Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat shakes hands with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during their meeting in the West Bank town of Ramallah. - Gulf News Archives Image Credit:

September 11

1697 Prince Eugene of Savoy defeats Turks at Zenta, Hungary.

1789 US President George Washington appoints stalwart Federalist Alexander Hamilton to be the first secretary of the treasury.

1830 Republic of Ecuador is established and granted a constitution by Colombia.

1871 The 1st passenger train passed through the Mount Cenis Tunnel between France and Italy.

1903 The world’s oldest major motor speedway, the Milwaukee Mile, opens at the Wisconsin State Fair Park.

1916 The Quebec Bridge in Canada collapseS for the second time while it was being constructed, killing 13 workers.

1919 US Marines invade Honduras.

1922 British mandate in Palestine is proclaimed while Arabs declare day of mourning.

1936 US President Franklin Roosevelt dedicates Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) by pressing a key in Washington to signal the startup of the dam’s first hydroelectric generator in Nevada.

1948 Henri Queuille becomes Prime Minister of France.

1955 Thirteen US Air Force men are killed when a B-29 plane crashes in the Pacific between Japan and Formosa.

1973 Chile’s President Salvador Allende dies in a US-supported military coup.

1979 Angolan President Agostinho Neto is died in Moscow after an operation.

1989 Thousands of jubilant East Germans swarmed across Hungary’s open border to start new lives in the West.

1998 Spymaster Yevgeny Primakov becomes the prime minister of Russia.

2001 Two hijacked planes slam into the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

2005 Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s long-ruling party wins a landslide victory in elections for parliament’s Lower House.

2006 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reaches a deal with Esmail Haniya of Hamas to form unity government.

2009 Inmates at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison start a fire and clash with guards during the two days of unrest.

2011 US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three Americans die after an assault at the American consulate in Benghazi.

2013 Twin blasts targeting Egypt’s army kills at least nine soldiers in the restive Sinai peninsula.

2015 A massive construction crane crashes into Makkah’s Grand Mosque in stormy weather, killing at least 107 people.

2016 Saudi Arabia launches Persian-language Haj television amid tensions with Iran.



US calls for colony freeze in Palestine

United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urged Israel in public to freeze colony activity, saying a “time-out” to actions Palestinians saw as provocative could help save the peace process. Israel, caught off-guard, responded with a blunt rejection, saying it could no more freeze colonies “than we can freeze life”. Albright made her call over the head of right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a televised speech that contained the toughest public language she has adopted on his policies. Blaming both sides for a crisis she called “neither inevitable nor accidental”, she said Israel and Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian National Authority had both failed to live up to “their full obligations as partners in peace” under the Oslo peace accords. Albright held out little hope her debut Middle East mission, to try to restore confidence battered by colony building and suicide bombings, could achieve any success without what she called “hard decisions” by both leaders.