December 2004

December 2004

December 2004: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovember – December-



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Other events in December 2004
World - Sci-Tech - Sports
Britain and Ireland - Canada - United States

Deaths in December

Ongoing events

Ongoing armed conflicts

Ongoing wars

Election results in December

December 26: Ukraine presidential rerun
December 12: Romania presidential run-off
December 11: Taiwan legislative
December 8: Ghanaian presidential
December 1–2: Mozambique presidential

Ongoing trials

Chile: Augusto Pinochet
ICTY: Slobodan Milošević
Iraq: Iraqi Special Tribunal
Saddam Hussein, among others
India: Jayendra Saraswathi
United States: Robert Blake
United States: Zacarias Moussaoui

Related pages

Year in ...

December 1, 2004

December 2, 2004

December 3 2004

December 4, 2004

December 5, 2004

December 6, 2004

December 7, 2004

December 8, 2004

December 9, 2004

December 10, 2004

December 11, 2004

  • Jean-Christophe Lafaille, a French climber, climbs Shishapangma, the first solo ascension of an eight-thousander in winter from a new route in the South face.
  • Vanuatu Prime Minister Serge Vohor is ousted in a vote of no-confidence and replaced by Ham Lini. Vohor had fallen out of favor with his cabinet after he unilaterally travelled to Taipei and established diplomatic relations with the Taiwan. The Vanuatu Council of Ministers voted to void the decision and continue relations with the People's Republic of China.[2]
  • The opposition pan-blue alliance achieves a majority in the Taiwanese legislative election, garnering at least 114 of the 225 seats. The governing Democratic Progressive Party and its pan-green allies win 101 seats.[3][4][5]
  • Doctors in Austria confirm that Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko's illness was caused by dioxin poisoning. It is alleged that he first became ill after dining with the chairman of the Ukrainian Security Service in early September 2004.[6][7] (Link dead as of 21:43, 14 January 2007 (UTC))
  • Bernard Kerik withdraws his nomination for the post of Secretary of Homeland Security, fearing a scandal over the immigration status of his nanny.[8][9]

December 12, 2004

December 13, 2004

December 14, 2004

December 15, 2004

December 16, 2004

December 17, 2004

December 18, 2004

  • Hundreds of Sikh demonstrators protest outside a Birmingham, England, theatre against a play (Behzti) depicting sex abuse and murder in a Sikh temple. Theatre stormed by a few demonstrators. (BBC)
  • 2004 U.S. presidential election controversy:
    • Voting machine manufacturer Diebold Election Systems will pay a $2.6 million settlement to the State of California over the lawsuit filed by the state in September alleging that Diebold was not truthful about the security and reliability of its electronic voting machines. (
    • In a sharp change from their traditional role, several members of the Electoral College have filed a protest of the official election results, one even casting his electoral vote provisionally upon a revote. These electors have called for a member of the U.S. Senate to protest the election results on January 6. (AP) (Sacramento Bee) (Burlington Union)
  • In Topeka, Kansas, US, infant Victoria Jo Stinnett is returned to her father three days after her mother was allegedly strangled to death and she was cut from her mother's uterus and abducted. The AMBER Alert system is credited with helping to safely recover the child. (CNN)
  • Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
    • Palestinians fire several Qassam rockets at the civilian town Sderot and the northern Negev, causing damage but no casualties. (Haaretz)
    • Another three Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers on Saturday during an Israeli incursion into the Khan Younis refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, raising the death toll to 11. According to Palestinian sources, three of those killed were civilians, the rest were militants from Hamas and Fatah's Abu Reish Brigades. The IDF has officially ended Khan Yunis raid, dubbed "Operation Orange Iron", and threatened to return if mortar shelling will be renewed by militants. (BBC), (Haaretz)
    • Palestinians have been unable to bury the dead because Israeli forces were in control at the local cemetery, medics told the Reuters news agency. (BBC)
    • Six Palestinians were rescued from a collapsed tunnel under an Israel-controlled corridor in the EgyptGaza border area. (BBC)
  • Former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet has been taken to hospital after suffering a stroke. (BBC)
  • Darfur conflict: The African Union has given both sides involved in the Darfur conflict a deadline of 1700 GMT to halt the fighting in the region which currently violates the ceasefire agreement. If this condition is not met, talks in Nigeria to find a solution to the conflict would end. (BBC)
  • Conflict in Iraq:
    • Former senior Iraqi official Ali Hassan al-Majid (aka "Chemical Ali") is questioned by Iraqi judges in a pre-trial hearing. He is accused of crimes committed by the regime, such as the gassing of Iraqi Kurds in 1988. (BBC) (Reuters)
    • Iraqi insurgents attack election offices in northern Iraq, killing two people and wounding nine, six weeks before the country is due to go to the polls. (Reuters)

December 19, 2004

  • Conflict in Iraq: Bomb blasts in the Iraqi Shia cities of Karbala and Najaf kill up to 60 people and injure a further 120. (BBC)
  • Russia auctions off the main production unit of oil giant YUKOS to the small Baikalfinansgroup for 260.75bn rubles (US$9.37bn). Before the sale, YUKOS was said to owe US$27bn in unpaid taxes, specifically an average of 90% of its revenue. Former CEO jailed Mikhail Khodorkovsky and other YUKOS officials maintain it is politically motivated. (BBC)
  • The people of Turkmenistan go to the polls to elect a new parliament. Voters will choose between candidates, all of whom have pledged support to President Niyazov, the "Turkmenbashi" or "leader of Turkmens". (BBC)
  • US president George W. Bush is named "Person of the Year" by Time magazine. (CNN)
  • Rice University computer scientists find a security hole in Google's desktop search program. (New York Times)

December 20, 2004

December 21, 2004

December 22, 2004

December 23, 2004

December 24, 2004

December 25, 2004

  • Colombia's FARC guerrillas kidnap a group of between seven and ten holidaymakers from a spa resort near San Rafael, Antioquia. (BBC)
  • The ESA's NASA's Cassini spacecraft at approximately 02:00 UTC, with deployment confirmed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The probe will reach Saturn's moon Titan in 22 days, where it will make an atmospheric descent to the surface and relay scientific information. (Spaceflightnow)
  • Queen Elizabeth II sends her annual Christmas Message to the UK and the Commonwealth. Her theme is religious and cultural diversity and the benefits of a tolerant society. In a break from tradition, the Queen also sends a special radio Christmas Message to the UK armed forces – the first time she has made a separate radio broadcast. (BBC) (BBC)
  • Portions of South and Southeast Texas south of I-10 had their first White Christmas ever as snow was recorded falling from Brownsville to Beaumont with as much as 13 inches (33 cm) in Brazoria. The snowfall began on Christmas Eve as a deep layer of below freezing (below 32 °F/0 °C) temperatures settled across the region after the passing of an Arctic cold front and an upper level low pressure system crossed the region and dumped snow in its wake. Very little snow fell north of I-10 because of the lack of moisture further from the coast. (National Weather Service)

December 26, 2004

  • The first survey of language use in the People's Republic of China reveals that 53% of its population can communicate in Standard Chinese, the official spoken language of the country. (China Daily)

December 27, 2004

  • Astrophysicists from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching near Munich measure the strongest burst from a magnetar. At 21:30:26 UT the earth is hit by a huge wave front of gamma and X-rays. It is the strongest flux of high-energetic gamma radiation measured so far.
  • In Mulhouse, France, a suspected gas explosion kills 17 people (BBC) (Scotsman)
  • Newly discovered observations from March 2004 rule out the possibility that asteroid 2004 MN4 (later named 99942 Apophis in July 2005) will hit Earth in 2029. (
  • The U.S. dollar hits a new low against the euro: USD 1.3640 to EUR 1.00. (AP)
  • Ukrainian Transport Minister Heorhiy Kyrpa, a staunch supporter of Viktor Yanukovych, is found shot dead at his home just outside of Kiev. It is unclear whether he was murdered or committed suicide. (BBC) (Reuters)
  • Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Israeli police arrest Palestinian presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouti. A Jerusalem police spokesman says Mr Barghouti was "detained for questioning because he has the right to transit through Jerusalem but not be in Jerusalem itself".(BBC)
  • The death toll from tsunamis resulting from the Indian Ocean earthquake is known to be at least 20,000 and possibly as high as 45,000. (BBC) London Free Press Independent Online
  • Ukrainian opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko claims victory. Official results may not come out for days. (Reuters) (BBC)
  • Conflict in Iraq:
    • Iraq's main Sunni political movement, the Iraqi Islamic Party, withdraws from next month's general elections, citing the refusal to delay elections until all parts of Iraq could participate. (BBC)
    • 15 people are killed and dozens injured as a suicide bomber detonates his car in front of the home of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the country's most powerful Shia political group. (BBC)

December 28, 2004

  • The Shiveluch volcano on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula erupts, causing a large earthquake and producing a 6,500-foot (2,000 m) plume of hot ash. (webcam)
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Conflict in Iraq: In an apparent coordinated attack, insurgents raid a police station in Dijla and execute 12 police officers. Three Iraqi policemen are shot at a checkpoint outside of Tikrit. Four policemen and one national guardsman are gunned down at a police station in Ishaki. A local police commander is assassinated in Baquba. A car bomb detonated near a US-Iraqi military convoy in Samarra kills three national guardsmen and three civilians. All these attacks occurred in the Sunni Triangle. (BBC)
  • Jerry Orbach died of prostate cancer, at age 69.
  • The death toll from tsunamis resulting from the Indian Ocean Earthquake is known to be at least 59,000 and still rising. (BBC)
  • In Colombia, government soldiers search for at least seven people taken hostage by FARC rebels last Friday. Kidnappers have not made any demands as of yet. (BBC)
  • Ukrainian presidential election: Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych challenges the result of the re-run of the presidential election and threatens to take the case to the Supreme Court. (Guardian) (BBC)
  • An explosion at a scrap metal plant in Muskogee, Oklahoma, US, explodes killing two workers. The blast is felt about 50 miles (80 km) away. The company is later fined for workplace violations[3][4].

December 29, 2004

December 30, 2004

December 31, 2004

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