Today is the 279th day of 2012. There are 87 days left in the year.
1954: Britain, the US, Italy and Yugoslavia agree that Free Territory of Trieste should be divided into Italian and Yugoslav zones.
1908: Ferdinand I declares Bulgaria's independence from the Ottoman Empire and assumes title of czar of Bulgaria.
1962: The Beatles' first hit, Love Me Do, is released in Britain.
1965: Pakistan severs diplomatic relations with Malaysia on grounds that Malaysia showed partiality in the Indian-Pakistani conflict over Kashmir.
1970: Egypt's only political party names Anwar Sadat to succeed late President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
1983: Lech Walesa, leader of Poland's Solidarity labour movement, is named winner of Nobel Peace Prize.
1987: South Africa's President PW Botha says his government plans to permit some multiracial neighbourhoods.
1989: The Dalai Lama wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
1993: China breaks moratorium on nuclear testing.
1994: Forty-eight bodies are found in two locations in Switzerland after a cult's mass suicide-murder.
1996: Bosnia's three-member presidency gets off to a rocky start as the Serb member refuses to attend the inauguration.
1997: Sixteen schoolchildren and their bus driver are killed in Algeria when their bus is sprayed by gunfire at a false road block.
2000: The Israeli army says it has agreed to a cease-fire with Palestinian security authorities, the fourth since violence erupted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip a week earlier.
2001: A 63-year-old Florida man dies of the inhaled form of anthrax, the first of a series of anthrax cases in Florida, New York, New Jersey and Washington.
2004: Major General Alu Alkhanov is sworn in as Chechnya's president, nearly five months after his predecessor's assassination, in a heavily guarded ceremony seen as another step in the Kremlin's strategy to undermine rebels in the war-ravaged region.
2005: Powerful warlords, a former Taliban commander and women's rights activists are among the front-runners after ballot counting ends in Afghanistan's landmark parliamentary elections.
2006: European Union ministers endorse a plan to make permanent joint patrols that pick up migrants on the high seas, moving to end internal divisions over dealing with a surge of illegal immigration from Africa.
2007: Syria vows not to forcibly expel any of the 1.5 million Iraqis who have fled there, despite new rules aimed at stemming the flow of people across the border.
2008: Germany becomes the latest country to move to allay fears about the financial meltdown, enhancing a rescue plan for Hypo Real Estate AG and guaranteeing private bank accounts as European governments scramble on their own to save failing banks.
2009: The new leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, meets with reporters for the first time since winning control of the militant group, quashing speculation he had been slain in a succession struggle after the killing of his predecessor in a US drone attack.
2010: Ex-trader French Jerome Kerviel is convicted on all counts in history's biggest rogue trading scandal, sentenced to at least three years in prison and ordered to pay his former employer damages of euro4.9 billion ($6.7 billion) — a sum so staggering it drew gasps in the courtroom.
Robert Goddard, US inventor of modern rocket (1882-1945); Glynis Johns, South African-born actress (1923-); Diane Cilento, Australian actress (1933—2011); Vaclav Havel, Czech politician, playwright and former dissident (1936-2011), Bob Geldof, British singer (1954-), Kate Winslet, British actress (1975-).