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Wednesday, April 8

March 31, 2015

Today is Wednesday, April 8, the 98th day of 2015. There are 267 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1500 - French army, aided by Swiss mercenaries, conquers Milan in Italy.

1759 - British forces take Madras, India.

1902 - Russia and China reach agreement for evacuation of Manchuria.

1906 - The Algerias act is signed, giving France and Spain chief control in Morocco.

1907 - Britain and France sign a convention confirming independence of Siam — now Thailand.

1913 - First parliament of Chinese Republic opens.

1919 - Russian communist army enters the Crimea.

1939 - Albania’s King Zog flees as Italian troops invade his country.

1946 - The League of Nations assembles in Geneva for the last time.

1950 - India and Pakistan sign a pact in New Delhi on the treatment of minorities.

1958 - U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposes mutual inspection as means of enforcing atomic test ban.

1961 - Referendum in France approves a peace settlement with nationalist rebels in Algeria.

1964 - India releases Sheik Abdullah, former premier of Kashmir.

1986 - Car bomb explodes near Lebanese President Amin Gemayel’s Phalange Party offices in Christian port of Jounieh, killing 10 civilians and wounding 110.

1990 - Fire breaks out on Danish ferry Scandinavian Star in the North Sea, killing more than 150 people.

1991 - European Community approves more than $180 million in food, clothing and other aid to Kurdish refugees in Iraq.

1992 - Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is found alive in the Libyan desert, 12 hours after his plane crashes, killing three aboard.

1993 - More than 2,100 desperate Muslims from the besieged city of Srebrenica, Bosnia, are ferried to freedom by U.N. trucks, but Bosnian Serbs stone the convoy and block peacekeepers from entering the enclave.

1994 - Warring factions in Rwanda agree to form an interim government in an effort to halt bloodletting in Kigali.

1995 - Russian forces bombard the town of Samashky in western Chechnya with warplanes and artillery, and claim to have cleared it of rebel fighters.

1996 - Shelling and gunfire rage in Monrovia, Liberia, sending at least 15,000 civilians fleeing to a U.S. Embassy compound.

1998 - Police and army troops take over Bolivia’s coca leaf and cocaine producing region, sweeping aside roadblocks put up by protesters during a week of violence that left at least four dead.

1999 - Yugoslavia says its 14-month war against ethnic Albanian separatists is over and urges refugees to return home. NATO continues its airstrikes against Yugoslavia.

2000 - Bolivia’s president declares a state of emergency, sending police into the streets to try to quell demonstrators, who were protesting rising water rates, unemployment and other economic hardships.

2002 - A bomb explodes in a Jalalabad marketplace in an apparent assassination attempt against Afghan Defense Minister Muhammad Qassim Fahim, whose motorcade was passing by the market.

2003 - Israeli helicopter gunships fire five missiles at a vehicle in Gaza City, killing local Hamas leader Said Aldin al-Arabid, the target of the attack, and at least five other people. At least 47 Palestinian civilians are wounded in the attack.

2005 - Some 800,000 people gather in a vast field in Krakow to join in Pope John Paul II’s funeral by video link, and schools and businesses close across the country as Poland mourns a national hero.

2007 - Suspected Islamist militants open fire on a military patrol in northwestern Algeria, starting a gunbattle that leaves nine soldiers and six attackers dead.

2009 - The American crew of a hijacked ship takes control of the vessel from Somali pirates, but the captain is still held hostage in a lifeboat.

2010 - President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sign nuclear weapons cuts to shrink the Cold War superpowers’ arsenals to the lowest point since the arms race of the 1960s.

2012 - The U.S. and Afghanistan sign a deal giving Afghans authority over raids of Afghan homes, resolving one of the most contentious issues between the two wartime allies.

2013 - A suicide bomber strikes in the financial heart of Syria’s capital, killing at least 15.

2014 — The defense chiefs of China and the U.S. face off over Beijing’s escalating territorial disputes in the region, with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel telling China it does not have the right to unilaterally establish and an air defense zone over disputed islands with no consultation. Today’s Birthdays:

Phineas Fletcher, English poet (1582-1650); Sonja Henie, Norwegian skater (1912-1969); Franco Corelli, Italian tenor (1923-2003); Jacques Brel, Belgian singer (1929-1978); Julian Lennon, English pop singer (1963--); Robin Wright Penn, U.S. actress (1966--); Patricia Arquette, U.S. actress (1968--); Seymour Hersh, U.S. author/investigative reporter (1937--).

Thought for Today:

Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings — Heinrich Heine — German author (1797-1856)

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