The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Wednesday, Nov. 30, the 334th day of 2011 with 31 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mercury, Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter and Venus. Evening stars are Saturn and Mars.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio in 1508; Irish satirist Jonathan Swift in 1667; novelist Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) in 1835; film director Gordon Parks in 1912; British statesman Winston Churchill in 1874; actors Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in 1918 (age 93) and Virginia Mayo in 1920; Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress, and comedian Allan Sherman, both in 1924; actors Richard Crenna in 1926 and Robert Guillaume in 1927 (age 84); producer/TV music show host Dick Clark in 1929 (age 82); Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy in 1930 (age 81); 1960s radical Abbie Hoffman in 1936; filmmaker Ridley Scott in 1937 (age 74); playwright David Mamet in 1947 (age 64); singer/actor Mandy Patinkin in 1952 (age 59); singer June Pointer in 1953 (age 58); rock singer Billy Idol in 1955 (age 56); historian Michael Beschloss in 1955 (age 56); Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson in 1962 (age 49); actor Ben Stiller in 1965 (age 46); and singer Clay Aiken in 1978 (age 33).


On this date in history:

In 1731, a series of earthquakes struck China. More than 100,000 people died.

In 1782, preliminary peace articles formally ending the American Revolutionary War were signed in Paris.

In 1913, Charles Chaplin made his screen debut in Mack Sennett's short film "Making a Living."

In 1939, the Russo-Finnish War started after the Soviet Union failed to obtain territorial concessions from Finland.

In 1975, Israel pulled its forces out of a 93-mile-long corridor along the Gulf of Suez as part of an interim peace agreement with Egypt.

In 1988, the Soviet Union stopped jamming broadcasts of Radio Free Europe for the first time in 30 years.

In 1989, rebels launched a fifth major coup attempt against Philippine President Corazon Aquino.

Also in 1989, Czechoslovakia announced an end to travel restrictions and said it planned to dismantle some of the fortifications along the Austrian border.

In 2003, the World Health Organization unveiled a historic plan to treat 3 million impoverished AIDS sufferers by the end of 2005.

In 2004, flash floods and landslides killed more than 300 people in the storm-swept Philippines.

Also in 2004, the International Committee of the Red Cross charged that the U.S. military intentionally abused prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


In 2004 entertainment, Ken Jennings lost on the game show "Jeopardy!" after winning 74 games and $2.5 million.

In 2005, the world's first partial-face transplant was conducted in France where a woman was given a new nose, lips and chin following a brutal dog bite.

In 2006, the international committee of the Red Cross said civilians were dying in the Iraq war at an average of more than 100 a day.

In 2007, an AtlasJet Airlines plane traveling from Istanbul, to Isparta, Turkey, crashed near the Isparta airport, killing all 56 people on board.

Also in 2007, police arrested a man who claimed to have a bomb and took several people hostage at the presidential campaign office of Hillary Clinton in Rochester, N.H. No one was injured in the almost six-hour ordeal.

In 2008, officials said the owners of a Ukrainian arms ship hijacked off Somalia more than two months previously agreed to pirates' $20 million ransom demand.

In 2009, in a pair of lethal attacks on lawmen, four Seattle police officers were shot to death at a coffee shop by a gunman who was himself slain by police two days later, while in Afghanistan, a policeman gunned down six fellow officers at a checkpoint before he was killed.


In 2010, a second U.S. district judge ruled the mandate to buy health insurance, a key provision in new federal healthcare reform legislation, is constitutional.

Also in 2010, Mexico is quickly becoming the world's leading source of the illicit drug methamphetamine, U.S. law enforcement officials report.

A thought for the day: Irish satirist Jonathan Swift wrote: "I never saw, heard, nor read that the clergy were beloved in any nation where Christianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular but some degree of persecution."

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