Happy Holidays!

IBM sells its personal computer division to a company in Beijing, China, Lenovo, for $1.75 billion on December 7th. In exchange, IBM will also receive 18.9 percent of Lenovo. December 7th is also the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, which brought America into World War II.

 

December 2nd finds President Bush selecting former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik to replace Tom Ridge as Homeland Security secretary. On December 11th, Kerik withdraws his nomination, as allegation surface about a nanny he employs. Kerik allegedly failed to pay employer taxes for the nanny, who was in the country illegally.

 

On December 7th, the House of Representatives votes on and passes a restructuring of the nation's intelligence community. The law creates a new position for a national intelligence czar. Senate approves the legislation on December 8th, and President Bush signs the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Act of 2004 into law, which represents the largest restructuring of the nation's intelligence network in decades.

 

The United Nations reports the world contains 852 million hungry people on December 8th, which shows an increase of 18 million since 2000. The research also indicates over 5 million children die annually due to hunger and malnutrition.  In an odd turn of events, citing rising budget deficits on December 22, President Bush announces the United States has reduced aid to worldwide food programs. Experts estimate the reduction to be nearly $100 million.

 

Chanukah begins on December 8th.

 

The 16th of December marks the premiere of "Meet the Fockers," which stars Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand, Owen Wilson and Blythe Danner. The film is a sequel to the romantic Holiday comedy from 2000, "Meet the Parents."

 

Winter officially begins on December 21st.

 

Christmas is on December 25th, and millions of Americans jam virtual and brick-and-mortar shopping venues for holiday gifts.

 

On December 26, an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 rocks off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, causing tidal waves that pour inland at 500 mile per hour across the Indian Ocean. 14,000 are killed in dozens of countries in Asia and East Africa with millions left homeless from the disaster. Indonesia is devastated, with 100,000 casualties.

 

Here are some links for December: 

  • Wikipedia: Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake - The free encyclopedia furnishes a wealth of information about the tsunami disaster, which has been rated as among the worst natural disasters in history. 
  • Judaism 101: Chanukah - Delivers historic information about the Jewish holiday as well as traditions associated with the December celebration. 
  • Christmas Gifts and Gift Baskets - Shop for an assortment of Christmas gifts, including chocolates, cookies, cakes, gift baskets and gift towers plus special gifts for men and women. 
  • Lenovo US - Beijing-based computer company, which recently purchased the IBM personal computer line, offers an outline of products, service and support.