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Monday, November 24, 1997

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  • "Had it not been for Jorge Mas Canosa, we probably would have had normal relations with Cuba. He has almost single-handedly blocked all that."

    -- Wayne Smith, who headed the U.S. Interest Section in Havana during the Carter administration. Mas Canosa died at age 58 Sunday.

    Today's events

  • Two-day summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, or APEC, begins in Vancouver.

  • European Union foreign affairs ministers are to meet in Brussels.

  • African, Caribbean and Pacific-European Union ministerial meeting is slated for Luxembourg.

  • Trial of some 40 Muslim fundamentalists gets under way in Paris in connection with 1995 bomb attacks in France.

  • Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari visits London and is scheduled to meet with Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Tony Blair.

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    On the horizon

  • On Tuesday, November 25, the "Italy Today" exhibition is to open in Beijing.

  • On Wednesday, November 26, Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov is to travel to Colombia for an official visit.

  • On Thursday, November 27, European Union budget ministers are scheduled to meet in Brussels.

  • On Friday, November 28, leading European media are to hold a joint conference to discuss the future of Europe.

  • On Saturday, November 29, Russian President Boris Yeltsin is to meet with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl for one-day talks at the presidential residence near Moscow.

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    On this day

  • In 1642, Abel Tasman discovered Van Diemen's land, named after his captain and later renamed Tasmania.

  • In 1784, Zachary Taylor, the 12th U.S. president, was born. Nicknamed "old rough and ready," Taylor won the presidency after his heroics in the Mexican War of 1846-48.

  • In 1859, Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species," a revolutionary work on evolution, was published.

  • In 1874, Joseph Farwell Glidden patented his invention of barbed wire, which he had first made a year earlier.

  • In 1922, Robert Erskine Childers, Irish author and nationalist, was executed for his support of the republican cause.

  • In 1939, Imperial Airways and British Airways merged to form the British Overseas Airways Corporation.

  • In 1944, Strasbourg was re-captured by a French armoured division under Leclerc with help from the U.S. Seventh Army.

  • In 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of President Kennedy, was shot dead by Jack Ruby at Dallas Police headquarters.

  • In 1965, Sheikh Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah became ruler of Kuwait following the death of his brother.

  • In 1969, U.S. Army Lt. William L. Calley, charged with the massacre of over 100 civilians in the Vietnamese village of My Lai in March 1968, was ordered to stand trial by court martial.

  • In 1976, an earthquake struck Turkey's Van Province, killing nearly 5,300 and injuring more than 5,000 others.

  • In 1989, Elias Hrawi was elected president of Lebanon following the assassination two days earlier of the newly elected Rene Muawad.

  • In 1989, the entire presidium and secretariat of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, including leader Milos Jakes, resigned following mass demonstrations in Prague. Karol Urbanek succeeded as General Secretary.

  • In 1991, pop star Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the pop group Queen, died of AIDS.

  • In 1995, Ireland voted in a referendum on whether to end a 70-year-old ban on divorce. It passed 50.28 percent to 49.72 percent.

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    World leaders gather Monday in Vancouver for the start of a two-day summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, or APEC. For more information on the 18-member forum, check out the APEC site.


    Holidays and more

  • Japan celebrates Labor Thanksgiving Day.

  • Myanmar, or Burma, marks National Day.

  • Writer and editor William F. Buckley is 72.

  • Former White House Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater is 55.

  • Opera Singer Alfredo Kraus is 70.

  • Actor Stanley Livingston is 47.

  • Actor Dwight Schultz is 50.

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    Sources: Associated Press,
    Chase's Calendar of Events 1997, J.P. Morgan

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