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January 3

January 3
There has been fierce resistance to the Soviet invasion
1980: Afghan leader defends Soviet invasion

England have

The new president of Afghanistan, Babrak Karmal, has made his first public appearance since the Soviet-backed coup last week.

Speaking in Kabul, Karmal told foreign journalists that Soviet troops are defending his country "against outside threats".

The former leader of the People's Democratic Republic of Afghanistan's (PDPA) Parcham faction went on to accuse the US of "provocationand lies".

Today, President Carter has announced further US sanctions against the USSR including a reduction of Soviet embassy staff and restricted landing rights for the Russian airline 'Aeroflot'.

Mr Carter has also imposed an embargo on grain sales to the USSR that will see US exports fall from 25 million to eight million tonnes.

The President described the Soviet incursions into Afghanistan as, "an extremely serious threat to peace" and "a callous violation of international law and the United Nations charter."

He warned that, "A Soviet occupied Afghanistan threatens both Iran and Pakistan and is a stepping stone to possible control over much of the world's oil supplies."

Russian forces were airlifted into Afghanistan on Christmas day under the pretext of upholding the Soviet-Afghan Friendship Treaty of 1978.

By 27 December 1979 Hafizullah Amin had been executed and replaced as head of state by Karmal.

In Moscow the new Afghan foreign minister, Shah Mohammed Dost, has been in talks with his Soviet counterpart, Andrei Gromyko.

The UN Security Council is expected to meet in New York at the weekend to discuss the situation. UN secretary general, Kurt Waldheim, has returned from the hostage crisis in Iran to attend.   

January 3
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

2000: Art theft was 'professional' job

Artificially 1969:
The Police have said the Cezanne painting taken from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford on New Year's Eve was probably stolen to order.
The painting - Auvers-sur-Oise - was bought by the Ashmolean in 1980 and is said to be worth ?m.

It was the museum's only work by French impressionist Paul Cezanne and was integral to their collection of art from that period, which included works by Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso.

Superintendent John Carr of Oxford Police said: "Whoever has taken this painting has given some thought to how to steal it. The person has some reason for it and some outlet for it."

Thieves entered the gallery through the glass roof, via scaffolding around a new library extension being added to the building.

The Ashmolean, which is the oldest public museum in the world, maintains that its security systems did not fail. But the thieves used smoke canisters to set off fire alarms and cause enough confusion to escape with the prized landscape.

Museum director Christopher Brown said: "Cezanne played an absolutely key role in the representation of a key period in 19th century painting and it really is a great blow to us and the way in which we can display that moment in Western painting."

Police are circulating details of the painting internationally in the hope that its whereabouts can be traced. They are also appealing for any New Year revellers that witnessed anything suspicious on the night of the crime to come forward.

The work is an oil on canvas depicting a group of small, white cottages in a lush, tree-filled valley. It was framed and measured 18 by 22 inches.


provocation: unfriendly behavior that causes anger or resentment(挑衅;激怒)

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