Ten years ago
A defiant North Korea ordered U.N. nuclear inspectors to leave the country and said it would restart a laboratory capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons. But the U.N. nuclear watchdog said its inspectors were “staying put” for the time being. A suicide truck-bomb attack destroyed the headquarters of Chechnya’s Moscow-backed government, killing 72 people. Clonaid, a company founded by a religious sect that believes in space aliens, announced it had produced the world’s first cloned baby, a claim subsequently dismissed by scientists for lack of proof. Oscar-winning director George Roy Hill died in New York at age 81.
Five years ago
Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated during a suicide bomb attack in Pakistan following a campaign rally. Kenya held an election pitting incumbent president Mwai Kibaki (mwy kih-BAH’-kee) against opposition candidate Raila Odinga (RY’-luh oh-DING’-uh); both candidates ended up claiming victory in a vote that observers said was seriously flawed. (Kenya was racked by weeks of ethnic violence; Kibaki and Odinga ended up forming a coalition government.)
One year ago
Tens of thousands of defiant Syrian protesters thronged the streets of Homs, calling for the execution of President Bashar Assad shortly after his army pulled its tanks back and allowed Arab League monitors in for the first time to the city at the heart of the anti-government uprising.
Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, a conservative Democrat, said he would retire from the Senate rather than seek a third term. Abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler, 83, known for her bold, lyrical use of color, died in Darien, Conn.