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Five years ago: Iraq's new government finally began to take shape as lawmakers elected as president Jalal Talabani, a Kurdish leader who promised to represent all ethnic and religious groups. Fifteen U.S. service members and three American civilians were killed when their Chinook helicopter crashed in Afghanistan. Prince Rainier III of Monaco died at age 81, leaving the throne to Prince Albert II.
One year ago: An earthquake in central Italy killed some 300 people in the country's deadliest quake in nearly three decades. President Barack Obama paid tribute to the memory of modern Turkey's founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, during a visit to Ankara; delivering a speech to the Turkish Parliament, Obama declared the U.S. "is not and never will be at war with Islam." Michael Jordan, along former Dream Team teammates David Robinson and John Stockton, were elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame; Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and Rutgers women's coach C. Vivian Stringer were also part of a class. North Carolina won the NCAA championship, ending Michigan State's inspirational run with a 89-72 rout.
Today's birthdays: Nobel Prize-winning scientist James D. Watson is 82. Composer-conductor Andre Previn is 81. Country singer Merle Haggard is 73. Actor Billy Dee Williams is 73. Actor Roy Thinnes is 72. Movie director Barry Levinson is 68. Actor John Ratzenberger is 63. Actress Marilu Henner is 58. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Janet Lynn is 57. Actor Michael Rooker is 55. Rock musician Warren Haynes is 50. Rock singer-musician Frank Black is 45. Author Vince Flynn is 44. Actress Ari Meyers is 41. Actor Paul Rudd is 41. Actor-producer Jason Hervey is 38. Rock musician Markku Lappalainen (mar-KOO' lap-uh-LAN'-en) is 37. Actor Zach Braff is 35. Actress Candace Cameron Bure is 34. Actor Bret Harrison is 28.
Thought for today: "Men are not against you; they are merely for themselves." -- Gene Fowler, American journalist and author (1890-1960)
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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