2001 - A new chief minister for Gujarat was sworn in after the previous incumbent resigned because of allegations that he mishandled relief work following a devastating earthquake which killed 25,000 people. Narendra Modi, who belongs to India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was sworn in at a ceremony attended by prominent BJP politicians, including federal Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani. The previous chief minister, Keshubhai Patel, resigned last week following a poor BJP showing in recent polls and amid widespread unhappiness in the way he directed the relief work after the January 26 earthquake. Modi, 51, is a senior politician and considered to be a key strategist and an able organiser. He successfully steered the party to the forefront in the state from a relatively weak position in the period from 1989 to 1995, when the party marched into power.

Other important events:

1769 - Captain James Cook lands in New Zealand for the first time, at Poverty Bay.

1840 - William I, the first king of the Netherlands, abdicates and is succeeded by his son, William II.

1879 - Britain invades Afghanistan.

1935 - The League of Nations declares Italy the aggressor in Ethiopia.

1949 - The Democratic Republic of Germany is formed.

1950 - China invades Tibet.

1955 - Egypt and Saudi Arabia sign a joint defence agreement in Cairo.

1958 - President Iskander Mirza proclaims martial law in Pakistan.

1963 - US President John F. Kennedy signs nuclear test ban treaty between the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union.

1971 - Oman joins United Nations.

1976 - Hua Guofeng becomes Chairman of the Communist Party of China.

1981 - Egypt’s Vice-President Hosni Mubarak is nominated as successor to slain President Anwar Sadat.

1988 - Thousands of workers in Yugoslavia demand higher wages and ouster of Communist leaders.

1990 - Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum passes away.

1996 - Two car bombs explode in the British army’s heavily guarded headquarters in Northern Ireland, injuring 31 people.

2000 - Vojislav Kostunica takes oath of office as Yugoslav president.

2001 - US and Britain launch powerful air and missile strikes on Afghanistan.

2003 - California votes in a special election to recall Democratic Governor Gray Davis from office and replace him with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

2005 - Mohammad Al Baradei and his International Atomic Energy Agency win the Nobel Peace Prize.

2006 - Latvians vote in first election since joining European Union.

2011 - Tawakul Karman becomes the first Arab woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

2012 - The Philippines government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front announce they have agreed a deal to end a decades-long insurgency.

2013 - Four Saudi women make history by becoming the first women to be allowed to practise law in the kingdom’s courts.

2015 - UAE opens new diplomatic mission in Havana, Cuba.