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Major events in 2011.

January

January 1st – Estonia adopts the Euro currency and becomes the 17th Eurozone country.

January 4th – Prince Ali-Reza of Iran, born 1966, commits suicide. Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor in Tunisia dies after burns of self immolation.

January 9th-15th – Southern Sudan holds a referendum on independence. The Sudanese electorate votes in favour of independence for the creation of the new state in July.

Flooding in Brazilian state, Rio de Janeiro kills 903.

January 14th – Arab spring. The Tunisian government falls after a month of violent protests and President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali flees to Saudi Arabia after 23 years in power.

January 24th – 37 people are killed and more than 180 wounded in a bombing at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia.

February                          

February 11th – Arab spring. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigns after unrest and protests calling for his departure. The control is left in the hands of the military until general elections can be held.

February 22nd – March 14th – Uncertainty over Libyan oil output causes crude oil prices to rise over 20% over a 2 week period following the Arab spring causing the 2011 energy crises.

February 27th – 25th Prime Minister of Turkey, Necmettin Erbakan passes away, born 1926.

March

March 4th – Dutch Nobel physicist, Simon van der Meer, born 1925 passes away.

March 11th – A 9.1 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hits the east of Japan killing 15,840 and leaves 3,926 missing. Tsunami warnings are issued in 50 countries and territories and emergencies are declared at 4 nuclear power plants affected by the quake.

March 15th – Arab spring. Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain declares a 3 month state of emergency as troops from the Gulf Co-operation Council are sent to quell the civil unrest.

March 17th – Arab spring. Arab spring and the Libyan civil war; The United Nations Security Council votes 10-0 to create a no-fly zone over Libya in response to allegations of government aggression against civilians.

March 19th – Arab spring and the Libyan civil war; continuously attacks on Libyan rebels by forces in support of leader Muammar Gaddafi leads to military intervention authorized under UNSCR 1973 begins as French fighter jets make reconnaissance flights over Libya.

April

April 5th – Anna Hazare began his famous faste at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to press for the demand to form a joint committee of the of the representatives of the Government and the civil society to draft a stronger anti-corruption bill with stronger penal actions and more independence to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Ombudsmen in the states), after his demand was rejected by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He said he wanted to fast until the Lokpal bill was passed. The movement attracted attention in the media, and thousands of supporters. Almost 150 people reportedly joined Hazare in his fast. People have shown support in internet social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

April 11th – Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo is arrested in his home in Abidjan by supporters of elected President Alassane Ouattara with support from French forces ending the 2010 – 2011 Ivorian crises and civil war.

April 29th – The wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London.

May

May 1st – May 2nd – U.S. President Barack Obama announces that Osama bin Laden, founder of the militant group Al Qaeda has been killed during an American military operation in Pakistan.

May 14th – 32 year old maid, Nafissatou Diallo, at the Sofitel New York Hotel alleged that Strauss-Kahn had sexually assaulted her after she entered his suite. Strauss-Kahn was formally indicted on 18 May and granted US$1 million bail, plus a US$5 million bond, the following day. He was ordered to remain confined to a New York apartment under guard. After completing a lengthy investigation, prosecutors filed a motion to drop all charges against Strauss-Kahn, stating that they were not convinced of his culpability beyond a reasonable doubt due to serious issues in the complainant’s credibility and inconclusive physical evidence, and therefore could not ask a jury to believe in it.

May 16th – The European Union agree to a € 78 billion rescue deal for Portugal. The bailout loan will be equally split between the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism, The European Financial Stability Facility and the International Monetary Fund.

May 26th – Former Bosnian Serb Army commander Ratko Mladic, wanted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity is arrested in Serbia.

June

June 4th – Chile’s Puyehue volcano erupts causing air traffic cancellations across South America, New Zealand, Australia and forcing over 3,000 people to evacuate.

June 5th – Arab spring. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh travels to Saudi Arabia for treatment of an injury sustained during an attack on the presidential palace. At the same time, protesters celebrate his transfer of power to his Vice-President.

June 9th – Indian painter, M.F. Hussain, born 1915 passes away.

June 12th – Arab spring. Thousands of Syrians flee to Turkey as Syrian troop’s siege to Jisr ash-Shugur.

July

July 7th – The world’s first artificial organ transplant is achieved, using an artificial windpipe coated with stem cells.

July 9th – South Sudan secedes from Sudan as a result from the independence referendum held in January.

July 20thGoran Hadžić is detained in Serbia, becoming the last of 161 people indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The United Nations declares a famine in southern Somalia, the first in over 30 years.

July

July 21st – Space shuttle Atlantis lands successfully at Kennedy Space Center after completing STS-135, concluding NASA’s space shuttle program.

July 22nd – 76 people are killed in twin terrorist attacks in Norway after a bombing in Regjeringskvartalet, the government center in Oslo and a shooting at a political youth camp on the island of Utøya.

July 31st – September 24th – Arab spring; Because of the uncertainties associated with a clamp-down of the free press. It is believed that at least 121 people were killed in a Syrian Army tank raid on the town of Hama and over 150 people are reportedly killed across the country. The total number of the dead is unknown but estimated to be 3,000 as for September.

August

August 5th – NASA announces that its MARS Reconnaissance Orbiter captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars during warm seasons. Later Juno, the first solar-powered spacecraft on a mission to Jupiter, is launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

August 20th -28th – Arab spring; and the Libyan civil war. In the battle of Tripoli, Libyan rebels took control over the nation’s capital effectively overthrowing the government of Muammar Gaddafi.

September

September 5th – India and Bangladesh signs a pact to end their 40 year old border demarcation dispute.

September 10th – Zanzibar ferry sinking; The MV Spice Islander, carrying at least 800 people sinks off the coast of Zanzibar killing 240 people.

September 12th – Approximately 100 Kenyans dies after a petrol pipeline explodes in Nairobi.

September 14th – German Nobel physicist, Rudolf Mössbauer, born 1929 passes away.

September 19th – With 434 dead, United Nations launches a $357 million appeal for victims of the 2011 Sindh floods in Pakistan.

September 20th – Burhanuddin Rabbani, President of Afghanistan from 1992 to 1996 is killed by a suicide bomber.

October

October 4th – 2011 Mogadishu bombing; 100 people are killed in a car bombing in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

In Thailand, 657 people are killed by floods during a severe monsoon season with 58 of the country’s 77 provinces affected.

The death toll from the flooding of Cambodia’s Mekong River and attendant flash floods reaches 207.

October 5th – American computer engineer Steve Jobs, born 1955, passes away.

October 18th – Israel and the Palestinian militant organization Hamas began a major prisoner swap as they released the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,280 prisoners and Israeli-Arab prisoners held in Israel including 280 prisoners serving life sentences for planning and perpetrating terror attacks.

October 20th –Arab spring and the Libyan civil war; Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is killed in Sirte with National Transitional Council forces taking control of the city and ending the war.

Basque separatist militant organization ETA declares and ends to its 43 year campaign of political violence that has killed over 800 people since 1968.

October 23rd – A earthquake with 7,2 magnitude destroyed the city of Van in eastern Turkey, killing 604 people and damaging about 2,200 buildings.

October 27th – After an emergency meeting in Brussels, the European Union announced a agreement to tackle the European sovereign debt crises which includes a writedown of 50% of Greek bonds, a recapitalization of European banks and an increase of the bailout fund of the European Financial Stability Facility totaling to €1 trillion.

October 31st – This date was selected by the UN as the symbolic date when global population reached 7billion.

UNESCO admitted Palestine as a member following a vote in which 107 member states supported and 14 opposed.

November

November 26th – The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity is launched from the Kennedy Space Center. It is planned that it will land on Mars on August 5, 2012.

November 28th – A congressional investigative committee disclosed Monday that it has begun a wide-ranging probe into operations at the Dover Air Force Base mortuary, escalating public scrutiny of the military installation charged with handling America’s war dead. In December, a federal investigation by the United States Office of special counsel found the center had committed “gross mismanagement” of remains, including losing body parts, sawing off the damaged arm bone of a soldier so he would fit in a casket without telling his family, and lax supervision. Three supervisors were disciplined but not removed from duty. The Special Counsel investigation revealed that Air Force officials had attempted to silence whistleblowers by firing them from their jobs, had falsified records, and lied to investigators.

December

December 15th – The United States formally declares an end to the Iraq war.

December 16th – Tropical storm Washi hits the Philippines causing floods, killing more than 957 and 49 are officially listed as missing.

December 17th – Kim Jong-il, Supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea dies.

December 18th – Vaclay Havel, Czech playwright, 10th President of Czechoslovakia and 1st President of the Czech Republic passes away.

December 22nd – Lawmakers in France’s National Assembly – the lower house of parliament, voted overwhelmingly in favour of a draft law outlawing genocide denial, which will be debated next year in the Senate. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described the bill put forward by members of French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling party as “politics based on racism, discrimination, xenophobia.”He said Sarkozy, was sacrificing good ties “for the sake of political calculations,” suggesting the president was trying to win the votes of ethnic Armenians in France in an election next year.

Erdogan said Turkey was cancelling all economic, political and military meetings with its NATO partner and said it would cancel permission for French military planes to land, and warships to dock, in Turkey.

22nd- Several coordinated bombs exploded in Baghdad. At least 16 bombs went of killing over 72 and injuring more than 200 people.

23rd – A earthquake with 5,8 schook Christchurch, New Zealand. Same place was hit with 6,3 in February where 180 people lost their lives.

Nobel Prizes

  • Chemistry – Dan Shechtman
  • Economics – Christopher A. Sims and Thomas J. Sargent.
  • Literature – Tomas Tranströmer
  • Peace – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman
  • Physics – Saul Perlmutter, Adam G. Riess and Brian P. Schmidt.
  • Physiology or Medicine – Bruce A. Beutler, Jules A. Hoffmann and Ralph M. Steinman

 

International World Tuberculosis Day, 24th March

24th March every year is the World Tuberculosis day designed to spread awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis and efforts to eliminate the disease. Today, this disease causes the deaths of about 1,6 million people each year, mostly in the third world.

The reason that it is on 24th March is because the day commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB Bacillus. By the time of the announcement in Berlin, Europe and Americas was already being raged by the TB-virus causing the death of every one out of seven people.

In 1982, on the 100th anniversary of Robert Koch’s presentation, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) proposed that March 24th would be proclaimed as an official World TB Day.

Signs and symptoms

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When the disease becomes active in the human body, 75% of the cases are pulmonary TB, that is, TB in the lungs. The symptoms include; chest pain, coughing up blood, and a productive, prolonged cough for more than three weeks. Systemic symptoms include fever, chills, night sweats, appetite loss, weight loss, pallor, and fatigue. Tuberculosis also has a specific odour attached to it; this has led to trained animals being used to vet samples as a method of early detection.

In the other 25% of active cases, the infection moves from the lungs, causing other kinds of TB, collectively denoted extra pulmonary tuberculosis. This occurs more commonly in immunosuppressed persons and young children. Extra pulmonary infection sites include the pleura in tuberculosis pleurisy, the central nervous system in meningitis, the lymphatic system in scrofula of the neck, the genitourinary system in urogenital tuberculosis, and bones and joints in Pott’s disease of the spine.

Causes

The cause of TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), is a small aerobic non-motile bacillus. High lipid content of this pathogen accounts for many of its unique clinical characteristics. It divides every 16 to 20 hours, an extremely slow rate compared with other bacteria, which usually divide in less than an hour.

Epidemiology

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A third of the world’s population has been infected with M. tuberculosis, and new infections occur at a rate of one per second. However, not all infections with M. tuberculosis cause TB disease and many infections are asymptomatic. In 2007, an estimated 13.7 million people had active TB disease, with 9.3 million new cases and 1.8 million deaths; the annual incidence rate varied from 363 per 100,000 in Africa to 32 per 100,000 in the Americas. Tuberculosis is the world’s greatest infectious killer of women of reproductive age and the leading cause of death among people with HIV/AIDS.

In 2007, the country with the highest estimated incidence rate of TB was Swaziland, with 1200 cases per 100,000 people. India had the largest total incidence, with an estimated 2.0 million new cases. The Philippines ranks fourth in the world for the number of cases of tuberculosis and has the highest number of cases per head in Southeast Asia. Almost two thirds of Filipinos have tuberculosis, and up to an additional five million people are infected yearly. In developed countries, tuberculosis is less common and is mainly an urban disease. In the United Kingdom, the national average was 15 per 100,000 in 2007, and the highest incidence rates in Western Europe were 30 per 100,000 in Portugal and Spain. These rates compared with 98 per 100,000 in China and 48 per 100,000 in Brazil. In the United States, the overall tuberculosis case rate was 4 per 100,000 persons in 2007. In Canada tuberculosis is still endemic in some rural areas. The incidence of TB varies with age. In Africa, TB primarily affects adolescents and young adults, however, in countries where TB has gone from high to low incidence, such as the United States, it is mainly a disease of elder people, or of the immunocopromised.

What are the main causes of TB?

There are a number of known factors that make people more susceptible to TB infection such as HIV. Co-infection with HIV is a particular problem in Sub-Saharan Africa, due to the high incidence of HIV in these countries. Smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day also increases the risk of TB by two to four times. Diabetes mellitus is also an important risk factor that is growing in importance in developing countries. Other disease states that increase the risk of developing tuberculosis are Hodgkin lymphoma, end-stage renal disease, chronic lung disease, malnutrition, and alcoholism.

Diet may also modulate risk. For example, among immigrants in London from the Indian subcontinent, vegetarian Hindu Asians were found to have an 8.5 fold increased risk of tuberculosis, compared to Muslims who ate meat and fish daily. Although a causal link is not proved by this data, this increased risk could be caused by micronutrient deficiencies: possibly iron, vitamin B12 or vitamin D. Further studies have provided more evidence of a link between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of contracting tuberculosis. Globally, the severe malnutrition common in parts of the developing world causes a large increase in the risk of developing active tuberculosis, due to its damaging effects on the immune system. Along with overcrowding, poor nutrition may contribute to the strong link observed between tuberculosis and poverty.

Prisoners, especially in poor countries, are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and TB. Prisons provide conditions that allow TB to spread rapidly, due to overcrowding, poor nutrition and a lack of health services. Since the early 1990s, TB outbreaks have been reported in prisons in many countries in Eastern Europe. The prevalence of TB in prisons is much higher than among the general population, in some countries as much as 40 times higher.

Robert Koch

Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch (11 December 1843 – 27 May 1910) was a Prussian physician. He became famous for isolating Bacillus anthracis (1877), the Tuberculosis bacillus (1882) and the Vibrio cholerae (1883) and for his development of Koch’s postulates. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his tuberculosis findings in 1905 and considered one of the founders of microbiology,

Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch was born in Clausthal, Prussia one of the German states as the son of a mining official. He studied medicine under Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle at the University of Göttingen and graduated in 1866. He then served in the Franco-Prussian War and later became district medical officer, Wollstein (Wolsztyn), Prussian Poland. Working with very limited resources, he became one of the founders of bacteriology, the other major figure being Louis Pasteur. After Casimir Davaine showed the direct transmission of the anthrax bacillus between cows, Koch studied anthrax more closely. He invented methods to purify the bacillus from blood samples and grow pure cultures. He found that, while it could not survive outside a host for long, anthrax built persisting endospores that could last a long time. These endospores, embedded in soil, were the cause of unexplained “spontaneous” outbreaks of anthrax. Koch published his findings in 1876, and was rewarded with a job at the Imperial Health Office in Berlin in 1880. In 1881, he urged the sterilization of surgical instruments using heat.

In Berlin, he improved the methods he used in Wollstein, including staining and purification techniques, and bacterial growth media, including agar plates (thanks to the advice of Angelina and Walther Hesse) and the Petri dish, named after its inventor, his assistant Julius Richard Petri and these devices are still used today. With these techniques, he was able to discover the bacterium causing tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) in 1882 (he announced the discovery on 24 March). Tuberculosis was the cause of one in seven deaths in the mid-19th century.

In 1885, he became professor of hygiene at the University of Berlin, then in 1891 he was made Honorary Professor of the medical faculty and Director of the new Prussian Institute for Infectious Diseases (eventually renamed as the Robert Koch Institute), a position from which he resigned in 1904. He started traveling around the world, studying diseases in South Africa, India, and Java. He visited what is now called the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Mukteshwar on request of the then Government of India to investigate on cattle plague. The microscope used by him during that period was kept in the museum maintained by IVRI. Probably as important as his work on tuberculosis, for which he was awarded a Nobel Prize (1905), are Koch’s postulates, which say that to establish that an organism is the cause of a disease, it must be:

  • found in all cases of the disease examined
  • prepared and maintained in a pure culture
  • capable of producing the original infection, even after several generations in culture
  • Retrievable from an inoculated animal and cultured again.

Koch’s pupils found the organisms responsible for diphtheria, typhoid, pneumonia, gonorrhoea, cerebrospinal meningitis, leprosy, bubonic plague, tetanus, and syphilis, among others, by using his methods.

Robert Koch died on 27 May 1910 from a heart-attack in Baden-Baden, aged 66.

Source info; Wikipedia

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