Historical events from 1 January 2000 to present
Page last modified 2/1/2020
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(+9999) = Day count from end of World War Two in Europe. Easter Sundays derived from https://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~gent0113/easter/easter_text2b.htm
2/1/2020, (Climate, Australia) In Australia, ongoing catastrophic fires have burned over 40,000 square kilometres, destroyed 1,500 homes and killed at least 17 people, in a drought and temperatures reaching high into the 40s C.
1/1/2020, (Environment) Palau became the first nation to ban the import or sale of sunscreens containing chemicals toxic to coral. Half of sunscreen brands on sale in 2018 contained chemicals poisonous to coral even in trace amounts, and the area is a favoured destination for diving. Hawaii announced a similar ban in 5/2018, to come into effect in 2021.
20/12/2019, Friday (+27,254) (Britain, European Union) Boris Johnson, British PM, won a huge majority of 358 to 234 against for his Bill to complete Brexit on 31/1/2020; larger than his overall Commons majority of 78. From end January, a transition period is due to begin, for 11 months until 31/12/2020; however many believed this was too short and might have to be extended.
19/12/2019, Thursday (+27,253) (Climate) Australia was enduring a extreme heatwave and drought, There were numerous severe forest fires. Average temperatures in Australia soared to a record 41.9C, peak temperatures reaching 47.7 C. Temperatures at Nullarbor weather station later attained 49.9 C.
12/12/2019, Thursday (+27,246) (Britain) General Election in the UK. Boris Johnson, incumbent Conservative Prime Minister, won a major victory, gaining 365 seats, a majority of 78. Boris Johnson now promised to deliver Brexit by 31 January 2020, with the transition period extending no longer than 31 December 2020. There was speculation of a possible trade deal with the USA. Meanwhile Labour did badly, losing many previously safe seats in the Midlands and North of England, which was attributed to disaffection amongst blue collar workers in old-industrial areas; Labour secured 203 seats. However Labour’s vote held up better in London. The Liberal Democrats did badly, holding just 11 seats, losing seats despite a rise in their % vote share; their leader, Joe Swinson, lost her seat to the SNP in Scotland. The SNP did well as the Nationalist vote rose, taking 48 seats. In Northern Ireland the DUP took 8 seats as Sinn Fein gained ground.
6/12/2019, Friday (+27,240) (Medical) A surge in measles cases worldwide was reported, with 10 million cases and 142,000 deaths occurring in 2018. Survivors often die soon after because their immune system has been compromised. Anti-vacination sympathies have been blamed for the increase, with cases in 2019 trending towards three times that for 2018.
1/12/2019, Sunday (+27,235) (Italy) In 1926 Mussolini merged the constituency of Venice with the mainland towns of Mestre and Marghera. At the time, Venice was still the largest settlement, but in the 50 years to 2019 the population of Venice fell from 150,000 to 50,000, whereas the two mainland towns grew to 180,000 over the same period. This political balance means most money spent in the region now goes to projects in Mestre. Meanwhile the project to protect Venice from flooding has been put back successively, from 1995 to, currently, 2021. On 1st December 2019 Venice holds a referendum on administratively splitting off from the mainland.
26/11/2019, Tuesday (+27,230) (Earthquake) A magnitude 6.4 quake hit Albania, killing at least 21 and injuring 600. There has been an earlier magnitude 5.6 quake in Albania in September.
24/11/2019, Sunday (+27,228) (China) Elections were held in Hong Kong, after weeks of often-violent protests against the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, and her changes to the extradition laws. Opposition candidates won 17 of the 18 councils, having controlled none previously.
15/11/2019, Friday (+27,219) (Climate) (1) Very hot dry and windy weather in Australia exacerbated bush fires that, to date, have killed 3 people, injured 100, and destroyed 150 homes. Australia was experiencing its hottest summer on record, after an abnormally hot and dry winter.
(2) The north and Midlands of England experienced severe flooding, with areas around Doncaster and tge Severn Valley hard hit.
12/11/2019, Tuesday (+27,216) (Italy) Venice suffered its worst flooding since 1966 as an acqua alta reached 1.54 metres, amidst heavy rain.
1/11/2019, Friday (+27,205) (Environment) Fracking was banned in England after a series of earthquakes of up to magnitude 2.5 in the Blackpool area were attributed to it. Fracking was already banned in the rest of the UK.
26/10/2019, Saturday (+27,199) (Australia) Tourists were no longer permitted to climb Uluru (Ayers Rock), a site sacred to the indigenous Australian Anangu nation.
26/9/2019, Thursday (+27,169) (France) Jacques Chirac died aged 86. He had twice been President of France.
24/10/2019, Tuesday (+27,167) (Spain) Settling a long-standing controversy, the remains of General Franco were exhumed from the mausoleum of the Valley of the Fallen and reinterred in the family crypt at the Mingorrubio-El Pardo cemetery near Madrid.
24/9/2019, Tuesday (+27,167) (Britain, European Union) Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that PM Boris Johnson had acted unlawfully when he prorogued (suspended) Parliament, ostensibly because of upcoming Party Conferences, but in reality to avert further debate on Brexit/ Parliament returned to sitting the next day.
23/9/2019, Friday (+27,166) (Price) British travel agent Thomas Cook went into liquidation;150,000 holidaymakers needed repatriation. The company had taken on too much debt and expanded into areas such as Turkey and Tunisia that were then hit by terrorism fears. It also had to bear physical shop costs whereas many of its competitors were online-only, and Brexit and good weather in the UK reduced demand for foreign holidays.
14/9/2019, Saturday (+27,157) (Saudi Arabia) A drone attack on a major oil refinery at Abqaiq took out 50% of the Kingdom’s oil refining capacity, sending world oil prices up 20% although they later fell back. The US believed the drone came directly from Iran, rather than from the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
6/9/2019, Friday (+27,149) (Zimbabwe) Robert Gabriel Mugabe, former President of Zimbabwe (born 21/2/1924) died aged 95. He became Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in 1980 and President from 1987. However his authoritarian rule alienated many people, especially during the last decade of his rule.
3/9/2019, Tuesday (+27,146) (Britain, European Union) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost significant Parliamentary votes. MPs voted to force him to ask Brussels for an extension on the Brexit process from 31/10/2019, and not to hold a General election before this date. 21 Tory MPs rebelled and were expelled from the Conservative Party by Mr Johnson, who now led a Government with a minority of 47. Mr Johnson said if he were compelled by law to ask for an extension (something he earlier said he would never do), he would also threaten to be so disruptive to the EU that in fact they would not grant one. Calling an early General Election in October would, under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, have required two thirds of MPs to vote for, which Boris Johnson did not get; it would also have ensured that Parliament was not operating in full at the end of October so even if Labour won they could not have voted to extend the Brexit deadline or avert No Deal. However it was possible that the EU, despairing of the never-ending Brexit process, would decline to offer an extension anyway, with President Macron of France taking this position.
28/8/2019, Wednesday (+27,140) (Britain, European Union) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson took the highly controversial move of announcing that the UK Parliament would be prorogued from 10 September for a crucial 5-week period until 14 October just before the planned Brexit of 31/10/2019. Opponents of Brexit claimed that this was a move to suppress any debate in parliament of the Brexit process, and prevent the passing of a Bill to block a Brexit without a deal being made with the European Union.
27/8/2019, Tuesday (+27,139) (Football) Bury Football Club, facing severe financial difficulties, was ejected from the English football league. Its problems, akin to those of nearby Bolton Wanderers (which was rescued at the last minute) were typical of smaller lower league clubs, in a sport where the vast majority of TV broadcasting, sponsorship and advertising revenues were hoovered up by the top league clubs.
24/8/2019, Saturday (+27,136) (Environment) Concern grew worldwide after widespread large fires burnt large areas of the Amazon rainforest. There were also blazes in Siberia and Alaska, as unusually warm air reached there, and in the African and east Asian rainforests. President Bolsonaro of Brazil was accused by President Macron of France, hosting the G7 meeting at this time, of encouraging farmers to burn large areas for agriculture. There were protests outside several Brazilian embassies.
12/8/2019, Monday (+27,124) (China) After several weeks of low-key protests in Hong Kong, against a new law permitting extradition to mainland China (despite the ‘One Country Two Systems arrangement instituted in 1997 for 50 years) the unrest escalated after a woman was shot in the eye by a police beanbag round during demonstrations at Hong Kong Airport.
26/7/2019, Friday (+27,107) (Weather) The Swedish village of Markusvinsa recorded a temperature of 34.8 C, the highest ever recorded north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden.
25/7/2019, Thursday (+27,106) (Weather) The temperature at Paris-Montsouris station surpassed the previous high of 40.4C, set in July 1947, soon after 1pm and continued to climb, reaching 42.6C soon after 4pm. Bordeaux set a new record of 42.1 C. In Britain the highest recorded temperature was 38.7 C in Cambridge, exceeding the previous record of38.5 C set at Faversham, Kent on 2003. However 38.1 C was a record for the UK for July, the previous record being 36.7 at Heathrow in July 2015. The Netherlands set a new all-time temperature record of 39.4 at Gilzen-Rije airbase. Belgium set a new national record of 40.6 C, the highest since records began in 1833. Germany set a new record of 41.5 C at Lingen, the day after a record temperature of 40.5 C in Geilenkirchen. Portugal and Greece saw major forest fires, and nuclear plants in France had to be shut down because the rivers were too warm for the emissions of cooling water.
23/7/2019, Tuesday (+27,104) (Britain) Boris Johnson was elected new leader of the UK Conservative Party and Prime Minister, with 66.3% of votes cast. He stood against Jeremy Hunt.
19/7/2019, Friday (+27,100) (Iran) Iran seized a British-owned tanker in the Persian Gulf. A second vessel was also arrested, but the captain was ‘warned’ and then allowed on his way. This followed the seizure of an Iranian tanker at Gibraltar, allegedly taking oil to Syria in defiance of EU sanctions. Iran alleged that the British tanker had entered the Gulf the wrong way, collided with a fishing boat, and then ignored its distress signal.
5/7/2019, Friday (+27,086) (Earthquake) A magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit California, the day after a magnitude 6.4 tremor in the same area.
1/7/2019, Monday (+27,082) (Environment) Japan recommenced commercial whaling, having withdrawn from the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
28/6/2019, Friday (+27,079) (Climate) Europe was hit by a severe heatwave. In France, a record temperature of 45.9 C was recorded at Gallargues de Montueux, near Montpellier, breaking the previous record of 44.1 C set in 2003. Countries from Italy to Poland were affected, with major forest fires in Spain.
16/6/2019, Sunday (+27,067) (China) Large protests in Hong Kong over a proposed new rule allowing extradition to mainland China. These protests continued on into July, although the new law was ‘suspended’.
17/5/2019, Friday (+27,037) (Homosexuality) Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. At this time Israel recognised gay marriages conducted elsewhere but they could not be performed in Israel. Homosexuality could be punished by death in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The taboos against homosexuality were slowly vanishing in Vietnam and Nepal. In Africa, South Africa was the only African country where same sex marriage was legal. In Sudan, Somalia and Mauretania, gay people faced the death penalty. A small number of African countries, including Congo (DR), Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Mali and Mozambique, did not have laws against homosexuality.
15/5/2019, Wednesday (+27,035) (Medical) The number of Ebola cases in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo now exceeded 1,600 since the current outbreak began in August 2018. In April 2018 the rate of new cases suddenly accelerated from around 30 to around 100 per week,
14/5/2019, Tuesday (+27,034) (Morals) The US State of Alabama passed very restrictive abortion laws,
5/5/2019, Sunday (+27,025) (Aviation) 41 people died when a plane made an emergency landing at Moscow Airport, and the back of the plane scraped the runway, causing the fuel tanks to catch fire.
21/4/2019, Sunday, (+27,011) (Sri Lanka) Co-ordinated bomb attacks on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday killed around 250 people and injured several hundred more. After a few days ISIS claimed responsibility for the suicide bomber attacks, stating they were in revenge for the attack on a mosque in New Zealand on 15/3/2019.
20/4/2019, Saturday (+27,010) (France) Yellow Vest protests in Paris for the 23rd consecutive Saturday.
17/4/2019, Wednesday (+27,007) (Peru) Former President of Peru, Alan Garcia, 69, shot himself dead as police arrived to arrest him on corruption charges, connected with the construction of the Lime metro system. The Brazilian construction company Odebrecht had admitted paying government officials across 12 countries a total of almost US$800 million to obtain contracts. Garcia had been President 1985-90 and 2006-11.
15/4/2019, Monday (+27,005) (France) Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris was very severely damaged by fire. The fire was believed to have been caused by renovation works, which, having suffered delays due to lack of funding, had been going on for years; the blaze started shortly after 6pm local time.
11/4/2019, Thursday (+27,001) (London) Julian Assange, 47, was seized by UK police from the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he had been residing for nearly seven years to avoid extradition to Sweden on a rape charge, which could lead to onward extradition to the USA on more serious espionage charges.
9/4/2019, Tuesday (+26,999) (Israel) Benjamin Netanyahu won a record fifth term as President. He intended to take a hard line on the question of Israeli settlements on the West Bank.
1/4/2019, Monday (+26,991) (Algeria) Algerian President Bouteflika, who had been in poor health, and faced by protests against his rule, announced that he would step down before his term ended on 28/4/2019.
23/3/2019, Saturday (+26,982) (France) Yellow Vest protestors caused disturbances in the Champs-Elysées area of central Paris for the 19th consecutive Saturday. The previous Saturday, 16/3/2019, the level of destruction had ratcheted up with banks, cafes and shops being set fire to. President Macron put military soldiers on the streets on the 23/3/2019, raising fears that a protestor would be shot dead.
21/3/2019, Thursday (+26,980) (Britain, European Union) After lengthy talks between Mrs May, UK Prime Minister, and the EU, the EU set new dates for Brexit. If Mrs May managed to get her deal with the EU accepted at a third vote in Parliament, Brexit would take place on 22 May 2019. This would give the UK Parliament time to pass the necessary legislation. However it was possible that the Speaker, Mr Bercow, would debar a 3rd vote unless the proposal was ‘significantly different from the proposal that was heavily defeated two times already; possibly the new schedule would constitute a ‘difference’. If, however, Mrs May could not get her Deal passed, the UK was to have until 12 April to ‘say what it wanted’ – which could be anything from No Deal to postponing or even cancelling Brexit, revoking Article 50.
15/3/2019, Friday (+26,974) (1) (Weather) Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, Malawi and eastern Zimbabwe, killing at least 705 people, with hundreds more missing.
(2) (New Zealand) A White-supremacist gunman shot dead 50 Muslim worshipers at Friday prayers at a mosque in |Christchurch New Zealand, with several others wounded, some seriously.
10/3/2019, Sunday (+26,969) (Aviation) A Boeing 737 Max airliner crashed shortly after take-off in Ethiopia, killing all 157 people on board. This was the second such plane to crash within a few months after a similar plane plunged into the sea 12 minutes after taking off from Indonesia. The rest of these planes were grounded worldwide.
7/3/2019, Thursday (+26,966) (Venezuela) An extended power outage lasting for several days hit Venezuela.
4/3/2019, Monday (+26,963) (Venezuela) Juan Guaido returned to Venezuela. He was not arrested by Maduro.
26/2/2019, Saturday (+26,926) (USA) The longest US Government shutdown in history, 35 days, ended as President Trump backed down before opposition in (Democrat-controlled) Congress in a dispute over funding for a ‘wall’ (or, steel barrier) to keep out migrants on the Mexican border. However Trump later declared an ‘emergency’ so as to try and secure funding for the barrier by alternative means, by using emergency powers to take funding from other areas of government.
19/2/2019, Tuesday (+26,950) (Jewish) 80 Jewish graves in eastern France were desecrated, in a rising tide of anti-Semitism that had seen a rise of 74% in such attacks in 2018 over 2017.
16/2/2019, Saturday (+26,947) (Algeria) Protests against President Bouteflika began in small Algerian towns. By 22/3/2019 these protests had spread to the capital, Algiers.
14/2/2019, Thursday (+26,945) (India) Pakistani terrorists suicide-bombed Indian security forces in Kashmir, killing 45. Tensions briefly rose between the two countries, with Indian jets striking Pakistan and one being shot down. The pilot was later returned to India as tensions eased.
28/1/2019, Monday (+26,928) (Venezuela) The US Government announced sanctions on Venezuela’s State-owned oil company, PDVSA. This move was intended to restrict the oil revenues of President Nicolas Maduro, and strengthen the opposition led by Juan Guaido. The ultimate aim was to force an election in Venezuela. Under the sanctions, companies can continue to trade but payments are held in an account that is blocked to Maduro.
24/1/2019, Thursday (+26,924) (Climate) During a record-breaking heatwave and drought in Australia, the temperature in Adelaide hit 46.6 C, the highest since records began 80 years ago.
23/1/2019, Wednesday (+26,923) (Venezuela) 23/1/2019, Venezuela teetered in the brink of civil war as crowds demonstrated in favour of Juan Guido, who they held had won the recent elections. However the incumbent President, Nicolas Maduro, refused to relinquish power. The US, along with the UK, France, Germany and rightist countries in South America, including Brazil, demanded that Maduro call new elections within 8 days, or else they would recognise Guido, not Maduro, as President.
Venezuela, despite being oil-rich, has suffered economic catastrophe and deep poverty since Hugo Chavez became leader in 1998. Chavez took on a country that, although overall middle-income, was plagued by severe inequality. Chavez drove through a ‘Bolivarian Revolution’, using oil money to bypass Parliament and enforce, from 1999, a new Constitution. However Chavez died of cancer in 2013 and was succeeded by his Foreign Minister, Nicolas Maduro. Meanwhile by 2010 Venezuelan reforms had begun to stall as the world oil price fell, and the lack of democratic accountability fostered inefficiency and corruption. Furthermore, Maduro lacked the charisma of Chavez; he compensated for this by stifling dissent and packing government functions, including the judiciary, with his own supporters. Maduro also cancelled reforms he disliked, such as the freeing of political prisoners.
In May 2018, in an attempt to consolidate his power, Maduro called Presidential elections; these were dismissed by the US, the UN, the EU and the Organisation of American States as being rigged. Most Venezuelans are believed to back Guido; however the Army is still behind Maduro (although there have been a few minor military mutinies). Military leaders still (2019) control key sectors including mining, oil, and food distribution. Russia supports Maduro, in a country just three hours flying time from Miami, but there may be a US clandestine presence also in Venezuela.
20/1/2019, Sunday (+26,920)
16/1/2019, Wednesday (+26,916) (Britain) The Motion of No Confidence in the UK Government was defeated by 325 votes to 306.
15/1/2019, Tuesday (+26,915) (Britain) The UK House of Commons voted decisively to reject Conservative PM Theresa May’s EU Withdrawal Deal, by 423 votes to 202. The Deal was disliked by those MPs who wanted a harder Brexit and feared that it tied the UK in too closely to Europe; it was also rejected by those who wanted to delay or eve cancel Brexit. Immediately after this vote the Labour Opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, put down a Motion of No Confidence in the Government.
11/1/2019, Friday (+26.911) (Islam, USA) The USA began to pull its forces out of Syria. Russia, ally of Syrian President Assad, welcomed the news, as Assad appeared to have won the Syrian Civil War. There were concerns that the US move could allow ISIS to regroup, or expose the Kurds to attacks from Turkey.
1/1/2019, Tuesday (+26,901) (USA) In the USA, President Trump’s measure to raise tariffs on US$ 250 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25% came into effect.
19/12/2018, Wednesday (+26,888) (Aviation) Gatwick Airport was closed this evening following sightings of a drone over the runway. The airport remained closed for 36 hours running the travel plans of some 350,000 people.
12/12/2018, Wednesday (+26,881) (Britain) Following Theresa May’s failed last minute attempt at renegotiation with the European Union on 11/12/2018, a leadership challenge emerged today, with over 48 Conservative MPs voting for a leadership election within the Party. She won the vote by 200 votes to 117, meaning no further leadership challenge was possible for at least 12 months.
11/12/2018, Tuesday (+26,880) (Britain, European Union) UK Prime Minister Theresa May postponed a Parliamentary vote on her Brexit Deal, which many had derided as giving up too much to Europe, and quickly met European leaders to try and renegotiate terms. She failed.
10/12/2018, Monday (+26,879) (European Union) The European Court of Justice ruled that a country could unilaterally reverse its exit from the EU by cancelling its use of Article 50; so long as this had been done democratically within the country, by a Parliamentary vote or a second referendum.
8/12/2018, Saturday (+26,877) (France) Another weekend of rioting in Paris saw 1700 arrested and 71 injured. Riots also occurred in Brussels and Amsterdam.
1/12/2018, Saturday (+26,870) (France) Rioting by the ‘yellow vests’ in France escalated, with major unrest around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and in several other cities, also The Netherlands and Belgium were affected. 412 were arrested and 133 seriously injured, including 23 policemen, as several cars and other property was torched. The protestors took their name from the yellow high-visibility jacket that motorists in France must carry; the unrest was focussed on high fuel taxes. Protestors called for President Macron to resign.
30/11/2018, Friday (+26,869) (USA) George HW Bush, 41st President of the USA, died aged 94.
28/11/2018, Wednesday (+26,867)
25/11/2018. Sunday (+26,864) (Russia) Russia temporarily blocked the Kerch Strait, linking the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea. This interrupted access to two major Ukrainian ports. Russia had previously annexed Crimea from Ukraine, and built a bridge over the Kerch Strait linking eastern Crimea to Russia. The blockaded was lifted later that day but not before Russia had seized two Ukrainian boats and 23 sailors, with six of them injured..
24/11/2018, Saturday (+26,863) (France) A week of rioting across France (began 17/11/2018) with 300,000 people protesting at high petrol taxes. By this date, one protestor had died and over 400 had been injured.
8/11/2018, Thursday (+26,847) (USA) Severe wildfires began in California, their unusual intensity blamed on global warming. They continued for two weeks until rainfall helped extinguish them, by which time the town of Paradise had been destroyed. An estimated 82 people were known to have died but a further 699 remained missing.
29/10/2018, Monday (+26,837) (Germany) Mrs Angela Merkel announced that she would not stand in 2021 for re-election as Chancellor of Germany, a post she had held since 2005. This followed disappointing election results for her Party, the CDU (Christian Democratic Union), and her coalition partners, the Social Democrats, in elections in Hesse.
28/10/2018, Sunday (+26,836) (Brazil) Jair Bolsano was elected as 38th President of Brazil, with 55.1% of the vote. He was a populist with nationalist policies.
27/10/2018, Saturday (+26,835) (Judaism) Robert Bowers, a white-supremacist, entered a synagogue in Pittsburgh, USA, and shot dead 11 worshippers.
28/9/2018, Friday (+26,806) (Earthquake) An earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia, killed over 1,640 people.
20/9/2018, Thursday (+26,798) (Tesco) Tesco opened the first of a new discount chain of stores, called Jacks, after Jack Cohen, the founder of Tesco. The store was located in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, close to an Aldi. This was in competition with the discount chains Aldi and Lidl.
9/9/2018, Sunday (+26,787) Swedish elections produced a deadlock. Of 349 seats (majority = 175), the Left coalition received 144 seats, down 15 (40.6% of vote). The Centre Right coalition received 143 seats, no change (40.0% of vote). The third largest party was the anti-immigrant Populist Right party, Swedish Democrats, with 63 seats, up 14 (17.6% of vote). However none of the other parties were prepared to form a coalition with the Swedish Democrats. The full results were; Left = Social Democrats, 101 seats, -12 (28.4% of vote), Green Party 15 seats, -10 (4.3% of vote), and Left Party, 28 seats, +7 (7.9% of vote). Right – Moderates, 70 seats, -14 (19.8% of vote), Centre Party, 31 seats, +9 (8.6% of vote), Liberal Party, 19 seats, n/c (5.5% of vote), and Christian Democrats, 23 seats, +7 (6.4% of vote). Had the Green Party failed to make 4% they would have received no seats under Swedish election law.
21/8/2018, Tuesday (+26,768) (1) Venezuela, in the grip of hyperinflation, introduced a new ‘Sovereign Bolivar’ at a rate of 1 to 100,000 old Bolivars. Venezuelans were limited to withdrawing just 10 Sovereign Bolivars a day, worth about 12p. A cup of coffee cost 25 Sovereign Bolivars at this time. The Venezuelan Minimum Wage, which stood at 3 million Bolivars (30 Sovereign Bolivars), was on 24/8/2018 raised 60x to 1,800 Sovereign Bolivars, equivalent to 30 US$.
(2) A magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit northern Venezuela.
14/8/2018, Tuesday (+26,761) (1) A 200 metre stretch of motorway bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy, plunging45 metres onto a riverbed and factories, killing 43 people. There were suggestions that the bridge, built in 1967, had been poorly maintained, or badly constructed under Mafia influence.
(2) The US State of Nebraska performed its first execution for 20 years, as Carey Dean Moore, a 60 year old who had been incarcerated for 38 years, was given a lethal injection for murdering two taxi drivers. US support for the death penalty stood at 54% in 2018, up from 49% in 2016.
13/8/2018, Monday (+26,760) Over 100 cars were burnt in co-ordinated attacks across several Swedish cities. The disorder was widely blamed on migrant gangs.
10/8/2018, Friday (+26,757) US President Trump announced a doubling of tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium. The US was in dispute over the detention of a US pastor on dubious charges of terrorism. There were concerns over Turkish President Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule. Erdogan refused to raise interest rates, and the Turkish lira plummeted in value.
6/8/2018, Monday (+26,753) US President Trump signed an executive order imposing sanctions on Iran, and cancelling the nuclear deal that had been signed in 2015.
5/8/2018, Sunday (+26,752) A magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit Lombok Island, Philippines. 321 people were killed, 1,033 seriously injured and 270,000 left homeless. Earlier, on 29/7/2018, a magnitude 6.4 quake had also hit Lombok.
4/8/2018, Saturday (+26,751) Excess UK deaths from the heatwave between 25/6/2018 and 9/7/2018 were reported to be 663. In Spain two heat-related deaths were reported as temperatures there reached 45 C.
1/8/2018, Wednesday (+26,748) Arctic summer ice coverage dropped to a low of 4.6 million square kilometres, against a summer minimum of 7.9 million square kilometres in 1980.
27/7/2018, Friday (+26,743) A heatwave in Japan saw temperatures rise to over 40 C, with 65 deaths, and 22,600 hospitalised. Meanwhile in Greece 81 died in the worst wildfires in Europe since World War Two. Latvia, Norway, Sweden and the UK also suffered heatwaves and drought. Severe wildfires also affected many States across the USA.
21/7/2018, Saturday (+26,737) France reduced the national speed limit on single carriageway rural roads from 90kph to 80kph.
5/7/2018, Thursday (+26,721) A record high temperature of 51.3 C was recorded in the Sahara Desert, Algeria.
30/6/2018, Saturday (+26,716)
23/6/2018, Saturday (+26,709)
22/6/2018, Friday (+26,7084)
12/6/2018, Tuesday (+26,698) A historic summit meeting took place in Singapore between President Kim Jong Un of North Korea and President Trump of the USA.
3/6/2018, Sunday (+26,689) The Fuego volcano in Guatemala began erupting. After two days, mudslides had killed 25 and injured 250.
27/5/2018, Sunday (+26,682) Italy’s Populist Government nominated Paolo Savona as Finance Minister; an economist who supported Italy quitting the Eurozone. President Sergio Mattarella vetoed that appointment.
25/5/2018, Friday (+26,680) (Ireland, Morals) Ireland voted to legalise abortion by a large majority of 66.4%. This left Northern Ireland as rather an anomaly, with its strict anti-abortion laws, whilst abortion was now legal in both Ireland and Great Britain. However the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, who support Mrs May, British PM, needs to remain in power, was like all other NI Parties, anti-abortion.
8/5/2018, Tuesday (+26,663) (Iran, USA) President Trump of the US unilaterally pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, arranged by his predecessor President Obama, under which Iran received financial aid in return for curbing its nuclear missiles programme.
3/5/2018, Thursday (+26,658) Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano began an intensive eruption, which continued throughout May.
28/4/2018, Saturday (+26,653) The second and third largest UK supermarkets, Asda and Sainsbury, announced a merger. Wal-Mart, who had owned Asda, was disposing of it. If cleared by the Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission, this would create a supermarket with a larger share than Tesco, see supermarket share.
27/4/2018, Friday (+26,652) Kim Jong Un became the first leader of North Korea to cross into South Korea for a historic meeting with the South Korean leader, Moon Jae In.
7/4/2018, Saturday (+26,632) A poison gas attack (chlorine or sarin) on Syrian civilians in the rebel-held area of Douma was reported. Russia, who was backing Syrian President Assad, along with Iran, alleged that the attack was a fabrication. The US and Israel replied with airstrikes on Syrian air force facilities.
25/3/2018, Sunday (+26,619) The first non-stop commercial flight from Australia to London took place, taking 17 hours (see 1935, 1938, 1947).
18/3/2018, Sunday (+26,612) Vladimir Putin easily won a fourth six-year term as President of Russia. However the elections were rather less than free and fair; no candidate with a real chance of success was allowed to stand against him, and there were several instances of ballot box stuffing.
14/3/2018, Wednesday (+26,608) The world famous astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking, died of motor neurone disease, aged 76 (born 8/1/1942). He was famous for his work on Black Holes, and his book A Brief History of Time.
4/3/2018, Sunday (+26,598) (1) Elections in Italy, a country still in recession, with high unemployment and with anti-immigrant feeling running high in some areas, produced gains for the two Populist-Right Parties, The League in the north and Five Star in the south.
17/2/2018, Saturday (+26,583) A magnitude 4.4 earthquake occurred near Swansea. It was felt across England from the Isle of Wight to the Lake District.
27/1/2018, Saturday (+26,562) Ingvar Kamprad, founder of the IKEA chain, died aged 91.
15/1/2018, Monday (+26,550) The British public sector contracting company Carillion went into liquidation, threatening the jobs of its 43,000 employees and the viability of 30,000 subcontractors, in areas as diverse as school meals, infrastructure construction, and army bases.
1/1/2018, Monday (+26,536) The US State of California legalised the sale and consumption of cannabis for personal use. The substance was already legal in five other US States; Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
31/12/2017, Sunday (+26,535) Cholera cases in Yemen, since April 2017, now stood at 994,751, with 2,226 cholera deaths, out of a total population of 28 million. Worst hit was the Yemeni port city of Al Hudaydah, with nearly 150,000 cholera cases in a population of 400,000.
28/12/2017, Thursday (+26,532) Several days of protest began in Tehran in anti-government protests, angered by a poorly-performing economy.
21/12/2017, Thursday (+26,525) In a referendum sanctioned by Madrid, the two pro-independence parties of Catalonia won a small total majority in the 135-seat Catalan Parliament; however the biggest single party was for union with Spain.
18/12/2017, Monday (+26,522) Mr Cyril Ramaphosa defeated Ms Dlamini-Zuma in elections for the Presidency of the ANC, South Africa.
7/12/2017, Thursday (+26,511) The Australian Parliament legalised same-sex marriage, a month after a referendum showed strong support for the move.
6/12/2017, Wednesday (+26,510) President Donald Trump of the USA officially recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and announced that he would move the US Embassy there, from Tel Aviv. There were protests from Palestinians.
4/12/2017, Monday (+26,508) The UK driving test was amended to include the use of Satnavs.
28/11/2017, Tuesday (+26,502) North Korea test fired a missile which flew 1,000 km towards the Sea of Japan. This missile attained a height in excess of 100 km then re-entered the atmosphere, proving that North Korea has missiles with a re-entry capability.
24/11/2017, Friday (+26,498) Extremist Muslims bombed a Sufi mosque in al-Rawdah, Egypt, then shot dead many of those fleeing the scene. 305 worshippers lost their lives.
21/11/2017, Tuesday (+26,495) Mugabe bowed to the inevitable and officially resigned as President of Zimbabwe. He was succeeded by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
15/11/2017, Wednesday (+26,489) An army coup in Zimbabwe deposed 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.
12/11/2017, Sunday (+26,486) A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck just after midnight close to Halabja near the Iran-Iraq border. At least 530 people were killed and 8,000 injured.
31/10/2017, Tuesday (+26,474)
27/10/2017, Friday (+26,470) Catalonia formally declared independence from Spain, just as Spain invoked Article 155 of its Constitution, never before used, to enable it to take direct control of Catalonia and suspend its regional government.
22/10.2017, Sunday (+26,465) Voters in two of Italy’s wealthiest northern regions, Veneto and Lombardy. Voted overwhelmingly for greater autonomy. On a turnout of 58% in Veneto and just over 50% in Lombardy, over 95% of votes were for more autonomy.
21/10/2017, Saturday (+26,464) Elections in the Czech Republic produced gains for the Populist Right.
15/10/2017, Sunday (+26,458) Elections in Austria produced gains for the far-right party, over issues of immigration.
2/10/2017, Monday (+26,445) Early in the morning, a gunman opened fire in Las Vegas. Shooting from the Mandalay Bay Hotel, he killed 58 and injured over 500. He shot himself dead as policed closed in. The gunman was initially alleged to be ISIS related but in fact there was no link to any terrorist organisation. The motive remains unknown.
1/10/2017, Sunday (+26,444) Catalonia held a referendum, which was strongly opposed by the Spanish Government, on independence. Madrid took down web-based polling sites, and 4,000 police occupied and closed down over half the polling stations. Pro-independence Catalans occupied, from Friday night, the schools which were to be used as polling stations. There were riots in Barcelona, with over 800 injured as police fired rubber bullets, which are illegal in Catalonia but not in the rest of Spain. In the event 2.26 million managed to vote, out of an electorate of just over 5 million. Of this turnout of 43.6%, 90% voted Yes to independence. Catalonia reasserted on 2/10/2017 that it would declare independence: Spain said it would invoke Article 155 of its Constitution to suspend and take over the regional government of Catalonia.
29/9/2017, Friday (+26,442)
27/9/2017, Wednesday (+26,440) The World Health Organisation declared that measles had been ‘eliminated’ from the UK, Spain and Denmark for the first time ever; these countries had been free of the disease for 36 months. 33 of the 53 countries in Europe were now measles-free. However doctors in the UK were still treating 1,000 cases from overseas. Over 95% of British children had been vaccinated with the MMR jab, despite publicity against it. In 1961 there were 764,000 measles cases in Britain, resulting in 152 deaths.
26/9/2017, Tuesday (+26,439) Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on women driving. From 24/6/2018 women would be allowed to drive there.
25/9/2017, Monday (+26,438) Iraqi Kurdish independence vote. This vote was opposed by countries neighbouring Iraq because it might promote secession in their Kurdish regions. The result was 93% in favour of independence from Iraq, on a turnout of 72%. Some anti-independence voters boycotted the poll. Turkey threatened sanctions, including a boycott of Kurdish oil exports.
24/9/2017, Sunday (+26,437) German elections. Angela Markel’s CDU (Christian Democratic Union) Party still had the largest number of seats, but lost votes as her share fell to 33%, from 41.5% in 2013, the lowest since 1949. Meanwhile the Far Right AfD (Alternative for Germany) Party gained, securing 12.6% of the vote, especially in the rural east, on the back of concerns about immigration levels. In Saxony, the AfD got a vote of 27%.
20/9/2017, Wednesday (+26,433) Police in Catalonia arrested 14 Catalan government officials suspected of organising the referendum, and seized 10 million ballot papers. 40,000 people protested in Barcelona against the police actions.
19/9/2017, Tuesday (+26,432) A magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit central Mexico, killing 248.
17/9/2017, Sunday (+26,430)
15/9/2017, Friday (+26,428) (1) A terrorist bomb exploded on a tube carriage at Parsons Green, SW London. 29 people were injured. The bomb only partially exploded.
(2) The Cassini spacecraft, which had been orbiting Saturn since 2004, dived into Saturn’s atmosphere to be destroyed. The spacecraft had almost run out of fuel, making it uncontrollable. This was to ensure the spacecraft did not crash into Enceladus, where a subsurface ocean of liquid water is believed to exist, and possibly contaminate it with terrestrial bacteria.
14/9/2017, Thursday (+26,427) North Korea fired another missile over the Japanese island of Hokkaido, into the Pacific Ocean. The missile rose to an altitude of 770 km, and travelled 3,700 km, which would have taken it to Guam had it travelled southwards not east.
8/9/2017, Friday (+26,421)
7/9/2017, Thursday (+26,420) (1) The most powerful earthquake for more than a century struck Tapachula, southern Mexico. The magnitude 8.2 quake killed at least 96 people.
(2) Four Israeli jets fired missiles at a Syrian facility believed to be a site of chemicals weapons production, killing two Syrians.
6/9/2017, Wednesday (+26,419) The Catalan Parliament approved the independence referendum legislation after a heated 11-hour session in which 52 opposition MPs walked out. The legislation was declared illegal by Madrid the following day, but Catalonia vowed to go ahead with the poll.
5/9/2017, Tuesday (+26,418)
4/9/2017, Monday (+26,417) Queen Elizabeth II opened the third Forth Bridge, exactly 53 years after the second (road) bridge was opened by her. The cost of the new bridge was £1.35bn, as against £11.5m (£210m in 2017 prices) for the 2nd brodge. The original road bridge will now be for cyclists and buses only.
3/9/2017, Sunday (+26,416) North Korea detonated a test Hydrogen Bomb underground in its north-east. The test produced a magnitude 6.3 earthquake. The missile was reported to be capable of being fitted on an ICBM and hitting the USA.
1/9/2017, Friday (+26,414)
28/8/2017, Monday (+26.410) North Korea test fired a missile, which overflew the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, travelled 1,000 km and landed in the Pacific. Japan protested at the intrusion into its airspace.
27/8/2017, Sunday (+26,409) A mystery gas cloud drifted in over Beachy Head from the sea; 233 people were taken to Eastbourne Hospital with eye irritation and breathing difficulties. The cloud was possibly chlorine from a ship cleaning out its container tanks.
26/8/2017, Saturday (+26,408) Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, dumping 50 inches of rainfall in the Houston area and causing major flooding.
25/8/2017, Friday (+26,407) Militant Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar attacked 30 police posts and a military base, in response to Burmese persecution of the minority Muslim group. Subsequently, many Rohingya fled across the border into Bangladesh.
17/8/2017, Thursday (+26,399) An Islamist terror attack killed 13 and injured over 100 in Barcelona. A vehicle was driven into pedestrians in Las Ramblas. In a related incident, a car was intercepted by police in the resort of Cambrils; several injuries occurred and the car occupants were killed.
8/8/2017, Tuesday (+26,390) A magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Sichuan province, China, killing 19 and injuring 247.
5/82017, Saturday (+26,387) The ‘Lucifer’ heatwave hit Europe, with temperatures having reached over 42C in Spain, and predicted to attain 46 C across Italy, the Balkans and Poland, as the jet stream brought very warm air northwards.
28/7/2017, Friday (+26,379) North Korea launched a further missile, which landed inside the Japanese Economic Zone waters. The missile attained a height which indicated it had intercontinental ballistic capabilities, threatening the US.
21/7/2017, Friday (+26,372) A magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck Bodrum, SW Turkey.
14/7/2017, Friday (+26,365) Two Israeli policemen were shot by Palestinians near the Temple Mount, Jerusalem. Israel imposed security measures including metal detectors on Muslim worshippers at the Haram al Sharif Mosque. These measures were seen as part of the Israeli occupation and sparked further protests and riots in Jerusalem,
6/7/2017, Thursday (+26,357) Anti-G20 Summit protestors in Hamburg blocked roads and set cars alight.
5/7/2017, Wednesday (+26,356) Volvo announced that it would stop making petrol and diesel only cars within two years, thereafter only manufacturing only electric or hybrid cars, There were rising concerns over vehicle pollution, exacerbated by the Volkswagen emissions scandal, and the Mayor of London, Siddiq Khan, predicted that within eight years, all diesel and petrol cars could face a £24 charge to enter London.
4/7/2017, Tuesday (+26,355) North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile which flew 930 km/580 miles, on US Independence Day.
1/7/2017, Saturday (+26,352) A 1st class stamp cost 65p, and a second class stamp cost 56p.
23/6/2017, Friday (+26,344)
19/6/2017, Monday (+26,340) Shortly after midnight a White man drove a van into a crowd of Muslims eating a communal meal in a street in Finsbury Park, London, after the Ramadan fast had ended. One man died and 10 were injured; the driver was arrested.
16/6/2017, Friday (+26,337) German statesman Helmut Kohl died, aged 87.
14/6/2017, Wednesday (+26,335) Grenfell Tower, a 24-storey, 120 flat, residential tower block in the deprived north of Kensington and Chelsea Borough, caught fire just after midnight. The block could have housed as many as 600 people. Around 100 were believed to have been killed, with 64 taken to hospital, 20 in critical care. The cladding panels that had been added to the outside of the block caught fire, setting the entire tower ablaze; cheaper flammable cladding had been used instead of fire-retardant panels.
13/6/2017, Tuesday (+26,334) Otto Warnbier, a 22-year old student at the University of Virginia, was unexpectedly released from North Korea after more than a year in detention following his conviction for stealing a propaganda poster whilst on a tour of the country. He had been sentenced to 15 years hard labour for this offence following a 1-hour trial. He was returned in a state of severe brain damage, and died on 19/6/2017. The cause of his brain damage has not been determined.
10/6/2017, Saturday (+26,331)
9/6/2017, Friday (+26,330) Carles Puigdemont, recent successor to Mas as regional President of Catalonia, announced he would hold an independence referendum on 1/10/2017. Madrid denounced the referendum as illegal and said it would block the poll by any means it could, legal and political.
8/6/2017, Thursday (+26,329) (1) UK General Election. Theresa May, Conservative Prime Minister, had hoped to make large gains, as two years after the 2015 election which gave the Conservatives a majority of just 6, she was well ahead of Labour in the opinion polls in April 2017. However during the election campaign she proposed financial limits on payment for dementia care which would have meant many older people having to sell their home rather than pass it to their families. By the time the election was held her opinion poll lead had shrunk to just 1% to 7%. The results were, Conservatives 318, loss 18; Labour 261, gain 31; Liberal Democrats 12, gain 3; SNP 35, loss 19; DUP 10, gain 2; Sinn Feinn 7, gain 3; UKIP 0 (no change) Green 1 (no change), Others 12. Prime Minister Theresa May waqs forced into a coalition with the DUP to maintain majority government; this could limit her hand on Brexit, since the DUP does not want a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.
(2) North Korea test-fired a further land to sea missile.
7/6/2017, Wednesday (+26,328) North Korea test-fired 4 anti-ship missiles.
5/6/2017, Monday (+26,326) Two weeks after US President Trump visited the Middle East and expressed backing for Saudi Arabia, the Saudis and their allies in the region cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and closed the border. They alleged that Qatar was supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Iran.
3/6/2017, Saturday (+26,324) Three Islamist terrorists killed 7 and injured 48 in three simultaneous attacks in London, at London Bridge and Borough Market. The three terrorists were killed by security forces.
31/5/2017, Wednesday (+26,321) A powerful car bomb exploded in Kabul, killing 90 and injuring a further 460.
29/5/2017, Monday (+26,319) (1) Manuel Noriega, former ruler of Panama, died aged 83.
(2) North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that flew for 280 miles in 6 minutes before landing in the Sea of Japan. This was reported to be the second test-firing of a missile in two days by North Korea.
22/5/2017, Monday (+26,312) An Islamist terrorist set off a bomb at a music concert in Manchester. 22 were killed and 59 injured.
21/5/2017, Sunday (+26,311) North Korea test-fired a further ballistic missile.
15/5/2017, Monday (+26,305)
13/5/2017, Saturday (+26,303) North Korea test fired a further ballistic missile, which flew 430 miles. It fell into the sea between Russia and Japan,
12/5/2017, Friday (+26,302) A massive cyber-attack, the biggest in the world to date, hit almost 100 countries across the world. Computers were hit by ransomware, which encrypted their files and users could not recover them without paying several hundred pounds in Bitcoin. In the UK the NHS was badly affected; a vulnerability factor was the continued use of outdated software. The attack combined features of ransomware with a worm that enabled it to spread within computer networks. The identity of the attacker remains unknown.
7/5/2017, Sunday (+26,297) In the final round of the French Presidential Elections, Emmanuel Macron of the En Marche Party won 66.1% of votes cast, against 39.1% for Marine le Pen of the Front National. However Macron was only supported by 43.6% of the total electorate, le Pen receiving 22.4%, whilst 25.4% of voters abstained and 8.5% of ballot papers were left blank or spoilt, as a protest against both the candidates on offer.
18/4/2017, Tuesday (+26,278) UK Prime Minister Theresa May called a surprise snap General Election for 8/6/2017. With opinion polls showing the Conservatives ahead at 44% against Labour’s 23%, under their unpopular leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Conservatives stood a good chance of enhancing their current majority of 17 to perhaps over 100. However Corbyn said he would not stand at this election, so Labour might have a more electable leader by then.
16/4/2017, Sunday (+26,276) Easter Sunday (1) The day after North Korea’s annual celebrations of ‘The Day of the Sun’ (15 April, the anniversary of the birth of the founder of North Korea, President Kim Il Sung), with a large military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea attempted to launch an intercontinental ballistic rocket. However the rocket blew up on the launch pad. President Trump of the USA had, stationed a naval strike force just off North Korea, ready to strike either Pyongyang or the rocket launch pads. On 17/4/2017 North Korea threatened to conduct one missile test every week.
(2) A referendum in Turkey was narrowly won by President Erdogan, with 51.3% of the vote. The victory gave him wider powers.
11/4/2017, Tuesday (+26,271) Samir Frangieh, Lebanese leftist politician (born 12/4/1945) died.
10/4/2017, Monday (+26,270) The US sent the large aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to the sea off North Korea, as a show of force.
8/4/2017, Saturday (+26,268)
6/4/2017, Thursday (+26,266) (1) US President Trump ordered the firing of 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat Airbase, Syria, in response to the gas attack of 2/4/2017. 4 were killed. Russia, an ally of Assad, was angry and said the incident had nearly started a war between Russia and the US. Trump said he might fire more missiles into Syria.
(2) An Islamist terrorist drove a lorry into crowds shopping in the centre of Stockholm; 4 people were killed.
5/4/2017, Wednesday (+26,265) North Korea test-fired a medium range missile which they said was capable of destroying a US aircraft carrier. The missile failed.
4/4/2017, Tuesday (+26,264) 58 were killed by poison gas in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun. Government forces under Assad were blamed
3/4/2017, Monday (+26,263) An Islamist terrorist bomb exploded on the St Petersburg metro system; a second bomb was defused. 14 were killed and 50 injured. The bomber was from Kyrgyzstan.
2/4/2017, Sunday (+26,262) Run-off presidential elections in Ecuador produced a narrow victory for the :Leftist candidate, Moreno (51%) over the 49% for the Rightist Lasso. The narrow margin produced accusations of fraud from the Right. Assange, who had been avoiding extradition to Sweden on rape charges (and on to the US on espionage charges) by hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since August 2012, was relieved; Lasso had said he would evict him if he won.
28/3/2017, Tuesday (+26,257) (Britain, Europe) Late this evening, UK Prime Minister Theresa May signed Article 50, triggering the exit process of the UK from the EU. The letter was delivered to Donald Tusk (Poland), President of the European Council, on 29/3/2017. The two-year negotiation process was started; however after the inconclusive UK General Election of 8/6/2017 this timetable was looking tight.
22/3/2017, Wednesday (+26,251) In an Islamist terrorist attack on the Houses of Parliament, London, four people died (including the attacker) and 40 were injured. One of the dead was a policeman who was stabbed. A 4x4 was driven across Westminster Bridge, killing and injuring pedestrians, before crashing a barrier at Parliament. One of the injured, a tourist, died later in hospital.
21/3/2017, Tuesday (+26,250) Martin McGuinness, former IRA leader and latterly politician in the peace process, died aged 66.
13/3/2017, Monday (+26,242) Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party, announced she would campaign for a second referendum on independence from the UK. This was in response to the imminent triggering of Article 50 by UK Prime Minister Theresa May, starting the exit process from the EU.
6/3/2017, Monday (+26,235) North Korean artillery fired four missiles into the Sea of Japan, as part of an exercise simulating a North Korean attack on US bases in Japan; some missiles landed within 200 miles of Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the move ‘extremely dangerous’.
28/2/2017, Tuesday (+26,229) Syria’s close ally Russia, also China, vetoed a UN Security Council resolution authorising sanctions against the Syrian government for use of chemical weapons.
20/2/2017, Monday (+26,221) The UN declared a famine in South Sudan; the first famine it had declared for six years.
12/2/2017, Sunday (+26,213) North Korea successfully launched a solid-fuel Pukguksong-2 missile from a submarine. This was an act of defiance against the new Trump administration in the US.
6/2/2017, Monday (+26,207) The coalition Israeli Government, led by Binyamin Netanyahu, passed a Bill that legalised certain Israeli settlements built on privately-owned Palestinian land.
29/1/2017, Sunday (+26,199) A White Supremacist student went to a mosque in Quebec and shot six Muslim worshippers. He was later captured by police.
27/1/2017, Friday (+26,197) President Trump of the US issued a controversial executive order instituting a temporary travel ban on the entry of people to the US from seven mainly-Muslim countries. The ban was challenged and overturned in the US Courts.
20/1/2017, Friday (+26,190) President Trump was inaugurated as 45th President of the USA.
18/1/2017, Wednesday (+26,188) Four further earthquakes of magnitudes 5.3, 5.7, 5.3 and 5.1 hit central Italy, close to the site of last year’s quakes. The epicentre was about 130 km NE of Rome, where the tremors were felt. The earthquake was blamed for a snow avalanche that killed 30 tourists at a hotel in eastern-central Italy.
31/12/2016, Saturday (+26,170) A nightclub in Istanbul packed with New Year’s Eve revellers was attacked by a gunman who killed 39 and injured 69.
20/12/2016, Tuesday (+26159) The Eurasia Road Tunnel, under the Bosporus, Istanbul, Turkey, opened to traffic.
19/12/2016, Monday (+26,158) (1) A large lorry was driven into crowds at a Christmas market in Berlin. The lorry had been hijacked by an Islamist terrorist who killed the Polish driver and drove it, laden with 25 tonnes of steel, into the market. 12 shoppers were killed and 48 injured.
(2) The Russian Ambassador to Turkey was shot dead in an art gallery in Ankara by an Islamist gunman in revenge for the Russian intervention to support pro-Assad forces in Syria. Turkey was in opposition to the Russian policy in Syria, being very anti-Assad.
13/12/2016, Tuesday (+26,152) Aleppo was completely taken by Syrian Government forces, after rebel fighters were defeated, with Russian assistance. However, the Syrian civil war, which had begun in 2011, continued, and fighting was still reported in the Aleppo area.
11/12/2016, Sunday (+26,150) 28 were killed and 49 injured in an ISIS bomb attack on St Mark’s Cathedral, Cairo.
10/12/2016, Saturday (+26,149) An explosion at a football match in Istanbul killed 35 people and injured 155. Kurdish militants were blamed.
4/12/2016, Sunday (+26,143) Matteo Renzi, Italian Prime Minister, resigned after a referendum rejected his government reform proposals by over 60%.
25/11/2016, Friday (+26,134) Fidel Castro, former leader of Cuba from 1959, died aged 90. He had been succeeded by his brother Raul in 2008.
8/11/2016, Tuesday (+26,117) In US elections, Donald Trump (Republican) defeated Hillary Clinton (Democrat) to become the 45th President. The Republicans also took the Senate and Congress.
3/11/2016, Thursday (+26,112) (UK, EU) Britain’s High Court ruled that the Prime Minister, Theresa May, could not trigger Article 50 to leave the EU without Parliamentary approval. This ruling was later upheld by the Supreme Court. This opened up the possibility of Parliament severely delaying or even thwarting the Brexit process.
30/10/2016, Sunday (+26,108) A magnitude 6.6 shallow (10km) earthquake hit central Italy; this was the 4th significant quake there in four months. Further damage was done to historic buildings but no fatalities were reported.
26/10/2016, Wednesday (+26,104) Demolition of the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp at Calais began. Its residents were dispersed to reception areas across France. However some inhabitants set up their own unofficial tent cities in central Paris.
13/10/2016, Thursday (+26,091) King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand died, aged 88, after a 70-year reign. He was succeeded by Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, after a period of mourning.
28/9/2016, Wednesday (+26,076) Shimon Peres, Labour leader of Israel from 1977, died aged 93.
9/9/2016, Friday (+26,057) North Korea conducted its 5th nuclear test, the largest to date.
27/8/2016, Saturday (+26,044) the NASA space probe Juno successfully skimmed the planet Jupiter, the start of an 18-month mission to gather data on the planet.
24/8/2016, Wednesday (+26,041) A shallow magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck the Umbria region of central Italy.247 people were killed.
6/8/2016, Saturday (+26,023) The newly-elected leader of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), or Western Sahara, President Brahim Gali, vowed to continue the fight for liberation from Moroccan occupation.
22/7/2016, Friday (+26,008) A German-Iranian gunman opened fire at a shopping mall in Munich, killing 9 and injuring 21. He later killed himself.
15/7/2016, Friday (+26,001) A military coup began in Turkey. The military wanted to preserve the secular nature of Turkey and were against the Islamist policies of President Erdogan. However by 16/7/2016 the coup had failed, with 161 dead, over 1,400 injured and some 3,000 arrested.
14/7/2016, Thursday (+26,000) Islamist terrorists drove a lorry into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France. 84 were killed and 202 injured, 18 critically. The lorry driver was shot dead by police. The lorry contained guns and explosives, raising fears that a worse attack could have been possible.
13/7/2016, Wednesday (+25,999) Theresa May became Conservative Prime Minister as Cameron resigned. She won with the backing of some 60% of Tory MPs. Other contenders, including Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom, had backed out of the leadership contest. The UK had still not yet invoked Chapter 50.
1/7/2016, Friday (+25,987) A 1st class stamp cost 64p, and a second class stamp cost 55p.
26/6/2016 Sunday (+25,982) (UK, European Union) The fallout from the Brexit vote continued. David Cameron delayed invoking Chapter 50, which would kickstart a 2-year procedure to negotiate the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Cameron expressed a preference for his successor as Tory leader to undertake these negotiations. Meanwhile EU leaders were pressuring the UK to invoke Chapter 50 soon. The EU leaders feared further ‘Exit’ referenda in countries like France, The Netherlands, Denmark, possibly Sweden, in Spain, Greece, and even Germany and the Czech republic. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn’s, position seemed precarious as ten of his Cabinet resigned, over his lacklustre support for the Remain campaign. There was debate within the UK as to whether the Referendum result was actually binding, especially if a UK General Election ensued within a few months, which itself would require legislation to amend the five year rule for such elections. Also by this afternoon, nearly 3.4 million people had signed a petition asking for a second Brexit Referendum; some signatures were suspected of coming from outside the UK.
23/6/2016 Thursday (+25,979) (UK, European Union) The UK voted 51.9% to leave the European Union in the so-called Brexit referendum. David Cameron resigned as Conservative Prime Minister. The actual figures were, OUT, 17,410,742, IN, 16,141,241, Turnout = 72.2%.
16/6/2016, Thursday (+25,972) Jo Cox, 41, MP for Batley and Spen, a Yorkshire constituency, was killed, shot and stabbed, by Mr Tommy Mair. Mr Mair supported the far-Right and was against immigration, and perceived Ms Cox as favouring immigration.
12/6/2016, Sunday (+25,968) An Islamist gunman, Omar Mateen, entered a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and killed 50 people. It was the worst massacre in recent US history.
3/6/2016, Friday (+25,959) (1) Severe floods hit Paris and northern France. The River Seine reached over 6 metres above normal level. It was the worst flooding in the region since 1910.
(2) In the UK, four of the seven board members of the National Obesity Forum resigned in protest over a report that people should eat more fat, less sugar, to lose weight.
2/6/2016, Thursday (+25,958) British Home Stores, once a flagship of UK High Streets, went into liquidation. No buyer had been found for the 88-year-old business, putting 163 stores and 11,000 jobs on the line.
1/6/2016, Wednesday (+25,957) The St Gotthard base tunnel opened to rail traffic after 20 years under construction. At 57.5 km, or 35 miles, it was the world’s longest tunnel to date.
31/5/2016, Tuesday (+25,956) 25 people died in airstrikes in Idlib, Syria.
30/5/2016, Monday (+25,955) The trial of Hissein Habre, aged 73, former President of Chad 1982-1990, concluded. He was found guilty by the Court in Senegal of crimes including mass rape and torture. Overall, an estimated 40,000 people were murdered under his rule before he was deposed and fled into Senegal.
22/5/2016, Sunday (+25,947) In Austrian Presidential elections, Mr Norbert Hofer of the far-Right lost to Mr Alexander Van der Bellen of the Greens by the narrow margin of 0.6%. The result was connected to rising concern about migration into Europe from Asia and Africa.
18/5/2016, Wednesday (+25,943) An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo crashed in the Mediterranean north west of the Nile Delta.
17/5/2016, Tuesday (+25,942) A wave of strikes hit France. Petrol stations ran dry as strikers picketed refinery gates. Workers were objecting to France introducing more flexible labour laws.
10/5/2016, Tuesday (+25,935) Duterte (born 28/3/1945) was elected President of the Philippines.
21/4/2016, Thursday (+25,916) The artist Prince, full name Prince Rogers Nelson, born 7/6/1958, died.
17/4/2016, Sunday (+25,912) A magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit Tonga.
16/4/2016, Saturday (+25,911) The second of two earthquakes hit Japan; the first was on 14/4/2016, magnitude 6.2, on the southern island of Kyushu; 44 died. The second quake was magnitude 7.0, also on Kyushu. Also on 16/4/2016 the most powerful quake for 70 years hit Ecuador, magnitude 7.8, killing over 500 and injuring 4,000.
1/4/2016, Friday (+25,896) The National Living Wage (Minimum Wage) in the UK was set at £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 or more. The previous Minimum Wage was £6.70 per hour.
27/3/2016, Sunday (+25,891) Easter Sunday.
22/3/2016, Tuesday (+25,886) Islamic bomb attacks hit central Brussels and Brussels Airport. 37 were killed and 187 injured.
19/2/2016, Friday (+25,854) (Great Britain, EU) Prime Minister David Cameron concluded negotiations for a deal redefining the relationship between the UK and the EU. This was a preliminary move before a UK referendum to be held on whether the UK should leave the EU. On 20/2/2016 the date for this referendum was set for 23/6/2016.
7/2/2016, Sunday (+25,842) North Korea launched a satellite into orbit. The US and South Korea made strong protests, because the same rocket technology could be used for an intercontinental nuclear strike.
6/2/2016, Saturday (+25,841) A shallow magnitude 6.4 quake hit Taiwan; 38 people died.
4/2/2016, Thursday (+25,839)
2/2/2016, Tuesday (+25,837) The World Health Organisation declared Zika to be a global emergency, on a par with Ebola, as Brazil mobilised 220,000 troops to fight the disease, spraying against mosquitoes and checking for stagnant water where the mosquito might breed. However the Rio carnival went ahead and Brazil said it would not cancel the Olympics. Cases of microcephaly, which first appeared in Polynesia in 2014, rose in Brazil to 3,700 since October 2015, compared with fewer than 200 in 2014. An estimated 1.5 million Brazilians now carry the Zika virus, which usually causes very little illness in adults, so they may be unaware of any risk to their unborn baby.
1/2/2016, Monday (+25,836) Murray Louis, American dancer and choreographer died (born 1926).
31/1/2016, Sunday (+25,835) Terry Wogan, radio and TV presenter, died aged 77. He was born on 3/8/1938 in Ireland and became a British citizen in 2005.
27/1/2016 Wednesday (+25,831) Concerns grew about the Zika virus, which if contracted by pregnant women could cause the baby to have microcephaly. The virus is spread by mosquitoes and may affect all the Americas except Canada and Chile, also much of Africa and southern Asia.
10/1/2016, Sunday (+25,814) David Bowie, born in 1947 as David Jones in Brixton, London, died of cancer two days after his 69th birthday.
6/1/2016, Wednesday (+25,810) North Korea claimed to have exploded a Hydrogen Bomb in an underground test. China, North Korea’s closest ally expressed anger over this and over claims that North Korea had also succeeded in firing a missile from a submarine. However the explosion was smaller than would be expected from a true Hydrogen Bomb, and may have been a ‘boosted fission’ bomb instead.
5/1/2016, Tuesday (+25,809) Violent riots broke out in Kaliachak, West Bengal, India, after political activist Kamlesh Tiwari allegedly insulted the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
4/1/2016, Monday (+25,808) Sweden introduced border controls on the Oresund Bridge border with Denmark to try and slow the influx of migrants. In response Denmark introduced border controls on its German border. The Schengen ideal appeared to be unravelling.
3/1/2016, Sunday (+25,807) The United Kingdom designated Ascension Island and its surrounding waters in the Atlantic Ocean as a Marine protected area. The reserve was almost as big as the UK with just over half of the protected area completely closed to fishing.
2/1/2016, Saturday (+25,806) Saudi Arabia announced the execution of a prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr-al-Nimr, along with 46 others accused of promoting violent dissent. There were protests by Shia Muslims across the Middle East.
1/1/2016, Friday (+25,805) The two-child policy took effect in China, allowing couples in the country to have at most two children, replacing the controversial one-child policy. The change in law was announced by the ruling Communist Party on October 29 and passed the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on December 27, five days prior to its effect.
31/12/2015, Thursday (+25,804) Some 200 women alleged they had been groped, robbed and even raped during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne by migrant gangs. Tensions in Germany over mass immigration increased.
30/12/2015, Wednesday (+25,803) The Philippines said it will join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank despite disputes between it and the bank's founder, China.
29/12/2015, Tuesday (+25,802) For the first time since March 2014, Guinea was declared free from Ebola virus transmissions by the World Health Organization.
28/12/2015, Monday (+25,801) Iraq retook Ramadi from ISIS.
27/12/2015, Sunday (+25,800) (1) York was hit by flooding, the worst since 1982. By 29/12/2015 some 6,700 properties across northern England had been hot by floods.
26/12/2015, Saturday (+25,799) Heavy rainfall began, lasting for three days, in Missouri, Mississippi and Illinois, causing severe flooding.
25/12/2015, Friday (+25,798) Troops were out in Cumbria erecting flood barriers as the area was flooded by heavy rains for the third time in a month.
16/12/2015, Wednesday (+25,789) The UK’s last deep coal mine, Kellingley Colliery, near Wakefield, Yorkshire, closed. It once employed 3,000 workers.
7/12/2015, Monday (+25,780) (USA) Donald Trump, contender for the Republican Presidential nomination, called for a ban on all Muslims entering the US, after an Islamic gunman shot 14 dead in San Bernardino, California, whilst the conflict with ISIS was still ongoing. There were widespread protests at his comments, and over 550,000 people in the UK signed a petition to ban him from Britain.
25/11/2015, Wednesday (+25,768) (race, women) The first Asian woman to become a High Court Judge in Britain, Mrs Cheena-Grubb, 49, from Derby, was sworn in. There were now 22 female High Court Judges, compared with just 10 in 2005.
24/11/2015, Tuesday (+25,767) (Islam, Turkey, Russia)Turkey shot down a Russian jet fighter that was taking part in Russia’s pro-Assad campaign in Syria, against both ISIS and non-ISIS rebels. Turkey said the aircraft had transgressed into Turkish airspace, and was warned several times. Russia denied the warnings, and it appeared the jet had at most been in Turkish airspace for 2 or 3 seconds as it (might have) crossed a finger of Turkish territory jutting into Syria.
18/11/2015, Wednesday (+25,761)
12/11/2015, Thursday (+25,755) ‘Jihadi John’ was killed by a US drone strike in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqah, northern Syria.
13/11/2015, Friday (+25,756) Multiple attacks by Islamic gunmen across six sites in Paris, including the Stade de France, the Bataclan concert hall, and the Cambodge restaurant. 132 dead and 352 injured, 99 critically..
31/10/2015, Saturday (+25,743) A Russian plane disintegrated in mid-air shortly after taking off from Sharm el Sheikh airport, Egypt, on a flight back to St Petersburg. All 224 people on board were killed.
26/10/2015, Monday (+25,738) A magnitude 7.5 earthquake hit eastern Afghanistan, killing over 200 people.
24/9/2015, Thursday (+25,706) 717 pilgrims died and 863 were injured in a stampede at Mina during the Haj, Mecca.
23/9/2015, Wednesday (+25,705) The head of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn, resigned over the scandal over faked emissions levels.
18/9/2015, Friday (+25,700) A major scandal broke at Volkswagen when it emerged that the company had developed special ‘Defeat’ software to fool US government testing procedures to test the nitrous oxide emissions levels of their diesel cars. The cars appeared to emit 40x less pollution than would be the actual case in real-world motoring; the cars also appeared to be more fuel-efficient than in reality, due to procedures such as removing the wing mirrors to reduce drag.
14/9/2015, Monday (+25,696) Gravity waves generated by a collision between two Black Holes were detected by interferometers at the LIGO facility in the US.
11/9/2015, Friday (+25,693) A crane collapsed at the Grand Mosque, Mecca, killing 109 worshippers.
28/8/2015, Friday (+25,679) McKinley National Park, USA, was renamed ‘Denali’.
24/8/2016, Monday (+25,675) The United Nations determined that the Syrian government twice used helicopters to deploy chlorine gas against its opponents, in civilian areas in the northern Idlib province. A later report held the government responsible for a third attack. The attacks occurred in 2014 and 2015. The panel also found that ISIS had used mustard gas.
21/8/2015, Friday (+25,672) (Iran, UK, US) Britain and Iran re-opened their embassies in each other’s capitals. This followed a nuclear agreement between Iran and the USA organised by US President Obama (but not yet ratified by US Congress).
20/8/2015, Thursday (+25,671) Kim Jong Un, President of North Korea, put his troops on a war footing in reaction to South Korea blasting propaganda messages by loudspeaker across the border. Seoul said the propaganda broadcasts, the first since 2004, were in retaliation for a landmine that maimed two South Korean soldiers. North Korea threatened to shoot out the loudspeakers. There was also exchange of gunfire between the two countries.
18/8/2015, Tuesday (+25,669)
17/8/2015, Monday (+25,668) A terrorist bomb exploded at the Erawan Buddhist shrine in central Bangkok, killing over 20 and injuring more than 120. No-one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
12/8/2015, Wednesday (+25,663) A large explosion in Tianjin, China, destroyed a warehouse containing several hundred tons of hazardous chemicals. At least 50 died and over 700 injured.
26/7/2015, Sunday (+25,646) Ebola continued in Guinea and Sierra Leone, albeit at much lower levels than the peak of the late-2014 outbreak. The Lancet reported on a vaccine with a 1005 success rate, as total cases from February 2014 now stood at: Guinea, 3,786 cases, 2,520 deaths; Liberia, 10,672 cases, 4,808 deaths; Sierra Leone, 13,290 cases, 3,951 deaths. There had also been 1 case in Italy, 8 cases and 6 deaths in Mali, 20 cases and 8 deaths in Nigeria, 1 case in Senegal, 1 case in Spain, 1 case in the UK, and 4 cases, 1 death in the USA.
20/7/2015, Monday (+25,640) The trial of former Chadian President (1982-1990), Hissein Habre, began, see 30/5/2016.
14/7/2015, Tuesday (+25,634) (1) Iran and the West reached a nuclear deal.
(2) The space probe New Horizons reached Pluto.
5/7/2015, Sunday (+25,625) A referendum in Greece solidly rejected the austerity measures demanded by the IMF and Brussels as a condition of further loans to Greece to rescue its economy. However these measures were largely implemented after the Greek banks and stock exchange closed and drastic limits were imposed on cashpoint withdrawals.
1/7/2015, Wednesday (+25,621) The average cost of entry to a UK theme park stood at £55, up 80% on ten years earlier. A pint of beer averaged £3.15, up from £2.34 ten years earlier. Retail prices had risen by 29% over ten years.
30/6/2015, Tuesday (+25,620) Europe’s refugee crisis continued To this day, illegal arrivals from 1/1/2015 totalled over 340,000. 102,342 refugees from the Middle East and Kosovo had arrived via Hungary; 132,340 from the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan areas had arrived via Turkey and Greece; 91,302 from Africa had arrived via Libya and Italy, and 6,698 from Syria and west Africa had arrived via Spain.
26/6/2015, Friday (+25,616) Islamist gunmen stormed a tourist beach at Sousse, Tunisia, shooting dead 38 holidaymakers. The Tunisian holiday industry subsequently collapsed. Simultaneous terrorist attacks took place in France and Kuwait.
29/5/2015, Friday (+25,588) In India, over 2,000 had died because of heatwave, with temperatures reaching 50 C. This exceeded the previous toll of 1,677 in a heatwave in 1995.
23/5/2015, Saturday (+25,582) (Ireland, Homosexuality) Ireland voted by a margin of 2:1 to legalise gay marriage. The result, 1,201,607 YES votes against 734,300 NO, was remarkable in a strongly Catholic country. The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, said the Church may have become disconnected with young people, and ruled out gay marriages in Catholic churches.
12/5/2015, Tuesday (+25,571) A second powerful earthquake hit Nepal. The 7.3 magnitude tremor struck 80 kilometres north east of Kathmandu, inuring over 1,000 people.
7/5/2015, Thursday (+25,566) General election in the UK. David Cameron won a narrow majority for the Conservatives with 331 seats. The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) swept the board in Scotland, winning 59 of the 59 seats there; Labour lost a large number of MPs there, also losing seats to the Conservatives in England; Labour finished with 232 seats. The Liberal Democrats crashed to just 8 seats, from 56. The UK Independence Party (UKIP) won 12.6% of the vote but obtained just one MP, in Clacton; their leader, Nigel Farage, lost his Thanet South seat to the Conservatives. The UKIP leader Nigel Farage, the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and the Labour leader Ed Miliband all resigned. The Conservatives picked up voted from Liberal Democrats and from UKIP supporters afraid of a Labour-SNP coalition; UKIP came second in over 100 constituencies. Voters may also have feared a Leftist government creating an economic crisis similar to that recently suffered by Greece.
25/4/2015, Saturday (+25,554) Earthquake in Nepal killed 7,500 and injured 14,000. The magnitude 7.9 quake struck 80 kilometres north west of Kathmandu.
19/4/2015, Sunday (+25,548) The heaviest casualty incident to date of the ongoing unofficial migrant sailings across the Mediterranean to Europe occurred this day, when 770 drowned as their boat sank off the Libyan coast. In September 2014 500 drowned off Malta, on 12/4/2015 400 died as their boat capsized off Libya and on 3/10/2013 368 migrants drowned off Lampedusa. Between January and end-July 2015 187,000 migrants had arrived in the EU; 96,971 arrived in Italy, 88,695 to Greece and 1,674 had arrived in Spain.
5/4/2015, Sunday (+25,534) Easter Sunday.
1/4/2015, Wednesday (+25,530) ISIS forces took Palmyra.
24/3/2015, Tuesday (+25,522) A Germanwings plane, flying from Spain to Germany, crashed into the Alps, killing all 320 on board. It appeared that the co-pilot, having spiked the pilot’s coffee with a diuretic to ensure he left the cockpit for the toilet, then locked him out of the cabin and deliberately crashed the plane into the mountains at speed.
23/3/2015, Monday (+25,521) Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore who played a major role in the development of that country, died aged 91. He became first Prime Minister of newly-independent Singapore in 1959, remaining in government until 2011. He took Singapore into a federation with Malaysia in 1963, and took it out in 1965. He ran Singapore with a strong hand, but achieved economic growth that averaged 7% a year for four decades.
27/2/2015, Friday (+25,497) The Russian opposition politician, Boris Nemtsov, was assassinated in Moscow; born 9/10/1959 he was aged 55. In the late 1990s Nemtsov was a close associate of Yeltsin, who put him in charge of economic reforms, although the economic crash of 1998, in which many ordinary Russians lost everything, severely dented his credibility. Nemtsov was a co-founder of the Union of Rightists, which won 8.6% of the vote, 6 million votes, in the Russian elections of 1999, and became Deputy Speaker of the Russian Parliament in February 2000, a month after Putin became President. However Nemtsov’s party was perceived as having confused policies in the face of stronger leadership by Putin and in 2003 the Union of Rightists failed to meet the threshold for qualifying for any seats in the Duma. Outside the political arena, Nemtsov became more critical of Putin, who in turn attempted to undermine Nemtsov’s business interests. Nemtsov continued to criticise Putin and government corruption generally, also censuring Putin’s involvement in the Ukraine, the shooting down of a Malaysian aircraft, and Russian annexation of the Crimea, whilst Putin was trying to publically distance himself from ‘Ukrainian rebel forces’ in eastern Ukraine. Nemtsov had been organising an anti-Ukraine-war march in Moscow for 1/3/2015 and this march became his silent memorial procession by tens of thousands of Russians. The Kremlin, in order to prevent the bridge where Nemtsov had been killed from becoming a memorial to him, hosted a celebration of the annexation of Crimea there later in March 2015.
14/2/2015, Saturday (+25,484) In scenes reminiscent of the Paris Charlie Hebdo shootings (7/1/2015) an Islamist terrorist, Omar el Hussein, 22, shot dead Finn Norgaard, a 55 year old film director, at a Free Speech meeting at a cafe in central Copenhagen, at 3.30 pm Saturday. The Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who portrayed the prophet Mohammed as a ‘mad dog’ in 2007, was beloved to have been the main target; Hussein’s entry into the cafe was thwarted by a metal detector, prompting him to spray some 200 bullets from the entrance. Hussein then went to the Krystalgade synagogue and opened fire, killing the doorman Dan Uzan, 37, and wounding two police officers, at a Bat-Mitzvah, at 1am Sunday. Danish police identified the gunman and traced his address to an apartment in the Norrebro district; by then he was on his way to the synagogue. At 5am the next morning, 15 February, armed police shot Hussein at his apartment. Hussein had just been released from prison in Denmark two weeks earlier after serving a term for aggravated assault.
26/1/2015, Monday (+25,465) (1) Saudi Arabia led air strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen.
(2) The Church of England appointed its first woman bishop. The Reverend Libby Lane became suffragan Bishop of Stockport at a ceremony in York Cathedral.
25/1/2015, Sunday (+25,464) (1) The Greek operatic singer Demis Roussos, born 14/6/1946, died. He sold 60 million albums, and was also known for his excess weight, 23 stone at its peak. Because of his weight be began to wear kaftans for his stage performances, reverting to trousers when he began a weight loss programme in 1980.
(2) In Greece the Left-Wing populist party Syriza, led by Alexis Tsipras, won the elections. Greece was suffering the effects of an austerity programme having gone through a major recession and owing massive debts to the EU. Syriza now threatened to default on Greece’s repayment schedule, much to the consternation of Germany. Greek debts in 2015 amounted to 175% of its GDP, with 25% unemployment.
21/1/2015, Wednesday (+25,460) Confirmed Ebola cases in Guinea reached 2,806 cases with 1,814 deaths. In Liberia cases eached 8,331 cases with 3,538 deaths. In Sierra Leone cases reached 10,124, with 3,062 deaths.
9/1/2015, Friday (+25,448) Confirmed Ebola cases in Sierra Leone reached 7,718, with early 3,000 deaths. However the epidemic seemed to be abating, with many areas free of new cases for over a month.
7/1/2015, Wednesday (+25,446) Ten cartoonists were shot dead at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, along with 2 policemen, by Islamists in revenge for perceived anti-Islamic cartoons.
31/12/2014, Wednesday (+25,439) During 2014, malaria killed 627,000 worldwide, 77% of these being children under 5. In 2014 there were 207 million new cases of malaria, and Africa lost an estimated US$ 12 million productivity due to the disease.
28/12/2014, Sunday (+25,436) An Air Asia flight crashed into the Java Sea off Borneo, killing all 162 people on board. It had climbed too steeply and then stalled.
23/12/2014, Tuesday (+25,431) Construction work began on a canal across Nicaragua, 173 miles long but designed to take larger ships than the Panama Canal. The US$ 50 billion (UK£ 32 billion) project would displace 29,000 people and there were fears that freshwater Lake Managua would be polluted. The Chinese-backed project, headed by Hong Kong based HKND, was granted a renewable 50-year concession to build and operate the canal, in return for a US$ 10 billion operating fee. President Ortega’s Sandinista administration promised the project would create thousands of jobs during construction, but many Nicaraguans perceived the government as corrupt.
17/12/2014, Wednesday (+25,425) The European Parliament voted to recognise the Palestinian State by 498 votes to 88.
16/12/2014, Tuesday (+25,424) Taliban gunmen scaled the wall of an army-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan, and began shooting indiscriminately. 141 schoolchildren were killed before the army regained control; many more had been injured. This was in revenge for Army attacks on the Taliban.
15/12/2014, Monday (+25,423) In Hong Kong police cleared away the barricades set up in September 2014 by pro-democracy demonstrators who were demanding free elections without preliminary screening of the candidates by Beijing. The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, had won against the Occupy Central movement, but popular discontent, by young educated students from affluent families remained.
4/12/2014, Thursday (+25,412) Former leader of the UK Liberal Party, Jeremy Thorpe, died aged 85. He became Party Leader in 1967, having been MP for North Devon since 1959.
29/11/2014, Saturday (+25,407) Across Britain, mystery explosions or sonic booms were heard. There were also reports of an explosion in Manchester, and near Catterick barracks, where a six-mile stretch of the A1 was closed, but no damage was to be found. Theories ranged from falling satellite debris to meteorites to secret MoD experiments.
25/11/2014, Tuesday (+25,403)
24/11/2014, Monday (+25,402) In Missouri, the Prosecutor’s Office announced it would not press charges against a policeman, Mr Wilson, for shooting dead a Black teenager, Michael Brown (see 9/8/2014). Several nights rioting followed.
20/11/2014, Thursday (+25,398) In Britain’s Rochester and Strood by-election, UKIP won its second MP.
12/11/2014, Wednesday (+25,390) The Philae Lander touched down onto a comet, 320 million miles from Earth; the first such landing accomplished. Although the craft bounced and ended up partially shaded from the Sun, useful data was returned until the probe finally ‘died’ on 9/7/2015.
9/11/2014, Sunday (+25,387) (1) Islamic terrorists dressed in school uniforms set off suicide bombs at a school assembly.
(2) In Catalonia a poll was held by the regional government on independence from Spain. The national government had already declared it would not consider the poll result binding, and anti-separatists boycotted the poll. 2.3 million voted out of an electorate of 5.4 million. Of these, 1.6 million answered ‘yes’ to both questions, ‘Do you think Catalonia should be a State’, and ‘If so, should it be independent from Spain’. Artur Mas, leader of the independence campaign, claimed a success. Catalonia complained that as Spain’s wealthiest region, it contributed more to the State than it received in return. The Spanish Prime Minister, Mr Mariano Rajoy of the Popular Party, replied that money was short and Catalonia must wait until the general economy improved.
29/10/2014, Wednesday (+25,376) 150 Kurdish fighters set off from Erbil (Kurdish Iraq) to travel through Turkish territory to reinforce Kurdish fighters across the Turkish-Syria border battling ISIS in the Syrian border town of Kobani. ISIS began to lose ground there, as Syrian Kurds were reinforced by US arms drops and US air strikes against ISIS. The fight for Kobani assumed increased importance as the global TV media focussed on the battle from just across the border in Turkey. The issue of Turkey allowing Kurdish reinforcements across its territory was sensitive because Turkey has its own Kurdish minority region in the south-east.
27/10/2014, Monday (+25,374) The total Ebola toll was as follows. Democratic Republic of Congo, 70 cases, 49 deaths. Guinea, 1,906 cases, 997 deaths. Liberia, 6,535 cases, 2,413 deaths. Mali, 1 case, 1 death. Nigeria, 20 cases, 8 deaths – declared free of Ebola. Senegal, 1 case, o deaths - declared free of Ebola. Sierra Leone, 5,235 cases, 1,500 deaths.
22/10/2014, Wednesday (+25,369) Total Ebola cases now stood at 9,936, with 4,877 deaths. Mali reported its first case.
21/10/2014, Tuesday (+25,368) Gough Whitlam, former Labor Prime Minister of Australia from 1972, died aged 98. He extricated Australian troops from Vietnam, ended conscription, set up commissions into equal pay, Aboriginal land rights and school funding, set up State-funded healthcare, liberalised abortion laws, introduced votes at 18 and free university education. He also gave Papua New Guinea independence, and forged closer relations with China.
18/10/2014, Saturday (+25,365) The total Ebola toll was as follows. Guinea, 1,519 cases, 7788 deaths. Liberia, 4,076 cases, 2,316 deaths. Nigeria, 20 cases, 8 deaths. Senegal, 1 case, 0 deaths. Sierra Leone, 3,410 cases, 1,200 deaths. Overall total, 9,191 cases, 4,546 deaths.
14/10/2014, Tuesday (+25,361) A magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit El Salvador and Nicaragua.
13/10/2014, Monday (+25,360) The British Parliament voted by 274 to 12 to recognise the Palestinian State. The vote had little real impact and was essentially symbolic; it followed a similar vote by the Swedish Parliament earlier in October 2014.
11/10/2014, Saturday (+25,358) The number of Ebola deaths in West Africa passed 4,000.
9/10/2014, Thursday (+25,356) UKIP got its first MP elected in the Clacton by-election, taking the seat from the Conservatives, as voters concerns about immigration rose. UKIP also came close to winning another by-election this day in Heywood & Middleton, Manchester; Labour held the seat by just 617 votes.
4/10/2014, Saturday (+25,351) (1) Jean Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier died, aged 63. He became dictator of Haiti in 1971. Like his father, Papa Doc, he lived in luxury whilst most Haitians lacked paved roads or sewerage. The poorer Haiti was, the more foreign aid came in, to be diverted to luxuries for the Duvaliers. In the 1980s the Haitian economy collapsed, with many fleeing on boats to Florida; in 1986 food riots forced the Duvaliers to flee, on an American plane. He was useful to the USA as an anti-Communist close to Cuba, and Haiti was a non-unionised cheap-labour locale for US businesses. To universal surprise he returned to Haiti in 2011, after the disastrous earthquake, broken, he said, by exile, and claiming he wished to help his country. His ex-wife Michelle had bankrupted him, taking all the money, and Jean Claude was reduced to living in two rented rooms in Paris. A Haitian judge ruled that any charges against him were time-expired.
(2) 1 kg carrots cost 70p. 2 pints of milk cost 89p.
3/10/2014, Friday (+25,350) Sweden became the first EU country to recognise the Palestinian State. Israel withdrew its ambassador in protest.
30/9/2014, Tuesday (+25,347)
26/9/2014, Friday (+25,343) The total Ebola toll was as follows. Democratic Republic of Congo, 70 cases, 42 deaths. Guinea, 1,074 cases, 648 deaths. Liberia, 3,458 cases, 1,830 deaths. Nigeria, 20 cases, 8 deaths. Senegal, 1 case, 0 deaths. Sierra Leone, 2,021 cases, 605 deaths.
22/9/2014, Monday (+25,339) (1) A US-led coalition began air strikes against ISIS in Syria.
(2) Tesco shared fell sharply as the food retailer admitted overstating its profits by some £250 million. The issue was with clawed-back payments from Tesco’s suppliers, in return for better shelf positioning and other ‘perks’; future such payments had been included in earlier-period profit statements.
20/9/2014, Saturday (+25,337) The total Ebola toll was as follows. Guinea, 1,008 cases, 632 deaths. Liberia, 3,022 cases, 1,578 deaths. Nigeria, 20 cases, 8 deaths. Senegal, 1 case, 0 deaths. Sierra Leone, 1,813 cases, 593 deaths.
18/9/2014, Thursday (+25,335) Referendum in Scotland on independence from the UK; the vote was 55.4% against independence (‘No’), .44.6% ‘Yes’, for independence. Had the been vote for independence, Scotland would have become independent on 24/3/2016.
12/9/2014, Friday (+25,329) The Reverend Ian Paisley died, aged 88. A devout Protestant, he founded the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland, and he was MP for Antrim for 40 years, before becoming Lord Bannside. He also founded the Free Presbyterian Church.
6/9/2014, Saturday (+25,323) A small meteorite landed in woods near Managua, Nicaragua, leaving a crater 5 metres deep and 24 metres across.
1/9/2014, Monday (+25,318) Russian-backed separatists took control of Luhansk Airport, and of Novalsk, eastern Ukraine.
28/8/2014, Thursday (+25,314) Pro-Russian rebels took the Ukrainian town of Novoazovsk.
26/8/2014, Tuesday (+25,312) A long history of child abuse in Rotherham emerged, mostly by Pakistani men against White girls. As many as 1,400 children may have been abused between 1997 and 2003, some whilst they were in childrens’ homes. Local authorities were accused covering up the abuse, for fear of provoking racial discord.
20/8/2014, Wednesday (+25,306) Anti-Semitic attacks occurred in Paris. A synagogue in Sarcelles, a working-class suburb of northern Paris with many Sephardic Jews, known as ‘Little Jerusalem’, was threatened. Youths from the French Jewish defence League defended the synagogue so Muslims attacked Kosher shops instead. The Muslim attacks followed from the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
19/8/2014, Tuesday (+25,305) ISIS beheaded a western hostage, James Foley.
17/8/2014, Sunday (+25,303)
15/8/2014, Friday (+25,301) The United Nations passed a resolution backing sanctions on any country supplying, fighting for, or funding IS (ISIS).
14/8/2014, Thursday (+25,300), Mr Nuria al Maliki resigned after 8 years as Iraqi Prime Minister. He had backed the Shias against other ethnic groups, and his replacement, Haider al Abadi, 62, was to be more inclusive.
13/8/2014, Wednesday (+25,299) The UN estimated that a total of 2,086 people had been killed in the Ukraine conflict so far, double the toll from 2 weeks earlier. In mid-August, Ukrainian forces were making headway against rebel Russian backed forces.
12/8/2014, Tuesday (+25,298) Nearly 300 Russian lorries laden with ‘aid’ for the rebels in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, set off from Moscow. The Ukrainian Government in Kiev attempted to halt the convoy.
10/8/2014, Sunday (+25,296)
9/8/2014, Saturday (+25,295) A Black man, Mr Brown, was shot dead by a White policeman, Mr Darren Wilson, in the suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, USA. Several nights of racial-based rioting followed.
8/8/2014, Friday (+25,294) The US carried out its first air strike against ISIS on Iraqi territory.
7/8/2015, Thursday (+25,293) The U.N. Security Council authorised investigators to probe reports of chemical weapons use in Syria, as reports circulated of repeated chlorine gas attacks by government forces against civilians in opposition-held areas. Chlorine gas, though not as toxic as nerve agents, can be classified as a chemical weapon depending on its use.
5/8/2014, Tuesday (+25,291) Baroness Warsi resigned from Cameron’s UK Conservative Government. She had criticised the UK Government’s refusal to condemn Israel over the assault on Gaza.
1/8/2014, Friday (+25,287) 250g mature cheddar cheese cost £2.00. Six medium size free range eggs cost £1.25. 750g smoked gammon joint cost £4.00. 1kg garden peas cost £1.60. 1kg red seedless grapes cost £4.00. 4 pints semi-skimmed milk cost £1.00. 160 PG Tips 500g cost £4.00. A 400g quiche Lorraine cost £2.30. 150g peppered salami cost £1.70. A 4-pack toilet rolls aloe vera cost £2.00.
31/7/2014, Thursday (+25,286) The number of fatalities in the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia passed 1,200; cases were also reported in Nigeria.
30/7/2014, Wednesday (+25,285) The EU imposed more sanctions on Russia for its backing of Ukrainian rebels.
26/7/2014, Saturday (+25,281) The death toll in the Ukraine conflict reached 1,129; 799 of them were civilians.
24/7/2014, Thursday (+25,279) An Air Algerie flight en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers crashed in the Sahara Desert; it was initially uncertain whether sandstorms or terrorist activity was the cause.
23/7/2014, Wednesday (+25,278) Joseph Wood, convicted of double murder, took nearly 2 hours to die by lethal injection in an Arizona prison. Questions were raised on the practicality of the death sentence in America.
22/7/2014, Tuesday (+25,277) A Palestinian rocket landed within 2 kilometres of Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport (see 8/7/2014), causing many airlines to cancel flights to Israel.
17/7/2014, Thursday (+25,272) A Malaysian airliner, flight MH17, with 298 on board was shot down 30 kilometres west of the Ukraine-Russia border with no survivors, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
13/7/2014, Sunday (+25,268), (1) Russia warned of severe consequences after a Ukrainian shell was fired across the border and killed a Russian.
(2) Germany beat Argentina to win the World Cup in Brazil. There had been unrest amongst Brazil’s poor over the money spent on the Games.
12/7/2014, Saturday (+25,267) Ukraine sent war jets into Donetsk, and claimed to have killed 500 rebels.
11/7/2014, Friday (+25,266) A magnitude 4.6 earthquake hit Jersey, Channel Islands; the largest quake in the area since a 5.6 magnitude tremor hit Guernsey in 1926.
8/7/2014, Tuesday (+25,263) Israel launched a major attack on the Gaza Strip, firing in rockets, followed by a ground invasion, following a series of rockets launched into Israel from Gaza.
5/7/2014, Saturday (+25,260) Pro-Russian rebels abandoned the Ukrainian town of Slavyansk after heavy fighting.
4/7/2014, Friday (+25,259) Former entertainer Rolf Harris, 84, was sentenced to 5 years 9 months for sexual crimes against children in the 1970s and 80s.
2/7/2014, Wednesday (+25,257) In revenge for the killing of three Israeli teenagers on 30/6/2014, a Palestinian youth was murdered by Israeli settlers.
1/7/2014, Tuesday (+25,256) The average UK house price was £182,334. A litre of petrol cost £1.30. 20 cigarettes cost £8.47.
30/6/2014, Monday (+25,255) The bodies of three Jewish teenagers were found after they had been kidnapped probably by Palestinians on 12 June.
29/6/2014, Sunday (+25,254) ISIS declared a Caliphate.
27/6/2014, Friday (+25,252)
24/6/2014, Tuesday (+25,249) Rebels shot down a Ukrainian helicopter, killing 9. The UN estimated that over 420 had died in the conflict so far.
23/6/2014, Monday (+25,248) The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said it had removed the last of the Syrian government's chemical weapons. Syrian opposition officials maintained that the government's stocks were not fully accounted for, and that it retained supplies.
20/6/2014, Friday (+25,245) Ukrainian President Poroshenko declared a week-long truce.
16/6/2014, Monday (+25,241) Russia cut gas supplies to the Ukraine.
14/6/2014, Saturday (+25,239) Pro Russian rebels shot down a Ukrainian warplane.
13/6/2014, Friday (+25,238) A 17-year-old Roma youth was attacked by about 20 men and left in a coma in the northern Paris suburb of Pierrefitte sur Seine. Many Roma lived in makeshift camps and had been blamed for rat infestations and burglaries. There was conflict between Moroccans and Roma in Paris.
6/6/2014, Friday (+25,231) Putin and Poroshenko called for an end to violence in the Ukraine.
4/6/2014, Wednesday (+25,229) US President Obama condemned Russian ‘aggression’ in Ukraine.
28/5/2014, Wednesday (+25,222) Abdel Fattah al Sisi was elected President of Egypt.
25/5/2014, Sunday (+25,219) Petro Poroshenko was elected Ukrainian President.
15/5/2014, Thursday (+25,209) General Wojciech Jarulzelski died, aged 90. He was appointed Defence Minister of Poland in 1968; in 1970 his troops shot dozens of striking shipyard workers in Gdansk and Gdynia, and was leader of Poland during the rise of Solidarnosc.
11/5/2014, Sunday (+25,205) The Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk declared independence after referendums.
2/5/2014, Friday (+25,196) Pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian factions clashed in Odessa; 42 people died.
20/4/2014, Sunday (+25,184) Easter Sunday.
15/4/2014, Tuesday (+25,179) Kiev began ‘anti-terrorist’ operations in eastern Ukraine.
14/4/2014, Monday (+25,178) Islamic terrorists set off a bomb in Abuja, Nigeria, killing 70.
7/4/2014, Monday (+25,171) Pro Russian gunmen seized government buildings in eastern Ukraine.
4/4/2014, Friday (+25,168) The railway line at Dawlish re-opened after storm damage was repaired, see 4/2/2014.
2/4/2014, Wednesday (+25,166) A magnitude 8.2 earthquake hit just off the coast of northern Chile. Casualties were few as the resultant tsunami was small.
31/3/2014, Monday (+25,164) The price of postage stamps in the UK rose from 60p to 62p first class and from 50p to 53p second class.
29/3/2014, Saturday (+25,162) Same-sex marriages became legal in England and Wales.
18/3/2014, Tuesday (+25,151) Russian President Putin signed a Bill to absorb the Crimea into Russia.
16/3/2014, Sunday (+25,149) Russia organised a widely-discredited referendum in the Crimea which produced an alleged 97%vote in favour of the region leaving the Ukraine and (re)joining Russia.
14/3/2014, Friday (+25,147) Anthony Wedgewood Benn, Labour politician, died aged 88. Against UK membership of the European Union, he was on the left of the Labour Party, and fought to renounce his hereditary peerage so he could sit in the Commons as an MP.
8/3/2014, Saturday (+25,141) A Malaysia Airlines flight from Malaysia to China vanished over the South China Sea. Initial suspicions that it had crashed gave way to reports that its tracking systems had been deliberately switched off and it had flown on for hours afterwards, possibly as far as Kazakhstan, or had gone down in the southern Indian Ocean. The fate of the plane remained unknown by end August 2014; by which time UK£ 28.5 million had been spent on searching the seabed for it. In September 2014 a new search initiative began, across an area of ocean of 1.1 million square kilometres west of Australia, at a further cost of UK£ 29.4 million.
1/3/2014, Saturday (+25,134) The Russian Parliament approved Vladimir Putin’s request to deploy the Russian military in the Crimea.
28/2/2014, Friday (+25,133) Pro-Russian gunmen seized government buildings in Simferopol, capital of the Crimea. The Crimea was originally part of Russia until transferred to Ukraine in 1954, and in 2014 still had a large Russian population.
27/2/2014, Thursday (+25,132) In Russia, Viktor Yanukoyvitch insisted he was still legitimate leader of the Ukraine. The Ukrainian Government had issued a warrant for his arrest on 24/2/2014.
25/2/2014, Tuesday (+25,130)
22/2/2014, Saturday (+25,127) In the Ukraine, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukoyvitch fled after snipers killed protestors in central Kiev, and rival Yulia Tymoshenko was freed.
20/2/2014, Thursday (+25,125) 88 died in riots in the Ukraine.
18/2/2014, Tuesday (+25,123) In the Ukraine, 26 died and hundreds injured in clashes between pro-government and pro-western factions.
13/2/2014, Thursday (+25,118) George Osborne, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, warned that an independent Scotland (see 18/9/2014) would not be able to keep the Pound as a currency.
12/2/2014, Wednesday (+25,117) Explosive packages, linked to Ireland, were sent to UK Army recruitment offices across southern England, and a further package was discovered in a shopping centre in Slough. None exploded and all were defused.
11/2/2014, Tuesday (+25,116)
10/2/2014, Monday (+25,115) (1) Severe flooding was now affecting large areas of Surrey and Berkshire west of London, including Staines, Datchet and Windsor.
(2) In the UK, MPs voted to ban smoking in cars carrying children. Legislation will probably follow.
9/2/2014, Sunday (+25,114) In a referendum, 50.3% of voters backed a quota on immigration proposed by the Right-wing Swiss Peoples Party (SVP). Turnout was 56%. A quarter of the Swiss population are immigrants. The Francophone west was opposed to quotas but the German-speaking east backed them. The EU criticised the vote; although Switzerland is not part of the EU it has close economic ties with it, and is part of the Schengen Agreement. The Swiss Government and business leaders opposed the quotas.
8/2/2014, Saturday (+25,113) As severe storms continued to batter the coast of south and west England, with widespread persistent flooding, a landslip closed the railway at Crewkerne, Somerset. All of Devon and Cornwall were now without rail services.
4/2/2014, Tuesday (+25,109) A section of the main-line railway between Exeter and Plymouth was washed away by heavy seas at Dawlish, as severe storms and heavy rain continued to batter Britain. The line re-opened on 4/4/2014.
1/2/2014, Saturday (25,106) Violent protests in Bangkok.
28/1/2014, Tuesday (+25,102) The Ukrainian Prime Minister, Mykola Azarov, resigned as anti-protest laws were repealed by the government.
25/1/2014, Saturday (+25,099) Violent protests in Ukraine continued between pro-EU and pro-Moscow factions.
22/1/2014, Wednesday (+25,096) Police in Kiev, Ukraine, shot dead two anti-government protestors.
14/1/2014, Tuesday (+25,088) ISIS forces took Raqqa, Syria.
11/1/2014, Saturday (+25,085) Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died, aged 85, after eight years in a coma. See 4/1/2006.
4/1/2014, Saturday (+25,078) ISIS forces took Fallujah, Iraq.
3/1/2014, Friday (+25,077) Anti-Assad groups in northern Syria united against ISIS.
1/1/2014, Wednesday (+25,075) The US State of Colorado legalised the sale and consumption of cannabis for personal use.
24/12/2013, Tuesday (+25,067) Alan Turing, the mathematician who broke the Nazi codes during World War Two but who was convicted of gross indecency for a homosexual act with a man in 1952, was posthumously pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II. He was given chemical castration but his criminal record meant he could no longer work for GCHQ and he committed suicide by cyanide poisoning in 1954, aged 41. Prominent figures including Stephen Hawking and Peter Tatchell had been campaigning for a pardon for several years.
23/12/2013, Monday (+25,066) A succession of intense storms hit the UK, with heavy rainfall and high winds. There was serious flooding, especially in the Surrey area. The heavy rainfall continued into February 2014, with flooding in the Somerset Levels.
18/12/2013, Wednesday (+25,061) Great Train Robber Ronald Biggs died aged 84. The robbery was in 1963.
5/12/2013, Thursday (+25,048) (1) Nelson Mandela died, aged 95.
(2) Severe storms battered the UK, and a storm surge caused the worst flooding since 1953.
24/11/2013, Sunday (+25,037) Iran and the US reached a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme and sanctions on Iran.
21/11/2013, Thursday (+25,034) The Ukrainian Government moved closer to Russia, sparking popular protests.
8/11/2013, Friday (+25,021) Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. With winds of 160 mph, at least 2,300 were killed, 600,000 made homeless, and US$ 15 billion damage done.
14/10/2013, Monday (+24,996) Syria became a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, prohibiting it from producing, stockpiling or using chemical weapons.
27/9/2013, Friday (+24,979) The UN Security Council ordered Syria to account for and destroy its stocks of chemical weapons, following a surprise agreement between the USA and Russia, so averting US airstrikes. Use of force was threatened by the UN if Syria did not comply.
16/9/2013, Monday (+24,968) North Korea reopened the joint N-S industrial zone at Kaesong.
2/9/2013, Monday (+24,954) Ronald Coase, the economist who developed the theory of the firm, died aged 102. He was born in Willesden, north London, in 1910.
31/8/2013, Saturday (+24,952) US President Obama desired to carry out punitive airstrikes against the Syrian government, but Congress did not support the idea.
21/8/2013, Wednesday (+24,942) Hundreds of people suffocated in rebel-held suburbs of the Syrian capital, with many suffering from convulsions, pinpoint pupils, and foaming at the mouth. U.N. investigators visited the sites and determined that ground-to-ground missiles loaded with sarin were fired on civilian areas while residents slept. The U.S. and others blamed the Syrian government, the only party to the conflict known to have sarin gas.
11/8/2013, Sunday (+24,932) Two magnitude 6.4 earthquakes hit Tabriz and Ahar, Iran, killing 153 people.
3/7/2013, Wednesday (+24,893) After massive street protests across Egypt, President Morsi was deposed by the military; his regime accused of sending the country towards bankruptcy.
1/7/2013, Monday (+24,891) 100g instant coffee cost £2.67. A pint of milk cost 46p. 250g UK butter cost £1.42. 1.5kg self-raising flour cost £1.19. A dozen medium sized eggs cost £2.78. 2.5 kg of chicken cost £6.00. 1kg pork sausages cost £4.84. A 800g loaf of bread cost £1.27. A small loaf of bread cost 47p. A McDonalds BigMac cost £2.59. 1kg carrots cost 91p, 1kg of dessert apples cost £2.02. A kilogram of sugar cost 95p. A pint of beer was £3.18. A pint of lager cost £2.87. A litre of petrol cost £1.34. A litre of diesel cost £1.41. The latest model of the Ford Focus car cost £13,995. A pack of 20 cigarettes cost £7.98. The average UK house price was £168,928. Average (new) UK house price was £247,000. Average detached house price was £305,391. Average annual wage was £26,000. UK weekly pension was $110.50 Gold was £1,051 per troy ounce. UK consumer debt stood at £1,426 billion.
5/6/2013, Wednesday (+24,865) In the Syrian civil war, the town of Qusayr was recaptured by pro-Assad forces.
31/5/2013, Friday (+24,860) Turkish police burnt down a protestors camp in Gezi Park, Istanbul. The protests were against plans to redevelop the park, one of the few green spaces in the city, for commercial uses.
25/5/2013, Saturday (+24,854) A sixth night of rioting in the Swedish capital, Stockholm; many cars were burnt, mainly in poorer areas.
22/5/2013, Wednesday (+24,851) A soldier wearing a ‘Help for Heroes’ T shirt, near Woolwich Barracks, SE London, was hacked to death in the street by two Africans who had converted to Islam. The perpetrators then waited for police to arrive and were shot but not fatally. Hate crimes in the UK against Islamic targets over the next two days amounted to 160, ten times the usual level.
9/5/2013, Thursday (+24,838) ISIS was formed.
25/4/2013, Thursday (+24,824) The UK reopened its embassy in Somalia, closed for 25 years.
24/4/2013, Wednesday (+24,823) A large garment factory in Rana Plaza in the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed, killing 1,129 people.
20/4/2013, Saturday (+24,819)
17/4/2013, Wednesday (+24,816) Same sex marriage was legalised in New Zealand.
16/4/2013, Tuesday (+24,815) Earthquake in Khash province, Iran, magnitude 7.8, killed 38.
15/4/2013, Monday (+24,814) The Boston Marathon race was hit by two bombs, killing 3 and injuring 284.
10/4/2013, Wednesday (+24,809)
9/4/2013, Tuesday (+24,808) Magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit Iran, killing 37 people.
8/4/2013, Monday (+24,807) Mrs Thatcher the former Conservative PM died, aged 87.
7/4/2013, Sunday (+24,806) The Syrian government launched an air raid on rebels in Aleppo, killing 15 people.
5/4/2013, Friday (+24,804)
3/4/2013, Wednesday (+24,802) North Korea closed the joint N-S industrial zone at Kaesong.
2/4/2013, Tuesday (+24,801) (1) North Korea said it would restart its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon.
(2) Uruguay legalised same-sex marriages.
31/3/2013, Sunday (+24.799) Easter Sunday.
19/3/2013, Tuesday (+24,787) 26 Syrians, including a dozen Government soldiers, were killed in a gas attack on the town of Khan-al-Assal, northern Syria. A UN investigation found that sarin nerve gas had been used, but could not identify the source.
16/3/2013, Saturday (+24,784) To rescue its banks, Cyprus announced a plan that would confiscate some of the savings of its biggest depositors.
13/3/2013, Wednesday (+24,781) The 286th Pope was elected, he took the name Francis I.
12/3/2013, Tuesday (+24,780)
11/3/2013, Monday (+24,779) North Korea cut the phone line with the South, breaking the 1953 Armistice terms.
7/3/2013, Thursday (+24,775) The UN Security Council unanimously agreed to tighten sanctions on North Korea.
28/2/2013, Thursday (+24,768) Pope Benedict XVI resigned, the first Pope to do so since Gregory XII in 1415, and the first voluntary resignation since Celestine V in 1294.
22/2/2013, Friday (+24,762) The Credit Agency, Moodys, downgraded the UK’s rating from AAA to AA1.
16/2/2013, Saturday (+24,756) A bomb exploded at a marketplace in Quetta, Pakistan, killing over 80 people.
15/2/2013, Friday (+24,755) A large meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia; 1,491 were injured and over 4,000 buildings damaged.
12/2/2013, Tuesday (+24,752) N Korea conducted a 3rd underground nuclear test, provoking fears of war with the USA.
13/1/2013, Sunday (+24,722) The Food Safety Authority of Ireland announced the discovery of horsemeat in four Tesco beef products.
11/1/2013, Friday (+24,720) The French army began operations against Islamic militants in northern Mali.
15/12/2012, Saturday (+24,693) The 14·3 km extension of orbital tram route T3 following the Boulevards des Maréchaux ring road around the eastern side of Paris was opened for revenue service. This trebled the length of T3, which ran for 7·9 km across the south of Paris from Pont du Garigliano to Porte d’Ivry since 2006, and added 24 stops.
12/12/2012, Wednesday (+24,690) North Korea successfully launched a satellite using its Unha-3 rocket, see 13/4/2012.
5/12/2012, Wednesday (+24,683) A magnitude 5.8 earthquake in South Korea killed 6.
29/11/2012, Thursday (+24,677) The United Nations granted Palestine non-member observer status.
24/11/2012, Saturday (+24,672) A fire at a clothing factory in Bangladesh killed 112 people.
14/11/2012, Wednesday (+24,662) Protests in Greece, Portugal and Spain against European austerity measures.
11/11/2012, Sunday (+24,659) A magnitude 6.8 earthquake killed 12 people in Myanmar.
10/11/2012, Saturday (+24,658) Barack Obama was confirmed as Presidential winner in the USA, defeating challenger Mitt Romney.
7/11/2012, Wednesday (+24,655) (1) Voters in Maryland, Maine and Washington approved same sex marriages.
(2) Magnitude 7.3 earthquake in Guatemala killed 48 people.
27/10/2012, Saturday (+24,644) Large protests in Madrid against austerity cuts.
23/10/2012, Tuesday (+24,640)
15/10/2012, Monday (+24,632) The price of a 800g loaf of white bread was £1.26.
9/10/2012, Tuesday (+24,626) The Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head whilst travelling home on a school bus, for insisting that girls had a right to education. She survived, continued campaigning, and in 2014 became the youngest person to date to receive the Nobel prize.
17/9/2012, Saturday (+24,608) Occupy Wall Street protests began in the USA.
11/9/2012, Tuesday (+24,598) (1) Over a million people peacefully protested on the streets of Barcelona on Catalonia’s National Day, demanding independence from Spain. This demonstration was to become an annual event.
(2) Islamists attacked the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The US Ambassador and three other US diplomats were killed.
7/9/2012, Friday (+24,594) Canada cut diplomatic ties with Iran, over Iran’s support for Syrian Government nuclear plans and human rights abuses.
1/9/2012, Saturday (+24,588) Islamist rebels captured the town of Douentza in Mali.
25/8/2012, Saturday (+24,581) Voyager I became the first man-made object to leave the solar system.
20/8/2012, Monday (+24,576) US President Obama strongly cautioned the Syrian Government against any use of chemical weapons.
17/8/2012, Friday (+24,573) Moscow banned any Gay Pride events for the next 100 years.
16/8/2012, Thursday (+24,572) (1) Striking mineworkers were fired upon by police at Marikana, South Africa. 34 miners were killed.
(2) Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, was officially given political asylum by Ecuador.
6/8/2012, Monday (+24,562) Curiosity, the US space probe, successfully landed on Mars.
27/7/2012, Friday (+24,552) The Summer Olympics began in London; they finished on 12/8/2012.
19/7/2012, Thursday (+24,544) Groups opposed to the regime of Syria’s leader, Bashar al Assad, attacked the city of Aleppo. Aleppo became divided into a pro-regime west and a pro-rebel east.
18/7/2012, Wednesday (+24,543) Kim Jong Un was officially appointed Supreme Leader of North Korea.
17/7/2012, Tuesday (+24,542) In Libya, the General National Congress came to power. However it could not maintain stability on the country.
7/7/2012, Saturday (+24,532) Libya held its first post Gadhafi elections; the country was still politically unstable.
5/7/2012, Thursday (+24,530) The Shard in London was opened. The tallest building in Europe, it is 309.6 metres, 1,016 feet, high.
4/7/2012, Wednesday (+24,529) The Higgs Boson was discovered at CERN.
1/7/2012, Sunday (+24,526) A large loaf of white bread cost £1.20 A lb of back bacon cost £4.04. A pint of milk cost 46p. A lb of butter cost £2.82. A lb of potatoes cost 67p. A lb of oranges cost £1.24. A quarter lb loose tea cost £1.94 A pint of beer cost £2.79. 20 king-size cigarettes cost £7.09. A sack of house coal cost £16.89. The average UK house price was £163,628. A litre of petrol cost £1.35.
24/6/2012, Sunday (+24,519) (1) Three Chinese astronauts successfully docked with an orbiting module, making Chine the 3rd country to accomplish this mission.
(2) Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood became President of Egypt.
29/5/2012, Tuesday (+24,493) A magnitude 5.9 earthquake killed 24 people near Bologna, Italy.
2/5/2012, Wednesday (+24,466) In New York, a pastel version of Edward Munch’s The Scream sold for US$ 120 million at auction, a record sum for a work of art.
13/4/2012, Friday (+24,447) North Korea launched a satellite, which exploded soon after take-off. The USA condemned the move. The rocket used was the Unha-3, which could theoretically carry a nuclear missile to the mainland USA. See 12/12/2012.
11/4/2012, Wednesday (+24,445) A magnitude 8.6 earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia.
8/4/2012, Sunday (+24,442) Easter Sunday.
6/4/2012, Friday (+24,440) Islamic militants unilaterally declared the secession of northern Mali as the republic of Azawad. Europe feared a new area of Jihadism in the Sahara.
13/3/2012, Tuesday (+24,416) The Encyclopaedia Britannica discontinued its print edition, now being online-only, after 244 years.
7/3/2012, Wednesday (+24,410) (International, morals) The UN presented its report on violations of the human rights of gay people worldwide. Representatives of several African and Arab States walked out.
4/3/2012, Sunday (+24,407) Vladimir Putin was elected for a third Presidential term (now six years).
29/2/2012, Wednesday (+24,403) North Korea agreed to stop enriching uranium and testing missiles.
28/2/2012, Tuesday (+24,402) Occupy Wall Street protestors were evicted from the front of St Pauls, London.
27/2/2012, Monday (+24,401) Protests in Yemen connected with the Arab Spring forced the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
21/2/2012, Tuesday (+24,395) A second bailout of Euro 130 billion was agreed for Greece.
9/2/2012, Thursday (+24,383) Iran suspended oil exports to Britain and France in retaliation for sanctions imposed by the EU in January 2012.
6/2/2012, Monday (+24,380) A magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit the Philippines, killing 43 people.
23/1/2012, Monday (+24,366) The EU imposed sanctions on Iran because of continued Iranian enrichment of uranium.
22/1/2012, Sunday (+24,365) The head of the Transitional Council of Liberation in Libya resigned in protest over the slow pace of improvements in Libya.
13/1/2012, Friday (+24,356) The Costa Concordia cruise liner was wrecked off the coast of Italy; 32 people died.
17/12/2011, Saturday (+24,329) Kim Jong Il, leader of North Korea died. His youngest son, Kim Jong Un, succeeded him.
14/12/2011, Wednesday (+24,326) The 2012 US National Defence Bill was not vetoed by President Obama, which meant that Guantanamo Bay would remain open as a detention facility.
7/12/2011, Wednesday (+24,319) Kandahar, Afghanistan, surrendered to US forces; the Taliban fled.
26/11/2011, Saturday (+24,308) The US launched its probe Curiosity towards Mars.
23/11/2011, Wednesday (+24,305) Kunduz, Afghanistan, surrendered to US forces without a fight.
16/11/2011, Wednesday (+24,298) Fighting between US troops and the Taliban began near Kandahar.
14/11/2011, Monday (+24,296) US troops captured Kabul.
11/11/2011, Friday (+24,293) US troops defeated the Taliban at Taloqan.
10/11/2011, Thursday (+24,292) US troops defeated the Taliban, Afghanistan, at Mazar-e-Sharif.
31/10/2011, Monday (+24,282) (1) UNESCO admitted Palestine as a member; 107 members were in support, and 14 opposed.
(2) The global population officially reached 7 billion.
27/10/2011, Thursday (+24,278) An emergency meeting in Brussels concerning the Greek Debt Crisis. A writedown of 50% of Greek bonds was agreed, recapitalisation of European banks, and an increase in the bailout fund of the European Financial Stability facility.
23/10/2011, Sunday (+24,274) A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the city of Van, eastern Turkey.
20/10/2011, Thursday (+24,271) (1) Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in Sirte, as National Transitional Council forces took control of the country.
(2) Basque separatist militant organisation ETA declared an end to its 43-year campaign of political violence, which had killed over 800 people since 1968.
19/10/2011, Wednesday (+24,270) US troops raided Kandahar, Afghanistan.
15/10/2011, Saturday (+24,266) The price of a 800g loaf of white bread was £1.19.
9/10/2011, Sunday (+24,260) In Egypt, 24 protestors were killed and 200 injured in a crackdown by security forces.
5/9/2011, Monday (+24,226) India and Bangladesh signed a pact to end their 40-year border dispute.
23/8/2011, Tuesday (+24,213) A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Virginia on August 23, 2011, near Mineral. The earthquake was reportedly felt as far away as Toronto, Canada, Atlanta, Georgia and Florida.
20/8/2011, Saturday (+24,210) In Libya, Arab Spring rebels began to take over the capital, Tripoli.
18/8/2011, Thursday (+24,208) US President Barack Obama called on Syria’s President Assad to resign, and froze Syrian assets in the US.
5/8/2011, Friday (+24,195) The Juno space probe was launched towards Jupiter.
31/7/2011, Sunday (+24,190) In Syria, an army raid on the town of Hama killed over 120. So far the Syrian civil war had claimed 3,000 lives.
22/7/2011, Friday (+24,181) Anders Behring Brevik shot 77 people on Utoya Island as a protest against immigration to Norway.
21/7/2011, Thursday (+24,180) The Space Shuttle Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Centre, concluding the Space Shuttle Programme.
15/7/2011, Friday (+24,174)
9/7/2011, Saturday (+24,168) The new country of South Sudan officially seceded from Sudan, following a pro-independence referendum in January 2011.
8/7/2011, Friday (+24,167) After making 134 missions, the space shuttle Atlantis made the final space shuttle fight.
1/7/2011, Friday (+24,160) 1.5 kg of self raising flour cost £1.29, +40% on 2010. 1 kg back bacon cost £9.05, +9.2% on 2010. 1kg topside beef cost £9.52, +4.96% on 2010. 100g instant coffee cost £2.66, +18.2% on 2010. One Iceberg lettuce cost 89p, +9.9% on 2010. One litre of vodka cost £18.45, +11.7% on 2010. 250g of butter cost £1.60,+12.9% on 2010. The average UK house price was £165,131. A litre of petrol cost £1.35.
In 2011 Britain had 527,579 nurses (1939 = 223,120). In 2011 Britain had 124,177 farmers (1939 = 668,554). In 2011 Britain had 3,483,528 teachers (1939 = 205,932). In 2011 Britain had 457,700 hairdressers and barbers (1939 = 104,512). In 2011 Britain had 176,402 bar staff (1939 = 42,636). In 2011 Britain had 14,627 tailors (1939 = 165,473).
21/6/2011, Tuesday (24,150)
12/6/2011, Sunday (+24,141) Thousands of Syrians fled into Turkey to escape the civil war.
4/6/2011, Saturday (+24,133) Puyehue Volcano in Chile erupted, causing major flight chaos as far as Australia.
3/6/2011, Friday (+24,132) Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh fled the country.
26/5/2011, Thursday (+24,124) Former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic was arrested in Serbia, for crimes of genocide.
16/5/2011, Monday (+24,114) The European Union agreed to a Euro 78 billion rescue deal for Portugal.
14/5/2011, Saturday (+24,112) Pakistan officially condemned the US raid in which Osama Bin Laden was killed.
5/5/2011, Thursday (+24,103) Claude Schoules, the last known combat veteran of World War One, died in Australia, aged 110.
1/5/2011, Sunday (+24,099) The US announced that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in an military operation in Pakistan.
30/4/2011, Saturday (+24,098) NATO strikes in Libya killed Gadhafi’s youngest son.
29/4/2011, Friday (+24,097) Prince William married Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey, to become the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 2 billion people around the world watched the ceremony on TV.
28/4/2011, Thursday (+24,096) Heavy storms across the US killed over 300 people.
24/4/2011, Sunday (+24,092) Easter Sunday.
13/4/2011, Wednesday (+24,081) Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was arrested, along with his sons, in Cairo.
11/4/2011, Monday (+24,079) Laurent Gbagbo, former President of the Cote D’Ivoire, was captured.
6/4/2011, Wednesday (+24,074) Portugal asked for a bailout from the EU.
4/4/2011, Monday (+24,072) In the US, Barack Obama announced his intention to stand for re-election for a second term.
1/4/2011, Friday (+24,069) Large protests by Syrian civilians against their Government after Friday prayers.
23/3/2011, Monday (+24,060) Elizabeth Taylor, UK born Hollywood actress, died aged 79 (born 1932).
21/3/2011, Monday (+24,058) British MPs voted 557 to 13 in favour of airstrikes against Gaddafi.
19/3/2011, Saturday (+24,056) Arab Spring: civil war continued in Libya. NATO intervened to help the rebels.
18/3/2011, Friday (+24,055) Further protests in Deraa over the detention by security forces of a group of boys accused of painting anti-government graffiti on the walls of their school. Earlier, on 15/3/2011, protests against the boys’ detention had taken place in Damascus. On 18/3/2011 Syrian government forces opened fire in Deraa, killing four people. These are regarded as the first deaths in the Syrian civil war.
17/3/2011, Thursday (+24,054) The UN Security Council authorised a no-fly zone over Libya. This effectively authorised French and UK airstrikes against Gadhafi.
16/3/2011, Wednesday (+24,053)
15/3/2011, Tuesday (+24,052) Arab Spring: state of emergency in Bahrain.
14/3/2011, Monday (+24,051) Fears of a meltdown at Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan.
12/3/2011, Saturday (+25,049)
11/3/2011, Friday (+24,048), Japan was hit by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake and tsunami. 15,340 people were killed, and a further 3,926 were missing. The nuclear plant at Fukushima was badly damaged.
10/3/2011, Thursday (+24,047) Saudi police opened fire on protestors.
6/3/2011, Sunday (+24,043) Unrest in Deraa, Syria.
25/2/2011, Friday (+24,034) Arab Spring protests in Jordan.
22/2/2011, Tuesday (+24,031) (1) Arab Spring protests in Algeria.
(2) Christchurch, New Zealand, was hit by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake; 185 people died.
20/2/2011, Sunday (+24,029) Arab Spring protests in Morocco and Iraq. Meanwhile over 200 people were killed during protests in Benghazi, Libya.
18/2/2011, Friday (+24,027) Police opened fire on protestors in Bahrain.
15/2/2011, Tuesday (+24,024) Arab Spring protests in Libya.
14/2/2011, Monday (+24,023) Arab Spring protests in Bahrain and Jordan, also Benghazi in Libya.
13/2/2011, Sunday (+24,022) Women across Italy protested against Berlusconi.
12/2/2011, Saturday (+24,021) Clashes between demonstrators and police in Algiers.
11/2/2011, Friday (+24,020) Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned after widespread protests against him, leaving Egypt governed by the military. This was during the ‘Arab Spring’.
7/2/2011, Monday (+24,016)
4/2/2011, Friday (+24,013) Large crowds gathered in Cairo calling for the resignation of President Mubarak.
3/2/2011, Thursday (+24,012) Arab Spring protests in Yemen.
30/1/2011, Sunday (+24,008)
25/1/2011, Tuesday (+24,003) Arab Spring protests in Egypt and Lebanon,
24/1/2011, Monday (+24,002) Islamist terrorists from the north Caucasus blew themselves up in the International Arrivals Hall of Domodedovo Airport, Moscow, killing dozens of people.
14/1/2011, Friday (+23,992) In the turmoil of the Arab Spring, the Tunisian Government fell after a month of protests.
9/1/2011, Sunday (+23,987) A referendum in Sudan resulted in a mandate for the independence of Southern Sudan.
7/1/2011, Friday (+23,985) US President Barack Obama signed the 2011 Defence Authorisation Bill, which provided for the closure of Guantanamo Bay.
4/1/2011, Tuesday (+23,982) Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi died after setting fire to himself on 17/12/2010. This sparked anti-government protests in Tunisia and other Arab nations, which became known as the Arab Spring.
1/1/2011, Saturday (+23,979) (1) Estonia became the 17th country to adopt the Euro currency.
(2) 23 were killed and 70 injured in a bomb attack on a church in Alexandria, Egypt.
1712/2010, Friday (+23,964) The Arab Spring began when a Tunisian graduate set fire to himself in protest at police who stopped him trading without a permit, after he had failed to secure paid employment.
29/11/2010, Monday (+23,946) The EU agreed to a Euro 85 billion bail out for Ireland.
28/11/2010, Sunday (+23,945) Wikileaks released over 250,000 American diplomatic cables, of which 100,000 which were ‘secret’ or ‘confidential’.
25/11/2010, Thursday (+23,942)
23/11/2010, Tuesday (+23,940) North Korea shelled the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong.
22/11/2010, Monday (+23,939) 347 people died in a stampede at the Khymer Water Festival, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
21/11/2010, Sunday (+23,938) Ireland asked for a bailout from the EU.
20/11/2010, Saturday (+23,937)
17/11/2010, Wednesday (+23,934) Scientists at the CERN Large Hadron Collider announced they had trapped anti-matter for the first time in human history.
16/11/2010, Tuesday (+23,933) Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement, eight years after meeting at Edinburgh University.
13/11/2010, Saturday (+23,930) Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest which she had been under for 15 of the previous 21 years. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, a year after winning elections which were nullified by the ruling junta.
28/10/2010, Thursday (+23,914) The Spanish Constitutional Court struck out parts of a 2906 Charter on Catalan autonomy which increased the territory’s fiscal and judicial powers, and described it as a ‘nation’. The Court ruled that the word ;nation’ had no meaning and rejected the preferential use of Catalan over Spanish in municipal services. Two weeks later hundreds of thousands protested on the streets of Barcelona, chanting ‘We are a nation; we decide’.
26/10/2010, Tuesday (+23,912) Mount Merapi volcano in Indonesia began erupting.
25/10/2010, Monday (+23,911) Earthquake off Sumatra killed 400 and caused a tsunami.
19/10/2010, Tuesday (+23,905)
15/10/2010, Friday (+23,901) The price of a 800g loaf of white bread was £1.20.
14/10/2010, Thursday (+23,900) French-American mathematician who developed fractal geometry, Benoit Mandelbrot, died aged 85.
13/10/2010, Wednesday (+23,899) 33 Chilean miners were rescued, having spent 69 days underground at San Jose mine.
10/10/2010, Sunday (+23,896) The Netherlands Antilles was dissolved; each island was given a new constitutional status.
8/11/2010, Friday (+23,894) Queen Elizabeth II joined Facebook. By late 2015 her page had over 2.2 million ‘likes’.
4/10/2010, Monday (+23,890) Death of Norman Wisdom, British comedian, aged 95.
23/9/2010, Thursday (+23,879) The world’s biggest windfarm was inaugurated off the UK coast at Thanet, Kent.
19/9/2010, Sunday (+23,875) The BP oil well, Deepwater Horizon, was capped after spilling millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
16/9/2010, Thursday (+23,872) Pope Benedict XVI commenced the first Papal visit to Britain since King Henry VIII split with Rome.
4/9/2010, Saturday (+23,860) Magnitude 7/.1 earthquake near Christchurch, New Zealand.
10/8/2010, Tuesday (+23,835) The World Health Organisation declared the H1N1 influenza pandemic officially over.
3/8/2010, Tuesday (+23,828) US President Obama announced the end of official combat operations in Iraq.
25/7/2010, Sunday (+23,819) Wikileaks released 90,000 covert and classified documents relating to the US occupation of Afghanistan, 2004-2010.
1/7/2010, Thursday (+23,795), 1.5 kg of self raising flour cost £0.92. 1 kg back bacon cost £8.29. 1kg topside beef cost £9.07. 100g instant coffee cost £2.25. One Iceberg lettuce cost 81p. One litre of vodka cost £16.52. 250g of butter cost £1.42. The average UK house price was £165,483.
9/6/2010, Wednesday (+23,773) Ethnic conflict in Kyrgyzstan between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks.
31/5/2010, Monday (+23,764) 9 activists died when Israeli naval forces raided a flotilla of ships attempting to break the Gaza blockade.
20/5/2010, Thursday (+23,753) Craig Venter announced the creation of the world’s first synthetic organism.
7/5/2010, Friday (+23,740) UK General Election; Conservative leader David Cameron formed a coalition with the Liberals.
2/5/2010, Sunday (+23,735) The EU and the IMF agreed a Euro 110 billion bailout for Greece; Greece would adopt austerity measures.
20/4/2010, Tuesday (+23,723) The Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 workers. Major oil pollution ensued.
14/4/2010, Wednesday (+23,717) Mount Eyjafjallajokul in Iceland erupted; volcanic ash caused major disruption to European air travel.
13/4/2010, Tuesday (+23.716) A 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Qinghai, China, killed over 2,000.
10/4/2010, Saturday (+23,713) Polish President Lech Walesa and other senior government officials were killed in a plane crash near Smolensk, Russia. They were travelling to Russia to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre. Russia blamed pilot error; Poland blamed poor pilot advice from Russian air traffic control.
4/4/2010, Sunday (+23,707) Easter Sunday.
3/4/2010, Saturday (+23,706) (Computing) Apple released the first iPad tablet device.
1/4/2010, Thursday (+23,704) Major rioting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, caused President Bakiyev to flee.
26/3/2010, Friday (+23,698) North Korea was blamed for the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel, killing 46 of the 104 aboard.
17/3/2010, Wednesday (+23,689) (1) Kraft Foods said it was "truly sorry" over its closure of Cadbury's Somerdale Factory. Senior Kraft executive Marc Firestone made the public apology to MPs at a parliamentary select committee hearing.
(2) LTI, the last motor manufacturing plant in Coventry since 2008, announced that it would be shifting production of its taxi cab body and chassis to China, but still shipping them to Coventry for the final assembly.
3/3/2010, Wednesday (+23,675) Former British Labour Party leader and writer Michael Foot died, aged 96.
27/2/2010, Saturday (+23,671) A magnitude 8.8 earthquake hit Chile, killing 525.
18/2/2010, Thursday (+23,662) The President of Niger was overthrown in a military coup.
27/1/2010, Wednesday (+23,640) (1) J D Salinger, reclusive author of ‘Catcher in the Rye’, died aged 91.
(2) The first criminal trial without a jury for 400 years opened in London.
19/1/2010, Tuesday (+23,632) Cadbury approved a revised offer from Kraft, valuing the confectionery business at $19.5 billion (£11.5 billion).
12/1/2010, Tuesday (+23,625) A 7.0 magnitude earthquake, the most severe in 200 years, hit Haiti, killing over 316,000 and destroying the capital, Port au Prince. Over 1,000,000 were left homeless.
10/1/2010, Sunday (+23,623) Deaths from a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe now amounted to 4,293, with 98,741 cases reported.
3/1/2010, Sunday (+23,616) The UK and USA closed their embassies in Yemen due to threats of civilian unrest and Al Qaeda activity.
16/12/2009, Wednesday (+23,598) Astronomers reported the discovery of an exoplanet where liquid water might exist.
4/12/2009, Friday (+23,586) The UK’s Ministry of Defence closed its special unit for monitoring UFO sightings, which had operated for over 50 years.
27/11/2009, Friday (+23,579) Dubai requested a debt restructuring following from heavy investment in building projects; the announcement caused shares to fall worldwide.
28/10/2009, Wednesday (+23,549) UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon stated that Jerusalem must be the capital both of Israel and a Palestinian State if peace were to be achieved in the region.
15/10/2009, Thursday (+23,536) The price of a 800g loaf of white bread was £1.21.
2/10/2009, Friday (+23,523) The 2016 Olympics were awarded to Rio de Janeiro.
29/9/2009, Tuesday (+23,520) An 8.3 magnitude earthquake hit Samoa.
28/9/2009, Monday (+23,519) Line Four of the Beijing Metro, 28.2 km long, opened.
25/9/2009, Friday (+23,516) Senator Edward Kennedy died, aged 77.
14/9/2009, Monday (+23,505) The UN adopted the principles of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ or R2P. This says that the sovereignty of States is not absolute in that the UN can choose to intervene when a state fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities and human rights violations.
3/8/2009, Monday (+23,463) Bolivia became the first country in South America to grant self-government to its indigenous peoples.
25/7/2009, Saturday (+23,454) The last British veteran of the Western Front in World War One, Harry Patch, died aged 111. A week earlier the oldest veteran, Henry Allingham, had died aged 113.
21/7/2009, Tuesday (+23,450)
16/7/2009, Thursday (+23,445) Iceland’s Parliament voted to begin negotiations to join the European Union.
1/7/2009, Wednesday (+23,430) The average UK house price was £156,513.
25/6/2009, Thursday (+23,424) The American entertainer Michael Jackson died (born 29/8/1958).
21/6/2009, Sunday (+23,420) Greenland took steps towards further separation from Denmark; it took control of police, law enforcement, the legal system and natural resources.
11/6/2009, Thursday (+23,410) The influenza strain H1N1 sparked fears of a global flu pandemic.
1/6/2009, Monday (+23,400) Air France flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 288 on board.
25/5/2009, Monday (+23,393) North Korea announced that it had conducted a successful underground nuclear test; America condemned the move.
18/5/2009, Monday (+23,386) The Sri Lankan civil war ended, after over 25 years, with the defeat of the Tamil Tigers. 80,000 people had died in the war.
28/4/2009, Tuesday (+23,366) The Mexican Government confirmed an outbreak of Swine Flu in humans.
12/4/2009, Sunday (+23,350) Easter Sunday.
11/4/2009, Saturday (+23,349) Civil unrest in Thailand; state of emergency declared.
9/4/2009, Thursday (+23,347)
6/4/2009, Monday (+23,344) Magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit L’Aquila, Italy. 300 were killed and 1,500 injured.
5/4/2009, Sunday (+23,343) North Korea fired a rocket, ostensibly to carry a satellite. The UN held an emergency session, but took no action.
1/4/2009, Wednesday (+23,339) Albania and Croatia were admitted to NATO.
15/3/2009, Sunday (+23,322) The Bank of England cut rates to a record low of 0.5%; it also announced £75 billion of quantitative easing.
28/2/2009, Saturday (+23,307) Former Serbian President Milan Milosevic was acquitted of war crimes by the International Criminal Tribune for the Former Yugoslavia.
11/2/2009, Wednesday (+23,290) Morgan Tsvangirai became the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe under a power-sharing agreement with President Mugabe, signed in September 2008.
10/2/2009, Tuesday (+23,289) A Russian and an American satellite collided, creating large amounts of space debris.
7/2/2009, Saturday (+23,286) Severe bush fires hit Australia, killing 173, injuring 500, rendering 7,500 homeless. Temperatures had reached a record 46.4 C.
22/1/2009, Thursday (+23,270) US President Barack Obama attempted to close down Guantanamo Bay.
21/1/2009, Wednesday (+23,269) Israel completed its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Air strikes by both sides continued.
19/1/2009, Monday (+23,267)
15/1/2009, Thursday (+23,263) The ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ occurred when US Airline flight 1549 hit birds just after takeoff from New York. Both the plane’s engines were knocked out and with insufficient height to glide to any airstrip the pilot Captain Sullenberger put the aeroplane down flawlessly on the River Hudson. All 155 passengers and crew survived.
14/1/2009, Wednesday (+23,262) The US admitted torturing Guantanamo Bay detainee Mohammed al Qahtani, under the Bush administration.
7/1/2009, Wednesday (+23,255) In a dispute over energy prices, Russia shut off all gas supplies to Europe.
3/1/2009, Saturday (+23,251) Israel invaded the Gaza Strip, as Hamas fired rockets into Israel.
1/1/2009, Thursday (+23,249) Slovakia adopted the Euro, replacing the Koruna.
27/12/2008, Saturday (+23,244) Israel mounted military strikes against the Gaza Strip.
23/12/2008, Tuesday (23.240)
12/12/2008, Friday (+23,229) Switzerland became the 25th country to join the Schengen Agreement, eliminating cross-border checks.
11/12/2008, Thursday (+23,228) Bernard Madoff was arrested in the US on charges of running a huge Ponzi scheme.
9/12/2008, Tuesday (+23,226) Scientists confirmed the existence of a Black Hole at the centre of the Milky Way.
6/12/2008, Saturday (+23,223) Rioting in Greece after Greek police shot a 15 year old in the head, killing him.
27/11/2008, Thursday (+23,214) The ocean liner QE2 was taken out of service, to become a floating hotel in the UAE.
26/11/2008, Wednesday (+23,213) Pakistani Islamic terrorists struck at several targets in Mumbai, India, taking visitors at the Taj Mahal luxury hotel hostage. Indian forces stormed the terrorists in the hotel. 183 people were killed and over 300 injured.
25/11/2008, Tuesday (+23,212) Greenland held a referendum on further autonomy from Denmark, with a result 75% in favour.
24/11/2008, Monday (+23,211)
19/11/2008, Wednesday (+23,206) Germany extradited Rose Kabuye to France, where she faced charges over the killing of a former Rwandan President, Juvenal Habyarimana. This incident sparked the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
18/11/2008, Tuesday (+23,205) Heads of the big three US car manufacturers asked the US government for assistance during te ongoing Credit Crunch. They said their companies were important as job providers.
15/11/2008, Saturday (+23,202) Somali pirates hijacked a Saudi oil supertanker off the Somali coast.
5/11/2008, Wednesday (+23,192) On Russian television, President Dmitry Medvedev spoke against NATO missile defences in Poland and the Czech Republic. Medvedev threatened to put Russian missiles in the enclave of Kaliningrad and install radio scramblers to foil NATO’s missile defence system.
4/11/2008, Tuesday (-23,191) Barack Hussein Obama was elected first African-American President (Democrat) of the USA, the 44th President.
29/10/2008, Wednesday (+23,185) A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Quetta, Pakistan.
15/10/2008, Wednesday (+23,171) The price of a 800g loaf of white bread was £1.26.
13/10/2008, Monday (+23,169) The UK Government bailed out the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and HBOS, using billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.
6/10/2008, Monday (+23,162) A magnitude 6.6 earthquake killed 65 in Kyrgzystan.
28/9/2008, Sunday (+23,154) Space X launched the first private satellite, Falcon I, into orbit.
24/9/2008, Wednesday (+23,150) A litre of milk cost 70p. A loaf of bread cost £1.22. A year’s TV licence cost £139.50. A Big Mac cost £2.09. The NHS prescription charge was £7.10. A first class stamp cost 36p. A litre of unleaded petrol cost £1.12. A pint of beer cost £2.82. A can of Heinz baked beans cost 52p. A couple’s pension was £145.05. Child Benefit was £18.10 a week.
15/9/2008, Monday (+23,141) (1) As the global Credit Crunch took hold, Lehman Brothers, the 4th largest US investment bank, collapsed.
(2) In Zimbabwe, negotiations resulted in a power-sharing agreement between President Robert Mugabe and opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara; Tsvangirai to be the new Prime Minister.
5/9/2008, Friday (+23,131) For the first time in recorded history, both the North West Passage and the North East Passage are clear of Arctic sea ice.
2/9/2008, Tuesday (+23,128) (1) EU leaders began a mediation initiative with Russia over Georgia.
(2) Unrest continued in Bangkok; Prime Minister Sundaravej declared a State of Emergency.
29/8/2008, Friday (+23,124) Georgia cut all diplomatic relations with Russia and increased links to the USA.
27/8/2008, Wednesday (+23,122) David Milliband, from the UK, visited Kiev to reinforce the Ukrainian ambitions to align itself with the West.
25/8/2008, Monday (+23,120) Both Russian Houses of Parliament voted to recognise as independent states the breakaway regions of Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
24/8/2008, Sunday (+23,119) The Beijing Olympics closed.
23/8/2008, Saturday (+23,118)
16/8/2008, Saturday (+23,111) The dog racing track at Walthamstow, London, held its last meeting.
15/8/2008, Friday (+23,110) The Russian military expressed anger at a US-Polish agreement to set up missile defences on Polish territory. The US said it was against rogue states like Iran. The Russians said it was against them and one general said it made Poland a target for a nuclear strike.
12/8/2008, Tuesday (+23,107)
9/8/2008, Saturday (+23,104) Russian ships sailed from Ukrainian ports to mount a blockade of the Georgian coast.
8/8/2008, Friday (+23,103) (1) Russian forces backed South Ossetian fighters who were seeking secession from Georgia. 130,000 Georgians fled South Ossetia.
(2) The Beijing Olympics opened. They continued until 24/8/2008.
7/8/2008, Thursday (+23,102) Intense fighting erupted between Georgia and Russia. Russia backed the territory of South Ossetia, a Muslim area that had broken away from Georgia after Georgia declared independence as the USSR broke up. The USA backed Georgia.
3/8/2008, Sunday (+23,098) Alexander Solzhenitsyn died, aged 90.
21/7/2008, Monday (+23,085) Radovan Karadic, Serbian leader during the break-up of Yugoslavia, wanted for war crimes against the Bosnians, was captured and sent to The Hague for trial.
14/7 2008, Monday (+23,078) In the midst of the Credit Crunch, the Spanish bank Santander bought the troubled UK bank Alliance and Leicester.
1/7/2008, Tuesday (+23,065) The average UK house price was £168,973.
14/6/2008, Saturday (+23,048) A 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Iwate, Japan, killed 12 and injured 400.
12/6/2008, Thursday (+23,046) Irish voters rejected the new European Constitution in a referendum.
1/6/2008, Sunday (+23,035) Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, introduced a ban on drinking alcohol on the London Underground.
25/5/2008, Sunday (+23,028) NASA successfully landed a probe on the north polar regions of Mars.
12/5/2008, Monday (+23,015) A magnitude 7.9 earthquake hit Sichuan Province, central China, killing 156,000 people, and injuring 290,000. 5 million were made homeless.
2/5/2008, Friday (+23,005) Hurricane Nargis hit southern Burma, killing over 84,000 people, and leaving 56,000 missing.
26/4/2008, Saturday (+22,999) Police arrested Josef Fritzl in Amstetten, Austria, after he held women and children for years in a dungeon below his home. He was jailed for life in March 2009.
7/4/2008, Monday (+22,980) The six-month-long official inquest into the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed in a car crash in a Paris road tunnel ended. The inquest had cost £10 million, and concluded that Henri Paul, the driver, was drunk and crashed into a pillar whilst trying to avoid the paparazzi.
27/3/2008, Thursday (+22,969) The new British Airways Terminal Five at London Heathrow opened. The baggage system collapsed and many flights were delayed, cancelled, or left without baggage.
24/3/2008, Monday (+22,966) Bhutan held its first-ever general elections.
23/3/2008, Sunday (+22,965) Easter Sunday
18/3/2008, Tuesday (+22,960) Sir Arthur C Clarke, science fiction writer, died aged 90.
14/3/2008, Friday (+22,956) In the midst of the Credit Crunch, investment bank Bear Sterns was bought by rival JP Morgan for US$ 236 million (UK£ 155 million).
12/3/2008, Wednesday (+22,954) Lazare Ponticelli, the last surviving French foot soldier of World War One, died aged 110. Born in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, he loved France and joined the French Foreign legion aged 16. When Italy joined the war he was enlisted in the Italian army but returned to France after the war and became a French citizen in 1939.
2/3/2008, Sunday (+22,944) Dmitry Medvedev was elected President of Russia. Putin was constitutionally barred from standing for a third term.
29/2/2008, Friday (+22,942) After Hamas fired rockets into Israel, Israeli troops began a 22-day assault against Gaza.
22/2/2008, Friday (+22,935) The Northern Rock Building Society had to be taken into State control due to the subprime mortgage lending crisis.
18/2/2008, Monday (+22,931) (1) Fidel Castro, aged 81, announced he was resigning as President of Cuba after 49 years in post. His brother Raul Castro was selected to succeed him.
(2) The UK Parliament passed an emergency Bill allowing the nationalisation of Northern Rock
17/2/2008, Sunday (+22,930) Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. The EU and NATO backed Kosovo, but Russia opposed it.
13/2/2008, Wednesday (+22,926) The Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd (born 1957) apologised to the Aborigines, especially the ‘stolen generation;, those Aboriginal children forcibly removed from their parents to be brought up with White parents in an attempt at assimilation.
5/2/2008, Tuesday (+22,918) Tornadoes killed 57 people in the southern USA.
2/2/2008, Saturday (+22,915) Rebels attacked N’Djamena, capital of Chad.
24/1/2008, Thursday (+22,906) The French bank, Societe General, revealed that a rogue trader, Jerome Kerviel (born 11 January 1977), had cost it 4.9 billion Euros (about US$ 7 billion, or UK£ 3.7 billion). Kerviel was arrested on charges of breach of trust and falsifying documents, and the bank was fined 4 million Euros for failing to monitor his trading position. Daniel Bouton resigned as the banks chief executive. Kerviel was found guilty in October 2010 and sentenced to prison, but remained free pending an appeal. On 24 October 2012, a Paris appeals court upheld the October 2010 sentence to three years in prison with another two suspended, and ordered to reimburse 4.9bn euros to Societe General for its loss.
23/1/2008, Wednesday (+22,905) Palestinian militants blew up the border wall between Egypt and Gaza at Rafah; thousands of Palestinians fled into Egypt.
22/1/2008, Tuesday (+22,904) Australian actor Heath Ledger died aged 28.
17/1/2008, Thursday (+22,899) Bobby Fisher, American world chess champion, died aged 64.
2/1/2008, Wednesday (+22,884) The price of crude oil passed US$ 100 a barrel for the first time ever.
1/1/2008, Tuesday (+22,883) Cyprus and Malta adopted the Euro.
27/12/2007, Thursday (+22,878) The moderate Pakistani politician, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated whilst participating in an opposition rally against the hard-line ruler, President Pervez Musharraf.
24/12/2007, Monday (+22,875) Nepal announced that the country’s 240-year old monarchy was to be replaced by a Republic in 2008.
21/12/2007, Friday (+22,872) Queen Elizabeth II became the oldest reigning monarch in British history.
8/12/2007, Saturday (+22,859) Construction work began on Line L2 of the Beijing Metro, running 23 km from the southern terminus of Line Five. Trains began running in December 2010.
14/11/2007, Wednesday (+22,835) A magnitude 8.2 earthquake hit Tocopilla, northern Chile.
15/10/2007, Monday (+22,805) The price of a 800g loaf of white bread was 91p.
13/9/2007, Thursday (+22,773) In the UK, Northern Rock bank sought emergency funds from the Bank of England due to liquidity problems, precipitating a run on the bank.
6/9/2007, Thursday (+22,766) Israeli warplanes struck a suspected nuclear site in Syria.
15/8/2007, Wednesday (+22,744) A magnitude 8.0 earthquake hit Peru, killing 512 and injuring over 1,500.
9/8/2007, Thursday (+22,738) The French bank, Paribas, halted withdrawals from three of its funds due to ‘complete evaporation of liquidity. The Credit Crunch had begun.
24/7/2007, Tuesday (+22,722) In the Balkans, temperatures reached 43 C in Serbia, 44 C in Bulgaria and 45 C in Bosnia and Macedonia, the hottest for 120 years; 500 heat-related deaths were reported in Hungary.
1/7/2007, Sunday (+22,699) The average UK house price was £181,364.
29/6/2007, Friday (+22,697) Apple launched the iPhone,
28/6/2007, Thursday (+22,696) Greece had its worst heatwave for more than a century, 11 people died of heatstroke.
27/6/2007, Wednesday (+22,695) In the UK, Gordon Brown became Labour Prime Minister as Tony Blair resigned from the Commons.
26/6/2007, Tuesday (+22,694) The UN declared the Galapagos Islands an endangered heritage site.
19/6/2007, Tuesday (+22,687)
4/6/2007, Monday (+22,672) At The Hague, the war crimes trial of Charles Taylor, former Liberian President, began.
19/5/2007, Saturday (+22,656) In London, the new Wembley Stadium was officially opened.
28/4/2007, Saturday (+22,635) A magnitude 4.3 earthquake hit Folkestone, Kent, damaging around 200 houses.
16/4/2007, Monday (+22,623) Student Cho Seung Hui went on a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University, killing 32 staff and students. Cho then shot himself.
8/4/2007, Sunday (+22,615) Easter Sunday.
2/4/2007, Monday (+22,609) An 8.1 magnitude earthquake hit the Solomon Islands. 52 died and 6,000 were left homeless.
1/4/2007, Sunday (+22,608) In the UK, the TV licence fee rose from £131.50 to £135.50.
26/3/2007, Monday (+22,602) Northern Ireland’s two opposing political parties, Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionists signed a power-sharing agreement after talks at Stormont involving Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley.
13/2/2007, Tuesday (+22,561) North Korea agreed to close its nuclear facility at Yongbyon by 14/4/2007 in return for energy aid equivalent to 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil.
17/1/2007, Wednesday (+22,534) Protests in the UK and India after, on the Big Brother Reality Show, Jade Goody was allegedly racist to Shilpa Shetty.
15/1/2007, Monday (+22,532) The average UK house price was £186,954, up 605% on 1983.
1/1/2007, Monday (+22,518) Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union.
30/12/2006, Saturday (+22,516) (1) Saddam Hussein was hanged for crimes against humanity.
(2) The Basque Nationalist group ETA detonated a bomb at Madrid-Barajas Airport, ending a 9-month ceasefire.
28/12/2006, Thursday (+22,514) Nationwide stated that the average price of a UK house had risen by 10.6% over the year to £174,000.
21/12/2006, Thursday (+22,507) Saparmurat Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan, died.
10/12/2006, Sunday (+22,496) General Pinochet, former dictator of Chile (born 1915) died.
7/12/2006, Thursday (+22,493) A tornado lasting under a minute ripped through Kensal Green, NW London, damaging 150 homes and injuring 6 people.
24/11/2006, Friday (+22,480) Mr Litvinenko's family released a statement, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of involvement in his death.
23/11/2006, Thursday (+22,479) Russian dissident and former KGB bodyguard Alexander Litvinenko died a slow and painful death in a London hospital after drinking tea laced with Polonium 210. He fell out with Vladimir Putin in the late 1990s when they worked together in the Russian security forces. Britain suspected former KGB agent Andrei Luovoi of administering the poison and demanded his extradition form Russia. The denial of this extradition led to the expulsion of four Russian diplomats from Britain.
21/11/2006, Tuesday (+22,477) The Kremlin dismissed as 'sheer nonsense' claims that the Russian government was involved in the poisoning of Litvinenko.
17/11/2006, Friday (-22,473) Litvinenko’s condition deteriorated and he was transferred to University College Hospital in central London.
5/11/2006, Sunday (+22,461) Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by the Iraqi Special Tribunal. He was hanged on 30/12/2006.
1/11/2006, Wednesday (+22,457) Mr Litvinenko met Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun at the Millennium hotel in London's Mayfair. Mr Litvinenko was admitted to a hospital in north London several hours later, complaining of feeling sick.
20/10/2006, Friday (+22,445) Corus announced that it had accepted a £4.3 billion offer from Tata Steel.
15/10/2006, Sunday (+22,440) The price of a 800g loaf of white bread was 83p.
9/10/2006, Monday (+22,434) North Korea claimed to have conducted its first ever nuclear test explosion.
7/10/2006, Saturday (+22,432) Journalist Anna Politkovskaya was shot dead in her Moscow apartment on October 7. Mr Litvinenko began to investigate her murder.
19/9/2006, Tuesday (+22,414) Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand declared a State of Emergency as the Thai Army staged a military coup.
25/8/2006, Friday (+22,389) The Office for National Statistics announced that in June 2005 the population of the UK had reached 60 million
24/8/2006, Thursday (+22,388) Pluto was officially demoted from ‘planet’ to ‘dwarf planet’ by the International Astronomical Union,
30/7/2006, Sunday (+22,363) Top of the Pops was broadcast for the last time.
15/7/2006, Saturday (+22,348) Twitter was launched.
11/7/2006, Wednesday (+22,338) (India) Bombs exploded in Mumbai railway station, India. 200 were killed. Pakistan was suspected.
1/7/2006, Saturday (+22,334) (Price) The average wage in the UK was £25,961. GPs got £70,100, or 270% of average. Teachers got £33,280, or 128% of average. Train drivers got £34,000, or 131% of average. Factory workers got £22,464, or 86% of average. The average UK house price was £166,470.
28/6/2006, Wednesday (+22,331) (Israel) Israel launched an offensive against the Gaza Strip.
19/6/2006, Monday (+22,322) (Environment) On Spitzbergen, construction work began on a vault to preserve seeds for future generations in the event of a catastrophe such as nuclear war.
13/6/2006, Tuesday (+22,316) (Ireland) Charles Haughey, Prime Minister of Ireland, died.
3/6/2006, Saturday (+22,306) (Yugoslavia) Montenegro declared independence from Serbia.
27/5/2006, Saturday (+22,299) (Earthquake) A magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit central Java, killing over 6,000, injuring 36,000 and leaving 1.5 million homeless.
20/5/2006, Saturday (+22,292) (China) The Three Gorges Dam in China was completed, the world’s largest hydro-electric dam.
26/4/2006, Wednesday (+22,268) (USA) Construction of the Freedom Tower in New York began. It was on the site of the Twin Towers destroyed in the 9-11 attacks in 2001.
16/4/2006, Sunday (+22,258) Easter Sunday.
11/4/2006, Tuesday (+22,253) Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, announced that his country has “joined the club of nuclear countries”.
4/4/2006, Tuesday (+22,246) France equalised the permissible age of marriage between males and females. Formerly, the Civil Code of 1804 had set this age as 15 for females and 18 for males.
22/3/2006, Wednesday (+22,333) The Basque terrorist group ETA announced a permanent ceasefire in Spain.
11/3/2006, Saturday (+22,222) Former President Milosevic died, see 13/2/2002.
20/2/2006, Monday (+22,203) British historian David Irving was sentenced to three years in prison by an Austrian court for Holocaust denial.
3/2/2006, Friday (22,186) An Egyptian ferry sank in the Red Sea, killing1,300.
26/1/2006, Thursday (+22,178) Hamas won elections in Palestine.
19/1/2006, Thursday (+22,171) The New Horizons space probe was launched towards Pluto.
12/1/2006, Thursday (+22,164) 364 pilgrims were killed at the Haj, Mecca, during the ‘stoning of the Devil’ ritual.
4/1/2006, Wednesday (+22,156) Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a major stroke; after 8 years in a coma he died on 11/1/2013, aged 85.
23/12/2005, Friday (+22,144) Chad declared a state of war with Sudan.
15/12/2005, Thursday (+22,136) Iraq held its first Parliamentary elections under its new constitution.
14/12/2005, Wednesday (+22,135) A pint of milk cost 35p. A kilogram of sugar cost 74p. A pint of beer cost £2.00. A loaf of bread cost 65p - 91p. The average house price was £160,000. The average annual salary was £22,500.
13/12/2005, Tuesday (+22,134) Major race riots in Sydney, Australia, involving up to 5,000 youths.
12/12/2005, Monday (+22,133) Scientists announced they had created mice with small amounts of human brain cells, to study neurological disorders.
11/12/2005, Sunday (+22,132) An oil storage depot at Buncefield, near Hemel Hempstead, caught fire, at 6.am on a Sunday morning. Fortunately at this time hardly anyone was around, and there were only 42 injuries and no fatalities. However there was considerable damage; the blast was heard 100 miles away, the depot burned for 3 days, sending a plume of thick black smoke over large areas of southern England.
6/12/2005, Tuesday (+22,127)
5/12/2005, Monday (+22,126) In the UK, the Civil Partnership Act came into force; this gave same sex partnerships the same legal status as heterosexual marriages.
4/12/2005, Sunday (+22,125) 250,000 people in Hong Kong protested for democracy.
3/12/2005, Saturday (+22,124)
2/12/2005, Friday (+22,123) Kenneth Boyd became the 1000th person to be executed in the USA since capital punishment was re-introduced in 1976.
1/12/2005, Thursday (+22,122) (1) South Africa became the fifth country in the world to recognise same-sex marriages.
(2) A pint of milk cost 35p, a kilo of sugar cost 74p, a pint of beer cost £2.00, a loaf of bread cost 91p, six eggs cost 85p, and the average house price was between £150,000 and £200,000. Average salary was £22,248 gross.
30/11/2005, Wednesday (+22,121) Surgeons in France carried out the first human face transplant.
28/11/2005, Monday (+22,119) The United Nations Climate Change Conference opened in Montreal, Canada.
23/11/2005, Wednesday (+22,112) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected as first female President of Liberia.
22/11/2005, Tuesday (+22,113) Angela Merkel became Germany’s first female Chancellor
8/11/2005, Tuesday (+22,099) French President Chirac declared a State of Emergency, on the 12th day of riots in France.
4/11/2005, Friday (+22,095) Severe aftershocks, up to 6.3 on the Richter Scale, hit northern Pakistan.
26/10/2005, Wednesday (+22,086) The Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejab, called for Israel to be ‘wiped off the map’ at a ‘World without Zionism’ conference in Tehran.
25/10/2005, Tuesday (+22,085) US deaths in Iraq now amounted to 5,000.
24/10/2005, Monday (+22,084) Rosa Parks, who in 1955 refused to give up her bus seat to a White passenger, so starting the civil rights movement, died aged 92.
19/10/2005, Wednesday (+22,079) The trial of Saddam Hussein began.
15/10/2005, Saturday (+22,075) The price of a 800g loaf of white bread was 75p.
12/10/2005, Wednesday (+22,072) The second Chinese space flight, Shenzhou 6, was launched, taking Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng into orbit for 5 days.
8/10/2005, Saturday (+22,068) A 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit Kashmir, killing around 74,000.
1/10/2005, Saturday (+22,061) The resort of Bali was bombed by terrorists. 26 were killed and 100 injured.
30/9/2005, Friday (+22,060) (1) The UN issued warnings that a pandemic of Avian Flu might be imminent, and kill between 5 and 150 million people.
(2) A Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, published controversial cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.
27/9/2005, Tuesday (+22,057) Michaelle Jean, born in Haiti, became the 27th Governor-General of Canada, the first Black person to hold that position.
26/9/2005, Monday (+22,056) US Army Reservist Lynndie England was convicted by a military jury on 6 of 7 counts in connection with prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison, Iraq.
24/9/2005, Saturday (+22,054) Hurricane Rita hit the US Gulf coast. The western section of New Orleans was flooded again.
20/9/2005, Tuesday (+22,050) The Nazi-hunter, Simon Weisenthal, died.
19/9/2005, Monday (+22,049) North Korea agreed to stop building nuclear reactors in exchange for aid and co-operation.
12/9/2005, Monday (+22,042) (1) Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, ending 38 years of occupation.
(2) The Hong Kong Disneyland resort officially opened.
1/9/2005, Thursday (+22,031) World oil prices rose sharply following damage to US oil refining capacity following Hurricane Katrina.
29/8/2005, Monday (+22,028) Hurricane Katrina hit the southern and south –east states of the USA, with winds of up to 175 mph, severely damaging an area as big as Great Britain. New Orleans was particularly badly hit. The city of 500,000 people sits around 1 metre below sea level, due to subsidence associated with the growth of the Mississippi delta, and was flooded, in some areas several metres deep, when the levees protecting the city from Lake Pontchartrain to the north gave way. Several thousand people died. There were allegations that the maintenance of the levees had been cut back to help fund the fighting in Iraq, and that National Guardsmen who could have helped evacuate the victims and restore law and order were away in Iraq. A week after the floods, there was almost no food or potable water, and disease and looting, along with rapes and murder, were rampant. People likened the situation to a ‘Third World disaster’, right in America itself.
28/8/2005, Sunday (+22,027) (1) A terrorist attack at Beersheba bus station, Israel, injured 52. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.
(2) The Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, ordered the evacuation of the city as Hurricane Katrina loomed.
26/8/2005, Friday (+22,025) Jean Michael Jarre held a ‘Space of Freedom’ concert in Gdansk, Poland, to mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Solidarnosc trade union.
24/8/2005, Wednesday (+22,023) A Hong Kong Judge, Michael Hartmann, ruled that sodomy laws were unconstitutional.
23/8/2005, Tuesday (+22,022) Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from 25 settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (see 17/8/2005) ended.
20/8/2005, Saturday (+22,019)
18/8/2005, Thursday (+22,017) Peace Mission 2005, the first joint Chinese-Russian military exercise, began an 8-day programme on the Shandong Peninsula.
17/8/2005, Wednesday (+22,016) The first forced evacuation of Israeli settlers began, as part of a unilateral withdrawal from Arab territories. See 23/8/2005.
9/8/2005, Tuesday (+22,008) The space shuttle Discovery landed in the US, after taking off on 26/7/2005.
28/7/2005, Thursday (+21,996) The Provisional IRA issued a statement formally ending the armed campaign it had been waging since 1969 and ordering all its units to dump their weapons. The 36-year terror campaign of the IRA had caused 1,730 deaths; 1,100 British security forces and 630 civilians. Some 300 of the IRA’s 10,000 members resigned. A ceasefire had been in place since 1998, when the British Government demanded the disarmament of the IRA in return for Sinn Feinn taking part in multi-party talks on the future of Northern Ireland.
26/7/2005, Tuesday (+21,994) The US launched its first space shuttle mission since the Columbia broke up on re-entry in early 2003.
22/7/2005, Friday (+21,990) A Brazilian electrician, Charles de Menezes, was shot dead by police at a London Underground station; they mistook him for a suicide bomber.
21/7/2005, Thursday (+21,989) (1) A second terrorist attack on London Transport, similar to the one on 7/7/2005. There were 4 attempted bomb attacks on 3 underground trains and a London bus. However the bombs all failed to explode properly and there was only one injury.
(2) 64 were killed by suicide bombers at the seaside resort of Sharm El Sheikh, on the Red Sea.
20/7/2005, Wednesday (+21,988) Canada’s Civil Marriage Act, legalising same-sex marriages, received Royal Assent.
12/7/2005, Tuesday (+21,980)
10/7/2005, Sunday (+21,978) Luxembourg voted to accept the European Constitution.
7/7/2005, Thursday (+21,975) Four Muslim suicide bombers struck London in the morning rush hour. Three separate Underground trains and a bus were hit, killing 50 and injuring over 200 commuters. Al Quaeda gave British military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq as justification for the attacks.
6/7/2005, Wednesday (+21,974) The International Olympic Committee awarded the 2012 Summer Games to London. Other cities in the finals were Paris and Madrid.
4/7/2005, Monday (+21,972) Violent demonstrations in Gleneagles, Scotland, against the G8 Summit Meeting there.
2/7/2005, Saturday (+21,970) (International) Live8 Concerts, to raise funds for Africa, were held in Berlin, Edinburgh, London, Moscow, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome, and other cities.
1/7/2005, Friday (+21,969) The average UK house price was £156,325.
30/6/2005, Thursday (+21,968) Spain joined Belgium and The Netherlands in permitting same-sex marriages.
17/6/2005, Friday (+21,955) A magnitude 6.7 earthquake, following on from a 5.3 quake the previous day, became the fourth quake since 12/6/2005 in California.
1/6/2005, Wednesday (+21,939) In a referendum, the Dutch became the second nation to reject the European Constitution. The margin was 61% to 39%; the Dutch were worried about loss of their identity in a wider Europe.
29/5/2005, Sunday (+21,936) The French, in a referendum, resoundingly rejected the European Constitution. The margin was 45% to 55%. This was effectively a vote against the unpopular French President Chirac, and against globalisation.
17/5/2005, Tuesday (+21,924) Kuwaiti women were granted the right to vote.
5/5/2005, Thursday (+21,912) In the UK General Election, New Labour was re-elected but with a substantially reduced majority.
26/4/2005, Tuesday (+21,903) Syria withdrew the last of its 14,000 soldiers from Lebanon, ending a 29-year military occupation of that country.
23/4/2005, Saturday (+21,890) The first YouTube video, Me at the zoo, was uploaded at 8.27 pm by the site’s co-founder, Jawed Karim.
20/4/2005, Wednesday (+21,897) A magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit Fukuoka and Kasuga, in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan 56 people were injured.
19/4/2005, Tuesday (+21,896) Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI on the second day of the Papal Conclave.
9/4/2005, Saturday (+21,886) (1) Tens of thousands of demonstrators, many of them supporters of the radical cleric Moqtadr el Sadr, protested in Baghdad against the US occupation, two years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, in the square where his statue was toppled in 2003.
(2) Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles, in a ceremony briefly postponed after the death of the Pope. Camilla assumed the titles of Her Royal Highness and The Duchess of Cornwall.
7/4/2005, Thursday (+21,884) MG Rover, the UK’s last volume car maker, went into receivership after a planned alliance with Chinese car manufacturer Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation fell through.
6//4/2005, Wednesday (+21,883) US novelist Saul Bellow died, aged 89.
2/4/2005, Saturday (+21,879) Pope John Paul II, elected 16/10/1978, died aged 84. Four million people travelled to The Vatican to mourn him.
28/3/2005, Monday (+21,874) A magnitude 8.7 earthquake hit Sumatra, 3 months after the 2004 Indian Ocean quake. It was the second largest quake since 1965.
27/3/2005, Sunday (+21.873) Easter Sunday.
20/3/2005, Sunday (+21,866) A magnitude 7 earthquake struck west of Kyushu Island, Japan. 250 were injured and at least one died.
22/2/2005, Tuesday (+21,840) A magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit the Zarand region of Kermand Province, southern Iran, killing 50 and injuring 1,000.
18/2/2005, Friday (+21,836) In England and Wales, hunting with dogs became illegal.
16/2/2005, Wednesday (+21,834) The Kyoto Protocol came into force. The US had not signed up, for economic reasons.
14/2/2005, Monday (+21,832) (1) The video sharing website YouTube was started by three workers at PayPal.
(2) Rafik Hariri, Prime Minister of Lebanon, died.
8/2/2005, Tuesday (+21,826) An Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire was announced.
30/1/2005, Sunday (+21,817) Iraq held its first elections, following the transfer of authority from America to Baghdad. Braving the risk of suicide bombers, some 8.5 million people, 60% of the electorate, turned out. However the Sunnis, 20% of the population, largely boycotted the poll. A Shi’ite coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance, won with 48% of votes cast; the Kurdistan Alliance came second with 26%. The Iraqi List Party, supporting Iraq’s US-backed interim Prime Minister, Ayad Alawi, came a distant third with 13% of votes cast.
27/1/2005, Thursday (+21,814) Nazi concentration camp survivors and world leaders gathered at the Polish town of Oswiecim, better known as Auschwitz, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of its liberation by Soviet forces.
20/1/2005, Thursday (+21,807) President George W Bush was inaugurated in Washington DC for his second term as America’s 43rd President.
18/1/2005, Tuesday (+21,805) In Iraq, an archbishop was kidnapped by Iraqi gunmen. Violence and bombings occurred on a daily basis in Iraq as the elections scheduled for the end of January approached.
4/1/2005, Tuesday (+21,791) Mahmoud Abbas became leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
2/1/2005, Sunday (+21,789) Arnold S Denker, US chess player (born 20/2/1914) died.
1/1/2005, Saturday (+21,788) Average council tax band D was £1,214. A colour TV licence was £126.50. A litre of unleaded petrol was 89.4p. Average independent day school fee was £2,556, Average daily nanny salary was £22,971.
31/12/2004, Friday (+21,787) The world’s tallest skyscraper, Taipei 101, 508 metres or 1.676 feet tall, was opened.
26/12/2004, Sunday (+21,782) (Earthquake, Indonesia) A very large earthquake struck the floor of the Indian Ocean just off Aceh Province, Indonesia. It was estimated as magnitude 9.3 on the Richter Scale, and shifted parts of the sea bed vertically by ten metres. It caused a very large tsunami to sweep across the Indian Ocean, causing at least 165,000 casualties. In January 2005 the Indonesian government raised its death toll to 166,320, bringing the total estimated number of casualties to 232,010. The confirmed death toll on 18/1/05 stood at 162,705, including 115,229 from Indonesia, 30,920 from Sri Lanka, 10,714 from India, 5,291 from Thailand, 298 from Somalia, 82 from the Maldives, 68 from Malaysia, 10 from Tanzania, 2 from Bangladesh, and 1 from Kenya. The secretive military regime in Burma reported just 90 deaths, a suspiciously low figure. Many tourists from Europe, who had been on winter holidays, died, including at least 400 Britons (possibly 2,000 Britons).
14/12/2004, Tuesday (+21,770) The world’s tallest bridge, at Millau, France, over the River Tarn, was opened by President Jacques Chirac.
18/11/2004, Thursday (+21,744) In the UK, the Civil Partnership Bill, allowing registered unions for same-sex couples, received Royal Assent.
11/11/2004, Thursday (+21,737) Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (born 1929) died of a brain haemorrhage and was buried in Cairo, aged 74. Mahmoud Abbas took over as head of the PLO.
8/11/2004, Monday (+21,734) 10,000 US troops attacked Iraqi insurgents in the town of Fallujah.
3/11/2004, Wednesday (+21,729) Hamid Karzai became President of Afghanistan.
2/11/2004, Tuesday (+21,728) The Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh, who received death threats after his film, Submission, was screened; suggesting that Islam tolerates misogyny and domestic violence, was gunned down as he cycled to work by a Muslim, a Dutch-Moroccan called Mohammed Bouyeri.
29/10/2004, Friday (+21,724) EU heads of State in Rome signed the Treaty and Final Act establishing a European Constitution.
15/10/2004, Friday (+21,710) The price of a 800g loaf of white bread was 65p.
9/10/2004, Saturday (+21,704) Queen Elizabeth II opened the new Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh.
5/10/2004, Tuesday (+21,700)
3/9/2004, Friday (+21,668) The Beslan siege ended violently. Terrorists fired rocket propelled grenades at the Russians and Russian Special Forces (Spetznaz) moved in. The school was blown up by the terrorists.
2/9/2004, Thursday (+21,667) Negotiations between the Russian authorities and the terrorists at Beslan failed, however use of force to rescue the hostages was ruled out. 26 women and children were released.
1/9/2004, Wednesday (+21,666) Chechen gunmen seized Middle School No. 1 in the town of Beslan, in Ossetia, near Chechnya, holding more than 1,000 teachers parents and pupils hostage, on the first day of the new school year. Explosives had previously been hidden under the floorboards during renovation work carried on during the summer holidays. Russian troops stormed the school, and there was a shootout and a deadly fire, as mines were set off. 330 people, half of them children, died in the chaos.
22/8/2004, Sunday (+21,656) Edvard Munch’s famous painting, The Scream, was stolen at gunpoint from Norway’s Munch Museum, Oslo.
19/8/2004, Thursday (+21,653) Google was listed as a private company.
16/8/2004, Monday (+21,650) 8 inches of rain, four times the monthly average, fell on Boscastle in north Devon, causing the worst floods in the area for 50 years. 60 cars were washed into the sea and 200 people had to be airlifted to safety, but remarkably no-one was killed or seriously injured.
13/8/2004, Friday (+21,647) The 28th Summer Olympics opened in Athens. They closed on 29/8/2004.
11/8/2004, Wednesday (+21,645) The first licences for the cloning of human embryos were granted in Britain.
28/7/2004, Wednesday (+21,631) Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, died aged 88.
26/7/2004, Monday (+21,629) The Frozen Ark Project was launched, to preserve the DNA of endangered species.
23/7/2004, Friday (+21,626) The historic Mostar Bridge, destroyed on 9/11/1993, and subsequently restored, was reopened by Charles, Prince of Wales.
1/7/2004, Thursday (+21,604) (1) A pint of milk cost 35p. A dozen large eggs cost £1.69. A loaf of white sliced bread cost 64p. A kg of minced beef cost £4.06. A kg of potatoes cost 60p. A kg of apples cost £1.25. A pint of beer cost £2.02. 20 cigarettes cost £4.39. The average UK house price was £148,658.
(2) The Cassini space probe arrived at Saturn.
28/6/2004, Monday (+21,601) The US-led coalition formally handed back power to the Iraqi Government, led by Iyad Allawi, from the Shia majority.
24/6/2004, Thursday (+21,597) In Thetford, Norfolk, a mob of 200 local youths laid siege to the Portuguese run Red Lion pub, hurling paving slabs and other missiles. 40 Portuguese workers and their families were trapped inside for two hours until police could bring in sufficient reinforcements to quell the disturbance. Eight people were injured, and ten people subsequently arrested. The event was initially linked to Portugal having beaten the English football team out of the Euro 2004 tournament. However there was also a strong racist element, with the town having suffered major job losses to its agricultural food processing industries and local wages being depressed.
5/6/2004, Saturday (+21,578) President Reagan of the USA died (born 1911), after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
1/6/2004, Tuesday (+21,574) Nelson Mandela announced his retirement from public life.
17/5/2004, Monday (+21,559) Massachusetts legalised same-sex marriages, in compliance with a ruling from the state’s Supreme Court.(Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health).
9/5/2004, Sunday (+21,551) Akhmad Kadyrov, President of Chechnya, was killed by a landmine placed under a VIP stage during a WW2 memorial parade in Grozny.
1/5/2004. Saturday (+21,543) Ten more countries joined the existing 15 EU members. These ten were Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Malta, Cyprus, Slovakia, The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovenia.
22/4/2004, Thursday (+21,534) The last coal mine in France closed, ending nearly 300 years of coal mining.
21/4/2004, Wednesday (+21,533) Mordecai Vanunu, who revealed details of the Israeli nuclear programme in the 1980s, was released from an Israeli prison after an 18-year term for treason.
19/4/2004, Monday (+21,531) Major train crash in North Korea, 2 fuel trains collided and exploded, causing 3,000 casualties.
11/4/2004, Sunday (+21,523) Easter Sunday.
29/3/2004, Monday (+21,510) (1) NATO was expanded to include Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
(2) The Republic of Ireland banned smoking in all enclosed workplaces, including restaurants, pubs, and bars.
14/3/2004, Sunday (+21,495) Presidential elections in Russia. Vladimir Putin easily won a second term.
11/3/2004 Thursday (+21,492) Terrorist bombs killed 191 and injured 1200 more at Madrid’s main Atocha railway station and on trains outside the station in the morning rush hour. Ten bombs in all exploded on four separate trains. ETA, the Basque independence group, was blamed at first but later blame shifted to a Moroccan group with links to Al Qaeda.
29/2/2004, Sunday (+21,481) Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide was ousted in a military coup.
26/2/2004, Thursday (+21,478) The US lifted a travel ban on visiting Libya, ending restrictions that had been in force for 26 years.
24/2/2004, Tuesday (+21,476) A magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit the Rif Mountains in northern Morocco, near the city of Al Hoceima, killing over 400 there. A further 500 were killed in Ait Kamara.
5/2/2004, Thursday (+21,457) 20 Chinese cockle pickers drowned in Morecambe Bay, Lancashire.
4/2/2004, Wednesday (+21,456) Mark Zuckerberg and some Harvard roommates launched a social networking site called Facebook.
3/2/2004, Tuesday (+21,455) The CIA admitted there was no threat from weapons of mass destruction before the USA invaded Iraq.
1/2/2004, Sunday (+21,453) 251 pilgrims were killed at the Haj, Mecca, during a stampede at Mina, in the ‘stoning of the Devil’ ritual.
23/1/2004, Friday (+21,444) The Mars Express space probe found evidence of frozen water at Mars’ south pole.
5/1/2004, Monday (+21,426) Thailand declared a State of Emergency as Muslim insurgency in the southern provinces, Narathiwat, Pattani and Yaia increased.
1/1/2004, Thursday (+21,422) Average council tax band D was £1,167. A colour TV licence was £116. A litre of unleaded petrol was 79.6p. Average independent day school fee was £2,414, Average daily nanny salary was £22,514.
26/12/2003. Friday (+21,416) Earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale hit Bam, SE Iran. Over 25,000 killed and 30,000 injured.
13/12/2003. Saturday (+21,403) Saddam Hussein was captured in a hole in the ground at a farm 10 miles south of his home town, Tikrit, by US and Kurdish forces.
1/12/2003, Monday (+21,391) In the UK, the use of hand-held mobiles whilst driving was made illegal.
20/11/2003, Thursday (+21,380) Suicide bombers struck again in Istanbul at the British Consulate and the headquarters of the HSBC bank. They killed 27, including the British Consul, Roger Short.
18/11/2003, Tuesday (+21,378) US President Bush visited Prime Minister Tony Blair of the UK; there were ongoing protests against the US war on Iraq.
15/11/2003, Saturday (-21,375) Two suicide bombings at Istanbul synagogues killed at 25 people, mostly Turks. Islamic fundamentalists claimed responsibility.
9/11/2003, Sunday (-21,369) In Riyadh a suicide bomber blew up his lorry outside a housing compound, killing 17 people, mostly Saudi expatriate workers.
8/11/2003. Saturday (+21,368) The Red Cross pulled all their staff out of Baghdad and Basra, Iraq, calling the situation ‘extremely dangerous’. A bomb blast at the Red Cross HQ on 27/10/2003 had killed 12 people.
6/11/2003, Thursday (+21,366) Michael Howard became the new Conservative Party Chairman.
27/10/2003. Monday (-21,356) 35 people killed in Baghdad in the bloodiest day since the war ‘ended’.
25/10/2003, Saturday (+21,354) In Russia, oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a potential political challenger to Vladimir Putin, was arrested and jailed.
24/10/2003. Friday (+21,353) Concorde made its last commercial flight, from New York to London. Commercial flights had begun on 21/1/1976. Economic conditions meant that many of the plane’s regular flyers had not been booking over the past two years.
19/10/2003, Sunday (+21,348) Mother Teresa of Calcutta was beatified.
15/10/2003, Wednesday (+21,344) The price of a 800g loaf of white bread was 60p.
7/10/2003, Tuesday (+21,336) Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger won the election with 48% of the vote to become Governor (‘Governator’) of California, beating the incumbent Democrat, Gray Davis.
6/10/2003, Monday (+21,335) Sri Lankan schoolchildren protested at the abduction of 25 of their classmates by the Tamil Tigers. This drew worldwide attention to the plight of child soldiers.
21/9/2003. Sunday (+21,320) The Galileo space probe ended its mission with a plunge into Jupiter’s atmosphere.
14/9/2003, Sunday (+21,313) (1) In a referendum, Estonia approved joining the EU.
(2) In a referendum, Sweden rejected joining the Euro.
12/9/2003, Friday (+21,311) Johnny Cash, US musician, died (born 1932).
10/9/2003, Wednesday (+21,309) Anna Lindh, foreign minister of Sweden, was fatally stabbed whilst shopping.
9/9/2003. Tuesday (+21,308) Edward Teller, the scientist known as the father of the H-bomb, died aged 95. Teller was born in Hungary and fled Hitler’s rule to work on the Manhattan Project in the USA to develop atomic weapons. He produced the bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which brought about Japan’s surrender and the end of World War Two. However Teller had argued for exploding this atomic bomb high in the skies above Tokyo, where it would do no damage but ‘shock and awe’ the population into surrender. Robert Oppenhiemer, the scientist in charge of building the Japanese A-bombs, disagreed with Teller.
Later, Teller persuaded President Harry Truman of the need to develop a more powerful H-bomb. This was tested at 7am on 31/10/1952. The fireball was larger than expected, frightening observers; the entire island of Elugelab, a mile across, vanished. The blast was 500 times more powerful than the Hiroshima blast of 1945. Two years later an even bigger bomb was exploded at Bikini Atoll, making it as sparse as the garment it gave its name to. Soon, however, the Russians had their own H-bomb. Oppenheimer, having seen the damage at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, disagreed with building the H-bomb, saying the A-bomb was powerful enough for America’s purposes. This led the USA to suspect Oppenheimer of disloyalty and Communist sympathies at the time of the McCarthy witch hunts. Oppenheimer died in 1967, aged 62.
Teller was admired by President Ronald Reagan, whose election Teller described as ‘a miracle for Western civilisation’. The ‘Star Wars’ defensive shield for the USA was Teller’s idea, enthusiastically adopted by Reagan. This was a set-back to the USSR, already suffering financially from its efforts to keep up militarily with the USA, and Star Wars may have even hastened the break-up of the Soviet Union. Teller saw his native Hungary suffer first Fascist, then Communist, tyranny; he saw the USA as a bastion of freedom, and the H-bomb as its ‘trusty sword’. At the time of his death, Teller, father of two, was a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institute in Stanford, USA. Although Mr teller lived modestly, liking playing the piano and tennis, he persuaded the USA to spend billions on nuclear weapons, on Star Wars, and on nuclear shelters in case of nuclear war. Most of this is now scrap, but the dividend for the USA was the collapse of Soviet Communism.
8/9/2003. Monday (+21,307) George W Bush secured US$ 87 billion from Congress for the reconstruction of Iraq, and military spending over the coming year, bringing the grand total of US projected spending in Iraq to US$ 130 billion.
4/9/2003, Thursday (+21,303) The Bullring in Birmingham, Europe’s largest shopping centre, was opened by Sir Albert Bore.
29/8/2003. Friday (+21,297) Car bomb at a mosque in Najaf, Iraq, killed at least 83, including a top Shi’ite leader, Ayatollah Mohammed al Hakim. 175 were wounded.
21/8/2003. Thursday (+21,289) Saddam Hussein’s cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majd, known as Chemical Ali, was captured by US forces.
19/8/2003. Tuesday (+21,287) 22 people killed, including the UN envoy to Iraq, as a truck bomb hits the UN headquarters in Baghdad.
16/8/2003. Saturday (+21,284) Idi Amin, former (mad) dictator of Uganda, died. He was born in January 1925 into a Nubian tribe in the West Nile region. In 1946 he joined the King’s Africa Rifles as a cook. At 6’ 4’’tall, weighing 16 stone, he was a good boxer, and was Ugandan heavyweight champion for nine years. He was also a good marksman, but missed out on army promotion when he was found in bed with a colleague’s wife and had to flee naked down the street.
His ruthless nature emerged during the Mau-Mau rebellions of the 1950s, when he would line the tribesmen up with their penises on a table and threaten to chop them off with a machete unless they revealed their hidden weapons caches. He was never court-martialled, despite torturing to death three Kenyan tribesmen. He was a sergeant-major at Uganda’s independence in 1962, and was a close aide of President Milton Obote until Obote began to ask questions about arms spending.
On 25/1/1971, whilst Obote was abroad, Amin, by now a general, sent tanks into the capital, Kampala, and declared Uganda to be under his military rule. He first purged the ranks of the military; 32 senior officers were killed in one go when their barracks was blown up. Other officers were shot, hanged, or beheaded. Amin set up the State Research Bureau, whose 3,000 officers could intern people on mere suspicion of sedition. Survivors of these internment camps told of being forced to smash other prisoner’s heads with sledgehammers, or even being forced to butcher, cook, and eat them, in order to be spared themselves. Many victims were thrown to the crocodiles in the Nile at Karume Falls Bridge.
During his eight year rule of Uganda, over 300,000 Ugandans were killed by his administration, sometimes publicly, on television. He was reputed to have kept the heads of his more powerful opponents in a fridge, so he could carry on berating them; he admitted to occasional cannibalism, disliking not the act itself but the taste of human flesh – he found it too salty. He murdered his first wife’s uncle, who was also his Foreign Minister; soon after divorcing his second wife her dismembered body was found in a car boot. He divorced another two wives over the radio. On 10/8/1972 Amin denounced Uganda’s 70,000 Asians as crooks, racketeers, and racists who prevented their daughters from marrying Africans and gave them 90 days to leave the country, minus all their assets; they were permitted one suitcase each. This effectively stripped Uganda of all its civil servants, administrators, and business leaders. Some 80% of Uganda’s businesses were left leaderless, and British businesses were nationalised the following year.
Amin claimed Scotland had offered him its crown if he helped it separate from Britain, and he took to wearing a kilt. He proposed to patch up Anglo-Ugandan relation by marrying Princess Anne. Idi Amin advised Nixon to jail the opposition during the Watergate scandal. Amin sent a message of support to Kurt Waldheim, former Nazi who became Secretary general at the UN, after Waldheim was accused of war crimes; Amin said Hitler’s only mistake was to .lose the war. In Uganda, Amin forbade facial hair, shorts for men and trousers and mini-skirts for women; he banned flip-flops and forced two offenders to eat theirs.
The Entebbe crisis of 1976 was the beginning of the end of Amin’s rule. In revenge for an Israeli raid on the airport to free hostages held by Palestinian guerrillas, the Ugandan army killed an elderly British woman, Dora Bloch. By 1978 every non-Arab nation had severed relations with Uganda, which was in ruins economically. Amin then invaded Tanzania. He sent President Julius Nyere a telegram saying ‘I love you so much if you were a woman I would marry you’, even as Ugandan troops were slaughtering Tanzanians and their livestock over 700 square miles of Tanzania. Ugandan rebel forces joined with the Tanzanian army and Amin’s regime fell on 10/4/1979.
Amin managed to escape, first to Libya, then Iraq and finally Saudi Arabia. He gave up his flamboyant uniform for Muslim robes and a skull-cap, and appeared to be a devout Muslim, living in a luxurious villa in Jeddah. Giving up alcohol, he was said to eat 40 oranges a day ‘to keep up his sex drive’. Amin drove a white range-rover, switching to a blue Cadillac on his birthday.
On 18/7/2003 he was admitted to a Saudi hospital with kidney problems, having suffered for years with high blood pressure. He fell into a coma and died on 16/8/2003.
14/8/2003, Thursday (+21,282) (1) Across the N.E. USA and Canada, nine States (Ontario, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Vermont) lost power when one power station became overloaded and shut down, creating a domino effect across the outdated electricity distribution system.
(2) A magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit the Greek Ionian island of Lefkada, injuring 24.
7/8/2003, Thursday (+21,275) (1) Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, who played a key role in the Bali nightclub bombing in 2002, was sentenced to death by firing squad.
(2) 17 killed and 60 wounded when a truck bomb exploded outside the Jordanian Embassy compound in Baghdad. Also today another US soldier shot dead elsewhere in Baghdad.
6/8/2003, Wednesday (+21,274) Gene Robinson became the first openly gay Anglican bishop.
1/8/2003. Friday (+21,269) The Hutton inquiry began into the BBC/Iraq dossier affair, see 22/5/2003 and 18/7/2003.
26/7/2003. Saturday (+21,263) Three US soldiers guarding a children’s hospital in Iraq killed and four wounded in a grenade attack. Two days earlier 3 US soldiers killed and 2 more persons wounded in an attack on a US convoy in Iraq. There have been regular killings of US soldiers in Iraq, about 2 or 3 a week.
24/7/2003, Thursday (+21,261) The US released gruesome photos of Saddam Hussein’s dead sons, Uday and Qusai, killed in a raid by US forces on 22/7/2003.
22/7/2003, Tuesday (+21,259) Saddam Hussein’s sons, Udai and Qusai, died during a US air raid on Mosul, Iraq.
18/7/2003. Friday (+21,255) David Kelly, defence expert, was found dead, reported as ‘suicide’. The issue was over whether Iraq really could have launched ‘weapons of mass destruction’, assuming it had any, within 45 minutes or whether New Labour had exaggerated the threat to swing public opinion behind Tony Blair’s decision to fully back US President George W Bush in his attack on Iraq. Kelly had been named by a government source, potentially ruining his future career. See 22/5/2003 and 1/8/2003.
7/7/2003, Monday (+21,244) Canon Jeffrey John, first would-be gay bishop in the Church of England, withdrew his acceptance of the post of the Bishop of Reading, after discussions with church leaders.
5/7/2003, Saturday (+21,242) (1) The WHO declared SARS to be ‘contained’.
(2) A bomb killed seven Iraqi police recruits at a graduation ceremony in Ramadi, 60 miles west of Baghdad.
2/7/2003. Wednesday (+21,239) Russian oil tycoon Roman Abramovitch bought Chelsea Football Club.
1/7/2003. Tuesday (+21,238) Average weekly wage was £464.70. A pint of lager cost £2.25. A loaf of bread cost £0.65. 20 cigarettes cost £4.55. Average UK house cost £129,443. A gallon of four-star petrol cost £3.32. The TV licence cost £116. A family car cost £11,145. See 1/7/1983.
30/6/2003. Monday (+21,237) Nine Iraqis, including an Imam, killed in an explosion beside a mosque in Falluja. The US later claimed it was an accident during a bomb-making lesson.
26/6/2003. Thursday (+21,233) Denis Thatcher died, leaving his wife, Margaret, former PM, a widow.
24/6/2003. Tuesday (+21,231) Six British military personnel killed and 8 wounded in two incidents in southern Iraq, both near Amara. Regular attacks on and killings of US soldiers continued in Iraq.
5/6/2003, Thursday (+21,212) A female suicide bomber killed 16 Russian soldiers at Mozdok, a staging post for troops in Chechnya.
1/6/2003, Sunday (+21,208) China began filling the Three Gorges Dam, raising the water level by over 100 metres.
28/5/2003, Wednesday (+21,204) The first horse cloned by Italian scientists, Prometea, was born
27/5/2003. Tuesday (+21,203) Two US soldiers killed and 9 wounded in attack on army unit at Falluja.
26/5/2003.Monday (+21,202) Further US soldiers died in Iraq as a US vehicle hit a landmine in Baghdad, killing one and injuring 3 soldiers. Also enemy fire killed a US soldier in a convoy near Haditha.
25/5/2003, Sunday (+21,201) Nestor Kirchner became President of Argentina, defeating Carlos Menem.
24/5/2003, Saturday (+21,200)
22/5/2003. Thursday (+21,198) Scientist David Kelly met with BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan, in a Charing Cross hotel. On 29/5/2003 Andrew Gilligan’s report was broadcast by the BBC on ‘Today’. It was claimed that the intelligence community was not happy with the claims in the ‘Iraq dossier’ (see 24/9/2002). Tony Blair denied this claim. On 1/6/2003 Andrew Gilligan claimed that Alistair Campbell, in The Mail on Sunday, had ‘sexed up’ the Iraq dossier. On 6/6/2003 Campbell complained to the BBC about Gilligan. On 26/6/2003 Campbell demanded an apology from the BBC, and on 27/6/2003 Gilligan told a BBC news reporter of his source (Kelly). On 4/7/2003 the MoD warned Kelly against further contact with the media. On 6/7/2003 BBC governors defended the Gilligan report. On 7/7/2003 Parliament cleared Campbell of ‘sexing up’ the dossier. On 9/7/2003 the press named Kelly as Gilligan’s source. On 18/7/2003 Kelly went missing and was found dead, allegedly having committed suicide. See 1/8/2003.
21/5/2003, Wednesday (+21,197) A major earthquake hit Algeria, killing over 2,000.
16/5/2003, Friday (+21,192) In Casablanca, Morocco, 5 simultaneous suicide bombings struck at US and Israeli targets, killing 45.
13/5/2003. Tuesday (+21,189) In Britain, Development Secretary Claire Short resigned over Iraq. The killings of US soldiers continued despite Bush’s declaration that ‘the war was over’, with a US soldier killed in an ambush on his convoy at Diwaniya. On 8/5/2003 a US soldier was shot dead whilst directing traffic in Baghdad.
12/5/2003, Monday (+21,188) Synchronised suicide bombings against four western compounds killed 35 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
9/5/2003, Friday (+21,185)
2/5/2003, Friday (+21,178) India and Pakistan resumed diplomatic relations.
1/5/2003. Thursday (+21,177) President George Bush declared the Iraq war to be over. US troops controlled, in theory, much of |Iraq; however sporadic attacks on Allied troops, acts of sabotage on oil, water, and other infrastructure, and car bomb attacks on the UN building continued since then, throughout 2003.
28/4/2003, Monday (+21,174) The Apple company launched the iTunes music store.
20/4/2003, Sunday (+21,166) Easter Sunday.
17/4/2003, Thursday (+21,163) John Paul Getty, oil magnate, died aged 84.
16/4/2003. Wednesday (+21,162) A huge demonstration by Shiites in Baghdad. The Coalition said this was proof that new liberties were available in Baghdad.
14/4/2003, Friday (+21,160) The Human Genome Project, to completely map the human genome, was completed.
9/4/2003, Wednesday (+21,155) US tanks rolled into Baghdad, to scenes of joy. A crowd pulled down a statue of Saddam Hussein, with help from US soldiers, and the head of the statue was dragged around the streets.
7/4/2003, Monday (+21,153) The Iraqi city of Basra was captured from Saddam Hussein’s forces.
21/3/2003, Friday (+21,136) The city of Baghdad was ablaze under the USA’s ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign in Iraq.
20/3/2003. Thursday (+21,135) A coalition led by the USA and the UK attacked Iraq. This was without UN authorisation, see 5/2/2003.
19/3/2003, Wednesday (+21,134) The USA bombed Baghdad.
18/3/2003, Tuesday (+21,133) British MPs voted 412 to 149 in favour of using force against Iraq.
16/2/2003, Sunday (+21,103) Millions of people worldwide protested against the US threat of war on Iraq.
5/2/2003, Wednesday (+21,092) Against the opinion of UN weapons inspectors, US Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed to have evidence of weapons of mass destruction and weapons research facilities in Iraq. The USA and UK pressurised the UN for authorisation to attack Iraq, see 20/3/2003. Tony Blair, later dubbed ‘Tony Bliar’, claimed Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction at 45 minutes notice.
1/2/2003, Saturday (+21,088) The space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas on re-entering the earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts on board.
12/1/2003, Sunday (+21,068) Leopoldo Galtieri, President of Argentina, died.
5/1/2003, Sunday (+21,061) Roy Jenkins, former Labour Chancellor and leader of the SDP )Social Democratic Party) in the UK, died.
22/12/2002, Sunday (+21,047) Desmond Hoyte, President of Guyana, died.
7/12/2002. Saturday (+21,032) Iraq issued a 12,000 page dossier of its weapons programme, but claimed it had no banned arms.
5/12/2002. Thursday (+21,030) (1) Asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Iraq entered Britain legally from the Sangatte refugee camp in France. Britain had agreed to accept 1,200 asylum seekers as part of a deal with France to close the camp near the Channel Tunnel entrance.
(2) General Ne Win of Burma (Myanmar) died. His real name was Shu Maung (apple of my eye) but he changed it to Ne Win (brilliant as the sun) on taking power. Ne Win had been close to Communist China, which he had visited in 1960. Ne Win disliked the democratic government left to Burma by the British after independence in 1948. He preferred the strong military rule of China. In 1962 Ne Win launched a military coup and took control of Burma. All land, commerce and industry were nationalised, dance halls and gambling were forbidden, foreigners were expelled and tourism abolished. No high rise building was allowed, and no neon signs, even for Coca Cola. The rest of the world was not too bothered as Burma was not strategically important as Vietnam and Korea were. Under Ne Win’s rule ethnic divisions within Burma intensified and opium chiefs expanded their fiefs, bribing the soldiers sent to close them down. Burma’s rice exports ceased and income per person per year fell from US$670 a year in 1960 to US$200 in 1989. Despite its resources of teak, oil, and good farmland, Burma became one of the world’s poorest countries. In 1988 Ne Win announced his retirement. A group of generals took over and renamed Burma by its traditional name, Myanmar. A surprisingly free election was won by Miss Suu Kyi’s democrats in 1990 but the result was not honoured. Ne Win died peacefully in his villa on the shores of Lake Inya, not far from Miss Suu Kyi’s house.
28/11/2002, Thursday (+21,023) Three suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel in Mombasa. Ten Kenyans and three Israeli tourists died. On the same day a surface-to-air missile narrowly missed an Israeli airliner taking off from Mombasa Airport.
19/11/2002, Tuesday (+21,014)
17/11/2002, Sunday (+21,012) Abba Eban, Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister (born 1942), died.
15/11/2002, Friday (+21,010) Myra Hindley, murderer, died (born 1942).
14/11/2002, Thursday (+21,009) Argentina defaulted on a US$ 805 million payment due to the World Bank.
10/11/2002, Sunday (+21,005)
8/11/2002. Friday (+21,003) The UN passed Resolution 1441, by 15 votes to 0, giving Iraq a final chance to comply with disarmament.
7/11/2002, Thursday (+21,002) Iran banned advertising of American products.
23/10/2002. Wednesday (+20,987) Fifty Chechen armed gunmen and women took over a theatre in Moscow, demanding that Moscow withdraw its forces from Chechnya. The audience of 850 was held as hostage. On 26/10/2002 Russian special forces pumped noxious gas into the theatre then stormed it. Most of the terrorists were killed whilst unconscious from the gas. However, whereas the Chechens had only shot two hostages, some 130 of them were killed by the gas, and a similar number required hospital treatment. Criticism of the operation was deflected by Putin, who asked how Russia could be expected to support the West’s ‘War on Terror’ if they did not back Russia when dealing with Islamic terrorism in its own country.
19/10/2002. Saturday (+20,983) A series of minor but noticeable earthquakes hit Manchester, causing some damage to roofs and chimneys.
15/10/2002, Tuesday (+20,979) The price of a 800g loaf of white bread was 57p.
12/10/2002. Saturday (+20,976) (Indonesia) A large bomb hit the Sari nightclub in Bali, a popular holiday destination for Australians and other Westerners, and the only Hindu island in the otherwise Muslim republic of Indonesia. 202 died and over 300 were injured, mostly Australian tourists. Al Qaeda, the organisation which hit the USA on '9-11', 2002, was blamed. Australia had been instrumental in helping East Timor to achieve independence from Indonesia, and the decadence of Bali did not fit with Islamic ideals.
11/10/2002, Friday (+20,975) US Congress authorised the use of military force in Iraq.
24/9/2002. Tuesday (+20,958) In Britain, a ‘dossier’ on Iraq’s alleged weapons capability was published. In it, Tony Blair claimed Iraq could launch ‘weapons of mass destruction’ at 45 minutes notice. See 22/5/2003.
12/9/2002. Thursday (+20,946) President Bush of the USA warned the UN that the USA will act if the UN cannot deal with Iraqi violations of sanctions. See 8/11/2002.
26/8/2002. Monday (+20,929) The start of a ten-day ‘Earth Summit’ held by the UN in South Africa. Delegates promised ‘action not words’. The Summit was snubbed by President George Bush, who refused to attend.
14/8/2002, Wednesday (+20,917) Pope John Paul II drew a crowd of two million at a papal Mass in Krakow, on his 9th visit to his native Poland.
14/7/2002. Sunday (+20,886) A neo-Nazi attempted to assassinate French President Jacques Chirac at the Bastille Day parade in Paris.
10/7/2002. Wednesday (+20,882) A Rubens painting sold at auction for £49.5 million, the highest sterling price ever paid for a painting.
9/7/2002, Tuesday (+20,881) The African Union (AU) was founded, as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (founded 1963, dissolved 2002). The AU was idealistically modelled upon the European Union, with plans for a supranational government, administration, a Court of Justice, financial institutions and a peace and security council. There was also to be a pan-African Parliament, based in South Africa. However the required co-operation between African states has not so far been achieved,
5/7/2002, Friday (+20,877)
2/7/2002. Tuesday (+20,874) Steve Fossett became the first person to circumnavigate the globe in a hot air balloon on his own without stopping.
1/7/2002, Monday (+20,873) A large loaf of white bread cost 57p. A lb of back bacon cost £3.20. A pint of milk cost 36p. A lb of butter cost £1.52. A lb of potatoes cost 41p. A lb of oranges cost 75p. A quarter lb loose tea cost 77p. A pint of beer cost £1.78. 20 king-size cigarettes cost £4.08. A sack of house coal cost £8.11. The average UK house price was £106,407.
4/6/2002. Tuesday (+20,846) On the final day of the extended Bank Holiday to mark the Golden Jubilee, the Queen rode through London in the State gold coach.
2/6/2002. Sunday (+20,844) In the middle of preparations for a concert at Buckingham Palace, London, to mark the Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, fire broke out at the Palace.
20/5/2002, Monday (+20,831) East Timor became independent from Indonesia. It had been a Portuguese colony, whereas the west of Timor, along with the rest of Indonesia, had been a Dutch colony until gaining independence in 1949. The Portuguese retained East Timor until 1975, when, with majority support, the Frente Revolucionaria de Timor Leste Independente, or Fretelin, a Leftist organisation, took control. Indonesia then invaded the former colony, and east Timor was declared the 27th province of Indonesia in July 1976. However the UN refused to recognise Indonesian sovereignty over East Timor, instead continuing to regard it as a Portuguese colony. In 1991 pro-independence demonstrators were massacred by the Indonesian Army in Dili, attracting international condemnation. Guerrilla warfare between Indonesia and Timor independence fighters continued until 1999, when Indonesia agreed to a plebiscite offering East Timor a choice between a special autonomous regime within Indonesia or independence. There was a large majority for independence, and President Xanana Gusmao, leader of Fretilin, became President of the newly independent State.
10/5/2002. Friday (+20,821) 7 were killed and 70 injured in a train crash at Potters Bar station, Hertfordshire. The crash was due to missing bolts at a set of points 200 yards north of the station. This caused the last carriage of a 4 car train to break loose and mount the platform as the train passed through Potters Bar station at 100 mph.
8/5/2002, Wednesday (+20,819) In Karachi a suicide car bomber blew himself up next to a bus, killing 14 people – 11 of them were French naval engineers working for the Pakistan navy.
6/5/2002, Monday (+20,817) The Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn, known for his anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views, and was pro-gay rights,, was murdered by Volkert van der Graaf, an animal rights campaigner. Volkert received 18 years in prison, Fortuyn, 54, a former university professor, was openly gay and ostentatious, employing a butler and a chauffeur in a country where many politicians cycled to work. He maintained that The Netherlands was ‘full’, with 16 million people.
5/5/2002. Sunday (+20,816) Reports from Afghanistan suggested the Taleban were regrouping in mountain hideouts, waiting for the Afghan government to falter.
3/5/2002. Friday (+20,814) (1) Barbara Castle, Labour politician, died aged 92.
(2) Research showed Britons increasingly spending on comfort items such as chocolate, desserts, and wine, to relieve stress. Spending on these items was running at £2 million an hour.
23/4/2002, Tuesday (+20,804)
21/4/2002. Sunday (+20,802) In the French Presidential elections, the National Front candidate, Jean Marie Le Pen, scored a surprising second place with 17% of the vote to enter the run-off with the right wing candidate Jacques Chirac. Lionel Jospin, the left wing candidate, was narrowly beaten into third place. Jospin’s stance as ‘New Socialist’, not too far to the left, drove some left wing voters to fringe left parties, allowing Le Pen in. In the second round of voting on 5/5/2002 Chirac was unsurprisingly elected with a massive 82% of the vote, against 18% for Le Pen.
18/4/2002, Thursday (+20,799) Thor Heyerdahl died.
11/4/2002, Thursday (+20,792) A suicide bomber set off a lorry full of explosives outside an ancient synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba, killing 21, mostly German tourists.
1/4/2002, Monday (+20,782) The Netherlands became the first country to legalise euthanasia.
31/3/2002, Sunday (+20,781) Easter Sunday.
30/3/2002. Saturday (+20,780) Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother died, aged 101. At 11.30am on 9/4/2002 Britain came to a halt for two minutes to commemorate her funeral, which was at 2pm in Westminster Abbey.
29/3/2002, Friday (+20,779) Israeli tanks and bulldozers smashed into the headquarters of the PLO in Ramallah on the West Bank, forcing Yasser Arafat to shelter in a basement with no electricity or communications. This was in retaliation for a suicide bomb attack by Hamas who had walked into a banquet hall in Netanya where some 250 Israelis were celebrating Passover; the explosion killed 22 and injured 130 people. This was the worst attack in 18 months of terrorism and retaliatory attacks by the Israelis that had left a total of 400 Israelis and 1,247 Palestinians dead. Arafat was effectively held prisoner until an agreement brokered by the UK and USA secured an Israeli withdrawal in May 2002. However in June 2002 the Israelis returned to Ramallah and completely demolished the PLO headquarters.
25/3/2002, Monday (+20,775) A major earthquake hit Afghanistan, killing 1,800.
11/3/2002. Monday (+20,761) President Mugabe of Zimbabwe ‘won’ presidential elections, widely held to have been rigged.
2/3/2002, Saturday (+20,752) The 24th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was held in Australia.
28/2/2002, Thursday (+20,750) The former national currencies of all Euro members officially ceased to be legal tender.
22/2/2002. Friday (+20,744) (1) Jonas Savimbi, leader of the UNITA opposition to the Angola Government in a protracted civil war since 1975, died, aged 67 (born 1934). The Portuguese left Angola in 1975 and the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) gained power; Savimbi began fighting against it. He USA and the apartheid regime in South Africa funded Savimbi and his UNITA party, because MPLA was Marxist and funded by the USSR and Cuba. On 4/4/2002 a truce was signed between the Angolan government and UNITA, who became the official opposition party of Angola.
(2) A Norwegian-mediated ceasefire began in Sri Lanka.
13/2/2002, Wednesday (+20,735) The trial of former President Milosevic (born 20 August 1941) began in The Hague, under a UN war crimes tribunal. He was accused of presiding over the deaths of 250,000 non-Serbs in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. He died on 11 March 2006, with the trial still underway.
12/2/2002, Tuesday (+20,734) An Iranian airliner crashed, killing 117.
31/1/2002, Thursday (+20,722) A large section of the Larsen ice shelf in Antarctica began disintegrating. Eventually some 3,250 sq km (1,254 sq miles) was lost.
29/1/2002, Tuesday (+20,720) US President Bush denounced the ‘Axis of Evil’ – the states of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.
21/1/2002. Monday (+20,712) Two former IRA leaders, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, entered the Houses of Parliament as Sinn Fein MPs.
18/1/2002, Friday (+20,709) The civil war in Sierra Leone ended.
17/1/2002, Thursday (+20,708) Mount Nyiragongo in the Congo erupted, displacing some 400,000 people.
8/1/2002, Tuesday (+20,699)
1/1/2002, Tuesday (+20,692) The majority of countries within the EU ditched their national currencies in favour of the Euro. Only Britain, Denmark, and Sweden retained the Pound Sterling and Kroner.
31/12/2001, Monday (+20,691) Microsoft ended support for Windows 1.0, Windows 2x, Windows 3x, and Windows 95.
27/12/2001, Thursday (+20,687) China was granted permanent normal trade status with the USA.
25/12/2001, Tuesday (+20,685)
23/12/2001, Sunday (+20,683) The ‘shoe bomber’, Richard Reid, attempted to blow up an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, by setting off explosives hidden in his shoe, but was overpowered by the other passengers.
22/12/2001, Saturday (+20,682) Hamid Karzai was sworn in as head of the interim government in Afghanistan.
13/12/2001, Thursday (+20,673) Terrorists attacked the Indian Parliament, killing 14 people. This brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war.
11/12/2001, Tuesday (+20,671) China joined the World Trade Organisation, following 15 years of negotiations..
6/12/2001. Thursday (+20,666) Mullah Omar, the Taleban leader, surrendered Kandahar; but Osama Bin Laden had still not been found.
2/12/2001, Sunday (+20,662) In the US, Enron, a Houston-based energy-trading conglomerate, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after a planned buy-out by Dynergy fell through. This was the largest bankruptcy in the US to date; Enron had debts in excess of US$ 40 billion. See 8/11/2001.
1/12/2001, Saturday (+20,661) The Argentine Government froze all bank accounts; depositors were only allowed to withdraw 250 Pesos a week (later raised to 300 pesos). US Dollar accounts were totally frozen, unless the depositor agreed to take Pesos. The Argentine Peso was nominally at par with the US$ but a devaluation was widely anticipated as the Peso was grossly overvalued. Then the Peso was devalued to 4 to the US$, and Dollar depositors had to accept the conversion of their Dollars to Pesos at the old 1:1 rate, effectively losing three quarters of their savings.
26/11/2001. Monday (+20,656) Kunduz, last Taleban stronghold in northern Afghanistan, fell to the Northern Alliance.
22/11/2001, Thursday (+20,652) Pope John Paul II sent the first Papal email from a laptop in his office.
13/11/2001. Tuesday (+20,643) The capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, fell to the Northern Alliance, captured from the Taleban. Despite American stipulations that a government of all Afghans should rule, the Alliance seemed in sole control.
12/11/2001. Monday (+20,642) Iraq said it approved of the World Trade Centre attack on 11/9/2001.
11/11/2001. Sunday (+20,641) Northern Alliance forces now controlled large areas of northern Afghanistan, including the western town of Herat.
10/11/2001. Saturday (+20,640)
9/11/2001. Friday (+20,639) Northern Alliance forces fighting the Taleban in Afghanistan were reported to have captured the town of Mazar-E-Sharif. This opened up a land route and airfield to bring in supplies to fight the Taleban on the northern front.
8/11/2001, Thursday (+20,638) The Enron Corporation was forced to write down its earnings back to 1997 by 20% and reduce its retained earnings by US$ 2.2 billion, following an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Enron had concealed its partnerships with Chewco and Joint Energy Development Investments, which kept a US$ 600 million debt hidden from Enron’s balance sheet. See 2/12/2001.
7/11/2001, Wednesday (+20,637) (1) After a 15-month break, supersonic flights by Concorde resumed.
(2) Sabena airlines went bankrupt after 73 years in business.
30/10/2001. Tuesday (+20,629) Farmer Tony Martin, who shot dead a teenage burglar, was cleared of murder.
25/10/2001, Thursday (+20,624) Microsoft released Windows XP.
24/10.2001, Wednesday (+20,623) Mr Fastow resigned as Chief Financial Officer of Enron, with a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation pending.
23/10/2001, Tuesday (+20,622) Apple Computers released the iPod.
16/10./2001, Tuesday (+20,615) Enron reported a US$ 618 million third quarter loss.
9/10/2001. Tuesday (+20,608) The first daylight raids began by the USA on Afghanistan against the Taliban and Bin Laden’s supporters. This was America’s ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’.
8/10/2001. Monday (20,607) Anti-American riots in several Pakistani cities. Banks, a shopping mall, and cinemas showing American films, are burnt down. Pakistan is a vital access point for USA forces seeking to enter Afghanistan. Raids continue over the next few days, with anti-American protests in Pakistan and Indonesia.
7/10/2001. Sunday (1) (+20,606) Railtrack went into receivership.
(2) Following the September 11, 2001 attack on the USA, missile attacks began on Afghanistan, prior to US invasion. President George Bush announced the start of Operation Enduring Freedom, to root out Al Qaeda.
4/10/2001, Thursday (+20,603) The first anthrax attack occurred on a US government office, sent through the post. More anthrax arrived in the post on 9/10/2001.
2/10/2001, Tuesday (+20,601) Swissair declared itself bankrupt.
27/9/2001. Thursday (+20,596) The UK Home Secretary, David Blunkett, condemned as offensive remarks by the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Berlusconi had said that Western civilisation was superior to Islamic society.
25/9/2001, Tuesday (+20,594) Queen Elizabeth II was given her first mobile phone.
20/9/2001, Thursday (+20,589) President Bush declared a ‘War on Terror’.
17/9/2001. Monday (+20,586) (1) Afghanistan’s Taleban regime was warned it must hand over Osama Bin Laden, the prime suspect for the 9-11 terrorist attacks in the USA.
(2) John Hume stepped down as leader of the nationalist SDP (Social Democratic Party).
(3) The US Stock market re-opened after the 9-11 attacks.
16/9/2001. Sunday (+20,585) Israeli tanks and troops entered the Palestinian city of Ramallah as truce talks ended.
13/9/2001, Thursday (+20,582) Iain Duncan Smith became leader of the UK Tory Party.
11/9/2001 Tuesday (+20,580) (USA) The World Trade Centre in New York was hit by two planes, bringing both its twin towers down. A third plane hit the Pentagon in Washington, and a fourth crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside after failing to reach perhaps Camp David or the White House. Casualties were approximately 5,000. All four planes had been hijacked by Muslim extremist suicide squads, but on the fourth plane, passengers retook control from the hijackers. Osama Bin Laden, head of the Al-Qaeda terrorist organisation, and based in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime, was swiftly blamed.
2/9/2001, Sunday (+20,571) Death of heart transplant pioneer Dr Christiaan Barnard.
14/8/2001, Tuesday (+20,552) Mr Skilling, CEO of Enron since 1997, unexpectedly announced his resignation ‘for personal reasons’. Enron stock, which investors had been assured was going to reach US$ 100, plunged to below US$ 40.
6/8/2001, Monday (+20,544) President Bush was warned that Osama Bin Laden was planning a strike against the US and that this might involve hijacking of aircraft.
20/7/2001, Friday (+20,527) The 3-day 27th G8 talks began in Genoa, Italy, sparking major protests by anti-globalisation groups.
19/7/2001, Thursday (+20,526) Lord Archer, Conservative Deputy Chairman and novelist, was sentenced to four years prison for perjury and perverting the course of justice. See 24/7/1987.
16/7/2001, Monday (+20,523) China and Russia signed a treaty of friendship.
7/7/2001, Saturday (+20,514) During race riots in Bradford, Yorkshire, the Manningham Labour Club was burnt down.
3/7/2001, Tuesday (+20,510)
1/7/2001, Sunday (+20,508) The average UK house price was £88,799.
11/6/2001, Monday (+20,488) In the US, Timothy McVeigh was executed for the Oklahoma City bombing.
7/6/2001. Thursday (+20,484) In the UK, New Labour won a second term at the elections. Tony Blair won another landslide victory, with Labour taking 413 seats against 166 for the Tories and 52 for the Liberal Democrats. Turnout was down to 59%, the lowest since 1918, down on the 71% in 1997.
1/6/2001, Friday (+20,478) (1) Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal killed his father, the King, and other members of the Royal family with an assault rifle, then shot himself. He died on 4/6/2001. King Gyanendra ascended the Nepalese throne.
(2) A Hamas suicide bomber killed 21, mainly teenagers, in the Dolphinarium Disco in Tel Aviv.
16/5/2001, Wednesday (+20,462) John Prescott, Labour Deputy Prime Minister, tussled with Craig Evans at an election rally in Rhyl, north Wales.
7/5/2001, Monday (+20,453) (1) In Banja Luka, the second largest city in Bosnia, Muslims attempted to reconstruct the Ferhadja Mosque. However a mass riot by Serb Nationalists ensued, and 300 elderly Bosnian Muslims were beaten and stoned to death.
(2) The Great Train Robber Ronald Biggs returned to the UK. He served just 15 months of a 30-year sentence before fleeing to Brazil; escaping extradition by fathering the baby of a 19-year old stripper. Partially paralysed by two strokes, Biggs intended to have a last visit to a British pub before he died; instead he was arrested at Heathrow and sent to Belmarsh Prison to complete the remainder of his sentence.
15/4/2001, Sunday (+20,431) Easter Sunday.
1/4/2001, Sunday (+20,417) (1) Former President Milosevic surrendered to police special forces, to be tried at The Hague for war crimes.
(2) In The Netherlands, same-sex marriages were made legal. This was the first time such marriages had been legal there since the time of Nero.
15/3/2001. Thursday (+20,400) The UK began a programme to kill all farm animals suspected of carrying foot and mouth.
4/3/2001, Sunday (+20,389) A Real IRA bomb hit the BBC TV studios in London.
3/3/2001, Saturday (+20,388) The 23rd Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was held in Australia.
2/3/2001, Friday (+20,387)
1/3/2001, Thursday (+20,386) In Afghanistan the Taliban demolished ancient Buddhist statues.
28/2/2001, Wednesday (+20,385) (1) A magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit the Nisqually Valley area of Washington State. One elderly person died of a heart attack.
(2) The Selby rail crash.
26/2/2001, Thursday (+20,383) The Treaty of Nice was signed by the 15 members of the EU, to enable the bloc to function smoothly after the 2004 enlargement to 25 member states. The scope of the national veto was reduced, and Parliamentary seat allocation for a 25-member bloc was agreed.
20/2/2001, Tuesday (+20,377) The UK Foot and Mouth Crisis began, 20 years after the disease last hit the UK. Diseased pigs were discovered at an abattoir in Essex. They were traced back to Burnside farm at Heddon on the Wall, Northumbria. By this time over 40 other farms had been infected, by an unusually virulent strain of the disease first seen in India in 1990; probably arriving in the UK via illegally imported meat. Drastic measures in the UK contained the outbreak as thousand of animals were burned, footpaths closed, and farmers virtually put under house arrest. The last case was at a farm in Cumbria on 30/9/2001, by which time 2,030 farm animals had been identified with Foot and Mouth, and around 6 million sheep, cows, pigs and other livestock slaughtered, one eighth of Britain’s farm animals. Foot and Mouth was finally declared over on January 2002. Farmers were compensated for their lost animals, but the biggest loser was the tourist industry, as rural paths stayed closed through the summer of 2001.
16/2/2001, Friday (+20,373) US and UK warplanes bombed the suburbs of Baghdad, killing 3 people.
15/2/2001, Thursday (+20,372) An initial version of the Human Genome Sequence was released.
14/2/2001, Wednesday (+20,371)
13/2/2001, Tuesday (+20,370) (Earthquake) A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit El Salvador, killing at least 400.
12/2/2001, Monday (+20,369) (Space exploration) The Shoemaker space probe landed on the asteroid Eros, the first landing on an asteroid, 196 million miles from Earth.
7/2/2001, Wednesday (+20,364) (Israel) Ariel Sharon was elected Prime Minister of Israel.
31/1/2001, Wednesday (+20,357) The Scottish Court in The Netherlands convicted one Libya and acquitted another on charges related to the bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
27/1/2001, Saturday (+20,353) The first Holocaust Memorial Day was held in Britain, to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on 27/1/1945.
26/1/2001, Friday (+20,352) 25,000 were killed and one million left homeless by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake in the western Indian city of Gujerat.
25/1/2001, Thursday (+20,351)
24/1/2001, Wednesday (+20.350) The greatest gathering of people ever recorded took place at Allahabad, India, where 20 million people gathered for the Maha Kumbh Mela.
23/1/2001,Tuesday (+20,349) The UN War Crimes prosecutor Del Ponte demanded that Serbia hand over ex-President
20/1/2001, Saturday (+20,346) George W Bush officially succeeded Bill Clinton as President of the USA, after the US Supreme Court stopped the recount of votes in Florida.
16/1/2001, Tuesday (+20,342) Laurent Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, died.
15/1/2001, Monday (+20,341) Wikipedia, a free online encyclopaedia, was launched.
13/1/2001, Saturday (+20,339) A magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit El Salvador.
10/1/2001, Wednesday (+20,336) Authorities in Moscow banned the Salvation Army, seeing it as a threat to the Russian State.
8/1/2001, Monday (+20,334) (Morals) In the UK the House of Commons overruled the House of Lords, which had blocked an equalisation of the Age of Consent for homosexuals with heterosexuals. Homosexual sex had been illegal in the UK until 1967 when the Sexual Offences Act made it legal for people aged 21 and above. This age was lowered to 18 in 1994, and to 16 in 2001, under a policy commitment by Tony Blair’s New Labour Government.
31/12/2000. Sunday (+20,326) The Dome in Greenwich closed after a year of financial problems, insufficient visitor numbers, and general ridicule.
13/12/2000, Wednesday (+20,308) US Vice President Al Gore conceded the Presidential election to Texas Governor George W Bush, over a month after the actual election. Gore had won a slim 0.3% majority on 8/11/2000, but the final result rested on the contested Florida vote. The final result, with 102 million votes, was decided by a margin of 537 votes in Florida.
30/11/2000, Thursday (+20,295) Major demonstrations in Seattle against the World Trade Organisation meeting there.
26/11/2000, Sunday (+20,291) George W Bush was certified the winner of the controversial 25 electoral-college votes in Florida, which gave him victory in the US Presidential elections.
16/11/2000, Thursday (+20,281) Bill Clinton became the first US President to visit Vietnam.
11/11/2000, Saturday (+20,276) A fire on a funicular railway in the Austrian ski resort of Kaprun killed 155 holidaymakers.
8/11/2000, Wednesday (20,273) (1) In the controversial US Presidential Elections, Republican George W Bush defeated Democrat Vice President Al Gore but the final result was delayed for over a month because of a disputed vote count in Florida.
(2) Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the US Senate.
1/11/2000, Wednesday (+20,266) Yugoslavia’s new democratic government joined the UN, after 8 years of the country being ostracised from the UN under President Milosevic.
31/10/2000. Tuesday (+20,265) One astronaut and two cosmonauts became the first inhabitants of the International Space Station.
28/10/2000, Saturday (+20,262)
26/10/2000, Thursday (+20,260) Lord Phillips issued his report into BSE and variant-CJD; he was critical of UK government policy.
25/10/2000. Wednesday (+20,259) Britain’s oldest man, Bill Lee, died. He attributed his longevity to a dram of whisky every night, and died peacefully in his sleep aged 108. He was born on 13/1/1892 in Stoke on Trent. He was shot in the arm and blinded in one eye whilst serving as a sapper in France during World War One, and was awarded the Cross of the Legion of Honour by the French Government for his services in war. Afterwards, Mr Lee returned home to manage a Milletts store in Hanley, Stoke, until he retired at the age of 72. He spent is later years in a residential home. He left a brother and sister, four grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, and two great-great grandsons. He was recognised as Britain’s oldest man by the Guinness Book of Records in August 2000.
20/10/2000, Friday (+20,254)
17/10/2000, Tuesday (+20,251) Major rail crash at Hatfield, Hertfordshire. A faulty rail derailed a Kings Cross to Leeds train on a curve, killing 4 and injuring 107. Faulty maintenance by Railtrack was blamed.
16/10/2000. Monday (+20,250) Food riots hit Harare, capital of Zimbabwe. See 16/2/2000, invasion of white-owned farms.
14/10/2000, Saturday (+20,248)
12/10/2000, Thursday (+20,246) Suicide bombers rammed a dinghy full of explosives into the side of the US warship USS Cole in Aden, killing 17 sailors.
11/10/2000, Wednesday (+20.245) Donald Dewar, Scottish politician, died.
5/10/2000, Thursday (+20,239) President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia resigned after widespread demonstrations across Serbia and the withdrawal of Russian support. He had lost the elections of 24/9/2000 but failed to acknowledge defeat; crowds stormed the parliament building and TV station in Belgrade in protest. Finally the election winner, Vojislav Kostunica, was able to take office.
2/10/2000, Monday (+20,236) The Human Rights Act came into force in the UK. It incorporated into English law the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights.
1/10/2000, Sunday (+20,235) The Olympic Games in Sydney closed.
28/9/2000, Thursday (+20,232) (1) The West Quay shopping centre opened in Southampton. This immediately upped Southampton’s Experian ranking in terms of UK shopping centres from 38th to 13th; the ranking subsequently improved further to 7th by 2002.
(2) Start of the Palestinian ‘Intifada’, or uprising. It was triggered by a visit by Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, leading several hundred armed Israelis.
26/9/2000, Tuesday (+20,230) Anti-globalisation protests in Prague. Some 15,000 protestors turned violent during the IMF and World Bank Summits.
20/9/2000, Wednesday (+20,224) Gherman Titov, Soviet cosmonaut who was the second person to orbit the Earth, died.
15/9/2000, Friday (+20,219) The 2000 Summer Olympics opened in Sydney, Australia.
14/9/2000, Thursday (+20,218) Microsoft released Windows ME (Millennium Edition).
13/9/2000, Wednesday (+20,217) The French court handed down the verdict in the Jose Bove McDonalds trial. Mr Bove got three months.
11/9/2000, Monday (+20,215)
9/9/2000, Saturday (+20,213) For the first time, an entire city was exposed by the growing ‘ozone hole’; Puntas Arenas, in Chile.
8/9/2000, Friday (+20,212) Albania officially joined the WTO.
7/9/2000. Thursday (+20,211) Fuel shortages began after protestors at high diesel and petrol prices blockaded refineries. Petrol was over 80p a litre, partly because of high crude prices caused by instability in the Middle East but also due to higher fuel taxes. The ‘Dump the Pump’ protests continued until 14/9/2000.
27/8/2000. Sunday (+20,200) The notorious criminal, Reggie Kray, who was suffering from bladder cancer, was to be released from prison so that he could spend his last few weeks at home.
23/8/2000. Wednesday (+20,196) Sir Richard Branson appeared to have won the bid to run the National Lottery after being given a month to satisfy the Lottery Commission’s questions. Both Sir Richard’s and Camelot’s bids were rejected.
22/8/2000, Tuesday (+20195)
20/8/2000. Sunday (+20,193) The Russian navy said there was almost no hope of finding survivors from the nuclear submarine Kursk. She sank on 12/8/2000, and all 118 crew died. Recovery of the wreck, minus its stern, was on 8/10/2001.
31/7/2000. Monday (+20,173) Cases of sexually transmitted diseases had risen sharply among young people in the past year, according to official UK figures.
27/7/2000. Thursday (+20,169) Tony Blair’s government unveiled its national plan for the Health Service, with a ten-year package of sweeping reforms and restructuring. The days of dirty wards, inedible food, and entertainment restricted to volunteer-staffed radio stations were over, according to the proposals.
25/7/2000. Tuesday (+20,167) An Air France Concorde exploded and crashed into a hotel near Paris shortly after taking off from Charles De Gaulle airport, bound for New York, killing all 109 people on board, and 5 on the ground. A piece of metal on the runway caused a tyre on Concorde to burst, and rubber fragments punctured a fuel tank in the wing of the aircraft. Fuel streamed into the left engines, robbing them of power. However it was too late for the pilot to abort the takeoff and he attempted to take the aircraft to another nearby airport. A 200 foot long tongue of flame poured from the wing, and after 2 minutes the aircraft crashed into a hotel at Gonesse near Orly Airport, at which the pilot was attempting to land. 4 more died on the ground. It was nearly a year before tests were completed allowing Concorde to fly again, and in 2003 Concorde ceased flying due to lack of demand for its fast but expensive flights, in a time of economic slowdown.
24/7/2000, Monday (+20,166) A concert planned for Central Park, New York, was cancelled due to the threat of West Nile virus, carried by mosquitoes and birds. The virus had been detected in New York in 1999 and appeared to have persisted over-winter.
21/7/2000, Friday (+20,163)
19/7/2000, Wednesday (+20,161) The officially-recognised synthesis of element 116, Livermorium, at the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research, Dubna, USSR.
18/7/2000, Tuesday (+20,160) (Broadcasting) The TV series Big Brother began in the UK.
1/7/2000 Saturday (+20,143) 500g of streaky bacon cost £2.20. 500g of beef cost £2.11. 250g of cheddar cheese cost £1.18. 250g of butter cost 83p. 500g of margarine cost 87p. 1 kg old potatoes cost 51p. 125g of loose tea cost 79p. 6 eggs cost 82p. 1 kg granulated sugar cost 56p. 800g sliced white bread cost 52p. 1 pint of pasteurised milk cost 34p. A first class postage stamp cost 27p and a second class stamp cost 19p. Annual fees at Eton public school were £16,500. The average UK house price was £80,366.
29/6/2000. Thursday (+20,141) The discovery that a cow born after the introduction of controls to eradicate BSE was found to be suffering from the disease sparked new worries about transmission of the condition.
26/6/2000. Monday (+20,138) British and American scientists announced they had succeeded in decoded the 3 billion pairs of human DNA.
15/6/2000. Thursday (+20,127) The clothes retailer C & A announced it was closing all its stores and making its 4,800 staff redundant.
14/6/2000, Wednesday (+20,126) Talks between North and South Korea.
10/6/2000, Saturday (+20,122) Hafez al Assad, President of Syria, died.
4/6/2000. Sunday (+20,116) In the UK, the Conservative opposition announced plans whereby they would have prisoners work full-time whilst in jail in order to pay compensation to their victims.
30/5/2000, Tuesday (+20,111) In Birmingham, England, demolition of the old Bullring Centre began.
28/5/2000. Sunday (+20,109) (1) Hardline Ulster Unionists hoped to frustrate the working of the new Stormont Parliament with a motion to exclude Sinn Fein from the new power sharing government.
(2) The volcano Mount Cameroon erupted.
25/5/2000. Thursday (+20,106) (1) Israel withdrew the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) troops from Lebanon after 22 years occupation.
(2) Oxford University castigated for refusing a place to a Tyneside State School girl who was expecting 5 A grades at a Level. However on 26/5/2000 Oxford University offered a record number of places to State School pupils, as controversy over its entry system continued.
24/5/2000. Wednesday (+20,105) The funeral of novelist Dame Barbara Cartland.
23/5/2000. Tuesday (+20,104) Sir John Gielgud, British actor, died at the age of 96.
15/5/2000. Monday (+20,096) The Eden Project was launched in Cornwall, at a cost of £79 million, housing thousands of plants from around the world.
12/5/2000, Friday (+20,093) In London, the Tate Modern art gallery opened.
7/5/2000, Sunday (+20,088) Putin was inaugurated for his first 4-year term as President of Russia.
4/5/2000. Thursday (+20,085) Ken Livingstone was elected Mayor of London.
3/5/2000. Wednesday (+20,084) The trial of the Lockerbie bomb suspects began.
25/4/2000, Tuesday (+20,076) The State of Vermont passed the HB847 law legalising civil unions for same-sex couples.
23/4/2000, Sunday (+20,074) Easter Sunday.
3/4/2000, Monday (+20,054) Microsoft was found guilty by a US court of breaking US anti-trust laws by attempting to monopolise the Internet browser market.
12/3/2000, Sunday (+20,032) Pope John Paul II at St Peters, Rome, prayed for forgiveness of past sins of the Catholic Church, including the burning of heretics during the Inquisition, the slaughter of Muslims during the Crusades, being silent during the Nazi massacre of the Jews, and professing hatred for groups such as the Travellers.
29/2/2000, Tuesday (+20,020)
16/2/2000. Wednesday (+20,007) President Mugabe of Zimbabwe began invading white owned farms in that country. The first white farmer to be murdered by Mugabe’s ‘war veterans’ was David Stevens, on 15/4/2000. By 15/5/2000 1,000 farms had been invaded and 19 people killed in political violence. See 16/10/2000.
15/2/2000, Tuesday (+20,006) The US prison population passed the 2 million mark. The USA had 6 to 10 times the incarceration rate of other developed countries.
6/2/2000, Sunday (+19,997) (Russia) The city of Grozny, Chechnya, fell to Russian troops.
31/1/2000, Monday (+19,991) Dr Harold Shipman was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of at least 15 of his patients, of a total of 365 suspected victims.
14/1/2000, Friday (+19,974) The height of the Dot-Com bubble; the Dow Jones Index reached an all-time high of 11,792.98.
11/1/2000, Tuesday (+19,971) US President Clinton established three new National Parks in the USA.
6/1/2000, Thursday (+19,966) The Pyrenean Ibex became the first extinction of the new millennium when a tree fell on the last individual, killing it. A cloned kid was born in 2009 but only survived seven minutes.
1/1/2000, Saturday (+19,961) In the UK it became illegal for retailers to sell in anything but metric units.
31/12/1999, Friday (+19,960) Boris Yeltsin resigned as President of Russia and was replaced by Vladimir Putin. Putin, 47, was elected President on 26/3/2000.