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Wednesday, January 8
By The Associated Press
Associated Press
2014-01-01 09:22 AM

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 8, the 8th day of 2013. There are 357 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1499 - France's King Louis XII marries Anne, Duchess of Brittany.

1654 - Ukraine joins Russia.

1679 - French explorer la Salle reaches Niagara Falls.

1806 - Britain occupies Cape of Good Hope.

1815 - The Battle of New Orleans takes place with Andrew Jackson defeating the British army in the closing engagement of the War of 1812.

1912 - The African National Congress is founded in Bloemfontein.

1915 - Heavy fighting breaks out in areas of the Assee Canal in Belgium and Soissons, France, in World War I.

1918 - U.S. President Woodrow Wilson outlines his 14 points for peace after World War I.

1923 - France begins military occupation of Ruhr valley in Germany.

1926 - Ibn Saud becomes king of Hejaz on King Hussein's expulsion and changes name of kingdom to Saudi Arabia.

1959 - Charles de Gaulle assumes the presidency in France, inaugurating the Fifth Republic.

1964 - U.S. President Lyndon Johnson declares an "unconditional war on poverty in America."

1972 - Bangladesh leader Sheik Mujibur Rahman arrives in London after being released by Pakistan and appeals for recognition of his new nation.

1973 - Secret peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam resume near Paris.

1974 - Khmer Rouge in Cambodia intensify pressure on Phnom Penh with strikes north and south of the capital.

1982 - Settling an antitrust lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department, the American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) monopoly divests itself of the 22 regional Bell System companies.

1987 - The Dow Jones industrial average closes above 2,000 for the first time, ending the day at 2,002.25.

1989 - Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev says Kremlin is besieged by financial problems that are sapping his reforms.

1990 - East German official discloses that 60,000 members of secret police are still on government payroll despite the previous month's pledge that organization would be dismantled.

1991 - Four Belgians held captive for three years by a Palestinian group in Lebanon are released.

1992 - U.S. President George H. W. Bush collapses to the floor at a state dinner in Tokyo. The White House says he is suffering from stomach flu.

1993 - The deputy prime minister of Bosnia is shot to death by Serbian gunmen while Serbian rebel leaders consider an international peace settlement.

1995 - Russian troops pound Chechnya with rocket and mortar fire.

1996 - A cargo plane crashes into a crowded market in Kinshasa, Zaire (Congo), killing 255 people by the official count. The unofficial death toll reaches 1,000.

1998 - Ramzi Yousef, an Arab of uncertain nationality, is sentenced to life in prison plus 240 years for masterminding the World Trade Center bombing in New York that killed six people in 1993.

2001 - Lawmakers in Manila say they will decide by Feb. 12 whether to impeach the Philippine president, speeding a trial that has battered the economy and set the country on edge.

2003 - A U.S. Court of Appeals rules that U.S. citizens detained in combat abroad could be held indefinitely, without access to a lawyer, with only "limited judicial inquiry" into their detention.

2004 - Britain bans airlines from Albania, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Liberia, Tajikistan, Congo and Cameroon from flying in British airspace, citing inadequate safety and security regulations.

2005 - More than 100 police and security agents backed by five armored personnel carriers surround a house in the restive southern Russian region of Ingushetia and kill five alleged militants in a shootout.

2006 - A U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter crashes and kills all 12 Americans believed to be aboard, while five Marines die in weekend attacks in Iraq.

2007 - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announces plans to nationalize the country's electrical and telecommunications companies, one of his boldest moves in trying to transform Venezuela into a socialist state.

2008 - Sudanese troops shoot a U.N. convoy in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region, destroying a fuel tanker and wounding a driver in the first attack against the peacekeepers since their mission began earlier in January.

2009 - Leonidas Vargas, a convicted Colombian drug baron with links to two major smuggling cartels, is shot dead in a Madrid hospital.

2010 - The top U.S. military leader says the United States has no plans to send troops into Yemen, and that country has made it clear it does not want U.S. ground forces there.

2011 - Spain's leading broadcaster says it will no longer show the country's centuries-old tradition of bullfighting in order to protect children from viewing violence.

2012 - Iran begins uranium enrichment at a new underground site built to withstand possible airstrikes, a leading hard-line newspaper reports, in another show of defiance against Western pressure to rein in Tehran's nuclear program.

2013 - Obama administration officials say publicly for the first time that the U.S. might leave no American troops in Afghanistan after the end of combat in December 2014, an option that defies the view of Pentagon officials who say thousands of U.S. troops could be needed there to keep a lid on al-Qaida and to strengthen the Afghan army and police.

Today's Birthdays:

Jose Ferrer, Puerto Rican-born actor-director (1912-1992); Elvis Presley, U.S. singer (1935-1977); Shirley Bassey, Welsh-born singer (1937--); Yvette Mimieux, French actress (1942--); David Bowie, English singer-actor (1947--); Michelle Forbes, U.S. actress (1965--); Gaby Hoffman, U.S. actress (1982--).

Thought for Today:

Curses are like processions. They return to the place from which they came -- Giovanni Ruffini, Italian writer (1807-1881).

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