The United Nations Security Council issued an ultimatum authorising the use of force against Iraq if it fails to withdraw from Kuwait by January 15, 1991. The vote, at a historic meeting of the 15-nation Council, was 12 in favour, with Cuba and Yemen voting against and China abstaining. It was the 12th resolution aimed at Iraq since its August 2 invasion of Kuwait and only the second time in UN history that the Council had endorsed the use of force to repel aggression. The first was in 1950 after Communist North Korea invaded South Korea. In a display of post-Cold War unity, the United States, Britain, France and Canada were joined by the Soviet Union and Romania in sponsoring the resolution. Thirteen of the council’s 15 members were represented by foreign ministers.

Other important events:

1798 Ferdinand IV of Naples declares war on France and enters Rome.

1890 The first US Army-Navy football game is played, with Navy defeating Army 24-0 at West Point, New York.

1897 The first motorcycle race takes place Surrey, England.

1918 Nicholas, King of Montenegro, is deposed and the kingdom is united with Serbia.

1922 Archeologists announce they have found fabulous treasures in the tomb of Tutankhamen in Egypt.

1929 American explorer Richard E. Byrd and a crew of three become the first fly over the South Pole.

1945 Communist state is proclaimed in Yugoslavia and monarchy is abolished.

1964 Several hundred thousand people demonstrate in Beijing against United States involvement in the Congo, calling it aggression.

1965 Canada’s research satellite Alouette 2 was launched in California, USA.

1973 More than 100 people perish in a department store fire in Kumamoto, Japan.

1987 A Korean Air passenger jet with 115 people aboard crashes on Thai-Burma border.

1994 The US House of Representatives approves the Gatt trade agreement.

1995 Carrying banners and signs, thousands of Serbs protest the unification of Sarajevo.

1996 Algerians vote for constitutional changes banning political parties based on religion.

1997 France passes a nationality law that allows citizenship for children born in France of foreign parents.

1999 Gulf Arab states reach a deal to unify customs tariffs during the summit held in Riyadh.

2000 Pantelis Sfinias, general manager of a Greek shipping company leaps to his death, two months after a ferry owned by his company sank and killing 80 people.

2002 A Russian soldier under the influence of narcotics opens fire on fellow servicemen, killing at least eight of them.

2005 The Mall of the Emirates is inaugurated.

2007 RAK Airways marks its first commercial flight to Dhaka, Bangladesh.

2010 Top Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari is killed in a bomb attack in Tehran.

2012 The United Nation General Assembly officially recognises Palestine a non-member observer state.

2013 A Mozambique Airlines plane en route to Angola crashes in a game park in north-east Namibia killing all 34 people on board.

2014 An Egyptian court drops its case against former President Hosni Mubarak over the killing of protesters in the 2011 uprising.