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This Day in History — March 8

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Today is the 67th day of 2019. There are 298 days left in the year.

 

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS

2011: The European Union adopts a plan to double its efforts to boost energy efficiency in order to cut greenhouse gases, partly by producing better household appliances, renovating public buildings and private homes, and driving improved cars.

 

OTHER EVENTS

1618: German astronomer Johannes Kepler devises his third law of planetary motion.

1702: England’s Queen Anne ascends the throne upon the death of King William III.

1765: Britain’s House of Lords passes Stamp Act to tax American colonies.

1865: A canal is begun in the Netherlands to connect Amsterdam with the North Sea.

1898: United States refuses to support Britain in its conflict with Russia over a loan to China.

1904: Germany revises 1872 anti-Jesuit law to permit return of some members of the Roman Catholic order.

1917: Riots and strikes break out in St Petersburg, marking the start of Russian Revolution.

1957: Ghana is admitted to the United Nations.

1965: United States lands 3,500 Marines in South Vietnam.

1969: Soviet Union puts its Far East army on alert as warning to China after frontier clash on Ussuri River.

1970: Cyprus President Archbishop Makarios escapes assassination when terrorist snipers shoot down his helicopter.

1986: Guerrilla violence in Colombia takes seven lives a day before national elections.

1987: Sri Lankan troops launch large new offensive, killing 11 separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Jaffna peninsula.

1989: Chinese troops converge on Tibetan capital of Lhasa to enforce martial law following three days of anti-Chinese rioting.

1990: West German Parliament adopts resolution calling on united Germany to honour Poland’s western border.

1996: China fires three ballistic missiles into waters off Taiwan’s main ports, two weeks before the island’s first presidential elections.

1997: Hundreds of people flee southern Albania, fearing clashes between the Government and armed insurgents.

1998: James McDougal, one of the most important cooperating witnesses in Kenneth Starr’s investigation into President Bill Clinton’s Whitewater real estate dealings, dies in prison.

1999: The US Energy Department fires a Taiwanese-born scientist suspected of handing over nuclear missile technology to China in the 1980s.

2003: An Argentine court releases an indictment ordering the arrest of four former Iranian government officials for their alleged role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were killed.

2004: A female wing of Nepal’s Maoist rebel movement, the All Nepal Women’s Association (Revolutionary), calls a general strike to protest violence against women, bringing this Himalayan kingdom to a standstill.

2005: The UN war crimes court indicts Kosovo’s prime minister for alleged atrocities while commanding ethnic Albanian insurgents against Serb forces in the struggle for control of the province.

2006: Tens of thousands of Sudanese march through Khartoum protesting plans to deploy UN peacekeepers in conflict-torn Darfur and demanding the expulsion of the top UN and US envoys in the country.

2008: US President George W Bush vetoes a Bill that would have banned the Central Intelligence Agency from using simulated drowning and other coercive interrogation methods to gain information from suspected terrorists. Barack Obama captures the Wyoming Democratic caucuses.

2013: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is lauded at his State funeral as a modern-day reincarnation of Latin American liberator Simon Bolivar and a disciple of Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

2014: Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 with 239 people on board, vanishes during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, setting off a massive search. (To date, the fate of the jetliner and its occupants have yet to be determined.)

2017: Many American women stay home from work, join rallies or wear red to demonstrate how vital they were to the US economy, as International Women’s Day was observed with a multitude of events around the world, including the Day Without a Woman in the US. Fire sweeps through a crowded youth shelter near Guatemala City, killing 40 girls.

 

TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

Richard Howe, English admiral (1726-1799); Oliver Wendell Holmes, US jurist (1809-1894); Juana de Ibarbourou, Uruguayan poet (1895-1979); Cyd Charisse, US actress-dancer (1923-2008); Lynn Redgrave, British actress (1943-2010); Aidan Quinn, US actor (1959- ); Camryn Manheim, US actress (1961- )

— AP

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Bomb blast hits tourist bus near Egypt pyramids, injuring 17

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GIZA, Egypt (AFP) — A bomb blast hit a tourist bus near Egypt’s famed Giza pyramids on Sunday, wounding at least 17 people, including South Africans, in the latest blow to the country’s tourism industry.

 The roadside bomb went off as the bus was being driven in Giza, also causing injuries to Egyptians in a nearby car, medical and security sources said.

 There were no deaths reported.

 “A device exploded and smashed the windows of a bus carrying 25 people from South Africa and a private car carrying four Egyptians,” the security source said.

Video footage captured by AFP showed the bus and car with broken windows on the side of the road.

According to the security source, the wounded were being treated for scratches caused by the broken glass.

Ndivhuwo Mabaya, spokesman for South Africa’s department of international relations, told AFP that “there might be South Africans involved” but declined to give any figures.

Sunday’s incident comes after three Vietnamese holidaymakers and their Egyptian guide were killed when a roadside bomb hit their bus as it travelled near the Giza pyramids outside Cairo in December.

It also comes just little more than a month before the African Cup of Nations hosted by Egypt is to kick off.

 Egypt has been battling an insurgency that surged especially in the turbulent North Sinai region following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who was replaced by former army general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

 In February 2018, the army launched a nationwide operation against militants, focusing mainly on the North Sinai region.

Some 650 militants and around 45 soldiers have been killed since the start of the offensive, according to separate statements by the armed forces.

Since first being elected in 2014, Sisi has presented himself as a bulwark against terrorism, promising stability and increased security.

Recently, the country’s vital tourism industry has started to slowly rebound after suffering strong blows due to deadly attacks targeting tourists following the turmoil of the 2011 uprising that toppled long time ruler Hosni Mubarak.

Figures by the official statistics agency showed that tourist arrivals reached 8.3 million in 2017, compared with 5.3 million the previous year.

Authorities have gone at great lengths to lure tourists back, touting a series of archaeological finds and a new museum next to the pyramids, as well as enhanced security at airports and around ancient sites.

 But that figure was still far short of the record influx of 2010 when more than 14 million visitors flocked to see the country’s sites.

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Is charity the new publicity stunt?

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Dear Editor, 

Recently, a famous dancehall entertainer lashed out at an Instagram follower who criticised one of her posts. 

In this particular video post, we see the entertainer delivering clothes and appliances to a needy family in Jamaica. The follower expressed that some people seem to be doing “things for fame” as their acts of charity are often posted on social media. Not surprisingly, she was subsequently hurled with some “bloody-bamboo” cloth for her comment. 

In a follow-up post, the entertainer explained that the items were donated by a number of people. Consequently, it was necessary to publicise their delivery so that the “people who donated their money can see [that] the stuff went to the people.” 

Certainly, I applaud people, such as this entertainer, for generously giving to those in need. Such an act is commendable, and many of us should really follow suit. However, like her follower, I am not always comfortable with the broadcasting of charitable acts. 

Last Christmas, I saw the showcasing of many similar charities. Several of my social media “friends,” for example, presented boxes of food to the homeless. Their kindness was heartening, but something about their doing was deeply off-putting.  

Some of these people presented the food in a manner quite akin to one presenting certificates at an award ceremony. 

They outstretched the food boxes with one hand, extended the other for a handshake, paused in position and smiled for the camera. The pictures were then plastered all over their Instagram and Facebook pages. Now, what is the real reason for doing all this? Who truly benefits? 

Growing up, I speculated that my mother gave away many of our outgrown clothes. They just disappeared. In fact, one day, I even saw a little girl in a dress resembling one I owned. However, I could only have assumed that it was mine as Mum kept all the recipients secret.

She feared that we would have flapped our mouths about these persons or worse, jeer the children for wearing “second hand”. Therefore, I learnt from very early that people may be very poor and needy, but they still have their pride. Allow people the privacy to enjoy what you give them.

Nobody wants to be on the road and constantly pointed at and talked about because he or she was broadcast on social media as a charity beneficiary. 

Please, continue to give, but you do not need to make a show of this. Charity should never be a social or political ploy. 

Shawna Kay Williams-Pinnock

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12-y-o Tameica Parry reported missing

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — A High Alert has been activated for 12-year-old Tameica Parry, student of Fairview Avenue, Kingston 11 who has been missing since Saturday, May 18.

Tameica is of dark complexion, slim build and is about 5 feet 3 inches tall.

Reports are that Tameica was last seen at home. Her mode of dress at the time she went missing is unknown. 

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Tameica is being asked to contact the Olympic Gardens Police at 876-923-5468, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.

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