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Today is the 70th day of 2014. There are 295 days left in the year.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014    

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TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

1985: Politburo leader Mikhail S Gorbachev is chosen to succeed the late Soviet President Konstantin U Chernenko.

OTHER EVENTS

1302: Romeo and Juliet's wedding day, according to Shakespeare.

1810: Emperor Napoleon of France is married by proxy to the Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria.

1888: The Blizzard of '88 strikes the north-eastern United States, piling up snow up to 6 metres (20 feet) deep and resulting in some 400 deaths.

1917: British forces capture Baghdad during World War I.

1941: US President Franklin D Roosevelt signs into law the Lend-Lease Bill, providing war supplies to countries fighting the Axis.

1943: British Eighth Army repulses heavy German counterattacks in Tunisia in World War II.

1965: A white minister from Boston, the Rev James J Reeb, dies after whites beat him during civil rights disturbances in Selma, Alabama.

1977: Brazil cancels 25-year-old military assistance treaty with the United States because of US State Department report criticising its alleged human rights violations.

1987: Sudanese-sponsored peace talks between Chad and Libya break down, and no date is set to resume negotiations.

1989: Two dozen nations sign declaration in the Netherlands enlisting United Nations as watchdog against pollution of Earth's atmosphere.

1992: Sikh militants round up 17 Hindu workers and execute them at a government-owned mill in Punjab.

1993: North Korea withdraws from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in a harsh rebuff of Western demands to open suspected nuclear weapons development sites for inspection.

1994: Eduardo Frei becomes president of Chile.

1995: Afghan Government forces using rockets, artillery and fighter jets pound Kabul's southern suburbs in an assault aimed at dislodging rival Islamic forces.

1996: The trial of former South Korean presidents Roh Tae-woo and Chun Doo-hwan, charged with carrying out a 1979 coup and massacring pro-democracy protesters, opens in Seoul.

1998: South Korea says it will compensate women who were enslaved in Japanese army brothels in World War II, then recover the money from Japan.

2000: A gas explosion rips through a coal mine in eastern Ukraine, killing 81 workers.

2002: Fifteen are killed and more than 50 others injured in a fire and stampede at a girls' school in Saudi Arabia, sparking an outcry after religious police prevented male firefighters and paramedics from rescuing the girls because they were not wearing the black head-to-toe covering required by Saudi law.

2004: A series of bombs hidden in backpacks explode in quick succession, blowing apart four commuter trains in Madrid, Spain, killing at least 199 people and wounding more than 1,400. Spain initially blamed Basque separatists, but a shadowy group claimed responsibility in the name of al-Qaeda for the worst terrorist attack in Spanish history.

2006: Former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, being tried at The Hague for war crimes after orchestrating a decade of bloodshed that killed 250,000 people and broke up his country, is found dead after a heart attack in his prison cell.

2007: Heavily armed police kill a protester and arrest Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the main opposition party in Zimbabwe, as they violently break up a prayer meeting protesting government policies.

2008: The Belgian Government and banks agree to pay $170 million (euro110 million) to Holocaust survivors, families of victims and the Jewish community for losses during World War II. About half of the 50,000 Jews in Belgium were exterminated in the Holocaust.

2009: A 17-year-old wielding a Beretta 9m pistol bursts into a classroom in his former high school in Germany and guns down students in a rampage that leaves 15 dead before he takes his own life.

2010: The decision by a Rome high school to install condom vending machines sets off a storm in Italy, with the Roman Catholic Church charging the move will encourage young people to have sex and Rome's mayor saying it sends the wrong message.

2011: A massive show of force by Saudi Arabia's government snuffs out a Facebook-based effort to stage unprecedented pro-democracy protests in the capital of Riyadh, but political unrest and sectarian tensions roil neighbouring Yemen and Bahrain.

2012: A US Army sergeant opens fire on Afghan villagers as they sleep, killing 16 people — mostly women and children — in an attack that reignites fury at the US presence following a wave of deadly protests over Americans burning Qurans.

2013: Thousands of cheering admirers accompany President Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor as Nicolas Maduro registers to be a candidate to replace the dead Venezuelan leader, while forcing the main opposition candidate to delay his entry into race.

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