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St. Paul's Shipwreck (Feast of) Malta - F e b 1 0

The Collegiate Parish Church of St Paul's Shipwreck, also known as simply the Church of St Paul's Shipwreck, is a Roman Catholic parish church in Valletta, Malta. It is one of Valletta's oldest churches.

History

St Paul is considered to be the spiritual father of the Maltese. His shipwreck is popularly considered as the greatest event in the nation's history. For this reason, St Paul's Collegiate Church is one of the most important in Malta. The church traces its origins to 1570s. Although the church of the Dominican fathers had already been declared a parish of Valletta, the Cathedral Chapter insisted on having a church of its own from where to administer sacraments to the inhabitants. The church was reconstructed in 1609 but was demolished in 1639. The plans of the new church were prepared by Bartolomeo Garagona. The facade was rebuilt in 1885 to the design of Nicola Zammit.

Interior The church hosts fine artistic works, including the magnificent altarpiece by Matteo Perez d'Aleccio, the choir and

dome of Lorenzo Gafà, the paintings by Attilio Palombi, and Giuseppe Calì and the titular statue. The wooden statue of St Paul the Apostle was carved in 1657 by Melchiorre Cafà, the brother of Lorenzo Gafà who remodelled the church in 1680. The statue is paraded through the streets of Valletta on the feast day of St Paul's Shipwreck, February 10 generally under heavy rainfall. One can also view the treasured relic of the right wrist-bone of St Paul, and part of the column on which the saint was beheaded in Rome.

Armed Forces Day Leberia - F e b 1 1

Liberia holds a yearly respect of the Armed Forces Day and is regarded as a public national holiday in the country. Celebrated every 11th day of February, Armed Forces Day program is witnessed by government officials including the President and the vice President of the state.

History

The National defense Law of 1956 was the sole basis of the creation of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL). Before it was called the AFL, it was known as the Liberia Frontier Force which was founded in 1908. The main purpose on why this military group was created was to protect the country against the territorial attacks of the British and the French. The Frontier Force was originally composed of 500 military men who guarded the borders in the locality. From the time it was founded, The Armed Forces of Liberia went through a lot of reform and amendment which gave an unconstructive impact on its integrity as a troop of national defense. It also came to a point where instead of battling against the territorial rule of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Doe Regime utilized the Armed Forces as one of its prime protectors. Upon the establishment of the Interim Government of National Unity, the citizens insisted for the restructuring of the Armed Forces. This decision was granted by the office which later on, found a lot of glitches and anomalies in the Armed Forces when it comes to professionalism and reliability. During the reconstitution of the Armed Forces, the UN International Peacekeeping Force was one of the associations who started the goal to discharge, neutralize and reconstitute the military group. Presently, the Armed Forces of Liberia is organized into two infantry battalions and support units.

Celebrations The celebration of the Liberian Armed Forces Day is being observed religiously every February 11 as a day to com-

memorate and give respect to the people behind the shaping and reorganizing of the country’s military force. Part of this celebration is the awarding and honoring of the military men who have been dedicated into serving the country. The merit and medals are awarded by the Liberian President during the ceremonial celebration of the holiday.

National Foundation Day Japan - F e b 1 1

National Foundation Day (建国記念の日 kenkoku kinen-no-hi) is a national holiday in Japan celebrated annually on February 11. On this day, Japanese celebrate the founding of the nation and the imperial line by its legendary first emperor, Jimmu, who according to legend established his capital in Yamato in 660 BC.

History

The origin of National Foundation Day is New Year's Day in the traditional lunisolar calendar. On that day, the foundation of Japan by Emperor Jimmu was celebrated based onNihonshoki (日本書紀), which states that Emperor Jimmu ascended to the throne on the first day of the first month. In the Meiji period, the Japanese government designated the day as a national holiday. This coincided with the switch from the lunisolar calendar to the Gregorian calendar in 1873. In 1872, when the holiday was originally proclaimed, it was January 29 of the Gregorian calendar, which corresponded to Lunar New Year of 1873. Contrary to the government's expectation, this led people to see the day as just Lunar New Year, instead of National Foundation Day. In response, the government moved the holiday to February 11 of the Gregorian calendar in 1873. The government stated that it corresponded to Emperor Jimmu's regnal day but did not publish the exact method of computation. In its original form, the holiday was named Empire Day (紀元節,Kigensetsu). It is thought that the Meiji Emperor may have wanted to establish this holiday to bolster the legitimacy of the imperial family following the abolition of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The national holiday was supported by those who believed that focusing national attention on the emperor would serve a unifying purpose. Publicly linking his rule with the mythical first emperor, Jimmu, and thus Amaterasu, the Meiji Emperor declared himself the one, true ruler of Japan. With large parades and festivals, in its time, Kigensetsu was considered one of the four major holidays of Japan. Given its reliance on Shinto mythology and its reinforcement of the Japanese nobility, Kigensetsu was abolished following World War II. Ironically, February 11 was also the day when General MacArthur approved the draft version of the model Constitution in 1946. The commemorative holiday was re-established as National Foundation Day in 1966. Though stripped of most of its overt references to the Emperor, National Foundation Day was still a day for expressing patriotism and love of the nation in the 1950s.

practice Current In contrast with the events associated with earlier Kigensetsu, celebrations for National Foundation Day are relatively

muted. Customs include the raising of Japanese flags and reflection on the meaning of Japanese citizenship. The holiday is still relatively controversial however, and very overt expressions of nationalism or even patriotism are rare.

Youth Day Cameroon - F e b 1 1

Cameroon celebrates National Youth Day every year on the 11th of February. During this day, various youth groups come together to organize workshops, parades, and other programs which points out to important issues for the youth. Representatives from various youth associations from each industry such as sports, social media, technology, business, and the academe from various educational institutions encourage the youth to engage themselves in fruitful activities which support fellow youth in their fight to defending and promoting social justice, avoiding violence, and building a community that is safe for each of them.

History

Cameroon establishes the National Youth Day in 1966 to mobilize the society by engaging the youth in important decision-making strategies and political advocacy and movement. However, it is marred by various political issues including the removal of highly controversial Plebiscite Day to Youth Day under the leadership of Ahmadou Babatoura Ahidjo, the first president of Cameroon (1960-1982) which charged the latter’s government in marginalizing the Anglophone Cameroonian group in the country. The establishment of Youth Day in the country is brought about by the recommendation provided by the Commissionership for Youth and Popular Education in Yaoundé after its observance to the 1965 Youth Day celebration in Buea, Cameroon’s Southwest Province.

Celebrations Youth Day in Cameroon is marked with festivities and public band exhibitions. Government-sponsored con-

National gress and conferences may take place at the Ministry of Youth Affairs in Yaounde. Representatives from various youth associations, National Youth Council and private individuals join together yearly to discuss important legal and moral issues concerning the youth of Cameroon. Various activities may be held which includes and not limited to tree-planting activities, cultural immersion and other types of community service. Youth also organize public talks discussing important issues such as climate change, and evaluation of current youth rights violation in the country.

Lincoln's Birthday U.S. - F e b 1 2

Ab aham L nco n Feb ua y 12 1809 – Ap 15 1865 was he16 h P es den o he Un ed S a es se v ng om Ma ch 1861 un h s as sass na on n Ap 1865 L nco n success u y ed he Un ed S a es h ough s g ea es cons u ona m a y and mo a c s s – he Ame can C v Wa – p ese v ng he Un on wh e end ng s ave y and p omo ng econom c and nanc a mode n za on Rea ed n a poo am y on he wes e n on e L nco n was mos y se educa ed and no s s a e eg s a o became a coun y awye a Wh g Pa y eade du ng he 1830s and a one e m membe o he Un ed S a es House o Rep esen a ves du ng he 1840s A e a se es o deba es n 1858 ha gave na ona v s b y o h s op pos on o he expans on o s ave y L nco n os a Sena e ace o h s a ch va S ephen A Doug as L nco n a mode a e om a sw ng s a e secu ed he Repub can Pa y p es den a nom na on n 1860 W h a mos no suppo n he Sou h L nco n swep he No h and was e ec ed p es den n 1860 H s e ec on was he s gna o seven sou he n s ave s a es o dec a e he secess on om he Un on and o m he Con ede acy The depa u e o he Sou he ne s gave L nco n s pa y m con o o Cong ess bu no o mu a o comp om se o ec onc a on was ound L nco n exp a ned n h s second naugu a add ess Bo h pa es dep eca ed wa bu one o hem wou d make wa a he han e he Na on su v ve and he o he wou d accep wa a he han e pe sh and he wa came When he No h en hus as ca y a ed beh nd he na ona ag a e he Con ed e a e a ack on Fo Sum e on Ap 12 1861 L nco n concen a ed on he m a y and po ca d mens ons o he wa e o H s goa was now o eun e he na on As he Sou h was n a s a e o nsu ec on L nco n exe c sed h s au ho y o sus pend habeas co pus a es ng and empo a y de a n ng housands o suspec ed secess on s s w hou a L nco n ave ed B sh ecogn on o he Con ede acy by sk u y hand ng he T en a a n a e 1861 H s e o s owa d he abo on o s ave y nc ude ssu ng h s Emanc pa on P oc ama on n 1863 encou ag ng he bo de s a es o ou aw s ave y and he p ng push h ough Cong ess he Th een h Amendmen o he Un ed S a es Cons u on wh ch na y eed a he s aves na onw de n Decembe 1865 L nco n c ose y supe v sed he wa e o espec a y he se ec on o op gene a s nc ud ng command ng gene a U ysses S G an L nco n b ough eade s o he ma o ac ons o h s pa y n o h s cab ne and p essu ed hem o coope a e Unde L nco n s eade sh p he Un on se up a nava b ockade ha shu down he Sou h s no ma ade ook con o o he bo de abraham nco n s ave s a esa he s a o he wa ga ned con o o commun ca ons w h gunboa s on he sou he n ve sys ems and ed epea ed y o cap u e he Con ede a e cap a a R chmond V g n a Each me a gene a a ed L nco n subs u ed ano he un na y G an succeeded n 1865 An excep ona y as u e po c an deep y nvo ved w h powe ssues n each s a e L nco n eached ou o Wa De moc a s and managed h s own e e ec on n he 1864 p es den a e ec on As he eade o he mode a e ac on o he Repub can pa y L nco n ound h s po c es and pe sona y we e b as ed om a s des Rad ca Repub cans demanded ha she ea men o he Sou h Wa Democ a s des ed mo e comp om se Coppe heads desp sed h m and econc ab e secess on s s p o ed h s dea h Po ca y L nco n ough back w h pa onage by p ng h s op ponen s aga ns each o he and by appea ng o he Ame can peop e w h h s powe s o o a o y H s Ge ysbu g Ad d ess o 1863 became he mos quo ed speech n Ame can h s o y was an con c s a emen o Ame ca s ded ca on o he p nc p es o na ona sm epub can sm equa gh s be y and democ acy A he c ose o he wa L nco n he d a mode a e v ew o Recons uc on seek ng o eun e he na on speed y h ough a po cy o gene ous econ c a on n he ace o nge ng and b e d v s veness S x days a e he su ende o Con ede a e command ng gene a Robe E Lee howeve L nco n was assass na ed by ac o and Con ede a e sympa h ze John W kes Boo h L nco n s dea h was he s assass na on o a U S p es den and sen he na on n o mou n ng L nco n has been cons s en y anked by scho a s and he pub c as one o he h ee g ea es U S p es den s he o he s be ng Geo ge Wash ng on and F ank n D Rooseve

Early life Ab aham L nco n was bo n Feb ua y 12 1809

he second ch d o Thomas L nco n and Nancy L nco n née Hanks n a one oom og cab n on he S nk ng Sp ng Fa m n Ha d n Coun y Ken ucky now LaRue Coun y He s de scended om Samue L nco n who a ved n H ngham Massachuse s om No o k Eng and n he 17 h cen u y L nco n s pa e na g and a he and namesake Ab aham had moved h s am y om V g n a o Ken ucky whe e he was ambushed and k ed n an nd an a d n 1786 w h h s ch d en nc ud ng L nco n s a he Thomas ook ng on Thomas was e o make h s own way on he on e L nco n s mo he Nancy was he daugh e o Lucy Hanks and was bo n n wha s now M ne a Coun y Wes V g n a hen pa o V g n a Lucy moved w h Nancy o Ken ucky Nancy Hanks ma ed Thomas who became a espec ed c zen He bough and so d seve a a ms nc ud ng Knob C eek Fa m The am y a ended a Sepa a e Bap s s chu ch wh ch had es c ve mo a s anda ds and opposed a coho danc ng and s ave y Thomas en oyed cons de ab e s a us n Ken ucky—whe e he sa on u es app a sed es a es se ved on coun y s ave pa o s and gua ded p sone s By he me h s son Ab aham was bo n Thomas owned wo 600 ac e 240 ha a ms seve a own o s ves ock and ho ses He was among he ches men n he coun y Howeve n 1816 Thomas os a o h s and n cou cases because o au y p ope y es The am y moved no h ac oss he Oh o R ve o ee e non s ave e o y and made a new s a n wha was hen Pe y Coun y bu s now Spence Coun y nd ana L nco n a e no ed ha h s move was pa y on accoun o s ave y bu ma n y due o and e d cu es n nd ana when L nco n was n ne h s mo he Nancy d ed o m k s ckness n 1818 A e he dea h o L nco n s mo he h s o de s s e Sa ah ook cha ge o ca ng o h m un he a he ema ed n 1819 Sa ah a e d ed n he 20s wh e g v ng b h o a s bo n son Thomas L nco n s new w e was he w dow Sa ah Bush Johns on he mo he o h ee ch d en L nco n became ve y c ose o h s s epmo he and e e ed o he as Mo he As a p e een he d d no ke he ha d abo assoc a ed w h on e e Some n h s am y and n he ne ghbo hood o a me cons de ed h m o be azy As he g ew n o h s eens he w ng y ook espons b y o a cho es expec ed o h m as one o he boys n he househo d and became an adep axeman n h s wo k bu d ng a ences He a a ned a epu a on o b awn and audac y a e a ve y com pe ve w es ng ma ch o wh ch he was cha enged by he enowned eade o a g oup o u ans he C a y s G ove boys L nco n a so ag eed w h he cus oma y ob ga on o a son o g ve h s a he a ea n ngs om wo k done ou s de he home un age 21 n a e yea s L nco n occas ona y oaned h s a he money L nco n became nc eas ng y d s an om h s a he n pa because o h s a he s ack o educa on Wh e young L nco n s o ma educa on con s s ed app ox ma e y o a yea s wo h o c asses om seve a ne an eache s he was mos y se educa ed and was an av d eade and o en sough access o any new books n he v age He ead and e ead he K ng James B b e Aesop s Fab es Bunyan s P g m s P og ess De oe s Rob nson C usoe and F ank n s Au ob og aphy n 1830 ea ng a m k s ckness ou b eak a ong he Oh o R ve he L nco n am y moved wes whe e hey se ed on pub c and nMacon Coun y no s ano he ee non s ave s a e n 1831 Thomas e oca ed he am y o a new homes ead n Co es Coun y no s was hen ha as an amb ous 22 yea o d L nco n dec ded o seek a be e e and s uck ou on h s own Canoe ng down he Sangamon R ve L nco n ended up n he v age o New Sa em n Sangamon Coun y n he sp ng o 1831 h ed by New Sa em bus nessman Den on O u and accompan ed by ends he ook goods by a boa om New Sa em o New O eans v a he Sangamon no s and M ss ss pp ve s A e a v ng n New O eans—and w ness ng s ave y s hand—he wa ked back home

Union of Myanmar Myanmar/Burma - F e b 1 2

Un on day s a pub c ce eb a on n Myanma o me y Bu ma he d eve y Feb ua y 12 as a memo a o The Pang ong Ag eemen wh ch p onounced u ndependence n n e na gove nance and was he so e eason on why he coun y ach eved s cen a zed sys em o gove nmen

History

The Pang ong Ag eemen was s gned and passed on Feb ua y 12 1947 a e wh ch on Janua y 4 1948 Myanma ach eved s u ndependence unde he B sh co ony o mo e han a cen u y One o s a ms was o p omo e equa y be ween he Bu mese p a n peop e and he non Bu mese h s bes n Bu ma The pass ng o he Pang ong Ag eemen dep c ed un y om s peop e and made hem who e as a na on desp e he ac a abuse and d sc m na on ha hey unde wen om he B sh co ony The Pang ong Ag eemen was s gned by he mos powe u o c a s o he gove nmen who p onee ed he aw o make he coun y a democ a c gove nmen wh ch was ed by he eade o he na on Gene a Bogyoke Aung San and h s o owe s Howeve sho y a e he s gn ng o he ag eemen Gene a Aung San was sho and k ed eav ng he coun y g ev ng o he oss o he a he o he na on

Celebrations To da e he Pang ong Ag eemen

s be ng hono ed by Myanma as Un on Day each 12 h o Feb ua y o make he peop e espec a y he o c a s o he gove nmen ea ze ha he ue mean ng o he ce eb a on s by ecogn z ng and mpos ng he p nc p es o he Pang ong Ag eemen The ememb ance nc udes he yea y pa c pa on n he ac ons and movemen s o mo e han 7000 peop e ep esen ng he d e en bes ha he coun y c a ms

Youth Day Venezuela - F e b 1 2

You h Day s ce eb a ed on Feb ua y 12 The ho day was c ea ed o commemo a e a he eenage s above 12 yea s o d who ough and d ed n he Ba e o La V c o a du ng he Venezue an Wa o ndependence on Feb ua y 12 1814

Darwin Day Worldwide - F e b 1 2

Da w n Day s a ecen y ns u ed ce eb a on n ended o commemo a e he ann ve sa y o he b h o Cha es Da w n on Feb ua y 12 1809 The day s used o h gh gh Da w n s con bu on o sc ence and o p omo e sc ence n gene a

History The ce eb a on o Da w n s wo k and

bu es o h s e have been o gan zed spo ad ca y s nce h s dea h on Ap 19 1882 a age 73 Even s ook p ace a Down House n Downe on he sou he n ou sk s o London whe e Da w n and membe s o h s am y ved om 1842 un he dea h o Emma Da w n n 1896 n 1909 mo e han 400 sc en s s and d gn a es om 167 coun es me n Camb dge o honou Da w n s con bu ons and o d scuss v go ous y he ecen d scove es and e a ed heo es con es ng o accep ance Th s was a w de y e po ed even o pub c n e es A so n 1909 on Feb ua y 12 he 100 h b h ann ve sa y o Da w n and he 50 h ann ve sa y o he pub ca on o The O g n o Spec es we e ce eb a ed by he New Yo k Academy o Sc ences a he Ame can Museum o Na u a H s o y A b onze bus o Da w n was unve ed On June 2 1909 he Roya So c e y o New Zea and he d a Da w n Ce eb a on The e was a ve y a ge a en dance On Novembe 24–28 1959 The Un ve s y o Ch cago he d a ma o we pub c zed ce eb a on o Da w n and he pub ca on o On he O g n o Spec es Sc en s s and academ cs some mes ce eb a ed Feb ua y 12 w h Phy um Feas even s—a mea w h oods om as many d e en phy a as hey cou d manage a eas as ea y as 1972 1974 and 1989 n Canada n he Un ed S a es Sa em S a e Co ege n Massachuse s has he d a Da w n Fes va an nua y s nce 1980 and n 2005 eg s e ed Da w n Fes va as a se v ce ma k w h he US Pa en and T adema k O ce The Human s Commun y o Pa o A o Ca o n a was mo va ed by D Robe S ephens n a e 1993 o beg n p an n ng o an annua Da w n Day ce eb a on s s pub c Da w n Day even was a ec u e by D Dona d Johanson d scove e o he ea y hom n d Lucy sponso ed by he S an o d Human s s s uden g oup and he Human s Commun y on Ap 22 1995 The Human s Commun y con nues s annua ce eb a on o Da w n sc ence and human y on Feb ua y 12 ndependen y n 1997 P o esso Mass mo P g ucc n a ed an annua Da w n Day even w h s uden s and co eagues a he Un ve s y o Tennessee The even nc uded seve a pub c ec u es and ac v es as we as a eache s wo kshop mean o he p e emen a y and seconda y schoo eache s be e unde s and evo u on and how o com mun ca e o he s uden s as we as how o dea w h he p essu es o en p aced on hem by he c ea on sm movemen

Darwin Day Program and Darwin Day Celebration n he a e 1990s wo Da w n en hus as s Amanda Cheswo h and Robe S ephens co ounded an uno c a e o

o p omo e Da w n Day n 2001 Cheswo h moved o New Mex co and nco po a ed he Da w n Day P og am S ephens became Cha man o he Boa d and P es den o h s nonp o co po a on w h Mass mo P g ucc as V ce P es den and Amanda Cheswo h as membe o he Boa d Sec e a y and Execu ve D ec o S ephens p esen ed he ob ec ves o he o gan za on n an a c e ed Da w n Day An n e na ona Ce eb a on n 2002 Cheswo h comp ed and ed ed a subs an a book en ed Da w n Day Co ec on One he S ng e Bes dea Eve The ob ec ves o he book we e o show he mu d sc p na y each o Cha es Da w n and o me d aca dem c wo k w h popu a cu u e n 2004 he New Mex co co po a on was d sso ved and a s asse s ass gned o he Da w n Day Ce eb a on a non p o o gan za on nco po a ed n Ca o n a n 2004 by D Robe S ephens and o he s and he M ss on S a e men was expanded Da w n Day Ce eb a on edes gned he Web s e Da w nDay o g om a s a c p esen a on o n o ma on abou he Da w n Day P og am o a comb na on o educa on abou Da w n and he Da w n Day Ce eb a on o gan za on nc ud ng au oma ed eg s a on and pub ca on o p anned and pas ce eb a o y Even s and he au oma ed eg s a on o peop e who wan o ece ve ema ngs o make pub c dec a a on o suppo o Da w n Day The webs e s now ope a ed by he n e na ona Da w n Day Founda on an au onomous p og am o he Ame can Human s Assoc a on

Events Va ous even s a e conduc ed on Da w n Day a ound

he wo d They have nc uded d nne pa es w h spec a ec pes o p mo d a soup and o he nven ve d shes p o es s w h schoo boa ds and o he gove nmen a bod es wo kshops and sympos a d s bu on o n o ma on by peop e n ape cos umes ec u es and deba es essay and a compe ons conce s poe y ead ngs p ays a wo k comedy ou nes eenac men s o he Scopes T a and o he deba e be ween Thomas H Hux ey and B shop Samue W be o ce b a y d sp ays museum exh b s ave and educa ona ou s ec ea ons o he ou ney o he HMS Beag e chu ch se mons mov e n gh s ou each and na u e h kes The Da w n Day Ce eb a on Web s e o e s ee eg s a on and d sp ay o a Da w n Day even s The Pe h M n Aus a a w aunch a 2009 da ed commemo a ve 1 ounce s ve ega ende co n dep c ng Da w n young and o d HMS Beag e and Da w n s s gna u e Some ce eb an s a so comb ne Da w n Day w h a ce eb a on o Ab aham L nco n who was a so bo n on Feb ua y 12 1809 S o he s ke o ce eb a e he many no ed nd v dua s ha n uenced o we e n uenced by Da w n s wo k such as Thomas H Hux ey Cha es Lye A ed Russe Wa ace Ca Sagan and E ns May

Supporters The ea es suppo o Da w n Day came

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Revolution Day (1979) Iran - F e b 1 1

Despite economical growth, there was much opposition against the Mohammad Reza Shah, and how he used the secret police, the Savak, to control the country. Strong Shi'i opposition against the Shah, and the country came close to a situation of civil war. The opposition was lead by Ayatollah Khomeini, who lived in exile in Iraq and later in France. His message was distributed through music cassettes, which were smuggled into Iran in small numbers, and then duplicated, and spread all around the country. This was the beginning of Iranian revolution. On January 16 1979, the Shah left Iran. Shapour Bakhtiar as his new prime minister with the help of Supreme Army Councils couldn't control the situation in the country anymore. Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran on February 1. Ten days later Bakhtiar went into hiding, eventually to find exile in Paris. Processes against the supporters of the Shah started, and hundreds were executed. On April 1, after a landslide victory in a national referendum in which only one choice was offered (Islamic Republic: Yes or No), Ayatollah Khomeini declared an Islamic republic with a new Constitution reflecting his ideals of Islamic government. Ayatollah Khomeini became supreme spiritual leader (Valy-e-Faqih) of Iran. Subsequently many demonstrations were held in protest to the new rules, like extreme regulations on women's code of dress. On November 4: Iranian Islamic Students stormed the US embassy, taking 66 people, the majority Americans, as hostages. 14 were released before the end of November. In November: The republic's first Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan resigned. In 1980 Abolhassan Beni Sadr was elected for president. On September 22: Iraq massively invaded Iran, in the belief that Iran is too weak military to fight back. Iraq was claiming territories inhabited by Arabs (Southwestern oilproducing province of Iran called Khouzestan), as well as Iraq's right over Shatt el-Arab (Arvandroud). Some battles were won in the favor of Iraq, but a supposedly weakened Iranian army achieved surprising defensive success. In 1981, on January 20, the hostages in the US embassy were released, after long negotiations, where USA concedes to transfer money, as well as export military equipment to Iran. In June, Beni Sadr was removed from power by Ayatollah Khomeini, and fleed to France in July. Former prime minister Mohammad Ali Rajai was elected president. In August 30, President Rajai and his prime minister were killed in a bombing. In October, Hojatoleslam Seyed Ali Khamenei was elected president. Khamenei was one of the founders of the Islamic Republican Party, which dominated the Majlis (the national legislature) after the 1979 revolution. He was appointed to the Council of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and between 1979 and 1981 he was a member of the Majlis, serving as deputy minister of defense, commander of the Revolutionary Guard, and representative on the Supreme Council of Defense. He also served several times as general secretary of the Islamic Republic Party. By summer of 1982, Iraq's initial territorial gains had been recaptured by Iranian troops that were stiffened with Revolutionary Guards. The Iraqi forces were driven out of Iran. The war extended to shooting of boats in the Persian Gulf, in an attempt to hurt the other country's oil exports. As required by the constitution, he resigned the presidency in 1989. On 20 August 1988, a cease fire was signed between Iran and Iraq. Both parties accepted UN Resolution 598. Following Ayatollah Khomeini's death on 3 June 1989 of a heart attack, Khamenei assumed the role of supreme spiritual leader. The Assembly of Experts (Ulama) met in emergency session on June 4 and elected President Khamenei the new Valy-eFaqih (supreme spiritual leader), simultaneously promoting him to the status of aya- Aya o ah Khome n ounder o tollah. And Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, speaker of the Majles Is am c Repub c (parliament) was elected as a president. He graduated in the late 1950s as a Hojatoleslam, a Shiite clerical rank just below that of ayatollah. Opposed, like his mentor, to the rule of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, Rafsanjani became the exiled Khomeini's chief agent in Iran, was arrested on several occasions, and spent three years in prison (1975-1977) for his activities. In 1990-1991 Iran condemned both Iraq's invasion in Kuwait and the allied forces actions against Iraq. Rafsanjani was re-elected in 1993 but stepped down in 1997, since the Iranian constitution limits the president from seeking a third term. From 1995 was total ban on trade with Iran by USA. In 1997 Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami was elected president by gaining almost 70 percent of the votes cast. He pursued political reform and opposed censorship. He is considered to be reformist towards democratization of Iran's society and willing to normalize the relation with west and reduce tensions in the region. Although popular among much of the Iranian public, these policies met considerable opposition from conservatives who controlled the legislature and judiciary. Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami was again re-elected as president in 2001 election by greater mandate of Iranian people (almost 78% of the vote cast). On 24 June 2005 Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected as Iran's sixth president. He swept to the presidential post with a stunning 17,046,441 votes out of a total of 27,536,069 votes cast in the runoff election.

After the victory of 1979's Revolution

Mehdi Bazargan became the first prime minister of the revolutionary regime in February 1979. Bazargan, however, headed a government that controlled neither the country nor even its own bureaucratic apparatus. Central authority had broken down. Hundreds of semi-independent revolutionary committees, not answerable to central authority, were performing a variety of functions in major cities and towns across the country. Factory workers, civil servants, whitecollar employees, and students were often in control, demanding a say in running their organizations and choosing their chiefs. Governors, military commanders, and other officials appointed by the prime minister were frequently rejected by the lower ranks or local inhabitants. A range of political groups, from the far left to the far right, from secular to ultra-Islamic, were vying for political power, pushing rival agendas, and demanding immediate action from the prime minister. Clerics led by Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti established the Islamic Republican Party (IRP). The party emerged as the organ of the clerics around Ayatollah Khomeini and the major political organization in the country. Not to be outdone, followers of more moderate senior cleric Ayatollah Shariatmadari established the Islamic People's Republican Party (IPRP) in 1979, which had a base in Azarbaijan, Shariatmadari's home province. Moreover, multiple centers of authority emerged within the government. As the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomeini did not consider himself bound by the government. He made policy pronouncements, named personal representatives to key government organizations, established new institutions, and announced decisions without consulting his prime minister. The prime minister found he had to share power with the Revolutionary Council, which Ayatollah Khomeini had established in January 1979 and which initially was composed of clerics close to Ayatollah Khomeini, secular political leaders identified with Bazargan, and two representatives of the armed forces. With the establishment of the provisional government, Bazargan and his colleagues left the Akbar Hashem Ra san an council to form the cabinet. They were replaced by Ayatollah Khomeini aides from the Paris period, such as Abolhassan Bani Sadr and Sadeq Qotbzadeh, and by protégés of Ayatollah Khomeini's clerical associates. The cabinet was to serve as the executive authority. But the Revolutionary Council was to wield supreme decision- making and legislative authority. Differences quickly emerged between the cabinet and the council over appointments, the role of the revolutionary courts and other revolutionary organizations, foreign policy, and the general direction of the Revolution. Bazargan and his cabinet colleagues were eager for a return to normalcy and rapid reassertion of central authority. Clerics of the Revolutionary Council, more responsive to the Islamic and popular temper of the mass of their followers, generally favored more radical economic and social measures. They also proved more willing and able to mobilize and to use the street crowd and the revolutionary organizations to achieve their ends. In July 1979, Bazargan obtained Ayatollah Khomeini's approval for an arrangement he hoped would permit closer cooperation between the Revolutionary Council and the cabinet. Four clerical members of the council joined the government, one as minister of interior and three others as undersecretaries of interior, education, and defense, while Bazargan and three cabinet colleagues joined the council. (All eight continued in their original positions as well.) Nevertheless, tensions persisted. Even while attempting to put in place the institutions of the new order, the revolutionaries turned their attention to bringing to trial and punishing members of the former regime whom they considered responsible for carrying out political repression, plundering the country's wealth, implementing damaging economic policies, and allowing foreign exploitation of Iran. A revolutionary court set to work almost immediately in the school building in Tehran where Ayatollah Khomeini had set up his headquarters. Revolutionary courts were established in provincial centers shortly thereafter. The Tehran court passed death sentences on four of the shah's (Mohammad Reza Shah) generals on February 16, 1979; all four were executed by firing squad on the roof of the building housing Ayatollah Khomeini's headquarters. More executions, of military and police officers, SAVAK agents, cabinet ministers, Majlis deputies, and officials of the shah's regime, followed on an almost daily basis. The activities of the revolutionary courts became a focus of intense controversy. On the one hand, left-wing political groups and populist clerics pressed hard for "revolutionary justice" for miscreants of the former regime. On the other hand, lawyers' and human rights' groups protested the arbitrary nature of the revolutionary courts, the vagueness of charges, and the absence of defense lawyers. Bazargan, too, was critical of the courts' activities. At the prime minister's insistence, the revolutionary courts suspended their activities on March 14, 1979. On April 5, new regulations governing the courts were promulgated. The courts were to be established at the discretion of the Revolutionary Council and with Ayatollah Khomeini's permission. They were authorized to try a variety of broadly defined crimes, such as "sowing corruption on earth," "crimes against the people," and "crimes against the Revolution." The courts resumed their work on April 6. On the following day, despite international pleas for clemency, Amir Abbas Hoveida, the shah's prime minister for twelve years, was put to death. Attempts by Bazargan to have the revolutionary courts placed under the judiciary and to secure protection for potential victims through amnesties issued by Ayatollah Khomeini also failed. Beginning in August 1979, the courts tried and passed death sentences on members of ethnic minorities involved in antigovernment movements. Some 550 persons had been executed by the time Bazargan resigned in November 1979. Bazargan had also attempted, but failed, to bring the revolutionary committees under his control. The committees, whose members were armed, performed a variety of duties. They policed neighborhoods in urban areas, guarded prisons and government buildings, made arrests, and served as the execution squads of the revolutionary tribunals. The committees often served the interests of powerful individual clerics, revolutionary personalities, and political groups, however. They made unauthorized arrests, intervened in labor-management disputes, and seized property. Despite these abuses, members of the Revolutionary Council wanted to bring the committees under their own control, rather than eliminate them. With this in mind, in February 1979 they appointed Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi-Kani head of the Tehran revolutionary committee and charged him with supervising the committees countrywide. Mahdavi-Kani dissolved many committees, consolidated others, and sent thousands of committeemen homes. But the committees, like the revolutionary courts, endured, serving as one of the coercive arms of the revolutionary government. In May 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini authorized the establishment of the Pasdaran (Pasdaran-e Enghelab-e Islami, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or Revolutionary Guards). The Pasdaran was conceived by the men around Ayatollah Khomeini as a military force loyal to the Revolution and the clerical leaders, as a counterbalance for the regular army, and as a force to use against the guerrilla organizations of the left, which were also arming. Disturbances among the ethnic minorities accelerated the expansion of the Pasdaran. Two other important organizations were established in this formative period. In March Ayatollah Khomeini established the Foundation for the Disinherited. The organization was to take charge of the assets of the Pahlavi Foundation and to use the proceeds to assist low-income groups. The new foundation in time came to be one of the largest conglomerates in the country, controlling hundreds of expropriated and nationalized factories, trading firms, farms, and apartment and office buildings, as well as two large newspaper chains. The Crusade for Reconstruction (Jihad-e Sazandegi or Jihad), established in June, recruited young people for construction of clinics, local roads, schools, and similar facilities in villages and rural areas. The organization also grew rapidly, assuming functions in rural areas that had previously been handled by the Planning and Budget Organization (which replaced the Plan Organization in 1973) and the Ministry of Agriculture. Trouble broke out among the Turkomans, the Kurds, and the Arabic-speaking population of Khozestan in March 1979. The disputes in the Turkoman region of Gorgan were over land rather than claims for Turkoman cultural identity or autonomy. Representatives of left-wing movements, active in the region, were encouraging agricultural workers to seize land from the large landlords. These disturbances were put down, but not without violence. Meanwhile, in Khozestan, the center of Iran's oil industry, members of the Arabic-speaking population organized and demanded a larger share of oil revenues for the region, more jobs for local inhabitants, the use of Arabic as a semi-official language, and a larger degree of local autonomy. Because Arab states, including Iraq, had in the past laid claim to Khozestan as part of the "Arab homeland," the government was bound to regard an indigenous movement among the Arabic-speaking population with suspicion. The government also suspected that scattered instances of sabotage in the oil fields were occurring with Iraqi connivance. In May 1979, government forces responded to these disturbances by firing on Arab demonstrators in Khorramshahr. Several demonstrators were killed; others were shot on orders of the local revolutionary court. The government subsequently quietly transferred the religious leader of the Khozestan Arabs, Ayatollah Mohammad Taher Shobayr al Khaqani, to Qom, where he was kept under house arrest. These measures ended further protests. The Kurdish uprising proved more deep-rooted, serious, and durable. The Kurdish leaders were disappointed that the Revolution had not brought them the local autonomy they had long desired. Scattered fighting began in March 1979 between government and Kurdish forces and continued after a brief cease-fire; attempts at negotiation proved abortive. One faction, led by Ahmad Moftizadeh, the Friday prayer leader in Sanandaj, was ready to accept the limited concessions offered by the government, but the Kurdish Democratic Party, led by AbdolRahman Qasemloo, and a more radical group led by Shaykh Ezz-o-Din Hossaini issued demands that the authorities in Tehran did not feel they could accept. These included the enlargement of the Kurdestan region to include all Kurdish-speaking areas in Iran, a specified share of the national revenue for expenditure in the province, and complete autonomy in provincial administration. Kurdish was to be recognized as an official language for local use and for correspondence with the central government. Kurds were to fill all local government posts and to be in charge of local security forces. The central government would remain responsible for national defense, foreign affairs, and central banking functions. Similar autonomy would be granted other ethnic minorities in the country. With the rejection of these demands, serious fighting broke out in August 1979. Ayatollah Khomeini, invoking his powers as commander in chief, used the army against other Iranians for the first time since the Revolution. No settlement was reached with the Kurds during Bazargan's prime ministership. Because the Bazargan government lacked the necessary security forces to control the streets, such control passed gradually into the hands of clerics in the Revolutionary Council and the IRP, who ran the revolutionary courts and had influence with the Pasdaran, the revolutionary committees, and the club-wielding hezbollahis, or "partisans of the party of God." The clerics deployed these forces to curb rival political organizations. In June the Revolutionary Council promulgated a new press law and began a crackdown against the proliferating political press. On August 8, 1979, the revolutionary prosecutor banned the leading left-wing newspaper, Ayandegan. Five days later hezbollahis broke up a Tehran rally called by the National Democratic Front, a newly organized left-of-center political movement, to protest the Ayandegan closing. The Revolutionary Council then proscribed the front itself and issued a warrant for the arrest of its leader. Hezbollahis also attacked the headquarters of the Fadayan organization and forced the Mojahedin to evacuate their headquarters. On August 20, forty-one opposition papers were proscribed. On September 8, the two largest newspaper chains in the country, Kayhan and Ettelaat, were expropriated and transferred to the Foundation for the Disinherited. In June and July 1979, the Revolutionary Council also passed a number of major economic measures, whose effect was to transfer considerable private sector assets to the state. It nationalized banks, insurance companies, major industries, and certain categories of urban land; expropriated the wealth of leading business and industrial families; and appointed state managers to many private industries and companies.

Consolidation of the Revolution

As the government eliminated the political opposition and successfully prosecuted The Iran-Iraq War, it also took further steps to consolidate and to institutionalize the achievements of the Revolution. The government took several measures to regularize the status of revolutionary organizations. It reorganized the Pasdaran and the Crusade for Reconstruction as ministries (the former in November 1982 and the latter in November 1983), a move designed to bring these bodies under the aegis of the cabinet, and placed the revolutionary committees under the supervision of the minister of interior. The government also incorporated the revolutionary courts into the regular court system and in 1984 reorganized the security organization led by Mohammadi Reyshahri, concurrently the head of the Army Military Revolutionary Tribunal, as the Ministry of Information and Security. These measures met with only limited success in reducing the considerable autonomy, including budgetary independence, enjoyed by the revolutionary organizations. An Assembly of Experts (not to be confused with the constituent assembly that went by the same name) was elected in December 1982 and convened in the following year to determine the successor to Ayatollah Khomeini. Ayatollah Khomeini's own choice was known to be Ayatollah Montazeri. The assembly, an eighty-three-member body that is required to convene once a year, apparently could reach no agreement on a successor during either its 1983 or its 1984 session, however. In 1985 the Assembly of Experts agreed, reportedly on a split vote, to name Ayatollah Montazeri as Ayatollah Khomeini's "deputy" (qaem maqam), rather than "successor" (ja-neshin), thus placing Ayatollah Montazeri in line for the succession without actually naming him as the heir apparent. Elections to the second Majlis were held in the spring of 1984. The IFM, doubting the elections would be free, did not participate, so the seats were contested only by candidates of the IRP and other groups and individuals in the ruling hierarchy. The campaign revealed numerous divisions within the ruling group, however, and the second Majlis, which included several deputies who had Mohammad Kha am served in the revolutionary organizations, was more radical than the first. The second Majlis convened in May 1984 and, with some prodding from Ayatollah Khomeini, gave Mir-Hossein Mousavi a renewed vote of confidence as prime minister. In 1985 it elected Hojatoleslam Khamenei, who was virtually unchallenged, to another four-year term as president. Bazargan, as leader of the IFM, continued to protest the suppression of basic freedoms. He addressed a letter on these issues to Ayatollah Khomeini in August 1984 and issued a public declaration in February 1985. He also spoke out against the war with Iraq and urged a negotiated settlement. In April 1985 Bazargan and forty members of the IFM and the National Front urged the UN secretary general to negotiate a peaceful end to the conflict. In retaliation, in February 1985, the hezbollahis smashed the offices of the party, and the party newspaper was once again shut down. Bazargan was denounced from pulpits and was not allowed to run for president in the 1985 elections. There were, however, increasing signs of factionalism within the ruling group itself over questions of social justice in relation to economic policy, the succession, and, in more muted fashion, foreign policy and the war with Iraq. The debate on economic policy arose partly from disagreement over the more equitable distribution of wealth and partly from differences between those who advocated state control of the economy and those who supported private sector control. Divisions also arose between the Majlis and the Council of Guardians, a group composed of senior Islamic jurists and other experts in Islamic law and empowered by the Constitution to veto, or demand the revision of, any legislation it considers in violation of Islam or the Constitution. In this dispute, the Council of Guardians emerged as the collective champion of private property rights. In May 1982, the Council of Guardians had vetoed a law that would have nationalized foreign trade. In the fall of 1982, the council forced the Majlis to pass a revised law regarding the state takeover of urban land and to give landowners more protection. In January of the following year, the council vetoed the Law for the Expropriation of the Property of Fugitives, a measure that would have allowed the state to seize the property of any Iranian living abroad who did not return to the country within two months. In December 1982, the Council of Guardians also vetoed the Majlis' new and more conservative land reform law. This law had been intended to help resolve the issue of land distribution, left unresolved when the land reform law was suspended in November 1980. The suspension had also left unsettled the status of 750,000 to 850,000 hectares of privately owned land that, as a result of the 1979-80 land seizures and redistributions, was being cultivated by persons other than the owners, but without transfer of title. The debate between proponents of state and of private sector control over the economy was renewed in the winter of 1983-84, when the government came under attack and leaflets critical of the Council of Guardians were distributed. Undeterred, the council blocked attempts in 1984 and 1985 to revive measures for nationalization of foreign trade and for land distribution, and it vetoed a measure for state control over the domestic distribution of goods. As economic conditions deteriorated in 1985, there was an attempt in the Majlis to unseat the prime minister. Ayatollah Khomeini, however, intervened to maintain the incumbent government in office. These differences over major policy issues persisted even as the Revolution was institutionalized and the regime consolidated its hold over the country. The differences remained muted, primarily because of Ayatollah Khomeini's intervention, but the debate threatened to grow more intense and more divisive in the post-Khomeini period. Moreover, while in 1985 Ayatollah Montazeri appeared slated to succeed Ayatollah Khomeini as Iran's leader, there was general agreement that he would be a far less dominant figure as head of the Islamic Republic than Ayatollah Khomeini has been.

The New Constitution

Ayatollah Khomeini had charged the provisional government with the task of drawing up a draft constitution. A step in this direction was taken on March 30 and 31, 1979, when a national referendum was held to determine the kind of political system to be established. Ayatollah Khomeini rejected demands by various political groups and by Ayatollah Shariatmadari that voters be given a wide choice. The only form of government to appear on the ballot was an Islamic republic, and voting was not by secret ballot. The government reported an overwhelming majority of over 98 percent in favor of an Islamic republic. Ayatollah Khomeini proclaimed the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran on April 1, 1979. The Ayatollah Khomeini regime unveiled a draft constitution on June 18. Aside from substituting a strong president, on the Gaullist model, for the monarchy, the constitution did not differ markedly from the 1906 constitution and did not give the clerics an important role in the new state structure. Ayatollah Khomeini was prepared to submit this draft, virtually unmodified, to a national referendum or, barring that, to an appointed council of forty representatives who could advise on, but not revise, the document. Ironically, as it turned out, it was the parties of the left who most vehemently rejected this procedure and demanded that the constitution be submitted for full-scale review by a constituent assembly. Ayatollah Shariatmadari supported these demands. A newly created seventy-three-member Assembly of Experts convened on August 18, 1979, to consider the draft constitution. Clerics, and members and supporters of the IRP dominated the assembly, which revamped the constitution to establish the basis for a state dominated by the Shia clergy. The Assembly of Experts completed its work on November 15, and the new Constitution of the Islamic Republic was approved in a national referendum on December 2 and 3, 1979, once again, according to government figures, by over 98 percent of the vote. In October 1979, when it had become clear that the draft constitution would institutionalize clerical domination of the state, Bazargan and a number of his cabinet colleagues had attempted to persuade Ayatollah Khomeini to dissolve the Assembly of Experts, but Ayatollah Khomeini refused. Now opposition parties attempted to articulate their objections to the Constitution through protests led by the IPRP. Following the approval of the Constitution, Ayatollah Shariatmadari's followers in Tabriz organized demonstrations and seized control of the radio station. A potentially serious challenge to the dominant clerical hierarchy fizzled out, however, when Ayatollah Shariatmadari wavered in his support for the protesters, and the pro-Khomeini forces organized massive counterdemonstrations in the city in 1979. In fear of condemnation by Ayatollah Khomeini and of IRP reprisals, the IPRP in December 1979 announced the dissolution of the party. Few foreign initiatives were possible in the early months of the Revolution. The Bazargan government attempted to maintain correct relations with the Persian Gulf states, despite harsh denunciations of the Gulf rulers by senior clerics and revolutionary leaders. Anti-American feeling was widespread and was fanned by Ayatollah Khomeini himself, populist preachers, and the left-wing parties. Bazargan, however, continued to seek military spare parts from Washington and asked for intelligence information on Soviet and Iraqi activities in Iran. On November 1, 1979, Bazargan met with President Carter's national security adviser, Zbigniew K. Brzezinski, in Algiers, where the two men were attending Independence Day celebrations. Meanwhile, the shah, who was seriously ill, was admitted to the United States for medical treatment. Iranians feared that the shah would use this visit to the United States to secure United States support for an attempt to overthrow the Islamic Republic. On November 1, 1979, hundreds of thousands marched in Tehran to demand the shah's extradition, while the press denounced Bazargan for meeting with a key United States official. On November 4, young men who later designated themselves "students of the Imam's line," occupied the United States embassy compound and took United States diplomats hostage. Bazargan resigned two days later; no prime minister was named to replace him. The Revolutionary Council took over the prime minister's functions, pending presidential and Majlis elections. The elections for the new president were held in January 1980; Bazargan, fearing further personal attacks, did not run. The three leading candidates were Jalal oDin Farsi, representing the IRP, the dominant clerical party; Abolhassan Bani Sadr, an independent associated with Ayatollah Khomeini who had written widely on the relationship of Islam to politics and economics; and Admiral Ahmad Madani, a naval officer who had served as governor of Khozestan Province and commander of the navy after the Revolution. Farsi, however, was disqualified because of his Afghan origin, leaving Bani Sadr and Madani as the primary challengers. Bani Sadr was elected by 75 percent of the vote.

The Bani Sadr Presidency

Bani Sadr's program as president was to re-establish central authority, gradually to phase out the Pasdaran and the revolutionary courts and committees and to absorb them into other government organizations, to reduce the influence of the clerical hierarchy, and to launch a program for economic reform and development. Against the wishes of the IRP, Ayatollah Khomeini allowed Bani Sadr to be sworn in as president in January 1980, before the convening of the Majlis. Ayatollah Khomeini further bolstered Bani Sadr's position by appointing him chairman of the Revolutionary Council and delegating to the president his own powers as commander in chief of the armed forces. On the eve of the Iranian New Year, on March 20, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a message to the nation designating the coming year as "the year of order and security" and outlining a program reflecting Bani Sadr's own priorities. Nevertheless, the problem of multiple centers of power and of revolutionary organizations not subject to central control persisted to plague Bani Sadr. Like Bazargan, Bani Sadr found he was competing for primacy with the clerics and activists of the IRP. The struggle between the president and the IRP dominated the political life of the country during Bani Sadr's presidency. Bani Sadr failed to secure the dissolution of the Pasdaran and the revolutionary courts and committees. He also failed to establish control over the judiciary or the radio and television networks. Ayatollah Khomeini himself appointed IRP members Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti as chief justice and member Ayatollah AbdolKarim Mousavi-Ardabili as prosecutor general (also seen as attorney general). Bani Sadr's appointees to head the state broadcasting services and the Pasdaran were forced to resign within weeks of their appointments. Parliamentary elections were held in two stages in March and May 1980, amid charges of fraud. The official results gave the IRP and its supporters 130 of 241 seats decided (elections were not completed in all 270 constituencies). Candidates associated with Bani Sadr and with Bazargan's IFM each won a handful of seats; other left-of-center secular parties fared no better. Candidates of the radical left-wing parties, including the Mojahedin Khalq, the Fadayan Khalq, and the Tudeh Party, won no seats at all. IRP dominance of the Majlis was reinforced when the credentials of a number of deputies representing the National Front and the Kurdish-speaking areas, or standing as independents, were rejected. The consequences of this distribution of voting power soon became evident. The Majlis began its deliberations in June 1980. Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, a cleric and founding member of the IRP, was elected Majlis speaker. After a two-month deadlock between the president and the Majlis over the selection of the prime minister, Bani Sadr was forced to accept the IRP candidate, Mohammad Ali Rajai. Rajai, a former street schoolteacher, was a Beheshti protégé. The designation of cabinet ministers was delayed because Bani Sadr refused to confirm cabinet lists submitted by Rajai. In September 1980, Bani Sadr finally confirmed fourteen of a list of twenty-one ministers proposed by the prime minister. Some key cabinet posts, including the ministries of foreign affairs, labor, commerce, and finance, were filled only gradually over the next six months. The differences between president and prime minister over cabinet appointments remained unresolved until May 1981, when the Majlis passed a law allowing the prime minister to appoint caretakers to ministries still lacking a minister. The president's inability to control the revolutionary courts and the persistence of revolutionary temper were demonstrated in May 1980, when executions, which had become rare in the previous few months, began again on a large scale. Some 900 executions were carried out, most of them between May and September 1980, before Bani Sadr left office in June 1981. In September the chief justice finally restricted the authority of the courts to impose death sentences. Meanwhile a remark by Ayatollah Khomeini in June 1980 that "royalists" were still to be found in government offices led to a resumption of widespread purges. Within days of Ayatollah Khomeini's remarks some 130 unofficial purge committees were operating in government offices. Before the wave of purges could be stopped, some 4,000 civil servants and between 2,000 and 4,000 military officers lost their jobs. Around 8,000 military officers had been dismissed or retired in previous purges. The Kurdish problem also proved intractable. The rebellion continued, and the Kurdish leadership refused to compromise on its demands for local autonomy. Fighting broke out again in April 1980, followed by another cease-fire on April 29. Kurdish leaders and the government negotiated both in Mahabad and in Tehran, but, although Bani Sadr announced he was prepared to accept the Kurdish demands with "modifications," the discussions broke down and fighting resumed. The United States hostage crisis was another problem that weighed heavily on Bani Sadr. The "students of the Imam's line" and their IRP supporters holding the hostages were using the hostage issue and documents found in the embassy to radicalize the public temper, to challenge the authority of the president, and to undermine the reputations of moderate politicians and public figures. The crisis was exacerbating relations with the United States and West European countries. President Carter had ordered several billion dollars of Iranian assets held by American banks in the United States and abroad to be frozen. Bani Sadr's various attempts to resolve the crisis proved abortive. He arranged for the UN secretary general to appoint a commission to investigate Iranian grievances against the United States, with the understanding that the hostages would be turned over to the Revolutionary Council as a preliminary step to their final release. The plan broke down when, on February 23, 1980, the eve of the commission's arrival in Tehran, Ayatollah Khomeini declared that only the Majlis, whose election was still several months away, could decide the fate of the hostages. The shah had meantime made his home in Panama. Bani Sadr and Foreign Minister Qotbzadeh attempted to arrange for the shah to be arrested by the Panamanian authorities and extradited to Iran. But the shah abruptly left Panama for Egypt on March 23, 1980, before any summons could be served. In April the United States attempted to rescue the hostages by secretly landing aircraft and troops near Tabas, along the Dasht-e Kavir desert in eastern Iran. Two helicopters on the mission failed, however, and when the mission commander decided to abort the mission, a helicopter and a C-130 transport aircraft collided, killing eight United States servicemen. The failed rescue attempt had negative consequences for the Iranian military. Radical factions in the IRP and left-wing groups charged that Iranian officers opposed to the Revolution had secretly assisted the United States aircraft to escape radar detection. They renewed their demand for a purge of the military command. Bani Sadr was able to prevent such a purge, but he was forced to reshuffle the top military command. In June 1980, the chief judge of the Army Military Revolutionary Tribunal announced the discovery of an antigovernment plot centered on the military base in Piranshahr in Kurdestan. Twenty-seven junior and warrant officers were arrested. In July the authorities announced they had uncovered a plot centered on the Shahrokhi Air Base in Hamadan. Six hundred officers and men were implicated. Ten of the alleged plotters were killed when members of the Pasdaran broke into their headquarters. Approximately 300 officers, including two generals, were arrested, and warrants were issued for 300 others. The government charged the accused with plotting to overthrow the state and seize power in the name of exiled leader Bakhtiar. Ayatollah Khomeini ignored Bani Sadr's plea for clemency and said those involved must be executed. As many as 140 officers were shot on orders of the military tribunal; wider purges of the armed forces followed. In September 1980, perhaps believing the hostage crisis could serve no further diplomatic or political end, the Rajai government indicated to Washington through a diplomat of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) that it was ready to negotiate in earnest for the release of the hostages. Talks opened on September 14 in West Germany and continued for the next four months, with the Algerians acting as intermediaries. The hostages were released on January 20, 1981, concurrently with Ronald Reagan's taking the oath of office as president of United State. The United States in return released US$11 to US$12 billion in Iranian funds that had been frozen by presidential order. Iran, however, agreed to repay US$5.1 billion in syndicated and nonsyndicated loans owed to United States and foreign banks and to place another US$1 billion in an escrow account, pending the settlement of claims filed against Iran by United States firms and citizens. These claims, and Iranian claims against United States firms, were adjudicated by a special tribunal of the International Court of Justice at The Hague, established under the terms of the Algiers Agreement. As of 1987, the court was still reviewing outstanding cases, of which there were several thousand. The hostage settlement served as a further bone of contention between the Rajai government, which negotiated the terms, and Bani Sadr. The president and the governor of the Central Bank (Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran--established originally in 1960 as Bank Markazi Iran), a presidential appointee, charged the Iranian negotiators with accepting terms highly disadvantageous to Iran. One incentive to the settling of the hostage crisis had been that in September 1980 Iran became engaged in full-scale hostilities with Iraq. The conflict stemmed from Iraqi anxieties over possible spill over effects of the Iranian Revolution. Iranian propagandists were spreading the message of the Islamic Revolution throughout the Persian Gulf, and the Iraqis feared this propaganda would infect the Shia Muslims who constituted a majority of Iraq's population. The friction between Iran and Iraq led to border incidents, beginning in April 1980. The Iraqi government feared the disturbed situation in Iran would undo the 1975 Algiers Agreement concluded with the shah (not to be confused with the 1980 United States-Iran negotiations). There is also evidence the Iraqis hoped to bring about the overthrow of the Ayatollah Khomeini regime and to establish a more moderate government in Iran and also to annex Khozestan province to Iraq. On September 17, President Saddam Hossein of Iraq abrogated the Algiers Agreement. Five days later Iraqi troops and aircraft began a massive invasion of Iran (see The Iran-Iraq War). The war did nothing to moderate the friction between Bani Sadr and the Rajai government with its clerical and IRP backers. Bani Sadr championed the cause of the army; his IRP rivals championed the cause of the Pasdaran, for which they demanded heavy equipment and favorable treatment. Bani Sadr accused the Rajai government of hampering the war effort; the prime minister and his backers accused the president of planning to use the army to seize power. The prime minister also fought the president over the control of foreign and domestic economic policy. In late October 1980, in a private letter to Ayatollah Khomeini, Bani Sadr asked Ayatollah Khomeini to dismiss the Rajai government and to give him, as president, wide powers to run the country during the war emergency. He subsequently also urged Ayatollah Khomeini to dissolve the Majlis, the Supreme Judicial Council, and the Council of Guardians so that a new beginning could be made in structuring the government. In November Bani Sadr charged that torture was taking place in Iranian prisons and that individuals were executed "as easily as one takes a drink of water." A commission Ayatollah Khomeini appointed to investigate the torture charges, however, claimed it found no evidence of mistreatment of prisoners. There were others critical of the activities of the IRP, the revolutionary courts and committees, and the club-wielding hezbollahis who broke up meetings of opposition groups. In November and December, a series of rallies critical of the government was organized by Bani Sadr supporters in Mashhad, Esfahan, Tehran, and Gilan. In December, merchants of the Tehran bazaar who were associated with the National Front called for the resignation of the Rajai government. In February 1981, Bazargan denounced the government at a mass rally. A group of 133 writers, journalists, and academics issued a letter protesting the suppression of basic freedoms. Senior clerics questioned the legitimacy of the revolutionary courts, widespread property confiscations, and the power exercised by Ayatollah Khomeini as faqih. Even Ayatollah Khomeini's son, Hojatoleslam Ahmad Khomeini, initially spoke on the president's behalf. The IRP retaliated by using its hezbollahi gangs to break up Bani Sadr rallies in various cities and to harass opposition organizations. In November it arrested Qotbzadeh, the former foreign minister, for an attack on the IRP. Two weeks later, the offices of Bazargan's paper, Mizan, were smashed. Ayatollah Khomeini initially sought to mediate the differences between Bani Sadr and the IRP to prevent action that would irreparably weaken the president, the army, or the other institutions of the state. He ordered the cancellation of a demonstration called for December 19, 1980, to demand the dismissal of Bani Sadr as commander in chief. In January 1981, he urged nonexperts to leave the conduct of the war to the military. The next month he warned clerics in the revolutionary organizations not to interfere in areas outside their competence. On March 16, after meeting with and failing to persuade Bani Sadr, Rajai, and clerical leaders to resolve their differences, he issued a tenpoint declaration confirming the president in his post as commander in chief and banning further speeches, newspaper articles, and remarks contributing to factionalism. He established a three-man committee to resolve differences between Bani Sadr and his critics and to ensure that both parties adhered to Ayatollah Khomeini's guidelines. This arrangement soon broke down. Bani Sadr, lacking other means, once again took his case to the public in speeches and newspaper articles. The adherents of the IRP used the revolutionary organizations, the courts, and the hezbollahi gangs to undermine the president. The three-man committee appointed by Ayatollah Khomeini returned a finding against the president. In May, the Majlis passed measures to permit the prime minister to appoint caretakers to ministries still lacking a minister, to deprive the president of his veto power, and to allow the prime minister rather than the president to appoint the governor of the Central Bank. Within days the Central Bank governor was replaced by a Rajai appointee. By the end of May, Bani Sadr appeared also to be losing Ayatollah Khomeini's support. On May 27, Ayatollah Khomeini denounced Bani Sadr, without mentioning him by name, for placing himself above the law and ignoring the dictates of the Majlis. On June 7, Mizan and Bani Sadr's newspaper, Enqelab-e Eslami, were banned. Three days later, Ayatollah Khomeini removed Bani Sadr from his post as the acting commander in chief of the military. Meanwhile, gangs roamed the streets calling for Bani Sadr's ouster and death and clashed with Bani Sadr supporters. On June 10, participants in a Mojahedin rally at Revolution Square in Tehran clashed with hezbollahis. On June 12, a motion for the impeachment of the president was presented by 120 deputies. On June 13 or 14, Bani Sadr, fearing for his life, went into hiding. The speaker of the Majlis, after initially blocking the motion, allowed it to go forward on June 17. The next day, the Mojahedin issued a call for "revolutionary resistance in all its forms." The government treated this as a call for rebellion and moved to confront the opposition on the streets. Twenty-three protesters were executed on June 20 and 21, as the Majlis debated the motion for impeachment. In the debate, several speakers denounced Bani Sadr; only five spoke in his favor. On June 21, with 30 deputies absenting themselves from the house or abstaining, the Majlis decided for impeachment on a vote of 177 to 1. The revolutionary movement had brought together a coalition of clerics, middle-class liberals, and secular radicals against the shah. The impeachment of Bani Sadr represented the triumph of the clerical party over the other members of this coalition.

Valentine`s Day Worldwide - F e b 1 4

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Saint Valentine H s or ca ac s

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Legends

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Attested traditions Luperca a

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Chaucer s ove b rds

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Med eva per od and he Eng sh Rena ssance

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Modern mes

n 1797 a B sh pub she ssued The Young Man s Va en ne W e wh ch con a ned sco es o sugges ed sen men a ve ses o he young ove unab e o compose h s own P n e s had a eady begun p oduc ng a m ed numbe o ca ds w h ve ses and ske ches ca ed mechan ca va en nes and a educ on n pos a a es n he nex cen u y ushe ed n he ess pe sona bu eas e p ac ce o ma ng Va en nes Tha n u n made poss b e o he s me o exchange ca ds anonymous y wh ch s aken as he eason o he sudden appea ance o acy ve se n an e a o he w se p ud sh y V c o an Pape Va en nes became so popu a n Eng and n he ea y 19 h cen u y ha hey we e assemb ed n ac o es Fancy Va en nes we e made w h ea ace and bbons w h pape ace n oduced n he m d 19 h cen u y n he UK us unde ha o he popu a on spend money on he Va en nes and a ound 1 3 b on pounds a e spen yea y on ca ds owe s choco a es and o he g s w h an es ma ed 25 m on ca ds be ng sen The e nven on o Sa n Va en ne s Day n he 1840s has been aced by Le gh E c Schm d As a w e nG aham s Ame can Mon h y obse ved n 1849 Sa n Va en ne s Day s becom ng nay has become a na ona ho yday n he Un ed S a es he s mass p o duced va en nes o embossed pape ace we e p oduced and so d sho y a e 1847 by Es he How and 1828–1904 o Wo ces e Massachuse s He a he ope a ed a a ge book and s a one y s o e bu How and ook he nsp a on om an Eng sh Va en ne she had ece ved om a bus ness assoc a e o he a he n gued w h he dea o mak ng s m a Va en nes How and began he bus ness by mpo ng pape ace and o a deco a ons om Eng and The Eng sh p ac ce o send ng Va en ne s ca ds was es ab shed enough o ea u e as a p o dev ce n E zabe h Gaske s M Ha son s Con ess ons 1851 bu s n w h my exp ana ons The va en ne know no h ng abou s n you handw ng sa d he co d y S nce 2001 he G ee ng Ca d Assoc a on has been g v ng an annua Es he How and Awa d o a G ee ng Ca d V s ona y S nce he 19 h cen u y handw en no es have g ven way o mass p oduced g ee ng ca ds The m d 19 h cen u y Va en ne s Day ade was a ha b nge o u he comme c a zed ho days n he Un ed S a es o o ow n he second ha o he 20 h cen u y he p ac ce o exchang ng ca ds was ex ended o a manne o g s n he Un ed S a es Such g s yp ca y nc ude oses and choco a es packed n a ed sa n hea shaped box n he 1980s he d amond ndus y began o p omo e Va en ne s Day as an occas on o g v ng ewe y The U S G ee ng Ca d Assoc a on es ma es ha app ox ma e y 190 m on va en nes a e sen each yea n he US Ha o hose va en nes a e g ven o am y membe s o he han husband o w e usua y o ch d en When you nc ude he va en ne exchange ca ds made n schoo ac v es he gu e goes up o 1 b on and eache s become he peop e ece v ng he mos va en nes n some No h Ame can e emen a y schoo s ch d en deco a e c ass ooms exchange ca ds and a e g ven swee s The g ee ng ca ds o hese s uden s some mes men on wha hey app ec a e abou each o he The se o n e ne popu a y a he u n o he m enn um s c ea ng new ad ons M ons o peop e use eve y yea d g a means o c ea ng and send ng Va en ne s Day g ee ng messages such as e ca ds ove coupons o p n ab e g ee ng ca ds An es ma ed 15 m on e va en nes we e sen n 2010

Similar days celebrating love n he Wes Europe

Wh e send ng ca ds owe s choco a es and o he g s s ad ona n he UK Va en ne s Day has va ous eg ona cus oms n No o k a cha ac e ca ed Jack Va en ne knocks on he ea doo o houses eav ng swee s and p esen s o ch d en A hough he was eav ng ea s many ch d en we e sca ed o h s mys ca pe son n Wa es many peop e ce eb a e Dydd San es Dwynwen S Dwynwen s Day on Janua y 25 ns ead o o as we as Va en ne s Day The day commemo a es S Dwynwen he pa on sa n o We sh ove s n F ance a ad ona y Ca ho c coun y Va en ne s Day s known s mp y as Sa n Va en n and s ce eb a ed n much he same way as o he wes e n coun es n Spa n Va en ne s Day s known as San Va en n and s ce eb a ed he same way as n he UK a hough n Ca a on a s a ge y supe seded by s m a es v es o ose and o book g v ng on La D ada de San Jo d Sa n Geo ge s Day n s mo e common y e e ed o as D a dos Namo ados Love s Day Day o hose ha a e n ove w h Po uga each o he n Denma k and No way Va en ne s Day 14 Feb s known as Va en nsdag s no ce eb a ed o a a ge ex en bu s a ge y mpo ed om Ame can cu u e and some peop e ake me o ea a oman c d nne w h he pa ne o send a ca d o a sec e ove o g ve a ed ose o he oved one The cu owe ndus y n pa cu a s s wo k ng on p omo ng he ho day n Sweden s ca ed A a h ä ans dag A Hea s Day and was aunched n he 1960s by he owe ndus y s comme c a n e es s and due o he n uence o Ame can cu u e s no an o c a ho day bu s ce eb a on s ecogn zed and sa es o cosme cs and owe s o h s ho day a e on y exceeded by hose o Mo he s Day n F n and Va en ne s Day s ca ed Ys ävänpä vä wh ch ans a es n o F end s day As he name nd ca es h s day s mo e abou emembe ng a you ends no on y you oved ones n Es on a Va en ne s Day s ca ed Sõb apäev wh ch has he same mean ng n S oven a a p ove b says ha S Va en ne b ngs he keys o oo s so on Feb ua y 14 p an s and owe s s a o g ow Va en ne s Day has been ce eb a ed as he day when he s wo k n he v neya ds and n he e ds commences s a so sa d ha b ds p opose o each o he o ma y on ha day Neve he ess has on y ecen y been ce eb a ed as he day o ove The day o ove s ad ona y Ma ch 12 heSa n G ego y s day Ano he p ove b says Va en n – p v spom ad n Va en ne — s sa n o sp ng as n some p aces espec a yWh e Ca n o a Sa n Va en ne ma ks he beg nn ng o sp ng n Roman a he ad ona ho day o ove s s D agobe e wh ch s ce eb a ed on Feb ua y 24 s named a e a cha ac e om Roman an o k o e who was supposed o be he son o Baba Doch a Pa o h s name s he wo d d ag dea wh ch can a so be ound n he wo dd agos e ove n ecen yea s Roman a has a so s a ed ce eb a ng Va en ne s Day desp e a eady hav ng D agobe e as a ad ona ho day Th s has d awn back ash om seve a g oups ns u ons and na ona s o gan za ons ke Noua D eap ǎ who condemn Va en ne s Day o be ng supe c a comme c a s and mpo ed Wes e n k sch n L huan a and La v a s common o peop e o pu s cke s on aces and c o h ng o a end o a e a ve The ho day was s ce eb a ed a e he wo coun es ga ned ndependence om Sov e Un on n 1990 Va en ne s Day s ca ed Ημ ρα ου Αγ ου Βαλ ν νου n G eece and Cyp us wh ch ans a es n o S Va en nes day Ac ua y n O hodox chu ch he e s an o he Sa n p o ec he peop e a e n ove bu o G eeks Va en ne s Day s mo e popu a Acco d ng o Jew sh ad on he 15 h day o he mon h o Av – Tu B Av usua y a e Augus s he es va o ove n anc en mes g s wou d wea wh e d esses and dance n he v neya ds whe e he boys wou d be wa ng o hem M shna Taan h end o Chap e 4 n mode n s ae cu u e h s s a popu a day o p onounce ove p opose ma age and g ve g s ke ca ds o owe s

La n Amer ca

n some La n Ame can coun es Va en ne s Day s known as D a de Amo y a Am s ad Day o Love and F endsh p Fo examp e Mex co Cos a R ca Ecuado and Pue o R co as we as o he s s a so common o see peop e pe o m ac s o app ec a on o he ends n Gua ema a s known as he D a de Ca ño A ec on Day n B az he D a dos Namo ados Love s Day o Boy ends G ends Day s ce eb a ed on June 12 p obab y because s he day be o e Sa n An hony s day known he e as he ma age sa n when ad ona y many s ng e women pe o m popu a ua s ca eds mpa as n o de o nd a good husband o boy end Coup es exchange g s choco a es ca ds and owe bouque s The Feb ua y 14 s Va en ne s Day s no ce eb a ed a a ma n y o cu u a and comme c a easons s nce usua y a s oo e be o e o a e Ca n va — ha can a anywhe e om ea y Feb ua y o ea y Ma ch n Venezue a n 2009 P es den Hugo Chávez sa d n a mee ng o h s suppo e s o he upcom ng e e endum vo e on Feb ua y 15 ha s nce on he 14 h he e w be no me o do ng no h ng no h ng o nex o no h ng maybe a e k ss o some h ng ve y supe c a he ecommended peop e o ce eb a e a week o ove a e he e e endum vo e n mos o La n Ame ca he D a de amo y a am s ad and he Am go sec e o Sec e end a e qu e popu a and usua y ce eb a ed oge he on he 14 o Feb ua y one excep on s Co omb a whe e s ce eb a ed eve y h d Sa u day o Sep embe The a e cons s s o andom y ass gn ng o each pa c pan a ec p en who s o be g ven an anonymous g s m a o he Ch s mas ad on o Sec e San a

Eas As a

Thanks o a concen a ed ma ke ng e o Va en ne s Day s ce eb a ed n some As an coun es w h S ngapo eans Ch nese and Sou h Ko eans spend ng he mos money on Va en ne s g s n Sou h Ko ea s m a o Japan women g ve choco a e o men on Feb ua y 14 and men g ve non choco a e candy o women on Ma ch 14 Wh e Day On Ap 14 B ack Day hose who d d no ece ve any h ng on he 14 h o Feb o Ma ch go o a Ko ean es au an o ea b ack nood es 자장면 a angmyeon and mou n he s ng e e Ko eans a so ce eb a e Pepe o Day on Novembe 11 when young coup es g ve each o he Pepe o cook es The da e 11 11 s n ended o esemb e he ong shape o he cook e The 14 h o eve y mon h ma ks a ove e a ed day n Ko ea a hough mos o hem a e obscu e F om Janua y o Decembe Cand e Day Va en ne s Day Wh e Day B ack Day Rose Day K ss Day S ve Day G een Day Mus c Day W ne Day Mov e Day and Hug Day Ko ean women g ve a much h ghe amoun o choco a e han Japanese women n Ch na he common s ua on s he man g ves choco a e owe s o bo h o he woman ha he oves n Ch nese Va en ne s Day s ca ed s mp ed Ch nese 情人节 ad ona Ch nese 情人節 p ny n q ng én é The so ca ed Ch nese Va en ne s Day s he Q x Fes va ce eb a ed on he seven h day o he seven h mon h o he una ca enda commemo a es a day on wh ch a egenda y cowhe de and weav ng ma d a e a owed o be oge he Mode n Va en ne s Day s a so ce eb a ed on Feb ua y 14 o he so a ca enda each yea n Ta wan he s ua on s he eve se o Japan s Men g ve g s o women on Va en ne s Day and women e u n hem on Wh e Day n he Ph pp nes Va en ne s Day s ca ed A aw ng mga Puso o Hea s Day s usua y ma ked by a s eep n c ease n he p ces o owe s

Japan

n Japan Mo ozo L d n oduced he ho day o he s me n 1936 when an an adve semen a med a o e gn e s La e n 1953 began p omo ng he g v ng o hea shaped choco a es o he Japanese con ec one y compan es o owed su he ea e n 1958 he se andepa men s o e an a Va en ne sa e Fu he campa gns du ng he 1960s popu a zed he cus om The cus om ha on y women g ve choco a es o men appea s o have o g na ed om he ypo o a choco a e company execu ve du ng he n a campa gns n pa cu a o ce ad es g ve choco a e o he co wo ke s Un ke wes e n coun es g s such as g ee ng ca ds cand es owe s o d nne da es a e uncommon and mos o he ac v y abou he g s s abou g v ng he gh amoun o choco a e o each pe son Japanese choco a e compan es make ha he annua sa es du ng h s me o he yea Many women ee ob ged o g ve choco a es o a ma e co wo ke s excep when he day a s on a Sunday a ho day om g ob ga on and choko choco a e w h unpopu a co wo ke s Th s s known as g choko 義理チョコ ece v ng on y u a ob ga o y chō g choko cheap choco a e Th s con as s w h honme choko 本命チョコ avo e choco a e choco a e g ven o a oved one F ends espec a y g s may exchange choco a e e e ed o as omo choko 友チョコ om omo mean ng end n he 1980s he Japanese Na ona Con ec one y ndus y Assoc a on aunched a success u campa gn o make Ma ch 14 a ep y day whe e men a e expec ed o e u n he avou o hose who gave hem choco a es on Va en ne s Day ca ng Wh e Day o he co o o he choco a es be ng o e ed A p ev ous a ed a emp o popu a ze h s ce eb a on had been done by a ma shma ow manu ac u e who wan ed men o e u n ma shma ows o women Men a e expec ed o e u n g s ha a e a eas wo o h ee mes mo e va uab e han he g s ece ved n Va en ne s Day No e u n ng he g s pe ce ved as he man p ac ng h mse n a pos on o supe o y even excuses a e g ven Re u n ng a p esen o equa va ue s cons de ed as a way o say ha you a e cu ng he e a onsh p O g na y on y choco a e was g ven bu now he g s o ewe y accesso es c o h ng and nge e a e usua Acco d ng o he o c a webs e o Wh e Day he co o wh e was chosen because s he co o o pu y evok ng pu e swee een ove and because s a so he co o o suga The n a name was A n Ko ae u Wh e Day Answe Love on Wh e Day n Japan he oman c da e n gh assoc a ed o Va en ne s Day s ce eb a ed on Ch s mas Eve n a 2006 su vey o peop e be ween 10 and 49 yea s o age n Japan O con S y e ound he 1986 Sayu Kokushō s ng e Va en ne K ss o be he mos popu a Va en ne s Day song even hough so d on y 317 000 cop es The s ng es bea n he ank ng we e numbe one se ng Love Love Love om D eams Come T ue 2 488 630 cop es and Va en ne s Rad o om Yum Ma su oya 1 606 780 cop es The na song n he op ve was My Funny Va en ne by M es Dav s

S m ar As an rad ons

n Ch nese cu u e he e s an o de obse vance e a ed o ove s ca ed The N gh o Sevens Ch nese 七夕 p ny n Q X Acco d ng o he egend he Cowhe d s a and he Weave Ma d s a a e no ma y sepa a ed by he m ky way s ve y ve bu a e a owed o mee by c oss ng on he 7 h day o he 7 h mon h o he Ch nese ca enda n Japan a s gh y d e en ve s on o 七夕 ca ed Tanaba a has been ce eb a ed o cen u es on Ju y 7 G ego an ca enda has been cons de ed by Wes e ne s as s m a o S Va en ne s Day bu s no e a ed o and s o g ns a e comp e e y d e en

nd a

n nd a n he an qu y he e was a ad on o ado ng Kamadeva he o d o ove exemp ca ed by he e o c ca v ngs n he Kha u aho G oup o Monumen s and by he w ng o he Kamasu a ea y o ovemak ng Th s ad on was os a ound he M dd e Ages when Kamadeva was no onge ce eb a ed and pub c d sp ays o sexua a ec ons became owned upon A ound 1992 Va en ne s Day s a ed ca ch ng n nd a w h spec a TV and ad o p og ams and even ove e e compe ons The econom c be a za on a so he ped he Va en ne ca d ndus y n mode n mes H ndu and s am c ad ona s s cons de he ho day o be cu u a con am na on om he Wes esu o he g oba za on n nd a Sh v Sena and he Sangh Pa va have asked he o owe s o shun he ho day and he pub c adm ss on o ove because o hem be ng a en o nd an cu u e These p o es s a e o gan zed by po ca e es bu he p o es e s hemse ves a e m dd e c ass H ndu men who ea ha he g oba za on w des oy he ad ons n h s soc e y a anged ma ages H ndu o n am es u me mo he s see Housew e# nd a e c Desp e hese obs ac es Va en ne s Day s becom ng nc eas ng y popu a n nd a Howeve e s and be a c ques o Va en ne s Day ema n s ong n nd a Va en ne s Day has been s ong y c c zed om a pos co on a pe spec ve by n e ec ua s om he nd an e The ho day s ega ded as a on o Wes e n mpe a sm neoco on a sm and he exp o a on o wo k ng c asses h ough comme c a sm by mu na ona co po a ons S ud es have shown ha Va en ne s Day p omo es and exace ba es ncome nequa y n nd a and a ds n he c ea on o a pseudo wes e n zed m dd e c ass As a esu he wo k ng c assesand u a poo become mo e d scon nec ed soc a y po ca y and geog aph ca y om he hegemon c cap a s powe s uc u e They a so c c ze ma n s eam med a a acks on nd ans opposed o Va en ne s Day as a o m o demon za on ha s des gned and de ved o u he he Va en ne s Day agenda

M dd e Eas

n Egyp Egyp ans ce eb a e Va en ne s Day on Feb ua y 14 n an he Sepanda mazgan o Es andegan s an age o d ad ona ce eb a on o ove endsh p and Ea h has no h ng n common w h he Sa n Va en ne ce eb a on excep o a supe c a s m a y n g v ng a ec on and g s o oved ones and s o g ns and mo va ons a e comp e e y un e a ed has been p og ess ve y o go en n avo o he Wes e n ce eb a on o Va en ne s Day The Assoc a on o an s Cu u a and Na u a Phenomena has been y ng s nce 2006 o make Sepanda mazgan a na ona ho day on 17 Feb ua y n o de o ep ace he Wes e n ho day n s ae he Tu B Av s cons de ed o be he Jew sh Va en ne s Day o ow ng he anc en ad ons o cou sh p on h s day Today h s s ce eb a ed as a second ho day o ove by secu a peop e bes des Sa n Va en ne s Day and sha es many o he cus oms assoc a ed w h Sa n Va en ne s Day n wes e n soc e es

National Day Serbia - Feb 15

Terror and Repression Following the fall of Bani Sadr, opposition elements attempted to reorganize and to overthrow the government by force. The government

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Serbia officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian: Република Србија /Republika Srbija, pronounced [rɛpǔblika sř̩bija]), is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans, lying between the homonymous masive and Carpathian mountains in the east, Dinaric Alps in the west, and the Morava valley - an intersection of land routes which lead southwards, towards Salonica, and eastwards, towards Asia minor. Relative to its history, culture, and relatively small territory, Serbia is distinguished by its transitional character. The country is landlocked and borders Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; Macedonia to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro to the west; also, it borders Albania through the disputed region of Kosovo. The capital of Serbia, Belgrade, is among Europe's oldest cities, and one of the largest in East Central Europe. Following their settlement in the Balkans, Serbs established several states in early Middle Ages. The Serbian Kingdom obtained recognition by Rome and Constantinople in 1217; country status was raised to the Serbian Empire, in 1346. By the mid-16th century, the entire territory of modern-day Serbia was annexed by the Ottoman Empire, at times interrupted by the Habsburgs. In the early 19th century the Serbian revolution established the nation-state as the region's first constitutional monarchy, which subsequently expanded its territory and pioneered the abolition of feudalism in the Balkans. Following disastrous casualties in WWI, and subsequent unification of Habsburg crownland of Vojvodina and Syrmia with Serbia, the country co-founded Yugoslavia with other South Slavic peoples, which would exist in various formations until 2006. In February 2008 the parliament of UNMIK-administered Kosovo declared independence, with mixed responses from international governments. Serbia is a member of the UN, Council of Europe, OSCE, PfP, BSEC and CEFTA. It is also an official candidate for membership in the European Union and a neutral country. Serbia is an upper- middle income economy (WB, IMF), which ranks highest in the region in terms of democracy scores (FH) and overall democratic, economic and governance transformation.

Revolution and independence

The Serbian Revolution for independence from the Ottoman Empire lasted eleven years, from 1804 until 1815. The revolution comprised two separate uprisings which gained autonomy from the Ottoman Empire and eventually full independence in 1835. During the First Serbian Uprising, led by Duke Karađorđe Petrović, Serbia was independent for almost a decade before the Ottoman army was able to reoccupy the country. Shortly after this, theSecond Serbian Uprising began. Led by Miloš Obrenović, it ended in 1815 with a compromise between Serbian revolutionaries and Ottoman authorities. Likewise, Serbia was one of the first nations in the Balkans to abolish feudalism. The Convention of Ackerman in 1826, the Treaty of Adrianople in 1829 and finally, the Hatt-i Sharif, recognized the suzerainty of Serbia. The first Serbian Constitution was adopted on 15 February 1835. Following the clashes between the Ottoman army and Serbs in Belgrade in 1862, and under pressure from the Great Powers, by 1867 the last Turkish soldiers left the Principality. By enacting a new constitution without consulting the Porte, Serbian diplomats confirmed the de facto independence of the country. In 1876, Serbia declared war on the Ottoman Empire, proclaiming its unification with Bosnia. The formal independence of the country was internationally recognized at the Congress of Berlin in 1878, which formally ended theRusso-Turkish War; this treaty, however, prohibited Serbia from uniting with Bosnia by placing it under Austro-Hungarian occupation.From 1815 to 1903, the Principality of Serbia was ruled by the House of Obrenović, except from 1842 to 1858, when it was led by Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević. In 1882, Serbia became a Kingdom, ruled by King Milan I. In 1903, following the May Overthrow, theHouse of Karađorđević, descendants of the revolutionary leader Karađorđe Petrović, assumed power. The 1848 revolution in Austria lead to the establishment of the autonomous territory of Serbian Vojvodina. By 1849, the region was transformed into the Voivodeship of Serbia and Banat of Temeschwar.

National Flag of Canada Day Canada - F e b 1 5

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History

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HUNGARY Independence Day (1918) Lithuania - F e b 1 6

Csaba Hende holds discussion with Israeli Minister of Defence

Hungary is in a better situation at this week’s summit than it was in November: Orbán

The Act of Independence of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Nepriklausomybės Aktas) or Act of February 16 was signed by the Council of Lithuania on February 16, 1918, proclaiming the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania, governed by democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital. The Act was signed by all twenty representatives, chaired by Jonas Basanavičius. The Act of February 16 was the result of a series of resolutions on the issue, including one issued by the Vilnius Conference and the Act of January 8. The path to the Act was long and complex because the German Empire exerted pressure on the Council to form an alliance. The Council had to carefully maneuver between the Germans, whose troops were present in Lithuania, and the demands of the Lithuanian people. The immediate effects of the announcement of Lithuania's re-establishment of independence were limited. Publication of the Act was prohibited by the German authorities, and the text was distributed and printed illegally. The work of the Council was hindered, and Germans remained in control over Lithuania. The situation changed only when Germany lost World War I in the fall of 1918. In November 1918 the first Cabinet of Lithuania was formed, and the Council of Lithuania gained control over the territory of Lithuania. Independent Lithuania, although it would soon be battling theWars of Independence, became a reality. While the Act's original document has been lost, its legacy continues. The laconic Act is the legal basis for the existence of modern Lithuania, both during the interwar periodand since 1990. The Act formulated the basic constitutional principles that were and still are followed by all Constitutions of Lithuania. The Act itself was a key element in the foundation of Lithuania's re-establishment of independence in 1990. Lithuania, breaking away from the Soviet Union, stressed that it was simply re-establishing the independent state that existed between the world wars and that the Act never lost its legal power.

background and Council of Lithuania Historic After the last Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795, Lithuania was annexed by the Russian Em-

pire. During the 19th century, both the Lithuanians and the Poles attempted to restore their independence. They rebelled during the November Uprising in 1830 and the January Uprising in 1863, but the first realistic opportunity came when both Russia and Germany were weakened during World War I. In 1915, Germany occupied western parts of the Russian Empire. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, Germany conceived the geopolitical strategy of Mitteleuropa – a regional network of puppet states that would serve as a buffer zone – and agreed to allow the Vilnius Conference, hoping that it would proclaim that the Lithuanian nation wanted to detach itself from Russia and establish a closer relationship with Germany.However, this strategy backfired; the conference, held from September 18–22 of 1917, adopted a resolution that an independent Lithuania should be established and that a closer relationship with Germany would be conditional on Germany's formal recognition of the new state. On September 21, the 214 attendees at the conference elected a 20-member Council of Lithuania to codify this resolution. The German authorities did not allow that resolution to be published, but they did permit the Council to proceed. The Vilnius Conference also resolved that a constituent assembly be elected by popular vote as soon as possible.

Path to the Act of February 16 Act of December 11:

The Act of December 11 was the second stage in the progression towards the final Act of Independence. The first draft, demanded by chancellor Georg von Hertling, was prepared by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs on December 1. Further changes were jointly prepared by the German chancellery and by a delegation of the Council of Lithuania. The delegation's members were Antanas Smetona,Steponas Kairys, Vladas Mironas, Jurgis Šaulys, Petras Klimas and Aleksandras Stulginskis. After discussion amongst the parties, a compromise was reached on the document's text. The German representative, Kurt von Lersner, insisted that not one letter be changed in the agreedupon text and that all the Council members sign the document. After the delegation returned to Vilnius, a session of the Council was held on December 11 in order to discuss the Act. It was adopted without any further changes. Fifteen voted in favor of the Act, three voted against it, one member abstained, and one did not participate. It is not entirely clear whether every member of the Council signed this document. The Act was written in German, and apparently no official Lithuanian translation was prepared. Therefore different sources provide slightly different translations. The Act of December 11 pronounced Lithuania's independence, but also asked German government for protection (clause 2) and called for "a firm and permanent alliance" with Germany. Since the Act specified that the alliance was to be formed based on conventions concerning military affairs, transportation, customs, and currency, many Lithuanians argued that the Council had overstepped its authority: the September resolution adopted by the Vilnius Conference clearly demanded that a constituent assembly decide these crucial matters of state.

Act of January 8:

When peace talks started between Germany and Russia in 1918, German authorities asked the Lithuanian representatives to prepare two notifications of independence—one for Russia, in which Lithuania's ties with Russia would be denounced and nothing would be mentioned about an alliance with Germany, and a version to be released in Germany that would essentially repeat the Act of December 11. The Council decided to amend the first part of the Act of December 11. Petras Klimas included a sentence calling for the Constituent Assembly. Another important development was the statement that democratic principles would be the basis of the new state's governance, something that was declared by the Vilnius Conference, but omitted in the Act of December 11. The second part, mentioning the "firm and permanent alliance with Germany", was completely omitted. Its final version was approved on January 8, 1918, the day that U.S. President Woodrow Wilson announced his Fourteen Points. In its essence, the Act of January 8 did not differ from the Act of February 16. However, Ober Ost, the German military administration, rejected the changes. On January 26, in compliance with the earlier request, the two versions of the notification were approved, but they did not include the changes of January 8. The texts were prepared based on the Act of December 11. These concessions to the Germans created tensions among the Council members. Four members – Mykolas Biržiška, Steponas Kairys, Stanisław Narutowicz andJonas Vileišis – resigned from the Council in protest. The chairman of the Council, Antanas Smetona, who supported the Act of December 11, stepped down. Jonas Basanavičius, who would later be called the patriarch of independence, was elected as the chairman.

Act of February 16:

Germany failed to recognize Lithuania as an independent state, and the Lithuanian delegation was not invited to the Brest-Litovsk negotiations that started on December 22, 1917 between the Central Powers and Russia in order to settle territorial claims. During the first and final official joint session between the Council and the German authorities, it was made clear that the Council would serve only as an advisory board. This situation gave additional backing to those Council members who were seeking independence without any ties to other countries. The prime concern at this point was to invite back those members who had left the Council. Negotiations were undertaken that led to the reformulation of previous versions of the Act. The four withdrawn members demanded that the Council return to the Act of January 8 and omit the mention of any alliance with Germany. After heated debates that lasted for several weeks, on February 15, at 10 o'clock am, the new revision of the Act was ready. It included, with minor stylistic changes, wording of the Act of January 8 and promulgation and notification, drafted on February 1. Promulgation and notification do not carry legal weight and do not change the meaning of a legal document. The Council, including the withdrawn members, was invited to return the next day for its finalization. On the next day, February 16, 1918, at 12:30 pm, all twenty Council members met in the room of Lithuanian Committee for Support of the War Victims, at 30 Didžioji Street in Vilnius.The building has since been known as the House of the Signatories (Lithuanian: signatarų namai) and houses a museum. The Council first voted to approve the first part, the first two paragraphs up to the word drauge, of the Act. This section was approved unanimously.The second part, however, did not receive support from the four withdrawn members because they were not satisfied with the word "finally" in describing the duties of the Constituent Assembly (in "... the foundation of the Lithuanian State and its relations with other countries will be finally determined by the Constituent Assembly ..."). They were afraid that this word would give a pretext for the Council to usurp the powers of the Constituent Assembly, while the majority argued that the word simply expressed the non-negotiable and non-appealable nature of the future Assembly's decisions. Therefore the Act was unanimously approved en bloc but did not have full-fledged support from all twenty men.

Aftermath Lithuania:

Soon after the signing, the Act was taken to Germany and handed to parties in theReichstag. On February 18, the text was reprinted in German newspapers, including Das Neue Litauen, Vossische Zeitung, Taegliche Rundschau and Kreuzzeitung. In Lithuania a text of the proclamation was prepared for printing in newspapers, particularly in Lietuvos aidas, the Council's newspaper established by Antanas Smetona; but the German authorities prohibited this publication. Although the majority of the copies of the issue were confiscated, the newspaper's editor, Petras Klimas, managed to hide about 60 of them.This censorship meant that the distribution and dissemination of the Act was illegal in Lithuania. On March 3, 1918, Germany and the now-Bolshevik Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. It declared that the Baltic nations were in the German interest zone and that Russia renounced any claims to them. On March 23, Germany recognized independent Lithuania on the basis of the December 11 declaration. However, in substance, nothing had changed either in Lithuania or in the Council's status: any efforts to establish an administration were hindered. This situation changed when the German Revolution started and Germany lost the war in the fall of 1918 – it was no longer in a position to dictate terms. The Council of Lithuania adopted the first provisional constitution on November 2. The functions of government were entrusted to a three-member presidium, and Augustinas Voldemaras was invited to form the first Cabinet of Ministers of Lithuania. The first government was formed on November 11, 1918, on the day that Germany signed the armistice in Compiègne. The Council immediately began to organize an army, police, municipalities, and other institutions. The proclaimed independence was established.

The Act:

Two copies of the Act were signed: the original and a duplicate. The original was given to Jonas Basanavičius to safeguard and protect. The original was never published or used in any public matters; its existence was first mentioned in the press in 1933. The whereabouts of the original remain unknown. The duplicate was used in day-to-day business, and was stored in the president's archives until June 15, 1940, the day when Lithuania received an ultimatum from the Soviet Union and lost its independence. After that date the document disappeared. Neither the original nor the duplicate has been located; historians and adventurers continue to hunt for it. In 2006, a team of engineers searched the walls of the former house of Petras Vileišis. Two facsimiles of the duplicate were produced, one in 1928 and the other in 1933. The 1928 facsimile is a closer reproduction of the Act in its original state; there are spelling errors, and the background is visually "noisy", while the 1933 facsimile shows the Act in an "improved" condition.

The signatories:

Most of the signatories of the Act remained active in the cultural and political life of independent Lithuania. Jonas Vileišis served in theSeimas and as mayor of Kaunas, temporary capital of Lithuania; Saliamonas Banaitis was involved in finance, opening several banks. Among the signatories were two future Presidents of Lithuania, Antanas Smetona and Aleksandras Stulginskis. Jonas Basanavičius, chairman of the Council of Lithuania, returned to an academic life, pursuing his research in Lithuanian culture and folklore. Five signatories died before World War II started; three perished during the Nazi occupation. Those who did not emigrate to Western countries became political prisoners after Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union. Aleksandras Stulginskis and Petras Klimas were sent to prison in Siberia by Soviet authorities, but survived and returned to Lithuania; Pranas Dovydaitis and Vladas Mironas were also sent to Siberia but died there. Kazys Bizauskas disappeared during the summer of 1941 while being transported to a Soviet prison in Minsk; he is presumed to have been shot along with a number of other prisoners. Donatas Malinauskas was deported to Russia on June 14, 1941. Several of the signatories went into exile, including Jurgis Šaulys and Kazimieras Steponas Šaulys, who died in Switzerland.Antanas Smetona, Mykolas Biržiška, and Steponas Kairys emigrated to the United States and are buried there.

Legacy

The Act of February 16 proclaimed the re-establishment (atstatyti) of the Lithuanian state, making it the successor to the Lithuanian historical state, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.In this respect the Council deviated from the resolution adopted by the Vilnius Conference which called for establishment (sudaryti) of a Lithuanian state. However, it was made clear that the new state would be quite different from the old Duchy: it was to be organized only in ethnic Lithuanian lands and was to be governed by democratic principles, as opposed to the multi-ethnic Duchy that had been ruled by aristocracy. The termination of the ties binding Lithuania to other states was addressed to Germany, Russia, and Poland, all of which had their own plans for the country. Even though not addressed directly, the Act renounced any attempt to resurrect the former Polish-Lithuanian union. The Act of February 16, 1918, is the legal basis for the existence of present-day Lithuania, both during the interwar period and since 1990. The Act became one of the key elements during the restoration of Lithuania's independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. A paragraph in the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania, delivered on March 11, 1990, stated: The Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 of the Council of Lithuania and the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) decree of 15 May 1920 on the re-established democratic State of Lithuania never lost their legal effect and comprise the constitutional foundation of the State of Lithuania. This formulation emphasized the continuity of the two legal Acts. The Act of February 16, 1918 and its successor, the Act of March 11, 1990, are regarded as two of the most important developments of Lithuanian society in the 20th century. February 16 in Lithuania is now an official holiday. On this day various ceremonies are hosted all across Lithuania, but the main commemoration is held in the House of Signatories in Vilnius where the Act was signed in 1918. During this observance the Flag of Lithuania is hoisted, and Lithuanian cultural activists and politicians deliver speeches from its balcony to the people gathered below. Special masses in churches and cathedrals are also delivered. Honoring the Act's legacy, the President of Lithuania hosts a reception for the signatories of the Act of March 11, 1990, in the Presidential Palace. In 1992, an award was established in honor of Jonas Basanavičius, who led the Council of Lithuania when the Act of February 16 was signed. The Jonas Basanavičius Prize is bestowed for distinguished work within the previous five years in the fields of ethnic and cultural studies. The prize is awarded in the House of Signatories, in homage to its history.

Kim Jong-il's Birthday North Korea - F e b 1 6

Kim Jong-il (born Yuri Irsenovich Kim; 16 February 1941 or 1942 – 17 December 2011)was the supreme leader of North Korea (DPRK) from 1994 to 2011. He succeeded his father and founder of the DPRK Kim Il-sung following the elder Kim's death in 1994. Kim Jong-il was theGeneral Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea, and the supreme commander of the Korean People's Army, thefourth-largest standing army in the world. In April 2009, North Korea's constitution was amended to refer to him as the "supreme leader".He was also referred to as the "Dear Leader", "our Father", "the General", and "Generalissimo", among others. His son Kim Jongun was promoted to a senior position in the ruling Workers' Party and is his successor. In 2010, he was ranked 31st in Forbes Magazine's List of The World's Most Powerful People. The North Korean government announced his death on 19 December 2011.

Childhood Birth:

Details surrounding Kim Jong-il's birth vary according to source. Soviet records show that he was born in the village of Vyatskoye, near Khabarovsk, in 1941, where his father, Kim Ilsung, commanded the 1st Battalion of the Soviet 88th Brigade, made up of Chinese and Korean exiles. Kim Jong-il's mother, Kim Jongsuk, was Kim Il-sung's first wife. Kim Jong-il's official biography states he was born in a secret military camp on Baekdu Mountain in Japanese-occupied Korea on 16 February 1942. Official biographers claim that his birth at Baekdu Mountain was foretold by a swallow, and heralded by the appearance of adouble rainbow across the sky over the mountain and a new star in the heavens. In 1945, Kim was three or four years old when World War II ended and Korea regainedindependence from Japan. His father returned to Pyongyang that September, and in late November Kim returned to Korea via a Soviet ship, landing at Sonbong (선봉군, also Unggi). The family moved into a former Japanese officer's mansion in Pyongyang, with a garden and pool. Kim Jong-il's brother, "Shura" Kim (the first Kim Pyong-il, but known by his Russian nickname), drowned there in 1948. Unconfirmed reports suggest that five-year-old Kim Jong-il might have caused the accident. In 1949, his mother died in childbirth. Unconfirmed reports suggest that his mother might have been shot and left to bleed to death.

(Online 04 Feb) On Saturday, February 2 at the Munich security policy conference, Minister of Defence Csaba Hende held a discussion with Israeli Minister of Defence Ehud Barack on the opportunities of expanding the scope of Hungarian–Israeli cooperation. Minister Hende informed Hungarian News Agency MTI on the phone that he had held several bilateral discussions on the margins of the conference. He added that during the 30minute discussion with the Israeli Minister of Defence they had explored the opportunities for deepening the relations between the two countries, so their meeting had not primarily focused on military cooperation. The Minister of Defence said that at the meeting organized on an Israeli initiative, he had stressed Hungary’s openness, while Ehud Barack had noted that following the model of programs developed with Poland, the Israeli youth could visit Budapest as well to learn about

the history of the Holocaust. Politicians, experts and leaders of the economy arrived from 90 countries to participate in the international Munich security policy conference. This year’s 49th conference attracted more attention and participants as usual, Minister Hende said. For example, the programs on Saturday included a lunch for the Ministers of Defence. Speaking on this occasion, Christian Schmidt, the Parliamentary Secretary of State of the German Ministry of Defence pointed out Hungary’s professional participation in NATO’s Afghanistan mission, and praised Hungary for having increased its contribution, the Minister of Defence said. The discussions on another forum focused on the opportunities for pooling and sharing defence capabilities, and in this regard, the Pápa-based Heavy Airlift Wing was mentioned as a good example, he added. In his speech delivered at the conference, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Ras-

mussen warned the European members of the North Atlantic Alliance against using the 2014 completion of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan to reduce military expenditures. In this regard, Minister Hende told MTI that the idea that the further reduction of defence budgets has serious dangers was not a new one. It had already been raised at the Chicago NATO Summit last May that at least the nominal level of military expenditures should be maintained. Hungary, however, has not only maintained but is also increasing its defence spending. Hungary’s defence budget in this year is 3 per cent larger than the previous one for 2012, which means an increase of HUF 7 billion. The increase of financial resources is greatly needed since with only a few exceptions, the main items of military equipment in the Hungarian Defence Forces have been in service since the era of the Warsaw Pact, and their replacement is inevitable, Minister Hende said.

International conference presents successful social inclusion models (Online 07 Feb) At the international opening ceremony of the Maltese Charity Service's PAIRS programme in Tarnabod, Deputy State Secretary for Social Inclusion of the Ministry of Human Resources Katalin Langer stated that the Ministry involvement in the project is important because the lessons and conclusions that can be jointly gained from those who successfully realise initiatives provide important feedback. The Ministry's priority partner, the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service, evaluates successful models and good practices within the framework of the PAIRS programme. The programme summarises and pressuccessful Roma ents integration programmes at an international level. Positive examples from eight European countries are collected over a

period of two years. Deputy State Secretary Langer stressed that it was a brave deed to recognise that measures must correspond to the reality of life, and the innovative solutions of the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service provided conformation of this in a practically orientated way from the non-governmental side. The organisation's innovative integration programmes, which are based on personal presence, and on-site orientated support models function because the solutions they provide adapt to the challenges met at ground level. According to the Deputy State Secretary, the success of integration depends on people: the role of human resources is at least as important as the programme's financial background. The conference provided an

opportunity for participants to gain first-hand knowledge of the Gyereksegély ("Child Support") programmes, the Biztos Kezdet Gyerekház ("Steady Hand Children's House") and other successful inclusion programmes. The Hungarian Maltese Charity Service is a leading partner in the European Union programme that brings together 18 non-governmental and state run organisations from SouthEast Europe with the aim of collecting and presenting to Europe all good examples which look to the future and provide long-term results in integrating Roma people and the realisation of their social inclusion, and of making proposals for the utilization of both European Union and national funding earmarked for this purpose.

State Secretary Szijjártó met with Saudi Minister of Higher Education (Online 07 Feb) Within the framework of its “Opening towards the East”, the Government aims to strengthen ties with Arab countries not only in the field of the economy, but also in education, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations Péter Szijjártó said following talks with Saudi Minister of Higher Education Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Angari.

The State Secretary announced after their meeting that there are currently 300 Saudi students studying in Hungary and they wish to increase this amount fivefold. This will be aided by the declaration of intent the parties signed today and by the King of Saudi Arabia's scholarship program, which supports the education of 150 thousand Saudi students abroad, he added.

Saudi students primarily show interest towards medical, mechanical and IT studies, State Secretary Szijjártó pointed out, adding that Saudi Arabia is currently the country’s second most significant partner in the Arab world, which is also indicated by the fact that Hungary plans to open a trade mission in Rijad this year.

Hungary condemns murder of Tu n i s i a n o p p o s i t i o n p o l i t i c i a n (Online 07 Feb) Hungary condemns the assassination of Tunisian opposition politician Chokri Belaid and expresses its condolences to the victim’s relatives. Belaid, a member of the Popular Front (PF) coalition of opposition groups, was shot dead outside his home in Tunis on February 6, 2013. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs trusts that

Tunisian authorities will do their utmost to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. The Ministry expresses its deep concern over the appearance of politically motivated nature that jeopardizes the successful completion of a democratic transition in Tunisia. Hungary continues to support efforts towards the implementation of the objectives of the so-

called “Jasmine Revolution” and the Tunisian people’s endeavours towards democracy. The Ministry’s Consular Service also issued a warning to Hungarians living in Tunisia or who are planning to travel there, as Mr. Belaid’s assassination has triggered mass demonstrations, some of them violent, throughout Tunisia.

(Online 07 Feb) New opportunities for the export of several billion euros worth of agricultural products to Russia have become available to Hungary. On the subject of Russian market opportunities for meat products from Gyula and Hungary in general, Minister for Rural Development Sándor Fazekas emphasised that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had held highlevel talks with President Valdmir Putin and Minister of Agriculture Nikolay Fyodorov during his recent visit to Moscow. Mr. Fazekas will travel to

Moscow on Sunday to personally attend the Prodexpo International Exhibition for Food and Beverages, which opens on Monday. Together with his counterpart Nikolay Fyodorov, the Minister will review the tasks for the upcoming period and discuss, among others, the further development of relations, the realisation of previous undertakings, and new opportunities for the agrarian sector. The Hungarian agriculture sector succeeded in increasing production over the past two years. More and more busi-

nesses are realising that Russian trade partners are dependable, pay on time, and purchase significant quantities of high quality, Hungarian foods, which is also of great significance for the domestic meat industry. Russia is one of our most important trade partners; we have succeeded in removing administrative limitations through agricultural diplomacy, and are continuously enabling businesses that are interested in the Russian market to meet prospective partners, Mr. Fazekas said.

Va n R o m p u y t o p r e p a r e a n e w EU budget framework plan (Online 06 Feb) It was revealed at the end of the upcoming summit’s preparatory meeting that President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy will prepare his latest mediumterm EU budget framework plan by Thursday, directly before the start of the extraordinary meeting of EU heads of state and government. Member state officials responsible for European affairs – among them Minister of State for EU affairs Enikő Győri – were informed on Monday by President Van Rompuy that after presenting his latest framework figures he will suspend the meeting to allow representatives to study the proposal, following which a plenary discussion would commence on the 2014-2020 EU budget framework.

Speaking to journalists after Monday’s meeting in Brussels, Minister of State Győri emphasized: one cannot automatically assume that the President’s proposal will be based on the partial agreement reached in November, as it is going to be a completely new document. Some of the better situated “net contributors” want a serious reduction, while “net beneficiaries” – countries that receive more from the common funds than what they contribute to it – would like to preserve the level of EU funds currently available. Cohesion funding is of outstanding significance for Hungary, just as the future of the country’s agricultural policy. The medium-term budget framework also requires the European Parliament’s approval. The EP wants greater

Tu r k e y ' s s u c c e s s i s a n encouragement to Hungary

Hungary has become a member o f t h e U N D A C Te a m (Online 07 Feb) The Advisory Board of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) Team of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) held its annual meeting on 5-6 February in Geneva, where Hungary was welcomed as a new member. Ms. Catherine Bragg, Deputy

Photo: Károly Árvai

(Online 05 Feb) Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Budapest today, where during the course of his meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the two

an ambitious target, in the interests of which “we shall remove all obstacles to trade relations”. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan noted that the recent arrival of 125 Turkish businessmen in Hun-

Hungary was planning to establish a similar institution in Turkey. Mr. Orbán also stated that Turkey would like Turkish cultural monuments and artifacts

H unga r y to utilize 2 0 1 4 - 2 0 2 0 EU f unds in a m or e c onc e nt r a t e d wa y (Online 07 Feb) Hungary plans to utilize available funds in a more concentrated way than it does currently during the European Union's upcoming development period in 2014-2020, stressed Deputy Secretary of State for Development Programmes Nándor Csepreghy in Budapest on Thursday at the conference jointly organised by the Regional Development Holding and business magazine Piac és Profit (Market and Profit). Mr. Csepreghy also stated that Hungary would like to put 60 percent of the available budget towards direct economic development, with the remaining 40 percent earmarked for sector development. The Deputy Secretary of State indicated that each member state must make an undertaking with regard to the realisation of the Europe 2020 strategy and operate its own system of development policies along these lines. Hungary replied to the Europe 2020 strategy with its National Reform Programme, and the operational programmes for the next fiscal period must be developed accordingly. In is speech, Mr. Csepreghy pointed out that negotiations on the spending structure are also

(Online 07 Feb) According to the latest index on economic freedom prepared by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation (Index of Economic Freedom), Hungary – having moved up one place – is ranked as the

Photo: Károly Árvai heads of state reinforced the strong partnership between the two countries. Later today, both heads of government held speeches at a Hungarian-Turkish business forum, organised to coincide with Prime Minister

gary also served to intensify cooperation. Mr. Erdoğan indicated that Hungary supports Turkey's efforts to join the European Union, for which the Turkish Prime Minister thanked Hun-

in Hungary to be renovated and suitably preserved. The Prime Minister promised his Turkish counterpart that all such issues would be quickly resolved. Accordingly, President and CEO of the Hungarian Development

He emphasized that the European Union is a great example for when economy precedes politics. It had been realized in the very beginning, he stated, that a unified Europe could only be accomplished through economic integration, adding that creating a political union is a much more difficult task. The Hungarian Foreign Minister underlined that the EU plays a major economic role in global

– had nothing to fear from free trade. Minister Martonyi claimed that it is natural that the EU itself seeks further cooperation outside its borders since a large part of the global GDP is produced outside Europe. This opening should be essentially targeted towards three regions: EU candidate countries, the Russian Federation and Turkey.

Success in Germany for Hungarian organic wine (Online 06 Feb) The Gajdos Winery's 2009 Cabernet Franc Selection wine has won a grand gold medal at the MUNDUS VINI BioFach International Organic Wine Awards in Germany. The Gajdos Winery operates in Egerszalók, within the Eger wine region. The winery produced organically certified wines using exclusively ecolog-

ically cultivated grapes. Hungarian wines, which are deservedly famous and increasingly acknowledged, are regular participants of various international wine competitions, at which our excellent wines often achieve great success. At this year's organic wine world championships in Germany, seven of the thousands of wines entered

were awarded grand gold medals, beating those that won silver and gold medals. One of these seven wines was the Gajdos Winery's 2009 Cabernet Franc Selection. The official award ceremony of the MUNDUS VINI BioFach International Organic Wine Awards will be held on 13 February in Nuremberg.

Deputy State Secretary Prőhle held talks in Vienna (Online 06 Feb) Deputy State Secretary Gergely Prőhle held talks with his Austrian counterparts in Vienna on Tuesday. At his meeting with Jan Kickert, Political Director of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he presented the programs of Hungarian Presidency for the Central European Initiative in 2013 and the Visegrád Cooperation for 2013/14. The parties discussed issues of economic development including cross border transport development with respect to the

Central European region. As regards Croatia’s upcoming accession to the European Union, the Hungarian Deputy State Secretary declared that „It is in the interest of both countries that the dynamics of enlargement be maintained, and we hope that there will be no administrative obstacles to Croatia joining the EU this year.” The Hungarian Deputy State Secretary also signed an agreement with Johannes Kyrle, Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs, about opening a Hun-

garian consular office at the Austrian mission in Luxemburg. Deputy State Secretary Prőhle had consultations with Martin Eichtigner, Director General for Cultural Policy, on the commemorations concerning the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. „The most important message is that only the recognition of cultural diversity and reconciliation between nations can lead to stability in our region as well as on the entire continent” - stated Deputy State Secretary Gergely Prőhle.

Hungary welcomes UN Resolution on North Korea (Online 05 Feb) Hungary's Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the unanimous adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2087 condemning the dogged and aggressive behaviour of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 22 January 2013. Hungary also fully associates itself with the decision of the European Union to transpose the Resolution without delay and urges

the Union to consider additional restrictive measures. In this context, Hungary is particularly appalled by North Korea’s insistent provocative posture, challenging regional and international security through irresponsible declarations and actions, including the threat of conducting a new nuclear test. We reiterate our call on the DPRK to refrain from further shows of force, which

may seriously undermine the fragile security balance of the Korean Peninsula, to comply with its international obligations and to engage in constructive dialogue with the parties concerned aimed at improving the security situation on the Peninsula, primarily including the continuation of the Six-Party Talks.

C s a ba H e nde pa r tic ipa te s in the M unic h s e c ur ity polic y c onfe r e nc e (Online 04 Feb) Hungary is represented by Minister of Defence Csaba Hende at the 49th Munich Security Policy Conference held between 1st and 3rd February, 2013. This is one of the most prestigious international security policy conferences,

which, as usual, examines the current issues in security and defence policy in an informal setting. The politicians participating in the event and the recognized subject matter experts will exchange ideas on the crisis of the

Euro, the emerging powers, cyber security, the security situation of South-Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, the future of European defence, the crises in Mali and Syria as well as Iran’s bid for power.

system. With regard to freedom of markets (trade, investments, financial markets) the country’s performance is considered outstanding. The freedom of Hungarian trade is placed as the 11th in the global ranking.

Photo: Attila Kovács, MTI (Online 07 Feb) According to Minister of State Zoltán Cséfalvay, the basis of sound economic expansion has been laid down and it is crucial, because in the long term growth must not

there will be no “election time budget” in 2014, because the below 3 percent deficit shall be preserved. Analyzing the consequences of the crisis, the Minister of State

percent of EU resources shall be spent on economic development instead of the 16 percent of the current period. In the upcoming EU fiscal period of 2014-2020, the EU intends to

Fotó: Véssey Endre be financed from debts. The Minister of State of the Ministry for National Economy reminded the audience at the Budapest conference organized by business daily Világgazdaság that in the 2000s, growth went hand in hand with increasing debt levels. He pointed out that as of 2012, debt has been on a downward path, the fiscal deficit went below 3 percent of GDP last year and may be around only 2.7 percent according to EU methodology. He stressed that

highlighted the growing importance of industrial production, which currently contributes 27 percent to total Hungarian GDP. In addition, he also spoke about the importance of changing foreign economic strategy and stated that the policy of “Opening to the East” was established in the spirit of this concept. The Minister of State added that the development policy for 2013 is assisted by EU funds from which HUF 1500bn is expected to be drawn, and he further emphasized that in 2014-2020, 60

contribute to common objectives, such as reach a 3 percent level for R&D expenditures, a 75 percent employment rate and 40 percent ratio of people who complete tertiary education. The relevant Hungarian goals are 75 percent for employment and 1.8 percent in R&D spending. Of the 11 framework projects defined by the EU and available funds, the most important for Hungary may be the GINOP promoting economic development and innovation, the Minister of State said.

(Online 06 Feb) Deputy State Secretary Gergely Prőhle dismissed the criticism of Hungary’s economic and cultural policies in an interview he gave the Austrian daily Kurier published on Wednesday. He rejected the allegation made by some Austrian companies about „high taxes and harassment in Hungary” and said the Government wanted to ensure equal distribution of burdens resulting from the crisis between the population and the service providers.

Commenting on Austrian criticism voiced in the media regarding the latest developments in Hungarian cultural life, the Deputy State Secretary said „culture wars” had also been fought in Austria. He mentioned the examples of Thomas Bernhard and Elfriede Jelinek, internationally renowned authors who have been condemned at home for works critical of Austria. He stated that Hungary did not deserve the protest initiated by Director of Vienna’s Burgtheater Matthias Hartmann, adding

also that the reason behind appointing a new director for Hungary’s National Theatre was that the mandate of the current director is coming to an end this year. He declared that he knew of no Hungarian Jewish families who were moving to Austria as a result of rising anti-Semitism in Hungary adding that the country’s Jewish community can rely on the Government’s support. „Every anti-Semitic and racist statement must be condemned consistently,” he stated.

mate of 841.8bn HUF for the entire year. Within that, the central state budget posted a deficit of 90.7bn HUF, while Social Security Funds and extra budgetary state funds posted surpluses of

50.9bn HUF and almost 37.3bn HUF, respectively. In the month of January 2012 the central sub sector of the state budget had a surplus of 107.3bn HUF.

(Online 06 Feb) State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations Péter Szijjártó stated at the general assembly of the Hungarian Foreign Economic Association that the activities of Hungarian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on foreign markets are supported by several governmental incentives including trade houses, strategic agreements concluded with large companies and export financing. He said that Parliament had enacted the law on trade houses last year and National Trade House Inc. had been officially registered; the organisation will establish trade houses around the world. HUF 3.1 billion HUF has been earmarked for this

purpose this year, he added. The State Secretary declared that a Hungarian trade house had been established in Baku last year as a result of private initiatives, and this year the QUAESTOR corporation would be opening one in Moscow. Additionally, the Government will open trade houses in Riyadh, Beijing and Astana. Targets for next year and 2015 will be the Far Eastern region, and South America and South Africa, respectively. He also expressed that the Government had begun concluding a series of strategic agreements with multinational companies operating in Hungary. These agreements also support the export activities of Hungarian SMEs’, because the large com-

panies enable them to be involved in supply chains both in Hungary and internationally. The goal of the Government is to make export incentives and the credit system simpler, more active and more effective. The Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency plays a crucial role in supporting the export activities of Hungarian companies, implementing 567 programmes last year of which 389 were related to export development. If the Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency supports export, then every 1 HUF of taxpayers' money is tripled in a single year. The State Secretary added that Hungary had succeeded in reducing its debt, increasing its competitiveness and maintaining its stability.

There is a good chance that the 20142020 MFF will be adopted: Enikő Győri

Erdoğan's visit. At the press conference following their meeting, Viktor Orbán declared that Hungary acknowledges Turkey's economic performance, which is the result of self-confidence, cooperation and the right political programmes. The Prime Minister also stressed that Turkey was able to achieve this economic success during one of the most difficult phases of the global economic crisis. This is a great encouragement to Hungary. In addition, he called the Turkish head of state one of the greatest political leaders of the decade, who has implemented extreme reforms with unparalleled success. Mr. Orbán announced that he had accepted the Turkish Prime Minister's suggestion regarding the establishment of a high-level strategic council to facilitate permanent relations between the two countries, and had also accepted Mr. Erdoğan's proposal with relation to the setting up of an energy workgroup. The parties also set as a goal the doubling of trade between Hungary and Turkey to USD 5 billion by 2015. Mr. Orbán acknowledged that this may be

gary in the name of his people. Last October, Prime Minister Orbán also received the Speaker of Turkey's Parliament, Cemil Çiçek, who also thanked Hungary for consistently supporting Turkey's goal of EU accession. Prime Minister Erdoğan said that energy issues were priority areas of economic cooperation. The two countries are partners in the realisation of the Nabucco gas pipeline, he explained. Turkey is a transit country, he said, and is ready to provide any assistance necessary. The two heads of state would also be taking important measures to reinforce cooperation between the two countries with relation to the utilisation of nuclear energy, Mr. Erdoğan said. With relation to increasing tourism, Mr. Orbán set as a goal that Hungarian citizens should be able to visit Turkey, their second most popular tourist destination, without the need for a visa. The parties also view the promotion of cultural relations as important. Turkey will soon be opening a Turkish Cultural Institute in Budapest, and Prime Minister Orbán indicated that

Bank László Baranyay and President of the Turkish Development Agency Serdar Çam signed a letter of intent regarding the preservation of Turkish cultural heritage in Hungary. Prime Minister Erdoğan and Viktor Orbán will be holding presentations at the Hungarian-Turkish business forum, after which Hungarian President János Áder will receive the Turkish Prime Minister at his Sándor Palace. Later, Mr. Erdoğan will hold a lecture on Turkish foreign policy at the Loránd Eötvös University. Earlier this year, a session of the Hungarian-Turkish joint economic committee was held in Budapest, which focused on cooperation between the two countries within the fields of energy, industry and healthcare. The meeting was attended by State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations Péter Szijjártó and Turkish Minister of Health Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, who highlighted a number of fields of cooperation and envisaged thriving economic cooperation. The main commitments of the meeting were reinforced today.

Successful visit as part of ‘Opening to the East’ policy (Online 05 Feb) Minister of State for Economic Regulation at the Ministry for National Economy Kristóf Szatmáry – who is also responsible for external economic affairs – paid an official visit to India, Thailand and Vietnam between 28 January and 1 February. The visit has been a coherent component of the economic diplomacy offensive launched in the region’s countries in the spirit of Hungary’s “opening to the East” policy. The main objective of the visit was to prepare forthcoming economic joint commission meetings, review tasks related to former meetings and to stimulate the establishment of concrete business relations. In India the Minister of State took part in the Partnership Summit, an international gathering, where he met with the partners and representatives of the Ministry of Commerce and Trade of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He also held individual meetings with the representatives of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and a large Indian vehicle manufacturing conglomerate wishing to invest in the region. Among the issues discussed at the meetings were the cooperation opportunities and projects

on the agenda of the forthcoming sessions of the Indian-Hungarian Economic Joint Commission as well as other business events. As the next leg of his tour, in Thailand the Minister of State was welcomed on 30 January by the Co-Chairman of the Thai-Hungarian Economic Joint Commission accompanied by Thailand’s Board of Investment, the representatives of the local Industry Association and leading businesspeople in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An agreement was concluded on organizing a meeting for the bilateral Joint Commission in the second part of 2013 in Budapest. At a brief stop in Bangkok, Kristóf Szatmáry consulted with the representatives of Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce and Chamber of Commerce who were keen to promote cooperation in the field of car industry, agriculture and food industry, environmental protection and water management. In Vietnam Kristóf Szatmáry paid a visit to Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade where he held a meeting with the Deputy Minister. They both agreed that the session of the Joint Commission in October 2012 provided an impetus for the establishment of bilateral

relations, and that opportunities for further cooperation are the most promising regarding information technology, informationcommunication, energetics, agriculture and healthcare. In the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Planning and Investment the parties expressed their satisfaction that the Government of Hungary extended the validity of two (ODA type) aid loans which enable the completion of water management, population registry and oncology hospital projects in Vietnam. At the discussions the parties identified further projects. The Hungarian delegation undertook at the request of Vietnam to examine the financing means for the projects at issue. Representatives of Rába held meetings with potential Vietnamese partners as they were seeking the opportunity for long-term professional cooperation. The representative of the pharmaceuticals company Gedeon Richter discussed the potential expansion of the company’s market presence. Within the framework of the government visit, Entervill Kft concluded a cooperation agreement in the field of illuminants.

Re-Button It! fashion design competition turns international (Online 05 Feb) The initiative ReButton It! is turning international; the clothing design competition organised for the third time invites designers from the countries of the Visegrád Four (V4) to participate. Competitors may find inspiration for their designs in Central-Europe’s cultural values and traditions. Results of the Re-Button It! Central-Europe competition will be announced on 8 June in Budapest as part of the Central European Fashion Days. Zoltán Kovács, Minister of State for Social Relations at the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice said at the Budapest press conference introducing the competition that this year Hungary holds the presidency of the Central-European Initiative and, as of 1 July, also the presidency of the V4; this is an excellent opportunity for ReButton It!, a great success and established event in Hungary, to transcend borders and to also involve designers from the countries of Central Europe. The competition was invited by one of the Ministry’s support institutions, Design Terminal, the primary goal of which is to showcase not only Hungarian but also Central-European creativity as part of the Re-Button It! competition.

Designers are required to create high-quality clothing and accessories in line with the latest trends by drawing inspiration from Central-Europe’s (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia) spiritual and material values and traditions. As part of this, designers cannot only derive inspiration from their fashion history or their countries’ folk motifs; if there is a characteristic Polish architectural solution, a Slovak cartoon, a Czech literary figure or the work of a Hungarian painter as a source of inspiration, these ideas and motifs, too, may be used by designers for creating their collections. It is a new feature of the competition that fresh graduates and professionals will compete in separate categories and will not be given monetary prizes but may win valuable professional packages. Registration will start on 5 February and the international design jury will name the designers who may make their collections at the end of a multi-phase evaluation procedure. The international final jury will select the two category winners from among these works at the finale to be held on 8 June. The closing event will not only host the final of the Re-Button It! Central-Europe competition but also a

should not be disadvantageous for member states that are more dependent on EU funds, that Hungarian agriculture and rural development should continue to receive the current level of financial support, and that funds should not be channelled away from poorer countries to support more affluent ones. „The EU's competitiveness would decrease if differences between member states grew extreme”, Enikő Győri added. She also noted that the total budget of the next MFF is ex-

pected to be lower than that of the current financial framework. State Secretary Enikő Győri pointed out that the allocation of the MFF's financial resources should not violate the fundamental principles of the EU; she stated that it was important not to modify the rules concerning joint financing and VAT accounting. Enikő Győri stressed that the 85% rate for joint financing should remain so as not to put a greater burden on the national budgets of member states.

Zoltán Balog negotiates with art university rectors

Photo: Károly Árvai

government policies, both foreign and domestic. The Hungarian Foreign Minister claimed that economic goals, relations and interests fundamentally determine the direction of politics, which must facilitate the realisation of economic objectives. This is the reason why Hungary initiated the policy of “global opening” – he added. Minister Martonyi stated that Hungarian export has signifi-

48th, ahead of Poland and Slovenia, or France and Italy, among others, of the euro-zone countries. The report highlights Hungary’s high-quality infrastructure, thriving private sector or well developed regulatory

Foundations of healthy economic growth established

(Online 05 Feb) There's no guarantee of success, but there is a good chance that the European Council will adopt the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2014-2020 at its session on February 7-8 – State Secretary for EU Affairs Enikő Győri told reporters on Tuesday. The State Secretary spoke about the most important objectives for Hungary at a press briefing with journalists held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These included that the re-structuring of the Cohesion Fund

Fotó: Véssey Endre

the allocation of EU funding for 2007-2013, Mr. Csepreghy said that the tender system and disbursement had both been simplified and accelerated after the Government came to office. As further examples, he mentioned the introduction of advances to suppliers and the establishment of a fund to support the payment of own funds by the public sector. He also stated that the Ministry of National Economy had presented its proposal for the structure and priorities of the operational programmes to the Government. If accepted by the Government, the issue is expected to be opened to public debate in spring of this year. If, after this, a Government standpoint emerges with regard to the structure, and especially the priority axes of the operative programmes, the proposals will be passed on to the European Commission for examination, and the EC will then deliberate on how they may support the realisation of Europe 2020 strategy objectives. If the European Commission sees this as confirmed, it will accept the proposals, and if not then it will ask the member state in question to amend them, Mr. Csepreghy added.

Govt incentives support the activities of SMEs on foreign markets: Péter Szijjártó

Economic success legitimates a Government’s policy: Minister Martony

trade, and is by far the world’s leading power in development policy. He declared that the EU trade policy was founded on the principle of free trade, and Hungary – being an open economy

going on parallel to the determination of the budgets for the upcoming development period, and issues regarding the institutional system will only be discussed later. During the conference, Mr. Csepreghy informed those present about the current status of the 2007-2003 European Union development period, stressing that 85 percent of available HUF 8200 billion in development funding available to Hungary for this period is provided by the European Commission, with the remaining 15% coming from domestic joint funding. Hungary has already earmarked 95 percent of the total available budget through tenders, and the remaining 5 percent, some HUF 188 billion, will soon be made available through the launching of new tenders. A further HUF 1097 billion in funding must be allocated to applicants this year for the whole 7-year budget to be utilized, he added. With regard to disbursement, the Deputy Secretary of State said that HUF 1500 billion must be paid out in 2013 and HUF 1700 billion-a-year in 2014 and 2015 for the whole 2007-2013 budget to be spent. On the subject of speeding up

H unga r y is t he 4 8 t h on the globa l e c onom ic f r e e dom r a nk ing

(Online 07 Feb) In the month of January 2013 the central sub sector of the state budget registered a deficit of almost 2.5bn HUF which corresponds to only 0.3 percent of the statutory esti-

Death

cantly increased towards nonEU member of the Central European Initiative (CEI), such as Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, the Ukraine and Serbia.

General for Disaster Management. Hungary is now a member of a UN group of nearly 250 highly-skilled experts who are deployed at very short notice to countries struck by emergencies and who coordinate international humanitarian response activities in cooperation with the government concerned.

The s t a t e of t he c e nt r a l s ub s e c t or of t he s ta te budge t in J a nua r y 2 0 1 3

There is no official information available about Kim Jong-il's marital history, but he is believed to have been officially married once and to have had three mistresses. He has four known children: Kim Jong-nam (son) • Kim Sul-song (daughter) • Kim Jong-chul (son) • Kim Jong-un (son) • Kim's first mistress, Song Hye-rim, was a star of North Korean films. She was already married to another man and with a child when they met; Kim is reported to have forced her husband to divorce her. This relationship, started in 1970, was not officially recognized. They had one son, Kim Jong-nam (born 1971) who is Kim Jong-il's eldest son. Kim kept both the relationship and the child a secret (even from his father Kim Il Sung) until Kim ascended to power in 1994. However, after years of estrangement, Song is believed to have died inMoscow in the Central Clinical Hospital in 2002. Kim's official wife, Kim Young-sook, was the daughter of a high-ranking military official. His father Kim Il-Sung handpicked her to marry his son. The two have been estranged for some years. Kim has a daughter from this marriage, Kim Sul-song (born 1974). His second mistress, Ko Young-hee, was a Japanese-born ethnic Korean and a dancer. She had taken over the role of First Lady until her death — reportedly of cancer — in 2004. They had two sons, Kim Jong-chul, in 1981, and Kim Jong-un (also "Jong Woon" or "Jong Woong"), in 1983. After Ko's death, Kim lived with Kim Ok, his third mistress, who had served as his personal secretary since the 1980s. She "virtually acts as North Korea's first lady" and frequently accompanied Kim on his visits to military bases and in meetings with visiting foreign dignitaries. She traveled with Kim Jong Il on a secretive trip to China in January 2006, where she was received by Chinese officials as Kim's wife. He reportedly had a younger sister, Kim Kyong-hui (김경희).

Photo: Endre Véssey

Emergency Relief Coordinator & Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs attended the meeting, which also celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of UNDAC. The preconditions for becoming a member were met through successful cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Directorate

Ge r ge ly Pr őhle dis m is s e s c r it ic is m of Gov e r nm e nt ’s polic ie s

Family:

(Online 07 Feb) At a conference organised by business daily Világgazdaság in Budapest on Thursday, Foreign Minister János Martonyi declared that economic success legitimises

ciled with continental interests, as representatives of the United Kingdom insist on putting a cap on actual payments, while other participants are focusing more on commitments. The Hungarian Prime Minister also held a bilateral meeting during the night with Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council.

flexibility between the different budget chapters and also wishes to prevent Member States from cutting the budget further. The Hungarian Minister of State however thought that further cuts were possible. Speaking at the Monday meeting, she explained again, that it would be unacceptable from the Hungarian perspective if the country received more than 30% less from the cohesion funds in the coming years than currently, since the country’s level of development is 75% below the EU average. In respect of agricultural funds, Hungary would also like to prevent any decisions on further cuts. Minister of State Győri revealed that the Friends of Cohesion group will discuss their negotiating positions prior to the EU Summit.

Personal life

Kim Jong-il died of a suspected heart attack on 17 December 2011 at 08:30 while travelling by train to an area outside Pyongyang. He was succeeded by his youngest son Kim Jong-un, who was hailed by the Korean Central News Agency as the "Great Successor". The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) report that during his death, a fierce snowstorm paused and the sky glowed red above the sacred Mount Paektu. The ice on a famous lake also cracked so loud, it seemed to shake the Heavens and the Earth. Kim Jong-il's funeral took place on December 28 in Pyongyang, with a mourning period lasting until the following day. South Korea's military was immediately put on alert after the announcement and its National Security Council convened for an emergency meeting, out of concern that political jockeying in North Korea could destabilise the region. Asian stock markets fell soon after the announcement, due to similar concerns. On January 12, 2012 North Korea called Kim Jong-il the "eternal leader" and announced that his body will be preserved and displayed at Pyongyang's Kumsusan Memorial Palace. Officials will also install statues, portraits, and "towers to his immortality" across the country. His birthday of February 16 has been declared "the greatest auspicious holiday of the nation", and has been named the Day of the Shining Star.

heading in that the direction and at a speed which corresponds with Hungary’s interests. Prime Minister Orbán said that he considered the situation better than it had been in November, but added that a consensus could only be reached if participants saw eye to eye on every issue. He called it the greatest challenge of the summit whether British interests can be recon-

New Russian agricultural export opportunities

Education:

According to his official biography, Kim completed the course of general education between September 1950 and August 1960. He attended Primary School No. 4 and Middle School No. 1 (Namsan Higher Middle School) in Pyongyang. This is contested by foreign academics, who believe he is more likely to have received his early education in the People's Republic of China as a precaution to ensure his safety during the Korean War. Throughout his schooling, Kim was involved in politics. He was active in the Children's Unionand the Democratic Youth League (DYL), taking part in study groups of Marxist political theory and other literature. In September 1957 he became vice-chairman of his middle school's DYL branch. He pursued a programme of anti-factionalism and attempted to encourage greater ideological education among his classmates. Kim is also said to have received English language education at the University of Malta in the early 1970s, on his infrequent holidays in Malta as guest of Prime Minister Dom Mintoff. The elder Kim had meanwhile remarried and had another son, Kim Pyong-il (named after Kim Jong-il's drowned brother). Since 1988, Kim Pyong-il has served in a series of North Korean embassies in Europe and is the North Korean ambassador to Poland. Foreign commentators suspect that Kim Pyong-il was sent to these distant posts by his father in order to avoid a power struggle between his two sons.

(Online 08 Feb) EU heads of state and government met in Brussels to negotiate the European Union’s next Multiannual Financial Framework, for 20142020. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday that it is more likely for heads of EU member states to leave Brussels with an agreement than without one. He told Hungarian journalists that everything is

show of designers invited from the region’s countries as well as a conference and fair. It is additionally important that the competition should become increasingly international, thereby creating a new fashion event that is of regional significance in all its aspects. According to Luu Anh Tuan, a Hungarian designer of Vietnamese origin, a member of the jury of the final, Re-Button It! offers an international scene of cooperation for talents from the neighbouring countries and, thanks to this, Budapest may have a good chance of becoming the region’s creative centre. The purpose of the Re-Button It! initiative is to showcase that Hungary has rich traditions not only in fashion but also has a thriving present and a promising future. The wider public had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the clothes and accessories of a number of local designers in the course of the competitions and related shows. Thanks to this, Hungarian design has been given a new impetus; Hungarian motifs and the clothes of Hungarian designers are becoming increasingly popular not only in Hungary but also abroad.

(Online 05 Feb) Minister of Human Resources Zoltán Balog has held talks on financing and development with members of the Art Universities Rectors Chair (MERSZ). The Minister of Human Resources emphasised that the teaching of applied and fine arts, theatre and film, dance and music is not just a question of education, but it is also an important cultural activity. The special features may be different:

education does not begin at the same age, but teaching is always elite and conducted in small groups, and so cannot be compared to mass education. Zoltán Balog emphasised that the Hungarian University of Fine Arts asked the Prime Minister to resolve the freezing of HUF 300 million in funds last week. He added that they also expect the university to articulate their financial concept in relation to the solution of their problems and

their future. As has been stated with regard to the requirements of other institutions of higher education, elements to assist schools of the arts such as the Moholy-Nagy University of Arts, the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, the University of Theatre and Film Arts and the Hungarian College of Dance Arts will also be included in the programme.

Hungary wins lawsuit regarding private pension funds (Online 05 Feb) The European Court of Human Rights set a legal precedent in its decision reached in the case related to private pension funds. The Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights has recently released its decision in which it declared a Hungarian individual’s petition filed in relation to the reform of the Hungarian private pension system inadmissible. The European Court of Human Rights will in the future reject all petitions on the same subject-matter without further investigation. Based on the facts of the case, Hungarian-Serbian dual citizen

E.B. was required to join a private pension fund at her first employer in 2008 in accordance with the legislation in force at the time. When the amendments made to the pension legislation terminated the two-pillar mandatory pension system in 2010 and allowed citizens the choice between the private and the state pension schemes, the applicant decided to opt for membership of the private pension scheme. As, due to statutory changes, pension contributions payable by private pension fund members were required to be transferred to the state scheme, rather than to the individual pri-

vate pension funds, the applicant filed a petition with the European Court of Human Rights because, in her opinion, her property rights were infringed. After a review of the Hungarian legislative amendments related to the reform of private pension funds, the Strasbourg court established that the applicant’s contributions made either to a private pension fund or to a state fund equally made her eligible for future pension payments and there had therefore been no interference with any of her rights.

More funds allocated for higher education (Online 05 Feb) In 2013, the state has earmarked a further 47 billion forints to trigger PPP investments, to finance own funds required for EU projects and to settle outstanding debts towards suppliers as well as to

ensure more state-funded places in higher education. Institutions can also expect extra income in view of the fact that they are entitled to admit more students than last year. One of the workgroups of the

Roundtable on Higher Education deals with improving the sector's financing, in order to ensure transparency and efficiency. For further information on the Roundtable’s work please see here.

Moody's verdict is biased and unsubstantiated (Online 09 Feb) The Hungarian Government cannot comprehend why Moody's Investors Services does not take into account what Hungary has achieved lately. It is obvious for all that in the past two years Hungary has managed to turn from a country on the brink of sovereign default into a stable and balanced one

with indicators which have improved since the last announcement: the fiscal deficit is persistently below 3 percent, general government debt has been declining, the country's external financing capacity is the highest in the region and the country can be steadily and safely financed from markets. The current account has a sig-

nificant surplus, employment figures have been constantly improving since 2010. Investors tend to increasingly rely on their own analyses and forecasts and they do trust and believe in Hungary. This is aptly reflected by successful government securities auctions and decreasing country risk.

Minister of State for Culture opens Thorma exhibition (Online 09 Feb) Minister of State for Culture László L. Simon opened an exhibition of works by János Thorma entitled “The painter of the Hungarian Barbizon” at the National Gallery on Thursday. "János Thorma was an interna-

tional painter in the sense that he travelled to many places and therefore was influenced by many schools and trends", the Minister of State said, adding that "at the same time he was a true Hungarian, since he took on the role of relaying the country’s

history through his art". The Hungarian National Gallery’s exhibition presents the largest collection of Thorma’s works so far, 125 paintings, with additional documents, photographs and films further diversifying the exhibit.

State Secretary Péter Szijjártó met with CEO of Hankook Tire

Photo: Károly Árvai (Online 07 Feb) Péter Szijjártó State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations met with Seung Hwa Suh, the Chief Executive Officer of Hankook Tire Worldwide Co Ltd. According to State Secretary Szijjártó, cooperation between Hungary and Hankook is developing dynamically. Mr. Szijjártó declared that he and Chief Executive Officer Seung Hwa Suh had reviewed

the accomplishment of tasks included in the strategic cooperation agreement signed last November and had concluded that cooperation between Hungary and Hankook is developing dynamically. The State Secretary expressed that more than three quarters of Hankook's suppliers are now Hungarian companies, and the company is constantly broadening its Hungarian supply chain,

thus indirectly providing employment for more and more Hungarian people. He added that the governmental incentives for innovation, such as exemption from paying contributions when employing development engineers and decisions aimed at making professional training more flexible, are having a positive effect on the activities of Hankook in Hungary.

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