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§Of World Interest

The Alaotra Grebe (Tachybaptus rufolavatus) is declared extinct.

January 15 – The longest annular solar eclipse of the 3rd millennium occurs.

February 27 - A Pacific-wide tsunami occurred after the Chile earthquake. No damage was caused but sea levels rose and fell between one and two meters for nearly an hour.

March 26 - The US and Russia have agreed to a reduction in nuclear weapons.

August 10 – The World Health Organization declares the H1N1 influenza pandemic over, saying worldwide flu activity has returned to typical seasonal patterns.



January 8 – The Togo national football team is involved in an attack in Angola, and as a result withdraws from the Africa Cup of Nations

§Ivory Coast

December 16 - Street protests in Ivory Coast against incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo have turned violent with at least four dead. Witnesses said heavy artillery fire has been heard near the base of president-elect Alassane Ouattara.


February 18 – The President of Niger, Tandja Mamadou is overthrown after a group of soldiers storms the presidential palace. Later in the day, the rebels announce on television the formation of a ruling junta, the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy, headed by chef d'escadron Salou Djibo.


October 1 - The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, known as MEND, claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on Abuja where 12 people were killed and many were injured as the West African country celebrated 50 years of independence.

§South Africa

June - South Africa hosts the World Cup Football (Soccer) Matches.


December 17 - Al Bouazizi, a fruit seller, set himself on fire in front of a government building. He remained in hospital for 18 days, fighting severe burns over his entire body. He was selling fruit without a permit when a government worker took his scale. When he demanded it back she slapped him. Understanding that he would have to pay a bribe for the return of the scale he went to the government offices demanding it back. Officials there refused. He then went to the local gas station, bought some gasoline and returned to the government building, and while shouting "How can I make a living!?" set himself ablaze. His actions led to giant non-violent protests against the government, and in particular the President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali who it was known took billions of dollars from the Tunisian economy each year to enrich his family.


March 16 – The Kasubi Tombs, Uganda's only cultural World Heritage Site, are destroyed by fire.



January 12 - At least 34 companies, including Adobe, Symantec, Yahoo and Dow Chemical, were hacked. Google said that hackers broke into the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights advocates in the United States, Europe and China, and the search-engine company threatened to pull out of operations in China in response.

The security breaches revealed a new type of computer sophistication, exploiting flaws in software programs that resulted in what an administration official described as an increasingly serious security threat to major firms.

April 14 - 760 people are killed after an earthquake in Jiegu felled mud and wood homes. The earthquake measured between 6.9 and 7.1. 11,477 people were injured, 1,174 severely.

May 1 - The largest World's Expo opens in Shanghai.

May 30 - A Chinese supercomputer -- the Dawning Nebulae, based at the National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen, China, achieved a sustained computing speed of 1.27 petaflops (quadrillion mathematical operations per second), ranking as the world's second fastest machine on the Top 500 list of supercomputers.

October 8 - Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo, wins the Nobel Peace Prize. China immediately moved to remove his name from Internet searches and block information about him.

§Chinese Business

August - China's economy surpassed Japan's and becomes the number two economy in the world.


February 26 - A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck near Okinawa.

June 1 - Japan's NHK television reported that the prime minister, Yujio Hatoyama, has told senior officials of the ruling Democratic Party that he plans to resign. On 2 June, Hatoyama resigned as prime minister. He was succeeded by Naoto Kan.

November 2 - Japan temporarily recalled its ambassador from Moscow but left the door open for a possible summit despite growing anger in Tokyo over the Russian president's visit to a disputed island off Japan's northern coast.

§Japanese Business

Toyota recalled many of its vehicles for sticking accelerator pedal. Additional problems haunted the company, causing it to continually recall more and more of its vehicles. The company president apologized, taking full responsibility but the company's quality image was severely damaged. Criminal hearings were begun in the United States.

§North Korea

Kim Jong-un was made a Daejang, the equivalent to an American Four-Star General, on 27 September, a day ahead of a rare Workers' Party of Korea conference in Pyongyang, the first time North Korean media had mentioned him by name and despite his having no previous military experience. Despite the promotion, no further details, including verifiable portraits of Jong-un were released. On 28 September he was named vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and appointed to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party, in an apparent nod to become the successor to Kim Jong-il.

November 22 - North Korea fired artillery at a small island near the Southern border.

§South Korea

November 23 - South Korea scrambled jet fighters in response to North Korea's hostile action against a small island where 2 people were injured by artillery fire.


February 28 - Winter storm, 'Xynthia' killed 51 people as it battered the West coast of Europe.


July 1 – Belgium takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from Spain.


September 23 - France's workers go on strike to protest new austerity measures that would change the retirement age from 60 to 62.

October 11 - France's economic activity is taking another beating as unions stage the third day of strikes this autumn in a standoff with the government over pension reform deemed essential for France's public finances.

While the labor minister reported the percentage of civil servants on strike was very slightly lower than the last strike Sept. 23, demonstrations throughout France were bigger, their numbers notably bolstered by the presence of students.

There were 500,000 people in the street across 100 separate demonstrations, up from 380,000 in 150 demonstrations Oct. 2, the interior ministry said.

The Confederation Francaise Democratique du Travail union said that turnout was up 30% on previous protests at almost 3.5 million. Unions had claimed 3 million protesters Sept. 23 for the demonstrations against the plans to raise the minimum retirement age to 62 from 60 and up the age at which the French can retire with guaranteed full entitlements to 67 from 65.

October 23 - French unions have challenged a back-to-work order in court, a day after the country's senate voted in favor of the government's controversial pensions reforms. Protesters showed no sign of giving up further industrial action and have vowed more days of strikes in their months-long struggle against the bill.

October 26 - The French Senate passed the law raising the retirement age from 60 to 62

November 2 - Britain and France signed a 50-year treaty on defense and security that envisages the joint use of aircraft carriers, a 10000-strong joint expeditionary force and new levels of co-operation over nuclear missiles.


May 31 - German's President, Horst Kohler, resigned because of remarks he made regarding Germany's military deployments saying that they "failed to show the necessary respect for my office."

§Great Britain

February 3 – The sculpture L'Homme qui marche I by Alberto Giacometti sells in London for £65 million (US$103.7 million), setting a new world record for a work of art sold at auction

May 7 - The UK elections resulted in a hung parliament. The Labour party lost a significant number of seats in Parliament to the Conservative party.

May 11 - Gordon Brown offers to resign as Prime Minister. New British PM David Cameron says he aims to form coalition between his Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats.

September 24 - Ed Miliband was elected the leader of the Labor Party in a close race against his brother, David. He won by an extremely narrow margin with the assistance of labor unions, something he has been criticized for.

Britain and France signed a 50-year treaty on defense and security that envisages the joint use of aircraft carriers, a 10000-strong joint expeditionary force and new levels of co-operation over nuclear missiles.

October 5 - The biomethane project that turns human waste into green gas went live. The project now converts the treated sewage of 14 million Thames Water customers into clean, green gas and is pumping that gas into people's homes.

December 7 - Julian Assange was arrested and held without bail pending extradition to Sweden for alleged sex crimes. Assange is the owner of the Web site Wikileaks noted for the release of hundreds of thousands of secret US documents and cables. Assange threatened to release more if he is prosecuted.


March 25 - The Eurozone has agreed to a financial bailout of the failing Greek economy.


October 4 - A torrent of toxic red sludge from an alumina plant tore through nearby villages, killing four people and injuring 120.

The waste, produced during bauxite refining, poured through Kolontar and two other villages on Monday after bursting out of a containment reservoir at the Ajkai Timfoldgyar Zrt plant, owned by MAL Zrt.


February 20 - The Dutch government has ­collapsed over disagreements on whether or not to extend troop deployment in Afghanistan. The prime minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, said the Labour party – the second-largest party in his ruling coalition – was quitting. He tendered his government's resignation to Queen Beatrix, the Dutch ceremonial head of state.

June 9 - Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, whose anti-immigrant party more than doubled its number of lawmakers in polls on June 9th, believes he is on a mission to fight his country's Islamisation.

October - Geert Wilders is on trial in the Netherlands for "incitement to hatred and discrimination." On October 5, his trial was suspended when he told the judge that he stood by his opinions that the Koran is a "fascist book" and Islam is as dangerous as Nazism. The trial is over his 2008 film, Fitna.

October 22 - Geert Wilders hate speech trial collapses in Netherlands. A Retrial was ordered after it emerged that one of the judges in the case had tried to sway a potential witness.


July - Poland elects Bronislaw Komorowski as President.


March 23 - The Portuguese credit rating was downgraded by Fisk sending economic shock to the already troubled Euro.


November 16 - Doctors, working with British biotech company ReNeuron, have injected stem cells into the brain of a man in a pioneering clinical trial to test the safety of a therapy for patients disabled by stroke. The trial is the first in the world to use neural stem cell therapy in stroke patients.


January 1 – Spain takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from Sweden.

June 8 - Spain's public-sector workers went on strike in response to spending cuts the government announced to reduce Spain's budget deficit.


March 30 - Scientists in Geneva mark "new territory" in physics, smashing two proton beams at record high energy rate.

October 15 - Drilling is complete on the 35 mile-long Gotthard Base Tunnel thought to be the world's longest tunnel.


March 24 - Pope Benedict was tied to a sex abuse case that he was responsible for overseeing when a Cardinal. He failed to act on a priest who was accused of abusing 200 deaf children at a deaf school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US. The sex abuse scandal continues to reach the highest levels of the Church.

October - The Vatican complained when the creator of IVF, British scientist Robert Edwards, PhD, was awarded the Nobel Prize.

November 23 - The Vatican clarified their position after leaks of information caused confusion about the "fair use" of condoms. It appears that the Vatican is not changing their policy on the use of condoms for heterosexual couples, but agreed that they should be used by homosexuals to stop the spread of AIDS


March 4 - Sixty-three people, all women and children, are crushed to death when a gate collapses at a temple in northern Uttar Pradesh state, causing panic in a crowd of 10,000 people.


January 1 – A suicide car bombing occurs at a volleyball game in the Lakki Marwat district of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province killed at least 95, and injured over 100.

August 1 - The worst floods ever in Pakistan kill more than 1,000 people. Flooding continued in early August with the death toll rising to more than 1500 with millions of people affected.

§Sri Lanka

February 9 - Sri Lankan Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered the dissolution of Parliament with effect from midnight of February 10, paving the way for a general election.

Opposition parties accused Rajapaksa of manipulating election results using computers.

§Middle East


August 1 - Widespread flooding killed dozens of people and thousands were rescued after flash floods in the northeast.

October 5 - Taliban representatives and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai began secret, high-level talks over a negotiated end to the war.


June 8 - Egypt says it has lifted its closure on the Gaza Strip indefinitely, one week after the Israel Navy's flotilla raid heightened international interest in the plight of the Hamas-ruled enclave. A spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Hossam Zaki, announced that the Rafah crossing that connects Gaza to Egypt will remain open indefinitely.

However, Egypt has yet to permit fully free passage of Palestinians into its territory.


February 7 - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told his atomic energy chief to boost uranium enrichment from 3.5% to 20% as talks over a nuclear-fuel exchange failed.


March 26 - Ex-Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's coalition wins most seats in parliamentary elections, election officials say. Political gridlock ensues.

October 26 - Former Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz has been sentenced to death for persecuting religious parties in the 1980s. Aziz, one of the most prominent figures of the Saddam Hussein era.

November - It appeared that Iraq would finally form a government. Iraq had remained in political deadlock since the March elections. A power-sharing plan appeared that it would allow a government to move forward but Allawi declared the plan dead.


May 31 - Israeli naval forces seized an aid convoy of six ships known as the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" aiming to break through the blockade. The flotilla had declined an Israeli request to change course to the port of Ashdod, where the Israeli government had said it would inspect the aid and deliver (or let humanitarian organizations deliver) Israeli-approved items to Gaza. Nine passengers aboard the MV Mavi Marmara, the main ship of the convoy, were shot and killed in skirmishes that accompanied the interception of the vessel. Up to 60 passengers and ten members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were injured in the clash.

June 1 - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in direct response to the events regarding the Gaza flotilla raid, promised to break Israel's siege of Gaza by opening the Rafah Border Crossing indefinitely. As a result, several aid trucks began making it into Gaza during the following morning including some carrying power generators from the Egyptian Red Crescent, and hundreds of Gazans who had been staying in Egypt returned home, although little traffic, human or cargo, flowed from Gaza to Egypt.

June 3 - The manager of the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing, Salameh Barakeh, explained that the crossing is open for the free travel of patients, foreign passport holders, those with residency status in other countries, students and internationals. The border had never been officially fully closed for urgent humanitarian cases, and for a few days each month it had been open to Palestinians who had coordinated ahead of time.

June 6 - Israel peacefully intercepted a seventh Gaza-bound ship and brought it to Ashdod port. Israeli Navy forces boarded the Irish-owned ship named the Rachel Corrie, in memory of an American pro-Palestinian activist who was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in Gaza in 2003, on Saturday 22 miles off the coast of Gaza. They boarded the ship from the sea rather than by helicopters. The ship was carrying hundreds of tons of concrete, as well as tons of paper and wheelchairs.

December 30 - Moshe Katsav, former Israeli President, was found guilty on two counts of rape.


Alois Brunner (AKA Dr. Georg Fischer), Adolf Eichmann's "best man," died in Damascus at the age of 98. Brunner handled the deportation of more than 128,500 Jews to Nazi death camps, but he evaded capture and landed in Syria, where he's said to have advised President Hafez al-Assad on torture methods he honed during his SS tenure. Brunner managed to flee Germany due to an identity mix-up that saw fellow SS member Anton Brunner prosecuted and hanged for his crimes. In 1954, using a fake Red Cross passport, Brunner traveled to Rome and later Egypt, where he rented a room from a Jewish family. In 1985 he said they were “quite nice people, really.”

§United Arab Emirates

January 4 – The tallest man-made structure to date, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is officially opened

§North America


February 12 - Georgian Luge competitor, Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed during a practice run. The luge course was considered too dangerous after that and was shortened. But, the death cast a pall over the beginning of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, which were already dogged by warm weather due to el nino conditions.

February 28 - The 2010 Winter Olympics come to a close.


January 12 - A 7.0 earthquake struck near the capital of Haiti killing tens of thousands and leaving Port Au Prince in ruins. The dead lined the streets for days and even though the international community offered help, poor infrastructure made getting the help to the wounded and starving incredibly slow.

January 16 - Millions continue to starve in Haiti while the UN efforts claim to have fed only 8,000 people in Port Au Prince. UN rescue efforts have focused on discovering possible survivors in the collapsed hotel that served as the UN Mission in Haiti. The final death toll according to the UN was 230,000 people.

October 25 - The cholera outbreak in central Haiti that so far has killed more than 250 people and infected more than 3000 is the worst health challenge the country faces since the earthquake in January

November 8 - The death toll from the cholera outbreak rose to 544.


April 4 - A 7.2 earthquake struck 16 miles south-south west of Guadalupe Victoria in Baja California, approximately 108 miles from Tijuana. The quake lasted about a minute and rocked buildings as far North as Los Angeles.

September 11 - 85 inmates escape from a prison in Reynosa, Northern Mexico.

September 28 – Seven people are reported to have been killed and around 100 are missing after a landslide in Oaxaca, Mexico.

October 23 - Twelve people are killed and at least 10 wounded after gunmen storm a party in Ciudad Juarez.

December 8 - 14 year old assassin, Edgar Jimenez, aka El Ponchis, was arrested trying to board a US bound plane in Cuernavaca.

§United States

Winter storms battered the East all Winter dropping record amounts of snow.

February - Apolo Anton Ohno became the most decorated Winter Olympian in American history

March 22 - Virgin Galactic's space plane accomplishes first capture and carry flight. Independent glide comes later before starting commercial operations.

March 25 - Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday relaxed the "don’t ask, don’t tell" law, raising the bar on how homosexual conduct can be investigated within the military.

April 15 - President Obama sent a memo stating that same sex partners should not be barred from visiting their partners in hospitals. Critics claimed it was only a token since few hospitals restrict who visits a patient. Others have claimed that it was small steps in the right direction.

April 22 - The Deepwater Horizon oil rig sank into the Gulf of Mexico. The rig was operated by BP. The amount of oil released daily is a matter of speculation, but estimates range in the tens of thousands of gallons daily creating one of the worst ecological disasters in US history. The oil spill devastated the Gulf Coast shrimping and fishing industries, as well as tourism.

May 1 - Faisal Shahzad, a domestic terrorist, attempted to bomb Times Square with a car bomb filled with explosives, fireworks, fertilizer and various other flammable and explosive things. The bomb failed when the homemade timer failed. He was later arrested trying to flee the country.

May 20 - Scientists working for Craig Ventner announce they have created the first synthetic cells that are self-replicating and whose genetic heritage started in the computer.

May 26 - BP begins trying a method of clogging the oil pipe known as a "top kill" method that involves pumping heavy drilling mud into the pipe.

May 28 - President Obama visited the Gulf Coast to survey the damage caused by what is known as the BP oil spill. By this time, it is still unknown if the top kill method will be affective in stopping the high pressure leak of both natural gas and oil. Head of the US minerals management service resigns. It is estimated that by this time as many as 18 million gallons of oil have leaked into the gulf, with a projected million gallons per day leaking.

June 6 - BP says newly installed cap catching a majority of the oil leaking from the damaged pipe at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

June 8 - While BP is capturing as many as 10,000 barrels a day from the partially-capped well head, no one knows how many tens of thousands of barrels are still escaping each day. Complaints started about the fact that even though BP agreed to pay all reasonable loss claims, people have said that BP is paying small portions of their losses, not their entire losses. Fear began that losses would be fought for years in court.

June 10 - More than 12000 nurses walked off the job Thursday for a one-day strike at 14 Minnesota hospitals, a show of force being watched by many across the country as a test of how fiercely a new national nurses' union can flex its muscle.

June 11 - Estimates of the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico are doubled by government experts. Tensions rise against BP and between the US and England partially due to President Obama's suggestion that BP forgo its dividend payment to investors and pay damages to South Coast businesses instead. It is announced that by the end of June ships will arrive from the North Sea to increase capture capability and by mid-July a new containment system would be in place along with a possible permanent solution in August.

July 8 – The first 24-hour flight by a solar powered plane is completed by the Solar Impulse.

July 15 - BP stopped the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from its deep-sea well for the first time since it ruptured in April using a cap. This will stop the flow long enough to take permanent measures through a relief well.

July 25 – Wikileaks, an online publisher of anonymous, covert, and classified material, leaks to the public over 90,000 internal reports about the United States-led involvement in the War in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010

August 3 - BP begins the Top Kill method of permanently sealing the stricken oil well.

August 5 - U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker overturned California's gay-marriage ban Wednesday in a landmark case that could eventually force the U.S. Supreme Court to confront the question of whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed.

September 9 - U.S. District Judge Strikes Down Military Ban on Gays

A federal judge in Southern California declared the U.S. military's ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment rights of gay and lesbians.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips granted a request for an injunction halting the government's ''don't ask, don't tell'' policy for gays in the military.

October 5 - Faisal Shahzad, the man who tried to bomb Times Square in May was sentenced to life in prison

October 22 - Wikileaks publishes 400,000 "secret" documents about the war in Iraq. They discuss topics such as how many civilians have been killed, the role of the Iraqi government in supplying insurgents with weapons among other topics. WikiLeaks called Friday's document drop "the largest classified military leak in history."

December 31 - The last Kodachrome processing machine is shut down. Dwayne’s Photo, a small family business which had become the last processor in the world of Kodachrome. At the peak, there were about 25 labs worldwide that processed Kodachrome, but the last Kodak-run facility in the United States closed several years ago, then the one in Japan and then the one in Switzerland. Since then, all that was left had been Dwayne’s Photo. Last year, Kodak stopped producing the chemicals needed to develop the film, providing the business with enough to continue processing through the end of 2010. In the last week of December the lab opened up the last canister of blue dye.

§U.S. Entertainment

May - Month of endings. The long running TV show 'Lost' came to an end. Also, American Idol judge, Simon Cowell, left the show after ten years. Art Linkletter, the host of "People Are Funny" and "House Party" of the 1950s and '60s, died on May 26th age 97, Gary Coleman died May 28th. He had been plagued by poor health all of his life. He is famous for the phrase, "Whatcha doin' Willis?", Dennis Hopper, "Hollywood's pain in the ass" famous for his role in Easy Rider died of prostate cancer on May 29th.

August 3 - Mitch Miller, famous for his "Sing Along With Mitch" TV program in the 1950s died.

§U.S. Economy

January 16 - In his weekly radio address, Mr. Obama said the large banks that are gearing up to dole out billions in bonuses can afford to pay his planned "financial crisis responsibility fee," which is designed to generate $90 billion over 10 years.

"Like clockwork, the banks and politicians who curry their favor are already trying to stop this fee from going into effect," Mr. Obama said. "The very same firms reaping billions of dollars in profits, and reportedly handing out more money in bonuses and compensation than ever before in history, are now pleading poverty."

"It's a sight to see."

October 22 - The Labor Department reported that 23 states and Washington, D.C., experienced decreases in jobless rates, while the rate rose in 11 states and was unchanged in 16. Fifteen states had rates above the 9.6% national average.

§U.S. Industry

September - The GE factory making ordinary incandescent light bulbs in the US closed this month, marking the exit for a product and company that can trace their roots to Thomas Alva Edison's innovations in the 1870s.

October 15 - The fraud case against Angelo Mozilo, former Countrywide CEO, is settled for $67.5 million. He admitted no wrongdoing.

October 31 - General Motors has ended the 84 year old Pontiac brand which peaked in 1968 making what have been known as 'Muscle Cars'.

§U.S. Law

November 1 - 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the U.S. government's request for a stay on a trial judge's order to stop the Don't Ask Don't Tell program while it challenges the trial court's ruling that the ban on openly gay service members is unconstitutional.

December 18 - The U.S. Senate voted to repeal Don't' Ask Don't Tell.

December 22 - President Obama signed the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell into law.

§U.S. Politics

January 1 - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg struck a humble tone in his inauguration speech on the first day of his third term.

January 16 - Haitians living illegally in the US have been granted an 18 month amnesty and permission to work in the US.

March 21 - House passes health care reform, the most sweeping social legislation in more than four decades. It is signed into law by President Obama on March 22nd.

April 5 - The Obama administration announced restrictions in US use of nuclear arms, renouncing development of new atomic weapons and heralding cuts in America's stockpile.

June 30 - Gen. David H. Petraeus was confirmed by the US Senate Wednesday as the new Afghan war commander, replacing ousted Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who was dismissed by President Obama after publication of a Rolling Stone Magazine article unfavorable to the current administration.

November 4 - Republicans took control of the house during mid-term elections. The Democrats maintained control of the Senate. Many of the governor's races were won by Republicans. Of note, Tea Party candidate, Rand Paul won his election. Many of the women backed by Sarah Palin failed to win their elections calling into question the effectiveness of the Tea Party.



February 7 - Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine's opposition leader, narrowly won the presidential election against Yulia Tymoshenko

October 11 - A train locomotive in Kiev, Ukraine rammed through a stalled passenger bus on a railroad crossing in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, killing 43 people and injuring eight others as the bus was pushed 300 meters (yards) down the tracks.


Kyrgyzstan votes in historic national election for first democratically elected parliament.



April 14 - A volcano under a glacier in Iceland erupted for the second time in less than a month, melting ice, spewing smoke and steam, closing a major road and forcing hundreds of people to flee rising floodwaters. This eruption was at least 10 time stronger than the previous eruption. Eight hundred residents from around the Eyjafjallajokull glacier were evacuated as melt water from the mountainside caused rivers to rise by up to 10 feet.

June 27 - Same-sex marriage became legal in Iceland after the Icelandic Althing passed a law on June 11, 2010 that defined marriage as a legal union between two individuals. No members of parliament voted against the bill, and public opinion polls suggest that the bill is popular in Iceland. Iceland is the ninth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. On the day Iceland´s law allowing gay marriage took effect, Icelandic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir married her partner, writer Jonina Leosdottir, according to one of the PM´s advisers.

They have been in a registered partnership for eight years and were able to convert the partnership into a marriage without a ceremony. Sigurdardottir, a Social Democrat, became PM last year when voters rejected Iceland´s center-right government.

§South America


July 15 - Argentina becomes the first nation in Latin America to legalize gay marriage, despite staunch opposition from the influential Catholic Church.

October 27 - Former President Nestor Kirchner died from a heart attack at the age of 60. His wife, Cristina, continues as President.


December 28 - Bolivia faced national protests after the announcement of a supreme decree to cut government subsidies for gasoline and diesel fuels, increasing the prices of those commodities.

December 31 - Following protests, Morales announced that the supreme decree would be annulled, saying that he was complying with his promise to "listen to the people". The protest measures were subsequently called off.


October 31 - Dilma Rousseff, of the Workers Party, won the presidential election after winning a runoff election.


January 17 - Billionaire, Sebastian Pinera is elected president of Chile. He is a right-leaning official after 20 years of left-leaning government.

February 27 - A magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck near Concepcion. Aftershocks continued pounding the area. Deaths were limited to under 800 but buildings and bridges collapsed. The quake caused a Pacific-wide tsunami which caused very little damage.

August 5 - 33 miners are trapped 700 meters underground in a San José copper and gold mine.

August 22 - A note attached to one of the probes sent down in search of the miners reveals they are alive. It reads: "All 33 of us are well inside the shelter." Food, medical supplies and messages are sent back down in response.

October 9 - The shaft being drilled for the rescue breaks through to the miners.

October 13 – Thirty-three miners near Copiapó, Chile, trapped 700 meters underground in a mining accident in San José Mine, are brought back to the surface after surviving for a record 69 days.


September 30 - Ecuador teetered on the verge of a government collapse, as national police took to the streets of Quito, the capital, and attacked the president over what they say was the cancellation of bonuses and promotions.

"This is a coup attempt," President Rafael Correa said in a TV interview a couple of hours after police lobbed tear gas at him. Correa, who was forced to flee to a nearby hospital, said police were trying to get at him. "They're trying to get into my room, maybe to attack me. I don't know," he said in a telephone interview with the state-run Ecuador TV. "But, forget it. I won't relent. If something happens to me, remember my infinite love for my country, and to my family I say that I will love them anywhere I end up."

October 1 - In a protest over cuts to wages and benefits, the military in Ecuador has seized the major airports in Ecuador, shutting down all air traffic in and out of the country.

§Netherland Antilles

October 10 – The Netherlands Antilles are dissolved, with the islands being split up and given a new constitutional status

§Southeast Asia


November 22 - A stampede that occurred during a festival near Cambodia's royal palace in Phnom Penh killed 339 people

§South Pacific

July 11 - A total solar eclipse was visible over much of the southern Pacific Ocean, touching several small islands including Tuamotu in French Polynesia and Easter Island, as well as the southern tips of Argentina and Chile in South America.


October 25 - A tsunami, triggered by a 7.7-magnitude undersea quake, slammed into the remote Mentawai Islands, causing destruction in villages in the south of the island chain and sweeping many people out to sea.

October 26 - Mount Merapi erupted. many were killed and injured, some with severe burns, as thousands living on the slopes of the volcano evacuated amid choking smoke.

§Myanmar (Burma)

November 7 - Myanmar held its first multi-party election in 20 years. While there was no immediate announcement of the results from Myanmar, also known as Burma, the outcome was never in question.

Opposition candidates were far outspent, outmanned and out-advertised by the two main parties backed by the country's military rulers. Twenty-five percent of parliamentary seats are reserved for the military. And the government-crafted constitution and skewed election rules heavily favored the regime's candidates.

November 13 Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest after 8 years. She has spent 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest.


August 23 – A hostage crisis occurs on board a bus in Manila. Nine people, including the hostage-taker, are killed


Tuatomo Mairau claimed he was recognized as the heir to the throne and bears the title Prince Marau of Tahiti. He is working to have royal trust lands returned to him and his family. The French government mortgaged the land after World War II, and in doing so violated the terms of the agreement signed with Pomare V in 1880 which reserved control of the trust lands for the royal family of Tahiti. The banks may be in the process of freezing the assets, and Mairau is suing to prevent native Tahitians from being evicted from his trust lands, and wishes for them to retain their usage rights over the land.

Hau Pakumotu was arrested in early June 2010 for illegally issuing ID cards for his republic.


May 14–26 - STS-132 is the final mission for the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis.

June 13 - The Japanese, Hayabusa probe returned from taking samples from the near-Earth asteroid Itokawa. The mission took 7 years and is the first craft from Earth to return from a body in space other than the moon.

September - Astronomers at Keck Telescope in Hawaii discovered what is being called the "Goldilocks Planet" because it is not too hot and not too cold. The planet is in orbit around the star named Gliese 581g and is the first exoplanet discovered that sits in an area where water could exist on the planet’s surface. It is 200 light years from Earth.

October 10 - Virgin Galactic, the US company developing the world's first commercial manned space flight system and tourism business, announced the successful completion of the first piloted free flight of SpaceShipTwo, named the VSS Enterprise. The spaceship was released from its mothership at an altitude of 45,000 ft (13,700 metres).

During its first flight the spaceship was piloted by Pete Siebold, assisted by Mike Alsbury as co-pilot. The two main goals of the flight were to carry out a clean release of the spaceship from its mothership and for the pilots to free fly and glide back and land at Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

October 28 - While trying to extricate itself, the Spirit Rover found evidence of water on Mars. Analysis of the soil samples shows that there is subsurface water.


January - The NASA Spirit Rover is stuck. Attempts to move it have taxed dwindling power reserves the rover needs to run a heater to survive the Mars Winter.


  • January 28 - J.D. Salinger, Author of 'The Catcher in the Rye,' at 91
  • April 1 - Henry Edward "Ed" Roberts (b. September 13, 1941) American engineer, entrepreneur and medical doctor who designed the first commercially successful personal computer in 1975. He is most often known as the "the father of the personal computer".
  • May 5 - Yar'Adua, Nigerian President
  • September 30 - Actor Tony Curtis age 85
  • November 28 - Actor and comedian Leslie Nielsen age 84
  • December 7 - Elizabeth Edwards age 61 of cancer, estranged wife of former Senator John Edwards


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Page last modified on December 01, 2014, at 10:42 AM