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Reply with quote  #31 

6th June

 

1949: 1984 Is Published

The novel, 1984, was written by George Orwell (real name: Eric Blair). It introduced the world to the concept of "Big Brother" - an intrusive Government completely in control of it's population.

The politically left-wing Orwell, had spent time in London as a tramp and concentrated his attention on the plight of the poor. He died of tuberculosis in 1950.

It was on this day...
1966 Black Civil Rights Leader, James Meredith, Is Shot, Wounded

James Meredith, 32, was the first black man to brave the color bar at the University of Mississippi, in 1961 (after President Kennedy sent in 3,000 troops to quell the resulting riot). He was shot at Hernando, Mississippi, by Aubrey James Norvell, 41, from Memphis.

The shooting happened just 30 miles in, on the second day of a 220 mile protest walk ("March Against Fear") in which Meredith planned to walk from Memphis to Jackson.

 

1944: D-Day marks start of Europe invasion

Thousands of Allied troops have begun landing on the beaches of Normandy in northern France at the start of a major offensive against the Germans.

Thousands of paratroops and glider-borne troops have also been dropped behind enemy lines and the Allies are already said to have penetrated several miles inland.

The landings were preceded by air attacks along the French coast.

About 1,300 RAF planes were involved in the first wave of assaults then 1,000 American bombers took up the attack dropping bombs on targets in northern France.

Dawn revealed the astonishing sight of serried ranks of ships heaving over the horizon and passing in wave after wave, packed to capacity with soldiers and weaponry
The Prime Minister Winston Churchill has told MPs that Operation Neptune - the codename for the Normandy landings - is proceeding "in a thoroughly satisfactory manner".

He said the landing of airborne troops was "on a scale far larger than anything there has been so far in the world" and had taken place with extremely little loss.

The assault began shortly after midnight under the command of General Bernard Montgomery.

Timing of the Normandy landings was crucial. They were originally scheduled to take place in May - then postponed until June and put off again at the last minute for 24 hours by bad weather.

Upwards of 4,000 ships and several thousand smaller craft crossed the Channel to the northern coast of France.

Enemy reports say the landings took place between the port of Le Havre and the naval base at Cherbourg.

King George VI broadcast a message last night warning of the "supreme test" the Allies faced and he called on the nation to pray for the liberation of Europe.

The Allied naval commander, Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, said the landings had taken the Germans completely by surprise. There were no enemy reconnaissance planes out and the opposition of coastal batteries was much less than expected.

He added: "There was a slight loss in ships but so slight that it did not affect putting armies ashore.

"We have got all the first wave of men through the defended beach zone and set for the land battle."

A statement broadcast from Berlin at midday said the German troops were "nowhere taken by surprise". It said many parachute units were wiped out on landing or taken prisoner.

Hits were also scored on battleships and on landing craft from the "guns of the Atlantic Wall" - the German defensive positions.

President Franklin D Roosevelt told a news conference the invasion did not mean the war was over. He said: "You don't just walk to Berlin, and the sooner this country realises that the better."

In Context
The Normandy landings were the beginning of Operation Overlord - or the invasion of German-occupied Europe.

Originally planned to take place on 1 May 1944, the operation was postponed a month to allow time to gather more troops and equipment. The timing was important to allow for the right weather, a full moon, and tidal conditions.

To keep the destination of the landings secret, a deception plan Operation Fortitude was mounted which led the Germans to believe the main target was the Pas de Calais, much farther east.

When the landings finally began there were only 14 of the 58 German divisions in France facing the Allies. While there was stiff resistance at other beaches, Omaha was the only one where the success of the Allied mission was in serious doubt.

The invasion of Normandy was the largest amphibious assault ever launched. It involved five army divisions in the initial assault and over 7,000 ships. In addition there were 11,000 aircraft.

In total 75,215 British and Canadian troops and 57,500 US troops were landed by sea on D-Day. Another 23,400 were landed by air.

By 11 June the Allies had secured the Cotentin Peninsula beyond Cherbourg but progress continued slowly as the Germans put up fierce resistance. The end of the Normandy campaign came with the destruction of the German 7th Army in the Falaise pocket in August.

Although the Allies had reached the German frontier by September they decided to re-group during the winter, because of the failure of Market-Garden and the setback in the battle of the Bulge, and the invasion of Germany only began in January 1945.

1984: Troops raid Golden Temple in Amritsar
Nearly 300 people have been killed as Indian troops stormed the Golden Temple in Amritsar, held by Sikh militants.

The army's attack was resisted with heavy firepower, and weapons captured included machine guns, anti-tank missiles and rocket launchers.

Reports say 250 dissidents and 48 Indian troops died in the battle, which has raged for two days. Up to 450 Sikhs were captured.

The storming of the temple, or Operation Bluestar, followed weeks of growing tension between the government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Sikhs in the northern state of Punjab, who believe they are being discriminated against by the Hindu majority.

Gandhi first moved forces in to surround the temple in early March, after a long occupation by Sikh extremists led by Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

The religious risks of storming the shrine led to a tense stand-off and it appears security forces were hoping the militants would surrender, making a direct attack unnecessary.

In April the government agreed to amend the constitution to enshrine the independence of the Sikh religion.

But while the move was welcomed by the moderate Sikh party Akali Dal, the radical elements in control of the temple were unimpressed.

Speculation of an attack on the Sikh shrine increased following the government's decision on 3 June to impose a 36-hour curfew across Punjab.

Forces have now cleared the outer buildings of the complex but a group of heavily-armed Sikhs - including Bhindranwale - are believed to remain in hiding in the basement of a second building, close to the Golden Temple. The government said at midnight that all active resistance had stopped, adding that the army's next task would be to "eliminate completely terrorists from the state".


Watch/Listen
Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale (r)
Bhindranwale and his forces have occupied the temple since March

Images of defiant Sikh militants

In Context
Sikh leader Bhindranwale was found dead in the temple complex.

By 12 June it was reported that more than 1,000 people had died - 800 militants and 200 troops.

Government ministers later admitted they had underestimated the strength of Sikh feeling about the attack.

Prime Minister Gandhi said: "The necessity now is to heal the wounds inflicted on the hearts of the people."

But the storming of the Sikhs' holiest religious shrine started a chain of events and retaliations which led eventually to the prime minister herself being assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards, on 31 October.

1966: Black civil rights activist shot
James Meredith, the first black man to brave the colour bar at the University of Mississippi, has been shot and wounded after entering Mississippi on a civil rights march.

Police have arrested a 41-year-old white man named Aubrey James Norvell from Memphis on suspicion of carrying out the shooting.

The 32-year-old civil rights activist began his solo 220-mile March against Fear yesterday in Memphis and was heading for Jackson to show his fellow black citizens how to stand up to white authority and also to encourage them to register to vote.

At Hernando, Mississippi - 30 miles from his starting point - he saw an armed man aim at him and dived to the ground, but he was shot three times. Bleeding from the head, shoulder and leg he shouted: "Oh my God."

FBI agents and reporters who were following the march witnessed the ambush.

An ambulance took him to hospital where doctors later said his wounds were not serious.

Fight to enter university

In 1961 Mr Meredith became an icon for the civil rights movement when he applied to the University of Mississippi and was rejected on racial grounds.

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) then brought a suit in a federal court which granted him the right to enrol.

When he arrived to do so he was turned away by the university authorities and by the governor of Mississippi.

A court injunction for contempt removed this barrier but a white mob stopped him entering the university.

After a riot in which two people were killed and 375 were wounded, President Kennedy sent 3,000 troops to restore order and allow Mr Meredith to register as a student. He graduated in 1963 and recently published his experiences in a book called Three Years in Mississippi.


Watch/Listen
James Meredith shot and wounded on the ground
James Meredith was shot in his back and legs

Meredith is questioned by the police
In Context
Martin Luther King visited Mr Meredith in hospital the following day and then took up the March Against Fear - renamed the Meredith March - which attracted thousands of black men and women along the way.

Mr Meredith's injuries turned out to be superficial and he recovered enough to complete the march.

Aubrey James Norvell confessed to the shooting and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Soon after the march Mr Meredith dropped out of the civil rights movement to work as a stockbroker, and then in real estate. In 1967 he became an investor and entered Columbia University Law School in 1968.

That year he also became president of Meredith Enterprises and began to lecture on racial problems. In 1972 he stood unsuccessfully as a Republican candidate for the US House of Representatives.

1975: UK embraces Europe in referendum
British voters have backed the UK's continued membership of the European Economic Community by a large majority in the country's first nationwide referendum.

Just over 67% of voters supported the Labour government's campaign to stay in the EEC, or Common Market, despite several cabinet ministers having come out in favour of British withdrawal.

The result was later hailed by Prime Minister Harold Wilson as a "historic decision".

For him the victory came after a long and bruising campaign against many in his own party, following Labour's promise to hold a vote in its general election manifesto last October.

Faced with the referendum question, "Do you think the UK should stay in the European Community (Common Market)?" Britons voted "Yes" in most of the 68 administrative counties, regions and Northern Ireland. Only Shetland and the Western Isles voted against the EEC.

It puts the uncertainty behind us
Home Secretary Roy Jenkins
When the result was beyond doubt, the leaders of the pro-Europe camp emerged from private celebrations to thank campaign workers for their efforts.

Home Secretary Roy Jenkins said: "It puts the uncertainty behind us. It commits Britain to Europe; it commits us to playing an active, constructive and enthusiastic role in it."

The Conservatives were also campaigning to stay in the Common Market. Margaret Thatcher, elected Tory leader last February, said the "Yes" vote would not have happened without the Opposition's support for it.

Former Prime Minister Edward Heath said: "I've worked for this for 25 years, I was the prime minister who led Britain into the community and I'm naturally delighted that the referendum is working out as it is."

Members of the "No" campaign accepted their defeat and promised to work constructively within the EEC.

Industry Secretary Tony Benn, who had come under criticism from the prime minister during the campaign, said: "When the British people speak everyone, including members of Parliament, should tremble before their decision and that's certainly the spirit with which I accept the result of the referendum."

The trade union movement led by the TUC was also opposed to remaining in Europe and had boycotted key advisory positions in Brussels and Luxembourg since Britain joined in 1973. TUC General-Secretary Len Murray said the boycott would be lifted but he remained adamantly opposed to the EEC. "Many of the most imprtant decisions about our future can only be taken here in Britain," he said.


Former PM Edward Heath and Home Secretary Roy Jenkins
Pro-Europe campaigners Edward Heath and Roy Jenkins welcomed the result
In Context
Britain under Prime Minister Edward Heath had joined the EEC in January 1973 when the Treaty of Rome was signed.

Labour's general election manifesto of October 1974 committed Labour to allow people the opportunity to decide whether Britain should stay in the Common Market on renegotiated terms, or leave it entirely.

In the run-up to the referendum the prime minister announced that the government had decided to recommend a "yes" vote. But it emerged that the cabinet had split, with seven of its 23 members seeking withdrawal.

The "no" faction included Michael Foot, Secretary of State of Employment and Tony Benn, Industry Secretary.

In 1996 billionaire businessman Sir James Goldsmith, who was against the Maastricht Treaty, set up the Referendum Party to campaign for a referendum on the European Union.

He spent £20m on the 1997 general election campaign but only managed to achieve 3% of the vote.

In 2005 the state of the European Union reached a critical point in its history after referenda in France and the Netherlands saw voters reject the latest EU constitution.

1994: Asylum seekers flee detention centre
Six asylum seekers have escaped from an immigration centre in Oxfordshire following a rooftop protest overnight.

Three other detainees from the Campsfield centre in Kidlington were taken to hospital with ankle injuries after trying to escape.

An investigation is underway, although the incident is believed to be connected to the removal of an Algerian detainee who was due to be deported after being refused asylum in Britain.

According to his legal advisers he was removed with undue haste.

Adviser Sue Conlan said: "It has happened time and time again and people are just scared and also frustrated and fed up that they are being treated in a way that just means they are less than human. They are being treated like animals".

Campsfield House, run by private security firm Group 4, was opened six months ago, holding about 200 people.

The centre detains those who are waiting for their asylum applications to be processed as well as those waiting for deportation.

Although the disturbances overnight were short-lived, questions are being raised about the government's policy of locking up people who have committed no crime.

It is also under fire over attempts to speed up the asylum application process in the face of increasing numbers of people seeking refuge in the UK.

Claude Moraes, of the Joint Council for Welfare of Immigrants, accused the government of abusing Immigration Act powers.

He said: "We have hundreds of people now, either in prisons, detention centres or police cells who are there without any reason, any charge or conviction".

The Home Office responded that only 1.5% of the 47,000 people currently seeking asylum were detained.

 


Campsfield House, Oxfordshire
Campsfield House opened six months ago


In Context
There had been riots, fires and hunger strikes had all broken out at the centre since it opened in the mid-90s.

Amnesty International had claimed the facility was a waste of taxpayers' money, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees investigated the treatment of a number of detainees.

Campsfield House continued to face protest and controversy until Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett announced plans to close the centre in February 2002. Mr Blunkett declared the detention centre was "outdated" and promised to review laws governing asylum seekers in the UK.

But in October 2003 the government made reversed its decision following a blaze at Yarl's Wood centre near Bedford in 2002. It decided to to increase capacity at the Campsfield centre from 184 to 290, subject to planning permission.

Cherwell District Council rejected planning permission in 2004 after fierce opposition from local residents but the Home Office can override the decision.

The centre is operated by Global Solutions Limited under guidelines issued by the Home Office.


Watch/Listen
British troops on landing craft
British troops on their way to Normandy to take part in the D-Day landings

The BBC announces the launch of D-Day


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Reply with quote  #32 

7th June

 

1893 Gandhi Is Thrown Off A Train in South Africa

A young lawyer from India, Mohandas K. Gandhi, refuses to sit where he is told to on a racially segregated train.

He is kicked off at Pietermaritzburg.

It was on this day...
1942 US Wins 'Battle of Midway'

World War 2: This 4 day battle was a pivotal victory for the US navy against a previously invincible Japanese fleet.

The US sank 4 of Japan's aircraft carriers, and lost only one of their own.

 

1942: Japanese beaten in Battle of Midway

The United States has routed the Japanese Navy in a major three-day battle over a remote US naval and air base at Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean.

The victory has dealt a severe blow to Japan's ambitions to advance right across the Pacific towards the US coast.

The tiny island, 1,000 miles north-west of Hawaii, was targeted as a potential launching pad for the Japanese advance.

The Japanese attacked in the early hours of 4 June with heavy air raids on the military base.

Pearl Harbor has now been partially avenged
Admiral Chester Nimitz, US Pacific Fleet
The US responded with a decisive counter-attack, using the US Pacific Fleet, army bombers and the marines. The Japanese were clearly taken by surprise by the scale of the American defence.

The battle was fought almost exclusively from aircraft carriers - only the second time this kind of fighting has been attempted.

The first was just a month ago, in the Battle of the Coral Sea, when the United States thwarted Japanese plans to invade Australia.

In that battle, the victory was not so decisive, and the United States lost one of its aircraft carriers, the USS Lexington.

Reporting on the end of the battle for Midway Island, the Commander-in Chief of the US Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz, said at least two enemy aircraft carriers had been completely destroyed, with all their aircraft, and at least two more seriously damaged.

Ten Japanese warships were also sunk or damaged.

By contrast, on the American side losses were relatively small. One American carrier was hit and some aeroplanes were lost.

Fighting is still continuing in the area, but although Admiral Nimitz stopped short of claiming the Japanese were defeated, he said, "a momentous victory is in the making."

He went on, "Pearl Harbor has now been partially avenged. Vengeance will not be complete until Japanese sea-power has been reduced to impotence. We have made substantial progress in that direction."

Meanwhile, fighting is continuing around the US naval base of Dutch Harbor, in Alaska. The Japanese are known to have landed on some of the westernmost Aleutian Islands, and bombed the harbour on 3 June. No news has been received from the area since then.


Watch/Listen
USS Yorktown listing badly
The USS Yorktown was the only American aircraft carrier to be hit

US Captain Elliot Buckmaster describes the battle
In Context
The Japanese had invaded two Aleutian islands, Attu and Kiska, and attacked Dutch Harbor as a diversionary ploy to draw US forces away from the key battle at Midway.

But the US had broken Japanese military codes, and knew about the secret strategy - thus denying Japan an easy victory at Midway.

The loss of four aircraft carriers was more than the Japanese Navy could endure, and the battle proved a turning point in the Pacific War.

Six months to the day since the Japanese bombed the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor, they were placed on the defensive for the first time.

Slowly, the Americans drove them back, and eventually US forces occupied the major Japanese-held islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

The Japanese were finally forced to surrender on 15 August 1945 after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Japan remained under US occupation for seven years, and there is a large and controversial US military base on Okinawa to this day.

1981: Israel bombs Baghdad nuclear reactor
The Israelis have bombed a French-built nuclear plant near Iraq's capital, Baghdad, saying they believed it was designed to make nuclear weapons to destroy Israel.

It is the world's first air strike against a nuclear plant.

An undisclosed number of F-15 interceptors and F-16 fighter bombers destroyed the Osirak reactor 18 miles south of Baghdad, on the orders of Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

The army command said all the Israeli planes returned safely.

The 70-megawatt uranium-powered reactor was near completion but had not been stocked with nuclear fuel so there was no danger of a leak, according to sources in the French atomic industry.

Mortal danger

The Israeli Government explained its reasons for the attack in a statement saying: "The atomic bombs which that reactor was capable of producing whether from enriched uranium or from plutonium, would be of the Hiroshima size. Thus a mortal danger to the people of Israel progressively arose."

It acted now because it believed the reactor would be completed shortly - either at the beginning of July or the beginning of September 1981.

The Israelis criticised the French and Italians for supplying Iraq with nuclear materials and plegded to defend their territory at all costs.

The statement said: "We again call upon them to desist from this horrifying, inhuman deed. Under no circumstances will we allow an enemy to develop weapons of mass destruction against our people."

The attack took place on a Sunday, they said, to prevent harming the French workers at the site who would have taken the day off.

There have been no reported casualties.

The Osirak reactor is part of a complex that includes a second, smaller reactor - also French-built - and a Soviet-made test reactor already in use. Iraq denies the reactor was destined to produce nuclear weapons.


Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin
Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin ordered the raid
In Context
News of the audacious raid did not actually emerge until 24 hours later when Israel made its announcement. Only then did Iraq admit it had happened and express indignation.

One of the pilots involved was Ilan Ramon who trained as Israel's first astronaut but was killed in the Columbia shuttle disaster in 2003.

Two weeks after the Osirak attack Israel admitted it had the capability of developing its own nuclear weapons.

And in 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, a former nuclear technician was found guilty of espionage after he told a British newspaper, the Sunday Times, that Israel was secretly building atomic bombs.

French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac cultivated France's special relationship with Iraq during the 1970s to maintain an influence in a region dominated by Anglo-Saxons and boost trade links with the oil-rich nation.

He led the universal condemnation of Israel's attack on Osirak.

Then, 22 years later - as French president - Mr Chirac was vehemently against the USA and Britain going to war with Iraq over the issue of weapons of mass destruction.


 
1977: Queen celebrates Silver Jubilee
More than one million people have lined the streets of London to watch the Royal Family on their way to St Paul's at the start of the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations.

The Queen, dressed in pink on her Jubilee Day and accompanied by Prince Phillip, led the procession in the golden state coach.

Despite the rain thousands camped out over night to try to get a better view of the procession as it made its way down the Mall and through Trafalgar Square, Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill.

At St Paul's 2,700 specially selected guests, including politicians and other heads of state joined in the ceremony which began with Ralph Vaughan Williams' arrangement of the hymn "All people that on earth do dwell" which was played at the Queen's coronation in 1953.

Across Britain millions of people tuned in to watch events on the television and many more celebrated with their own street parties. Roads were quiet and many took the day off work.

Sea of Union Jacks

The Queen, speaking at the Corporation of London lunch at the Guildhall said: "I want to thank all those in Britain and the Commonwealth who through their loyalty and friendship have given me strength and encouragement during these last 25 years."

"My thanks go also to the many thousands who have sent me messages of congratulations on my silver jubilee, that and their good wishes for the future" she added.

The Queen and Prince Phillip then mingled with crowds who handed over flowers and cards.

Later the Royal Family delighted the crowds again with an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. The Queen, along with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, waved as the crowd on the Mall, which resembled a sea of Union Jack flags, sang the National Anthem.


Watch/Listen
The Queen and Duke of Edniburgh in the state coach
People cheered at the sight of the coach

The people salute the Queen
In Context
In contrast to the celebrations punk band the Sex Pistols sailed down the Thames on Jubilee Day playing their controversial version of "God save the Queen".

Radio stations were banned from playing the single but it still managed to reach number two in the charts.

The group were arrested as they left the boat but had achieved their aim of distracting people from the main celebrations.

In June 2002 the Queen celebrated her Golden jubilee. Celebrations mirrored those of 1977 as millions took to the streets and crowded into the Mall to catch a glimpse of the Royal Family.

The Queen toured Britain and the Commonwealth throughout the year and two massive concerts, one pop and one classical, were held at Buckingham Palace and shown on television around the world.

1990: Three countries lift beef export ban
France, West Germany and Italy have lifted a ban on British beef-on-the-bone after reaching a deal in Brussels.

A potential European Community crisis was averted when the principle of fair trade was upheld thanks to the deal reached in a 20-hour meeting.

The deal means beef-on-the-bone can now be exported from any BSE-free farm in Britain and all de-boned beef must carry an export certificate declaring it free from meat from potentially infectious cattle.

Beef from any farm can still be traded in Britain.

The ban on exports was imposed in May as a response to fears over bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or "mad cow" disease.

Many other member states support our decision
French Agriculture Minister Henri Nallet
UK Agriculture Minister John Gummer said he was delighted to have the backing of the European Commissioners and scientific experts in saying "quite clearly that British beef is safe".

Henri Nallet, the French Agriculture Minister, said he was happy with the outcome.

"I am satisfied with the meeting because the council has recognised the French position and since yesterday I've been able to establish that many other member states support our decision" he said.

But Shadow Agriculture Minister David Clarke criticised the government saying allowing beef not fit for export to be sold in this country would harm consumer confidence in an already hard-hit industry.

He also criticised Mr Gummer saying he had "not even started tackling the fundamental problem of eradicating BSE from our cattle".

The National Farmers Union also took issue with the deal. Their President, Sir Simon Gourlay said farmers whose herds had been infected with BSE would "become second class citizens of the beef industry".


Cows
The ban was imposed over fears of "mad cow" disease that has affected British cattle
In Context
The BSE crisis reached a peak on 20 March 1996 when the British government acknowledged a link between BSE and CJD, the human form of the degenerative disease first found in British cattle 10 years earlier.

A week later, there was a worldwide ban on all British beef exports. This was lifted in 1999 by all countries except France and Germany. Germany lifted its ban in 2000.

After the EC threatened to impose huge fines, France finally lifted its ban in October 2002 but the ban on live exports remained in place.

In March 2006, the EU finally allowed the UK to export live animals born on or after 1 August 1996, and beef and products from cattle slaughtered after 15 June 2005.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) was first identified in 1986.

It was found in the herd of West Sussex farmer Peter Stent, who had contacted vets after he found one of his cows behaving in an abnormal way.

2000: Blair 'handbagged' by the WI
Prime Minister Tony Blair has been given a hostile reception by Women's Institute members, who heckled and slow hand-clapped a speech he gave to their conference.

After what Mr Blair had hoped would be an address to win back the political initiative from the Tories, he received poor applause and drew criticism from some of the 10,000 audience members.

Some women even walked out in protest, saying the speech was too long and too overtly political.

One was heard to say: "This is just not on. This is the WI. We are not here for this."

Mr Blair used his speech to the WI conference at Wembley, in London, to stress that traditional values lay at the heart of Labour's policies.

He said: "I try to distinguish between the genuine values which underpin the best of Britain and the attitudes we can safely, rightly leave behind.

"Old fashioned values are good values, but old fashioned attitudes and practices can sometimes hold those values back."

Returning from paternity leave, Mr Blair explained how the birth of his son Leo had given him a "renewed sense of purpose", and he called for a revival of respect and responsibility in British civic society.

But the hand-clap protest, which began mid-speech, threatened to gather pace, before WI chairman Helen Carey appealed for members to listen politely.

The prime minister appeared uneasy and dropped a section of the speech about the NHS.

Downing Street later said there was no significance in that and it had only been done to save time.

Conservative leader William Hague dismissed the speech as "just words".

He said: "People's disappointment in the government is that they are not actually delivering anything". Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy accused Labour of failing to develop a coherent philosophy.


Tony Blair gives his speech to the WI
The PM was drowned out by the clapping
In Context
Following the embarrassment of the speech itself, Downing Street became entangled in a row about whether Mr Blair had actually been invited to address the WI at all.

WI leaders said the prime minister had approached them about a speech, while Number 10 insisted the invitation had come from the organisation itself.

The WI began as an educational movement in the 1920s and now has more than 260,000 members in 8,000 local groups.

Although traditionally considered the reserve of blue-rinsed ladies who enjoy making jam, the WI has actively campaigned on issues such as the future of post offices, human rights and third world debt.


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Reply with quote  #33 

8th June

 

632 Muhammad, Founder Of Islam, Dies

He died in Medina, part of present day Saudi Arabia.

At the age of 40, in 610, in a cave in Mount Hira, north of Mecca, he had a vision in which he heard God speak through the Angel Gabriel, who commanded him to become the Arab prophet of the "true religion."

His lifetime of collected religious revelations are known as the Qur'an.

It was on this day...
1967 Israel Attacks USS Liberty

In an event for which Israel later apologized, and offered to pay $6.9mn in compensation, it attacked the lightly armed US ship. The Liberty's radio calls for help were initially blocked by Israel, but it eventually managed to get a message through to USS Saratoga who sent 12 fighter planes to help in her defense. However, these were recalled by Washington and they never arrived at the Liberty.

The Liberty managed to withstand the pounding and made it to a safe port.

The next day, Israel invaded the Syrian Golan Heights. It has been suggested that Israel may have wanted to incapacitate the Liberty to stop it reporting on radio communications regarding the invasion.

 

1982: Fifty die in Argentine air attack

Up to 50 British servicemen have died in an Argentine air attack on two supply ships in the Falklands.

Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram were anchored off Fitzroy in Port Pleasant, near Bluff Cove, when they were bombed in a surprise raid by five Argentine Skyhawks. Sir Galahad burst into flames instantly. The exact number of injured is still unknown.

The ships had almost completed an operation to move support troops of the Fifth infantry brigade from San Carlos to join forces advancing on the capital Port Stanley when the attack occurred.

The decision to make the dangerous journey was taken after the discovery that the settlements of Fitzroy and Bluff Cove had apparently been deserted by Argentine troops.

Moving the soldiers round by sea in landing ships was intended to save a lengthy trek across the bogs and mountains, which would have delayed support reaching other troops.

The attack came before adequate air defences could be installed, and the men on board, many from the Welsh guards, were helpless as Argentine air planes pounded them.

Helicopters which had been moving equipment rushed to rescue survivors, some of whom had jumped overboard to escape the rapidly-spreading flames.

Black smoke poured out as the guards' ammunition started to ignite. On the cliff tops, medical staff waited for helicopters to bring the injured to shore.

Many of the injured had suffered burns, as the speed of the attack meant the crew had no time to put on protective masks. In a week of raids at San Carlos, not a single ship has been sunk. Now, two have been lost in a single attack.


RFA Sir Galahad
RFA Sir Galahad caught fire immediately
In Context
The battle of Bluff Cove, as it came to be known, claimed 48 lives, one fifth of all British fatalities during the Falklands conflict.

A memorial service was held at the Fitzroy settlement on the Falklands for the men who died aboard the two ships, and Sir Galahad was towed out to sea and sunk as a war grave.

The captain of Sir Galahad, Phil Roberts, later gave his account of the day.

He said: "It all happened very suddenly. The planes came out of nowhere and they bombed us and the ship was set on fire very rapidly. We had to abandon ship fairly quickly. The scene was horrific".

The Argentines surrendered on 14 June.

1999: Liar Aitken jailed for 18 months
Disgraced ex-cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken has been jailed for 18 months after he admitted lying during a failed libel action.

The former Conservative MP admitted both charges earlier in the year, following the collapse of his libel case against The Guardian newspaper and Granada TV.

Passing sentence at the Old Bailey, Mr Justice Scott Baker told Aitken he had woven a "web of deceit" and committed an inexcusable breach of trust.

From the dock, the former minister blew a kiss to his daughters, who started to cry as the verdict was announced.

He was later taken away to begin his sentence at Belmarsh jail near Woolwich, south London. His solicitor said he would not be appealing against the sentence.

Declared bankrupt

Aitken dramatically resigned from his post as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1995, after The Guardian and Granada TV's World in Action programme reported that a Saudi businessman had paid for a stay at the Paris Ritz hotel - in breach of ministerial rules.

The MP launched his ill-fated libel action, announcing he had quit to fight what he said was "the cancer of bent and twisted journalism".

The trial also addressed World in Action allegations that Aitken procured prostitutes for his Arab business clients on their visits to the UK, and that he was aware, as a director of BMARC, that the company had sold guns to Iran in contradiction of a United Nations embargo.

But it was his insistence that his wife Lolicia had settled the Ritz bill which ultimately brought his downfall, when documents were presented proving she had been in Switzerland, not Paris, over the entire weekend in question.

Charges of perjury and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice followed, and in March, unable to pay his legal debts, he had himself declared bankrupt.

1963: Ward charged over 'immoral earnings'
A key figure in the Profumo affair has been charged with living on immoral earnings.

Dr Stephen Ward, a London osteopath and friend of Christine Keeler, was arrested in Watford and taken to Marylebone Lane police station.

The arrest comes three days after the resignation of the Secretary of State for War, John Profumo.

He admitted he had lied to parliament after MPs accused him of having a relationship with Miss Keeler, a 21-year-old call girl.

MPs also allege that Miss Keeler had relations with a Russian naval attache and that the affair posed a risk to national security.

Prime Minister Harold Macmillan described the resignation as a "great tragedy".

'Extremely cheerful'

Dr Ward has not been allowed bail but his literary agent, Pelham Pound, said he was "confident" he would be freed after his court appearance scheduled for Monday 13 June.

Mr Pound visited Dr Ward at the police station and described him as "extremely cheerful". He had earlier collected some of Dr Ward's belongings from his Bryanston Mews home in Marylebone.

Last night detectives searched his former flat at Wimpole Mews and took away some items in a brown paper parcel.

Dr Ward has been charged with living on the "earnings of prostitution" at 17 Wimpole Mews since 1 January 1961.

The son of the late Canon Arthur Evelyn Ward, Canon of Rochester Cathedral, Dr Ward has treated such illustrious names as Sir Winston Churchill, Paul Getty, Douglas Fairbanks and Elizabeth Taylor.

He is also an artist and has had members of the Royal Family and politicians sit for him.

1978: Woman takes world sailing record
Naomi James has broken the solo round-the-world sailing record by two days.

Her 53 ft yacht Express Crusader crossed the finish line in Dartmouth at 0911 BST after almost nine months at sea.

The 29-year-old also became the first woman to sail solo around the globe via Cape Horn - the classic "Clipper Route".

A huge crowd of well-wishers and a Royal Marines band welcomed the New Zealand born Devonshire sailor home after her 27,000 mile (43,452 km) journey.

Mrs James looked fit and relaxed as she stepped onto British soil for the first time in 272 days to be greeted by her husband, Rob.

I thought about turning back
Naomi James

But she has had to endure weeks without a radio, the failure of her rigging during gales in the Southern Ocean and her boat capsizing.

The record-breaking yachtswoman admitted she had thought about giving up her attempt when she lost her mast.

"In my mind was the thought: 'How can you go round the Horn with a ship that's not seaworthy?' - so I thought about turning back," she said.

Mrs James said she was already planning to take part in a single-handed transatlantic race but was looking forward to a bath and a sleep first.

"For the past 10 days since the Azores it's been murderous," she said.

 


Naomi James
She looked fit and relaxed as she stepped onto British soil


In Context
Naomi James was made a Dame in 1979 in recognition of her achievements.

She gave up sailing in 1982 after suffering badly from sea sickness during the two thousand mile Round Britain Race.

Her husband fell overboard and drowned the following year while sailing off Salcombe, Devon.

She remarried in 1990 and moved to the United States.

In February 2001, after 94 days at sea, Britain's Ellen MacArthur became the fastest woman to sail the world.

Four years later, in 2005, she became the fastest person to sail solo non-stop around the world - in 71 days and 14 hours.


Dr Stephen Ward
Dr Ward is charged with living on the "earnings of prostitution"


In Context
The Profumo affair was the biggest political sleaze story of the decade and threatened to topple the Conservative government under Harold Macmillan.

It also scandalised the nation, especially after sordid details of Dr Stephen Ward's lifestyle and his relationship with Christine Keeler and her friend Mandy Rice-Davies came out at his trial.

Keeler, who lived with Ward at his Wimpole Mews flat, said he had introduced her to Lord Astor at his Cliveden stately home where she first met John Profumo.

On the last day of the trial on 31 July 1963, Ward took an overdose of sleeping tablets. He was found guilty while in a coma and died three days later.

Less than two months after his death, an official report produced by Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls, concluded Profumo's affair with Keeler had not endangered national security.

Shortly after this, the prime minister resigned, his ill health exacerbated by the scandal. He was replaced with Earl Home, who renounced his peerage to become Sir Alec Douglas-Home in order to take up office.


Watch/Listen
Jonathan Aitken arrives at the Old Bailey
Jonathan Aitken arrives at the Old Bailey

Aitken is sentenced at the Old Bailey


In Context
Jonathan Aitken served almost seven months of his 18-month sentence, and following his release began a theology course at Oxford University.

His ill-judged decision to launch a libel action in order to defend his lies resulted in personal disaster.

Aitken said his "whole life was shattered" within 24 hours of the collapse of the trial.

But having pleaded guilty to perjury and conspiring to pervert the course of justice, he appeared to feel remorse for his actions.

"I have learned my lessons. I hope I never tell any lies again. Sometimes you become a prisoner of your own lie. Ultimately I have no excuses," he said.


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9th June

 

1934 Donald Ducks Quacks His Debut

It was in the Walt Disney short cartoon 'The Wise Little Hen'.

Donald was to become one of the most beloved of Disney's creations.

Later his family would grow to include Daisy Duck, Uncle Scrooge, and nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louey.

 

 

1970: King Hussein escapes gunman's bullet

King Hussein of Jordan has survived an assassination attempt after gunmen opened fire on his motorcade as it was driving near his summer palace.

The king was said to be unharmed but it is understood his driver was wounded in the attack, which took place in the town of Sweileh, 12 miles (19km) northeast of the capital, Amman.

One report said the king jumped out of his car and fired back at the attackers.

The shooting follows two days of fighting between Palestinian guerrillas and Jordanian troops in and around Amman in which up to 400 people are said to have been killed.

Stray bullet

The city is surrounded by Jordanian troops with Palestinian gunmen controlling the city centre and main routes.

Fighting has also spread to the airport and passengers flying out of Amman today have told of a porter killed when he was hit by a bullet as they got onto their plane.

Earlier Amman Radio denied reports the army commander-in-chief, Major-General Nasser Ben Jamil, the king's uncle, had been killed in the violence.

Palestinian guerrillas blame the Jordanian army for the latest flare-up in fighting, saying it is a direct result of the heavy shelling of Palestinian refugee camps.

Following the 1967 war with Israel, Jordan lost the West Bank of the Jordan River. Thousands of Palestinian refugees fled into Jordan, swelling the refugee population to two million.

From their new base in Jordan, Yasser Arafat and his Palestine Liberation Organisation began launching military operations against Israel, drawing bloody reprisals that killed and injured Jordanians.

Feelings of anger among Palestinians have been exacerbated by King Hussein's involvement in Middle East peace moves which have involved talks with Israel.

The leader of Al Fatah, the largest of the Palestinian guerrilla groups, has said any Arab Head of State trying to reach a peaceful settlement with Israel will be murdered.

King Hussein has survived an attempt on his life before. When his grandfather King Abdullah was assassinated in 1951, he was hit by a stray bullet in the same attack.

Last October the government revealed details of a plot to overthrow King Hussein. Two months later 14 members of the Islamic Liberation Party were sentenced to death. A second plot to topple the king was uncovered in March and there have been recent rumours of another US-backed plot to replace the king with his brother Crown Prince Hassan.


King Hussein walks through frontline trenches between Israel and Jordan
King Hussein inspects the Jordanian frontline with Israel in the 1967 war
In Context
The trouble in Jordan worsened and on 17 September 1970 the Jordanian army launched a full scale attack against the headquarters of the Palestinian guerrillas in Amman using tanks and artillery.

It followed a declaration of martial law by King Hussein, who said he would not tolerate any further attempts to undermine his regime.

Worse was to follow in what became known as Black September, when Yasser Arafat ordered the overthrow of King Hussein's "Fascist government". Syria, Iraq and Israel quickly became involved.

The US 6th Fleet moved into the Mediterranean, the Soviet Union began leaning heavily on its ally Syria to pull out and the PLO guerrillas were gradually driven out of the suburbs of Amman.

Yasser Arafat agreed to a ceasefire on 25 September. Under the terms of the agreement his troops were to withdraw from Jordanian towns and cities and recognise the king's authority.

The fighting continued into 1971, however, when King Hussein finally struck a decisive blow against the Palestinians, driving them out of their remaining bases and expelling them from the country. The Palestinian extremist group Black September was named after the month in which the Palestinians were driven out of Jordan.

1983: Thatcher wins landslide victory
Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party has won a landslide second term election victory, taking 397 seats to Labour's 209.

The SDP Liberal Alliance, fighting its first national contest, won just 23 seats under the "first-past-the-post" electoral system, despite receiving nearly as many votes as Labour.

Mrs Thatcher announced the forthcoming parliament would have a "heavy programme", featuring some of the bills which fell before the election.

She also pledged to re-organise local authorities and to introduce bills on trade unions and rates.

Parliament is to meet for the first time next week, when the speaker of the House will be sworn in.

The prime minister said her first priority for the new term would be to reshuffle her cabinet. She insisted it would reflect a range of political views, saying, "I haven't been extreme for the last four years and I'm not extreme now."

Defeated Labour Party leader Michael Foot described the result as a tragedy for the country.

He said: "I agree with those who said the fight to win the next election starts immediately and of course I accept, to the full, my responsibilities in this election."

Mr Foot strongly attacked the SDP for siphoning support away from Labour - giving more seats to the Conservatives.

The SDP Liberal Alliance blamed Britain's "winner takes all" electoral system on its failure to convert its significant electoral support into seats in parliament. David Steel said: "I feel a real sense of outrage at the vast number of votes we picked up with so little to show for it in the way of seats."


Watch/Listen
Margaret Thatcher celebrates at Downing Street
Mrs Thatcher was always confident

Thatcher celebrates election triumph
In Context
Among the reasons behind the Conservative Party's success was Mrs Thatcher's popularity after Britain's victory in the Falklands war and the continuing troubles of a divided Labour Party.

Two of original "gang of four" who left Labour to set up the SDP, Shirley Williams and William Rodgers, lost their seats in the 1983 poll.

But the biggest upset was in Bristol East, where former minister Tony Benn was defeated after 33 years in the Commons.

Michael Foot resigned as Labour leader later in the year, and was succeeded by Neil Kinnock.

1975: First live broadcast of Parliament
The first live transmission from the House of Commons has been broadcast by BBC Radio and commercial stations.

Commentary was provided by BBC political editor David Holmes and Edmund Boyle, from Independent Radio News, who shared a cramped, sound-proofed box inside the chamber.

Secretary of State for Industry Tony Benn was the first minister to be questioned in Parliament live on air, starting a debate which some listeners said was difficult to follow on radio.

But the BBC and IRN said it was pleased with the first daily Question Time broadcast of this four-week experiment.

Only the diehards would suggest that these would be changes for the worst
Peter Hardiman Scott
Mr Holmes and Mr Boyle - who both said they hoped their uncomfortable booth would be upgraded if the trial became permanent - attempted to provide background details of the proceedings.

But they admitted this was sometimes difficult with the speed of the debates and Commons' traditions like referring to other MPs as "honourable gentleman", rather than their name.

BBC boss Peter Hardiman Scott said it would be arrogant to expect MPs to alter their procedure for the sake of the broadcast, but said he would not be surprised if subtle changes were made in time. "One might get shorter speeches, or speeches rather to the point - only the diehards would suggest that these would be changes for the worst," he said.


Watch/Listen
The Houses of Parliament
Some radio listeners found the House of Commons debate difficult to follow

First live exchanges in the Commons aired
In Context
The idea of broadcasting the proceedings of Parliament was first suggested by the BBC in the 1920s, but permission was refused.

Permanent radio coverage was eventually granted in 1978 after the 1975 dry-run.

In November 1984, cameras were installed in the Lords for an experimental period and have remained ever since.

Permission for television broadcasts of Commons' proceedings was finally granted in 1990 after an 18-month trial.

1995: First man jailed for male rape
A man with a history of sex offences has been jailed for life for the attempted rape of another man, in the first case of its kind.

In sentencing 26-year-old Andrew Richards, Judge Richard Lowry said he was using new powers provided by last year's Criminal Justice Act.

Richards, from West Glamorgan, was convicted last month on charges of attempting to rape a young man, indecent assault and actual bodily harm.

The court was told that unemployed Richards had met his 18-year-old victim at a central London hostel where they were both staying.

The attack happened in Regent's Park last December after the two men had been drinking. Sheltering from the rain by a tea bar, Richards committed two indecent assaults and attempted to rape the youth.

The court heard Richards had a long history of sex crimes. At the time of this latest attack he had been out of prison for only four months, after being jailed for three years at Swansea Crown Court for indecently assaulting a seven-year-old girl.

In 1988 he was convicted of the rape, wounding and false imprisonment of a 15-year-old girl.

The judge said Richards was a danger to young people and children, and recommended he serve a minimum of ten years of the life sentence.

The court's first concern was to protect the public, he said, before praising the courage of the victim for reporting the attack.

1958: Queen opens revamped Gatwick

The Queen has opened London's new and extended airport at Gatwick on the Surrey-Sussex border 25 miles (40km) south of the capital.

Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived by air from London Airport at Heathrow.

Wearing a fitted blue coat and a blue and white hat, she was greeted by Lord Munster, the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, and the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Harold Watkinson.

The Queen and the Duke inspected a guard of honour of 10 airline captains.

Then they walked to the main airport building through the pier or "finger" that allows passengers to get to their planes under cover - the first such structure ever built at a British airport.

Controversial expansion

The government decreed Gatwick London's second airport five years ago and it has been closed until now for major re-development.

The royal couple were shown models and plans of the new layout before the Queen made a speech at a restaurant overlooking the airfield and unveiled a commemorative plaque.

More than £7m has been spent rebuilding the airport and adding a railway station - Gatwick claims to be the first in the world to combine airport, trunk road and rail facilities into one unit.

But the ambitious venture has not been without its detractors.

Referring to the controversy caused by the expansion, Her Majesty said in her speech: "I sympathise with all those people whose lives are going to be affected by this airport, but I hope that there will be some measure of compensating advantage to local inhabitants when it is in full operation."

Mr Watkinson then reminded those present that the Queen had inaugurated the central terminal at London Airport two and a half years ago, marking a major step in the development of British civil aviation.

"Nobody will know better than your Majesty the fascinating possibilities in front of us as new types of aircraft bring the Commonwealth, and indeed the whole world, closer together. "We hope that this new airport at Gatwick has been planned to fit the new air age that lies ahead," he said.


The Queen making her speech at Gatwick Airport
The Queen reassured local residents the airport expansion would benefit all
In Context
Gatwick Airports Ltd began operating in May 1936 with a scheduled service to Paris. Its official launch followed a month later with the opening of the world's first circular air terminal.

During World War II Gatwick was under military control, but reopened as a civilian airport in 1946. Rebuilding work began in 1956, and services recommenced in 1958.

In 1988 the North Terminal, costing £200m, was opened and the main terminal was renamed the South Terminal.

Gatwick became the busiest single runway airport in the world, the second largest airport in the UK and the world's sixth busiest international airport.

By 2005, 32.6 million passengers were passing through the airport's two terminals. Around 90 airlines operate from the airport, serving around 200 destinations.

In 1979, when the last major expansion took place, an agreement was reached with the local council not to expand further before 2019, but recent proposals to build a second runway at Gatwick led to protests about increased noise and pollution and demolition of houses and villages.

Gatwick's owners, BAA, published a master plan in March 2005 to show how the airport could develop over the next 10 and 25 years. The document can be viewed on the BAA Gatwick website.


Artist impression of Andrew Richards
The judge recommended Richards (right) spend at least 10 years in jail


In Context
The Richards case was the first conviction under new male rape laws.

Victim support groups hailed the case as a significant step in bringing the taboo subject of male rape out into the open.

Ernest Woollett of Survivors group said: "The signal it sends out to men is that this is now being taken seriously and that the powers-that-be are prepared to take it seriously and that they need not necessarily be identified."




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10th June

 

1966 "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?" Finally Gets Approved By Film Censors

It was the 'naughtiest' film ever to apply for a Production Code Seal of Approval. The film contained 4 letter words and other "adult content". It starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

Warner Brothers promised to only allow those over 18 to see the movie, and the Hays Office, the censor body, relented.

Movies had been censored on a code introduced in 1930 which demanded that they don't "lower the standards of those who see it."

Movies were heavily influenced by this code until it was replaced in 1968 by a movie ratings system:

  • category G (for general audiences),
  • MGP (all ages admitted but parental guidance suggested), and
  • R (no one under 16 admitted)

 

1967: Israel ends six-day war

Fighting in the Middle East has ended after Israel finally observed the UN ceasefire and halted her advance into Syria.

Within the last six days Israeli troops have taken territory many times larger than Israel itself and united the holy city of Jerusalem for the first time since 1948.

Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol justified the pre-emptive strike on Egypt, and battles with Jordanian and Syrian forces by saying his country was acting in self-defence.

He told the Sunday Times newspaper: "The threat of destruction that hung over Israel since its establishment and which was about to be implemented has been removed."

He added: "For the first time in 19 years, Jews are again free to pray at the Wailing Wall and at other shrines sacred to Judaism in Jerusalem and Hebron."

Ceasefire confirmed

The UN set a ceasefire at 1630GMT (1730BST) after Israel and Syria agreed to position UN observers on both sides of the front line at Kuneitra, nine miles (14 km) inside Syria, and at Tiberias, on the Israeli side.

But Syria has said Israeli fighter planes flew over its capital, Damascus, five minutes after the ceasefire had been due to come into force.

Two hours later the observers sent word to the UN Security Council in New York that firing on both sides of the front line had indeed stopped.

Nasser to stay in office

There was good news and bad news for Egyptians.

Having decided to resign yesterday after his country's humiliating defeat, President Abdel Nasser today announced he would in fact remain in office.

This brought thousands of Egyptians out onto the streets of Cairo and other Arab cities cheering and rejoicing. In an address to the Assembly, relayed by loudspeaker to the crowds outside, he said: "I will give the nation everything I have, even my life itself."

But this was tempered by reports from Cairo Radio that Israeli bombing raids of the Suez Canal had left it blocked with sunken ships, a further blow to the nation's economy. Meanwhile the Soviet Union - which has broken off diplomatic relations with Israel - and its Eastern Bloc allies have agreed a plan to re-supply Arab forces with armaments.


The Dome of the Rock and the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem
After six days of fierce fighting Jerusalem is no longer a divided city
In Context
After a period of relative peace in the Middle East, Palestinian guerrilla groups, supported by Egypt and Syria, started a series of attacks on the Israeli border in 1965.

These were followed by Israeli reprisals and a gradual build-up of Arab military forces around Israel's border.

The second Arab-Israeli war, also known as the six-day war, began on 5 June with a massive pre-emptive strike on Egypt. Israel crippled Egypt's air force, then seized the Sinai peninsula from Egypt in the south and the strategic Golan Heights from Syria in the north.

It also pushed Jordanian forces out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, uniting the once divided Holy City.

The assault that ended 10 June changed the face of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

It also displaced some 500,000 Palestinians who fled to Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

In November 1967, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 242 which laid down a formula for Arab-Israeli peace whereby Israel would withdraw from territories occupied in the war in exchange for peace with its neighbours.

This resolution has served as the basis for negotiations ever since.

Israeli forces evicted Jewish settlers from the Gaza strip in August 2005 and began to demolish some settlements on the West Bank as well.

Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab nations that have made peace with Israel since 1967.

1986: Magee convicted of Brighton bombing

A man has been found guilty of planting the Brighton bomb which killed five people and nearly wiped out most of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet two years ago.

Patrick Joseph Magee, 35, is in prison awaiting sentence after a jury at the Old Bailey convicted him on all charges relating to the explosion that ripped through the Grand Hotel during the 1984 Conservative Party conference.

As the unanimous guilty verdicts were read out, Magee sat in the dock looking straight ahead, showing no sign of emotion.

The prosecution said the 30 lb time bomb "came within an inch from being the IRA's most devastating explosion".

It had been planted behind a bath in a room on the sixth floor more than three weeks earlier, timed to go off on the final day of the conference.

At the Conservatives' request security at the Grand Hotel had been low key. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's first floor suite was one of only two rooms in the building that had been searched for bombs.

The blast, in the early hours of October 12, left a gaping hole in the hotel's façade.

It sent a chimney crashing down through a column of rooms, killing five prominent Conservatives, including Sir Anthony Berry MP, and injuring 34.

Trade Secretary Norman Tebbit was among those who had to be rescued from under tons of masonry.

The prime minister had a narrow escape as the explosion destroyed the bathroom she had used just moments before. The bedroom in which she had been working on her conference speech was badly damaged. Belfast-born Magee was charged with the bombing when forensic officers found his palm print on a hotel registration card in the aftermath of the blast. He had checked in under the fictitious name of Roy Walsh and given a false address.


The Grand Hotel in Brighton
Most of the Grand Hotel was destroyed
In Context
Magee was given eight life sentences, seven of them relating to the Brighton bombing.

Recommending he serve a minimum of 35 years in prison, Mr Justice Boreham said: "You intended to wipe out a large part of the government and you nearly did."

In June 1999 Magee was freed as part of the Good Friday Agreement's early release scheme. He had served 14 years.

Following his release Magee was reported to have told the Dublin-based Sunday Business Post that he regretted the deaths and often thought of his victims.

Those who died were Sir Anthony Berry MP; Eric Taylor, north-west party chairman; and three wives of party officials, Roberta Wakeham; Muriel Maclean; and Jeanne Shattock.

1999: Nato calls off air war on Kosovo
Nato has called off its 11-week air war against Kosovo following the beginning of the withdrawal of Serb troops.

Secretary General Javier Solana announced a halt to the 79-day bombing campaign three hours after the first Serb convoys were seen leaving the province.

The Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic finally agreed to the pull out last night after first winning a concession from Nato for extra time to complete the withdrawal.

Thousands of Nato troops are now preparing to enter the Yugoslav province.

Lieutenant General Sir Michael Jackson, Nato commander for Kosovo, has refused to confirm when the first soldiers will arrive - but troops have already been moved close to the Kosovo border.

Cease hostilities

Belgrade now has 11 days to move its 40,000 security forces out of Kosovo.

First reports say 150 Yugoslav army trucks, armoured vehicles and cars carrying soldiers and anti-aircraft weapons have crossed the border into Serbia.

The air war began on 24 March after Mr Milosevic refused to sign an international peace plan for Kosovo which called for the withdrawal of Yugoslav security forces.

Violence against the minority ethnic Albanians had been growing,leading to a steady stream of refugees fleeing their homes.

Within days of the first air strikes reports of atrocities and forced evictions by Serb forces on Kosovo Albanians sent the number of refugees soaring.

It is estimated about one million Albanians have left Kosovo in the past 15 months.

US President Bill Clinton last night referred to the "brutal systematic effort" by the Belgrade regime to remove the ethnic Albanians.

He said: "In the past few months we have seen some of the worst inhumanity in our lifetime. But we have also seen the bravery of troops, the resolve of our democracy, the decency of our people and the courage and determination of the people of Kosovo."

As news of the Serb withdrawal spread through the refugee camps, most Kosovars appeared eager to return home.

Aid agencies hope to spread their return over several months.

Under the terms of the ceasefire agreement the Yugoslav forces are to suspend hostilities immediately. A detailed plan has been drawn up for their withdrawal - which includes the removal of mines and unexploded bombs on their way.

The biggest task facing the Nato peacekeeping force is to begin rebuilding Kosovo. War crimes investigators will also head into Kosovo hunting for evidence of massacres, ethnic cleansing and torture.


Military leaders seated round table in tent at night
Details of the ceasefire were agreed at Kumanovo airfield late on 9 June
In Context
The vast majority of refugees returned home within the first year - but fearing reprisals some 200,000 Kosovo Serbs left the province.

Violence continued between Albanians and Serbs. Estimates of the number killed varied greatly, but it certainly ran into the hundreds in the first year after the ceasefire.

The separatist Kosovo Liberation Army was disbanded and transformed into a civil defence force - but the Kosovo Protection Corps has been blamed for many appalling attacks on Serbs

War crimes investigators uncovered many mass graves and consistent accounts of killings, atrocities and forced expulsions.

Former President Slobodan Milosevic and four senior members of his government have been charged with war crimes. Mr Milosevic's trial began in 2002 and ended when he died in 2006.

Several rounds of UN-mediated talks have been held, without any significant breakthrough. The UN wants to find a solution for Kosovo's disputed status by the end of 2006.

The state union of Serbia and Montenegro is all that remains of the federation of six republics that made up former Yugoslavia - but in a referendum on 21 May 2006, Montenegro narrowly voted for independence from Serbia.

2000: Swaying Millennium Bridge closed
Huge crowds of people have been blamed for forcing the temporary closure of London's new bridge on the day of its opening.

The city's first new river crossing for decades began swaying violently in the wind under the weight of hundreds of pedestrians on Saturday morning.

Police became concerned and the bridge was closed briefly while engineers made safety checks to the structure.

A limit was subsequently imposed on the number of pedestrians allowed to cross the bridge, which spans the Thames from St Paul's Cathedral to the Tate Modern gallery on the South Bank.

A spokesman for architects Foster and Partners who designed the bridge with engineers Ove Arup and Partners said: "Because there was such a huge number walking all at once across the bridge, which is very unusual, there was a certain amount of swaying.

"The bridge is intended to have some movement. It's a suspension bridge - if there isn't movement there can be a problem."

Pedestrians had to wait for half an hour before they were able to continue crossing the bridge.

The project cost more than £18m and was designed by architect Sir Norman Foster and the British sculptor Sir Anthony Caro.

It is intended to look particularly striking when lit up at night. Sir Norman said it would form a "blade of light" across the Thames.

Some of the money for the bridge has come from Lottery funds. The Millennium Commission contributed about £7m and the Corporation of London gave a further £3.5m.

At the official dedication ceremony, London mayor Ken Livingstone said: "It will be so good to actually walk across the river peacefully, without cars and trains thundering by."

1977: Killer perch outwitted by electric rod
An elusive goldfish-eating perch with a prodigious appetite has finally been netted after two years on the rampage in a Kent pond.

The fish - nicknamed Jaws - was caught by two Southern Water Board engineers equipped with a rowing boat, fishing net - and a 240v stun rod.

Former trawler skipper Alf Leggett has accused Jaws of eating 3,000 goldfish in his Ickham breeding lake near Canterbury.

The greedy predator, which weighed in at just 1 lb (0.45 kg), has brushed off several attempts to catch it - including efforts by anglers and military marksmen.

Machine gun

Mr Leggett, 61, has constantly had to replenish his stock over the last two years as the numbers of goldfish dwindled.

As would be expected of a fish which last month successfully evaded the attentions of intrepid explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell, five soldiers and a machine gun, Jaws put up a spirited fight at the end.

But using their specially-designed rod, the two men from the water board were able to stun the killer perch and catch it in a large net.

Mr Leggett said he was delighted the fish had finally been trapped.

"He has caused me a lot of trouble but I suppose in a way I have gained a lot of respect for him - I am certainly pleased to see the back of him from this pond," he said.

But one of his captors cast doubt on whether the 1 lb perch really could have eaten 3,000 goldfish.

"I rather think herons could be responsible for much of the trouble," he said.

 


Goldfish
Delicious: Jaws' favourite snack


Perch Facts
Latin name: perca fluviatilis
Maximum age: 13 years
Habitat: still, slow or fast running water
Behaviour: young fish shoal, adults form small groups
Eats: goldfish (if available)


London's Millennium Bridge
The bridge will now have safety checks


In Context
After three days the bridge was closed for modifications in an attempt to prevent the swaying.

The £5m solution involved the installation of 91 dampers, similar to car shock absorbers, designed to reduce the movement of the 350-metre bridge.

Work to correct the problem started in May 2001 and was completed in January 2002.

Following walking tests using 2,000 volunteers, the bridge was deemed safe and opened successfully the following month.


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11th June

 

1959 "Man-made Flying Saucer" Appears in Solent, England

It was the world's first Hovercraft (the SR-N1), a vehicle that can travel on land and sea. It was invented by Christopher Cockerell, from Lowestoft in Suffolk, England. It was 24 feet wide and weighed 4 tons.

The vehicle had a fan and cushion arrangement underneath which took the weight of the vehicle. The controls inside were said to be more like that of a helicopter.

It had been kept secret by the British Ministry of Supply before it's announcement on this day.

It was hopped that, one day, it could be used to cross the English Channel in 20 minutes.

Hovercrafts are in commercial operation across the English Channel to this day.


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12th June

 

1994 OJ Simpson Accused Of Murder

OJ's wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, had been found brutally stabbed to death outside Nicole's home in Brentwood, California.

It was to become the most famous trial in the world, and, with seemingly overwhelming evidence against former baseball player and now actor, OJ Simpson, the outcome seemed sure.

OJ certainly seemed like he was trying to escape. He took off with a friend on 17th June after saying he would turn himself in. He had with him a disguise, $10,000 in cash and his passport. OJ threatened to kill himself when police tried to stop his car. He would eventually give himself up to police at his Brentwood home.

The evidence against OJ:

  • His blood was apparently found at the murder scene.
  • Blood hair and fibers from Brown and Goldman were allegedly found in Simpson's car and at his home.
  • Police say that one of his gloves was found inside Nicole's home and outside OJ's house.
  • Bloody footprints at the scene seemed to match those of OJ's shoes.

The defense team defended Simpson by saying the police force was racist and planted evidence on him.

OJ was found not guilty by the jury.

 

1975: Gandhi found guilty of corruption

Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has been barred from holding office for six years after she was found guilty of electoral corruption.

But Mrs Gandhi rejected calls to resign and announced plans to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The verdict was delivered by Mr Justice Sinha at Allahabad High Court. It came almost four years after the case was brought by Raj Narain, the premier's defeated opponent in the 1971 parliamentary election.

Mrs Gandhi, who gave evidence in her defence during the trial, was found guilty of dishonest election practices, excessive election expenditure, and of using government machinery and officials for party purposes.

The judge rejected more serious charges of bribery against her.

The leadership of Mrs Gandhi is indispensable
Party statement

Mrs Gandhi insisted the conviction did not undermine her position, despite having been unseated from the lower house of parliament, Lok Sabha, by order of the High Court.

She said: "There is a lot of talk about our government not being clean, but from our experience the situation was very much worse when [opposition] parties were forming governments".

And she dismissed criticism of the way her Congress Party raised election campaign money, saying all parties used the same methods.

The prime minister has retained the support of her party, which issued a statement backing her.

"The leadership of Mrs Gandhi is indispensable," the statement read.

After news of the verdict spread, hundreds of supporters demonstrated outside her house, pledging their loyalty.

Indian High Commissioner BK Nehru said Mrs Gandhi's conviction would not harm her political career.

"Mrs Gandhi has still today overwhelming support in the country," he said. "I believe the prime minister of India will continue in office until the electorate of India decides otherwise".


Watch/Listen
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
The judge rejected charges of bribery

January 1975 interview with Gandhi
In Context
Mrs Gandhi began an appeal against her conviction for corrupt electoral practices.

When opponents threatened to start a campaign of civil disobedience in protest at her refusal to resign, she controversially declared a state of emergency, claiming there was a plot to disrupt democracy.

Thousands were arrested, including about 20 MPs, and the Indian media was censored.

In August 1975 the Lok Sabha passed legislation to clear Gandhi of her corruption convictions retroactively.

She continued to lead her country until 1977, and then again from 1980 until 1984, when she was assassinated by two of her bodyguards.

1964: Nelson Mandela jailed for life
The leader of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, Nelson Mandela, has been jailed for life for sabotage.

Seven other defendants, including the former secretary-general of the banned African National Congress (ANC), Walter Sisulu, were also given life prison sentences.

Crowds gathered silently outside the court building in Pretoria's Church Square waiting for the verdict to be handed down. Hundreds of police patrolled the area.

The Rivonia trial - named after the suburb of Johannesburg where several of the defendants were arrested - began eight months ago, with Mandela, 46, and his co-defendants proudly confessing their guilt to plotting to destroy the South African state by sabotage.

As members of the ANC - the main African nationalist movement - they have campaigned for an end to the oppression of black South Africans.

But the movement was banned in 1960 following the Sharpeville massacre and campaigners decided they had no choice but to resort to violent means.

Struggle for equal rights

Mandela - a lawyer by training - told the court earlier: "I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites."

His co-accused included: Walter Sisulu, Dennis Goldberg, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Mosoaledi, Andrew Mlangeni - all ANC officials and Ahmed Kathrada, the former leader of the South African Indian Congress.

Lawyer for the defendants, Harold Hansen QC said: "These accused represent the struggle of their people for equal rights. Their views represent the struggle of the African people for the attainment of equal rights for all races in this country."

But the judge, President Quartus de Wet, said he was not convinced by their claim to have been motivated by a desire to alleviate the grievances of the African people in this country.

Judge de Wet said: "People who organise revolution usually plan to take over the government as well through personal ambition."

However, he stopped short of the imposing the supreme penalty of death. The convicted men were cheered as they left court in a police lorry. The crowd was dispersed without any serious incident.


Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela: "I do not deny I planned sabotage"
In Context
This was the second time Nelson Mandela had been tried for high treason - in 1956 he was charged but after a four year trial the case was dropped.

There were demonstrations in Britain following the 1964 sentencing. A world petition calling for the prisoners' release was handed to the United Nations Secretary General.

Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27 years behind bars serving hard labour in Robben Island prison off Cape Town.

He was released in 1990, jointly awarded the Nobel peace prize with President FW de Klerk in 1993 and elected South Africa's president in the country's first multi-racial elections held in 1994.

He stepped down in favour of Govan Mbeki's son Thabo in 1999 but continues to travel the world campaigning for peace.

Walter Sisulu died at the age of 90 in May 2003.

1962: Three escape from Alcatraz
Three prisoners have made their way out of California's Alcatraz prison using spoons and a homemade raft.

Frank Lee Morris and two brothers, Clarence and John Anglin, all convicted of bank robbery, escaped last night from the notorious island prison in San Francisco Bay renowned for its high level of security.

The acting warden said they put dummy heads - made of a mixture of soap, toilet paper and real hair - in their beds to fool prison officers making night-time inspections.

They then cut through the back of their cells with sharpened spoons, crawled out and onto the roof through a ventilation duct, climbed down a pipe to the ground then made their way to the shore of the island.

Prison officials said they used a makeshift raft of driftwood and raincoats sewn together to make pontoons in order to float away from Alcatraz, also known as The Rock.

Famous inmates

At least 100 armed troops have joined the military police in their hunt for the three convicts who are wearing blue prison uniform. Police have warned members of the public not to approach the men.

Alcatraz Island is only a mile from the mainland. But the waters of San Francisco Bay are treacherous and very cold and should the escapees fall in, there is little chance of survival.

Alcatraz, which houses around 270 hardened criminals, is famous for its high level of security thanks to the structure of the buildings, their isolation from the mainland and the frequent head counts - 12 a day.

The prison boasts gangster Al Capone, George 'Machine Gun' Kelly and murderer and bird expert Robert Stroud among its most infamous inmates.

1997: Straw to reconsider Bulger killers' fate

Former Home Secretary Michael Howard acted illegally when he raised the minimum sentence imposed on the Bulger killers, law lords have ruled.

The judge at the 1993 trial set a minimum tariff of eight years for the two 10-year-olds who killed toddler James Bulger.

This was then raised to 10 years by the Court of Appeal, but Mr Howard later ruled Robert Thompson and Jon Venables should spend at least 15 years in jail.

The future of the two boys now rests with the current Home Secretary, Jack Straw.

The law lords decided by a 4-1 majority Mr Howard had acted unfairly and unlawfully when he took into account public opinion while reconsidering the sentences of Thompson and Venables.

In 1994, hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions run by James' parents and the Sun newspaper, which demanded the boys spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

The judges also said home secretaries may not treat children detained at Her Majesty's pleasure the same way as adults lifers.

The final decision on the pair's release will rest with the Parole Board, but Mr Straw will determine the earliest date their cases can be referred. It is expected this will be in 2001 or 2003.

"I will now consider [the judgement] very carefully before reaching conclusions on this case and on the more general issues covered," the home secretary said.

But the Bulger family condemned the verdict and the murdered two-year-old's mother, Denise Bulger, said it flew in the face of public opinion. "Just under half a million people thought the recommended sentence by the trial judge was far too low," she said.


James Bulger
James Bulger was killed after being snatched from a shopping centre
In Context
Venables and Thompson were released in June 2001 after a Parole Board ruling, eight years after they were imprisoned.

A ruling by Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss in January 2001 said their identities should remain secret as there was a "real possibility of serious physical harm and possibly death" to them.

The Manchester Evening News was found guilty of contempt of court over an article about the young men's whereabouts published just hours after the parole board ruled they could be released.

The court order prohibiting publication of any information likely to lead to their identification will probably remain in place indefinitely.

1986: Labour expels Militant Hatton
Derek Hatton, the controversial deputy leader of Liverpool Council, has been thrown out of the Labour Party for belonging to the left-wing Militant faction.

Mr Hatton, who refused to attend his disciplinary hearing in London, condemned the move as "disgraceful and scandalous".

Labour leader Neil Kinnock missed Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons to lead the charges against Mr Hatton at a meeting of the party's national executive, winning the vote to expel the radical socialist by 12 to six.

The decision came after a day of frantic legal attempts by Militant supporters to prevent the hearing from going ahead.

They failed, and the outspoken 38-year-old was found guilty of membership of the Militant Tendency and of manipulating the rules of the district Labour Party.

People are sick and tired of Neil Kinnock
Derek Hatton
Speaking after the vote, Mr Kinnock said party members had a duty to uphold Labour's constitution.

"When it can be demonstrated that people are contradicting that constitution in serious forms then they have to be dealt with," he said.

But a defiant Mr Hatton insisted his expulsion would not be recognised by rank-and-file party members, and vowed to continue his fight against spending cuts in Liverpool.

"Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country are saying they are sick and tired of Neil Kinnock and other members of the national executive committee taking on socialists in the party," he said.

"They are sick and tired of Neil Kinnock being more concerned about the millionaire tendency who control the press, than he is about the rank and file of the labour and trade union movement".

Further disciplinary hearings are due to take place, in what supporters of Militant are describing as a "witch-hunt" of socialists within the party.

 


Watch/Listen
Derek Hatton
Derek Hatton has vowed to continue opposing spending cuts in Liverpool

Militant members battle expulsions


In Context
Militant, a faction inside the Labour Party advocating Trotskyist policies, emerged in the 1970s. In 1982 it was judged to have broken party rules, paving the way for the purge of 1986.

A year earlier Labour leader Neil Kinnock used his conference speech to launch a furious attack on Militant, and particularly Liverpool Council, which had clashed with the Conservative government over its budget.

Mr Kinnock feared the Labour-controlled council was harming the party's image and his attempts to win a general election.

After his explusion from Labour, Derek Hatton pursued a career in the media, hosting a Liverpool radio phone-in and appearing on various TV talk shows. He also became an after-dinner speaker and at one time even modelled menswear.


Alcatraz prison
America's most notorious prison is famed for its high level of security


In Context
Frank Lee Morris, Clarence and John Anglin were never recaptured and opinion is divided as to whether they succeeded in their escape, were drowned or eaten by sharks.

The FBI spent years investigating the case and finally concluded the men had failed.

The film Escape from Alcatraz, starring Clint Eastwood was based on their story.

On 21 March 1963 after 13 escape attempts, Alcatraz was closed by the Kennedy administration after it was deemed too expensive to run.

Alcatraz became a home for Native Americans from 1969 to 1971. It has been a part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area and a museum since 1972.


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13th June

 

323 BC Alexander The Great Dies

He was 33 years of age. He died in Babylon, part of present day Iraq.

Alexander was regarded as a military genius, even a godlike figure to his men; he helped forge an empire stretching from the eastern Mediterranean to India. He never lost a single battle in his entire life. He would build the largest army the world has ever seen.

The secret of his success was that he had a grasp of advanced military tactics.

After 8 years of fighting, in 326 BC, his troops were exhausted and refused to go onwards with him. Alexander then led them home.

On reaching Babylon, Alexander started organizing a building project to build a ship that could sail his troops to Egypt. However he died after an extended banquet and drinking session.

 

1967: Moscow calls for UN action against Israel

The United Nations Security Council has rejected Soviet demands for an immediate vote on a resolution condemning Israel's aggression in the six-day war.

Moscow - which has close ties with Egypt - is also demanding the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Arab territories. It follows six days of fighting in which Israel has made advances on three fronts doubling the area of land it controls.

Israel says the attacks were launched to counter huge Arab troop movements along its borders

It has seized Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt in the south and the Golan Heights from Syria in the north.

It has also pushed Jordanian forces out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The advances ended with ceasefires signed as Israeli troops were poised within striking distance of each of the respective capitals, Cairo in Egypt, Damascus in Syria and Amman in Jordan.

It is not clear what action Moscow will take in the face of the UN's hesitation. The council has postponed making a decision on how to respond to the war until tomorrow at the earliest.

Thousands forced to flee

Israel has already declared its intention to remain in control of its newly occupied territories until permanent peace with its Arab neighbours can be established.

Israel's casualties after six days of fighting are calculated at 759 dead and about 3,000 wounded, Arab casualties are far higher, about 15,000.

The scale of the refugee problem caused by the war is also now becoming clear.

The International Committee of the Red Cross is making preparations to help thousands of Egyptian soldiers stranded in the Sinai desert after last week's bitter fighting. Water supplies to the area were cut off in the hope of slowing the Israeli advance.

Gaza City in the Gaza Strip saw some of the fiercest fighting between Egyptians and Israelis during the brief war. It is estimated there are now some 200,000 Arabs living in five camps outside the city. Many have not eaten for days.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency is appealing for help to buy tents, blankets and vehicles and has also asked for medical supplies.

It says many of the refugees in Jordan are homeless for a second time - having been forced to flee the camps outside Jericho which had been their homes since the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The British Government is contributing towards the cost of the emergency relief, as are many Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia which is donating half a month's salary per soldier in its armed forces.


Israeli troops enter Gaza - 7 June 1967
The USSR is demanding Israeli troops withdraw from Arab terrritories
In Context
The General Assembly met again on 19 June but lengthy discussions on what action to take continued for a month until the session adjourned on 21 July and referred the matter back to the Security Council.

The Council, after long discussions, on 22 November unanimously adopted Resolution 242, which became the basis for future United Nations policymaking on the Middle East conflict.

It stated "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" and called for "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict".

It also called for the acknowledgement of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of every national state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure borders.

In the meantime, the Arab nations resolved to ignore Israel's call for peace. With Soviet help, they began rebuilding their armies and adopted a policy of three nays, no to peace, no to recognition of Israel and no to negotiations.

The occupied territories became the basis of the land-for-peace diplomatic concept at the heart of the 1978 Camp David accords and 1993 Oslo accords.

Israeli forces evicted Jewish settlers from the Gaza strip in August 2005 and began to demolish some settlements on the West Bank as well.

Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab nations to have made peace with Israel since 1967.

1981: Queen shot at by youth
A 17-year-old man has been arrested for shooting a replica gun at the Queen as she rode past crowds on horseback.

Marcus Serjeant pointed a pistol directly at the Queen as she turned down Horseguards' Parade for the start of the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

He fired six blank cartridges before being overcome by a Guardsman and police.

The shots, which came just before 1100BST, startled the Queen's horse, but she was able to bring it back under control within a few seconds.

The Queen had left Buckingham Palace 15 minutes earlier.

She had rode down the Mall and was turning into a crowded Horseguards' Parade when the incident occurred.

The monarch looked shaken by the episode, but soon recovered her composure.

She comforted her 19-year-old horse, Burmese, which she has ridden in birthday parades since 1969.

The procession continued as planned, and afterwards the Queen returned to Buckingham Palace by the same route, under the close watch of security services.

This is not the first time a member of the royal family has faced danger from within a crowd of spectators.

Seven years ago, a few yards down the Mall, Princess Anne was attacked by a gunman.

Half a mile away in 1936 King Edward VIII faced a man with a loaded revolver.

And Queen Victoria was also shot at by a man with a gun in the Mall. Security will take on an increasing importance as next month's wedding between Prince Charles and Diana Spencer approaches.


The Queen takes part in Trooping the Colour
The Queen takes part in Trooping the Colour
In Context
Marcus Simon Serjeant was jailed for five years under the 1842 Treason Act, a law not used since 1966.

The former air cadet, from Folkestone, Kent, was found guilty of wilfully discharging at the person of Her Majesty the Queen a blank cartridge pistol, with intent to alarm her.

The court was told that Serjeant had at one stage planned to kill the Queen, but had failed to obtain a suitable lethal weapon.

"I wanted to be famous," he said later. "I wanted to be a somebody."

He served more than three years in jail, before being released in October 1984.

2005: Michael Jackson cleared of abuse
Pop star Michael Jackson has been found not guilty of all charges at the end of his four-month-long child abuse trial.

There were cheers from fans outside the court as the verdicts were read. The singer had strenuously denied molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo.

He was also cleared of giving alcohol to the boy, now 15, and conspiring to kidnap him and his family.

The star left the court in Santa Maria, California, for his Neverland ranch, without speaking to fans.

His lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, said: "Justice was served. Michael Jackson is innocent."

Some 300 fans later gathered outside Mr Jackson's home, hoping to get a glimpse of the star, with cars backed up for at least 3km (2 miles) either side of the narrow lane leading to the Neverland ranch.

 
 
1991: Yeltsin wins first Russian elections
Boris Yeltsin is celebrating victory as Russia's first popularly-elected president.

The 60-year-old reformer and leader of the group Democratic Russia has inflicted a heavy defeat on the Communist Party which has ruled the country since the 1917 Revolution.

Although the result will not be officially confirmed until next week, it is clear Mr Yeltsin has achieved more than the 50% of votes required to avoid a second ballot.

His supporters claim he has secured 60 to 70% of the vote in many of the large Russian cities and up to 90% in his native city, Sverdlovsk.

Radical reforms

His allies, Gavriil Popov and Anatoly Sobchak, who stood in the mayoral races in Moscow and Leningrad respectively, have also defeated their Communist rivals.

But the biggest surprise of all is that the people of Leningrad have voted to change the city's name back to the Tsarist St Petersburg - despite a vigorous opposition campaign.

Mr Popov said the elections had been "a great event in Russian history and brought Russia into the family of civilised nations which choose their leaders by direct popular elections".

United States presidential spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said the election was a "historic step for the Russian people and the Soviet Union".

President Yeltsin's mandate, as head of three quarters of the Soviet land mass and 150 million people, could now force President Mikhail Gorbachev to embark on more radical reforms.

He remains President of the Soviet Union, but unlike President Yeltsin he was not elected by the people.

Mr Yeltsin resigned from the Soviet Communist Party last year. He had been a trenchant critic of Mr Gorbachev for not pressing ahead fast enough with political reform and his departure left the Communist Party in disarray.

One of Mr Yeltsin's first tasks as Russian President will be to maintain the delicate political balance between himself and Mr Gorbachev.

Speaking on the eve of the ballot, Mr Yeltsin said his relations with Mr Gorbachev were "businesslike and low-key".

For his part, Mr Gorbachev told reporters that he was prepared to co-operate with anyone the Russians elected.

Mr Yeltsin has chosen as his deputy a former Afghan war hero, Colonel Alexander Rutskoi. He will also have to improve his shaky international image - beginning with a visit to Washington and President George Bush on 20 June.


Watch/Listen
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin celebrates victory after winning more than 50% of the vote

Russia reacts to Yeltsin win

In Context
In August 1991 Soviet hardliners staged a coup against President Gorbachev and President Yeltsin emerged as a national hero as he rallied the people from the top of a tank to keep the peace.

In early December, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus precipitated the end of the Soviet Union with the formation of the CIS or Commonwealth of Independent States.

Mr Gorbachev stepped down as Soviet leader on 25 December 1991 and Mr Yeltsin became president of independent Russia.

He pushed ahead with a radical programme of reforms but when he met opposition from within his own parliamentary assembly, he chose to break the deadlock by closing it down and then ordering the military to storm the Moscow White House.

In the second half of the 1990s he began to suffer from health problems and underwent heart surgery in 1995.

The unpredictable nature of his character surfaced again and he sacked his entire government twice, until parliament eventually forced him to accept limitations on his powers. He stepped down on 1 January 2000.


Michael Jackson waves to supporters
Michael Jackson left court without speaking to fans


In Context
Michael Jackson was accused of child abuse in 1993. The case never went to court.

A civil action was settled out of court in 1994 when Jackson paid a reported $20m to Jordie Chandler.

In a television interview in 2003 with the British journalist Martin Bashir, the singer admitted sharing his bed with young children.

The interview led to charges being brought and the trial in 2005.

After the verdict, Jackson left the US for the Middle East and is now living in Bahrain.

He has closed down the house on his fantasy Neverland Ranch to reduce costs.

1978: Israeli troops leave southern Lebanon
Israeli troops have completed their withdrawal from southern Lebanon handing over many of their positions to the right-wing Christian movement they have been backing.

In the handover ceremony the Israeli flag was lowered and replaced by that of the Christian militia in a sign UN troops would not be welcome.

Operation Litani, Israeli occupation in southern Lebanon, was launched following a Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) attack on the Tel Aviv-Haifa road which killed 37 people.

PLO troops were using southern Lebanon as a staging area for their attacks and Israeli forces moved in to destroy their bases.

Leader of the Christian militia, Major Saad Haddad hinted the reason for not trusting UN troops to hold off the PLO was due to their failure in the past.

However, United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) troops will be present in a number of Christian dominated areas.

The withdrawal follows a meeting on Monday at the United Nation's base at Nakura which ended with Israeli forces agreeing to withdraw and to allow Unifil members in.

It is believed the Christian militia, thought to have around 2,500 fighters, have gained a number of prime positions along the border territory from Mount Hermon to the Mediterranean.

They have been armed and trained by Israeli forces who have sworn they will return if the PLO attacks again.

Unifil representatives, Israeli generals and leaders of the Christian movement were all present at the UN meeting when the withdrawal was agreed.

But parts of the agreement have already been broken.

Israeli troops refused to allow reporters to pass through Israeli lines for a briefing with Unifil commander Major-General Emmanuel Erskine. Camera film was destroyed during angry exchanges between the 150 assembled journalists and Israeli troops.


Israeli troops leave
Israel moved in after a PLO attack
1996: Guernsey votes to legalise abortion
Guernsey has voted to legalise abortion, overturning a ban which dates back to 1910.

As the law currently stands, women found guilty of having an abortion on the Channel Island faces life imprisonment.

But in practice, women who want a termination travel to the mainland for the operation.

This situation led the island's parliament to vote overwhelmingly to bring its laws up to date.

It has agreed in principle to allow abortions up to 12 weeks into pregnancy if a woman has the consent of two doctors.

The vote follows months of campaigning by "pro-choice" activists and two days of debate by local politicians.

The issue has divided the island's population, and pro-life groups have vowed to continue to fight the decision.

We're not going to force women to go to the mainland to solve their problems
Niall McCathie, Guernsey parliament
The vote will not become law before it is ratified in London, a process which could take as long as two years.

Anti-abortion campaigner Dr Susan Wilson said: "I feel that in Guernsey today a death sentence has been passed on people who aren't able to defend themselves.

"The death sentence has carried away four million unborn human beings in the UK in the last 30 years."

But many young women on the island welcomed the move.

Up to 150 women travel to England in secret every year to have an abortion.

Niall McCathie, a representative in Guernsey's parliament said: "I'm pleased for the people of Guernsey, particularly the women of Guernsey, that we're going to keep the problem of abortion in Guernsey.

"We're not going to force women to go to the mainland to solve their problems" he said.

 


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14th June

 

1985 TWA Flight Hijacked

It was TWA Flight 847 from Athens to Rome. It was hijacked by Shiite Hezbollah terrorists who immediately demanded the identities of all those with Jewish descent on board. The terrorists forced the plane to land at Beirut Airport in Lebanon.

The terrorists were unable to find any Jews on board (because the TWA employee, Uli Dickerson, bravely wouldn't identify them), so concentrated on a delegation from the USA. A US Navy diver was killed and his body dumped on the runway.

Most of those on board were released, but five were taken from the plane in what turned into a 17-day siege. Those captured were taken to a Beirut holding cell, but were fairly well treated by their captors. The only Jewish American taken managed to explain away his lineage.

After tense negotiations with the hostage takers, the hostages were released, unharmed on 30th June, and it looked as if the hostage takers would escape as they were outside the arm of Western law. However, one of those wanted for the attack, Mohammed Ali Hamadi, was arrested at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, two years later. He was carrying explosives. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

 

1940: German troops enter Paris

German troops marched into Paris in the early hours of this morning as French and allied forces retreated.

The enemy met no resistance as it entered the capital, which was declared an open town yesterday by the city's French military governor, General Hering.

French troops withdrew to avoid a violent battle and total destruction of Paris. They are believed to have taken a new line of defence south of the city.

The Germans advanced from the north-east and north-west and shortly afterwards tanks rumbled past the Arc de Triomphe down the Champs Elysees to the Place de la Concorde.

Government retreats

All shops and businesses in Paris have been closed and shuttered and there are unconfirmed reports the French government has now left Tours, in central France, and gone further south to Bordeaux.

The enemy has been advancing toward Paris since they took Dunkirk ten days ago, forcing a huge evacuation of the port, resulting in thousands of allied deaths and casualties.

As the Germans approached, the French premier Paul Reynaud broadcast an appeal for all free men to come to the aid of France.

British troops arrived south of Paris and began fighting, with their French counterparts, day and night to stem the advance of the Germans.

The RAF has spent the past few days bombing German convoys, supply columns, mechanised units and lines of communications.

All the bridges behind enemy lines from Rouen to Mantes have been destroyed by the RAF to stop the enemy bringing up material and reserves. German aircraft responded with air raids east of Paris and at Evreux and Mantes, west of the capital.


Watch/Listen
German soldiers parade through the Place de la Concorde
German soldiers parade through the Place de la Concorde

Eye-witness account from Paris
In Context
Hitler's attack on western Europe began on 10 May when the Germans carried out air raids on Belgium and Holland.

They took northern France despite heavy allied resistance. By 4 June 340,000 allied troops had been rescued from Dunkirk.

After the Germans had taken Paris British troops began to be evacuated from French ports which were still in allied hands. They retreated across the Channel.

On 17 June Reynaud was replaced by Henri-Philippe Petain as French premier. Mr Petain negotiated an armistice which was signed on 22 June. All hostilities ceased by 25 June.

1982: Ceasefire agreed in Falklands
A ceasefire between British and Argentine forces on the Falkland Islands has been agreed, the prime minister has announced.

Margaret Thatcher made the statement to a packed House of Commons. The news was cheered by MPs from all parties.

More than 800 people have died since the first British warships reached the remote UK territory on 22 April, 20 days after Argentina invaded South Georgia.

BBC correspondent Brian Hanrahan reported at 1530 local time (2030 BST) that British troops had been ordered not to use their weapons except in self-defence.

There are reported to be flying white flags over Port Stanley
UK PM Margaret Thatcher
Negotiations for the surrender of the Junta's army on the islands are now being held between their commander, General Mario Menendez, and British second-in-command Brigadier John Waters.

It is hoped the documents will be signed within the next 24 hours.

Mrs Thatcher told the Commons land forces commander Major-General Jeremy Moore had decided to press forward to the capital last night after a series of successful attacks on enemy troops.

"Large numbers of Argentine soldiers threw down their weapons - there are reported to be flying white flags over Port Stanley," she said.

British control

The prime minister was welcomed outside Downing Street by a jubilant crowd cheering and singing when she returned from Westminster.

Mr Hanrahan - who is with the UK troops close to the frontline - said the Falklands felt strangely quiet after weeks listening to the noise of war.

"The sound of the heavy guns, the bombs, the machine-gunning is gone. The island is still and once again Stanley is under British control," he said.

The Falklands War is the result of years of disputed ownership of the islands.

Argentina says it inherited the Islas Malvinas from the Spanish crown in the early 19th century. The country also bases its claim on the islands' proximity to the South American mainland. The UK argues that most of the British-descended islanders want to stay British. Its case also rests on the country's long-term administration of the territory.

In Context
Hostilities officially ceased on 20 June 1982. The war cost the lives of 655 Argentine and 255 British servicemen.

The victory greatly boosted the popularity of Margaret Thatcher's government which went on to win the next election.

Argentine president General Leopoldo Galtieri was deposed and served three years in prison for military incompetence.

In October 1983 Argentina returned to civilian rule but it was 1990 before full diplomatic relations with Britain were restored.

1991: Iraqi Kurds fear US troop withdrawal
More than a thousand Kurds have besieged a US military base near the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk, pleading with American troops not to withdraw.

Kurdish leaders have called on allied forces to remain in the country indefinitely, fearing retaliation from the Iraqi army.

US and European forces have been safeguarding Kurdish enclaves from attack by Saddam Hussein since the end of the Gulf war.

But now they have begun to depart, leaving the fate of the Kurds in the hands of a lightly armed UN protection force they fear will offer inadequate protection.

Dohuk, an important Kurdish centre 25 miles south of the Turkish border, lies outside the safety zone set up by the allies in northern Iraq for Kurdish refugees.

The Kurds have been assured the Iraqi army has agreed not to move in when allied soldiers leave. But they remain anxious.

Belgian troops, which have been in eastern Iraq for six weeks, will be gone in 12 days, along with their trucks and equipment.

Forces from Holland and France are also due to go, but their UN replacement forces have yet to arrive.

Medical units from Italy, Spain and France have started to leave because their governments believe their job is complete.

Although there has been no official announcement from the American camp, there are signs that US troops have begun their withdrawal, to the consternation of the local Kurdish population.

Many Kurds say their families and friends who fled to Iran will not return until the future seems more certain, but their protests are unlikely to have any effect. A US military officer said there was no firm date for a full allied departure from northern Iraq, but Kurds fear the handover to the UN is a forerunner of an imminent total withdrawal.


convoy of troops
Kurds have pleaded with the American troops not to withdraw
In Context
Allied troops agreed to remain in northern Iraq until a deal had been reached on Kurdish autonomy and a Western strike force was ready in south east Turkey to respond to any Iraqi aggression.

But all the American, British, French and Dutch soldiers who had occupied Dohuk soon departed, leaving its population of about 180,000.

They were initially replaced by a dozen UN guards.

An Iraqi Kurd faction, the KDP, later took control of the area.

1972: Pilots threaten worldwide strike
Hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers face flight delays and cancellations after pilots threatened to strike over hijack fears.

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations (IFALPA) has called a 24-hour stoppage and accused governments of failing to take action to halt air piracy.

British Air Line Pilots Association spokesman (BALPA), Gordon Hurley, said hijacking was on the increase, and striking was the "only effective way of dealing with it".

"Until governments take the matter seriously and make airports secure and stop this hijacking, this menace, this piracy, this is the only alternative we have," he said.

Three basic demands

BALPA's vice chairman, Jack Linstead, said he was issuing a strike notice reluctantly, but added that it was a reflection of the pilots' strength of feeling on the issue.

The strike ballot had returned "a very clear mandate to take industrial action," he said, adding that there was still time for the dispute to be resolved.

IFALPA wants governments across the world to fulfil three basic demands.

These are: to increase international airport security; to adopt the International Civil Aviation Organisation's convention against air hijacking; and to speed up the pace of ratification of other anti-hijacking conventions.

1961: Panda replaces zebra at road crossing
A new type of road crossing with push button controls for pedestrians is to be introduced next year.

The announcement by the Ministry of Transport confirmed the new 'panda' crossings would be installed on a 12 month experimental basis because of the rising number of accidents on uncontrolled zebra crossings.

In the first half of last year, 533 people were killed or injured on zebra crossings - compared with 447 for the same period in 1959.

The new push button-controlled crossings will be introduced at between 40 and 50 sites in England and Wales.

Half the crossings will be installed where there are none in existence at all at the moment. The remainder will be placed in Guildford in Surrey where all 13 crossings will be converted to the new push button variety, and Lincoln, Lincolnshire, where 10 will be converted.

Transport Minister Ernest Marples - who announced the initiative - said he hoped by imposing an element of control over pedestrian crossings, "some of the dangerous uncertainties of the present system would be eliminated".

Ten million cars

The new crossings will consist of triangular black and white stripes - instead of the current rectangular stripes at zebra crossings.

There will be a push button on either side of the road which will control a set of flashing lights. After pressing the button, a flashing light will tell the user to wait. Drivers will be warned to slow by an amber flashing light, which will then turn to red. At the same time, a 'walk' sign will be illuminated for pedestrians. After a specified time period the 'walk' sign will begin to flash, warning the user that the traffic lights are about to change back to green and it is unsafe to cross.

Zebra crossings were introduced in 1951 when there were two million cars registered on the roads of Britain. There are now ten million cars on Britain's roads and the figure is rising all the time.

The new crossing scheme will begin in April next year.

 


Schoolboy pressing button at crossing
Schoolboy presses button to halt traffic at experimental crossing


In Context
The Tufty Club - initially aimed at pre-school children - was also launched in 1961. It was a road safety campaign, which used a series of puppets including Tufty the squirrel to get its message across.

Panda crossings were introduced in April 1962 - but initial confusion over the sequence of flashing lights led to some swift modifications.

The scheme later had to be abandoned as pedestrians and motorists alike complained it was too confusing and the system was also beset with mechanical failures.

The pelican crossing - another system using a push button and flashing lights - was introduced in 1969 and proved more successful.

In the 1990s pelicans were succeeded by puffin crossings - which used sensors to detect the passage of people and cars and thus control the traffic.

By 1998 there were 21.6 million cars registered on the roads of Britain, with 70% of households owning at least one car.


BALPA vice chairman Jack Linstead
Mr Linstead released the strike notice


In Context
The 24-hour strike went ahead at 0600BST on 19 June, affecting civil air travel all around the world.

Although the British pilots' association withdrew its official support for the stoppage, after reassurances from the government, many pilots chose to remain at home anyway. British European Airways reported about a third of its flights had been cancelled.

As the strike took effect, IFALPA said it believed the action had "given a new impetus and a new direction" to solving the problem of hijacking.

The aviation industry later introduced metal detectors to identify any weapons carried onto aircraft.


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15th June

 

1992 Vice President Dan Quayle Gives An Embarrassing Spelling Lesson...

It was to become the most memorable moment of US VP Quayle's term in office...

Whilst visiting a school in Trenton, New Jersey, he told a student that "potato" should be spelled "potatoe" on this day.

It was on this day...
1846 The Border Between The USA And Canada Is Established

It was set out in the Oregon Treaty between Great Britain and the United States.

The treaty established the 49th parallel from the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Georgia as the boundary between the United States and British Canada.

 

1996: Huge explosion rocks central Manchester

A massive bomb has devastated a busy shopping area in central Manchester.

Two hundred people were injured in the attack, mostly by flying glass, and seven are said to be in a serious condition. Police believe the IRA planted the device.

The bomb exploded at about 1120 BST on Corporation Street outside the Arndale shopping centre.

It is the seventh attack by the Irish Republican group since it broke its ceasefire in February and is the second largest on the British mainland.

A local television station received a telephone warning at 1000 BST - just as the city centre was filling up with Saturday shoppers.

The caller used a recognised IRA codeword.

One hour and 20 minutes after the warning, police were still clearing hundreds of people from a huge area of central Manchester.

Army bomb disposal experts were using a remote-controlled device to examine a suspect van parked outside Marks & Spencer when it blew up in an uncontrolled explosion.

Glass wounds

Many of those injured were outside the police cordon.

Seventy bystanders were ferried to three hospitals in ambulances. Others walked or were taken by friends.

A consultant at Hope Hospital said most of the seriously injured - including a pregnant woman thrown 15 ft (4.6 m) into the air - had suffered deep glass wounds which would require surgery.

Prime Minister John Major insisted the multi-party Northern Ireland peace talks begun last week would continue, but called on Sinn Fein - the political wing of the IRA - to condemn the attack and demand a ceasefire. "This act by a handful of fanatics will be regarded with contempt and disgust around the world," he said.


Watch/Listen
Victims immediately after the bombing (PA)
Many of the wounded were behind the police cordon

The aftermath of the Manchester blast
In Context
In the early aftermath of the explosion a £1m reward was offered for information leading to the perpetrators but now Greater Manchester Police say it is unlikely anyone will be brought to justice for the attack.

In 2006 police released a video clip, taken from a police helicopter hovering above the crime scene, showing the full impact of the explosion.

The immense damage done to buildings in the city centre led to a total regeneration - it could be argued that without the bomb, Manchester may not have had such a dramatic opportunity for rebirth, funded by private investors and the government.

The IRA's 1996 post-ceasefire campaign focused entirely on UK mainland attacks.

The group broke its truce on 9 February 1996 with a huge bomb in London's Docklands which killed two people.

Within 10 weeks, the Irish Republicans had planted five other devices - all of them in London.

1974: Man dies in race rally clashes
A march through central London has left one person dead and many more injured as rival demonstrators clashed with police and each other.

One man died at the scene while up to 39 policemen and several demonstrators received treatment for cuts and other injuries.

The National Front was marching to protest against the government's amnesty for illegal immigrants.

As a counter protest, the Liberation group also set up a march to end in the same place on the same day.

Members of the International Marxist Group (IMG), marching with Liberation, clashed with police at Red Lion Square when they attempted to continue on their pre-planned route.

The body of maths student, Kevin Gately, aged 21, was found by St John's Ambulance crew among the fighting. It is not known how he died.

The counter-demonstration's route had been agreed by organisers Liberation and the police to avoid any confrontation with the National Front who were also marching to the same destination, County Hall.

Other scuffles were reported to have broken out near Southampton Row where police horses were being used to separate protesters.

The Liberation group has condemned the violence. A spokesperson said: "This section of the IMG believed that the way to protest was to make an assault on the police which we think is senseless."

Members of the Liberation group had expressed their amazement at the police's decision to allow them to march towards the same destination as the National Front.

"When the police agreed to the meeting I must say I raised my eyebrows. It poses the question of whether they should have foreseen the geographical situation" said Liberation's London Council Chairman Sydney Bidwell.

Scotland Yard has yet to comment on its decision to allow the two marches to go ahead.

1971: Councils defy Thatcher milk ban
Opposition is growing to Education Secretary Margaret Thatcher's plans to end free school milk for children over the age of seven.

The bill received its second reading last night. It was passed by 281 votes to 248, a government majority of 33.

The Conservatives have issued a warning to local authorities not to go ahead with any plans to break the law deliberately.

Some Labour-controlled councils have threatened to put up the rates in order to continue supplying free milk.

New buildings

But Mrs Thatcher said increasing the rates would, in turn, mean that central government would have to provide more money through the rate support grant.

She has argued that ending free milk for all but nursery and primary children would free more money to spend on other areas of education, like new buildings.

At present free milk for primary school children costs £14m a year - twice as much as is being spent on school books.

In a full year the saving on milk provision will be about £9m.

Mrs Thatcher told MPs the Chief Medical Officer had been consulted on the plans and he had advised that it was not possible to predict whether the withdrawal of free milk would harm children's diets and overall health.

However, the government has asked for the effects to be monitored and promised to carry out a review if necessary.

Labour's education spokesman Edward Short attacked the Tories' proposals as "the meanest and most unworthy thing" he had seen in his 20 years in the House of Commons.

Labour reckons the number of children getting free milk will be reduced from five million to just over two million.

Harold Wilson's Labour government stopped free milk for secondary school pupils in 1968.

2000: British marines leave Sierra Leone
The major contingent of the British military task force sent to help restore order in the West African state of Sierra Leone has left the country.

The departure of the prestigious Royal Marines was overseen by British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who said his government was proud of what they had done to restore stability.

Britain, the former colonial power in Sierra Leone, is handing responsibility for security to the United Nations.

About 300 UK troops and support staff will stay on in the war-torn African country for the next six to eight weeks to help establish a UK military advisory training team.

Most people in Freetown would prefer to see the British military continuing their confidence-building street patrols, but British ministers always insisted their mission to help the UN forces there was a short-term one.

The UN have a much stronger resolve now and are clearer about their mandate
Brigadier David Richards
Brigadier David Richards, commander of the British forces in Sierra Leone, told BBC Radio's Today programme: "The UN have a much stronger resolve now and are clearer about their mandate and have shown that they have the resolve to fight.

"When we arrived here about six weeks ago, they did appear on the verge of collapse. Today they have been transformed."

At the core of the continuing British effort will be the retraining of the demoralised Sierra Leone army.

Many of its soldiers - some of whom are children - are poorly trained and equipped.

Sierra Leone continues to face horrendous problems. A war is being fought in the countryside about which there is little reliable information.

The UN says that one million people have been affected.

The rebels hold the main diamond-producing area, which deprives the government of revenue and, it is alleged, attracts support for the rebels from neighbouring Liberia.

1966: Hovercraft deal opens show
The world's first hovershow has opened with news of a Ministry of Defence order worth £1m.

The Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, opened the exhibition today (Wednesday) at Browndown near Gosport in Hampshire. It is expected to attract up to 4,000 official visitors by closing time on Sunday.

The show is intended to promote export sales of hovercraft. The government order is for two new prototypes, a fast patrol boat capable of 75 knots and a logistics support craft.

Visitors to the Hovershow so far include representatives of overseas shipping lines and ferry operators, but the vast majority are military or naval experts.

Results of British military service trials of hovercraft in the Far East and Canada have been very encouraging. The MoD has confirmed the cross-Channel SRN-6 hovercraft will be used to equip an army unit for service in the Far East in 1968.

Civilian freighter

The SRN-6 model is currently operating on the cross-Channel Ramsgate to Calais route. A bigger craft, the SRN-4, capable of carrying cars, is due to come into service on the Channel in 1968.

Hovercraft manufacturers BHC already have plans to build a 4,000 ton freight-carrying hovercraft, capable of speeds of up to 50 knots.

While it has been designed for use as a fast destroyer or anti-submarine frigate, there is potential to develop a civilian freighter version for other passenger routes.

The SRN-6 - currently the largest craft in operation - cannot compete on price with ferries. But a larger version, would be able to undercut shipping on speed and air freight on cost.

Another innovative project on show at Browndown is the hovertrain, which uses air pads to run on an elevated monorail. The model which has been designed by a team at Imperial College London is capable of top speeds of 300mph (483kph).

 


Watch/Listen
Hovercraft coming into land
Visitors to the show have been taken on test runs

Report on the hovershow


In Context

Christopher Cockerell invented the hovercraft in 1956. He was knighted in 1969 and died, aged 88 in 1999.

The cross-Channel hovercraft service ended in October 2000 after 32 years. It became uneconomic because of a combination of high maintenance costs, the abolition of duty free sales and the opening of the Channel Tunnel.

The world's first car-carrying hovercraft made their debut in 1968. The same craft, the Princesses Anne and Margaret, have since ferried 80 million passengers and more than 11 million cars across the Channel.

A hovercraft service still operates from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight.

Perhaps the most lasting legacy of the hover technology is the hover lawn mower, such as the Flymo.

Forty years on from the first hovercraft show, the Hovercraft Museum, based at the former military hovercraft base at Lee-on-the-Solent, is planning to open to the public on 1/2 September with 70 craft on display.

Hovercraft Facts
The first working model was produced in 1956
First full size test craft built in 1959
25 July 1959 the Saunders Roe Nautical One (SRN-1) completed its first Channel crossing
The fastest ever crossing was 22 minutes recorded by the Princess Anne in September 1995


British troops preparing to leave
More than 300 troops will stay behind


In Context
Sierra Leone's civil war saw nearly half the country's 4.5 million population displaced.

At least 50,000 people died in the fighting and there were an estimated 100,000 victims of mutilation.

The economy was left in ruins and the country's infrastructure collapsed.

British troops entered Sierra Leone because a peace deal between government and rebels had broken down and rebel forces were scoring successes against the Sierra Leone army and the UN peacekeeping force.

In 2002 more than 17,000 foreign troops disarmed tens of thousands of rebels and militia fighters. The country now faces the challenge of reconstruction.


Margaret Thatcher
Mrs Thatcher's milk cuts earned her the nickname 'Thatcher milk snatcher'


In Context
Margaret Thatcher's decision to end free school milk for the over-sevens earned her the nickname "Thatcher, Thatcher Milk Snatcher".

The economic outlook was bleak when Edward Heath was returned to power in 1970 and the Tories had to take some drastic measures to meet election pledges on tax.

The most infamous cut of all was the decision to end free school milk.

Documents released under the 30-year rule revealed that Mrs Thatcher was considering several options including charges for borrowing library books, increased prices for school meals and admission fees for museums.

However, it also revealed that she advised against cutting free school milk for all children on the grounds it would "arouse widespread public antagonism".

In total a savings package of £200m was subsequently approved in September 1971 - including the cut in free milk and increased prices for school meals.

In 1985 Oxford University refused her an honorary degree in protest against her cuts in education funding.


Police and marchers
Police tried to keep rival groups apart


In Context
The death at Red Lion Square was the first at a demonstration in 55 years.

The following weekend hundreds of students demonstrated in Coventry and London after the funeral of Kevin Gately. A pathologist concluded he had been killed by a blow to the head.

Following the violent scenes there police stepped up their presence at all future demonstrations.

It is thought 1,200 people marched in the counter-demonstration against the National Front.

The result of the violence was a great deal of publicity for the National Front and their views. This had been the outcome those in Liberation against the march had feared most.


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16th June

 

1966 "You Have The Right To Remain Silent" Principle Established

AKA the Miranda requirement.

The Supreme Court, in the USA, handed down it's decision on the Miranda v. Arizona case on this day.

From this day on, police had a requirement to remind those they arrested of the following facts:

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can, and will, be used against you in court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you."

Ernesto Miranda had been questioned by police investigating the abduction and rape of an 18 year old woman from Phoenix. It is then alleged that Miranda gave police a confession (this is disputed). Miranda later recanted his confession because he was apparently unaware that he didn't have to say anything.

Miranda was convicted and sent to prison. The American Civil Liberties Union took up his case, claiming that the confession was false and had been coerced

The Supreme Court would overturn his conviction but at retrial he was convicted again.

He was released from prison in 1972.

 

1976: Soweto protest turns violent

At least 12 people are reported to have been killed in a series of violent clashes between black demonstrators and police in several South African townships.

Angry youths threw stones and beer bottles at police, as a protest against the compulsory use of Afrikaans as the main teaching language in black schools turned violent.

The violence spread from one end of the city to the other, with fires in Soweto reaching Alexandra, a township in the northern outskirts close to some of the rich white suburbs.

The Times newspaper called it the worst outbreak of racial violence seen in South Africa since the Sharpeville massacre 16 years ago.

There are known to be at least two black children among the dead and two white men.

The final number of dead may be much higher. Ambulance drivers say they were unable to get through the crowds to reach the injured.

Police squads patrolled the streets in an attempt to prevent shops and public buildings from being damaged. As the situation worsened more police were drafted in.

Two men were reportedly shot dead after a car sped down a street and tried to run down police at an intersection.

This government will not be intimidated
Prime Minister Vorster
The day began with a march by 10,000 students carrying banners and slogans, saying "Down with Afrikaans" and "Viva Azania" (the name given to South Africa by black nationalists).

Armed police tried to surround the pupils as they reached Phefeni School, on a small hill surrounded by the homes of more than a million black South Africans.

Police say the students began throwing stones and other missiles. They responded by firing live rounds into the crowd.

Another reporter said she saw police throw a tear gas grenade into the crowd without warning. When demonstrators responded with stones, the officers opened fire.

A senior officer in charge of the operation, Brigadier R Le Roux, described the situation as "very bad" and later refused to give any comment to journalists and ordered them to leave the area.

In Natalspruit, a township East of Johannesburg, buses were used as battering rams to destroy official buildings, while others were set on fire.

Six other African townships around the nation's biggest city were affected by the violence, but police roadblocks prevented journalists from entering the townships to find out what was happening for themselves.

Prime Minister Vorster demanded an immediate end to the disturbances.

He said: "We are dealing here not with a spontaneous outburst but with a deliberate attempt to bring about polarisation between whites and blacks.

"This government will not be intimidated and instructions have been given to maintain law and order at all costs." The schools boycott began in mid-May with pupils refusing to attend school in protest at what they saw as a discriminatory ruling which meant they had to learn lessons in English and Afrikaans, whereas white pupils could choose which language to learn.


Watch/Listen
Hector Petersen is carried away by Mbuyiswa Makhubo after the riots
The body of a child is carried away after the riots

Demonstrations and interviews following the violence in Soweto
In Context
An investigation by US newspaper Newsday in December 1976 concluded that 332 had died in Soweto, and more than 435 nationally.

The Times later estimated more than 700 had died in the chain reaction of violence over the year.

The uprising triggered a long and often-violent confrontation between black protesters and the white South African government.

It had a lasting impact and arguably played a significant role in sowing the seeds of democracy in South Africa.

International sympathy strengthened the anti-apartheid campaign, and attempts by white minority rulers to clamp down on the protest movement were met with increasing resistance.

In 1990 Nelson Mandela and other political detainees were released from prison and in 1994 South Africa's first democratic elections saw Mandela elected the country's first black president.

1963: Soviets launch first woman into space
A former textile worker from the Soviet Union has become the first woman in space.

Lieutenant Valentina Tereshkova, 26, was the fifth Russian cosmonaut to go into the Earth's orbit when her spaceship Vostok VI was launched at 1230 Moscow time.

Moscow Television broadcast the first pictures of the elated blonde - code-named Seagull - ninety minutes later.

One of the main purposes of her mission is to attempt the first docking manoeuvre with another spaceship.

Colonel Valery Bykovsky was completing his 32nd orbit in the Vostok V - launched two days ago - when Lt Tereshkova hurtled into space from the secret Russian launch pad in Baikonur, central Asia.

At one time the two spacecrafts - which were in radio contact with each other as well as the ground - were only three miles apart, but they are reported to be drifting further apart.

Khrushchev's acclaim

Russian Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev had a radio conversation with the female cosmonaut.

He congratulated her on her achievement and spoke of his "fatherly pride" for her.

By 2000 BST Ms Tereshkova had completed 23 circuits of the globe - one more than the longest-flying US spaceman, Gordon Cooper - at a distance of between 114 miles (183km) and 145 miles (232km) with an average 88.3 minutes for each orbit.

Thousands of jubilant women gathered in Red Square, Moscow, to celebrate the occasion.

A special issue of Soviet newspaper Pravda said Ms Tereshkova had dreamed of going into space as soon as she heard about the first man in space, Colonel Yuri Gagarin, in April 1961.

Ms Tereshkova - an amateur parachutist - joined the space programme last March.

Col Gagarin said she was popular with the other cosmonauts and their wives and described her "kind eyes and good-natured smile". Russian scientists also hope to analyse the comparative effects of space travel on a man and a woman.


Valentina Tereshkova
Valentina enjoyed a light-hearted conversation with Nikita Khrushchev
In Context
Lt Tereshkova and Col Bykovsky landed safely by parachute two days later in Kazakhstan, several hundred miles from where they had taken off.

Ms Tereshkova had completed 49 orbits of the Earth - 1,250,000 miles - in two days, 22 hours and fifty minutes.

Mr Bykovsky set a new record for time in space, completing 82 orbits - 2,060,000 miles - in four days, 23 hours and 54 minutes, 25 hours and 32 minutes longer than the previous record holder.

Ms Tereshkova was feted by the Soviet leadership and became active in the Communist Party. She never returned to space.

1989: Hungary reburies fallen hero Imre Nagy
Former Communist prime minister Imre Nagy, the man who symbolises the 1956 Hungarian uprising, has been given a formal public funeral 31 years after he was executed.

The capital, Budapest, came to a standstill as thousands came to pay their respects to Nagy who in 1956 formed a government dedicated to freeing itself from Soviet communism.

Buildings were draped in black, church bells peeled and there was a one-minute silence across the country.

His coffin was placed on the steps of the Exhibition Hall in Heroes Square, alongside four of his comrades and one empty coffin symbolising the Unknown Revolutionary.

Among the mourners who placed wreaths and flowers were a handful of the 200,000 exiles who had fled the country after Soviet tanks crushed the revolution in November 1956.

General Bela Kiraly a commander of the 1956 uprising paid tribute to Hungary's fallen hero and said the reburial opened "a new epoch".

The ceremony comes at time of political moves away from Soviet influence.

Multiparty elections due to take place next year will see the end of the Communist Party's leading role in Hungary.

Failed uprising

Imre Nagy was prime minister of Hungary from 1953 till 1955 when the Communist Party expelled him for, among other things, wanting to release political prisoners and liberalise the economy.

In October 1956 students revolted against the state and demanded the reinstatement of Mr Nagy and he returned to power.

Encouraged by an apparent promise of outside help, Nagy appealed to the UN and Western governments for protection from Soviet troops.

But with the Suez crisis in full swing and no real appetite for fighting the USSR over a crisis in Eastern Europe, the West did not respond.

The Soviet military's response was swift and devastating. Some 30,000 people were killed in Budapest alone and thousands more sought political asylum in the West.

Mr Nagy took refuge in the Yugoslav embassy. He had been assured safe passage by the newly appointed Hungarian leader Janos Kadar but was abducted by Soviet agents while on a bus home.

He was executed exactly 31 years ago on 16 June 1958 after a secret trial in Budapest in which he was accused of high treason.

His body was dumped face down in an unmarked grave in the Kozma Street Cemetery and his relatives were harassed by police whenever they went to lay flowers. Now he has been reburied there with full honours and Kadar, who remained in power until last year, has been forced into retirement.


Mourners rebury Imre Nagy
Mourners reburied the man who came to symbolise the 1956 Hungarian uprising
In Context
On 6 July 1989 the Hungarian Supreme Court acquitted Imre Nagy of the charges of high treason for which he had been executed.

Janos Kadar, the man who took over from Nagy and ruled the country for the following 30 years died in hospital on the same day.

Although many Hungarians never forgave him for his role in the crushing the 1956 uprising and his support for the Soviet repression of Czechoslovakia in 1968, Kadar's policy of "consumer socialism" turned Hungary into the most economically liberal and modern states of the Eastern Bloc.

In August 1989, two months after Nagy was reburied, Hungary played an important part in accelerating the collapse of Communism when it opened its border with Austria, allowing thousands of East Germans to escape to the West.

In June 1990 the country withdrew from any participation in Warsaw Pact military exercises and the following year the pact itself was dissolved.

In 1994 former communists and liberals formed a coalition following elections. Gyula Horn, the leader of the reform communists, pledged to continue free-market policies.

1992: Controversial Diana book published
A controversial new book about the Princess of Wales claims she attempted suicide on several occasions over the last decade, and portrays her as a deeply depressed and unstable character.

Author Andrew Morton insists he has reliable sources for the allegations, which appear in Diana: Her True Story.

Buckingham Palace would not comment on any specific claims, and said Princess Diana did not co-operate with the biography in any way whatsoever.

The Princess has begun another full week of engagements, attending the annual Order of the Garter service with other members of the royal family at Windsor on the eve of the book's publication.

Although she appeared composed at this event, she was seen breaking down in tears at another public engagement in Liverpool last week.

Speaking for the first time since details of the book became known, Mr Morton said: "The tears that she has shed in public in Liverpool are nothing compared to the tears she has shed over the last year.

"I can't emphasise strongly enough the volatility of the situation inside Kensington Palace".

The book alleges that Princess Diana tried to kill herself on as many as five occasions during the 1980s.

It is what the Princess of Wales has told her friends
Andrew Morton

Mr Morton rejected suggestions that the revelations were based on rumour and gossip, and said he had interviewed a number of sources close to the princess who had insisted on anonymity.

"It is not hearsay. It is what the Princess of Wales has told her friends about what happened to her in 1982, in the early 80s, and the last suicide attempt I think was in 1986."

The author also denied he had any ulterior motivation in making the disclosures. He said: "My job is as a biographer, not as someone who is organising or orchestrating the future of the royal family."


Andrew Morton
Andrew Morton claims reliable sources
1982: Welsh miners back health workers
The South Wales coalfield has come to a standstill after about 24,000 miners went on strike in support of health service workers, who are demanding a 12% pay rise.

The miners downed tools because they regard the health workers as allies in their battle against Conservative policies which they believe are hostile to both their interests.

Meanwhile, organisers said more than 15,000 people marched through the streets of Cardiff, in the biggest demonstration of support for the workers seen so far.

Some of the striking miners joined health workers on picket lines outside Welsh hospitals, which were reduced to emergency cover only.

In Cardiff hospital pickets were backed up by members of the National Union of Seamen.

Other unions also declared their support for the health service workers' pay claim. Demonstrators were joined by building workers, local authority workers, civil servants and delegates from the gas, electricity and water industries.

The leader of the NUM in south Wales, Emlyn Williams, addressed the main rally in Cardiff, expressing miners' solidarity with health workers.

Mr Williams urged them to take lessons from the miners' victory against the government's attempted pit closure programme last year.

And he condemned health service executives who were "prepared to be emissaries of a government that is dedicated to destroying the service".

Suggestions that the campaign has been politically motivated and aimed at bringing down the government were denied, although some said defeating the government would be no bad thing.


Marchers making thier way through Cardiff
Thousands marched through Cardiff
In Context
According to some reports the miners' action cost the industry £750,000 in lost revenue.

On 22 June, on the eve of a fourth national health service strike, the nurses' union, the Royal College of Nursing, accepted a 7.5% pay offer.

Other health workers were offered 6% increases.

Health service unions criticised the settlement and accused Secretary of State for Social Services Norman Fowler of attempting to divide one group of health workers from another by negotiating with them separately.


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17th June

 

1972 Watergate Burglars Arrested

In the early hours of this day, five men were arrested after they broke in to the Democratic National Committee headquarters at Watergate. Watergate was an office, hotel and apartment complex in Washington DC.

One of the arrested men was James W. McCord, Jr, a former CIA agent. It was discovered, on 18th June, that McCord was a security co-ordinator for President Richard Nixon's re-election committee...

This was to kick-off one of the most celebrated cases in the history of investigative reporting, and, eventually, would lead to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, who, it was revealed, by Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, had knowledge of a secret fund which was being used to finance dirty tricks against the Democrats during Nixon's re-election campaign. The Watergate break in, it turned out, being just one of those 'tricks'.

On September 8th, President Gerald Ford, pardoned Nixon for any criminal charges.

 

1970: 'Babes in the wood' bodies found
The bodies of two children have been found in a shallow grave in a wood at Waltham Abbey in Essex.

Detectives who have been investigating the disappearance 10 weeks ago of Susan Blatchford, aged 11, and Gary Hanlon, aged 12, have been called to the scene.

It seems almost certain the bodies are those of Susan and Gary, both from Enfield in north London, who were last seen on 31 March playing together near their homes.

The bodies of the girl and boy were found by a man taking his dog for a walk this evening on the edge of Epping Forest, about six miles from where the missing children lived. A plimsoll and other clothing were found by police dogs.

Trail went cold

A Home Office pathologist and forensic science experts are making an on-the-spot investigation under arc lights.

But police are waiting until first light tomorrow before carrying out a full examination of the scene.

The children's bodies were found huddled together under bracken and twigs.

The day Susan and Gary disappeared Susan had called at Gary's home at about 1630 hours and asked him to go for a walk.

They were last seen about an hour later walking across a field together, but after that the trail went cold.

The night the children went missing the temperature fell below freezing point and the next day it snowed.

Gary's parents Frank Hanlon, a painter and decorator, and his wife, Beryl, sat up all night waiting for their son's return.

In a nearby street, the parents of Susan, Lionel Blatchford, a laboratory assistant and his wife Muriel were also waiting in vain.

A massive police hunt was launched for the children under the leadership of Detective Chief Superintendent Leonard Nipper Read, the man who brought the Krays to justice.

Some 600 officers searched the area. They interviewed 15,000 people and searched 4,356 homes.

There was speculation the children had run away together. There was no initial indication that they had been abducted or come to any harm.

Police believe they died from exposure.

1961: Russian dancer in freedom dash
Principal dancer of the Kirov Ballet, Rudolf Nureyev, has broken free from Russian embassy guards at a Paris airport and requested asylum in France.

The 23-year-old Russian dancer dashed through a security barrier at Le Bourget airport shouting in English: "I want to be free."

It is understood Nureyev was approached by two Russian guards as he was waiting, with the rest of his troupe, to board a BEA Vanguard plane to London.

The guards informed him that he was required to return to Moscow instead of going to London, but, as he was being escorted to a waiting Russian aircraft, he made his dash for freedom.

Temporary asylum

He was taken into the airport police station by two French police officers, followed by the two furious Russian guards, and a heated argument ensued.

He was immediately granted temporary asylum in France and his case was referred to the Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons.

The Leningrad Kirov Ballet troupe continued their journey to London without their principal dancer. They are due to begin a four-week season at Covent Garden next week, having just finished a three-week season in Paris.

There has been widespread speculation that during his time in Paris, Rudolf Nureyev has fallen in love with 21-year-old Clara Saint, daughter of a wealthy Chilean painter based in Paris.

His association with Miss Saint and other members of Paris society had caused concern to the Russian authorities and was apparently a major reason behind his summons back to Moscow.

But Miss Saint said she was simply a friend of Mr Nureyev's and that here had been "nothing serious" between them.

She said: "I have no idea why he asked for political asylum here. At a party last night he seemed perfectly normal and happy.

"I believe it was only after two Soviet Embassy officials told him he had to go back to Moscow instead of to London that he decided to ask for French protection."

Mr Nureyev is also known to have become friendly with Serge Lifar, former director of the Paris Opera and star of Russian impresario Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in the 1920s.

And it is thought the prospect of a future career under Mr Lifar's guidance may have influenced Mr Nureyev's decision to stay in France.

1974: IRA bombs parliament

A bomb has exploded at the Houses of Parliament, causing extensive damage and injuring 11 people.

The IRA said it planted the 20 lb (9.1 kg) device which exploded at about 0828 BST in a corner of Westminster Hall.

The explosion is suspected to have fractured a gas main and a fierce fire spread quickly through the centuries-old hall in one of Britain's most closely-guarded buildings.

Scotland Yard detectives have said they fear this attack could herald the start of a new summer offensive by the dissident Irish group on government buildings.

Witness
No one expected in those days the House of Commons would be a target - security was extremely casual
A man with an Irish accent telephoned the Press Association with a warning only six minutes before the explosion. Police said a recognised IRA codeword was given.

Although officers were not able to completely clear the palace before the bomb went off, most of the injured were only slightly hurt.

Leader of the Commons Edward Short announced a review of security procedures would begin immediately, but he said the attack would not disrupt parliamentary business or intimidate MPs.

Liberal Chief Whip David Steel was in the building when the device detonated and told the BBC the damage looked considerable. "I looked through Westminster Hall and the whole hall was filled with dust. A few minutes later it was possible to see flames shooting up through the windows," he said.


Watch/Listen
The scene at Westminster
There is said to be "considerable" damage

Footage of Westminster bomb damage

In Context
1974 was one of the deadliest years in the IRA's mainland bombing campaign.

In February a bomb exploded on a coach carrying soldiers on the M62, killing 12 people.

A further 26 people died later in the year in attacks on the Tower of London and on pubs in Guilford and Birmingham.

The last Provisional IRA attack on the British mainland was in 1996, but extremist splinter groups have carried out bombings since then.

1980: Government announces missile sites
The locations for the first US nuclear cruise missiles to be stored on British soil have been revealed by the government.

Secretary of State for Defence Francis Pym told the House of Commons the 160 missiles would be located at RAF Greenham Common, Berkshire, and the disused RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire.

Mr Pym said neither of the bases would be used as a launch site. In times of crisis the American-owned warheads will be moved to secret launching sites within 50 miles (80 km) of their storage silos.

Although there is no "dual-key" system to launch the weapons, the minister assured the Commons the United States would not use them in an attack without Britain's assent.

The ground-launched missiles will be stored in purpose-built shelters and security will be considerably upgraded at both sites.

The UK will contribute 220 personnel to help guard the bases and the cost to the country will be £16m.

In an attempt to reassure local communities, Mr Pym said nuclear warheads would not be carried on exercises and no test flying would take place.

But the military would regularly practice the dispersal of the weapons to their launch sites after consultation with local authorities.

Most of the missiles will be stored at the Greenham Common base.

Residents in nearby Newbury vigorously opposed the basing of noisy tanker aircraft so close to them, but seemed resigned to the arrival of the American arms. "If it has to be - so be it," said the District Council Chairman.


Greenham Common
Most of the missiles will be stored at Greenham
In Context
Protests against the decision to use the base for cruise missiles began in the summer of 1981.

The women's peace camp that remained there for almost 20 years became one of the most enduring symbols of the campaign against nuclear weapons.

Missiles were kept at the base from November 1983 to March 1991 when the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty started a gradual process of nuclear disarmament.

The women finally dismantled their peace camp in September 2000.

1964: Japan trade fair floats into London
The first purpose-built floating trade fair has docked at Tilbury in London with 22,000 samples of Japanese goods on board.

The Sakura Maru will remain in London for four days, during which time 18,000 businessmen and women and 10,000 members of the public are expected to visit the show.

The floating trade fair will continue on a tour of Europe, which is costing the Japanese Government and exhibitors £400,000.

The trip is intended more as a public relations exercise than as a way of boosting sales. Since World War II, Japan has established an enviable reputation for low price and high quality.

Innovative products

The Japanese have really made a name for themselves in the electronics industry and there are plenty of examples of innovative products on show aboard the Sakura Maru.

The exhibition has been planned so each deck carries heavier products than the one above. A transistor radio set the size of two pennies is on display beside a portable television set so small it can be held between the thumb and forefinger of one hand and can be plugged into the cigarette lighter socket of a car.

Perhaps one of the most futuristic products on board is a public telephone which can transmit pictures of the person you are talking to through a small screen in the phone booth.

There is a deck devoted to the Japanese motor industry, which contains not only the latest model cars, but also motorbikes and even bicycles.

The lowest level contains textile, agricultural and other machinery in full working order. There is an automatic loom for making nylon fishing nets which has already been sold to Norway, France and West Germany.

The ship itself is also for sale - an exact replica can be built for £3.5m.

Next year a British industrial exhibition is going to Japan to promote trade between the two countries. The show is being billed as the biggest ever western exhibition to visit Asia.

2001: Catholic leader Cardinal Winning dies
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has died suddenly at his Glasgow home.

Cardinal Thomas Winning collapsed in his bedroom at 0900 after suffering his second heart attack in 10 days.

The 76-year-old-cleric was found unconscious by his housekeeper and pronounced dead at Victoria Infirmary an hour later.

The hospital had released him only three days ago, and the Archbishop of Glasgow had walked back to his home in Newlands in apparently good health.

Scotland has lost one of her greatest sons
Scottish First Minister Henry McLeish
Despite his often conservative views on abortion and homosexuality, Cardinal Winning was viewed as a champion of social justice and was once dubbed by the Pope as a "man of the people".

The chancellor of the Glasgow archdiocese, Monsignor Peter Smith, said he would be much missed by Scotland's 750,000 Catholics.

"The Cardinal arrived home on Friday and was in great form - he was his usual witty and humorous self. This has been a great shock to the entire community," he said.

And other tributes have poured in from around the UK.

The Queen said he had made distinguished contribution to Scottish public life and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair praised his "strong moral leadership".

The search for a successor will begin in the next few days, but Scottish First Minister Henry McLeish said he would be a difficult man to replace.

"The nation will miss Tom Winning - I will miss him. Scotland has lost one of her greatest sons," he said.

 


Cardinal Thomas Winning
Cardinal Thomas Winning was 76


In Context
Cardinal Winning's funeral at St Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow was celebrated by an estimated 300 priests from all over the world.

The service was also broadcast to packed Catholic Churches around the city.

The Right Reverend Mario Joseph Conti, 67, was announced by Pope John Paul II as the Cardinal's successor in January 2002.

The former bishop of Aberdeen succeeded Cardinal Winning as archbishop of Glasgow in February 2002.


Caller at public phone booth with screen showing person being called
On this public phone you can see the person you are calling


In Context
The British Exhibition in Tokyo in autumn 1965 was visited by more than 750,000 people, vastly exceeding the organisers' expectations.

Since the American occupation of Japan ended in 1952, Britain had been slow to get a foothold in the Japanese market. In 1965, the US accounted for 30% of Japanese imports and Britain only 3.2%.

The exhibition was intended to show Britain had more to export than whisky and woollens.

Economic relations between the two countries have continued to expand.

In 1971, zip manufacturer YKK became the first Japanese firm to open a factory in Britain. In 1989, 50 Japanese companies invested in Britain in one year.

Japan has become the world's second largest economy. Although a combination of low demand and problems in the banking sector have caused a more recent slowdown in growth.

In 2002, Britain accounted for 40% of Japanese investment in the EU. An Action Japan campaign has been set up to actively promote British exports to Japan.

 
 

Rudolf Nureyev
Rudolf Nureyev never returned to Russia after his dash for freedom in Paris


In Context
Within a week of his defection, Rudolf Nureyev was signed up by the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas in Paris.

He never returned to Russia, settled in the West and soon became an international star.

He is regarded by many as the greatest male dancer of the 20th century.

Not long after he settled in the West he met leading British dancer Margot Fonteyn who brought him to the Royal Ballet in London, which formed his base for the rest of his dancing career.

During the 1970s Nureyev appeared in several films and in 1983 he was appointed director of the Paris Opera Ballet.

In the early years of his career Nureyev struggled to come to terms with his homosexuality.

However after he settled in the West he had relationships with several well-known men, including Eric Bruhn, director of the Royal Swedish Ballet, and film star Anthony Perkins.

He died on 6 January 1993 from an Aids related illness. According to his last wishes, Rudolf Nureyev was buried in the Russian cemetery at Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, near Paris.


Susan Blatchford and Gary Hanlon
Susan Blatchford and Gary Hanlon were last seen on 31 March


In Context
The bodies were confirmed as Gary Hanlon and Susan Blatchford.

The inquest in September ended with an open verdict because scientific tests at the time could not tell if the pair had died from exposure or foul play.

Although some of Susan's clothes were missing, the coroner said it was possible a wild animal could have removed them.

But the parents were unconvinced.

The case was eventually reopened in 1996 after paedophile Ronald Jebson, serving a jail sentence for the murder of eight-year-old Rosemary Papper, told a prison officer he knew who had murdered the children.

He tried to implicate Rosemary's parents but detectives disproved his story and became convinced Jebson himself was the killer.

In 1999 Susan Blatchford's body was exhumed for further tests to be carried out. Gary's body had been cremated.

In May 2000 Jebson was jailed for life after finally confessing to the so-called "Babes in the wood" murders.


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18th June

 

1815 Napoleon Defeated At Waterloo By The Allies

Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba in the Mediterranean following a string of military defeats, in 1814.

He escaped back to France in early 1815 and set up a new regime. He, and his newly formed troops, then marched into Belgium.

June 16, 1815: Napoleon had defeated the Prussians and sent 33,000 men to pursue them.

June 18, 1815: He lead his remaining 72,000 troops against the Duke of Wellington's 68,000 troops which had dug in some 12 miles south of Brussels, near the village of Waterloo.

Napoleon waited until midday to attack Wellington's outnumbered forces, but this delay proved fatal. The Prussians, being pursued on the 16th, by late afternoon on the 18th had regrouped, and attacked Napoleon on his eastern flank.

The French attack soon crumbled.

Casualties:

The allies lost about 23,000 men.

France: 25,000 men killed and wounded, 9000 captured.

Napoleon surrendered to the British on July 15 and was exiled to Saint Helena.

 

1972: UK's worst air crash kills 118
All 118 people on board a flight from London Heathrow to Brussels have died when the airliner crashed minutes after take-off.

The British European Airways plane came down in a field in Staines, missing the town centre by just a few hundred yards. It is the worst disaster in British aviation history.

The Trident jet - which had been involved in another accident in 1968 - left Heathrow at 1708 BST and was only three miles (4.8 km) from the airport when witnesses said it "dropped out of the sky".

The airline said it did not know what had caused flight BE548 to crash, but BEA chairman Henry Marking told reporters there was "no reason" to suspect sabotage.

There was a thud like a clap of thunder
Witness Adrian Bailey
Witnesses said the three-engined plane broke into two as it fell - the fuselage ploughed into trees bordering a reservoir and the tail section landed 50 yards (45.7 m) away.

"I heard the plane circling overhead and there was a spluttering sound as though the engines were cutting out - then there was a thud like a clap of thunder," said 15-year-old Adrian Bailey.

Rescuers pulled two people alive from the wreckage of the airliner - a young girl, who died at the scene, and a Dublin businessman who was taken to a local hospital where he died a few hours later.

Heathrow airport Catholic chaplain Father Peter Knott reached the site of the crash within 10 minutes and said it was a scene of total devastation.

"There was chaos inside the aircraft - it looked as if everybody had been killed instantaneously," he said.

1979: Leaders agree arms reduction treaty

United States President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev have signed Salt II, the first arms-reduction treaty between the two super powers.

The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty - agreed in Vienna - commits both sides to a limit of 2,400 missile launchers.

Negotiations for the deal followed Salt I signed by President Richard Nixon and Mr Brezhnev in 1972. It froze the deployment of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and banned the construction of any new submarine-based missiles.

The latest arms talks opened in Vienna, Austria, three days ago with a review of world problems causing severe strains on East-West relations.

Difficult circumstances

The session ended half-an-hour earlier than expected. Mr Brezhnev, looking frail, stumbled as he left the Soviet embassy and had to be steadied by President Carter.

However, discussions are reported to have proceeded well, US officials have noted "the absence of acrimony" and Mr Brezhnev's genuine interest in the proceedings.

They said Mr Brezhnev was making "a valiant effort to represent his country in difficult circumstances".

While Salt II deals largely with the limitation of nuclear weapon launchers, Mr Carter has also outlined plans for wide-ranging arms reduction negotiations over the next decade. Mr Brezhnev appears more concerned with reaching agreement on European troop cuts.

There have been other differences: the possibility that the US Senate may refuse to ratify the treaty has been an important concern at the summit.

Another key issue has been the range of the so-called Soviet Backfire bomber.

Mr Brezhnev has pledged that not more than 30 will be built each year and the range of its nuclear weapons will not be extended to reach the US. Concerns have been raised in the US already by a member of the negotiating team, Lt Gen Edward Rowny, the Joint Chiefs of Staff representative. He claims the treaty gives the Soviets huge advantages in the number of thermonuclear warheads on their land-based missiles - by a ratio of three to one. 


Carter and Brezhnev
President Carter and Mr Brezhnev at the Vienna Imperial Hofburg Palace
In Context
The Salt II treaty ran into difficulties with the US Senate.

On 3 January 1980 President Carter requested the Senate majority leader to delay consideration of the treaty following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The treaty remained unratified but President Carter did make a statement saying the US would comply with its intentions so long as the Soviet Union did the same.

In May 1982 President Ronald Reagan made a similar statement reaffirming the US's commitment to the unratified treaty and the Soviet Union reciprocated.

In 1987 President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev announced plans to dismantle all medium and short-range nuclear weapons and established a system for inspection and verification - the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty.

In 1991 and 1993 the first and second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties were agreed, cutting the numbers of warheads down to less than 3,500.

An arms reduction treaty, signed in Moscow in 2002, agreed to cut the numbers of warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200.

1999: Anti-capitalism demo turns violent
Police and protesters have clashed at a demonstration against capitalism in the centre of London's financial district.

The rally was timed to coincide with the start of a summit of the world's richest countries in Germany.

More than 4,000 people took to the streets of London in protest at the burden of debt owed by the world's poorest countries to the Group of Eight nations.

They were joined by about 300 cyclists, who disrupted traffic by riding slowly into the city centre, carrying banners.

But what began as a peaceful gathering became violent after a small crowd of demonstrators began attacking buildings and smashing windows.

Some protesters vented their anger on the Liffe Building, which forms part of the London Stock Exchange.

Massive clear-up

One group managed to break into the building but a safety shield was activated, preventing them from reaching the trading floor.

Police said they were attacked with stones and bottles. One woman was taken to hospital with suspected concussion and a broken leg after she was hit by a police van.

At least 42 protesters and four police officers have been injured. A number of arrests have been made and the violence is now said to be largely under control.

A massive clear-up operation will shortly be underway, as well as an investigation into the violence.

The London rally had been timed to coincide with other protests around the world. German police were expecting up to 100,000 demonstrators to protest in Cologne, where the summit was being held, and call for the debt of the world's poorest countries to be cancelled.


Watch/Listen
Police during demonstration
Police said they were attacked with stones and bottles

The BBC's John McIntyre: "Some police suffered minor injuries"
In Context
On the day 16 people were arrested for offences including criminal damage and assault.

One website sympathetic to the activists' aims described the event as a protest against "an economy that puts money, growth and the 'free market' above everything else, leading to poverty, the Third World Debt and environmental destruction."

In the House of Commons Home Secretary Jack Straw condemned the "deplorable outbreak of public disorder and violence".

Billed as a Carnival Against Capitalism, the City of London protest marked the first in a series of major anti-capitalist demonstrations in central London.

In Context
On the day 16 people were arrested for offences including criminal damage and assault.

One website sympathetic to the activists' aims described the event as a protest against "an economy that puts money, growth and the 'free market' above everything else, leading to poverty, the Third World Debt and environmental destruction."

In the House of Commons Home Secretary Jack Straw condemned the "deplorable outbreak of public disorder and violence".

Billed as a Carnival Against Capitalism, the City of London protest marked the first in a series of major anti-capitalist demonstrations in central London.

1965: Drink-drive limit to be introduced
The government has announced it will introduce a blood alcohol limit for drivers.

Anyone found to be driving when over the set limit will be penalised in the hope it will deter drivers from drink driving and make roads safer.

The move comes as the number of road accidents continues to rise despite a press campaign highlighting the dangers of drink driving.

Existing road safety laws will also be reinforced in a major crackdown by the government.

A government spokesman announcing the plans said as yet it was unknown what the blood alcohol limit would be or how it would be tested.

Greater responsibility

The Home Office and police will enforce the new law when it is revealed in the Road Safety Bill expected next year.

The move is part of the government's campaign to make people to take more care on the roads and look out for themselves, other drivers and pedestrians.

"I think we are all of us conscious of the need to strengthen enforcement if this is possible at all" the government spokesman said.

"What is most desirable is that more and more people exercise greater responsibility in the use of our roads" he added.

1956: Truman rejects anti-Stalin talk

The former President of the United States, Harry Truman, has shrugged off suggestions Moscow may be about to reject its Stalinist past.

He was speaking at a news conference in London shortly after arriving at the start of a 10 day visit to Britain, during which he is to receive an honorary doctorate of civil law from Oxford University.

More than 200 press, radio and television reporters had gathered for the half-an-hour question and answer session with the man who played such a key role in preventing the expansion of the influence of the Soviet Union during his time in office, 1945-53.

The former President was asked what he thought of the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev's, surprise attack on Joseph Stalin.

Break "Stalin cult"

He replied: "I have no faith in the Khrushchev disclosures. When they show some action on the lines on which they are talking now, I will begin to believe them."

In a sensational speech to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party in February, Mr Khrushchev described the regime of fear, suspicion and terror that had existed under Joseph Stalin.

He described how Stalin had carried out purges to get rid of politicians who had fallen from his favour - and had many of them shot.

The Soviet leader went on to say he wanted to break the "Stalin cult".

News of the speech was not made public in the Soviet Union - and details were only released in mid-March in Belgrade and Washington.

Mr Truman said: "The thing that strikes me is that one of the men who helped to carry out those policies is the one who is now denouncing them. That is one of my reasons for being careful in believing in what he has to say.

"He was one of Stalin's right-hand men, and he helped carry out these things that he's denouncing now for our benefit." This is also the year for presidential nominations in the United States - and Mr Truman's personal endorsement of one of the Democrat candidates could determine who runs for the White House - but he refused to be drawn on who he would be backing.


Harry Truman
Former President Harry Truman
In Context
Former President Truman was one of six people to be awarded honorary degrees at Oxford University on 20 June.

The award angered some because it was Mr Truman who ordered the atomic bombs to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

At the degree ceremony, he was praised for his firm leadership in the post-war period. He helped shape policies such as the Marshall Plan which led Europe away from economic disaster and he was also instrumental in the formation of NATO.

Truman's policy of containment of the Soviet Union, by assisting countries resisting communism, became known as the Truman Doctrine. He demonstrated it by sending American support to Greece and Turkey, then under pressure from the USSR.

Harry Truman retired from the presidency in 1953 to write his memoirs. He was succeeded by the Republican Dwight Eisenhower.

He died on 26 December 1972.

During Nikita Khrushchev's time in power, he instigated the notion of "peaceful co-existence" - but he came close to war with the US over the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 and resigned in 1964.


Drink-drive motoring accident
Anyone found to be driving when over the set alcohol limit will be penalised


In Context
In January 1966 the new Road Safety Bill was introduced. It set a limit of 80mg of alcohol in 100cc of blood and it became an offence to drive when over this limit.

In 1967 the breathalyser was introduced as a way of testing a person's blood alcohol level.

The introduction of the drink drive limit has dramatically reduced the number of accidents caused by being drunk when driving. However, campaigners and the government continue to promote the 'Don't drink and drive' message.

In 1995 the Campaign Against Drink Driving (CADD) was formed by relatives of drink-driver victims. It continues to highlight the issue of drink driving to the public and government.


Watch/Listen
The crash site
The plane crashed in a field in Staines

Rescuers forced to flee burning wreckage


In Context
An inquiry by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said a speed error had caused the plane to stall. The aircraft was not at a sufficient height for the crew to regain control.

A post mortem examination on pilot Stanley Key found he was suffering from a heart condition which was likely to be causing him some pain immediately prior to the crash.

The investigation concluded this had probably impaired the judgement of the captain which led to him making a fatal error not noticed by the other crew until too late.

It remained the UK's worst air accident until December 1988 when a Pan Am jet was bombed over Lockerbie.


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Reply with quote  #44 

18th June

 

1815 Napoleon Defeated At Waterloo By The Allies

Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba in the Mediterranean following a string of military defeats, in 1814.

He escaped back to France in early 1815 and set up a new regime. He, and his newly formed troops, then marched into Belgium.

June 16, 1815: Napoleon had defeated the Prussians and sent 33,000 men to pursue them.

June 18, 1815: He lead his remaining 72,000 troops against the Duke of Wellington's 68,000 troops which had dug in some 12 miles south of Brussels, near the village of Waterloo.

Napoleon waited until midday to attack Wellington's outnumbered forces, but this delay proved fatal. The Prussians, being pursued on the 16th, by late afternoon on the 18th had regrouped, and attacked Napoleon on his eastern flank.

The French attack soon crumbled.

Casualties:

The allies lost about 23,000 men.

France: 25,000 men killed and wounded, 9000 captured.

Napoleon surrendered to the British on July 15 and was exiled to Saint Helena.

 

1972: UK's worst air crash kills 118
All 118 people on board a flight from London Heathrow to Brussels have died when the airliner crashed minutes after take-off.

The British European Airways plane came down in a field in Staines, missing the town centre by just a few hundred yards. It is the worst disaster in British aviation history.

The Trident jet - which had been involved in another accident in 1968 - left Heathrow at 1708 BST and was only three miles (4.8 km) from the airport when witnesses said it "dropped out of the sky".

The airline said it did not know what had caused flight BE548 to crash, but BEA chairman Henry Marking told reporters there was "no reason" to suspect sabotage.

There was a thud like a clap of thunder
Witness Adrian Bailey
Witnesses said the three-engined plane broke into two as it fell - the fuselage ploughed into trees bordering a reservoir and the tail section landed 50 yards (45.7 m) away.

"I heard the plane circling overhead and there was a spluttering sound as though the engines were cutting out - then there was a thud like a clap of thunder," said 15-year-old Adrian Bailey.

Rescuers pulled two people alive from the wreckage of the airliner - a young girl, who died at the scene, and a Dublin businessman who was taken to a local hospital where he died a few hours later.

Heathrow airport Catholic chaplain Father Peter Knott reached the site of the crash within 10 minutes and said it was a scene of total devastation.

"There was chaos inside the aircraft - it looked as if everybody had been killed instantaneously," he said.

1979: Leaders agree arms reduction treaty

United States President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev have signed Salt II, the first arms-reduction treaty between the two super powers.

The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty - agreed in Vienna - commits both sides to a limit of 2,400 missile launchers.

Negotiations for the deal followed Salt I signed by President Richard Nixon and Mr Brezhnev in 1972. It froze the deployment of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and banned the construction of any new submarine-based missiles.

The latest arms talks opened in Vienna, Austria, three days ago with a review of world problems causing severe strains on East-West relations.

Difficult circumstances

The session ended half-an-hour earlier than expected. Mr Brezhnev, looking frail, stumbled as he left the Soviet embassy and had to be steadied by President Carter.

However, discussions are reported to have proceeded well, US officials have noted "the absence of acrimony" and Mr Brezhnev's genuine interest in the proceedings.

They said Mr Brezhnev was making "a valiant effort to represent his country in difficult circumstances".

While Salt II deals largely with the limitation of nuclear weapon launchers, Mr Carter has also outlined plans for wide-ranging arms reduction negotiations over the next decade. Mr Brezhnev appears more concerned with reaching agreement on European troop cuts.

There have been other differences: the possibility that the US Senate may refuse to ratify the treaty has been an important concern at the summit.

Another key issue has been the range of the so-called Soviet Backfire bomber.

Mr Brezhnev has pledged that not more than 30 will be built each year and the range of its nuclear weapons will not be extended to reach the US. Concerns have been raised in the US already by a member of the negotiating team, Lt Gen Edward Rowny, the Joint Chiefs of Staff representative. He claims the treaty gives the Soviets huge advantages in the number of thermonuclear warheads on their land-based missiles - by a ratio of three to one. 


Carter and Brezhnev
President Carter and Mr Brezhnev at the Vienna Imperial Hofburg Palace
In Context
The Salt II treaty ran into difficulties with the US Senate.

On 3 January 1980 President Carter requested the Senate majority leader to delay consideration of the treaty following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The treaty remained unratified but President Carter did make a statement saying the US would comply with its intentions so long as the Soviet Union did the same.

In May 1982 President Ronald Reagan made a similar statement reaffirming the US's commitment to the unratified treaty and the Soviet Union reciprocated.

In 1987 President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev announced plans to dismantle all medium and short-range nuclear weapons and established a system for inspection and verification - the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty.

In 1991 and 1993 the first and second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties were agreed, cutting the numbers of warheads down to less than 3,500.

An arms reduction treaty, signed in Moscow in 2002, agreed to cut the numbers of warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200.

1999: Anti-capitalism demo turns violent
Police and protesters have clashed at a demonstration against capitalism in the centre of London's financial district.

The rally was timed to coincide with the start of a summit of the world's richest countries in Germany.

More than 4,000 people took to the streets of London in protest at the burden of debt owed by the world's poorest countries to the Group of Eight nations.

They were joined by about 300 cyclists, who disrupted traffic by riding slowly into the city centre, carrying banners.

But what began as a peaceful gathering became violent after a small crowd of demonstrators began attacking buildings and smashing windows.

Some protesters vented their anger on the Liffe Building, which forms part of the London Stock Exchange.

Massive clear-up

One group managed to break into the building but a safety shield was activated, preventing them from reaching the trading floor.

Police said they were attacked with stones and bottles. One woman was taken to hospital with suspected concussion and a broken leg after she was hit by a police van.

At least 42 protesters and four police officers have been injured. A number of arrests have been made and the violence is now said to be largely under control.

A massive clear-up operation will shortly be underway, as well as an investigation into the violence.

The London rally had been timed to coincide with other protests around the world. German police were expecting up to 100,000 demonstrators to protest in Cologne, where the summit was being held, and call for the debt of the world's poorest countries to be cancelled.

1965: Drink-drive limit to be introduced
The government has announced it will introduce a blood alcohol limit for drivers.

Anyone found to be driving when over the set limit will be penalised in the hope it will deter drivers from drink driving and make roads safer.

The move comes as the number of road accidents continues to rise despite a press campaign highlighting the dangers of drink driving.

Existing road safety laws will also be reinforced in a major crackdown by the government.

A government spokesman announcing the plans said as yet it was unknown what the blood alcohol limit would be or how it would be tested.

Greater responsibility

The Home Office and police will enforce the new law when it is revealed in the Road Safety Bill expected next year.

The move is part of the government's campaign to make people to take more care on the roads and look out for themselves, other drivers and pedestrians.

"I think we are all of us conscious of the need to strengthen enforcement if this is possible at all" the government spokesman said.

"What is most desirable is that more and more people exercise greater responsibility in the use of our roads" he added.

1956: Truman rejects anti-Stalin talk

The former President of the United States, Harry Truman, has shrugged off suggestions Moscow may be about to reject its Stalinist past.

He was speaking at a news conference in London shortly after arriving at the start of a 10 day visit to Britain, during which he is to receive an honorary doctorate of civil law from Oxford University.

More than 200 press, radio and television reporters had gathered for the half-an-hour question and answer session with the man who played such a key role in preventing the expansion of the influence of the Soviet Union during his time in office, 1945-53.

The former President was asked what he thought of the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev's, surprise attack on Joseph Stalin.

Break "Stalin cult"

He replied: "I have no faith in the Khrushchev disclosures. When they show some action on the lines on which they are talking now, I will begin to believe them."

In a sensational speech to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party in February, Mr Khrushchev described the regime of fear, suspicion and terror that had existed under Joseph Stalin.

He described how Stalin had carried out purges to get rid of politicians who had fallen from his favour - and had many of them shot.

The Soviet leader went on to say he wanted to break the "Stalin cult".

News of the speech was not made public in the Soviet Union - and details were only released in mid-March in Belgrade and Washington.

Mr Truman said: "The thing that strikes me is that one of the men who helped to carry out those policies is the one who is now denouncing them. That is one of my reasons for being careful in believing in what he has to say.

"He was one of Stalin's right-hand men, and he helped carry out these things that he's denouncing now for our benefit." This is also the year for presidential nominations in the United States - and Mr Truman's personal endorsement of one of the Democrat candidates could determine who runs for the White House - but he refused to be drawn on who he would be backing.


Harry Truman
Former President Harry Truman
In Context
Former President Truman was one of six people to be awarded honorary degrees at Oxford University on 20 June.

The award angered some because it was Mr Truman who ordered the atomic bombs to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

At the degree ceremony, he was praised for his firm leadership in the post-war period. He helped shape policies such as the Marshall Plan which led Europe away from economic disaster and he was also instrumental in the formation of NATO.

Truman's policy of containment of the Soviet Union, by assisting countries resisting communism, became known as the Truman Doctrine. He demonstrated it by sending American support to Greece and Turkey, then under pressure from the USSR.

Harry Truman retired from the presidency in 1953 to write his memoirs. He was succeeded by the Republican Dwight Eisenhower.

He died on 26 December 1972.

During Nikita Khrushchev's time in power, he instigated the notion of "peaceful co-existence" - but he came close to war with the US over the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 and resigned in 1964.


Drink-drive motoring accident
Anyone found to be driving when over the set alcohol limit will be penalised


In Context
In January 1966 the new Road Safety Bill was introduced. It set a limit of 80mg of alcohol in 100cc of blood and it became an offence to drive when over this limit.

In 1967 the breathalyser was introduced as a way of testing a person's blood alcohol level.

The introduction of the drink drive limit has dramatically reduced the number of accidents caused by being drunk when driving. However, campaigners and the government continue to promote the 'Don't drink and drive' message.

In 1995 the Campaign Against Drink Driving (CADD) was formed by relatives of drink-driver victims. It continues to highlight the issue of drink driving to the public and government.


Watch/Listen
The crash site
The plane crashed in a field in Staines

Rescuers forced to flee burning wreckage


In Context
An inquiry by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said a speed error had caused the plane to stall. The aircraft was not at a sufficient height for the crew to regain control.

A post mortem examination on pilot Stanley Key found he was suffering from a heart condition which was likely to be causing him some pain immediately prior to the crash.

The investigation concluded this had probably impaired the judgement of the captain which led to him making a fatal error not noticed by the other crew until too late.

It remained the UK's worst air accident until December 1988 when a Pan Am jet was bombed over Lockerbie.


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Reply with quote  #45 

19th June

 

1885 New York Welcomes the Statue Of Liberty (in 200 pieces)

The people of France sent the statue to the people of the United States and it arrived in New York harbor on this day, split up into 200 packets.

The gift was to commemorate the two nations alliance during the American Revolution. It was designed by French sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.

The statue would be finally erected on October 28, 1886, in a ceremony presided over by US President Grover Cleveland.

The statue stands on a pedestal with a sonnet "The New Colossus," by Emma Lazarus. It reads:

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.

I lift my lamp beside the golden door."


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I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I am not".
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