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Messing Up, Alphabetically

Messing Up, Alphabetically

November 4: Central Asian countries that proclaimed independence after the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) disintegrated in 1991 are not merely beset by the usual political and economic uncertainties that mark all new nations. They are uncertain about their alphabets too. At the root of all this confusion is an identity crisis that the countries are suffering. Messing Up, Alphabetically [Illustration by Sudheer Nath] Take Azerbaijan, for instance. Since most people here speak Azeri, verbal communication is not a problem....

Global Concern Over Possibility of Nuclear Bomb in Iran

Where: Tehran, Iran February 26, 2009 : Bushehr, located on Iran’s Gulf coast, houses the country’s first nuclear facility. It was inaugurated with much ceremony, but will only become fully functional later in the year. The 1000-megawatt reactor was built with Russian help. Russia is a permanent member of the United Nations security council, which has repeatedly imposed *economic sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program. The Russian government has stressed that Bushehr is a civilian facility which cannot be used to make bombs....

North Korea Conducts Nuclear Test

Where: Pyongyang, North Korea May 26, 2009 : North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Monday, May 25, 2009, in the face of warnings and opposition from countries around the world. Geological sensors in South Korea detected tremors from an artificial earthquake caused by the explosion. This was followed by an official announcement by the North Korean government agencies of the successful conduct of the test. The Russian Defence Department said the bomb was probably as big as the bombs that caused such large scale destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the second World War....

New Government Takes Over in Israel

Where: Jerusalem, Israel April 1, 2009 : Benjamin Netanyahu became the prime minister of Israel for a second time, to head a coalition government. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed the hope that the new government would work for peace, and towards establishing an independent Palestinian state. The United Nations is part of what is called the ‘Quartet of Middle East peace brokers’ along with the United States, Russia and the European Union....

Sri Lanka's Humanitarian Crisis : Thousands Trapped in War Zone

Where: Vavuniya, Sri Lanka January 30, 2009 : The Sri Lankan army has been engaged in fierce fighting with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s (LTTE) forces. In the first weeks of 2009, the army took control of the main rebel bases of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. The LTTE is a militant group that formed in 1976, and their campaign to carve out an independent state for the minority Tamil population in the country’s northern region led to a raging civil war....

Gaza Under Fire: Israel Refuses to Relent

Gaza Under Fire: Israel Refuses to Relent

Where: The Gaza Strip January 06, 2009 : Israel launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip on December 28, 2008, and the attacks grew to a full-fledged war within days. The Gaza Strip lies along the Mediterranean Sea. It is not a part of a recognised sovereign state, but it is home to the Palestinian Arab people, numbering about 1.4 million. The area was under Israeli control until 2005. Since 2007, it has been administered by a radical group from the region called Hamas....


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