Today in History - December 18
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1118 Dec 18,
Afonso the Battler, the Christian King of Aragon captured Saragossa,
Spain, a major blow to Muslim Spain.
1352 Dec 18, Etienne Aubert was
elected as Pope Innocentius VI.
1378 Dec 18, Charles V
denounced the treachery of John IV of Brittany and confiscated his
1505 Dec 18, John IX van Horne,
prince-bishop of Lieges, Belgium, was executed.
1565 Dec 18, Benedetto Varchi
(62), Italian humanist and historian (L'Ercolano), died.
1569 Dec 18, Jakob Hassler,
composer, was born.
1621 Dec 18, English parliament
unanimously accepted Protestation.
1633 Dec 18, Willem van de
Velde the Younger, Dutch marine painter, was baptized.
1638 Dec 18, Pere Joseph
(Francois du Tremblay, b.1577), French Capuchin friar, confidant and
agent of Cardinal Richelieu, died. He was the original éminence
grise -- the French term ("grey eminence") for a powerful advisor or
decision-maker who operates secretly or unofficially. Richelieu was
known as Éminence Rouge (red eminence); from the colors of their
1688 Dec 18, William of Orange
made a triumphant march into London as James II fled in the
"Glorious Revolution." William of Orange, son of William II (Prince
of Orange) and Mary (daughter of Charles I of England), was fourth
in line to the English throne. In 2006 Edward Valance authored “The
Glorious Revolution: 1688 – Britain’s Fight for Liberty.”
(WSJ, 2/6/02, p.A16)(Econ, 2/4/06, p.77)(ON,
1707 Dec 18, Charles Wesley,
co-founder of the Methodist movement, was born.
1719 Dec 18, Thomas Fleet
published "Mother Goose's Melodies For Children."
1734 Dec 18, Jean-Baptiste Rey,
composer, was born.
1737 Dec 18, Antonio
Stradivari, the most renowned violin maker in history, died in
Cremona, Italy. He made about 1200 violins of great quality of which
half still survive. In 2006 Joseph Nagyvary, a Texas biochemist and
violin maker, put forward evidence that the quality of sound in a
Stradivari violin was due to chemicals used to protect the wood from
(WSJ, 10/17/94, p.1)(AP, 12/18/98)(SFC, 12/28/06,
1774 Dec 18, Empress Maria
Theresa expelled Jews from Prague, Bohemia and Moravia.
1775 Dec 18-1775 Dec 27, In
Philadelphia Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and Francis Daymon, members
of the Committee of Secret Correspondence, met 3 times at
Carpenter’s Hall with French agent Chevalier Julien-Alexandre Achard
de Bonvouloir regarding French support for American Independence.
1777 Dec 18, The 1st America
Thanksgiving Day commemorated Burgoyne's surrender at Saratoga. A
national Thanksgiving was declared by Congress after the American
victory over the British at the Battle of Saratoga in December 1777.
For many years Thanksgiving celebrations were haphazard with
Presidents Washington, Adams and Madison declaring occasional
(HNPD, 11/26/98)(MC, 12/18/01)
1786 Dec 18, Carl Maria von
Weber, German romantic composer (Der Freischutz), was born.
1787 Dec 18, New Jersey became
the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1788 Dec 18, Camille Pleyel,
Austrian piano builder and composer, was born.
1796 Dec 18, The Baltimore
Monitor appeared as the 1st US Sunday newspaper.
1797 Dec 18, Joseph Henry,
inventor, scientist and the first director of the Smithsonian Inst.,
was born. [see Dec 17]
(WSJ, 12/17/97, p.A20)
1799 Dec 18, George
Washington's body was interred at Mount Vernon.
1812 Dec 18, Napoleon Bonaparte
arrived in Paris after his disastrous campaign in Russia.
1829 Dec 18, Jean-Baptiste de
Lamarck (~85), French nature investigator, died.
1844 Dec 18, Ludwig J. von
Brentano, German economist, was born.
1856 Dec 18, Joseph John
Thomson, English physicist, was born. He discovered the electron and
won a Nobel Prize in 1906.
1859 Dec 18, South Carolina
declared itself an "independent commonwealth."
1860 Dec 18, Edward Alexander
MacDowell, American composer (Indian Suite), was born.
1862 Dec 18, Nathan B. Forrest
engaged and defeated a Federal cavalry force near Lexington in his
continued effort to disrupt supply lines.
1862 Dec 18, Grant announced
the organization of his army in the West. Sherman, Hurlbut,
McPherson, and McClernand would be Corps Commanders.
1865 Dec 18 The Thirteenth
Amendment to the US Constitution, abolishing slavery, was declared
1869 Dec 18, Louis Moreau
Gottschalk (40), composer, died.
1870 Dec 18, Saki, [Hector Hugo
Munro], author (Reginald, When William Came), was born in Burma.
1879 Dec 18, Paul Klee
(d.1940), Swiss abstract painter best known for The Mocker Mocked,
1886 Dec 18, Ty [Tyrus Raymond]
Cobb, American baseball player, first man to be elected to the
Baseball Hall of Fame, was born.
1888 Dec 18, Robert Moses,
power broker, was born. He built Long Island and NYC parks &
1890 Dec 18, Edwin Howard
Armstrong, radio pioneer and inventor of FM, was born in NYC.
1892 Dec 18, Anton Bruckner's
8th Symphony, premiered.
1892 Dec 18, Tchaikovsky's "The
Nutcracker Suite" [“Nutcracker Ballet”] publicly premiered in St.
Petersburg, Russia, at the Maryinsky Theater.
(SFEC, 11/24/96, DB p.44)(AP, 12/18/97)
1904 Dec 18, George Stevens,
American director (Alice Adams, Penny Serenade), was born.
1907 Dec 18, Christopher Fry,
playwright (Ring Around the Moon), was born in Bristol, England.
1910 Dec 18, Abe Burrows,
Broadway composer (Guys & Dolls 1951 TONY), was born in
1911 Dec 18, Jules Dassin,
director (Circle of Two, Never on Sunday), was born in Middletown,
1912 Dec 18, In the famous
Piltdown Man Forgery amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson announced
the discovery of two skulls from the Piltdown Quarry in Sussex,
England. They appeared to belong to a primitive hominid and ancestor
of man. Also found was a canine tooth, a tool carved from an
elephant's tusk, and fossil teeth from a number of prehistoric
animals. Dawson enlisted the help of vertebrate paleontologist
Arthur Smith Woodward. They christened it Eoanthropus dawsoni and on
this day they announced their find to the Geological Society of
London. A 1996 book "Unraveling Piltdown" by John Evangelist Walsh
labeled Dawson as the perpetrator of the hoax. The missing link was
later determined to be only 600 years old. The fossils had been
doctored to look and test to be older. In 2012 Miles Russell
authored “The Piltdown Man Hoax: Case Closed.” [see 1908, 1913,
1953, 1955 & 1983]
(PacDisc, Spring ‘96, p.15)(SFEC, 9/22/96, BR
p.9)(SSFC, 12/16/12, p.A23)
1913 Dec 18, Willy Brandt,
Mayor of Berlin and Chancellor of West Germany, was born as Herbert
Frahm. He was chancellor from 1969-74 and won a Nobel Prize in
(HN, 12/18/98)(MC, 12/18/01)
1915 Dec 18, President Wilson,
widowed the year before, married Edith Bolling Galt at her
1915 Dec 18, In a single night,
about 20,000 Australian and New Zealand troops slipped away from
Gallipoli, undetected by the Turks defending the peninsula.
1916 Dec 18, The Battle of
Verdun ended with the French and Germans each having suffered more
than 330,000 killed and wounded in 10 months.
1917 Dec 18, Ossie Davis,
actor, playwright (Hot Stuff, Man Called Adam), was born in Cogdell,
1917 Dec 18, The Soviet
regiment under Stalin and Lenin declared Finland Independent.
1918 Dec 18, In San Francisco
police recovered 55 suckling pigs stolen from the Hog Raising
Company at Evans and Mendell. More than 150 pigs had been stolen
during the past six weeks by children working there.
(SSFC, 12/16/18, DB p.46)
1919 Dec 18, Horatio William
Parker (56), composer, died.
1919 Dec 18, British pilot John
William Alcock (b.1892), enroute to a Paris air show, was killed
while making a forced landing in fog near Rouen. He and navigator
Arthur Witten Brown (1886-1948) had recently completed the world’s
first nonstop transatlantic flight [see June 14].
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Whitten_Brown)(ON, 4/09, p.1)
1920 Dec 18, Rita Streich,
German singer, was born.
1925 Dec 18, Soviet leaders Lev
Kamenev and Grigori Zinoviev broke with Stalin.
1927 Dec 18, Ramsey Clark,
American attorney General (1967-69), was born.
1928 Dec 18, Lucien Capet (55),
1929 Dec 18, Helene Delangle
(1900-1984), French racing pioneer, became the fastest woman driver
in the world, averaging 120.5 mph at Montlhery, France. In 2004
Miranda Seymour authored “The Bugatti Queen: In search of a
(Econ, 2/28/04, p.81)
1934 Dec 18, Woodrow Wilson,
the 28th US President, appeared on a Gold certificate valued at
$100,000, largest note ever issued by the United States. It was only
printed between December 18, 1934 and January 9, 1935 and used only
for transactions between Federal Reserve Banks. Salmon P. Chase, the
U.S. Treasury Secretary under President Lincoln, appeared on the
$10,000 bill, James Madison on the $5,000 bill and Grover Cleveland
on the $1,000 bill. All of these bills ceased being printed in 1946.
1936 Dec 18, Su-Lin, the 1st
giant panda to come to US from China, arrived in SF. The giant
panda, captured by Ruth Harkness, was the 1st ever seen in the US.
In 2005 Vicki Constantine Croke authored “The Lady and the Panda.”
1939 Dec 18, The Graf Spee was
scuttled. The German captain Hans Langsdorf, later killed himself.
On Dec. 13th, the heavily the armed German ship held off the three
vessels for three hours, sustaining some damage, and then fled into
the harbor of Montevideo, Uruguay. Over the next few days the
British tricked the Germans into believing that a large British
fleet had them trapped.
1940 Dec 18, Hitler dictated
Directive No. 21 to crush Russia in a quick campaign. Adolf Hitler
signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion
of the Soviet Union. Operation “Barbarossa” was launched in June
(SFC, 10/29/97, p.A23)(AP, 12/18/97)
1941 Dec 18, The US Navy
purchased the dry dock and shipyard at Hunters Point, SF, from
Bethlehem Steel Co., eleven days after Japan’s attack on Pearl
(SFC, 6/9/15, p.A8)
1941 Dec 18, Defended by 610
fighting men, the American-held island of Guam fell to more than
5,000 Japanese invaders in a three-hour battle.
1941 Dec 18, German submarine
1941 Dec 18, Japanese troops
landed on Hong Kong. [see Dec 8,19]
1942 Dec 18, Hitler met with
Mussolini and Pierre Laval.
1944 Dec 18, In a pair of
rulings, the US Supreme Court upheld the wartime relocation of
Japanese-Americans (Korematsu v. United States), but also said
undeniably loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry could not continue
to be detained (Ex parte Endo).
1944 Dec 18, The US Third Fleet
encountered a typhoon near the Philippines. The naval destroyers
"Hull," "Spence" & "Monaghan" sank in the typhoon. The storm
killed 778 American sailors. 62 of 264 men on the Hull were rescued.
24 of 340 men on the Spence were rescued. 6 of 251 men on the
Monaghan survived. In 1981 C. Raymond Calhoun, the captain of the
destroyer Dewey, authored “Typhoon: The Other Enemy.”
(AH, 10/02, p.56, 60)
1944 Dec 18, The Japanese were
repelled from northern Burma by British troops.
1946 Dec 18, Stephen Biko,
South African anti-apartheid activist, was born.
1947 Dec 18, Steven Spielberg,
director (ET, Close Encounters, Jaws), was born in Cincinnati.
1948 Dec 18, Janet Fay was
hammered to death by Honeymoon Killers.
1951 Dec 18, North Koreans gave
the Allies a list of 3,100 POWs.
1956 Dec 18, "To Tell the
Truth" debuted on CBS-TV.
1956 Dec 18, The Israeli flag
was hoisted on Mount Sinai.
1956 Dec 18, Japan was admitted
to the United Nations.
(TOH, 1982, p.1956)(EWH, 1968, p.1292)(AP,
1957 Dec 18, The motion picture
"The Bridge on the River Kwai" premiered at the RKO Palace Theater
in New York City.
1957 Dec 18, The Shippingport
Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first nuclear facility to
generate electricity in the United States, went on line. It was
taken out of service in 1982.
1959 Dec 18, In Florida Cliff
Walker, his wife and two children were murdered on a ranch in
Osprey. Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, the killers of a family in
Kansas on Nov 15, were later linked to the murder of the Walker
family. Sheriff’s deputies failed to make a DNA link between the
family, Hickock and Smith.
(SFC, 12/5/12, p.A8)(SFC, 8/14/13, p.A6)
1959 Dec 18, Dorothy L. Sayers
(66), writer, died.
1960 Dec 18, A rightist
government was installed under Prince Boun Oum in Laos as U.S.
resumed arms shipments.
1961 Dec 18, Britain's EMI
Records originally rejected the Beatles.
1964 Dec 18, The UC Regents
affirmed that university rules should follow the US Supreme Court
decisions on free speech.
(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.F4)
1965 Dec 18, Kenneth LeBel
jumped 17 barrels on ice skates.
1965 Dec 18, U.S. Marines
attacked VC units in the Que Son Valley, South Vietnam, during
Operation Harvest Moon.
1965 Dec 18, The Borman and
Lovell splash down in the Atlantic ended a 2 week Gemini VII
1966 Dec 18, Dr. Seuss' "How
the Grinch Stole Christmas" aired for 1st time on CBS.
1969 Dec 18, Britain's
Parliament abolished the death penalty for murder.
1970 Dec 18, "Me Nobody Knows"
opened at Helen Hayes Theater in NYC for 587 performances.
1970 Dec 18, An atomic leak in
Nevada forced hundreds to flee the test site.
1970 Dec 18, In Poland rioting
continued. Troops and tanks patrolled Polish streets. 20 people were
killed in the riots as they protested increased food prices.
1971 Dec 18, Pres. Nixon
devalued the dollar, and even though the devaluation was effective
immediately, only Congress could officially change the gold value of
the dollar. The US dollar went off the gold standard and was
devalued by 7.9%. The 10% import surcharge was lifted.
(WUD, 1994, p.
1971 Dec 18, Pres. Nixon signed
into law the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). It gave
large portions of prime bear habitat to the Alutiiq people, who had
hunted and fished on the island for 7,000 years. 10% of the state,
44 million acres of land, was ceded to native tribes.
p.A7)(AH, 10/04, p.42)
1971 Dec 18, Reverend Jesse
Jackson announced in Chicago the founding of Operation PUSH (People
United to Save Humanity).
1971 Dec 18, North Vietnamese
troops captured the Plain of Jars in Laos. Throughout the Vietnam
War, the Plain of Jars was a contested area between Lao tribesmen
and Vietnam's communist allies, the Pathet Lao. The area was long
controlled by the Pathet Lao and a continual effort had been made by
the secret CIA-directed force of some 30,000 indigenous tribesmen to
strengthen anti-communist strongholds there. The US committed
hundreds of millions of dollars to the war effort in Laos. Details
of this secret operation were not released until August 1971.
(WUD, 1994, p.
1972 Dec 18, The heaviest
bombing of North Vietnam, under orders from US Pres. Nixon, began
over Hanoi. “Operation Linebacker II” lasted 11 days and killed over
1600 civilians with 70 US airmen killed or captured. The bombardment
ended 12 days later. President Nixon declared that the bombing of
North Vietnam would continue until an accord was reached. In 2002
Marshall L. Michel III authored “The 11 Days of Christmas,” an
account of the B-52 bombings.
(SFC, 12/16/97, p.B1)(AP, 12/18/97)(HN,
12/18/98)(WSJ, 1/22/02, p.A18)
1974 Dec 18, The Broadway
production "Of Mice and Men" opened. It starred James Earl Jones and
featured Joe Seneca (d.1996). The first stage production was in
1974 Dec 18, In Greece Michalis
Stasinopoulos (d.2002), legal scholar, was elected president 10 days
following the referendum that abolished the monarchy.
(AP, 11/1/02)(SFC, 11/2/02, p.A22)
1976 Dec 18, "A Star is Born,"
with Barbra Streisand, premiered.
1977 Dec 18, Cyril Ritchard
(b.1897), Australia-born actor, died. He was awarded a Tony in 1955
for Supporting Actor in the musical “Peter Pan.”
1978 Dec 18, The US Supreme
Court ruled in Marquette vs. First Omaha Service Corp. that national
banks can charge customers throughout the country any interest rate
allowed by the institution’s home state. This led financial
institutions to move credit offices to states with no or very high
1979 Dec 18, In Spain the
Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia was sanctioned by King Juan Carlos
I. The first autonomous elections were held on 20 March 1980.
1979 Dec 18, The UN Convention
on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
was adopted with 10 abstentions. It entered into force on Sep 3,
1981. By 2005 the treaty was endorsed by more than 170 nations, but
still opposed by the US.
10/8/00, Z1 p.4)
1979 Dec 18, The UN "Agreement
Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and other Celestial
Bodies" opened for signature. It extended a 1967 Space Treaty and
established that the Moon and the other bodies within our solar
system to be the common heritage of mankind. It entered into force
on July 11, 1984.
(SFEC, 7/13/97, Par
1980 Dec 18, IRA's Sean McKenna
became critically ill and ended his hunger strike.
1980 Dec 18, Former Soviet
Premier Alexei N. Kosygin (1964-80) died at age 76 of a heart
(AP, 12/18/97)(MC, 12/18/01)
1985 Dec 18, The UN Security
Council unanimously condemned "acts of hostage-taking."
1987 Dec 18, Ivan F. Boesky was
sentenced to three years in prison for plotting Wall Street's
biggest insider-trading scandal. Boesky served about two years of
1987 Dec 18, Pakistani
opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was married in a traditional
Islamic ceremony to businessman Asif Ali Zardari.
1988 Dec 18, PLO chairman
Yasser Arafat met in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to
discuss how to continue the momentum gained by the first U.S.- PLO
1989 Dec 18, Robert E.
Robinson, an attorney and alderman in Savannah, Ga., was killed by a
mail bomb similar to a device that had claimed the life of a federal
judge in Alabama two days earlier. Walter Leroy Moody Junior was
later convicted of both bombings, and is on Alabama's death row.
1990 Dec 18, Less than a month
before a UN deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, President
Bush told reporters he believed Americans would support a military
strike, if one proved necessary. In Baghdad, the ruling
Revolutionary Command Council said Iraq was “ready for the decisive
1991 Dec 18, General Motors
announced it would close 21 North American plants over the next four
years and slash tens of thousands of jobs in a sweeping
restructuring of the world's largest company.
1992 Dec 18, The U.N. Security
Council unanimously denounced Israel's deportation of more than 400
Palestinians and demanded their immediate return.
1992 Dec 18, Kim Young-sam was
elected South Korea's first civilian president in three decades.
1993 Dec 18, The United States
and Germany pledged close cooperation to help Boris Yeltsin through
Russia's political and economic crises in a meeting in Oggersheim
between Vice President Al Gore and Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
1994 Dec 18, Former U.S.
president Jimmy Carter arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina on a private
mission to seek an end to 32 months of war.
1994 Dec 18, Bulgaria’s
Socialist Party (ex-communist) won a parliamentary election. Premier
Zhan Videnov’s Socialist government won a parliamentary majority.
(www.projects.v2.nl/~arns/Texts/Chrono/BG.html)(SFC, 6/6/96, p.C5)
1995 Dec 18, The Dow
industrials dropped 101.52 points, its biggest one-day loss in four
years amid investor worries over the budget stalemate between
Congress and President Clinton.
1995 Dec 18, A powerful
fertilizer bomb was found outside an Internal Revenue Service office
in Reno, Nevada, but fizzled before its lit fuse could do much
1995 Dec 18, Queen Elizabeth
asked Prince Charles and Diana to divorce.
1995 Dec 18, A chartered
Zairian plane crashed in northern Angola killing 139  people.
Five people survived. The plane was a Lockheed Electra, an old plane
with a capacity of 99. It was owned by Trans Service Airlift, a
(WSJ, 12/20/95, p.A-1)
1996 Dec 18, Earl Edwin Pitts,
a senior US FBI agent, was arrested on espionage charges. He was
most active as a Russian spy from 1987-1992. Pitts was sentenced in
June 1997 to 27 years in prison after admitting that he'd conspired
and attempted to commit espionage.
(SFC, 12/19/96, p.A1)(AP, 12/18/97)
1996 Dec 18, Aides to President
Clinton disclosed that Asian-American businessman Charles Yah Lin
Trie, who delivered $460,000 in questionable donations to the
Clintons' legal defense fund, had been to the White House at least
23 times since 1993.
1996 Dec 18, TV industry execs
agreed to adopt a ratings system.
1996 Dec 18, Irving Caesar
(b.1895), songwriter, died in NYC.
1996 Dec 18, Arthur Jacobs
(b.1922), English musicologist, died.
1996 Dec 18, In Kenya police
killed 2 students who were protesting the killing of another student
on the previous day.
(SFC, 12/19/96, p.C4)
1996 Dec 18, Palestinian police
arrested 3 members of a militant group that killed 2 Jewish settlers
on Dec 11.
(WSJ, 12/19/96, p.A1)
1997 Dec 18, President Clinton
extended indefinitely the deadline for withdrawal of U.S. troops
helping with the U.N. peacekeeping effort in Bosnia.
1997 Dec 18, Festivus, or the
“Festival for the Rest of Us” was made famous by an episode of
Seinfeld. It came to be celebrated on Dec 23.
1997 Dec 18, In California a
fired California highway employee, Arturo Reyes Torres, shot and
killed 4 people at the Caltrans maintenance yard in Orange and was
himself killed by police.
(SFC, 12/19/97, p.A14)(AP, 12/18/98)
1997 Dec 18, Chris Farley (33),
comic actor of Saturday Night Live, was found dead in his Chicago
apartment. An overdose of morphine and cocaine was later reported.
(SFC, 12/19/97, p.A3)(SFC, 1/3/98, p.A2)(AP,
1997 Dec 18, It was reported
that the death toll in Europe had climbed to 50 due to the vicious
cold as temperatures plunged as low as 19.8 degrees.
(USAT, 12/18/97, p.10A)
1997 Dec 18, In Bosnia NATO
forces seized 2 war crimes suspects. Vlatko Kupreskic was shot when
he fired on Dutch soldiers. Anto Furundzija was arrested without
(SFC, 12/19/97, p.B2)
1997 Dec 18, Richard Tomlinson
(b.1963), a former British MI6 officer, was jailed for a year for
unlawfully disclosing information about his work. He had joined MI6
in 1991 and was dismissed in 1995, after admitting to passing a
synopsis of a proposed book about his experiences in the Secret
Intelligence Service (SIS) to an Australian publisher. He kept
details of his book in secret files on several computers. He had
served for 4 years as an agent in Moscow and Bosnia. In 1999
Tomlinson posted the names of British intelligence officers on a Web
site. His book “The Big Breach” was published in 2001 in Russia.
p.C5)(Econ, 12/4/10, p.34)
1997 Dec 18 ,
In Jamaica In Parliamentary elections 2-term Prime Minister P.J.
Patterson took a big lead over Edward Seaga. The People’s National
Party won an absolute majority in the 60-seat parliament.
(WSJ, 12/19/97, p.A1)(SFC, 12/19/97, p.B3)
1997 Dec 18, South Korea held
presidential elections. One time dissident Kim Dae Yung (Kim
Dae-jung) won the elections with 40.3% of the vote.
(SFC, 8/14/97, p.C2)(WSJ, 12/19/97, p.A1)(AP,
1997 Dec 18, In Lebanon a
foundation stone was laid for the new US consulate in Beirut.
(SFC, 12/19/97, p.B3)
1997 Dec 18, From Saudi Arabia
it was reported the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud
was building a 984-foot structure called “The Kingdom Centre” in
central Riyadh at a cost of $427 million.
(WSJ, 12/18/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 18, In Serbia a group
of 12 doctors and medical technicians marched for 3 days from Nis to
Belgrade to protest the lack of medical resources. In Belgrade
health minister Leposava Milicevic said she was too busy to see
(SFC, 12/20/97, p.A12)
1998 Dec 18, US House
Republicans rebuffed calls for a vote on censure and pushed forward
the vote on impeachment against Pres. Clinton.
(SFC, 12/19/98, p.A1)(AP, 12/18/99)
1998 Dec 18, US and British
struck Iraq for a 3rd day with little resistance. The US B-1 bomber
was used to drop bombs. Gen’l. Henry Shelton, chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, said more cruise missiles were launched in the
first 2 days than the 289 in the 1991 Gulf War.
(SFC, 12/19/98, p.A1)(AP, 12/18/99)
1998 Dec 18, The new electronic
Rocket Book by NuvoMedia weighed 22 ounces and stored 10 books.
(WSJ, 12/18/98, p.W15)
1998 Dec 18, The ICO Challenger
balloon with Richard Branson, Steve Fossett and Per Lindstrand left
Marrakesh, Morocco, in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe.
(SFC, 12/19/98, p.B3)
1998 Dec 18, In South Carolina
the 500th execution took place since capital punishment was resumed
in 1977. Andrew Lavern Smith died by lethal injection for his 1983
murder of an elderly couple.
(SFC, 12/19/98, p.A15)(AP, 12/18/99)
1998 Dec 18, South Korea sank a
half-submarine belonging to North Korea and recovered the body of a
crewman in a wet suit carrying a grenade.
(SFC, 12/18/98, p.D9)
1998 Dec 18, Fifty military
officers marched in Mexico City decrying corruption and injustice
and attempted to present Pres. Zedillo a letter calling for reform.
The officers called themselves the Patriotic Command to Raise the
Consciousness of the People.
(SFC, 1/18/99, p.A11)
1998 Dec 18, In Poland Pres.
Kwasniewski signed a bill that would allow victims of communist-era
repression to see their secret police files.
(SFC, 12/19/98, p.B3)
1998 Dec 18, In Kosovo, Serbia,
Zvonko Bojanic, district mayor of Kosovo Polje, was found severely
beaten and shot between the eyes.
(SFC, 12/19/98, p.A6)
1999 Dec 18, In St.
Martinville, Louisiana, Cuban inmates who’d held a jail warden and
six others hostage for almost a week surrendered.
1999 Dec 18, After living atop
an ancient redwood in Humboldt County, California, for two years,
environmental activist Julia “Butterfly” Hill came down to Earth,
ending her anti-logging protest.
1999 Dec 18, French film
director Robert Bresson died in Paris at age 98.
1999 Dec 18, Iraq rejected the
UN proposal for an inspection plan that would lead to suspension of
(SFEC, 12/19/99, p.A24)
1999 Dec 18, In Italy Prime
Minister Massimo D'Alema resigned and brought an end to the 56th
government since WW II.
(SFEC, 12/19/99, p.A26)
1999 Dec 18, In Serbia Zoran
Vukicevic (38) was killed and 9 others wounded when gunmen opened
fired on the only Serb café in Orahovac. Vukicevic was at least the
146th Serb killed since NATO peacekeepers entered Kosovo.
(SFEC, 12/19/99, p.A29)
1999 Dec 18, In Colombo, Sri
Lanka, a suicide bomb attack wounded Pres. Chandrika Kumaratunga and
killed 26 people. Another bomb at a rally of the United National
Party killed at least 11 people and injured 40 others. Tamil rebels
were blamed. In 2010 Sakthivel Ilankesvaran, an ethnic Tamil man
employed as a driver, was sentenced to 30 years of hard labor.
(SFEC, 12/19/99, p.A21)(WSJ, 12/20/99, p.A1)(AP,
1999 Dec 18, In Zimbabwe Pres.
Mugabe announced at a convention of the ruling party that land would
be seized from whites and that the constitutional clause
guaranteeing compensation would be scrapped.
(SFC, 12/20/99, p.A13)
2000 Dec 18, US electors voted
for their party’s candidates. In the 224 years of the Electoral
College only 9 electors had switched votes. The DC elector withheld
her vote to protest lack of representation. Bush won 271 votes, one
over the constitutional minimum, and became the official
(WSJ, 11/15/00, p.A18)(SFC, 12/22/00, p.D2)
2000 Dec 18, Antitrust
regulators approved the merger of British drug companies Glaxo
Wellcome PLC and SmithKline Beecham PLC.
2000 Dec 18, Randolph Apperson
Hearst, billionaire newspaper heir and the last surviving son of
William Randolph Hearst, died at age 85 in New York.
(SFC, 12/19/00, p.A1)(AP, 12/18/01)
2000 Dec 18, The Argentine
government announced a $39.7 billion financial rescue package led by
(SFC, 12/19/00, p.B4)(WSJ, 8/23/01, p.A9)
2000 Dec 18, In Canada Pres.
Putin of Russia met with Prime Minister Chretien and together
supported existing nuclear arms accords. Chretien did not join
Putin’s opposition to a US missile defense plan.
(SFC, 12/19/00, p.B4)
2000 Dec 18, In Mexico
Popocatepetl volcano began spraying hot rock and ashes in its
biggest eruption in 1200 years.
(SFC, 12/21/00, p.A22)
2001 Dec 18, A federal judge in
Philadelphia threw out Mumia Abu-Jamal's death sentence for the 1981
shooting of a Philadelphia police officer and ordered a new
sentencing hearing for the former Black Panther alternately
portrayed as a vicious cop-killer and a victim of a racist frame-up.
Both sides appealed the ruling.
(SFC, 12/19/01, p.A1)(AP, 12/17/02)
2001 Dec 18, It was reported
that malaria scientists have engineered mice that produce vaccine in
(WSJ, 12/18/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 18, Hundreds of al
Qaeda and Taliban fighters were reported to have slipped into
Pakistan from Afghanistan.
(SFC, 12/19/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 18, Canada passed the
Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).
2001 Dec 18, Cuba reported that
attackers killed a visiting Florida couple, their 8-year-old
grandson and 2 others during a highway robbery in Matanzas province.
(SFC, 12/19/01, p.A4)(WSJ, 12/19/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 18, Yasser Arafat
closed 6 Hamas offices in a crackdown on militant groups. Israeli
forces arrested 10 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
(SFC, 12/19/01, p.A4)
2001 Dec 18, Eduard Kokoity
(b.1964), former champion of the Soviet Union national wrestling
team, assumed office as president of South Ossetia. He had won 45%
of the votes in the first round of elections on November 18 and 53%
in the 2nd round on December 6.
2001 Dec 18, Yemeni troops
assaulted tribal forces in the Marib region after local leaders
refused to turn over suspected members of al Qaeda. At least 12
people were killed and 22 wounded.
(SFC, 12/19/01, p.A15)(WSJ, 12/19/01, p.A12)
2002 Dec 18, Embattled Senate
Republican leader Trent Lott sustained a double-barreled setback as
Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee broke ranks to call for a change in
party leadership and Secretary of State Colin Powell forcefully
criticized Lott's controversial remarks on race.
2002 Dec 18, Robert Johnson,
the billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television, became
the 1st African American to own a major sports team. The NBA awarded
him rights to the expansion franchise in Charlotte.
(SFC, 12/19/02, p.A2)
2002 Dec 18, In California Gov.
Davis announced a $34.8 billion cash shortage over the next 18
months and that tax increases would be needed. A legislative analyst
later assessed the deficit at $21 billion.
(SFC, 12/19/02, p.A1)(SFC, 1/8/03, p.A17)
2002 Dec 18, Conseco Corp.
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
(WSJ, 12/18/02, p.A3)
2002 Dec 18, At least 4
tornadoes hit Arkansas and Missouri and killed 3 people with 30
(SFC, 12/19/02, p.A4)
2002 Dec 18, In Brazil a ferry
accident on the Para River killed at least 22 people with 28 more
believed missing. The death toll grew to 44.
(AP, 12/19/02)(AP, 12/23/02)
2002 Dec 18, In Sudan a bus
crashed and burst into flames after hitting a hole on an
ill-maintained highway known as "the road of death," killing 30
2003 Dec 18, A federal judge in
NY ruled that Pres. Bush does not have the power to order that a US
citizen captured in this country be held indefinitely as an enemy
combatant. Federal judges in SF ruled that the administration's
policy of imprisoning some 600 non-citizens in Cuba without access
to US legal protection raises concerns under US and Int'l. law.
(SFC, 12/19/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 18, Lee Boyd Malvo
(18) was convicted in Virginia for his role in the 2002 sniper
(SFC, 12/19/03, p.A3)
2003 Dec 18, Michael Jackson
was formally charged with child molesting and administering an
(WSJ, 12/19/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 18, A judge in Seattle
sentenced confessed Green River Killer Gary Ridgway to 48
consecutive life terms.
2003 Dec 18, RealNetworks filed
a federal anti-trust suit against Microsoft, alleging it has tried
to use it monopoly power in PC operating systems to unlawfully
dominate the digital media market. A settlement was reached in 2005.
(SFC, 10/12/05, p.C2)
2003 Dec 18, The US Census
Bureau reported the population had grown to 291 million, and would
reach 300 million in 4 years.
(WSJ, 12/19/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 18, An Ohio school
district suspended classes after bullet holes were found in 2 of its
(WSJ, 12/19/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 18, The NYSE named
John Thain, president of Goldman Sachs, as CEO.
(WSJ, 1/2/04, p.R12)
2003 Dec 18, In California the
small Sierra Railroad (b.1897) announced a successful $1.4 million
bid for the 40-mile Mendocino County Skunk train.
(SFC, 12/19/03, p.A21)
2003 Dec 18, Mark Anthony
Fregia, while driving with his girlfriend and 2 children, set their
car on fire near the I-80 freeway exit at Pinole, Ca. Erin Weaver
was severely burned and the 2 children burned to death in the car.
Fregia fled the scene in a stolen car but was caught the next day.
In 2007 Fregia was convicted of 2 counts of murder and attempted
(SFC, 12/20/03, p.A17)(SFC, 12/4/07, p.B2)
2003 Dec 18, Charles Berlitz
(90), linguist and author, died in Florida. His books included "The
Bermuda Triangle" (1974), and "Native Tongues," a compendium of
(SFC, 1/5/04, p.B5)
2003 Dec 18, Bhutan's royal
army killed at least 90 Indian separatist guerrillas in three days
of fighting to shut down their bases in the tiny Himalayan nation.
the Bhutanese army reported six to seven fatal casualties.
2003 Dec 18, Dragan Nikolic
(46), former Bosnian Serb prison camp commander who allowed his
troops to rape, torture and murder his Muslim prisoners, was
sentenced to 23 years in jail at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in the
2003 Dec 18, The Cayman Islands
banned fishing in grouper spawning areas for eight years, citing a
sharp decline in the species' population. The ban took effect of Dec
2003 Dec 18, Israel's PM Sharon
said that if talks with Palestinians failed, Israel would
unilaterally withdraw from some settlements in order to establish a
more defensible border.
(SFC, 12/19/03, p.A17)
2003 Dec 18, Iran signed a key
accord opening its nuclear facilities to unfettered and unannounced
2003 Dec 18, The Lithuanian
Parliament launched impeachment proceedings against Pres. Rolandas
Paksas over charges that his office had connections with organized
(SFC, 12/19/03, p.A3)
2003 Dec 18, President Vladimir
Putin told Russians that he would seek a second term in the March 14
election. He also agreed to renegotiate debt relief for Iraq.
(AP, 12/18/03)(SFC, 12/19/03, p.A9)
2004 Dec 18, Former Chilean
dictator General Augusto Pinochet was hospitalized after suffering a
2004 Dec 18, In Haiti bands of
former soldiers and armed residents looted police arsenals, set
bonfires and fired shots into the air amid escalating chaos.
2004 Dec 18, The former Iraqi
general known as “Chemical Ali,” Ali Hassan al-Majid, went before a
judge in the first investigative hearings of former members of his
2004 Dec 18, Insurgents
claiming to represent three Iraqi militant groups issued a videotape
saying they had captured 10 Iraqis working for an American security
and reconstruction company and would kill them if the firm did not
leave this turbulent country. A clash in Mosul left an Iraqi child
dead. An insurgent attack in Mosul left one Iraqi dead. National
Guardsmen there killed 3 insurgents.
(AP, 12/19/04)(SSFC, 12/19/04, p.A12)
2004 Dec 18, Israeli troops
killed three Palestinians on the second day of an Israeli raid in
the Khan Younis refugee camp in southern Gaza. Israeli forces
withdrew and ended a 2-day raid that left 11 Palestinians dead.
(AP, 12/18/04)(SSFC, 12/19/04, p.A15)
2004 Dec 18, Naples police said
they have broken up a mob protection racket focused on local
bakeries and flour makers.
2004 Dec 18, Maoist rebels
attacked a police post near Nepal's capital with crude bombs and
automatic weapons, killing five policemen.
2004 Dec 18, The African Union
said Sudan had started withdrawing troops in Darfur ahead of an
evening deadline to end fighting there, but Khartoum said the
pullout was conditional on the rebels halting attacks.
2004 Dec 18, Sudan's government
kept up attacks on rebels in Darfur, defying a deadline set by
African Union mediators for an end to active hostilities.
2004 Dec 18, UN talks on
climate change ended with few steps forward as the US, oil producers
and developing giants slammed the brakes on the European Union's
drive for deeper emissions cuts to stop global warming.
2005 Dec 18, In a televised
speech President Bush declared that Iraq’s parliamentary elections
signaled the birth of democracy in the Middle East.
2005 Dec 18, Time magazine
named Bill and Melinda Gates and rock star Bono its "Persons of the
Year," citing their charitable work and activism aimed at reducing
global poverty and improving world health.
2005 Dec 18, Bhutan state media
reported that the king has said he will step down as ruler in 2008
and hold the country's first national elections for a parliamentary
democracy. King Jigme Singye Wangchuck said he will be succeeded by
his son (25), the crown prince.
2005 Dec 18, Socialist Evo
Morales (46) waved coca branches as he headed to vote amid jubilant
townsfolk who hoped to see him become Bolivia's first Indian
president and end a U.S.-backed anti-drug campaign aimed at
eradicating their crops.
2005 Dec 18, Chad blamed its
neighbor Sudan for a rebel raid on an eastern garrison and announced
it was exercising its right to pursue the attackers on Sudanese
soil. A spokesman said an early morning attack on Adre's garrison
was mounted by army deserters allied with a recently formed rebel
group called the Rally for Democracy and Liberty (RDL), which Chad
accuses of being a "militia used by the Sudanese government."
2005 Dec 18, Chinese state
media published the names of three villagers killed by police during
a protest over the seizure of land for a power plant and provided a
rare and vivid account of the small-town politics that led to the
2005 Dec 18, In China
authorities ordered a smelter in Shaoguan to halt the discharge of
waste into the Bei River that contained an unusual amount of
(SFC, 12/22/05, p.A9)
2005 Dec 18, Congo's
war-beleaguered people voted in the first national ballot in over
three decades, banging on polling-booth doors to be allowed in to
say yes or no to a draft constitution meant to put the country on
the path to democracy and lasting peace.
2005 Dec 18, A German TV
station said a German archaeologist kidnapped in Iraq last month
with her driver has been freed.
2005 Dec 18, In Hong Kong World
Trade Organization negotiators approved a draft agreement requiring
wealthy nations to end farm export subsidies by 2013, a support
system that poor nations say puts them at a competitive
disadvantage. The agreement required approval by all 149 WTO
(AP, 12/18/05)(SFC, 12/19/05, p.A3)
2005 Dec 18, In southern India
thousands of flood victims waiting in line for relief vouchers
stampeded into a government-run distribution center, killing at
least 42 people and injuring 37.
2005 Dec 18, Iraq's largest oil
refinery, in Beiji, was shut down because of the deteriorating
security situation in the region. Suicide bombers and gunmen killed
nearly two dozen people across Iraq. Vice President Dick Cheney made
a surprise visit and suggested the vote could pave the way for
beginning a US pullout.
(AP, 12/18/05)(AP, 12/30/05)
2005 Dec 18, Israeli PM Ariel
Sharon suffered a mild stroke.
2005 Dec 18, Jordan's military
court sentenced al-Qaida in Iraq chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to death
for a second time for a failed suicide bombing along the Iraqi
border a year ago.
2005 Dec 18, Nigeria grounded
Boeing 737 planes across the country for safety checks, stranding
thousands of travelers after two deadly accidents in two months.
2005 Dec 18, In Tanzania the
national election commission said Jakaya Kikwete, candidate for the
ruling Revolutionary Party, won the presidential election with 80%
of the vote.
(AP, 12/18/05)(Econ, 9/30/06, p.57)
2006 Dec 18, Pres. Bush signed
H.R. 5682, the Henry J. Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic
Energy Cooperation Act of 2006 (Hyde Act), to let the US share its
nuclear know-how and fuel with India, which continued to refuse to
sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It exempted from certain
requirements of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 a proposed nuclear
agreement for cooperation with India. Robert Gates took the oath as
p.A16)(WSJ, 12/19/06, p.A1)
2006 Dec 18, Thirteen US states
sued the EPA to force it to cut fine-particle air pollutants.
(WSJ, 12/19/06, p.A1)
2006 Dec 18, The US FBI
reported that violent crime for the 1st 6 months of 2006 had
increased 3.7% with robberies up 9.7%. This reversed a dropping
trend from the 1990s.
(SFC, 12/19/06, p.B1)
2006 Dec 18, The NBA suspended
seven players for their roles in a brawl between Denver and New
York; each team was fined $500,000.
2006 Dec 18, A new study said
US growers produce nearly $35 billion worth of marijuana annually,
making the illegal drug the country's largest cash crop, bigger than
corn and wheat combined.
2006 Dec 18, The Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation granted the William and Flora Hewlett
Foundation $40 million to fight illiteracy in developing countries
in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The Hewlett Foundation had
already committed $20 million.
(SFC, 12/18/06, p.A13)
2006 Dec 18, Verizon
Communications Inc. said it and five Asian telecom companies will
build a $500 million undersea optical cable linking the United
States and China to boost communications capacity by more than 60
2006 Dec 18, In South Bend,
Indiana, Daniel Sharp (56) began killing homeless men suspected in
stealing scrap metal. In February 2006 Sharp admitted that he and
Randy Lee Reeder (50) killed 4 men between Dec 18 and Dec 21 for
stealing metal that he and Reeder had collected to sell for salvage.
In 2007 Sharp pleaded guilty to the killings.
(SFC, 2/5/07, p.A3)(SFC, 5/31/07, p.A3)
2006 Dec 18, Joseph Barbera
(b.1911), legendary Hollywood animator, died. His characters Fred
and Wilma Flintstone and Scooby-Doo made generations of people
(Reuters, 12/19/06)(SFC, 12/19/06, p.B5)
2006 Dec 18, Ruth Bernhard
(101), legendary photographer, died in SF.
(SFC, 12/19/06, p.B5)
2006 Dec 18, In Afghanistan a
suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into a coalition convoy, wounding
two troops of the US-led coalition. Taliban militants beheaded a man
and fatally stabbed another as a warning to villagers not to give
the government or NATO information about Taliban activities.
(AP, 12/18/06)(AP, 12/19/06)
2006 Dec 18, An Australian
court ruled that providing Web links to copyright-protected music is
enough to make a site legally liable. The case created legal
uncertainty for search engines around the world. The full bench of
the Federal Court upheld a lower court ruling that Stephen Cooper,
the operator of the Web site in question, as well as Comcen, the
Internet service provider that hosted it, were guilty under
Australian copyright law.
2006 Dec 18, Sheik Abdul-Ameer
al-Jamri (67), a spiritual leader of Bahrain's Shiite opposition,
died of heart and kidney failure. He had served in Bahrain's first
parliament (1973-75), which was dissolved by the emir. He was jailed
for 3½ years (1996-1999) after riots against the country's Sunni
2006 Dec 18, British police
arrested a 37-year-old man suspected of murdering five prostitutes
in a high-profile serial-killer case that has gripped the nation for
2006 Dec 18, China’s state
television said China plans to keep an "absolute ability to control"
seven key sectors including oil and telecoms, even as it tries to
expose its creaking state-owned firms to the rigors of a market
2006 Dec 18, Manu Sharma, the
son of a wealthy Indian politician, was convicted of murder in the
shooting death of a waitress who refused to serve him a drink, a
case that tested the Indian judiciary's willingness to take on the
2006 Dec 18, In Indonesia a
moderate earthquake killed at least seven people and injured 100,
spreading panic across a large swath of Sumatra, the island worst
hit by the 2004 Asian tsunami.
2006 Dec 18, Opponents of
hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took an early lead in key
races in Iran's local elections, according to partial results
announced, with moderate conservatives winning control of councils
2006 Dec 18, Japanese
electronics maker Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said it will
begin mass production of a new lithium-ion battery that is safe from
the overheating problems that prompted a massive recall of Sony
Corp. batteries this year.
2006 Dec 18, Jordanian
authorities closed down an isolated desert prison where UN
investigators and rights groups alleged inmates were routinely
beaten and tortured.
2006 Dec 18, A senior
government official said money sent home by Moroccans overseas
amounted to 40.7 billion dirhams (3.6 billion euros) last year, or
roughly 9 percent of Morocco's gross domestic product.
2006 Dec 18, In southern
Nigeria near-simultaneous blasts tore through two oil company
facilities. The region's main militant group claimed responsibility,
saying it had planted car bombs.
2006 Dec 18, North Korea
defiantly declared itself a nuclear power at the start of the first
full international arms talks since its atomic test and threatened
to increase its arsenal if its demands were not met.
2006 Dec 18, Norwegian oil
companies Statoil ASA and Norsk Hydro ASA announced plans to merge
their offshore oil and natural gas units in a nearly $30 billion (23
billion euro) deal they said would create the world's largest
offshore oil operator.
2006 Dec 18, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas said he is pushing ahead with early
elections, despite factional fighting that intensified after his
initial call for a poll. He also appealed for international help in
restarting peace talks with Israel.
2006 Dec 18, Sudan's justice
minister said he was ready to cooperate with a UN fact-finding team
due to investigate human rights abuses in war-torn Darfur.
2006 Dec 18, Syria’s official
SUNA news agency said Syria and Iraq had signed on to a plan to
cooperate in combating terrorism and crime.
2006 Dec 18, Venezuela's ruling
party took the first step toward creating a single pro-government
party, a move opponents criticized as a push to consolidate more
power in the hands of President Hugo Chavez after his landslide
re-election. Chavez met with Malaysia's PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to
discuss expanding trade and deepening ties.
2006 Dec 18, Six Yemenis
released from the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay returned home
and were being held by Yemeni authorities to determine if they have
any terror ties.
2007 Dec 18, The US Federal
Reserve endorsed new rules that would give people taking out home
mortgages new protections against shady lending practices.
2007 Dec 18, In New Jersey
authorities broke up a major organized crime ring that took in $2.2
billion in gambling bets over the last 15 months and supplied drugs
and cell phones to gang members in a New Jersey state prison. 2
ruling members of New York’s Lucchese crime family and 30 others
(SFC, 12/19/07, p.A4)
2007 Dec 18, The city council
of Half Moon Bay, Ca., voted to hire a team of appellate lawyers to
fight a federal court decision that ordered the city to pay a
developer $36.8 million in a property dispute. The city’s annual
budget was $10 million. On April 1, 2008 the City Council approved a
settlement under which it would pay $18 million only if it was
unable to get special legislation passed to allow Charles Keenan to
build 129 lots on property in question and an adjoining parcel,
bypassing wetlands protection laws.
(SFC, 12/19/07, p.B1)(SFC, 4/2/08, p.B1)
2007 Dec 18, PG&E reported
plans to support the first commercial wave power plant off
California’s Humboldt County coast. 8 power generating buoys, to be
built by Canada’s Finavera Co., was expected to begin operations in
(SFC, 12/18/07, p.A1)
2007 Dec 18, John Morgridge,
the retired chairman of Cisco Systems, and his wife Tashia, both
graduates from the Univ. of Wisconsin, announced that they are
donating $175 million to help low-income Wisconsin students attend
any of the state’s public colleges and universities. Morgridge’s
fortune was estimated at $2.1 billion.
(SFC, 12/19/07, p.C2)
2007 Dec 18, An Italian team
published the first full genetic sequence of a grape variety, pinot
noir, in the Public Library of Science.
(Econ, 12/22/07, p.137)
2007 Dec 18, In western
Afghanistan Taliban fighters killed 15 Afghan guards working for a
private security company who were guarding a convoy of fuel tankers.
6 Taliban were killed in the ensuing fight. Elsewhere in Farah
fighting between police and militants left 2 militants dead.
2007 Dec 18, In Argentina 7
former army officers and an ex-police official were convicted and
sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for human rights abuses
during Argentina's bloody dictatorship.
2007 Dec 18, The leaders of
Argentina and Venezuela closed ranks against the United States,
rejecting US court charges in a campaign cash scandal as one more
example of Americans treating their nations like subservient
2007 Dec 18, Prosecutors in
Aruba dismissed the case against the three main suspects in the
disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway, saying they
still believe they were involved in her death but can't prove it
after 932 days of searching failed to turn up a body.
2007 Dec 18, An official said
Australian copper thieves have turned tomb raiders, pilfering
plaques and vases from cemeteries to sell the metal for scrap.
2007 Dec 18, Bermuda's ruling
party won a third term in general elections shadowed by racial
resentment and allegations of corruption. Premier Ewart Brown's
Progressive Labor Party won 22 seats compared with 14 seats for the
United Bermuda Party.
2007 Dec 18, Canada confirmed a
new case of mad cow disease, the 11th since 2003, and said the
animal in question was a 13-year-old beef cow from Alberta.
2007 Dec 18, A boatload of 59
exhausted African men arrived in the Canary Islands, the latest wave
in a constant flood of desperate migrants seeking a better life in
2007 Dec 18, EU regulators said
Mastercard must drop fees it charges for cross-border transactions
or face daily fines of 3.5 percent of daily global turnover.
2007 Dec 18, About 250 Iraqi
police raided three villages near Hawija, about 30 miles southwest
of Kirkuk, in an operation against suspected al-Qaida in Iraq
militants. Police detained 12 al-Qaida in Iraq suspects as well as
another eight people, and seized a large weapons cache that included
2,500 mortar rounds, 350 Katyusha rockets, about 150 improvised
bombs and about 500 mines. A car bomb targeting a police patrol
exploded in central Baghdad killing two policeman and two civilians.
A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a cafe near Baquba, killing
13 people and wounding 24.
(AP, 12/18/07)(AFP, 12/18/07)
2007 Dec 18, Israeli aircraft
launched an assault on the radical Islamic Jihad organization in
Gaza, killing the group's overall commander and nine other militants
in three fiery strikes. A fourth attack on a security post in
southern Gaza killed two Hamas militants.
2007 Dec 18, Japan said it had
shot down a ballistic missile in space high above the Pacific Ocean
as part of joint efforts with the United States to erect a shield
against a possible North Korean attack.
2007 Dec 18, In South Africa
delegates of the governing African National Congress cast their
votes for party leader. Zuma defeated President Thabo Mbeki by 2,329
votes to 1,505 at the party convention and moved into position to
become president in 2009.
(AP, 12/18/07)(AP, 12/19/07)
2007 Dec 18, In northern Sri
Lanka fighting killed 13 rebels and two soldiers. The Tigers said
they killed five soldiers.
2007 Dec 18, A human rights
group said that Syrian authorities have arrested two activists,
raising to at least seven the number detained following a recent
meeting of opposition groups in Damascus. The two had attended the
National Council of the Damascus Declaration for Democratic Change,
a Dec. 1 gathering of numerous opposition groups and activists
calling for democratic reforms in Syria.
2007 Dec 18, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents shot and killed four people
before beheading one victim, days before the country's first
election since last year's coup.
2007 Dec 18, The Turkish army
sent soldiers about 1.5 miles into northern Iraq in an overnight
operation. A Turkish official said the troops seeking Kurdish rebels
were still in Iraq by midmorning.
2007 Dec 18, Ukraine's
pro-Western coalition appointed Orange Revolution leader Yulia
Tymoshenko prime minister and named a government that favors the
ex-Soviet republic winning NATO and EU membership.
2007 Dec 18, The UN Security
Council voted unanimously to extend the US-led multinational force
in Iraq for one year, a move that Iraq's prime minister said would
be his nation's "final request" for help.
2007 Dec 18, The UN passed a
resolution backed by 104 states calling for the 1st time for a
worldwide moratorium on capital punishment.
2007 Dec 18, The Zimbabwe
government introduced amendments to tough security and media laws,
which critics said were used by President Robert Mugabe to stifle
opposition to his 27-year rule.
2008 Dec 18, The US FDA cleared
stevia, a shrub and an artificial sweetener extracted from it, for
public use. The FDA did not technically granted approval to stevia
but affirmed it will not object to companies using it in foods and
2008 Dec 18, W. Mark Felt (95),
former FBI second-in-command, died. He revealed himself as "Deep
Throat" in 2005, 30 years after he tipped off reporters to the
Watergate scandal that toppled Pres. Nixon.
2008 Dec 18, John Costelloe
(47), the actor who portrayed the gay lover of a closeted mobster on
"The Sopranos," died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in New York
2008 Dec 18, Canada’s PM Harper
said Canada will break a 12-year string of budget surpluses and run
a deficit of as much as $30 billion next year to kick-start the
2008 Dec 18, Theoneste Bagosora
(67), a former Rwandan army colonel, was convicted of genocide and
sentenced to life in prison, the most significant verdict of a UN
tribunal set up to bring the killers to justice. The 1994 genocide
saw government troops, Hutu militia and ordinary villagers spurred
on by hate messages broadcast on the radio going from village to
village, butchering men, women and children.
2008 Dec 18, Albania's Defense
Ministry said the country is pulling its 218 troops out of Iraq.
2008 Dec 18, Iraqi officials
said that up to 25 people from the three major security ministries
have been arrested over the past week on accusations of conspiring
to restore the Baath party, whose exiled leaders staunchly oppose
the current government. On Dec 23 the police and security officials,
arrested on suspicion of forging identity cards and badges, were
released on bail. A police officer said gunmen stormed the Kirkuk
home of Nahla Hussein al-Shaly (37) and shot and beheaded her.
(AP, 12/18/08)(AP, 12/23/08)
2008 Dec 18, Conor Cruise
O’Brien (89), Irish diplomat and man of letters, died. His books
included “To Katanga and Back” (1962) and “Religion and Politics”
(SSFC, 12/21/08, p.B6)
2008 Dec 18, In Italy Parmalat
founder Calisto Tanzi was sentenced to 10 years in prison over a
14-billion-euro fraud scandal that led to one of Europe's largest
2008 Dec 18, Riot police
clashed with rock-throwing demonstrators in central Athens, sending
Christmas shoppers and people in cafes running for cover. Frightened
parents scooped up their children from a Christmas carousel in the
city's main square and fled.
2008 Dec 18, Hamas declared a
formal end to a 6-month ceasefire with Israel.
(SFC, 12/19/08, p.A4)
2008 Dec 18, Vietnam approved
new regulations banning bloggers from discussing subjects the
government deems sensitive or inappropriate and requiring them to
limit their writings to personal issues.
2009 Dec 18, US bank regulators
shut down 7 banks including 2 in California. This brought to 140 the
number of US banks closed down to the weak economy and mounting loan
(SFC, 12/19/09, p.A5)
2009 Dec 18, SF Controller Ben
Rosenfield released an audit that said Office Deport had overcharged
the city of at least $5.75 million worth of office supplies over 4½
years. Office Depot was beset by overcharging allegations across the
(SFC, 12/19/09, p.C1)
2009 Dec 18, General Motors Co.
said it will shut down Saab after talks to sell the brand to a Dutch
carmaker collapsed, marking the third time this year that a deal by
GM to sell an unwanted brand has fallen through.
2009 Dec 18, In Cambodia a
tribunal charged Khieu Samphan, the Khmer Rouge's 78-year-old former
head of state, with genocide, adding new momentum to long-delayed
trials against the brutal regime that ruled Cambodia 30 years ago
2009 Dec 18, In China an
environmental group backed by the government said it had won two
lawsuits on behalf of residents threatened by pollution, marking the
first time such an organization has been allowed to file a public
2009 Dec 18, Wu Ying (28), a
Chinese businesswoman, was sentenced to death for cheating investors
out of $56 million, the latest case in the country's struggle
against widespread corruption. She started out a decade ago with a
single beauty salon but eventually built up a holding group, Bense
Holdings, that was known around the country. A report said Wu
collected the $56 million from investors over two years and was
arrested in 2007. In 2012 China's high court overturned the death
sentence on Wu Ying and ordered the high court in eastern China's
Zhejiang province to retry her case.
(AP, 12/18/09)(AFP, 4/20/12)
2009 Dec 18, Dominica held
elections. PM Roosevelt Skerrit, who has led his small Caribbean
country into an alliance with Hugo Chavez, was betting that the
early general elections will keep his Labor Party in power for
another five years.
2009 Dec 18, The European
Medicines Agency (EMEA) recommended the withdrawal of all medicines
containing benfluorex, a diabetes and weight-loss drug, in the
European Union. In 2010 French officials said the drug, marketed as
mediator, may have been linked to the deaths of 500 people over the
33 years it was on the market. Fenfluramine, a related drug, had
been withdrawn from the market in 1997 after reports of heart valve
disease, pulmonary hypertension, and development of cardiac
2009 Dec 18, A French judge
filed preliminary charges against former Pres. Jacques Chirac over
allegations that Paris City Hall paid for jobs in his political
party when was mayor, part of a financing scandal that has long
dogged the man who for decades dominated French politics.
2009 Dec 18, A Paris court
ruled that Google Inc. is breaking French law with its policy of
digitizing books, handing the US Internet giant a euro10,000
($14,300)-a-day fine until it rids its database of the literary
2009 Dec 18, India said it has
withdrawn 30,000 soldiers from Kashmir as rebel attacks decreased
over the past two years. Hundreds of thousands are believed to
remain in the heavily militarized region also claimed by Pakistan.
2009 Dec 18, Iranian forces
took control of Well 4, a southern Iraqi oil well on a disputed
section of the border. Well 4 lies in the Fauqa Field, part of a
cluster of fields Iraq unsuccessfully put up for auction to oil
majors in June. The field has estimated reserves of 1.55 million
barrels. There have been a number of meetings in recent years aimed
at reaching agreement on border fields, so far without success.
2009 Dec 18, Kenya was said to
be steadily losing the democratic gains it has made in recent years
as human rights abuses increase and perpetrators aren't held
accountable according to the Release Political Prisoners Trust, a
human rights watchdog.
2009 Dec 18, Mexican police
found six bullet-ridden, decomposing bodies near a highway leading
to a Mexican resort on the Gulf of California. The six men were
found half-buried on a dirt road off the highway frequently used by
tourists from Arizona to reach the Puerto Penasco resort, widely
known as Rocky Point. Gunmen killed Pedro Picasso (34), assistant
football coach of Mexico first-division team Indios, in the border
city Ciudad Juarez. A 2nd, unidentified person also died in the
shooting at a cell phone shop. The bound and burned bodies of 8 men
were found in the central Mexico state of Queretaro. Gunmen killed
four police officers in a series of attacks on patrol cars in the
border city of Ciudad Juarez. Police captured Jesus Basilio Araujo,
also known by the nickname "The Chicken," a suspected lieutenant of
the Beltran Leyva drug cartel linked to more than 109
(AP, 12/18/09)(AP, 12/19/09)
2009 Dec 18, In Nigeria fresh
clashes began between farmers and nomads leaving at least 32 people
killed and scores of houses were burnt in central Nassarawa State.
2009 Dec 18, In Pakistan an
anti-corruption court in the southern city of Karachi issued summons
to 52 suspects, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik and
presidential secretary Salman Farooqi, to appear before the judge on
Jan. 8. In the northwest a suicide car bomber detonated his
explosives near a mosque inside a police compound in the Lower Dir
region, killing 10 people, mostly police. A suspected US drone fired
3 missiles at a house in North Waziristan, killing three militants
and injuring two others.
2009 Dec 18, In Poland the
Nazis' infamous iron sign declaring "Arbeit Macht Frei," German for
"Work Sets You Free," was stolen from the entrance of the former
Auschwitz death camp. On Feb 2, 2010, a Polish court issued a
European arrest warrant for former neo-Nazi leader Anders Hogstrom
(34) of Sweden, on suspicion of incitement to commit theft of a
cultural treasure. Hogstrom was arrested in Stockholm on Feb 11.
(AP, 12/18/09)(SFC, 2/3/10, p.A2)(AP, 2/11/10)
2009 Dec 18, South Korea's
military said it was investigating a hacking attack that netted
secret defense plans with the US and may have been carried out by
2009 Dec 18, South Korean
trucks crossed into North Korea delivering enough doses of antiviral
drugs for 500,000 North Koreans. An estimated 50 people in North
Korea have died of swine flu since November. Han Su Chol, a North
Korean health minister, expressed thanks.
(SFC, 12/19/09, p.A4)
2009 Dec 18, The UN High
Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said an estimated 74,000 Africans,
mainly from Ethiopia and Somalia, have fled to Yemen as refugees or
economic migrants. That's a 50 percent higher than in 2008.
2009 Dec 18, Aminatou Haidar, a
Western Sahara independence activist, returned home after a 32-day
hunger strike at a Spanish airport, defusing a diplomatic spat
between Spain and Morocco and potentially strengthening separatist
2009 Dec 18, Zimbabwe, for
years plagued by hyper inflation, presented official data showing it
has switched narrowly into an absolute price fall on a monthly
basis, following adoption of foreign currencies.
2010 Dec 18, Tensions between
the US and Venezuela flared over Washington's nominee for
ambassador, as President Hugo Chavez warned that diplomat Larry
Palmer would be detained and put on the next flight home if he tries
to set foot in the country.
2010 Dec 18, In a historic vote
for gay rights, the US Senate agreed to do away with the military's
17-year ban on openly gay troops and sent President Barack Obama
legislation to overturn the Clinton-era policy known as "don't ask,
2010 Dec 18, In Louisiana a
small plane crashed after takeoff in Crowley killing 3 people and
injuring 2 others.
(SSFC, 12/19/10, p.A12)
2010 Dec 18, Luis Moreno
Ocampo, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, said he
has evidence Sudanese Pres. Omar al-Bashir has stolen billions of
dollars from his impoverished country. The embezzlement accusations
were first reported by British newspaper The Guardian, based on a
diplomatic cable provided by the Wikileaks website.
2010 Dec 18, In eastern
Afghanistan NATO troops killed more than 20 insurgents in fighting
after a patrol came under fire. German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid
an unannounced visit to northern Afghanistan to boost German troops'
morale for a war that is deeply unpopular at home and to meet with
the Afghan president. A leader of the Haqqani network was killed in
an operation by international forces and their Afghan counterparts
in the eastern Khost province. A man was captured during a night
raid in the Zharay district of southern Kandahar province by Afghan
and coalition forces, who described him as "a key Taliban weapons
(AP, 12/18/10)(Reuters, 12/18/10)(AP,
2010 Dec 18, In northeastern
Bangladesh a boat packed with passengers capsized on the Surma
River. Rescuers the next day said at least 37 people died and 18
more were missing.
2010 Dec 18, In Brazil
bridegroom Rogerio Damascena (29) fatally shot his new wife, Renata
Alexandre Costa Coelho (25), his best man, Marcelo Guimaraes, and
then himself after announcing to horrified guests that he had a
"surprise" for them.
2010 Dec 18, Fresh snow brought
much of Britain to a standstill, on what is traditionally the
busiest weekend for shopping and travel in the run-up to Christmas.
Blizzards and freezing temperatures shut down runways, train tracks
and highways across Europe.
(Reuters, 12/18/10)(AP, 12/18/10)
2010 Dec 18, Andrew Lindo (29)
strangled, battered and stabbed Marie Stewart to death while their
children were asleep, at their home in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire.
Hours later, he took the two children to collect his lover, Angela
Rylance (30), spending the night with her in the bedroom where he
had carried out the brutal murder. On Sep 21 a judge ordered that
Lindo serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars.
2010 Dec 18, A 63-ton Chinese
fishing boat capsized after ramming into a 3,000-ton South Korean
coastguard ship trying to curb its illegal fishing activities,
leaving one Chinese crew member dead and another missing.
2010 Dec 18, Cuban President
Raul Castro told legislators that the future of the country's
revolution is at stake as the government tries to institute sweeping
economic reforms, adding that the changes are meant to strengthen
socialism — not replace it.
2010 Dec 18, Germany’s weekly
Der Spiegel reported that local tax authorities recovered 1.6
billion euros this year from citizens who had stashed their cash in
secret accounts in Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
2010 Dec 18, Iran's president
announced the start of a plan to slash energy and food subsidies,
part of government efforts to boost the country's ailing economy.
2010 Dec 18, Iraq's parliament
took a major step toward creating a unity government, lifting a ban
on three Sunni Muslim politicians who were barred from running in
national elections last March after being accused of having ties to
Saddam Hussein's ousted regime.
2010 Dec 18, An Israeli
airstrike killed five Gaza militants in the deadliest attack against
the coastal strip in months. The Israeli military says the men were
about to launch a rocket attack against southern Israeli communities
when they were struck.
2010 Dec 18, In the Ivory Coast
Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to step down from the presidency,
ordered all UN peacekeepers to leave the country immediately,
calling the global body that has endorsed his political rival an
"agent of destabilization." The UN certified results showed that
opposition leader Alassane Ouattara had won by "an irrefutable
2010 Dec 18, In Mexico a lumber
operation, associated with the family of anti-crime crusader
Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, killed on Dec 16, was burned down in Ciudad
Juarez by unknown arsonists. The body of Manuel Monge Amparan, a
relative of Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, was dumped on a street in
(AP, 12/18/10)(AP, 12/20/10)
2010 Dec 18, Pakistan and China
concluded nearly 15 billion dollars' worth of deals, as visiting
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Beijing would "never give up" on the
troubled nuclear-armed Muslim country.
2010 Dec 18, Pakistan's top spy
agency denied that it helped unmask the CIA's station chief in
Islamabad, dismissing speculation it was retaliating for a US
lawsuit linking the Pakistani intelligence chief to the 2008 attacks
in Mumbai, India. The station chief in Islamabad has operated as a
virtual military commander in the US war against al-Qaida and other
militant groups hidden along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. His
recall was made public a day earlier.
2010 Dec 18, Russian news
agencies said Moscow police have arrested 500 people to stop them
attending rival protests over the killing of a soccer fan and the
ethnic violence that erupted after the slaying. Seven hunters and
forest rangers were shot dead in a wooded area in the Caucasus
province of Kabardino-Balkaria.
2010 Dec 18, In Spain tens of
thousands of workers staged strikes in 40 cities to protest state
plans to up the retirement age to slash public deficit.
2010 Dec 18, A Sri Lanka
Cabinet minister backtracked saying the government will now allow a
UN team to visit the country and share evidence gathered during an
investigation into whether war crimes were committed during the
final phase of the island's bloody civil war.
2011 Dec 18, Warren Hellman
(b.1934), San Francisco financier and sponsor of the annual Hardly
Strictly Bluegrass festival, died from complications of leukemia.
(SFC, 12/18/11, p.A1)
2011 Dec 18, In eastern
Afghanistan 18 civilians and two policemen were wounded when a man
threw grenades at a police vehicle in Khost city.
2011 Dec 18, Police in Bahrain
fired tear gas at thousands of demonstrators chanting
anti-government slogans after the funeral of an elderly man who
witnesses say died from tear gas inhalation a day earlier.
2011 Dec 18, In Bolivia
suspects, Carlos Uriona and Adelaida Marca allegedly drowned their
sister (18) during a bathtub exorcism in Cochabamba. Both were
arrested after police found the victim's body inside a store owned
by the pastor.
2011 Dec 18, Donald Neilson
(b.1936), one of Britain's most notorious serial killers, died. He
was known as the Black Panther, whose savage murder of Lesley
Whittle (17), a teenage heiress, repulsed the nation in 1975.
2011 Dec 18, In the CongoDRC
opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi declared himself winner of the
recent presidential vote, despite placing second in official
(SFC, 12/18/11, p.A2)
2011 Dec 18, Vaclav Havel
(b.1936), former Czech president (1990-2003) died. He led the 1989
Velvet Revolution that peacefully toppled communism in the former
(AP, 12/18/11)(Econ, 12/31/11, p.32)
2011 Dec 18, Egypt's military
sought to isolate pro-democracy activists protesting against their
rule, depicting them as conspirators and vandals, as troops and
protesters clashed for a third straight day. At least 10 protesters
have been killed and 441 others wounded in the three days of
2011 Dec 18, Iranian state
media reported that Russia’s Tatneft has signed a preliminary accord
valued at $1 billion with the Persian Gulf country to develop the
Zagheh oil field located in southwestern Iran. The next day Tatneft
said no accord has been signed.
(SFC, 12/18/11, p.A2)(http://tinyurl.com/7j78scn)
2011 Dec 18, In Iraq Baghdad
security said three of Sunni vice-president Tareq Hashemi's
bodyguards were arrested for "suspected terrorist activity," and the
vice president was briefly escorted off a domestic flight from
Baghdad to the autonomous Kurdish region's capital Arbil.
2011 Dec 18, The last US
soldiers rolled out of Iraq across the border into neighboring
Kuwait at daybreak. The war cost nearly 4,500 American and well more
than 100,000 Iraqi lives and $800 billion from the US Treasury.
2011 Dec 18, Israel released
hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, the second and final phase of a
swap with Gaza Hamas militants that brought home an Israeli soldier
after five years in captivity.
2011 Dec 18, In the Ivory Coast
unrest in Vavoua left 5 people dead. Violence started after a
dispute between Republican Forces (FRCI) and youths the previous
night left dead a young man who succumbed to his injuries in
2011 Dec 18, In Lebanon a
masked gunman shot and killed a bodyguard of the commander of the
mainstream Fatah group's armed faction at the Ein el-Hilweh refugee
camp near the southern port city of Sidon. The camp houses more than
2011 Dec 18, More than 30,000
Islamists rallied against the US in the Pakistani city of Lahore,
demanding Islamabad cut off ties with Washington following NATO
airstrikes last month that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
2011 Dec 18, In the southern
Philippines rescuers struggled to help survivors and a ravaged city
prepared for a mass burial as the death toll from devastating flash
floods rose past 650. Some 900 people were missing.
2011 Dec 18, In Russia
thousands took to the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg, braving
strong winds and torrential rains for a second week of protests over
the recent fraud-tainted parliamentary vote.
2011 Dec 18, Russia’s Kolskaya
oil drilling platform capsized and later sank amid fierce storms off
the coast of Sakhalin Island, plunging dozens of workers into the
churning, icy waters. Of the 67 men aboard, 14 were plucked alive
immediately after the accident.
(AP, 12/18/11)(AP, 12/19/11)
2011 Dec 18, Somali journalist
Abdisalan Sheik Hassan was shot dead in Mogadishu by a man in a
Somali government uniform.
2011 Dec 18, Spanish airline
Iberia cancelled a third of its flights because of a strike by
pilots fearing job losses when company planes are diverted for a
planned new budget carrier.
(SFC, 12/18/11, p.A2)
2011 Dec 18, In Syria armed
clashes erupted, killing at least 14 civilians and six government
troops in central and northern Syria.
2011 Dec 18, Four Yemeni
soldiers and two al-Qaida-linked militants were killed in overnight
clashes outside the city of Zinjibar.
2012 Dec 18, In Afghanistan a
coalition soldier went missing. Afghan police found the body and
turned it over to NATO forces on Dec 29. He was one of 1,560 troops
serving from the former Soviet republic of Georgia. 18 Georgian
soldiers have been killed since the country joined the international
military operations in Afghanistan in August 2009.
(AP, 12/21/12)(AP, 12/30/12)
2012 Dec 18, British electrical
retailer Comet closed its remaining stores for the final time as
part of a deal that will cost the government more than 23 million
2012 Dec 18, Police in Canada's
French-speaking province of Quebec announced a breakthrough in the
mysterious disappearance last August of truckloads of Canadian maple
syrup. Three suspects were arrested, vehicles were seized and
syrup-making equipment recovered after a manhunt in Canada and the
United States. Richard Vallieres, one of four defendants, made a
profit of close to C$1m.
(Reuters, 12/18/12)(Econ, 11/12/16, p.33)
2012 Dec 18, Cayman Islands
Premier McKeeva Bush was removed from office over his arrest on
(SFC, 12/20/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 18, Chinese state
media reported that police have detained more than 500 people from a
fringe Christian group for spreading rumors about the world's
impending end on Dec 21.
2012 Dec 18, The International
Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague acquitted Congolese militia leader
Mathieu Ngudjolo of all charges of commanding fighters who destroyed
a village in eastern Congo in 2003, raping and hacking to death some
200 people, including children.
2012 Dec 18, Egypt's prosecutor
general Talaat Abdullah submitted his resignation less than a month
after he was swiftly sworn in by the Islamist president, who is
embroiled in a power struggle with the judiciary. Hundreds of public
prosecutors staged a sit-in outside Abdullah's office in Cairo. The
State Council of Judges said it will not oversee the second part of
the vote on the draft constitution.
2012 Dec 18, An Indonesian
health official said a boy (4) has died of H5N1 bird flu bringing
the total to 160. At least 360 people have died worldwide from this
virus since 2003.
(SFC, 12/19/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 18, In Iran a collapse
and explosion in a coal mine killed eight workers near Tabas city in
the country's east.
2012 Dec 18, Iraqi President
Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke and was in intensive care at a
Baghdad hospital, injecting new uncertainty into the country's
political future a year after the US military left.
2012 Dec 18, Mexico’s Pres.
Enrique Pena Nieto laid out a security strategy that creates a new
national force to combat organized crime.
(SFC, 12/18/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 18, In Mexico a prison
break in Gomez Palacio, Durango state, left at least 23 people dead
including 14 inmates and 9 guards.
(SFC, 12/20/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 18, Astronomers
reported that North Korea’s new satellite, launched on Dec 12, is
most likely dead.
(SFC, 12/18/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 18, In Pakistan gunmen
shot dead five women working on UN-backed polio vaccination efforts
in two different cities, a major setback for a campaign that
international health officials consider vital to contain the
crippling disease. Taliban insurgents say the program is a cover for
espionage. Two men on a motorcycle hurled hand
grenades at the main gate of an army recruiting center in the
northwestern town of Risalpur, wounding 10 people.
2012 Dec 18, Philippine
officials said Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) killed 1,043 people with 844
(SSFC, 12/23/12, p.A22)
2012 Dec 18, In Spain thousands
of people hit the streets to protest government spending cuts as the
PM Mariano Rajoy defended austerity measures. Unemployment was at
(SFC, 12/18/12, p.A4)
2012 Dec 18, Clashes between
Syrian rebels and an armed Palestinian group loyal to President
Bashar Assad raged inside a Damascus refugee camp, as the Syrian
military deployed tanks outside.
2012 Dec 18, In Tunisia some
3000 people protested the leadership in Tunis during ceremonies
marking 2 years since a street vendor set himself on fire to protest
abuses under former Pres. Ben Ali.
(SFC, 12/18/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 18, Ukrainian health
officials said 37 people have died from the severe cold spell that
hit the country this month.
2012 Dec 18, The US Treasury
Department made public sanctions against two leaders of Congo's M23
rebel group. The US government accused Baudoin Ngaruye and Innocent
Kaina of using child soldiers.
2012 Dec 18, In Colorado Daniel
Sanchez (31) killed three people, including his ex-girlfriend
outside Longmont. He had just been released from jail on domestic
2012 Dec 18, Some 2,000
soldiers from Chad arrived to help the government of Central African
Republic fight a rapidly advancing rebel movement, as the fighters
claimed to have seized a sixth town.
2012 Dec 18, Mexico’s Pres.
Enrique Pena Nieto laid out a security strategy that creates a new
national force to combat organized crime. Mexico's new attorney
general said that as many as 80 small and medium-size drug cartels
are operating in the country, a number far higher than the last
formal government assessment.
(SFC, 12/18/12, p.A2)(AP, 12/18/12)
2012 Dec 18, In the Gulf of
Aden 55 people drowned or were missing after an overcrowded boat
capsized off the Somali coast.
2013 Dec 18, A US presidential
advisory panel on government surveillance was released. It
recommended sweeping limits on the government's surveillance
programs, including requiring a court to sign off on individual
searches of phone records and stripping the National Security Agency
of its ability to store that data from Americans.
2013 Dec 18, The United States
voiced regret to India over the treatment of a diplomat whose
account of being stripped and cavity-searched triggered outrage.
2013 Dec 18, The US Federal
Reserve decided to reduce its stimulus program and trim its $85
billion a month in bond purchases by $10 billion starting in
(SFC, 12/19/13, p.D3)
2013 Dec 18, A New Orleans jury
convicted Kurt Mix (52), a BP drilling engineer, of obstruction of
justice in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Mix had deleted a
string of text messages to and from his supervisor.
(SFC, 12/19/13, p.A14)
2013 Dec 18, The NY Times
reported that Target was investigating a security breach on point of
sale systems at its retail stores that is believed to have begun the
day after Thanksgiving. Target disclosed the breach on Dec 19. On
August 18, 2015, Target and Visa confirmed an agreement for Target
to pay Visa up to $67 million to settle claims.
(SFC, 12/19/13, p.A11)(SFC, 8/19/15, p.C6)
2013 Dec 18, In Austria a wave
of protests against the new government escalated as tens of
thousands of civil servants demonstrated in Vienna for better pay
and an end to a hiring freeze.
2013 Dec 18, Bolivia accused
the United States of helping Jacob Ostreicher (54), a New York
businessman, escape from the South American country where he had
spent 18 months in prison and was under house arrest for alleged
money laundering. Washington denied having a hand in Ostreicher's
2013 Dec 18, Brazil’s defense
minister said Sweden's Saab has edged out French and US rivals to
win a multi-billion-dollar contract to supply Brazil's air force
with 36 new fighter jets.
2013 Dec 18, The Bank of
England said it will issue plastic banknotes for the first time in
its history, with Winston Churchill gracing the first run. The note,
carrying a value of Â£5 ($8.2, 6.0 euro), is to be released in 2016.
2013 Dec 18, A British judge
sentenced the former lead singer of the rock band Lostprophets to 29
years in jail, saying that Ian Watkins had "plumbed new depths of
depravity" in committing a string of sexual offenses against very
2013 Dec 18, Great Train Robber
Ronnie Biggs (84), part of a gang of at least 12 men that robbed a
Glasgow-to-London Royal Mail train on Aug 8, 1963, died.
(AP, 12/18/13)(Econ, 1/4/14, p.74)
2013 Dec 18, China's foreign
minister paid a rare visit to Israel, reflecting the burgeoning
trade ties between the two countries. But the trip was clouded by
fresh accusations that Israel's prime minister had compromised the
global war on terrorism under heavy Chinese pressure.
2013 Dec 18, Egyptian
prosecutors announced a new trial of ousted President Mohammed Morsi
and the top leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood, accusing them of
conspiring with Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran's Revolutionary Guard and
militant groups to carry out a wave of terrorism to destabilize the
2013 Dec 18, Egyptian police
raided the offices of an NGO affiliated with a leftist former
presidential candidate, arresting three employees and confiscating
computers. The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights,
founded by former candidate Khaled Ali, has supported striking
factory workers and defended activists at trials.
2013 Dec 18, EU finance
ministers reached a banking union accord which will hand Brussels
unprecedented new powers to prevent failing banks from wrecking the
2013 Dec 18, Gambia jailed
United Democratic Party treasurer Amadou Sanneh, a leading
opposition politician, for sedition after he helped two supporters
planning to flee to Finland.
2013 Dec 18, in south-east Iran
3 military personnel were killed when the vehicle they were
travelling in was struck by a roadside bomb.
2013 Dec 18, An Iraqi policeman
gave his own life in an attempt to protect pilgrims, embracing a
suicide bomber just moments before an attack to shield others from
the blast. The bomber struck in Khalis, northeast of Baghdad,
killing 5 people and wounding 10. Attacks across the country killed
11 people, including 3 Pakistani Shiite pilgrims.
(AFP, 12/18/13)(AP, 12/18/13)
2013 Dec 18, The Israeli army
shot dead a Palestinian man and wounded others in clashes that
erupted following military activity in the northern West Bank.
2013 Dec 18, In Italy
frustrated and angry, thousands of students, jobless and tax-weary
workers have moved their days-long protest against "useless
politicians" to Rome.
2013 Dec 18, In northern Mexico
5 men were killed in a gunbattle with police and military personnel
in the Gulf of California resort of Puerto Penasco. Government
helicopters fire on at least 10 vehicles as they tried to escape.
Sinaloa cartel operator Gonzalo Inzunza was the target, but his body
was not among those killed.
(SFC, 12/19/13, p.A2)(SFC, 12/21/13, p.A2)
2013 Dec 18, In Morocco a
visiting group of UN experts said Morocco must put an end to the
practice of convicting detainees on the basis of confessions
obtained through torture.
2013 Dec 18, Nigeria's
faction-ridden ruling party lost its majority in the House of
Representatives as 37 legislators defected to a new opposition
coalition, in a major blow to President Goodluck Jonathan.
2013 Dec 18, In Pakistan a
suicide bomb attack on a checkpoint in North Waziristan killed at
least 3 soldiers and wounded 32 people.
2013 Dec 18, Iyad Sarraj (70),
an award-winning Palestinian psychiatrist and human rights
campaigner who championed peace with Israel, died in an Israeli
hospital overnight of cancer.
2013 Dec 18, Romanian media
reported that some 26 police officers and ambulance employees have
been charged with calling undertakers to tell them that someone had
died, or in some cases were not yet dead, in exchange for money.
2013 Dec 18, Russia's
parliament passed an amnesty bill that will likely apply to the
30-member crew of a Greenpeace ship detained after an Arctic
protest, but it wasn't immediately clear if and when the activists
would be allowed to leave the country.
2013 Dec 18, In Somalia
fighters shot dead 3 Syrian doctors and their 3 Somali colleagues as
they travelled to a hospital outside Mogadishu.
2013 Dec 18, South Sudan said
at least 500 people, most of them soldiers, have been killed since
Dec 15. The clashes apparently were pitting soldiers from the
majority Dinka tribe of President Salva Kiir against those from
ousted Vice President Riek Machar's Nuer ethnic group. Fighting
spread to Jonglei, the largest state in South Sudan.
2013 Dec 18, In South Sudan
fighting between workers in two oil fields killed at least 16 people
but the government regained in control and oil production was not
2013 Dec 18, The Swiss
government said it has decided to keep 760 million Swiss francs
($858 million) in Egyptian and Tunisian assets frozen for three more
2013 Dec 18, Syrian government
forces pummeled opposition-held neighborhoods in Aleppo for a 4th
day, leveling apartment buildings, flooding hospitals with
casualties and killing nearly 200 people. Syria said that British
doctor Abbas Khan, alleged to have been effectively murdered in
custody, had hanged himself after being arrested for "unauthorized
activities.” On Oct 27, 2014, a British jury found that the regime
of Bashar Assad had deliberately and intentionally killed Dr. Khan.
(AP, 12/18/13)(AFP, 12/18/13)(Econ, 11/8/14,
p.51)(Econ, 11/8/14, p.51)
2013 Dec 18, Turkey's PM Tayyip
Erdogan denounced a corruption crackdown on his allies months ahead
of elections as a "dirty operation" to smear his administration and
undermine the country's progress.
2013 Dec 18, The heads of the
UN and European Union aid agencies called for a "humanitarian
ceasefire" in Syria to allow convoys to deliver help to areas that
aid workers cannot reach.
2014 Dec 18, The US imposed
sanctions on Alejandra Araujo Uriarte, the Mexican mother-in-law of
Sinaloa cartel leader Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno, because she
allegedly concealed assets from a drug cartel's operations around
2014 Dec 18, A US judge cleared
the way for thousands of young immigrants in Arizona to get driver’s
(SFC, 12/19/14, p.A9)
2014 Dec 18, It was reported
that Colorado plans to spend over $8 million to research marijuana’s
(SFC, 12/18/14, p.C6)
2014 Dec 18, A judge in Butte,
Montana, ordered ex-billionaire Tim Blixseth jailed after he failed
to comply with an order to pay $13.8 million to creditors of the
Yellowstone Club. Blixseth, the founder of the club, was blamed for
its 2008 bankruptcy.
(SFC, 12/19/14, p.A9)
2014 Dec 18, In Afghanistan a
police officer in Kabul was killed and three were wounded when a
suspected suicide bomber they were pursuing detonated his
2014 Dec 18, Mandy Rice-Davies
(70), a key figure in the 1963 "Profumo Affair," a sex-and-politics
scandal that rocked Cold War Britain, died.
2014 Dec 18, Cambodia's PM Hun
Sen appealed to villagers in the northwest not to lynch an
unlicensed medical practitioner who they suspect caused more than
100 people to become infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
2014 Dec 18, In Central African
Republic clashes between Muslim and Christian fighters left 28
people dead and dozens wounded. The fighting reportedly began on Dec
16 in Mbres when a member of a Christian militia was killed by a
grenade allegedly thrown by a group of Muslims.
2014 Dec 18, An Egyptian court
sentenced 40 backers of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to
up to 15 years in jail for violence including torching churches.
2014 Dec 18, The European Court
of Justice ruled that obesity can be a disability, a decision that
could have widespread consequences across the 28-nation bloc for the
way in which employers deal with severely overweight staff.
2014 Dec 18, The EU's top court
found Britain at fault for demanding that non-EU citizens with
resident permits issued in other member states must obtain a visa
before entering the country.
2014 Dec 18, The EU imposed
additional sanctions on Crimea, banning all investment and cruise
ships from its ports to force home the message the bloc will not
recognize Russia's "illegal annexation" of Ukraine territory.
2014 Dec 18, French regulators
fined 13 consumer-products makers about 950 million euros ($1.2
billion) for price fixing on goods like shampoos, detergents and
2014 Dec 18, In Guyana a
sugarcane worker killed 3 people with a machete, including a
9-year-old girl. The suspect, apparently targeting his
ex-girlfriend, fled into hiding. On Dec 27 police reported the
arrest of Joshua Franklin (40) in a wooden shack in a sugarcane
(AP, 12/18/14)(AP, 12/27/14)
2014 Dec 18, Iraqi PM Haider
al-Abadi ordered the withdrawal of all government lawsuits against
journalists and media outlets, marking a departure from his
predecessor Nouri al-Maliki.
2014 Dec 18, Iraqi Kurdish
forces opened a corridor to Sinjar Mountain to help thousands of
trapped Yazidi people flee.
(SFC, 12/19/14, p.A4)
2014 Dec 18, In Kenya
fistfights and scuffles broke out in parliament as legislators
passed controversial security measures which the government says
will help fight terrorism but which critics say are meant to silence
dissent by curtailing civil liberties.
2014 Dec 18, In northeast
Nigeria fleeing villagers reported that extremists were rounding up
elderly people and killing them in two schools in Gwoza.
2014 Dec 18, A Pakistani
anti-terrorism court cited lack of evidence and granted $5,000 bail
to Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, the chief suspect in the 2008 Mumbai
attack trial, a decision immediately criticized by India. On Dec 19
Lakhvi ordered back to jail for at least three more months.
(AP, 12/18/14)(SFC, 12/19/14, p.A2)(SSFC,
2014 Dec 18, Puerto Rico police
arrested more than 310 people in one of their biggest crime sweeps
of the year. Authorities also seized 825 marijuana plants as well as
dozens of weapons and cars.
2014 Dec 18, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin promised to fix his nation’s economic woes within two
years by diversifying and voiced confidence that the plummeting
ruble will soon recover.
2014 Dec 18, In Sierra Leone
Dr. Victor Willoughby became the 11th doctor in the country to die
(SFC, 12/19/14, p.A2)
2014 Dec 18, Switzerland sought
to prevent the Swiss franc from breaching upper limits imposed on
the currency by introducing negative interest rates on commercial
bank deposits following the fallout of the slide in the Russian
2014 Dec 18, Yemen's parliament
approved a new government despite months of violence and political
wrangling. Suicide attackers set off two car bombs in the Red Sea
port city of Hodeida, killing themselves and causing a number of
casualties. 3 other suspected bombers were killed by members of
so-called citizen committee security patrols before they were able
(AP, 12/18/14)(Reuters, 12/18/14)
2015 Dec 18, The United States
and its allies staged 20 strikes against Islamic State militants in
Iraq and Syria, including one near the Iraqi city of Fallujah that
is being investigated as a possible friendly fire incident. The
Iraqi Defense Ministry said an Iraqi officer was killed and nine
injured by a coalition air strike near Amariyat al-Fallujah.
(Reuters, 12/19/15)(SFC, 12/19/15, p.A2)
2015 Dec 18, The US Congress
passed a bill barring citizens from 38 mainly European countries
from traveling to the United States without a visa if they have
previously visited Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan since 2011.
2015 Dec 18, The US Senate
approved a bill that would phase out the use of plastic microbeads
starting in 2017. The House approved the bill a week earlier.
(SFC, 12/19/15, p.A8)
2015 Dec 18, In NYC some 20
foreign ministers gathered for the latest conference on Syria's
civil war. The UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution
endorsing an international road map for a Syria peace process, a
rare show of unity among major powers on a conflict that has claimed
more than a quarter million lives.
(AP, 12/18/15)(Reuters, 12/19/15)
2015 Dec 18, The United States
government announced $88 million to help feed hungry people in
drought-stricken areas of Ethiopia, bringing the total amount of
humanitarian aid to the country in 2015 to more than $435 million.
2015 Dec 18, In NYC some 20
foreign ministers gathered for the latest conference on Syria's
civil war, hopeful about arranging a cease-fire and launching peace
negotiations in the new year.
2015 Dec 18, Martin Shkreli
(32), the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, resigned from Turing after
being arrested on unrelated charges of securities fraud at a hedge
fund. On Dec 21 biotech firm KaloBios announced that Shkreli had
been terminated as its CEO.
(SFC, 12/19/15, p.D1)(SFC, 12/22/15, p.D1)
2015 Dec 18, Afghan forces
drove Taliban militants out of the center of a district in the
southern province of Helmand, as they fought back against insurgents
who have threatened a series of districts over recent months.
2015 Dec 18, The African Union
said it will send a 5,000 strong force to stop violence in troubled
Burundi, giving Bujumbura a four-day deadline to agree but warning
it would send troops anyway.
2015 Dec 18, In Bangladesh at
least six naval personnel were seriously wounded in explosions at
the end of prayers at a mosque inside a naval base in Chittagong.
Two people were arrested and police said they had confessed to being
members of banned militant group Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh.
2015 Dec 18, A judge in
Brazil's state of Minas Gerais froze the Brazilian assets of mining
giants BHP Billiton and Vale SA after determining their joint
venture Samarco was unable to pay for damage caused by the bursting
of a dam at its mine last month.
2015 Dec 18, Britain's
Kellingley Colliery in Yorkshire, the country’s last deep coal mine,
2015 Dec 18, China's capital
Beijing issued its second smog red alert of the month on Friday,
triggering vehicle restrictions and forcing schools to close.
2015 Dec 18, Costa Rica
partially pulled out of SICA, a regional body promoting Central
American cooperation, after neighboring nations refused to help
handle a growing Cuban migrant crisis. Costa Rica said it will
suspend visas to Cuban migrants trying to head north to the US after
yet another failure to broker a deal with neighbors.
(AFP, 12/19/15)(AP, 12/19/15)
2015 Dec 18, Cuban President
Raul Castro urged the US government to halt radio and television
broadcasts aimed at the island and other programs that Cuba
2015 Dec 18, EU leaders in
Brussels pledged an uncompromising fight against terrorism and
called for wide-ranging countermeasures including beefed-up
immigration controls and a crackdown on illicit weapons trafficking.
(SFC, 12/19/15, p.A5)
2015 Dec 18, French livery
drivers protested a drop in their rates, again striking out against
what they say an unfair decision by Uber and other companies to
drive down their earnings.
2015 Dec 18, In Haiti several
government buildings were set ablaze in scattered sections of the
country and one demonstrator was killed in violent protests ignited
by the release of final legislative election results.
2015 Dec 18, Japan executed two
people by hanging, including one who was convicted in a jury trial
for the first time under a new system that began six years ago.
2015 Dec 18, Mali officials
said a gunman killed 3 people outside a Christian radio station in
the city of Timbuktu overnight.
2015 Dec 18, A Mexican
environmentalist said studies have found that illegal loggers
clear-cut at least 24 acres (10 hectares) in the monarch
butterflies' wintering grounds in central Mexico this year.
2015 Dec 18, NATO and US
officials certified an anti-missile defense site in southern Romania
that is scheduled to become operational next year.
2015 Dec 18, A Dutch appeals
court ruled that Royal Dutch Shell may be held liable for oil spills
at its subsidiary in Nigeria, potentially opening the way for other
compensation claims against multinationals in the Niger Delta and
2015 Dec 18, Pakistan's army
said it has killed 23 suspected militants in early morning strikes
in Shawal valley in North Waziristan and in the Khyber tribal
2015 Dec 18, Two Palestinian
drivers tried but failed to run down Israeli security forces in the
occupied West Bank, with one attacker shot dead and the other
wounded. Troops later shot dead Nashat Asfour (33) in clashes at
Sinjil village northeast of the West Bank city of Ramallah.
2015 Dec 18, Rwandans voted in
a referendum to decide if President Paul Kagame should be allowed to
extend his time in power. More than 98% from 21 out of 30 districts,
representing 70% of registered voters, voted to lift term limits for
2015 Dec 18, Turkish security
forces pressed on with a relentless operation to root out Kurdistan
Workers' Party (PKK) rebels from two urban centers in the troubled
southeast that has left at least 55 militants dead and angered
2015 Dec 18, A Turkish
government official said authorities at Istanbul's main airport have
detained two people suspected of attempting to smuggle 148 blank
European passports concealed in pizza-making equipment.
2015 Dec 18, Ukraine PM Arseny
Yatseniuk said the government has imposed a moratorium on the
repayment of a $3 billion Eurobond held entirely by Russia, after
Moscow refused to accept the terms of a restructuring of the debt.
2015 Dec 18, Yemeni troops
loyal to Pres. Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi gained control of Al-Hazm,
capital of the northwestern al-Jawf province. Peace talks in
Switzerland were halted after the country's Shiite Houthi rebel
delegation suspended all meetings.
(Reuters, 12/18/15)(AP, 12/18/15)
2016 Dec 18, US officials said
Nigerian national Kelvin Onaghinor (37) has been charged in
connection with a hack of Los Angeles County emails that might have
exposed personal data from more than 750,000 people who had business
with county departments. Officials were not sure if Onaghinor was on
(SFC, 12/19/16, p.A5)
2016 Dec 18, In San Francisco
Eddie Tate (51) and Lindsay McCollum (27) were shot and killed at
16th and Shotwell in the wooden box that they lived in. The murders
(SFC, 8/11/18, p.A8)
2016 Dec 18, Zsa Zsa Gabor
(99), Hungarian actress and celebrity, died of a heart attack in
2016 Dec 18, Three groups of
Cuban refugees totaling 51 people landed in the Florida keys.
(SFC, 12/19/16, p.A5)
2016 Dec 18, Afghan officials
in Farah province said at least 18 people have been killed and
around 80 others over the last 24 hours wounded in two separate
highway traffic accidents involving buses.
2016 Dec 18, In Chechnya
security forces killed 11 suspected militants in a series of
separate clashes that began overnight. Four suspected militants were
2016 Dec 18, Chinese
authorities in Tianjin grounded dozens of flights and closed most
highways after severe smog blanketed the city, one of more than more
than 40 in China's northeast to issue pollution warnings in the past
2016 Dec 18, Egypt's highest
court ordered the freeing of an author who was jailed for public
indecency when extracts from his sexually explicit novel were
published in a literary newspaper. A chapter from Ahmed Naji's novel
Istikhdam al-Hayat, or Using Life, had been serialized in a
state-owned literary publication.
2016 Dec 18, It was reported
that a species of ant living in ancient forests of Ethiopia has
begun exhibiting signs of supercolony formation. The country’s
Lepisiota canescens have formed one colony that stretches for 24
miles and could lead to its invasion of other parts of the world.
(SSFC, 12/18/16, p.C14)
2016 Dec 18, In Paris the
Eiffel Tower reopened to the public after a closedown of five
consecutive days due to workers' strike.
2016 Dec 18, An Indonesian
military transport plane crashed in bad weather in the country's
easternmost province of Papua, killing all 13 people on board.
2016 Dec 18, Israel forces shot
and killed Ahmad Rimawi (19) after he hurled stones at Israeli
troops in Beit Rima, near Ramallah.
2016 Dec 18, Israeli settlers
due to be evicted from the Amona outpost in the occupied West Bank
accepted a government-proposed deal to head off a forced evacuation
and confrontation with troops.
2016 Dec 18, An Israeli parole
board ordered the release of former president Moshe Katsav after
serving five years of a seven-year term for rape and other sexual
2016 Dec 18, Ivory Coast voters
cast their ballots in parliamentary polls as the main opposition
party sought to break President Alassane Ouattara's near monopoly of
the legislature in the West African nation.
2016 Dec 18, Jordanian security
forces freed tourists trapped inside a medieval castle after
storming the building where armed men had taken shelter following a
shootout with police in Karak. Police found suicide belts and other
explosives in the hideout of suspected Islamic State group jihadists
behind an attack that killed ten people including a Canadian
tourist. Four militants were killed.
(Reuters, 12/18/16)(SFC, 12/19/16,
2016 Dec 18, Poland's President
Andrzej Duda met separately with opposition party leaders to help
solve a political crisis, as anti-government protests were held for
the third straight day.
2016 Dec 18, A Russian
Investigative Committee said that at least 18 people were poisoned
after consuming a bath lotion containing methanol in Irkutsk. Eight
of them have died and the 10 others have been hospitalized in grave
condition. By Dec 19 the death toll had reached 49.
(AP, 12/18/16)(AP, 12/19/16)
2016 Dec 18, In Somalia African
Union troops opened fire on a minibus in Qoryooley town in Lower
Shabelle region. All six passengers were killed. An AU armored
vehicle smashed into a home after a bomb attack targeted an army
convoy. A mother and four children were killed.
2016 Dec 18, In Spain several
thousand workers took to the streets of Madrid to protest the
government's labor policies of recent years as the country emerges
from a long economic downturn.
2016 Dec 18, Sudanese
opposition groups and activists pressed on with plans to hold a
"sit-at-home" strike against fuel subsidy cuts, despite a warning
from President Omar al-Bashir that anti-regime protests would be
2016 Dec 18, In Syria several
buses en route to evacuate ill and injured people from the besieged
villages of al-Foua and Kefraya were attacked and burned.
Evacuations from Aleppo resumed this afternoon.
2016 Dec 18, The Ukraine
Cabinet agreed to move PrivatBank into full state ownership,
following concerns over its stability in a move welcomed by the
International Monetary Fund and the European Union.
2016 Dec 18, In Ukraine a power
distribution station near Kiev unexpectedly switched off early
today, leaving the northern part of the capital without electricity.
The company's IT specialists soon found transmission data that had
not been included in standard protocols, suggesting that external
interference was the likeliest scenario.
2016 Dec 18, In Venezuela a
14-year-old boy was shot dead. The opposition said there has been
four other fatalities, all in the southern state of Bolivar. More
than 300 people have been arrested, dozens injured in several days
of protests and looting over the socialist government's elimination
last week of the largest currency bill.
2016 Dec 18, In Yemen a suicide
bomber blew himself up outside a military camp in the southern city
of Aden, killing at least 52 soldiers. The Islamic State group's
Yemen-based affiliate claimed responsibility.
2017 Dec 18, President Donald
Trump framed a new national security strategy. It presented China
and Russia as competitors that want to realign global power in their
interests and removed climate change from the list of worldwide
threats menacing the United States.
(AP, 12/19/17)(SFC, 12/19/17, p.A6)
2017 Dec 18, In the SF Bay Area
Antonio Malinao Cacatian (49) a San Francisco police officer and
resident of Richmond, killed himself following a traffic stop in the
Hilltop Mall parking lot. He was under investigation for child
sexual abuse in Las Vegas.
(SFC, 12/20/17, p.A1)
2017 Dec 18, In Washington
state an Amtrak train derailed while making its first-ever run along
a faster new route south of Seattle. Eight people were killed and
more than 200 injured as cars fell off an overpass over I-5.
(SFC, 12/19/17, p.A12)(SFC, 12/21/17, p.A6)
2017 Dec 18, In Afghanistan
militants stormed an intelligence agency training center in Kabul in
an attack claimed by the Islamic State group. Security forces
battled the militants for hours before killing at least two
2017 Dec 18, Albanian police
clashed with some 3000 opposition supporters who tried to force
their way into parliament to disrupt a vote on the appointment of an
interim prosecutor general. The governing legislators managed to
hold the vote and elect Arta Marku as acting chief prosecutor with
69 votes from the ruling Socialist party in the 140-seat parliament.
2017 Dec 18, In Argentina
demonstrators gathered in Buenos Aires and the country's main union
called a 24-hour general strike to protest a hotly debated pension
2017 Dec 18, Sebastian Kurz was
sworn in as Austria's new chancellor, making him Europe's youngest
leader at age 31, after his Austrian People's Party formed a
coalition with the nationalist Freedom Party that is expected to
move the country's politics to the right. About 6,000 people
protested outside Pres. Alexander Van der Bellen's office.
2017 Dec 18, In Bangladesh at
least 10 people were killed and another 40 injured in a stampede in
the port city of Chittagong at a crowded religious ritual for a
popular ex-mayor who died last week.
2017 Dec 18, German government
officials said Turkey has released German journalist Mesale Tolu
after nearly eight months in prison on the condition that she does
not leave the country.
2017 Dec 18, A court in
northern Greece sentenced 23 people to prison terms ranging from
eight to 1,489 years for smuggling Iraqi and Syrian refugees into
the country from the Turkish border in 2015 and 2016.
2017 Dec 18, In Honduras
President Juan Orlando Hernandez has been declared the winner of the
disputed election, but that did little to quell unrest from weeks of
uncertainty as new protests erupted and the Organization of American
States (OAS) proposed a re-do of the vote.
2017 Dec 18, In Indonesia eight
people were found dead after being buried in a landslide while
excavating a sand pit on the island of Java.
2017 Dec 18, Protesters in
Iraqi Kurdistan torched offices of the main political parties and
security services as anger at the authorities boiled over in the
wake of a failed independence push. Several thousand people across
the region took to the streets to air their ire.
2017 Dec 18, Moldova recalled
its ambassador to Russia for consultations in response to the
harassment and intimidation by Russian authorities of Moldovan
politicians and officials. The Chisinau government says its
officials are being mistreated partly to derail a Moldovan
investigation into an alleged Russian-led money laundering
2017 Dec 18, Myanmar’s military
announced that a mass grave containing 10 bodies had been found at
the coastal village of Inn Din, Rakhine State, and have launched an
investigation. On Jan. 10 the military said its soldiers had
murdered 10 captured Muslim "terrorists" during insurgent attacks.
(Reuters, 12/18/17)(Reuters, 1/10/18)
2017 Dec 18, A major Nigerian
oil union said it would suspend a nationwide strike after securing
worker demands through dispute resolution with the government and an
2017 Dec 18, Hundreds of
Romanian judges and prosecutors protested around the country over
planned modifications to the legal system they say will hamper
2017 Dec 18, The Russian
foreign ministry said it was recalling officers serving at the Joint
Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) in Ukraine, accusing the
Ukrainian side of obstructing their work and limiting access to the
2017 Dec 18, Russian
agriculture safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor banned all imports of
agricultural products from Sri Lanka starting today, saying it found
an insect known as the Khapra beetle in the packaging of a
consignment of Sri Lankan tea. The beetle is one of the world's most
destructive pests for grain and seed products.
2017 Dec 18, Several hundred
migrants camped along Serbia's borders, sleeping rough in make-shift
shelters from the cold as they look for a chance to cross into
neighboring European Union countries.
2017 Dec 18, Somalia’s security
ministry said security forces have arrested Abdirahman Abdishakur, a
former minister and outspoken government critic, after clashing with
his bodyguards during an overnight raid on his home. Five bodyguards
were reported killed and Abdishakur lightly injured during the raid.
2017 Dec 18, South African
deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was elected to lead the country's
ruling ANC party as it grapples with corruption allegations and
2017 Dec 18, In South Korea boy
band SHINee singer Kim Jong-hyun, better known by the stage name
Jonghyun, was found unconscious at a residence hotel in Seoul and
was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Police called it a
2017 Dec 18, South Sudanese
rebels accused the government army of attacking one of their bases
overnight as a new round of peace talks between the warring sides
opened in the Ethiopian capital.
2017 Dec 18, Turkish
authorities issued detention warrants for 106 people believed to
have worked as matchmakers for a network accused of orchestrating
last year's failed military coup.
2017 Dec 18, Six Ugandan
opposition lawmakers were suspended from the legislature amid heated
debate over a bill to abolish the presidential age limit.
2017 Dec 18, The UN Security
Council scheduled a vote today on a resolution that would require
the US to rescind its declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of
Israel. Trump's declaration to be withdrawn was vetoed by the United
States in the 15-member UN Security Council.
(AP, 12/18/17)(Reuters, 12/19/17)
2017 Dec 18, Zimbabwe's army
declared an end to the military intervention that ousted Robert
Mugabe, promising to shut down their last roadblocks in the capital
and hand over to police.
2018 Dec 18, US President
Donald Trump took a swipe at America's tech giants, accusing them of
having a liberal bias, and claiming Twitter was making it more
difficult to follow his account.
2018 Dec 18, US Pres. Donald
Trump signed a one page memorandum launching the Pentagon's new
Space Command. The program was estimated to cost over $800 million
over the next five years.
(SFC, 12/19/18, p.A7)
2018 Dec 18, The Trump
administration moved to officially ban bump stocks, which allow
semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly, and has made them illegal to
possess beginning in late March.
(SFC, 12/19/18, p.A7)
2018 Dec 18, The United States
pledged $5.8 billion in aid and investment for strengthening
government and economic development in Central America and another
$4.8 billion in development aid for southern Mexico.
(SFC, 12/19/18, p.A4)
2018 Dec 18, The US government
said that it is reviewing reports of forced labor at a Chinese
internment camp where ethnic minorities are sewing clothes that have
been shipped to the US market.
2018 Dec 18, Arizona's
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey named Rep. Martha McSally to replace US
Sen. Jon Kyl in the US Senate seat that belonged to Sen. John
(SFC, 12/19/18, p.A6)
2018 Dec 18, A US federal judge
in NYC ruled that a 1974 state ban on nunchucks is unconstitutional
under the Second Amendment.
(SFC, 12/19/18, p.A6)
2018 Dec 18, The New York
attorney general's office said the Donald J, Trump Foundation has
agreed to close following a court decision that allowed a lawsuit
against the foundation to proceed.
(SFC, 12/19/18, p.A6)
2018 Dec 18, The New York Times
reported late today that hackers had broken into the EU's diplomatic
communications for years, downloading cables that showed worries
about the Trump administration, struggles to deal with Russia and
China, and the threat of Iran reviving its nuclear program.
2018 Dec 18, The
Washington-based Fulbright Association said its 2018 prize for
international understanding will go to German Chancellor Angela
2018 Dec 18, World oil prices
tumbled to strike the lowest levels in more than a year, hit by
fears over the outlook for the global economy.
2018 Dec 18, In Austria
European officials and companies met with African leaders in Vienna
for talks intended as a springboard to increase investment in
2018 Dec 18, British ministers
agreed to make no-deal Brexit planning "an operational priority"
amid continued opposition to PM Theresa's May draft divorce deal,
just 14 weeks before the country leaves the EU.
2018 Dec 18, Cameroon's
military killed seven suspected English-speaking separatist rebels
in overnight fighting in Bamenda in the North West region. The
government said that at least 1,200 people have died in the violence
since January, which started after Nigeria detained and extradited
separatist leader Julius Ayuk Tabe and 46 other alleged separatists
2018 Dec 18, President Xi
Jinping repeated China's commitment to a multilateral trading system
and further opening of its economy.
2018 Dec 18, The chairman of
Huawei challenged the US and other governments to provide evidence
for claims the Chinese tech giant is a security risk as the company
launched a public relations effort to defuse fears that threaten its
role in next-generation communications.
2018 Dec 18, The Czech
Republic's PM Andrej Babis ordered his government office to stop
using mobile phones by Chinese telecoms company Huawei.
2018 Dec 18, French "yellow
vest" protesters caused transport chaos after occupying highway toll
booths and setting some of them on fire.
2018 Dec 18, A German court
convicted a man of unauthorized dealing in firearms over the sale in
2016 of weapons that he advertised as being usable to "shoot down
asylum-seekers." Mario R. (35) was sentenced to two years and 10
months in prison and was confiscated 99,100 euros ($112,287) in
2018 Dec 18, Israel's PM
Benjamin Netanyahu said more than 130 Palestinians have been
arrested in recent days in Israel's search for a suspect wanted in a
deadly West Bank shooting.
2018 Dec 18, Libyan customs
seized a consignment of arms which arrived from Turkey at Khoms
port. A day earlier a cargo of 2.5 million Turkish-made bullets was
seized at the same port. The UN last June extended an arms embargo
on Libya for another year.
2018 Dec 18, Lithuanian
lawmakers voted to buy a floating liquefied natural gas terminal
that has been providing gas to the Baltic nation as it tries to
reduce its reliance on Russian energy. The vessel is estimated to
cost some 308 million euros ($349 million). Lithuania plans to buy
it by 2025.
2018 Dec 18, Mexico's Pres.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his new government is increasing
minimum wages across the country by 16 percent and doubling the
minimum wage in a narrow stretch of territory along the border with
the US. The minimum is currently equivalent to $4.40 per day, and
will rise to $5.10 in January.
2018 Dec 18, In the Netherlands
an appeals court has upheld a ban on a Dutch arm of the Bandidos
Motorcycle Club, agreeing with a lower court's conclusion that the
biker gang forms a threat to public order.
2018 Dec 18, The Dutch Supreme
Court upheld the war crimes conviction of timber dealer Guus
Kouwenhoven, who was found guilty last year of selling arms to
former Liberian leader Charles Taylor, and of complicity in war
crimes committed by Taylor's forces in Liberia and Guinea from 2000
2018 Dec 18, In the Netherlands
Humeyra Ergincanli (16) was shot dead in front of fellow students in
her high school's bicycle shed. Suspect Bekir E. (31) was arrested
shortly after the shooting at the Rotterdam Design College.
(AP, 12/18/18)(AP, 12/21/18)
2018 Dec 18, North Korea's main
state newspaper warned of the "negative impact" from mobile phones
use around the world, as both legal and illicit communications
devices proliferate in the isolated country.
2018 Dec 18, Russia said it has
cut its military flights in Syria from more than 100 per day to
fewer than four a week, in another sign the country's conflict is
2018 Dec 18, Sierra Leone
doctors returned to work, ending a 13-day strike over pay and
conditions that paralyzed hospitals nationwide.
2018 Dec 18, South Korean fire
department officials said that three teenage boys were presumed dead
and seven other boys were being treated for injuries after they were
found unconscious at a motel in the seaside town of Gangneung.
2018 Dec 18, South Sudan's
National Security Service forced several officials assessing the
country's new peace deal to strip and face "inhuman" treatment. Four
East African monitors were blindfolded, bound, kicked and robbed of
money and a wedding ring. The men were stripped to their underwear
and the woman was stripped naked. All were released five hours
2018 Dec 18, Meeting in Geneva
the foreign ministers of Iran, Russia and Turkey said that a new
Syrian Constitutional Committee should convene early next year,
kicking off a viable political peace process.
2018 Dec 18, Pope Francis
announced a shakeup of the Vatican's communications operations,
replacing the longtime editor of the Holy See newspaper and naming a
prominent Italian journalist to coordinate the editorial line of all
2018 Dec 18, Vietnam's state
media reported the arrest of Do Van Khanh, a former senior executive
of a state-owned oil company, for "abusing power to appropriate
2018 Dec 18, A Zimbabwean
inquiry said the military's use of live bullets to quell
post-election violence earlier this year was "disproportionate and
Go to December 19