Timeline 2009 April - June
Return to home
2009 Apr 1,
Top spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Taliban insurgents reject a US
offer of "honorable reconciliation," calling it a "lunatic idea" and
saying the only way to end the war was to withdraw foreign troops.
Suicide attackers stormed provincial council offices in Kandahar
city, killing 13 people including 2 provincial officials. The
attackers, who wore Afghan military uniforms, were also killed, two
in suicide bombings and two shot dead by security forces. Afghan and
US coalition troops battled a large group of militants in southern
Afghanistan before calling in an airstrike that killed 20
(Reuters, 4/1/09)(AFP, 4/1/09)(AP, 4/2/09)
2009 Apr 1, Albania and Croatia
became NATO’s newest members.
(SFC, 4/2/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 1, In London
Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama said Russia and the
United States will pursue a new deal to cut nuclear warheads, making
good on a pledge to rebuild relations from a post-Cold War low. The
US and China agreed to establish a "strategic and economic dialogue"
group that would first meet in Washington later this year.
2009 Apr 1, G20 protesters
clashed with riot police in downtown London, breaking into the
heavily guarded Royal Bank of Scotland and smashing its windows.
Earlier, they tried to storm the Bank of England and pelted police
with eggs and fruit. Ian Tomlinson (47) was filmed being hit by an
officer with a baton shortly before collapsing in the City of London
financial district. He had not been taking part in the protests and
died of a hemorrhage. In 2012 Dr Freddy Patel was found guilty of
misconduct by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) in
relation to his handling of the examination of Ian Tomlinson's body.
The pathologist had concluded that Tomlinson died from a heart
(AP, 4/1/09)(AFP, 4/17/09)(AFP, 8/23/12)
2009 Apr 1, A helicopter
returning to Aberdeen with 16 people from an oil platform crashed in
the North Sea. The Bond Super Puma helicopter went down off the
northeast coast of Scotland. 8 bodies were recovered and the others
were presumed dead. 7 bodies were later found inside the wreckage of
(AFP, 4/1/09)(AP, 4/2/09)(AP, 4/5/09)
2009 Apr 1, Honduras Pres.
Manuel Zelaya's government announced a series of measures to crack
down on crime, including allowing the state telephone company to
obtain court orders to record cellular phone conversations and read
e-mails sent from computers at Internet cafes or hotels.
2009 Apr 1, Avigdor Lieberman,
Israel’s new foreign minister, said Israel will not abide by
commitments made to pursue Palestinian statehood at the 2007
Annapolis Peace Summit.
(WSJ, 4/2/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 1, In Malaysia Mas
Selamat Kastari, an Islamic militant suspected of plotting a Sept.
11-style air attack, was arrested in Johor state, more than a year
after his dramatic escape from a high-security jail in Singapore. He
was arrested by Malaysian authorities with the cooperation of
Singaporean and Indonesian intelligence agencies.
2009 Apr 1, Mexico detained
Vicente Carrillo Leyva (32), one of its most wanted drug suspects.
He allegedly was the second in command of the powerful Juarez
cartel. Leyva is the son of drug kingpin Amado Carrillo Fuentes, who
was one of Mexico's most important drug traffickers before he died
during plastic surgery to change his appearance in 1997.
2009 Apr 1, In Pakistan a
suspected US drone fired two missiles at an alleged hide-out
connected to a Taliban leader who has threatened to attack
Washington, killing 14 people and wounding several others in a
remote area of the Orakzai tribal region. Militants fired rockets
and guns at a police van, killing five officers and wounding two in
Upper Dir, on the Afghan border.
(AP, 4/1/09)(SFC, 4/2/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 1, Puerto Rican actor
Miguelangel Suarez (69) died. His career included minor roles in
last year's epic "Che" and Woody Allen's "Bananas."
2009 Apr 1, A tourist yacht and
its crew of seven was hijacked by Somali pirates near the Seychelles
islands off Africa's east coast.
2009 Apr 1, Sri Lanka’s
government said more than 23,000 civilians escaped last month from
the northern war zone, where the military appeared close to crushing
the separatist rebels.
2009 Apr 1, Sudanese President
Omar Hassan al-Bashir arrived in Saudi Arabia for a brief
pilgrimage, his latest trip abroad in defiance of an international
arrest warrant against him.
2009 Apr 1, Sweden’s Parliament
adopted a new law giving same sex couples the same marriage rights
as heterosexuals, becoming the 5th European country to allow gay
(SFC, 4/2/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 1, In Sweden a new law
cracking down on online copyright violation went into force leading
to a sharp drop in internet traffic.
2009 Apr 1, In Thailand
thousands of demonstrators defied a court order to clear a road they
have blocked to the prime minister's office, vowing to continue
ringing the compound until the government resigns.
2009 Apr 2, Washington
expressed no interest in an offer by Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez to take in any of the 240 remaining Guantanamo detainees
after they are released from the US military prison.
2009 Apr 2, A US federal judge
has ruled that some inmates at a US military base in Afghanistan can
challenge their detention in US courts, a legal right granted to
Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
2009 Apr 2, US and Mexico
officials said they are creating a cross-border group to develop
strategies for stopping the illegal flow of guns and drugs between
the two countries.
2009 Apr 2, The director of the
US Mint unveiled the first US coin with an inscription in Spanish, a
quarter honoring Puerto Rico as the "Isla del Encanto" (Island of
2009 Apr 2, The US
Environmental Working Group issued a press release drawing attention
to a study by scientists at the US Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention which looked for the chemical, perchlorate, in different
brands of powdered baby formula. The study was published last month.
2009 Apr 2, A federal grand
jury issued a 75-page indictment charging former Illinois Gov. Rod
Blagojevich with racketeering, extortion and fraud.
(SFC, 4/3/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 2, In Connecticut a
judge, citing DNA evidence, dropped murder charges against Miguel
Roman, who served 20 years of a 60-year sentence after being
convicted of the 1988 slaying of Carmen Lopez (17), his pregnant
girlfriend. The same DNA tests that exonerated Roman implicated led
police in December to charge another man, Pedro Miranda of New
Britain. He is accused in the killings of Lopez, 16-year-old Rosa
Valentin in 1986 and 13-year-old Mayra Cruz in 1987. Miranda (51)
faced the possibility of the death penalty if convicted.
(SFC, 4/3/09, p.A6)
2009 Apr 2, Bud Shank (b.1926),
innovative jazz musician, died. He played the 33-second flute solo
on the 1965 hit “California Dreamin," by the Mamas and Papas.
(SFC, 4/10/09, p.B5)
2009 Apr 2, G20 countries
authorized the IMF to issue $250 billion in new SDRs.
(Econ, 4/11/09, p.70)
2009 Apr 2, Human rights groups
and some Afghan lawmakers criticized President Hamid Karzai for
signing into law legislation that some believe legalizes the rape of
a wife by her husband and prevents women from leaving the house
without a man's permission. Article 132 of the law says: "As long as
the husband is not traveling, he has the right to have sexual
intercourse with his wife every fourth night." Critics said Karzai
signed the legislation in the past month only for political gains
several months before the country's presidential election. Coalition
and Afghan forces killed 12 militants and one civilian in Logar
province in a mission that included airstrikes. a member of the
NATO-led force was killed in violence in the east. In central Ghazni
province, a roadside bomb killed four construction workers, while a
battle between militants and police elsewhere in the province killed
(AP, 4/2/09)(AP, 4/3/09)
2009 Apr 2, Austrian
authorities arrested British-born Julius Meinl V (b.1959), head of
Meinl Bank, for suspected breach of trust and deception of investors
in a potential $4 billion fraud case involving a real estate fund
created by the bank. He had spun much of his family’s property
portfolio into Meinl European Land (MEL). By 2007 MEL had lost €1.8
billion in an attempt to support its share price. He was released
after posting a €100 million bail.
(Econ, 8/1/09, p.60)(WSJ, 4/3/09, p.C1)
2009 Apr 2, A Bangladesh
official said the government will strictly enforce a new ban on
begging that aims to fully eliminate it within five years.
2009 Apr 2, In London G20
leaders pledged $1.1 trillion in loans and guarantees to struggling
countries and agreed to crack down on tax havens and hedge funds,
but failed to reach sweeping accord on more stimulus spending to
attack the global economic decline.
2009 Apr 2, The annual Canadian
harp seal hunt opened. Up to 280,000 baby seals were expected to be
slaughtered in Quebec and Newfoundland.
2009 Apr 2, Greek public
services closed down and transport was disrupted across the country
as thousands of workers went on strike to protest government
2009 Apr 2, An Iraqi military
spokesman said the government will next week start paying Sunni
paramilitary groups in the Baghdad area despite weekend clashes with
one of the units. In Baghdad two gunmen firing from a car killed an
Iraqi army officer in the Mansour district. One of the gunmen was
killed and the other captured. Militants hurled a grenade at an
American patrol on Palestine Street in east Baghdad, wounding two
civilians. In Mosul a roadside bomb exploded near a small restaurant
frequented by police, wounding four of them and a civilian. A US
aircraft attacked a group of men believed to be members of a
government-allied Sunni paramilitary group as they were planting a
roadside bomb at night north of Baghdad, killing one and wounding
two. Two gay men were killed Sadr City by relatives who were shamed
by their behavior, after a leading cleric repeatedly condemned
homosexuality. The killings come weeks after Iraqi police found four
bodies near Sadr City with the word pervert written on their chests.
(AP, 4/2/09)(AP, 4/3/09)(AP, 4/4/09)
2009 Apr 2, Malaysia's PM
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (69), in office for 5½ lackluster years,
resigned to make way for Deputy PM Najib Razak, who must now fix an
economy close to recession, heal the country's deep racial divisions
and revive a moribund ruling party.
2009 Apr 2, Mexico's Senate
unanimously approved legislation that would allow the government to
seize property from suspected drug traffickers and other criminals
before they are convicted.
2009 Apr 2, Morocco transferred
to Spain Hassan Al Haski, an Islamist convicted in both countries
for terrorist acts, apparently to resume serving time behind bars
2009 Apr 2, Pakistani
authorities ordered an investigation into a video showing a man
flogging a screaming woman in the country's northwest where the
government recently agreed to introduce Islamic law to end a
rebellion by Taliban militants. President Asif Ali Zardari was yet
to sign the bill introducing Islamic law in the Swat Valley. A
would-be suicide bomber shot himself dead when mourners confronted
him at the funeral of a Pakistani police officer recently killed by
(AP, 4/2/09)(AP, 4/3/09)
2009 Apr 2, A Palestinian
militant went on a rampage in the Bat Ayin Jewish settlement in the
West Bank, killing an Israeli boy (13) with a pickax and wounding
another boy (7) before fleeing the area. On April 14 Israeli
authorities detained suspect Moussa Tayet (26).
(AP, 4/2/09)(AP, 4/26/09)
2009 Apr 2, In the southern
Philippines Islamic militants released a Filipina Red Cross aid
worker, leaving a Swiss and an Italian still held captive.
2009 Apr 2, In Puerto Rico FBI
agents and police arrested at least 35 suspects in an alleged drug
trafficking ring blamed for seven murders.
2009 Apr 2, In Sudan new US
special envoy Scott Gration told journalists he had come to "look,
learn and listen" and hoped for its friendship and cooperation,
indicating a shift in tone by Washington under President Barack
2009 Apr 2, Venezuelan
authorities arrested retired Gen. Raul Baduel, a former defense
minister and a prominent critic of President Hugo Chavez, on
corruption charges. The former ally of Pres. Chavez went into
opposition 18 months earlier.
(AP, 4/2/09)(Econ, 4/11/09, p.36)
2009 Apr 3, US administration
officials said Pres. Obama planned to lift some curbs on travel to
Cuba, including a ban on family travel and remittances to Cuba.
(WSJ, 4/4/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 3, The regulator of
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released a letter disclosing bonus awards
of more than $210 million through next year to more than 7,600
(SFC, 4/4/09, p.C1)
2009 Apr 3, Hassan Abu-Jihaad,
a former US Navy sailor, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for
giving details of ship movements in 2001 to operators of a Web site
in London that openly espoused violent jihad against the US.
(SFC, 4/4/09, p.A6)
2009 Apr 3, The Iowa Supreme
Court issued a unanimous ruling finding that the state's same-sex
marriage ban violates the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian
couples, making Iowa the third state where gay marriage is legal.
2009 Apr 3, In Binghampton, NY,
Jiverly Wong (41) barricaded the back door of a community center
with his car and then opened fire on a room full of immigrants
taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before apparently
committing suicide. Officials the next day said the man, believed to
be Vietnamese immigrant, was depressed and angry over losing his job
and about his poor English skills.
(AP, 4/3/09)(AP, 4/4/09)(SSFC, 4/5/09, p.A15)
2009 Apr 3, Australia endorsed
a UN declaration that recognizes indigenous rights, reversing years
of opposition and promising a new era in relations between white
Australians and the nation's impoverished Aborigines. Australia was
one of four nations that voted against the declaration when it was
adopted by the General Assembly in 2007.
2009 Apr 3, Cambodian and Thai
soldiers traded fire with machine guns and rocket launchers along a
disputed border, killing as many as four people in an escalation of
tensions in a long-standing feud over an 11th century temple.
2009 Apr 3, NATO began its
2-day 60th anniversary summit in France and Germany.
2009 Apr 3, In France US Pres.
Obama won enthusiastic support for his new Afghan war strategy from
French Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy, who pledged more police trainers and
2009 Apr 3, In Iraq an American
soldier died of noncombat-related causes in Anbar province.
2009 Apr 3, Israeli police
interrogated the country's new hard-line foreign minister for the
2nd straight day in an ongoing bribery investigation that could make
his tenure short-lived. Avigdor Lieberman was questioned for five
hours about an investigation involving suspicions of receiving
bribes, money laundering and breach of trust.
2009 Apr 3, A Malawi judge
rejected Madonna's request to adopt a second child from Malawi even
though the country's child welfare minister had supported Madonna's
application to raise the 3-year-old girl.
2009 Apr 3, Malaysian PM Najib
Razak, in his first act after talking office, freed 13 people being
held under a law that allows indefinite detention and lifted a ban
on two opposition newspapers.
2009 Apr 3, In Mexico Alberto
Rayas Rodriguez (37), the chief homicide detective in western
Jalisco state, was killed while on his way to a government event
when gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on his car.
2009 Apr 3, In Nigeria a source
close to negotiations said Pfizer has agreed to pay $75 million
compensation over a 1996 drug trial that caused the death of 11
children in northern Nigeria. Kano state confirmed the settlement on
(AFP, 4/3/09)(AP, 5/14/09)
2009 Apr 3, The Philippines
said it will take needed steps to be stricken from a list of four
nations blacklisted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development as uncooperative tax havens.
2009 Apr 3, Sri Lankan troops
captured Anandapuram, a key village from the Tamil Tigers, after
heavy fighting that left at least 44 guerrillas dead. Police
commandos killed 13 Tiger rebels in the eastern district of Ampara.
2009 Apr 3, The Swiss central
bank said UBS has transferred its final installment of toxic assets
to a special state aid fund, bringing the total to 38.7 billion
2009 Apr 3, Thai citizen
Suvicha Thakhor was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of
insulting the king and his family by posting edited photos of the
monarchy on the Internet. On June 28, 2010, Thakhor was pardoned by
(AP, 4/3/09)(AFP, 6/30/10)
2009 Apr 3, The UN appointed
Richard Goldstone, former chief prosecutor for war crimes in
Yugoslavia and Rwanda, to lead a mission to investigate alleged war
crimes committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip.
(SFC, 4/4/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 3, In Venezuela 3 of
the capital’s former police chiefs were sentenced to 30 years in
prison. They were accused without evidence of complicity in the
murder of several supporters of Pres. Chavez, who died during a coup
attempt in 2002.
(Econ, 4/11/09, p.36)
2009 Apr 3, The global diamond
certification body ordered a ban on trade in diamonds from eastern
Zimbabwe over concerns about human rights violations.
2009 Apr 4, In Pittsburgh, Pa.,
Richard Poplawski (23) shot and killed 3 police officers, who were
responding to a domestic violence disturbance. Poplawski received
gunshot wounds in his legs and was charged with 3 counts of murder.
The shooting began following an argument between Poplawski and his
mother over a dog urinating in their house. On June 28, 2011, a jury
sentenced Poplawski to death.
(SSFC, 4/5/09, p.A12)(SFC, 4/6/09, p.A5)(SFC,
2009 Apr 4, In Texas Jorge
Alberto Mendez (42) was arrested while trying to cross into Mexico
from El Paso, where he lived. He was arrested for allegedly raping
19 women across the border in the northern Mexican city of Ciudad
2009 Apr 4, In Washington state
Pierce County deputies 15 miles southeast of Tacoma found four
children murdered in their beds and the fifth slain in the bathroom.
The four girls and the youngest child, a 7-year-old boy, apparently
had been shot. Earlier in the day police found there father, James
Harrison (34) dead in his still-running car near the Muckleshoot
Casino in Auburn, about 30 miles south of Seattle. Harrison had just
discovered that his wife was leaving him for another man.
(AP, 4/5/09)(SFC, 4/6/09, p.A4)
2009 Apr 4, A pair of British
brothers (10 & 11) lured two young boys (9 & 10) into a
clearing to see some animals, and then tortured them in an attack so
violent it left one of the victims pleading to be left alone to die.
On Sep 3 the brothers admitted charges of robbery, intentionally
causing grievous bodily harm and causing a child to engage in sexual
2009 Apr 4, Egyptian police
beat and detained at least 18 members of an anti-government protest
group during a demonstration to demand the release of two activists,
Sarah Rezk and Amina Taha. The two 19-year-olds detained April 2 for
allegedly distributing leaflets calling for a national day of
protest on April 6.
2009 Apr 4, France and Germany
fully endorsed President Barack Obama's new Afghan war strategy but
firmly resisted sending more combat troops in a rift that
overshadowed symbols of unity at NATO 60th-anniversary summit.
NATO's European leaders pledged a significant increase in troops for
the US-led war in Afghanistan at their summit, but the alliance
seemed sure to arouse hostility in the Muslim world by choosing the
controversial Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen as the alliance's new
secretary general. All 28 NATO leaders unanimously approved
Rasmussen as the new civilian leader of the alliance. Black-clad
protesters attacked police and set a hotel and a customs station
ablaze near a bridge linking France and Germany that served hours
earlier as the backdrop for a show of unity by NATO leaders.
2009 Apr 4, In southern Israel
a woman opened fire on a police station Beersheba before officers
shot back and killed her, in an apparent Palestinian militant
attack. Israeli forces shot and killed two militants who were
approaching the Gaza border. Elsewhere in Gaza, militants fired at
least two mortar shells toward Israel. There were no reports of
2009 Apr 4, In Mexico 11 people
were found shot to death in 5 different places, some bearing signs
of torture and left with threatening messages emblematic of drug
2009 Apr 4, In northwestern
Pakistan a suspected US drone fired two missiles at an alleged
militant hide-out in North Waziristan, leaving 13 people dead
including women and children. A suicide bomber killed 8 people in
Islamabad. At least 62 illegal migrants were found suffocated to
death inside a shipping container found near the border with
(AP, 4/4/09)(SSFC, 4/5/09, p.A7)
2009 Apr 4, In the Philippines
two homemade bombs exploded hours apart in the same bus, wounding
the conductor and five passengers in an attack police said may have
been the work of an extortion gang led by former Muslim rebels.
2009 Apr 4, In Slovakia Pres.
Ovan Gasparovic was re-elected for a 2nd 5-year term with 55% of the
vote over Iveta Radicova, who had hoped to become Slovakia’s 1st
(WSJ, 4/6/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 4, Somali pirates
seized a 20,000-ton German container vessel, the Hansa Stavanger and
its 24-member crew, in their latest attack on the Indian Ocean's
busy commercial shipping lanes. The ship and crew were released on
August 3 as pirates boasted $2.75 million in ransom.
(AP, 4/5/09)(AP, 4/6/09)(AP, 7/18/09)(Econ,
2009 Apr 4, In Sudan armed men
in the Darfur kidnapped two aid workers Claire Dubois of France and
Canadian Stephanie Jodoin, of Aid Medicale International (AMI). They
were seized from their compound in the south Darfur settlement of Ed
el Fursan. Both women were released on April 29.
(AFP, 4/5/09)(Reuters, 4/12/09)(AP, 4/30/09)
2009 Apr 4, In Turkey several
thousand leftists staged anti-U.S. and anti-NATO protests, with
shouts of "Yankee Go Home!" the day before President Barack Obama's
2009 Apr 4, Off the coast of
Yemen a smuggling boat carrying 40 Somalis capsized as passengers
were disembarking. Twenty people made it to shore, the rest were
2009 Apr 5, State media said
China has reopened Tibet to foreign tourists almost two months after
imposing a ban ahead of politically sensitive anniversaries.
2009 Apr 5, In the Czech Rep.
President Barack Obama set out his vision for ridding the world of
nuclear arms, declaring the US ready to lead steps by all states
with atomic weapons to reduce their arsenals. Obama said the US will
proceed with development of a missile defense system in Europe as
long as there is an Iranian threat of nuclear weapons. Obama also
urged the EU to accept Turkey as a full member of the 27-nation
bloc, in remarks rejected outright by France and met coolly by
2009 Apr 5, In Denmark Lars
Lokke Rasmussen (b.1964) began serving as prime minister.
2009 Apr 5, In Iraq Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas won assurances that Iraqi leaders will
protect Palestinians living in Iraq, including thousands stranded in
desert refugee camps, during his first visit to the country since
the US-led invasion of 2003. Two roadside bombs in Fallujah killed
one officer and wounded three other people. Someone threw a grenade
at a police patrol in Samarra, killing one policeman and wounding
four. 8 people, including seven policemen, were wounded by a bomb
that blasted their patrol in the northern oil city of Kirkuk.
2009 Apr 5, Macedonia’s
conservative candidate Gjorgje Ivanov (49) won the runoff election
in a landslide with about two-thirds of the popular vote.
(WSJ, 4/6/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 5, In Moldova the
Communist Party won re-election under alleged ballot rigging. The
Communists, in power since 2001, won about 50% of the vote in what
international observers said was a fair election. With a population
of 4.1 million, Moldova was one of Europe's poorest nations with an
average monthly salary of $350. Last year Moldovans abroad sent home
$1.6 billion, roughly the same amount as the state budget.
(AP, 4/7/09)(Econ, 4/18/09, p.58)
2009 Apr 5, In southern Nigeria
gunmen killed a policeman as they kidnapped a Scottish oil-services
worker in Port Harcourt. The British worker was released on April
(AP, 4/6/09)(AFP, 4/25/09)
2009 Apr 5, North Korea defied
international warnings and sent a rocket hurtling over the Pacific,
a launch President Barack Obama called an illicit test of the
regime's long-range missile technology that threatened the security
of nations "near and far." North Korea said it successfully sent its
"Kwangmyongsong-2" satellite into orbit as part of its peaceful bid
to develop its space program. South Korea and the US military
disputed North Korea's claim of a successful launch into space,
saying the rocket fell into the ocean in stages.
2009 Apr 5, In Pakistan a
suicide bombing at a crowded Shiite mosque in Chakwal city in Punjab
province killed 24-26 people. A senior Pakistani Taliban commander
promised two more attacks per week in the country if the US does not
stop missile strikes on Pakistani territory.
(AP, 4/5/09)(AP, 4/6/09)(Econ, 4/11/09, p.39)
2009 Apr 5, Rwanda's ambassador
said the bodies of nearly 11,000 Rwandan genocide victims that
floated more than 100 miles downriver and were placed in makeshift
graves in Uganda will receive proper reburial.
2009 Apr 5, In Somalia an
overnight mortar attack aimed at troops and peacekeepers in
Mogadishu killed a child and wounded six other people, including 4
of the dead child's siblings. Somali pirates hijacked a small Yemeni
boat in the Indian Ocean.
(AP, 4/5/09)(AP, 4/6/09)
2009 Apr 5, Sri Lanka’s
military said 3 days of intense fighting in the northeast has left
525 Tamil Tiger rebels dead and pushed the remaining guerrillas into
a small "no-fire" zone crowded with tens of thousands of civilians.
Woman rebel commanders Vidusha and Durga were reported to be among
(AP, 4/5/09)(Econ, 4/11/09, p.38)
2009 Apr 5, Off the coast of
Yemen another smuggling boat carrying 23 Somalis hit rough seas. 13
made it to shore and two were missing.
2009 Apr 6, The US Federal
Reserve said it will supply new lines of credit worth up to $287
billion to the central banks of Japan, Switzerland, the United
Kingdom and EU.
2009 Apr 6, Andrew Cuomo, NY
state’s attorney general, filed a civil suit against J. Ezra Merkin,
a New York philanthropic leader and former chairman of GMAC, on
allegations that he betrayed hundreds of investors by repeatedly
lying to them about how he invested their money. Merkin had funneled
$2.4 billion from universities and nonprofit organizations into the
firm of Bernard Madoff, now in jail for running a multibillion
dollar Ponzi scheme.
(WSJ, 4/7/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 6, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel made an unannounced visit to northern Afghanistan to
meet with her country's troops and view rebuilding efforts. She
pressed President Karzai to review carefully a new law that critics
say legalizes marital rape. In southern Afghanistan an insurgent
rocket attack hit the Netherlands' main military base, killing one
Dutch soldier and wounding 5 of his colleagues and 2 Afghan
2009 Apr 6, In Australia a
motorcycle gang leader surrendered to police and became the sixth
biker charged in connection with a brawl that left a rival bleeding
to death before shocked travelers at Australia's busiest airport.
2009 Apr 6, Bangladesh police
detained Faisal Mustafa, the head of a British-based charity that
funded an Islamic school in southern Bangladesh, where authorities
on March 24 seized weapons and explosives.
(AP, 4/6/09)(SFC, 4/7/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 6, Belgium began World
Court proceedings against Senegal in an effort to bring former Chad
President Hissene Habre on trial for alleged widespread human rights
abuses during his eight-year reign. A Chadian commission of inquiry
has concluded that Habre's regime killed at least 3,780 political
opponents, but added that the figure likely represents only 10
percent of his victims.
2009 Apr 6, China announced it
will make improved health care services available to all its
citizens by 2020, taking aim at a system long derided as creaking
2009 Apr 6, Egyptian police
were out in force to deal with a nationwide protest called by
pro-democracy groups, arresting Islamists and seeking to contain
small demonstrations in the capital, Cairo.
2009 Apr 6, In India 2 bombs
ripped through crowded markets in the restive northeast, killing at
least seven people and wounding 60 others. A grenade attack left two
police officers injured. Authorities suspected the separatist United
Liberation Front of Asom was behind the attacks.
2009 Apr 6, An Indonesian
military plane carrying 24 people crashed into an airport hangar
during heavy rains and burst into flames, killing everyone on board.
2009 Apr 6, In Iraq a series
bombs rocked Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad, killing 37 people and
wounding more than 100 in a dramatic escalation of violence.
(AP, 4/6/09)(AP, 4/7/09)
2009 Apr 6, In central Italy a
magnitude 6.3 earthquake knocked down whole blocks of buildings as
residents slept, killing 309 people in L'Aquila, capital of the
Abruzzo region, which was near the epicenter. It was the country's
deadliest quake in nearly three decades. Tens of thousands were
homeless and 1,500 were injured. 8 students were killed when their
dorm collapsed in L'Aquila. Investigations into shoddy
construction soon followed.
(AFP, 4/6/09)(AP, 4/6/09)(AP, 4/9/09)(AP,
10/19/09)(Econ, 10/27/12, p.80)
2009 Apr 6, Japan’s Finance
Minister Kaoru Yosano said PM Taro Aso has ordered a $100 billion
stimulus plan to boost the national economy. PM Aso and Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez agreed to deepen ties in energy, investment
and trade, with Japanese companies ready to participate in gas and
crude production in the Latin American country.
(WSJ, 4/7/09, p.A8)(AP, 4/6/09)
2009 Apr 6, In Kenya justice
minister Martha Karua resigned in protest of Pres. Kibaki’s decision
to appoint judges without consulting her.
(Econ, 4/25/09, p.53)
2009 Apr 6, Somali pirates
seized the Taiwanese ship Win Far 161 with 29 crew onboard near an
island in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. A 32,000-ton
British-owned bulk carrier, the Malaspina Castle, was also hijacked
in the Gulf of Aden. Pirates soon began using the Win Far as a base
for attacking other commercial ships. Win Far 161 was released on
Feb 11, 2010, following the payment of a ransom. Three of its crew
died of malnutrition and disease during their 10 month captivity.
(AP, 4/6/09)(AP, 8/27/09)(AP, 2/11/10)(Econ,
2009 Apr 6, In South Africa
prosecutors dropped corruption charges against Jacob Zuma, saying
the case had been manipulated for political reasons and clearing the
way for him to become the next president without the looming threat
of a trial. 783 charges of corruption, fraud, money-laundering and
tax evasion against Zuma were dropped shortly before he came to
(Reuters, 4/6/09)(Econ, 4/9/15, p.50)
2009 Apr 6, In Turkey Pres.
Obama, making his first visit to a Muslim nation as president,
declared that the United States "is not and will never be at war
2009 Apr 6, In Zambia western
nations and lending agencies meeting in Lusaka agreed a financing
package of more than $1 billion to improve infrastructure in
southern and central Africa at an investment conference meant to
expand transport links and trade. Britain said it would separately
provide 100 million pounds ($149.2 million) to transform the
region's infrastructure to increase trade and mitigate the effects
of the global financial crisis. New projects will link businesses in
8 African countries: Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.
2009 Apr 7, US military leaders
said the Pentagon has spent over $100 million in the past 6 months
responding to and repairing damage from cyber attacks and other
computer network problems.
(SFC, 4/8/09, p.C3)
2009 Apr 7, In Alabama
authorities found the body of Kevin Lee Garner (45) near his burned
home in Priceville. The home had burned overnight. Garner's body was
found following a day of searching for him in several north Alabama
counties following the murders of four of his family members in the
Greenhill community of Lauderdale County.
2009 Apr 7, In southern
California a gunman in Temecula opened fire at a Korean Christian
retreat center, leaving one woman dead and four people injured.
2009 Apr 7, A lawsuit filed in
US District Court in Denver by the SEC alleged that Shawn Merriman,
an unlicensed broker, collected up to $20 million from investors in
several states to support a lavish lifestyle. The former bishop in
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints allegedly operated a
Ponzi scheme from his suburban Denver home for about 15 years,
bilking investors out of millions of dollars to collect religious
art and classic cars.
2009 Apr 7, In Texas Jon Dale
Jones (46), a former Army hospital nurse, pleaded guilty to assault
and theft. He was accused of infecting 15 patients with hepatitis C.
Jones was arrested on federal charges in March of 2008 for using
dirty needles to administer anesthesia, and accused of stealing
painkillers for himself.
2009 Apr 7, Vermont became the
first state to legalize same sex marriage through a legislature’s
(SFC, 4/8/09, p.A5)
2009 Apr 7, GM and Segway
announced that they are working together to develop a two-wheeled,
two-seat electric vehicle designed to be a fast, safe, inexpensive
and clean alternative to traditional cars and trucks for cities
across the world. The project was called P.U.M.A. (Personal Urban
Mobility and Accessibility).
(AP, 4/7/09)(WSJ, 4/8/09, p.B4)
2009 Apr 7, Samuel Beer,
Harvard professor (1946-1982), died. His books included “British
Politics in the Collectivist Age" (1965), which established him as
the foremost scholar on modern British politics.
(Econ, 5/2/09, p.88)
2009 Apr 7, Jack Wrangler
(b.1946 as John Robert Stillman), porn star and musical theater
producer, died in Manhattan. He appeared in over 30 gay sex films
and 20 straight films including “The Devil in Miss Jones" (1982).
(SFC, 4/10/09, p.B5)
2009 Apr 7, Australia announced
plans to build a 30 billion US dollar broadband network, its biggest
infrastructure project ever, opting to retain government control
rather than contract out the deal.
2009 Apr 7, Cuba’s President
Raul Castro met with six visiting members of the Congressional Black
Caucus for more than four hours, his first face-to-face discussions
with US leaders since he became president last year. A "very
healthy, very energetic" Fidel Castro asked visiting Congressional
Black Caucus members what Cuba could do to help President Barack
Obama improve bilateral relations during his first meeting with US
officials since falling ill in 2006.
(AP, 4/7/09)(AP, 4/8/09)
2009 Apr 7, Ethiopia, the
world's sixth largest coffee producer, said it did not intend to
nationalize the coffee sector after revoking licenses of six
exporters for hoarding the beans. PM Meles Zenawi had warned the
exporters against hoarding coffee, accusing them of speculation in
the world markets.
2009 Apr 7, A man opened fire
at a courthouse in Bavaria, killing his sister-in-law and injuring
two other people. He then shot himself dead. The incident appeared
to stem from a long-running inheritance dispute.
2009 Apr 7, President Barack
Obama flew into Iraq from Turkey on a trip shrouded in secrecy, for
a brief look at a war he opposed as a candidate and now vows to end
as commander in chief. A car bomb in a Shiite neighborhood of
Baghdad killed at least nine people and wounded 18 others. A suicide
car bomb killed three people at a police checkpoint in Fallujah. In
Iskandariyah police found the bullet-riddled body a member of the
Awakening Council, a group of former Sunni insurgents who sided with
the US in the fight against al-Qaida in Iraq. The councilman was
kidnapped a day earlier. A car bombing in Kazimiyah killed nine
people, including a mother who was riding in a taxi with her infant
(AP, 4/7/09)(AP, 4/8/09)
2009 Apr 7, Israeli police
fatally shot a Palestinian motorist as he tried to run over officers
guarding the demolition of the home of a militant who killed three
Israelis with a construction vehicle in July.
2009 Apr 7, In Moldova
anti-communist protesters stormed the Parliament, hurling computers
through shattered windows and setting fire to furniture in a violent
demonstration against what they said were fraudulent elections. 3
people were left dead and hundreds were detained.
(AP, 4/7/09)(Econ, 8/8/09, p.46)
2009 Apr 7, In southern
Pakistan police arrested five men alleged to be planning suicide
attacks on the city of Karachi.
2009 Apr 7, Former Peruvian
President Alberto Fujimori (70) was found guilty of murder and
kidnapping for death squad activities during his 10-year rule during
the 1990s. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. His daughter,
Congresswoman Keiko Fujimori (33), said people's outrage over the
"vengeful" verdict will propel her to Peru's presidency in 2011.
Then she'll pardon him.
2009 Apr 7, Saudi authorities
beheaded 3 Pakistanis convicted of killing a fellow Pakistani during
a jewelry heist. This brought to 20 the number of beheadings in the
kingdom this year.
2009 Apr 7, In South Korea
former Pres. Roh Moo-hyun announced that his wife had received money
from Park Yeon-cha, chairman of Taekwang Industrial Co., a shoe
manufacturer, several hours following the arrest of Chung Sangmoon,
a former aide who had accepted the money for the president’s wife.
for the president’s wife.
(WSJ, 4/8/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 7, In Thailand
protesters surrounded the prime minister's car and smashed a window
as he rode in it, escalating tensions a day before a massive
anti-government rally that the leader said has sparked concerns of
2009 Apr 7, In Turkey Pres.
Obama wrapped up his first European trip as president with a request
of the world: Look past his nation's stereotypes and flaws. "You
will find a partner and a supporter and a friend in the United
States of America."
2009 Apr 7, UNESCO awarded the
World Press Freedom Prize to Lasantha Wickrematunge, a murdered Sri
Lankan journalist, whose self-written obituary accused the
government of silencing him. His self-written obituary was published
three days after his murder in early January, in which no arrests
have been made.
2009 Apr 7, In Venezuela
legislators loyal to President Hugo Chavez approved a new law that
erodes the authority of Caracas' opposition Mayor Antonio Ledezma by
subordinating him to a government-appointed official.
2009 Apr 8, The Passover
holiday, which marks the Hebrews' exodus from slavery in Egypt as
recounted in the Bible, began this evening with a special meal known
as the seder.
2009 Apr 8, The US Justice
Dept. filed terrorism-related charges against Luis Posada Carriles
(81), a prominent Cuban exile wanted by the Castro government for
involvement in several 1997 hotel bombings in Cuba.
(WSJ, 4/10/09, p.A4)(http://tinyurl.com/c5j5b5)
2009 Apr 8, The US Coast Guard
located a Venezuela-flagged fishing boat 500 miles east of Brazil,
boarded the vessel and found about 2,500 pounds (1,135 kilograms) of
cocaine. They planned to turn over the boat, the drugs, the
prisoners to Venezuelan authorities.
2009 Apr 8, The Wall Street
Journal reported that cyberspies have penetrated the US electrical
grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt
2009 Apr 8, US federal agents
searched three money-transfer businesses in Minneapolis, carrying
away boxes of documents and copying computer hard drives for details
of transactions between the US and several African nations,
including Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the
United Arab Emirates.
2009 Apr 8, Genentech, a unit
of Roche, said it is voluntarily withdrawing its psoriasis drug
Raptiva due to a link with a rare but often fatal brain disorder.
(WSJ, 4/9/09, p.B3)
2009 Apr 8, The international
Red Cross said a polio outbreak, that now affects 15 African
countries, threatens efforts to eradicate the disease.
2009 Apr 8, Over 100 Afghan
ministers, lawmakers and officials signed a petition opposing a
controversial law that critics say legalizes marital rape. The
petition said the law is unconstitutional and leads toward the
"Talibanization" of Afghanistan's legal system. The petition came as
Poland's President Lech Kaczynski held talks in Kabul with Karzai
and reiterated his country's plans to increase its troop
contribution in the country by 400 over the current 1,600 in Ghazni
province. A roadside blast hit a civilian vehicle south of Kandahar
city, wounding six civilians. Gen. David McKiernan, top US general
in Afghanistan, met with villagers in Helmand and Kandahar. He
apologized for past mistakes and said he is now studying the Quran,
the Muslim holy book.
(AP, 4/8/09)(AP, 4/10/09)(SFC, 4/10/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 8, British police
arrested 12 suspects in a major anti-terror operation. 11 of the 12
were Pakistani nationals. One 18-year-old was soon handed over to
the UK border agency for questioning about his immigration status.
All the suspects were released after 2 weeks.
(AP, 4/9/09)(AP, 4/11/09)(AP, 4/22/09)
2009 Apr 8, A fishing vessel
carrying 45 boatpeople, believed to be from Iraq, landed on
Australia’s remote Christmas Island, island, a day after the
opposition party said a softer stance on refugees had prompted a
"surge" in illegal immigrants.
2009 Apr 8, In Canada Tori
Stafford (8) was kidnapped outside her school in Woodstock, Ontario.
In 2012 Terri-Lynne McClintic admitted she had kidnapped Tori and
delivered her to her boyfriend Michael Rafferty, who raped the
child. McClintic said she then battered the girl to death with a
claw hammer. On May 11, 2012, a jury in London, Ontario, found
Rafferty (31) guilty of first degree murder, kidnapping and sexual
assault, dismissing his girlfriend's testimony that she alone was
responsible for killing Tori Stafford.
2009 Apr 8, In China visiting
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said the world's center of gravity
has moved to Beijing, as he focused on boosting Chinese oil
2009 Apr 8, China said that it
would build a clinic in each of its nearly 700,000 villages within
three years, part of a sweeping 850 billion yuan ($124 billion)
investment in health care reform.
2009 Apr 8, China's state media
said a court in Tibet has sentenced two people to death over riots
in Lhasa last year, in what was the harshest sentence yet reported
over the deadly unrest. Xinhua said the crimes committed by the five
defendants resulted in seven deaths and the destruction of five
shops in Lhasa.
2009 Apr 8, Dubai’s public
prosecution indicted Mohammed Khalfan Bin Kharbash, a former
minister of state, along with several former company executives for
(WSJ, 4/9/09, p.C2)
2009 Apr 8, In France workers
at a British-owned adhesives factory held three British executives
and a local manager captive over plans to close the site down.
Scapa, which announced in February it would close its plant in
Bellegarde, said it was forced to cut back after the market for car
industry adhesives collapsed by 50 percent in 2008. The managers
were released after being held overnight.
(AP, 4/8/09)(SFC, 4/9/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 8, In Iraq a bomb left
in a plastic bag exploded near the most important Shiite shrine in
Baghdad, killing seven people and wounding 23.
2009 Apr 8, Stone-throwing
Israeli settlers and Palestinian villagers clashed near the site of
an ax attack last week that killed a Jewish teenager, leaving at
least 8 Palestinians wounded.
2009 Apr 8, Nigeria President
Umaru Yar'Adua dismissed top managers across the board of the state
Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).
2009 Apr 8, In northwestern
Pakistan a suspected US missile strike on a car near Wana, South
Waziristan, killed two alleged militants and a civilian, a day after
the US-allied country reiterated its opposition to such attacks to
visiting American officials. Residents in Buner tried to push out a
group of Taliban militants who had ventured into their territory
from their stronghold in the Swat Valley and killed five people.
2009 Apr 8, In Paraguay lawyers
filed a paternity suit against President Fernando Lugo, alleging
that a son was born to the former Roman Catholic bishop five months
after he abandoned the church for politics.
2009 Apr 8, A Russian
spacecraft carrying a crew of three including US billionaire space
tourist Charles Simonyi landed safely in Kazakhstan.
2009 Apr 8, Somali pirates
hijacked a US-flagged cargo ship with 20 American crew members
onboard. The 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama was carrying emergency relief
to Mombasa, Kenya. The pirates took Capt. Richard Phillips hostage
after they hijacked the Maersk Alabama, then fled the cargo ship as
the vessel's crew overpowered them.
(AP, 4/8/09)(AP, 4/9/09)
2009 Apr 8, Thailand’s central
bank cut its benchmark interest rate by .25% to 1.25% to help prop
up the worsening economy. more than 100,000 anti-government
protesters rallied in Bangkok in their biggest bid yet to topple
premier Abhisit Vejjajiva, deepening the political crisis ahead of a
key Asian summit.
(WSJ, 4/9/09, p.C2)(AFP, 4/8/09)
2009 Apr 8, In Turkmenistan a
blast on a Central Asian pipeline halted the supply of Turkmen gas
to Russia. The explosion was later said to have resulted from
Gazprom’s decision to stop importing gas due to high prices and
falling demand. Gazprom blamed the explosion on poor maintenance.
(AP, 4/9/09)(Econ, 12/12/09, p.46)
2009 Apr 9, Pres. Obama
submitted an $83.4 billion funding request to Congress,
including $80 million to close Guantanamo, as lawmakers were on
break over the Easter holidays.
2009 Apr 9, FBI hostage
negotiators joined US Navy efforts to free an American ship captain
held captive on a lifeboat by Somali pirates. A US destroyer and a
spy plane kept close watch in the high-seas standoff near the Horn
of Africa. Capt. Richard Phillips made a desperate escape attempt
but was recaptured.
(AP, 4/9/09)(AP, 4/10/09)
2009 Apr 9, The SEC charged
Atlanta attorney Robert P. Copeland (48) for running a Ponzi scheme
from about 2004-2009. He was alleged to have raised over $35 million
from at least 140 investors and owed over $28 million to the
2009 Apr 9, Vandals in the San
Jose, and San Carlos, Ca., chopped fiber optic cables disrupting
service for hundreds of thousands of people in Santa Clara, Santa
Cruz and San Benito counties.
(SFC, 4/10/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 9, In Mena, Arkansas,
a tornado struck a "direct hit" on this mountain community, killing
at least three people, injuring at least 30 others and flattening
homes and businesses.
2009 Apr 9, In Fullerton, Ca.,
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart (22) was killed along with
2 others in a car accident with a suspected drunk driver.
(SFC, 4/10/09, p.C1)
2009 Apr 9, Dave Arneson (61),
co-creator of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy game (1974) and a
pioneer of role-playing entertainment, died after a two-year battle
(AP, 4/10/09)(SFC, 4/11/09, p.B3)
2009 Apr 9, In southern
Afghanistan a suicide bomber attacked a police drug eradication
unit, killing five people and wounding 17 others. The Taliban
claimed responsibility. Four people were shot dead in the raid
overnight in eastern Khost province. The US military later admitted
that they were not "armed combatants" as first announced. A
nine-months pregnant woman had survived the shooting that killed her
unborn child. US soldiers working with Afghan forces killed 15
militants in southern Afghanistan. Afghan and coalition forces
killed five "combatants" in Kandahar province's Maywand district. A
dozen more insurgents were killed in adjoining Uruzgan province
after another attack on an Afghan and coalition patrol.
(AP, 4/9/09)(AP, 4/10/09)(AFP, 4/10/09)
2009 Apr 9, Algerians voted in
a presidential election that is expected to give the incumbent
Abdelaziz Bouteflika another five years to try to quell terrorism
and reform the North African country's lackluster economy, which is
heavily dependent on oil and gas. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika won
90.24% of the vote.
(AP, 4/9/09)(Reuters, 4/10/09)
2009 Apr 9, Amnesty
International said immigrants and ethnic minorities living in
Austria are more likely to be suspected of crimes than whites and
are regularly denied their right to equal treatment by the country's
police and judicial system.
2009 Apr 9, In southern
Bangladesh 2 speeding passenger buses crashed into each other,
killing at least 11 people and injuring another 50.
2009 Apr 9, Bob Quick, Scotland
Yard's Assistant Commissioner and Britain's most senior
counter-terrorism officer, quit after his security blunder forced
police to bring forward a major operation to thwart a suspected al
Qaeda plot involving Pakistani nationals.
2009 Apr 9, A Chinese court
executed two men from a Muslim minority group for killing 17 police
in an attack in China's far west that the government portrayed as an
attempt to sabotage the Beijing Olympics.
2009 Apr 9, A top human rights
group said in a report that at least 90 women have been raped and
180 villagers killed over the past two months by rebels as well as
government forces in volatile eastern Congo.
2009 Apr 9, Czech Pres. Vaclav
Klaus appointed nonpartisan Jan Fischer (58) as prime minister. He
will replace Mirek Topolanek on May 9.
(WSJ, 4/10/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 9, A court in
coup-plagued Fiji declared the military government illegal and said
the president should immediately appoint an interim leader to
oversee a return to democracy.
2009 Apr 9, French lawmakers
rejected a tough new Internet piracy bill that would cut off illegal
downloaders, in a surprise setback for President Nicolas Sarkozy's
2009 Apr 9, In Georgia tens of
thousands of protesters thronged the streets in front of the
parliament, calling on Pres. Mikhail Saakashvili to step down in the
largest opposition demonstration since last year's war with Russia.
2009 Apr 9, Guatemala banned
more than one person from riding on motorcycles in a policy aimed at
stamping out attacks by cycle-mounted hit men.
2009 Apr 9, A prominent Indian
comedian took aim at the country's notoriously corrupt political
elite by starting up his own party with promises to bribe as many
voters as possible. Jaspal Bhatti, known for his biting satire on
Indian TV shows, unveiled his new party and field of candidates,
saying he hoped to give the big parties a run for their dirty money.
2009 Apr 9, Indonesians flooded
polling stations across the sprawling island nation, capping a
decade of democracy in a parliamentary election that boosted the
reform-minded president's chances of re-election. Pres. Yudhoyono’s
party won 20.8% of the popular vote. Nine parties appeared to have
passed the 2.5% threshold to win seats in the 560-member parliament.
(AP, 4/9/09)(SFC, 4/10/09, p.A2)(Econ, 4/18/09,
2009 Apr 9, Iran's president
inaugurated a new facility producing uranium fuel for a planned
heavy-water nuclear reactor. Pres. Ahmadinejad was attending
celebrations in Isfahan for Iran's National Day of Nuclear
Technology, which marks the day in 2006 when Iran enriched uranium
for the first time. Iran has been building the 40-megawatt
hard-water reactor in the central town of Arak for the past four
2009 Apr 9, In Iraq tens of
thousands of supporters of an anti-US Shiite cleric demanded an end
to the US military presence and burned effigy of ex-President George
W. Bush in a rally marking the sixth anniversary of the fall of
Baghdad to American forces. Police raided a cartoon exhibition in
the Shiite city of Karbala and seized a drawing depicting PM Nouri
al-Maliki with a long nose trying to repair a car labeled "sectarian
distribution of jobs." On Apr 12 a parliamentary committee
criticized police for raiding the exhibition.
(AP, 4/9/09)(AP, 4/12/09)
2009 Apr 9, Mexico City turned
off the tap to millions of residents because water reserves have
reached historic lows. The two-day shutdown of a main pipeline
affected at least 5 million of the 20 million people in the Mexico
2009 Apr 9, In Mexico a former
Guatemalan soldier, who allegedly procured weapons for a drug
cartel, was killed in a gunfight with federal police. Israel Nava
and two other gunmen were killed in northern Zacatecas state. Eight
police were wounded. Nava was a former member of the "kaibiles,"
Guatemalan soldiers trained in counterinsurgency. Mexico first
warned in 2005 that the Zetas were recruiting kaibiles.
2009 Apr 9, A Niger government
minister said Tuareg rebels have agreed to lay down their arms and
join a peace process in the desert West African nation.
2009 Apr 9, Nigeria's Central
Bank cut its benchmark lending rate to 8% from 9.75% and announced
measures aimed at boosting liquidity in the market.
2009 Apr 9, Kim Jong Il laid to
rest speculation about his health with a triumphant return to
parliament for his appointment to a third term as North Korea's
supreme leader. Legislators unanimously adopted a law "on revising
and supplementing the Socialist Constitution of the DPRK (North
Korea)" but gave no details.
(AP, 4/9/09)(AFP, 4/9/09)
2009 Apr 9, In Pakistan the
remains 3 politicians were discovered in Baluchistan province, six
days after they were reportedly abducted by armed men. They were
identified as the head of the Baluchistan National Party (BNP),
Ghulam Mohammad Baloch, his deputy Lala Munir Baloch, and Sher
Mohammad, deputy secretary general of the Baluchistan Republican
Party (BRP). Baloch played "an active role" in seeking the April 4
release of John Solecki, the UN refugee agency staffer. Rioting
students set fire to two banks in another southwestern town. One
policeman was killed and several others injured during the violent
(AP, 4/10/09)(AFP, 4/11/09)
2009 Apr 9, In Peru suspected
guerrillas killed 13 Peruvian soldiers in ambushes on two patrols in
the Apurimac-Ene river valley, a jungle region known for coca
production and lingering rebel activity. The body of a 14th soldier
was recovered on April 12.
(AP, 4/11/09)(SFC, 4/14/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 9, In South Africa an
armed mob invaded a major land reform project in the eastern
Mpumalanga province. The invaders were unhappy with the progress of
the project, despite warnings that it would take up to three years
before a return from what had been badly neglected farms.
2009 Apr 9, Sri Lanka’s defense
ministry said at least 10 Tiger rebels were killed in overnight
fighting in Mullaittivu district, and accused the rebels of
positioning their heavy weapons near civilian shelters. The
pro-Tamil Tiger website Tamilnet.com said heavy shelling by the Sri
Lankan army of a designated safe area had left 129 civilians dead
and 282 wounded.
2009 Apr 10, A US immigration
board rejected suspected Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk's
appeal of an extradition order, paving the way for deportation to
Germany to face charges he committed atrocities.
2009 Apr 10, In Arizona Samuel
Valdivia (18), a high school student, was caught with his math
teacher, Tamara Hofmann (48) in her bedroom, and was stabbed to
death by boyfriend Sixto Balbuena (20), who was himself a former
student of hers. Balbuena, a Navy sailor on leave from California,
was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder after police found
him covered in blood and told them about the killing.
2009 Apr 10, Areas of Tennessee
were hit by a savage line of storms that wrecked homes, killed a
mother and her baby and injured dozens of others.
2009 Apr 10, In Michigan a
student fatally shot a female classmate before turning the gun on
himself in an apparent murder-suicide that prompted a lockdown at
Dearborn’s Henry Ford Community College, west of Detroit. The bodies
of Asia McGowan (20) of Ecorse, and Anthony Powell (28) of Detroit,
were discovered inside a classroom.
2009 Apr 10, In southern
Afghanistan Taliban attackers killed six policemen. ISAF security
troops killed 18 insurgents in the northeastern province of Kunar.
(AFP, 4/10/09)(AP, 4/12/09)
2009 Apr 10, In Algeria
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika hailed his landslide re-election for
a third term as a "lesson in democracy," but opposition politicians
and independent media alleged fraud at the polls, and the US
government expressed concern.
2009 Apr 10, In Britain 11
environmental activists from a group called Eastside Climate Action
were arrested after they entered the power station and climbed onto
equipment at the coal-fired Ratcliffe-on-Soar plant outside
Nottingham. In 2011 a trial against 6 of the accused activists broke
down after a police infiltrator prepared to give evidence on their
2009 Apr 10, About 30
protesters tried to force their way into China's elite Peking
University to confront Sun Dongdong, a law professor, who said 99
percent of the people petitioning the government with grievances are
mentally ill and could be institutionalized.
2009 Apr 10, A study was
released saying China has 32 million more young men than young
women, a gender gap that could lead to increasing crime, because
parents facing strict birth limits abort female fetuses to have a
2009 Apr 10, Fiji's Pres. Ratu
Josefa Iloilo (88) suspended the constitution of his troubled South
Pacific country and fired the judges who had declared its military
(AP, 4/10/09)(Econ, 4/18/09, p.44)
2009 Apr 10, In France Ekaitz
Sirvent Auzmendi (29), suspected of being a master forger for ETA,
was captured by French and Spanish police as he got off a bullet
train that had arrived from Bordeaux at the French capital's
2009 Apr 10, France's navy
freed a sailboat seized off Somalia last week by pirates, but one of
the hostages was killed. Pirates had seized the sailboat carrying
Florent Lemacon, his wife, 3-year-old son and two friends off the
Somali coast a week ago. Two pirates were killed, and Lemacon died
in an exchange of fire as he tried to duck down the hatch.
2009 Apr 10, About 20,000
demonstrators kept up the pressure on Georgia's president to resign,
with some pelting his residence with cabbages and carrots on a
second day of protests.
2009 Apr 10, In Greece a
teenage student (19) armed with two handguns, dozens of bullets and
a knife opened fire in a vocational training college in Athens,
wounding three people before shooting himself in the head. He left a
note accusing his fellow students of picking on him.
2009 Apr 10, In western India a
blaze at a fireworks factory killed at least 23 workers and injured
2009 Apr 10, Iran hanged three
men for their involvement in a bombing inside a packed mosque that
killed 14 people on April 12, 2008.
2009 Apr 10, In northern Iraq a
suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden truck into a sandbagged
wall surrounding a police headquarters in Mosul, killing five
American soldiers and two Iraqi policemen in the single deadliest
attack against US forces in more than a year.
2009 Apr 10, Japan renewed and
strengthened sanctions against North Korea, but disagreed with the
US over how the UN Security Council should censure Pyongyang for its
2009 Apr 10, In the Netherlands
a man (44) pulled a gun in Rotterdam’s Laurenshof cafe after an
argument and shot a patron inside, then rushed outside where he shot
three more people. Several people chased the gunman when he ran
outside, overpowered and disarmed him, and wrestled him to the
ground until police arrived.
2009 Apr 10, In southwest
Pakistan four people were wounded in a bomb blast, where businesses
closed for a second day to protest against the murder of 3
2009 Apr 10, In Moscow Iraqi PM
Nouri al-Maliki met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and PM
Vladimir Putin. Al-Maliki told Medvedev in the Kremlin that Iraq is
interested in Russian investment, and Putin said at a joint news
conference that talks focused on oil and gas cooperation.
2009 Apr 10, In Somalia
Islamist militants attacked African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu
overnight, sparking heavy exchanges that killed two civilians.
2009 Apr 11, In Louisiana
gunmen kicked down an apartment door and opened fire killing 2
children and a woman in Terrytown.
(SSFC, 4/12/09, p.A6)
2009 Apr 11, Rebels ambushed
Afghan and foreign forces in Zabul province, sparking an exchange of
gunfire that left 22 rebels dead.
2009 Apr 11, Egypt's Coptic
Orthodox Church for the first time issued a certificate of
conversion to a Muslim-born Christian. It was only the second time
that such a request has been formally made in a country where
converting to Christianity, while not illegal, is practically
impossible. Egypt's Copts, the largest Christian community in the
Middle East, account for an estimated six to 10% of the country's 80
2009 Apr 11, In Iraq a suicide
bomber walked into a crowd of US-allied Sunni paramilitaries and
detonated his explosives belt, killing nine and wounding 30 others
waiting in line for their salaries in Jbala.
2009 Apr 11, Sajad Lone (41),
an outspoken Kashmiri separatist and head of the People's
Conference, said he would run in India's elections starting next
week, marking a radical departure for the movement which has until
now boycotted polls.
2009 Apr 11, Morocco blamed
Algeria for a "serious and blatant" violation by the Polisario Front
of an 18-year-long ceasefire in the disputed Western Sahara and
urged the UN to intervene.
2009 Apr 11, In southwestern
Pakistan gunmen shot dead 8 people in separate incidents in the
province of Baluchistan, amid protests over the killing of 3 local
leaders this week, police.
2009 Apr 11, In Moscow Iraqi PM
Nouri al-Maliki met with Russian business leaders to encourage them
to take an active part in rebuilding Iraq's economy.
2009 Apr 11, A Saudi man
convicted of rape and robbery was beheaded, becoming the 22nd
prisoner to be executed by sword this year in the kingdom. An
Interior Ministry statement says the man committed the crimes after
2009 Apr 11, Somali pirates
hijacked the Italian-flagged tugboat Buccaneer, an American-owned
tugboat, with 16 crew in the Gulf of Aden. The pirates abandoned the
ship on August 9 and all crew members were freed. No random was
(AP, 4/11/09)(AP, 4/26/09)(AP, 8/10/09)
2009 Apr 11, Corin Tellado
(81), a well-known Spanish author of more than 4,000 romance novels,
died while celebrating the Easter holidays with her family.
2009 Apr 11, In Thailand
anti-government protesters stormed a convention center in Pattaya
where leaders of Asian nations planned to meet, smashing doors and
searching room by room for the prime minister. Thailand canceled the
summit and airlifted the leaders out by helicopter.
2009 Apr 11, Turkey’s
agriculture ministry said 11 people have died in Turkey over the
past three weeks, including three young Germans, after drinking
2009 Apr 12, US Navy SEAL
snipers on a destroyer shot and killed three Somali pirates and
plucked an unharmed Capt. Richard Phillips to safety. A fourth
pirate surrendered. His rescue sparked concern for other hostages
and fears that the stakes have been raised for future hijackings in
the Indian Ocean shipping lane.
2009 Apr 12, The Pritzker jury
named Peter Zumthor (65), a Swiss architect, as the 2009 winner of
the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
(AFP, 4/12/09)(SFC, 4/13/09, p.A7)
2009 Apr 12, In Florida a power
boat packed with 12 people slammed into a docked tug boat, killing
five occupants of the pleasure craft and seriously injuring seven on
the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Johns County.
2009 Apr 12, In New Hampshire a
massive fire destroyed or damaged about 40 summer cottages at the
146-year-old Alton Bay Christian Conference Center.
2009 Apr 12, In Texas 2
firefighters were killed while battling a house fire in Houston.
(SFC, 4/13/09, p.A4)
2009 Apr 12, Marilyn Chambers
(born in 1952 as Marilyn Ann Briggs), adult film star, was found
dead at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Canyon Country. The
pretty Ivory Snow girl helped bring hard-core adult films into the
mainstream consciousness when she starred in the explicit movie
"Behind the Green Door" (1972).
2009 Apr 12, In Kandahar,
Afghanistan, Taliban gunmen on motorbikes gunned down, female
legislator Sitara Achikzai.
2009 Apr 12, In Bahrain a
pardon by King Sheik Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa led to the release of
178 people imprisoned on security-related charges. Among them were
22 Shiite activists who have been on trial since February on charges
of seeking to destabilize the government and promote regime change
2009 Apr 12, In Bangladesh
security officials arrested eight suspected militants of a banned
Islamic group after raiding a house in Dhaka.
2009 Apr 12, Sir John Maddox
(b.1925), former editor of the British journal Nature, died.
2009 Apr 12, China announced a
$10 billion infrastructure fund and $15 billion in credits and loans
to help its Southeast Asian neighbors face the global financial
(WSJ, 4/13/09, p.A9)
2009 Apr 12, In the Central
African Republic at least 22 people died as cattle farmers and
traders clashed over stolen oxen with guns, blades and arrows.
Fighting was sparked by a dispute over 170 oxen stolen by bandits 10
days earlier but later retrieved.
(AFP, 4/12/09)(AFP, 4/14/09)
2009 Apr 12, In Colombia a
caravan of some 500 motorcycles completed a three-week ride
dedicated to hostages held by FARC rebels, but fell short of
securing the release of captives. At least 22 Colombian soldiers and
police were held by the FARC as political bargaining chips.
2009 Apr 12, In Iraq a roadside
bomb killed a US soldier north of Baghdad. A second roadside bombing
struck two cars carrying Iraqis in the Jisr Diyala area, about 10
miles (16 km) southeast of Baghdad. Nine people were wounded in the
explosion, including two women and a teenage boy.
2009 Apr 12, Israel's new PM
Netanyahu spoke to the Palestinian Pres. Abbas on Easter for the
first time since taking office, telling him that he seeks close
cooperation to drive peace efforts forward.
2009 Apr 12, Jordanian
authorities said a man has confessed to stabbing to death his
pregnant sister (28) and mutilating her body to protect the family
honor. The incident, the ninth such case this year and the second
this month, took place in the village of Basira, in the conservative
Bedouin heartland of southern Jordan.
2009 Apr 12, Malaysian police
rushed to a robbery scene only to find the suspects were fellow
officers. 3 men of a special elite police unit were allegedly caught
robbing five men at a house. One of the officers was armed with a
2009 Apr 12, In Nigeria fire
broke out on the Trans-Niger Pipeline. All the feeder flowstations
outside Ogoniland (in Rivers State) adjoining it were shut down to
allow for repairs.
2009 Apr 12, In northwestern
Pakistan about 150 militants armed with rockets and automatic
weapons attacked a transport terminal that lies along a key supply
route used by US and NATO troops, wounding three guards and torching
eight cement trucks.
2009 Apr 12, In Puerto Rico
Army Spc. Nokware Rosado Munoz (28) had been arguing with his
pregnant wife about his upcoming redeployment to Iraq before hanging
2009 Apr 12, Sri Lanka's
president ordered government troops to halt their offensive against
cornered Tamil rebels for two days to give tens of thousands of
civilians a chance to escape the fighting.
2009 Apr 12, Thailand's ousted
PM Shinawatra, called for a revolution after rioting erupted
in the capital, with protesters commandeering public buses and
swarming triumphantly over military vehicles in unchecked defiance
after the government declared a state of emergency.
2009 Apr 12, Zimbabwe set up a
parliamentary team to spearhead the writing of a new constitution
which Pres. Mugabe's opponents say will be key to holding free and
fair elections. A state newspaper reported that Zimbabwe will not
use its own local currency for at least a year, while it tries to
repair an economy which critics say was destroyed by President
2009 Apr 13, Pres. Obama eased
curbs on Cuba travel and money transfers. A broader economic embargo
introduced by Pres. Kennedy in 1962 remained in place.
(WSJ, 4/13/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 13, In California a
jury found Phil Spector (69), former rock-n-roll producer, guilty of
second-degree murder in the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana
2009 Apr 13, In Minnesota’s
Senate race a unanimous three-judge panel ruled in favor of Democrat
Al Franken, but former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman swiftly
announced he would take his fight to the state Supreme Court. After
a statewide recount and seven-week trial, Franken stood 312 votes
2009 Apr 13, Afghan officials
said an overnight NATO-led airstrike on a remote village killed six
civilians, including two children. Western forces said they killed
4-8 armed militants. In southern Afghanistan Taliban gunmen used a
firing squad to kill a young couple for trying to elope, shooting
them with rifles in front of a crowd in a lawless,
militant-controlled region. A young woman Canadian soldier was
killed in southern Afghanistan and four other soldiers were wounded
when their armored vehicle hit a roadside bomb.
(Reuters, 4/13/09)(AP, 4/14/09)(WSJ, 4/14/09,
2009 Apr 13, Algeria’s
constitutional council officially declared Abdelaziz Bouteflika
re-elected as president of Algeria for a third mandate with 90.23%
of the vote on a turnout of 74.56%.
2009 Apr 13, China released its
first human rights action plan, pledging to improve the treatment of
minorities and do more to prevent the torture of detainees but said
that raising living standards would remain a central goal.
2009 Apr 13, It was reported
that Egypt has cracked a major Hezbollah network and arrested 49
Hezbollah members and sympathizers between November and January.
(WSJ, 4/13/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 13, In France a
65-year-old man opened fire on three people apparently at random,
killing two. The man, who had holed up in a house in the town of
Douchy-les-Mines surrendered after the shootings.
2009 Apr 13, In India IJP
candidate Bahadur Sonkar (48) was found hanging from an acacia tree
in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh state. Dhananjay Singh, a rival BSP
candidate and alleged gangster, was accused of Sonkar’s murder.
2009 Apr 13, In Iran Roxana
Saberi (31), an Iranian-American journalist, was convicted of spying
and soon sentenced to 8 years in jail. She was released from jail on
May 11 after an appeals court suspended her sentence.
2009 Apr 13, In Iraq an
American soldier was killed by an armor-piercing bomb south of
2009 Apr 13, In Lebanon gunmen
ambushed government troops in the east of the country, spraying
their military vehicle with gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades.
Four soldiers were killed and an officer was wounded in the attack.
2009 Apr 13, Mexico's Congress
opened a three-day debate on the merits of legalizing marijuana for
personal use, a policy backed by three former Latin American
presidents who warned that a crackdown on drug cartels is not
working. Mexican authorities arrested a woman guarding an arsenal
that included the first anti-aircraft machine gun seized in Mexico.
The army captured Ruben Granados Vargas, an alleged lieutenant for
the Beltran-Leyva drug cartel in the Pacific coast state of
(AP, 4/13/09)(AP, 4/14/09)
2009 Apr 13, In southern
Nigeria gunmen riding in 18 boats attacked a military houseboat
outside an oil facility and commandeered a naval vessel. The clashes
left nine militants and one naval rating dead.
(AP, 4/13/09)(AFP, 4/13/09)
2009 Apr 13, Pakistan’s Pres.
Asif Ali Zardari signed a bill imposing Islamic law in the Swat
Valley. Pakistan's Maritime Security Agency arrested 20 Indian
fishermen and seized their four boats for illegally trawling in its
waters in the Arabian Sea. Authorities estimated that more than 100
Pakistani fishermen languished in Indian jails while Indian
authorities say nearly 500 Indian fishermen were in Pakistani
prisons. Rehman Malik, Pakistan’s top civilian security official,
said authorities in Karachi have arrested a Shahid Jamil Riaz, a 5th
suspect in the November 2008 siege of Mumbai.
(WSJ, 4/14/09, p.A1)(AFP, 4/14/09)
2009 Apr 13, An unmanned
Palestinian fishing boat laden with hundreds of pounds of explosives
blew up off the coast of Gaza in what the Israeli military said was
an attempt to attack a naval patrol in the area.
2009 Apr 13, Paraguay’s Pres.
Fernando Lugo admitted that he is the father of a child conceived
while he was still a Catholic bishop in San Pedro.
(SFC, 4/14/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 13, In Peru a foot
bridge in the highlands collapsed, sending dozens of children and
teachers from a nearby school plunging more than 230 feet (70
meters) into a ravine and killing 2 teachers and six schoolchildren.
2009 Apr 13, Poland's deadliest
fire in nearly 3 decades tore through a homeless shelter in the
northwest, killing 21 and forcing parents to toss children from
windows to rescuers.
2009 Apr 13, A Russian court
ruled that tycoon Alexander Lebedev's registration as a candidate in
the mayoral race in the Olympic city of Sochi is illegitimate.
2009 Apr 13, In Tajikistan an
independent audit was posted indicating that the chairman of the
Central Bank had diverted more than $850 million to a company run by
himself and his family. The Ernst & Young audit said that under
Murodali Alimardonov's stewardship, from 1996 to 2008, the Central
Bank paid about $856 million to his Credit-Invest company, a general
purpose investment concern. A further $221.5 million allocated for
investment in the cotton industry in 2004-2007 remained unaccounted
2009 Apr 13, Thai troops
unleashed volleys of gunfire in street battles with anti-government
protesters across Bangkok, forcing them back to their main rallying
site in a final push to end days of turmoil.
2009 Apr 13, The UN Security
Council unanimously condemned North Korea's April 5 rocket launch,
demanded an end to missile tests and said it will expand sanctions
against the reclusive communist nation.
2009 Apr 14, San Francisco
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi proposed legislation for the city to sell
and distribute medical marijuana.
(SFC, 4/15/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 14, In Massachusetts
Julissa Brisman (26) was found dead at the Boston Marriott Copley
Place. On April 20 police arrested medical student Philip Markoff
(22) of Quincy, in the woman's death. Police believed Markoff may
have been involved in other crimes against women who also posted ads
on Craigslist. On Aug 15, 2010, Markoff was found dead in his cell
(AP, 4/21/09)(SFC, 8/16/10, p.A7)
2009 Apr 14, In Montana
paleontologist Nate Murphy (51) pleaded guilty to stealing dinosaur
fossils from federal land. He gained fame in 2000 when he discovered
a 77 million-year-old duckbilled hadrosaur known as Leonardo.
(SFC, 4/15/09, p.A4)
2009 Apr 14, Afghanistan warned
that Pakistan's deal to allow Taliban to impose Islamic law in part
of the country may have "dire consequences" for the region and could
harm ties between the neighbors.
2009 Apr 14, Bolivia’s Pres.
Evo Morales ended a 5-day hunger strike after Bolivia’s Congress
broke a political deadlock and approved a law letting him run for
re-election in December.
(SFC, 4/15/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 14, In London Sahnoun
Daifallah (42) of Algeria, an unemployed chemist, was jailed for
spraying a mix of urine and feces on food, wine and children's books
in several British stores. Daifallah was sentenced to 9 years in
prison after being found guilty of four counts of contaminating
goods. Deportation proceedings were in progress.
2009 Apr 14, In northwest
Central African Republic Soule Garga, a top representative of cattle
breeders, was been killed by rebels, just days after a poaching
bloodbath left 22 people dead.
2009 Apr 14, In southern China
hundreds of workers at a textile factory blocked roads, in a second
day of protests over unpaid wages.
2009 Apr 14, The EU started
legal action against Britain for not applying EU data privacy rules
that would restrict an Internet advertising tracker called Phorm
from watching how users surf the Web.
2009 Apr 14, France's
government launched a campaign against forced marriages and genital
mutilation, seeking to protect women from practices that quietly
thrive in immigrant communities the nation is struggling to
2009 Apr 14, French author
Maurice Druon (b.1918), a fighter for France's World War II
Resistance movement and writer of one of its anthems, died. After
the conflict he wrote historical novels including the "Rois Maudits"
(Accursed Kings) series.
2009 Apr 14, In Hungary Gordon
Bajnai (b.1968) began serving as the country’s 7th prime minister.
He continued to May 29,2010.
2009 Apr 14, Indian police
arrested Ashok Sahu, a Hindu nationalist politician and member of
the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for an alleged
April 5 anti-Christian hate speech at a poll rally in Orissa state,
which was hit by Hindu-Christian riots last year.
2009 Apr 14, In Himalayan
Kashmir an avalanche hit an Indian army post, killing 7 soldiers.
2009 Apr 14, North Korea vowed
to restart its nuclear reactor and to boycott international
disarmament talks for good in retaliation for the UN Security
Council's condemnation of its rocket launch.
2009 Apr 14, Somali pirates
captured two more nautical trophies to match the two ships they
seized a day or two earlier. The MV Sea Horse, a Lebanese-owned
cargo ship, was attacked and captured by pirates in three or four
speedboats. That hijacking came only hours after the Greek-managed
MV Irene E.M. was seized in a rare overnight attack by pirates.
Somali pirates also hijacked two Egyptian fishing boats in the Gulf
of Aden off Somalia's northern coast, which maritime officials said
had a total of 36 crew. It was not exactly clear if those ships were
hijacked April 12 or 13. The Liberty Sun, a US flagged cargo ship,
repelled a pirate attack off the Somali coast. The MV Irene and 22
Filipino sailors were released on Sep 14.
(AP, 4/14/09)(WSJ, 4/15/09, p.A8)(AFP, 9/15/09)
2009 Apr 14, Thailand issued an
arrest warrant for fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra for
inciting street battles between anti-government protesters and
troops. Leaders of the demonstrations called off their protests
after rioting killed two and injured more than 120. Police issued
warrants for 14 people, including the ousted prime minister at the
heart of three years of turmoil.
2009 Apr 14, Ukrainian
officials said security agents have arrested a regional lawmaker and
two companions for trying to sell a radioactive substance that could
be used in making a dirty bomb. The legislator in the western
Ternopyl region and two local businessmen were detained last week
for trying to sell 8.2 pounds (3.7 kilograms) of radioactive
material to an undercover agent of the security service.
2009 Apr 15, Pres. Obama
directed the US Treasury Dept. to seize assets of 3 Mexican drug
cartels including the Sinaloa cartel, the Los Zetas cartel and the
La Familia Michoacan group.
(SFC, 4/16/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 15, In Washington, DC,
the FBI arrested Walter Kendall Myers (72) and his wife, Gwendolyn
(71), for spying. For three decades, Myers and his wife had shuffled
secrets to their Cuban contacts. Kendall Myers first worked for the
State Department as a lecturer at the Foreign Service Institute and
later as a European analyst in the department's intelligence arm,
the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, from 2000 until his
retirement in October 2007. On Nov 20 Myers and his wife pleaded
guilty to serving as covert agents since 1979. Myers agreed to serve
life in prison and his wife agreed to serve 6-7½ years.
(AP, 6/6/09)(SFC, 11/21/09, p.A4)
2009 Apr 15, In Florida inmates
Doni Ray Brown (23) and Wayne Fletcher (25) escaped the county jail
in Palatka and within hours stole 2 vehicles and killed Fletcher’s
step-grandmother (66). Both were arrested on April 18 and charged
(SFC, 4/20/09, p.A6)
2009 Apr 15, Hundreds of
Afghans swarmed a demonstration of more than 100 women protesting
against a new marriage law they say restricts wives' rights. The
women were pelted with small stones as police struggled to keep the
two groups apart. A NATO soldier and 2 Afghan policemen were killed
in fresh violence. Taliban insurgents beheaded a government employee
on charges of spying for foreign forces in the Bala Murghab district
of Badghis province.
(AP, 4/15/09)(AFP, 4/16/09)
2009 Apr 15, Bolivian police
foiled an alleged plot to assassinate President Evo Morales, killing
three men at the Hotel Las Americas in a 30-minute gunbattle with a
mysterious group that included suspects from Hungary, Ireland and
possibly Croatia. The 3 men were killed in their beds and 2 others
were arrested. The dead included: Eduardo Rozsa Flores (49), the son
of a Hungarian father and Bolivian mother, Arpad Magyarosi, a
Romanian-born Hungarian, and Irishman Michael Martin Dwyer. Mr.
Rozsa Flores was known as an activist for the autonomy of Bolivia’s
department of Santa Cruz. The 3 men were involved in a conspiracy to
create a separatist right-wing militia in the eastern,
opposition-dominated state of Santa Cruz.
(AP, 4/16/09)(WSJ, 4/18/09, p.A5)(Econ, 7/18/09,
2009 Apr 15, Clement Freud
(84), a grandson of Sigmund Freud, died. He became a well-known
writer, politician and urbane regular on British radio. He was best
known from his three decades appearing on the BBC game show, "Just a
Minute," in which panelists compete to see who can talk the longest
without hesitation, deviation or repetition. In 2016 his widow
apologized after he was accused in a television documentary of
sexually abusing two girls between the late 1940s and 1970s.
(AP, 4/16/09)(AP, 6/15/16)
2009 Apr 15, China fired into
orbit its second satellite in a program to build an alternative to
the global positioning system based on U.S. satellites.
2009 Apr 15, Colombia's most
wanted drug lord was captured in a jungle raid involving hundreds of
police officers. Daniel Rendon Herrera (43), a far-right warlord
known as "Don Mario," was taken in shackles to the capital to await
possible extradition to the United States.
2009 Apr 15, Egyptian police
detained three teenage Palestinian men on suspicion of crossing
illegally into Egypt and also found explosives near the border with
2009 Apr 15, Fiji's military
government tightened controls on the media, devalued the currency by
20% and said it would not tolerate opposition to plans for a
sweeping overhaul of the country's politics.
(AP, 4/15/09)(Econ, 4/18/09, p.44)
2009 Apr 15, A blockade by
French fishermen angry at EU quotas cut ferry links with Britain for
a second day as a union official threatened to block the Channel
Tunnel in support of the movement.
2009 Apr 15, French forces
detained 11 pirates during an assault on a pirate "mother ship" and
thwarted a pirate attack on a Liberian-registered vessel.
2009 Apr 15, Iranian scientists
at the Royan Research Institute cloned a goat and planned future
experiments they hope will lead to a treatment for stroke patients.
The female goat, named Hana, was born in the city of Isfahan in
2009 Apr 15, In Iraq 11 Oil
Ministry guards were killed and 13 wounded in a car bombing in
2009 Apr 15, In Mauritania Gen.
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the leader of a coup that ousted the
elected government, gave up power. This freed him to seek the
presidency in balloting aimed at returning civilian rule. Senate
president Ba Mamadou Mbare was quickly sworn in as interim leader of
the desert nation in western Africa.
2009 Apr 15, Mexico’s troubled
border city of Ciudad Juarez and the federal government signed an
agreement to train, recruit and equip enough city police officers to
take over from 5,000 army troops now performing security patrols
2009 Apr 15, Nigeria set up a
panel to probe a multi-million dollar cash-for-contract scandal
embroiling US giant Halliburton and reportedly implicating three
2009 Apr 15, Sri Lankan forces
attacked Tamil guerrillas with mortar fire, artillery and heavy
machine guns following a two-day cease-fire aimed at letting
civilians flee the war zone, a pro-rebel Web site reported. The
government denied launching a new attack.
2009 Apr 15, A Sudanese court
condemned 10 rebels from the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality
Movement to death for an unprecedented attack on Khartoum in May,
2008, which killed more than 220 people.
2009 Apr 15, In southern
Zimbabwe at least 29 people were killed and 39 injured when a bus
plunged into a river bed near Chivhu town.
2009 Apr 16, President Barack
Obama announced his decision not to prosecute CIA operatives who
used interrogation practices described by many as torture. He
condemned the aggressive techniques, including waterboarding,
shackling and stripping, used on terror suspects while promising not
to legally pursue the perpetrators.
2009 Apr 16, Pres. Obama
committed at least $13 billion to launch a new era of high speed
passenger rail transportation.
(WSJ, 4/17/09, p.A5)
2009 Apr 16, It was reported
that during the past few weeks, at least nine universities have
received gifts totaling more than $45 million, and the schools had
to promise not to try to find out the giver's identity.
2009 Apr 16, PEMGroup with
assets of $4 billion said its board had appointed a special
committee to look into allegations of a Ponzi scheme by money
manager Danny Pang, who temporarily stepped aside while visiting
Taiwan. The SEC soon filed a civil lawsuit against Pang and froze
the assets of his firm, Private Equity Management Group Inc.
(WSJ, 4/17/09, p.A1)(WSJ, 4/28/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 16, Rosetta Stone, an
American language instruction company, went public. It sold
6,250,000 shares at IPO price of $18. The stock traded as high as
$26.27 before closing at $25.12.
(Econ, 1/5/13, p.52)
2009 Apr 16, In Sacramento,
Ca., a tent city of some 150 homeless people was closed. It had been
around for close to a decade on a strip of land between the American
River and a power company.
(Econ, 4/25/09, p.39)(http://obrag.org/?p=6660)
2009 Apr 16, In California
pharmacy worker Mario Ramirez (50) showed up at the Long Beach
Memorial Medical Center and shot Hugo Bustamante (46) and Kelly
Hales (56) before turning the gun on himself and pulling the
2009 Apr 16, General Growth
Properties Inc, the second largest US mall owner, filed for
bankruptcy protection in one of the biggest real estate failures in
2009 Apr 16, Drug makers
GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Pfizer Inc. said they plan to create a new
company to invest in the research and development of HIV treatments.
2009 Apr 16, In Middletown,
Maryland, Christopher Alan Wood (34) killed his wife (33) and 3
children, then himself, in their home, leaving a gruesome scene that
authorities said was found by the children's' grandfather on April
2009 Apr 16, In Afghan a
policeman was killed and one wounded in Helmand province. 3
"terrorists" were killed while the bomb they were planting on a road
in the Nad Ali district of Helmand went off prematurely. Taliban
militants attacked an Afghan counternarcotics police convoy in the
Shindand district of western Herat province, sparking a battle which
left one policeman dead and two wounded.
2009 Apr 16, Five people were
killed and dozens wounded when a blast tore apart a boat carrying
more than 40 Afghan refugees off Australia's northwest coast. The
Australian Broadcasting Corporation later said it was told the
refugees had doused the boat in petrol to try to force the navy to
land them in Australia and not turn them back to Indonesia, but that
the blast was an accident. On Oct 28 two Indonesian fishermen were
jailed for five years for smuggling the boat full of Afghan
(AFP, 4/20/09)(AFP, 10/28/09)
2009 Apr 16, The British
government promised a multimillion pound investment to try to
jumpstart the market for environmentally friendly electric cars.
(SFC, 4/17/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 16, Ethiopian
opposition protesters staged a rare demonstration in Addis Ababa,
demanding the release of an official jailed for life in January.
2009 Apr 16, French fishermen
allowed traffic to resume to three English Channel ports after
receiving a government promise of euro4 million ($5.27 million) in
aid, but they vowed to keep up their fight against European fishing
2009 Apr 16, Indians voted in
their tens of millions as the world's largest democracy kicked off
month-long, five-stage elections, with little hope of a clear winner
emerging at the end of it all. Attacks at 14 polling stations left
17 people dead in eastern and central India.
(AFP, 4/16/09)(SFC, 4/17/09, p.A3)
2009 Apr 16, Indonesia's top
court cleared Time Magazine of charges it had defamed former
dictator Suharto in a cover story that alleged his family amassed
billions of dollars during his decades-long rule.
2009 Apr 16, In Iraq a suicide
bomber dressed in an army uniform detonated an explosives belt among
Iraqi soldiers lined up for lunch at a base in Habbaniyah, killing
at least 16 and wounding 50. Officials later maintained no one died
but the attacker. An American Marine died as a result of a noncombat
related incident in western Anbar province.
(AP, 4/16/09)(AP, 4/17/09)
2009 Apr 16, Japan promised to
pledge up to $1 billion in aid for cash-strapped Pakistan at a
donors conference as allies pressed the country for commitments to
fight an Islamist insurgency and implement economic reforms.
2009 Apr 16, Hotel service in
Monaco was limited and casino roulette wheels were expected to stop
spinning as employees in the wealthy Mediterranean principality went
on strike to protest job cuts.
2009 Apr 16, In northern
Nigeria a Canadian woman was seized in the city of Kaduna where she
had been attending an international conference. Julie Mulligan (45)
was freed unharmed in the northern city of Kaduna on April 29.
(AP, 4/18/09)(Reuters, 4/30/09)
2009 Apr 16, UN nuclear
inspectors left North Korea after the hardline communist state
ordered them out and announced plans to restart production of
2009 Apr 16, In Pakistan
Maulana Abdul Azi, the deposed chief cleric of Islamabad's radical
Red Mosque, was freed on bail, nearly two years after he was
captured during a bloody siege. An international human rights group
urged Pakistan to reverse its decision to enforce Islamic law in a
northwestern valley in a peace pact with the Taliban, saying the
deal threatens women and takes the region back to the "Dark Ages."
2009 Apr 16, Russia ordered an
end to its counterterrorism operation in Chechnya, a move that could
lead to the withdrawal of tens of thousands of troops from the
southern republic battered by two separatist wars in the past 15
2009 Apr 16, Sri Lankan troops
backed by helicopter gunships attacked Tamil Tiger defenses in the
northeast, a rebel-allied Web site reported, as international
pressure grew for a new cease-fire to allow civilians to escape the
2009 Apr 16, In Sudan US
Senator John Kerry said after talks with senior officials that
Khartoum would allow some foreign aid to be restored in its western
Darfur region but that it was not sufficient.
2009 Apr 16, Thailand’s former
PM Thaksin was reported to have received a Nicaraguan passport.
(WSJ, 4/16/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 16, Turkey’s central
bank cut is interest rate to 9.75% from 10.5% in a bid to combat a
record surge in unemployment.
(WSJ, 4/17/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 17, The US EPA
declared that greenhouse gases endanger public health paving the way
for new federal regulations on pollutants. The Obama administration
declared that carbon dioxide and 5 other industrial emissions
threaten the planet.
(SFC, 4/18/09, p.A1)(WSJ, 4/18/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 17, A US federal judge
sentenced John Philip Hernandez of Houston to 8 years in prison for
buying military-style firearms and that ended up in the hands of
Mexico’s drug cartels. Prosecutors said Hernandez led a group that
purchased 339 weapons over 15 months.
(SFC, 4/18/09, p.A4)
2009 Apr 17, California
received a windfall of over $3 billion for its schools and
universities from the federal stimulus package, becoming the first
state to receive an infusion of cash meant to stop a downward spiral
in public education.
(SFC, 4/18/09, p.B1)
2009 Apr 17, Great Basin Bank
of Elko, Nevada, became the 25th US bank to fail this year.
2009 Apr 17, In Maine Laureen
Rugen (50) was sentenced to 7 months in jail for stabbing her
husband (61) over 25 times. She had suffered physical, emotional and
sexual abuse over two decades and pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
(SFC, 4/18/09, p.A4)
2009 Apr 17, In Afghanistan two
earthquakes shook eastern Nangarhar province, collapsing mud-brick
homes on top of villagers while they slept and killing at least 21
people. Two suicide bombers on foot tried to attack the office of
the minister of refugees in southern Nimroz province. Guards shot
and killed one bomber at the scene of the attempted attack. While
fleeing the 2nd bomber detonated his explosives, killing 3
civilians. A Norwegian intelligence officer serving with the
nation's peacekeeping force was killed by a roadside bomb near the
northern city of Maymana.
2009 Apr 17, Australia's PM
Rudd denounced people smugglers who set hopeful refugees adrift in
rickety boats as "scum" and pledged to step up efforts to thwart
them, after one vessel exploded at sea and killed three people.
2009 Apr 17, Australia revealed
plans to introduce national arson laws with a maximum penalty of 25
years behind bars in the wake of deadly wildfires that claimed 173
2009 Apr 17, In Burkina Faso a
meeting of economy and finance ministers of 14 African nations, all
using a common currency that was pegged to the French franc, started
with a French call to African nations to boost public spending.
2009 Apr 17, Canadian police,
acting on a tip-off from the United States, charged a Toronto man
with trying to illegally export nuclear technology to Iran. The
Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Mahmoud Yadegari had attempted to
obtain pressure transducers, devices that are used to make enriched
uranium but can also have military applications.
2009 Apr 17, President Francois
Bozize of the Central African Republic accused some officials in his
Kwa na Kwa Convergence party of racketeering to obtain funds and
pledged a personal crackdown.
2009 Apr 17, In central China a
warehouse explosion reportedly killed 18 people and injured three at
an illegal coal mine in Hunan province. State television reported
that six people were injured in the blast with 2 missing.
2009 Apr 17, Mohammed Zuhair
Siddiq, purported Syrian intelligence officer and one of the
suspects in the 2005 assassination of a former Lebanese prime
minister, was arrested in Dubai. He was arrested in France in
October 2005 as a suspect in the murder, but disappeared from house
arrest in France in March, 2008.
2009 Apr 17, Five of Germany's
leading Internet providers agreed to block access to sites
identified by national criminal investigators as hosting child
pornography, as authorities reported the breakup of an international
2009 Apr 17, In Iraq mortar
rounds killed at least 4 people in the Shiite Jisr Diyala district
south of Baghdad.
(SFC, 4/18/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 17, In Mexico gunmen
over the last 24 hours killed 12 people in different parts of
Michoacan state, including three men who were beheaded. Authorities
in Piedras Negras, in Coahuila state, bordering Texas, found the
body of a man whose fingers had been cut off. Assailants stuck one
finger in the man's mouth and cut out his tongue. Two buses collided
head-on in the southern state of Chiapas, killing at least 19
2009 Apr 17, In Norway a $225
million fund to provide low-price anti-malaria medicine around the
world was launched in Oslo to fight a disease that kills 2,000
children a day.
2009 Apr 17, International
donors, led by the US and Japan, pledged more than $5 billion to
stabilize Pakistan's troubled economy and fight the spread of
terrorism in the Islamic nation and neighboring Afghanistan.
2009 Apr 17, In Pakistan
Maulana Abdul Aziz, the newly released leader of the radical Red
Mosque, called for the enforcement of Islamic law across the
militancy-plagued country during his defiant return to his prayer
hall, where at least 100 died when Pakistani troops stormed the
complex in 2007.
2009 Apr 17, Pakistan was
stripped of its 2011 World Cup matches by the International Cricket
Council. Growing security concerns cast the country firmly into the
2009 Apr 17, A Palestinian
wielding a knife was shot and killed by Jewish settlers after he
tried to attack residents of a West Bank settlement. Israeli troops
killed a Palestinian during a protest against Israel's separation
barrier. The military said protesters threw stones and other objects
at security forces during a West Bank demonstration in town of
Bilin. Abu Rahmeh (31) was killed when he was hit in the chest by a
tear gas canister. On March 31, 2010, the Israeli military said it
closed an investigation after determining the canister was not
intentionally aimed at Abu Rahmeh.
(AP, 4/17/09)(AP, 4/1/10)
2009 Apr 17, In Russia the
Sochi Elections Commission decided to strike billionaire and Russian
government critic Alexander Lebedev from the ballot, after an
appeals court a day earlier upheld a ruling that he had misfiled
financial statements when registering his candidacy last month.
2009 Apr 17, A Swedish court
found four men guilty of promoting copyright infringement by running
The Pirate Bay, one of the world's top illegal file-sharing
websites, sentencing them to a year in prison in a landmark ruling.
2009 Apr 17, In Thailand the
founder of the “yellow shirt" protest movement that shut down
Bangkok's airports last year was shot and wounded in a possible
assassination attempt, just days after troops quelled rioting by a
rival, anti-government group. Sondhi Limthongkul, a media tycoon and
supporter of the current government, was in stable condition after
surgery that removed "small pieces of bullet" from his skull.
2009 Apr 17, The Vatican said
it will spend $660 million to build the biggest solar plant in
Europe on 740 acres of pasture land it owns north of Rome.
(SFC, 4/18/09, p.C1)
2009 Apr 17, Zimbabwe deputy
prime minister Arthur Mutambara vowed to act against illegal farm
invasions amid claims that a top lawmaker and Pres. Mugabe ally was
behind a fresh seizure. Mugabe made a new call for western nations
to lift sanctions and prodded his unity government partners to join
his campaigning against them.
2009 Apr 18, The Obama
administration said it will boycott the April 20-25 UN conference on
racism due to objectionable language in the meeting’s final draft
(SSFC, 4/19/09, p.A13)
2009 Apr 18, In Texas 5 Houston
children died after their sedan slid into a rain-swollen ditch when
driver Chanton Jenkins (32) lost control while trying to answer a
cell phone. Police the next day filed intoxication manslaughter
charges against Jenkins, the father of 3 of the victims.
(AP, 4/19/09)(AP, 4/20/09)(WSJ, 4/20/09, p.A7)
2009 Apr 18, In central
Afghanistan NATO-led forces and Afghan troops killed 3 suspected
militants during a raid in Logar province, where insurgent attacks
have spiked this year. At least two other suspected militants died
in an airstrike in southern Kandahar province. A roadside bomb
targeting a police vehicle in Kandahar city killed a woman and
wounded five other people including three civilians.
2009 April 18, Eddie George
(70), British central banker, died. He had helped give Britain over
40 successful quarters of economic growth.
(Econ, 4/25/09, p.90)
2009 Apr 18, In Egypt the
state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported that an Egyptian woman has
contracted bird flu in the second case in the country in as many
2009 Apr 18, In southern
Egypt Muslim gunmen shot dead two Coptic Christians as they left
church after an Easter vigil, in an apparent five-year-old vendetta.
2009 Apr 18, French and Spanish
security forces thwarted a new ETA attack with the arrest of Jurdan
Martitegi, the military chief of the Basque separatist group, and
seven other suspected members.
(AFP, 4/19/09)(Econ, 4/25/09, p.56)
2009 Apr 18, Jon Anza Ortunez
(47), a member of the armed Basque group ETA, was last seen. ETA
blamed Spanish police for a role in his disappearance — a claim
Spain denied. ETA said Anza had been transporting a large sum of
money between the French cities of Bayonne, which is not far from
the border with Spain, and Toulouse for the group when he vanished.
In 2010 his body turned up in a morgue in France. French officials
told Anza's family that he had fallen ill on a street on April 29
and was taken to a hospital in Toulouse, where he died May 11. At
the time, no one was reportedly able to identify him.
2009 Apr 18, Eight Mexican law
enforcement officers were killed in an unsuccessful attack on a
police convoy attempting to prevent the transfer of an important
drug suspect to a prison in western Mexico. The attack appeared to
have been an attempt to free Jeronimo Gamez, a top lieutenant
of the Beltran-Leyva cartel, was arrested on the outskirts of Mexico
City in January. Officers managed to deliver Gamez and eight other
detainees to the prison despite the attacks.
(AP, 4/19/09)(AP, 4/20/09)
2009 Apr 18, In Mexico one
train apparently ran into another on the recently inaugurated
Suburban Railway bordering Mexico City. At least 70 people were
2009 Apr 18, In northwest
Pakistan a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a
military checkpoint near the Orakzai tribal region, killing at least
(AP, 4/18/09)(SSFC, 4/19/09, p.A6)
2009 Apr 18, A Palestinian teen
(16) was fatally shot by Israeli troops after throwing firebombs at
the gate of the Beit El Jewish settlement in the West Bank. A
Palestinian man drove his Mercedes into two Israeli policemen
checking motorists at a checkpoint outside Jerusalem. The driver was
arrested after he told police he targeted the officers. Officials
announced that the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt would be
open over the weekend to let medical patients leave the blockaded
2009 Apr 18, Philippine
security forces rescued Andreas Notter (38), a Swiss Red Cross
worker held hostage since January 15 by Islamic guerrillas. The
government said it had no immediate details about a 2nd
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hostage, Italian
national Eugenio Vagni (62), who was believed to be unwell and in
need of hernia surgery.
2009 Apr 18, Somali
parliamentarians unanimously endorsed a proposal to implement
Islamic law in the Horn of Africa nation.
2009 Apr 18, Somali pirates
attacked two ships off the Horn of Africa, seizing the
Belgian-flagged Pompei carrying 10 crew. NATO forces intervened in
the other assault, chasing the pirates down. Dutch commandos then
freed 20 fishermen on a Yemeni dhow hijacked earlier. Seven pirates
attempted to attack the Norwegian-flagged MV Front Ardenne but fled
after crew took evasive maneuvers and alerted warships in the area.
NATO warships and helicopters pursued the Somali pirates for seven
hours after they attacked the tanker, and the high-speed chase only
ended when warning shots were fired at the pirates' skiff. NATO
forces boarded the skiff, where they found a rocket-propelled
grenade, and interrogated, disarmed and released the pirates. The
Pompei and its crew were released on June 28.
(AP, 4/18/09)(AP, 4/19/09)(AP, 6/28/09)
2009 Apr 18, In Sri Lanka 17
rebels were killed and 22 wounded in offensives aimed at clearing
new escape routes for the civilians and a road link for the military
to enter the zone. According to the military more than 2,800
civilians were able to flee the war zone.
2009 Apr 18, The 34-nation
weekend Summit of the Americas opened in Trinidad. Cuba, as the
region's only non-democracy, was not invited. Pres. Obama signaled
he was ready to accept Cuban President Raul Castro's proposal of
talks on issues once off-limits for Havana, including the scores of
political prisoners held by the communist government.
2009 Apr 18, In Turkey
thousands of people marched to the mausoleum of the country’s
secular founder to protest the arrests of university professors and
other secularists accused of involvement in an alleged plot to
topple the Islamic-rooted government.
2009 Apr 18, About 140 migrants
remained stranded aboard a Turkish cargo ship for a third day as
Malta and Italy argued about which country should accept them.
2009 Apr 18, Venezuela’s Hugo
Chavez said that he is restoring Venezuela's ambassador in
Washington, voicing hopes for a "new era" in relations after
exchanging greetings with US President Barack Obama at a regional
summit in Trinidad. Chavez presented Obama with a Spanish hardcover
edition of "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the
Pillage of a Continent" (1971), by Uruguayan journalist Eduardo
(AP, 4/18/09)(WSJ, 4/27/09, p.A13)
2009 Apr 18, Zimbabweans
celebrated their first Independence Day under a coalition
government, with President Robert Mugabe calling for national
conciliation as he shared the stage with his former political rival.
2009 Apr 19, The annual Goldman
Environmental Prize was awarded to 7 activists from 6 nations.
Rizwana Hasan (40) of Bangladesh was awarded for exposing
environmental damage and exploitative practices used in the
country’s ship dismantling industry; Marc Ona Essangui (45) of
Gabon, the founder of Brainforest, was awarded for exposing secret
agreements for a Chinese mine project that threatened Gabon’s rain
forests; Yuyun Ismawati of Indonesia was awarded for designing
environmentally safe waste management systems for poor Indonesia n
communities; Olga Speranskaya (46) of Eco-Accord in Russia was
awarded for her efforts to control and store chemicals in Russia and
former Soviet republics; Wanze Eduards (52) and Hugo Jabini (44) of
Suriname, leaders of the maroon community, were awarded for their
efforts that led to a landmark ruling ending tribal exploitation by
the government. Maria Gunnoe (40) of West Virginia was awarded for
her fight against the practice of removing of the tops of mountains
and filing valleys below with tailings.
(SSFC, 4/19/09, p.A18)
2009 Apr 19, In Arizona Doug
Georgianni (51) was shot and killed while collecting data from a
traffic enforcement camera inside an SUV in Phoenix. The next day
police arrested Thomas Patrick Destories (68) on 1st degree murder
(WSJ, 4/21/09, p.A7)(WSJ, 4/22/09, p.A6)
2009 Apr 19, In Afghanistan
roadside bomb in Kandahar city killed one police officer and wounded
2009 Apr 19, Algerian President
Abdelaziz Bouteflika vowed to pursue national reconciliation, after
being sworn in for a third five-year term.
2009 Apr 19, Bolivia's leftist
president was headed to the airport when Barack Obama gave him what
he requested the day before: public repudiation of an alleged
attempt on his life.
2009 Apr 19, Author J.G.
Ballard (b.1930), a China-born author and survivor of a Japanese
prison camp, died in London. His vision was so dark and distinctive
it was labeled "Ballardian." His first novel, "The Wind From
Nowhere" (1962) sold well enough for Ballard to become a full-time
writer. Other works included the novels "The Drowned World" and "The
Crystal World" and the story collection "Vermilion Sands." He
reached a wide audience with the autobiographical "Empire of the
Sun" (1984), adapted as a film (1987) by Steven Spielberg.
(AP, 4/20/09)(WSJ, 4/25/09, p.W12)
2009 Apr 19, The Shanghai Motor
Show opened. Porsche kicked off the show by unveiling the Panamera,
the German luxury carmaker's first foray into the sedan segment.
2009 Apr 19, Turkish Cypriot
nationalists won a parliamentary election that could stifle a
promising effort to reunite Cyprus, an ethnically divided island.
The right-wing National Unity Party (UBP), led by Dervish Eroglu,
garnered 44% of the vote. The ruling leftist Republican Turkish
Party (CTP), of Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, won 29%.
(AP, 4/19/09)(Econ, 4/25/09, p.56)
2009 Apr 19, In Haiti
clear-plastic ballot boxes were nearly as empty as Port-au-Prince's
unusually deserted streets as few voters turned out for Senate
elections in which candidates from a major populist party were not
allowed to run. Supporters of ousted former President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide, whose Fanmi Lavalas party was disqualified from the
election by Haiti's provisional electoral council, had urged an
estimated 4 million registered voters not to participate.
2009 Apr 19, Iraq's parliament
ended months of political paralysis by electing Ayad al-Samarraie, a
prominent Sunni lawmaker, as its new speaker. Armed with pistols
equipped with silencers simultaneously raided two jewelry stores
near one another in northern Baghdad. At least 7 people were killed
in the daylight heist.
(AP, 4/19/09)(SFC, 4/20/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 19, Italy agreed to
accept 140 migrants stranded aboard a Turkish cargo ship that
rescued them in the Mediterranean, ending a four-day standoff with
Malta about who would take them in.
2009 Apr 19, In Jamaica Stephen
Fray (20) forced his way through Montego Bay airport security and
hijacked a Canadian jet, holding six crew members hostage. He fired
his father's licensed .38-caliber revolver into the air, stole money
from some of the 167 passengers aboard and demanded to be flown off
the island. After 6 hours police and soldiers stormed the aircraft
and captured Fray. On October 8 Fray was sentenced to 20 years in
(AP, 4/20/09)(AP, 10/9/09)
2009 Apr 19, In Pakistan a
suspected US missile attack aimed at Taliban and Al-Qaeda rebels on
the outskirts of Wana, the main town in South Waziristan district
along the border with Afghanistan, killed at least three militants.
Pakistan helicopter gunships raided suspected militant hideouts near
Ghiljo in the semi-autonomous tribal district of Orakzai near the
Afghan border killing 20 insurgents and destroying their positions.
(AFP, 4/19/09)(AFP, 4/20/09)
2009 Apr 19, In central Somalia
two Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) workers were
seized by around 25 gunmen traveling in two trucks. Dutch national
Kees Keus (49) and Belgian Jorgen Stassijns (40) were released on
(AP, 4/19/09)(AP, 4/28/09)
2009 Apr 19, In Sudan 21 people
were killed when a bus they were travelling in collided with a truck
about 25 miles south of Khartoum.
2009 Apr 19, In Trinidad a
Western Hemisphere summit wrapped up with President Barack Obama
hopeful he'd boosted the image of the US among its friends in the
region and perhaps even made some new ones. Caribbean leaders asked
the US to expand a $1.4 billion program to help Mexico and Central
America fight drug trafficking and organized crime to include aid
for their island nations. The final declaration of the Summit of
Americas, which Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and his leftist bloc
refused to sign, turned out to have just one signatory. It was PM
Patrick Manning, host of the 34-nation summit.
2009 Apr 20, President Barack
Obama convened his first formal Cabinet meeting and asked department
and agency chiefs to look for ways over the next 90 days to cut $100
million out of the federal budget.
2009 Apr 20, New York-based
Human Rights Watch said gunmen with suspected links to Hamas
security forces in the Gaza Strip killed at least 32 Palestinians
and wounded dozens in attacks on political opponents and alleged
informers during and after Israel's recent war in the coastal
territory. The report said 18 Palestinians were killed by Hamas
during the three-week war, which ended Jan. 18, and 14 others were
2009 Apr 20, Chesapeake Energy
Corp. filed its proxy statement revealing a compensation package to
CEO Aubrey McClendon that totaled $112 million for 2008, even as the
company’s stock price tumbled.
(WSJ, 4/28/09, p.B1)
2009 Apr 20, In Florida 7 more
Venezuelan polo horses sickened just before a tournament died
overnight, raising the death toll to 21. Officials said they may
have been killed by some type of poison. On April 23 Franck’s
Pharmacy admitted to having prepared a generic version of Biodyl, a
vitamin supplement banned in the US, which was administered to all
the dead horses.
(AP, 4/20/09)(SFC, 4/24/09, p.A7)
2009 Apr 20, In Maryland a
Loyola college student, her visiting parents and younger sister were
found dead in a hotel room near Baltimore in an apparent murder
(WSJ, 4/22/09, p.A6)
2009 Apr 20, In Washington
state former Tacoma elementary school teacher Jennifer Rice (33) was
convicted of having sex with a student (10) and his brother (15).
(SFC, 4/21/09, p.A6)
2009 Apr 20, Chicago cancelled
a $2.52 billion deal to privatize Midway Airport after a winning
consortium failed to line up funding.
(WSJ, 4/21/09, p.B4)
2009 Apr 20, Oracle Corp.
snapped up computer server and software maker Sun Microsystems Inc.
for $7.4 billion. The opportunity opened up after rival IBM Corp.
abandoned an earlier bid to buy one of Silicon Valley's best known,
and most troubled companies.
2009 Apr 20, Benjamin F.
Edwards III (77), former president (1967-2001) of St. Louis-based
brokerage firm A.G. Edwards Inc., died. Under him the family firm
grew from fewer than 50 branches to nearly 700.
(WSJ, 4/25/09, p.A4)
2009 Apr 20, In southern
Afghanistan two police were killed and four others wounded during a
clash with insurgents in Zabul province. A roadside bomb in Uruzgan
province killed a civilian, while a second roadside bomb in eastern
Khost province killed two civilians.
2009 Apr 20, Thousands of
Tamils blocked some of London's busiest roads, demonstrating outside
the Houses of Parliament for an immediate ceasefire in the war
between Tamil rebels and Sri Lanka's government.
2009 Apr 20, British
pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline said it has agreed to buy
US-based skincare group Stiefel Laboratories in a deal worth up to
2.4 billion pounds ($3.6 billion).
2009 Apr 20, At the Shanghai
Motor Show Rolls Royce CEO Tom Purves announced that the company's
new model would be called Ghost.
(http://tinyurl.com/dfqycq)(Econ, 5/9/09, p.66)
2009 Apr 20, In Chile Gen.
Gonzalo Santelices, former head of the Santiago army garrison, was
indicted along with 2 other officers in the killing of 14 dissidents
in the early days of the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet
(SFC, 4/21/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 20, In China a new
English-language paper published by the Communist Party hit
newsstands, part of Beijing's efforts to raise its profile on the
global stage and find an international audience for the party line.
2009 Apr 20, Ecuador’s finance
minister Maria Elsa Viteri said the government will buy back about
$3.2 billion in Global 2012 and 2030 bonds, worth about 32% of
Ecuador's total foreign debt at a 70% discount, ending months of
speculation about a default. A government audit last year determined
that conditions surrounding the debt sale had left the bonds
"illegal and illegitimate," prompting President Rafael Correa to
order the refinancing.
2009 Apr 20, In southeast
France workers at a French subsidiary of the American company Molex
detained two bosses to protest plans to close the plant.
2009 Apr 20, In Iraq a suicide
bomber killed 3 Iraqi police officers and wounded eight US soldiers
visiting the mayor of Baqouba city. At least 9 civilians were also
(AP, 4/20/09)(SFC, 4/21/09, p.A4)
2009 Apr 20, In Mexico police
found a body in flames dumped along a main thoroughfare on the
outskirts the northern border city of Tijuana. The victim was found
with his head wrapped in packing tape, a common practice used by
drug smugglers against rivals.
2009 Apr 20, New Zealand's PM
John Key said that he wants an exit strategy before sending the
country's Special Air Service combat troops back to Afghanistan as
the US has requested.
2009 Apr 20, Nigerian pirates
attacked the Aleyna Mercan ship about 50 nautical miles off Onne
port, near the oil city of Port Harcourt. The vessel was delivering
equipment to French oil group Total. On April 22 the kidnappers
released the Turkish captain and the chief engineer.
2009 Apr 20, Pakistan's central
bank lowered the discount interest rate by one percentage point,
acknowledging that the economy in the poverty-stricken,
nuclear-armed nation was showing resilience. Pakistani security
forces shelled and launched airstrikes against Taliban in the South
Waziristan tribal region overnight, killing 4 civilians and 8
(AFP, 4/20/09)(AP, 4/20/09)
2009 Apr 20, Paraguay's Pres.
Fernando Lugo (57) was hit with another paternity claim, just a week
after the former Roman Catholic bishop acknowledged fathering a
different illegitimate child while still subject to his vows of
chastity. Benigna Leguizamon, an impoverished soap-seller, said
Lugo's previous admission inspired her to go public about her
2009 Apr 20, Vladimir Lukin,
Russia's parliament-appointed human rights ombudsman, presented an
annual report on human rights in Russia that included violations of
religious freedoms, prisoners' rights and freedom of political
expression. He said he is concerned about a growing number of claims
that police and judicial authorities committed abuses.
2009 Apr 20, Somali pirates in
two boats with about six pirates each attacked the Maltese-flagged
MV Atlantica, before the ship took evasive maneuvers and escaped in
the Gulf of Aden without damages or injury. Other pirates released a
Togo-flagged, Lebanese-owned ship after they found out it was
supposed to pick up food destined for Somalia. The MV Sea Horse was
hijacked April 14 with 19 crew as it headed to India to pick up more
than 7,300 tons of food destined for Somalia. The pirates also were
paid "a reward" of $100,000 by two Somali businessmen for freeing
the aid ship.
2009 Apr 20, Sri Lanka’s
military said some 35,000 civilians fled the last corner of
territory held by the Tamil Tigers, as the government warned the
rebels it would launch a final assault in 24 hours. According to
Tamil rebels 1,000 civilians died in a government raid on their
territory. The military denied the accusation saying only 17
civilians were killed and that they died in rebel suicide bombings.
Over the next 9 days some 114,520 civilians fled the area.
(AP, 4/20/09)(AP, 4/21/09)(Econ, 5/2/09, p.44)
2009 Apr 20, A south Sudan
district official said weekend clashes left more than 170 people
dead as armed fighters from the Murle ethnic group in remote Akobo
county in eastern Jonglei state attacked Lou Nuer villages.
2009 Apr 20, A UN racism
conference opened in Geneva. Iran’s Pres. Ahmadinejad accused Israel
of being the "most cruel and racist regime," sparking a walkout by
angry Western diplomats. The US, Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel,
Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand and Poland boycotted the conference
out of concern that it could be used by Muslim countries to
criticize Israel and to limit free speech when it comes to
criticizing their religion.
(AP, 4/19/09)(AP, 4/20/09)
2009 Apr 20, Zimbabwe's central
bank governor admitted that he took hard currency from the bank
accounts of private businesses and foreign aid groups without
permission, saying he was trying to keep his country's cash-strapped
2009 Apr 21, President Barack
Obama signed a $5.7 billion national service bill to foster
and fulfill people's desire to make a difference, such as by
mentoring children, cleaning up parks or building and weatherizing
homes for the poor. Under the bill the AmeriCorps program started by
President Bill Clinton will triple in size over the next eight
2009 Apr 21, Daniel Andreas San
Diego (31), a computer specialist from Berkeley, Ca., was added to
the FBI's list of "Most Wanted" terror suspects. Authorities
described him as an animal rights activist who had turned to bomb
attacks. San Diego became the 24th person on the list, and the only
domestic terror suspect.
2009 Apr 21, In a New York
court Somali pirate Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse (18) was charged with
piracy and other crimes relating to the Apr 8-Apr 12 siege of the
(WSJ, 4/22/09, p.A3)
2009 Apr 21, San Francisco
Mayor Gavin Newsom formally declared his 2010 campaign for
(SFC, 4/22/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 21, In NYC real estate
baroness Leona Helmsley's estate gave away $136 million to
hospitals, foundations and the homeless and left $1 million to
animal charities, prompting one advocate to accuse the estate of
failing to honor the hotel tycoon's wishes.
2009 Apr 21, The Boston
Marathon was won by Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga for the men and Salina
Kosgei of Kenya for the women.
(WSJ, 4/21/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 21, National libraries
and the UN education agency put some of humanity's earliest written
works online, from ancient Chinese oracle bones to the first
European map of the New World. The World Digital Library project is
modeled on the Library of Congress' American Memory project, which
debuted in the 1990s.
2009 Apr 21, In Afghanistan
police in southern Uruzgan province clashed with militants in the
Khas Uruzgan district, killing seven suspected insurgents.
2009 Apr 21, Scientists
attending a conference in England said that a planet named Gliese
581 e, has been located in a galaxy outside our solar system. The
new planet is probably too hot for human life because it sits very
close to the sun-like star it orbits. A 2nd planet, Gliese 581 d
found in 2007, was said to be in a zone habitable for potential
(AP, 4/21/09)(SFC, 4/22/09, p.A10)
2009 Apr 21, Jack Jones (96),
Britain union leader, died. He became a household name in Britain
through his battles to secure better rights for workers.
2009 Apr 21, The Bank of Canada
cut its benchmark interest rate to an historic low of 0.25% and made
no explicit commitment on taking nonconventional measures to spur
the economy even as it predicted a deeper-than-expected recession.
2009 Apr 21, In China three
people were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for deadly arson
attacks during last year's rioting in the Tibetan capital.
2009 Apr 21, French police
detained around 200 undocumented migrants in a major operation in
the Channel port of Calais.
2009 Apr 21, Egyptian
antiquities authorities announced that archaeologists exploring the
"Way of Horus," an old military road in the Sinai, have unearthed
four new temples amidst the 3,000-year-old remains of an ancient
fortified city that could have been used to impress foreign
delegations visiting Egypt. Early studies suggested the fortified
city had been Egypt's military headquarters from the New Kingdom
(1569-1081 BC) until the Ptolemaic era, a period lasting about 1500
2009 Apr 21, India's central
bank cut two key short-term interest rates by 25 basis points each,
in a bid to kickstart the Asian giant's slowing economy. The Reserve
Bank of India (RBI) lowered the repo, the rate at which it lends to
commercial banks, to a record low of 4.75%, from a peak of 9.0% last
year. It also reduced the reverse repo, the rate at which it borrows
from banks, to 3.25%.
2009 Apr 21, In Iran Roxana
Saberi (31), dual American-Iranian citizen convicted on April 13 of
spying for the United States, went on a hunger strike. She was
sentenced to eight years in prison after a swift, closed door trial.
Saberi ended her hunger strike on April 5 and waited for her appeal
process to move forward.
(AP, 4/25/09)(AP, 5/6/09)
2009 Apr 21, Japan's highest
court upheld the death sentence of a woman convicted of murdering
four neighbors and sickening dozens more with arsenic-laced curry
more than a decade ago. A district court had convicted Masumi
Hayashi (47) in 2002 of deliberately lacing a pot of curry with
arsenic and serving it to neighbors at a festival in July 1998 in
2009 Apr 21, In central Kenya
villagers clashed overnight with an outlawed criminal gang using
machetes, axes and clubs, killing about 40 people. Residents near
the town of Karatina fought Mungiki members because the gang had
been extorting money from them.
(AP, 4/21/09)(Econ, 4/25/09, p.53)
2009 Apr 21, Madagascar’s
military-backed Pres. Andry Rajoelina banned demonstrations one day
after a policeman was killed.
(SFC, 4/25/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 21, In Mexico soldiers
captured Isaac Manuel Godoy Castro, an alleged top member of the
Arellano Felix cartel, along with six other alleged members of his
2009 Apr 21, In Myanmar
authorities arrested Chit Pe, the pro-democracy deputy chairman, and
party member Aung Saw Wei in Twante township. Both took part in a
prayer service for the release of political prisoners which was held
at a pagoda, about 20 miles south of Yangon. The two were charged
with insulting religion, which carries a possible two-year jail
2009 Apr 21, In Nigeria
officials said a strike by petrol truck drivers has caused a
scarcity of fuel in the commercial capital Lagos, leading to long
queues at petrol stations. The strike began at the weekend following
a dispute between the tanker drivers and officials of the Lagos
state traffic management authority LASMA. Gunmen in Nigeria attacked
an oil tanker off the coast of the Niger Delta, kidnapping the
ship's captain and an engineer. The Turkish vessel Ilena Mercan,
chartered by French oil company Total, was attacked on its way to
Onne port in Nigeria's southeastern Rivers state.
(AFP, 4/21/09)(Reuters, 4/21/09)
2009 Apr 21, North and South
Korea held their first formal talks for more than a year but
discussions ended without agreement after just 22 minutes.
2009 Apr 21, Sierra Leone sent
three men convicted of drug smuggling to the US, where they are
wanted on similar charges, shortly after they were sentenced to
five-year prison terms along with five other foreign nationals.
2009 Apr 21, Somali pirates
freed a chemical tanker and its 23 Filipino crew members after
holding them hostage in the Gulf of Aden for more than five months.
The MT Stolt Strength was seized Nov. 10, 2008.
2009 Apr 21, Sri Lanka’s
military said 52,000 had escaped the war zone.
2009 Apr 21, Sudanese President
Omar al-Beshir arrived in Ethiopia, on his sixth foreign trip since
an international arrest warrant for alleged war crimes was issued
2009 Apr 21, In Geneva over 100
countries agreed on a declaration to combat racism and related forms
of intolerance worldwide. The US was not among them, prompting sharp
criticism from African-American groups participating in the UN's
second global conference on racism.
2009 Apr 21, Turkish
anti-terror police detained 37 suspects accused of links to the
al-Qaida terror network.
(AP, 4/21/09)(WSJ, 4/22/09, p.A10)
2009 Apr 22, David Kellermann
(41), the acting chief financial officer of money-losing mortgage
giant Freddie Mac was found dead at his home. Police said it was an
apparent suicide. Freddie Mac and sibling company Fannie Mae have
both come under fire from lawmakers as they plan to pay more than
$210 million in bonuses through next year to give workers the
incentive to stay in their jobs.
2009 Apr 22, In Connecticut a
decade-long battle for marriage equality ended when the General
Assembly voted to update the state's marriage laws to conform with a
landmark court ruling allowing gay and lesbian couples to tie the
2009 Apr 22, In Afghanistan a
cascading collection of deep-blue high-mountain lakes became the
country’s first provisional national park, as the violence-plagued
nation took a big first step toward protecting one of its finest
2009 Apr 22, Britain’s
Chancellor Alistair Darling said the government will pay drivers to
swap old cars for new in a scheme to boost its stricken auto sector,
mirroring moves in Germany and other European nations. He also said
he saw the economy starting to grow again by the end of this year
following the worst recession since World War II.
(AP, 4/22/09)(AFP, 4/21/09)
2009 Apr 22, Jack Cardiff
(94), British cinematographer, died. Cardiff was one of the
first cinematographers to shoot in Technicolor. He won an Academy
Award for the film "Black Narcissus" and was awarded an honorary
Oscar for his work in 2001.
2009 Apr 22, The film “City of
Life and Death," written and directed by Chuan Lu, opened in China.
It depicted the 1937 Japanese assault on Nanjing.
2009 Apr 22, The European
Commission published a consultative green paper on the common
fisheries policy (CFP). With almost all stocks overfished, it called
for drastic cuts in the EU's 90,000-strong fishing fleet and
subsidies to safeguard a sustainable and economically viable fishing
(AP, 4/22/09)(Econ, 4/25/09, p.58)
2009 Apr 22, In northern
France an auto parts factory was closed after employees angry
over job losses ransacked offices and prompted new concern about
increasingly violent French worker protests.
2009 Apr 22, In Georgia
thousands of opposition supporters from the provinces poured into
the capital to join the protests aimed at forcing President Mikhail
Saakashvili to step down.
2009 Apr 22, In Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet approved a new law to require the
vast majority of the country's Internet service providers to block
child pornography sites.
2009 Apr 22, In Iraq a suicide
bomber killed at least five people and wounded 15 inside a mosque in
central Iraq. A US soldier died from combat related injuries
sustained during a patrol in an eastern section of Baghdad.
(Reuters, 4/23/09)(AP, 4/23/09)
2009 Apr 22, In Ireland about
15 masked men armed with steel bars, chains and nail-studded clubs
ransacked a Shell pipeline site, in the latest trouble for Ireland's
most controversial energy project. Shell has spent four years
battling opponents of the project in both the courts and on the
ground in rural County Mayo, where the global energy giant has
government permission to pump natural gas from an untapped field 80
kilometers (50 miles) out in the Atlantic. It was the first time a
paramilitary-style gang has attacked a Shell site in Ireland.
2009 Apr 22, In Lesotho a
military-style offensive took place on the official residence of the
PM Pakalitha Mosisili. Two men were arrested shortly after the
shooting. 7 others were arrested across the border in South Africa
the day after the shooting. The 9 men were charged with 31 counts,
including murder and attempted murder in the attack.
2009 Apr 22, In Mexico the
bullet-riddled bodies of the two army officers were found in the
Durango township of Tepehuanes, about 30 miles (50 kms) south of
Guanacevi. The discovery happened days after Roman Catholic
Archbishop Hector Gonzalez Martinez created a stir by saying that
Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman lives near the town
2009 Apr 22, In Nigeria 7
high-ranking officials from the country's electricity regulatory
commission were charged with "criminal diversion" of state funds.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused chairman
Ransome Owan and six of the agency's commissioners of diverting for
their private use about five billion naira ($33 million/26 million
2009 Apr 22, A group of
Norwegian lawyers filed a complaint accusing 10 Israelis of war
crimes in Gaza under the country's new universal jurisdiction law.
2009 Apr 22, Somalia's foreign
minister urged the international community to help its fledgling
government set up a coast guard to fight the rampant piracy that has
disrupted shipping in one of the world's busiest waterways.
2009 Apr 22, South Africans
voted in general elections set to launch the ruling ANC party's
controversial leader Jacob Zuma (67) into the presidency. The
African National Congress took 65.9 percent of the nearly 18 million
votes cast, failing to get its coveted two-thirds of the seats in
the 400-member parliament. The Democratic Alliance (DA), under Helen
Zille, won nearly 17% and 17 seats, while the new COPE Party got
barely 7% of the vote. The Inkatha Freedom Party got 5% of the vote
winning 18 seats.
(AFP, 4/22/09)(AP, 4/25/09)(Econ, 4/25/09,
p.53)(Econ, 5/2/09, p.13)(Econ, 5/2/09, p.50)
2009 Apr 22, A South Korean
court convicted and handed down a death sentence to a masseur
charged with killing 10 people, including his wife and
mother-in-law. Kang Ho-sun (38) was indicted in February in the
slayings of eight office workers, karaoke bar employees and
university students after abducting them between September 2006 and
December 2008. Kang was also accused of burning to death his wife
and mother-in-law in 2005 in an attempt to win insurance money.
2009 Apr 22, Two Tamil Tiger
officials surrendered to the Sri Lankan army, and refugees joined a
stream of more than 80,000 people the government says have fled a
war zone that appeared to shrink by the hour.
2009 Apr 22, A Sudanese court
sentenced 11 members of the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality
Movement (JEM) to death and acquitted five others for an
unprecedented 2008 attack on Khartoum. A district official said the
death toll from clashes between rival ethnic groups in south Sudan
has risen to 250 people, with dozens of children also abducted.
2009 Apr 22, The Turkish
Foreign Ministry said Turkey and Armenia have agreed on a roadmap
for normalizing relations and reaching reconciliation, but it wasn't
immediately clear how they would tackle their bitter dispute over
Ottoman-era killings of ethnic Armenians.
2009 Apr 22, In Yemen two young
sons of a Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo were buried after a grenade
they were playing with accidentally detonated inside their home. The
two boys were the sons of Guantanamo prisoner #1463, Abdelsalam
al-Hilah, a businessman who was captured in Cairo in 2002 and sent
to Guantanamo on charges of terrorism.
2009 Apr 23, The US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention reported that 7 people have been
diagnosed with a new kind of swine flu in California and Texas.
2009 Apr 23, In California
Attorney General Jerry Brown filed a securities fraud lawsuit
against Wells Fargo & Co. for deceptively marketing a financial
instrument to thousands of state investors who suffered losses of
over $1.5 billion.
(SFC, 4/24/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 23, In central
Afghanistan international and Afghan troops killed two militants in
an overnight raid. Afghan and coalition troops captured three
suspected militants in a raid in eastern Logar province. 3 Afghan
army soldiers were killed when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in
eastern Paktia province.
(AP, 4/23/09)(AP, 4/24/09)
2009 Apr 23, The EU development
commissioner said an international conference has already pledged
over 250 million dollars to help Somalia improve its security.
2009 Apr 23, Dubai's deputy
police chief denied a report that pirates have laundered ransom
money through banks in the Gulf city-state, according to a local
2009 Apr 23, Around 110 million
Indians voted in the second and largest stage of month-long
elections. In eastern India suspected communist rebels blew up a
jeep carrying polling officials in Bihar state, killing five people
as part of a wave of violence that has marred national elections.
Ethnic separatist rebels killed two policemen when they opened fire
on the convoy of a politician in northeastern Assam state.
(AP, 4/23/09)(AP, 4/24/09)
2009 Apr 23, Iran's official
news agency says Tehran has reached an agreement with Iraq to build
a pipeline that will feed Iraqi crude to an Iranian refinery.
2009 Apr 23, In Iraq two
suicide bombers blew themselves up in separate attacks, killing at
88 people. One blast in Baghdad killed 31 people. In the other near
Muqdadiya 57 dead included visiting Shiites from Iran.
(AP, 4/23/09)(AP, 4/24/09)
2009 Apr 23, A Kazakh court
jailed the publisher of an opposition newspaper for failing to pay
damages in a libel case that government critics contend is
2009 Apr 23, In Madagascar
armed forces fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators loyal to the
island nation's ousted president, as looters rampaged through the
streets of the capital.
2009 Apr 23, The editor of a
Malaysian anti-government news Web site, charged with sedition, went
into hiding, prompting a court to order his arrest. Raja Petra Raja
Kamarudin, who runs the popular Malaysia Today Web site, failed to
appear for a court hearing on a sedition charge stemming from an
article he wrote that allegedly implied the prime minister was
involved in the murder of a Mongolian woman.
2009 Apr 23, In Nigeria unknown
gunmen kidnapped Peter Ademokhai, a retired army general, from his
farm in the southern state of Edo.
2009 Apr 23, Pakistani
paramilitary forces rushing to protect government buildings and
bridges in the Taliban-infiltrated district of Buner, just 60 miles
from the capital, were met with gunfire that killed one police
officer. Gunmen opened fire on a security convoy that included some
of the Frontier Constabulary killing an escorting police officer and
wounding another in the Totalai area. Dozens of militants armed with
guns and gasoline bombs attacked a truck terminal near Peshawar,
burning five tanker trucks carrying fuel to NATO troops in
Afghanistan. The Pakistani army killed at least 11 militants on the
third day of an operation against insurgents in the northwest's
Orakzai tribal region.
2009 Apr 23, Former King
Michael of Romania took the unusual step of endorsing his son-in-law
as a candidate in the country's next presidential election.
2009 Apr 23, Russia’s central
bank said it will cut its key lending rates by half a percentage
point and increase reserve requirements.
(WSJ, 4/22/09, p.A10)
2009 Apr 23, In Serbia a war
crimes court found four former Serbian policemen guilty of the
massacre of 48 Kosovo Albanians and sentenced them to up to 20 years
in prison. The verdict said the defendants rounded up members of one
Kosovo Albanian family in their village of Suva Reka in March 1999,
killing several men with machine-gun fire before forcing the rest
into a pizza restaurant and throwing hand-grenades at them.
2009 Apr 23, In South Africa
with early returns giving the ANC a 66% lead, the party said it
would block off downtown Johannesburg streets around its offices for
Zuma to address his supporters in the evening to celebrate victory.
2009 Apr 23, Sri Lanka pleaded
for international help after Doctors Without Borders warned that
civilian casualties are rising rapidly in the country's war zone
despite the exodus of more than 100,000 people. 15 people were
killed when shells hit a Roman Catholic church, wounding a priest
whose leg was amputated.
2009 Apr 24, US federal
regulators privately began telling the nation's 19 largest financial
institutions how well they performed in stress tests to assess their
soundness. The results were scheduled for public release on May 4.
(AP, 4/24/09)(SFC, 4/25/09, p.C1)
2009 Apr 24, It was reported
that stem-cell scientists had reprogrammed mature cells into
embryonic-like cells using proteins instead of genes.
(WSJ, 4/22/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 24, It was reported
that scientists have created the first genetic blueprint of domestic
cattle and found they share 80% of their genes with humans.
(WSJ, 4/22/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 24, South Carolina's
worst wildfire in at least three decades threatened to intensify
after a lull overnight, when calm winds and firebreaks helped
contain the blaze that demolished homes and roared through woods
just miles from the most-populated stretch of the state's tourist
2009 Apr 24, In Afghanistan a
bomb inside a package left at a checkpoint in Kabul exploded when
police opened it, killing one officer. Taliban militants released
the father of Afghanistan's education minister after holding him
hostage for four days. International and Afghan troops clashed with
insurgents in fighting that left at least 12 militants dead.
(AP, 4/24/09)(WSJ, 4/25/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 24, Margaret Gelling
(84), expert on English place names, died. From 1986 to 1998 she
served as the president of the English Place-Name Society.
(Econ, 5/16/09, p.93)
2009 Apr 24, The Canadian Auto
Workers union and Chrysler Canada reached a tentative concession
deal that would cut about C$19 ($15.70) an hour from labor costs in
a bid to keep the struggling automaker from bankruptcy.
2009 Apr 24, China enacted a
new postal law propping up its China Post monopoly. It imposed new
rules on small domestic companies and severely limited the
activities of foreign owned firms.
(Econ, 5/2/09, p.65)
2009 Apr 24, David Duke (59),
the former Grand Wizard of the Louisiana-founded Knights of the Ku
Klux Klan, arrived in Prague at the invitation of a local far-right
group, Narodni Odpor (National Resistance). He was soon arrested and
questioned for several hours on suspicion of promoting movements
seeking the suppression of human rights. Duke was freed during the
night and forced to leave the country the next day.
2009 Apr 24, In Egypt a woman
(33) died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the third death from the
disease in Egypt this week.
2009 Apr 24, Ethiopian
authorities arrested 35 members of an opposition group accused of
plotting to carry out a "terror attack" in the Horn of Africa
2009 Apr 24, In India's remote
northeast Assam state wild elephants demolished two thatched-roof
huts, killing five villagers in a pre-dawn attack. India's northeast
has the world's highest number of wild Asiatic elephants, with 7,000
estimated in the states of Assam and Meghalaya alone.
2009 Apr 24, In Iraq
back-to-back, female suicide bombings killed 71 people outside
Baghdad’s Shiite shrine of Imam Mousa al-Kazim . Among the dead were
25 Iranian pilgrims. An American soldier died as a result of a
noncombat related incident in the northern Salahuddin province.
(AP, 4/24/09)(AP, 4/25/09)
2009 Apr 24, Jewish settlers,
Israeli troops and Palestinian villagers clashed with guns, rocks
and tear gas, leaving five Palestinians hospitalized.
2009 Apr 24, Jordan's king
recorded an interview urging President Barack Obama to take a more
forceful role in the peace process between Israelis and
Palestinians, warning of a new Mideast war if there is no
significant progress in the next 18 months.
2009 Apr 24, In Italy US and
Russian arms negotiators held a "very productive" initial round of
talks aimed at agreeing a new treaty to curb nuclear weapons as part
of a broader effort to improve relations.
2009 Apr 24, In Madagascar
police clashed with supporters of the ousted president leaving 2
(SFC, 4/25/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 24, Malaysia's PM
Najib Razak vowed to investigate a scathing report by US lawmakers
saying thousands of Myanmar refugees were handed over to human
traffickers and ended up working in Thai brothels.
2009 Apr 24, Mexico’s Health
Secretary Jose Cordova said private and public schools in Mexico
city have been ordered to remain closed due to a flue epidemic. At
least 20 people have died nationwide from the flu in the last three
2009 Apr 24, In Mexico the
bullet-riddled bodies of nine men were found in and around the
resort of Acapulco. 2 federal police agents were shot to death in
Ciudad Juarez, as they walked in the downtown area after leaving a
bar. Mexican authorities captured German Torres (29), an alleged
cartel hit man suspected in the abduction of American
anti-kidnapping expert Felix Batista. Batista was kidnapped in
Coahuila state Dec. 10 and has not been heard from since.
(AP, 4/24/09)(AP, 4/26/09)
2009 Apr 24, In Pakistan
Taliban militants who had seized Buner district, just 60 miles from
the capital, began pulling out after the government warned it would
use force to evict them.
2009 Apr 24, Paraguay’s
President Fernando Lugo asked for forgiveness for a paternity
scandal in which three women claim the former Roman Catholic bishop
fathered their children. He vowed not to let the current scandal
distract his government from pressing reforms, and said he would
step down only when his term ends in 2013.
2009 Apr 24, Somalia's hardline
Islamist leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys ruled out talks on with
the government until African Union peacekeepers withdraw from the
2009 Apr 25, The World Health
Organization called an emergency meeting of experts to consider
declaring an international public health emergency over the swine
flu outbreak believed to have killed dozens of people in Mexico and
sickened at least seven in the US.
2009 Apr 25, In Florida Joshua
Cartwright (28), accused of beating his wife, killed two sheriff's
deputies at a shooting range in Okaloosa County. Cartwright shot the
deputies after they shocked him with a Taser. He then fled across
the county line, where he died in an exchange of gunfire with
(AP, 4/26/09)(WSJ, 4/27/09, p.A5)
2009 Apr 25, In Athens,
Georgia, Prof. George Zinkhan (57) shot and killed his wife and 2
other people outside the Athens Community Theater. Zinkhan fled the
scene. Cadaver dogs found Zinkhan’s body "beneath the earth" in the
north Georgia woods on May 9, two weeks after police say he shot his
wife and two other people to death outside a community theater.
(SSFC, 4/26/09, p.A7)(SFC, 4/27/09, p.A4)(AP,
2009 Apr 25, In San Francisco
Anthony’s Cookies held its grand opening at 1417 Valencia Street.
(http://tinyurl.com/yae5jzv)(SFC, 12/7/09, p.E1)
2009 Apr 25, Beatrice Arthur
(b.1922), stage and TV actress, died. The tall, deep-voiced actress
considered herself lucky to be discovered by television executives
after a long stage career that included a Tony award for the musical
"Mame." Her TV shows included “Maude" (1972-1978) and “The
Golden Girls" (1985-1992).
(AP, 4/26/09)(SSFC, 4/26/09, p.B6)
2009 Apr 25, In Afghanistan 3
suicide bombers penetrated the governor's compound in Kandahar city,
killing at least five police officers in the latest multi-pronged
attack in the Taliban's spiritual birthplace. A roadside bomb in the
eastern province of Khost killed three border police.
(AP, 4/25/09)(AP, 4/26/09)
2009 Apr 25, Australia
intercepted a boat carrying more than 50 refugees north of Darwin,
little more than a week after an explosion on another vessel killed
five people. A boat carrying 32 Sri Lankan refugees was stopped near
the northwest coast on April 23.
2009 Apr 25, It was reported
the Behrad Khamesee and colleagues at the Univ. of Waterloo in
Ontario, Canada, have built a micro-robot with gripper arms that
(Econ, 4/25/09, p.85)
2009 Apr 25, In Guatemala
police announced that they had seized more than 500 grenades,
anti-personnel mines, machine guns, 350 kilograms (770 pounds) of
cocaine and two armored cars at a warehouse where five anti-drug
agents were killed in a shootout the previous day.
2009 Apr 25, Icelanders voted
in an early parliamentary election. Iceland's leftist coalition won
the country's general election, a blow for the pro-business
Independence Party that many blamed for the collapse of the
country's banking system. Johanna Sigurdardottir, the acting prime
minister, was expected to be named prime minister.
(AP, 4/25/09)(AP, 4/26/09)(Econ, 5/2/09, p.52)
2009 Apr 25, In India two
employees of Airworks, the company that maintained the helicopter of
an Indian billionaire Anil Ambani, sabotaged the gear box. The
potentially lethal tampering was not motivated by corporate rivalry,
but was part of a dispute between Airworks employees and management
dating back to 1995. Two janitors were arrested in the attempted
sabotage. Uday Warekar (42) and Palraj Ganpat Tewar (38) faced life
in prison for violating the unlawful activities act and the civil
2009 Apr 25, It was reported
that Kenya’s government included 94 ministers and deputies, each
earning over $15,000 a month.
(Econ, 4/25/09, p53)
2009 Apr 25, Lebanese
authorities arrested three men for allegedly being part of a spying
ring for Israel, in the latest episode in the long-running espionage
war between the two countries. The arrests were based on information
extracted from a retired Lebanese general arrested earlier this
week, also for allegedly spying for Israel.
2009 Apr 25, Lebanon’s national
debt was reported to have dropped to 162% of GDP, triple the world
(Econ, 4/25/09, p.52)
2009 Apr 25, Mexico City
suspended all public events for 10 days as officials tried to
contain an outbreak of a deadly new swine flu. Tests showed 20
people have died of the swine flu, and 48 other deaths were probably
due to the same strain.
2009 Apr 25, In Mexico gunmen
killed the police chief of Piedras Negras, across the border from
Eagle Pass, Texas, less than three weeks after he took over the
local force with the aim of purging alleged corruption. Six police
officers were being questioned in the attack.
2009 Apr 25, North Korea said
it has restarted its nuclear facilities to harvest plutonium for
atomic weapons, just hours after the UN imposed new sanctions on the
communist state for its recent rocket launch.
2009 Apr 25, In northwest
Pakistan at least four children were killed in a bomb explosion
outside a girls' primary school in Luqman Banda village of Lower Dir
2009 Apr 25, In Somalia mortars
fired toward the parliament missed the building but hit a police
unit inside the compound as well as a residential neighborhood,
killing at least 7 people. Armed fighters attacked two African Union
peacekeeping bases in Mogadishu, and a witness said he saw the
bodies of three civilians killed.
(AP, 4/25/09)(AP, 4/26/09)
2009 Apr 25, Hijackers seized
the Maltese-flagged MV Patriot, a German-owned ship with a crew of
17, in the pirate-infested waters between Somalia and Yemen. An
Italian cruise ship with 1,500 people on board fended off a pirate
attack far off the coast of Somalia when its Israeli private
security forces exchanged fire with the bandits.
(AP, 4/25/09)(AP, 4/26/09)
2009 Apr 25, In Sri Lanka the
Tamil Tiger rebels warned that tens of thousands of civilians
trapped in the northern war zone are facing starvation, as the UN
sent its top humanitarian official to assess the crisis.
2009 Apr 25, In Thailand around
2,000 anti-government protesters gathered for a rally in Bangkok, a
day after PM Abhisit Vejjajiva lifted a state of emergency imposed
amid violent demonstrations earlier this month.
2009 Apr 26, New York City
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention has confirmed that students at a city high school
were infected with swine flu. About 100 students complained of
flu-like symptoms at the school. Some students went to Cancun on a
spring break trip two weeks ago. The flu has spread beyond Mexico's
borders with confirmed cases in the US and suspected cases as far
away as New Zealand.
2009 Apr 26, A deal between
Chrysler and the UAW was revealed that would give the union a 55%
stake in the company in return for concessions. Under the plan Fiat
SpA would eventually own 35% and the US government together with
secured lenders would own up to 10%.
(WSJ, 4/28/09, p.A8B)
2009 Apr 26, Hans Holzer,
Austrian-born American ghost hunter died. In 1974 authored “Murder
in Amityville," the basis for the 1982 film “Amityville II: The
Possession." In 1977 Holzer and medium Ethel Johnson-Myers allegedly
channeled the spirit of a Shinnecock Indian chief, who said the New
York house stood on an ancient Indian burial ground.
2009 Apr 26, In Afghanistan a
roadside bombing in Wardak province killed two members of a new
US-funded civil defense force. On the outskirts of Kabul authorities
destroyed 6.5 tons (6 metric tons) of drugs and chemicals seized in
the battle against the rampant narcotics trade.
2009 Apr 26, Canada reported
its first confirmed cases of swine flu at opposite ends of the
country, with two cases in the western province of British Columbia
and four in the Atlantic province of Nova Scotia.
2009 Apr 26, In Chile a fire
touched off by brawling inmates swept through the Colina prison near
Santiago, killing 10 prisoners.
2009 Apr 26, Chinese Foreign
Minister Yang Jiechi wrapped up a regional Middle East visit in
Damascus saying Israel should return the Golan Heights to Syria.
2009 Apr 26, Ecuador held
elections. President Rafael Correa, a feisty leftist popular for his
social programs, was widely favored to win re-election. Correa won
51.2 percent of the vote in an eight-candidate field, making the
leftist economist the first Ecuadorean president in 30 years to be
chosen without a runoff vote.
(AP, 4/26/09)(AP, 4/27/09)
2009 Apr 26, In southern Iraq a
pre-dawn raid by US forces killed a woman in Kut. It drew sharp
fallout from Iraqi authorities who demanded an investigation and
ordered the arrest of two high-ranking Iraqi military officers for
allegedly allowing the operation to happen. Iraqi police officials
say the wife and brother of a local clan leader were killed. US
forces arrested six members of so-called "special groups," Shiite
militia factions that were once part of the Mahdi Army of Muqtada
al-Sadr. 3 Christians were killed in the northern city of Kirkuk.
Police said the slayings appear to be an attempt by al-Qaida to
spark sectarian clashes.
(AP, 4/26/09)(AP, 4/27/09)
2009 Apr 26, Pakistan sent
helicopter gunships and troops to attack Taliban militants in a
district covered by a peace deal after strong US pressure on the
nuclear-armed nation to confront insurgents advancing in its
2009 Apr 26, The Russian city
of Sochi, host for the 2014 Winter Olympics, elected a mayor after a
campaign that a liberal opposition candidate called a fraud and
disgruntled voters said favored the Kremlin-backed front-runner. The
Kremlin favorite won an overwhelming victory in Sochi, but the top
opposition candidate claimed fraud and said he would challenge the
(AP, 4/26/09)(AP, 4/27/09)
2009 Apr 26, Facing imminent
battlefield defeat, Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels declared a
unilateral cease-fire and called on the government to halt its
offensive to spare the tens of thousands of civilians trapped by the
2009 Apr 26, Voters in the
heart of the Swiss Alps passed legislation banning naked hiking
after dozens of mostly German nudists started rambling through their
2009 Apr 26, A Sudanese court
sentenced another 11 Darfur rebels to death for a 2008 attack on
Khartoum, raising to 82 the number of Justice and Equality Movement
fighters ordered hanged for the raid.
2009 Apr 26, Pope Benedict XVI
named five new saints, including Portugal's 14th century
independence leader and an Italian priest who ministered to factory
workers at the dawn of the industrial era.
2009 Apr 26, Pirates attacked 4
Yemeni tankers escorted by a Yemeni coast guard boat on their way to
Aden. 3 of the ships escaped and coast guards captured five pirates
and wounded two others. The Turkish cruiser Ariva 3, with two
British and four Japanese crew aboard, survived a pirate attack near
the Yemeni island of Jabal Zuqar. Somali pirates demanded a $5
million ransom for the release of two Egyptian fishing boats
hijacked earlier this month. Later in the day Yemeni coast guard
forces freed the hijacked Yemeni oil tanker (Qana) and arrested 11
Somali pirates, the first time the country has successfully retaken
a seized vessel.
(AP, 4/26/09)(AP, 4/27/09)
2009 Apr 27, America, Canada,
Europe and Japan promised to cooperate on validating alternatives to
using animals in medical research. An estimated 50-100 million
animals were used in research annually around the world.
(Econ, 5/9/09, p.18)
2009 Apr 27, Five members of
the US Congress were arrested while protesting the expulsion of aid
groups from Darfur in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington,
DC. The included Democratic Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Jim
McGovern of Massachusetts, John Lewis of Georgia, Donna Edwards of
Maryland and Lynn Woolsey of California.
2009 Apr 27, In Maryland an
indictment named Metro Dream Homes founder Andrew Hamilton Williams
Jr. (58) of Hollywood, Fla.; financial officer Michael Anthony
Hickson (46) of Commack, N.Y.; president Isaac Jerome Smith (46) of
Spotsylvania, Va.; and vice president Alvita Karen Gunn (31) of
Hanover, Md., for defrauding over 1,000 people out of about $70
million. They were given 48 hours to turn themselves in. Investors
were told they were investing in ATM machines, television
advertising and calling card kiosks that would raise money for the
mortgage payments. Prosecutors said those businesses never made any
2009 Apr 27, US cases of the
deadly new flu strain rose to 40. Governments around the world acted
to stem a possible flu pandemic, as a virus that has killed 149
people in Mexico and spread to North America was confirmed to have
reached Europe. Spain's Health Ministry confirmed the country's
first case of swine flu and said another 20 people are suspected of
having the disease.
(Reuters, 4/27/09)(AP, 4/27/09)(WSJ, 4/28/09,
2009 Apr 27, Conde Nast
Publications closed its Portfolio magazine after less than 2 years
due to a downturn in advertising.
(WSJ, 4/28/09, p.B8)
2009 Apr 27, General Motors
Corp. said it will cut 21,000 US factory jobs by next year, phase
out its storied Pontiac brand and ask the government to take more
than half its stock in exchange for half of GM's government debt as
part of a major restructuring that would leave current shareholders
holding just 1 percent of the company.
2009 Apr 27, Ernie Barnes
(b.1938), former American Football League player turned artist,
died. He was named the official artist of the 1984 Olympic Games in
(SFC, 5/1/09, p.B5)
2009 Apr 27, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai vowed to change a law critics say legalizes marital
rape to remove concerns that it violates human rights. Karzai also
announced that he intended to run for re-election in the country's
second ever presidential vote on August 20. In Kabul province 12
"terrorists" and a police official were killed during a clash. In
the east, a roadside bomb killed four police.
(AP, 4/27/09)(AP, 4/28/09)
2009 Apr 27, Belarus'
authoritarian Pres. Lukashenko met with Pope Benedict XVI on his
first trip to Western Europe since the European Union lifted a
travel ban imposed in 1999 over his dismal human rights record. The
EU lifted the ban to allow Lukashenko to attend an East-West summit
in Prague, Czech Republic, in May.
2009 Apr 27, An international
human rights group said elite soldiers in junta-ruled Guinea are
taking advantage of an anti-corruption drive to rob, extort and beat
intimidated civilians in the West African nation with impunity.
2009 Apr 27, In Japan Univ. of
Wyoming professor Craig Arnold (41), an award-winning poet, was
reported missing after he failed to return from a hike on the tiny
island of Kuchinoerabu-jima, about 30 miles (50 km) off the coast of
southern Kyushu island.
2009 Apr 27, In Kenya 2 men
pleaded guilty in court to illegally possessing 1,500 pounds (700
kilograms) of elephant tusks in what was believed to be the largest
seizure of illegal ivory in recent years. Rangers and police
arrested the two, a Kenyan and a Tanzanian, on April 25, when the
Kenya Wildlife Service acted on a tip about planned ivory smuggling
in Amboseli National Park.
2009 Apr 27, In Kosovo Serbs
protesting the building of homes for ethnic Albanians in northern
Kosovo threw two hand grenades and fired gunshots at European Union
police officers, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades to
drive the crowd away.
2009 Apr 27, In Mexico an
earthquake of magnitude 5.6 was centered near Chilpancingo, about
130 miles (210 km) southwest of Mexico City. 2 women aged 67 and 75
died of heart attacks during or shortly after the earthquake, and
four homes and a perimeter wall collapsed in and around the resort
2009 Apr 27, In Tijuana,
Mexico, 7 police officers were assassinated in about an hour's time
in what authorities said was a coordinated effort. 4 of the
officers, three men and a woman, were found amid more than 200
2009 Apr 27, In Pakistan
Taliban militants declared their peace deal with the Pakistani
government "worthless" after authorities deployed helicopters and
artillery against hide-outs of Islamist guerrillas seeking to extend
their grip along the Afghan border. Paramilitary troops killed 20
suspected militants, and a total of 46 have died since the operation
began. A remote-controlled bomb exploded near a police patrol,
killing an officer and a passer-by while wounding five other police
in the northwest Lakki Marwat area.
2009 Apr 27, Palestinian
officials established formal ties with Venezuela and opened a
diplomatic mission in the South American country.
2009 Apr 27, Peru's government
said that it has granted political asylum to Manuel Rosales, a
Venezuelan opposition leader, who faced corruption allegations in
his homeland but claimed to be persecuted by leftist President Hugo
2009 Apr 27, A Moscow district
police chief opened fire on the street and in a supermarket, killing
three people and wounding seven others, four of them critically.
Maj. Denis Yevsyukov killed a cab driver and wounded several
passers-by in the street, then gunned down a cashier and a customer
in the market. He then held two dozen people hostage for several
hours and shot at police officers before they disarmed and detained
him. On Feb 19, 2010, a Moscow court sentenced the police precinct
chief to life in prison for the drunken shooting spree.
(AP, 4/27/09)(AP, 2/19/10)
2009 Apr 27, The Sri Lankan
government, under intense pressure to prevent civilian deaths, said
it would immediately stop airstrikes and artillery attacks but
rejected calls for a cease-fire in its war against the Tamil Tiger
2009 Apr 27, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim rebels killed 10 civilians in a flurry of
attacks, just ahead of the fifth anniversary of a bloody assault by
security forces against militants at the Krue Se mosque.
2009 Apr 27, In Turkey a
five-hour police shootout with a leftist militant in Istanbul left
three people dead, including the militant described as a top member
of a group tied to the Kurdish separatist PKK. The militant was
identified as Orhan Yilmazkaya, one of three top members of the
2009 Apr 28, World health
officials raised a global alert to an unprecedented level as swine
flu was blamed for more deaths in Mexico and the epidemic crossed
new borders, with the first cases confirmed in the Middle East and
the Asia-Pacific regions.
2009 Apr 28, Veteran Republican
Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania switched parties with a suddenness
that seemed to stun the Senate, a moderate's defection that pushed
Democrats to within a vote of the 60 needed to overcome filibusters
and enact President Barack Obama's top legislative priorities.
2009 Apr 28, The US Supreme
Court upheld an FCC rule penalizing broadcasters for isolated
utterances of expletives before 10 pm.
(WSJ, 4/28/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 28, In California a
charter bus carrying French tourists overturned near Soledad killing
at least 5 people.
(SFC, 4/29/09, p.B1)
2009 Apr 28, Ursula Askham
Fanthorpe (b.1929), a highly regarded English poet, died near her
home in Wotton-under-Edge in western England. She was first inspired
by the human tragedy she saw in a neurological hospital.
2009 Apr 28, In eastern China
police freed a total of 32 people in a raid on kilns located on the
outskirts of the city of Jieshou in Anhui province. Police later
arrested 10 men for allegedly enslaving mentally handicapped people
who were forced to work at brick kilns and endure beatings.
2009 Apr 28, An EU court ruled
that judges in Cyprus can compel the return of land seized after the
1974 Turkish invasion.
(WSJ, 4/28/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 28, An Indonesian
court sentenced a Singaporean man to 18 years in prison on terrorism
charges. Mohammad Hasan bin Saynudin (36), who claimed to have met
Osama bin Laden on many occasions, was convicted of plotting to kill
a teacher and planning a deadly attack on a bar frequented by
2009 Apr 28, Lithuania reported
a 12.6% drop in GDP in the first quarter as compared to a year
(WSJ, 4/28/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 28, Pakistani jets and
attack helicopters bombed Taliban positions in the Buner district
near the capital, in an expansion of an offensive against militants
seemingly emboldened by a much-criticized peace deal. Militants
seized three police stations in the north of Buner and kidnapped 70
police and paramilitary troops.
(AP, 4/28/09)(AP, 4/29/09)
2009 Apr 28, Peru’s Pres. Alan
Garcia and Brazil’s Pres. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed an
agreement for six hydroelectricity schemes in Peru. The Inambari dam
would be the first to be built, and most of its power would be
exported to Brazil.
2009 Apr 28, Ekaterina Maximova
(70), legendary Russian ballerina, died. Maximova's dancing career
at the Bolshoi spanned three decades, from her debut as Masha in
"The Nutcracker" in 1958 until 1988.
2009 Apr 28, The Russian
destroyer Admiral Panteleyev seized a vessel with 29 suspected
pirates off the coast of Somalia. A Russian tanker fended off an
attack by the same group earlier in the day. On May 4 the Russian
warship freed 8 Iranians who were seized along with the suspected
(AP, 4/29/09)(AP, 5/4/09)
2009 Apr 28, The Seychelles
Coast Guard said it had arrested nine suspected pirates believed to
be behind the weekend attempt to hijack the melody, a luxury cruise
liner carrying an estimated 1,000 tourists in the Indian Ocean. The
Spanish navy had tracked the skiff and apprehended the suspects.
They were then turned over to the Seychelles Coast Guard.
2009 Apr 28, South Korean
scientists said they have engineered four beagles that glow red
using cloning techniques that could help develop cures for human
2009 Apr 28, A Sri Lanka
rebel-linked Web site and a doctor in the region said government
forces pounded rebel territory with a fierce artillery barrage, a
day after the government pledged to stop using heavy weapons to
prevent civilian casualties.
2009 Apr 28, Taiwan was
formally invited by the World Health Organization (WHO) to take part
as an observer in the May 18 meeting of its governing body under the
name “Chinese Taipei." This was the first time the nation has
officially participated in a United Nations meeting or event since
the ROC walked out of the world body in 1971.
2009 Apr 28, Venezuela recalled
its ambassador to protest Peru's decision to grant political asylum
to a prominent opponent of President Hugo Chavez, calling it a
mockery of international law and escalating a diplomatic dispute.
2009 Apr 29, The Obama
administration joined a federal judge in urging Congress to end a
racial disparity by equalizing prison sentences for dealing and
using crack versus powdered cocaine.
2009 Apr 29, It was reported
that more than 50 million American retirees can expect to receive
$250 payments from the government in the next few weeks as their
share of the economic stimulus package enacted in February.
2009 Apr 29, In Florida Juwhan
Yun, a Korean American who had served prison time for attempting to
broker the sale of nerve gas bombs to Iran, was indicted in Miami on
charges of trying to help South Korea obtain advanced Russian rocket
(SFC, 4/30/09, p.A4)
2009 Apr 29, In New York Teresa
Tambunting of Scarsdale was charged with grand larceny and criminal
possession of stolen property. Prosecutors said she had stolen over
$12 million in gold over six years from the Queens jewelry
manufacturer where she worked. Police found 450 pounds of gold at
(SFC, 4/30/09, p.A4)
2009 Apr 29, The WHO raised its
alert for swine flu from level 4 to level 5, its 2nd highest alert
level. Austria and Germany confirmed cases of swine flu, becoming
the third and fourth European countries hit by the disease. US
health officials reported that a 23-month-old child in Texas has
died from the disease. The World Health Organization called an
emergency meeting to consider its pandemic alert level.
(AP, 4/29/09)(SFC, 4/30/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 29, In Afghanistan
US-led troops battled militants and announced they killed 42
suspected insurgents. Two attacks on German forces killed one
soldier and wounded nine as Germany's foreign minister began a
two-day visit to the country.
(AFP, 4/29/09)(AP, 4/29/09)
2009 Apr 29, Australia
announced it will increase by almost one half its troops in
Afghanistan to about 1,550 as part of the US-led surge of
international forces to bolster the faltering fight against Taliban
2009 Apr 29, Two boats carrying
almost 80 people were intercepted off Australia's northern coast as
the conservative political opposition called for an independent
inquiry into refugee policy.
2009 Apr 29, Britain’s PM
Gordon Brown said it will boost its troops in Afghanistan to 9,000
to help the country through upcoming elections, unveiling a new
strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
2009 Apr 29, Britain and Libya
ratified a prisoner transfer deal that could potentially allow Abdel
Basset Ali al-Megrahi (57), the man convicted of the Lockerbie
bombings, to serve out the remainder of his sentence in the North
2009 Apr 29, The prime
ministers of China and Japan pledged to lay a stronger foundation
for cooperation between the historic Asian rivals amid global
economic and health crises.
2009 Apr 29, China Mobile said
it would buy 12% of Far EasTone Telecommunications, a big Taiwanese
(Econ, 5/9/09, p.65)
2009 Apr 29, A Boeing 737 on a
test flight from Brazzaville crashed southeast of Kinshasa, killing
2009 Apr 29, In Cuba a
statement published in state newspapers said that effective
midnight, flights from Cuba to Mexico would be grounded due to swine
flu. After that, airlines can fly presumably empty planes to the
island and pickup Mexico travels. This amended a blanket 48-hour ban
on flights between Mexico and Cuba announced a day earlier.
2009 Apr 29, Egypt began
slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country as a
precautionary measure against the spread of swine flu even though no
cases have been reported here yet.
2009 Apr 29, An Iraqi-US patrol
was ambushed while distributing grants to Iraqi businesses near the
northern city of Kirkuk. Iraqi officials said two civilians were
killed when the Americans returned fire, but the US military said
those killed were enemy fighters. Five bombs hit various
neighborhoods of Baghdad, killing at least 48 people in another
powerful strike by suspected Sunni insurgents seeking a return to
(AP, 4/29/09)(SFC, 4/30/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 29, Youssef Magied
al-Molqui, one of the 4 Palestinians who hijacked the Achille Lauro
cruise ship and killed an American passenger in 1985, left prison in
Palermo, Sicily, after more than 23 years in jail. Ibrahim Fatayer
Abdelatif, another convicted Achille Lauro hijacker, was released
2009 Apr 29, Lebanon released
four generals held for nearly four years in the 2005 truck-bomb
assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri after a UN-backed tribunal
in the Netherlands ordered them freed, setting off celebrations with
fireworks and dancing.
2009 Apr 29, Mexican police
arrested suspected Zeta gang leader Gregorio Sauceda Gamboa, one of
Mexico's 24 most-wanted drug traffickers.
2009 Apr 29, NATO and Russia
resumed formal contacts eight months after they were suspended
because of last year's war with Georgia.
2009 Apr 29, Pakistani
airstrikes killed dozens of Taliban fighters in a fierce struggle to
drive them from the Buner district, within 60 miles (100 kilometers)
of Islamabad. Troops faced an estimated 450-500 militants in Buner
and forecast that the operation to drive them out would take about a
week. Gun attacks in the mega-city of Karachi killed at least 34
people and threatened to ignite ethnic tension. 2 Muttahida Quami
Movement (MQM) activists were gunned down by unknown shooters,
sparking street violence.
(AP, 4/29/09)(AP, 4/30/09)
2009 Apr 29, A South Korean
presidential advisory committee announced that South Korea will lift
a three-year ban on human stem cell research.
2009 Apr 29, In Sri Lanka the
visiting French and British foreign ministers urged Sri Lanka to
accept a cease-fire in its war with ethnic Tamil rebels, saying it
needed to act quickly to save the lives of civilians in the war
2009 Apr 29, Taiwan said it had
persuaded China to allow it to participate in a key UN body,
offering a victory for President Ma Ying-jeou's campaign to win
greater international recognition for the democratic island. China
confirmed that Taiwan will attend next month's meeting of the World
Health Assembly in Geneva as an observer.
2009 Apr 29, In Tanzania huge
blasts rocked an ammunition dump at an army camp in the coastal city
of Dar es Salaam. More than a dozen people were killed.
(AP, 4/29/09)(SFC, 2/18/11, p.A2)
2009 Apr 29, In southeastern
Turkey suspected Kurdish rebels detonated a roadside bomb that
killed nine soldiers in a US-made armored personnel carrier.
2009 Apr 29, Zimbabwe's
teachers vowed to go on strike when the new school term begins next
week after government reneged on a pledge to increase their
2009 Apr 30, Obama
administration officials said Chrysler will file for bankruptcy
protection after overnight talks broke down with a small group of
the company's creditors.
2009 Apr 30, Chrysler filed for
bankruptcy protection after overnight talks broke down with a small
group of the company's creditors. Canada's government said it will
take an ownership stake in Chrysler in exchange for more than $2
billion in loans, under a sweeping North American rescue plan.
Ottawa and Washington demanded the Detroit company partner with Fiat
as a condition for funding.
(AP, 4/30/09)(Reuters, 5/1/09)
2009 Apr 30, In Illinois Ali
al-Marri (43) pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to provide
material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization. A
second charge of providing material support or resources to a
foreign terrorist organization was dropped. His case had sparked a
legal debate over whether the government can hold terrorism suspects
indefinitely. The Qatar native faced up to 15 years in prison and a
$250,000 fine at his July 30 sentencing. On Oct 29 a federal judge
sentenced Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri to 8 years in prison.
(AP, 5/1/09)(SFC, 10/30/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 30, The San Francisco
Municipal Railway announced plans to raise adult bus and streetcar
fares, effective July 1, by 50 cents to $2.00, the largest one-time
raise in nearly a century. Sweeping service cuts were also approved.
(SFC, 5/1/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 30, In Texas Derrick
Lamone Johnson was executed for the 1999 rape and murder of LaTausha
Curry (25) abducted while she trying to make a call at a pay phone.
He was the 14th Texas prisoner executed this year.
(SFC, 5/1/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 30, In Wisconsin Shane
Kettner (36) was arrested in Nelsonville for killing his estranged
girlfriend and 2 of their children.
(SFC, 5/5/09, p.A7)
2009 Apr 30, In Azerbaijan
Georgian citizen Farda Gadyrov (20) opened fire at the prestigious
oil industry academy in Baku, killing 12 people and wounding 13
before turning the gun on himself.
(Reuters, 4/30/09)(AP, 5/1/09)
2009 Apr 30, Belgium stripped
the credentials of 2 high-ranking members of Russia’s permanent
mission to NATO and expelled them on accusations of espionage.
(SFC, 5/1/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 30, Brazil's Supreme
Court struck down a 1967 press censorship law enacted during the
military dictatorship. In a 7-4 vote the court ruled the law
unconstitutionally violated freedom of expression.
2009 Apr 30, British forces
formally ended combat operations in Iraq, one month ahead of
schedule. A solemn ceremony remembered 179 dead comrades from six
years of warfare.
(AFP, 4/30/09)(SFC, 5/1/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 30, In Beijing Japan’s
PM Taro Aso called for Tokyo and Beijing to unite in facing the
world's environmental and economic challenges, while playing down
concerns over China's military power.
2009 Apr 30, Chinese state
media reported that China has reopened its land border to tourists
traveling to North Korea after a three-year break, with a group of
71 tourists visiting the isolated country earlier this week on a one
day tour of Sinuiju.
2009 Apr 30, In India millions
cast their votes in the third wave of month-long elections, with
security tight as the staggered polls took in the Kashmir Valley and
the financial capital Mumbai.
2009 Apr 30, The Iraqi
government decided to kill three wild boars at the Baghdad Zoo amid
worldwide fears of swine flu. No date was set for their killing. Two
US Marines and a sailor were killed during combat operations in
(AP, 5/1/09)(SFC, 5/2/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 30, Mexican health
authorities said they confirmed 300 swine flu cases and 12 deaths
due to the virus among a total of 679 people tested so far.
2009 Apr 30, Mexican
authorities detained 12 federal police investigators accused of
leaking information to hit men who ambushed and killed 8 officers on
April 18 in a failed attempt to free a high level drug cartel
(SFC, 5/1/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 30, In the Netherlands
5 people died when a car slammed into a crowd at the Queen's Day
festival attended by members of the royal family in the western city
of Apeldoorn. A policeman as well as the assailant died the next day
from their injuries. The suspect was identified by Dutch media as
Karst Tates (38). Neighbors said Tates recently was fired from his
job as a security guard and was to be evicted from his home in the
small eastern town of Huissen because he could no longer afford the
rent. An injured woman died a week later bringing the total to 7
(AFP, 4/30/09)(AP, 5/1/09)(AP, 5/9/09)
2009 Apr 30, In Pakistan troops
sent to repel a Taliban advance toward the Pakistani capital killed
14 suspected militants. Troops ousted militants from the Ambela Pass
leading over the mountains into Buner and were inching toward the
north. Militants, who have kidnapped dozens of lightly armed police
and paramilitary troops, had burned a police station farther north
and sealed off the town of Sultanwas.
2009 Apr 30, In Peru Ashaninka
and Yines Indians blocked an airport in the central jungle town of
Atalaya as well as two stations on a northern oil pipeline to
protest laws that they say threaten their ancestral land and
resources. Some 15,000 Indians have been protesting since April 9
and planned to start taking over oil and gas rigs. They said laws
passed in December opened the door to privatization of water
resources and jungle land which they used.
2009 Apr 30, Russia signed a
deal with Georgia's two breakaway regions giving Moscow the power to
guard the borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a move sharply
criticized in Tbilisi.
2009 Apr 30, In Saudi Arabia a
lawyer said an 8-year-old girl has divorced her middle-aged husband
after her father forced her to marry him last year in exchange for
about $13,000. Saudi Arabia has come under increasing criticism at
home and abroad for permitting child marriages. The United States, a
close ally of the conservative Muslim kingdom, has called child
marriage a "clear and unacceptable" violation of human rights.
2009 Apr 30, Sri Lanka's
president rejected international appeals for a cease-fire in his
nation's bloody civil war, as the Tamil Tiger rebels vowed never to
surrender to the advancing government forces.
2009 Apr 30, Turkey's military
said its warplanes struck Kurdish rebel targets overnight in
2009 Apr 30, The UN Security
Council extended for another year the mandate of UN peacekeepers in
southern Sudan who monitor compliance with a peace deal that ended
Sudan's two-decade-long civil war.
2009 Apr 30, Police in the US
Virgin Islands canceled the popular J'ouvert carnival after four
people were wounded in a shooting and two stabbings.
2009 Apr, A gamma ray burst was
spotted by a NASA satellite. A typical burst "puts out in a few
seconds the same energy expended by the sun in its whole 10 billion
year life span." Researchers announced in 2011 that they have
gathered data placing the blast more than 13 billion light years
away, meaning that the event took place when the universe was still
in its infancy.
2009 Apr, UN special
investigator Philip Alston said on October 15 that Congolese
soldiers had killed 50 Rwandan Hutu refugees and abducted and raped
around 40 women during an April attack on a refugee camp in eastern
2009 Apr, In India Mahanand
Naik, a Goa auto-rickshaw driver dubbed "The Dupatta Killer," was
arrested and later charged with 16 murders between 1995 and 2009. In
2011 He was also found guilty of killing Vasanti Gawade in
1995 in a village 35 km (20 miles) north of the state capital,
2009 Apr, In Iraq electronic
clearing began in Baghdad’s main branch of the Rafidian Bank, the
country’s largest lender. Electronic clearing was expected to extend
to all of the bank’s 147 outlets within a year.
(Econ, 4/11/09, p.48)
2009 Apr, The OECD included
Panama on its “grey list" of countries that show insufficient
financial openness. Panama with its lax corporate laws allows
companies to be created in minutes and registers over 45,000 new
offshore companies a year.
(Econ, 10/31/09, p.46)
2009 Apr, Paraguay’s Pres. Lugo
signed a $30 million agreement with the US ambassador to bolster the
country’s judiciary, public administration and national police force
to help reduce endemic corruption and patronage.
(SSFC, 5/24/09, p.A9)
2009 Apr, In Togo former
defense minister Kpatcha Gnassingbe was arrested for being the
alleged mastermind of a coup plot against his half-brother. His
house was raided by elite troops in an operation that led to a
bloody gunfight. In 2011 the two half-brothers of President Faure
Gnassingbe and 30 others appeared in court over the alleged coup
plot. On Sep 15 a Togo court sentenced former defense minister
Kpatcha Gnassingbe, Gen. Assani Tidjani and Abi Atti to 20 years
each for their role in the plot.
(AFP, 8/30/11)(AP, 9/15/11)
Go to http://www.timelinesdb.com
Go to May 2009
End of file
2009 May 1, US cases of the
H1N1 flu rose to 155, based on federal and state tallies. State
laboratory operators believe the number is higher because they are
not testing all suspected cases. Mexico raised its confirmed swine
flu death toll from 15 to 16, adding that the total number of
confirmed cases of the virus had risen to 397. Worldwide, the total
confirmed cases were 653, with the real number also believed to be
2009 May 1, US government
health officials warned dieters and body builders to immediately
stop using Hydroxycut, a widely sold supplement linked to cases of
serious liver damage and at least one death.
2009 May 1, Colorado Gov. Bill
Ritter signed a state budget, overcoming a $1.4 billion deficit by
taping into emergency reserve funds and cutting state services.
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.37)
2009 May 1, In south Texas
Reymundo Guerra, former sheriff of Starr county, pleaded guilty to a
drug trafficking charge for sharing law enforcement information with
a Mexican drug ring.
(SFC, 5/2/09, p.A4)
2009 May 1, Danny Gans (52),
one of the most popular entertainers on the Las Vegas Strip for the
last decade, died in his sleep at his home in Henderson, Nev. A
coroner later said Gans' death was accidental, caused by a
(AP, 5/2/09)(AP, 6/9/09)
2009 May 1, In southern
Afghanistan gunmen attacked a troops' convoy as it traveled to a
village to talk to elders about security. The troops killed one
militant in the initial clash and another 14 as they pursued
insurgents who were firing on them from a nearby hillside. 3 Afghan
army soldiers were killed in overnight fighting with insurgents in
eastern Kunar province. 5 international soldiers, including 2
American, were killed in an insurgent attack.
(AP, 5/1/09)(AFP, 5/1/09)(SFC, 5/2/09, p.A2)
2009 May 1, Britain awarded the
role of national poet laureate to Carol Ann Duffy (53), the first
woman to hold a post that has been filled by William Wordsworth,
Alfred Lord Tennyson and Ted Hughes. Duffy, a gay woman, has
published more than 30 books, plays and children's stories as well
as poems that mix accessible modern language with traditional forms.
(AP, 5/1/09)(SFC, 5/1/09, p.A3)
2009 May 1, In Cambodia a court
official said Japan has donated $4.17 million to the UN-backed
genocide tribunal trying former Khmer Rouge leaders on war crimes
charges, just as the troubled court was running out of funding.
2009 May 1, In Ethiopia
Communications Minister Bereket Simon said that senior military
officers, including a general, had plotted to assassinate top
government officials. He added that 40 people were under arrest.
Bereket said the plotters belonged to the Ginbot 7 (May 15)
opposition group, saying it was linked to the Coalition for Unity
and Democracy (CUD) headed by Berhanu Nega, currently living in the
2009 May 1, May Day protesters
clashed with riot police in Germany, Turkey and Greece, while
thousands angry at the government's responses to the global
financial crisis took to the streets in France. Riot police battled
700 stone-throwing left-wing militants in Berlin for more than five
hours in May Day clashes that stretched into early pre-dawn hours.
(Reuters, 5/1/09)(AP, 5/2/09)
2009 May 1, In India officials
said at least 18 people have died in a scorching heat wave that has
swept through more than a dozen Indian states.
2009 May 1, Indonesia's top
graft-buster, Antasari Azhar (56), was named a suspect and a
mastermind in a murder case, dealing a blow to the agency that's
played a key part in President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's fight
against corruption. He was one of several suspects in the March 14
murder of Nasrudin Zulkarnaen, a businessman who, according to local
media reports, had been a witness in a corruption case investigated
by the agency.
2009 May 1, Iran hanged a young
woman (23) who was convicted of murder when she was a minor, drawing
condemnation from international human rights groups who have sought
to end capital punishment for juvenile offenders. Delara Darabi,
initially pleaded guilty to killing her father's cousin in 2003, but
later retracted her confession and said her boyfriend carried out
2009 May 1, In northern Iraq
Ammar Afif Hamada (19), a would-be Syrian suicide bomber linked to
al-Qaida in Iraq, was tackled by guards on the doorstep of a mosque
2009 May 1, Italian PM Silvio
Berlusconi, who has compared himself to Jesus Christ and Napoleon,
boasted that he was the world's most popular leader.
2009 May 1, Libyan leader
Moamer Kadhafi held talks with visiting Pakistani President Asif Ali
Zardari on the situation in Pakistan and ways of bolstering ties
between the two nations. Pakistan and Libya signed a string of
agreements to bolster economic ties on the sidelines of Zardari’s
visit. The countries also decided to bolster ties in the fields of
banking, health, education, public works and construction.
(AFP, 5/1/09)(AFP, 5/2/09)
2009 May 1, In the Netherlands
robbers at the Scheringa Museum for Realism in Spanbroek stole
"Adolescence," a 1941 gouache by Salvadore Dali and "La Musicienne,"
an oil painting from 1929 by Polish-born art deco painter Tamara de
Lempicka. The museum houses the art collection of wealthy Dutch
banker Dirk Scheringa and his wife.
2009 May 1, In Pakistan the
battle between security forces and Taliban militants left 55-60
militants dead over the last 24 hours in Buner district near the
capital even as the government pressed with a much-criticized peace
plan in the region. Based on combined tolls released by the
military, nearly 200 militants have been killed in Operation Black
Thunder since tanks, fighter jets and helicopter gunships swung into
action in Buner and neighboring Lower Dir.
2009 May 1, In Paraguay Sabino
Montanaro (86), who served as interior minister under ex-dictator
Alfredo Stroessner, arrived in Asuncion after nearly two decades of
self-imposed exile in Honduras. He faced six pending trials for the
disappearance and killings of government opponents in the 1970s and
2009 May 1, Special forces on a
Portuguese warship seized explosives from suspected Somali pirates
after thwarting an attack on an oil tanker, but later freed the 19
men. Hours later and hundreds of miles away, another band of pirates
hijacked a cargo ship. The captain and 23 crew were all Ukrainians
and the Greek-owned, Maltese-flagged Ariana was carrying a cargo of
soya from Brazil to Iran when pirates attacked it southwest of the
Seychelles islands. The Ariana was freed on Dec 10 following a
ransom payment of $2.8 million by Athens-based Alloceans Shipping.
(AP, 5/2/09)(AP, 12/10/09)
2009 May 1, Sri Lanka's
government dropped leaflets across the northern war zone urging
civilians to flee the fighting amid accusations the military pounded
the area with artillery shells that killed at least 10 civilians.
2009 May 1, A UN agency urged
Israel to freeze demolitions of Arab homes in east Jerusalem, citing
a growing housing crisis in the part of the city the Palestinians
claim as their future capital.
2009 May 1, In Venezuela police
and national guard troops broke up an opposition march in Caracas as
thousands of opponents and supporters of Pres. Chavez held separate
May Day marches.
(SFC, 5/2/09, p.A2)
2009 May 2, Mine That Bird, a
gelding from New Mexico trained by Bennie Woolley Jr., won the 135th
Kentucky Derby. With an inspired ride on the rail from Calvin Borel
the 50-to-1 odds win was one of the greatest upsets in America's
most famous horse race.
(AP, 5/3/09)(SSFC, 5/3/09, p.C1)
2009 May 2, Jack Kemp (b.1935),
Republican politician, died of cancer at his home in Maryland. A
former quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, Kemp represented
western NY for nine terms in Congress, leaving the House for an
unsuccessful presidential bid in 1988.
(AP, 5/3/09)(SSFC, 5/3/09, p.A16)
2009 May 2, In Albania Fatmir
Xhindi (49), a lawmaker from the main opposition Socialist Party,
was shot and killed outside his home in Roskovec. Albania ended
communist rule in 1990, but has struggled since then with high
unemployment, widespread corruption, dilapidated infrastructure and
2009 May 2, Australia’s
government said it will spend more than 70 billion US dollars
boosting its defenses over the next 20 years in response to a
regional military build-up and global shifts in power.
2009 May 2, In Austria an
avalanche killed 6 hikers not far from the popular Soelden ski
resort in the alpine province of Tyrol.
2009 May 2, In Bolivia former
US Pres. Jimmy Carter met with Pres. Evo Morales and discussed
bettering relations with the new US government.
(SSFC, 5/3/09, p.A6)
2009 May 2, Brazilian officials
said floods and mudslides from heavy rains in the northeast have
killed at least 14 people in the last month and driven tens of
thousands from their homes.
2009 May 2, In Brazil Augusto
Boal (78), theater director and playwright known for the interactive
genre called the "Theater of the Oppressed," died. Seen as a threat
to the dictatorship that ruled Brazil between 1964 and 1985, Boal
was arrested, jailed and tortured before being exiled to Argentina.
He returned to Brazil after the fall of the military regime.
2009 May 2, Canadian health
officials said a traveler has carried the new H1N1 virus from Mexico
to Canada, infecting his family and a herd of swine.
2009 May 2, It was reported
that an estimated 250,000 Roma lived in the Czech Rep. A rising
number of the gypsies were applying for visas to Canada. Of 861
applications in 2008, 84 were accepted.
(Econ, 5/2/09, p.54)
2009 May 2, In the Dominican
Rep. the decapitated body of a migrant from neighboring Haiti was
found in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Santo Domingo. Residents
alleged the victim killed a local merchant. About 1 million people
of Haitian descent lived in the Dominican Rep., often suffering
discrimination and violence.
2009 May 2, India's biggest
drug maker Ranbaxy announced the recall of an antibiotic, on sale in
the US, because of manufacturing problems, marking a new setback for
the company. The Japanese-controlled company said it was voluntarily
recalling all lots of nitrofurantoin capsules, an antibiotic used in
the treatment of urinary tract infections.
2009 May 2, In Iraq a roadside
bomb also exploded near a car and a cement mixer in Kirkuk, killing
at least 3 civilians and wounding 3 others. Two American soldiers
were killed after a gunman opened fire at a combat outpost near
Mosul. The attacker was described as a soldier, who also served as a
Sunni Muslim preacher for his unit. Iraqi police arrested
Mullah Nadim Jibouri, an Awakening leader in Duluija, along with 2
of his brothers.
(AP, 5/2/09)(SSFC, 5/3/09, p.A6)(SFC, 5/4/09,
p.A3)(SFC, 5/6/09, p.B5)
2009 May 2, South Pacific
nations announced that military-ruled Fiji has been suspended from
the 16-nation bloc for its rejection of democracy, freedom and human
(SFC, 5/2/09, p.A2)
2009 May 2, An Israeli
airstrike against smuggling tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border killed
2009 May 2, Mexico said it had
no confirmed deaths from HINI swine flu overnight, even as its
confirmed caseload grew to 443.
2009 May 2, In Pakistan scores
of militants attacked the Spinal Tangi security post near the Afghan
border, triggering a battle that left 18 combatants dead and cast
doubt on claims by Pakistan's army to have regained control of a
critical region. A Taliban commander in the Khyber region, just west
of Peshawar, surrendered after authorities put pressure on his
tribe. Iftikhar Khan Afridi was aligned with Baitullah Mehsud, the
top Pakistani Taliban commander. The Taliban beheaded two government
officials in the northwestern Swat Valley in revenge for the killing
of two insurgent commanders by security forces.
(AP, 5/2/09)(Reuters, 5/3/09)
2009 May 2, In Senegal Madieye
Diallo's, a gay man, died of HIV AIDS. His body had only been in the
ground for a few hours when a mob descended on the weedy cemetery
with shovels. They yanked out the corpse, spit on its torso, dragged
it away and dumped it in front of the home of his elderly parents.
2009 May 2, In Sri Lanka a
government doctor and a rebel-linked Web site said artillery shells
hit a makeshift hospital in Sri Lanka's northern war zone, killing
at least 64 civilians.
2009 May 2, In Trinidad 4
police officers allegedly hijacked a smuggling boat from Venezuela
and stole 1,000 endangered birds and monkeys along with 400 pounds
of wild animal meat. Investigators acting on a tip found birds and
monkeys in people's homes, in pet shops and even along roads in
2009 May 3, In California
Briant Rodriguez (3) was kidnapped by 2 gunmen who broke into his
family’s home in San Bernadino.
(www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,518779,00.html)(SFC, 5/5/09, p.A7)
2009 May 3, In Florida Troy
Ryan Bellar (34) shot and killed his wife, Wendy Bellar (31) and
their 5-month-old and 8-year-old sons before killing himself outside
their home in Lakeland. His 13-year-old son, Nathan, escaped.
2009 May 3, The weekly Onion
newspaper said it will close its print editions in San Francisco and
Los Angeles. The free weekly began its San Francisco edition in
2005. Print editions will continue in Milwaukee, Madison,
Minneapolis, Denver and Boulder.
(SFC, 5/6/09, p.C1)
2009 May 3, Swine flu extended
its reach through Europe and Latin America, with at least five
countries reporting new cases. Health experts were investigating a
case of the virus jumping from a person to pigs, trying to determine
if the disease was reaching a new stage.
2009 May 3, Three Afghan men
were shot in Kabul by US defense contractors working for Paravant, a
subsidiary of Blackwater Worldwide. 2 of the Afghan’s died. In 2010
Justin Cannon (27) and Christopher Drotleff (29) were indicted on
charges that included 2nd degree murder. On March 11, 2011, Cannon
and Drotleff were convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
(SFC, 1/8/10, p.A8)(SFC, 3/12/11, p.A9)
2009 May 3, China tightened
visa rules for citizens from the US, which has reported the second
highest number of swine flu cases in the world.
2009 May 3, Egyptian police
fired tear gas and clashed with irate pig farmers, leaving 12 people
injured as owners resisted the government's attempt to slaughter all
the nation's pigs to guard against swine flu.
2009 May 3, A French naval
vessel intercepted 11 suspected pirates traveling off the Somali
coast in two assault vessels and a so-called "mothership" loaded
with Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers.
2009 May 3, Italian media
reported that PM Silvio Berlusconi's wife wants a divorce, just days
after she publicly criticized his party's selection of young women
to run in European elections.
2009 May 3, Mexican police
found 11 bodies dumped around a southern Guerrero state, including
seven wrapped in plastic bags and thrown off a bridge. The bodies of
five men and two women were found in a river between the Pacific
resort town of Acapulco and the city of Cuernavaca. The other four
bodies were found in a 600-yard ravine in the town of Pilcaya.
2009 May 3, In Mexico at least
four gunmen confronted journalist Carlos Ortega (52) when he got out
of his car in front of his home in the small town of Santa Maria del
Oro. Ortega was shot in the head after struggling with the
attackers. Ortega recently argued with the town's mayor, Martin
Silvestre Herrera, over an article on sanitation at a local
slaughterhouse, and then wrote a column saying he would hold the
mayor responsible if anything happened to him.
2009 May 3, Nepal's PM Pushpa
Kamal Dahal, former Maoist rebel leader, fired army chief Rookmangud
Katawal after accusing him of defying government orders, prompting a
key party to quit the coalition government and plunging the
Himalayan country into a political crisis that could endanger its
peace process. Dahal’s firing of the army chief was rejected by
President Ram Baran Yadav, who officially leads the army.
(AP, 5/3/09)(AP, 5/4/09)
2009 May 3, In Niger Tuareg
rebels fighting the government released their last hostage. Mamane
Louali, who was captured in June 2007, was released at the airport
in Agadez, a town in the country's far north and one of the
traditional bases of the nomadic Tuaregs.
2009 May 3, In Pakistan the
bullet-ridden body of Fazal Haq (28), kidnapped two months ago, was
found dumped by the side of a road in Naurak village, 15 km (nine
miles) east of Miranshah, the main town in the semi-autonomous North
Waziristan tribal region. He had been accused of spying for the
United States. Militants beheaded 2 government officials in Swat, in
revenge for the killing of two Taliban commanders in dir and Buner.
(AFP, 5/3/09)(Econ, 5/9/09, p.45)
2009 May 3, Panama held
elections. Ricardo Martinelli (57), a conservative supermarket
magnate, was favored to win the presidential elections. Martinelli
won the election in a landslide, promising to guide the country
through the world economic crisis and an ambitious expansion of the
Panama Canal. A leaked cable from the US embassy later revealed that
Martinelli requested help in the wiretapping of his political
(AP, 5/3/09)(AP, 5/4/09)(Econ, 11/24/12, p.40)
2009 May 3, In the southern
Philippines 7 people were killed and 1,000 forced to flee their
homes as fresh fighting broke out when MILF separatist guerrillas
attacked civilians. The 12,000-member MILF has been waging a
decades-old insurgency to set up a Muslim state in the southern
Philippines, where Christian settlers now outnumber the original
2009 May 3, A gas explosion
tore through a Siberian apartment block and sparked a fire that
engulfed the building, killing eight people, including two children.
2009 May 3, In northwest Spain
one member of the country’s second-place junior female volleyball
team died and 12 others were injured, two seriously, in a bus crash.
The Emeve de Lugo team had just arrived in Santiago de Compostela
from the Canary Islands when their bus overturned.
2009 May 3, In Thailand an
American identified as Jill St. Onge (27) a bartender and artist
from Seattle, died while staying at a popular destination for budget
travelers. Norwegian Julie Michelle Bergheim (22) died the next day.
Both died after suddenly falling ill within hours of each other at
the Laleena guesthouse on Koh Phi Phi in southern Thailand.
2009 May 3, Sixteen Venezuelan
soldiers and a civilian were killed when a military helicopter
crashed near the Colombian border. A brigadier general was among
2009 May 4, President Barack
Obama proposed changing provisions in the tax code that he says
encourage US companies to move jobs overseas, as part of a broader
package aimed at saving $210 billion over 10 years.
2009 May 4, An analysis of
"real-world" clinical data indicated that vitamin E, and drugs that
reduce generalized inflammation, may slow the decline of mental and
physical abilities in people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) over the
long term according to National Institutes of Health-sponsored
2009 May 4, The Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation awarded eighty one $100,000 grants in a bid
to support innovative, unconventional global health research. The
foundation also announced plans to spend $73 million over the next
five years to help small farmers in impoverished countries.
2009 May 4, Wolves in parts of
the northern Rockies and the Great Lakes region come off the
endangered species list, opening them to public hunts in some states
for the first time in decades. States such as Idaho and Montana
planned to resume hunting the animals this fall, but no hunting has
been proposed in the Great Lakes region. About 300 wolves in Wyoming
will remain on the list because the US Fish and Wildlife Service
rejected the state's plan for a "predator zone" where wolves could
be shot on sight. An estimated 4,000 wolves lived in Michigan,
Wisconsin and Minnesota.
2009 May 4, California’s State
Water Resources Control board released a study that said only 21 of
152 lakes studied were free of mercury and other contaminants. 131
lakes showed one or more pollutants above state health guidelines.
(SFC, 5/5/09, p.A1)
2009 May 4, In Kentucky Amanda
Hornsby-Smith (28) was strangled to death. In 2010 her husband,
Woody Will Smith (33), went on trial for her murder. He claimed
excessive caffeine from sodas, energy drinks and diet pills left him
so mentally unstable he couldn't have knowingly killed her.
2009 May 4, Dom DeLuise
(b.1933), film and TV actor, died. Though lighthearted onscreen, the
prolific actor was deeply passionate about food, forging a second
career as a popular chef and cookbook author.
2009 May 4, In Afghanistan
bombing runs by US-led coalition jets killed dozens of civilians
taking shelter from a fierce ground battle between Taliban militants
and Afghan and international forces. The US confirmed fighting in
western Farah province and opened an investigation into the
overnight operation. Over 100 people were killed including 25-30
Taliban. A senior US defense official later said that Marine special
operations forces believe that the Afghan civilians were killed by
grenades hurled by Taliban militants, who then loaded some of the
bodies into a vehicle and drove them around the village, claiming
the dead were victims of an American airstrike. On May 20 the US
military said at least 20 civilians and 60 insurgents had died in
(AP, 5/5/09)(AFP, 5/6/09)(AP, 5/7/09)(AP,
2009 May 4, An Afghan guard was
killed by Australian Robert William Langdon as he worked for
US-based private security company Four Horsemen International. A
court later heard that Langdon threw a hand grenade into the truck
carrying the guard's body and ordered other guards to fire into the
air to simulate a Taliban attack. Langdon allegedly admitted killing
the Afghan guard during a heated argument about security for a
convoy. In October Langdon was convicted of murder and sentenced to
death in a court in Kabul. He paid a "sizeable" compensation to the
victim's family and the sentenced was reduced to 20 years.
2009 May 4, Australia's
government put back its much-vaunted carbon-emissions trading scheme
by a year, bowing to industry demands for more relief amid a
recession while opening the door to an even deeper long-term
2009 May 4, The EU admitted
that its previous forecasts were way off the mark. It now predicts
"a deep and widespread recession" across the continent and said
unemployment among the 16 nations that use the euro will rise to a
postwar record of 11.5 percent in 2010.
2009 May 4, In Germany Sergio
Marchionne, the boss of Italy's Fiat, drummed up support in Berlin
for audacious plans to snap up General Motors' European arm and
merge it with the bankrupt Chrysler to create a new global auto
giant. Germany's economy minister said Fiat Group SpA wants to take
over GM's Opel unit without running up debt and would preserve the
three main German assembly plants if successful.
(AFP, 5/4/09)(AP, 5/4/09)
2009 May 4, Indonesia's top
graft-buster, Antasari Azhar (56), was arrested as a suspect and a
mastermind in the March 14 murder of businessman Nasrudin
2009 May 4, Iraq’s Foreign
Ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad and handed him a
letter of protest, demanding that Iran halt shelling against Kurdish
rebels in the country's north and warned the "extremely dangerous
violations" of Iraqi territory could harm relations between the two
2009 May 4, Mexico's health
secretary said most businesses will reopen May 6 nationwide, citing
ebb in the swine flu outbreak. The World Health Organization chief
warned that swine flu could return with a vengeance despite Pres.
Felipe Calderon insisting his country has contained the epidemic.
(AP, 5/4/09)(AFP, 5/4/09)
2009 May 4, Nepal's PM Pushpa
Kamal Dahal resigned amid a power struggle over his firing of the
army chief, saying he was stepping down to "save the peace process"
that brought the Himalayan nation out of a bloody decade-long civil
2009 May 4, Niger’s Pres.
Mamadou Tandja accompanied representatives of French energy giant
Areva at a ceremony marking the beginning of a new uranium project
in Imoraren. The site is expected to boost Niger's uranium
production from 3,000 to 5,000 tons per year.
2009 May 4, In Pakistan clashes
in a northwestern region covered by an increasingly fragile peace
pact killed seven militants and one soldier. The Taliban ambushed an
army convoy in Swat and armed Taliban appeared on the streets of
(AP, 5/4/09)(Econ, 5/9/09, p.45)
2009 May 4, South Korean
snipers hovering in a helicopter chased away pirates pursuing a
North Korean freighter, while the Russian destroyer Admiral
Panteleyev freed eight Iranian citizens held hostage for more than
2009 May 4, South Korean news
reported that North Korea runs a cyber warfare unit that tries to
hack into US and South Korean military networks to gather
confidential information and disrupt service.
2009 May 4, Sri Lankan forces
battled Tamil Tiger insurgents, pushing deeper into rebel-held
territory amid a report that navy gunboats heavily shelled an area
packed with civilians.
2009 May 4, In Turkey masked
assailants with automatic weapons attacked an engagement celebration
in the village of Bilge, near the city of Mardin, fatally shooting
2009 May 4, In southern Yemen
armed protesters ambushed a military camp in Radfan killing one
soldier, as separatist sentiment mounted against the weak central
(SFC, 5/5/09, p.A2)
2009 May 5, Pres. Obama and
Democratic lawmakers reached agreement on a legislative proposal
designed to stimulate US auto sales, which have fallen to near
2009 May 5, US Federal Reserve
Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that the economy should pull out
of a recession and start growing again later this year.
2009 May 5, The District of
Columbia Council gave final approval to legislation that recognizes
same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. The law became effective on
(SFC, 5/6/09, p.A5)(SFC, 7/8/09, p.A4)
2009 May 5, In Detroit,
Michigan, basketball legend Dave Bing was elected as mayor through
the end of the year, sweeping the incumbent from office in the city
with myriad problems. Bing had 52.3% of the vote, to 47.7% for
Cockrel. Both are Democrats.
2009 May 5, California’s Gov.
Schwarzenegger said that the time is right to debate legalizing
marijuana for recreational use in California.
(SFC, 5/6/09, p.A1)
2009 May 5, A Marine Corps
helicopter crashed shortly before midnight in a remote area of
Southern California, killing the two people who were on board.
2009 May 5, In California a
wildfire broke out in the Santa Ynez mountains near Santa Barbara.
By May 15, after destroying 80 homes, it was 90% contained. On Dec
10 officials charged 2 men with misdemeanors for allegedly sparking
the Jesusita fire.
(SFC, 5/15/09, p.B7)(SFC, 12/11/09, p.A11)
2009 May 5, In Columbia,
Illinois, Sheri Coleman (31) and her two sons, Garett (11) and Gavin
(9) were found strangled to death. Husband and father Chris Coleman
(32) was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, but later
pleaded not guilty.
2009 May 5, H.H Sheikh Sultan
Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority
(ADTA), announced the official launch of Al Ain Wildlife Park and
Resort at the Intercontinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Sudan had
recently signed a leasing agreement with an Al Ain National Wildlife
for some 6,180 square miles of southeastern wilderness to be
developed as a safari site with semi-permanent tented camps
and top-class hotels.
2009 May 5, In Afghanistan a
shooting followed a car accident in Kabul leaving one Afghan died
and two others wounded. Four US contractors for the private security
company formerly known as Blackwater were detained for their
involvement in the shooting.
2009 May 5, Australia's army
started shooting 6,000 kangaroos to thin their population on an army
training ground near the capital, outraging conservationists who
have vowed to protest.
2009 May 5, Britain for the
first time published a list of people barred from entering the
country for what the government says is fostering extremism or
2009 May 5, The British
International news portal One News Page was launched. One News Page
(http://www.onenewspage.us/) was founded by Dr Marc Pinter-Krainer
(38) a successful internet entrepreneur who has been working in the
commercial online arena since 1999.
2009 May 5, China said it has
given 10 million dollars (7.5 million euros) to Zimbabwe, half of it
directly into the state coffers, to help boost the country's
2009 May 5, In central China
more than 1,000 villagers clashed with police following a land
dispute with construction workers that left one person dead.
Protests continued into the next day.
2009 May 5, The European
Parliament voted to update the rules on the use of animals in
research and to ban imports of seal products, including fur coats
and even omega-3 pills, trying to force Canada to end the annual
seal hunt that animal rights groups call barbaric.
(AP, 5/5/09)(Econ, 5/9/09, p.84)
2009 May 5, A French judge
decided to investigate three African heads of state for money
laundering and other alleged crimes linked to their wealth in
France. The probe follows a complaint by Transparency International
France, an association that tracks corruption, against Gabon's Omar
Bongo, Republic of Congo's Denis Sassou-Nguesso and Teodoro Obiang
of Equatorial Guinea.
2009 May 5, Georgia said it had
ended a brief mutiny at a military base near the capital that broke
out after the arrest of a former special forces commander accused of
planning to disrupt NATO exercises.
2009 May 5, Guinea's ruling
junta recalled 30 ambassadors, nearly five months after seizing
power when the West African country's longtime dictator died.
2009 May 5, The leaders of Iran
and Syria reaffirmed their support for Palestinian resistance, a
defiant message to the US and its Mideast allies who are uneasy over
Washington's efforts to forge closer ties with the hard-line
government in Tehran.
2009 May 5, Israeli authorities
arrested two Palestinians who tried to sell a looted 1,900-year-old
papyrus document in Hebrew worth millions of dollars.
2009 May 5, In Nepal thousands
of Maoist supporters took to the streets of Kathmandu, a day after
Prachanda, the leader of the ex-rebels, quit as prime minister
following a bitter row over the country's army chief.
2009 May 5, In Pakistan
fighting between Taliban militants and troops in a northwestern
valley triggered an exodus the government said could see 500,000
people flee and signaled the end of a peace deal in the area widely
criticized as a surrender to the extremists.
2009 May 5, The Philippine
military rejected a US government assessment that labeled the
country's south as a terrorist safe haven. The US State Department
reported last week in its annual assessment of worldwide terrorism
that the southern Mindanao region, specifically predominantly Muslim
Sulu province, remains a sanctuary for extremists.
2009 May 5, Somali pirates
hijacked the MV Victoria, a German cargo ship carrying 11 crew
members in the Gulf of Aden. Pirates released the ship and its 11
Romanian crew members on July 18 following a ransom of $1.8 million.
(AP, 5/6/09)(AP, 7/18/09)
2009 May 5, A South Korean
official said 3 South Korean army personnel have been convicted of
accepting or seeking bribes while serving as part of a US-led
alliance aimed at rebuilding Iraq. A captain identified by his
surname Park, was sentenced last month by a South Korean military
court to three years in prison for taking $25,000 and a digital
camera worth $800 from a local firm involved in construction
projects in the northern city of Irbil in return for administrative
favors. A master sergeant and a major received suspended jail terms
for demanding bribes from other Iraqi firms. The captain and the two
others were arrested in South Korea in December following a joint
US-South Korean investigation.
2009 May 5, In Spain Basque
Socialist leader Patxi Lopez (49), expected to be sworn in as the
Basque region's first non-nationalist president, vowed to wage a
relentless fight against the armed separatist group ETA.
2009 May 5, Sudan denied
accusations by the government of Chad that its forces had launched
an attack against the neighboring African state.
2009 May 5, Former Taiwanese
President Chen Shui-bian was indicted on new graft charges as his
high-profile corruption trial continued into its second month.
2009 May 5, Turkish security
forces detained 8 gunmen suspected of fatally shooting 44 people at
an engagement ceremony in the southeastern village of Bilge. PM
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "the result of a feud between two
families" had led to the deaths of six children, 17 women and 21
2009 May 5, The UN chief
accused Israel of lying about attacks on United Nations schools and
other facilities during the Gaza military campaign, including one
reported to have killed more than 40 people, and formally demanded
2009 May 5, A restricted UN
report said IAEA inspectors detected nuclear particles in Egypt last
year and in 2007. A senior diplomat accredited to the agency said
that it was the first time the traces were reported by the
Vienna-based nuclear monitor.
2009 May 5, Yemen suspended
seven publications, including the nation's most popular daily, in
effort to stifle reporting on an unprecedented wave of deadly
rioting sweeping the south.
2009 May 5, In Zimbabwe
prominent human rights campaigner Jestina Mukoko and the 17 others
were taken back into custody, just two months after their release on
bail over an alleged plot to overthrow President Robert Mugabe. PM
Morgan Tsvangirai's party warned their detention threatened the
survival of Zimbabwe's fledgling unity government. Zimbabwe's
teachers unions called off a threatened strike at state schools
after the government agreed to scrap fees for children of teachers.
2009 May 6, Maine's Gov. John
Baldacci signed a freshly passed bill approving gay marriage, making
it the fifth state to approve the practice and moving New England
closer to allowing it throughout the region.
2009 May 6, In California a
wildfire surged into Santa Barbara forcing at least 8,000 residents
(SFC, 5/7/09, p.B6)
2009 May 6, New H1N1 flu cases
across Europe and a second US death kept health officials on alert
despite signs Mexico's epidemic had passed its peak. Mexican health
officials said that testing of backlogged cases has increased the
confirmed swine flu death toll from 31 to 42, including three new
deaths in the past two days.
(Reuters, 5/6/09)(AP, 5/6/09)
2009 May 6, Virginia police
found former NASCAR driver Kevin Grubb (31) dead from an apparent
self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Grubb was suspended from
NASCAR indefinitely in 2006 because he refused to submit to a random
drug test following the Busch Series race at Richmond International
2009 May 6, US scientists in
the Jason submersible from Woods Hole, Mass., filmed the West Mata
undersea volcano between Samoa and Fiji. The summit of the volcano
now reached some 4,000 feet from the sea floor and was still some
4,000 feet below the ocean’s surface.
2009 May 6, Ben Southall (34),
a bungee jumping, ostrich-riding British charity worker was named
the winner of what's been dubbed the "Best Job in the World," a
150,000 Australian dollar ($111,000) contract to serve as the
caretaker of Australia’s tropical Hamilton Island. He beat out
nearly 35,000 applicants from around the world for assignment to
swim, explore and relax in the Great Barrier Reef for six months
while writing a blog to promote the area.
2009 May 6, Bangladesh Home
Minister Sahara Khatun said the UAE has given the government nearly
$1.44 million to distribute among 879 Bangladeshi children who
worked as jockeys at camel races after it was banned in 1993. The
law was openly flouted until authorities reached an agreement in
2005 with UNICEF to help repatriate and rehabilitate child jockeys,
who were mostly taken from poorer Muslim nations such as Bangladesh,
Pakistan and Sudan.
2009 May 6, Brazilian officials
said at least 29 people have been killed by floods and mudslides in
northern Brazil as authorities struggled to rush aid to dozens of
small cities cut off from civilization by overflowing rivers in the
2009 May 6, Canada and the EU
signed an "open skies" pact under which airlines from the two
trading partners will be able to fly freely between any airport in
the 27-country EU and any in Canada.
2009 May 6, In Iraq a car bomb
exploded at the entrance to a fruit and vegetable market in south
Baghdad, killing 15 people and wounding about 40. Hours later,
another car bomb exploded in the capital's Karradah district,
killing two people and wounding six.
2009 May 6, Malaysian officials
said 2 political activists have been arrested ahead of a
parliamentary showdown between the government and the opposition
over control of northern Perak state.
2009 May 6, NATO launched
military exercises in former Soviet Georgia after heavy criticism
from neighboring Russia and a brief mutiny in the Georgian military.
2009 May 6, In Nepal police
clashed with protesting Maoists, who vowed to prevent a new
government from being formed unless the president supports the
firing of the country's army chief. The key dispute has thrown the
Himalayan country into crisis.
2009 May 6, Pakistani
helicopter gunships and ground troops attacked the Taliban in the
Swat valley. Pakistan said it killed more than 80 militants in heavy
bombardments in an upsurge of fighting that has caused tens of
thousands to flee and threatened to torpedo a northwest peace deal.
There were also reports of civilian casualties in fighting in Swat.
(AFP, 5/6/09)(AP, 5/7/09)(Econ, 5/9/09, p.45)
2009 May 6, Russia said it is
expelling two Moscow-based NATO employees who are Canadian diplomats
in retaliation for NATO's recent expulsion of two Russian envoys
from its headquarters in Belgium.
2009 May 6, In Russia retired
Gen. Valentin Varennikov (85), a hawkish World War II veteran who
directed the Soviet war in Afghanistan, died. He had joined the
rebellion against Mikhail Gorbachev that sped the collapse of the
2009 May 6, Spanish authorities
said they have arrested 29 people suspected of forging credit cards
to finance an elaborate scheme to smuggle Cubans into the US from
2009 May 6, South Africa's
parliament has elected Jacob Zuma as the country's president. Zuma
won 277 votes in the 400 member National Assembly. Zuma's African
National Congress won elections last month with 65.9% of the vote.
He is due to be inaugurated on May 9.
2009 May 6, Sri Lanka’s Tamil
Tiger rebels said intense fighting in the war zone was killing and
wounding hundreds of civilians a day and asked for the UN to push
for urgent food shipments to avert a hunger crisis.
2009 May 6, Senior Sudanese aid
official Hassabo Mohammed Abdelrahman said that Khartoum was ready
to allow foreign aid groups to operate in Darfur but ruled out the
return of the 13 aid agencies kicked out in March.
2009 May 6, Venezuelan
prosecutors filed embezzlement and other charges against a former
Caracas mayor who supports the government of President Hugo Chavez.
Juan Barreto, mayor from 2004 to 2008, denied the allegations and
vowed to clear his name in court.
2009 May 6, In Zimbabwe a top
rights activist and 14 others were ordered freed on bail after
Zimbabwe's president and prime minister forced a judge to reverse
her decision to send them back to the prison where they said they
had been tortured. She refused, however, to free three others she
had ordered returned to prison, saying their case was more serious
because they had allegedly been found with explosives. The last 3
were released on May 13.
(AP, 5/6/09)(AFP, 5/14/09)
2009 May 7, Ten of the largest
US banks came up collectively $75 billion short according to
government stress tests and quickly took steps to shore up their
(SFC, 5/8/09, p.A1)
2009 May 7, Maryland’s Gov.
Martin O’Malley signed legislation extending hate crimes protection
to homeless people.
(SFC, 5/8/09, p.A11)
2009 May 7, Seven
Pittsburgh-area ACORN workers were charged with falsifying voter
registration forms, with six accused of doing so to meet the group's
alleged quota system before last year's general election.
2009 May 7, LA Dodger’s star
Manny Ramirez (36) was suspended by Major League Baseball for 50
games for using HCG, a banned drug.
(SFC, 5/8/09, p.A1)
2009 May 7, General Motors
Corp. lost $6 billion in the first quarter and its revenue was cut
nearly in half as car buyers feared the wounded auto giant would
enter bankruptcy and no longer honor its warranties.
2009 May 7, Univ. of California
regents voted 17-4 to raise tuition by 9.3%, the 6th increase in 7
(SFC, 5/8/09, p.B3)
2009 May 7, In Connecticut
Wesleyan University junior Johanna Justin-Jinich was gunned down by
a man wearing a wig. Officers arrested Stephen P. Morgan (29) the
next night standing outside the store in Meriden, 10 miles from
where the woman was killed. Morgan's journals contained threats
against Jews and mentioned plans for a shooting spree at Wesleyan.
2009 May 7, In Mississippi
Jackson Mayor Frank Melton (60), elected in 2005, died just as polls
closed in his unsuccessful bid for re-election.
(SFC, 5/8/09, p.B6)
2009 May 7, John Furia Jr.
(b.1929), prolific screen and television writer, died. His work
included popular TV series including "Bonanza," "The Waltons,"
"Hawaii Five-O" and “The Twilight Zone."
2009 May 7, In southern
Afghanistan a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing 21 Afghan
civilians and two British soldiers in one of the deadliest such
attacks in months. Four British soldiers were killed in attacks in
Helmand province. Police fired on a crowd of rock-throwing
protesters in western Farah province, who were angry about civilian
deaths they blame on American bombing runs.
(AP, 5/7/09)(AFP, 5/8/09)
2009 May 7, In Algeria 4 armed
Islamists were killed by Algerian security forces during firefights
in Tizi Ouzou and Boumerdes, east of the capital Algiers. Two
soldiers died as well, and three assault rifles were seized by the
military. Another Islamist was killed as security forces mounted a
joint operation on an armed group at Kharrouba, near Boumerdes.
2009 May 7, Argentina and
Brazil confirmed five swine flu cases within their borders as the
virus affects more nations in South America.
2009 May 7, Britain promised it
would remove the DNA records of hundreds of thousands from its vast
national registry of genetic information, but said it will still
keep the details of some innocent people for up to 12 years.
2009 May 7, The European Union
extended its hand to former Soviet republics, holding a summit to
draw them closer into the EU orbit despite Russia's deep misgivings.
Presidents, premiers and their deputies from 33 nations signed an
agreement meant to extend the EU's political and economic ties. The
six ex-Soviet republics to whom the “eastern partnership" would
apply are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and
(AP, 5/7/09)(Econ, 1/10/15, p.49)
2009 May 7, The European
Central Bank cut interest rates a quarter point and said it would
buy euro-denominated bonds as well as offer longer-term credit to
banks as it moves to get more money flowing through the 16-nation
euro zone economy.
2009 May 7, In Georgia
opposition protesters clashed with police in Tbilisi in the first
outbreak of violence since demonstrations began in April.
(Econ, 5/9/09, p.55)
2009 May 7, In northwestern
Indonesia 2 rare Sumatran elephants, believed to have been poisoned
with cyanide-laced pineapples, were found dead with their tusks
removed. Just 3,000 Sumatran elephants are believed to still be
living in their natural surroundings.
2009 May 7, Iran’s state media
reported that 9 people, including a 30-year-old woman, have been
hanged. 4 of the 9 including the woman were convicted of murder in
separate cases and were hanged on May 6. The woman was found guilty
of killing her husband with a hammer.
2009 May 7, The Baghdad
contract for the security firm once known as Blackwater Worldwide
ended, although the company will temporarily continue operations
elsewhere in Iraq. US troops in Mosul shot dead a 12-year-old Iraqi
boy suspected of throwing a grenade at them. It was believed
insurgents were paying children to help them. The boy was found with
10,000 Iraqi dinars, or around $8.50, in his hand.
(AP, 5/7/09)(AP, 5/10/09)
2009 May 7, In Italy Jonathan
Robert Hindenach (24) of Charlotte, Michigan, killing an Italian man
in Florence. He had consumed drugs and alcohol before slaying
Riccardo Nistri (62).
2009 May 7, In Kashmir scores
of protesters clashed with government troops in Srinagar as
residents went to the polls in the disputed Himalayan region and
other Indian key states in a monthlong parliamentary election.
2009 May 7, Animal welfare
activists said more than 300 stray dogs, dumped on isolated islands
in Malaysia’s Selangor state, turned to cannibalism after weeks of
2009 May 7, In Mexico high
schools and universities closed by the swine flu epidemic reopened
as teachers and parents carefully checked returning students for flu
symptoms. The death toll due to the HINI flu was raised to 44.
Mexico City says all businesses can reopen including sports arenas,
2009 May 7, Mexican police said
3 women who disappeared in the border city of Tijuana were killed by
drug traffickers who dissolved their bodies in a caustic substance.
2 drug traffickers were arrested this week and confessed to the
killings. A 3rd suspect was being sought.
2009 May 7, In Nepal riot
police beat back hundreds of women from the Maoist party who
protested in front of the president's house to demand that he fire
the country's army chief.
2009 May 7, In New Zealand
former army reservist Jan Molenaar (51) fired a fusillade of shots
from an automatic rifle at police who arrived with a warrant to
search the house for cannabis. One officer was shot dead and two
others seriously wounded, along with a bystander. Molenaar was found
dead on May 9 in his house in the North Island city of Napier.
(AP, 5/8/09)(AP, 5/9/09)
2009 May 7, In Pakistan attack
helicopters and war planes pounded suspected Taliban hideouts as the
government vowed a decisive victory in the northwest. Thousands of
terrified Pakistanis dodged Taliban roadblocks to flee the Swat
valley being shelled by the government, streaming into makeshift
camps and crowding hospitals as the army bombarded the extremists
who have taken over much of the area.
(AP, 5/7/09)(AFP, 5/7/09)
2009 May 7, In the Philippines
fighting in the southern island of Jolo broke out after Muslim
extremist Abu Sayyaf members ambushed Chief Superintendent Julasirim
Kasim, killing him and four of his men. Five rebels were also killed
in the attack. In retaliatory attacks that followed more than 20
Muslim extremists were killed.
2009 May 7, Russian Mission
Control said the unmanned Progress M-02M lifted off from Kazakhstan
on schedule and should dock with the int’l. space station on May 12.
2009 May 7, Somali pirates
captured the Netherlands Antilles-flagged MV Marathon in the Gulf of
Aden. The ship listed 19 Ukrainian crew members. One of the crew
members died from a gun shot wound. On June 23 the Dutch Defense
Ministry reported that the ship was released.
(AP, 5/7/09)(AP, 6/23/09)
2009 May 7, In Sri Lanka
Stephen Sundararaj (39), a project manager for a human rights group,
disappeared in Colombo. He had been abducted by police and detained
for weeks under a law permitting arrests without warrant for
“unlawfull activities." He challenged the case in court but
disappeared hours after his release pending trial.
(http://tinyurl.com/heqfxw3)(Econ, 8/6/16, p.30)
2009 May 7, Sudanese President
Omar al-Beshir named Ahmed Harun, who is wanted for war crimes in
Darfur, as governor of disputed south Kordofan province,
transferring him from his post as a state minister. In 2007 the ICC
issued a warrant for Harun on 51 charges of war crimes and crimes
against humanity allegedly committed in Sudan's western Darfur
region in 2003 and 2004.
2009 May 7, A UN peacekeeper
was shot dead and his car stolen by unknown gunmen in the South
Darfur state capital Nyala.
2009 May 7, In eastern Ukraine
9 people were killed in an explosion at a gambling hall in
2009 May 7, Zimbabwe’s finance
minister, Tendai Biti, said African financial institutions have
extended $428 million in credit lines in a bid to rescue the
country's ailing economy.
2009 May 8, A federal jury
acquitted W.R. Grace and 3 of its executives on all criminal charges
that they knowingly contaminated Libby, Montana, with asbestos and
conspired to cover up the deed.
(SFC, 5/9/09, p.A6)
2009 May 8, In California the
4-day Jesusita fire in Santa Barbara was only 10% contained as of
the evening, after charring more than 13 square miles and destroying
about 31 homes with another 47 damaged. By the next day the fire was
40% contained and residents were allowed to return to the area.
(AP, 5/9/09)(SSFC, 5/10/09, p.A12)
2009 May 8, In Panama City,
Florida, Dr. Jason Newsom resigned from the Bay County Health
Department under pressure following his launch of a one-man war on
obesity by posting sardonic warnings on an electronic sign outside.
After the lawyers threatened to sue, his bosses made him
remove the anti-fried doughnut rants and eventually forced him to
2009 May 8, In the Midwest a
wave of storms damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses
in Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri. 5 people were
2009 May 8, Brazilians huddled
in cow pens converted into emergency shelters, as swollen rivers
continue to rise and northern Brazil's worst floods in decades
boosted the number of homeless to nearly 300,000. The death toll
rose to 39, and coffins started popping out of the soaked earth.
2009 May 8, In London Marks
& Spencer admitted it had "boobed" in a row over larger bras,
agreeing to slash the prices of its DD-plus cup sizes to bring them
in line with smaller models.
2009 May 8, In Canada a
provincial medical official said a woman from Alberta has died from
the H1N1 flu virus, making her the first Canadian to die from the
2009 May 8, Chad’s government
claimed that 225 rebels and 22 soldiers had been killed in clashes
over the last 2 days south of the main eastern city of Abeche.
2009 May 8, In Colombia Jorge
Noguera, former director of the civilian intelligence service, DAS,
was charged with conspiracy and murder. He was accused of colluding
with paramilitaries and helping to plan the murders of opposition
(Econ, 5/16/09, p.43)
2009 May 8, A Croatian court
convicted an opposition lawmaker of war crimes, making him the
country's first senior politician to be held responsible for wartime
atrocities against Serbs. Branimir Glavas was sentenced to 10 years
in prison for war crimes against civilians, but he remained free
because he enjoys parliamentary immunity from detention. During the
1991 Serbo-Croat war, he was a member of the ruling Croatian
Democratic Union and formed a paramilitary unit in eastern Croatian
town of Osijek, where he was seen as a warlord.
2009 May 8, In Ecuador an angry
mob dragged two suspected robbers from a police station in Valencia
and burned them to death.
2009 May 8, Indian police used
teargas and batons to disperse hundreds of rock-throwing Kashmiris
protesting against the holding of national elections in the
2009 May 8, In Ireland Dr. Yuri
Melini (47), a leading Guatemalan environmentalist who recently
survived an assassination attempt, won a human rights award for his
efforts to stop the rapid growth of mines in his mineral-rich
nation. Melini received the annual Front Line Award for Human Rights
Defenders at Risk in a Dublin City Hall ceremony.
2009 May 8, In southern Lebanon
authorities arrested five people for allegedly spying for Israel as
part of the two countries' long-running espionage battle.
2009 May 8, Malaysia said it
will free 13 people detained under internal security laws, including
three ethnic Indian activists, members of the banned ethnic Indian
rights group Hindraf, held without trial since organizing
anti-government protests in 2007.
2009 May 8, Mexico’s federal
attorney general's office said authorities have arrested 25 Tijuana
police officers and two civilians on organized crime charges for
alleged drug gang ties. In the border state of Chihuahua,
prosecutors said police acting on an anonymous tip found two
clandestine graves with 7 bodies in the town of Palomas, across from
Columbus, New Mexico.
2009 May 8, In Nigeria the
governor of southern oil-rich Rivers state signed a law making life
jail terms mandatory for kidnappers in the area.
2009 May 8, Pakistani jets
screamed over Mingora, a Taliban-controlled town, and bombed
suspected militant positions as hundreds of thousands fled in terror
and other trapped residents appealed for a pause in the fighting so
they could escape. Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said that 140 militants had
been killed in the last 24 hours, adding to around 150 already
reported slain. He did give any figures for civilian deaths, but
witness and local media say that noncombatants have been killed.
2009 May 8, In the northern
Philippines Typhoon Cha-hom dumped heavy rains overnight, triggered
landslides and left at least 10 people dead and four missing.
2009 May 8, South Sudanese
gunmen killed dozens of people from a rival tribe, most of them
women and children, in one of a string of attacks that have raised
fears for elections in the region. Fighters from the Lou Nuer tribe
raided the village of Torkej, home to the Nuer Jikany, in the
region's Upper Nile state, in apparent revenge for cattle thefts.
Some 71 people were killed in Torkej.
(Reuters, 5/11/09)(Econ, 6/13/09, p.49)
2009 May 8, Pope Benedict XVI
arrived in Jordan and expressed deep respect for Islam. He said he
hopes the Catholic Church can play a role in Mideast peace as he
began his first trip to the region, where he hopes to improve frayed
ties with Muslims.
2009 May 8, Venezuelan police
uncovered a cache of weapons and explosives at a Caracas apartment.
The discovery led to the detention of 3 citizens of the Dominican
Republic, Luini Omar Campusano de la Cruz (38); Edgar Floiran
Sanchez (29); and Diomedis Campusano Perez (31) and a Frenchman,
Laurent Frederic Bocquet, on suspicion of planning terrorist acts.
2009 May 8, Venezuela’s
National Guard began occupying dozens of oil rigs, docks and boats
operated by private contractors, both local and foreign, hired by
PDVSA, the state oil company. It appeared that PDVSA had run out of
(Econ, 5/16/09, p.44)
2009 May 9, Federal drug
enforcement agents began seizing about 351 pounds of meth from two
houses in Duluth, in suburban Atlanta. The 2-day operation included
the arrest of four Mexican nationals, three of whom were in the US
illegally. It was the biggest seizure of Mexican crystal
methamphetamine ever recorded east of the Mississippi River.
2009 May 9, Chuck Daly
(b.1930), NBA basketball coach, died in Florida. He coached the
Dream Team to the Olympic gold medal in 1992 after winning
back-to-back NBA championships with the Detroit Pistons.
2009 May 9, In Afghanistan 2
police died in a roadside blast in Zabul province.
2009 May 9, Australia and Japan
joined the ranks of affected countries with confirmed H1N1 swine
flu. New Zealand, the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to
confirm cases, reported two more for a total of seven.
2009 May 9, Costa Rica reported
the first swine flu death outside North America and the US announced
its third death from the virus, while Mexico delayed the reopening
of primary schools in some states.
2009 May 9, PM Nouri al-Maliki
said Iraq should launch an anti-corruption campaign that would match
the fight it has waged against insurgents and militias, amid
increasing complaints over criminality in the government.
2009 May 9, In Mexico gunmen
killed 9 people in three separate attacks in the western state of
Michoacan. 4 horses and a bull were also killed in one of the
attacks. The bodies of 4 US citizens (19-23) were found strangled,
beaten and stabbed in a van in Tijuana, two days after they
reportedly left their Southern California homes for a night at the
(AP, 5/11/09)(AP, 5/15/09)
2009 May 9, Pakistani civilians
cowered in hospital beds and refugees looted UN supplies, all of
them desperate for relief from the fighting that has engulfed a
northwestern valley as troops and warplanes struggled to drive out
Taliban militants. The army said it killed as many as 55 more
Taliban fighters in Swat. A suspected US missile strike killed nine
people, mostly foreigners, in another militant stronghold near the
2009 May 9, It was reported
that Peru’s police over the last two months have seized some $40
million in near perfect replicas of American dollar bills in $20,
$50 and $100 denominations. Most of the fake bills were sent to
Ecuador and Panama, which used the greenback as their national
(Econ, 5/9/09, p.40)
2009 May 9, In South Africa
Jacob Zuma became president, vowing to work to fulfill the dreams of
all South Africans after he overcame corruption and sex scandals to
reach the nation's highest office.
2009 May 9, Human Rights Watch
accused Sri Lankan forces of repeatedly striking hospitals in the
northern war zone with indiscriminate artillery and aerial attacks
that have killed scores of people, a charge the military denied. Sri
Lankan police arrested three journalists for London-based Channel 4
television news on charges of tarnishing the image of government
2009 May 9, UN officials said a
UN-sponsored treaty to combat highly dangerous chemicals has been
expanded beyond the original "dirty dozen" to include nine more
substances that are used in pesticides, flame retardants and other
2009 May 9, In Venezuela police
and soldiers discovered 4,370 pounds (1,983 kilograms) of cocaine
during a raid on a ranch in central Miranda state. A Colombian and
two Venezuelans were detained.
2009 May 10, In southern
Afghanistan a double suicide bomb attack killed 7 people and wounded
20 in the town of Gereshk in Helmand province. The majority of
casualties were police and army units responding to the initial
attack. A roadside bomb in eastern Nangarhar province killed eight
construction workers traveling on a rural road on their way to build
a checkpoint for the country's border police. Three Afghan
civilians, a truck driver and two assistants, died in a roadside
bomb blast in Zabul province while transporting goods to an American
2009 May 10, Floodwaters
receded some in inundated towns across northern Brazil, but the
number of homeless rose above 300,000 and two people were missing
after an overloaded canoe overturned in swift waters.
2009 May 10, The British
government hit record opinion polls lows as more details of
lawmakers' expenses, detailing lavish spending on everything from
home improvement to pest control, emerged in the press. Labor
legislator Stuart Bell said Parliament will set up an independent
body to oversee legislators' expenses following a series of damaging
(AFP, 5/10/09)(AP, 5/10/09)
2009 May 10, In China Deng
Yujiao (21), a karaoke bar waitress, turned herself in shortly after
allegedly using a fruit knife to stab Deng Guida (43), who ran a
local government office for business promotion. She had also
attacked his colleague Huang Dezhi at Badong's Xiongfeng Hotel after
they tried to force her into having sex. On May 22 the local
government in the central city of Badong posted a statement online
promising her fair treatment. On May 31 the government announced
that the two surviving officials had been sacked. On June 16 Yujiao
(AP, 5/22/09)(Econ, 6/6/09, p.40)(AP, 6/16/09)
2009 May 10, In the eastern
Democratic Republic of Congo at least 60 people were killed over the
last 48 hours during attacks blamed on Rwandan Hutu rebels.
2009 May 10, In Guatemala
lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg was shot to death by unidentified
assailants while riding his bicycle. The next day a video tape that
emerged alleging that if anything happened to him it would be at the
behest of Guatemalan Pres. Alvaro Colom with help from Gustavo
Alejos," the president's chief of staff, Gregorio Valdez, a
businessman, and the approval of Sandra Torres, Pres. Colom’s wife.
Rosenberg said on the tape that officials might want to kill him
because he represented businessman Khalil Musa, who was killed along
with his daughter Marjorie in March. Rosenberg said Musa, who had
been named to the board of Guatemala's Rural Development Bank, was
killed for refusing to get involved in purported illicit
transactions at the bank. On Dec 9 authorities ordered the arrest of
Francisco and Jose Valdes Paiz, cousins of Rosenberg, for allegedly
ordering the killing of Rosenberg. Eleven people had already been
arrested. On Jan 12, 2010, a special international group
commissioned by the government said Rosenberg had contacted cousins
of his first wife to help him find a hitman to deal with an
extortionist, when he really was orchestrating his own slaying amid
severe personal problems. On July 15, 2010, a judge convicted and
sentenced eight men to prison for Rosenberg’s killing.
(AP, 5/12/09)(AP, 5/18/09)(Econ, 5/23/09,
p.40)(AP, 12/30/09)(AP, 1/12/10)(AP, 7/15/10)
2009 May 10, A small plane
filled with cocaine crashed in Honduras. The plane registered in
Venezuela was carrying around 3,300 pounds (1,500 kilograms) of
cocaine when it crashed on Utila, one of the Bay Islands off the
country's northern coast.
2009 May 10, Italian police
arrested a fugitive crime boss who they found holed up in a secret
room of his brother's house in the southern Italian region of
Calabria. Salvatore Coluccio has been a fugitive since 2005.
2009 May 10, In Jordan Pope
Benedict XVI urged Middle East Christians to persevere in their
faith despite hardships threatening their ancient communities,
addressing a crowd of 20,000 who filled a sports stadium where he
celebrated the first open-air Mass of his pilgrimage.
2009 May 10, Mexican
prosecutors announced that police had arrested four alleged members
of a drug cartel in the border city of Tijuana after police found
over $542,000 in their vehicles. Federal prosecutors in Cuernavaca
detained 11 men and 3 women on suspicion of smuggling weapons for
the Beltran Leyva drug cartel. The 14 caught in the raid on a house
were ordered held under house arrest for 40 days pending possible
2009 May 10, In Pakistan
thousands of fearful civilians many on foot or donkey-pulled carts,
streamed out of the Swat valley as authorities briefly lifted a
curfew. The army said 50 to 60 militants died in various parts of
the valley. Two soldiers also died in the latest fighting. The army
said 12,000 to 15,000 troops in Swat face 4,000 to 5,000 militants,
including small numbers of foreigners and hardened fighters from the
South Waziristan tribal region. The Taliban executed Zahid Khan,
imam of the main mosque in Mingora, because he had objected to their
stockpiling arms and laying landmines.
(AP, 5/10/09)(Econ, 5/16/09, p.45)
2009 May 10, In Somalia mortars
slammed into Mogadishu hitting a mosque and several homes. Weekend
fighting killed at least 35 people as pro-government Islamist
fighters clashed with gunmen who want to topple the Western-backed
2009 May 10, In Sri Lanka a
government doctor said an all-night artillery barrage in the war
zone killed at least 378 civilians and forced thousands to flee to
makeshift shelters. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels accused the
government of killing more than 2,000 civilians in 24 hours of
artillery attacks, but the military vehemently denied the
(AP, 5/10/09)(AFP, 5/10/09)
2009 May 10, Syria rejected the
Obama administration's decision to renew economic and diplomatic
sanctions against Damascus and urged Washington to abandon "foolish
2009 May 11, US Defense
Secretary Robert Gates replaced General David McKiernan as the
commander of the Afghanistan war, saying the Obama administration
needs "fresh thinking" to turn around the war against a resurgent
Taliban. Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal was named to replace McKiernan.
2009 May 11, US District Judge
Samuel Kent was sentenced to 3 years in prison for lying to
investigators about sexually abusing 2 female employees at his
Galveston, Texas, courthouse. Kent had pleaded guilty to obstruction
of justice as his trial was about to start in February. This was the
first sex abuse case ever against a sitting federal judge.
(SFC, 5/12/09, p.A5)
2009 May 11, The space shuttle
Atlantis and 7 astronauts blasted off from Cape Canaveral on a
mission to repair the Hubble telescope.
(SFC, 5/12/09, p.A6)
2009 May 11, The price of a US
first-class stamp rose 2 cents to 44 cents.
(SFC, 5/11/09, p.A3)
2009 May 11, Insurer American
International Group Inc. said it is selling its Japanese
headquarters to Nippon Life Insurance Co. for $1.2 billion in cash.
2009 May 11, Confirmed cases of
H1N1 swine flu in the US climbed to more than 2,500, surpassing
Mexico as the country most affected by the outbreak.
2009 May 11, In Oakland,
California, Ivarene Lett (97) was found beaten to death inside her
6th story Van Buren Tower apartment near lake Merritt.
(SFC, 5/13/09, p.A1)
2009 May 11, The US military
accused militants in Afghanistan of using white phosphorus munitions
in attacks on American forces and in civilian areas, saying it has
documented at least 44 incidents of insurgents using or storing the
weapons. Doctors began investigating whether dozens of girls were
poisoned at a high school in northern Afghanistan after 61 girls
went to the hospital because of sudden illness.
2009 May 11, Australia’s armed
forces chief announced that Australia will formally end its military
mission in Iraq at the end of July, bringing the country's
involvement in one war to a close even as it prepares to send more
troops to Afghanistan.
2009 May 11, Bolivia demanded
that Peru hand over three former government ministers charged with
genocide in the 2003 killing of dozens of protesters. President Evo
Morales called asylum an "open provocation of the Bolivian people."
2009 May 11, British PM Gordon
Brown and the leader of the country's main opposition party
apologized over lawmakers' excessive expenses claims, pledging to
overhaul the allowance system and win back public trust.
2009 May 11, Colombian
authorities arrested a senator closely allied with President Alvaro
Uribe for alleged collusion with illegal far-right militias. Sen.
Zulema Jattin (39) had been under Supreme Court investigation for
allegedly benefitting politically from ties with militia boss
Rodrigo Tovar. Jattin called her arrest a "kidnapping" by the
2009 May 11, Georgia's
pro-Western president and four of his fiercest opponents failed to
agree on a way to resolve the country's political crisis, a
negotiator said, promising continued street demonstrations to demand
2009 May 11, In Iran an appeals
court reduced the jail term of Roxana Saberi (32), dual
Iranian-American citizen, to a two-year suspended sentence. She
planned to return home to Fargo, North Dakota.
2009 May 11, In Iraq Brig. Gen.
Abdul-Hussein al-Kadhoumi, a high ranking traffic police officer,
was fatally shot in central Baghdad. Sgt. John M. Russell (44), who
had served previously in Iraq, fatally shot five fellow soldiers at
a US military counseling clinic at the Camp Liberty base near the
Baghdad Int’l. Airport. Russell was charged with murder and
aggravated assault. A 325-page report on Russell was released on Oct
16. It painted a picture of a soldier on his third deployment who
began to show obvious signs of unraveling nearly two weeks before
the shootings at the clinic. In 2013 Russell found guilty of
(AP, 5/11/09)(AP, 5/12/09)(AP, 10/20/09)(SFC,
2009 May 11, Israeli PM
Benjamin Netanyahu was in Egypt for talks seen aimed at showing he
can be a true Middle East peace partner before he heads to the White
House on May 18. Progress in peace negotiations must come before
Arab recognition of Israel, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said in
an interview with Israel TV.
(Reuters, 5/11/09)(AP, 5/12/09)
2009 May 11, Pope Benedict XVI
confronted the dark history of his native Germany on the first day
of his visit to Israel, shaking the hands of six Holocaust survivors
and saying victims of the genocide "lost their lives but they will
never lose their names." He also called for the establishment of an
independent Palestinian homeland, a stance that could put him at
odds with his hosts on a trip aimed at improving ties between the
Vatican and Jews.
2009 May 11, Ichiro Ozawa, head
of Japan’s opposition DPJ, resigned following a fund raising scandal
involving his main political aide.
(Econ, 5/30/09, p.42)
2009 May 11, A Libyan newspaper
reported that Ali Mohamed Abdelaziz al Fakhiri (46), also known as
Ibn Sheikh al-Libi, has killed himself in his Libyan jail cell. His
fabricated testimony about al Qaeda was used by the United States to
justify its 2003 invasion of Iraq. Captured by US-led forces in
Pakistan in the weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Fakhiri
later made up a story about links between al Qaeda and Iraq to avoid
torture while in the custody of Egypt, according to a 2006 US Senate
Intelligence Committee report. Fakhiri was extradited by the US to
Libya in 2006, when Tripoli authorities sentenced him to life
imprisonment. Al Qaeda's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri later
accused Libya of torturing to death al Fakhiri.
(Reuters, 5/11/09)(Reuters, 10/4/09)
2009 May 11, Most of Mexico's
primary schools and kindergartens welcomed back millions of students
after a nationwide shutdown ordered to help put a brake on the
spread of swine flu.
2009 May 11, In the Netherlands
thieves pried open the emergency door of the IJsselstein City Museum
near Utrecht. They made off with six 17th- and 19th-century
landscape paintings, the second major art heist in 10 days in the
2009 May 11, Pakistani
warplanes bombed suspected militant positions in a stronghold close
to the capital, pressing ahead with a fierce offensive that has
driven hundreds of thousands from their homes, many into crowded
refugee camps. 52 Islamist fighters were reported killed. The
government claimed 700 insurgents had died over the last 4 days and
that the Taliban were on the run.
(AP, 5/11/09)(SFC, 5/12/09, p.A2)
2009 May 11, In Sudan armed men
on camel and horseback shot dead three Sudanese policemen in an
ambush in the war-ravaged western region of Darfur.
2009 May 11, The UN condemned a
"bloodbath" in Sri Lanka's northern war zone after two days of
shelling that a government doctor said killed as many as 1,000
ethnic Tamil civilians, including 106 children.
2009 May 12, The US won a seat
on the UN Human Rights Council for the first time along with Cuba,
Saudi Arabia, China and Russia, four countries accused of serious
human rights violations.
(SFC, 5/13/09, p.A2)
2009 May 12, Five more people
were arrested at the Senate Finance Committee this morning. The
advocates of a single payer health care system were protesting the
fact that Committee chairman Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana)
continues to exclude single payer advocates from a series of
hearings on health care reform. Last week, eight doctors, lawyers
and activists were arrested as they sought to put a single payer
advocate at a table of 15 witnesses. Baucus has reportedly accepted
$413,000 in drug and health insurance campaign contributions.
2009 May 12, A federal jury in
New York convicted Oussama Kassir, a Lebanese-born Swede, of
plotting to help Al-Qaida recruit for a weapons training post in
Bly, Oregon in 1999 and for distributing terrorist training manuals
over the Internet. On Sep 15 Kassir was sentenced to life in prison.
(SFC, 5/13/09, p.A4)(SFC, 9/16/09, p.A8)
2009 May 12, Medicare’s
trustees warned that the program’s biggest fund would run out of
money in 8 years.
(SFC, 5/13/09, p.A4)
2009 May 12, In Utah partitions
known as “Zion curtains" began coming down as a new law came into
effect allowing bartenders to serve patrons directly over the bar.
This ended Utah’s requirement that people who wanted a drink join a
(SFC, 5/13/09, p.A8)(Economist, 9/8/12, p.66)
2009 May 12, John Demjanjuk,
retired Ohio autoworker, arrived at a German prison after 3 decades
of fighting in court. He was deported from the US to face
allegations of being an accessory to the murder of 29,000 Jews and
others as a guard at the Nazis' Sobibor death camp.
2009 May 12, In eastern
Afghanistan 11 Taliban suicide bombers attacked government buildings
in Khost, sparking running gunbattles that killed at least 20 people
and wounded three US troops. US and Afghan troops freed 20 hostages
taken by the insurgents. Another 98 Afghan girls were rushed to
hospital in the latest in a spate of mysterious poisonings to hit
three schools north of Kabul in a fortnight. Militants fired several
rockets at two other US military bases in eastern Paktika province.
Six militants were killed when US troops used artillery and
airstrikes to fire back. Two people not involved in the fight were
(AP, 5/12/09)(AFP, 5/12/09)(AP, 5/13/09)
2009 May 12, Treasurer Wayne
Swan said Australia will post a record 57.6 billion Australian
dollar (44.1 billion US) deficit in 2009-10 as it battles the worst
global recession since the Great Depression.
2009 May 12, Vittorio Calao
head of Vodafone, a British mobile phone operator, announced a plan
to build a joint global platform through which software companies
and content providers could sell things to mobile subscribers.
(Econ, 5/16/09, p.75)
2009 May 12, In Iraq a suicide
bomber rammed his car into a police truck in the northern city of
Kirkuk, killing five policemen and a civilian.
2009 May 12, Italian
anti-terrorism investigators said two French citizens behind bars
since last year on suspicion of smuggling migrants were al-Qaida
propaganda point men in Europe and were heard talking in jail about
a possible attack on a Paris airport. Bassam Ayachi (62) and Raphael
Frederic Gendron (33) were served warrants in jail accusing them of
criminal association for international terrorism. The men have been
held in Bari since November when they were arrested on suspicion of
smuggling two Syrians and three Palestinians into Italy.
2009 May 12, Vladimir Voronin
(68), Moldova's former president, was voted head of parliament by
his Communist Party colleagues. Three opposition parties boycotted
the ballot, claiming the country's April 5 election was rigged.
2009 May 12, Moroccan
authorities announced the arrest of a group of alleged Islamists,
who planned to attack Jewish interests in the country. The suspects,
alleged to be members of a cell that was part of the radical
Islamist movement Salafia Jihadia, were also said to be preparing
attacks against Moroccan security services.
2009 May 12, In Pakistan
helicopter-borne soldiers swooped into a Taliban stronghold in a
remote corner of Swat, as the UN urged help for hundreds of
thousands of people displaced by the fighting. A suspected US drone
attack killed up to eight people in South Waziristan, a remote
tribal area near the Afghan border.
(Reuters, 5/12/09)(AP, 5/12/09)
2009 May 12, Peruvian Foreign
Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde said former Bolivian ministers
Mirtha Quevedo and Javier Torres Goitia requested and have received
refugee status, a legal measure that, unlike asylum, does not denote
political persecution. They are among the former ministers of former
Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez Lozada, charged with genocide for
sending soldiers who killed 63 people in 2003 while quelling
anti-government protests in the city of El Alto.
2009 May 12, In Peru a new law
went into effect that says officers will be fired for taking bribes
and abusing detainees. It also said police officers who "damage the
image" of law enforcement by engaging in homosexual behavior can
lose their jobs.
2009 May 12, In Somalia a human
rights activist said 113 civilians have been killed in fierce
fighting in Mogadishu in the past three days. Some 10,000 civilians
fled their homes, raising the number displaced by the fighting to
more than 27,000.
2009 May 12, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger rebels accused government forces of killing at least 47 people
in an artillery and mortar attack on a hospital. The island's
military denied the charges. The defense ministry said its troops
had captured more ground in the latest fighting and had recovered 35
2009 May 12, In Switzerland a
rare 7.03-carat blue diamond sold for 9.3 million Swiss francs (more
than $8.4 million), the highest price ever for a gem of its kind,
according to Sotheby's.
2009 May 13, Chicago became the
first US city to adopt a ban on the sale of baby bottles and sippy
cups containing the chemical BPA.
2009 May 13, The California
State Univ. Board of Trustees voted 17-2 to adopt a 10% tuition
increase at its 23 campuses. This was its 7th increase since 2002.
(SFC, 5/14/09, p.B3)
2009 May 13, Massachusetts
transportation officials banned nearly all mass-transit drivers from
carrying cell phones or other digitals assistants in response to a
trolley driver’s recent text message that cause a crash injuring
nearly 50 people.
(SFC, 5/14/09, p.A4)
2009 May 13, In North Carolina,
the country’s top tobacco growing state by sales, legislators
approved a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars.
(SFC, 5/14/09, p.A4)
2009 May 13, Off of Florida an
overloaded boat capsized and sank with about 30 people aboard,
mainly Haitian immigrants fleeing their country's crushing poverty.
At least 9 people were dead. 17 survivors were pulled from the
waters. On May 18 Jimmy Metellus (33) of Haiti was charged with
(AP, 5/14/09)(SFC, 5/14/09, p.A4)(SFC, 5/19/09,
2009 May 13, Bank of America
Corp. sold part of its stake in China Construction Bank for some
$7.3 billion as the US lender sought to raise billions more to help
withstand the recession. The stock sale left Bank of America with
about 11% of CCB's shares.
2009 May 13, A new, 2-person,
research submarine, the Deep Flight Super Falcon, was unveiled at
the California Academy of Sciences in SF. It was designed by marine
engineer Graham Hawkes. Its $1.5 million cost was underwritten by
venture capitalist Tom Perkins. It was scheduled to begin exploring
Monterey Bay in June.
(SFC, 5/14/09, p.B5)
2009 May 13, RealtyTrac Inc.
said new data indicated that the number of US households faced with
losing their homes to foreclosure jumped 32 percent in April
compared with the same month last year, with Nevada, Florida and
California showing the highest rates.
2009 May 13, In Afghanistan a
vehicle drove up to the first gate outside Camp Salerno, on the edge
of Khost city, and exploded. 7 people were killed and 21 others were
wounded. Int’l. troops opened fire on a civilian vehicle in Wardak
province, killing a father and his son. A gunbattle between police
and Taliban in western Badghis province left one officer dead.
(AP, 5/13/09)(AFP, 5/13/09)(AP, 5/14/09)
2009 May 13, In Brazil slum
dwellers rioted after the arrest of drug dealers in a Sao Paulo
shantytown, burning vehicles and tires, pelting police with rocks
and briefly shutting down a major urban highway.
2009 May 13, In Egypt the NDP's
Mohammed Zaki Mohammed Mussa was found stabbed to death. He was the
administrative director for the affluent Cairo suburb of 6th October
City. It was later reported that Mussa’s assistant Ikram Ahmed Abdel
Latif (25) stabbed Mussa for failure to pay him his monthly salary
of 350 Egyptian pounds (62 dollars) four times in a row.
2009 May 13, The European
Commission, after an eight-year investigation, fined Intel Corp a
record 1.06 billion euros ($1.45 billion) and ordered it to halt
illegal rebates and other practices it used to squeeze out its
2009 May 13, Voting in India's
marathon elections ended, with early exit polls giving the ruling
Congress party and its allies a slight edge over the opposition bloc
led by the Hindu nationalist BJP.
2009 May 13, In Iraq Ali
Mohammed Kazim of the Public Integrity Commission, a senior
anti-corruption official, was assassinated on his way to work. The
US Army handed over its base at the 6,000-year-old archaeological
site of Ur to the Iraqi military in a ceremony.
2009 May 13, Standing in
Bethlehem, Pope Benedict XVI told Palestinians he understands their
suffering and offered the Vatican's strongest and most symbolic
public backing yet for an independent Palestinian homeland.
2009 May 13, Italy's lower
chamber of parliament passed a hotly debated bill making it a crime
to enter or stay in Italy illegally, the latest effort by Premier
Silvio Berlusconi's conservative forces to crack down on illegal
migration. The bill included a fine of up to $13,670 and jail for
people housing illegal immigrants.
(AP, 5/13/09)(SFC, 5/14/09, p.A2)
2009 May 13, Nigerian MEND
rebels hijacked an oil industry ship and held 15 Filipino sailors
hostage. They demanded that all oil workers leave the southern Niger
Delta by May 16.
2009 May 13, In Pakistan troops
secured footholds in Swat valley overrun by the Taliban, killing 11
militants and discovering 5 headless corpses near Mingora, the
region's main town. Dozens of assailants stormed a transport depot
handling supplies for NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan and
torched eight trucks before escaping.
2009 May 13, Russian news
agencies reported that Russia, in agreement with the US, will charge
US astronauts $51 million per return trip to the International Space
Station (ISS) from 2012 and will resume selling seats to space
tourists. In 2006 Russia charged the US $21.8 million per return
flight to the ISS. Since then the price for of a space tourist
ticket to the ISS has climbed to $35 million from $20 million.
2009 May 13, South Korean
Destroyer ROKS Munmu the Great and the US guided missile cruiser
Gettysburg dispatched helicopters to aid Egypt’s MV Amira after it
came under attack. 17 suspected pirates were apprehended following
the attack in the Gulf of Aden. In 2010 a Kenya court freed all 17
pirates for lack of evidence. A magistrate blamed the loss of the
case on the US Navy for not providing video and photographic proof
that they claimed to have.
(AP, 5/14/09)(AP, 11/5/10)
2009 May 13, In Sri Lanka
shells hit the only hospital in the northern war zone, killing at
least 50 people in the second such attack in two days. Medics at the
makeshift facility said they were using brief lulls between
explosions to tend to patients but had little to offer beyond gauze
2009 May 13, In Uruguay the
defense ministry confirmed that Minister Jose Bayardi had signed a
decree lifting a ban on people with “open sexual deviations," that
had been imposed by the military dictatorship (1973-1985). The new
decree stated that sexual orientation will no longer be considered a
reason to prevent people from entering military service.
(SFC, 5/14/09, p.A2)
2009 May 14, It was disclosed
that the US Treasury Department has agreed to extend billions in
bailout funds to six major life insurers, following a months-long
quest by some in the sector for government help in shoring up
capital positions in the wake of major investment losses.
2009 May 14, Federal
authorities in Detroit charged 74 members and associates of the
Highwaymen Motorcycle Club with attempted murder, cocaine and
steroid distribution and other crimes.
(SFC, 5/15/09, p.A7)
2009 May 14, Chrysler LLC said
in a bankruptcy court filing that it wants to eliminate roughly a
quarter of its 3,200 US dealerships by early next month, because the
network is antiquated and has too many stores competing with each
2009 May 14, Scientists
reported that ginger, long used as a folk remedy for stomach aches,
limits nausea caused by chemotherapy used in cancer treatments.
(SFC, 5/15/09, p.A14)
2009 May 14, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said the number of confirmed cases of the new
Influenza A (H1N1) flu has climbed to 6,497, including 65 deaths.
2009 May 14, In southern
Afghanistan overnight fighting between Afghan police and insurgents
left 11 militants dead in Kandahar province. A British pilot was
injured after his jet crashed following takeoff in the same region.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner pledged increased financial
support for police and health care following a meeting with
President Hamid Karzai. A suicide car bomber struck a police station
in Kandahar province's Spinboldak district, leaving only the bomber
dead and 5 others wounded.
2009 May 14, In Australia a
court suspended a government program to kill 7,000 kangaroos on
federal land near the Australian capital, halting efforts to thin a
mushrooming population of the beloved marsupials that authorities
say are threatening endangered species.
2009 May 14, Bangladesh's high
court moved to plug a gaping hole in the country's laws by
introducing a first-ever ban on sexual harassment. Bangladeshi
police arrested 250 border guards accused of spreading violence
across the country during a mutiny that started at a military base
2009 May 14, Britain’s PM
Gordon Brown suspended former agriculture and environment minister
Elliot Morley over embarrassing expenses claim revelations. It had
emerged that Morley claimed over 16,000 pounds for a home loan 18
months after it was paid off. Hours earlier the opposition
Conservatives announced that Andrew MacKay, a lawmaker, had resigned
as an aide to leader David Cameron after it emerged he and his wife,
also a Conservative MP, had claimed expenses for two home loans at
the same time.
2009 May 14, A British
parliamentary report into human trafficking said more than 5,000
mostly women and children have been smuggled into Britain to work as
sex slaves and beggars.
2009 May 14, The OECD ruled to
keep Britain’s Cayman Islands on its list of un-cooperative tax
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.41)
2009 May 14, Egyptian security
forces arrested 14 members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood in dawn
raids at their homes.
2009 May 14, A French rocket
carrying the largest space telescope ever was launched into space on
a mission that European scientists hope will help unravel the
mystery of the universe's creation. The Ariane-5 rocket was loaded
with the Herschel space telescope and the Planck spacecraft,
carrying a payload of 5.3 tons (4.81 metric tons) when it launched
from the city of Kourou near the jungles of French Guiana.
2009 May 14, A small plane
crashed into a yard in Guatemala City, reportedly killing six people
on board and setting a home on fire near the airport.
2009 May 14, In India
Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, the 10-year-old child star of "Slumdog
Millionaire," was awakened by a policeman wielding a bamboo stick
and ordered out of his home. Minutes later it was bulldozed along
with dozens of other shanties in the Mumbai slum he calls home.
2009 May 14, Iraq's Trade
Minister Falah al-Sudani submitted his resignation following
allegations of widespread corruption in his department. PM Nouri
al-Maliki delayed accepting it to allow parliament to review the
allegations. Acceptance was announced on May 25.
2009 May 14, Pope Benedict XVI
greeted tens of thousands of adoring followers in Nazareth with a
message of reconciliation, urging Christians and Muslims to overcome
recent strife and "reject the destructive power of hatred and
2009 May 14, Japan’s Sony Corp.
reported its first annual net loss in 14 years and forecast a bigger
loss this year, saying the pressure from sliding sales, competition
in gadget prices and a strong yen was expected to continue.
2009 May 14, Jordan's king
pressed Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately commit to the
establishment of a Palestinian state, as he pursues a sweeping
resolution of the Muslim world's conflicts with Israel.
2009 May 14, Myanmar opposition
leader Aung San Suu Kyi was charged with breaking the terms of her
house arrest and faces up to five years in jail after John Yettaw,
an American intruder, sneaked into her lakeside home.
(AP, 5/14/09)(Econ, 5/23/09, p.44)
2009 May 14, Pakistan said
artillery batteries shelled suspected hideouts in Swat and the
neighboring district of Lower Dir, with the military claiming to
have killed 54 militants in the last 24 hours. Nine soldiers were
reported killed. Residents said that armed Taliban have mined roads
and dug trenches around up to 200,000 civilians encircled by
2009 May 14, Russia said it was
proposing a new version of a key European arms-control treaty it
suspended more than a year ago, and could once again honor the
agreement if the US and its NATO allies accept the changes.
2009 May 14, In Spain a new
study said the air in Madrid and Barcelona is laced with at least
five drugs, including trace amounts of amphetamines, opiates,
cannabinoids and lysergic acid, a relative of LSD. The tests were
done in areas where drugs were likely to be consumed.
2009 May 14, In Sri Lanka
doctors and aides abandoned the only hospital in the war zone amid
unrelenting shell attacks. The military said thousands of civilians
braved rebel gunfire and fled across the front lines.
2009 May 15, General Motors
said it plans to eliminate some 1,000 of 6,000 showrooms over the
next year in an effort to boost profits by lessening competition
(SFC, 5/16/09, p.C1)
2009 May 15, San Francisco’s
Mayor Newsom said that 1,000 city workers would lose their jobs in
the coming months to help close a growing budget deficit. The city’s
biggest union this week rejected $38 million in wage concessions.
(SFC, 5/16/09, p.A1)
2009 May 15, A Minnesota couple
who refused chemotherapy for their son, Daniel Hauser (13), was
ordered to have the boy re-evaluated to see if he would still
benefit from cancer treatment for his Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or if it
may already be too late. On May 18 Colleen Hauser Daniel, who has
Hodgkin's lymphoma, apparently left their home sometime after a
doctor's appointment and court-ordered X-ray showed his tumor had
grown. Hauser and her son returned on May 25 and agreed to medical
(AP, 5/15/09)(SFC, 5/16/09, p.A5)(AP,
5/20/09)(AP, 5/26/09)(SFC, 5/27/09, p.A4)
2009 May 15, In eastern
Afghanistan 2 NATO were killed in fighting with insurgents. In
southern Helmand province 22 Taliban militants, including three
regional commanders, were killed in overnight fighting.
2009 May 15, A court-appointed
liquidator reported that the Antigua offshore Stanford International
Bank, at the center of an alleged Ponzi scheme by a wealthy Texas
businessman, had a $6 billion shortfall between assets and
liabilities, confirming fears that investors will likely get little
of their money back.
2009 May 15, Britain's expense
scandal widened with the suspension of a justice minister who
claimed more than 65,000 pounds ($98,000) in housing costs over
three years. The Daily Telegraph reported that Justice Minister
Shahid Malik put in the claims while he was given a discounted rent
of 100 pounds ($150) a week by a local landlord.
2009 May 15, The Wolfram Alpha
Internet search engine was officially launched. Stephen Wolfram,
British physicist, described it as a “computational knowledge
engine." It was created to compute answers from its own source of
p.86)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfram_Alpha)(Econ, 6/4/11, TQ
2009 May 15, Microsoft Corp.
announced a 3-year partnership aimed at helping make the eastern
Chinese city of Hangzhou a model for innovation and protection of
intellectual property, in the company's latest attempt to combat
rampant software piracy.
2009 May 15, In Egypt a
three-year-old boy from north Egypt tested positive for the deadly
H5N1 strain of bird flu in the second such case in two days. This
brought to 71 the number of bird flu infections in Egypt.
2009 May 15, Among perks
enjoyed by EU Parliament lawmakers: flying no-frills and expensing
the cost of a full fare ticket, listing spouse or child as aides and
paying them fat salaries, wining-and-dining friends at
Michelin-starred restaurants and billing the taxpayer. Unprecedented
reforms, agreed in long and difficult negotiations, mean the
incoming 736 assembly members of the EU assembly will earn far less
than their predecessors and face far stricter spending rules.
2009 May 15, Lakhdar Boumediene
(43), a Guantanamo Bay prisoner who was at the center of a Supreme
Court battle over inmates' rights, arrived in France, which agreed
to take in the Algerian in a gesture to the Obama administration.
2009 May 15, In Hong Kong 63
governments approved the Int’l. Convention for the Safe and
Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. It aimed to make the
business of scrapping ships safer and greener by requiring higher
standards at recycling yards mostly located in South Asia. 107
environmental rights groups complained that the UN accord, doesn’t
go far enough.
(SFC, 5/16/09, p.A2)
2009 May 15, Hugh Van Es (67),
a Dutch photojournalist, died in Hong Kong. He covered the Vietnam
War and recorded the most famous image of the fall of Saigon in
1975, a group of people scaling a ladder to a CIA helicopter on a
2009 May 15, In Indonesia 6
Asia-Pacific countries, meeting at the World Oceans Conference,
agreed on a management plan to protect one of the world's largest
networks of coral reefs, promising to reduce pollution, eliminate
overfishing and improve the livelihoods of impoverished coastal
communities. The Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries
and Food Security covered an area defined as the Coral Triangle,
which spans Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea,
the Solomon Islands and East Timor.
2009 May 15, In Israel Pope
Benedict XVI ended his pilgrimage to the Holy Land with his
strongest call yet for the creation of a Palestinian state and
telling the faithful at the site of Jesus' crucifixion that peace is
2009 May 15, Mexico received
eight armored vehicles as part of a US aid package to help the
government with its nationwide fight against drug cartels. Mexican
federal police announced the capture of an alleged lieutenant of the
Sinaloa drug cartel. Mario Gonzalez Martinez was described as one of
the most trusted aides of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Martinez was
captured along with four alleged accomplices in the western state of
2009 May 15, Nicaraguans awoke
to find that the Central Bank, moving in the night as stealthily as
the Tooth Fairy, had snuck a new legal tender into their economy
while the markets were sound asleep.
2009 May 15, In Nigeria the
rebel Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND)
declared "all-out war" in the southern oil-producing region. The
Nigerian military rescued 10 hostages from militants in the southern
oil region and destroyed the camp where the victims were being held.
(AFP, 5/15/09)(AP, 5/16/09)
2009 May 15, North Korea said
it has scrapped all wage and rent agreements with South Korea at a
joint industrial estate and told some 100 South Korean companies to
leave if they cannot accept it.
2009 May 15, Pakistani forces
killed 55 Taliban in the northwestern valley of Swat, and lifted a
curfew to allow thousands more civilians to flee before troops
assail the Taliban-held main town of Mingora. Militants had mounted
a counterattack, and three soldiers were killed and 11 wounded in
various clashes over the previous 24 hours.
2009 May 15, In Peru a national
Indian representative said Amazon Indians who have been blocking
roads, waterways and a state oil pipeline since April are declaring
an "insurgency" against Peru's government for refusing to repeal
laws that the protesters say make it easier for foreign companies to
take their lands. The next day they said they would withdraw the
call for an insurgency against the government, but vowed to press
ahead with their protests.
2009 May 15, Polish gas firm
PGNiG announced that it had signed a deal with the Qatari firm
Qatargas for the supply of one million tons of liquefied natural gas
(LNG) per year.
2009 May 15, In Spain police
arrested of Raffaele Amato, an alleged Camorra boss who
investigators say was one of Italy's top cocaine importers.
2009 May 16, President Barack
Obama reached across the political divide and named Utah Gov. Jon
Huntsman, a potential Republican presidential contender in 2012, to
the sensitive diplomatic post of US ambassador to China.
2009 May 16, In Maryland Rachel
Alexandra won the second leg of the Triple Crown. She joined an
impressive list when she became the first filly in 85 years to win
2009 May 16, In North Oakland,
Ca., motorist Anthony Perea (27) and pedestrian Floyd Ross (41) were
killed when 4 suspects in a Berkeley homicide fled police and
crashed. Stephon Anthony and Anthony Price were arrested. 2 other
suspects, later identified as Rafael Campbell (27) and Samuel
Flowers (21), escaped. The suspected gang members had just killed
Charles Davis (25) in West Berkeley. Flowers was arrested on May 25
in Florida. Campbell was arrested in Sacramento on Nov 17.
(SSFC, 5/17/09, p.B1)(SFC, 5/20/09, p.B3)(SSFC,
5/24/09, p.B2)(SFC, 5/27/09, p.B5)(SFC, 11/17/09, p.C5)
2009 May 16, In Afghanistan 6
militants, including a "foreign national," were killed in a clash
with troops in Uruzgan province. 5 Taliban insurgents who were
preparing suicide vests in a house in central Ghazni province were
killed when some of the explosives detonated.
2009 May 16, In Britain David
Chaytor, a ruling party lawmaker, became the latest casualty of a
growing row over MPs' expenses when he was suspended, as police said
they would examine whether the issue merited an investigation. He
was reprimanded after The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported he
claimed 13,000 pounds (14,500 euros, 19,700 dollars) for mortgage
interest on a loan that had already been paid off. He has said he
will repay the amount.
2009 May 16, In Cuba President
Raul Castro's daughter led hundreds of Cuban gays in a street dance
to draw attention to gay rights on the island.
2009 May 16, In Egypt 13
factory workers were killed when their small pickup truck crashed
head on into a large lorry in southern Egypt.
2009 May 16, In Germany tens of
thousands of workers from across the country marched through
downtown Berlin to call for increased government measures to protect
(SSFC, 5/17/09, p.A6)
2009 May 16, In Hong Kong two
bottles of acid were thrown into a crowd in a popular downtown
shopping district. 30 people suffered burns but none was seriously
injured. On the same street in December, 46 people suffered burns
when two plastic bottles filled with acid were thrown at
2009 May 16, Indian PM Manmohan
Singh's ruling coalition won an overwhelming election victory,
boosting hopes of a stable government as the emerging Asian power
faces economic downturn and tensions with Pakistan. The Congress
party won 206 seats, short of the 272 needed for a parliamentary
majority. The BJP won just 116 of 545 seats.
(Reuters, 5/16/09)(Econ, 10/10/09, p.48)
2009 May 16, A joint US-Iraqi
force targeted an al-Qaida cell involved in funneling arms and
weapons into Iraq from Syria, arresting three people over the last
24 hours near Mosul. A mortar round crashed into a house in the
eastern part of Baghdad, killing a 2-year-old child and wounding
three others. Two policemen were killed west of Baghdad by a
roadside bomb that went off near their patrol. In southern Iraq an
American soldier was killed during combat.
2009 May 16, Japan's main
opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, which hopes to take
control of the country in elections later this year, chose Yukio
Hatoyama, the grandson of a former prime minister, as its chief.
2009 May 16, Japan said 8 high
school students had tested positive for swine flu amid fears the
virus was spreading in at least two cities where scores of students
said they felt ill.
2009 May 16, Kuwaitis voted in
the second parliamentary election in a year. 210 candidates for the
50-seat parliament included 16 women. Kuwaiti women won political
rights in 2005, and practiced them for the third time. Kuwait’s
population of about 3.4 million people included 2.3 million foreign
workers. Kuwaitis elected 4 women and rejected a number of Islamic
fundamentalist candidates. 21 incumbents lost their seats.
(AP, 5/16/09)(AP, 5/17/09)(Econ, 5/23/09, p.50)
2009 May 16, Ziad al-Homsi, a
mayor of a Lebanese village, was arrested by Lebanese special forces
and later jailed for 15 years for spying for Mossad. He served three
2009 May 16, In central Mexico
an armed gang freed 53 inmates from the Cieneguillas prison in
Zacatecas state, including two dozen with ties to a powerful drug
cartel, in a daring raid that took just five minutes. Gov. Amalia
Garcia Medina said footage from the security cameras inside and
outside the prison indicates that guards helped the armed gang. The
bodies of two men were found shot to death in central Michoacan
state. Federal police came under fire as they raided a Cuernavaca
building where four of suspects were arrested, including 3 police
officers. A fifth suspect was also arrested as an alleged hit man.
(AP, 5/16/09)(AP, 5/17/09)
2009 May 16, Norway’s
fiddle-wielding Alexander Rybak (23), dubbed 'Alexander the Great'
by Norwegian media, won a landslide victory in the Eurovision Song
Contest in Moscow for his song "Fairytale," gaining the most points
in Eurovision's 53-year history.
2009 May 16, In Pakistan a
suspected US drone aircraft fired missiles at militants in the North
Waziristan ethnic Pashtun tribal region. Pakistani intelligence
agents said the militants were preparing to cross into Afghanistan
to fight there and among the 28 dead were two Arabs. A car packed
with mortar bombs blew up in the city of Peshawar, killing 11 people
including four children passing in a school bus.
2009 May 16, In Russia riot
police violently broke up several gay rights demonstrations in
Moscow, hauling away scores of protesters hours before the Russian
capital hosted the major Eurovision international pop music
2009 May 16, The gay community
in tightly controlled Singapore held its first-ever rally, taking
advantage of looser laws on public gatherings to call for equality.
2009 May 16, Sri Lankan forces
seized control of the island's entire coastline for the first time
in decades, sealing the Tamil Tigers in a tiny pocket of territory
and cutting off the possibility of a sea escape by the rebels' top
2009 May 16, Sudan accused Chad
of mounting a second series of air strikes on its territory and said
the conflict between the African neighbors must be resolved
2009 May 17, In Indiana Pres.
Obama addressed a graduation ceremony at Notre Dame Univ. and called
for “open hearts, open minds and fair-minded words" in the pursuit
of “common ground" regarding the issue of abortion rights.
(SFC, 5/18/09, p.A3)
2009 May 17, In San Francisco’s
98th Bay to Breakers race Sammy Kitwara (22) of Kenya won with a
time of 33 minutes, 31 seconds. Teyba Erkesso (26) of Ethiopia was
the fastest woman at 38:29. An estimated 62,000 ran as revelers
swilled beer despite rules banning alcohol in the 7.5-mile. Street
cleaners gathered up some 13 tons of garbage.
(SFC, 5/18/09, p.A1)(SFC, 5/19/09, p.B1)
2009 May 17, David Ireland,
American sculptor, conceptual artist and Minimalist architect, died
in San Francisco. In 2016 the David Ireland House at the corner of
20th and Capp streets opened as a museum to the public. The 500 Capp
Street Foundation was established by Carlie Wilmans and dedicated to
the preservation of Ireland's work.
2009 May 17, In NYC Mitchell
Wiener, an assistant principal at a middle school, became the first
death linked to the H1N1 flu virus.
(SFC, 5/18/09, p.A3)
2009 May 17, In southern
Afghanistan militant attacks and a roadside bomb explosion killed 11
policemen and an army soldier in areas plagued by a violent Taliban
2009 May 17, In Bangladesh a
state prosecutor said a corruption charge against PM Sheikh Hasina
has been dropped because the man who laid it now says he was
pressured to do so by the last government.
2009 May 17, Chad said its air
force had completed raids on "mercenaries" inside Sudan, announcing
its aircraft had destroyed seven groups of fighters while ground
forces had captured 100 prisoners on the border.
2009 May 17, Chile confirmed
its first two cases of swine flu in two women who arrived from the
2009 May 17, In Guatemala
thousands protested to demand the resignation of President Alvaro
Colom over accusations that he ordered a lawyer killed, a scandal
threatening the rule of the country's first leftist leader more than
2009 May 17, The International
Criminal Court said Bahr Idriss Abu Garda, a Sudanese rebel leader,
has turned himself in to face war crimes charges for an attack that
killed 12 African Union peacekeepers in Darfur in September 2007.
2009 May 17, In Iraq a gunman
killed an off-duty prison officer in Mosul. Hours later a car bomb
went off near the governor's residence in Mosul, killing a policeman
and wounding three civilians.
2009 May 17, Israel's President
Shimon Peres urged Syria to open direct peace talks and said
indirect negotiations mediated by Turkey had not resumed.
2009 May 17, Jordan and Royal
Dutch Shell PLC signed a concessionary agreement to explore for oil
in the country's vast oil shale deposits.
2009 May 17, Lithuanians voted
in a presidential election. Dalia Grybauskaite (53), EU budget chief
and karate black belt, poised to return to politics in her
recession-hit homeland as its first female head of state.
Grybauskaite stood as an independent, but was nonetheless backed by
the ruling Conservatives, although she warned their government is
also under watch. Under Lithuanian law, the new president takes the
reins in July. The government then has to step down, and the head of
state names a premier. Grybauskaite won nearly 70 percent of the
vote in a presidential election.
(AFP, 5/17/09)(AP, 5/18/09)(SFC, 5/18/09, p.A2)
2009 May 17, In Nepal an
alliance of 22 political parties claimed to have enough support to
form a new coalition government and called for a parliamentary vote
to elect its candidate as the new prime minister.
2009 May 17, Nigeria's main
militant group said it destroyed two oil pipelines in the southern
Niger Delta, the latest attack amid the worst outbreak of violence
to hit the region in months. MEND accused government troops of
killing a second unnamed hostage and said two bodies would be handed
over to the Red Cross. An army spokesman said Nigerian troops have
freed three more Filipinos held hostage by militants in the Niger
Delta, bringing the total number of the Asians rescued in the past
two days to nine.
(AP, 5/17/09)(AFP, 5/17/09)
2009 May 17, In Pakistan an
army statement said 25 militants and a soldier had died in the
previous 24 hours in the Swat valley, and that security forces had
surrounded and entered Matta and Kanju, two key towns in the area.
Britain's Sunday Times reported that Pakistani President Asif Ali
Zardari said military action would follow in the tribal belt.
2009 May 17, In the Philippines
police recovered the severed head of Doroteo Gonzales (61), a farm
owner kidnapped on April 25 by Muslim militants. Authorities said he
was likely beheaded because his family failed to pay ransom.
2009 May 17, In Somalia Islamic
insurgents sustained their offensive on the nation's fragile
government and captured a strategic southeastern town, hours after a
key Islamic militia leader defected to the government. Several local
and foreign jihadists were killed in Mogadishu when a bomb-making
workshop blew up.
(AP, 5/17/09)(Econ, 5/23/09, p.49)
2009 May 17, In Sudan rebels of
Darfur's Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said they had seized a
town in North Darfur after a clash with government forces.
2009 May 17, The Tamil Tiger
rebels admitted defeat in their 25-year-old war with the Sri Lankan
government, offering to lay down their guns as government forces
swept across their last strongholds in the northeast. The government
rejected the last-ditch call for a cease-fire, saying the thousands
of civilians trapped in the war zone all have escaped to safety and
there was no longer any reason to stop the battle. Troops killed at
least 70 rebels trying to escape the one-square km patch of land
that government troops have surrounded.
2009 May 17, In Taiwan tens of
thousands of anti-government demonstrators marched through downtown
Taipei to protest against President Ma Ying-jeou's policy of greater
engagement with rival China, saying it could undermine the island's
2009 May 17, Mario Benedetti
(b.1920), a prolific Uruguayan writer, died. His novels and poems
reflect the idiosyncrasies of Montevideo's middle class and a social
commitment forged by years in exile from a military dictatorship.
Benedetti's 1960 novel "The Truce" was translated into 19 languages
and along with "Thank You for the Fire" (1965), heralded his
inclusion in the Latin American literary boom in the 1960s. In 1973
he joined thousands of other Uruguayans fleeing the nation's
military dictatorship, spending 12 years in exile in Havana, Madrid,
Lima and Buenos Aires.
2009 May 18, The US Justice
Department accused Wyeth, one of the nation's biggest drug makers,
of cheating Medicaid programs out of hundreds of millions of dollars
by overcharging for a stomach acid drug.
2009 May 18, In Colorado
Springs Daniel Gudino (13) allegedly shot and killed his 9-year-old
brother, Ulysses, and allegedly attempted to murder his mother,
Maria Gudino (38). In 2010 a psychiatrist testified that the boy was
2009 May 18, In Larose,
Louisiana, middle-school student Justin Doucet (15) fired a gunshot
at a teacher in a classroom and then shot himself and died on May
23. Doucet left a handwritten journal and an apparent suicide note
that described his intention to kill other people.
(AP, 5/19/09)(SFC, 5/19/09, p.A5)(SFC, 5/26/09,
2009 May 18, Wayne Allwine
(62), the actor who voiced Mickey Mouse for more than 30 years, died
of complications from diabetes with Russi Taylor, his wife of 20
years and the voice of Minnie Mouse, by his side. He was the third
man behind Mickey's voice. The first was Disney himself, then Jimmy
MacDonald, who became Allwine's mentor and passed him the reins
after voicing the mouse for 30 years.
2009 May 18, In Afghanistan a
group of Afghan army soldiers in Jalalabad opened fire in a market,
killing three shopkeepers. Rocket-propelled grenades and machine
gunfire rained down on a motorcade carrying Ahmad Wali Karzai, the
brother of Afghanistan's president, in an apparent assassination
attempt. A bodyguard was killed.
2009 May 18, British PM Gordon
Brown called for "root and branch" reform to defuse an expenses
scandal that has damaged the main political parties and put pressure
on parliament's most senior figure to quit. A group of MPs launched
a rare bid to oust the Speaker of the House of Commons, over the
(Reuters, 5/18/09)(AFP, 5/18/09)
2009 May 18, In China a
government spokesman said a sex theme park that featured explicit
exhibits of genitalia and sexual culture is being demolished before
it can even open. The park, christened "Love Land" by its owners,
went under the wrecking ball over the weekend in the southwestern
city of Chongqing.
2009 May 18, UN military
commanders told top UN officials that Congolese rebels integrated
into the country's army as part of a peace deal are looting, raping
and killing the civilians they are meant to protect.
2009 May 18, In Egypt a
4-year-old girl died of bird flu, making her the country's 27th
death from the virus since 2006.
2009 May 18, A leading animal
rights group criticized Egypt for using "shocking and cruel" methods
to slaughter the country's pigs over swine flu fears, responding to
a YouTube video that showed men skewering squealing piglets with
large kitchen knives and hitting others with crowbars.
2009 May 18, In Guatemala
government opponents submitted 35,000 signatures to demand that
Congress start procedures to strip Pres. Colom of immunity from
prosecution over allegations that he ordered a lawyer killed.
2009 May 18, In Guatemala Rev.
Lawrence Rosebaugh (74) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was shot and killed
by masked gunmen who stopped a car carrying him and four other
missionaries to a meeting in Playa Grande. He had put an
international spotlight on human rights abuses in Brazil in 1977.
2009 May 18, In India Krishna
Pattabhi Jois (b.1915), a yoga teacher and practitioner famous for
popularizing Ashtanga yoga in the West, died in Mysore. He
concentrated on stretching and balancing. Ashtanga yoga literally
means "eight-limbed yoga," as outlined by the sage Patanjali in the
Yoga Sutras. According to Patanjali, the path of internal
purification for revealing the Universal Self consists of the
following eight spiritual practices: Yama (moral codes), Niyama
(self-purification and study), Asana (posture), Pranayama (breath
control), Pratyahara (sense control), Dharana (concentration),
Dhyana (meditation), Samadhi (contemplation).
(AP, 5/20/09)(Econ, 6/6/09,
2009 May 18, In Japan health
officials said a wave of new confirmations sent the number of H1N1
flu cases soaring to more than 120, prompting the government to
order the closure of schools and the cancellation of community
2009 May 18, Two Lebanese men
suspected of spying for Israel fled across the heavily fortified
border to the Jewish state, the second such escape since Lebanon
stepped up a campaign of arrests against those thought to be working
for its archenemy.
2009 May 18, In Lithuania
Pres.-elect Dalia Grybauskaite said she would consider replacing up
to five ministers in PM Andrius Kubilius' center-right Cabinet after
she takes office on July 12. "They have underestimated the real
scale of recession," she said. "The budget was way too optimistic
and needs to be revised in nearest time. We must save money." To
lead by example said she would only take half of her presidential
salary of 312,000 litas ($120,000) a year.
2009 May 18, Mexican soldiers
arrested Rodolfo Lopez and several others after they landed at
Monterrey's international airport to take over trafficking
operations in Monterrey. Several armed men were arrested in the
parking lot, where they were waiting to pick Lopez up. Police in the
southern state of Guerrero found the severed heads of three men in
an ice chest left on the side of a highway near the resort of
2009 May 18, In Nepal Maoist
lawmakers stormed the parliament and demonstrated inside the
assembly hall to block a vote for a new prime minister, a move that
could prolong the country's political crisis.
2009 May 18, Nigerian
university teachers decided to go on strike to demand the
implementation of a pay agreement with government. After
two-and-a-half years of negotiations, the government had yet to
implement the agreement on pay rises and upgrading of facilities in
2009 May 18, Pakistani jets and
helicopters bombarded militant targets in Swat, where troops entered
strategic towns in a pincer thrust towards the Taliban-held capital
of the northwest valley.
2009 May 18, In the southern
Philippines mudslides tumbled down a rain-soaked mountain, burying
dozens of shanties in a gold mining village and killing at least 26
2009 May 18, It was reported
that South Korea's top technology university has developed a plan to
power electric cars through recharging strips embedded in roadways
that use a technology to transfer energy found in some electric
2009 May 18, Somalia's war-torn
government appealed for international help to set up a coast guard,
saying it would guarantee that sea piracy near its shores is wiped
out once it has such an agency. In Malaysia representatives of the
government, attending an international conference on piracy, ruled
out allowing foreign forces on Somali soil to destroy pirate bases.
2009 May 18, Hard-line Somali
Islamist fighters captured Mahaday, 70 miles (113 km) north of
Mogadishu, after a pro-government militia abandoned it.
2009 May 18, Sri Lanka declared
it had crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels, killing their chief,
Velupillai Prabhakaran, along with top deputies, Soosai and Pottu
Amman, and ending their three-decade quest for an independent
homeland for minority Tamils. Diplomats in Brussels said the EU will
endorse a call for an independent war crimes investigation into the
killing of civilians in Sri Lanka. LTTE leaders Balasingham Nadesan
and S. Puleedevan and their families were reportedly machine-gunned
while advancing under a white flag. Defense Sec. Gotabhaya
Rajapaksa, brother of the president, later said 6,261 soldiers had
been killed in 3 years of fighting and that a total of 23,000 troops
had died since October, 1981, when the insurgency began.
(AP, 5/18/09)(Econ, 5/30/09, p.44)(Econ, 6/6/09,
2009 May 18, A Turkish court
ruled that President Abdullah Gul should stand trial for a fraud
case dating back to the late 1990s, when the Welfare Party, a
predecessor to the AK Party, was accused of misappropriating funds
from the Treasury. A court of appeals will have the final say on the
2009 May 18, The World Bank
said it would give $22 million to Zimbabwe, but said the country
must clear its long-standing arrears to qualify for more aid.
2009 May 19, "Glee," Fox's new
musical comedy, premiered.
2009 May 19, US astronauts
completed a 5-day repair of the 19-year-old Hubble Space Telescope.
The improved Hubble will take its first pictures by the end of the
(SFC, 5/20/09, p.A6)
2009 May 19, California voters
defeated 5 of 6 propositions aimed to reduce the state’s $21.3
billion budget deficit. Voters approved Prop. 1F, which barred
elected officials from receiving pay raises when the state’s reserve
fund has a deficit larger than 1% of the general fund.
(SFC, 5/20/09, p.A1)
2009 May 19, In Ventura, Ca.,
an intruder dressed in black and wearing a motorcycle helmet barged
into a beach home and stabbed to death a pregnant Davina Husted (42)
and father, Brock Husted (42) as their two children were in
2009 May 19, Scientists in New
York unveiled the skeleton of what they said could be the common
ancestor to humans, apes and other primates. The tiny creature,
officially known as Darwinius masillae, but dubbed Ida, lived 47
million years ago and is unusually well preserved. The monkey-like
creature, discovered in 1983, was preserved through the ages in
Germany's Messel Pit, a crater rich in Eocene Epoch fossils. New
analysis soon followed saying Darwinius does not belong in the same
primate category as monkeys, apes and humans. Instead, the analysis
concluded, it falls into the other major grouping, which includes
(AFP, 5/19/09)(AP, 10/21/09)
2009 May 19, In Oklahoma City
pharmacist Jerome Ersland (57), confronted by two holdup men,
pulled a gun, shot one of them in the head and chased the other
away. Then, in a scene recorded by the drugstore's security camera,
he went behind the counter, got another gun, and pumped five more
bullets into the wounded teenager. Ersland was soon charged with
first-degree murder. District Attorney David Prater later said
Ersland was justified in shooting Antwun Parker (16) once in the
head, but not in firing the additional shots into his belly.
2009 May 19, In Afghanistan an
airstrike by NATO-led forces killed eight Afghan civilians following
a battle with militants in southern Helmand province, where Afghan
troops also killed 25 militants. This was the beginning of a 4-day
(AP, 5/20/09)(AP, 5/23/09)
2009 May 19, Michael Martin,
the Speaker of Britain's lower house, said he would step down in
June after criticism of his handling of a scandal over lawmakers'
expenses that has badly tarnished the reputation of the "Mother of
Parliaments." The last Speaker to be forced from the post was John
Trevor, who lost the confidence of the house in 1695 for taking a
2009 May 19, In London,
England, a protest outside parliament turned violent early as relief
agencies and governments called for urgent humanitarian aid after
Sri Lanka announced defeat for Tamil Tiger rebels.
2009 May 19, China and Brazil
signed a raft of agreements in Beijing including a $10 billion loan
for the South American country's state energy company and a deal to
send oil to China amid stronger ties between the two developing
2009 May 19, China’s government
Web site said Liu Youjun (46), a senior official in southern
Guangdong province, has been detained in an apparent corruption
sweep that has already targeted other major figures in the wealthy
region on the cutting-edge of China's economic reforms.
2009 May 19, Colombian
lawmakers approved a proposal for voters to decide in a referendum
whether to change the constitution and let President Alvaro Uribe
seek a third term.
2009 May 19, In India newly
elected Congress lawmakers formally chose PM Manmohan Singh as their
leader for a second term, clearing the way for the swearing in of
his new government this week.
2009 May 19, Environmental
groups in Indonesia said Singapore-based Asia Pulp &
Paper, one of the world's largest paper companies, plans to
clear a large swath of unprotected forest in Indonesia being used as
a sanctuary for critically endangered orangutans.
2009 May 19, Italian police
arrested Franco Letizia (31), one of the country's "most-dangerous"
fugitives, in raids that netted at least 70 suspected members of the
Naples-based Camorra crime syndicate. The search for dozens more was
still under way.
2009 May 19, Malawi held
elections. Voters chose between re-electing Malawi's President Bingu
wa Mutharika (75) or replacing him with challenger John Tembo (77)
backed by his predecessor. The race between Mutharika and Tembo was
too close to predict going into the polls. Mutharika, a former World
Bank official credited with bringing economic gains to the southern
African nation of 12 million, won the national election with about
66% of the vote.
(AP, 5/19/09)(AP, 5/22/09)
2009 May 19, Inmates at a
Mexico City prison rioted over restrictions on visits due to swine
flu, as the country reported two more confirmed deaths, raising the
toll to 74 nationwide.
2009 May 19, Russia announced
it has created a commission to fight what President Dmitry Medvedev
says are efforts to hurt his country by falsifying history, part of
a campaign to promote the Kremlin's views and silence those who
2009 May 19, Russia and the US
held talks in Moscow aimed at cutting stockpiles of nuclear weapons,
a move that could herald a thaw in relations between the former Cold
2009 May 19, A Spanish court
sentenced three senior army officers to prison for knowingly
misidentifying the bodies of 30 peacekeepers killed in a plane crash
on May 26, 2003, in northwestern Turkey. 32 of the Spaniards were
identified correctly but relatives of the other 30 got the wrong
2009 May 19, In Somalia
witnesses said that Ethiopian troops have crossed the border and
appear to be stationing themselves at a strategic crossroads.
Ethiopia denied the reports. Witnesses said they saw Ethiopian
troops in the Somali town of Kalabeyr, 14 miles (22 km) from the
Ethiopian border and 11 miles (18 km) north of Belet Weyne, the
provincial capital of the Hiran region.
2009 May 19, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon formally named Bill Clinton as its
special envoy to Haiti.
2009 May 19, The UN Security
Council said that it had asked the Congolese government to
investigate and arrest five high-ranking army officers known to have
2009 May 20, President Obama
signed the Homeless Emergency and Rapid Transition to Housing
(HEARTH) Act of 2009. The HEARTH Act amends and reauthorizes the
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act with substantial changes.
2009 May 20, The US House
passed legislation imposing new rules on credit card companies.
Attached to the legislation was a bill allowing people to bring
concealed and loaded guns into US national parks. Pres. Obama signed
the legislation on May 22.
(SFC, 5/21/09, p.A4)(http://tinyurl.com/qbhe4g)
2009 May 20, In Alabama 5
Birmingham police officers were fired for beating an unconscious
suspect ejected from a car after a chase. The attack was captured on
a patrol car videotape but didn't surface publicly for a year. The
video shows police pursuing Anthony Warren's van on Jan. 23, 2008.
One officer on foot was hurt when the van swerved through traffic.
It overturned on a ramp, ejecting Warren, who lay motionless as
officers ran toward him. The video shows them beating him with their
fists, feet and a billy club.
2009 May 20, SF-based
Craigslist sued South Carolina’s Attorney Gen’l. Henry McMaster to
block him from filing criminal charges against the online classified
site for abetting prostitution.
(SFC, 5/21/09, p.C1)
2009 May 20, In NYC four
ex-convicts, 3 Americans and a Haitian citizen, were arrested and
accused of plotting to place bombs at NYC synagogues and shoot down
National Guard jets. James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams
and Laguerre Payen envisioned themselves as holy warriors. The 4 men
were convicted on Oct 18, 2010. They were caught in an FBI sting
operation led by undercover informant Shahed Hussain, who faced
serious punishment in a separate fraud case.
5/22/09, p.A7)(SFC, 10/19/10, p.A6)
2009 May 20, Nebraska Gov. Dave
Heinemen signed a bill to prevent registered sex offenders from
using social networking sites such as Facebook.
(SFC, 5/21/09, p.A4)
2009 May 20, Eric Yang (13),
Singapore-born Texas student, won the National Geographic Bee and
took home a $25,000 college scholarship.
(SFC, 5/21/09, p.A7)
2009 May 20, In Afghanistan a
roadside bomb near Kabul killed two Americans, one service member
and a civilian. 7 militants died after a firefight and airstrikes in
central Ghazni province.
(AP, 5/20/09)(AP, 5/21/09)
2009 May 20, Australian
authorities declared a state of emergency in Queensland as
torrential rain and gale force winds caused extensive flooding and
left one man dead.
2009 May 20, In Britain
hundreds of protesters blocked roads near an oil refinery, as other
sites were hit by a second day of wildcat strikes in a dispute over
hiring foreign workers.
2009 May 20, British actress
Lucy Gordon (28), an up-and-coming talent who played a role in
Spider-Man 3 and will soon appear as Jane Birkin in a Serge
Gainsbourg biopic, killed herself in Paris.
2009 May 20, The Cayman Islands
elected a new government.
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.42)
2009 May 20, EU and Chinese
leaders met in Prague to tackle the economic crisis and turn the
page on tensions over the Dalai Lama. Lingering differences cast a
shadow over the talks.
2009 May 20, In India the
shanty home of another "Slumdog Millionaire" child star was torn
down by Mumbai authorities as they demolished part of city's slum
where she lived.
2009 May 20, An Indonesian
C-130 Hercules military transport plane, carrying troops and their
families, crashed into a row of houses in East Java and burst into
flames, killing 99 people.
2009 May 20, Pres. Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad said Iran test-fired a new advanced missile with a range
capable of reaching Israel and US Mideast bases. The solid-fuel
Sajjil-2 surface-to-surface missile has a range of about 1,200
miles, far enough to strike at southeastern Europe.
2009 May 20, An Iraqi
government agency reported that nearly one in four Iraqis lives
below the poverty line. A car bomb exploded near a group of
restaurants in the Shiite Shula neighborhood of northwest Baghdad,
leaving 41 people dead and more than 70 others injured.
(AP, 5/21/09)(SFC, 5/21/09, p.A3)
2009 May 20, Ireland’s High
Court Justice Sean Ryan unveiled a 2,600-page final report of
Ireland's Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse, which is based on
testimony from thousands of former students and officials from more
than 250 church-run institutions. The nine-year investigation into
Ireland's Roman Catholic-run institutions says priests and nuns
terrorized thousands of boys and girls in workhouse-style schools
for decades, and government inspectors failed to stop the chronic
beatings, rapes and humiliation.
2009 May 20, In Mexico Raymundo
Almanza Morales, a top lieutenant of the Gulf drug cartel and listed
among Mexico's 37 most-wanted traffickers, was captured in Monterrey
along with 3 other suspects after soldiers received an tip.
2009 May 20, Pakistani troops
killed 80 militants and drove the Taliban from a major urban
stronghold, as US military planes brought aid for refugees fleeing
fierce fighting across the northwest. Government forces cleared
Sultanwas, the main Taliban-held town in Buner, overnight following
intense clashes. Residents of Kalam gathered quickly to fight off
the Taliban. They captured eight militants during a shootout and
were expecting another attack.
(AP, 5/20/09)(AP, 5/21/09)
2009 May 20, Paraguay President
Fernando Lugo dismissed the heads of his army, navy and engineering
corps for allowing nearly 1,000 Marxist youth to host a congress on
2009 May 20, In Somalia an
attack by Islamic insurgents on Somali troops near an African Union
peacekeeping base in Mogadishu killed at least three civilians,
including one child, as regional leaders met to discuss ways of
aiding the beleaguered government.
2009 May 20, Sri Lanka
celebrated victory over the Tamil Tigers with a national holiday as
the army hunted fugitive rebels, shooting dead 8 thought to have
escaped from the final battle.
2009 May 20, In Venezuela
thousands of university students marched through Caracas demanding
more state financial aid for public universities after President
Hugo Chavez's government reduced funding by 6 percent.
2009 May 21, Alaska’s Gov.
Sarah Palin became the only governor to turn down federal stimulus
money for energy efficiency, a move that legislators called
"disappointing" for a state with some of the country's highest
2009 May 21, In northern
California police arrested James Stanley Koenig (57), Gary T.
Armitage (59) and Jeffery A. Guidi (54) for running an alleged Ponzi
scheme that swindled thousands of people of more then $200 million
(SFC, 5/23/09, p.B1)
2009 May 21, In Florida 11
people were indicted in Miami on charges of running a money
laundering racket for the Bonano crime family of New York. A FBI
agent posing as a crooked businessman was key to the indictment.
(SFC, 5/22/09, p.A6)
2009 May 21, Linda Fleming
(66), a woman with late-stage pancreatic cancer, became the first
person to kill herself under Washington state's new assisted suicide
law, known as "death with dignity."
2009 May 21, In Afghanistan two
militants were killed and six others detained after a clash in
southern Helmand province. A US military statement said US and
Afghan forces had seized 16.5 tons of drugs and killed 34 Islamic
militants during a 3-day operation in the south.
(AP, 5/21/09)(SFC, 5/22/09, p.A2)
2009 May 21, Bolivia’s
President Evo Morales called for an about-face in relations with
Washington, saying past diplomatic spats can be overcome if the new
US government refrains from meddling in Bolivian affairs.
2009 May 21, The British
government announced a climbdown over settlement rights for Gurkha
veterans, saying all of the Nepalese fighters who have served at
least four years can apply to live here.
2009 May 21, In Egypt Hisham
Talaat Moustafa, a real estate mogul with ties to Egyptian president
Hosni Mubarak's son, was sentenced to death for ordering the slaying
of a Lebanese pop star in a case that sparked a media frenzy in a
country where the elite is often perceived as being above the law.
Moustafa, a member of the ruling National Democratic Party, was
accused of paying a former Egyptian police officer $2 million to
kill Suzanne Tamim while she was in Dubai. Former officer, Mohsen
el-Sukkary, was also convicted and sentenced to death. On March 4,
2010, the Court of Cassation, the country's highest court of appeal,
overturned his conviction, and ordered a retrial.
(AP, 5/21/09)(AP, 3/4/10)
2009 May 21, In Georgia police
killed Giorgy Krialashvili, a former military officer accused of
plotting mutiny, and wounded two others in an overnight gunbattle.
Protesters condemned the shootings and blocked Tbilisi streets in
the seventh week of an anti-government campaign.
2009 May 21, In Iraq a suicide
bomber killed 8 US-backed Sunni paramilitaries as they waited in a
line to receive salaries at an Iraqi military base in the northern
city of Kirkuk. A bomb exploded inside a police station in western
Baghdad, killing 2 policemen and wounding 19 others. 3 American
soldiers were killed in a bombing in Baghdad that also killed 12
(AP, 5/21/09)(SFC, 5/22/09, p.A4)
2009 May 21, Israeli security
forces demolished a minor Jewish settlement outpost in the West
Bank, three days after President Barack Obama told visiting Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he must halt settlement activity.
2009 May 21, Japan’s PM Taro
Aso again urged the public to stay calm as a total of 292 swine flu
cases were reported, including the third in greater Tokyo, the
world's largest urban area.
2009 May 21, Fathi al-Jahmi,
Libyan dissident and human rights activist repeatedly imprisoned in
Libya for defying the country's leader Moammar Gadhafi, died after
being released earlier this month to Jordan. He never regained
consciousness after having slipped into a coma following a stroke on
May 4 in a Libyan jail. He was sentenced to death in 2006 for
failing to recognize Gadhafi's authority, and remained behind bars
until his release to Jordan.
2009 May 21, Nepal's Maoists
agreed to stop blocking parliamentary proceedings so lawmakers can
choose a new government to ease the country's political crisis.
Lawmakers from the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) said that
although they had agreed to lift their protests, they would
permanently end them only if the chamber takes up a motion censuring
President Ram Baran Yadav.
2009 May 21, New Zealand police
launched an international search for Leo Gao, a businessman, and his
girlfriend, Kara Hurring, who allegedly took money and ran after the
Westpac Bank in Rotorua mistakenly put 10 million New Zealand
dollars ($6.1 million) into their account. The couple managed to
flee the country with about $2.3 million. Hurring returned to New
Zealand voluntarily in Feb, 2011. She faced trial in 2012 on charges
of stealing NZ$11,000 and money laundering HK$1.5 million ($192,000)
in Macau. Hui (Leo) Gao was arrested by Hong Kong border patrol on
Sep 29 as he tried to enter the territory from China.
(AP, 5/21/09)(AP, 5/22/09)(AFP, 9/30/11)(AFP,
2009 May 21, Pakistan said five
soldiers and an unspecified number of "miscreants-terrorists" were
killed in battles in several parts of the Swat valley during the
previous 24 hours. Seven militants were captured.
2009 May 21, South Korea’s
Supreme Court said that doctors treating a comatose woman (76) must
remove her from life support as her family requested, the first time
it has ruled in favor of a patient's right to die.
2009 May 21, Sri Lanka said it
planned to return most of the nearly 300,000 civilians displaced by
civil war to their homes this year as the president called on the
country to be magnanimous in victory.
2009 May 21, Sudan announced
the results of a nationwide census seen as crucial to prepare
constituencies for elections next year, but which former southern
rebels said they would reject. The census showed Sudan to have a
total population of 39,154,490, with 8,260,490 or 21 percent living
in the south.
2009 May 21, In Venezuela
police and soldiers raided a property belonging to the head of the
only anti-government news network amid a growing confrontation
between the station and President Hugo Chavez's government.
2009 May 21, Zimbabwe’s PM
Morgan Tsvangirai said the unity government has agreed on key
appointments in an attempt to resolve the political impasse that has
paralyzed the new administration.
2009 May 22, President Obama
signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and
Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009, marking a turning point for American
consumers and ending the days of unfair rate hikes and hidden fees.
The new rules went into effect on Feb 22, 2010.
(http://tinyurl.com/qbhe4g)(SFC, 2/23/10, p.D2)
2009 May 22, In Pinole, Ca.,
Anthony Ramirez (23) was interrupted in an attempted robbery of a
home and escaped leaving behind his cell phone. Ramirez was a
suspect in 3 recent East Bay slayings and was apprehended on May 27
following calls to himself to retrieve his cell phone.
(SFC, 6/3/09, p.B2)
2009 May 22, The African Union
called on the UN Security Council to take "immediate measures" to
impose sanctions on Eritrea over its support for Islamist insurgents
2009 May 22, Brazil's Supreme
Court approved the extradition to the US of Pablo Rayo Montano, a
Colombian-born drug lord accused of running one of the world's
largest drug smuggling operations.
2009 May 22, In Brazil a
twin-engine plane crashed near a private airport in a northeastern
coastal resort area, killing all 11 people aboard.
2009 May 22, A Canadian court
found Desire Munyaneza (42), a Rwandan man, guilty of genocide,
crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the 1994
Rwanda genocide, making him the first person convicted under
Canada's war crimes act. Munyaneza arrived in Canada in 1997 and
unsuccessfully tried to claim refugee status. Police subsequently
launched an investigation and arrested him in 2005. On Oct 29
Munyaneza was sentenced to 25 years in prison before becoming
eligible for parole.
(Reuters, 5/22/09)(Reuters, 10/29/09)
2009 May 22, A Toronto-area man
(21) convicted of belonging to a group plotting al Qaeda-inspired
attacks on Canadian landmarks was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in jail,
the first sentence handed out in the so-called "Toronto 18" case. He
has already spent two years in custody and will likely be released
soon due to credit for time already served.
2009 May 22, In Egypt Ayman
Nour, a prominent Egyptian dissident, was attacked by an assailant
on a motorcycle who ignited a flammable substance in his face,
leaving his head burned. Nour accused elements within the ruling
party of being behind the attack.
2009 May 22, Haiti's civil
protection department said floods have killed at least 11 people
this week as heavy rains swamp towns still rebuilding from last
2009 May 22, In Iraq the body
of Jim Kitterman (60), an American civilian contractor, was found
stabbed to death in a vehicle in the Green Zone. Another contractor
was killed by a rocket attack near the American Embassy. An American
soldier died in a noncombat incident in Baghdad province. In June
Iraqi authorities detained 4 Americans and one Iraqi in connection
with the death of Kitterman, in what could be the first case of
Americans facing local justice under a joint security pact that took
effect this year. 3 of the detained American were soon released due
to insufficient evidence.
(AP, 5/23/09)(AP, 6/7/09)(AP, 6/8/09)(AP,
2009 May 22, Israeli troops
crossed into Gaza and killed two Palestinian militants who were
planting a bomb along the border fence before dawn.
2009 May 22, An Italian warship
arrested nine pirates after helping a US-flagged container vessel
and another ship evade brigands off the coast of Somalia.
2009 May 22, Police in Morocco
uncovered more than 20 tons of cannabis resin, one of the country's
largest ever hash hauls, hidden in steel crates destined for France.
2009 May 22, Myanmar opposition
leader Aung San Suu Kyi pleaded not guilty at her trial and blamed
the regime's lax security for allowing an American intruder to swim
uninvited to her lakeside home.
2009 May 22, Nigeria's foreign
minister said that the military has rescued 12 hostages, eight
Filipinos and four Ukrainians, from militants being targeted by the
armed forces in the southern oil region. The military said a dozen
troops had gone missing in the region.
2009 May 22, In Pakistan a bomb
exploded at a congested marketplace in the northwestern city of
Peshawar, killing at least 5 people wounding dozens. Troops
encircled Taliban militants in their mountain base as well as the
main town in the Swat Valley, as the UN appealed for $543 million to
ease the suffering of nearly 2 million refugees from the fighting.
(AFP, 5/22/09)(AP, 5/22/09)(SFC, 5/23/09, p.A2)
2009 May 22, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev challenged EU leaders meeting at a summit in
Khabarovsk to help Ukraine pay its gas bills in order to prevent
disruption of Russian supplies to Europe.
2009 May 22, Serbian
authorities said they will investigate a drug rehab facility
sponsored by the Serbian Orthodox Church after the publication of a
video showing one of the patients being severely beaten with a
shovel by Orthodox priest Branislav Peranovic. On May 27 Peranovic
was removed from his job leading the Crna Reka center in southern
Serbia. On May 29 an employee of the center, shown in another video
punching a patient with brass knuckles, was charged by police.
(AP, 5/22/09)(AP, 5/27/09)
2009 May 22, Hundreds of Somali
government troops attacked insurgent-held positions north and south
of Mogadishu and the heart of the city was heavily shelled. One
witness said a busload of fleeing civilians was hit. Fighting
between Somali government troops and Islamic insurgents killed 53
people in Mogadishu. Residents reported that the operation had
failed to dislodge the insurgents.
(AP, 5/22/09)(AP, 5/23/09)
2009 May 23, Pres. Obama
selected Gen. Charles Bolden (62), a retired astronaut, to lead
(SSFC, 5/24/09, p.A16)
2009 May 23, It was reported
that millions of bats in at least 7 US states (Connecticut, New
York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and West
Virginia) have died from white-nose syndrome, a fungal diseases. In
2011 the fungus Geomyces destructans was identified as the cause.
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.36)(SFC, 10/28/11, p.A18)
2009 May 23, In Afghanistan a
group of Taliban fighters in Ghazni province ambushed police in a
market and one civilian was killed in the firefight. The US military
updated earlier reports and said international and Afghan forces
have killed 60 militants and seized 102 tons (92 metric tons) of
opium poppy seeds, drugs and chemicals during a four-day operation
in southern Helmand province. A British soldier with the NATO-led
alliance was killed in a bomb blast in the insurgency-hit south of
(AP, 5/23/09)(AFP, 5/24/09)
2009 May 23, In Australia
thousands more people in the flood-hit east were told to leave their
homes as gale-force winds lashed the coast. Emergency services said
up to 20,000 people had been cut off.
2009 May 23, Horst Koehler won
a 2nd term as German president in a parliamentary vote that gave
conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel a symbolic victory months
ahead of a national election.
2009 May 23, Nepal’s lawmakers
elected communist party leader Madhav Kumar Nepal (56) as the new
prime minister in a move aimed at ending weeks of political turmoil.
2 people were killed, one of them a teenager, and 14 wounded when a
bomb exploded in a packed Roman Catholic church on the outskirts of
2009 May 23, The Church of
Scotland voted in favor of appointing an openly gay minister, the
latest case involving sexuality to create a division in the Anglican
Communion. The church's ruling body voted 326 to 267 to support the
appointment of the Rev. Scott Rennie (37), who was previously
married to a woman and is now in a relationship with a man.
2009 May 23, Pakistani security
forces entered Mingora, the main town in a northwestern Taliban
stronghold, engaging in fierce street battles as they tried to
wrench the Swat Valley from militants. 17 suspected militants were
killed in the past 24 hours of the operation. Matta, another major
town in the valley, has been cleared of militants, but some 1,500 to
2,000 insurgents remain in the valley. Gunmen in southwestern
Baluchistan province kidnapped a French tourist, snatching him from
a group of compatriots.
(AP, 5/23/09)(AFP, 5/23/09)
2009 May 23, It was reported
that Saudi Arabian investors were spending $100 million to raise
wheat, barley and rise on land leased from the government of
Ethiopia. The World Food Program estimated that it would spend
almost the same amount between 2007 and 2011 to provide 230,000 tons
of food aid to some 4.6 million Ethiopians threatened by hunger and
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.61)
2009 May 23, Former South
Korean President Roh Moo-hyun (62) jumped to his death while hiking
in the mountains behind his rural home. His hard-won reputation as a
corruption fighter was tarnished by bribery allegations that drew in
his family and closest associates.
(AP, 5/23/09)(Econ, 5/30/09, p.88)
2009 May 24, The space shuttle
Atlantis and its 7 astronauts landed at Edwards Air Force Base in
California ending a 13-day mission that repaired and enhanced the
Hubble Space Telescope. Stormy weather in Florida prevented a return
to NASA's home base.
(AP, 5/24/09)(SFC, 5/25/09, p.A5)
2009 May 24, San Francisco
celebrated its 31st annual Carnaval in the Mission district.
(SFC, 5/25/09, p.B1)
2009 May 24, In Afghanistan US
troops detained 4 suspected Al-Qaida members during a raid in Khost
(SFC, 5/25/09, p.A2)
2009 May 24, In Australia
thousands of homeowners remained isolated in the flood-hit
northeast. Authorities said days of torrential rain had created a
vast "inland sea."
2009 May 24, In Austria groups
of rival worshippers at a Sikh temple in Vienna pulled knives and at
least one handgun in a mass fight. 16 people were wounded and one
preacher died the next day. The Vienna temple attended by
lower-caste Sikhs was attacked by Sikhs from a higher caste who
accused preachers of being disrespectful of the religion's Holy
(AP, 5/24/09)(AP, 5/25/09)
2009 May 24, At the Cannes Film
Festival the film “The White Ribbon" by Austrian director Michael
Haneke won the top prize. Christolph Waltz won the best actor prize
for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Bastards." Charlotte
Gainsbourg won the best actress prize for her role in Lars von
(SFC, 5/25/09, p.E4)
2009 May 24, Iran blocked
access to Facebook, prompting government critics to condemn the move
as an attempt to muzzle the opposition ahead of next month's
2009 May 24, Israel’s PM
Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel will continue to build homes in
existing West Bank settlements, defying US calls to halt settlement
2009 May 24, Voters in Mongolia
went to the polls to choose a new president less than a year after
allegations of vote-rigging in parliamentary elections triggered
deadly riots. The Democratic Party candidate Elbegdorj Tsakhia won
51.24% of the votes, while incumbent Enkbayar Nambar of the
Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, the former communists, won
(AFP, 5/24/09)(AP, 5/25/09)
2009 May 24, In Morocco 11
people were killed in a stampede at a stadium in the capital, Rabat,
overnight when thousands of spectators hurried to leave at the end
of a concert wrapping up the city's landmark music festival.
2009 May 24, The Nigerian army
said that over the last 2 days it freed a total of six Filipinos
held hostage in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
2009 May 24, In Northern
Ireland over 20 militant Protestant supporters of the Glasgow
Rangers soccer team beat to death a Catholic man in Coleraine after
the Rangers clinched a championship.
(SFC, 5/26/09, p.A2)
2009 May 24, Pakistani troops
battling the Taliban captured several points in the Swat Valley's
main town, including a spot nicknamed "bloody intersection" because
militants routinely dumped the mutilated bodies of their victims
there. Five suspected militants were killed in various parts of
Mingora while 14 others were arrested. Overall in the valley, 10
militants were killed in the past 24 hours while three security
troops died. Elsewhere in the northwest, helicopter gunships pounded
alleged militant hide-outs in a tribal region, killing at least 18
people. Police said they had captured Qari Ihsanullah, an important
militant commander and six other Taliban fighters.
2009 May 24, In Somalia a
foreign suicide bomber killed six guards and a civilian at a
military base in Mogadishu, an attack that came after two weeks of
2009 May 24, In Sudan raiders
attempted but failed to overrun the army base at Umm Baru, close to
the Chadian border in north Darfur. The next day an army spokesman
said 20 Sudanese soldiers were killed in the fierce fighting and
that 43 rebels had died.
(Reuters, 5/25/09)(AFP, 5/25/09)
2009 May 25, The US Coast Guard
cutter Venturous intercepted a smugglers' boat near the Haitian
barrier island of La Tortue and took on board 35 of the
approximately 100 illegal passengers. 6 armed smugglers threatened
other passengers and prevented them from getting on the Coast Guard
ship, instead fleeing with them aboard the vessel in shallow water.
2009 May 25, In Alabama
prisoners Joshua Southwick (26) and Ashton Mink (22) were mistakenly
allowed outside a prison by a worker who thought they were kitchen
trusties. On June 6 they were arrested after a nearly 14-hour
standoff on a ranch in North Dakota. Also taken into custody were
two women who authorities said helped the men escape: Angela Diana
Mink (25) and Jacquelin Rae Kennamer Mink (25) Mink's sister and
2009 May 25, In southern
Afghanistan a roadside bomb killed four civilians in Zabul province.
An operation by US-led forces against a Taliban commander left 3
people dead and a woman and child wounded in Helmand province. US
forces killed eight Taliban fighters in a clash Uruzgan province. 2
coalition troops and 3 Afghan policemen were wounded during the
(AP, 5/25/09)(AP, 5/26/09)
2009 May 25, In Britain an
internal military memo published confirmed that computer disks lost
at a British Royal Air Force base last September contained sensitive
files on the private lives of senior officers, including answers to
vetting questions about drug abuse, extramarital affairs and the use
2009 May 25, Dairy farmers
created traffic chaos in Berlin, blocked milk processing plants in
France and protested at EU headquarters in Brussels, seeking more
aid to cope with a sharp drop in milk prices.
2009 May 25, In Egypt a judge
overturned the conviction and two-year prison sentence of Saad Eddin
Ibrahim, an exiled Egyptian-American academic and outspoken critic
of the regime, paving the way for his return home.
2009 May 25, In Paris the
Church of Scientology and six of its French leaders went on trial on
charges of organized fraud that could lead to an outright ban on the
organization in France.
2009 May 25, In India 2
protesters were killed in Punjab state in fierce rioting sparked by
the shooting dead of a guru in fighting between rival Sikh
communities in Austria.
2009 May 25, In western Iraq a
roadside bomb struck a US convoy in Fallujah , killing three
Americans, including a State Department employee.
2009 May 25, It was reported
that a secret Israeli government report said Venezuela and Bolivia
are supplying Iran with uranium for its nuclear program.
2009 May 25, Israeli writer
Amos Elon (82), one of the country's leading chroniclers and
critics, died in his adopted home of Italy. His best-known book,
"The Israelis: Founders and Sons" (1971), stood out as one of the
first works by an Israeli to deal with the national aspirations of
2009 May 25, In Mexico Eliseo
Barron, a veteran crime reporter for the La Opinion Milenio
newspaper, was kidnapped from his home in Torreon. His body was
found hours later found in an irrigation ditch in the drug-plagued
northern Mexican state of Durango. Mexico's army arrested two US
citizens for allegedly kidnapping a hardware store clerk in the
northern border city of Tijuana. 20-year-old Teddy Toledo and his
sister, both of California, and two others were arrested for
abducting the clerk a week ago. Five suspects were arrested on June
11, including one man who told authorities the journalist was slain
as a warning against meddling with a powerful drug cartel.
(AP, 5/26/09)(AP, 5/27/09)(SSFC, 5/31/09,
2009 May 25, In Nigeria
militants sabotaged major crude pipelines in the chaotic oil region,
further trimming crude production as the military widened an
operation to uproot the fighters. Chevron in Nigeria reported a
100,000 barrel-per-day oil output cut after a militant attack the
day before on one of its pipelines in the southern Delta state. The
militants said they had released three Filipino hostages seized this
(AP, 5/25/09)(AFP, 5/25/09)
2009 May 25, North Korea
claimed it carried out a powerful underground nuclear test, much
larger than one conducted in 2006. Russia's Defense Ministry
confirmed an atomic explosion at 9:54 a.m. (0054 GMT) in
northeastern North Korea, estimating the blast's yield at 10 to 20
kilotons, comparable to the bombs that flattened Hiroshima and
2009 May 25, Haakon Lie
(b.1905), a pioneer of Norway's welfare state and one of the
country's most influential politicians, died in Oslo. His several
books included "Slik jeg ser det naa" ("As I See it Now"), which was
published last year.
2009 May 25, Pakistan's
military said it was facing "stiff resistance" as it battled to
wrest Swat valley out of Taliban hands, in an offensive that has
scattered 2.38 million terrified civilians.
2009 May 26, President Barack
Obama tapped federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme
Court, making her the first Hispanic in history picked to wear the
robes of a justice.
2009 May 26, The California
Supreme Court ruled 6-1 to uphold proposition 8, the November
initiative that amended the state constitution to define marriage as
the union of a man and a woman. The court said same-sex couple
married before Nov. 4 remain legally wed.
(SFC, 5/27/09, p.A1,6)
2009 May 26, In Afghanistan a
suicide bomber rammed an explosives-rigged car into a military
convoy in eastern Kapisa province, killing three American soldiers
and three Afghan civilians. In the eastern Logar province US and
Afghan troops called in airstrikes on two groups of militants,
killing 13 insurgents. In eastern Khost province, a convoy of Afghan
and American troops killed the driver of a car when the vehicle did
not slow down in response to shouts to stop and warning shots.
2009 May 26, In Algeria 9
soldiers were killed near Biskra, 425 kilometers south of the
capital, in n ambush which wounded 10 others.
2009 May 26, Cyclone Aila
lashed low-lying areas in eastern India and Bangladesh, destroying
thousands of homes, stranding tens of thousands of people in flooded
villages and killing at least 191 before it began to ease.
(AP, 5/26/09)(AP, 5/27/09)
2009 May 26, Wilmer Ignacio
Guerrero Ibanez (40), a suspected trafficker accused of smuggling
cocaine through Venezuela was deported to Colombia, where officials
took him into custody at an international bridge linking the
2009 May 26, In Denmark
business leaders attending the World Business Summit on Climate
Change urged governments to order steep and mandatory cuts in
greenhouse gases, favoring a cap-and-trade system instead of a tax
to set a market price for carbon waste.
2009 May 26, A Danish court
ruled that residents of Copenhagen's counterculture Christiania
neighborhood have no right to use the former navy base they took
over in 1971. The residents planned to appeal.
2009 May 26, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy opened his nation's first military base in the Gulf
outside Abu Dhabi, boosting the naval presence along strategic oil
routes and in pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast.
2009 May 26, In Paris the body
of Polish-born French woman Kinga Legg (36) was found at the
exclusive Hotel Bristol. Police sought her English boyfriend Ian
2009 May 26, Iran restored
access to Facebook, after a block on the social networking Web site
last week generated accusations that the government was trying to
muzzle one of the main presidential campaign tools of the reformist
2009 May 26, A leading rights
group urged Jordan to stop the detentions of thousands without trial
each year and annul a 55-year-old law that allows people to be held
without due process.
2009 May 26, Libya and Ukraine
signed deals to cooperate in both peaceful civilian nuclear energy
and in defense during a visit by Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko.
2009 May 26, Mexican federal
forces detained 10 mayors and 18 other officials for allegedly
protecting one of Mexico's most violent drug cartels in an
unprecedented anti-corruption sweep in the Pacific coast state of
Michoacan. Three of the mayors were released soon after they were
arrested, 4 others were quietly let go Jan. 30.
(AP, 5/27/09)(AP, 3/4/10)
2009 May 26, In New Zealand an
animal keeper was mauled to death by a rare white tiger at a
wildlife park in New Zealand while visitors watched in horror. South
African national Dalu Mncube was attacked after he and a colleague
entered the cage at Zion Wildlife Park on New Zealand's North Island
to clean it.
2009 May 26, The Nigerian army
said it destroyed a militants' camp in the restive Niger Delta as it
kept up operations to stem the violence and kidnappings of soldiers
and foreigners in the oil-rich region.
2009 May 26, North Korea
reportedly tested two more short-range missiles, a day after
detonating a nuclear bomb underground, pushing the regime further
into a confrontation with world powers despite the threat of UN
2009 May 26, Pakistan's supreme
court overturned a ban on former premier Nawaz Sharif from holding
office, allowing the popular opposition leader to contest elections.
Military commanders said troops fighting street-by-street with
Taliban militants have regained control of more than half of the
largest town in the Swat valley, and many insurgents were now
fleeing the battlefield.
(AFP, 5/26/09)(AP, 5/26/09)
2009 May 26, Russia's uranium
export company signed a groundbreaking $1 billion package of
contracts to supply three US utilities with enriched fuel for
nuclear power plants. Tenex signed contracts to provide enriched
uranium fuel to San Francisco, California-based Pacific Gas &
Electric Company; St. Louis, Missouri-based AmerenUE; and Dallas,
Texas-based Luminant. Tenex will supply fuel to the US utilities
from 2014 through 2020 under the contracts, which provide the option
2009 May 26, Somali insurgents
fired mortars at the presidential palace in Mogadishu, killing seven
civilians and two government soldiers. The UN Security Council voted
unanimously to condemn the recent surge in fighting in Somalia and
called for an end to actions that undermine the country's
2009 May 26, In Sudan scores of
policemen and nearly 200 tribesmen were killed when 3,000 armed Arab
tribesmen on horseback attacked security forces in the oil-producing
Southern Kordofan region.
(Reuters, 5/26/09)(Reuters, 5/29/09)
2009 May 26, A Swedish Navy
ship detained seven suspected pirates after stopping them from
capturing a cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden.
2009 May 26, Tunisia’s Justice
Minister Bechir Tekkari said his country is ready to accept the 10
Tunisians held at Guantanamo Bay.
(SFC, 5/27/09, p.A2)
2009 May 26, A fire at a
western Turkish hospital killed eight patients in an intensive care
2009 May 26, The Red Cross said
the number of cholera cases in Zimbabwe is expected to cross the
100,000 mark in the coming days, warning that the epidemic was
Africa's worst in 15 years.
2009 May 27, US federal
prosecutors dropped a 5-year probe on former California state Senate
leader Don Perata (64). The FBI had begun a probe of the Oakland
Democrat in 2003 following charges of financial improprieties.
(SFC, 5/28/09, p.A1)
2009 May 27, In Texas
authorities indicted 51 defendants on state charges in Fort Bend
County, while 22 were indicted on federal charges for distributing
anabolic steroids, human growth hormones and other drugs.
2009 May 27, In Texas Shukri
Abu Baker (50) and Ghassan Elashi (55), founding members of the
Holyland Foundation for Relief and Development, were sentenced to 65
years in prison for funneling millions of dollars to the Palestinian
militant group Hamas. They were among 5 members of the group
sentenced to prison.
(SFC, 5/28/09, p.A5)
2009 May 27, Toys R Us Inc.
said it acquired toy retailer FAO Schwarz, which has struggled for
years through bankruptcies amid tough competition from discount
2009 May 27, In Florida a
demolition crew sank the USS Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg seven miles off
Key West, where it will become one of the world’s largest man made
reefs. The WWII ship was last used by the Air Force to track
missiles and spacecraft.
(SFC, 5/26/09, p.A8)(SFC, 5/28/09, p.A5)
2009 May 27, Clive W.G.
Granger (b.1934), co-winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Economics,
died in San Diego. The Wales-born economist shared the prize with
his longtime UC San Diego colleague Robert Engle for showing that
relationships between factors like money supply and national income
change over time and could not be relied on as steady measures of
(SFC, 6/3/09, p.B5)
2009 May 27, The Rev. Gerard
Jean-Juste, a champion of the poor in Haiti and close supporter of
Aristide, died in Miami following complications from a stroke.
2009 May 27, In Afghanistan air
strikes, gunbattles and attacks killed 28 people across the country,
including a government official shot dead with three of his sons
near the Pakistani border. Mohammad Nader, governor of the Omna
district in the eastern province of Paktika, was travelling with his
family to go back home near the Pakistan border when armed
2009 May 27, Alice Munro (77),
Canadian short writer, won the Man Booker international prize.
(Econ, 5/30/09, p.86)
2009 May 27, In Iraq a car bomb
exploded near a medical compound in Abu Ghraib west of Baghdad,
wounding at least 15 Iraqis. A roadside bomb killed a US soldier in
Baghdad, making May the deadliest month for the American military
2009 May 27, Italian police
issued 61 arrest warrants against purported members of Naples’
Camorra mob for allegedly running drug and extortion rings. Suspects
arrested included 9 women and several bosses of the Sarno clan.
(SFC, 5/28/09, p.A2)
2009 May 27, Malaysian police
rescued three men shackled to the wall of a filthy room for two
months by illegal moneylenders after failing to repay their debts.
2009 May 27, In Nigeria Ken
Niweigha, a gang leader from the restive oil-rich Niger Delta, was
killed in southern state of Bayelsa, a day after being arrested.
Niweigha was accused of being behind the 1999 shooting of several
police officers in Bayelsa that led to the town of Odi being razed
by the security forces in reprisal.
2009 May 27, North Korea
renounced its 1953 truce with the allied forces and threatened to
strike any ships trying to intercept its vessels. Facing
international censure for this week's nuclear test, it threatened to
attack the South after it joined a US-led plan to check vessels
suspected of carrying equipment for weapons of mass destruction.
2009 May 27, In Pakistan
suspected suicide attackers detonated a car bomb that destroyed a
police building and sheared walls off a nearby office of the top
intelligence service in Lahore. About 30 people were killed and some
300 wounded. Troops backed by helicopter gunships killed 10
suspected militants and captured a cache of weapons in raids on
Siplapai town in South Waziristan.
(AP, 5/27/09)(AFP, 5/27/09)(AP, 5/28/09)
2009 May 27, A Russian space
capsule, carrying Canadian Bob Thirsk, Russian Roman Romanenko and
Belgian Frank De Winne, blasted off from Kazakhstan for a 2 day
journey to the ISS.
(SFC, 5/28/09, p.A2)
2009 May 27, In Spain some
100,000 people spilled onto the streets of the Catalan capital after
Barcelona's 2-0 triumph over Manchester United in Rome. The carnival
atmosphere turned ugly after midnight when youths began clashing
with police around Las Ramblas, the city's most famous street.
Police arrested 134 people and more than 150 were injured.
2009 May 27, In Sri Lanka
government troops killed 11 suspected guerrillas in the eastern
jungles, where rebel holdouts were said to be entrenched.
(SFC, 5/28/09, p.A2)
2009 May 27, In Venezuela
hundreds of opponents of President Hugo Chavez marched in support of
press freedom, two years after his government refused to renew the
concession of an opposition-aligned television station.
2009 May 28, US Agriculture
Sec. Tom Vilsack issued a directive reinstating for one year a
Clinton-era ban on new road construction and development in national
(SFC, 5/29/09, p.A7)
2009 May 28, Nebraska Gov. Dave
Heineman signed a bill to change the state’s method of execution
from electrocution to lethal injection. In February the state
Supreme Court ruled the electric chair was unconstitutional.
(SFC, 5/29/09, p.A4)
2009 May 28, Kavya Shivashankar
(13) of Olathe, Kansas, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in
(SFC, 5/29/09, p.A1)
2009 May 28, The San Francisco
Zoo agreed to pay $900,000 to brothers Amritpal and Kulbir Dhaliwal,
who survived a fatal attack by an escaped tiger on Dec 25, 2007.
(SFC, 5/29/09, p.B1)
2009 May 28, Time Warner, which
acquired America Online (AOL) in 2001, said it will spin out the
company and its 7,000 employees as a separate company under CEO Tim
(SFC, 5/29/09, p.C2)
2009 May 28, It was reported
that scientists have identified a lethal new virus in Africa that
causes bleeding like the dreaded Ebola virus. The so-called "Lujo"
virus infected five people in Zambia and South Africa last fall.
Four of them died, but a fifth survived, perhaps helped by a
medicine recommended by the scientists.
2009 May 28, In eastern
Afghanistan US coalition troops attacked a suspected foreign fighter
camp, killing 34 insurgents, including Arabs and Pakistanis, in an
intense firefight in Paktika province. In southern Afghanistan
US-led coalition forces killed 35 militants and wounded 13 others
during a clash. Insurgents in Zabul province killed eight truck
drivers ferrying supplies for foreign troops. A NATO soldier died
after a roadside bomb attack in the south.
(AP, 5/28/09)(AP, 5/29/09)
2009 May 28, Australian Foreign
Minister Stephen Smith condemned a wave of attacks on Indian
students in Melbourne after the latest assault left a 25-year-old
fighting for his life. Indian student Sravan Kumar Theerthala was
stabbed with a screwdriver on May 24 when a group of teenagers
gatecrashed a party he was attending in the suburbs of Melbourne.
2009 May 28, In Bulgaria a bus
careered down a mountainside and plowed through pedestrians heading
to a religious festival, killing at least 16 people and injuring at
2009 May 28, In Belize and
Honduras a magnitude 7.1 earthquake collapsed more than two dozen
homes, killing at least 6 people and injuring 40 others as terrified
people ran into the streets in towns across much of Central America.
2009 May 28, In Brazil raging
torrents from a ruptured dam and swamped Cocal, a northeastern
farming city of about 25,000 in Piaui state, forcing residents to
scramble onto rooftops and climb high trees to escape the deadly
floodwaters. 4 people were killed.
2009 May 28, The British Royal
Society for the Protection of Birds said in a new report that the
cuckoo bird and 51 other species were in danger of extinction due
largely to a decrease in their food and water supply in sub-Saharan
Africa, from where many migrate.
(SFC, 5/29/09, p.A2)
2009 May 28, The Indian navy
thwarted a pirate attack on a merchant ship in the Gulf of Aden off
the coast of Somalia.
2009 May 28, A ship packed with
Afghan migrants sank off Indonesia's western coast, killing at least
9 people and leaving 11 others missing.
(AP, 5/28/09)(AP, 5/29/09)
2009 May 28, In southeast Iran
a bombing in a Shiite mosque at Zahedan killed 25 people. The next
day Iran blamed the US and Israel saying the countries were trying
to stoke sectarian tension with the Sunni Muslim minority.
2009 May 28, In Iraq a roadside
bomb struck a civilian car on a highway linking the towns of
Khanaqin with Qara Tappah. The blast killed two boys ages 8 and 10
and their father.
2009 May 28, Israel defied a
surprisingly blunt US demand that it freeze all building in West
Bank Jewish settlements, saying it will press ahead with
construction. Since 1967, Israel has built 121 West Bank
settlements, now home to around 300,000 Israelis. An additional
180,000 live in Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, which, like
the West Bank, was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
(AP, 5/28/09)(AP, 6/23/09)
2009 May 28, It was reported
that Japanese researchers have added genes to monkeys that cause the
animals to glow under a fluorescent light, and that the new genetic
attributes can pass to their offspring.
(SFC, 5/28/09, p.A9)
2009 May 28, In Pakistan two
new blasts ripped through the Qissa Khawani market in Peshawar,
killing at least 13 people.
(AP, 5/28/09)(SFC, 5/29/09, p.A2)
2009 May 28, Russian PM
Vladimir Putin met Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk
amid talk of massive loans to Minsk, just days after the Belarussian
strongman made a furious attack on his Moscow ally.
2009 May 28, The Saudi Arabia,
Monetary Agency froze the bank accounts of Maan al-Sanea, head of
the Saad Group and ranked recently as the 3rd richest Arab
(Econ, 6/20/09, p.70)
2009 May 28, In Senegal UN,
African Union, EU and Arab League representatives met with Mauritian
political parties in Dakar to discuss upcoming polls and a political
stalemate since a coup.
2009 May 28, South Korean and
US troops raised their alert to the highest level since 2006 after
North Korea renounced its truce with the allied forces and
threatened to strike any ships trying to intercept its vessels.
2009 May 28, In Sudan Darfur's
most active rebel group said it intends to free 60 Sudanese troops
as a "sign of goodwill" ahead of Qatari-brokered peace talks with
2009 May 28, Swedish media
reported that a 16-year-old Iraqi immigrant living in Sweden has
cracked a maths puzzle that has stumped experts for more than 300
years. Mohamed Altoumaimi has found a formula to explain and
simplify the so-called Bernoulli numbers, a sequence of calculations
named after the 17th century Swiss mathematician Jacob Bernoulli.
2009 May 28, Turkish warplanes
attacked Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, hours after a land mine
blast on the Turkish side of the border killed six soldiers.
2009 May 29, President Barack
Obama said the nation for too long has failed to adequately protect
the security of its computer networks. He will name a new cyber czar
to take on the job.
2009 May 29, Jay Leno made
hosted his last show at "Tonight," and gave a pre-debut boost to
Conan O'Brien welcoming him as his final guest.
2009 May 29, Phil Spector (69),
former music producer, was sentenced in Los Angeles to 10 years to
life in prison for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson.
(SFC, 5/30/09, p.A4)
2009 May 29, In California the
new National Ignition Facility was dedicated at Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory. It was designed to create conditions like those
found in stars and in the explosions of hydrogen bombs. The project
was over 5 years behind schedule and costs to date reached $4
billion, almost 4 times the original estimate.
(SFC, 5/30/09, p.A1)(Econ, 5/30/09, p.81)
2009 May 29, In Texas a Houston
jury convicted Philippe Padieu (53) of Houston to 45 years in prison
for knowingly infecting 6 women with the AIDS virus.
(SFC, 5/30/09, p.A4)
2009 May 29, The nonbinding New
York Declaration, an agreement between the signatory flag states
which condemns acts of piracy and armed robbery against vessels and
seafarers, was originally tabled by The Bahamas, the Republic of
Liberia, the Republic of Marshall Islands and the Republic of
Panama, four nations that account for more than half of global
2009 May 29, In Afghanistan
five militants were killed in an operation in the Musa Qala region
of southern Helmand province. Six militants were killed during a
battle with police in the western province of Farah. Two would-be
suicide attackers were shot and killed in Herat. In Kandahar
province a roadside bomb killed four civilians.
2009 May 29, In Argentina Swiss
architect Peter Zumthor (66) received the 2009 Pritzker Architecture
Prize. He compared his creative process to the arc of a love affair.
2009 May 29, Cuba criticized
Microsoft for blocking its Messenger instant messaging service on
the island and in other countries under US sanctions, calling it yet
another example of Washington's "harsh" treatment of Havana.
2009 May 29, Indonesian
government marine geologist Yusuf Surachman said that a massive
underwater mountain discovered off the island of Sumatra could be a
volcano with potentially catastrophic power. It was discovered
earlier this month about 330 kilometers (205 miles) west of Bengkulu
city during research to map the seabed's seismic faultlines.
2009 May 29, A moderate think
tank led by Iran's former top nuclear negotiator accused President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of distorting facts about the country's nuclear
program to depict himself as a hero and improve his chances in the
2009 May 29, In Iraq a local
leader of a government-backed Sunni paramilitary group was killed
when a bomb hidden on a motorcycle exploded as he opened his butcher
store on the outskirts of Baqouba. Another bomb exploded inside a
bus station north of Baghdad in the Shiite enclave of Khalis,
killing at least four people and wounding 10. In northern Iraq an
American soldier was killed in a grenade attack in Ninevah province.
2009 May 29, In Kashmir the
bodies of two young women (17 & 22) were found in Shopian town.
The pregnant wife of Shakeel Ahmed Ahangar and his teenage sister
were allegedly raped and murdered by Indian soldiers.
(Reuters, 6/20/09)(Econ, 6/27/09, p.48)
2009 May 29, North Korea warned
it would act in "self-defense" if provoked by the UN Security
Council, which is considering tough sanctions over the communist
country's nuclear test, and followed the threat with the test launch
of another short-range missile.
2009 May 29, Puerto Rico fired
nearly 8,000 government workers, the start of a wave of layoffs
aimed at closing a budget deficit as the island struggles through
its third year of recession.
2009 May 29, Russian and
American officials formally dedicated a high-tech plant in southern
Siberia, built with the help of $1 billion from the US and designed
to destroy about 2 million chemical weapons shells.
2009 May 29, Saudi authorities
beheaded and crucified a man convicted of brutally slaying an
11-year-old boy and his father.
2009 May 29, In Geneva a
65-nation Conference on Disarmament broke a dozen years of deadlock
and opened the way to negotiate a new nuclear arms control treaty.
2009 May 30, In Arizona a home
invasion in rural Arivaca left Brisenia Flores (9) and her father
Raul Flores Jr., dead. In June 3 people were arrested for the
murders. Two of the people arrested headed up a splinter Minuteman
group, and were looking for drugs and money to fund their efforts to
keep illegal immigrants and drug runners out of the country. On Feb
14, 2011, Shawna Forde, head of the Minutemen American Defense
group, was found guilty of murder. On Feb 22 a jury sentenced her to
(SFC, 2/15/11, p.A10)(Econ, 3/5/11, p.38)
2009 May 30, In western
Afghanistan an overnight battle in a militant-controlled region of
Badgis province killed 30 insurgents and nine Afghan soldiers, while
a roadside bomb in northern Kunduz province wounded an Afghan
governor. A militant attack on a police checkpoint in Farah province
killed four police.
(AP, 5/30/09)(AP, 5/31/09)
2009 May 30, Susan Boyle (48),
Scottish singing sensation, was been beaten in the televised finals
of "Britain's Got Talent," by the street dance group "Diversity,"
who jumped, kicked and shook their way to victory against her.
"Diversity" mesmerized audiences with a frenetic but perfectly
choreographed dance routine.
2009 May 30, Michelle
Samaraweera (35) was rape and murdered in Walthamstow, England. On
July 4, 2009, Aman Vyas (26), a suspect in her murder and other
sexual assaults, was arrested at Indira Gandhi International Airport
just before he boarded a flight for Thailand.
2009 May 30, It was reported
that some 135 gangs in Vancouver, Canada, were believed to fighting
over drug business estimated at US$6.2 billion a year.
(Econ, 5/30/09, p.38)
2009 May 30, In southwest China
25 miners were killed and 20 trapped by a gas explosion at the
Tonghua Coal Mine in Anwen town, Chongqing municipality.
2009 May 30, In Colombia 3
computers were seized in the Bogota home of a Adela Perez (36), a
suspected FARC operative. One computer, finally decrypted in July,
contained an hour-long video that appeared to confirm that
Colombia's largest rebel army gave money to the 2006 election
campaign of President Rafael Correa of Ecuador.
2009 May 30, Cuba agreed to
resume negotiations with the US over immigration and mail service
between the two countries. Cuba also expressed a willingness to
cooperate with the US on fighting terrorism and drug trafficking,
and on hurricane disaster preparedness.
2009 May 30, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel said General Motors Corp. will sell its Opel unit and
other European assets to Canada's Magna International Inc. in a deal
that would protect the assets from GM's likely bankruptcy.
2009 May 30, In Paris a man,
wearing a suit and a hat, walked into the Chopard jewelry boutique
on the chic Place Vendome. He threatened employees with a gun and,
minutes later, walked calmly out of the store with loot worth up to
euro6.5 million. A suspect (52) was detained in the Belgian port
city of Antwerp in mid-July at the request of French justice
authorities. He was extradited to France several weeks later and put
in custody here.
2009 May 30, In Iran 3 people
convicted of involvement in the May 28 mosque bombing in Zahedan
were hanged. The men, identified as Haji Nouti Zehi, Gholam Rasoul
Shahoo Zehi and Zabihollah Naroui, were also involved in several
other bombings including a bus attack in March, 2006, that left 21
dead. Jundallah or God's Brigade, a Sunni militant group believed to
have links with al-Qaida, claimed responsibility for the attack. The
group is composed of Sunni Muslims from the Baluchi ethnic minority
who have been fighting a low level insurgency in southeastern Iran
2009 May 30, Iraq's former
trade minister, Abdul-Falah al-Sudani, wanted on a corruption charge
was arrested at the Baghdad airport after attempting to leave the
country. The minister's brothers are accused of having skimmed
millions of dollars in kickbacks on food imports. One of them is in
custody after attempting to flee the country while the other is
still at large. A man purporting to be Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the
head of the Islamic State of Iraq, issued a 40-minute tape that was
posted on militant Web sites.
(AP, 5/30/09)(AP, 6/1/09)
2009 May 30, Ephraim Katzir
(b.1916), Israel's 4th president (1973-1978), died. He was an
internationally recognized biophysicist and a founder of Israel's
renowned Weizmann Institute of Science, where he headed its
biophysics department. His work on synthetic protein models deepened
understanding of the genetic code and immune responses. Katzir was
awarded the Israel Prize, the country's highest honor, in 1959 for
his contribution to the natural sciences. He received the Japan
Prize in 1985 for his work on immobilized enzymes used in oral
2009 May 30, In Indian Kashmir
massive protests and clashes erupted after the bodies of two young
women were found amid claims that they were raped and murdered by
2009 May 30, Lebanon charged
four people with collaborating with Israel, raising to 23 the number
of suspected spies who have been charged in the last few months.
2009 May 30, In Mexico two
gunmen died in a clash with soldiers in Michaocan. The gunmen opened
fire on soldiers on patrol in the village of Moreno de Valencia.
Soldiers found a Kalashnikov rifle, a shotgun, a handgun and a
grenade inside the gunmen's sport utility vehicle.
2009 May 30, A Pakistani army
spokesman said troops have retaken Mingora, the largest town in the
Swat Valley from the Taliban, though they were still meeting pockets
of resistance from fighters on the outskirts of the town. 25
militants and seven soldiers were killed in clashes in South
Waziristan near the Afghan border, a bolt-hole for Taliban and
Al-Qaeda-linked militants south of the current army bombardment.
(AP, 5/30/09)(AP, 5/31/09)
2009 May 30, In the central
Philippines communist rebels threw two grenades at army troops
helping treat villagers, killing two soldiers and a civilian who
covered a child with his body during the attack in Northern Samar
2009 May 30, Polish Prime
Minister Donald Tusk indicated that Gulf capital was behind the
consortium which bought two of Poland's three historic shipyards
2009 May 30, Taiwan officials
said they had confiscated nearly 18,000 cases of Red Bull imported
from Austria after finding traces of cocaine. On June 1 Hong Kong
officials reported founding traces of cocaine in Red Bull cans. Red
Bull moved quickly to deny the findings and said independent tests
on the same batch of drinks had found no traces of cocaine.
2009 May 30, In South Africa 55
pilot whales beached near Cape Point, prompting a massive rescue
operation. The rescue efforts failed and 44 of the whales were shot
to end their suffering. The rest died of stress and organ failure.
(AP, 5/30/09)(AP, 5/31/09)
2009 May 30, Former Sudanese
President Gaafar al-Nimeiry (b.1930) died after a period of illness.
He took power in a coup in 1969 and brought Islamic rule to Sudan.
He spent 16 stormy years as Sudan's leader until he was ousted in
April 1985 by a military coup and granted political asylum in Egypt.
2009 May 30, Zimbabwe’s PM
Morgan Tsvangirai said that his efforts to restore democratic
freedoms and the rule of law to Zimbabwe have so far failed.
Tsvangirai urged southern African leaders to help resolve a deadlock
over the appointments of the country's bank chief and attorney
general. The national statistical agency said Zimbabwe had recorded
a minus 1.1 percent inflation rate in April, a slower fall than
March, after scrapping its worthless currency to combat world record
(AP, 5/30/09)(AFP, 5/30/09)
2009 May 31, In Kansas abortion
Dr. George Tiller (67) was shot and killed while serving as an usher
during morning services in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church
in Wichita. Scott Roeder (51) fired one shot at Tiller and
threatened two other people who tried to stop him. Roeder was taken
into custody some 170 miles away in a Kansas City suburb about three
hours after the shooting. Tiller’s clinic had been bombed in 1986,
blockaded and vandalized in 1991 and in 1993 he was shot in both
arms. On Jan 29, 2010, Roeder (51) was convicted of first degree
murder. On April 1, 2010 Roeder was sentenced to life in
(AP, 6/1/09)(SFC, 6/3/09, p.A7)(Econ, 6/6/09,
p.30)(SFC, 1/30/10, p.A4)(SFC, 4/2/10, p.A7)
2009 May 31, A robotic vehicle
named Nereus, funded by the National Science Foundation's Division
of Ocean Sciences, made the deepest ocean dive ever - 6.8 miles
(10,902 meters). At this depth, Nereus was able to explore the
Challenger Deep, the ocean's lowest point, located in the Mariana
Trench in the western Pacific.
2009 May 31, Afghan and NATO
troops killed 18 Taliban militants after insurgents attacked a joint
patrol in Farah province.
2009 May 31, A missing Air
France Airbus A330 jet, Flight 447, carrying 228 people from Rio de
Janeiro to Paris ran into lightning and strong thunderstorms over
the Atlantic Ocean. Brazil soon began a search mission off its
2009 May 31, Britain's PM
Gordon Brown, facing a national uproar over lawmakers claiming
lavish expenses, promised to pursue constitutional reforms including
a proposal to take away legislators' power to decide their own pay.
2009 May 31, Phil Bolger (81),
Gloucester, Mass., boat designer, committed suicide. His 600-700
boat designs included the famed Gloucester Gull (1961).
2009 May 31, Daniel Carroll
(b.1927), Irish-born British entertainer (aka Danny La Rue), died.
He was known for his singing and drag impersonations.
2009 May 31, In Beijing US
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, aiming to persuade China that
its US investments were safe, pledged that the Obama administration
was firmly committed to ratcheting down huge deficits as quickly as
it can once economic recovery is assured.
2009 May 31, In Egypt police
reported that a 25-year-old man cut off his own penis to spite his
family after he was refused permission to marry a girl from a lower
2009 May 31, El Salvador’s
President-elect Mauricio Funes appointed his wife and a former
Marxist guerrilla to Cabinet posts just hours before starting his
2009 May 31, Three US Army
soldiers were killed and two were injured in an accident on a German
autobahn near Kaiserslautern.
2009 May 31, In Indian Kashmir
more than 40 people were wounded as clashes continued for a 2nd day
between Indian police and Kashmiris demonstrating over the recent
deaths of two young Muslim women.
2009 May 31, An Iraqi sports
broadcaster was killed by a bomb attached to his car in northern
Iraq, while two other journalists were wounded in a similar blast in
2009 May 31, Israel began the
biggest civil defense drill in its history, putting soldiers,
emergency crews and civilians through rehearsals for the possibility
of war at a time of rising tensions with Iran.
2009 May 31, In Mali it was
believed that Al-Qaida terrorists killed British hostage Edwin Dyer.
The fate of a Swiss hostage taken at the same time was unknown. Dyer
was abducted in January and his captors had threatened to kill him
by the end of May if Britain refused to release extremist preacher
Abu Qatada from prison.
2009 May 31, In Mexico gunmen
in Ciudad Juarez, opened fire in the lobby of a drug and alcohol
rehabilitation center, killing five people. Gunmen killed four men
sitting in a car in the border city of Tijuana.
2009 May 31, Pakistan’s
military relaxed a curfew in most parts of the northwest including
Mingora to allow people trapped on the roads to return home or leave
the region. Taliban militants attacked a school in Hangu town south
of Peshawar, killing one administrator and kidnapping three other
people. In North Waziristan, a former government doctor and an
Afghan national were killed by suspected militants.
2009 May 31, Palestinian forces
stormed a Hamas hideout in Qalqilya in the northern West Bank,
setting off a fierce battle that left six dead in the bloodiest
factional violence since the Palestinian president launched a
crackdown on the Islamic militant group two years ago.
(AP, 5/31/09)(Econ, 6/6/09, p.46)
2009 May 31, South Ossetia held
elections condemned as "illegitimate" by the EU. Eduard Kokoity
tightened his grip on the Georgian region after Yedinstvo (Unity), a
party loyal to him, won the elections.
2009 May, Prof. Lynn LoPucki
and Joseph Doherty of UCLA authored a study of 102 large-company
bankruptcies and found that bankruptcy judges routinely authorize
fee practices that violate America’s bankruptcy code. Senior
partners of the lead law firm in the Lehman Brothers clean-up
charged $1000 per hour for their services in the first quarter of
(Econ, 9/12/09, p.82)(http://tinyurl.com/ybclluw)
2009 May, In San Francisco
scientists identified an exotic seaweed growing at the SF Yacht
Harbor at near Pier 40. The kelp known as Undaria pinnatifida,
globally recognized as one of the top 100 invasive species, has
plagued southern California harbors since 2000.
(SFC, 7/8/09, p.D2)
2009 May, Dr. Conrad Murray
(56), a Las Vegas cardiologist, signed on as Michael Jackson's
personal physician at $150,000 a month. He was in dire financial
shape at the time and owed a total of at least $780,000 in judgments
against him and his medical practice, outstanding mortgage payments
on his house, delinquent student loans, child support and credit
2009 May, Rhode Island under
Gov. Donald Carcieri projected a budget gap of $372 million for the
year ending June 30. Carcieri pushed a plan to phase out the state’s
9% corporate tax rate to improve the state’s friendliness towards
(Econ, 5/2/09, p.34)
2009 May, The Int’l. Banking
Corporation (TIBC), a Bahraini bank, defaulted. It was owned by the
Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company of Saudi Arabia. The
group later alleged the default was due to fraud orchestrated by
Maan Al-Sanea, a Saudi billionaire born in Kuwait. The Gosaibis
estimated that Al-Sanea had misappropriated some $9.2 billion.
(Econ, 7/11/09, p.65)(Econ, 2/20/10, p.61)
2009 May, In CongoDRC 2 former
Norwegian soldiers (Tjostolv Moland and Joshua French) allegedly
murdered their driver and attempted to murder a witness. The motive
behind the killing was unknown. On Sep 8 they were convicted of
espionage and murder. In 2010 a military judge threw out the ruling
and ordered a new case. In August, 2013, Tjostolv Moland (32), died
in prison. An autopsy report said he had hanged himself.
(AP, 12/4/09)(AFP, 9/8/09)(AP, 4/22/10)(AP,
2009 May, In France fashion
house of Christian Lacroix filed for bankruptcy. It had been founded
inside LVMH, a luxury goods group in 1987 and lost money every year
(Econ, 7/11/09, p.66)
2009 May, Naples began a
six-month experiment hiring former convicts, including muggers, drug
traffickers and con artists to guide tourists through the art-rich
but crime-plagued city and use their inside knowledge of the local
underworld to keep visitors safe.
2009 May, Chikungunya, a
mosquito-born virus endemic to tropical Africa and Asia, was
reported to have arrived in Albania and Italy.
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.83))
2009 May, Film evidence
released in 2010 demonstrated graphically that the Sri Lankan army
engaged in summary executions of prisoners during the final days of
fighting. A five-minute video clip was aired by Britain's Channel 4
television in Nov 2010. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International
said the evidence warrants a UN investigation.
2009 May, Sri Lanka's military
defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels. At least 29 children disappeared in
the custody of Sri Lanka's military after surrendering with their
ethnic rebel parents at the end of the island nation's civil war.
Go to http://www.timelinesdb.com
Go to June 2009
End of file
2009 Jun 1, A federal judge
ordered the United States to publicly reveal unclassified versions
of its allegations and evidence justifying the continued
imprisonment of more than 100 detainees being held at Guantanamo
2009 Jun 1, Effective today
border crossings to US entry points from Canada required passports
or other approved identification to be shown. Americans entering
from the US by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the
Caribbean were required to present identity documents embedded with
RFID tags, though conventional passports remained valid until
expiration. The RFID tags could be scanned by anybody with easily
obtained equipment from 30 feet.
(Econ, 5/30/09, p.37)(SFC, 7/16/09, p.D5)
2009 Jun 1, Muhammad Ahmad
Abdallah Salih (31), a Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo Bay, died of an
apparent suicide. His was the fifth apparent suicide at the offshore
US prison, which Pres. Obama hopes to close by January. The Joint
Task Force that runs the US prison in Cuba said guards conducting a
routine check on June 2 found Salih unresponsive and not breathing.
(AP, 6/3/09)(AP, 8/2/09)
2009 Jun 1, In Arkansas Pvt.
William Long (23) of Conway was shot and killed outside an Army-Navy
Career Center in a west Little Rock shopping center. Pvt. Quinton
Ezeagwula (18) of Jacksonville, Ark., was wounded. The next day
Muslim convert Abdulhakim Muhammad (23) of Little Rock was charged
for the shootings. On July 25, 2011, Muhammad, born as Carlos
Bledsoe, admitted to the crime in a plea deal and was sentenced to
life in prison without parole.
(AP, 6/2/09)(SFC, 7/25/11, p.A7)
2009 Jun 1, San Francisco Mayor
Newsom unveiled a $6.6 billion budget for 2009-2010. He also urged
Santa Clara voters to reject a $937 million stadium project for the
(SFC, 6/2/09, p.A1)
2009 Jun 1, Hawaii’s Gov. Linda
Lingle, describing a "fiscal emergency," ordered three days of
unpaid furloughs each month for 14,500 state employees to help erase
a $729 million budget shortfall.
2009 Jun 1, General Motors
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of the Obama
administration's plan to shrink the automaker to a sustainable size
and give a majority ownership stake to the federal government. GM
assets were valued at $82.2 billion with liabilities at $172
billion. The US government planned to receive 60.8% of GM stock,
Canada’s government 11.7%, the UAW’s trust 17.5% and bondholders
10%. GM said it will permanently close nine more plants and idle
three others to trim production and labor costs under bankruptcy
protection. GM was expected to lose 14 factories, 29,000 workers and
(AP, 6/1/09)(Econ, 6/6/09, p.9,60, 62)
2009 Jun 1, The US military
announced the death of US service member the previous day from
non-combat-related injuries in southern Afghanistan by posting the
news on Twitter hours before announcing it in a more formal press
statement. Officials said the US military in Afghanistan is
launching a Facebook page, a YouTube site and feeds on Twitter as
part of a new communications effort to reach readers who get their
information on the Internet rather than in newspapers. Mullah Mansur
was killed in a strike by helicopters in Helmand province. 4
US soldiers were killed by 2 roadside bombs in Wardak province.
(AP, 6/1/09)(AP, 6/2/09)(SFC, 6/2/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 1, Belgian PM Herman
Van Rompuy vowed to double civilian aid to Afghanistan and welcomed
plans to increase non-military assistance during a visit to Kabul.
2009 Jun 1, Chilean plumber,
Fernando Vera, died of swine flu, making him South America's first
2009 Jun 1, In China US
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner reassured the Chinese government
that its huge holdings of dollar assets are safe and reaffirmed his
faith in a strong US currency.
2009 Jun 1, China's special
envoy to Darfur met with Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir and
pledged three million dollars in humanitarian aid for the volatile
region. Liu Guijin "greeted the president for the beginning of talks
in Doha between the JEM and the government."
2009 Jun 1, In El Salvador
Mauricio Funes, a journalist from a party of former Marxist
guerrillas, became the country's first leftist president,
immediately restoring ties with Cuba while promising to remain
friendly with the United States.
2009 Jun 1, France implemented
its revenue de solidarite active (RSA), a welfare payment introduced
by anti-poverty campaigner Martin Hirsch.
2009 Jun 1, A missing Air
France Airbus A330 jet, Flight 447, carrying 228 people from Rio de
Janeiro to Paris ran into lightning and strong thunderstorms over
the Atlantic Ocean. Brazil soon began a search mission off its
2009 Jun 1, Iran state media
reported that five people are dead in an arson attack on a bank in
Zahedan, a restive southeastern city where 25 died in a mosque
bombing last week.
2009 Jun 1, Iraq's self-ruled
Kurdish region officially started pumping crude oil to the
international market. A bomb in a Baghdad market killed four people.
A suicide bomber exploded his car at a police checkpoint in Jalula,
killing a 7-year-old child and wounding eight other people. A
grenade thrown at a US patrol in the northern city of Mosul missed
the Americans but killed one Iraqi and wounded 15 others.
2009 Jun 1, Israel's PM
Netanyahu dismissed the US demand for a settlement freeze as
unreasonable, moving closer to a collision with the Obama
administration, while mobs of Jewish settlers attacked Palestinian
laborers and burned West Bank fields. Israeli settlers waged court
battles to evict dozens of Palestinians from homes in an East
Jerusalem neighborhood, a move threatening to widen Israel's rift
with US President Barack Obama over settlements.
(AP, 6/1/09)(Reuters, 6/1/09)
2009 Jun 1, Mexican soldiers
and federal agents detained 29 police officers in northern Nuevo
Leon state for alleged ties to drug traffickers. Retired Gen. Javier
Aguayo took over as police chief of Chihuahua, where drug-fueled
violence has claimed hundreds of lives. Mexican soldiers in Reynosa
captured Sergio Garcia Trevino, a drug cartel suspect accused of
helping procure the largest illegal weapons cache found in the
(AP, 6/1/09)(AP, 6/2/09)
2009 Jun 1, In Nigeria MEND,
main militant group in southern Nigeria said, it will release Mathew
Maguire, a British hostage it has been holding for the past nine
months. They noted that today was Maguire birthday. The next day
MEND said "Mr Mathew Maguire has declined the gift of a release from
captivity with an argument that he is now an advocate for change in
the region and a honorary member of the Movement for the
Emancipation of the Niger Delta ." Nigeria's navy killed seven
militants in a gunbattle in the Niger Delta.
(AFP, 6/1/09)(AFP, 6/2/09)(AFP, 6/3/09)
2009 Jun 1, Pakistan's army
said it lifted curfews in several parts of the Swat Valley as it
hunted Taliban militants in the region, while insurgents killed two
soldiers in a tribal region that could be the next front in the
northwest military offensive. Armed Taliban ambushed a convoy of
some 30 vehicles carrying students home for the summer. Many of the
buses managed to get away. 71 students and nine staff from an
army-run college were rescued the next morning as militants moved
them from North Waziristan to South Waziristan. A handful of
students remained unaccounted for.
(AP, 6/1/09)(AFP, 6/2/09)
2009 Jun 1, In Somalia a
roadside bomb in Mogadishu killed at least 4 police officers in
(SFC, 6/2/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 2, Pres. Obama
appeared in a BBC interview and said Iran may have some right to
nuclear energy, provided it takes steps to prove its aspirations are
peaceful. Obama also restated his plans to pursue direct diplomacy
(SFC, 6/3/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 2, In Alameda County,
Ca., a jury convicted Wonda Kidd (58), a former escrow officer, of
two counts of felony grand theft in an equity stripping fraud case
that took place from April 2005 to August 2006. Straw buyers were
used to buy property at inflated prices after which a default took
place forcing lenders to foreclose. In 2008 Karim Akil (42) pleaded
guilty to grand theft and was sentenced to 3 years. His
assistant was sentenced to one year in prison.
(SFC, 6/4/09, p.C1)
2009 Jun 2, GM struck a
tentative deal to sell its Hummer brand to China’s Sichuan Tengzhong
Heavy Industrial Machinery Co.
(SFC, 6/3/09, p.C2)
2009 Jun 2, Six Afghan family
members, including two children, were killed in an explosion close
to the US Bagram military base outside Kabul. The Ministry of
Interior said that suspected insurgents carried out a suicide
bombing against the family while they were traveling in a car.
Afghan and coalition forces attacked a residential compound in
Wardak province, killing six militants. The men were said to be
connected to a militant commander blamed for multiple attacks. In
eastern Afghanistan insurgents killed a soldier serving with NATO. A
convoy in Paktia province was hit by a blast that killed one
security guard. A second improvised explosive device then ripped
through the convoy and killed nine guards in another vehicle. An
American soldier and an Afghan interpreter were killed by a roadside
bomb also in Paktia province. 11 Taliban militants were killed in a
joint operation in Zabul province. 2 policemen were killed and five
others were wounded in a roadside bomb blast in southern Kandahar
(AP, 6/2/09)(AP, 6/3/09)(SFC, 6/4/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 2, In Algeria an
estimated 30 Al-Qaida-linked militants killed two teachers and eight
police escorts as they brought copies of tests back from an
examination center in the town of Timezrit, 49 miles east of
2009 Jun 2, In Belgium a new
museum, designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc, opened in
Louvain-la-Neuve dedicated to Georges Remi (1907-1983), creator of
the comic book hero Tintin (1929).
(Econ, 5/30/09, p.87)
2009 Jun 2, British media
reported that Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is quitting her post
following the scandal over lawmakers' expenses.
2009 Jun 2, An airplane seat, a
life jacket, metallic debris and signs of fuel were found in the
middle of the Atlantic Ocean by Brazilian military pilots searching
for a missing Air France airliner Flight 447.
2009 Jun 2, In Greenland the
Inuit Ataqatigiit party, or IA, won 44% of votes to take 14 of the
31 seats in Greenland's Parliament, the Landsting. The left-wing
opposition party defeated the long-governing Social Democrats.
Siumut got 26% of the votes and lost the majority it held with its
smaller coalition partner Atasut. Premier Hans Enoksen called the
snap election after Greenlanders decided in a November referendum to
loosen ties with Denmark.
2009 Jun 2, The Iraqi and US
militaries tentatively agreed to keep a joint base on the edge of
Baghdad's Shiite slum of Sadr City, maintaining an American presence
in a strategic area even after the June 30 deadline for US combat
troops to pull out of the capital. An American soldier died of
wounds from a roadside bombing in Baghdad.
(AP, 6/2/09)(AP, 6/3/09)
2009 Jun 2, In Israel detained
a Jewish man for shooting to death a Palestinian in Jerusalem and
wounding another Jewish man.
2009 Jun 2, Mexico moved
forward in its campaign to root out corruption, rounding up 21 more
police officers in several northern cities for questioning on
suspicions they had ties to drug trafficking. A total of 58 officers
have been detained since the operation began a day earlier.
2009 Jun 2, Mexican truckers
filed a lawsuit against the United States seeking $6 billion in
compensation for losses they claim to have suffered since Washington
banned them from crossing the border in violation of a trade pact.
Mexico's National Cargo Transportation Association, or Canacar,
filed the lawsuit representing 4,500 trucking companies. Canacar had
filed an arbitration notice with the US State Department under the
NAFTA in April.
2009 Jun 2, A Pakistani court
ordered the release of Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, the founder of banned
Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, because there was
insufficient evidence to link him to last year's deadly Mumbai
attacks. India immediately condemned the ruling. Pakistan's military
said that troops were fighting inside the Taliban stronghold of
Charbagh, 20km from the Swat valley's main town Mingora. The
military said it had killed 21 militants in the past 24 hours of its
offensive, while three soldiers died. Gunmen in Peshawar stormed a
factory owned by a senior minister of North West Frontier Province,
kidnapping eight workers and killing a guard who resisted.
(AP, 6/2/09)(AFP, 6/2/09)
2009 Jun 2, In South Africa 61
prospectors died from a fire in an abandoned gold mine belonging to
Harmony Gold mining company, which had ceased working its Eland
shaft. Illegal miners, often called "gold pirates," are hired
through organized crime rackets that produce about $250 million in
gold a year.
(AP, 6/2/09)(AP, 6/4/09)(AP, 7/21/09)
2009 Jun 2, Two major South
Korean newspapers said that North Korea's military, party and
government officials were informed that Kim Jong Un (26), the
youngest of three, is in line to take the world's first communist
dynasty into a third generation.
2009 Jun 3, President Barack
Obama began his latest bid to open a dialogue with the Muslim world
by paying a call on King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Pres. Obama spoke
to King Abdullah about a host of thorny problems, from Arab-Israeli
peace efforts to Iran's nuclear program.
2009 Jun 3, New Hampshire
became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage in a move that
reflects the state's changing demographics from reliably Republican
and conservative to younger and more liberal.
2009 Jun 3, Osama bin Laden
threatened Americans in a new audio tape, saying President Barack
Obama inflamed hatred toward the US by ordering Pakistan to crack
down on militants in Swat Valley and block Islamic law in the area.
2009 Jun 3, David Bromige (75),
London-born poet and former Sonoma State Univ. professor, died in
Sebastopol, Ca. He was Sonoma County’s 2nd poet laureate
(SFC, 6/17/09, p.B4)
2009 Jun 3, Five Afghan private
security guards escorting a supply convoy were killed in a suicide
bombing near the southern border with Pakistan.
2009 Jun 3, British Communities
Secretary Hazel Blears announced she was resigning, the second
British cabinet minister to resign, undermining PM Gordon Brown's
authority and his future as leader of the increasingly out-of-favor
Labor Party. Blears last month agreed to pay more than 13,000 pounds
($21,000) in tax on the sale of a property.
2009 Jun 3, In China foreign
journalists were barred from Beijing's Tiananmen Square as an
Internet clampdown that blocked Twitter expanded to include more
blogs on the eve of the 20th anniversary of a bloody crackdown on
2009 Jun 3, In central China a
storm with gale-force winds killed 20 people and seriously injured
117 as it swept through Shangqiu and Kaifeng in Henan province.
2009 Jun 3, The Organization of
American States (OAS), meeting in Honduras, cleared the way for
Cuba's possible return to the group by lifting a 1962 ban on the
communist-run country, a move backed by Washington despite initial
2009 Jun 3, India's Parliament
elected Meira Kumar (64) as its first-ever female speaker. Kumar is
the daughter of a former deputy prime minister and an untouchable, a
member of India's lowest caste.
2009 Jun 3, Iranian nuclear
scientist Shahram Amiri vanished during a pilgrimage to the Saudi
kingdom. In October Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki
said: "We hold Saudi Arabia responsible for Shahram Amiri's
situation and consider the US to be involved in his arrest."
2009 Jun 3, Israel dismantled a
military checkpoint that had significantly impeded Palestinian
travel in the West Bank in an apparent goodwill gesture a day before
President Barack Obama's much-anticipated address to the Muslim and
2009 Jun 3, A court in Laos
found Samantha Orobator (20), a pregnant British woman, guilty of
trafficking heroin and sentenced her to life in prison. Under a pact
signed last month by Laos and Britain that still needs ratification,
Orobator could be extradited to serve her time in Britain. On Aug 6
Orobator returned to Britain to serve the remainder of her sentence,
just weeks before she was due to give birth.
(AP, 6/3/09)(AP, 8/6/09)
2009 Jun 3, Mexican federal
investigators questioned 48 Veracruz city traffic officers about the
disappearance of the top customs official for one of Mexico's most
important ports. Customs administrator Francisco Serrano has not
been seen since his smashed government vehicle was found abandoned
at an accident scene three days ago. Serrano recently launched a new
system to check shipping containers at the Gulf coast port.
2009 Jun 3, Moldovan lawmakers
failed for a second time to elect a president, meaning the
Parliament elected in April will be dissolved and a new election
will be held this summer.
2009 Jun 3, Moroccan customs
officers seized 19.5 tons of cannabis resin worth about 17.3 million
euros (24.5 million dollars) at the northern port of Nadir. The
drugs were concealed in a lorry transporting frozen octopus from a
seafood processing plant in the southern town of Agadir and the
Italian driver and his Spanish companion were arrested.
2009 Jun 4, Pres. Obama spoke
in Cairo and touched on many themes Muslims wanted to hear in the
highly anticipated speech broadcast live across much of the Middle
East and elsewhere across the Muslim world. Muslims praised Obama's
address as a positive shift in US attitude and tone. But hard-liners
criticized it as style over substance and said it lacked concrete
proposals to turn the words into action.
2009 Jun 4, Angelo Mozilo, the
man who rode the housing boom to build Countrywide Financial Corp.
into a California colossus of high-risk mortgage lending, was
charged with civil fraud and illegal insider trading by federal
regulators who accuse him of deceiving shareholders and profiting on
confidential information. The Securities and Exchange Commission
also filed civil fraud charges against two other former executives
2009 Jun 4, South Carolina’s
Supreme Court ordered Gov. Mark Sanford to request $700 million in
federal stimulus money, which was aimed primarily at struggling
(SFC, 6/5/09, p.A6)
2009 Jun 4, In Tennessee
handguns will soon be allowed in bars and restaurants under a new
law passed by state legislators who voted to override Democratic
Gov. Phil Bredesen's veto. The legislation takes effect July 14 and
retains an existing ban on consuming alcohol while carrying a
handgun. Restaurant owners can still opt to ban weapons from their
2009 Jun 4, In Afghanistan
insurgents killed three US soldiers in a bomb and small-arms attack
on their vehicle in Kapisa province, considered a stronghold of
insurgents loyal to Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. A man was
killed in Nangarhar by a bomb he was trying to plant inside a
university faculty. Police found the body of Yeiya Mulaye Azhar, a
candidate in the provincial elections in Wardak province. he had
been kidnapped 11 days earlier.
(AP, 6/4/09)(AP, 6/5/09)(SFC, 6/5/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 4, Australia's Defense
Minister Joel Fitzgibbon (47) stepped down after a series of
scandals, in the first major embarrassment for PM Kevin Rudd.
Fitzgibbon had been under pressure since March when he admitted not
declaring to parliamentary authorities two trips to China paid for
by wealthy businesswoman Helen Liu.
2009 Jun 4, British naturalist
Sir David Attenborough won Spain's prestigious Prince of Asturias
social sciences prize for his "great contributions to the defense of
life and conservation of our planet."
2009 Jun 4, China aggressively
deterred dissent in Beijing on the 20th anniversary of the crackdown
on democracy activists in Tiananmen Square. But tens of thousands
turned out for a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong to mourn the many
demonstrators who were killed.
2009 Jun 4, Ethiopia charged 46
people, most of them ex-military, of plotting to assassinate
government officials. Ethiopia also said it has undertaken military
reconnaissance operations in Somalia, but is not planning to
2009 Jun 4, About 375 million
voters across the 27-nation European Union began 4 days of voting,
to appoint candidates to 736 seats on the assembly in the
second-largest election in the world after India's. Voting began in
Britain and the Netherlands.
2009 Jun 4, In Germany the
federal and state governments approved an €18 billion plan to create
more university places, boost funding for research and cultivate a
small group of elite institutions.
(Econ, 6/27/09, p.57)
2009 Jun 4, Guatemala's
anti-drug prosecutor said that thousands of bullets and grenades
that were part of a Mexican drug cartel's weapons cache belong to
the Guatemalan army. In the April weapons seizure, police also found
eight anti-personnel mines, 11 M60 machine guns, bullet proof vests
and two armored cars that investigators say belong to the Zetas, a
group of assassins for Mexico's Gulf drug cartel.
2009 Jun 4, In northern Iraq an
American soldier was killed in a grenade attack in Tamim province.
Another American soldier was killed in a grenade attack north of
(AP, 6/4/09)(AP, 6/5/09)
2009 Jun 4, Mexican police
found 11 bodies, most with their hands and feet cut off, inside an
abandoned car in the border state of Sonora in violence attributed
to drug traffickers battling for control of the region.
2009 Jun 4, Nigerian President
Umaru Yar’Adua made a new offer of amnesty to militants in the
oil-rich Niger Delta, after earlier rejection by armed opponents.
2009 Jun 4, Palestinian police
killed two Hamas militants after the men opened fire at security
forces who had surrounded their underground hideout in Qalqiliya.
One officer was also killed in the operation, part of an
intensifying crackdown on Islamic militants in this West Bank town.
2009 Jun 4, Sri Lanka's navy
seized a foreign-owned ship loaded with medical, food and other
supplies for war-hit civilians, saying the vessel had entered its
territorial waters illegally.
2009 Jun 4, David Carradine
(72), star of TV series "Kung Fu" (1972-1975), was found dead
in Thailand. At first suicide was suspected but a forensics expert
said circumstances suggested that he may have died from autoerotic
asphyxiation. His career had roared back to life when he played the
assassin-turned-victim in Quentin Tarentino's "Kill Bill" (2003).
(AP, 6/4/09)(SFC, 6/6/09, p.E3)
2009 Jun 4, Venezuelan
prosecutors charged Guillermo Zuloaga (67), president of the
anti-government television station Globovision, with usury.
This ended a weeks-long investigation into his business activities
that Zuloaga called politically motivated.
2009 Jun 5, President
Barack Obama toured a World War II concentration camp in Germany
after prodding the international community to redouble efforts
toward separate Israeli and Palestinian states in hopes of resolving
a conflict fueled by the Jewish nation's post-Holocaust creation.
2009 Jun 5, Raymond Lee Oyler
(38), a convicted arsonist, was sentenced to death for setting the
October 26, 2006, Southern California Esperanza wildfire that killed
five federal firefighters struggling to defend a rural home from
raging, wind-driven flames.
2009 Jun 5, Neal Wanless (23)
accepted a ceremonial $232.1 million Powerball check in Pierre,
South Dakota. Wanless bought $15 worth of tickets to the May 27
thirty-state drawing at a convenience store in Winner during a trip
to buy livestock feed. He will take home a lump sum of $88.5 million
after taxes are deducted.
(AP, 6/6/09)(SFC, 6/6/09, p.A6)
2009 Jun 5, General Motors
Corp. announced a tentative deal to sell its Saturn brand to former
race car driver and dealership group owner Roger Penske.
2009 Jun 5, In Oregon Korena
Roberts (b.1980) bludgeoned to death Heather Snively (21) of
Maryland and cut her unborn child from her womb. The baby did not
survive. In 2010 Roberts pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and was
sentenced to life in prison.
2009 Jun 5, In San Francisco
Clyde Forsman (b.1915), singer and accordion enthusiast, died. He
was an initial member of San Francisco-based “Those Darn Accordions"
and gained notoriety for his full body tattoos.
(SFC, 6/12/09, p.B6)
2009 Jun 5, Three Afghan
children were killed by a mortar left over from a battle between
police and Taliban. Two roadside bombs exploded an hour apart in
separate areas of the eastern province of Nangarhar, killing six
policemen. Heavy fighting erupted in eastern Khost when militants
attacked a compound where foreign troops were based. At least 15
militants were killed at the site in the Sabari district. A
policeman and a militia soldier contracted to the US military were
also killed. Police killed three Taliban militants in the
neighboring province of Paktia overnight. Afghan and US-led
coalition forces killed two "opposition commanders" in the southern
province of Kandahar. Another four militants were killed in
incidents in Farah province in the south and Paktika in the east.
(AFP, 6/5/09)(AP, 6/6/09)
2009 Jun 5, The
Anglo-Australian firm Rio Tinto cancelled its controversial tie-up
with China's Chinalco in favor of a joint venture with fierce rival
BHP Billiton and a 15.2 billion US dollar rights issue.
2009 Jun 5, Bosnia’s war crimes
court Zeljko Ivankovic (37), a former member of a Bosnian Serb
special police unit, had taken part in the July 11, 1995, killing of
at least 1,000 Muslim men from Srebrenica and that he would be tried
2009 Jun 5, British PM Gordon
Brown shook up his Cabinet in hopes of hanging on to his job in the
midst of a scandal over lawmakers' expenses, a string of top-level
resignations and catastrophic results expected in local elections.
Alan Johnson confirmed he has been named home secretary in a
reshuffle carried out by PM Brown.
(AP, 6/5/09)(AFP, 6/5/09)
2009 Jun 5, In southwestern
China at least 26 people were buried when part of a mountain
collapsed in a massive landslide in a remote area of Wulong county
in Chongqing municipality. 74 people were missing, including 47
workers at an iron ore mine, 21 local residents, two telecom company
workers and four passers-by. 27 people died and dozens were hurt
when a packed commuter bus burst into flames and was destroyed
within minutes during the morning rush hour in the southwestern city
of Chengdu. Police later said a 62-year-old unemployed man set the
fire after carrying a bucket of gasoline onto the bus.
(AP, 6/5/09)(AP, 6/6/09)(AP, 7/3/09)
2009 Jun 5, Guinea-Bissau
authorities said they foiled an attempted coup, and security forces
killed two people allegedly involved, including a candidate in the
upcoming presidential ballot. Guinea-Bissau's intelligence service
said the coup plot was masterminded by former Defense Minister
Helder Proenca and that presidential candidate Baciro Dabo was also
involved. Both men died in separate shootings.
(AP, 6/5/09)(SFC, 6/6/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 5, In Iraq an American
soldier died as the result of a non-combat related incident.
2009 Jun 5, Israeli officials
said they will not heed President Barack Obama's powerful appeal to
halt all settlement activity on lands the Palestinians claim for a
future state, a position that looks sure to cause a policy clash
with its most powerful ally. Israeli troops killed a Palestinian man
during a demonstration against the construction of the West Bank
separation barrier. Yussef Aqil Srour (35) died from a chest wound
that appeared to have been caused by live fire. Witnesses said
troops fired tear gas, rubber bullets and possibly live rounds at
rock-throwing demonstrators in the village of Naalin.
2009 Jun 5, In Mexico a
fast-moving fire killed 49 babies and toddlers at the ABC day care
in the city of Hermosillo, Sonora state, despite desperate attempts
of firefighters, who punched through the walls and fought their way
through flames to rescue babies, toddlers and others trapped inside.
No fire alarm or sprinkler system had gone off, according to
witnesses. One mother said a second door to the day care was bolted
shut and nobody could find the key. In 2011 federal police arrested
Arturo Leyva Lizarraga, a former government official, on homicide
and abuse of authority charges tied to a day care center fire. On
June 30, 2011, federal agents arrested Delia Botello, former
regional coordinator of public day care centers.
(AP, 6/6/09)(AP, 6/7/09)(AP, 6/8/09)(AP,
6/23/09)(AP, 5/10/11)(AP, 7/1/11)
2009 Jun 5, In Myanmar refugees
began streaming out of the Ler Per Her camp in eastern Karen state
and into Thailand as Myanmar forces shelled near a camp where they
2009 Jun 5, Indians in Peru's
Amazon, protesting government moves to develop oil, gas and other
resources on their lands, battled police near Bagua in an area
called Curva del Diablo, or "Devil's Curve." Authorities reported
the death of 11 police and 25 protesters. The official death toll
after 2 days of violence was later reported at 33, including 23
police officers. Santiago Manuin (53), Awajun Indian leader, was
among 48 wounded protesters.
(AP, 6/5/09)(Econ, 7/18/09, p.36)(AP, 8/4/09)
2009 Jun 5, In northwest
Pakistan a suicide bomber killed 38 people and wounded 40 attending
prayers at a mosque in the Haya Gai area of Upper Dir, as the
country's leaders urged visiting US envoy Holbrooke for more aid to
stave off Taliban-led militancy. 4 soldiers were killed by a
roadside bomb in South Waziristan.
(AP, 6/5/09)(AP, 6/6/09)
2009 Jun 5, Venezuela's tax
agency ordered an anti-government news network to pay $2.3 million
in back taxes, a day after its president was charged in a separate
investigation and troops raided his home.
2009 Jun 6, President Barack
Obama at Omaha Beach, France, paid tribute to the Allies' 1944
D-Day landings, an invasion that turned the tide of World War II and
cemented the trans-Atlantic alliance.
2009 Jun 6, In East St. Louis,
Ill., the 34-acre Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park opened. It was
named after Malcolm W. Martin (d.2004 at 91), the lawyer who formed
a non-profit group in 1968 to raise money to protect the tract from
(SSFC, 6/7/09, p.A10)
2009 Jun 6, Palm Inc.
introduced its new smart phone called Pre. Two days later Apple
unveiled updated versions of its popular iPhone.
(Econ, 6/13/09, p.66)
2009 Jun 6, In southern Arizona
a sport utility vehicle crammed with at least 27 people crashed just
before midnight killing 10 undocumented immigrants.
(SFC, 6/8/09, p.A6)
2009 Jun 6, In Afghanistan a
suicide bomb rocked the southern town of Spin Boldak killing four
people as clashes claimed the lives of another 12 in a fresh wave of
insurgent violence. Taliban militants ambushed a private security
company in the southwestern province of Nimroz, killing three armed
guards and wounding one.
2009 Jun 6, Brazilian search
crews retrieved the first 2 bodies in the Atlantic from the May 31
crash of Air France Flight 447. Investigators said faulty
speed readings had been found on the same type of jets.
2009 Jun 6, In Central African
Republic at least two people were killed and several wounded in an
attack on a military base. Residents later said ethnic clashes left
at least 27 people dead at a Birao military base, where former
rebels were set to demobilize under a peace accord.
(AFP, 6/7/09)(AFP, 6/11/09)
2009 Jun 6, Chinese rescuers
found the body of Jonny Copp, an American mountain climber,
following an avalanche in an isolated part of southwestern China.
Wade Johnson (24) of Arden Hills, Minnesota, and Micah Dash and
Jonny Copp of Boulder, Colo., were last heard from May 20 at the
base camp of Mount Edgar, a peak of Mount Gongga. Johnson’s body was
recovered on June 8.
(AP, 6/6/09)(AP, 6/8/09)
2009 Jun 6, It was reported
that Chinese aid to Myanmar totaled some $400 million over the past
five years. US aid to Myanmar was said to be worth $12 million a
(Econ, 6/6/09, p.59)
2009 Jun 6, Jean Dausset
(1916), French immunologist, died. The 1980 Nobel prize-winner was a
pioneer behind organ transplants and the mapping of the human
genome. Dausset's discovery in 1958 of the human leukocyte antigen
(HLA) tissue system allowed doctors to verify compatibility between
donor and receiver for an organ transplant.
2009 Jun 6, A senior Iraqi
police official escaped an assassination attempt by a suicide car
bomber in the former insurgent stronghold of Anbar province. The US
military said Insurgents are increasingly using teenagers to stage
attacks against American and Iraqi security forces.
2009 Jun 6, In Kashmir
protesters clashed with police as a separatist strike over the
alleged rape and murder of two young Muslim women paralyzed Indian
Kashmir for a sixth day.
2009 Jun 6, In Mexico 13
gunmen, 2 soldiers and 2 bystanders were killed in a 4-hour shootout
in Acapulco's hotel zone in a gunbattle that went passed midnight.
The soldiers found four Guerrero state police officers inside the
house who said they were being held captive.
(AP, 6/7/09)(AP, 6/8/09)
2009 Jun 6, Myanmar forces
started launching mortar attacks during fighting with Karen
2009 Jun 6, Pakistan said that
two close aides of a pro-Taliban cleric died when a makeshift bomb
ripped through a military convoy transporting them for
interrogation. The dead aides of Sufi Mohammad, who negotiated a
peace deal in the northwest between Taliban rebels and the Pakistani
government, were arrested on June 4 along with three Afghan
nationals. 2 policemen were killed late in the day when a suicide
bomber walked up to a police emergency helpline center, in an
Islamabad residential district home to many government officials,
and detonated explosives strapped to his body. Villagers in the
northwest attacked Taliban militants killing 11 of them in revenge
for a bomb attack on a mosque that killed about 40 people a day
(AFP, 6/6/09)(AFP, 6/7/09)(AP, 6/7/09)
2009 Jun 6, Peru’s President
Alan Garcia labored to contain the country’s worst political
violence in years, as nine more police officers were killed in a
bloody standoff with Amazon Indians fighting his efforts to exploit
oil, gas and other resources on their native lands. The new deaths
brought to 22 the number of police killed, seven with spears, since
security forces on June 5 moved to break up a roadblock manned by
5,000 protesters. A judge ordered the arrest of the Indian leader,
Alberto Pizango, on sedition and rebellion charges.
(AP, 6/7/09)(AP, 6/10/09)
2009 Jun 6, Philippine
government troops seized a Muslim separatist rebel camp in southern
Maguindanao province following three days of fighting that left 30
2009 Jun 6, In Saudi Arabia a
screening of the Saudi film, "Menahi," brought a taste of the
moviegoing experience to Riyadh more than 30 years after the
government began shutting down theaters. No women were allowed. Men
and children, including girls up to 10, were allowed to attend the
show at a government-run cultural center.
2009 Jun 6, Somali pirates
released the Yenegoa Ocean, a Nigerian tugboat they hijacked 10
months ago on Aug 4, 2008. A Dutch navy ship escorted it to a safe
2009 Jun 6, It was reported
that in South Africa HIV-AIDS continued to claim some 3,000 lives a
(Econ, 6/6/09, p.48)
2009 Jun 6, Turkmenistan state
media reported that China will lend the energy-rich country $3
billion to develop its vast South Yolotan natural gas field.
2009 Jun 7, In Martinez, Ca.,
hospital patient Paul Hammond (47) was shot and killed by police
after wielding a knife and cutting restraints while being treated
for alcohol withdrawal. In 2011 Contra Costa County agreed to pay
$1.4 million to his 4 children.
(SFC, 9/9/11, p.C2)
2009 Jun 7, A joint Afghan and
US-led coalition operation against insurgents in southern Zabul
province killed more than 20 Taliban fighters. After the operation a
roadside bomb exploded and killed one Afghan policeman as the forces
were returning to base. A militant ambush in northwest Faryab
province killed four policemen. Another Taliban attack in the
eastern province of Paktika killed the police chief in Sarhawza
district. Militants elsewhere in Paktika ambushed a truck of private
security guards, killing four of them.
2009 Jun 7, Bahrain, Kuwait,
Qatar and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement paving the way for a
monetary union and plans for a unified regional currency.
(SFC, 6/8/09, p.C1)
2009 Jun 7, Brazilian and
French ships recovered 14 more bodies from ocean near Air France
crash, bringing the total to 16.
(AP, 6/7/09)(SFC, 6/8/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 7, China and Japan
pledged to throw their combined weight behind efforts to revive the
struggling world economy after talks aimed at boosting trade between
the two powers.
2009 Jun 7, Egypt's public
prosecutor ordered the return of a shipment of Russian wheat
impounded last month on health grounds. The decision to ship back
the 52,000 tons of wheat, worth 9.6 million dollars (6.8 million
euros), came after an investigation found the grain was contaminated
with insects and unspecified heavy metals.
2009 Jun 7, Europe leaned to
the right as tens of millions of people voted in European Parliament
elections, with conservative parties favored in many countries
against a backdrop of economic crisis. Center-right parties won the
most seats in the election. Only 43% of 375 million eligible voters
cast ballots. In Bulgaria the xenophobic Ataka party won 12% of the
(AP, 6/7/09)(Reuters, 6/8/09)(SFC, 6/8/09,
p.A5)(Econ, 2/6/10, p.58)
2009 Jun 7, In Indonesia 19
leading agricultural exporting nations, including Australia, Brazil
and South Africa, kicked off talks in Bali aimed at pushing forward
troubled world trade negotiations. The Cairns Group of nations
accounted for more than 25% of the world's agricultural exports was
also expected to take aim at US and European dairy export subsidies.
2009 Jun 7, Lebanese streamed
to their hometowns to vote in a crucial election. Muslims made up at
least 60 percent of the estimated 4 million population. The rest are
Christians. There are 18 religious sects. Christians, Sunni Muslims
and Shiite Muslims make up roughly a third of the population each.
About 400,000 Palestinian refugees also live in Lebanon. Lebanon's
Western-backed coalition defeated Hezbollah and its allies dealing a
stunning setback to the Iranian-backed militants. The tally showed
the winning coalition with 68 seats versus 57 for the Hezbollah-led
alliance. Three seats went to independents. Turnout nationwide was
about 52.3% up from 45.8% in 2005.
(AP, 6/7/09)(AP, 6/8/09)
2009 Jun 7, Mexican police
announced the arrest of Olga Lerma in western Jalisco state. She was
wanted in the US for allegedly smuggling $2 million in
cocaine-trafficking profits for a powerful drug cartel.
2009 Jun 7, In Somalia two
masked gunmen killed the director of one of the country’s largest
broadcasters, raising to five the number of journalists killed there
2009 Jun 7, In southern
Thailand Islamic insurgents shot dead a villager and then detonated
a car bomb as a crowd gathered, killing one and wounding 19 in the
Yi-ngo district of Narathiwat.
2009 Jun 7, Ukrainian PM Yulia
Tymoshenko said that talks with the main opposition party on forming
a coalition have collapsed, indicating a continuation of the turmoil
that has plagued the country's politics and hobbled its response to
the severe economic crisis.
2009 Jun 7, Zimbabwe PM Morgan
Tsvangirai launched a three-week trip to the West. He spoke at The
Hague saying he is seeking re-engagement, not touring with a
"begging bowl" asking for aid. Pres. Robert Mugabe launched a new
pact aimed at tearing down trade barriers across 19 African nations
with appeals for external investors and an end to domestic
(AP, 6/7/09)(AFP, 6/7/09)
2009 Jun 8, The US border
patrol said a Mexican truck driver was arrested over the weekend at
a checkpoint in San Diego County after 73 illegal Mexican immigrants
were found in the back of his rig.
(SFC, 6/9/09, p.A5)
2009 Jun 8, Royal Dutch Shell
agreed In NYC to a $15.5 million settlement to end a lawsuit
alleging that the oil giant was complicit in the executions of
activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and other civilians by Nigeria's former
2009 Jun 8, New Jersey
officials broke ground for a new tunnel under the Hudson River
linking to NYC. The $8.7 billion project was expected to be
completed in 2017.
(SFC, 6/8/09, p.A6)
2009 Jun 8, North Carolina
State Univ. terminated former first lady Mary Easley’s
$170,000-a-year job after e-mails showed that former Gov. Mike
Easley had served as an intermediary when the school hire her.
(SFC, 6/9/09, p.A5)
2009 Jun 8, In Kansas David Lee
Gage of Wichita (52) was found dead of suicide in his jail cell. He
had faced nearly 30 years in prison for raping 3 women who had
advertised erotic services on Craigslist.
(SFC, 6/10/09, p.A5)
2009 Jun 8, Harold Norse
(b.1916 as Harold Rosen), SF-based Beat poet, died. His books
included “Beat Hotel" (1960), an experimental cut-up novel, and
“Hotel Nirvana: Selected Poems: 1953-1973)" (1974).
2009 Jun 8, Brazilian and
French ships recovered 8 more bodies from Air France Flight 447,
bringing the total recovered to 24. The tail section of the plane
was also recovered. The plane disappeared during a flight from Rio
de Janeiro to Paris on May 31 amid strong thunderstorms.
(AP, 6/9/09)(SFC, 6/9/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 8, Final election
results showed a British far-right party won its first-ever
parliamentary seats in EU elections. The British National Party,
which does not accept nonwhite members and calls for the "voluntary
repatriation" of immigrants, won two of Britain's 72 seats in the
European Parliament. Austria's Freedom Party, which also campaigned
on an anti-Islam platform, more than doubled its share of the vote
to 13.1%. Hungary's Jobbik party, which describes itself as
Euro-skeptic and anti-immigration and wants police to crack down on
what it calls "Gypsy crime," won three of the country's 22 seats and
almost 15% of the vote. The Greater Romania Party, which is, among
other things, pro-religion, anti-gay and anti-Hungarian, made
surprise gains, winning almost 9% of the vote and taking two of
Romania's 33 seats. A bloc of center-right parties remained the
(AP, 6/8/09)(Econ, 11/14/09, p.63)
2009 Jun 8, In Britain van
maker LDV was placed in administration after the collapse of a
rescue deal by Malaysian firm Weststar collapsed. Up to 850 jobs and
thousands more in the supply chain were threatened. The company,
owned by Russian giant GAZ, applied to Birmingham County Court for
administrators to be appointed.
2009 Jun 8, The Wall Street
Journal reported that China will require all personal computers sold
in the country from July 1 to come with software that blocks access
to certain websites. The program aimed to prevent the spread of
pornography and other "unhealthy" content. On June 16 the government
backed away from the order required use of installation of the Green
Dam Youth Escort software, but the software would come pre-installed
or included with all PCs sold on the mainland as of July 1.
(AFP, 6/8/09)(AP, 6/9/09)(SFC, 6/17/09, p.C3)
2009 Jun 8, Cuba formally
rejected an offer to rejoin the Organization of American States
(OAS), echoing the sentiments of Fidel Castro who has long
maintained his island has no use for the group.
2009 Jun 8, In Egypt at least
18 factory workers were killed when their bus collided with a truck
in the Nile Delta.
2009 Jun 8, Gabon Pres. Omar
Bongo (b.1935), the world's longest-serving president, died at a
hospital in Spain. His 42-year rule reflected an era when Africa was
ruled by "Big Men." He left behind at least 66 bank accounts. The
first family owned 45 homes in France, including at least 14 in
Paris and 11 on the French Riviera. And they boasted of 19 or more
luxury cars, including a Bugatti sports model that cost the Republic
of Gabon $1.5 million.
(AP, 6/8/09)(AP, 6/20/09)(Econ, 6/20/09, p.90)
2009 Jun 8, In Hong Kong an
unidentified assailant hurled acid in the busy Mong Kok shopping
district, injuring 24 pedestrians including a 4-year old girl. It
was the third in a series of acid attacks that have hurt some 100
2009 Jun 8, In Iraq a bomb tore
through a minibus during morning rush hour in a mainly Shiite area
in Baghdad, killing at least nine people and wounding 24.
2009 Jun 8, In Indian Kashmir
security forces opened fire on protesters, wounding at least seven
people, including two critically, in the worst clash since unrest
broke out last week over the deaths of two young women.
2009 Jun 8, In Malawi an
international organization began moving more than 60 elephants from
Phirilongwe village, south of Lake Malawi, to the Majete Wildlife
Reserve. Local farmers had used violence to protect their crops from
raids by the elephants, and at least 10 people and a number of
elephants have recently died in such confrontations.
2009 Jun 8, In Mexico gunmen
launched grenades and opened fire in near simultaneous attacks on
two police stations in Acapulco, killing three officers in violence
that broke out less than 48 hours after a gunbattle in the resort
left 17 dead.
2009 Jun 8, In Nepal a strike
called by Maoist sympathizers paralyzed large swathes of Nepal,
forcing schools and businesses to shut and stranding tourists.
2009 Jun 8, North Korea
convicted Laura Ling and Euna Lee, American journalists for former
Vice President Al Gore's San Francisco-based Current TV media
venture, and sentenced them to 12 years of hard labor for crossing
into its territory, intensifying the reclusive nation's
confrontation with the United States.
2009 Jun 8, In Norway Georg
Mueller (58) stepped down as bishop in the western city of
Trondheim. On April 7, 2010, Norway’s Catholic Church said he did so
after admitting he had molested a child years earlier, when he was a
2009 Jun 8, Gaza militants
equipped with explosives-laden horses approached the Israeli border,
igniting a battle that left four gunmen dead.
2009 Jun 8, In Peru indigenous
leader Alberto Pizango sought refuge at Nicaragua's embassy in Lima.
Nicaragua granted Pizango political asylum but he remained at the
embassy, awaiting Peru's agreement to allow him safe passage out of
2009 Jun 8, Interfax news
agency reported that Russian forces have killed Doku Umarov, the
leader of the Chechen separatist movement.
2009 Jun 8, Sudan passed an
amended version of a media bill that sparked protests in Khartoum
last month, but the new version failed to allay the fears of many
2009 Jun 8, In Thailand gunmen
opened fire on a mosque in Narathiwat province’s Hoh-I-Rong district
killing at least 10 people and wounding 19 others.
(SFC, 6/9/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 8, The first World
Oceans Day was celebrated. The UN General Assembly passed a
resolution on Dec 5, 2008, declaring that as of 2009, June 8th would
be recognized as World Oceans Day.
2009 Jun 9, The US Justice
Department said authorities have brought Ahmed Ghailani (b.~1974),
the first Guantanamo Bay detainee to the United States, flying him
into New York to face trial for bombing US embassies. Ghailani was
indicted in 1998 for the al-Qaida bombings of US embassies in Kenya
and Tanzania, attacks which killed more than 224 people, including
2009 Jun 9, The US Treasury
Department said it has approved 10 of the nation's largest banks to
repay $68 billion in government bailout money.
2009 Jun 9, The SEC filed suit
in San Francisco against Peter C. Son (37) of Danville for allegedly
defrauding 500 investors of $80 million in a Ponzi scheme. Jin K.
Ching (46) of Los Altos was also charged for bilking their Korean
American victims from 2003-2008 through SNC Asset Management Inc. of
Pleasanton and SNC Investments of New York. In 2010 Peter C. Son was
sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.
(SFC, 6/10/09, p.C4)(SFC, 7/31/10, p.C1)
2009 Jun 9, The SF School Board
voted 4:3 to allow the JROTC program to satisfy physical education
requirements, restoring the program to nearly its original condition
before a 2006 effort to kill it.
(SFC, 6/10/09, p.B1)
2009 Jun 9, In California,
George Torres, founder of a grocery store chain, was released on $1
million bond after a judge tossed out racketeering and conspiracy
charges regarding orders for killing a rival. He remained convicted
of 53 lesser charges.
(SFC, 6/10/09, p.B3)
2009 Jun 9, In Garner, North
Carolina, an unexplained explosion at a ConAgra Slim Jim factory
left at least 2 people dead.
2009 Jun 9, In New Mexico a
helicopter crashed while attempting to rescue Megumi Yamamoto, a
Japanese graduate student who was hiking in the mountains above
Santa Fe. Police Sgt Andy Tingwall and Yamamoto died in the crash.
(SFC, 6/15/09, p.A6)
2009 Jun 9, In northeastern
Afghanistan a grenade explosion in a crowded bazaar near a convoy of
US Army troops in Kunar province killed 2 people and wounded about
50, many of them children. Three US troops were wounded in the
blast. In western Ghor province a US military airstrike failed to
kill Mullah Mustafa, a militant commander with reported links to
Iran's elite military Quds Force. Ghor deputy Gov. Karimuddin
Rezazada later said that 10 civilians, including five children, and
12 militants were killed in the airstrikes in Shahrak district. An
Afghan official said a three-day operation against Taliban fighters
in southern Uruzgan province killed 30 militants.
(AP, 6/9/09)(AP, 6/10/09)(AP, 6/11/09)
2009 Jun 9, In Argentina judge
Rodolfo Canicoba Corral asked Interpol to detain Samuel Salman (43),
who is believed to be living in Lebanon, for involvement in the July
18, 1994, bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires that
killed 85 people.
2009 Jun 9, In Australia a
protest involving hundreds of Indian students turned into a
"vigilante" attack in Sydney overnight, in the latest flare-up in
racial tensions in recent weeks. Police said a group wielding sticks
and baseball bats attacked men of "Middle Eastern appearance" in
apparent retaliation for an earlier assault on an Indian man.
2009 Jun 9, Two retired Chilean
generals were sentenced to prison for shipping arms to Croatia in
1991 at the time of its battle for independence from Yugoslavia. The
arms had been labeled as Chilean humanitarian aid for Sri Lanka.
Army Gen. Guillermo Letelier and Air Force Gen. Vicente Rodriguez
were sentenced to three years in prison. Letelier also was sentenced
to 541 days for falsifying documents.
2009 Jun 9, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev visited Dagestan. He went to police bases and reviewed
troops, lavishly covered by state-controlled TV. Medvedev blamed
what he called foreign "freaks" for inciting the violence. Hours
after Medvedev left Dagestan, a riot police officer was shot and
killed as he headed home after work not far from a base where
Medvedev had watched counterterrorism exercises. In another part of
the Dagestan capital, a road police officer was killed after trying
to stop a car to check documents.
2009 Jun 9, In France Veronique
Courjault (41), went on trial after admitting killing two baby boys
born secretly in Seoul in 2002 and 2003, and a third child born in
France in 1999. On June 18 she was convicted and sentenced to 8
years in prison.
(AFP, 6/9/09)(SFC, 6/19/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 9, Arcandor, the owner
of Germany’s larges chain of department stores, filed for
bankruptcy. In 2007 Arcandor’s property portfolio was spun off
saddling its 91 Karstadt department stores with high rents.
(Econ, 6/13/09, p.66)
2009 Jun 9, An Indian air force
transport plane crashed near the disputed Chinese border in
the mountains of northeast Arunachal Pradesh state. All 14 on
board were killed.
2009 Jun 9, In Indian Kashmir
30 protesters were hurt when police fired shots in the air and
teargas during fresh protests over the alleged rape and murder of
two Muslim women.
2009 Jun 9, In Mexico 2 Sonora
state government officials, whose wives are owners of the ABC day
care center where 44 children died in a fire, resigned saying they
wanted to clear the way for an investigation into the June 5 blaze.
2009 Jun 9, In Nigeria MEND
(Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) set a pumping
station of US oil giant Chevron on fire. Government troops killed
seven civilians in a waterway at Kangbene community in Delta state
according to a MEND claim on June 12. The military denied the
(AFP, 6/10/09)(AFP, 6/12/09)
2009 Jun 9, In Pakistan the
military started shelling Taliban hide-outs in the Bannu district in
the northwest. The shelling began after a deadline given to tribal
leaders in the region to hand over militant suspects by the end of
June 8 had expired. At least nine people were killed when three
attackers shot their way through a security checkpost and rammed an
explosives-laden truck into Peshawar's five-star Pearl Continental.
(AP, 6/9/09)(AFP, 6/10/09)(AFP, 6/11/09)
2009 Jun 9, In the Philippines
lawyer and radio commentator Crispin Perez Jr. was killed in Mindoro
Occidental province by motorcycle-riding gunman. His wife said the
attack may have been work-related.
2009 Jun 9, South African
health activist Thembi Ngubane (24) died of tuberculosis leaving
behind a daughter (4). Her radio diaries of her struggle against the
AIDS virus won her audiences and admiration around the world.
Ngubane was 19 when she was given a tape recorder to make an audio
diary about living with HIV in a country where nearly one third of
young women are infected with the virus.
2009 Jun 10, James von Brunn
(88), identified as a white supremacist, shot and killed Guard
Stephen T. Johns (39), who prevented his entrance into the US
Holocaust Memorial and Museum in Washington, DC. Security engaged
the gunman as soon as he stepped inside the crowded museum and began
shooting. Brunn was shot in the face by other guards and was later
charged with first-degree murder. He died on Jan 6, 2010, while
awaiting trial in North Carolina.
(AP, 6/11/09)(SFC, 7/30/09, p.A5)(SFC, 1/6/10,
2009 Jun 10, California's state
controller said the government risks a financial "meltdown" within
50 days in light of its weakening May revenues unless Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers quickly plug a $24.3 billion
2009 Jun 10, In Pennsylvania a
car fleeing a robbery scene jumped a curb in Philadelphia, smashed
into a crowd and killed three young children. One robber had fled on
the motorcycle and the other in a car. Both were arrested. Latoya
Smith (22), the mother and aunt of two of the children, died the
next days from her injuries.
(AP, 6/11/09)(AP, 6/12/09)
2009 Jun 10, Italy's Fiat
became the new owner of the bulk of Chrysler's assets, closing a
deal that saves the troubled US automaker from liquidation and
places a new company in the hands of Fiat's CEO.
2009 Jun 10, In Afghanistan
clashes in the north killed 12 insurgents and one Afghan soldier.
The fighting spanned three villages in Baghlan province. Afghan and
NATO forces in western Baghdis "killed and wounded a significant
number of insurgents." No figures were given.
2009 Jun 10, In Argentina
Father Julio Grassi (52), a Roman Catholic priest who won fame
running an Argentine foundation for poor youths (1993), was
convicted of sexually molesting a boy who participated in the
program. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Grassi continued to
proclaim his innocence, saying he was "the victim of an injustice."
2009 Jun 10, Authorities in
Bangladesh decided to withdraw all 12 corruption-related cases that
had been brought against PM Sheikh Hasina. Minister of state Kamrul
Islam said the charges were politically motivated. He also
recommended withdrawing 50 other cases against political leaders.
2009 Jun 10, Millions of
Londoners faced a grim commute, taking boats, buses and bicycles or
walking in the rain as a strike by subway workers crippled the
city's subway system.
2009 Jun 10, a Chinese
submarine collided with an underwater sonar apparatus towed by a US
destroyer near Subic Bay, off the coast of the Philippines.
Officials later said the collision with the sonar array connected to
the USS John S. McCain probably occurred due to a misjudgment of
2009 Jun 10, In southern
Dagestan a group of 10 gunmen attacked a police post with automatic
weapons and mortars, battling police troops for more than an hour.
The gunmen later escaped into the forested mountains.
2009 Jun 10, The French nuclear
submarine Emeraude reached the crash zone of Air France Flight 447
where 41 of 228 bodies have been recovered.
2009 Jun 10, In Gabon Senate
chief Rose Francine Rogombe was sworn in as the country's interim
president, the first time in more than four decades that anyone
except the late leader Omar Bongo has held power.
2009 Jun 10, Kuupik Kleist
(b.1958) assumed office as prime minister of Greenland.
2009 Jun 10, In Ingushetia
gunmen shot and killed Aza Gazgireeva, a top judge, as she dropped
her children off at school in Russia's North Caucasus. Five other
people were reported wounded, including a small child. Investigators
said Gazgireeva likely was killed for her role in investigating a
Chechen militants' attack on Ingush police forces in 2004.
2009 Jun 10, In Iraq a rare car
bomb ripped through a market in the town of Bathaa, in the southern
Shiite heartland, as shoppers were buying meat and vegetables,
killing at least 29 people and wounding dozens.
2009 Jun 10, The US Navy handed
over 17 suspected Somali pirates to Kenya, taking the total number
held in the east African nation to 101.
2009 Jun 10, Libyan leader
Moammar Gadhafi began his first visit to Italy with a warm embrace
from Premier Silvio Berlusconi, evidence of better ties between the
energy-rich desert nation and its former colonial ruler.
2009 Jun 10, Mexican soldiers
captured Jose Filiberto Parra Ramos, a suspected cartel member
accused of killing two federal agents and leading bloody battles for
smuggling routes in the northern city of Tijuana.
2009 Jun 10, Pakistan launched
a new operation against Taliban fighters in the northwest.
2009 Jun 10, Palau agreed to
accept 17 Chinese Muslims who have languished in legal limbo at
Guantanamo Bay. President Johnson Toribiong said the decision of
Palau, one of a handful of countries that does not recognize China
and maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan, was "a humanitarian
gesture" intended to help the detainees restart their lives.
2009 Jun 10, Peru's Congress
indefinitely suspended two key legislative decrees that spurred the
Amazon Indian protests that erupted in bloodshed during a government
crackdown last week. Indigenous groups said the decrees make it
easier for foreign companies to exploit their lands for oil, gas and
2009 Jun 10, Sudan’s President
Omar al-Beshir inaugurated a new plant that he said will begin
producing ethanol from sugar cane with a target of 200 million
liters in two years. Former rebels who fought a devastating 22-year
civil war in south Sudan began laying down their arms as the UN’s
biggest demobilization program stepped up a gear.
2009 Jun 10, Western powers
reached agreement with North Korea's key allies on a UN draft
proposal that would impose tough new sanctions on the communist
nation's weapons exports and financial dealings, and allow
inspections of suspect cargo in ports and on the high seas.
(AP, 6/10/09)(SFC, 6/11/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 11, In San Francisco
BART’s governing board approved a 6.1% fare hike effective July 1.
The minimum ride went up 25 cents to $1.75.
(SFC, 6/12/09, p.B1)
2009 Jun 11, In eastern
Afghanistan NATO mortar rounds killed two Afghan civilians during a
clash with insurgents. Two died later of their injuries while
undergoing treatment. A bomb blast killed a British soldier near
Kandahar. Four other Afghan civilians died in Kunar when a truck
collided with a NATO vehicle.
2009 Jun 11, In Australia an
Australian Aboriginal elder (46), arrested for drunk driving, died
after being "cooked" in the back of a scorching hot prison van. The
next day a coroner found that Mr. Ward's death breached Australia's
obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political
2009 Jun 11, Four Guantanamo
detainees, Uighurs from predominantly Muslim western China, were
transferred to Bermuda, marking an unexpected new chapter in their
2009 Jun 11, The London subway
workers’ strike continued for the second day in a row shutting down
much of the city's Underground network. The strike ended as
Transport for London agreed with workers to restart talks.
(AP, 6/11/09)(SFC, 6/12/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 11, The ICRC said
armed men have killed a local employee of the International
Committee of the Red Cross at Birao in the north of the Central
2009 Jun 11, German researchers
said a new, superheavy chemical element numbered 112, Ununbium,
Latin for 112, will soon be officially included in the periodic
table. A team in Darmstadt first produced 112 in 1996 by firing
charged zinc atoms through a 120-meter-long particle accelerator to
hit a lead target.
2009 Jun 11, Italian police
said they were carrying out arrests in Rome, Milan and other cities
as part of an investigation into the activities of suspected radical
2009 Jun 11, The Mexican army
captured 25 gunmen in northern Nicolas Bravo, Chihuahua state, who
witnesses say disguised themselves as soldiers. Soldiers also seized
29 automatic rifles during the raid. Gunmen tossed grenades and
fired on a crowded taco stand in the city of Uruapan, Michoacan
state, killing a police officer and a 15-year-old boy. Armed men
barged into a motel room and killed five people in their beds in
Ciudad Juarez. Two other people were killed during a car chase and
shootout between armed men in downtown Juarez. The Mexican Navy in
Sinaloa discovered one of the largest methamphetamine labs ever
found in the country, with enough ephedrine to produce more than 40
tons of methamphetamine.
(AP, 6/11/09)(AP, 6/12/09)(AP, 6/14/09)(AP,
2009 Jun 11, Human Rights Watch
in a report to the UN said abuses by the Mexican military have
surged since the government deployed troops to fight drug cartels
more than two years ago, and too little is done to investigate
allegations of rapes, killing and torture. Mexico's government
disputed the charges.
2009 Jun 11, North Korea
demanded a 3,000 percent hike in rent from South Korea for the site
of a joint industrial park at the center of a dispute roiling their
relations. It also sought a more than fourfold increase in wages for
North Korean workers employed by South Korean companies at the park.
More than 100 South Korean companies have factories in the park,
employing some 40,000 North Koreans. They are paid about $70 a month
2009 Jun 11, Pakistan's army
said it had killed 66 Taliban as fighting spilled into a tribal area
and known bolthole for the militant group blamed for a deadly
bombing at a luxury hotel. One person was killed and 35 injured when
a bomb hidden in a toilet exploded on a train in southwestern
Baluchistan province. On a road to Peshawar, gunmen attacked the car
of northwest provincial minister for prisons Mian Nisar Gul. The
official was wounded, while two of his bodyguards and one of the
assailants were killed. In the northwestern town of Dera Ismail Khan
one person was killed and 30 wounded in two separate hand grenade
attacks in crowded bazaars.
2009 Jun 11, In Peru riot
police used tear gas to turn student protesters away from the
Congress as thousands marched to back Amazon Indians resisting oil
and natural gas exploration on their land.
2009 Jun 11, In the southern
Philippines Ansar Venancio, a Filipino bomb expert from the Jemaah
Islamiyah (JI) group, was arrested in Marawi city. He is thought to
have carried out a deadly attack on Manila in 2000.
2009 Jun 11, The World Health
Organization held an emergency swine flu meeting and declared the
first flu pandemic in 41 years as infections climbed in the United
States, Europe, Australia, South America and elsewhere.
2009 Jun 12, In New Jersey an
Indictment was unsealed today against three individuals who
allegedly hacked into the telephone systems of large corporations
and entities in the US and abroad and sold information about the
compromised telephone systems to Pakistani nationals residing in
Italy. Italian law enforcement conducted searches of approximately
10 locations in four regions of Italy and arrested the financiers of
the hacking activity. Those financiers allegedly used the
information to transmit over 12 million minutes of telephone calls
valued at more than $55 million over the hacked networks of victim
corporations in the US alone.
2009 Jun 12, Guantanamo
detainee Ahmed Zuhair and two others were reported to have been sent
home to Saudi Arabia, where they would be subject to judicial review
before entering a government-run "rehabilitation" program. Zuhair
had been held at Guantanamo since June 2002 and had refused to eat
since the summer of 2005. He was force-fed a liquid mix to keep him
2009 Jun 12, In Afghanistan a
suicide car bomber hit a fleet of fuel tankers intended for a NATO
base in Helmand province, killing eight Afghans and wounding 21. A
British soldier was killed Helmand in an explosion during an
operation in Sangin district.
2009 Jun 12, In Algeria at
least five members of an Islamist militant group were killed near
Constantine, as well as several Islamist clan chiefs in different
2009 Jun 12, A Brazilian ship
recovered three more bodies from the Atlantic bringing the total to
44. Searchers said weather and currents complicated their job and
warned it is unlikely that all the dead from Air France Flight 447
will be found.
2009 Jun 12, In the Central
African Republic 15 rebels of the Convention of Patriots for Justice
and Peace (CPJP) and 3 soldiers were killed in fighting in the
northwest of the country.
2009 Jun 12, Iranians
packed polling stations with a choice that's left the nation divided
and on edge: keeping hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in
power or electing a reformist who favors greater freedoms and
improved ties with the United States.
2009 Jun 12, In Iraq a senior
Sunni lawmaker was killed after delivering a sermon during at a
mosque in a former insurgent stronghold in western Baghdad. Harith
al-Obeidi (47) led the main Sunni bloc in parliament and was known
as a fierce advocate of human rights and the rights of mainly Sunni
detainees. The assailant was chased down the street by mosque guards
and then detonated a grenade, killing himself and an undetermined
number of pursuers. A bomb on a bicycle exploded in eastern Baghdad,
killing two people and wounding nine others. An American soldier was
killed by a roadside bomb.
(AP, 6/12/09)(AP, 6/13/09)
2009 Jun 12, Indian Home
Minister P. Chidambaran, speaking in Srinagar, said India is to
phase out the controversial presence of large numbers of its troops
in towns across the Muslim-majority Kashmir region. Indian troops
and paramilitaries were thought to number up to 500,000.
2009 Jun 12, In Indonesia a
male Sumatran elephant was found dead in a pulp plantation in Riau
province, Sumatra with its tusks removed. Six other endangered
Sumatran elephants had been killed in Riau in the last two months
and two were found with missing tusks.
2009 Jun 12, In Mexico Mauricio
Fernandez, a ruling party mayoral candidate in Monterey suburb San
Pedro Garza, suggested that as mayor he would avoid confronting the
Beltran Levya cartel to maintain peace. Police found the bodies of
five men dumped beside on a highway in the northern state of
Durango, all with signs of torture. Four more bodies were found in
different parts of Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso,
Texas. Soldiers arrested Juan Manuel Jurado Zarzoza, the local
leader of the Gulf drug cartel in Cancun in charge of drug sales,
extortion and kidnappings.
(AP, 6/13/09)(AP, 6/14/09)
2009 Jun 12, Moroccans voted in
a local election that opposition Islamists hope will extend their
influence in big cities.
2009 Jun 12, Mozambican state
media reported that a court has sentenced Alexandre Balate to 22
years in jail for killing a suspect. Balate, the former head of the
search and seizure unit, was found guilty of the 2007 murder of
Abranches Penicelo, who was allegedly abducted by a group of police
officers, burnt alive and shot. Amnesty International had drawn
global attention to Penicelo's murder. Last year the group released
a report accusing the national police of "killing and torturing
people with near total impunity."
2009 Jun 12, In Nigeria MEND
rebels breached Chevron’s Makaraba-Utonana-Abiteye pipeline and
started a fire at the Makaraba Jacket 5 facility in Delta State.
MEND also released a British oil sector worker who had been held for
2009 Jun 12, Pakistan’s
military said at least 39 Taliban militants and 10 soldiers were
killed in fierce fighting over the last 24 hours in the northwest
Swat valley. Two back-to-back suicide attacks on mosques in the
eastern city of Lahore and northwestern garrison town of Nowshera
killed six people including vocal anti-Taliban religious scholar
(AFP, 6/12/09)(AP, 6/13/09)
2009 Jun 12, In the Philippines
fighting with the militant Moro Islamic Liberation Front left 10
dead and 20 wounded. Columnist Antonio Castillo was killed in
Masbate province by motorcycle-riding gunmen.
(AP, 6/13/09)(AP, 6/17/09)
2009 Jun 12, A South Korean
newspaper reported that the youngest son of North Korea's
authoritarian leader has been given the title of "Brilliant
Comrade," a sign the communist regime is preparing to name him as
successor to the ailing Kim Jong Il.
2009 Jun 12, At least 40 south
Sudanese soldiers and civilians were killed when tribal fighters
ambushed boats carrying UN food aid, the latest in a string of
ethnic attacks threatening a fragile peace deal.
2009 Jun 12, Swiss
pharmaceuticals company Novartis AG said it has successfully
produced a first batch of swine flu vaccine weeks ahead of
2009 Jun 12, In Turkey the
liberal Taraf newspaper published a copy of “Plan to Combat Islamic
Fundamentalism," an alleged military plan hatched last April to
overthrow the AK party and to incriminate Turkey’s largest Islamist
brotherhood, led by Fetullah Gulen. It was signed by Dursun Cicek, a
colonel serving in the army’s psychological warfare unit.
(Econ, 6/20/09, p.56)
2009 Jun 12, The UN Security
Council agreed to expand an arms embargo against North Korea with
the goal of derailing the isolated nation's nuclear and missile
programs. It passed Resolution 1874 authorizing the search of North
Korean ship suspected of carrying illegal arms.
(AP, 6/13/09)(Econ, 6/27/09, p.50)
2009 Jun 12, In Yemen nine
foreigners, including 3 children, were kidnapped while on a picnic
in northern Saada province. 3 of the kidnapped were found dead on
June 15. In May 2010 Saudi intelligence forces freed 2 German girls,
aged 4 & 6. The fate of the others remained unknown.
(AP, 6/16/09)(AP, 5/18/10)
2009 Jun 13, Six Flags, an
American theme park operator, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
(Econ, 6/20/09, p.79)
2009 Jun 13, In Afghanistan a
roadside bomb struck a vehicle travelling between the eastern
provinces of Paktya and Khost, near the border with Pakistan, and
killed three Afghan construction workers.
2009 Jun 13, Algeria's national
oil company Sonatrach announced it had awarded a 79.3-billion-dinar
(1.11-billion-dollar, 793-million-euro) contract to the Canadian
engineering firm SNC-Lavalin to build natural gas processing
2009 Jun 13, In Australia it
was reported Barry Tannenbaum (43), an expatriate South African
businessman, has denied any wrongdoing in an alleged investment
scandal. Tannenbaum has been accused of fleecing rich South Africans
in what has been billed as one of the country's biggest Ponzi-style
investment scandals, according to local and South African media. The
massive pyramid scheme reportedly cost wealthy investors up to $1.2
2009 Jun 13, In China a
colorful show of drag queens dressed in Chinese opera costumes was
one of the festivities that marked Shanghai's gay pride, the first
in China where homosexuality remains largely hidden.
2009 Jun 13, In India a
rebellion by left-wing activists began against West Bengal state's
communist rulers. About 1,800 state and federal troops were deployed
to quell the uprising. By June 18 ten CPM activists had been killed
as security camps and party offices were burned down.
2009 Jun 13, In Iran supporters
of the main election challenger to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clashed with
police and set up barricades of burning tires as authorities
declared the hard-line president was re-elected with 62.6% of the
vote to 33.75% to Mousavi. Saeed Leilaz, a university economics
professor, was among a number or protesters who were arrested. In
March 2010 Leilaz was sentenced to six years in prison for insulting
the country's supreme leader, violating public order and
participating in a plan to disturb the country's security.
(AP, 6/13/09)(AP, 3/11/10)
2009 Jun 13, Brazil reported
that a French ship had found six more bodies from Air France Flight
447, which would bring the total to 50. It went down May 31 with 228
2009 Jun 13, In India a
rebellion by left-wing activists began against West Bengal state's
communist rulers. About 1,800 state and federal troops were deployed
to quell the uprising. By June 18 ten CPM activists had been killed
as security camps and party offices were burned down.
2009 Jun 13, In Ingushetia
gunmen fatally shoot Bashir Aushev, a former deputy prime minister
who oversaw police agencies, as he stands outside his home in
2009 Jun 13, In Italy tens of
thousands of gay rights activists demanding rights for same-sex
couples marched through the streets of Rome on Saturday in a gay
2009 Jun 13, An Italian court
ordered the recall of 10,000 tons of wood fuel pellets imported from
Lithuania over fears that they could have dangerous levels of
radioactivity. Test results showed that they contained cesium 137, a
highly toxic radioactive substance normally produced by a nuclear
explosion or from the combustion of a nuclear reactor. The
contaminated pellets themselves were not dangerous to humans, but
danger comes from the ashes and the smoke produced when they are
2009 Jun 13, In Mexico 3
federal agents were killed in two separate attacks along a highway
in the western state of Michoacan. In western Guerrero state gunmen
ordered a priest and two seminarians out of their vehicle and shot
them dead in the town of Arcelia.
(AP, 6/14/09)(AP, 6/15/09)
2009 Jun 13, In Morocco with
more than 80% of seats counted, the Authenticity and Modernity Party
(PAM) had 4,854 seats, ahead of the governing Istiqlal
(Independence) party with 4,246. PAM, founded by Fouad Ali El Himma,
was created last year by lawmakers from five parties. It has
positioned itself as an alternative to both opposition Islamists and
Istiqlal, and has sought to combat voter apathy with promises to
follow through on policy commitments. Provisional figures put the
turnout at 51%.
(Reuters, 6/13/09)(Econ, 7/4/09, p.42)
2009 Jun 13, North Korea vowed
to step up its atomic bomb-making program and threatened war if its
ships are stopped as part of new UN sanctions aimed at punishing the
nation for its latest nuclear test.
2009 Jun 13, Pakistan unveiled
a deficit national budget, proposing an increase in defense
expenditure to help fight Taliban militants while boosting
agriculture and industrial output and reducing poverty. Pakistani
troops reportedly killed 41 militants overnight in their offensive
against the Taliban in the northwest. Jets bombed insurgent hideouts
in response to two suicide attacks the previous day. 30 suspected
militants were killed in strikes in South Waziristan.
(AFP, 6/13/09)(AFP, 6/14/09)
2009 Jun 13, In the Philippines
Al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants holding Eugenio Vagni (62), an
Italian Red Cross worker captive, killed five Philippine marines and
wounded 10 others in an ambush on southern Jolo Island.
2009 Jun 13, In Thailand 2
suspected insurgents riding a motorcycle hurled a bomb at a bus,
killing one passenger and wounding 13 others in downtown Yala city.
In Yala province's Bannang Sata district, a husband and wife were
shot dead in an ambush while riding their motorcycle. In Narathiwat
province a village headman's wife was killed and another person
wounded while riding a motorcycle to a market.
2009 Jun 13, A Turkish soldier
and a Kurdish rebel were killed in fighting in the southeast of
Turkey near the border with Iraq.
2009 Jun 13, In Vietnam civil
rights lawyer Le Cong Dinh (41) was arrested at his home in Ho Chi
Minh City. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on charges
of sabotaging the communist government. Three other pro-democracy
activists, Le Thang Long, Tran Thi Thu and Le Thi Thu Thu, were soon
arrested for colluding with Dinh.
2009 Jun 14, In Florida Tyler
Hayes Weinman (18), whose divorced parents live in the neighborhoods
where many of the cats were killed, was charged with 19 counts each
of animal cruelty and improperly disposing of an animal body. Police
said they investigated more than 30 cat deaths since May and were
flooded with tips from concerned citizens.
(AP, 6/15/09)(SFC, 6/15/09, p.A6)
2009 Jun 14, Afghanistan’s
Interior Minister Hanif Atmar said more than 250 people, many of
them militants and some foreign insurgents, were killed during
attacks by the Taliban in 25 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces last
week. Police and civilians were also among the dead. He also warned
that Islamist militants would attempt to sabotage the August 20
2009 Jun 14, Belarus boycotted
a Moscow-led security summit to protest a Russian ban on Belarusian
dairy products, deepening a politically charged dispute between the
two ex-Soviet neighbors. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the
other Organization of the Collective Security Treaty (CSTO) leaders
signed an agreement creating a joint rapid-reaction force that could
bolster the power and prestige of the seven-nation alliance, seen
largely as an ex-Soviet answer to NATO.
2009 Jun 14, In Iran protesters
set fires and smashed store windows in a second day of violence as
groups challenging President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election tried
to keep pressure on authorities. Anti-riot police lashed back and
the regime blocked Internet sites used to rally the pro-reform
2009 Jun 14, Israel’s PM
Netanyahu said that he would accept a Palestinian state, but
attached conditions such as having no army that the Palestinians
(AP, 6/15/09)(SFC, 6/15/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 14, Pakistan said it
would resort to force against Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud in
South Waziristan. Militants remotely-detonated explosives hidden in
a rickshaw, causing chaos at a busy market in Dera Ismail Khan town,
with 9 people killed and dozens injured. Jet planes bombed hideouts
in the tribal area of Bajaur. Up to 44 suspected militants killed in
the onslaught. A US drone attack targeting a militant vehicle killed
at least three people, including Uzbek and Arab militants, in the
Mardar Algad area of South Waziristan.
(AFP, 6/14/09)(AFP, 6/15/09)(SFC, 6/15/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun 14, In Sri Lanka the
mandate of a presidential commission of inquiry, established two
years ago under intense international pressure to investigate
earlier claims of abuses in the war, expired without an extension.
It had been assigned 16 cases of alleged abuses by both sides,
including the 2006 execution-style slaying of 17 aid workers for the
French organization Action Against Hunger. Nissanka Udalagama, a
former Supreme Court justice who chaired the commission, later said
it had only completed work on 7 of the assigned cases. Extensions
had been routinely granted in the past, but not this time. Instead,
the commission was dissolved.
2009 Jun 14, Thai PM Abhisit
Vejjajiva urged the country not to panic about swine flu, after the
number of cases grew nine-fold in four days and a cluster emerged in
a key tourist hub. Health authorities reported that confirmed cases
of the H1N1 virus soared to 150, compared with just 16 on June 10,
including a number of foreigners.
2009 Jun 14, Yemen accused a
Shiite rebel group of kidnapping 9 foreigners in northern Saada
province. The Interior Ministry official said Hassan Hussein Bin
Alwan, a Saudi man suspected of financing Al-Qaida cells in Yemen
and Saudi Arabia, has been arrested.
2009 Jun 15, Harriet Miers,
former White House counsel, during House Judiciary closed door
testimony, said former White House political advisor Karl Rove
played a central role in the 2006 ouster of New Mexico’s US Attorney
David Iglesias as well as 8 other US attorneys.
(SFC, 8/12/09, p.A5)
2009 Jun 15, In Indiana the
bodies of Dr. Philip Gabriele (44), an eye surgeon, and his wife,
Marcella (43), were found at his clinic in Elkhart. Suicide was
suspected as they were scheduled to surrender to authorities on
charges of performing unnecessary surgeries on patients and bilking
money from health insurers.
(SFC, 6/16/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun 15, In California the
body of Joanne Witt (47) was found at her home in El Dorado Hills,
east of Sacramento. On June 17 her daughter Tyler Marie Witt (15)
and boyfriend Steven Paul Colver (20), suspects in the stabbing
death, were arrested at a strip mall in the Bay Area city of San
Bruno. On Nov 24 a judge ruled that Tyler would have to stand trial
as an adult.
(SFC, 6/18/09, p.B3)(SFC, 11/25/09, p.C2)
2009 Jun 15, Georgia’s Supreme
Court ordered Expedia Inc. and its Hotwire.com subsidiary to collect
and pay hotel occupancy taxes to the west Georgia city of Columbus
in a possible precedent for cities across the country.
(SFC, 6/17/09, p.C1)
2009 Jun 15, US Gen. Stanley
McChrystal formally assumed command of American and NATO troops in
(SFC, 6/16/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 15, In Australia Des
"Tuppence" Moran (61), a former underworld enforcer, died from
multiple gunshot wounds to the head while enjoying a coffee in a
suburban cafe. Gangland widow Judy Moran was one of three people
later charged in the slaying. On March 9, 2011, Judy Moran (66) was
convicted of orchestrating the execution-style murder of her
(AFP, 6/17/09)(AFP, 3/9/11)
2009 Jun 15, Brazilian
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva brought a message of worker
solidarity and economic responsibility to the United Nations. He
left with some rare, sharp criticism from human rights groups that
once championed his government.
2009 Jun 15, Virgin Media, the
cable TV operator owned by entrepreneur Richard Branson, launched a
new kind of music download subscription service with Universal, the
world's largest music company.
2009 Jun 15, The European Union
agreed to help the administration of President Barack Obama "turn
the page" on Guantanamo, saying individual EU nations will take
detainees from the American prison in Cuba.
2009 Jun 15, In Gambia seven
journalists were detained after criticizing the nation's president,
who has ruled the tiny country since a 1994 coup.
2009 Jun 15, In Iran tens of
thousands of supporters of pro-reform leader Mir Hossein Mousavi
streamed through the center of Tehran in a boisterous protest
against election results that declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
the winner. Iran's supreme leader ordered an investigation into
allegations of election fraud. 7 demonstrators were shot and killed.
(AP, 6/15/09)(AP, 6/18/09)
2009 Jun 15, Italy's interior
minister defended plans to allow citizen patrols to beef up security
amid outrage over a new right-wing guard that has put Fascist and
Nazi-like symbols on its uniforms.
2009 Jun 15, Libyan leader
Moamer Kadhafi sued three Moroccan newspapers for defamation,
seeking eight million euros in damages for "attacks on the dignity
of a head of state."
2009 Jun 15, Mexico's attorney
general's office said it charged 51 guards and prison officials,
including the director, for their complicity in the escape of 53
inmates from a jail in Zacatecas state. A survey by Mexico's
National Human Rights Commission said an estimated 9,758 migrants
were kidnapped in Mexico between September and February, mainly by
drug gangs but some migrants reported that authorities were
2009 Jun 15, In Nepal Maoist
demonstrators clashed with police in Kathmandu as a general strike
called by the former guerrillas' youth wing brought Kathmandu to a
2009 Jun 15, The Hague-based
International Criminal Court ordered former Congolese rebel warlord
Jean-Pierre Bemba to stand trial on charges of crimes against
humanity and war crimes, including murder, rape and pillaging.
2009 Jun 15, Armed militants in
Nigeria's Niger Delta claimed more attacks against facilities run by
US oil giant Chevron and warned FIFA against letting the country
host the under-17 World Cup tournament.
2009 Jun 15, Nigerian Petroleum
Development Company (NPDC) and China's state oil firm SIPEC said
they have discovered crude oil in Niger Delta region.
2009 Jun 15, In North Korea
tens of thousands rallied in Pyongyang to condemn the UN rebuke of
the country's latest nuclear test amid concern the communist regime
could conduct another one.
2009 Jun 15, Pakistani forces
pounded militants in tribal areas, after vowing an all-out assault
on a Taliban chief in the lawless Afghan border region known to be
an Al-Qaeda and rebel hideout.
2009 Jun 15, Peru's government
promised Amazon Indians to ask Congress to revoke decrees that
native groups say would make it easier to exploit their lands for
oil, gas and other development.
2009 Jun 15, Moscow vetoed a
Western-proposed resolution to extend the mandate of UN monitors in
the breakaway region of Abkhazia. It designed to buy time to
negotiate a long-term plan for the 16-year-old monitoring mission in
the Black Sea rebel region.
2009 Jun 15, Leaders from
Central Asia, China and Afghanistan joined Russia's President Dmitry
Medvedev at a summit. Members of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and
Uzbekistan) and leaders of observer nations (Iran, Pakistan, India
and Mongolia) met in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg for
two days of talks that are expected to include extensive discussions
2009 Jun 15, Turkmenistan Pres.
Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov staged lavish ceremonies for foreign
guests and media to launch a new $1.5 billion resort on the desert
shore of the Caspian Sea in a city named after his eccentric and
2009 Jun 15, In Yemen 3 foreign
women, including two German nurses and a South Korean teacher
kidnapped on June 12, were found dead. Two children were found
alive. Nine foreigners, including seven German nationals, a Briton
and a South Korean, disappeared June 12 while on a picnic in Yemen’s
northern Saada region.
(AP, 6/15/09)(AP, 6/16/09)(SSFC, 6/21/09, p.F3)
2009 Jun 16, The US added six
African countries to a blacklist of countries trafficking in people,
and put US trading partner Malaysia back on the list. Chad, Eritrea,
Niger, Mauritania, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe were added to the list in
the annual report. Removed from the list were Qatar, Oman, Algeria,
2009 Jun 16, US FDA said
consumers should stop using Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel and related
products because they can permanently damage the sense of smell.
2009 Jun 16, Rhode Island
became the 3rd state in the US to allow marijuana sales to
chronically ill patients as the General Assembly voted to override a
veto by Gov. Don Carcieri.
(SFC, 6/17/09, p.A7)
2009 Jun 16, GM and Sweden's
Koenigsegg said they have struck a deal for Koenigsegg, a niche
manufacturer of some of the world's fastest and most expensive
sports cars, to buy loss-making Saab Automobile from General Motors.
2009 Jun 16, The British
government declared a goal for Britain become the world's "digital
capital" by building cutting-edge broadband, telecoms and media
infrastructure to cement its role as a "global economic powerhouse."
2009 Jun 16, The $13.5 billion
takeover of Barclays Global Investors by BlackRock was finalized.
This created the world’s largest asset manager. By 2013 Aladdin, the
risk management platform on its computers, kept its eye on almost 7$
of the world’s $225 trillion of financial assets.
(Econ, 6/20/09, p.73)(Econ, 9/3/11, p.74)(Econ,
2009 Jun 16, A new hydrogen car
designed for use in cities and backed by Sebastian Piech, a relative
of the founder of German luxury sportscar maker Porsche, was
unveiled in London. The two-seater Riversimple Urban Car can travel
240 miles without refueling, weighs just 350 kilograms (770 pounds)
and has a top speed of 50 miles per hour.
2009 Jun 16, China’s Pres. Hu
Jintao announced a $10 billion loan to the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization, founded in 2001. The SCO grouped China, Russia,
Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
(http://tinyurl.com/pr5v65j)(Econ, 1/30/10, p.51)
2009 Jun 16, In the Dominican
Rep. Mauricio Encarnacion Castillo and Ramon Antonio del Rosario set
cocaine evidence on fire after exchanging gunfire with police
conducting a raid. The house in San Pedro de Macoris then caught
fire and the men died of smoke inhalation.
2009 Jun 16, Guatemalan
authorities confiscated nearly 10 million pseudoephedrine pills
worth $33 million, the country's biggest seizure of the
2009 Jun 16, Indian PM Manmohan
Singh met with Pakistan's president for the first time since last
year's deadly terrorist attacks on Mumbai, and told him Pakistan
must prevent its territory from being used to launch such attacks.
The leaders of South Asia's nuclear-armed neighbors met on the
sidelines of summits in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg.
2009 Jun 16, In Indonesia 16
miners were rescued after a massive explosion of methane gas
collapsed a coal mine owned by local residents in West Sumatra
province. 5 of the rescued miners died in hospital and the death
toll rose to 31 the next day after rescuers unearthed more bodies.
One more miner was believed to be buried.
(AFP, 6/16/09)(AP, 6/17/09)
2009 Jun 16, A spokesman said
Iran's Islamic leadership is prepared to conduct a limited recount
of disputed presidential elections, as thousands of people took to
the streets to show support for the regime. Authorities clamped down
on independent media in an attempt to control images of election
protests, but pictures and videos leaked out anyway, showing how
difficult it is to shut off the flow of information in the Internet
(AP, 6/16/09)(AP, 6/17/09)
2009 Jun 16, In Iraq a commuter
bus traveling from Baghdad to a southern city caught fire near Kut,
killing 14 passengers on board. An American soldier was killed by a
roadside bomb southeast of Baghdad.
2009 Jun 16, Italian police
said they had arrested 13 people suspected of helping a top Mafia
fugitive hide, communicate with other mobsters and conduct his
business. Investigators said they are closing in on Matteo Messina
Denaro, a fugitive who is among a handful of mobsters vying to take
over the Sicilian Mafia. Most of the arrests were carried out in
Trapani, a city in Western Sicily that is the power base of Messina
2009 Jun 16, In Malaysia Teoh
BEng Hock, a young aide to a state councilor, fell from a window
where Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officials had been
questioning him. The MACC had been created earlier this year from
the ashes of another agency.
(Econ, 9/5/09, p.48)
2009 Jun 16, In northern Mexico
police found the bodies of seven young men who were beaten or shot
to death in the state of Durango. In western Michoacan state, three
suspected kidnappers were killed in a shootout with local police in
the city of Uruapan. The Navy reported that it had detected a
shipment of cocaine hidden inside the carcasses of frozen sharks
aboard a freight ship at the Gulf coast port of Progreso.
2009 Jun 16, Nigerian President
Umaru Yar’Adua made a fresh amnesty offer in Abuja to militants in
the oil-rich Niger Delta and promised that an amnesty centre would
be set up.
2009 Jun 16, In Northern
Ireland racist thugs armed with bricks and bottles forced more than
100 Romanian Gypsies from their Belfast homes in a wave of attacks
that sent them fleeing to the safety of a nearby church.
2009 Jun 16, North Korea said
that two female US journalists whom it jailed last week for 12 years
had admitted a politically motivated smear campaign against the
communist state. Ri Hyon Ok (33) was executed in Ryongchon for
distributing the Bible. She was also accused of spying for South
Korea and the US and organizing dissidents according to later
reports by South Korean activists.
(AFP, 6/16/09)(AP, 7/24/09)
2009 Jun 16, The Norwegian firm
Opera Software unveiled new technology that allows it Opera 10 Web
browser to also function as a file server. A feature called Opera
Unite enables users to push content and establish communications
without the need for a 3rd party.
(SFC, 6/17/09, p.C1)
2009 Jun 16, Pakistan's
military said it is in the early stages of an operation targeting
the country's Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in a key stronghold of
al-Qaida and other militants.
2009 Jun 16, A Palestinian
military tribunal in a security compound in the West Bank town of
Jenin sentenced Taghreed, her last name was not released, to a life
term of hard labor. The woman (22) said she became an informer for
Israel to earn money that would get her out of prostitution.
2009 Jun 16, In Russia leaders
from the world's top emerging economic powers met for their first
summit to plot a strategy to increase their clout amid the global
crisis. Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) failed to reach
consensus on a new reserve currency. They did issue a statement
calling for a more diversified int’l. monetary system.
(AFP, 6/16/09)(SFC, 6/17/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun 16, Russia welcomed
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his first trip abroad since
his bitterly disputed re-election, a show of support for a leader
facing major protests at home and questions from the West about the
legitimacy of the vote count.
2009 Jun 17, The Obama
administration proposed a sweeping overhaul of the financial system.
An 88-page wish list of changes released by the Treasury Dept. would
require the approval of Congress and included broad new powers for
the Federal Reserve to supervise institutions considered to big to
fail. It included a proposal for the creation of a Consumer
Financial Protection Agency (CFPA).
(SFC, 6/18/09, p.A1)(Econ, 6/20/09, p.77)
2009 Jun 17, A White House
official said President Barack Obama, whose gay and lesbian
supporters have grown frustrated with his slow movement on their
priorities, is extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal
employees but stopping short of a guarantee of full health
2009 Jun 17, The Obama
administration said it will pump more than $130 million into the ,
Montana towns of Libby and Troy, where asbestos contamination has
been blamed for more than 200 deaths.
2009 Jun 17, Ten large US banks
said they had repaid a total of $68 billion in bailout funds from
the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
(SFC, 6/18/09, p.C2)
2009 Jun 17, The number of
Nebraska cattle herds quarantined because of bovine tuberculosis
concerns jumped to 42 and Colorado and South Dakota were warned the
disease may have already spread there.
2009 Jun 17, It was reported
that security researchers at Finjan, a venture–funded security
company in San Jose, have identified a sophisticated online network,
called GoldenCashworld, that was used for buying and selling access
to infected PCs. The network included tools for creating malicious
code and stolen credentials for about 100,000 Web sites.
(SFC, 6/17/09, p.C1)
2009 Jun 17, In southern
Afghanistan 3 Danish soldiers were when a bomb exploded as their
vehicle passed down Highway 1 heading toward the town of Barakhzai
in Helmand province.
2009 Jun 17, In southeastern
Algeria Islamist rebels ambushed a military convoy and killed at
least 18 gendarmes and one civilian in the deadliest attack on
government forces in the last six months. In 2011 a criminal court
sentenced six people to death for the attack, for which Al-Qaeda
(AFP, 6/18/09)(SFC, 6/19/09, p.A2)(AFP, 1/29/11)
2009 Jun 17, Belarus set up
customs posts on its border with Russia for the first time in 14
years as a trade dispute between the two countries escalated.
2009 Jun 17, China and Russia
expressed serious concern about tension on the Korean peninsula and,
in the face of North Korea's rhetoric, joined international pressure
for it to return to nuclear talks.
2009 Jun 17, In China’s Hubei
province, the body of Tu Yuangao (24) was found in front of the
Shishou city hotel. Xinhua News later said that Tu worked as a chef
at the hotel and some believed he was killed by gangsters or by the
hotel's boss, who is related to the city mayor. The Communist Party
boss of Shishou and head of law enforcement were dismissed on July
25 for mishandling the violent protests that followed Yuangao’s
(AP, 6/21/09)(AP, 7/25/09)
2009 Jun 17, In China 16 miners
became stuck when the Xinqiao Coal Mine flooded in Henan province. 3
of the men were rescued on July 12.
2009 Jun 17, Ralf Dahrendorf
(80), German thinker and politician, died. He spent his life
defining and defending liberty and wrote almost 30 books to this
(Econ, 6/27/09, p.94)
2009 Jun 17, In Greece gunmen
shot dead an anti-terrorist police officer guarding a witness in
central Athens, in an escalation of domestic terrorist attacks in
2009 Jun 17, Iranian opposition
leader Mir Hossein Mousavi issued a direct challenge to the
country's supreme leader and cleric-led system, calling for a mass
rally to protest disputed election results and violence against his
followers. International human rights organizations said that many
prominent activists and politicians have been arrested in Iran in
response to protests over the country's disputed presidential
(AP, 6/17/09)(AP, 6/18/09)
2009 Jun 17, Iraqi forces
acting on tips arrested Ahmed Abid Uwaid (45), a suspected al-Qaida
in Iraq leader, who was believed to be a mastermind of the June 12
assassination Harith al-Obeidi, a prominent Sunni lawmaker in
(AP, 6/17/09)(SFC, 6/18/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 17, In Mexico four
teenagers were shot to death on a Ciudad Juarez street by gunmen
wielding assault rifles. The four were between the ages of 16 and
2009 Jun 17, In Nigeria a
Ukrainian plane made an emergency landing due to technical problems
in the northern city of Kano. Eighteen crates of mines and
ammunition, destined for Equatorial Guinea, were found aboard the
aircraft. The crew and a Nigerian collaborator were detained and
soon transferred to Abuja for questioning.
2009 Jun 17, Royal Dutch Shell
said it had deferred shipments of crude oil from its Nigerian
Forcados exports terminal for two months due to delays in repairing
a key pipeline damaged by vandals.
2009 Jun 17, In northwest
Pakistan tribesman seeking to avenge a deadly mosque bombing killed
six Taliban. 22 suspected rebels were killed in the Swat Valley over
the last 24 hours in an ongoing military offensive.
(AFP, 6/17/09)(SFC, 6/18/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 17, Somali government
forces attacked rebel strongholds in Mogadishu, triggering battles
that killed at least 17 people, including Col. Ali Said , the
capital's police chief.
2009 Jun 17, American engineers
Raymond Tomlinson (b.1941) and Martin Cooper (b.1928), who were
instrumental in developing e-mail and mobile phones, won one of
Spain's prestigious Prince of Asturias awards for revolutionizing
the way people communicate.
2009 Jun 18, The US Supreme
Court ruled 5-4 that William Osborne, a prisoner convicted in Alaska
in 1994, has no constitutional right to DNA testing to prove his
innocence. In April 2008, a three-judge panel of US Court of Appeals
for the Ninth Circuit had held that Osborne should be allowed to
obtain new DNA tests. The court said that it is up to the
states and Congress to decide such rights.
(SFC, 6/19/09, p.A7)(Econ, 8/1/09,
2009 Jun 18, An Alabama state
judge ordered former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to pay nearly
$2.9 billion to shareholders who sued over a massive accounting
fraud that nearly sent the rehabilitation chain into bankruptcy.
2009 Jun 18, In a replay of the
nation's only file-sharing case to go to trial a federal jury ruled
that Jammie Thomas-Rasset (32) of Minnesota willfully violated the
copyrights on 24 songs, and awarded recording companies $1.92
million, or $80,000 per song. The new trial was ordered after the
judge in the case decided he had erred in giving jury instructions.
Thomas-Rasset's second trial actually turned out worse for her. When
a different federal jury heard her case in 2007, it hit
Thomas-Rasset with a $222,000 judgment.
2009 Jun 18, NASA launched its
Lunar Crater Observation and sensing Satellite (LCROSS). The Mission
Objectives LCROSS included confirming the presence or absence of
water ice in a permanently shadowed crater at the Moon’s South Pole.
2009 Jun 18, Ali Akbar Khan
(87), Indian-born master of the 25-string Sarod, died at his home in
San Anselmo, Ca.
(SFC, 6/20/09, p.B3)
2009 Jun 18, In southern
Afghanistan a bomb strapped to a parked bicycle exploded near a
construction office in Kandahar city, killing one employee and a
child about 11 years old. Afghan and International forces killed 16
Taliban militants in a gunbattle in Uruzgan province. One police
officer also died in the fighting.
(AP, 6/18/09)(AP, 6/19/09)
2009 Jun 18, The Bank of
Scotland said Fred Goodwin, its disgraced former boss, has agreed to
take a 40% pension cut, after widespread pressure to do so. He will
see his annual pension reduced to 342,500 pounds from 555,000
pounds. The agreement was condemned by trade unions who said it did
not go far enough.
2009 Jun 18, In northern
Albania an explosive device killed Aleksander Keka (34), a
conservative regional leader of Albania's opposition Christian
Democratic Party, as he drove near Shkodra, 10 days ahead of the
country's parliamentary election.
2009 Jun 18, A study by an
environmental group said pollution in the Mekong River is putting
the rare Irrawaddy dolphin in danger of disappearing from Cambodia
2009 Jun 18, Canadian officials
said about 70,000 harbor seals were killed in this year’s hunt out
of a commercial quota of 273,000 animals. The 7-month hunt had ended
earlier this week.
(SFC, 6/19/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 18, China's Internet
watchdog condemned the Chinese-language version of Google for
"disseminating pornographic and vulgar information."
2009 Jun 18, China angrily
denounced the recent approval by the Asian Development Bank of a
2.9-billion-dollar funding plan for India, saying the scheme
encroached on a territorial dispute between the Asian giants. China
was particularly concerned about a 60-million-dollar watershed
protection project in the Arunachal Pradesh region, where much of
China and India's territorial dispute is centered.
2009 Jun 18, In Haiti a
confrontation between UN peacekeepers and mourners for Rev. Gerard
Jean-Juste, a popular priest allied with former President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, left one person dead. A video showed
marchers throwing rocks at UN soldiers, who periodically turned and
fired their assault rifles into the air.
2009 Jun 18, In Iran supporters
of Mir Hossein Mousavi for a 4th straight day rallied in the streets
of Tehran over the disputed presidential election, answering the
opposition leader's call to turn out dressed in black to mourn
demonstrators killed in clashes.
2009 Jun 18, In Iraq a special
committee set up by PM al-Maliki began an investigation into
allegations of widespread abuse and torture in Iraq's prisons, which
is threatening to become a major issue ahead of Jan. 30 national
elections. Four bodies bearing signs of gunshot wounds were found in
Baghdad’s Sadr city. Lawmakers loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada
al-Sadr later claimed that men appearing to be Iraqi soldiers had
stormed two houses in Sadr City and arrested four men, whose bodies
were found the next day.
2009 Jun 18, Mexico levied
organized crime and drug charges against seven mayors, the former
state attorney general and 19 other officials in the western state
of Michoacan for allegedly aiding a drug cartel.
2009 Jun 18, Nigeria's main
militant group said it had destroyed a major crude oil pipeline
belonging to Royal Dutch Shell as it fights a campaign against
foreign oil companies.
2009 Jun 18, In northwestern
Pakistan suspected US missile strikes pounded the hide-outs of
Taliban commander Malang Wazir, killing at least eight people.
2009 Jun 18, In Peru a top
Indian leader called for an end to protests that left dozens dead in
the Amazon region after Congress revoked two decrees that indigenous
groups said would spur oil and gas exploitation and other
development on their ancestral lands.
2009 Jun 18, In western Somalia
a suicide bombing killed at least 25 people including National
Security Minister Omar Hashi Aden at the Medina Hotel in Belet
Weyne. Al-Shabab, an extremist group with alleged links to the
al-Qaida terror network, claimed responsibility.
(AP, 6/18/09)(AP, 7/26/09)
2009 Jun 18, Thailand security
forces killed four suspected Muslim militants in a gunbattle in
southern Yala province.
2009 Jun 19, The United States
joined the UN Human Rights Council, a body widely criticized for
failing to confront abuses around the world and for acting primarily
to condemn Israel, one of Washington's closest allies.
2009 Jun 19, The US House
impeached imprisoned US District Judge Samuel Kent of Texas
for lying about sexual assaults of two women. Kent (59) entered a
federal prison in Massachusetts on June 15 to serve a 33-month
sentence. He pleaded guilty last month to lying to judicial
investigators about sexual assaults of two female employees. Kent
was refusing to resign until next year so he can continue to draw
his $174,000 a year salary. If he is convicted of the impeachment
charges in the Senate, he will be forced off the bench.
2009 Jun 19, Federal
prosecutors in Virginia indicted Texas financier Allen Stanford (59)
and 4 others on fraud and other charges in connection with a
multi-billion Ponzi scheme.
(SFC, 6/20/09, p.C2)
2009 Jun 19, US census
officials announced that same-sex married couples would be counted
for the first time in the 2010 census.
(Econ, 6/27/09, p.38)
2009 Jun 19, In Illinois tank
cars loaded with thousands of gallons of highly flammable ethanol
exploded in flames as a freight train derailed in Rockford, killing
Zoila Tellez (41) and forcing evacuations of hundreds of nearby
(AP, 6/20/09)(SSFC, 6/21/09, p.A9)
2009 Jun 19, In Michigan
officials said 36 members of 4 violent Detroit street gangs were
arrested with immigration, probation, weapons and other violations
as part of a nationwide crackdown.
(SFC, 6/20/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun 19, Google Inc. said
that it was working to block pornography reaching users of its
Chinese service after a mainland watchdog found the search engine
turned up large numbers of links to obscene and vulgar sites.
2009 Jun 19, New Mexico Gov.
Bill Richardson took part in a ceremonial groundbreaking at the
remote site of Spaceport America, about 45 north of Las Cruces. The
spaceport was being constructed for commercial space development.
(SFC, 6/20/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun 19, In Afghanistan a
university student in Kandahar City was found dead with his throat
cut in a side room of a mosque where he had gone to study. A British
soldier with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force
(ISAF) was killed in an explosion while on patrol near the town of
Lashkar Gah in the southern province of Helmand. A roadside bomb
tore through a car in the western province of Herat, killing six
members of a family. 26 Taliban were killed in an air strike
conducted by foreign forces near Lashkar Gah. 7 other insurgents
were killed elsewhere in Helmand.
(AP, 6/19/09)(AFP, 6/20/09)
2009 Jun 19, The Brazilian
government apologized for the torture and abuse of 44 poor farmers
under the military regime that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985
and announced reparations for the victims.
2009 Jun 19, A top Congo army
officer said 32 people have been killed in three days of fighting in
eastern Congo between government soldiers and Rwandan Hutu rebels
backed by Congolese militia allies.
2009 Jun 19, Iran’s Ayatullah
Ali Khamenei said that the country's disputed presidential vote had
not been rigged, sternly warning protesters of a crackdown if they
continue massive demonstrations demanding a new election.
2009 Jun 19, The bodies of two
men were handed over to the British embassy in the Iraqi capital
with the Foreign Office saying the remains were "highly likely" to
be those of Jason Swindlehurst (38) and Jason Creswell (39). They
were among four guards protecting Peter Moore when around 40 heavily
armed militants seized all five men at the finance ministry in
central Baghdad on May 29, 2007.
2009 Jun 19, EU leaders agreed
to establish a European System Risk Board. It was intended to sound
an alarm over the build up of risk and to create new European
supervisory authorities to keep an eye on big cross-border financial
(Econ, 7/4/09, p.73)
2009 Jun 19, In West Germany 3
German retirees, who lost $1.4 million in the financial crisis,
kidnapped James Amburn (56), their American investment adviser, in
an attempt to recoup the money. Amburn was freed by police after 4
days. In 2010 the retirees were convicted, with their 74-year-old
ringleader and sentenced to six years in prison.
2009 Jun 19, Isamu Akasaki
(80), a professor at Nagoya University in central Japan, was among
the winners of this year's Kyoto Prizes. He will receive the
advanced technology award for his pioneering work in the development
of blue light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. Peter (72) and Rosemary
Grant (72), a husband-and-wife team of biologists from Princeton
University, won for their decades of research on evolution in the
Galapagos Islands and will share an award of $515,000. This year's
award in arts and philosophy went to French composer and conductor
Pierre Boulez (84).
2009 Jun 19, Mexico authorities
in the border city of Ciudad Juarez said they would step up patrols
after killings there rebounded to levels near those that led the
government to send in 5,000 army troops in March. In Michoacan state
gunmen tossed a grenade at an ambulance and then opened its doors to
kill a patient inside who had narrowly survived an earlier shooting
in Uruapan. Paramedics ran for their lives during the attack. The
man (23) died and his wife (20) was listed in serious condition.
2009 Jun 19, Nigeria's main
militant group said it had destroyed a major pipeline supplying
crude oil to Italian oil group Agip's Brass exports terminal.
2009 Jun 19, Pakistani fighter
jets bombed Taliban militant hideouts in the northwest tribal belt,
as the death toll from a suspected US missile strike a day earlier
rose to 13.
2009 Jun 19, New York Times
reporter David S. Rohde (41) escaped from kidnappers in Pakistan
after more than seven months in captivity and was flown to Bagram
Air Base in Afghanistan the next day.
2009 Jun 19, A leading South
African research group said one in four male South Africans it
surveyed admitted to committing rape, a finding that cast a harsh
light on a culture of sexual violence that victims groups say is
deeply embedded in society.
2009 Jun 19, South Korea
rejected North Korea's demand for a massive increase in wages and
rent at a joint industrial park struggling to stay afloat, leaving
the fate of more than 100 companies and 40,000 workers there hanging
2009 Jun 19, In Spain a
powerful bomb exploded near the Basque city of Bilbao, killing a
policeman in an attack blamed on the separatist group ETA.
2009 Jun 19, The UN Food and
Agriculture Organization said one in six people in the world, or
more than 1 billion, is now hungry, a historic high due largely to
the global economic crisis and stubbornly high food prices.
2009 Jun 19, The UN said
Colombia's coca crop shrank by nearly a fifth last year while
cultivation of the bush that is the basis of cocaine rose for a
third straight year in Peru and Bolivia, the world's two other
2009 Jun 20, The US
pharmaceutical industry agreed to spend $80 billion over the next
decade improving drug benefits for seniors on Medicare and defraying
the cost of President Barack Obama's health care legislation,
capping secretive negotiations involving key lawmakers and the White
2009 Jun 20, The SF Chronicle
displayed a picture of a 9x7x2 foot, miniature, toothpick construct
of San Francisco, created over the last 34 years by Scott Weaver of
Rohnert Park, Ca. Weaver spent some 3,000 hours creating the work.
(SFC, 6/20/09, p.B1)
2009 Jun 20, It was reported
that that the H1N1 swine flu virus has spread to at least 76
countries and caused over 160 deaths, and that Brazilian researchers
have identified a new strain of the virus.
(SFC, 6/20/09, p.D12)
2009 Jun 20, In eastern
Afghanistan one soldier serving with the US-led coalition was killed
in an insurgent attack.
2009 Jun 20, In central China
hundreds of baton-wielding police dispersed protesters and cordoned
off a Shishou city hotel after a young man's mysterious death
sparked unrest [see June 17]. In eastern China an explosion at a
factory producing quartz sand killed 16 people and injured dozens in
Fengyang, a county in Anhui province.
2009 Jun 20, Greece opened its
new, $180.5 million Acropolis Museum with a lavish party, bolstering
its long campaign for the return of 2,500-year-old sculptures
stripped from the citadel more than two centuries ago. It was
designed by Bernard Tschumi and Michael Photiadis.
(AP, 6/20/09)(Econ, 6/27/09, p.89)
2009 Jun 20, Indian troops
regained control of Lalgarh town captured by Maoists during a
rebellion by the left-wing activists against West Bengal state's
2009 Jun 20, In Iran witnesses
said police beat protesters and fired tear gas and water cannons at
thousands who rallied in Tehran in open defiance of Iran's clerical
government, sharply escalating the most serious internal conflict
since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. A blast at the Tehran shrine of
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini wounded two. The clashes left at least
10 dead and 100 injured. Among those killed was Neda Agha Soltan
(b.1982), whose death was captured on video.
2009 Jun 20, Iraq’s PM Nouri
al-Maliki called the withdrawal of US troops from cities by the end
of this month a "great victory" and promised it would go ahead as
scheduled. Hour later in northern in Taza, a mostly Turkomen city, a
truck bomb exploded near a Shiite mosque following prayers, killing
82 people and wounding 163.
(AP, 6/20/09)(AP, 6/21/09)(AP, 6/27/09)
2009 Jun 20, Italian police in
Sicily said they have arrested 14 people and placed more than 250
under investigation in the country's biggest sweep against Internet
2009 Jun 20, Kashmir valley
closed down in the latest protest over the alleged rape and murder
of two Muslim women that has triggered massive anti-India
demonstrations in the disputed Himalayan region.
2009 Jun 20, Pakistani
warplanes resumed strikes against militant hideouts in South
Waziristan. There was heavy fighting in the villages of Barwand and
Madijan and about 50 militants were killed, the first confirmed
militant casualties of the offensive in South Waziristan. A
citizens' militia trying to drive out the Taliban killed seven
militants in a two-hour clash in the troubled northwest. Another
militant was wounded in the fighting night near the village of
Patrak. The military killed seven militants and arrested 16 others
in Malakand, which includes Upper and Lower Dir, Buner and Swat
(AP, 6/20/09)(AP, 6/21/09)(AFP, 6/21/09)
2009 Jun 20, In the southern
Philippines suspected Muslim guerrillas hurled two grenades near a
crowded town plaza where a beauty contest was being held, killing at
least one person and wounding 32 others in the predominantly
Christian town of Maasim, Sarangani province.
2009 Jun 20, Somali lawmakers
pleaded for international military intervention within 24 hours to
help fight Islamic insurgents, where fierce fighting has resumed in
Mogadishu. The government called for troops from Kenya and Ethiopia
to come to its aid.
(AP, 6/20/09)(Econ, 6/27/09, p.56)
2009 Jun 20, Venezuela’s
Commerce Minister Eduardo Saman, a close confidant of President Hugo
Chavez, announced that the government would annul patents on some
medicines under a reform of existing intellectual property laws.
Industry leaders soon responded saying the action could cause
shortages and scare off foreign investment.
2009 Jun 20, In Venezuela
authorities arrested Salvatore Miceli, suspected of being a key
intermediary in the drug trafficking trade and one of Italy's most
dangerous Mafia fugitives, as he left his apartment in Caracas.
Police also picked up two other Italian suspects.
2009 Jun 20, Zimbabwean PM
Morgan Tsvangirai was booed and shouted down by exiles during a
speech in London when he pleaded with them to return home to help
rebuild the shattered country.
2009 Jun 21, In Afghanistan a
rare rocket attack on Bagram Air Base, the main US base, killed two
US troops and wounded six other Americans, including two civilians.
2009 Jun 21, In northeastern
Central African Republic 10 people were killed in an attack on the
town of Birao. A UFDR spokesman said armed men attacked a base of
the former rebels of the Union of Democratic Forces for the Rally,
two weeks after a similar attack. They were described as "thieves"
from the Kara tribe, an ethnic minority within the UFDR, whose
members oppose the leadership of Zakaria Damane, head of the
2009 Jun 21, In China the
Danish-Swedish comedy “Original," about mental illness, won the best
picture at the 12th Shanghai International Film Festival. It also
took the best actor award for lead Sverrir Gudnason.
2009 Jun 21, Haiti held Senate
run-offs elections. Fed up with chronic poverty and unresponsive
leaders many stayed away from the elections, ignoring government
efforts to improve on the paltry voter turnout that undercut the
first round of voting in April.
2009 Jun 21, In central India
at least 11 special police personnel were killed and 10 injured in a
landmine blast triggered overnight by suspected Maoist rebels in the
state of Chhattisgarh.
2009 Jun 21, In Iran an eerie
calm settled over the streets of Tehran as state media said
authorities had arrested the daughter and four other relatives of
ex-President Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of Iran's most powerful men.
The reports brought the official death toll for a week of boisterous
confrontations to at least 19. Newsweek reporter Maziar Bahari, a
dual Iranian-Canadian citizen, was arrested. He was released on bail
on Oct 17.
(AP, 6/21/09)(AP, 10/17/09)
2009 Jun 21, It was reported
that handguns, rifles and bullets enter Jamaica from the US stoking
one of the world's highest murder rates.
2009 Jun 21, Nigeria's main
militant group said it had attacked a Shell offshore facility, the
third attack against the Anglo-Dutch company's facilities in Nigeria
in one day. The company denied the incident, saying the alleged
incident was part of the attack on two other Shell oil pipelines in
southern Rivers state earlier in the day.
2009 Jun 21, Pakistani forces
used aircraft and artillery as they stepped up an assault aimed at
eliminating Pakistani Taliban commander Baituallah Mehsud.
2009 Jun 21, The Portuguese
foreign minister said his country will take in 2-3 Guantanamo Bay
detainees once they are released by the US detention camp.
2009 Jun 21, In San Juan,
Puerto Rico, a lone man who robbed $340,000 from a popular hotel and
casino by threatening a supervisor's family.
2009 Jun 21, Ukrainian border
guards seized 250 turtles being smuggled into the country on a train
from Uzbekistan, where they had been hidden and strapped down with
tape to prevent them from moving.
2009 Jun 22, Pres. Obama, in an
effort to curb teen smoking, signed the Family Smoking Prevention
and Tobacco Control Act. The legislation gave the FDA unprecedented
authority to regulate what goes into tobacco products.
(SFC, 6/23/09, p.A6)(Econ, 6/20/09, p.33)
2009 Jun 22, The US Supreme
Court ruled 6-3 to allow a mining company to dump waste from an
Alaskan gold mine into a nearby 23-acre lake, although the material
will kill all of the lake's fish. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called the
decision "great news for Alaska" and said it "is a green light for
responsible resource development." The Kensington gold mine 45 miles
north of Juneau will produce as many as 370 jobs when it begins
2009 Jun 22, In Lead, South
Dakota, scientists, politicians and other officials gathered for a
groundbreaking of sorts at a lab 4,850 foot below the surface of an
old gold mine that was once the site of Nobel Prize-winning physics
research, a place uniquely suited to scientists' quest for
mysterious particles known as dark matter.
2009 Jun 22, Kodak announced
that it would discontinue the production of its Kodachrome 64 color
(SFC, 7/7/09, p.D1)
2009 Jun 22, In Kansas 4
bodies, including a 3-year-old girl, were found on the front year of
a Kansas City home. Adrian Burks (37) was arrested the next day and
charged with aggravated battery in the beating of another man hours
before the slayings. Two days later Burks was charged with the 4
(SFC, 6/26/09, p.A5)
2009 Jun 22, A Washington DC
Metrorail transit system train plowed into another stopped train,
killing at least seven people and injuring scores of others. It was
part of an aging fleet that federal officials had sought to phase
out because of safety concerns.
2009 Jun 22, US pilot Capt.
George B. Houghton (28), of Candler, NC, died in an F-16 crash at
the Utah Test and Training Range near the Nevada-Utah state line.
(SFC, 6/24/09, p.A4)(SFC, 6/25/09, p.A5)
2009 Jun 22, The United States
dedicated the site of a new $170 million representative office in
2009 Jun 22, In Afghanistan a
suicide bomber on a motorbike killed 7 civilians when he drove into
the center of eastern Khost city and set off explosives. In Kandahar
province another suicide bomber killed 3 Afghan soldiers in an
attack on a convoy of troops inspecting a highway bridge for
explosives. In eastern Nangarhar province, an explosion at a weapons
cache killed a 6-year-old boy and wounded 20 others. A major clash
in the southwestern province of Farah left nine militants and two
Afghan troops dead.
(AP, 6/22/09)(AP, 6/23/09)
2009 Jun 22, Australian police
said that an e-mail challenging PM Kevin Rudd's honesty in his
19-month-old government's biggest political crisis appeared to be a
2009 Jun 22, In eastern Bolivia
8 men from a Mennonite farming community were arrested following
accusations of raping dozens of females at the settlement. 60 women,
from 11 to 47 years old, have accused the men of rape.
2009 Jun 22, Britain pledged an
extra five million pounds in aid to Zimbabwe, hailing progress under
a new unity government but urging more reform after landmark talks
between leaders of the two countries.
2009 Jun 22, In Toronto,
Canada, garbage collectors, daycare workers and other municipal
employees went on strike in a contract dispute that could lead to a
prolonged shutdown of important services.
2009 Jun 22, In Colombia rebels
killed at least seven members of a police counterinsurgency unit in
an ambush in the country's southwest.
2009 Jun 22, In Democratic
Republic of Congo rioting inmates overnight raped around 20 female
prisoners during a failed prison break in Goma. Two people were
killed and 12 others were injured when prisoners detonated two
2009 Jun 22, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy declared that the Islamic burqa is not welcome in
France, branding the face-covering, body-length gown as a symbol of
subservience that suppresses women's identities.
2009 Jun 22, Across eastern and
central India security forces were on high alert as Maoists staged a
2-day general strike and the federal government slapped a formal ban
on the rebels.
2009 Jun 22, In Ingushetia a
suicide car bomber attacked a convoy carrying Yunus Bek Yevkurov
(45), the president of the troubled Russian province, critically
wounding him and killing two bodyguards. A 3rd guard died later from
his wounds. A group, which calls itself the Riyadus Salikhin
Martyrs' Brigade, later said it staged the attack on the president
of Ingushetia because of his support for Kremlin policies and
because of his role in the second war in Chechnya that began in
(AP, 6/22/09)(SFC, 6/23/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 22, In Iran riot
police attacked hundreds of demonstrators with tear gas and fired
live bullets in the air to disperse a rally in central Tehran,
carrying out a threat by the country's most powerful security force
to crush any further opposition protests over the disputed
presidential election. The Guardian Council, acknowledged voting
irregularities in 50 electoral districts in the June 12 vote, the
most serious official admission so far of problems in the election
that the opposition has labeled a fraud.
2009 Jun 22, In Iraq bombings
killed as many as 18 people in the Baghdad area as violence
intensified ahead of a planned withdrawal next week of US troops
from major cities and urban areas. Bombings and shooting killed over
30 people across Iraq.
(AP, 6/22/09)(SFC, 6/23/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 22, In Italy Khaled
Hussein (73), a Palestinian man who helped plan the 1985 hijacking
of the Achille Lauro cruise ship, died of a heart attack in a jail
(SFC, 6/23/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 22, In Kashmir 4
Indian police officials were suspended over their handling of a rape
and murder case that has sent shockwaves through the disputed
2009 Jun 22, Mexican customs
officials made 3 major drug seizures. Nearly 1,000 pounds (450
kilos) of cocaine was found hidden in a shipment of tires from
Colombia, found at the Pacific port of Manzan. More than 1,200
pounds (545 kilos) of marijuana was discovered in the border city of
Nuevo Laredo. 330 pounds (150 kilos) of pseudophedrine pills, used
to make methamphetamine, was found in a shipment of medical supplies
from Bangladesh, stopped at Mexico City International Airport.
2009 Jun 22, Pakistan's army
said they were in the final phase of a campaign to crush militants
in Swat valley, as clashes intensified with Taliban fighters in the
northwest tribal belt. Militants near the Afghan border launched
attacks on three Pakistani military bases and fighter jets responded
with airstrikes that killed at least 25 people, mostly insurgents. 3
women and 3 children died when the house of a local tribal leader
was hit in the Razmak area. A suicide bomber rammed an
explosives-laden vehicle into a police checkpoint in the Bagram
district bordering Swat, killing two people.
(AFP, 6/22/09)(AP, 6/22/09)(SFC, 6/23/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 22, An Islamic court
in Somalia sentenced four men to have a hand and a leg cut off for
stealing mobile phones and guns. The court postponed the punishment
the next day saying the hot weather could cause them to bleed to
(AP, 6/23/09)(SFC, 6/23/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 22, Pirates off
Somalia were chased down and captured by NATO’s Portuguese warship,
the Corte-real, after an attempted hijacking of a Singaporean
(SFC, 6/23/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 22, In Tanzania a UN
court, trying alleged masterminds of Rwanda's 1994 genocide,
sentenced former interior minister Callixte Kalimanzira (56) to 30
years in prison for tricking thousands of people to hide on a hill,
only to watch them get slaughtered by militias.
2009 Jun 23, US Trade
Representative Ron Kirk said the United States is launching a World
Trade Organization case against China over its export restrictions
on raw materials. The EU said it was joining the US in the action,
which follows failure to persuade China to reduce its export tariffs
and raise quotas on materials such as zinc, tin, tungsten and yellow
2009 Jun 23, CIA director Leon
Panetta, learned of a nascent CIA counterterrorism program within
the CIA, terminated it and the next day called an emergency meeting
with the House and Senate Intelligence committees to inform them of
the program and that it was canceled. Former Vice President Dick
Cheney had directed the CIA in 2001 not to inform Congress about the
nascent counterterrorism program, which developed plans to dispatch
small teams to kill senior Al-Qaida terrorists.
(AP, 7/12/09)(SFC, 7/14/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun 23, In Santa Cruz,
California, Clyde Persley (49) turned in his winning SuperLotto Plus
ticket and should get his first check for about $16 million in four
to six weeks.
2009 Jun 23, Ed McMahon (86),
loyal "Tonight Show" sidekick, died. He bolstered boss Johnny Carson
with guffaws and a resounding "H-e-e-e-e-e-ere's Johnny!" for 30
2009 Jun 23, In Afghanistan 3
German soldiers were killed when their patrol near the northern city
of Kunduz came under fire. A suicide car bombing targeting a US-led
military convoy in the eastern province of Ghazni killed two
passers-by. Also in Ghazni, Taliban ambushed a police convoy,
killing a policeman. 3 Afghan aid workers were killed in a roadside
bombing in the northern province of Jawzjan. Another blast killed
three policeman just outside the southern city of Kandahar. Afghan
and coalition forces killed 23 suspected Taliban fighters in a clash
in southern Uruzgan province. Mullah Ismail, a Taliban commander in
the region, was killed during the clash. A box of leaflets dropped
from a British plane killed a girl.
(AFP, 6/23/09)(AP, 6/24/09)(AP, 9/30/09)
2009 Jun 23, In Britain wildcat
strikes spread to oil refineries and power plants across the
country. Thousands of workers demonstrated outside the Lindsey
terminal in Lincolnshire, where almost 650 contract workers were
sacked by French oil giant Total last week.
2009 Jun 23, Bulgarian
authorities detained Agim Ceku (59), a former Kosovo prime minister
(2006-2008), on an international arrest warrant issued by Interpol
at Serbia's request. He is wanted for war crimes allegedly committed
during the 1998-1999 war when he was military chief of the Kosovo
Liberation Army, made up of ethnic Albanian guerrillas.
2009 Jun 23, The French
parliament created a commission to study the wearing of
body-covering burqas and niqabs in France, a day after President
Nicolas Sarkozy said the Islamic garment turns women into prisoners.
2009 Jun 23, Frederic
Mitterrand (b.1947) was appointed to the French government as the
Minister of Culture and Communications.
2009 Jun 23, An Indian court
issued arrest warrants for 22 Pakistani nationals accused of
masterminding last year's deadly Mumbai terrorist attacks, including
the founder of an Islamist militant group recently freed by a
2009 Jun 23, Iran's top
electoral body said it found "no major fraud" and will not annul the
results of the presidential election, closing the door to a do-over
sought by angry opposition supporters alleging systematic
vote-rigging. The 12-member Guardian Council also received approval
for an extension of its examination to June 29. 185 out of 290
members of parliament, including Speaker Ali Larijani, stayed away
from a victory celebration for Ahmadinejad.
(AP, 6/23/09)(SFC, 6/24/09, p.A2)(AP, 6/25/09)
2009 Jun 23, Abdel Aziz Duaik,
the most senior Hamas leader being held by Israel, was freed after
serving the bulk of his three-year sentence.
2009 Jun 23, A Kyrgyz
parliamentary committee approved a deal in which the United States
has agreed to pay more than triple the previous rent for use of a
key air base in Kyrgyzstan to ship non-lethal military supplies to
2009 Jun 23, In Mauritania
gunmen attempted to kidnap Christopher Ervin Leggett (39), an
American teacher, then shot and killed him when he tried to resist.
Leggett had taught at a center specializing in computer science in
El Kasr, a lower-class neighborhood in Nouakchott. Al-Qaida's North
Africa branch soon claimed responsibility for the killing. On July
17 police arrested two suspects in the killing. On July 24 a 3rd
suspect, Didi Ould Bezeid (26), was arrested in Nouakchott.
(AP, 6/23/09)(AP, 6/25/09)(AP, 7/25/09)
2009 Jun 23, Northern Ireland’s
government said more than 100 Romanian Gypsies who suffered racist
attacks and intimidation in Belfast are being flown back home at
2009 Jun 23, In Pakistan 3
unmanned drones fired missiles at the funeral procession for
suspected militants killed in South Waziristan by a similar strike
earlier in the day. As many as 50-80 people were reported killed.
Taliban faction leader Qari Zainuddin was fatally shot in Dera
Ismail Khan, reportedly by one of his own guards. He was seen as the
chief rival to Baitullah Mehsud, the militant group's Pakistani
(AP, 6/23/09)(AP, 6/24/09)(AP, 6/25/09)(SFC,
2009 Jun 23, Serbia's war
crimes court convicted Damir Sireta, a Croatian Serb man, for the
execution-style killings in Vukovar of some 200 Croatian prisoners
of war in 1991 during the Balkan conflict. Sireta was sentenced to
20 years in prison.
2009 Jun 23, Swedish retailer
IKEA announced that it was suspending its investment in Russia
because of “the “unpredictable character of administrative
procedures, a euphemism for graft.
(Econ, 7/4/09, p.63)
2009 Jun 24, In Arizona Trenda
Lynne Halton of Peoria was indicted for recruiting as many as 136
people to pose as college students and defrauding the government out
of nearly $154,000 in student aid money.
(SFC, 6/24/09, p.A5)
2009 Jun 24, In Arizona a
private plane crashed killing 4 people. The plane was returning to
Texas from California and carried over 12 pounds of marijuana and
over $8,000 cash.
(SFC, 6/27/09, p.A5)
2009 Jun 24, Ed Thomas, Iowa
high school football coach, was shot at Aplington-Parkersburg High
School while training in the school weight room. Thomas soon died of
his wounds and former student Mark Becker (24) was arrested for the
2009 Jun 24, South Carolina
Republican Gov. Mark Stanford confessed to having an affair with a
woman in Argentina and resigned as head of the Republican Governors
(SFC, 6/25/09, p.A6)
2009 Jun 24, The Gosaibi family
of Saudi Arabia held a creditor’s meeting in Bahrain. Their
representatives revealed that the group owed $9.2 billion to over
120 banks all over the world.
(Econ, 7/11/09, p.65)
2009 Jun 24, Denmark's Post
Danmark A/S and Sweden's Posten AB merged to form the new holding
company Posten Norden AB in the industry’s first-ever cross border
2009 Jun 24, Iran's supreme
leader said that the government would not yield to demonstrators
demanding the annulment of a disputed presidential election. The
wife of the opposition leader said protesters would not buckle under
a situation she compared to martial law. 70 university professors
were detained after a meeting with opposition leader Mir Hossein
Mousavi, who has alleged massive fraud in the June 12 vote. All but
four of the professors were soon released. Iranian authorities
barred journalists for international news organizations from
reporting on the streets and ordered them to stay in their offices.
(AP, 6/24/09)(AP, 6/25/09)(AP, 6/26/09)
2009 Jun 24, In northern India
a passenger bus plunged into a gorge, killing at least 25 people in
2009 Jun 24, In Indian-ruled
Kashmir thousands of people defied a ban on protest marches with a
fresh demonstration over the alleged rape and murder of two young
Muslim women by Indian troops.
2009 Jun 24, In Iraq an
explosion late in Sadr City killed 78 people and wounded 158. The
bomb was built using about 200 kilograms (441 pounds) of high
explosives packed with steel bearing and other metal objects. It was
apparently loaded on a motorcycle pulling a cart.
(AP, 6/25/09)(SFC, 6/26/09, p.A3)(AP, 6/27/09)
2009 Jun 24, The Nigerian
government met with militants from the oil-producing states of the
Delta to make an amnesty offer for fighters who cease hostilities in
the south of the country. President Umaru Yar'Adua ordered the
release of the leader of a militant group from the oil-rich Niger
Delta. Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, head of the Niger Delta People's
Volunteers Force (NDPVF), was arrested the previous evening on
returning from a medical exam in Germany.
2009 Jun 24, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev arrived in Nigeria to sign gas and nuclear energy pacts,
becoming the first Kremlin leader to visit Africa's most populous
and energy-rich nation.
2009 Jun 24, North Korea
threatened to wipe the United States off the map as Washington and
its allies watched for signs the regime will launch a series of
missiles in the coming days. Meanwhile a US destroyer tailed a North
Korean ship suspected of transporting illicit weapons to Myanmar in
what could be the first test of UN sanctions passed to punish the
nation for an underground nuclear test last month.
2009 Jun 24, Venezuela and the
United States said they will restore their ambassadors more than
nine months after President Hugo Chavez expelled the US envoy in his
final diplomatic bout with the Bush administration.
2009 Jun 25, US officials
acknowledged that the US organized an arms shipment to the Somali
government earlier this month.
(SFC, 6/26/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 25, Farrah Fawcett
(b.1947), a 1970s sex symbol and TV star of "Charlie's Angels"
(1976), died in Santa Monica, Ca. She had spent almost three years
in private fighting for her life against cancer. The news came just
a month after the airing of "Farrah's Story," a documentary in which
she made public her painful treatments and dispiriting setbacks.
2009 Jun 25, Michael Jackson
(b.1958), pop superstar, died at age 50 in Los Angeles. His 1982
album, "Thriller," is the best-selling album of all time, with an
estimated 50 million copies sold worldwide. Jackson was awash in
about $400 million in debt and on the cusp of a final comeback after
well over a decade of scandal. On Aug 28 the office of the LA
coroner confirmed that Jackson’s death was ruled a homicide caused
by a mixture of propofol and lorazepam administered by Dr. Conrad
(AP, 6/26/09)(SFC, 6/26/09, p.A11)(SFC, 8/29/09,
2009 Jun 25, Scientists
reported new evidence that one of Saturn's moons, Enceladus, has an
ocean beneath its surface.
2009 Jun 25, Antigua's former
chief financial regulator surrendered to face US charges that he
aided an alleged $7 billion swindle by Texas billionaire R. Allen
2009 Jun 25, Brazil’s President
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva approved a law that could legalize
landholdings by some 1 million squatters occupying a Texas-sized
chunk of the Amazon rain forest, despite environmentalist fears it
will accelerate deforestation.
2009 Jun 25, The government of
East Timor said it plans to establish a national park to protect a
bounty of dolphins and whales, some of them endangered species,
recently discovered mingling and feeding off its coast.
2009 Jun 25, The EU said it
will give China up to euro50 million ($70 million) to build a carbon
capture and storage plant that will test a technology aimed at
limiting climate change.
2009 Jun 25, Honduras Pres.
Manuel Zelaya said he would ignore a Supreme Court ruling ordering
him to reinstate a military chief he fired.
(SFC, 6/26/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 25, Iran's opposition
leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, pledged not to withdraw his election
challenge despite what he said were attempts to isolate and
discredit him, while the declared winner, hard-line Pres.
Ahmadinejad, accused US Pres Barack Obama of meddling in Iran's
2009 Jun 25, A bombing at a bus
station in a Shiite neighborhood in southwest Baghdad killed at
least 7 people and wounded 31 others. Another three bombs and a
mortar killed two more people around the capital. At least 3 other
bombs exploded in the country as US forces prepared to withdraw from
Iraqi cities by June 30.
(AP, 6/25/09)(SFC, 6/26/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 25, Israeli and
Palestinian defense officials said Israel has granted US-trained
Palestinian security forces greater autonomy in four major West Bank
cities. Bowing to pressure from Washington Israeli officials said
the army would now reduce its presence in Qalqilya, Bethlehem,
Jericho and Ramallah.
2009 Jun 25, In Italy foreign
ministers of the industrialized Group of Eight gathered for a 3-day
meeting in Trieste. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said he
hoped delegates from the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy,
Canada, Japan and Russia will condemn the crackdown in Iran and urge
2009 Jun 25, Kyrgyzstan's
parliament unanimously approved a deal allowing the US to continue
using an air base crucial to military operations in Afghanistan,
sharply shifting course months after ordering American forces out by
August. President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed the agreement into law in
(AP, 6/25/09)(AP, 7/7/09)
2009 Jun 25, In Mexico’s
northern state of Sonora, assailants opened fire on a car carrying a
congressional candidate for Calderon's National Action Party, or
PAN, killing two people who were with the candidate.
2009 Jun 25, In Namibia Russian
Pres. Dmitry Medvedev called for boosting trade ties with Namibia,
at the start of the first-ever visit by a Kremlin chief to the
southern African nation. Pres. Hifikepunye Pohamba said his nation
was also keen to strengthen cooperation and build a durable economic
2009 Jun 25, Nigerian rebels
said that they carried out a pre-dawn attack against Royal Dutch
Shell facilities in a warning to Russia not to invest in the
country's oil and gas industry. Later in the day the main militant
group blew up a well-head in a Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) oil field
in Delta state, hours after President Umaru Yar'Adua announced an
amnesty offer for gunmen.
(AFP, 6/25/09)(Reuters, 6/26/09)
2009 Jun 25, Tens of thousands
of North Koreans shouted slogans to denounce international sanctions
at a rally in central Pyongyang, as the communist country vowed to
enlarge its atomic arsenal and warned of a "fire shower of nuclear
retaliation" in the event of a US attack.
2009 Jun 25, Pakistan's PM
Gilani told Washington's visiting top security adviser that the US
must halt drone attacks on its soil, after they killed dozens of
people in the northwest.
2009 Jun 25, Russia's Supreme
Court overturned the acquittal of three men charged with the 2006
murder of Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist whose reporting on
Chechnya directly challenged the country's most powerful leaders.
2009 Jun 25, In Somalia in a
brazen show of power in Mogadishu, Islamist rebels punished four
convicted thieves (ages 18-25) by cutting off a hand and a foot each
before hundreds of onlookers who gathered for the bloody spectacle.
2009 Jun 25, Spanish
legislators voted to change a law that let judges indict Osama bin
Laden and Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, narrowing its scope to
cases with a clear link to this country and yielding to criticism
that Spain should not be a global cop.
2009 Jun 26, US District Judge
Denny Chin entered a preliminary order, ruling that Bernard Madoff
(71) must give up his interests in all property, including real
estate, investments, cars and boats. The $171 billion forfeiture
order was handed down only days before prosecutors seek to put the
disgraced financier away in prison for the rest of his life.
2009 Jun 26, In Georgia
regulators shut down the Community Bank of West Georgia, marking the
41st failure this year of a federally insured bank.
(SFC, 6/27/09, p.B1)
2009 Jun 26, In Michigan Monica
Conyers (44), Detroit City Councilwoman and wife of Rep. John
Conyers (80), pleaded guilty to taking cash in exchange for her vote
on a 2007 city sludge treatment contract with Synagro Corp. The
contract was rescinded last January amid accusations of wrongdoing.
On June 29 Monica Conyers resigned from office.
(SFC, 6/27/09, p.A5)(SFC, 6/30/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun 26, In Oklahoma 9
people died when a tractor-trailer slammed into a line of cars
stopped outside Miami, Okla. A 10th person died a few days later.
(SFC, 6/27/09, p.A4)(SFC, 6/29/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun 26, In Texas security
guard Jesse William McGraw (25), head of the Elecktronik Tribulation
Army, was arrested for hacking into computers at a Dallas medical
clinic in hopes of launching a massive computer attack around July
(SFC, 7/1/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun 26, Canadian citizen
Abousfian Abdelrazik, accused by the UN of being linked to al Qaeda,
flew out of Sudan after a court order ended his six-year exile in
Khartoum. Abdelrazik was born in Sudan and gained Canadian
citizenship in 1995 after entering the country as a refugee. He
returned to Sudan in 2003 to visit his sick mother and was arrested
and held by Sudanese authorities on two occasions.
2009 Jun 26, Dozens of China's
most prominent writers and scholars called for the release of Liu
Xiaobo (53), a dissident who was arrested on Dec 8, 2008, after
co-authoring a bold manifesto urging civil rights and political
reforms. Xiaobo, who had been held by police at a secret location
for more than six months, was formally arrested this week on
suspicion of "inciting to subvert state power," a charge that
carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail. In southern China
ethnic tensions between workers at a toy factory sparked a brawl
that left two Uighurs dead and 118 injured. Han Chinese workers had
accused Uighurs of rape.
(AP, 6/26/09)(AP, 6/27/09)(Econ, 7/11/09,
2009 Jun 26, Holocaust
survivors, Jewish groups and experts gathered in Prague to assess
efforts to return property and possessions stolen by the Nazis to
their rightful owners or heirs.
2009 Jun 26, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy said that Martinique is free to hold a referendum on
greater political autonomy but made clear the island would always
belong to France.
2009 Jun 26, In Honduras
leftist President Manuel Zelaya pushed ahead with a June 27
referendum on revamping the constitution, risking his rule in a
standoff against Congress, the Supreme Court and the military.
2009 Jun 26, Group of Eight
foreign ministers, meeting in Trieste, Italy, criticized Iran's
postelection violence, and urged its ruling clergy to ensure the
outcome of the disputed ballot reflects the will of the Iranian
people. The G8 countries also condemned North Korea's nuclear and
missile tests and called on the country to return to the negotiating
2009 Jun 26, In Iraq a
booby-trapped motorcycle loaded with nails and ball-bearings
exploded in a crowded bazaar in Baghdad, killing 19 people. The
attack struck just four days before the deadline for US combat
troops to withdraw from cities. Senior cleric Ayatollah Ahmed
Khatami called for harsh retribution for dissent. Opposition leader
Mousavi lost his main link to the world after his official Web site
Kalemeh, came up blank and stripped of any text or pictures.
(AP, 6/26/09)(AP, 6/27/09)
2009 Jun 26, Iraqi authorities
captured Ali Hussein Alwan Hamid al-Azzawi, a senior leader of a
militant group linked to al-Qaida in Iraq who oversaw the Aug 19,
2003, bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad and other attacks.
His capture was not announced until Jan 16, 2010, to ensure the
capture of other suspects believed to be linked to him.
2009 Jun 26, Ireland recognized
the legal rights of same-sex couples for the first time in a civil
partnership bill that gave people in long-term relationships many of
the statutory rights of married couples.
2009 Jun 26, The Quartet of
Mideast negotiators called on Israel to freeze all settlement
activity and to lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip. The US, Russia,
UN and EU met on the sidelines of a meeting of the Group of Eight
foreign ministers, who made a similar call for Mideast peace.
2009 Jun 26, In Kashmir a
Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up near an army vehicle, killing
at least two soldiers in the first such assault in Pakistan's part
of divided Kashmir, marking an escalation in the militant campaign
against security forces.
2009 Jun 26, In Mexico a
shootout between police and suspected cartel hit men left at least
12 people dead and a police officer wounded in the town of Apaseo el
Alto, Guanajuato state. Suspected cartel operator Omar Ibarra was
caught on a street in the northern city of Monterrey. He reportedly
possessed the names of 33 policemen in the wealthy suburb of San
Pedro Garza Garcia who had presumably received money from Ibarra.
Gunmen in the border state of Sonora opened fire on a car carrying
congressional hopeful Ernesto Cornejo, killing two people who were
riding with him.
(AP, 6/27/09)(AP, 6/30/09)
2009 Jun 26, In Morocco a
security official said security forces have arrested five suspected
members of a militant cell that operated in Morocco and Spain. The
five alleged members of the Salafiya Jihadia group, whose leader
uses the pseudonym Abou Yacine, were picked up during the course of
2009 Jun 26, Four Nigerian
militant factions accepted in principle an amnesty offer from
President Umaru Yar'Adua, giving a boost to his efforts to end years
of unrest in Africa's biggest oil industry. The amnesty will take
effect from August 6.
2009 Jun 26, In Rwanda Aloys
Nsekarije, former Rwandan foreign minister and business tycoon, was
acquitted by a court over involvement in the country's 1994
2009 Jun 26, Serbian
prosecutors filed war crimes charges against 17 former Kosovo
guerrillas for the alleged murder, rape and torture of Serb
civilians. The suspects were charged in connection with the
kidnapping of 159 Serbs and the deaths of at least 51 of them in the
eastern Kosovo town of Gnjilane in the wake of Kosovo's 1998-99 war.
2009 Jun 26, In Switzerland
Solar Impulse, a project run by aviators Bertrand Piccard and Andre
Borschberg, unveiled a prototype solar powered airplane, the HB-SIA.
(AP, 6/26/09)(Econ, 6/13/09, p.83)
2009 Jun 26, Turkey's
parliament passed legislation aimed at meeting European Union
membership criteria to ensure military personnel are tried in
civilian courts during peacetime rather than in military courts.
2009 Jun 26, The UN refugee
agency said that the bloody conflict in Somalia has created the
world's largest refugee camp, with 500 hungry and exhausted refugees
pouring into a wind-swept camp in neighboring Kenya every day.
2009 Jun 26, Human Rights Watch
said that Zimbabwe's armed forces have taken over diamond fields in
the east and killed more than 200 people, forcing children to search
for the precious gems and beating villagers who get in the way.
2009 Jun 26, A UN official said
Ugandan rebels this year have killed around 1,200 Congolese
civilians and abducted 1,500, mostly children, in a remote region of
2009 Jun 27, The United States
announced a new drug policy for opium-rich Afghanistan, saying it
was phasing out funding for eradication programs while significantly
increasing its funding for alternate crop and drug interdiction
efforts. Insurgent bomb attacks in Afghanistan killed a provincial
deputy police chief and two civilians as Taliban militants stormed a
checkpoint overnight and killed eight policemen. President Hamid
Karzai called on Taliban and other militants to "vote for the
president they want" in Afghanistan's presidential election, while a
Taliban spokesman said militants would "disrupt" the vote without
(AP, 6/27/09)(AFP, 6/27/09)
2009 Jun 27, In Los Angeles
County a gunman opened fire outside a restaurant in Pico Rivera
during a fundraiser by the motorcycle group know as the Old School
Riders. 3 people were killed and 7 others injured.
(SFC, 6/29/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun 27, In Roanoke,
Virginia, William Ronald Carter (56), a retired tire factory worker,
shot and killed his wife Bonnie (56) and a son (29) and summoned
home another son Timothy (22), who was shot but survived. Carter
then set the house on fire and killed himself.
(SFC, 6/30/09, p.A5)
2009 Jun 27, Gale Storm (b.1922
as Josephine Owaissa Cottle), singer and former film and TV star,
died. Her wholesome appearance and perky personality made her one of
early television's biggest stars on "My Little Margie" (1952-1955)
and "The Gale Storm Show" (1956-1960). Her 1980 autobiography was
titled "I Ain't Down Yet."
2009 Jun 27, In China a nearly
finished 13-story apartment building collapsed in Shanghai killing
one worker. Authorities soon detained nine people in an
investigation into the collapse.
2009 Jun 27, In Dagestan
Interior Ministry troops patrolling a village south of Makhachkala
clashed with a group of 10 gunmen who tried to hole up in village
houses, but were driven into surrounding hillsides. A police officer
was killed. Officials then called in helicopter gunships and armored
vehicles to shell the forests where the gunmen hid out. Troops
sweeping the forest the next morning found the bodies of four
2009 Jun 27, In Hong Kong
Michael Mudd, a student at California State University, Chico,
caused the crash of a taxi and the death of its driver before
commandeering the vehicle and slamming it into another cab. In 2010
Mudd (23) was sentenced to four years and three months in prison.
2009 Jun 27, In Ireland some
12,000 people marched in this year’s Gay Pride Parade in downtown
(SSFC, 6/28/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun 27, Kyrgyzstan
security forces killed three alleged members of a terrorist
organization in a shootout. Authorities identified the gunmen as
Islamic militants and said one of those killed was their leader, a
Kyrgyz citizen who had received training at a terrorist camp in
Pakistan. Another of the dead was from Khanabad, a town in
neighboring Uzbekistan. The security ministry said they belonged to
the Islamic Jihad Group (IJG), an obscure organization that Uzbek
authorities have claimed is a splinter group of the Islamic Movement
2009 Jun 27, Lebanon's
president appointed parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri to
become prime minister after his pro-Western coalition defeated a
Hezbollah-led alliance in this month's election.
2009 Jun 27, In Mauritania more
than 10 months after being overthrown in a military coup, President
Sidi Cheikh Ould Abdallahi, the country’s first freely elected
president, gave up his claim to power and officially resigned.
2009 Jun 27, In Mexico’s
western state of Michoacan, gunmen opened fire on a car carrying two
forensic investigators in Zamora, killing a chemist and wounding a
doctor. In the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, a women and her
3-year-old son were shot to death by unidentified assailants on a
highway. Police uncovered a mass grave in central Mexico with the
remains of 14 or 15 people believed to have been executed by the
Zetas drug gang.
(AP, 6/27/09)(AP, 7/2/09)
2009 Jun 27, NATO and Russia
agreed to resume military ties and agree to cooperate on
Afghanistan, counterterrorism and anti-piracy patrols at their first
high-level meeting since last year's war between Russia and Georgia.
2009 Jun 27, Northern Ireland's
oldest paramilitary group, the Ulster Volunteer Force, announced its
full disarmament, a long-sought peacemaking move that, if confirmed,
would formally end the pro-British group's decades of terror against
2009 Jun 27, In Pakistan at
least 12 militants were killed and more than a dozen wounded when
government forces attacked suspected bases of Mehsud and his
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in South Waziristan. Two Pakistani
fighter jets pounded Taliban militant hideouts in Makeen and Laddah,
killing 10 Taliban and injuring 15 others. Overnight, police killed
five suspected militants with links to Mehsud who were said to be
plotting terrorist attacks on the port city of Karachi. Militants
fired six rockets at a security camp and a paramilitary fort in
Wana, the main town of South Waziristan. Security forces in
retaliation shelled the militants, killing two and wounding three
others. A resident said the shelling also killed two civilians and
wounded three others. Insurgents fired rockets at Pakistani forces
at a South Waziristan paramilitary Frontier Corps camp, killing an
officer and injuring three soldiers.
(AFP, 6/27/09)(AFP, 6/28/09)
2009 Jun 27, In the Philippines
two soldiers were shot dead by suspected Abu Sayyaf members as they
stepped outside of their camp to buy cigarettes in Tipo-tipo town,
2009 Jun 27, In Thailand more
than 18,000 "Red Shirt" protesters loyal to fugitive premier Thaksin
Shinawatra gathered in Bangkok for the biggest anti-government rally
since bloody riots two months ago.
2009 Jun 27, Thousands of
Venezuelans held separate protests to support and condemn an
opposition-aligned TV station that President Hugo Chavez's
government has threatened with closure.
2009 Jun 28, The US Agriculture
Department said a Colorado meat company is expanding a recall of
beef due to possible contamination by E.coli O157:H7 bacteria after
an investigation found 18 illnesses may be linked to the meat.
2009 Jun 28, It was reported
that bark beetles were killing millions of pine trees from Colorado
to Canada. Over 7 million acres of forest in the US have been
declared all but dead. 22 million more acres were expected to die
over the next 15 years.
(SSFC, 6/28/09, p.A16)
2009 Jun 28, Impressionist Fred
Travalena (66), a headliner in Vegas showrooms and a regular on
late-night talk shows with his takes on presidents, crooners and
screen stars, died in Los Angeles.
2009 Jun 28, Billy Mays (50),
known to television viewers as the OxiClean guy, died of a heart
attack at his Tampa home. The boisterous pitchman aired on
commercials hundreds of times a week nationwide showing off his
latest cleaning product or gadget. An autopsy later showed that
cocaine use contributed to his heart disease.
(AP, 6/29/09)(SFC, 6/30/09, p.A4)(SFC, 8/8/09,
2009 Jun 28, In eastern
Afghanistan a suicide car bomber attacked a police vehicle in
Nangarhar province, killing a child nearby and wounding nine people,
including four policemen.
2009 Jun 28, Albanians voted in
parliamentary elections seen as a crucial test of democracy to prove
the Balkan country is ready for EU membership. The governing
Democratic Party and the opposition Socialist Party were
neck-and-neck in pre-election polls. PM Berisha’s Democrats won 68
seats and allies won 2 seats in the 140-seat parliament.
(AP, 6/28/09)(SFC, 6/29/09, p.A2)(SFC, 7/27/09,
2009 Jun 28, Argentina's first
couple suffered a stunning setback in an election seen as a
referendum on their political dynasty, losing control of both houses
of Congress. The loss weakened President Cristina Fernandez's
government two years before she leaves office by diminishing her
ability to push legislation through Congress. Former President
Nestor Kirchner, lost a bid for a seat from Buenos Aires province.
Allies of the first couple also lost key races in the election in
the city of Buenos Aires and Cordoba and Santa Fe provinces.
2009 Jun 28, The Australian
navy intercepted a refugee boat with 194 people aboard off the
country's northwest coast. It was the 15th suspected
people-smuggling craft to have been stopped in Australian waters or
to have made landfall since January.
2009 Jun 28, Egyptian security
forces arrested a leading member of the opposition Muslim
Brotherhood and three others in pre-dawn raids. Egyptian police shot
dead a migrant and wounded two others as they tried to enter Israel
2009 Jun 28, Guinea-Bissau held
elections for a new leader to replace the late President Joao
Bernardo "Nino" Vieira, who was assassinated more than three months
ago. The population of Guinea-Bissau stood at about 1.5 million.
Leading a pack of 11 candidates were three former presidents seeking
to retake the post. The election was marked by one of the lowest
turnouts ever. If no candidate wins an overall majority in the first
round, the election will go to a run-off between the two
highest-placed contenders on July 28.
(AP, 6/28/09)(AFP, 6/29/09)
2009 Jun 28, In Honduras more
than a dozen soldiers arrested President Manuel Zelaya and disarmed
his security guards after surrounding his residence before dawn.
Protesters called it a coup and flocked to the presidential palace
as local news media reported that Zelaya was sent into exile in
Costa Rica. He was detained shortly before voting was to begin on a
constitutional referendum the president had insisted on holding even
though the Supreme Court ruled it illegal and everyone from the
military to Congress and members of his own party opposed it. The
nonbinding referendum was to ask voters if they want to hold a vote
during the November presidential election on whether to convoke an
assembly to rewrite the constitution. Roberto Micheletti, the leader
of Congress, was sworn in to serve until Zelaya's term ends. This
was the first military ouster of a Central American president since
1993, when Guatemalan military officials refused to accept President
Jorge Serrano's attempt to seize absolute power.
(AP, 6/28/09)(AP, 6/29/09)
2009 Jun 28, In India hundreds
of gay rights supporters waved flags and danced past traffic during
marches through three Indian cities to celebrate gay pride and call
for the decriminalization of homosexuality in this deeply
2009 Jun 28, In India at least
35 people including eight children were killed after they were
struck by lightning in the adjoining eastern Indian states of Bihar
2009 Jun 28, In Ingushetia in a
region bordering Chechnya to the east, police troops clashed with
militants in an overnight gunbattle that killed four militants and
one police officer.
2009 Jun 28, Iranian media
reported that eight local British embassy staff were detained for an
alleged role in postelection protests. Rot police clashed with up to
3,000 protesters near the Ghoba Mosque in north Tehran. It was
Iran's first major post-election unrest in four days.
(AP, 6/28/09)(AP, 6/29/09)
2009 Jun 28, In Iraq a roadside
bomb targeting a US convoy in eastern Baghdad wounded six
bystanders. It was unclear if anyone in the convoy was injured. A
car bomb also exploded in the parking lot of a police academy in
western Baghdad, killing one police officer and wounding six others.
Insurgents were apparently taking advantage of a major sandstorm
that blanketed Baghdad and reduced visibility to just a few yards in
2009 Jun 28, In Lebanon a Sunni
woman (30) was killed and three men were wounded in a gunbattle
between Sunni supporters of Lebanon's prime minister-designate and
parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri, and rival followers of
the Hezbollah-allied Shiite Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
2009 Jun 28, Mexican
prosecutors announced they have put 93 police officers and
investigators under house arrest on suspicion of aiding the Zetas, a
feared gang of hit men tied to the Gulf drug cartel.
2009 Jun 28, In Nigeria at
least eight people were killed in the collapse of a three-story
building in Lagos, the capital.
2009 Jun 28, The Pakistani
government offered a $615,000 reward for information leading to the
capture or death of Baitullah Mehsud. Fighter jets bombarded
militant hideouts in Samm village of Laddha town in South
Waziristan, killing 8 rebels. An ambush by rival Taliban under Gul
Bahadur killed 23 soldiers in North Waziristan. 10 suspected
militants were also killed in the attack. A stray mortar shell hit a
mosque during prayers in Azam Warsak in South Waziristan, killing 3
tribesmen and wounding 7.
(AP, 6/28/09)(AP, 6/29/09)(SFC, 6/29/09,
p.A2)(Econ, 7/25/09, p.38)
2009 Jun 28, In the Philippines
7 policemen killed in an attack by suspected Muslim guerrillas on
the restive southern island of Basilan.
2009 Jun 28, Somali pirates
released the entire crew of the Belgian the Pompei dredger, a ship
seized on April 18, after a ransom was paid.
2009 Jun 28, In Sudan 6 people
were killed in weekend tribal clashes between Nuba and Misseriya
tribesmen in Sudan's South Kordofan region, which borders Darfur.
2009 Jun 28, Swiss police said
they have uncovered a child pornography ring involving more than
2,000 people in 78 countries.
2009 Jun 29, The US Supreme
Court ruled that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were
unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a
decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an
appeals court judge.
2009 Jun 29, Bernard Madoff
(71) was sentenced in NYC to 150 years in prison for his
multibillion-dollar fraud scheme.
2009 Jun 29, It was reported
that a grasshopper invasion was under way in Utah. This year's
invasion in Tooele County west of Salt Lake City was worse than
anyone can remember.
2009 Jun 29, In Afghanistan
gunfire broke out after Afghan forces moved into a heavily protected
government complex in Kandahar and demanded the release of a man
accused of forging documents who was being held there. When the
Afghan forces threatened to release the suspect by force, the
provincial police chief was called in to talk. Among the officials
killed were provincial police chief Matiullah Qati and the
province's criminal investigations director. Total death tolls from
Afghan officials ranged from between five and 10 police killed. 41
private guards were disarmed and arrested. They were to be sent to
Kabul for a military trial.
2009 Jun 29, It was reported
that Australian scientists have developed a "trojan horse" therapy
to combat cancer, using a bacterially-derived nano cell to penetrate
and disarm the cancer cell before a second nano cell kills it with
chemotherapy drugs. Sydney scientists Dr Jennifer MacDiarmid and Dr
Himanshu Brahmbhatt, who formed EnGenelC Pty Ltd in 2001, said they
had achieved 100 percent survival in mice with human cancer cells by
using the "trojan horse" therapy in the past two years.
2009 Jun 29, In Bangladesh
textile workers set fire to a factory in a third day of
demonstrations for payment of wages, as the global economic crisis
hits the South Asian country's main export industry.
2009 Jun 29, In Belarus Vasily
Yusepchuk (30), an illiterate, itinerant Gypsy worker, was sentenced
to death by Brest Regional Court. He did chores for elderly women,
and allegedly would sneak back at night to rob and strangle them.
Lawyers insisted the case hinged exclusively on a confession that
they claim was obtained through torture.
2009 Jun 29, In China two
passenger trains collided in Hunan province in an accident that
killed three people and injured 60 as train cars were derailed and
nearby houses knocked over. In northeastern China one man died after
part of a bridge caved in, sending eight vehicles plunging into the
2009 Jun 29, The European Union
Chamber of Commerce in China urged Beijing to reconsider
implementing a controversial Internet filter, saying it raised
serious concerns about security, privacy and user choice.
2009 Jun 29, The European
Commission said top mobile telephone suppliers have agreed to back
an EU-wide harmonization of phone chargers, hailing the pact as good
news for consumers and the environment.
2009 Jun 29, Representatives of
a 500-member team from the Organization for Security and Cooperation
in Europe (OSCE) said that despite improvement Albania has not
complied with international standards in its parliamentary elections
dues to the politicization of the process and the political
2009 Jun 29, Haiti’s President
Rene Preval's party won five of 11 contests to fill open Senate
seats, according to preliminary results released by the provisional
electoral council. Turnout in the latest voting was even lower than
the 11 percent tallied in the first round. No official percentage
has been reported for the June 21 elections.
2009 Jun 29, Iran conducted a
partial recount of votes cast in its disputed presidential election.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked a top judge to investigate the
killing of Neda Agha Soltan, the young woman who has become a potent
symbol of the opposition's struggle. Iranian authorities said 17
protesters and eight Basijis have been killed in two weeks of
unrest, and that hundreds of people have been arrested. The Guardian
Council, an electoral authority the opposition accused of favoring
Ahmadinejad, said that it had found only "slight irregularities"
after randomly selecting and recounting 10 percent of nearly 40
(AP, 6/29/09)(AP, 6/30/09)
2009 Jun 29, In Iraq four US
soldiers were killed in combat shortly before the American military
completed a withdrawal from Iraq's cities. PM al-Maliki assured
Iraqis that government forces taking control of urban areas on June
30 were more than capable of protecting the country.
2009 Jun 29, Israeli court
documents indicated the government has approved construction of 50
new housing units in a West Bank settlement to absorb settlers who
are to be evicted from a nearby unauthorized outpost.
2009 Jun 29, In Italy a freight
train carrying liquefied gas derailed and exploded in the midst of
the Tuscan town of Viareggio just before midnight, setting off a
fire that killed 21 people, many as they slept in their homes. At
least 50 were injured. An axle failure was blamed for the rail
(AP, 6/30/09)(AP, 7/1/09)(AP, 7/3/09)
2009 Jun 29, Kosovo, a former
province of Serbia, became the 186th member of the International
Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The ceremony was held in
Washington, DC, because the US government is the repository for the
1944 Bretton Woods agreement that created the post-World War II
international financial system.
2009 Jun 29, In Mexico federal
prosecutors released three of the 10 Mexican mayors arrested last
month in an unprecedented sweep of elected officials accused of
protecting a drug cartel. Assailants set ablaze a pickup truck
belonging to a congressional candidate for PAN, and left two
threatening notes demanding he drop out of the race. At least five
people died in several drug-related slayings in the Gulf coast port
(AP, 6/30/09)(AP, 7/1/09)
2009 Jun 29, Three Moroccan
newspapers were ordered to pay a total of three million dirhams
(270,000 euros) to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, who had sued them
for writing critical articles.
2009 Jun 29, Presidents from
around Latin America gathered in Nicaragua for meetings on how to
resolve the coup in Honduras, the fist in Central America in at
least 16 years, while the European Union offered to help start talks
between the two sides. Security forces used tear gas and rubber
bullets to scatter protesters, who hurled rocks and bottles as they
retreated. At least 38 protesters were detained. Zelaya said that
Organization of American States Secretary-General Jose Miguel
Insulza had agreed to accompany him back to Honduras.
2009 Jun 29, Niger’s Pres.
Mamadou Tandja issued a decree dissolving a constitutional court,
which had rejected his bid to hold a referendum to change the
constitution so he could extend his time in office. The next day
opposition leader Mahamadou Issoufou, expressed outrage over the
president's disbanding of the court, calling the move equivalent to
2009 Jun 29, Nigerian rebels
announced a new raid against a Shell oil facility and said they had
killed at least 20 soldiers in a gun battle, a claim denied by the
2009 Jun 29, Pakistani security
forces launched an early morning raid on a suspected militant
hideout in Tank, a small city near South Waziristan, killing two
suspected militants and arresting nine others. 21 militants
reportedly died in overnight clashes with an anti-Taliban militia in
Kurram tribal region. Violence over the 24 hours claimed nearly 70
lives in the northwest region bordering Afghanistan.
(AP, 6/29/09)(SFC, 6/30/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 29, Pope Benedict XVI
signed his latest encyclical, "Charity in Truth," a text on ways to
make globalization more attentive to meeting the needs of the poor
amid the worldwide financial crisis.
2009 Jun 29, In Zimbabwe PM
Morgan Tsvangirai's party boycotted a meeting of the cabinet on the
grounds that it made a mockery of the country's power-sharing deal.
Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe has won 950 million dollars in credit lines
from China, the largest loan secured by the unity government since
it was formed in February.
(AFP, 6/29/09)AFP, 6/30/09)
2009 Jun 30, Navy Adm. James
Stavridis replaced Army Gen. Bantz J. Craddock at a change of
command ceremony at the US military's Patch Barracks near Stuttgart
attended by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen,
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Stavridis, as the new head of
the US European Command and NATO's top military leader, said
quelling the Afghan insurgency would take more than bullets, calling
for efforts to rebuild roads, schools and farms to win local support
against the Taliban. A US soldier went missing and was believed
captured by insurgents in eastern Afghanistan. He was later
identified as Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl (23) of Ketchum, Idaho.
(AP, 6/30/09)(AP, 7/2/09)(AP, 7/19/09)
2009 Jun 30, Boston disbanded
its mounted police unit due to budget cuts. Founded in 1873 it was
the first mounted unit in the country.
(SFC, 6/29/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun 30, Minnesota’s state
Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Democrat Al Franken should be
certified the winner. Republican Norm Coleman pulled the plug on a
bitter election that was decided by 312 votes out of almost 2.9
million cast. Franken's victory gave Democrats 60 Senate seats, the
critical number needed to overcome Republican filibusters.
2009 Jun 30, In Michigan gunmen
in a green minivan opened fire on a group of teenagers waiting at a
bus stop near a Detroit school, wounding seven including two who
were in critical condition.
2009 Jun 30, In California
August Provost (29), a black and gay sailor, was burned and killed
during an arson attack at Camp Pendleton. On July 31 Petty Officer
Jonathan (32) was found dead of suicide in the base’s brig.
2009 Jun 30, The African Union
Executive Council announced it was lifting sanctions against
Mauritania despite the coup held there 10 months ago. The sanctions
could be enforced again if the presidential election due July 18
aren't considered fair.
2009 Jun 30, Authorities in
Argentina's capital and Buenos Aires province declared health
emergencies and extended school vacations as the nation's swine flu
death toll surged to 35.
2009 Jun 30, Australian serial
rapist John Xydias (45) was jailed for 28 years. For over 15 years
he had dressed his unconscious victims in his collection of women's
underwear and filmed assaults on them.
2009 Jun 30, In Australia 2 men
were charged with the murder of a female student from China who went
missing June 25 after a night out in Tasmania. Stavros Papadopoulos
and Daniel Joseph Williams, both 21 and from Hobart, were remanded
in custody after a brief appearance before a magistrate. Accountancy
student Zhang Yu (26) was last seen alive outside a Hobart city
center pub. Police later found her body in the Tyenna river west of
Hobart. In 2010 Papadopoulos was sentenced to life in prison.
Accomplice Daniel Jo Williams was sentenced to 10 years in jail on a
charge of manslaughter.
(AP, 6/30/09)(AFP, 6/30/10)
2009 Jun 30, China postponed a
plan to require personal computer makers to supply
Internet-filtering software, retreating in the face of protests by
Washington and Web surfers hours before it was due to take effect.
2009 Jun 30, Ethiopian police
shot dead two people and injured six others as they blocked an
attempt by Christians to build a church at a site also claimed by
2009 Jun 30, Shi Pei Pu
(b.1938), a Chinese operatic soprano, died in Paris. His affair with
French lover Bernard Boursicot (b.1945), inspired the 1988 play and
1993 film “M. Butterfly." Both were arrested for espionage in 1983
and convicted in 1986. Shi was pardoned in 1987.
(SFC, 7/4/09, p.B3)
2009 Jun 30, The UN adopted a
resolution calling on all 192 UN member states not to recognize any
government in Honduras other than Zelaya's. Roberto Micheletti,
Honduras' interim leader, warned that the only way his predecessor
will return to office is through a foreign invasion. The regime that
ousted Zelaya claimed that the deposed president allowed money and
tons of cocaine to be flown into the Central American country on its
way to the US.
2009 Jun 30, India's first "sea
bridge" was officially opened in Mumbai, raising hopes that the
state-of-the-art structure will ease chronic congestion on the
city's notoriously choked roads. The 5.6-kilometer (3.5-mile)
Bandra-Worli Sea Link, an eight-lane freeway, will help cut the
40-minute journey between the suburbs of Bandra and Worli to just
eight minutes. Suspected militants used automatic weapons and
machetes to kill a family of four migrant workers in India's
(AFP, 6/30/09)(AP, 6/30/09)
2009 Jun 30, Indonesia
committed to the conservation of its dwindling tropical forests in a
multimillion dollar debt-swap deal signed with the American
government. Jakarta's payments to Washington will be reduced by $30
million over the next eight years under the US Tropical Forest
2009 Jun 30, Iraq's
long-awaited licensing round to develop some of its massive oil
reserves stumbled as oil and gas companies dug in their heals,
demanding more money for their efforts than the government was
willing to pay. Iraq celebrated National Sovereignty Day, a new
public holiday, following the withdrawal of US forces from its
cities. An explosion in Kirkuk killed at least 30 people.
(AP, 6/30/09)(SFC, 7/1/09, p.A2)(AP, 7/2/09)
2009 Jun 30, The Israeli navy
ordered a small ferry carrying medical supplies and foreign peace
activists trying to break a blockade of Gaza to turn back. The
Israeli navy intercepted the ship and forced it to sail to the
Israeli port of Ashdod.
2009 Jun 30, Mexican police
found the remains of six people tortured and shot to death in
western Michoacan state, a focus of the government's war against
drug cartels. In the northern city of Ciudad Juarez, police found
the body of a 19-year-old woman, an American citizen from across the
border in El Paso, dumped at an intersection with her throat slit.
2009 Jun 30, The Dutch Supreme
Court upheld the war crimes conviction of businessman Frans van
Anraat for selling chemicals to Iraq, which were turned into poison
gas and unleashed in 1988 by the regime of Saddam Hussein on Kurds
and Iranians. The court shaved six months off Anraat’s 17-year
sentence because his case took so long.
2009 Jun 30, Pakistan’s
military said that 18 militants and three soldiers had been killed
in the previous 24 hours. It also said militants had killed 18 of
their wounded comrades in Swat. A militant faction allied with
Mehsud in North Waziristan, another militant hotbed on the Afghan
border, said it was ending a pact with the government because of US
drone aircraft attacks and the presence of government forces in
2009 Jun 30, In Poland
officials began building a new museum of Jewish history in Warsaw
that they hope will become a major cultural landmark. Museum
officials say construction will cost around 150 million zlotys ($47
million) and should be completed in 2012. An earlier groundbreaking
ceremony for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews took place in
2007 in the presence of the Polish president, but bureaucratic
obstacles then held up construction.
2009 Jun 30, As many as 30
people were feared dead after the MV Demas Victory capsized and
quickly sank in choppy Persian Gulf waters off the Qatari capital
Doha. Five crew members were rescued. The ship was carrying 9 crew,
along with 24 employees of the charterer HBK Power Cleaning and two
caterers working for a company hired by HBK.
2009 Jun 30, In Turkey a
civilian prosecutor charged and briefly arrested Col. Dursun Cicek
for his alleged involvement in a plan to overthrow the AK party. The
army ordered an investigation but declared the colonel innocent.
(Econ, 7/4/09, p.49)
2009 Jun 30, A Yemenia Airbus
310 jet with 153 people on board crashed into the Indian Ocean as it
tried to land during strong winds on the island nation of Comoros.
The passengers were on the last leg of a journey from Paris and
Marseilles to Comoros with a stop in Yemen to change planes. Bahia
Bakari (14), the only person to survive, was plucked from the sea
after clinging to wreckage for 13 hours. Investigators on Aug 28
retrieved the slightly damaged flight data recorder and 10 more
bodies from the Yemenia Airways flight. The voice recorder was
recovered on Aug 29. On Nov 15, 2013, France charged Yemenia Airways
with manslaughter over the crash.
(AP, 6/30/09)(SFC, 7/2/09, p.A3)(AP,
2009 Jun, Sludge containing
PCBs, released into the Hudson River between 1946-1977 by 2 General
Electric plants, began to be shipped for disposal to West Texas. The
sludge along 197 miles had been declared a Superfund site. Cleanup
of the Hudson River began in 2009 at an estimated cost of $750
million, to be paid by GE.
(SFC, 11/29/00, p.A10)(SFC, 5/16/09, p.A5)(SFC,
2009 Jun, the last of the US
analogue television transmitters switched to digital.
(Econ, 12/11/10, TQ p.14)
2009 Jun, Facebook introduced
the online FarmVille game created by Zynga. Facebook shut down the
game on Dec. 31, 2020. Flash, the software that powered the game,
also shut down.
(NY Times, 12/31/20)
2009 Jun, In Bulgaria Plamen
Momchilov (46), a cherry farmer, was killed by cherry thieves as he
tried to keep them out of his orchard. Later, nine thieves were
arrested and confessed to beating Momchilov to death with sticks and
shovel handles. They were sentenced to 99 years in prison but as of
2011 were free pending an appeal.
2009 Jun, In the Central
African Republic former prime minister Martin Ziguele was invested
as the MLPC's presidential candidate for elections that were
initially due in April 2010.
2009 Jun, In Egypt 75 people
were sentenced to death this month in comparison to just 86 for all
of 2008. In July the Cairo-based Arab Center for the Independence of
the Judiciary and Legal Profession issued a report expressing
concern that the "extravagance" with which the penalty was being
used meant that defendants were not receiving a fair trial.
According to the UN 43% of Egyptians lived on less than $2 a day.
2009 Jun, Iceland made a deal
to borrow some $5.5 billion from the British and Dutch governments
at an annual rate of 5.5% to meet its Icesave banking obligations.
(Econ, 8/15/09, p.46)
2009 Jun, In Kenya three young
men and a boy told police that Rev. Renato Kizito Sesana, an Italian
priest, had been sexually molesting them for years at a shelter for
poor children. No church investigation followed. Kenyan police later
said they found no evidence and believed Sesana is innocent. Soon
after going to the police, three of the four complainants, including
a 17-year-old, withdrew their accusations, saying they had been
forced to make them by con men planning to take over church
property. But in 2010 the 17-year-old told the AP that he recanted
only because he and his mother repeatedly received anonymous text
messages threatening them with death. He insisted he really had been
abused but did not seek to press charges again because he felt no
one would believe him.
2009 Jun, In Malaysia Hau Yuan
Tyng (44), a single mother of two, pleaded innocent to charges of
assaulting Siti Hajar Sadli, her Indonesian maid, in one case
allegedly using hot water; in another, a hammer; and in a third, a
pair of scissors. In 2010 a court sentenced Tyng to eight years in
prison for the abuse, but allowed her to remain free on bail pending
2009 Jun, North Korea shut down
its largest wholesale market because of its apparent concern that
big markets spread capitalist influence. Authorities closed the
Pyongsong market on the outskirts of the capital of Pyongyang and
set up two smaller markets in nearby districts. Pyongsong was the
North's biggest wholesale market with some 30,000-40,000 stalls.
Go to July
End of file