Today in History - December 25

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    Christmas is the festival celebrating the birth of Christ and is observed in most countries on December 25. Christmas is sometimes called Yule (from the Anglo-Saxon) or Noel (from the French). Christian churches throughout the world hold special services on Christmas Day to give thanks for the birth of Christ. In addition to religious observances, Christmas is a time of merrymaking and feasting. North American customs are a combination of those of the various European countries from which the original settlers came. On Christmas Eve children hang stockings for Santa Claus to fill with gifts. The Christmas tree, usually an evergreen, was first used in Germany. Topped with a star or spire and decorated with colored lights and shiny ornaments, the tree plays an important part in the celebration. Mistletoe was sacred to the Druids, priests of ancient Britain and Gaul. The Norse used holly and the Yule log to keep away evil spirits. Gifts were exchanged during the Roman celebration of the Saturnalia, a feast to the god Saturn. Gift-giving came to symbolize the gifts brought to the Christ Child by the Magi. The most popular Christmas legend however, is that of Santa Claus, whose name came from Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children. Many of the qualities that Santa Claus is known for came from Clement C. Moore's poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas."
    (HN, 12/25/99)
    In 354    Pope Liberius decided to add the Nativity to the Church calendar and selected December 25 to celebrate it. [see 336]
    (WSJ, 12/21/07, p.A19)

For Asia History:

1CE        Dec 25, The celebrated birth of Christ in Bethlehem. The birth of Jesus is celebrated on Dec. 25th because the Romans needed to replace the pagan holiday called the Feast of the Unconquered Sun. In Ethiopia Jan 7 is the day that Christmas is celebrated. According to the gospel of Matthew Joseph soon fled with his family to Egypt following a decree by Herod that ordered all boys of Bethlehem under age 2 to be put to death. The gospels of Luke and Matthew are inconsistent on historical facts. Christ’s birth on this day was officially set by the Roman Church in 336AD. [see 6-2BCE]
    (SFC, 12/4/94, p. S-4)(SFC, 8/2/99, p.A10)(Econ, 1/1/05, p.38)

274        Dec 25, Emperor Aurelian imported into Rome the cult of Sol Invictus and made its Dec 25 festival a national holiday.
    (WSJ, 12/18/98, p.W15)

336        Dec 25, The first recorded celebration of Christmas on this day took place in Rome. By this year Dec 25 was established in the Liturgy of the Roman Church as the birthday of Jesus. [see 354] The Basilica of St. Anastasia was built as soon as a year after the Nicaean Council. It probably was where Christmas was first marked on Dec. 25, part of broader efforts to link pagan practices to Christian celebrations in the early days of the new religion. In 2007 Italian archaeologists unveiled an underground grotto, near St. Anastasia, that they believe ancient Romans revered as the place where a wolf nursed Rome's legendary founder Romulus and his twin brother Remus. 
    (WSJ, 12/18/98, p.W15)(AP, 12/25/99)(AP, 12/22/07)

376        Dec 25, In Milan, Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, forced the emperor Theodosius to perform public penance for his massacre.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

800        Dec 25, Pope Leo III crowned Frankish warrior-king Charlemagne as heir of the Roman emperors at the basilica of St. Peter's at Rome.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.105)(Econ, 9/4/10, p.56)

820        Dec 25, Leo V, the Armenian, Byzantine gen and Emperor (813-20), was murdered.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1066        Dec 25, William the Conqueror (d.1087), Duke William of Normandy, was crowned king of England. Under the reign of William I the construction of Windsor Castle began. Over the next 50 years every English cathedral church and most big abbeys were raised to the ground, and rebuilt in a new continental style.
    (, 5/25/96, p.A12)(AP, 12/25/97)(Econ, 12/24/16, p.34)

1223        Dec 25, St. Francis of Assisi assembled one of the first Nativity scenes, in Greccio, Italy.
    (AP, 12/25/97)

1621        Dec 25, The governor William Bradford of New Plymouth prevented newcomers from playing cards. The queens later depicted on playing cards were said to be: spades (Pallas), hearts (Judith), diamonds (Rachel), clubs (Elizabeth).
    (HN, 12/25/98)(SFC, 3/20/99, p.B4)(MC, 12/25/01)

1635        Dec 25, Samuel de Champlain (b.1575), French navigator and founder of Quebec City, died in Quebec. In 2008 David Hackett Fischer authored “Champlain’s Dream."
    (, 10/11/08, p.W8)

1642        Dec 25, (OS) Isaac Newton (d.1727), English physicist, mathematician and scientist, was born in Woolsthorpe (Grantham), Lincolnshire, England. He enunciated the laws of motion and the law of gravity [see Jan 4, 1643].
    (V.D.-H.K.p.205)(HN, 12/25/98)(

1643        Dec 25, Captain William Mynors of the Royal Mary, a British East India Company vessel, named Christmas Island when he sailed past it on Christmas Day. Sovereignty of the island was transferred to Australia in 1957.

1651        Dec 25, The General Court of Boston levied a five shilling fine on anyone caught “observing any such day as Christmas."
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1683        Dec 25, Kara Mustapha (b.~1634), chief of the Ottoman janissaries, appeared before the grand vizier in Belgrade. He was sentenced to death and executed for the military loss at Vienna.
    (WSJ, 12/5/06, p.D12)(

1688        Dec 25, English king James II landed in Ambleteuse, France.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1711        Dec 25, London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, was declared officially complete by Parliament. In fact construction was to continue for several years after that, with the statues on the roof only being added in the 1720s. In 2008 Leo Hollis authored “The Phoenix: St Paul’s Cathedral and the Men Who Made Modern London."

1739        Dec 25, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1739-1799) was born. He was the first African American musician to achieve international renown as a classical composer, violinist and conductor.

1741        Dec 25, Astronomer Anders Celcius introduced the Centigrade temperature scale.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1745        Dec 25, Prussia and Austria signed the Treaty of Dresden. This gave much of Silesia to the Prussians.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1761        Dec 25, Elisabeth Petrovna (~51), tsarina of Russia (1741-62), died.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1776        Dec 25, Gen. George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River for a surprise attack against 1,400 Hessian forces at Trenton, N.J.
    (AP, 12/25/97)(MC, 12/25/01)

1779        Dec 25, A court-martial was convened against Benedict Arnold. He defended himself successfully on 6 of 8 charges but was convicted of illegally issuing a government pass and using government wagons to transport personal goods.
    (ON, 11/01, p.2)

1799        Dec 25, Napoleon’s new constitution went into effect. It gave him, as First Consul, powers to promulgate laws, nominate senior officials, control finances and conduct negotiations with foreign powers.
    (ON, 1/02, p.12)

1821        Dec 25, Clara Barton (d.1912), the founder of the American Red Cross, was born in North Oxford, Massachusetts. She worked as a volunteer nurse during the Civil War, distributing food and medical supplies to troops and earning herself the label "Angel of the Battlefield." She later served alongside the International Red Cross in Europe--however, she could not work directly with the organization because she was a woman. In 1882 she formed an American branch of the Red Cross. Barton lobbied for the Geneva Convention and she expanded the mission of the Red Cross to include helping victims of peacetime disasters. Clara Barton died at her home in Glen Echo, Maryland, on April 12, 1912, when she was 90 years old.
    (HNPD, 12/26/98)(WUD, 1994 p.123)

1832        Dec 25, Charles Darwin celebrated Christmas in St. Martin at Cape Receiver.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1833        Dec 25, Charles Darwin celebrated Christmas in Port Desire, Patagonia.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1834        Dec 25, Charles Darwin celebrated Christmas on Beagle at Tres Montes, Chile.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1835        Dec 25, Charles Darwin celebrated Christmas in Pahia, New Zealand.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1837        Dec 25, In the Battle of Okeechobee US forces defeated the Seminole Indians.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1861        Dec 25, Stonewall Jackson spent Christmas with his wife; their last together.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1862        Dec 25, President and Mrs. Lincoln visited hospitals in the Washington D.C. area on this Christmas Day.
    (HN, 12/25/98)
1862        Dec 25, John Hunt Morgan and his raiders clashed with Union forces near Bear Wallow, Kentucky. Fighting also occurred at Green’s Chapel.
    (HN, 12/25/99)

1865        Dec 25, Evangeline Cory Booth, Salvation Army general (1904-34), was born.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1868        Dec 25, President Andrew Johnson granted an unconditional pardon to all persons involved in the Southern rebellion that resulted in the Civil War.
    (AP, 12/25/97)

1870        Dec 25, Rosa Luxemburg (d.1919), Polish-German revolutionary and founder of the German Communist Party, was born: "Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently."
    (HN, 12/25/98)(AP, 7/6/99)
1870        Dec 25, The Tiber broke its banks in a terrible flood in Rome.
    (Econ, 7/25/05, p.72)

1876        Dec 25, Mohammed Ali Jinnah (d.1948), founder of Pakistan (1947), gov. (1947-58), was born in Karachi.
    (SFC, 7/30/03, p.A11)(

1893        Dec 25, Robert Leroy Ripley, artist, author and radio broadcaster (Believe It or Not), was born in Santa Rosa, Calif.

1896        Dec 25, "Stars & Stripes Forever" was written by John Philip Sousa.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1899        Dec 25, Humphrey Bogart, actor (“Here's looking at you, kid" in Casablanca), was born in NYC. [see Jan 23, 1899]
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1907        Dec 25, Cab Calloway, band leader and first Jazz singer to sell a million records, was born.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1912        Dec 25, Italy landed troops in Albania to protect its interests during a revolt there.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1913        Dec 25, In San Francisco the St. Francis of Assisi church on Vallejo Street re-opened following fire damage from 1906.
    (SSFC, 3/25/12, DB p.41)

1914        Dec 25, German and British troops declared an unofficial truce to celebrate Christmas during World War I.
    (HN, 12/25/98)
1914        Dec 25, The British Royal Navy Air Force attempted to bomb the German Zeppelin shed at Cuxhaven. Fog obscured the mission and the bombs were dropped on other sites, i.e. a seaplane base on Langeoog Island, the light cruisers Stralsund and Graudenz and the city of Wilhemshaven. An audacious British air attack on a Zeppelin base in northern Germany caught the Germans with their defenses down.
    (AH, 1/97)(HN, 3/22/97)

1915        Dec 25, At the war front near Laventie, France, British and German soldiers exchanged greetings, cigarettes and engaged in a short game of free-for-all soccer.
    (SFC, 8/3/01, p.D5)

1918        Dec 25, Anwar Sadat (d.1981), president of Egypt, was born. "There can be hope only for a society which acts as one big family, and not as many separate ones." He shared a Nobel Peace Prize in 1978.
    (AP, 5/9/98)(HN, 12/25/98)
1918        Dec 25, Revolt erupted in Berlin.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1924        Dec 25, Rod Serling (d.1975), writer and host (Twilight Zone, Night Gallery), was born in Syracuse, NY. He was also the author of "Requiem for a Heavyweight." He was remembered in the PBS production titled: "Submitted for Your Approval," first broadcast on 11/29/95.
    (WSJ, 11/27/95, p.A-14)(Internet)

1925        Dec 25, Carlos Castaneda, author of “The Teachings of Don Juan," was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil or Cajamarca, Peru. He lied about the statistical details of his life.
    (SFC, 6/19/98, p.A2)
1925        Dec 25, U.S. troops under Admiral Latimer disarmed Nicaraguan insurgents in support of the Diaz regime.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1926        Dec 25, Hirohito became emperor of Japan, succeeding his father, Emperor Yoshihito (Hirohito was formally enthroned almost two years later). This marked the beginning of the Showa Period (1926-1989).
    (AP, 12/25/97)(Jap. Enc., BLDM, p. 216)

1927        Dec 25, Mexican congress opened land to foreign investors, reversing the 1917 ban enacted to preserve the domestic economy.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1930        Dec 25, Theodor Noldeke (b.1836), German professor, died in Karlsruhe, Germany. He is generally recognized as the father of Western Qur'anic criticism. In 1857 a Paris academy offered a prize for the best critical history of the Quran and Noldeke won.
    (WSJ, 1/12/08, p.A6)(

1931        Dec 25, New York's Metropolitan Opera broadcast an entire opera over radio for the first time: "Hansel und Gretel" by Engelbert Humperdinck.
    (AP, 12/25/97)

1935        Dec 25, Albert Joost (57), SF Bay lighthouse keeper, died of injuries from a fire at the Southampton lighthouse between Angel Island and Richmond harbor.
    (, 12/26/10, DB p.46)

1939        Dec 25, Finnish troops entered Soviet territory.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1941        Dec 25, The USS President Coolidge, a luxury liner repurposed for medical transport, arrived in San Francisco with 125 men wounded in the Dec 7 attack at Pearl Parbor, Hawaii.
    (SFC, 12/7/13, p.C4)
1941        Dec 25, Free French occupied the French Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon off the Canadian coast.
    (HN, 12/25/98)
1941        Dec 25, Japan announced the surrender of the British-Canadian garrison at Hong Kong. Major John Crawford (d.1997) and some 1,975 Canadian soldiers were captured and incarcerated at the Sham Shui Po prison camp at Kowloon for 44 months.
    (G&M, 7/30/97, p.A24)(HN, 12/25/02)(AP, 12/25/07)
1941        Dec 25, In northwestern Lithuania some 400 young Jewish women were killed by Lithuanian police.
    (WSJ, 1/19/08, p.W8)

1944        Dec 25, Prime Minister Winston Churchill went to Athens to seek an end to the Greek civil war.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1946        Dec 25, Jimmy Buffett, singer and writer, was born in Pascagoula, Miss. He recorded “Margaritaville" in 1977.
    (SSFC, 4/28/02, Par p.22)
1946        Dec 25, Comedian W.C. Fields (b.1879) died in Pasadena, Calif., at age 66/67.
    (SFEC, 11/3/96, DB p.56)(AP, 12/25/97)(MC, 12/25/01)
1946        Dec 25, Chiang Kai-shek offered a new Chinese constitution in Nanking pledging universal suffrage.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1948        Dec 25, In Oregon Marie Harris (1920-2003) published the first of 54 editions of the "Harris Herald," a Christmas newsletter of curated news, to a wide network of friends and family.
    (Econ., 12/19/20, p.27)

1949        Dec 25, Sissy Spacek, (Carrie, Badlands, Coal Miner's Daughter), was born in Quitman, Tx.
    (MC, 12/25/01)

1950        Dec 25, Scottish nationalists stole the Stone of Scone from the British coronation throne in Westminster Abbey. The 485 pound stone was recovered in April 1951.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1955        Dec 25, In Iran Navvab Safavi (b.1923), a firebrand cleric, was tried and executed. He was responsible for founding of the Fadayan-e Islam group and with them the assassination of several leading Iranians.
    (Econ, 5/4/13, p.52)(

1957        Dec 25, Frederick Law Olmsted (87), US architect (Central Park, NYC), died.
    (MC, 12/25/01)
1957        Dec 25, Ramdane Abane (b.1920), Algerian Berber revolutionary leader, was assassinated in Morocco.
    (, 6/28/08, p.E2)

1961        Dec 25, Rheinhold Ruedenberg (b.1883), MIT electrical engineer, died. He patented the principle of electron-microscope imaging in 1931 for Siemens and Halske.

1962        Dec 25, The Bay of Pigs captives who were ransomed, vowed to return and topple Castro.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1964        Dec 25, A flood wiped out the town of Klamath in northern California as the Eel River overflowed its banks. The Douglas Memorial Bridge across the Klamath River was made useless. Flooding on the Ell, Klamath and other rivers left 19 people dead.
    (SFEC, 12/5/99, p.T5)(SSFC, 1/25/15, p.D6)

1965        Dec 25, Entertainer Chris Noel gave her first performance for the USO at two hospitals in California.
    (HN, 12/25/98)
1965        Dec 25, Sherman Poppen invented the “Snurfer," the first snowboard by screwing together two pairs of children’s skis.
    (Hem., 12/96, p.82)

1970        Dec 25, Federico Fellini’s “The Clowns," part documentary and part fantasy, was released in Italy for television and the next day as a film.
    (SFC, 1/12/15, p.A6)(TVM, 1977, p.139)

1973        Dec 25, Skylab astronauts took a seven hour walk in space and photographed the comet Kohoutek.
    (HN, 12/25/98)

1974        Dec 25, The category 4 Cyclone Tracy reduced 90% of Darwin, Australia, to rubble. 65 people died including 49 in the city and 16 at sea.
    (SFEC, 9/10/00, p.T10)(

1976        Dec 25, Some 100 Moslems, returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca, died when their boat, the Egyptian SS Patria, sank in the Red Sea.
    (HN, 12/25/98)(

1977        Dec 25, Israeli PM Menachem Begin met Egyptian Pres. Sadat (1918-1981) in Egypt.
1977        Dec 25, Comedian Sir Charles Chaplin died in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland at age 88. In 2006 Richard Schickel edited “The Essential Chaplin."
    (AP, 4/16/00)(WSJ, 6/23/06, p.W6)

1978        Dec 25, Guards at the SF De Young Museum discovered that 4 Renaissance paintings had been stolen. In 1999 3 of the works, including Rembrandt's "Portrait of a Rabbi," were recovered in NYC. "Harbor Scene" by William van de Velde was still missing.
    (SFC, 11/11/99, p.A1,13)(SFC, 2/10/00, p.A27)(SFC, 12/19/03, p.E2)
1978        Dec 25, Vietnam invaded Cambodia and drove the Khmer Rouge into sanctuaries along the Thai border, finally ending the mass genocide depicted in the 1984 film "The Killing Fields." It was the first full-scale war between the two countries since 1917. 400 people were killed in initial clashes.
    (NG, 5/85, p.574-5)(WSJ, 2/27/96, p.A-1)(SFC, 6/14/97, p.A15)(SFC, 4/30/98, p.A11)

1979        Dec 25, Large numbers of Soviet airborne forces joined stationed ground troops and began to land in Kabul, Afghanistan.
1979        Dec 25, Egypt began a major restoration of the Sphinx.
    (HN, 12/25/98)
1979        Dec 25, In Tong-du-cheon, Korea, two US soldiers, David Medina and Reinaldo Roa, approached an MP station under cover of darkness. Medina and Roa had earlier been arrested for beating up an elderly Korean store owner. They tossed a hand-grenade through the front door and several MPs were injured by shrapnel and other debris. In the ensuing confusion, the suspects escaped. Roa and Medina were later caught after they bragged about their feat.
    (PSS, 12/30/79)

1980        Dec 25, The paintings "La route" (Bend of the road) by Paul Cezanne, "La tete de jeune fille au Ruban bleu" (Portrait of a Lady) by Auguste Renoir, and "Le cri" (The cry) by Paul Gauguin were among nearly 2 dozen stolen from the Argentine National Fine Arts Museum in Buenos Aires. The art works were located at a Paris gallery in 2002, where they had been brought by a Taiwanese man claiming to represent a Chinese investor. The investor said he bought them from a Brazilian senator who said he inherited them from his family.
    (AP, 11/25/05)(

1987        Dec 25, Authorities recaptured Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who had escaped two days earlier from the federal prison in Alderson, W.V., where she was serving a life sentence for her attempt on the life of President Ford.
    (AP, 12/25/97)
1987        Dec 25, Antoni Imiela pounced on Sheila Jankowitz near her home in Forest Hill, southeast London. The attack preceded a series of rapes across south-east England in 2001 and 2002 for which the ex-railway worker was given seven life sentences in 2004. In 2012 the 'M25 Rapist' was sentenced 12 years more for raping Jankowitz.
    (AFP, 3/22/12)

1989        Dec 25, Billy Martin (b.1928), former baseball manager, died in a truck crash in Fenton, NY.
    (AP, 12/25/99)
1989        Dec 25, In Canada a 6.3 earthquake, the Ungava event, struck northern Quebec and was later attributed to retreating ice sheets from 10,000 years earlier.
    (WSJ, 6/9/06, p.A11)
1989        Dec 25, The Bank of Japan raised interest rates to slow the heated economy.
    (Econ, 7/22/06, p.66)
1989        Dec 25, Ousted Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were executed following a popular uprising. His regime had mobilized some 700,000 informants to keep tabs on the population of 23 million people.
    (SFC, 12/27/96, p.B1)(AP, 12/25/97)(SSFC, 8/20/06, p.A20)

1990        Dec 25, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev won sweeping new powers from the Congress of People’s Deputies.
    (AP, 12/25/00)
1990        Dec 25, Romania’s former monarch, King Michael, arrived on his first visit to his homeland since Communist rulers forced him to abdicate four decades earlier. Michael and his companions were stopped by tanks, taken to the airport and forced to leave the country less than 12 hours later.
    (AP, 12/25/00)(AP, 12/5/17)

1991        Dec 25, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev went on television to announce his resignation as the eighth and final leader of a Communist superpower that had already gone out of existence. He was ousted as Soviet leader Boris Yeltsin established his position.
    (TMC, 1994, p.1991)(SFC, 12/3/97, p.C6)(AP, 12/25/97)

1992        Dec 25, U.S. Marines delivered wheat to a refugee camp in Bardera, Somalia, setting off a small riot among the Somalis; American and French troops also took control of Hoddur.
    (AP, 12/25/97)

1993        Dec 25, Full-fledged Christmas celebrations returned to Bethlehem for the first time since the Palestinian uprising began six years earlier.
    (AP, 12/25/98)
1993        Dec 25, In London, an unidentified 59-year-old woman who'd been implanted with donated eggs gave birth to twins in a case that sparked controversy.
    (AP, 12/25/98)

1994        Dec 25, Pope John Paul II, in his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" message, bemoaned "selfishness and violence" around the world.
    (AP, 12/25/99)
1994        Dec 25, A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus in Jerusalem and wounded 12 Israelis. Hamas took responsibility.
    (WSJ, 3/6/96, p. A-15)(G&M, 7/31/97, p.A8)(AP, 12/25/99)

1995        Dec 25, The Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Hillsborough, N.C., burned down. Arson was suspected and investigations by the FBI and ATF were later begun.
    (SFC, 6/11/96, p.A16)
1995        Dec 25, Dean Martin (b.1917), singer, comedian, actor, died at age 78 in Beverly Hills, Ca. In 1998 Brian Gunn published “Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey & the Last Great Show Biz Party," a biography of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.
    (WSJ, 12/26/95, p. A-1)(AP, 12/25/97)(SFC, 5/16/98, p.A1)(SFEC, 7/5/98, BR p.5)
1995        Dec 25, An ailing Pope John Paul the Second cut short his traditional Christmas greetings, telling crowds he was fighting to regain his health.
    (AP, 12/25/00)
1995        Dec 25, In South Africa supporters of the Zulu nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party carried out a Christmas massacre where 18 supporters of the African National Congress (ANC) were killed in the KwaZulu-Natal province. 600 members of Inkatha, a Zulu nationalist group, were responsible. In 1998 5 of the 13 men convicted in the massacre were freed from prison.
    (WSJ, 12/26/95, p. A-1)(SFC, 12/23/98, p.C2)

1996        Dec 25, Croatian Serbs attacked Croats who had been bused in to their former hometown in Eastern Slavonia for Christmas services.
    (WSJ, 12/26/96, p.A1)
1996        Dec 25, In Gabon officials said that Pres. Bongo’s ruling party swept 47 of 55 parliamentary seats in elections last week.
    (SFC, 12/26/96, p.B4)
1996        Dec 25, In Malaysia tropical storm Greg killed at least 163 people in the northern Borneo state of Sabah.
    (WSJ, 12/27/96, p.A1)(SFC, 12/30/96, p.A8)
1996        Dec 25, Some 280 migrants from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were suspected of having drowned in the Mediterranean while being transshipped in the Malta-Sicily channel. At least 283 people died while on the illegal voyage from Alexandria to Italy.
    (SFEC, 1/5/97, p.A13)(Econ., 4/25/15, p.21)
1996        Dec 25, Peruvians held candles high and prayed outside the Japanese ambassador's residence, where leftist rebels freed one hostage for health reasons, but continued to hold more than 100 others.
    (AP, 12/25/97)
1996        Dec 25, In Serbia Pres. Milosevic banned street demonstrations.
    (SFC, 12/26/96, p.A1)

1997        Dec 25, Richard Bliss, a field technician for Qualcomm Inc. accused of spying in Russia, arrived in San Diego after Russian authorities were persuaded to let him return home. Russia said its investigation of Bliss continues.
    (AP, 12/25/98)
1997        Dec 25, Comedian Jerry Seinfeld announced plans to fold his highly successful NBC sitcom "Seinfeld" at the end of the season.
    (AP, 12/25/98)
1997        Dec 25, In Algeria Interior Minister Mustapha Benmansour announced that the ruling National Democratic Rally won 80 of 96 contested seats.
    (SFC, 12/26/97, p.A19)
1997        Dec 25, A gale hit Britain and Ireland with 100 mph winds and 4 people were killed. A French fishing vessel was feared to have sunk off Wales.
    (WSJ, 12/26/97, p.A1)
1997        Dec 25, From the Ivory Coast it was reported that early marriages in sub-Saharan Africa were still very common. Islamic law allows the marriage of girls as soon as they can conceive.
    (SFC, 12/25/97, p.A18)
1997        Dec 25, A Russian Proton-K rocket failed 6 hours after launch and dumped the $100 million ASIASAT-3 satellite made by Hughes Space and Comm. Int’l. for Asia Satellite Telecom. into a useless orbit. Engineers in May, 1998, planned to use gravity assist to send the satellite around the moon and back to a usable orbit.
    (SFC, 12/26/97, p.B2)(SFC, 4/30/98, p.A7)
1997        Dec 25, In Sri Lanka fighting erupted in the north and at least 17 people were killed.
    (SFC, 12/26/97, p.A16)
1997        Dec 25, In Zambia former president Kenneth Kaunda was confined to prison for 28 days on suspicion of being linked to the Oct 27 coup attempt.
    (SFC, 12/26/97, p.A1)

1998        Dec 25, Seven days into their journey, American millionaire Steve Fossett, British mogul Richard Branson and Per Lindstrom of Sweden set down their ICO Global Challenger balloon in the Pacific near Honolulu. This ended their latest effort to circumnavigate the world.
    (SFC, 12/26/98, p.A1)(AP, 12/25/99)
1998        Dec 25, A storm snapped power lines in Virginia and left thousands without power as cold weather hit across the South.
    (SFC, 12/28/98, p.A9)
1998        Dec 25, Belarus Pres. Lukashenko and Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin declared an agreement to begin unifying their currencies and economies next year.
    (SFC, 12/26/98, p.A1)
1998        Dec 25, In Lima, Peru, a tear gas bomb caused a stampede in a disco and 9 young people, 13-21, were crushed to death. The bomb was said to have been thrown by members of a youth gang.
    (SFC, 12/26/98, p.A14)
1998        Dec 25, In Sierra Leone Sam Bockarie of the Revolutionary United Front said that his rebels would march into Freetown on New Year's Day unless the government agreed to terms that included the release of Foday Sankoh. Rebels had captured Makeni and were battling for Kenema.
    (SFC, 12/26/98, p.A14)
1998        Dec 25, In Serbia US diplomats in Kosovo persuaded army officers to pull back some of their forces.
    (SFC, 12/26/98, p.A8)

1999        Dec 25, Space shuttle “Discovery’s" astronauts finished their repair job on the Hubble Space Telescope.
    (SFEC, 12/26/99, p.A17)(AP, 12/25/00)
1999        Dec 25, Erik de Mul, the UN Afghan coordinator reached Kandahar, Afghanistan, and began negotiations with Sikh hijackers.
    (SFEC, 12/26/99, p.A1)
1999        Dec 25, A Cuban airplane, Russian-made YAK-42, crashed just before landing in the northern Venezuelan state of Carabobo and all 22 people onboard were killed.
    (SFEC, 12/26/99, p.D6)(WSJ, 12/27/99, p.A1)
1999        Dec 25, Russian forces launched an attack on Grozny led by 700 pro-Moscow Chechen volunteers.
    (SFEC, 12/26/99, p.A1)

2000        Dec 25, Pres. Clinton laid down a new set of proposals for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The proposals included a Palestinian concession for some 3.7 million refugees to give up the right of return and for Israelis to cede sovereignty over the Temple Mount.
    (SFC, 12/26/00, p.A1)(SFC, 12/27/00, p.A14)
2000        Dec 25, In central China as many as 309 young people were killed at an unlicensed disco fire in Louyang city.
    (SFC, 12/26/00, p.C6)(AP, 12/25/01)
2000        Dec 25, In Colombia Pres. Pastrana announced a draft for an agreement with the ELN to pull government troops from areas in Bolivar state.
    (SFC, 12/26/00, p.C2)
2000        Dec 25, In Kashmir a car bomb went off in Indian controlled Srinagar and 8 people were killed with 23 injured. The Pakistan-based rebel groups Jamaat-ul Mujahedeen and Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility.
    (SFC, 12/26/00, p.C4)(WSJ, 12/26/00, p.A1)
2000        Dec 25, In Pakistan bombs exploded in 4 cities. 36 people were injured in Lahore.
    (SFC, 12/26/00, p.C4)
2000        Dec 25, In Russian regional governor elections Roman Abramovitch (34), head of the Sibneft oil company, won in Chukotka and Vladimir Shamanov won in Ulyanovsk. Chukotka is the Russian region across from Alaska.
    (WSJ, 12/26/00, p.A1)(WSJ, 6/13/01, p.A1)

2001        Dec 25, From Mazar-e-Sharif to Kandahar in Afghanistan and the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Arabian Sea, American forces celebrated Christmas with carols, touch football and turkey dinners.
    (AP, 12/25/02)
2001        Dec 25, India and Pakistan armies exchanged artillery fire in the mountains of Kashmir.
    (SFC, 12/26/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 25, Arab gunmen ambushed Israeli troops along the Jordan border. One Israeli soldier was killed along with 2 of the gunmen. Israel lifted a blockade around Jericho.
    (SFC, 12/26/01, p.A3)(WSJ, 12/26/01, p.A1)
2001        Dec 25, Burundi Maj. Gen. Gahiro reported that 515 Hutu rebels and 28 soldiers had been killed in the Tenga region since Nov 26. He said fighting the area was liberated but that fighting continued.
    (SFC, 12/26/01, p.A8)
2001        Dec 25, Salman Raduyev, a Chechen warlord, was sentenced by a Russian court to life in prison for terrorism and murder.
    (SFC, 12/26/01, p.A4)
2001        Dec 25, Grigory Pasko (39), Russian military journalist, was sentenced to 4 years in prison plus credit for time served for passing state secrets to Japan. He had reported on the Russian navy practice of ocean-dumping old weapons and nuclear waste. In 2002 the Supreme Court struck down the 1996 military secrecy order used to convict Pasko. In 2002 a military court upheld the verdict.
    (SFC, 12/26/01, p.A5)(SFC, 2/13/02, p.A16)(SFC, 6/26/02, p.A10)
2001        Dec 25, In his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" message, Pope John Paul II turned his thoughts at Christmas to children — Palestinian, Israeli, American, Afghan and African — declaring that humanity's hope depends on helping them.
    (AP, 12/25/02)

2002        Dec 25, Andrew Whittaker of Hurricane, W. Va., won the Powerball lottery ticket for $314.9 million.
    (SFC, 12/30/02, p.A2)
2002        Dec 25, Katie Hnida became the first woman to play in a Division I football game when she attempted an extra point following a New Mexico touchdown in the Las Vegas Bowl. Hnida, a walk-on junior, had her kick blocked but by then she had already made history in the 27-13 loss to UCLA.
    (AP, 12/25/03)
2002        Dec 25, A US winter storm left up to 3 feet of snow across the Northeast. The storm claimed 23 people in its weeklong march across the country.
    (WSJ, 12/26/02, p.A1)(AP, 12/25/03)
2002        Dec 25, In Chechnya 28 guerrillas laid down their weapons in Grozny. A pro-Russian party leader and at least 4 Russians were killed in the last 24 hrs.
    (SFC, 12/25/02, p.A17)
2002        Dec 25, Israeli troops killed a member of the militant Hamas group and arrested another in the West Bank city of Nablus.
    (AP, 12/25/02)
2002        Dec 25, Russian air traffic controllers reached an agreement on wage increases paving the way for an end to a hunger strike that disrupted air travel.
    (AP, 12/25/02)
2002        Dec 25, In Pakistan a grenade killed a girl and two other worshippers at a church in the village of Chianwala, about 40 miles northwest of Lahore.
    (AP, 12/25/02)(WSJ, 12/26/02, p.A1)
2002        Dec 25, Pope John Paul II delivered a Christmas message in which he said war had to be and could be avoided even in a world made fearful by terrorism.
    (AP, 12/25/03)

2003        Dec 25, Near San Bernadino, Ca., 16 people were killed at a youth camp after mudslides, triggered by heavy rain, swept down the San Gabriel Mountains recently scorched by wildfire. 2 of the 14 people killed were at a KOA campground near Devore.
    (SFC, 12/27/03, p.A1)(SFC, 12/29/03, p.A1)(AP, 12/25/05)
2003        Dec 25, Florida's Gov. Jeb Bush dedicated a faith-based prison.
    (WSJ, 12/26/03, p.A1)
2003        Dec 25, In Schenectady, NY, 2 home fires left 5 people dead. At least 4 people in one fire were killed by shotgun blasts.
    (SFC, 12/26/03, p.A5)
2003        Dec 25, A small plane crashed after takeoff at the North Las Vegas and 6 family members were killed.
    (SSFC, 12/28/03, p.A3)
2003        Dec 25, A passenger plane bound for Beirut crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from the west African nation of Benin and at least 138 people, mostly Lebanese, were killed. Some 35 people survived.
    (AP, 12/25/03)(SFC, 12/26/03, p.A3)(AP, 12/27/03)
2003        Dec 25, The British Beagle 2 spacecraft landed on Mars. The 73-pound lander was launched by the European Space Agency June 2. Contact with the Charles Darwin probe was lost on Dec 26 after it separated from its European Space Agency Mars Express mother ship on Dec 19. The mother ship went into orbit for a planned 2 years of photography. In 2015 scientists found the probe on the surface of Mars.
    (SFC, 12/25/03, p.A1)(SFC, 12/26/03, p.A2)(SFC, 12/27/03, p.A2)(AFP, 1/16/15)
2003        Dec 25, China announced steps to reduce overexpansion.
    (SFC, 12/26/03, p.A3)
2003        Dec 25, A strong earthquake shook the border of Costa Rica and Panama, killing an infant and leaving dozens of others with mainly minor injuries.
    (AP, 12/26/03)
2003        Dec 25, Guinea's ailing President Lansana Conte was declared the victor in presidential elections boycotted by the opposition, securing a landslide victory with over 95 percent of the vote, according to provisional results.
    (AP, 12/25/03)
2003        Dec 25, In Iraq leaders of Sunni Muslim groups agreed to form a State Council for the Sunnis in order to speak with a unified voice during the transition to Iraqi governance.
    (SFC, 12/26/03, p.A9)
2003        Dec 25, Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian man carrying explosives toward a Jewish settlement in Gaza.
    (AP, 12/25/03)
2003        Dec 25, Israeli helicopter gunships killed a senior Islamic militant and at least four other people in a missile strike on a car in Gaza City.
    (Reuters, 12/25/03)
2003        Dec 25, A suicide bombing killed four Israelis near a bus stop outside Tel Aviv. The victims were identified as 3 soldiers and a 17-year-old Israeli girl. At least 13 other people were wounded. The PFLP identified the bomber as Said Hanani (18) from the village of Beit Furik.
    (AP, 12/26/03)(SFC, 12/26/03, p.A1)
2003        Dec 25, In Pakistan bombers set off 2 massive blasts near Pres. Pervez Musharraf's motorcade, killing 15 people in the 2nd assassination attempt against Musharraf in 11 days. The president was unhurt, but at least 46 other people were wounded.
    (AP, 12/25/03)(SFC, 12/26/03, p.A1)

2004        Dec 25, President Bush urged Americans to help the neediest among them by volunteering to care for the sick, the elderly and the poor in a Christmas Day call for compassion.
    (AP, 12/25/05)
2004        Dec 25, Algeria's Energy Minister Chakib Khelil said exports of oil and gas will bring in over 31 billion dollars (24 billion euros) in 2004.
    (AP, 12/26/04)
2004        Dec 25, In southern China villagers of Da Lang battled police in a riot after security forces beat a resident to death.
    (SFC, 12/27/04, p.A3)
2004        Dec 25, President Fidel Castro said a 100-million-barrel crude oil deposit had been discovered off Cuba by Canadian firms. Cuba imports about half the petroleum it needs.
    (AP, 12/25/04)
2004        Dec 25, Video footage aired on Turkish television showed a Turkish ship owner saying he and a ship captain were being held hostage in Iraq and that kidnappers demanded a $25 million ransom.
    (AP, 12/25/04)
2004        Dec 25, The Sudanese government said it has readied 13 planes for fighting swarms of desert locusts, poised to enter the country from Egypt.
    (AP, 12/25/04)

2005        Dec 25, In Brazil Djalma Costa Ferreira (68) hit his wife, Benvinda Matos Costa, several times with the sledgehammer following a Christmas party at the house of one of their sons, because he believed she had cheated on him and wanted to spend all his money. In 2010 he was convicted of murder and sentenced to nearly 23 years in prison.
    (AP, 9/11/10)
2005        Dec 25, In China a fire at an unlicensed bar killed at least 26 people and injured eight in Zhongstan, which abuts Macau west of Hong Kong.
    (AP, 12/26/05)
2005        Dec 25, In Bogota, Colombia, Jordan Paez (6) fell into a coverless manhole and was killed. A record 10,000 manhole covers were stolen there in 2005.
    (AP, 1/1/06)
2005        Dec 25-2005 Dec 26, Some 3,500 Congolese troops backed by 600 UN Indian peacekeepers battled Ugandan rebels near Congo's eastern city of Beni, leaving 35 rebels and one Indian UN soldier dead.
    (AP, 12/26/05)(AFP, 12/26/05)
2005        Dec 25, Iran denied that it received a proposal to move its uranium enrichment facilities to Russian soil, a compromise Europe is seeking to resolve a standoff over Iran's nuclear program.
    (AP, 12/25/05)
2005        Dec 25, Bombs struck Iraqi police and army patrols and destroyed an American tank in Baghdad as fresh street protests over election results kept up tension that has soured the mood after a peaceful ballot 10 days ago. 2 US soldiers were killed by bombs. A suicide bomber killed 5 Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad. Bombings and gun attacks killed 11 more people in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Mosul and Jbala.
    (Reuters, 12/25/05)(SFC, 12/26/05, p.A9)
2005        Dec 25, In northern Japan an express train traveling through strong winter winds derailed in Yamagata prefecture, killing 5 people and injuring more than 30. Heavy snowfall and blizzards have lead to the deaths of eight other people and disrupted traffic for hundreds of thousands of holiday travelers across Japan.
    (AP, 12/26/05)(AP, 12/27/05)
2005        Dec 25, Libya's Supreme Court scrapped death sentences against five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor and ordered a retrial of the cases which have harmed Tripoli's efforts to build ties with the West.
    (Reuters, 12/25/05)
2005        Dec 25, In Somalia warlords and civilians installed a council to govern Mogadishu, an action that further fragments the nation but could bring the capital under the control of a single group after 14 years of anarchy.
    (AP, 12/25/05)
2005        Dec 25, In Sri Lanka gunmen shot and killed Joseph Pararajasingham (71), a pro-rebel legislator during midnight Christmas Mass. He represented the Tamil National Alliance, a proxy party of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the rebel group that wants to create a homeland for Sri Lanka's 3.2 million ethnic Tamil minority.
    (AP, 12/25/05)
2006        Dec 25, Birgit Nilsson (b.1918), Swedish opera singer, died. Her prodigious voice, unrivaled stamina and thrilling high notes made her the greatest Wagnerian soprano of the post-World War II era.
    (AP, 1/11/06)(SFC, 1/12/06, p.A2)
2005        Dec 25, Pope Benedict the 16th marked his first Christmas as pope, calling for concrete actions to back up “signs of hope" in the Middle East and urging peace in Darfur, Sudan and the Korean peninsula.
    (AP, 12/25/06)

2006        Dec 25, James Brown (b.1928), the dynamic "Godfather of Soul," died early Christmas day. His revolutionary rhythms, rough voice and flashing footwork influenced generations of musicians from rock to rap. His 1965 song “I Got You (I Feel Good)" is considered one of the all-time greatest in rock’s cannon. In 2021 his family reached a settlement over his estate.
    (AP, 12/25/06)(SFC, 12/26/06, p.A7)(SSFC, 7/25/21, p.A6)
2006        Dec 25, Chad's President Idriss Deby Itno and rebel leader Mahamat Nour Abdulkerim arrived in N'Djamena after signing a peace deal in Libya. One of the current rebel leaders, Timane Erdimi, dismissed the significance of the deal with Nour's FUC, some of whose men went off to join a coalition led by the Rally of Democratic Forces (RAFD) headed by Erdimi and his twin brother Tom. Deby's government is also up against the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development (UFDD), led by former defense minister Mahamat Nouri, and the Chadian National Concord movement led by Hassan Saleh al-Djinedi.
    (AFP, 12/25/06)
2006        Dec 25, Ethiopian fighter jets bombed Somalia's main airport, the first direct attack on the city that serves as the headquarters of an Islamic movement attempting to wrest power from the internationally recognized government.
    (AP, 12/25/06)
2006        Dec 25, In southern Iraq British troops killed 7 gunmen in a raid on a renegade police unit, and a car bomb that exploded next to an open-air market in Baghdad killed 9 civilians and wounded 11. In another part of eastern Baghdad, a suicide bomber exploded in a minibus, killing three people and injuring 19. A suicide bomber killed 3 policemen at checkpoint at a university entrance in Ramadi. Police in Baghdad found 40 bodies, apparent victims of sectarian violence. 3 US soldiers were killed.
    (AP, 12/25/06)(AP, 12/26/06)(WSJ, 12/26/06, p.A1)
2006        Dec 25, Four Japanese inmates on death row were hanged, the first executions to take place in Japan since September 2005.
    (AP, 12/25/06)
2006        Dec 25, A fire blamed on illegally sold firecrackers swept through a department store in the central Philippines on Christmas Day, killing 24 people who took refuge in a restroom.
    (AP, 12/25/06)
2006        Dec 25, Russian security forces killed a suspected militant holed up in an apartment building in the southern province of Karachayevo-Cherkessia.
    (AP, 12/25/06)
2006        Dec 25, Pope Benedict XVI used his Christmas Day address to call for a peaceful resolution of conflicts worldwide and appealed for greater caring of the poor, the exploited and all who suffer.
    (AP, 12/25/07)

2007        Dec 25, In southern California a pack of pit bulls surrounded Kelly Caldwell (45) and mauled her to death. Barstow police shot and killed 2 of the dogs.
    (AP, 12/27/07)
2007        Dec 25, A Siberian tiger named Tatiana (4) escaped its enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo, killing Carlos Sousa (17) of San Jose and mauling two others. The same animal had chewed a keeper’s arm during an attack last December. Police later reported that one of the three victims of the tiger attack was intoxicated and admitted to yelling and waving at the animal while standing atop the railing of the big cat enclosure.
    (AP, 12/26/07)(SFC, 12/26/07, p.A1)(SFC, 12/27/07, p.A1)(AP, 1/18/08)
2007        Dec 25, In King County, Washington, six people, 3 generations of one family, were killed. Carnation police the next day arrested Michele Kristen Anderson (29) and Joseph McEnroe (29), the property owners' daughter and her boyfriend.
    (AP, 12/27/07)(SFC, 12/28/07, p.A5)
2007        Dec 25, Afghan officials said 2 European diplomats who went to one of Afghanistan's most volatile regions have been asked to leave Afghanistan.
    (AP, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 25, Actress Pat Kirkwood (b.1921), once a star of British musical theater, died.
    (AP, 12/26/07)(SFC, 12/29/07, p.B5)
2007        Dec 25, Some 600 protesters marched in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh to call for speedier trials for the former leaders of Khmer Rouge regime.
    (AP, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 25, In Colombia an elite anti-kidnapping force in Neiva rescued a 9-year old boy, who was snatched seven months ago by leftist rebels. Captors had demanded a $50,000 ransom for his safe return, an amount his family was unable to pay.
    (AP, 12/27/07)
2007        Dec 25, In Egypt dozens of Palestinian security men affiliated to Fatah staged a mass break-out from the camp where they have been held in Rafah. Egyptian police were able to recapture 40 of them, transferring them to police stations in the coastal town of Arish.
    (Reuters, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 25, In eastern India Hindu extremists attacked Christians celebrating Christmas, ransacking and burning at least six village churches. One person was killed in the violence.
    (AP, 12/26/07)
2007        Dec 25, In Iraq a suicide truck bomb exploded outside a residential complex belonging to a state-run oil company in Beiji, home to Iraq's largest refinery, killing 25 people and wounding 80. In Baqouba 10 people were killed and five people were wounded in a suicide bombing targeting a funeral procession for two members of an Awakening Council group.
    (AP, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 25, Mobs in Kenya's opposition heartland beat up and killed at least 3 policemen accused of taking part in a plan to rig Dec 26 elections in favor of President Mwai Kibaki.
    (AP, 12/26/07)
2007        Dec 25, In western Nepal a steel footbridge collapsed when its suspension cables snapped, sending scores of people into the river below. At least 15 people were confirmed dead and over 50 were missing and dozens injured.
    (AP, 12/25/07)(AP, 12/26/07)
2007        Dec 25, In Panama the bodies of Michael Klein (37), a California hedge fund manager, his daughter Talia Klein (13) and pilot Edwin Lasso (23) were found in an uninhabited region known as Las Ovejas on the slope of the Baru volcano. Francesca Lewis (12) survived the Dec 23 crash, but cold, wet weather prevented authorities from evacuating her immediately.
    (AP, 12/26/07)(SFC, 12/26/07, p.A4)
2007        Dec 25, Russia's military successfully test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads, a weapon intended to replace aging Soviet-era missiles.
    (AP, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 25, Oleg Ugnivenko, a spokesman for the regional branch of Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry, said more than 600,000 chickens on the Gulyai-Borisovskaya farm in the Rostov-on-Don region have been destroyed to prevent the virus from spreading.
    (AP, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 25, A South Korean ship carrying 2,000 tons of nitric acid sank on its way to Taiwan and 14 sailors were feared drowned. One sailor was rescued.
    (AP, 12/25/07)
2007        Dec 25, Deposed PM Thaksin Shinawatra said he was planning to return home from exile and might advise the victorious party in last weekend's elections, sparking fears of another year of intense political conflict in Thailand.
    (AP, 12/25/07)

2008        Dec 25, Eartha Kitt (81), singer, dancer and actress, died in NYC. The self-proclaimed "sex kitten" attracted fans with her sultry voice and catlike purr even as she neared 80.
    (AP, 12/26/08)
2008        Dec 25, In Idaho Robert Aragon let his son Bear (12) and daughter Sage (11) attempt to walk some 10 miles home in freezing conditions, after their car broke down along an isolated rural highway. Bear survived but Sage died of hypothermia. In Oct 2009 a jury acquitted Aragon of involuntary manslaughter.
    (SFC, 10/10/09, p.A4)(
2008        Dec 25, In southern Afghanistan US coalition forces killed 11 Taliban militants, including the leader of a bomb-making cell, during an operation in Kandahar province.
    (AP, 12/26/08)
2008        Dec 25, Police in northern Bangladesh arrested three suspected militants tied to the Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, a banned Islamic group, and seized a large cache of bomb-making materials. The arrests were made in separate raids over the last 24 hours.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 25, Chinese state media reported that 59 people in Tibet have been detained on charges that they sought to foment unrest by spreading ethnic hatred and by downloading and selling banned songs from the Internet.
    (SFC, 12/26/08, p.A16)
2008        Dec 25, A German military helicopter chased away pirates who were trying to board an Egyptian ship off the coast of Somalia. One of the ship's crew was shot in the attack.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 25, In Guinea coup leader Capt. Moussa Camara solidified his grip as PM Ahmed Tidiane Souare and other government leaders surrendered and stepped down.
    (SFC, 12/26/08, p.A21)
2008        Dec 25, Iraq's Christians, a scant minority in this overwhelmingly Muslim country, quietly celebrated Christmas with a present from the government, which declared it an official holiday for the first time. A bombing outside a restaurant frequented by police killed four people and wounded 25 others in Baghdad’s Shiite neighborhood of Shula. An American soldier was killed in a rocket or mortar attack near the northern city of Mosul.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 25, Israel moved closer to invading Gaza, saying it had wrapped up preparations for a broad offensive after Palestinian militants fired about 100 rockets and mortar shells across the border in two days.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 25, Japan and Vietnam signed an economic partnership pact with a promise to cut tariffs on some 92% of goods and services traded between the two nations within a decade.
    (AFP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 25, Lebanese army officers discovered seven rockets set up with timers that were on the verge of firing near the border with Israel.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 25, The Marshall Islands declared a state of emergency after severe flooding, that occurred from Dec. 9 to Dec. 15, forced more than 600 people from their homes.
    (AP, 12/26/08)
2008        Dec 25, In Mexico, at least four people were killed in a gun battle between suspected drug traffickers in a remote mountain area of Sinaloa.
    (AP, 12/27/08)
2008        Dec 25, In Peru five nightclubbers are dead after a tear gas grenade was detonated in the middle of a crowded disco in Juliaca.
    (AP, 12/25/08)
2008        Dec 25, Zimbabwe police ignored a court order to allow the release to hospital of a rights activist and several opposition figures accused of recruiting anti-government plotters.
    (AFP, 12/25/08)

2009        Dec 25, An attempted bombing took place as Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam prepared to land in Detroit just before noon. Law enforcement officials identified the suspect as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (23), a Nigerian man, who claimed to be acting on orders from al-Qaida to blow up the airliner with a bomb sewed into his underwear. Abdulmutallab later told US investigators he had received training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen. On Oct 12, 2011, Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty to all federal counts against him.
    (AP, 12/26/09)(AFP, 12/29/09)(AP, 1/2/10)(SFC, 10/13/11, p.A8)
2009        Dec 25, In Maryland law enforcement found the body of Sarah H. Foxwell (11) near the Delaware state line three days after she was last seen at her home. Thomas J. Leggs Jr. (30), a known sex offender and former boyfriend of the girl's aunt, was charged on Dec 23 in Sarah's kidnapping.
    (AP, 12/26/09)
2009        Dec 25, Vic Chestnutt (b.1964), singer and songwriter, died in Athens, Georgia, following an intentional overdose. He had been paralyzed in a 1983 car accident, but retained limited use of his arms and hands.
    (SSFC, 12/27/09, p.C8)
2009        Dec 25, In southern Afghanistan an American service member was killed in an attack in Kandahar. A joint force in Khost province captured several militants, including a known operative of the Jalaluddin Haqqani militant network, which is linked to al-Qaida. The Taliban released a 36-minute video in which Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl denounced the American military effort in Afghanistan. Bergdahl went missing on June 30, 2009.
    (AP, 12/26/09)(SFC, 12/26/09, p.A3)(SFC, 12/28/09, p.A4)
2009        Dec 25, A Chinese court sentenced Liu Xiaobo, a prominent dissident, to 11 years, the longest term ever handed down for subversion charges, according to rights groups that say it signals the government will take an increasingly hard line against activists in the year ahead.
    (AP, 12/25/09)
2009        Dec 25, In Iraq a roadside bomb killed 6 Shiite Muslim pilgrims in a procession marking the ten-day Shiite festival of Ashoura, which ends Dec 27.
    (AP, 12/25/09)(SFC, 12/26/09, p.A5)
2009        Dec 25, Mexican authorities in the state of Chihuahua found the bullet-riddled bodies of six members of the same family in a mountainous area. Esther Chavez (73), a women's rights activist who first drew attention to the brutal slayings of women in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, died. She was the founder of Casa Amiga, a shelter for female victims of violence in Ciudad Juarez.
    (AP, 12/26/09)(AP, 12/27/09)
2009        Dec 25, Robert Park, a 28-year-old Korean-American, crossed the frozen Tumen River into North Korea from China on Christmas Day to urge Kim Jong Il to release political prisoners and shut down the "concentration camps" where they are held.
    (AP, 12/26/09)
2009        Dec 25, In Norway Knut Magne Haugland (92), the last of six crew members who crossed the Pacific Ocean in 1947 on board the balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki, died in Oslo.
    (AP, 12/26/09)

2010        Dec 25, Benin said three West African presidents will fly to Ivory Coast to tell incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo to quit or face force, a sign of mounting regional determination to force him out.
    (Reuters, 12/26/10)
2010        Dec 25, In London Kristy Bamu (15) died after days of abuses in a Congolese exorcism ritual by his sister Magalie (29) and her partner, football coach Eric Bikubi (28). Bikubi and Magalie were found guilty of murder in 2012. Bikubi was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison and Bamu a minimum of 25 years.
    (AFP, 3/5/12)
2010        Dec 25, China’s state media said police are offering cash and other rewards to encourage the country's millions of Internet users to help solve criminal investigations. China announced a 25-basis point increase in benchmark one-year interest rates, providing much-needed reassurance that it was determined to rein in price pressures.
    (AFP, 12/25/10)(Reuters, 12/27/10)
2010        Dec 25, In China village leader Qian Yunhui (53) was killed under the wheel of a truck in Yueqing, Zhejiang province. On Jan 4 police charged the driver, Fei Liangyu, with accidental death. Thousands of netizens accused local government officials of killing Qian to silence his six-year campaign against fixed elections and illegal land expropriation, which was quickly denied by local authorities. On Feb 1, 2011, Fei was sentenced to three and a half years' imprisonment.
    (Econ, 1/8/11, p.41)(, 2/1/11)
2010        Dec 25, In Colombia a 120 helicopter-borne commandos raided the camp of drug lord Pedro Oliverio Guerrero, head of the so-called Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia. Officials on Dec 29 confirmed that they had found the body of Guerrero, also know as "The Knife," near Puerto Alvira in Meta province. 2 police officers also died in the operation.
    (AP, 12/30/10)(SFC, 12/30/10, p.A5)
2010        Dec 25, Guatemala captured 4 suspected drug traffickers on top of 18 arrested over the past week, as well as automatic weapons and small planes in a country-wide sweep to crack down on Mexican cartels smuggling drugs through Central America.
    (Reuters, 12/26/10)
2010        Dec 25, In India a rocket carrying a GSAT-5P communications satellite exploded just after takeoff from the Sriharikota space center in Andhra Pradesh state.
    (SSFC, 12/26/10, p.A5)
2010        Dec 25, In northern India a bus collided head-on with a van that was carrying mourners returning from a funeral, killing 35 people.
    (AP, 12/26/10)
2010        Dec 25, In Iran a convicted drug trafficker has been hanged in the northern city of Sari after being convicted of keeping, carrying and selling the narcotic drug crack.
    (AFP, 12/25/10)
2010        Dec 25, In southern Lebanon Ghandi Sahmarani, the leader of an Al-Qaeda splinter group, was found shot dead execution-style in Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp.
    (AFP, 12/25/10)
2010        Dec 25, In Mexico 2 more murder victims were shot in Ciudad Juarez.
    (AFP, 12/25/10)
2010        Dec 25, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan handed out $1 billion from the nation’s “excess crude account" to government officials for Christmas presents.
    (Econ, 1/22/11, p.58)
2010        Dec 25, In Pakistan a burqa-clad, female, suicide bomber attacked a crowd of people as hundreds from the Salarzai tribe headed toward a food distribution center in the Bajaur region on the Afghan border. 45 people were killed. The Salarzais are a major regional anti-Taliban tribe, which has been backing army operations against the militants. The bombing forced the World Food Program to shut down operations in the Bajur region.
    (AP, 12/25/10)(Reuters, 12/26/10)(SFC, 12/27/10, p.A3)
2010        Dec 25, In the southern Philippines a bomb exploded during Christmas Day Mass at a chapel inside a police camp on Jolo island, wounding 6 people. The next day Pres. Aquino said that investigators had identified a suspect and a possible "terror plot" in the bombing.
    (AP, 12/25/10)(AFP, 12/27/10)
2010        Dec 25, Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea hijacked the MV Thor Nexus, a Thai-owned cargo ship with 27 crew members. Suspected Somali pirates attacked the Taiwanese ship FV Shiuh Fu No. 1, some 120 nautical miles off the northeastern tip of Madagascar. All communication was lost and there were strong indications that it may have been seized with its 26 crew members.
    (AP, 12/25/10)(AP, 12/30/10)
2010        Dec 25, Former Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez (88) died in Miami. His popularity soared with his country's oil-based economy, but later faced riots, a severe economic downturn and impeachment in his homeland. Perez governed Venezuela from 1974-79 and again from 1989-93 and denied any wrongdoing.
    (AP, 12/25/10)(Econ, 1/8/11, p.86)

2011        Dec 25, The United States reached a deal to sell $3.48 billion worth of missiles and related technology to the United Arab Emirates, as part of a massive buildup of defense technology among friendly Mideast nations near Iran. The deal was made public on Dec 30.
    (AP, 12/31/11)
2011        Dec 25, The loose-knit hacking movement "Anonymous" claimed to have stolen thousands of credit card numbers and other personal information belonging to clients of US-based security think tank Stratfor.
    (AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, In Detroit, Michigan, the bodies of 2 women were found in a burning car trunk. Two other women were found dead in a car trunk on Dec 19. Three of the four women had promoted themselves as escorts through the same website. In May, 2012, James Brown was charged with moving the bodies and arson.
    (SFC, 12/27/11, p.A7)(SSFC, 5/6/12, p.A9)
2011        Dec 25, In Texas 7 people were shot to death in a suburban apartment. A man in a Santa Claus suit shot 6 relatives and himself. They had apparently opened their Christmas gifts and started cleaning up the wrapping paper when they were killed in Grapevine, a suburb of Fort Worth.
    (AP, 12/25/11)(SFC, 12/27/11, p.A7)
2011        Dec 25, In northeastern Afghanistan a suicide bomber attacked a funeral, killing at least 19 people including an MP and wounding dozens of others in Takhar province. In eastern Afghanistan an ISAF service member died after an insurgent attack. Afghan security forces over the last 24 hours killed 30 armed insurgents in various operations around the country in which a number of weapons were found.
    (AFP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, Anti-whaling activists intercepted Japan's harpoon fleet far north of Antarctic waters, with the help of a military-style drone.
    (AFP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, China and Japan announced an agreement to let Japan buy Chinese sovereign debt. No sum or timetable was disclosed.
    (Econ, 12/31/11, p.59)
2011        Dec 25, An Egyptian investigative judge ordered the release today of Alaa Abdel-Fattah (30), a prominent blogger detained on Oct 30 by the ruling military, which had accused him of attacking soldiers during deadly clashes in October.
    (AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, The Iraqi government and the UN announced an agreement to relocate several thousand Iranian exiles living in Camp Ashraf in northeastern Iraq.
    (AP, 12/26/11)
2011        Dec 25, Sori Yanagi (96), the pioneer of Japan's industrial design, died. His designs for stools and kitchen pots brought the simplicity and purity of Japanese decor into the everyday.
    (AP, 12/26/11)
2011        Dec 25, Mexican soldiers discovered 13 bodies in an abandoned truck in Tamaulipas state along with a message that they were killed in a war between rival drug cartels in the eastern state of Veracruz.
    (AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, In Nigeria an explosion, claimed by Muslim extremists, ripped through a Catholic church during Mass killing at least 35 people at the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, near the capital, Abuja. The toll soon rose to 44 as more people died of their injuries. In Jos a second explosion struck near a Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church. Gunmen later opened fire on police guarding the area, killing one police officer. 2 explosions struck the northeastern city of Damaturu. The bomber targeted a senior military commander and killed three officers in the attack.
    (AP, 12/25/11)(AFP, 12/26/11)(AFP, 12/30/11)
2011        Dec 25, In Pakistan over 100,000 people rallied in support of Imran Khan (59), a cricket hero turned politician, in the port city of Karachi, boosting his image as a rising political force.
    (AFP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, Prominent Russian opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov, leader of the Left Front, had barely half an hour of freedom before being sentenced to 10 more days in jail, making it the 14th time this year he's been detained.
    (AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, Russian and Japanese rescue vessels and a helicopter searched for five people missing in a fierce storm off Russia's east coast after a Cambodia-flagged fishing ship, the Ginga, sank early in the day. 3 bodies were recovered from the icy waters of the La Perouse Strait, between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan.
    (AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, In South Sudan a group calling itself the Nuer Youth White Army issued a statement vowing to "wipe out the entire Murle tribe on the face of the earth as the only solution to guarantee long-term security of Nuer's cattle."
    (AFP, 12/26/11)
2011        Dec 25, In Sri Lanka British tourist and Red Cross aid worker Khuram Shaikh (32) was murdered and his Russian girlfriend raped at the southern tourist resort of Tangalle. In 2014 Sampath Vidanapathirana, a ruling party politician, and three others were convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
    (SFC, 7/19/14, p.A2)
2011        Dec 25, Sudanese riot police and university students battled in central Khartoum after students staged an exam boycott.
    (AFP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, The Vinalines Queen disappeared on Christmas Day after passing the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The Vietnamese ship had capsized, apparently without sending a distress signal. A Vietnamese seaman survived five days floating in open ocean with only a life jacket for protection after his cargo ship sank and all his 22 crew mates died. The ship was carrying more than 54,000 tons of nickel ore and was traveling from Indonesia to China when it lost contact. Global ship owners association Intercargo issued a statement in December 2010 warning of the hazards of transporting nickel ore which, it said, may liquefy and cause a ship to list if not loaded to international standards.
    (AFP, 12/30/11)
2011        Dec 25, In Yemen tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Sanaa against the deaths of protesters and demanding the resignation of Vice President Hadi for failing to bring the killers to justice.
    (AP, 12/25/11)
2011        Dec 25, In Zimbabwe a pleasure boat capsized at Lake Chivero, drowning 11 of 19 people, most of them children.
    (AP, 12/26/11)

2012        Dec 25, Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese Sr. (75) died at a federal prison in North Carolina. He was among 5 men convicted in September 2007 at the Family Secrets trial.
    (SFC, 12/27/12, p.A13)
2012        Dec 25, Argentina's coast guard cutter Thompson fired warning shots at two Chinese trawlers, blocking their escape into international waters. Ten tons of squid were found in the holds of the Lu Rong Yu 6177 and 6178 after they were hauled into port.
    (AP, 3/25/13)
2012        Dec 25, The British Antarctic Survey (BAS), an ambitious plan to search for minute forms of life in an ancient lake beneath Antarctica's ice, was suspended because of technical problems.
    (AP, 12/27/12)
2012        Dec 25, In China 72 prominent Chinese scholars and lawyers released a petition urging the country's new Communist Party leaders to undertake moderate political reforms including separating the party from government.
    (AP, 12/26/12)(Econ, 1/5/12, p.32)
2012        Dec 25, An Iranian semi-official news agency said there has been another cyberattack by the sophisticated computer worm Stuxnet, this time on the industries in the country's south.
    (AP, 12/25/12)
2012        Dec 25, An Iraqi-Kurd official said the northern Kurdish region has suspended oil exports over a payment dispute with baghdad.
    (SFC, 12/26/12, p.A5)
2012        Dec 25, Kazakhstan's acting border service chief Col. Turganbek Stambekov was among 27 people killed in a military plane crash, a Russian-made An-72, near the southern city of Shymkent. He was appointed in June to deal with the aftermath of a mass killing involving a conscript.
    (AP, 12/25/12)
2012        Dec 25, In Myanmar an Air Bagan flight packed with Christmas tourists crash-landed on a road in central Shan state, killing 2 people and injuring 11, including 4 foreigners.
    (AP, 12/25/12)(AP, 12/26/12)
2012        Dec 25, In southern Pakistan gunmen wounded a prominent Sunni cleric and killed his three guards and his driver in an apparently sectarian attack in Karachi.
    (AP, 12/25/12)
2012        Dec 25, In Pakistan Shahzeb Khan (20) was allegedly gunned down overnight by a pair of young men from two of the wealthiest families in Karachi. His death sparked an unusual outcry and highlighted a growing trend of citizens using social media to hold the country's rich and powerful to account.
    (AP, 1/25/13)
2012        Dec 25, In the Philippines a Christmas Day fire killed a veterinarian and 6 members of his family in Quezon City. Another blaze left as many as 2,000 people homeless when it hit a residential area in San Juan City.
    (AP, 12/25/12)(SSFC, 12/30/12, p.A6)
2012        Dec 25, Sudan reportedly launched attacks in the border area with South Sudan killing at least five people. Antonov warplanes bombed the village of Werguet, in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, while ground forces working with "militiamen" attacked nearby Kiir Adem.
    (AP, 12/27/12)
2012        Dec 25, Syrian rebels fully captured Harem, a northern town near the Turkish border, after weeks of siege and heavy fighting. In the Damascus suburb of Jaramana, opposition gunmen ambushed and wounded the head of military intelligence in the area. He died of his wounds. Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Jassem al-Shallal, the head of Syria's military police, appeared in a video aired on Al Arabiya TV saying he is joining "the people's revolution."
    (AP, 12/25/12)(AP, 12/26/12)
2012        Dec 25, In Yemen gunmen on motorbikes shot dead two army officers in Sanaa. Clashes between the military and tribal fighters loyal to al-Qaida in northeastern Marib province killed three soldiers and 11 tribesmen over the last 24 hours.
    (AP, 12/25/12)
2012        Dec 25, Zimbabwe state radio said 18 people headed home for the holidays died when their open truck veered off a mountain road and plunged into a ravine in the northeastern Honde Valley region.
    (AP, 12/25/12)

2013        Dec 25, In Arizona police found Aniarael Macias (13) dead at the home of Connie Villa (35) in Casa Grande. Villa had tried to poison her three other children and had just stabbed her ex-husband who called 911 as he drove to a hospital. Connie Villa was arrested on Dec 29 after being released from a hospital.
    (SFC, 12/31/13, p.A5)
2013        Dec 25, United Van Lines released its 37th annual migration study. New Jersey repeated as the state with the highest outbound moves. Migration out of Michigan slowed to a virtual halt after 16 straight years of outbound moves.
    (AP, 12/25/13)(SFC, 12/26/13, p.A8)
2013        Dec 25, In Irvington, NJ, 3 men were killed at Slick’s Go Go Bar when a man tried to enter with a gun. On Jan 12, 2014, Anthony Fields (19) of Newark, the suspected gunman, was arrested in Florida.
    (SFC, 12/26/13, p.A8)(SFC, 1/13/14, p.A4)
2013        Dec 25, Attacks in Afghanistan killed at least 6 people. The US Embassy in Kabul was hit by indirect fire before dawn but no Americans were hurt.
    (AP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, In Argentina an attack by a school of palometas, a carnivorous type of piranha, injured 70 people bathing in the Parana River in Rosario, including seven children who lost parts of their fingers or toes.
    (AP, 12/26/13)
2013        Dec 25, In Brazil angry farmers, convinced that Tenharim tribesmen in Amazonas state had kidnapped three local men nine days earlier, torched several Tenharim huts and the offices of the federal indigenous affairs agency, as well as several of its vehicles and river boats.
    (AP, 2/5/14)
2013        Dec 25, Tens of thousands of Britons remained without electricity after torrential rainfall flooded homes and hurricane-force winds battered the country.
    (Reuters, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, In the Central African Republic a spokesman for MISCA, the peacekeeping force, said Chadian troops will be redeployed from Bangui amid charges they were siding with a former rebel group. 5 Chadian peacekeepers died in clashes in Bangui.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)(AFP, 12/26/13)
2013        Dec 25, China's ruling Communist Party unveiled a five-year plan to fight pervasive graft, with particular attention on corruption that triggers protests or happens in the course of economic reforms.
    (Reuters, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, Chinese media reported the arrest of Chu Jian, a vice president of a prestigious university, for "suspected economic problems." He was appointed in 2005 as vice president of Zhejiang University in the eastern city of Hangzhou.
    (Reuters, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, In eastern CongoDRC at least 40 civilians were killed by the Ugandan ADF-NALU rebel group attack on a village in North Kivu province. A special UN force in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo used helicopters to fire on the rebels and help government troops retake the town of Kamango.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)(Reuters, 12/26/13)
2013        Dec 25, Egypt’s PM Hazem el-Beblawi designated the Muslim Brotherhood a "terrorist" organization after multiple explosions at the security headquarters in Mansoura killed 16 and injured more than 100. The al-Qaida-inspired group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or the Champions of Jerusalem, said it had carried out the attack.
    (AP, 12/25/13)(Reuters, 12/26/13)
2013        Dec 25, In Ethiopia Asfaw Berhanu, a former contributor to the private paper The Reporter, was convicted of charges stemming from a news story he wrote saying three government officials had been removed from their posts. An Ethiopian court sentenced him to two years and nine months in jail.
    (AP, 12/31/13)
2013        Dec 25, Powerful winds and torrential rain swept southern France, grounding flights and cutting off power to tens of thousands of homes.
    (Reuters, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, A boat capsized off the Turks and Caicos islands and 17 Haitian suspected illegal migrants died. 33 people were rescued.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)(SFC, 12/26/13, p.A2)
2013        Dec 25, Hundreds of Indonesian Christians held a Christmas service in front of the presidential palace in Jakarta to protest at the closure of their churches due to pressure by Muslim hardliners.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, In Iraq at least 34 people were killed in three bombings in Christian areas of Baghdad, including a car bomb that exploded as worshippers were leaving a Christmas service. Attacks killed at least 44 people across the country.
    (Reuters, 12/25/13)(AFP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, In Pakistan a suspected American drone fired two missiles just before midnight at a home in North Waziristan, killing at least three foreign militants.
    (AP, 12/26/13)
2013        Dec 25, Russia's Supreme Court said it will review two convictions against former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, including a ruling the Kremlin critic said was preventing him from returning to Russia despite a presidential pardon.
    (Reuters, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, Russia’s Pres. Putin announced $2 billion in loans to Belarus next year following talks with Belarus Pres. Alexander Lukashenko.
    (SFC, 12/26/13, p.A2)
2013        Dec 25, Greenpeace said Russian investigators have dropped charges against all but one of the 30 crew, who were accused of hooliganism following a protest outside a Russian oil rig in the Arctic. Cristian d'Alessandro of Italy failed to get his criminal case closed due to the lack of an interpreter and will have to visit the St. Petersburg branch of Russia's Investigative Committee again Dec 26.
    (AP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, South Sudan's army battled rebel forces in Malakal while troops flushed out insurgents in Bor after its recapture.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, Syria’s government signed a major oil and gas exploration deal with a Russian company in Damascus, which will allow for exploration in a section of Syrian waters.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, Thailand's PM Yingluck Shinawatra proposed a "national reform council" to seek a way out of the political crisis gripping the kingdom, following weeks of mass street protests against her government.
    (AFP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, In Turkey three Cabinet ministers resigned, days after their sons were taken into custody in a sweeping corruption and bribery scandal that has targeted PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan's allies in one of the worst political crises of his more than 10 years in power.
    (AP, 12/25/13)
2013        Dec 25, Ukrainian opposition activist and journalist Tetyana Chornovil (34), known for her investigations into corruption among senior state officials, was beaten up by unknown attackers. Chornovil was assaulted near Kiev hours after an article she wrote on the assets of top government officials was published. Opposition activists quickly gathered outside the Interior Ministry in Kiev and demanded the resignation of Interior Minister Vitali Zakharchenko.
    (Reuters, 12/25/13)(SFC, 12/26/13, p.A3)

2014        Dec 25, In California a cache of rare wine was stolen from the world-famous French Laundry in Yountville. On Jan 23 it was reported that the majority of the stolen wine was found in a wine cellar in Greenville, NC. On Dec 20, 2016, Davis Kiryakoz (44) of Modesto admitted the theft and pleaded guilty. Charges were still pending against 2nd defendant Alfred Georgis of Mountain View. On March 29, 2017, Kiryakoz was sentenced to 15 months in jail and ordered to repay $585,000.
    (SFC, 1/24/15, p.A1)(SFC, 12/21/16, p.A8)(SFC, 3/30/17, p.D5)
2014        Dec 25, Virginia’s Gov. Terry McAuliffe fell from a horse and broke seven ribs while visiting his daughter in Tanzania.
    (SFC, 1/20/15, p.A6)
2014        Dec 25, Citigroup said it has agreed to sell its retail banking business in Japan to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.
    (AP, 12/25/14)
2014        Dec 25, In Egypt a roadside bomb explosion struck an army vehicle in the volatile Sinai Peninsula, killing an army captain and a soldier.
    (AP, 12/26/14)
2014        Dec 25, Haitian President Michel Martelly named veteran politician Evans Paul prime minister to lead a new government.
    (AFP, 12/25/14)
2014        Dec 25, Hong Kong police overnight arrested 37 more protesters blocking several roads as pro-democracy demonstrators returned to the streets for a 2nd night.
    (AP, 12/25/14)
2014        Dec 25, Israel’s supreme court said the hilltop outpost of Amona, one of the oldest and most contentious Jewish settlement outposts in the West Bank, must be evacuated within two years.
    (AP, 12/26/14)
2014        Dec 25, Officials said Israel has given preliminary approval for the construction of 243 new homes on West Bank land that Israel annexed to Jerusalem, and advanced plans for another 270 homes in the same area.
    (Reuters, 12/25/14)
2014        Dec 25, In Libya Islamists killed at least 22 soldiers after a surprise attack in which they used speedboats in a failed bid to seize some of Libya's main oil terminals. An oil tank also caught fire in separate fighting.
    (AFP, 12/25/14)
2014        Dec 25, In Mexico some 100 protesters demonstrated outside the German embassy in Mexico City to denounce what they said was the use of German-made G36 assault rifles by police in Guerrero state. In 2010 the German government told weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch to cease all deliveries to Mexico amid concerns over human rights issues.
    (SFC, 12/26/14, p.A7)
2014        Dec 25, Pakistan's PM Nawaz Sharif announced the country will set up special trial courts under the supervision of military officers to prosecute terrorism cases in the wake of the Taliban school massacre.
    (AP, 12/25/14)
2014        Dec 25, Pakistani security forces killed a Taliban commander who allegedly facilitated the Peshawar school massacre, which left 150 people dead in the country's worst ever terror attack. Commander Saddam was killed in a gunfight with security forces in the restive Khyber tribal area.
    (AFP, 12/26/14)
2014        Dec 25, Saudi Arabia's Cabinet endorsed a 2015 budget that projects a slight increase in spending and a significant drop in revenues due to sliding oil prices, resulting in a nearly $39 billion deficit.
    (AP, 12/25/14)
2014        Dec 25, In Russia a massive snowstorm in Moscow caused delays to more than 150 flights and brought traffic to a standstill.
    (AP, 12/25/14)
2014        Dec 25, Saudi activists said two detained women's rights campaigners have been transferred to a special tribunal for terrorism.
    (AFP, 12/25/14)
2014        Dec 25, Some 2,725 employees of Scottish Citylink, a long distance express coach operator in Scotland and Ireland (where it operates as Irish Citylink), learned that the company had gone into administration.
    (Econ, 1/3/15, p.42)
2014        Dec 25, In Sierra Leone nurses at a public hospital went on strike to demand hazard pay for treating Ebola patients.
    (AFP, 12/25/14)
2014        Dec 25, Somali Islamist militants al Shabaab attacked the main African Union peacekeeping base in Mogadishu, and reported killing 14 people. Security forces foiled the attack and 4 fighters from Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels were killed and another four captured. 3 soldiers from the union's local peacekeeping mission known as AMISOM and a civilian contractor were killed in the attack.
    (Reuters, 12/25/14)(AFP, 12/26/14)
2014        Dec 25, Sudan was reported to have ordered two senior United Nations officials to leave, after a recent spike in tensions between Khartoum and the peacekeeping mission in Darfur.
    (AFP, 12/25/14)
2014        Dec 25, It was reported that rebel groups fighting in Syria's northern Aleppo province have agreed to form an alliance called the Shamiyya Front. Government airstrikes on al-Bab and neighboring Qabasin killed at least 53 people, including 7 children in the northern province of Aleppo. At least 44 members of the Islamic State group were killed in clashes with Kurdish forces. 30 were killed Qassiab, Hasakeh province, and 14 in Kobane. 3 Kurdish fighters were also killed in the clashes.
    (Reuters, 12/25/14)(AFP, 12/25/14)(AP, 12/26/14)
2014        Dec 25, Tunisian authorities arrested blogger Yassine Ayari (33) as he returned home from France. Ayari has been critical of the party of newly elected president Beji Caid Essebsi. On November 18 Ayari was tried in absentia on charges of "defaming" army officers and sentenced to three years in jail, but he was unaware of the verdict.
    (AFP, 12/25/14)
2014        Dec 25, Turkish media reported that Mustafa Ali Tonbul (17), who survived a severe head injury from police in last year's anti-government protests, has been sentenced to more than three months in jail.
    (AFP, 12/25/14)
2014        Dec 25, An agreement to swap 125 Ukrainian servicemen for 225 rebels held by Kiev followed peace talks between envoys of Ukraine, Russia, the separatists and European security watchdog OSCE.
    (Reuters, 12/26/14)
2014        Dec 25, At the Vatican Femen protester and Ukrainian activist Yana Zhdanova shouted "God is woman" when she uncovered her chest in St. Peter’s Square, about an hour after Pope Francis had greeted and blessed tens of thousands of faithful. She was detained by police and released on Dec 27 with orders to never set foot again in Vatican City State.
    (AP, 12/27/14)
2014        Dec 25, In Yemen General Yahia al-Marrani, a senior intelligence official, was abducted in Sanaa by Shiite fighters from the Huthi militia in control of the capital since a September offensive.
    (AFP, 12/25/14)

2015        Dec 25, The United States hit Islamic State group targets in Iraq and Syria with 17 airstrikes on Christmas Day.
    (AP, 12/26/15)
2015        Dec 25, Gun violence today in the US killed 27 people and left 63 injured. The US averaged 36 fatalities each day this year.
    (SFC, 12/25/15, p.A6)
2015        Dec 25, A tornado struck Birmingham, Alabama, damaging houses, uprooting trees and injuring at least three people in the state's largest city.
    (Reuters, 12/26/15)
2015        Dec 25, In Afghanistan and Pakistan a 6.3 earthquake jolted the Hindu Kush just before midnight. At least 12 people were injured in eastern Nangarhar province. A pregnant woman was killed when a boulder fell on her house in Peshawar.
    (AFP, 12/26/15)
2015        Dec 25, In Algeria Abu al-Hassan Rachid al-Bulaydi, head of the Sharia Committee, was killed in an ambush by government soldiers.
    (AP, 12/27/15)
2015        Dec 25, In Australia more than 100 homes burned down along parts of Victoria state's picturesque Great Ocean Road in bushfires and the situation continued to remain dangerous.
    (Reuters, 12/26/15)
2015        Dec 25, Bangladesh's state-run Atomic Energy Commission signed a deal with Russia to set up two nuclear power plants, each with 1,200 megawatt capacity.
    (Reuters, 12/25/15)
2015        Dec 25, In northwest Bangladesh a bomb attack on a mosque during prayers killed one person and wounded at least a dozen. The mosque was run by the minority Ahmmadiya Muslim community in Rajshahi.
    (Reuters, 12/25/15)
2015        Dec 25, In Bolivia 12 people were killed and nine more injured as a result of a crash between a bus and a truck.
    (AP, 12/25/15)
2015        Dec 25, In Brazil police in Rio de Janeiro tortured five young people, aged between 13 and 23, on Christmas night, allegedly burning them and sexually molesting them after demanding extortion money.
    (AFP, 12/28/15)
2015        Dec 25, In China Wan Qingliang, a former top official for the prosperous city of Guangzhou, wept in court as he confessed to taking $ 17 million in bribes.
    (AP, 12/25/15)
2015        Dec 25, In China’s eastern province of Shandong a gypsum mine owned by Yurong Commercial and Trade Ltd. Co. caved in. All 29 workers were accounted for. One person was killed and 17 remained trapped at two sites and could not be immediately rescued. On Dec 27 the owner of the mine drowned after jumping into a well in an apparent suicide. On Jan 29 four miners were rescued after spending 36 days trapped underground.
    (AP, 12/26/15)(AP, 12/27/15)(AP, 1/30/16)
2015        Dec 25, Colombia's top security official said authorities have captured eight members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) and rescued a minor who also belonged to the guerrilla group.
    (AP, 12/25/15)
2015        Dec 25, In Corsica a crowd vandalized a Muslim prayer room a day after an ambush injured two firefighters responding to an emergency in a housing project.
    (AP, 12/26/15)
2015        Dec 25, Georgia's president nominated vice premier Giorgi Kvirikashvili as the new head of government after the surprise resignation of Irakli Garibashvili.
    (AFP, 12/25/15)
2015        Dec 25, Indian PM Narendra Modi made a surprise "goodwill" visit to Pakistan to meet his counterpart Nawaz Sharif, both reaffirming to resume high-level peace talks.
    (AFP, 12/25/15)
2015        Dec 25, Israeli border police shot dead a Palestinian woman who tried to ram them with her car in the West Bank.
    (Reuters, 12/25/15)
2015        Dec 25, In Japan local authorities on Okinawa sued the central government in an attempt to stop the relocation of a US air base.
    (AP, 12/25/15)
2015        Dec 25, Malawi media said that the government has suspended 63 civil servants who allegedly stole millions of dollars of US funds sent for fighting HIV and AIDS.
    (AFP, 12/25/15)
2015        Dec 25, Mexican forces clashed with suspected organized-crime figures in the hometown of fugitive drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, killing two and netting 4.5 tons of marijuana in Badiraguato, Sinaloa state.
    (AFP, 12/26/15)
2015        Dec 25, Moroccan and Spanish news agencies said over 200 migrants tried swim to Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta and although 180 made it, two drowned, 12 were injured and others were intercepted.
    (AP, 12/25/15)
2015        Dec 25, In northern Myanmar dozens of people were missing and feared dead after a landslide struck a remote jade mining region in Kachin sate, the second such incident in a month.
    (AP, 12/26/15)
2015        Dec 25, In northeastern Nigeria at least 14 people were killed and several others injured by Boko Haram gunmen in an attack on Kimba village, Borno state.
    (AFP, 12/26/15)
2015        Dec 25, Russia’s environment ministry said the country is warming more than twice as fast as the average for the rest of the world, sounding an alarm on the rise in floods and wildfires nationwide.
    (AFP, 12/25/15)
2015        Dec 25, Rebel sources in Syria said Zahran Aloush (44), the head of Jaysh al Islam, one of the most powerful insurgent groups in the rebel-held suburbs of Damascus, was killed in a Russian aerial raid that targeted his group's headquarters. Abu Hammam al Buwaidani was soon chosen as the group’s new leader.
    (Reuters, 12/25/15)
2015        Dec 25, In Syria Islamic State militants released 25 more Assyrian Christian hostages they had held captive for 10 months.
    (AP, 12/25/15)
2015        Dec 25, In northern Syria fierce clashes between regime loyalists and rebels including Al-Qaeda fighters left more than 70 dead.
    (AFP, 12/26/15)
2015        Dec 25, In Turkey a three-month-old baby and her grandfather were killed when they became caught in the crossfire between security forces and Kurdish rebels in Cizre.
    (AFP, 12/27/15)
2015        Dec 25, In Yemen assailants shot dead Commander Jarallah Salhi, a senior intelligence officer, in Marib city east of the capital Sanaa.
    (AFP, 12/25/15)

2016        Dec 25, Almost all of North and South Dakota were under blizzard, ice storm or winter storm warnings as wintry weather was forecast to hit the Central US.
    (Reuters, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, Vera Rubin (b.1928), American astronomer, died in New Jersey. She transformed modern physics and astronomy with her observations showing that galaxies and stars are immersed in the gravitational grip of vast clouds of dark matter.
    (, 1/7/17, p.70)
2016        Dec 25, The Afghan defense ministry confirmed that Captain Niloofar Rahmani (25) had sought asylum. The Wall Street Journal had quoted her as saying that she feared her life would be in danger if she returned home. Rahmani had been in the United States on a training course and had been due to return home on Dec 24.
    (Reuters, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, At least two Afghan civilians were killed by a roadside bomb in eastern Laghman province.
    (AP, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, British gay pop star George Michael (53) died of apparent heart failure. He had rocketed to stardom with WHAM! and went on to enjoy a long and celebrated solo career lined with controversies.
    (AP, 12/26/16)
2016        Dec 25, In southern Chile thousands of people were evacuated from coastal areas following a powerful 7.6 magnitude Christmas Day earthquake.
    (AP, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, China's largely rubber-stamp parliament passed a law that will levy specific environmental protection taxes on industry for the first time from 2018, as part of a renewed focus on fighting the country's pollution woes. A law that levies taxes on pollution ignored carbon dioxide, one of the major contributors to global warming.
    (Reuters, 12/25/16)(AFP, 12/26/16)
2016        Dec 25, China’s state media reported that three doctors in Shanghai and one in Hunan province have been suspended pending investigations over allegations they took kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies.
    (Reuters, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, China’s Beijing police said they had investigated hundreds of cases of suspected prostitution, in a rare public announcement on a crackdown against illegal vice.
    (Reuters, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, The Chinese city of Suzhou, Jiangsu province, said it will suspend trade of live poultry as of midnight in the interests of public health after neighboring provinces reported cases of human bird flu infections.
    (Reuters, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, In Congo DRC an ethnic Nande militia killed at least 13 Hutu civilians with guns and machetes in an apparent revenge attack for the deaths of Nande civilians last week.
    (Reuters, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, Egypt ordered the detention for 15 days of Al-Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein (51) accusing him of incitement and fabricating news. In November, Al-Jazeera broadcast a documentary called "The Soldiers" in which former conscripts spoke about compulsory military service in Egypt, drawing criticism from the media.
    (AFP, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, In southern Germany 54,000 people were forced from their homes In Augsburg for the defusing of a British bomb dating from World War II. The 1.8-ton explosive had been found on Dec 20 during work at a construction site.
    (AFP, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, In Indonesia members of the elite anti-terrorism squad fatally shot two suspected militants and arrested two others during a raid on the main island of Java.
    (AP, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, Iran's currency plumbed new lows against the dollar, continuing a six-month decline that has seen the rial lose some 19 percent of its value despite the lifting of sanctions.
    (AFP, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, Israel summoned representatives of states that supported a UN resolution demanding it halts settlement activity, while cutting civilian coordination with Palestinians by way of rebuke.
    (AFP, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, Israeli ministers approved a bill that would allow a court to order sites such as Facebook and YouTube to remove material found to be "incitement," which they say contributes to Palestinian violence.
    (AFP, 12/26/16)
2016        Dec 25, In Israel a fire erupted in a fuel tank at Oil Refineries Ltd in Haifa, sending thick black smoke into the sky above the northern port city.
    (Reuters, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, In Iraq separate bombings in and around Baghdad killed at least 11 civilians and wounded 34 others.
    (AP, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, In Macedonia residents of the northwestern village of Tearce voted in an election rerun that could tilt the national election result. Only 307 votes separated the country's two main rivals nationally.
    (AP, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, In Mali at least 20 people died after a boat capsized in the Timbuktu region.
    (SFC, 12/27/16, p.A2)
2016        Dec 25, In western Mexico six decapitated heads were discovered in Jiquilpan, Michoacan state. In Guerrero state gunmen shot to death seven people in the Atoyac de Alvarez. In Chihuahua nine people were killed during Christmas celebrations.
    (, 12/27/16, p.A2)
2016        Dec 25, In Myanmar a man was found dead with stab wounds in Rakhine State. The government said the next day that this was the second murder in under a week of a Rohingya who cooperated with authorities as they crack down on suspected insurgents.
    (Reuters, 12/26/16)
2016        Dec 25, In Nigeria two people were killed when part of a two-storey building in a police training college collapsed in Lagos.
    (Reuters, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, Voters in Oman headed to the polls to choose municipal councilors in only the second local election held in the Gulf sultanate.
    (AFP, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, Pakistani officials said 220 Indian fishermen have been released from a jail in Karachi and will be handed over to Indian authorities on Dec 26.
    (AP, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, Typhoon Nock-ten slammed into central Philippines late today, bringing strong winds and heavy rains and cutting off power, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
    (Reuters, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, A Russian military Tu-154 plane carrying members of the world-famous Russian army choir to Syria crashed into the Black Sea killing 92 people on board.
    (AP, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, A Saudi soldier was killed overnight in a cross-border firefight with Yemeni Huthi rebels. A Yemeni military official said that five rebels were killed in a coalition air raid in the southern Shabwa province. Also in Shabwa, 3 armed tribesman were killed in an ambush by fighters belonging to the Yemeni branch of Al-Qaeda.
    (AFP, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, In Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region Al Shabaab Islamist militants in Bosasso shot dead military prosecutor Abdikarim Hassan Firdiye.
    (Reuters, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, Sudan freed 20 political opponents detained since last month after they called for protests against rising fuel prices.
    (AFP, 12/26/16)
2016        Dec 25, In Syria residents of Damascus faced their third consecutive day of water shortages, with authorities accusing "terrorist groups" of deliberately poisoning water resources.
    (AFP, 12/25/16)
2016        Dec 25, In Syria at least 30 civilians were killed and many others were wounded after Islamic State launched an attack in the town of al-Bab to prevent people from fleeing.
    (Reuters, 12/26/16)
2016        Dec 25, In Uganda at least 30 members of a village football team and their fans drowned when their boat capsized on Lake Albert during a party.
    (AFP, 12/26/16)

2017        Dec 25, In Afghanistan a suicide attack on a compound of the national intelligence agency in Kabul killed at least six people and wounded three. The bomber was on foot and detonated his suicide vest. The Islamic State claimed responsibility.
    (AP, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, Bahrain news agency BNA reported the Military High Court has sentenced six men to death, 15 years in prison and revoked their nationality on charges of attempting to assassinate the commander-in-chief of the country's defense force, who oversees the appointment of military judges. The case involved 18 defendants, eight of whom were tried in absentia. The group was charged with a number of crimes, including forming a terrorist cell.
    (Reuters, 12/26/17)
2017        Dec 25, Bangladesh police arrested social media activist Asaduzzaman Noor (25), aka Asad Noor, as he tried to leave the country on charges that he defamed Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.
    (AFP, 12/26/17)
2017        Dec 25, The union of Egyptian flight attendants angrily responded to criticism by lawmaker Galila Othman over the weight and age of some female attendants employed by the national carrier, saying her comments amounted to discrimination.
    (AP, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, German billionaire Erich Kellerhals (78), co-founder of electronics retail giant Media Markt and a major shareholder in its current owner Ceconomy, died.
    (Reuters, 12/28/17)
2017        Dec 25, India's capital launched a metro train with driverless technology, though officials said it would operate with a driver for at least a year or two.
    (AP, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, The leaders of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan pledged to improve relations, after ties between the two former Soviet republics degenerated into a trade war under the previous Kyrgyz leadership.
    (Reuters, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, In northern Mexico federal police in Sonora state arrested Juan Carlos Moreno Ochoa, alias "El Larry." He was allegedly the "intellectual author" of the March 23 murder of journalist Miroslava Breach. A man alleged to be the gunman in Breach's murder, Ramon Andres Zavala, was assassinated last week in Sonora.
    (Reuters, 12/26/17)
2017        Dec 25, In northeastern Nigeria four civilians were killed in an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants on the outskirts of Maiduguri.
    (Reuters, 12/26/17)
2017        Dec 25, Three Pakistani soldiers were killed by Indian fire across the Line of Control in the disputed Kashmir region. Indian soldiers reportedly targeted Pakistani posts after the Pakistani side had targeted their positions.
    (AP, 12/26/17)
2017        Dec 25, The Palestinian foreign ministry slammed as "shameful" Guatemala's decision a day earlier to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem after the United States recognized the city as the capital of Israel.
    (AFP, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, Thousands of Peruvians took to the streets to protest the pardon granted to former President Alberto Fujimori, with many calling it part of a backroom deal struck to protect the current president from impeachment on corruption charges.
    (AP, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's eldest son quit as vice mayor of the southern city of Davao, citing his being linked to a drug smuggling case by opponents and personal problems from a failed marriage as reasons for the move.
    (AP, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, In the northern Philippines a passenger bus collided with a van carrying pilgrims to Christmas Mass at a church, leaving 20 people dead and more than two dozen injured in La Union province's Agoo town.
    (AP, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was barred from running in next year's presidential election after officials ruled he was ineligible to take part due to a suspended prison sentence he says was trumped up. Navalny said he would appeal and called on his supporters to boycott the election and campaign against it being held.
    (Reuters, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, In Russia four people were killed when a Moscow bus ploughed into a pedestrian underpass in the west of the city.
    (AFP, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, Serbia extradited to Turkey a Kurdish political activist, defying a recommendation by the UN Committee against Torture. Cevdet Ayaz had requested asylum in Serbia earlier this year after fleeing Turkey, where he had been sentenced to 15 years in prison over alleged activities against the constitution.
    (Reuters, 12/26/17)
2017        Dec 25, Islamic State group posted what is thought to be the first video from IS-affiliated fighters in Somalia. The video called on supporters to "hunt down" nonbelievers and attack churches and markets.
    (AP, 12/26/17)
2017        Dec 25, Swiss police said three people have died over the last 48 hours in separate avalanche accidents in the Swiss Alps.
    (Reuters, 12/26/17)
2017        Dec 25, Syrian army forces backed by Iranian-backed militias pushed deeper into the Western Ghouta, the last rebel-held enclave near a strategic border area with Israel and Lebanon in a new expansion of Tehran's influence in the war-torn country.
    (Reuters, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, In Turkey two soldiers were killed and another was wounded in an attack by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in the southeastern province of Hakkari. Separately, one soldier was killed and two others were wounded in northern Iraq when a grenade detonated by accident.
    (Reuters, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, A judge ejected Ahmet Sik, one of Turkey's most respected investigative journalists from court, and ruled that he and three other suspects should remain in jail, in the controversial trial of staff from the main opposition newspaper.
    (AFP, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, Typhoon Tembin was expected to slam into Vietnam after it battered the Philippines with floods and landslides that killed at least 240 people. The storm entered Vietnamese water but weakened to a tropical depression and did not cause any casualties.
    (Reuters, 12/25/17)(AFP, 12/25/17)(Reuters, 12/26/17)
2017        Dec 25, Separatist leaders and a Ukrainian government representative said in televised comments that they would exchange prisoners on December 27.
    (AP, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, Pope Francis used his Christmas message to call for a negotiated two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after US Pres. Donald Trump stoked regional tensions with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
    (Reuters, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, At the Vatican topless activist Alisa Vinogradova from the feminist group Femen tried to snatch the statue of the baby Jesus from the Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square but was stopped by police as she grabbed it.
    (Reuters, 12/25/17)
2017        Dec 25, Yemeni security and medical sources said fresh air strikes and clashes have killed over 60 fighters as Saudi-backed pro-government forces push an offensive against Huthi rebels.
    (AFP, 12/25/17)

2018        Dec 25, In Afghanistan a suicide bomber disguised as a beggar killed six people in a wealthy subdivision of the southern city of Kandahar. Aslam Baloch, one of the leaders of the Baluch Liberation Army, and five of his associates were killed in the blast. The separatist leader was blamed for masterminding last month's attack on a Chinese Consulate in Pakistan.
    (AP, 12/26/18)(AP, 12/27/18)
2018        Dec 25, Bangladesh opposition parties said police have arrested more than 10,500 opposition activists in a crackdown ahead of elections this week.
    (AFP, 12/25/18)
2018        Dec 25, Tensions soared in the Serb-run part of Bosnia after police detained Davor Dragicevic, a man whose quest for truth in the March death of his son has sparked months of anti-government protests. Several other people also were detained, including Dragicevic's ex-wife and some opposition politicians. Dragicevic and a regional parliamentary deputy who was also detained, were released the next day.
    (AP, 12/25/18)(Reuters, 12/26/18)
2018        Dec 25, In southeastern China eight people were killed after a hijacker with a knife drove a bus into pedestrians in Longyan city, Fujian province. 22 others were reported injured. The attacker was captured.
    (AP, 12/26/18)
2018        Dec 25, In China a blast at a chemical plant in northwestern Xinjiang autonomous region killed three people and severely injured six.
    (Reuters, 12/25/18)
2018        Dec 25, In CongoDRC at least 27 people were dead after a bus and a truck collided overnight about 200 km southwest of Kinshasa.
    (AP, 12/25/18)
2018        Dec 25, Opposition candidates in this weekend's presidential election in Democratic Republic of Congo demanded that the electoral board deactivate SIM cards in voting machines to prevent the electronic transmission of results.
    (Reuters, 12/25/18)
2018        Dec 25, In India many Delhi residents were forced to spend Christmas indoors as air quality remained at "severe to emergency" levels for a fourth day, in the capital's worst smog crisis this year.
    (Reuters, 12/25/18)
2018        Dec 25, In India a woman (42) attacked her alleged stalker (25) and cut off his genitals before rushing him to a Mumbai hospital to save his life. The woman and her two alleged acquaintances were taken into police custody as investigations continued.
    (Reuters, 12/27/18)
2018        Dec 25, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani presented a $47 billion state budget with increased spending on lower income groups, saying US sanctions would affect people's lives and economic growth but not bring the government to its knees.
    (Reuters, 12/25/18)
2018        Dec 25, In Iran a bus overturned at Azad University in Tehran, killing seven students and injuring 28.
    (AP, 12/25/18)
2018        Dec 25, In Iraq at least two people were killed and 11 wounded by a car bomb in the northern city of Tal Afar. Islamic State soon claimed responsibility for the attack.
    (Reuters, 12/25/18)
2018        Dec 25, Israel's Parliament late today unanimously approved a law to permit exports of medical marijuana, allowing Israel to tap the lucrative global market. The law empowers police to supervise licensing and still needed Cabinet approval.
    (AP, 12/26/18)
2018        Dec 25, In Israel Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah's convoy was hit with a number of stones as he was returning home after attending Christmas Eve mass in Bethlehem.
    (AFP, 1/3/19)
2018        Dec 25, In northwest Italy two 57-year-old French tourists were found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in a two-room house in Monterosso Grana, a small mountain town near Cuneo.
    (AP, 12/25/18)
2018        Dec 25, In Italy Marcello Bruzzese (51), the brother of a turncoat from an 'ndrangheta crime clan family, was gunned down by two masked attackers near his home in the Adriatic beach town of Pesaro.
    (AP, 12/26/18)
2018        Dec 25, In Japan Nissan Motor Co. executive Greg Kelly was released from detention after being granted bail over the alleged underreporting of his boss Carlos Ghosn's pay.
    (AP, 12/25/18)
2018        Dec 25, In Libya suicide attackers stormed the foreign ministry in Tripoli, killing at least three people including a senior civil servant. The Islamic State jihadist group (IS) was accused of responsibility.
    (AFP, 12/25/18)
2018        Dec 25, New Zealand athlete William "Bill" Baillie (84), who in 1963 set world records in the now obscure 20,000-meter and one-hour running events, died.
    (AP, 12/27/18)
2018        Dec 25, In Pakistan assailants killed former lawmaker Ali Raza Abidi outside his home in Karachi.
    (AP, 12/28/18)
2018        Dec 25, In Poland six people died late today in a fire at a small wooden building sometimes used by the homeless in an outlying district of Warsaw.
    (AP, 12/26/18)
2018        Dec 25, In Sudan police used tear gas and fired in the air to disperse thousands of protesters attempting to march on the presidential palace to demand that Pres. Omar Bashir step down. at least 22 protesters were wounded during protests. 22 protesters were reported killed over the weekend in anti-government demonstrations.
    (AP, 12/25/18)(AP, 12/26/18)
2018        Dec 25, Syrian air defenses reportedly destroyed 14 of 16 Israeli missiles launched against unspecified targets near Damascus.
    (Reuters, 12/26/18)
2018        Dec 25, The US-led coalition said its attacks in Syria during the week of Dec. 16-22, including air strikes and "coordinated fires," had destroyed logistics facilities and staging areas used by Islamic State.
    (Reuters, 12/25/18)
2018        Dec 25, Thailand's legislature agreed to amend the country's drug law to allow the licensed medical use of marijuana, as well as kratom, a locally grown plant traditionally used as a stimulant and painkiller. The changes become law when published in the Royal Gazette.
    (AP, 12/25/18)
2018        Dec 25, In northern Thailand two South Korean tourists died after the golf cart they were riding fell into the Nan river.
    (AP, 12/27/18)
2018        Dec 25, In Turkey Max Zirngast (29), an Austrian freelance writer, was released from a prison but barred from leaving the country. Zirngast was jailed in September after Turkey accused him and two others of "membership in an armed terrorist organization." On Sept. 11, 2019, Zirngast confirmed his acquittal.
    (AP, 12/25/18)(AP, 9/11/19)

2019        Dec 25, TV producer Lee Mendelson (b.1933) died at his home in Hillsborough, Ca. He produced more than 50 animated "Peanuts" TV specials beginning with "A Charlie Brown Christmas" in 1965..
    (, 12/29/19, p.B3)
2019        Dec 25, Data showed that China's November soybean purchases from the United States surged from a year earlier, as cargoes booked by importers with tariff-free quotas cleared customs.
    (Reuters, 12/25/19)
2019        Dec 25, The team of six men from four countries finished crossing the Drake Passage in just under two weeks after pushing off from the southern tip of South America. The Drake Passage or Mar de Hoces—Sea of Hoces—is the body of water between South America's Cape Horn, Chile and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica.
    (AP, 12/28/19)(
2019        Dec 25, Protests spread through Hong Kong over Christmas Eve and Day, with some demonstrators donning reindeer costumes in light of the holiday. Rallies ended in clouds of tear gas, with one police officer pointing his gun at the crowd, but not firing.
    (The Telegraph, 12/25/19)
2019        Dec 25, India and Pakistan traded fire in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, with the latest exchanges killing two Pakistani troops, an Indian soldier and a civilian woman.
    (AP, 12/26/19)
2019        Dec 25, In India more than a thousand students, artists and writers protested in New Delhi and northeastern Assam state against a new citizenship law introduced by the Hindu nationalist government that excludes Muslims.
    (SFC, 12/26/19, p.A2)
2019        Dec 25, Iran's semiofficial ILNA news agency reported that authorities have shut down mobile internet service in some provinces over security concerns.
    (AP, 12/25/19)
2019        Dec 25, An Iranian military fighter jet crashed near the dormant Mount Sabalan volcano in the northwest of the country. Helicopter and rescue groups were sent to the region
    (AFP, 12/25/19)
2019        Dec 25, Iraqi anti-government protesters again hit the streets, angered by an activist's death and an attempt on the life of a popular TV satirist.
    (AFP, 12/25/19)
2019        Dec 25, In Niger Islamic extremists on motorcycles killed 14 security force members who were escorting election officials late today near Sanam.
    (AP, 12/26/19)
2019        Dec 25, Typhoon Phanfone barreled through the central Philippines and left at least 20 people dead. Thousands were forced to flee their homes, devastating Christmas celebrations in the predominantly Catholic country.
    (AP, 12/26/19)
2019        Dec 25, In Saudi Arabia Ahmed Abdullah Saeed Suwaid and Abdullah Hussain Saeed al-Nimr were shot and killed in the eastern city of Dammam. Authorities later said had been planning an attack and were in possession of explosives that could have been used to deploy a car bomb.
    (AP, 12/30/19)
2019        Dec 25, Ukrainian officials opened a criminal probe after a passenger train from Russia arrived in Crimea via a new Russian-built bridge, arguing that the train illegally carried people across the Ukrainian border.
    (AP, 12/25/19)

2020         Dec 25, California to date had 2,042,743 cases of coronavirus and 23,954 deaths. The SF Bay Area had 238,738 cases and 2,415 deaths. Total cases nationwide reached over 18,680,653 with the death toll at 329,355.   
    (, 12/25/20)
2020        Dec 25, K.C. Jones (88), who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1989, died in Connecticut. In eight of his nine seasons, the Celtics won the NBA championship.
2020        Dec 25, A soggy, wet and dark Christmas morning greeted more than 250,000 US power customers in New York, Pennsylvania and the Northeast who had their electricity knocked out by clobbering winds and drenching, icy rain.
    (Reuters, 12/25/20)
2020        Dec 25, Notorious “club kid" killer Michael Alig, who served 17 years in prison for killing his roommate over a drug debt in a case that became a book and film, died overnight in NYC of a suspected drug overdose six years after his release. Alig pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 1997 for killing Andre “Angel" Melendez. The story was turned into the 2003 movie “Party Monster," in which Macaulay Culkin played Alig.
    (AP, 12/26/20)
2020        Dec 25, Barry Lopez (75), award-winning author who focused on the Arctic landscape, died at his home in Eugene, Oregon. His books included "Of Wolves and Men" (1978), "Arctic Dreams" (1986) and "Crow and Weasel" (1990).
    (SFC, 12/28/20, p.B3)
2020        Dec 25, In Tennessee a large blast shook downtown Nashville early Christmas morning. A bomb was reportedly detonated inside an RV parked on Nashville's historic Second Avenue. At least 41 buildings were damaged, and communications systems, including residential and cell phone service and 911 call centers, failed across the state Police emergency systems in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama, as well as Nashville's COVID-19 community hotline and a handful of hospital systems, went out of service due to an AT&T central office being affected by the blast.
    (AP, 12/26/20)
2020        Dec 25, Texas reported 10, 868 patients hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
    (SFC, 12/28/20, p.A5)
2020        Dec 25, Around 1,000 British soldiers spent Christmas Day trying to clear a huge backlog of truck drivers stuck in southeast England after France briefly closed its border to the UK, then demanded coronavirus tests from all amid fears of a new, apparently more contagious, virus variant. Rail operator Eurotunnel was also back in action, offering a way back into France.
    (AP, 12/25/20)
2020        Dec 25, In the Central African Rep. three UN peacekeepers from Burundi were killed and two others wounded in attacks by armed combatants. The Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), an alliance of the country's most powerful rebel groups, said that it had called off a three-day ceasefire due to attacks by government forces.
    (AP, 12/26/20)(BBC, 12/26/20)
2020        Dec 25, Mainland China recorded 20 new COVID-19 cases, compared with 14 cases the previous day. China has now reported a total of 86,933 confirmed mainland cases, with 4,634 deaths.
    (Reuters, 12/25/20)
2020        Dec 25, France said it has recorded its first case of the new variant of coronavirus. France registered 20,262 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases and 159 more related deaths in hospitals in the last 24 hours. France's number of confirmed COVID-19 cases now stands at 2,547,771 while its COVID-19 death toll stands at 62,427.
    (AP, 12/25/20)
2020        Dec 25, India's PM Narendra Modi said that protests by farmers against three laws brought by his government were politically motivated, as he touted the success of an agricultural scheme launched last year.
    (Reuters, 12/25/20)
2020        Dec 25, In Iran a series of avalanches killed 12 people in a mountainous area north of Tehran popular with climbers and hikers.
    (AP, 12/26/20)(SFC, 12/28/20, p.A4)
2020        Dec 25, Italy reported 459 coronavirus-related deaths against 505 the day before. The daily tally of new infections increased by 19,037 from 18,040 the day before.
    (Reuters, 12/25/20)
2020        Dec 25, Lebanon said it has detected its first case of the new variant of the coronavirus, which has been spreading rapidly in parts of Britain, on a flight arriving from London. Lebanon has reported more than 1,000 deaths as a result of COVID-19.
    (Reuters, 12/25/20)
2020        Dec 25, Libya’s rival leaders kicked off a UN-brokered prisoner exchange.
    (AP, 12/26/20)
2020        Dec 25, Mali's opposition leader Soumaila Cisse (71), who was held hostage for six months earlier this year by jihadists and was considered a leading contender in 2022 elections, died in Paris.
    (AP, 12/25/20)
2020        Dec 25, Palestinian militants fired two rockets fired aimed at the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, but air defenses intercepted them.
    (AP, 12/25/20)
2020        Dec 25, Russian police raided the home of prominent opposition activist Lyubov Sobol (33) and hauled her in for questioning after the mother-in-law of an alleged intelligence agent pressed charges of trespassing. Sobol was officially charged and released on Dec. 27 after spending 48 hours in detention.
    (AP, 12/25/20)(The Telegraph, 12/28/20)
2020        Dec 25, In western Russia an intercity bus veered off a road in the Ryazan region, killing four people and injuring another 11.
    (AP, 12/25/20)
2020        Dec 25, Syrian media said Syrian air defenses responded to an Israeli attack near the town of Masyaf, Hama province. Masyaf is a significant military area for Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime that includes a military academy and a scientific research center.
    (AP, 12/25/20)
2020        Dec 25, Thailand confirmed 81 new coronavirus infections, of which nine were imported from abroad.
    (Reuters, 12/25/20)

2021        Dec 25, US airlines canceled close to 900 flights, the second straight day of massive cancellations as surging COVID-19 infections have sidelined some pilots and other crew members, upending plans for tens of thousands of holiday travelers over the Christmas weekend.
    (Reuters, 12/25/21)
2021        Dec 25, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, built to give the world its first glimpse of the universe as it existed when the earliest galaxies formed, was launched by rocket early today inside the cargo bay of an Ariane 5 rocket in French Guiana, opening a new era of astronomy.
    (Reuters, 12/25/21)
2021         Dec 25, Total US COVID-19 cases reached over 52,042,035 with the death toll at 816,436.
    (, 12/26/21)
2021        Dec 25, Wayne Thiebaud (101), internationally know as the dean of West Coast Figurative painters, died in Sacramento. He was also credited with originating Pop Art.
    (SFC, 12/27/21, p.A1)
2021        Dec 25, Johnny Isakson (76), a GOP moderate who served Georgia in both the US House of Representatives (1999-2005) and Senate (2005-2019), died.
    (, 12/26/21, p.F7)
2021        Dec 25, Chile said it plans to offer a 4th dose of the coronavirus vaccine to its citizens as of February. The country has recorded 39,000 COVID-19 deaths.
    (SSFC, 12/26/21, p.A8)
2021        Dec 25, It was reported that China has replaced Chen Quanguo, who as Communist Party chief in the Xinjiang region oversaw a security crackdown targeting ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in the name of fighting religious extremism.
    (Reuters, 12/26/21)
2021        Dec 25, Xian, China, a city of 13 million entered its fourth day of lockdown. It detected 155 domestically transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms, up from 75 a day earlier. That drove the national daily count to 158, the highest since China managed to contain a nationwide outbreak in early 2020.
    (Reuters, 12/26/21)
2021        Dec 25, In eastern CongoDRC a suicide bomber struck a restaurant in the city of Beni, killing at least five people as well as himself.
    (Reuters, 12/25/21)
2021        Dec 25, Ecuador said it is making vaccination against the coronavirus mandatory.
    (SSFC, 12/26/21, p.A8)
2021        Dec 25, France recorded a record high of 104,611 COVID-19 infections, breaking the 100,000 threshold for the first time since the pandemic began as the omicron variant continued its rapid spread.
    (Reuters, 12/25/21)
2021        Dec 25, India's Bharat Biotech said its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin has gained approval for emergency use in children aged 12 to 18. PM Narendra Modi said in an address to the nation that 15-18 year olds would start receiving COVID-19 vaccinations from Jan. 3.
    (Reuters, 12/25/21)
2021        Dec 25, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians late today in the West Bank in an area that has seen a recent uptick in friction.
    (AP, 12/26/21)
2021        Dec 25, Italy reported a third successive record tally of COVID-19 cases, with new infections hitting 54,762 against 50,599 a day earlier.
    (Reuters, 12/25/21)
2021        Dec 25, The bodies of 27 migrants, who drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, washed up on Libya's coastline. Three survivors had said there were 35 people in total on their boat, which had sunk.
    (AP, 12/26/21)
2021        Dec 25, Interfax news agency reported that more than 10,000 Russian troops have been returning to their permanent bases after month-long drills near Ukraine.
    (Reuters, 12/25/21)
2021        Dec 25, OVD-Info, a Russian organization that tracks political arrests and provides legal aid to detainees, said that government regulators blocked its website, the latest move in a months-long crackdown on independent media and human rights organizations.
    (AP, 12/25/21)
2021        Dec 25, The Saudi-led coalition launched a "large-scale" assault on Yemen after missiles fired by Iran-backed Huthi rebels killed two people in the kingdom, the first such deaths in three years.
    (AFP, 12/25/21)
2021        Dec 25, Scientists declared the eruption on Spain's La Palma officially over, allowing islanders to breathe a sigh of relief nearly 100 days after the Cumbre Vieja volcano began to spew out lava, rock and ash and upended the lives of thousands.
    (Reuters, 12/25/21)
2021        Dec 25, In Sudan protesters opposed to military rule reached the vicinity of the presidential palace in the capital of Khartoum for the second time in a week, despite heavy tear gas and a communications black out. Sudanese security forces fired tear gas to disperse the crowds on a tenth day of major demonstrations since an Oct. 25 coup.
    (Reuters, 12/25/21)
2021        Dec 25, Uzbekistan launched its first gas-to-liquids plant, a $3.6 billion project to extract value from domestically produced gas and reduce its dependency on imports of oil products.
    (Reuters, 12/25/21)
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