Today in History - May 31

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World No Tobacco Day.
1987        The Member States of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes. The World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA40.38, calling for 7 April 1988 to be a "a world no-smoking day." In 1988, Resolution WHA42.19 was passed, calling for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day, every year on 31 May.
    (, 6/1/13, p.62)

70CE        May 31, Rome captured the 1st wall of the city of Jerusalem.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

455        May 31, Petronius Maximus, senator, Emperor of Rome, was lynched.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1433        May 31, Sigismund was crowned emperor of Rome.
    (HN, 5/31/98)

1469        May 31, Manuel I, king of Portugal (1495-1521), was born.
    (HN, 5/31/98)

1531        May 31, "Women's Revolt" in Amsterdam: wool house in churchyard.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1594        May 31, Jacopo Tintoretto (b.1518), Italian artist, died.

1621        May 31, Sir Francis Bacon was thrown into Tower of London for overnight.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1634        May 31, Massachusetts Bay colony annexed the Maine colony.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1665        May 31, Jerusalem's rabbi Sjabtai Tswi proclaimed himself Messiah.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1678        May 31, The Godiva procession, commemorating Lady Godiva's legendary ride while naked, became part of the Coventry Fair.
    (HN, 5/31/01)

1701        May 31, Alexander Cruden, compiler of a concordance to King James Bible, was born.
    (HN, 5/31/98)

1753        May 31, Pierre V. Vergniaud, French politician, Girondin orator (guillotined in 1793), was born.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1790        May 31, The US copyright law was enacted.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1809        May 31, Composer Franz Joseph Haydn died in Vienna, Austria on his 77th birthday. When Napoleon’s armies marched into Vienna, the commanding general posted guards in front of Haydn’s house to protect Haydn from trouble, and a young officer was sent to sing for the old man.
    (AP, 5/31/97)(WSJ, 1/8/98, p.A7)

1819        May 31, Poet Walt Whitman (d.1892) was born in West Hill, N.Y. He became America’s national poet with vibrant works such as 1855’s Leaves of Grass. His poems included: "When Lilacs Last in the Doorway Bloomed." Some of Whitman’s poems were inspired by his Civil War experience as a hospital volunteer in Washington. Although a staunch supporter of the Union cause, Whitman comforted dying soldiers of both sides, as described in one of the poet's wartime newspaper dispatches: "I stayed a long time by the bedside of a new patient.... In an adjoining ward I found his brother...It was in the same battle both were hit. One was a strong Unionist, the other Secesh; both fought for their respective sides, both badly wounded, and both brought together after a separation of four years. Each died for his cause."
    (AP, 5/31/97)(HN, 5/31/98)(HNQ, 6/1/98)(V.D.-H.K.p.278)(HNPD, 5/25/99)(HN, 5/31/99)

1831        May 31, Captain John Ross, English explorer, identified the magnetic north pole on the west coast of the Boothia Peninsula, Netsilik territory.

1832        May 31, Evariste Galois (b.1811), French mathematician who developed a general theory of equations, died from wounds suffered in a duel. In 2005 Mario Livio authored “The Equation That couldn’t Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry."
    (, 8/27/05, p.68)

1836        May 31, HMS Beagle anchored in Simons Bay, Cape of Good Hope.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1837        May 31, Astor Hotel opened in NYC. It later became the Waldorf-Astoria. John Jacob Astor bought up foreclosed properties during the financial bust. He later sold them for a 10-fold profit.
    (WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R43)(MC, 5/31/02)

1854        May 31, Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed by U.S. Congress.
    (HN, 5/31/98)

1861        May 31, Gen. PGT Beauregard was given command of Confederate Alexandria Line.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1862        May 31, At the Battle of Fair Oaks, also known as the Battle of Seven Pines, Gen. McClellan defeated the Confederates outside of Richmond. Confederate Gen. Joe Johnston was injured and evacuated to Richmond. Maj. Gen. G.W. Smith took temporary command.
    (HN, 5/31/98)(

1868        May 31, The 1st Memorial Day parade was held in Ironton, Ohio.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1875        May 31, Italo Montemezzi, composer, was born.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1879        May 31, New York's Madison Square Garden opened its doors.
    (HN, 5/31/98)
1879        May 31, 1st electric railway opened at the Berlin Trades Exposition.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1889        May 31, Johnstown, Pennsylvania was destroyed by a massive flood. The South Fork Dam across a tributary of the Little Conemaugh River collapsed under pressure from the rain-swollen Lake Conemaugh. Water slammed into Johnstown, Pa., 55 miles southeast of Pittsburgh and killed 2,209 people in a flood and related fire. Torrential rains had weakened the poorly constructed dam, located 14 miles upstream from the city. By the afternoon of May 31, after desperate efforts to shore up the earthen dam had failed, it broke and unleashed a 40-foot-high wave of water and debris into Johnstown with the force of Niagara Falls. Buildings and trees, along with animals and people--both dead and alive--piled up against the Pennsylvania Railroad Company's Stone Bridge. The mountain of debris then caught fire, trapping hundreds. More than 2,000 people lost their lives in the devastating Johnstown Flood. The South Fork Dam had been constructed to create Lake Conemaugh, a playground for the wealthy members of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club. In 1959 Richard O'Connor published "Johnstown, the Day the Dam Broke." In 1968 David McCullough authored “The Johnstown Flood."
    (SFC, 3/24/97, p.C2)(AP, 5/31/97)(HN, 5/31/98)(WSJ, 1/27/06, p.P8)

1892        May 31, Gregor Strasser, German pharmacist, NSDAP-Reich organization founder, was born.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1894        May 31, Fred Allen [John Florence Sullivan], American comedian, was born.
    (HN, 5/31/01)
1894        May 31, The US Senate passed a resolution encouraging Hawaii to establish its own form of government without interference from the US.
    (ON, 11/02, p.7)
1894        May 31, Victor Horsley, medical researcher, published a report in Nature indicating that cats shot through the head stop breathing and that resuscitative efforts helped them survive.
    (WSJ, 8/21/96, p.A15)

1898        May 31, Norman Vincent Peale (d1993), American religious leader, was born in Ohio. He later authored "The Power of Positive Thinking."
    (HN, 5/31/01)(MC, 5/31/02)

1900        May 31, U.S. troops arrived in Peking to help put down Boxer Rebellion.
    (HN, 5/31/98)
1900        May 31, Chicago’s Northwestern Elevated began operations, and Charles T. Yerkes, its chief visionary was present to see his project come to fruition.

1902        May 31, The Boer War ended between the Boers of South Africa and Great Britain with the Treaty of Vereeniging. This effectively ended a 3-year uprising by the Boers, led by Louis Botha, commandant general of the Transvaal forces. Botha was a signatory at the peace conference. The combination of superior fire power and a brutal war of attrition launched by Lord Kitchener forced the Boers to give in. Kitchener burned the farms of Africans and Boers alike and collected as many as a 100,000 women and children in carelessly run and unhygienic concentration camps on the open veldt. Britain annexed Transvaal.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.289)(HN, 5/31/99)(SFC, 9/25/99, p.A21)(HNQ, 6/29/02)

1906        May 31, France and Germany signed an accord in which France agreed to yield control of the Moroccan police, but otherwise retained effective control of Moroccan political and financial affairs.

1907        May 31, Taxis began running in NYC. [see Aug 13]
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1908        May 31, Actor Don Ameche was born in Kenosha, Wis.
    (AP, 5/31/08)

1909        May 31, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held its first conference at the United Charities Building in NYC.
    (HN, 5/31/98)(MC, 5/31/02)

1910        May 31, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell (b.1821), the first American woman to become a doctor, died. She and colleagues founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children (1857).
1910        May 31, The Union of South Africa was founded as a union within the British Empire. It combined four British colonies: the Cape Colony, the Natal Colony, the Transvaal Colony and the Orange River Colony. (The latter two were, before the Second Boer War, independent republics known as the South African Republic and the Orange Free State.) These colonies became the four original provinces of the Union: Cape Province, Transvaal Province, Natal Province and Orange Free State Province.
    (, Oct. 1988, p. 566)(AP, 5/31/97)

1913        May 31, The 17th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for the popular election of U.S. senators, was declared in effect.
    (AP, 5/31/97)(HN, 5/31/98)

1915        May 31, A German LZ-38 Zeppelin made an air raid on London. [see Jun 1]
    (HN, 5/31/98)

1916        May 31, During World War I, British and German fleets fought the Battle of Skagerrak at Jutland off Denmark and 10,000 were left dead. There was no clear-cut victor, although the British suffered heavier losses.
    (HN, 5/31/98)(AP, 5/31/06)

1920        May 31, Edward Bennett Williams, Washington lawyer, was born.
    (HN, 5/31/98)

1921        May 31, A major race riot broke out in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Greenwood, the black section of town, was burned. In 1997 Jewell Parker Rhodes wrote the novel "Magic City" based on this event. As many as 10,000 white men and boys attacked the black community and 35 blocks of the black business district were burned with participation by police officers and a local unit of the National Guard. Some 200-300 people were believed to have been killed. In 2000 the Tulsa Race Riot Commission recommended that reparations be paid to survivors of the riots. In 2001 a final state commission recommended that reparations be paid to survivors and their descendants.
    (NPR, 5/31/96)(SFEC, 6/29/97, BR p.3)(SFC, 8/10/99, p.A2)(SFC, 2/5/00, p.A3)(SFC, 3/1/01, p.A4)

1925        May 31, Julian Beck, theater manager, was born.
    (HN, 5/31/01)

1926        May 31, Portuguese president Bernardino Machedo resigned after coup.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1928        May 31, The first flight over the Pacific took off from Oakland. Charles Kingsford-Smith & Charles Ulm departed from Oakland, Ca., and arrived in Australia on June 9.
    (HN, 5/31/98)(NPub, 2002, p.11)

1930        May 31, Clint Eastwood, actor and director, was born was born in SF and went to high school in Oakland. He became famous for his "Dirty Harry" films and "Spaghetti Westerns." A biography: "Clint Eastwood," by Richard Schickel was published in 1996 and made into a TV documentary in 1997.
    (SFC,10/31/97, p.C7)(HN, 5/31/98)(HN, 5/31/99)

1935        May 31, In Quetta, India, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake killed some 50,000 people.
    (AP, 12/27/03)

1937        May 31, German battleships shelled Almeria, Spain.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1938        May 31, Peter Yarrow, (Peter, Paul & Mary-Puff the Magic Dragon), was born in NYC.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1939        May 31, Terry Waite, Anglican Church envoy, Lebanese hostage, was born.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1940        May 31, British General Bernard Montgomery left Dunkirk. The French government allowed French soldiers to be picked up at Dunkirk.
    (MC, 5/31/02)(ON, 8/12, p.4)
1940        May 31, Winston Churchill flew to Paris.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1941        May 31, An armistice was arranged between the British and the Iraqis. The British were to remain in the country and the Iraqis were to do nothing to help the Axis powers.
    (HN, 5/31/99)

1942        May 31, In Australia 3 midget submarines slipped into the Sidney Harbor after being launched from a fleet of five larger Japanese submarines offshore. Two were spotted and attacked, leading the two-man crews to commit suicide. A 3rd midget submarine managed to fire two torpedoes at the US heavy cruiser USS Chicago, one of which exploded beneath an Australian depot ship HMAS Kuttabul, killing 21 sailors. In 2006 the M24 midget submarine was found by scuba divers in deep waters off the coast. In 2007 the Australian government decided to leave the M24 and its 2 Japanese sailors undisturbed on the seabed.
    (AFP, 11/24/06)(AFP, 5/23/07)
1942        May 31, Luftwaffe bombed Canterbury.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1943        May 31, Joe Namath, NFL QB (NY Jets), $400,000 man (1969 Superbowl), was born in PA.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1952        May 31, In San Francisco the first Golden Gate Park Road Race was held with some 60 cars vying for first place. The races continued again in 1953 and ended in 1954.
    (SFC, 5/28/12, p.C1)
1952        May 31, Walter Schellenberg, German lawyer, headed spy plot (Venlo), died of cancer.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1953        May 31, V.I. Tatlin (b.1885), Ukrainian-born painter and sculptor, died in Moscow.

1955        May 31, Supreme Court ordered that states must end racial segregation "with all deliberate speed."
    (HN, 5/31/98)
1955        May 31, Great Britain proclaimed emergency crisis due to railroad strike.
    (MC, 5/31/02)

1961        May 31, South Africa became an independent republic.
    (AP, 5/31/97)

1962        May 31, Adolph Eichmann (b.1906), Gestapo official and Nazi war criminal, was hanged near Tel Aviv, Israel, for his role in the Nazi murder of over one million Jews. He had been nabbed in Argentina by Peter Malkin in 1960 and taken to Israel for trial. This was the first execution to take place in the state Israel. Eichmann completed 1,300 notebook pages while in prison and they were OK'd for publication in 1999. In 1963 Hannah Arendt authored "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil."
    (SFEC, 11/3/96, Par p.13) (AP, 5/31/97)(HN, 5/31/99)(SFC, 8/11/99, p.C4)(WSJ, 8/31/99, p.A22)(

1969        May 31, John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded "Give Peace a Chance" during their “Bed-In" at the Queen Elizabeth’s Hotel in Montreal.

1970        May 31, In Cambodia 9 journalists (American, Cambodian, Indian, Japanese, and French) were ambushed by Khmer Rouge and Viet Cong guerrillas near Kandoul village south of Phnom Penh. 4 of the CBS employees were killed instantly. 5 others were believed to have been taken to Kandoul in the days after and executed. Their bodies were dumped in a shallow grave amid the untilled earth of rice paddies.
    (AP, 4/23/10)
1970        May 31, A 7.7 slab earthquake and debris flow in Peru killed 67,000, injured 50,000 and destroyed 186,000 buildings.
    (AP, 5/31/97)(

1974        May 31, Israel and Syria signed an agreement on the Golan Heights.
    (HN, 5/31/98)

1976        May 31, Martha Mitchell, the estranged wife of former Attorney General John N. Mitchell, died in New York.
    (AP, 5/31/97)

1977        May 31, The trans-Alaska oil pipeline was completed after three years of work.
    (AP, 5/31/97)

1978        May 31, Hanna Hoch (b.1889), German photomontage artist of the Berlin Dada movement, died. Her work included "Cut With the Kitchen Knife Dada Through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Epoch of Germany," (1919-1920).
    (SFC, 3/25/97, p.E3)(SSFC, 1/27/02, p.C7)(

1979        May 31, Zimbabwe proclaimed its independence.
    (HN, 5/31/98)

1983        May 31, Jack Dempsey (b.1895), former US heavyweight boxing champ (1919-1926), died. Dempsey wrote a book on boxing, “Championship Fighting: Explosive Punching and Aggressive Defence" (1950). In 1999 Roger Kahn authored "A Flame of Pure Fire: Jack Dempsey and the Roaring Twenties."
    (, 1994, p.385)

1985        May 31, At least 41 tornadoes hit Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and southeastern Ontario, Canada, during an eight-hour period killing 88 people with over 1,000 injured.
    (, 5/31/05)

1987        May 31, Addressing AIDS research supporters in Washington, D.C., President Reagan called "for urgency, not panic," but drew scattered boos when he announced he would seek expanded testing for the disease.
    (AP, 5/31/97)

1988        May 31, On the third day of the Moscow superpower summit, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev said maybe it was "time to bang our fists on the table" to complete work on a strategic arms treaty. President Reagan responded: "I'll do anything that works." Reagan received a standing ovation from students at Moscow Univ. following a short speech with questions and answers.
    (AP, 5/31/98)(HN, 5/31/99)(WSJ, 6/18/04, p.A11)

1989        May 31, Pres. G.W. Bush met with Chancellor Kohl and addressed the citizens of Mainz, Germany. He offered Germany a “partnership in leadership."
    (Econ, 7/8/06, p.43)(
1989        May 31, US House Speaker Jim Wright, dogged by questions about his ethics, announced he would resign. Thomas Foley succeeded him.
    (AP, 5/31/99)
1989        May 31, Charles A. Hufnagel (b.1917), artificial heart valve pioneer, died at his home in Washington, DC.

1990        May 31, Seinfeld, starring Jerry Seinfeld, debuted on NBC. [see July 5, 1989]
1990        May 31, President Bush and his wife, Barbara, welcomed Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev in a ceremony on South Lawn of the White House. The two leaders and their aides then held talks on German reunification.
    (AP, 5/31/00)
1990        May 31, In NYC the Zodiac killer shot a 3rd victim. Joseph Ponce died from his wound on June 24.

1991        May 31, US Federal health officials announced a new Medicare fee schedule.
    (AP, 5/31/01)
1991        May 31, Pres. Jose Eduardo dos Santos signed a peace treaty with Jonas Savimbi of UNITA, ending a 16-year-old Angola civil war. It called for a unified military and democratic elections.
    (AP, 5/31/01)(SFC, 4/5/02, p.A11)

1992        May 31, "Crazy for You" was named Broadway's best musical at the Tony Awards; "Dancing at Lughnasa" was named best play.
    (AP, 5/31/97)
1992        May 31, An estimated 50,000 people demonstrated in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, against Communist-organized elections.
    (AP, 5/31/02)

1993        May 31, President Clinton paid a Memorial Day visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where some in the crowd jeered him for avoiding military service. "Disagreement is freedom's privilege," Clinton exhorted critics.
    (AP, 5/31/98)

1994        May 31, U.S. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., maintaining his innocence, was indicted on 17 felony counts alleging he'd plundered nearly $700,000 from the government. He later pleaded guilty to two counts of misusing federal funds and spent 451 days in federal custody.
    (AP, 5/31/99)
1994        May 31, The United States announced it was no longer aiming long-range nuclear missiles at targets in the former Soviet Union.
    (AP, 5/31/97)

1995        May 31, President Clinton declared he was ready to permit the temporary use of American ground forces in Bosnia to help UN peacekeepers move to safer positions if necessary.
    (AP, 5/31/00)
1995        May 31, Senator Bob Dole (Kansas) accused Hollywood of promoting violence, rape and casual sex in music and movies saying "the mainstreaming of deviancy must come to an end."
    (AP, 5/31/00)

1996        May 31, California state authorities officially advised the 900 residents of Chualar in Monterey County, Ca., not to use tap water due to the accumulation of nitrates from agricultural fertilizers and pesticides.
    (SFC, 5/12/98, p.A1,6)
1996        May 31, Timothy Leary died at 75 of prostate cancer. Some of his ashes were launched into space with those of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry (d.1991) and 28 others. Leary was a big promoter of LSD, lysergic acid diethylamide. He began using the drug while at Harvard with Richard Alpert, aka Baba Ram Dass. He was arrested in 1969 for marijuana possession and sentenced to 10 years, but escaped from captivity. In 1973 he was caught in Afghanistan and returned to prison from which he was paroled in 1976. In 2006 Robert Greenfield authored “Timothy Leary: A Biography."
    (SFC, 6/1/96, p.A1,7)(SSFC, 7/9/06, p.M3)
1996        May 31, Israeli warplanes attacked a Hezbollah base in eastern Lebanon in retaliation for an ambush that killed four Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon.
    (SFC, 5/31/96, A16)
1996        May 31, Benjamin Netanyahu claimed victory in Israel's election for prime minister, defeating incumbent Shimon Peres by nine-tenths of 1 percent.
    (AP, 5/31/97)
1996        May 31, Tens of thousands of teachers marched in Mexico City for a pay raise and to protest the police crack-down on a previous march last week. Most teacher salaries are about $400 per month.
    (SFC, 6/1/96, p.A12)
1996        May 31, The Finnish food company Raisio Group has invented a new product that blocks the body’s absorption of cholesterol. The new "pharmafood" is called benecol and based on a plant extract known as beta sitostanol, a plant sterol extracted from Nordic pine trees.
    (WSJ, 5/31/96, p.B3C)
1996        May 31, The Ex-Im Bank said that it would not finance companies bidding on China’s massive $24 billion Three Gorges Dam project on the Yangtze River due to human rights and environmental issues.
    (WSJ, 5/31/96, p.A1)

1997        May 31, Rosie Will Monroe (77), aka Rosie the Riveter, died in Indiana. During WW II she worked as a riveter at the Willow Run Aircraft Factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan, building B-29 and B-24 bombers for the Air Force. She appeared in films and poster used by the U.S. government to encourage women to go to work in support of the war effort.
1997        May 31, Pope John Paul II began an 11-day tour of his native Poland, his seventh visit since assuming the papacy.
    (AP, 5/31/98)
1997        May 31, It was reported that more than 60 monk seals were killed from eating fish that had ingested a toxic algae off of Mauritania’s Atlantic coast. It was estimated that only some 350 of the monk seals were left worldwide.
    (SFC, 5/31/97, p.A17)
1997        May 31, From Argentina it was reported that high joblessness (17.3%) was causing riots in various provinces outside the capital. Neuquin, Jujuy, Salta and Santa Fe had all experienced riots.
    (SFC, 5/31/97, p.A13)
1997        May 31, The 7-member ASEAN alliance, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, met in Kuala Lumpur and agreed to allow Burma to become a member in July. Laos and Cambodia were also to be admitted. The members were Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.
    (SFEC, 6/1/97, p.D3)
1997        May 31, From the Philippines it was reported that torrential rains from Tropical Storm Levi killed at least 53 people.
    (SFC, 5/31/97, p.A17)
1997        May 31, Russia and the Ukraine signed a friendship treaty. Boris Yeltsin traveled to Kiev to sign the treaty.
    (SFEC, 6/1/97, p.A8)
1997        May 31, In Spain thousands of olive oil workers protested in Madrid against the EU plan to force a cut in olive oil production and to lower subsidies.
    (SFEC, 6/1/97, p.D1)

1998        May 31, Pres. Clinton endorsed additional conditional financial support for Russia from the IMF and World Bank.
    (SFC, 6/1/98, p.A9)
1998        May 31, Storms tore from Pennsylvania through New England, killing several people and knocking out power for nearly 1 million customers.
    (AP, 5/31/99)
1998        May 31, Singer Geri Halliwell, also known as "Ginger Spice" of the Spice Girls, confirmed she was leaving the group.
    (AP, 5/31/99)
1998        May 31, In Colombian presidential elections conservative Andres Pastrana (43), son of former Pres. Misael Pastrana, was in a tight race with Hector Serpa (55) of the ruling Liberals. Serpa led Pastrana 34.6 vs. 34.3 and a runoff was set for Jun 21. Noemi Sanin, an independent female candidate, received 27% of the vote.
    (WSJ, 5/29/98, p.A1)(SFC, 5/30/98, p.A12)(SFC, 6/2/98, p.A11)(SFC, 6/20/98, p.B1)
1998        May 31, In Ecuador Alvaro Noboa, scion of the country’s wealthiest family, made a run for the presidency in the first round of elections. Jamil Mahuad led the elections with 36.7%, but failed to get a majority. Alvaro Noboa had 29.8%. A runoff was scheduled for Jul 12.
    (SFC, 5/28/98, p.A8)
1998        May 31, In Montenegro a reformist coalition led by Pres. Djukanovic led in national elections with 50.4%.
    (SFC, 6/1/98, p.A8)

1999        May 31, Last Monday of the month. Memorial Day, which began in 1868 as Decoration Day, was set aside to remember those who have died in the service of their country. Celebrated on May 30 for the first 100 years, Memorial Day was officially changed to the last Monday in May in 1968.
    (HNPD, 5/31/99)
1999        May 31, During a Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery, President Clinton asked Americans to reconsider their ambivalence about Kosovo, calling it "a very small province in a small country. But it is a big test of what we believe in."
    (AP, 5/31/00)
1999        May 31, It was reported that Mike Moshier (51), founder of Millennium Jet Inc. in Santa Clara, Ca., had developed the SoloTrek XFV, a single passenger flying vehicle, that could fly at 80 mph for up to 90 minutes as high as 10,000 feet on a single tank of 87-octane gas.
    (SFC, 5/31/99, p.E3)
1999        May 31, NATO missiles killed at least 26 people in separate attacks. In Novi Pazar an apartment block was struck and 10 people were killed. At least 16 people were killed on the outskirts of Surdulica, when missiles hit a hospital and retirement complex.
    (SFC, 6/1/99, p.A1,7)
1999        May 31, India agreed to hold talks with Pakistan over Kashmir, but there was no let up in the Indian offensive against guerrillas.
    (SFC, 6/1/99, p.A8)
1999        May 31, In Turkey the treason trial of Abdullah Ocalan was scheduled to begin on a prison island. Ocalan offered to urge the PKK to stop its armed struggle against Turkey and to pursue a legal process. Ocalan was later convicted and sentenced to death, but the death sentence was commuted to life in prison in 2002.
    (SFC, 5/1/99, p.A8)(SFC, 6/1/99, p.A6)(AP, 5/31/04)

2000        May 31, Pres. Clinton proposed to EU allies in Portugal to share key technology on a US missile defense program to calm fears of a nuclear arms race that would leave Europe vulnerable.
    (SFC, 6/1/00, p.A16)(AP, 5/31/01)
2000        May 31, Tito Puente, Latin jazz bandleader, died in New York at age 77. He recorded some 119 albums from 1949 to 2000.
    (SFC, 6/2/00, p.D2)
2000        May 31, In Chechnya Sergei Zveryev, Russia’s 2nd highest official in the area, was killed by a remote controlled bomb in Grozny. Grozny’s Mayor Supyan Makhchayev was injured and his assistant was also killed.
    (SFC, 6/1/00, p.A16)
2000        May 31, Ethiopia declared victory over Eritrea as peace talks continued in Algeria.
    (SFC, 6/1/00, p.A16)
2000        May 31, In Luxembourg Neji Bejaoui, an unemployed Tunisian immigrant, took 37 children and 3 teachers hostage in Wasserbillig. Police posing as journalists shot and wounded the hostage-taker after a 30-hour standoff. No one else was injured.
    (SFC, 6/1/00, p.A17)(SFC, 6/2/00, p.A14)(SFC, 6/3/00, p.A14)
2000        May 31, In Montenegro Goran Zugic (39), security advisor to Pres. Milo Dzukanovic, was gunned down as he arrived home.
    (SFC, 6/2/00, p.A18)

2001        May 31, Veteran FBI agent Robert Hanssen pleaded innocent to charges of spying for Moscow. He later changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.
    (AP, 5/31/02)
2001        May 31, Timothy McVeigh decided to seek a postponement of his execution "to promote integrity in the criminal justice system."
    (SFC, 6/1/01, p.A1)
2001        May 31, Microsoft released its new Office XP for Windows software.
    (SFC, 5/31/01, p.C1)
2001        May 31, Arlene Francis, actress and TV personality, died in San Francisco at age 93.
    (AP, 5/31/02)
2001        May 31, In Afghanistan the Taliban barred female foreign-aid workers from driving. The virtue ministry said the activity is harmful for society.
    (WSJ, 6/1/01, p.A1)
2001        May 31, In Cuba a group of journalists led by Raul Rivero formed an independent association, the 1st under Castro’s rule.
    (SFC, 6/1/01, p.D3)
2001        May 31, In Israel a Jewish settler was killed in the West Bank and Palestinian (17) was killed during a clash in Ramallah. Since Sept. 483 Palestinians have died and 88 Israelis including 24 settlers.
    (SFC, 6/1/01, p.D6)
2001        May 31, Faisal Husseini (60), a moderate Palestinian leader, died in Kuwait of a heart attack. He was a member of the PLO’s executive committee and head of the Fatah on the West Bank.
    (SFC, 6/1/01, p.D5)(AP, 5/31/02)
2001        May 31, The people of Somaliland voted 97.1% in a referendum for independence. The referendum was opposed by the government of Somalia and did not lead to any state recognising the independence of Somaliland.

2002        May 31, Vermont Gov. Howard Dean filed papers with the Federal Election Commission for "Dean for America" presidential-campaign organization.
    (WSJ, 6/23/03, p.A4)
2002        May 31, A three-judge federal panel in Philadelphia ruled that public libraries cannot be forced to install software that blocks sexually explicit Web sites.
    (AP, 5/31/03)
2002        May 31, The World Cup soccer tournament opened in Japan and South Korea for the first time with a match between Senegal and defending champion France in South Korea. Senegal upset France, 1-0.
    (SFC, 6/1/02, p.A1)(AP, 5/31/03)
2002        May 31, The US State Dept. urged some 60,000 Americans in India to leave over concerns of war between India and Pakistan.
    (SFC, 6/1/02, p.A1)
2002        May 31, Antonio Pineiro (48), opened fire in a Top Valu market in Long Beach, Ca., and killed Marcela Perez (38), a store clerk, and Barbara Ibasco (8). Police shot and killed Pineiro and found the year old remains of an elderly couple, believed to be his parents, dead in his apartment.
    (SFC, 6/1/02, p.A2)
2002        May 31, Bulgaria signed an agreement with the US to destroy its Cold War-era missiles. The US planned to pay the costs of destruction.
    (SFC, 6/1/02, p.A11)
2002        May 31, In Colombia Pres. Pastrana suspended talks with the ELN.
    (SFC, 6/1/02, p.A11)
2002        May 31, In Denmark the Parliament voted to stiffen rules on immigration.
    (SFC, 6/1/02, p.A9)
2002        May 31, European Union countries formally signed on to the Kyoto Protocol, a pact aimed at stemming pollution and global warming that has been opposed by the United States.
    (SFC, 6/1/02, p.A9)(AP, 5/31/03)
2002        May 31, In southern Mexico gunmen ambushed a truckload of people and killed 26 in Agua Fria. The dead were all from Santiago Xochiltepec and were victims of a land dispute. 16 suspects were later arrested.
    (SSFC, 6/2/02, p.A12)(SFC, 6/3/02, p.A3)
2002        May 31, It was reported that Yemen held some 85 detainees with suspected links to the al Qaeda network.
    (SFC, 5/31/02, p.A12)
2002        May 31, Zimbabwe declared HIV a national emergency. Some 25% of the adults there were infected with the virus.
    (SFC, 6/1/02, p.A11)

2003        May 31, President Bush visited the site of the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland as he challenged allies to overcome their bitterness and mistrust over the Iraq war and unite in the struggle against terrorism.
    (AP, 5/31/04)
2003        May 31, Eric Rudolph, the longtime fugitive charged in the 1996 Olympic Park bombing and in attacks at an abortion clinic and a gay nightclub, was arrested in the mountains of North Carolina.
    (AP, 5/31/03)
2003        May 31, American forces arrested 15 members of Saddam Hussein's banned Baath Party as they met at a police college in Baghdad.
    (AP, 5/31/03)
2003        May 31, Toronto reported more cases of SARS and said the disease may have caused the deaths of four people at a hospital on the edge of the city.
    (Reuters, 5/31/03)
2003        May 31, A Chinese freighter sank in the Baltic Sea. It carried 66,000 tons of fertilizer and leaked over 55,270 gallons of diesel oil. Some 38,000 gallons were recovered.
    (SFC, 6/3/03, p.A3)
2003        May 31, Air France planned to ground its last 5 Concorde airplanes. The Air France Concorde, the world's fastest and most luxurious passenger jet, flew from New York to Paris for the last time.
    (SFC, 4/11/03, p.B5)(AP, 5/30/03)(SSFC, 6/1/03, p.A2)
2003        May 31, Clashes between Philippine troops and Muslim separatist guerrillas left at least 23 dead, just days before a 10-day unilateral cease-fire was set to begin.
    (AP, 5/31/03)
2003        May 31, Russia officially premiered the reborn Amber Room as part of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg.
    (SFC, 5/31/03, p.A2)
2003        May 31, In St. Petersburg, Russia, Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi and Hu Jintao, the new president of China, agreed in a summit to work at defusing tensions over North Korea.
    (AP, 5/31/03)
2003        May 31, Singapore was taken off the list of SARS countries.
    (SSFC, 6/1/03, p.A3)

2004        May 31, In Memorial Day tributes, President Bush declared that “America is safer" because of its fighting forces while Sen. John Kerry visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
    (AP, 5/31/05)
2004        May 31, Powerful storms again swept across the US Midwest and beyond, knocking out power to thousands of customers and spawning tornadoes that leveled buildings. At least 9 deaths were blamed on the storms during the Memorial Day weekend.
    (AP, 5/31/04)
2004        May 31, In Austria a catamaran filled 27 people overturned on Hinterbruehl Grotto, Europe's largest underground lake, drowning 5 people after the boat's railings formed a cage 5 feet down on the lake floor.
    (AP, 5/31/04)
2004        May 31, Newbridge Capital, an American private equity firm, became the 1st foreign financial to gain control of a Chinese bank with an 18% stake in Shenzhen Development Bank and majority control of the board.
    (Econ, 6/5/04, p.70)
2004        May 31, U.S. troops clashed with Shiite militiamen in the holy city of Kufa for a second day in fighting that killed two Americans. In Baghdad, a car bomb exploded near the headquarters of the U.S. coalition, killing at least two people and injuring more than 20.
    (AP, 5/31/04)
2004        May 31, Felipe Calderon, Mexico's energy secretary resigned, a day after President Vicente Fox criticized him for an early jump into the 2006 presidential races.
    (AP, 5/31/04)
2004        May 31, Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo said that his country's 30-billion-dollar external debt was "burdensome, unsustainable and unpayable" and appealed for leniency from its creditors.
    (AP, 5/31/04)
2004        May 31, In Pakistan 20-25 people were killed in Karachi in an apparent suicide bombing at a crowded Shiite Muslim mosque.
    (AP, 6/1/04)(WSJ, 8/19/04, p.A11)
2004        May 31, Ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his family received a first-class diplomatic welcome from South Africa, his new home in exile.
    (AP, 5/31/04)

2005        May 31, President Bush, faced with a string of setbacks on Capitol Hill, shrugged off questions about his political clout and promised during a news conference to keep pushing Congress for a Social Security overhaul.
    (AP, 5/31/06)
2005        May 31, Vanity Fair Magazine revealed that W. Mark Felt (91), former FBI official, was the Watergate whistleblower Deep Throat, who helped bring down Pres. Nixon in 1974.
    (AP, 6/1/05)
2005        May 31, Human Events, a conservative weekly, published a list of what 15 conservative scholars considered to be the 10 most harmful books of the 19th and 20th century.
    (, 6/12/05, p.C3)
2005        May 31, The US Supreme Court overturned the 2002 criminal Enron-related conviction of Arthur Andersen LLP ruling that the trial judge erred by granting the government’s request to loosen the standard jury instructions.
    (WSJ, 6/1/05, p.A1)
2005        May 31, The Massachusetts Legislature voted to override Gov. Romney’s veto of a bill easing stem-cell research curbs.
    (WSJ, 6/1/05, p.A1)
2005        May 31, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) introduced its 1st PC microprocessors with a dual-core chip design, the Athlon 64 X2.
    (SFC, 5/31/05, p.C4)
2005        May 31, James Wolfensohn, former World Bank chief, assumed the post of special envoy for Gaza disengagement for the Quartet (USA, Russia, EU and UN). He was assigned to co-ordinate Israel’s imminent withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and to focus on economic ways to help Palestinians after the Israeli exit. He left the post a year later.
    (, 6/30/07, p.55)
2005        May 31, NATO troops took command of security and reconstruction efforts in western Afghanistan from US forces under a plan that will likely soon put NATO forces into insurgent hot spots.
    (AP, 5/31/05)
2005        May 31, A Belarus court sentenced 2 opposition leaders to 3 years of compulsory labor for organizing a 2004 anti-Lukashenko demonstration.
    (WSJ, 6/1/05, p.A1)
2005        May 31, In Bolivia thousands of demonstrators prevented legislators from reaching the congressional building Tuesday, forcing the suspension of their first session after a weeklong recess caused by continued street protests.
    (AP, 5/31/05)
2005        May 31, In Brazil authorities ordered the slaughter of 17,000 chickens after 6,000 chickens died from a mysterious respiratory illness in Mato Grosso do Sul state. Brazil is the world's largest chicken exporter.
    (AP, 5/31/05)
2005        May 31, China said reporter Ching Cheong of The Straits Times, Singapore's main English-language newspaper, has admitted to spying for a foreign intelligence agency. Cheong’s wife said he was arrested April 22 after a source gave him documents about purged former Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang, who died this year.
    (AP, 5/31/05)(WSJ, 5/31/05, p.A1)
2005        May 31, In Dagestan a police bus was bombed in Makhachkala and 7 people were killed.
    (WSJ, 7/29/05, p.A11)
2005        May 31, French President Jacques Chirac appointed Dominique de Villepin, a loyalist who was France's voice against the Iraq war, as prime minister.
    (AP, 5/31/05)
2005        May 31, In Haiti a fire burned through a large market in Port au Prince moments after a gun fight erupted that killed at least one man.
    (AP, 5/31/05)
2005        May 31, Two-thirds of Israel's Ein Gedi nature reserve was destroyed by fire, causing considerable damage to animal and plant life in the lush oasis sandwiched between the harsh Judean Desert and the Dead Sea.
    (AP, 5/31/05)
2005        May 31, Pakistan’s Pres. Gen. Pervez Musharraf said Senior al-Qaida terrorist suspect Abu Farraj al-Libbi, arrested on May 2, will be sent to the US for prosecution. He is believed to be behind two assassination attempts against Musharraf and could have received the death penalty here.
    (AP, 6/1/05)
2005        May 31, A Russian court declared oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky guilty of an array of charges in a trial widely criticized as politically motivated, sentencing him to nine years in prison minus time served. Co-defendant Platon Lebedev also received a 9-year sentence and the 2 men were fined 17 billion rubles ($615 million).
    (AP, 5/31/05)(SFC, 6/1/05, p.A3)
2005        May 31, Sudan arrested a second aid worker from the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) aid agency over a report on hundreds of rapes in the troubled Darfur region.
    (Reuters, 5/31/05)
2005        May 31, In Switzerland Griselidis Real (76), writer and well-known prostitute who campaigned for the rights and dignity of sex workers, died in Geneva. In 2009 she was re-buried in the presence of 200 people at the Cemetery of the Kings, which is reserved for individuals that have profoundly marked Swiss or international history.
    (, 3/10/09)
2005        May 31, Trinidad police arrested Basdeo Panday, former prime minister (1995-2001) and opposition leader, and 3 others on corruption charges connected to an airport construction contract.
    (AP, 5/31/05)

2006        May 31, The US said it would join in face-to-face talks with Iran over its disputed nuclear program if Tehran first agreed to put challenged atomic activities on hold; Iran dismissed the offer as "a propaganda move."
    (AP, 5/31/07)
2006        May 31, Florida’s Gov. Jeb Bush signed the Martin Lee Anderson Act, which replaced boot camps with education based juvenile detention centers.
    (Econ, 7/8/06, p.29)
2006        May 31, NBC's "Today" show threw a going-away party for 15-year host Katie Couric, who left to become anchor of "The CBS Evening News."
    (AP, 5/31/07)
2006        May 31, In Afghanistan suspected Taliban fighters fired a grenade at a police vehicle in southeastern Zabul province, killing the provincial deputy police chief and wounding three officers. In Uruzgan province hundreds of suspected Taliban fighters attacked the town of Chora and briefly occupied its police headquarters after driving out security forces.
    (AP, 5/31/06)
2006        May 31, Smokers were required to light up outside across much of eastern Canada, as one of North America's most restrictive bans went into effect.
    (AP, 6/1/06)
2006        May 31, The Canadian dollar hit its strongest level in 28 years against the dollar, piercing through a key chart level.
    (Reuters, 5/31/06)
2006        May 31, China closed 201 Hebei clinics that aborted female fetuses and offered subsidies to families without sons to curb widespread gender engineering.
    (WSJ, 6/1/06, p.A1)
2006        May 31, In Chile police for a second day used water cannons to scatter demonstrations by high school students that turned violent when masked protesters started throwing rocks near downtown Santiago. President Michelle Bachelet fired the commander of the Santiago riot police, Col. Osvaldo Jara, in response to the initial clashes.
    (AP, 6/1/06)
2006        May 31, The UN Security Council cut the number of peacekeepers deployed in Eritrea and Ethiopia by at least one-third while extending the UN mission's mandate for another four months.
    (AP, 5/31/06)
2006        May 31, In France youths torched a dozen cars and hurled stones at police in a second night of violence in the troubled Paris suburbs, raising memories of rioting that rocked the nation last year.
    (AP, 5/31/06)
2006        May 31, Greenpeace said nuclear waste from a storage facility is seeping into groundwater in the Champagne region of France and threatening vineyards that produce the sparkling wine.
    (AP, 5/31/06)
2006        May 31, In Indonesia a local health official said preliminary tests have found that bird flu has killed another person, as the country struggles to get a grip on a spike in cases.
    (AP, 5/31/06)
2006        May 31, Two Iraqi women were shot to death north of Baghdad after coalition forces fired on a vehicle that failed to stop at an observation post. Iraqi police and relatives said one of the women was about to give birth. Ali Jaafar (25), a sportscaster for state-run al-Iraqiya TV, was gunned down in a drive-by shooting near his home in southwestern Baghdad. A parked car packed with explosives hit a police patrol in the northern city of Mosul, killing at least five policemen and wounding 14. At least 25 Iraqis were killed across the country.
    (AP, 5/31/06)(WSJ, 6/1/06, p.A1)
2006        May 31, A Dublin jury convicted Rev. Daniel Doherty, a Roman Catholic priest, of raping a 13-year-old girl in 1985.
    (AP, 5/31/06)
2006        May 31, Kenya approved legislation that included provisions to punish those found guilty of child prostitution and sex tourism and trafficking. The new law aimed at curbing increasing sex abuse drew protest for failing to criminalize marital rape while penalizing false rape reports.
    (AP, 6/1/06)
2006        May 31, Lithuania's three-party government collapsed with the withdrawal of the Labor Party, a key coalition partner being investigated on corruption allegations. PM Algirdas Brazauskas announced the Baltic country's government was resigning after an emergency meeting with his ministers.
    (AP, 5/31/06)(Econ, 6/10/06, p.50)
2006        May 31, Malaysia’s PM Abdullah Badawi announced a national 5-year plan. An elderly woman and three children were feared dead following a landslide in Kuala Lumpur that destroyed 43 homes.
    (AFP, 5/31/06)(Econ, 6/17/06, p.50)
2006        May 31, Dutch pedophiles registered a political party to push for a cut in the legal age for sexual relations to 12 from 16 and the legalization of child pornography and sex with animals, sparking widespread outrage.
    (Reuters, 5/31/06)
2006        May 31, Palestinian militants fired homemade rockets at an Israeli town near the Gaza Strip, and Israeli media reported that one landed near the home of Israel's defense minister.
    (AP, 5/31/06)
2006        May 31, In Somalia Islamic militias and secular warlords resumed fighting for control of Mogadishu, killing at least 13 people and wounding 11 after a five-day lull.
    (AP, 5/31/06)
2006        May 31, South Korea's main opposition party won 11 of 16 key regional posts in local elections, according to exit polls, riding to victory on nationwide sympathy for a leader wounded in a knife assault and widespread disenchantment with the government.
    (AP, 5/31/06)
2006        May 31, Taiwan's president handed over day-to-day control of the island's government to the premier in the wake of a series of scandals. Pres. Chen Shui-bian pledged in a written statement night to give authority to Premier Su Tseng-chang to control Taiwan's Cabinet. Police on May 24 arrested Chen's son-in-law Chao Chien-min on suspicion he used insider information to profit on the purchases of shares in partly state-owned property company Taiwan Development Corp.
    (AP, 5/31/06)
2006        May 31, The US and Vietnam signed a trade pact that removes one of the last major hurdles in Hanoi's bid to join the World Trade Organization.
    (AP, 5/31/06)

2007        May 31, President Bush, under international pressure to take tough action against global warming, called for a world summit to set a long-term global strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    (AP, 5/31/08)
2007        May 31, In a breach of security, detailed plans for the new US Embassy under construction in Baghdad appeared on the Web site of the architectural firm that was contracted to design the massive facility.
    (AP, 5/31/08)
2007        May 31, Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush attended the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C.
    (AP, 5/31/08)
2007        May 31, The US and Russia agreed to put nuclear radiation monitors at all of Russia’s int’l. border crossings by 2011.
    (WSJ, 6/1/07, p.A1)
2007        May 31, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch signed a bill allowing civil unions for gays couples effective next year.
    (AP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, SF Mayor Gavin Newsom proposed a $6.06 billion budget for the 2007-2008 fiscal year, a 5.4% increase over the previous year.
    (SFC, 6/1/07, p.B12)
2007        May 31, Wachovia Corp. said it will acquire brokerage firm A.G. Edwards for $6.8 bil.
    (SFC, 6/1/07, p.C3)
2007        May 31, Evan O’Dorney (13) won the Scripps National Spelling Bee when he correctly spelled the word “serrefine."
    (WSJ, 6/1/07, p.A1)
2007        May 31, A Taliban ambush killed 16 policemen in a convoy on its way from the south to Kabul. A battle pitting NATO and Afghan troops against Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan killed 20 militants. Taliban commander called Mullah Naqibullah was among the dead. Taliban fighters attacked the home of a police official in Zurmat district of Paktia province. Police reinforcements were called in, sparking a battle that left six Taliban dead. Five rockets were fired from the top of a mountain in Kunar province, hitting several civilian homes and killing two women.
    (AFP, 5/31/07)(AP, 5/31/07)(AP, 6/1/07)
2007        May 31, Australia and the Philippines agreed to expand counter-terrorism cooperation, with elite Australian troops to train their Philippine counterparts in the restive south.
    (AFP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, China’s state media said fast-spreading, foul-smelling blue-green algae smothered Lake Tai in eastern Jiangsu province, contaminating the drinking water for millions of people and sparking panic-buying of bottled water.
    (AP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, A wildlife expert said a thousand rare black-mane lions, an Ethiopian national symbol, and some 300 elephants are in danger after a swathe of forest that was part of their sanctuary was cut down.
    (Reuters, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, Haitian authorities arrested 10 people, including four police officers, who were allegedly transporting 925 pounds of cocaine in two vehicles with government license plates.
    (AP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, India and the United States began talks intended to resolve delays in a nuclear energy deal that will give India access to long-denied Western nuclear technology.
    (AP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, Iran pledged to end years of stonewalling and provide answers on past suspicious activities to the UN nuclear monitoring agency probing its atomic program, in a move being seen as an attempt to avoid new UN sanctions. Mostafa Pourmohammadi, Iran's hard-line interior minister, encouraged temporary marriages as a way to avoid extramarital sex, a stance many in this conservative country fear would instead encourage prostitution. A temporary marriage, or "sigheh," refers to a Shiite Muslim tradition under which a man and a woman sign a contract that allows them to be "married" for any length of time, even a few hours.
    (AP, 6/1/07)(AP, 6/2/07)
2007        May 31, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the No. 2 US commander in Iraq, said that US military officers were talking with Iraqi militants, excluding al-Qaida, about cease-fires and other arrangements to try to stop the violence. Saif M. Fakhry (26), an Associated Press Television News cameraman, was shot twice and killed in Baghdad while walking to a mosque near his home on his day off. A suicide bomber hit a police recruiting center in Fallujah, killing as many as 25 people. The US military said only one policeman was killed and eight were wounded.
    (AP, 6/1/07)(AP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, Japan failed in its bid to lift a moratorium on commercial whaling after stormy annual talks in Alaska of the 75-nation International Whaling Commission (IWC) and warned it might pull out of the organization.
    (AP, 6/1/07)
2007        May 31, Government spokesman Alfred Mutua said Kenya’s police over the last few months have arrested 2,464 suspected followers of Mungiki, an outlawed religious sect whose members are believed to have beheaded several people in recent months.
    (AP, 6/1/07)
2007        May 31, Latvia's Parliament elected Valdis Zatlers, a surgeon with no political background as, the Baltic country's next president. He will replace outgoing President Vaira Vike-Freiberga in July when her second and final term ends.
    (AP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, Mexico's Televisa network, known around the world for its soap operas, said it plans to expand in China, following the lead of taco chains and other Mexican businesses looking for a slice of the Asian nation's market.
    (AP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, The Dutch news agency ANP reported that almost half of Rotterdam's coffee shops will be forced to stop selling cannabis because they are too close to secondary schools.
    (AP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, In northwestern Pakistan about 100 suspected pro-Taliban militants attacked the house of a government official before dawn, killing 13 people.
    (AP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, In the Philippines 6 armed men boarded a bus in Manila and started robbing passengers. 3 suspects, the bus driver and a passenger were killed.
    (AP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, President Vladimir Putin said that tests of new Russian missiles were a response to the planned deployment of US missile defense installations and other forces in Europe, suggesting Washington has triggered a new arms race.
    (AP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, The chief suspect in the murder of Russian ex-agent Alexander Litvinenko accused the British secret service of being behind the killing and said Litvinenko himself had been spying for MI6.
    (AFP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, Rwanda said a law abolishing the death penalty would come into force at the end of July, six months after the government first announced plans to scrap capital punishment.
    (AP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, In South Africa Britain's PM Blair also said that Africa's leaders must get tough on authoritarian governments, such as those in Sudan and Zimbabwe.
    (Reuters, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, The Spanish government said it has filed a lawsuit in a US federal court against an American firm over a shipwreck the company has found laden with a colonial-era treasure.
    (AP, 5/31/07)
2007        May 31, Serbia arrested Zdravko Tolimir, one of six Serb war crimes suspects still at large. He was picked up in Belgrade and officially arrested in the Serb part of Bosnia.
    (Econ, 6/9/07, p.60)
2007        May 31, In southern Thailand suspected insurgents sprayed gunfire into a mosque, killing 7 worshippers. Black-uniformed raiders roared into Kolomudo, a Muslim village, firing assault rifles and hurling grenades from a pickup truck at a group of teenagers relaxing near the mosque. When the attack was over, five of the youths lay dead. Buddhist vigilantes were suspected. A roadside bomb killed 11 paramilitary troops almost simultaneously in some of the worst recent violence. A 12th soldier died the next day.
    (AP, 6/1/07)(AP, 8/7/07)
2007        May 31, Turkish lawmakers approved again a constitutional amendment that would see the president elected by popular vote, a change vetoed last week by the outgoing head of state. Turkey's top general said the military was ready to stage a cross-border offensive to fight Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq and that he already had sought government approval to mount military action.
    (AFP, 5/31/07)(AP, 5/31/07)

2008        May 31, The rules panel of the Democratic National Committee agreed to seat the delegations of Florida and Michigan with half their votes, all but securing the nomination for Sen. Barack Obama. Obama said he has resigned his 20-year membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago "with some sadness" in the aftermath of inflammatory remarks by his longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and more recent fiery remarks at the church by a visiting priest.
    (SSFC, 6/1/08, p.A1)(AP, 6/1/08)
2008        May 31, FDIC bank regulators took over the First Integrity Bank in Staples, Minnesota. This was the 4th FDIC-insured bank to fail this year.
    (WSJ, 6/5/08, p.A1)
2008        May 31, The US shuttle Discovery made a successful launch from Florida. It carried a Japanese research laboratory and key parts to fix a broken toilet in the International Space Station.
    (AP, 6/1/08)
2008        May 31, In El Cerrito, Ca., the new Playland-Not-at-the-Beach museum opened at 10979 San Pablo Ave. It featured relics from San Francisco’s former Playland-at-the-Beach, which was bulldozed in 1972, including one of the 278 remaining Laughing Sals.
    (SFC, 5/31/08, p.B1)
2008        May 31, In Afghanistan 2 NATO-led soldiers and as many Afghan civilians were wounded in a suicide car bombing in the eastern city of Jalalabad. The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack. 2 NATO soldiers were killed in the attack.
    (AFP, 5/31/08)(AP, 6/1/08)
2008        May 31, Tropical Storm Arthur the first named storm of the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season, kicked up surf when it made landfall at the Belize-Mexico border and headed west.
    (AP, 6/1/08)
2008        May 31, Chinese authorities had evacuated nearly 200,000 people and warned more than 1 million others to be ready to leave quickly as a lake formed by a devastating earthquake threatened to breach its dam. A Russian-designed Mi-171 transport helicopter carrying 10 people injured in the devastating earthquake and four crew members crashed in fog and turbulence, and authorities searched for survivors. The confirmed death toll from the May 12 earthquake, reached nearly 69,000, with another 18,000 still missing.
    (AP, 5/31/08)(AP, 6/1/08)
2008        May 31, An Egyptian police official said boxes of ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft missiles have been found in a mountain in the northern Sinai peninsula. He said the weapons were to be smuggled into the neighboring Gaza Strip.
    (AP, 5/31/08)
2008        May 31, A former Deutsche Telekom security chief said the national phone company spied on its staff for years to see who had unauthorized contacts with journalists.
    (AP, 5/31/08)
2008        May 31, President Manuel Zelaya said that Honduras would create a civilian airport for commercial jets on a US military airfield, diverting traffic from Tegucigalpa's notoriously dangerous airport following a deadly crash.
    (AP, 6/1/08)
2008        May 31, In Iraq 10 people were killed when a suicide bomber struck a police checkpoint in Hit, a town west of Baghdad. The dead included six policemen and four civilians.
    (AP, 5/31/08)
2008        May 31, In Latvia about 400 gay men and women and their supporters held a parade in Riga, accompanied by a strong police presence and chants and insults from anti-gay activists.
    (AP, 5/31/08)
2008        May 31, Lebanese troops shot and killed a suicide bomber near Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp. The would-be suicide bomber was identified as Mahmoud Yassin Ahmad, a 28-year-old Palestinian who lived in the Ein el-Hilweh camp. Earlier in the day a Lebanese soldier was killed in an explosion in the north of the country.
    (AP, 6/1/08)
2008        May 31, In Nigeria a senior health department official for the federal capital said smokers in public places in the capital of Abuja will be arrested and prosecuted from June 1.
    (AP, 5/31/08)
2008        May 31, An explosion in the Gaza Strip house of Nader Abu Shaban, a Hamas militant, killed him and wounded 16 of his relatives and neighbors.
    (AP, 5/31/08)
2008        May 31, South African police said on a wave of attacks on foreigners has killed 62 people since the violence broke out three weeks ago.
    (AP, 5/31/08)
2008        May 31, Tens of thousands of South Koreans rallied against a government decision to import US beef in the largest demonstration in a month of almost daily protests.
    (AP, 5/31/08)
2008        May 31, In Sri Lanka 9 Tamil Tiger rebels and four soldiers were killed in new clashes in Sri Lanka's restive north.
    (AP, 6/1/08)
2008        May 31, In Vietnam some 1000 workers walked off the assembly line of a Panasonic plant as inflation reached a 13-year high of 25.2%. Some 300 strikes took place in the first quarter as compared to 103 in the first quarter of 2007.
    (WSJ, 6/3/08, p.A12)
2008        May 31, Zimbabwe state radio reported that 2 supporters of the ruling party have been shot dead in the country's northeast over the last 2 days, amid mounting violence ahead of a presidential run-off next month. Police arrested Eric Matinenga, a lawyer of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), as he went to visit arrested members in Buhera where more than 70 suspects had been arrested over recent outbreaks of violence.
    (AFP, 6/1/08)(Reuters, 6/3/08)

2009        May 31, In Kansas abortion Dr. George Tiller (67) was shot and killed while serving as an usher during morning services in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita. Scott Roeder (51) fired one shot at Tiller and threatened two other people who tried to stop him. Roeder was taken into custody some 170 miles away in a Kansas City suburb about three hours after the shooting. Tiller’s clinic had been bombed in 1986, blockaded and vandalized in 1991 and in 1993 he was shot in both arms. On Jan 29, 2010, Roeder (51) was convicted of first degree murder. On April 1, 2010 Roeder was sentenced to life in prison. 
    (AP, 6/1/09)(SFC, 6/3/09, p.A7)(Econ, 6/6/09, p.30)(SFC, 1/30/10, p.A4)(SFC, 4/2/10, p.A7)
2009        May 31, A robotic vehicle named Nereus, funded by the National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences, made the deepest ocean dive ever - 6.8 miles (10,902 meters). At this depth, Nereus was able to explore the Challenger Deep, the ocean's lowest point, located in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific.
2009        May 31, Afghan and NATO troops killed 18 Taliban militants after insurgents attacked a joint patrol in Farah province.
    (AP, 5/31/09)
2009        May 31, Britain's PM Gordon Brown, facing a national uproar over lawmakers claiming lavish expenses, promised to pursue constitutional reforms including a proposal to take away legislators' power to decide their own pay.
    (AP, 5/31/09)
2009        May 31, Phil Bolger (81), Gloucester, Mass., boat designer, committed suicide. His 600-700 boat designs included the famed Gloucester Gull (1961).
    (SFC, 6/3/09, p.B5)(
2009        May 31, Daniel Carroll (b.1927), Irish-born British entertainer (aka Danny La Rue), died. He was known for his singing and drag impersonations.
    (Econ, 6/13/09, p.90)(
2009        May 31, In Beijing US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, aiming to persuade China that its US investments were safe, pledged that the Obama administration was firmly committed to ratcheting down huge deficits as quickly as it can once economic recovery is assured.
    (Reuters, 5/31/09)
2009        May 31, In Egypt police reported that a 25-year-old man cut off his own penis to spite his family after he was refused permission to marry a girl from a lower class family.
    (AP, 6/1/09)
2009        May 31, El Salvador’s President-elect Mauricio Funes appointed his wife and a former Marxist guerrilla to Cabinet posts just hours before starting his five-year term.
    (AP, 6/1/09)
2009        May 31, Three US Army soldiers were killed and two were injured in an accident on a German autobahn near Kaiserslautern.
    (AP, 6/1/09)
2009        May 31, In Indian Kashmir more than 40 people were wounded as clashes continued for a 2nd day between Indian police and Kashmiris demonstrating over the recent deaths of two young Muslim women.
    (AFP, 5/31/09)
2009        May 31, An Iraqi sports broadcaster was killed by a bomb attached to his car in northern Iraq, while two other journalists were wounded in a similar blast in Baghdad.
    (AP, 6/1/09)
2009        May 31, Israel began the biggest civil defense drill in its history, putting soldiers, emergency crews and civilians through rehearsals for the possibility of war at a time of rising tensions with Iran.
    (AP, 5/31/09)
2009        May 31, In Mali it was believed that Al-Qaida terrorists killed British hostage Edwin Dyer. The fate of a Swiss hostage taken at the same time was unknown. Dyer was abducted in January and his captors had threatened to kill him by the end of May if Britain refused to release extremist preacher Abu Qatada from prison.
    (AP, 6/3/09)
2009        May 31, In Mexico gunmen in Ciudad Juarez, opened fire in the lobby of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, killing five people. Gunmen killed four men sitting in a car in the border city of Tijuana.
    (AP, 6/1/09)
2009        May 31, Pakistan’s military relaxed a curfew in most parts of the northwest including Mingora to allow people trapped on the roads to return home or leave the region. Taliban militants attacked a school in Hangu town south of Peshawar, killing one administrator and kidnapping three other people. In North Waziristan, a former government doctor and an Afghan national were killed by suspected militants.
    (AP, 5/31/09)
2009        May 31, Palestinian forces stormed a Hamas hideout in Qalqilya in the northern West Bank, setting off a fierce battle that left six dead in the bloodiest factional violence since the Palestinian president launched a crackdown on the Islamic militant group two years ago.
    (AP, 5/31/09)(Econ, 6/6/09, p.46)
2009        May 31, South Ossetia held elections condemned as "illegitimate" by the EU. Eduard Kokoity tightened his grip on the Georgian region after Yedinstvo (Unity), a party loyal to him, won the elections.
    (AFP, 6/1/09)

2010        May 31, The US Congress allowed emergency health care assistance for unemployed workers to expire, and seemed unwilling to renew it despite pleas from Pres. Barack Obama.
    (AP, 6/12/10)
2010        May 31, It was reported that Google is phasing out the internal use of Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows operating system because of security concerns.
2010        May 31, Astronomers noticed that a galaxy quickly increased in brightness by a factor of hundreds. Over the next year a star was ripped apart and devoured by a black hole. Light from this event had taken about 2 billion years to reach Earth.
    (SSFC, 5/20/12, p.C11)
2010        May 31, Louise Bourgeois (1911), Paris-born artist, died in NYC. The figures in her 1984 “Nature Study" lacked heads but had multiple breasts, phalluses and claws. Her “Crouching Spider" sculpture was installed at Pier 14 in San Francisco and stayed there from 2003 to 2009.
    (SFC, 6/2/10, p.C4)(Econ, 6/12/10, p.97)
2010        May 31, Chris Haney (b.1950), co-creator of the Trivial Pursuit (1979) game, died in Toronto.
    (SFC, 6/2/10, p.C4)
2010        May 31, Afghan authorities suspended two Christian foreign aid groups on suspicion of proselytizing in the strictly Islamic nation and said a follow-up investigation would include whether other groups were trying to convert Muslims. US-based Church World Service and Norwegian Church Aid will not be allowed to operate while the allegations are investigated. About 180 Taliban attacked a police post in the Purchaman district in southwestern Farah province, triggering hours of fighting that killed 15 insurgents. A NATO service member was killed by a makeshift bomb in southern Afghanistan. In Khost province on Pakistan's border, NATO and Afghan forces captured several commanders of the Haqqani group.
    (AP, 5/31/10)(AP, 6/1/10)
2010        May 31, Australia filed an international lawsuit against Japan arguing that its whale cull does not qualify for a scientific exemption to a 1986 ban. Japan said the next day that it would staunchly defend its research hunt that kills hundreds of whales per year.
    (AP, 6/1/10)
2010        May 31, French President Nicolas Sarkozy opened a France-Africa summit saying Africa will fuel world economic growth for decades to come and must have a stronger voice in global affairs. Guinea Bissau's Pres. Malam Bacai Sanha, among the 38 African leaders attending the summit in Nice, called for an international effort to help him fight drug trafficking in his west African country.
    (AP, 5/31/10)(AFP, 5/31/10)
2010        May 31, German President Horst Koehler resigned in a surprise move after being criticized for reportedly linking military deployments abroad with the country's economic interests, creating a new headache for Chancellor Angela Merkel.
    (AP, 5/31/10)
2010        May 31, Business leaders from Ghana and Zimbabwe met in Accra to forge closer economic and trade cooperation between the two African countries.
    (AFP, 6/1/10)
2010        May 31, Hungary‘s new government passed a bill submitted by the new center-right government to introduce a National Unity Day on June 4.
    (Econ, 6/5/10, p.60)(
2010        May 31, Indonesia's failure to ban tobacco advertising or enforce laws against smoking in bars and restaurants came under heavy fire as the UN marked world anti-tobacco day.
    (AP, 5/31/10)
2010        May 31, In Iraq 4 people were killed and several others wounded in separate attacks. Among the dead was Nael al-Azami, a prominent local leader of anti-insurgent Sunni forces known as Awakening Councils, who was shot by two gunmen armed with silenced pistols. A series of other early morning blasts across Baghdad wounded 11 more people.
    (AP, 5/31/10)
2010        May 31, Israeli naval commandos stormed a flotilla of ships carrying aid and hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists to the blockaded Gaza Strip, killing 9 passengers on the Mavi Marmara in a predawn raid that set off worldwide condemnation and a diplomatic crisis. At least 4 of the 9 dead were Turkish. A massive protest broke out in Turkey, Israel's longtime Muslim ally, which unofficially supported the mission. Ankara announced it would recall its ambassador and call off military exercises with the Jewish state. The flotilla of three cargo ships and three passenger ships carrying 10,000 tons of aid and 700 activists was carrying items that Israel bars from reaching Gaza, like cement and other building materials. Israeli police said 16 pro-Palestinian activists from the flotilla were sent to jail following the deadly confrontation. Turkey sent three planes to bring back some 20 Turks wounded during clashes that broke out when Israeli commandos raided the Turkish vessel.
    (AP, 5/31/10)(AP, 6/1/10)(Econ, 1/28/12, p.54)
2010        May 31, Italy posted a financial-stabilization decree aimed at tax cheats.
    (Econ, 6/26/10, p.53)
2010        May 31, Kurdish rebels launched a rocket attack on a military vehicle near naval base in southern Turkey, killing six soldiers and wounding seven.
    (AP, 5/31/10)
2010        May 31, A Malaysian government official, Malacca Chief Minister Mohamad Ali Rustam, defended an Indian company's plans to build an animal testing medicine lab in his state, saying that God created monkeys and rats for experiments to benefit humans.
    (AP, 5/31/10)
2010        May 31, At least nine people died and 40 were missing and feared dead after a boat sank off the coast of northern Mozambique. All of those aboard the ship were Somali.
    (AP, 6/9/10)
2010        May 31, Pakistan lifted a ban on Facebook after officials from the social networking site apologized for a page deemed offensive to Muslims and removed its contents.
    (AP, 5/31/10)
2010        May 31, Al-Qaida announced that its No. 3 official, Mustafa al-Yazid, had been killed along with members of his family, perhaps one of the most severe blows to the terror movement since the US campaign against al-Qaida began. A US official said al-Yazid was believed to have died in a US missile strike about a week ago in Pakistan. Gunmen disguised in police uniforms attacked a hospital in Lahore killing 6 people in a failed attempt to free a captured militant being treated there. The militant was part of a group that killed 93 people on May 28 in an assault on the Ahmadi sect.
    (AP, 5/31/10)(SFC, 6/1/10, p.A2)
2010        May 31, South Africa’s African National Congress decided to discipline trade union boss Zwelinzima Vavi, who last week said the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), which he heads, was concerned that senior ANC members were exploiting political connections to accumulate personal wealth.
    (Reuters, 6/1/10)
2010        May 31, In southern Sudan renegade general George Athor said 3 top officers who quit south Sudan's army over alleged fraud in national elections are coordinating attacks in the oil-producing region, but the army played down the threat.
    (Reuters, 6/1/10)
2010        May 31, UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for African nations to cooperate with the International Criminal Court by arresting fugitive Ugandan rebel Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, and some of his commanders.
    (AP, 5/31/10)
2010        May 31, The UN atomic agency said Iran has amassed more than two tons of enriched uranium in a report that heightened Western concerns about the country developing the ability to produce a nuclear weapon.
    (AP, 5/31/10)

2011        May 31, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation requiring all adult applicants for cash benefits from the state welfare system to be tested for drugs. The next day the ACLU sued to stop implementation of the legislation.
    (Econ, 6/11/11, p.37)
2011        May 31, In Kentucky court documents were unsealed charging Iraqi refugees Waad Ramadan Alwan (30) and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi (23) of attempting to send sniper rifles, Stinger missiles and money to Al-Qaida operatives in Iraq. The 2 men arrived in the US in 2009 and were arrested last week.
    (SFC, 6/1/11, p.A8)
2011        May 31, Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar (74), former chairman of Egypt's Bank of Alexandria, was arrested in NYC for allegedly assaulting a hotel maid the previous evening. On June 24 Omar pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor sexual abuse charge, acknowledging he kissed the woman on the lips and neck and touched her breasts after she brought tissues to his room at the posh Pierre hotel. He completed five days of community service in a soup kitchen, and his case will be closed without jail time or probation if he stays out of trouble for a year.
    (AP, 5/31/11)(, 6/24/11)
2011        May 31, In Virginia a SkyExpress bus hit an embankment and flipped on I-95 killing 4 people of the 59 people onboard.
    (SFC, 6/1/11, p.A10)
2011        May 31, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he will no longer allow NATO airstrikes on houses, issuing his strongest statement yet against strikes that the military alliance says are key to its war on Taliban insurgents. A NATO spokeswoman said attacks on houses in Afghanistan are necessary and will continue in cooperation with Afghan security forces. A NATO service member was killed in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan.
    (AP, 5/31/11)(AP, 6/1/11)
2011        May 31, The African Union said representatives from north and south Sudan have agreed to set up a demilitarized zone along their shared border, ten days after the north seized the disputed Abyei region.
    (Reuters, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa (61) said he wanted to engage in a national dialogue. Dismissing the government was not an option as Saudis apparently insisted that his uncle Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa (75), who has served as prime minister for 40 years, stay in office.
    (Econ, 6/4/11, p.55)
2011        May 31, Brazilian police arrested nearly 30 people in connection with a series of ATM heists that have left some poorer parts of Sao Paulo with scant access to cash. Five current or former police officers were arrested in the sting and investigators suspect another two dozen police could be involved.
    (AP, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, Britain’s Lord John Taylor (58) of Warwick, a Conservative member of the House of Lords, became the fifth lawmaker to be jailed over the scandal which rocked British politics in 2009. Taylor, a former lawyer, was sentenced to months in jail. He became the first black Conservative peer when he took his seat in the House of Lords in 1996.
    (AFP, 5/31/11)(Econ, 6/4/11, p.67)
2011        May 31, In the Central African Republic violence erupted after the bodies of two children were discovered in the boot of a car belonging to a Muslim.
    (AF    P, 6/3/11)
2011        May 31, Egypt’s transitional government imposed a quote of no more than 400 passengers a day for crossing into Egypt at Rafah. A blacklist of 5,000 Gazans, who would not be allowed to cross, was reinstated.
    (Econ, 6/4/11, p.58)
2011        May 31, Europe's human rights court ruled that Russia was guilty of violations in its jailing of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, but found no firm proof that the case was politically motivated.
    (Reuters, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, Analysts said Germany's plan to shut all its nuclear power plants by 2022 will add up to 40 million tons of CO2 dioxide emissions annually as the country turns to fossil fuels.
    (Reuters, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, The death from a food-borne bacterial outbreak in Germany rose to 16 with nearly 400 people suffering severe symptoms. Scientists were unsure of which produce and which country was responsible for the unusual E. coli germ.
    (SFC, 6/1/11, p.A2)
2011        May 31, In India medical services were paralyzed across the eastern state of Bihar by a one-day strike by thousands of doctors demanding better security after one of their colleagues was killed by a group of prisoners.
    (AP, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, Iraqi authorities said that they've arrested a man suspected in the May 26 killing of Ali al-Lami, a prominent Shiite official who was responsible for purging loyalists of deposed ruler Saddam Hussein. The official was once implicated in a bombing that killed Americans.
    (AP, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, The Israeli military said it has arrested a dozen Palestinian militants in nighttime raids around Jenin in the West Bank. The suspects were linked to Islamic Jihad, which has targeted Israeli civilians in suicide bombings and other deadly attacks.
    (AP, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, In northeastern Japan an oil spill and a small explosion caused limited damage, but no further radiation leaks. TEPCO said damage to a gas cylinder caused a loud noise outside a reactor building at the Fukushima nuclear plant as rubble was being cleared away.
    (AP, 5/31/11)(Reuters, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, NATO pounded Tripoli, only hours after South African President Jacob Zuma left Libya's capital having failed to close the gap between Kadhafi and rebels fighting to oust him since February. Zuma said Kadhafi was "ready to implement the roadmap of the AU" and that he had insisted "all Libyans be given a chance to talk among themselves" to determine the country's future.
    (AFP, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, Mexican police completed the arrests of 25 drug cartel members or collaborators in central Mexico, including a police chief, two commanding officers and seven agents suspected of aiding traffickers. The arrests began May 29 in the mountains of Hidalgo.
    (AP, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, Pakistani fighter jets attacked militant positions in the Orakzai tribal region close to the Afghan border, killing at least 18 suspected insurgents.
    (AP, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad (40), who investigated al-Qaida's alleged infiltration of the country's navy, was found dead. Police said there were signs he'd been tortured. He had told a rights activist he feared the country's intelligence agencies planned to retaliate against him over his story about the militant infiltration. Two days earlier he had written an investigative report in Asia Times Online saying Al-Qaeda carried out a recent attack on a naval air base to avenge the arrest of naval officials held on suspicion of Al-Qaeda links.
    (AP, 5/31/11)(AFP, 1/13/12)
2011        May 31, Russian officials said the suspected triggerman in the 2006 killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya has been arrested. Rustam Makhmudov, was arrested in Chechnya and would be transferred to Moscow.
    (AP, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, The South African Human Rights Commission said South Africa's ambassador to Uganda, a country criticized for threatening the rights of gays, has been found guilty of hate speech for an anti-gay column he wrote before his appointment. Jon Qwelane was ordered to apologize and pay a fine of 100,000 rand (about $14,000) that the human rights commission will donate to a gay rights organization.
    (AP, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, South African regulators approved Wal-Mart's 17 billion rand (about $2.4 billion) bid to buy a 51% controlling share of South Africa’s Massmart chain in a ruling that culminated a fierce debate over protectionism in the country with the continent's most promising economy.
    (AP, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, In Sri Lanka a 3-day seminar opened in Colombo with the aim of teaching the world how to defeat terrorism. Despite calls for a boycott 42 countries attended.
    (Econ, 6/4/11, p.52)
2011        May 31, The Syrian military used heavy machine guns and artillery in renewed attacks on Rastan, a town in the country's turbulent heartland. Opponents of the Syrian regime gathered on Turkey's Mediterranean coast for a conference aimed at overcoming their differences and bolstering protesters who have endured a bloody crackdown under President Bashar Assad. 20 people were reported shot dead in Rastan.
    (AP, 6/1/11)(AP, 6/1/11)
2011        May 31, Turkey's government defended a new regulation that will filter the Internet and restrict access to websites that show pornography, bomb-making and violent content. The new regulation was set to come into effect in August.
    (AP, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, The official newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan reported that Pres. Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov has signed a decree authorizing the creation of the National Space Agency. Earlier this month, US space transportation company SpaceX vice president Christophe Bauer announced that his company would launch a satellite for the Central Asian nation in 2014.
    (AP, 5/31/11)
2011        May 31, In Yemen street fighting raged across Sanaa after a tenuous truce broke down between tribal groups and forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, edging the impoverished Arab country closer to civil war. Security forces shot dead 7 protesters in Taez.
    (Reuters, 5/31/11)(AFP, 5/31/11)

2012        May 31, A US federal appeals court in Boston declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a groundbreaking ruling all but certain to wind up before the US Supreme Court.
    (AP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, North Carolina jurors acquitted John Edwards on one count and deadlocked on five others ending his campaign finance fraud case in a mistrial.
    (SFC, 6/1/12, p.A6)
2012        May 31, In Wisconsin Darius Simmons (13), a black boy, was shot dead by his white neighbor John Henry Spooner (75) after having stolen four guns from Spooner. On July 17, 2013, a jury found Spooner guilty of first-degree murder.
    (SFC, 7/18/13, p.A7)
2012        May 31, The SpaceX Dragon capsule splashed down in the Pacific to conclude the first private delivery to the Intl. Space Station.
    (SFC, 6/1/12, p.A6)
2012        May 31, In southern Afghanistan a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle full of explosives outside a district police headquarters, killing five policemen in Kandahar province. A homemade bomb killed a member of the US-led NATO force. A pair of attacks killed five policemen in Kunduz and Nangarhar provinces.
    (AP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, In southern Australia a truck carrying around 400 sheep overturned on a highway overpass outside Melbourne, causing the animals to rain onto the freeway below resulting in "a large number" of dead and injured sheep.
    (AP, 6/1/12)
2012        May 31, The Canadian Senate passed back-to-work legislation. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd expected operations to be back to normal within 48 hours. The government's bill made provision for Ottawa to appoint an arbitrator, who has 90 days to work with the company and the union to craft a compromise contract, which will then be imposed.
    (Reuters, 6/1/12)
2012        May 31, Nearly 300 stores in the Gulf emirate of Dubai banned the sale of cigarettes for 24 hours to mark the World No Tobacco Day.
    (AFP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, Egypt's notorious emergency law, in force since 1981, lapsed at the end of a two-year extension passed by ousted President Hosni Mubarak's parliament.
    (AP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, The EU strengthened its sanctions against Guinea-Bissau's military junta, slapping an asset freeze and visa ban on a further 15 people.
    (AFP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, In India a nation-wide strike against rising petrol prices closed shops and disrupted public transport, with the under-fire government facing new dissent over its economic management. Mohan Paswan, in his late 40s, was lynched in Parhuti village in Bihar state when he disobeyed an order by a local thug not to use the pump during a heatwave. Paswan was attacked and brutally thrashed by a village strongman Pramod Singh and his henchmen for taking water.
    (AFP, 5/31/12)(AFP, 6/6/12)
2012        May 31, In western Indonesia 3 critically-endangered Sumatran elephants were found dead in an oil palm plantation. They were believed to have been poisoned.
    (AFP, 6/3/12)
2012        May 31, In Iraq bombs exploded at 5 locations in Baghdad, among attacks that killed at least 18 people and wounded 53. In one attack a parked car exploded outside a busy restaurant in the Shiite neighborhood of Shula, killing 13 people and wounding 37.
    (AP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, Iraq closed a landmark auction of energy exploration blocks with just three contracts awarded out of a potential 12, dampening hopes the sale would cement its role as a key global supplier. Pakistan Petroleum and a partnership between Russian energy giant Lukoil and Japan's Inpex won contracts today.
    (AFP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, Ireland's voters agreed to ratify the European Union's deficit-fighting treaty with "yes" votes reaching 60 percent. Leading Irish opponents of European austerity conceded defeat even before all ballots were counted.
    (AP, 6/1/12)
2012        May 31, Israel handed over to the Palestinian government the remains of 91 militants who had been killed while carrying out suicide bombings and other attacks in an effort to renew long-stalled peace talks.
    (AP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, In Mexico a truck belonging to Sabritas, which sells potato and corn chips in Mexico, was torched with gasoline bombs on a rural highway. The attackers fled the scene. Earlier in the day the cult-like Knights Templar drug cartel hung banners in a Michoacan city claiming credit for firebombing five Sabritas distribution centers last week. The banners accused Sabritas of letting law enforcement agents use its trucks for transportation and surveillance.
    (AFP, 6/1/12)
2012        May 31, Montserrat's Premier Reuben Meade said the island of 5,000 people is an overseas British territory by choice and that its inhabitants do not consider themselves to be a colony. The island is one of 7 in the Caribbean that the UN considers colonies.
    (SFC, 6/1/12, p.A2)
2012        May 31, In Nepal gunmen on a motorbike shot and killed a Supreme Court judge in Kathmandu, sparking fears of lawlessness amid a political vacuum. Judge Rana Bahadur Bam was under investigation for corruption.
    (AFP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, South Korean police said 2 people including a Korean businessman in New Zealand were arrested earlier this month on suspicion of collecting intelligence on military equipment for North Korea.
    (AFP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, In Nigeria an operation to free German engineer Edgar Fritz Raupach, abducted last January, took place in Kano. 5 people, including a woman and Raupach, were killed in the operation. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) had released a statement in March claiming they had Raupach and demanded that German officials release Filiz Gelowicz, a German woman convicted last year of supporting a foreign terrorist network.
    (AP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, Peruvian police arrested the mayor of a highlands town accused of promoting anti-mining protests in which two people died this week. Mayor Oscar Mollohuanca was among seven people taken into custody since the emergency was announced May 21.
    (AP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, In the Philippines a prosecutor said a man who testified in court on the country’s worst political massacre has been found dead "probably chain-sawed to pieces" in a killing meant to silence other witnesses. Esmail Amil Enog went missing in March after he spoke in court last year about the alleged role of a powerful political clan in the November 2009 murders of 57 people. He was the 3rd witness to be killed in the case.
    (AFP, 6/1/12)(SFC, 6/1/12, p.A4)
2012        May 31, Russia’s intelligence agency said a court has convicted Vladimir Lazar, a reserve colonel, of spying on behalf of the US and sentenced him to 12 years in prison. Prosecutors alleged Lazar purchased a disk with more than 7,000 images of classified topographical maps of Russia from a collector in 2008 and smuggled it to neighboring Belarus where he gave it to an American agent.
    (AP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, South Sudan filed a complaint with the UN over alleged Sudanese attacks. Juba said attacks numbered more than 100 since November.
    (AFP, 6/1/12)
2012        May 31, The Geneva-based office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees says it now needs $153.7 million for its operations this year, quadrupling its aid appeal for Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
    (AP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, The rebel Free Syrian Army's command inside the country gave the president an ultimatum to halt violence by midday June 1. Syrian forces resumed shelling in Houla with a young boy killed by a sniper. Battles raged as troops and rebels clashed across the country, with the Observatory saying at least three other people were killed.
    (AFP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, In Thailand Aung San Suu Kyi used her first foreign trip in 24 years to fight for her Myanmar countrymen suffering abroad, millions of economic migrants unable to work at home but vulnerable to exploitation elsewhere.
    (AP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, In Turkey representatives from 54 countries gathered in Istanbul for a 2-day conference to find a path towards a better future for Somalia for which the term "failed state" was coined two decades ago.
    (AFP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, UN chief Ban Ki-moon, speaking in Istanbul, warned that Syria risks a "catastrophic civil war" following the May 25 massacre that sparked global outrage.
    (AFP, 5/31/12)
2012        May 31, Zambian investigators arrested Andrew Banda, the oldest son of former president Rupiah Banda, for corruption and possessing assets bought with dirty money.
    (AFP, 5/31/12)

2013        May 31, In Arizona two small planes collided near Phoenix killing all four people aboard.
    (SFC, 6/1/13, p.A7)
2013        May 31, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America elected its first openly gay bishop to a six-year term at an annual assembly in Southern California.
    (AP, 6/1/13)
2013        May 31, Nevada's Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a bill to authorize driving privilege cards for illegal immigrants in an action that is likely to win favor in the state's large and growing Hispanic community.
    (Reuters, 5/31/13)
2013        May 31, A 2.6-mile wide tornado hit Oklahoma City and its suburbs with winds nearly 300 mph. Storms and flash floods left 14 people dead. They included storm chaser Tim Samaras, his son and another member of their team. 6 people remained missing.
    (SFC, 6/1/13, p.A10)(AP, 6/1/13)(SFC, 6/4/13, p.A4)(SFC, 6/5/13, p.A6)(Econ, 6/15/13, p.90)
2013        May 31, In Texas 4 firefighters died in a 5-alarm blaze at a restaurant in Houston.
    (SFC, 6/1/13, p.A4)
2013        May 31, Central African Republic said it has issued an international arrest warrant for ex-President Francois Bozize, ousted in March. He has been accused of kidnappings, murder and crimes against humanity. He is also accused of economic crimes, including misappropriation of public funds and corruption.
    (AP, 5/31/13)
2013        May 31, China’s President Xi arrived for a state visit to the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, a leading supplier of natural gas. Xi planned to seek to deepen trade and investment in energy when he meets with Trinidadian PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
    (AP, 5/31/13)
2013        May 31, The Republic of Congo announced limits on the sale and consumption of tobacco. President Denis Sassou-Nguesso approved the limits last July, but the government decided to announce the decision on World No Tobacco Day, May 31, 2013.
    (AP, 5/31/13)
2013        May 31, In Egypt a bus carrying Mexican tourists overturned in the Sinai Peninsula before bursting into flames, killing at least six tourists.
    (AP, 5/31/13)
2013        May 31, Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said that the unemployment rate rose to 12.2% in April from the previous record of 12.1% the month before. Unemployment across the 17 EU countries appeared to be on course to hit 20 million this year.
    (AP, 5/31/13)
2013        May 31, In Germany crowds of anti-capitalist protesters, members of the Blockupy alliance, blocked streets leading to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, to protest its role in pushing for austerity cutbacks as a way to fight the continent's debt crisis.
    (AP, 5/31/13)
2013        May 31, In Iraq a bomb exploded amid Sunni worshippers leaving the Omar mosque in west Baghdad killing 4 people and wounding 11 others. Two carloads of gunmen attacked a security checkpoint Fallujah killing 3 policemen.
    (AP, 5/31/13)
2013        May 31, In Kyrgyzstan hundreds of stone-throwing protesters besieged the offices of the Kumtor gold mine, owned by Toronto’s Centerra Gold, clashing with riot police and prompting the Central Asian nation to declare a state of emergency. Protesters wanted the mine to be nationalized and the company to provide more benefits.
    (AP, 5/31/13)(SFC, 6/1/13, p.A2)
2013        May 31, Lebanon's parliament extended its term 17 months because of deteriorating security conditions related to Syria's civil war. It postponed elections from June until November 2014.
    (AP, 5/31/13)
2013        May 31, Nigeria's military and security forces said they've released 58 women and children previously held as suspected fighters in the Islamic insurgency now challenging the nation's government.
    (AP, 6/1/13)
2013        May 31, In Peru a lawyer said Convicted Dutch murderer Joran van der Sloot (24) is in love and plans to marry a Peruvian woman in the prison where he's serving a 28-year sentence.
    (AP, 5/31/13)
2013        May 31, In the Philippines an explosion in an upscale apartment in Manila killed 6 people. The dead included the crew of a delivery van passing by that was hit by concrete debris.
    (SSFC, 6/2/13, p.A6)
2013        May 31, Sergei Korotkov, general director of the MiG company that makes MiG jets, told Russian news agencies that a Syrian delegation was in Moscow to discuss terms and deadlines of a new contract supplying at least 10 MiG-29 M/M2 fighters to Syria.
    (AP, 5/31/13)
2013        May 31, A UN official said more than 23,500 people have fled fighting in South Sudan's Jonglei state and sought refuge in neighboring countries of Uganda (2.5k), Kenya (5k) and Ethiopia (16k).
    (AP, 6/1/13)
2013        May 31, Syrian troops attacked a convoy trying to evacuate wounded people from Qusair, killing at least 7. Government troops captured the village of Jawadiyeh outside Qusair, closing all entrances leading to the town and tightening the government's siege.
    (AP, 5/31/13)(AP, 6/1/13)
2013        May 31, In Turkey riot police used tear gas and pressurized water in a dawn raid to rout a peaceful demonstration by hundreds of people staging a sit-in to prevent the uprooting of trees at Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Some 5,000 people gathered in Ankara in solidarity with those in Istanbul. In Izmir clashes broke out as thousands also marched in solidarity. The government planned to build a replica of ottoman-era army barracks and a mall atop the park.
    (AP, 5/31/13)(SFC, 6/1/13, p.A3)(SSFC, 6/9/13, p.A4)

2014        May 31, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned an international security conference at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that the US "will not look the other way" when nations such as China try to restrict navigation or ignore international rules and standards.
    (AP, 5/31/14)
2014        May 31, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only American prisoner of the Afghan war, was freed after Pres. Obama agreed to release five high-level Afghan detainees from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The government of Qatar served as the go-between in the negotiations and is taking custody of the five Afghan detainees.
    (AP, 6/1/14)
2014        May 31, San Francisco police raided an apartment at 1831 Polk Street, the home of Ryan Kelly Chamberlain II, and reportedly found explosives. The FBI launched a nationwide manhunt for Chamberlain, a self-described political junkie with a background in Bay Area public relations. Chamberlain was arrested in SF on June 2. On June 3 the FBI said bomb making materials were found in Chamberlain’s apartment. FBI court filings later said Chamberlain was seeking illegal toxins on a black market website.
    (SFC, 6/2/14, p.A1)(SFC, 6/3/14, p.A1)(SFC, 6/4/14, p.E1)(SFC, 6/7/14, p.C1)
2014        May 31, In Colorado two men died when their small plane crashed northeast of Denver near Front Range Airport.
    (SSFC, 6/1/14, p.A10)
2014        May 31, In NY Mufid Elfgeeh, a naturalized US citizen from Yemen, was arrested after federal prosecutors said he bought two unregistered guns from an FBI informant. Investigators said he plotted to kill returning US troops for American actions overseas and Shiite Muslims over the civil war in Syria. In July a fire destroyed his boarded-up restaurant in Rochester. In 2003 his uncle Abad Elfgeeh was arrested in Brooklyn on suspicions of deep involvement in a terrorism network in Yemen.
    (AP, 7/14/14)(
2014        May 31, Lewis Katz (72), a co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, was among 7 people killed in the crash of his small plane in Bedford, Mass.
    (AP, 6/1/14)(SFC, 6/3/14, p.A6)
2014        May 31, In Waukesha, Wisconsin, two girls (12) stabbed their friend Peyton Leutner (12) nineteen times in a park following a slumber party in Waukesha to please “Slender Man," a demon-like creature they learned about on On Aug 1 a judge ruled that one of the girls is mentally incompetent and can’t stand trial. On March 13 a judge ruled that both girls must stand trial as adults.
    (SFC, 6/3/14, p.A6)(SFC, 8/2/14, p.A4)
2014        May 31, Isaac Patch (101), a CIA book-smuggler, civil rights campaigner and naturalist, died.
    (Econ, 6/28/14, p.82)
2014        May 31, In eastern Afghanistan a roadside bomb killed 14 civilians after a wedding ceremony in the Giro district of Ghazni province.
    (AFP, 5/31/14)
2014        May 31, Australia said that it has banned Thailand's coup leaders from visiting and downgraded their military ties.
    (AP, 5/31/14)
2014        May 31, Some flights between Australia and southeast Asia and all domestic flights operating out of Darwin airport in the country’s north were canceled after the eruption a day earlier of Sangeang Api in Indonesia’s south produced a large cloud of ash.
    (Reuters, 5/31/14)
2014        May 31, The Queen musical "We Will Rock You" closed in its London home after 12 straight years. It had played to more than 6.5 million people at the Dominion Theatre with over 4,600 performances.
    (AFP, 3/11/14)
2014        May 31, In Cambodia 7 people died from a lack of oxygen after climbing down a well in Cambodia to retrieve about 75 cents.
    (AP, 6/1/14)
2014        May 31, In Central African Republic hundreds of Muslims marched in their last major enclave in Bangui, protesting against a call by the president that they disarm and demanding their safe evacuation from the city.
    (Reuters, 5/31/14)
2014        May 31, Egypt's outgoing interim President Adly Mansour issued a decree making dishonoring the Egyptian flag or not standing for the national anthem a criminal offense, punishable by sentences of up to one year in prison and a fine of more than $4,000.
    (AP, 5/31/14)
2014        May 31, In southwest Egypt smugglers killed 6 army border guards, including an officer, in a gunbattle in in the Wadi el-Gadid province.
    (AP, 6/1/14)
2014        May 31, In eastern India lightning struck farmers working in fields, killing at least 13 people in West Bengal state.
    (AP, 6/1/14)
2014        May 31, Pakistani troops killed 16 militants following a Taliban attack on army posts in the Bajur tribal region. Afghan officials said the airstrike along the border reportedly killed 5 civilians. The Taliban attacked several military posts in northwestern Pakistan after crossing over from neighboring Afghanistan.
    (Reuters, 5/31/14)(AP, 5/31/14)(SSFC, 6/1/14, p.A5)
2014        May 31, In northern Russia a helicopter crashed into a lake and 16 of the 18 people on board were missing. Two passengers, who floated to the surface still strapped into their seats, were rescued by fishermen and hospitalized for treatment of broken legs and other injuries. The helicopter belonged to the fertilizer company Apatit.
    (AP, 6/1/14)
2014        May 31, In Scotland the Edinburgh tram system finally opened to the public -- four years late, half the size and twice the cost originally planned.
    (AFP, 5/31/14)
2014        May 31, In Syria at least 20 government soldiers and militia were killed in a fresh attack by Islamist rebels, who planted explosives in a tunnel under an army position in Aleppo.
    (AFP, 5/31/14)
2014        May 31, Turkish police shut Gezi Park, the Istanbul square at the center of mass demonstrations in 2013, to prevent any efforts to mark the anniversary of the biggest anti-government protests in decades.
    (Reuters, 5/31/14)
2014        May 31, In Yemen suspected al-Qaeda militants shot dead Colonel Nasser al-Issa, an intelligence officer, in the southern province of Lahej.
    (Reuters, 5/31/14)
2014        May 31, Sixty migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia and two Yemeni crew members drowned in the Red Sea in the worst such tragedy off the coast of Yemen this year.
    (AFP, 6/6/14)

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