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Tuesday, December 22, 1998
If the Knesset does not support this policy, we will go to the people...There is no doubt at all that the overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens want our policy to continue, peace based on reciprocity.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Israel's parliament voted overwhelmingly Monday to hold early elections after rejecting Netanyahu's Middle East peace policies
- U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen is scheduled to make a Christmas visit to U.S. troops at the NATO airbase in Aviano. Other stops include Macedonia, Sarajevo, Tuzla and Barcelona. He's also scheduled to visit the USS Nassau.
- The Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to meet in Washington to review interest rates.
- 101 year old World War I Veteran Ora D. Ockerman is to receive France's highest decoration, the Legion of Honor, in Bloomfield, Indiana.
- On Wednesday, December 23, Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma is scheduled to begin two days of talks with Turkmenistan President Saparmurat Niyazov in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Discussions will likely focus on gas supplies.
- On Thursday, December 24, Pope John Paul II is scheduled to observe Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at Vatican City.
- On Friday, December 25, Cuba will observe a national holiday. It was re-established by the Cuban Communist Party 29 years after it was abolished by President Fidel Castro.
- On Saturday, December 26, Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday, begins.
- On Sunday, December 27, the liftoff of a joint U.S.and Australian round-the-world balloon flight is tentatively scheduled at Alice Springs, Australia by Team Re/Max, cruising at 130,000 feet.
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- Actress Barbara Billingsley ("Leave It to Beaver") is 76.
- Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton is 54.
- Actor Hector Elizondo ("Pretty Woman") is 62.
- Actor Ralph Fiennes ("Schindler's List") is 36.
- Former baseball player Steve Garvey is 50.
- Journalist Diane Sawyer is 52.
- Golfer Jan Stephenson is 47.
- In 640, The Saracens under Amrou conquered Alexandria, having invaded Egypt two years earlier.
- In 1715, James Stuart, the "Old Pretender" and claimant to the British throne, landed at Peterhead from exile in France to start a rebellion.
- In 1807, The U.S. Embargo Act took effect, banning trade with Britain, France and the rest of the world. Passed by Congress, it aimed to force Britain and France to stop harassing American trade.
- In 1894, Alfred Dreyfus, French artillery officer, was convicted of selling secrets to Germany and sentenced to imprisonment on Devils Island. He was not completely exonerated until 1906.
- In 1917, Peace negotiations opened between the new Russian government and Germany at Brest-Litovsk.
- In 1929, A dispute between the Soviet Union and China over the Eastern Railway ended when both sides agreed to withdraw troops.
- In 1941, The Japanese launched a major attack with 80-100,000 troops in the Philippines at the Gulf of Lingayen.
- In 1968, The 82-man crew of the U.S. intelligence ship "Pueblo" were released after being seized by North Korea.
- In 1981, In Argentina, General Leopoldo Galtieri was sworn in as president after the Junta dismissed President Viola.
- In 1989, Romanian communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown in a whirlwind revolution after 24 years of hard- line rule. He escaped by helicopter but was recaptured and later executed.
- In 1992, A Libyan Boeing 727 with 158 people aboard crashed near the town of Souk al-Sabt, near Tripoli, killing all aboard.
- In 1993, South Africa's white parliament, sitting probably for the last time, buried apartheid, voting 237 to 45 to adopt an interim constitution leading to majority rule after the staging of the country's first all-race election.
- In 1993, The United States granted political asylum to Alina Fernandez Revuelta, one of Cuban leader Fidel Castro's children.
- In 1993, Residents of a small Spanish coastal town danced in the streets after learning they had won at least 32 billion pesetas ($230 million) in the world's biggest lottery -- El Gordo (the fat one). Many of Campello's 11,000 people had bought pieces of a winning ticket.
- In 1994, Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned after his government was toppled by a mutiny by the Northern League coalition party.
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