1474 Dec 12, Isabella crowned
herself queen of Castilia & Aragon.
1531 Dec 12, Legend held that a
dark-skinned Virgin Mary appeared to a peasant outside Mexico City
and left an imprint on his cactus-fiber poncho. The poncho became an
icon for the Virgin of Guadalupe. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, an
Indian peasant, had visions of the Virgin Mary. In 2002 Pope John
Paul II planned to canonize him. The Vatican’s main source was a
religious work that dated to 1666.
(SFC, 2/1/99, p.A9)(WSJ, 2/27/02, p.A1)(WSJ,
4/17/02, p.A1)(AP, 7/30/02)
1600 Dec 12, John Craig,
Scottish church reformer and James VI's court vicar, died.
1685 Dec 12, Lodovico Giustini,
composer, was born.
1745 Dec 12, John Jay, first
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was born. He became a diplomat
and governor of NY, served as the first Supreme Court Head Justice,
and negotiated treaties for the United States
(HN, 12/12/98)(MC, 12/12/01)
1753 Dec 12, George Washington,
the adjutant of Virginia, delivered an ultimatum to the French
forces at Fort Le Boeuf, south of Lake Erie, reiterating Britain’s
claim to the entire Ohio river valley. Washington (22) was sent by
Gov. Robert Dinwiddie to warn the French soldiers that they were
trespassing on English territory.
(HN, 12/12/98)(WSJ, 2/10/00, p.A16)
1770 Dec 12, The British
soldiers responsible for the “Boston Massacre" were acquitted on
1777 Dec 12, Rev. Benjamin
Russen was hanged at Tyburn, England, for rape.
1787 Dec 12, Pennsylvania
became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1792 Dec 12, In Vienna Ludwig
Van Beethoven (22) received 1st lesson in music composition from
Franz Joseph Haydn.
1799 Dec 12, Two days before
his death, George Washington composed his last letter, to Alexander
Hamilton, his aide-de-camp during the Revolution and later his
Secretary of the Treasury. In the letter he urged Hamilton to work
for the establishment of a nationally military academy. Washington
wrote that letter at the end of a long, cold day of snow, sleet and
rain that he had spent out-of-doors. He remained outside for more
than five hours, according to his secretary Tobias Lear, did not
change out of his wet clothes or dry his hair when he returned home.
1800 Dec 12, Washington DC was
established as the capital of US.
1805 Dec 12, Henry Wells,
founder of American Express and Wells Fargo, was born.
1821 Dec 12, Gustave Flaubert
(d.1880), French novelist, was born. "Our ignorance of history
causes us to slander our own times." [see May 8, 1880]
(V.D.-H.K.p.278)(AP, 6/19/99)(HN, 12/12/99)
1822 Dec 12, Mexico was
officially recognized as an independent nation by US.
1833 Dec 12, Matthias Hohner
(d.1902), German manufacturer (harmonica), was born.
1849 Dec 12, Marc Brunel
(b.1769), the initiating engineer of England’s Thames Tunnel, died.
1855 Dec 12, Jean de
Charpentier (b.1786), a German-Swiss geologist, died in Bex,
1862 Dec 12, The Union lost its
first ship to a torpedo, the USS Cairo, in the Yazoo River.
1863 Dec 12, Edvard Munch
(d.1944), Norwegian artist (The Scream), was born.
(WUD, 1994 p.941)(NH, 6/00, p.20)(HN, 12/12/00)
1863 Dec 12, Orders were given
in Richmond that no more supplies from the Union should be received
by Federal prisoners.
1868 Dec 12, In Indiana 56
hooded men entered New Albany jail. Frank Reno was the first to be
dragged from his cell to be lynched. He was followed by his two
brothers, William and Simeon. Another gang member, Charlie Anderson,
was also hanged in the prison. [see May 22]
1870 Dec 12, Joseph H. Rainey
became the first black lawmaker sworn into the U.S. House of
Representatives. Rainey, a Republican from South Carolina, filled
the seat made vacant by the expulsion of Representative Benjamin F.
Whittemore. Rainey served for 10 years.
(AP, 12/12/97)(MC, 12/12/01)
1875 Dec 12, Karl R.G. von
Rundstedt, German general, field marshal (Normandy), was born.
1886 Dec 12, Edward Richard
Woodham (b.1831), English survivor of the Charge of the Light
Brigade (1854), died.
1889 Dec 12, Robert Browning
(77), English poet (Ring & Book), died.
1893 Dec 12, Edward G.
Robinson, actor famous for gangster roles, was born.
1897 Dec 12, Lillian Smith,
Southern writer and civil rights activist, was born.
1897 Dec 12, "The Katzenjammer
Kids," the pioneering comic strip created by Rudolph Dirks, made its
debut in the New York Journal.
1899 Dec 12, George F. Bryant
of Boston patented the wooden golf tee.
1901 Dec 12, Italian scientist
and engineer Guglielmo Marconi received the first long-distance
radio transmission in St. John's, Newfoundland, 2,232 miles.
Electrical engineer John Ambrose Fleming transmitted the Morse code
signal for "s" from across the Atlantic Ocean in England and Marconi
heard it--three short clicks--through a radio speaker. Marconi had
begun experimenting with radiotelegraphy around 1895, and he
realized that messages could be transmitted over much greater
distances by using grounded antennae on the radio transmitter and
receiver. A few years after the successful transmission with
Fleming, Marconi opened the first commercial wireless telegraph
(HNPD, 12/12/98)(MC, 12/12/01)
1906 Dec 12, US Pres. Theodore
Roosevelt nominated Oscar Straus to be secretary of commerce and
labor; Straus became the first Jewish Cabinet member.
1908 Dec 12, Luis Peraza
(d.1974), Venezuelan dramatist, was born.
1909 Dec 12, Mildred Linton
(d.2003) was born in Ottumwa, Iowa. She became a film star in the
1930s under the name Karen Morley.
(SFC, 4/21/03, p.B5)
1911 Dec 12, In northern India
Britain’s King George V stood before some 562 princes as well as
maharajahs, soldiers and bureaucrats, and made a surprise
announcement that would change the fate of Delhi, an ancient fading
city with a population of 410,000. The king said Delhi would be the
new capital of India.
(AP, 12/11/11)(Econ, 12/17/11, p.68)
1912 Dec 12, Henry Armstrong,
American boxer, was born.
1913 Dec 12, Ethiopia’s Emperor
Menelik II (b.1844) died. After his death the council of regency
continued the rule of Ethiopia. Lij Iyasu had been designated
successor of Menelik II by Empress Taytu in May 1909 - however a
problem occurred: the imperial Abyssinian rules of succession
dictated, that only a Christian could rule Ethiopia as Emperor - and
Lij Iyasu had taken the Muslim faith. Therefore Lij Iyasu was never
crowned emperor of Ethiopia. In 1916 Empress Zewditu I of Ethiopia
succeeded Menelik II, she was his oldest daughter.
1913 Dec 12 ,
Authorities in Florence, Italy, announced that the Mona Lisa, stolen
from the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1911, had been recovered.
1915 Dec 12, Frank Sinatra,
actor and singer, was born in Hoboken New Jersey. He died May 14,
1998. In 1986 Kitty Kelly wrote his biography “His Way."
(WSJ, 12/14/95, p.A-12)(SFC, 11/11/96, p.D1)(SFC,
12/13/96, p.C10)(SFC, 5/16/98, p.E7)
1916 Dec 12, Worst train
disaster ever took place in Modane, France, 543 French Soldiers were
1917 Dec 12, Father Edward J.
Flanagan (31) founded Boys Town outside Omaha, Neb. A half-dozen
boys entered to seek a better life. [see Dec 1]
(AP, 12/12/97)(MC, 12/12/01)
1917 Dec 12, In Modane,
France, a troop train derailed near the entrance of Mt. Cenis tunnel
and 543 people were killed.
(SFC, 6/4/98, p.A15)(AP, 2/18/04)
1922 Dec 12, John Wanamaker
(b.1938), US merchant who founded a chain of stores in Philadelphia,
died. He introduced department stores and price tags to the US and
became the first modern advertiser when he bought ads in newspapers
to promote his stores.
p.61)(Econ, 7/15/06, p.15)
1924 Dec 12, Edward I Koch,
Mayor-D-NYC, 1977-89, judge on TV’s People's Court, was born in NYC.
1925 Dec 12, Arthur Heinman
opened the first motel, the "Motel Inn," in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
1927 Dec 12, Robert Norton
Noyce, co-inventor of the integrated circuit, was born.
1927 Dec 12, Communists forces
seized Canton, China.
1928 Dec 12, Helen
Frankenthaler, abstract painter, was born.
1929 Dec 12, John Osbourne,
playwright and film producer (Look Back in Anger), was born.
1930 Dec 12, Revolution began
in Spain as rebels took a border town.
1930 Dec 12, Last Allied troops
left the Saar of Germany.
1931 Dec 12, Under pressure
from the Communists in Canton, Chiang Kai-shek resigned as President
of the Nanking Government but remained the head of the Nationalist
government that held nominal rule over most of China.
1936 Dec 12, Chang Hsueh-liang
(d.2001 at 101), a northern military commander (aka Zhang Xueliang),
kidnapped Chiang Kai-shek to force him into an alliance to repel
Japanese forces. The Xi’an incident coup ended after 2 weeks. The
incident led the Nationalists and the Communists to make peace so
that the two could form a united front against the increasing threat
posed by Japan. Chang was later court-martialed and sentenced to
prison. He was taken to Taiwan in 1949 and kept under house arrest.
(SFC, 10/16/01, p.B2)(Econ, 5/9/09,
1936 Dec 12, Chinese
Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek declared war on Japan.
1937 Dec 12, Japanese aircraft
sank the U.S. gunboat Panay on China's Yangtze River, during the
battle for Nanking in the Sino-Japanese War. Japan later apologized
and paid $2.2 mil-lion dollars in reparations.
(AP, 12/12/97)(MC, 12/12/01)
1939 Dec 12, Douglas Fairbanks
(56), actor (Zorro, 3 Musketeers, Robin Hood), died.
1941 Dec 12, German occupying
army searched house to house in Paris looking for Jews.
1943 Dec 12, The exiled Czech
government signed a treaty with the USSR for postwar cooperation.
1943 Dec 12, The German Army
launched Operation Winter Tempest, the relief of the Sixth Army
trapped in Stalingrad. The attempt to relieve Stalingrad fell short
due to stubborn Soviet resistance and the Germans' indecision within
the besieged city.
1946 Dec 12, Tide laundry
detergent was introduced.
1946 Dec 12, A United Nations
committee voted to accept a six-block tract of Manhattan real estate
offered as a gift by John D. Rockefeller Jr. to be the site of U.N.
1947 Dec 12, The United Mine
Workers union withdrew from the American Federation of La-bor.
1948 Dec 12, Charles Templeton
Crocker (b.1884), multi-millionaire grandson of the Central Pacific
(and Southern Pacific) railroad magnate and banker, Charles Crocker
(1822-1888), died. He authored "The Cruise of the Zaca" in 1933.
1948 Dec 12, British soldiers
surrounded the Sungai Rimoh rubber estate in Batang Kali, shot 24
Malaysian rubber plantation workers and set the village on fire. In
1970 Britain’s incoming Conservative administration dropped a police
investigation, claiming a lack of evidence. In 2012 relatives of
killed workers lost their High Court battle for a full inquiry by
the British government.
1949 Dec 12, Saab, a Swedish
aircraft maker, began full-scale production of the Saab 92
automobile based on the prototype Saab 92001.
1953 Dec 12, Chuck Yeager
reached Mach 2.43 in Bell X-1A rocket plane.
1955 Dec 12, 1st prototype of
hovercraft patented by British engineer Christopher Cockerell.
1956 Dec 12, In Hungary a
general strike protested the Kadar Regime and the UN General
Assembly adopted a resolution that condemned Soviet repression in
Hungary, called on the USSR to withdraw its forces, and urged
(EWH, 1968, p.1183)(HN, 12/12/98)
1961 Dec 12, Martin Luther King
Jr & 700 demonstrators were arrested in Albany, Ga.
1961 Dec 12, Frantz Fanon
(b.1925), Martinique-born writer, psychiatrist, and revolutionary
died in Washington, DC. His work foretold of Third World liberation
struggles. His book “Wretched of the Earth" (1961) celebrated
anti-colonial revolutionaries. In 2008 John Edgar Wideman authored
his novel “Fanon" based on Fanon’s life.
p.M2)(WSJ, 2/15/08, p.W2) (Econ, 4/17/10, SR p.16)
1963 Dec 12, Frank Sinatra Jr.
returned after being kidnapped.
1963 Dec 12, Kenya gained
independence from Britain and the Kenyan African National Union
Party (KANU) began ruling. Jomo Kenyatta, a Kikuyu, was the first
president and served until 1978. The Kikuyu and closely related Meru
and Embu groups comprised some 28% of Kenya’s people. Kenya’s
population at this time was under 8 million. This was later
commemorated as Jamhuri Day. Kenya’s first vice president was Oginga
Odinga, the father of Raila Odinga.
(SFC, 10/17/96, A8)(SFC, 7/1/97,
p.A9)(AP,12/12/97)(SFC,12/23/97, p.D4)(SFC, 8/8/98, p.A12)(Econ,
2/28/09, p.87)(Econ, 3/14/09, p.49)(SSFC, 5/25/14, p.P3)(Econ,
1964 Dec 12, Kenya formally
became a republic. Its population at this time was about 8 million.
(SFC, 9/4/97, p.A10)(HN, 12/12/98)(Econ, 1/26/13,
1964 Dec 12, Three Buddhist
leaders began a hunger strike to protest the government in Saigon.
1967 Dec 12, The U.S. ended the
airlift of 6,500 men in Vietnam.
1968 Dec 12, Tallulah Bankhead
(b.1903), American actress, died: "The only thing I regret about my
past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again, I'd make
the same mistakes, only sooner." In 2000 Tovah Feldshuh created
"Tallulah Hallelujah," a one-woman show in salute to Bankhead.
p.A24)(SSFC, 1/14/01, DB p.34)
1971 Dec 12, David Sarnoff
(b.1891), US TV pioneer (RCA), died. He was a Russian immigrant who
transformed NBC from a radio to a TV network.
1975 Dec 12, Sara Jane Moore
pleaded guilty to a charge of trying to kill President Ford in San
Francisco the previous September.
1975 Dec 12, In South Dakota
Anna Mae Pictou Aquash (b.1945) was shot to death. Ameri-can Indian
Movement (AIM) members suspected her of being an FBI informant. Her
body was found on Feb 24, 1976, on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. In
2003 Arlo Looking Cloud (50) was convicted in the murder. John
Graham, a Canadian, and Fritz Arlo Looking Cloud, a US citizen, were
indicted in 2003 in the United States for Aquash's murder. In 2007 a
Canadian court ruled that Graham should be extradited to the United
States to face trial. In 2011 Graham was sentenced to serve life in
p.A3)(Reuters, 6/26/07)(SFC, 1/25/11, p.A6)
1975 Dec 12, In New Zealand
Robert Muldoon (1921-1992) began serving as prime minister and
continued to July 26, 1984. His interventionist policies threatened
to send the country to the financial wall.
1976 Dec 12, QB Joe Namath
played his last game as a NY Jet. In 2004 Mark Kriegel authored
“Namath: A Biography."
1977 Dec 12, Dr. Grethe Rask
(b.1930) from Denmark died of Pneumocystis carinii. She had done
research in Africa. Her symptoms had been manifesting in Dec 1976
and she was hospitalized in Africa. In November 1977 after a brief
recovery, she decided it was time to go home to die. A colleague saw
the wasting, and did an autopsy, where P. carinii was found. She is
believed to be one of the first documented cases of probable AIDS
1979 Dec 12, In response to the
Iran hostage crisis, the Carter administration ordered the removal
of most Iranian diplomats in the United States.
1979 Dec 12, Clara Haili
(b.1901), Hawaiian singer (aka Hilo Hattie), hula dancer, actress
and comedian, died. She had become famous in the late 1930s for her
song “When Hilo Hattie Did the Hula Hop."
1979 Dec 12, In South Korea
Chun Doo Hwan led a military coup.
(SFC, 12/16/96, p.A16)
1980 Dec 12, The US enacted the
Bayh-Dole Act. It allowed recipients of government grants to retain
title to their inventions. The act made it easier for universities
to commercialize their research and helped create the biotechnology
industry. It also amended US copyright law to include computer
p.59)(SFC, 6/21/05, p.D1)
1980 Dec 12, Hambrecht &
Quist took Apple Corp. public with 4.6 million shares at $22 per
share, which closed at $29 per share.
1981 Dec 12, "Waiting For A
Girl Like You" by Foreigner hit #1 on the pop singles chart and
stayed there for 3 weeks.
1981 Dec 12-1982 Dec 31, In
Poland Gen’l. Jaruzelski imposed martial law, effective at
mid-night, restricting civil rights and suspending operation of the
independent trade union Solidarity in a crackdown on the Solidarity
labor movement. Polish labor leader Lech Walesa was arrested.
Martial law formally ended in 1983. Women kept the organization
going as most male leaders were arrested. In 2005 Shana Penn
authored “Solidarity’s Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in
1982 Dec 12, The Sentry Armored
Car Company in NYC was robbed of $11.4 million from its
headquarters. It was the biggest cash theft in US history.
1983 Dec 12, Australia’s labor
government under Bob Hawke allowed its dollar to float.
5/28/11, SR p.3)
1983 Dec 12, A truck bomb
exploded at the US Embassy in Kuwait. Shiite Muslims backed by Iran
drove bomb-laden trucks into six targets. The most deadly of these
struck the US Embassy, killing five persons and wounding 62. Other
trucks destroyed the French embassy and several Kuwaiti
(WSJ, 4/28/05, p.A1)
1985 Dec 12, The
Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, officially the Balanced Budget and
Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, provided for automatic
spending cuts to take effect if the president and Congress failed to
reach established targets.
1985 Dec 12, 248 American
soldiers and eight crew members were killed when an Arrow Air
charter crashed after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland.
1986 Dec 12, Russian
Tupolev-134 crashed in East Berlin and 70 of 82 people were killed.
1987 Dec 12, Secretary of State
George P. Shultz, during a visit to Denmark, urged U.S. al-lies to
increase spending on conventional forces, following the signing of a
superpower inter-mediate-range missile ban treaty.
1987 Dec 12, Clifton Chenier,
Zydeco accordionist, died. In 1998 Michael Tisserand published "The
Kingdom of Zydeco" and Rick Olivier and Ben Sandmel published the
photo documentary "Zydeco!"
1988 Dec 12, In the Clapham
rail disaster 35 people were killed in a triple train collision
during morning rush-hour in south London.
(AP, 12/12/98)(Econ, 2/14/04, p.51)
1989 Dec 12, In New York, hotel
queen Leona Helmsley was sentenced to four years in prison for tax
evasion. Helmsley served 18 months behind bars, plus a month at a
halfway house and two months of house arrest.
1989 Dec 12, Amid international
criticism, Britain forcibly removed 51 Vietnamese from Hong Kong and
returned them to their homeland.
1990 Dec 12, President Bush
announced that he and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev would
hold a summit the following February in Moscow.
1990 Dec 12, Lauro Cavazos
resigned as US secretary of education.
1991 Dec 12, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin won landslide approval in the Russian legislature for
his new commonwealth, while Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev
edged closer to resigning, saying, “The main work of my life is
1992 Dec 12, President-elect
Clinton tapped Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty to be his chief of staff and
Democratic national chairman Ron Brown to be commerce secretary.
1992 Dec 12, At least 2,200
people were killed in an earthquake that struck the Flores Island
region of Indonesia.
1993 Dec 12, Israeli Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chief Yasser Arafat failed to
re-solve disputes over a plan to start withdrawing Israeli troops
from the Gaza Strip and Jericho before a deadline.
1993 Dec 12, In Russian
parliamentary elections, ultranationalist parties gained strong
sup-port, causing concern among foreign governments. Russia adopted
a new democratic constitution and began the war with Chechnya. The
constitution permitted land sales but no laws to implement sales
were enacted until 1997. The preamble began with the words We the
multinational people of the Russian Federation.
(SFC, 12/27/96, p.B2)(WSJ, 11/13/97, p.A1)(SFC,
7/7/98, p.B3)(AP, 12/12/98)
1994 Dec 12, IBM stopped
shipments of personal computers with Intel's flawed Pentium chip,
saying the processor's problems were worse than earlier believed.
1994 Dec 12, The Brazilian
Supreme Court acquitted former President Fernando Collor de Mello of
the corruption charges that had forced him to resign in 1992.
1995 Dec 12, By only three
votes, the US Senate killed a constitutional amendment giving
Congress authority to outlaw flag burning and other forms of
desecration against Old Glory.
1995 Dec 12, Willie Brown beat
incumbent mayor Frank Jordon to become the first African-American
mayor of San Francisco. California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown was
elected mayor of San Francisco in a victory over Frank Jordan 57 to
(WSJ, 12/14/95, p.A-1)(SFEC, 6/14/98, p.A16) (HN,
1995 Dec 12, Two French airmen
shot down over Bosnia arrived home after nearly four months as
captives of the Bosnian Serbs.
1996 Dec 12, Jonas Mekas,
president of the Anthology Film Archives, received a special
citation from the New York Film Critics’ Circle for his longtime
contributions of independent film.
(SFC, 12/13/96, p.C8)
1996 Dec 12, Hollywood power
broker Michael Ovitz resigned as Walt Disney Company's No. 2
1996 Dec 12, Scientists
announced that the Jovian moon, Ganymede, possesses a strong
magnetic field due to a molten core. Its outer layer solid ice was
said to measure some 500 miles thickness.
(SFC, 12/12/96, p.A2)
1996 Dec 12, In Indonesia
Muchtar Pakpahan, leader of the independent labor union, went on
trial with members of the leftist political party in connection with
the July riots.
(SFC, 12/13/96, p.B4)
1996 Dec 12, An accord to
abolish tariffs on high tech goods was reached in Singapore at the
WTO meeting. The Information Technology Agreement to abolish import
duties on high-tech equipment would be in effect from Jul 1, 1997 to
Jan 1, 2000.
(WSJ, 12/13/96, p.A1)(SFC, 12/14/96,
1996 Dec 12, In Iraq Uday
Hussein, eldest son of Sadam, was wounded in a car ambush by
assailants with machine guns and grenades. The Mohammed Madhlum
Dulaimi Group claimed responsibility.
(WSJ, 12/13/96, p.A1)(SFC, 12/14/96, p.A11)
1997 Dec 12, SFX Entertainment
negotiated the purchase of Bill Graham Presents for $65 million.
(SFC, 12/13/97, p.A15)
1997 Dec 12, In Orlando, Fla.,
John Armstrong was killed by police after a 4-day hostage crises
during which he held two children captive. He killed a man just
before taking the 2 children hostage. He had been released from
prison in March after serving less than a third of a 12-year
sentence for robbery in 1989.
(SFEC, 12/14/97, p.A2)
1997 Dec 12, Negotiators in
Geneva for the World Trade Organization (WTO) signed an ac-cord to
open up the banking and insurance sectors of some 70 member
countries to foreign competition.
(SFC, 12/13/97, p.A10)
1997 Dec 12, The IMF announced
that it would ask members to boost its capital base by $160 billion.
In Sept. a $90 billion increase was approved.
(SFC, 12/13/97, p.A14)
1997 Dec 12, The Cayman Islands
told the Norwegian Cruise Line that a chartered 910-passenger ship
of gay people would not be allowed to dock.
(SFC, 1/7/98, p.A8)
1997 Dec 12, Japanese train
builders (Maglev) claimed world speed record at 332 MPH.
1997 Dec 12, Ilich Ramirez
Sanchez, the international terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal,"
went on trial in Paris on charges of killing two French
investigators and a Lebanese national. He was convicted and began
serving a life prison sentence.
1997 Dec 12, In Peru
archeologists announced the finding of a 2nd mummy of a young Inca
sacrificed over 500 years ago near the summit of Mt. Ampato, not far
from Peru’s 2nd city Arequipa.
(SFC, 12/13/97, p.A14)
1997 Dec 12, In South Korea
Dongsuh Securities, the country’s 4th largest brokerage firm, went
bankrupt. Korea’s stock index fell to its lowest level in 10 years.
The central bank said it would pump $6.5 billion in emergency loans
into domestic financial institutions to resuscitate the financial
(SFC, 12/13/97, p.A10)
1997 Dec 12, In South Korea
Pres. candidate Kim Dae Jung set up a teleconference with George
Soros, Michael Jackson and Mickey Kantor.
(SFC, 12/16/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 12, In Switzerland the
high court told Swiss banks to send some $500 million in as-sets of
the late Ferdinand Marcos back to the Philippines.
(SFC, 12/13/97, p.A14)
1998 Dec 12, The House
Judiciary Committee approved a 4th and final article of impeachment
against Pres. Clinton as he flew for a three-day visit to the Middle
East aimed at rescuing the Wye River peace accords.
(SFEC, 12/13/98, p.A1)(AP, 12/12/99)
1998 Dec 12, In Osseo, Mich., a
fireworks explosion at the Independence Professional Fire-works
building killed at least 7 people.
(SFEC, 12/13/98, p.A34)
1998 Dec 12, Florida Gov.
Lawton Chiles died in Tallahassee at age 68. He had acquired wealth
as one of the original investors in Red Lobster restaurants.
(SFEC, 12/13/98, p.C14)
1998 Dec 12, Mo Udall, former
state Representative from Arizona, died at age 76. He had served in
the House from 1961-1991.
(SFC, 12/14/98, p.A5)(WSJ, 12/14/98, p.A1)
1998 Dec 12, In Afghanistan a
5.4 earthquake hit Kabul and killed at least 5 people.
(SFEC, 12/13/98, p.A36)
1998 Dec 12, Marc Hodler
(1919-2006), Swiss lawyer and International Olympics Committee
official, unleashed a series of corruption allegations that included
systemic buying and selling of votes in Olympic bidding,
particularly for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
(SFC, 10/21/06, p.B6)
1999 Dec 12, Joseph Heller,
author of "Catch-22," died at age 76 in East Hampton, N.Y. His 1998
memoir was titled "Now and Then: From Coney Island to Here." Other
novels included "God Knows" (1984) and "Closing Time" (1994). His
final work was "Portrait of an Artist as an Old Man." In 2011 Tracy
Dougherty authored “Just One Catch: A Biography of Joseph Heller."
(SFC, 12/14/99, p.A10)(WSJ, 6/9/00, p.W9)(SSFC,
1999 Dec 12, The Int'l. Olympic
Committee enacted sweeping reforms that included a ban on visits by
members to bid cities.
(SFC, 12/13/99, p.A1)
1999 Dec 12, The Erika, a
Maltese registered oil tanker, broke in two during a storm off the
coast of Brest, France, with 8 million gallons of diesel oil. Half
the ship was towed to deeper waters and 3 million gallons were
spilled. In 2008 a French court found Total SA guilty of maritime
pollution and fined it the maximum penalty of $560,000. It also
ordered Total and three other defendants to pay total damages of
(SFC, 12/13/99, p.A13)(WSJ, 12/13/99, p.A1)(SFC,
11/20/02, p.A14)(AP, 1/16/08)
1999 Dec 12, In Chile Ricardo
Lagos and Joaquin Lavin stood at a virtual tie in presidential
elections. A runoff was set for Jan 16.
(SFC, 12/13/99, p.A12)
1999 Dec 12, Sudan's Pres. Omar
el-Bashir dissolved parliament, headed by Hassan Turabi, under a
3-month state of emergency. He cited internal and foreign threats.
Parliament had been due to enact new constitutional amendments that
would have taken away the president’s say in the appointment of
(WSJ, 12/13/99, p.A1)(SFC, 12/14/99, p.A12)(Econ,
2000 Dec 12, Pres. Clinton
spoke at the northern Irish border town of Dundalk and urged the
protection of the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement.
(SFC, 12/13/00, p.B2)
2000 Dec 12, A divided U.S.
Supreme Court reversed a state court decision for recounts in
Florida's contested election, effectively transforming George W.
Bush into the president-elect. The high court agreed, 7-to-2, to
reverse the Florida court's order of a state recount and voted
5-to-4 that there was no acceptable procedure by which a timely new
recount could take place. A later review of the ballots suggested
that George W. bush would have won anyway.
(SFC, 12/13/00, p.A1)(WSJ, 11/12/01, p.A1)(AP,
2000 Dec 12, The Marine Corps
grounded all eight of its high-tech V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor air-craft
following a fiery crash in North Carolina that killed four Marines.
2000 Dec 12, General Motors,
under new CEO Rick Wagoner, announced a restructure and planned
phase out of the Oldsmobile vehicle division following a long slide
(WSJ, 12/12/00, p.A3)(SFC, 12/13/00, p.a3)(WSJ,
2000 Dec 12, Actor George
Montgomery (84) died in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
2000 Dec 12, Ethiopia and
Eritrea signed a peace pact in Algiers. A 4,200 UN peacekeeping
force was set to patrol the border. PM Zenawi and Pres. Afwerki
signed the accord, which established a commission to mark the
620-mile border, exchange prisoners, returned displaced people and
hear claims for war damages.
(SFC, 12/4/00, p.E2)(WSJ, 12/5/00, p.A1)(SFC,
2000 Dec 12, It was reported
that Islamic militants in Indonesia had damaged hundreds of night
spots, mostly around greater Jakarta. The Islamic Defender’s Front
(FPI) and Front Hizbullah claimed responsibility.
(SFC, 12/12/00, p.A18)
2000 Dec 12, Israeli soldiers
killed Yousef Abu Swayeh (27), a West Bank Palestinian leader.
(SFC, 12/13/00, p.B4)
2000 Dec 12, Spanish police
arrested Valdimir Gusinsky, a Russian media magnate, on a Russian
warrant for misrepresenting assets for loans.
(SFC, 12/13/00, p.B4)
2001 Dec 12, US federal agents
began a crackdown on student visa violations and arrested 10
foreigners in San Diego.
(SFC, 12/13/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 12, In Los Angeles
police arrested Irving David Rubin (56) and Earl Leslie Krugel (59),
leaders of the Jewish Defense League, for plotting to blow up a
(SFC, 12/13/01, p.A3)
2001 Dec 12, Ali-al-Marri, a
citizen of Qatar, was arrested in Peoria, Ill. He had reportedly
entered the USA legally with his wife and five children on 10
September 2001 to pursue post-graduate studies at Bradley Univ. 18
months later, as he was on the verge of trial for credit card fraud
and other charges, Pres. Bush declared him an enemy combatant and
moved him into military detention. In 2008 the US Supreme Court
agreed to decide whether the president may order that people seized
in the US be held indefinitely and without criminal charges.
2001 Dec 12, Gerardo Hernandez,
the leader of a Cuban spy ring, received a life sentence in federal
court in Miami for his role in the infiltration of US military bases
and the deaths of four Cuban-Americans in 1996.
2001 Dec 12, David Criswell,
director of the Univ. of Houston Space Systems Operations, proposed
a “Lunar Solar Power System" to collect solar energy on the moon,
convert it to microwaves, and beam it to Earth for electrical power.
(SFC, 12/13/01, p.A5)
2001 Dec 12, A $200 million US
Air Force B-1 bomber crashed into the India Ocean near Diego Garcia
Island. The 4 crewmen were rescued.
(SFC, 12/13/01, p.A12)
2001 Dec 12, In Afghanistan al
Qaeda fighters at Tora Bora were given a new ultimatum to surrender
and turn over their leaders.
(SFC, 12/13/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 12, Lt. Gen. Abdullah
Hendropriyono, the Indonesia intelligence chief, said that a network
of al Qaeda training camps were located on Sulawesi Island.
(SFC, 12/13/01, p.A12)
2001 Dec 12, Palestinian
militants detonated bombs beneath an Israeli bus in the West Bank
and gunned down passengers as they fled. 10 people were killed.
Police killed 1 of 3 militants. Yasser Arafat bowed to long-standing
Israeli demands by ordering closed the offices of the militant Hamas
and Islamic Jihad. 2 Hamas suicide bombers sd’d near an Israeli
settlement in the Gaza Strip and injured 4 others.
(SFC, 12/13/01, p.A1,17)(AP, 12/12/02)
2002 Dec 12, Pres. Bush
announced a series of regulatory changes to allow religious
social-service organizations to receive more government grants and
contracts. Bush named Stephen Friedman, former chairman of Goldman
Sachs, as his chief economic advisor.
(SFC, 12/13/02, p.A3)(SFC, 12/13/02, p.A8)
2002 Dec 12, President Bush
publicly rebuked Senate Republican leader Trent Lott for his
statement that appeared to embrace half-century-old segregationist
politics, calling it "offensive" and "wrong."
2002 Dec 12, President Bush
named Wall Street investment banker Stephen Friedman to head his
National Economic Council, replacing Lawrence Lindsey, who'd been
ousted along with Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.
2002 Dec 12, Actor Nick Nolte
pleaded no contest in Malibu, Calif., to one count of driving un-der
the influence of drugs; he was sentenced to three years' probation.
2002 Dec 12, Dee Brown (94),
author of "Bury My heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the
American West" (1970), died in Little Rock, Ark.
(SFC, 12/16/02, p.A23)
2002 Dec 12, Brad Dexter (85),
film actor, died. His films included "The Magnificent Seven" and
"Run Silent, Run Deep."
(SFC, 12/16/02, p.A23)
2002 Dec 12, In western Algeria
a bomb exploded at an outdoor market, killing four people and
2002 Dec 12, Australia's
highest court dismissed one of the nation's longest running tribal
land claims. The Yorta tribe began the battle in 1994 for a special
property right known as native title in 800 square miles of land
around the Murray River in eastern Australia. The area is now
occupied by farmers.
2002 Dec 12, In Brazil
Pres.-elect Lula da Silva nominated Henrique Meirelles, a former
executive for FleetBoston, as Central Bank governor.
(WSJ, 12/14/02, p.A12)
2002 Dec 12, Israeli troops
near Hebron shot and killed 2 armed Palestinians in separate
(SFC, 12/13/02, p.A22)
2002 Dec 12, North Korea said
it was immediately activating the nuclear reactor at Yongbyon that
was shut down in 1994, due to suspension of fuel deliveries.
(SFC, 12/13/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 12, Opec agreed to cut
oil production by as much as 7%, well ahead of a seasonal decline.
(SFC, 12/13/02, p.B1)
2003 Dec 12, Pres. Bush said
that Halliburton, VP Dick Cheney's former company, should repay the
government if it overcharged for gasoline delivered in Iraq under a
(AP, 12/12/03)(WSJ, 12/12/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 12, Pres. Bush signed
legislation calling for economic penalties against Syria for not
doing enough to fight terrorism.
(SFC, 12/13/03, p.A3)
2003 Dec 12, In California
Hispanics protested the repeal of a law allowing illegal immigrants
to get driver's licenses, taking to the streets in a statewide
boycott of schools and businesses.
(AP, 12/12/03)(SFC, 12/12/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 12, It was reported
that researchers had found a gene in worms that was responsible for
(WSJ, 12/12/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 12, Former Azerbaijani
Pres. Geidar Aliev (Heydar Aliyev, b.1923), a former KGB general and
Communist Party chief who brought stability to a nation plagued by
insurgencies, died at the Cleveland Clinic.
(AP, 12/12/03)(SFC, 12/13/03, p.A20)
2003 Dec 12, In London,
England, Mick Jagger (b.1943) of the Rolling Stones was knighted.
(SFC, 12/13/03, p.A2)
2003 Dec 12, Paul Martin was
sworn in as Canada's 21st prime minister with a vow to make drastic
changes in the way the country is run.
2003 Dec 12, Chinese Premier
Wen Jiabao arrived in Mexico in a bid to extend a string of re-cent
diplomatic and economic successes in North America. In 2002 China
shipped $6.3 billion in goods to Mexico, undercutting many local
(SFC, 12/4/03, p.A22)(AP,
2003 Dec 12, Insurgents
detonated a bomb alongside a U.S. military convoy west of Baghdad on
Friday, killing one soldier and wounding two others.
2003 Dec 12, Several people
fell ill across Italy after drinking apparently tainted bottled
mineral water, the latest in a scare that has prompted prosecutors
to launch investigations across the nation.
2003 Dec 12, A UN conference on
climate control closed in Milan, Italy. Many countries planned to go
ahead with their Kyoto Protocol commitments to reduce greenhouse gas
2003 Dec 12, Ivory Coast state
security forces repulsed an assault near the state television
station after a two-hour battle that left 18 people dead.
2003 Dec 12, Japan pledged $3
billion in new aid to southeast Asia and promised to work with the
region to bolster security ties, liberalize trade and create a broad
2003 Dec 12, Three Dutch
Protestant churches formally agreed to put aside their ideological
differences and merge, the culmination of a process that began more
than 40 years ago.
2003 Dec 12, Keiko the killer
whale (27), whose early life inspired the film "Free Willy," died in
Norway of apparent pneumonia.
(SFC, 12/13/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 12, Fadwa Toukan
(b.1917), Palestinian poet, died in Nablus at age 86.
(SSFC, 12/14/03, p.A31)
2003 Dec 12, In South Korea
Park Jie-won, a confidant of former Pres. Kim Dae-jung, was
convicted and sentenced to 12 years in jail for taking $12.5 million
in bribes from a major conglomerate and illegally remitting money to
North Korea ahead of a 2000 inter-Korean summit.
2004 Dec 12, Researchers said
they may have discovered what causes psoriasis, a common and
irritating skin ailment.
2004 Dec 12, A US soldier died
of wounds sustained when a roadside bomb hit his patrol in Baghdad.
8 US Marines with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force died while
conducting "security and stabilization operations" in Fallujah and
Ramadi in Anbar province.
(AP, 12/12/04)(SFC, 12/13/04, p.A9)
2004 Dec 12, The Brazilian
Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) decided to leave the ruling
coalition of Pres. Lula da Silva. The principals included 6 state
(Econ, 12/18/04, p.48)
2004 Dec 12, China dropped
geographic restrictions against foreign insurers.
(WSJ, 12/13/04, p.A14)
2004 Dec 12, In southern China
a flood at a mine trapped 36 workers in Guizhou province.
2004 Dec 12, The Israeli
Cabinet agreed to release scores of Palestinian prisoners as a
gesture to Egypt and the Palestinian leadership ahead of next
month's Palestinian elections. The Israeli army fired three tank
shells at the Khan Younis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on
Sunday, wounding seven schoolchildren.
2004 Dec 12, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas apologized to Kuwaitis for the Palestinian support of
former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein after Iraq invaded Kuwait in
2004 Dec 12, Palestinians
detonated a massive bomb under an Israeli military checkpoint
killing at least 5 Israeli soldiers.
(SFC, 12/13/04, p.A6)(AP, 12/12/05)
2004 Dec 12, In the southern
Philippines a powerful explosion ripped through an outdoor market
packed with Christmas shoppers, killing at least 15 people and
injuring 58 others.
2004 Dec 12, Romanians returned
to the polls for a presidential runoff between PM Adrian Nastase and
Bucharest Mayor Traian Basescu. Reformist opposition candidate
Traian Basescu won Romania's presidential runoff election.
2004 Dec 12, In Russia hundreds
of Kremlin gathered on Constitution Day to denounce a re-treat from
democracy as Pres. Putin signed a bill eliminating gubernatorial
(SFC, 12/13/04, p.A3)
2005 Dec 12, Pres. Bush for the
1st time put a number on the death toll of Iraqi civilians saying
some 30,000 had died since the start of the war with US troops
looses at about 2,140.
(SFC, 12/13/05, p.A10)
2005 Dec 12, Donald Keyser, a
US State Department official, pleaded guilty to removing top secret
government documents while conducting a "personal relationship" with
a Taiwanese spy, Isabelle Cheng, from 1992-2004.
2005 Dec 12, US federal agents
raided 13 San Diego-area marijuana dispensaries.
(SFC, 12/14/05, p.B3)
2005 Dec 12, California Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to block the imminent execution of
Stanley Tookie Williams, rejecting the notion that the founder of
the murderous Crips gang had atoned for his crimes and found
redemption on death row.
2005 Dec 12, ConocoPhillips,
the 3rd biggest US oil company, said it will acquire Burlington
Resources in a deal worth $35.6 billion.
(SFC, 12/13/05, p.D2)
2005 Dec 12, PepsiCo overtook
Coca-Cola in market capitalization for the 1st time.
(Econ, 12/17/05, p.61)
2005 Dec 12, Young people
riding in vehicles smashed cars and store windows in suburban
Sydney, a day after thousands of drunken white youths attacked
people they believed were of Arab descent at a beach in the same
area in one of Australia's worst outbursts of racial violence. About
50 cars had swept into the area, disgorging men of Middle Eastern
appearance who began trashing every car in sight with baseball bats.
2005 Dec 12, The Organization
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said China
surpassed the US as the world's top exporter of laptop computers,
mobile phones and other information and communications technology
devices in 2004.
2005 Dec 12, About 2,000
right-wing paramilitary fighters (AUC), including a warlord
considered a major drug trafficker by the US, turned in weapons and
helicopter gunships in one of Colombia's largest disarmament
ceremonies in years.
2005 Dec 12, French
counterterrorism agents, some heavily armed and wearing black hoods,
raided homes and Internet cafes in a sweep against a suspected
Islamic network, arresting more than 20 suspects.
2005 Dec 12, In Haiti
protesters angry over the treatment of Haitian migrants in
neighboring Dominican Republic clashed with police during a visit by
the Dominican president, and at least three people were wounded by
2005 Dec 12, Trade ministers
gathered in Hong Kong to work on a deal to open markets and boost
the global economy, with the EU quickly under fire for its refusal
to cut farm subsidies further.
2005 Dec 12, In Iraq patients,
soldiers and prisoners began voting in parliamentary elections, a
few days ahead of the general population, while insurgent violence
killed at least 12 people and wounded more than two dozen.
2005 Dec 12, Japan gave the
final go-ahead to resume imports of some US beef after a two-year
ban due to fears of mad cow disease, averting a potential trade war
between the close political allies.
2005 Dec 12, In Kashmir Indian
troops shot dead three Islamic militants, while suspected rebels
shot dead a shopkeeper in revolt-hit Kashmir.
2005 Dec 12, In Lebanon Gibran
Tueni (48), general manager and chief columnist of the An-Nahar
newspaper, died when a car bomb struck his motorcade in Beirut's
suburb of Mkalles. The bombing killed two other people and wounded
30 more. Tueni was killed a day after returning from France, where
he had been staying periodically for fear of assassination. He was
assassinated at a time when several anti-Syrian Lebanese politicians
and journalists were targeted following the killing of ex-premier
Rafiq Hariri. He was the son of former ambassador Ghassan Tueni.
(AP, 12/13/05)(AFP, 6/8/12)
2005 Dec 12, Swedish
home-appliance maker AB Electrolux said it will close its plant in
Nuremberg, Germany, by the end of 2007, transferring production to
Poland and Italy and eliminating 1,750 jobs.
2005 Dec 12, The president of
Turkmenistan ordered construction of a university to be named after
his book "Rukhnama," which is held as a sacred text in this
2006 Dec 12, A US immigration
sweep of 6 Swift meat plants resulted in nearly 1,300 arrests of
illegal immigrants. The action culminated a 10-month investigation
targeting the use of stolen social security numbers.
(Reuters, 12/13/06)(SFC, 12/13/06, p.A13)(WSJ,
2006 Dec 12, In Texas former
Congressman Ciro Rodriguez defeated seven-term Republican Henry
Bonilla in a runoff election, adding another Democrat to Congress.
2006 Dec 12, Online political
groups, the Campaign to Defend the Constitution and the Christian
Alliance for Progress, demanded that Wal-Mart dump Left Behind:
Eternal Forces, a new computer game in which players must either
kill or convert non-Christians.
(SFC, 12/12/06, p.A1)
2006 Dec 12, The Nasdaq Stock
Market Inc. formally launched its hostile $5.3 billion takeover bid
for the London Stock Exchange Group PLC, which promptly reiterated
that the offer is too low and urged its shareholders to take no
action on it.
2006 Dec 12, Peter Boyle (71),
the actor who played the hilariously grouchy father on "Every-body
Loves Raymond," died. His films “Joe" (1970), "Young Frankenstein"
(1974) and “Taxi Driver" (1976).
2006 Dec 12, Alan Shugart, disk
drive pioneer, died in Monterey, Ca. Shugart led a team of IBM
engineers in 1969 that developed the floppy disk and went on to
found Shugart Associates. In 1979 he co-founded Seagate Technology.
(SFC, 12/14/06, p.B5)
2006 Dec 12, A new
environmental report said fertilizer and sediment runoff from
sugarcane, banana and pineapple plantations are threatening tourism
by damaging a coral reef stretching along the Caribbean coasts of
Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.
2006 Dec 12, In Afghanistan a
suicide bomber blew himself up at the governor's compound in
southern Helmand province, killing 8 people, including 6 policemen
and 2 civilians. In eastern Afghanistan 4 "military-aged males" and
a girl (13) were killed in a raid by Afghan and US-led coalition
forces. 8 suspected Taliban militants were killed and a policeman
wounded in a joint operation by the Afghan police and army in
western Farah province.
(AP, 12/12/06)(AP, 12/14/06)
2006 Dec 12, In Belarus
Alexander Kozulin, a jailed former opposition presidential
candidate, ended a hunger strike after refusing food for 54 days.
2006 Dec 12, In southeastern
Brazil a couple and their 5-year-old son were tied up, locked in
their car and burned to death during a robbery.
2006 Dec 12, British detectives
hunting a serial killer who preys on prostitutes discovered two more
bodies in Ipswich, bringing the total number of victims to five.
2006 Dec 12, China’s state
press reported that Liu Zhihua (57), a former Beijing vice mayor in
charge of 2008 Olympic construction projects, was ousted from the
ruling Communist Party for graft and faces judicial prosecution.
2006 Dec 12, Czech president
Vaclav Klaus pledged to forge closer ties with Prague's biggest
African trade partner as he became the first leader from the eastern
European nation to visit South Africa.
2006 Dec 12, Eritrea said it
aims to become the 1st country in the world to turn its entire coast
into an environmentally protected zone to ensure balanced and
2006 Dec 12, Ethiopia’s former
dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, in exile in Zimbabwe since 1992, was
convicted of genocide and other charges in a rare case of an African
strongman being held to account by his own country.
2006 Dec 12, A UN-backed
commission, the Int’l. Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala
(CICIG), was established to investigate rampant organized crime in
Guatemala, which authorities said has become a key point of transit
for smugglers bringing drugs into the US.
(AP, 12/12/06)(Econ, 3/13/10, p.39)
2006 Dec 12, A two-day
conference questioning the existence of the Nazi Holocaust ended in
2006 Dec 12, In Iraq 2 car
bombs targeting day laborers looking for work exploded within
seconds of each other on a main square in central Baghdad, killing
at least 63 people and wounding scores. A television cameraman
working for The Associated Press was shot to death by insurgents
while covering clashes in Mosul.
2006 Dec 12, Malaysia's twelfth
king, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin (63), stepped down from his post after
a five-year reign to make way for the next monarch in a send-off
steeped in color and tradition.
2006 Dec 12, Mexico's new
president launched his first major offensive against drug gangs,
sending more than 6,500 federal forces to Michoacan, his
violence-plagued home state, to crack down on turf wars that have
left hundreds dead in a wave of execution-style killings and
beheadings. The body of Luis Felipe Zavala, cousin of Mexico's first
lady Margarita Zavala, was found in his minivan in the city of
Naucalpan in Mexico State.
(AP, 12/12/06)(AP, 12/14/06)
2006 Dec 12, Hamas gunmen fired
on demonstrators from the rival Fatah movement, wounding four people
and intensifying fears of a new wave of Palestinian infighting.
2006 Dec 12, In Rwanda an
ex-Interahamwe member said that he had participated in trans-porting
weapons from a French military plane in the former Zaire, now
Democratic Republic of Congo, to the north Rwanda province of
Gisenyi during the 1994 genocide. Witness #4 told a Rwandan
commission that French troops raped women fleeing militia gangs
during the African country's 1994 genocide.
(AFP, 12/12/06)(Reuters, 12/13/06)
2006 Dec 12, Russia's Gazprom
closed in on half of Royal Dutch Shell's $22 billion Sakhalin-2
energy project while Shell denied it had buckled under Kremlin
pressure and warned Moscow the world was watching.
(AP, 12/12/06)(WSJ, 12/12/06, p.A3)
2006 Dec 12, Somalia’s PM Ali
Mohamed Gedi said thousands of Islamic militants have sur-rounded
Baidoa, the only town the internationally recognized government
controls, as a top Islamic official promised to attack within a week
unless Ethiopian troops leave.
2006 Dec 12, South Korea opened
the world's largest garbage-fuelled power plant and expects to
reduce its imports of heavy oil by 500,000 barrels a year as a
result. South Korea currently relies heavily on nuclear power plants
which supply 40% of demand.
2006 Dec 12, Hundreds of
Spanish police and security officials arrested at least 11 suspected
Islamic militants in pre-dawn raids in Ceuta, a tiny Spanish enclave
on Morocco's coast.
2006 Dec 12, In St. Vincent
Sean Samuel beheaded Stacy Wilson, a 21-year-old woman, in front of
horrified onlookers at a bus terminal in Kingstown.
2006 Dec 12, The UN inquiry
into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik
Hariri said it has now identified suspects and witnesses and found
possible links to 14 other murders or attempted murders in Lebanon
in the last two years.
2007 Dec 12, President George
W. Bush vetoed a second bill that would have expanded
government-provided health insurance for children.
2007 Dec 12, Republican
presidential rivals gathered in Johnston, Iowa, called for deep cuts
in federal spending in a debate remarkably free of acrimony.
2007 Dec 12, The US announced
that it has sent 15 prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay prison back to
their home nations.
2007 Dec 12, Three British oil
executives pleaded guilty in a Houston court to price-fixing. They
were accused of conspiring from 1999-2007 to fix the prices of
millions of dollars worth of marine hoses used to transfer oil
between tankers and storage facilities. They were permitted to
return to Britain and to plead guilty to charges there.
2007 Dec 12, Igor Olenicoff
(65), California billionaire real estate developer, pleaded guilty
to lying on his tax returns and paid $52 million in back taxes, one
of the largest individual tax cases in Southern California history.
2007 Dec 12, Police in northern
California arrested Art Cheney, a winery tour guide dubbed “The
Highway 101 Bandit," following his robbery of a bank in Fairfield.
He had robbed at least 17 banks, including at least 8 in the Bay
Area, most of which were on the Highway 101 corridor. In 2008 Cheney
(65) was sentenced to 90 months in prison and ordered to pay back
the $50,760 that he stole.
(SFC, 12/14/07, p.A1)(SFC, 10/21/08, p.B3)
2007 Dec 12, Ike Turner
(b.1931), R&B pioneer and former husband of Tina Turner, died
due to a cocaine overdose at his home outside San Diego. He presided
over the 1951 recording of “Rocket 88," frequently cited as the
first rock ’n’ roll record. In 1966 Phil Spector produced “River
Deep – Mountain High" with Ike and Tina. The pair split in 1976. In
1989 Ike went to prison on drug charges and was still there when he
was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
(SFC, 12/13/07, p.B5)(Econ, 12/22/07, p.142)(SFC,
2007 Dec 12, Afghanistan's
Defense Ministry said Afghan soldiers backed by NATO air power
killed more than 50 Taliban fighters during a two-day battle with
militants who tried to attack Sangin near Musa Qala, where they were
routed from this week. A suicide car bomb exploded near an Afghan
army convoy in the southern city of Kandahar, killing one person.
2007 Dec 12, A new report said
the trafficking of Bulgarian women as sex slaves brings in about 1.8
billion euros ($2.6 billion) a year for the gangs behind it, making
it the country's most profitable criminal activity.
2007 Dec 12, China launched a
nationwide recall system that shifts responsibility to companies to
recall harmful drugs. In eastern China a fire tore through an
apartment building, killing at least 21 people and injuring two
2007 Dec 12, In Colombia 3
young highway bandits set fire to a bus during a botched robbery
near Bogota, burning to death 10 people including 2 assailants and
the bus driver. The 3rd assailant (23) was arrested.
2007 Dec 12, Tropical Storm
Olga soaked portions of the Caribbean, triggering floods and
landslides that killed at least 38 people in the Dominican Republic,
Haiti and Puerto Rico.
(AP, 12/12/07)(AP, 12/13/07)(WSJ, 12/15/07, p.A1)
2007 Dec 12, The European
Central Bank said it would take joint action with the US Federal
Reserve and other institutions to offer short-term funding to the
money markets to help ease a global credit squeeze. The ECB said it
would provide as much as $20 billion to European banks, in part to
fill their demand for dwindling dollars.
2007 Dec 12, Ashraf Juma Hajuj,
the Palestinian-born doctor held with five Bulgarian nurses in a
Libyan prison for over eight years, filed suit in Paris against
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi for torture. The six medics, who always
maintained their innocence, said they were subjected to torture,
including beatings, electric shocks, food and sleep deprivation, and
even sexual abuse, in order to confess to their alleged crime.
2007 Dec 12, Tens of thousands
of demonstrators jammed central Athens and the northern city of
Thessaloniki as a general strike to protest government plans to
reform the country's debt-ridden pension system brought Greece to a
2007 Dec 12, India announced
major plans to increase its nuclear capabilities, saying it was
close to testing a ballistic missile capable of hitting targets up
to 6,000 kilometers (3,800 miles) away.
2007 Dec 12, In Indonesia new
Australian PM Kevin Rudd completed ratification of the Kyoto
Protocol as he pressed for all nations, rich and poor, to commit to
fighting global warming.
2007 Dec 12, Three car bombs
exploded in quick succession in the market district of Amarah, a
southern Iraqi city, killing at least 25 people with 150 wounded.
The city is the provincial capital of Maysan province, which borders
Iran. In eastern Baghdad a parked car bomb apparently targeting a
passing police patrol killed five civilians. 13 people were wounded
in the late after-noon explosion in Ghadeer. In the Kurdish
dominated town of Khanaqin, 90 miles northeast of Baghdad, a
roadside bomb killed four civilians and wounded 12. A mass grave
holding 16 bodies, all but four of them decapitated, was found in a
palm grove in a former al-Qaida in Iraq stronghold outside
Muqdadiyah. US soldiers killed two suspected insurgents and
destroyed a weapons cache in the village of Bawi, on the outskirts
of Salman Pak.
(AP, 12/12/07)(AP, 12/13/07)(AP, 12/12/08)
2007 Dec 12, The renewal of
peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians got off to a rocky
start, with the Palestinians criticizing Israel for a construction
project planned in disputed east Jerusalem, and Israel complaining
about continued rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
2007 Dec 12, It was reported
that Italy's government has decided to appoint a special
com-missioner to try to curb price rises after inflation hit a
three-and-a-half year peak in November, but economists see the move
as little more than a publicity stunt. Italy's truck drivers agreed
to call off a protest that has blocked highways and borders for
three days, causing shortages of gasoline, medicine and perishable
foods across Italy.
(Reuters, 12/12/07)(AP, 12/12/07)
2007 Dec 12, A car bomb attack
killed one of Lebanon's top generals and at least two other people.
Brig. Gen. Francois Hajj (55), a top Maronite Catholic in the
command, was considered a leading candidate to succeed the head of
the military, Gen. Michel Suleiman, if Suleiman is elected
2007 Dec 12, It was reported
that William Kamkwamba (20) of Masitala, Malawi, had built 3
windmills using blue-gum trees and bicycle parts after seeing a
picture in an old text book.
(WSJ, 12/12/07, p.A1)
2007 Dec 12, The former
governor of Nigeria's oil rich Delta state, James Ibori, was
arrested on corruption and money-laundering charges. His state
salary was less than $25,000 per year. In August a court in London
ordered a freeze on $35 million of his worldwide assets.
(AP, 12/12/07)(Econ, 1/5/08, p.38)
2007 Dec 12, Pakistani troops
killed 20 militants in an ongoing offensive against supporters of a
pro-Taliban cleric in the restive northwestern valley of Swat.
Residents said troops shot dead one person and wounded two others
for violating curfew restrictions in the town of Fizaghat.
2007 Dec 12, Palestinian
pedestrians gawked at the unusual sight of female police officers
directing traffic in Ramallah, the first batch of women to venture
into a job traditionally reserved for men in the West Bank.
2007 Dec 12, US federal agents
and local police launched raids in several Puerto Rican cities with
arrest warrants for 121 drug suspects.
2007 Dec 12, Russia ordered a
British cultural organization to suspend all of its operations
outside Moscow at the beginning of 2008, the latest move in a
long-running dispute. Russian officials accused the British Council,
a non-governmental organization that acts as the cultural department
of the British Embassy, of operating illegally in St. Petersburg and
2007 Dec 12, Veteran diplomat
Yuli Vorontsov (78), who served the Soviet Union and Russia as
ambassador to Afghanistan (1988-99) and the United States
(1994-2000) in a career spanning the Cold War and the Gulf War, died
2007 Dec 12, Pirates freed a
Japanese chemical tanker loaded with highly explosive benzene off
the coast of Somalia, six weeks after seizing the vessel and its
2007 Dec 12-2007 Dec 14, In
South Africa 49 patients, all with multidrug resistant (MDR) and
extremely drug resistant (XDR) TB, escaped through holes they had
cut through the perimeter fences of Jose Pearson Hospital in Port
2007 Dec 12, Officials said
South Korean scientists have cloned cats by manipulating a
fluorescent protein gene, a procedure which could help develop
treatments for human genetic dis-eases.
2007 Dec 12, North and south
Sudanese leaders said they had resolved almost all their differences
and that the former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement would
soon rejoin the unity cabinet.
2007 Dec 12, Thailand smashed
through the 100-gold barrier at the SEA Games as they continued
their relentless pursuit of top spot on the medals table.
2007 Dec 12, The UN Yugoslav
war crimes tribunal at The Hague sentenced former Bosnian Serb
general Dragomir Milosevic (b.1942) to 33 years imprisonment for the
shelling of Sarajevo during the Bosnian war, one of the court's
toughest sentences. In 2009 UN judges trimmed the sentence from 33
to 29 years but upheld his convictions for leading troops who
terrorized Sarajevo with a deadly rain of shells and sniper bullets.
(AP, 12/12/07)(AP, 11/12/09)
2008 Dec 12, The White House
and the Treasury said they were considering diverting money from the
Wall Street rescue fund to stave off bankruptcy filings among the
carmakers. General Motors Corp. said it will temporarily close 20
factories across North America and make sweeping cuts to its vehicle
production as it tries to adjust to dramatically weaker automobile
2008 Dec 12, The Bush
administration issued a regulation exempting farms from reporting
releases of hazardous air pollution from animal waste to federal,
state and local authorities. The white House also approved a coal
mining rule that makes it easier for some firms to dump rock and
sludge near rivers.
(SFC, 12/13/08, p.A9)(WSJ, 12/13/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 12, In Woodburn,
Oregon, a bomb exploded inside a branch of the West Coast Bank,
killing a police officer and a state bomb disposal technician.
Police arrested Joshua A. Turnidge (32), a steelworker, in Salem on
Dec 14. Joshua’s father, Bruce Turnidge (57), was also soon arrested
and charged with the bombing. In 2010 Bruce Turnidge and his son
were convicted on 18 counts related to the bank bombing.
(AP, 12/13/08)(SSFC, 12/14/08, p.A6)(SFC,
12/15/08, p.A3)(SFC, 12/16/08, p.A4)(WSJ, 12/27/08, p.A2)(SFC,
2008 Dec 12, Cardinal Avery
Dulles died in NYC. His more than 20 books included “Models of the
Church" (1974). Dulles, the son of former Sec. of State John Foster
Dulles, joined the Jesuits after he was discharged from the Navy in
2008 Dec 12, Van Johnson
(b.1916), Hollywood film star, died in Nyack, NY. His boy-next-door
wholesomeness made him a popular Hollywood star in the '40s and '50s
with such films as "30 Seconds over Tokyo," "A Guy Named Joe" and
"The Caine Mutiny."
(AP, 12/12/08)(SFC, 12/13/08, p.A5)
2008 Dec 12, In central
Afghanistan NATO troops fired on a civilian bus that refused
warnings to stop, killing four passengers in Wardak province.
2008 Dec 12, A court in
Australia approved the use of Facebook, a popular social networking
Web site, to notify a couple that they lost their home after
defaulting on a loan.
2008 Dec 12, Belgian
authorities charged six suspected al-Qaida-linked extremists with
membership in a terrorist group. They including a woman whose
husband was involved in the assassination of Afghanistan's that
killed anti-Taliban warlord Ahmed Shah Massoud, shortly before the
Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
2008 Dec 12, In Chile admirers
of former dictator Augusto Pinochet inaugurated a museum in his
honor, a move they hope will burnish the image of a man reviled by
much of the world.
2008 Dec 12, Colombia
extradited Diego Montoya, one of its most notorious drug trafficking
suspects, to the United States to stand trial. Colombian authorities
said he sent tons of cocaine to the United States and is responsible
for at least 1,500 killings in a two-decade career.
2008 Dec 12, Tassos
Papadopoulos (b.1934), Cyprus' hardline former president
(2003-2008), died of lung cancer in Nicosia. He had ushered the
divided island into the European Union (2004) after rallying Greek
Cypriots to reject a UN peace deal.
2008 Dec 12, Ecuador’s Pres.
Rafael Correa said his nation will skip a $30.6 million payment to
bondholders due on Dec 15. This was Ecuador’s 3rd default in 3
(WSJ, 12/12/08, p.A8)(Econ, 7/4/09, p.34)
2008 Dec 12, Estonia’s
parliament passed a law making it the first country to allow
(WSJ, 12/13/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 12, European Union
leaders agreed to give concessions to Ireland so it will hold a new
referendum on the EU's stalled Lisbon reform treaty, which aims to
make the 27-nation bloc a stronger player on the world stage.
2008 Dec 12, Greek youths
hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at riot police in Athens, who
responded with stun grenades and tear gas. Despite seven straight
days of unrest, Greece's prime minister rebuffed calls to resign and
hold early elections.
2008 Dec 12, In Guatemala a mob
in San Pedro Solom beat and then shot to death five men suspected of
kidnapping a 15-year-old girl.
2008 Dec 12, Nigeria's Pres.
Umaru Yar'Adua vowed to speed up electoral reforms after overcoming
a legal challenge to his election and receiving a report on problems
with the country's electoral laws. The Supreme Court ruled 4-3 to
dismiss a suit by opposition leaders, but conceded that widespread
irregularities had occurred in his 2006 election.
(AFP, 12/12/08)(SSFC, 12/14/08, p.A20)
2008 Dec 12, Pakistan stage
overnight raids, shut offices and arrested scores of activists of
Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), an Islamic charity associated with
Lashkar-e-Taiba, as international pressure mounted for firm action
against militants blamed for the Mumbai attacks. Maulana Masood
Azhar, head of the Jaish-e-Mohammad group, blamed with
Lashkar-e-Taiba for a 2001 attack on India's parliament, was also
2008 Dec 12, The chief
Palestinian negotiators said Israel proposed to annex 6.8 percent of
the West Bank and to take in a few thousand refugees under a peace
deal, but it has not revealed its position on the most contentious
issue, the future of Jerusalem.
2008 Dec 12, In Poland
negotiators at a UN climate conference broke through red tape and
freed up millions of dollars to help poor countries adapt to
increasingly severe droughts, floods and other effects of global
2008 Dec 12, Sir David Barclay
and his twin brother, Sir Frederick Barclay, abruptly closed their
businesses on the Channel Island of Sark and shut off the flow of
investment after their candidates for the island's first elected
parliament were largely rejected by voters. Only two of the nine
candidates backed by the brothers won seats in the legislature. Nine
of the 12 candidates they had denounced as "dangerous to Sark's
future" were elected.
2008 Dec 12, In Sri Lanka
clashes with troops left 10 rebels dead near their de facto northern
2008 Dec 12, Switzerland became
the 25th member of the passport-free zone of the Schengen countries,
after interior and justice ministers of the 27 EU member states
formally approved the accession of this non-EU country on Nov 27.
The number of Chinese visitors quickly soared.
2008 Dec 12, Taiwanese
prosecutors indicted former President Chen Shui-bian on graft
charges, a stunning blow for a man who rode to power 8 1/2 years ago
on promises to reform the island's corrupt political culture.
2008 Dec 12, In Thailand a
commercial fishing commission agreed to cut the catches of bigeye
tuna in parts of the Pacific Ocean, a small step in an effort to
save a threatened species that is a favorite among sushi lovers.
Environmentalists lambasted the Western and Central Pacific
Fisheries Commission's decision to reduce catches by only 10 percent
in each of the next three years. They wanted an immediate 30 percent
reduction that scientists advising the body had recommended.
2008 Dec 12, A UN Security
Council panel said that Rwanda and Congo are fighting a proxy war by
aiding each other's enemies, a conclusion that could lead to
additional UN sanctions over the conflict in the central African
region. A UN report cited an advisor to Rwandan President Paul
Kagame and a member of the Congolese opposition, both wealthy
businessmen, as key financial backers of rebels in eastern DR Congo.
(AP, 12/12/08)(AFP, 12/13/08)
2008 Dec 12, The Vatican raised
its opposition to embryonic stem cell research, the morning-after
pill, in vitro fertilization and human cloning to a new level in a
major new document on bio-ethics.
2008 Dec 12, Zimbabwe's central
bank introduced a 500 million dollar note, as the African country
struggles to cope with the world's highest inflation and crippling
2009 Dec 12, President Barack
Obama singled out financial institutions for causing much of the
economic tailspin and criticized their opposition to tighter federal
oversight of their industry. The Democratic-controlled US Senate
cleared away a Republican filibuster of a huge end-of-year spending
bill that rewards most federal agencies with generous budget boosts.
2009 Dec 12, Houston became the
largest US city to elect an openly gay mayor, with voters handing a
solid victory to City Controller Annise Parker (53) after a hotly
2009 Dec 12, Alabama running
back Mark Ingram won this year’s Heisman trophy.
2009 Dec 12, In Berkeley, Ca.,
police arrested 8 people after a crowd of angry protesters broke
windows and threw burning torches at the campus residence of UC
chancellor Robert Birgeneau in protest over fee hikes and budget
(SSFC, 12/13/09, p.C1)
2009 Dec 12, In New York state
truck driver Thomas Wallace hit a disabled car killing Julie
Stratton (33). The car was disabled after hitting a deer. On Sep 1,
2010, Wallace was sentenced to 3-9 years in prison after pleading
guilty to 2nd degree murder. His laptop computer was streaming
pornography when his rig hit the disabled car.
(SFC, 9/2/10, p.A6)
2009 Dec 12, Abkhazia held
elections. Preliminary results indicated that President Sergei
Bagapsh defeated four other candidates. About 70% of the 130,000
registered voters took part in the vote. The province is also home
to some 40,000 ethnic Georgians who are not eligible to vote because
they don't hold Abkhazian passports. An estimated 200,000 ethnic
Georgians fled Abkhazia in the 1990s.
2009 Dec 12, In Afghanistan
Wahibuddin Sadat, the deputy mayor of Kabul, was arrested for
alleged misuse of authority, part of a crackdown in the wake of
massive international criticism of corruption in President Hamid
Karzai's government. 3 Taliban fighters were killed when a road-side
bomb they were planting exploded in Helmand province. 4 Afghan
private security guards were killed when their car hit a roadside
bomb elsewhere in Helmand.
2009 Dec 12, In China Liu
Aibing (34) went on a rampage with his shotgun killing 12 people
including his father. He was apprehended the next day in Gaoming
town in Hunan province's Anhua county. Liu also seriously injured
two other people and set six homes on fire. He was said to have had
a long history of mental illness.
2009 Dec 12, It was reported
that Cuba has detained an American government contractor and accused
him of distributing cell phones, laptops and other communications
equipment to political opposition groups on the island.
(SFC, 12/12/09, p.A2)
2009 Dec 12, In Denmark
violence broke out in Copenhagen as tens of thousands took to the
streets to demand tough measures on climate change, with
demonstrators around the world rallying for action instead of words.
2009 Dec 12, In Honduras a
Foreign Ministry spokesman says Honduras will grant ousted Pres.
Zelaya safe passage to any country that offers him asylum outside
2009 Dec 12, In Hong Kong 5
women and a man suffered burns in the incident in Causeway Bay, one
of a spate of acid attacks in the city. One woman's face and chest
were badly injured, with burns covering nearly 20 percent of her
body. On Jan 14 police charged a 23-year-old man over the acid
2009 Dec 12, In India 20 state
ministers resigned amid mounting street demonstrations and violence
to protest India's decision to carve a new state out of southern
Andhra Pradesh state.
2009 Dec 12, Iran said it is
ready to exchange the bulk of its stockpile of enriched uranium for
nuclear fuel rods, as proposed by the UN, but according to its own
mechanisms and timetable. Iran also said it needs up to 15 nuclear
plants to generate electricity. Tens of thousands of hard-line
clerics rallied in cities across the country to denounce student
protesters who burned photos of the country's supreme leader in a
taboo-shattering act earlier in the week.
(AP, 12/12/09)(Reuters, 12/12/09)
2009 Dec 12, Iraq sold Russian
firm Lukoil rights to the West Qurna-2 oil field, one of the world's
biggest untapped oil fields, on the 2nd day of an auction. Lukoil
will work with junior partner StatoilHydro of Norway.
2009 Dec 12, In Italy at least
5 sperm whales died after a pod of nine beached on the southern
coast. Experts called it a rare and puzzling mass beaching for such
a large species. Officials were considering euthanizing the last two
whales still trapped in high waves.
2009 Dec 12, In Kenya 12
players of the Eritrean national football squad failed to show up at
the airport to return home. They were later reported to have
disappeared in Nairobi with the intention of seeking asylum.
2009 Dec 12, Human Rights Watch
announced a report saying Libya continues to subject political
dissidents to arbitrary detention and unfair trials despite limited
improvements in freedom of expression since the country began to
shed its pariah status in 2003.
2009 Dec 12, Pakistan’s PM
Yousuf Raza Gilani said his government may launch a new military
offensive in Orakzai district near the Afghan border. Insurgent
leaders are believed to have fled there to escape a government
onslaught against the Taliban in South Waziristan. Interior Minister
Rehman Malik mentioned North Waziristan as another potential front,
though military officials have been loathe to say whether they would
want to extend the fight there.
2009 Dec 12, Al-Qaida issued a
new English-language video denying it was behind a series of
bombings in Pakistan that have killed hundreds of civilians, calling
such attacks un-Islamic.
2009 Dec 12, A Palestinian man
made homeless by last winter's Gaza war was the first to receive a
UN-funded mud brick home, with UN aid officials saying they're
reverting to ancient building techniques because Israel won't allow
concrete and other construction materials into blockaded Gaza. A
Palestinian farmer was killed when he was caught in the crossfire of
a shootout between militants and Israeli soldiers in the Hamas-run
(AP, 12/12/09)(AFP, 12/12/09)
2009 Dec 12, Rwanda held
elections. President Paul Kagame was reelected with a crushing
majority to head the Rwandan Patriotic Front party that has been in
power since 1994.
2009 Dec 12, Saudi newspapers
said Saudi ground forces and Apache attack helicopters had battled
Huthi fighters for two days at the Al-Jabri post on the Yemeni
border in the southern province of Yemen, and repulsed attempted
Huthi incursions. Saudi military denied a claim by Yemen's Huthi
rebels that they seized a Saudi border post.
2009 Dec 12, In South Africa
drums and traditional dancers kicked off the Miss World pageant in
Johannesburg. The glitzy night began in the shadow of reports that
one contestant was linked to a religious cult. Kaiane Aldorino from
Gibraltar was named the new Miss World.
(AFP, 12/12/09)(AP, 12/13/09)
2009 Dec 12, In Thailand 4
Kazakhs and a Belarusian were detained and their New Zealand
registered aircraft impounded after it landed in the Thai capital
with tons of war weaponry on board that originated in North Korea.
The Ilyushin 76 transport from Kazakhstan was allegedly traveling
from North Korea to Sri Lanka when it asked to land in Bangkok to
refuel. According to a flight plan seen by arms trafficking
researchers, the aircraft was chartered by Hong Kong-based Union Top
Management Ltd. to fly oil industry spare parts from Pyongyang to
Tehran, Iran, with several other stops, including Bangkok, Colombo
in Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. A New Zealand shell company,
SP Trading Ltd., had leased the airplane.
(AP, 12/12/09)(AP, 12/23/09)(AP, 1/22/10)
2009 Dec 12, In Turkey angry
Kurds battled Turkish police with rocks and firebombs to pro-test a
decision by the country's top court to shut down a pro-Kurdish
political party on charges of ties to militants.
2009 Dec 12, Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe was re-elected as ZANU-PF leader for the next five
years, urging supporters to work for the survival of the party.
Mugabe said the unity government is short-lived and he plans to
regain his hold over the country.
(AFP, 12/12/09)(AP, 12/13/09)
2010 Dec 12, The Washington
Post reported that 8 out of the 12 top US gun dealers whose products
fuel Mexico's drug violence are located in the state of Texas. 3
others were in Arizona, and one was in California. There are 3,800
gun retailers in Texas, 300 in Houston alone.
2010 Dec 12, A storm that
spanned parts of eight states continued to dump heavy snow in the
upper Midwest, collapsing the Metrodome in Minneapolis and forcing
numerous road closures.
2010 Dec 12, In Long Beach,
Ca., police officers shot Doug Zerby (35) over a dozen times as he
manipulated a pistol grip water nozzle. The shooting spurred street
protests. Prosecutors in 2011 said police acted lawfully in killing
Zerby, who was drunk at the time. His family filed a federal civil
rights and wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
(SFC, 11/4/11, p.C6)
2010 Dec 12, In southern
Afghanistan an insurgent attack killed at least six foreign troops
and two Afghan soldiers in Kandahar's Zhari district. Several
suspects were arrested for the suicide attack that killed six US
troops when an explosives-packed minibus blew up at the entrance of
a joint NATO-Afghan base.
(Reuters, 12/12/10)(AP, 12/13/10)
2010 Dec 12, Australia unveiled
tough changes to finance laws, banning unpopular mortgage fees and
cracking down on price collusion between major banks in a bid to
boost competition in the sector.
2010 Dec 12, Bangladesh's Dhaka
Stock Exchange plunged 3.32%, its biggest one-day fall since the
index was introduced in 2001. Garment workers demanding the
implementation of a new minimum wage clashed with police at an
industrial zone in the southeast, leaving up to three people dead
and 100 hurt.
(AFP, 12/12/10)(AP, 12/12/10)
2010 Dec 12, Hundreds of
Egyptian activists and members of opposition groups protested
against what they said were violations during a parliamentary vote
that handed the ruling party a huge victory last month.
2010 Dec 12, In Iran Mashallah
Shamsolvaezin, a prominent reformist journalist and head of the
Journalists' Association of Iran, said he has been sentenced to 16
months in jail on charges of insulting Pres. Ahmadinejad and
undermining the Islamic regime. Shamsolvaezin went on trial in
October and has 20 days to appeal. Sajjad Qaderzadeh, the son of a
woman whose death sentence by stoning caused world outrage, was
released after paying a $40,000 bail.
(AFP, 12/12/10)(AP, 1/1/10)
2010 Dec 12, In Iraq a suicide
bomber blew up his car outside government offices in Ramadi, killing
at least 13 people, including women and elderly people waiting to
collect welfare checks. Six police officers were among the dead.
Near Baquba a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden vest
near an Ashura procession, killing three people.
(AP, 12/12/10)(AFP, 12/13/10)(SFC, 12/13/10,
2010 Dec 12, Kosovars voted in
the first general poll since the country's declaration of
independence from Serbia in 2008, a critical election already marred
by ethnic tension that many fear will split the world's newest
2010 Dec 12, Heavy rain and
fierce winds pummeled countries across the Middle East, killing a
woman in Lebanon, sinking a ship off Israel's coast and prompting
Egypt to close its largest Mediterranean port. At least 3 people
killed in Egypt as gale-force winds and torrential rain pounded the
(AP, 12/12/10)(AFP, 12/12/10)
2010 Dec 12, A foundation run
by Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam, released a
mixed annual report on human rights in Libya, noting progress on
some issues and failures in others.
2010 Dec 12, Mexican police
arrested Enrique Lopez of the notorious Sinaloa drug trafficking
operation based in the northern Mexico town of Chihuahua. His
brother, Ever Horacio Lopez, was shot and killed in the standoff
with police. The men were lieutenants of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman,
said to be Mexico's most wanted man, who is believed to have
2010 Dec 12, Nigeria's military
said it had taken control of eight camps belonging to Ateke Tom, a
militant leader in southern Rivers State. In the southeast Obioma
Nwankwo, a gang leader accused of kidnapping children from a school
bus, was killed. An unknown number of alleged gang members also
died. 6 others were arrested. The operation freed a family of five.
2010 Dec 12, Lawyers for a
Sudanese campaign group launched a legal bid to halt Sudan's
referendum on southern independence, accusing organizers of
mishandling the process, a move which could derail the January 9
2011 Dec 12, In Oakland, Ca.,
some 3,000 Occupy protesters shut down the Port of Oakland for the
(SFC, 12/13/11, p.A1)
2011 Dec 12, The Illinois House
approved a package of tax relief for families and businesses,
including big names like Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange,
that threatened to leave the state. When fully phased in the cuts
will cost state government some $320 million per year.
(SFC, 12/13/11, p.A11)
2011 Dec 12, In Utah some
4000-5000 migratory birds, eared grebes, were killed or injured
after apparently mistaking a Wal-Mart parking lot, football fields
and other snow-covered areas of southern Utah for bodies of water
and plummeting to the ground in what one state wildlife expert
called the worst mass bird crash she'd ever seen. A high-profile
crash in Arkansas in January killed about 4,500 birds, mainly
2011 Dec 12, In Washington
state 2 reconnaissance helicopters crashed during training near
Tacoma killing all 4 people on board.
(SFC, 12/14/11, p.A8)
2011 Dec 12, Senior Australian
naval officer Lieutenant Commander John Alan Jones (58) was
convicted by a court martial of repeatedly spanking a junior female
sailor to test her discipline and obedience.
2011 Dec 12, Canada became the
first country to declare it was formally exiting the Kyoto protocol,
a reversal that will save it billions of dollars in fines. Canada
had agreed under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce CO2 emissions to 6.0
percent below 1990 levels by 2012, but its emissions of the gasses
blamed for damaging Earth's fragile climate system have instead
2011 Dec 12, China executed
Janice Linden (35), a South African woman, by lethal injection for
drug smuggling after rejecting last-minute pleas for clemency from
her government. She was convicted of trying to sneak three kg (6.6
pounds) of methamphetamine into the country in her luggage through
the southern city of Guangzhou in 2008. Amnesty International says
China executes more people every year than the rest of the world
2011 Dec 12, In eastern China a
school bus taking primary students home slipped off a country road
into an irrigation ditch, killing 15 children in Jiangsu province.
2011 Dec 12, A Chinese captain
stabbed two South Korean coast guard officers, killing one, after
his fishing boat was stopped for illegally fishing in South Korean
2011 Dec 12, Colombia
extradited Ramon Quintero, a top Norte del Valle cartel trafficker,
to the United States. His organization was accused of exporting more
than 50 metric tons of cocaine a year to the US and Europe.
2011 Dec 12, International
Criminal Court (ICC) member states, meeting at The Hague,
unanimously elected Fatou Bensouda of Gambia as the new chief
prosecutor for the main genocide and war crimes tribunal.
2011 Dec 12, The world court
(ICC) said it was referring Malawi to the UN Security Council over
its refusal to arrest Sudan's Pres. Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the
court for genocide, during his October visit for a meeting of the
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
2011 Dec 12, The head of Iran's
parliamentary national security committee said Iran will
reverse-engineer the US drone it has in its possession, and is in
the "final stages" of unlocking the aircraft's software secrets.
2011 Dec 12, The Efrat
settlement mayor said Israel's government has approved 40 new houses
to replace trailers at the West Bank settlement, drawing criticism
from Palestinians. The trailers at the site, known as Givat Hadagan,
were put up without authorization.
2011 Dec 12, Dozens of Jewish
settlers broke into an army base in the West Bank and lit fires,
damaged vehicles and threw stones at a senior officer, just hours
after another group took over an abandoned building in a closed
military zone on the border with Jordan. The settlers were
reportedly protesting the planned evacuations of unauthorized
2011 Dec 12, In Kenya an
explosion wounded six people, including a high-ranking intelligence
official, in the northern town of Wajir during celebrations of
Kenya's Independence Day.
2011 Dec 12, In Mexico 2
students were killed during a clash with state and federal police at
a violent protest that blocked a major highway in Guerrero state.
Protesting students had hijacked buses and set fire to a gasoline
station before federal police fired tear gas at the protesters and
then shots rang out. Some 300 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers
college staged the protest seeking to persuade the state government
"to meet their educational demands.
2011 Dec 12, Mexican marines
captured Raul Lucio Hernandez Lechuga, a founding member of the
brutal Zetas drug cartel, in the city of Cordoba, Veracruz state.
2011 Dec 12, Veteran PNG leader
Sir Michael Somare (75) was reinstated as Papua New Guinea's prime
minister when the Supreme Court ruled the election of Peter O'Neill
2011 Dec 12, In the Philippines
the House of Representatives impeached chief justice Renato Corona
over charges his 15-member court had made a series of rulings that
hindered government moves to prosecute ex-leader Gloria Arroyo. The
proceedings will move to the Senate, where a trial will determine if
Corona must step down.
2011 Dec 12, Mikhail Prokhorov
(46), one of Russia's richest tycoons and the owner of the New
Jersey Nets basketball team, said he will run against PM Vladimir
Putin in the March presidential election. Prokhorov made his
fortune, estimated by Forbes at $18 billion, in metals and banking.
2011 Dec 12, Saudi authorities
executed a woman convicted of practicing magic and sorcery. The
woman was arrested in April, 2009, and later convicted in a Saudi
court. Religious police, who arrested the woman, said she had
tricked people into thinking she could treat illnesses, charging
them $800 per session.
2011 Dec 12, Syrians closed
their businesses and kept children home from school in several parts
of the country in a show of civil disobedience against the regime as
a new and fierce round of clashes between troops and army defectors
spread. Syrians voted in municipal elections even as violence raged
in some parts of the country where security forces were pressing a
deadly crackdown against dissent. Border guards intercepted 15
gunmen trying to infiltrate from Turkey. Two were reported killed in
the ensuing firefight and others were injured.
(AP, 12/12/11)(AFP, 12/12/11)(AP, 12/13/11)
2011 Dec 12, In southern Yemen
a protester was wounded in Aden when police dispersed hundreds of
demonstrators demanding a secession of southern regions. A security
official said 12 alleged Al-Qaeda militants plus two other inmates
have tunneled their way to freedom from a prison in Aden. Al-Qaeda
linked gunman fired on a military vehicle killing three soldiers and
wounding 11 others near the southern city of Zinjibar.
(AFP, 12/12/11)(AP, 12/12/11)(AFP, 12/13/11)
2012 Dec 12, In California
Darcey Greenfield, a former Los Angeles police officer, was arrested
on charges of bilking people out of at least $3 million in a real
estate investment scheme.
(SSFC, 12/16/12, p.A12)
2012 Dec 12, In Argentina the
acquittal of 13 people accused in the disappearance of a young woman
who was allegedly kidnapped and forced into prostitution for "VIP
clients" spread shock and outrage across the country, prompting
street protests and calls by political leaders to impeach the three
judges who delivered the verdict.
2012 Dec 12, Royal Navy Petty
Officer Edward Devenney was sentenced to eight years in prisons for
passing nuclear submarine secrets to British intelligence agents
impersonating Russian spies.
2012 Dec 12, A rebel group that
signed a peace accord with the government of the Central African
Republic announced that it has taken three towns in the country's
north, in a move that is intended to force the state to review the
2012 Dec 12, Chinese religious
officials said they have revoked the title of new Catholic Bishop Ma
Daqin in Shanghai. He outraged officials by immediately dropping out
of the government agency that oversees the country's officially
2012 Dec 12, Egypt's opposition
alliance urged supporters to vote "No" in the referendum on a
disputed constitution rather than boycotting, hours after the
Islamist government forged ahead by starting overseas voting in
diplomatic missions for expatriates. The full referendum was
initially scheduled to take place on Dec 15, but in a last minute
decree on Dec 11, Morsi ordered the voting stretched into another
round on Dec 22.
2012 Dec 12, French Foreign
Minister Laurent Fabius said more than 100 countries have recognized
a new Syrian opposition coalition. Fabius called the "Friends of the
Syrian People" conference meeting in Marrakech, Morocco,
"extraordinary progress." US and NATO said President Bashar Assad's
forces had fired Scud missiles at rebel areas.
(AP, 12/12/12)(AP, 12/13/12)
2012 Dec 12, German lawmakers
in the Bundestag passed legislation ensuring parents the right to
have their boys circumcised. The upper house, Bundesrat, was
expected to also pass it.
(SFC, 12/13/12, p.A5)
2012 Dec 12, Guatemala released
John McAfee from a detention center and put him on a plan for Miami.
Authorities in Belize had sought McAfee for questioning about the
November slaying of neighbor Gregory Faull.
(SFC, 12/13/12, p.A7)
2012 Dec 12, Honduras President
Porfirio Lobo's National Party overwhelmingly and, many say
illegally, approved the the dismissal of 4 judges who had rejected
the president's plan to weed out corrupt police.
2012 Dec 12, Iran's deputy
judiciary chief said the Islamic Republic has issued indictments
against 18 unnamed current and former American officials on charges
of involvement in "crimes against Iran." His remarks did not
indicate that any of the men were present in Iran.
2012 Dec 12, In Iraq a
suspected al-Qaida detainee tried to blow himself up inside a prison
cell in Baghdad, wounding himself and six others.
2012 Dec 12, Israel's
paramilitary border police force in Hebron shot and killed Mohammed
Suleima (17) after he brandished a gun that later turned out to be
2012 Dec 12, Japan’s Honda
Motor Co said it will recall 871,000 vehicles that could roll away
after the ignition key has been removed, including 807,000 in the
2012 Dec 12, Kuwait's ruler
named a new Cabinet that makes no major changes in membership and
reinstates the finance minister who resigned earlier this year under
pressure from opposition lawmakers.
2012 Dec 12, Amsterdam Mayor
Eberhard van der Laan said he would formally ban students from
smoking marijuana at school, making the Dutch capital the first city
in the Netherlands to do so.
2012 Dec 12, In Northern
Ireland protests began when the Belfast city council voted to limit
the number of days the union flag is flown over city hall to about
20 a year.
(Econ, 1/12/13, p.50)
2012 Dec 12, North Korea
launched its Unha rocket, named after the Korean word for "galaxy."
The 3-stage rocket blasted off from the Sohae launch pad in
Tongchang-ri, northwest of Pyongyang, and put a satellite into
2012 Dec 12, Russia's President
Vladimir Putin vowed to strengthen the country's economy and its
military might and rejected what he described as foreign lecturing
about democracy and attempts at foreign interference in the nation's
2012 Dec 12, Spanish
authorities said they have arrested a Panamanian woman arriving at
Barcelona airport from Bogota, Colombia, with 1.38 kg (3 pounds) of
cocaine concealed in breast implants.
2012 Dec 12, A UN war crimes
court at The Hague convicted Gen. Zdravko Tolimir, a Bosnian Serb
commander, of genocide for playing a key role in the July, 1995,
massacre at Srebrenica.
(SFC, 12/13/12, p.A5)
2013 Dec 12, The Obama
adminsitration announced an expanded list of Iranian companies and
individuals that it said it would target to block their trading
activities around the world due to sanctions violations.
(SFC, 12/13/13, p.A11)
2013 Dec 12, US authorities
said three Chinese nationals have been charged in two separate cases
of trying to steal seed-technology, trade secrets under development
in the United States.
2013 Dec 12, USAID acting
Mission Director Christopher Cushing said a decision to leave
Ecuador by Sep 2014 comes as a result of Ecuador’s decision to
prohibit approval of new USAID assistance programs.
2013 Dec 12, US federal bus
regulators said they have shut down over 50 motor coach companies in
a nationwide crackdown on unsafe outfits.
(SFC, 12/13/13, p.A13)
2013 Dec 11, In Minnesota Keith
Michael Novak (25) was put under federal custody following fraud
charges in connection with the ID theft of some 400 members of his
former Army unit in Fort Bragg, NC.
(SFC, 12/13/13, p.A17)
2013 Dec 12, In NYC Devyani
Khobragade, India's deputy consul general, was arrested and strip
searched for allegedly underpaying her nanny and committing visa
fraud to get her into the United States.
(SFC, 12/18/13, p.A8)
2013 Dec 12, World stock
markets extended losses after an apparent budget deal in the US
Congress reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve will cut its
monetary stimulus as early as next week.
2013 Dec 12, In Afghanistan a
large bomb accidentally exploded inside a weapons depot in downtown
Kabul, but no one was hurt.
2013 Dec 12, Australia's top
court struck down gay marriage in the nation's capital, ruling that
parliament must decide on same-sex unions.
2013 Dec 12, Bangladesh's
Supreme Court cleared the way for the execution of Abdul Quader
Molla, an opposition leader convicted of war crimes, rejecting a
last-minute appeal in a case that threatens to spark fresh violence
ahead of national elections next month. Abdul Quader Molla was sent
to the gallows at a prison in Dhaka late today.
(AP, 12/12/13)(AFP, 12/13/13)
2013 Dec 12, Britain’s
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), the body which
sets MPs' pay, recommended an 11 percent pay rise despite a public
outcry and PM David Cameron plus other top politicians rejecting the
2013 Dec 12, In the Central
African Republic 27 Muslims were killed by so-called self-defense
militias, known as anti-Balaka, in the western village of Bohong.
Fighting and sectarian violence has killed 450 people in Bangui and
160 elsewhere in the country in the past week alone.
2013 Dec 12, Congo and the
so-called M23 rebels signed a peace agreement that will see the
insurgent group demobilize its fighters and transform itself into a
2013 Dec 12, India's ruling
party slammed the Supreme Court for reinstating a ban on gay sex,
taking an unexpectedly bold stance ahead of elections in the
religiously conservative nation.
2013 Dec 12, A senior Iranian
nuclear negotiator said new sanctions by the US on Iranian companies
and individuals violate the spirit of a deal made between Tehran and
the West over its nuclear program.
2013 Dec 12, Iraq signed a $1.1
billion deal to buy 24 multi-role light fighters from South Korea.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) said it would deliver the T-50IQ, a
variant of its T-50 supersonic aircraft, to Baghdad between 2015 and
2013 Dec 12, In Italy grass
roots protests dubbed the Pitchfork Protests continued for a 4th day
in cities and towns reflecting the pain of a continuing recession.
(SFC, 12/13/13, p.A2)
2013 Dec 12, Mexico's Congress
overwhelmingly voted to open up the country's oil and gas sector to
private investment in the biggest overhaul of the industry since it
was nationalized in 1938.
2013 Dec 12, In North Korea
Jang Song Thaek (67), the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un, was tried for
treason by a special military tribunal and executed. State media
accused Jang of destroying the economy for his personal benefit and
blamed him for masterminding the 2009 currency revaluation that
sparked rare protests in North Korea.
2013 Dec 12, Russian President
Vladimir Putin used his state-of-the-nation address to defend
conservative values, referring obliquely to his government's
anti-gay stance as he chided the West for treating "good and evil"
equally. Putin also made a new attempt to woo Ukraine after the EU
and US stepped up efforts to pull Kiev out of its former Soviet
master's orbit. He also announced a set of initiatives to crack down
on Russian companies who register and pay taxes in offshore
2013 Dec 12, Saudi Arabia's
Grand Mufti, the highest religious authority in the birthplace of
Islam, condemned suicide bombings as grave crimes, reiterating his
stance in unusually strong language in the Saudi-owned Al Hayat
2013 Dec 12, In Spain
separatist parties in the northeastern Catalonia region agreed the
wording of an independence referendum on November 9, 2014, but the
Spanish government said the vote was illegal and would not happen.
2013 Dec 12, Syria's
Western-backed opposition said it had invited Islamist fighters to
secure its depots on the Turkish frontier after an attack by al
Qaeda militants. Islamist rebels killed at least 15 civilians from
the minority Alawite and Druze sects in the central Syrian city of
Adra over the last 48 hours.
2013 Dec 12, In Thailand
protesters cut off electricity to the prime minister's office
compound and demanded that police abandon the premises, piling fresh
pressure on Thailand's government in a political crisis that has
dragged on for weeks.
2013 Dec 12, Pope Francis said
in the first peace message of his pontificate that huge salaries and
bonuses are symptoms of an economy based on greed and inequality and
called again for nations to narrow the wealth gap.
2013 Dec 12, In Yemen a drone
strike on a wedding convoy in Radda killed 17 people, mostly
civilians. Two of the dead, Saleh al-Tays and Abdullah al-Tays, had
figured in the past on Yemeni government lists of wanted Al-Qaeda
suspects. On Feb 20, 2014, a Human Rights Watch report listed the
names and ages of 12 men who witnesses said were killed by four
(AFP, 12/13/13)(AP, 2/20/14)
2014 Dec 12, American
politicians agreed to supply weapons to Ukrainian troops.
(Econ, 12/20/14, p.111)
2014 Dec 12, A major storm that
pummeled northern California and the Pacific Northwest with heavy
rain and high winds and killed two people moved south overnight,
prompting evacuation orders in areas prone to floods and mud flows.
2014 Dec 12, In New Jersey
Derish Wolff (79), the former president and CEO of the
Morristown-based Louis Berger Group, an engineering consulting firm,
pleaded guilty to leading a conspiracy that reaped tens of millions
of dollars by overcharging the US government for reconstruction
projects overseas, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.
2014 Dec 12, In Afghanistan the
Taliban detonated a roadside bomb, hitting a convoy of foreign
troops and killing 2 American soldiers.
2014 Dec 12, In Britain a
system failure affecting air traffic control workstations was to
blame for disruption to thousands of passengers coming in and out of
Britain's biggest airports.
2014 Dec 12, China opened a key
section of a massive and ambitious plan to transport water from
wetter central and southern parts of the country up to its arid
north, including Beijing.
2014 Dec 12, EU governments
agreed to ban the export of jet fuel to Syria from Dec 14, saying it
was being used by the Syrian air force for indiscriminate attacks
2014 Dec 12, Haiti’s President
Michel Martelly said that he accepted all the findings of a report
this week from a government-appointed commission, including its
recommendation that the prime minister resign.
2014 Dec 12, Iran said it had
agreed to extend temporary visas for 450,000 Afghan refugees for six
months, lifting a threat to send them back home to a country facing
attacks by resurgent militants.
2014 Dec 12, In Iraq one person
was killed by rocket fire in Kerbala where huge crowds of Shi'ite
pilgrims have gathered for religious ceremonies. Mortar fire
targeting a Shiite mosque killed 8 worshippers in Muqdadiyah.
(Reuters, 12/12/14)(AP, 12/12/14)
2014 Dec 12, Islamic State
group militants shot down an Iraqi military helicopter, killing the
two pilots onboard and raising fresh concerns about the extremists'
ability to attack aircraft amid ongoing US-led coalition airstrikes.
2014 Dec 12, Striking Italian
union workers marched through more than 50 Italian cities to protest
government economic reforms that they say erode their rights.
2014 Dec 12, In Israel some 100
Palestinians demonstrated outside the Ofer military prison near
Ramallah. Troops shot live bullets at their legs, wounding 10. In
Hebron youths clashed with soldiers and were also shot in the legs.
A Palestinian described as mentally unstable threw acid at a family
of Israelis who gave him a ride in the West Bank before being shot
2014 Dec 12, A Saudi woman
arrested for attending a soccer game at Jiddah’s new al-Jawhara
2014 Dec 12, Sierra Leone said
it was banning any public Christmas celebrations as the spiraling
caseload of Ebola infections continues to spread alarm.
2014 Dec 12, A Sri Lankan air
force plane crashed outside the island's capital, killing four and
2014 Dec 12, International
Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the UN Security
Council that she has suspended investigations into alleged war
crimes in Sudan's Darfur, criticizing the UN Security Council for
inaction over the conflict-hit region.
2014 Dec 12, Syrian rebels
using improvised mortar bombs made of cooking gas canisters killed
311 civilians between July and December this year according to The
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
2014 Dec 12, In Syria the
Islamic State group's police force beheaded four men in the central
province of Homs for blasphemy.
2014 Dec 12, The US and its
allies carried out 7 airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria
and 20 in Iraq in the past three days.
2014 Dec 12, Turkish President
Tayyip Erdogan signaled a fresh campaign against supporters of
US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.
2015 Dec 12, The Golden State
Warriors lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 108-95 ending a 24-game winning
streak for the Warriors.
(SSFC, 12/13/15, p.B1)
2015 Dec 12, In western
Argentina at least 2 people were killed when a helicopter being used
by film crew with the American television channel MTV crashed into a
2015 Dec 12, Burundi residents
awoke to find at least 39 dead bodies scattered in the streets of
Bujumbura, a day after coordinated armed assaults on three military
installations. 87 people were killed in an escalation of the
violence surrounding the disputed third term of President Pierre
(AFP, 12/12/15)(AP, 12/13/15)
2015 Dec 12, China’s state
media reported that the government will loosen some restrictions on
the free movement of workers within the country, long stymied by
registration papers that limit access to critical social services.
2015 Dec 12, In Egypt a Cairo
court convicted two officers for the torture and murder of a
detained lawyer in an eastern Cairo slum. National security officers
Omar Mahmoud and Mohamed el-Anwar were sentenced in absentia to five
years in prison each for beating lawyer Karim Hamdi to death last
2015 Dec 12, French Foreign
Minister Laurent Fabius presented a landmark global climate accord.
The 31-page draft text creates a system for ensuring countries make
good on voluntary domestic efforts to curb emissions, and provides
billions more dollars to help poor nations cope with the transition
to a greener economy.
2015 Dec 12, In Germany riots
started this evening started after hundreds of leftwing activists
demonstrated against a rally by far-right protesters in Leipzig
earlier in the day. 69 officers have been injured and some 50 police
cars were damaged.
2015 Dec 12, In Germany Ivory
Coast footballer Steve Gohouri (34) went missing. His body found in
the Rhine river on New Year's Eve in the city of Krefeld. Gohouri
was playing this season for German fourth-tier side TSV Steinbach.
2015 Dec 12, India and Japan
signed agreements in New Delhi that could pave the way for Tokyo to
supply New Delhi with military aircraft and high-speed trains, as PM
Shinzo Abe promised to fully support India's efforts to become an
2015 Dec 12, Thousands of
Iraqis protested against Ankara's deployment of troops to a base
near the northern city of Mosul.
2015 Dec 12, In Iraq at least 6
border guards were killed when a suicide bomber drove a truck packed
with explosives into an outpost near the border with Saudi Arabia in
an attack claimed by Islamic State.
2015 Dec 12, Mozambique said
the United States will grant it $1.2 billion in aid to fund projects
in healthcare, food production and education under a five-year
agreement signed this week.
2015 Dec 12, In northern
Nigeria soldiers besieging the home of Ibraheem Zakzaky, the leader
of a Shiite movement accused of trying to assassinate Nigeria's army
chief, shot and killed at least 20 people in Zaria.
(AP, 12/13/15)(AP, 12/14/15)
2015 Dec 12, The first
high-level talks between North and South Korea since an August
agreement to end an armed confrontation across their border ended in
(Reuters, 12/12/15)(SFC, 12/12/15, p.A2)
2015 Dec 12, In Poland tens of
thousands, angered by an ongoing constitutional conflict, marched in
Warsaw. They argued that President Andrzej Duda is breaking the
constitution with the steps he is taking concerning the appointment
of new judges to the Constitutional Tribunal, the top law arbiter.
2015 Dec 12, Russian police
detained dozens of opposition activists who tried to hold a
demonstration in central Moscow on Constitution Day.
2015 Dec 12, In Russia a fire
swept through a home for people with mental illnesses, killing 23
patients and injuring another 23, many of whom were on medication or
otherwise unable to walk in Alferovka, a village in the Voronezh
2015 Dec 12, Saudi women voted
for the first time, in a tentative step towards easing sex
discrimination in the ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom. Women were
also allowed for the first time to stand as candidates in the polls
for municipal councils, the country's only elected public chambers.
Saudi Arabians voted 17 women into public office in municipal
(AFP, 12/12/15)(Reuters, 12/13/15)
2015 Dec 12, Spanish police
arrested Hector Albeidis Arboleda Buitrago, a suspected former
combatant in the Colombian rebel force FARC, who they say carried
out more than 500 forced abortions on female guerrillas.
2015 Dec 12, In Syria a
powerful car bomb exploded near a hospital in the central city of
Homs, killing 16 people and wounding dozens. Most residents belong
to the same Alawite sect as Pres. Assad.
2015 Dec 12, Yemeni officials
said a seven-day ceasefire will start Dec 14, the day before planned
UN-sponsored peace talks in Switzerland. In southern Yemen 9 rebels
and 4 pro-government fighters were killed in clashes late today.
(Reuters, 12/12/15)(AFP, 12/13/15)
2016 Dec 12, The US government
sanctioned two senior Democratic Republic of Congo officials for
human rights violations and targeting the opposition, a week before
the president's mandate is set to end. The US Treasury announced it
was targeting Deputy PM Evariste Boshab, also the nation's interior
and security minister, and Kalev Mutondo, head of the national
(AFP, 12/12/16)(Econ, 12/24/16, p.74)
2016 Dec 12, The US Supreme
Court upheld the broad reach of a federal law prohibiting bank
fraud, a ruling that gives the government more leeway to prosecute
financial crimes. The unanimous came in the case of a California man
who illegally siphoned about $307,000 out of a Taiwanese
businessman's Bank of America bank account.
2016 Dec 12, In Castro Valley,
Ca. Andrea St. John (59) was stabbed to death and her home set on
fire following a robbery. On May 2 Luckie Dacany (36) of Stockton
confessed to her killing while under custody for stealing a vehicle
and alleged child molestation.
(SFC, 5/9/17, p.C2)
2016 Dec 12, FlightAware said
190 US flights were canceled today after 1,800 were grounded a day
earlier, mostly at Chicago's two main airports.
2016 Dec 12, In New Jersey
Adele Dunlap, the oldest person in America, turned 114.
(SFC, 12/14/16, p.A5)
2016 Dec 12, In Tennessee an
early morning fire killed 4 children in Springfield.
(SFC, 12/13/16, p.A5)
2016 Dec 12, British PM Theresa
May introduced an official definition for anti-Semitism in hopes of
curbing attacks against Jewish people. The definition states that
"Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be
expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical
manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or
non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish
community institutions and religious facilities."
2016 Dec 12, Britain jailed
Mohammed Ali Ahmed (27) and Zakaria Boufassil (26) for up to eight
years for giving money to Brussels and Paris terror attacks suspect
Mohamed Abrini when he visited Britain last year.
2016 Dec 12, British and Greek
authorities said they have dismantled an international ring
suspected of smuggling hundreds of migrants to Britain and other
European countries using falsified travel documents. 24 suspects
were arrested last week in the Athens area, and another nine in
Glasgow, Northampton and Manchester in Britain.
2016 Dec 12, A London judge
sentenced Stefano Brizzi, a crystal meth addict, to life in prison
with at least 24 years to serve for killing police officer Gordon
Semple (59) during a bondage sex session and then attempting to cook
and eat his body parts. Semple was last seen on 1 April and his
dissolving body was found in an acid bath.
2016 Dec 12, China expressed
"serious concern" after US President-elect Donald Trump said the
United States did not necessarily have to stick to its long-held
stance that Taiwan is part of "one China", calling it the basis for
2016 Dec 12, In CongoDRC the
Union for Peace in Central African Republic (UPC) rebels killed at
least 32 civilians in the town of Bakala, where they had been
fighting the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central African
2016 Dec 12, It was reported
that Google is installing multiple servers in Cuba that will host
much of the company's most popular content.
2016 Dec 12, The European Union
imposed sanctions on seven Congolese officials it says illegally
suppressed anti-government protests in September, when dozens of
demonstrators were killed.
2016 Dec 12, French police
hunted for four men suspected of stealing gold dust worth an
estimated 1.5 million euros from an armored truck before setting
cars ablaze near a major highway and fleeing.
2016 Dec 12, Hong Kong’s
Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) said 29 current and
former staff of five financial firms, including four banks, have
been arrested for alleged bribery related to the disclosure of
confidential customer information.
2016 Dec 12, A cyclone barreled
into the southeast coast of India, killing at least four people and
bringing down trees and power lines as authorities moved tens of
thousands of people from low-lying areas.
2016 Dec 12, Italian energy
company Eni said it would sell a 30 percent stake in an offshore
Egyptian gas field to Rosneft. The Russian company will pay $1.125
billion for the holding in the Shorouk concession, which contains
the giant Zohr gas field, and $450 million to cover past
expenditures on the project.
2016 Dec 12, The International
Monetary Fund approved two loans totaling $658.9 million for the
Ivory Coast, while welcoming recent economic and financial reforms
made by the country.
2016 Dec 12, In New Zealand PM
John Key stepped down. Key, a former currency trader, had lowered
income tax rates, trimmed the national debt to 25% of GDP and
partially privatized a batch of state utilities. The conservative
caucus of Parliament chose Bill English (54) as the next prime
(Econ, 12/10/16, p.42)(SFC, 12/12/16, p.A2)
2016 Dec 12, In Pakistan
thousands of Sunni Muslims marking the Prophet Muhammad's birthday
attacked a mosque outside Islamabad belonging to the Ahmadi
religious minority, wounding several people.
2016 Dec 12, Pres. Rodrigo
Duterte of the Philippines boasted about having personally killed
criminal suspects when he was mayor of Davao City.
(SFC, 12/15/16, p.A3)
2016 Dec 12, Philippine Vice
President Leni Robredo said she was determined to lead a campaign
against President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly war on drugs and did not
believe his assurances there was no plot to oust her.
2016 Dec 12, The Qatari
government vowed that labor law reforms to make it easier for
migrant workers to change jobs and leave the country would bring
"tangible benefits" and urged patience from critics who say the
proposed changes are inadequate.
2016 Dec 12, Police in the
Saudi capital said they had arrested a woman for taking off her veil
in public and posting pictures of her daring action on Twitter.
Several websites identified her as Malak al-Shehri, who triggered a
huge backlash on social media after posing without the hijab in a
main Riyadh street last month.
2016 Dec 12, A Syrian military
official in Aleppo said the "operation in eastern neighborhoods is
entering its final phase", as fierce clashes were reported in the
few districts still under rebel control.
2016 Dec 12, The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said there had been a suspected gas
attack in Islamic State-held territory near Palmyra, amid heavy
aerial bombardment of the same area which together killed at least
2016 Dec 12, Turkey detained
over 200 people including dozens of officials from pro-Kurdish
parties and struck Kurdish militants in Iraq in response to this
weekend's twin bombings claimed by a radical Kurd separatist group.
2016 Dec 12, Venezuelans rushed
to spend their 100-bolivar notes after President Nicolas Maduro's
announcement they will be taken out of circulation to stop the
contraband smuggling "mafias" along the Colombian border that he
says hoard cash outside the country. An estimated third of
Venezuelans have no bank account and keep their savings in the
2017 Dec 12, Alabama voters
elected Democrat Doug Jones in a narrow victory over Judge Roy Moore
in a special election for a US Senate seat. The election cut the
Republican margin in the US Senate to 51-49
(SFC, 12/13/17, p.A1)
2017 Dec 12, In California the
Thomas Fire grew by about 2,500 acres overnight. It has burned
234,200 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, about 100 miles
northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and has destroyed almost 900
structures including more than 690 homes.
2017 Dec 12, California and
Washington state joined five nations (Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica,
Colombia and Chile) on the Pacific coast of the Americas to agree to
step up the use of a price on carbon dioxide emissions as a central
economic policy to slow climate change.
2017 Dec 12, San Francisco
Mayor Edwin Mah Lee (b.1952), in office since 2011, died of a heart
attack early today. Supervisor London Breed (43) became the acting
(SFC, 12/13/17, p.A1)
2017 Dec 12, Afghan
intelligence officials detained one Afghan and three Turkish
teachers linked to the Afghan Turk CAG Educational NGO (ATCE), an
organization regarded with suspicion by the Turkish government.
2017 Dec 12, The annual Arctic
Report Card released today warned that an increasingly warm Arctic,
where temperatures rise twice as fast as the rest of the planet and
ice melts at an alarming pace is the "new normal".
2017 Dec 12, In eastern Austria
a large explosion rocked the Baumgarten facility, one of Europe's
main gas pipeline hubs, leaving one person dead and stoking concerns
about the continent's winter supplies.
2017 Dec 12, A Botswana
transgender woman won a legal battle against the government to be
recognized as female in a landmark victory for the rights of the
lesbian, gay and transgender community. The conservative southern
African nation of 2 million people has been reluctant to fully
acknowledge the rights of the LGBT community.
2017 Dec 12, Brazil's Ministry
of Agriculture launched a program to ensure farmers comply with
anti-corruption, environmental and child labor laws, after a highly
publicized meatpacking scandal raised doubts about the country's
2017 Dec 12, Official data
showed that British inflation has hit its highest level in almost
six years, forcing Bank of England governor Mark Carney to explain
the rise in an exceptional letter. The Consumer Price Index climbed
to 3.1 percent on a 12-month basis in November compared to 3.0
percent in October, overshooting the Bank of England's 2.0-percent
target rate by more than one percentage point.
2017 Dec 12, Harry Potter
creator J.K. Rowling added another magic moment to her list of
achievements as Prince William made her a royal Companion of Honor.
The title is limited to 65 people "of distinction".
2017 Dec 12, In Egypt prominent
activist and opposition figure Islam Marei was sentenced to three
years over his criticism of the government's decision to transfer
control over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.
2017 Dec 12, The European Union
said it has suspended funding for Cambodia's 2018 general election
because the vote cannot be credible after the dissolution of the
main opposition party.
2017 Dec 12, French President
Emmanuel Macron told dozens of world leaders and company bosses
gathered at a climate summit in Paris that "we are losing the
battle" against climate change. Major banks and companies vowed to
accelerate the move away from Earth-warming fossil fuels as world
leaders met in Paris seeking to unlock new cash for the global
economy's shift to greener energy.
(Reuters, 12/12/17)(AFP, 12/12/17)
2017 Dec 12, It was reported
that the owner of Westfield shopping centers is being bought by
French property investor Unibail-Rodamco for $15.7 billion.
Westfield, which started off in Sydney in the 1950s, is known for
its 35 upscale shopping centers in major metropolitan areas,
particularly in the US and Britain.
2017 Dec 12, German lawmakers
extended the military's participation in missions against the
Islamic State group and in Afghanistan, Mali and Iraq until the
spring of 2018.
2017 Dec 12, Germany's KBA
automotive watchdog announced a recall of Volkswagen's flagship
European sport-utility vehicles (SUV) with 3-litre diesel engines
after detecting two illicit emissions control devices in the models.
2017 Dec 12, In Israel Rabbi
Aaron Yehuda Leib Shteinman (b.1913), considered the leading
spiritual authority for ultra-Orthodox Judaism, died. Hundreds of
thousands attended his funeral ceremonies.
2017 Dec 12, Nigeria's court of
appeal dismissed 15 charges against Senate president Bukola Saraki
related to alleged false declarations of assets, but it upheld three
other charges against him.
2017 Dec 12, A Nigerian
official said two teenage girl suicide bombers attacked the town of
Gwoza, Borno state. One girl was shot dead and the other detonated
herself killing four others.
(SFC, 12/13/17, p.A2)
2017 Dec 12, Two members of the
Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group were killed in an explosion
in the Gaza Strip. The group said the men had mishandled explosives.
2017 Dec 12, Puntland army
Colonel Osman Abshir Omar, who also headed the region's bomb
disposal unit, was killed after a roadside bomb he was defusing
2017 Dec 12, Russia suspended
its diplomatic presence in Yemen and all its staff left the country
due to the situation in the capital Sanaa. Russia’s foreign ministry
said some diplomatic staff will be working temporarily out of the
Saudi capital Riyadh. The Russian defense ministry has said 41 of
its troops have died in Syria. The St. Petersburg-based website
Fontanka has said 73 private contractors have been killed fighting
(AP, 12/12/17)(SFC, 12/13/17, p.A3)
2017 Dec 12, Saudi Arabia
detained Sabih al-Masri, Jordan's most influential businessman and
the chairman of its largest lender Arab Bank, for questioning after
a business trip to Riyadh.
2017 Dec 12, Singapore launched
an electric car-sharing service, the latest transport innovation
aimed at encouraging people away from owning vehicles and keeping
gridlock at bay in the space-starved city-state.
2017 Dec 12, In Somalia a US
drone strike hit a vehicle carrying explosives some 40 miles
southwest of Mogadishu.
(SFC, 12/13/17, p.A2)
2017 Dec 12, A South Sudan
lawmaker said more than 170 people have been killed in fighting
between rival cattle herders in central South Sudan in the past
2017 Dec 12, Yemeni security
forces killed at least three suspected militants in a raid early
today in the southern port city of Aden. A gunmen shot and killed a
Muslim cleric in front of his home in Aden, the seventh killing of a
cleric in the past three months.
2018 Dec 12, Michael Cohen
(52), Donald Trump's former devoted lawyer and fizer, was sentenced
to three years in prison, for lying about business deals related to
dt, for lying about business deals related to Donald Trump.
(SFC, 12/13/18, p.A6)
2018 Dec 12, The New York Times
reported that US investigators believe that Chinese intelligence was
behind the massive hack of data on some 500 million guests of hotel
2018 Dec 12, The Wall Street
Journal reported that a revised plan would play down China's bid to
dominate manufacturing, and allow more outside competition.
2018 Dec 12, In Texas three
police officers were wounded while serving a family violence warrant
in Houston. Suspect Daniel Trevino was found dead hours later of a
self-inflicted gunshot wound.
(SFC, 12/13/18, p.A6)
2018 Dec 12, Afghan provincial
officials said government forces have abandoned the Shebkoh district
of Farah province, leaving the area to Taliban insurgents after the
government failed to resupply dozens of troops stationed there.
2018 Dec 12, In Antarctica two
technicians performing maintenance at the US research McMurdo
Station died while working on a building that houses a generator for
a nearby radio transmitter.
2018 Dec 12, Argentina's
foreign minister said his crisis-ridden country desperately needed
international investment, as he began a two-day visit to one of the
world's richest nations, Qatar.
2018 Dec 12, British
Conservative lawmakers forced a no-confidence vote in PM Theresa
May, throwing UK politics deeper into crisis and Brexit further into
doubt. May won the vote after promising lawmakers privately that she
would quit before Britain's next national election, which is
scheduled for 2022.
(Reuters, 12/12/18)(AP, 12/13/18)
2018 Dec 12, China's police
confirmed they have arrested award-winning photographer Lu Guang,
who went missing in November while travelling in Xinjiang.
2018 Dec 12, In CongoDRC police
fired teargas and live bullets for a second day to disperse
supporters of opposition presidential candidate Martin Fayulu,
killing three people in the town of Kalemie in the southeastern
(Reuters, 12/12/18)(AFP, 12/12/18)(AFP, 12/13/18)
2018 Dec 12, Egypt released
blogger and journalist Wael Abbas, known for standing up against
police violence, after nearly seven months in detention. Abbas has
been posting about police violence, torture and corruption on social
media for more than a decade.
2018 Dec 12, In Egypt Coptic
father Imad Kamal Sadeq (49) and his son, David (21), were killed at
a construction site by a security police officer in Minya province.
2018 Dec 12, Eight European
Union nations (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland,
Sweden and the United Kingdom) underlined their commitment to the
Iran nuclear deal while urging Tehran to stop its "destabilizing
regional activities" especially the launch of ballistic missiles.
2018 Dec 12, In France a cousin
of jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov accepted the European
Parliament's Sakharov human rights prize on his behalf, saying the
director remained committed to winning the release of all "political
prisoners" in Russia.
2018 Dec 12, A top French
appeals court overturned the suspended prison terms handed to
activists Cedric Herrou and Pierre-Alain Mannoni for helping
migrants who entered the country illegally. The Cour de Cassation,
France's court of final appeal, sent the case back to the Lyon
appeals' court, which is expected to void the case.
2018 Dec 12, France arrested
Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona, a member of Africa's top footballing
body, on war crimes charges in the Central African Republic.
2018 Dec 12, In Hungary rare
scenes of chaos gripped the parliament as it passed a controversial
judicial reform, as well as labor legislation that critics call a
2018 Dec 12, Hungary passed a
law to set up courts overseen directly by the justice minister, a
move critics said would allow political interference in judicial
matters and further undermine the rule of law.
2018 Dec 12, In India Isha
Ambani, the Ivy League-educated daughter of industrialist Mukesh
Ambani, thought to be India's richest man, married Anand Piramal,
whose father is industrialist Ajay Piramal, thought to be worth $10
2018 Dec 12, In Iran social
media activist Vahid Sayyadi Nasiri, on hunger strike since October
13, 2018 to protest the denial of his right to counsel and inhumane
prison conditions, died at the Shahid Beheshti Hospital in Qom.
2018 Dec 12, In Baghdad Nobel
laureate and former jihadist captive Nadia Murad (25) called on Iraq
to create a special team to investigate the fate of other members of
her Yazidi minority kidnapped by the Islamic State group.
2018 Dec 12, Israeli forces
late today killed Salah Barghouti, a Palestinian suspect wanted in
the drive-by shooting on Dec. 9 at a West Bank bus stop.
2018 Dec 12, Italy's PM
Giuseppe Conte told the European Commission he was lowering next
year's target to 2.04 percent of gross domestic product from 2.4
percent to avoid disciplinary action by Brussels.
2018 Dec 12, In northeastern
Mali several dozen civilians were shot dead by gunmen who raided an
area near the border with Niger. Jihadists on motorcycles killed at
least 42 people in a series of attacks on their nomadic camps over
the last 24 hours in the eastern Menaka region.
(AFP, 12/13/18)(SFC, 12/14/18, p.A2)
2018 Dec 12, Mexican President
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador signed an initiative that would cancel
the controversial education reforms of his predecessor.
2018 Dec 12, In Myanmar several
dozen journalists and activists held a rally in Yangon to mark the
anniversary of the arrest of two reporters for the Reuters news
agency who are among a group of journalists being honored by Time
magazine as its "Person of the Year".
2018 Dec 12, In the Netherlands
Sarah Papenheim (21), a native of Minnesota, was fatally stabbed at
her home in an apartment building near Erasmus University, where she
had been studying since 2016. A suspect (23) was arrested the same
2018 Dec 12, Nigerian
opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar signed an election peace accord,
a day after his absence from the official signing ceremony raised
concerns about the conduct of the February 2019 vote.
2018 Dec 12, Dozens of North
and South Korean soldiers crossed over the world's most heavily
armed border as they inspected the sites of their rival's front-line
guard posts to verify they'd been removed.
2018 Dec 12, Hundreds of Gazans
attended the funeral of Ahmed Abu Abed, a four-year-old boy who died
after being hit by Israeli shrapnel at a border protest last week.
2018 Dec 12, The Philippine
Congress approved a request by the president to extend martial law
in the country's volatile south by a year due to continuing threats
by Islamic State group-linked militants and communist insurgents.
2018 Dec 12, In Romania dozens
of people protested against poor air quality in Bucharest, which
recently was ranked one of Europe's most traffic-congested cities.
2018 Dec 12, In Saudi Arabia
representatives from Egypt, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and
Jordan gathered in Riyadh to discuss an alliance of the six
countries bordering the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. No final
agreement was reached.
2018 Dec 12, Slovak Defense
Minister Peter Gajdos signed the contract to buy 14 F-16 military
jets from Lockheed Martin as it seeks to replace Soviet-era jets.
2018 Dec 12, Sri Lanka's former
prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe won a confidence vote in
Parliament receiving 117 votes in favor in the 225-member
legislative body. His October sacking by President Maithripala
Sirisena precipitated a political crisis.
2018 Dec 12, Sweden said it was
freezing its support to UNAIDS until executive director Michel
Sidibe is removed. An expert report has blasted the agency's
leadership for systematically failing to address bullying, abuse and
2018 Dec 12, In Thailand a
local policeman was arrested for allegedly shooting and killing
Malik Djamel, a French man, at a shopping plaza in Bangkok. Police
said Senior Sgt.-Maj. Kantapong Huadsri had confessed to killing the
man over an argument involving a woman, but that the dispute was not
a love triangle.
2018 Dec 12, The Vatican said
Pope Francis has removed from his group of close advisers two
cardinals hit by sexual abuse scandals, including his economy
minister, Australian George Pell (77). The other member removed from
the so called C-9 is Francisco Javier Errázuriz (85) of Chile.
2018 Dec 12, Sources said
Yemen's warring parties agreed to reopen Sanaa airport in the
Houthi-held capital, as Western nations pressed the two sides to
accept confidence-building steps before the end of UN-led peace
talks in Sweden.
2019 Dec 12, US President
Donald Trump said on the United States was "very close" to nailing
down a trade deal with China.
2019 Dec 12, The US Senate
voted unanimously on a resolution that recognizes as genocide the
mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago. The
following day Turkey summoned the ambassador from the US to protest
2019 Dec 12, The US Department
of Justice announced charges against 10 former NFL players over an
alleged scheme to defraud millions of dollars from the league's
health care benefits program.
(ABC News, 12/13/19)
2019 Dec 12, Officials with
Homeland Security Investigations announced the seizure of $250
million from convicted ex-Venezuelan national treasurer Alejandro
Andrade, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for his central
role in a $1 billion money-laundering scheme that allowed him to
hide a fortune in overseas banks as well as luxury real estate in
(Miami Herald, 12/13/19)
2019 Dec 12, The Trump
administration gave the go-ahead to new oil-drilling leases on
federal land in 8 California counties, mostly in the Bakersfield
(SFC, 12/13/19, p.C1)
2019 Dec 12, San Francisco
police displayed some $2.5 million in stolen property following
their recovery after 30 search warrants were served this week.
(SFC, 12/13/19, p.A12)
2019 Dec 12, Kentucky Gov. Matt
Bevin (R) signed an executive order to restore voting rights to more
than 400,000 nonviolent offenders who completed their sentences.
Over the last few weeks the governor has issued 428 pardons, with
his list including a woman who threw her newborn in the trash, a
convicted child rapist, and a man who murdered his parents when he
was a teenager. Bevin was defeated last month by Democrat Andy
(AP, 12/13/19)(SFC, 12/13/19, p.A8)
2019 Dec 12, Louisiana sued the
state of California over its decision to ban the import and sale of
alligator products, saying the ban will hurt an important Louisiana
industry and ultimately could hurt the state's wetlands. California
banned alligator skins and meats in the 1970s but repeatedly issued
exceptions that allowed sales. The most recent exemption expires on
Jan. 1 of next year, and this time California's legislature did not
pass another exemption.
2019 Dec 12, Danny Aiello
(b.1933), American film and stage actor, died in New Jersey. His
films included: "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1973),"The Front" (1976),
"Fort Apache: The Bronx" (1981), "The Purple Rose of Cairo" (1984),
"Once Upon a Time in America" (1984), "Moonstruck" (1987), "Radio
Days" (1987), "Do the Right Thing" (1989).
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Aiello)(SSFC, 12/15/19, p.A11)
2019 Dec 12, New US Energy
Secretary Dan Brouillette slammed New York state regulators for
blocking pipelines that would bring natural gas from Appalachia to
New England, but did not specify whether the Trump administration
could do anything to push the projects forward.
2019 Dec 12, In Texas Heidi
Broussard and her baby, Margot Carey, went missing in Austin. On Dec
19 her body was found in the trunk of a vehicle at a home in the
Houston area. The infant daughter was found safe. Broussard's close
friend Magen Fieramusca was soon arrested and charged with two
counts of kidnapping and one count of tampering with a corpse.
(CBS News, 12/20/19)(CBS News, 12/23/19)(SFC,
2019 Dec 12, A Utah judge ruled
that people born in the the territory of American Samoa should be
recognized as US citizens.
(SFC, 12/14/19, p.A5)
2019 Dec 12, CVS Health Corp
said it will make it easier for patients with advanced cancer
enrolled in some Aetna insurance plans to receive broad genetic gene
sequencing tests that can help identify the best drug or treatment
2019 Dec 12, In Algeria
thousands of people took to the streets in Algiers and other cities
chanting "No vote! We want freedom!" as authorities held a
presidential election that protesters view as a charade to keep the
ruling elite in power. All five candidates that won approval to
stand are former senior officials.
2019 Dec 12, Argentine Foreign
Minister Felipe Sola said Bolivian ex-president Evo Morales has
arrived in Argentina where he will be granted refugee status.
2019 Dec 12, Britain voted in a
deeply divisive election that posed a historic choice between an
imminent split from the EU or another referendum that could scrap
the entire Brexit process. PM Boris Johnson's Conservative Party won
a resounding victory that all but seals a divorce from the EU bloc.
The Scottish National Party took back most of the districts it lost
two years ago. Such a dramatic outcome, winning 48 of the 59 seats
available in Scotland, will galvanize the party in its pursuit of
the independence referendum leader Nicola Sturgeon.
(AP, 12/12/19)(AFP, 12/13/19)(Bloomberg,
2019 Dec 12, Costa Rica's
President Carlos Alvarado issued a technical decree that will allow
for therapeutic abortions in the Central American nation, despite
opposition from religious and conservative political groups.
2019 Dec 12, The European
Parliament told EU leaders that Malta's PM Joseph Muscat should
resign immediately to avoid risks of political interference with the
investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
2019 Dec 12, Germany pushed
back on President Donald Trump’s moves to impose sanctions on the
controversial Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, with Angela
Merkel’s top diplomat rejecting outside meddling.
2019 Dec 12, In India violent
mobs in the northeastern state of Assam torched buildings and
clashed with police, leaving two dead and 11 with bullet wounds, as
protests grew over a new citizenship law for non-Muslim minorities
from some neighboring countries. Protesters in Assam, which shares a
border with Bangladesh, say the measure would open the region to a
flood of foreign migrants. Tens of thousands rioted in three
northeastern states. Authorities in Assam state shut down the
internet and imposed a curfew. Neighboring Meghalaya state banned
groups of more than four people from assembling.
(Reuters, 12/12/19)(SFC, 12/13/19, p.A2)
2019 Dec 12, In Iraq an angry
mob killed a 16-year-old and strung up the corpse by its feet from a
traffic pole after the teen shot and killed six people, including
four anti-government protesters.
(The Telegraph, 12/12/19)
2019 Dec 12, Italian police
said they had arrested 13 people and dismantled an international
crime gang that smuggled small groups of migrants from Greece to
Italy aboard yachts.
2019 Dec 12, Latvia's
parliament passed legislation to take control over the Baltic
country's two biggest ports in an effort to keep them open after US
sanctions against a Latvian oligarch threatened operations.
2019 Dec 12, Libyan authorities
re-opened the capital's main airport, after closing it nearly three
months ago amid heavy fighting between rival militias.
2019 Dec 12, Gen. Khalifa
Hifter of the self-styled Libyan National Army declared a final,
“decisive battle" to take Tripoli from PM Fayez Sarraj's
UN-supported government. "The zero hour has ticked," Hifter said in
a televised speech.
2019 Dec 12, At The Hague
lawyers seeking to halt what they allege is ongoing genocide in
Myanmar slammed leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s defense of her country’s
armed forces, saying that the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former
pro-democracy icon chose to ignore “unspeakable" crimes targeting
2019 Dec 12, The Islamic State
group claimed responsibility for an attack on a military camp in
Niger that killed at least 71 soldiers earlier this week.
2019 Dec 12, North Korea said
the United States had nothing to offer it in possible renewed talks
aimed at getting Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile
programs after Washington said it was ready to take "concrete steps"
towards securing a deal.
2019 Dec 12, Russia expelled
two German diplomats in what it called a standard diplomatic
response to a similar move by Germany last week and said it hoped a
dispute over the killing of a Georgian citizen in Berlin would not
damage ties further.
2019 Dec 12, A fire on Russia
Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier broke out during welding work at
a shipyard in the Arctic port of Murmansk and spread quickly through
the carrier's internal compartments. Two crew members were killed
and 11 others injured.
2019 Dec 12, In Saudi Arabia a
fire broke out at a prison in Riyadh. Three inmates were killed and
21 others injured 21.
2019 Dec 12, In Spain Carolina
Schmidt, the Chilean president of UN climate talks in Madrid, told
governments there could be no excuses for not reaching an agreement
as the talks entered their final stretch.
2019 Dec 12, Syrian officials
and experts said more than 1,000 ancient relics and mosaics were
saved from Islamic State group militants when staff at the museum of
the city of Raqqa managed to hide them underground and in
storehouses. Hundreds of other pieces that were hidden in Raqqa's
branch of the central bank were discovered and stolen by militants.
2019 Dec 12, The body-folding,
sharp-elbowed techniques of Thai massage was added to UNESCO's
prestigious heritage list.
2019 Dec 12, Turkey sent its
accord with Libya on a maritime boundary between the two countries
to the United Nations for approval, despite objections from Greece
that the agreement violates international law.
2019 Dec 12, Former Turkish PM
Ahmet Davutoglu established a new political party, Future Party, in
a move that represents a challenge to President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan's ruling party.
2019 Dec 12, Ukrainian
lawmakers extended a law offering special status to
separatist-controlled regions in eastern Ukraine in accordance with
agreements brokered by France and Germany.
2019 Dec 12, The United Nations
warned that famine threatens the lives of up to 5.5 million people
in South Sudan, where droughts and flooding have destroyed crops and
livestock, compounding "intense political instability".
2020 Dec 12, Thousands of
President Trump’s supporters marched in Washington and several state
capitals to protest what they contended, against all evidence, was a
stolen election. Four people were stabbed in DC, and the police
declared a riot in Olympia, Wash., where one person was shot.
Vandalism targeted two historic Black churches during clashes
between supporters of President Trump and counter protesters.
(NY Times, 12/13/20)(The Week, 12/14/20)
2020 Dec 12, President Donald
Trump lost his latest legal challenge seeking to overturn Georgia's
election results, with the state Supreme Court's rejection late
today of a case from Trump's campaign and Georgia Republican Party
Chairman David Shafer.
2020 Dec 12, US President-elect
Joe Biden pledged to rejoin the Paris climate accord on the first
day of his presidency, as world leaders staged a virtual gathering
to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the international pact aimed
at curbing global warming.
2020 Dec 12, The Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) said it had approved the use of the
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by pilots and air traffic
2020 Dec 12, It was reported
that Oracle Corp., based in Redwood City, Ca., is moving its
headquarters to Austin, Texas.
(SFC, 12/12/20, p.A1)
2020 Dec 12, California to
date had 1,486,873 cases of coronavirus and 20,857 deaths. The SF
Bay Area had 187,086 cases and 2,102 deaths. Total cases nationwide
reached over 16,045,596 with the death toll at
2020 Dec 12, Ann Reinking
(b.1949), Broadway star and Tony-award winning choreographer, died
in Seattle. She was known as the star of such musicals as: "Sweet
Charity" and "Chicago."
(SFC, 12/16/20, p.A5)
2020 Dec 12, A Virgin Galactic
test flight ended prematurely as the spacecraft's rocket motor
failed to ignite and it then glided down safely to its landing site
in southern New Mexico.
2020 Dec 12, Vanderbilt kicker
Sarah Fuller made history again, when she knocked through an extra
point during the Commodores' SEC matchup with in-state rival
Tennessee. Last month, Fuller became the first woman to play in a
Power Five game when she took the second half kick off against
(The Week, 12/13/20)
2020 Dec 12, Charley Pride,
described as "the first Black superstar in country music," died due
to complications from COVID-19 in Dallas, Texas.
(The Week, 12/13/20)
2020 Dec 12, In Afghanistan an
alleged airstrike late today killed around a dozen civilians in
southern Kandahar province. The government later insisted that seven
civilians were killed when the Taliban detonated a bomb in the area.
2020 Dec 12, In Albania
demonstrators in the northern city of Shkodra damaged the left-wing
governing Socialist Party's offices and injured a police officer, as
part of ongoing protests this week after a fatal shooting by police
enforcing a coronavirus curfew.
2020 Dec 12, Austrian officials
said authorities in recent days have seized a large cache of weapons
and ammunition that were intended to be sold to far-right extremists
in Germany. The seizure included 70 automatic and semi-automatic
firearms, more than 100,000 rounds of ammunition and explosives.
2020 Dec 12, The Brazilian
government unveiled its long-awaited national vaccination plan
against COVID-19 with an initial goal of vaccinating 51 million
people, or about one-fourth of the population, in the first half of
2020 Dec 12, Britain's
AstraZeneca said it has agreed to buy US drugmaker Alexion
Pharmaceuticals for $39 billion in its largest ever deal,
diversifying away from its fast-growing cancer business in a bet on
rare-disease and immunology drugs.
2020 Dec 12, John le Carré
(89), the best-selling British author of Cold War spy thrillers,
including “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," died in Cornwall, England.
Graham Greene described le Carré's best-selling novel “The Spy Who
Came in From the Cold" (1963), “the best spy story I have ever read.
(NY Times, 12/13/20)(Econ., 12/19/20, p.126)
2020 Dec 12, China pledged to
reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by "at least" 65 per cent from
2005 levels by 2030, raising the target slightly from the country's
previous goal of "up to" 65 per cent.
(South China Morning Post, 12/13/20)
2020 Dec 12, An Egyptian court
sentenced nine police officers to three years in prison after their
conviction for beating to death street vendor Magdy Maken (53) in
November, 2016, at a Cairo police station. The verdict can be
appealed before a higher court.
2020 Dec 12, In France police
in Paris took 142 people into custody at what quickly became a tense
and sometimes ill-tempered protest against proposed security laws,
with officers wading into the crowds of several thousand to haul
away suspected trouble-makers.
2020 Dec 12, Indonesian police
said they have arrested Aris Sumarsono, aka Zulkarnaen, on Sumatra
island. He is believed to be the military leader of the
al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah network and has eluded capture
(SSFC, 12/13/20, p.A6)
2020 Dec 12, Indonesia said US
automaker Tesla will send delegations to Indonesia next month to
discuss potential investment in a supply chain for its electric
2020 Dec 12, Iran executed
Ruhollah Zam (47), a once-exiled journalist, over his online work
that helped inspire nationwide economic protests in 2017, just
months after he returned to Tehran under mysterious circumstances.
2020 Dec 12, Italy reported 649
new coronavirus-related deaths compared with 761 the day before. The
daily tally of new infections was 19,903, up from 18,727.
2020 Dec 12, Japan saw more
than 3,000 new infections of the novel coronavirus for the first
time in one day, as the number of cases continues to rise in the
2020 Dec 12, Mexico City's
government said shops in the center of the capital and other busy
areas would temporarily have to close at 5 p.m. to reduce the risk
of coronavirus infection as authorities battle a surge in cases.
2020 Dec 12, A Russian nuclear
submarine successfully test-fired four intercontinental ballistic
missiles in a show of readiness of Moscow's nuclear forces amid
tension with the US.
2020 Dec 12, In South Korea
protests erupted as sex offender Cho Doo-soon (69) was released from
prison at the end of his sentence for raping and seriously injuring
a young girl in 2008, a crime which caused revulsion across the
(The Telegraph, 12/13/20)
2020 Dec 12, South Korea
reported a record 950 daily coronavirus cases, exceeding the late
February peak of 909, with the president calling the country's third
wave of COVID-19 an "emergency".
2020 Dec 12, South Korea's
agriculture ministry issued a temporary nationwide standstill order
for poultry farms and related transport in a bid to contain a wider
spread of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu.
2020 Dec 12, It was reported
that Switzerland has frozen the financial assets of the president of
Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, following the violent aftermath of
the elections in the east European country.
2020 Dec 12, Jack Steinberger
(99), who shared a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988 for expanding
understanding of the ghostly neutrino, died at his home in Geneva.
(NY Times, 12/16/20)
2020 Dec 12, United Nations'
Climate Ambition Summit was held on the fifth anniversary of the
international Paris climate. At the virtual gathering UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said world leaders should declare
states of "climate emergency" in their countries to spur action to
avoid catastrophic global warming.
2020 Dec 12, Pope Francis urged
countries to work towards net zero carbon emissions and committed
Vatican City - the world's smallest state - to reaching the target
2020 Dec 12, Venezuela's
opposition, led by Juan Guaido, concluded a "popular consultation"
to repudiate President Nicolas Maduro's government after boycotting
a Dec. 6 congressional vote. The opposition said just under 6.5
million people participated. The Maduro government has said 5.2
million Venezuelans voted in the election.
2020 Dec 12, The bodies of 11
migrants, traveling by boat from Venezuela to Trinidad and Tobago,
were found at sea. Nine more bodies were found the next day.
(SFC, 12/15/20, p.A4)