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Wednesday December 11

December 4, 2013

Today is Wednesday, Dec. 11, the 345th day of 2013. There are 20 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1769 - King Prithpi Narayan Shad creates a united nation of Nepal by capturing the last of its 24 states.

1792 - France’s King Louis XVI faces charges of treason. He is convicted, and executed the following month.

1816 - Britain restores Java, Indonesia, to the Netherlands.

1845 - Sikhs cross Sutlej River in India and surprise British, causing outbreak of Anglo-Sikh War.

1853 - Britain annexes Nagpur, one of India’s key states.

1872 - Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback becomes America’s first black governor in Louisiana.

1878 - French-British dual control in Egypt is suspended.

1888 - Italy supports Menelek of Shoa in revolt against Ethiopia’s Johannes IV; the French Panama Canal company fails.

1936 - George VI becomes King of England following abdication of Edward VIII.

1937 - Italy withdraws from the League of Nations.

1941 - United States declares war against Germany and Italy in World War II.

1946 - The U.N. International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is established.

1961 - Two U.S. helicopter companies arrive in Saigon on an aircraft carrier in the first direct U.S. military support for South Vietnam’s battle against Communist guerrillas.

1968 - U.S. and North Vietnamese representatives in Paris continue talks on the expanded Vietnam peace conference, but discussions remain deadlocked.

1972 - U.S. Apollo 17 astronauts land on the moon and begin an extensive exploration of the lunar surface.

1975 - Moroccan officials in El Aiun proclaim Morocco’s annexation of the Spanish Sahara as some 5,000 Moroccan troops march into the territory’s capital.

1981 - The U.N. Security Council chooses Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru to be the fifth secretary-general of the world body.

1988 - Palestinians stage impromptu general strike in occupied Gaza Strip to protest fatal shootings of two Arab youths.

1989 - Celebrations replace threatened general strike in Czechoslovakia as hard-line communist President Gustav Husak is driven from office.

1990 - Albania announces it will allow formation of independent political parties.

1991 - Leaders of 12 European Community nations agree to establish loose federation with common foreign policy and single currency by 1999, laying the groundwork for the European Union.

1992 - The U.N. Security Council authorizes immediate deployment of up to 800 peacekeepers in Macedonia to prevent strife in the Balkans from engulfing a larger region.

1994 - Thousands of Russian troops backed by armored columns and jets roll into breakaway republic of Chechnya in a bid to restore Moscow’s control over the region.

1996 - Shipping tycoon Tung Chee-hwa is elected the first postcolonial leader of Hong Kong.

1997 - Hours before U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright arrives in Rwanda, Hutu rebels attack a village with guns, grenades and machetes, killing at least 231.

2001 - A U.S. federal grand jury indicts Zacarias Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan descent, for conspiracy in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the first indictment directly related to the attacks.

2003 - A presidential panel concludes that France should outlaw Islamic head scarves in public schools to halt the burgeoning influence of Islamic fundamentalism and save the secular values that guide modern-day France. It also recommends a ban on other conspicuous religious symbols, such as Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses.

2004 - Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned with dioxin, doctors say, adding that the highly toxic chemical could have been put in the opposition leader’s soup, producing the severe disfigurement and partial paralysis of his face. Yushchenko claimed that he was poisoned by Ukrainian authorities, who denied the charges.

2005 - Explosions rip through a fuel depot north of London, injuring dozens of people, blowing doors off nearby homes and sending balls of fire and clouds of black smoke into the sky.

2006 - Thousands of mourners in Chile honor Gen. Augusto Pinochet, with many weeping openly in a military ceremony that exposes deep divisions over the legacy of his 17-year dictatorship.

2007 - Two truck bombs shear off the fronts of U.N. offices and a government building in Algeria’s capital, killing at least 31 people and wounding nearly 200 in an attack claimed by Al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa.

2008 - Former Nasdaq stock market chairman Bernard L. Madoff is arrested on a securities fraud charge, accused of running a phony investment business that cost clients billions of dollars.

2009 - Wealthy nations would commit to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade, and the world should strive to nearly eliminate them — or at least cut them in half — by 2050 under a draft agreement circulating at the U.N. climate talks.

2010 - North Korea warns that it is ready for an all-out war even as it dispatches its top diplomat to Russia amid a flurry of regional diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions over the North’s deadly artillery attack on South Korea.

2011 - Former military strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega is flown home to Panama to be punished once again for crimes he committed during a career that saw him transformed from a close Cold War ally of Washington to the vilified target of a U.S. invasion.

2012 - U.S. authorities cite “astonishing” dysfunction at the British bank HSBC and says it has helped Mexican drug traffickers, Iran, Libya and others under U.S. suspicion or sanction to move money around the world.

Today’s Birthdays:

Hector Berlioz, French composer (1803-1869); Alfred de Musset, French author (1810-1857); Fiorello H. LaGuardia, New York City mayor (1882-1947); Carlos Gardel, Argentine tango singer (1887-1935); Naguib Mahfouz, Egyptian writer and Nobel laureate (1911-2007); Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer and Nobel laureate (1918-2008); Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican actress (1931--).

Thought For Today:

Better by far you should forget and smile than that you should remember and be sad — Christina Rosetti, British poet (1830-1874).

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