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This Day in History

Friday, November 09, 2012    

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Today's Highlight

2010: A special US prosecutor clears the CIA's former top clandestine officer and others of any charges for destroying agency videotapes showing waterboarding of terror suspects, but he continues an investigation into whether the harsh questioning went beyond legal boundaries.

Other highlights

1882: Franco-British dual control of Egypt is established.

1923: Fourteen Nazis are killed as federal troops break up march of Adolf Hitler's storm troopers in Munich, Germany.

1946: Nineteen people, including 11 British soldiers and eight Arab constables are slain in Palestine as Jewish terrorists, using land mines and suitcase bombs, increase their attacks on railroad stations, trains and streetcars.

1952: Police and British troops arrest more than 400 Kikuyu tribesmen and women in an effort to apprehend Mau Mau cult members in Kenya. The Mau Maus reportedly murdered 37 persons in the last five months.

1962: United States completes emergency airlift of arms and ammunition to India in that nation's border war with China.

1963: Twin disasters strike Japan as 450 miners are killed in a coal-dust explosion and 160 people die in a train crash.

1971: Chinese Communists make their first appearance in United Nations for conference on problems facing main delegation on its way from Beijing.

1977: Israeli fighter-bombers attack targets in southern Lebanon, and Lebanese government says two villages are levelled with at least 60 civilians killed.

1982: Up to 2,700 civilians and Soviet soldiers in a convoy are killed after a fiery collision in an Afghanistan mountain tunnel jammed with buses and trucks.

1987: Bomb explodes during rush hour in crowded neighbourhood of Colombo, Sri Lanka, with at least 32 people killed and 105 wounded.

1989: Stunned East German border guards watch helplessly as jubilant Germans dance on the Berlin Wall. Thousands cross the border to experience long-forbidden freedoms and riches on one memorable night.

1990: Nepal adopts a new constitution, creating a democratic government; Bundesrat, the upper house of the German parliament, meets in Berlin for the first time in 31 years; Fifteen blacks are stabbed to death and four wounded in factional fight in the South African eastern province of Natal.

1991: Shifting positions, Serbia urges United Nations to send peacekeeping troops to Croatia.

1993: After a parliamentary election victory by his supporters, King Hussein says that Jordan will forge ahead in negotiating peace with Israel; Mostar's Old Bridge in Bosnia, completed in 1566 by engineers of Ottoman emperor Suleyman the Magnificent, is destroyed by Croatian forces.

1994: Iranian jet fighters bomb an Iranian Kurdish base in northern Iraq, the second attack in a week on dissidents operating from Iraq.

1996: Stung by allegations that it uses money and sex to win diplomatic backing, Taiwan says it will no longer use its wealth to fight China's diplomatic blockade.

1998: "In 72 hours, we lost what we had built, little by little, in 50 years," Honduran President Carlos Flores Facusse says during an aid appeal for his and other Central American countries after Hurricane Mitch.

1999: France's National Assembly votes 315-249 to approve a law granting extensive legal rights to unmarried couples, including gays. After a year of heated debate, the law will take effect after President Jacques Chirac signs it as a symbolic gesture.

2001: Afghanistan's ruling Taliban send a thousand more fighters to the front lines, reinforcing its troops north of Kabul as American jets range throughout the country in support of the opposition alliance.

2002: Faced with criticism, Nigeria's foreign minister promises that the government would block Islamic courts from carrying out stonings of women sentenced to death for sex outside marriage.

2003: Nigerian officials warn the United States not to try to capture ousted Liberian leader Charles Taylor, thought to be the target of $2-million bounty posted by the United States.

2004: Thousands face off against French tanks outside Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo's home, defying warning shots in answer to appeals for a "human shield" around the hard-line leader to prevent an overthrow.

2005: A fresh round of six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament begins with negotiators struggling to agree on when Pyongyang will disarm and how it will be rewarded.

2006: Jews are welcomed back into the heart of Munich with a procession of Torah scrolls and the dedication of a new downtown synagogue — replacing one Adolf Hitler personally ordered destroyed as an "eyesore" in the centre of his power base.

2008: Rose Kabuye, a Rwandan woman sought for questioning by a French judge about what sparked her country's infamous genocide in 1994, is arrested at Frankfurt International Airport.

2009: Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev cross a former fortified border to cheers of "Gorby! Gorby!" as a throng of grateful Germans recall the night 20 years ago that the Berlin Wall gave way to their desire for freedom and unity.

2011: Italy's president promises emphatically that Silvio Berlusconi will step down soon as premier and lavishes honours on a leading economist, who instantly became Berlusconi's presumed successor. Across the Ionian Sea, the debt crisis in Greece deepened with the breakdown of talks aimed at creating a power-sharing government.

Today’s Birthdays

Ivan Turgenev, Russian writer (1818-1883); Jean Monnet, French president of

European Coal and Steel Community, the precursor of the EU (1888-1979); Carl

Sagan, US physicist (1934-1996); Sisqo, US singer (1978-).

— AP

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