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Thread: On this day in history.....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Default On this day in history.....

    17 november

    1997: Egyptian militants kill tourists at Luxor
    More than 60 people have been killed after an attack on a group of foreign tourists visiting a temple in southern Egypt.

    The tourists' bus was fired on as they visited the temple of Hatshepsut, one of the main attractions in the town of Luxor in southern Egypt.

    An Egyptian police spokesman said most of the dead were Swiss and Japanese tourists.

    The spokesman said the six gunmen were killed in an ensuing two-hour gun battle with police.

    According to initial figures released by Egypt's interior ministry, 57 tourists, a local guide and two policemen died in the attack.

    Other reports say the number of people who have been killed could rise to 75 with up to 85 people injured.

    An Islamic extremist group, the outlawed al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, is reported to have said it carried out the attack.

    Tourists targeted

    It came as 65 alleged members of the Islamic group went on trial in Cairo accused of conspiracy to murder.

    Islamic militants have targeted tourists since beginning a campaign in 1992 to topple the government of Hosni Mubarak and set up a strict Islamic state.

    Two months ago, nine Germans and an Egyptian driver were killed when gunmen opened fire on a bus in Cairo.

    Two men have since been sentenced to death for the shootings.

    Luxor, about 310 miles (500 km) south of Cairo, is visited by about two million tourists a year.

    It has not previously been attacked by militants who have strongholds in other parts of southern Egypt.

    In the past five years, attacks by militants have seen 34 foreign tourists killed and cost a total of more than a thousand lives.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2009
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


    2003: Washington sniper convicted
    An ex-soldier who served in the Gulf War has been found guilty of at least one of the Washington sniper killings in October last year.

    John Allen Muhammad, 42, may now face the death penalty.

    He was convicted of shooting dead Dean Meyers at a petrol station in Manassas, Virginia, on 9 October 2002, and murdering "at least one other person".

    After just six and a half hours the jury at a court in Virginia Beach, Virginia, found him guilty on all four counts of murder, terrorism, conspiracy and a firearms charge.

    Two of the jury members were crying as the verdict was read out, but Muhammad showed little emotion.

    New law

    The terrorism charge was brought under a new law enacted by Virginia following the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. Under the law, terrorists can be given the death penalty.

    During the three-week killing spree last October, 10 people died and three were wounded.

    The victims were chosen at random, while they shopped, mowed lawns or put petrol in their cars at garages.

    The killer played a cat-and-mouse game with the police, leaving a letter at the scene of one of the shootings demanding a $10 million payment from the US government and asking them to "Call me God".

    The area was so terrorised that sports teams practised indoors and people kept their heads down or hid in their cars when they used petrol pumps.

    During the trial, prosecutors portrayed Muhammad as a cold-blooded killer who trained his 17-year-old accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, as an expert sniper.

    The pair specially modified a car to allow shooting through a hole cut in the boot. They were arrested while sleeping in the car in late October.

    Malvo, now 18, is on trial separately in nearby Chesapeake, accused of murdering FBI analyst Linda Franklin, shot dead on 14 October 2002 in Falls Church, Virginia.

    His lawyers are arguing he was brainwashed by Muhammad, whom he looked up to as a father figure.

    Death penalty

    Muhammad has throughout denied he was involved, arguing that the case against him was circumstantial.

    Relatives of the victims welcomed the verdict, and some urged the jury to decide in favour of the death penalty.

    "I consider justice to have been served," said Bob Meyers, the brother of Dean Meyers, the victim at the heart of the trial.

    "I believe that capital punishment is an appropriate response in certain crimes, and I must say that I can't think of too many more heinous crimes than this one."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Default 1953

    1953: Twenty die in Channel collision
    Twenty Italian sailors are now known to have died following a collision between two boats in the English Channel.

    An Italian steamer Vittoria Claudia on her way from the Bulgarian port of Burgas in the Black Sea to Hamburg in West Germany, went down off the Kent coast after being hit by French motor vessel Perou.

    The accident happened just before 0400 yesterday morning, about two-and-a-half miles (4km) from Dungeness. The Italian crew had no time to send out an SOS call.

    The alarm was raised by the Perou which got in touch with the French coastguard, from where a message was sent to the English side of the Channel.

    We had no time to launch boats. Those men below deck had not the slightest chance.

    Second officer Stolfa
    The Dungeness, Dover and Hastings lifeboats were all launched and the Trinity House pilot cutter Pelorus, which was not far from the collision, was also despatched to help the rescue effort.

    The Vittoria Claudia carrying a cargo of mineral ore is reported to have sunk within five minutes of being hit. There were no casualties on the Perou, which was on the way from Antwerp in Belgium to Orleans in France.

    Second officer Stolfa was one of the Italian survivors. He was on the bridge when the accident happened.

    He said: "We were doing six knots. I saw a big ship coming in our direction at about 15 knots. It seemed that unless she altered course suddenly we must be struck.

    "I sounded the ship's siren, but it was not until the last moment that the French ship swerved and she struck us in the stern.

    "I was flung down and by the time I had picked myself up I could see that our ship was doomed. We had no time to launch boats. Those men below deck had not the slightest chance."

    It was a dark night, but visibility was good and the sea was calm with practically no wind.

    Five survivors

    The coxswain of the Dungeness lifeboat described the rescue operation.

    "We came across three bodies in the water which we got aboard and then searched around for other survivors, but we couldn't cover the area we'd have liked to on account of so much wreckage," he said.

    "We had to go very slow. We searched around till daylight, then the planes came out and they assisted us all they could."

    A flying-boat and helicopter from the USAF air base at Manston joined the search at dawn.

    The five survivors were picked up by the Pelorus. They had been hanging onto wreckage for nearly two hours. They were landed at Dungeness and taken by ambulance to Folkestone hospital where they were treated for shock.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2009
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Default 1986

    1986: French car chief shot dead
    The head of the Renault car company, Georges Besse, has been assassinated in Paris.

    Mr Besse was shot several times at about 2030 local time (1930 GMT) outside his home.

    The killers, said to be a man and a woman, rode up on a motorcycle as Mr Besse emerged from his chauffeur-driven car.

    The car chief was shot in the head and chest and died where he fell on the pavement.

    No group has yet said it carried out the attack but French authorities suspect it is the work of the left-wing, anti-capitalist group, Action Directe.

    If confirmed, it would be the group's first attack on an individual since killing a defence ministry official, General Rene Audran, in January last year.

    It has since owned up to a number of bombings in Paris which targeted government buildings.

    Georges Besse had been the head of the state-owned Renault car firm since January 1985.

    'Unite against terrorism'

    He was credited with turning the loss-making company around and taking it into profit in September.

    However, his methods which included laying off 21,000 workers in his first 18 months in the post, led to bitter opposition from trade unions.

    President Francois Mitterand, who is on a tour of African nations, said the death of Georges Besse caused him "great pain".

    "This event confirms one more time that all our forces must unite against terrorism, without flinching and without compromise," Mr Mitterand said.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2009
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Default 1989

    1989: Police crush Prague protest rally
    Riot police in Czechoslovakia have arrested hundreds of people taking part in a protest march.

    More than 15,000 people, mostly students, took part in the demonstration, the biggest show of public dissent for two decades.

    They called for the resignation of their country's communist government, led by Milos Jakes.

    Scores of people were injured, several seriously, as the police forcibly broke up the rally.

    Witnesses said the police used clubs to beat marchers and sprayed tear gas indiscriminately.


    It comes in the wake of a wave of reform sweeping through other former Soviet bloc states.

    In particular, the fall of the Berlin Wall last week in neighbouring East Germany and the disintegration of its hard-line communist regime has heightened expectations of possible change here.

    The demonstration began at Charles University, just south of the city's centre.

    It started off as an officially-sanctioned march to commemorate Czech student martyr Jan Opletal, who died at the hands of the country's Nazi occupiers 50 years ago.

    The fact permission for the march was given at all reflects a growing recognition on the part of the country's communist leaders of the need for change.

    It was only the second time a non-government rally had been allowed in Czechoslovakia since the crushing of Alexander Dubcek's reformist government by the Soviet Union 21 years ago.

    Mr Dubcek, who has since lived in relative obscurity, was refused permission to travel to Prague to take part in the rally.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2009
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Default 2003

    2003: High security as Bush visits UK
    The United States President, George Bush, has arrived in Britain for the first full state visit by an American president amid some of the tightest security London has ever seen.

    He was met by Prince Charles at Heathrow Airport before travelling via helicopter to Buckingham Palace for a private reception with the Queen.

    The visit is highly controversial, coming just six months after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

    Public opinion in both Britain and the United States is deeply divided over the war.

    During the four-day visit President Bush will meet the families of British victims of the September 11 attacks in New York, and British soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Unprecedented security

    London is the focus of an unprecedented security operation during the visit involving thousands of extra police officers and costing an estimated 5m.

    Officers at Scotland Yard say the security measures reflect the general terrorist threat as well as the need to police the mass protests expected in two days' time.

    The Deputy Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard, Andy Trotter, said: "We are on a very high level of alert at the moment."

    Mr Bush will also be protected by hundreds of armed guards from the US during his visit.

    The guards will not be granted diplomatic immunity and will be subject to the British legal system if they shoot anybody, the Home Office has promised.

    Protest march

    The Stop the War Coalition, CND and the Muslim Association of Britain say they expect hundreds of thousands of people to march in protest at President Bush's visit.

    Police have now agreed to allow marchers to follow a route through Whitehall after the organisers assured them it would be peaceful.

    UK Prime Minister Tony Blair urged supporters of Mr Bush to make their voices heard along with those of the protesters.

    He defended his decision to invite President Bush to the UK, saying, "This is the right moment for us to stand firm with the United States in defeating terrorism wherever it is and delivering us safely from what I genuinely believe to be the security threat of the 21st century."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Default 1978

    1978: Mass suicide leaves 900 dead
    The bodies of 914 people, including 276 children, have been found in Guyana in South America.

    Most of the dead - members of the People's Temple Christian Church - had consumed a soft drink laced with cyanide and sedatives.

    However, the body of the People's Temple charismatic leader, Jim Jones, was said to have a bullet wound in the right temple, believed to be self-inflicted.

    The deaths are being linked to the earlier killings of five people, including US Congressman Leo Ryan, on a nearby airstrip.

    Mr Ryan had led a fact-finding mission to the church's jungle settlement - Jonestown - after allegations by relatives in the US of human rights abuses.

    Last year Jim Jones and most of the 1,000 members of the People's Temple moved to Guyana from San Francisco after an investigation began into the church for tax evasion.

    People who had left the organisation told the authorities of brutal beatings, murders and a mass suicide plan but were not believed.

    In spite of the tax evasion allegations, Jim Jones was still widely respected for setting up a racially-mixed church which helped the disadvantaged.

    Five dead at airport

    Leo Ryan's delegation arrived in Jonestown on 14 November and spent three days interviewing residents.

    They left hurriedly earlier on Saturday after an attempt on Mr Ryan's life, taking with them about 20 People's Temple members who wished to leave.

    Delegation members told police as they were boarding planes at the airstrip a truckload of Jim Jones' guards arrived and began to shoot.

    When the gunmen left five people were dead: Congressman Ryan, a reporter and cameraman from NBC, a newspaper photographer and one "defector" from the People's Temple.

    A producer for NBC News, Bob Flick, survived the attack.

    Mr Flick said: "Every time someone fell down wounded they would walk over and shoot them in the head with a shotgun."

  8. #8
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    Nov 2009
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Default 1989 did you know?

    1989: Protesters demand reform in Bulgaria
    More than 50,000 people have taken to the streets of Sofia in Bulgaria demanding political reform.

    In the biggest demonstration in the country's post-war history, protesters held up banners and chanted: "We want democracy now."

    Other demands included free elections, a new constitution and the dismissal of the remaining hard-line members of the Politburo.

    The gathering, in the city's Aleksandr Nevsky Square, comes just eight days after the country's Communist leader, Todor Zhivkov, 78, was ousted from power following a 35-year regime.

    He was replaced by the more moderate former foreign minister Petar Mladenov, 53, who has promised reform.

    'Democracy and pluralism'

    Most of Zhivkov's loyal supporters have already been dismissed and the newly-formed Parliament moved quickly to repeal a repressive law against freedom of speech which had previously led to the imprisonment of thousands.

    Today's protest, organised by dissident political groups, included many of the country's academics and literary personalities who had been banished under the Zhivkov regime.

    Radoi Ralin, a once-imprisoned poet, said: "We want democracy and pluralism.

    "We want freedom of people's opinion, freedom of people's speech, freedom of people's will.

    But he also signalled a note of caution warning that the new leader may not be as good as his word: "For years we have been promised radical changes in our society, but it always turned out to be a carnival in which masks were changed but policy remained the same.

    "That is why we should not be too enthusiastic about the latest changes. We have to see what the new leaders have to offer us soon."

    Numerous similar demonstrations have taken place across Eastern Europe since the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union.

    Bulgaria has been one of the countries most resistant to change. Just two weeks ago Mr Zhivkov issued a statement stressing that the Bulgarian Communist Party was still in total control.

    But as the ideals of "perestroika" and glasnost" swept through countries including Poland, Eastern Germany and Hungary, Mr Zhivkov's grip on power became increasingly weakened.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    land of pigmies


    On this day 1985,

    I put my hand behind my back and found my ARSEHOLE.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009


    ha ha ..snigger snigger, chortle chortle..

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