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Published:April 10th, 2008 11:58 EST
World Chronicle: April 10

World Chronicle: April 10

By Krzys Wasilewski

It happened today in the Gaza City, Gaza Strip…

The Gaza Strip is again without fuel, with Israel cutting off the only source to this Palestinian enclave. Such a drastic move from Jerusalem comes after Hamas, a radical Islamic organization, launched an attack on the Israeli depot. According to the Associated Press, the blockade is to last until the end of the weekend.

Hundreds of people thronged the streets of Gaza City to protest against the Israeli policy and demand strong retaliation. Some experts suggest that this is what Hamas hoped to achieve by attacking the Israeli fuel transfer point – to force Israel into an aggressive move and therefore make it appear as a peace spoiler.

It happened today in Rome, Italy…

Some people say that it could happen only in Italy. The Reuters news agency reports on Thursday that among politicians running for a city hall seat in the Italian capital is Milly D’Abbraccio, known for her adult following from such movies as “The Kiss of Cobra” and “Imperial Nymphomaniac.” The former porn star is a member of the Socialist Party and, if elected, plans to create a red light district – similar to the one in Amsterdam – that “would be something cute, clean – nothing to do with prostitution.” D’ Abbraccio’s posters include her naked pictures that voters can additionally admire on her personal website.

It happened 37 years ago in Beijing, China…

With the current problems concerning the Olympic Torch, it is hard to believe that sports can actually help diplomacy. It was on this day in 1971 that American ping-pong players became the first U.S. nationals to arrive in China since the Communists came to power 22 years earlier. The visit lasted seven days and was broadly covered by newspapers and television, being the single broadcast from China in over two decades. It was also a sign from Beijing that it was ready for the opening for new relations with the United States. Time magazine concluded that “ping pong was an apt metaphor for the relations between Washington and Peking.” President Nixon and his National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger rightly guessed the Chinese’s intentions and less than one year later, the American president landed in Beijing.

It happened 96 years ago in Southampton, England…

It was on a sunny Wednesday, April 10, 1912, that Captain Edward J. Smith gave orders to start the massive engines and began the maiden voyage to New York. The ship under his command was the RMS Titanic – the biggest, greatest and most luxurious vehicle that mankind had ever produced. With over 2,200 people onboard, among them a great number of millionaires, aristocrats, and artists, the Titanic was the symbol of the superiority of men over nature. But this megalomania was abruptly crushed when the speeding ship hit an iceberg, only four days after leaving Southampton. Efforts to save Titanic proved pointless and soon it was realized that the ship would sink in a matter of hours. The chaotic evacuation began. Eighteen out of 20 lifeboats were launched but only 706 people were rescued, most of them the first and second class passengers.

It happened 144 years ago in Mexico City, Mexico…

Back in the 1860s Mexico was still under French occupation. To make sure that his interests in the Western Hemisphere would be carried out, Napoleon III of France nominated Maximilian, a member of a powerful European dynasty, as the emperor of Mexico. The ceremony took place on April 10, 1864, but it wasn’t until May that the new emperor arrived in his adopted country for the first time. Many foreign governments, including the United States, refused to recognize the monarchy and believed that Maximilian would be soon deposed of. Two years later, facing problems in Europe, Napoleon III withdrew his troops from Mexico, leaving the emperor without any support in the upcoming insurgence. In 1867 the republican forces were strong enough to launch a powerful offensive which resulted in the capture of Maximilian. Despite calls from European monarchs and liberals alike, the new government sentenced Maximilian to death. The verdict was carried out on June 19, 1867.

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