, 12/25/03)
2002        Dec 25,  A US winter storm left up to 3 feet of snow across the Northeast. The storm claimed 23 people in its weeklong march across the country.
    (WSJ, 12/26/02, p.A1)(AP, 12/25/03)
2002        Dec 25, In Chechnya 28 guerrillas laid down their weapons in Grozny. A pro-Russian party leader and at least 4 Russians were killed in the last 24 hrs.
    (SFC, 12/25/02, p.A17)
2002        Dec 25, Israeli troops killed a member of the militant Hamas group and arrested another in the West Bank city of Nablus.
    (AP, 12/25/02)
2002        Dec 25, Russian air traffic controllers reached an agreement on wage increases paving the way for an end to a hunger strike that disrupted air travel.
    (AP, 12/25/02)
2002        Dec 25, In Pakistan a grenade killed a girl and two other worshippers at a church in the village of Chianwala, about 40 miles northwest of Lahore.
    (AP, 12/25/02)(WSJ, 12/26/02, p.A1)
2002        Dec 25, Pope John Paul II delivered a Christmas message in which he said war had to be and could be avoided even in a world made fearful by terrorism.
    (AP, 12/25/03)

2003        Dec 25, Near San Bernadino, Ca., 16 people were killed at a youth camp after mudslides, triggered by heavy rain, swept down the San Gabriel Mountains recently scorched by wildfire. 2 of the 14 people killed were at a KOA campground near Devore.
    (SFC, 12/27/03, p.A1)(SFC, 12/29/03, p.A1)(AP, 12/25/05)
2003        Dec 25, Florida's Gov. Jeb Bush dedicated a faith-based prison.
    (WSJ, 12/26/03, p.A1)
2003        Dec 25, In Schenectady, NY, 2  home fires left 5 people dead. At least 4 people in one fire were killed by shotgun blasts.
    (SFC, 12/26/03, p.A5)
2003        Dec 25, A small plane crashed after takeoff at the North Las Vegas and 6 family members were killed.
    (SSFC, 12/28/03, p.A3)
2003        Dec 25, A passenger plane bound for Beirut crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from the west African nation of Benin and at least 138 people, mostly Lebanese, were killed. Some 35 people survived.
    (AP, 12/25/03)(SFC, 12/26/03, p.A3)(AP, 12/27/03)
2003        Dec 25, The British Beagle 2 spacecraft landed on Mars. The 73-pound lander was launched by the European Space Agency June 2. Contact with the Charles Darwin probe was lost on Dec 26 after it separated from its European Space Agency Mars Express mother ship on Dec 19. The mother ship went into orbit for a planned 2 years of photography. In 2015 scientists found the probe on the surface of Mars.
    (SFC, 12/25/03, p.A1)(SFC, 12/26/03, p.A2)(SFC, 12/27/03, p.A2)(AFP, 1/16/15)
2003        Dec 25, China announced steps to reduce overexpansion.
    (SFC, 12/26/03, p.A3)
2003        Dec 25, A strong earthquake shook the border of Costa Rica and Panama, killing an infant and leaving dozens of others with mainly minor injuries.
    (AP, 12/26/03)
2003        Dec 25, Guinea's ailing President Lansana Conte was declared the victor in presidential elections boycotted by the opposition, securing a landslide victory with over 95 percent of the vote, according to provisional results.
    (AP, 12/25/03)
2003        Dec 25, In Iraq leaders of Sunni Muslim groups agreed to form a State Council for the Sunnis in order to speak with a unified voice during the transition to Iraqi governance.
    (SFC, 12/26/03, p.A9)
2003        Dec 25, Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian man carrying explosives toward a Jewish settlement in Gaza.
    (AP, 12/25/03)
2003        Dec 25, Israeli helicopter gunships killed a senior Islamic militant and at least four other people in a missile strike on a car in Gaza City.
    (Reuters, 12/25/03)
2003        Dec 25, A suicide bombing killed four Israelis near a bus stop outside Tel Aviv. The victims were identified as 3 soldiers and a 17-year-old Israeli girl. At least 13 other people were wounded. The PFLP identified the bomber as Said Hanani (18) from the village of Beit Furik.
    (AP, 12/26/03)(SFC, 12/26/03, p.A1)
2003        Dec 25, In Pakistan bombers set off 2 massive blasts near Pres. Pervez Musharraf's motorcade, killing 15 people in the 2nd assassination attempt against Musharraf in 11 days. The president was unhurt, but at least 46 other people were wounded.
    (AP, 12/25/03)(SFC, 12/26/03, p.A1)

2004        Dec 25, President Bush urged Americans to help the neediest among them by volunteering to care for the sick, the elderly and the poor in a Christmas Day call for compassion.
    (AP, 12/25/05)
2004        Dec 25, Algeria's Energy Minister Chakib Khelil said exports of oil and gas will bring in over 31 billion dollars (24 billion euros) in 2004.
    (AP, 12/26/04)
2004        Dec 25, In southern China villagers of Da Lang battled police in a riot after security forces beat a resident to death.
    (SFC, 12/27/04, p.A3)
2004        Dec 25, President Fidel Castro said a 100-million-barrel crude oil deposit had been discovered off Cuba by Canadian firms. Cuba imports about half the petroleum it needs.
    (AP, 12/25/04)
2004        Dec 25, Video footage aired on Turkish television showed a Turkish ship owner saying he and a ship captain were being held hostage in Iraq and that kidnappers demanded a $25 million ransom.
    (AP, 12/25/04)
2004        Dec 25, The Sudanese government said it has readied 13 planes for fighting swarms of desert locusts, poised to enter the country from Egypt.
    (AP, 12/25/04)

2005        Dec 25, In Brazil Djalma Costa Ferreira (68) hit his wife, Benvinda Matos Costa, several times with the sledgehammer following a Christmas party at the house of one of their sons, because he believed she had cheated on him and wanted to spend all his money. In 2010 he was convicted of murder and sentenced to nearly 23 years in prison.
    (AP, 9/11/10)
2005        Dec 25, In China a fire at an unlicensed bar killed at least 26 people and injured eight in Zhongstan, which abuts Macau west of Hong Kong.
    (AP, 12/26/05)
2005        Dec 25, In Bogota, Colombia, Jordan Paez (6) fell into a coverless manhole and was killed. A record 10,000 manhole covers were stolen there in 2005.
    (AP, 1/1/06)
2005        Dec 25-2005 Dec 26, Some 3,500 Congolese troops backed by 600 UN Indian peacekeepers battled Ugandan rebels near Congo's eastern city of Beni, leaving 35 rebels and one Indian UN soldier dead.
    (AP, 12/26/05)(AFP, 12/26/05)
2005        Dec 25, Iran denied that it received a proposal to move its uranium enrichment facilities to Russian soil, a compromise Europe is seeking to resolve a standoff over Iran's nuclear program.
    (AP, 12/25/05)
2005        Dec 25, Bombs struck Iraqi police and army patrols and destroyed an American tank in Baghdad as fresh street protests over election results kept up tension that has soured the mood after a peaceful ballot 10 days ago. 2 US soldiers were killed by bombs. A suicide bomber killed 5 Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad. Bombings and gun attacks killed 11 more people in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Mosul and Jbala.
    (Reuters, 12/25/05)(SFC, 12/26/05, p.A9)
2005        Dec 25, In northern Japan an express train traveling through strong winter winds derailed in Yamagata prefecture, killing 5 people and injuring more than 30. Heavy snowfall and blizzards have lead to the deaths of eight other people and disrupted traffic for hundreds of thousands of holiday travelers across Japan.
    (AP, 12/26/05)(AP, 12/27/05)
2005        Dec 25, Libya's Supreme Court scrapped death sentences against five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor and ordered a retrial of the cases which have harmed Tripoli's efforts to build ties with the West.
    (Reuters, 12/25/05)
2005        Dec 25, In Somalia warlords and civilians installed a council to govern Mogadishu, an action that further fragments the nation but could bring the capital under the control of a single group after 14 years of anarchy.
    (AP, 12/25/05)
2005        Dec 25, In Sri Lanka gunmen shot and killed Joseph Pararajasingham (71), a pro-rebel legislator during midnight Christmas Mass. He represented the Tamil National Alliance, a proxy party of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the rebel group that wants to create a homeland for Sri Lanka's 3.2 million ethnic Tamil minority.
    (AP, 12/25/05)
2006        Dec 25, Birgit Nilsson (b.1918), Swedish opera singer, died. Her prodigious voice, unrivaled stamina and thrilling high notes made her the greatest Wagnerian soprano of the post-World War II era.
    (AP, 1/11/06)(SFC, 1/12/06, p.A2)
2005        Dec 25, Pope Benedict the 16th marked his first Christmas as pope, calling for concrete actions to back up “signs of hope" in the Middle East and urging peace in Darfur, Sudan and the Korean peninsula.
    (AP, 12/25/06)

2006        Dec 25, James Brown (b.1928), the dynamic "Godfather of Soul," died early Christmas. His revolutionary rhythms, rough voice and flashing footwork influenced generations of musicians from rock to rap. His 1965 song “I Got You (I Feel Good)" is considered one of the all-time greatest in rock’s cannon.
    (AP, 12/25/06)(SFC, 12/26/06, p.A7)
2006        Dec 25, Chad's President Idriss Deby Itno and rebel leader Mahamat Nour Abdulkerim arrived in N'Djamena after signing a peace deal in Libya. One of the current rebel leaders, Timane Erdimi, dismissed the significance of the deal with Nour's FUC, some of whose men went off to join a coalition led by the Rally of Democratic Forces (RAFD) headed by Erdimi and his twin brother Tom. Deby's government is also up against the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development (UFDD), led by former defense minister Mahamat Nouri, and the Chadian National Concord movement led by Hassan Saleh al-Djinedi.
    (AFP, 12/25/06)
2006        Dec 25, Ethiopian fighter jets bombed Somalia's main airport, the first direct attack on the city that serves as the headquarters of an Islamic movement attempting to wrest power from the internationally recognized government.
    (AP, 12/25/06)
2006        Dec 25, In southern Iraq British troops killed 7 gunmen in a raid on a renegade police unit, and a car bomb that exploded next to an open-air market in Baghdad killed 9 civilians and wounded 11. In another part of eastern Baghdad, a suicide bomber exploded in a minibus, killing three people and injuring 19. A suicide bomber killed 3 policemen at checkpoint at a university entrance in Ramadi. Police in Baghdad found 40 bodies, apparent victims of sectarian violence. 3 US soldiers were killed.
    (AP, 12/25/06)(AP, 12/26/06)(WSJ, 12/26/06, p.A1)
2006        Dec 25, Four Japanese inmates on death row were hanged, the first executions to take place in Japan since September 2005.
    (AP, 12/25/06)
2006        Dec 25, A fire blamed on illegally sold firecrackers swept through a department store in the central Philippines on Christmas Day, killing 24 people who took refuge in a restroom.
    (AP, 12/25/06)
2006        Dec 25, Russian security forces killed a suspected militant holed up in an apartment building in the southern province of Karachayevo-Cherkessia.
    (AP, 12/25/06)
2006        Dec 25, Pope Benedict XVI used his Christmas Day address to call for a peaceful resolution of conflicts worldwide and appealed for greater caring of the poor, the exploited and all who suffer.
    (AP, 12/25/07)

2007        Dec 25, In southern California a pack of pit bulls surrounded Kelly Caldwell (45) and mauled her to death. Barstow police shot and killed 2 of the dogs.
    (AP, 12/27/07)
2007        Dec 25, A Siberian tiger named Tatiana (4) escaped its enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo, killing Carlos Sousa (17) of San Jose and mauling two others. The same animal had chewed a keeper’s arm during an attack last December. Police later reported that one of the three victims of the tiger attack was intoxicated and admitted to yelling and waving at the animal while standing atop the railing of the big cat enclosure.
    (AP, 12/26/07)(SFC, 12/26/07, p.A1)(SFC, 12/27/07, p.A1)(AP, 1/18/08)
2007        Dec 25, In King County, Washington, six people, 3 generations of one family, were killed. Carnation police the next day arrested Michele Kristen Anderson (29) and Joseph McEnroe (29), the property owners' daughter and her boyfriend.
    (AP, 12/27/07)(SFC, 12/28/07, p.A5)
2007        Dec 25, Afghan officials said 2 European diplomats who went to one of Afghanistan's most volatile regions have been asked to leave Afghanistan.
    (AP, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 25, Actress Pat Kirkwood (b.1921), once a star of British musical theater, died.
    (AP, 12/26/07)(SFC, 12/29/07, p.B5)
2007        Dec 25, Some 600 protesters marched in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh to call for speedier trials for the former leaders of Khmer Rouge regime.
    (AP, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 25, In Colombia an elite anti-kidnapping force in Neiva rescued a 9-year old boy, who was snatched seven months ago by leftist rebels. Captors had demanded a $50,000 ransom for his safe return, an amount his family was unable to pay.
    (AP, 12/27/07)
2007        Dec 25, In Egypt dozens of Palestinian security men affiliated to Fatah staged a mass break-out from the camp where they have been held in Rafah. Egyptian police were able to recapture 40 of them, transferring them to police stations in the coastal town of Arish.
    (Reuters, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 25, In eastern India Hindu extremists attacked Christians celebrating Christmas, ransacking and burning at least six village churches. One person was killed in the violence.
    (AP, 12/26/07)
2007        Dec 25, In Iraq a suicide truck bomb exploded outside a residential complex belonging to a state-run oil company in Beiji, home to Iraq's largest refinery, killing 25 people and wounding 80. In Baqouba 10 people were killed and five people were wounded in a suicide bombing targeting a funeral procession for two members of an Awakening Council group.
    (AP, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 25, Mobs in Kenya's opposition heartland beat up and killed at least 3 policemen accused of taking part in a plan to rig Dec 26 elections in favor of President Mwai Kibaki.
    (AP, 12/26/07)
2007        Dec 25, In western Nepal a steel footbridge collapsed when its suspension cables snapped, sending scores of people into the river below. At least 15 people were confirmed dead and over 50 were missing and dozens injured.
    (AP, 12/25/07)(AP, 12/26/07)
2007        Dec 25, In Panama the bodies of Michael Klein (37), a California hedge fund manager, his daughter Talia Klein (13) and pilot Edwin Lasso (23) were found in an uninhabited region known as Las Ovejas on the slope of the Baru volcano. Francesca Lewis (12) survived the Dec 23 crash, but cold, wet weather prevented authorities from evacuating her immediately.
    (AP, 12/26/07)(SFC, 12/26/07, p.A4)
2007        Dec 25, Russia's military successfully test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads, a weapon intended to replace aging Soviet-era missiles.
    (AP, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 25, Oleg Ugnivenko, a spokesman for the regional branch of Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry, said more than 600,000 chickens on the Gulyai-Borisovskaya farm in the Rostov-on-Don region have been destroyed to prevent the virus from spreading.
    (AP, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 25, A South Korean ship carrying 2,000 tons of nitric acid sank on its way to Taiwan and 14 sailors were feared drowned. One sailor was rescued.
    (AP, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 25, Deposed PM Thaksin Shinawatra said he was planning to return home from exile and might advise the victorious party in last weekend's elections, sparking fears of another year of intense political conflict in Thailand.
    (AP, 12/25/07)

2008        Dec 25, Eartha Kitt (81), singer, dancer and actress, died in NYC. The self-proclaimed "sex kitten" attracted fans with her sultry voice and catlike purr even as she neared 80.
    (AP, 12/26/08)
2008        Dec 25, In Idaho Robert Aragon let his son Bear (12) and daughter Sage (11) attempt to walk some 10 miles home in freezing conditions, after their car broke down along an isolated rural highway. Bear survived but Sage died of hypothermia. In Oct 2009 a jury acquitted Aragon of involuntary manslaughter.
    (SFC, 10/10/09, p.A4)(www.mahalo.com/robert-aragon)
2008        Dec 25, In southern Afghanistan US coalition forces killed 11 Taliban militants, including the leader of a bomb-making cell, during an operation in Kandahar province.
    (AP, 12/26/08)
2008        Dec 25, Police in northern Bangladesh arrested three suspected militants tied to the Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, a banned Islamic group, and seized a large cache of bomb-making materials. The arrests were made in separate raids over the last 24 hours.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 25, Chinese state media reported that 59 people in Tibet have been detained on charges that they sought to foment unrest by spreading ethnic hatred and by downloading and selling banned songs from the Internet.
    (SFC, 12/26/08, p.A16)
2008        Dec 25, A German military helicopter chased away pirates who were trying to board an Egyptian ship off the coast of Somalia. One of the ship's crew was shot in the attack.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 25, In Guinea coup leader Capt. Moussa Camara solidified his grip as PM Ahmed Tidiane Souare and other government leaders surrendered and stepped down.
    (SFC, 12/26/08, p.A21)
2008        Dec 25, Iraq's Christians, a scant minority in this overwhelmingly Muslim country, quietly celebrated Christmas with a present from the government, which declared it an official holiday for the first time. A bombing outside a restaurant frequented by police killed four people and wounded 25 others in Baghdad’s Shiite neighborhood of Shula. An American soldier was killed in a rocket or mortar attack near the northern city of Mosul.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 25, Israel moved closer to invading Gaza, saying it had wrapped up preparations for a broad offensive after Palestinian militants fired about 100 rockets and mortar shells across the border in two days.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 25, Japan and Vietnam signed an economic partnership pact with a promise to cut tariffs on some 92% of goods and services traded between the two nations within a decade.
    (AFP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 25, Lebanese army officers discovered seven rockets set up with timers that were on the verge of firing near the border with Israel.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 25, The Marshall Islands declared a state of emergency after severe flooding, that occurred from Dec. 9 to Dec. 15, forced more than 600 people from their homes.
    (AP, 12/26/08)
2008        Dec 25, In Mexico, at least four people were killed in a gun battle between suspected drug traffickers in a remote mountain area of Sinaloa.
    (AP, 12/27/08)
2008        Dec 25, In Peru five nightclubbers are dead after a tear gas grenade was detonated in the middle of a crowded disco in Juliaca.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 25, Zimbabwe police ignored a court order to allow the release to hospital of a rights activist and several opposition figures accused of recruiting anti-government plotters.
    (AFP, 12/25/08)

2009        Dec 25, An attempted bombing took place as Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam prepared to land in Detroit just before noon. Law enforcement officials identified the suspect as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (23), a Nigerian man, who claimed to be acting on orders from al-Qaida to blow up the airliner with a bomb sewed into his underwear. Abdulmutallab later told US investigators he had received training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen. On Oct 12, 2011, Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty to all federal counts against him.
    (AP, 12/26/09)(AFP, 12/29/09)(AP, 1/2/10)(SFC, 10/13/11, p.A8)
2009        Dec 25, In Maryland law enforcement found the body of Sarah H. Foxwell (11) near the Delaware state line three days after she was last seen at her home. Thomas J. Leggs Jr. (30), a known sex offender and former boyfriend of the girl's aunt, was charged on Dec 23 in Sarah's kidnapping.
    (AP, 12/26/09)
2009        Dec 25, Vic Chestnutt (b.1964), singer and songwriter, died in Athens, Georgia, following an intentional overdose. He had been paralyzed in a 1983 car accident, but retained limited use of his arms and hands.
    (SSFC, 12/27/09, p.C8)
2009        Dec 25,  In southern Afghanistan an American service member was killed in an attack in Kandahar. A joint force in Khost province captured several militants, including a known operative of the Jalaluddin Haqqani militant network, which is linked to al-Qaida. The Taliban released a 36-minute video in which Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl denounced the American military effort in Afghanistan. Bergdahl went missing on June 30, 2009.
    (AP, 12/26/09)(SFC, 12/26/09, p.A3)(SFC, 12/28/09, p.A4)
2009        Dec 25, A Chinese court sentenced Liu Xiaobo, a prominent dissident, to 11 years, the longest term ever handed down for subversion charges, according to rights groups that say it signals the government will take an increasingly hard line against activists in the year ahead.
    (AP, 12/25/09)
2009        Dec 25, In Iraq a roadside bomb killed 6 Shiite Muslim pilgrims in a procession marking the ten-day Shiite festival of Ashoura, which ends Dec 27.
    (AP, 12/25/09)(SFC, 12/26/09, p.A5)
2009        Dec 25, Mexican authorities in the state of Chihuahua found the bullet-riddled bodies of six members of the same family in a mountainous area. Esther Chavez (73), a women's rights activist who first drew attention to the brutal slayings of women in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, died. She was the founder of Casa Amiga, a shelter for female victims of violence in Ciudad Juarez.
    (AP, 12/26/09)(AP, 12/27/09)
2009        Dec 25, Robert Park, a 28-year-old Korean-American, crossed the frozen Tumen River into North Korea from China on Christmas Day to urge Kim Jong Il to release political prisoners and shut down the "concentration camps" where they are held.
    (AP, 12/26/09)
2009        Dec 25, In Norway Knut Magne Haugland (92), the last of six crew members who crossed the Pacific Ocean in 1947 on board the balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki, died in Oslo.
    (AP, 12/26/09)

2010        Dec 25, Benin said three West African presidents will fly to Ivory Coast to tell incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo to quit or face force, a sign of mounting regional determination to force him out.
    (Reuters, 12/26/10)
2010        Dec 25, In London Kristy Bamu (15) died after days of abuses in a Congolese exorcism ritual by his sister Magalie (29) and her partner, football coach Eric Bikubi (28). Bikubi and Magalie were found guilty of murder in 2012. Bikubi was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison and Bamu a minimum of 25 years.
    (AFP, 3/5/12)
2010        Dec 25, China’s state media said police are offering cash and other rewards to encourage the country's millions of Internet users to help solve criminal investigations. China announced a 25-basis point increase in benchmark one-year interest rates, providing much-needed reassurance that it was determined to rein in price pressures.
    (AFP, 12/25/10)(Reuters, 12/27/10)
2010        Dec 25, In China village leader Qian Yunhui (53) was killed under the wheel of a truck in Yueqing, Zhejiang province. On Jan 4 police charged the driver, Fei Liangyu, with accidental death. Thousands of netizens accused local government officials of killing Qian to silence his six-year campaign against fixed elections and illegal land expropriation, which was quickly denied by local authorities. On Feb 1, 2011, Fei was sentenced to three and a half years' imprisonment.
    (Econ, 1/8/11, p.41)(http://tinyurl.com/4uwql4b)(AP, 2/1/11)
2010        Dec 25, In Colombia a 120 helicopter-borne commandos raided the camp of drug lord Pedro Oliverio Guerrero, head of the so-called Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia. Officials on Dec 29 confirmed that they had found the body of Guerrero, also know as "The Knife," near Puerto Alvira in Meta province. 2 police officers also died in the operation.
    (AP, 12/30/10)(SFC, 12/30/10, p.A5)
2010        Dec 25, Guatemala captured 4 suspected drug traffickers on top of 18 arrested over the past week, as well as automatic weapons and small planes in a country-wide sweep to crack down on Mexican cartels smuggling drugs through Central America.
    (Reuters, 12/26/10)
2010        Dec 25, In India a rocket carrying a GSAT-5P communications satellite exploded just after takeoff from the Sriharikota space center in Andhra Pradesh state.
    (SSFC, 12/26/10, p.A5)
2010        Dec 25, In northern India a bus collided head-on with a van that was carrying mourners returning from a funeral, killing 35 people.
    (AP, 12/26/10)
2010        Dec 25, In Iran a convicted drug trafficker has been hanged in the northern city of Sari after being convicted of keeping, carrying and selling the narcotic drug crack.
    (AFP, 12/25/10)
2010        Dec 25, In southern Lebanon Ghandi Sahmarani, the leader of an Al-Qaeda splinter group, was found shot dead execution-style in Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp.
    (AFP, 12/25/10)
2010        Dec 25, In Mexico 2 more murder victims were shot in Ciudad Juarez.
    (AFP, 12/25/10)
2010        Dec 25, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan handed out $1 billion from the nation’s “excess crude account" to government officials for Christmas presents.
    (Econ, 1/22/11, p.58)
2010        Dec 25, In Pakistan a burqa-clad, female, suicide bomber attacked a crowd of people as hundreds from the Salarzai tribe headed toward a food distribution center in the Bajaur region on the Afghan border. 45 people were killed. The Salarzais are a major regional anti-Taliban tribe, which has been backing army operations against the militants. The bombing forced the World Food Program to shut down operations in the Bajur region.
    (AP, 12/25/10)(Reuters, 12/26/10)(SFC, 12/27/10, p.A3)
2010        Dec 25, In the southern Philippines a bomb exploded during Christmas Day Mass at a chapel inside a police camp on Jolo island, wounding 6 people. The next day Pres. Aquino said that investigators had identified a suspect and a possible "terror plot" in the bombing.
    (AP, 12/25/10)(AFP, 12/27/10)
2010        Dec 25, Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea hijacked the MV Thor Nexus, a Thai-owned cargo ship with 27 crew members. Suspected Somali pirates attacked the Taiwanese ship FV Shiuh Fu No. 1, some 120 nautical miles off the northeastern tip of Madagascar. All communication was lost and there were strong indications that it may have been seized with its 26 crew members.
    (AP, 12/25/10)(AP, 12/30/10)
2010        Dec 25, Former Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez (88) died in Miami. His popularity soared with his country's oil-based economy, but later faced riots, a severe economic downturn and impeachment in his homeland. Perez governed Venezuela from 1974-79 and again from 1989-93 and denied any wrongdoing.
    (AP, 12/25/10)(Econ, 1/8/11, p.86)

2011        Dec 25, The United States reached a deal to sell $3.48 billion worth of missiles and related technology to the United Arab Emirates, as part of a massive buildup of defense technology among friendly Mideast nations near Iran. The deal was made public on Dec 30.
    (AP, 12/31/11)
2011        Dec 25, The loose-knit hacking movement "Anonymous" claimed to have stolen thousands of credit card numbers and other personal information belonging to clients of US-based security think tank Stratfor.
    (AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, In Detroit, Michigan, the bodies of 2 women were found in a burning car trunk. Two other women were found dead in a car trunk on Dec 19. Three of the four women had promoted themselves as escorts through the same website. In May, 2012, James Brown was charged with moving the bodies and arson.
    (SFC, 12/27/11, p.A7)(SSFC, 5/6/12, p.A9)
2011        Dec 25, In Texas 7 people were shot to death in a suburban apartment. A man in a Santa Claus suit shot 6 relatives and himself. They had apparently opened their Christmas gifts and started cleaning up the wrapping paper when they were killed in Grapevine, a suburb of Fort Worth.
    (AP, 12/25/11)(SFC, 12/27/11, p.A7)
2011        Dec 25, In northeastern Afghanistan a suicide bomber attacked a funeral, killing at least 19 people including an MP and wounding dozens of others in Takhar province. In eastern Afghanistan an ISAF service member died after an insurgent attack. Afghan security forces over the last 24 hours killed 30 armed insurgents in various operations around the country in which a number of weapons were found.
    (AFP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, Anti-whaling activists intercepted Japan's harpoon fleet far north of Antarctic waters, with the help of a military-style drone.
    (AFP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, China and Japan announced an agreement to let Japan buy Chinese sovereign debt. No sum or timetable was disclosed.
    (Econ, 12/31/11, p.59)
2011        Dec 25, An Egyptian investigative judge ordered the release today of Alaa Abdel-Fattah (30), a prominent blogger detained on Oct 30 by the ruling military, which had accused him of attacking soldiers during deadly clashes in October.
    (AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, The Iraqi government and the UN announced an agreement to relocate several thousand Iranian exiles living in Camp Ashraf in northeastern Iraq.
    (AP, 12/26/11)
2011        Dec 25, Sori Yanagi (96), the pioneer of Japan's industrial design, died. His designs for stools and kitchen pots brought the simplicity and purity of Japanese decor into the everyday.
    (AP, 12/26/11)
2011        Dec 25, Mexican soldiers discovered 13 bodies in an abandoned truck in Tamaulipas state along with a message that they were killed in a war between rival drug cartels in the eastern state of Veracruz.
    (AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, In Nigeria an explosion, claimed by Muslim extremists, ripped through a Catholic church during Mass killing at least 35 people at the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, near the capital, Abuja. The toll soon rose to 44 as more people died of their injuries. In Jos a second explosion struck near a Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church. Gunmen later opened fire on police guarding the area, killing one police officer. 2 explosions struck the northeastern city of Damaturu. The bomber targeted a senior military commander and killed three officers in the attack.
    (AP, 12/25/11)(AFP, 12/26/11)(AFP, 12/30/11)
2011        Dec 25, In Pakistan over 100,000 people rallied in support of  Imran Khan (59), a cricket hero turned politician, in the port city of Karachi, boosting his image as a rising political force.
    (AFP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, Prominent Russian opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov, leader of the Left Front, had barely half an hour of freedom before being sentenced to 10 more days in jail, making it the 14th time this year he's been detained.
    (AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, Russian and Japanese rescue vessels and a helicopter searched for five people missing in a fierce storm off Russia's east coast after a Cambodia-flagged fishing ship, the Ginga, sank early in the day. 3 bodies were recovered from the icy waters of the La Perouse Strait, between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan.
    (AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, In South Sudan a group calling itself the Nuer Youth White Army issued a statement vowing to "wipe out the entire Murle tribe on the face of the earth as the only solution to guarantee long-term security of Nuer's cattle."
    (AFP, 12/26/11)
2011        Dec 25, In Sri Lanka British tourist and Red Cross aid worker Khuram Shaikh (32) was murdered and his Russian girlfriend raped at the southern tourist resort of Tangalle. In 2014 Sampath Vidanapathirana, a ruling party politician, and three others were convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
    (SFC, 7/19/14, p.A2)
2011        Dec 25, Sudanese riot police and university students battled in central Khartoum after students staged an exam boycott.
    (AFP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, The Vinalines Queen disappeared on Christmas Day after passing the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The Vietnamese ship had capsized, apparently without sending a distress signal. A Vietnamese seaman survived five days floating in open ocean with only a life jacket for protection after his cargo ship sank and all his 22 crew mates died. The ship was carrying more than 54,000 tons of nickel ore and was traveling from Indonesia to China when it lost contact. Global ship owners association Intercargo issued a statement in December 2010 warning of the hazards of transporting nickel ore which, it said, may liquefy and cause a ship to list if not loaded to international standards.
    (AFP, 12/30/11)
2011        Dec 25, In Yemen tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Sanaa against the deaths of protesters and demanding the resignation of Vice President Hadi for failing to bring the killers to justice.
    (AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, In Zimbabwe a pleasure boat capsized at Lake Chivero, drowning 11 of 19 people, most of them children.
    (AP, 12/26/11)

2012        Dec 25, Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese Sr. (75) died at a federal prison in North Carolina. He was among 5 men convicted in September 2007 at the Family Secrets trial.
    (SFC, 12/27/12, p.A13)
2012        Dec 25, Argentina's coast guard cutter Thompson fired warning shots at two Chinese trawlers, blocking their escape into international waters. Ten tons of squid were found in the holds of the Lu Rong Yu 6177 and 6178 after they were hauled into port.
    (AP, 3/25/13)
2012        Dec 25, The British Antarctic Survey (BAS), an ambitious plan to search for minute forms of life in an ancient lake beneath Antarctica's ice, was suspended because of technical problems.
    (AP, 12/27/12)
2012        Dec 25, In China 72 prominent Chinese scholars and lawyers released a petition urging the country's new Communist Party leaders to undertake moderate political reforms including separating the party from government.
    (AP, 12/26/12)(Econ, 1/5/12, p.32)
2012        Dec 25, An Iranian semi-official news agency said there has been another cyberattack by the sophisticated computer worm Stuxnet, this time on the industries in the country's south.
    (AP, 12/25/12)
2012        Dec 25, An Iraqi-Kurd official said the northern Kurdish region has suspended oil exports over a payment dispute with baghdad.
    (SFC, 12/26/12, p.A5)
2012        Dec 25, Kazakhstan's acting border service chief Col. Turganbek Stambekov was among 27 people killed in a military plane crash, a Russian-made An-72, near the southern city of Shymkent. He was appointed in June to deal with the aftermath of a mass killing involving a conscript.
    (AP, 12/25/12)
2012        Dec 25, In Myanmar an Air Bagan flight packed with Christmas tourists crash-landed on a road in central Shan state, killing 2 people and injuring 11, including 4 foreigners.
    (AP, 12/25/12)(AP, 12/26/12)
2012        Dec 25, In southern Pakistan gunmen wounded a prominent Sunni cleric and killed his three guards and his driver in an apparently sectarian attack in Karachi.
    (AP, 12/25/12)
2012        Dec 25, In Pakistan Shahzeb Khan (20) was allegedly gunned down overnight by a pair of young men from two of the wealthiest families in Karachi. His death sparked an unusual outcry and highlighted a growing trend of citizens using social media to hold the country's rich and powerful to account.
    (AP, 1/25/13)
2012        Dec 25, In the Philippines a Christmas Day fire killed a veterinarian and 6 members of his family in Quezon City. Another blaze left as many as 2,000 people homeless when it hit a residential area in San Juan City.
    (AP, 12/25/12)(SSFC, 12/30/12, p.A6)
2012        Dec 25, Sudan reportedly launched attacks in the border area with South Sudan killing at least five people. Antonov warplanes bombed the village of Werguet, in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, while ground forces working with "militiamen" attacked nearby Kiir Adem.
    (AP, 12/27/12)
2012        Dec 25, Syrian rebels fully captured Harem, a northern town near the Turkish border, after weeks of siege and heavy fighting. In the Damascus suburb of Jaramana, opposition gunmen ambushed and wounded the head of military intelligence in the area. He died of his wounds. Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Jassem al-Shallal, the head of Syria's military police, appeared in a video aired on Al Arabiya TV saying he is joining "the people's revolution."
    (AP, 12/25/12)(AP, 12/26/12)
2012        Dec 25, In Yemen gunmen on motorbikes shot dead two army officers in Sanaa. Clashes between the military and tribal fighters loyal to al-Qaida in northeastern Marib province killed three soldiers and 11 tribesmen over the last 24 hours.
    (AP, 12/25/12)
2012        Dec 25, Zimbabwe state radio said 18 people headed home for the holidays died when their open truck veered off a mountain road and plunged into a ravine in the northeastern Honde Valley region.
    (AP, 12/25/12)

2013        Dec 25, In Arizona police found Aniarael Macias (13) dead at the home of Connie Villa (35) in Casa Grande. Villa had tried to poison her three other children and had just stabbed her ex-husband who called 911 as he drove to a hospital. Connie Villa was arrested on Dec 29 after being released from a hospital.
    (SFC, 12/31/13, p.A5)
2013        Dec 25, United Van Lines released its 37th annual migration study. New Jersey repeated as the state with the highest outbound moves. Migration out of Michigan slowed to a virtual halt after 16 straight years of outbound moves.
    (AP, 12/25/13)(SFC, 12/26/13, p.A8)
2013        Dec 25, In Irvington, NJ, 3 men were killed at Slick’s Go Go Bar when a man tried to enter with a gun. On Jan 12, 2014, Anthony Fields (19) of Newark, the suspected gunman, was arrested in Florida.
    (SFC, 12/26/13, p.A8)(SFC, 1/13/14, p.A4)
2013        Dec 25, Attacks in Afghanistan killed at least 6 people. The US Embassy in Kabul was hit by indirect fire before dawn but no Americans were hurt.
    (AP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, In Argentina an attack by a school of palometas, a carnivorous type of piranha, injured 70 people bathing in the Parana River in Rosario, including seven children who lost parts of their fingers or toes.
    (AP, 12/26/13)
2013        Dec 25, In Brazil angry farmers, convinced that Tenharim tribesmen in Amazonas state had kidnapped three local men nine days earlier, torched several Tenharim huts and the offices of the federal indigenous affairs agency, as well as several of its vehicles and river boats.
    (AP, 2/5/14)
2013        Dec 25, Tens of thousands of Britons remained without electricity after torrential rainfall flooded homes and hurricane-force winds battered the country.
    (Reuters, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, In the Central African Republic a spokesman for MISCA, the peacekeeping force, said Chadian troops will be redeployed from Bangui amid charges they were siding with a former rebel group. 5 Chadian peacekeepers died in clashes in Bangui.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)(AFP, 12/26/13)
2013        Dec 25, China's ruling Communist Party unveiled a five-year plan to fight pervasive graft, with particular attention on corruption that triggers protests or happens in the course of economic reforms.
    (Reuters, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, Chinese media reported the arrest of Chu Jian, a vice president of a prestigious university, for "suspected economic problems." He was appointed in 2005 as vice president of Zhejiang University in the eastern city of Hangzhou.
    (Reuters, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, In eastern CongoDRC at least 40 civilians were killed by the Ugandan ADF-NALU rebel group attack on a village in North Kivu province. A special UN force in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo used helicopters to fire on the rebels and help government troops retake the town of Kamango.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)(Reuters, 12/26/13)
2013        Dec 25, Egypt’s PM Hazem el-Beblawi designated the Muslim Brotherhood a "terrorist" organization after multiple explosions at the security headquarters in Mansoura killed 16 and injured more than 100. The al-Qaida-inspired group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or the Champions of Jerusalem, said it had carried out the attack.
    (AP, 12/25/13)(Reuters, 12/26/13)
2013        Dec 25, In Ethiopia Asfaw Berhanu, a former contributor to the private paper The Reporter, was convicted of charges stemming from a news story he wrote saying three government officials had been removed from their posts. An Ethiopian court sentenced him to two years and nine months in jail.
    (AP, 12/31/13)
2013        Dec 25, Powerful winds and torrential rain swept southern France, grounding flights and cutting off power to tens of thousands of homes.
    (Reuters, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, A boat capsized off the Turks and Caicos islands and 17 Haitian suspected illegal migrants died. 33 people were rescued.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)(SFC, 12/26/13, p.A2)
2013        Dec 25, Hundreds of Indonesian Christians held a Christmas service in front of the presidential palace in Jakarta to protest at the closure of their churches due to pressure by Muslim hardliners.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, In Iraq at least 34 people were killed in three bombings in Christian areas of Baghdad, including a car bomb that exploded as worshippers were leaving a Christmas service. Attacks killed at least 44 people across the country.
    (Reuters, 12/25/13)(AFP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, In Pakistan a suspected American drone fired two missiles just before midnight at a home in North Waziristan, killing at least three foreign militants.
    (AP, 12/26/13)
2013        Dec 25, Russia's Supreme Court said it will review two convictions against former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, including a ruling the Kremlin critic said was preventing him from returning to Russia despite a presidential pardon.
    (Reuters, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, Russia’s Pres. Putin announced $2 billion in loans to Belarus next year following talks with Belarus Pres. Alexander Lukashenko.
    (SFC, 12/26/13, p.A2)
2013        Dec 25, Greenpeace said Russian investigators have dropped charges against all but one of the 30 crew, who were accused of hooliganism following a protest outside a Russian oil rig in the Arctic. Cristian d'Alessandro of Italy failed to get his criminal case closed due to the lack of an interpreter and will have to visit the St. Petersburg branch of Russia's Investigative Committee again Dec 26.
    (AP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, South Sudan's army battled rebel forces in Malakal while troops flushed out insurgents in Bor after its recapture.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, Syria’s government signed a major oil and gas exploration deal with a Russian company in Damascus, which will allow for exploration in a section of Syrian waters.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, Thailand's PM Yingluck Shinawatra proposed a "national reform council" to seek a way out of the political crisis gripping the kingdom, following weeks of mass street protests against her government.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, In Turkey three Cabinet ministers resigned, days after their sons were taken into custody in a sweeping corruption and bribery scandal that has targeted PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan's allies in one of the worst political crises of his more than 10 years in power.
    (AP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, Ukrainian opposition activist and journalist Tetyana Chornovil (34), known for her investigations into corruption among senior state officials, was beaten up by unknown attackers. Chornovil was assaulted near Kiev hours after an article she wrote on the assets of top government officials was published. Opposition activists quickly gathered outside the Interior Ministry in Kiev and demanded the resignation of Interior Minister Vitali Zakharchenko.
    (Reuters, 12/25/13)(SFC, 12/26/13, p.A3)
 
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