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Archive for March 22, 2011

International Water Day

Approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.

More than half of this area is over 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) deep. Average oceanic salinity is around 35 parts per thousand (‰) (3.5%), and nearly all seawater has a salinity in the range of 30 to 38 ‰. Scientists estimate that 230,000 marine species are currently known, but the total could be up to 10 times that number.

The major oceanic divisions are defined in part by the continents, various archipelagos, and other criteria. These divisions are (in descending order of size):

Click at the picture for a larger image

  • Pacific Ocean, which separates Asia and Australia from the Americas
  • Atlantic Ocean, which separates the Americas from Eurasia and Africa
  • Indian Ocean, which washes upon southern Asia and separates Africa and Australia
  • Antarctic Ocean, sometimes considered an extension of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, which encircles Antarctica.
  • Arctic Ocean, sometimes considered a sea of the Atlantic, which covers much of the Arctic and washes upon northern North America and Eurasia.

Click at the picture for a larger image

The Pacific and Atlantic may be further subdivided by the equator into northern and southern portions. Smaller regions of the oceans are called seas, gulfs, bays, straits and other names.

Geologically, an ocean is an area of oceanic crust covered by water. Oceanic crust is the thin layer of solidified volcanic basalt that covers the Earth’s mantle. Continental crust is thicker but less dense. From this perspective, the earth has three oceans: the World Ocean, the Caspian Sea, and Black Sea. The Mediterranean Sea is at times a discrete ocean, because tectonic plate movement has repeatedly broken its connection to the World Ocean through the Strait of Gibraltar. The Black Sea is connected to the Mediterranean through the Bosporus, but the Bosporus is a natural canal cut through continental rock some 7,000 years ago, rather than a piece of oceanic sea floor like the Strait of Gibraltar.

Lack of clean water


Almost 50% of the developing world’s population; 2.5 billion people lacks improved sanitation facilities, and over 884 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices, kills and sickens thousands of children every day, and leads to impoverishment and diminished opportunities for thousands more.

Poor sanitation, water and hygiene have many other serious repercussions. Children – and particularly girls – are denied their right to education because their schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities. Women are forced to spend large parts of their day fetching water. Poor farmers and wage earners are less productive due to illness, health systems are overwhelmed and national economies suffer. Without WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), sustainable development is impossible.

Source; UNICEF, July 2010

Facts about water

Today’s water crisis is not an issue of scarcity, but of access. More people in the world own cell phones than have access to a toilet. And as cities and slums grow at increasing rates, the situation worsens. Every day, lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills thousands, leaving others with reduced quality of life.

  • 884 million people lack access to safe water supplies; approximately one in eight people.
  • 3.575 million People die each year from water-related disease.
  • The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.
  • People living in the slums often pay 5-10 times more per liter of water than wealthy people living in the same city.
  • An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than a typical person in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.

Sanitation

  • Only 62% of the world’s population has access to improved sanitation – defined as a sanitation facility that ensures hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact.
  • Lack of sanitation is the world’s biggest cause of infection.
  • 2.5 billion People lack access to improved sanitation, including 1.2 billion people who have no facilities at all.
  • Of the 60 million people added to the world’s towns and cities every year, most occupy impoverished slums and shanty-towns with no sanitation facilities.

Children

  • Diarrhea remains in the second leading cause of death among children under five globally. Nearly one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million each year – is due to diarrhea. It kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
  • Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.
  • Diarrhea is more prevalent in the developing world due, in large part, to the lack of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as poorer overall health and nutritional status.
  • Children in poor environments often carry 1,000 parasitic worms in their bodies at any time.
  • In the developing world, 24,000 children under the age of five die every day from preventable causes like diarrhea contracted from unclean water.
  • 1.4 million Children die as a result of diarrhea each year.

Women

  • In just one day, more than 200 million hours of women’s time is consumed for the most basic of human needs — collecting water for domestic use.
  • This lost productivity is greater than the combined number of hours worked in a week by employees at Wal*Mart, United Parcel Service, McDonald’s, IBM, Target, and Kroger, according to Gary White, co-founder of Water.org.
  • Millions of women and children spend several hours a day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources.
  • A study by the International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) of community water and sanitation projects in 88 communities found that projects designed and run with the full participation of women are more sustainable and effective than those that do not. This supports an earlier World Bank study that found that women’s participation was strongly associated with water and sanitation project effectiveness.

Diseases


  • At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.
  • The majority of the illness in the world is caused by fecal matter.
  • Almost one-tenth of the global disease burden could be prevented by improving water supply, sanitation, hygiene and management of water resources. Such improvements reduce child mortality and improve health and nutritional status in a sustainable way.
  • 88% of cases of diarrhea worldwide are attributable to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene.
  • 90% of all deaths caused by diarrheal diseases are children under 5 years of age, mostly in developing countries.
  • It is estimated that improved sanitation facilities could reduce diarrhea-related deaths in young children by more than one-third. If hygiene promotion is added, such as teaching proper hand washing, deaths could be reduced by two thirds. It would also help accelerate economic and social development in countries where sanitation is a major cause of lost work and school days because of illness.

Economics

  • Over 50 % of all water projects fail and less than five percent of projects are visited, and far less than one percent have any longer-term monitoring.
  • Investment in safe drinking water and sanitation contributes to economic growth. For each $1 invested, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates returns of $3 – $34, depending on the region and technology.
  • Almost two in every three people who need safe drinking water survive on less than $2 a day and one in three on less than $1 a day.
  • Households, not public agencies, often make the largest investment in basic sanitation, with the ratio of household to government investment typically 10 to 1.
  • Investment in drinking-water and sanitation would result in 272 million more school attendance days a year. The value of deaths averted, based on discounted future earnings, would amount to US$ 3.6 billion a year.

Environment


  • Less than 1% of the world’s fresh water (or about 0.007% of all water on earth) is readily accessible for direct human use.
  • More than 80% of sewage in developing countries is discharged untreated, polluting rivers, lakes and coastal areas.
  • The UN estimates that by 2025, forty-eight nations, with combined population of 2.8 billion, will face freshwater “stress” or “scarcity”. Our Water.org High School Curriculum
  • Agriculture is the largest consumer of freshwater by far: about 70% of all freshwater withdrawals go to irrigated agriculture.
  • At home the average American uses between 100 and 175 gallons of water a day. That is less than 25 years ago, but it does not include the amount of water used to feed and clothe us.
  • Conserving water helps not only to preserve irreplaceable natural resources, but also to reduce the strain on urban wastewater management systems. Wastewater is costly to treat, and requires continuous investment to ensure that the water we return to our waterways is as clean as possible.

Source; http://www.water.org

سقوط یک دین بزرگ — زرتشتی

منبع :

بنا نهاده شده قبل از 6 قرن پیش از میلاد توسط زرتشت پیامبر بود که در عصر مفرغ از بینایی خود را از اولین Vohu Manah در سن 30 سالگی به دنیا آمد در حالی که گرفتن یک شیب در Daiti رودخانه توسط قادر متعال که Parsis نامیده می شود در زبان خود را به عنوان اهورا مزدا در ایران یا مدرن روز ایران. هیچ اندیشه تناسخ در جسم تازه و برای آنها در آخر زمان باور کن که وقتی جهان دوباره زنده خواهد شد به طور کامل وجود دارد. کتاب مقدس اوستا نامیده می شود در اصل در زبان باستانی ایران نوشته شده است به غیر از روز های مدرن فارسی است. از آن استفاده می شود مذهب در جهان در بزرگترین ساسانی 228BCE قانون زمانی که آن را در اوج خود است که در آن امپراتوری فرم زرتشت به مناطق آسیای میانه ، جنوب آسیا ، شرق میانه و حمایت کرده بود شده بود حتی در افق اندیشه خود را به افزایش اروپا و چین که در آن حتی به این ویرانه روز از معبد خود را در Zinjiang منطقه از چین پیدا شد. با حمله اسکندر مقدونی سوم بزرگ در 330BCE سقوط از عصر زرتشت طلایی آغاز شده که اسکندر حمله ارتش سرنگونی امپراتوری هخامنشی که بعد از آنها سوخته کتابخانه سلطنتی و آرشیو که در آن مقدس متون مقدس اوستا در نگه داشته شدند شکل اصلی توسط پیامبر زرتشت نوشته شده است. فقط کسری از متن زنده می ماند که بعد از آن توسط سازمان کشیش چند از زرتشتی در دوران قرون وسطی زمانی که ایران بود رو به تهدید حمله اعراب که تحت خلافت اموی را سرنگون امپراتوری فارسی بازنویسی شده و به طور کامل اجرا قوانین مختلف از جمله Jizya که حتی ایرانیان مورد استفاده قرار به تحمیل شده بر غیر Zarathushtra و ماموریت های سازمان یافته تبدیل شد به انجام تبدیل غیر مسلمانان به اسلام که در آن پس از قرن 7th آنها با دو انتخاب مانده بود یا به مناطق دیگر مهاجرت بی طرف جایی که آنها دولت قابل قبول تر و یا خود را به دین اسلام .

کتاب مذهبی :
اوستا کتاب مقدس زرتشت مقدس در اصل توسط قدیمی در ایران زبان اوستایی نوشته شده است. پس از از دست دادن آموزش به علت اصلی این حادثه آتش سوزی از کتابخانه سلطنتی توسط تهاجم الکساندر سوم مقدونی فقط کسری از آن جان سالم به در. در طول قرن 7th تحت خلافت اموی کشیش چند از زرتشت سازمان یافته آموزه های زرتشت. در حال حاضر در دسترس متن مقدس دینی است به چندین کتاب هستند که در خط اوستایی نوشته شده است تقسیم شده باقی می ماند تا به امروز هستند گاتها ، Yasna ، Visperad و Vendidad. همراه با این متون عمومی خانواده کتاب اوستا به نام نماز Khordeh ، که حاوی Yashts و Siroza. بقیه مواد را از اوستا نامیده می شود. “قطعات اوستایی” # :. دوم کتاب که در دسترس هستند اما نه کتابهای آسمانی اما آثار مذهبی در قرون وسطی به خط پهلوی نوشته شده است : Denkard ، Bundahishn ، Menog – Khrad من ، انتخاب از Zadspram ، Jamasp Namag ، رسائل از Manucher ، Rivayats ، Dadestan – من – Denig ، و Arda Namag Viraf. همه متون فارسی میانه زرتشتی در طول این مدت نوشته شده هستند با این نسخهها کار ثانویه در مذهب در نظر گرفته شده ، و کتاب نیست. با این حال ، این متون دارای نفوذ قوی در دین است.

آیین و باورها :

Parsis یا زرتشتیان ‘آیا در تناسخ اعتقاد ندارند. در دین زرتشتی جسد میزبان از فروپاشی و یا druj است. تمرین از قرار گرفتن در معرض مراسم فقط توسط Parsis از شبه قاره هند که در آن غیر قانونی است در “برج خاموشان” در حالی که در آن روش های انهدامی دیگر در دسترس هستند زرتشتیان یا سوزاندن یا دفن در قبر است که با ملات آهک cased نیست انجام می شود. ازدواج در خارج از مذهب منجر به اخراج از جامعه است. پذیرش کودک در جامعه تنها در صورتی که پدر است پارسی در غیر این صورت هیچ پذیرش وجود دارد. تمرین هایی از این دست است منجر به کاهش بیشتر از جامعه رنج می برد که در حال حاضر از نرخ مرگ و میر نوزادان بالا از 200 (میلادی) در 1000 (میلادی). با توجه به این اصل صندلی جامعه زرتشتی مستقر در لس آنجلس و پاریس تصمیم گرفته است برای قطع این نوع از سیستم و دعوت یا تشویق زوج را قبول شریک در خارج از ایمان خود. آنها در آب و آتش به عنوان اصلی به دو شکل از زندگی اعتقاد دارند. آیین های پرستش و یا می تواند در وجود هر گونه منبع نور است که درخشش انجام می شود. آتش معبد جایی که فعالیت های مانور مذهبی مانند ازدواج ، خلوص ، ایمان مذهبی مراسم پذیرش برای کودکان و دیگر آیین های مهم روزانه انجام شده است.

جشنواره ها :
Nouruz * ، روز سال نو. در نوع Fasli / باستانی از تقویم زرتشتی ، این روز همیشه روز اعتدال بهاری (اسمی سقوط در تاریخ 21 مارس).
در Shahenshahi و تقویمهای Kadmi ، که کار را برای سالهای کبیسه حساب نیست ، روز سال نو است زیرفشار پیش توسط بیش از 200 روز است. این دو مدل دومی از تقویم ، جایی که تنها توسط زرتشتیان از هند به دنبال ، جشن اعتدال بهاری به عنوان Jamshed – Nouroz من ، با روز پس از آن که جشن سال نو در ماه ژوئیه / اوت به عنوان Pateti (پایین را ببینید).

* Pateti ، “(روز) طلب مغفرت” (از patet “اعترافات” ، از این رو نیز توبه و طلب مغفرت). این در واقع یک روز از درون گرایی ، و در اصل در روز (و یا در 5 روز گذشته) آخرین سال تقویم رخ داده است. بنا به دلایل مربوط به مناسبت های روز تنها بودن بیش از شش روز مشاهده ، (آخرین روز) Pateti آمد به سقوط در (روز اول) سال نو جشن روز ، و در هند (Shahenshahi / Kadmi تقویمهای) به دست می آمد “جشن “در روز سال نو خود را. اگر چه نام بوده است را حفظ ، Pateti است و دیگر روز از درون گرایی.

* جشن سده ، اواسط زمستان به طور سنتی جشنواره 100 روز (از این رو جشن سده) پس از روز اول زمستان جشن گرفته ، و یا معادل آن ، 50 روز (100 شب و روز) قبل از روز سال نو. از آنجا که این جشنواره شامل ساختمان اتش ، آن هم به نام ادار – Jashan.

* زرتشت بدون Diso ، سالگرد مرگ زرتشت است ، که در روز جشن 11th (Khorshed) از ماه 10th (جواهری). در تقویم فصلی ، سالگرد مرگ زرتشت می افتد در تاریخ 26 دسامبر.
* خرداد Sal ، که جشن سالگرد تولد زرتشت. در این روز ([ک] hordad) 6th از 1 ماه (فروردین) می افتد. در تقویم فصلی ، سالروز تولد زرتشت می افتد در تاریخ 26 مارس.

تقویم زرتشتی :

Shahenshahi Kadmi و انواع دیگری از تقویم را بین calcate سال کبیسه و از این رو در روز از سال تقویم میلادی که بر روی این روزها هستند شیفت جشن پیش رو با هم نیست. نوع سوم که در تقویم زرتشتی ، شناخته شده به صورت Fasli (در هند) و یا باستانی (در ایران) ، intercalcates با توجه به قواعد تقویم گرگوری و در نتیجه باقی مانده است همزمان با فصل.

ماه نام (با نامهای اوستایی زبان در پرانتز) ، در دنباله ترتیبی استفاده می شود امروز ، عبارتند از :
1. Frawardin (Frauuašinąm)

2. Ardwahisht (Vahištahe Ašahe)

3. خرداد (Haurvatātō)

4. تیر (Tištryehe)

5. Amurdad (Amərətātō)

6. Shahrewar (Vairyehe Xšaθrahe)

7. Mihr (Miθrahe)

8. آبان (Apąm)

9. Adur (Āθrō)

10. جواهری (Daθušō [Ahurahe مزدا])

11. Wahman (Vaŋhə̄uš Manaŋhō)

12. Spendarmad (Spəntayā̊ Ārmatōiš)

جمعیت :

همانطور که در هر 2004 تخمین می زند تعدادی از زرتشتیان سراسر جهان در بین 145.000 و 210.000 تخمین زده شده است. در سرشماری سال 2001 هند ، شماره 69،601 Parsis ، به نمایندگی از حدود 0.006 درصد از کل جمعیت از هند ، با غلظت در داخل و اطراف شهرستان از بمبئی. با توجه به سرعت کم هنگام تولد و نرخ بالای مهاجرت ، جمعیتی که پروژه روند تا سال 2020 خواهد Parsis تعداد تنها در حدود 23،000 یا 0.002 درصد از کل جمعیت هند است. Parsis در آن صورت جامعه به آن می شود را متوقف خواهد شد و دارای برچسب “قبیله”. سال 2008 ، از تولد تا مرگ نسبت 1:5-200 (میلادی) در هر سال به مرگ 1،000 بود.

در ایران ، مهاجرت ، خارج از ازدواج و نرخ تولد نوزادان کم هستند به همین ترتیب به کاهش جمعیت زرتشتیان ، که در حال حاضر در حدود کمتر از 20،000 پیشرو.

Downfall of a Great Religion – Zoroastrianism

Origin:

Founded before 6th century BCE by the Prophet Zoroaster who was born in Bronze Age from his first vision of Vohu Manah at the age of 30 while taking a dip in Daiti River by the Almighty which the Parsis called in their language as Ahura Mazda in Persia or modern day Iran. There are no notions for reincarnation & they believe in the end of time when the world will be completely revived. The sacred scripture is called Avesta originally written in Old Iranian Language other than the modern day Persian. It used to be the greatest religion in the world during  Sassanid Rule 228BCE when it was at its peak where the empire had promoted the form of Zoroaster to the regions of Central Asia, South Asia, Middle East & even the horizon of their thought increased to Europe & China where even to this day ruins of their temple were found in Zinjiang region of China. With the invasion of Alexander the Great  III of Macedon in 330BCE the downfall of the golden Zoroaster era started when Alexander invading army toppling the Achaemenid Empire where after they burnt the imperial library & the archives where the sacred the texts of Holy Avesta were kept in the original form written by Prophet Zoroaster. Only the fraction of the text survives which later on rewritten by organizing few priests of Zoroastrianism during the Middle Ages when Persia was facing the threat of Arab invasion who under the Umayyad Caliphate toppled the Persian Empire completely & enforced several laws including Jizya which even Persians used to imposed on non Zuruthashtra & conversion missions  were organised to carried out the conversion of non Muslims to Islam where after the 7th century they were left with two choices either to migrate to other neutral regions where they have more acceptable governments or to convert themselves to Islam.

Religious Scripture:

Avestan is the sacred holy book originally written by Zoroaster in the Old Iranian Language Avestan. After the loss of the original teaching due the fire incident of the Imperial Library by the invading Alexander III of Macedon only the fraction of it survived. During the 7th century under the Umayyad Caliphate few priests of Zoroastrianism organised the teachings of Zoroaster. Now the available sacred religious text is divided into the several books which are written in the Avestan script remain to this day are Gathas, Yasna, Visperad and the Vendidad. Along with these texts is the communal household prayer book called the Khordeh Avesta, which contains the Yashts and the Siroza. The rest of the materials from the Avesta are called “Avestan fragments”. The secondary books which are available though not scriptures but the religious works written during Middle Ages in Pahlavi script: Denkard, Bundahishn, Menog-i Khrad, Selections of Zadspram, Jamasp Namag, Epistles of Manucher, Rivayats, Dadestan-i-Denig, and Arda Viraf Namag. All Middle Persian texts written on Zoroastrianism during this time period are considered secondary works on the religion, and not scripture. Nonetheless, these texts have a strong influence on the religion.

Rituals & Beliefs:

Parsis or Zoroastrians’ don’t believe in reincarnation. In Zoroastrianism corpse is host of decay or druj. The Practice of ritual exposure is practiced only by Parsis of Indian Subcontinent where it is not illegal at the” Tower of Silence” whereas where the other disposal methods are available the Zoroastrians either cremate or bury in grave which are cased with lime mortar. Marriage outside religion leads to expulsion from the community. Acceptance of child in the community is only if the father is Parsi otherwise there is no acceptance. Practice like these has lead to further decline of community which suffers from already High infant mortality rate of 200 births per 1000 deaths. Due to this the Zoroastrian community principle seat based in Los Angeles & Paris has decided to discontinue these types of system & invite or encourage couples to accept partner outside their faith. They believe in Water & Fire as main two forms of life. Rituals or worshipping can be performed in the presence of any source of light which has shine. Fire Temple is the place where manor religious activities are performed like marriage, purification, religious faith acceptance ceremony for children & other important daily rituals.

Festivals:


  • Nouruz, New Year’s Day. In the Fasli/Bastani variant of the Zoroastrian calendar, this day is always the day of the spring equinox (nominally falling on March 21).
    In the Shahenshahi and Kadmi calendars, which do not account for leap years, the New Year’s Day has drifted ahead by over 200 days. These latter two variants of the calendar, which are only followed by the Zoroastrians of India, celebrate the spring equinox as Jamshed-i Nouroz, with New Year’s Day then being celebrated in July/August as Pateti (see below).
  • Pateti, “(day) of penitence” (from patet “confession,” hence also repentance and penitence). This is actually a day of introspection, and originally occurred on the last day (or on the last 5 days) of the calendar year. For reasons related to single day occasions being observed over six days, (the last day of) Pateti came to fall on (the first day of) the New Year’s Day celebrations, and in India (Shahenshahi/Kadmi calendars) came to be “celebrated” on New Year’s Day itself. Although the name has been retained, Pateti is no longer a day of introspection.
  • Sadeh, a mid-winter festival traditionally celebrated 100 days (hence sadeh) after the first day of winter, or alternatively, 50 days (100 days and nights) before New Year’s Day. Because this festival involves building a bonfire, it is also called Adar-Jashan.
  • Zartosht No-Diso, the death anniversary of Zarathushtra, which is celebrated on the 11th day (Khorshed) of the 10th month (Dae). In the seasonal calendar, Zoroaster’s death anniversary falls on December 26.
  • Khordad Sal, which celebrates the birth anniversary of Zoroaster. It falls on the 6th day ([K]hordad) of the 1st month (Farvardin). In the seasonal calendar, Zoroaster’s birth anniversary falls on March 26.

Zoroastrian Calender:

The Shahenshahi and Kadmi variants of the calendar do not inter-calcate leap years and hence the day of the Gregorian calendar year on which these days are celebrated shifts ahead with time. The third variant of the Zoroastrian calendar, known as either Fasli (in India) or Bastani (in Iran), intercalcates according to Gregorian calendar rules and thus remains synchronous with the seasons.

The month-names (with Avestan language names in parentheses), in the ordinal sequence used today, are:

1. Frawardin (Frauuašinąm) 

2. Ardwahisht (Ašahe Vahištahe)

3. Khordad (Haurvatātō)

4. Tir (Tištryehe)

5. Amurdad (Amərətātō)

6. Shahrewar (Xšaθrahe Vairyehe)

7. Mihr (Miθrahe)

8. Aban (Apąm)

9. Adur (Āθrō)

10. Dae (Daθušō [Ahurahe Mazdå])

11. Wahman (Vaŋhə̄uš Manaŋhō)

12. Spendarmad (Spəntayā̊ Ārmatōiš)

 

Demographics:

As per 2004 estimates the number of Zoroastrians worldwide was estimated at between 145,000 and 210,000. In the Indian census of 2001, the Parsis numbered 69,601, representing about 0.006% of the total population of India, with a concentration in and around the city of Mumbai. Due to a low birth rate and high rate of emigration, demographic trends project that by 2020 the Parsis will number only about 23,000 or 0.002% of the total population of India. The Parsis would then cease to be called a community and will be labeled a “tribe”. By 2008, the birth-to-death ratio was 1:5—200 births per year to 1,000 deaths.

In Iran, emigration, out-marriage and low birth rates are likewise leading to a decline in the Zoroastrian population, which is currently estimated at fewer than 20,000.

World News Headlines of March 22

Split Allies Push On With Libya Airstrikes

By NATHAN HODGE in Washington, STEPHEN FIDLER in Brussels and SAM DAGHER in Tripoli The U.S. and its allies intensified air attacks against forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi Monday. Nathan Hodge has details from Washington and Sam Dagher reports from Tripoli, Libya. The U.S. and its allies worked to expand the protective shield in the skies over…

Israel air strikes wound 19 in Gaza Strip

GAZA (Reuters) – Israel launched air strikes in the Gaza Strip on Monday, wounding at least 19 people, after militants fired mortar shells and rockets into the Jewish state, witnesses and militant groups said. The number of raids and casualties in one evening showed the rising tension between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza….

Guatemala’s Alvaro Colom to divorce wife Sandra Torres

Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom and his wife Sandra Torres have filed for divorce so she can stand for election to succeed him, officials say. Ms Torres announced she would be the governing party candidate in September’s presidential election earlier…

Latin America faces big challenges – Obama

SANTIAGO, Chile – Reaching out to a vast but overshadowed region, President Barack Obama called Latin America a rising giant in the world that must live up to greater responsibilities and speak up for those whose rights are crushed. Firming up his “new era of partnership” with the peoples of South and Central America, Obama made his…

U.S. intends to step back in Libya mission, but timing uncertain

Obama explains U.S. role in Libya (CNN) — The unique military capabilities of the United States made it the leader of initial coalition attacks on Libya in order to establish a no-fly zone and halt Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, but the mission will soon shift to control by NATO or others with participation by Arab nations, U.S. officials insist.

22,000 Dead or Missing in Japan

Medvedev rejects Putin ‘crusade’ remark over Libya

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has said Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s description of the UN resolution on Libya is “unacceptable”. The rare rebuke came hours after Mr Putin criticised the resolution, which authorised military action to protect Libyan civilians.

Latest World News

 

Important Events on March 22

March 22: World Water Day

Nader Shah, Shah of Iran

  • 1638 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony expelled Anne Hutchinson from its ranks for dissenting from Puritan orthodoxy.
  • 1736 – Under orders from Shah of Iran Nader Shah (pictured) to plunder Delhi, India, Persian troops killed at least 20,000 Indians, forcing Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah to beg for mercy.
  • 1913 – Phan Xich Long, the self-proclaimed Emperor of Vietnam, was arrested for organising a revolt against the colonial rule of French Indochina, which was nevertheless carried out by his supporters the following day.
  • 1984 – In what would be the longest and costliest criminal trial in United States history, teachers at the McMartin preschool in Manhattan Beach, California, were falsely charged with satanic ritual abuse of schoolchildren.
  • 1995 – Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov of the Soyuz programme returned from the Mir space station after 437 days in space, setting a record for the longest spaceflight.

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