Today in History - May 17
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May 17, Liberius began his reign as Catholic Pope replacing Julius
884 May 17, St. Adrian III
began his reign as Catholic Pope.
1510 May 17, Sandro Botticelli
(b.1445), Florentine artist born as Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni
1525 May 17, Battle at Zabern:
duke of Lutherans beat rebels.
1536 May 17, Anne Boleyn's 4
"lovers" were executed.
1540 May 17, Afghan chief Sher
Khan defeated Mongol Emperor Humayun at Kanauj.
1544 May 17, Scot earl Matthew
van Lennox signed a secret treaty with Henry VIII.
1620 May 17, The 1st
merry-go-round was seen at a fair in Philippapolis, Turkey.
1630 May 17, Italian Jesuit
Niccolo Zucchi saw the belts on Jupiter's surface.
(MC, 5/17/02)(HN, 5/17/98)
1631 May 17, Earl Johann Tilly
1642 May 17, Paul de Chomedy de
Maisonneuve landed on the Island of Montreal and gave the name
Ville-Marie to the town he constructed at the foot of Mont Royal.
1672 May 17, Frontenac became
governor of New France (Canada).
1673 May 17, Louis Joliet and
Jacques Marquette began exploring the Mississippi.
1681 May 17, Louis XIV sent an
expedition to aid James II in Ireland. As a result, England declared
war on France.
1727 May 17, Catherine I
(b.1683), Empress of Russia (1725-27), died.
1733 May 17, England passed the
Molasses Act, putting high tariffs on rum and molasses imported to
the colonies from a country other than British possessions.
1742 May 17, Frederick great
(Emperor of Prussia) beat Austrians.
1749 May 17, Edward Jenner,
physician, discoverer of vaccination, was born.
1756 May 17, After a year and a
half of undeclared war Britain declared war on France, beginning the
French and Indian War and England hoped to conquer Canada. The final
defeat of the French came in 1763 with the British victory at the
Battle of Quebec on the Plains of Abraham.
1792 May 17, Stock traders
signed the Buttonwood Agreement in New York City at the Tontine
Coffee House Company near a Buttonwood tree, where business had been
transacted in the past. 24 merchants formed their exchange at Wall
and Water Streets where they fixed rates on commissions on stocks
and bonds. This later developed into the New York Stock Exchange. A
market crash and almost total halt in credit, trading and liquidity
prompted the Buttonwood Agreement under the influence of Alexander
Hamilton. The organization drafted its constitution on March 8th,
1817, and named itself the "New York Stock & Exchange Board."
3/24/97, p.A19)(HN, 5/17/98)
1803 May 17, John Hawkins and
Richard French patented a reaping machine.
1809 May 17, The Papal States
were annexed by France. Pope Pius VII responded by excommunicating
(MC, 5/17/02)(PTA, 1980, p.502)
1814 May 17, Denmark ceded
Norway to Sweden. Norway's constitution was signed, providing for a
(AP, 5/17/97)(HN, 5/17/98)
1836 May 17, Joseph Norman
Lockyer, discovered helium, was born. He founded Nature magazine.
(HN, 5/17/98)(MC, 5/17/02)
1838 May 17, Pennsylvania Hall
in Philadelphia was burned following an abolitionist meeting.
(SFEC, 1/3/99, BR p.1)
1838 May 17, Charles-Maurice
duke of Talleyrand-Perigord (84), diplomat, revolutionary, bishop
and former PM of France (1815), died. In 2006 David Lawday authored
“Napoleon’s Master: A Life of Prince Talleyrand.”
1845 May 17, The rubber band
was patented. [see Mar 17]
1849 May 17, A fire in St.
Louis, Mo., destroyed more than 400 buildings and two dozen
1863 May 17, Union General
Ulysses Grant continued his push towards Vicksburg at the Battle of
the Big Black River Bridge in Mississippi.
1864 May 17, The Battle of
Adairsville, Georgia, resulted in a Confederate retreat.
1865 May 17, The International
Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris. The International
Telecommunication Union later became a specialized agency of the
United Nations that is responsible for issues that concern
information and communication technologies. By 2019 ITU's global
membership included 193 Member States as well as some 900 companies,
universities, and international and regional organizations.
1866 May 17, Erik Alfred Leslie
Satie, French composer, was born.
(HN, 5/17/01)(MC, 5/17/02)
1871 May 17, Gen. Sherman,
Indian fighter, escaped in ambulance from the Comanches.
1875 May 17, The first Kentucky
Derby was run at Louisville; the winner was Aristides. It
later became part of the Triple Crown with the Belmont Stakes and
(AP, 5/17/97)(SFEC, 5/30/99, Z1 p.8)(HN, 5/17/02)
1876 May 17, The 7th US Cavalry
under Custer left Ft. Lincoln.
1881 May 17, Frederick Douglass
was appointed recorder of deeds for Washington, D.C.
1883 May 17, Buffalo Bill
Cody's 1st wild west show premiered in Omaha.
1883 May 17, Lydia Estes
Pinkham, patent-medicine manufacturer, died.
1884 May 17, Alaska became a US
1900 May 17, Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini (d.1989), Iran's spiritual and revolutionary leader
(1979-89), was born.
1903 May 17, James "Cool Papa"
Bell, baseball player, was born.
1904 May 17, Jean Gabin, one of
France's most popular film actors, was born in Paris.
1904 May 17, Maurice Ravel's
"Sheherezad," premiered in Paris.
1906 May 17, Opera singer Zinka
Milanov was born in Zagreb, Croatia.
1909 May 17, White firemen on
Georgia RR struck to protest the hiring of blacks.
1912 May 17, Archibald Cox was
born. He was the special prosecutor in the Watergate hearings who
was fired by President Richard Nixon.
1915 May 17, The National
Baptist Convention was chartered.
1918 May 17, Birgit Nilsson,
operatic soprano (Isolde, Turandot, Elektra, Salome), was born in
1918 May 17, British
authorities arrested Irish leader Eamon de Valera and other Sinn
Fein leaders on suspicion of conspiring with the Germans.
(ON, 9/04, p.5)
1921 May 17, Pres. Harding
opened the 1st Valencia Orange Show via telephone.
1921 May 17, Toronto's Dr.
Banting (1891-1941) and graduate student Charles Best (1899-1978)
began research at the Univ. of Toronto that led to their discovery
of insulin. [see Jul 27] In 1982 Michael Bliss authored “The
Discovery of Insulin.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Banting)(WSJ, 10/4/08, p.W8)
1924 May 17, In Santa Cruz,
Ca., the Giant Dipper roller coaster opened to the public. It was
built by local resident Arthur Looff. It cost $50,000 and took 47
days to construct. It was declared a Historic Landmark in 1987.
(CG, #205, 1991)(SFEC, 3/14/99, DB p.71)
1925 May 17, French nun Therese
of Lisieux (1873-1897) was raised to sainthood by Pope Pius XI. In
1997 she made a doctor of the Church by John Paul II, a rare honor
signifying that her writings and preachings are useful to
1926 May 17, Chiang Kai-shek
was made supreme war lord and "generalissimo" in Canton.
1929 May 17, Edsel Ford cut the
first sod of Ford's new British manufacturing plant in the Dagenham
marshes. The first cars at Dagenham were produced in October, 1931.
This was Ford’s first expansion outside the US.
1930 May 17, Herbert Croly
(b.1869), American liberal political author, died. His books
included “The Promise of American Life” (1909).
1932 May 17, Congress changed
the name "Porto Rico" to "Puerto Rico".
1936 May 17, Dennis Hopper,
actor (True Grit, Blue Velvet, Easy Rider), was born in Kansas.
1938 May 17, The radio quiz
show "Information, Please!" made its debut on the NBC Blue Network.
1938 May 17, Congress passed
the Vinson Naval Act, providing for a strengthened US Navy.
1939 May 17, Britain's King
George VI and Queen Elizabeth arrived in Quebec on the first visit
to Canada by reigning British sovereigns.
1940 May 17, Germany occupied
Brussels, Belgium, and began the invasion of France. [See May 12]
(AP, 5/17/97)(HN, 5/17/98)
1942 May 17, Dutch SS vowed
loyalty to Hitler.
1943 May 17, The Memphis Belle
took off from England with a wave of 159 B-17s to drop bombs on the
concrete Nazi submarine shelters at Lorient, France. When it landed
unscathed that afternoon, the 10 men aboard had just become one of
the first bomber crews of the war to survive 25 missions at a time
when most weren't making a dozen. In 2018 the restored Memphis Belle
was unveiled at the National Museum of the US Air Force near Dayton,
1944 May 17, General Eisenhower
set D-Day for June 5th.
1944 May 17, Polish poet Felix
Konarski (1907-1991) wrote the song “Red Poppies on Monte Cassino”
on the night before the Allied attack that crushed the German
defense at Monte Cassino. Alfred Schutz (d.1999) composed the music.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trv_4epO6vw)(SFC, 9/23/15, p.A2)
1944 May 17, D. du Toit
(Harvard College Observatory, Boyden station, Bloemfontein, South
Africa) discovered the comet, 66P/du Toit, on a photograph.
1946 May 17, President Truman
seized control of the nation's railroads, delaying — but not
preventing — a threatened strike by engineers and trainmen.
1948 May 17, The Soviet Union
recognized the new state of Israel.
1949 May 17, The British House
of Commons adopted the Ireland Bill that recognized the independence
of the Republic of Ireland, but affirmed the position of Northern
Ireland within the United Kingdom.
(EWH, 1968, p.1166)
1954 May 17, The US Supreme
Court unanimously ruled for school integration in the landmark
initiative of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. It helped
abolish de facto and de jure segregation that persisted throughout
the US. The Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public
schools is unconstitutional. The 12-page historic opinion was
written by Chief Justice Earl Warren. The result overturned the 1896
decision of Plessy vs. Ferguson that proclaimed a doctrine of
separate but equal. The Plessy decision had allowed that as long as
accommodation existed, segregation did not constitute
discrimination, establishing the doctrine of "separate but equal."
In the Brown case, which involved elementary education, the Court
ruled unanimously that segregation in public education was a denial
of the equal protection of the laws.
p.A-6)(SFEC, 6/8/97, BR p.8)
1954 May 17, Blacks hailed the
Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka decision. Whites in the Deep
South called the day "Black Monday." A movement called Citizens’
Councils, led by Mississippi Circuit Court Judge Tom P. Brady, grew
to encompass virtually the state's entire white business class.
Council members published a book entitled “Black Monday” which
outlined their simple beliefs: African Americans were inferior to
whites and the races must remain separate. "If in one mighty voice
we do not protest this travesty on justice, we might as well
surrender," Brady wrote.
1954 May 17, In Romania
Monsignor Vladimir Ghika (b.1873) died in Jilava Communist prison.
He had been born into a family of Moldovan nobles in Constantinople
and spent decades traveling around the world helping the sick and
the poor. On Aug 31, 2013, he was beatified.
1956 May 17, Sugar Ray
[Charles] Leonard, boxer (Olympics-gold-76) was born in Willington,
1960 May 17, Connecticut
executed Joseph "Mad Dog" Taborsky in the electric chair for a
series of murders and robberies.
1960 May 17, The YF4H-1 Phantom
fighter and Douglas DC-8 were unveiled.
(NPub, 2002, p.19)
1961 May 17, Cuban leader Fidel
Castro offered to exchange prisoners captured in the abortive Bay of
Pigs invasion for 500 bulldozers.
(AP, 5/17/01)(MC, 5/17/02)
1964 May 17, In San Francisco
thousands gathered in Golden Gate park to rally against a proposal
for a Panhandle Freeway.
(SSFC, 5/18/14, DB p.50)
1966 May 17, A North Vietnamese
interview with US Adm. Jeremiah Denton (1924-2014) was broadcast on
US TV. He had been shot down over North Vietnam in 1965. Denton used
his eyes to blink out T-O-R-T-U-R-E in Morse code. This was the
first confirmation that American POWs were being tortured.
(SFC, 3/29/14, p.C6)
1968 May 17, In Maryland the
Catonsville Nine, including Catholic priests Daniel (1921-2016) and
Phillip Berrigan (1921-2002), took hundreds of files from the draft
board at the Knights of Columbus building and set them on fire with
gasoline and soap chips. On November 9 all nine were sentenced to
two years in prison.
12/7/02, p.A3)(SFC, 5/2/16, p.C4)
1970 May 17, Thor Heyerdahl
(1914-2002), Norwegian anthropologist, left Morocco aboard Ra II, a
papyrus reed boat, and sailed 3,270 nautical miles across the
Atlantic to Barbados in 57 days [see Jul 12].
1971 May 17, The musical
"Godspell," by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak, premiered
1972 May 17, In Italy Luigi
Calabresi, head of the political dept. of the Milan police, was
killed. He had been falsely suspected of having killed the anarchist
Giuseppe Pinelli in 1969. In 1988 Leonardo Marino, a former far left
Lotta Continua militant, confessed that he drove a getaway car and
that Adriano Sofri (b.1942), a writer, had masterminded the killing.
On July 28, 1988, Sofri was arrested with Ovidio Bompressi and
Giorgio Pietrostefani for the alleged murder of Calabresi. Sofri was
convicted in 2000.
1973 May 17, The US Senate
began its televised hearings into the Watergate scandal and the role
of Pres. Nixon.
(HN, 5/17/98)(AH, 10/04, p.16)(AP, 5/17/08)
1974 May 17, LA police and FBI
agents engaged in a gun battle with SLA members in a bungalow. The
house caught fire and 6 bodies were recovered that included Cinque
and William Wolfe. Patty Hearst was not there.
1974 May 17, In Northern
Ireland three cars exploded amidst crowds of Dublin shoppers and
commuters walking toward a train station. A fourth detonated about
an hour later outside a pub in the border town of Monaghan. In 2007
an investigation into the bombings was finally completed by lawyer
Patrick MacEntee. The government had tasked MacEntee in 2005 with
finding out why Ireland's national police force, the Garda Siochana,
closed down its investigation in 1974 and failed to follow up
1975 May 17, NBC paid $5M for
rights to show "Gone with the Wind" one time. The film aired over 2
nights in November, 1976.
1977 May 17, Menachem Begin's
Likud-party won election in Israel.
1978 May 17, Women were
included in the White House honor guard for the first time as
President Carter welcomed Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda.
1980 May 17, Rioting that
claimed 18 lives erupted in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood after
an all-white jury in Tampa acquitted four former Miami police
officers of fatally beating black insurance executive Arthur
1981 May 17, SF celebrated
"Tillie Olsen Day." Her books included "Yonnondio" (1974), and
"Silences," a study of blocked creativity. In 2001 she received the
Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award.
(SSFC, 4/1/01, BR p.2)
1981 May 17, Jeannette Ridlon
Piccard (b.1895), American teacher and 1st US woman free balloon
1984 May 17, A federal bailout
of $4.5 billion kept the Continental Illinois Bank afloat. The 7th
biggest US bank’s loss of half its funds overnight led to America’s
return to strict capital requirements. Fed chairman Paul Volcker
lent $8 billion through the discount window and endorsed the bailout
of uninsured depositors. CIB was later sold to BankAmerica.
(WSJ, 9/24/98, p.A16)(Econ, 5/20/06, Survey
1987 May 17, An Iraqi warplane
attacked the US Navy frigate Stark in the Persian Gulf and 37
American sailors were killed. Iraq and the United States called the
attack a mistake.
(NG, 5/88, p.653)(AP, 5/17/97)(HN, 5/17/98)
1987 May 17, Gunnar Myrdal
(b.1898), Swedish economist (Nobel 1974), died.
1988 May 17, The US Commerce
Department reported that a record level of export sales gave the US
its lowest monthly trade deficit in three years in March 1988,
totaling $9.7 billion.
1989 May 17, Robert Webber
(b.1924), actor (Nuts, SOB, Assassin, 10), died in California.
1989 May 17, More than 1
million people swarmed into central Beijing to express support for
Chinese students fasting for democracy.
1989 May 17, A court in
Frankfurt, West Germany, sentenced Mohammed Ali Hamadi to life in
prison for his role in the 1985 TWA hijacking.
1990 May 17, The effective date
for pension rights for both men and women as ruled by a European
court in 1994.
1990 May 17, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev met in Moscow with Lithuanian Prime Minister
Kazimiera Prunskiene, Gorbachev's first face-to-face meeting with a
senior official of the defiant Baltic republics.
1991 May 17, The Commerce
Department reported the US trade deficit had narrowed sharply in
March 1991 to $4.05 billion, the lowest level in nearly eight years.
1992 May 17, Pro-democracy
protests began in Thailand; in four days of clashes with troops, 44
people reportedly were killed, although activists charged that
1992 May 17, Lawrence Welk
(89), conductor and accordionist, died in Santa Monica, Calif.
(AP, 5/17/97)(SFC, 8/19/99, p.E2)
1992 May 17, Tony "Big Tuna"
Accardo (86), mobster (heir to the late Al Capone), died.
1993 May 17, President Clinton
visited the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the
birthplace of the atomic bomb to promote a five-year, $20 billion
1994 May 17, The U.N. Security
Council approved a peacekeeping force and an arms embargo for
violence-racked Rwanda. By June, 1994, 800,000 died there despite
the presence of a small UN mission.
1995 May 17, The US Senate
ethics committee concluded that Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.) had to
face a full-scale Senate investigation of charges that included
making improper advances toward women.
1995 May 17, Jacques Chirac was
sworn in as president of France, ending the 14-year tenure of
Socialist Francois Mitterrand.
1996 May 17, D. Pipes reviewed
“The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years” by
1996 May 17, President Clinton
signed a measure requiring neighborhood notification when sex
offenders move in. Megan's Law, as it's known, is named for Megan
Kanka, a 7-year-old New Jersey girl who was raped and slain in 1994.
1996 May 17, Scott Brayton,
race car driver, was killed during a practice run for the US Indy
500 race. He was the 40th driver to die during practice,
qualifications or the race. 66 people in all have died in accidents
related to the race.
(SFC, 5/18/96, p.B-1)
1996 May 17, Conservative
Social Democrats were sworn in as the British colony’s new
government. The new chief minister is Peter Caruana.
(SFC, 5/18/96, p.A-10)
1996 May 17, Israeli troops
shot and arrested Hassan Salameh. He was accused of organizing 3
bombings this year that killed 43 and wounded 91. His family lived
in the Gaza Strip and claimed to have no idea of their son’s
(SFC, 5/21/96, p.A-11)
1996 May 17, Hutu gunmen
attacked 800 Zairian Tutsis who had taken refuge in a church. The
killed at least 12 and left 130 missing. Hutu refugees from Rwanda
have been conducting a campaign to drive out other ethnic groups in
1996 May 17, This week huge
swarms of locusts swept through the Zimbabwe capital, Harare. The
insects had come up from Mozambique.
(SFC, 5/18/96, p.A-9)
1997 May 17, Silver Charm won
the Preakness, two weeks after winning the Kentucky Derby. However,
he failed to win the Belmont Stakes.
1997 May 17, The first flight
of NASA’s subscale remotely piloted X-36 Tailless Fighter Agility
Research Aircraft took place.
1997 May 17, Russia's Mir space
station received a new oxygen generator and a fresh American
astronaut, courtesy of space shuttle Atlantis.
1997 May 17, From Gabon it was
reported that controlled logging in the tropical forests has led to
savage territorial wars among the native chimpanzees. The population
was estimated to have dropped from 50,000 to 30,000.
(SFC, 5/17/97, p.A4)
1997 May 17, In Zaire rebel
forces entered Kinshasa and Laurent Kabila declared himself
president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kabila requested
Swiss authorities to block Mobuto Sese Seko’s access to his Swiss
villa. The house was seized and searched and documents were found
that related to his wealth. The seizure was declared legal Aug 7.
(SFEC, 5/18/97, Z1 p.6)(SFC, 8/8/97, p.E3)(AP,
1998 May 17, New York Yankees
pitcher David Wells became the 13th player in modern major league
baseball history to throw a perfect game as he retired all 27
batters he faced in a 4-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
1998 May 17, Leaders of the
Group of Eight nations ended their summit in Birmingham, England,
with a plea to Pakistan not to respond in kind to India's five
1998 May 17, In Afghanistan
Taliban jet fighters bombed a crowded market and killed at least 30
people and wounded 50 in Taloqan, the capital of Takhar province.
(SFC, 5/18/98, p.A12)
1998 May 17, It was reported
that the worst drought since one in 1983 plagued northeast Brazil.
(SFC, 5/18/98, p.A10)
1998 May 17, In Colombia at
least 10 people were killed by an alleged right-wing death squad in
Barrancabermeja. Later the United Self-Defense Group acknowledged
that they had kidnapped, killed and burned 25 people. At least 11
other people were shot.
(SFC, 5/18/98, p.A12)(SFC, 6/5/98, p.A14)
1998 May 17, In Indonesia
Muslim leader Amien Rais, head of the 28-million member Muhammadiyah
Islamic group, threatened to bring millions onto the streets to
demand Suharto’s resignation.
(SFC, 5/18/98, p.A10)
1998 May 17, Mexico continued
to suffer in its worst drought in 70 years. Some 50 people were
reported to have died fighting fires caused by peasants clearing
(SFC, 5/18/98, p.A10)
1998 May 17, In Russia retired
Gen’l. Alexander Lebed was elected Gov. of Krasnoyarsk in Siberia.
(SFC, 5/18/98, p.A10)
1999 May 17, The US announced a
400,000 ton food aid donation to North Korea, as inspectors flew in
to check on nuclear weapons development.
(SFC, 5/18/99, p.C12)
1999 May 17, The US Supreme
Court ruled that California cannot pay lower welfare benefits to new
residents as proposed in a 1992 state law. The Supreme Court banned
states from paying lower welfare benefits to newcomers than to
(SFC, 5/18/99, p.A1)(AP,
1999 May 17, US authorities
charged Jean-Philippe Wispelaere of Australia for trying to sell
classified American defense documents. Wispelaere had worked in
Canberra for the Australian Defense Intelligence Organization.
(SFC, 5/18/99, p.A3)
1999 May 17, In Neah Bay,
Washington state, Makah Indian hunters legally harpooned their first
gray whale in 70-75 years.
(SFC, 5/18/99, p.A3)(AP, 5/17/00)
1999 May 17, James Broughton,
poet and film maker, died in Washington state. His 20 books included
"True and False Unicor." His 23 films included "This Is It" and
(SFC, 5/21/99, p.D6)
1999 May 17, Henry Jones,
actor, died at age 86 in Los Angeles. His films included "This Is
the Army" (1943).
(SFC, 5/21/99, p.D6)
1999 May 17, Ernest Wamba dia
Wamba was ousted as the rebel leader of the Congolese Democratic
(SFC, 5/18/99, p.C12)(SFC, 8/16/99, p.A8)
1999 May 17, Finnish Pres.
Martti Ahtisaari, appointed as the new Balkans mediator, consulted
with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
(SFC, 5/18/99, p.A8)
1999 May 17, In India Sonia
Gandhi stepped down as president of the Congress Party after several
party leaders complained of her Italian birth.
(SFC, 5/18/99, p.C12)
1999 May 17, In Iran the
judiciary set a $20,000 legal limit on the diyeh (blood money), the
amount a killer can pay to a victim's family to avoid execution.
(SFC, 5/18/99, p.C12)
1999 May 17, In Israel the
Likud and Labor party agreed to hold elections on this date. Labor
Party leader Ehud Barak (57) won over Benjamin Netanyahu 56% to 44%.
(SFC, 12/29/98, p.A6)(SFC, 5/18/99, p.A1)(AP,
1999 May 17, In Mexico the PRI
approved new party rules to select its presidential candidate in
(SFC, 5/18/99, p.A1,11)
1999 May 17, In Yugoslavia
Pres. Milosevic allowed a UN team into Kosovo for the first time.
Serb forces meanwhile blocked ethnic Albanians from fleeing.
(WSJ, 5/18/99, p.A1)
2000 May 17, Two former Ku Klux
Klansmen were arrested on murder charges in the 1963 church bombing
in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four black girls. Thomas Blanton
Junior was convicted and sentenced to life in prison May 1, 2001.
Bobby Frank Cherry was indicted in 2000 and later convicted and
sentenced to life in prison.
(AP, 5/17/01)(AP, 5/17/05)
2000 May 17, In the Dominican
Republic Hipolito Mejia, the populist opposition leader, was on the
verge of winning the election with enough votes to avoid a runoff.
Danilo Medina of the incumbent Liberation party had 24.9% and
Joaquin Balaguer had 24.6% for the Social Christian Reformist Party.
(SFC, 5/18/00, p.C16)
2000 May 17, Ethiopian forces
pushed into Eritrean territory and the UN Security council approved
an embargo against both countries.
(SFC, 5/18/00, p.A11)
2000 May 17, In Iraq a
US-British air attack killed Omran Harbi Jawair (13), a shepherd
boy, near Toq al-Ghazalat. 4 other shepherds were injured. Some 300
Iraqis were killed and 800 wounded over the last 18 months from US
and British bombing.
(SFC, 6/23/00, p.A18)
2000 May 17, In the Philippines
Islamic rebels asked for $2 million for the freedom of ailing German
hostage Renate Wallert. They also issued written conditions that
included the creation of an independent Islamic state and a global
probe into the plight of the Muslim minority.
(SFC, 5/18/00, p.A11)(WSJ, 5/18/00, p.A1)
2000 May 17, In Sierra Leone
pro-government troops captured rebel leader Foday Sankoh.
(SFC, 5/18/00, p.A10)
2000 May 17, In Taiwan a wave
of earthquakes left 3 people dead in Taichung County of the central
(SFC, 5/18/00, p.A14)
2000 May 17, In Yugoslavia
Pres. Milosevic ordered the seizure of independent radio and TV
stations and charging that they were advocating an uprising against
the government. Tens of thousands protested the crackdown.
(SFC, 5/18/00, p.A10)(WSJ, 5/18/00, p.A1)
2001 May 17, The US pledged $43
million in aid to Afghanistan.
(SFC, 5/18/01, p.A14)
2001 May 17, President Bush
unveiled his energy plan, bracing Americans for a summer of
blackouts, layoffs, business closings and skyrocketing fuel costs
and warning of "a darker future" without his aggressive plans to
drill for more oil and gas and rejuvenate nuclear power.
2001 May 17, California energy
regulators uncovered evidence that some electrical power companies
repeatedly shut down generating plants for unnecessary maintenance.
(SFC, 5/18/01, p.A1)
2001 May 17, Prof. Li Shaomin
(45), a Chinese born US citizen, was charged by China with spying
(SFC, 5/18/01, p.A14)
2001 May 17, In Argentina a
Fokker F27 air force plane crashed on takeoff in Medoza and all 5
officers aboard were killed.
(SFC, 5/18/01, p.D4)
2001 May 17, In Colombia the
United Self-Defense Forces (AUC) freed 201 recently abducted
farmworkers. In Medellin a car bomb killed 7 people and injured 138.
The criminal band “La Terraza” was blamed.
(SFC, 5/18/01, p.A14)(SFC, 5/19/01, p.A8)
2001 May 17, In Greece a
nationwide mass strike took place and some 10,000 demonstrated in
Athens to protest a pension overhaul.
(SFC, 5/18/01, p.D4)
2001 May 17, In Iran a
Russian-built Yak-40 plane crashed in Khorasan province and at least
29 people were killed. The dead included Rahman Dadman, the
transport minister, and 7 members of parliament.
(SFC, 5/18/01, p.A15)(WSJ, 5/18/01, p.A1)
2001 May 17, In Kazakstan a
fire in a 26-story hotel in Almaty killed 4 people.
(SFC, 5/18/01, p.D4)
2001 May 17, In Kyrgyzstan a
bus fell into a mountain ravine and 19 people were killed.
(SFC, 5/18/01, p.D4)
2001 May 17, It was reported
that the Mexican government would provide survival kits to citizens
planning to cross into the US illegally.
(SFC, 5/17/01, p.A1)
2002 May 17, Former President
Jimmy Carter ended a historic visit to Cuba sharply at odds with the
Bush administration over how to deal with Fidel Castro, saying
limits on tourism and trade often hurt Americans more than Cubans.
2002 May 17, Midwest flooding
left as many as 9 people dead over the last 2 weeks. Missouri Gov.
Bob Holden asked Pres. Bush to declare 37 counties as disaster
areas. Illinois and Indiana were also hard hit.
(SFC, 5/18/02, p.A3)
2002 May 17, Joe Black (78),
the first black pitcher to win a World Series game, for the Brooklyn
Dodgers in 1952, died in Scottsdale, Ariz.
2002 May 17, Coalition forces
battled enemy forces in Operation Condor in the Khost region. A
pan-Arab newspaper quoted Mullah Mohammed Omar as saying Osama bin
Laden is alive and that the future of the US in Afghanistan is
“fire, hell and total defeat.”
(SFC, 5/18/02, p.A10)
2002 May 17, In Ireland
national elections the Fianna Fail Party of PM Bertie Ahern won 80
of the 166 seats in Parliament. Another coalition with the
conservative Progressive Democrats was expected. IRA-allied Sinn
Fein won 5 seats.
(WSJ, 5/16/02, p.A1)(SSFC, 5/19/02, p.A18)(SFC,
5/20/02, p.A7)(WSJ, 5/20/02, p.A1)
2002 May 17, Yasser Arafat
changed his previous day's remarks and said balloting would only
take place if Israel withdraws from occupied territory.
(SFC, 5/17/02, p.A1)
2003 May 17, Funny Cide ran
away from the field in the Preakness, two weeks after winning the
Kentucky Derby. However, Funny Cide came up short at the Belmont
Stakes, finishing third.
2003 May 17, In G-8 talks at a
Normandy resort the United States secured a commitment from the
world's wealthiest nations and Russia not to demand that Iraq begin
paying off its huge debts before 2005. The Paris Club's 19 members,
which include the US, are alone believed to be owed an estimated $26
billion, not including interest accrued on the debt, most of which
dates from the 1970s.
2003 May 17, In southern China
heavy rainstorms caused flooding killing 45 people and causing
millions of dollars in damage to homes and crops.
2003 May 17, A German tour bus
overturned on a French highway in heavy rain, killing at least 28 of
the 74 people on board.
2003 May 17, In Iraq US forces
arrested Kamal Mustafa Abdallah Sultan al-Tikriti, former secretary
of the Republican Guard (listed as No. 10 and the queen of clubs).
Univ. students and teachers returned to their campuses.
(SSFC, 5/18/03, p.A12)
2003 May 17, A Palestinian
suicide bomber blew himself up in the West Bank city of Hebron,
killing an Israeli man and his pregnant wife.
2003 May 17, Slovaks in a 2-day
plebiscite voted to join the European Union. About 92 percent of
voters approved EU membership, with a turnout of some 52 percent.
2003 May 17, In south-central
Sri Lanka flash floods and landslides killed at least 300 people and
drove some 150,000 people from their homes.
(WSJ, 5/19/03, p.A1)(AP, 5/21/03)
2003 May 17, Turkish Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will open its doors next
week to Greek Cypriot tourists, signaling an end to a decades-long
2003 May 17, Cardinal Giovanni
Battista Re acknowledged that Pope John Paul II was suffering from
2004 May 17, Transsexuals were
cleared to compete in the Olympics for the first time.
2004 May 17, In Massachusetts
gay couples began exchanging vows, marking the first time a state
has granted gays and lesbians the right to marry and making the
United States one of four countries where homosexuals can legally
2004 May 17, Tony Randall (84),
actor who served as a fussy foil for Rock Hudson and Doris Day,
David Letterman and Johnny Carson and, most famously, Jack Klugman
on "The Odd Couple," died in NYC.
2004 May 17, June Taylor (86),
Emmy-winning television choreographer died in Miami.
2004 May 17, China and
Kazakhstan agreed to build a 744-mile crude oil pipeline to send an
initial 10 million tons of Kazakh oil to Xinjiang by 2006.
(WSJ, 6/17/04, p.A16)
2004 May 17, Cuba’s dollar-only
stores were ordered to mark up their prices 10-30% for staples.
2004 May 17, In northern
Honduras authorities said a short-circuit caused a fire that killed
103 inmates before dawn. Survivors of the fire claimed that the
inferno was intentionally set by fellow inmates. The prison at San
Pedro Sula, designed for 800, was crammed with 2,200.
(AP, 5/18/04)(SFC, 5/18/04, p.A8)(Econ, 5/22/04,
2004 May 17, India's stock
market took the biggest one-day plunge in its 129-year history as
investors panicked over how communist parties would influence the
new government. An investigation followed into the alleged murky
dealings by a dozen foreign firms.
(AP, 5/17/04)(Econ, 5/28/05, p.76)
2004 May 17, The US military in
Iraq reported that a roadside bomb containing deadly sarin nerve
agent had exploded a few days earlier near a U.S. military convoy.
2004 May 17, Abdel-Zahraa
Othman, also known as Izzadine Saleem, the head of the Iraqi
Governing Council, was killed in a suicide car bombing near a
checkpoint outside the coalition headquarters in central Baghdad. 8
others were also killed.
(AP, 5/17/04)(WSJ, 5/18/04, p.A3)
2004 May 17, Myanmar held a
(WSJ, 5/17/04, p.A1)
2004 May 17, Two Russian
workers held hostage in Iraq for a week were freed.
2005 May 17, The US Department
of Homeland Security said it detained Luis Posada Carriles, after
the longtime Castro opponent granted interviews to TV stations and
The Miami Herald for the first time since surfacing in the United
States two months ago.
2005 May 17, British lawmaker
George Galloway denounced US senators in testimony on Capitol Hill,
denying accusations that he'd profited from the UN oil-for-food
program and accusing them of unfairly tarnishing his name.
2005 May 17, Los Angeles
Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa (52) trounced Mayor James Hahn to
become the city's first Hispanic mayor in more than a century as
voters embraced the promise of change in a metropolis troubled by
gridlock, gangs and failing schools.
2005 May 17, Toyota said it
will build a gasoline-electric hybrid version of the Camry at its
plant in Georgetown, Ky.
(WSJ, 5/18/05, p.D4)
2005 May 17, Frank Gorshin
(72), actor, died in Burbank, Ca. He played the Riddler on the
Batman TV series (1966-1969).
(SFC, 5/19/05, p.B7)
2005 May 17, In Bolivia a
measure increasing taxes on foreign oil companies became law. It
slapped a 32% production tax on top of royalties of 18% paid by
producers of natural gas and oil. The president and thousands of
street protesters wanted the industry nationalized.
(AP, 5/18/05)(Econ, 5/21/05, p.42)
2005 May 17, PM Tony Blair
unveiled plans to shake up Britain's welfare state, tackle terrorism
and introduce Britain's first national ID card since WW II in a
challenging third term agenda that could spark revolt in his restive
Labour Party and test his waning authority.
2005 May 17, In Canada British
Columbians re-elected Premier Gordon Campbell's Liberal government,
but voters resoundingly signaled they wanted to end the government's
free ride, electing more than 30 New Democrats.
2005 May 17, Eritrean President
Issaias Afeworki met with Sudan Pres. Omar al-Beshir in Tripoli,
Libya. Beshir demanded that Eritrea refrain from harboring armed
Sudanese opposition and stops offering assistance to that
2005 May 17, Ethiopia's ruling
party claimed to have won just over half the seats in parliamentary
elections, but opposition leaders said it was still too early to
tell who would form the next government.
2005 May 17, In northern India
a bus carrying a wedding party fell into a mountain gorge, killing
37 people and injuring 20 others.
2005 May 17, In Baghdad gunmen
killed a Shiite Muslim cleric, and two missing Sunni clerics were
found shot dead. Gunmen abducted and killed former Baath Party
member Kanis Mohammed al-Janabi and his three sons, aged 17 to 25 in
2005 May 17, Cyrus Kar,
Iranian-American filmmaker, was arrested by Iraqi security forces
after washing machine timers were found in the trunk of a taxi in
which he was traveling. He was in Iraq to film footage on the
ancient Persian king Cyrus the Great. Kar was released July 10. In
2006 Kar sued US military officials for his 55-day detention.
(SFC, 7/7/05, p.A18)(AP, 7/10/05)(SFC, 7/8/06,
2005 May 17, In Kashmir
suspected Muslim rebels threw a grenade at a group of mourners in
Srinagar, killing two and wounding at least 20. Earlier in the day
suspected rebels killed four villagers by slitting their throats on
the outskirts of Srinagar.
2005 May 17, In southeastern
Nigeria hundreds of youths stormed a police station and set fire to
cars after a protester was fatally shot by a police rifle.
2005 May 17, Russian security
services killed Alash Daudov, a prominent Chechen rebel wanted for a
series of planned chemical attacks.
2005 May 17, Russia and
Venezuela signed a contract for 100,000 Russian assault rifles to be
provided to the Latin American nation.
2005 May 17, Spain’s Parliament
approved a resolution authorizing a “negotiated end” to almost 40
years of separatist violence. Parliament backed Socialist PM Jose
Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's offer of talks with ETA if its groups end
(WSJ, 5/18/05, p.A12)(AP, 3/22/06)
2005 May 17, The captain of the
Greenpeace boat, "The Rainbow Warrior," was sentenced to six months
in prison for disobedience during a protest against the war in Iraq
in 2003. The case stemmed from the detention of five men on March
14, 2003, for staging a protest aboard the boat captained by Daniel
Rizzotti, an Argentine citizen, near the U.S.-Spanish Rota naval
base in southern Spain.
2005 May 17, Uzbekistan's top
prosecutor said that 169 people were killed in last week's violence
in the eastern town of Andijan. opposition activists maintained more
than 700 died, most of them civilians.
(AP, 5/17/05)(AP, 5/18/05)
2005 May 17, In Vietnam an
international consortium led by French group Technip signed a
1.5-billion-dollar deal to build Vietnam's first oil refinery.
2005 May 17, The UN WHO health
agency said confirmed polio cases reached 83 in Yemen. The country
was believed to have been free of the disease until last month.
2006 May 17, Pres. Bush signed
tax cut legislation that substantially increased taxes on American
working abroad in a provision that Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley
included under Section 911 of the tax code.
2006 May 17, The FBI began
digging at a Michigan horse farm in search of the remains of former
Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa; the two-week search yielded no
2006 May 17, Stocks plunged
after a stronger-than-expected rise in consumer inflation fueled
Wall Street's fear that interest rates will keep climbing. The Dow
Jones industrial average lost 214 points to end the day at 11205.61.
(AP, 5/17/06)(SFC, 5/18/06, p.C1)
2006 May 17, Scientists
reported the sequencing of the last chromosome in the Human Genome
project, which began in 1990. Chromosome 1 is packed with 3,141
genes and linked to 350 illnesses including cancer, Alzheimer's and
2006 May 17, The US Food and
Drug Administration said it approved Azilect, also called
rasagiline, for use as an initial single-drug therapy for early
Parkinson's disease. The FDA said Azilect, made by Teva
Pharmaceutical Industries of Israel, also has the potential to cause
involuntary movements, hallucinations and lowered blood pressure.
2006 May 17, US Navy divers
detonated explosives aboard the USS Oriskany, sending the retired
aircraft carrier on a 212-foot plunge to bottom of the Gulf of
Mexico 24 miles off the coast of Pensacola, Fla., to create the
world's largest intentional reef.
2006 May 17, Broadway producer
Cy Feuer died at age 95.
2006 May 17-2006 May 18, Some
of the fiercest violence since the Taliban's 2001 ouster erupted
across Afghanistan, with coalition forces engaging in multiple
firefights, two suicide car bombs and a massive rebel assault on a
small village. Up to 105 people were killed. An attack on a police
and government headquarters in the town of Musa Qala in Helmand
province sparked eight hours of clashes with security forces. Mullah
Dadullah, the Taliban’s operational commander, claimed control of 20
districts in southern Afghanistan with 12,000 fighters.
(AP, 5/18/06)(Econ, 7/8/06, p.22)
2006 May 17, In Australia
widespread evidence of child abuse in Aboriginal communities has
sparked calls for the Australian government to take greater action
to protect children at risk.
2006 May 17, In Brazil the body
count grew in Sao Paulo as police, who lost 41 comrades in gang
attacks, killed 22 more suspected criminals. Authorities said little
about the latest deaths, generating criticism from rights groups.
2006 May 17, It was announced
that Paul McCartney and his second wife, Heather Mills McCartney,
had agreed to separate.
2006 May 17, In Canada 4 people
were reported killed at a mine being decommissioned in the British
Columbia. One of the victims may have gone undiscovered for two
days. Kimberley area media said the victims may have been overcome
by hydrogen sulfide gas, a highly toxic and explosive gas that is
slightly heavier than air and tends to concentrate at the bottom of
poorly ventilated areas.
2006 May 17, Following a
meeting of the State Council China announced a series of policy
measures to rein in prices. These included levying profits taxes on
(WSJ, 5/19/06, p.A6)
2006 May 17, Some 620,000
people were evacuated from southern China as Typhoon Chanchu, the
strongest storm to hit the region at this time of year, churned
towards the coastal province of Guangdong.
2006 May 17, The European
Parliament approved 864.4 billion euro ($1.11 trillion) budget for
2007-2013. The budget would cost EU citizens 26 European cents a day
to run the EU.
(WSJ, 5/18/06, p.A7)
2006 May 17, Fiji's caretaker
PM Laisenia Qarase claimed victory in parliamentary elections and
said he was committed to improving the South Pacific country's
relations between indigenous Fijians and the ethnic Indian minority.
2006 May 17, Medical services
in many parts of India were in chaos for a sixth day as student
doctor protests intensified over a government plan to boost seats
reserved for the poor in top universities.
2006 May 17, Indonesia's bird
flu toll jumped to 30 after the World Health Organization (WHO)
confirmed five family members had died of the virus.
(AFP, 5/17/06)(SFC, 5/19/06, p.A3)
2006 May 17, Iran's President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejected a possible European offer for
incentives, including a light-water nuclear reactor, in return for
allaying fears about his country's nuclear program by giving up
2006 May 17, In Iraq 3 roadside
bombs and a drive-by shooting targeted Iraqi forces in Baghdad,
killing one policeman. The bodies of two Iraqi men, handcuffed and
shot in the head, were found in western Baghdad. A US sailor died in
fighting with insurgents in Anbar province. 15 Tae kwon do athletes
were kidnapped in western Anbar province while driving to a training
camp in neighboring Jordan. In 2009 Iraqi commandoes and US forces
arrested a suspect in the kidnapping and murder of the tae kwon do
(AP, 5/17/06)(AP, 5/18/06)(SFC, 9/28/09, p.A2)
2006 May 17, Israel's new
defense minister reopened the main cargo crossing between Israel and
the Gaza Strip, signaling a policy shift aimed at easing some of
Israel's security restrictions on the Palestinians.
2006 May 17, Romano Prodi
became prime minister of Italy, forming the country's 61st postwar
government more than a month after his center-left coalition
narrowly won parliamentary elections.
2006 May 17, In Libya
Venezuela's anti-American president was given a warm welcome in
Tripoli by Col. Moammar Gadhafi. Chavez and Gadhafi planned to
discuss "social programs based on oil revenues."
2006 May 17, Under withering
criticism, the Dutch immigration minister Rita Verdonk agreed to
rethink her threat to revoke the citizenship of a Somali-born former
lawmaker known for her opposition to fundamentalist Islam.
2006 May 17, A powerful bomb
blew up a gas pipeline in a remote town of southwestern Pakistan,
killing a 7-year-old girl.
2006 May 17, The Palestinians'
defiant Hamas-led government sent a 3000-man force into the streets
of Gaza, disregarding President Mahmoud Abbas' order banning the
creation of the security body and raising the stakes in their
deepening power struggle.
(AP, 5/17/06)(WSJ, 5/18/06, p.A1)
2006 May 17, In southern Russia
Ingushetia's Deputy Interior Minister Dzhabrail Kostoyev, two of his
bodyguards and four civilians were killed when a sedan packed with
explosives blocked a road on the outskirts of the region's main city
of Nazran and blew up. A rebel ambush killed 5 Russian soldiers.
(AP, 5/17/06)(WSJ, 5/18/06, p.A1)
2006 May 17, A secular alliance
that is battling fundamentalist Islamic militias in Somalia charged
that its rivals are bolstered by fighters from the Middle East,
Pakistan and elsewhere, and said it has the bodies to prove it. The
interim government said the US was supporting secular warlords
fighting Islamic groups for control of Mogadishu.
(AP, 5/17/06)(SFC, 5/18/06, p.A11)
2006 May 17, In Sri Lanka a
rebel sniper shot dead a soldier at a de facto front line while two
civilians were killed elsewhere.
2006 May 17, The UN said armed
militiamen had ignored a peace pact and attacked several
villages this week in Sudan's Darfur region, killing at least 11
people and wounding many others.
2006 May 17, In Turkey
Alparslan Arslan (29), a lawyer, stormed into a meeting at Ankara’s
highest administrative court and opened fire. One pro-secular judge
was killed and 4 wounded. Arslan picked on the judges because they
supported a ban on the Islamic headscarf in public places, schools
(AP, 5/17/06)(Econ, 5/27/06, p.49)(WSJ, 3/30/07,
2007 May 17, President Bush and
retiring British PM Tony Blair held a joint news conference at the
White House, during which Blair allowed not a single regret about
the Iraq war alliance.
2007 May 17, The US White House
and key lawmakers agreed on a sweeping immigration plan to grant
legal status to millions of people in the country unlawfully.
2007 May 17, US lawmakers
branded China and Russia the world's two biggest copyright thieves.
2007 May 17, US Navy lawyer Lt.
Cmdr. Matthew Diaz (41) was convicted in military court of
communicating secret information that could be used to injure the
US. Diaz had given a human rights attorney the names of 550
Guantanamo Bay detainees.
(SFC, 5/18/07, p.A7)
2007 May 17, Paul Wolfowitz
announced that he was stepping down soon as World Bank chief. This
marked yet another blow for US President George W. Bush as his
Republican administration nears its end.
2007 May 17, It was reported
that Chris Cohan, owner of the Golden State Warriors basketball
team, faced tax evasion charges by the IRS for potentially abusive
tax shelters used when he sold Sonic Communications in 1998 for $200
(SFC, 5/17/07, p.A1)
2007 May 17, In Oakland, Ca., a
mother and daughter were kidnapped and tortured by men associated
with Your Black Muslim Bakery. Yusuf Bey IV, the group’s leader,
believed the women could reveal where a local drug dealer kept his
money. In October Richard Lewis (23), aka Rakeem Kahlil Bey, was
arrested for his role in the kidnap-torture. On April 7, 2010, Lewis
was convicted of kidnapping, carjacking and torture. In 2014 a state
appeals court overturned the conviction and life sentence of Lewis,
entitling him to a new trial.
(SFC, 10/18/07, p.B1)(SFC, 4/8/10, p.C3)(SSFC,
2007 May 17, The journal
"Science" reported that Antarctica’s Southern Ocean, a crucial
"carbon sink" into which 15 percent of the world's excess carbon
dioxide flows, is reaching saturation and soon may be unable to
absorb more , a deeply troubling development.
2007 May 17, In southern
Afghanistan 2 coordinated bomb blasts killed seven people, including
three police responding to the first explosion. In western
Afghanistan airstrikes in Farah province targeted a convoy of
suspected Taliban militants who had left a meeting, killing 14 and
wounding 10. In Kandahar a suicide car bomber rammed a government
convoy, killing three bystanders and wounding Information and
Culture Minister Abdul Karim Khurram.
(AP, 5/17/07)(AP, 5/18/07)
2007 May 17, Algerians, shaken
by al-Qaida-claimed suicide bombings and dealing with a tough
economy, slowly trickled to vote in legislative elections under
tight police security.
2007 May 17, In Argentina
leftist union members shut down the Buenos Aires subway system with
a one-day strike, causing huge traffic jams as commuters drove,
packed buses or struggled to hail taxis.
2007 May 17, Greyhound Canada
suspended passenger and parcel service in Western Canada because of
a labor disruption.
2007 May 17, A Colombian
warlord, accused of spearheading civilian massacres, claimed that
some US companies who buy Colombia's bananas had made regular
payments to his illegal right-wing militias.
2007 May 17, Estonia's defense
minister said that the massive cyber attacks that have crippled the
high-tech country's Web sites are a threat to national security, and
that it's possible the Russian government was behind them.
(Econ, 5/5/07, p.65)(AP, 5/17/07)
2007 May 17, The World Bank
said that it and the European Commission and six other donors have
committed $780 million to support basic services and transparency in
2007 May 17, French Pres.
Nicolas Sarkozy named Francois Fillon (53), a Gaullist former social
affairs minister, to be his prime minister.
(SFC, 5/18/07, p.A3)(Econ, 5/19/07, p.56)
2007 May 17, Across Iraq at
least 58 Iraqis were killed or found dead in bombings, shootings and
mortar attacks. They included 42 bullet-riddled bodies of apparent
victims of so-called sectarian death squads. Three American soldiers
were killed and another was wounded in a roadside bombing south of
Baghdad. Mortar rounds hit a US Air Force base north of Baghdad,
destroying one helicopter and damaging nine others.
2007 May 17, Israeli aircraft
struck a Hamas command center, a trailer housing bodyguards and two
vehicles, citing the firing by militants of more than 50 rockets at
the Israeli border town of Sderot over three days.
2007 May 17, In central Japan a
man went on a shooting rampage in his home, killing a policeman,
wounding three other people, including his son and daughter, and
taking his wife hostage.
2007 May 17, The first trains
since 1953 traversed the Korean DMZ in a peace gesture.
(WSJ, 5/18/07, p.A1)
2007 May 17, Mexican police
chased the remnants of a criminal assault force through the
mountains of Sonora near the Arizona border after kidnappings and
gunbattles that left at least 22 people dead.
(AP, 5/17/07)(Econ, 6/16/07, p.45)
2007 May 17, Moroccan police
clashed with student protestors from Western Sahara demanding an end
to Rabat's control over the disputed region.
2007 May 17, Nicaraguan said it
has re-established formal diplomatic relations with North Korea and
rejected criticism of the Asian country's nuclear weapons program.
2007 May 17, In Nigeria labor
leaders called a two-day nationwide strike coinciding with the May
29 inauguration of the new government to protest what they said was
a fraudulent election.
2007 May 17, Russia filed a
suit against the Bank of New York for $22.5 billion for its role in
a money laundering scheme that was broken up by US authorities in
(WSJ, 5/18/07, p.A3)
2007 May 17, Russian Orthodox
leaders signed a pact to heal an 80-year schism between the church
in Russia and an offshoot, the Church Abroad, set up following the
Bolshevik Revolution. At least 10 of 145 Church Abroad parishes in
the US opposed the canonical union. Most of the New York-based
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) agreed to unite with
the Patriarchate of Moscow.
(AP, 5/17/07)(WSJ, 1/18/07, p.A12)(Econ,
2007 May 17, In Sri Lanka said
security forces had shot dead at least 20 Tamil Tiger rebels in
northern Sri Lanka in a fresh outbreak of fighting.
2007 May 17, In Ukraine Petro
Balabuyev (75), a lead designer of the world's largest aircraft, the
2007 May 17, Analysts warned
that a new pricing law approved by Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe, as inflation exceeded 3,700%, could worsen rather than
relieve widespread shortages and price rises.
2008 May 17, This was the
official release date by the US Mint for the Adams dollar coin, the
6th of its presidential dollar series.
2008 May 17, In Louisiana 6
train cars derailed spilling 8-10 thousand gallons of hydrochloric
acid and forming a toxic cloud over Lafayette, 125 miles west of New
(WSJ, 5/19/08, p.A2)
2008 May 17, In Afghanistan a
roadside blast hit a vehicle in the eastern Paktia province, left
three civilians dead. A bomb placed on a bicycle exploded as a
police vehicle passed by outside Kandahar. The blast killed a
10-year old boy and wounded another civilian. 15 Taliban rebels were
killed in an operation by the Afghan military in southwestern Badgis
(AP, 5/17/08)(AFP, 5/18/08)
2008 May 17, In China the
confirmed death toll rose to 28,881 as thousands of earthquake
victims fled areas near the epicenter, fearful of floods from rivers
blocked by landslides rattled loose in this week's powerful temblor.
A 6.1-magnitude earthquake shook Sichuan province. At least 14
people died in a collision between a bus and a tractor in eastern
(AP, 5/17/08)(Reuters, 5/17/08)
2008 May 17, Dominican Republic
President Leonel Fernandez declared victory in the national election
and pledged to continue pushing forward economic projects that have
helped pull the Caribbean nation's economy out of crisis.
2008 May 17, In Egypt Pres.
Bush opened two days of talks with a string of leaders in Sharm
El-Sheik by sitting down with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
2008 May 17, Voters in Kuwait
lined up to vote in parliamentary elections that could substantially
change the legislative body of this tiny, oil-rich Gulf emirate
following electoral reforms to reduce corruption and vote buying.
2008 May 17, Iraq’s PM al
Maliki met with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Baghdad. Her visit
came amid complaints the Iraqi government is not contributing enough
financially to the reconstruction of the oil-rich country. Mortar
shells slammed into a residential area north of the Iraqi capital,
killing at least four people, a man and 3 children, and wounding 30.
US airstrikes killed six militants and destroyed a weapons cache
after troops were attacked by rocket-propelled grenades and
small-arms fire near Khan Bani Saad, north of Baghdad. American
soldiers killed two other militants after coming under attack by a
roadside bomb and small-arms fire in Baghdad’s northern Shiite
neighborhood of Kazimiyah.
(AP, 5/17/08)(AP, 5/18/08)
2008 May 17, Frustrated world
leaders tightened the pressure on Myanmar, raising the allegation of
crimes against humanity over the regime's slow-moving response to
the cyclone disaster. Diplomats witnessed "huge" devastation in the
Irrawaddy delta and the toll of dead and missing from the cyclone
rose above 133,000 people.
(AFP, 5/17/08)(Reuters, 5/17/08)
2008 May 17, In the Philippines
Tropical Storm Halong made landfall in Pangasinan province,
northwest of Manila. By May 20 the death toll from the storm had
2008 May 17, Somali pirates
hijacked a Jordanian-flagged ship, called the Victoria, in the
latest in a string of attacks off the lawless coast of Somalia.
Islamic insurgents in Somalia seized a major agricultural center
overnight in Jilib. 2 militia fighters were killed. The UAE-owned
ship was released on May 23.
(AP, 5/17/08)(AP, 5/18/08)(AP, 5/23/08)
2008 May 17, Spanish police
announced the arrest of five people this week suspected of hacking
into or outright disabling thousands of Internet pages, some of them
run by government agencies in the US, Latin America and Asia. Two of
the suspects were 16 years old. The others were 19 or 20.
2008 May 17, Sri Lankan air
force helicopters bombed a Tamil Tiger rebel operations center in
the contested north. Separate ground battles killed 12 insurgents.
2008 May 17, In eastern Turkey
a clash between soldiers and Kurdish rebels left 6 rebels dead in
2008 May 17, Zimbabwean
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai postponed his expected return
home to contest an election run-off after his party said it had
discovered an assassination plot against him.
2009 May 17, In Indiana Pres.
Obama addressed a graduation ceremony at Notre Dame Univ. and called
for “open hearts, open minds and fair-minded words” in the pursuit
of “common ground” regarding the issue of abortion rights.
(SFC, 5/18/09, p.A3)
2009 May 17, In San Francisco’s
98th Bay to Breakers race Sammy Kitwara (22) of Kenya won with a
time of 33 minutes, 31 seconds. Teyba Erkesso (26) of Ethiopia was
the fastest woman at 38:29. An estimated 62,000 ran as revelers
swilled beer despite rules banning alcohol in the 7.5-mile. Street
cleaners gathered up some 13 tons of garbage.
(SFC, 5/18/09, p.A1)(SFC, 5/19/09, p.B1)
2009 May 17, David Ireland,
American sculptor, conceptual artist and Minimalist architect, died
in San Francisco. In 2016 the David Ireland House at the corner of
20th and Capp streets opened as a museum to the public.
2009 May 17, In NYC Mitchell
Wiener, an assistant principal at a middle school, became the first
death linked to the H1N1 flu virus.
(SFC, 5/18/09, p.A3)
2009 May 17, In southern
Afghanistan militant attacks and a roadside bomb explosion killed 11
policemen and an army soldier in areas plagued by a violent Taliban
2009 May 17, In Bangladesh a
state prosecutor said a corruption charge against PM Sheikh Hasina
has been dropped because the man who laid it now says he was
pressured to do so by the last government.
2009 May 17, Chad said its air
force had completed raids on "mercenaries" inside Sudan, announcing
its aircraft had destroyed seven groups of fighters while ground
forces had captured 100 prisoners on the border.
2009 May 17, Chile confirmed
its first two cases of swine flu in two women who arrived from the
2009 May 17, In Guatemala
thousands protested to demand the resignation of President Alvaro
Colom over accusations that he ordered a lawyer killed, a scandal
threatening the rule of the country's first leftist leader more than
2009 May 17, The International
Criminal Court said Bahr Idriss Abu Garda, a Sudanese rebel leader,
has turned himself in to face war crimes charges for an attack that
killed 12 African Union peacekeepers in Darfur in September 2007.
2009 May 17, In Iraq a gunman
killed an off-duty prison officer in Mosul. Hours later a car bomb
went off near the governor's residence in Mosul, killing a policeman
and wounding three civilians.
2009 May 17, Israel's President
Shimon Peres urged Syria to open direct peace talks and said
indirect negotiations mediated by Turkey had not resumed.
2009 May 17, Jordan and Royal
Dutch Shell PLC signed a concessionary agreement to explore for oil
in the country's vast oil shale deposits.
2009 May 17, Lithuanians voted
in a presidential election. Dalia Grybauskaite (53), EU budget chief
and karate black belt, poised to return to politics in her
recession-hit homeland as its first female head of state.
Grybauskaite stood as an independent, but was nonetheless backed by
the ruling Conservatives, although she warned their government is
also under watch. Under Lithuanian law, the new president takes the
reins in July. The government then has to step down, and the head of
state names a premier. Grybauskaite won nearly 70 percent of the
vote in a presidential election.
(AFP, 5/17/09)(AP, 5/18/09)(SFC, 5/18/09, p.A2)
2009 May 17, In Nepal an
alliance of 22 political parties claimed to have enough support to
form a new coalition government and called for a parliamentary vote
to elect its candidate as the new prime minister.
2009 May 17, Nigeria's main
militant group said it destroyed two oil pipelines in the southern
Niger Delta, the latest attack amid the worst outbreak of violence
to hit the region in months. MEND accused government troops of
killing a second unnamed hostage and said two bodies would be handed
over to the Red Cross. An army spokesman said Nigerian troops have
freed three more Filipinos held hostage by militants in the Niger
Delta, bringing the total number of the Asians rescued in the past
two days to nine.
(AP, 5/17/09)(AFP, 5/17/09)
2009 May 17, In Pakistan an
army statement said 25 militants and a soldier had died in the
previous 24 hours in the Swat valley, and that security forces had
surrounded and entered Matta and Kanju, two key towns in the area.
Britain's Sunday Times reported that Pakistani President Asif Ali
Zardari said military action would follow in the tribal belt.
2009 May 17, In the Philippines
police recovered the severed head of Doroteo Gonzales (61), a farm
owner kidnapped on April 25 by Muslim militants. Authorities said he
was likely beheaded because his family failed to pay ransom.
2009 May 17, In Somalia Islamic
insurgents sustained their offensive on the nation's fragile
government and captured a strategic southeastern town, hours after a
key Islamic militia leader defected to the government. Several local
and foreign jihadists were killed in Mogadishu when a bomb-making
workshop blew up.
(AP, 5/17/09)(Econ, 5/23/09, p.49)
2009 May 17, In Sudan rebels of
Darfur's Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said they had seized a
town in North Darfur after a clash with government forces.
2009 May 17, The Tamil Tiger
rebels admitted defeat in their 25-year-old war with the Sri Lankan
government, offering to lay down their guns as government forces
swept across their last strongholds in the northeast. The government
rejected the last-ditch call for a cease-fire, saying the thousands
of civilians trapped in the war zone all have escaped to safety and
there was no longer any reason to stop the battle. Troops killed at
least 70 rebels trying to escape the one-square km patch of land
that government troops have surrounded.
2009 May 17, In Taiwan tens of
thousands of anti-government demonstrators marched through downtown
Taipei to protest against President Ma Ying-jeou's policy of greater
engagement with rival China, saying it could undermine the island's
2009 May 17, Mario Benedetti
(b.1920), a prolific Uruguayan writer, died. His novels and poems
reflect the idiosyncrasies of Montevideo's middle class and a social
commitment forged by years in exile from a military dictatorship.
Benedetti's 1960 novel "The Truce" was translated into 19 languages
and along with "Thank You for the Fire" (1965), heralded his
inclusion in the Latin American literary boom in the 1960s. In 1973
he joined thousands of other Uruguayans fleeing the nation's
military dictatorship, spending 12 years in exile in Havana, Madrid,
Lima and Buenos Aires.
2010 May 17, The US Supreme
Court ruled 5-4 that teenagers may not be locked up for life without
chance of parole if they haven't killed anyone.
2010 May 17, The US Treasury
Dept.; received a $1.9 billion loan repayment from Chrysler Holding.
The Treasury had made a $4 billion loan to the carmaker in January
2009. The loan was reduced by $500 million when assets of Old
Chrysler were sold to the new company in June. The latest payment
cleared Chrysler of obligations incurred as part of the Troubled
Asset Relief Program (TARP).
(SFC, 5/18/10, p.D2)
2010 May 17, A new analysis of
US health data linked children's attention-deficit disorder with
exposure to common pesticides used on fruits and vegetables.
2010 May 17, US researchers
said eating bacon, sausage, hot dogs and other processed meats can
raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes, in a study that
identifies the real bad boys of the meat counter.
2010 May 17, Insurance giant
Prudential said it will raise £14.5 billion from the sale of new
shares to help fund a record takeover of Asian insurer AIA.
2010 May 17, BP said it was
siphoning more than one-fifth of the oil that has been spewing into
the Gulf for almost a month, as worries escalated that the ooze may
reach a major ocean current that could carry it through the Florida
Keys and up the East Coast. The US Coast Guard said 20 tar balls
have been found off Key West, Fla., but the agency stopped short of
saying whether they came from a massive oil spill in the Gulf of
(AP, 5/17/10)(AP, 5/18/10)
2010 May 17, In northern
Afghanistan a Pamir Airways passenger plane crashed with 44 people
on board. The British Embassy in Kabul confirmed that three British
nationals were among 6 foreigners on the plane. Poor weather
hampered search efforts. No survivors were found. 5 Afghan UN
staffers kidnapped in northern Afghanistan a month ago were freed in
a military operation. 2 Italian soldiers in the NATO mission were
killed by a roadside bomb while riding in a convoy near the western
city of Herat. Two other soldiers were wounded. Two other NATO
service members died in separate bomb attacks.
(AFP, 5/17/10)(AP, 5/17/10)(AP, 5/21/10)
2010 May 17, France decided to
send home an Iranian agent it had jailed for murdering the Shah's
last prime minister, two days after Tehran freed a young French
academic accused of spying. Ali Vakili Rad was serving a life
sentence for stabbing Shapour Bakhtiar to death at his home outside
Paris in August 1991.
2010 May 17, A group of French
technology firms know as the association for digital Economy in
France called on local governments to partner with private companies
to build a network of data centers and shared cloud platforms
catering to French needs.
(SFC, 5/31/10, p.D5)
2010 May 17, Haitian protesters
marched to the collapsed national palace for a second straight
Monday to criticize President Rene Preval, saying he failed the
nation in the aftermath of its catastrophic earthquake. The last of
10 Americans detained while trying to take 33 children out of Haiti
after the Jan. 12 earthquake was freed when a judge convicted her
but sentenced her to time already served in jail.
2010 May 17, In central India a
Maoist land mine blew up a bus filled with police and civilians as
it drove through Chhattisgarh state, killing at least 35 people.
2010 May 17, Iran agreed to
ship most of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in a surprise
nuclear fuel swap deal that could ease the international standoff
over the country's disputed atomic program and deflate a US-led push
for tougher sanctions. The deal was reached in talks between
Brazils’ Pres. Silva, Turkey’s PM Erdogan and Iran’s Pres.
(AP, 5/17/10)(SFC, 5/17/10, p.A2)
2010 May 17, An Iraqi official
said security forces have detained Abdullah Azam Saleh al-Qahtani,
an al-Qaida militant suspected of planning an attack targeting the
World Cup in South Africa next month. Al-Qahtani entered Iraq in
2004 and was suspected in several attacks in the capital and
elsewhere in the country. Assailants disguised in Iraqi military
uniforms beheaded a Sunni cleric and stuck his head on an
electricity pole in Sadiyah, where he had preached against al-Qaida.
2010 May 17, Jamaica's PM Bruce
Golding said he will allow Christopher "Dudus" Coke, a reputed drug
kingpin, to be extradited to the US, ending a nine-month fight with
Washington but raising fears of a violent backlash from the
2010 May 17, The Mexican army
said it has detained Crispin Borunda, an alleged lieutenant of the
Ciudad Juarez-based Carrillo Fuentes cartel, who escaped from a US
prison two decades ago. A statement said Borunda tried to flee on
foot and fired at soldiers before being caught last week in the
capital of the border state of Chihuahua. Soldiers seized another
suspect and five weapons. 6 of the 11 municipal officers in La
Union, Guerrero state, resigned after armed men ambushed and wounded
two of their officers. Several other Mexican towns have seen mass
police resignations because of cartel violence or threats. In Mexico
State, on the outskirts of Mexico City, residents of a town beat a
man death on suspicion of robbing a young couple of 200 pesos (about
$16) and a cell phone. Juan Padilla Juarez (28), an alleged member
of the La Linea gang, was arrested in the border city of Ciudad
Juarez. He had allegedly participated in the killing of 10 people.
Police in northern Mexico arrested 8 men who allegedly kidnapped
migrants trying to reach the US. An investigation led to the arrest
of 3 more suspects a day later.
(AP, 5/18/10)(AP, 5/18/10)(AP, 5/19/10)
2010 May 17, Nicaragua’s navy
chief, Capt. Roger Gonzalez Diaz, said Mexico's La Familia cartel is
moving heavily into Central America and dominates much of the drug
trade through the region. He said officials would take tough
measures to prevent the trade.
2010 May 17, A report by civil
liberties group Open Society Justice Initiative alleged that
Nigeria's federal police force kills with impunity, extorts those
it's charged to protect and rapes arrested prostitutes as a "fringe
benefit" of the job.
2010 May 17, Outgoing
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo swore in a new chief
justice whose appointment has been questioned by her apparent
successor, sparking fears of a constitutional crisis. Communist
guerrillas freed town Mayor Roberto Luna and his four bodyguards
after 12 days of jungle captivity in which the rebels interrogated
(AP, 5/17/10)(AP, 5/18/10)
2010 May 17, In the Philippines
a helicopter carrying Quezon Gov. Rafael Nantes, two security
personnel and the pilot, crashed into houses south of Manila,
killing all four people aboard and a girl on the ground.
2010 May 17, Portugal’s Pres.
Anibal Cavaco Silva said he would not veto a new law allowing
same-sex marriages because majority liberal lawmakers would only
override his decision.
(SFC, 5/18/10, p.A3)
2010 May 17, Russian Pres.
Medvedev visited Kiev, Ukraine, and oversaw the signing of several
cooperation deals with the new Moscow-friendly leadership of Pres.
(SFC, 5/18/10, p.A2)
2010 May 17, Somalia’s Pres.
Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed dissolved the Cabinet to overcome divisions
that have paralyzed his administration in the face of an al-Qaida
linked Islamist insurgency. The UN-backed government currently only
controls a few city blocks in the capital of Mogadishu and has
failed to deliver either security or services to its people.
2010 May 17, In South Africa a
strike by rail workers left two million commuters stranded just 24
days from the kick-off of the World Cup.
2010 May 17, The Thai
government said it would accept a cease-fire offer from a Red Shirt
protest leader if their fighters return to their camp in central
Bangkok, as street battles that have killed 37 people raged for a
2010 May 17, In northern Turkey
rescue teams strived to reach workers trapped hundreds of meters
underground after a powerful methane gas explosion in the Karadon
state-run coal mine near the northern Black Sea port of Zonguldak.
On May 20 rescuers found the bodies of 28 miners. 2 miners remained
(AFP, 5/17/10)(AP, 5/20/10)
2011 May 17, Pres. Obama met
with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. They discussed the sweeping
political and social changes in the Middle East.
(SFC, 5/18/11, p.A4)
2011 May 17, In eastern
Afghanistan NATO and Afghan overnight joint operations killed at
least 12 insurgents in Paktika province. Another four insurgents
were killed today in a raid in Mata Khan district. A NATO raid late
in the day killed two men and two women who were inside a home in an
area known as Gawmal, Takhar province.
(AP, 5/17/11)(AP, 5/18/11)
2011 May 17, Bahrain's
parliament accepted the resignations of the last seven lawmakers of
the Shiite opposition in a move that could exacerbate sectarian
tensions in the strategic Gulf island kingdom.
2011 May 17, Britain's Queen
Elizabeth arrived in Dublin for a historic state visit steeped in
symbolism and surrounded by security after a makeshift bomb was
found, highlighting the lingering hostility of a small minority.
2011 May 17, The British
government pledged to cut the country’s carbon emissions in half by
2025 from benchmark levels of 1990.
(SFC, 5/18/11, p.A2)
2011 May 17, British defense
contractor BAE Systems said it has agreed to pay a fine of up to $79
million to settle an arms export controls case with the US
Department of State, the largest civil fine ever levied by the
department. Separately, BAE pleaded guilty in Britain to a charge
relating to payments to a former adviser in Tanzania, and agreed to
pay a fine of 30 million pounds ($49 million).
2011 May 17, Canada announced
it has decided to expel five Libyan diplomats for actions it called
2011 May 17, China downplayed a
UN report saying North Korea remains "actively engaged" in exporting
ballistic missiles, components and technology to numerous customers
in the Middle East, saying it was not an official Security Council
2011 May 17, In Colombia 8
miners were trapped at the Loma Gorda coal mine.
(SFC, 5/18/11, p.A2)
2011 May 17, Egypt's Justice
Ministry ordered the wife of former president Hosni Mubarak released
from custody without bail. Suzanne Mubarak was released after
handing over her assets to the state, as her husband pledged to do
the same in a bid to secure an amnesty.
(AP, 5/17/11)(AFP, 5/17/11)
2011 May 17, In eastern India
seven paramilitary soldiers were killed in a land mine explosion
they believe was triggered by Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh state.
2011 May 17, India broke with
past practice and called on Sri Lanka to investigate allegations of
human rights abuses during the island's civil war, upping pressure
on President Mahinda Rajapakse.
2011 May 17, In Libya Gadhafi
forces started attacking the Maraba pass on the edge of the Nafusa
mountains. Rebels lost 10 men to artillery and sniper fire.
(Econ, 5/28/11, p.53)
2011 May 17, In southern Mexico
prosecutors detained 2 officials of the National Immigration
Institute for allegedly prostituting female Central American
migrants in Chiapas state. Police in Chiapas state found 513
migrants inside two trailer trucks bound for the United States, and
said they had been transported in dangerously crowded conditions.
Gunmen opened fired on a group of people at an auto body shop in the
Gulf Coast state of Tabasco, killing 8 people and badly wounding 2
others. A ninth victim died of his wounds the next day. Gunmen
ambushed and killed three police officers in a suburb of Monterrey.
(AP, 5/18/11)(AP, 5/18/11)
2011 May 17, Myanmar began
releasing 17,000 prisoners, under a clemency program that sparked
outrage from critics as it leaves more than 2,000 political
detainees languishing in jail.
2011 May 17, Pakistan's PM
Yousuf Raza Gilani declared China his country's best friend in an
apparent dig at Washington as he began a visit to China. China is
Pakistan’s main arms supplier. Pakistan last week opened a
330-megawatt nuclear power plant in central Punjab province with
Chinese help and said Beijing had been contracted to construct two
2011 May 17, Pakistani troops
and a NATO helicopter that crossed into Pakistani territory
exchanged fire, wounding two soldiers. The Pakistani army said it
lodged a strong protest and demanded a meeting with NATO officials
to discuss the incident. The army said a "senior al-Qaida operative"
had been arrested in the port city of Karachi. A statement said
Yemeni national Muhammad Ali Qasim Yaqub, alias Abu Sohaib Al Makki,
had been working directly under al Qaida leaders along the border
between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
2011 May 17, Pakistani security
forces shot and killed 5 alleged suicide bombers, including three
women, when they tried to attack an army checkpoint in the
southwestern city of Quetta. A bomb disposal squad in its report
released in Quetta on May 21 said the alleged attackers, one Tajik
and 4 from Chechnya were unarmed. A post mortem report said one of
the women was pregnant with 7-month baby. In October Pakistan sacked
2 police officers over the killings.
(AFP, 5/21/11)(AFP, 10/26/11)
2011 May 17, In Puerto Rico
Jorge de Castro Font (47), an influential former senator whose
testimony helped convict an ex-colleague and has bolstered federal
investigations against other high-ranking politicians, was sentenced
to five years in prison after having pleaded guilty to corruption
charges. De Castro was accused of soliciting up to $525,000 in cash
and other benefits including meals and private flights from 2005 to
2008 and of promising to block or advance certain bills as chair of
the powerful rules committee.
2011 May 17, Doku Umarov,
leader of an Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus, posted an
interview saying Osama bin Laden's death would not stop violence and
hinted at more attacks, calling all of Russia a "battleground."
2011 May 17, Sierra Leone
police seized three tons of marijuana with an estimated street value
of some $10 million, one of its biggest seizures in recent years.
Authorities said they are fighting the increased production of
marijuana, mainly by unemployed youths looking for ways to earn
2011 May 17, In South Korea
hundreds of prostitutes and pimps rallied near a red-light district
in Seoul to protest a police crackdown on brothels, with some
unsuccessfully attempting to set themselves on fire.
2011 May 17, Spanish wind
turbine giant Gamesa said it had won a $2 billion (1.4-billion-euro)
deal to supply turbines in India, touting it as one of the largest
contracts of its kind in the world.
2011 May 17, The Swiss-based
World Health Organization said it will cut $1 billion from its next
budget because of financial problems among rich donor nations and
the exchange rate for the weak US dollar.
2011 May 17, Syria's opposition
called for a general strike on May 18 in defiance of a government
campaign to crush pro-democracy protests, as the army presses its
siege of the restive town of Tall Kalakh, the latest target of its
brutal crackdown. Syrian government agents chased students who were
protesting against President Bashar Assad's regime at campus in
Aleppo, beating them with batons and injuring dozens.
(AFP, 5/17/11)(AP, 5/17/11)
2011 May 17, Taiwanese health
authorities investigating illegal gender-selective abortions warned
that doctors found guilty of the practice may have their licenses
2011 May 17, In Tanzania the
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda sentenced Maj. Gen.
Augustin Bizimungu to 30 years in prison for ordering killings
during the 1994 genocide. Three other top officers were also
sentenced. Bizimungu was captured in Angola in 2002. The ICTR also
convicted the head of the paramilitary police at the time, Augustin
Ndindiliyimana, of genocide crimes but ordered his release as he had
already spent 11 years in jail.
(AP, 5/17/11)(AFP, 5/17/11)
2011 May 17, In Venezuela the
body of journalist Wilfred Ivan Ojeda (56) was found in a vacant lot
in the town of La Victoria. He had been shot in the head and was
found gagged and hooded with his hands bound. He was a local
political activist for the opposition party Democratic Action and a
columnist for the small daily El Clarin in the rural town.
2012 May 17, The US Commerce
Department imposed levies of between 31 and 250 percent on Chinese
producers and exporters after saying it had found they sold solar
cells in the United States at artificially low prices, known as
dumping. 61 Chinese makers of solar panels were hit with a
provisional tariff of 31%.
(AFP, 5/18/12)(Econ, 5/26/12, p.68)
2012 May 17, The US Obama
administration announced that it would ease the ban on investments
(SFC, 5/18/12, p.A3)
2012 May 17, US carmaker
General Motors said it has opted to build the next generation of its
Astra compact in Britain, leaving its plant in Bochum, Germany in
danger of closure. GM said it would invest $200 million (126 million
pounds) in its Ellesmere Port plant.
2012 May 17, Donna Summer (63)
died following a battle with cancer. The disco legend reportedly
passed away this morning in Florida. She released her first single,
"Sally Go 'Round the Roses," under her birth name (Donna Gaines) in
2012 May 17, In Kentucky 3
people were killed after a chaotic shooting scene that had crowds
running for cover in a crime-ridden section of Louisville.
2012 May 17, In southwest
Afghanistan gunmen dressed in Afghan police uniforms and wearing
suicide vests stormed a government compound in Farah, killing 7
people and wounding 12 others.
2012 May 17, Algerian singer
Warda al-Jazairia (72), the Algerian Rose, died in Cairo. She was a
regional icon whose powerful patriotic tunes were matched in
popularity by her romantic ballads. She performed for presidents and
popular audiences, reinventing herself over the decades to appeal to
old and young alike.
2012 May 17, Angola’s Supreme
Court ordered Suzana Ingles to vacate her post leading the National
Electoral Commission. the ruling MPLA, in power since independence
from Portugal in 1975, has seen few challenges to its power.
2012 May 17, Argentina’s
President Cristina Kirchner arrived in Angola for a short state
visit to push for a deal to exchange her country's food for Angolan
2012 May 17, In Bangladesh 2
small bombs exploded and protesters damaged vehicles in Dhaka,
during a nationwide strike against the jailing of 33 opposition
2012 May 17, The Canada Science
and Technology Museum in Ottowa opened "Sex: A Tell-all Exhibition"
as planned despite strong criticism from Canadian Heritage Minister
James Moore, who has called it an insult to taxpayers.
2012 May 17, In Egypt a Cairo
court found 14 policemen not guilty in the killing of protesters
during last year’s popular uprising. They were among 200 security
officers and former regime officials facing trial for the deaths of
nearly 850 protesters.
(SFC, 5/18/12, p.A2)
2012 May 17, Members of
France's new Socialist-led government promised to take a pay cut, a
gesture of shared sacrifice by leaders who must now both reduce the
country's massive debts and tackle spiraling unemployment.
2012 May 17, In Guinea-Bissau
some 70 ECOWAS soldiers arrived on a mission to restore stability
after the country's April 12 coup, as transitional government PM Rui
Duarte Barros took office.
2012 May 17, In Honduras
prisoners in San Pedro Sula seized hostages and battled among
themselves leaving at least one person dead.
(SFC, 5/18/12, p.A2)
2012 May 17, Israeli tanks
fired into the Gaza Strip, wounding seven Palestinians and leaving
two of them in critical condition. The army said tank fire had been
directed at "terrorists."
2012 May 17, Japan and
Australia signed an agreement in Tokyo that will allow them to share
intelligence as the Asia-Pacific region adapts to the rising power
2012 May 17, Morocco's said
that it had lost confidence in veteran US diplomat Christopher Ross,
the UN envoy on Western Sahara. Ross was forced to call off plans to
carry out his first official trip to the disputed territory.
2012 May 17, In Nigeria an
explosion caused by dynamite on a bus in the oil hub city of Port
Harcourt killed the driver and wounded two others. Rivers state Gov.
Rotimi Amaechi said it appeared the alleged robbers were using the
bus for transportation and the explosion happened accidentally.
2012 May 17, In northwestern
Pakistan 2 Pakistani air force planes crashed in a residential area
of Nowshera city, killing all four pilots on board and injuring five
people on the ground.
2012 May 17, In Sri Lanka
former international rugby player Wasim Thajudeen (28) was found
dead inside a burning car that appeared to have crashed into a wall.
In February 2015, following a change in government, the police
announced that Thajudeen's death was not accidental and that the
investigation had been handed over to the Criminal Investigation
Department (CID). According to the CID Thajudeen's body showed signs
of torture. Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa's son was believed to be
2012 May 17, Syrian regime
forces sent shells crashing into rebel stronghold Rastan. The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights called on UN observers to rush to the
town in central Homs province. 2 blasts rocked the neighborhoods of
Al-Jamila and Al-Furqan in Aleppo, while other explosions were heard
across the northern city. Syrian National Council chief Burhan
Ghalioun said he will step down to avert divisions within the
opposition bloc, after activists on the ground accused him of
(AFP, 5/17/12)(AFP, 5/18/12)
2012 May 17, Thailand police in
Bangkok seized 6 human fetuses, which had been roasted and covered
in gold leaf as part of a black magic ritual, from Chow Hok Kuen
(28), a British citizen. The corpses had been packed into luggage
and were set to be smuggled to Taiwan.
2012 May 17, In central Vietnam
a crowded overnight bus plunged off a bridge into the Serepok River,
killing 34 people and injuring 21 others in one of the country's
deadliest road accidents.
2012 May 17, Zimbabwe Finance
Minister Tendai Biti said Chinese diamond firm Anjin has failed to
remit revenue from its operations in the controversial Marange
fields in the first quarter of this year.
2013 May 17, A federal judge in
Arkansas granted a request to temporarily block enforcement of a new
state law that bans most abortions 12 weeks into a pregnancy.
(SFC, 5/18/13, p.A6)
2013 May 17, California
Attorney General Kamala Harris said that a requirement for every new
semiautomatic handgun to contain “micro-stamping” technology would
be effective immediately. The gun control law was originally passed
(SFC, 5/18/13, p.D1)
2013 May 17, In California Dr.
Christine Daniel (58) of Los Angeles was sentenced to 14 years in
prison for bilking patients out of more than $1 million by promising
them that an herbal supplement she hawked could cure late-stage
(SFC, 5/18/13, p.A6)
2013 May 17, Golfer Ken Venturi
(b.1931), winner of the 1964 US Open, died in Rancho Mirage, Ca.
(SFC, 5/18/13, p.A1)
2013 May 17, In New York Andrea
Rebello (24), a student at Hofstra Univ. was shot and killed after
an armed man broke into the home she shared with her twin sister.
Gunfire from a police officer killed intruder Dalton Smith (30) and
(SFC, 5/18/13, p.A6)(SSFC, 5/19/13, p.A7)
2013 May 17, Two FBI agents
were killed in a training accident off the coast of Virginia Beach,
(SFC, 5/20/13, p.A4)
2013 May 17, In Afghanistan
motorcycle-riding gunmen assassinated a police chief in front of his
house after he led an anti-Taliban campaign in Farah province. Two
bombs hidden in a motorcycle and a car exploded inside an elite
gated community linked to the family of President Karzai, killing at
least 9 people and wounding more than 70 near Kandahar city.
(AP, 5/17/13)(AP, 5/18/13)
2013 May 17, Former Argentine
dictator Jorge Rafael Videla (87) died of natural causes while
serving life sentences in prison for crimes against humanity. He
took power over Argentina in a 1976 coup and led a military junta
that killed thousands of his fellow citizens in a dirty war to
eliminate so-called "subversives."
2013 May 17, An Organization of
American States (OAS) study was released calling for a serious
discussion on legalizing marijuana. The study was presented by
outgoing OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza in Bogota.
2013 May 17, In the Central
African Republic suspected foreign fighters backing a rebel movement
now in control of the CAR government invaded Bouca, a remote
north-central village and killed six people.
2013 May 17, The body of a
Congolese journalist was found on the bank of the Ngezi River near
the provincial capital of Bunia in eastern Congo. Guylain Chanjabo,
a journalist at Radio Canal Révélation in Bunia, had disappeared 12
2013 May 17, In Egypt dozens of
disgruntled border policemen forced the closure of the main crossing
point into the Gaza Strip to protest the abduction of their
colleagues by suspected militants.
2013 May 17, Egyptian security
forces fired tear gas at protesters hurling firebombs at them in
central Cairo, hours after hundreds of opponents of Egypt's
President Mohammed Morsi rallied peacefully in the streets
denouncing his rule and demanding early presidential elections.
2013 May 17, In France PSA
Peugeot Citroen said that it has signed an agreement with the CGT
union to end a strike at a factory north of Paris, which started
January 16. Workers said they will still fight a plan to close the
2013 May 17, French officials
said thieves overnight had ripped a safe from the wall of a hotel
room near the Cannes Film Festival and made off with some $1 million
worth of jewelry.
(SFC, 5/18/13, p.A2)
2013 May 17, In Georgia
thousands of anti-gay protesters, including Orthodox priests,
occupied a central street in Tbilisi, with some threatening to lash
with stinging nettles any participant in a gay pride parade which
was to take place there.
2013 May 17, In India 8
festival-goers were killed in Bastar village, Chhattisgarh state, as
they were reportedly mistaken as Maoists.
(Econ, 6/1/13, p.41)
2013 May 17, In Iraq bombs
ripped through Sunni areas in Baghdad and surrounding areas, killing
at least 76 people. The deadliest blast struck worshippers as they
were leaving the main Sunni mosque in Baqouba. Another explosion
went off shortly afterward as people gathered to help the wounded,
leaving 41 dead and 56 wounded. In Baghdad a bomb exploded near a
shopping center in the mainly Sunni neighborhood of Amariyah,
killing 21 people. Another bomb in a commercial district in the Dora
neighborhood killed 4 people. A blast struck a cafe in Fallujah
killing 2 people. A roadside bomb during a Sunni funeral procession
in Madain killed 8 mourners.
2013 May 17, In northwestern
Pakistan bombs exploded outside two mosques in a village killing at
least 15 people in Baz Darrah village, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
2013 May 17, South Africa
police said 23 youths have died in the past nine days at initiation
ceremonies that include circumcisions and survival tests in the
northeastern province of Mpumalanga.
2013 May 17, Human Rights Watch
said in a report that its researchers have visited abandoned
government prisons in Raqqa, the first Syrian city to come under
rebel control, and found torture devices and other evidence that
detainees were abused there.
2013 May 17, In Turkey a
container of fuel being smuggled into the country from Syria
exploded, killing 10 people in Tunisma village, Hatay province.
2014 May 17, US health
officials reported what appears to be the first time that a
mysterious Middle East virus (MERS) has spread from one person to
another in the United States. An Illinois man probably picked up an
infection from an Indiana man who earlier this month became the
first US case of Middle East respiratory syndrome.
2014 May 17, Colorado Gov. John
Hickenlooper signed the first state law to allow terminally ill
patients to access experimental medications before federal approval.
(SSFC, 5/18/14, p.A7)
2014 May 17, In Maryland
3-year-old California Chrome won the 139th Preakness at Pimlico Race
Course making him eligible for the Triple Crown on June 7 at the
(SSFC, 5/18/14, p.B1)
2014 May 17, In Bosnia and
Serbia tens of thousands fled their homes, evacuated by boat or
helicopter as rising waters surged into villages and towns.
Authorities said the record flooding killed at least 20 people and
the death toll could rise further.
2014 May 17, In Brazil inmates
at a penitentiary in the northeastern city of Aracaju took four
prison officers hostage and refused to allow nearly 130 prisoners'
relatives to leave the grounds. The inmates demanded to be
transferred from the maximum-security prison to others. The hostages
were released the next day and relatives were allowed to leave after
authorities met demands that some prisoners be transferred.
(AP, 5/18/14)(SFC, 5/19/14, p.A2)
2014 May 17, China's public
security chief urged Vietnam to take tough measures to stem
anti-China violence and punish rioters following deadly attacks
there earlier this week.
2014 May 17, Cyprus' finance
minister said that international creditors have given a fourth
straight positive review to the country's financial rescue program
and are projecting that its economy will shrink this year slightly
less than earlier forecasts.
2014 May 17, France and five
African countries (Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria)
declared war on the Boko Haram extremist Islamic sect. West African
leaders met in Paris to improve cooperation in the fight against
Boko Haram and other militant groups.
(Reuters, 5/17/14)(SSFC, 5/18/14, p.A5)
2014 May 17, In Iraq a bombing
at an outdoor market in Tarmiyha, 50 km north of Baghdad, killed 5
2014 May 17, In Laos a plane
carrying senior Lao government officials crashed in the Pek district
of Xiangkhoung province, killing the defense minister and at least
four other people.
2014 May 17, In Mali gunfire
erupted between the army and Tuareg separatists (MNLA) in the
northern city of Kidal as PM Moussa Mara embarked on a trip there.
Rebels attacked the governor's office in Kidal, abducting 32 civil
servants. 8 soldiers and 28 insurgents were killed. PM Moussa Mara
responded by saying Mali is now at war with the armed Tuareg
(Reuters, 5/17/14)(Reuters, 5/18/14)(SFC,
5/19/14, p.A2)(AP, 5/22/14)
2014 May 17, In Morocco some
700 African migrants charged barbed wire fences in two waves at the
Spanish enclave of Melilla. Moroccan and Spanish border guards
repulsed the charges.
(SSFC, 5/18/14, p.A4)
2014 May 17, Sudanese
authorities in Khartoum arrested Sadiz al-Mahdi (78), a prominent
opposition leader, following remarks criticizing the government’s
security policies in Darfur.
(SSFC, 5/18/14, p.A4)
2014 May 17, In Syria Lt. Gen.
Hussein Ishaq, the head of air defenses, was killed in clashes near
Damascus as rebels attacked an air defense base near the town of
2014 May 17, Vietnam's PM
Nguyen Tan Dun ordered an end to all "illegal protests" in the
country after a week of violent demonstrations against China's
deployment of an oil rig in a disputed section of the South China
2014 May 17, In Ukraine a
second round of European-brokered talks aimed at resolving the
crisis. Lawmakers and officials from eastern Ukraine poured
criticism on the fledging central government for ignoring the
grievances of the regions, which have been overrun for pro-Russian
2014 May 17, Yemen’s military
said it has regained control of Azzan, Shabwa province. 7 militants
and 2 soldiers were killed in the offensive. A militant ambush in
Qarn al-Sawda left 5 militants and 2 soldiers dead.
(SSFC, 5/18/14, p.A4)
2015 May 17, In Florida Austin
Goodner (18) was killed by St. Petersburg police after he argued
with four people near a city pool, shot a man on a bike in the arm
and then shot an officer in the leg.
2015 May 17, In Hawaii one US
Marine was killed and 21 were injured when the MV-22 Osprey they
were in endured a “hard-landing mishap” at Bellows Air Force Base. A
2nd marine died of his injuries on May 20.
(Reuters, 5/18/15)(SFC, 5/21/15, p.A10)
2015 May 17, In NYC Lionel
Pickens, aka Chinx, a rapper who won a growing following by turning
his bleak experiences as a drug-dealer into verse, was shot dead.
2015 May 17, In Texas a
shootout among rival motorcycle gangs at a popular restaurant in
Waco left 9 bikers dead and 18 injured. At least five rival gangs
gathered at Twin Peaks for a meeting that he said focused on turf
and recruitment. The next day 177 gang members were arrested and
more than 150 were eventually charged.
(AP, 5/18/15)(SFC, 5/19/15, p.A6)(SSFC, 11/12/17,
2015 May 17, In Afghanistan a
suicide car bomber rammed a European Union vehicle near the main
airport in Kabul, killing two young girls and a British security
(Reuters, 5/17/15)(SFC, 5/20/15, p.A2)
2015 May 17, In Chile thousands
of people, many waving rainbow-colored flags, gathered in Santiago
for a "March for Equality," pushing the government to acknowledge
more gay rights.
2015 May 17, In southwestern
China more than 30 police officers and 38 civilians were injured
over the last 24 hours during protests by residents who feared that
a planned railway would bypass their community.
2015 May 17, Egyptian
authorities hanged 6 men convicted of killing soldiers, ignoring
appeals to spare them amid allegations two of them had been in
custody at the time of their alleged crimes in early 2014.
2015 May 17, Ethiopia said two
hundred suspected human smugglers have been detained as part of the
government's efforts to stem the number of citizens trying to
illegally migrate to Europe.
2015 May 17, Guinea’s
opposition leader pledged to continue the protests in which at least
four people have been killed unless President Alpha Conde allows
prompt local elections.
2015 May 17, In Iraq Islamic
State militants overran one of the last remaining districts held by
government forces in Ramadi and besieged a key army base on the edge
of the western provincial capital. Suicide car bomb attacks killed
15 members of Iraqi security forces in Ramadi. IS militants likely
killed up to 500 Iraqi civilians and soldiers and forced 8,000
people to flee from their homes as they captured Ramadi
(Reuters, 5/17/15)(AP, 5/17/15)(Reuters, 5/18/15)
2015 May 17, In Iraq US and
allied forces launched 18 air strikes against Islamic State targets
over the last 24 hours, including seven near Ramadi, the western
provincial capital recently seized by the militant forces.
2015 May 17, In Macedonia More
than 20,000 people rallied in Skopje to demand the resignation of PM
Nikola Gruevski's government. Opposition leader Zoran Zaev has
released snippets of the alleged recordings that appear to show
widespread government corruption, a murder cover-up and other
2015 May 17, Malaysia launched
high-level talks with its neighbors to try to solve the deepening
problem of refugees stranded in boats off Southeast Asia's shores,
but there appeared to be no quick solution to the crisis.
2015 May 17, Nigeria's military
claimed it had overrun 10 Boko Haram camps in the group's Sambisa
2015 May 17, In eastern
Pakistan 6 siblings died in a fire in a residential building in
Lahore. The fire broke out at the two-story building due to a short
circuit. Three boys aged 5 to 12 were burned to death, while three
girls, ages 7 to 15, died of suffocation.
2015 May 17, Russian police
detained 17 protesters as they gathered in central Moscow to release
colorful balloons into the air to mark the International Day Against
Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
2015 May 17, In northern Serbia
a man killed 6 people with a hunting rifle in the small village of
Martonos, before dying himself.
2015 May 17, Syrian troops
pushed Islamic State group jihadists back from Palmyra. The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said nearly 300 people have been killed
in several days of fighting since the Islamic State group launched
an attack against the ancient city of Palmyra. The dead included 123
soldiers and loyalist militiamen, 115 IS fighters and 57 civilians.
2015 May 17, In Syria US and
coalition forces launched eight air strikes against Islamic State
targets over the last 24 hours, including near al Hasakah and
2015 May 17, Pope Francis
canonized two nuns from what was 19th-century Palestine. Sisters
Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas were made saints in St.
Peter's Square. Saints Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve from France and
Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception from Italy were also
2015 May 17, In Yemen at least
10 people were killed in overnight battles in Taiz between Houthis
2016 May 17, The Obama
administration announced changes to sanctions imposed on Myanmar.
The new measures took three state-owned banks and seven state
enterprises off its blacklist.
(Econ, 5/21/16, p.34)
2016 May 17, Eric Fanning was
unanimously confirmed as secretary of the US Army by the Senate,
making him the first openly gay leader in the United States
2016 May 17, In the SF Bay Area
the Oakland City Council approved laws to regulate the city’s
medical cannabis industry.
(SFC, 5/17/16, p.A6)
2016 May 17, It was reported
that an epidemic of crystal meth addiction on the remote Fort Peck
Indian Reservation in northern Montana has led to sex trafficking
amidst poverty, isolation, joblessness and violence. A federal Drug
Enforcement Administration report has said number of drug cases on
Indian lands nationwide rose seven-fold from 2009 to 2014, and crime
rates on some reservations are five times higher than national
2016 May 17, South Carolina
lawmakers passed a bill to restrict abortions beyond 20 weeks. Gov.
Nikki Haley (R) signed the bill on May 25 making South Carolina the
17th state with such a ban.
(CSM, 5/18/16)(SFC, 5/26/16, p.A6)
2016 May 17, The Algerian army
began a sweep through the d'Errich forest in Ain Turk in the Bouira
region troops. The operation killed 8 Islamist fighters.
2016 May 17, World and regional
powers meeting in Vienna agreed to try and turn Syria's shaky pause
in fighting into a comprehensive cease-fire as a step toward ending
the five-year war that left hundreds of thousands dead and fueled
the rise of Islamic extremists.
2016 May 17, An Azerbaijani
soldier and an ethnic Armenian fighter for the breakaway Nagorny
Karabakh region's army died in fresh clashes, hours after Baku and
Yerevan agreed to respect a ceasefire in the disputed territory.
2016 May 17, Dozens of Belgian
trade unionists and prison workers who have been on a three-week
strike to demand an end to austerity and better working conditions
broke into the justice ministry in Brussels and damaged part of the
building. Police pushed them back with tear gas.
2016 May 17, The International
Olympic Committee opened disciplinary proceedings against the 31
unidentified athletes from 12 countries who competed in Beijing and
were planning to take part in the Rio de Janeiro Games in August.
They were caught in the retesting of drug samples from the 2008
2016 May 17, Germany’s police
said they have received a total of seven complaints alleging sexual
harassment or assault at the Carnival of Cultures, an annual
festival in Berlin that ran from May 13 to May 16.
2016 May 17, In Greece a
ceremony marked the beginning of construction on a new pipeline
project bringing Azeri gas through northern Greece and Albania to
Italy, reducing Europe's energy dependency on Russia. The Trans
Adriatic Pipeline will run for 878 km (550 miles), from Greece's
border with Turkey to southern Italy, and includes a 105-kilometer
(65-mile) stretch under the Adriatic Sea.
2016 May 17, Iran's parliament
passed a bill requiring the government demand payment from the
United States as compensation for alleged damages Tehran suffered as
a result of American policies over past decades.
2016 May 17, In Iraq four
bombings killed at least 69 people and wounded more than 100 in
(Reuters, 5/17/16)(SFC, 5/17/16, p.A2)
2016 May 17, In Kosovo a few
hundred people from the gay and lesbian community held their first
ever pride parade, seeking acceptance and respect of their rights in
the conservative society.
2016 May 17, In Libya forces
allied to the Government of National Accord (GNA) captured the town
of Abu Grein as they advanced on Sirte.
2016 May 17, In Nigeria
teenager Amina Ali Darsha, the first of more than 200 schoolgirls
missing for over two years after they were kidnapped by Boko Haram
militants in Chibok, was found carrying a baby near the Sambisa
forest close to the border with Cameroon.
2016 May 17, In South Korea a
woman (23) was attacked and stabbed to death by a male stranger
early today in a building's bathroom near Seoul’s Gangnam subway
2016 May 17, Sri Lankan
disaster officials said flash floods and landslides, triggered by
more than three days of heavy rain, have forced more than 130,000
people from their homes. The death toll soon reached 92 with at
least 109 people missing.
(Reuters, 5/17/16)(AP, 5/18/16)(AP, 5/21/16)(SFC,
2016 May 17, Yemen's government
said it is suspending its participation in talks with Iran-backed
rebels, in a new setback to the UN-backed peace process.
2017 May 17, The US Justice
Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead the
investigation of allegations that the Trump campaign collaborated
with Russia to sway the 2016 election. Mueller will have sweeping
powers and the authority to prosecute any crimes he uncovers.
2017 May 17, US officials said
the administration of US President Donald Trump, who slammed the
Iran nuclear deal as a candidate, will extend sanctions relief for
Iran that was called for under the 2015 pact.
2017 May 17, US Navy Adm.
Robert Gilbeau was sentenced to 18 months in prison for lying to
investigators regarding gifts from Malaysian defense contractor
Leonard Glenn Francis in exchange for classified information to help
Glenn Defense Marine Asia.
(SFC, 5/18/17, p.A4)
2017 May 17, An indictment
filed in San Diego charged a father-son partnership for allegedly
smuggling more than $17 million worth of sea cucumbers to the United
States and exporting them to Asia. The charges against Blessings
Inc. of Tucson, Arizona, shed light on a growing and lucrative
illegal cross-border trade.
2017 May 17, Chelsea Manning
(29) was released from the prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas
owing to a commutation of her 35 year sentence by Pres. Barack Obama
before he left office. In July 2010, Manning -- then a male soldier
known as Bradley -- was arrested over the release of a huge trove of
more than 700,000 classified military and diplomatic documents via
(AFP, 5/17/17)(SFC, 5/18/17, p.A9)
2017 May 17, Chris Cornell
(b.1964), the front man for the Soundgarden rock group, committed
suicide at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
(SFC, 5/19/17, p.E1)
2017 May 17, Concert
Pharmaceuticals Inc said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
imposed a clinical hold on a trial testing the company's drug to
treat alopecia areata, a type of hair loss.
2017 May 17, Ford said it is
cutting 1,400 non-factory jobs in North America and Asia Pacific
this year in an effort to boost profits and rescue its sagging stock
price. The company faced heavy costs for new technology and slowing
US car sales.
2017 May 17, In Afghanistan a
suicide attack on a state television station in Jalalabad killed at
least six people as well as the attackers and wounded 24. The
Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.
2017 May 17, Brazil’s O Globo
newspaper reported that Pres. Michel Temer had been caught on tape
endorsing the payment of hush money to politician Eduardo Cunha,
already convicted of taking bribes. The tape was recorded by
billionaire Joesley Batista Sobrinho. In the weeks that followed the
Batistas sold more than 300m Reais’ worth of JBS shares and bought
(Econ 5/20/17, p.29)(Econ 5/27/17, p.32)
2017 May 17, Britain's centrist
Liberal Democrats launched their party manifesto with a promise to
hold a Brexit referendum, as they seek to win pro-EU votes in next
month's national election.
2017 May 17, British police
arrested four men on suspicion of preparing terrorism acts in the
2017 May 17, In Burundi an
unidentified man threw a grenade into a house in Bujumbura, killing
three people believed to be members of the ruling party's youth
2017 May 17, In the Central
African Republic Red Cross workers said they recovered 115 bodies in
Bangassou, a diamond mining hub, after several days of fighting
2017 May 17, Two Chinese
fighter jets intercepted an American military plane over the East
China Sea. The US aircraft, a WC-135 Constant Phoenix, was
conducting a "routine mission" in international airspace. The WC-135
is a so-called "sniffer plane" designed to scan the atmosphere for
signs of nuclear activity.
2017 May 17, In Colombia two
explosions at a shipyard in Cartagena killed four people and injured
(SFC, 5/18/17, p.A2)
2017 May 17, In Congo DRC
Christian sect members stormed Makala Prison in Kinshasa, freeing
Bundu dia Kongo movement leader Ne Mwanda Nsemi and 50 others.
2017 May 17, Czech PM Bohuslav
Sobotka accepted the nomination of former Microsoft executive Ivan
Pilny as new finance minister, calming a dispute straining the
government months before an election.
2017 May 17, EU lawmakers
called on Hungary to withdraw tough new laws on asylum seekers and
2017 May 17, Four Indonesian
soldiers were killed and 8 wounded after they were hit by accidental
artillery fire during a rapid response training exercise in the
Natuna islands north of Borneo in the South China Sea.
2017 May 17, An Islamic Shariah
court in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province sentenced two gay
men to public caning for the first time. The court said each would
receive 85 lashes for having sexual relations.
2017 May 17, Myanmar soldiers
shot dead four itinerant workers after they tried to enter a mine to
search for gems cast aside by its military owners.
2017 May 17, North Korea
launched a ferry service to the Russian city of Vladivostok to
develop links and boost economic cooperation.
2017 May 17, Police in Sri
Lanka fired tear gas at thousands of students protesting against a
private medical university they say could jeopardize the nation's
tradition of state-funded education.
2017 May 17, UNICEF said more
than 300,000 children migrated alone worldwide from 2015 through
(SFC, 5/18/17, p.A2)
2017 May 17, In Yemen a
suspected raid by the Saudi-led coalition killed 23 civilians,
including women and children, near the southwestern city of Taez.
2018 May 17, The US Senate
voted 54-45 to confirm Gina Haspel as the first woman to lead the
(SFC, 5/18/18, p.A6)
2018 May 17, The Univ. of
Denver agreed to a $2.6 million settlement in a lawsuit filed on
behalf of female law professors who said they were illegally paid
less than male colleagues.
(SFC, 5/18/18, p.A6)
2018 May 17, Inmate Larry
Earvin (65) died from blunt trauma to the chest and abdomen
following a clash with prison staff at the Western Illinois
Correctional Center in Mount Sterling. In November his death was
ruled a homicide.
(SFC, 11/19/18, p.A4)
2018 May 17, PayPal and iZettle
announced an agreement for Paypal to acquire the Swedish mobile
payments startup for $2.2 billion.
(SFC, 5/19/18, p.D1)
2018 May 17, In Afghanistan the
Taliban launched an attack late today in Ghazni province's remote
Ajristan district, killing nine security forces and wounding seven
others. The gun battle also left 25 Taliban fighters dead. Taliban
insurgents attacked police security posts in the Maruf district of
Kandahar province, killing five police and wounding six. Also, 12
Taliban were killed and 18 wounded. Similar attacks in southern
Uruzgan province left two police dead.
2018 May 17, A Bosnian court
said it had rejected a request from Tunisia to hand over Elvir
Sarac, a Bosnian national wanted on terrorism charges, over his
alleged role in the 2016 killing of Mohammed Zawari, a Tunisian whom
Palestinian group Hamas said was one of its members.
2018 May 17, The British firm
Cambridge Analytica filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in New
York. Majority shareholders Jennifer and Rebekah Mercer, daughters
of Republican mega-donor Robert Mercer, liquidated their holdings.
2018 May 17, Burundians voted
in a referendum on constitutional reforms that, if passed, will
shore up the power of President Pierre Nkurunziza and enable him to
rule until 2034.
2018 May 17, China's Foreign
Ministry said that no country, organization, company or individual
can carry out oil and gas exploration or exploitation in Chinese
waters without permission from Beijing.
2018 May 17, China's Tianqi
Lithium said it has agreed to acquire a 24 percent stake in Chile's
SQM, one of the world's largest lithium producers, in a deal worth
$4.07 billion. Chengdu-based Tianqi will buy up the shares in SQM
owned by Canada's Nutrien.
2018 May 17, China dropped an
anti-dumping investigation and gave long awaited approval for the
sale of Toshiba's memory chip business, in gestures that could
suggest a thaw between Beijing and the US as trade talks resumed in
2018 May 17, China's LGBT
advocates cautiously organized awareness-raising events across the
country to celebrate International Anti-Homophobia Day amid concern
of growing intolerance towards LGBT causes.
2018 May 17, In China a
suborbital rocket was launched into space by OneSpace, a
Beijing-based start-up in the burgeoning commercial aeronautics
industry. The launch aimed to demonstrate an early working model of
the company's OS-X series of rockets, designed to conduct research
linked to suborbital flights.
2018 May 17, In Congo DRC case
of Ebola was reported confirmed in Mbandaka a city of more than 1
million in northwestern Equateur province, bringing the latest
outbreak of the often deadly hemorrhagic fever out of remote rural
2018 May 17, Denmark said its
special forces taking part in the US-led coalition against the
Islamic State group in Iraq would be withdrawn following the IS
defeat. Denmark had around 180 troops stationed at the Al-Asad air
base near Baghdad.
2018 May 17, Danish shipping
group Maersk Tankers said it would cease its activities in Iran due
to the US decision to leave a landmark nuclear deal and reimpose
sanctions against Tehran.
2018 May 17, In Egypt Arab
foreign ministers held an emergency meeting three days after the
opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem and violence along the Gaza
border, where Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians.
2018 May 17, In Egypt a state
security prosecutor ordered the detention political activist Shady
Ghazaly Harb, a leading opposition figure during the 2011 Arab
Spring uprising against president Hosni Mubarak, on suspicion of
joining a terrorist organization.
2018 May 17, An EU court upheld
a partial ban on three insecticides known as neonicotinoids, saying
that the European Commission had been right in 2013 to restrict
their use to protect bees.
2018 May 17, The European
Commission said it will launch on May 18 the process of activating a
law that bans European companies from complying with US sanctions
against Iran and does not recognize any court rulings that enforce
2018 May 17, France's Digital
Minister Mounir Mahjoubi came out as gay, in a rare move for a
French public figure that he said would help give gay people more
visibility at a time when homophobic acts are on the rise.
2018 May 17, A Lebanese film
about a 12-year-old boy who sues his parents put child poverty in
the spotlight at the Cannes Film Festival.
2018 May 17, German media
reported that the country's foreign intelligence service secured a
sample of the Soviet-developed nerve agent Novichok in the 1990s and
passed on its knowledge to partners including Britain and the US.
2018 May 17, The Israeli
military said it has carried out airstrikes on militant sites in
Gaza overnight in response to machine gun fire that hit a building
in the Israeli city of Sderot.
2018 May 17, Leaders of Italy's
far-right League and the 5-Star Movement agreed the basis for a
governing accord that would slash taxes, ramp up welfare spending
and pose the biggest challenge to the EU since Britain voted to
leave the bloc two years ago.
2018 May 17, Italy's
anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the far-right League planned
to halt the sale of Italy's insolvent national airline Alitalia.
2018 May 17, In Kashmir an
Indian paramilitary soldier was killed by a Pakistani sniper late
today, leading to cross-border firing and shelling at several
forward posts. Eight civilians, including an Indian husband and wife
and four members of a Pakistani family, were killed when Indian and
Pakistani soldiers fired at border posts and villages along the
highly militarized frontier.
2018 May 17, Macedonian PM
Zoran Zaev said he has agreed with his Greek counterpart Alexis
Tsipras on a solution to ending a long-running name row between the
2018 May 17, Malaysia's new
government stepped up a corruption investigation into a state fund
with a seven-hour police search of the home of former PM Najib Razak
and the creation of a special committee to accelerate the probe.
2018 May 17, North Korea
strongly criticized South Korea over ongoing U.S.-South Korean
military exercises and said it will not return to talks with its
rival until Seoul resolves its grievances.
2018 May 17, Polish authorities
said they plan to expel one Russian and banned four others from
entering for five years on allegations they had engaged in
"information warfare" seeking to fuel animosity between Poles and
2018 May 17, Russian state oil
firm Rosneft said in a statement that its drilling in the South
China Sea is within Vietnamese territorial waters, two days after
its Vietnamese subsidiary began drilling in Vietnamese waters
claimed by China.
2018 May 17, Two Ukrainian
soldiers killed in fighting in the separatist eastern region.
2018 May 17, The UN mission in
South Sudan (UNMISS) said it is sending 150 peacekeepers to Unity
state to protect civilians who are being targeted in clashes between
the government and rebel troops.
2018 May 17, A Zambian court
ordered that Chama Fumba (34), a popular and controversial musician
known as Pilato, be detained a day after he returned home having
fled the country early this year fearing for his life.
2019 May 17, President Donald
Trump announced a deal to lift US tariffs on steel and aluminum
imports from Canada and Mexico that had created friction between the
neighbors and blocked a new North American free trade agreement.
2019 May 17, US border
officials said hundreds of detainees from U.S. Customs and Border
Protection (CBP) facilities in Texas and elsewhere are being flown
to San Diego for processing beginning today.
2019 May 17, Former CIA officer
Kevin Mallory (62) was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges
that he spied for China and allegations he sought to expose human
assets who were once his responsibility. A jury in Virginia
convicted Mallory last year under the Espionage Act for providing
classified information to Chinese handlers in exchange for $25,000.
2019 May 17, The US slapped
sanctions on a Mexican judge and a former state governor, accusing
them of taking bribes from drug traffickers, and saying that
government corruption had allowed local drug gangs to grow and
operate with impunity.
2019 May 17, The US embassy in
Indonesia advised US citizens to avoid areas where large
demonstrations may occur in Jakarta, and in other cities including
Surabaya in East Java and Medan in North Sumatra.
2019 May 17, American author
Herman Wouk (b.1915) died at his home in Palm Springs, Ca. His many
acclaimed books included "The Caine Mutiny" (1951), a winner of the
1952 Pulitzer Prize.
(SFC, 5/20/19, p.A6)
2019 May 17, Missouri's
Republican governor, Mike Parson, signed a bill into law that
prohibits women from seeking an abortion after the eighth week of
pregnancy, days after Alabama enacted the most restrictive abortion
law in the United States.
2019 May 17, Hewlett Packard
Enterprise said that it would buy the suprercomputer pioneer Cray
for about $1.4 billion.
(SFC, 5/18/19, p.D1)
2019 May 17, In Brazil
atrophying growth forecasts and waning confidence in President Jair
Bolsonaro sent local stocks and currency to their lowest level of
the year this week, as analysts warned of further falls.
2019 May 17, Authorities in
Brazil raised to $73 million a fine that mining giant Vale will face
if it does not present within 72 hours a technical report on the
risks and possible impact of the rupture of a dam in Minas Gerais.
2019 May 17, Talks between
Britain's Conservative government and the opposition Labour Party
seeking a compromise over Brexit broke down without agreement,
plunging the country back into a morass of uncertainty over its
departure from the EU.
2019 May 17, A judge in Britain
sentenced Jack Renshaw, an alleged member of a banned British
neo-Nazi group, to life in prison for planning to murder UK lawmaker
Rosie Cooper and threatening to slay a police officer.
2019 May 17, Former British
doctor Alan Tutin (71) was sentenced to 10 years in prison for
groping female patients including a 12-year-old child between 1980
2019 May 17, In Colombia Jesus
Santrich (52), aka Seuxis Paucias Hernandez, a former left-wing
guerrilla leader wanted by the US for drug trafficking, was arrested
on his release from prison on an arrest warrant related to the
drug-trafficking investigation. He was suspected of participating in
the trafficking of 10 tons of cocaine to the US between June 2017
and April 2018, crucially after the peace accord was signed in
2019 May 17, Amnesty
International said that Egyptian prosecutors ordered this week
Haitham Mohammdeen and Mustafa Maher to remain in custody for 15
days over charges of "aiding a terrorist group," a reference to the
banned Muslim Brotherhood organization.
2019 May 17, A court in El
Salvador sentenced seven gang members to up to 30 years for the
notorious "black widows" killings, in which women were forced to
marry men who were then killed to collect on life insurance
2019 May 17, The Council of
Europe adopted a declaration that allows Russia to start voting
again at the continent's main human rights body following a spat
related to its annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in
2019 May 17, The European Union
said it is prolonging sanctions against the Syrian regime of
President Bashar Assad for a year due to its continued crackdown
against civilians in the war-ravaged country.
2019 May 17, The EU said it
will directly penalize computer hackers after governments agreed a
new mechanism to target individuals anywhere in the world, freezing
their assets in the bloc and banning them from entry.
2019 May 17, Germany said it
would pay compensation of up to 10,000 euros ($11,000) each to
victims of the former Nazi pedophile sect "Colonia Dignidad" in
Chile. The sect was founded in 1961 by Paul Schaefer, a former
Wehrmacht soldier, lay preacher and convicted pedophile, who abused,
drugged and indoctrinated residents and kept them as virtual slaves.
Schaefer was arrested in Argentina in 2005 and then jailed in Chile
for child sexual and other abuses. Schaefer (88) died behind bars in
2010. Victims said compensation offered by Germany was not enough to
make up for decades of slavery and abuse.
(AFP, 5/17/19)(AFP, 5/18/19)
2019 May 17, In Germany two
Afghan teenagers were convicted over a dispute with a German man
(22), who then died of a heart attack in September 2019. The
Dessau-Rosslau state court gave the younger man 17 months and the
elder 20 months.
2019 May 17, Hungary's PM
Viktor Orban confirmed his country's plans to buy medium-range air
defense missiles from the United States.
2019 May 17, Indonesian police
said that they have arrested dozens of Islamic-State linked terror
suspects, including some who planned to detonate bombs at political
demonstrations when election results are announced next week.
2019 May 17, Japan and China
agreed to boost their relations ahead of a planned visit by Chinese
President Xi Jinping to Japan in June, his first since coming to
power in 2013.
2019 May 17, North Korea sent a
letter asking United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to
deal with the "illegal" seizure of one of its cargo ships by the
2019 May 17, A South Korea
appeals court extended the jail term imposed on cult leader Pastor
Lee Jaerock (75) for raping female followers, sentencing him to 16
years behind bars. He was convicted last year of raping eight women
more than 40 times.
2019 May 17, South Korea
decided to allow its businesspeople to visit their factories at an
industrial park in North Korea that was shut down by Seoul's
previous conservative government in 2016 following a North Korean
2019 May 17, South Korea said
that it would provide $8 million in humanitarian aid to North
Korea's malnourished children and pregnant women.
(SFC, 5/18/19, p.A2)
2019 May 17, Some 70 aid groups
called for an immediate end to the fighting in northwestern Syria.
They said that the violence has displaced an estimated 180,000
people in the last two weeks alone.
2019 May 17, Taiwan became the
first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, as thousands of
demonstrators outside parliament cheered and waved rainbow flags,
despite deep divisions over marriage equality.
2019 May 17, A Turkish court
sentenced fourteen people to life in jail without parole for
involvement in twin bombings in Istanbul that killed dozens on
December 10, 2016.
2019 May 17, Ukraine's ruling
parliamentary coalition collapsed in what represents a setback for
the president-elect's plans to hold early elections.
2019 May 17, Pope Francis
accepted the resignation of Brazilian Bishop Vilson Dias de Oliveira
(60), reportedly suspected of extorting priests and covering up
Go to May 18