Today in History - December 29

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1141        Dec 29, Yue Fei, Chinese general, was executed.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1170        Dec 29, Thomas Becket (b.1117), archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by 4 English knights. Barons had heard Henry II cry out, "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?"
    (AP, 12/29/97)(HN, 12/29/98)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Becket)

1705        Dec 29, Prosper Jolyot's "Idomenee," premiered in Paris.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1709        Dec 29, Elisabeth Petrovna, daughter of Peter the Great and Catherine, was born. She became tsarina of Russia (1741-1762).
    (www.arthistoryclub.com/art_history/Elizabeth_of_Russia)

1721        Dec 29, Madam Jeanne Poisson de Pompadour, influential mistress of Louis XV, was born. She was later blamed for France's defeat in the Seven Years' War.
    (HN, 12/29/00)

1776        Dec 29, Charles Macintosh, patented waterproof fabric, was born in Scotland.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1778        Dec 29, British troops, attempting a new strategy to defeat the colonials in America, captured Savannah, the capital of Georgia.
    (HN, 12/29/98)

1782        Dec 29, 1st nautical almanac in US was published by Samuel Stearns in Boston.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1785        Dec 29, Johann Heinrich Rolle (69), composer, died.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1797        Dec 29, John Wilkes (b.1725), British journalist and politician, died. He opposed King George’s policies in Massachusetts. In 1974 Audrey Williamson authored “Wilkes: A Friend to Liberty." 
    (WSJ, 8/31/05, p.B1)(www.eastlondonhistory.com/wilkes.htm)(ON, 12/11, p.9)

1800        Dec 29, Charles Goodyear (d.1860), inventor of vulcanized rubber for tires, was born.
    (HN, 12/29/98)

1808        Dec 29, Andrew Johnson, the 17th president of the United States who succeeded Lincoln (1865-1869), was born in a 2-room shack in Raleigh, N.C. [Waxhaw, South Carolina]
    (AP, 12/29/97)(SFC, 12/21/98, p.A3)(HN, 12/29/98)(HNPD, 3/15/99)

1809         Dec 29, William Gladstone (1809-1898), British statesman and four times Prime Minister from 1868-1894, was born. He was called the Grand Old Man of Victorian England. He began as a devout Tory but moved over to the liberal camp. A biography by Roy Jenkins, “Gladstone," was published in 1995.
    (CFA, '96, p.60)(AHD, p.559)(WSJ, 1/14/03, p.D6)

1825        Dec 29, Giuseppe Maria Gioacchino Cambini, composer, died.
    (MC, 12/29/01)
1825        Dec 29, Jacques-Louis David (b.1748), French painter (Death of Marat), died.
    (WUD, 1994 p.369)(MC, 12/29/01)

1831        Dec 29, Adam Badeau (d.1895), Bvt Brig General (Union volunteers), was born.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1834        Dec 29, Thomas R. Malthus (b.1766), English vicar, economist ("Essay On Population"), died.
    (Internet)

1837        Dec 29, Canadian militiamen, claiming self-defense, destroyed the Caroline, a US steamboat docked at Buffalo, N.Y. It was being used to ferry supplies to anti-British rebels in Canada.
    (AP, 12/29/97)(Econ, 11/22/03, p.25)
1837          Dec 29, A threshing machine powered by a single horse treadmill was patented in Winthrop, Maine, by twins Hiram A. and John A. Pitts.
    (DM, 8/5/03)

1845        Dec 29, Texas (comprised of the present State of Texas and part of New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming) was admitted as the 28th state, with the provision that the area (389, 166 square miles) should be divided into no more than five states "of convenient size." Sam Houston insisted on maintaining control of offshore waters as a condition of joining the union.
    (HN, 12/29/98)(AP, 12/29/97)(Econ, 7/1/06, p.29)

1849        Dec 29, Gas light was installed in the White House.
    (HN, 12/29/98)

1851        Dec 29, The first American Young Men's Christian Assn. (YMCA) was organized, in Boston.
    (AP, 12/29/97)

1852        Dec 29, Emma Snodgrass was arrested in Boston for wearing pants.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1856        Dec 29, Snow fell in San Francisco and accumulated to 2-3 inches.
    (SFEM, 12/22/96, p.20)

1857        Dec 29, Franz Liszt's "Die Hunnenschlacht," premiered in Weimar.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1862        Dec 29, Battle of Chicksaw Bayou was fought by Sherman’s troops in order to gain the north side of Vicksburg. Confederate armies defeated Gen. Sherman.
    (HN, 12/29/98)(MC, 12/29/01)
1862        Dec 29, The bowling ball was invented.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1876        Dec 29, Pablo Casals, violinist, conductor, composer, was born in Vendrell, Catalonia, Spain.
    (MC, 12/29/01)
1876        Dec 29, In the Ashtabula train disaster a Pacific Express, carrying some 159 passengers and crew, was traveling over a bridge near Ashtabula, Ohio. Only the first engine of the train made it to the other side at 7:28 p.m. as the bridge began to collapse. The rest of the train broke away and plummeted to the bottom of the ravine below. Approximately 92 men, women and children were killed. The bridge was owned by the Lake Shore and Michigan railroad, and was the joint creation of Charles Collins, Engineer, and Amasa Stone, Chief Architect and Designer. After testifying before an investigative jury, Charles Collins quietly went home and shot himself in the head. He was also buried in the Chestnut Grove Cemetery, several feet from the mass grave. Amasa Stone (1818-1883) committed suicide approximately 7 years later.  Stone was held partly responsible for the disaster by the same investigative jury before which Collins had testified, and was publicly scorned for many years.
    (http://deadohio.com/AshTrain.htm)

1879        Dec 29, Billy Mitchell, aviation hero Gen (WW I), was born.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1885        Dec 29, Gottlieb Daimler patented the 1st bike in Germany.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1890        Dec 29, The last major conflict of the Indian wars took place at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota after Colonel James W. Forsyth of the 7th Cavalry tried to disarm Chief Big Foot and his followers. Seventy-year-old Sioux chief Big Foot was killed by the 7th U.S. Cavalry during the massacre at Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890. Three days later his body was found frozen where he had been killed. The South Dakota reservation had been left in disarray when Sioux leader Sitting Bull was killed by Indian police on December 15, and as Big Foot led his tribe away from the reservation on December 28, they were surrounded by 7th Cavalry troops. The next morning, when the cavalry tried to disarm the Sioux, shots broke out and during the next 6 hours, 146 Sioux men, women and children were killed. The 7th Cavalry lost 30 killed. The Wounded Knee massacre took place in South Dakota as some 300 Sioux Indians were killed by U.S. troops sent to disarm them.
    (HFA, '96, p.44)(AP, 12/29/97)(HN, 12/29/98)(HNPD, 12/29/98)

1891        Dec 29, Edison patented the "transmission of signals electrically" (radio).
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1905        Dec 29, Charles Tyson Yerkes (b.1837), financier, died in New York City. His estate was valued at $4 million. Yerkes developed Chicago’s streetcar system. His life was immortalized in Theodore Dreiser's Cowperwood trilogy: “The Financier’ (1912), “The Titan’ (1914), and “The Stoic" (1947). In 2006 John Franch authored the biography “Robber Baron: The Life of Charles Tyson Yerkes.
    (WSJ, 8/29/06, p.D5)(www.chicago-l.org/figures/yerkes/)

1907        Dec 29, Robert C. Weaver (d.1997), the first African American to serve on a president’s cabinet, was born. He advised Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt on Housing, Education and Employment. [see Jan 13,18, 1966]
    (HN, 12/29/00)

1908        Dec 29, A patent was granted for a 4-wheel automobile brake in Clintonville, Wisc.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1913        Dec 29, The 1st movie serial, "Adventures of Kathlyn," premiered in Chicago.
    (AP, 12/29/05)

1914        Dec 29, In San Francisco the Stockton Street Tunnel opened with fanfare by Mayor James Rolph. It had first been proposed by Dr. Hartland Law in 1910.
    (SSFC, 11/2/14, p.A2)(SSFC, 12/21/14, p.D2)
1914        Dec 29, The production of Belgian newspapers was halted to protest German censorship.
    (HN, 12/29/98)

1916        Dec 29, According to the New Style calendar (Dec. 16th by the Old Style), Grigory Rasputin, the so-called "Mad Monk" who had wielded great influence with Czar Nicholas II, was murdered by a group of Russian noblemen in St. Petersburg. Rasputin drowned when he was thrown through a hole in the ice of the Neva River. When Rasputin was introduced to the Russian royal family in 1905, he demonstrated an ability to heal the royal son Alexis and was then welcomed into the family circle. Rasputin was considered a holy peasant, but his belief that sinning was necessary for salvation led him to seduce women and other scandalous behavior. A conspiracy, believing Rasputin had too much influence on the empress, formed to assassinate him, and on the night of December 29-30, they poisoned his wine--but he did not die. They shot him twice, but when he still refused to die, they drowned him.
    (HNPD, 12/30/98)(AP, 12/29/06)

1917        Dec 29, Tom Bradley, future mayor of Los Angeles, was born on a cotton plantation in Calvert, Texas.
    (SFC, 9/30/98, p.A13)

1920        Dec 29, Syd Dernley, hangman, was born.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1921        Dec 29, Sears, Roebuck President, Julius Rosenwald, pledged $20 million of his personal fortune to help Sears through hard times.
    (HN, 12/29/98)

1924        Dec 29, Milton Berle (d.2002), comedian, at 16 made his debut at Loew’s State Theater in Times Square for $600 per week.
    (SFC, 3/28/02, p.A15)

1926        Dec 29, Germany and Italy signed an arbitration treaty.
    (HN, 12/29/98)
1926        Dec 29, Rainer M. Rilke (51), Austrian songwriter and writer (Wise Queen), died.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1929        Dec 29, Indonesia police arrested Sukarno and 100s PNI-leaders.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1930        Dec 29, Fred P. Newton completed the longest swim ever (1826 miles), when he swam the Mississippi River from Ford Dam, Minn, to New Orleans.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1931        Dec 29, The identification of heavy water was publicly announced by H.C. Urey.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1934        Dec 29, Federico Garcia Lorca's "Yerma," premiered in Madrid.
    (MC, 12/29/01)
1934        Dec 29, Japan renounced the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930.
    (AP, 12/29/97)(HN, 12/29/98)

1937        Dec 29, Mary Tyler Moore, actress (Mary Tyler Moore, Ordinary People), was born in Brooklyn.
    (MC, 12/29/01)
1937        Dec 29, Ireland’s new constitution came into force. The Irish Free State became Eire. The constitution included language that made blasphemy a criminal offense.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Ireland)(SFC, 1/4/10, p.A2)

1938        Dec 29, Jon Voight, actor (Deliverance, Midnight Cowboy), was born in Yonkers, NY.
    (MC, 12/29/01)
1938        Dec 29, Construction on Lake Washington Floating Bridge, Seattle, began.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1940        Dec 29, In a radio interview, President Roosevelt proclaimed the U.S. is the ‘arsenal of democracy.’
    (HN, 12/29/98)
1940        Dec 29, During World War II, Germany began dropping incendiary bombs on London, setting off what came to be known as "The Second Great Fire of London." In 2006 Margaret Gaskin authored “Blitz: The Story of December 29, 1940."
    (AP, 12/29/97)(SSFC, 12/17/06, p.M3)

1947        Dec 29, Ship carrying Jewish immigrants were forced back from Palestine.
    (MC, 12/29/01)
1947        Dec 29, Hans van Meegeren (b.1889), Dutch painter and forger, died. In 2006 Frank Wynne authored “I Was Vermeer."
    (WSJ, 10/14/06, p.P10)(http://denisdutton.com/van_meegeren.htm)

1948        Dec 29, Tito declared Yugoslavia would follow its own Communist line.
    (HN, 12/29/98)

1952        Dec 29, The 1st transistorized hearing aid was offered for sale at Elmsford, NY.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1955        Dec 29, Barbra Streisand's 1st recording "You'll Never Know" at age 13.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1956        Dec 29, President Eisenhower asked Congress for the authority to oppose Soviet aggression in the Mideast.
    (HN, 12/29/98)

1956        Dec 29, Salvage crews began to clear the Suez Canal.
    (EWH, 1968, p.1242)

1957        Dec 29, Singers Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme were married in Las Vegas.
    (AP, 12/29/97)

1959        Dec 29, Saul Levitt's "Andersonville Trial" premiered in NYC.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1965        Dec 29, "Thunderball" premiered in US.
    (MC, 12/29/01)
1965        Dec 29, A Christmas truce was observed in Vietnam, while President Johnson tried to get the North Vietnamese to the bargaining table.
    (HN, 12/29/98)

1967        Dec 29, Star Trek's "Trouble With Tribbles" 1st aired.
    (MC, 12/29/01)
1967        Dec 29, Paul Whiteman (77), US orchestra leader (Fabulous Dorseys), died.
    (MC, 12/29/01)
1967        Dec 29, Jirisan became South Korea’s first and largest national park. It was home to the highest peak on the South Korean mainland.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_parks_of_South_Korea)
1967        Dec 29, A Turkish-Cypriot government formed in Cyprus.
    (MC, 12/29/01)

1971        Dec 29, In Italy Giovanni Leone (1908-2001) became president. He resigned 6 months before the end of his 7-year term amid allegations of links to a payoff scandal involving Lockheed Corp.
    (SFC, 11/12/01, p.A19)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Leone)

1972        Dec 29, Eastern Airlines Flight 401, a Lockheed Tri-Star Jumbo Jet carrying 176 people, crashed into the Florida Everglades. 75 people survived. In the end, the crash was blamed on the crew's preoccupation with a landing gear light.
    (http://www3.gendisasters.com/florida/1415/everglades,-fl-jumbo-jet-crash,-dec-1972)
1972        Dec 29, Life magazine ended publication with the issue titled “Year in Pictures." From 1936 it had produced over 1,860 issues. The magazine was resurrected as a monthly in 1978 and ended again in 2000, From 2004 to 2007 Life appeared as a weekly newspaper supplement. In 2009 electronic access to its archives was made available.
    (www.pastpaper.com/List-Life1972.htm)(SFC, 9/28/09, p.D2)
1972        Dec 29, US Operation Linebacker II ended what had been the most intensive bombing campaign of the entire war with over 100,000 bombs dropped on Hanoi and Haiphong. Fifteen of the 121 B-52s participating were shot down by the North Vietnamese who fired 1200 SAMs. There were 1318 civilian deaths from the bombing, according to Hanoi.
    (www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/vietnam/index-1969.html)

1975        Dec 29, A bomb exploded in the main terminal of New York's LaGuardia Airport, killing 11 people.
    (AP, 12/29/97)

1981        Dec 29, President Reagan curtailed Soviet trade in reprisal for its harsh policy in Poland.
    (HN, 12/29/00)

1982        Dec 29, Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant ended his career with Alabama. He logged 323 wins (http://bryantmuseum.ua.edu/direction.cfm?dir=bio). In 1996 Keith Dunnavant authored “COACH: The Life of Paul "Bear" Bryant."
    (www.amazon.com/COACH-Life-Paul-Bear-Bryant/dp/0684800411)

1983        Dec 29, US announced its withdrawal from UNESCO.
    (http://preview.tinyurl.com/33usdl)

1984        Dec 29, Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi claimed victory in parliamentary elections. The BJP entered the parliament for the first time with 2 seats.
    (http://tinyurl.com/338zok)(SFC, 10/4/99, p.A12)

1986        Dec 29, Former PM Harold Macmillan of Britain (1957-1963), died at his home in Sussex, England, at age 92.
    (AP, 12/29/97)

1987        Dec 29, The antidepressant drug Prozac was allowed to go on the market. It was based on fluoxetine, which increases serotonin levels in the brain by preventing the cells that that produce serotonin from reabsorbing it too quickly. It was discovered by Dr. Ray W. Fuller (1936-1996), Dr. David Wong and Dr. Bryan Molloy of Eli Lilly.
    (SFC, 8/15/96, p.C4)(www.prozactruth.com/fdalilly.htm)
1987        Dec 29, NASA delayed the planned June launch of the space shuttle -- the first since the Challenger disaster -- because a motor component failed during a test-firing of the shuttle's redesigned booster rocket.
    (AP, 12/29/97)

1988        Dec 29, The Federal Aviation Administration, responding to the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, announced tightened security measures for U.S. air carriers at 103 airports in the Middle East and Western Europe.
    (AP, 12/29/98)

1989        Dec 29, Playwright Vaclav Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia, the country's first non-Communist leader in more than four decades.
    (AP, 12/29/99)

1990        Dec 29, Iraq denied a report that it was engaged in secret contacts with the US to avert war, and might withdraw from Kuwait before the January 15th United Nations deadline.
    (AP, 12/29/00)

1991        Dec 29, A Boeing 747-200F of China Airlines crashed into a mountain at Taipei and 5 people were killed.
    (www.airdisaster.com/cgi-bin/aircraft_detail.cgi?aircraft=Boeing+747)
1991        Dec 29, Russian President Boris Yeltsin announced that Russia would create its own army; in a separate year-end address, he also congratulated his countrymen for avoiding the kind of violence seen in Yugoslavia.
    (AP, 12/29/01)

1992        Dec 29, The United States and Russia announced agreement on a nuclear arms reduction treaty.
    (AP, 12/29/97)
1992        Dec 29, New York Gov. Mario Cuomo commuted the prison sentence of Jean Harris, the convicted killer of "Scarsdale Diet" author Herman Tarnower.
    (AP, 12/29/97)
1992        Dec 29, David and Sharon Schoo of St. Charles, Ill., were arrested at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago upon their return from vacation for leaving their young daughters at home, alone.
    (AP, 12/29/97)
1992        Dec 29, Brazilian President Fernando Collor de Mello resigned.
    (AP, 12/29/97)
1992        Dec 29, Daniel arap Moi (b.1924) was re-elected with 36% of the vote in the first multiparty elections in Kenya in 26 years.
    (SFC, 10/17/96, A8)(http://tinyurl.com/33kpow)

1994        Dec 29, U.S. officials confirmed the release in North Korea of Army helicopter pilot Bobby Hall, 12 days after he was captured in a shootdown in which co-pilot David Hilemon was killed. Due to the time difference, it was Dec. 30 in Korea when Hall crossed the demilitarized zone to freedom.
    (AP, 12/29/04)
1994        Dec 29, In East Turkey a B737-400 flew into a mountain at Edremit and 55 people were killed.
    (http://tinyurl.com/98ytm)

1995        Dec 29, The CNN financial network was launched by Turner Enterprises.
    (http://tinyurl.com/bzy74)
1995        Dec 29, Japan’s finance minister (Masayoshi Takemura) announced the resignation of the deputy finance minister (Kyosuke Shinozawa) over several scandals, including the ministry’s cover-up of trading losses at Daiwa Bank’s New York office.
    (AP, 12/29/00)

1996        Dec 29, In Egypt the government arrested 240 linked to the outlawed Islamic group the “Kotbioun," a violent branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
    (SFC, 12/30/96, p.A8)
1996        Dec 29, In Guatemala the Accord on the Firm and Lasting Peace was signed ending 36 years of civil conflict. One rebel unit in Quezaltenango, the Organization of the People in Arms, refused to take part. The accord included provisions for education in 23 regional languages with Spanish.
    (WSJ, 12/13/96, p.A15)(SFC, 12/30/96, p.A7)(SFC, 5/27/97, p.A12) (AP, 12/29/97)
1996        Dec 29, N. Korea apologized to S. Korea for sending a spy submarine into South Korean waters in Sep. submarine incident.
    (WSJ, 12/30/96, p.A1)(AP, 12/29/97)

1997        Dec 29, In Newport, Indiana, Orville Lynn Majors (36), a former nurse, was arrested for murder and suspected in the deaths of 130 out of 147 patients that died while he was on duty between 1993 and 1995.
    (SFC,12/30/97, p.A2)
1997        Dec 29, Intel cut the price of Pentium II-233 MHz from $401 to $268.
    (www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/17549/17549.html)
1997        Dec 29, In Algeria armed attackers stopped a bus and killed 14 passengers and the driver near Mascara. The bodies were then doused in gasoline and set on fire.
    (SFC,12/31/97, p.A8)
1997        Dec 29, In Hong Kong the government planned to start killing over 1.4 million chickens to combat the new strain of avian flu. Four people had already died of the illness.
    (SFC, 12/29/97, p.A1)(AP, 12/29/98)
1997        Dec 29, In Kenya general elections were scheduled. The law required the winner to receive 25% of the vote. The elections were extended one day amid widespread delays and confusion at the polls. Two people were killed during a riot near Nairobi.
    (SFC,11/13/97, p.B2)(SFC,12/26/97, p.B7)(WSJ, 12/30/97, p.A1)
1997        Dec 29, Turkmenistan and Iran activated a key 125 mile gas pipeline. Plans were to make it part of a network to Europe but for now the gas was only bound to northeastern Iran.
    (SFC,12/30/97, p.B2)

1998        Dec 29, In Nevada 31 wild horses were found shot to death by rifle fire at close range at Devil's Flat near Washoe Valley.
    (SFC, 12/30/98, p.A3)
1998        Dec 29, Two top Khmer Rouge leaders apologized for the deaths of as many as 2 million people during their regime in the 1970s, and asked Cambodians to forget the past.
    (AP, 12/29/99)
1998        Dec 29, In Colombia rebels claimed to have killed a right-wing paramilitary leader, Carlos Castano, in a weekend capture of his northern stronghold. Other sources denied the report.
    (WSJ, 12/30/98, p.A1)
1998        Dec 29, In Cyprus Pres. Glafcos Clerides decided not to import Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles in order to reduce tensions with Turkey.
    (SFC, 12/30/98, p.A8)
1998        Dec 29, In Kosovo 5 Albanians died in fighting with Serb police as NATO repeated threats of airstrikes. A group of US senators proposed to offer Milosevic sanctuary in a 3rd nation if he would step down.
    (WSJ, 12/30/98, p.A1)
1998        Dec 29, In Lebanon the Israeli army assassinated Zahi Naim Hadr Ahmed Mahabi, a top Hezbollah explosives expert.
    (SFC, 1/2/99, p.C12)
1998        Dec 29, In Yemen security forces attacked the kidnappers of 16 and 4 hostages were killed. The freed tourists said that government forces initiated the battle that left 3 Britons and an Australian dead.
    (SFC, 12/31/98, p.A10)(WSJ, 12/31/98, p.A1)

1999        Dec 29, The Nasdaq composite stock index closed over 4,000 for the first time (4041.46). It had passed 3,000 only a few months earlier.
    (SFC, 12/30/99, p.A1)(AP, 12/29/00)
1999        Dec 29, In Afghanistan the Indian Airlines hijackers dropped their demands for a $200 million ransom and the body of a Kashmiri militant but haggled over the number of militants to be released.
    (SFC, 12/30/99, p.A1)
1999        Dec 29, In Austria an avalanche killed 9 German tourists hiking near Galtuer. 13 people were buried but 4 survived.
    (SFC, 12/30/99, p.A20)
1999        Dec 29, In Indonesia 3 days of strife between Christians and Muslims on Halmahera Island in North Maluka province left some 250 people dead.
    (SFC, 12/30/99, p.A20)(SFC, 12/31/99, p.D6)
1999        Dec 29, Israel released 26 Palestinian security prisoners as part of the interim peace accord. It was the first time Israel had released Palestinians who had killed Israelis or tourists.
    (SFC, 12/30/99, p.C2)
1999        Dec 29, A Russian oil tanker broke up and sank near the mouth of the Bosporus and coated the Turkish shore with some 4,800 tons of heavy fuel.
    (WSJ, 12/30/99, p.A1)
1999        Dec 29, In South Africa police arrested 3 members of a Muslim vigilante gang and seized bomb materials linked to recent bombings near Cape Town.
    (WSJ, 12/30/99, p.A1)

2000        Dec 29, Pres.-elect Bush filled four more Cabinet slots, tapping Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson as head of the Dept. of Health and Human Services.  Thompson was soon criticized for his ties to tobacco interests. Colorado Attorney General Gale A. Norton was nominated as interior secretary, Houston schools chief Rod Paige as secretary of education and Anthony J. Principi to return as secretary to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    (SFC, 12/30/00, p.A1)(SFC, 1/11/01, p.A15)(AP, 12/29/01)
2000        Dec 29, A ferry collided with another ferry ship and sank on the Meghna River in southeastern Bangladesh. At least 178 people were killed.
    (SFC, 12/30/00, p.A10)(SFC, 1/3/01, p.A12)
2000        Dec 29, In Colombia gunmen killed Rep. Diego Turbay, a peace envoy, along with 6 other people. A FARC unit was blamed.
    (SFC, 12/30/00, p.A8)
2000        Dec 29, In Mexico congress approved a $140 million budget.
    (SFC, 12/30/00, p.A10)
2000        Dec 29, In Gaza a Palestinian police officer was killed in a shootout as Israeli soldiers bulldozed a grove of trees.
    (SFC, 12/30/00, p.A8)
2000        Dec 29, In Sudan Gen. Omar el-Bashir was declared the winner in elections marred by an opposition boycott. Civil war prevented voting in 3 of the 26 provinces.
    (SFC, 12/30/00, p.A10)

2001        Dec 29, US airstrikes in Afghanistan’s Paktia province were later reported to have killed up to 100 villagers.
    (SFC, 1/2/02, p.A6)
2001        Dec 29, Thousands of Antarctic penguins were reported dead or dying due to giant icebergs that cut the birds off from their food supply.
    (SFC, 12/29/01, p.A2)
2001        Dec 29, In Argentina at least 12 police officers were injured during protests in Buenos Aires. The entire cabinet offered to step down.
    (SSFC, 12/30/01, p.A12)
2001        Dec 29, A fireworks shop exploded and caused a fire in downtown Lima that spread over 4 downtown blocks. At least 290 people were killed.
    (SSFC, 12/30/01, p.A12)(SFC, 12/31/01, p.A3)(WSJ, 1/2/02, p.A1)
2001        Dec 29, Philippine troops raided a camp of Muslim rebels linked to Osama bin Laden and killed 13.
    (WSJ, 12/31/01, p.A1)

2002        Dec 29, Secretary of State Colin Powell, making the rounds of the Sunday television talk shows, said there was still time to find a diplomatic resolution to North Korea's development of nuclear weapons, and that the situation hadn't yet reached the crisis stage.
    (AP, 12/29/03)
2002        Dec 29, Israeli soldiers fired toward Palestinian protesters in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, killing an 11-year-old boy and wounding a cameraman on assignment for AP TV News.
    (AP, 12/29/02)
2002        Dec 29, Cyclone Zoe hit the Solomon Islands' Tikopia, Fataka and Anuta islands, with the eye of the cyclone sweeping over Tikopia. The islanders survived and aid arrived Jan 5.
    (AP, 12/30/02)(AP, 1/5/03)

2003        Dec 29, The Bush administration said it will require international air carriers in certain cases to place armed law enforcement officers on cargo and passenger flights to, from and over the United States.
    (AP, 12/30/03)
2003        Dec 29, Paul Goldman, a native of Uzbekistan, stabbed and killed Faina Zonis in the Philadelphia suburb of Bensalem. Goldman soon fled the country. Police found his parents dead by suicide on Jan 13. Goldman was captured in France on Jan 20, 2004. Zonis committed suicide Apr 11, 2004.
    (SFC, 1/17/04, p.A4)(SFC, 1/21/04, p.A3)(AP, 4/13/04)
2003        Dec 29, Actor Earl Hindman (61), who'd played the mostly unseen neighbor Wilson on "Home Improvement," died in Stamford, Conn.
    (AP, 12/29/04)
2003        Dec 29, In Burundi gunmen killed Monsignor Michael Courtney, the pope's ambassador, firing on his car as he was returning from a funeral.
    (AP, 12/29/03)
2003        Dec 29, China reported that the China State Shipbuilding Corp. has broken ground on what it says will be the world's biggest shipyard, a high-tech facility capable of producing cruise ships and natural gas tankers at the mouth of the Yangtze.
    (AP, 12/29/03)
2003        Dec 29, The roof of a centuries-old Ethiopian church carved out of rock collapsed while it was packed with worshippers, killing at least 15 people. The 800-year-old Mewa Tsadkan Gabriel church was in a remote area some 310 miles northeast of the capital, Addis Ababa. It was built by King Lalibela, who ruled there from the late 12th century to the early 13th century.
    (AP, 1/3/04)
2003        Dec 29, Rebels lobbed a grenade and fired on U.S. soldiers searching homes for insurgents in the northern city of Mosul, triggering a firefight that left three Iraqis dead and two U.S. soldiers wounded.
    (AP, 12/29/03)
2003        Dec 29, Japan pledged to forgive "the vast majority" of its Iraqi debt if other Paris Club nations do the same. China later said it would consider the idea.
    (AP, 12/29/03)
2003        Dec 29, Oscar Berger, the pro-business former mayor of Guatemala City won an easy victory in the presidential run-off, four years after he left politics and swore he would never come back. Berger won 54% vs. 46% for Alvaro Colom.
    (AP, 12/29/03)(Econ, 1/3/04, p.24)
2003        Dec 29, Poland and Israel signed a deal worth some $350 million over the next 10 years to provide the Polish army with some 2,700 state-of-the-art Israeli anti-tank missiles.
    (AP, 12/29/03)
2003        Dec 29, In Portugal 9 men and one woman were charged with sexually abusing minors and adolescents, rape and organizing a pedophile ring at the state-run Casa Pia home. Among those indicted were 2 popular television personalities, a lawmaker and a retired ambassador.
    (AP, 12/30/03)
2003        Dec 29, It was reported that some 4,400 issues of the book entitled "FSB blows up Russia" and authored by former FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko, now exiled in Britain, were confiscated en route from the western city of Pskov to Moscow. Litvinenko, a former lieutenant colonel, charged the FSB with involvement in the bombings on September 9 and 13, 1999 which destroyed two buildings in Moscow, killing more than 200 people.
    (AP, 12/30/03)
2003        Dec 29, In Serbia Vojislav Seselj's Radical Party won weekend elections with 27% of the vote. Nationalists won 82 seats but would have to negotiate with more moderate parties to form a government. The Socialist Party led by Slobodan Milosevic won 22 seats.
    (WSJ, 12/29/03, p.A1)(SFC, 12/30/03, p.A10)(Econ, 1/3/04, p.35)
2003        Dec 29,  Jaime de Pinies, a longtime Spanish diplomat who served as president of the United Nations General Assembly (1985), died in Madrid.
    (AP, 12/31/03)

2004        Dec 29, The international Red Cross said that the death toll from the Dec 26 earthquake and tsunamis in the Indian Ocean could rise to more than 100,000.
    (AP, 12/29/04)
2004        Dec 29, In Afghanistan masked gunmen killed Pashtun politician Shah Alam Khan, a close ally of Pres. Karzai.
    (WSJ, 12/30/04, p.A1)
2004        Dec 29, The first Indonesian military teams reached the devastated west coast of Sumatra island, finding thousands of bodies and increasing the death toll across 12 nations to more than 76,700.
    (AP, 12/29/04)
2004        Dec 29, Insurgents tried to ram a truck with half a ton of explosives into a U.S. military post in the northern city of Mosul then ambushed reinforcements in a huge gunbattle in which 25 rebels and one American soldier were killed.
    (AP, 12/30/04)(SFC, 12/30/04, p.A1)
2004        Dec 29, In Israel 4 antiquities collectors and dealers were indicted on charges that they ran a global forgery ring for Bible-era artifacts.
    (SFC, 12/30/04, p.A2)
2004        Dec 29, About 10 Israeli tanks moved into the Khan Younis refugee camp to stop rocket fire. 2 Palestinian gunmen were killed by tank fire.
    (AP, 12/30/04)(WSJ, 12/30/04, p.A1)
2004        Dec 29, Puerto Rico's governor-elect said he opposes the war in Iraq and wants to see a reduction in the number of U.S. troops, including islanders, posted in the troubled country.
    (AP, 12/29/04)
2004        Dec 29, Ramzan Kadyrov, a pro-Moscow Chechen leader accused by rights groups of kidnapping and murder, earned Russia's highest award for "valor and heroism."
    (AP, 12/29/04)
2004        Dec 29, In Saudi Arabia insurgents bombed two security headquarters in Riyadh, setting off violence that left 10 attackers and one bystander dead.
    (AP, 12/30/04)

2004        Dec 29, President Bush assembled a four-nation coalition to organize humanitarian relief for Asia and made clear the United States would help bankroll long-term rebuilding in the region leveled by a massive earthquake and tsunamis.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2004        Dec 29, The international Red Cross said that the death toll from the Dec 26 earthquake and tsunamis in the Indian Ocean could rise to more than 100,000.
    (AP, 12/29/04)
2004        Dec 29, In Afghanistan masked gunmen killed Pashtun politician Shah Alam Khan, a close ally of Pres. Karzai.
    (WSJ, 12/30/04, p.A1)
2004        Dec 29, The first Indonesian military teams reached the devastated west coast of Sumatra island, finding thousands of bodies and increasing the death toll across 12 nations to more than 76,700.
    (AP, 12/29/04)
2004        Dec 29, Insurgents tried to ram a truck with half a ton of explosives into a U.S. military post in the northern city of Mosul then ambushed reinforcements in a huge gunbattle in which 25 rebels and one American soldier were killed.
    (AP, 12/30/04)(SFC, 12/30/04, p.A1)
2004        Dec 29, In Israel 4 antiquities collectors and dealers were indicted on charges that they ran a global forgery ring for Bible-era artifacts.
    (SFC, 12/30/04, p.A2)
2004        Dec 29, About 10 Israeli tanks moved into the Khan Younis refugee camp to stop rocket fire. 2 Palestinian gunmen were killed by tank fire.
    (AP, 12/30/04)(WSJ, 12/30/04, p.A1)
2004        Dec 29, Puerto Rico's governor-elect said he opposes the war in Iraq and wants to see a reduction in the number of U.S. troops, including islanders, posted in the troubled country.
    (AP, 12/29/04)
2004        Dec 29, Ramzan Kadyrov, a pro-Moscow Chechen leader accused by rights groups of kidnapping and murder, earned Russia's highest award for "valor and heroism."
    (AP, 12/29/04)
2004        Dec 29, In Saudi Arabia insurgents bombed two security headquarters in Riyadh, setting off violence that left 10 attackers and one bystander dead.
    (AP, 12/30/04)

2005        Dec 29, US Treasury chief Snow said Congress must raise the debt ceiling, now at $8.18 trillion, by mid-February to keep the government running.
    (WSJ, 12/30/05, p.A1)
2005        Dec 29, An official said the number of detainees on hunger strike at the U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay more than doubled in the last week to 84.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, Suspected Taliban rebels detonated a mine near a police checkpoint in southern Afghanistan, killing four Afghan police officers and wounding seven.
    (AP, 12/30/05)
2005        Dec 29, Two suspected Taliban suicide bombers died when explosives they were strapping to their bodies exploded prematurely in southern Afghanistan.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, Hannah Lessing, chief fund overseer, said about 3,000 people have been cleared to receive the first payments from an Austrian fund to compensate Holocaust survivors, and another 3,000 should be approved shortly.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, A British opposition legislator called for an investigation into claims that British security officers were involved in abducting and mistreating terrorist suspects in Greece. 28 Pakistanis claim they were abducted from their homes in Athens and other parts of Greece in mid-July, shortly after deadly transit bombings in London.
    (AP, 12/30/05)
2005        Dec 29, Britain’s tax authorities recognized the Maltese Stock Exchange (MSE). The equity index of the MSE rose 60% this year.
    (http://business.timesofmalta.com/article.php?id=3721)(Econ, 2/11/06, p.71)
2005        Dec 29, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao warned in a speech against land seizure abuses. The speech was published Jan 20, 2006.
    (WSJ, 1/21/06, p.A1)
2005        Dec 29, Reporters at a Beijing newspaper known for covering sensitive topics walked off the job after editor Yang Bin was removed this week amid efforts to tighten press controls.
    (AP, 12/30/05)
2005        Dec 29, China’s government said about 300 million people living in the vast countryside drink unsafe water tainted by chemicals and other contaminants in its latest acknowledgment of mounting risks from widespread pollution.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, China confirmed its 7th human infection, and third human death, from bird flu, after health officials revealed a factory worker (41) died from the disease over a week ago.
    (Reuters, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, In Croatia Slobodan Davidovic (52), an ethnic Serb seen killing Muslims in a nationally televised video, was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to 15 years in prison, with the judge saying he had shown "no mercy or compassion" for his victims.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, A man blew himself up in what appeared to be an attempted suicide bombing near a mosque in the Russian province of Dagestan, killing himself and injuring another person.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, Ethiopia’s government said a plan by Western donors to withhold $375 million in aid from Ethiopia over the government's crackdown on opposition supporters would have an "insignificant" impact on its budget. Diplomats said the money would be reallocated to the UN and aid agencies working to combat poverty in Ethiopia.
    (Reuters, 12/29/05)(SFC, 12/30/05, p.A3)
2005        Dec 29, Drought was reported to have triggered extreme food shortages in the East African countries of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, putting millions of people at risk of famine as the lean dry season approaches.
    (AP, 12/30/05)
2005        Dec 29, France reported a second death from freezing temperatures as blizzards swept through northern and central Europe, forcing flight cancellations at Prague airport and cutting power lines and rail links in Scandinavia.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, The Indian government cleared an agreement to set up a free trade area for 7 South Asian countries, in a move expected to more than double the size of the regional market. The landmark deal to create a South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) was signed in Islamabad in January 2004 during a regional summit with January 1, 2006 set as a deadline for implementation.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, Indonesia's military acknowledged for the first time that its commanders in Papua had received "support" from a U.S. gold-mining giant, responding to allegations that Freeport-McMoRan Co. gave the army millions of dollars to protect its facilities in the remote province.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, Top Iranian and Russian officials agreed to hold talks on a Russian proposal aimed a resolving Tehran's nuclear standoff with the West.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, Sunni Arab and secular groups refused to open discussions with the Shiite religious bloc leading in Iraq's parliamentary elections until a full review of the contested results is carried out. An international team agreed to assess Iraq's parliamentary elections, a decision lauded by Sunni Arab and secular Shiite groups who have staged repeated protests around Iraq complaining of widespread fraud and intimidation. Fourteen Shiite men and women were gunned down in an area south of Iraq's capital known as the "triangle of death." A US soldier died in a bomb blast and a Lebanese was kidnapped in Baghdad. A suicide bomber blew himself up next to a police patrol car in Baghdad, killing four policemen and wounding five.
    (AP, 12/29/05)(AFP, 12/29/05)(AP, 12/30/05)
2005        Dec 29, Italy’s Newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that prosecutors accused Premier Berlusconi of ordering the payment of at least $600,000 to British lawyer David Mills in 1997 to give false testimony in two trials against the premier.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, Mario Draghi, an investment banker and former Treasury official, was named Bank of Italy governor to succeed Antonio Fazio.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, Kyrgyzstan's president effectively ended the use of the death penalty in this ex-Soviet republic by extending a moratorium on the punishment until its planned abolition. Kyrgyzstan first imposed the moratorium in 1998 and has since repeatedly extended it.
    (AP, 12/30/05)
2005        Dec 29, Three U.S. oil companies said they will end a 19-year absence in Libya and pay $1.83 billion to resume oil production.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, Seven policemen in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas were detained on suspicion of stealing relief packages intended for hurricane victims.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, Authorities said Mohammed Marwa, a former official in Nigeria's junta, has been detained as part of a corruption probe in what was the first arrest and questioning of a top official in the former ruling military regime.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, A Palestinian suicide bomber trying to enter Israel blew himself at a military checkpoint set up to foil attackers, killing an Israeli soldier and two other Palestinians.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, Peru's Congress ratified a law to create a Supreme Court judicial panel dominated by retired armed forces generals to oversee the military's justice system, a move human rights advocates say will hurt efforts to prosecute military human rights abuses.
    (AP, 12/30/05)
2005        Dec 29, Peruvian human rights groups detailed at least 46 cases this year of threats and intimidation targeting investigators and witnesses pursuing human rights abuses allegedly committed by the military during the height of the Shining Path insurgency.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, Philippine media reported that 2 US Marines, who were accused of raping a Filipina woman, have been allowed to leave the Philippines after prosecutors decided not to file charges against them.
    (AFP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, A fire in Manila’s shantytown of Tondo, Philippines, left nearly 3,000 families without homes.
    (SFC, 12/31/05, p.A12)
2005        Dec 29, Russia bought up gas supplies from Turkmenistan to prevent Ukraine from getting them. Russia was demanding a quadruple increase in gas prices.
    (WSJ, 12/30/05, p.A1)
2005        Dec 29, A fire broke out in a home for the mentally ill outside Moscow, killing seven people and injuring 12.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, South Korea's top university said that Hwang Woo-suk fabricated all of the stem cells he said were cloned from individual patients, a shattering blow to the disgraced scientist's reputation as a medical pioneer.
    (AP, 12/29/05)
2005        Dec 29, Switzerland's top court ordered the extradition of Yevgeny Adamov, Russia's former nuclear minister, to his homeland instead of the US, where he's been indicted for allegedly diverting $9 million in US aid money to his businesses. The Swiss court made its ruling Dec. 22 but it was made public Dec 29.
    (AP, 12/30/05)
2005        Dec 29, Syria’s former Vice President Abdul-Halim Khaddam said in a television interview from Paris that Syrian President Bashar Assad threatened former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri months before Hariri was assassinated in a truck bombing.
    (AP, 1/1/06)
2005        Dec 29, Venezuela’s central bank approved using the euro to service demand from foreign companies and to diversify dealings from the dollar.
    (WSJ, 12/30/05, p.A10)

2006        Dec 29, US regulators gave final approval for the $86 billion merger between AT&T and BellSouth, the biggest merger in telecommunications history.
    (SFC, 12/30/06, p.C1)
2006        Dec 29, The United Steelworkers union ratified a 3-year contract. Goodyear later estimated that their 12-week strike cost the tire maker at least $30 million a week.
    (WSJ, 1/10/07, p.A11)
2006        Dec 29, Advanced Marketing Services of San Diego, the parent of Publishers Group West, declared bankruptcy. This put over 130 independent publishers into financial crises.
    (SFC, 1/27/07, p.A1)
2006        Dec 29, In Allentown, Pa., a fire swept through 4 downtown row houses killing 5 people. An extension cord overload was blamed.
    (SFC, 12/30/06, p.A3)
2006        Dec 29, Fugitive Taliban chief Mullah Omar pledged in a statement to drive foreign troops out of Afghanistan, as NATO and Afghan forces killed more than 10 of his fighters in the volatile south.
    (AP, 12/29/06)
2006        Dec 29, A key witness in a human rights trial stemming from Argentina's military dictatorship was found beaten, two days after he went missing. Luis Gerez (51), who has accused a former police chief of torturing him during the 1966-73 dictatorship, was found by a police patrol in a street of Garin, north of Buenos Aires.
    (AP, 12/29/06)
2006        Dec 29, In southern Bangladesh at least 3 people were killed and 100 hurt after two ferries packed with passengers rushing home for a Muslim festival collided in dense fog on the Meghna River.
    (AFP, 12/30/06)
2006        Dec 29, Two American sailors died after falling from a US submarine off the coast of southern England.
    (AP, 12/29/06)
2006        Dec 29, In Chile 13 former dictatorship-era security agents were sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to 18 years for four killings committed in revenge for the bloody 1986 assassination attempt of dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
    (AP, 12/29/06)
2006        Dec 29, In India the decomposing bodies of several children were found buried behind a house east of New Delhi. The Noida police said Mohinder Singh Pandher, the businessman who owned the house, and his servant, referred to only as Satish, confessed to sexually assaulting and killing at least 15 impoverished children and women during the past two years. On Feb 12, 2009, an Indian court sentenced businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his servant Surinder Koli to death Friday for the murder of a young girl one of 19 victims in a case that has shocked the country.
    (AP, 12/29/06)(AP, 12/30/06)(AFP, 2/13/09)
2006        Dec 29, The Senopati Nusantara, a crowded Indonesian ferry, broke apart and sank in the Java Sea during a violent storm. The vast majority of the nearly 640 passengers were still missing a day later. Some 200 people survived the sinking.
    (AP, 12/30/06)(Reuters, 1/1/07)
2006        Dec 29, US troops killed six people and destroyed a weapons cache in separate raids in Baghdad and northwest of Baghdad. Suicide bomber Murtada Latif Kadhem (9) bombed a Shiite mosque in Khales, north of Baghdad. The attack killed at least nine people, including the imam of the mosque, and wounded at least eight. The boy’s mother, Suad al-Obaidi, and boyfriend, Hamid Alwan, were arrested in 2011.
    (AP, 12/29/06)(AFP, 11/4/11)
2006        Dec 29, New census figures said Nigeria's population had nearly doubled to an estimated 140 million people since the last count in 1991. Nigerian medical authorities announced that the death toll in the oil pipeline fire in Lagos had risen to 284 after 15 more people succumbed to their injuries in hospital.
    (AP, 12/29/06)
2006        Dec 29, Sinn Fein leaders voted to convene an emergency conference and confront a pivotal issue in Northern Ireland peacemaking, whether the IRA-linked party should support the police.
    (AP, 12/29/06)
2006        Dec 29, In Pakistan more than 30,000 people were crowded into two camps, one for Bugti tribesmen, the other for Marri tribesmen, in desert terrain at Murid Bugti, about 160 miles east of the Baluchistan capital, Quetta. Over the past three months, at least 61 Marri refugees, most of them children, died because of the effects of malnutrition, weather and other hardships. Camp residents said at least 15 Bugti refugees also died.
    (AP, 12/29/06)
2006        Dec 29, A US Marine convicted of raping a Filipino woman was whisked away from a Manila jail to the US Embassy, almost a month after the US and Philippine governments urged a local court to transfer him to American custody during his appeal.
    (AP, 12/29/06)
2006        Dec 29, Somalia's prime minister entered the capital, a day after an Islamic movement's fighters retreated ahead of his Ethiopian-backed troops, and was welcomed by thousands of cheering residents of the battle-scarred city.
    (AP, 12/29/06)
2006        Dec 29, Sudanese military planes bombed two rebel positions in the north of Darfur just days after the head of the African Union's peacekeeping force visited the area to urge the rebels to join a cease-fire agreement. The African Union peacekeeping mission in Sudan called for a halt to such attacks.
    (AP, 12/31/06)
2006        Dec 29, In southern Thailand 2 teachers were shot and burned to death and a government worker gunned down in attacks blamed on Muslim insurgents.
    (AP, 12/29/06)
2006        Dec 29, In Zimbabwe 17 elephants and a rhino were found killed. A game ranger based near the famed Victoria Falls bordering the two countries was wounded. Zambian poachers were suspected.
    (AFP, 12/31/06)

2007        Dec 29, Nonja (55), a Sumatran orangutan, was found dead at the Miami Metro Zoo. She had lived in Miami since 1983 and was believed to be the world’s oldest orangutan.
    (AP, 12/30/07)
2007        Dec 29, In Oakland, Ca., carjackers stole a state-issued Dodge Charger from state Senate pres. Don Perata. Jared Adams (25) and his girlfriend, Maeve Clifford, were arrested on Jan 10 in another stolen vehicle. Their prints were found on Perata’s car, which had been found abandoned in Richmond. Ryan McGough (28), a 3rd suspect in the carjacking, was arrested in May, 2008. In addition to the carjacking Adams was later charged with a shooting, 12 days after the carjacking, that left Christopher Rodrizuez (10) paralyzed. In 2011 Adams was sentenced to 70 years in prison.
    (SFC, 8/12/08, p.B3)(SFC, 8/13/08, p.B4)(SFC, 8/17/11, p.C4)
2007        Dec 29, Taliban militants in Wardak province fired rocket-propelled grenades from their vehicles at a convoy of private security guards on Afghanistan's main highway, killing six guards and two police officers. Taliban militants attacked a police checkpoint in the south and killed 16 officers.
    (AP, 12/30/07)(AP, 12/31/07)
2007        Dec 29, In Australia David Hicks, the only person convicted of terrorism charges at a US military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, walked free and said he did not want to do "anything that might result in my return" to the prison in Cuba.
    (AP, 12/29/07)
2007        Dec 29, China said Hong Kong will be allowed to directly elect its leader in 2017 and all of its lawmakers by 2020 at the earliest, an announcement that sparked protests by pro-democracy activists who sought an earlier date.
    (AP, 12/29/07)
2007        Dec 29, In northeast China 19 miners died in a coal mine blast at the Shunfa Coal Mine in Heilongjiang province, the latest casualties in the world's most dangerous mines.
    (AP, 12/31/07)
2007        Dec 29, A series of explosions ripped through an army base in the Colombian city of Medellin, killing at least two people and forcing nearby residents to flee. The first of at least six large blasts was apparently triggered by a grenade that detonated inside a weapons arsenal.
    (AP, 12/29/07)
2007        Dec 29, Iraq's interior ministry spokesman said that 75% of al-Qaida in Iraq's terrorist network had been destroyed this year. Muqtada al-Sadr called for reconciliation between his followers and Iraqi security forces in Karbala. Osama bin Laden warned Iraq's Sunni Arabs against fighting al-Qaida and vowed to expand the terror group's holy war to Israel in a new audiotape, threatening "blood for blood, destruction for destruction."
    (AP, 12/29/07)(AP, 12/30/07)
2007        Dec 29, Shu Uemura (79), Japanese makeup artist, died. He had won acclaim in Hollywood and built an international cosmetics brand under his name.
    (AP, 1/8/08)(WSJ, 1/12/08, p.A10)
2007        Dec 29, Kenya's presidential rivals were neck-and-neck with nearly 90 percent of official results counted as accusations of rigging ignited ethnic violence across the east African nation.
    (AP, 12/29/07)
2007        Dec 29, In Pakistan an Islamic militant group said it had no link to Benazir Bhutto's killing and the opposition leader's aides accused the government of a cover-up, disputing the official account of her death. The government said mass rioting has killed 38 people and caused tens of millions of dollars in damage.
    (AP, 12/29/07)
2007        Dec 29, Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad said his security forces had arrested a number of suspects in the killings of two off-duty Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and had given Israeli authorities weapons taken from the dead men by their attackers.
    (AP, 12/29/07)
2007        Dec 29, The Scottish government said a new case of bluetongue has been detected for the first time in Scotland.
    (AFP, 12/29/07)
2007        Dec 29, Sudan accused Chadian aircraft of bombing its western Darfur region in what it called "repeated aggressions" by its western neighbor. a Sudanese foreign ministry statement said 3 Chadian war planes bombed two areas in West Darfur on December 28.
    (AFP, 12/30/07)
2007        Dec 29, Zimbabweans formed queues at banks to beat a December 31 deadline to hand in a currency series phased out by the central bank.
    (AP, 12/29/07)

2008        Dec 29, The US federal government approved $6 billion in aid to GMAC LLC, the financing company vital to the future of General Motors.
    (WSJ, 12/30/08, p.A1)
2008        Dec 29, Citigroup Inc said it is injecting $800 million of new capital into its South Korean banking arm, joining other banks in efforts to shore up their financial bases.
    (Reuters, 12/29/08)
2008        Dec 29, Yellowstone National Park was jostled by a host of small earthquakes for a third straight day, and scientists watched closely to see whether the more than 250 tremors were a sign of something bigger to come.
    (AP, 12/30/08)
2008        Dec 29, Freddie Hubbard (b.1938), Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter, died in Los Angeles.
    (WSJ, 12/30/08, p.A1)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freddie_Hubbard)
2008        Dec 29, Lt. Gen. Victor H. Krulak (b.1913), Marine commandant (1995-1999), died. His book “First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps" (1984), examined the history and culture of the US Marine Corps.
    (WSJ, 1/3/09, p.A5)
2008        Dec 28, In Afghanistan 14 children were among 20 Afghans killed in new extremist attacks in Khost province. A remote-controlled bomb exploded outside a music shop in the southern town of Tirin Kot, killing one person and wounding two. In Helmand province soldiers and police killed 7 insurgents as Taliban militants attacked a police post.
    (AFP, 12/28/08)(SFC, 12/30/08, p.A3)
2008        Dec 29, Bangladeshis voted in their droves in elections that marked the end of two years of emergency rule, with a pair of rival former prime ministers vying to reclaim power in the impoverished nation. Former PM Sheikh Hasina won a landslide victory.
    (AFP, 12/29/08)(AP, 12/30/08)
2008        Dec 29, The British pound fell to a record low against the euro, flirting with one pound per euro as two gloomy economic forecasts stoked expectations that the Bank of England will make further interest rate cuts next year.
    (AP, 12/29/08)
2008        Dec 29, Canadian searchers recovered the bodies of six of the eight snowmobilers missing since they were hit by a pair of avalanches in southeast British Columbia.
    (AP, 12/30/08)
2008        Dec 29, Top brass from the Chinese and Russian armies hailed closer ties in their first-ever conversation over a newly installed military hot line.
    (AP, 12/29/08)
2008        Dec 29, In China 9 people went on trial in connection with the tainted milk scandal. This  followed the announcement of steps to compensate the families of hundreds of thousands of children harmed by contaminated infant formula.
    (AP, 12/29/08)
2008        Dec 29, In Ethiopia Birtukan Midekssa (35), head of the Unity for Democracy Justice party, was arrested and resumed serving her life term after her pardon from a life sentence was revoked. She had irked the regime when she reportedly claimed during a recent visit to Europe that she had never voiced remorse or acknowledged any mistake to obtain her pardon in 2007.
    (AFP, 12/31/08)(www.jimmatimes.com/article.cfm?articleID=31713)
2008        Dec 29, Ted Lapidus (b.1929), French fashion designer who redefined chic with the 1960s unisex look, died. Lapidus created his label in 1951, and in 1963 became a member of the prestigious Paris fashion club that runs haute-couture, La Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.
    (AP, 12/30/08)
2008        Dec 29, In Germany Munich Re, the world's number two reinsurer, said natural disasters killed over 220,000 people in 2008, making it one of the most devastating years on record and underlining the need for a global climate deal.
    (AFP, 12/29/08)
2008        Dec 29, The African Union suspended Guinea after a military coup in the west African nation.
    (AFP, 12/29/08)
2008        Dec 29, The Indian Coast Guard rescued two people off India's east coast during a search for more than 300 illegal immigrants missing for the past four days and feared dead. Survivors told Indian authorities that more than 300 people from Bangladesh and Myanmar, members of the ethnic Rohingya minority, had jumped from a rickety boat that had been drifting for 13 days in the Indian Ocean and tried to swim to shore near the Andaman Islands. On Jan 16 a refugees' advocacy group accused the Thai navy of tying up four illegal immigrants and throwing them into the ocean before abandoning hundreds of others on a barge in open water, where some 300 drowned. At least 100 were rescued in Indian waters. Survivors at the time told Indian authorities they had been detained by Thai authorities, who towed them into the open sea and left them.
    (AP, 12/30/08)(AP, 1/16/09)(SSFC, 1/18/09, p.A5)
2008        Dec 29, In India Manjit Bawa 67), a leading Indian artist, died. His work had highlighted peaceful coexistence.
    (AP, 12/29/08)
2008        Dec 29, In Iran 5 hard-line student groups and a conservative clerical group launched a registration drive, seeking volunteers to carry out suicide attacks against Israel.
    (AP, 12/31/08)
2008        Dec 29, Israel obliterated symbols of Hamas power on the third day of what the defense minister described as a "war to the bitter end," striking next to the Hamas premier's home, and devastating a security compound and a university building. The three-day death toll rose to at least 315, with some 1,400 wounded. One medium-range rocket fired at the Israeli city of Ashkelon killed an Arab construction worker and wounded several others. Egypt opened its borders to Gaza and allowed trucks loaded with humanitarian aid to enter the Rafah terminal. A Palestinian stabbed and wounded four Israelis in a West Bank settlement before he was shot and wounded.
    (AP, 12/29/08)
2008        Dec 29, Scottish police charged Justice Ngema (35) with attempting to murder Magdeline Makola (38), a nurse who was found locked in the trunk of her car, where police say she may have been kept for up to 10 days. Makola had been reported missing after she failed to show up for work at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Dec. 18. She was last seen Dec. 15.
    (AP, 12/29/08)
2008        Dec 29, Abdullahi Yusuf, the president of Somalia's UN-backed government, resigned amid deepening international pressure, a move that could usher in more chaos as a strengthening Islamic insurgency scrambles for power.
    (AP, 12/29/08)
2008        Dec 29, In Sudan Lt. Commander Pape Lamine Ndiaye, a Senegalese military officer, died after being shot in Darfur on Dec 27, whilst serving with the AU peacekeeping force.
    (AFP, 12/31/08)
2008        Dec 29, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and urged Mideast and world leaders to do more to help end the Israeli-Hamas conflict and promote political dialogue.
    (AP, 12/30/08)

2009        Dec 29, The US Treasury Dept. pumped $29.3 million into 10 banks, which will be the last to receive investments as part of the taxpayer funded Capital Purchase Program.
    (SFC, 1/1/10, p.D3)
2009        Dec 29, In Afghanistan an American soldier was killed and two Italian soldiers were injured when an Afghan soldier opened fire on a base in the province's Bala Murghab district.
    (AP, 12/29/09)
2009        Dec 29, A security source said Algerian border guards have seized more than four tons of cannabis following a skirmish with smugglers.
    (AF, 12/29/09)
2009        Dec 29, China brushed aside international appeals and executed by lethal injection Akmal Shaikh (53), a British drug smuggler, who relatives said was mentally unstable and unwittingly lured into crime. Shaikh, a Briton of Pakistani descent, was arrested in 2007 for carrying a suitcase with almost 9 pounds (4kg) of heroin into China on a flight from Tajikistan. He told Chinese officials he didn't know about the drugs and that the suitcase wasn't his. He was convicted in 2008 after a half-hour trial.
    (AP, 12/29/09)
2009        Dec 29, In China the government of Xinjiang, a restive Chinese Muslim region rocked recently by ethnic strife, adopted what appeared to be a sweeping law barring the spread of views deemed to threaten national unity. The law bars individuals and organizations from spreading opinions deemed not conducive to national unity and also from gathering, producing and spreading information to that effect.
    (AP, 12/31/09)
2009        Dec 29, Egypt's top diplomat said Israel's PM Netanyahu presented Egypt with ideas for restarting Mideast peace talks, impressing his hosts with proposals that go further than past Israeli positions.
    (AP, 12/29/09)
2009        Dec 29, In France an armed robber burst into a jewelry store in southern Paris and made off with euro100,000 ($144,330) worth of watches and jewels.
    (AP, 12/29/09)
2009        Dec 29, Iran's conservative parliament called for maximum punishment of opposition demonstrators as the regime stepped up its crackdown on dissent arresting the sister of Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi. Tens of thousands of government supporters rallied, and a reformist party called on Iran's rulers to apologize to the nation two days after eight people were killed in anti-government protests.
    (AFP, 12/29/09)(Reuters, 12/29/09)
2009        Dec 29, In central Iraq gunmen killed five Sunni security guards, including one by beheading, in a gruesome pre-dawn slaying at a Tal Massoud village checkpoint. The victims were part of the Sunni tribe of Khazraj. They are the latest example of attacks on Sahwa, the Arabic word for Awakening. An Iraqi army intelligence officer was killed in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of al Baladiyat. Drive-by shooters targeted Iraqi Army 1st Lt. Wadi Direa Atiyah as he was driving his car.
    (AP, 12/29/09)
2009        Dec 29, Mexico City enacted Latin America's first law recognizing gay marriage and said it hopes to attract same-sex couples from around the world to wed.
    (AP, 12/29/09)
2009        Dec 29, In Mexico Luis "El Gil" Sanchez (29) was arrested in Ensenada, about 50 miles (80km) south of Tijuana. Sanchez was the alleged leader of at least 10 criminal cells working for Teodoro Garcia Simental, a renegade lieutenant who broke away from the Arellano Felix cartel. Gunmen attacked a car dealership and an adjacent hospital in the border city of Tijuana, forcing the evacuation of some patients. The attackers doused about 10 cars at the dealership with gasoline and set them alight. Cartels commonly extort "protection" fees from businesses, which are sometimes firebombed if their owners refuse to pay.
    (AP, 12/30/09)
2009        Dec 29, Russia’s PM Vladimir Putin said that Russia will build new weapons to offset the planned US missile defense and urged Washington to share detailed data about its missile shield under a new arms control deal. The Kremlin said President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a bill banning the jailing of people suspected of tax crimes and has fired another senior prison official following the death in custody of a tax lawyer in November.
    (AP, 12/29/09)
2009        Dec 29, Sudan's parliament adopted a key law, setting up a planned referendum on southern independence after northern and southern leaders overcame a dispute that had threatened a 2005 peace deal.
    (AFP, 12/30/09)

2010        Dec 29, President Barack Obama bypassed Congress to name the first US ambassador to Syria in nearly six years. Obama took the controversial step of forcing through the appointments of Ambassador Robert Ford and five other officials while the Senate, which normally needs to confirm nominations, was out of session.
    (AF, 12/30/10)
2010        Dec 29, In Wayne, Michigan, a natural gas explosion destroyed a furniture store, killed two people and injured two others. Owner Paul Franks was in critical condition.
    (AP, 12/30/10)
2010        Dec 29, Groups including the UN, Harvard University, Google Inc and Not On Our Watch, an organization co-founded by actor George Clooney, launched the Satellite Sentinel Project, a project using satellites to "watch" Sudan for war crimes before a vote that could split the African country in two.
    (Reuters, 12/29/10)
2010        Dec 29, In eastern Afghanistan US forces clashed with insurgents, fending off a Taliban assault for the second time in as many days. NATO said it and Afghan forces have detained a Taliban leader in the southwestern province of Nimroz. NATO forces killed at least 5 Taliban fighters over night in Nangarhar province. Two slain Taliban commanders were identified as Shir Zaman and Zhir Gull.
    (AP, 12/29/10)(SFC, 12/30/10, p.A4)
2010        Dec 29, An Angolan court sentenced Jean Antuan Pwaty (42) a Congolese citizen, to 24 years in prison following the Jan 8 attack on Togo's national soccer team that killed two people and left eight others wounded including a goalkeeper. Pwaty was convicted of murder, armed rebellion and attempted murder.
    (AP, 12/30/10)
2010        Dec 29, Australia’s military cleared a town in eastern Australia, airlifting the entire population of 300 people by helicopter in Theodore, where waters were continuing to rise after days of drenching rain. A total of 1,000 people were evacuated from central and southern Queensland state.
    (AP, 12/29/10)
2010        Dec 29, Belarus lawyers said the seven presidential candidates who were arrested after this month's election have been formally charged with organizing a mass public disturbance and face up to 15 years in prison.
    (AP, 12/30/10)
2010        Dec 29, A Belgian priest published a confession to a child sex-abuse accusation that came to light during a campaign to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work fighting globalization's impact on developing countries. In October, after supporters of Francois Houtart (85) began working to nominate him for the Nobel, a woman contacted the nonprofit organization he founded and said the priest had abused her brother 40 years ago.
    (AP, 12/29/10)
2010        Dec 29, Brazilian media reported that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has decided not to extradite former Italian guerrilla Cesare Battisti, a move that could hurt ties with Italy.
    (Reuters, 12/29/10)
2010        Dec 29, Canada said it no longer recognized the Ivory Coast ambassador to Ottawa appointed by president Laurent Gbagbo, and that it would welcome new diplomatic representation from the West African nation.
    (AFP, 12/30/10)
2010        Dec 29, Cuba’s official Gazette said that effective January 1, personal cleanliness products will be cut from ration books that islanders have come to rely on as part of a small supply of basic goods.
    (SFC, 12/30/10, p.A2)
2010        Dec 29, In Denmark 4 men planning to shoot as many people as possible in a building housing the newsroom of a paper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad were arrested in an operation that halted an imminent attack. The 4 were Swedish residents, a Tunisian (44), a Lebanese-born man (29), an Iraqi asylum seeker, and a 30-year-old whose national origin was not released. Police in Stockholm arrested a Swedish citizen of Tunisian origin, suspected of being linked to the plot. Denmark freed the Iraqi suspect the next day due to an apparent lack of evidence. The trial of Munir Awad, Omar Abdalla Aboelazm, Mounir Ben Mohamed Dhahri and Sabhi Ben Mohamed Zalouti opened on April 13, 2012.
    (AP, 12/29/10)(AP, 12/30/10)(AP, 4/13/12)
2010        Dec 29, In Egypt flood waters caused by torrential rains earlier this week swept a bus packed with 77 schoolgirls and their teachers off a highway in the country's south, ending in the tragic death of 15 people, most of them students. The last two survivors were pulled out of the waters in the early hours Dec 31.
    (AP, 12/31/10)
2010        Dec 29, The spokesman for the EU's anti-piracy force said Somali pirates over the Christmas weekend unsuccessfully targeted two ships, going farther south than ever before to attack vessels.
    (AP, 12/29/10)
2010        Dec 29, In Haiti Paul Waggoner, an American aid worker, was released from a notoriously overcrowded Haitian prison after a judge apparently cleared him of allegations that he kidnapped an infant from a hospital where he worked as a volunteer. Waggoner had been in custody for 18 days while authorities investigated the allegations of Frantz Philistin, a Haitian man whose infant son was treated at a hospital in Petionville in February.
    (AP, 12/30/10)
2010        Dec 29, Honduras and Mexico announced they have agreed to create a high-level group to combat attacks on undocumented Honduran migrants who are passing through the country en route to the United States.
    (AP, 12/29/10)
2010        Dec 29, A payments dispute between India and Iran escalated after Tehran refused to sell oil to India under New Delhi's prohibitive new rules. Last week, the Reserve Bank of India said deals with Iran must be settled outside the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) system, used by central banks of member nations to settle bilateral trades.
    (Reuters, 12/30/10)
2010        Dec 29, In Iraq 3 al-Qaida suicide bombers attacked a police building in Mosul, leveling the building and killing Lt. Col. Shamil al-Jabouri, the city's top commander. He had escaped at least five previous assassination attempts. On of the suicide bombers was shot dead before setting off his explosives belt.
    (AP, 12/29/10)
2010        Dec 29, In Mexico gunmen believed to be linked to drug cartels killed 4 police officers and a doctor in apparently coordinated attacks in and around the northern city of Monterrey. Six people were found dead in the southern state of Guerrero.
    (AP, 12/30/10)
2010        Dec 29, Igor Luksic (b.1976) took office as prime minister of Montenegro.
    (Econ, 6/16/12, p.63)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Luk%C5%A1i%C4%87)
2010        Dec 29, In southern Nigeria 2 bombs exploded during a political rally in Yenegoa, Bayelsa state. No one was killed but a number of people were taken to hospital with injuries. Suspected Islamists killed 8 people, including 3 policemen, in five separate attacks in the northern city of Maiduguri.
    (Reuters, 12/29/10)(AFP, 12/30/10)
2010        Dec 29, In Northern Ireland frustration and fears of disease mounted as 36,000 people were left without water, some for more than a week, after a deep freeze and a sudden thaw caused aging pipes to burst.
    (AP, 12/29/10)
2010        Dec 29, Pakistan's US-allied ruling party scrambled to keep its fragile coalition government in power as its senior leaders met with two dissident political partners, urging them to rejoin the Cabinet.
    (AP, 12/29/10) 
2010        Dec 29, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas traveled to Brazil to lay the symbolic foundation stone of a Palestinian embassy in Brasilia.
    (AFP, 12/29/10)
2010        Dec 29, In the Philippines a gift-wrapped grenade exploded and killed a woman (31) when she opened the package inside her house in an upscale neighborhood of Manila.
    (AP, 12/29/10)
2010        Dec 29, A Russian a court ordered 3 men to be them held in custody at least until the end of the week. Investigators had arrested two men and Andrei Chernyshev, a government official, who is believed to have ordered the November attack and brutal beating of environmental activist Konstantin Fetisov.
    (AP, 12/29/10)
2010        Dec 29, Spain's government formally launched the privatization of air traffic control in 13 airports, just weeks after clamping down on a wildcat strike by controllers.
    (AFP, 12/29/10)
2010        Dec 29, Sudan demanded a detailed UN audit on a program to rehabilitate ex-civil war soldiers following charges that millions of dollars have been embezzled or mismanaged.
    (AFP, 12/29/10)
2010        Dec 29, The UAE embassy in Ottawa said on its website that Canadians would be charged $250 for a 30-day single entry visa while a six-month multiple entry visa would cost $1000, with a maximum stay of 14 days during each visit. Tensions have risen between the two countries since Canada denied expanded landing rights for UAE airlines flying to Canada. That triggered a UAE government decision to end access to a military base used by the Canadian military to support troops in Afghanistan.
    (Reuters, 12/29/10)

2011        Dec 29, The Obama administration announced an arms deal with Saudi Arabia valued at nearly $30 billion. It included 84 F-15 fighter jets.
    (SFC, 12/30/11, p.A5)
2011        Dec 29, The California Supreme Court handed down a decision to dissolve redevelopment agencies across the state.
    (Fog Cutter, Spring, 2012, p.2)
2011        Dec 29, Minnesota based Sunrise Community Banks apologized for shutting the accounts of money transfer shops handling Somalia-related business. It called for unspecified government remedies to allow them to continue the business. The association of three banks, announced in early December that it would close the accounts of a dozen or so money transfer shops serving an estimated 30,000 Somalis in the region.
    (AFP, 12/30/11)
2011        Dec 29, Crawford Shaw, of Bedford, NY, claimed a multimillion dollar Iowa Lottery prize on behalf of a trust, less than two hours before it expired. He later identified the recipient only as a corporation in the country of Belize. On Jan 26, Shaw withdrew his claim on the prize just as mysteriously as he has made it. The payout for the prize would have been $7.5 million cash, or $10.3 million spread over 25 years after taxes.
    (AP, 1/27/12)
2011        Dec 29, Virginia Republican Gov. Robert McDonnell signed off on state rules to regulate abortion clinics like hospitals.
    (SFC, 12/30/11, p.A8)
2011        Dec 29, Verizon said it will start charging a $2 “convenience fee" for every payment subscribers make over the phone or online services with their credit cards, effective Jan 15. Verizon retracted the decision the next day following a storm of criticism.
    (SFC, 12/30/11, p.C2)(Reuters, 12/30/11)
2011        Dec 29, A man dressed in Afghan army fatigues shot dead two French soldiers. The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the soldier joined the army in order to carry out his attack in Kapisa province. A roadside bomb killed 10 Afghan police returning from a recruitment center in Helmand province. Another roadside bombing killed a local police commander in the southern province of Kandahar.
    (AFP, 12/29/11)(AFP, 12/30/11)
2011        Dec 29, Reynaldo Bignone (85), Argentina's last dictator (1982-83), was convicted of more crimes against humanity, this time getting 15 years in prison for setting up a secret torture center inside a hospital during the 1976 military coup. Also convicted were SWAT team leader Luis Muina (57), and a former air force brigadier, Hipolito Rafael Mariani (85).
    (AP, 12/30/11)
2011        Dec 29, China executed 12 people today, including a man who bombed a local tax office. Liu Zhuiheng had been convicted and sentenced to death for detonating explosives outside a tax office in Changsha city in Hunan province in July, 2010. The attack left 4 people killed and 17 others wounded.
    (AP, 12/29/11)
2011        Dec 29, Egyptian soldiers and police stormed non-governmental organization offices throughout the country, banning employees inside from leaving while they interrogated them and searched through computer files. At least 18 offices were targeted in the raid. A court acquitted five policemen of charges of killing five protesters and wounding six others during the 18-day uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak's longtime regime.
    (AP, 12/29/11)
2011        Dec 29, In Indonesia a mob led by Sunni fanatics torched Shia property in eastern Java. Local police did nothing to protect the minority Shias.
    (Econ, 1/21/12, p.52)
2011        Dec 29, In Iran a website belonging to Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who has criticized the current regime, was shut down.
    (AFP, 12/30/11)
2011        Dec 29, Italian PM Mario Monti announced a series of measures designed to relaunch the country’s struggling economy.
    (SFC, 12/30/11, p.A7)
2011        Dec 29, Jamaica held parliamentary elections. The candidate of the ruling center-right Jamaica Labor Party, Andrew Holness (39), was the youngest prime minister in Jamaica's history. The top opposition candidate, Portia Simpson Miller (66) has been a stalwart of the People's National Party since the 1970s. Voters threw out the ruling party and delivered a landslide triumph to the opposition People's National Party (PNP), whose campaign energetically tapped voter disillusionment especially among the numerous struggling poor.
    (AP, 12/29/11)
2011        Dec 29, Kenyan troops clashed with Somalia's Al-Qaeda linked Shebab militants leaving several dead, the latest casualties in weeks of dragging conflict in southern Somalia.
    (AFP, 12/30/11)
2011        Dec 29, In Myanmar a fire followed by several explosions engulfed many state warehouses and neighboring homes, killing at least 16 people and injuring 108 in the main city of Yangon.
    (AP, 12/29/11)
2011        Dec 29, North Korea's power brokers publicly declared Kim Jong Un the country's supreme leader for the first time at a massive public memorial for his father, cementing the family's hold on power for another generation.
    (AP, 12/29/11)
2011        Dec 29, In southwestern Pakistan gunmen killed police Surgeon Baqir Shah in Quetta. He had received threats for his role in investigating the deaths of five foreigners at the hands of security forces earlier this year.
    (AP, 12/29/11)
2011        Dec 29, Palestinian militants fired two rockets at southern Israel, after Israeli warplanes attacked "terror sites" overnight inside the Gaza Strip.
    (AFP, 12/29/11)
2011        Dec 29, In Puerto Rico FBI agent Daniel Knapp (43) drowned after trying to rescue a swimmer in distress at Hidden Beach in the coastal city of Fajardo.
    (AP, 12/30/11)
2011        Dec 29, At midnight Samoa leaped to Dec 31 to align itself with trading partners in its South Pacific region. For the country’s 186,000 citizens, Dec 30 will simply not exist.
    (SFC, 12/29/11, p.A2)
2011        Dec 29, Industry sources said Saudi Arabia's state oil company Aramco was seeking to buy fuel in order to donate about 500,000 tons of products to Yemen in January.
    (Reuters, 12/31/11)
2011        Dec 29, In Somalia a disgruntled former employee shot at least two international workers from the aid group Doctors Without Borders at the group's office in Mogadishu. Philippe Havet (53) from Belgium and Andrias Karel Keiluhu (44) from Indonesia were killed.
    (AP, 12/29/11)(AP, 12/30/11)
2011        Dec 29, Sudanese air raids killed 17 people in the South Sudan border state of Western Bahr al-Ghazal, the second day of stepped-up bombing along the northern frontier.
    (AFP, 12/29/11)
2011        Dec 29, Syrian security forces opened fire on tens of thousands protesting outside a mosque in a Damascus suburb, close to a municipal building that members of the Arab League monitoring mission were visiting. Activists said at least four people were killed. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a total of 16 people have been shot by security forces and killed so far today, most of them in several suburbs of Damascus.
    (AP, 12/29/11)
2011        Dec 29, In Venezuela a PDVSA tanker truck filled with gasoline crashed and burst into flames, engulfing several cars and a bus. 15 people were killed.
    (AP, 12/29/11)(Econ, 2/18/12, p.38)
2011        Dec 29, In Yemen fellow security officers shot and killed one of the protesting officers in Sanaa. Five others were wounded when forces attempted to clear out a sit-in by several hundred police at their barracks. The police were demanding the removal of top Interior Ministry officials whom they accuse of corruption and ties to Saleh's regime.
    (AP, 12/30/11)

2012        Dec 29, Maine’s same-sex marriage law went into effect.
    (SSFC, 12/30/12, p.A9)
2012        Dec 29, In Maine James Pak (74) was arrested in the shooting deaths of two tenants inside an apartment he rented out at his home in Biddefrod, possibly over a dispute about where they parked their cars during a snowstorm.
    (AP, 12/30/12)
2012        Dec 29, In Manhattan Morgan Gliedman (27) and her boyfriend, Aaron Greene (31), were arrested on weapons-possession charges after officers with a search warrant discovered a plastic container with 7 grams of HMTD, a highly explosive white powder used in bomb making. Authorities said they also found papers titled "The Terrorist Encyclopedia" in their Greenwich Village apartment.
    (AP, 12/31/12)
2012        Dec 29, Carl Woese (84), biophysicist and evolutionary microbiologist, died at his home in Urbana, Ill. His 1977 discovery of a “third domain" of life in the vast realm of micro-organisms altered scientific understanding of evolution.
    (http://tinyurl.com/bjkhfhw)
2012        Dec 29, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales nationalized the electricity distribution subsidiaries of the Spanish energy company Iberdrola in a public ceremony. Morales also announced the expropriation of an investment management company and a service provider belonging to the Spanish energy giant.
    (AP, 12/29/12)
2012        Dec 29, Central African Republic rebels continued their advance, seizing the city of Sibut, 185 km (114 miles) from Bangui.
    (AP, 12/30/12)
2012        Dec 29, An Egyptian security official said that thousands of tons of building materials such as cement and steel are crossing into the Palestinian Gaza Strip, which had previously been under a strict blockade.
    (AP, 12/29/12)
2012        Dec 29, Embattled French President Francois Hollande suffered a fresh setback when France's highest court threw out a plan to tax the ultrawealthy at a 75 percent rate, saying it was unfair. The court's ruling took issue not with the size of the tax, but with the way it discriminated between households depending on how incomes were distributed among its members.
    (AP, 12/29/12)
2012        Dec 29, Indian police charged six men with murder, adding to accusations that they beat and gang-raped a woman on a New Delhi bus on Dec 16 in a case that shocked the country. The victim "passed away peacefully" early today at Mount Elizabeth hospital in Singapore.
    (AP, 12/29/12)
2012        Dec 29, Pakistani authorities said they are investigating allegations that cough syrup has killed 33 people over the past three days in the eastern city of Gujranwala and nearby villages. An explosion ripped through a passenger bus while it was at a terminal in the southern city of Karachi, killing six people and wounding 52 others. Gunmen opened fire on a vehicle carrying police officers in the southwestern city of Quetta, killing three of them.
    (AP, 12/29/12)
2012        Dec 29, In Russia a Red Wings Tu-204 passenger airliner careered off the runway at Vnukovo Airport, on the outskirts of Moscow, broke into pieces and caught fire. Four of 8 people died in the crash and a 5th died the next day.
    (AP, 12/29/12)(AP, 12/30/12)
2012        Dec 29, In southeastern Yemen 2 gunmen on a motorbike shot and killed intelligence officer Mutea Baqutian as he on his way to work in Mukalla. Security officials said 3 al-Qaida militants were killed in a suspected US drone strike on the outskirts of Radda in Bayda province.
    (AP, 12/29/12)

2013        Dec 29, Bangladesh police barred opposition leader Khaleda Zia from leaving home to lead a banned march in protest at an upcoming election. Two people were killed in battles between her supporters and security forces.
    (AFP, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, Belgian police seized thousands of marijuana plants discovered by firefighters during an overnight blaze, but found no immediate trace of the growers.
    (AFP, 12/30/13)
2013        Dec 29, British police said they have arrested two men after a suspected arson attack last evening on the MS King Seaways, a ferry in the North Sea carrying more than 1,000 people from Newcastle in England to Amsterdam.
    (Reuters, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, In Cambodia tens of thousands of opposition supporters, backed by striking garment-factory workers, rallied to demand long-serving PM Hun Sen step down and call an election.
    (Reuters, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, In Central African Republic a medical charity said more than 100,000 people displaced by inter-religious violence are sheltering at a makeshift camp at Bangui airport.
    (Reuters, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, Chinese police seized nearly three metric tons (3.3 tons) of the drug crystal methamphetamine and arrested 182 people in raids on Boshe village, Guangdong province, notorious for producing narcotics.
    (Reuters, 1/2/14)(SFC, 1/4/14, p.A2)
2013        Dec 29, Egyptian authorities arrested four Al Jazeera journalists after the Interior Ministry accused the Qatar-based channel of broadcasting illegally from a hotel suite with a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
    (AFP, 12/30/13)
2013        Dec 29, In Egypt a bomb exploded outside a military intelligence building northeast of Cairo, wounding four people and damaging the structure as protests and security scares roil the country just weeks before a key vote.
    (AP, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, El Salvador authorities evacuated an area around the Chaparrastique volcano after the peak shot a cloud of gas and ash about 3 miles (5 km) into the air.
    (AP, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, French President Francois Hollande arrived in Saudi Arabia for a visit aimed at boosting prospects of commercial cooperation between the countries and addressing escalating tensions in the Middle East.
    (AFP, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, France's Constitutional Council gave the green light on to a 'millionaire's tax', to be levied on companies that pay salaries of more than 1 million euros ($1.38 million) a year.
    (Reuters, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, In Iraq a drive-by shooting and a bomb killed at least six people.
    (AP, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, Israel's cabinet approved a Finance Ministry proposal to tighten spending limits on the government's budget starting in 2015.
    (Reuters, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, The Israeli military fired a barrage of shells into southern Lebanon in retaliation after five Katyusha-style rockets were launched against the Jewish state. The attacks struck uninhabited areas of both Israel and Lebanon without causing any casualties or damage.
    (AFP, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, In Jordan the criminal court in Amman sentenced two Jordanian men, aged 20 and 23, to death for killing their sister in June "to cleanse the family’s honour."
    (AFP, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman said Saudi Arabia is giving the Lebanese army $3 billion to buy equipment from France, calling it the largest grant ever given to the country's armed forces.
    (Reuters, 12/29/13)(SSFC, 1/5/14, p.A5)
2013        Dec 29, In Nigeria suspected Islamic extremists killed four people in the Christian Kwajffa village, Borno state.
    (AP, 12/30/13)
2013        Dec 29, The Gaza Strip's only power plant returned to life after Israel resumed fuel deliveries.
    (AFP, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, In Poland Wojciech Kilar (b.1932), pianist and composer of classical music and scores for many films, including Roman Polanski's Oscar-winning "The Pianist" (2002) and Francis Ford Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992), died in his hometown of Katowice.
    (AP, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, In southern Russia 18 people were killed and scores were wounded as a female suicide bomber struck at a railway station in Volgograd, heightening concern about terrorism ahead of February's Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
    (AP, 12/29/13)(Reuters, 12/30/13)
2013        Dec 29, South Sudan's army fought with "White Army" ethnic militia, accusing rebels of mobilizing the force despite its offer of a truce to end the conflict in the new country.
    (Reuters, 12/30/13)
2013        Dec 29, In eastern Syria at least 19 rebels were killed in clashes for control of Deir Ezzor military air base. The government evacuated some 5,000 people from an embattled industrial town near Damascus where al-Qaida-linked rebels have been battling government troops for more than two weeks.
    (AFP, 12/29/13)(AP, 12/30/13)
2013        Dec 29, A Tanzanian official said the country has been hit by a sharp upsurge in poaching, with at least 60 elephants killed in the two months since the government was forced to halt a controversial crackdown.
    (AFP, 12/30/13)
2013        Dec 29, Tunisian police arrested seven Salafists in the western town of Kasserine, as authorities feared radical Islamists may be planning attacks during New Year celebrations.
    (Reuters, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, In Ukraine some 20,000 people protested in Kiev, maintaining more than a month of rallies opposing the government's decision to shelve a key deal with the European Union.
    (AP, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, In Yemen a Sanaa court sentenced to death Ahmad Kadiri Ahmad Turki, a Yemeni Al-Qaeda suspect, for his role in a deadly attack on a security headquarters in Aden in 2011.
    (AFP, 12/29/13)
2013        Dec 29, The United Nations said that it has completed the first aid airlift from Iraq to Syria, providing much-needed supplies to a difficult-to-access region of the war-torn country.
    (AFP, 12/29/13)

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