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15 Dec
2015
Tim Peake became the first official UK astronaut when he blasted off aboard a Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station with Russian commander Yuri Malenchenko and American…Tim Peake became the first official UK astronaut when he blasted off aboard a Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station with Russian commander Yuri Malenchenko and American astronaut Tim Kopra
2 years ago
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15 Dec
2014
A lone gunman seized 17 hostages at a cafe in central Sydney, Australia. Police commandos stormed the cafe in Martin Place after a 16-hour standoff and shot dead the gunman. Two…A lone gunman seized 17 hostages at a cafe in central Sydney, Australia. Police commandos stormed the cafe in Martin Place after a 16-hour standoff and shot dead the gunman. Two hostages died during the police raid
3 years ago
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15 Dec
2013
Joan Fontaine, one of the most successful film stars of the 1940s and 50s, died in California at age 96. Fontaine, the younger sister of fellow star Olivia de Havilland, starred in…Joan Fontaine, one of the most successful film stars of the 1940s and 50s, died in California at age 96. Fontaine, the younger sister of fellow star Olivia de Havilland, starred in Alfred Hitchcock's first Hollywood film, Rebecca, before winning an Oscar as a vulnerable wife in the movie Suspicion in 1942
4 years ago
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15 Dec
2013
Great Train robber Ronnie Biggs, member of the infamous gang which held up the Glasgow to London mail train in August 1963 and stole £2.6 million ($4.3m), died at a care home in…Great Train robber Ronnie Biggs, member of the infamous gang which held up the Glasgow to London mail train in August 1963 and stole £2.6 million ($4.3m), died at a care home in London, aged 84. Sentenced to 30 years in jail, Biggs escaped to South America where he lived the high life in Brazil, before returning to the UK - and prison - in 2001
4 years ago
15 Dec
2012
Egypt held a controversial referendum on a new constitution amid growing unrestEgypt held a controversial referendum on a new constitution amid growing unrest
5 years ago
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15 Dec
2011
Former French President Jacques Chirac, 79, was given a two-year suspended prison sentence for diverting public funds and abusing public trust. He was not in court to hear the…Former French President Jacques Chirac, 79, was given a two-year suspended prison sentence for diverting public funds and abusing public trust. He was not in court to hear the verdict owing to ill-health but denied wrongdoing. The charges related to his time as mayor of Paris, between 1977 and 1995, when he was accused of hiring party members to fill non-existent municipal jobs. Chirac, 79, and President from 1995 to 2007, was the first former French head of state to be convicted since Marshal Philippe Petain, the leader of the wartime Vichy regime, was found guilty in 1945 of collaborating with the Nazis
6 years ago
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15 Dec
2010
American film director Blake Edwards, died aged 88. Best known for the hugely successful Pink Panther film series with the British comedian Peter Sellers, he also directed…American film director Blake Edwards, died aged 88. Best known for the hugely successful Pink Panther film series with the British comedian Peter Sellers, he also directed Breakfast at Tiffany's, 10, and a number of musicals starring his second wife, Julie Andrews. In 2004, he received an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of his writing, directing and producing an extraordinary body of work for the screen
7 years ago
15 Dec
2010
Ghana begin pumping its first oil since a discovery in an offshore field three years earlierGhana begin pumping its first oil since a discovery in an offshore field three years earlier
7 years ago
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15 Dec
2010
At least 30 asylum seekers died when their boat was wrecked off the coast of Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Around 40 survivors, mainly of Iraqi, Iranian and Kurdish origin,…At least 30 asylum seekers died when their boat was wrecked off the coast of Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Around 40 survivors, mainly of Iraqi, Iranian and Kurdish origin, were rescued
7 years ago
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15 Dec
2009
Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner passenger aircraft made its successful maiden flight in Seattle, Washington, after a delay of two-and-a-half years caused by a series of hitches…Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner passenger aircraft made its successful maiden flight in Seattle, Washington, after a delay of two-and-a-half years caused by a series of hitches including design problems. Boeing claimed the Dreamliner was one of the world’s most fuel-efficient planes thanks to its construction of lightweight composite materials, requiring up to 20 percent less fuel than other aircraft of its size
8 years ago
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15 Dec
2008
The ongoing cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe that began in August 2008 had now swept across much of the country, killing over 1,000 people, and infecting more than 18,500 people in all…The ongoing cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe that began in August 2008 had now swept across much of the country, killing over 1,000 people, and infecting more than 18,500 people in all but one of Zimbabwe’s provinces. The outbreak had also spread to Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia
9 years ago
15 Dec
2007
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf lifted the state of emergency that he imposed on November 3Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf lifted the state of emergency that he imposed on November 3
10 years ago
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15 Dec
2006
Reformers and moderates came out on top in elections in Iran for local councils and the Assembly of Experts, which advises the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.…Reformers and moderates came out on top in elections in Iran for local councils and the Assembly of Experts, which advises the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a leading moderate who had lost 2005 presidential election to hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, polled more votes than any other candidate as he was re-elected to the Assembly
11 years ago
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15 Dec
2006
Retired Formula One driver Clay Regazzoni was killed in a car accident when his Chrysler Voyager was involved in a collision with a lorry on a motorway near Parma, Italy. The…Retired Formula One driver Clay Regazzoni was killed in a car accident when his Chrysler Voyager was involved in a collision with a lorry on a motorway near Parma, Italy. The 67-year-old Swiss won five of his 132 Grands Prix in an 11-year career, five of which were spent with Ferrari. He also gave the Williams team its first Grand Prix victory, at Silverstone in 1979. His F1 career ended when he was paralysed from the waist down in a crash at Long Beach in 1980 but he became one of the first disabled persons to participate in high-level motor sports such as the Dakar Rally and the Sebring 12 Hours sportscar race
11 years ago
15 Dec
2006
Saudi Arabia announced plans to build a separation barrier between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Construction began in 2014, following the rise of so-called Islamic StateSaudi Arabia announced plans to build a separation barrier between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Construction began in 2014, following the rise of so-called Islamic State
11 years ago
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15 Dec
2005
Iraqis went to the polls to elect the first fully constitutional parliament since the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. The new assembly, to serve for four years, was…Iraqis went to the polls to elect the first fully constitutional parliament since the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. The new assembly, to serve for four years, was dominated by political alliances formed along ethnic and sectarian lines
12 years ago
15 Dec
2004
Britain’s Home Secretary, David Blunkett, was forced to resign after it emerged that a visa for his ex-lover's Filipino nanny had been fast-trackedBritain’s Home Secretary, David Blunkett, was forced to resign after it emerged that a visa for his ex-lover's Filipino nanny had been fast-tracked
13 years ago
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15 Dec
2003
Former Nato commander Wesley Clark began two days of closed-door testimony in the war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague. Mr Clark, who directed the 1999 air campaign…Former Nato commander Wesley Clark began two days of closed-door testimony in the war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague. Mr Clark, who directed the 1999 air campaign against Serbia and was a member of the U.S. team that helped negotiate the 1995 peace agreement that ended the Bosnian war, was one of the best known figures to testify at the trial of the former Yugoslav president. He accused Milosevic of responsibility for years of death and destruction in the Balkans, including having advance knowledge of the planned massacre in Srebrenica, where 7,000 Muslim men and boys were killed
14 years ago
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15 Dec
2003
Protests interrupted the opening of a new branch of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. which included the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, the plane that…Protests interrupted the opening of a new branch of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. which included the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. Survivors and activists were angered that casualty figures from the attack were not included in the display. Around 140,000 Japanese died in the bombing itself, and many more from radiation sickness in later years
14 years ago
15 Dec
2001
The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopened to visitors after 11 years of delicate engineering work to reduce its tilt and prevent it from toppling overThe Leaning Tower of Pisa reopened to visitors after 11 years of delicate engineering work to reduce its tilt and prevent it from toppling over
16 years ago
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15 Dec
2000
European Union fisheries ministers agreed huge cuts in fish quotas to save key stocks from total collapse. Quotas for North Sea cod were slashed by 40 percent but fishermen were…European Union fisheries ministers agreed huge cuts in fish quotas to save key stocks from total collapse. Quotas for North Sea cod were slashed by 40 percent but fishermen were allowed to catch more hake, whiting and haddock than European Commission recommendations. European trawlermen said the cuts could deal a near fatal blow to their industry
17 years ago
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15 Dec
2000
The last functioning reactor at the Chernobyl power plant in the Ukraine was officially shut down, almost 15 years after an explosion and fire spread a radioactive cloud across…The last functioning reactor at the Chernobyl power plant in the Ukraine was officially shut down, almost 15 years after an explosion and fire spread a radioactive cloud across Europe in the world’s worst nuclear disaster
17 years ago
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15 Dec
1999
Israel and Syria resumed peace talks after a hiatus lasting almost four years. The most contentious issue was control of the Golan Heights, seized by Israel during the Six-Day War…Israel and Syria resumed peace talks after a hiatus lasting almost four years. The most contentious issue was control of the Golan Heights, seized by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967
18 years ago
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15 Dec
1999
Persistent heavy rain in Venezuela set off flash floods and mudslides that crashed down on a string of towns and villages along the Caribbean coast, killing at least 30,000 and…Persistent heavy rain in Venezuela set off flash floods and mudslides that crashed down on a string of towns and villages along the Caribbean coast, killing at least 30,000 and leaving 150,000 homeless
18 years ago
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