Today in History - December 21
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Dec 21, Vespacian, a gruff-spoken general of humble origins, entered
Rome and was adopted as emperor by the Senate.
(PCh, 1992, p.37)
1118 Dec 21, Thomas Becket
(d.1170), archbishop of Canterbury, was born (some sources say
1120). His close friend Henry II of England later ordered his
1375 Dec 21, Giovanni Boccaccio
(b.1332), Italian poet (Vita di Dante), died at his home in
1429 Dec 21, Jacquemart de
Blaharies, Tournay "heretic", was burned to death.
1620 Dec 21, The Mayflower
reached Plymouth, Mass. after a 63-day voyage. Pilgrims aboard the
Mayflower went ashore for the first time at present-day Plymouth,
Mass. The crew of the ship did not have enough beer to get to
Virginia and back to England so they dropped the Pilgrims at
Plymouth Rock to preserve their beer stock.
(HFA, '96, p.44)(AP, 12/20/97)(Hem., 8/96,
1708 Dec 21, French forces
seized control of the eastern shore of Newfoundland after winning a
victory at St. John’s.
1790 Dec 21, Samuel Slater
opened the first cotton mill in the United States in Rhode Island.
[see Dec 20]
1804 Dec 21, Benjamin Disraeli
(d.1881), Prime Minister of Great Britain (1868, 1874-80), was born.
He instituted reforms in housing, public health and factory
regulations. "Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a
regret." In 1993 Stanley Weintraub published “Disraeli: A
(AP, 10/21/97)(WSJ, 11/17/98, p.21)(HN,
1818 Dec 21, Lewis H. Morgan,
US ethnologist (Systems of Consanguinity), was born.
1829 Dec 21, The 1st stone arch
railroad bridge in US was dedicated in Baltimore.
1835 Dec 21, HMS Beagle sailed
into Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
1848 Dec 21, William Craft and
his wife Ellen, slaves to separate masters, escaped under disguise
from Macon, Georgia, and made there way to Philadelphia. In 1860
Craft authored “Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom.”
(ON, 10/04, p.10)
1861 Dec 21, Pres. Lincoln
signed legislation establishing the Medal of Honor. The medal was
first authorized for Sailors and Marines, and the following year for
Soldiers as well.
1862 Dec 21, U.S. Congress
authorized the Medal of Honor to be awarded to Navy personnel that
had distinguished themselves by their gallantry in action.
1866 Dec 21, Indians led by Red
Cloud and Crazy Horse killed Captain William J. Fetterman and 79
other men who had ventured out from Fort Phil Kearny to cut wood.
U.S. Army Captain William J. Fetterman once boasted, "Give me 80 men
and I'll march through the whole Sioux nation!" When Lakota warriors
under the overall leadership of Chief Red Cloud gathered around Fort
Phil Kearny (in what is now Wyoming), Fetterman got command of his
80 men. Disobeying the orders of his commander, Colonel Henry B
Carrington, not to proceed beyond the Lodge Trail Ridge, Fetterman
pursued a band of retreating Indians--and rode right into a waiting
trap, allegedly laid by the Ogallala warrior Crazy Horse. Fetterman,
his executive officer and 78 troopers were wiped out.
(HNPD, 12/21/98)(HN, 12/21/98)
1872 Dec 21, The HMS
Challenger, under Captain George Nares, sailed from Portsmouth,
England, on a 4-year journey to survey the world’s oceans.
1879 Dec 21, Iosif
Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, aka Joseph Stalin, was born. Joseph
Stalin, Communist leader of the Soviet Union was responsible for the
killing of more than 10 million of his own people.
(HN, 12/21/98)(HNQ, 4/6/00)
1898 Dec 21, French scientists
Pierre and Marie Curie discovered 2 new elements that they later
named radium and polonium.
1907 Dec 21, Oskar Lassar (58),
German dermatologist, died.
1910 Dec 21, 2.5 million plague
victims were reported in the An-Hul (Anhui) province of China. When
a contagious pneumonic plague was ravaging northeastern China, Dr.
Wu Lien-the, a Cambridge-educated modernizer of Chinese medicine,
concluded that the disease traveled through the air. He adapted
something he had seen in England and began instructing doctors,
nurses, patients and members of the public to wear gauze masks.
(HN, 12/21/98)(AP, 4/10/20)
1910 Dec 21, Explosion in coal
mine in Hulton, England, killed 344 mine workers.
1911 Dec 21, Joshua Gibson,
baseball player for the Negro Leagues, Home-Run King, was born.
Segregated baseball lasted sixty years in the United States.
1913 Dec 21, The first
crossword puzzle, created by Arthur Wynne, the English-born New York
journalist, was published in the New York World.
1914 Dec 21, The first
feature-length silent film comedy, "Tillie's Punctured Romance," was
1917 Dec 21, Andre Eglevsky,
choreographer (Limelight), was born.
1918 Dec 21, Donald Regan,
White House staffer and US Secretary of Treasury (1981-85), was
1918 Dec 21, Kurt Waldheim, 4th
Secretary General of the United Nations, was born.
1919 Dec 21, J. Edgar Hoover
gallantly deported anarchist, feminist Emma Goldman to Russia for
agitating against forced conscription in the US.
(WSJ, 12/11/95, p.A-1)(MC, 12/21/01)
1921 Dec 21, Supreme Court
ruled labor injunctions and picketing unconstitutional.
1922 Dec 21, Paul Winchell,
ventriloquist (Jerry Mahoney, Knucklehead Smith), was born in NYC.
1923 Dec 21, Nepal changed from
British protectorate to independent nation.
1928 Dec 21, President Coolidge
signed the Boulder Dam bill.
1929 Dec 21, The 1st US group
hospital insurance plan was offered in Dallas, Tx.
1932 Dec 21, Fred Astaire and
Ginger Rogers made their 1st movie together, “Flying Down to Rio.”
1932 Dec 21, Carl McGee,
Oklahoma inventor, applied for a patent for his parking meter. He
had came up with the 1st coin-operated, single-space, mechanical
meter to be used to free up parking spaces in downtown Oklahoma
1933 Dec 21, Dried human blood
serum was 1st prepared at the Univ. of Pennsylvania.
1933 Dec 21, Newfoundland
reverted to being a crown colony.
1935 Dec 21, Phil Donahue, talk
show host, was born in Cleveland, Ohio.
1937 Dec 21, Jane Fonda,
actress (Barbarella, Klute), physical fitness fanatic, Vietnam
Protestor, was born in NYC.
1937 Dec 21, Walt Disney’s
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" premiered as the 1st
feature-length color & sound cartoon.
1937 Dec 21, Frank Kellog (80),
US foreign minister (Nobel 1929), died.
1939 Dec 21, Heinrich Himmler
and Reinhard Heydrich named Adolf Eichmann leader of "Referat IV B,"
the group in charge of transport of Jews for Final Solution.
1940 Dec 21, Frank Zappa,
rocker (Mothers of Invention, Catholic Girls), was born in
1940 Dec 21, F. Scott
Fitzgerald (44), American author (Zelda, The Great Gatsby), died of
a heart attack.
1942 Dec 21, The US Supreme
Court ruled all states had to recognize divorces granted in Nevada.
1944 Dec 21, German troops
surrounded the 101st Airborne Division at the Bastogne in Belgium.
1945 Dec 21, Gen. George S.
Patton died at the age of 60 in Heidelberg, Germany, of injuries
from a car accident. In 1998 Brian Sobel published “The Fighting
Pattons.” It was a history of the Patton family.
(AP, 12/21/97)(WSJ, 8/14/98, p.W7)(HN, 12/21/98)
1946 Dec 21, Frank Capra's
"It's a Wonderful Life," premiered.
1946 Dec 21, Eugene Talmadge
(b.1884), former governor of Georgia, died. He served two terms as
the 67th Governor of Georgia from 1933 to 1937, and a third term
from 1941 to 1943. Herman E. Talmadge took over as George state
governor following the death of his father, a strident racist.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Talmadge)(SFC, 3/22/02, p.A27)
1946 Dec 21, An earthquake and
tidal wave killed 1,086 in Japan.
(HN, 12/21/98)(MC, 12/21/01)
1948 Dec 21, The state of Eire
(formerly the Irish Free State) declared its independence.
1948 Dec 21, Seishiro Itagaki,
Japanese General and minister of War, was hanged.
1954 Dec 21, Dr. Sam Sheppard,
an osteopathic surgeon, was convicted of murdering his pregnant
wife, Marilyn, and was sentenced to life in prison. Sheppard spent
10 years in prison before the Supreme Court overturned the verdict;
he was acquitted at retrial in 1966 and died four years later. [see
1958 Dec 21, Charles de Gaulle
(1890-1970), having come out of retirement, was elected to a
seven-year term as the first president of the Fifth Republic of
France. De Gaulle selected Maurice Couve de Murville (d.1999 at 92)
as his foreign minister.
(AP, 12/21/98)(SFC, 12/25/99, p.B4)(Econ,
1959 Dec 21, Florence Griffith
Joyner, runner (Olympic-3 gold-1988), was born in LA, Calif.
1961 Dec 21, JFK & British
PM MacMillan met in Bermuda.
1962 Dec 21, A US and Cuba
accord released Bay of Pigs captives.
1963 Dec 21, The Turk minority
rioted in Cyprus to protest anti-Turkish revisions in the
1964 Dec 21, Britain’s House of
Commons voted to ban the death penalty.
1965 Dec 21, Four pacifists
were indicted in New York for burning draft cards.
1966 Dec 21, USSR launched Luna
13. It soft-landed on the Moon’s Oceanus Procellarum.
1967 Dec 21, Louis Washkansky
(55) died in South Africa 18 days after undergoing the 1st heart
(AP, 12/3/97)(HNQ, 1/9/99)
1968 Dec 21, Apollo 8 with
astronauts Borman, Lovell & Anders was launched on the 1st
mission to orbit the moon.
1969 Dec 21, Diana Ross and the
Supremes make their final television appearance on The Ed Sullivan
Show, singing "Someday We'll Be Together", which would be the last
of their 12 number one singles.
1969 Dec 21, Vince Lombardi
(1913-1970), head coach of the Washington Redskins, coached his last
football game and lost.
1970 Dec 21, A meeting took
place between Elvis Presley and President Nixon as Elvis sought to
get the credentials of a Federal Agent to help Nixon fight drugs.
The meeting remained secret until The Washington Post broke the
story on Jan. 27, 1972.
1973 Dec 21, Israel, Egypt,
Syria, Jordan, US and USSR leaders met in Geneva. The Geneva
Conference of 1973 was an attempt to negotiate a solution to the
Arab-Israeli conflict as called for in UN Security Council
Resolution 338 which was passed after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.
1975 Dec 21, There was a
terrorist kidnapping of Saudi oil minister Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani
and other ministers at the OPEC gathering in Vienna, Austria. Three
people were killed and 11 taken hostage. The oil ministers were
taken to North Africa in a hijacked plane in a $1 billion ransom
drama. Carlos the Jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, later admitted
to planning the attack. In 2001 Germany sentenced Hans-Joachim Klein
to 9 years for his role in the attack. Klein had accused Sonja Suder
of recruiting him to take part in the bloody Vienna siege. In 2013
Suder was acquitted of having helped Carlos in the OPEC attack. She
was found guilty of having aided in three non-deadly explosives and
arson attacks in Germany in the late 1970s.
(WSJ, 12/4/95, p.B-1)(SFC, 12/11/97, p.C2)(SFC,
2/16/01, p.D2)(AFP, 11/12/13)
1975 Dec 21, Didier Ratsiraka,
Madagascar military commander, was elected to a seven-year term as
president in a national referendum. He published a "red book" of
Marxist principles and nationalized much of the economy. In the
1980s with severe economic decline Ratsiraka changed course and
established ties with the world Bank and the IMF.
1976 Dec 21, Russel Wright
(b.1904), American designer, died. His American Modern dinnerware
was manufactured by Steubenville Pottery from 1939 to about 1959.
1976 Dec 21, The
Liberian-registered tanker Argo Merchant ran aground near Nantucket
Island, spilling millions of gallons of oil into the North Atlantic.
1978 Dec 21, Police in Des
Plaines, Ill., arrested John W. Gacy Jr. and began unearthing the
remains of 33 men and boys that Gacy was later convicted of
murdering. 27 bodies were found under his house, 2 in the back yard
and 4 were fished out of the nearby Des Plaines River. He was
executed in 1994.
(SFEC, 11/22/98, p.A2)(AP, 12/21/98)
1979 Dec 21, The Lancaster
House Agreement was signed in London. It ended biracial rule in
Zimbabwe Rhodesia following negotiations between representatives of
the Patriotic Front (PF), consisting of ZAPU (Zimbabwe African
Peoples Union) and ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union) and the
Zimbabwe Rhodesia government, represented by Bishop Abel Muzorewa
and Ian Smith.
1980 Dec 21, The California
Supreme Court ruled that a father has no automatic right to give his
child his last name.
(SFC, 12/16/05, p.F2)
1980 Dec 21, It was reported
that the deadly red tide had given Northern California one of its
worst seasons of paralytic shellfish poisoning in years.
(SFC, 12/16/05, p.F2)
1980 Dec 21, Iran requested $24
billion in US guarantees to free hostages.
1983 Dec 21, Paul de Man
(b.1919), Belgium-born Yale professor of humanities, died in
Connecticut. He had curried favor with Nazi occupiers during WWII
and fled to the US after being convicted of fraud and embezzlement
in a publishing house he reated. In 2014 Evelyn Barish authored “The
Double Life of Paul de Man.”
(SFC, 5/11/14, p.F7)
1986 Dec 21, 500,000 Chinese
students gathered in Shanghai’s People’s Square calling for
democratic reforms, including freedom of the press.
1987 Dec 21, In New York City
three white teen-agers from the Howard Beach section of Queens were
convicted of manslaughter in the death of a black man who was chased
onto a highway, where he was struck by a car. A fourth defendant was
1988 Dec 21, Drexel Burnham
Lambert Inc. pleaded guilty to SEC charges of security felonies and
paid a $650 million fine.
1988 Dec 21, Bob Steele (60),
[Robert Bradbury], died after short illness.
1988 Dec 21, Pan Am Flight 103
was downed over Lockerbie, Scotland by a terrorist bomb. 270 people
were killed aboard the Boeing 747. Libya was accused of
responsibility for the bombing, which killed 259 people onboard and
11 on the ground. Two Libyan operatives, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and
A-Amin Khalifa Fahimah, were indicted in 1991 and thought to be in
hiding in Libya. They were sent to the Netherlands for trial in 1999
and implicated Mohammed Abu Talb, a Palestinian terrorist jailed in
Sweden. In 2000 Ahmad Behbahani (32) told a 60 Minutes journalist
from a refugee camp in Turkey that he proposed the Pan Am operation
and coordinated the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi
Arabia. He also claimed that Iran was behind the 1994 bombing in
Argentina that killed 86 people. Behbahani was later called a fraud
by the CIA and FBI. In 2001 a Scottish court convicted Abdel Basset
Ali al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, of murder in the 1998
bombing of Pan am Flight 103. A 2nd Libyan, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah,
was acquitted. The conviction was upheld in 2002. In 2003 Libya set
up a $2.7 billion fund for families of 270 people killed.
(WSJ, 12/18/95, p.A-9)(SFC, 5/11/96, p.A-8)(SFC,
6/7/97, p.A4)(AP, 12/21/97)(WSJ, 4/6/99, p.A1)(SFC, 11/25/99,
p.A14)(SFC, 6/5/00, p.A9)(SFC, 6/6/00, p.A10)(SFEC, 6/11/00,
p.A20)(SFC, 1/31/01, p.A11)(SFC, 3/15/02, p.A9)(AP, 8/15/03)
1989 Dec 21, VP Quayle sent out
30,000 Xmas cards with the word beacon spelled beakon.
1989 Dec 21, Kentuckian Larry
Mahoney was convicted on 27 counts of manslaughter for a 1988
collision with a church bus. It was the nation's most deadly
1989 Dec 21, Romanian President
Nicolae Ceausescu delivered what turned out to be his final public
speech. The hard-line Communist ruler was visibly stunned as his
listeners began booing. Ceausescu fled from power and was executed
four days later.
1990 Dec 21, British Prime
Minister John Major met with President Bush at Camp David, Maryland;
afterward, the two leaders expressed their unity on the Persian Gulf
1990 Dec 21, In Iraq hundreds
of thousands of Iraqis participated in an evacuation drill to test
1991 Dec 21, Cable TV and
sports magnate Ted Turner married actress Jane Fonda near Capps,
Fla. They divorced in May 2001.
1991 Dec 21, El Sayyid Nosair
was acquitted in New York of killing Jewish extremist Rabbi Meir
Kahane. Nosair was later convicted in a federal trial.
1991 Dec 21, In
Bosnia-Herzegovina a Serb minority held an unofficial referendum
opposing separation from Yugoslavia. Local Serb leaders proclaimed a
new republic separate from Bosnia.
1991 Dec 21, Eleven of the 12
former Soviet republics proclaimed the birth of the Commonwealth of
Independent States and the death of the Union of Soviet Socialist
1992 Dec 21, President-elect
Clinton tapped Richard Riley to be education secretary and Hazel
O'Leary to be energy secretary; Clinton expressed anger at "bean
counters" for saying he was not appointing enough women to his
1992 Dec 21, A Dutch DC-10
burst into fire at landing on Faro, Portugal, and 56 died.
1993 Dec 21, First lady Hillary
Rodham Clinton, in an interview with The Associated Press, said her
husband, President Clinton, had solicited her advice on major
issues; but, she added, her powers were limited.
1994 Dec 21, A firebomb on the
#4 train at Fulton St. New York City subway injured 48 people.
Unemployed computer programmer Edward Leary was later convicted of
attempted murder and sentenced to 94 years in prison.
1995 Dec 21, The House approved
sweeping welfare reform which President Clinton said he would veto.
He later signed a revamped version.
1995 Dec 21, A train collision
outside Cairo, Egypt, claimed 75 lives.
1995 Dec 21, The city of
Bethlehem passed from Israeli to Palestinian control.
1996 Dec 21, After two years of
denials, House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted violating House ethics
1996 Dec 21, Dr. David Ho, AIDS
researcher, was named ‘Man of the Year” by Time Magazine.
(SFEC, 12/22/96, p.A2)(AP, 12/21/97)
1996 Dec 21, China’s rulers
named 60 pro-Beijing stalwarts to a new interim legislature of Hong
Kong to replace the panel elected in 1995.
(SFEC, 6/22/97, p.A14)
1997 Dec 21, President Clinton,
accompanied by his wife and daughter, left for Bosnia to spread
holiday cheer -- and to carry the news that he wanted U.S. troops to
remain there indefinitely as the region recovered from its
1997 Dec 21, It was reported
that Andrew S. Grove, chairman and CEO of Intel Corp., was named
time magazine’s “Man of the Year.”
(SFEC, 12/21/97, p.A2)
1997 Dec 21, In Colorado
Susannah Chase (23) was brutally attacked, abducted, sexually
assaulted and beaten in Boulder. She died the following day of
severe head injuries. In 2008 DNA evidence connected Diego Olmos
Alcalde to the slaying, as he served time in Wyoming for a
kidnapping. In 2009 Chilean citizen Diego Olmos Alcalde (39) was
sentenced to life in prison for Chase’s murder.
(SFC, 4/6/98, p.A3)(SFC, 6/30/09,
1997 Dec 21, Johnny Coles (71),
jazz trumpeter, died in Philadelphia. His records included “The Warm
Sound of Johnny Coles” and “Little Johnny C.”
(SFC, 12/26/97, p.B6)
1997 Dec 21, In Cameroon Pius
Njawe, the publisher of the leading opposition newspaper Le Mesager,
ran a story that Pres. Paul Biya suffered a heart attack. On Dec 29
Njawe was reported to have been imprisoned for the story.
(SFC, 12/30/97, p.B2)
1997 Dec 21, In Colombia rebels
overran Patascoy, a small military base in Narino province and
killed 22 soldiers. Some 400 rebels overwhelmed 32 defenders. 3
soldiers survived the attack and were found by rescuers after 2
days. In the northwest weekend fighting between rebels and
right-wing paramilitaries left 6 dead. Later reports said rebels
were holding 18-19 soldiers hostage. Pvt. Libio Jose Martinez was
among those captured. Martinez and 3 others were killed by the FARC
during combat on Nov 26, 2011.
(WSJ, 12/22/97, p.A1)(SFC, 12/23/97, p.D3)(SFC,
12/24/97, p.A8)(SFC, 12/27/97, p.A13)(AP, 11/27/11)
1997 Dec 21, In Serbia Milan
Milutinovic of the ruling Socialists claimed victory in the runoff
election against Vojislav Seselj, but it wasn’t clear if the turnout
(WSJ, 12/22/97, p.A1)
1998 Dec 21, The Winter
(NH, 12/98, p.73)
1998 Dec 21, The World
Association of Newspapers awarded the 1999 Golden Pen of Freedom
award to exiled Iranian writer Faraj Sarkuhi, former editor of the
cultural journal Adineh.
(SFC, 12/22/98, p.C4)
1998 Dec 21, The FDA approved
the first vaccine against Lyme disease.
(WSJ, 12/22/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 21, In China 3
dissidents were sentenced to prison terms of 11-13 years. Xu Wenli
received 13 years, Wang Youcai 11 years and Qin Yongmin 12 years for
subversion, i.e. trying to organize an opposition party. Xu Wenli
was released in Dec, 2002.
(SFC, 12/22/98, p.A14)(AP, 12/21/99)(SFC,
1998 Dec 21, Israel's
parliament voted 81-30 for early elections, signaling the demise of
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ailing hard-line government.
Peace policies were rejected 56-48.
(SFC, 12/22/98, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/22/98, p.A1) (AP,
1998 Dec 21, In Kosovo, Serbia,
Milic Jovic (52), a Serbian police officer, was shot and killed in
(SFC, 12/22/98, p.C2)
1998 Dec 21, In Turkey Prime
Minister-designate Bulent Ecevit abandoned efforts to form a new
(SFC, 12/22/98, p.C4)
1999 Dec 21, Amid heightened
concerns about the possibility of a holiday terrorist attack,
security was ordered tightened at American airports and the Pentagon
said it was taking “appropriate action” to protect US forces
1999 Dec 21, The US blocked
$498 million in loan guarantees to the Russian Tyumen Oil Co.
following charges of illegal control of a bankruptcy proceeding.
(SFC, 12/22/99, p.A18)
1999 Dec 21, In Guatemala City
a Cubana de Aviacion DC-10 skidded and crashed on landing. At least
26 people were killed.
(SFC, 12/22/99, p.C9)
1999 Dec 21, In Sri Lanka
presidential elections were held. At least 7 people were killed in
poll violence. Pres. Chandrika Kumaratunga won 51% of the vote.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, the nearest rival, won 43%.
(WSJ, 11/24/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/22/99, p.A1)(SFC,
2000 Dec 21, President-elect
Bush resigned as governor of Texas; Lt. Gov. Rick Perry was sworn in
to replace him.
2000 Dec 21, Final US election
results showed Al Gore with 50,996,116 votes vs. Gov. Bush with
50,456,169. Gore led by over 500,000 votes but lost to bush by one
electoral college vote.
(SFC, 12/22/00, p.A11)
2000 Dec 21, Christine Todd
Whitman, governor of New Jersey, agreed to serve as director of the
EPA for Pres.-elect Bush.
(WSJ, 12/22/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 21, Ted Turner offered
to make up the $35 million difference between dues the US owes to
the UN and the amount Congress is wiling to pay.
(SFC, 12/22/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 21, A UN report
accused Jonas Savimbi and UNITA rebels in Angola of trading diamonds
(SFC, 12/22/00, p.A20)
2000 Dec 21, Indonesia
announced plans for talks with local leaders in Aceh, Irian Jaya and
(SFC, 12/22/00, p.A21)
2000 Dec 21, In Israel the
legislature blocked an attempt by Shimon Peres to run for prime
minister. The Feb 6 election pits Ariel Sharon against Ehud Barak.
(SFC, 12/22/00, p.A20)
2000 Dec 21, Israeli officials
acknowledged a “liquidation” policy for hunting down and killing
(SFC, 12/22/00, p.A20)
2000 Dec 21, In Russia the
lower house gave preliminary backing for plans by the Ministry of
Atomic Affairs to take in spent nuclear fuel from European and Asian
countries for hard currency.
(SFC, 12/22/00, p.A20)
2000 Dec 21, In Sri Lanka Tamil
rebels announced a unilateral month-long cease-fire with hopes of
resuming peace talks. Sri Lanka launched a new offensive just hours
following the rebel cease-fire.
(SFC, 12/22/00, p.A22)(WSJ, 12/22/00, p.A1)
2001 Dec 21, Pres. Bush met
with Pres. Nazarbayev of Kazakstan and signed documents “related to
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A5)
2001 Dec 21, President Bush
signed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001,
which required the African nation to adopt land ownership
protections in order to continue receiving U.S. aid.
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A5)(AP, 12/21/02)
2001 Dec 21, US warplanes
attacked a convoy of trucks heading for the Pakistan border and 65
people were reported killed. 12 were killed in the convoy and 15 in
nearby villages. The convoy was said to be heading for Kabul.
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A19)(SFC, 12/29/01, p.A16)
2001 Dec 21, Pennsylvania Gov.
Mark Schweiker announced an agreement on a state takeover of the
Philadelphia school system. Plans called Edison Schools Inc. to help
run the district.
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A4)
2001 Dec 21, Pfizer agreed to
settle a suit over the diabetes drug Rezulin after a jury awarded
$43 million to a Texas woman who said it destroyed her liver.
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A5)
2001 Dec 21, Dick Schaap
(b.1934), Emmy-winning sports broadcaster and author, died in New
York at age 67.
(AP, 12/21/02)(NW, 12/31/01, p.111)
2001 Dec 21, In Kabul,
Afghanistan, power was officially transferred from Pres. Rabbani to
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 21, In Argentina Ramon
Puerta, head of the Senate, became president following an
extraordinary session of both houses.
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 21, In Bulgaria at
least 7 young people were killed when they rushed the entrance of a
Sofia downtown disco.
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A5)
2001 Dec 21, India recalled its
top envoy from Pakistan and suspended bus and train service between
the 2 countries.
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A3)
2001 Dec 21, Six Palestinian
teenagers were killed in skirmishes with the Palestinian Authority.
Hamas called a halt to suicide bombings and mortar attacks.
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A1)(SSFC, 12/23/01, p.A12)(AP,
2002 Dec 21, President Bush
received a smallpox vaccination, fulfilling a promise he'd made when
he ordered inoculations for about a-half million U.S. troops.
2002 Dec 21, In Oregon the
bodies of Renee Morris (31), Bryant (10), Alexis (8), and Jonathan
(4), were found by hunters in Tillamook State Forest. Edward Morris
(37) was arrested Jan 4.
(SSFC, 1/5/03, p.A7)
2002 Dec 21, Hank Lusetti (86),
former Stanford all-American basketball player, died. Lusetti is
credited with introducing the one-handed jump shot.
(WSJ, 6/9/04, p.D8)(www.hoopville.net)
2002 Dec 21, In Afghanistan 6
people in a German military helicopter and up to eight on the ground
were killed when the aircraft crashed before landing at an airport
near the capital Kabul.
2002 Dec 21, French forces
opened fire on rebels in western Ivory Coast, trying to stop the
insurgents from pushing past them toward the commercial capital
2002 Dec 21, French television
journalist, Patrick Bourrat, was struck while crossing the path of
an incoming tank during US military exercises in Kuwait. Bourrat
died the next day.
2002 Dec 21, In southern India
an express train jumped the tracks, killing at least 18 people and
2002 Dec 21, In Pakistan 2
people were killed in Hyderabad when a bomb ripped through their
2002 Dec 21, An 11-year-old
Palestinian girl died of a gunshot wound in the Gaza Strip, where
Israeli troops reinforced a blockade.
2002 Dec 21, In Qatar some
Persian Gulf leaders opened a summit by calling for regional unity
and fast inspections by U.N. experts searching for weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq.
2002 Dec 21, In Spain Jose
Hierro (80), a poet who won the Spanish-speaking world's highest
literary award while writing in a Madrid coffee shop, died.
2003 Dec 21, Tom Ridge, head of
the US Department of Homeland Security, announced that the
government was elevating the national terror alert warning to "Code
Orange," an upgrade from the "Code Yellow" elevated status.
2003 Dec 21, Time magazine's
named The American soldier, who bears the duty of "living with and
dying for a country's most fateful decisions," as Person of the
2003 Dec 21, Dave Dudley (75),
pioneer of truck-driving country songs, died. His hits included "Six
Days on the Road."
(SSFC, 12/28/03, p.E10)
2003 Dec 21, Guinea's longtime
leader Lansana Conte was expected to easily win another term as
president in elections after an opposition boycott left a
little-known parliamentarian as the only challenger for the post.
2003 Dec 21, In Honduras crowds
at a Christmas toy giveaway at National Stadium surged out of
control, and a 7-year-old girl was killed and about 80 other people
were injured. Television station, Compania Televisora, has run the
charity giveaway for eight years, and many businesses contributed
toys to the event.
2003 Dec 21, Israeli troops
conducted a series of raids in the West Bank city of Nablus,
arresting Hamas leader Adnan Asfour and killing a 5-year-old
2003 Dec 21, More than 150
people were killed in mudslides in the Philippines. [see Dec 19]
2003 Dec 21, Oleg Troyanovsky
(84), Soviet diplomat, died.
2003 Dec 21, The Sudan
government and rebels have moved a step closer to ending their
20-year civil war after agreeing on how to divide the country's oil
2003 Dec 21, A vessel, carrying
some 60 migrants from Jordan, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, left the
Turkish Mediterranean resort of Marmaris late Dec 20 and was heading
to the Greek island of Rhodes when it sank.
2004 Dec 21, Federal officials
announced that naproxen, a painkiller sold by prescription and also
over the counter as Aleve, might increase people's risk of having a
heart attack or stroke.
2004 Dec 21, The Associated
Press told the Bowl Championship Series to stop using its college
football poll to determine which teams would play for the national
title and in the most prestigious bowl games.
2004 Dec 21, The NFL fined
Jacksonville safety Donovin Darius $75,000 for a hit across the neck
of Green Bay's Robert Ferguson that left the wide receiver
2004 Dec 21, Siemens CEO
Heinrich von Pierer said his German industrial conglomerate has
signed a $2 billion deal to provide Russia's national railway with
60 high speed trains. The InterCityExpress (ICE) trains would
initially run between Moscow and St. Petersburg at speeds of up to
155 miles per hour. They also will be used between St. Petersburg
and Helsinki, Finland, and between other large cities within Russia.
2004 Dec 21, India’s parliament
tabled the Employment Guarantee Act, which planned to give one
member of every poor family at least 100 days of work at minimum
wage on public works projects.
(Econ, 1/1/05, p.28)
2004 Dec 21, British PM Tony
Blair made a surprise visit to Baghdad, urging Iraqis to support
national elections and describing violence here as a "battle between
democracy and terror."
2004 Dec 21, A suicide bombing
on a base near Mosul killed 22 people and wounded 72 at Forward
Operating Base Marez as US soldiers sat down to lunch. Halliburton
Co. lost four employees in the attack at the military base. A
radical Muslim group, the Ansar al-Sunnah Army, claimed
responsibility. 2 French reporters held hostage for 4 months in Iraq
(WSJ, 12/22/04, p.A1)(AP, 12/21/05)
2004 Dec 21, The U.N. Security
Council voted unanimously to maintain economic sanctions against
Liberia but promised to review a ban on diamond sales in three
months and a ban on timber exports in six months.
2004 Dec 21, Morocco tried to
blot out stains of past human rights abuses with public testimony
about tortures and disappearances in the Muslim kingdom.
2004 Dec 21, Pakistani police
arrested the husband of former PM Benazir Bhutto in the killing of a
former judge and his son in 1996, taking him back into custody just
a month after he'd been freed on bail.
2004 Dec 21, Janes’ Defense
Weekly said the US will assign serving military officers to its de
facto embassy in Taiwan for the first time since 1979 in a reversal
of a longstanding policy.
2004 Dec 21, Sudan's government
and Darfur rebels agreed to formally end faltering talks. The
African Union urged both sides to stop fighting so peace efforts
could resume in January. Save the Children UK is pulling out of the
Darfur region of Sudan because four of its workers have been killed
2005 Dec 21, The US Senate
stopped a bid by Ted Stevens, Alaska’s Republican Sen., on a measure
for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the US
military spending bill. Senators also forced through a 5-month
extension of key provisions of the Patriot Act. The move effectively
killed a compromise that would have made permanent 14 of 16
provisions. The next day Senators cut the extension to 5 weeks.
(SFC, 12/21/05, p.A1)(SFC, 12/22/05, p.A5)(SFC,
2005 Dec 21, US Energy Sec.
Samuel Bodman announced that the Univ. of California would retain
management of the New Mexico Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab in a
7-year, $512 million contract in a consortium that includes Bechtel
(SFC, 12/22/05, p.A1)
2005 Dec 21, Millions of New
Yorkers trudged to work in another bone-chilling commute without
subways and buses as a transit strike entered its second day. The
transit union suggested it would be willing to end the strike if a
plan to change workers’ pensions were dropped.
(AP, 12/21/05)(SFC, 12/22/05, p.A9)
2005 Dec 21, In Maryland 2
off-duty Baltimore police officers were shot to death at a suburban
townhouse in Randallstown by a state officer for the Dept. of
General Services. Eugene Victor Perry Jr. (33) surrendered shortly
after the shootings. One of the victims was his former fiancee.
(SFC, 12/23/05, p.A3)
2005 Dec 21, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai said the coming reduction in US troop levels should
have no harmful effect on Afghanistan's security.
2005 Dec 21, Hallam Tennyson
(85), the great-grandson of poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, was found
stabbed to death at his London apartment.
2005 Dec 21, An international
panel, formed to resolve disputes between Eritrea and Ethiopia, said
Eritrea violated int’l. law when it invaded the north of Ethiopia in
2005 Dec 21, The UN Security
Council voted unanimously to maintain diamond and timber sanctions
against Liberia but said it will lift the embargoes when the
country's new government ends illicit trade in its valuable
2005 Dec 21, George Weah, the
loser of Liberia's first postwar presidential elections, dropped his
legal challenge of the results, saying he would accept the outcome
in the interest of national reconciliation.
2005 Dec 21, In Nigeria
Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell announced the closure of a third
flowstation, following the alleged sabotage of a pipeline, bringing
a loss in crude oil production to 180,000 barrels per day (bpd).
2005 Dec 21, Peru's president
declared a state of emergency in six jungle provinces and promised
to stamp out the nation's remaining Shining Path guerrillas after
suspected rebels killed eight police officers in an ambush.
2005 Dec 21, In Russia's Far
East authorities in Khabarovsk cut off water to its 10,000 people as
a toxic slick from a chemical plant explosion in China floated
2005 Dec 21, The UN and the
African Union condemned an attack on a village in Sudan’s western
Darfur region in which camel and horse-riding assailants killed 20
civilians and burned their huts.
2005 Dec 21, Uzbekistan courts
sentenced 42 people to between 12 and 20 years in prison in
connection with the May uprising in the eastern city of Andijan,
which was brutally suppressed by government troops.
(AP, 12/21/05)(SFC, 12/22/05, p.A3)
2006 Dec 21, The US Marine
Corp. charged 4 Marines at Camp Pendleton with multiple counts of
murder for the Nov 19, 2005, slayings of 2 dozen civilians in
Haditha, Iraq. 4 officers were also charged with crimes related to
their alleged failure to investigate and report the slayings.
(SFC, 12/22/06, p.A1)(AP, 12/21/07)
2006 Dec 21, Tan Dun’s opera
“The First Emperor,” premiered at the NY Metropolitan with Placido
Domingo as the Emperor. It was based on the life of Qin Shi Huang
(260-210BC), who unified China. The libretto was by Tan Dun and
novelist Ha Jin was drawn from the screenplay for “The Legend of the
Bloody Zheng” by Lu Wei.
(WSJ, 12/27/06, p.D8)
2006 Dec 21, The US Census
Bureau said Arizona had deposed Nevada as the fastest growing US
(WSJ, 12/22/06, p.A1)
2006 Dec 21, New Jersey Gov.
Jon Corzine signed legislation giving same-sex couples all the
rights and responsibilities of marriage under state law, but not the
(SFC, 12/22/06, p.A4)
2006 Dec 21, Bristol-Myers
Squibb Co. offered to pay $499 million to settle federal
investigations into whether the company bilked insurers by inflating
wholesale prices of a number of its drugs.
(SFC, 12/22/06, p.D3)
2006 Dec 21, Deutsche Bank AG
agreed to pay $208 million to end SEC investigations into improper
mutual fund trading.
(SFC, 12/22/06, p.D3)
2006 Dec 21, Fidelity
Investments said it will pay more than $42 million to its mutual
funds after a review found that its traders had "misdirected"
business to brokers who lavished them with expensive gifts.
2006 Dec 21, The Denver area
was motionless for a second day after a powerful blizzard dumped 2
feet of snow on the region.
2006 Dec 21, In Concord, Ca., 4
people died when their small plane struck Highway 4 as it attempted
to land at Buchanan Field.
(SFC, 12/22/06, p.B1)
2006 Dec 21, In Bangladesh riot
police dispersed thousands of protesters who smashed vehicles during
a general strike to force electoral reforms before next month's
2006 Dec 21, British police
charged Steven Wright, a 48-year-old truck driver who lives in the
red-light district of Ipswich, with the murder of five local
prostitutes whose naked bodies were found in rural areas around the
eastern England town.
2006 Dec 21, Tens of thousands
of passengers were stranded after a thick blanket of freezing fog
forced hundreds of flights to be canceled at Heathrow, Europe's
2006 Dec 21, Cape Verde PM Jose
Maria das Neves said Africa must stop blaming its colonial past for
its problems and instead point the finger at the continent's
2006 Dec 21, Officials said
Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steelmaker, has signed a $8.7
billion project with the Orissa government to build a steel plant in
the eastern Indian state.
2006 Dec 21, Indonesia
overturned a terror conviction against the militant Islamic cleric
Abu Bakar Bashir, who served 2 1/2 years for conspiracy in the 2002
Bali nightclub bombings that killed more than 200 people.
2006 Dec 21, In Iran final
election results showed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's opponents
won local council elections.
2006 Dec 21, Delegates
representing Shiite groups forming the largest bloc in Iraq's
parliament gathered in Najaf at the home of the country's top Shiite
cleric to seek his blessing for a new coalition that would promote
national reconciliation. Radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr agreed to
allow his supporters to go back to their positions in the Iraqi
government after a three-week boycott to protest the Iraqi prime
minister's meeting with US President George W. Bush. A suicide
bomber killed 15 people and wounded 15 others in a crowd of police
volunteers in eastern Baghdad. 4 American troops died from combat
wounds in Anbar province.
(AP, 12/21/06)(AP, 12/22/06)
2006 Dec 21, Japan said it saw
no hope of a breakthrough in talks on scrapping North Korea's
nuclear weapons, accusing Pyongyang of using a financial dispute
with the United States to drive a stake into a proposed deal.
2006 Dec 21, In Lebanon police
arrested four people and seized a large quantities of weapons,
explosives and fuses in raids against a pro-Syrian party.
2006 Dec 21, In southern
Nigeria armed militants in speedboats have killed three policemen in
an overnight attack on a residential facility belonging to French
oil company Total. Shell, began relocating staff dependants after a
2006 Dec 21, Fighting erupted
for a 3rd straight day between Somali fighters, one day after an EU
envoy got both the government and a rival Islamic movement to agree
to resume peace talks.
2006 Dec 21, Royal Dutch Shell
and its partners agreed to hand over 50% plus one share of the
Sakhalin II oil and gas project to OAO Gazprom, the Russian
state-controlled energy firm, for $7.45 billion. Shell and its
partners have already put $12 billion into the project, which was
about 80% complete.
(WSJ, 12/22/06, p.A3)
2006 Dec 21-2006 Dec 22,
Fighting between Darfur rebels and government forces near the town
of Kutum killed 7 people and insurgents shot down 2 army helicopters
in the area.
2006 Dec 21, President
Saparmurat Niyazov (66), Turkmenistan's eccentric and iron-fisted
leader, died. He had created a lavish cult of personality during two
decades of rule over his isolated nation. The Turkmen constitution
says the speaker of parliament assumes power on the death of the
president. But just hours after Niyazov's death was reported, the
national security council named Berdymukhamedov acting president and
announced that speaker Overzgeldy Atayev had been charged with
unspecified criminal offenses.
(AP, 12/21/06)(AP, 12/22/06)
2007 Dec 21, The US Federal
Reserve, working to combat the effects of a severe credit crunch,
announced it had auctioned another $20 billion in funds to
commercial banks at an interest rate of 4.67%. It pledged to
continue with the auctions "for as long as necessary."
2007 Dec 21, Ken Hendricks
(b.1941), creator of ABC Supply (1982), one of the largest US
roofing supply companies (1982), died. He used his wealth in part to
rebuild his home town of Beloit, Wisconsin.
(WSJ, 12/29/07, p.A7)
2007 Dec 21, Two Afghans were
killed in Kandahar province when a bomb exploded that was planted in
a decapitated Afghan.
2007 Dec 21, Bahraini security
forces stormed the houses of the country's most outspoken Shiite
opposition group at dawn, arresting at least seven of its members.
Shiites account for about 70 percent of Bahrain's 450,000 citizens,
but the ruling family is Sunni.
2007 Dec 21, Belgian police
arrested 14 Muslim extremists suspected of planning the jailbreak of
an al-Qaida prisoner convicted of plotting a terrorist attack on US
air base personnel. They were released the next day after a court
decided there was insufficient evidence to hold them for more than
(AP, 12/21/07)(AP, 12/22/07)
2007 Dec 21, Brazil announced
it will create a landholder registry and send 700 more federal
police to the Amazon River basin in a new effort to monitor and
prevent deforestation in the environmentally sensitive region.
2007 Dec 21, Former British PM
Tony Blair left the Church of England and converted to Catholicism,
the faith of his wife and children.
2007 Dec 21, The British pound
hit an historic low against the euro owing to heightened
expectations of cuts to British interest rates in 2008.
2007 Dec 21, Ian Thow, a former
mutual fund salesman in British Columbia, was fined C$6 million
($6.1 million) and banned from working in the West Coast province's
capital markets for life. In October a commission panel found that
Thow defrauded hundreds of clients between January 2003 and May
2005, convincing some to sell their mutual funds and mortgage their
homes to raise money to invest in non-existing construction loans
and Jamaican bank.
2007 Dec 21, Caribbean leaders
gathered in Cuba for a regional oil summit. Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez presided at a regional petroleum summit, pressing his
efforts to counter US influence in Latin America and the Caribbean
by suggesting more of his neighbors could pay for cheap oil with
goods or services in lieu of cash.
2007 Dec 21, A Chinese radio
station reported that about 1,000 riot police fired tear gas at
protesters in southern China who were blocking an electricity pylon
near a power station in Dongzhou village they felt was built on
unfairly seized land.
2007 Dec 21, China's first
fully homegrown commercial aircraft, the 70-seat ARJ21, rolled off
the production line, marking a potential milestone for the country's
aviation program. Its first test flight was set for 2008.
2007 Dec 21, Chinese
archeologists raised a merchant ship loaded with porcelain and other
rare antiques to the surface in a specially built basket. The
100-foot Nanhai No. 1, discovered in 1987, sank off the south China
coast some 800 years ago during the Southern Song Dynasty
2007 Dec 21, Costa Rican agents
made the largest marijuana bust in the Central American nation's
history, seizing 4.85 tons of the drug found in an abandoned boat.
2007 Dec 21, At least eight
Egyptians were killed and 24 others injured when a bus collided
head-on with another vehicle on an intercity road south of Cairo.
2007 Dec 21, In Guatemala
congressman-elect Marco Antonio Xicay (42) of the conservative
Patriotic Party was shot to death by unidentified attackers outside
the popular Fuentes Georginas resort.
2007 Dec 21, India announced a
final successful test of the surface-to-air Akash missile before
starting mass production under a plan to build a national missile
2007 Dec 21, New Australian PM
Kevin Rudd met with al-Maliki during a surprise visit to Baghdad.
Rudd said that after the troops withdraw in June, Australia will
continue to help train the Iraqi police force and army. A gunmen
attacked a family in Diyala province near Balad Ruz, killing two men
and kidnapping a third. Just east of Baqouba, the capital of Diyala,
two men standing in front of their house were killed by unknown
armed men. A double roadside bomb attack killed one US soldier and
wounded 11 in northern Kirkuk province.
(AP, 12/21/07)(Reuters, 12/22/07)
2007 Dec 21, Israeli
Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said that PM Ehud
Olmert may consider talks with Hamas on a long-term cease-fire. A
Hamas militant was killed in a clash with Israeli troops near the
2007 Dec 21, Japan's regulators
announced the country's biggest financial market reforms in a decade
amid hot competition in Asia to be the region's financial hub. Chief
Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said Japan is dropping its plan
to kill humpback whales in the seas off Antarctica. The fleet will,
however, kill some 935 minke whales, a smaller, more plentiful
species, and 50 fin whales.
(AP, 12/21/07)(AP, 12/22/07)(AFP, 12/24/07)
2007 Dec 21, In Pakistan a
suicide attacker detonated a bomb packed with ball bearings and
nails amid hundreds of worshippers at the residential compound of a
former top security official for President Pervez Musharraf, killing
56 people in Sherpao, a village 25 miles northeast of the city of
(AP, 12/21/07)(AFP, 12/22/07)
2007 Dec 21, In Saudi Arabia
the annual 5-day hajj come to a close as some 3 million pilgrims
2007 Dec 21, In Freetown,
Sierra Leone, a two-story building of apartments and shops caught
fire and exploded, killing 14 people and injuring 40.
2007 Dec 21, In Tajikistan a
late night avalanche of snow hit a section of one of the main roads,
killing 3 people. Earlier reports had put the toll at 15.
2007 Dec 21, The Security
Council voted unanimously to extend the UN peacekeeping mission in
Congo for a year and demanded that all militias and armed groups in
the volatile east lay down their weapons and start disarming.
2008 Dec 21, Christopher
Hibbert (1924), a British historian, died. His over 50 books covered
subjects from the medieval Battle of Agincourt to the American
2008 Dec 21, Congolese Tutsi
rebels threatened to advance into UN-monitored buffer zones in
eastern Congo after refusing to sign a declaration ending
hostilities with the government.
2008 Dec 21, Iran reported that
Russia has begun delivering S-300 air defense systems, which could
help repel any Israeli and US air strikes on its nuclear sites.
2008 Dec 21, Barrages of
rockets fired from Gaza hit Israeli towns and the Israeli air force
responded with a missile strike as violence surged following the
official expiration of a shaky truce with Hamas.
2008 Dec 21, The deposed
president of Mauritania was set free after 4 1/2 months under house
arrest and immediately began working to retake power from the junta
that overthrew him.
2008 Dec 21, Mexican
Authorities found the decapitated bodies of 12 men in the southern
state of Guerrero, and some of the victims have been identified as
2008 Dec 21, In Nepal 12 staff
at a prominent newspaper and magazine publisher were injured when
they were attacked by dozens of Maoist activists angered by critical
2008 Dec 21, Pakistani fighter
jets attacked suspected Taliban and Al-Qaeda positions in a lawless
tribal area on the border with Afghanistan, killing four militants.
Police found 2 bullet-ridden bodies of Afghan nationals in an
abandoned village in North Waziristan, who allegedly acted as spies
for US forces.
(AFP, 12/21/08)(AP, 12/21/08)
2008 Dec 21, In far east Russia
riot police in Vladivostok clubbed, kicked and detained dozens of
people as hundreds across the country protested an increase in car
(AP, 12/21/08)(WSJ, 12/22/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 21, Sri Lanka’s
government said its troops captured the strategic village of
Nedunkerni in the northeast. A pro-rebel report said Tamil Tiger
rebels killed 60 Sri Lankan troops advancing toward their de facto
capital. The government said 12 soldiers died.
2009 Dec 21, The Obama
administration took aim at tarmac horror stories, ordering airlines
to let passengers stuck in stranded airplanes to disembark after
2009 Dec 21, Senate Democrats
won a crucial test vote on President Barack Obama's health care
overhaul, putting them on track for passage before Christmas of the
historic legislation to remake the nation's medical system and cover
30 million uninsured.
2009 Dec 21, In Alaska an oil
spill was discovered coming from a 6-inch pipeline in the Prudhoe
Bay oil field.
(SFC, 12/23/09, p.A8)
2009 Dec 21, In Afghanistan
police fought a three-hour gunbattle in the center of Gardez, Paktia
province, finally killing two Taliban militants who stormed a
multistory market with dozens of civilians inside.
2009 Dec 21, In Cambodia Ieng
Thirith, the last of the former Khmer Rouge leaders standing trial
for alleged crimes committed three decades ago, was charged with
genocide. The ultracommunist regime's social affairs minister and
the wife of another defendant, Ieng Sary, had earlier been charged
with crimes against humanity.
2009 Dec 21, Cambodia signed 14
deals worth an estimated $850 million with China, two days after
defying international pressure by deporting 20 ethnic Chinese
asylum-seekers, underlining growing trade and diplomatic links.
2009 Dec 21, China and France
hailed their reinvigorated ties and sealed a series of economic
deals during a visit to Beijing by PM Francois Fillon. Electricite
de France (EDF) and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC)
formalized their joint venture for the construction of two nuclear
reactors at a power plant in Taishan in southern Guangdong province.
French aerospace and defense industries group Safran and US
conglomerate General Electric won a multi-billion-dollar contract to
equip China's future C919 passenger jet with engines.
2009 Dec 21, In Colombia at
least 10 men in military uniforms abducted Gov. Luis Francisco
Cuellar (69) from his home in Florencia, capital of the southern
state of Caqueta, killing a police guard and blasting open the
governor's door with explosives. FARC was believed to be
responsible. Cuellar’s body, still clad in pajamas, was found lying
at the top of a steep hill on Florencia's outskirts the next
morning. President Alvaro Uribe soberly told Colombians that
kidnappers had slit the throat of the southern governor.
(AP, 12/22/09)(AP, 12/23/09)
2009 Dec 21, Eurostar halted
services for a third day to probe a breakdown of trains through the
Channel Tunnel that stranded thousands, prompting an angry French
government to demand an explanation and call its own inquiry.
President Nicolas Sarkozy summoned the head of the French train
authority to the Elysee Palace and ordered him to get the Eurostar
moving again after a three-day suspension of the cross-Channel train
service that has wreaked havoc on the holiday travel plans of some
40,000 people. The death toll from winter storms across Europe rose
to at least 80 as transport chaos spread amid mounting anger over
the failure of high-speed trains.
(AP, 12/21/09)(AFP, 12/21/09)(Reuters, 12/21/09)
2009 Dec 21, It was reported
that gunmen in Guatemala have killed more than 170 bus drivers this
year to scare them and transportation companies into paying
extortion fees that fuel the country's multimillion-dollar organized
2009 Dec 21, In India Riona
Wines, based in western Maharashtra state, the country's
grape-growing centre, signed investment agreements with Italian
vintners Moncaro and Enzo Mecella.
2009 Dec 21, Tens of thousands
of Iranian mourners turned the funeral procession of the country's
most senior dissident cleric into an anti-government protest,
chanting "death to the dictator" and slogans in support of the
opposition amid heavy security.
2009 Dec 21, In northern Iraq a
suicide bomber attacked the convoy of a Tel Afar city council chief,
killing Hussein Akrash and three guards.
2009 Dec 21, Mexico City
lawmakers made the city the first in Latin America to legalize
same-sex marriage, a change that will give homosexual couples more
rights, including allowing them to adopt children.
2009 Dec 21, In Mexico
construction began on the Palace of the Maya Civilization Museum in
(SSFC, 12/27/09, p.A22)
2009 Dec 21, A Pakistani court
in Lahore ordered the noses and ears of two men cut off after they
did the same thing to a young woman whose family spurned one of the
men's marriage proposal. Sher Mohammad and a friend, Amanat
Mohammad, were accused of kidnapping the woman and cutting off her
ears and nose in late September in the Raiwind area of Lahore.
2009 Dec 21, In Somalia a bomb
blast and a separate mortar attack on a radio station in Mogadishu
killed eight people.
2009 Dec 21, The UN accused the
Ugandan-based Lord's Resistance Army of killing, mutilating and
raping villagers in Sudan and Congo in what may have been crimes
2009 Dec 21, Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe and his rival PM Morgan Tsvangirai announced an
agreement on commissions to drive media and electoral reforms, one
of the key issues which has been threatening their power-sharing
2010 Dec 21, US tax authorities
announced that Deutsche Bank has admitted criminal wrongdoing and
agreed to pay more than $550 million in connection with its
participation in tax shelters from 1996-2002 that enabled the rich
to temporarily avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in US
2010 Dec 21, The United States
said it has approved travel sanctions against Laurent Gbagbo and
about 30 others following Ivory Coast's disputed presidential
2010 Dec 21, The US Treasury
Department imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe's attorney general,
Johannes Tomana, saying his actions undermined the country's
2010 Dec 21, In southern
Afghanistan a British soldier was one of two NATO service members
killed in Helmand. 5 civilians died as militants attacked coalition
forces in the Sangin district. Seven insurgents were killed in the
(AP, 12/21/10)(AP, 12/22/10)
2010 Dec 21, The Australian
Defense Force said steroids and unidentified substances had been
seized in recent raids after a tip-off. A report claimed Australian
sailors have been stashing large amounts of cocaine and heroin on
navy ships and selling them in Sydney's red light district and that
this has been going on "for years."
2010 Dec 21, In Belarus Grigory
Kostusyev, a presidential candidate arrested after weekend
elections, said the KGB tried to pressure him into renouncing his
opposition to the country's authoritarian regime.
2010 Dec 21, British man
Stephen Griffiths (40), who called himself the "Crossbow Cannibal,"
was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to killing
three prostitutes. Griffiths admitted murdering Suzanne Blamires
(36), Shelley Armitage (31) and Susan Rushworth (43), who all worked
as prostitutes near his home in Bradford.
2010 Dec 21, Toronto-Dominion
Bank said it will buy Chrysler Financial from private equity firm
Cerberus Capital Management for $6.3 billion, joining the throng of
Canadian institutions expanding foreign operations.
2010 Dec 21, China urged North
Korea to follow through on its offer to allow UN nuclear monitors
into the country as a way to alleviate international tensions during
a standoff with the South.
2010 Dec 21, In Cuba Francisco
Chavez Abarca of El Salvador was handed a 30-year prison sentence
for his role in a string of bombings at tourist hotels in the 1990s.
The bombings killed an Italian tourist in 1997.
2010 Dec 21, The leaders of
Egypt and Libya were in Khartoum for talks with Sudanese leaders on
the future of Africa's largest country ahead of a referendum that's
likely to break it into two.
2010 Dec 21, A French judge
charged exiled Rwandan Hutu rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana (47)
over his alleged role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The former
"executive secretary" of the Hutu guerrilla FDLR, who had been
living in France as a computer technician, was charged with crimes
2010 Dec 21, Alpha Conde
heralded a new era for Guinea after being sworn as the nation's
first freely elected president in front of visiting heads of state
and jubilant supporters.
2010 Dec 21, Hungary’s Fidesz
party passed the second part of contentious legislation placing
broadcast, print and online media under the supervision of a new
authority with power to impose large fines for ill-defined offenses.
(Econ, 1/8/11, p.53)
2010 Dec 21, In India Russia’s
Pres. Medvedev clinched agreements with its Cold War-era ally to
deepen nuclear energy cooperation and develop a supersonic fighter
to rival a US jet. Russia and India pledged to share intelligence
and work together to fight international terror.
(Reuters, 12/21/10)(AP, 12/21/10)
2010 Dec 21, Iraqi lawmakers
unanimously approved a new government to be headed by incumbent
Shiite PM Nouri al-Maliki, ending nine months of political deadlock
that threatened to stall economic development and suck the country
back into sectarian violence. They also adopted a 43-point program
aimed at liberalizing the economy and fighting terrorism. Women made
up a quarter of the 325-seat Parliament but were given only two
ministries in the 44-member Cabinet, approved after a nine-month
(AP, 12/21/10)(AFP, 12/21/10)(AP, 12/23/10)
2010 Dec 21, The Israeli air
force hit seven suspected militant sites in the Gaza Strip in an
unusually large operation. Palestinian militants retaliated by
sending a rocket crashing down near a kindergarten in southern
Israel. Israel's military chief confirmed the Palestinian use of
Kornet missiles. This marked a new milestone for Gaza militants, who
have steadily built up their arsenal from a collection of crude,
homemade rockets to include more menacing imported weapons. Israeli
defense officials said the laser-guided Kornet came from Iran.
Israel's answer, called Trophy, was the first-of-its-kind
Israeli-made system carried by tanks that is designed to shoot down
missiles like the Kornet.
(AP, 12/21/10)(AP, 12/22/10)
2010 Dec 21, Toyota Motor Corp.
agreed to pay the US government a record $32.4 million in additional
fines to settle an investigation into its handling of two recalls at
the heart of its safety crisis. The latest settlement, on top of a
$16.4 million fine Toyota paid earlier in a related investigation,
brought the total penalties levied on the company to $48.8 million.
2010 Dec 21, In Mexico seven
gunmen kidnapped 9 Central American migrants from a train near the
Ixtepec, a town in Oaxaca state. Five of the migrants escaped and
reported the kidnapping. Another was killed as he tried to flee. 3
2010 Dec 21, Netherlands-based
Royal DSM NV, the world’s largest maker of vitamins, agreed to buy
Martek Biosciences, a US maker of nutritional ingredients for baby
food, for $1.09 billion.
(SFC, 12/22/10, p.D3)
2010 Dec 21, A Sudan military
source said 20 soldiers from the south Sudan army (SPLA) have been
killed in clashes with rebels led by former general George Athor.
2010 Dec 21, In Tonga Noble
Lord Tu’ivakano won a secret ballot among lawmakers to become the
country’s first prime minister elected by parliament rather than
appointed by King George Tupou V.
(SFC, 12/21/10, p.A2)
2010 Dec 21, Venezuela’s
congress, dominated by President Hugo Chavez's allies, passed a law
barring foreign funding for nongovernment organizations and
political parties, adding to a series of measures that critics say
aim to stifle dissent.
2010 Dec 21, In Zimbabwe 9
people died and 25 were injured when a speeding bus slammed into a
truck in Harare. 3 infants were among the dead.
2011 Dec 21, The Obama
administration issued the first US standards to cut mercury and
other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants.
(SFC, 12/22/11, p.A9)
2011 Dec 21, The US government
said it is suspending training for new Peace Corps volunteers in the
Central American nations of Guatemala and El Salvador while it
assesses security concerns. It was also decided to pull all
volunteers from Honduras.
(AP, 12/21/11)(AP, 1/18/12)
2011 Dec 21, It was reported
that California Watch has found repeated violations over the past
year by Prime Healthcare Services for aggressive billing to
(SFC, 12/21/11, p.A1)
2011 Dec 21, Operators ran the
first train down Afghanistan's first major railroad, clearing the
way for a long-awaited service from the northern border that should
speed up the US military's crucial supply flow and become a hub for
future trade. Uzbekistan's state-owned SE Sogdiana Trans will run
the commercial train service.
2011 Dec 21, In eastern
Afghanistan a roadside bomb blast killed five Polish soldiers in
Ghazni province. Afghan police shot dead a would-be suicide bomber
before he was able to attack a police station in Khost province.
2011 Dec 21, Bosnia police and
local media reported that as Monika Ilic, a Bosnian Serb woman
suspected of such brutal crimes against non-Serbs at the beginning
of the 1992-95 Bosnian war, has been detained. Her victims
reportedly called her the "Female Monster." Ilic was reportedly 18
when she married Goran Jelisic, a convicted murderer and
concentration camp torturer.
2011 Dec 21, Cambodia and
Thailand announced an agreement in principle to withdraw troops from
a border area where a territorial dispute triggered deadly clashes.
2011 Dec 21, In China villagers
of Wukan gave up their protests over land confiscations after the
Guangdong party leadership promised to look into their complaints.
On Jan 15, 2012, protest leader Lin Zuluan was appointed as the
village’s new party chief.
(Econ, 1/28/12, p.24)
2011 Dec 21, Human Rights Watch
released a report stating CongoDRC security forces had killed at
least 24 people and "arbitrarily" arrested dozens more since
Kabila's disputed victory was announced December 9.
2011 Dec 21, In Egypt voting in
election runoffs for the first parliament since Hosni Mubarak's
ouster resumed without the long lines outside polling centers seen
in previous rounds of the staggered vote.
2011 Dec 21, An Ethiopian court
convicted Swedish journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson of
supporting a terrorist group and entering the country illegally,
with the prosecution calling for a maximum sentence of 18 years and
six months. On Dec 27 a court sentenced the two journalists to 11
years in prison on charges of supporting terrorism.
(AFP, 12/22/11)(AP, 12/27/11)
2011 Dec 21, Finnish officials
said they have found around 160 tons of explosives and 69
surface-to-air Patriot missiles on a cargo ship bearing a British
flag and ultimately destined for China. They didn't know the origin
of the missiles or who was supposed to receive them.
2011 Dec 21, Hong Kong health
workers began slaughtering 17,000 chickens after a carcass was found
infected with bird flu at a poultry market.
(SFC, 12/22/11, p.A2)
2011 Dec 21, In Indonesia 4
people were killed but 100 rescued when an overloaded boat sank. The
wooden boat was carrying villagers returning home for the Christmas
2011 Dec 21, Iraq's PM Nouri
al-Maliki said he has granted a six-month extension on a deadline to
close Camp Ashraf, which has housed Iranian exiles for decades. The
six-month extension started in November. He also said the UN would
relocate 400 to 800 of the residents to other countries by end of
December. Al-Maliki also told Kurdish authorities to hand over Sunni
vice president Tariq Al-Hashemi, who fled to the semiautonomous
region to escape an arrest warrant on charges he ran hit squads
targeting government officials.
(AP, 12/21/11)(SFC, 12/22/11, p.A4)
2011 Dec 21, Jamaican
investigators found the severed head and bullet-riddled body of
Navardo Hodges of the Clansman gang, a man they believe was a
high-ranking member of a notorious drug-and-extortion gang known for
2011 Dec 21, In Mexico Veracruz
state spokeswoman Gina Dominguez said 800 police officers and 300
administrative employees have been laid off an effort to root out
corruption. She said they can still apply for state police jobs but
must meet stricter standards. In the meantime the Navy will take
2011 Dec 21, A blast in
Myanmar's commercial hub and former capital Yangon killed one woman
and wounded another.
2011 Dec 21, Shell, the major
oil producer in Nigeria, said an oil spill a day earlier likely
occurred as workers tried to offload oil onto a waiting tanker.
Shell estimated the Bonga spill likely was less than 40,000 barrels,
or 1.68 million gallons. The oil slick affected 115 miles (185 km)
of ocean along Nigeria's coast.
(AP, 12/22/11)(AFP, 7/17/12)
2011 Dec 21, The opposition
Syrian National Council urged the UN Security Council and Arab
League to hold emergency meetings after regime forces "massacred"
more than 200 people in two days.
2011 Dec 21, In southeast
Turkey a passenger bus collided with a truck on a single lane road,
killing 25 people.
2011 Dec 21, The UN tribunal
for Rwanda handed life sentences to Matthieu Ngirumpatse and Edouard
Karemera, former heads of the ex-ruling party, for genocide crimes
committed in 1994.
2011 Dec 21, Marie-Claire
Mukeshimana (43), a Rwandan woman convicted in absentia by a court
in her country for her role in the 1994 genocide, arrived in Kigali
after being extradited from the US. She was sentenced in 2009 to 19
years in prison for complicity in the killing of several children
who had sought refuge at a convent in southern Rwanda.
2011 Dec 21, In South Africa
the Limpopo branch of the African National Congress adopted
controversial plans for the expropriation of land and the
nationalization of mines. It said compensation must be paid not on
the land itself but only on improvements.
2011 Dec 21, In Yemen overnight
fighting against al-Qaida-linked fighters in the south killed 10 of
the militants and five soldiers outside Zinjibar. Abdel-Rahman
al-Wahishi, brother of Yemen's al-Qaida leader, was among dozens of
people killed in battles raging for days in the south of the
(AP, 12/21/11)(AP, 12/22/11)
2012 Dec 21, President Barack
Obama formally nominated Democratic Senate Foreign Relations
Committee Chairman John Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as
secretary of state.
2012 Dec 21, The National Rifle
Association said guns and police officers in all American schools
are what's needed to stop the next killer "waiting in the wings."
NRA executive chief Wayne LaPierre delivered a 25-minute tirade
against the notion that another gun law would stop killings.
2012 Dec 21, The US National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that ringed seals
and bearded seals will be listed as threatened under the Endangered
Species Act. Loss of sea ice due to climate warning was blamed.
(SFC, 12/22/12, p.A6)
2012 Dec 21, A judge in
Atlanta, Georgia, suspended a state law banning abortions for women
who are more than 20 weeks pregnant.
(SFC, 12/25/12, p.A8)
2012 Dec 21, Brenda Stokes
Wilson (50) slashed a co-worker at the Bellagio casino in las Vegas.
It was later learned that she had stabbed to death Jade Morris (10),
her ex-boyfriend’s daughter, whom she was supposed to take Christmas
(SFC, 1/3/13, p.A5)(http://tinyurl.com/bznkswf)
2012 Dec 21, In Pennsylvania
Jeffrey Lee Michael of Geeseytown (44) fatally shot a woman
decorating for a children's Christmas party at a tiny church hall
and killed two men elsewhere in a rural township before he was shot
dead in a gunfight with state troopers.
(AP, 12/22/12)(AP, 12/22/12)
2012 Dec 21, British Dr. Derek
Keilloh was stripped of his medical license for misconduct and
dishonesty over the death of an Iraqi man who was beaten and killed
while in the custody of British troops. Keilloh had treated Baha
Mousa, a hotel clerk who died at a British base after being detained
in Basra in September 2003.
2012 Dec 21, In Egypt Thousands
of Islamists clashed with their opponents in Alexandria, on the eve
of the second leg of voting on the country's contentious
constitution that has deeply polarized the nation.
2012 Dec 21, The European Union
said it has agreed to re-launch €174.3 million in development funds
2012 Dec 21, Haiti’s government
announced that it has awarded permits for the first time in its
history to allow two companies to openly mine for gold and copper.
(SFC, 12/22/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 21, In Iraq Sunni
Deputy PM Saleh al-Mutlaq threatened that his Iraqiya bloc could
withdraw from the political process altogether if lawmakers and
independent bodies are not allowed to monitor the investigation
involving al-Issawi's staff.
2012 Dec 21, Italy’s PM Mario
Monti resigned following Parliament’s confidence vote on the 2013
budget. Monti had said he would step down after the budget was
(SFC, 12/22/12, p.A5)
2012 Dec 21, In Ivory Coast say
at least one person was dead after two simultaneous attacks
overnight on Ivorian security forces.
2012 Dec 21, In southeastern
Kenya at least 39 people were killed when farmers raided a village
of herders. The Pokomo tribe of farmers raided a village of the
semi-nomadic Orma herding community at dawn in the Tana River Delta.
13 children, 6 women, 11 men and 9 attackers were killed.
2012 Dec 21, Kyrgyzstan's
state-owned natural gas company said it is to be sold to Russia's
energy monopoly Gazprom, raising hopes of an end to debilitating
energy shortages in the impoverished Central Asian nation.
2012 Dec 21, The
al-Qaida-linked group that controls much of northern Mali and other
rebels agreed to cease hostilities in the areas they control, a day
after the United Nations backed a regional plan to oust the
Islamists from power in a military intervention next year.
2012 Dec 21, Dawn broke over
ancient holy sites in southern Mexico to celebrations, ushering in
the start of a new era for the Maya people that had been billed as a
possible end of the world.
2012 Dec 21, In Mexico US
Marine veteran Jon Hammar (27), jailed for months after trying to
carry a family heirloom shotgun across the border, was freed.
2012 Dec 21, Jose Salvador
Alvarenga left Mexico in his 23 foot (7m) fiberglass boat for a
day's fishing, accompanied by a teen he knew only as Ezekiel, who
was between 15 and 18. A storm blew them off course. Ezekial died
after a month. Alvarenga ended up surviving 13 months on fish, birds
and turtles before washing ashore on the remote Marshall Islands
some 5,500 miles (8,800 km) away.
2012 Dec 21, In Mozambique 14
people died when a tire burst on a speeding minibus, causing the
driver to lose control and collide with an oncoming vehicle.
2012 Dec 21, NATO
Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmusen said the Syrian military has
continued to fire Scud-type missiles against anti-government forces,
describing the move as an act of desperation of a regime nearing its
2012 Dec 21, North Korea said
that an American citizen, identified as Pae Jun Ho, has been
detained after confessing to unspecified crimes, confirming news
reports about his arrest. State media said Pae arrived in the far
northeastern city of Rajin on Nov. 3 as part of a tour.
2012 Dec 21, A mob in southern
Pakistan stormed a police station to seize a mentally unstable
Muslim man accused of burning a copy of Islam's holy book, beat him
to death, and then set his body afire. Police arrested 30 people for
suspected involvement in the attack.
2012 Dec 21, In southwestern
Pakistan gunmen killed eleven Pakistanis and Afghans in a border
town as they were trying to cross to Iran to travel on to Europe as
2012 Dec 21, Poland’s Interior
Ministry said the death toll from sub-freezing temperatures that set
in in December was 49 people so far, compared to 19 in the whole of
December last year. Another 15 people died of cold in October and
five in November. Another 41 have been killed by carbon monoxide
inhalation from coal or other ways of heating their homes since
temperatures started falling.
2012 Dec 21, The lower house of
the Russian parliament overwhelmingly passed a bill that would ban
adoption of Russian children by Americans, sending the controversial
legislation a step closer to President Vladimir Putin's desk. This
was part of a larger measure by angry lawmakers retaliating against
a recently signed US law that calls for sanctions against Russians
deemed to be human rights violators.
2012 Dec 21, In Sierra Leone
the OCTEA diamond mining company said that the company is increasing
the year-end salary bonus for workers from 20% to 30%. Officials
said a deadly strike at the Koidu diamond mine is now over. Two
people were killed in violence there, where workers went on strike
over bonuses and work conditions.
2012 Dec 21, Syrian rebels
attacked a base protecting a military industrial compound in the
country's north as anti-government forces pushed forward in efforts
to capture wider areas near the border with Turkey. 7 rebels were
reported killed in the attack on the air defense base in the town of
2012 Dec 21, The UN said 4
peacekeepers have been killed and one injured in Sudan’s Darfur
region when one peacekeeper opened fire on fellow UN-AU
(SFC, 12/22/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 21, Pope Benedict XVI
pressed his opposition to gay marriage, denouncing what he described
as people manipulating their God-given identities to suit their
sexual choices — and destroying the very "essence of the human
creature" in the process.
2012 Dec 21, In Yemen hundreds
of thousands rallied across the country to support a military
shake-up this week that limited the powers held by loyalists of the
country's ousted leader, including his son.
2012 Dec 21, In Yemen Dominik
Neubauer of Austria was kidnapped along with a Finnish couple. In
February a video was posted in which he said his captors would kill
him in a week if a ransom demand was not met.
2013 Dec 21, At least two
people were killed as wild storms and suspected tornadoes tore
through parts of Mississippi and Arkansas.
2013 Dec 21, Florida’s Fish and
Wildlife Research Institute said annual manatee deaths topped 800
for the first time since record-keeping began in the 1970s.
(SSFC, 12/22/13, p.A9)
2013 Dec 21, Edgar Bronfman Sr.
(84), the former Seagram liquor company executive and ex-World
Jewish Congress head, died at his home in New York. He had helped
obtain restitution for Holocaust victims from Swiss banks.
2013 Dec 21, Cuba’s President
Raul Castro warned his country could remain estranged from the
United States for decades if Washington does not drop political
2013 Dec 21, Egypt's deposed
Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, and 129 others including members
of Hamas and Hezbollah, were referred to trial on murder and other
charges related to a mass jail break during the 2011 uprising
against Hosni Mubarak.
2013 Dec 21, The mayor of
Georgia's capital Tbilisi was suspended from office after he was
charged with misspending public funds in a case he and his
opposition colleagues said was a witch-hunt against supporters of
former president Mikheil Saakashvili.
2013 Dec 21, Greece's coalition
government pushed through parliament a new property tax required
under the country's international bailout obligations, but saw its
majority dwindle in the process.
2013 Dec 21, In Iraq 5 senior
officers, including a divisional commander, and 10 soldiers were
killed in a raid on an Al-Qaeda hideout in Anbar province. Violence
elsewhere killed 5 policemen, including the police chief of
Al-Sharqat district northwest of Baghdad.
2013 Dec 21, Israeli soldiers
shot and wounded a Palestinian man in the southern Gaza Strip.
Witnesses said the shooting happened when several young Palestinians
who were hunting birds approached the security fence separating the
territory from Israel and came under fire. Israel said terrorists
had attempted to conceal an explosive device in order to attack IDF
2013 Dec 21, In Italy 9
detained illegal immigrants stitched their lips together with thread
from their bedsheets in a protest to demand their release.
2013 Dec 21, In Lebanon
Hezbollah fighters ambushed a group of Syrian rebels as they
infiltrated through a smuggler route outside Nahle. About 30 rebels
were reported killed.
(SFC, 12/25/13, p.A2)
2013 Dec 21, Madagascar's
presidential candidates both claimed victory in run-off polls, each
accusing the other of rigging the run-off as results started to
2013 Dec 21, Mauritania held
runoff elections. The ruling party secured a majority of seats in
round two of the parliamentary election. The decisive victory for
the Union of the Republic party assured that President Mohamed Ould
Abdel Aziz, who came to power in a 2008 coup, will retain complete
control of the organs of state.
2013 Dec 21, In Niger up to
1,000 demonstrators marched in Niamey to protest their country's
"unbalanced" partnership with nuclear firm Areva as the French giant
negotiates a new uranium mining agreement with the government.
2013 Dec 21, In northwestern
Pakistan gunmen attacked an anti-polio vaccination center in the
Khyber tribal region, killing a medic on duty.
2013 Dec 21, Saudi Arabia said
one more person has died from a new respiratory virus related to
SARS, bringing to 56 the number of deaths in the kingdom at the
center of the outbreak.
2013 Dec 21, Somalia's
parliament approved as the new prime minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed,
a political newcomer and economist who faces tough challenges in the
2013 Dec 21, In South Sudan
rebel gunfire hit a US military aircraft trying to evacuate American
citizens caught in a Bor, a battle ground between the country's
military and renegade troops. Four US service members were wounded,
2013 Dec 21, Sudan's military
said it has "liberated" several areas of war-torn South Kordofan
state, but rebels dismissed the claim as propaganda, saying a
government offensive achieved nothing.
2013 Dec 21, Vandals in Sweden
burned down a giant straw goat meant to symbolize Christmas spirit.
This was the 27th time it was burned down since 1966, when the Yule
symbol was first erected.
2013 Dec 21, Thailand's main
opposition party announced it would boycott an election in February,
deepening uncertainty about the poll and fuelling a campaign to
overthrow PM Yingluck Shinawatra's government.
2013 Dec 21, Turkey’s PM Tayyip
Erdogan denounced "international groups" and "dark alliances" for
entangling Turkey in a corruption scandal that has exposed deep
rifts between him and Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric who
helped him rise to power.
2013 Dec 21, In southern Yemen
several cities were virtually paralyzed by a second day of
confrontations between militants and security forces in which 11
people were wounded. Fighting raged in the north as the Sunni
Islamist Al-Islah party accused Zaidi Shiite rebels known as Huthis
of abducting one of its members. In the eastern province of Marib
saboteurs blew up two sections of an oil pipeline.
2014 Dec 21, US-led forces
attacked Islamic State targets with 13 air strikes in Iraq and three
in Syria, using fighter, bomber and other aircraft.
2014 Dec 21, US cybersecurity
researchers said malicious software likely linked to China is being
used to infect visitors to a wide range of official Afghan
2014 Dec 21, Florida police
Officer Charles Kondek was shot and run over early today in Tarpon
Springs. Marco Antonio Parilla Jr. was arrested on suspicion of
first degree murder.
(Reuters, 12/21/14)(SFC, 12/22/14, p.A8)
2014 Dec 21, In Belarus three
of BelaPAN's websites were blocked, along with the Internet
newspaper Solidarnost and the website of the human rights
2014 Dec 21, British actress
Billie Whitelaw (82), who collaborated closely with Irish playwright
Samuel Beckett and appeared on stage and screen for decades, died in
a London nursing home. She made more than 50 movies, including
Alfred Hitchcock's "Frenzy" in 1972.
2014 Dec 21, In Central African
Republic at least 18 people were killed and dozens injured in fresh
attacks in and around the southwestern towns of Gamboula and Nola,
near the border with Cameroon.
2014 Dec 21, China’s state news
agency Xinhua reported that authorities have detained over 30,000
people during a two-month clamp down on pornography and gambling.
2014 Dec 21, Chinese police in
the southwestern province of Guangxi stopped a group of "religious
extremists" from illegally crossing into neighboring Vietnam after
shooting one person dead and detaining 21.
2014 Dec 21, Egypt opened the
Rafah border crossing for incoming passengers from the Gaza Strip
for the first time in almost two months. Rafah would open for two
days to allow Gazans with serious illnesses to travel to Egypt and
beyond for treatment and to allow foreign nationals and students to
2014 Dec 21, Egyptian state
media reported that a court has jailed Mohamed Ali Abdel Baki, a
Suez Canal shipping services manager, for 10 years on charges of
spying for Israel about naval movements through the strategic
2014 Dec 21, A Frenchman
(b.1974) in Dijon ploughed into pedestrians shouting "Allahu Akbar"
and left 13 people injured before he was shot dead. He had been to
psychiatric hospital 157 times and had no known links to jihadist
2014 Dec 21, Haiti's Health
Minister Florence Duperval Guillaume, was named interim prime
minister to replace Laurent Lamothe who resigned a week ago
following several weeks of protests.
2014 Dec 21, In northeastern
India an explosion in the parking lot of a bus station killed 3
workers and wounded five others in Manipur state.
2014 Dec 21, Israel police
rounded up eight Jewish extremists from a racist anti-Arab
organization overnight, in the second such swoop targeting the group
within a week.
2014 Dec 21, Jordan ended an
eight-year moratorium on the death penalty with the hangings of 11
men convicted of murder.
2014 Dec 21, Kurdish fighters,
backed by US-led coalition airstrikes, pushed into the northern
Iraqi town of Sinjar, touching off heavy clashes with Islamic State
militants who have controlled the area for months.
2014 Dec 21, Libya's
Islamist-backed rival government called for diplomats and foreign
firms to return to Tripoli, pledging to protect them despite an
attack on the empty home of the Swiss ambassador.
2014 Dec 21, In northeastern
Nigeria Boko Haram gunmen stormed Geidam, Yobe state, setting fire
to several buildings and forcing residents to flee to the bush.
2014 Dec 21, In Nigeria pirates
hijacked a military gunboat and 3 soldiers were missing after the
ambush in the southern oil-rich state of Bayelsa.
2014 Dec 21, Pakistan hanged
four Islamist militants in the second set of executions since the
government lifted a moratorium after the Taliban massacred 132
children and nine others at a school last week. Rights groups
believe Pakistan has about 8,000 prisoners on death row, more than
500 of them for terrorist offences.
2014 Dec 21, In Romania center
politician Klaus Iohannis (55) was sworn in as president. He
promised to crack down on corruption and strengthen institutions.
(Reuters, 12/21/14)(SFC, 12/22/14, p.A2)
2014 Dec 21, Sudanese security
agents raided the headquarters of a human rights monitor and seized
computers, nearly two weeks after one of its founders was arrested.
2014 Dec 21, A Syrian military
source announced that an Israeli unmanned Skylark-1 model drone has
been shot down in Quneitra province, close to the village of Hader"
near the Golan Heights.
2014 Dec 21, Tunisians voted in
the runoff of the country's first free presidential election, with
authorities urging a big turnout to consolidate democracy after a
chaotic four-year transition. Veteran politician Beji Caid Essebsi
(88) won the presidential election with 55.68 percent of the vote.
(AFP, 12/21/14)(Reuters, 12/22/14)
2014 Dec 21, Uzbekistan voters
cast ballots in parliamentary elections in the ex-Soviet Central
Asian state where all four competing parties support President Islam
2015 Dec 21, The Obama
administration announced a move to make it harder for American
big-game hunters to bring a lion head or hide into the country.
(SFC, 12/22/15, p.A7)
2015 Dec 21, At Cape Canaveral,
Florida, SpaceX successfully landed its powerful Falcon 9 rocket for
the first time, a major milestone in the drive to cut costs and
waste by making rockets as reusable as airplanes.
2015 Dec 21, In Afghanistan a
suicide bomber attacked a joint NATO-Afghan patrol near Bagram air
base killing 6 NATO service members, all Americans.
(Reuters, 12/21/15)(Reuters, 12/22/15)
2015 Dec 21, Austria's Vice
Chancellor said that Austria could not accept much more than the
roughly 100,000 asylum seekers it expects to receive this year.
2015 Dec 21, Azerbaijan let its
currency float freely, leading to its sharp depreciation as global
oil prices hit new lows. Following the move, the manat fell by 32
2015 Dec 21, Burkina Faso said
it has issued an international warrant for ousted leader Blaise
Compaore, who is living in exile in the Ivory Coast, for his
suspected role in the 1987 killing of his former comrade,
ex-president Thomas Sankara.
2015 Dec 21, Cambodian police
made dozens of arrests and used water cannon to break up a strike by
garment workers protesting over low pay.
2015 Dec 21, China's top
prosecutor said prosecutors in eastern Shandong province filed a
lawsuit last week against a county-level environmental protection
department, accusing it of "failing to fulfil its regulatory duties"
in its supervision of a local sewage firm. This marked the first
time prosecutors had sued a government department in a public
2015 Dec 21, China’s government
said it ordered 2,100 factories to suspend or reduce production as
part of its "red alert" measures to deal with smog in Beijing.
2015 Dec 21, The Central Bank
of Cyprus revoked the operating license for the local branch of
Tanzania's FBME Bank Ltd. In July the US Financial Crimes
Enforcement Network, or FinCen, concluded that FBME was used by
customers involved in money laundering, fraud and terrorist
2015 Dec 21, In Djibouti at
least 7 civilians were killed and scores of people wounded in
clashes when police broke up a traditional religious ceremony in
Buldhoqo district. The opposition Union for National Salvation (USN)
party claimed 19 people died.
2015 Dec 21, The EU extended
sanctions against Russia for six months for fueling the separatist
war in Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea.
(SFC, 12/22/15, p.A6)
2015 Dec 21, Japan’s
scandal-plagued manufacturer Toshiba Corp. said it is cutting 6,800
jobs after projecting a net loss of 550 billion yen ($4.5 billion)
for the fiscal year through March 2016.
2015 Dec 21, The unmanned
Progress cargo spacecraft blasted off from Russia's space launch
complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on a journey to the International
2015 Dec 21, In Kenya witnesses
said 2 people died in the attacks in northern Mandera County when
gunmen believed to be Somalia's al-Shabab rebels shot at a bus and
truck headed for Mandera town.
2015 Dec 21, Two migrants
trying to reach Europe by boat drowned off Libya, another 10 were
missing and more than 100 were rescued by the Libyan coastguard.
2015 Dec 21, Mali's government
announced a state of emergency that will last for 10 days through
2015 Dec 21, Panama’s Supreme
Court ordered the detention of Pres. Ricardo Martinelli for
allegedly intercepting communications of at least 150 people during
his 2009-2014 administration. Martinelli said he would stay outside
the country while fighting the charges.
(SFC, 12/23/15, p.A2)
2015 Dec 21, In Poland a
chemist was convicted of a bomb plot against parliament and other
government buildings, and he was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Brunon Kwiecien, an agricultural university teacher in Krakow, was
arrested in 2012 in a much publicized case in which prosecutors said
a "terrorist" attack was foiled.
2015 Dec 21, Saudi Arabia
intercepted multiple missiles fired before dawn by Houthi rebels
from Yemen towards its southern border region.
(AFP, 12/21/15)(SFC, 12/22/15, p.A2)
2015 Dec 21, In Saudi Arabia
journalist Zuhair Kutbi was found guilty of inciting public opinion,
fomenting sedition, defaming state institutions and harming the
government’s prestige. He was sentenced to four years in prison with
two years suspended.
(SFC, 12/23/15, p.A2)
2015 Dec 21, Sweden's
state-owned railway operator SJ said it would halt its passenger
services to and from Denmark because it was unable to carry out the
identity checks demanded by the government to stem an influx of
2015 Dec 21, Thailand's
government said it is not ignoring the slavery and forced labor in
its lucrative shrimp industry.
2015 Dec 21, Ugandan police
arrested 20 supporters and security guards at the headquarters of an
opposition candidate vying to end the nearly 30-year rule of
President Yoweri Museveni in elections next February.
2016 Dec 21, Lawyers of three
US families said Ikea has reached a tentative settlement to pay them
$50 million for the deaths of three children, all around age two,
killed when the company’s furniture fell on them.
(SFC, 12/23/16, p.C2)
2016 Dec 21, Police in Bahrain
clashed with residents of the besieged town of Diraz that is home to
Shiite cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim, arresting at least two youths and
fueling protests throughout the day. Qassim lost his citizenship in
June over the Sunni-ruled government's allegations that he fueled
2016 Dec 21, Brazilian
construction firm Odebrecht SA and affiliated petrochemical company
Braskem SA pleaded guilty in a US court to violating American
foreign bribery laws as part of a deal resolving a sweeping
corruption probe of Brazil's state oil company. Odebrecht admitted
that it had paid bribes to win contracts across Latin America
including Peru. It said that it had paid $29 million in Peru between
2005 and 2014 to secure concessions.
(Reuters, 12/21/16)(Econ, 3/25/17, p.29)
2016 Dec 21, China's Ministry
of Public Security unveiled a list of areas where foreign
non-governmental organizations (NGO) are allowed to operate, from
legal advice to equality of the sexes, ahead of the enforcement of a
2016 Dec 21, In China four
people were killed when a minibus drove into a market in a northern
part of Beijing and many others have sustained injuries.
2016 Dec 21, China's smoggiest
city Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province, closed schools as
much of the country suffered its sixth day under an oppressive haze,
sparking public anger about the slow response to the threat to
2016 Dec 21, Congolese security
forces killed eight civilians and wounded 35 others in the
southeastern mining hub of Lubumbashi over the last 24 hours during
protests against President Joseph Kabila.
2016 Dec 21, The European
Union's high court said that EU agreements on closer ties and trade
with Morocco should not apply to the disputed Western Sahara region.
2016 Dec 21, German police
launched a manhunt for a Tunisian suspected of driving the truck
that ploughed through a Berlin Christmas market on Dec 19 in a
deadly assault claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group. German
authorities issued a wanted notice for Anis Amri, describing him as
potentially violent and armed.
(AFP, 12/21/16)(AP, 12/22/16)
2016 Dec 21, A Greek state food
safety agency said several soft drinks and food products mostly made
by multinational companies have been withdrawn from sale in greater
Athens after an anarchist group said it had injected packages and
plastic bottles with chlorine and hydrochloric acid. A group calling
itself "Green Nemesis" posted the threat on the internet on Dec 19,
saying it intended to cause financial damage to the companies.
2016 Dec 21, In India leading
opposition figure Rahul Gandhi demanded an investigation into
allegations that two Indian conglomerates paid millions of rupees as
bribes to PM Narendra Modi in 2013-14 when he was governing a
2016 Dec 21, Indonesian
anti-terrorism police killed three suspects in a gunfight on the
outskirts of the capital, Jakarta, and foiled a suicide bomb plot.
2016 Dec 21, Israeli
ex-president Moshe Katsav was freed from prison after prosecutors
declined to appeal a parole board decision to release him after he
served five years of a seven-year term for rape.
2016 Dec 21, Japan's government
announced that it will bolster its coast guard capabilities to
defend East China Sea islands that China also claims and regularly
2016 Dec 21, Save the Children
and the International Federation of the Red Cross said that this
winter will likely see vast swathes of the Mongolian steppe affected
by the extreme weather phenomenon known in Mongolia as "dzud".
2016 Dec 21, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin demanded restrictions on the sale of surrogate
alcohol. At least 77 people died in the Irkutsk region of Siberia
from drinking bath oil laced with methylated spirit in search of
(Reuters, 12/21/16)(SFC, 12/23/16, p.A2)(Reuters,
2016 Dec 21, The Kremlin said
it did not expect the incoming US administration to reject NATO
enlargement overnight and that almost all communications channels
between Russia and the United States were frozen.
2016 Dec 21, Spanish banks
faced the prospect of having to pay back several billion dollars to
clients following a European Court of Justice ruling over mortgage
agreements that insured that interest rates did not fall below a
2016 Dec 21, Aron Anderson of
Sweden reached the South Pole following a 21-day journey in a
wheelchair on skis.
(SFC, 12/23/16, p.A2)
2016 Dec 21, In Syria buses
loaded with Syrian civilians have begun leaving the last rebel-held
enclave of eastern Aleppo again, after being stalled for a day.
2016 Dec 21, In northern Syria
clashes escalated around the town of al-Bab with Turkish soldiers
and 138 jihadists killed.
2016 Dec 21, Ukraine officials
said at least two Ukrainian troops have been killed in the past 24
hours in renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine. At least 7 Ukrainian
troops have been killed in fighting since Dec 18 with dozens more
injured and shell-shocked.
2017 Dec 21, The US condemned
Myanmar’s Gen. Maung Maung Soe to a blacklist of shame for his role
in atrocities against Rohingya Muslims.
(SFC, 12/22/17, p.A2)
2017 Dec 21, The Huffington
Post published leaked emails showing Miss America pageant officials
ridiculing past Miss Americas, including crass and sometimes vulgar
comments about them.
(SSFC, 12/24/17, p.A9)
2017 Dec 21, In southern
California the Thomas Fire, the 2nd largest in state history, was
60% contained. It had destroyed at least 750 homes and burned about
425 square miles.
(SFC, 12/22/17, p.A4)
2017 Dec 21, California
political trailblazer March Fong Eu (b.1922), who served as the
state's first female secretary of state and later a US ambassador to
Micronesia, died in Irvine, Ca.
(AP, 12/23/17)(SFC, 12/23/17, p.C1)
2017 Dec 21, NASA astronaut
Bruce McCandless (80), the first person to fly freely and untethered
in space (1984), died in California.
2017 Dec 21, Georgia state’s
utility regulators allowed construction to continue on two new
nuclear reactors despite massive cost overruns. They were approved
in 2012 and initially estimated to cost $14 billion.
(SFC, 12/22/17, p.A4)
2017 Dec 21, Ford and Mazda
said they are recalling more than 380,000 older small pickup trucks
for a second time to replace Takata air bag inflators that can
explode and hurl shrapnel. The recalls cover driver and passenger
inflators in certain 2004 to 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series
trucks made by Ford.
2017 Dec 21, In Australia a
white Suzuki SUV ran a red light in central Melbourne and sped up to
slam into pedestrians crossing the road before crashing into a
traffic barrier. 19 people were injured. Police said the driver was
an Australian citizen (32) of Afghan decent who has a history of
drug use and mental health issues.
2017 Dec 21, The English city
of Birmingham was confirmed as the host of the 2022 Commonwealth
Games after a troubled bidding process.
2017 Dec 21, Three opera
singers and a classical musician say that world-renowned conductor
Charles Dutoit (81) sexually assaulted them. The women accused the
artistic director and principal conductor of London's Royal
Philharmonic Orchestra of sexual misconduct on the sidelines of
rehearsals and performances in five cities between 1985 and 2010.
2017 Dec 21, In China a Beijing
court convicted 85 people, including 44 from self-ruled Taiwan, of
running phone scams in Kenya and Indonesia that targeted Chinese
people. Two Taiwanese were sentenced to 15 years in prison. The
other 83 defendants were sentenced to up to 14 years in prison and
2017 Dec 21, The EU approved a
deal that will see Lufthansa take over part of defunct Air Berlin,
formerly the second-largest carrier in Germany.
2017 Dec 21, French dairy giant
Lactalis recalled millions more products globally because of fears
of salmonella contamination.
2017 Dec 21, Hong Kong woman
Law Wan-tung, jailed for six years for starving and beating Erwiana
Sulistyaningsih, her Indonesian domestic helper, was ordered by a
court to pay more than $100,000 in damages for the "inhumane" abuse.
2017 Dec 21, In Iran police
arrested 140 of the young partygoers late today in a garden on the
outskirts of Tehran and 90 in the city's uptown while dancing and
2017 Dec 21, Three Maltese men
believed to have triggered a powerful car bomb that killed
investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia were ordered to
stand trial for murder. Mobile data and DNA results presented during
the preliminary hearing were enough to support charges against
Alfred and George Degiorgio and Vincent Muscat for the Oct. 16
2017 Dec 21, A small reindeer
herder from the indigenous Sami community in the Norwegian Arctic
lost a much-publicized appeal with Norway's top court over a ruling
that he must cull 41 of his 116-strong herd.
2017 Dec 21, In Peru opposition
legislators, who control Congress, fell eight votes short of the
two-thirds threshold in the 130-seat chamber needed to oust
President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski following a half-day of impassioned
debate. He still faced a distracting criminal investigation into his
involvement with Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.
2017 Dec 21, A Philippine
inter-island ferry with more than 250 passengers and crew, including
Christmas holiday travelers, sank after being battered by fierce
winds and big waves off the country's northeast, leaving at least
four people dead and at least seven others missing.
2017 Dec 21, In Poland British
PM Theresa May and Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki pledged to deepen
their cooperation in fighting Russian disinformation, as well as on
matters of defense and security.
2017 Dec 21, The Russian
parliament voted to extend Russia's lease of a naval base in Syria
for 49 years, following Vladimir Putin's announcement of a partial
pullout of Russian troops from the war-torn country.
2017 Dec 21, A court in Somalia
released without charge Abdirahman Abdishakur, a former minister and
government critic, who spent two days in jail after being arrested
for alleged treason. His arrest ignited a smoldering political
crisis for the fragile government.
2017 Dec 21, South Korean
soldiers fired 20 warning machine gun rounds, turning back North
Korean soldiers apparently pursuing a comrade who had earlier dashed
across the rivals' shared border. It is the fourth time this year a
North Korean soldier has defected across the world's most heavily
2017 Dec 21, Cho Hyun-ah, the
former Korean Air executive, will avoid jail as South Korea's top
court upheld her suspended prison term for her onboard "nut rage"
tantrum that delayed a flight in 2014.
2017 Dec 21, In central South
Korea a fire broke out at an eight-story building in the city of
Jecheon, killing 29 people and injuring 29 others.
2017 Dec 21, Romania's upper
house approved judicial reforms that have sparked street protests
and concerns abroad about the EU country's commitment to tackling
corruption. Center-right Pres. Klaus Iohannis now has to sign the
legislation into law.
2017 Dec 21, Russia's Rosatom
nuclear agency signed an agreement in Khartoum to build a nuclear
power plant in Sudan, a month after a meeting between President
Vladimir Putin and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir.
2017 Dec 21, Saudi Arabia paid
2 billion riyals ($533 million) in the first monthly installment of
a new welfare system for low and middle-income families that make up
approximately half of the kingdom's population.
2017 Dec 21, South Africa's
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa wrapped up the party conference
that elected him ANC leader, with a vow to stamp out corruption in
the organization and in government.
2017 Dec 21, South Africa's
ruling ANC decided to downgrade its embassy in Tel Aviv to a liaison
office over a US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's
capital, ahead of a UN vote today on a resolution urging Washington
to drop the move.
2017 Dec 21, South Korean
soldiers fired 20 warning machine gun rounds, turning back North
Korean soldiers apparently pursuing a comrade who had earlier dashed
across the rivals' shared border. It is the fourth time this year a
North Korean soldier has defected across the world's most heavily
2017 Dec 21, Cho Hyun-ah, the
former Korean Air executive, will avoid jail as South Korea's top
court upheld her suspended prison term for her onboard "nut rage"
tantrum that delayed a flight in 2014.
2017 Dec 21, In central South
Korea a fire broke out at an eight-story building in the city of
Jecheon, killing 29 people and injuring 29 others.
2017 Dec 21, In South Sudan a
spokesman for the SPLA-IO rebel group said army forces had attacked
a rebel base in Deim Jalab, in the western part of the country. Lam
Paul Gabriel said two rebels and five government troops were killed
in the fighting.
2017 Dec 21, In Spain voters in
a deeply divided Catalonia flocked to the polls with support for its
separatist and unionist camps running neck-and-neck. Catalan
separatists won the regional vote, thwarting PM Mariano Rajoy’s bid
to resolve the country's biggest political crisis in decades.
(Reuters, 12/21/17)(Reuters, 12/22/17)
2017 Dec 21, Switzerland’s
financial market regulator said the Swiss division of J.P. Morgan
"seriously breached" anti-money laundering rules relating to the
Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
2017 Dec 21, Turkish police
said they had rescued thousands of artefacts dating back to
Anatolian, Greek and Egyptian civilizations in the largest operation
to combat smuggling of ancient treasures in the country's history.
2017 Dec 21, The Ukrainian
parliament voted to withdraw a law on the creation of an
anti-corruption court, paving the way for the submission of a new
law more in line with demands from backers, including the
International Monetary Fund.
2017 Dec 21, Yemen's UN
ambassador introduced a UN resolution calling the US decision to
recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital "null and void" and urging
all "peace-loving countries" to vote in favor of it. US Ambassador
Nikki Haley threatened the 193 UN member states and the UN with
funding cuts if the UN General Assembly approves a the resolution.
2017 Dec 21, The UN General
Assembly voted 128-9 for a resolution rejecting US President Donald
Trump's Dec. 6 Jerusalem declaration. The nine countries voting "no"
were the US, Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau,
the Marshall Islands and Togo. The vote did little to calm
Palestinian anger over his reversal of decades-old US policy on the
contested holy city.
(Reuters, 12/22/17)(AP, 12/22/17)
2017 Dec 21, The International
Committee of the Red Cross said the number of suspected cholera
cases in war-torn Yemen has reached one million.
2017 Dec 21, In Zimbabwe white
farmer Robert Smart, evicted by the government of Robert Mugabe,
became the first to get his land back under new Pres. Emmerson
(SFC, 12/23/17, p.A4)
2018 Dec 21, US President
Donald Trump threatened a "very long" federal work stoppage unless
Democrats agree to his border wall demands. More than 800,000
federal workers faced furloughs or work without pay if a resolution
was not reached by midnight.
(AFP, 12/21/18)(SFC, 12/21/18, p.A7)
2018 Dec 21, A US official said
President Donald Trump has decided to pull about 7,000 troops from
Afghanistan. The Afghan presidency brushed off concerns the drawdown
would affect security.
2018 Dec 21, The US State
Department said the US has granted Iraq a 90-day Iran sanctions
waiver to allow it to continue to import electricity from Tehran.
2018 Dec 21, Brett McGurk, the
US envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group,
submitted his resignation in protest over President Donald Trump's
abrupt decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.
2018 Dec 21, US Federal
prosecutors said that Hongjin Tan (35), a Chinese national employed
by an Oklahoma petroleum company, has been charged with stealing
trade secrets from his unnamed US-based employer that operates a
research facility in the Tulsa area.
2018 Dec 21, The US State
Department said the United States will provide an additional $10
million in military financing to Ukraine to bolster its navy after
Russia captured three Ukrainian vessels at sea last month.
2018 Dec 21, The Trump
administration formally scrapped an Obama-era policy from that was
meant to curb racial discrimination in schools but that became
tangled in a national debate over school safety. The 2014 policy had
urged not to suspend, expel or report students to police except as a
(SFC, 12/23/18, p.A10)
2018 Dec 21, Another day of big
losses left the US market with its worst week in more than seven
years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 414.23 points, or 1.8
percent, to 22,445.37.
2018 Dec 21, The California
Public Utilities Commission approved a bid by Zoox of Foster City to
offer rides to the public in self-driving cars, but with a trained
test driver at the wheel ready to take over. This was the state's
first approval of a robot-taxi.
(SFC, 12/22/18, p.D1)
2018 Dec 21, In Colorado three
men stole about $800,000 worth of diamond-encased jewelry from a
display case in the Little Nell hotel in Aspen.
(SFC, 12/26/18, p.A6)
2018 Dec 21, In Indiana John
Miller (59) was sentenced to 80 years in prison for the 1988
abduction, rape and killing of April Tinsley (8) of Fort Wayne.
(SFC, 12/22/18, p.A5)
2018 Dec 21, Minnesota
prosecutors said Chinese billionaire Richard Liu will not face
charges over an Aug. 31 rape accusation by a Chinese woman studying
in Minnesota because they could not prove his guilt beyond a
2018 Dec 21, It was reported
that Cargill, Bunge and other global traders have halted food supply
deals with Iran because new US sanctions have paralyzed banking
systems required to secure payments.
2018 Dec 21, In Austria one
person died and another was seriously injured after a shooting in
the center of Vienna. The suspected shooter escaped in a car. Police
soon detained both a witness and a man who was wounded in the
shooting at a Viennese restaurant that left another man (32) dead.
Police said it appeared the dispute was over illegal drug deals.
(AFP, 12/21/18)(AP, 12/23/18)
2018 Dec 21, Belgium's King
Philippe accepted the resignation of PM Charles Michel, but asked
him to stay on at the head of a caretaker government until elections
(SFC, 12/22/18, p.A2)
2018 Dec 21, British police
arrested two people late today over the suspected "criminal use of
drones" at London's Gatwick Airport. A damaged drone was soon found
near the airfield perimeter. On Dec. 23 Paul Gait (47) and his wife
Elaine Kirk (54), arrested over the drone disruption, were released
(AFP, 12/22/18)(AFP, 12/23/18)(SFC, 12/23/18,
2018 Dec 21, Britain's
Beefeater guards at the Tower of London switched their traditional
red uniforms for yellow vests as they went on strike with staff at
other historic sites over pensions.
2018 Dec 21, China called the
US arrogant and selfish after two Chinese citizens were charged with
stealing American trade secrets and other sensitive information on
behalf of Beijing's main intelligence agency.
2018 Dec 21, It was reported
that schools in southern China are using chip-powered "smart" school
uniforms to track their students in a bid to tackle truancy and
2018 Dec 21, In Colombia Walter
Arizala, a former leftist rebel who terrorized residents of southern
Colombia after abandoning the country's peace process to plunge
headlong into drug trafficking, was killed during an operation after
a months-long, US-backed manhunt that followed the kidnapping and
murder of three Ecuadorian press workers in the turbulent border
2018 Dec 21, The EU slapped
asset freezes and travel bans on seven more people accused of human
rights violations against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. This
brings to 14 the total number of people in Myanmar under EU
sanctions for such abuses.
2018 Dec 21, Europol said that
police in Spain, Italy and Argentina took part in an operation that
broke up an international cocaine-trafficking gang. Almost 50
suspects were arrested.
2018 Dec 21, French authorities
confirmed the arrest of a suspected extremist linked to the 2015
attack on Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine that killed 12 people.
French media reported that French citizen Peter Cherif, also known
as Abu Hamza, had been arrested in Djibouti.
2018 Dec 21, In Guyana a
lawmaker from the ruling coalition voted late today with the
opposition for a no-confidence motion, bringing down the
administration of President David Granger and forcing fresh
elections by March.
2018 Dec 21, In Hungary at
least 5,000 demonstrators took to the streets of the Budapest late
today, as rightwing nationalist PM Viktor Orban dismissed a wave of
protests against a new labor reform as "hysterical shouting".
2018 Dec 21, Indian police
arrested 126 people working for a allegedly fake call center making
up to $50,000 a day by duping US citizens.
2018 Dec 21, In India boulders
crashed down on Indian workers who were widening a mountainous road
leading to a Hindu temple in the Himalayas, killing seven of them in
2018 Dec 21, Indonesia said it
has finalized the transfer of majority control over a giant gold and
copper mine from US company Freeport-McMoRan.
2018 Dec 21, In Indonesia
hundreds of Muslims held a rally outside the Chinese embassy in
Jakarta to protest against the treatment of members of the mostly
Muslim ethnic Uighur minority in China's far western Xinjiang
2018 Dec 21, Japan's Cabinet
approved a record 5.26 trillion yen ($47 billion) defense budget as
the country seeks to bolster its arms capability by increasingly
buying advanced US weapons.
2018 Dec 21, Prosecutors in
Japan accused Carlos Ghosn of a breach of trust causing Nissan a
financial loss of more than 1.8 billion yen ($16 million).
2018 Dec 21, Mexico's foreign
minister Marcelo Ebrard said his government would not deport people
seeking asylum, a day after the country said it would accept some
migrants returned from the United States while their asylum requests
are being processed.
2018 Dec 21, Moroccan
authorities said nine more people have been arrested for connections
to the four initial suspects in the Dec. 17 killing of two
Scandinavian university students in a remote corner of the Atlas
2018 Dec 21, The Myanmar
military announced a more than four-month cessation of its
activities in northern areas where it is fighting ethnic minority
insurgents, in what appeared to be a rare conciliatory move aimed at
kick-starting peace talks.
2018 Dec 21, Nicaraguan
authorities late today raided the offices of a critical television
station and shut it down, a week after raiding the offices of
non-governmental groups and a newspaper. 100% Noticias station
director Miguel Mora was detained.
2018 Dec 21, Pakistan
reportedly opened fire in the Keran sector of Kashmir, killing two
Indian army officers.
2018 Dec 21, In northwestern
Pakistan the bodies of two men and two women, 18 to 21 years old
were found near their remote mountain village. The four cousins were
reportedly shot dead over "family honor" on the orders of a village
council. Police soon arrested one man involved in the killings and
searched for others.
2018 Dec 21, Three Palestinians
were killed by Israeli fire during protests along the Gaza-Israel
frontier, including Mohammed Jahjouh (16). A 4th Palestinian, Ayman
Shehr (18), died of his wounds the next day.
2018 Dec 21, In Portugal a few
hundred "yellow vest" protesters demanding lower taxes and inspired
by riots in Paris took to the streets across the country in an
attempt to stop traffic.
2018 Dec 21, In Romania
visiting Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz suggested that foreign
companies could pull out of Romania after the government unveiled a
surprise plan to levy extra taxes on banks and energy companies.
2018 Dec 21, A Russian court
charged one of the Kremlin's most vocal foreign critics, British
financier and human rights activist William Browder, with creating
an international criminal syndicate. The court called for his
extradition to Russia and a two-month period of arrest.
2018 Dec 21, In southern Serbia
a train slammed into a bus carrying mostly high school students,
killing five people and injuring 30 near the city of Nis. The
number of dead in the crash later rose to seven.
(AP, 12/21/18)(AP, 1/3/19)
2018 Dec 21, Spanish PM Pedro
Sanchez decreed a 22 percent rise in the minimum wage, the biggest
in four decades, and a move that could strengthen his grip on power
but defies warnings that it could worsen unemployment.
2018 Dec 21, In Spain Catalan
pro-independence groups blocked roads and clashed with
baton-wielding police in protests against a Spanish government
cabinet meeting in Barcelona branded a provocation by separatists.
2018 Dec 21, In Sudan protests
over the rising cost of bread broke out in Khartoum and its twin
2018 Dec 21, In Syria the
Islamic State launched an attack in the southeast against the
US-backed SDF militia, employing car bombs and dozens of militants.
2018 Dec 21, The UAE government
via its state-run news agency said the government-owned Abu Dhabi
Fund for Development will deposit the $3 billion in State Bank of
Pakistan in the coming days.
2019 Dec 21, US Pres. Donald
Trump officially launched the US Space Force, America’s first
military service in more than 70 years.
(The Telegraph, 12/21/19)
2019 Dec 21, President Donald
Trump complained about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's delayed
transmission of the articles of impeachment to the Senate, which may
delay a trial in the GOP-controlled chamber.
2019 Dec 21, The United States
dropped Sudan from its list of nations that severely violate
religious freedoms, signaling increased support for Sudan’s newly
created transitional government.
2019 Dec 21, In Nevada six
people were killed and 13 injured after a fire this morning in a
three-story apartment complex in downtown Las Vegas.
(AP, 12/21/19)(SFC, 12/24/19, p.A4)
2019 Dec 21, Joseph Segel (88),
the founder of home shopping television channel QVC, died. Segel
founded QVC, which stands for Quality Value Convenience, in 1986 as
an alternate to the Home Shopping Network (HSN).
2019 Dec 21, The Afghan
government said it has detained about 700 Islamic State group
fighters and family members in eastern Afghanistan over the past six
months. Many of the group were from foreign countries.
2019 Dec 21, Australia’s most
populous state (New South Wales) was paralyzed by “catastrophic”
fire conditions amid soaring temperatures, while one person died as
wildfires ravaged the country’s southeast. The devastation has put
pressure on PM Scott Morrison, who has received criticism for going
on a family vacation in Hawaii during the wildfire crisis.
2019 Dec 21, Cuba's Pres.
Miguel Diaz-Canel named Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz as the
country's first prime minister since 1976.
(SFC, 12/23/19, p.A2)
2019 Dec 21, Cyprus hailed the
new US Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of
2019 geared toward boosting energy and security cooperation in the
east Mediterranean saying it is indicative of the significance that
Washington attaches to the region.
2019 Dec 21, France carried out
its first armed drone strike, killing seven Islamic extremists in
the Ouagadou forest of central Mali. French President Emmanuel
Macron said French forces have killed 33 Islamic extremists in
(AP, 12/21/19)(AP, 12/23/19)
2019 Dec 21, French travelers
and tourists were struggled to get to their destinations as the
Christmas season ramped up amid continuing strikes against the
government's plans to raise the retirement age to 64.
2019 Dec 21, Berlin accused
Washington of interfering in German internal affairs, after Donald
Trump signed off on US sanctions against companies building a
Russian natural gas pipeline to Germany. Switzerland-based Allseas,
which operates ships laying sections of the undersea pipeline, said
it was suspending work on the £8.5 billion project, which is well
(The Telegraph, 12/21/19)
2019 Dec 21, In eastern
Guatemala a trailer truck collided with a passenger bus early today,
killing at least 20 people and leaving a dozen wounded. The national
disaster agency said nine of the dead were minors.
2019 Dec 21, In northern India
9 people died during clashes between demonstrators and police,
raising the nationwide death toll in protests against a new
citizenship law to 23.
2019 Dec 21, The Times of India
reported that Indian banks may ask depositors and customers to list
their religion. Reserve Bank of India made changes to a banking law
that allows selected non-residents to open bank accounts and own
property. The amendments were made last year but went unnoticed.
2019 Dec 21, Libya's
self-styled Libyan National Army, which backs the east-based
administration, said a vessel flying a Grenada flag with several
Turkish crew members had been forcibly taken into a Libyan port for
2019 Dec 21, In New Zealand a
sweeping nationwide ban on most semiautomatic weapons took effect.
It was reported that New Zealand authorities have collected more
than 50,000 semi-automatic guns in a government buyback program
eight months after lawmakers responded to the country's worst
massacre in history.
(SSFC, 12/22/19, p.A4)(Insider, 12/21/19)
2019 Dec 21, In central Syria
near-simultaneous attacks believed to have been carried out by
drones hit three government-run oil and gas installations in Homs
2019 Dec 21, In northern Syria
airstrikes on a rebel-held town killed seven people and wounded more
than a dozen in Idlib province. A surge in violence left 12
civilians dead in the last major opposition bastion as aid groups
warned of a humanitarian catastrophe if cross-border aid stops
reaching the region. At least seven regime loyalists died in a car
bombing by the country's former Al-Qaeda affiliate, Hayat Tahrir
(AP, 12/21/19)(AFP, 12/22/19)
2019 Dec 21, Turkey’s
parliament approved a security and military deal with Libya’s
UN-supported government on the heels of a controversial maritime
agreement earlier this month that has drawn international ire. The
deal allows Turkey to provide military training and equipment at the
request of the Libyan government that controls Tripoli and some of
the country's west.
Go to December 22