Saturday, January 16, 2010

What happened in 2009?


             Jan.10: The UN calls for probe into possible Israeli war crimes. The toll surged to 821 and more than 3,300 people injured.
             Jan.11: British Director Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire based on Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup’s novel Q and A, emerges big winner at the 66th annual Golden Globes Awards in Beverly Hills, California. Composer AR Rahman bags best composer honors, the first Indian to win the award. Australian actor Heath Ledger earns a posthumous Golden Globe for his role in Batman blockbuster The Dark Knight, while British star Kate Winslet wins two awards for best drama actor in Revolutionary Road and supporting actor in The Reader.
             Jan.15: All 155 people on board a US Airways Pilot jetliner have a miraculous escape after the plane is landed in the Hudson River near Manhattan’s commuter ferry terminals following a bird hit after take off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
             Jan.20: Barack Hussein Obama is sworn in the 44th President of the U.S. breaking color barrier. Joe Biden takes oath as the 47th Vice President.
             Jan.21: The U.S President Barack Obama orders suspension of trial proceedings by the military tribunals in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
In a rare do-over, Barack Obama is sworn in for the second time as the U.S. President.
             Hillary Rodham Clinton is sworn in the U.S. Secretary of State in Washington DC.
             Jan.22: The U.S. President Barack Obama orders closure of the Guantanamo Bay military detention centre in Cuba within a year.
             Jan.23: Japan launches the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellites, the world’s first satellite dedicated to monitoring greenhouse gas emission from Tanegashima, a small island.  
             Jan.28: The U.S. House of Representative gives nod to an $ 819 billion stimulus package.

             Feb.1: Johanna Sigurdardottir takes over as Iceland’s first woman Prime Minister.
             Rafael Nadal wins the men’s title of the Australian Open.
             Feb.8: Slumdog Millionaire sweeps the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards winning seven major awards, including for Best Film, Best Direction and AR Rahman’s music.
Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain wins Grammy in the contemporary World Music Album category for his collaborative album ‘Global Drum Project’.
             Feb.13: The U.S. Congress gives nod for a $787 billion stimulus package.
             Feb.14: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia appoints for the first time a woman Noura al-Fayez, Deputy Minister for girl’s education.
             Nikkitasha Marhawa, an Indian-American from Chicago is crowned Miss India worldwide 2009 at an event in Durban, South Africa.
             Feb.16: The Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wins referendum on scrapping term limits for elected posts, paving the way for his seeking re-election in 2012 and beyond.
             Feb.22: Slumdog Millionaire, a small budget British film bags eight Oscars at the 81st Academy Awards function in Hollywood, including Best Director (Danny Boyle), Original Music Score and Song (AR Rahman, the first Indian to get two Oscars), Sound Mixing (Resul Pookutty shared it with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke), Best Picture.
             Smile Pinki, the tale of a little girl with a cleft lip, Pinki Sonkar from Uttar Pradesh gets Oscar for Best Documentary (Short).


           March 1: Chang’e-1, China’s first lunar probe impacts the Moon ending its 16-month mission.
           March 3: Five members of the Sri Lankan cricket team are injured as a dozen gunmen ambush the moving convoy of vehicles transporting the team in Lahore’s Liberty Chowk.
           March 11: Virender Sehwag scores India’s fastest ODI hundred against host New Zealand.
           March 26: U.S. software pioneer Charles Simonyi becomes the first person to travel twice to space as a tourist as he blasts off to the International Space Station on a Russian rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on the Kazakh steppe.
            Russian-French mathematician Mikhail Leondovich Gromov is chosen for the Abel Prize for 2009.
           March 28: Ninety countries take part in ‘Earth Hour 2009’, a global event in which landmarks and homes go dark to highlight the threat from climate change.
           March 31: Chelsea wins the FA Cup, beating Everton in the final.


            April 2: The G 20 summit in London pledges $1.1 trillion to boost global economic growth. Leaders agree on measures to reform the banking system.
            April 3: Najib Tun Razak is sworn in Malaysia’s sixth Prime Minister in the capital Kuala Lampur.
            April 4: France returns to the NATO fold at the both anniversary summit of the Organization at Strasburg. Albania and Croatia become new members. Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is named the next Secretary-General.
            April 26: The WHO declares the swine flu caused by the virus H1N1 that has claimed many lives in Mexico and spread to the U.S. and New Zealand a “public health event of international concern”.
            April 28: The WHO raises swine flu alert level. The epidemic spreads to West Asia and Asia-Pacific regions.


           May 1: The first confirmed case of swine flu- now termed AH1N1 flu by the WHO in Asia is recorded in Hong Kong.
The British Government appoints Scottish poet Carol Ann Duffy the country’s first woman poet Laureate.
           May 7: Patxi Lopez assumes office as the first non-nationalist President of the Basque region.
           May 21: Former British Gorkha soldiers win a major victory after the government accepts their demand to settle in Britain.
            Apa Sherpa of Nepal who lives in the U.S.Mount Everest for a record 19th time. climbs
           May 24: Australian Director Michael Haneki’s The White Ribbon is awarded the Palme d’or at the Cannes film festival.
           May 27: Canadian short story writer Alice Munro wins the 60,000 pound Man Booker International Prize.
           May 28: Indian-American teenager Kavya Shivshankar wins the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee competition in Washington.


             June 11: The WHO declares a swine flu pandemic the first global flu epidemic in41 years as infectious climb up to nearly 30,000 cases.
             June 12: The United Nations Security Council votes unanimously to slap tougher sanctions on North Korea.
             June 13: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan are declared ‘Actors of the Decade’ at the International Indian Film Academy Awards ceremony in Macau.
             June 17: The U.S. President Barack Obama extends partial federal benefits to same-sex partners of U.S. government workers.
             June 18: The U.S. Senate votes to offer a formal apology for slavery and segregation inflicted on African-Americans.
              June 23: Indian-born Briton Lord Swraj Paul to be appointed a Privy Councillor.
             June 25: Pop King Michael Jackson (50) dies at the UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles after arriving in a coma. His entertainment career hit high water marks with the release of “Thriller” in 1982.
             June 27: China announces the passing of a first of its kind law to facilitate the fair settlement of land disputes.
             June 29: Convicted swindler Bernard Madoff is sentenced to 150 years in prison for fraud by a Manhattan Court.
             The Honduran Congressional President, Roberto Micheletti is sworn in the nation’s President.

             July 2: Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano is elected the new chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
             July 5: Roger Federer wins a record 15th grand slam by triumphing at Wimbledon.
            July 7: The U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian Counterpart Dmitry Medvedev sign a pact that sets a new limit on 1675 on nuclear warheads after the first Russian-American Summit in eight years in Moscow.
             July 10: The Major Economies Forum Summit in L’Aquila, Italy arrives at a “historic consensus” on concrete goals on climate change.
             A new General Motors emerges from bankruptcy under a U.S. government plan to rescue the troubled U.S. auto giant.
             July 18: Mandela Day launched as the former South African President Nelson Mandela turns 91
             July 20: NASA observes 40th anniversary of first human landing on the moon.
            Myanmar leader Dang San Suukyi is conferred with the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for peace and Reconciliation at a function in Durban.
             July 21: The U.S. State Department backs restricting transfers of enrichment and reprocessing technology to India.
             July 24: Usain Bolt powers away from a top-class field to win the 100 meters event at the London Grand Prix.
             July 25: Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is declared re-elected by a landslide margin.


            Aug. 3: Anders Fogh Rasmussen assumes office as NATO Secretary-General.
              Indian social activists Deep Joshi, Ka Hsaw Wa of Myanmar, Yu Xiaogang and Ma Jun of China, Antonio Oposa Jr. of the Philippines and Krisana Kraisintu of Thailand are named winners of the Raman Magsaysay Award for 2009.
            Aug. 6: The U.S. Senate confirms Puerto Rican Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
            Aug.  8: Sonia Sotomayor is sworn in as the U.S. Supreme Court’s first Hispanic Justice and third female member in the court’s 220-year history.
            Aug. 12: The U.S. President Barack Obama bestows the Presidential Medal of Freedom on 16 luminaries, including physicist Stephen Hawking, actor Sydney Poitier, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and tennis great Billie Jean King.
            Aug.  13: U.S. researchers discover a way to identify drugs that can specifically attack and kill cancer cells.
            Aug. 16: Usain Bolt breaks his own world record in the 100 meter event as he cloaks 9.54 seconds, at the World Championship in Berlin.
            Aug.  20: Usain Bolt breaks the world record, cloaking 19.19 seconds in the 200 meter event at the World Championship.
            Aug.  23: Venezuela’s Stefania Fernandez is crowned Miss Universe 2009 by incumbent crown holder and compatriot Dayana Mendoza at a pageant in the Bahamas.
            Aug. 24: The publisher of the world’s largest circulatedmagazine Reader’s Digest files for bankruptcy protection in the U.S.


            Sept. 12: Lebanon,an Israeli film bags the Golden Lion at the 66th Venice Film Festival. An Iranean film Zanan Bedoone Mardan bags the Silver Lion. Colin Firth gets the best actor award in Tom Ford’s A Single Man and Tsenia Rappoport is given the best woman actor award for her role in the Italian film La Doppia Ora.
            Sept. 16: Yukio Hatoyama is appointed as Japan’s Prime Minister.
            Sept. 22: Irina, Bokova, Bulgaria’s former Foreign Minister becomes the first woman to head UNESCO.
            Sept. 24: World powers adopt a landmark resolution seeking to rid the planet of nuclear arms at an unprecedented U.N. Security Council Summit chaired by U.S. President Barack Obama.
            Scientists report a breakthrough in the quarts century fight against HIV AIDS after an experimental vaccine cuts risk of infection in humans.
            Sept. 27: The German Chancellor Angela Merkel wins a second four-year term.
            Sept. 29: At least 150 people are killed as a Tsunami triggered by an earthquake flattens villages in the South Pacific Islands of Samoa and American Samoa

            Oct. 1: The People’s Republic of Chinath anniversary celebrations. stages the largest military display in its history as part of its 60
            Oct. 1: Gautam Gambhir wins the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year Award while M.S.Dhoni wins the ODI Player of the Year Award.
            Oct. 2: Marking the International Day of Non-Violence, the United Nations releases a stamp on Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his 140th birth anniversary.
            Oct. 5: Americans Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak win the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres- a vital factor in cell ageing. The trio had won the 2006 Lasker Prize for the same work.
            Oct. 6: Three Americans Charles K. Kao, Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith share the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for developing fibre-optic cable and the senson at the heart of digital cameras.
            British Novelist Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, a historical novel about the rise of King Henry VIII’s adviser Thomas Cromwell wins the 2009 Man Booker Prize.
            Oct. 7: India-born American Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and fellow American Thomas Steitz along with Israeli Ada Yonath share the 2009 Chemistry Nobel Prize for showing how the ribosome, which produces protein, functions at the atomic level using X-Ray crystallography.
            Oct. 8: Herta Mueller, a member of Romania’s ethnic German minority wins the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature.
            Oct. 9: The U.S. President Barack Obama is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009
            Oct. 12: Americans Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson win the 2009 Economics Nobel Prize for their analysis of economic governance. Ostrom is the first woman to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences since its inception in 1968.
            Oct. 13: Alyn Ware of New Zealand, Congo’s Rene Ngongo, David Suzuki of Canada and Australian-born physician Catherine Hamlin are named co-winners of the 2009 Right Livelihood Award, the so-called “alternative Nobel”.
            Oct. 16: Queen Elizabeth II formally opens the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court situated in London’s Parliament Square. It was established on October 1.
            Oct. 17: The Maldivian Cabinet signs a declaration appealing to global leaders to save their atoll nation from being swamped by rising sea water after a underwater meeting in Girifushi near the capital Male.
            Oct. 20: Susilo Bambang Yudhoyona begins the second five-year term as Indonesia’s first directly elected President.
            Oct. 26: Tunisia’s President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali is re-elected for a fifth term. He took power in a bloodless coup in 1987.
            Oct. 29: China’s fastest super computer Tianhe(Milky Way) is unveiled on the National University of Defence Technology campus in Changsha, Hunan province.


            Nov. 6: The United Nations General Assembly endorses the 575-page report by South African Jurist Richard Goldstone that focuses on alleged war crimes during the 22-day Gaza conflict early this year.
            Nov. 7: The U.S. House of Representatives approves healthcare bill in a 220-215 squeaker.
            Nov. 10: Russia honors Mikhail Kalashnikou, father of the world’s most famous gun AK-47, with the country’s highest award, Hero of Russia.
            Nov. 15: Sachin Tendulkar completes 20 years in International cricket.
            Nov. 20: The Big Bang machine or the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest atom smasher, starts operating again 14 months after a technical snag caused one tonne of Helium to leak into the 27 kilometer tunnel that houses it.
            Nov. 25: Dubai World, the fulcrum of the United Arab Emirates economy asks for a standstill agreement to delay repayment by six months on most of its $59 billion of debt.
            Nov. 29: Jose Mujica, the former leftist Tupamaro guerrilla fighter is elected Uruguay President.
            Nov. 30: The Big Bang Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research near Geneva creates a world record by accelerating beams to the highest energy ever achieved in a particle collider.
             Porfirio “Pepe” Lebo is elected Honduras President.


Dec. 4: The Nepal Cabinet holds a historic meeting at the Everest Base Camp in Kalapatthar at an attitude of 17,192 feet to highlight damage to the Himalayas due to climate change. An Everest Decleration is issued.
Dec. 6: Indian cricket team reaches the No.1 status in ICC Test Rankings.
Dec. 7: Bolivian President Evo Morales wins landslide victoryin general elections, seeking a second term.
The U.N. Climate Change Conference 2009 of 194 nations opens at Copenhagen, Denmark.
Dec. 10: The U.S. President Barack Obama is presented the Nobel Prize for 2009 in Oslo.

Tamil Nadu born Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, one of the three winners of the Chemistry Nobel receives the prize at a gala ceremony in Stockholm. The laureates from the other streams are also given the prizes.
Dec. 12: Gibralttar’s Kaiane Aldorino is crowned Miss World 2009 at a glittering ceremony in Johannesburg.
Dec. 14: African nations walk out of the U.N. climate change talks against efforts by rich nations to “kill Kyoto”.
Dec. 19: The “Copenhagen Accord”, a non-binding agreement of sorts is cobbled together after a marathon all-night plenary session at the climate change conference.
Dec. 22: Lionel Messi claims the World Player-Of-The-Year Award during the FIFA award function in Zurich.
Dec. 24: The U.S. Senate nod for landmark healthcare overhaul. Nod for Rajiv Shah’s nominations as USAID chief.
Dec. 26: China begins a high speed train service on the Wuhan-Guangzhou route.

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