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January 17

January 17
The first planes took off last night
1991: Bush orders Allies to begin bombing Baghdad

England have

The Shah of Iran has fled the country following months of increasingly violent protests against his regime.

Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi and his wife, Empress Farah, left Tehran and flew to Aswan in Egypt.

The couple's three youngest children were flown to the United States yesterday.

Official reports say the Shah has left for a "vacation" and medical treatment. In fact, he was asked to leave by the man he appointed prime minister earlier this month.

Over the past few months, there have been an increasing number of violent clashes between security forces and anti-Shah demonstrators.

Opposition to the Shah has become united behind the Muslim traditionalist movement led by Iran's main spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, from exile in France.

There have been calls for the Ayatollah's return - and news of the Shah's departure was greeted with mass celebrations across Iran.

British and United States' ex-patriates living in Iran - regarded as symbols of westernization - have been the frequent target of attacks. Thousands have left the country.

Martial law was declared in many cities on 8 September. But later that month, industrial action by thousands of Iranian workers culminated in a mass strike by employees in the oil industry.

The strike sparked riots and rallies across the country in support of the Ayatollah.

Western governments, like the US, UK and West Germany, have continued to express support for the Shah.

The Shah appointed a new military government in early November. But it failed to stem the rising tide of support for the Ayatollah.

Earlier this month he appointed a new prime minister, Dr Shapur Bahktiar. When, on 13 January, the Ayatollah declared a revolutionary Islamic council to replace what he called the "illegal government" of Iran, Dr Bahktiar persuaded the Shah it was time to leave.

January 17
The earthquake struck at 4.31am, waking many to fire and destruction.

1994: Massive earthquake hits Los Angeles

Artificially 1969:
The A huge earthquake has rocked Los Angeles, killing more than twenty people.

The earthquake, which measured 6.6 on the Richter scale and lasted for 40 seconds, struck at 04.31 local time (12.31 GMT).

More than 1,000 people have been injured and the death toll is expected to rise as rescuers continue to pull bodies from collapsed buildings.

Mayor of Los Angeles, Richard Riordan, has declared a state of emergency and an evening curfew has been imposed.

The airport has been closed due to a lack of power and doctors are having to perform surgery in the open air due to damaged hospital buildings.

The area worst hit is reported to have been the San Fernando Valley where the quake is likely to have affected up to three million people.

Los Angeles emergency services, who are stretched to the limit, are using heat detecting cameras and listening equipment to trace signs of life beneath the rubble.

One of the city's fire fighters, Grove Lumas, said it was fortunate the quake had struck during the night. He said "If this had happened in the middle of the day we would have been stacking up the bodies".

Experts are warning of potential aftershocks and police have issued a statement warning of isolated cases of looting. The authorities have told residents to "stay home" and "stay calm".


stack: to lay in a conical or other pile; to make into a large pile(堆叠)

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