On This Day 12 Feb 2017

On This Day Feb 12 2017

2002 – Slobodan Milosevic, former president of Yugoslavia, goes on trial at The Hague in the Netherlands.

On June 25, 1991, Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia and Milosevic sent tanks to the Slovenian border, sparking a brief war that ended in Slovenia’s secession. In Croatia, fighting broke out between Croats and ethnic Serbs. Serbia, the dominant entity in Yugoslavia, aided the Serbian rebels in Croatia. Croatian forces clashed with the Serb-led Yugoslav army troops and their Serb supporters. An estimated 10,000 people were killed before a U.N. cease-fire in January 1992. In March, Bosnia-Herzegovina declared its independence, and Milosevic funded the subsequent Bosnian Serb rebellion, starting a war that killed an estimated 200,000 people, before a U.S.-brokered peace agreement was reached at Dayton, Ohio, in 1995. It was the worst conflict in Europe since the Second World War.

A Bosnian special forces soldier returns fire in downtown Sarajevo as he and civilians come under fire from Serbian snipers, on April 6, 1992.





1912 – The last emperor of China, Aisin Gioro Puyi, abdicates.

Puyi was enthroned as emperor in 1908 after his uncle, the Guangxu emperor, died. He reigned under a regency and underwent training to prepare him for his coming rule. However, in October 1911, his dynasty fell to Sun Yat-sen’s revolution, and four months later he abdicated. His abdication would mark the end of the Manchu Qing dynasty in China, and the approximately 2000-year-old feudal system of government, signaling the beginning of the modern Republican era in China.

After 1925, he lived in Japanese-occupied Tianjin, and in 1932 Japan created the puppet state of Manchukuo in Manchuria under his rule. In 1934, Henry Pu Yi was enthroned as emperor of Manchukuo. Despite guerrilla resistance against his puppet regime, he held the emperor’s title until 1945, when Soviet troops captured him.

Puyi’s throne in the Forbidden City in Beijing.






1999 – President Bill Clinton is acquitted

On February 12, 1999, the five-week impeachment trial of Bill Clinton ends, with the Senate voting to acquit the president on both articles of impeachment: lying under oath and obstruction of justice.

In November 1995, Clinton began an affair with Monica Lewinsky, a 21-year-old unpaid intern. Over the course of a year and a half, the president and Lewinsky had nearly a dozen sexual encounters in the White House. Congress would later approve two articles of impeachment, but the Senate would vote to acquit him of both charges.

The vote in Congress to determine whether President Clinton should be impeached.











Week in Review – 19 Feb



15 February 2017

India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) creates world record by sending 104 satellites into space in a single rocket

PSLV_C37 launch. (Hindustan Times)

ISRO successful launched 104 nano satellites into space on the Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), breaking the record held by Russia which sent 37 satellites into space in 2014.

Out of the 104 nano satellites in the rocket’s payload, one of each was from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UAE and 96 of them are from the US.

The push for space research and exploration has benefited India in several ways one of which is the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) System allows India’s Department of Space (DOS) to monitor the environment and help farmers and fisherman increase their productivity by making optimal use of resources.


February 18 2017

Mid-East nations splurge on offensive weapons

A F/A-18E/F Super Hornets of Strike Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VFA-211) is lined up for take off on the flight deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) aircraft carrier in the Gulf June 18, 2015. (REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo)

Western-backed nations in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia have started to spend more money on purchasing offensive weapons programs to counter Iran.

Weapons purchased include items that boost the attack capabilities of warplanes such as precision air to ground missiles.

Combined military budget for the region is likely to reach USD 180 billion.

This is done likely in response to Iran growing economic and military strength, following the lifting of sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.


19 February 2017

EU sees no U-turn for Brexit

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair delivers a keynote speech at a pro-Europe event in London, Britain, February 17, 2017. (REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Picture)


After the June referendum vote in 2016 to quit the EU, European leaders insisted that Britons were free to change their minds. Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, back in October, said that a U-turn would be legal and that the 27 members of the EU would welcome it. However, he warned Britain that it would either be “Hard Brexit or no Brexit”.


While officially the door remains open for Britain to stay in the EU, many in Europe would not welcome a U-turn now. “No one is happy about it. But we have moved on and the last thing anyone wants now is to reopen the whole issue”, said one senior EU diplomat.

The UK Treasury has said that a “Hard Brexit” could cost up to £66 billion and slash UK GDP by 10%.

19 February 2017

USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group Patrolling South China Sea

USS Carl Vinson underway in the Pacific Ocean. (Maritimematters.com)

The United States deployed the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to disputed waters in the South China sea as part of routine maritime operations.

Other ships in the strike group include the guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer, the US Navy said in a statement. The Vinson carriers a flight group of more than 60 aircrafts onboard which includes F/A-18 jet fighters.

The US Navy has frequently sailed into the South China Sea for Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOP) in which US warships assert maritime transit rights against coastal states that impose restrictions on vessels that are inconsistent with the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.




February 16 2017

Median household income from work in Singapore up 2.6% in real terms in 2016

Income in Singapore has risen. Data released by the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS) revealed that median household income among resident employed households have risen by 2.6 percent in real terms, from $8 666 to $8 846 from 2015 to 2016.

The Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality, fell to 0.402 in 2016 from 0.409 in 2015,


February 18 2017

Companies recognised for efforts to develop staff

A total of 74 employers were awarded the Human Capital Partner symbol.

The Human Capital Partner symbol was launched to encourage companies to develop a “strong Singaporean core”.

Benefits of having the Human Capital Partner symbol for companies include having a dedicated hotline to reach the Ministry of Manpower, being fast-traced when applying to MOM for grants and foreign worker passes.

In order to qualify for the Human Capital Partner symbol, companies need to build a strong Singaporean core by proactively transferring expertise from foreign professional to local Singaporeans and select foreigners who complement instead of substituting local Singaporeans.

September 2016

This month in history …

September 1, 1939 – Nazi Germany invades Poland, triggering the outbreak of World War II, as France and Great Britain uphold their guarantees of Polish independence on September 3 by declaring war on Nazi Germany.

Invasion of Poland

German troops dismantling a border crossing with Poland.

September 9, 1976 – Mao Zedong, leader of the Chinese Communist Party, dies at the age of 82. He had been the paramount leader of China since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and was responsible for the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.


Representatives of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) lining up to pay their last respects to Mao Zedong.

September 11, 2001 – The worst terror attack in U.S. history occurs as four large passenger planes were hijacked by Al-Qaeda terrorists, with two planes bringing down the Twin Towers in New York City, one plane striking the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and the last plane crashing into a field in Pennsylvania after an attempt by passengers to retake control of the plane. This terror attack would precipitate the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq by the U.S.


The south tower of the World Trade Center begins to crumble after being struck by US Airways Flight 175.

September 14, 1812 – Napoleon and his troops entered Moscow as the retreating Russians burned the city. Napoleon found it impossible to stay through the winter in the devastated city. He then began a retreat from Moscow and Russia which became one of the greatest disasters of military history. Fewer than 20,000 of the initial 500,000 men who came with him lived through the Russian campaign.


Napoleon entering the ruins of Moscow.

September 22, 1980 – War breaks out between Iran and Iraq, in an attempt by the leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, to capitalize on the weakness of the new Iranian regime that had emerged after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The war would sow the seeds of much of the current instability in the Middle East today, by creating a deep sense of insecurity in the Iranian regime.


Iraqi T-62 tanks crossing the Iraq-Iran border.

September 28, 1066 – The Norman conquest of England begins as Duke William of Normandy landed at Pevensey, Sussex. The conquest would have wide-ranging implications for the future of England and the English language.


A scene from the Bayeux Tapestry portraying the Norman invasion of England.