a January 22:
2002 Kmart, which has 2100 discount stores and 250'000 employees, files for bankruptcy protection after poor December 2001 sales and competition from rivals Wal-Mart Stores and Target leave KM short of cash. Kmart stock (KM) has plunged to a 38-year low, last closing at $1.74 a share on 18 Jan 2002, and dropping further today (the exchanges were closed on 19 and 20 Jan for the weekend, and on Monday 21 Jan for Martin Luther King holiday) to $0.55 intraday and a $0.69 close. [5~year price chart >]
2002 In Egypt, Sayed Ragab al-Sawirki, owner of a chain of stores selling clothes and home appliances, is sentenced to 7 years at hard labor for having five wives at once (he had married 19 women, although not all at the same time). Polygamy is not widely practiced in Egypt.The Koran allows a man to have four wives as long as he treats them equally. It then says that this is impossible, which some think means that polygamy is not allowed. One of the wives, Dina Shukri, is sentenced to 3 years at hard labor for illegally marrying Sawirki a fourth time after previously divorcing him three times. Under Islamic law, a woman who divorces the same man three times cannot remarry him again unless she has married a different man in the intervening period. Others, guilty of various frauds in relation to the marriages, receive lesser sentences.
^ 2001 Twin boy guerrilla leaders hold press conference.
The teen-age twins who led the God's Army rebel group acknowledge that they have no mystical powers to repel bullets and say that they want to give up fighting. Wearing oversized soccer shirts, Johnny and Luther Htoo, who led a hit-and-run campaign for three years against the Myanmar military, say their days as soldiers are at an end. "I want to live as a family with my parents," Luther tells reporters at a border police base near the Myanmar frontier with Thailand. "I want to study." Luther says that the God's Army, a rag tag guerrilla group, had 150 soldiers at its peak while fighting to try to win autonomy for the ethnic Karen minority. When they surrendered to the Thai army last week, driven by hunger and exhaustion, the God's Army had probably not more than 20 followers. Seventeen of them, including the twins, surrendered 16 and 17 January. Luther says that he knows of only three comrades still in the jungles.
The twins' legend began around 1997 when Myanmar troops came to their village during a sweep of Karen areas. The mainstream guerrillas group, the Karen National Union, reportedly fled while the twins rallied some men and directed a successful counterattack. After that, the twins' followers said the boys who are Christians had powers from God. Their followers believed bullets couldn't hit them and mines wouldn't explode under their feet. "God sent me to be the leader to fight against Burma," said Luther, who like his twin does not know his exact age. "I am not afraid because God is always with me." Asked if he has mystical powers to repel bullets, Luther said: "It is not true."
Thai authorities say they believe the twins are 15 years old. But the undernourished boys, who are vegetarians, look little more than 10. Luther says that the God's Army has stopped fighting since it lost its base at Ka Mar Pa Law, just inside Myanmar, in early 2000 when it was attacked by Myanmar forces. At that time, the boys became separated from their parents. The parents trekked to Thailand, where they live in one of the refugee camps strung out along the Thai-Myanmar border.
"If God did not help us, we all would have died a long time ago," says Luther. He says that he is unsure if he would stay in Thailand. "If I could go back (to Myanmar) I would," he says.
The twins appear at the news conference with a dozen armed Thai border police standing guard alongside 12 o aded Zululand in an attempt to suppress the Zulu forces of King Cetshwayo. The first major confrontation came at Isandhlawana, where the British 24th Regiment, completely surrounded by a force of Zulus, suffered approximately 800 soldiers killed and 500 wounded.
At Hlobane Mountain, the British suffered another grave defeat, while 82 British soldiers hold off attacks by 4000 Zulu warriors at the Battle of Rorke's Drift. Colonel Henry Evelyn Wood had expected little trouble as his cavalry ascended Hlobane Mountain. What he got was a Zulu army, 22'000 men strong.
But on March 29, at the Battle of Khambula, the tide finally turned in favor of the British. By July, Zulu forces were utterly routed and King Cetshwayo was forced to surrender. In 1887, faced with continuing Zulu rebellions, the British formally annexed Zululand and in 1897 it became a part of Natal, which joined the Union of South Africa in 1910.
Les Zoulous écrasent l'armée de Sa Majesté
Une armée zouloue de 20'000 hommes attaque les Anglais à Isandhlwana, au Transvaal, en Afrique australe. Trop confiants dans leur supériorité, les Anglais ont négligé de fortifier leur campement. Ils perdent dans l'attaque près d'un millier d'hommes (et plus d'officiers qu'à Waterloo!). Les Zoulous eux-mêmes en perdent 2000. C'est la plus grande défaite coloniale de l'Angleterre. Quelques années plus tôt, des diamants avaient été découverts dans la région de Kimberley, à la limite de la colonie britannique du Cap, du royaume zoulou et des petites communautés de paysans hollandais (les Boers). Sous la pression des colons et des prospecteurs, le gouverneur du Cap, sir Bartle Frere, avait décidé de soumettre l'ensemble de la région et il avait lancé un ultimatum au roi zoulou Cetewayo. Après le désastre d'Isandhlwana, de violents débats s'ensuivent à Londres entre l'austère William Gladstone, chef de l'opposition libérale (whig), et le Premier ministre conservateur (torie) Benjamin Disraeli, au pouvoir depuis 1874 et farouche partisan des conquêtes coloniales. Piqué au vif, le Premier ministre envoie 10.000 hommes en Afrique australe, pour combattre les Zoulous. Après six mois de campagnes meurtrières, les Britanniques s'emparent enfin du roi Cetewayo, le 4 juillet 1879. C'est la fin des guerres zouloues... et bientôt la fin de l'Afrique indépendante. Les dirigeants européens rivalisent de vitesse pour planter leur drapeau sur les dernières terres insoumises de la planète, malgré une opinion publique major html" target="_blank">Surrealist painter who died on on 30 November 1953. MORE ON PICABIA AT ART 4 JANUARY with links to images.
1875 D[avid] W Griffith 1874 D.W. [David Wark] Griffith, US movie producer and director, the most influential figure in early film history, made The Birth of A Nation and Intolerance.
1874 Leonard E. Dickson, mathematician. He died in 1954.
1863 Joseph Bail, French artist who died on 26 November 1921.
1856 Walter Gay, US artist who died in 1937.
1850 Robert Brookings, US businessman and philanthropist who died on 15 November 1932.
1849 Johan August Strindberg, Stockholm Swedish painter, sculptor, and playwright, who died on 14 May 1912. — more
1822 Karoly Marko II, Hungarian artist who died in 1891. — more
1775 André-Marie Ampère, à Lyon, savant.
1762 Jean-Baptiste Joseph Wicar (or Vicart), French Neoclassical painter who died on 27 February 1834. — more with links to images and information on queen Julie Bonaparte, who sat for a portrait, and on some of her relatives.
1690 Nicolas Lancret, French genre painter who died on 14 September 1743. MORE ON LANCRET AT ART 4 JANUARY with links to images.
1592 Pierre Gassendi, mathematician.
1561 Francis Bacon, English philosopher, statesman, essayist. BACON ONLINE: Novum Organum Historia Regni Henrici Septimi Regis Angliæ Sermones Fideles The Advancement of Learning The Advancement of Learning The Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall The Essays New Atlantis New Atlantis.
1440 Ivan III the Great, Russian czar (1462-1505) who conquered Lithuania.