Today in History - December 17
Return to home
1399 Dec 17,
Tamerlane's Mongols destroyed the army of Mahmud Tughluk, Sultan
of Delhi, at Panipat.
1538 Dec 17, Pope Paul III
excommunicated England's King Henry VIII. [see Aug 31, 1535]
1679 Dec 17, Don Juan, ruler
of Spain, died.
1745 Dec 17, Bonnie Prince
Charlie's army retreated to Scotland. [see Dec 6]
1750 Dec 17, Deborah Sampson,
was born. She fought in the American Revolution as a man under the
alias Robert Shurtleff. In 1797 she authored a memoir. In 2004
Alfred F. Young authored "Masquerade: The Life and Times of
Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier.
(MC, 12/17/01)(SSFC, 4/11/04, p.M4)
1770 Dec 17, Johann Friedrich
Schubert, composer, was born.
1777 Dec 17, France
recognized American independence.
1778 Dec 17, Humphrey Davy
(d.1829), English chemist who discovered the anesthetic effect of
laughing gas (1799), was born.
(HN, 12/17/98)(Dr, 7/17/01, p.2)(ON, 12/01,
1790 Dec 17, An Aztec
calendar stone was discovered in Mexico City.
(HFA, '96, p.44)(MC, 12/17/01)
1791 Dec 17, NYC traffic
regulation created the 1st 1-way street.
1797 Dec 17, Joseph Henry, US
scientist, inventor, pioneer of electromagnetism, was born. [see
1798 Dec 17, The 1st
impeachment trial against a US senator, William Blount of Ten.,
1807 Dec 17, John Greenleaf
Whittier, American poet, was born in Haverhill, Mass. He was an
abolitionist, reformer and founder of the Liberal Party.
(HN, 12/17/99)(AP, 12/17/07)
1821 Dec 17, Kentucky
abolished debtor’s prisons.
1830 Dec 17, Simon Bolivar
(b.1783), South American leader for national independence, died of
TB in Santa Marta, in Colombia. In 2006 John Lynch authored “Simon
Bolivar: A Life."
(AHD, p.148)(AP, 12/17/97)(Econ, 7/1/06, p.77)
1843 Dec 17, British author
Charles Dickens published “A Christmas Carol" at his own expense.
It was one of many public and private efforts by Dickens to bring
about social reform: prison visits, charity drives, promotion of
the so-called "Ragged Schools" for the poor, cash for a fired
worker, or a child's education.
1850 Dec 17, In California
some 500 Indians in the Yosemite region attacked a store on the
Fresno River owned by James Savage. A clerk and two other whites
were killed and the $25,000 in cash and goods were taken. This
marked the beginning of the Mariposa Indian War. Savage had
employed some 500 Yokut Indians to pan for gold.
(SFC, 5/16/15, p.C2)
1861 Dec 17, The Stonewall
Brigade began to dismantle Dam No. 5 of the C&O Canal near
1862 Dec 17, Maj. Gen.
Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order No. 11 designed to combat a
Civil War black market in cotton. Grant believed the trade was run
primarily by Jewish traders and ordered Jews expelled in his
military district. Pres. Lincoln rescinded the order on Jan. 4,
1863. In 2012 Jonathan D. Sarna authored “When General Grant
Expelled the Jews."
1875 Dec 17, Violent bread
riots took place in Montreal.
1886 Dec 17, At a Christmas
party, Sam Belle shot his old enemy Frank West, but was fatally
1894 Dec 17, Arthur Fiedler,
conductor (Boston Pops), was born in Boston, Mass.
1895 Dec 17, Anti-Saloon
League of America was formed in Washington, DC.
1900 Dec 17, Ellis Island
immigration center re-opened following an 1897 fire.
(SFEC, 6/20/99, p.T10)
1903 Dec 17, Erskine
Caldwell, U.S. novelist, was born.
1903 Dec 17, The Wright
brothers' Flyer I flew for 12 seconds in the first airplane flight
at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The plane used an aluminum engine
designed by their Dayton mechanic Charlie Taylor. The brothers
were the sons of a Dayton, Ohio, bishop (Church of the United
Brethren). Orville Wright made the first powered, controlled and
sustained flight. Orville, lying prone at the 605-pound plane's
controls, flew a distance of 120 feet in 12 seconds. Wilbur ran
beside Flyer's wing tip until it was airborne to keep the wing
from dragging in the sand. Four sustained flights were made on
this day. The 4th flight lasted fifty-nine seconds. The day’s
events received little press attention, since the reticent Wright
brothers feared their ideas would be stolen by rival aviators. It
was not until 1908, after making many refinements to their flying
machine, that the Wrights embarked on a series of public
demonstrations that finally earned them worldwide acclaim. A
one-hour PBS documentary covered their life as part of "The
American Experience." In 2015 David McCullough authored “the
(WSJ, 2/8/96, p.A-12)(AP, 12/17/97)(HNPD,
12/17/98)(SSFC, 12/14/03, p.D3)(SSFC, 12/14/03, p.D3)(SFEC,
9/26/99, p.B8)(Econ., 4/25/15, p.78)(Econ, 1/2/16, p.59)
1907 Dec 17, A Bhutan royal
dynasty was founded. Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck became the first
hereditary king of Bhutan.
(SFEC, 2/23/96, p.T6)(SSFC, 12/14/14, p.N3)
1907 Dec 17, William Thompson
(b.1824), Belfast-born mathematical physicist and engineer, (aka
Lord Kelvin), died in Scotland.
1908 Dec 17, Willard Frank
Libby, American chemist who won a Nobel Prize (1960) for his part
in creating the carbon-14 method in dating ancient findings, was
(HN, 12/17/98)(MC, 12/17/01)
1910 Dec 17, In San Francisco
25 men were arrested for spitting on sidewalks. It cost them $5 to
regain their liberty.
(SSFC, 12/12/10, DB p.46)
1914 Dec 17, Jews were
expelled from Tel Aviv by Turkish authorities.
1925 Dec 17, Col. William
"Billy" Mitchell (d.1936) was convicted of insubordination at his
court-martial. He was found guilty of conduct prejudicial to the
good of the armed services and was suspended from active duty. His
recently published book “Winged Defense," had poked fun at the
Sec. of War. Mitchell was awarded the Medal of Honor 20 years
after his death. In 2004 Douglas Waller authored “A Question of
(WSJ, 9/7/04, p.D8)(AP, 12/17/08)
1926 Dec17, The military
right-wing opposition executed a coup d’etat in Lithuania and a
dictatorship was established under Antanas Smetona, who remained
president until the country was annexed by the USSR in 1940.
(Compuserve, Online Encyclopedia)(DrEE,
1927 Dec 17, U.S. Secretary
of State Kellogg suggested a worldwide pact renouncing war.
1933 Dec 17, In the first
world championship football game, the Chicago Bears defeated the
New York Giants, 23-21, at Wrigley Field.
1933 Dec 17, Thubten Gyatso
(b.1876), Tibet’s 13th Dalai Lama, died.
1935 Dec 17, Venezuela’s
military strongman Juan Vicente Gomez died. He had lorded over
Venezuela since 1908.
1938 Dec 17, Italy declared
the 1935 pact with France invalid, because ratification's had not
been exchanged. France denied the argument.
1941 Dec 17, German troops
led by Rommel began to retreat in North Africa.
1943 Dec 17, The Magnuson
Act, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943, was
signed into law. The immigration legislation was proposed by US
Representative (later Senator) Warren G. Magnuson of Washington.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnuson_Act)(Econ, 8/1/09, p.28)
1943 Dec 17, U.S. forces
invaded New Britain Island in New Guinea.
1944 Dec 17, The U.S. Army
announced the end of its policy of excluding Japanese-Americans
from the West Coast.
1944 Dec 17, A US B-24
Liberator bomber crashed into the Adriatic Sea near the Croatian
island of Vis. Three members of the 10-man crew were killed.
Wreckage of the plane was found in 2010. In 2017 divers located
human bones near the wreckage.
1944 Dec 17, The Germans
renewed their attack on the Belgian town of Losheimergraben
against the American Army during the Battle of the Bulge.
1948 Dec 17, The Smithsonian
Institution accepted the Wright brothers' plane, the Kitty Hawk.
1950 Dec 17, French named
Marshal de Lattre de Tassigny to command their troops in Vietnam.
1952 Dec 17, Yugoslavia broke
relations with the Vatican.
1953 Dec 17, FCC approved
RCA's black & white-compatible color TV specifications.
Temporary approval of the mechanical CBS color model was
(MC, 12/17/01)(SFC, 3/18/04, p.E1)
1957 Dec 17, The United
States successfully test-fired the Atlas intercontinental
ballistic missile for the first time.
1958 Dec 17, Howard Hickey
(41) was named coach of the SF 49ers to replaced Frank Albert, who
had retired unexpectedly.
(SSFC, 12/14/08, p.54)
1962 Dec 17, Thomas Mitchell
(70), US, actor (Outlaw), died of cancer.
1965 Dec 17, Ending an
election campaign marked by bitterness and violence, Ferdinand
Marcos was declared president of the Philippines.
1969 Dec 17, An estimated 50
million TV viewers watched singer Tiny Tim marry his fiancée, Miss
Vicky, on NBC's "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.
1969 Dec 17, The U.S. Air
Force closed its Project "Blue Book" by finding no evidence of
extraterrestrial spaceships behind thousands of UFO sightings.
1970 Dec 17, In Poland riot
police under orders from defense minister Gen'l. Wojciech
Jaruzelski opened fire on workers protesting food price increases
and 44 people were killed in Gdansk, Gdynia, Szczecin, and Elblag.
A case against Jaruzelski was opened in 1996 and in 1999 a court
ruled that medical reasons would not exempt him from trial. The
Jaruzelski trial began in 2001.
(SFC, 8/28/99, p.A14)(SFC, 5/16/01, p.D3)
1971 Dec 17, A cease fire
began between India and Pakistan in East Pakistan.
1975 Dec 17, Lynette Fromme
was sentenced to life in prison for her attempt on the life of
1979 Dec 17, In a case that
aggravated racial tensions, Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance
executive, was fatally beaten after a police chase in Miami. Four
white police officers were later acquitted of charges stemming
from McDuffie's death.
1980 Dec 17, Milton Obote
(1924-2005) began serving a 2nd term as president of Uganda.
1981 Dec 17, Red Brigade
terrorists kidnapped Brigadier General James Dozier, the
highest-ranking US NATO officer in southern Europe, from his home
in Verona, Italy. Dozier was rescued 42 days later.
(HN, 12/17/98)(AP, 12/17/04)
1982 Dec 17, In Venezuela
Hugo Chavez (b.1954) and other junior officers formed a secret
group, the Bolivarian Revolutionary Movement 200 (MBR-200), and
vowed to change their society. They made their 1st coup attempt in
1983 Dec 17, There was an IRA
bombing near Harrods department store in London. Six people were
killed and 90 injured.
(SFEC, 12/22/96, Z1
1983 Dec 17, An Economic
cooperation agreement between the Community and the Andean Pact
countries was signed in Cartagena, Colombia.
1984 Dec 17, Gerd Heinrich
(b.1896), recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on
the subfamily Ichneumoninae (wasps), died. In 2007 his son Bernd
Heinrich authored “The Snoring Bird: My Family’s Journey Through a
Century of Biology."
1986 Dec 17, A federal jury
in Detroit cleared automaker John DeLorean of all 15 charges in
his fraud and racketeering trial.
1986 Dec 17, Eugene Hasenfus,
the American convicted by Nicaragua for his part in running guns
to the Contras, was pardoned, then released.
1986 Dec 17, Richard
Kuklinsky, a Mafia hitman known as the Iceman, was arrested in New
Jersey. He was found guilty of all charges May 25, 1988. Anthony
Bruno later authored “The Iceman."
1986 Dec 17, In Colombia
Guillermo Cano (b.1925), publisher of the Bogota newspaper El
Espectador, was assassinated by drug cartel hitmen hired by Pablo
1987 Dec 17, With election
results showing him the winner, South Korea's president-elect, Roh
Tae-woo, appealed for "national harmony" while his opponents
claimed he had won through fraud.
1988 Dec 17, In his first
public statement since the US decided to open direct talks with
the PLO, Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir expressed shock, calling the US
decision a "painful" blow.
1989 Dec 17, More than
100,000 Soviet citizens turned out to honor the late human rights
advocate Andrei D. Sakharov, a day before he was buried in Moscow.
1990 Dec 17, President Bush
pledged “no negotiation for one inch" of Kuwaiti territory would
take place as he repeated his demand for Iraq’s complete
1990 Dec 17, President Bush
nominated former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander to be
secretary of education, succeeding Lauro Cavazos.
1990 Dec 17, In the SF Bay
Area authorities discovered Jack Upton (30) dead in his apartment
at 38780 Tyson Lane in Fremont. In 2019 police arrested Russell
Anthony Guerrero of Tempe, Arizona, following a DNA match in the
(SFC, 1/25/19, p.C1)
1991 Dec 17, In an about-face
the US White House used the word "recession" to characterize the
state of the economy, although spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said the
administration did not believe there was a recession in a
1991 Dec 17, Russian
President Boris Yeltsin and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev
agreed to dissolve the Soviet Union by the new year.
1992 Dec 17, President-elect
Clinton tapped former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros to be
Secretary of Housing.
1992 Dec 17, President Bush,
Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President
Carlos Salinas de Gortari signed the North American Free Trade
Agreement in separate ceremonies.
1992 Dec 17, Israel ordered
the deportation of 418 suspected Muslim fundamentalists from the
1993 Dec 17, Fox Television
outbid CBS for the National Football Conference TV package.
1993 Dec 17, So-called
"suicide doctor" Jack Kevorkian was released from jail in Oakland
County, Mich., after promising not to help anyone end their lives
for the time being.
1994 Dec 17, Six shots were
fired at the White House by an unidentified gunman.
1994 Dec 17, In Bahrain
Hani al-Wasti (25) and Hani Khamees (26) were the first of more
than 40 people killed in the political upheaval among the Shiites.
1994 Dec 17, North Korea shot
down a U.S. Army helicopter which had strayed north of the
demilitarized zone -- the co-pilot, Chief Warrant Officer David
Hilemon, was killed; the pilot, Chief Warrant Officer Bobby Hall,
was captured and held for nearly two weeks.
1995 Dec 17, This year's
British Booker Prize in literature was awarded to Pat Barker for
"The Ghost Road," the third novel of a trilogy (1991-1995) that
work focused on psychologist W.H.R. Rivers and poet Siegfried
Sassoon (1886-1967) set during WW I.
p.A21)(WSJ, 12/18/95, p.A12)
1995 Dec 17 Eritrea used its
warships to try to seize a disputed island in the mouth of the Red
Sea from Yemen. Yemen sent warplanes to counter the attack.
(WSJ, 12/18/95, p.A-1)
1995 Dec 17, Angry voters
handed Russian President Boris Yeltsin a stinging rebuff as
Communists and right-wing nationalists scored big wins in
parliamentary elections on a platform of rolling back democratic
reforms. Communists led in early returns in elections for the
Duma, the lower house of Russia's parliament. The party was led by
Gennady Zyuganov. The CP pulled in 21.9% of the vote with 11.1%
for the party of Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
(WSJ, 12/18/95, p.A-1,10) (WSJ, 12/19/95,
1995 Dec 17, Isa Yusuf
Alptekin (b.1901), exiled Uighur head of the Islamic Republic of
East Turkestan (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China), died
1996 Dec 17, Kofi Annan of
Ghana was elected by acclamation as the 7th Secretary-General of
the UN. His 5-year term will start Jan 1.
(SFC, 12/18/96, p.C2)(AP, 12/17/97)
1996 Dec 17, Six Red Cross
workers were slain in their sleep and a 7th was wounded by as many
as 15 attackers in Chechnya. The Red Cross immediately suspended
all operations in Chechnya.
(SFC, 12/18/96, p.A1)(AP, 12/17/97)
1996 Dec 17, The Chinese
stock market continued to tumble and authorities deployed
plainclothes police to keep order among angry investors outside
security brokerage houses in the major cities. The drop started
when the official People’s Daily newspaper warned that the stock
market was overvalued.
(WSJ, 12/18/96, p.A16)
1996 Dec 17, Sun Yaoting
(b.1902), China’s last known eunuch, died.
(SFC, 12/20/96, p.B6)
1996 Dec 17, In Peru
guerrillas took over a party at the house of the Japanese
ambassador in Lima. They identified themselves as members of the
Tupac Amaru guerrilla movement and demanded the release of
imprisoned guerrillas. Nestor Cerpa Cartolini was later identified
as the leader of the 20 or so guerrillas. Cerpa’s common-law wife,
Nancy Gilvonio, was one of the imprisoned guerrillas whom he
demanded be released. Pres. Fujimori’s brother was one of the
hostages. All but 72 hostages were later released; the siege ended
April 22, 1997, with a commando raid that resulted in the deaths
of all the rebels, two commandos and one hostage.
(SFC, 12/25/96, p.A12)(SFC, 1/7/97, p.A10)(SFC,
1/17/96, p.A12)(AP, 12/17/97)
1996 Dec 17, The Russian
Booker Prize for literature, inaugurated in 1992, was awarded to
Andrei Sergeyev for his book "Stamp Album."
1996 Dec 17, In Russia an
AN-12 military transport crashed and killed all 17 people onboard
shortly after takeoff from St. Petersburg. Colonel General Sergei
Seleznyov, commander of the Leningrad military district, was among
(SFC, 12/18/96, p.C1)
1996 Dec 17, In Somalia
militia fighters of Ali Mahdi Mohamed attacked the headquarters of
Hussein Aidid in the 5th consecutive day of fighting that brought
the number of dead up to 135.
(SFC, 12/18/96, p.C1)
1996 Dec 17, In Zaire Mobutu
Sese Seko stage a triumphal home.
(SFC, 12/18/96, p.C2)
1997 Dec 17, President
Clinton's panel on race relations met at Annandale High School in
1997 Dec 17, The US and 33
other countries signed a convention in Paris aimed at eradicating
bribery in international business. Turkey was one of 34
signatories of the OECD’s anti-corruption convention.
(AP, 12/17/98)(Econ, 3/19/05, Survey p.14)
1997 Dec 17, A new Montana
law, effective today, made the entire state an offshore banking
center, allowing foreign interests to anonymously stash their
cash. Depositors could not be US citizens and a minimum of
$200,000 was required.
(SFC, 12/17/97, p.A1)(SFEC, 1/18/98, p.A18)
1997 Dec 17, In New Jersey a
settlement was reached that allows gay and unmarried couples to
(WSJ, 12/18/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 17, A US court
ordered Cuba to pay $187.6 million for three men killed when their
planes were shot down in 1996 by MiG fighters.
(WSJ, 12/18/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 17, In France Salima
Ghezali, Algerian human rights campaigner, received the European
Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought.
(SFC, 12/18/97, p.C12)
1997 Dec 17, In Chiapas,
Mexico, a young man from an Indian hamlet near Acteal was killed
in an ambush by masked gunmen. Antonio Vazquez Secum summoned a
band of gunmen and dispatched them to Acteal for revenge.
(SFEC, 1/25/98, p.A15)
1997 Dec 17, A Ukrainian
jetliner from Odessa, a Yakoviev 42, was missing as it approached
the Greek city of Salonica with 70-71 people onboard. The wreckage
was located near Fotina, Greece, on Dec 20, as a Greek military
plane, searching for the wreckage, crashed north of Athens. All
five people aboard the C-130 transport plane were killed.
1998 Dec 17, Republicans
advanced the impeachment case against President Clinton to the
House floor for a debate the following day.
1998 Dec 17, House
Speaker-designate Bob Livingston shocked fellow Republicans by
admitting he'd had extramarital affairs.
1998 Dec 17, US and British
forces launched more missiles on the 2nd day of attacks against
Iraq. The strikes included some 100 cruise missiles with 2,000
pound warheads. At least 25 people were killed and 75 injured over
2 days. Pres. Boris Yeltsin withdrew the Russian ambassador from
Washington and demanded an immediate end to military action.
France and Italy expressed strong opposition while Germany rallied
to support the US and Britain. A stray US missile hit
Khorramshahr, Iran. The US later apologized.
(SFC, 12/18/98, p.A1,3)(SFC, 12/21/98, p.A20)
1998 Dec 17, In Alagoas
state, Brazil, congresswoman Ceci Cunha was killed with her
husband and 2 in-laws in an apparent political assassination.
Talvane Albuquerque, who lost re-election in October, assumed her
seat in the Chamber of Deputies. He was charged with ordering the
murder of Cunha, but was immune from criminal prosecution while in
(SFC, 12/18/98, p.D2)(WSJ, 3/16/99, p.A1)
1998 Dec 17, In Britain the
high court set aside its ruling against Gen’l Pinochet because one
member failed to disclose close ties with Amnesty Int’l. A new
panel will rehear Pinochet’s claim of immunity.
(SFC, 12/18/98, p.A18)
1998 Dec 17, In China
dissidents Wang Youcai in Hangzhou and Qin Yongmin in Wuhan,
arrested for subversion, pleaded their cases for forming the China
Democracy Party. Youcai was released in 2004 and sent to the US.
(SFC, 12/18/98, p.D3)(SFC, 2/05/04, p.A3)
1998 Dec 17, A boatload of
Cubans capsized off Elliot Key, Fla., during an
immigrant-smuggling attempt and at least 8 people were drowned.
(SFC, 12/19/98, p.A7)
1998 Dec 17, In Gabon Karen
Phillips (37), a US Peace Corps worker from Philadelphia, was
raped and stabbed to death in Oyem. 3 people were arrested in
connection with her death.
(SFEC, 12/20/98, p.C10)
1998 Dec 17, In Indonesia
some 4,000 students attempted to storm the parliament in Jakarta
in a 2nd day of riots. They were stopped by police riot squads.
(SFC, 12/18/98, p.D2)
1998 Dec 17, Serbian police
attacked a suspected rebel-controlled village in Kosovo. Two
ethnic Albanian fighters were killed and 34 were arrested in
(SFC, 12/18/98, p.D4)
1999 Dec 17, President
Clinton signed a law letting millions of disabled Americans retain
their government-funded health coverage when they take a job.
1999 Dec 17, Grover
Washington Jr., jazz saxophonist, died at age 56 during a TV
taping session in NYC.
(SFC, 12/18/99, p.C5)
1999 Dec 17, The UN Security
Council (Resolution 1284) ended a yearlong deadlock and voted to
create a new inspection team (UNMOVIC) to complete the disarmament
(SFC, 12/18/99, p.A1)(AP, 12/17/00)(SFC,
2000 Dec 17, President-elect
Bush was named Time magazine's Person of the Year.
2000 Dec 17, Pres.-elect Bush
named Condoleeza Rice (46) of Stanford to be his national security
advisor and Texas Supreme Court Justice Alberto Gonzales as White
(SFC, 12/18/00, p.A1)(AP, 12/17/01)
2000 Dec 17, In Chechnya a
rebel attack killed 3 Russian soldiers. A shootout with rebels in
Grozny left 2 police officers and 2 rebels dead.
(SFC, 12/19/00, p.B4)(SFC, 12/18/00, p.E6)
2000 Dec 17, In Colombia
gunmen killed 11 people in the village of Chipaque. Leftist rebels
(SFC, 12/19/00, p.B2)
2000 Dec 17, Cuba and Russia
agreed to abandon the nuclear power plant at Juragua. Pres. Putin
pushed Castro to recognize a small portion of the Soviet-era debt,
estimated at $20 billion.
(SFC, 12/18/00, p.E6)
2000 Dec 17, Israeli and
Palestinian officials agreed to hold talks in Washington prior to
the departure of Pres. Clinton.
(SFC, 12/18/00, p.E2)
2000 Dec 17, In Mexico
thousands were ordered to evacuate the area around the
Popocatepetl volcano due to the formation of a lava dome.
(WSJ, 12/18/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 17, In northern
Italy at least 10 climbers and skiers were killed after ice formed
overnight in the Alps.
(SFC, 12/18/00, p.E2)
2001 Dec 17, The Bush
administration announced that the anthrax attacks most likely
originated from a domestic source.
(SFC, 12/18/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 17, Space shuttle
Endeavour returned to Cape Canaveral following A 12-day mission
for a crew change at the Int’l. Space Station.
(SFC, 12/18/01, p.A4)(WSJ, 12/18/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 17, US Marines
raised the Stars and Stripes over the long-abandoned American
Embassy in Kabul, inaugurating what U.S. envoy James F. Dobbins
promised would be a long commitment to the rebuilding.
2001 Dec 17, In Afghanistan
US Delta forces pursued some 300 al Qaeda fighters in the White
Mountains. Mullah Omar was reported to have retreated to the
mountains near Baghran.
(SFC, 12/18/01, p.A1,14)
2001 Dec 17, In Haiti 33
gunmen, ex-members of the disbanded military, attacked the
national penitentiary, were rebuffed and moved on to the National
Palace. At least 10 people were killed. Opposition buildings were
attacked in response. Pres. Aristide called the attack a failed
coup. Opposition called the attack a staged event to crush
dissent. A captured former soldier later said the attack was a
coup attempt and that fellow conspirators included a former
colonel and 2 former police chiefs. Former Col. Guy Francois was
accused of helping plot the attack and spent two years in prison
for his alleged role despite maintaining his innocence.
(SFC, 12/18/01, p.A3)(SFC, 12/19/01, p.A4)(WSJ,
12/18/01, p.A1)(SFC, 12/21/01, p.A3)(AP, 12/17/02)(AP, 9/15/06)
2001 Dec 17, Israel continued
military sweeps as Hamas and the Popular Front rejected Arafat’s
call to end attacks.
(WSJ, 12/18/01, p.A1)
2002 Dec 17, U.S. President
George W. Bush ordered the military to begin deploying a national
missile defense system with land- and sea-based interceptor
rockets to be operational starting in 2004.
(Reuters, 12/17/02)(SFC, 12/18/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 17, In New York Gov.
George Pataki signed a bill extending civil rights protections to
gays and lesbians in the state.
(SFC, 12/18/02, p.A3)
2002 Dec 17, Insurance and
finance company Conseco Incorporated filed for Chapter Eleven
protection in the third-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
2002 Dec 17, Playwright
Frederick Knott (86), who wrote "Dial M For Murder" and "Wait
Until Dark," died in NYC.
2002 Dec 17, Congo's
government, rebels and political opposition signed a power-sharing
agreement after four years of war and 2.5 million lives lost.
2002 Dec 17, Iraqi exiles in
London declared they want to build a "new Iraq" and agreed on a
power-sharing plan that for the first time recognizes the
political clout of Shiite Muslims, a majority in a nation long
controlled by Sunni Muslims such as Saddam Hussein. Some delegates
walked out of the London meeting warning of possible civil war if
they were sidelined in any new government.
(AP, 12/17/02)(Reuters, 12/17/02)
2002 Dec 17, Mohammed Jawad
allegedly attacked US troops with a grenade. He was arrested and
later transferred to Guantanamo Bay. US authorities claimed he was
at least 16-years old at the time of his arrest, but it later
emerged he may have been as young as 12.
2002 Dec 17, Malaysia won
control of two tiny palm-fringed islands when the World Court
ruled in its favor in a long-running dispute with Indonesia.
2002 Dec 17, The Interfax
news agency reported that Russia has lost 4,705 soldiers, officers
and policemen in Chechnya since 1999.
2003 Dec 17, The US CDC
reported that the average age of US women for their 1st child was
25.1 years, up from 21.4 in 1970.
(WSJ, 12/18/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 17, The Bush
administration reached a free-trade deal with El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua for immediate duty-free access
to half of all US farm exports and 80% of consumer goods.
(WSJ, 12/18/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 17, George Ryan,
former governor of Illinois, was indicted by a federal grand jury
on charges of racketeering. Ryan was alter convicted and sentenced
to 6 1/2-years in federal prison sentence for racketeering.
(SFC, 12/18/03, p.A2)(AP, 12/17/08)
2003 Dec 17, Wally Hedrick
(75), Beat-era artist, died at his home in Sonoma County, Ca.
(SFC, 12/24/03, p.A16)
2003 Dec 17, In Britain Ian
Huntley, a former school caretaker, was convicted of murdering two
10-year-old girls in 2002. He had previously been investigated for
sex crimes. Huntley was sentenced to two life terms.
(AP, 12/17/03)(Econ, 1/21/06, p.53)
2003 Dec 17, The British
government announced the first reported case of a person dying
from the human form of mad cow disease after a blood transfusion
from an infected donor.
2003 Dec 17, China Life,
China's biggest life insurer, debuted on the NY stock exchange.
(Econ, 12/20/03, p.104)
2003 Dec 17, The fifth
outbreak in two years of the deadly Ebola virus in the Republic of
Congo has so far killed 29 people.
2003 Dec 17, In France Pres.
Jacques Chirac announced his decision to pass a law banning
Islamic head scarves and other conspicuous religious symbols in
2003 Dec 17, In Greece a
court handed multiple life sentences to the leader, chief assassin
and three other members of the November 17 terror organization.
Dimitris Koufodinas was sentenced to 11 life terms.
(AP, 12/17/03)(AP, 6/14/18)
2003 Dec 17, Haiti police
stormed and shut down a pro-opposition radio station, smashing
studio equipment in what they said was a search for weapons.
2003 Dec 17, In Baghdad an
explosives-laden truck speeding toward a police station slammed
into a bus and blew up before dawn, killing at least 10 Iraqis.
2003 Dec 17, In Iraq
guerrillas ambushed a U.S. military patrol with small arms fire,
killing one soldier at al-Karmah in northwest Baghdad. The
soldier's death brings the number of U.S. soldiers killed in
combat to 314 since the war started on March 20.
2003 Dec 17, Suspected
followers of Saddam Hussein shot to death Muhannad al-Hakim a
representative of a major Shiite political party and a member of
the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution.
2003 Dec 17, South Korea
agreed to send 3,000 troops to Iraq in 2004.
(WSJ, 12/18/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 17, NATO's Secretary
General Lord Robertson ended a tumultuous four-year term.
2003 Dec 17, In the Ukraine a
bus veered off a mountain road and plunged into a deep ditch on
the Crimean peninsula, killing 17 people and injuring 19 others.
2004 Dec 17, President Bush
signed into law the largest overhaul of US intelligence-gathering
in 50 years.
2004 Dec 17, The FDA approved
a Harvard proposal to test the benefits of 3-4
methylenedioxtmethamphetamine (MDMA). In Nov. researchers in North
Carolina gained government approval to test the drug "Ecstasy" as
a treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder for the first time
since the drug was criminalized in 1985.
2004 Dec 17, Pfizer, maker of
a popular pain reliever, admitted Celebrex appears to increase the
risk of heart attack in users, but has no plans to remove it from
2004 Dec 17, Tom Wesselman
(73), NYC pop artist, died. He was known for his “bedroom still
(SFC, 12/21/04, p.B7)
2004 Dec 17, Afghan forces
retook control of Pul-e-Charkhi, the country's largest jail,
following a day-long standoff. 4 inmates and 4 guards were killed
in the violence.
(AP, 12/17/04)(SFC, 12/18/04, p.A8)
2004 Dec 17, Bhutan began to
enforce a total ban on tobacco sales and smoking in public. The
royal National Assembly passed the resolution in July.
(SFC, 11/30/04, p.A2)
2004 Dec 17, Bosnian Serb
Prime Minister Dragan Mikerevic resigned, one day after the
international community imposed sanctions against Bosnian Serb
police and officials for allegedly helping fugitive war crimes
suspects evade justice.
2004 Dec 17, It was reported
that China paid out $15 billion per month to keep the yuan fixed
at 8.277 to the US dollar.
(WSJ, 12/17/04, p.A14)
2004 Dec 17, It was reported
that China’s growing power industry was causing global concern
over mercury accumulation in the world’s water and food supply.
(WSJ, 12/17/04, p.A1)
2004 Dec 17, Colombian
authorities revealed that they had lost track in June of three
IRA-linked men, convicted this week of training Marxist rebels in
2004 Dec 17, The UN said
foreign troops have crossed into Congo and called on outside
forces to stop giving weapons and reinforcements to renegade
soldiers battling army loyalists.
2004 Dec 17, Dissident forces
attacked the village of Buramba, Congo, targeting civilians
suspected of sympathizing with pro-government militiamen. At least
30 civilians were killed in the massacre believed to have been a
reprisal for the killing of 3 renegade soldiers by a
2004 Dec 17, Three days of
trade talks ended in Havana. Cuba agreed to buy about $125 million
in farm goods from attending U.S. companies.
2004 Dec 17, European Union
leaders and Turkey agreed on a compromise formula to overcome
differences over Turkish recognition of Cyprus' government as a
condition for opening EU membership talks.
2004 Dec 17, The US
completely forgave $4.1 billion in debt Iraq owed it and urged
other nations not part of an international debt relief agreement
to follow suit.
2004 Dec 17, Gunmen attacked
a car in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, killing four male
passengers, and witnesses said three of the victims were
2004 Dec 17, Israeli troops
raided a Gaza refugee camp in retaliation for a deadly Palestinian
mortar fire, sparking fighting that killed 8 Palestinians and
wounded 24 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier.
(AP, 12/17/04)(SFC, 12/18/04, p.A14)
2004 Dec 17, Italy's interior
ministry said 181 people had been arrested in the past three
months in a crackdown on the Camorra in Naples whose turf warfare
now overshadows that of the Sicilian mafia.
2004 Dec 17, It was reported
that the AIDS drug nevirapine failed to meet int’l. standards in
Uganda. The drug was used to protect babies from HIV infection,
but that infected women could develop resistance.
(SFC, 12/17/04, p.A23)
2005 Dec 17, President George
W. Bush acknowledged he signed a secret order after the September
11, 2001, attacks to allow the surveillance of people in the
2005 Dec 17, John Ruiz lost
the WBA heavyweight title, dropping a disputed majority decision
to Nikolay Valuev of Russia in Berlin.
2005 Dec 17, Jack Anderson
(83), Pulitzer Prize-winning muckraking columnist, died at his
home in Maryland. Washington Post columnist Drew Pearson hired
Anderson in 1947 and Anderson took over his column after Pearson’s
death in 1969.
(SSFC, 12/18/05, p.B5)
2005 Dec 17, In southern
Afghanistan men on a motorcycle opened fire on students leaving
school in Lashkargah, killing a pupil and a janitor.
2005 Dec 17, In southern
Afghanistan 4 policemen and 3 suspected Taliban fighters were
killed and an Afghan interpreter were wounded in attacks.
2005 Dec 17, In Bosnia the
reconstructed Stari Most, a bridge that came to symbolize the
senseless brutality of the Bosnian war, took its place on the UN's
list of protected World Heritage Sites.
2005 Dec 17, Hundreds of
fighters from three rebel armies united to attack the village of
San Marino in western Colombia. The bold assault that killed at
least five police officers.
2005 Dec 17, EU leaders
agreed on a 7-year spending plan for the 25-nation bloc, a
hard-won deal seen as key to shaping the future of an enlarged EU
and to restoring faith in its unity.
2005 Dec 17, In Hong Kong
hundreds of protesters wielding bamboo sticks broke through police
lines and tried to storm the convention center hosting global
trade talks. Security forces scattered the crowd with tear gas.
Police said 41 people were injured and 900 were detained.
2005 Dec 17, India and
Pakistan agreed to begin work by 2007 on a pipeline to bring
natural gas from Iran, moving ahead with the project despite US
disapproval. Iran hoped to break ground this year on a 1,700 mile,
$4 billion natural gas pipeline to deliver gas across Pakistan to
India. The US opposed the line and threatened sanctions under the
1996 Iran Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) law.
(AP, 12/18/05)(WSJ, 6/24/05, p.A4)
2005 Dec 17, The chief UN
investigator into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime
Minister Rafik Hariri said in published remarks that he believed
Syrian authorities were behind the killing.
2005 Dec 17, Macedonia moved
a step closer to realizing its dream of EU membership when the
bloc's leaders gave their blessing for it to start membership
2005 Dec 17, The Mexican
government slammed the US Congress for approving an immigration
bill that would tighten border controls and make it harder for
undocumented immigrants to get jobs.
2005 Dec 17, In Mexico 6
people were stabbed or battered to death during a prison gang
fight in Ciudad Juarez, across the US border from El Paso, Texas.
2005 Dec 17, Forty drunken
Santas rampaged through central Auckland, NZ, stealing from stores
and assaulting security guards in a protest against the
commercialization of Christmas.
2005 Dec 17, An explosion in
the southern Gaza Strip killed a militant who fired homemade
rockets at Israel and wounded three other people.
2005 Dec 17, A first group of
southern Sudanese refugees began their journey home after two
decades of living in a camp in Kenya.
2005 Dec 17, In Trinidad
Randy Depoo, a former political officer at the US Embassy in
Trinidad, paid $1,000 for the release of his kidnapped son. The
kidnappers originally sought nearly $32,000 but released the youth
within hours of the abduction for the lower amount.
2005 Dec 17, Turkey's PM
Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the EU of trying to pressure Turkish
courts in the trial of the country's best-known novelist. Orhan
Pamuk is being tried for telling a Swiss newspaper in February
that "30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians were killed in these
lands, and nobody but me dares to talk about it."
2005 Dec 17, In Vietnam
disaster officials said floods and landslides have claimed at
least 47 lives in central Vietnam in the past two weeks.
2006 Dec 17, In Kirksville,
Missouri, a 911 call reporting a "strange odor" from a duplex
apartment led police to the bodies of seven people.
2006 Dec 17, In Ohio a plane
crashed in a field killing Paul and Lillian Martin of Austin,
Texas, and their two children.
2006 Dec 17, Kelly James of
Dallas, one of 3 missing climbers, was found dead in a snow cave
on Mount Hood.
2006 Dec 17, Afghan officials
replaced Helmand Gov. Mohammad Daud with Asadullah Wafa. Daud led
the province that grows more than a third of the world's opium.
Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said the appointment of
Wafa would help increase security in Helmand, but insisted the
increase in poppy cultivation had nothing to do with the change.
In eastern Afghanistan a suicide bomber drove up to an American
convoy and blew himself up, leaving one Afghan civilian dead and
two others wounded. France said it is going to withdraw its
200-strong special forces from Afghanistan, all of its ground
troops engaged in the US anti-terror operation there.
(AP, 12/17/06)(AP, 12/18/06)
2006 Dec 17, In eastern Chad
marauding fighters killed and mutilated 20 civilians. The
government blamed the atrocities on militias backed by
neighbouring Sudan. Government forces who battled the attackers
after their raids on the refugee camp and two other nearby
villages also saw eight of their soldiers killed and the victims'
eyes gouged out. The army killed nine fighters in return and took
2006 Dec 17, Indian officials
said a killer elephant, named after Osama bin Laden by fearful
villagers, was killed by sharpshooters. The animal was blamed for
14 deaths in the northeastern state of Assam.
2006 Dec 17, Britain’s PM
Blair and his Iraqi counterpart, Nouri al-Maliki, discussed
preparations by British military units in Basra, the main city in
southern Iraq, to turn over security to Iraqi forces. Gunmen in
Iraqi army uniforms burst into Red Crescent offices and kidnapped
more than two dozen people at the humanitarian organization in the
latest sign of the country's growing lawlessness. Others killed in
violence included two policeman, an Iraqi soldier and a municipal
official in Baghdad; and a police officer in Kut. Former
Electricity Minister Ayham al-Samaraie, a dual US-Iraqi citizen
and the country's only postwar Cabinet minister to be convicted of
corruption, escaped police custody in Baghdad for a second time.
(AP, 12/17/06)(AP, 12/18/06)
2006 Dec 17, Nigeria's ruling
party chose a reclusive Muslim state governor, Umaru Yar'Adua, to
be its candidate to succeed Olusegun Obasanjo as president of
Africa's most populous nation in elections next year.
2006 Dec 17, Gunmen attacked
the convoy of the Palestinian foreign minister and raided a
training base for an elite security forces unit, stepping up
factional violence over a decision by Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas to end nine months of Hamas leadership and call
early elections. A 19-year-old woman and a Palestinian security
officer were killed in the chaos. Earlier in the day dozens of
gunmen raided a training camp of Abbas' Presidential Guard near
the president's residence, killing a member of the elite force.
2006 Dec 17, Scores of
migrants who spent days at sea were missing and feared dead after
their boat wrecked off Senegal's coast.
2006 Dec 17, Zimbabwe's
ruling party recommended that President Robert Mugabe's term be
extended by two years, to 2010, delaying a showdown between rival
factions over the choice of his successor. Opposition and rights
groups vowed to stage mass street protests against plans by
Mugabe's supporters to extend the veteran ruler's term by another
(AP, 12/17/06)(AFP, 12/18/06)
2007 Dec 17, President George
W. Bush, addressing a Rotary Club meeting, tried to reassure an
edgy public that the economy is "pretty good" despite the mix of a
failing housing market, a national credit crunch and surging
2007 Dec 17, A US judge ruled
that the White House visitor logs are public, a blow to Pres.
Bush, who didn’t want to disclose visits by religious
(WSJ, 12/18/07, p.A1)
2007 Dec 17, In Washington,
DC, a military judge said the US must hold court hearings to
determine whether suspected terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo
Bay are prisoners of war or unlawful enemy combatants in a ruling
that could delay war crimes trials.
2007 Dec 17, US trade
officials said the US has reached a deal with the EU, Japan and
Canada to keep its Internet gambling market closed to foreign
companies, but is continuing talks with India, Antigua and
Barbuda, Macau and Costa Rica.
2007 Dec 17, New Jersey Gov.
Jon Corzine signed into law a measure that abolished the death
penalty, making New Jersey the first US state in over decades
reject capital punishment.
(SFC, 12/18/07, p.A4)
2007 Dec 17, It was reported
that the US was investigation allegations that Public Warehousing
Co. owned by Kuwait’s Sultan Al-Essa family, had solicited as much
as $80 million in kickbacks under cover as discounts from US
(WSJ, 12/17/07, p.A1)
2007 Dec 17, The World Trade
Organization (WTO) launched an investigation into Washington's
multi-billion-dollar farm subsidies that Brazil and Canada say
break international trading rules.
2007 Dec 17, The Int’l.
Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector arm of the World
Bank, unveiled a $1 billion health-care strategy for Africa.
(Econ, 12/22/07, p.121)
2007 Dec 17, In southern
Afghanistan several militants were killed in airstrikes and a
subsequent operation by US-led coalition troops.
2007 Dec 17, Much of eastern
and central Canada was digging out after a massive storm dumped up
to 50 cm (20 inches) of snow in places, shocking Canadians who had
become accustomed to milder winters.
2007 Dec 17, In Grozny,
Chechnya, a roadside bomb killed a prison guard and wounded four
other people as they drove in a van transporting suspected
2007 Dec 17, Dubai ruling
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum pardoned 377 inmates of
Dubai prisons this week on the eve of Eid al-Adha, an important
Islamic holiday. The pardon included Bert Tatham, a Canadian UN
official who advised the Afghan government on eradicating opium
poppy crops. Tatham (35) was granted amnesty, six months after
being sentenced to four years in prison on a drug smuggling
conviction. Tatham was arrested April 23 during a one-hour
stopover at the Dubai International Airport, after being caught
with a half a gram of hashish, and two poppy bulbs.
2007 Dec 17, Nine Egyptians
were killed and seven injured when a car crashed into a group of
people celebrating a religious festival on Egypt's Red Sea coast.
2007 Dec 17, Iranian Vice
President Gholam Reza Aghazadeh said the first nuclear fuel
shipment for the Bushehr atomic power plant has arrived in Iran
from Russia. Aghazadeh said the Bushehr plant was 95 percent
complete and would begin operations next year.
2007 Dec 17, Al-Qaida's No. 2
Ayman al-Zawahri warned of "traitors" among insurgents in Iraq and
called on Iraqi Sunni Arab tribes to purge those who help the
Americans in a new videotape posted on the Web.
2007 Dec 17, Defense
officials said Israel will allow the Palestinians to set up a new
cell phone network, part of warming relations between the sides.
The world rallied to the support of the embattled Palestinian
government, and the co-chairman of a donors' conference said he
was confident they could meet a $5.6 billion target in aid.
2007 Dec 17, Japan and the
United Arab Emirates signed an accord to strengthen economic ties,
including a deal for Japanese banks to extend a
multibillion-dollar loan to a state-owned Abu Dhabi oil firm.
2007 Dec 17, Japan began
sending warnings to an estimated 8.5 million people that their
pension data may have gone missing, as the government seeks to
clean up a scandal that has damaged its credibility.
2007 Dec 17, A Nicaraguan
appeals court overturned the conviction of Eric Volz, a US man
sentenced to 30 years in prison in the killing of his Nicaraguan
girlfriend. Volz (28) was freed on Dec 21 and quickly left
(AP, 12/18/07)(AP, 12/22/07)
2007 Dec 17, Nigeria's main
militant group urged all armed factions in the restive southern
oil heartland to join together and cripple Africa's biggest
2007 Dec 17, In Pakistan the
Election Commission rejected former PM Nawaz Sharif’s appeal
against the rejection of his nomination for next month's
parliamentary elections. Police used batons and fired tear gas in
a clash with protesters who hurled rocks and bricks at them in
Islamabad. A suicide bomber blew himself up among a group of
Pakistani army recruits returning from a soccer game in
northwestern Pakistan, killing nine of them. The attacker struck
near an army communications center in Kohat, about 30 miles from
the city of Peshawar.
(AFP, 12/17/07)(AP, 12/17/07)(AP, 12/18/07)
2007 Dec 17, Russian
President Vladimir Putin said he was ready to become prime
minister if his close ally Dmitry Medvedev succeeds him, giving
Putin a way to keep a grip on power after he leaves the Kremlin.
2007 Dec 17, In Saudi Arabia
a gang-rape victim who was sentenced to six months in prison and
200 lashes for being alone with a man not related to her was
pardoned by the Saudi king after the case sparked rare criticism
from the United States, the kingdom's top ally.
2007 Dec 17, In Somalia
mortar shells slammed into Mogadishu, killing at least 12 people,
including a mother and her three children, and wounding dozens in
an increasingly ferocious Islamic insurgency.
2007 Dec 17, In northern Sri
Lanka renewed violence between Tamil rebels and government forces
left at least 33 people dead.
2007 Dec 17, Uruguay's last
military dictator, Gregorio Alvarez, was charged with the forced
disappearance of political prisoners, cheering human rights
activists who have long campaigned for his prosecution.
2008 Dec 17, Microsoft said
will release an emergency patch today to fix a perilous software
flaw allowing hackers to hijack Internet Explorer browsers and
take over computers.
2008 Dec 17, In Minnesota two
freight trains collided sending an engineer and some cars into the
(WSJ, 12/18/08, p.A1)
2008 Dec 17, OPEC, meeting in
Algeria, said it is cutting 2.2 million barrels a day from its
output, the largest ever at one time, to stem crude prices that
have plummeted over 70% from summer highs of nearly $150. Members
among the 13-nation organization were officially producing a daily
29.045 million barrels in September.
2008 Dec 17, Algerian news
reports said Raked Brahim (28) was convicted and jailed for three
years for traveling to Iraq in 2007 to take part in attacks
against US forces. He was detained in Syria and later deported
back to Algeria.
2008 Dec 17, Australian
Aborigines won a court fight against Anglo-Swiss mining giant
Xstrata's plans to divert a river and expand one of the world's
biggest zinc mines.
2008 Dec 17, Two Australian
women were killed when their light aircraft slammed into a
suburban house in Sydney after a mid-air collision between two
flying school planes.
2008 Dec 17, British PM
Gordon Brown said his country's troops will leave Iraq by May 31,
ending a mission that provided the second-largest military
presence in Iraq after the United States. Police said a
double-bombing in Baghdad targeting traffic police left at least
18 people dead and 52 others wounded. The US military reported
nine killed and 43 wounded.
2008 Dec 17, A London judge
sentenced Bilal Abdulla (29) to at least 32 years in prison for
his role in the June 29, 2007, attempted car bombs in London and
an attack at Glasgow Airport the following day.
(SFC, 12/18/08, p.A17)
2008 Dec 17, Bulgaria's last
155 troops stationed in Iraq returned home. 13 Bulgarian soldiers
and six civilians have died in Iraq since 2003. Bulgaria also has
troops in international military missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo
2008 Dec 17, In Beijing the
presidents of China and Angola signed a series of agreements as
the oil rich African nation sought greater Chinese participation
in its energy and infrastructure development.
2008 Dec 17, The European
Parliament gave a jailed Chinese dissident a one-minute standing
ovation as it honored him in absentia with its top human rights
2008 Dec 17, Gaza militants
fired nine rockets at Israel just two days before militants say a
truce along the Gaza border is to expire. The rockets were fired
by three small militant groups and caused no injuries. Israel says
there's no expiration date.
2008 Dec 17, In Indian
Kashmir thousands of security forces patrolled towns to protect
voters in state elections. Muslim separatists urged residents to
boycott the vote and called for a general strike.
2008 Dec 17, The Russian
ruble suffered its largest drop in three months after the Central
Bank signaled it would accelerate the devaluation of the national
2008 Dec 17, An international
anti-piracy force thwarted the attempted takeover of a Chinese
cargo ship off the Somali coast, sending in attack helicopters
that fired on the bandits and forced them to abandon the ship they
had boarded. The Indian navy handed over 23 pirates, caught at sea
on Dec 13, to authorities in Yemen.
2008 Dec 17, South African
President Kgalema Motlanthe said Zimbabwe's neighbors will launch
an urgent humanitarian campaign in the hope of saving the country
from economic collapse and a cholera epidemic. Motlanthe also said
South Africa would not join international calls for Zimbabwe's
President Robert Mugabe to step down, saying it was "not for us"
to do so.
(AP, 12/17/08)(AFP, 12/17/08)
2008 Dec 17, A South Korean
court found one of the country's most famous actresses guilty of
adultery, months after she tried but failed to have a law that
makes extramarital affairs a crime ruled unconstitutional. Ok
So-ri was handed a suspended jail term.
2008 Dec 17, Sri Lankan
fighter jets and attack helicopters pummeled rebel fortifications
across the north, as government forces pushed ahead with their
offensive against the Tamil Tigers' northern stronghold in the
face of punishing seasonal rains and stiff rebel resistance.
2008 Dec 17, The UN said it
will double the budget of its Afghan mission next year, taking on
hundreds of new staff and opening more offices to meet more
"complex" challenges. The UN’s chief in Afghanistan called for
international military forces to revise their agreement with the
Afghan government to include practices that will better safeguard
(AFP, 12/17/08)(AP, 12/17/08)
2009 Dec 17, The Obama
administration handed out the first $182 million of a $7.2 billion
pot of stimulus money that will go toward building high-speed
Internet networks and encouraging more Americans to use them.
2009 Dec 17, The US Fish and
Wildlife Service declared that attempts over the past two years to
save the endangered Kootenai River white sturgeon had failed. An
isolated population of the species lives along a stretch of the
Kootenai that passes through Montana, northern Idaho and southern
British Columbia. Fewer than 500 of the bottom-feeding behemoths
survive. It's been 35 years since they successfully spawned due to
the 1974 construction of Libby Dam.
2009 Dec 17, SF Mayor Newsom
delivered a list of midyear cuts totaling $45 million. He still
faced a $522 million deficit for 2010.
(SFC, 12/18/09, p.A15)
2009 Dec 17, In California
the Sonoma Land Trust completed the $36 million purchase of 5,630
acres of coastal grasslands and redwood forest known as the Jenner
(SFC, 12/18/09, p.A1)
2009 Dec 17, Xcor Aerospace
of Mohave, Ca., the developer of a rocket plane for space tourism,
said it has been selected to supply launch services to the Yecheon
Astro Space Center, a nonprofit organization in South Korea.
(SFC, 12/18/09, p.A21)
2009 Dec 17, Cincinnati
Bengals receiver Chris Henry (26) died in North Carolina, a day
after falling out of the back of a pickup truck during what police
said was a domestic dispute with his fiancee.
2009 Dec 17, In Kansas City,
Mo., Chester Harvey Jr. (38), of Laddonia, and his son Chad
Michael Harvey (19), of Eolia, tortured and killed James William
Boyd McNeely (20) of Ohio in the trucker's basement with the help
of several other people. On Dec 30 prosecutors filed for
first-degree murder and other charges against the men.
2009 Dec 17, Jennifer Jones
(90), film actress, died. She starred in over 2 dozen films and
won an academy award for her 1943 film “The Song of Bernadette."
(SFC, 12/18/09, p.A24)
2009 Dec 17, In Afghanistan a
key conference on corruption ended with delegates suggesting the
government end immunity for corrupt officials and intensify the
fight against graft. A suicide attacker wounded 5 Afghan soldiers
and 4 tribal leaders in the central province of Uruzgan.
(AFP, 12/17/09)(AP, 12/17/09)
2009 Dec 17, In the Bahamas 2
US pilots were the only people aboard the small jet when it
crashed in an unpopulated area of Great Inagua shortly after
taking off from the Dominican Republic en route to Miami. The Jet
Falcon was owned by a trust for which the San Francisco,
California-based Wells Fargo company acts as trustee.
2009 Dec 17, Oxfam said some
areas of East Africa had received less than 5% of the normal
November rains and that many people are malnourished in Uganda,
Tanzania, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. It was the sixth failed
rainy season for war-ravaged Somalia and the worst drought there
for 20 years. The European Commission announced that it would
immediately release an extra $75 million to fund emergency relief
for drought-stricken areas of East Africa. It estimated that 16
million people will need aid in the coming months.
2009 Dec 17, Bolivia's
leftist government was reported to have seized another big ranch
from a top opposition figure. It said the 2,500-hectare
(10-square-mile) spread will go to landless Indians. President
Morales' government also confiscated a 500-hectare parcel from
Osvaldo Monasterio, a banker and agribusinessman who owns the
Unitel TV network.
2009 Dec 17, In Brazil a
2-year-old boy with 42 sewing needles stuck in him was airlifted
to another hospital in northeastern Bahia state because two of the
needles were close to his heart. A police official said Roberto
Carlos Magalhaes, the boy's stepfather, had been arrested, that he
had confessed to sticking the needles into the boy with the help
of a woman and that authorities were investigating whether black
magic was involved. On Dec 18 doctors removed 4 of the most
(AP, 12/17/09)(SFC, 12/18/09, p.A5)(AP,
2009 Dec 17, Canada put its
Candu nuclear division up for sale, saying the operation needed
outside investors to boost its chances for growth at a time of
expanding nuclear power generation and also help cut the cost to
2009 Dec 17, In Copenhagen US
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sought to put new life
into flagging UN climate talks by announcing the US would join
others in raising $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer
nations cope with global warming.
2009 Dec 17, In Ingushetia,
Russia, a suicide car bomber attacked a group of police and
soldiers in Nazran, wounding at least 23 people. Also in Nazran 2
security officers were killed in a drive-by shooting.
2009 Dec 17, Iranian forces
took control of Well 4, a southern Iraqi oil well on a disputed
section of the border in Maysan province. Well 4 lies in the Fauqa
Field, part of a cluster of fields Iraq unsuccessfully put up for
auction to oil majors in June. The field has estimated reserves of
1.55 million barrels. There have been a number of meetings in
recent years aimed at reaching agreement on border fields, so far
(AFP, 12/18/09)(AP, 12/19/09)
2009 Dec 17, In Iraq a car
bomb exploded outside a popular restaurant in central Baghdad,
killing 3 people and wounding 16 as diners were out enjoying the
start to their weekend.
2009 Dec 17, Off the coast of
Lebanon a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship carrying thousands of
sheep and other livestock went down in heavy rain. At least 9 crew
members were killed and dozens were missing.
2009 Dec 17, Hannibal
Kadhafi, the son of the Libyan leader, filed a civil lawsuit for
"protection of personality" against the Swiss canton of Geneva and
a local newspaper over the publication of police mugshots taken
when he was arrested in Switzerland in July, 2008.
2009 Dec 17, Malaysian marine
police rescued 62 pangolins. 2 days later Malaysian wildlife
authorities said they rescued 130 pangolins and arrested two men
attempting to smuggle the protected species. They were expected to
be illegally exported to China, Japan and Hong Kong, where
animal's meat is considered a delicacy with medicinal qualities.
2009 Dec 17, In Mexico four
suspected drug traffickers and two local policemen were killed in
a shootout with soldiers in General Zuazua. Soldiers found a list
with names of local policemen who may have been on the payroll of
the drug gang. They also found more than 1,320 pounds (600 kg) of
marijuana and several guns at the scene.
2009 Dec 17, In New Zealand a
church billboard was erected showing an apparently naked Virgin
Mary and Joseph in bed together and quickly sparked the ire of
conservative Christians. On the poster a sad-looking Joseph lies
next to Mary, whose face is turned heavenwards under the words:
"Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow." St Matthews' vicar,
Archdeacon Glynn Cardy, said the billboard was meant to challenge
stereotypes about the way Jesus was conceived.
2009 Dec 17, A Nigerian judge
dismissed a 170-count indictment that accused former Delta state
governor James Ibori, of corruption and money laundering. Ibori
was also a financial backer of President Umaru Yar'Adua.
2009 Dec 17, Pakistan's
defense minister was blocked from leaving the country along with
nearly 250 other top officials, following the Supreme Court's
decision to strike down an amnesty for hundreds of Pakistani
officials charged with corruption. 2 separate US missile strikes
killed 16 people in North Waziristan including Al-Qaida commander
(AP, 12/18/09)(AFP, 12/17/09)(SFC, 12/18/09,
2009 Dec 17, Former Syrian
President Amin Hafez (b.1920) died. He was brought to power by a
military coup only to be overthrown three years later. Hafez
became president in a 1963 coup, but Baath Party radicals drove
him from power three years later.
2009 Dec 17, The Vatican said
Bishop Donal Murray (69), a Roman Catholic bishop in Ireland, has
resigned after a probe of child sex abuse by clergymen accused him
of ignoring reports of crimes by priests in his diocese from
2009 Dec 17, The Vatican said
it has stripped charismatic Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo of
his priestly duties because he defiantly continues to ordain
bishops despite already being excommunicated. Milingo angered the
Vatican when he got married in 2001 to a South Korean woman by the
Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church. He was
excommunicated in 2006 after installing four married men as
2009 Dec 17, Yemen security
forces struck several al-Qaida hideouts and training sites in
Abyan province, killing up to 34 suspected militants, including
four would-be suicide bombers who planned attacks at home and
abroad. At least 17 suspected militants were arrested. Civilians
were caught up in the government offensive, with several homes
destroyed in the airstrikes and others stormed by troops who
mistook them for al-Qaida hideouts.
(AP, 12/17/09)(Econ, 1/2/10, p.35)
2010 Dec 17, Pres. Obama
signed into law a tax bill extending cuts for all Americans. The
$858 billion package included 13 months of extended benefits to
the unemployed and a boost for renewable power companies.
(SFC, 12/18/10, p.A12)(SFC, 12/18/10, p.D1)
2010 Dec 17, The states of
Arizona and Nevada sued Bank of America Corp., accusing the
largest US bank of routinely misleading consumers about home loan
2010 Dec 17, The widow of
Jeffrey Picower (d.2009), a Florida philanthropist, agreed to
return $7.2 billion that her husband reaped from the giant Ponzi
scheme of Bernard Madoff.
(SFC, 12/18/10, p.A6)
2010 Dec 17, The Archdiocese
of New York announced that a Roman Catholic tribunal has defrocked
former monsignor Charles Kavanagh (73) for molesting a teenage
student in the 1980s. Kavanagh denied the accusation.
(SSFC, 12/19/10, p.A12)
2010 Dec 17, Don Van Vliet
(69), American musician and artist, died in California. He had
performed as Captain Beefheart and was best known for his 1969
album “Trout Mask Replica" released by Captain Beefheart and His
(SFC, 12/18/10, p.A7)
2010 Dec 17, In Afghanistan
kidnappers killed a Bangladeshi working for a South Korean firm
and held 3 road workers hostage after storming their camp at
gunpoint between the northern provinces of Balkh and Samangan.
Haitham Mohammed al-Khayat (26), a prominent Jordanian-Palestinian
militant better known in extremist circles as Abu Kandahar
al-Zarqawi, was killed by US forces. He was an administrator of
the online jihadi forum, Al-Hesbah, according to Islamist militant
(AFP, 12/18/10)(AP, 12/22/10)
2010 Dec 17, British
landscape architect Joanna Yeates (25) went missing following a
night out. Her body was found in the Failand area of Bristol on
Christmas Day. She had been strangled. On Jan 20, 2011, Dutch
engineer Vincent Tabak (32) was detained after police uncovered
fresh evidence. On Oct 28 Tabak was found guilty of murder.
(AFP, 1/4/11)(AFP, 1/22/11)(Reuters, 10/28/11)
2010 Dec 17, Chinese Premier
Wen Jiabao made a rare visit to Pakistan aimed at expanding trade
ties and the flow of Chinese investment into the country.
2010 Dec 17, A French court
convicted 13 former officials who served under Chilean dictator
Augusto Pinochet for roles in the disappearance of 4 French
nationals. It sentenced two to life in prison: Juan Manuel
Contreras Sepulveda, who at the time headed Pinochet's political
police, and Octavio Espinoza Bravo, an army colonel. All 14 of the
defendants were tried in absentia.
2010 Dec 17, In Iraq a
roadside bomb in southeast Baghdad exploded as Shiite pilgrims
were returning home from Karbala, after final ceremonies ended for
Ashura, the Shiite Muslims' most solemn religious event of the
year. Eight pilgrims were wounded. The UN refugee agency said an
"exodus" of thousands of Iraqi Christians was taking place
following a deadly church attack in Baghdad carried out by
Al-Qaeda militants at the end of October.
(AP, 12/17/10)(AFP, 12/17/10)
2010 Dec 17, In Israel
Christine Luken (44), female American tourist, was stabbed to
death. Her body was found on Dec 19 bound and with multiple stab
wounds near a road outside Jerusalem. Her friend, Kaye Susan
Wilson, told police the two had been hiking in a nearby forest
when they were assaulted by two Arab men. She, too, was bound and
stabbed, but managed to escape her assailants. On Jan 26, 2011,
Palestinians Kifah Ghneimat and Iyad Fatafa were indicted for
Luken’s murder. Ghneimat was convicted on Sep 25.
(AP, 12/19/10)(AP, 1/26/11)(AP, 9/26/11)
2010 Dec 17, Ivory Coast
police were out in force in Abidjan as supporters of the
internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast's presidential
election vowed to try once again to seize state institutions after
a similar attempt the day before resulted in up to 30 deaths.
2010 Dec 17, Kyrgyzstan's
fractious parliament named a new prime minister and formed a
government, ending weeks of political uncertainty. Social Democrat
Party leader Almazbek Atambayev was named premier with 92 out of
2010 Dec 17, Maltese Foreign
Minister Tonio Borg promised during a visit to the Gaza Strip to
donate funds to the United Nations agency caring for Palestinian
2010 Dec 17, In Mexico 141
inmates, a number later raised to 153, escaped from a state prison
in the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo. Authorities said the
breakout was probably helped by prison employees. More than 40
prison guards were later charged with helping 153 inmates escape
from the prison. 11 men were reported abducted from a bar in
Acapulco. Two of the abducted men were later found dead. Their
hands and feet had been cut off. On Dec 27 police in Acapulco
found the decapitated bodies of two more men in front of the same
(AP, 12/17/10)(AP, 12/28/10)
2010 Dec 17, A Nigerian court
sentenced 15 Muslim herdsmen to 10 years each over sectarian
violence in the country's central region that left hundreds dead
this year. Nigerian tanker drivers suspended petrol deliveries to
Lagos and other areas to protest the firing of 2,500 members,
sparking long queues at filling stations.
2010 Dec 17, Nigerian NDLF
militants attacked three pipelines operated by the US oil giant
Chevron and Italian firm Agip in the key oil producing state of
2010 Dec 17, Nigeria dropped
charges against US ex-vice president Dick Cheney and others over a
bribery scandal allegedly involving Halliburton after a reported
settlement of 250 million dollars. On Dec 21 Halliburton said it
had agreed to pay 32.5 million dollars to the Nigerian government,
plus 2.5 million dollars in costs.
(AFP, 12/17/10)(AFP, 12/21/10)
2010 Dec 17, North Korea said
it would strike again at the South if a live-firing drill by Seoul
on a disputed island went ahead, with an even stronger response
than last month's shelling that killed four people. Russia urged
South Korea to halt plans for the artillery drill.
(AP, 12/17/10)(Reuters, 12/17/10)
2010 Dec 17, In Pakistan 3
American missile attacks killed 54 people in the villages of Spin
Drag and Shandana in the Tirah Valley of the Khyber region, an
area that has seen few such strikes in the past, possibly
signaling an expansion of the CIA-led covert war inside the
2010 Dec 17, Sudan's army
clashed with Darfur rebels for a third time in a week. UN
officials said clashes between the Sudanese army and former rebels
who signed a peace treaty with Khartoum have forced the
displacement of more than 12,000 people in less than a week.
(Reuters, 12/17/10)(AFP, 12/17/10)
2010 Dec 17, In Tunisia
Mohamed Bouazizi (26), a university graduate without a steady job
and trying to support his family, burned himself after police
confiscated the fruits and vegetables he sold without a permit.
His self-immolation left him in intensive care and sparked
protests over unemployment that led to at least three deaths.
Bouazizi died on Jan 4.
(AP, 1/2/11)(AP, 1/5/11)
2010 Dec 17, Venezuelan
lawmakers granted President Hugo Chavez broad powers to enact laws
by decree, undermining the clout of a new congress that takes
office next month with a bigger opposition bloc. Officials and
troops began seizing 47 private ranches as pres. Chavez pushed
ahead to take over big swaths of agricultural land in western
(AP, 12/18/10)(SFC, 12/18/10, p.A2)
2010 Dec 17, In Vietnam
Southeast Asia's largest hydroelectric power station began
operating to help ease an electricity shortage. The first of six
turbines at the Son La station was connected to the national power
2010 Dec 17, In Yemen gunmen
killed three soldiers and wounded seven others when they opened
fire on a military base in the southern province of Abyan.
2010 Dec 17, Zimbabwe's Pres.
Mugabe said the power-sharing government is not working and must
end, putting him on a collision course with PM Morgan Tsvangirai.
Mugabe told his party conference that British and US companies in
Zimbabwe will be nationalized unless sanctions against the country
(AFP, 12/17/10)(AFP, 12/17/10)
2011 Dec 17, Deloris
Gillespie (64) burned to death in the elevator of her Brooklyn
apartment building after a man ambushed her, sprayed her with
liquid and set her afire with a Molotov cocktail. The next day
Jerome Isaac (47) told police he set her on fire because she owed
him $2,000 for some work he had done for her.
(AP, 12/18/11)(AP, 12/19/11)
2011 Dec 17, In Afghanistan
international troops exchanged gunfire with guards at a house in
Paktia province, and detained a counternarcotics chief and two of
his sons. An Afghan woman and another member of the
counternarcotics chief's family were killed and three other women
were injured. Three policemen were killed when their patrol
vehicle was caught in the blast from a roadside bomb on the main
highway between Farah and Nimroz provinces.
(AP, 12/17/11)(AFP, 12/18/11)
2011 Dec 17, In Afghanistan
the US military began testing Kaman K-MAX helicopters, a
revolutionary new drone for its arsenal. The pilotless helicopters
will fly cargo missions to remote outposts where frequent roadside
bombs threaten access by road convoys.
2011 Dec 17, Opposition
supporters in Bahrain clashed with police for a third straight day
along a main highway west of the capital.
2011 Dec 17, Cape Verdean
singer Cesaria Evora (70), nicknamed the "barefoot diva", died in
a hospital in her native country. Her 1992 album, “Miss
Perfumado," earned her 5 gold records.
(AFP, 12/17/11)(Econ, 1/7/12, p.86)
2011 Dec 17, In Egypt
violence raged for a second day in the administrative heart of
Cairo as troops and police deployed in force. The count continued
in the second stage of elections for the lower house of
2011 Dec 17, Gabon held
legislative elections. Voters were expected to hand a resounding
victory to President Ali Bongo's party in the face of a boycott by
some opposition groups. Some 746,000 people were registered to
vote in the country of 1.5 million inhabitants, sub-Saharan
Africa's fourth largest oil producer.
2011 Dec 17, An overcrowded
ship of asylum seekers sank off the island of Java. Indonesian
rescuers battled high waves as they searched for survivors. Nearly
250 people fleeing economic and political hardship in Afghanistan,
Iraq, Iran and Turkey were trying to reach Australia in search of
a better life when their fiberglass ship broke apart. Only 47
(AP, 12/18/11)(AFP, 12/20/11)
2011 Dec 17, The secular
Iraqiya bloc, which won most of the votes of Iraq's disenchanted
Sunni Arab minority, walked out of parliament sparking a political
crisis days after US forces ended their mission.
2011 Dec 17, Kazakhstan's
President Nursultan Nazarbayev imposed a three-week state of
emergency in the oil town of Zhanaozen, where at least 15 people
were killed a day earlier in a clash between police and
demonstrators. In the southwest police opened fire on rioters in
the town of Shetpe, leaving one person dead and 11 wounded. Two
days of rioting left 16 people dead.
(AP, 12/17/11)(AP, 12/18/11)(Econ, 12/31/11,
p.26)(Econ, 12/22/12, p.57)
2011 Dec 17, In Nigeria an
explosion at a house allegedly used to make home-made bombs in the
northeastern city of Maiduguri killed three suspected Islamist
sect members. Police shot rifles and fired tear gas at protesters
who were demonstrating against toll roads in Lagos.
(AFP, 12/17/11)(AP, 12/17/11)
2011 Dec 17, North Korean
leader Kim Jong Il (b.1941) died of a heart attack. His third son,
Kim Jong Un, was expected to succeed his father.
(AP, 12/19/11)(Econ, 12/31/11, p.74)
2011 Dec 17, It was reported
that North Korea has agreed to suspend its enriched-uranium
nuclear weapons program, a key United States demand for the
resumption of disarmament talks, as Washington agreed to provide
the North with up to 240,000 tons of food aid.
2011 Dec 17, Tropical storm
Washi whipped the southern Philippines, unleashing mammoth floods
across vast areas that left 440 people dead and nearly 200
2011 Dec 17, In Russia about
1,000 demonstrators demanding a rerun of parliamentary elections
gathered in central Moscow for a second weekend of protests
against the recent fraud-tainted vote.
2011 Dec 17, Former Miss
Venezuela Eva Ekvall (28), whose struggle with breast cancer was
closely followed by Venezuelans, died at a hospital in Houston.
Ekvall was crowned Miss Venezuela at age 17 in 2000, and the
following year she was third runner-up in the Miss Universe
pageant in Puerto Rico.
2012 Dec 17, NASA space
probes EBB and Flow expired as they crashed into a lunar
mountainside. They were initially named “GRAIL A" and “GRAIL B,"
but were renamed by a calss of schoolchildren in bozeman, Montana.
(Econ, 12/22/12, p.124)
2012 Dec 17, Sen. Daniel
Inouye (88) of Hawaii died at Walter Reed Military Medical Center
(SFC, 12/18/12, p.A9)
2012 Dec 17, In Afghanistan a
car bomb outside a compound housing a US military contractor on
the outskirts of Kabul killed at least two Afghan workers and
wounded more than a dozen other people. In Nangarhar province a
British-made anti-tank mine, left over from the time of the Soviet
invasion, killed ten girls ages 9-11.
(AP, 12/17/12)(SFC, 12/18/12,
2012 Dec 17, Argentina's
government told Grupo Clarin, the country's largest media
conglomerate, that it has begun a process to break up the company
and auction off its media licenses.
2012 Dec 17, Security forces
in Bahrain fired tear gas and stun grenades to break up protest
marchers after calls by anti-government groups to snarl the Gulf
nation's capital with demonstrators to mark an annual
commemoration for two protesters killed in 1994.
2012 Dec 17, Benin officials
said at least 19 people drowned after a boat capsized on a river
near a village in the south.
2012 Dec 17, Brazilian
prosecutors said Chevron Corp. has offered to pay $150 million to
settle two civil lawsuits stemming from a Nov 2011 offshore oil
spill. The lawsuits sought $20 billion in damages.
2012 Dec 17, In Brazil the
Supreme Court trial of the mensalao (big monthly stipend), a
scheme for buying votes, ended. 25 of 38 defendants were found
guilty of charges including corruption, money-laundering and
misuse of public funds.
(Econ, 12/22/12, p.51)
2012 Dec 17, British energy
regulator Ofgem approved 24.4 billion pounds of investment by
energy companies to overhaul the country's gas and electricity
grid, reducing initial overall spending plans by 16% to 2021.
2012 Dec 17, A Cameroon
appeals court upheld a three-year sentence against a man found
guilty of homosexual conduct for sending a text message to another
man saying: "I'm very much in love with you."
2012 Dec 17, In Iraq a wave
of bombings across the country hit a number of targets, including
residents of ethnically disputed areas, killing 25 people and
2012 Dec 17, Italy's
government said an Italian technician and two other employees at a
Syrian steel plant near Latakia have been kidnapped.
2012 Dec 17, A Milan court
fined Moroccan woman Karima el-Mahroug, also known as Ruby, for
failing to appear as a witness twice at the former premier's
trial. It ordered her to testify in January. She is at the center
of Silvio Berlusconi's sex-for-hire scandal €500 ($650).
2012 Dec 17, Gunmen
stormed the SP Brussels tanker ship off the coast of
Nigeria's oil-rich southern delta, ransacking the vessel and
kidnapping five Indian sailors in the latest attack targeting
foreign workers in the volatile region. On Jan 26 the Indian
sailors were reported freed. Separately gunmen abducted four South
Koreans and a Nigerian working for Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. at
a construction site in the Brass area of Bayelsa state.
(AP, 12/19/12)(AP, 1/26/13)
2012 Dec 17, In northwest
Nigeria 27 people riding atop a truck carrying livestock were
killed when it tipped over and crashed.
2012 Dec 17, In Nigeria a
pipeline explosion took place in Ije Ododo, in a swampy mangrove
forest in the western fringe of Lagos when locals tapped into the
pipeline to steal the refined gasoline moving through it. Flames
continued thru Dec 20.
2012 Dec 17, In Pakistan a
car bomb exploded in a crowded market in Jamrud town in the Khyber
tribal area, killing 17 people and wounding more than 40 others.
In the southwest attackers shot dead Khadim Hussain Noori in
Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province. He was the provincial
spokesman and also a Shiite Muslim.
2012 Dec 17, In Pakistan a
person working on the anti-polio campaign, a male volunteer, was
gunned down in Karachi. Taliban militants also killed three
soldiers in an ambush of an army convoy escorting a vaccination
team in the northwest.
2012 Dec 17, Philippine
legislators passed a landmark bill that would provide government
funding for contraceptives and sexuality classes in schools
despite strong opposition by the dominant Roman Catholic Church
and its followers. Pres. Aquino III signed the legislation on Dec
(AP, 12/17/12)(SSFC, 12/30/12, p.A6)
2012 Dec 17, Syria's longtime
vice president Farouk al-Sharaa said the army cannot defeat the
rebels fighting to topple the regime, the first admission by a top
government official that a victory by President Bashar Assad is
2013 Dec 17, US intelligence
leaker Edward Snowden offered to help Brazil defeat US spying, but
in an open letter said he needs permanent political asylum to do
2013 Dec 17, The Mega
Millions lottery and its jackpot of $648 million went to two
winners. One ticket was sold in San Jose, Ca., and the other in
(SFC, 12/19/13, p.A1)
2013 Dec 17, In California
ex-firefighter Zane Wallace Peterson (29) of Shasta County was
taken into custody for setting wildfires, including the massive
Clover Fire that broke out on Sep 9.
(SFC, 12/19/13, p.C3)
2013 Dec 17, In Reno, Nevada,
a gunman opened fire at the Center for Advanced Medicine killing
one person and wounding two others before killing himself.
(SFC, 12/18/13, p.A8)
2013 Dec 17, Christie’s in
New York auctioned one edition of Jeff Koons’ “Balloon Dog" for
$58.4 million, a record amount for a living artist. The 10-foot
steel orange edition was one of five, each a different color.
(Econ, 12/21/13, SR
2013 Dec 17, In southern
Afghanistan an aircraft crash killed six American soldiers.
2013 Dec 17, Egypt's security
forces clashed with supporters of the former Islamist president at
several universities across the country, as an explosive device
detonated in a residential area of the capital but caused no
injuries or damage.
2013 Dec 17, The European
Union said it has warned Israel against any new West Bank
settlement construction following an upcoming Palestinian prisoner
release, saying it will be held responsible for any resulting
failure of the ongoing peace talks.
2013 Dec 17, In France Claude
Gueant, the former right-hand man of ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy,
was arrested for questioning about alleged misuse of public funds
when he served the conservative leader at the interior ministry.
2013 Dec 17, French troops
took on armed Christian militias in Bangui, Central African
Republic, where the UN said 210,000 people had been uprooted in
two weeks of deadly sectarian violence.
2013 Dec 17, Greek
authorities said an oil tanker came under armed attack overnight
about 35 nautical miles south of Nigeria, and the ship's Ukrainian
captain and Greek first engineer have been kidnapped.
2013 Dec 17, Guinea-Bissau's
Interior Minister Antonio Suka Ntchama became the second minister
to step down in the tiny West African country amid an
investigation into how 74 Syrians boarded a flight to Portugal
with fake passports.
2013 Dec 17, Indian
authorities removed security barriers in front of the US embassy
in New Delhi apparently in retaliation for the arrest and alleged
heavy-handed treatment of an Indian diplomat in New York. Devyani
Khobragade, India's deputy consul general in New York, was
arrested last week for allegedly underpaying her nanny and
committing visa fraud to get her into the United States.
2013 Dec 17, In Iraq bombings
in and near Baghdad killed 10 Shiite pilgrims as they were making
their way on foot to Karbala.
2013 Dec 17, In Israel some
200 African migrants and Israeli activists ended a two-day march
with a rally denouncing Israel's policy of detaining those
illegally in the country.
2013 Dec 17, Japan approved a
plan to increase defense spending by 5% over the next five years
to purchase its first surveillance drones, more jet fighters and
naval destroyers in the face of China's military expansion.
2013 Dec 17, In eastern
Lebanon a car bomb exploded at dawn near a Hezbollah position,
causing an unknown number of casualties.
2013 Dec 17, Russian and
Ukrainian officials signed a series of agreements in Moscow to
boost trade and industrial cooperation.
2013 Dec 17, Saudi
authorities beheaded a Syrian man convicted of smuggling drugs to
the ultra-conservative kingdom.
2013 Dec 17, In Sicily
eruptions at Mount Etna volcano died down, allowing the nearby
airport of Catania to re-open after a two-day stoppage that
disrupted dozens of flights.
2013 Dec 17, In Syria 2
children were among at least 18 people killed in new air strikes
on a rebel-held district of Aleppo. The 3-day assault has left
over 100 dead.
(AFP, 12/17/13)(SFC, 12/18/13, p.A5)
2013 Dec 17, Turkish police
detained the sons of three cabinet ministers and several
well-known businessmen as part of investigations into alleged
corruption. Police seized shoeboxes stashed with $4.5 million in
cash at the home of Suleyman Aslan, a state-owned bank's chief
executive. Police arrested some 50 people altogether on suspicion
of tender rigging, covert gold transfers to Iran and bribery.
(Reuters, 12/17/13)(AP, 12/18/13)(Econ, 1/4/14,
2014 Dec 17, The United
States slapped sanctions on Dutch and Swiss oil trading firms for
their dealings with the Syrian government. This put
Netherlands-based Staroil B.V. as well as two Swiss-based firms,
Rixo International Trading Ltd and Bluemarine SA, on its list of
sanctioned entities, which effectively cuts them off from the US
2014 Dec 17, US officials
said the United States is planning to open an embassy in Cuba as
part of its plan to open talks and normalize relations with the
island nation. Cuba released Rolando Sarraff (51), a US spy who's
been imprisoned in for nearly 20 years, in exchange for the last
three of five Cuban spies convicted in 2001. Cuba also released 53
(Reuters, 12/17/14)(AP, 12/17/14)(SFC,
12/18/14, p.A17)(SFC, 12/19/14, p.A6)
2014 Dec 17, Sony Pictures
Entertainment pulled its planned release of “The Interview," a
comedy about a fictional assassination plot against North Korean
dictator Kim Jong Un, amid threats by cyberterrorists to bomb any
theater that showed the film.
(SFC, 12/18/14, p.A1)
2014 Dec 17, Edward
O’Donnell, a former Countrywide Financial executive, reached an
agreement with the government that enables him to collect over $57
million for helping federal prosecutors force Bank of America to
pay a record $16.65 billion penalty in connection with its role in
churning out shoddy mortgage securities.
(SFC, 12/18/14, p.A5)
2014 Dec 17, Arizona’s
sheriff’s office anounced a decision to disband its criminal
employment squad. Sheriff Joe Arpaio used the squad to target
immigrants usng fake or stolen IDs to get jobs. The decision was
made after courts shelved certain state immigration laws.
(SFC, 12/19/14, p.A14)
2014 Dec 17, In southern
California Margo Bronstein (56) slammed into a crowd outside a
church in Redondo Beach killing 3 women. The son (6) of one of the
women died of injuries the next day. Bronstein was charged with
driving under the influence of a drug and vehicular manslaughter.
(SFC, 12/20/14, p.A5)
2014 Dec 17, A Florida judge
granted the state’s first formal divorce for a gay couple. The
Broward County judge used the case to join other judges in
declaring the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is
(SFC, 12/18/14, p.A5)
2014 Dec 17, In Massachusetts
fourteen people connected to a coumpounding pharmacy were indicted
on charges stemming from a 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 64
(SFC, 12/18/14, p.A6)
2014 Dec 17, In Montana
Markus Kaarma (30), who shot and killed German exchange student
Diren Dede (17) caught trespassing in his garage last April 27,
was convicted of deliberate homicide.
2014 Dec 17, Afghan
insurgents stormed a bank in Lashgar Gah, Helmand province,
killing at least 10 people including three policemen. Attackers in
Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, attached explosives to police
vehicles, killing a police officer and wounding four others when
2014 Dec 17, The Church of
England named Libby Lane, a saxophone-playing vicar with a taste
for football, as its first female bishop in a move hailed as an
important step towards greater equality.
2014 Dec 17, Cameroon army
troops reportedly killed 116 Nigerian fighters from the Islamist
Boko Haram group at its northern army base in Amchide on the
border with Nigeria.
2014 Dec 17, In China Ji
Jianye, a former mayor of Nanjing, was indicted on corruption
charges amid a widening anti-graft crackdown.
2014 Dec 17, China secured a
deal to construct a high-speed train link between the Belgrade and
Budapest that will cut travel time between the Serbian and
Hungarian capitals from eight hours to less than three.
2014 Dec 17, An EU court
ruled that the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas should be removed
from the EU terrorist list, saying the decision to include it was
based on media reports not considered analysis.
2014 Dec 17, German
prosecutors arrested three Turkish men accused of spying on
compatriots in Germany for Turkish intelligence.
2014 Dec 17, Low-cost Indian
airline SpiceJet grounded all flights after oil companies stopped
supplies of jet fuel to the financially beleaguered carrier.
2014 Dec 17, In Kenya 6
people died and 11 were injured in a central Nairobi building
collapse, with fears that the toll could rise as crews continued
to dig through the rubble.
2014 Dec 17, Kurdish forces
launched an operation to retake the town of Sinjar in northwestern
Iraq after heavy coalition air strikes on Islamic State positions
in the area overnight.
2014 Dec 17, In Myanmar a
prominent former official with the main opposition party was
detained and faced charges of insulting religion, which stemmed
from a speech intended to discourage extremist interpretations of
2014 Dec 17, Nigeria
sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny, cowardice and refusing
to fight Islamic extremists. The soldiers had refused to deploy
last August to recapture three towns seized by Boko Haram.
(SFC, 12/18/14, p.A2)
2014 Dec 17, Philippine
communist rebels declared cease-fire periods for the Christmas
holidays and for the visit of Pope Francis next month.
2014 Dec 17, Sierra Leone
Ebola surveillance teams fanned out in Freetown in a house to
house search for sick people, as the president imposed new
restrictions on movement and gatherings in a bid to stop the
(AP, 12/17/14)(Econ, 1/3/15, p.33)
2014 Dec 17, In Geneva the
international community delivered a stinging rebuke to Israel's
settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem,
saying the practice violates its responsibilities as an occupying
power in a declaration adopted by consensus among 126 of the 196
parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention.
2014 Dec 17, The UN Security
Council renewed for 12 months its authorization for humanitarian
access without Syrian government consent into rebel-held areas of
Syria at four border crossings from Turkey, Iraq and Jordan.
2014 Dec 17, Yemen's powerful
Shiite rebels shut down a strategic Red Sea port, and stormed the
offices of the country's main state newspaper.
2015 Dec 17, The United
States and Cuba said they have agreed to restore scheduled
commercial airline service between the two countries, the first
anniversary of the Cold War foes' announcement they would
normalize relations. The deal would allow as many as 110 regular
flights a day.
(Reuters, 12/17/15)(SFC, 12/18/15, p.A8)
2015 Dec 17, The United
States and its allies conducted 22 strikes against Islamic State
in Iraq and Syria.
2015 Dec 17, US Defense
Secretary Ashton Carter acknowledged making a "mistake" when he
used his personal email for government business in the early part
of his tenure.
2015 Dec 17, In Los Angeles
the FBI arrested Enrique Marquez (24) on charges of conspiring
with Syed Rizwan Farook to commit terrorist attacks in 2011 and
2012. Marquez was also charged with illegally purchasing two
assault rifles used by Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, to
kill 14 people on Dec 2. On Feb 16, 2017, Marquez pleaded guilty
and faced up to 25 years in prison.
(SFC, 12/18/15, p.A9)(SFC, 2/17/17, p.A5)
2015 Dec 17, In Louisiana the
New Orleans City Council voted to remove prominent Confederate
monuments along some of its busiest streets.
(SFC, 12/18/15, p.A12)
2015 Dec 17, In Syracuse, NY,
Stephen Howells (40) and girlfriend Nicole Vaisey (26) were
sentenced to 580 years in prison for sexually abusing six
(SFC, 12/31/15, p.A12)
2015 Dec 17, In Albania
anti-government protesters pelted police with tomatoes, eggs, and
smoke flares during a rally near parliament. The opposition has
launched a protest campaign against Socialist PM Edi Rama's
government, accusing it of corruption and ineffective leadership.
2015 Dec 17, Argentina's
currency sharply devalued against the US dollar as the new
administration lifted deeply unpopular limits on the buying of
2015 Dec 17, Austria’s Univ.
of Salzburg said it has posthumously stripped 1973 Nobel
Prize-winning scientist Konrad Lorenz of his honorary doctorate
due to his fervent embrace of Nazism.
2015 Dec 17, Brazil's Supreme
Court ordered the release of billionaire financier André Esteves,
who has been in jail since Nov. 25 on suspicion he sought to
obstruct a corruption investigation.
2015 Dec 17, The popular
WhatsApp smartphone messaging application came back to life in
Brazil as a court threw out a two-day suspension that had
infuriated millions of users. A judge had suspended it because the
Facebook-owned service failed to disclose information requested by
prosecutors as part of a criminal investigation.
2015 Dec 17, British Judges
upheld a ruling that Britain's Mirror Group Newspapers must pay
record damages to phone-hacking victims, saying the papers' staff
engaged in "disgraceful conduct."
2015 Dec 17, Britain cut more
renewable energy subsidies, putting jobs at risk and drawing
criticism for losing credibility in tackling climate change.
2015 Dec 17, A Quebec court
upheld Canada's first assisted dying law, ruling against doctors
who argued it conflicts with federal criminal law an could see
doctors jailed for helping someone die.
2015 Dec 17, China’s
environment ministry said police have detained 10 company
officials for fabricating pollution data, as the government steps
up inspections of businesses amid growing public discontent over
2015 Dec 17, China's biggest
airline said it is buying more than a hundred Boeing 737 jets in a
deal worth about $10 billion that comes just months after the US
plane maker announced plans to build a Chinese finishing plant for
the aircraft type.
2015 Dec 17, The Danish cargo
ship Thorco Cloud collided with the chemical tanker Stolt
Commitment and sank off western Indonesia. Six Filipino crewmen
2015 Dec 17, A legal source
said International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde has
been ordered to stand trial over her handling of a massive state
payout to French tycoon Bernard Tapie during her time as finance
2015 Dec 17, In Hong Kong the
film “Ten Years" was released. Its five vignettes portrayed how
China has explicitly or overtly taken control of Hong Kong, where
autonomy had been guaranteed for 50 years in 1997.
(Econ, 3/5/15, p.42)
2015 Dec 17, Indian defense
ministry sources said the Defense Acquisition Council has cleared
the purchase of five S-400 air defense systems from Russia.
2015 Dec 17, Israeli PM
Benjamin Netanyahu signed a major natural gas deal with a
consortium, that includes US firm Noble Energy, aimed at tapping
large deposits in the Mediterranean, but a court challenge was
expected over the contentious agreement.
2015 Dec 17, Israel's most
famous model Bar Refaeli (30) was arrested and questioned for
allegedly evading taxes on millions of dollars of income from
abroad by lying about her residency.
2015 Dec 17, Israeli soldiers
shot and killed a Palestinian in the West Bank after he charged at
them with a knife.
2015 Dec 17, In Mali a gunman
killed 3 people outside a Christian radio station in the city of
Timbuktu. Radio host Joel Dicko, a local contractor with the UN
and a student were killed. Authorities later arrested two people
in connection with the shooting.
(AFP, 12/18/15)(AP, 12/21/15)
2015 Dec 17, Montenegro
police detained Svetozar Marovic (60), who served as president of
Serbia-Montenegro before Montenegro split from the union in 2006,
on suspicion of abuse of power and embezzlement of millions of
2015 Dec 17, In the Moroccan
coastal town of Skhirat delegates from Libya's warring factions
signed a UN-brokered agreement to form the Government of National
Accord (GNA), a deal that Western powers hope will bring stability
and help fight a growing Islamic State presence.
(Reuters, 12/17/15)(Econ, 4/9/15, p.47)
2015 Dec 17, Niger's
President Mahamadou Issoufou said several arrests had been made in
the army ranks and of a former chief of staff because of a coup
2015 Dec 17, In Nigeria
insurgents killed 14 people, some of whom were decapitated, when
they raided Kamuya village.
2015 Dec 17, Rwandans abroad
voted in a referendum to amend the constitution allowing President
Paul Kagame to rule until 2034, a day ahead of the main vote
inside the country.
2015 Dec 17, Residents in the
Indian Ocean archipelago of the Seychelles voted on the second day
of three days of polls. Incumbent president James Michel (71)
faced the first serious challenge to his decade-long rule.
President James Michel won a third term in power by the narrowest
of margins of just 193 votes.
(AFP, 12/17/15)(AFP, 12/19/15)
2015 Dec 17, National
Electric Vehicle Sweden, the electric vehicle company born out of
the ashes of Swedish automaker Saab, said it has inked a $12
billion deal with Chinese leasing firm Panda New Energy Co.
2015 Dec 17, The Syrian
opposition hosted by Saudi Arabia elected former PM Riad Hijab as
a coordinator of a body that is expected to lead future peace
2015 Dec 17, Tanzania
sentenced four Chinese men to 20 years in jail each after they
were convicted of smuggling rhino horns.
2015 Dec 17, Turkey said its
security forces have killed 25 Kurdish militants this week as they
battle suspected members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party
(PKK) in the two flashpoint towns of Cizre and Silopi.
2015 Dec 17, Finance
ministers from the 15 UN Security Council nations adopted a plan
aimed at disrupting outside revenue that the Islamic State
extremist group gets from oil and antiquities sales, ransom
payments and other criminal activities.
2015 Dec 17, The UN Security
Council's Central African Republic (CAR) sanctions committee added
Haroun Gaye and Eugene Barret Ngaikosset to a UN blacklist for
attempting to undermine the transitional government. They are now
subject to an international travel ban and assets freeze.
2015 Dec 17, Participants at
Yemeni peace talks hosted by the United Nations in Switzerland
agreed on the full resumption of humanitarian aid to the city of
2016 Dec 17, In the US
freezing wet snow and rain left at least nine people dead in the
Midwest and East Coast. Hundreds of accidents were blamed on slick
(SSFC, 12/18/16, p.A10)
2016 Dec 17, In Little Rock,
Arkansas, Gary Eugene Holmes (33) fired into another driver's car
and killed Acen King (3), who was sitting in the back seat. In
2018 Holmes was sentenced to 50 years in prison without a chance
2016 Dec 17, In Afghanistan
five female guards working in the airport in southern Kandahar
were killed along with their driver by unknown gunmen as they were
on their way to work.
(AP, 12/17/16)(SSFC, 12/18/16, p.A6)
2016 Dec 17, BP PLC signed a
$2.22-billion deal restoring its share of an onshore oil block in
Abu Dhabi by agreeing to give the emirate stock in the company
worth 2 percent of the oil giant's overall value.
2016 Dec 17, Beijing's city
government ordered 1,200 factories near the Chinese capital,
including a major oil refinery run by state oil giant Sinopec, to
shut or cut output after authorities issued the highest possible
air pollution alert.
2016 Dec 17, Croatian police
found a van crammed with 67 people, including children, mainly
from Afghanistan. 42 migrants were hospitalized and some treated
for carbon-monoxide poisoning. Some said they hadn't eaten for
2016 Dec 17, Security
officials at Cairo International Airport denied entry to the
country to Omar bin Laden, son of the former leader of al-Qaida
Osama bin Laden. Both were allowed to leave for Turkey.
2016 Dec 17, Rome's Mayor
Virginia Raggi was stripped by her populist Five Star Movement
(M5S) party of the power to make "important decisions" after a
close advisor was arrested for suspected corruption.
2016 Dec 17, In Kashmir
militants attacked an Indian army convoy, killing 3 soldiers.
2016 Dec 17, In Montenegro
dozens of people in Podgorica participated in a gay pride event in
the highly conservative state where authorities have promised to
boost gay rights as part of efforts to join the European Union.
2016 Dec 17, In Nigeria
African leaders at the 50th summit of the 15-member Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS) called for a swift
resolution of the political impasse in Gambia after disputed
elections in which long-term president Yahya Jammeh is refusing to
2016 Dec 17, A major
7.9-magnitude earthquake struck off Papua New Guinea, but no
immediate casualties were reported.
2016 Dec 17, Philippines’
President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to terminate a pact that
allows US troops to visit the Philippines, saying "bye-bye
America" as he reacted with rage to what he thought was a US
decision to scrap a major aid package over human rights concerns.
2016 Dec 17, In Poland
several thousand people protested outside the presidential palace
in Warsaw over alleged vote fraud and the rightwing government's
plans to impose new restrictions on media coverage of parliament.
2016 Dec 17, In South Korea
supporters of impeached President Park Geun-hye clashed with
anti-Park protesters, as large crowds of demonstrators again
gathered in Seoul to demand the scandal-ridden leader's immediate
2016 Dec 17, Syrian rebels
blamed Iran and its Shi'ite-backed militias of holding up a deal
to evacuate civilians trapped in the remaining rebel bastion in
Aleppo. Trapped civilians and rebels waited desperately for
evacuations to resume as the Red Cross pleaded for a deal to "save
thousands of lives".
(Reuters, 12/17/16)(AFP, 12/17/16)
2016 Dec 17, In Turkey a
suicide car bomber set off an explosion that demolished a public
bus transporting off-duty soldiers in the central province of
Kayseri, killing 13 troops and wounding 56 others. In response
dozens of nationalist protestors stormed the headquarters of the
pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in Kayseri. Turkish
authorities detained seven people and searched for another five in
relation to the attack.
(AP, 12/17/16)(AFP, 12/17/16)(Reuters,
2016 Dec 17, Turkey’s
military said its warplanes have pounded Islamic State targets in
northern Syria in the last 24 hours, killing at least 20
2016 Dec 17, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro suspended the elimination of the
country's largest denomination bill, which had sparked cash
shortages and nationwide unrest, saying the bill could continue in
use until January 2.
(Reuters, 12/18/16)(SFC, 12/19/16, p.A2)
2016 Dec 17, In Zimbabwe the
ruling ZANU-PF endorsed President Robert Mugabe (92) for a 2018
2017 Dec 17, In southern
California the Thomas Fire was 40 percent contained despite hot
Santa Ana winds that have powered its expansion. The third-largest
wildfire in California's history has burned 267,500 acres.
2017 Dec 17, A fire caused an
11-hour power outage at Atlanta’s airport in Georgia leading to
the cancellation of more than 1,500 flights.
(SFC, 12/20/17, p.A5)
2017 Dec 17, In Afghanistan
Taliban insurgents attacked checkpoints in the southern Helmand
province early today, killing 11 police in Lashkar Gah. In
southern Kandahar province, a suicide car bomber attacked a convoy
of foreign forces, killing an Afghan woman and wounding five other
2017 Dec 17, Chile held its
2nd round of presidential elections. Former billionaire President
Sebastian Pinera (68), who won 36.6 percent in the first round,
faced Sen. Alejandro Guillier (64), a center-left former
journalist who got 22.7 percent. With nearly all ballots counted
former President Sebastian Pinera won 54.6 percent of the votes to
45.4 percent for former journalist and center-left Sen. Alejandro
(AP, 12/17/17)(AP, 12/18/17)
2017 Dec 17, China announced
a five-year plan to convert northern Chinese cities to clean
heating during the winter through to 2021, amid a deepening
2017 Dec 17, A second
prototype of China's home-built C919 passenger jet took off for a
test flight in Shanghai, another step forward in the country's
ambitions to muscle in to the global jet market.
2017 Dec 17, French sailor
Francois Gabart broken the record for sailing around the world
alone, circumnavigating the planet in just 42 days and 16 hours.
This was more than six days faster than last year’s record, set by
fellow Frenchman Thomas Coville.
2017 Dec 17, In Indonesia
Muslim clerics in Jakarta called for a boycott of American
products in the country’s largest protest against President Donald
Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. An estimated
80,000 people rallied in the capital of the world's largest Muslim
nation in the 10th straight day of protests.
2017 Dec 17, Iran shut
primary schools in Tehran and other parts of the country due to
choking levels of air pollution. In the northwestern cities of
Tabriz and Urmia, schools remained closed for the second day
2017 Dec 17, Israel's
national trade union held a half-day nationwide strike to protest
generic drugmaker Teva's decision to lay off a quarter of its
workforce, snarling traffic and shuttering key services across the
2017 Dec 17, Israeli police
arrested a Palestinian carrying an explosive device as he
approached a military court in the occupied West Bank.
2017 Dec 17, The remains of
Victor Emmanuel III, who reigned as Italy's king through two world
wars and died in exile in 1947, were flown back from Egypt for
reburial at a family mausoleum near Turin.
2017 Dec 17, In Kazakhstan a
Soyuz capsule carrying three astronauts from Russia, Japan and the
US blasted off for a two-day trip to the Int’l. Space Station.
Anton Shkaplerov, Norishige Kanai and Scott Tingle will join
Russia's Alexander Misurkin and Joe Acaba and Mark Vandde Hei of
NASA, who have been aboard since September.
2017 Dec 17, In Libya Mohamad
Eshtewi, the mayor of Misrata, was killed by unidentified
assailants who abducted him as he returned from an official trip
2017 Dec 17, In Pakistan
thousands of Islamists rallied in two major cities to condemn US
President Donald Trump for declaring Jerusalem Israel's capital.
2017 Dec 17, In Pakistan two
suicide bombers struck a church in the city of Quetta killing nine
people and wounding over 50 others. The Islamic State claimed
(AP, 12/17/17)(Reuters, 12/17/17)
2017 Dec 17, Philippine
President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his support for same-sex
unions, after previously declaring his opposition to gay marriage,
in an about-face that may displease bishops in the mainly Roman
2017 Dec 17, Philippines
authorities said at least 26 people have been killed while several
residents were missing on Biliran Island after tropical storm
Kai-tak brought heavy rains that triggered landslides.
2017 Dec 17, Russian security
operatives killed three suspected militants in a raid in the
village of Gubden, Dagestan province.
2017 Dec 17, Sabih al Masri,
a Palestinian billionaire and Jordan's most influential
businessman, was released after several days of detention in Saudi
Arabia. Masri said that he would be returning to Jordan after
finishing business meetings in Riyadh in the next two days. Masri
was reportedly freed after reaching a settlement to return an
unspecified amount of money.
(Reuters, 12/17/17)(Reuters, 12/19/17)
2017 Dec 17, In South Sudan
six aid workers were missing after clashes broke out between
government and opposition soldiers near the northwestern town of
Raga. An opposition spokesman said four aid workers were found
when fighting a government-allied militia, during which they
killed 35 militia fighters between the towns of Wau and Raga in
Western Bahr el Ghazal state.
2017 Dec 17, In South Sudan
President Salva Kiir's troops attacked the town of Lasu in Central
Equatoria State, which has served as the headquarters for Riek
Machar's SPLA-IO, the country’s main opposition movement.
2017 Dec 17, In Sri Lanka 50
Chinese couples were married at a mass ceremony in Colombo to mark
the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two
countries and to promote the island nation as a tourist
2017 Dec 17, Turkey's
president slammed a US-backed Syrian Kurdish militant group and
said he'll clear his country's border with Syria of "terrorists".
2017 Dec 17, In Ukraine about
5,000 supporters of opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili rallied
in Kiev, pushing for the ouster of the nation's president and
briefly attempting to seize a public building.
2017 Dec 17, In Yemen an
airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition struck a wedding procession,
killing 10 women as they marched to a village in Maarib province.
2018 Dec 17, US plane maker
Boeing and Brazil's Embraer said they have approved the terms of a
partnership to create a joint venture now worth $5.26 billion --
more than when they first announced it in July.
2018 Dec 17, The Taliban held
"another" meeting with US officials, this time in the United Arab
Emirates and also involving Saudi, Pakistani and Emirati
representatives in the latest attempt to bring a negotiated end to
Afghanistan's 17-year war.
2018 Dec 17, Penny Marshall
(b.1943), co-star of the "Laverne and Shirley" sitcom (1976-1983),
died at her home in Los Angeles. Following the sitcom whe went on
to direct such films as "A League of Their Own" (1992),
"Renaissance Man" (1994), "The Preacher's Wife" (1996) and "Riding
in Cars With Boys" (2001).
(SFC, 12/19/18, p.C3)(SFC, 12/21/18, p.E2)
2018 Dec 17, Two Chicago
police officers were fatally struck by a train as they
investigated a report of gunshots on the city's far South Side.
(SFC, 12/18/18, p.A6)
2018 Dec 17, Google said it
will spend more than $1 billion to build a new office complex in
NYC allowing it to double its current 7,000 now employed there.
(SFC, 12/18/18, p.D2)
2018 Dec 17, Astronomers
announced the discovery of the farthest known object in our solar
system. The cosmic body, located about 11 billion miles away, was
(SFC, 12/18/18, p.A6)
2018 Dec 17, The head of
Albania's top court was removed after he failed to account for his
income. The nine-member court is currently unable to function as
eight of its judges have been removed from duty in the vetting
process. Albania is vetting some 800 judges and prosecutors to
root out bribery and ensure they are independent from politics.
2018 Dec 17, Bangladesh's
main opposition group promised to remove curbs on free speech and
the media and to rein in the police if it unseats PM Sheikh Hasina
from her decade-long rule in this month's national election.
2018 Dec 17, A Belgian court
ruled that a Roman Catholic priest cannot use the secrecy of
confession as a defense when it convicted a clergyman in Bruges of
failing to seek help for a man who went on to commit suicide. The
court handed Alexan der Stroobandt a suspended one month jail term
and ordered him to pay the widow a symbolic euro in damages.
2018 Dec 17, In Brazil a fire
began late today in the low-income Educandos neighborhood of
Manaus and was extinguished several hours later. At least 600
wooden houses were destroyed.
2018 Dec 17, Britain's PM
Theresa May warned MPs against supporting a second Brexit
referendum, as calls mounted for a public vote to break the
political impasse over the deal she has struck with the EU.
2018 Dec 17, Cambodia's PM
Hun Sen inaugurated the 400-megawatt Lower Sesan II hydropower dam
in the northeastern province of Stung Treng. It was built over
four years at a cost of nearly $800 million and is a joint venture
of China's Hydrolancang International Energy, which has a 51
2018 Dec 17, China and the
United States clashed again over their respective trade policies
at the WTO in Geneva as the two countries are tried to iron out
their differences so further US tariffs are not imposed on Chinese
2018 Dec 17, In China the
wife of detained Chinese lawyer Wang Quanzhang and three
supporters shaved their heads and attempted to submit to a Beijing
court a petition protesting her husband's indefinite detention.
2018 Dec 17, Colombia's armed
forces rescued Melissa Martinez Garcia (34), a relative of late
Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez who won the 1982 Nobel
Prize for literature. She was seized at the end of August by a
group of armed men who intercepted her vehicle near the northern
city of Santa Marta. They demanded a ransom of $5 million for her
2018 Dec 17, Colombia's ELN
Marxist guerrilla group announced a Christmas ceasefire as peace
talks with the country's government have been on hold since
2018 Dec 17, In Colombia six
men were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in a rural area of
Mapiripan, southeastern Meta province, an area known for cocaine
2018 Dec 17, The Czech Rep.'s
National Cyber and Information Security Agency warned that the
hardware and software made by Huawei and another Chinese
telecommunications company, ZTE, pose a security threat.
2018 Dec 17, In Egypt two
roadside bombs hit a police convoy in northern Sinai, killing two
conscripts. The bombs struck two armored vehicles that were part
of a convoy on a search-and-destroy mission in an area west of
2018 Dec 17, France's
Alliance police labor union urged the government to invest in
rebuilding the country's police forces and called for a work
slowdown to protest planned cuts in the national police budget.
2018 Dec 17, In France two
people weredetained as part of the terrorism investigation in the
Dec. 11 attack that killed five people. They were suspected of
provinding the firearm used by Cherif Chekatt.
(SFC, 12/18/18, p.A4)
2018 Dec 17, German
authorities said five Frankfurt police officers are under
investigation over allegations they shared far-right images,
videos and texts in a chat group with one another.
2018 Dec 17, In Greece a bomb
blast early today damaged a building in Athens housing the
headquarters of the private radio and television network Skai, but
there were no casualties.
2018 Dec 17, In Hungary
security forces physically ejected opposition lawmakers from the
headquarters of the state broadcaster MTVA in Budapest early
today. A group of 10 lawmakers had entered the building, insisting
on the right to read five demands live on air, including the
revocation of a new labor law, passed last week in parliament.
2018 Dec 17, PM Narendra Modi
said India will give financial assistance of $1.4 billion to the
Maldives, the biggest aid yet to the Indian Ocean island nation
that is grappling with debt from a Chinese building spree.
2018 Dec 17, An Indian court
jailed for life Sajjan Kumar, a leader of the main opposition
Congress party, for his role in anti-Sikh riots that erupted after
the 1984 murder of the then prime minister, Indira Gandhi, and
killed nearly 3,000 people.
2018 Dec 17, In India at
least six people died and 129 others were injured in a fire that
broke out in the five-story government-run ESIC Kamgar Hospital in
the suburban Andheri area of Mumbai. The death toll soon rose to
(AP, 12/17/18)(AP, 12/18/18)
2018 Dec 17, The Israeli
military partially demolished the home of Ashraf Naalweh, a
Palestinian accused of killing two Israelis in an attack two
months ago. Israeli troops killed Naalweh in an arrest raid last
week after a two-month manhunt.
2018 Dec 17, Lebanese
soldiers went on alert after Israeli troops rolled out barbed wire
along the border, as tensions remained high two weeks after Israel
launched an operation to identify and destroy Hezbollah tunnels.
2018 Dec 17, Malaysia filed
criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and two former executives
for their role in the alleged multibillion-dollar ransacking of
state investment fund 1MDB.
2018 Dec 17, In Morocco two
Scandinavian women were found dead in the High Atlas mountains.
Hikers Louisa Vesterager Jespersen (24) of Denmark and Maren
Ueland (28) of Norway were found dead with cuts to their necks.
One suspect was arrested the next day and other suspects were
being sought. On Dec. 20 authorities arrested three more suspects.
(AFP, 12/18/18)(AP, 12/20/18)
2018 Dec 17, In Myanmar
Private Aung Kyaw Thet went missing after his patrol was fired on
from the Bangladesh side of the border. His body was found on Dec.
21 with gunshot wounds in his face, arm and leg. The identity of
the attackers was unknown and police were still investigating
2018 Dec 17, Pakistan's
foreign ministry spokesman, Mohammad Faisal, said that Indian
national Hamid Nehal Ansari is being repatriated to New Delhi
after serving a three-year prison sentence for spying.
2018 Dec 17, Poland's Pres.
Andrzej Duda, an ally of the governing Law and Justice (PiS)
party, signed into law amendments to contentious legislation that
will allow some Supreme Court judges to remain in their posts
after having been forced into early retirement.
2018 Dec 17, Russia said it
had built new barracks for troops on a disputed chain of islands
near Japan and would build more facilities for armored vehicles, a
move likely to anger Tokyo after it urged Moscow to reduce its
military activity there.
2018 Dec 17, Serbia reported
that two men have frozen to death as a cold spell throughout the
Balkan region slowed down traffic, disrupted power supplies and
closed down schools in some areas.
2018 Dec 17, The Sierra Leone
health ministry said late today it had agreed a timeline with
doctors to respond to their demands, announcing the agreement in a
statement signed by the heads of two doctors' associations.
2018 Dec 17, In Singapore a
gay man won the right to adopt a child he fathered via a surrogate
in the United States, in a landmark court ruling for the
2018 Dec 17, Switzerland and
Britain signed an agreement guaranteeing that flights between the
two countries can continue uninterrupted even if London opts to
leave the European Union without a deal with Brussels.
2018 Dec 17, In Thailand
Catriona Gray (24) of the Philippines was named Miss Universe 2018
in the 67th competition held in Bangkok, besting contestants from
93 other countries
2018 Dec 17, In Thailand
Sului Piew (2), a son of migrant workers from Myanmar, went
missing when he went out to play near the sugarcane plantation
where his parents work. A 3-year-old friend told her parents that
she saw Sului being abducted. Piew's body was found on Dec. 25 in
a sugarcane plantation a few miles from where he disappeared.
(AP, 12/24/18)(AP, 12/26/18)
2018 Dec 17, The United
Nations and the Palestinian Authority appealed for $350 million in
aid for Palestinians next year, saying much more was needed but
they had to be realistic after a year of funding cuts.
2018 Dec 17, The Vatican's
criminal tribunal convicted Italian builder Angelo Proietti of
using his accounts in the Vatican bank to launder money, and
sentenced him to 2½ years in prison. The decision was announced on
Dec. 27. This marked the first time the Vatican court had handed
down a money-laundering verdict since the city state criminalized
the offense in 2010 as part of its financial reform efforts.
Go to December 18