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Grand Duke's Birthday Luxembourg - Jun 23

The Grand Duke's Official Birthday (French: Célébration publique de l'anniversaire du souverain) is celebrated as the annual national holiday of Luxembourg. It is celebrated on 23 June, although this has never been the actual birthday of any ruler of Luxembourg. When the monarch of Luxembourg is female, it is known as the Grand Duchess's Official Birthday.

Development of the holiday

The monarch's birthday has not always been celebrated on 23 June. Under William I (1815–40), the date was 24 April (although his actual birthday was 25 August), and under William II (1840–1849), it was 6 December, his actual birthday. This change created the strange situation of celebrating two Grand Ducal birthdays in 1840. Under William III (1849–90), the date was set at 17 June until 1859, after which, his birthday was celebrated on 19 February: two days after his actual birthday. With the separation of the orders of succession, the Dutch and Luxembourgois thrones split in 1890. The NassauWeilburg monarchs celebrated their Official Birthdays on their actual birthdays. In 1947, the day was declared the 'national holiday'. As both the reigning Charlotte and the Heir Apparent (and regent) Jean were born in January, it was feared that their actual birthdays, therefore the nation's holiday, would be marred by poor weather. Thus, on 23 December 1961, the date was fixed on 23 June by Grand Ducal decree.

Ligo Day Latvia - Jun 23

Jāņi (pronounced is a Latvian festival held in the night from 23 June to 24 June to celebrate the summer solstice (Midsummer), the shortest night and longest day of the year. The day of Līgo (23 June) and the day of Jāņi (pronounced (24 June) are public holidays, and people usually spend them in the countryside. The festival's eveJāņu vakars) is held in the evening of 23 June and goes on all through the night Jāņu nakts, where people Līgo (sway) into the following day. Jāņi is an ancient festival originally celebrated in honour a Latvian pagan deity Jānis, referred to as a "Son of God" in some ancient Latvian folksongs. Jānis is also traditionally the most common of Latvian male given names, corresponding to English name John, and everybody of the name Jānis holds a special honor on this day (Jāņi is a plural form of Jānis) and wears an oak wreath. Besides John, the name of Jānis is also etymologically linked with other names of various nations, such as Aeneas, Dionysus, Jonash, Jan, Jean, Johan, João, Ian, Ivan, Huan, and Han. The festival's current date has shifted a few days from 21 June/22 June when the summer solstice actually takes place due to its somewhat incongruous association with Saint John the Baptist's feast day, which falls on 24 June. Still, traditions of Jāņi contain no reference to Christianity or any Christian symbolism. Jāņi is thought to be the time when the forces of nature are at their most powerful, and the boundaries between the physical and spiritual worlds are thinnest. In the past, evil witches were believed to be riding around, so people decorated their houses and lands with rowan branches and thorns in order to protect themselves from evil. In modern days other traditional decorations are more popular, including birch or sometimes oak branches and flowers as well as leaves, especially ferns. Women wear wreaths Ligo Day Festival made from flowers; in rural areas livestock is also decorated. Jāņi also is thought to be the perfect time to gather herbs, because it is believed that they then have magical powers on this day. Other practices of magic in Jāņi vary from fortune-telling to ensuring productivity of crops, as well as livestock fertility. A well-known part of this celebration is searching for the mythical fern flower, though some suggest that the fern flower is a symbol of secret knowledge; today it is almost always synonymous with having sexual relationships. Young couples traditionally search for the flower and many believe there is an increase in births nine months later. (In the past, this timing was ideal for farmers.) Another important detail is fire: A festival fire must be kept from sunset till sunrise, and various kinds of flaming light sources are used; usually these are bonfires, which traditionally people jump over to ensure prosperity and fertility. Traditional food during Jāņi is a special type of cheese with carawayseeds, made out of curd, and the traditional drink is beer. Many people make the cheese of Jāņi themselves; a few also make their own beer. Representatives of Latvian Emergency services often warn that Jāņi can be harmful to health because of the amounts of food and alcoholic beverages consumed, as well as maltreated fires. Additionally, accounts of drinking and driving are higher on this day than of any other in the year.

Midsummer Party - Jun 23 Denmark, Norway

Midsummer day simply refer to the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, but more often refers to specific European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice, or that take place on a day between June 21 and June 24, and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between different cultures. Midsummer is especially important in the cultures of Scandinavia and Latvia where it is the most celebrated holiday apart from Christmas.

Background European midsummer-related holidays, traditions, and cel-

ebrations are pre-Christian in origin. They are particularly important in Northern Europe - Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania – but are also found in Germany, Ireland, parts ofBritain (Cornwall especially), France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine, other parts of Europe, and elsewhere - such as Canada, the United States, Puerto Rico, and also in the Southern Hemisphere (mostly in Brazil, Argentina and Australia), where this imported European celebration would be more appropriately called Midwinter. Midsummer is also sometimes referred to by Neopagans and others as Litha, stemming from Bede's De temporum ratione which provides Anglo-Saxon names for the months roughly corresponding to June and July as "se Ærra Liþa" and "se Æfterra Liþa" (the "early Litha month" and the "later Litha month") with an intercalary month of "Liþa" appearing after se Æfterra Liþa on leap years. The fire festival or Lith- Summer solstice is a tradition for many pagans. Solstice celebrations still center around the day of the astronomical summer solstice. Some choose to hold the rite on the 21st of June, even when this is not the longest day of the year, and some celebrate June 24, the day of the solstice in Roman times. Although Midsummer is originally a pagan holiday, in Christianity it is associated with the nativity of John the Baptist, which is observed on the same day, June 24, in the Catholic, Orthodox and some Protestant churches. It is six months before Christmas because Luke1:26 and Luke 1.36 imply that John the Baptist was born six months earlier than Jesus, although the Bible does not say at which time of the year this happened. In Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Quebec (Canada), the traditional Midsummer day, June 24, is a public holiday. So it was formerly also in Sweden and Finland, but in these countries it was, in the 1950s, moved to the Saturday between June 19 and June 26.

History The celebration of Midsummer's Eve (St. John's Eve among

Christians) was from ancient times a festival of the summer solstice. Some people believed that golden-flowered midsummer plants, especially Calendula, and St. John's Wort, had miraculous healing powers and they therefore picked them on this night. Bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits which were believed to roam freely when the sun was turning southwards again. In later years, witches were also thought to be on their way to meetings with other powerful beings. In Sweden, Mid-summer celebration originates from the time before Christianity; it was celebrated as a sacrifice time in the sign of the fertility. The solstice itself has remained a special moment of the annual cycle of the year since Neolithic times. The concentration of the observance is not on the day as we reckon it, commencing at midnight or at dawn, as it is customary for cultures following lunar calendars to place the beginning of the day on the previous eve at dusk at the moment when the Sun has set. In Sweden, Finland and Estonia, Midsummer's Eve is the greatest festival of the year, comparable only with Walpurgis Night, Christmas Eve, and New Year's Eve. In the 7th century, Saint Eligius (died 659/60) warned the recently converted inhabitants of Flanders against the ageold pagan solstice celebrations. According to the Vita by his companion Ouen, he'd say: "No Christian on the feast of Saint John or the solemnity of any other saint performs solestitia [summer solstice rites] or dancing or leaping or diabolical chants." As Christianity entered pagan areas, midsummer celebrations came to be often borrowed and transferred into new Christian holidays, often resulting in celebrations that mixed Christian traditions with traditions derived from pagan Midsummer festivities. The 13th-century monk of Winchcomb, Gloucestershire, who compiled a book of sermons for the feast days, recorded how St. John's Eve was celebrated in his time: Let us speak of the revels which are accustomed to be made on St. John's Eve, of which there are three kinds. On St. John's Eve in certain regions the boys collect bones and certain other rubbish, and burn them, and therefrom a smoke is produced on the air. They also make brands and go about the fields with the brands. Thirdly, the wheel which they roll. The fires, explained the monk of Winchcombe, were to drive away dragons, which were abroad on St. John's Eve, poisoning springs and wells. The wheel that was rolled downhill he gave its explicitly solstitial explanation: The wheel is rolled to signify that the sun then rises to the highest point of its circle and at once turns back; thence it comes that the wheel is rolled. On St John's Day 1333 Petrarch watched women at Cologne rinsing their hands and arms in the Rhine "so that the threatening calamities of the coming year might be washed away by bathing in the river."

Denmark In Denmark, the solstitial celebration is called Sankt Hans aften ("St. John's Eve"). It was an official holiday until

1770, and in accordance with the Danish tradition of celebrating a holiday on the evening before the actual day, it takes place on the evening of 23 June. It is the day where the medieval wise men and women (the doctors of that time) would gather special herbs that they needed for the rest of the year to cure people. It has been celebrated since the times of the Vikings by visiting healing water wells and making a large bonfire to ward away evil spirits. Today the water well tradition is gone. Bonfires on the beach, speeches, picnics and songs are traditional, although bonfires are built in many other places where beaches may not be close by (i.e. on the shores of lakes and other waterways, parks, etc.) In the 1920s a tradition of putting a witch made of straw and cloth (probably made by the elder women of the family) on the bonfire emerged as a remembrance of the church's witch burnings from 1540 to 1693. This burning sends the "witch" away to Bloksbjerg, the Brocken mountain in the Harz region of Germany where the great witch gathering was thought to be held on this day. Some Danes regard the relatively new symbolic witch burning as inappropriate. In 1885 Holger Drachmann wrote a midsommervise (Midsummer hymn) called "Vi elsker vort land..."("We Love Our Country") that is sung with a melody composed by P.E. Lange-Müller at every bonfire on this evening.

Norway

As in Denmark, Sankthansaften is celebrated on June 23 in Norway. The day is also called Jonsok, which means "John's wake", important in Roman Catholic times with pilgrimages to churches and holy springs. For instance, up until 1840 there was a pilgrimage to the stave church in Røldal (southwest Norway) whose crucifix was said to have healing powers. Today, however,Sankthansaften is largely regarded as a secular or even pre-Christian event. In most places the main event is the burning of a large bonfire. In parts of Norway a custom of arranging mock marriages, both between adults and between children, is still kept alive. The wedding was meant to symbolize the blossoming of new life. Such weddings are known to have taken place in the 1800s, but the custom is believed to be older. It is also said that if a girl puts flowers under her pillow that night, she will dream of her future husband.

Victory Day Estonia - Jun 23

Võidupüha or Victory Day is a public holiday in Estonia, which has been celebrated on 23 June every year since 1934. The date recalls the victory in the 1919 Battle of Võnnu (near Cēsis, Latvia) of the Estonian military forces and their allies over German forces (Baltische Landeswehr) who sought to re-assert Baltic-German control over the region. The battle was part of the 1918-1920 Estonian War of Independence, where the main adversary of the newly independent Estonia was Communist Russia. Today, Võidupüha also marks the contributions of all Estonian nations in their fight to regain and retain their independence. Estonian celebration of June 23 is ceremonially tied to the following Midsummer Day celebrations on June 24. According to Estonian laws, the state flags are not to be lowered during the night between the days.

Battle of Carabobo Day Venezuela - J u n 2 4

The Battle of Carabobo, 24 June 1821, was fought between independence fighters, led by Simón Bolívar, and the Royalist forces, led by Spanish Field Marshal Miguel de la Torre. Bolívar's decisive victory at Carabobo led to the independence of Venezuela.

History The Royalists occupied the road leading from Valen-

cia to Puerto Cabello. As Bolívar's force of 6,500 approached the Royalist position, Bolívar divided his force and sent half on a flanking maneuver through rough terrain and dense foliage. De la Torre likewise split his force and sent half to deal with this flank attack. Hitting the Patriots with musket fire, the Royalists held back the attack for a while. The Venezuelan infantry failed and retreated, but the men of the "British Legions", among them many members of the former King's German Legion, fought hard and took the hills. They sustained about 50% of Bolívar's casualties. The Patriots eventually broke through the Royalist lines on the flank and marched towards the rear of de La Torre's force. The Spanish infantry formed squares and fought to the end under the attack of the Patriot cavalry. The rout was so bad that only some 400 of one infantry regiment managed to reach safety at Puerto Cabello. With the main Royalist force in Venezuela crushed, independence was ensured. Subsequent battles included a key naval victory for the independence forces on 24 July 1823 at the Battle of Lake Maracaibo and in November 1823 José Antonio Páez occupied Puerto Cabello, the last Royalist stronghold in Venezuela.

Commemoration 24 June is celebrated as Battle of Carabobo Day .This day is also called "Army Day" in Venezuela.

Countryman's Day Peru - J u n 2 4

Celebrated every year on June 24, Countryman’s Day is one of the most fascinating festivals of South America. Better known as Inti Raymi or The Festival of the Sun, it’s celebrated all over Peru. The festival occurs during the winter solstice in Cuzco wherein people gather together to pray to the sun god to provide them with good crops.

History After the Spanish invaded Peru, Viceroy Francisco de

Toledo abolished the Peruvian’s ancient ritual in the year 1572, citing that the ritual sacrifice of a llama to a god was against the tenants of the Catholic Church. As a result, the celebrations moved into the underground. The practice managed to survive, reaching its modern form we see today. In fact, Initi Raymi is the second largest festival in South America. Thousands gather in the ancient city of Cuzo from all over the world for this very colorful festival, making it a major tourist attraction. In the modern day festival a huge stage act of the Incan ritual is enacted. Hundred of stage actors from all over the country are brought in and are auditioned to represent various historical figures. The roles of the Sapa Inca and his wife the Mama Occla are considered to be of great honor. The rituals start with a prayer to the Qorikancha square in front of the Santo Domingo church, which was built over the ancient Temple of the Sun. The Sapa Inca invokes the blessings of the Sun and then he carried on golden throne to ancient fortress of Sacsayhuaman along with the several high priests. The Sapa Inca climbs on the sacred altar, followed by speeches from the priests and representatives of the Suyos. Once this is complete, a white llama is “sacrificed”, enacted in a very realistic fashion with its “heart” held out in honor of Pachamama. The priests read the blood stains to see what the future holds for the Inca’s. As the sun begins to set, the Sapa Inca and the priests are carried on to Cuzco where several straw fires are set up and people dance around and celebrate in joy.

Celebrations Countryman’s Day is also celebrated as Indians Day or Peasants Day.

Discovery Day (Newfoundland & Labrador) Canada - J u n 2 4

Discovery Day is the name of several holidays commemorating the discovery of land, gold, and other significant national discoveries.

History In Yukon, Canada Discovery Day is a public holiday on the third Monday

in August commemorating the anniversary of the discovery of gold in 1896, which started the Klondike Gold Rush. In Newfoundland and Labrador, it is observed on the Monday nearest June 24 and commemorates John Cabot's discovery in 1497.

Féte Nationale (Quebec) Canada - J u n 2 4

In Quebec, June 24 or Quebec's National Holiday, St. John the Baptist Day is officially a paid statutory public holiday covered under the Act Respecting Labour Standards. In 1977, an Order in Council by Lieutenant Governor Hugues Lapointe, on the advice of René Lévesque, declared June 24 the national holiday in Quebec. The following year, the National Holiday Organizing Committee was created. The committee initially entrusted the organization of the events to the Société des festivals populaires du Québec. In 1984, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the SSJB, the organization of the celebrations was entrusted to the Mouvement national des Québécoises et des Québécois (MNQ). After it became a statutory holiday, June 24 was officially a holiday for all Quebecers rather than only those of French-Canadian or Catholic origins. Celebrations were gradually secularized, primarily due to actions taken by the MNQ, and June 23 and 24 became as we now know them. While the religious significance of the civic celebration is gone, the day remains popularly called la St-JeanBaptiste or simply la St-Jean and is still observed in churches. In 2010, Franco-Ontarian New Democratic MP Claude Gravelle introduced a private member's bill in the House of Commons to recognize St John the Baptist Day as a federal holiday in Canada.

Midsummer Festival (St John's Day ) Latvia, Estonia - J u n 2 4

Latvia

In Latvia, Midsummer is called Jāņi (Jānis being Latvian for John) or Līgo svētki (svētki = festival). It is a national holiday celebrated on a large scale by almost everyone in Latvia and by people of Latvian origin abroad. Celebrations consist of a lot of traditional and mostly Pagan elements - eating Jāņu cheese, drinking beer, singing hundreds of Latvian folk songs dedicated to Jāņi, burning bonfire to keep light all through the night and jumping over it, wearing wreaths of flowers (for the women) and leaves (for the men) together with modern commercial products and ideas. Oak wreaths are worn by men named Jānis in honor of their name day. Small oak branches with leaves are attached to cars in Latvia during the festivity. Jāņi has been a strong aspect of Latvian culture throughout history, originating in pre-Christian Latvia. In the western town of Kuldīga, revellers mark the holiday by running naked through the town at three in the morning. The event has taken place for the past seven years. Runners are rewarded with beer, and police are on hand in case any "puritans" attempt to interfere with the naked run.

Estonia

"Jaanipäev" ("John's Day" in English) was celebrated long before the arrival of Christianity in Estonia, although the day was given its name by the crusaders. The arrival of Christianity, however, did not end pagan beliefs and fertility rituals surrounding this holiday. In 1578, Balthasar Russow wrote in his Livonian Chronicle about Estonians who placed more importance on the festival than going to church. He complained about those who went to church, but did not enter, and instead spent their time lighting bonfires, drinking, dancing, singing and following pagan rituals. Midsummer marks a change in the farming year, specifically the break between the completion of spring sowing and the hard work of summer hay-making. Understandably, some of the rituals of Jaanipäev have very strong folkloric roots. The best-known Jaanik, or midsummer, ritual is the lighting of the bonfire and jumping over it. This is seen as a way of guaranteeing prosperity and avoiding bad luck. Likewise, to not light the fire is to invite the destruction of your house by fire. The fire also frightened away mischievous spirits who avoided it at all costs, thus ensuring a good harvest. So, the bigger the fire, the further the mischievous spirits stayed away. Estonians celebrate "Jaaniõhtu" on the eve of the Summer Solstice (June 23) with bonfires. On the islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, old fishing boats may be burnt in the large pyres set ablaze. On Jaaniõhtu, Estonians all around the country will gather with their families, or at larger events to celebrate this important day with singing and dancing, as Estonians have done for centuries. The celebrations that accompany Jaaniõhtu carry on usually through the night, they are the largest and most important of the year, and the traditions are almost identical to Finland (read under Finland) and similar to neighbours Latvia and Sweden (read under Sweden). Since 1934, June 23 is also national Victory Day of Estonia and both 23rd and 24th are holidays and flag days. The Estonian flag is not lowered in the night between these two days.

Statehood Day Slovenia - Jun 25

Statehood Day (Slovene: Dan državnosti) is a holiday that occurs on every 25 June in Slovenia to commemorate the country's declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Although the formal declaration of independence did not come until 26 June 1991, Statehood Day is considered to be June 25 since that was the date on which the initial acts regarding independence were passed and Slovenia became independent. Slovenia's declaration jumpstarted the Ten-Day War, which it eventually won, with its former overseer Yugoslavia. Statehood Day is not to be confused with Slovenia's Independence and Unity Day, which is celebrated each year on December 26 in honour of the 26 December 1990 official proclamation of the results of the plebiscite in which 88.5% of all Slovenian voters were in favor of Slovenia becoming a sovereign nation. Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia at the same time, and also celebrates its Statehood Day on June 25. However, Croatia celebrates Independence Day on a different day, October 8.

Statehood Day Croatia - Jun 25

Statehood Day is a holiday that occurs every year on June 25 in Croatia to celebrate the country's 1991 declaration of independence from Yugoslavia. The Statehood Day is an official holiday, a day off work in Croatia. After the independence referendum held on May 19th, 1991, the Croatian Parliament formally proclaimed independence with Ustavna odluka o suverenosti i samostalnosti Republike Hrvatske, lit. the Constitutional decision on sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Croatia. The Statehood Day used to be May 30, marking the day when in 1990 the first post-Communist multi-party Parliament was constituted. There was some controversy in the public regarding which date is more suitable for the day of the statehood. Since 2002, June 25 has prevailed as the Statehood Day, and May 30 is marked a minor holiday, one that is not an off-day. This holiday is not to be confused with Croatia's Independence Day, which is marked each year on October 8. The independence was proclaimed on June 25, but due to the negotiation of the Brioni Agreement, a three-month moratorium was placed on the implementation of the decision, and the Parliament cut all remaining ties with Yugoslavia in October. Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia at the same time, and its Statehood Day coincides with the Croatian Statehood Day, on June 25. Typical state activities on the occasion involve speeches by the President of Croatia and other dignitaries, as well as commemoration of the Croatian War of Independence.

International Day Against Drug Abuse & Trafficking Worldwide - Jun 26

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is a United Nations International Day against drug abuse and theillegal drug trade. It has been held annually since 1988 on 26 June, a date chosen to commemorate Lin Zexu's dismantling of the opium trade in Humen, Guangdong, just before the First Opium War in China. The observance was instituted by General Assembly Resolution42/112 of 7 December 1987. The UN's 2007 World Drug Report puts the value of the illegal drug trade at US$322 billion a year.

Fatherland Liberation War Day North Korea - Jun 25

The Korean War (Hangul: 25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953) was a war between the Republic of Korea (supported primarily by the United States of America, with contributions from allied nations under the aegis of the United Nations) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea(supported by the People's Republic of China, with military and material aid from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). The Korean War was primarily the result of the political division of Korea by an agreement of the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War at the end of World War II. The Korean Peninsula was ruled by the Empire of Japan from 1910 until the end of World War II. Following the surrender of the Empire of Japan in September 1945, American administrators divided the peninsula along the 38th parallel, with U.S. military forces occupying the southern half and Soviet military forces occupying the northern half. The failure to hold free elections throughout the Korean Peninsula in 1948 deepened the division between the two sides; the North established a communist government, while the South established a capitalist one. The 38th parallel increasingly became a political border between the two Korean states. Although reunification negotiations continued in the months preceding the war, tension intensified. Cross-border skirmishes and raids at the 38th Parallel persisted. The situation escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950. It was the first significant armed conflict of the Cold War. In 1950 the Soviet Union boycotted the United Nations security council, in protest at representation of China by theKuomintang / Republic of China government, which had taken refuge in Taiwan following defeat in the Chinese Civil War. In the absence of a dissenting voice from the Soviet Union, who could have vetoed it, USA and other countries passed a security council resolution authorizing military intervention in Korea. The United States of America provided 88% of the 341,000 international soldiers which aided South Korean forces in repelling the invasion, with twenty other countries of the United Nations offering assistance. Suffering severe casualties, within two months the defenders were pushed back to a small area in the south of the Korean Peninsula, known as the Pusan perimeter. A rapid U.N. counter-offensive then drove the North Koreans past the 38th Parallel and almost to the Yalu River, when the People's Republic of China(PRC) entered the war on the side of North Korea. Chinese intervention forced the Southern-allied forces to retreat behind the 38th Parallel. While not directly committing forces to the conflict, the Soviet Union provided material aid to both the North Korean and Chinese armies. The active stage of the war ended on 27 July 1953, when the armistice agreement was signed. The agreement restored the border between the Koreas near the 38th Parallel and created the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a 2.5-mile (4.0 km)-wide fortified buffer zone between the two Korean nations. Minor outbreaks of fighting continue to the present day. With both North Korea and South Korea sponsored by external powers, the Korean War was a proxy war. From a military science perspective, it combined strategies and tactics of World War I and World War II: it began with a mobile campaign of swift infantry attacks followed by air bombing raids, but became a static trench war by July 1951.

Background Terminology:

In the United States, the war was initially described by President Harry S. Truman as a "police action" as it was conducted under the auspices of the United Nations. Colloquially, it has been referred to in the United States as The Forgotten War or The Unknown War because the issues concerned were much less clear than in previous and subsequent conflicts, such as World War II and the Vietnam War. In South Korea the war is usually referred to as "625" or the 6–2–5 Upheaval(yug-i-o dongnan), reflecting the date of its commencement on 25 June. In North Korea the war is officially referred to as the Fatherland Liberation War (Choguk haebang chǒnjaeng). Alternatively, it is called the "ChosǒnWar" (Chosǒn chǒnjaeng). In the People's Republic of China the war is officially called the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea(simplified Chinese: 抗美 援朝战争; traditional Chinese: 抗美援朝戰爭; pinyin:Kàngměiyuáncháo zhànzhēng), although the term "Joseon War" (simplified Chinese: 朝鲜战争; traditional Chinese: 朝鮮戰爭; pinyin: Cháoxiǎn zhànzhēng) is also used in unofficial capacity.

Japanese rule (1910–1945):

Upon defeating the Qing Dynasty in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–96), the Empire of Japan occupied the Korean Empire – a peninsula strategic to its sphere of influence. A decade later, defeating Imperial Russia in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05), Japan made Korea its protectorate with the Eulsa Treaty in 1905, then annexed it with the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty in 1910. Korean nationalists and the intelligentsia fled the country, and some founded the Provisional Korean Government in 1919, which was headed by Syngman Rhee in Shanghai. This government-in-exile was recognized by few countries. From 1919 to 1925 and beyond, Korean Hundreds of thousands of South Kocommunists led and were the primary agents of internal and external reans fled south in mid-1950 after the warfare against the Japanese. North Korean army invaded. Korea under Japanese rule was considered to be part of the Empire of Japan as an industrialized colony along with Taiwan, and both were part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. In 1937, the colonial Governor-General, General Jirō Minami, commanded the attempted cultural assimilationof Korea's 23.5 million people by banning the use and study of Korean language, literature, and culture, to be replaced with that of mandatory use and study of their Japanese counterparts. Starting in 1939, the populace was required to use Japanese names under the Sōshi-kaimei policy. In 1938, the Colonial Government established labor conscription. In China, the National Revolutionary Army and the Communist People's Liberation Army helped organize refugee Korean patriots and independence fighters against the Japanese military, which had also occupied parts of China. The Nationalist-backed Koreans, led by Yi Pom-Sok, fought in theBurma Campaign (December 1941 – August 1945). The Communists, led by Kim Il-sung, fought the Japanese in Korea and Manchuria. During World War II, the Japanese used Korea's food, livestock, and metals for their war effort. Japanese forces in Korea increased from 46,000 soldiers in 1941 to 300,000 in 1945. Japanese Korea conscripted 2.6 million forced laborers controlled with a collaborationist Korean police force; some 723,000 people were sent to work in the overseas empire and in metropolitan Japan. By 1942, Korean men were being conscripted into the Imperial Japanese Army. By January 1945, Koreans comprised 32% of Japan's labor force. In August 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, around 25% of those killed were Koreans. At the end of the war, other world powers did not recognize Japanese rule in Korea and Taiwan. Meanwhile, at the Cairo Conference (November 1943), Nationalist China, the United Kingdom, and the United States decided "in due course Korea shall become free and independent". Later, the Yalta Conference (February 1945) granted to the Soviet Union European "buffer zones"—satellite statesaccountable to Moscow—as well as an expected Soviet pre-eminence in China and Manchuria, in return for joining the Allied Pacific War effort against Japan.

Soviet invasion of Manchuria (1945):

Toward the end of World War II, as per a US-Soviet agreement, the Soviet Union declared war against Japan on 9 August 1945. By 10 August, the Red Army occupied the northern part of the Korean peninsula as agreed, and on 26 August halted at the 38th parallel for three weeks to await the arrival of US forces in the south. On 10 August 1945, with the 15 August Japanese surrender near, the Americans doubted whether the Soviets would honor their part of the Joint Commission, the US-sponsored Korean occupation agreement. A month earlier, Colonel Dean Rusk and Colonel Charles H. Bonesteel III divided the Korean peninsula at the 38th parallel after hurriedly deciding that the US Korean Zone of Occupation had to have a min- The U.S. Air Force attacking railroads imum of two ports. south of Wonsan on the eastern coast Explaining why the occupation zone demarcation was positioned at of North Korea. the 38th parallel, Rusk observed, "even though it was further north than could be realistically reached by US forces, in the event of Soviet disagreement ... we felt it important to include the capital of Korea in the area of responsibility of American troops", especially when "faced with the scarcity of US forces immediately available, and time and space factors, which would make it difficult to reach very far north, before Soviet troops could enter the area."The Soviets agreed to the US occupation zone demarcation to improve their negotiating position regarding the occupation zones in Eastern Europe, and because each would accept Japanese surrender where they stood.

Chinese Civil War (1945–1949):

After the end of Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War resumed between the Chinese Communists and the Chinese Nationalists. While the Communists were struggling for supremacy in Manchuria, they were supported by the North Korean government with materiel and manpower. According to Chinese sources, the North Koreans donated 2,000 railway cars worth of material while thousands of Korean "volunteers" served in the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) during the war. North Korea also provided the Chinese Communists in Manchuria with a safe refuge for non-combatants and communications with the rest of China. The North Korean contributions to the Chinese Communist victory were not forgotten after the creation of the People's Republic of China in 1949. As a token of gratitude, between 50,000 to 70,000 Korean veterans that served in the PLA were sent back along with their weapons, and they would later play a significant role in the initial invasion of South Korea. China promised to support the North Koreans in the event of a war against South Korea. The Chinese support cre- General Douglas MacArthur, ated a deep division between the Korean Communists, and Kim Il-Sung's au- UN Command CiC (seated), thority within the Communist party was challenged by the Chinese faction led observes the naval shelling of by Pak Il-yu, who was later purged by Kim. Incheon from the USS Mt. After the formation of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese government named the Western nations, led by the United States, as the biggest McKinley, 15 September threat to its national security. Basing this judgment on China's century of hu- 1950. miliation beginning in the early 19th century, American support for the Nationalists during the Chinese Civil War, and the ideological struggles between revolutionaries and reactionaries, the Chinese leadership believed that China would become a critical battleground in the United States' crusade against Communism. As a countermeasure and to elevate China's standing among the worldwide Communist movements, the Chinese leadership adopted a foreign policy that actively promoted Communist revolutions throughout territories on China's periphery.

Korea divided (1945–1949):

At the Potsdam Conference (July–August 1945), the Allies unilaterally decided to divide Korea—without consulting the Koreans—in contradiction of the Cairo Conference. On 8 September 1945, Lt. Gen. John R. Hodge of the United States arrived in Incheon to accept the Japanese surrender south of the 38th parallel. Appointed as military governor, General Hodge directly controlled South Korea via the United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK 1945–48). He established control by restoring to power the key Japanese colonial administrators and their Korean police collaborators. The USAMGIK refused to recognise the provisional government of the short-lived People's Republic of Korea (PRK) because he suspected it was communist. These policies, voiding popular Korean sovereignty, provoked civil insurrections and guerrilla warfare. On 3 September 1945, Lieutenant General Yoshio Kozuki, Commander, Japanese Seventeenth Area Army, contacted Hodge, telling him that the Soviets were south of the 38th parallel at Kaesong. Hodge trusted the accuracy of the Japanese Army report In December 1945, Korea was administered by a United States–Soviet Union Joint Commission, as agreed at the Moscow Conference (1945). The Koreans were excluded from the talks. The commission decided the country would become independent after a five-year trusteeship action facilitated by each régime sharing its sponsor's ideology. The Korean populace revolted; in the south, some protested, and some rose in arms; to contain them, the USAMGIK banned strikes on 8 December 1945 and outlawed the PRK Revolutionary Government and the PRK People's Committees on 12 Combat in the streets of Seoul December 1945. On 23 September 1946 an 8,000-strong railroad worker strike began in Pusan. Civil disorder spread throughout the country in what became known as the Autumn uprising. On 1 October 1946, Korean police killed three students in the Daegu Uprising; protesters counter-attacked, killing 38 policemen. On 3 October, some 10,000 people attacked the Yeongcheon police station, killing three policemen and injuring some 40 more; elsewhere, some 20 landlords and pro-Japanese South Korean officials were killed. The USAMGIK declared martial law. The right-wing Representative Democratic Council, led by nationalist Syngman Rhee, opposed the Soviet–American trusteeship of Korea, arguing that after 35 years (1910–45) of Japanese colonial rule most Koreans opposed another foreign occupation. The USAMGIK decided to forego the five year trusteeship agreed upon in Moscow, given the 31 March 1948 United Nations election deadline to achieve an anti-communist civil government in the US Korean Zone of Occupation. On 3 April what began as a demonstration commemorating Korean resistance to Japanese rule ended with the Jeju massacre of as many as 60,000 citizens by South Korean soldiers. On 10 May, South Korea convoked their first national general elections that the Soviets first opposed, then boycotted, insisting that the US honor the trusteeship agreed to at the Moscow Conference. North Korea held parliamentary elections three months later on 25 August 1948. The resultant anti-communist South Korean government promulgated a national political constitution on 17 July 1948, elected a president, the American-educated strongman Syngman Rhee on 20 July 1948. The elections were marred by terrorism and sabotage resulting in 600 deaths. The Republic of Korea (South Korea) was established on 15 August 1948. In the Russian Korean Zone of Occupation, the Soviet Union established a Communist North Korean government led by Kim Il-sung. President Rhee's régime expelled communists and leftists from southern national politics. Disenfranchised, they headed for the hills, to prepare for guerrilla war against the US-sponsored ROK Government. As nationalists, both Syngman Rhee and Kim Il-Sung were intent upon reunifying Korea under their own political system. With Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong fighting over the control of the Korean Peninsula, the North Koreans gained support from both the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. They escalated the continual border skirmishes and raids and then prepared to invade. South Korea, with limited matériel, could not match them. During this era, at the beginning of the Cold War, the US government assumed that all communists, regardless of nationality, were controlled or directly influenced by Moscow; thus the US portrayed the civil war in Korea as a Soviet hegemonic maneuver. In October 1948, South Korean left-wing soldiers rebelled against the government's harsh clampdown in April on Jeju island in theYeosu-Suncheon Rebellion. The Soviet Union withdrew as agreed from Korea in 1948. U.S. troops withdrew from Korea in 1949, leaving the South Korean New Zealand artillery crew in action army relatively ill-equipped. On 24 December 1949, South Korean forces killed 86 to 88 people in the Mungyeong massacre and blamed the crime on communist marauding bands.

Aftermath Mao Zedong's decision to involve China in the Korean War was a conscientious effort to confront the most powerful

country in the world, undertaken at a time when the regime was still consolidating its own power after winning the Chinese Civil War. Mao primarily supported intervention not to save North Korea or to appease the Soviet Union, but because he believed that a military conflict with the United States was inevitable after UN forces crossed the 38th parallel. Mao's secondary motive was to improve his own prestige inside the communist international community by demonstrating that his Marxist concerns were international. In his later years Mao believed that Stalin only gained a positive opinion of him after China's entrance into the Korean War. Inside China, the war improved the long-term prestige of Mao, Zhou, and Peng. China emerged from the Korean War united by a sense of national pride, despite the war's enormous costs. The Chinese people were educated to believe that the war was initiated by the United States and Korea, and not by a fraternal communist state in the north. In Chinese propaganda, the Chinese war effort was portrayed and accepted as an example of China's engaging the strongest power in the world with an under-equipped army, forcing it to retreat, and fighting it to a military stalemate. These successes were contrasted with China's historical humiliations by Japan and by Western powers over the previous hundred years in order to promote the image of the PLA and the CCP. The most significant negative long-term consequence of the war (for China) was that it led the United States to guarantee the safety of Chiang Kai-shek's regime in Taiwan, effectively ensuring that Taiwan would remain outside of PRC control until the present day. The Korean War affected other participant combatants. Turkey, for example, entered NATO in 1952 and the foundation for bilateral diplomatic and trade relations was laid. The beginning of racial integration efforts in the U.S. military began during the Korean War, where African Americans fought in integrated units for the first time. Among the 1.8 million American soldiers who fought in the Korean War there were more than 100,000 African Americans. Post-war recovery was different in the two Koreas. South Korea stagnated in the first post-war decade, but later industrialized and modernized. Contemporary North Korea remains underdeveloped. South Korea had one of the world's fastest growing economies from the early 1960s to the late 1990s. In 1957 South Korea had a lower per capita The KPAF shot down some 16 B-29 SuperGDP than Ghana, and by 2010 it was ranked thirteenth in fortress bombers in the war. the world (Ghana was 86th). Korean anti-Americanism after the war was fueled by the presence and behavior of American military personnel (USFK) and U.S. support for authoritarian regime, a fact still evident during the country's democratic transition in the 1980s. In a February 2002 Gallup-Korea poll, one-third of South Koreans viewed the United States favorably. In addition a large number of mixed race 'G.I. babies' (offspring of U.S. and other western soldiers and Korean women) were filling up the country's orphanages. Korean traditional society places significant weight on paternal family ties, bloodlines, and purity of race. Children of mixed race or those without fathers are not easily accepted in Korean society. Thousands were adopted by American families in the years following the war, when their plight was covered on television. The U.S. Immigration Act of 1952 removed race as a limiting factor in immigration, and made possible the entry of military spouses and children from South Korea after the Korean War. With the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965, which substantially changed U.S. immigration policy toward non-Europeans, Koreansbecame one of the fastest growing Asian groups in the United States. In 2011, some former members of Chinese People's Volunteer Army, who had battled there, revisited North Korea. Afterwards they said that they were "very sad", unsatisfied with the post-war development of North Korea. "(We) liberated them, but they're still struggling for freedom", said Qu Yingkui.

Independence Day Mozambique - Jun 25

Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique (Portuguese: Moçambique or República de Moçambique), is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest. The capital city is Maputo, formerly known as Lourenço Marques. Between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, Bantu-speaking peoples migrated from farther north and west. Swahili, and later also Arab, commercial ports existed along the coasts until the arrival of Europeans. The area was explored by Vasco da Gama in 1498 and colonized by Portugal in 1505. Mozambique became independent in 1975, and became the People's Republic of Mozambique shortly thereafter. It was the scene of an intensecivil war lasting from 1977 to 1992. Mozambique is endowed with rich and extensive natural resources. The country's economy is based largely on agriculture, but with industry, mainly food and beverages, chemical manufacturing, aluminium and petroleum production, is growing fast. The country's tourism sector is also growing. South Africa is Mozambique's main trading partner and source of foreign direct investment. Portugal, Spain, and Belgium are also among the country's most important partners. Since 2001 Mozambique is one of the world's top ten for annual average GDP growth. However, Mozambique still has one of the lowest GDP per capita, one of the worst human development index and one of the highest inequality in the world, as well as having the world's lowest life expectancy. The only official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, with roughly half of the population speaking it as a second language and few as a first language. Languages widely spoken natively include Swahili, Makhuwa, and Sena. The largest religion in Mozambique is Christianity, with significant Muslim and African traditional religious minorities. Mozambique is a member of the African Union, Commonwealth of Nations, theCommunity of Portuguese Language Countries, The Island of Mozambique is a small coral island at the the Latin Union, Organisation of Is- mouth of Mossuril Bay on the Nacala coast of northern lamic Cooperation and Southern Mozambique, first explored by Europeans, in the late African Development Community. 1400s

History

Bantu migrations:

Between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, waves of Bantu-speaking people migrated from the west and north through the Zambezi River valley and then gradually into the plateau and coastal areas. They established agricultural communities or societies based on herding cattle. They brought with them the technology for iron making, a metal which they used to make weapons for the conquest of their neighbors. Cities in Mozambique during the Middle Ages (5th to the 16th century) were not sturdily built, so there is little left of many medieval cities such as the trading port Sofala.

Swahili and Arabs:

Swahili and Arab commercial settlements existed along the coast and outlying islands for several centuries. Several Swahili trade ports dotted the coast of the country before the arrival of Arabs which had been trading with Madagascar and the Far East.

Portuguese rule:

From about 1500, Portuguese trading posts and forts displaced the Arabic commercial and military hegemony, becoming regular ports of call on the new European sea route to the east. The voyage of Vasco da Gama around the Cape of Good Hope into the Indian Ocean in 1498 marked the Portuguese entry into trade, politics, and society in the Indian Ocean world. The Portuguese gained control of the Island of Mozambique and the port city of Sofala in the early 16th century, and by the 1530s, small groups of Portuguese traders and prospectors seeking gold penetrated the interior regions, where they set up garrisons and trading posts at Sena and Tete on the Zambezi River and tried to gain exclusive control over the gold trade. The Portuguese attempted to legitimize and consolidate their trade and settlement positions through the creation ofprazos (land grants) tied to Portuguese settlement and administration. While prazos were originally developed to be held by Portuguese, through intermarriage they became African Portuguese or African Indian centres defended by large African slave armies known as Chikunda. Historically within Mozambique there was slavery. Human beings were bought and sold by African tribal chiefs, Arab traders, and Portuguese and French traders as well. Many Mozambican slaves were supplied by tribal chiefs who raided warring tribes and sold their captives to the prazeiros. Although Portuguese influence gradually expanded, its power was limited and exercised through individual settlers and officials who were granted extensive autonomy. The Portuguese were able to wrest much of the coastal trade from Arabs between 1500 and 1700, but, with the Arab seizure of Portugal's key foothold at Fort Jesus on Mombasa Island (now in Kenya) in 1698, the pendulum began to swing in the other direction. As a result, investment lagged while Lisbon devoted itself to the more lucrative trade with India and the Far East and to the colonisation of Brazil. During these wars, the Mazrui and Omani Arabsreclaimed much of the Indian Ocean trade, forcing the Portuguese to retreat south. Many prazos had declined by the mid-19th century, but several of them survived. During the 19th century other European powers, particularly the British (British South Africa Company) and theFrench (Madagascar), became increasingly involved in the trade and politics of the region around the Portuguese East African territories. By the early 20th century the Portuguese had shifted the administration of much of Mozambique to large private companies, like the Mozambique Company, the Zambezia Company and theNiassa Company, controlled and financed mostly by the British, which established railroad lines to neighbouring countries. Although slavery had been legally abolished in Mozambique, at the end of the 19th century the Chartered companies enacted a forced labor policy and supplied cheap—often forced—African labor to the mines and plantations of the nearby British colonies and South Africa. The Zambezia Company, the most profitable chartered company, took over a number of smaller prazeiro holdings, and established military outposts to protect its property. The chartered companies built roads and ports to bring their goods to market including a railroad linking present day Zimbabwe with the Mozambican port of Beira. Due to their unsatisfactory performance and the shift, under the corporatist Estado Novo regime of Oliveira Salazar, towards a stronger Portuguese control of Portuguese empire's economy, the companies' concessions were not renewed when they ran out. This was what happened in 1942 with the Mozambique Company, which however continued to operate in the agricultural and commercial sectors as a corporation, and had already happened in 1929 with the termination of the Niassa Company's concession. In 1951, the Portuguese overseas colonies in Africa were rebranded as Overseas Provinces of Portugal.

Independence movement:

As communist and anti-colonial ideologies spread out across Africa, many clandestine political movements were established in support of Mozambican independence. These movements claimed that since policies and development plans were primarily designed by the ruling authorities for the benefit of Mozambique's Portuguese population, little attention was paid to Mozambique's tribal integration and the development of its native communities. According to the official guerrilla statements, this affected a majority of the indigenous population who suffered both state-sponsored discrimination and enormous social pressure. Many felt they had received too little opportunity or resources to upgrade their skills and improve their economic and social Arab slave traders and their captives along the situation to a degree comparable to that of the Eu- Ruvuma river ropeans. Statistically, Mozambique's Portuguese whites were indeed wealthier and more skilled than the black indigenous majority. As a response to the guerrilla movement, the Portuguese government from the 1960s and principally the early 1970s, initiated gradual changes with new socioeconomic developments and egalitarian policies for all. The Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) initiated a guerrilla campaign against Portuguese rule in September 1964. This conflict — along with the two others already initiated in the other Portuguese colonies of Angola and Portuguese Guinea — became part of the so-called Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974). From a military standpoint, the Portuguese regular army maintained control of the population centres while the guerrilla forces sought to undermine their influence in rural and tribal areas in the north and west. As part of their response to FRELIMO, the Portuguese government began to pay more attention to creating favourable conditions for social development and economic growth. After 10 years of sporadic warfare and Portugal's return to democracy through a leftist military coup in Lisbon which replaced Portugal'sEstado Novo regime for a military junta (the Carnation Revolution of April 1974), FRELIMO took control of the territory. Within a year, most of the 250,000 Portuguese in Mozambique had left – some expelled by the government of the nearly independent territory, some fleeing in fear – and Mozambique became independent from Portugal on June 25, 1975. In an act of vengeance, a law had been passed by the then relatively unknown Armando Guebuza in the FRELIMO party ordering the Portuguese to leave the country in 24 hours with only 20 kilograms of luggage. Unable to salvage any of their assets, most of them returned to Portugal.

Conflict and civil war:

The new government, under president Samora Machel, gave shelter and support to South African (African National Congress) and Zimbabwean (Zimbabwe African National Union) liberation movements while the governments of first Rhodesia and later South Africa (at that time still operating the Apartheid laws) fostered and financed an armed rebel movement in central Mozambique called theMozambican National Resistance (RENAMO). Starting shortly after the independence, the country was plagued from 1977 to 1992 by a long and violent civil war between the opposition forces of anti-Communist RENAMO rebel militias and the Marxist FRELIMO regime - the Mozambican Civil War. Hence, civil war, combined with sabotage from the neighbouring white-ruled state of Rhodesia and the Apartheid regime of South Africa, ineffective policies, failed central planning and the resulting economic collapse, characterized the first decades of Mozambican independence. Marking this period were the mass exodus of Portuguese nationals and Mozambicans of Portuguese heritage, a collapsed infrastructure, lack of investment in productive assets, and government nationalisation of privately owned industries. During most of the civil war, the FRELIMO-formed central government was unable to exercise effective control outside of urban areas, many of which were cut off from the capital. In one time RENAMO proposed the peace agreement based on secession of their controlled northern and western territories to found an independent Republic of Rombesia, but FRELIMO refused considering to stand own power in whole country. An estimated one million Mozambicans perished during the civil war, 1.7 million took refuge in neighbouring states, and several million more were internally displaced. On October 19, 1986, Samora Machel was on his way back from an international meeting in Zambia in the presidential Tupolev Tu-134aircraft when the plane crashed in the Lebombo Mountains, near Mbuzini. There were ten survivors, but President Machel and thirty-three others died, including ministers and officials of the Mozambique government. The United Nations' Soviet Union delegation issued a minority report contending that their expertise and experience had been undermined by the South Africans. Representatives of the Soviet Union advanced the theory that the plane had been intentionally diverted by a false navigational beacon signal, using a technology provided by military intelligence operatives of the South African government. Machel's successor, Joaquim Chissano, produced big changes in the country, starting the reforms, changing from Marxism to Capitalism and began peace talks with RENAMO. The new constitution enacted in 1990 provided for a multi-party political system, market-based economy, and free elections. The civil war ended in October 1992 with the Rome General Peace Accords, first brokered by the CCM, the Christian Council of Mozambique (Council of Protestant Churches) and then taken over by Community of Sant'Egidio. Under supervision of the ONUMOZ peacekeeping force of the United Nations, peace returned to Mozambique. By 1993 more than 1.5 million Mozambican refugees who had sought asylum in neighbouring Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Zambia,Tanzania, and South Africa as a result of war and drought had returned, as part of the largest repatriation witnessed in sub-Saharan Africa.

Independence Day Madagascar - Jun 26

Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar (older name Malagasy Republic, Malagasy: Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, French: République de Madagascar) is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from India around 88 million years ago, allowing plants and animals on the island to evolve in complete isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot in which over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by human settlement. Initial human settlement of Madagascar occurred from 350 BCE and 550 CE byAustronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo who were later joined around 1000 CE by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life. The Malagasy ethnic group is often divided into eighteen or moresub-groups of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands. Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by a fragmented assortment of shifting socio-political alliances. Beginning in the early 19th century, the majority of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of Merina nobles. The monarchy collapsed when the island was conquered and absorbed into the French colonial empire in 1896, from which the island gained independence in 1960. The autonomous state of Madagascar has since undergone four major constitutional periods, termed Republics. Since 1992 the nation has officially been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo. However, in a popular uprising in 2009 the last elected president Marc Ravalomanana was made to resign and presidential power was transferred in March 2009 to Andry Rajoelina in a move widely viewed by the international community as a coup d'état. In 2011, the population of Madagascar was estimated at around 21.9 million, 90% of whom live on less than two dollars per day. Malagasy and French are both official languages of the state. The majority of the population adheres to traditional beliefs orChristianity. Ecotourism and agriculture, paired with greater investments in education, health and private enterprise, are key elements of Madagascar's development strategy. Under Ravalomanana these investments produced substantial economic growth but the benefits were not evenly spread throughout the population, producing tensions over the increasing cost of living and declining living standards among the poor and some segments of the middle class. Current and future generations in Madagascar are faced with the challenge of striking a balance between economic growth, equitable development and natural conservation.

History

Early period:

Most archaeologists estimate that the earliest settlers arrived in outrigger canoes from southern Borneo in successive waves throughout the period between 350 BCE and 550 CE, making Madagascar one of the last major landmasses on Earth to be settled by humans.Upon arrival, early settlers practiced slash-and-burn agriculture to clear the coastalrainforests for cultivation. The first settlers encountered Madagascar's abundance of megafauna, including giant lemurs, elephant birds, giant fossa and the Malagasy hippopotamus, which have since become extinct due to hunting and habitat destruction.By 600 CE groups of these early settlers had begun clearing the forests of the central highlands. Arabs first reached the island between the seventh and ninth centuries, and a wave of Bantu-speaking East African migrants arrived around 1000 CE and introduced zebuwhich were kept in large herds. Irrigated rice paddies emerged in the central highland Betsileo Kingdom by 1600 and were extended with terraced paddies throughout the neighboring Kingdom of Imerina a century later. The rising intensity of land cultivation and the ever-increasing demand for zebu pasturage in the central highlands had largely transformed the central highlands from a forest ecosystem to grassland by the 17th century. The oral histories of the Merina people, who may have arrived in the central highlands between 400 and 1000 years ago, describe encountering an established population they called the Vazimba. Probably the descendants of an earlier and less technologically advanced Austronesian settlement wave, the Vazimba were expelled from the highlands by Merina kings Andriamanelo,Ralambo and Andrianjaka in the 16th and early 17th centuries. Today the spirits of the Vazimba are revered as tompontany(ancestral masters of the land) by many traditional Malagasy communities. Madagascar was an important transoceanic trading hub connecting ports of the Indian Ocean in the early centuries following human settlement. The written history of Madagascar began with the Arabs, who established trading posts along the northwest coast by at least the 10th century and introduced Islam, the Arabic script (used to transcribe the Malagasy language in a form of writing known as sorabe), Arab astrology and other cultural elements. European contact began in 1500, when the Portuguese sea captain Diogo Dias sighted the island.The French established trading posts along the east coast in the late 17th century. From about 1774 to 1824, Madagascar gained prominence among pirates and European traders, particularly those involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The small island of Nosy Boroha off the northeastern coast of Madagascar has been proposed by some historians as the site of the legendary pirate utopia of Libertalia. Many European sailors were shipwrecked on the coasts of the island, among them Robert Drury, whose journal is one of the few written depictions of life in southern Madagascar during the 18th century. The wealth generated by maritime trade spurred the rise of organized kingdoms on the island, some of which had grown quite powerful by the 17th century. Among these were the Betsimisaraka alliance of the eastern coast and the Sakalava chiefdoms of Menabe and Boina on the west coast. The Kingdom of Imerina, located in the central highlands with its capital at the royal palace of Antananarivo, emerged at around the same time under the leadership of King Andriamanelo.

Kingdom of Madagascar:

Upon its emergence in the early 17th century, the highland kingdom of Imerina was initially a minor power relative to the larger coastal kingdoms and grew even weaker in the early 18th century when King Andriamasinavalona divided it among his four sons. Following a century of warring and famine, Imerina was reunited in 1793 by King Andrianampoinimerina(1787–1810). From his initial capital Ambohimanga, and later from the Rova of Antananarivo, this Merina king rapidly expanded his rule over neighboring principalities, with the intention of bringing the entire island under his control, an ambition largely achieved by his son and successor, King Radama I (1810–1828). Radama concluded a treaty in 1817 with the British governor of Mauritius to abolish the lucrative slave trade in return for British military and financial assistance. Artisan missionary envoys from the London Missionary Society began arriving in 1818 and included such key figures as James Cameron, David Jones and David Griffiths, who established schools, transcribed the Malagasy languageusing the Roman alphabet, translated the Bible, and introduced a variety of new technologies to the island. Radama's successor, Queen Ranavalona I (1828–1861), responded to increasing political and cultural encroachment on the part of Britain and France by issuing a royal edict prohibiting the practice of Christianity in Madagascar and pressuring most foreigners to leave the territory. Among those who continued to reside in Imerina were Jean Laborde, an entrepreneur who developed munitions and other industries on behalf of the monarchy, and Joseph-François Lambert, with whom then-Prince Radama II signed a controversial trade agreement termed the Lambert Charter. Succeeding his mother, Radama II (1861–1863) attempted to relax the queen's stringent policies, but was overthrown two years later by Prime Minister Rainivoninahitriniony (1852–1865) and an alliance of noble courtiers, who sought to end the absolute power of the monarch. Following the coup, the courtiers offered Radama's queen Rasoherina (1863– 1868) the opportunity to rule, if she would accept a power sharing arrangement with the Prime Minister—a new social contract that would be sealed by a political marriage between them. Queen Rasoherina accepted, first wedding Rainivoninahitriniony, then later deposing him and wedding his brother, Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony (1864–1895), who would go on to marry Queen Ranavalona II (1868–1883) and Queen Ranavalona III (1883–1897) in succession. Over the course of Rainilaiarivony's 31-year tenure as Prime Minister, numerous policies were adopted to modernize and consolidate the power of the central government. Schools were constructed throughout the island and attendance was made mandatory. Army organization was improved, and British consultants were employed to train and professionalize soldiers. Polygamy was outlawed and Christianity, declared the official religion of the court in 1869, was adopted alongside traditional beliefs among a growing portion of the populace. Legal codes were reformed on the basis of British Common Law and three European-style courts were established in the capital city. In his joint role as Commander-in-Chief, Rainilaiarivony also successfully ensured the defense of Madagascar against several French colonial incursions.

French colonization:

Primarily on the basis that the Lambert Charter had not been respected, France invaded Madagascar in 1883 in what became known as the first Franco-Hova War. At the war's end, Madagascar ceded the northern port town of Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) to France and paid 560,000 francs to Lambert's heirs. In 1890, the British accepted the full formal imposition of a French protectorate on the island, but French authority was not acknowledged by the government of Madagascar. To force capitulation, the French bombarded and occupied the harbor of Toamasina on the east coast, and Mahajanga on the west coast, in December 1894 and January 1895 respectively. A French military flying column then marched toward Antananarivo, losing many men to malaria and other diseases. Reinforcements came from Algeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. Upon reaching the city in September 1895, the column bombarded the royal palace with heavy artillery, causing heavy casualties and leading Queen Ranavalona III to surrender. France annexed Madagascar in 1896 and dissolved the 103-year-old Merina monarchy, sending the royal family into exile on Reunion Island and in Algeria. Under colonial rule, plantations were established for the production of a variety of export crops. Slavery was abolished in 1896, but many of the 500,000 liberated slaves remained in their former masters' homes as servants. Wide paved boulevards and gathering places were constructed in the capital city of Antananarivo and the Rova palace compound was turned into a museum. Additional schools were built, particularly in rural and coastal areas where the schools of the Merina had not reached. Education became mandatory between the ages of 6 to 13 and focused primarily on French language and practical skills. The Merina royal tradition of taxes paid in the form of labor was continued under the French and used to construct a railway and roads linking key coastal cities to Antananarivo. Malagasy troops fought for France in World War I. In the 1930s the island was identified by Nazi leadership as a potential site for the deportation of Europe's Jews, and during the Second World War was the site of a battle between the Vichygovernment and the British. The occupation of France during the Second World War tarnished the prestige of the colonial administration in Madagascar and galvanized the growing independence movement, leading to the Malagasy Uprising of 1947. This movement led the French to establish reformed institutions in 1956 under the Loi Cadre (Overseas Reform Act), and Madagascar moved peacefully towards independence. In 1958, there were 68,430 European settlers living in Madagascar. The Malagasy Republic was proclaimed on 14 October 1958, as an autonomous state within the French Community. A period of provisional government ended with the adoption of a constitution in 1959 and full independence on 26 June 1960.

Independent state:

Since regaining independence, Madagascar has transitioned through four republics with corresponding revisions to its constitution. The First Republic (1960–1972), under the leadership of French-appointed President Philibert Tsiranana, was characterized by a continuation of strong economic and political ties to France. Many high-level technical positions were filled by French expatriates, and French teachers, textbooks and curricula continued to be used in schools around the country. Popular resentment over Tsiranana's tolerance for this "neo-colonial" arrangement inspired a series of student protests that overturned his administration in 1972. Gabriel Ramanantsoa, a Major General in the army, was appointed interim President and Prime Minister that same year, but low public approval forced him to step down in 1975. Colonel Richard Ratsimandrava was appointed to succeed him but was assassinated six days into his tenure. General Gilles Andriamahazo ruled after him for four months before being replaced by another military appointee: Vice Admiral Didier Ratsiraka, who ushered in the socialist-Marxist Second Republic that ran under his tenure from 1975 to 1993. This period saw a political alignment with the Eastern Bloc countries and a shift toward economic insularity. These policies, coupled with economic pressures stemming from the 1973 oil crisis, resulted in the rapid collapse of Madagascar's economy and a sharp decline in living standards. Ratsiraka's dwindling popularity in the late 1980s reached a critical point when presidential guards opened fire on unarmed protesters during a rally in 1991. Within two months, a transitional government had been established under the leadership of Albert Zafy (1993–1996), who went on to win the 1992 presidential elections and inaugurate the Third Republic (1992–2010). The new constitution established a multi-party democracy and a separation of powers that placed significant control in the hands of the National Assembly. The new constitution also emphasized human rights, social and political freedoms, and free trade for economic development. Zafy's term, however, was marred by economic decline, allegations of corruption, and his introduction of legislation to give himself greater powers. He was consequently impeached in 1996, and an interim president, Norbert Ratsirahonana, was appointed for the three months prior to the next presidential election. Ratsiraka was then voted back into power on a platform of decentralization and economic reforms, but only gradual progress was made during his second tenure, which lasted from 1996 to 2001. The contested 2001 presidential elections in which then-mayor of Antananarivo, Marc Ravalomanana, eventually emerged victorious, caused a seven-month standoff in 2002 between supporters of Ravalomanana and Ratsiraka. The negative economic impact of the political crisis was gradually overcome by Ravalomanana's progressive economic and political policies, which encouraged investments in education and ecotourism, facilitated foreign direct investment, and cultivated trading partnerships both regionally and internationally. National GDP grew at an average rate of 7% per year under his administration. In the later half of his second term, Ravalomanana was criticised by domestic and international observers who accused him of increasing authoritarianism and corruption. Opposition leader and then-mayor of Antananarivo, Andry Rajoelina, led a movement in early 2009 in which Ravalomanana was pushed from power in an unconstitutional process widely condemned as a coup d'état. In March 2009, Rajoelina was declared by the Supreme Court as the President of the High Transitional Authority, an interim governing body responsible for moving the country toward presidential elections. In 2010, a new constitution was adopted by referendum, establishing a Fourth Republic, which sustained the democratic, multi-party structure established in the previous constitution. By early 2012, a fixed date for presidential elections had not been set by the Rajoelina administration.

National Flag Day Romania - Jun 26

The national flag of Romania (Romanian: Drapelul României) is a tricolour with vertical stripes: beginning from the flagpole, blue, yellow and red. It has a widthlength ratio of 2:3. The Constitution of Romania provides that “The flag of Romania is tricolour; the colors are arranged vertically in the following order from the flagpole: blue, yellow, red”. The proportions, shades of color as well as the flag protocol were established by law in 1994 and extended in 2001. The flag is coincidentally very similar to the civil flag of Andorra and the state flag of Chad. The similarity with Chad’s flag, which differs only in having a darker shade of blue (indigo rather than cobalt), has caused international discussion. In 2004, Chad asked the United Nations to examine the issue, but then-president of Romania Ion Iliescu announced no change would occur to the flag. The flag of Moldova is related to the Romanian tricolour, except it has a 1:2 ratio, a lighter shade of blue, a slightly different tint of yellow, and the Moldavian coat of arms in the middle. The flag of Belgium uses black rather than blue.

Flag Day

Law no. 96 of 20 May 1998 proclaimed 26 June as the Day of the National Flag of Romania. It was on this day in 1848 that Decree no. 1 of the Wallachian Provisional Government was issued, making the red-yellow-blue tricolour the national flag. On Flag Day, public authorities and other state institutions are obliged by law to organize cultural/educational programs and events, with a patriotic or scientific character, devoted to Romanian history, as well as specific military ceremonies, organized within units of the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of the Internal Affairs.

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture Worldwide - Jun 26

The United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture – 26 June is held annually on 26 June to speak out against the crime of torture and to honour and support victims and survivors throughout the world.

History The day was selected by the United

Nations General Assembly for two reasons. First, on 26 June 1945, the United Nations Charter was signed – the first international instrument obliging UN members to respect and promote human rights. Second, 26 June 1987 was when the United Nations Convention Against Torture came into effect. The decision to annually observe the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was taken by the UN General Assembly at the proposal of Denmark, which is home to the world-renowned International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). The first 26 June events were launched in 1998. Since then, dozens of organisations in dozens of countries mark the day each year with events, celebrations and campaigns. On 16 July 2009, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was chosen as a public holiday in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Global Campaign

Every year the IRCT monitors the campaign plans of organisations around the world and towards the end of the year publishes the 26 June Global Report where it describes the events held in commemoration of the day. According to the latest 26 June Global Report (2010), at least 38 countries around the world commemorated the day with conferences, workshops, peaceful rallies, cultural and musical events, events for children, etc.

Independence Day Djibouti - Jun 27

Djibouti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east. Djibouti, which had a population of 818,159 at the 2009 census, is one of the least populous countries in Africa. Islam is the largest religion in the country, practiced by 94% of the population. The land was known as Obock and French Somaliland (Côte française des Somalis) in the 19th century; in 1967, it changed its name to Afars and Issas after new treaties with France. The territory was declared an independent nation in 1977 and changed its name to the "Republic of Djibouti" after its principal city. Djibouti joined the United Nations on September 20, 1977.While Djibouti is an independent sovereign state, it maintains deep French relations, and through various military and economic agreements with France, it receives continued security and economic assistance.

History

Through close contacts with the adjacent Arabian Peninsula for more than 1,000 years, the Somali and Afar ethnic groups in the region became among the first populations on the continent to embrace Islam. From 1862 until 1894, the land to the north of the Gulf of Tadjoura was called Obock and was ruled by Somali and Afar Sultans, local authorities with whom France signed various treaties between 1883 and 1887 to first gain a foothold in the region. In 1894,Léonce Lagarde established a permanent French administration in the city of Djibouti and named the region French Somaliland. It lasted from 1896 until 1967, when it was renamed theTerritoire Français des Afars et des Issas(TFAI) ("French Territory of the Afars and the Issas"). In 1958, on the eve of neighboring Somalia's independence in 1960, a referendum was held in Djibouti to decide whether or not to join the Somali Republic or to remain with France. The referendum turned out in favour of a continued association with France, partly due to a combined yes vote by the sizable Afar ethnic group and resident Europeans.There was also widespread vote rigging, with the French expelling thousands of Somalis before the referendum reached the polls. The majority of those who voted no were Somalis who were strongly in favour of joining a united Somalia as had been proposed by Mahmoud Harbi, Vice President of the Government Council. Harbi was killed in a plane crash two years later. In 1967, a second plebiscite was held to determine the fate of the territory. Initial results supported a continued but looser relationship with France. Voting was also divided along ethnic lines, with the resident Somalis generally voting for independence, with the goal of eventual reunion with Somalia, and the Afars largely opting to remain associated with France. However, the referendum was again marred by reports of vote rigging on the part of the French authorities. Shortly after the referendum was held, the former Côte française des Somalis (French Somaliland) was renamed toTerritoire français des Afars et des Issas. In 1977, a third referendum took place. A landslide 98.8% of the electorate supported disengagement from France, officially marking Djibouti's independence. Hassan Gouled Aptidon, a Somali politician who had campaigned for a yes vote in the referendum of 1958, eventually wound up as the nation's first president (1977–1999). Djibouti is a Somali, Afar and Muslim country, which regularly takes part in Islamic affairs. It is also a member of the Arab League, as well as the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

Constitution Day Ukraine - Jun 28

President Victor Yushchenko took part in a ceremony of presentation of national decorations on the occasion of Constitution Day. “After the things we have done in terms of formation of the constitutional field, we must proceed to next important step. We must have a constitution that would forever guarantee us democracy, freedom, and protect us from the risks of a totalitarian model”, – said Victor Yushchenko speaking at the ceremony.

History Constitution Day is a holiday to honor the con-

stitution of the Ukraine. Constitution Day celebrates the anniversary of the signing or adoption of the Constitution of the Ukraine in 1996. The president and the parliament decide on this day to enforce, reinforce, form, accept, and reject constitutional changes, along with a consented plebiscite. The people are given the sole authority to decide on the major amendments that are carried out in the parliament, confirming Ukraine as an ideal democratic nation. Ukraine is a sovereign, secular nation with a comprehensive democratic system of constitution. The constitution of Ukraine was established on 28th June, 1996. So every year, this day – June 28th is celebrated as the ‘Constitution Day’ in Ukraine, to honor the country’s constitution, on the anniversary of signing and promulgation of the national law system and various significant amendments.

Celebrations

Cities and towns honour Constitution Day on June 28 with performances and special events. The Constitution Day is a national holiday across the country. As it is rather new, there is nothing particular or traditional being carried out in order to celebrate it. The Hymn of Ukraine will be broadcasted on all the radios and TV channels or even sung in public gatherings by the people. Fireworks, various public concerts and musical events by popular Ukrainian artists are held across the country to commemorate this day.

Vidovdan (Orthodox) Serbia - Jun 28

Vidovdan (Serbian Cyrillic: Видовдан) is a Serbian religious holiday, St. Vitus Day, whose feast is on June 28 (Gregorian Calendar, June 15 according to the Julian Calendar, in use by the Serbian Orthodox Church. Also, Serbian Orthodox Church is designated as a memorial day to Saint Prince Lazar and the Serbian holy martyrs who gave their lives to defend their faith during the epic Battle of Kosovo against Ottoman Empire on June 28, 1389. It is a Slava (Patron saint feast day) of St. Vitus, connected in Serbian culture to the Battle of Kosovo, among other events. The feast day is sacred to ethnic Serbs (Serbian Orthodox Christians), who transformed the pagan Slavic god (deity) of war, fertility and abundance "Svetovid"(Vid) into the Sicilian martyr (St. Vitus) -who exorcized the evil out of Diocletian's son, at the time of the final Christianization of the Serbs during the rule of Basil I (867 - 886) by Byzantine missionairies of Constantinople Cyril and Methodius. Through the centuries, Serbian historical events such as the Battle of Kosovo became sources for spiritual strength and patriotism. It was not a coincidence that Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Vidovdan, triggering theFirst World War. Vidovdan has long been considered a date of special importance to ethnic Serbs and the Balkans, the following events each took place on Vidovdan, but are expressed here in the Gregorian Calendar Vidovdan has long been considered a date of special importance to ethnic Serbs and in the Balkans, with the following events each taking place on Vidovdan, but are expressed here in the Gregorian Calendar: on June 28, 1389, the Ottoman Empire fought against Serbia in the Battle of Kosovo, and Serbian Prince Lazar was slain in battle. Ottoman Sultan Murad I was killed by Serbian knight Miloš Obilić. on June 28, 1914 the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian crown prince, Franz Ferdinand, triggers the First World War. on June 28, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, ending World War I. on June 28, 1921, the Serbian King Alexander I proclaimed the new Constitution of theKingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, known thereafter as the Vidovdan Constitution(Vidovdanski ustav). on June 28, 1948, the Cominform published, on the initiative of its Soviet delegates Zhdanov, Malenkov and Suslov, in a "Resolution on the State of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia" their condemnation of the Yugoslavian communist leaders - this happening is seen as the date that marks the final split between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. on June 28, 1989, on the 600th anniversary of the battle of Kosovo, Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević delivered the Gazimestan speech at the site of the historic battle. on June 28, 2001, Slobodan Milošević was deported to ICTY to stand trial. on June 28, 2006, Montenegro was announced as the 192nd member state of the United Nations. on June 28, 2008 was the inaugural meeting of the Community Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija. In Bulgaria it is called Vidovden (Видовден) or Vidov Den (Видов ден) and is particularly well known in (Shopluk), the western part of the country. Vidovdan was referred to in the song "Oro"; Serbia's entry in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, performed by Jelena Tomasevic.

World War 1 Day U.S. - Jun 28

World War I (WWI), which was predominantly called the World War or theGreat War from its occurrence until 1939 (World War II), and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. It involved all the world'sgreat powers, which were assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies(based on the Triple Entente of the United Kingdom, France and Russia) and the Central Powers (originally centred around the Triple Alliance of Germany,Austria-Hungary and Italy; but, as Austria–Hungary had taken the offensive against the agreement, Italy did not enter into the war). These alliances both reorganised (Italy fought for the Allies), and expanded as more nations entered the war. Ultimately more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history.More than 9 million combatants were killed, largely because of great technological advances in firepower without corresponding advances in mobility. It was the sixth-deadliest conflict in world history, subsequently paving the way for various political changes such as revolutions in the nations involved. Long-term causes of the war included the imperialistic foreign policies of the great powers of Europe, including the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, the British Empire, theFrench Republic, and Italy. The assassination on 28 June 1914 of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by aYugoslav nationalist in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina was the proximate trigger of the war. It resulted in a Habsburg ultimatum against the Kingdom of Serbia. Several alliances formed over the previous decades were invoked, so within weeks the major powers were at war; via their colonies, the conflict soon spread around the world. On 28 July, the conflict opened with the Austro-Hungarian invasion of Serbia, followed by the German invasion of Belgium, Luxembourg and France; and a Russian attack against Germany. After the German march onParis was brought to a halt, the Western Front settled into a static battle of attrition with a trench line that changed little until 1917. In the East, the Russian army successfully fought against the Austro-Hungarian forces but was forced back from East Prussia and Poland by the German army. Additional fronts opened after the Ottoman Empire joined the war in 1914, Italy and Bulgaria in 1915 and Romania in 1916. The Russian Empire collapsed in March 1917, and Russia left the war after the October Revolution later that year. After a 1918 German offensive along the western front, United Statesforces entered the trenches and the Allies drove back the German armies in a series of successful offensives. Germany, which had its own trouble with revolutionaries at this point, agreed to a cease-fire on 11 November 1918, later known as Armistice Day. The war had ended in victory for the Allies. Events on the home fronts were as tumultuous as on the battle fronts, as the participants tried to mobilize their manpower and economic resources to fight a total war. By the end of the war, four major imperial powers — the German,Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires — ceased to exist. The successor states of the former two lost a great amount of territory, while the latter two were dismantled entirely. The map of central Europe was redrawn into several smaller states. The League of Nations was formed in the hope of preventing another such conflict. The European nationalism spawned by the war and the breakup of empires, the repercussions of Germany's defeat and problems with the Treaty of Versailles are agreed to be factors contributing toWorld War II.


HUNGARY Independence Day Seychelles - Jun 29

State Secretary Péter Szijjártó negotiates in Russia

Pr im e M inis te r Vik tor Or bá n holds t a lk s with ETU C Ge ne r a l Se c r e t a r y

Seychelles, officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: République des Seychelles; Creole: Repiblik Sesel), is an island country spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar. Other nearby island countries and territories include Zanzibar to the west, Mauritius,Rodrigues, Agalega and Réunion to the south, Comoros and Mayotte to the southwest. Seychelles, with an estimated population of 86,525, has the smallest population of any African state. It also has the highest Human Development Index in Africa.

History

Scholars assume that Austronesian seafarers, and later Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. Remains of Maldivian mariner presence from the 12th century were found in Silhouette Island. The earliest recorded sighting by Europeans took place in 1502 by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama, who passed through the Amirantes and named them after himself (islands of the Admiral). A transit point for trade between Africa and Asia, the islands were occasionally used bypirates until the French began to take control starting in 1756 when a Stone of Possession was laid by Captain Nicholas Morphey. The islands were named after Jean Moreau de Séchelles, Louis XV’s Minister of Finance. The British contested control over the islands between 1794 and 1810. Jean Baptiste Quéau de Quincy, French administrator of Seychelles during the years of war with the United Kingdom, declined to resist when armed enemy warships arrived. Instead, he successfully negotiated the status of capitulation to Britain which gave the settlers a privileged position of neutrality. Britain eventually assumed full control upon the surrender of Mauritius in 1810, formalised in 1814 at the Treaty of Paris. Seychelles became a crown colony separate from Mauritiusin 1903. Elections were held in 1966 and 1970. Independence was granted in 1976 as arepublic within the Commonwealth. In 1977, a coup d'état ousted the first president of the republic, James Mancham, who was replaced by France Albert René. The 1979constitution declared a socialist one-party state, which lasted until 1991. The first draft of a new constitution failed to receive the requisite 60% of voters in 1992, but an amended version was approved in 1993.

St. Peter & St. Paul Day International - Jun 29

The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, or the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, is a liturgical feast in honour of the martyrdom in Rome of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which is observed on 29 June. The celebration is of ancient origin, the date selected being the anniversary either of their death or of the translation of their relics.

the Roman Catholic Church In In the Roman Catholic calendar of saints, it is celebrated as a

solemnity. In the General Roman Calendar of 1962, it is a firstclass feast. It is a holy day of obligation in the universal Church. In England and Wales the feast is observed as a holy day of obligation while in the United States and Canada, it is not. In Malta it is a public holiday and in Maltese known as L-Imnarja. This is the day of the liturgical year on which those newly created metropolitan archbishops receive the primary symbol of their office, the pallium, from the pope.

In Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches

For Eastern Orthodox and some Eastern Catholic Christians this feast also marks the end of the Apostles' Fast (which began on the Monday following All Saints' Sunday, i.e., the second Monday after Pentecost). It is considered a day of recommended attendance, whereon one should attend the All-Night Vigil (or at least Vespers) on the eve, and the Divine Liturgy on the morning of the feast (there are, however, no "Days of Obligation" in the Eastern Church). For those who follow the traditional Julian Calendar, 29 June falls on the Gregorian Calendar date of 12 July. In the Russian Orthodox tradition, Macarius of Unzha's Miracle of the Moose is said to have occurred during the Apostles' Fast and the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul that followed it.

importance Ecumenical In recent decades, this feast, along with that of Saint Andrew, has been of importance to the modern ecumenical

movement as an occasion on which the pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople have officiated at services designed to bring their two churches closer to intercommunion. This was especially the case during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, as reflected in his encyclical Ut Unum Sint.

Among Doukhobors

Although the Doukhobors do not venerate saints per se, the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul has traditionally been a day of celebration for them. Since 1895, it has acquired a new significance as a commemoration of the Burning of the Arms, the Doukhobors' destruction of their weapons, as a symbol of their refusal to participate in governmentsponsored killing. It is celebrated now by their descendants as simply "Peters Day", sometimes referred to as the Doukhobor Peace Day.

Photo: Csaba Pelsőczy

(Online 21 Jun) State Secretary for External Economic Relations and Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó negotiated about HungarianRussian economic cooperation and the of participation Hungarian companies in Russa as well as the reinforcement of Hunenergy garian security. Secretary State Péter Szijjártó declared that Hungarian companies will

be included in infraand structure healthcare development programmes in Leningrad Region. The State Secretary drew attention the fact that there is a comHungarian pany that is building a hotel with Eximbank financing as preparation for the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The State Secretary also held negotiations with the Vice President of the

Russian Railways, the Vice President of Sberbank as well as the Chairman of SOCAR. he Furthermore held a lecture at a forum at which the President of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development was also present, emphasising that a economic new model has been established in Hungary.

Important agricultural issues have been solved: PM

(Online 21 Jun) "Instead of introducing austerity measures, the Government chose to renew the economy", declared Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest at a press conference following his discussions with Bernadette Ségol, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). The Prime Minister said that an important element of the cabinet's politics was the rejec-

tion of austerity measures, because these cannot help to put the economy in order, and this is something that trade unions also agree on. Viktor Orbán emphasised that at their meeting he had informed the General Secretary about the fact that an interesting economic reorganisation process is underway in Hungary "which is viewed as unorthodox in may countries around the world",

whereas they would be closer to the truth to call it innovative, as it includes several inventive elements. General Secretary Bernadette Ségol drew attention to the fact that the members of the European Council had last year adopted the roadmap relating to social affairs, the results of which are expected by the ETUC by the end of this month.

Em ploy m e nt of indiv idua ls wit h dis a bilit ie s inc r e a s e d by 1 0 ,0 0 0

Hungarian-American economic relations expand significantly: Péter Szijjártó

Photo: Gergely Botár

Photo: Gergely Botár

Photo: Prime Minister's Office

(Online 19 Jun) State Secretary for External Economic Relations and Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó declared Hungarianthat American economic relations will expand significantly in the near future, after in the meeting United States with among others the directors of Protector and Gamble, IBM, Citigroup, GE, Honeywell, Cargill, Republican the leader of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives and the leaders of the Hungarian Congressional Caucus. The State Secretary said that not only the Hungarian government, but also American companies consider Hungarian-American economic cooperation to be a success story, emphasising

that American investments in Hungary totalled nine billion dollars by the end of last year. Six hundred American companies operate in Hungary, where they have created 40 thousand new workplaces. According to the Secretary, State American companies regard the Hungarian investment environment as positive and the Hungarian Investment Trade Agency is currently negotiating with eight American companies with regard to their expansion in Hungary, production new units, new factories and hundreds of new workplaces. Secretary State Péter Szijjártó emphasised that the main sectors that play an important role in the expansion include autoindustry motive

suppliers, the producers of everyday consumer goods, information the technology industry, the food industry and the electric power industry. The State Secretary pointed out that the Hungarian investment environment is particularly favourable for American companies because of the low level of personal income tax, the flexible Labour Code the highly and skilled Hungarian workforce. Besides the economy, the most successful field of Hungarian-American cooperation is security policy, because Hungarian in participation Afghanistan and in the West Balkan stabilisation process is much appreciated the United by States, he said.

Hungary supports Moldova’s European integration, says Gergely Prőhle (Online 19 Jun) Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Gergely Prőhle reiterated Hungary’s for support EuroMoldova’s integration pean during his talks in Chisinau on 18 June 2013. The Deputy State Secretary declared that an association agreement between

Moldova and the EU could be signed after the EU Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November. He had meetings with Moldovan Deputy Foreign Minister Julian Groza and Culture Minister Monica Babuc as well as parliamentary officials and deputies. Prőhle Gergely stressed that most

of his negotiating partners held the view that launching a monitoring procedure against Hungary by the Council of Europe would be „out of proportion”. They also suggested that such a move would negatively impact the reputation of the Council of Europe, he added.

Hungary rejects the statement made by the UNHCR (Online 19 Jun) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary expresses its perplexity and rejects the statement made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay on 18 June 2013. The UN High C o m m i s s i o n e r, while welcoming the opinion issued by the Venice Commission regarding the fourth amendment to the Fundamental Law of Hungary, made several untenable critical remarks with respect to the state of democracy in Hungary. The most striking misinformation in High Commissioner Pillay’s statement was that she attributed certain claims to the Venice Commission’s final report, which the document did not include. The High Commissioner ’s statement quotes exactly those remarks which were omitted from the Commission’s final report. Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr János Martonyi declared, after attending a of the session Venice Commission

on 14 June, that from Hungary’s v i e w p o i n t , favourable changes had been applied in the Commission’s draft report on the fourth amendment to Hungary’s constitution. However, it does not follow that Hungary agrees with the findings of the final version of report, he the added. It should be noted that the claims the UN High Commissioner’s statement attributed to the final report of the Venice Commission were not included in the document in the alleged form and context in which the UN High Commissioner cited them. The final report did not claim the fourth that amendment “perpetuates problems of the independence of the judiciary,” and that it launched an “attack on constitutional justice” and that it „negatively affects the separation of powers.” These referunfactual ences give reason to doubt the legitimacy of the conclusions that the High Commissioner drew about the Hungarian democratic constitutional situation and

(Online 17 Jun) Prime Minister Viktor Orbán signed an agreement in Budapest with Chairman of the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture, Balázs Győrffy. Following the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán declared that with the adoption of the Land Act Hungary has managed to protect Hungarian soil without violating EU laws. Listing the Government's achievements, the Prime Minister

mentioned that illegal land ownership contracts were being successfully weeded out and the agricultural authority is now able to efficiently defend consumers from bad quality, unhealthy food products that are imported at dumped prices. According to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Hungary is an agricultural country, because the Hungarians are talented at farming and cultivation, and a bright future

awaits Hungarian agricultural communities. Concerning the concentration of ownership and property, the Prime Minister said that there would be barriers to prevent this and trends indicated the strengthening of small and medium-sized farms, adding that a maximum of 20 percent of the properties may be large, state-owned estates, because the agricultural system cannot exist without them.

(Online 20 Jun) In the past two years, the employment of those living with disabilities within state-subsidised frameworks has increased to fifty-five thousand, Miklós Soltész, State Secretary for Social and Family Affairs of the Ministry for National Resources announced in Debrecen today.The

State Secretary, who attended an exhibition entitled “Segítő vásár” (“Helping Fair”) featuring items made by people with disabilities, also said that in addition to the 10 thousand new jobs created with governmental support, five thousand small enterprises had redeemed so-called rehabilitation

cards for 18 thousand employees. These businesses are not accredited with public support schemes, but with the help of the card they do not pay social contribution tax on employees with reduced capacity to work, an incentive for them to employ disabled people.

Nearly 10 KM’s of road was reconstructed between Röszke and Mórahalom

Government measures to safeguard achievements (Online 17 Jun) Hungarian people have made tremendous efforts to end Excessive the Deficit procedure against the country, but the result “shall be upheld and protected”, and that is the reason the Government has subnew mitted measures in Parliament, Government Spokesperson AnGiró-Szász drás said, and Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga announced the concrete measures. At the press conference, the Governe n t m Spokesperson said that with exiting the Excessive Deficit Procedure, the current Government is ending an almost decade-long fight brought about by missteps of previous Socialist Governments. András Giró-Szász added that certain economic processes such as low inflation - are beneficial for citizens, but this at the same time can reduce formerly envisaged state revenues, and that is happening to Hungary right now. In order to avoid recurring fiscal deficit which increases have plagued, for example, Malta, the Government is introducing further corrective measures, he said. The Minister for National Economy informed the audience that the Government is proposing to increase the financial transaction duty from the current 0.3 percent to 0.6 percent for cash withdrawals and abolish the 6 000 forint cap for such transactions. The duty for money transfers will be up from the current 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent, while the upper limit of HUF 6000 will be left unchanged. He also added that these steps were dis-

cussed and entogether dorsed with the Hungarian Banking Association over the weekend. Among additional measures, the Minister mentioned that the telecom tax paid by enterprises will increase from the current 2 forints to 3 forints per or per minute SMS/MMS, while the upper limit for this levy will also be raised from HUF 2500 to HUF 5000. Mihály Varga emthat phasized telecom higher taxes will only be payable by businesses and not by persons. private Mining fees are also about to increase from 12 perto 16 cent percent.The Government also recthe ommends levying of healthcare contributions of 6 percent on inincomes, terest similarly to the levy on capital gains. Among the proposals is a state guarantee to be granted for credit taken out by hauliers with relation to the construction of the new electronic toll collection system. Amendments regarding the freezing funds and of changes on the financing of large investment projects will also be incorporated into the amendment of the Budget Act. These will enable the setting up of an investment fund to manage certain expenditures, such as stadium constructions or the rebuilding of Kossuth Square. As the Minister said, the objective of the measures is to help Hungary exit the EDP once and for all, without a future reopening of the case, as it happened against Malta. The other reason is inflation outlook. The Government calculated

with an inflation rate of 5.2 percent at the time when the 2013 Budget Act was adopted, and that was revised down to 3.1 percent in the Convergence Programme. The latest howprocesses, ever, signal that the pace of the deterioration of forint’s purchasing power will be even slower this year. The rate of inflation has not been this low for forty years, he added. This is a factor which households can profit from, but it cuts budget revHe reenues. the minded audience that when the transaction duty announced, was Government the signalled that in case the revenues from the levy will be below the amount expected of it, the Government may increase its rate. Mihály Varga said that the Government has envisaged revenues of HUF 301bn for this year, but the budget received only HUF 52bn until the end of May: that means that instead of the pro rata temporis 42 percent, only 18 percent of total was paid and that warrants the change of tax rate. Responding to a question, the Minister said that breakneck competition will likely prevent banks from passing higher costs on to consumers. Speaking about the advertisement tax, Mihály Varga said that no decision was made as yet, but the revenues expected from this levy will be included in the budget act amendment. The Minister also informed that - provided they are adopted by the National Assembly the Government’s new tax measures will be effective as of 1 August.

the condition of human rights in Hungary. Our position is that High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay has overstepped her authority when she urged Hungary to revoke the constitutional amendment. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary maintains its position that democracy and the rule of law are unimpaired in Hungary. Moreover, Hungary is committed to the fundamental values norms of and democracy, and is dedicated to ensuring the utmost enand forcement protection of human rights. The Government of Hungary remains committed to continue the cooperation with the High Commissioner for Human Rights and her Office, the UN human rights mechanisms and with other international organizations. In the spirit of partnership, the Government of Hungary is open for dialogue and is ready to respond to all well-founded crit- F o r u m o n i n v e s t m e n t o p p o r t u n i ical remarks and, if ties in domestic mining necessary, to take (Online 15 Jun) The create added value be slightly modified. the necessary steps Ministry of National with their coopera- Making the calculato remedy them. Development to- tion. tion method of roygether with the Minister of State Pál alty fee more Hungarian Office Kovács claimed predictable, clarifyP M O r b á n s p e a k s a t t h e c a b i n e t for Mining and Ge- that the domestic ing the conditions of meeting in Fertőd ology and the Geo- energy security is the official authorilogical and the Hungarian gov- zation mechanism Geophysical Insti- ernment’s basic in- of the hydraulic tute of Hungary terest, regarding fracturing (fracking) held an investment the dysfunctions of technology would forum on the 14th of the European mar- strengthen the staJune 2013, in the ket (i.e. loop flow, bility of the investKarolyi Csekonics low quota prices ment environment. Residency in Bu- and negative elec- The event will be dapest. Potential in- tricity prices). In this closed by a speech vestors, trade union aspect the Hungar- of Ms Anita Orban, representatives and ian mineral wealth Ambassador for other interested represents a value Energy Security of parties had been in- that can play an im- the Ministry of Forformed about the portant role in se- eign Affairs in the Hungarian legal curing the energy evening. framework of the supply of our coun- Seven public calls proposed mining try – he added. for the exploration, concessions as well Participants got in- development and as about the EU sight into the Hun- production of tradiPhoto: Gergely Botár states’ garian hydrocarbon tional and non-tradi(Online 19 Jun) The adding that culture with- thanks to continuous member geothermal tional hydrocarbons Prime Minister held a out supporters is like restoration activities, working solutions and speech at the cabinet professional sports Hungary’s largest and characterized sector’s position, and increased use and also learned of geothermal enmeeting in Fertőd, de- without sponsors. baroque castle will basic conditions. will be claring that those coun- Regarding the venue of soon welcome its visi- Forum attendees about the legal, ergy tries that do not insist the cabinet meeting, tors in its former mag- had been wel- economic, tax and launched under a on their cultural roots the Prime Minister nificence worthy of the comed by Prime e n v i r o n m e n t a l concession contract and turn away from pointed out that the title of UNESCO world Minister's chief ad- framework of the by the instruction of their past also turn choice of meeting place heritage site, adding viser, Ms Réka Sze- c o n c e s s i o n the Minister for Naaway from their future. is obvious because it is that the Government is merkényi and Mr process. Invited ex- tional Development. In contrast, those coun- a salute of a plebeian doing everything possi- Pál Kovács Minister perts held presenta- Hungarian and intries that successfully government to the ble to ensure that the of State for Climate tions on industrial ternational reprehad live in unity with the great achievements of Castle of Fertőd returns and Energy Affairs. practice, service ex- sentatives legacy of their ances- the Hungarian aristoc- to its former glory as a Réka Szemerkényi perience and legal been properly inHun- issues. formed by the Mintors may become racy. stronghold of European underlined gary’s national ecoTwo areas had istry during the strong and successful, According to Prime culture. nomic interest in been identified by forum in order to the Prime Minister said, Minister Viktor Orbán, utilizing mineral the representatives promote effective Hungary’s sense of responsibility for eth- wealth responsibly. of the industry sec- consession proceHungary will cer- tor where the Hun- dures. nic Hungarians abroad will increase tainly find partners garian legislative (Online 18 Jun) The ian communities liv- countries had been who will be able to framework should parliamentary repre- ing in the neighbour- sending hundreds of sentation of ethnic ing countries and language teachers to Flood defence success demonstrates Hungarians living also residing in more their diaspora Hungary's strength and confidence outside Hungary – remote countries due throughout the (Online 17 Jun) In protect our home- work personally. which will be accom- to the wave of emi- world. his pre-agenda land in case of In his interview plished following the gration following the Referring to the reViktor for public Kossuth 2014 elections – will ’56 Revolution, over marks made by the speech in Parlia- trouble, Radio on Friday, hopefully bolster half a million Hun- representative of the ment, Prime Min- Orbán said. Hungary's sense of garians are living International Organi- ister Viktor Orbán He added the he called cooperresponsibility for and working in other sation for Migration declared that the record flood on ation in flood proflood the Danube had t e c t i o n them, Parliamentary EU member states, (IOM) at the confer- biggest jeopar- u n p r e c e d e n t e d , State Secretary Zsolt Zsolt Németh ence, the Hungarian Hungary had ever directly 206,000 whereas on SatNémeth declared in stressed. Hungari- State Secretary said experienced has dised Paris on Monday. ans living in other that the institution of left the country people, of whom urday, at a press Zsolt Németh at- EU member states dual citizenship had without causing only 1,570 had to briefing in Mobe hács, South Huntended a ministerial represent a new type become more and any casualties or eventually damage, e v a c u a t e d , gary, he conference in Paris of diaspora, the pri- more accepted all major adding that thanks in large expressed his that focused on ways mary focus of the over the world. recent part to well-or- gratitude to of maintaining ties conference in Paris. Hungary's law allow- through who with the national di- It is important for ing the acquisition of protection efforts ganised protec- everyone participated in the aspora living abroad. Hungary to Hungarian citizen- along the flooding tion efforts. river Danube, the A total of 36,780 work. The conference was strengthen the na- ship within the has volunteers regis- The emergency initiated by Helene tional community of framework of a sim- country C o n w a y - M o u r e t , Hungarians, Zsolt plified procedure proved that it tered with the na- situation caused disaster by the flood also Minister Delegate for Németh declared. In took effect on 1 Jan- stands united and tional strong when peomanagement au- gained wide atFrench Nationals the Carpathian basin uary 2011. Under the Abroad, and at- this entails demand- law, people are eligi- ple are needed on thority to join de- tention at internafence operations, tional level. tended by officials ing cultural auton- ble for Hungarian cit- the dykes. from 32 countries. omy for Hungarian izenship if they or According to the but their actual During the weekMinister, number is esti- end, at a summit The Hungarian State minorities, whereas their ascendants Prime suc- mated to have of Visegrad counSecretary said that in the diaspora in were Hungarian citi- Hungary’s “mother countries” Western Europe and zens before 1920 or cessful flood de- been a lot more. tries and Japan in activities N e a r l y Warsaw, Japanhad been demon- overseas this means between 1938 and fence demonstrated the 10,200,000 sand- ese Prime Minisstrating an increas- supporting all kinds 1945. Unlike previing sense of of association, such ously, permanent achievements of bags were used ter Shinzo Abe responsibility for as scout groups or residency in Hungary a confident and during the opera- expressed praise for the “fantastic their ethnic minori- church communities. is not a requirement. able country. All tions. differences and Since the state of joining of forces” ties living abroad. The Hungarian State Later on, voting disap- emergency had which enabled This sense of re- Secretary high- rights in Hungary conflicts declared, Hungary to avert sponsibility is all the lighted the Por- were extended to peared on the been more important for tuguese and Hungarian citizens dykes and every- the Prime Minis- the threat of the Hungary because, in Moroccan examples living beyond the one could see ter turned up at flood. that we, Hungari- several locations addition to the tradi- as successful prac- borders. ans stand firm to to direct defence tional ethnic Hungar- tices, since these

Photo: Ágnes Bartolf

(Online 20 Jun) Another road reconstruction project was completed with the support of the New Széchenyi Plan. A nearly 10-kilometre section of the road connecting Röszke and Mórahalom in Csongrád County was reconstructed from over HUF 1 billion European Union funds. The inauguration ceremony of the project was held in Mórahalom on 20 June 2013. Within the New Széchenyi Plan Regional Operational Programmes about 600 kilometres of minor roads will be recon-

also became of European quality. The constructor replaced the structure of the roadway in several places, milled the existing pavement 15 centimetres deep, removed the lower layers and constructed a new roadway structure in certain places. 12 centimetres thick asphalt pavement of two layers was laid down in the outer area, one layer was milled and an asphalt surface course of 6.5 centimetres thickness was constructed in the inner area. The costs of the project were significantly reduced by re-

road manager and the Regional Development Agencies will monitor the condition of the reconstructed section closely in the years after the project closure to maintain the excellent quality of the minor road. Nándor Csepreghy, Deputy State Secretary for Development Projects said the following at the inauguration: The winning applicants had the opportunity to utilise over HUF 114 billion from EU resources to strengthen and reconstruct the minor road network between 2010 and 2013. Nearly 100

Photo: Ágnes Bartolf structed nationally this year. The nearly HUF 87 billion development resource is utilised by Magyar Közút Nonprofit Zrt., the project promoter, with support given by the European Union and the Hungarian Government in the co-financing of the European Regional Development Fund. A total of HUF 14.16 billion will be utilised for reconstructions in the South Great Plain Region in 2013 by the public road manager. Within the framework of the program the nearly 10-kilometre section of the road connecting Röszke and Mórahalom

constructing the roadside from the material gained from the replacement of the roadway structure and asphalt milled from the pavement. The constructor also placed new road signs and replaced the outer area kilometre stones by kilometre signs on both sides. Those living in the region and those passing through may now travel more safely and more comfortably to the regional centres, kindergartens, schools, other public institutions and their workplaces on the reconstructed national public road. The public

percent of the funds were tied down in every region in this programming period in the field of developing 4-5-digit roads. From among this year’s projects of Magyar Közút the works have already been initiated in almost 416 kilometres by the middle of June. The technical deliveries of the projects have been continuous since the first weeks of June. According to the plans the reconstruction of nearly 210 kilometres of minor roads in very degraded condition will begin in the second half of the year.

Accident investigation and rescue exercise organised by the GYSEV railway company

Photo: Csaba Pelsőczy

(Online 20 Jun) Railway professionals and ambulance, police and fire service representatives also participated in the rescue exercise organised by GYSEV Zrt. in Sopron on 19 June 2013. During the simulation a yard locomotive collided with two motor vehicles. As Mr Zoltán Schváb, Deputy State Secretary for Transport under the Ministry of National Development emphasized at the venue, similar exercises are extremely important in order to ensure effective, fast and synchronised rescue operation and

severe injuries, while two other persons suffered minor injuries. Following the arrival of the authorities and railway bodies at the scene the police secured the area while the ambulance began saving the injured and the firemen extinguishing the fire. For the technical rescue and the clearing of the track a newly arrived railway rescue carriage was used. Railway traffic could return to normal an hour after the simulated accident. ‘Efficient, professional and synchronised rescue operations may

one of the main domestic transport policy initiatives: the railway company may use HUF 982 million to make railway transport, and in particular railway crossings safer,’ said Mr Zoltán Schváb, Deputy State Secretary for Transport under the Ministry of National Development at the rescue exercise venue. Mr Szilárd Kövesdi, chief executive of GYSEV Zrt. emphasized that the fundamental task of the railway company was to ensure the problemfree operation of railway lines therefore the ade-

Photo: Csaba Pelsőczy restoration in real accident situations. During the simulation a yard locomotive with a passenger carriage collided with two motor vehicles at 30 km/hour speed and caught fire. In the mock accident practised as part of the rescue operation a person travelling in one of the cars died, another person and the driver of the engine sustained

save human lives. The best way to protect travellers, however, is to do everything in order to avoid accidents. Prevention is targeted by the national transport safety infrastructure development programme launched by the Government whose first phase is worth HUF 55 billion (www.erjhazabiztonsagban.hu). GYSEV is also part of

quate preparation of professionals for accident situations was of great importance. He also thanked for the synchronised rescue operations of the ambulance, police and fire service workers and railway professionals performed at railway accidents in recent years.

H unga r y pr e pa r e s ne w s t r a t e gy f or int e r na tiona l de v e lopm e nt a id (Online 18 Jun) Hungary has drafted a new framework strategy for internat i o n a l development cooperation in line with its policy of eastern orientation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on 17 June 2013. The strategy, developed through broad social con-

sultations, was presented to Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee by Deputy State Secretary Szabolcs Takács. Reasons for replacing the previous strategy adopted in 2001 included efforts to strengthen the eastern orientation of foreign policy, stepped up attention to non-

European regions and Hungary’s commitment to managing global challenges. This is why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has redefined the fundamental principles, objectives and framework of cooperation with dev e l o p i n g countries.

Worldwide events; zarb e jamhoor newspaper; 129 issue; 23 29 jun, 2013  

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