Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee visits the Shakti-1 nuclear test site at Pokhran, along with A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, India's top defence scientist and R. Chidabaram, Chief of the Automic Energy Commission. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1998 - The Indian government put on a brave face in the wake of growing international outrage and sanctions over its nuclear tests, telling opposition leaders the explosions were long overdue. It carried out two more underground nuclear explosions, two days after conducting three tests. A government statement said, “completed the planned series”, which began in the desert range of Pokhran in Rajasthan state near the Pakistan border. The announcement, which came as India launched a diplomatic offensive to explain the first tests, provoked a fresh round of international condemnation and sent the stock market plunging. “The tests have been carried out to generate additional data for improved computer simulation of designs and for attaining the capability to carry out sub-critical experiments if considered necessary.” The twin explosions released energy of less than 1,000 tonnes of TNT.

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1846 - US declares war on Mexico.

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1939 - The first commercial FM radio station in the US is launched, in Bloomfield.

1950 - The first Formula One World Championship race is held at Silverstone, England.

1952 - The Rajya Sabha (the Upper House of India’s parliament) holds its first sitting.

1981 - Pope John Paul II is shot and seriously wounded in Rome by Mehmet Ali Agca.

1994 - Palestinian police enter Jericho on the heels of Israeli soldiers, and are mobbed by crowds celebrating the end of 27 years of occupation.

1995 - British mountaineer Alison Hargreaves becomes the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest unaided.

1996 - More than 450 are killed in a severe tornado in Bangladesh.

1999 - Yugoslavia withdraws 120 of its 40,000 troops from Kosovo.

2000 - The second new runway at Dubai International Airport becomes operational.

2002 - The UAE and China sign an agreement on legal and judicial cooperation, which includes a treaty to extradite criminals.

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2011 - More than 80 people are killed and over 100 injured in twin suicide bomb attacks in northwest Pakistan.