Today in History - January 31
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For Asian History http://www.asiaobserver.org/2019/01/31
Jan 31, Pope Innocent II authorized Bishop Henry of Moravia to
preach Catholicism in Prussia.
1560 Jan 31, Spanish king
Philip II married Elisabeth de Valois.
1573 Jan 31, Giulio Cesare
Monteverdi, composer, was born.
1606 Jan 31, Guy Fawkes (35), convicted for
his part in the "Gunpowder Plot" against the English Parliament and
King James I, was hanged, drawn and quartered.
(AP, 1/31/98)(HN, 1/31/99)
1620 Jan 31, Virginia
colony leaders wrote to the Virginia Company in England, asking for
more orphaned apprentices for employment.
1675 Jan 31, Cornelia Dina
Olfaarts was found not guilty of witchcraft.
1679 Jan 31, Jean-Baptiste
Lully's opera "Bellerophon" premiered in Paris.
1696 Jan 31, An uprising of
undertakers took place after funeral reforms in Amsterdam.
1734 Jan 31, Julien-Amable
Mathieu, composer, was born.
1734 Jan 31, Robert
Morris, Declaration of Independence signer, was born.
1759 Jan 31, Francois Devienne,
composer, was born.
1788 Jan 31, Charles
Edward Stuart (67), The Young Pretender, died.
(HN, 1/31/99)(MC, 1/31/02)
1797 Jan 31, Franz
Schubert, Austrian composer, was born in Lichtenthal, Austria. His
works included the C Major Symphony and The Unfinished Symphony.
(SFEC, 1/5/97, p.B11)(AP, 1/31/98)(HN,
1804 Jan 31, British
vice-admiral William Bligh (of HMS Bounty infamy) fleet reached
1828 Jan 31, Alexandros
Ypsilanti (35), Greek resistance fighter, died.
1835 Jan 31, Richard Lawrence
misfired at President Andrew Jackson (aka 'Old Hickory') at the
White House. Lawrence fired 2 pistols at Pres. Andrew Jackson during
funeral services for Rep. Warren Davis. Jackson wasn’t hit and
Lawrence, who thought he was the king of England and that Jackson
owed him money, was found to be insane.
(SFC, 7/25/98, p.A6)(HN, 1/31/99)(SFC, 2/5/00,
1851 Jan 31, Gail Borden
announced the invention of evaporated milk.
1863 Jan 31, The 1st South
Carolina Volunteers, later called the 33rd U.S. Colored Troops was
officially recognized. Components of the regiment had been in
training since early 1962.
(Smith., 4/95, p.14)(MC, 1/31/02)
1865 Jan 31, The House of
Representatives approved a constitutional amendment (121-24)
abolishing slavery. It would become the 13th amendment to the US
Constitution. It was ratified on December 6.
1865 Jan 31, Gen. Robert
E. Lee was named general-in-chief of the Confederate armies.
1868 Jan 31, Theodore William
Richards (d.1928), chemist (atomic weights, Nobel-1914), was born.
(WUD, 1994 p.1231)(MC, 1/31/02)
1872 Jan 31, Zane Grey,
American West novelist (Riders of the Purple Sage), was born.
1874 Jan 31, Jesse James gang
robbed a train at Gads Hill, Missouri.
1882 Jan 31, Anna Pavlova,
ballerina, choreographer, was born in St. Petersburg, Russia.
1884 Jan 31, In San Francisco
men under city Park Commissioner Frank Pixley, reinforced by police,
demolished the Mooneysville shantytown at Ocean Beach.
(SFC, 6/24/17, p.C2)
1891 Jan 31, Jean-Louis-Ernest
Meissonier (b.1815), French academic painter, died. His painting
“Friedland, 1807,” begun in 1863, was completed in 1875.
1895 Jan 31, Jose Marti and
others left NYC for invasion of Spanish Cuba.
1900 Jan 31, Scottish peer Sir
John Sholto Douglas (56), 8th Marquis of Queensberry, died. He
supervised the formulation by John Graham chambers of the rules of
boxing, which became known as the Queensberry Rules. In 1895 Irish
writer Oscar Wilde had unsuccessfully sued the Marquis for libel
following allegations of a homosexual relationship with
Queensberry’s son Lord Alfred Douglas, allegations which ultimately
led to Wilde’s imprisonment in Reading Gaol, England.
(HC, 2003, p.64)
1901 Jan 31, Chekhov's "Three
Sisters" opened at Moscow Art Theater.
1902 Jan 31, In the US it was
tax freedom day, the day by which citizens met their financial
obligations to the government. By 1999 it had shifted to May 10.
(SFEC, 4/18/99, BR p.7)
1902 Jan 31, A French soccer
team played in England for the first time: Paris lost, 4-0, to
(HC, 2003, p.64)
1905 Jan 31, John O'Hara,
novelist (Appointment at Samarra), was born in Pottsville, Penn.
(SSFC, 8/31/03, p.M2)
1906 Jan 31, A magnitude 8.8
quake off the coast of Ecuador and Colombia. It generated a tsunami
that killed at least 500 people.
1911 Jan 31, The German
Reichstag exempted royal families from tax obligations.
1915 Jan 31, Thomas Merton
(d.1968), French Trappist monk, poet, essayist , was born. “A
happiness that is sought for ourselves alone can never be found; for
a happiness that is diminished by being shared is not big enough to
make us happy.”
(AP, 4/17/01)(MC, 1/31/02)
1915 Jan 31, Germans
used poison gas for the 1st time on the Russians at Bolimov.
(HN, 1/31/99)(MC, 1/31/02)
1915 Jan 31, German
U-boats sank two British steamers in the English Channel.
1916 Jan 31, President
Woodrow Wilson refused the compromise on Lusitania reparations.
1917 Jan 31, Germany
resumed unlimited sub warfare, saying that all neutral ships that
are in the war zone would be attacked.
(AP, 1/31/98)(HN, 1/31/99)
1919 Jan 31, Jackie
Robinson, first black major league baseball player, was born.
1921 Jan 31, Carol Channing,
actress (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Hello Dolly), was born.
1921 Jan 31, Mario Lanza
(d.1959), actor, singer (Great Caruso, Toast of New Orleans), was
born in Philadelphia.
1923 Jan 31, Norman Mailer
(d.2007), NYC mayoral candidate, novelist (Naked and the Dead), was
born in NJ. In 1999 Mary V. Dearborn published "Norman Mailer: A
(SFEC, 12/26/99, BR p.7)(SSFC, 11/11/07, p.A7)
1925 Jan 31, Benjamin
Hooks, civil rights leader, was born.
1926 Jan 31, Jean Simmons,
actress (Thorn Birds, Guys and Dolls), was born in London, England.
1926 Jan 31, Nahdlatul Ulama
(NU) was established by Wahab Chasbullah with support from Hasyim
Asy'ari, the most respected Muslim scholar in East Java. By 2010 NU
was one of the largest independent Islamic organizations in the
1928 Jan 31, Scotch tape was
1st marketed by 3-M Company.
1929 Jan 31, Leon Trotsky was
expelled from Russia to Turkey.
(WSJ, 2/29/96, p. A-14)(MC, 1/31/02)
1931 Jan 31, Leonarde Keeler
(1904-1949) was awarded a patent for his Keeler Polygraph, a device
for lie detection. In 2007 Ken Alder authored “The Lie Detectors:
The History of an American Obsession.”
1934 Jan 31, President
Roosevelt devalued the dollar in relation to gold. He raised the
price of gold to $35. The United States Gold Reserve Act required
that all gold and gold certificates held by the Federal Reserve be
surrendered and vested in the sole title of the United States
Department of the Treasury.
(AP, 1/31/00)(WSJ, 11/9/00,
1934 Jan 31, President
Roosevelt signed the Farm Mortgage Refinancing Act.
(SSFC, 1/18/09, p.D6)
1935 Jan 31, The San Francisco
emergency relief committed said there are 80,491 people on relief.
20,000 were employed, 10,000 were on direct relief and 550 were
(SSFC, 1/31/10, DB p.42)
1935 Jan 31, The Soviet
premier told Japan to get out of Manchuria.
1938 Jan 31, James G. Watt, US
Secretary of Interior (1981-83), was born in Colorado.
1939 Jan 31, In Poland Renia
Spiegel, a Jewish teenager, began writing a diary and continued
until she killed at age 18 by Nazi soldiers in 1942. Her 700-page
diary survived and was published as "Renia's Diary" in 2019.
(SFC, 9/25/19, p.A3)
1943 Jan 31, Chile broke
contact with Germany and Japan.
1943 Jan 31, The Battle
of Stalingrad ended as small groups of German soldiers of the Sixth
Army under Gen Friedrich von Paulus surrendered to the victorious
Red Army forces.
(HN, 1/31/99)(MC, 1/31/02)
1944 Jan 31, Operation Overlord
(D-Day) was postponed until June.
1944 Jan 31, During
World War II, U.S. forces under Vice Adm. Spruance began invading
Kwajalein Atoll and other parts of the Japanese-held Marshall
(AP, 1/31/98)(HN, 1/31/99)
1944 Jan 31, U-592 sank off
1945 Jan 31, Private
Eddie Slovik (b.1920) became the only US soldier since the Civil War
to be executed for desertion, as he was shot by an American firing
squad near the village of Ste-Marie aux Mines, France. In 1954
William Bradford authored “The Execution of Private Slovik.” In 1987
Slovik’s body was exhumed and returned to Detroit, Mi., his
(AP, 1/31/04)(SSFC, 7/8/12, DB p.42)
1949 Jan 31, The first
TV daytime soap opera, "These Are My Children," was broadcast from
the NBC station in Chicago.
1950 Jan 31, President
Truman announced that he had ordered full-speed development of the
(TMC, 1994, p.1950)(AP, 1/31/98)
1950 Jan 31, Paris
protested the Soviet recognition of Ho Chi Minh's Democratic
Republic of Vietnam.
1953 Jan 31-1953 Feb 1, A
powerful storm breached sea dikes in the south of the Netherlands,
killing more than 1,800 people and cementing a deep resolve among
the Dutch that their ancient enemy, water, would never kill again.
307 people died in eastern England.
1954 Jan 31, Edwin H. Armstrong
(d.1890), US radio inventor of frequency modulation (FM), committed
(www.britannica.com)(SSFC, 10/24/04, Par p.5)
1955 Jan 31, A document thus
dated stated that Yuri Rastvorov, a Soviet defector, told Eisenhower
administration officials in a private Jan 28 meeting that US and
other UN POWs were held in Siberia during the 1950-1953 Korean War.
(SFEC, 5/5/96, World p.1)
1955 Jan 31, RCA chairman David
Sarnoff announced the Mark I music synthesizer. Harry Olson
and Belar, both working for RCA, invented the Electronic Music
Synthesizer (aka the Olson-Belar Sound Synthesizer). This synth used
sawtooth waves that were filtered for other types of timbres. (It is
rumored to have been built for the artificial creation of human
speech) This synth became the RCA Electronic Music Synthesizer Mark
1956 Jan 31, Brazil’s Pres.
Juscelino Kubitschek (1902-1976) took office. He vowed to modernize
the country and made economic growth his main goal.
1956 Jan 31, British author
A.A. Milne (74), creator of "Winnie-the-Pooh," died. He left the
rights to the honey-loving bear to five beneficiaries that included
the Garrick Club, Westminster School, The Royal Literary Fund, his
own family and illustrator E.H. Shepard.
(SFEC, 8/16/98, p.A20)(AP, 1/31/06)
1957 Jan 31, In Japan Nobosuke
Kishi was voted in as acting prime minister following the
resignation of the ailing Tanzan Ishibashi.
1958 Jan 31, Explorer 1,
the first successful US satellite, was launched by a Jupiter-C
rocket and the United States entered the Space Age. It discovered
the "Van Allen radiation belts" around Earth named after James Van
Allen. Radio signals from the transmitter aboard the 30.8 pound
satellite were picked up in California within a few minutes after
the launch. Two months earlier, the first attempt to launch a
satellite had failed.
(SFEC, 9/28/97, p.A14)(AP, 1/31/98)(SFC,
1961 Jan 31, In South Carolina
10 black men were arrested for ordering lunch from a whites-only
counter at McCrory’s variety store in Greensboro. One man paid a
fine and the rest became known as the “Friendship Nine.” In 2015
prosecutors sought to vacate their arrests and convictions.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendship_Nine)(SFC, 1/28/15, p.A10)
1961 Jan 31, Chimpanzee Ham
landed safely and became the 1st primate in space after a 16 minute
flight aboard a Mercury-Redstone 2 rocket.
(AH, 2/06, p.14)
1962 Jan 31, At the Eighth
Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OAS,
held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, ministers suspended Cuba’s
1964 Jan 31, A US report,
"Smoking & Health," connected smoking to lung cancer.
1966 Jan 31, U.S. planes
resumed bombing of North Vietnam after a 37-day pause.
1966 Jan 31, The Soviets
launched Luna 9, the first spacecraft to land softly on the moon.
(HC, 2003, p.64)
1968 Jan 31, In Vietnam, the
Tet Offensive continued as Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers
attacked strategic and civilian locations throughout South Vietnam.
The Viet Cong, under General Vo Nguyen Giap (b.1911), seized part of
the US embassy in Saigon for 6 hours. They attacked more than 100
cities in South Vietnam with many US casualties. Although the
Communists were beaten back, the offensive was seen as a major
setback for the US and its allies. During the Tet Offensive, the
Communist troops who took control of the ancient capital of Hue
killed an estimated 6,000 civilians before they again lost control
of the city.
1969 Jan 31, Allan Sheffield
hijacked a DC-8 from San Francisco to Cuba; he says he is "tired of
TV dinners and tired of seeing people starve in the world.”
1971 Jan 31, Astronauts
Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell and Stuart A. Roosa blasted
off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.
1972 Jan 31, Howard Barlow
(b.1892), American radio pioneer and CBS music director (1927-1943),
died. In 1943 He moved to NBC to become conductor of the
long-running Voice of Firestone.
1974 Jan 31, Samuel Goldwyn
(b.1879), Polish-born US film magnate (MGM), died.
1974 Jan 31, Gold hit a record
high of $195.5 an ounce.
1975 Jan 31, The 1974 song
"Mandy" by Barry Manilow (b.1943 as Barry Alan Pincus) went gold.
1976 Jan 31, Ernesto
Miranda, famous from the Supreme Court ruling on "Miranda Rights,"
was stabbed to death in Arizona.
1980 Jan 31, In Guatemala the
Spanish Embassy was attacked and 37 people were killed. The dead
included the father of Rigoberta Menchu, who later filed charges in
Spain against Rios Montt, 5 Guatemalan generals and 2 civilians for
war crimes. Peasant, labor and student activists had taken over the
Spanish Embassy in Guatemala City to protest the rule of Pres. Lucas
1981 Jan 31, Lech Walesa
announced an accord in Poland, giving labor Saturdays off.
1986 Jan 31, Following weeks of
unrest, White House spokesman Larry Speakes announced the collapse
of the Duvalier government, a report that was later denied by
Haitian and US officials.
1987 Jan 31, Discount airline
pioneer People Express flew its last flights before merging into
1988 Jan 31, The
Washington Redskins beat the Denver Broncos, 42-10, to win Super
Bowl XXII at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego.
1988 Jan 31, Robert Mishell, UC
Berkeley immunologist, and his wife were bludgeoned at their home by
Enrique Zambrano, a waterfront commissioner, who had built them a
deck 3 years earlier. Zambrano was arrested after Luis Reyna, a UC
administrative assistant, informed police that Zambrano had
confessed the crime to him. Zambrano was released on bail and hours
later Reyna vanished. Reyna’s headless body was found a week later
in the Lafayette hills. Zambrano, arrested in 1989 in Palm Springs,
was later convicted and sentenced to death.
(SFC, 4/5/08, p.B3)
1989 Jan 31, Jury
selection began in the trial of former National Security Council
aide Oliver North, charged in connection with the Iran-Contra
affair. He was later convicted on three counts, but those
convictions were set aside, and the case was not retried.
1989 Jan 31, Jack Douglas
(b.1908), humorist and comedy writer, died. His several books
included “My Brother Was an Only Child” (1960), “Never Trust a Naked
Bus Driver” (1960), and “Rubber Duck” (1979).
1990 Jan 31, McDonald's
Corp. opened its first fast-food restaurant in Moscow.
1991 Jan 31, During the Gulf
War, Army Specialist Melissa Rathbun-Nealy and Army Specialist David
Lockett were captured by Iraqi forces near the Kuwaiti-Saudi border;
both were eventually released. Allied forces claimed victory against
Iraqi attackers at Khafji, Saudi Arabia.
1992 Jan 31, Leaders of the
U.N. Security Council's member states held an unprecedented summit,
after which they issued a declaration on collective security, arms
control and nuclear non-proliferation.
1993 Jan 31, The Dallas
Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII, played
at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
1993 Jan 31, A gamma ray
burst that exceeded the NASA's detector capability for measurement
took place on the same day as the football Super Bowl.
(SFC, 1/28/97, p.E1)(NH, 6/97, p.79)
1994 Jan 31, Barcelona opera
theater "Gran Teatro del Liceo" burned down.
1994 Jan 31, In Somalia,
a convoy of U.S. soldiers opened fire on hundreds of Somali
civilians outside a food distribution center, killing at least
1994 Jan 31, Sinn Fein
president Gerry Adams arrived in New York after being granted a
48-hour visa so that he could take part in a conference on Northern
1995 Jan 31, President Clinton
scrapped a $40 billion rescue plan for Mexico, announcing instead
that he would act unilaterally to provide Mexico with $20 billion
from a fund normally used to defend the U.S. dollar.
1995 Jan 31, The Mt. Calvary
Baptist Church in Hardeman Co., Tenn., burned down. Arson was
suspected and investigations by the FBI and ATF were later begun.
(SFC, 6/11/96, p.A16)
1995 Jan 31, George Abbott
(b.1887), legendary Broadway producer-director, died in Miami Beach,
Florida, at age 107.
1996 Jan 31, The last Cubans
held in refugee camps at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base boarded a plane
1996 Jan 31, Japanese
astronomer, Hyakutake, first sighted the comet that now bears his
name. It came to within ten-million miles of the Earth on its
closest approach on Mar 26. Later analysis showed that the comet
contained about 50 million tons of frozen ethane or about 1% of its
(Nat. Hist., 4/96, p.62)(SFC, 5/31/96, A4)
1996 Jan. 31, In Sri Lanka an
explosive-packed truck crashed into the Central Bank in Colombo and
killed at least 55 and injured at least 1400 people. The Tamil
Tigers rebel group were blamed. They had been fighting for
independence for 12 years. A Tiger suicide bomber blew up the
Central Bank and killed almost 100 people. The bombing killed 88 and
injured 1,400. After 73 people were killed in the Central Bank
bombing the US declared the Tamil Tigers a terrorist organization.
(WSJ, 2/1/96, p.A-1) (SFC, 7/24/96,
p.A9)(SFC,10/15/97, p.C4)(SFC, 3/11/00, p.A10)
1996 Jan 31, In Switzerland 5
people died in the Bernese Alps when their hot air balloon crashed
into a mountainside at a height of 2,400 meters.
1997 Jan 31, Three days
of deliberations in the O.J. Simpson civil trial in Santa Monica,
Calif., were scrapped after the only black woman on the panel was
replaced because of misconduct. The jury started over.
1997 Jan 31, A US
federal judge sentenced cocaine lord Juan Garcia Abrega to serve 11
life terms and to pay fines totaling more than $128 million. The
penalties also allowed the US government to seize $350 million in
(SFC, 2/1/97, p.A3)
1997 Jan 31, In Liberia
this was the deadline for some 14,000 rebels to hand in their
(SFC, 1/30/97, p.A9)
1997 Jan 31, In
Madagascar a constitutional court said that Didier Ratsiraka edged
out Albert Zafy in last year's elections.
(SFC, 2/1/97, p.C1)
1997 Jan 31, In Vietnam
a Communist Party member and three associates were sentenced to
death after being convicted of bribery, embezzlement and gambling.
They were responsible for losses of $27 million at the state-run
Tamexco import-export company.
(SFC, 2/1/97, p.A13)
1998 Jan 31, The space
shuttle Endeavour returned from Mir with its crew of 7. Astronaut
David Wolf returned to Earth after four months on the Russian space
(SFEC, 2/1/98, p.A2)(AP, 1/31/99)
1998 Jan 31, In Japan
the XVIII Winter Olympic Games opened in Nagano.
(SFC, 2/4/98, p.C3)
1998 Jan 31, In Mexico,
three Indian villagers were found hanged in the Chiapas town of
Ocosingo. Also Antonio Gomez Flores, an Ocosingo peasant leader,
died when a truck smashed into his car as he left the funeral of
Rubicel Ruiz Gamboa.
(SFEC, 2/1/98, p.A22)
1999 Jan 31, In Florida the
Denver Broncos, led by quarterback John Elway, beat the Atlanta
Falcons 34-19 in Super Bowl XXXIII. There were 127.5 million viewers
for Fox Broadcasting.
(WSJ, 2/2/99, p.B7)
1999 Jan 31, Scientists from
the University of Alabama at Birmingham reported that the AIDS virus
originated from a subspecies of chimpanzee in western Africa and
that it jumped to humans in the last 50 years.
(SFC, 2/1/99, p.A1)(AP, 1/31/00)
1999 Jan 31, Kofi Annan called
on large corporations to enact and uphold standards of conduct for
themselves and sub-contractors for investments and operations in
(SFC, 2/1/99, p.A6)
1999 Jan 31, From Azerbaijan it
was reported that Vafa Gulkuzade, chief foreign affairs advisor, had
asserted that the country needed a military protector. He said
Turkish or American military bases would be welcomed.
(SFEC, 1/31/99, p.A20)
1999 Jan 31, Marshall Islands
foreign minister, Phillip Muller, said his government would seek a
rent increase from the US for the use of the Kwajalein Atoll.
(SFC, 3/8/99, p.A16)
1999 Jan 31, In Sierra Leone
rebels freed 11 Indian nationals abducted a week ago. The government
said that as many as 3,000-5000 people died during the fighting in
Freetown. The number of dead was raised to 6,350.
(WSJ, 2/1/99, p.A1)(SFC, 2/12/99, p.A8)(SFC,
2000 Jan 31, Atlanta Braves
pitcher John Rocker was suspended by baseball commissioner Bud Selig
for disparaging foreigners, homosexuals and minorities in a Sports
2000 Jan 31, Pro Bowl
linebacker Ray Lewis was charged with murder in the deaths of two
people outside an Atlanta nightclub hours after the Super Bowl.
Lewis ended his trial early by pleading guilty to obstruction of
justice; two co-defendants were acquitted at trial.
2000 Jan 31, The US persuaded
Puerto Rico to continue use of the Navy firing range off Vieques
Island with dummy bombs in exchange for $40 million. A vote by
islanders to approve live ammunition would bring Puerto Rico an
additional $50 million. A no vote would require clean up and a halt
to training by May 1, 2003.
(SFC, 2/1/00, p.A3)
2000 Jan 31, It was reported
that nitrogen-based fertilizers were likely suspects in the rapid
decline of the spotted frog in the Pacific Northwest.
(SFC, 1/31/00, p.A6)
2000 Jan 31, Alaska Airlines
Flight 261, an MD-83 jet with 88 people bound for Seattle from
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, crashed about 2.7 miles north of Anacapa
Island, Ca. There were no survivors. A stop had been scheduled in
2000 Jan 31, The European Union
warned Austria that its 14 members would diplomatically isolate
Austria if the Freedom Party of Joerg Haider entered into a
(SFC, 2/1/00, p.A10)
2000 Jan 31, In Indonesia a
government commission issued a report that accused the military and
militia surrogates of mass killing, torture, deportation and rape in
(SFC, 2/1/00, p.A10)
2000 Jan 31, In southern
Lebanon a Hezbollah rocket attack killed 3 Israeli soldiers.
(SFC, 2/3/00, p.A13)
2001 Jan 31, The US Federal
Reserve cut interest rates .5% to 5.5%.
(SFC, 2/1/01, p.A1)
2001 Jan 31, The state of
Georgia hoisted its new flag above its statehouse, one featuring a
smaller Confederate battle emblem.
2001 Jan 31, Gordon Dickson,
Science-fiction author of over 80 books, died at age 77 in
Richfield, Minn. His “Lost Dorsai” series spanned from 1400-2400AD.
(SFC, 2/3/01, p.A16)
2001 Jan 31, Michel Navratil,
one of the last known survivors of the sinking of the Titanic, died
in Montpellier, France, at age 92.
2001 Jan 31, Germany announced
plans to destroy 400,000 cattle due to the mad cow crises.
(SFC, 2/2/01, p.D4)
2001 Jan 31, In India the death
count from the Jan 26 earthquake reached 12,000 and an additional
13,000 were believed still buried.
(SFC, 2/1/01, p.A9)
2001 Jan 31, In the Netherlands
a Scottish court sentenced Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, a Libyan
intelligence officer, to life in a Scottish prison for the 1998
bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. A second Libyan was acquitted.
(SFC, 1/31/01, p.A11)(SFC, 2/1/01, p.A1)(WSJ,
2/1/01, p.A1)(AP, 12/19/03)
2002 Jan 31, The Bush
administration handed abortion opponents a symbolic victory,
classifying a developing fetus as an "unborn child" as a way of
extending prenatal care to low-income pregnant women under the State
Children's Health Insurance Program.
(SFC, 2/1/02, p.A1)(AP, 1/31/03)
2002 Jan 31, Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld said in a speech that the United States had to
prepare for potential surprise attacks "vastly more deadly" than the
Sept. 11 terrorist hijackings.
2002 Jan 31, Some 3,000
participants met at the 31st World Economic Forum in NYC at the
Waldorf-Astoria with scattered demonstrations outside.
(SFC, 1/31/02, p.A3)(SFC, 2/1/02, p.A10)
2002 Jan 31, Kentucky, cited by
the NCAA for more than three dozen recruiting violations, was placed
on three years' probation.
2002 Jan 31, The central US was
hit by a winter storm that left at least 15 dead.
(WSJ, 2/1/02, p.A1)
2002 Jan 31, It was reported
that the US and Kazakstan planned a joint venture to use a former
Soviet nuclear weapons plant to process uranium for power plants and
absorb atomic workers.
(WSJ, 1/31/02, p.A1)
2002 Jan 31, US troops began a
6-month exercise for Filipino soldiers on Zamboanga, who were
hunting Abu Sayyaf extremists.
(SFC, 2/1/02, p.A24)
2002 Jan 31, In Afghanistan
warlord Saifullah defeated troops under Padsha Khan Zadran in Gardez
and some 50 people were killed.
(SFC, 2/1/02, p.A24)
2002 Jan 31, Ecuador designated
a 557 sq-km (215 sq-mi) area in the Amazon rainforest the Cofan
Ecological Reserve. Field Museum scientists from Chicago assisted
Cofan Indians and Ecuadoran scientists by cataloging the species in
the area and declaring it to be the most biologically diverse
mountain range in the world.
(EB, 2002, p.11)
2002 Jan 31, In Indonesia the
number of people killed during two days of widespread flooding grew
to at least 33. Flooding in Jakarta eventually killed about 60
2002 Jan 31, An interview was
published in which Israeli PM Ariel Sharon said that he regrets that
Israel failed to take the opportunity to kill Palestinian leader
Yasir Arafat in Lebanon 20 years ago.
(EB, 2002, p.11)
2002 Jan 31, Crossair, a
regional carrier and successor airline to the bankrupt Swissair,
announced plans that will make it Europe's 4th largest international
airline, under the new name Swiss.
(EB, 2002, p.11)(Econ, 2/14/04, p.10)
2002 Jan 31, Zimbabwe enacted a
new media law that required local media people to be licensed and
restricted foreign reporters from working freely.
(SFC, 2/1/02, p.A15)
2003 Jan 31, President Bush and
British PM Tony Blair met at the White House; Bush said he would
welcome a second UN resolution on Iraq but only if it led to the
prompt disarming of Saddam Hussein. Pushing for a new resolution,
Blair called confronting Iraq "a test of the international
community." In 2006 British author Phillippe Sands said in a new
edition of his 2005 ”Lawless World” that Pres. Bush commented during
the 2003 meeting with Blair that the US intended to go to war even
if inspectors failed to find evidence of a banned weapons program.
(AP, 1/31/04)(AP, 2/3/06)
2003 Jan 31, A federal jury in
SF found Ed Rosenthal (58), a marijuana advocate, guilty of felony
conspiracy and cultivation charges. Judge Charles Breyer did not
allow testimony citing 1996 California state voter approval of
medical marijuana. On Feb 4 jurors claimed they were duped and
called for a new trial.
(SFC, 2/1/03, p.A1)(SFC, 2/5/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 31, In Afghanistan, a
bomb destroyed the Rambasi Bridge near Kandahar, and killed at least
15 people traveling by bus. Police blamed Taliban and al-Qaida
(AP, 1/31/03)(SFC, 1/31/03, p.A11)
2003 Jan 31, In Australia a
commuter train derailed south of Sydney and 9 people were killed.
2003 Jan 31, Top UN arms
inspectors said they would not agree to new talks in Baghdad unless
Iraq demonstrated more cooperation and met unspecified conditions.
2003 Jan 31, Israeli undercover
troops killed a fugitive Islamic militant and a Palestinian night
watchman in a two-hour gun battle at a Jenin firehouse.
(AP, 1/31/03)(SFC, 2/1/03, p.A11)
2003 Jan 31, In Mexico City
tens of thousands of farmers clogged main streets, demanding greater
protection against U.S. imports and seeking more government aid.
2003 Jan 31, A Russian cargo
plane crashed while landing in fog near an airport on East Timor's
north coast, killing all six people aboard.
2004 Jan 31, The Mars rover
Opportunity rolled off its landing pad onto the surface of Mars.
(SSFC, 2/1/04, p.A1)
2004 Jan 31, In Deh Rawood,
Afghanistan, a remote-controlled bomb, thought to have been planted
by Taliban or al-Qaida fighters, exploded as a southern Afghan mayor
and his family drove by, killing him and seven relatives.
2004 Jan 31, British Airways
and Air France announced the cancellation of seven flights to and
from the United States because of security concerns.
2004 Jan 31, China’s
oil-refining boss signed a deal to buy crude oil from Gabon. Pres.
Hu Jintao visited Gabon the next day.
(Econ, 2/7/04, p.45)
2004 Jan 31, Pres. Oscar Berger
said Guatemala will distribute 970 tons of food to some 77,000
people in a bid to alleviate hunger in poverty-stricken towns.
2004 Jan 31, In Iraq a car bomb
targeting a police station in Mosul killed nine people and injured
45 others, while three American soldiers died when a roadside bomb
ripped through their convoy near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.
2004 Jan 31, In southern
Scotland a fire broke out at nursing home, killing 10 residents and
injuring six others.
2005 Jan 31, US energy
officials said Enron Corp. made over $1.6 billion during the energy
crises in 11 Western states from Jan 16, 1997 to June 25, 2003.
(SFC, 2/1/05, p.E1)
2005 Jan 31, The US government
released a list of 17 new carcinogens that included X-rays, some
viruses and chemicals used in frying and grilling meat.
(SFC, 2/1/05, p.A1)
2005 Jan 31, Marsh &
McClennan Cos. reached an $850 million settlement of civil fraud
charges with NY state’s attorney Eliot Spitzer and the state
(WSJ, 1/31/05, p.C1)
2005 Jan 31, The Bond Market
Association (BMA) began displaying prices of municipal bond trades
within 15 minutes of completion. Real time for virtually all
corporate bond prices was expected by Feb 7.
(Econ, 2/5/05, p.70)
2005 Jan 31, Jury selection
began in Santa Maria, Calif., for Michael Jackson's child
molestation trial. Jackson was later acquitted.
2005 Jan 31, SBC Communications
Inc. announced it was acquiring AT&T Corp. for $16 billion.
2005 Jan 31, In Brazil leftist
activists opposed to the spread of American influence ended the
fifth World Social Forum with a protest against unfettered
capitalism and the war in Iraq.
2005 Jan 31, EU foreign
ministers agreed to restore normal diplomatic relations with the
Cuban government while pledging to increase contacts with critics of
Pres. Fidel Castro.
2005 Jan 31, in Egypt Ayman
al-Nur, the head of an opposition party, denounced his arrest on
forgery charges, telling a court it was a strike against political
reform, while human rights groups said the moves against him could
be a message to other opposition groups.
2005 Jan 31, France Telecom,
Europe's second-largest telecommunications operator, announced plans
to cut 8,000 jobs in 2005, mostly in France.
2005 Jan 31, Kamal Nath,
India’s Commerce and Industry Minister, said the Indian parliament
will shortly ratify new legislation protecting drug patents, paving
the way for the country to become a major pharmaceutical research
2005 Jan 31, A UN official said
nearly 800,000 people will need food aid in Indonesia's Aceh
province in the aftermath of the devastating Dec. 26 tsunami as the
country's death toll from the disaster jumped by 5,000 for the 2nd
day in a row. The overall death toll stood between 156,000 and
178,000 across 11 nations, with an estimated 26,500 to 142,000
missing, most of whom are presumed dead.
2005 Jan 31, Prime Minister
Ayad Allawi, Iraq's interim leader, called on his countrymen to set
aside their differences, while local precincts finished a
first-phase count of millions of ballots from the weekend election.
2005 Jan 31, US guards in
southern Iraq opened fire on prisoners during a riot at the
detention facility for security detainees at Umm Qasr, killing 4 of
them. 6 other prisoners were injured.
2005 Jan 31, Jewish settlers
and their supporters protested outside parliament for a 2nd day
against Israel's planned withdrawal from Palestinian territories.
Palestinian officials said a 10-year-old Palestinian girl was shot
and killed by Israeli tank fire at a UN school in the Rafah refugee
2005 Jan 31, Kuwaiti police
stormed several suspected terror hideouts, arresting a reputed
terror leader and sparking a gunbattle that killed five people,
including four of his followers.
2005 Jan 31, In Nigeria African
leaders pledged to send more peacekeeping troops to conflict zones,
especially the western Sudan region of Darfur, and to boost their
role in world affairs.
2005 Jan 31, A UN-appointed
commission accused the Sudanese government of gross, systematic
human rights violations in Darfur, but stopped short of labeling the
violence in the region as genocide.
2006 Jan 31, Pres. Bush in his
State of the Union address appeared to tone down his criticism of
North Korea and concerns over the growing competitiveness of China
and India. Bush had harsh words for Iran and the militant
Palestinian group Hamas and raised concerns over Indonesia. He also
defended the legality of his wiretaps program and called for the US
to quit its addiction to oil.
(AP, 2/1/06)(SFC, 2/1/06, p.A1)(WSJ, 2/1/06,
2006 Jan 31, The US Senate
confirmed Samuel Alito as the 110th Supreme Court justice. The 58-42
vote tilted the court rightward.
(WSJ, 2/1/06, p.A1)
2006 Jan 31, Alan Greenspan
(79) served the last day of his 18-year tenure as chairman of the US
Federal Reserve. At Greenspan's final meeting, the central bank
voted to boost its target for the federal funds rate to 4.5 percent.
It was the 14th quarter-point move in a credit-tightening campaign
that began 19 months ago. The US Senate approved Ben Bernanke (52),
Princeton Univ. prof. of economics, as chairman of the Federal
(SFC, 1/31/06, p.E1)(Econ, 9/3/05, p.63)(AP,
2006 Jan 31, In Arkansas Tom
Coughlin (57), a former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. vice chairman who was a
protege of founder Sam Walton, pleaded guilty to fraud and tax
charges, admitting that he stole money, gift cards and merchandise
from the world's largest retailer.
2006 Jan 31, In El Cerrito,
Ca., Edward Wycoff (37) stabbed and bludgeoned to death his sister
Julie Wycoff Rogers (47) and her husband Paul Rogers (48) at their
home 1467 Rifle Range Road. He had hoped to adopt his niece and
nephew after the killings. In 2009 Wycoff was convicted of murder
with special circumstances and was sentenced by a jury to die by
(SFC, 2/1/06, p.B3)(SFC, 10/28/09, p.D2)(SFC,
2006 Jan 31, In Texas opening
arguments began in the Enron trial against former Chairman Kenneth
Lay and former Pres. Jeffrey Skilling.
(WSJ, 1/31/06, p.C1)
2006 Jan 30, Coretta Scott King
(78), the widow of Martin Luther King Jr, died of respiratory
failure at a clinic in Mexico. She had turned a life shattered by
her husband's assassination into one devoted to enshrining his
legacy of human rights and equality.
(AP, 1/31/06)(SFC, 2/1/06, p.A1)
2006 Jan 31, Moira Shearer,
ballerina and film star (Red Shoes), died in England.
(WSJ, 2/2/06, p.A1)
2006 Jan 31, Envoys from nearly
70 nations and international bodies vowed to maintain their
financial support for Afghanistan, which is still plagued by
violence and poverty more than four years after the fall of the
2006 Jan 31, Dr. Christian
Schwarz-Schilling (b.1930), former German cabinet minister, was
appointed as the EU's High Representative in Bosnia, succeeding Lord
2006 Jan 31, British lawmakers
watered down a bill banning religious hate speech, then narrowly
voted it into law.
2006 Jan 31, Chile received two
US F-16 warplanes out of 10 it had ordered as part of a major
military upgrade that has worried some of its South American
2006 Jan 31, In Colombia
thousands of right-wing paramilitary fighters accused of drug
trafficking by the US turned over more than 1,000 weapons in one of
the largest disarmament ceremonies to date.
2006 Jan 31, In Egypt 14
tourists from Hong Kong were killed and 30 wounded when their bus
spun off the road along the Red Sea coast in one of the deadliest
crashes involving foreign nationals in recent years.
2006 Jan 31, An international
human rights group said thousands of school and college students
have been detained over the past three months in continued unrest in
2006 Jan 31, French PM
Dominique de Villepin made a televised address urging French and
other European chief executives to be better organized to resist
attacks by foreign companies. The statement was made in response to
the takeover of Arcelor by Mittal Steel.
(Econ, 2/4/06, p.56)
2006 Jan 31, An official said
India's air force was ready to handle civilian air traffic control
as protesting airport workers threatened to strike after the
government opened bids to privatize the two biggest airports.
2006 Jan 31, India and Pakistan
signed an agreement to restart a second cross-border train service
next month, the latest step in peace talks between the nuclear-armed
2006 Jan 31, Iran struck back
at the Big Five's decision to refer the country's nuclear file to
the Security Council, saying the move has no legal justification and
would be the end of diplomacy.
2006 Jan 31, A British soldier
was killed in a roadside bombing, the second member of the country's
armed forces to die in Iraq in as many days and the 100th fatality
since the conflict began nearly three years ago.
2006 Jan 31, In Iraq the bodies
of 11 men were found in western Baghdad. Some had been shot
repeatedly and bore marks of torture. Gunmen killed 2 members of the
Dawra district council. Gunmen killed Malik Razoki Abd, a district
council member in western Baghdad.
(SFC, 2/1/06, p.A8)
2006 Jan 31, Israeli troops
killed two Islamic Jihad militants, including Nidal Abu Saada, the
group's top leader in the West Bank, during a shootout that erupted
during an arrest raid.
2006 Jan 31, Japan said it will
begin withdrawing its troops from Iraq in March and complete the
pullout by May, ending its largest military mission since the end of
World War II.
2006 Jan 31, Myanmar's military
government adjourned a constitution-drafting convention after almost
two months of deliberations, delegates said, amid growing
frustration with the slow pace of democratic reforms. Karen
insurgents, marking nearly six decades of fighting, said there was
little chance Myanmar's military rulers would come to the
negotiating table and end their bloody campaign against the ethnic
2006 Jan 31, NATO ended its
earthquake relief operation in Pakistan, the first big disaster
mission involving ground troops outside an alliance country.
2006 Jan 31, North Korea
renewed its commitment to stalled nuclear disarmament talks, while
at the same time vowing to strengthen its stockpile of atomic
weapons to counter what it called extreme US hostility.
2006 Jan 31, In the Economist
Intelligence Unit's biannual survey Oslo was reported to have
overtaken Tokyo as the world's most expensive city. Tokyo had held
the top spot for 14 years. Of 17 US cities featured in the survey,
the most expensive were New York (27th), Chicago and Los Angeles
(tied for 35th), and San Francisco (40th).
2006 Jan 31, The Philippine
health department warned that an AIDS crisis threatens the country
as the number of people who are HIV carriers has doubled in just
over three years.
2006 Jan 31, Philippines troops
killed at least 18 communist rebels in their bloodiest clash in
months. The clash happened outside Santa Ignacia town in Tarlac
province, about 80 miles north of Manila.
2006 Jan 31, George Koval
(1913), American-born Soviet spy, died in Moscow. In 1932 his family
moved from Iowa to Birobidzhan, a Siberian city that Stalin promoted
as a secular Jewish homeland. From 1940 to 1948 Koval, groomed as a
Russian spy, was able to infiltrate the Manhattan Project. He fled
the US after the war. In 2007 Pres. Putin posthumously awarded him
Russia’s highest award.
(SFC, 11/12/07, p.A12)
2006 Jan 31, Saudi Arabia and
Jordan pressed the Islamic militant group Hamas to moderate its
stand on Israel and to entice the defeated Fatah party into a deal
to share power.
2006 Jan 31, UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan offered a grim assessment of Kosovo's
progress toward stability, saying in a report that the region had
fallen behind in efforts to create a multiethnic and democratic
2007 Jan 31, President Bush,
visiting Wall Street, delivered his "State of the Economy" speech in
which he took aim at lavish salaries and bonuses for corporate
2007 Jan 31, Delaware Sen. Joe
Biden formally launched his bid for the Democratic presidential
2007 Jan 31, The New York Stock
Exchange announced a cooperative agreement with the Tokyo Stock
2007 Jan 31, The Ziff Davis
Games Group handed out the 4th annual 1Up Awards for computer games.
Nintendo’s “Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess” won the top prize as
selected by 13 million Ziff Davis users.
(SFC, 2/2/07, p.C3)
2007 Jan 31, A special
committee, invited by IMF managing director Rodrigo de Rato,
proposed new ways for the IMF to fund itself. A loan to Turkey at
this time accounted for two-thirds of the IMF’s outstanding credit.
(Econ, 2/3/07, p.75)
2007 Jan 31, Molly Ivins
(b.1944), political columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, died
of breast cancer.
(SFC, 2/1/07, p.B7)
2006 Jan 31, Jennifer Merritt
(31) was shot in the arm and head while riding a bicycle in the San
Francisco Ingleside Heights neighborhood. She died from her wounds
on Feb 11. Police had no explanation.
(SFC, 2/12/07, p.E6)
2007 Jan 31, The Afghan
Parliament voted for an amnesty for leaders accused of war crimes
during a quarter-century of fighting, arguing that it would help
heal deep divisions.
2007 Jan 31, A senior AU
official said 3 battalions of peacekeepers from Uganda and Nigeria
are ready to be deployed in Somalia and will be airlifted in as soon
2007 Jan 31, The caretaker
government of Bangladesh approved a deal with an Indian company to
build a 240MW power station.
(Econ, 2/10/07, p.39)
2007 Jan 31, British
counterterrorism police arrested nine men in an alleged kidnapping
plot. The plan reportedly involved torturing and beheading a British
Muslim soldier and broadcasting the killing on the Internet.
2007 Jan 31, Canada's former
Secretary of State for the Asia Pacific region David Kilgour and
human rights lawyer David Matas released a report saying China's
military is harvesting organs from prison inmates, mostly Falungong
practitioners, for large scale transplants including for foreign
2007 Jan 31, Chinese President
Hu Jintao arrived in Cameroon to begin his second African tour to
boost ties with a continent that has many of the oil and commodity
reserves the Asian giant needs for its ballooning economy.
2007 Feb 1, Zhengzhou city
authorities put Gao Yaojie under house arrest to stop her from
traveling to Washington to be honored by a charity backed by Sen.
Hillary Clinton. The retired Chinese doctor helped expose
blood-buying schemes that infected thousands with HIV.
2007 Jan 31, In Congo at least
37 people were killed in clashes between security forces and
opposition supporters protesting against the results of governorship
polls in western Bas-Congo province.
2007 Jan 31, Tata Steel said
its $11.3 billion offer to acquire European steel maker Corus
(formerly British Steel) is strategic to its global ambitions, even
as the winning bid raised concerns that the deal's high cost could
undermine the combined company's financial health.
(AP, 1/31/07)(SSFC, 2/11/07, p.C3)
2007 Jan 31, Unidentified
gunmen opened fire on a car carrying the chief Muslim leader in
Ingushetia, seriously wounding the mufti and his son.
2007 Jan 31, A series of car
bombs struck mostly Shiite areas in Baghdad, killing eight people,
while a mortar attack on a Sunni neighborhood killed four in more
retaliatory sectarian violence. The bodies of three Sunni professors
and a student also turned up in the morgue, three days after they
were abducted by gunmen from a law school in a predominantly Shiite
area in northern Baghdad. A suicide bomber driving an oil truck blew
himself up after he was stopped at a checkpoint near an Iraqi army
headquarters north of Baghdad, wounding 9 soldiers. A parked car
bomb also struck a police patrol in the northern city of Mosul
killing one policeman and wounding two others. In the cities of
Fallujah and Ramadi at least eight bodies were found with their
hands and legs bound and showing signs of torture.
2007 Jan 31, In Mexico City
some 75,000 unionists, farmers and leftists marched to protest price
increases in basic foodstuffs like tortillas, a direct challenge to
the new president's market-oriented economic policies blamed by some
for widening the gulf between rich and poor.
2007 Jan 31, In Mexico a
lesbian couple registered what officials called Mexico's first gay
civil union in the northern city of Saltillo.
2007 Jan 31, A human rights
group said its study of one of Nigeria's oil-producing states found
that officials squandered or stole public money, some hospitals
required patients to bring their own beds, and schools were running
out of chalk.
2007 Jan 31, In a northwestern
Pakistan a mortar round struck a home in Hangu, killing two men and
wounding another amid sectarian tensions.
2007 Jan 31, Two Spanish men,
both charged with providing explosives for Islamist train bombings
in Madrid in 2004, were given jail sentences in a separate trial for
selling explosives in 2001. The court in Asturias said it jailed
former miner Jose Emilio Suarez-Trashorras and his brother-in-law,
Antonio Toro, for 10 and 11-1/2 years respectively on charges of
drugs and explosives trafficking.
2007 Jan 31, In eastern Sri
Lanka suspected separatist Tamil rebels detonated a roadside bomb,
killing six policemen and one civilian.
2007 Jan 31, A Congress wholly
loyal to President Hugo Chavez met at a downtown plaza to give the
Venezuelan leader authority to enact sweeping measures by
2007 Jan 31, Officials said
Vietnam's ruling Communist Party and the military will relinquish
control of dozens of companies, ranging from hotels to telecoms, as
part of an ongoing government overhaul. An oil spill from an
unidentified source hit Vietnam's central coast, blackening popular
resort beaches as thousands of local people help with the cleanup.
(AP, 1/31/07)(AP, 2/1/07)
2007 Jan 31, Zimbabwe's central
bank chief Gideon Gono unveiled a battery of belt-tightening
measures which include slashing the money supply and state spending
to put the brakes on four-digit inflation. The Zimbabwe dollar
traded at 250 against the greenback on the official market while
fetching up to 4,200 on the black market.
2008 Jan 31, The US Navy test
fired an incredibly powerful new big gun designed to replace
conventional weaponry aboard ships. Navy officials called it the
"world's most powerful electromagnetic railgun."
2008 Jan 31, US Army Maj. John
Cockerham and his wife pleaded guilty to bribery, conspiracy and
money laundering committed while he was a contracting officer in
Kuwait (2004-2006, during which time he made over $9 million. Maj.
James Momon Jr., his successor, later pleaded guilty to pocketing
over $1 million. Cockerham and his wife were initially indicted on
Aug 22, 2007.
(SSFC, 10/26/08, Par
2008 Jan 31, Human Rights Watch
charged that Europe and the US increasingly tolerate autocrats
posing as democrats out of pure self-interest, in countries such as
Pakistan, Kenya, Nigeria and Russia, as human right abuses go on.
2008 Jan 31, The Sewerage
Agency of Southern Marin, Ca., let nearly 3 million gallons of
treated and raw sewage spill into the SF Bay. A week later it was
reported that a spill on Jan 25 had released 2.5 million gallons.
Over the next 2 weeks at least 65 birds were found dead on the
shores of Richardson Bay Audubon Center.
(SFC, 2/6/08, p.B7)(SFC, 2/9/08, p.B1)
2008 Jan 31, Dorothy Dixon
(29), 6 months pregnant, was found dead at a home in Alton, Ill.
Housemates had used her for target practice with BBs, burned her
with a glue gun and doused her with scalding liquid that peeled away
her skin. Investigators put much of the blame on Michelle Riley
(35), who they said befriended Dixon but pocketed monthly Social
Security checks she got because of her developmental delays. In 2009
Riley pleaded guilty to the torture and killing of Dixon.
(AP, 3/22/08)(SFC, 10/27/09, p.A4)
2008 Jan 31, The Mideast and
India suffered a 2nd day of telecom woes after two undersea Internet
cables in the Mediterranean sustained damage.
(WSJ, 2/1/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 31, In southern
Afghanistan a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a mosque,
killing Helmand province's deputy governor and five other people. A
car bomb exploded next to an Afghan army bus in Kabul, wounding four
civilians and a solider.
2008 Jan 31, In China a top
agriculture official warned that snow battering central China has
dealt an "extremely serious" blow to winter crops, raising the
likelihood that future shortages would exaggerate already surging
food prices. China said it had stopped production and exports from a
company whose insecticide-tainted frozen dumplings sickened 10
people in Japan. Tens of thousands of Chinese massed impatiently
near a railway station in Guangzhou, desperate to get on trains home
for a major holiday after days of delay caused by snow.
(AP, 1/31/08)(Reuters, 1/31/08)
2008 Jan 31, The EU ordered
Italy to clean up Naples within a month, or face legal action.
2008 Jan 31, It was reported
that the EU is suing Malta for permitting residents to hunt 2
species of birds in the spring. The Maltese government said it
qualifies for an exemption under EU rules.
(WSJ, 2/1/08, p.A6)
2008 Jan 31, India's Tata
Chemicals, part of tea-to-steel conglomerate Tata Group, announced
it was buying US-based soda-ash producer General Chemical Industrial
Products for over one billion dollars.
2008 Jan 31, In Iraq militants
fired 20 rockets at Britain’s airport base in Basra. British gunners
responded with artillery fire and 10 Iraqi civilians were killed or
wounded. A bomb-rigged car blew up in Baghdad killing at least 5
people in a Shiite enclave. 2 US soldiers were killed, one by a
roadside bomb in Baghdad and another by a rocket or mortar attack on
a convoy support center south of the capital.
(AP, 2/1/08)(SFC, 2/1/08, p.A13)
2008 Jan 31, In Kenya an
opposition lawmaker was gunned down by a police officer in the
second fatal shooting of an opposition legislator this week.
National police chief Hussein Ali said the police officer, who has
been arrested, shot David Too in a dispute over the officer's
girlfriend. The opposition said it was an assassination plot. Kenyan
police killed four people as mobs set scores of houses and
businesses ablaze in a western Kenyan town. In Kisumu police fired
tear gas and then live rounds at scores of protesters trying to
block the main road. Kofi Annan suspended crisis talks aimed at
ending Kenya's political crisis after the lawmaker was shot dead,
triggering further clashes. In Ethiopia UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon met with Pres. Kibaki at the African Union summit and warned
that the violence in Kenya could spiral out of control unless quick
action was taken.
(AP, 1/31/08)(AFP, 1/31/08)(AP, 2/1/08)
2008 Jan 31, In Mexico tens of
thousands of demonstrators marched through downtown Mexico City to
protest recent trade openings that removed the last tariff
protections for ancestral Mexican crops like corn and beans.
2008 Jan 31, Thousands of
Pakistani lawyers burned effigies of President Pervez Musharraf
during nationwide protests to press for the release of the country's
deposed chief justice. Two Pakistani soldiers were killed and two
others wounded when a bomb exploded near their convoy in Wana in
(AFP, 1/31/08)(AP, 2/1/08)
2008 Jan 31, In the southern
Philippines Abu Sayyaf commander Wahab Upao, a Muslim militant who
allegedly gunned down a Roman Catholic priest in a raid on a school,
was killed in a clash with troops pursuing an Indonesian terror
2008 Jan 31, Romania’s
Constitutional Court struck down the 1999 law that opened Romania's
secret police archives. It effectively forced the Council for the
Study of the Securitate Archives to shut down, and makes its
previous decisions null.
2008 Jan 31, In South Korea a
court ruled against Samsung and its chairman Lee Kun-hee in
the nation’s biggest civil lawsuit. It ordered them to pay $2.7
billion to the creditors of Samsung Motors.
(Econ, 2/9/08, p.71)
2008 Jan 31, In northern Sri
Lanka a bomb being transported by a suicide bomber on a bicycle
exploded prematurely, killing 4 people and injuring 13. Separate
clashes across the north killed 15 Tamil rebels. Japan cautioned it
will review its aid policy unless the violence subsided.
(AP, 1/31/08)(AFP, 1/31/08)(AP, 2/1/08)
2008 Jan 31, In Turkey an
explosion ripped through an unlicensed fireworks factory in an
industrial section of Istanbul, killing 20 people and injuring 117.
2008 Jan 31, An official at the
UN labor agency said more than 5 million people will lose their jobs
this year as the world economy slows.
2009 Jan 31, President Barack
Obama promised to lower mortgage costs, offer job-creating loans for
small businesses, get credit flowing and rein in free-spending
executives as he readies a new road map for spending billions from
the second installment of the financial rescue plan.
2009 Jan 31, In Maryland
Goucher College President Sanford Ungar told faculty and students in
an e-mail that Professor Leopold Munyakazi (59) was removed from
teaching after officials learned he had been indicted in 2006 on
genocide charges in Rwanda.
2009 Jan 31, John Lipsky,
deputy head of the IMF, announced that the fund would double its
lending capacity to $500 billion. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, India’s
chief economic planner, deemed the proposal too modest and suggested
that member triple their quotas.
(Econ, 2/7/09, p.67)
2009 Jan 31, Afghanistan's
interior minister announced a US-backed plan to create militias and
give them guns to fight the Taliban. It drew criticism from local
authorities in areas where the first units are being rolled out. An
Afghan tribal leader from southeastern Paktika province was fatally
shot by a NATO patrol after the vehicle he was in failed to stop in
response to signals from soldiers. A second Afghan was wounded. A
Canadian soldier was killed when his armored vehicle hit an
explosive device on a road west of Kandahar.
(AP, 2/1/09)(Reuters, 1/31/09)(AP, 2/4/09)
2009 Jan 31, On the streets of
Birmingham, the queen's English is now the queens English. This week
the city council made it official. England's second-largest city
decided to drop apostrophes from all its street signs, saying
they're confusing and old-fashioned.
2009 Jan 31, Chinese Premier
Wen Jiabao arrived in London in the latest leg of a European tour
aimed at tackling the global financial and economic crisis and
improving relations between the trading partners.
2009 Jan 31, In southern China
revelers celebrating a birthday set off fireworks just before
midnight inside a bar, triggering a blaze that killed 15 people and
2009 Jan 31, Security sources
said Egypt has begun installing cameras and motion sensors along its
border with the Gaza Strip to try to combat smuggling to the
2009 Jan 31, Porsche's new
museum in Stuttgart, a sprawling monument to 60 years of German
engineering, opened to the public.
2009 Jan 31, Roxana Saberi
(31), Iranian-American journalist, was detained in Tehran. In April
she was charged with espionage, two days after her parents visited
their daughter in prison. The government had revoked her press
credentials in 2006. On April 13, 2009, she was tried and soon
sentenced to 8 years in jail for spying. Her lawyer appealed. She
was released in May and in 2010 authored “Between Two Worlds” My
Life and Captivity In Iran.”
4/8/09)(AP, 4/18/09)(SSFC, 4/18/10, p.F7)
2009 Jan 31, Iraq's
provincial elections wrapped up without any reports of serious
violence. The polls decided who sits on the councils that run 14 of
Iraq’s 18 provinces. The turnout was 51% of the 7.5 million eligible
voters. US soldiers killed two Iraqi policemen after coming under
fire during an operation against al-Qaida in northern Iraq. An
American soldier died of a noncombat-related injury in the northern
city of Kirkuk.
(AP, 1/31/09)(AP, 2/1/09)(Econ, 1/24/09,
p.54)(Econ, 2/7/09, p.40)
2009 Jan 31, In Kenya an
overturned gasoline tanker exploded as hundreds of people tried to
scoop up free fuel. Some 120 people were killed and 200 injured in
the inferno. Several witnesses said some police were charging 1,000
Kenya shillings ($13) for 60 liters of fuel, an amount that usually
costs about $65, which enraged the crowd.
(AP, 2/1/09)(AP, 2/2/09)(AP, 2/3/09)
2009 Jan 31, In Pakistan two
motorcyclists lobbed a hand grenade at a police patrol in
Baluchistan's Khuzdar district, but hit bystanders instead, killing
one person and wounding 5 others.
2009 Jan 31, Palestinian
militants fired a rocket from Gaza that exploded close to the
southern Israeli town of Ashkelon without causing any damages or
2009 Jan 31, Thousands of
protesters rallied across Russia to criticize the government's
economic course and its response to the global financial crisis. In
Moscow minutes after protesters unfurled anti-Kremlin banners and
chanted "Down with KGB power" and "Russia without Putin," a dozen
young men jumped out of cars and started to beat them with fists and
metal rods. Police ignored the attacks by alleged members of "Young
Russia," a pro-Kremlin youth group.
(AP, 1/31/09)(AP, 2/13/09)
2009 Jan 31, In Somalia
moderate Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed was sworn in. The
next day in a published interview he called for a united front
against violent extremists and signaled his intent to try to bring
together the country's feuding Islamic factions.
2009 Jan 31, Sudan’s state
media reported that a US aid group has been thrown out of the Darfur
region after officials found thousands of Arabic-language bibles
stacked in its office. The Texas-based Thirst No More website
described its work in Darfur as focused on repairing and drilling
water wells and makes no mention of evangelism or other faith-based
2009 Jan 31, In Geneva,
Switzerland, riot police fired tear gas after some 1000
demonstrators began throwing bottles protesting against the annual
World Economic Forum meeting at Davos.
2009 Jan 31, In Thailand some
30,000 supporters of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra gathered in
Bangkok, promising to fight on indefinitely unless the new Thai
government leaves office within 15 days. In northeastern Thailand a
grenade blast killed eight people and wounded 27 others during an
outdoor celebration next to a Buddhist temple.
(AFP, 1/31/09)(AP, 2/1/09)
2009 Jan 31, The Vatican
announced that the Pope has tapped the Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner
(54) to be auxiliary bishop in Linz, the capital of Upper Austria
province. Wagner caused a stir in 2005 when he was quoted as saying
that he was convinced that the death and destruction of Hurricane
Katrina earlier that year was "divine retribution" for tolerance of
homosexuals and laid-back sexual attitudes in New Orleans.
2010 Jan 31, Beyonce, pop's
reigning diva, earned six Grammys, more than any woman on a single
night of the 52-year-old awards show. Taylor Swift won four Grammys.
2010 Jan 31, Afghanistan's
Pres. Karzai appealed to Taliban fighters to lay down their weapons
and accept Afghan laws as the government and its international
allies push a program to entice militants away from the insurgency.
Karzai also said that Afghanistan, one of the world's poorest
countries, is sitting on mineral and petroleum reserves worth an
estimated one trillion dollars.
(AP, 1/31/10)(AFP, 1/31/10)
2010 Jan 31, In Argentina Tomas
Eloy Martinez (75), author and journalist famed for his writings
about former President Juan Domingo Peron and his glamorous wife
2010 Jan 31, An Egyptian
security official said 25 Egyptians were arrested on suspicion of
planning a bombing attack against Jewish pilgrims in the country and
belonging to a militant Islamist group. The suspects, rounded up
over the past few weeks in the Nile Delta governorate of Daqahlia,
were found in possession of explosives and rudimentary rocket
2010 Jan 31, In Ethiopia UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the AU's annual summit in
Addis Ababa and again failed to pledge peacekeepers for Somalia. Ban
Ki-Moon criticized power-grabs in Africa in a speech to the
continent's leaders as Libya's Moamer Kadhafi reluctantly handed
over the presidency of the African Union to Malawian President Bingu
wa Mutharika. The AU agreed to consider a Senegalese proposal to
resettle Haiti's earthquake homeless and possibly create a state for
them in Africa.
(Reuters, 1/31/10)(AFP, 1/31/10)(Reuters,
2010 Jan 31, Ten American
Baptists were being held in the Haitian capital after trying take 33
children out of Haiti at a time of growing fears over possible child
trafficking. Doctors skirted a bureaucratic logjam to save the life
of two critically ill child victims of Haiti's earthquake, flying
them to US hospitals on a private jet to avoid a military suspension
of medical evacuation flights.
2010 Jan 31, In the
Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir Wamiq Farooq (14), a Muslim
boy, died after being struck by a shell fired by police to quell a
demonstration by separatists in Srinagar.
(AFP, 2/2/10)(AP, 2/13/10)
2010 Jan 31, Mexican President
Felipe Calderon arrived in Japan for a three-day visit, as the
countries mark 400 years of official ties.
2010 Jan 31, A Jordanian
security official said more than 40 alleged Islamist extremists have
been arrested in Jordan since a Jordanian blew himself up in
Afghanistan in December, killing seven CIA agents.
2010 Jan 31, A Libyan appeal
court overturned a jail term slapped on Swiss businessman Rashid
Hamdani on a charge of overstaying his visa, easing a Tripoli-Bern
2010 Jan 31, In New Zealand
Xiao Zhen killed Auckland taxi driver Hiren Mohini (39) and then
fled to China. Zhen was arrested in Shanghai and tried for murder in
2011. Xiao (24) expressed remorse over the killing, which he said
was in self-defense when an argument escalated after he refused to
pay Mohini adequate cab fare. On Aug 17 Xiao Zhen was sentenced to
15 years in prison.
2010 Jan 31, In northwest
Pakistan fighter jets and helicopters pounded a district where a
suicide bomber in Khar killed 17 people a day earlier. A roadside
bomb exploded in the town of Safi, killing two security personnel
who were riding in a water tanker. Militants blew up a
government-run girls' primary school on the outskirts of the
northwestern garrison town of Bannu. State television reported that
TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud was dead, reviving rumors that he was
killed in a US missile strike in mid-January. But the Taliban denied
the report and the army only said it was investigating.
2010 Jan 31, In Russia several
hundred demonstrators shouting "Shame!" gathered in a central Moscow
square, defying a ban imposed by authorities. Moscow police detained
dozens of people at an anti-Kremlin protest, including several
prominent opposition leaders. A separate demonstration was held by
dozens of residents of the Rechnik settlement to protest the
demolition of their homes ordered by Mayor Yury Luzhkov.
(AP, 1/31/10)(Econ, 2/6/10, p.57)
2010 Jan 31, In Somalia heavy
mortar fire between African Union peacekeepers and Islamist
insurgents killed at least 12 civilians and left scores wounded in
2010 Jan 31, Switzerland's
justice minister warned in an interview that top bank UBS could
collapse if sensitive talks with the US over a high-profile tax
fraud investigation fall through.
2010 Jan 31, In Davos,
Switzerland, the world's foremost gathering of business and
government leaders wrapped up a five-day meeting with widespread
agreement that a fragile recovery is under way but no consensus on
what's going to spur job growth and prevent another global economic
2010 Jan 31, Yemen said it
would stop its war on Shiite northern rebels only if they agree to a
six-point truce offer, including a pledge not to attack Saudi
Arabia, as fighting raged on 3 fronts.
2011 Jan 31, The US and the EU
imposed sanctions against Belarus Pres. Lukashenko and scores of
other officials for a broad crackdown on the opposition following
fraudulent elections last year.
(SFC, 2/1/11, p.A2)
2011 Jan 31, A federal judge in
Florida struck down President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare
overhaul as unconstitutional in the biggest legal challenge yet to
federal authority to enact the law.
2011 Jan 31, John Wrenshall
(64), a former resident of Calgary, Canada, was sentenced in federal
court in New Jersey to 25 years in prison after admitting to running
a brothel for pedophiles in Thailand.
(SFC, 2/1/11, p.A5)
2011 Jan 31, In eastern
Afghanistan a roadside bomb killed a NATO service member.
2011 Jan 31, Leaders of 53
African countries met In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to tackle festering
conflicts in Sudan and Somalia at a summit overshadowed by Egypt's
popular uprising and the leadership crisis in Ivory Coast. The
African Union named a panel of six African presidents to mediate
Ivory Coast's political crisis.
(AFP, 1/31/11)(AP, 1/31/11)
2011 Jan 31, In Shanghai,
China, relatives of Liu Yonghua, a patient who died, rampaged with
knives through a hospital, seriously wounding six people and trying
to throw a doctor out a window.
2011 Jan 31, Egypt’s Pres.
Mubarak named a new government, but the lineup dominated by regime
stalwarts was greeted with scorn by protesters camped out for the
fourth day in the capital's central Tahrir Square. A coalition of
opposition groups called for a million people to take to Cairo's
streets Feb 1 to demand the removal of Mubarak. The official
death toll from the crisis stood at 97, with thousands injured, but
reports from witnesses across the country indicated the actual toll
was far higher. Mubarak appointed General Murad Mowafi, former north
Sinai governor, as head of Egyptian intelligence. The military
promised on state TV late in the day that it would not fire on
protesters answering a call for a million people to demonstrate the
next day. Vice President Omar Suleiman, appointed by Mubarak only
two days earlier in what could be a succession plan, went on state
TV to announce the offer of a dialogue with "political forces" for
constitutional and legislative reforms.
(AP, 1/31/11)(AFP, 1/31/11)(AP, 2/1/11)
2011 Jan 31, The EU said that
the World Trade Organization found US aid to Boeing violated
international rules, confirming a preliminary ruling in the
long-running subsidy battle between the Chicago-based plane maker
and European rival Airbus.
2011 Jan 31, European Union
foreign ministers agreed to freeze the assets of Tunisia's former
President Zine-al Abidine Ben Ali and his wife.
2011 Jan 31, India rejected
Canada-based Research In Motion's (RIM) offer to allow it only
partial access to its BlackBerry data services, while neighboring
Pakistan reversed its earlier decision to restrict the popular
2011 Jan 31, India gave
approval to South Korea's POSCO to build a giant $12 billion steel
plant, in the country's biggest foreign investment deal since market
reforms launched in 1991.
2011 Jan 31, In Indonesia
popstar Nazril “Ariel” Irham was sentenced to 3½ years in
prison after sex tapes with his celebrity girlfriends found their
way to the Internet.
(SFC, 2/1/11, p.A2)
2011 Jan 31, Iran’s prosecutor
general said US hiker Sarah Shourd, freed on bail last year, has
been summoned for trial in Iran along with her two American friends
who remain in custody.
2011 Jan 31, Italy’s PM Silvio
Berlusconi said he wanted to drop from the constitution a clause
imposing social obligations on entrepreneurs. He also promised tax
breaks for the south and offered cooperation with the opposition.
(Econ, 2/5/11, p.63)
2011 Jan 31, Japanese ruling
party powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa was charged over a funding scandal,
adding to PM Naoto Kan's woes as he struggles to survive in the face
of a divided parliament and sagging support.
2011 Jan 31, Jordan's King
Abdullah II fired his government in the face of smaller street
protests, named an ex-prime minister to form a new Cabinet and
ordered him to launch political reforms. King Abdullah II named
Marouf Bakhit (64), a career soldier and former prime minister,
after sacking the government of Samir Rifai (43).
(AP, 2/1/11)(AFP, 2/2/11)(Econ, 2/5/11, p.32)
2011 Jan 31, In Kashmir
attackers carrying automatic rifles whisked Arifa (17) and Akhtara
(19) away from their home. Police say the men were rebels, though
their mother, Fracha Begum, has said only that they were gunmen.
Less than an hour later, police recovered their bodies riddled with
bullets about a mile away. Residents seemed convinced the rebels
killed the sisters for their alleged association with government
forces deployed in the town.
2011 Jan 31, In Mexico a girl
(16) died after being shot by federal police in the same Ciudad
Juarez neighborhood where gunmen massacred 15 youths at a party a
year ago. She was shot two days earlier while riding in a car.
Police said someone in the vehicle had opened fire at officers
shortly beforehand. A drug gunman shot to death Maribel Hernandez, a
woman who distributed newspapers in the border city of Ciudad
Juarez, because his gang thought she threatened their control over
(AP, 2/1/11)(AP, 2/2/11)
2011 Jan 31, In Myanmar an
elected parliament convened for the first time in half a century but
inspired scant enthusiasm among a skeptical public convinced it is
just a smokescreen for continued military rule.
2011 Jan 31, Niger, an
impoverished country on the edge of the Sahara, took another stab at
democracy as it voted for a new president and parliament that are
expected to take over leadership from the military.
2011 Jan 31, In Pakistan a pair
of bombings targeting police in the northwestern city of Peshawar
killed five people, including a senior police officer.
2011 Jan 31, Pakistan wildlife
authorities said they have found the carcasses of six endangered
river dolphins in Pakistan over the last month. Sindh Wildlife
Department deputy head Ghulam Mohammad accused local fisherman,
saying their poison and nets were to blame for the deaths of the
blind Indus River Dolphin. A 2006 survey put the number left at
2011 Jan 31, In Russia several
hundred people demonstrated on a central Moscow square to call for
the ouster of PM Vladimir Putin. The demonstrations are held on the
last day of every month with 31 days to call attention to the 31st
Article of Russia's Constitution, which guarantees freedom of
2011 Jan 31, In Somalia
fighting between government troops and police killed 16 people in
Mogadishu, underscoring the weak UN-backed government's inability to
control its armed forces. The fighting began when police executed a
plainclothes soldier they suspected of being an Islamist insurgent.
2011 Jan 31, A major Spanish
savings bank born from a merger of seven institutions, Banco
Financiero y de Ahorros, announced plans to list on the market to
tap private capital.
2011 Jan 31, In Sri Lanka a
group of men broke into the offices of a website critical of the
government and set fire to it. A journalist from the publication
said that he suspected a government role in the attack.
2011 Jan 31, Syria's president
Assad, who has resisted calls for political freedoms and jailed
critics of his regime, said in an interview published today that his
nation is immune from the kind of unrest roiling Tunisia and Egypt.
2012 Jan 31, The US government
said it will give financial aid to Guatemala to help safely dispose
of seized chemicals that were destined for use in methamphetamine
2012 Jan 31, Mitt Romney won
the Florida Republican primary with 47% of the vote. Newt Gingrich
was second with 32%. Rick Santorum got 13 % and Ron Paul 7%.
2012 Jan 31, Daly City’s
Redevelopment Agency ceased to exist following a decision by the
California Supreme Court handed down on Dec 29, 2011, to dissolve
redevelopment agencies across the state.
(Fog Cutter, Spring, 2012, p.2)
2012 Jan 31, In northern
California two men broke into the Siskiyou County Courthouse and
stole $1.26 million worth of gold nuggets, jewelry and other
artifacts. On Sep 12, 2013, Scott Bailey (51) of San Pablo, Ca.,
pleaded guilty to burglary and was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
David Dean Johnson (49) of El Sobrante was scheduled for trial on
(SSFC, 9/15/13, p.C3)
2012 Jan 31, Mike Kelley
(b.1954), Michigan-born artist, committed suicide in southern
2012 Jan 31, In southern
Afghanistan a man wearing an Afghan army uniform shot and killed a
NATO service member, the latest in a rising number of similar
2012 Jan 31, Britain stripped
Fred Goodwin, the former head of Royal Bank of Scotland, of his
knighthood. He had steered one of Britain's largest banks to near
collapse with the catastrophic buyout of a Dutch bank, a disaster
that helped bring on the global financial crisis.
2012 Jan 31, China said that it
has detained seven company executives after tons of industrial waste
including cadmium, a toxic metal, polluted some 200 miles of the
Longjiang river, threatening water supplies for millions of people.
Unnamed experts were quoted saying that the amount of illegally
released waste in the waterway was unprecedented at an estimated 20
(AFP, 1/31/12)(SSFC, 2/5/12, p.A6)
2012 Jan 31, Dominica said
Bernard Wiltshire, a former attorney general (2000-2002), has been
arrested on suspicion of conspiring with others to fraudulently
obtain and sell passports.
2012 Jan 31, Egypt's newly
elected lawmakers took aim at the country's military rulers Tuesday,
accusing them of trampling on democratic norms and overstepping
their powers by passing laws, including a crucial one regulating
presidential elections. Several hundred protesters rallied outside
parliament, calling on lawmakers to press the military rulers to
hold speedier and fair trials for former regime officials and settle
retribution claims by the families of those killed during protests.
2012 Jan 31, Egyptian Bedouins
took 25 Chinese factory workers hostage in the northern Sinai
Peninsula. The group demanded the release of militants jailed for a
2005 bombing in Sharm el-Sheikh at the tip of the Egyptian Sinai.
All 25 workers were released by the next day.
(AFP, 1/31/12)(AFP, 2/1/12)
2012 Jan 31, Rafale, made by
Dassault, emerged as preferred bidder in the contest to supply India
with 126 warplanes in what will be a $15 billion (9 billion pounds)
deal. Its competitor, the Eurofighter Typhoon, is developed by a
consortium comprising the German and Spanish branches of EADS,
Britain's BAE Systems and Italy's Finmeccanica.
2012 Jan 31, Haiti’s Pres.
Michel Martelly awarded actor Sean Penn the honor of ambassador at
(SFC, 2/1/12, p.A2)
2012 Jan 31, Iraqi MPs from the
secular Iraqiya bloc returned to parliament, ending a boycott begun
last month to protest the prime minister's alleged centralization of
2012 Jan 31, Iraq executed 17
convicted criminals today, bringing to at least 51 the number so far
this year. Death sentences in Iraq must be signed by the country's
president, currently Jalal Talabani, but the chief executive may
delegate that authority to either of the two vice presidents. As
Talabani is an ardent opponent of the death penalty, that is what he
2012 Jan 31, Israeli PM
Benjamin Netanyahu won a solid victory over his sole opponent for
the leadership of his Likud party, bolstering his position ahead of
possible early elections.
2012 Jan 31, Israel's Interior
Ministry said some 7,000 people from South Sudan must leave or face
deportation. Spokeswoman Sabine Haddad said the South Sudanese will
be offered voluntary deportation and around $1,300. After March 31
they will be deported.
2012 Jan 31, Ivory Coast's top
court annulled the election of 11 lawmakers from Pres. Ouattara's
party in a December vote after complaints that they breached
2012 Jan 31, In Mali Tuareg
separatist rebels extended their reach, attacking a sixth town,
Niafunke, in the country's remote north.
2012 Jan 31, In Mexico
political rivals slammed each other over $1.9 million in wads of
cash found stuffed into a state official's luggage on a Jan 27
private flight to Toluca, the capital of the home state of leading
presidential candidate Enrique Pena Nieto. The money came from
Veracruz, a Gulf coast state governed by Pena Nieto's Institutional
Revolutionary Party, known as the PRI.
2012 Jan 31, Mexico’s Interior
Secretary Alejandro Poire confirmed that an army general and 29
soldiers under his command in a town on the border with Texas are
being tried on charges of torture, homicide, drug trafficking and
other crimes. Details about Gen. Manuel Moreno Avina and his
subordinates' alleged reign of terror in the town of Ojinaga, across
from Presidio, Texas, were first reported by the newspaper Reforma,
which had access to some of the soldiers' testimony.
2012 Jan 31, In Mexico every
one of the 2,500 police officers in Ciudad Juarez were ordered to
leave home and stay in a hotel after the killing of five officers by
a local drug cartel. The gang threatened a week ago to kill one
policeman a day unless Police Chief Julian Leyzaola resigns.
2012 Jan 31, In northern Mexico
the bodies of missionaries John Casias (76) and wife Wanda (67), a
Texas couple, were discovered strangled in their home in Santiago.
2012 Jan 31, WFP officials said
the World Food Program (WFP) will give emergency food to more than
80,000 people in Mozambique after twin cyclones left 32 dead.
2012 Jan 31, NUPENG, a Nigerian
oil workers' union, launched a strike over a dispute with Shell,
sparking fears of petrol shortages. The National Union of Petroleum
and Natural Gas Workers, the smaller of Nigeria's two oil industry
unions, represents blue-collar workers, including tanker drivers.
2012 Jan 31, In Pakistan dozens
of heavily armed Taliban militants attacked a military post,
sparking clashes that killed eight soldiers and wounded another 15.
A government official said fighting between soldiers and Taliban
militants over a strategic mountaintop in the northwestern Kurram
tribal area has killed more than 60 people. At least 10 people were
gunned down in the past 24 hours in the southern city of Karachi.
(AFP, 1/31/12)(AP, 1/31/12)
2012 Jan 31, In Somalia two
guards and a suicide bomber were killed in an attack on the home of
Abdi Hasan Qeybdid, a senior militia commander in the central town
2012 Jan 31, South African
Airways launched non-stop flights to Beijing. China became South
Africa's top trade partner in 2009.
2012 Jan 31, Syrian government
forces moved into Zamalka and Arbeen, the two remaining towns still
in rebel hands. Army defectors gained full control of the central
town of Rastan after days of intense clashes. Activists said the
day’s death toll was at least seven, although the LCC put the figure
at up to 28.
2012 Jan 31, Ukrainian
authorities said that the number of people who died of hypothermia
in recent days has reached 30 as the country grapples with an
unusually severe cold spell. In all, at least 58 people have died
from the cold in Europe over the last week.
2012 Jan 31, The ship, Vera,
with 10 Ukrainian and one Georgian crew, was sailing to Turkey's
Aliaga port from Russia when it sank off the coast of Eregli in
stormy waters. 8 of the crew were reported missing following the
rescue of 3 people.
2012 Jan 31, Yemeni armed
tribesmen from the al-Mahweet province kidnapped six UN workers. The
assailants demanded that the government release fellow tribesmen
2012 Jan 31, Zimbabwe’s health
minister said up to 50 cases of typhoid were being reported per day.
More than 1,500 people have been treated in an outbreak blamed on
poor water and sanitation facilities.
2013 Jan 31, The US Congress
sent Pres. Obama legislation raising the debt ceiling, averting a
government default until later this year.
(SFC, 2/1/13, p.A9)
2013 Jan 31, The US Navy said
it has decided to scrap the $277 million mine-sweeper Guardian stuck
since Jan 17 on the sensitive Tubbataha Reef in the Philippines.
(SFC, 2/1/13, p.A6)
2013 Jan 31, A US government
report showed that California's Hispanic population will equal that
of whites this year before becoming the state's largest demographic
group in 2014.
2013 Jan 31, The Catholic
archdiocese of Los Angeles published 12,000 pages of personnel
documents on 122 priests accused of sexual abuse dating back to the
(Econ, 2/23/13, p.31)
2013 Jan 31, Genelle
Conway-Allen (13) of Suisun City, Ca., was last seen alive. Her body
was found the next day 4 miles away in Allan Witt Park, Fairfield.
On Feb 8 police arrested Anthony Lamar Jones (32), a local Fairfield
(SFC, 2/7/13, p.A9)(SFC, 2/9/13, p.C1)
2013 Jan 31, The NY Times said
Chinese hackers repeatedly penetrated its computer systems over the
past four months, stealing reporters' passwords and hunting for
files on an investigation into the wealth amassed by the family of a
top Chinese leader.
2013 Jan 31, In Texas
prosecutor Mark Hasse (57) was shot and killed in the parking lot
behind the Kaufman County Courthouse.
(SFC, 2/1/13, p.A7)(SSFC, 3/31/13, p.A12)
2013 Jan 31, Armenian Paruir
Airikian (63), one of eight candidates in the Feb. 18 presidential
race, was shot and wounded by an unidentified assailant outside his
home in Yerevan, just before midnight. two suspects were arrested on
(AP, 2/1/13)(AP, 2/8/13)
2013 Jan 31, Australia’s
government received confirmation that the Shonan Maru No. 2, a
support vessel for the Japanese whaling fleet, had entered
Australia's exclusive economic zone near Macquarie Island in the
Antarctic Ocean. The Australian embassy in Tokyo protested to the
2013 Jan 31, Chinese courts
convicted eight Tibetans over accusations they incited others to
self-immolate in the first such prosecutions to become publicly
known, showing Beijing's resolve to stamp out the protests by
criminalizing both the protesters and their supporters.
2012 Jan 31, Chinese police
detained Liu Hui, the brother-in-law of jailed Nobel Peace Prize
winner Liu Xiaobo, on fraud charges in what the family said is the
latest act of official retaliation. In March he was formally charged
over a real estate dispute.
2013 Jan 31, Egypt’s opposition
National Salvation Front held a meeting with Pres. Morsi's Muslim
Brotherhood under the aegis of Egypt's premier Islamic institution,
Al-Azhar, in their first ever meeting. They and other politicians
signed a joint statement denouncing violence.
2013 Jan 31, Germany's
Parliament voted to extend the country's military mission in
Afghanistan by 13 months.
2013 Jan 31, In Ghana former UN
Secretary General Kofi Annan launched a commission to tackle drug
trafficking in West Africa. Annan blamed the international community
for ignoring the threat posed by corrupted states like
2013 Jan 31, Greek doctors,
port workers and public transport staff in the country's capital
walked off the job in strikes against deeply unpopular austerity
measures that have seen incomes slashed as the country struggles to
emerge from a deep financial crisis. Farmers in central Greece
parked their tractors along the country's main highway for a second
day, under the watchful eye of riot police, threatening to shut the
road to protest spending cuts and high fuel taxes.
2013 Jan 31, In Iceland a
15-year-old Icelandic girl was granted the right to legally use the
name "Blaer," which means "light breeze," given to her by her
mother, despite the opposition of authorities and a strict law on
2013 Jan 31, Iran announced
plans to install and operate advanced uranium enrichment machines,
in what would be a technological leap allowing it to significantly
speed up activity the West fears could be put to developing a
2013 Jan 31, An Iraqi official
said security forces arrested French journalist Nadir Dendoune
several days ago while he was taking photos of a security
location in Baghdad's southern Dora neighborhood.
2013 Jan 31, The book “They
Promised Me Paradise” by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot
and wounded Pope John Paul in 1981, was released in Italy. In the
book Agca writes that Iran’s late leader Ayhatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini told him to kill John Paul in the name of God.
(SFC, 2/1/13, p.A2)
2013 Jan 31, In Mexico City an
office building blast killed 37 people and injured 121 at the
headquarters of Petroleos Mexicanos, the state-owned oil company. On
Feb 4 authorities said the basement explosion in an administrative
building next to the 51-story Pemex tower was caused by a gas
buildup ignited by an electrical spark or other heat source.
(AP, 2/1/13)(AP, 2/4/13)
2013 Jan 31, In southern Mexico
vigilantes who have taken up arms against drug cartel violence and
common crime announced they will bring charges ranging from
organized crime to kidnapping and extortion against 50 men and three
women who they have been holding prisoner at improvised jails in
Ayutla, Guerrero state.
2013 Jan 31, In Pakistan a
roadside bomb killed two polio workers on their way to vaccinate
children in the northwestern Kurraml region near the Afghan border.
2013 Jan 31, Volgograd, the
southern Russian city where the Red Army decisively turned back Nazi
forces in a key World War II battle, passed a measure to use the
name Stalingrad in city statements on the commemoration day, on
Russia's May 9 Victory Day and on four other days connected with the
2013 Jan 31, South African
officials said that 57 rhinos have been killed by poachers across
the country so far this year. A record 668 rhinos were killed in
South Africa in 2012, an increase of nearly 50 percent over the
2013 Jan 31, Syria threatened
to retaliate for an Israeli airstrike and its ally Iran said there
will be repercussions for the Jewish state over the attack.
2013 Jan 31, The United Nations
demanded that Egyptian authorities act to bring perpetrators of
sexual assaults to justice, saying it had reports of 25 sexual
assaults on women in Tahrir rallies over the past week.
2013 Jan 31, In Yemen two days
of clashes in the south between al-Qaida militants and
pro-government fighters killed 14 on both sides.
2014 Jan 31, Former basketball
star Dennis Rodman said he was willing to trade places with Kenneth
Bae, an American missionary imprisoned in North Korea, the next time
he visits his friend, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
2014 Jan 31, A US federal judge
gave Hosam Amara, a former Agriprocessors Inc. manager, a 41-month
prison term for exploiting immigrant workers at a kosher
slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa. 389 workers were arrested in a
May, 2008, raid at the plant.
(SFC, 2/1/14, p.A6)
2014 Jan 31, A man shot two
students at Michigan State Univ. in East Lansing. Dominique Nolff
was pronounced dead the next morning.
(SFC, 2/3/14, p.A4)
2014 Jan 31, The Roman Catholic
Diocese of Helena, Montana, filed for bankruptcy protection in
advance of proposed settlements for two lawsuits that claim clergy
members sexually abused 362 people over decades and the church
covered it up.
2014 Jan 31, Christopher Jones,
former actor and film star, died in Orange Ct., Ca. His films
included Three in the Attic” (1968), “Wild in the Streets” (1968),
“The Looking Glass War” (1969) and “Ryan’s Daughter” (1970).
(SFC, 2/10/14, p.C6)
2014 Jan 31, In Afghanistan the
Taliban attacked three police checkpoints overnight in the southern
province of Helmand, killing one officer before police repelled the
attackers. 4 policemen were killed when a roadside bomb explosion
hit a police vehicle in Kandahar province.
(AP, 1/31/14)(AP, 2/1/14)
2014 Jan 31, In Australia a
government agency approved a plan to dump sediment within the area
of the Great Barrier Marine Park in an expansion project of the
Abbot Point coal port in northern Queensland.
(SFC, 2/1/14, p.A2)
2014 Jan 31, Red Cross
officials warned that Central African Republic's capital of Bangui
is experiencing "unprecedented levels of violence" with at least 30
people killed in the last three days.
2014 Jan 31, China celebrated
Lunar New Year, the year of the horse, a celebration also known as
the Spring Festival.
(Econ, 1/25/14, p.36)
2014 Jan 31, Activists from
around China began arriving at the eastern town of Qufu during the
Chinese New Year holiday to demand an investigation into the death
of a fellow activist's father at a government building on Jan 29.
2014 Jan 31, Egyptian military
aircraft struck suspected positions of al-Qaida-inspired fighters
overnight in villages of the Sinai Peninsula, killing 13 people.
2014 Jan 31, Hungarian
filmmaker Miklos Jancso (b.1921), winner of the best director award
at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, died. Jancso won his Cannes award
for "Red Psalm," about a 19th-century peasant revolt.
2014 Jan 31, In India Delhi
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal named a string of high-ranking Indian
politicians he described as corrupt and said his anti-graft Aam
Aadmi Party (AAP) would target them in an upcoming general election.
2014 Jan 31, In Iraq a suicide
car bomb killed 5 soldiers and destroyed a bridge in Hit, Anbar
(SFC, 2/1/14, p.A2)
2014 Jan 31, In Libya Abdel
Fatah Al Barasi, a retired police colonel, died after being shot in
the head while in his car in the eastern city of Benghazi. Salah Abd
Al Razak and Zakaria Abdullah Al Darsi, both sons of colonels, were
also shot and killed in the street by assailants.
2014 Jan 31, Humanitarian
groups warned that more than 800,000 Malians are desperate for food
while another three million risk going without meals as the country
struggles to emerge from months of armed conflict.
2014 Jan 31, In Nigeria gunmen
ransacked the mainly Christian village of Sabon Garin Yamdula in
Adamawa state, killing a pastor before vigilante youths firing guns
set them to flight and soldiers later deployed. A bus set off an
improved explosive device on the highway through nearby Kuthra
village, Borno state, killing 7 passengers.
2014 Jan 31, Philippine
officials said 3 child soldiers recruited by hardline Muslim rebels
were among 53 people killed in a five-day military offensive in the
2014 Jan 31, In Senegal a judge
sentenced two men to six months' jail in a rare conviction of a gay
couple on criminal charges.
2014 Jan 31, In northern Serbia
strong winds created meters-high snow drifts, trapping up to 60
people in cars and buses.
2014 Jan 31, The Syrian
Observatory for Human Right said fighting in Syria has killed nearly
1,900 people, including at least 430 civilians, during the week of
UN-hosted peace talks in Switzerland. Negotiations in Geneva wrapped
up and were likely to resume from February 10.
(AP, 1/31/14)(AFP, 1/31/14)
2014 Jan 31, The UN distributed
food in the Syrian capital's besieged Yarmuk Palestinian refugee
camp for a second day in a bid to help tens of thousands of trapped
civilians. Government shelling killed at least 16 people in a
rebel-held area of the northern city of Aleppo.
(AFP, 1/31/14)(AP, 1/31/14)
2014 Jan 31, A Thai court
ordered more than $1.4 million in assets seized from a former top
civil servant whose wealth was revealed when burglars robbed his
house. The Civil Court said former Transport Ministry Permanent
Secretary Supoj Saplom could not prove his wealth was honestly
2014 Jan 31, Ukraine President
Viktor Yanukovych signed a measure offering amnesty to those
arrested in two months of protests, but only if demonstrators vacate
most of the buildings they occupied, and repealed anti-protest
(AP, 1/31/14)(Reuters, 2/1/14)
2014 Jan 31, In southern Yemen
suspected al-Qaida militants launched a surprise attack on an army
checkpoint in Shibam, Hadramawt province, killing 15 soldiers and
wounding five others.
2015 Jan 31, Two Eagle
balloonists Troy Bradley of Albuquerque and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of
Russia landed 4 miles offshore in Baha California. Their record
voyage covered 6,646 miles over six days, 16 hours and 38 minutes.
(SSFC, 2/1/15, p.A8)
2015 Jan 31, An unmanned Delta
2 rocket lifted off from California carrying a NASA satellite to
measure how much water is in Earth’s soil, information that will
help weather forecasting and tracking of global climate change.
2015 Jan 31, In Georgia (USA) 5
relatives and a friend were found slain inside a home in LaGrange.
Investigators suspected the victims had been dead for three days. On
Feb 2 authorities said suspect Thomas J. Lee (26) has been arrested
at a bus station in Tupelo, Mississippi.
(SFC, 2/2/15, p.A5)(AP, 2/3/15)
2015 Jan 31, In Afghanistan
Muslim protesters against cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad by
the French magazine Charlie Hebdo clashed with security leaving two
2015 Jan 31, In Bangladesh at
least 13 people including two women were killed when a fire swept
through a plastics factory in Dhaka.
2015 Jan 31, Sunni-ruled
Bahrain said it has revoked the citizenship of 72 people convicted
of "harming the interests of the kingdom" in unrest by the Shiite
majority since 2011. The official BNA news agency published a list
of the 72 people affected by the measure. 22 were alleged members of
the Islamic State.
(AFP, 1/31/15)(Econ, 11/26/16, p.44)
2015 Jan 31, Chadian aircraft
bombed the Nigerian town of Gambaru in a raid targeting extremist
group Boko Haram.
2015 Jan 31, DR Congo's foreign
minister said government troops have started their long-awaited
offensive against Rwandan Hutu rebels in the east of the country.
2015 Jan 31, An Egyptian court
banned the armed wing of Palestinian group Hamas and listed it as a
terrorist organization, a ruling in keeping with a systematic
crackdown on Islamists by Pres. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
2015 Jan 31, Richard von
Weizsaecker (b.1920), former German President (1984-1994), died
overnight in Berlin. He had declared Germany's World War II
surrender a "day of liberation" for his country as he urged it to
confront the Nazi past, and promoted reconciliation during a tenure
spanning the reunification of west and east. He was the first German
president to visit Israel.
(AP, 1/31/15)(Econ., 2/14/15, p.86)
2015 Jan 31, India succeeded
for the first time in using a mobile launcher to test-fire the Agni
V missile, a long-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear
warhead deep inside rival China. This was the first time the weapon
had been fired from a so-called canister mounted on a truck rather
than from a concrete launch pad used in previous trials.
2015 Jan 31, Iraqi Kurdish
forces and police retook an oil field in Kirkuk province that was
seized by the Islamic State group overnight, and freed 24 workers
who had been taken captive. A series of bombings in and around
Baghdad killed 9 people.
(AFP, 1/31/15)(AP, 1/31/15)
2015 Jan 31, Islamic State
militants said they had beheaded a second Japanese hostage,
journalist Kenji Goto, prompting PM Shinzo Abe to vow to step up
humanitarian aid to the group's opponents in the Middle East and
help bring his killers to justice.
2015 Jan 31, Italian lawmakers
elected Sergio Mattarella, a constitutional court judge and veteran
center-left politician, as president.
2015 Jan 31, Macedonia's chief
opposition leader was charged by police with conspiring with a
foreign intelligence service to topple the government. Zoran Zaev,
leader of the Social Democrats, denied the charges, saying
authorities were trying in vain to prevent the publication of what
he says is incendiary evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the
conservative government of PM Nikola Gruevski.
2015 Jan 31, Mexican
investigators said 150 green sea turtles have been found dead in the
Ojo de Liebre lagoon, on the Pacific side of Baja California Sur
state. The federal environmental protection agency suspected that
that lowered temperatures in the region may have caused the deaths.
Earlier this month the bodies of 14 gray whales were found in the
(AP, 2/1/15)(SFC, 2/2/15, p.A2)
2015 Jan 31, Panama expelled a
former Colombian intelligence chief, Maria del Pilar Hurtado, to
face charges at home of illegally intercepting phone calls from
opposition Colombian lawmakers.
2015 Jan 31, A Philippine air
force Italian-made light plane crashed at sea on a training mission,
killing the two pilots.
2015 Jan 31, In Somalia a
missile hit the Islamist-held stronghold of Dinsoor, 270 km (170
miles) west of the capital Mogadishu. Several Shebab militants were
2015 Jan 31, In Spain some
150,000 people marched through Madrid in a show of strength by
Podemos (We Can), a fledgling radical leftist party, which hopes to
emulate the success of Greece's Syriza party in general elections
later this year.
(AP, 1/31/15)(Econ, 2/7/15, p.51)
2015 Jan 31, In Syria a
pro-government faction known as the National Resistance Movement
shot dead an army defector in Daraa province after accusing him of
spying for Israel.
2015 Jan 31, Ukrainian former
president Leonid Kuchma, a Russian diplomat and an Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) official met at a state
residence in the Belarussian capital Minsk for a new round of peace
2015 Jan 31, In eastern Ukraine
12 civilians were killed by separatist artillery shelling of the
town, which lies to the north-east of Donetsk. Defense Minister
Stepan Poltorak said 15 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and 30
wounded in clashes across the east.
2015 Jan 31, In Yemen Harith
al-Nadhari and 3 other militants were killed in an American drone
strike against their car in the southern Shabwa province. Al-Qaeda
in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) later named the others as Said
Bafaraj, Abdelsamie al-Haddaa and Azzam al-Hadrami.
2016 Jan 31, The US Agency for
International Development announced that the US has boosted its
emergency food aid to Ethiopia by nearly $100 million to combat one
of the worst droughts in decades.
2016 Jan 31, An Albanian court
ruled that Spiro Ksera, a former labor minister of labor in the
previous Democratic Party government, should await trial in jail on
charges of embezzlement.
2016 Jan 31, Bolivia’s
President Evo Morales said police have arrested the man long wanted
over the murder of socialist leader Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz, who
vanished in July 1980 during a paramilitary operation against the
headquarters of a trade union that rejected the coup led by Colonel
Luis Garcia Meza. Former soldier Froilan Molina, alias "Killer,"
allegedly murdered Quiroga Santa Cruz and had been on the run since
he was sentenced to 30 years in prison in the early 1990s.
2016 Jan 31, Chinese media
reported the arrest of Ding Ning, the maverick founder of Ezubao, a
peer-to-peer lender and China's largest online finance business, and
20 of his employees on suspicion of fleecing 900,000 investors of
$7.6 billion, in what could be the biggest financial fraud in
(AP, 2/1/16)(Econ, 2/6/16, p.41)
2016 Jan 31, Cuba announced
that it is launching broadband Internet service in two Havana
neighborhoods as a pilot project aimed at bringing home access to
one of the world's least connected nations.
2016 Jan 31, Two Egyptian
policemen and two soldiers were killed in two bombing attacks in the
country's restive Sinai Peninsula.
2016 Jan 31, Francisco Flores
(56), El Salvador's former president (1999-2004), died following a
stroke and coma from which he never recovered. He faced a corruption
trial on charges of stealing $15 million donated by Taiwan for
victims of a 2001 earthquake.
2016 Jan 31, Israel's Cabinet
voted to allow non-Orthodox Jewish prayer at the Western Wall in
Jerusalem, a move advocates said marked a historic show of
government support for liberal streams of Judaism.
2016 Jan 31, Israeli forces
shot dead Amjad Sukkari (34), a policeman who worked as a bodyguard
for the Palestinian attorney general, after he opened fire at a West
Bank checkpoint and wounded three people.
2016 Jan 31, The Saudi Gazette
newspaper reported that authorities have arrested nine American
citizens among 33 "terror" suspects rounded up over the past week.
2016 Jan 31, In Syria at least
70 people were killed and scores wounded when a car bomb and two
suicide bombers blew them themselves up in the Sayeda Zeinab
district of Damascus, where Syria's holiest Shi'ite shrine is
(Reuters, 1/31/16)(Reuters, 2/1/16)
2016 Jan 31, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warnedy Ethiopia is struggling from
its worst drought for 30 years with some 10.2 million in dire need
of life saving aid.
2016 Jan 31, The UN launched an
appeal for $861 million in international humanitarian assistance to
help millions of people in Iraq who are suffering from war and
2017 Jan 31, President Donald
Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch (49) for a lifetime job on the US
Supreme Court, picking the federal appeals court judge to restore
the court's conservative majority and help shape rulings on divisive
issues such as abortion, gun control, the death penalty and
2017 Jan 31, US Republicans
delayed indefinitely planned Senate committee votes on President
Donald Trump's picks to be Health and Treasury secretaries after
Democrats boycotted the session and demanded more information on the
two nominees' past financial behavior.
2017 Jan 31, A US official
confirmed that the United States has provided Syrian fighters
battling the Islamic State group with armored vehicles for the first
time. A US-backed alliance of Syrian militias said it saw signs of
increased US support for their campaign against Islamic State with
President Donald Trump in office, a shift that would heighten
Turkish worries over Kurdish power in Syria.
(AFP, 1/31/17)(Reuters, 1/31/17)
2017 Jan 31, Peter Navarro,
Pres. Trump’s senior trade advisor, declared the Transatlantic Trade
and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a half-negotiated trade pact
between the EU and America, to be dead.
(Econ, 2/4/17, p.21)
2017 Jan 31, US federal energy
regulators approved construction of Energy Transfer Partners LP's
Rover natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to Ontario.
2017 Jan 31, A group of
professional cheerleaders in the SF Bay Area sued the NFL demanding
higher wages and fair labor practices.
(SFC, 2/2/17, p.D1)
2017 Jan 31, Missouri executed
Mark Christeson (37) for his role in the murder of Susan Brouk and
her two children in 1998.
(SFC, 2/1/17, p.A6)
2017 Jan 31, Afghan forces said
they were holding off a Taliban offensive in Helmand province, as
reinforcements and air support arrived. Both sides reported heavy
fighting as Taliban militants attacked government positions in
Sangin district. In the northeast the Taliban shot and killed Amir
Begum, a woman accused of adultery in the Yumgan district.
(Reuters, 1/31/17)(AP, 2/1/17)
2017 Jan 31, The African Union
readmitted Morocco after a 33-year absence, deferring the issue of
Western Sahara for another day.
2017 Jan 31, An Austrian court
sentenced three Afghan asylum seekers to prison over the gang-rape
of a woman at a train station last April.
2017 Jan 31, The management of
Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt, in the Austrian Alps, said that
they've been repeatedly targeted by cybercriminals. One recent
infection with ransom software — on Dec. 6 — resulted in a complete
shutdown of hotel computers.
2017 Jan 31, Brazil said
unemployment hit a record 12 percent between October and December,
even as the economy is forecast to slowly exit deep recession.
2017 Jan 31, Britain passed a
law that posthumously pardoned thousands of men convicted under
now-abolished anti-homosexuality laws, and many more still alive can
now apply to have their criminal convictions wiped out.
2017 Jan 31, In Cameroon an
armed group attacked a UN technical team working along the border
between Nigeria and Cameroon, killing five people and wounding
several near the border town of Kontcha.
2017 Jan 31, Colombian FARC
rebels gathered in demobilization zones to start a historic
disarmament process to end Latin America's last major armed
2017 Jan 31, The Congolese army
said armed fighters belonging to the former M23 rebel group had
captured four crew members of a military helicopter which crashed in
eastern Congo DRC last week, and that three died after being
2017 Jan 31, Czech Foreign
Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said hackers have breached dozens of email
accounts at the Foreign Ministry in an attack resembling one against
the US Democratic Party that the former Obama administration blamed
2017 Jan 31, The Islamic State
group in Egypt claimed that its fighters killed and wounded 20
Egyptian soldiers in four days of clashes in northern Sinai.
2017 Jan 31, The Cairo
Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), a non-government
organization, published a 95-page report saying Law 10 of 1914, or
the Assembly Law was repealed by parliament in 1928.
2017 Jan 31, Germany began
sending tanks and other equipment to Lithuania as part of a NATO
mission to beef up the defense of eastern Europe and send a signal
of resolve to Russia, which has denounced the build-up as an act of
2017 Jan 31, Iran said it would
never use its ballistic missiles to attack another country and
defended its missile tests, saying they are neither part of a
nuclear accord with world powers nor a UN Security Council
resolution endorsing the pact.
2017 Jan 31, Israeli
authorities said that nine Venezuelan Jewish converts will be
allowed to move to Israel in light of the humanitarian crisis in
Venezuela, reversing an earlier decision to keep them out.
2017 Jan 31, Italian police
arrested three citizens on suspicion of smuggling helicopters and
surface-to-air missiles into Libya and Iran between 2011 and 2015 in
violation of international embargoes.
2017 Jan 31, Kenya extradited
Baktash and Ibrahim Akasha to the US. They had been arrested by
Kenyan police over two years ago after allegedly handing over 99kg
of heroin and 1kg of methamphetamine to people working for America’s
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
(Econ, 2/11/17, p.45)
2017 Jan 31, Pakistani
supporters of Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed staged small protests and
condemned the United States, after police detained the accused
architect of an attack on the Indian city of Mumbai that killed 166
people in 2008.
2017 Jan 31, The Philippine
Supreme Court prohibited a group of police officers from entering a
slum community to prevent them from threatening villagers who have
accused them of ruthlessly killing four residents in an anti-drug
2017 Jan 31, Poland's
government-affiliated history institute said it had new evidence
that Lech Walesa, who led protests and strikes that shook communist
rule in the 1980s, had been a paid informant for the secret police
in the 1970s.
2017 Jan 31, Portugal's Supreme
Court ruled that missing British girl Madeleine McCann's parents
can't sue for libel a former detective Goncalo Amaral, who published
a book, “The Truth of the Lie” (2008), alleging they were involved
in their daughter's disappearance in May 2007.
2017 Jan 31, Romania’s
government passed an emergency decree that in effect decriminalized
official misconduct resulting in financial damage of less than
$200,000. Within an hour more than 10,000 protesters were on the
streets. The decree was rescinded on Feb 5.
(Econ, 2/11/17, p.39)
2017 Jan 31, Russia sources
said Sergei Mikhailov and Dmitry Dokuchaev, who worked for the cyber
wing of Russia's FSB domestic intelligence service until their
arrests in December, are accused of cooperating with the CIA. Ruslan
Stoyanov, head of the investigation unit at Moscow-based
cybersecurity giant Kaspersky, was also reported detained.
(AP, 1/31/17)(AFP, 2/1/17)
2017 Jan 31, In Sierra Leone
human rights defender Abdul Fatoma appeared on a radio show in which
he challenged the government and the anti-corruption commission to
do more to make authorities accountable, in a system that he says
answers only to itself. He was later arrested, bailed without
charge, and summoned twice to parliament to answer questions, yet
denied an audience when he showed up.
2017 Jan 31, Slovenia’s
national Statistics Bureau said that the number of overnight stays
by American tourists has jumped by 10 percent in 2016 when compared
to 2015. The tourism boom was partly because it is the native
country of US first lady Melania Trump.
2017 Jan 31, In South Sudan
fresh clashes broke out around Malakal, the latest turn in the
struggle for the capital of the oil-producing Upper Nile region.
2017 Jan 31, Switzerland said
it would lift its 40-year ban on gay and bisexual men giving blood
but will still prohibit donations from those who have had sex in the
2017 Jan 31, Turkey arrested
two MPs from the main pro-Kurdish party, including its chief
spokesman, the latest move in a crackdown on the group ahead of a
vote on changing the constitution.
2017 Jan 31, Ukrainian forces
and Russian-backed rebels were locked in fighting for a third
straight day at a flashpoint town that left thousands shivering
without power and sparked renewed EU concern about security in its
2017 Jan 31, The UN children's
agency (UNICEF) launched an appeal for $3.3 billion to help 48
million children caught up in crises worldwide amid fears of a
funding cut from top donor the United States.
2018 Jan 31, The moon put on a
rare cosmic show: a red blue moon, super big and super bright. It's
the first time in 35 years a blue moon has synced up with a
supermoon and a total lunar eclipse, or blood moon because of its
2018 Jan 31, The US State
Department labeled Egypt's Hasm movement and Liwaa el-Thawra as
"Specially Designated Global Terrorist" groups. Egyptian authorities
believed they are splinter factions of the Muslim Brotherhood, an
Islamist organization that Egypt has outlawed since 2013.
2018 Jan 31, US federal
prosecutors charged Peter Hicks (57) of Worcester, Mass., with
accepting money to marry six women, from sub-Saharan African
nations, to help them evade immigration laws. Hicks faced a maximum
of five years in prison if convicted.
(SFC, 2/1/18, p.A5)
2018 Jan 31, Afghanistan gave
neighboring Pakistan confessions and other proof showing that the
militants who carried out a recent series of attacks were trained in
Pakistan and that Taliban leaders there are allowed to roam freely.
2018 Jan 31, A magnitude 6.1
earthquake hit Afghanistan and Pakistan killing a young girl and
injuring 15 others.
(SFC, 2/1/18, p.A2)
2018 Jan 31, Austria's
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the government planned to disband a
fraternity over its anti-Semitic songbook, amid calls for far-right
politician Udo Landbauer to resign for having been the group's
2018 Jan 31, Bahrain's criminal
court sentenced two Shiites to death and 19 others to life
imprisonment in a ruling against a cell convicted of terror attacks.
2018 Jan 31, Britain's
government said it would hand over to parliament what it called an
initial analysis of the impact of Brexit, trying to deflect
accusations that ministers are badly prepared for leaving the EU.
2018 Jan 31, British lawmakers
voted to move out of their aging Parliament building to allow for an
estimated six years of repairs at a cost of $5 billion.
(SFC, 2/1/18, p.A3)
2018 Jan 31, British energy
major BP announced oil and gas discoveries in the North Sea, in a
boost for the company and local industry.
2018 Jan 31, In China British
PM Theresa May met with Premier Li Keqiang and called for expanding
the "global strategic partnership" between the UK and China.
2018 Jan 31, Cuba protested the
creation of a US task force on increasing internet access on the
island — a measure that's part of President Donald Trump's hardening
of US policy on Cuba.
2018 Jan 31, An Egyptian court
gave 15 people one-year suspended jail sentences over an attack last
Dec. 22 on an unlicensed Coptic Church in a village south of Cairo.
The Giza misdemeanor court also fined the owner of the building, a
Christian man, 360,000 Egyptian pounds ($20,500) for turning his
residency into a church without a license.
2018 Jan 31, In France Islamic
scholar Tariq Ramadan (55) was arrested following claims by two
women that he assaulted them in French hotel rooms in 2009 and 2012.
The married father of four has denied the accusations from the two
2018 Jan 31, In Germany Marcel
Hesse (20) was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison
for killing a child and a 22-year-old acquaintance last March.
2018 Jan 31, Hong Kong
lawmakers gave final approval to a government proposal banning local
ivory trading in the Chinese territory by 2021, with conservation
groups hailing it as a major victory in the fight to save elephants.
2018 Jan 31, Iranian police
detained 29 women who removed their obligatory Islamic veils. They
were taking part in an antihijab campaign known as “White
Wednesdays,” advocated by the foreign-based Farsi language satellite
TV networks. Women showing their hair in public can be jailed for up
to two months or fined $25.
(SFC, 2/2/18, p.A2)
2018 Jan 31, Israeli Defence
Minister Avigdor Lieberman described Lebanon's offshore oil and gas
licensing process as "very provocative" and urged international
firms not to bid. Lebanon's President Michel Aoun said Israeli
comments urging firms not to bid on a Lebanese offshore energy
tender were "a threat to Lebanon".
2018 Jan 31, In Italy the
dismembered body of Pamela Mastropietro (18) was found in two
suitcases near Macerata. The teenager had run away from a drug
rehabilitation center on Jan. 29 and met a Nigerian asylum seeker,
Innocent Oseghale, the next day. Witnesses said they had earlier
seen Oseghale with the suitcases.
2018 Jan 31, Kosovo's PM Ramush
Haradinaj suspended significant pay increases for top government
officials amid a wave of criticism.
2018 Jan 31, In Kosovo hundreds
of people staged a protest in Pristina, urging the government to
fight extremely high pollution.
2018 Jan 31, It was reported
that low dam levels in the emerald-green highlands of Lesotho are
raising alarm bells in South Africa's industrial heartland around
Johannesburg, which has so far avoided the shortages hitting other
2018 Jan 31, A Dutch appeals
court convicted a man for helping his ailing, 99-year-old stepmother
take her own life a decade ago, a case that has become a focal point
in the fierce debate in the Netherlands about end-of-life issues.
The city court in Den Bosch gave Albert Heringa a suspended
2018 Jan 31, In the Philippines
Conchita Carpio Morales, the head of a key anti-graft agency, defied
an order by President Rodrigo Duterte's office to suspend her deputy
for allegedly disclosing confidential information to the media about
an investigation into Duterte's alleged undeclared wealth.
2018 Jan 31, In the Philippines
rebel leader Rafael Baylosis (69), a top member of the New People's
Army, was arrested in Quezon City. The military estimated that NPA
has about 5,000 fighters.
(SFC, 2/2/18, p.A2)
2018 Jan 31, In Syria the head
of the Afrin city hospital supplies are dwindling in the main
hospital, which has taken in 48 people killed and 86 wounded in
recent Turkish attacks. Kurdish authorities in Afrin district called
for Bashar al-Assad's government to send troops to help defend them
from a six-day-old Turkish assault. Rockets fired from northern
Syria into the Turkish border town of Reyhanli killed a teenage girl
and wounded another person. The Kurdish militia accused Turkey of
firing Katyusha rockets into Afrin, and reported that at least 12
people were wounded from the shelling that targeted the neighborhood
(AP, 1/31/18)(Reuters, 1/31/18)
2018 Jan 31, An Istanbul court
ordered the release of Taner Kilic, the head of rights group Amnesty
International in Turkey, who had been held on terror charges that
his supporters long dismissed as "baseless".
2018 Jan 31, A Turkish court
sentenced two Syrians, Atala el-Hasan el-Mayyup and Fevzi Muhammed
Ali, and a Turkish man, Halil Dervis, to multiple life sentences in
connection with a bombing that killed 12 German tourists in Istanbul
on Jan 12, 2016.
2018 Jan 31, The UN human
rights office said that 206 companies — mostly Israeli and American
— are facing a review of their business practices involving Israeli
settlements, which are considered illegal under international law.
2018 Jan 31, The UN refugee
agency appealed for $157 million (126 million euros) to help over a
quarter of a million people affected by the insurgency led by the
militant Islamist group Boko Haram. Since 2013, the Boko Haram
conflict has internally displaced another 2.4 million people in
northeast Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
2019 Jan 31, US court records
made public that a group of travel agents have been charged with
running illicit "birth tourism" schemes across southern California
that allegedly brought in hundreds of pregnant Chinese clients to
the US illegally so they could deliver their children on American
(SFC, 2/1/19, p.A8)
2019 Jan 31, Officials said
cold temperatures across the US Midwest have left at least 20 people
(SFC, 2/1/19, p.A9)
2019 Jan 31, It was reported
that officials were force-feeding six migrants through plastic nasal
tubes at a Texas location, following hunger strikes over the past
month to protest conditions inside detention facilities.
2019 Jan 31, The US Special
Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction reported to
Congress and said the Afghan government controls or influences 54
percent of districts, down from 56 percent a year earlier, and the
Taliban's share slipped from 14 percent to 12 percent.
2019 Jan 31, Texas-based Valero
Energy Corp. said it has stopped taking deliveries of Venezuelan
crude oil after the Trump administration slapped sanctions on
Venezuela's state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.
2019 Jan 31, In northern
Afghanistan the Taliban attacked an army checkpoint late today in
Sari Pul province, killing at least six soldiers. Nine Taliban
fighters were reported killed and 13 wounded in a gun battle that
followed the attack.
2019 Jan 31, Bangladesh
activist Kalpona Akter said more than 5,000 workers who demanded
higher wages have been fired by factory owners, and hundreds faced
police charges in the world's second-largest garment export industry
2019 Jan 31, In Belgium
thousands of teenagers skipped school for the fourth week in a row
in an attempt to push authorities into providing better protection
for the world's climate.
2019 Jan 31, Brazil's Minas
Gerais state labor prosecutors' office said it had frozen more than
800 million reais ($219 million) of miner Vale's funds as
compensation for victims of the Jan. 25 deadly tailings dam burst.
2019 Jan 31, Britain, France
and Germany launched a special payment mechanism that the EU hopes
will help save a nuclear deal with Iran by bypassing US sanctions.
2019 Jan 31, In Pakistan the
British High Commission in Islamabad said convicted child-sex
offender Choudhry Ikhalaq Hussain (41), who was part of a gang that
exploited teenage girls in a northern English town, has been
arrested in Pakistan where he fled during his trial.
2019 Jan 31, Cameroon
authorities banned planned protest marches in the capital Yaounde
after a series of unauthorized anti-government demonstrations and
some 200 arrests, including the detention of main opposition leader
2019 Jan 31, Chinese President
Xi Jinping called for a return to "unity and harmony" on as he
welcomed gas-rich Qatar's emir to Beijing, amid a dispute that has
seen some Arab states led by Saudi Arabia severing relations with
Doha. Qatar's Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani signed several
memorandums of understanding with Pres. Xi Jinping.
2019 Jan 31, The European
Parliament recognized Venezuela's self-declared interim president
Juan Guaido as de facto head of state, heightening international
pressure on the OPEC member's socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
2019 Jan 31, A French court
upheld a decision by doctors to withdraw life support for Vincent
Lambert (42), a tetraplegic man kept alive in a vegetative state for
a decade, after the latest legal challenge by the patient's parents
in a divisive right-to-die case.
2019 Jan 31, Israel began work
to strengthen its border with the Gaza Strip with construction
starting on a massive new barrier along the frontier.
2019 Jan 31, Italy's national
statistics agency said its economy, the third-largest in the
eurozone, contracted by a quarterly rate of 0.2 percent in the
fourth quarter of 2018. Following a 0.1 percent drop in the previous
three-month period that means Italy is in a technical recession.
2019 Jan 31, Lebanese leaders
reached a deal to set up a new unity government, three political
sources from different factions said, ending nine months of
wrangling over how to share out cabinet portfolios in the heavily
2019 Jan 31, Readers of the
Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal leafed through its last print edition,
its move online underscoring the challenges ailing Lebanon's press
2019 Jan 31, In Mexico a
message allegedly from the leader of a fuel theft ring in Guanajuato
threatened Lopez Obrador and was found hung some distance from a
refinery. Soldiers destroyed explosives found near the refinery.
2019 Jan 31, Poland's top state
veterinary official said about 2,500 kg (5,500 pounds) of meat from
sick cows who were slaughtered illegally in Poland has been exported
to 10 other European Union countries. The Polish veterinary
inspectorate stripped the slaughterhouse in Ostrow Mazowiecka of
permission to operate earlier this week.
2019 Jan 31, Russian news
agencies reported that the state communications regulator said that
the BBC World News channel had committed "certain violations" while
operating in Russia.
2019 Jan 31, Saudi Arabia said
that it has concluded a crackdown on high-level corruption that
began 15 months ago.
(SFC, 2/1/19, p.A4)
2019 Jan 31, South Africa's
cash-strapped public broadcaster (SABC) announced it would drop
plans to lay off a third of its full-time employees as it looks for
other savings to cut mounting debts.
2019 Jan 31, In Spain
ride-hailing companies Uber and Cabify said that they would stop
operating in Barcelona after the regional government passed tighter
regulations to appease taxi drivers.
2019 Jan 31, A Spanish court
approved the temporary extradition to the United States of a former
Venezuelan official being investigated in a bribery scheme involving
Venezuela's state oil company, PDVSA. The extradition of Nervis
Villalobos would be for a maximum of six months.
2019 Jan 31, Sudanese police
fired tear gas at crowds of demonstrators in the capital and other
cities, as fresh protests demanded an end to President Omar
al-Bashir's three-decade rule. Protester Ahmed al-Khair, a
33-year-old school teacher, was detained. He was pronounced dead in
custody the following evening. Relatives said his body, including
his groin area, was covered in bruises. There were also signs of
(AP, 1/31/19)(AP, 2/2/19)
2019 Jan 31, In Thailand a
fleet of drones, trucks and small planes sprayed water to try to
reduce air pollution around Bangkok while the city's governor
invited critics to brainstorm better ideas to improve the air
quality in the capital.
2019 Jan 31, Uganda's revenue
agency said authorities have seized 750 pieces of ivory and
thousands of pangolin scales being smuggled from neighboring South
Sudan, in one of the largest seizures of wildlife contraband in the
East African country. Two Vietnamese nationals were in custody over
2019 Jan 31, The UN said cold
weather has killed close to 30 children in two months among the
civilians who have been fleeing the last jihadist pocket in eastern
2019 Jan 31, Venezuelan
security agents detained three foreign journalists -- a Colombian
photographer, Spanish reporter and Colombian TV producer -- who had
been covering the U.S.-backed effort to oust President Nicolas
Maduro for the Spanish news agency EFE. Two detained French
journalists were freed.
2019 Jan 31, Yemeni security
officials said seven Houthi rebel prisoners have been released by
Saudi Arabia and returned to Sanaa.
(SFC, 2/1/19, p.A2)
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