Today is Friday, October 17, the 290th day of 2014. There are 75 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1662 - England's King Charles II sells Dunkirk to the French.

1748 - French troops lift siege of English at Pondicherry, India.

1777 - American rebels capture 5,000 British soldiers at the Second Battle of Saratoga, turning the fortunes of the American War of Independence.

1912 - Turkey declares war on Bulgaria and Serbia.

1913 - Serbs invade Albania.

1918 - Republic of Yugoslavia is formally established.

1933 - Albert Einstein arrives in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.

1945 - Col. Juan Peron stages coup in Buenos Aires and becomes absolute dictator of Argentina.

1953 - France agrees to withdraw all its occupation forces from Austria.

1957 - French author Albert Camus is awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.

1961 - Authorities crack down on Algerians demonstrating for independence in Paris. Historians estimate at least 200 were killed.

1966 - Central Peru is shaken by an earthquake, which kills 92 people.

1973 - Arab oil-producing nations announce they would begin cutting back on oil exports to Western nations and Japan; the result is a total embargo lasting until March 1974.

1977 - West German commandos storm a hijacked Lufthansa jetliner in Mogadishu, Somalia, freeing all 86 hostages.

1979 - Mother Teresa wins Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the destitute in Calcutta, India, over three decades.

1987 - Tamil snipers attack Indian soldiers as they advance on the separatist rebel stronghold in Sri Lanka's north.

1989 - Earthquake strikes northern California, killing more than 60 people.

1990 - The leader of the Navajo Nation, the largest Indian tribe in the United States, is convicted in Navajo Tribal Court in Arizona of bribery, conspiracy and violating the tribe's ethics laws.

1993 - Indian officials try to talk Muslim separatists occupying Kashmir's holiest shrine into surrendering, but the rebels refuse, threatening to blow up the mosque if soldiers enter.

1996 - Boris Yeltsin fires security chief Alexander Lebed one day after the former general is accused of building his own army in an attempt to seize power.

1997 - Former Rwandan Prime Minister Jean Kambanda is charged by the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal with genocide and crimes against humanity in the 1994 slaughter of a half-million Rwandans; the remains of revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara are laid to rest in his adopted Cuba, 30 years after his execution in Bolivia.

1998 - A pipeline explodes in Nigeria when villagers try to siphon off oil. At least 700 die.

1999 - The head of Pakistan's new military regime Gen. Pervez Musharraf announces a reduction of troops on the Indian border, the establishment of a military-technocrat ruling council and an eventual return to civilian rule.

2000 - A high-speed passenger train traveling from London to Leeds derails in the commuter belt north of the British capital, killing four and injuring 34.

2001 - Israel's tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi, who advocated the ouster of all Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is shot dead in the first ever assassination of a serving Cabinet minister.

2002 - The Patriotic Movement of Ivory Coast, a newly formed rebel group that launched a violent uprising in September, signs a truce with West African international mediators to halt the rebellion and begin peace talks with the government.

2004 - Jordan's military prosecutor indicts 13 alleged Muslim militants, including Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi — one of the most wanted insurgents in Iraq — for an al-Qaida linked plot to attack targets in Jordan with chemical and conventional weapons.

2005 - China celebrates the successful landing of the country's second manned space flight as a boost to its status as a space power.

2006 - A British-educated civil servant, Lateefa al-Geood, becomes the first-ever female to serve as an elected member of Bahrain's parliament.

2007 - Myanmar's military junta acknowledges that it detained nearly 3,000 people during a crackdown on recent pro-democracy protests, with hundreds still remaining in custody.

2008 - The U.S. government declares that the beluga whales of Alaska's Cook Inlet are endangered and require additional protection to survive.

2009 - Members of the Maldives' Cabinet don scuba gear and use hand signals at an underwater meeting staged to highlight the threat of global warming to the lowest-lying nation on earth.

2010 - Chancellor Angela Merkel's declaration that Germany's attempts to build a multicultural society had "utterly failed" is feeding a growing debate over how to deal with the millions of foreigners who call the country home.

2011 - The U.N. Population Fund reports that a momentous milestone will pass as of Oct. 31 when there will be 7 billion people sharing Earth's land and resources.

2012 - Colombian government and rebel negotiators meet for the first set of talks at a secret venue outside Oslo aimed at ending the South American nation's complex, nearly half-century-old conflict.

2013 — A British scientist says he may have solved the myster of the Abominable Snowman — the elusive ape-like creature of the Himalayas. He thinks it's a bear.

Today's Birthdays:

Mikhail Naimy, Lebanese poet-philosopher (1889-1988); Arthur Miller, U.S. playwright (1915-2005); Rita Hayworth, U.S. actress (1918-1987); Eminem, U.S. rapper (1972--).

Thought For Today: The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts - Bertrand Russell, British author (1872-1970)