At 17, Gates formed a venture with Allen called Traf-O-Data to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor. In 1972, he served as a congressional page in the House of Representatives. He was a National Merit Scholar when he graduated from Lakeside School in 1973. He scored 1590 out of 1600 on the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) and enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973. He chose a pre-law major but took mathematics and graduate level computer science courses. While at Harvard, he met fellow student Steve Ballmer. Gates left Harvard after two years while Ballmer stayed and graduated magna cum laude. Years later, Ballmer succeeded Gates as Microsoft's CEO and maintained that position from 2000 until his resignation in 2014.
On 2 February, Ukrainian TV channel aired a leaked recording of the information exchange between the Iranian pilot of an Aseman Airlines flight and an Iranian air-traffic controller. The pilot allegedly stated in Persian that he saw a flash similar to missile fire in the sky, and then an explosion. Following the leak, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the new evidence proved Iran was well-aware from the very first moments that the Ukraine passenger airplane was brought down by a missile. The following day Iran ceased co-operation with Ukraine in its investigation into the disaster due to this leaked recording. Iran resumed co-operation on 15 February.More Info
On 11 January, in response to the government's admission, thousands of protesters poured into the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities such as Isfahan, Shiraz, Hamadan and Urmia. Video clips on Twitter showed protesters in Tehran chanting "Death to the dictator", a reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. In Tehran, hundreds of protesters took to the streets to vent anger at officials, calling them liars for having denied the shootdown. Protests took place outside at least two universities: students and protesters gathered at Sharif University, Amirkabir University and Hafez Overpass in Tehran, initially to pay respect to the victims. Protests turned angry in the evening. President Trump tweeted support for the protests. The mourning Iranians called Qasem Soleimani a murderer and tore up pictures of him, shattering the appearance of national solidarity that had followed his death.More Info
On 6 January, Russia and China were blamed by the U.S. because of "blocking a resolution condemning the attack on Washington's Baghdad embassy". According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, "Russia has offered Iraq their S-400 air defense system to protect their airspace". For only the second time since the start of the country's civil war nearly nine years ago, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, arrived in Syria to meet with its president, Bashar al-Assad, on 7 January. In another meeting, in Baghdad, on 6 January, Zhang Tao, the Chinese Ambassador, said to Iraq's caretaker Prime Minister al-Mahdi that "China is keen to increase security and military cooperation in Iraq."More Info
Shortly before the U.S. Department of Defense announced the strike, President Trump posted a U.S. flag on Twitter. The next morning, he held a public statement saying he had authorized the strike because Soleimani was plotting "imminent and sinister attacks" on Americans. He added, "We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war." He also said he did not seek a regime change in Iran. On 4 January, Trump tweeted that 52 Iranian targets (representing the 52 American hostages in the 1979–81 Iran hostage crisis) had been selected if Iran "strikes any Americans, or American assets". Iranian President Rouhani responded to Trump's warning: "Those who refer to the number 52 should also remember the number 290", referring to the 1988 shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655, by a U.S. warship in which 290 were killed. Among those targets were Iranian "cultural sites", and Trump subsequently insisted he would not hesitate to destroy such targets even after some said it could be considered a war crime.More Info
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