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This Day in History - January 18

Thursday, January 18, 2018

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Today is the 18th day of 2018. There are 347 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGLIGHT

2007: A woman who disappeared in the jungles of north-eastern Cambodia is found 19 years later. The woman — identified as Rochom P'ngieng, 27 — does not speak any intelligible language, but is recognised by a village policeman who claims to be her father.

OTHER EVENTS

1535: The city of Lima, capital of present-day Peru, is founded by Spanish conquistadors on the central Pacific coast of South America.

1778: English navigator Captain James Cook discovers the Hawaiian Islands, which he dubs the “Sandwich Islands”.

1788: The first English settlers arrive in Australia's Botany Bay to establish a penal colony.

1871: While Prussian guns bombard Paris, the Reich is formed when William I of Prussia is crowned the first emperor of Germany.

1912: English explorer Robert F Scott and his expedition reach the South Pole, only to discover Norwegian Roald Amundsen had got there first.

1915: With the European powers preoccupied with World War I, Japan secretly presents China with 21 demands for privileges.

1918: The first democratically elected national legislature in Russia opens in Petrograd. The Bolsheviks soon shut it down, marking the start of Communist dictatorship.

1919: The World War I Peace Congress opens in Versailles, France.

1943: The Soviets announce they had broken the long Nazi siege of Leningrad.

1952: Anti-British riots break out in Egypt.

1963: Government of Charles de Gaulle in France insists that Britain be barred from European Common Market.

1967: Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the “Boston Strangler”, is convicted in Cambridge, Massachusetts, of armed robbery, assault and sex offences.

1968: United States and Soviet Union agree on draft treaty to control nuclear weapons.

1989: Thousands of Czechoslovaks converge on Prague's central Wenceslas Square chanting “freedom”, ''truth”, and “human rights” on fourth-consecutive day of public dissent.

1992: More than 100,000 people attend Kenya's first legal anti-government rally in 22 years.

1995: A US jury awards more than 9,000 victims of torture under the regime of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos with $766 million from the Marcos estate.

2000: Helmut Kohl resigns as honorary chairman of the Christian Democratic Union, brought down by a campaign financing scandal that marks the stunning denouement of one of Europe's most respected statesmen and the man who reunited Germany.

2002: The Sierra Leone Government declares the country's 11-year-old civil war, which killed about 50,000 people — mostly civilians — over.

2008: Masai fighters in Kenya battle rival tribesman loyal to President Mwai Kibaki on the third, final and bloodiest day of protests over Kenya's disputed election.

2009: Israeli troops begin to withdraw from Gaza after their Government and Hamas militants declare an end to a three-week war.

2010: Taliban militants wearing explosive vests launch a brazen daylight assault on the centre of Kabul with suicide bombings and gunbattles near the presidential palace and other government buildings that paralyse the Afghan capital for hours.

2011: The UN tribunal investigating the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister warns against speculating about the sealed indictment, as a quiet show of force by Hezbollah rattles nerves amid fears the militant group will react violently if accused.

2012: Italians tally 11 dead, 21 missing from cruise ship disaster in which the $450-million Costa Concordia, carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew, slammed into a reef and flopped on its side off the tiny Italian island of Giglio after the captain made an unauthorised detour on his route.

TODAY'S BITRTHDAYS

Francois Michel Detellier, French statesman (1641-1691); Cary Grant, English-American actor (1904-1986); Chun Doo-hwan, former South Korean president (1931- ); Paul Keating, former Australian prime minister (1944-); Kevin Costner, US actor/director (1955- ); Jesse L Martin, US actor (1969- )

— AP

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