The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Friday, Nov. 30, the 335th day of 2012 with 31 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter.


Evening stars included Neptune, Uranus 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 94) 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 85); producer/TV music show host Dick Clark in 1929; Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy in 1930 (age 82); 1960s radical Abbie Hoffman in 1936; filmmaker Ridley Scott in 1937 (age 75); playwright David Mamet in 1947 (age 64); singer/actor Mandy Patinkin in 1952 (age 60); singer June Pointer in 1953 (age 50); rock singer Billy Idol in 1955 (age 57); historian Michael Beschloss in 1955 (age 57); Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson in 1962 (age 50); actor Ben Stiller in 1965 (age 47); and singer Clay Aiken in 1978 (age 34).


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.

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 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.

In 2011, Wall Street closed November with a surge as the Dow Jones industrial average turned in its biggest one-day gain in 32 months -- 490.06 points -- triggered by coordinated efforts of the U.S. Federal Reserve and five other banks to add liquidity to financial markets and ease the strain imposed by the ongoing debt crisis in Europe.


Also in 2011, a record seizure of more than 32 tons of marijuana was found in a 625-yard tunnel linking warehouses in Mexico and California. U.S. authorities said the elaborate tunnel was equipped with an elevator and an electric rail system.

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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