a 13 August:
2002 The stock of Six Flags (PKS) is downgraded by Bear Strearns from Buy to Neutral, by Goldman Sachs from Trading Buy to Market Perform, by Lehman Brothers from Overweight to Equal Weight, by Prudential from Buy to Hold, by Salomon Smith Barney from Outperform to Neutral. On the New York Stock Exchange PKS drops from its previous close of $11.86 to an intraday low of $4.75 and closes at $5.06. It had traded as high as $18.48 as recently as 02 May 2002, and at $40.00 on 19 July 1999. It had started trading at $18.56 on 29 September 1997. [5~year price chart >]
2002 Nancy Crystal Chavez, 1 month, and her siblings, ages 2 and 6, are placed by their mother, Margarita Chavez, in her minivan at 16:30 , as she has just finished shopping at the Wal~Mart Supercenter, 4350 Southwest Drive, Abilene, Texas. While the mother, leaving the sliding door open, returns a shopping cart 3 meters away, a fat woman, Paula Roach, 24, snatches the infant with her car seat (not yet buckled to the car seat) and drives away, dragging the screaming mother about 10 meters. Her husband is Salvador Chavez, a janitor at Dyess Elementary School. The Texas Amber Alert system, announced the previous day by the governor, is not yet operational, but an effort is made to have TV, radio, and electronic road signs publicize the kidnapping. The next day Paula Roach is caught as her car is pulled over near Quanah, Texas, 200 km north of Abilene, and the infant is with her, unhurt. Roach had suffered a miscarriage in December 2001.
[< photo: Nancy Chavez]
2002 Devastating floods in Europe
But they are nothing compared to what south Asia is suffering. The relative coverage of the two regions is a measure of the eurocentrism of the news media.
Tens of thousands of Czechs flee the low-lying areas of Prague for higher ground Tuesday as torrential rains swell the Vltava River and unleashed more flooding that has now killed at least 88 people across Europe. Churning toward Prague's Old Town, the heart of the capital and a popular tourist stop, the brown, swollen Vltava inflicted the worst flooding in more than a century on the Czech Republic. At least nine persons died after more than a week of heavy rainfall. Water engulfed Prague's historic Kampa island, flooding architectural gems dating to the Hapsburg Empire. Volunteers gathered around landmarks and scrambled to fill hundreds of sandbags in a desperate bid to save the city's treasures from rising waters. Into the night, cranes work under floodlights and in pouring rain to pull up crushed boats, barrels and even a refrigerator and help the swirling river slip past barriers. Volunteers spray plastic foam into the cracks between the sandbags to prevent water from seeping through.
At least 40'000 residents of low-lying areas of Prague a city of just over 1 million inhabitants are ordered to leave their homes, and a total of 200'000 are evacuated nationwide.
In neighboring Austria, where at least seven people have died, firefighters and Red Cross volunteers are stacking sandbags to hold back parts of the swollen Danube River, which flooded Vienna's port and some low-lying streets. The Danube punches through dams in the town of Ybbs in Lower Austria province. 8000 soldiers are battling floods in Upper Austria and along the Danube. The flooding affects an estimated 60'000 Austrians, who either are evacuated from their homes or suffer flood damage. In Salzburg province, more than 1000 buildings are under water, and in the badly flooded Danube town of Krems, residents are urged to abandon lower floors. Upper Austria offers the image of misery, a land submerged in water.
Most of Europe's flooding casualties are in Russia, where at least 58 persons were killed a few days earlier mostly Russian tourists vacationing on the Black Sea who were ambushed by flood waters that swept cars and tents out to sea.
In Germany, where firefighters and soldiers stacked sandbags to reinforce strained river banks, a 71-year-old man drowned in the previous night in flooding in Dresden, and a cascade of mud and water sweep away two adults and a child on this day. Numerous dams are in danger of breaking in towns along the Danube near Passau, a city on the Austrian border whose old town is completely submerged.
In Romania, flooding and strong winds killed at least seven people in recent days. In the eastern part of the country on 12 August, a small tornado struck a house, killing a 24-year-old woman and her 17-month-old baby.
Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla declared a state of emergency the previous night, and deployed 4000 soldiers throughout the country, and President Vaclav Havel cut short a Portugal vacation because of flooding that destroyed or rendered impassable more than a dozen bridges. The flooding is Prague's worst since 1890. The Vltava rises 5.8 meters above normal levels, flooding four districts near the city's historical center and prompting Czech television to broadcast a plea for sandbags and volunteers. Stores and offices lose power by mid-afternoon, forcing many to shut down, and the Prague Stock Exchange suspends trading. At the Zoo on the outskirts of Prague, about 400 animals are moved to higher ground. They included two rhinos who are moved with a crane and four gorillas who are sedated. A fifth gorilla is missing but presumed to be hiding within the zoo. Zoo employees kill a 35-year-old Indian elephant called Kadir after he ended up stranded up to his ears in a flooded part of the zoo and is in danger of drowning. A hippopotamus that escaped from its corral and became aggressive is also killed. The three female seals of the Prague zoo swim away to freedom, but two are soon recaptured; the one male seal stays.
In Prague, among other concerns, is that for the safety of the priceless artwork at the Mucha Museum, and at the Czech Republic National Gallery, which (3 days later) posts this on its web site:
| 2001 Portrait of a Lady Aged 62,
by Rembrandt van Rijn has been put up for sale at $35.6 million, Dutch art
dealer Robert Noortman announces. MORE
ON THIS AT ART 4 AUGUST with
links to images.
2000 The Russian Navy, whose idea of public relations dates to Soviet times and the Cold War, announces that the nuclear submarine Kursk has sunk this day to the bottom of the Barents Sea. In fact the sub sank the day before. This is only the beginning of a week of lies and bungling. Western offers of aid are haughtily rejected, and President Putin continues to enjoy his vacation at a Black Sea resort.
2000 Somalia swore in legislators for its first central government after almost a decade of internecine warfare.
1996 Proposal for 140-storey NY Stock Exchange building by Donald Trump, who wants New York to have again the world’s tallest building. The idea initially appealed Exchange officials and Trump enlisted the architects who designed Malaysia’s skyscrapers, but the “Exchange Tower,” like so many of Trump’s projects, never came to be.
1994 North Korea agreed to allow U.N. monitors to inspect a secret nuclear laboratory.
1993 Israel agreed for the first time to negotiate with a Palestinian delegation whose members belonged officially to the PLO.
1993 Dow Jones says that it will start in September a desktop news service that will provide customers with video interviews with business and government leaders, along with breaking business news.
1989 The wreckage of a plane that carried US congressman Mickey Leland and others on a humanitarian mission is found on a mountain side in Ethiopia; there are no survivors.
1988 Ronald J Dossenbach sets world record for pedaling across Canada from Vancouver, BC to Halifax, NS in 13 days, 15 hr, 4 min
1987 On the 5th anniversary of the bull market, he Dow Jones Industrial Average goes briefly above 2700 and closes the day at 2691.49.
1981 In a ceremony at his California ranch, President Reagan signs a historic package of tax and budget reductions.
| 1969 As relations worsen between China and the Soviet
Union, they accuse each other of sending troops across the Sinkiang border
at Sinkiang and inflicting heavy casualties.
1930 Capt. Frank Hawkes sets an air speed record by flying from Los Angeles to New York in 12 hours, 25 minutes.
1928 WRNY in Coytesville, New Jersey, becomes the first station to broadcast a television image, a 1.5 inch square image of a woman's face, to New York City, where it is viewed by 500 people.
1907 The first taxicab in New York City. Motorized taxicabs had actually begun appearing on the streets of Europe in the late 1890s. The taxi is named after the taximeter, a device that automatically records the distance traveled or time consumed and is used to calculate the fare. The term cab originated from the cabriolet, a one-horse carriage let out for hire
1906 Black soldiers raid Brownsville Texas
1898 Manila, the capital of the Philippines, falls to the US Army.
1876 Reciprocity Treaty between US & Hawaii ratified
1868 Quakes kill 25'000 & causes $300 million damages (Peru & Ecuador)
1862 Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest defeats a Union army under Thomas Crittenden at Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
1862 Skirmish on Yellow Creek, Missouri
1831 Nat Turner leads uprising of slaves in Virginia
1704 Battle of Blenheim: the Duke of Marlborough of England and Prince Eugene of Austria defeat the French Army, during the War of the Spanish Succession..
1680 War starts when the Spanish are expelled from Santa Fe, New Mexico, by Indians under Chief Pope.
1642 Christiaan Huygens discovers Martian south polar cap
1630 Emperor Ferdinand II dismisses Albert Eusebius van Wallenstein, his most capable general.
1624 French King Louis XIII appoints Cardinal Richelieu as his first minister.
0523 St John I begins his reign as Pope.
2009 Marchela Colorado Velásquez, 75, en Huatusco, Mexico, in an accident due to Bishop Eduardo Porfirio Patiño Leal, of the diocese of Córdoba, Mexico, losing control of the car he was driving. The following were injured: Nicolasa Colorado Molina, 72; Marcela Constanza Juárez, 57; Elvia Fernández Lencero, 42; Dante Solís Susol, 11; José Juárez Hernández, 13. —(090817)
2007 Yone Minagawa, Japanese woman born on 04 January 1893, the world's oldest living person (since the death of Emma Tillman [22 Nov 1892 – 28 Jan 2007]). Edna Parker [20 Apr 1893~], of Indiana, now becomes the world's oldest living person. —(070817)
2005 Leisha Choan, 23, her throat slit at 17:45 (12:10 UT) by Uzer Patel, 27, who came from behind while Leisha and her friend Ngakuim Raony, 20, both from Manipur state, India, were feeding pigeons at the Gateway of India in Mumbai. As Ngakuim tried to intervene, Patel slashed her critically on the forehead and walked away. He was immediately arrested. Earlier in the day, Patel, an unemployed resident of Jogeshwari in the western suburbs of Mumbai, apparently insane, had stabbed his father repeatedly over a domestic quarrel.
2005 Lakshman Kadirgamar [photo >], a Tamil Christian born on 12 April 1932, Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka since April 2004, dies at 00:15 (18:05 UT on 12 Aug) from having been shot several times in the head and chest two hours earlier, presumably by Tamil Tigers rebels, which he strongly opposed.
2004:: 156 Congolese Tutsi refugees, massacred at the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi. —(080812)
2003 Fifteen persons by bomb on a bus passing through Nadh Ali district in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on its daily route to the provincial capital Lashkargah. Six of the dead are children, one of the adults is a woman. Of the twenty persons aboard, five survive with injuries, including the driver.
2003 Two university students, by the accidental explosion of a bomb they were making at the home of one of them in Kabul, Afghanistan. A third student is wounded.
2003 At least 25 persons, most of them factional fighters, in fighting between forces of Amanullah, former ruler of Kajran district, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, and his successor Abdul Rahman Khan.
2002:: Already at least 874 dead from monsoon in south Asia.
Heavy rains washing down from the foothills of the Himalayas swelled rivers in eastern India, worsening monsoon flooding that has killed at least 874 people in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. New flooding is reported in northern regions of India's Bihar state and the Kosi River is flowing higher than normal. The death toll in the state, located between Nepal and Bangladesh, has climbed to 265 persons in flooding that began across the region in June. Thirty persons have died in neighboring Assam state. Floods have displaced or trapped more than 15 million persons in the two states, home to some 100 million persons.
While the incessant rains are the worst in four years, large parts of India are facing the worst drought in 14 years. Hundreds of districts in northern and western India, where farmers have lost most of their summer crop, sown in June and July, have been declared drought-hit.
In Nepal, which has seen the most deaths in the monsoon flooding, aid agencies appealed for help for thousands of people in Nepal left homeless by flooding and landslides. As many as 422 persons have been killed and 250'000 more injured in the flooding. Most of the landslides occurred in remote mountainous areas that have been cut off because of washed-out roads. The villages are now accessible only by helicopter, but the government doesn't have the funds or the helicopters to ferry help in quickly. Rising water levels have also increased the threat of typhoid, dysentery, malaria, encephalitis, and other diseases spread by water or mosquito.
In Bangladesh, at least 157 persons have been killed and 6 million have been stranded or displaced in the past two months. At least 1000 homes were washed away on 11 August when 2.5-meter-high swells engulfed Hatia island in Noakhali district, 120 km east of Dhaka. Some 55'000 persons are stranded in their submerged houses. Rising sea levels also inundated Patuakhali, a neighboring coastal of town of 80'000, leaving a third of the town under 1.2 m of water. The high tides are caused by a sudden rise in the sea level due to low pressure over the Bay of Bengal.
In the southern Bhola district, the Meghna River fed by floodwaters gushing downstream breached a mud flood barrier, inundating several villages and marooning at least 25'000. Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation of 130 million people, is crisscrossed by hundreds of rivers, many of which begin in Nepal, flow through India, before draining into the Bay of Bengal. Annual floods are common during the monsoon season of South Asia. This year's inundation is the worst in four years. More than 3000 persons died in 1988 in Bangladesh and another 1000 in 1998 floods.
2001 Khalil Nazaanah, from gunfire wounds suffered earlier in the day from Israeli police which were chasing him, a Palestinian from the West Bank village of Kufr Akab. He was suspected of killing Yuri Gushtzin, 18, whose body was found with stabbing and gunshot wounds near Ramallah on 24 July 2001.
1997 Carel Weight, English painter born on 10 September 1908. . MORE ON WEIGHT AT ART 4 SEPTEMBER with links to images.
1991 Jack Ryan, 65, inventor and entrepreneur who helped give birth to Barbie and Hot Wheels toys.
1961 Mario Sironi, Italian painter born on 12 May 1885. . MORE ON SIRONI AT ART 4 MAY with links to images.
1963 A 17 year-old Buddhist monk burns himself to death in Saigon, South Vietnam.
1956 Levytsky, mathematician
1945 35 Jews sacrifice their lives to blow up Nazi rubber plant in Silesia.
1936 Josep Tàpies i Sirvant [15 Mar 1869–]; Pascual Araguàs i Guàrdia [17 May 1899–]; Silvestre Arnau i Pasqüet [30 May 1911–]; Josep Boher i Foix [02 Nov 1887–]; Francesc Castells i Brenui [31 Jul 1866–]; Pere Martret i Moles [05 Jul 1901–]; and Josep-Joan Perot i Juanmartí [01 Jul 1877–]; are shot by firing squad in Salàs de Pallars, Lleida, Catalonia, during the Spanish Civil War for being Catholic priests. They would be beatified by Pope Benedict XVI [16 Apr 1927~] on 29 October 2005. — (060318)
1910 Florence Nightingale, born on 12 May 1820, British nurse famous for her care of British soldiers during the Crimean War (28 Mar 1854 - 01 Apr 1856) and for reforming English nursing and military hospitals. She wrote Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency and Hospital Administration of the British Army (1858).
1902 Ludwik Kurella, Polish artist, dies on his 68th birthday. — more with links to two images.
1896 Seidel, mathematician.
1896 John Everett Millais, British painter born on 08 June 1829. MORE ON MILLAIS AT ART 4 AUGUST with links to images.
1894 Remigius Adrianus Remy van Haanen, Dutch artist born on 05 January 1812.
1882 William Stanley Jevons, English flawed economist, statistician, logician, philosopher, born on 01 September 1835. Author of Pure Logic (1864), The Theory of Political Economy (1871).
1822 Argand, mathematician
1816 Per Hillestrom, Swedish painter born on 18 November 1732.
1638 Joachim Antoviszoon Uytewael, Dutch mannerist figure painter born in 1566. MORE ON UYTEWAEL AT ART 4 AUGUST with links to images.
1523 David Gheeraert Janszoon Oudewater, Flemish artist born in 1460.
1934 Li'l Abner, satirical comic strip by Al Capp, makes its debut.
1907 Alfred Alwin Felix Krupp, Essen, Germany, arms manufacturer
1902 Felix Wankel, Germany, inventor of the Wankel rotary engine (1954) [diagram >], which was used in Mazda cars. Wankel died on 9 October 1988. (Everything you were afraid to ask about the Wankel engine, and rightly so)
1899 Alfred Hitchcock, the macabre master of movie making, in London
A winner of five Best Director Academy Awards, he made a second career of cameo appearances in many of the eighty films he directed. In his first film, The Lodger, he appeared as an extra to help fill the screen, but continued his cameos in subsequent films, first out of superstition and then as a running gag to keep his audience's strict attention. Some of his films are Rebecca, Rear Window, Psycho, North by Northwest, The Birds, Vertigo, To Catch a Thief, Frenzy, Notorious, Suspicion, The Thirty-Nine Steps. He also hosted the TV show Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
1889 Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson, British artist who died on 07 October 1946. MORE ON NEVINSON AT ART 4 AUGUST with links to images.
1867 George Benjamin Luks, US Ashcan School painter who died on 29 October 1933. MORE ON LUKS AT ART 4 AUGUST with links to images.
1861 Burali-Forti, mathematician
1819 Sir George Gabriel Stokes, physicist, mathematician (Spectroscope)
1818 Lucy Stone, social reformer.
1814 Anders Jonas Ångström Sweden, physicist, founded spectroscopy. The unit angstrom = 10^(-10) m is named after him. He died on 21 June 1874.
1802 Nikolaus Lenau, in Csatád, Hungary (the name Csatád would be changed in his honor to Lenauheim), Austrian poet (Der Unbeständige Polenlieder Savonarola In der Neujahrsnacht Die Albigenser Waldlieder Eitel nichts ...) He died on 22 August 1850 Nach Jugendjahren in Ungarn (Pest, Tokaj, Preßburg) studierte Lenau 1822-1832 Jurisprudenz, Philosophie, Landwirtschaft und Medizin in Wien, Ungarisch-Altenburg, später in Heidelberg, brachte seine Doktorarbeit aber nicht zum Abschluß und lebte als freier Schriftsteller von einer bescheidenen Erbschaft. Von 1832 bis zu seinem geistigen Zusammenbruch 1844 führte er ein unruhiges Pendelleben zwischen Wien und der Wahlheimat Schwaben; mehrere Verlobungen brach er ab. Fast sechs Jahre dämmerte er bis zu seinem Tode in einer Irrenanstalt dahin. LENAU ONLINE: Blick in den Strom (1844) Faust (1836)
1704 Fontaine des Bertins, mathematician.
1655 Johann Christoph Denner He invented the clarinet, probably while trying to improve the chalumeau. He died on 20 April 1707.
1625 Bartholin, mathematician.
1576 David Vinckboons, Flemish painter who died in 1629. MORE ON VINCKBOONS AT ART 4 AUGUST with links to images.
1422 William Caxton, English writer and printer: 1st to print a book in English language: Recuyell of the Histories of Troy (1475) which he had translated from the French of Raoul Le Fèvre, which in 1470 had been the first book to be printed in French. Caxton died in 1491. He had also translated The Book of the Ordre of Chyualry (PDF) by Ramon Llull; The Curial by Alain Chartier; The Golden Legends or Lives of the Saints, by Jacobus de Voragine