Tung Chee-hwa is appointed to become the new leader of Hong Kong after it reverts to Chinese rule in 1997.
East Timor's Nobel Peace Prize winners, Bishop Carlos Belo and Jose Ramos-Horta, challenge Indonesia to release political prisoners.
The Israeli Government authorises the construction of 130 houses for Jewish settlers in the heart of Arab East Jerusalem and Palestinian officials call if "extreme provocation".
NATO ministers condemn the Serbian Government for cancelling local elections while Opposition MPs in Serbia boycott the Parliament and leave the chamber half-empty. Tens of thousands of protesters take to the streets for the 23rd day.
NATO ministers vote to extend the organisation to include old "Iron Curtain" countries.
Russian coalminers end their week-long strike after Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin promises they will get all their back pay.
South African President Nelson Mandela signs the country's new constitution.
Current events of December 12, 1996 (1996-12-12) (Thursday)
A ski lift accident in the Swiss resort of Riederalp leaves one dead and 18 injured.
Protests against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic continue into their 26th day with 200,000 people packing the streets of Belgrade.
European Union leaders end their two-day summit in Dublin.
Iranian spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameinei, says his country would respond, forcefully, if the United States launches an attack on Iran in retaliation for the 19 American soldiers killed by terrorists in Saudi Arabia.
The Iraqi National Accord becomes the second group to claim responsibility for the assassination attempt on Uday Hussein.
Iranian-backed Hezbollah denies responsibility for a Katushya rocket attack on Israel in South Lebanon.
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation says an exploding fuel tank was not the cause of a TWA Flight 800 crash off New York last July. The FBI is still investigating the possibility of a bomb or a missile destroying the plane.
Saudi Arabian military police investigate the murder of Australian nurse Yvonne Gilford at Dahran's King Fahd Military Complex.
Current events of December 17, 1996 (1996-12-17) (Tuesday)