Like all my blogs, this is a work in progress. I have many many thousands of pages of writings, articles and archived material from the past ten years which currently reside on hard drives and in boxes. My intention is to get all of this onto this blog in some form or other over the next few years.
Any entires that start looking rather good will be promoted to my main blog, Just Say Noam, and Twittered to death.
Until that day - please watch this space. Or not....


financial disaster

Election campaign

January 2008
First-ever photograph of the "unseen side" of Mercury, taken by the MESSENGER spacecraft on January 14.
January 1 – A suicide bombing occurs in Zayouna, Baghdad, killing over 25 people during a funeral over the deaths from the preceding attack. [9]
January 2 – The price of petroleum hits $100 per barrel for the first time.
January 3 – A car bomb detonates, killing at least 4 and injuring 68, in Diyarbakır, Turkey. Police blame Kurdish rebels. [10]
January 14 – At 19:04:39 UTC, the MESSENGER space probe is at its closest approach during its first flyby of the planet Mercury.[13]
January 21 – Stock markets around the world plunge amid growing fears of a U.S. recession, fueled by the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis. [15]
January 22 – Russia stages the largest naval exercise since the fall of the Soviet Union in the Bay of Biscay. The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, along with 11 support vessels and 47 long-range bomber aircraft, practises strike tactics off the coast of France and Spain, and test-launches nuclear-capable missiles in foreign waters. [16]
January 23 – Thousands of Palestinians cross into Egypt, as the border wall with Gaza in Rafah is blown up by militants. [18]

February 2008
February 4 – Iran opens its first space center and launches a rocket into space.[24]
February 4 – A Palestinian suicide bomber kills 1 and wounds 13 in a Dimona, Israel shopping center.[25]
February 5 – U.S. stock market indices plunge more than 3% after a report shows signs of economic recession in the service sector. The S&P 500 fall 3.2%, The Dow Jones Industrial Average 370 points. [26]
February 5–6 – A tornado outbreak, the deadliest in 23 years, kills 58 in the Southern United States.
February 7 – STS-122: Space Shuttle Atlantis launches to deliver the European-built Columbus science laboratory to the International Space Station. [28]
February 11 – President of East Timor José Ramos-Horta is seriously wounded in an attack on his home by rebel soldiers. Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado is killed by Ramos-Horta's security guards during the attack.[30]
February 12 – PDVSA, a state oil company in Venezuela, suspends sales of crude oil to ExxonMobil, in response to a legal challenge by them.[31]
February 17 – A suicide bombing by a Taliban member kills up to 80 in Kandahar, Afghanistan[34]
February 17 – Kosovo formally declares independence from Serbia, with support from some countries but opposition from others.[35]
February 18 – A general election is held in Pakistan, delayed from January 8 due to riots in the wake of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Opposition parties, including Bhutto's, take more than half of the seats, while President Pervez Musharraf's party suffers a huge defeat.[37]
February 19 – Fidel Castro announces his resignation as President of Cuba, effective February 24.
February 20 – The United States Navy destroys a spy satellite containing toxic fuel, by shooting it down with a missile launched from the USS Lake Erie in the Pacific Ocean.[39]
February 22 – Former building society Northern Rock is the first bank in Europe to be taken into state control, due to the U.S. subprime mortgage financial crisis. [41]
February 24 – Raúl Castro is unanimously elected as President of Cuba by the National Assembly.
European Jules Verne ATV docked the to International Space Station.March–April – Rising food and fuel prices trigger riots and unrest in the Third World.

March 2008
March 1 – In Gaza Strip, at least 52 Palestinians and 2 Israeli soldiers are killed in the most intense Israeli air strikes since 2005.[44]
March 2 – 2008 Andean diplomatic crisis: Venezuela and Ecuador move troops to the Colombian border, following a Colombian raid against FARC guerrillas inside Ecuador's national territory, in which senior commander Raúl Reyes is killed. [45][46]
March 6 – Eight Israeli civilians are killed and 9 wounded when a Palestinian attacker opens fire at a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem.[47]
March 9 – The first European Space Agency Automated Transfer Vehicle, a cargo spacecraft for the International Space Station, launches from Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana.[48]
March 14 – Demonstrations by Tibetan separatists turn violent as rioters target government and Han Chinese-owned buildings.
March 25 – A 414 square kilometer (160 sq. mi.2) chunk of Antarctica's Wilkins Ice Shelf disintegrates, leaving the entire shelf at risk.
March 29 – Presidential and parliamentary elections are held in Zimbabwe.[51]

American jets attack Basra, Friday March 28 2008
Claire Truscott and agencies
American jets carried out two airstrikes on Shia militia in Basra overnight as they came to the aid of Iraqi forces after four days of bloodshed. The Iraqi forces requested aerial support from the coalition on at least two locations, according to a British military official. He would not give further details about the targets or say how many people were killed or injured in t
(...)on Shia militia in Basra...southern Iraqi city last December...airstrike in Sadr City after...Basra to hand over their weapons by (...)

April 2008
April 27 – The Taliban attempts to assassinate Afghan President Hamid Karzai in a military parade in Kabul.[56]
April 28 – India sets a world record by sending 10 satellites into orbit in a single launch.[57]

In Basra without a paddle, Thursday April 10 2008
Robert Fox
Hundreds of American military personnel and "advisers" have been ordered into Basra where the American command believes British security policies have failed. Relations between local British and American commanders are reported to be as strained as at any time since the allied invasion to topple Saddam five years ago. This follows the failure of the offensive by Iraqi army uni
(...)to drive Shia militias from the streets...cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who the Americans...known as Sadr City. During the (...)

May 2008
May 7 – Dmitry Medvedev Takes office as President of Russia, replacing Vladimir Putin.
May 8 – Start of armed clashes and fighting in Lebanon.
“When Émile Lahoud's presidential term ended in October 2007, the opposition refused to vote for a successor unless a power-sharing deal was reached, leaving Lebanon without a president. On 9 May 2008, Hezbollah and Amal forces, sparked by a government declaration that Hezbollah's communications network was illegal, seized western Beirut[50] in Lebanon's worst internal violence since the 1975-90 civil war.[51] Moreover, the violence, decried by the Lebanese government as an attempted coup,[52] threatened to escalate into another civil war.[53] At least 62 people died in the resulting clashes between pro-government and opposition militias.[54]
“On 21 May 2008, after five days of negotiation under Arab League mediation in Qatar, all major parties signed the Doha Agreement, which ended the fighting.[50][54] Under the accord, both sides agreed to elect former army head Michel Suleiman president and establish a national unity government with a veto share for the opposition.[50] This ended 18 months of political paralysis.[53] The agreement was a victory for opposition forces, who received concessions regarding the composition of the cabinet, Hezbollah's telecommunications network, and the airport security chief, increasing their political clout.[54] “ Wikip
May 13 – A series of bomb blasts kills at least 63 and injures 216 in Jaipur, India.
May 15 – An oil pipeline explosion in Ijegun, Nigeria kills 100.
May 23 – The Union of South American Nations, a supranational union, is created by a union between the Andean Community and Mercosur.
May 25 – NASA's Phoenix spacecraft becomes the first to land on the northern polar region of Mars.[59]
May 30 – The Convention on Cluster Munitions is adopted in Dublin.[60]

June 2008
June 2 – A car bomb explodes outside the Danish embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least 5.
June 27 – President Robert Mugabe is reelected with 85.5% of the vote in the second round of the controversial Zimbabwean presidential election.
June 27 – After 3 decades as the Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates steps down from daily duties to concentrate on philanthropy.[61][62]

July 2008
34th G8 summit heads of delegations in Tōyako, Japan.July 2 – Íngrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages are rescued from FARC by Colombian security forces.
July 7 – A suicide-bomber drives an explosives-laden automobile into the front gates of the Indian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 58 and injuring over 150.
July 7–9 – The 34th G8 summit is held in Tōyako, Hokkaidō, Japan.
July 10 – Former Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boškoski is acquitted of all charges, by a UN Tribunal accusing him of war crimes.
July 21 – Radovan Karadžić, the first president of the Republika Srpska, is arrested in Belgrade, Serbia on allegations of war crimes, following a 12-year long manhunt.[64]
July 25 – A series of 7 bomb blasts rock Bangalore, India, killing 2 and injuring 20; the next day, a series of bomb blasts in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, kills 45 and injures over 160 people.
July 27 – At least 17 are killed and over 154 wounded in 2 blasts in Istanbul.
July 28 – At least 48 are dead and over 287 injured after bombs explode in Baghdad and Kirkuk, Iraq.[66][67]

August 2008
August 4 – Two members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which had threatened to attack the Beijing Olympics, kill 16 and injure another 16 officers at a police station in Kashgar, Xinjiang, China.[
August 7 – The 2008 South Ossetia war begins, as Georgia and Russia launch a major offensive inside the separatist region of South Ossetia after days of border skirmishes between the 2 sides.
August 8–24 – The 2008 Summer Olympics take place in Beijing, China.[71]
August 18 – Pervez Musharraf resigns as President of Pakistan, under impeachment pressure from the coalition government.[74]
August 19 – Taliban insurgents kill 10 and injure 21 French soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan.[75]
August 19 – A suicide bomber rams a car into an Algerian military academy, killing 43 and injuring 45.[76]
August 21 – At least 60 die following twin suicide bombings outside the Pakistan Ordnance Factories in Wah, Pakistan.
August 24 – Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 6895 crashes upon takeoff near Manas International Airport in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, killing 68.[80]
August 26 – Russia unilaterally recognizes the independence of Georgian breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia.[81]
August 26 – September 1 – Hurricane Gustav makes landfall on Louisiana as Category 2 and kills 7 in the United States, after making landfall on western Cuba as Category 4, and killing 66 in Haiti, 8 in the Dominican Republic, and 11 in Jamaica.[82][83]
August 28 – September 7 – Hurricane Hanna causes 7 deaths in the United States, and 529 in Haiti, mostly due to floods and mudslides.[84]

September 2008
September 2 – Prime Minister of Japan Yasuo Fukuda resigns, less than a year after taking office following Shinzo Abe's resignation.[87]
September 2 – Political crisis in Thailand: Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej of Thailand declares a state of emergency in Bangkok.[88]
September 3 – Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani of Pakistan survives an assassination attempt near Islamabad, while on his way to meet British Leader of the Opposition David Cameron.
September 3 – President's Dimitris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat hold peace talks in Nicosia, aimed at reunifying Cyprus.[89][90]
September 6 – Asif Ali Zardari is elected President of Pakistan by the Electoral College of Pakistan.[91]
September 9 – Political crisis in Thailand: The Constitutional Court of Thailand orders Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to resign, after he is paid for appearing on a television cooking show.[93]
September 14 – Aeroflot Flight 821 crashes near the city of Perm, Russia, killing all 88 on board.[97]
September 15 – Following negotiations, President Robert Mugabe and opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara sign a power-sharing deal, making Tsvangirai the new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.
September 15 – Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
September 20 – A suicide truck bomb explosion destroys the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least 60 and injuring 266.[100][101][102]
September 24 – The Diet of Japan elects Taro Aso as the new Prime Minister of Japan.[104]
September 25 – Kgalema Motlanthe is elected by the National Assembly of South Africa as the President of South Africa, succeeding Thabo Mbeki.[105]
September 25 – Shenzhou 7, the third manned Chinese spaceflight and the first with 3 crew members, is successfully launched. China becomes the third country ever to conduct a spacewalk.[106]
September 28 – SpaceX Falcon 1 becomes the world's first privately developed space launch vehicle to successfully make orbit.[107][108]

October 2008
October 3 – Global financial crisis: U.S. President George W. Bush signs the revised Emergency Economic Stabilization Act into law, creating a 700 billion dollar Treasury fund to purchase failing bank assets.[111]
October 6 – NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft makes its second of 3 flybys of Mercury, decreasing the velocity for orbital insertion on March 18, 2011.[112][113]
October 6 – An earthquake measuring 6.6 magnitude kills at least 65 in Kyrgyzstan.[114]
October 7 – Global financial crisis: Russia agrees to provide Iceland with a 4-billion-euro loan.[115][116]
October 7 – The meteoroid 2008 TC3 impacts Earth, becoming the first such object to be discovered prior to impact.[117]
October 9 – Global financial crisis: Following a major banking and financial crisis in Iceland, the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority takes control of the 3 largest banks in the country: Kaupthing Bank, Landsbanki, and Glitnir.
October 17 – The United Nations General Assembly elects Turkey, Austria, Japan, Uganda, and Mexico to 2-year terms on the Security Council.
October 21 – The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is officially inaugurated. It is a collaboration of over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories.
October 22 – The Indian Space Research Organisation successfully launches theChandrayaan-1 spacecraft on a lunar exploration mission.
October 29 – Global financial crisis: Hungary's currency and stock markets rise on the news that it will receive an international economic bailout package worth $25 billion from the IMF, European Union, and World Bank.
October 29 – Delta Air Lines merges with Northwest Airlines, forming the world's largest commercial carrier.

November 2008
Barack Obama.November 4 – United States presidential election, 2008: Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States and Joe Biden is elected the 47th Vice President. Barack Obama becomes the first African-American President-elect.
Elections have become a charade, run by the public relations industry. After his 2008 victory, Obama won an award from the industry for the best marketing campaign of the year. Executives were euphoric. In the business press they explained that they had been marketing candidates like other commodities since Ronald Reagan, but 2008 was their greatest achievement and would change the style in corporate boardrooms. The 2012 election is expected to cost $2 billion, mostly in corporate funding. Small wonder that Obama is selecting business leaders for top positions. The public is angry and frustrated, but as long as the Muasher principle prevails, that doesn't matter.
While wealth and power have narrowly concentrated, for most of the population real incomes have stagnated and people have been getting by with increased work hours, debt, and asset inflation, regularly destroyed by the financial crises that began as the regulatory apparatus was dismantled starting in the 1980s.
None of this is problematic for the very wealthy, who benefit from a government insurance policy called "too big to fail." The banks and investment firms can make risky transactions, with rich rewards, and when the system inevitably crashes, they can run to the nanny state for a taxpayer bailout, clutching their copies of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.
That has been the regular process since the Reagan years, each crisis more extreme than the last -- for the public population, that is. Right now, real unemployment is at Depression levels for much of the population, while Goldman Sachs, one of the main architects of the current crisis, is richer than ever. It has just quietly announced $17.5 billion in compensation for last year, with CEO Lloyd Blankfein receiving a $12.6 million bonus while his base salary more than triples.
It wouldn't do to focus attention on such facts as these. Accordingly, propaganda must seek to blame others, in the past few months, public sector workers, their fat salaries, exorbitant pensions, and so on: all fantasy, on the model of Reaganite imagery of black mothers being driven in their limousines to pick up welfare checks -- and other models that need not be mentioned. We all must tighten our belts; almost all, that is.
Chomsky 2011,

November 6 – King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan is crowned, having ascended to the throne in 2006.
November 7 – The 2008 Pétionville school collapse kills at least 92 in Pétionville, Haiti. Who needs an earthquake when you’re the poorest country on earth?
November 14 – STS-126: The Space Shuttle Endeavour uses the MPLM Leonardo to deliver experiment and storage racks to the International Space Station. There will only be 3 more launches of Space Shuttle Endeavour after this mission.
November 22 – 23 – The APEC Peru 2008 Summit is held in Lima.
November 25 – Greenland holds a referendum for increased autonomy from Denmark. The vote is over 75% in favour. Implications? US involved?
November 25 – Political crisis in Thailand: Protesters from the People's Alliance for Democracy party storm into Suvarnabhumi Airport and block flights from taking off. More protesters seize control of Don Mueang Airport the following day.
November 26 – November 29 – A series of terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India by Pakistan-based Islamic militants kills 195, and injures at least 250.
November 29 – Riots in Jos, Nigeria kill 381, and injure at least 300.

December 2008

December 2 – Political crisis in Thailand: After weeks of opposition-led protests, the Constitutional Court of Thailand dissolves the governing People's Power Party and 2 coalition member parties, and bans leaders of the parties, including Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, from politics for 5 years. As such, Wongsawat promptly resigns and is replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Chaovarat Chanweerakul as caretaker Prime Minister.[143]
December 3 – The Convention on Cluster Munitions opens for signature in Oslo.
December 4 – Political crisis in Canada: Governor General Michaëlle Jean grants the request of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to prorogue Parliament until January 26, 2009, averting a motion of no-confidence by the new opposition coalition led by the Leader of the Opposition Stéphane Dion, and the New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton, with Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe as a coalition partner.
December 6 – Riots spread across Greece after a 15-year-old boy is shot dead by a special guard of the Greek Police.
December 12 – Switzerland becomes the 25th European country to join the Schengen Agreement, whereby cross-border passport checks will be abolished.
December 23 – A military coup d'état is announced in Guinea shortly after the death of long-time President Lansana Conté.
December 27 – Israel initiates a series of airstrikes followed by an invasion in Gaza Strip, killing at least 1300 (including at least 416 children)[153] and wounding over 2,700.
Eventual Goldstone report. ICC proceedings? The UK and France called for delays in the decision.
US putting pressure on Palestinian President to agree to defer process.


December 29 – Bangladesh holds its general elections after 2 years of political unrest over the interim government.[154]

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