OJ acquitted of double murder NINE years ago today, OJ Simpson was acquitted of the brutal double murder of his former wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman. In the sensational 252-day trial, the prosecution put forward "a mountain of evidence" linking Simpson to the killings. DNA evidence appeared to point to the former American footballer's guilt. However, a 'dream team' of lawyers managed to turn the trial into a race issue, claiming OJ was an innocent African-American framed by racist police officers.

Polls showed that the argument worked, with black Americans campaigning for Simpson's acquittal and white Americans calling for his prosecution. The jury of nine blacks, two whites and one hispanic took four hours to acquit Simpson.

Che's revolution ends for good THE violent deaths of two political leaders will be remembered this week. On 6 October 1981, President Sadat of Egypt was assassinated while watching a military display marking the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. Sadat was assassinated by Muslim extremists angry at his official recognition of Israel.

On October 9 1967, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara de la Serna was executed by the Bolivian army. Guevara was a professional revolutionary who is most famous for assisting Fidel Castro in overthrowing the Batista regime in 1959.

He also took part in the Guatemalan revolution of the 1950s, before attempting to export Marxism to Africa.

Having failed in Africa, Argentinian-born Guevara returned to Bolivia, where he was eventually captured and executed.

Maze hunger strikes called off TODAY also marks the 22nd anniversary of the calling-off of the Maze hunger strikes in Northern Ireland. Seven months after beginning their hunger strike, and with 10 prisoners dead, republicans called off the strike after coming under pressure from the families of prisoners.

The hunger strike began on 1 March 1981, in protest at the British government's refusal to grant IRA prisoners political status.

On 5 May, Bobby Sands became the first prisoner to die, after two months on hunger strike. The government eventually agreed to some of the prisoners' demands but stopped short of offering political status.

This week also marks the anniversary of the Guildford bombings, which occured on 5 October 1974.

The bombings, which killed five people, led to the imprisonment of four alleged IRA terrorists.

However, after 14 years in jail, the Court of Appeal ruled that their convictions were miscarriages of justice and freed the Guildford Four.

Cold War thaws, Germany unites THE Cold War was effectively ended on 3 October, 1990, when East and West Germany were reunited. Although it was a year since the fall of the Berlin Wall, 'Unity Day' marked the official reunification of Germany.

Two months later, Helmut Kohl was elected as the first chancellor of the new Germany.

On 5 October, 1986, one of the most sensational scandals of the Cold War broke when it was revealed that the US was secretly funding anti-communist forces in Nicaragua.

The CIA was found to have funded the antigovernment Contras, using money earned from arms sales to Iran.

Eleven members of Ronald Reagan's administration were eventually convicted of a variety of charges related to the scandal.

Milosevic ousted in public revolt OPPOSITION supporters stormed the Yugoslav parliament in Belgrade on 5 October 2000, in a popular revolution which brought to an end the regime of Slobodan Milosevic.

Demonstrations began in the morning and by afternoon the crowd had swelled to several thousand.

By three o'clock police abandoned their positions outside the parliament and allowed the protesters to storm the building. Many police officers and army personel joined the protest, which saw Milosevic resign after a brutal decade in power.

Oh Tony, the irony of it all IRONIC milestone of the week: 72 years ago today, Britain withdrew from Iraq and granted the Arab country independence.

BIRTHDAYS TODAY Chubby Checker is 63 Neve Campbell is 31 Gwen Stefani is 35 Kevin Richardson is 33 Jayne Torvill is 47 Mick Holden is 50 MONDAY Michael Adams is 60 Sir Terence Conran is 73 Charlton Heston is 79 Alicia Silverstone is 28 Susan Sarandon is 58 Basil D'Oliveira is 73 Charlie Hurley is 68 TUESDAY Deirdre Friel is 63 Bob Geldof is 53 Kate Winslet is 29 Diane Cilento is 71 WEDNESDAY Maria Simonds-Gooding is 65 Gerry Adams is 56 Elisabeth Shue is 41 Melvyn Bragg is 65 Richie Benaud is 74 Bruce Grobbelaar is 47 Niall Quinn is 38 THURSDAY Thomas Keneally is 69 Vladimir Putin is 52 Clive James is 65 Col Oliver North is 61 Desmond Tutu is 73 Christopher Booker is 67 Thom Yorke is 36 John Cougar Mellencamp is 53 Toni Braxton is 36 FRIDAY Rev Jesse Jackson is 63 Chevy Chase is 51 Sigourney Weaver is 55 Matt Damon is 34 Paul Hogan is 65 Ray Reardon is 72 SATURDAY Frank Dunlop is 57 Sharon Osbourne is 52 Jackson Browne is 56 Hank P"ster is 51 Tony Ward is 50